Legacy of the Last War

Session 1: Introductions.

17 Aryth, 998 YK

“I AM BJORN!!”

The words had barely echoed through the dining hall of Madame Freona’s Resthall as the burly man who uttered them strode into the room, leaving stunned diners and an open door with a fresh muddy boot print on its surface, in his wake.

A hooded figure stood up from a table and glared at the newcomer as he approached, only to be playfully smacked on the side of his head in response. The blow knocked the hood’s cowl back, revealing the horned, amber-eyed visage of a tiefling — who immediately replied with a punch to Bjorn’s face. In an instant, chaos reigned as furniture and crockery flew among the shrieks of the serving staff and the shouts of the combatants.

“Stop this at once!” Blinding bursts of light struck both figures as a warforged, its shield emblazoned with the symbol of the Sovereign Host, sprang into action. Unfortunately, the brawlers were too focused on each other to pay any attention.

A half-elf watched the spectacle from behind a copy of the Korranberg Chronicle and sighed. “Enough of this foolishness,” he muttered as he set the paper down. Reaching into his cloak, he produced a pair of tiny darts and a feather. “Asahya hasi.

Bjorn threw his head back and sank to his knees as his laughter somehow grew even louder and wilder. Within moments he was on curled into a wheezing, guffawing, snorting ball on the floor. As the others watched warily, the fit died down and he finally unfolded himself and sat up. “That was fun!” he announced, wiping tears from his eyes. “You!” He pointed a calloused finger at the tiefling. You know how to greet people properly! I like you!”

The tiefling briefly raised his eyebrows in puzzlement. Satisfied that the man sitting among the broken plates posed no further threat, he offered a hand to help him up. “Thank you, I think. I suppose introductions are in order. You may call me Ezios.”

“Pewter,” said the warforged as it touched a bruise on Ezios’ cheek; the wound glowed briefly and dissipated. “May the light of Dol Arrah and the Host shine upon you.”

“Reland,” the half-elf stated simply.

“Ho! Pleased to meet all of you!” Bjorn said with a toothy grin. “I am—”

“Bjorn,” Reland said with a sigh. “We figured that out.”

“Ah, then you must have heard of my exploits with the Seadragons of Lhazaar!”

“Uh,” Reland replied, “I don’t think—”

“Bartender!” Bjorn bellowed, completely ignoring the half-elf, “A round of drinks on me for my new friends!”

A halfling woman peeked over the bar. “If this Bjorn fellow doesn’t want me to call for the watch instead,” she called out sharply, “he’ll pay for the damage he caused first!”

Bjorn blinked and looked around at the upended furniture and broken dishes scattered around the dining area. “This always seems to happen to Bjorn,” he sighed as he picked up a table.

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Session 2: Screams at Dawn

18 Aryth, 998 YK

The party is wakened by screams and pleas for help outside Madame Freona’s. When they investigate they find a hysterical woman who claims that her family and several workers were taken while they wre working on the family’s peat farm by a goblin raiding party. The town watch admit that they are unable to help directly but are willing to provide a reward for anyone who can provide aid. The party accepts and the woman, who introduces herself as Millivent, takes them to where the kidnapping occurred.

A trail leads the party into the Burnt Wood, and before long they come across whal seems to be an overgrown barrow. They witness an exchange between a goblin and a cloaked figure, who mantions that his group will pay the goblins well for more artifacts, and commands thew goblin to kill anyone else who comes into the area. The cloaked figure then disappears.

The party manages to fight their way into the barrow and rescue the prisoners, much to the relief and gratitude of Millicent and the rest of the townsfolk.

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Session 3: Broken Arrow

20 Aryth, 998 YK

Pewter awakens to find herself in a wagon. When she looks out, she discovers that the party is among a caravan heading out of Olath to Angwar Keep. It turns out that Pewter had somehow become unresponsive over the course of the night (although the glyph on her forehead was still faintly glowing), and so the party had decided to head to the city of Aruldusk to find someone to see what the issue was.

The other members of the caravan were Betha, a House Cannith magewright, and a pair of teamsters with a load of stone destined for the keep.

Near midday a tremendous crash is heard and a plume of smoke is seen some ten miles away. The party decide to investigate and to meet up with the cravan at a camp area further up the road.

When the party come close to where they believe to be the source of the disturbance, they encounter a group of zombies. After a hard-fought battle, they discover several things: one of the zombies was wearing the uniform of a House Lyrandar skyship captain, and another bore the Mark of Finding. The party finds a few coins and a half of a set of Sending Stones on the corpse of the captain.

Finally, they come to the site of a crashed airship, the Lucky Arrow. There are no survivors among the crew; someone or something had turned them into zombies. The party fights the crew and the ship’s cargo – a pair of living burning hands spells – and investigate the wreck. The captain’s log reveals that the ship was chartered two weeks ago to head into the Mournland with an expedition and was scheduled to return to Aruldusk.

After salvaging what they could (including a Lifting Platform) from the hold of the wreck, the party meets up with the others in the caravan and proceed to Angwar Keep.

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Session 4: An Icy Reception

22 Aryth, 998 YK

The caravan makes its way south along the Orien trade route for another two days without incident. On the afternoon of the third day, the wind picks up and the air turns chilly. Before long, snow starts to fall – an oddity for this region of Thrane. Before long, the flurries turn into a full-fledged blizzard and before long it is difficult to see more than a few hundred feet ahead. The snow begins to stick, and despite the enchantments placed on the wagons’ wheels, it is only a matter of time before the road becomes impassable.

A faint glow appears ahead out of the blowing snow that slowly grows brighter until the welcome sight of the lights from the buildings outside of Angwar Keep appear. When they finally enter the village square, the caravan members go their separate ways and Bjorn, Pewter and Reland make their way to the village’s inn, the Sleeping Giant, to take shelter from the storm.

The taproom is warm, smells of freshly-cut wood – and is guarded by a grossly fat bald human who barely fits into his armor. Poj (presumably his name, as it’s the only thing he says) calmly or stupidly receives Bjorn’s welcoming slap to the head without reacting. Some of the other people in the room, however, are not, and tensions soon rise.

Two other travelers, an elf and a tiefling, quietly sit at the bar and sip their beer while warily watching the newcomers

The commotion caused by Bjorn’s introduction is quickly and suddenly interrupted by the sound of breaking glass. A group of small, winged creatures that appear to be made entirely of ice – ice mephits – burst through the windows and start indiscriminately attacking the patrons. Clouds of icy mist breathed by the creatures quickly fill the room while people scatter.

Shards of ice fly throughout the taproom as everyone springs into action. The elf dives under a table and stabs upward, impaling and killing a mephit that was standing on it. Reland and Pewter’s magic blast and incapacitate more of the creatures while Bjorn’s maul and the tiefling’s sword finish them off. Poj charges at a mephit before tripping over a chair (and attacks it in retaliation).

Finally, all it quiet in the common room except for the banging of the shutters and the frigid wind whistling through the shattered windows. The elf and tiefling introduce themselves as Bliss and Nebrian, respectively – two travelers who also got stranded by the blizzard and decided to stay at the inn “for the beer”. The entertainment was an added bonus.

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Session 5: Winter is Coming (Sooner Than You Think)

25 Aryth, 998 YK

After a thankfully uneventful night, Reland goes into the taproom to find the broken windows boarded up, the fire blazing in the fireplace to keep out the early morning chill, and an older , bearded man who abruptly grabs an ornate walking stick, tosses a few coins on the bar, and leaves upon seeing him. When asked about the man, Randak the barkeep could only say that he arrived about a month ago, keeps to himself, and spends most of his time at the keep, probably as an overseer of some sort.

After breakfast, Bjorn convinces Reland to go with him to see the village theocrat to dig up more information about the Lucky Arrow. The others opt to head to the keep to pose as workers in order to find more information about what is happening in the area.

Bliss, Nebrian and Pewter easily found work in the outer yard of the keep. Asking around, they find out that the gentleman that Reland encountered at the Sleeping Giant is presumably a member of the Church named Aversten, who took over supervision of the keep’s repairs. He insisted on the installation of ornamental quartz blocks on the interior of the keep’s walls. He was also overheard mentioning that he is a member of a branch known as the Sanctum, but no one knows what exactly the duties of that organization are.

Bjorn and Reland meet with the theocrat, who admits that there is very little information he can provide about airship routes, other than to inquire at the House Orien enclave in Aruldusk. Among other things, he mentions that this recent cold snap the area was experiencing had been intense and yet, strangely, at regular intervals. The pair head to the keep to touch base with the others and hire themselves onto the work crew. After several hours, Bjorn manages to start yet another commotion among the workers. Bliss, Pewter, and Nebrian sneak into the inner ward of the keep in the confusion.

Nebrian tries to subdue a guard in an attempt to steal his uniform and somehow gain access to either the armory or treasury, but the guard manages to shout before he is knocked unconscious. With the help of Pewter and Bliss, the guard is quickly dragged down the stairs and into the inner courtyard; hopefully the guard could be bound and hidden in the stables there.

Meanwhile, several quartz slabs embedded on the inner wall flare to life and a stream of pale light radiates from each one to a point in the middle of the yard. A soundless explosion rocks the keep and a rift appears in the courtyard. A wave of intense cold rushes out from the portal, chilling Bjorn, Reland. and several of the workers while instantly freezing the other unfortunate laborers to death. As the surviving workmen flee the keep, several more of the mephits the party fought the night before come through the portal. A pulse of energy streaks from the bodies of the frozen laborers to the portal, then radiates out to a pair of large snowdrifts in the corners of the yard – which then form themselves into large, icy human-like figures that rush toward Bjorn and Reland.

While the chaos erupts around him, Bjorn looks up and notices Aversten, leaning on his cane, standing on the keep’s battlements, intently watching the events unfold below.

Alerted by the sounds of battle, Bliss, Pewter, and Nebrian unceremoniously dump the guard in a stable stall and rush to the outer yard, where the ground has been turned into a slippery sheet of ice as more mephits emerge from the rift. Bjorn and Bliss manage to do significant damage to two of the panels, but not enough to affect the portal, before being set upon by the ice creatures.

Eventually the party, aided by a handful of guards, destroy the creatures and fight their way to the portal. The portal winks out of existence and the panels on the inner walls grow dark. When the party members look back up up at the ramparts, Aversten is nowhere to be seen.

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Session 6: Night of the Straw Men

27 Aryth, 998 YK

In the aftermath of the battle inside Angwar Keep, there is no trace of Aversten to be found. Father Sarhin is obviously shocked by Aversten’s actions. At best, the Sanctum operative was using the workmen at the keep as test subjects for a new defense system. At worst, Aversten was committing treason by sabotaging the repairs. Both reasons were blasphemous to any sane citizen of Thrane or follower of the Silver Flame. Sarhin pledges to request the Church to conduct a thorough investigation into Aversten’s doings.

In gratitude, each party member is given an item from the keep’s armory. Reland and Nebrian are each given an Alchemy Blade. Bjorn receives a pair of Byeshk throwing axes, Pewter is given a Flametouched iron holy symbol, and Bliss is given a silvered longsword. In addition, each member is also given a document giving them the use of a warhorse while within Thrane’s borders.

Bjorn, Reland, and Pewter leave the keep to head south to Aruldusk, leaving instructions for Bliss and Nebrian to catch up with them down the road.

The trio arrive at the village of Steeplefall a couple of days later. They are each given a small straw doll by an old lady at a booth on the outskirts of town. Upon arriving at the town square, they discover that the village is in the middle of a festival, in which the highlight is the burning of the dolls in a bonfire in the village square to symbolize the fresh start that the new year brings.

The celebrations are soon interrupted by a pair of pumpkin-headed scarecrows, which deliver an ominous threat to a village priest, Yanov Letru, before attacking. Thanks to a Hideous Laughter spell, the party is able to separate the assailants and defeat them.

In gratitude, Yanov presents the party with a voucher worth 150 gp that could be redeemed at the Church of the Silver Flame at Aruldusk or at any House Kundarak enclave. In addition, he also offers another voucher worth 300 gp if they could also deliver a box to the House Orien enclave as well.

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