Legends of Ardin

The Dragon of Ferein
Session 32: 26th of Serpent, 841.IV

Our Heroes recovered from the fight with Baron Hightower and Orutan's resurrection. That morning, they began interrogating the Baron. While he seemed resistant to physical intimidation, the Baron proved susceptible to Korrigan's magical fear spell. The Party learned much of Thanatis' plan from their prisoner. The Baron claimed that Thanatis was none other than the Baron of Redmorn, now calling himself Count. Thanatis was also meeting with delegations from the Iron Mandate and the Acheroth Empire at Dar Orithas. There he would demonstrate his power and good faith to his allies, as well as using the Scrolls to access the keys to his ascension. According to the Baron, Thanatis already had enough scrolls, rendering them useless in his eyes.

The Party deliberated on what to do with this information, and eventually decided to set out for Keston, where they would hope to meet with the Gold Dragon Berathik himself. They took the Baron in tow, who had become a tenuous ally. On the night of Fellwalk, Ahna communed with Ahmzanii, hoping to glean what Thanatis would discover in Dar Orithas. The goddess showed her visions of a fortress far beneath the earth, a castle in fields of ash, and a tower under gray skies. A few days later, the Party received a letter from Eskar, urging them to return to Dar Gwynnol, as he had claimed to have discovered the secret behind the Black Scrolls.

After ten days of travel, the Party arrived in Keston. Ahna met with Alenia Trant, the High Priest of Berathik. She agreed to allow Ahna to journey to the Temple of Waking Dreams, the center of their religion. Along the way, the Party reunited with Lafayette, who had come to Keston on his own business.

The Party journeyed up the Grayhawk mountains and eventually reached the misty paths where the Temple lay. Ahna ascended the path, being the only one who was "pure of heart". She found her way through the misty paths and entered the Temple, where she was given herbs to induce dreaming. Overnight, Ahna was contacted by Berathik through her dreams. She told the dragon of their struggle against Thanatis, and asked for his help against their mutual foe. Berathik thanked her for brining the threat to his attention, and pledged himself as an ally against Thanatis.

Ahna returned to the Party, who ventured back to Keston together. They then set off along the King's Road to New Alsben, as a first stop along their journey to Dar Gwynnol.

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Ambush on the Serpent River
Session 31: 24th of Serpent, 841.IV

The next day Our Heroes decided to seek out one of the barges that carry mercenaries out of New Alsben to the Baldur Hills. They hid near the river and awaited the ship. The next morning, a ship was indeed sighted bearing the heraldry of Baron Hightower. Our Heroes assaulted the ship and destroyed it, forcing the mercenaries within to flee to the shore. A battle then a chase erupted as Baron Hightower himself led the soldiers in defense, eventually fleeing into the hills.

At the end of the fight, Orutan caught up to Hightower and fought him in single combat. Orutan was beaten and taken hostage by the Baron, who held a knife to the Dragonborn's throat and demanded that the Party lay down their weapons. Jeyne refused, and used her wand incapacitate the Baron, but not before he killed Orutan.

The Baron was taken prisoner while Ahna brought Orutan back to life. The Party then made camp and disposed of the dead, resting before their next move.

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Wail of the Bodak
Session 30: 24th of Serpent, 841.IV

Our Heroes plotted to determine the best way of gaining more information as to the situation at Dar Orithas. Ahna used her sending spell to ask Dranys about the political landscape, who told her of the struggle of Baron Hightower, the recent success of Baron Athan, and a little of the history of the Barony of Redmorn.

That night, the Party hid in the cliffs beneath the tower and ambushed a patrol as they went by, and took the incapacitated mercenaries across the river. After an interrogation resulting in the deaths of two mercenaries, the Party determined that the mercenaries were mostly in the employ of Baron Hightower, but were paid by Baron Athan with newly-minted gold. The band was to guard the tower until the arrival of people of importance at the end of the month.

Shortly thereafer, the Party was beset by Bodaks living in the forest surrounding the tower. After fighting off the undead creatures, the Party retreated to a cave to rest for the night.

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Return to Dar Gwynnol
Session 29: 4th of Serpent, 841.IV

The day after their expedition to the ruined cathedral, Our Heroes briefed General Belphagor on their victory. Belphagor congratulated them, and offered to arrange transportation for them in two days time. During this time the Party relaxed and bade farewell to Dranys, who was also leaving to resume her post as ambassador to Ferein. At the prescribed date, Our Heroes met with Belphagor and the silver dragon Filondara, who teleported the party to a location near Dar Gwynnol.

After another two days of travel, the Party arrived at the fortress. There they saw the Blood Moon tribe of Orcs camped outside guarding the castle. Inside, they found Eskar and Olegg, the Orc Shaman, analyzing a Black Scroll. The Party gave the second Scroll to Eskar, who told them that he had scouted several locations that seemed to be of importance to Thanatis' minions. The foremost of these was a long-destroyed tower at the southern end of the Baldur Hills, a place by the name of Dar Orithas. Our Heroes decided that this was worth looking into, and set out to find it. Eskar also told the Party that the Scrolls would reveal some secret on Fellwalk, the Necromancy Ritual Day.

Five days later, Our Heroes arrived in New Alsben to resupply before their journey to Dar Orithas. While in town, Korrigan and Ahna discovered that Joriah had sought out the Raven Inn to gather evidence against the Invisible Hand. Once Joriah was brought back to the University, the Party was approached by Captain Azel, who represents Baron Hightower. He offered the Party generous payment as mercenaries for fighting in Hightower's struggle against the Rhirideth Elves. The Party turned down his offer and set out for Dar Orithas.

The journey to the tower lasted ten days, during which Our Heroes encountered two wyverns. Eventually, they reached the tower and found a camp of mercenaries established around its base. Our Heroes waited until nightfall and snuck into the tower, briefly fighting the guards before the alarm was sounded. Using their magic, the Party escaped and hid across the river, looking for another opportunity.

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Rite of the Voice
Session 28: 3rd of Serpent, 841.IV

Our Heroes decided to seek out this ruined Cathedral of Tiamat, in search of the Wyrmkeeper or the Black Scroll he held. The following morning, the Party contacted General Belphagor, who obtained a sorcerer to aid them with and invisibility spell the next day. The Party snuck into the Iron Mandate side of the city through the sewers under cover of the night, accompanied by Guldop and Yaona. The Doppelgangers led through the city to the Cathedral and quickly dispatched the guards outside before taking their places.

The Party went inside the great double doors of the Cathedral, and saw the beginnings of a ritual. A Voice of Tiamat led six dragonborn through some kind of initiation rite that was interrupted by the Party. A brief battle ensued, and all the Tiamat worshipers and their Spined Devil guards were slain within moments. The Party searched the ruins, but found no sign of the Scroll. They then saw the remains of the ritual they interrupted and figured out a way to complete it, using arcane runes on the floor. Completing this removed the magical barrier that was the floor, and the party fell down an engraved tunnel to a complex below. The engravings were of historical and religious natures, detailing core myths of the Iron Mandate belief system.

In the complex, the Heroes faced a series of challenges. First, animated statues guarding a pile of treasure. Next, magically trapped statues designed to immolate any walking through the room. Finally, a Hydra trapped within a fighting pit. After dealing with each challenge, the Party found a shrine to Tiamat, where Orutan performed a rite to the dark goddess, and gained some power from it. 

Our Heroes continued exploring the complex, encountering a Barbed Devil tasked with protecting Tiamat's Sanctuary. They defeated the devil, just before it was able to contact the Wyrmkeeper to inform him of their presence. Further in the complex, they found a library. Inside was an Arcanaloth, who was there examining the Black Scroll housed within. The Arcanaloth traded the Scroll for information, and the Party told it of the location of Vorel's Tomb and their quest against Thanatis and Kyran the Red.

Once the Party obtained the scroll, they hastened back to the Kain Sharak side of Schism. The next morning, they contacted General Belphagor once again, who promised a way to get them back to Ferein.

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Dealing with Doppelgangers
Session 27: 27th of Eye, 841.IV

As the second Flesh Golem was destroyed, silence fell over the battlefield. Our Heroes were victorious, and the Battle for Schism was won. The Party helped tend to the wounded and aided in rebuilding what defenses they could. Once the area was secured, the Party went to the South Gate to see how its defenders fared. There they found a scene of carnage, the dead and wounded piled high among the ruins of the gate and corpses of traitors, doppelgangers, and Flesh Golems. Among the wounded was  Dranys, who had taken a severe leg injury. Through the use of his bardic magic, Korrigan healed many of the wounded brought back those who were on the brink of death. 

Our Heroes then reunited with Orutan and headed towards the command center of the Sundered City. At the central tower, they found it surrounded by barricades and soldiers. A contingent of the spies had assaulted the tower during the attack on the gates. Our Heroes entered the tower and followed the sounds of fighting. At the top of the tower, they found two identical General Belphagors locked in combat. As both claimed to be the original, Ahna used a moonbeam to burn away the shapeshifter's disguise and reveal the true Belphagor.

The doppelganger impersonating the general was captured and imprisoned. The Party briefed General Belphagor on what had happened at the gates and informed him of their quest to find the Black Scrolls. He told the Party that the most secure place is probably in a dragon's hoard, and recommended looking there. He also said that of the dragons allied with the Iron Mandate, such an artifact would likely be in the possession of either Faenazan or Skavra if it was in a dragon's hoard.

Our Heroes then went to the dungeons to interrogate the doppelganger, now identified as Guldop. Guldop revealed that it was working for the Wizard in Red, and was eager to exact revenge on him for causing the deaths of its clan-mates. The doppelganger told the Party that his clan had been kidnapped by the Invisible Hand from the Understory of New Alsben and delivered to the Wizard in Red in some location to the south. The Wizard offered the "opportunity" of learning magic in exchange for infiltrating the Kain Sharak military. Guldop's task was to impersonate a clerk and ensure that all the spies that were sent across from the prisoner exchange were unchallenged. The only other surviving member of Guldop's clan, named Yaona, was tasked with impersonating an Iron Mandate priest and assassinating Wyrmkeeper Saevensis if the Black Scroll was not given to the Red Wizard. Guldop also learned of the Wizard in Red's name. He is known as Kyran of Auronis.

As per their agreement, Guldop was released and encouraged to seek out Yaona with the aim of bringing them back to the Party to discover what it knows. Four days passed. Orutan went to the archives of Rel'Shakar and Belafil to discover what he could about Faenazan's lair. He found that Faenazan is a powerful spellcaster, capable of weilding earth-shaping magics. In several accounts, he caused Otar the Copper Dragon to be swallowed by the earth some centuries ago. The dragon was also challenged by the hero Elgan the Pure, who was said to carry Azoran, the Spear of Stars. Accounts conflict, but the paladin is generally assumed to be devoured by Faenazan, her weapon added to the lair. Faenazan's lair was thought to be located somewhere near the southwestern tip of the Ioden Mountains.

Meanwhile, Ahna helped Dranys in her recovery, using her magic and knowledge of medicine to nurse the ambassador back to health. Dranys and Ahna talked at length about politics, foreign affairs, and history, focusing on the roles the dragons Relzeir and Berathik played especially. During this time, Our Heroes were awarded with the Flame of Courage, a medal recognizing their bravery and contribution to the cause of Kain Sharak.

On the fourth day, Guldop returned with Yaona. The Party interrogated the doppelganger, and determined that Kyran had not been seen in the city since the battle. Yaona also revealed that there was a ruined cathedral devoted to Tiamat that was frequented by the Wyrmkeeper, which Yaona had never been to. Intrigued, Our Heroes considered investigating the suspicious cathedral.

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The Battle of Schism
Session 26: 26th of Eye, 841.IV

Our Heroes made their way to the North Gate of Schism to await the impending attack by the spies. Once there, they met with Doregon and his team to prepare what defenses they could without drawing suspicion. One hour later, they saw the signal for the attack. Five green flares hung above the Iron Mandate side of the city. Moments later, the sounds of battle and chaos erupted from the parts of the Kain Sharak side. A mob of traitorous soldiers were rushing the gate. 

The Party directed their archers to fire upon the advancing enemies, and greatly reduced their numbers before they arrived. A pitched battle ensued as the two sides clashed. Traitors from within the soldiers defending the gate showed their true allegiance and joined the Iron Mandate forces. As the battle dragged on, the sorcerer who cast invisibility upon Orutan revealed himself to also be a traitor, as did two soldiers manning the gate. Thanks to the use of Ahna's moonbeam, these were revealed to be shapeshifting Doppelgangers. The two Doppelgangers on the gate were defeated, but not before they left the gate wide open. The sorcerer was defeated eventually in a duel with Jeyne.

Just as the battle seemed to be won, Jeyne noticed two multi-headed Flesh Golems, similar to the one encountered in the mountain fortress, bearing down on the gate. One entered the gate, the other began attempting to destroy it. Thanks to the efforts of the Party, Doregon's team, the surviving and reinforcing forces of Kain Sharak, and the use of a Magic Weapon scroll on a ballista from Toril, the first Golem was destroyed. The remaining soldiers attacked the second Golem, trying to prevent it from destroying the gate. The soldiers surrounded it, and Korrigan climbed atop it, distracting the Golem until Toril could finish it off with the enchanted ballista.

As the second Golem fell, quiet fell over the battlefield. It seems that the battle for Schism was won, for now…

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Five Flares
Session 25: 23rd of Eye, 841.IV

Our Heroes journeyed back from the ruins of the hidden Iron Mandate fortress, eager to report news of their victory. On the second day of travel, the Party encountered a blockade of Mandate soldiers blocking the path their cart was taking. After a brief skirmish, all the enemy combatants save one fell. The survivor was questioned, and it was determined that he was given orders to maintain a watch on the road and to kill all who came within sight.

The Party hastened back to Schism, where they parted ways with Doregon and his team, who took the prisoner to the dungeons. Our Heroes reported their victory to General Belphagor, commander of the Kain Sharak forces in the city, before retiring to their room. 

Once back in their quarters, the Party encountered a raven with a red gem for a skull. This raven carried a letter from Eskar, informing them that the Blood-Moon tribe of Orcs joined him in Dar Gwynnol, but Thanatis' plan was ever advancing. The Heroes decided to redouble their efforts to obtain a Black Scroll.

The following day, the Party traveled to the dungeons to interrogate the prisoner and suspected spy Rotek. After a lengthy interrogation using every magical means available, the Party determined the general plan and signal for the spies hidden within Schism. They reported their finding to Belphagor, who endorsed their plan to draw out the spies by using the signal.

That night, the Party split. Orutan snuck through the secret tunnels beneath the city to send up the signal, while the rest of the party headed for the South Gate, where the spies were supposed to attack upon seeing the five green flares. Orutan successfully planted the flares and escaped the city, with the Iron Mandate forces none the wiser. Things would not be so simple for the others…

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Assault on the Hidden Fortress
Session 24: 22nd of Eye, 841.IV

As Our Heroes planned their attack on the newly-discovered Iron Mandate fortress, Doregon noticed the presence of Kain Sharak prisoners being kept within the fort and advocated swift action. Korrigan and Orutan analyzed the cliffside above the fort, and determined an excellent location to cause an avalanche. Using a shatter spell at the place Orutan marked, Korrigan rained destruction down upon the fort, covering much of it in debris. The alarm was sounded, and the "Collector" investigated the source of the avalanche.

The Party was ready for the wizard. Just as their adversary used his magic to ascend the cliff, Our Heroes beat him down, forcing the wizard to retreat via teleportation. As the red-cloaked wizard escaped, the commander of the fort, a Voice of Tiamat, emerged and ordered the execution of prisoners and destruction of documents. Using the magic of Orutan and Dranys, Our Heroes engaged the Iron Mandate forces within the fort's battered walls.

Just as the battle began, the five-headed flesh golem emerged from the rubble as the commander called lightening from the sky. The Party used what magic they had to destroy the flesh golem, and took cover from enemy archers within a nearby tower. Unfortunately, that tower had become the target of one of the functional ballistae across the fort, which blew a hole in the wall and scattered the party. As Balak fell to the Iron Mandate arrows, the rest of the party attacked the commander, and saved one prisoner from execution.

Doregon fell to the commander's magic, and Torvar was incapacitated by the still raining arrows. Dranys used the last of her magic to contain the last of the enemy in a tower, but herself fell to their attacks. As the archers sought to flee the tower they were trapped in, Jeyne cut off their escape by summoning a flaming sphere. Left with no choice, the archers leapt from the tower to the walls, and were instantly killed by the ballista Korrigan and Orutan had commandeered. 

With Orutan's help, Jeyne and Ahna quickly saved their wounded allies from certain death. Once their enemies were slain and allies stabilized, Our Heroes investigated the fort. Within, they found only a single prisoner left alive, saved through their actions. All the other prisoners had been executed in their cells. All the documents housed within the fort were likewise destroyed. Still, Our Heroes found some treasures within the now ruined fortress, including the Medallion of the Firmament, which Ahna took from the corpse of the fort's commander. After a highly eventful day, the Party rested within the ruins and prepared themselves for coming challenges.

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Scuttleknives
Session 23: 13th of Eye, 841.IV

After the prisoner exchange, Korrigan found a note tucked under his pillow, supposedly from the thieve's guild he had contacted in Rel'Shakar. The note contained directions to meet in the Square of Tiris at midnight. Korrigan did so, eventually meeting a group of Kobold thieves known as the Scuttleknives. The Scuttleknives told Korrigan that to get the Gauntlets he desired, he would have to rescue four of their compatriots who were captured by the Iron Mandate. The Scuttleknives gave Korrigan directions to the Iron Mandate caravan where the thieves were being held and promptly parted ways.

Korrigan told the Party of this venture, and the group set out to rescue the thieves the following day. Sneaking through the Iron Mandate lands, Our Heroes eventually reached the prisoner caravan. The party laid an ambush, and waited for the caravan to approach. Once they got within range, Ahna used a hypnotic pattern to immobilize most of the enemy. The Party fought the remaining soldiers in a pitched battle, eventually emerging victorious. The prisoners were freed, and began to lead the Party back to Schism through a series of underground tunnels originating in the river. 

That night, the Party returned to Tiris Square and was greeted by the entirety of the Scuttleknives. After hostile negotiations, Korrigan bought the Gauntlets of Ogre Power from the guild. As thanks for rescuing them, one of the prisoners gave the Party a tip, that Iron Mandate forces were smuggling things into the city through the tunnels. 

The following day, Our Heroes checked up on Dranys, finding her passed out from exhaustion, surrounded by files. The Party made her comfortable and ventured through the tunnels to the north, following them out into the mountainous lands north of Schism. Eventually, the Party came across faint wagon tracks leading beyond the mountains. Our Heroes followed them for a time, looping around to the northern face of the mountains. Suspecting that the trail led towards a mountain fortress, they returned to Schism to report their findings.

They exchanged findings with Dranys, who told them that while one of the death certificates was due to a clerical error, there was no explanation for the second soldier's file. As such, he was to be kept in the dungeons of Schism until the Party could question him. Dranys suggested checking out the possibility of a mountain outpost with a team of soldiers. The Party agreed, and the two groups left at Dawn.

Our Heroes ventured out with Dranys and an elite squad led by her brother, Doregon. The other members of the team were Torvar, Zaruu, and Balak. Along the way, one of the members, Torvar, helped Orutan figure out some of the properties of Sky's Tyranny. After two days of travel, the group reached the spot in the mountains the Party had found six days prior. The group camped for the night, and climbed the narrow mountain pass in the morning.

At about midday, the group indeed found a hidden fortress. Climbing the cliff to the side of the fortress, the Party observed the evil work within its walls. Inside, several Dragonborn were putting the finishing touches on a massive five-headed flesh golem under the instruction of the crimson-robed "Collector" who had beaten the Party previously. Disturbed by this event, Our Heroes planned their attack.

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