A Kind of Homecoming

Prequel - The Monastery of St. Wynfrith Part 2

There were no survivors that day, or at least that was how it seemed at first.

As the last of the defenders of the Monastery of St. Wynfrith fell under a burning assault of elemental fire and earth, the slashing knives of goblin soldiers, or the brutal slam of a huge hill giant, Elbemon Lafeyahr, knowing that the inevitable had come, threw caution to the wind and sallied forth from the besieged Scriptorium. Leading a small group of the last surviving defenders, they desperately hacked their way up to the monastery cloisters in a hopeless attempt to save his son and any others that may yet live. But one after another fell as they fought their way up the hill until only Elbemon remained standing. Blood streaming from a dozen wounds, he rushed into the shattered courtyard littered with the bodies of goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, and arcane elemental creatures of fire, ice, earth, and chaos. They were not the only that had fallen, though. Among them lay the broken and battered bodies of the defenders – and among them was his son. But all was not still – giants, elementals, goblins, and hobgoblins prowling the courtyard, picking over the still warm bodies turned and saw him. Knowing now that he was the last, Elbemon, last of the Crimson Feyahrs, gripped his notched sword one final time and prepared to make an end of it. But, like so much else this day, it was not to be. Knives of ice and stone pierced his body from behind, knocking him to the flagstones with their force. As he fell, a grey cloaked figure, lean and shapely, her hands still outstretched in an arcane gesture was revealed, hovering on a whirlwind of wind and snow. Elbemon lay bleeding, breathing his last in a spreading pool of blood as a massive hill giant lurched across the courtyard to him, raised its spiked club, and brought it smashing down. It was the final blow of a final battle.

“The Scriptorium is ours. Get what we have come for and let us be gone before the soldiers arrive. This has taken far too long already.”

With that, the cloaked figure flew off and the other marauders, elemental, giant, and goblinoid made their way out of the cloisters, leaving it to the still, icy clutches of the northern winter.

Hours pass. A phalanx of riders with the twin falcons of King Frostmantle blazoned on their heavy woolen cloaks appear from the freezing fog that blankets the hills and gallop up the hillside to the burning buildings of the monastery. The riders lower their lances and chase off the few straggling goblins still looting the homes and storehouses, sending them running back into the mountains. At the head of the riders is a dragonborn encased in steel and mounted upon a massive destrier. He leads a few riders through the shattered gates of the cloisters and surveys the wreckage of battle within. “See if any are still alive”, he snarls. The soldiers spread out, cautiously stepping around the massive corpse of an ogre in a puddle of rapidly freezing blood, and begin to go from body to body. “Sir! Lieutenant Razorscale! This one…an eladrin? She’s still alive!” Soon, a handful more are found with the breath of life still in their bodies. With a surprised snarl, the dragonkin barks, “Then take those that still live and let us be gone from this place. Set torch to what remains.” He turns, but pauses for a moment as his foot knocks into a body lying face down in a pool of frozen blood, its back impaled by fragments of rock and ice. He reaches down and lifts the head to see the face. A toothy half smile splits his face and he lets the head fall back to the ground and walks away.

Rassimohn, Sharat, Elestrynna, Trek, Jai, and Theros: The only of the 60 defenders of the Monastery of St. Wynfrith that survived the three day siege. They were taken back to Ironspur and nursed back to health only to be victims of trumped up charges leveled against them. Not two weeks after returning, all six were convicted by a military tribunal of luring the marauding giants down from the Galena Mountains and inciting an attack on the Monastery. The remaining Crimson Feyahrs and their friends were found guilty of dereliction of duty, wanton destruction of royal and sacred property, and breach of contract and locked in the dungeons of Ironspur for six months. There they remained, forgotten by all except a dwarven paladin of Kelemvor.

Little did the six survivors know what their future held in store for them…

Comments

Rassimohn is never again heard to utter the words, “Crimson Feyahr”. His once handsome body had become a burnt epitaph to the wickedness seen that day. Though later magic did well to erase the scars from the sight of others, the shame, anger, and yes, the burning hatred manifested itself in tattoo after inglorious tattoo. Of them all, one stands out to the few who know – an image of an unfurled scroll, small and lacking ornamentation. Located over Rassimohn’s heart, the tattooed scroll contains three lines. Written in old battle-tongue, a script few could ever hope to read: “Too Far” “Too Cold” “Too Much Trouble”.

Below it, in Elvish script but by common hand, reads, “Patience Kelemvor. Patience.”

mhorstma

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