The 7th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- The stones of the Kingstower tumbled to the ground to their final resting place amongst the ruins of the once-great city. Something about their state, felt final, permanent. The group began discussing what to do next. They turned to Andriel for advice, but the cleric seemed half lost in his own mind, as if still trapped within the cube. When pressed for answers, he refused to speak of it, as if not saying the words would keep the trauma from his mind.
- Drums sounded in the distance, breaking their discussion, as on cue, goblins filed back into Irador to toil at the tower’s base once more. The party concealed themselves, wondering what the goblin’s reaction would be, and coming to a decision that they’d best spend another night in the ruins to make sure the tower didn’t once again rise when the sun fell.
- Goblins appeared in groups but stopped short of the tower. First, they noticed the destroyed forms of the elven skeleton horde that had formed around the tower’s foundation. One brave goblin stepped forward and through the bodies, toward the ruins. Not to be out-done, other leaders approached. The goblins argued at the center, several fighting until one was slain. They seemed to be arguing about the rusted gear on the ground, the now inanimate skeleton remains, and the state of the fallen tower. They too, seemed to sense a change in the tower, and after some time the goblin tribes dispersed.
- The party camped out through the day, enjoying some much needed rest after the gauntlet they’d just faced. Cahal took wing to keep an eye over the group, and when night fell, the tower stayed collapsed. The Kingstower Haunting had been defeated.
- That night, Cahal had a terrible nightmare. He saw a snowy village overran by savage men. At the town’s center, a Rootbound Temple burned, the branches of it’s grovetree alight with flames.
The 8th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- In the morning the group set out from the ruins to return to civilization. The forest felt much different than it had when they entered. It seemed less dark, less haunted. They did have several near encounters with revenants. They surmised that though the haunting was defeated, the murderer of these particular spirits was still at large, and thus they lingered on.
- One night Asgrim experienced a nightmare which kept him from sleep. In his dream, he delved deep into The Furyforge, though as he went deeper, he saw the citadel in ruin, and felt a terrible and powerful presence in the darkness that he could not shake, even after waking.
- The group traveled for three days before smelling the briny air of the ocean, and hearing its ever present rumble, beyond the forest.
The 11th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- They approached the bay road, but were halted by forms on the path. They moved a bit closer to see a large line of people streaming down the road. They looked downtrodden, carts carried wounded or dying people, many walked with limps and signs of battle. Cahal took wing and landed on one such cart to listen in on what the people had to say.
- From what the druid gathered, these were refugees from Earlmoor, a town to the south that the group had come through on their way from Point Oreish little more than a ten-day ago. (see The Road to Brokenbridge). When last the party was there, a massive pavilion had been constructed in the city square, beneath which a secret waited to be revealed at the Summer’s Fortune festival. So, on the First Sword the tent had been lowered to reveal a beautifully wrought iron statue of Prince Ferron. The townsfolk rejoiced and thanked Hollibard, the town wizard who’d overseen the project. Little did they know, it would awaken several days later to lay waste to their town. Hollibard was nowhere to be found, some of the townsfolk blamed him, others stood behind him, proposing that his magic was somehow turned against them.
- The group felt torn, but ultimately chose to continue on to Brokenbridge. They carried what they felt to be extremely valuable and volatile cargo, and wanted answers as soon as possible. The party waited for the refugees to pass, and followed far behind to avoid detection.
The 12th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- Some ways behind the caravan of townsfolk, the group passed through the gates of Brokenbridge only to be halted and surrounded by city guards. Leading the guards, a knight of House Aldaine approached and informed the party they had been sought, and were immediately summoned to Lord Aldaine’s court. The knight and his men seemed to nervously grip their weapons, and seemed ready for an attack. This didn’t seem to be the heroic welcome the group had anticipated.
- The group was then escorted to the castle and into the throne room. A group of notables were in attendance. Among them, Lord Alyn Aldaine and his royal guard, Deacon Nicolaos of the church of Dimaeria, Father Theaton of the Rootbound Brotherhood, and Young-Lord Tanyon Kairclaw, the one they call Darkclaw.
- The party was then informed that they had been charged with the highborn murder of Sir Dynis Kairclaw. A blind man was lead forward, whom the party recognized as the falconer who’d rode with Sir Dynis, introducing himself as Polther Windworn. The falconer weaved a lie of their groups intentions, insisting that they were attacked by the adventurers, and hadn’t sought the fight.
- After hearing everyone’s testimony and arguments, and after learning of the great deeds the party had accomplished within the forest (backed by evidence of the forests blight receding), Lord Aldaine judged in favor of the party! This disgusted Darkclaw, who openly threatened the party should they venture into Kairclaw lands.
- Having been exonerated, the party was welcomed as heroes to stay within the castle as long as they pleased, and were received with royal hospitality.
- Immediately after their trial, Father Theaton approached Cahal, worry in his voice, and insisted that the druid come to the Rootbound temple to speak further of druidic matters. So, the group headed back across the Bridge of Accord to the arboreal monastery. There, Theaton lead them to one of the many trees within the temple, which stood withered and dead. Cahal knew this to mean that the temple had been destroyed, and thinking back to his dream, wondered if they could be one and the same. Theaton confirmed that the time of Cahal’s nightmare, and the tree’s withering were in line. Somehow the druid had seen a thousand miles away, to a temple in the far north.
- Even more pressing though, was the message Father Theaton had received only yesterday, from the Arch-Druid, speaking of dire omens, and requesting the Father’s presence at the Hometree.
- Cahal revealed the cube to Father Theaton, who knew not what it was. He did wonder however, if it was the mysterious force behind the blight of Viridia. By all accounts, the evil in the forest had already begun to wane. He also urged that it be brought to the Hometree for druidic inspection. Cahal could promise nothing, but agreed such a move would be wise. With that, the druids parted ways.
- Taranath also left the castle for a brief visit to his friend Ghiraldi Goldfingers. Taranath asked who the authority was was on the lore of the First Men, who’s language was writ on the many faces of the cube. Ghiraldi suggested that the group travel to The Brineshell in Aonar, to the Royal Lore-master Rohmanar, for no man alive knew more of the First Men than he. Goldfingers had once been forced to sit through a rather drull lecture by the old loremaster on the subject.
- Once everyone had returned to the castle, a small feast was prepared for the wary party, who was to be dining with Lord Aldaine. At dinner, Aldaine pressed the party about their quest into the forest. They were happy to oblige, and told the old lord nearly everything, but didn’t mention anything about the mysterious cube that seemed to be behind it all. Lord Aldaine had shown himself to be a friend, but even still, the party was fearful to let anyone know the burden they carried. As their feast wound down, a guard entered to inform the lord of the fate of Earlmoor, and the monstrosity that awoke there. Aldaine ordered a detachment of skyknights to investigate, but to keep their distance. The lord wondered about Hollibard’s involvement, and told the group what he knew of the wizard. With these new revelations, the party vowed to travel to Earlmoor to investigate this risen statue, though their true destination lay much further, across the Azuran Sea, to the city of romance, the capitol of Aonar, the magnificent Brineshell.
The 14th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- Two days passed traveling down the bay road from Brokenbridge to Earlmoor. They saw the smoke first, rising from the horizon like some ominous tendril. When the group finally viewed the town, they were amazed by the utter destruction. From their vantage point, they could see the iron statue standing proud, and seemingly inanimate, in the center of a ravaged city square. Everything within hundreds of feet of the statue was a smoldering ruin. The group took a wide berth around the city’s square and made for Mistvale Manor, the home of the missing wizard.
- The group entered and found the manor to be abandoned. The wizard’s departure must have been sudden, for it was left in disarray.
- Amongst the wizard’s many possessions left behind, stashed away in a locked chest, was an incredible find, and surprising. A grand crown, etched in dwarven runes, with a great ruby at it’s center. Asgrim was staggered for he knew this to be the crown of the Furyforge King, an heirloom that had been missing for two decades. If Hollibard had the crown, what was his involvement in the fate of the Furyforge? Asgrim took the crown with great reverence and care.
- Having searched the manor, the party continued on, and finally sought to confront the statue. The golem woke at their presence, and without hesitation or thought, stomped toward the group with ruinous intent. The great iron golem was wrought to resemble the savior of Viridia, the great Prince Ferron. What an irony now that his form was being used to destroy much of what he saved. The golem’s plates resisted spells, and all but the mightiest of blows, but eventually the party prevailed and toppled the monstrosity, which tumbled apart as the magic that animated it’s form was shattered.
- A wicked laughter sounded from behind them. The group turned to see a dark robed figure with a giant rat on his shoulder. Cahal immediately recognized him as the wizard Hollibard, who he’d seen on their first trip though the town. Hollibard applauded the group’s bravery shown against the statue. The group soon realized that this was not the true wizard, at least not his physical form. It was rather, an astral projection of him. A lengthy dialogue ensued. The wizard revealed his true name to be ‘Denegroth the Dread’, a Servant of Veloris. He explained that he’d brought the cube deep within the mountains and roused the goblins to war. He admitted full responsibility for the Furyforge and the fate of their king, hinting that he had, “used the dwarves greatest secret against them”. He had been the brains behind the goblin horde, but he was defeated in the battle of Irador, and lost the cube. Fleeing the forest, he posed as a survivor in Earlmoor and laid in wait for the last two decades until the cube was freed from the forest. He hadn’t been able to retrieve the cube himself, for the revenants hunted him constantly. He had been the coin behind the sellswords who’d sought the cube in the forest, the ones responsible for Saeros’s death. And now, his formed thanked them for doing the job he never could, and that they would meet again, on his terms, to reclaim his lost treasure. In a blink he was gone, a hollow laughter bounded down the ruined streets into an eerie silence.
|Diplomacy in Lord Aldaine’s court||4,000|
|Iron Golem of Prince Ferron||13||25,600||1||25,600||The truth behind it all (Denegroth roleplay)||4,000|
|Subtotal||33,600 / 6|