Legends of Ardin

Clash in the Baldur Hills
Session 37: 8th of Flame, 842.IV

As Kyran greeted Our Heroes, Jeyne surprised the wizard with a fireball mid-sentence. With that, the two sides attacked one another, with the knights defending their companions against this apparently unknown necromancer. Sir Bernard appeared to know the goliath, calling her Daaskàr, wondering what she was doing there while he fought her companion.

The fight began poorly for the Party, when Kyran unleashed a chain lightening spell against the three knights and Jeyne, rendering the diviner temporarily unconscious. As the knights pushed into the zombies, they were beset with hell hounds which slew both Sir Bernard and Sir Degore, despite the knights' valiant efforts.

Meanwhile, Orutan and Korrigan pushed around the flank, felling an ogre zombie and taking the fight to the goliath. Nimbly dodging arrow traps and enduring attacks from all sides, the adventurers managed to defeat Daaskàr with the help of Lady Aldis.

In other parts of the battlefield, Jeyne dueled Kyran until she was beset with zombies, forcing her to fight defensively. At the same time, Ahna fought a hell hound and magically tended to the wounds of her companions. After a long struggle, the hell hound managed to take down the cleric while the rest of the party fought Kyran.

As the last of the zombies were killed, Korrigan, Orutan, and Jeyne converged on Kyran and held him within a magical spell of silence, preventing his spellcasting. Without his magic, Kyran proved no match for the party, but in a moment of fortune for the evil wizard, the silence spell faltered and he was able to teleport away from the fight. The final hell hound was killed, and Ahna healed.

Ahna checked her fallen companions and saw that while Sir Bernard had been dead for too long to save, Sir Degore's spirit was still near enough to bring him back to life. The Party looted their enemies and captured the unconscious goliath, ready to interrogate her after some well-deserved rest.

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Into the Baldur Hills
Session 36: 1st of Flame, 842.IV

Our Heroes left Dar Gwynnol with Signi and most of the Blood-Moon Tribe, leaving a small group of Orcs loyal to either Olegg or Korrigan behind. After six days of travel, The Party parted ways with Signi and entered the Baldur Hills.

The next day, Our Heroes spoke to many settlers, learning that the mercenaries highered by Hightower and Athan had left the Baldur Hills some weeks ago. Furthermore, Lord Redmorn had called the banners, summoning the militia for an upcoming conflict.

Later that day, Our Heroes happened upon a group of knights defending a village from a gigantic purple worm. The Party stepped in and rescued the knights from certain doom. These knights: Lady Lillian, Lady Aldis, Sir Degore, and their leader, Sir Bernard, thanked the Party and discussed Lord Redmorn. Sir Bernard, confident in his fealty Baron Redmorn, scoffed at the notion that Redmorn aspired to lichdom. Sir Bernard and the other knights offered to travel with the Party to the Redmorn Barony to show them the truth of the matter. The Party agreed and they set off first for the holdings of Lord Almeric, Bernard and Lillian's liege lord.

At Lord Almeric's estate, Our Heroes were invited in and provided with fine food, clothes, and lodgings. At the feast, however, Orutan noticed that he was being scried upon. Realizing that they might be in danger, the Party resolved to leave first thing in the morning. The next day Orutan noticed again the presence of a scrying orb and told Sir Bernard of the possible danger Lord Almeric was in. Sir Bernard took the advice seriously and left Lady Lillian behind to guard the Baron's life.

The Party, with three knights in tow, set off for the Redmorn Barony. Unfortunately, they did not make it far. That same day, they encountered a swarm of undead led by none other than Kyran and a female goliath they were not familiar with. As Kyran greeted them, Our Heroes prepared themselves for a fight…

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The Merits of Necromancy
Session 35: 14th of Shadow, 841.IV

After Our Heroes made their inquiry into Eskar's past, they decided to travel to New Alsben to pick up their newly-made magic items. The Party arrived in the city after six days of travel, having just learned of turmoil that was surrounding the Mages' Guild.

An Auronan mage bearing the name Reticus (but matching the description of Kyran) arrived shortly after Joriah suffered a fatal accident. Reticus offered to resurrect the fallen student which caused division in the Guild, an organization that had previously outlawed necromancy outright. In an unprecedented action, Master Arcanist and Head Librarian Alexander Callimach challenged Reticus to a duel and was killed by Reticus. The Auronan mage then brought Joriah back to life and left the Guild with Janus Lattintero, the Master Evoker of the University, and several of his apprentices.

Our Heroes checked on Joriah and helped him get his new life in order, spending two days in the city. They then left for Dar Gwynnol, as they had received news that a monster wearing Olegg's face was terrorizing Signi and the other Orcs there. After six days of travel, they arrived at the castle and helped Signi slay the spirit of Olegg that was bent on her death by destroying its resting place. They also found a tomb in the castle littered with humanoid bones.

The Party then made plans to venture into the Baldur Hills, the last known location of "Reticus" and Janus…

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The King's Council
Session 34: 24th of Wolf, 841.IV

The morning after Eskar's departure, Our Heroes discussed their next move. They learned that with Eskar gone, Signi wanted to take her hunters and all who would follow her to leave Dar Gwynnol and return to their old lives, which she thought was safer. The Party convinced the hunter to wait until Olegg returned, which was due in four day's time. During these four days, Korrigan taught the Blood-Moon tribe about the glory of J'Tuun and Orutan familiarized himself with the layout of Dar Gwynnol. Ahna also learned from Dranys that King Oren of Ferein had requested their presence for a meeting some days ago.

Once Olegg returned, Toril informed him of Signi's plan to leave with much of the clan, which caused Olegg to demand her head. As Olegg began gathering warriors to fight Signi, Toril left to warn her while Korrigan challenged the Eye of Gruumsh to single combat. The fight was long and hard-fought, but Korrigan emerged victorious and presented Olegg's head to the rest of the tribe. The party then agreed to let Signi leave Dar Gwynnol, but convinced her to wait until they returned from their meeting with the King.

With that, Our Heroes left for Eadmont, a journey which would take the next eleven days. As they journeyed along the north segment of the King's Road, they were attacked by three monks from the Stormcastle monastery, led by one monk known as Crane. The Party defeated Crane and learned that he had been hired to kidnap Baron Hightower and any members of the Party he could, but would reveal no more than that. After giving Crane a moment to prepare himself, the Party killed him in combat.

Finally, the Party arrived in Eadmont, where they were escorted to the royal palace to meet King Oren. In a secretive meeting chamber, they met King Oren and Queen Merra, along with a small council, who asked about their activities in the Baldur Hills. They Party told them of the identity of Thanatis and his general plan, and the King asked them to find the center of his mercenary armies so that the threat could be dealt with swiftly. The Party also asked of the King to grant them special access to the Arcanists of the Mage's Guild, so that they could have magical items crafted for them.

Our Heroes spent the next two days in Eadmont, either ordering magic items or researching what they could about their mysterious ally Eskar.

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Raid along the King's Road
Session 33: 13th of Wolf, 841.IV

As the Party traveled the King's Road, they were approached by Baron Hightower. He demanded to be treated with the respect of an ally and a noble, and requested the return of his arms and armor. The Party debated this, and eventually decided to allow the Baron his armor and weapon, but still did not consider him trustworthy.

As they continued along the road, Our Heroes encountered two farmers who told them of a nearby village that was under attack by the undead. They hurried to the site of the attack to see a village burning and overrun by ghouls. The Party rushed to the defense of the villagers and fought ghouls, ghasts, and flameskulls when they were attacked in the rear by two demonic Barlguras. These demons attempted to sieze the Baron, but were cut down before they could get away. The Party then finished off the remainder of the ghouls and regenerating flameskull before they helped repair the village and tend to the fallen. 

The next morning, they set out for New Alsben. Our Heroes spent two days in the city, recuperating and placing orders in the Mage's Guild for magic weapons, armor, and trinkets. After their brief rest, the Party hired a fishing boat to take them to the far side of Lake Aelin in order to make the approach to Dar Gwynnol. Despite more attempts to scry the Party, which were dispelled by Ahna, Our Heroes arrived at the castle.

The defenses of Dar Gwynnol were more formidable than when the party had last been there. Trolls, giant spiders, giant rats, and wolves were now counted among the Orcish ranks. New fortifications were also built to make the approach more deadly for attackers.

Inside the castle, the Party met with Eskar, who told them of what he had seen in the Scrolls on Fellwalk. Thanatis, according to Eskar, was after two artifacts: the Hand and Eye of Vecna. These would allow him to ascend to an Arch-Lich and achieve godlike power. Eskar, however, seeks the Sword of Kas, the one weapon that can destroy the Hand and Eye. To this end, he decided to set out alone to find the blade, and demanded that the Party remain at Dar Gwynnol to ensure its safety. Our Heroes disagreed with that course of action, and argued that it should be they who left to find the sword. Eskar could not be convinced, however, and departed that night, leaving Our Heroes to contemplate their next move.

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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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