Eberron (D&D 5e)

Session 11: Akra's Vision, Riddled with Vermin, Spiders in the Dark, Tomb Raiders & Great Escapes

Highlights:

Akra's Vision, Riddled with Vermin, Spiders in the Dark, Tomb Raiders & Great Escapes

Interlude/Next Session Intro:

Cyradyn Pyramid collapses behind you in a massive, choking sand and dust storm. 

"Anyone looking for a guide?"

Your guide brings you several hundred paces away from where the pyramid use to stand, where another group of folks dressed and geared similarly to you are mending their wounds and cooking up some rather unsavory desert delights over a fire. 

"If you're headed back to Stormreach, clean up and eat up.  We leave in one hour.  Tlincalli scouts, sandworm trains and a sand giant wanderer's out there."  The blonde-haired woman looks out past the sand dunes to the horizon as she speaks to you.  She wears a broad, round hat, freckles and an easy smile – and a host of curved daggers amidst her dig tools that hang from her belt. 

"Glad we were excavating a different pyramid!" she jokes, passing some roasted, oiled scorpion meat and a few cantines of water.  "Hannah," she introduces herself.  "Nice toys!" she remarks, her and her companions' wide eyes washing like greedy waves over your plundered pyramid treasures.

Camp breaks.  By the time you're following the guide and traveling back with Hannah, you run out of time studying and experimenting with all the magical treasures from the tomb. 

Just then, a sudden wind picks up, blowing blinding sand up around you.  Amidst the camp's cries and curses of surprise and irritation, you swear you hear whispers from the cloud of sand and dust behind you that was once a pyramid – unintelligible, haunting whispers that identify all of the tomb's magical treasures in moments.  Flashes of their forging, history and magic power rush instantly into your minds.

 

Cyradyn Pyramid: Tomb Room Treasure

Coins: 18,000 cp, 12,000 sp, 6,000 gp, 600 pp

Gems: 36 gems @ 100 gpv, 6 gems @ 500 gpv

Jewelry & Art Objects: 6 silver necklaces @ 100 gpv, 6 golden hairpins @ 100 gpv, 6 elaborate quills @ 50 gpv,

Mundane Items: 12 daggers, 6 shortswords, 18 sacks, 6 empty scroll/map cases, 6 empty vials, 6 pints of lantern oil, 12 torches, 6 bags of caltrops, 6 silk ropes, 8 blankets (pyramid, sand dune and coin motifs)

Magic Items:

6 Potions of Healing

6 Potions of Climbing

Gem of Brightness (amber)

Restorative Ointment

Figurine of Wondrous Power: Electrum Raven (as silver raven)

Bag of Holding (pyramid-shaped)

Eyes of Charming (scarab and intertwined bandage motifs)

Dust of Sneezing and Choking

Pipes of Haunting (made of tlincalli a.k.a. scorpion-folk chitin)

Circlet of Blasting (pyramid, dawn and sand dune motifs)

Weapons, Magical +1: dagger, shortsword, rapier, scimitar, longsword, greatsword (all dwarven-forged)

Javelin of Lightning

Gauntlets of the Sand Giant (as gauntlets of ogre power)

Sandals of Silence (as boots of elvenkind, black studded leather with crossed blades design on soles)

Sandstorm Cloak (as cloak of protection, tattered cloak with bandage patches, conjures tiny whirlwinds of sand when deflecting attacks)    

Staff of Swarming Insects (constructed from cactus, carried by Elgeon)       

 

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Session 10: Tentacles, Cargo, a Kraken, Stormreach, Sandworms and Two Gold Coins

Highlights:

  • The party fought off tentacled illusions below decks and recovered the mysterious Lyrandar cargo successfully
  • Elgeon hired several skilled guards back in Sharn to protect it until Sovelo's mother claims the necromancy-magic infused and disease-ridden dozen barrel
  • On the way to Xendrik, the party deals with a few pirates and raiders but handle the situations through some combination of glib tongues, sharp weapons, mighty spells or simply quicker sails
  • Also on the long sea voyage to Xendrik, the party witnessed a distant maelstrom/whirpool and a massive kraken on the horizon; Captain Dawan told you he heard tell of this such whirpool appearing in the spring, and that there are whispers it leads to another place
  • Forty days and 1,500 miles later the party arrived in the port of Stormreach, Xendrik
  • The Morgrave University professors, Quenton and Roselyn, made final arrangements for the trek to Cyradyn Pyramid, including securing camel mounts for everyone and hiring a guide
  • Mazikeen procured forged identification papers from a tall, lithe tiefling dealer with gazelle-style horns
  • The party bumped into Oreon the warforged, trying out new hats in the open bazarre
  • Oreon told the party he had fought off 28 weresharks near Sharn's docks before needing to withdraw, had later escaped being captured by pirates on the way to Xendrik, had soon after killed all of them to escpe, and had just now in Stormreach arranged an expedition to a volcanic area of Xendrik in search of something he is to recover from fire giants
  • Mazikeen attempted to deceive Oreon into joining the party to the pyramids, but the warforged saw right through her fumbling words and facial tells; Oreon warned the party the would surely all die at the pyramids, but wished them luck nevertheless
  • On the way to the pyramids, the party's guide pointed out a train of giant sandworms on the horizon, leaping and bursting up and through and back into the sands; the guide explained the sandworms are known to wait patiently and hide underneath the sands for prey to come along – sometimes for days – before bursting out of the sands and devouring their prey whole
  • One hundred paces from Cyradyn Pyramid, your guide's work is done; he leaves.  Quenton informed you a new guide back to Stormreach will be here in seven days
  • Quenton and Rosely reveal a map and explain the basic layout of the pyramid, including  that their research focus is the scrolls and tomes in the lower leves: the tombs; the professors warn you that you can expect to face undead along the way, and certainly below the base of the pyramid in the tombs
  • Just inside Cyradin Pyramid, Sovelo begins to protest staying there any longer than the few seconds you have already, surely expecting to die any moment as Oreon warned the party several days ago in Stormreach
  • Akra collapses, losing consciousness for a few moments; she explains she had a vision of where you must take the golden coins from your noble estate's infested dinner table, that the coins are some sort of key to finally rid your new home of its long family curse of undead who haunt the place

"In the tombs below, it's… clearer now.  I saw a dozen or more sarcophagi, mummies… one of them towering over the others… headless…

…and other things… blurs… I'm not sure… lurking and breathing in the shadows…

…and black-shelled insects with great, wicked serrated pincers… swarms… everywhere… watching over the sarcophagi… sharpening their pincers… waiting… for us!"  — Akra

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Session 9: Sharks and Sailing Ship Beams
1 Therendor 998 YK

Highlights:

  • The party made final preparation for their expedition to Xendrik – to save Brea (the noble estate's most senior servant) from her petrified fate, and lift an ancient family curse that should rid the estate of the ancient mummies and other "things" that haunt it
  • Morgrave University officials accompanied academics Quenton and Roselyn to the docks where they met up with Sovelo, Akra, Caoimhe (KEE-VAH), Elgeon, Amenadiel and Mazikeen
  • The Morgrave officials ensured the expedition's identification papers, travel papers, sponsorship/contract and expectations for protection for Quenton, Roselyn and their research goals for the university were all in order
  • Thanks to Sovelo's connections as both a sailor and House Lyrandar noble, you're able to secure a Lyrander soarwood sailing ship for the voyage, including a professional House Lyrander guild crew led by half-elf Captain Dawan
  • The party departed for its 1,500 mile, ~37 day ship voyage south to Xendrik and Cyradyn Pyramid
  • A few miles out, Captain Dawan discussed a matter of guild business they were instructed to take care of with the aid of their new "armaments" (the party): recover the mysterious Lyrandar cargo surrounded by sharks and weresharks few more miles ahead – the same stranded ship Orien the warforged had told the party about about a week ago
  • The party's ship closed hard on the fast-moving vessel with the Lyranar cargo; a dozen hammerhead wereshark warriors in their hybrid humanoid form emerged from below decks to match the numbers of their crew
  • As they approached dangerously close, only Elgeon spotted small squads of fast-moving sharks circling around to the other side of the party's ship
  • The ships crashed into eachother as the party launched their assault and began boarding.  Mighty spells a, arrows and bolts flew and deadly steel rang.  Crew on both sides lost their footing and were thrown overboard in the chaos
  • Elgeon thought fast and shapechanged into a giant octopus, using the long reach of his mighty tentacles to save his sister Caiomhe and Amenadiel from a watery grave on the high seas
  • The wereshark warriors continued their volleys of crossbow bolts and tried to split open some of the companions like fish with their rusty scimitars.  Though as losses mounted, Amenadiel took the opportunity to convince most of the remaining weresharks to give up their assault – all but a handful of loyal wereshark warriors jumped overboard
  • With just one wereshark survivor remaining, Sovelo seemed to convince him to flee as well – but as the wereshark, now in his true form as a big-eyed human, reluctantly turned to flee, a single, angry syllable erupted from below decks.  The last wereshark's head exploded, his lifeless body toppling over the side
  • Akra burst through one of two barred doors below deck.  In the shadows of some flickering lamplight, she saw barrels, ropes and hammocks.  It is what she heard that was disturbing: a low, rumbling, long, wicked laugh.  Moments later, the same long, unsettling, cocky laugh echoed like a thunder storm across the entire ship for all to hear
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Session 8: Remove Curse, Gain Noble Estate
21 Olarune 998 YK - 1 Therendor 998 YK

DM Notes to Players:

  • You have gained enough XP for 5th level!  Character updates due Wednesdays as usual.  If you missed this week, roll for HP at the start of our next session. 
  • Morgrave University has offered to pay for up to 100 gp worth of equipment for each of you (story details below).  See the PHB Equipment chapter, Adventuring Gear table; update your character sheets.

Highlights:

  • The companions explored the remaining rooms and areas of the noble estate, including servant and sleeping quarters, a gourmet kitchen, a work/play room, a sun/garden room and a hidden, massive 12-stall stables complete with horses.
  • The party met a fey creature, a plant-like humanoid creature named Brea, who served the family.  Brea cooked a fresh meal for the party, shared Daric's ledger with them, introduced them to the minotaur stablemaster, and watched over them while they rested following their battle with the mummies.
  • The party dueled with the minotaur stablemaster, eventually besting him through "cheating."
  • The party learned more of the undead-summoning curse afflicting Daric's noble family, speaking with the spirit of Daric's great grandfother, and learning the two coins Akra found at the dinner table were the key to removing the family curse
  • Four new, more powerful – and more cultured and intelligent – mummies appeared in the lounge and strike a deal with the party to not hurt Brea further (secretly turned to petrified wood during the deal) while freeing the mummies from the estate
  • Sovelo and the others helped secure voyage to Xendrik, where a particular pyramid seems to be home of the curse, coins and the mummies
  • The party managed to have Morgrave University sponsor the expedition and a Lyrandar guild crew to man the ship; the party is expected to protect a pair of academics who are going to the same pyramid the party seeks.  The professors seek ancient spell scrolls and books for the University.
  • A week or so later, the arrangements are finally completed for the Xendrik expedition.  Roselyn, the junior professor, shared artwork of a set of magical dwarven-forged blades that are said to have been wielded and lost by adventurers in the pyramids, thinking the party might find such a discovery as exciting as the work she and her professor are going there to perform.

 

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Session 7: House Hunters & The Mummies Return
21 Olarune 998 YK

Highlights:

  • Sovelo, Akra, Caoimhe, Elgeon, Amenadiel and Mazikeen continued to search and clear out lordling Daric's old estate
  • The party found a hidden, valuable pair of dwarven hand kegs and a secret one-way door to the wine cellar
  • The companions discovered several curiosities on the way to and on the second floor: an invisible spiral staircase, a couple of trap doors, four granite animal statues with switches that revealed a secret art gallery room, a rose-colored magical healing fountain, and a lounge room
  • The party found a stack of completely empty books and scrolls on the spacious lounge room's coffee table, including one that "wrote back" in opposites with Caoihme
  • Mummies, disturbed by the party's intrusion, attacked from the master bedroom and from the doors and curtains adjacent the lounge; the terrifying mummies spouted harsh curses and obscenities in Elvish throughout the fight
  • Spells, steel, arrows and terrible mummy curses, dreadful gazes and rotten fists flew, including Sovelo's eldritch spells, Elgeon's mighty nature magic, Amenadiel's arrows, Mazikeen's blades, Caiomhe's surprisingly clumsy hammer swings, and finally, Akra's powerful dragonfire breath and enspelled longsword strikes which smited the mummies with incredible holy power
  • The last of the four mummies was torn limb from limb by vines, twigs and brambles that exploded magically out from the Eldeen Reaches nature paintings on the walls
  • One of several blank books on the lounge coffee table flipped open, revealing a new message
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Session 6: Interviews, Borrowed Homes, New Homes & Borrowed Faces
20-21 Olarune 998 YK

Highlights:

  • Gendo finished his interview questions about aberrant Dragonmarks and the Mourning Haunt attack
  • Sovelo discovered a dark, bitter alcohol in the liquor cabinet.  Its simple label – in the rare language of Primordial – reads "Pulp of the Deepest Earth"
  • Elgeon took some plants from inside and re-planted them outside, discovering a secret druidic message inviting him to the Eldeen Reaches
  • Everyone ate a fine mutton and smashed potato dinner made by Elgeon at Gendo's "borrowed" summer home
  • Elgeon and Akra cured the Mourning Haunt gray smoke and Aric Blacktree black smoke diseases; the wisps of smoke fired out of everyone's nostrils and flew out into the Sharn sky
  • Oreon – always looking for jobs – told Sovelo about trouble a few miles out on the water with a Lyrandar "fishing boat" which was actually a ship transporting some sort of illegal supplies; a swarm of angry sharks attacked it and still strangely circle the boat protectively; the Watch is stretched with the Mourning Haunt attacks and can't spare to send any Watch guards or official Sharn inquisitives to investigate
  • Oreon left on a job while Gendo stayed at the summer home, saying he might stay in Sharn a few weeks more and catch up on the local events and gossip
  • The companions returned to Bren's estate to find Bren distraught, alone, sitting at the dinner table, tapping his metallic fingers; they give him the news that Aric tried to kill them
  • Bren informed the companions he just met with Aric, who told him everything – including that Aric blames the companions for his aberrant dragonmark, including being hunted by the two houses with the true Shadow dragonmark; Aric even took on the false identity of Professor Cera to hide from those houses
  • Bren informed the party Aric has fled Sharn
  • Bren informed the party that he too is leaving Sharn to be with his future wife and future father in law – and also avoid some serious legal problems, as his estate has been confiscated by the Watch for a long list of criminal activities he would not elaborate on
  • Bren revealed he too bears an aberrant dragonmark (since exiting Saerun Tower four years ago), different from yours, on his entire chest and stomach, and suspects the Mourning Haunts are after him for some reason because of it
  • Bren revealed he would have the protection of the new pseudo-dragonmarked House Tarkanan (beholder heraldry), which recruits and protects those with aberrant marks – but also known to be a house involved in many grim criminal activities
  • Bren acknowledges that part of those criminal activities includes how he keeps company with the Emerald Claw, specifically Kern and Mallora – and that they are "different"
  • Bren told the party he will at least be back exactly 1 year from now
  • The companions purchased equipment and supplies on their way to drunk lordling Daric's overgrown estate; they cut away some overgrowth and crashed through the stuck front doors (tree and double-wine bottle symbol) to begin clearing it out to make it their home
  • The companions saw through a few illusions, moved past the rotten food-filled dining room, find a secret trap door below, and were told to "Go away!" several times by a talking magical bearded, bald, translucent-white dwarf head on a door
  • The companions found several wererats in the wine cellar feasting on a body whose face looks like Daric's
  • The wererats hissed several threats in Common in their hybrid forms and fired several volleys of hand crossbow bolts, but struggled to be on target against Elgeon's gust of wind spell
  • The wererat pack surrendered after their leader is killed; they told the party what they know about the home (including the spell blast sounds on the second foor) and the body they were feasting on, and then the companions let the survivors go
  • The companions inspected the body and notice that Daric's face was actually grafted onto the face of a changeling corpse
  • The talking dwarf-face spell on the dining room door above yelled out, "You may now come upstairs!"

 

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Session 5: Mad Machines, Skycoach Fights & Interviews
20 Olarune 998 YK

Highlights:

  • Morgrave Basement Lab Battle: Dolghaunt Slain, Thugs Bribed
  • Eldritch Machines Disabled
  • Aric's Research Journals Read
  • Morgrave University Officials and Sharn Watch Notified by Mazikeen and Amenadiel of Suspicious Lab Activities
  • Skycoach Battle: Aric, "Meatbags" the giant deathdog, and Goblin archers all on soarsleds; Aric and a few goblins escape
  • Interview with the gnome Jendo of the Korranberg Chronicle

    • "So tough questions first!  Tell me: why do three of you bear the new Shadow dragonmark?"

 

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Session 4: Strange Alchemy: Claw, Kruthiks & Mourning Haunts
20 Olarune 998 YK

Highlights:

  • Emerald Claw: Kern & Mallora and their soldiers fight off kruthiks, appear to be after the Mourning Haunts, Elgeon heals one of their guard, then all of them disappear
  • Kruthik Swarms & Mourning Haunts Battle: all but one Beast destroyed – it fades into wall
  • Bren's blood-spattered estate abandoned by all staff
  • Oreon's new dragonmark appears
  • Aric Blacktree's Laboratory investigated; imposter, cursed-with-silence-by-a-magic-horn changeling Aric ("Not Aric") discovered hiding in supply closet
  • The Kruthik Trail: Morgrave University's main basement lab investigated

 

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Session 3: The Mourning Remembered (Parts II & III)
20 Olarune 998 YK

The beast roared like something between a lion and dragon as it launched from balcony to the ceremony rooftop.  Its body loosely resembled a massive four-armed, ram-horned ape, with smokey claws and fangs as long as daggers and swords.  Loud snaps sounded from the frenetic, fiery sparks trapped within in its gray, roiling, cloud-like body.  It was a demon, a storm cloud, a murderous monstrosity – truly a Mourning nightmare come to life.

Screams of terror echoed across the rooftops from the thousands assembled – thousands of people of all races and callings, from all over Khorvaire and beyond were suddenly a frantic, terrified mob driven only by one thing: survival.

Seemingly always with an arrow at the ready, Amenadiel's shot gave the massive creature pause, leaving a smoking wound even as the beast's sparks devoured the arrow.  And Sovelo's spell delayed the beast's assault further, blasting it back toward the balcony from whence it came, spinning horned creature head over heals. 

But soon the Mourning Beast was above the Remembrance Day Ceremony's main rooftop, cleaving heads, splattering brains and guts, and sending broken corpses falling down through Sharn, their bodies snapping and breaking further onto Sharn's rooftops, streets and bridges. 

Every bridge exploded into a mad scramble, people calling out for aid even as they were being trampled.  Like all bridges surrounding the ceremony, the two bridges off the ceremony rooftop were a crush of desperate attendees.  Many on the main rooftop were high ranking officials, dignitaries, lords and nobles, including Lord Bren – one of the few survivors, like you, and thanks to you, of The Mourning that ended the Last War exactly four years ago.

And yet here it was again – The Mourning Returned – in the form of some awful cloud-like beast, slaughtering everyone in its path.

And then, the main rooftop began to shake as tiles cracked, broke and were blasted away.  Like a living pit of spikes, dozens of animated blades launched and lanced into the feet and legs of the main rooftop attendees – including you.

Sovelo and Akra the dragonborn seized onto the suspicious antiquities professor they and Amenadiel had been tailing, the sixty-some odd winters old father of Lorn Bren's lover – and made for the north bridge.

Mazikeen and dwarf twins Caiomhe (KEE-VAH) and Elgeon's attention also turned their attention to the north bridge.  Elgeon's horse form swiftly sped his sister and the tiefling into and even through the mob, toward their charge, a drunken young lordling Daric they were to watch from a distance during the Rememberance ceremony.  

The Mourning Beast halted its assault then, searching the bridges and rooves for several intense moments.  Whatever it was looking for, it did not seem to find.  It only roared in frustration and fury, resuming its attack on who was still on the main rooftop.

Lord Bren was doing his best to escort people towards the south bridge, and even brandished his hidden rapier, challenging the beast in a clear mix bravery and personal terror.  "Go!  Go, my love!  Get out here!" he called out after the cloaked half-elf Ethelene, daughter of Professor Gydd. 

She was as striking as Mazikeen – for a half-elf without tiefling horns, of course.  From what you knew about Lord Bren's tastes the first day you met him and the four years since, it was not hard to understand why Lord Bren had fallen for Ethelene.

Most the party doubled back and came to Lord Bren's aid then.  Amenadiel and Mazikeen were the, followed soon after by Akra, Caiomhe (KEE-VAH) and Elgeon.  Only Sovelo was nowhere to be found, having whisked the Professor into the safety of a "friend's" antiquities shop to wait out the chaos and danger.

Though Mazikeen would fall momentarily, succumbing to the deep wounds from the smoking claws of the beast, a flurry of steel, shots and spells later finally destroyed the Mourning Beast.  It exploded, its mist shooting into everyone's nostrils, and the sparks of life inside its cloudy body dissipating around a diamond.  Fresh from death's door, the gold-craving tiefling wasted no time diving to save the diamond from falling deep into Sharn.  Moments later, Elgeon and his owl  also "saved" Daric's briefly lost magical goblet from the hands of a small child below mistaking it and its everflowing wine for a toy.  Even Sovelo and the Professor reappeared, clearly in their cups and apparently no worse for the wear from the attack.  Lord Bren, Professor Gydd and Ethelene expressed their deepest gratitude for your aid and protection.

Elite guard arrived on scene and immediately assisting the other guards in securing and sealing off the blood, guts, and corpse-filled area.

Lord Bren and the party were asked by to stay in Sharn during the potentially long investigation; officials would be by at their earliest opportunity to collect more information.  There were hundreds if not thousands Sharn citizens and visitors to interview, buildings to search, and much blood and death to clean up from the Rememberance Day attack.

~

Caiomhe, Elgeon and Mazikeen escorted Lord Daric "home."  The building was riddled in all kinds of overgrowth, as if no none had tended to it in years.  Young Daric seemed stunned that the dwarves and the tielfing – "Oh shite!  A fucking tiefling!!" – took such good care of him and were so kind as to bring him home safely, and in thanks, seemed like he gave them both his enchanted goblet and his home – though he did warn the trio that were some "things" they might want to kill inside before moving in.  Otherwise, happily drunk Daric made off to Sheila's with a naughty grin on his eternally oblivious face.

~

The companions cleaned up at Lord Bren's home, his dutiful servants providing new clothes and washing and cleaning salvageable clothing, weapons and armor. 

Two such servants, Durn and Donna, revealed themselves to Akra and Amenadiel working against the Order of the Emerald Claw, having more information related to the Dragonmark in Saerun Tower from the Day of Mourning.  This included the Emerald Claw being involved in the building of some sort of massive Dragonmarked machine out of slain warforged parts.  The trail had finally led Durn and Donna to Sharn, but after working for Lord Bren for four months, their trail had all but dried up.  They told Akra and Amenadiel their secret employer would like to recruit the dragonborn and elf to hunt down the Emerald once again – just like they did four years ago, and the two servants offered gifts from their benefactor in a gesture of good faith for their consideration.  Durn and Donna handed the warrior and ranger something hand-sized each, wrapped in blue silks – which they stowed away, for now.

Sovelo also took Lord Bren aside to discuss ways to protect the Professor – sending him away on on a special productive assignment for Morgrave University or somesuch was wise.  Illusory goods and compromised deals?  Far south in Xen'drik?  With dark elves?  Bren was shocked to find out how deep his someday-father-in-law was with his illegal antiquities activities.  And Bren was equally shocked that the silver-tongued Sovelo was able to glean so many details out of the old professor.

The companions, appearing clean once more except for the day's awful memories, met with Lord Bren to eat. 

Oreon, the warforged joined them, and had a wealth of information to provide on the Mourning Beast – or Beasts.  They were others, and he had fought them on a few of his contracts, but never defeated one.  According to Oreon's experiences with them, victims of Mourning Beasts sometimes exploded, sometimes rose again, or sometimes perished slowly.  Lord Bren swore, thankful yet jarred by all the information, headed off in alarm to speak with the lead investigator.

Durn and Donna, the servants, came to clear the tables as Oreon reached for and unsuccessfully tried to eat a bread roll.  The servants' curious eyes lingered on Akra and Amenadiel and their packs a few extra moments. 

Suddenly, the double doors exploded from their hinges and splintered apart in a loud crash.  Once more, the companions saw the heavy, black boots of Emerald Claw Order Knights before them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Session 2: Saerun Tower (Part II) & The Mourning Remembered (Part I)
20 Olarune 994 YK & 20 Olarune 998 YK

Dwarves, half-elf, dragonborn, elf and tiefling all rushed upstairs after the Emerald Claw Order knights, only to find a floating dragonmark and Lord Bren's aide, Aric, in a stupor – both surrounded by zombie wolves.

A blast of thunderous magic and a flurry of crushing blows, blades and arrows later, the beasts lay dead and both Sovelo and Mazikeen got what they came for: a copy of the wondrous dragonmark and its whispered piece of the Draconic Prophecy. 

Of course, the half-elf also acquired the same dragonmark Mazikeen bore on her back: an aberrant Shadow dragonmark, similar in effect, but not in aesthetic design to the dragonmark belonging to the elves of House Thuranni, who control the Shadow Network.

Also unexpected was the warforged Oreon, who seemed to see things without needing sight and seemed to work more missions for different employers in a week than even Mazikeen. 

Elgeon, the male dwarf twin, saw the Emerald Claw make off into the gloomy clouds above as he popped back open the trapdoor Oreon had just come through.

Oreon warned the party then that trouble was coming in the form of his sworn enemy Pox, a four-armed honorless warforged warrior, so the party made haste to exit Saerun Tower.  As their boots crunched back onto the mountainside, they saw them – undead warriors, Emerald Claw knights, and some sort of magic-using female clad in purple and skull necklaces.

Oreon held them off, helping the party escape, warning them they might die if they stay.  Sovelo didn't hesitate, and soon the rest of the party went after him to return to their officers, employers or even homelands, their various missions at the tower complete.

But then the gloomy sky turned to fire, and a gray, fire-streaked fog crashed down onto the battlefield below the mountain.  Screams of anguish and terror followed, and then… utter, uncomfortable silence. 

The war was over.  The Mourning had come.

~

Between returning home and family obligations, and finding other work, most of the tower group had kept in touch since that dark day. 

Four years later to the day, they would all reunite in person for the first time in the City of Towers, for Remembrance Day, a gathering that grown in size and reverence every year.

Lord Bren ir'Gadden, whom the party had rescued from Saerun Tower during the Mourning, had invited all of them as his personal guests – Sovelo, Akra, Caiohme (KEE-VAH), Elgeon, Amenadiel and Mazikeen, and yes, even the curious warforged, Oreon. 

Several of the party would pick up extra work at the ceremony itself – such as glorified babysitting for a lordling, or tailing a suspicious professor of antiquities. 

The Remembrance Ceremony had just begun, with the speaker mentioning one of the good things that came from such a terrible day, the treaty and the subsequent freedom of the Warforged, when it attacked.

A great, gray, sparking mist, roiling into the shape of some sort of large creature, pierced the balcony, abruptly cutting off the speaker. 

A chorus of shocked and fearful gasps echoed from the rooftop crowd. 

Had the Mourning come to Sharn?

 

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