Dark Tide Over Cormyr
Order of the Steel Fang
Alturiak the 28th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/29/1369)
It was a early winter day in Velprintalar, capital city of Aglarond. Although that didn’t really mean it was much different than a mid spring day in these parts. Sure, the air had a bit of bite to it, but the climate in Aglarond was steady near year round, rarely getting hot and likewise rarely below freezing. The morning brought a light drizzle of rain brought in with the morning fog off the coastline. It was there that the Alexandra Thrace, High Marshal of the Steel Fangs stood, staring out the open window that overlooked the edge of the city, the port and the stretching coastline.
She took in a deep breath as a breeze brought the salty mist into her face, pushing back her bangs in the wind. She shut her eyes, visualizing her units spread throughout the world, recalling the various missions that were taking place. She turned, walking back to the large oak table with maps and various documents spread out on it. The rough looking man on the opposite side of the table waited patiently, hands clasped behind his back.
“Cormyr has always been a place for the Lord of Battle, and it seems now is no different.”, she said.
“Yes, your Ladyship. The church within Suzail seems to believe that the threat is more dire than the Cormyrean’s know. They believe the attempted overthrow of King Azoun IV by the Fire Knives to be out of character for the assassin’s group. They believe that there is something more malicious at work. After all, how does a mortal man, however well connected with an assassin’s guild, come to bend the will of a group of unidentified demonic creatures and a dragon?”, he replied, his voice corse and rasping.
“Yes, That begs questions. Are they ours to answer though? We are currently spread rather thin. We have a number of people investigating the trouble in and around Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep. Additionally, forces in Thay are mounting. It is reported Szass Tam is mounting a force of undead unlike that which we have seen before. I’ve brought in most of our troops to aid the High Marshall of Algarond.”, she shook her head and reached down, flitting through her paperwork.
“I understand, your Ladyship. The information out of Cormyr is not concrete. Events there have been strange though, men in smaller townships going mad at random, talk of shadow goblinoids raiding and then all of the mess with the Fire Knives.”, he said, nodding agreement.
“We just can’t afford to send a full investigation to Cormyr with Thay knocking at the borders here in Algarond. I see the reason for concern though. What I’d like you to do is select someone to send. Whoever you choose will need to know how to work with others well, as they will need to form alliances within Cormyr to gain information and turn up the true meaning of events there. It’s unorthodox, but it’s all we can afford at this time.”, she pushed her paperwork back.
“Yes, your Ladyship. I’ve got the person in mind already and I’ll make the arrangements.” He bowed and turned after being dismissed.
She turned and looked back out the open window over the Sea of Fallen Stars, knowing that war would soon befall Algarond again soon, and wondering if the same would befall Cormyr.
Alturiak the 30th, The Year of the Gauntlet (02/30/1369)
Raynor Rald was preparing for his morning in whatever fashion was his routine. He knew he had the two recruits that would be waiting for him within the hour. It was before dawn, the mists from the sea heavy in the air as he glanced out the window of his barracks. After completing his morning rituals he stepped out into the courtyard of the church grounds, built more like a small fortress inside the town of Furthinghome. His recruits would be waiting for him near the well in the eastern side of the courtyard, today they would be heading out on a multi day trek through the forest. When he reached the well he found no recruits awaiting him, but instead his Battlelord awaiting him, a large sack leaning against the well to his right.
The Battlelord of Raynor’s current assignment within the Order of the Steel Fang was a very straightforward man, gruff and raspy, a man who had seen countless battles and had a lifetime of warfare beneath his belt. He was rigid at times, but encouraged his people to think tactically about all situations, giving instruction to challenge orders for tactical advantage, but never to disobey. Having come from the Capital directly after his meeting with the High Marshall, he looked road weary. His grey peppered blonde beard and hair looking dirty and rain soaked. After pleasantries were exchanged, the Priest-General got down to business. Raynor was being reassigned to Cormyr, and would be taking a boat around the Altumbel peninsula, southwest to Alaghon to resupply, then follow the coast west until Westgate, where he would need to arrange passage across the Dragonmere to Suzail. Within the bag of supplies that were being provided, so too was a dossier of his new assignment. The trip would be a long one, and he should arrive in Cormyr sometime in the late spring. On his way he was to check in with local branches of Tempus’ clergy to look into any other activities that would warrant the Order of the Steel Fang’s attention.
And with that, he was off. His cargo was already loaded upon his small ship, he was given an hour to set affairs to right before leaving. Once settled into his cabin on the ship and on his voyage he had time to look through his dossier.
Holy Captain Rald,
As you well know, events here withing Algarond are becoming tense. Forces in Thay are gathering and we have been recalling the majority of our order in order to aid Algarond on the upcoming battle that it most assuredly faces. Your skill in molding young Battle Brothers and Sisters has been exemplary and a great aid within our Order. We see you as an asset to us, one that has a rare quality of leadership and more importantly your ability to adapt to situations has been noted.
We are now sending you to Cormyr, a land that has been rife with it’s own brand of conflict. With the need to have forces here in Algarond we are not able to send a full contingent to Cormyr as we would normally wish, but believe we can spare one to investigate the strange events in that country and assess what might be done to aid the will of Tempus in the region. We chose you based on your previous service and skill in working with others. Without a team to assist you, you will be required to work with others who are entrenched in the current events in Cormyr as well as seek our allies to aid our investigation. We would have you start in the local clergy within Suzail to get the most up to date information available. Below is the information we have been provided thus far that warrant your attention.
- A demonic presence within Cormyr, six unidentified demons being led by what appears to be a shadow dragon. These creatures led an attack on Suzail’s Grand Wizard Vangerdahast Aluvian. The current belief is these entities were tied somehow to the Fire Knives assassin’s guild and the supposed mastermind on the plot, one Aunadar Bleth, currently missing. We have our doubts about the relationship between the groups.
- A large presence of blackened, or “shadowed” goblinoid creatures following a magical storm in the mountain ranges in Western Cormyr. These creatures may have a tie to the Shadow Dragon, but such a connection has yet to be confirmed.
- The assassin’s guild known as the Fire Knives and their involvement in the recent events. Thought to be eradicated, it appears they have returned.
It is also said that a group of adventurers uncovered the plot against the King and managed to disrupt it. They were recently granted a Royal Charter in the lands of Cormyr and would be a very good way to start your investigation, as it seems they were in the middle of all of these events. If you can, find them, they will be our best link in gathering information and if they continue to investigate these happenings could be good allies to work with.
We expect the valor and victory, Holy Captain. We are counting on you in these troubling times.
With victory in your heart and steel in your hand,
Battlelord Vorrus Harper, Battle Chaplain to Lady Alexandra Thrace