Portals Under the Black Gauntlet
By Robert Wiese
The Academy Portal
The Academy portal lies beneath the burnt-out ruins of the Academy of Drawn Sword, one of the city's two former schools of swordsmanship. The Academy's former master, Ilindyl Fireblade, discovered the portal beneath the basement of his former school not long ago.
Trapped in the city but away from the Academy on the night of the coup, Fireblade saw mages in the employ of the Banites cast several fireball spells into the Academy. He believed that his students all died in the conflagration that followed. Actually, the majority of the Academy's students escaped both the fire and city. The most senior students led their fellows from the city before the Banites' mages destroyed the school.
Fireblade, driven mad by misguided guilt, took to the sewers and became an avenger of the night, attacking and killing small numbers of Banites at every opportunity. A few years ago, a small group of his former students returned surreptitiously to Mintar in an effort to identify the masked avenger they had heard so much about. They located Fireblade, told him of the events of that terrible night and how well his students fought, saving not only themselves but also leading many local families to freedom as well. This news helped Fireblade return to himself and he now has become one of the leaders of a covert resistance group dedicated to freeing Mintar from the Banites. His combat expertise and quality leadership have been invaluable to the group.
Fireblade found the portal recently when he was forced to hide from the Banites hunting those in the underground in the ruins of his former school. He found a secret door in the basement that led to an even deeper cellar that contains the portal. He translated and then destroyed the inscription detailing its use and its other destinations, which are Kzelter and another locale within the city: a wizard's mansion and tower unfortunately now in the possession of a demon and a Banite mage. More portals may exist elsewhere in this sub-basement; Fireblade has not yet had time for an exhaustive search.
Ilindyl Fireblade: Male human Fighter 18; CR 18; Medium humanoid; HD 18d10+54; hp 153; Init +6; Spd 30 ft.; AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +18; Grp +20; Atk +21 melee (1d6+5 plus 1d6 fire/18-20, +3 flaming rapier) or +21 ranged (1d8+3 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming composite longbow [+2 Str bonus]); Full Atk +21/+16/+11/+6 melee (1d6+5 plus 1d6 fire/18-20, +3 flaming rapier) and +20 melee (1d4+3 plus 1d6 electricity/19-20, +2 shock dagger) or +21/+16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+3 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming composite longbow [+2 Str bonus]); AL NG; SV Fort +19, Ref +15, Will +13; Str 14, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 16.
Skills and Feats: Climb +23, Hide +6, Intimidate +24, Jump +23, Listen +6, Ride +20, Spot +6; Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Whirlwind Attack.
Possessions: +3 flaming rapier, +2 shock dagger, +1 flaming composite longbow [+2 Str bonus], 20 arrows, potions of cure serious wounds (2), potion of haste, ring of protection +3, bracers of armor +5, cloak of resistance +5, 51 pp, 18 gp.
How to Incorporate the Academy Portal Into Your Campaign
- The PCs could discover that one or more other portals anywhere in Faerûn link to the trio in and around Mintar. They could discover this in the process of experimentation with "their" portal, or by accident should they spill coins (or other small items) when attempting to access their portal.
- If the PCs are already involved in fighting Banites in Mintar (or elsewhere) or are exploring ancient Calishite ruins, dungeons, or palaces, they could uncover information on this trio of portals, and perhaps more in the network.