A Kind of Homecoming

A Nenlast Homecoming
Spark/Cygnet 350xp
Mud Archon Skulker (2) 700xp
Spark Lashers (2) 1000xp
Flamespiker (3) 1050xp
Flamespiker Tongues (6) (minion) 100xp
Total XP 3200xp
  • The exhausted party collapses into the warm, comfortable hay of the barn. After nearly two weeks of hard marching through wild, rough country, Markus’s barn seems like a palace. Markus throws his arm around his daughter and bids the party goodnight before heading into this home with Cygnet. The still quiet of the dark forest closes in around the farmstead as everybody drifts off to sleep.
  • A few hours later, Rassimohn wakes up. His soldier’s instincts pick up a noise in the barn that is out of place and a moment later, a warm, soft (bare) body slips into his bedroll. Swayed by her quiet whispers and…umm…”encouragements”, Rassimohn and the girl “enjoy each other’s company” (I don’t really need to spell this out, do I?). The rest of the party each wake up, take note of the activities Rassimohn and Cygnet are engaging in, and promptly go back to sleep. After some time and “exertions”, Rassimohn and Cygnet part ways and Cygnet slips quietly back out of the barn. Rassimohn, his bruised and battered body now feeling quite a bit better, settles back in the hay to sleep. But this night is not for sleeping…
  • It is deep in very darkest part of the night, sometime during the few hours of true darkness that spring nights in the far north offer, when a scream shatters the stillness! Another blood curdling scream rings out as the party quickly shakes off the cobwebs of their deep sleep. Elestrynna, meditating at the edge of the hay loft, is the first to react. She pushes past the barn doors that stand slightly ajar, into the barnyard beyond and stops for a moment to take in the scene in front of her. Markus’s farmhouse, on the other side of the clearing, is burning!
  • Out in the farmyard, almost seeming to be waiting, lurk a handfull of creatures of elemental fire, air, and rock. The shapes are familiar and instantly strike fear into the hearts of the party: these are the same creatures of the Elemental Chaos that attacked the Monstary of St. Wynfrith so many years ago. And here they are again.
  • Cygnet stands between the barn where the party was sleeping and the burning elemental creatures, she sees Elestrynna emerge and turns to flee towards her. Behind her, on top of Markus’s cabin, which smolders and burns from within, rise two more elemental creatures of air and lightning. Elestrynna assess the situation, orders the rest of the party to arm themselves, and charges out into the farmyard, determined to delay the elemental creatures long enough for the rest of the party to arm themselves.
  • A few moments later, a ragged Elestrynna is joined by the rest of the party and the fight is on!
  • In the barn, Rassimohn stands side-by-side with Sharat, defending the doorway against a host of flamespikers, while Cygnet seems to be saddling the horses as Rassimohn asked her to do. However, the girl has other plans. Arcing lighting begins to curl up her arms and she turns, her eyes aglow with blue-white light, and a cruel smile twists her beautiful features. “We only wanted to rid ourselves of one of you meddling sing-songers, but we’ll happily slay the lot of you!” Lightning arcs from her fingers and slams into Rassimohn, his face a mixture of shock and horror at the betrayal.
  • The fight goes badly for the party – an enemy in their midst, Markus’s cabin engulfed in flames, Markus himself likely dead inside, Jai, Elestrynna, and Rassimohn all teetering and at the end of their strength, and the forces of Elemental Chaos still swarming and pressing.
  • Sharat begins to feel a pulsating heartbeat coming from the joined fragments of the Rod of Seven Parts that he carries slung at his belt. He reaches down and feels a powerful urge to brandish the glittering Rod. A pure white light begins to eminate from it as Sharat is filled with righteous anger that is only part his own. The mob of flamespikers and the creature that was Cygnet recoil from the light, clearly pained by its purity and intensity. With a voice that is not his own, Sharat shouts out words of banishment placed there by the strange intelligence that lurks within the Rod. A blast of pure white radience is released from the rod and immediately two flamespikers disintegrate as they are touched by the brilliant light. The other elemental creatures are wounded terribly and are thrown back by the blast. Fear and desperation are the only emotions that come from the otherworldy beings as the light fades, leaving Sharat exhausted and drained. Sensing that the tide has somehow turned, the party gathers what little strenght they have left and hurl themselves back into the fray.
  • The fight has gone out of the remaining elementals, one by one they turn to flee towards a growing cyclone that has manifested itself near the totally engulfed farmhouse.
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Threshing Down
Skill Challenge: Ahmik Var 500xp
Skill Challenge: The Elders 500xp
Skill Challenge: Aid & Assistance 500xp
Total XP 1500xp
  • On the urgings of Markus, the party takes a day to travel to Threshing Down, a small village on the verge of the great northern steppes of Damara. Not long after breaking out of the thick trees of the Dunwood, a dark smudge of smoke is seen on the horizon to the west where Threshing Down lays. After descending the rocky, broken hills that are the Giantspire’s foothills, the party is approached by a mounted patrol of mixed Nar tribesmen and Damarans led by an old Nar hunter named Ahmik Var. Rassimohn calls the party into a group and unfurls the black banner of the new Feyahrs and awaits the patrols approach. Rassimohn negociates with Ahmik, who is very cautious but agrees to allow the party to proceed to Threshing Down. Most of the party notes that the patrol is made entirely of young boys, old men, and a few women.
  • Ahmik explains that Threshing Down is home to both the Var clan, migrant sheep herders from Narfell that spend their summers in the village and permanent Damaran residents. The village is ruled jointly by a council of elders from both groups. He will say little else to the party, though he is pressed with questions.
  • When Threshing Down comes into view, it is seen that the village has been badly pillaged. The wooden pallisade is broken, the gates are sundered, and the outlying farms are mostly burned. A few villagers are gathering scattered flocks of sheep and attempting to pick up the pieces of their broken homes. A small tent city lies outside the broken walls.
  • Ahmik brings the party to the village elders, Matoskah Var, chief of the Nar tribe, and an old Damaran dame named Elena Vuketch. Matoskah and Elena explain that two weeks ago a strong contigent of Royal Damaran Dragoons arrived from Tellerth and rounded up nearly all the young men of the village, claiming that they were to be brought back to Tellerth on suspicion of collaborrating with Orcus cultists in Fallcrest. Despite the villagers’ pleas, the Dragoons rode off with nearly 40 men and left the village virtually defenseless.
  • Then, two days ago, a hill giant raiding party attacked Threshing Down. With all the strong, young men gone, the town was helpless as hill giants, ogres, orcs, and goblins looted and pillaged the village.
  • After hearing the story and explaining the situation in Fallcrest to Matoskah and Elena, the party sets out to do what they can to help the villagers.
  • Jai helps to clear debris and to repair the shattered pallisade. Sharat tends to the wounded. Theros tracks the hill giant raiders and confirms that their trail leads straight in the direction of Battlechief Nosnra’s steading in the northwestern reaches of the Giantspire Mountains. Likely a raiding party of 2 or 3 giants, as many ogres, and a pack of 15+ orcs and goblins. It looks like some prisoners from Threshing Down were taken as well.
  • After doing what they can to help, the party turns back east towards the Dunwood and Markus’s farmstead. The events at Threshing Down clearly trouble Markus quite badly. It is a hard journey across broken, rocky hills and thick forest that takes a week to complete.
  • Upon returning to the farmstead just outside of Nenlast, the party is greeted by Cygnet, who has been holding down the fort. She seems especially glad to see Rassimohn…
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Revelations from Markus
  • Led by Markus, the wounded party leaves the cave, picking a path across the rocky hills and swampy dells before finding a good, defensible spot ringed by boulders the size of houses. “We can rest here for the night” the weary half-elf says before setting about to start a small fire in the lee of one of the rocks.
  • Once the party is settled, Jai and Rassimohn’s wounds are bound and tended to. Markus draws Theros aside a short way, and the two settle on rocks looking out over the endless expanse of the steppes of northern Damara. Though it is early summer, the endless winds have a touch of ice in them since little stands between the encampment and the Great Glacier itself. Stars twinkle through the high, nighttime clouds and the looming blue-white peaks of the Giantspires cover the northeastern horizon. With a sigh, Markus speaks to Theros.

“I’m sorry for holding back and not speaking more freely with you. I’m not used to be surrounded by alies or friends. Your actions, the actions of all of you, spoke clearly tonight and I understand that I can and must trust you. Ilmater knows that we have need of all the allies we can get. The githzerai cenobite’s name was Uweya and she comes from a monastery in the Elemental Chaos called Bael Torria”. How do I know this? Shortly after the Witch King Zhengyi was defeated by King Gareth, the Spysong Network made the decision that it must watch not only Damara, but the outer planes as well. Zhengyi drew his power from the demons of the Abyss and we wanted to ensure that we would know should a threat come from there again. To that end, we established footholds in the Elemental Chaos and sought likeminded allies to help us. The githzerai of Bael Torria were those allies…once. For decades we worked closely with them and became more than just allies – we were friends.”

With this, he pauses and looks sadly out over the scattered treetops and the vast expanse of the dark, open plains. Then he begins again.

“When the usurper murdered good Queen Brianne, many of the Spysong Network took up arms to fight back. Many of our outposts in the Elemental Chaos were abandoned. Some among the githzerai of Bael Torria felt that we were abandoning them and reneging on the commitments of mutual support that we had made to them years before. There were heated words…and…we parted ways. Since those dark days, relations have not improved. Few know of the Spysong Network’s presence in the Elemental Chaos – now you do and I ask that you guard the secret very carefully.”

  • With this revelation, the conversation turns to the orcs and the hill giants. Markus is confident that the orcish raiders were from a tribe loyal to Battlechief Nosnra and is troubled by the capture of Uweya and the other githzerai. He reveals that Uweya said that the planar skiff she and her companions were using was attacked by elementals and was forced to flee to this plane. The skiff was badly damaged and crashed, though, and the orcish raiders appeared shortly after and captured the survivors. Markus fears that it is all too much to be a coincidence, but can say little else.
  • Markus also asks if the party would be willing to take a short detour before returning to his home, and accompany him to the village of Threshing Down in the morning. It is a small settlement less than a half-day’s journey from the camp in the rolling downlands to the west. He rarely comes this far north and likes to check in on the settlement when he does, to gather news and make sure the village is safe. The party seems agreeable.
  • With the conversations ended, the party wearily falls asleep.
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Orc Raiders Part 2
Orc Beastmaster (2) 600xp
Pack of Hounds (3) 750xp
Orc Crescent Hurlers (2) 600xp
Orc Alchemist 300xp
Orc Chieftain 700xp
Total XP 2950xp
  • Things do not turn out so well in this fight. Though the orcs all lie dead in slowly congealing pools of black blood, Jai also lies on the floor, breathing shallowly. He is surrounded by the shaggy bodies of orcish wardogs but is himself badly mauled by the same rabid dogs kept by the orc beastmasters. Markus tends to him while Sharat carefully binds the deep gash on Rassimohn’s arm on the ledge above. Rassimohn winces painfully, his face the color of bleached parchment, as Sharat works. Eventually, with an almost superhuman effort, Jai slowly stands, wobbling, and leans heavily on Markus. A few moments later, Rassimohn does the same.
  • The less wounded members of the party finish the work of searching the bodies of the orc leaders, and discover a few items of worth. Shoved into a long sack at the bottom of a pile of mouldering crates, sacks, and other junk is a shining silver sword, seemingly abandoned here years ago. Scattered throughout the cave and looted from the bodies of the orcs is a collection of jewelery and cash totally a pretty sum.
Singing Longsword +2
1150 gp in cash and jewelery
  • Finally, the whole party leaves the cave and returns to the darkness and cold night air. Elestrynna lingers for a short time and ensures that the piled orc bodies catch fire. Clouds of dark, foul, oily smoke pour from the cave entrance as the fire rages within, purging the filth and squallor of the orc tribe that has built up through years of use.
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Orc Raiders Part 1
Orc Warriors (6) 100xp
Orc Pyromaniacs (4) 75xp
Ogre Savage Boss 700xp
Stormfury Orc Champion 600xp
Ogre Skirmisher 350xp
Orc Gruumsh-Sworn 350xp
Total XP 2175xp
  • After a hard won fight, the rest of the cave is explored. At the back of a long passageway is a deep pit ringed with spikes and a heavy, knotted rope lying coiled at the top. In the bottom of the pit are a trio of tall, slender humanoids dressed in dirty, torn grey robes. They sit in lotus positions and are clearly meditating. When they look up, the party is surprised to discover that they are githzerai cenobites – monks.
  • The party assists them out of the pit and finds that, despite being bruised and knocked around, none of their wounds are serious. Markus converses with the githzerai leader, a woman with hair pulled back tightly into a bun, in a strange language. Clearly there is tension and even some hostility between the two. Markus looks distressed and the githzerai woman almost angry, an emotion that clearly is not typical for her. “Argentus!”, she spits with a a final, angry rebuke as she turns and leads the other two githzerai cenobites from the cave. Markus watches them go, his face marred by a look of shame and…regret? As the githzerai pass the party, they give curt nods of thanks and step out into the darkness.
  • “Are you just going to let them go? What was that all about? What’s going on here?” The questions come bursting from the party. “There are things I must keep from you. Though you seem to be who you say you are, and even friends of the Network, I cannot say yet.” is Markus’s only reply and he walks away, clearly disturbed by the encounter. Theros angrily retorts “I was in Helgabal the night the usurper murdered my friends in the Network. I fled in the dark and, for all I know, am the only one who survived that bloody night and yet you doubt me?” He throws up his arms in frustration as the others in the party exchange doubtful looks.
  • The tension in the air is palpable as the party turns to search the orcish cave for anything of interest. Nothing meaningful is found, so the grubby work of piling the orcish and ogre corpses into a charnal heap at the front of the cave begins – the corpses will be put to the torch before the party leaves.
  • The work continues for a time when Theros, who is near the entrance to the cave whistles a sharp warning. “Beware! Something approaches!” The party scrambles to find their weapons and ready themselves when the bloodthirsty baying of hounds and harsh, angry shouts come from the cave entrance. Some orcs have returned to find their brethren dead and their cave invaded, and don’t seem to be too happy about this turn of events!
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Nenlast
  • While on the way to Nenlast, the party takes some time to investigate the box taken from Naerumar’s. Elestrynna and Sharat lead the efforts and decide that it is an old Nar artifact, mundane and uninteresting.
  • Deeper investigation reveals it is shrouded in an illusion spell. Elestrynna dispells the illusion and reveals the real box behind the illusion – a simple wooden box with the sigil of the Monastery of Saint Wynfrith carved into the lid! The box is magically sealed and resists attempts to open it. Sharat takes custody of the box and meditates on it during the next day’s travel.
  • The next night, Sharat has a dream of Oghma passing a brilliant golden light to Ilmater, who in turn hands the light to Sharat’s wife and children. Sharat’s wife then brings it to him and he wakes, the box is glowing slightly. When he tries to open it, it easily does so and within are two dark, featureless bars of metal. When grasped, Sharat is urged to join them and they unite into a single piece. They are two segments of the Rod of Seven Parts! It becomes clear, now, why the Red Wizard wanted this box.
  • The next morning, the team arrives in Nenlast and gets directions to the house of Markus Vlachos from the innkeeper of the Oarsman Inn, the only public building in the village. Markus lives a few miles outside of town, so arrangements are made and then the party sets out for Markus’s house.
  • Markus lives in a small farmstead deep in the Dunwood with his beautiful (and saucy!) daughter. Introductions are made (and Rassimohn receives some flirtatious attentions from his daughter, Cygnet) and Theros reveals the amulet given to him by Allande Markelhay. Markus turns serious and invites the party in. The warning is delivered and the party takes the time to tell their tale to the woodsman.
  • Markus listens seriously and then relates his own story, that Battlechief Nosnra, the hill giant chieftain whose steading is on the northwestern slopes of the Giantspire Mountains has been more active in the area since Garuk One-Eye’s army fell apart at the hands (talons?) of the dracolich. Giantkin trails have been seen by local hunters and Markus has learned of a large scouting party of orcs that has been passing through. He was about to pursue them when the party arrived earlier that day, and he invites them to come along. Elestrynna’s eyes flash dangerously.
  • The party rests for a few hours in the barn and Rassimohn again is the target of some rather direct advances by Cygnet, Markus’s daughter. She comes to him at night and asks a number of questions about Fallcrest…and makes it clear that she’s offering something in return for his answers (nudge nudgewink wink). Rassimohn is an oak, though, and rebuffs her advances.
  • Long before dawn, the party sets out with Markus and marches at a blistering pace over the rough, broken, forested foothills of the giantspires. For two days the group heads northeast before picking up the trail of the orcs – at least twenty orcs, wardogs, and two ogres. Interestingly, there are a handful of human (elf?) footprints as well. Prisoners, perhaps?
  • For two days, the party continues in pursuit before catching up to the orc warband on the northern fringes of the Dunwood and the vast Damaran steppe. The warband has holed up in a cave at the edge of a mucky swamp (melting permafost). No guards are posted, so Theros and Markus scout into the cavern and spot an orc chieftain and a huge ogre at a campfire. After some discussion, the party decides to attack the orcs in their cave, but the fight must be done quickly, as there may well be captives in the cave and their lives could be in danger.
  • The fight is ON!
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In Hot Pursuit - Part 2
  • After a hard battle, the one eyed Red Wizard of Thay flees, carried aloft by a pair of air elementals.

“Whoever you are, interfering with me was a fatal mistake! We shall meet again. Of that, have no doubt.”

Ogre Savage 350xp
Hobgoblin Archers (2) 600xp
Hobgoblin Elite Warriors (2) 600xp
Hobgoblin Warriors (minions) 100xp
Waterveiled Assassin 400xp
Total XP 2050xp
  • The party licks its wounds, patching up Sharat and considers their options: hunt down the criminals who fled Fallcrest or follow the trail of the hobgoblins that leads west from Owlbear Ford?
  • First, the party follows the hobgoblin trail across the Nentir River and discovers a filthy camp, complete with a partially consumed corpse of an unfortunate man. In one of the tents are his sword and an enchanted necklace, crusted with the dried blood of their former owner. There is also an assortment of jewelry and coinage stashed throughout the camp.
1600 gp
Peacemakers Periapt +2
Fey Strike Longsword +2
  • Elestrynna takes a moment to perform a scrying ritual on the torn and battered armor that lies in a pile behind one of the tents. Her ritual reveals to her the place of the armor’s making: an underground dwarven forge with a black-bearded dwarf carefully riveting each mail link. The magic also shows her images of a man armoring up in a room overlooking a bay with islands linked by bridges and canals packed with boat traffic. Helgabal on the shores of Lake Mogador, perhaps? The final images are those of blood, ruin, and hobgoblins deep in a mossy forest thick with black barked pine trees.
  • After examining the camp, the party makes its way ack to Owlbear Ford and tracks the two fleeing thieves north until their trail doubles back west across the Nentir River. The party speculates that they may well be fleeing back to Helgabal.
  • Deciding to let the two go, the party instead turns north and makes their way towards Nenlast. Getting there involves travelling north along the Nentir River, following the barging trail to the edge of the moor that lies on the southern edge of Lake Nen. As the party makes its way north, the Dunwood presses down on them with the trees thickening and becoming much more dense than in the central part of the Vale. The next day, following Elestrynna and Theros, the party turns more east, skirting the southern limits of the swamps and follows a line of rocky hills that are the first hints of the Giantspire Mountains. That evening, they make camp in the forested hills and the next day descend into the lowlands on the eastern edge of Lake Nen. There, nestled against the lakeshore, is the small village of Nenlast. The snow covered peaks of the Giantspire Mountains loom close on the northern horizon, the thick, dark trees of the Dunwood being the only thing separating the adventurers from those imposing peaks.
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In Hot Pursuit - Part 1
  • While preparing to leave Fallcrest Lady Allande Markelhay visits incognito and gives Theros a talisman bearing the combines Harpers and Spysong Network symbols. She also provides guidance on how to find Markus Vlachos, the Spysong contact in Nenlast and suggests talking to the town’s innkeeper, Lucien Tomsa, if help is needed. With a grateful farewell, Lady Allande disappears back into the smokey fog and allows the party to be on their way.
  • On the way out, the party observes the innkeeper whose store was burned in the fire bat attack being arrested and led away by Royal Dragoons. After speaking with the greengrocer whose stand was also burned, Sharat learns from a bystander that he is the third townsperson to be arrested that morning. It turns out that numerous other people are being arrested in Lowtown this morning as well.
  • The party leaves in the pre-dawn twilight, in hot pursuit of the two burglars, following the same barging trail used by the Swiftwater clan to take their boats upriver to Lake Nen. A few miles outside of town, they pick up the trail of the two horsemen and, following Theros’s excellent lead, speed off.
Skill Challenge: Hot Pursuit! 300xp
  • About 4 hours outside of town the tracks leave the trail and lead to a small copse of trees just off the path. After investigating, the party finds the remains of a fresh campfire and the tracks go back to the trail and continue north. Clearly the party has made up a lot of time and their quarry is only about a half hour ahead of them.
  • Finally, just after noon, the party approaches Owlbear Ford and their excellent hearing picks up the sounds of an argument over the rush of the Nentir River. Approaching cautiously through the scrub grass and thickets of aspen trees around the banks of the river, they see a group of hobgoblins, an ogre, and a Red Wizard of Thay wearing an ornate eyepatch over his left eye. They are arguing with the two criminals from Impiltur.

“If you cannot hand over the box as you were contracted to do, the contract is terminated. I’ve played enough games with you incompetant fools. No box, no money.” the Red Wizard shouts over the roar of the Nentir River.

“It wasn’t there”, shouts the half-orc thief. “We turned the place over and it wasn’t there. That’s not our fault. You still owe us our money!”

“You must be joking,” sneers the Red Wizard, who is starting to look angry.

  • The party stealthily creeps up to the edge of the hillside over the river and Theros stands up. “Looks like they’re not going to pay, boys. I say we kill ‘em now!” he shouts. Every set of eyes at the ford turn to look at him. Some curious, some fearful, some confused. With that, Theros releases an arrow that streaks through the air and skewers a hobgoblin soldier in the ford. With an agonized squeel, the hobgoblin keels over into the river and floats away downstream. With an arch of his eyebrow, the Red Wizard motions to the immense ogre who stands nearby. With an enraged roar, the ogre charges into the river and the battle is on!
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Old Friends Visit - Part 2
  • Fight with the fire bats. Fallcrest burns!
  • Capture Lormbrar and Haelbrar, but Kyrlraun dies on Jai’s blade
  • Aftermath: Fires are put out, Razorscale recognizes Elestrynna and the others (but not Sharat) and the party hands over Haelbrar
  • Aftermath: Rassimohn interrogates Lormbrar in the catacombs under the temple and learns that the five crooks were hired by an unknown person in Helgabal to steal a carved stone case from Orest Naerumar. They are to deliver it to a contact at Owlbear Ford on the Nentir River the following day. Owlbear Ford is 6-8 hours ride north of Fallcrest.
  • The party resolves to follow the other two (currently unidentified) crooks from Lyrabar (Helgabal?).
Skill Challenge 1: Putting out the fires in Fallcrest 300xp
Skill Challenge 2: Interrogating Lormbrar 200xp
Total XP 500xp
Human Murderer (Kyrlraun) 350xp
Human Hexer (Haelbrar) 300xp
Human Dire Beast Hunter (Lormbrar) 400xp
5 Fire Bats 1000xp
Total XP 2050xp
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Out and About in Fallcrest
AFTERMATH

Symbol of Oghma, (c) Wizards of the Coast After the fight, the battered party made their way back through the ancient Nar catacombs to the crypt of the temple. Upon getting to the crypt, many voices and booted feet were heard in the temple sanctuary. With puzzled looks, the party ascended to the main temple and found it overrun with soldiers of the Royal Damaran Guard, examining the broken bodies of the osteopede and frost zombies. As Elestrynna answered the questions of the Guard sergeant, telling him of the events that had transpired, the hulking form of Captain Hazan Razorscale entered the temple with a clack of claws and a rattle of plate armor. Snarling his annoyance, Razorscale demanded a status report from the sergeant. Exchanging dark looks at the sight of the hated dragonborn, the party sat quietly until Razorscale turned his attention to the eladarin wizardess.

“More undead beneath the city?”, he snarled as he angrily forced his blunt snout into Elestrynna’s face. “Followers of Orcus. More. How do I know you’re not more of their rotten kind? I’m going to arrest you all and bring you in for questioning – get to the bottom of things in this stinking town. This whole place smells like mud and pig shit.”

While he ranted on, another, smaller form entered through the temple doorway, waiting for the irate Razorscale to pause his rant.

“Really, Captain. Is that necessary? We don’t want to trouble these good people any more than is necessary.” Walking into the sanctuary with a swirl of blue silk and ermine fir came Viscount Niklaus Istvan. He placed his gloved hand on Razorscale, who was immediately silenced, and looked around. “Who is in charge here?”, he asked.

With a painful cough, Sharat leaned heavily on Jai and limped forward. “I am. I am a priest of Oghma and head of shrine being built here.”

“See, captain? A priest of Oghma is with us – let us trouble these good people no more. I’m sure they are as innocent as they seem and there is no need to arrest them.” With an oily smile, the Viscount examined each of the party closely. “I know you” he said. “You were at the Lord Protectors banquet when I arrived. Second table on the right, was it not? Yes, yes that was it. I never forget a face. Never.” And with that, he turned to the dragonborn and nodded curtly. “Clean this place up captain, and let these fine citizens go about their business. Good night.” And he was gone.

With an angry snarl, Razorscale barked out a few orders and stormed out of the temple.

THE NEXT DAY
  • After resting and receiving some magical healing, Sharat pays a visit to the widow of Alexei, whose body was discovered in the cistern. The widow, Lorna, is devastated. She worries of her future and considers returning to her family in Winterfell, but Sharat offers her a position caring for the temple of Kelemvor, Oghma, and Ilmatear when it is completed. Lorna is grateful and readily accepts the offer.
  • Elestrynna returns to the cistern and busies herself translating the Nar inscriptions. It turns out they are fragments of a larger inscription, likely from a monument built to commemorate workers that helped to construct Qu’entocar. The inscriptions mention numerous villages and towns where workers were recruited from and makes mention of their proximity to the structure. Combined with Elestrynna’s knowledge of locations within the old Nar Empire, she begins to triangulate the position of Qu’entocar with greater precision than ever before. It appears to be located somewhere in the southeastern Giantspire Mountains – a goblin infested wasteland of ice, rocks, and boreal forests.
  • A secret door is found! Theros spends some time closely examining the walls of the cistern and discovers a hidden doorway that still opens. The party follows the narrow, cobweb-choked passageway some distance to the north east where it opens into another catacomb dating to the time of the old Nar Empire. While exploring the collapsed section of catacombs, some of the party pick up bits of a conversation that filter down through the crumbled walls, echoes from some distant hallway above their heads.

“That damn red wizard has disappeared. The mess he made of things with Hammerfast will not be tolerated by our allies. Find him and bring him to heel. We can’t afford to have him running around ruining anything else.” “Yes, my lord”

A pause as the voices fade out of earshot before becoming audible again.

“What of the adventurers?” “What of them?” “You recognized them?” “Of course, damn you! I never forget a face – remember who you’re dealing with, Simza. It’s a coincidence, nothing more.” “Of course, my lord.”

Another pause as the sound of crumbling rocks and dripping water obscure the voices. Then…

“You should know that the singers are at it again. We’re narrowing the options and we should be able to move soon.” “How soon?” “Within weeks.” “Good. Make an end of them – we can’t afford to have them interfere. And what our allies’ plans? Are they ready to break the last stronghold?” “Soon. The pieces are falling into placeā€¦”

  • A messenger boy arrives at the temple dormatories that the party has moved into and brings word that Lord Protector Faren Markelhay would like the to come for dinner that evening. Finally! Word from the castle, which had been silent since the Viscount’s arrival.
DINNER WITH THE MARKELHAYS
  • That evening, the party cleans up and ventures to the castle for dinner with Lord Markelhay and his wife, Allande. Lord Markelhay looks exhausted and Allande looks concerned about his state. Despite his normally temperate demeanor, he drinks heavily and complains about the Viscount’s take-over of town.

“They’ve taken over – sent all my men home. They keep rattling on about a ‘Cult of Orcus’ under my damn town! As if I’d allow such a thing to happen. The orcs may be gone, but the thrice damned Royal uuards won’t leave until they ‘get to the bottom of things’.”

  • By the end of dinner, Lord Markelhay quietly slips into a drunken slumber while Allande apologizes and leaves to put him to bed. When she returns, she explains the history of Fallcrest and Damara – how the archmage Myrddin Viligoth and his companions The Twilight Riders, agents of Gareth Dragonsbane, came to town before Gareth was king and convinced Faren Markelhay’s great-great grandfather to support Gareth’s claim and join the Kingdom of Damara. Since then, the Markelhay’s have been supporters of the Dragonsbane kings. The presence of the King Frostmantle’s Royal Damaran Guards in town, though, is troubling given the town’s history.
Symbol of the Harpers (c) Wizards of the Coast
  • During the conversation Allande lets slip a charm bracelet bearing the emblem of the Harpers and the Spysong Network, which Theros immediately recognizes. The conversation quickly turns and the party learns that Allande is a member of the Spysong Network! Theros tells of his history with the Spysong Network and the party tells of the conversation they overheard earlier in the day. Allande is concerned, explaining that another Spysong member, Markus Vlachos, lives in the village of Nenlast, two days north of Fallcrest, and should be warned of the potential danger. She also has a contact in Tellerth, that she passes her reports on to.
  • Allande also lays out her fears of a hill giant king who lives in northern Giantspires, who has been aggressive in the last few years. She fears the power vacuum left by the sundering of Garuk One-Eye’s host may provide him with an opportunity to raid further south. He has already been stirring up trouble in northern Soravia and Narfell in the past few years.

With that exciting news, the evening ends and Allande shows the party out, promising to stay in touch with Theros should anything come up.

Roleplaying/Session XP 1200xp
Total XP 1200xp
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