The Age of Heroes

04.20.14 - A Unified Front, part one

Having spent the day confronting the detained Kr’zzt in the bowels of the city prison, several members are summoned to Mayor Gasgal’s chambers for a meeting at dusk. Together, they are taken to the mayor’s secret War Room, where they meet with representatives from neighboring lands bordering the now fallen City of Iuz: The Shield Lands, Furyondy, Vesve Forest, and the Wolf Nomad territory of Eru-Tovar. Those from the party in attendance (Ix, Silhouette, Madryk, and Isrygrad) agree to visit each of these lands in the hopes of using their experiences in Iuz to rally support for a possible offense against an evil greater threat to their lands: the rise of Arachnia.

The entirety of the team convenes at Pimpleton Manor for one last evening together before separating. Together, they pair off and determine what lands they will visit. Drayden asks to accompany Dablova to the Shield Lands;Lyks and Madryk pair off to visit the Kingdom of Furyondy; the subtle (but not-so-secret) couple of Ix and Silhouette agree to visit the Rangers of Vesve Forest; and Isrygrad and Jor-Mak agree to venture further northwest, into the territory of the Wolf Nomads.

Later in the evening, Dablova expresses deep concerns to her companion Drayden, who feels as if she’s abandoned her post among her sister witches in Grynoth, leaving them open to any potential danger brought on by Arachnia. She wonders if the omen that brought her to Greyhawk has already come to pass (she later receives a new omen, one that seems to deal with her fate more directly!) Meanwhile, Madryk expresses concerns of his own to his travel companion Lyks: riding with him on his winged Pegasus!

Midnight falls, and all are asleep in Pimpleton Manor (or in Madryk’s case, passed out from too much Dwarven ale.) Lyks slips out under the cover of darkness and hits the city streets. It is on these streets that Lyks witnesses the murder of a man in plain sight by an unknown assailant. The backstabber is able to flee from not only Lyks, but his Familiar Redscar too, leaving behind a corpse and little-to-nothing with regard to his identity! Frustrated, Lyks makes his way to the city prison and asks to visit with Kr’zzt. Behind the guise of interrogation, the temperamental Druid takes his frustration out on the captured Drow, beating him into a howling fit. When asked to leave by a city guardsman, Lyks complies, but not before healing the Drow’s wounds and sedating him for the rest of the evening. An ESP spell proves fruitless in extracting the names of more of Kr’zzt’s agents in Greyhawk, only yielding dream symbols.

In the morning, the party prepares to indulge in a sumptuous farewell breakfast prepared by George Pimpleton. Dablova excuses herself to tend to the dogs at the barracks, but not before confronting Lyks on the newly-acquired bruises she sees decorating his knuckles. Lyks admits to the party that he paid Kr’zzt another visit to interrogate him alone while they slept. After Dablova’s departure, Drayden expresses great concern for his comrade, warning the Druid that his temperament is one that should be kept in check for fear of falling into the darkness that others in the party have been unable to resist. However, his pleas fall on less than sympathetic ears as many others in the party (Ix, Silhouette, Isrygrad) take little issue with Lyks’ method of extracting information. The group’s breakfast turns somber, and Lyks makes a hasty exit for the Church of Beore to clear his mind before leaving the city. The party reconvenes shortly thereafter, and Drayden asks to make amends with Lyks, citing that while he does not pass judgement on his friend, he is a man of faith and only makes his concerns known out of compassion. Friendship reaffirmed, the party sets forth to sail down the Nyr Dyv.

Drayden, Dablova, and the battle-hungry Shield Lander Jetrek are the first to depart, their destination the arid plains of the Shield Lands. On their way to meet with Jetrek’s aunt, the Countess Katarina, Dablova attempts to calm the anxious noble with Serenity — her signature calming Witches Brew — and she and Drayden further discuss the endless struggle of good and evil among themselves and their comrades. The trio eventually arrive at a hamlet outside of the city center, and are met by the Countess. She expresses to the heroes that while the Shield Lands are not as glamorous as more urban areas like Greyhawk or Furyondy, her people are resilient and willing to hear them out. Soon after, a Hill Giant and a pair of Ogres descend upon their introduction; an overzealous Jetrek is quick to take up arms to defend his aunt, but is felled just as swiftly by the Hill Giant. While the pair of heroes and the Countess quickly deal with the monsters and heal the outer wounds of the noble boy, they soon realize that his mind is far too damaged internally. Distraught, the Countess asks the pair to address her people without her as she must tend to her now-imbecilic nephew. Drayden and Dablova do their best to rouse the townsfolk and while the people are unconvinced at first, the support of a fellow Shield Lander finally helps to communicate the severity of their visit.

Lyks & Madryk are the next to break from the party, returning to the Kingdom of Furyondy. There, they are met with honor as prestigious “knight protectors” and are quickly received by the Grand Marshall of Furyondy’s forces, Baron Jemain, who is quick to inform them that his troops are ready for whatever threat may come their way. The pair of heroes fear that Germain’s confidence is a based in arrogance but the vast, well trained legion at his command proves otherwise. Before their meeting concludes, Jemain is alerted to the capture of a thief. The thief is brought before Jemain and the heroes to answer for his crimes. The thief is revealed to be a lowly Gnome, who’s petty thievery extends to not only bread but a bit of coin as well. As punishment for his misdeeds, Baron sentences the thieving Gnome to have his hands removed but not before Lyks and Madryk interject. Baron scoffs at their audacious demand for release, but eventually agrees to let the Gnome (named Burbis Baggleton) into their custody, unwilling to suffer any further pettiness. Baron then allows to let the pair discuss with his men what awaits them should the nation of Arachnia move south. Both the Elf and Dwarf are charismatic enough to rally the guard successfully.

Ix & Silhouette make their way up past Furyondy to Vesve Forest, where they are met by a patrol of highly skilled Rangers. They’re escorted hastily to meet with Lord Elrenn Walthair and his band of Vesve Rangers, among which are a pair of brothers, Fanden and Faelin. While Ix & Silhouette are successful in regaling the councilmen about their troubles in Dorakka, the brothers also fear more immediate threats — such as a Bugbear den just outside their camp — pose a more realistic danger than the possibility of an Arachnian invasion. Ix & Silhouette agree to accompany the brothers Fanden and Faelin and a band of Rangers to dispatch the Bugbears. At the den, the pair watch as resting Bugbears are cut down and slain by the Rangers. In the wake of the Bugbear raid, the brothers find a pair of matching cuffs among the remains. While each maintains a cuff of their own, Ix & Silhouette watch as the brothers squabble for ownership of both, eventually resulting in a scuffle between the young Lords. In the midst of their ruckus, the cuffs accidentally collide and send forth a blinding light that illuminates the entirety of the den. As the light dims, only one brother stands wearing both cuffs. Fanden pleads with the heroes and his Rangers to help find his missing brother and in the panic, clashes the cuffs together again. Another light beams forth and in its wake, Faelin stands. This panic continues, as the brothers continue to bang the cuffs together in hopes of reuniting with each other on the same plane of existence.

Finally, in the Wolf Nomad territory of Eru-Tovar, Isygrad and Jor-Mak meet with the savage warlord Kreveka. Kreveka is an intimidating sovereign, who’s built his legendary reign upon the destruction (and occasional devouring) of his enemies. While Jor-Mak attempts to psionically break down the brutish king’s emotional walls, Isygrad tries to sway Kreveka with empathy. He pleads with Warlord Kreveka as one Barbarian to another. He relays to the Wolf Nomad King the loss of his royal family at the hands of a single Drow. Offended at the mere thought of even a single Dark Elf being able to bring harm to his kingdom, the prideful king has Jor-Mak seized and demands that the Ice Barbarian be put to death for his impertinent tone. Not a moment too soon, a voice speaks up from the crowd of Wolf Nomads vouching for Isrygard’s honor. A figure steps forth and he is revealed to be Isrygard’s former companion, Maydon Wolfsguard. Maydon proposes a challenge before the King: a to pit him against the strongest warrior in the kingdom in non-lethal combat for Isrygard’s honor and freedom. After minutes of sparring, Maydon lands a devastating blow against Kreveka’s champion, crushing the thug’s glass jaw and swiftly taking him out of battle. Having bested Kreveka’s champion, the King holds up his end of the deal and releases Isrygard and Jor-Mak. Together with Maydon, the pair appear to successfully rile up the Wolf Nomads against an impending invasion from Arachnia.

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