Shadows Over Urnst

In search of the hidden fortress
AKA curiosity nearly killed the cat

After dropping off our trusty guide with his clansmen, and thanking our hosts for their aid, we left the swamplands behind heading for Castle Maure, where we split up about various tasks.

Herek begins by rewarding himself with a large dose of fizzy water and the birds and bees, which occupies him for quite a few days…

Alisair investigates the properties of the gem of seeing, and is struck with a vision of being watched back through the gem by some powerful scrying enchantment. Concerned about reprisal from Beltan’s followers, He sets about performing an expensive anti-scrying ritual so that we can continue to use it safely. Once that is accomplished, Teng sets about investigating the castle guard, whom he has always distrusted. Obvious concerns about security lead him to enlist Captain Tunil in scrutinizing all aspects of the Castle’s defenses- both in personell and structure.

For reasons known only to Teng, he decides the library is a suspicious point of potential perimeter penetration. He and the captain begin snooping around until they discover a strange wall in the lowest level of the library that appears to have a room behind it as seen through the gem of seeing. Try as they may, they are unable to figure out how to open this secret passage with no apparent latch, handle, or trigger in the area. They are interrupted by the library’s caretaker, a pleasant older woman that was not willing to give them any information on any suspicious or secret areas in the castle, and kindly escorted them from the premises.

Teng returned to join the rest of the party and explained the findings, while Captain Tunil passed along report to Sir Veeton. After piquing the curiosity of Alisair and Mialee, Teng is beckoned away by the Captain for a private meeting which Kalik persuades himself into. Mialee and Alistair decide this mystery should be investigated, but wanted to make sure their original goal of using the gem to find the hidden Collinae fortress. When Teng and company returned from the meeting with the castle’s lord to inform them that area was off limits, no questions asked, then their curiosity rose even higher. Was this some sort of evil influence that was affecting Sir Veeton’s judgement? If it is not a danger to us, then why not explain its presence to his trusted allies?

Later that night, Mialee transmogrified into ferret-form to sneak out to investigate the library mystery. Simultaneously, Alistair was trying the same thing with the gem in hand, though much much much less stealthily. As Mialee returned feeling sheepish for not bringing the gem, she heard Alistair clumsily banging around the back entrance through the kitchen. Knowling that he would get caught, she quickly whispered to him from the shadows to give her the gem and go back to being not stealthy upstairs in his room. Realizing he was soon to be caught sneaking out, the inquisitive wizard obliged and then distracted a vigilant Teng Shaw with some unconvincing nonsense about looking for the bathroom.

Mialee sneaked past the keep’s guards and through the winding halls until she found the library, which was unfortunately locked up tight. Taking advantage of her mini-mammalian form, she looked around the surrounding halls untill she found a ventillation grate that allowed her to get into the library without a lockpick. Once inside, she looked around for anything suspicious, using the gem to finally find the false wall. Like her friends, she was unable to find any mechanism to open into the room beyond. Then, calling on her magical attunement she was able to see past the enchantment and discover tht it was in fact not a wall at all, but an illusion.

Beyond the illusion Mialee entered a stone hall of older construction, lit with braziers on each wall. An ominous feeling told her she should check for any traps or guards, for why else would this be currently a lit passageway? After not finding any trap, she crept forward to a heavy locked door. When she tried the handle, the room exploded with fire, searing her flesh and knocking her to the floor. Feeble as a kitten and slipping toward death, her spirits fell as a menacing armored guardian strode in to finish her crumpled body off. Pulling herself to her painfully scabbed knees, she pled with the figure for mercy and promised to leave immediately. The figure standing over her lowered its weapon, sparing her its edge. She crawled backward out of the room and once clear, scurried back out the grate through which she entered. As she sneaked back into her room, she tried to heal her own wounds using some old potions from previous adventures, but without any success. Even using some herbal balms she was taught by her outdoorsman father was little help to the severe loss of skin and tissue. Reluctantly, Mialee swallowed her pride and went next door to confess her outing to Kalik and beg his aid. After swearing not to speak of anything she saw, the humble druid was brought back from severe deformity through the grace of Pelor’s light.

The next day, we set out for mine 312, where we sanctify the mine to reassure the workers that the strange noises they hear coming from far beyond the gate are nothing to fear. Other maintenance issues are attended to, including blessing crops and to try to foster some local business at the village around the mine and the farmland around our recently acquired tower. We journied from there to meet again with the Goldforge Dwarves, with Captain Tunil in tow, as an emissary of Sir Veeton, and by proxy the world of humans. As our reluctant miniature allies welcomed us in to parlay with the king, we offered gifts of fresh crops, grains, and brewing recipes, in the hopes of beginning a regular trade route. The idea of possibly hiring on a dwarven mining consultant was initially met with resistance, but may yet eventually be realized. Alistair spent his time during the reunioon talking scrolls and runes with the enchantress Dalma. Unfortunately, she did not yet know how to recharge his stone altering rod.

Back at Castle Maure, we assemble a small force of soldiers from the guard to help us, including some footmen and a ranger or two. Using some directions given by the dwarves, we set out into the mountains south of Skywatch to find traces of the fortress. Mialee and one of our ranger henchmen identified some recent horse traffic, and we decied we must be close enough to warrant scouting ahead. Craw did not see anything on a pass over the area, so again Teng and Mialee (apparently not learning from previous small group scouting experience) decide to sneak ahead with a ranger to look through the gem for signs of the fortress.

With Mialee a stone’s throw in front as a ferret, Teng halted us abruptly with a stifled cry. The limited range of the gem’s power of sight meant that as soon as he saw the spectral skeletal soldiers, Mialee was already in their midst. As Mialee retreated, the skeletal army materialized beofre our eyes, and attacked. The brave ranger shot with great accuracy, but was largely ineffective. Teng got into melee range to protect our retreat untill Mialee tried to slow them down with a wall of thorns. To her horror, they phase-stepped beyond it as if it were no obstacle at all and struck down their ranger. The monk and druid did not need to say anything to one another to know it was time to get out of there and back to the group.

The next day, we returned in force, and came from a route many feet up the mountain wall from the previous path. As we were 70 feet up, we saw nothing special from this angle so we lowered down a rope to send someone with the gem to see what the guard situation was. Of course curious Mialee volunteered, and discovered that in fact her landing spot overlooking was INSIDE the castle. She quickly had the party haul her up just moments before guards grasped for the rope behind her.

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Into the swamp!
AKA "Mialee escapes civilization"

Mialee explored the hillsides of the Cairn Hills frustrated in her search for some sort of clue as to the whereabouts of the so called “invisible fotress”. None of the birds and small critters seemed to be unduly disturbed. No pockets of negative energy or befouled florae spoke to any corrupting force that she could find. After two weeks of subtle investigation, Mialee reluctantly returned to the group of adventurers that have helped her quest progress thus far.

Alistair and Herek were not actively investigating, but rather setting up the team’s outpost at the recently vacated tower near mine 312. Their entrepreneurial spirit evidently felt that getting the miners organized and set up with a local village was more imminenetly important than the machinations of an evil mastermind intent on raising an army of the dead in the name of an ancient evil god. At least they were ultimately more productive than the druid’s two weeks camping trip.

Our favorite cleric of Pelor, of all people did manage to hear through his connections in the church about a troupe of explorers lost years ago while journeying through the Mist Marshes. The bit that commanded his attnetion was that this group was using a magic gemstone that allowed “true sight” in order to help them pick their way through the ruins of ancient civilizations’ temple structures as they combed for artifacts and treasure. Once the group was reassembled and this reported, our minds raced with anticipation. The Mist Marshes, of course is one of the earliest placest our crew first tested its teamwork and mettle, first trouncing one of the local populations of lizardmen, and subsequently befriending them.

The brainstorming began, as we tried to decide how we might use this old alliance to help us find the remains of the lost explorers and more importantly, their magical gem of true seeing. Kalik and Herek bought a collection of trinkets and metal tools (spear heads, knives, etc.) to barter with our local “allies” once found. Alistair set into the library of Castle Maure to research sites of ancient settlements, focusing naturally along rivers and tributaries with hopes that this might steer us along similar paths to our predesceccors. With a fairly good recollection of the settlement of the allied lizardmen, we set out in that direction.

As we passed the border of Greyhawk, we stopped to check in with the Griffon riders of skywatch, but gain no additional information, though we did manage to at least maintain a pleasant relationship for possible future dealings.

Mialee recognized faint notions of familiarity as we approached the swamp, as she had traveled through here as a small child with her father. She remembered quite different dealings with the lizard-folk at that time, and was surprised to find that in fact the tribe her companions had met before were indeed non-hostile. Kalik had recognized and remembered the name of a lizardman hunter, and carried out some brilliant diplomacy to get us led back to the tribal elder, a chief named Goostree. The party’s presents and priest of Pelor’s parlay pleased the patriarch, and persuaded him to lend us a guide.

From here, we set out two days in search of the temple of a snake god that sounded a lot like Beltan which was in the midst of the rival Shistak clan. As we had learned, they were led by a priest named Huatan and a large maul-toting warrior named Taran who was reported to be at one time dead. A scouting party of Shivek the guide, Mialee the ferret, and Teng the badass stayed a bit ahead of the rest, but were ambushed by two members of a hunting party. Having learned that approaching in a small group was dangerous, we rejoined the others and used Craw and the ferret form to give a better idea of what lay ahead.

We then sneaked upon the temple from behind the village and approached it in the dark of night. We carefully entered a carved stone entrance found ourselves in an underground ceremonial room. Support pillars and walls were adorned with snake-mouth scultpures of questionable function. Alistair did not like the look of them and took it upon himself to begin tying the hinged jaws shut while Herek and Teng approach the multi-armed statue of one of the aspects of Beltan. The hand held various offerings, including ceremonial kinfe, a wand, a ring, a necklace, and two gems. One of the two precious stones seemed to refract light differently and as it was peered through, it revealed the statue was in fact a demonic creature.

Herek sped up negotiations with the statue by hacking off the hand holding the gem of seeing, and of course this set in motion a disturbing sequence of events. The statue sprung to life and attacked viciously, though Herek’s defences deflected all but the luckiest blows. Water began pouring into the room from all the snake mouth spouts, albeit more slowly from the ones that were tied shut. Soon after, poisonous snakes added to the mayhem, and as we fended off attacks from all directions, Alistair was stricken with a numbing paralytic. Mialee’s magically resistant outfit was able to stave off the poisonous effects for only a short while longer. Once the rest had subdued the demonic statue and the rest of the snakes, they dragged their poisoned colleauges up into the stairwell to make our escape from the flooded room. With Alistair groggy but revived, he directed his magical wand to reshape the stone of the entrance, permanently blocking the passage behind our exit.

Into the nearby jungle we crept to nurse our wounds and plan our next move. As we discussed either staying to slay the evil necromancer or heading back now that we had our goal in hand (as well as a couple other nice trinkets looted from the many armed demon), our arguement became moot as we discovered they had learned of our defiling of the temple and were already tracking us. Shivek led us quickly ahead through the marsh until we found a defensible position. We lay in wait as the enemy approached with ten soldiers, a spell casting shaman, and a giant undead maul-swinging mo-fo. Mialee tried to take advantage of her ties to the plants of the area to entangle the attackers in vines and block passage with walls of thorny brambles. Our wizard exhausted the magical charges of the dwarven staff by exploding one of the ruined walls into the Shaman and undead foe. As our spellcasters exhausted their magical abilities and the enemy kept advancing, the hope of escape was fading. At long last, we stood together over our vanquished foe, exhausted and ready for a nap. Kalik of Pelor, at least, was quietly satisfied that we had not left the necromantic shaman Huatan to his own devices.

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Hereks jurnal
A blog for your campaign

Herek, frends Kalik Mylee Alustar and new small frend made small man keng no that we no hurt them no mor, that Herek ther frend. Utherz talk lots and Herek not no what being sed. Frend Kalik tellz Herek to follo new small man frend down into dark place kald Hall of Ingen..enjinearing…Herek not shur so he sory. Herek and frendz follo new small man down far where utherz long time ago live. Small man go in front Herek see if sayf for us. Herek and frendz uhtakt by monsterz Herek nevr see before…um hard for Herek make otherz see what Herek seez…umm…thay look like flowting hedz with byrd beek with meny tentuhkulz. Ther wuz big werm lotz tentuhkulz with them. Herek and frendz woond’d but kill all but wun. Herek and frendz furthur into dark place and come to big room that small men uzd talk. Herek and frendz uhtakt by big ded eye but it still uhliv. Herek thinks big ded eye not ded cuz it hurt Herek and Hereks frendz, it made Herek and frendz blood evereewear. Big ded eye fall grownd and Hereks frendz talk with small man Herek see threw, Herek not kno what wuz sed but Hereks frendz happy after talk with see threw small man. Frend Kalik tellz Herek that evil nekromansy lady build place in big hillz and that one day we find her to kill her, make Herek happy to do. New small man frend take Herek and frendz to see small man keng uhgen. Small man keng happy big ded eye ded, give Herek and frendz shynee thingz to help. Herek good at riting now…Herek prowd. Herek lern lotz from frend Kalik. (In walks Kalik to see what Herek is doing….looks over what Herek is writing down…) “Well Herek, you are making some good progress but you have a long way to go, but I’m proud of you and so is Pelor. It is good to see that you can now write each letter. Just keep practicing and you will be writing your memoirs before you know it”. “Herek like shinee gawd, heelz Herek. Herek glad frendz lern him rite. Frend Kalik, what r memwarz?” “They are recollections of your life Here. People write them so that the important things they do won’t be forgotten after they are no longer with us but are with Pelor.” “O K. Frend Kalik, why you no byrdz and beez? Herek like byrdz and beez!” “That’s because Pelor wishes me not too Herek. In the eyes of Pelor, faith and servitude to all things good in the world are what is important. Helping those in need and giving hope to those that have none are what gives me satisfaction in life. You will see Herek, Pelor has a plan for you that most assuredly entails birds and bees. Though, I feel that many dark days are ahead of all of us my friend and evil is on the rise but we will see it through and win the day especially if we can all have your kind heart and ability to see the good in things where others cannot. I think that is enough for now Herek, shall we go to the temple and pray for Pelor’s guidance? Then perhaps we can go to the inn for dinner and an ale?” “Herek thank frend Kalik for kind werdz. Herek smash evil but not now. Herek go pray to shinee gawd. Makez Herek feel good. Find Teng and uhtherz to drink ale and eat. Herek meet you at tempel. Herek hungree and want ale”. [Hey guys I basically wanted to do this journal entry from Herek’s perspective and abilities hence the lack of detail and coherence…since others in the group are aiding in Herek’s learning to read and write process I was hoping that if you wanted to add anything Herek left out that you would sorta like a teacher instructing a student. Let me know if you would prefer to just have me write a synopsis of what transpired when its my turn again?]

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In search of the [[Goldforge Clan]]

7/10/2010 Mialee’s Meditations…

My frustration with this investigation continues. After weeks of seeking out some semblance of a clue as to the root of this necromantic activity in the Cairn Hills, I have gained exactly zero leads. Old farm houses, burial cairns, false hopes along humanoid trials that turned out to be innocent fur trappers and a simple clan of dwarves whose minor mining operations certainly did not seem to be underhanded or even really all that unnatural, since they used pick and hammer rather than magical blasting. I simply cannot stomach giving up the quest to stop the fouling of the land with these undead abominations. I must resign to admit that I simply do not have the resources and ability to investigate, much less combat this plot alone. I must return to ally with the half-orc and his friends. I hope their adventuresome path can still dovetail with this mission, and that I have not alienated them with my aloofness. Why do I always do this? The moment I begin to get close with anyone, I start the process of pushing them away. It’s no wonder my beast form is so much more feline than any other influence. I guess I’m hard wired to be a loner and not a pack member.

The next week, I have finally reunited with the Pelor worshippers. The cleric and half orc, of course were the easiest to find so I sought them out first. I never cease to be amused by the half-orc’s love of women. So predictable to find him seeking out his “birds and bees”. As it turns out they were still in communication with the rest of the party and were simply on a recuperative hiatus, after what sounded like quite the battle over the love interest of the Suel monk. As if my trust in human nature was not shaken enough by this evil woman that seeks to raise the dead, I cannot fathom the depths of depravity necessary for a respected holy warrior such as this uncle Donovan turning to such a foul plan as abduction of the monk’s love interest. I relate to them that my investigation and weeks in the wild have been absolutely fruitless, and to my surprise, it seems they still have been working toward the same goal. Perhaps I am wrong to write off all my fellow man so quickly. This motley crew, though clearly motivated by pride and monetary gain, still does seem to harbor a deeper sense of purpose, perhaps driven toward good by the light of Pelor. I need to learn to appreciate the good in people and use the resources that are given me, rather than always trying to go it alone…

Velish, that smarmy dervish, caught up with the group a few days ago, and I have been continuing to keep company with them here in town instead of my usual wilderness haunts. What a boon to have made such allies with resources such as these. The barbarian and another group of townsfolk have been investigating the family Collinae through society connections. Thank the gods I wasn’t there for that. I can only imagine having to dress up for such a party. Stifling. Though the Collinae family has fallen on hard times in the public realm, a dangeous expedition into a crypt under the town has given us the name Goldforge. The goldforge clan of dwarves apparently was commissioned for the construction of the Collinae castle in the mountains. Unfortunately, the Goldfroage clan themseslves has disappeared 175 years ago, not conicidentally at the time of Leona Collinae’s disappearance. We suspect of course she had them eliminated as soon as the castle project was complete.

Here, at last perhaps I can be of service. While the others continue to hunt down leads from contacts in town, I head back to the Cairn hills to the lone dwarf tribe I met in my travels, to get more information on where the Goldforge clan, or remnants thereof might be found. Another week of interviews and invetigation turned up the name of a small abandoned mine/ cavern that once belonged to the Goldforges. Finding this was no trouble, but after cursorily casing the entrance, I felt it wisest to re-acquire the party before going in any further, lest there in fact be anyone up to no good here.

The cleric and wizard made good use of the time to craft some potions of holy water and something called a gravespawn potion, both of which they deduced would be quite helpful if and when we do encounter any undead presence further in our investigation. I was then able to lead us back to the cave entrance and we carefully proceeded to enter. Externally there was nary a sign of recent use by any but small woodland creatures. A few hundred feet into the cave we found an ornate carved door with dwarven markings that warn us not to enter. The wizard and cleric find an enchanted ward on the door, likely to prevent our opening it without consequence. They proceed to concentrate on disarming it, only to have it explode in their faces. How lucky they were not hurt more severely.

With the element of surprise gone, we then all file into the following room, where some vague movement is heard. The room is quite ornate, replete with carefully crafted dwarven statues in two columns, leading toward a central large statue. There is some concrete rubble lying about but no obvious missing pieces from the statues. We then fan out to search the room when suddenly the large statue comes to life and begins to pummel various members of the party while two of the smaller statues spout deadly flame. Clever disabling of the fire statues allows us to at last focus on bringing down the behemoth. Clearly this barrow has not been successfully violated and should have some interesting finds related to the Goldforges. After a short rest, we delve a bit futher and a voice tells us to leave now. We find an abandoned forge downstairs, and then head up where we are ambusheded on the stairwell by a dwarven raiding party complete with berserkers and crossbowmen. We manage to take a few prisoner for questioning, but only after serious physical punishment to ourselves.

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From the Journal of Velish Tarmin

Day 1 Each day spent amongst these Northern barbarians grates upon my soul. Very few are even worthy of speaking to one such as I and yet they yammer and bleat at me as if I were their equal. But each indignity merely fuels my hate for the one they call Rary the Traitor. However, as the Wise Ones say “great misfortune often brings great opportunities”. Today a traveling entertainer by the name of Calumjans brought word to the Lord Drarigan from a group of Freemen I have chanced to associate with in the past. The messenger brought tidings of a great and ancient evil to the west that could be connected to one of the old noble families of Seltaren. When Lord Drarigan suggested I could help with the investigation I saw an opportunity to further ingratiate myself to such a powerful lord who one day might be prevailed upon to help win back my realm. In addition having worked with these Freemen before I knew that they were competent, well funded, and honorable (for barbarians).

Day 2 The stench of the city today is like a wet jackal that has been rolling in its own feces. How these heathens live so close together I will never understand. Perhaps they are all inbred simpletons. I have, however, been able acquire a new pomade for my moustache that does much to hide the reek of this place. The investigation into the Collinae began today. Accompanied by the brothers, Angus and Conor, and Calumjans we went to the last remaining estate of the Collinae family we could find. There we found a miserable fellow clinging to past glories while his world crumbles around him. Such will not be the fate of the great Tarmin clan; I WILL reclaim what is rightfully mine and bathe in the blood of my foes. This fellow did however prove of some use as he was able to identify a former lover of the lich we seek when she was still mortal. One Eric Albreda, it seems to have been driven mad by his infatuation with her and was committed into the asylum at the temple of Pelor for a number of years. Speaking to the priests revealed that Eric had written a substantial amount of his ravings down, but that we would need permission from a family member to get access to the records. Given that Lady Albreda is an archrival of Lord Drarigan this may prove difficult. Next stop was the hall of records to look for some keep in the western hills. Seeing how dingy, dull, and exceedingly pointless this endeavor was I stopped at a nearby tavern to see if I could learn anything about goings on in the Bright Lands.

Day 3 I think someone must have tried to poison me last night, that or these goatsons know nothing about how to make wine. I must not let on that I am in anyway incapacitated least an assassin takes this opportunity to strike. Truly though, it is as if an elephant has stepped on my head. In a desperate gamble the others have decided to go and seek an audience with Lady Albreta to get the necessary permission to see Eric Albreda’s scribblings. As expected such a foolish endeavor was doomed to failure. Poor Calumjams was even trying to barter favors from Lord Drarigan in exchange for information. If Lord Drarigan knew he’d be furious. As usual it was up to me to salvage victory from defeat. On the way in Lady Albreta’s daughters were quick to notice my magnificence and upon our departure implored me to attend a fete they were attending that night. An opportunity such as this could not be overlooked and I graciously agreed. After reporting to Lord Drarigan and obtaining additional invitations for my companions we set out. Alas, the party was attended only by sycophants and dullards who knew nothing of what it means to be civilized and simply mocked that which their small minds could not possibly hope to comprehend. It took all my strength of will not to stoop to their level and remind them of their inferiority. Instead, with the help of the minstrel, I danced the Dance of Kings. Though it had been some time since I had performed it I none the less stunned those lackwits into silence and aroused the passions of the Albreda daughters to such an extent that they insisted I ravish them immediately. We only just made it to the garden before they threw themselves upon me. Once I had satisfied their ardour somewhat I was a trifle to get the permission we needed to access the records of Eric Albreta.

Day 4 Such lascivious creatures these barbarians are, though they know nothing of the finer points of the sensual arts they almost make up for it in sheer enthusiasm. Fortunately my years of martial training served me well and I was able to endure until the dawn. I returned to my comrades in triumph with the signed note that was needed to unlock the secrets of the lich-lover. Immediately we proceeded to the temple were we began the exceedingly dull task of reviewing the ravings of a mad man. Such activities do not suit a man of action such as myself, but eventually the tedium paid off and we were able to discover suggestions of a secret chamber below a playhouse where the lich-to-be would perform occult rituals. Finally, a direct course of action! No more dithering around. To the Crypts! After a number of hours searching in the musty darkness, my enthusiasm for this venture has waned somewhat. At last we have found the tomb of the Calabran family, a long deceased line of warriors. After a few attempts we are able to get the doors open, but all attempts at stealth are lost as the cursed hinges screech like a thousand dying cats when door is opened. Inside we find the ghost of Eric Albreta waiting for the return of his lich women to return. Before we can gain any information from him though we are beset on all sides by the animated remains of the once proud Calabran warriors lead by a great armored warrior of old. Fortunately, they were no match for our skill and we handily defeated them. Alas, even after their defeat we were able to get little from the ghost. Investigating the chamber proved more useful as we found a jeweled skull that practically oozes evil and a number of documents and receipts referencing a particular dwarven clan by the name of Goldforge that resides in the Cairn Hills. Our mission complete, we sought to return to Lord Dragigan only to find our way blocked by the minions of Lady Albreda. A bloody melee ensued and even after we had gained the upper hand the whoresons stayed and fought. One of them even got a blow past my guard and nearly slew me! But it was not my time to die. Great deeds still remain to be done and the likes of Velish Tarmin will not go quietly into the night!

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A Dark Past Revealed
Wherein our heroes learn of a companion's history

Upon return from their investigation of the lair of Brinsop and the interrogation of Lord Algon Windstep for clues as to the plot and location of the necromancer Leurona Collinae, the group discovers that the daughter of the Senechal, Emeria has gone missing. Teng, having been courting Emeria, is distraught at the news as a dark fear grips his heart. The heroes launch into a search of the temple grounds to try and find clues as to Emeria’s disappearance. Clues point to Emeria having been abducted: the magic wards placed around her room have been tampered with, and two patrolling guards reveal that they were magically subdued.

Kalik senses Teng’s apprehension and inquires as to what he may fear. In doing so, Teng reveals that he is a fugitive from the mysterious Scarlet Brotherhood, a rogue nation of fanatical human Suel supremacists bent on seizing power to advance their cause. Teng fears that the Brotherhood may be involved in abducting Emeria as a way to lure him into a trap either to kill him for his betrayal or attempt to bring him back into the fold.

As the group searches the grounds for any hint of her abduction, Teng begins a fruitless search in the town for any witnesses as to her kidnappers. As he is about to give up hope, he is suddenly confronted by his former master, Uncle Donovan of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Donovan reveals that he intends to use Emeria as leverage to force Teng to return with him to the Brotherhood. Teng rebukes Donovan’s attempts to lure him away and Donovan attacks, intending to subdue Teng for his capture. As Teng and Donovan fight, the party is alerted by Kraw, Alistaar’s familiar and rush to his aid. Overwhelmed by the might of the heroes (and the assistance of the town guard), Uncle Donovan is defeated and chooses death over capture, killing himself before the party can subdue him.

Upon inspection of Donovan’s clothing, trace amounts of magical dust is found and the heroes discover the source of the dust is the tower of the wizard Sevarik. The heroes quickly travel to the tower, driven by Teng’s fear of Emeria’s fate should Donovan not return. Attempting to gain entry to the tower through subterfuge proves daunting to the party and they are attacked by Sevarik, his guards, and a quartet of Scarlet Brotherhood monks. Fighting bravely through difficult odds, weakened by their ordeal with Donovan, the heroes manage to triumph and defeat Sevarik and the monks, although Teng is nearly felled in the battle. The heroes discover Emeria alive and well and with the surrendered Sevarik in tow, they return to Castle Marae.

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