The Lost Lords

Aerinas continued and Ulbram

The town of Aerinas was quaint and small. Most folk that lived there were farmers or led other small town lives. The party made contact with the mayor, following the legacy of the dragonslayer, and he pointed them towards a halfling ranger, named Isileth, who had disappeared with an adventuring party some days ago. The party set out to find the lost adventurers in the direction of an old ruin outside of town.

Taramitsu in front, Kayla in the middle, and Casamir holding up the rear. That was the typical layout of the party, especially on the winding roads of the forest they traveled in. However, the party was ambushed by a group of what appeared to be elves. Taramitsu was quick to draw his sword, however, it was apparent that they were vastly outnumbered and Kayla thought it wise to surrender. Casamir and Taramitsu followed suit, not wanting to spill blood that didn’t need to be spilled. One of the elves, a haughty female elf, tried to persuade the young slender man leading the ambushers that they needed to kill us or their mission would be compromised. He shook his head, deciding it better if their elder decided.

Kayla and Casamir forfeited their weapons to the elves. Taramitsu, on the other hand, persuaded them to allow him to keep his sword, as it was more valuable to him than life itself. They bound his hands instead.

The elves had made a small encampment around the entrance to the ruins. Most of them were drawn to the center of camp when the party was paraded through towards the elder. He was kindly, ancient elf who seemed to be very much against unnecessary violence, much to the party’s fortunes. The haughty elf girl had objected to this and promptly stormed off. The elder heard the plight of the party and agreed to let them pass into the ruin, as long as they find an artifact for him. The party consented and were sent inside, weapons in hand.

The party was met with the story of Azara and his sword, Ashrune, etched into the walls of the ruin. At the end, the floor turned into a tiling of letters around a large statue. Taramitsu figured out that you needed to walk on the tiles that spelled out Ashrune for safe passage. They continued onwards, slaying a few goblins along the way, but the ruins were surprisingly empty for all the trouble it had appeared to cause.

They found a set of large doors that opened to the outside again. It appeared to be an exit out of the ruins from the other side. The party decided to continue away from the ruins and they stumbled upon a horrible sight. The bodies of all the missing adventurers were strewn around the area, bloodied and unmoving. Before the party, a horrible shroud like creature stood tall and proud. It appeared to be an embodiment of corruption, and unbeknownst to everyone but Kayla, it was her shadow’s brother.

A chaotic fight ensued with Taramitsu and Casamir being held up by shadow-minions
while Kayla took the bulk of the damage from the shroud that declared himself the shadow king. As the fighting continued, Kayla’s situation became to look more and more rough by the second, and in an act of desperation, opened a portal to the shadow realm, severly hemorrhaging the plane that they all were in. Kayla was sucked into the shadow realm with the false shadow king and Kayla’s shadow was brought to the real world.

Taramitsu and Casamir were dumbfounded at the shadow-like creature that took the place of their comrade. It seemed to murmur something about finally being free before tossing the fabled Rogue Stone to Taramitsu and flying away. Shocked and worried for Kayla, the party barely noticed that the halfling ranger was still breathing. Taramitsu had the fairy, Nael, sprinkle his regenerative dust on the ranger, healing her and bringing her to consciousness. She couldn’t believe that she had lived and her party had not. Taramitsu and Casamir were empathetic, as they both lost most of the important people in their lives. She revealed her name to be Isileth, the descendant of the fabled Dragonslayer, Arlan.

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Aerinas
In Search of The Storm Knights, and the Rescue of the Northlanders

With the knowledge granted by the Avatar watching over Cassar, the party moved Northward to the town of Aerinas, nestled in the base of the mountains bordering Southreach. Here they found the ancient fortification of The Stormhold, it’s knights long dead, and the Dragonslayer long departed. A lone spirit however, gave the party direction toward a location within the God’s Wood. Before leaving Aerinas, the party chose to aid the town with the various perils that surrounded them, but finding the town in too perilous a position, instead convince the Mayor and his people to flee back to Cassar. After the refugees are gotten to safety, the party heads out to the God’s Wood, their first stop, the small town of Ulbram.

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Festival of Giving-Thanks

With the knowledge of the refugees in the Shadowfort, the party set out from the city, leaving Ruwina behind to repair Valor’s extensive damage, with Sorley and Lissandra to guard them. After days of travel through the woods, and the delay of a Lizardman controlled river crossing, the party reaches the town of Cassar, seemingly in the process of preparing festivities, despite the dire state of the rest of the Duchy. As it turns out, the town itself was untouched by both the Orcish Horde and the flames of the Dragon that set fire to the Great Wood, due, according to the townsfolk, to the protection afforded to them by the Gods, which they honor every year in a festival by submitting would-be champions through various trials. The party decided to stay and participate in the days festivities, and learned during their stay of a great Dragon, awakened by the Orc invasion, that now traps the Darmondy refugees within the Shadowfort. The party ended up besting all three of the trials, with Kayla earning the honor of being present before the village’s god.

This God, or avatar of one, granted Kayla a symbol of his favor, as well as the knowledge of the Dragon guarding the Shadowfort, as well as a means to destroy it. The Avatar told Kayla of a Dragonslayer known as the Storm Knight in the county of Aerinas, to the North of Cassar, and to seek his legacy to have any hope at downing the great dragon.

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The City of Darmondy

Taramitsu, Kayla, and company make their way from the edges of the smoke-filled woods into the moorlands on their way to the city. When the party arrived at the edge of the city under the cover of darkness, they were surprised by an appearance of two individuals, who fell seemingly out of the shadows. After a short sorting of issues, the duo introduced themselves as Casamir Jerick and Logan Drox, survivors of the three month greenskin occupation, and offering themselves as guides, eager to help the city, join with the burgeoning group.

After finding shelter in an abandoned building, and witnessing a colossal siege beast roam through the southern part of town, the party finds some amount of rest, awakening to venture into the city ruins. There, they weave through shattered buildings and collapsed streets, eventually finding themselves at a merchant’s guildhall, currently housing the head of the Bonebreaker Orc Clan. The magically enlarged Bonebreaker Chieftain is eventually slain before the party finds themselves fleeing through the streets, a great horde of Greenskins giving chase.

Losing their pursuers, Casamir leads the group to the former safe haven that was the Broken Fang Theatre and Inn, where, to all their surprise, they found a man by the name of Esric Meure, more commonly known as The Darkstalker of Norgas; a figure of terror to Orcs in the dark of night and assassin of numerous warchiefs. After brief conversation, Taramitsu found his reason for The Duke in the Councilwoman Arquette, who fled with her people to The Shadowfort; an ancient fortification beyond The Great Wood.

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The Forest of Ash

As the party traveled North of The Bulwark, they found themselves unable to head to the city of Darmondy directly; the orcs having set up their camp on the only major crossing. Instead, they ventured Westward, into what was once the fringes of the The Great Wood, now reduced to a forest of cinder and ash, seemingly by the orc invaders.

Within the woods themselves, the party discovers denizens of the plane of fire spilling forth from rifts between planes. Mephits and Elementals plague their journey until they come across an oddity. A man, with flaming features, who while wary, proves not to be hostile. He informs the party that the flames of a great lizard, awakened by the Orcs, set fire to the ancient woods. Between the mighty fire and the ancient magics of the forest, a great rift opened to the elemental plane of fire, and through it came a great monstrosity that the Genasi seeks to end.

The beast turned out to be a fearsome Pyrohydra, guarding the primary rift. After a long and Casualty-filled fight, the Pyrohyrda was felled, and in the afftermath the Genasi took it upon himself to close the rift, disappearing in a flash alongside it. Battered and exhausted, the party opted to continue on to Darmondy, deciding to return to end the threat at the heart of the forest another day.

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Whispers of Dead Ash

With Taramitsu’s personal quest resolved for the time being, the party ventured to the city’s Crematorium, hoping to recruit Puno The Pyromancer to help them in their journeys in the Northlands. Such was not to be the case, however, as the party unraveled a string of terrible events, where Puno in his lunacy, murdered several individuals and burned their remains, before inadvertently raising them in a following ritual. The resulting Ash Shades hounded him through the abandoned complex until the Avengers of Norgas were able to rescue him.

Learning of his wrongdoings, the party none-the-less decided to carry out their initial task of retrieving the Pyromancer, leaving the tormented souls of murdered children without their vengeance.

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Trials Of Taramitsu
Prologue

In the familiar sewers beneath Norgas, Taramitsu returned to the hidden shrine left by the Sword Saint. There he encountered the Vagabond Estlander he had previously encountered in the fields West of The Crossroad, and battled with him once more. Afterwards, the Vagabond opened the way deeper into the vault, revealing it to be a grave site of the Sword Saint’s fallen followers. In its deepest reaches lay a Shadow-Corrupted Ancestor of Taramitsu.

Taramitsu, Kayla, Lissandra, and Sorley fought the creature in the cavernous depths, eventually slaying it, resulting in Taramitsu being granted a vision of the past thanks to Shift’s temporal abilities, leading him to a mural detailing the events of the Sword Saint’s crusade.

According to the mural, in ancient Maiyonoto, The Sword Saint foresaw the fall of the holy land to Shadow, as well as the folly of the Emperor in refusing to treat the threat as serious as it was, and so stole the island’s greatest treasure. An unexplained relic of the times of creation, and fled to distant lands, taking with him in his exile, faithful of the Seven Clans. In their escape from Maiyonoto, they found the land that is now Sojourner’s Rest, also gripped in struggle against Shadow, and so forged a path to find safety for themselves and the relic they carried. When their task was done, they set about enshrining their dead in the tunnels beneath what is present-day Norgas. However, one of their own was irreversibly tainted by the darkness they had fought against, and his brethren, finding themselves unable to slay him, instead entombed him in the heavily warded caves beneath the resting place of their fallen, awaiting the day a worthy pilgrim of the homeland could put him to rest. In his crypt, they left their story, and the first clue in the path of The Sword Saint, leading to the relic he had sacrificed so much to protect.

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The Horrors of Azurestone

After the breaking of the Siege of Far Hearth, Taramitsu found Aethor among the dead, and leaving the nightmare that was Far Hearth behind, buried him on the edge of the Dyrewood. From there, Taramitsu continues on to Azurestone to see Alanduil, and end his service to the rebellion. On his way, Taramitsu reunites with Lissandra of The Westwood, and together reach the cliffs of Azurestone, where they find signs of undead.

There they find the rebellion forces that broke off from the main forces were ambushed, and the Counts of Emair and Riverside were cut off from Alanduil within the keep, where Taramitsu and Lissandra volunteered to venture to find the missing Baron of Mistport. Moving through the decaying halls of the keep, the duo rescue groups of survivors, but Alanduil is not found among them. Finally they come across a necromatic Shadow Priest, and the risen remains of Alanduil.

With hearts full of sorrow and hate, they slay the group, before finding themselves weightless, and are teleported North, to a crypt outside the capital of Sojourner’s Rest. It is there they find Valor and Ruwina, apparently tasked by the Duke at behest of the Shadowbane to find and eliminate shadow cultists. Valian, however, found himself growing tired of doing the Inquisition’s work for them while an army of Orcs still sat on his doorstep. With Ruwina and the remnants of the Avengers of Norgas dropped into his lap, he took the initiative to task them in finding reason to move his troops against the Greenskins, ending their threat, and getting out from under the thumb of the Shadowbane Inquisition.

Before beginning their task, the joined groups returned to Norgas, finding the familiar faces of Kayla and adventurer-formerly-known-as-Rold, preparing a sizable force for their expedition into the Northlands.

End of Chapter 3

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Priming
Unforeseen Effects

With Alanduil and the Counts of Emair and Kinley riding to counter the threat of Anaise opening a second front at Azurestone, Taramitsu Ujio and Content Not Found: aethor-grenhal ride to meet Sergeant Kalren in command of of the forces laying siege to the city of Far Hearth. There they are tasked with leading two companies alongside Captain Armstrong to take the city for the Rebellion.

While fighting through the city, a monstrous screech echoed out from the Keep above the city, and the sky took on a red glow. The fighting halted for both sides, and an eerie calm overtook the city, before the the ground began to tremble, before a second, inhumane bellow broke the silence and great spires of crimson crystal erupted from the earth. Taramitsu was flung into the air from the explosion with a massive, concussive force that brought him to unconsciousness. The resulting fever dreams and Hellish nightmares ensued for what seemed like numerous lifetimes, interrupted with short bouts of consciousness in a cold world with a crimson night sky, and sounds of intense battle.

When Taramitsu’s fever broke, and he awoke from his slumbering ordeal, he found Far Hearth a drastically different place from when he fell into unconsciousness. The upper part of the city is riddled with giant crystalline spires that hoist parts of the city haphazardly into the sky, which is dominated by a massive, cracked moon that takes up more than a quarter of the star-filled night sky.

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At Tasks End
Dark Wings Deadened

Aethor and Taramitsu emerge from the Granary, into a heavy rain and fading light. Instead of facing the wounded Wyvern in the dark of night, they rest at the abandoned Inn, and wake to snowfall.

They set out and find the Wyvern, asleep and still crippled from the Giant’s shot, where they set about a swift and effective assault, ending the terror before it’s attack can ever truly begin. With their task fulfilled, they return to HymskgĂ„eir, retrieve the key to the third floor, and head on their way, where they find the Duchess’ bed chambers, and a Mirror Golem protecting them. Taramitsu shatters the Golem, and they retrieve the treasures of the Duchess and leave the Manor behind, returning to the Crossroads.

At the Crossroads, the adventuring duo find the bulk of the army having moved on to siege the Capital City of Far Hearth. After a few hours preparation they set out to the East, and after a day and a half cold ride, they reach the frozen city of Far Hearth. On the road, they meet Alanduil riding the other way, having received word that Duchess Anaise is planning to assault Azurestone Keep by way of Mezar’s Eye, in a mad attempt to open a second front. Alanduil urges the two to find Sergeant Kalren and aid how they can in the Siege, before riding to Azurestone for their reward.

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