Scales of War
Letter from Alain to Denkstrum, written before the journey to Mountainroot
I hope this letter finds you well, and that your search for your friends and family is over, ended happily. Should the this task in Overlook end quickly, I am willing to travel to the Feywild to help, if you are still searching.
Tis odd, but we, ourselves, are dealing with a plot of shapeshifters, High Priest Durkik of the Temple of Moradin turned out to be one, and it seems a General Zitheran is trying to get to the old Dwarven temple of Mountainroot, something with being able to commune with Moradin’s angels… it looks like the two plots could potentially be intertwined.
I admit, I find myself ill at ease with the First Foreign Legion of Brindol, as two new members have joined after my weakness was too great to save Feremore. One is a quiet Eladrin, who I don’t entirely trust, mayhaps you know Bruuken. All I know is that he wears dark colors, and wields a large axe. There’s also an elf, Tre’lyn who seems to drink far too much, I worry about his condition whenever we ride into battle, though he has been a great boon to us, his skill, like Bruuken’s, is great. Tis odd not having anyone around from the start, I don’t know what it is about me, that has led me to live, when others have fallen.
Forgive me, I don’t mean to be so depressing, I just feel ill at ease. Keep me informed of your travels and path, and if there is anything I can do to help, hesitate not to ask.
Winter 1, entry 2
Our quarry escaped, it seems a group of men rescued the priest of Zehir, by bashing Cirion and Bruuken over the head. Perhaps we should not leave them in charge of prisoners…
We ended up being thrown out of the Temple of Moradin, it seems that something is wrong, as the temple is ill-kept outside of the main hall. Durkik called the watch to throw us out. Jackass.
Cirion and I investigated the temple of Avandra, it seems as though the priest of Avandra doesn’t recognize either of us. Which is quite odd considering Cirion has been here before, and donated quite a bit of wealth. Maybe there is some conspiracy of the high priests.
Entered the temple of Moradin in the Divine Knot, and saw Megan Swiftblade of the Freeriders or whatever. She seemed quite unhappy about being stuck there, and envious of the First Foreign Legion of Brindol. I’d gladly give up the glory, should it mean that my friends and allies would survive. Thrown out of here as well, essentially, turns out we killed a group of Hammerfist dwarves after they ambushed us. Perhaps we should start subduing our enemies, or the dwarves of Overlook should quit pitying attempted murderers.
Tried tracking the Lost Ones, since they were the ones who rescued the Zehir priest. Failed.
Failed again to track the Lost Ones.
Quit running, dammit.
Finally remembered that Durkik was out sneaking, plan tonight is to follow him. Odds are we end up losing him, considering our past luck with the Lost Ones.
Winter 1, entry 1
Much has happened since I’ve last written, all of it in Overlook. Though, I suppose I haven’t written about what happened before: we basically completed our task, completing the ritual in Fortress Graystone with minimum trouble, mainly being a slight mistake during said ritual that seems to have drained us all, making us weaker, more tired… and the sword we carried turned into a woman. I suppose that was important as well.
When we returned to Overlook, I spent time with the woman, Amyria, to see what exactly it was that called her to Overlook, but all she did was pray to Ioun. (Note to self: spike Roogan’s ale with something, if he mentions my girlfriend being a sword). I returned to the inn to learn that a priestess of Erathis, Levinia, was looking for us. It seems her predecessor, Halyn, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and she pleaded with us to determine what happened.
After some… failed attempts, we learned that a man had replaced her, murdering her, and acting as a priest of Erathis. A General Zitheran was his employer, though his orders came from High Priest Durkik…
November 11, 2009
It’s been far too long a time since I’ve written, and much has happened. I find myself restless as we attempt to rest in Fortress Graystone. This place, in particular, has been alien and unsettling. Perhaps it is just that it obviously wasn’t built by races that I am used to, all I know is that I will feel far more relaxed once we leave. Though, I admit, there is a certain excitement in seeing these wondrous places. The Thornwastes, the old Dwarven mine of Karrak, a glimpse of the elemental chaos… even the Shadowfell, all sights that I would never have seen should I have continued my path as a common sellsword.
The oddest sight, that I have seen, is the old man with the canaries. I seem to recall hearing some story about such a figure in the past, but I remember no details. My mind must be playing tricks upon me. We met him in the mine, sitting in a cell, and we released him, he wandered about the place, seemingly content and carefree. His responses to us were small, as if we mattered not, and we last saw him walking into the desert wastes, during a terrible sandstorm. I still feel guilt at letting him go, without trying harder.
Further down however, was a Naga, this supposed queen. We defeated her, as an elemental creature flew about. It left back into something like a rift to the elemental chaos, leaving behind a ring. The forces around here seem to grow more dangerous and more numerous…
June 29, 2009
It’s been far too long since we’ve had time to relax and enjoy life, but we’ve finally managed some much needed rest. Apparently Overlook has a grand festival every year, and we managed to return in time for it. While Sharshan’s words fill me with dread, I have to admit that this was a very much needed break.
Our time was spent on a variety of contests, feats of combat, drinking, and strength. Denkstrum was awarded the title of Trapmaster, for his skill in disabling traps, while I merely managed to place second in a drinking contest. Roogan was surprisingly skilled in battle, making it near the finals with his hammer in the combat that he participated in.
We also signed up for a grand melee, fighting our way through halflings, dwarves, elves, dragonborn, and humans, making our way to the final round. Word on the street is that the top-tier fighting group is a band of tieflings. I’m sure that we’ll win, otherwise it would look bad for the Foreign Legion of Brindol, others would perhaps think, that they could have accomplished more with the chances that we received…
Regardless, this has also given us time to train, and become ready for our next battles, wherever they may be. Sharshan still lurks, and knows something, and I feel it is only a matter of time before we meet again.
June 22, 2009
Our battle with Modra is finally over, and our journey to the Shadowfell is ended. There are grim tidings, Sharshan has spoken of a doom that will befall our world. I am just glad that Avandra found us worthy enough to spare us. Our last battles ended poorly, fighting swarms of ravenous bugs, with a giant beetle. We were losing, and it was not until Sharshan (who turned out to be the elderly man who told us of Modra’s whereabouts) appeared, along with a Shadar-Kai captain that we were able to turn the tide, after Cirion and I refused Sharshan’s offer of working. It would have been more tactically sound to go with the others’ plan, join and get close, and then betray Sharshan, but… if we did that, we would have been used to deal evil deeds, and I don’t think I could forgive myself for that. After Sharshan left, we were left to fight the Shadar-Kai captain and his men. Denkstrum ran off to talk to Sharshan while we fought, and when the rogue return, tried to bluff the captain into believing we had joined. Which failed. We managed to win and escape, making it to the apparent entrance of the Shadowfell, at least, where we came in from, and back to the Happy Beggar Inn. Shadowy, wraith-like beings attacked us, and though we were all on our last legs, battered and bloody, we prevailed. No deaths on this mission, it seems our group grows stronger.
On our return, the Council of Overlook bequeathed gifts upon us. New armor for me, and other items for my companions. In the interim, as we wait to find our next goal, I will be training, learning to be faster, quicker. I also wish to procure another weapon, something I can throw to use against my enemies…
June 9, 2009
I’m leaning against the wall, watching Modra, waiting for him to waken after our last battle. So much has happened since my last entry. Our last fight with Modra ended badly, with the First Foreign Legion of Brindol in retreat, while the fiend escaped, leaving us to deal with Wraiths. We prepared ourselves for a rematch, but while waiting for some of the others to finish their preparations, Denkstrum and I were ambushed. Dark Creepers swarmed, and we put up a valiant effort, but there were too many, and we were both too surprised. I remember being pricked by a Dark Creeper’s blade, and then collapsing, probably poison of some sort. When I next awakened, we were being dragged through a rift. Denkstrum managed to teleport away for a precious few moments, to drop the key that we had near the arch, but he was dragged off, and we were both beaten into unconsciousness.
The next time I awoke, I was being carried by a Troll. We learned that a Shadar Kai named Sharshan ran this place, and he was some sort of mercenary leader. One who made a living by taking money to fight from one side, and then taking more money from the other side to not. Very different from the mercenaries that I grew up with, my mother would not have done the same, though I suppose the Shadar Kai have little honor. We were rescued by our allies, I’m afraid I was pretty useless in the fight, being weaponless, but we were reunited with the rest of the group.
After some investigation we learned that Modra was planning to destroy the Forge, to disrupt Sharshan’s plans. An ally of Modra’s approached us, and said she would prefer that Modra get a quick death, rather than the long torturous one that Sharshan would grant him. We scouted out the Forge, Denkstrum snuck around and climbed up the building, but found nothing. We did learn that Modra had a plan to get in for that night, and that’s when we entered.
The battle was quick, and we took Modra alive. I don’t know what we should do with him after questioning him. What would Avandra decree? Let him live afterward, or end it quickly?
May 19, 2009
I write this as we rest before facing Modra, if what a Dark Creeper shouted, before his death, is any indication. I know not how strong this enemy is, but I doubt we will be able to simply leave and return another night. I fear it ends tonight, for good or ill.
It took time to find our way here, we learned of Modra’s involvement in some caper in Bordin’s Watch, and that he is arming Trolls, Orcs, and who knows what else, despite the victory at the Watch. Could he have something to do with the attack on the Nexus? I recall battling some member of his race, but I fear all these battles are starting to blur again. But he may have had something to do with the events that caused Eris’s and Dalan Rah’s death. Maybe even going as far back as the attack in Brindol. We ran into a Dwarf, who fought at Bordin’s Watch, and speaking with him was much like how it was in the Undead Wars back home. He told us of Modra’s failed operation, and we eventually, after talking to an arms dealer in Shantytown, of the Happy Beggar Inn.
Foolishly, we went it (well, I did at least), with weapons drawn, but it was just a place for the poor to find some respite. We did meet an adventurer, and after some clumsy talk from myself, I managed to learn that Modra had made this his base of operations at one point. Into the depths we went.
There was a rather hidden passageway, that only our companions Cirion Karn and Roogan saw at first, which led to bats. Here, I switched to a crossbow, as they flew out of reach. I just thank Avandra, that my mother taught me how to use one, for she said that many caravans look for skill in using one, when they hire guards. I think she would have preferred for me to follow in her own footsteps, rather than joining the army… I find that the threat of death in the next room has made me a little strange, reminiscing about my past…
Regardless, the next room was where the real fight was. We managed to sneak into a small entryway, where Dark Creepers, and a witch were, with a curiously dark-veiled cage. I let my companions focus on the witch and three of the Dark Creepers, while I went to engage the three near the cage. I was not quick enough to stop them from opening the cage, which released two dark hounds. It was a bitter fight, but through some unconventional tactics, we won the day. Roogan helped clear the fight around me, with his fiery power, though it also hit me, it was a good tactic to try to clear the way. I just wish I had managed to make myself relax, and not instinctively dodge the fire, it could have helped immensely.
Sadly, we still do not know what this key that we have is for. Perhaps we can learn from Modra, if we can take him alive, however brief that life afterward is. We are all battered and tired, but we will win the day.
May 5, 2009
We’ve met two new allies, an Elf named Cirion Karn, and a Goliath named Feremore, both skilled companions who came to us with a key found in the Nexus. It seems that those in possession of it tend to die in rather suspicious circumstances, and they felt it wise to give it to us, as we are somewhat famous here in Overlook. The Council knew nothing about it, and all the information that we’ve found suggests that it came from the Shadowfell. A local gang of thugs had attacked us, but we fought them off, and learned that Modra wants the key, and some petty lieutenant named Delgan was hired to take it from us. The Ninebells is where they were staying, in an old, ruined temple of Pelor. We talked Delgan’s guards into a meeting, and I gave the key, more obviously than intended, to Denkstrum, in case things got ugly. He had the best chance of escaping, should we have to fight. We attempted a deal with Delgan to lure his boss to the temple, so we could get more information, but all it resulted in was a thug’s death, and the loss of 200 hundred gold and a magical bastard sword, and orders from Delgan to find and kill Modra, lest he kill us. We still have few clues about where this key came from, or what it’s for. Our only course of action is to find Modra, and beat it out of him. At least we tried…
I admit that I am a little leery of continuing on this little key… trip, I fail to see how it could possibly be connected to the Orc invasion, and I would rather make those orcs pay in blood for my friends, rather than deal with magic keys. Yet… I think that Eris would want us to help, for Cirion was a friend of his, and this case could be Avandra telling us Her will. Maybe this will help, or be connected to all the shadowy dealings that have been happening in this vale. I am just glad that our new companions seem to be quite skilled in combat, it brings some small peace of mind to know that they can handle themselves. At least, so far.
April 28, 2009
Another friend has fallen, while I was powerless to do anything. Dalan Rah gave his life for Roogan’s and mine, and for that he will not be forgotten. He was always glib and jesting, and it was hard to take him seriously, but when our backs were against the wall, he would always pull us through. Only two of us who started in Brindol remain.
While others have been rejoicing, I have been throwing myself into training. Maybe if I had been a little strong, a little faster, Dalan Rah would not have died. Maybe Eris would still be here. And Haladron. All I know is that I must get stronger, protect my friends and allies.
I don’t know what will happen next, I just pray to Avandra that it helps me avenge my comrades against the Red Hand, or whatever those orcs call themselves. I doubt that this over, and as long as any of them still live, I will be fighting them. For Haladron and Eris. For Dalan Rah.
April 7, 2009
After our brush with death in the depths of the Monastery of the Broken Chain, I thought it would be a good idea to record our story as well. If we are felled, at least there may be two records about, for others to find and accomplish what must be done.
We battled in a fiery forge in the Monastery, against Orc, and an Orog, and we barely escaped with our lives. It was only through sheer luck that I managed to save Denkstrom from the Orog fighter, who had tried throwing him into flame. After the battle, we met with Kalad, the sole survivor of the Monastery, who told us that he had collapsed the tunnel to stave off the orc army, but we learned there was another passage into the Vale, in the treacherous passages of the Vents.
We had heard of this place, one group the Faststriders? something riders? I cannot remember, were sent to block it, but Kalad was worried, so we agreed to help out. After a much needed rest, we arrived at the Vents, only to find an old camp, all that remained of the group sent here. Hurrying, we rushed inside, eventually meeting another battle.
It was here that our valiant comrade Eris was slain, two allies so far have died while I could only watch. I swear to Avandra the Orc army will taste our vengeance, and regret fighting us.