Dark Tide Over Cormyr

From a Far Away Place

Mirtul the 26th – Mirtul the 27th, The Year of the Gauntlet (05/26/1369 – 05/27/1369)

With Galdoreth being brought back from the steps of death and the group finally coming together to discuss their situation in Espar, they found themselves tired and worn down. In serious need of a rest to reflect on the weeks events. From the death of Ength and Galdoreth, to the trip to the far realm or the strange way that Dhurst was brought back from the brink of oblivion. When it rains, it pours.

As they discussed the events Dhurst seemed to shut down, staring into the distance with a blank look on his face. Attempts to rouse him were met with no success, and even attempts at searching for magical effects turned up nothing. It was determined that he was mentally exhausted and he was put in a cot to rest. Galdoreth and Alwyn continued to discuss things, opting to go for a short walk through town and into the forest while Tempust decided to retire to the Inn for some much needed rest and spell preparation.

An explosion rocked the small settlement of Espar that morning, one more tragedy in a town that could ill afford such things these days. Galdoreth and Alwyn turned back toward town and came running and even Dhurst was roused from his slumber by the blast. As the group converged on the scene, they came upon a massacre. The Inn was in smoldering ruins, the backside of the large two story building blown to bits and rolling in flames. Outside the front of the Inn there lay nearly a dozen bodies strewn through the streats, many cleaved nearly in two.

Dhurst was first on the scene, first to hear the voice. A melodic and horrifying thing as he rounded the corner. Before him stood a massive monstrocity, humanoid in shape but absolutely not man or beast. It was the parts of various humanoids stitched together to create a large flesh golem, reaking of rot with flesh purple and bloated like a body drowned. The wicked face stitched to the head turned to Dhurst as he rushed toward it. It’s voice was reciting poetry that detailed death, decay and menace. Just as Dhurst approached the Golem pulled a large black hook from the back of a townswoman. The hook crackled with electricity, copper wires wrapping it, around the beast’s wrist and slipping into it’s flesh between stitching.

Dhurst was quick, landing a vicious strike against the monstrocity before it had a chance to fully turn it’s attention to him. When it did, he realized that he had done the equivilent of a scratch to it and he braced himself for the inevitable counter attack.

The first swipe of the hook came wide and Dhurst was able to twist away just in the nick of time. As he whirled by the hook swung back and he found himself dropping to his knees, the hook nearly taking his scalp. Before he could react though the hook came around with blinding speed and Dhurst brought his blade up to try and deflect some of the attack.

Braced as well as he could the blow was bearable, as he caught the hook on the hilt of his blade, but the shock of the impact made his arms numb and his shoulder instantly seared with a sharp pain. There was nothing to do for it though, so he went at it. Attacking with lightning quickness he lunged four times but was suprised when only two sticks of his blade managed to pierce the beast, and those seemed not to do much in the way of damage to the monstrocity.

The two continued, back and forth. Dhurst catching the worse end of each exchange. If nothing else though, he distracted the beast while a few more people escaped the streets and fled for the safety of their homes. Dhurst was just beginning to wonder where his companions were when Alwyn and Galdoreth hit the scene. Galdoreth instantly went to work restoring the aches and pains that were about to overwhelm Dhurst while Alwyn got into position behind the Golem. The two went to work, hacking and slashing away but finding that the response of the monster was that of terrifying power. They managed to bring it down with Dhurst’s blade buried to it’s hilt in the monster’s chest and Alwyn with his blade plunged into the back of it’s head, It’s hook was raised, ready to come down on Dhurst as an arrow also took the creature in the eye from afar. Dhurst and Alwyn took it as their chance and plunged their blades again and again, bringing the monstrocity down.

As it died, it disintigrated into dust. The arrow had come from a friend of Alwyn’s, a young man and devout follower of Liira who had looked up to Alwyn for his desire to aid the destitute in Suzail. There wasn’t time to discuss the situation though, so all of them set off into the Inn, the young man who had come to aid, fully garbed in the robes of a Liira cleric began casting create water over and over in an attempt to quench the flames. The fire was beginning to spread to the fields behind the establishment and the group quickly searched inside the Inn for survivors, finding none. Instead they did find signs of people being dragged away from the back of the Inn, where the backside had been blown apart in a terrible explosion.

Since there was no sign of Tempust and they knew that whatever had attacked the Inn had taken prisoners (or corpses) toward the forest, they set off in pursuit. The tracks were easy to follow as it was obvious that multiple bodies were dragged away and into the dense forest. The group caught up to the creature quickly in the forest, coming to find a beast of hideous design dragging 6 bodies behind it on long, wicked black chains ending in barbed hooks that were buried in the flesh of it’s victims.

The creature was slender, elf-like in it’s build but with long arms ending with taloned fingers and legs twisted in unnatural position. The creature was covered head to toe in a black ichorous armor that seemed made of dried tar. Black and insideous, it ended in hooked barbs throughout the arms and chest and just like the flesh golem from before, copper wirest twisted around it’s arms. It pulled a twisted black sword from it’s side, the copper wirest sliding of their own accord into the blade as it crackled with energy. It had sensed the group coming, dropping the chains and turning to meet the challenge, but found nothing.

The group had all managed to turn invisible and avoid detection, but the creature knew something was amiss and summoned yet another flesh golem, identacle to the one they had faced previously. It began smashing through the foliage nearby and Galdoreth felt it prudent to distract it with noises, drawing it around a large rock outcropping as the rest of the group set out their attack on the being that had captured the townspeople and Tempust. Dhurst and Alwyn appeared on either side of it, launching all out attacks on the creature as Alwyn’s friend Caldis stood back firing arrows and casting healing spells as was necessary.

They thought they had the advantage, but the creature they fought simply grabbed up Alwyn, pressing him to it’s hooked chest and Alwyn could feel his vitality slowly slipping away. Still, the group pressed the attack, even as Alwyn was drained. The Golem eventually broke away from Galdoreth and launched an assault toward the group, Caldis bravely stepping in it’s way to give the group time to continue attacking the black creature. With the golem turning it’s attention to the group, the battle became a thing of chaos. Galdoreth and Caldis were relegated to healing, as Caldis took a massive blow from the golem that sent him reeling and it was all Galdoreth could do to keep Alwyn and Dhurst alive during the onslaught.

The creature covered in the black ichor was hurt though, they knew that much. It released Alwyn in a heap on the ground and turned, fleeing into the woods toward the Plungepool. Leaving the group to contend with the poetry reciting golem as it nearly finished off the group. Spells were ineffective and blades did little, but chip away the group did. On the verge of death they finally brought the beast down with a clean swipe by Dhurst that took the creature’s head clean away.

They gathered themselves together and healed the captured townsfolk and Tempust. As they all made their way back toward town they discussed the situation, that the beast had attacked the back of the inn, blowing away the backside and stunning those that saw it’s visage long enough for the golem it summoned to incapacitate them. It unleashed the golem on the town and took it’s prisoners.

Worse though was that they pieced together how the creature came into existance. It was a Kaorti, a twisted and wicked beast from the far realm. One of the creatures the group (except Tempust) had seen on their trip to the far realm. Twisted beings that wanted nothing more than to turn the Material realm into another Far Realm. They had been capturing sentient beings in the Far Realm and it was believed they were running hideous experiments, trying to establish a link to the Material plane to launch an attack and possibly open a rift between the two.

Galdoreth and Dhurst each blamed themselves. Galdoreth for his involvement in initially bringing the group in contact with the Far Realm, believing it his curse to bare and no one elses. Dhurst for the fact that it bridged the two realms by grappling with him in his exodus from the Far Realm, just before the Illithids had “saved” him.

They made it back to town successfully and were put up in the church to have their wounds healed and gather their strength. After a discussion with Gzelder, the group decided that come morning they would set off to Plungepool in attempt to defeat the beast. In the meantime, church acolytes were sent out to warn farmers on the outskirts of town to be wary, or come into town for protection for the night.

Come morning the group made the trek to Plungepool. The hours passed, but as they reached the site of Plungepool they came to the realization that something was amiss. There were no animals, no insects crawling or birds chirping. A dead silence, broken only by the rush of water that grew louder and louder as they came upon Plungepool. When they saw the swirling drain of Plungepool, where the river dumped into the believed unending chasm in the middle of the King’s Forest, they found dozens of those black chains affixed to three massive boulders surrounding the pool, creating a suspended anchor point above the whirlpool in the middle of plungepool, with dozens more chains dangling down into the watery darkness below.

It took only a few moments of investigating before Dhurst set to work breaking away the chain anchor points. That was enough to set off the creature as two of the flesh golems appeared, reciting their poetry with joyful glee as they went to work against the group.

With Tempust there to aid, the group found the fight a bit more balanced, or at least tld have if it weren’t for fighting two of the massive golems at the same time. Instead, Galdoreth and Tempust found their magics largely ineffective against the creatures as they pounded away on Dhurst, Alwyn and Caldis. Caldis drew away one of the Golems, then Tempust summoned a fire elemental to keep it budy while Caldis ducked behind a rock to heal himself, the rest of the group set upon one of the Golems even as it grabbed Galdoreth and flung him aside, sending him crashing into the Plungepool’s wicked current.

It only took a moment for Tempust, who had since used a fly spell to get above the fight to survey the situation. They were in dire straights, and Galdoreth was likely going to be pulled down into the current of Plungepool. So he landed and cast another spell to change places with Galdoreth, leaving Galdoreth standing and sputtering water feet away from the pool.

The fight continued and the fight was desperate as they managed to cut down the first golem, just as the second one powered through the fire elemental that plagued it. Tempust had managed to bathe both golems in fire, slowing them considerably which turned the tide of battle and gave the advantage back to the group.

Although battered and beaten, the group found that they had the advantage, and wanted to press it. Only the creature they were hunting hadn’t appeared yet. Although with the fall of the first golem, that changed. It crawled from the Plungepool, standing and pulling it’s blade. The group decended on him with full force, everyone casting spells, swinging blades or firing arrows. The creature had other plans though, grabbing Dhurst against it just as it had done with Alwyn earlier. The battle raged, and eventually Dhurst broke from it’s grasp just as Galdoreth rushed in and grappled with the creature from behind. The wrestling match ensued as everyone else pushed home blade and spell, and Galdoreth was surely on the losing side of the fight.

Things changed quickly when the creature fully caught hold of Galdoreth, it’s black facemask thinning and it’s twisted eyes locking with Galdoreth’s own. As the battle continued, every wound that the creature suffered, so too did Galdoreth. They shared the wounds, even as they continued to struggle in their grapple. Whatever fell magic allowed the creature to link with a victim like this was beyond that of the Material plane, something foul and twisted that only a being of the Far Realm could manage.

Galdoreth would not risk his companions in the fight that he believed of his creation though, and mustered all his willpower to turn the tide of the grapple just long enough to send both of them over the edge of the Plungepool. They disappeared into the whitewater just as the remaining flesh golem set upon the group once more.

Tempust wasted little time, turning and flying down into the Plungepool after his companion. The rest of the battle waged, the group on the brink of death as the flesh golem cut through them with wicked precision. Under the waters of the Plungepool Tempust raced, flying past the chains which it turned out were dangling living creatures at varying lengths down into the dark depths. The Plungepool cavern was a pit that didn’t seem to end, but Tempust flew on, spotting his companion and the creature he fought tumbling through the air. They seemed to be partially insubstatial, and Tempust could think of little to do to help his friend.

So he cast a spell he had only just believed was within his power, something he had never tried before but had prepared for a situation just like this. The spell was launched, breaking through the Kaorti’s magical defenses and just like that, he was a brook trout, floundering in the air as he fell endlessly through the Plungepool. Thinking the battle won, Tempust reached out to grab Galdoreth, but he had already faded from the Material realm, his body a liquidous soup that broke apart into water as Tempust touched him. He was gone. Thinking the battle over and feeling defeated, Tempust gathered two falling rings from the air that the creature had been using and started to fly up, stopping along the way to rescue the creatures and people dangled by the chains, transporting them via dimensional door well away from the Plungepool.

Even with the defeat of the Kaorti, the golem persisted. It continued it’s attack, dropping Dhurst with a vicious attack and nearly killing him. Alwyn and Caldis only barely managed to bring it down, the entire group laying strewn about the blood stained grass as Tempust came out from the Plungepool.

They had done it, they had defeated the intruder from the Far Realm, but at the cost of a friend, and nearly the death of another.

View
Crossroads

Mirtul the 22nd – Mirtul the 26th, The Year of the Gauntlet (05/22/1369 – 05/22/1369)

(Forgive me if events are not exactly as they had occurred in the game. Given the holidays and our couple week break from game, I’m having trouble recalling the exact series of events and how they came together)

Treachery, betrayal, death.

The group had only just seperated of course. Alwyn and Dhurst, as frustrated as Dhurst was, went on in pursuit of Galdoreth as Tempust and Ength (with Seph) went to confront Lord Woodbrand with the details of Dhurst’s assault and theft of gear. The next twenty four hours would become a turning point for the group, one which would signal either a new beginning for the troupe or a spiral toward darkness.

Ength and Tempust went on as planned to speak with Lord Filfar Woodband of Waymoot, who had always been known in the realm as a man who takes crime in his city very, very seriously. Tempust took the lead in the conversation with Woodbrand, imparting the importance of the assault and gear lost to the group. The meeting became a bit heated after a time as Ength took Woodbrand’s cool demeanor as something more akin to being blown off by the Lord. However as the men walked out of Woodbrand’s office, they did so with the assurance of Filfar that he would begin an investigation and do what was in his power to aid the travelers in recovering their gear and bringing the half-drow to justice.

Upon their return they spotted someone following them. When they went to investigate the fellow, they found he had fled. Given the assault on Dhurst and the theft of his gear they found themselves on edge. After some investigation in the alleyway that the pursuer fled into turned up nothing, they made their way back to the inn.

After a while at the inn they found themselves confronted once more by Alwyn, whom they had only split up from a few moments previously. Alwyn was changed though, looking haggard and old. He seemed to have doubled in age, had thinning hair with streaks of grey. He had the same peppy demeanor, but seemed a step slower as he attempted to answer the questions that came flying his way. As he discussed their situation and how he had become aged very quickly, Galdoreth joined the group once more, having entered into the city invisibly.

The two began attempting to explain their ordeal (See Adventure Log Update “On the Oceans of Eternity”. The events of the far realm have been unlocked to view by everyone, since it was explained by Galdoreth and Alwyn). After retelling the events of the Far Realm, the conversation turned bitter shortly after though, as Galdoreth and Alwyn began discussing the future of the group and their belief that Seph was a catalyst for evil, pulling Ength down a dark path.

Eventually Ength became fed up with the discussion, angered at the hypocracy that the others in the group displayed. He took Seph and left the table, heading upstairs and away from the rest. The argument continued without him though, as Galdoreth and Alwyn discussed with Tempust what would come next. Threats of leaving the charter were made right along with bluster of writing reports to the King regarding the problems present in the charter. During the discussion Lord Woodbrand entered the inn and approached the group, presenting them with Dhurst’s missing items and explaining that the issue had been resolved. Galdoreth looked very confused, but no disagreement with the situation was made while Woodbrand was present. Galdoreth then revealed that he had been approached by the Half Drow just outside the inn as he came to join the group. The Half Drow had returned Dhursts things to him and revealed that Alwyn had attempted to broker a sort of working relationship with their one time enemy. Somehow Galdoreth managed to be stolen from while they were sitting at the table and the items brought to Woodbrand. The situation was a confusing one, one that seemed to point back to Ength and Seph.

The party disbanded for the evening, looking to gain information about how they might save Dhurst from the limbo he had been left in. In the morning everyone met around the breakfast table, but Galdoreth was strangely absent. After a while, Alwyn went to check on their companion and found him dead in his bed, his neck slit from ear to ear and one of the Fire Knives scarves, similar to those they had retrieved back during the Fire Knive eradication in Suzail, laying on his chest. Ength, Alwyn, Tempust, Seph and the rest of their companions made quick work of trying to come up with a plan. It was eventually agreed that Alwyn would remain behind to guard the body of their friend while the other two would find Woodbrand and see about getting help tracking down the assailant.

When the group came back together Alwyn became very agitated. Ength had spoken to Woodbrand and it seemed as though Woodbrand would do what he could to help, but didn’t have any desire to come investigate the scene directly. Alwyn was furious, believing them to be blown off, despite the common belief that Woodbrand was a fair and authorative leader.

Alwyn then returned to the Half Drow as she had summoned him. He had requested aid in the collection of Dhurst from the Far Realm and the Half Drow had managed to make good on her word to help. Alwyn managed to collect Dhurst without problem, although he later revealed that the Half Drow and her companions, a Drow Mercenary company named Bregan D’aerthe would be calling on the group for aid some time in the future for exchange. After reuniting, Alwyn and Dhurst went to see Lord Woodbrand to try and make sense of the events of the hectic day once it was realized that there was little to no chance that the Fire Knives had operatives in the city and that the assassination attempt on Galdoreth was likely a set up.

When they came together once more Alwyn and Dhurst explained to Tempust that they had been involved in trechary from within. Alwyn and Dhurst decided that they needed to trust Tempust fully, that everyone needed their cards on the table, and that if the group was to succeed at all, it needed to do so together. After the discussion with Woodbrand revealed that Ength had been the one to kill Galdoreth in his sleep and attempted to cover it up by pointing the group in the direction of the Fire Knives, while also using the influence of the Royal Charter to pursuade Woodbrand to stay out of the affair. As further evidence of a disruption in Ength’s routine, Seph had hurriedly packed in the morning and left the group with some of the followers back to Suzail. Tempust listened to the whole series of events and let out a big sigh at the end. It was agreed, the betrayal couldn’t be ignored.

The group packed up and left town, as Woodbrand had been pretty specific in his desire to see the group leave the city and not return. He had become frustrated with them all, finding their methods troublesome and their actions disruptive to the general flow of his city. They set out for Espar, loading up the body of Galdoreth with hopes to see him revived.

A few hours after they set out the party turned on Ength. Tempust launched the first wave of attacks, however Dhurst and Alwyn quickly joined the fray, cutting down their companion. It was a bittersweet moment for Alwyn, who had wanted to see his old friend in a different light. Tempust turned his attention to Carth, the hellhound companion of Ength, to see if he could be convinced to serve a better purpose while Alwyn set out to give Ength a proper burial. Meanwhile Dhurst took the break to return briefly to Waymoot to attend to a personal matter.

After concluding the situation with Ength the group continued on to Espar, where they were met with friendly faces. Gzelder Yespar couldn’t cast the spells necessary to revive Galdoreth, but a number of other priests and clerics from other allied deities were in the town helping to rebuild after the demon attack a few months back. After a time, the group was able to bring back their companion and fill everyone in on the current events. At the other side of the events they stand looking forward, more unified than before.

View
On the Oceans of Eternity

Mirtul the 22nd, The Year of the Gauntlet (05/22/1369)

The group took the time to discuss the situation at hand as they revived Dhurst from his crippled state. Tempers flared and hope seemed to fade as the group spent a few moments pointing fingers and assigning blame for mistakes made by many. The group found itself at a divide, but as they made their way back across town to speak with Lord Woodbrand about the theft, Alwyn spotted the ghost-image of Galdoreth covered in blood, fleeing town once more.

Placing a higher value on his companion than Dhurst’s gear, Alwyn urged the group to save Galdoreth. However Tempust and Ength maintained that getting Dhurst’s equipment back was extremely important, and there may have been a hint of Tempust seeking vengence amongst the conversation. Dhurst, furious with Alwyn refused to accompany him after Galdoreth, but after a few moments of consideration by the group as a whole was urged to go along, while Tempust, Seph and Ength (with his crew) went to speak to Lord Woodbrand, believing that Dhurst’s anger may impede such a discussion more than help it.

View
Moving Forward

Mirtul the 9th – Mirtul the 22nd, The Year of the Gauntlet (05/09/1369 – 05/22/1969 DR)

As the group digested the newfound Royal Charter it was time to plan out the next step for them all. After all that had happened, moral was a mixed bag, with each individual finding themselves in very different places and looking forward to different avenues moving forward. The group agreed to take a tenday in order to settle affairs within Suzail before they sat down to determine how to proceed forward. There were many options and for the first time since Alwyn and Galdoreth left Tyrluk, the option of what came next was up to them and not rushed.

Tempust went about procuring items and crafting magical trinkets for the group as was needed, finding in the process a request from the Halfling whom he had set up his previous arrangement with for a specific item while doing so.

Ength and Seph went about taking time to entrust their respective assets in the hands of those they came to trust, or at least value, in running the newfound church of Loviatar in Suzail, the business dealings with interrogation for the crown and the matter of Shaliber’s Ship. Ength was careful to keep his relationships under thumb, using the affection of Maerun Stoutbold to ensure there is a competent person at the helm of a lot of his dealings.

Galdoreth continued to slip further into his isolation, often lost in his thoughts or away from the company of others. Attempts to rouse him were met with friendly discussion, but most eventually degraded into his more common slips into lost dreams.

Alwyn did his best to piece back together that which Jheg took from him, but more than anything attempted to focus on the future. He decided to continue his work with the church of Lliira and supporting orphans of Suzail, but did so as a silent partner and no longer with such a direct hand involved in the care of the facility. He realized that with the constant travel and work against forces of evil that such an affiliation would always be seen as a target by those willing to exploit it against him.

Dhurst continued as he had been the weeks prior, waiting for the others in the group to decide the next course of action for them all, but longing to head to Tilverton and explore the deeper meaning behind the jewels left to him by his “father”. He understood in speaking with Alwyn that Galdoreth’s worsening condition would likely take precedence though, and the murmers among Tempust and Ength were a trek West, toward Waterdeep was likely.

On the eve prior to the tenday the group had agreed to gather in the tavern of the Dragon’s Jaws to discuss what was next. Tempust, Seph, Dhurst, Ength and Alwyn sat down to discuss the situation, awaiting Galdoreth. As a decision to head north along the desert borders to aquire the item that Tempust’s contact desired, then west to Waterdeep to investigate the Fire Knives was imminent, Alwyn and Dhurst decided to bring Galdoreth into the fold.

They discovered Galdoreth missing, his belongings and person already gone from the room. Just as they entered though, Alwyn began seeing a repeat-image of Galdoreth rising from bed in a half dream-state, gathering his things and rushing out of the inn while speaking about some individuals being alive. Hurriedly he rushed from the inn, leaving Dhurst in a state of confusion and barking to Dhurst to bring him food. He followed the image as it left town, seemed to steal a horse and took off down the Northern road out of Suzail.

Eventually Dhurst calmed Alwyn and convinced him to wait for the others. It took a few hours, but the images that Alwyn was following never wavered. Eventually the group was saddled and on their way, following Galdoreth’s ghost image out of Suzail and into the wilderness. The caravan procession moved slowly and took far more time than Alwyn would have liked, as it appeared Galdoreth was moving very fast. After pushing their mounts to the limit, the group ended up in Waymoot and could go no further, as it appeared the ghost image of Galdoreth was likewise exhausted and had ridden his horse to death then gotten into a fistfight with those who investigated before fleeing town once more.

The night passed without incident, however in the morning as the group met in the tavern to prepare for the day, Alwyn was missing. Tempust grew impatient before deciding that the group would just wait until Alwyn came back, but Dhurst would hear none of it, sending his wolf on the trail of Alwyn and following his scent around town. Ength, Seph, Tempust and his group remained in the tavern for drinks to wait for the others to return.

Alwyn eventually came to a small building, a non-descript tavern with very limited seating. Upon entering, he found what he came for. He was invisible and remained undetected, wishing to study for a moment before proceeding. For he came to investigate the half-drow female, sister of the two that had killed Tempust’s brother. He had spared her, taking her possessions and leaving her a blanket to protect from the cold the night of her defeat. He did all of this without consulting the group and decided to see if his good nature in sparing her had given her cause to change her ways.

Before he could get any definitive information though, Dhurst walked into the tavern. The woman looked up, along with her companion, a very pale man in dark garb sitting across the table from her. Upon seeing Dhurst she exclaimed suprise and fear, using her shadow magic to fall into the shadows under the table and disappearing. This led to a series of confrontations between Alwyn and Dhurst outside the tavern and eventually Alwyn confronting the man left at the tavern while Dhurst confronted the innkeeper.

While Alwyn was frustrated with Dhurst for not trusting him and delving into his business, Dhurst was equally upset over Alwyn hiding such a valuable piece of information like leaving alive someone who had attempted to kill them. A brief argument culminated in a quickly hashed plan to use Dhurst’s wolf to track the half drow. They came to a building across the street, one that the woman’s companion had went into after leaving the tavern.

Alwyn attempted to engage the two in conversation from the front door, knocking and pleading his case to want to talk about the situation. Eventually he moved to the back door, leaving Dhurst at the front. Upon noticing the man in an upstairs window looking down at him he headed toward the front of the building. As he did so, Dhurst’s wolf began barking like crazy and Alwyn hurried to come upon a scene of Dhurst unconscious, the half drow cradling him in her arms with a blade to his neck.

After a short standoff in the street the at odds group moved inside the building where Alwyn attempted to calm the situation down, but the half drow was insistant that they were coming to kill her. After learning that it was indeed only Alwyn and Dhurst she coerced Alwyn out of his hat of disguise and sent him away to go get Tempust as she took Dhurst to the basement of the building. Alwyn did as directed and after a brief discussion with the rest of the group came to return to the house, only to find it empty of anyone but Dhurst, who lay unconscious in the basement, stripped of all his posessions except his underclothes and the blanket that Alwyn had once wrapped the half drow in when he left her alive in the forest.

View
The Aftermath pt 2
Ches the 13th – Mirtul the 8th, The Year of the Gauntlet (03/13/1369 – 05/08/1969 DR)

The months had ticked by, slowly for some and busy for others. The request to stay within the city of Suzail while the King recovered and the plans were laid out to restore the kingdom had a purpose. For while the party waited, Vangerdahast and Royal Family imparted upon King Azoun the vital role that the party had played in not only saving the King’s life, but thwarting the attempted overthrow of the kingdom and preventing an evil presence from completely sapping away Vangerdahast’s power.

Ength and Alwyn had managed to convince the group that the leader of a powerful criminal syndicate in Marsember named Jheg needed to be stopped. They let the group in on their past, if not completely and also exposed the rather sinister underbelly of Suzail’s sister city in the mists to the lawbringers of Cormyr. However with the amount of turmoil in the realm, the ability to sweep out the syndicate from the city was not an option.

Alwyn and Ength turned to their former companion Tempust, and he imparted the importance of exposing the criminal mastermind Jheg to his superiors. After some debate and some political manuevering by Alusair and Vangerdahast, Tempust was granted leave for a tenday and the group given permission to put a plan in motion to capture or kill the criminal leader. After some resistance by Ength, the rest of the group was let in on the plan just as his companions from Marsember arrived into town.

The mission was a success, although bittersweet. Alwyn and Ength knew beforehand that Jheg always came with contingencies, and Ength especially knew that Jheg was not one to come unprepared. Jheg had known there would be a trap, that much was clear from the very beginning of their initial meeting. However he cautiously continued and the plan came to fruition as they captured Jheg after a rather bloody confrontation. Due to the plan, many civilians were cut down by Ength’s thuggish associates, a needed sacrifice.

Capturing Jheg revealed that he did indeed have contingencies in place, having scoped out Jheg and Alwyn before arriving to the city he was aware of Alwyn’s work with putting together an Orphanage as well as Ength’s friends from Marsember. As he himself was being captured, his associates were capturing those the two held dear. The deal was offered, Jheg for the children and Attis. After contemplating the decision, they killed Jheg with the full approval of the law. Unfortunately Jheg’s contingencies were solid and the group ended the successful reign of Jheg at the expense of 14 orphan children under Alwyn’s care and Seph’s father Attis. The removal of Jheg could be called a success mired by tragedy.

The following months were busy for the group individually as Alwyn tried to pick up the pieces of his orphanage project and find solace in Lliira’s embrace. However anyone close to Alwyn could notice the darkness that hung over him, followed him, in the wake of the tragedy.

Ength on the other hand absorbed himself in the process of aiding Seph with her church. Without Attis’ help the going was slow, and the manuevering with politicians and lawmakers difficult. Attis seemed to have had a nack for getting his way and more importantly, a lifetime of connections related to the dark ways of Loviatar. Without those connections, Seph and Ength seemed to find themselves pounding their head against the wall just as often as they made any progress.

Dhurst continued his work within the Purple Dragons, making a number of contacts and spending just as much time with his new companions in the Purple Dragons as he did with any of his other companions. When not in the city aiding the Purple dragons he was trying to work with the increasingly distant Galdoreth or outside of the city in the nearby woods.

Galdoreth seemed to absorb himself into his studies, spending more and more time drawn to the castle libraries. For those studying him enough, one would realize often times that he sat staring at an individual page for hours, or in the tavern losing himself in a cup of ale. Not his usual jovial self, he seemed often lost in his thoughts, many times sleeping far into the days.

Tempust returned to duty, continuing his work with Alusair and Vangerdahast. His involvement in the butchery of innocent civilians at the harbor was noted and it seemed as though he was looked on with a bit less favor than he had in days past. Alusair insisted that it was the right move, and that the cost in lives and corruption of leaving Jheg alive was much higher. Alusair was said to spend many waking hours with Tempust, discussing matters in private instead of with the King’s court.

The city itself seemed to be cooling, with the public executions coming less frequently as the usurpers involved in the attempted sack of the kingdom were spreading too far to capture or already dead. The King himself seemed to make more public appearances as well, and rumor had it that more and more Purple Dragon Knights were being sent to the western territories. In the meantime Alusair seemed to step forward as the public face of the country, showing herself to be a rather effective and natural born leader. Creating incentives and relief from taxes for merchants coming into the city she improved trade within Suzail almost immediately, while also sending small squads of men to Marsember to attempt to quell the growing unrest in the region. In addition she put together royal sponsored feasts to aid with those who were put out by the unrest in the merchant districts and manufacturing jobs lost with the fall of houses Bleth and Cormaeril. She distributed land and business contracts to a number of mid or low income merchants who struggled but put forth good faith efforts in helping the city through it’s tough times in the weeks prior, boosting morale in the commons.

As the group was called forth to the King and given their Royal Charter, accepting wholeheartedly, it was with some measure of loss as Alusair once more left the capital for lands far away. The group was given leads and knew that there was much to do, what direction they go being completely their decision with the shining Royal Charter rings on their finger.

View
The Aftermath
Alturiak the 28th – Ches the 12th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/28/1369 – 03/12/1969 DR)

After the battle at Vangerdahast’s tower the city seemed to slip into a moment of panic. The first hours and days after the battle were spent with a collective rescue effort as people of all castes set to put out the fires through the city and save the wounded and dying. Over the course of the next two weeks the capital city of Suzail experienced a wave of emotion as details from the previous month’s events began to trickle out of the castle. Popular belief among the people in Suzail is that the King was attacked by some otherworldly beast while on his hunt where the King’s Forest meets the Stormhorns and that the beast was summoned by Aunadar Bleth and whatever devilish allies he had surrounded himself with. That the beast was still loose in the King’s Forest and would strike again at any would be travelers in the western reaches.

Over the course of that first week Vangerdahast stepped forward, organizing the surviving War Wizards and Purple Dragon Knights and issuing them orders to occupy entire districts throughout the city as they began to turn over and investigate every residence, holding, business and affiliate of the houses Bleth, Cormaeril and Illance specifically. However they also spent time in detail with all of the Noble Houses that made up the Noble Council responsible for cornering Vangerdahast into the laws that were signed into action over the months before the King’s assault. An official proclomation from King Azoun IV to disband the Noble House Council was issued and all laws passed by them dissolved, much to the dismay of many businesses in Suzail who had profited under the aid of the Noble House Council.

Most of the Noble Houses were quite cooperative with the investigation, although nearly every Noble House involved in the scandal seemed to lose investors and business rights throughout the country. This seemed to allow a shakeup in the higherarchy of the Nobility in Suzail, allowing some of the lesser known Noble Houses to gobble up contracts and business deals that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get due to the turmoil.

During the second week the rumors had gone rampant. The common people of Suzail believed that the plot against the crown was now to be blamed on all of the Noble Houses. That the Nobility of Cormyr made arrangements to take over. Due to this, a few break ins and fires were started at Nobility residences and properties in the city, however with the increased Guard detail in the city and everpresent War Wizards, these issues were quickly put to rest. The bigger issue was the growing animosity with the common folk of Suzail and the wealthy. Suzail loved it’s king, and the rumors against the Nobility served to give a target for the people who so desperately wanted an enemy to focus anger toward after the King’s near death experience.

On Ches the 9th a general assembly was called at the Assembly Grounds just outside the palace. Thousands attended the event from throughout the city as it was expected that the King would make his first appearance since his recovery. The people were expecting a champion, the King that rumors had said repelled the attempted assassination and took back his Kingdom. Of course, there were rumors that others were involved with the King’s rescue, but popular belief held that the King’s vitality had won out, allowed him to recover and defeat the unlawful occupiers, then walk through the magical barrier to cut down the demons that held Vangerdahast prisoner. Then, magically enchanted by Vangerdahast he unleashed a mighty blow that blew up Vangerdahast’s tower, slaying a dragon in the process.

What the people got instead, was a painfully frail man, a shell of the burly king who went hunting through the realm for dangerous beasts and fought in battles to defend Cormyr. Where there was once only touches of grey, now only touches of dirty brown in his hair and beard. The skin seemed to hang from his skin and he seemed to have lost a least twenty stone since he had last been seen in public. Shakey on his feet, attendants helped him to the podium overlooking the crowd and Vangerdahast stood loyal at his side. Absent and noted by the crowd was the king’s wife and queen of Cormyr, Filfaeril, who some believe to have died in the attacks.

Also noted was the large wooden stage that had been constructed in the Assembly Square, with large structures covered in cloth to conceal the contents. The King cleared his throat and when he spoke, he spoke with the same intensity and fire that his people had known him for. His body may have been broken, but his spirit seemed alive and well.

“People of Suzail, of Cormyr. We have undergone an attack upon our fair realms. I have been entrusted with the safety of these lands by my father and his fathers before him for generations. I have made a promise to you all that I would keep these lands a safe and secure place to raise families, run prosporous business and grow the interests of the Cormyrian people.”

A sharply taken breath.

“I have failed in my duties.”

The crowd’s reaction was that of shock. A boo erupted from the crowd, as no one believed that the King had done anything but his most to protect the realm. It took a few moments for the crowd to calm down, but when it did the King continued.

“There was an attempt at my life and plans to take control of our nation. This was done through careful plotting and manuevering both outside and inside of our country. Our investigation has implicated the known Assassin’s Guild, the Fire Knives, who once plagued our lands. It has also confirmed that the houses of Cormaeril and Bleth are actually members and agents of the Fire Knives in their entirety. The leader and organizer of the coup was the noble Aunadar Bleth, who I mistakenly trusted to gain close access to official state business through council and personal relationships.”

Once again the crowd began a roaring hiss and death chants for Bleth rose from the crowd. It took substantially longer this time for the crowd to be quelled, which seemed to suit King Azoun IV fine, as he looked to be regaining the strength to continue to speach.

“By issue of the crown, all lands, properties and assets of houses Cormaeril and Bleth have been siezed by Cormyr. In addition, all house members of both Noble Houses have been issued warrants of arrest for grand treason. All Adventuring Charters as well as the Purple Dragon Knights and War Wizards of the realm have been put on alert for members of either house that managed to escape the city. The children of both houses who are captured will be raised as wards of Cormyr and raised to be productive members of our society. All others shall face the only penalty suitable for such treasonous actions.”

The crowd began a series of “Death” chants, it took a full five minutes for them to be quelled.

“Our investigation continues, and the involvement of the dragon and demons involved in the attack upon Vangerdahast and the War Wizards along with how they fit into the attempted plot against the throne will be uncovered. This is my promise to you, people of Cormyr. These lands shall be defended against all enemies. The wicked shall earn their place in hell!”

The crowd erupted into a blast of deafening chears as the King was escorted off of the podium and taken back into the palace. A number of War Wizards approached the wooden platform and pulled back the concealing veils from the structures on the platform. Turns out they were cages, crackling with magical energy to keep the prisoners within. The prisoners numbered 48 and were members of the Cormaeril and Bleth houses, dressed in prisoners garb. Many of them screamed their protests, but behind the magical barrier no sound escaped. The War Wizards chanted in unison and all at once each cage erupted into flame, a flame so bright that one could not see the contents. These flames lasted for thirty minutes a piece, and when they finally faded, nothing was within the cages at all except the blackened blast marks of the intense fire within. The bodies literally incinerated.

It took the rest of the day before the crowd was finally clear of the Assembly Square all together. Word quickly spread throughout the city and would surely reach the other cities of Cormyr within days.

The last few days of the second week saw the redeployment of several Purple Dragon Knight units and War Wizards alike, back to their lightly garrisoned stations to relieve those troops who were left lightly staffed. The city hardly returned to normal though, with those War Wizards and Purple Dragon Knights working hard to attempt to keep control over the new class division between the Nobility and the common people of Suzail. The presence of Purple Dragon Knights and War Wizards in the lower districts seemed to disappear, as most were too busy investigating attacks on Nobles and their holdings along with defending businesses and people closely affiliated with the Noble Houses or the former houses Cormaeril and Bleth.

(I’m doing individual player stuff for the two weeks, so look for your own personal story piece below. If it’s not there yet, it will be by the end of the day)

View
The New Chapter

Alturiak the 27th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/27/1369 DR)

A moment to breathe. The group has undergone a great deal of trials over the last month. Finding themselves thrust inadvertently into the middle of a plot to overthrow the ruling family of Cormyr, the Obarskyr’s, after ruling since the birth of the country. They overcame the challenges put before them despite losing some people along the way. This day marks the battle at Vangerdahast’s tower. A day that will be remembered in Cormyrian history books.

Under a waxing gibbous moon on a chill, frosted night the sky lit up in Cormyr. Citizens in the city close enough to take stock on the spectacle would have bore witness to an epic battle in the heart of the capital city of Suzail. The tower stood, surrounded by the mysterious energy field that was protecting it, just as it had for weeks before. Then there was a crackle in the electric field surrounding the tower, the first signs of change the entire time it had been in place. Less than a minute later came another sputtering of energy, and the field dimmed.

That’s when the War Wizards began to unleash their spells. Blast after blast sent into the protective field. Offensive attacks and defensive dispell magics flying through the air and causing the electric field outside to arc with energy expent. All at once it was gone, the field disrupted!

A cheer and cry of battle went up as Purple Dragon Knights and War Wizards alike stormed the tower, entering to find the cut down and fried corpses of both Vangerdahast’s personal War Wizard troupe and black, shadowy goblinoids. Ignoring the fallen, immediately realizing that ill was afoot the assemblage charged up the steps of the tower, entering by the dozens, then hundreds to fill the tower with troups to battle whatever evil was ahead.

They found the Waylanders, accompanied by a lone War Wizard fieldman from the far western reaches who quickly explained the situation to the lead of the assemblage. The charge went up, flooding past the group and into battle on the next level. Wasting no time, the group joined the charge, cutting down the shadow goblin casters and their black bugbear guardians until they reached the top level of the tower, the massive observatory and research platform that Vangerdahast uses for his most sensitive and secret work.

Within the observation tower the massive front of combatants immediately went to work, blasting away at the six demonic figures that all seemed to be aiding in the casting of some imprisonment spell upon Vangerdahast, who writhed within helplessly. Standing before them was a beautiful pale skinned elven woman in a flowing red dress, chanting rhythmically. As soon as the combatants unleashed spells though, the concentration for the imprisonment spell was broke and Vangerdahast freed from his prison. The reaction was immediate, the elven woman turning toward the tide of combatants filling the room and roaring. Immediately her shadow filled the room behind her and her visage changed, from something beautiful and serene to something scaled, carnal and devilishly destructive. The shadow behind her took shape and seemed to pull from the walls within the tower, taking solid form around her body and gripping her with inky tendrils, the once fair skin turned scales spread throughout the shadowed tendrils and gave the darkness substance, that of a hellish dragon, unleashing it’s breath weapon with her primal roar.

The entire tower seemed to go black all at once. The dark fire flames erupting with the force of a volcanic eruption. For a moment there was only the heat, sucking away the screams of those who dared expose their lungs to the searing, putrid breath. A massive tremble shook the tower and suddenly there was light. Not the magical globes set in the walls throughout the tower, but the moon high above in the frigid air. The entire top of the tower had been blown away with the breath blast of the draconic woman along with parts of four floors below in the tower. Bodies were laid out haphazardly, many charred corpses tossed to the northeast of the tower and into the city along with the top of the tower in the initial impact of the blast.

It took a few moments for those still alive to get their bearings. Buried beneath rubble, bodies or some combination of stone and gore together. Those that were able could get a look above though. In the sky above the tower, backlit by the moon above there were eight figures dancing in a whirlwind of magical explosions over Cormyr. Many of these errant spells cast awry, spinning off below into the city itself. The six demonic figures surrounding Vangerdahast, launching wicked magics and Vangerdahast defending himself as best he can. Behind them all though, the shadowed dragon creature flared, sending massive spells at Vangerdahast. Those that were still breathing pitched in, launching spells from below at the group above. It didn’t take long before the tides turned, the added spell power of the War Wizards allowing Vangerdahast to get the upper hand.

As if on cue, the group of six demonic beings teleported away, the draconic figure staying only a moment longer to take in the view of the smoking tower and the bent, nearly broken Vangerdahast flying toward her, massive spell ready to be launched. She then teleported away as well, leaving the ruined tower and it’s broken people for parts unknown.

There was no clear direction this night, everyone knew their duty. The Waylanders, War Wizards, Purple Dragon Knights and citizens from nearby districts alike all turned out to aid in the recovery of the dead, aid of the wounded and mourning of the great loss. The silver lining being that word spread quickly of the King’s recovery. Rumor had it that Aunadar Bleth had been the real villian and not Vangerdahast. No one really had time to sort through all of that though, as the recovery and rescue efforts went on into the night and over the next few days.

(More to come!)

View
Events thus far

Alturiak the 8th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/08/1369 DR)
The party find themselves at home in their small cottage just outside the trading town of Tyrluk after a rather unremarkable day when roused by horn blasts entering town, signifying the approach of King Azoun IV Obarskyr and his entourage. Valaes Berylyn, Andolar’s father and the other boys pseudo adopted father is summoned as the king’s group passes through the city.

The boys had run on to investigate as well, and while trying to tail their father out of the main crowd of inquiring townspeople, Blu got caught up (drunkenly) on a fence while Alwyn ran interference with the crowd so they could all get away from the questions related to their father.

After finding out that the king requested Valaes to act as a personal scout for a hunting party chasing a mysterious golden beast nearby, the boys (Andolar, Alwyn and Blu) accompany Valaes out of town toward the keep upon High Horn mountain.

The group encounters a group of drunkards demanding to know the king’s business on the way out of town, defusing the situation before it escalates out of hand. Thanks in no small part to Blu’s use of magic to influence the emotions of the crowd.

Upon reaching the keep, the boys are faced with a number of mild slights by the men of the keep as soon as they are separated from Valaes (who is taken to plan the hunting expedition the next day). It is then that the boy’s realize that (with the exception of Alwyn) their demihuman nature may cause them to be looked down upon, especially amongst the Purple Dragon soldiers in the keep.

The boys are taken to the central bathhouse within the keep by Duke Bhereu Ammaeth’s squire, Yarod Tinsley, where they proceed to take out their frustrations verbally on the boy tasked with taking care of them. While the boy leaves them in the bath house, Alwyn proceeds to get a bit handsy, stealing bars of soap and any other useful items he can find. Meanwhile, Andolar managed to convince Blu to clean himself and bathe (a feat).

The night went on without much of a hitch, besides some continued harassment of the squire tasked with tending to them and Alwyn sneaking off to the kitchens to steal some food and an inscribed knife that belonged to the head chef.




Alturiak the 9th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/09/1369 DR)
In the morning, the boys woke up in the keep and went about splitting up to go through their morning rituals in peace. Blu was the first to the mess hall and met with one of Cormyr’s famous War Wizards. The fortune he told was one of darkness and bad omens, but the woman was pleased with the service and vastly overpaid with a magical ring and kind words given to him in exchange.

After everyone assembled in the main courtyard with the hunting procession, the three were told to report in with a guard captain who was overseeing the manpower of the hunting party. The guard was irritable to begin with and even less pleased to be charged with “babysitting” demihumans and their little wretch of a friend. He promptly put them at the back of the caravan, along with a few squires to help with running items back and forth amongst the party.

As the party left, the King, Duke Bhereu Ammaeth, Lord Commander Thursk Dembarron, Lord Aunadar Bleth and Valaes made up the main hunting party, along with a few War Wizards and Purple Knight guards for the king’s protection. Behind them came the two caravans, containing all manner of weapons, food preserves and items in case the hunt took longer than expected.

The hunt wound it’s way through the mountains and came down through the foothills, making it’s way to the edge of the King’s Forest. It was here that the wagons could no longer proceed, as the trail led through a narrow copse that would not accept so large a wagon. The king’s hunting party went on, and the surly guard captain tasked the boys (along with a few squires) with the task of trailing them, returning to run items back and forth as necessary.

The group was on foot, and only caught up to the hunting party after shouts were heard. The five of them raced forward, hoping to catch the party and help in whatever way they could. They stopped at a bluff, overlooking more forest below, but they could hear the sound of battle below. As they went to go on, the two younger boys who came along stopped, terrified. No doubt in large part due to the constant teasing of Blu, Andolar and Alwyn on the way through the woods.

As the group approached, they heard the thunder of a large beast running toward them. They all ducked behind trees, unfortunately for Alwyn, he found himself knocked flat by a raging, gigantic golden bull as it leveled the tree he hid behind, tossing him aside in a heap. The beast continued for a few dozen yards, before disintegrating into golden powder, so fine most of it faded in the breeze. Andolar quickly healed Alwyn and Blu collected a few small vials of the golden dust, as much as he could find.

After the few moments it took to regroup, the three of them decided to go forward. As soon as they entered the clearing, they saw Lord Aunadar Bleth hovering over King Azoun IV Obarskyr. As soon as Bleth noticed them, he promptly dropped the king and turned in their direction, weapons drawn.

Moments of unease for both sides passed before Lord Bleth began issuing commands. He instructed the boys to gather bodies and return to the keep. A quick explanation by Bleth told of a story where the massive golden beast quickly overtook the party and gassed the group with some cloud of foul paralytic that rendered everyone unconscious. Bleth claimed to have avoided the gassing by being too far behind the main group. He then grabbed the body of the King and Lord High Marshall Bhereu upon his horse and sped off through the forest, leavng the three boys to contend with the 5 bodies left laying in the mud.

Left with Lord Commander Thursk Dembarron, Valaes, the two red wizards and the Duke’s squire the boys manage to hoof out of the forest only to find everyone gone and the other boys, Lord Bleth and the caravan all missing, turned back to High Horn.

So the boys did the only thing they could and retraced their steps back up the mountain trail with their companion’s unconscious bodies over their shoulders in the middle of a lightning storm.

At one point, Allyn had thought that he saw shadowy figures slip out of a distant lightning strike, but he couldn’t be sure. He shared his thoughts with the group, and they all agreed to be vigilant in their continued journey to High Horn. This didn’t last long though, as a few hours later a lightning strike landed right in front of them, and indeed two shadowy figures slipped through.

A brief skirmish, in which the companions emerged victorious, if a little worse for the wear left them with one body, a goblinoid that’s skin was of the blackest black, the stuff of shadows. They committed to carrying that body too, for proof of a possible invasion in the Stormhorns.

When they finally arrived at the keep, they were greeted with chaos. The keep was in disarray with the fall of the King and his group. The bodies the boy’s brought with them were brought inside after a bit of irritated debate outside the hold over who would handle the bodies, and who was in charge of the keep. Valaes and the Duke’s squire were ushered into a non-emergency room with a medicus that was on night duty and not the sharpest at his craft.

Frustrated, the boys began demanding answers, only to be greeted with indifference to their plight or worse, ignored all together. Blu went to investigate the beast that had assaulted the group, finding only minor mention in some history book of a former assassination attempt on a former king 500 years ago using construct like creature called an Abraxus, a golden bull. No more could be found in the hold’s keep however, and Blu left with the book in hand.

The group was finally granted audience, but not by any official of the keep but by Lord Bleth. Lord Bleth answered their questions easily enough, but was very quick to arrange transportation for the group and their father to a nearby town were they could get better care for Valaes.




Alturiak the 10th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/10/1369 DR)
At first light the group was granted a wagon and a horse to pull it, along with a guard who introduced himself as Desmond Prolus. They were charged with seeing their father Valaes and the Duke’s squire Yarod (whom they had previously established a relationship with the day before) to the town of Espar, where Lord Erik Hezom is said to be able to give better care, as the keep is preoccupied with the King and his closest government officials whom were also affected by the golden bull.

Initially there was a good bit of confusion as the group decided to change paths and pass through Tyrluk first, instead of going straight to Espar. Desmond was required to fill in Lord Bleth of the change before the group left the keep, but soon enough they found themselves on the road, out of the mountains and on the way home.

While on the way home the group came upon the boys childhood friend and neighbor, Galdoreth Faenblood. They explained the situation that had put them on the desperate race to save Valaes and he agreed to accompany them out of friendship and respect for their father. This turned out to be a good thing, as the group was attacked by a group of bandits. This turned out to be an odd turn of events in itself, as bandits were almost unheard of upon this road, with it’s constant traveling of Purple Dragon soldiers to and from the nearby tradestown of Tyrluk.

The group was well served by having Galdoreth accompany them, as he quickly called out the attack, saving the party from being surprised and immediately giving their group the advantage. The group fought in a disarrayed manner, however the trained hand of Desmond seemed to be perfectly able to cut through the ranks of the bandits with javelin, spear and blade while the rest of the group served to distract those they could get the attention of. As the bandits who survived fled however, they took a parting shot at the horse, killing it.

Blu proceeded to muscle the cart containing Valaes and Yarod the remainder of the way into town as the rest of the group kept lookout for the bandits. There was no other sign of them however, and they made it into town without further incident in the early evening. Going immediately to their home to get Yarod and Valaes more comfortable.

Galdoreth, Blu and Alwyn went into town, leaving Desmond and Andolar to guard the house, Yarod and Valaes. In town the group looked to procure provisions and a new horse. Blu and Galdoreth went to the Constal, Rictr Crownsilver to see about getting the needed items from the military, as they didn’t have the money to procure them on their own. As they were rousing the Constal and going about the business officially, Alwyn decided to return to his recent employer at the stables to see about calling in a favor. Unfortunately his butterfingers got the best of him and he was thrown out and summarily fired.

Alwyn met up with the others (along with the Constal) in the streets just outside the stables, with the stablemaster still yelling out at Alwyn. The group agreed for Alwyn to wait in the nearby tavern as they handled the business of getting the cart and horse. Upon entering the bar, Alwyn overheard word of some suspicious men buying casks of dwarven fire ale, but was quickly distracted as he set his sites on a pair of ribald dwarves at the bar, battle hardened but with undeniably valuable trinkets on their persons. Unfortunately his continued bad luck got the best of him and he was caught red handed.

A quick argument turned violent when Alwyn ran away, sprinting out of the tavern and down the road. A half dozen steps and Alwyn’s world was turned upside down as a hammer found it’s home nestled between his shoulder blades, careening Alwyn’s barely conscious body to the ground. A crowd gathered as the dwarves proceeded to start stripping down Alwyn in the streets, robbing him of all his belongings. In a last ditch effort to fight back, Alwyn turned to fire a mysterious wand he never remembered obtaining of his own accord. Unfortunately nothing happened, and the retaliation by the dwarf was a swift dagger to the stomach, leaving Alwyn’s world a blanket of darkness.

About this time Blu and Galdoreth returned, shocked as they watched the dwarves strip down their companion in the road and rob him amongst a crowd of shocked and upset townspeople. Blu and Galdoreth then played into the crowd, rousing them against the dwarves and causing the dwarves to flee town. They then recovered their companion in the new wagon and thought to head home immediately to have Andolar heal their friend.

At home however, the bandit gang that had attacked them on the road seemed to have followed them into town. There was question to the validity of the group being a bandit gang in the first place, but after a continued attack this brazen it was all but assured this group had an agenda, and the general consensus among the friends was that it had something to do with Lord Bleth.

Andolar and Desmond were brought into battle by the sounds of crashing barrels and a whoosh of flames. The “bandits” had set the house ablaze, and as the two ran out to find the source of the fire they were engaged in battle. The battle raged only a short while, but just long enough for the house to truly catch blaze before the lone surviving bandit retreated into the forest, leaving Desmond and Andolar near death themselves.

In ruins, the group came together again as Valaes’ house burned to the ground. They regrouped as best they could and decided to leave that night, making their way out of town before the guard was summoned to the burning home. The group got a small amount of satisfaction on the road as they passed by a camp made off the side of the road belonging to the two dwarves who assaulted Alwyn. Just as they passed by, the wand Alwyn had failed to use properly detonated, causing an explosion behind the group for the dwarves to deal with. Needless to say, the group did not turn around to aid them.




Alturiak the 11th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/11/1369 DR)
Into the afternoon the group traveled, barely on their feet as they came upon Espar. They made their way to the small temple of Helm first, getting the aid of Lord Erik Hezom. The group was given lodging and healing as Yarod and Valaes were seen to by Lord Hezom himself to diagnose their strange paralysis.

The group was seen to by Lord Hezom’s assistant Gzelder Yespar. He arranged lodging at the inn and saw to a hot meal while answering questions for the group before they all went to sleep for the remainder of the day and into the night. Andolar stayed in the temple of Helm, sleeping on a cot nearby his father and trying to help Lord Hezom in any way he could with his father.




Alturiak the 12th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/12/1369 DR)
As dawn rose over Espar, the group found themselves gathered by Gzelder Yespar and Lord Erik Hezom. The group was told that the condition of young Yarod and Valaes was critically threatened, and that no manner of healing known to Lord Hezom would be able to cure them of their condition. In addition to this, both of them were getting weaker as the strange illness progressed further. Lord Hezom did have a potential solution though, that the group may be able to find a hermit gnome named (first name) Goldweaver deep within the Stormhorn mountains. The gnome is known to horde all kinds of special spells that are unknown to most, and that if anyone would know of a cure, it would be him. Warnings were given, as the gnome is known to be uncooperative and prefer his solitary lifestyle away from society.

The group was preparing to leave and with Gzelder’s aid were given access to weapons, armor, spells and magical items to prepare themselves with before their journey. Upon regathering outside the temple of Helm, Lord Hezom produced an adventuring charter delivered via a courier from Lord Bleth. The charter was presented to the group, and despite not trusting Lord Bleth, the group decided to sign the charter to ensure the legality of their journey through the mountains.

Just as the group said their goodbyes with Lord Hezom and Gzelder, Dhurst notices a boy approaching from the road. The boy was in a bad way, looking like he had been dragged through the nine hells and back. Immediately Alwyn ran to his aid, helping him the rest of the way into the town where Lord Hezom and Andolar. The boy then recounted his story, that of his father defending him against the hoard of shadow goblins and about how he encountered a woman with a dragon silhouette against the lightning that his father had him flee from as he kept it’s attention. Needing to head back into the mountains to find his father and information about the creatures that had appeared within the mountains he immediately offered to join their charter as well and found himself joining the others in their trek back into the mountains.

With the new name of their adventuring party, the Waylayers, the group followed the new member named Dhurst Cypher along the path he took. One that would eventually lead to the gnome’s place of hiding. The surviving bandit was spotted following the group with a fake traders cart and a dummy passenger as they entered into the foothills and mountains. The group attempted to lay an ambush for him, but it appeared as though the man did not seem interested in another skirmish so soon.

The group gave up on the bandit, having more pressing concerns to deal with as they entered into the mountains. The day was wearing on as they climbed, eventually encountering a group of the dark shadowy goblin creatures. They engaged them, attacking the group of goblins and pushing them back. At the apex of the battle, the narrow bridge over a deep ravine gouged into the stone by one of the lightning strikes gave way. The bridge collapsed, sending many goblins and Desmond down into the pit while Alwyn was narrowly saved by Dhurst catching him by the hair as he fell. The goblins fled the scene, leaving the group to lament over their lost comrade. Blue recovered Desmond’s body, in the process noticing a viscous black gel coating the inside of the pit near the bottom.

Having no time to waste, the group regathers and sets off, Blu carrying the body of Desmond in order to ensure a proper burial in some place not tainted by these black creatures. The group continued to travel into the night, coming upon a small campsite containing an orc and a half orc whom had a camp fire lit. The group approached and engaged the two in combat, attacking quickly and hoping to overcome the two. As the battle raged, both sides seemed in dire straights but began to talk as they fought. Eventually the battle stopped and the party learned from the orcs that the shadow creatures had appeared suddenly and attacked the orc tribe that these two were a part of and proceeded to absorb them into their own ranks, and kill those who resisted. The two had barely escaped and were now attempting to flee the hordes. The two parties spent the remainder of the night in a restless sleep, watching out for each other and the goblin horde.




Alturiak the 13th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/13/1369 DR)
p. The morning found the group somewhat rested, but the sound of more goblins approaching sent the orcs off into the mountains. The group fought off the newcomers easily enough however and continued down the pathway needed to reach the gnome. They then found themselves in a large open area, the one where Dhurst’s father had stayed to distract the dragon-woman. They inspected the area, giving up Dhurst’s father for dead after another skirmish with the goblins in the area. However Dhurst was determined to learn everything he could and the party continued pushing forward into the mountains.

The group passed many signs of the gnome’s home as they followed the path, including signs warning to avoid the area. Then they started finding the crazed, dead and deranged goblins littering the pathway. Finally, they made their way to a large clearing, littered with goblins both tainted with the black shadowy substance and without. A large barn and fence on one side of the clearing, complete with cows in a snowy meadow on one side and a large, impressive manor along the other side. The manor being impressive anyhow, until someone realizes that it is a facade. A large wooden frontage painted to look like a large mansion, but being nothing more than some thin wood with a small cave entrance as the main doors.

After attempting to pass a message along to a goblin dressed as a butler and getting no response, the majority of the group entered into the cave, leaving Blu and Alwyn outside to see if there was anything more to be learned outside.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.