Forgotten Things

Is it 6 am already?

21 Olarune, 22nd Bell
Having destroyed Blacktree’s doomsday device, the squad is startled by a hissing gargoyle, who turns out to be nothing more than a House Sivis messenger, with a request from the Lord Major to meet him at the Gray Dragon Inn, Platinum district, at 9th Bell the next morning to report the status of their investigation. No sooner had they arrived at the Sedulous Student than they were confronted by a cloaked man bearing a House Cannith signet ring. His message was simple and to the point: “If you would know the truth of Bonal Geldem’s murder, go to the Broken Anvil tavern at dawn.”

22 Olarune, 6th Bell, an hour pre-dawn
Our heroes awoke early in order to make their dawn appointment with the unknown House Cannith representative. The Broken Anvil tavern is located in Lower Dura, and can be a 30 minute ride by skycoach from their accommodations at the Sedulous Student. Not ten minutes into the trip, however, their commute was interrupted by a swarm of goblins on soarsleds, led by none other than Aric Blacktree himself! Blacktree’s fury was borne clearly on his face, as was the obvious shape of a dragonmark, crawling up the left side of his neck and face from beneath his collar. A ‘mark he did not have when the squad had rescued him four years ago. A large ‘mark, indeed, and that could only mean trouble.

The aerial battle, many hundreds of feet above the ground levels of the city, harried by goblin archers on the nimble, swift, glowing discs of magic, seemed to be going well for our friends, with Kel knocking Blacktree off his soarsled early in the fight. Davian and Kel even dared to attempt to board two ‘sleds, grappling with the red-haired goblins for control, until Kel was knocked from his perch. Falling dozens of feet, he took one last, desperate shot at the goblin Davian was fighting with… and missed his target, piercing instead his own companion! Davian fell through the air, confident that if he didn’t bleed out before he could activate the feather token given him by ir’Gadden, he would most likely be caught by one of the feather-fall traps permanently cast on the middle- and upper bridges of the city. Davian knew that Kel’s melee armament was woefully inadequate should any goblins attack the elf, so as he plummeted past the bridge whose trap had caught Kel, he helpfully threw a brace of knives, albeit with abyssal aim, at… er, to his friend.

Fortunately, everyone survived the battle, only a little worse for wear, but with a healthy new respect for the unique magic and related dangers of the city. Time did not allow for a search for Aric Blacktree’s body, and it’s assumed he survived his fall, just as had Kel and Dav. They carried on to their meeting with the House Cannith representative.

Who turned out to be the beautiful Lady Elaydren d’Vown, flanked by the man who acted as her messenger. She claimed Geldem was working for her to recover a family heirloom, locked away for centuries in a lost foundry that dates back to pre-Galifar Sharn. Geldem had uncovered the ancient Cannith journal the squad found on his body (Dav at first lied about having it, setting an antagonistic tone for the entire meeting), but only the magic of the Cannith blood, and an appropriate symbol of the House, would reveal what was written inside. Using her ring, Lady Elaydren was able to read the journal, which placed the lost foundry deep beneath Dorasharn Tower, fifty-seven levels below the tower’s present sewer system. She offered the team 1000 gold galifars to enter the foundry and recover the heirloom, an adamantine plate in the shape of a seven-pointed star about the size of one’s hand. Davian bargains with her, but she draws the line at 1300 galifars, suggesting that there are other groups who would be willing to do the job for less. She also intimated that the assassin who killed Geldem for the journal was probably hunting them as well, most likely an agent of the Lord of Blades, the mysterious leader of a warforged cult based within the Mournland.

In parting, Lady d’Vown mentions that Geldem had recommended any expedition bring plenty of resources of fire, but she is unsure of what he meant specifically. She also provides them with a map of the sewers below Dorasharn tower (hastily copied from the journal by her bodyguard), where somewhere beyond the E-213 valve cluster they will find a sealed door with the same archaic symbol as on the journal. An advance of 300 galifars seals the bargain, and she returns the journal to them stating, “you will need this, I’m sure”.

Taking their leave of Lady Elaydren d’Vown of House Cannith, our team leaves the Broken Anvil and Lower Dura in their waiting skycoach, climbing between the soaring towers of Sharn upwards to the heights of the Platinum District, and their meeting with Lord Major (Ret.) Bren ir’Gadden, at the prestigious Gray Dragon Inn.

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The Townhouse of DOOM!

…Where Davian snuck in to find a room with several goblins milling about. He managed to eliminate one of the scrawny creatures, but before he could take down another he heard the hissing of a pair of reptilian drakes attacking Pint at the front door. As soon as the sounds of battle filled the room, two doors on the east wall opened, a large half-orc wielding a longbow emerging from one, a mated pair of razorclaw shifters from the other. These three had dyed their hair a garish red-orange; perhaps they belonged to a local gang? The fight went well for our squad at first, but things soon became critical as Kel’iah was taken down by the surviving drake; the half-orc kept muttering “wizard dies first,” and loosing arrows at Veneficus; and Swaggart dropped the female shifter, but her mate then focused all his rage on the Cleric, charging across the room and leaping over furniture to tackle Swaggart, ignoring all attacks by any others, only to be physically dragged off the Templar to a corner and finished by Plunkett. Soon after, all the enemies lay dead.
After a short rest to catch their breath and patch themselves up, the team was shocked to hear what sounded like a lightning strike from upstairs, followed by what could only be described as an earthquake, the walls and floor bucking wildly. Immediately a voice could be heard shouting, “What’s happening? Check those over there!”
Again, Pint and Davian led the way, creeping silently upstairs, where a peek through the double door revealed a room consisting of four corridors surrounding a central block. In each corner, tables covered with components of some kind of eldritch machine hummed and crackled with arcane energy, which with increasing frequency would build up to a critical point, causing a discharge of black lightning from one corner to another, leaving flash spots across their vision and the scent of ozone in the air. As soon as the bolt stopped, one of the two corners would suffer the earthquake-like effect, the floor and walls rippling like water out from the table of equipment.
Standing in front of the table closest to the door was an emaciated, horrific figure out of a nightmare. Possibly human at one time, the thing now had a pair of tentacles emerging from its back, and where its eyes should have been there were only dark, ruined sockets. Despite this, it immediately turned when Davian snuck into the room and shouted a warning to whoever else was there. From around two corners charged two humans, and the three tried to hold our heroes to the landing. Once the dolgaunt fell, it was a fairly simple matter to convince the two “humans,” actually twin changelings, to surrender. Speaking quickly, Davian convinced the two changelings, Gan and Xan, that they’d been had. Not so simple was disabling the machine, as the frequency of the lightning discharges and quakes were increasing rapidly. The entire contraption was a huge bomb, designed to destroy the base of Dalannan Tower, bringing down the mile-high structure and potentially a significant portion of the entire Menthis Plateau, killing tens of thousands!
Gan and Xan seemed to be just two unemployed dockworkers, who took the job because the pay was too good to pass up; even if they had died, what little they had received would feed their families for weeks. Davian gave them a handy sum of gold, hiring them to be his eyes and ears on the docks of Sharn. He also managed to learn the name of their employer: one Aric Blacktree, one-time aide to Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden, missing these last four years since his ordeal and rescue from the hands of dolgrims who chained him in the aura of a mysterious, dragonmark-like sigil found underneath the broken flagstones of the Tower of Scars, now within the borders of the Mournland.
This crisis has been averted, but the squad now has more questions than they have answers. What is Blacktree up to? More important, why would he want to bring down the tower that houses Morgrave University at its heights? What of the dead professor’s magical journal, and his killer, or the killer’s employer? Are they the same person, maybe Blacktree? Are these events even related?

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After the Battle, Part 2

The squad-mates lower their weapons, and Davian Ashe steps forward to explain things to the dwarf sergeant. Several clues as to the identity of Professor Geldem’s murderer are discovered, which serve to convince the Watch leader as to the good intentions of our heroes. He has his two Watchmen cohorts begin to question the locals, as he leads the team back to the site of the ceremony, where the Lord Major is being questioned by a Watch lieutenant. The Lord Major’s obvious agitation at events shortly convinces the team of his innocence in masterminding these events. In short order, Davian and Kel have gone off scouting several sites nearby that might have made good observation posts for the assassin, finding more clues; indeed, it seems the killer may be a warforged, perhaps a scout model from the looks of things.

After the Watch lieutenant finishes her questioning of the lord Major and the few remaining guests, the Watch departs except for a few who disperse to question more locals for eyewitness reports. Lord ir’Gadden then confides his thanks to the team for their swift action, and hires them as his personal Inquisitives to look into the matter further. He tells our heroes that they will be staying at the Sedulous Student Inn, telling them to spare no expense in tracking down the perpetrator and bringing him or her to justice.

The once-scattered companions, now united by circumstance or fate, collect their belongings and meet at the posh-looking inn, a relatively small establishment that caters to well-to-do scholars visiting the University, located in the Seventh Tower district. The plump Halfling proprietress promptly provides for their needs, even going so far as to secure clothing more, ahem, appropriate to the neighborhood for those who wish it. All paid for by the good Lord ir’Gadden, of course! The team settles in for the night, after the finest meal and bardic entertainment any of them have had in many a long year.

21 Olarune 998YK – Evening, 19th Bell

After a wonderful breakfast, the companions head out to conduct their investigation of the events of the evening before. Inquisitive papers in hand, certified by the House Sivis enclave in Dragon Towers, Middle Central Plateau, they begin hours of arduous questioning of locals, searching for clues, bribery and intimidation of the locals, leading them eventually to the lowest tier of Menthis Plateau, where the bases of the towers high above are hundreds of feet in diameter, and the townhomes jut out from the tower walls like teeth on a cog. Veneficus pinpoints the specific home they are looking for, as the stench of dark magic is overwhelming, nearly a palpable force that even the mundane amongst the team can feel on a subsonic level.

Butted against the tower base as it is, there is only one way in they can see. A mere distraction for the many pedestrians, and a struggle with the the lock gets them into the front door…

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Murder in Sharn! (yawn...)

During the fight with the Mourning Haunt, a storm has broken over the city, and the downpour makes visibility limited even by the light of everbright lanterns. Davian leads his comrades down the tower a couple of stories, to a lower courtyard where he witnessed a dark-cloaked figure assault the elderly Professor Bonal Geldem, an attendee of the Memorial service. The narrow skybridge connecting to Kelsa Spire is dark, lit only by flashes of lightning, which reveal Geldem’s recently slain body lying in a pool of blood and rainwater. The team can’t help but notice that the everbright lanterns that should be lighting the way have all been destroyed, smashed. The scene is obviously an ambush for the unassuming Professor.

A quick inspection of the body reveals few clues beyond the man’s identification papers, some fine writing materials, and a small, blank journal, which is quickly stashed on Veneficus’ person as cries from surrounding windows call for the Watch. Davian and Plunkett are certain they notice something skulking in the shadows, but closer inspection garners nothing. Whatever it was, a cat or rodent, pigeon or spiretop drake, is gone.

The Watch, however, is rapidly closing in from a couple of directions, their shrill whistles announcing their approach somewhat sooner than the sound of their hobnail boots. A sizable skycoach has landed at the upper courtyard, supposedly carrying a large contingent of the Watch to investigate the attack on the Memorial Service. As our heroes hastily make their way back to the site of the service, calling for the attention of Lord Major ir’Gadden, three Watchmen come into view, their dwarf leader leveling his crossbow and demanding the squad surrender their weapons and explain themselves.

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20 Olarune, 998YK - Evening, 18th Bell

Not exactly certain why they chose to attend after all, our heroes find the Ceremony of Remembrance to be rather tedious, with a bit of a funerary atmosphere. It doesn’t help that there is obviously a storm brewing, and the heavy clouds are threatening to release on this chilly late winter night. After a brief greeting and thanks for coming, Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden yields the podium to someone the group doesn’t recognize, who proceeds to drone on about the horrors of war and the sacrifices made by all, especially on that Day four years ago. The group splits up, after briefly remaking each other’s acquaintance, to mingle with the crowd of displaced Cyran nobles and officers. At least the event is catered, with plenty of good food and drink.

Not 20 minutes into the event, however, the door to the small courtyard bursts open to an unearthly howl, and a large monstrous figure, obscured by heavy gray mist coming from its body, attacks! The team leaps to action, quickly bottling the horror in the doorway where it can’t attack the attendees. They notice the mist coming off its form smells like the mists of the Mournland, of death and despair. As the guests scream in terror and flee in panic (“the Mourning! The Mourning has come to Sharn!”), Lord Major ir’Gadden tries to manage the unarmed and defenseless guests, attempting to herd them towards the main stairwell exiting the courtyard.

The fight is long, for the beast is tenacious and tough. Fortunately, it seems to be focused primarily on our group of ex-soldiers, ignoring for the most part the civilians. As the killing blow lands and it falls to the stones, however its body evaporates into more sickly dead-gray mist, which briefly forms into the very image of the Mark seen in the Tower of Scars four years ago. Memories come unbidden to our friends, of their dreams and those echoing words, as the glowing blue symbol dissipates.

A short scan of the mystical remnants left by the monster reveals to Veneficus that this creature was a Mourning Haunt, a demon related in some unknown manner to the Mournland. He deduces that as such, it must have been summoned by someone in the city, as there is not enough residual arcane energy in the immediate area for the ritual to have been performed nearby. But who could have summoned it, and more importantly, why?

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20 Olarune, 998YK - Sunrise, 7th Bell

Breland; Sharn
Your gaze falls upon a letter on your nightstand, delivered to you recently by a House Orien courier. Unfolding the thick vanilla-colored paper, you once again read the elegant script. It’s an invitation from a wealthy and respected nobleman by the name of Bren ir’Gadden, and he has invited you to attend a ceremony of remembrance, tonight, as his special guest.

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After the Battle

Lord Major ir’Gadden took command, instructing the squad to escort himself and Blacktree to the garrison at Kennrun. He deemed the now-slowly approaching mists too dangerous to reconnoiter at that time, with so few under his command. It seemed clear to the group that the sudden silence from the war zone now engulfed in the fog had unsettled the Lord Major, but like any good officer he was restraining his fears in the face of his men. Soon the squad came across a lone figure intent on heading into the disaster; a young human by the name of Veneficus, who claimed to be a Brelish war wizard whose orders were to report to the commander of the Brelish forces at the Battle of Searun Road. A quick inspection of his papers convinceed ir’Gadden of the truth of Veneficus’ tale, and the Lord Major ordered him to fall in with the rest of the team.

The next day’s travel brought the squad upon a flood of refugees fleeing whatever catastrophe had engulfed the nation of Cyre. Farmers, villagers, craftsmen, and a few soldiers from all nations in the battle mingled together, headed away from what some were already calling “the Mourning.” Rumors abounded, each more fanciful than the next. The Queen had attempted a desperate ritual gone terribly awry; a House Cannith forgehold suffered some kind of magical meltdown; dragons from Argonnessen had cursed the land to stop the war; even the gods were blamed, for many more reasons than there are gods. One rumor was heard with slightly more frequency than some others, however; no one who was caught in the mists survived. And as you looked over your shoulder, you could see that the mist was following, slower than it had, so suddenly, the day before, until it reached approximately the border, where the slowly coiling dead-gray fog stopped. Once you left it behind, the unease and slightly sick feeling everyone in the small troop had felt since the day before faded.

Upon arrival in the army camp outside the town of Kennrun, Lord Major ir’Gadden thanked you all for your service to the army and especially himself, and in a rare moment of self-depreciation stated, “I owe you, all of you, my very life. Please, call on me if you ever need anything, and I will do all in my power to grant it.” He then dismissed you, saying that you would be receiving new orders shortly. The six squadmates made their way into the camp, seeking the mess tent for a hot meal, and the quartermaster for bunks for the night. None of you saw or heard from Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden again.

Two years later, the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold ended the Last War, and two years after that you find yourself waking in your room in Sharn, the City of Towers, the images and echoes of your nightmares fading with the sunrise. Four years after the Battle of Searun Road, the memories of the Day of Mourning still haunt your sleep. You were lucky. If you had been a few hundred yards farther east, you would have died like so many others – your friends, comrades, and enemies in the War, the civilians of Cyre, and the soldiers who fought there.

Your dreams aren’t just about the nightmare that was the Mourning. Words run through them, urgent whispers that remind you that you were spared for some purpose:

Six at the brink of the Desolation stand as one against the Tempest’s roar.

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20 Olarune, 994YK, Early afternoon

Davian and Plunkett decide to make a quick survey of the terrain round the tower, and are surprised to see a squad of zombies shambling towards the tower! Strange orange lightning flashes across the sky, followed by a rumble of thunder that shakes the ground beneath their feet. A gust of wind, unseasonably warm, shakes the dry branches of the trees, and Davian spots two men wearing the colors and insignia of the Order of the Emerald Claw in the background, and a third figure, a gaunt woman dressed in green and black scowling at him from under a tree and gesturing towards the tower. With a quick lunge at the nearest walking corpse, he rushed back inside, shouting “We’ve got company!” Plunkett took the chance to block one of the openings in the walls while his squad-mates prepared themselves. Kel bounced off the walls to reach the top of the central wall, affording himself a high vantage from which to unleash a devastating volley from his greatbow. Pint scrambled up onto the east wall, and was able to both attack and remain unseen by the enemies below. Swaggart had his hands full trying to restrain the exhausted Lord Major from entering the fray. The eastern sky seemed to catch fire – clouds, fog, and the air itself ignited in a terrible conflagration – and the battle was joined.
The Emerald Claw agents had badly underestimated their foes. They must have figured these soldiers were mere conscripts. The zombies encroaching on the breach in the west wall were devastated in mere seconds, freeing that way for the allies to exit the tower and flank the enemy from outside, while Plunkett and Davian kept the remainder of the undead bottle-necked in the southern entrance. All the while a huge bank of gray mist, lit from within by a raging fire, swept down the Saerun Road from the east, engulfing the battlefield below. Meanwhile, Kel rained arrows from above on the leader, though she barely had time to bolster her minions. With their rotting reinforcements dropping around them, the two Claw sergeants at first pressed the attack, but as soon as the first fell, the other tried to flee. He did not succeed in that, either. Whatever the Emerald Claw wanted here, they failed to get it. The sky was illuminated in lurid orange and red, casting strange shadows across rolling banks of gray fog, while great tendrils of fiery lightning reached across it.
Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden again expressed his thanks, even though his noble-born pride was again reasserting itself. Wary of another attack, he demanded that the squad escort him and his aide to friendly lines. But as he raised the issue, the five notice something ominous. They can no longer see the fighting on the road below – it is hidden in the gray fog. Occasional flashes of fire are all they can see in the mist that hides the battleground, and the echoes of distant screams reach their ears, briefly.
But then…
Deathly silence falls over the hillside and the ruined tower. You still can’t see the battlefield below, and no more cries reach your ears. That dead-gray mist hangs in the air like a wall around Cyre – too still, too quiet. Something terrible has happened.

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20 Olarune, 994YK, Late morning

One way or another, you have found yourself in the employ of the Brelish army, and today’s battle is again on the Saerun Road near the border with Cyre. Forces from both Thrane and Aundair have joined the fight, reinforced by Zil wands, Valenar calvary, and mercenaries from both Droaam and Darguun, and now the Cyran defenders are vastly outnumbered.

The platoon captain selected five members of Gryphon Company, Davain Ashe, Swaggart, Kel’iah Dek’ar, Pint, and Plunkett, for a special ops mission to scout the ruined Tower of Scars overlooking the field of battle from a high hillside some distance away. There are two goals of the mission: 1) it’s possible the enemy is using it as a supply depot or as a command post, and 2) the Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden was captured in a skirmish a few days ago. If he is being held in the ruins, rescue him and bring him to safety.
The team approached the ruined tower jutting up from the hillside, silhouetted against the gray sky. A few leafless trees grew taller than the tower’s crumbling walls, and a mound of rubble stood piled near the entrance. Davian and Pint, scouting ahead through the sparse brush, could see no sign of activity, even through the gaping holes at the entrance and in the west wall. A low moan was heard, but the scouts were unsure if it was a breeze blowing through the gaps in the walls, or a sign of hidden danger. The team cautiously crept closer. What they could see were several mounds of dirt, like large gopher holes, both in the rubble at the entrance and in the broken flagstone floor just inside the tower. As soon as Davian stepped foot inside, four kruthik hatchlings burst from the holes and attacked! The fight was on, and in seconds more kruthiks emerged from the mound of rubble just outside, separating the party. The hatchlings were proving to be nothing but a nuisance, but then the situation became more deadly as two twisted foulspawn emerged from hiding behind the wall that split the interior into two rooms. The dolgrims attempted to use the kruthiks to their advantage, but the bugs were never able to converge on any one of the team, and fell quickly. The dolgrims soon fell as well, but not without getting a few good strikes in.
During the fight, it was seen that two men were being held prisoner by the dolgrims. Chained to the walls, one was wearing his armor and seemed to have been tortured for the sheer pleasure the foulspawn took in it. This man indeed proved to be Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden, and he identified the other man as Aric Blacktree, his aide and scion of a wealthy merchant family in Sharn. Unfortunately, Blacktree was apparently being used as an experiment, for his manacles held him fast within the area of a strange arcane mark that seemed to have been hidden under the flagstones of the tower floor. Mark of prophecyThe sigil, similar in design to the dragonmarks of the Great Houses, swirled like veins of the earth, bulging upward and visibly pulsing with magical power. After some debate, Plunkett stepped into the circle and freed Aric, who seemed catatonic. Left alone for a couple minutes, he would curl into a fetal position on the floor until moved. The Lord Major informed the party that the dolgrims had ambushed his party, slaughtered his escort, and brought them here bound and blindfolded. They kept Blacktree chained in the area of the Mark, and seemed interested if it had any effects, constantly checking his skin as if looking for something. A study of the sigil did have an effect; anyone who did so experienced a flashing montage of images, and “heard” a strange verse echoing in their head in their native tongue; “Six at the brink of the Desolation stand as one against the Tempest’s Roar.” Davian scrapes a sample of the Mark into a vial, and realizes that studying the contents has the same effect. It was decided that the party and their charges would set camp, and return in the morning.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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