The Morning Lord's Glory

Temple Run
Flanking Attack

Temple Run

The battle at the river Tesh continues into the evening intensifying as the sun begins to set. The catapults continue to rain down on the River Gate keeping the Spire forces at bay. Upon nightfall Lord Morn calls for the Freedom Riders to hold the Ford and the River Gate while the main force retreats to the temple. Four Riders are sent south to call upon further Freedom Riders to reinforce Dagger Falls. The fighting is intense in the streets of Dagger Falls, but the explosion that rocked the warehouse district seems to have distracted and disorientated the Zhent forces in the contested zones.

Fighting is heaviest to the north just outside the Temple District . Lord Morn calls upon his elite operatives to break the Zhent line barring passage into the temple. Kotono is leading one of three strike teams comprised of Tarak, Rhuic, Waylan, Duh’rian, and Dervin. It is a flanking assault designed to break their ranks and allow the other strike teams to overrun their position.

The group scouted ahead and found the area they expected to be fortified by Zhents empty and quiet. Waylan was able to spot elves moving quickly and quietly along the rooftops. Dur’hian decides to track the group with a hunch they may be his kin. Three arrows land at Dur’hian’s feet and a tense exchange begins between Dur’hian and members of the Eldrath Veluthra from the Border Forest. They agree to meet him and his group in the Broken Dagger Tavern several blocks ahead.

Upon entering the Tavern Dur’hian is met by someone unexpected, Lor’ian, his father. The talks seemed to be stalling as Lor’ian described the Eldrath Veluthra’s intentions in securing the Border Forest against logging and human incursion once and for all after generations of trespassing. Their tenuous alliances are based on who they feel will prevail in the ongoing struggle. It is Lor’ian’s belief that Dagger Falls will fall tonight and the line of Morn will end. Rhuic finally asked Lor’ian directly why he would ally with Drow. Lor’ian is confused by his suggestion and states that the only groups they have dealt with are an ambassador sent from the Zhents and an Eladrin emissary from the Feywild, Dey’kris. The group explained that they felt confidant that Dey’kris was an drow priestess of Kiaransalee masquerading in their midst. Furthermore, they also uncovered evidence that she has been meddling in Dagger Falls affairs for over 40 year with records found in the Temple Lathander’s Light. Lor’ian agrees to retreat and relinquish the River Gate.

An elf, badly injured, bursts into the tavern and exclaims that the Zhent position has been overrun and they are retreating. They will soon be upon them.

The group takes up position and engages the enemy in the streets. They begin clearing a path to the temple. Tavion, leading Lord Morn, comes upon them and the group frantically makes its way to the temple.

The temple is quickly secured and a forward operating base is erected in the temple. Lord Morn makes it clear that time is of the essence. A detachment is sent to secure the River Gate and Lord Morn instructs the group to make its final preparations. They will be making their way to the Constable tower within the hour…

This is where we left off…until we meet again

View
Terms of Endearment
Fire from Above

A Plan

It is decided that the main encampment would be moved to the Temple District while leaving a detachment behind to defend the River Gate. Additionally, a contingent of Freedom Riders is sent east toward Teshwave to scout for Zhent reinforcements. As the conclave disperses and begins preparations a watchman set on the River Gate towers spots movement on top of Eagle’s Eyre. Large war machines are being rolled into position. A contingent of approximately 30 black riders are approaching from the south along the Teshyamar Trail. They stop short just south of the ford across the Tesh River. A single rider approaches and delivers a sealed letter for Kotono Shin. It is delivered to Randall Morn who after reading it looks at Kotono and hands him the letter. It reads:

K,
It has been sometime since we have seen one another, and much has changed. I wish to discuss terms with you.

Affectionately,
Kara

As Kotono reads the note confusion furls his brow. Suddenly a moment of recognition spreads across his face. Kara​ ​Chermosk​. Zhent commander of the Black Road caravan operations prior to the Northspire Mercenaries. She infiltrated the Northspire Mercenaries and posed as a caravan guard under the command of Kotono Shin. She is extremely clever and manipulative. It was later learned that she was responsible for the Tesh Pass Ambush in the Desertsmouth Mountain three years ago. Kotono nearly lost his life that day and he has long sought to bring her to justice for her treachery. It seems she is the source of recent troubles along the Black Road. Are the rumors of Zhent operations in the upper mines of Tethyamar true? The only known access to the top of Eagle’s Eyre is from the west.

Lord Morn directs Kotono to lead ride out to receive Kara’s terms. Rhuic, Tarak, Shevaril, Dervin, and Duh’rian accompany Kotono. They are greeted at the ford of the River Tesh by 30 black riders. Others are spotted hiding within the woods on either side of the trail leading up to the south side of the Ford. Two riders, one baring the standard of the Zhentarim meet them. After a tense exchange between Kotono and Kara, the terms are set. The Zhents will spare the citizenry of Dagger Falls under the following conditions – 1) The Northspire Mercenaries and the Freedom Riders vacate Dagger Falls within one week and 2) Lord Randall Morn is handed over before sundown of this day to be publicly executed. Kotono’s reply is simple and terse – unequivocally no. He then promises to slay Kara as surely as he did Olive before. Kara cooly responds, “Dagger Falls will fall before the night is through and the line of Lord Morn will end forever.” As soon as the words pass her lips two arrows find their mark on Kara to hammer home the “negotiations” with an exclamation point.

A furious melee ensues as the the group does it’s best to hold off the Zhent forces at the ford. Three waves of enemies are felled before Zhent archers begin reigning down upon the party forcing their retreat.

This is where we left off…until next time

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Rhuic Bladeborn
Crawling into the Light

The Freedom Riders

Lord Randal Morn has summoned you to a conclave of what remains of the Court of Daggerdale. The past two days have been relatively quiet but as refugees filter into the encampment around the River Gate. Hushed tales and murmurs tell of great atrocities within the city walls. But also great heroism. Word has spread of the exorcism of Lathander’s Light, the temple to the Morning Lord, and Lord Morns safety. It has struck a blow to your enemies and bolstered the hearts of those still within the embattled walls of Dagger Falls.

Your days have been spent tending to the fortification of the River Gate, gathering intelligence, and pushing back minor skirmishes near the Warehouse District. You have gathered your strength, but the looming Constable Tower hovers in the distance reminding that your work is not done…

One question gnaws at the back of your mind more than any other…Dreg, the Court Marshall and Warden of the Northspire Mercenaries. The story of his being separated from Lord Morn while defending the tower…does he still live? Is he still fighting within the black tower?

A horn breaks the silence. Turning, riders can be seen cresting the Teshyamar Trail holding high a familiar standard…

THE FREEDOM RIDERS HAVE ARRIVED!

Rhuic Bladeborn

Darkness. Blinking the blur from your eyes you feel the familiar sting of your wounds. You can still hear the screams of your comrades ringing in your ears. Gathering yourself you look around and see that you are alone. There is a soft light ahead and the flow of water down the passage leads the way. Stumbling from fatigue your mind wanders to that moment…separated from Dreg you had retreated into the cistern tunnels hoping to escape the onslaught of the drow. Near the end you were cut off from Dreg and a small contingent of Spire. You watched helplessly as they were carried away by a wave of enemies. Surrounded and fighting to the last man you turned to see Lord Morn unconscious at your feet. You would die for this man – you had sworn to Dreg that you would defend his life with your own. It seems you were about to hand it over. Peace suddenly fills your being. Living a life of rage this feeling is something you have never known but it is unmistakable. A warm light falls over you…

As you fall to the ground instead of the cold stone you expected you land softly. Perhaps your ancestors were correct – death is not to be feared. Looking up you see that you are in a magnificent glade. It is night and the light of a full moon illuminates it like day. Singing fills your ears in a language you do not understand. As you turn you see a tall dark elf dancing in the middle of the glade bathed in the light of the moon. She is beautiful beyond measure with flowing white hair as long as she is tall. Other elves dance with her. Her gaze suddenly meets your own and you are filled with a calm that surpasses all understanding. She gently smiles and gestures to the edge of the glade. A massive white stag emerges into the clearing and stands majestically. In your mind you hear, “Bring light into the darkness…”

Your next memory is that of waking with a start under the bodies of your comrades. Shoving the bodies aside you look about frantically turning over body after body seeing only death staring back at you. Blood stings and blurs your vision, but it is as you feared; Lord Morn gone.

There is no worse fate than to endure the shame of this failure. Death would be a mercy. These memories sting more than any wound you carry. Tears of rage begin to well up as you shake off the memory.

Stumbling out of the stinking sewer the light of day is blinding. It has been nearly 3 days since you have seen the sun. It is warm on your face and a gentle breeze blows through your hair. The sound of the Dagger Falls roars in the distance. Gripping your sword you turn toward the RIver Gate.

The crack of a stick breaks the silence and you see the sway of tall grass move oddly. Pulling your massive blade from your side and gripping tightly with both hands you ready yourself. Slowly a figure raises up with a bow trained upon you. He is unfamiliar to you and bares the look of a Border elf. On each side of him five others raise up with their bows drawn. A man with dark skin holding a dagger crouches near the elf. “Who are you and what is your business?” Looking about you recognize men of the Spire. Putting your blade to your side you salute, hand over your heart with a thud as your hand slaps your armor. Three ranking symbols are tattooed on the first knuckle of your hand. “Hail and well met.”

The elf seems unfazed and doubles down, raising his voice further, “State…your…business.” Perturbed you shoot back, “State yours, elf. I do not recognize you, but I know my brothers.” The elf looking about to the other men asks, “Do you know him?” Several of the men exchange knowing nervous glances, “Aye, he is one of ours. He is one of Lord Morn’s personal escorts.” They lower their bows and return the salute.

The elf introduces himself as Dor’hian Greenleaf an elf tenuously aligned with the Northspire Mercenaries for now. They lead you to the River Gate and take you immediately to the triage tent. Many men lay wounded and in various states of treatment. A man you do not recognize approaches and exchanges a few hushed words with Dor’hian. He introduces himself as Dervin a Morninglord. You can’t help but notice the soft glow eminating from a torque around his neck. Saying a prayer he lays his hands upon you and you feel warmth and a familiar light. The same light that fell over you as you fell. You hear those words again, “Bring light into the darkness.”

“Lord Morn is requesting your presence in his tent. He is calling a conclave of leaders.” Turning you see a familiar face. “Dervin, please come at once.” Standing, your massive frame rises above everyone in the tent. The knowledge that Lord Morn lives releaves a heavy burden. “Rhuic? You live!” The familiar face of Felgrin another of Lord Morn’s guard is refreshing. Felgrin rushes up and slaps you on the shoulder, “You look like shit.” With a smile he continues, “But you still live. Lord Morn will want to see you immediately.”

The Conclave

Upon entering a large tent you duck low to get inside. A large table is in the middle of the room. Standing around the table are Randal Morn and several members of the Court of Daggerdale and the Northspire Mercenaries; Shevaril Starcloak, Tunfer the Stout, Mestin “The Troll” Durmark, Dulwar the Leatherworker, Kessla, and Baretrek “The Bear” Brightblade, Dreg’s “Second”. Additionally, you spot Nathier Fleetfoot rolling his familiar coin over his fingers and the only Northspire Mercenary that can look you in the eye, your friend Tavion “The Bull”. To Tavion’s side you see your commanding officer, the sniveling Varic. Tavion nods with a knowing smile. Kotono Shin is also present along with a handful of others you do not recognize.

Shevaril stands and looks to the guards. They turn and leave the tent draping the folds over for privacy. “Lord Morn has called each of you here today…” Upon seeing you Lord Morn jumps to his feet and shouts, “Shevaril! A moment…” Rushing up to you he embraces you. “It is good to see you alive, my friend. Do you have word of Dreg?” As he pulls back still clasping your shoulders, the look in your eyes confirms Lord Morns fears. Looking away Lord Morn speaks almost to reassure himself “We must still maintain hope despite these odds. Please, Rhuic, tells us what you know.”

You do your best to retell the last moments of the frantic struggle in the tower as you retreated through the west wing and into the sewers below. As you recall the events of that evening there is one detail that sticks out – Dreg calling off the rear guard at the sealed entrance to the lower hold of the tower. As the words touch your lips you hold your tongue thinking now is not the time.

Shevaril briefs the group on the current state of affairs and invites Dulwar to brief the group on current intelligence:

  • The Drow have overrun the Constable tower.
  • The Temple Distict remains clear of enemies and is uncontested – it seems to still remain under a positive supernatural influence
  • The Market District has been turned into a concentration camp comprised of slave pits.
  • The Eldrath Valuthra from the Border Forest are holding the Forrest Gate.
  • Everything inbetween is being contested by the Zhents as they continue to strike and engage at the River Gate.
  • Dreg is still unaccounted for and his fate is unknown.
  • Zhent reinforcements could come from Teshwave to the east at anytime.
  • There are additional rumors that Zhents have reclaimed a portion of the ancient dwarf mine in Tethyamar to the west in the Desertsmouth Mountains.

The next two hours are filled with debate, shouting, fist pounding, and near brawls between differing opinions. In the end it is determined that there are several courses of action:

  1. Move the forward operating base to the Temple of Lathander’s Light
  2. Send an emissary to the Eldrath Valuthra who hold the Forest Gate requesting they leave under a white flag (Shevaril, Tavion)
  3. Create a diversion large enough to distract the Zhent forces and buy the strike team time (Freedom Riders)
  4. Send a small strike team into the Constable Tower through a secret cistern entrance to eliminate the evil from within and drive back the drow

Lord Morn stands and addresses the group. For several moments he looks around the room at each person, "I know that I can not ask you to do anything I would not do myself, but this land is as much yours as mine. We have survived the tyranny of Vampire Lords, Colderan Morn, Zhent occupation, Drow incurrsion, and now this diabolical plan to steal away our city and our land. This evil must be pushed back. All signs point to the Constable Tower as the source of their hidden agenda. Who will stand with me? Who will volunteer to strike the heart of this evil at it’s source?

We ended here and will pick up next time to see who will stand with Lord Morn!

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A Wish and a Prayer
Time is of the essence...

Portals

The visuals of this dark chamber attack your senses. The black orb seems to eviscerate any light that draws upon it bending and shifting the space around it like heat baking off the desert sands. Tendrils of purple energy dance off it’s surface shooting off in all directions. Several tendrils are tethered to the alter below it. Myrkiira has begun to levitate above the alter and light is beginning to stream from her eye sockets and mouth becoming distorted and dissipating as the orb hungrily devours all energy around it. This is what has been fueling the events of this night. Death, decay, rot, and seething vengeance fuel this orb.

Dervin hears the Torque scream, “It must be cast back into the shadow!”

Durden turns to his right. A black portal opens up and he steps through disappearing. In a similar manner Olive also disappears through a dark portal and reappearing in front of the portal in the chamber off to the north. A purple tendril tethers itself to her body and her eyes pulse with power.

Olive – encounter 1

  • Seeing that there is an impenetrable orb of shadow around Mykiira the group decides to make it’s way into the portal to the left located in a smaler side cavern.
  • There is a simliar portal situated to the right.
  • The light of Lathander’s Blessings seems to fight against the darkness surrounding Mykiira, but can not penetrate it.
  • Mykiira seems to be source of the ritual that is focussed on the shrouded figure on the black alter.
  • Upon entering the portal a familiar barren wasteland greets them.
  • Olive is waiting with a purple tendril of energy wrapped around her like a rope.
    *The group battles against Olive and hordes of undead the rise each round.
  • Additionally, black tendrils spring up randomly around the group hindering their vision and movement.
  • Ethereal ghostly images of the 5 individuals in crow cages begin to appear on this plane as well – their souls are being drained and pulled into this plane.
  • The group steps back through the portal… the was the end of our first encounter session

Durden

Beginning of second encounter the following week

  • The group sees Durden guarding a black portal on the other side of the cavern in a similar side cavern.
  • The shadow surrounding Mykiira has shrunk back now that the first portal has been dispatched.
    *Mykiira is now levitating and darkness is spilling forth from her eyes and mouth engulfing the body on the alter.
  • Durden is able to control the field by his magic casting Cloudkill, improved invisibility, and using his newfound revanent powers.
  • The tight quarters coupled with the lair effects (Hunger of Hadar) aid Durden in delaying the group enough to give Mykiira the time necessary to complete the ritual giving new life to the vile Colderan Morn.

Colderan Morn

Mykirra’s spent corpse slams to the floor with a thud. He lifeforce spent to fuel the ritual. Levitating above the alter is the horrific visage of Colderan Morn now wearing the flesh of his grandson, Randal Morn. A slow menacing laugh echoes of the cavern chamber. “Dagger Falls is now mine and darkness will reign!” With a flash Colderan Morn is gone. Dread fills the room as the realization of what has been unleashed upon the land – a Lich of great power now lives.

Dervin, remembering the words of Vergadain in Eagles Eyre, screems to Kotono, “The dagger! Hand me the Luckblade!” Grasping the Dagger and drawing upon it’s gift time slows down. Dervin is now standing in a vacuum with a light eminating from the dagger about 20 feet then fading into the darkness. Vergadain stands before Dervin, “Colderan lives…your path ahead will be even more difficult.” Just on the edge of the light, Dervin can also see Kiranselle prowling and snarling at them unable to enter the light. “I can’t hold her off much longer – she is gaining power.” Looking Vergadain in the eyes Dervin pleads,“I must interrupt the ritual before it can be complete.” With a concerned look Vergadain nods,“You understand that there will be unforeseen consequences?” Nodding, Dervin closes his eyes and envisions a shell around Mykiira that expels all magic. He sees the moment that he is revived by Kotono during the battle. With a flash of light Dervin awakes to Kotono standing over him. Looking over to the alter Mykiira is suddenly surrounded by an orb and then a flash of light. An explosion rocks the cavern. Tarak is blown back and Mykiira drops to the ground. Durden is eviscerated leaving only dust behind. The black orb, portals, and purple tendrils are gone. The once black alter of bones crumbles to the ground toppling the shrouded body to the ground.

Looking up from the ground, a look of rage spreads across Mykiira’s face and she screams, “NO!”. A dark hand stretches out of the ether and touches Mykiira. In an instant she is gone…

Stunned the group looks around confused, but rejoicing over their circumstances. Standing before them is Randall Morn, “Tell me everything you know.”

The group is able to triage Randall Morn and his companions. After some discussion and debrief it is decided to quickly make their way back to the River Gate to gather themselves. Tunfer the Stout believes that the ritual was fueled by a Void Stone and a demiplane fueled by negative energy. The ritual was drawing upon a second plane of Shadow and the very life forces of Randall Morn and others.

Dervin, Tarak, Dohrian, Sam, Kotono, and Waylan escort Lord Morn to the encampment without incident. It seems the interruption of the ritual has confused and stifled the offensive for the moment giving them the break they need to escape to safety.

We will pick it up next time at the encampment where the group must decide it’s next move in reclaming Dagger Falls…

View
The Ritual
The Morn Line

Morning Shield Armory

  • The effects of the darkness upon the temple are beginning to seep in.
  • Dervin is starting to see shadows flitting on the edges of his vision, believes that he is being pursued relentlessly by the enemies of Dagger Falls. His paranoia is mounting.
  • Dor’hian is confounded by the ineptitude of the group and sees how inferior his comrades are the further they descend.
  • The blessing that Tarak received seems to have protected him thus far from the madness that is surrounding the group.
  • The group, freshly rested, donning new armor and weapons from the secret armory of the Morning Shields, prepare to face what lies below…

A Mysterious Child

  • Dervin’s gaze is drawn to a dark corner in the room; he sees a young child in rags scrounging in a corner of the armory.
  • Fascinated, he is drawn to follow the child out of the room
  • As Dervin turns down the hallway he catches a glimpse of a dark elf holding the child from behind with a hand over the child’s mouth – they disappear to the right.
  • The group reluctantly follows Dervin down the hall and down the stairs to the right that descend to platform and then descend again to another landing
  • Two beastly statues with bat-like wings stand on either side of an archway.

Black Guardians

  • Upon closer examination a soft shimmer is seen at the archway entrance
  • As the group approaches the statues animate; the stone begins to take on a leathery, reptilian sheen.
  • The two guardians begin to speak to the group in riddles and a call and answer with one another
  • A deal is struck: For entrance into the crypts below they must recover something of value currently held by the guardian in the Hall of the Morning Shields. They desire to be released from their service.
  • The group reluctantly makes it’s way to the opposite hall

Hall of the Morning Shields

  • Moans and cries of something large can be heard emanating further down the hall…
  • Upon entering the hall they see a room in disarray and ruin.
  • Only the murals on the walls which depict the storied history of the Morning Shields remain.
  • In the corner is a hulking monstrosity crouched over a pile of rumble.
  • It is preoccupied with the shiny metal objects it has gathered.
  • Upon closer inspection, the beast is a menagerie of dis-proportioned body parts; multiple arms jutting out of it’s back and chest cavity, a leg grotesquely larger than the other causing it to hobble about with a terrible limp, a small head jutting out of it’s shoulder that nervously looks about.
  • Tarak, noticing it’s fascination with shiny objects, tosses a gold piece toward it – the creature is immediately drawn to the coin moaning in excitement. It lumbers over and scrapes up the coin in it’s diminutive hand returning to hover over it’s pile.
  • The group notices that the creature has a black object hanging around it’s neck, but it looks to be only one half of a larger whole; it is a small black gargoyle that is sundered on the back side.
  • Approaching the creature it turns and gives the group a wary eye
  • Dervin offers to exchange a coin that he has placed a light spell on in exchange for what hangs around it’s neck.

Brother Maynard

  • As the figurine is dropped into Dervin’s hands a now familiar*pfmpf* bursts around the group.
  • The group phase shifts and brother Maynard can be seen pacing about in a tizzy, “What a mess! You must help me put the Hall back in order. The Morning Lord will be furious!”
  • With some investigation Brother Maynard points them to the Walk of Artifacts for the other half of the statuette.
  • The group locates the second piece of the statuette and makes it’s way back to the guardians

The Exchange

  • As the two halves are merged the statuette solidifies into one piece; two black gargoyles back to back connected by their wings.
  • Returning to the guardians they hand over the statuette.
  • The guardians step back into the shadows of the corner and disappear, dissolving into the darkness from which they came.
  • The shimmer over the doorway fades and the way is open to them

Hall of the Dead

  • Chanting can be heard ahead as the group forges forward into the crypt below
  • The hallway is lined with niches containing interred remains
  • Every 10 feet are alcoves that have urns of various sizes.
  • The aura of this place is alien, dark, and macabre

Crypt

  • Upon entering the crypt it is clear a dark ritual is being performed.
  • An alter made of human sculls with an obsidian tablet is directly ahead.
  • The eye-sockets of the sculls glow and pulse and magical ley lines pulse through the alter.
  • Atop the alter is body wrapped in a burial shroud.
  • Purple streams of energy are tethered to a two sources in adjacent rooms pulse and surround the alter.
  • Floating above the alter is black orb that is spinning slowly – it is made of an alien material and it pulses drawing upon the energy around it. It seems to be tethered to the alter as well.
  • Five cages hang from the ceiling containing individuals that seem to be feeding the ritual in some way. They are also tethered to the alter with the same purple streams of electrical energy.
  • The group recognizes the dwarf and Dregu’s second, Baretrek Brightblade; Shevaril Starcloak, the High Arcanist of the Court of Daggerdale; Tunfer the Stout, priest of Tyr and Conciliator of the Faiths of the Court of Daggerdale; Dulwar the Leatherworker, Comptroller of the Court of Daggerdale; and Mestin Durmarck, Ranger and Speaker of the Diaspora.
  • Looking to the corridor to the right a portal can be seen opening up into the plane that they originally phased in and out of – purple tentacles of energy flow out of the portal.
  • Behind the alter stands three dark figures; in the middle is the dark elf priestess of Kiaransalee, Myrkiira Desptyl.
  • Myrkiira wears jet black leather armor that bears the mark of her foul deity, a severed drow hand, prominently on the breast of her armor. Her long silver hair falls gracefully down her back. Most striking of all is the silver mask that covers half her face leaving only her left eye and mouth exposed. She carries a blackened shield and a vicious mace that bears a human skull prominently with grotesque thorny spikes jutting out around it. The eyes glow an eerie green haze and a viscous fluid drips from it’s orifices coating the head of the mace. Each drop of poison hisses as it hits the ground. The foul smell of decay and rot follows her wherever she goes.
  • To her left is a another familiar face; the undead visage of the drow wizard, Durden Yauntyrr. His flesh is sunken and his eyes burn with a deep crimson glow. Durden is tall for a drow with fine, sharp features. his hair is well manicured and pulled back tightly. In undeath his visage is even more striking with his skin being pot marked and acid etched giving him a gruesome appearance. He is wearing elegant purple robes and carries rod in one hand.
  • To her left is a a human woman, also clearly undead, but with eyes that glow similarly as Durden’s. She is wearing black leather armor with two daggers at her side.
  • Myrkiira hands are outstretched extending upward and she is chanting loudly.
  • The human undead woman flashes Kotono a wicked glare and shrieks, “Kotono, you have foiled my revenge once, bu the Vengeful mother is with me; you will not escape death this time!”
  • In a moment, Kotono realizes that Olive has risen once gain undeterred by the grave.
  • Durden looks upon Dervin and spits, “You did me a great service ushering me into undeath. I shall now return the favor!”

With that we ended the session…until next time

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Lathander Red
The North Wing

The North Wing

  • Dervin recalled tales told to him by his parents about the temple catacombs after his Grandfather, Hazlem, was laid to rest there.
  • There are four areas of interest: Morning Lord Living Quarters, Catacombs, Winery, and the Sanctuary.
  • After some discussion it is determined that the group will explore the North Wing

The Sitting Room

  • This is a room that was designed to receive visitors in a formal manner. There is an “L” shaped reception half wall with a door behind.
  • The room is severely fire damaged scattered with broken furniture
  • After some investigation the group found the following: A bottle of Lathander Red, A note from Brother Maynard, Ledger with names.
  • Lathander Red is the key staple along with healing potions produced with the Fountain of Life water
  • Note from Brother Maynard: Brother Numse – Please stop disabling the fountain and return the Tertiaries at once!
  • Ledger with Names: Notable names – Constable Tren Noemfor, Eragyn
  • The door behind the reception area is locked (failed attempt to open)
  • Exited through NW hallway
  • Statue of Stag at end of hallway in alcove as it turns east toward Chapel

Chapel

  • A large room that is in complete disarray with burned and broken pews strewn about.
  • There is an impressive stained glass window along the North wall that is completely intact.
  • With a shimmer the group is once again phase shifted
  • A man is seen crouched in the corner; upon inspection he looks familiar.
  • Upon turning to the group, the man’s chest is torn open and his throat is ripped out – it is Bert
  • He is holding something in his hand which he gives to Dervin – upon inspection it is a marble piece of the fountain in the shape of a crescent moon
  • Each member must make another Sanity Check – Doh’rian and Kotono fail
  • Doh’rian finds himself in the Border Forest talking to Kessla
  • Encounter with a wraith, 2 ghosts, and 7 spectres

We will pick up next time at the conclusion of this encounter

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Fountain of Life
Bringing Light into the Darkness

Severing the Soul Tie

Kotono coughs, breaking the silence as the group stares blankly at the sunken, broken body of Olive. Sam strains to balance the weight of Kotono as he slouches forward arm draped over his shoulder while painfully grasping his side. Laying Kotono down, Sam exchanges a concerned look with Dervin. Erupting in another coughing fit, Kotono looks at his hand now covered in blood. “Be still, friend…” Kotono looks up weakly at the sound of Dervins voice as he crouches at his side. Sam, kneeling on the ground and cradling Kotono’s head in his lap, blurts frantically, “He took a blow no man could survive…” Dervin’s stern gaze quickly silences Sam, as he slowly shakes his head signaling “now is not the time”. With his voice trailing off, Sam’s look of concern slowly turns to panic as he looks helplessly at Kotono. Looking back to Kotono, a gentle smile spreads across Dervin’s face. A soft glow spills forth from the Torque bathing the immediate area in light. Bowing his head, Dervin prayerfully seeks guidance amidst the darkness of their present circumstances.

Peering past the veil of the material plane Dervin beholds Kotono’s soul. What should be a glimmering light is dulled by something. There is a pale shroud of shadow that has been pulled over Kotono’s soul. It is slowly tightening about his life force and It is repelling all attempts to heal. “I believe that he’s been cursed by Olive…or what remains her.” Glancing back at her body, Dervin continues,”I’ve seen this before after men have faced undead.” Memories from his home following the attack upon his village flood his memories. Men plagued by nightmares unable to sleep or find sustenance in food nearly went insane. For weeks after, a sickness fell upon the people and only left through the prayerful intervention of the community. It did not leave willingly and some were affected more deeply than others.

Each member of the group could feel the alien nature of this landscape. It pressed upon each of them in different ways. Soon after battle ended, Tarak could see flits of shadow just on the edges of his perception. Doh’rian looked curiously at Tarak and he could see beads of sweat upon his brow. His skin was ashen as if overcome by sickness.

Each member of the group made a sanity check based upon their Sanity score (the average of their Charisma, Constitution, and Wisdom). Tarak failed and experienced a point of exhaustion

The group began a skill challenge to release the curse from Kotono.

  • Dervin started by casting light upon his face
  • Dor’hian placed a mixture of tribal herbs upon his wounds and called upon his ancestors to aid him.
  • Sam spoke words of encouragement
  • Tarak could see shimmer of a shadow around Kotono’s body – he placed his shield between Kotono and this force
  • Waylan placed his Luck Dagger in Kotono’s hand, “I think you need this more than I do right now.”
  • Dervin, seeing they were holding the evil at bay, but not gaining any ground called upon the power of Lathander channeling his divinity through the torque
  • The pale over Kotono’s soul now shrinks back revealing a shadow creature seething with malice and disdain for life.
    With the shadow loosened and seeing an opening, Dervin cast protection from evil effectively sealing Kotono’s soul.

Aid from Above

Descending from the heavens a beam of light enveloped the group bursting upon Kotono’s’ body and filling the area with a blinding sunlight. As their eyes adjusted a winged human man stands before them. His features, beautiful, almost feminine, are flawless and perfectly chiseled without a hint of hair on his face or body. Streaming beams of light project from his eyes with a blinding light bursting around his body. His wings, broad, wide and made of pure light, gently curl behind his back . Standing before them now is a man, bare chested, with flowing blonde hair, holding a golden rod in his right hand. A soft glow surrounds his visage. “I don’t have much time…” His voice is melodic and commanding. “This place is hostile to light and goodness. What lies within must be destroyed.” Pointing to the temple he continues, “The Morning Lord has heard you and he will be with you.” Stretching out his arms, he extends a simple, jeweled scepter over the group. A soft wave of light bathes the group. Warmth flows through their bodies. Kotono’s wounds immediately close and their spirits are invigorated like they just experienced a long rest; fully healed and rested. In a burst of radiance, the gloom closes in upon the group again.

The Inner Sanctum

Looking toward the temple the massive wooden doors are slightly ajar beckoning them inward

Upon entering the Sanctum the group sees the following features:

  • A vaulted Cathedral ceiling sprawls with a sunken main floor
  • An ornate railing lines an entrance platform with wide arching stairs descend a full story below to both the north and south.
  • Marble pillars line both the north and south side of the worship space
  • The centerpiece of the space and focal point is a three tiered marble fountain that is dark and inert. It stands directly under the scintillating crystal dome.
  • At the far west end of the space is an identical representation of the Sun Gate with a shattered marble alter sundered between the two statues.
  • Two hallways exit the space, one to the north and one to the left.
  • Mirrors are positioned throughout the space designed to light up the space, magical sconces, and ultimately the scintillating dome.

Dervin, calling on the power of the Torque of Lathander, thrust his hands upward. With a flash, a beam of light streams from the torque enveloping the nearest mirror. In an instant the space is lit up as if the morning sun was spilling over the hills of Daggerdale. Magical sconces ignite and the scintillating dome bursts into a dazzling array of color and light. Screams and shrieks fill the space and howls can be heard from outside the front doors.

With the space now illuminated, the decay, disrepair, and brokenness of the space is apparent. Once elegant floor tiles are covered in dirt, shattered, and greyed by age. The fountain is the most striking example; grey, inert, with a sludge seeping from its wide bottom bowl. Encircling the fountains base is a dark, crusted ooze.

As the group takes a closer inspection of the fountain, chips and broken ornamenture mark the surface, but the ornate beauty can now be seen. Each tier of the fountain is carved in the image of flower petals with the top tier an image of three petals unfolding. Carved on the base of fountain, in three parts, is a relief of Creation. It is titled, “Bringing light into the Darkness” There are three missing pieces in the shape of a sun, a moon, and an infant.

It is here where we will pick up next time…

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The Sun Gate
Bringing Light into the Darkness

The Sun Gate

With a thump, Dervin’s feet hit the ground. The penetrating ethereal mist presses upon the Torque and a heaviness falls upon the group. A dark molelavence is reaching out and covering the land. In an instant the aura of the Torque shrinks. Grasping at the sun emblem, Dervin can feel the oppression of this place. Whatever is in the temple is feeding the darkness.

With a waver and a sudden audible “Pfumpf!”, the group is sucked back to Dagger Falls staring at the Sun Gate of Lathander’s Light. As if catching its breath, the aura of Lathander’s Blessing snaps back, now freed from the drowning oppression that surrounded it before. Straining to adjust to the sudden shift in the temporal space, a wave of nausea spills over the group. The group is standing in the middle of a wide road that leads to the steps of the once noble structure. The burned temple, facing east in honor of Lathander, rises nearly 50 feet into the air. A magnificent scintillating crystal dome adorns the center of the temple. The dome is now dull and devoid of any sign of life.

The once proud Sun Gate that welcomed pilgrims from around the Realms now lay dark and lifeless. Each coming to pay homage and lay their eyes upon the Morning Lord’s temple of Lathander’s Light. Two massive white marble pillars rise three stories over the streets below. Each pillar is carved in the likeness of a heavenly celestial each holding a bowl with outstretched arms extending to the heavens above. The decay and ruin of the darkness has turned the marble a dusty grey. Gnarled, twisted vines hang lifeless covering the once noble statues. Nearly 40 feet above, arcing between the two statues forming an arch is a 30 foot diameter stained glass image of Lathander; daybreak with streaming beams of sunlight cascading upon the land below. The glass once bright and proclaiming the glory of the Morning Lord is a dusty, broken shade of it’s former glory. Shards of glass lay at the feet of the statues. Several large fragments hang precariously from the archway above clinging to the stone facade. Your eyes are drawn to a broken shard strewn upon the roadway; one of the sun soaked hills in the glass image. A white stag can be seen proudly standing on the hill basking in the dawn’s rays. In it’s glory the image would capture and magnify the rising sun’s rays and cast them through the temple’s entrance. A series of mirrors would direct the light up and through the crystal dome illuminating the temple for miles around. This was known as the beacon of Lathander. It was known to even illuminate the night’s sky for miles around.

Stone stairs spanning the length of the entrance to the temple rise majestically to the precipice of the temple. Four rough cut stone pillars support the massive front of the temple. Two large ash doors, 20 feet tall, greet the group. The wood, one of the hardest known, stands as a testament to the strength of Lathander. It’s almost white tone accentuates the stone front. Carved into each door are reliefs of children playing, men and woman dancing, and images of spring and renewal; birds, blooming flowers, and animals with young. Spanning both doors is a relief of a man holding up an infant with the morning sun rising over his shoulder. The right door is sundered from one of it’s hinges and hangs precariously. Weeds, garbage, and debris is strewn about the top platform. Dark scorch marks climb and wrap around the edges of the white ash doors hinting at the temples dark destruction. Above the doors is an exact replica of the stained glass window of the Sun Gate except where the sun would be is round opening allowing the magnified sunlight to enter the temple spilling forth and illuminating the space. Pilgrims came for many reasons, but the fountain at the center of the temple was a holy place that was revered for it’s healing properties. It was known to promote fertility, and keep evil at bay. Moss and vines climb the walls of the temple hinting at its years of disrepair. This once proud structure lay broken before you; a mere shadow of it’s former self.

Encounter: Olive (Revenant), Belasaria Morn (Banshee), Wights x 5

Stepping out from behind one of the pillars, a shadowy figure emerges no bigger than a child. A hissing voice shatters the silence, “Well, I have to admit I am impressed. You have been a persistent group; a quality I admire. How do you like what we’ve done with the place? Darkness, decay, rot, what’s not to love. It was a hard sell for me, too, but death has a way of tying our hands. Don’t worry, our Mother has plans for you, too. The feistier the better!

Let’s face it, the tide has changed. Dagger Falls has fallen, the Morn line will soon be ended and given rebirth, and darkness will cover this land. The vampire Lords will return. And there is nothing you can do about it. The great irony is I’m here thanks to you! Your vengeance, your righteous fury, ended my pitiful existence and opened up a whole new world. For that you have my thanks. The irony is out of your vengeance birthed my vengeance of undeath…”

Stepping out of the darkness, a childlike frame emerges. Drawing back a cloak, the horror of what lies beneath is unveiled; ashen skin drawn tightly against a familiar halfling face. A black ichor gathers at the corners of glowing red eyes streaking like tears down her face. With a snarling smile the she spits, “I will now spend the remainder of my existence seeking after you, Kotono Shin.” Her eyes flare a deep searing red as she locks gazes with Kotono. In that moment, Kotono feels the soul tie between he and the undead life force of Olive.

Seeing her now, you see the horror of Olive’s existence cursed to vengeance against Kotono. Behind her emerges five humanoid figures dressed in Northspire armor. Their visage is twisted, dark, and filled with hatred. Jutting fangs line their maw as they snarl and spit. Rising above the group is an ethereal, ghostly figure of a woman whose face is grotesquely stretched in agony. He mouth is agape in a silent scream. Hanging around her neck is a massive red ruby affixed to a silver necklace. “Allow me to introduce you to Belasaria. She’s been waiting a long time for this!” With a wicked smile Olive’s red eyes flare once again as she disappears in poof of coalescing black smoke.

  • After a hard fought battle, Olive’s body lay once again at their feet.
  • Kotono was dealt a mortal wound as she appeared from the ether and tore him asunder. He nearly died at her hands, but for the brave efforts of his comrades.
  • The group must now decide how to deal with her corpse and how best to enter the temple
    We left off here…
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Lathander's Light
Time is Running Out

New Arrivals

  • The group is bolstered by a Cormyr Purple Dragon beckoned north to Dagger Falls in search of his sister, Tess. After coming upon her husband and children murdered and no sign of her anywhere, he was guided to Dagger Falls to seek out Dervin by a vision of White Stag. He learns that the Dervin came upon his sister in the Zhent overrun city of Teshwave where she was conscripted as a barmaid to the legions of thirsty mercenaries encamped about the city. It seems to get to his sister he must first stop the Zhents in Dagger Falls.
  • A mysterious wood elf Ranger, Dor’hian Greenleaf, from the Border Forrest also emerges. Baring the insignia of the Eldreth Veluuthra, but claiming to be lead to Dagger Falls by a similar vision of a White Stag. He was told to help bring Light into the Darkness. Additionally, he came upon a beautiful half-elf woman with fire read hair that told him to seek out a man named Dervin in Dagger Falls. After arriving, Dulwar the Leatherworker sent him into Eagle’s Eyrie to find the missing Mestin Durmark, “The Troll”. After finding the injured Troll and getting her safely to the now abandoned Umbra Lupus camp, she sent him back to the base encampment with a half-elf ranger. He explains to the group that he is at odds with the Veluuthra and does not believe they have made the right decision aligning themselves with a mysterious Eladrin, Dayekris who approached the group for help overtaking Dagger Falls. She was accompanied by a human Zhent and a halfling the group recognizes as Olive by description.
  • The group decides to sneak into Dagger Falls via a sewer culvert along the south wall hoping to link up with the rangers in the warehouse district.
  • Upon approaching the culvert, a spine chilling, low, ominous bellow is heard from within the city. With a blast of energy the darkness from the temple pushes outward engulfing more of the city.

Phase Shift

  • As the group is engulfed in darkness, the world around them suddenly shifts and changes.
  • Before them is a dark, sullen, greyscape that seems to mirror their world, but alien and foriegn all the same.
  • The dreary of the world presses upon the aura of the Torgue eminating profoundly about the group
  • The land is dry, parched, windswept and devoid of any life; no trees or plants can be seen
  • Masses of shambling corpses can be seen in the distance
  • Dark shadows flit about above the city and the surrounding land
  • The wall of the city can be seen, but upon it are perched skeletal warriors and gargoyles.
  • Where the Temple of Lathander’s Light once stood, dark pillars of ebony jut into the sky towering over the cityscape.
  • A shadow approaches the group but keeps it distance from the aura of light – they seem aware of the groups presence but seem ambivalent although curious of their intentions.
  • The group decides to take a more direct route to the temple along the east wall. As they approach the gate, a large fleshy creature stands rocking back and forth. It’s limbs look like they have been stitched together. Perched above the front gate is a large ebony Gargoyle. It’s tail twitches at their presence.
  • Avoiding the front gate they move along the east wall. The world around them begins to press upon the aura of the Torque. It’s aura now only extends 15’ around Dervin. It is determined that somethine is attacking the Torque directly the closer they get to the Temple.
  • Finding an opening they throw their ropes over and climb to the other side.
  • As their feet hit the ground the world shifts again and they find themselves outside the front of the temple of Lathander’s Light in Dagger Falls.

This is where we left off the adventure…"

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A City in Darkness
Rescuing Kessla

Taking it in the Rear

  • A skirmish erupts as the group is overrun by Zhent Hill Giants, Ogres, and Orcs, but they are soon dispatched.
  • The group enters the Red Rock and they discover that more Zhents are holed up inside.
  • Waylan and Nathier make their way upstairs and discover Kessla’s room – Waylan pilfers her armoir, leaves a note, and hides her Lute
  • Deciding not to confront the Zhents in the main tavern area, they instead make their way to the basement
  • Waylan and Nathier overhear Kessla being interrogated and interrupt it easily overtaking her captors.
  • Kessla is recovered and they sneak out the back door and return to the encampment.

Revelations

  • They learn from Kessla that the primary motivation of the attack is to capture Lord Morn and use him in some sort of ritual that will bind the darkness to the land.
  • It is unknown if Lord Morn has been captured or not.

This is where we left off…

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