Rise of the Demon Lord

Why'd It Have To Be Snakes

Why’d It Have To Be Snakes

“We’re going snake hunting.”

Toby might have said it, but the Scions were all thinking it. Judging from what they’d read on the cage wall, the children had been sold to serpent people as slaves. Nobody was sure exactly what that meant, but whoever these slavers were, they were going to die.

Sitting around the table at the Green Tankard Tavern, it seemed like a solid plan. Kat had listened intently to the details of their latest mission, seemed impressed at Abelarde’s tale of heroics and tenacity, while she sipped at her bowl of warm broth. “That makes sense. The Yuan-ti have been known to take slaves. Figures that those Zelboss scum would make a few gold pieces off of children.”

Yelena leaned forward in her chair, elbows resting on the table, and asked, “You know where the children are?”

“Haven’t the foggiest.” Kat put her bowl down. “Najara is an enormous piece of land. Dozens of ruined cities, not to mention smaller keeps and the like. Hundreds of square miles filled with Yuan-ti, Nagas, and other nastiness.” She looked down at her empty bowl. “Those poor kids.”

“You seem to know about the area,” Toby noted.

Kat shrugged. “I travel a lot. I hear stories. But Kyos, he’s been there. Yeah, a few times I think. He hangs out at the Fisher’s Friend Pub. That’s the man you want to talk to.”

The Fisher’s Friend Pub was anything but friendly. The big window out front had planks across the broken glass pane, and the bit of fresh air that managed to flow into the building couldn’t wash away the stink of fish and blood. Despite the early hour, there were still at least a half dozen men in the pub. All eyes were on the Scions as they walked through the front doors, and none of them were kind. Toby could taste the tension, and smiled. Lucan remained by the door, and Abelarde…

“Aren’t you going in there,” Yelena asked. “Fearless leader?” she added sarcastically.

“Mocking me isn’t very priestly,” Abelarde replied as he stared at the door. “If I think you’re becoming too demonly, I’ll tell Toby to chop your head off.”

“Well you’ll have to go in there to tell him,” Yelena said.

Abelarde clutched his holy symbol. “Maukeen -”

“Waukeen,” Yelena corrected.

" – give me strength." Abelarde pushed the door open and bumped into Lucan’s restraining hand. “Better wait a second,” the Eladrin cautioned. “Toby’s busy getting us a table.”

Abelarde counted the number of times the Barbarian slammed the man’s head against the table. After twenty, Abelarde decided to approach and tapped Toby on the shoulder. “Uh, the table is filthy now. Look at that. Face and teeth all over the place.”

Toby let the unconscious man hit the floor. “S’okay. I can get us another one.”

“Hey, stop beating up all my customers!” shouted the bartender. He pulled out a club that had clearly been used a great number of times and set it on the bartop. “Now what do you want!”

“We’re looking for a man named Kyos,” Abelarde said.

A hook dragged across the table beside them. “That’d be me. You boys have a seat.”

Kyos was an older man, but one who looked like he was no stranger to physicality. He looked at the Scions with an adventurer’s glimmer in his eye. His other eye was an empty socket. He pulled his stein close with the metal hook that emerged from his wrist where his right hand once was. “What do you want?”

Abelarde sat down across from Kyos, while Toby stood behind the Bard. Lucan and Yelena remained by the door, surveying the room that had resumed its normal commotion. “We’re looking for information on Najara. I understand you’ve been there.”

“I have. Most of me came back.” He drank from the stein. “You looking for treasure?”

“No. We’re looking for the children that were taken by the Lady of Shadows. Ones that were sold as slaves to the snake people.”

Kyos paused before bringing the stein up to his lips. “Let it go boys,” he said before swallowing.

“Excuse me?”

Kyos asked, “You have kids Abelarde?”

“No, I can’t say that I do.”

“It’s a dangerous notion, having kids in these times. You do everything you can to keep them alive, keep them safe. And even then…”

Kyos tightened his grip on the stein and drained the contents down his throat. He brought the cup away from his lips and knocked it against the edge of the table to get the bartender’s attention. “They snatched my girl right off the street. Cut her brother’s throat, and they stole her away. I went through a number of the Lady’s men before I got to someone who could give me information. Killed a few more Zelboss bandits just to be sure.” The bartender brought another stein. Kyos drank two deep gulps. “You know anything about the Yuan-ti?”

“A little.”

“They’re an ancient race of snake people. They used to be quite powerful, huge empires, that sort of thing. Then that all went to hell, and now they live in ruins while they try to regain their glory. To them, humans are cattle.”

“One group has taken an interest in young slaves. I found out where they were, rounded up my usual motley crew, and off we went to get my daughter back.”

Kyos turned his wrist slightly, letting the light from the lanterns overhead dance across his metal hook. “We… were not prepared. It cost me my team, my hand, my eye, and Belenna.”

“Your daughter?”

Kyos finished off his mead. “There are parents here in Loudwater that would like their children back. I couldn’t do it. In the end, I couldn’t even…” He tilted his cup, having forgotten it was empty. He set it down and motioned for another. “You think you can do better, be my guest. Go save them. Please.”

View
The Shadow Lady

The Shadow Lady

- Scions stay at the Green Tankard Tavern.
- Meet Selga and her daughter Katherine for breakfast.
- Kat mentions rumors about the Lady of the Shadows (that she pays off patrols to look the other way)
- Says that Calla, the owner of the General Store, has been harassed by the Lady’s people.
- Calla tells Scions that a Teifling named Narrows has been telling her to pay protection money or get hurt.
- Question around town, almost every business is paying Narrows the protection money.
- Scions set up a stakeout in case Narrows returns.
- Abelarde and Yelena confront Narrows
- Narrows bolts, Lucan stealth follows him.
- Finds hideout is an old abandoned building.
- Scions hit the building, nobody home.
- Basement has locked door, mystic decorations in hallway.
- Lucan barely manages to find a glyph of warding trap and deactivates it.
- Scions enter room, Lady of the Shadows and her men are vampires.
- Fodder is mostly cleared out.
- Lady charms Lucan (multiple times) who attacks Yelena and Abelarde.
- Group takes a severe beating, but no deaths.
- Manage to force the Lady to flee in a mist.
- Search coffins and such.
- Inside the Lady’s tomb is Narrows, dead.
- Also, 4000gp.
- Scions bring back Narrows’ Head to prove the Lady has been driven out of town.
- Heroes once again.

Player’s Notes

* Abelarde got hit!! and had to use a healing surge!! I think Lucan has hit Abelarde more than anything else in the last 6 adventures
* We really are the “pack a lunch” crew with only one striker. I think the Lady of Shadows left because she was getting bored.
* Lucan fired off 4 attacks in one round!! (that was pretty cool)
* Our cleric really does’t do anything against Undead (I think it is now safe to say that considering we’ve fought just about every undead creature going)
* Lucan spent most of the time with some kind of condition on him – rolling the Van Dweebil saves
* Abelarde fought most of the fight from around the corner in the hallway
* Lucan was down to 6 hps at one point.
* The song will say that Abelarde detected and disarmed a high level glyph of warding trap – cuz he’s actually a paladin/rogue hybrid bullshit class

Now the real question is, how much are we going to charge these people for protection from us???

View
Return To Loudwater

Return To Loudwater

With a crippled Zark in the back of the wagon, Muradin and the Scions began the long trip back to Loudwater. Despite the pain of his shattered knee, Zark called upon his Dwarven resolution to keep his suffering to himself. Yelena softened after watching the deceiving turncoat in silent agony for hours, and tended to his wounds. Muradin noticed that she didn’t actually repair the damage done. She merely stopped his bleeding and applied a crude splint to his knee.

It was well after sunset by the time the Scions returned to Loudwater. The guards who met them at the gate greeted them eagerly, having heard not only that the Scions of Legacy, the very ones who had faced the Blood Lord himself and lived to tell the tale, had come to town, but they were going after the Bandits of Zelboss. Word had spread about the children in the barrels, and many in town hoped that the Scions would not only return with justice, but with their missing children.

Even in the late hour, there was still a small contingency to meet them as the Scions walked behind the wagon as it rode up to the gate. The two youngsters sitting beside Yelena slept soundly, and didn’t wake even after the guards shone lanterns in their faces. They continued to sleep when they were lifted from the wagon and carried off to the guard’s barricks.

Muradin approached the man who appeared to be the Guard Captain. He took the man by the shoulder and led him off to the side. “The rest of the children are in the back of the wagon,” he said quietly.

The Guard Captain looked at the wagon with hope in his eyes. “Alive?” he asked.

Muradin closed his eyes and lowered his head. “The dwarf, Zark, we have him tied in the back as well.”

Lucan stepped out of the shadows. “One of the children your men carried away said that they were gathered up by someone called the Shadow Lady.” He saw the look of recognition on the guard’s face immediately. “You know her?”

“Never seen her,” the Captain said. “Just rumours, actually. She’s got a crew that works in town, shaking down merchants for protection. The joke is that she’s the one they need the protection from.”

“Which should actually be your job, shouldn’t it?” Lucan asked sarcastically.

The captain shot him a dirty look. “We haven’t been able to catch them, and we’re a little too busy keeping the Zelboss bandits from burning our buildings to the ground.”

“You don’t have that problem anymore.” Toby said. He yanked Zark out of the back of the wagon and threw him to the ground at the Guard Captain’s feet. “This one won’t be an issue anymore.”

“I’ll say. What happened to his leg?”

“He fell off a horse,” Yelena said. She dismounted from the wagon and adjusted the scarf she’d wrapped around her head. The glow from the insignia on her forehead disappeared beneath the fabric.

Muradin asked, “Is the Rhino still in port?”

The Guard Captain nodded. “The captain has been anxiously waiting for your return.”

“Good,” said Muradin. “We’ll be heading out within the hour.”

Yelena frowned. “We’re staying.”

“Excuse me?”

“Zark wasn’t the only one snatching children. This Shadow Lady was selling them as well. For slaves!”

“We’ve wiped out the bandits!” Muradin shouted at her. “We’ve cut the supply line!”

“Maybe the Shadow Lady decides to start selling direct to the slavers,” Lucan said. “All we’ve done is eliminate the middle man. Zark knows nothing about the Shadow Lady, and Loudwater’s finest don’t seem to be able to stop her. Someone has to.”

The Guard Captain looked taken aback. Muradin gave a deep sigh. “You want to stay here and clean up the town? Fine. Just don’t stay too long. These people don’t deserve to become refugees.”

Toby’s eye twitched. “You blaming us for Nynn?”

Muradin saw the powder key ignited in front of him and tried to diffuse the situation. He spoke calmly. “All I know is that the Blood Lord wiped that town out quite deliberately.” He pointed at Yelena. “He has a definite interest in her. And let’s not forget the fact that she may or may not be possessed by the spirit of a demon god!”

The Guard Captain blinked. “Wait, what was that last part?”

Muradin continued. “Look, I’m glad you want to help these people. It’s admirable. But the fact is that two hundred people died in Nynn, victims of a ritual that was supposed to bring Illidus back from wherever the Hell he is trapped in. Now you’re walking around with a cleric who bears his mark on her forehead, and is acting a little less holy than she was before.”

Yelena pulled down the neck of her chestpiece, revealing the red scar running across her throat. “Oh, you mean before my head was cut off by a Vampire Assassin? Before my resurrection resulted in the death of two hundred innocent people, including my own brother?” She kicked a mound of dirt in Zark’s face. The Dwarf coughed. “They were hurting children. My apologies if I don’t seem very pious lately.”

Muradin continued to speak softly. “The point is, we don’t know what has happened to you. We don’t know why that thing is on your head, or what it means. All I know is that the last time Illidus walked among us, thousands of innocent lives were snuffed out before he could be stopped. Now that the Blood Lord is somehow mixed up in all this, Illidus can’t be allowed to return.”

Yelena looked at the sword on Muradin’s hip. “Killing me would make things simpler.”

“Your death might be the trigger Illidus needs to come through.”

The cleric smiled coldly. “So you’ve thought about it then.”

Meanwhile, the Guard Captain processed everything he’d been hearing and swallowed hard. “The Blood Lord is looking for her? Really? Maybe it would be better if you folks moved along.”

Abellard beamed and slapped the Guard Captain on the shoulder. “My good man, let me assure you that everything is not only under control, but we would consider it an honour to work with you and your men to bring the Shadow Lady to justice.”

“If you had taken care of this Shadow Lady,” Yelena said, ice hanging off every word, “we wouldn’t have to clean up your mess. The children -”

“Enough!”

The Scions levelled their stares at Muradin. “You don’t have to stay,” Abellard said, once the moment of tension had passed. “We appreciate your help with the bandits, but this is something we can take care of on our own.”

Toby’s fist clenched, popping and cracking his knuckles. “Yeah. Go.”

Lucan remained silent, his face lost in the shadow of the hood drawn over his head.

“As you wish,” Muradin said with a nod. “I will return to Waterdeep and see what I can find out about this,” he gestured to Yelena with his finger, “situation. Seek me out once you arrive and hopefully I’ll have some good news.” He looked at Yelena. “Good news for all of you.”

The Guard Captain stood between Muradin and the Scions, with a blank expression on his face. He watched Muradin turn and walk off in the direction of the docks. Abellard tapped him on the shoulder and startled him. “Relax,” Whitby said with a smile. “All your problems are over now. The Scions of Legacy are here, and right now we would like any information you have on this Shadow Lady.”

As Muradin heads to the Rhino, Abelarde quickly approaches him. “Many thanks for your assistance with the children my friend. You’ve spilled blood with Abelarde Whitby and the Scions of Legacy, and that honor is not bestowed upon many. I hope you’ve taken no offense to what just transpired. I think it best that perhaps, for now, we stay away from largely populated areas. We don’t know what may happen with Yelena and having a bad situation happen in Loudwater may be tragic, but would be significantly less tragic than many undead pouring into the streets of Waterdeep. Please find out what you can and let us know what can be done. I have some equipment that I’m hoping you’ll take with you to Waterdeep. Please sell it and use the money to assist in aquiring some answers. Be safe my friend.”

View
On The Road To Zelboss

On the Road to Zelboss

  • Muradin, Yelena, Abelarde & Toby hopped the covered wagon with Zark and headed out on a day long ride to the ruins of Zelboss with hopes of crushing the child slavery ring being run out of there.
  • Muradin questioned Zark about the kind of resistance they could expect. Zark lied.
  • The Plan: Toby would ride with Zark to the camp and act as hired muscle should his presence be questioned. There would be “two guys” that would meet them and unload the barrels of children. At that point, the crew would emerge from behind the barrels and begin to lay waste to the camp.
  • The Reality: Toby and Zark rode up to the camp, which happened to be lit magically. The “two guys” that met them were Ogres. Two more emerged, as did a wizardly-looking human and one very large Ogre.
  • It quickly went to Hell. The wizard turned off the lights, Zark took off into the dark, and the Ogres started beating the wagon and anyone inside. Toby started the scrum, with Muradin and Yelena quickly getting their hands dirty.
  • Abelarde provided backup light and kept everyone moving and positioned.
  • The Wizard said something to the Ogre Warhulk and sent him into the fray with a little boy strapped to his chest while he disappeared into the ruins.
  • Ogres dished up a good amount of whuppin’. Blood was shed, and while the Ogres were broken down Abelarde noticed movement further in the ruins.
  • Muradin took a beating while he pulled the boy off the big Ogre, but the Ogres were slain while the child survived.
  • Abelarde made his move into the ruins. He saw Zark ride up on a horse while the Wizard made a break for it with a little girl under his arm. Everyone got their hustle on at that point – the Dwarf was not going to escape.
  • The Wizard was confronted while Yelena made her way into the ruins.
  • Zark was pulled off his horse while Toby fought the Warhulk in the ruins.
  • Wizard backed into a corner, put a dagger to the child’s throat.
  • Yelena returned with a small corpse – the wizard had killed the remaining children so they could not say anything. With tears in her eyes, she asked that someone kill the Wizard.
  • Toby slayed the Warhulk Ogre and, just as the Wizard told everyone to back off or he’d cut the child, he rode out his rage and removed the Wizard’s head from his shoulders.
  • Abelarde made a sweet one-handed catch of the magic melon.
  • Zark was to be taken back to Loudwater to be tried. Abelarde and Muradin wanted to take him back to face Justice. Toby and Yelena wanted to kill him. Instead, they compromised and while Yelena stepped on his neck Toby crushed his knee so he couldn’t get away.
  • The two children rode back with the Scions.

Info:

  • Muradin checked the Wizard (Nollew) and recovered a note. It outlined an exchange of 25gp per child, and the wording hinted that this would have been the second or third such exchange and that the previous slaves are working out fine.
  • One of the survivors came by Zark and his barrels, but the other was captured by a group of men and taken to someone called the Shadow Lady in Loudwater.
  • The children come from the area around Loudwater and from communities along the Delimbiyr River.
View
Departure

Departure

Eregos assembled at the dock with a group of rescuers and survivors. Among the group he returned with was a somewhat catatonic mayor Justalyne Teresse, and Selga, former owner of the Emerald Dream. Selga had clearly been crying, and Mayor Teresse just kept repeating “He came back for me.”

- Mayor Teresse: The Blood Lord was Jaxon Shadowbreaker. She had a crush on him back when he was a paladin, and now he had become the Blood Lord. She felt he’d come back but couldn’t find her. She couldn’t leave, not now. If she does, he will never find her. With a wild look in her eyes, she broke away from the group and ran back into the burning wreckage of Nynn, screaming “I’m here Jaxon! I’m here!”

- Selga: She put on a brave front. She’d lost her husband, then her lover (Aelik), and now her son Horace. Her daughter, Katherine, had a room in Loudwater, so Selga will disembark there and fend for herself. Who knows, maybe she’ll even decide to stay in Loudwater and set up another Emerald Dream of her own. She brought a few personal items, and one of them was a sachel full of emeralds. “That should get things started, don’t you think?” She asked if the Scions would be willing to escort her to Katherine’s room at the Green Tankard Tavern. She would be willing to part with some of her baubles if they’d be willing to escort her.

The supplies were loaded onto the riverboat, a paddlewheel vessel named The Rhino captained by Captain Malin Laeger. The Captain had been the victim of numerous pirates, but because of the shielded paddlewheel and the ram in the front, he could plow through most obstacles that got in his way.

There were 45 people that boarded the Rhino. Cap Laeger said that there were rooms below deck, lock boxes at the end of the hall to store things, bigger items could go down in the hold. Take as little as possible into the rooms, because they’re going to be snug.

Each room had three bunk beds and a small chest. Snug was right.

Snow began to fall, and the Rhino grunted down the river.

Because Yelena was seen as cursed and evil, no one wanted to bunk with her. That meant the Scions had a room to themselves. The first day gave them plenty of time to travel, as the river flowed downhill. Snow turned to rain as they descended from the altitude of the mountains. Actual trees, large and lush, started to grow.

The boat travelled down the Greyflow River to Daggerford. They made good time, but for no apparent reason the boat slowed and anchored. When questioned, the captain said he wouldn’t make the run past Llorkh during daylight hours. It was safer to make the trip under the cover of darkness.

Macleb sent his pet Hawk out to scout the river while the boat waited. The bird returned with no news. Nightfall, the boat built up speed and drifted by the fork in the river. Eyes on them maybe, but there was no attack.

Second day, something got caught in the paddlewheel. Speed slowed. It was well after sunset by the time the Rhino pulled into Loudwater. Capt Laeger said they may be a day in Loudwater to assess the damage to the wheel, but folks were free to stay onboard if they wished.

Selga was ready to go to the Green Tankard Tavern. The Scions geared up and escorted her.

Rivermaster Sarl met the boat as it docked. Capt Laeger explained the damage situation. Sarl told the group the Fisher’s Friend Pub was as good as any if they wanted to wet their whistles.

While disembarking, the Scions noticed a tattooed dwarf struggling to unload a barrel from a nearby fishing boat. He cursedg at the sailors who were walking away. He saw the Scions and asked if they can help him carry the barrel to a nearby wagon. Toby offered to help, but accidentally dropped the barrel. The lid came off and a young child, his pants soaked with urine and a dirty rag stuffed in his mouth, came tumbling out.

The dwarf, Zark, tried to escape. He took a beating.

Zark begged for mercy. He admitted to being a member of a slave ring, but he emphasized that his part was small: He delivered barrels from the Pale Minnow to the bandits in Zelbross. He agreed to help them because when he was ambushed a while back, the bandits’ leader gave him a choice: Act as their agent in Loudwater or die. Zark didn’t know the names of anyone else involved.

“I was ambushed by bandits outside Zelbross. I was accompanying a caravan out of Loudwater when they attacked. They killed everyone but me. I survived because as I was fighting ’em off, I tripped and fell back into a gully and was knocked out. Anyway, if you’re going after the bandits, I’ll guide you to their place. It’s about time someone did something about them. I want to get my revenge against those poxed bastards.”

The Scions suspected Zark’s motives were not as he said, but they needed him to guide them. After discussing the issue with Muradin, the Scions decided to take the wagon with barrels to the camp while Muradin tried to buy them a few days to get this done.

View
The Fall Of Nynn

The Fall of Nynn

Pikalas was aided by eight Legion Devil Hellguards. Yet even with those odds, the Scions (aided by Muradin) were able to defeat the Devils and slay the evil Pikalas.

Toward the end of battle, Yelena emerged from the tent bearing the glowing rune of Illidus on her forehead. Pikalas bore the same emblem as a brand on the back of her neck.

+ + +

“Why can no one see that she is evil?!”

Eregos, the Dragonborn Cleric of Torm, pointed his finger at Yelena and surveyed the remaining survivors of the ritual slaughter. “She bears the mark of Illidus on her forehead! She was brought back from the dead at the cost of two hundred other lives!”

Yelena turned away from Eregos, away from the Great Fire that burned behind him, and walked back to the tent from which she had been resurrected only minutes before. Her mind was still reeling from what had just occurred, and she was struggling to process the events. She had seen the White Dragon, and Bahamut had tried to tell her something. She couldn’t seem to form words from his roaring, before lights spun around her and breath returned to her deceased body. Yelena managed to sit up before her chest burst open and released a white bolt of energy that seemed to seek out living bodies to attack.

The first victim had been the man standing beside her, his expression turning from elation to horror as the blast punched a smoking hole through the center of his chest before it hungrily leaped toward the next person.

Uther.

Her brother.

Yelena, somehow intact aside from a stabbing headache, knelt down beside Uther and held his hand. She felt the tears welling in her eyes, but they refused to fall. She felt confused, but the sadness gave her clarity. Uther was dead, and whatever had killed him had left the tent and struck down others. As much as her body rejected any notion of movement, Yelena willed herself out of the tent to try to help any way she could.

Now that the crisis had passed, all Yelena wanted to do was to grieve for her brother and the rest of the two hundred laying dead on the ground. Once her sorrow passed, she would try to determine what exactly had happened to her. But Eregos would have none of it. “Where are you going, devil spawn? Off to summon more demons to do your bidding?”

The cleric of Bahamut stopped and squared her shoulders. She refused to turn around, wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her tears, but the quiver in her voice betrayed her sorrow. She gathered her resolve before speaking. “I’m going to bury my brother,” she said. “I’m also going to retrieve his sword. If you are in my sight when I return, I will use that blade to make a pair of boots from your hide.”

Muradin placed a hand on Eregos’ shoulder. “Don’t worry about her,” he told the Dragonborn. “Gather the people and start preparing for our departure. We need supplies, food and water. I’m going to need a few men to head to the boats and tell the captains we are leaving. The snow is going to fall any day now and there aren’t many friendly faces between here and Waterdeep if we end up being iced in.”

“But -”

“We are not having a discussion here.” Muradin tightened his grip on the Dragonborn’s scaled shoulder. “Go.”

Grudgingly, Eregos made his way to the nearest crowd of armed men. Muradin waited until the cleric had departed before addressing the Scions of Legacy. “Much as I hate to admit it,” he said, “I have to side with Eregos. Your girl was brought back from the dead, well and good. But she was resurrected through what I’m told is a ritual for summoning the demon lord Illidus. She’s sporting the demon’s mark on her forehead. You can see how people would be a might untrustworthy of her.”

“I know the feeling.”

The voice came from Yelena, tears still drying on her cheeks. True to her word, she had returned with her brother’s greatsword in her hands. “I know how this looks. I know that when I say that I am me, and not Illidus, nobody is going to believe me.” Her voice struggled to free itself from her. “The one person who would trust me without hesitation was… was the first to die when I was brought back from the dead.”

Muradin placed a hand on Yelena’s shoulder. “Your brother was a good friend of mine. If you need help laying him to rest, I want to help.”

Yelena looked somewhat relieved at the offer. “Thank you.”

While many of the survivors dragged bodies to the Great Fire for disposal, Muradin pulled a burning stick of wood and took it to a funeral pyre away from the others. He stood before the giant mound of logs and timbers and waited for Yelena to complete her prayer before tossing the branch into the pile. Seconds later the oil caught, the flames crackled as the wood caught, and Muradin stood silently alongside Yelena and watched Uther return to the ashes of the earth from wence he came.

+ + +

“This is the situation. There’s a boat in the river that will take us to the coast. It should take about a week to reach there. Most of the supplies had been removed from the boat, and given the current situation it’s safe to say those supplies are, well, spoiled.”

Muradin watched a group of armed men depart. He turned back to the Scions. “I’m asking you to go into Nynn and gather what you can. There may be meat in the butcher shop. Some of the inns might still have rations. There’s rescue teams making their way through Nynn, looking for survivors. They’ll take care of that bit of business. Get what you can, as quickly as you can. You know the town better than anyone here, so you know where to look. Despite what has happened in the past hour, we have no way of knowing if we are safe or not. We are only safe for the moment. Only way to remain that way is to get on the boat and make haste down the river.”

A young man led two horses, pulling a large cart, to the Scions. Muradin jerked his thumb toward the contraption. “It’s not fancy, but it’s your ride. If you load that thing up, we should have enough supplies to get home. Good luck.”

As soon as the Scions passed through the fallen gates of Nynn, they made their move. Lucan and Toby dismounted, leaving Abelarde and Yelena in the cart. Toby drew his blade and walked in front of the horses, moving debris and bodies out of the way so the horses could pass by. Lucan disappeared into the shadows, slowly advancing block by block, checking for ambushes or any other form of unpleasantness that might have been laying in wait. He would emerge only long enough to give quick hand signals to Toby, alerting the big man of any trouble that might be coming their way.

The clopping of the horses were the only noise in town. The smell of smoke drifted in the air, remnants of the fires that had levelled over half of Nynn. Occasionally Lucan would see one of Muradin’s rescue parties clearing buildings, and once in a while they’d bring out living civilians. But aside from weeping locals and clip clopping horses, Nynn was as silent as a grave.

The skies had clouded over, and a chill blanketed the town. Toby kicked a decayed zombie head through a doorway. “Got cold pretty fast,” he said and looked up at the sky. “Snow’s coming soon.”

“We’re almost at the shop,” Yelena said. “Lucan’s probably there already. Hopefully we can load the wagon and get back to the Great Fire before it gets too chilly.”

“Cold would be bad,” Abelarde said to Yelena’s chest.

Toby noticed the movement in the shadows. “We’re clear to the butcher shop.”

The Butcher Shoppe, Toby’s former land of employment. Lucan stood in the doorway. “Coast is clear,” he said. “The meat is still there. Doesn’t look like anything’s been touched.”
Toby shouldered his weapon and followed Lucan inside. Abelarde held the reins. “I’ll stay out here to keep the horses calm.”

“I’m sure,” Yelena said. “Why not just -”

She stopped because Abelarde wasn’t looking at the horses. He wasn’t even looking at her clevage. He was looking past her. She didn’t want to look. Something told her not to look.
She looked.

The Blood Lord looked back, with his blood-red eyes locked firmly on the symbol glowing on Yelena’s forehead.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he said. His smile wasn’t very comforting.

+ + +

The Blood Lord stood in the middle of the road, and Abelarde observed that there was never a runaway wagon train when you needed one. “Can I interest you in a side of beef?” he asked.

The side of beef happened to step out of the doorway that very second, and he was armed in a flash. Toby was in motion by the time the Blood Lord raised his hand. “Hold, Barbarian. I have not come here to kill you.”

“That’s going to make my job a whole lot easier,” Toby growled.

The Blood Lord’s facial features were concealed beneath his helmet, revealing only his sneer and burning red eyes. Those eyes seemed to take in everything at once. “Where I can see you, Lucan.” He pointed his finger toward the side of the building and motioned him forward. “As I said, I’m not going to harm anyone unless they do something foolish.” He looked at Toby. “Or suicidal.”

“Why are you here?” Yelena asked, already suspecting she knew the answer.

Two large humanoids stepped out from the burned-out shell of the spice shop across the street. They had no features, appearing to be roughly carved from obsidian. They stopped twenty paces behind the Blood Lord. “You bear the mark of my Master,” the Blood Lord told her. “But you are here, and He is not. He should have used you as an anchor to this world, and manifested out of your still-warm flesh.”

“Happy to disappoint you,” muttered Yelena.

“Something went wrong. Never trust a Drow to do a Man’s work. Still, you bear the mark so there’s still hope.”

Yelena pointed at the glowing mark on her forehead. “How do I get rid of this?”

The Blood Lord lost his smile. “There is no getting rid of it. It is a great mark of power. You’ll be rid of it once Lord Illidus tears through your flesh and is rid of you.”

Yelena stood up in the cart. “I won’t let that happen!”

“You can’t stop it,” the Blood Lord told her. “It’s already done. It’s only a matter of time before he sheds you like a cocoon.”

“We’ll stop it,” Toby warned.

The two obsidian humanoids slowly turned around. Lucan stood in the doorway of the former spice shop and slowly dragged the tip of his dagger across his throat. “We’ll stop you,” he told the Blood Lord.

“Eladrin, you couldn’t save your town from my minions. What makes you think you can stop me?”

“That’s what we do,” Abelarde said matter-of-factly. “We’re Abelarde Whitby and the Scions of Legacy.”

“You never stop, do you?” Yelena said under her breath.

“That’s what I do,” Abelarde whispered back.

The Blood Lord addressed the group. “Save your strength for now. The Scions must keep the vessel safe until her protector arrives. He will be tasked in protecting the vessel until Lord Illidus emerges.”

“Stop calling me the vessel. You make me sound like a ship.”

“I won’t make any ‘filled with seamen’ comments then,” Abelarde said with a smirk.

“Good thing,” Yelena said. “If you did, I wouldn’t be the only one here without a penis.”
The Blood Lord raised a fist into the air. “Good luck Scions.” He looked at Yelena. “I look forward to our next meeting.”

“I look forward to killing you,” Toby said with a great deal of enthusiasm.

“Uh, he doesn’t speak for all of us,” Abelarde noted.

The Blood Lord turned around, flanked on either side by the obsidian constructs. He tilted his helmet up slightly, and Lucan watched the burning eyes change to normal, human eyes as they emerged from the shade of the visor. “Tell your Father I send my regards,” the Blood Lord told him.

Before Lucan could reply, the Blood Lord opened his hand and let a small black orb roll off his palm. It quickly expanded in mid-air and the three were swallowed by the globe of darkness.
The ride back to Tent City was quiet. Everyone rode in the cart, which was filled with meat and various other supplies. Muradin appeared relieved when they approached. “Looks like you got everything,” he said. “Any problems?”

Abelarde hopped off the cart and tossed the reins to Muradin. “Not really, no. Now which way to the vessel – I mean ship – I mean boat!”

The flying hog’s head caught him in the back of his own. Muradin looked down at the swine skull. “Why would you bring a pig’s head with you?” he asked.

Yelena wiped her hands and looked at Abelarde. “You never know when you’re going to need one.”

View
The Resurrection

The Resurrection

As the group returned to the surface, Uther told the others not to let Muradin know that Pikalas was a Drow. Like most other people, he hated the Drow. Unfortunately Uther needed Pik to raise Yelena, and time was of the essence. It was an eight hour ritual, and that still might not give them enough time to bring her back from the dead.

Muradin approached with the mage Urom. He asked if they’d found the scroll, and who the Hell was that person in the cloak? Uther said she was going to bring Yelena back, and that’s all he needed to know. While Uther escorted Pik away, Muradin tried to question the group.

The town guardsmen hit the scene and told everyone that the portal the Scions had once passed through had opened in the town square. Horace had been fending off the scourge of undead that had been pouring through. The visitors were returning to Tent City, followed by many of the locals. The militia was planning on locking down the town just to keep whatever came through the gates, contained.

Muradin rallied a force to protect Tent City. The Scions decided to do what they could within the walls of Nynn. Uther accompanied them.

The Scions entered Nynn while a convoy of refugees exited the town. “Take them to the Great Fire for now,” someone said. “It’ll be the safest place to be if Hell breaches the walls of Nynn!”

The Scions advanced to the Town’s Square. Banners had been ripped and torn, decorations fallen and trampled. The festival was over, but judging by the expression on the faces of militia men standing watch on street corners, Nynn might very well be over as well.

A block before the Town Square, twenty men stood guard while another ten were attended to. They were fresh meat brought from the square. Things seemed to be at a lull for the moment, which was giving everyone a chance to recover. The Scions were told that Mayor Teresse refused to leave the Town Hall. One of the men told the Scions: “You get close to the portal and you can feel it. Something very bad is coming.”

Approaching the Town Square, the group saw Horace standing tall. Holding his warhammer “Eternal Silence” in his hand, he looked tired. Dead and undead were laying all around him. Four men stood with him. He was yelling in the direction of the Town Hall. “Mayor Teresse! Please unlock the door and come out!” Mayor Teresse was visible in the window. She looked terrified. The building had been mystically blessed, so no undead could breach it. The door was also magically sealed, so only a very powerful entity could break it down. Two of the militia were leaning on the door to try and force it open. No go.

Once he’d seen that the Scions had arrived, Horace really looked tired. He told two of his men to go to the Emerald Dream and get his mother out of the place. He paused and sent the other two men trying to break the door down. “She might not leave willingly, and you’re gonna need backup.”

Horace told the group there had been no warning. There were speeches, the portal opened, and the undead started pouring through to kill everyone they came in contact with. More harm was caused in the panicked fleeing than by the undead.

There are so many dead. So many. Women and children, half eaten or torn limb from limb. Clowns, jugglers. People who would have brought happiness, their faces only showing the horror in their demise. Might be why Mayor Teresse refuses to leave the building. That, and the fact that the portal was still open.

Looking through the portal showed only darkness. Abelarde understood that the portal should have been closed an hour ago. They weren’t designed to stay open longer than a few minutes. There was movement in the dark. A flash of light. Much movement. Tylus came flying through the portal. He hit the ground in a heap. He looks up and saw the group.

“Run,” he said as he got to his feet.

Aelik came tumbling through as well. “Motherfucker!” He saw the Scions. “Get the townies out of here!” he yelled, pointing at Horace. Both men looked beaten and bloody.

The Blood Lord stepped through the portal with Frostwyrm in hand, a big shield in the other. He looked around. “Home Sweet Home,” he said in a tone mixed with both disgust and hatred.

Horace was stunned. “Jaxon? Jaxon Shadowbreaker?”

The Blood Lord looked at him. “Hello Horace. I see you’ve been busy.”

A Chain Devil stepped through the portal next. “Kill them,” the Blood Lord told him.

Two spiked chains snapped out and wrapped around Horace’s neck, cutting his head off.

Tylus and Aelik rushed Jaxon, and the devil make a move for the Scions. A moment later, more devils came through and joined the fray.

At some point in the battle, Aelik was killed. Tylus slashed Jaxon across the face, giving him a nasty scar. As the battle reached its peak, Tylus told the group to run. Lady Zuffrin appeared out of thin air and blasted the Blood Lord.

The Scions returned to Tent City. At this point, Pikalas had almost completed the ritual. Uther stood by his sister as the color returned to Yelena. Outside the tent, a huge crowd had formed. Yenena sat up and hugged her brother. The Heart of Oremus flashed and lighting jumped from Yelena to everyone. The Scions barely managed to get out of the way of the blast. Yelena fell over.

Pikalas smiled. “And that’s two hundred.”

View
Tent City

Tent City

The group followed Uther to Tent City, in hopes of getting Yelena resurrected. The Scions arrived just after sunrise, and immediately head to the Great Fire. There was a prayer session taking place, led by a Dragonborne Cleric of Torm named Eregos. Muradin and a wizard named Urom also sat amongst the patrons. Eregos asked what a servant of Torm can do to help them.

Eregos unwrapped the sheet and saw the headless body. He wouldn’t help Yelena because she was a Priestess of a Dragon. Bahamut is a lie, and will not help a follower of a lie.

Muradin told the group that there was a scroll that could be obtained from the bottom of a deep chasm. A rope bridge that crossed the chasm was broken. Urom’s wife, the cleric of Muradin’s group, had the scroll on her when she fell.

The Cave Mission

Muradin had been hired in Waterdeep by a Mage named Decca. He needed an item called the Heart of Oremus, and it was known to be located within an old cave system in the mountains. Deep within those cavern lay a long-deactivated construct, designed during the Spellplague to help turn the tides and contain the madness. The Heart of Oremus was the power source for the construct, and it remains lodged within the machination’s chest.

The reason Decca was interested in it now wasn’t so much for his own curiosity, but because of the curiosity of another. This man was part of some cult with designs on freeing some mystical man-god of some kind. Decca learned only a few murmurs about the man, but knew enough that he was serious about his intent, and capable of delivering on his promise. Knowing the power the Heart possessed, Decca put the word out to a few trusted sources to find someone to retrieve the Heart.

Muradin met with Decca and didn’t trust what the Mage told him. However, the money was good enough to get him to head out to retrieve the Heart. He did come upon some powerful magic in the moutains – living statues, mystical traps. After all of that, it was an explosion on a bridge that derailed the mission.

Muradin told the Scions that he had not heard that the Heart had been retrieved. Decca made no attempt to find out if Muradin had survived, to his knowledge. Maybe another group had gone in and retrieved the Heart. Maybe this stranger now had it. All he knew was that the scroll was still down there.

The Mission

When the Scions arrived at Tent City, they were taken to the Great Fire. Urom opened a portal to the bridge. He gave the group a wand that they were to break when they wanted the portal reopened. The magic in the wand has a duration. In fact, it had the duration that Yelena had. When the magic in the wand died, so did any chance at bringing her back from the dead.

Through the portal was a deep cavern. No light at all. They were near the bridge, but are on the wrong side of it. However, the bridge had been crudely repaired. The chasm was 60’ wide, 100’ deep. At the bottom of the chasm was the broken and decayed body of the cleric. A stream ran through her body. Scroll case was gone.

On the other side of the chasm was a set of double doors. There was chanting on the other side of the door.

Cautiously looking beyond the doors, the Scions saw a great deal of commotion. Against the far wall was a human construct handing crucifix-style. Its chest had been hacked open. Two large skirmish ogres with javelins stood on opposite sides of the cave. The Warhulk was standing beside a chanting Orc Eye of Gruumsh. Sparkling flames in front, almost naked female Drow writhing in the flames. In her hand she clutched the partially melted holy symbol of Bahamut. She’d screamed herself hoarse.

As the group entered the room they could overhear a conversation.

“Me am not sure you doing that right,” said the Warhulk.

“And what do you know of mysticism?” snapped the Orc.

“It supposed to be more fire, not so much spark.”

The sparks got brighter as the group got further into the room.

“See that!” chimed the Orc. “It IS working!”

Once everyone had been defeated and the drow was safe, she revealed her name as Pikalas, cleric of Bahamut. The Heart of Oremus sat on the ground. Uther ragdolled the drow to see if she could bring back the dead. She said she could if she used the Heart’s power. The group decided to bring Pikalas topside to perform the ritual.

View
The Church Of Bahamut

The Church of Bahamut

Time: 330am. Site of the Church of Bahamut.

As the group neared the church area, they saw a few large bonfires burning. There were armed men standing around them, throwing what looked to be bodies into the flames. Members of the Honor Guard, bloody and sweaty, were relieved to see the Scions.

They were attacked by an army of the Undead, not unlike the one that attacked Nynn several weeks back. There seemed to be more this time, larger and more dangerous. The group could make out the zombie bodies being doused with oil.

They tell the Scions that the Undead rushed the Church, but Yelena and her brother Uther managed to hold them back until the Honor Guard could assist. It was a long battle, but the Undead were slain.

Yelena and Uther were resting in a shack beside the church.

The Scions knocked on the door. Uther appeared to be sleeping. Yelena’s bed was empty. Uther woke up and told them she probably went to the bathroom. They inspect outhouse, empty. They do find droplets of blood leading into the church.

The Church of Bahamut had roof, walls and floor done. There were also many bodies still in the church, apparently the Guard hadn’t made their way into the building yet. No doors. No light. Blood trail led downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs, Yelena was slumped over a chest. Her hands were twitching. A small crypt slab in the wall had been slid open. Abelarde waited in the hall while the rest of the group entered. A vial broke, the door slammed shut. They find that Yelena’s body had no head. The chest she’s slumped over was empty.

In the hallway, Aultan (who now reaveled himself to be a Vampire Spawn) whispered how much he was looking forward to killing Abelarde. The rest of the group managed to escape the room, track down Aultan, and kill him. The Skull was inside Aultan’s satchel. Abelarde stuck the skull in Toby’s backpack.

View
Return To Tent City

Return To Tent City

Time: 2am.

The Honor Guard was all over the Emerald Dream. Selga was irritated and a little shaken at the intrusion. Orville was a big deal to the city, and his murder was only going to make things worse for Nynn. The Festival was supposed to help thing along, not spread fear. The group went through his belongings. He was wearing travellers clothes, and a number of people in attendance said that Orville never dressed down to that extent. Selga said that he sometimes met girls up there in his room. He had a couple of regulars, but neither Selga nor the bartender saw anyone go up to the room. His remains were to be taken to Burtil the Undertaker.

Time: 230am.

The group went back to Orville’s home to talk with Jeeves.

When they approached the house, it appeared to be buttoned up. The front gate was closed, and two men patrolled the grounds. They did not try to stop the group when they made themselves known. They worked at the mine and were just doing this gig for extra money.

The curtains were drawn in the house, but there did appear to be a light on inside. Jeeves answered the door after a time. He was trying to hide something, clearly out of fear. He told the group it would not be right to allow them in when the master was not home, and they should come back in the morning.

The group mentioned that Orville was dead. Jeeves didn’t react or seemed surprised. He said the only ones in the house were himself and his wife. She also acted in a servant status. “My wife… please you must leave now…”

The Scions finally made their move and entered the house, coming face to face with Naxx and his Zombie Hulk bodyguard. Naxx was sent to retrieve an item Orville had found in the mine. The Blood Lord needed the Skull of Hamfel, and Naxx wanted to know where it was.

After Naxx and his servant were defeated, Jeeves told the group that the Skull was sent to the Church of Bahamut, to be buried in the foundation.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.