Against the Tempest's Roar

Of Lords and Bugs
In which the letters 'ed' become curiously significant.

As the party arrives at Lord Bren’s estate, he is sparring with the head of the city watch. Waiting in the salon, they place Aric’s unconscious form on the floor near a divan. Lord Bren was noticeably surprised upon seeing Aric, and had some questions about what happened.

He had not been the focus of any attacks until the events of a few days ago, and is at a loss about what to do. Searching Aric’s body, they found the aberrant dragonmark that now covers his upper torso. They called for the King’s Wands to take him to a secure location, and woke him up for questioning in the meantime.

Cocky even in captivity, Aric asserted that he was not yet defeated. Between his grandiose claims, the party managed to extract some information:
  • He quoted a new bit of prophecy: “And the five that were not fell[ed?] on the day of memory”
  • He claims to have “Studied under Ghalerath” and been to the shores of Argonessen.
  • He said he had the Bladebearers under his thumb.
  • He also mentioned another associate, Borkal.
  • He claimed that the current peace would fall, followed by a war like no other.
  • He claimed that “the five” are in him, as one, that he stands on top of this coming war, and that he has shaped the prophecy to his will.

After the Wands take Aric away, Lord Bren said that a business associate of his, Kalaja Rusio, is the military-citadel liaison in Sharn and might be able to get them another chance at questioning Aric. He would want a favor in return, however, and Lord Bren suggests looking into some labor problems at a foundry that Bren and Kalaja have financial interests in. He sends a letter of introduction to Dulcinea’s office for use once the favor is completed.

Splitting up to do some research, the party attempted to learn more about Aric’s claims. Hanmere checked in with the High Druid of Sharn, who offered to perform a divination when the moons are right in six days. She shared that some of their visionaries have lately had ominous dreams about the Daughters of Sora Kell meeting with black dragons in secret places.

Dulcinea ran some of their questions past her friend and colleague Gydd Nephret, who thought that “the five” could refer to the Five Nations, or maybe the five children of Galifar I, but said that she was by no means an expert on prophecy. She also confided that some of her students had recently quit the university in order to search for the Mages of Saruun hidden in the Blackcap Mountains of northern Breland. Checking in with the resident prophecy scholar/crackpot, Dulcinea learned of the importance of determining where a given piece of prophecy was uncovered in order to provide a frame of interpretation.

Following Lord Bren’s advice, the party then descended into the Cogs and entered the Tain Foundry. There they learned that the labor problems resulted from a recent spike in kruthik attacks that had the workers scared to come to work. Some of the kruthiks were reported to fly, a previously unknown variant.

A local priest, Olakkai, has taken up the cause of these workers, and provided the party with a map that showed where he believed the hive might be. Following this map, they discovered an ancient Dhakaani tomb. There they found a number of kruthik corpses and spent goblin arrows, but no other signs of the goblins. The entry chamber to the tomb also contained a ten foot high pile of skulls, held in place by a low wall bearing the following inscription:

“Ashurta, slayer of these weaklings, keeper of the Blade of the Ashen Crown. Even in death, he is stoic and strong. The might of Xoriat has not bested him, and Hell goes with him.”
  • The reference to Hell suggests that this Ashurta had power of devils or other fiendish beings
  • The reference to the might of Xoriat could refer to the war with the Daelkyr, placing this tomb at over 5,000 years old.
Upon examining the skull pile, the party was swarmed by kruthiks pouring out of tunnels in the wall. Some of the kruthiks did indeed fly, but they died like any other bug. Searching around the pile further, they found a magical battle standard with unknown powers, a key, and a blood-stained leather bag with the following contents:
  • A damaged journal
  • 11 non-Brelish gold pieces
  • Potion of healing

The pages of the journal are stained and cut. The few that are scribed bear Goblin writing. The writer was a member of the Kech Volaar-the Wordbearers of Darguun. The goblins came here seeking “Ashurta’s Tomb” and ‘the Blade.” A piece of leather tucked into the section of the journal describing their quest has symbols on it that do not appear to be any kind of heraldry or religious iconography. 123274 cn gl

Using the key to open the doors leading further into the tomb, the party came to a room with four statues of hobgoblins overshadowed by a stylized fiendish figure with gleaming eyes. In the center of the room are sixteen tiles, arranged in a square, bearing the following words in goblin:

East North South Open
Door Fire Right Hell
Rage Hand Release Unlock
Up Left Down Today

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After trying a few of the buttons to no effect, the party moved on through the next door, descending a steep stair into a small room designed to look like the inside of a dragon’s maw. This room had similar tiles, but only four:

Open Close
Up Down

Trying the “open” tile in conjunction with the “open” tile in the other room and finding no effects, the party again tried the next door, which triggered a trap! Both doors leaving the Dragon’s Maw barred shut, the stairs dropped into slippery ramps, and pits and spikes now filled the room. The party fell to the ground as the stairs shifted, but most managed to keep from sliding down the ramp. He’u, however, was not so lucky, as her heavy armor dragged her down to close encounter with the spikes dropping from the ceiling.

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Alchemists and Air sleds
In which our heroes take to the unfriendly skies.

Questioning the surviving changeling, the adventurers learned that he was hired by Aric, who neglected to tell him that it was a suicide mission. The authorities were called in, and the party agreed to meet at Dulcinea’s office at Morgrave University.

There they composed a letter to Lord Bren requesting an audience. While they waited for the response, they began inquiring into Aric’s history. They learned that he went missing a month after the Day of Mourning, and had not been seen until these recent events. Audrey, a contact of Nightchill’s with connections to the black market, had heard of someone buying a significant quantity of arcane material recently, leading to the suspicion that this was Aric. Following this lead, they visited a small shop tucked away in the Bazaar ward of Middle Cliffside.

The shopkeeper, Brael, is a swarthy dwarf not overly concerned with how his goods and services are used. He said Blacktree paid 50,000 gold to learn a summoning ritual, and had ordered a number of various materials in addition. Besides the now-abandoned address at the base of Dalannon Tower, Brael had another address, which he provided after the party made some veiled threats: 6 Redstone Tower, Seventh Tower Ward, Upper Menthis. Asking Nightchill to put in a good word with Audrey, Brael bid the party good day.

Returning to Morgrave, the party found a young page awaiting them. Sent by Lord Bren, he offered to conduct them by sky coach to Bren’s home in Skyway. Their otherwise peaceful journey was interrupted when Aric and a company of goblins swooped in on soar sleds. A heated battle ensued, with the ship captain weaving between the towers and bridges. In the end, the raiding party was defeated, and Aric fell from his sled. Moving quickly, Nightchill hijacked a soar sled and cast feather fall on Aric as she dove to catch him as he safely floated to her sled.

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A Day of Remembrance
In which unlikely events continue to occur around towers

Four years later, Lord Bren has decided to have a remembrance ceremony on the anniversary of the Day of Mourning. Dulcinea, Hanmere, and He’u are invited to attend. Although not invited, both Alain and Nightchill attend for their own reasons.

Midway through the ceremony, the door beneath the balcony slammed open and a sickly gray mist wafted out. In the center of the mist was a 7 foot tallk creature resembling a white-furred ape. The adventurers managed to destroy the creature, but only after it had killed a number of bystanders. Once killed, the creature dissolved into gray mist which briefly took the shape of the same prophecy mark they had encountered four years before.

Following a trail of victims (and with a few mishaps), they managed to track the origin of the creature to a townhouse at the base of the tower. A band of Red Jackal shifters and Bladebearer goblins waited inside. After defeating the ambush, the adventurers prepared to investigate upstairs. There they found a strange machine arcing bolts of lightning, tended by a dolgaunt and two changelings. Dolgaunt

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