Harqual: Year of the Return [749 N.C.] - Page 5


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  1. #41
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    Week Thirty-Three

    9. Moonsday
    In Avion City, Lady Felicia receives another sending spell from Rathenar Dovecote. The message sounds more urgent this time. The Queen dispatches several flights of griffon riders to Nasundria, and she casts a sending spell to contact the leaders of the Regiment she sent on the 4th of Hela. She orders them to hurry, as Nasundria is obviously in real peril.

    10. Earthday
    In the Kingdom of Thallin, King Travathian passes away in the early evening. Travathian’s son, Varath, is crowned King of Thallin before dusk.
    ---
    Meanwhile, in the City of Onaway, Taith-El awakens in the night screaming. “Evil! Such powerful evil!”

    He and his followers are baffled by his dark, vivid dreams of a scarred human hand pulling out the heart of Cronn and crushing it. Taith-El secretly worries that the Black Cult of Hiisi may be on the rise.

    11. Fireday
    In the city of Yuln, Auwk-wa visits the Monastery of Jalivier, speaking with the monks for hours. His warriors become fascinated by the monks unarmed martial styles.
    ---
    In the Far South, after two weeks of walking and hiding from local patrols, Anders Carrin and two survivors of the wreck of the Gem of the South arrive at the city-state of Alsesby, many miles west of Xcellian. They are tired and irate.

    Carrin immediately contacts his allies in the city in the hopes of getting home and getting some answers as to who destroyed his ship. He informs the Commerce Doctorate of the ship’s destruction and grudgingly accepts their ruling that he will be forced to pay for the cargo’s cost out of his family’s fortune.

    12. Seaday
    In Onaway, Taith-El has another dark dream where the symbol of Nether eats the symbol of Cronn. He is shaken by the dream, refusing to sleep anywhere but in the Temple of Cronn.
    ---
    In the city-state of Alsesby, Anders Carrin pays a powerful local wizard a hefty sum to be teleported back to Xcellian. The mission to the City of Fear has cost him a lot of coin, something the Merchant Lord is not use to. He is adding up his losses in his personal bedchamber before the end of the day.

    13. Windday
    In Ahamudia, King Loghan renames several towns in honor of those that died protecting the Kingdom. Only Eberal, Halonnan, Tanærit, Rulad, and Bitran are not renamed. Tutras and Vanirit Keep lay in ruins and are salvaged for stone and timber for the surrounding towns and villages (only Ridere Castle still stands in the west). However, Pae lays in total ruin and has been abandoned by the populace, as well as Gialey, Sarahn and Zale. They are considered cursed due to the desecration to the land by the Imperials.

    Calaerik is renamed Delawyr after one of the Ten Saints of Avion that died in the last battle against the demons. Zirik is renamed Joerid in honor of a halfling rogue from that town. Krotras is renamed Edan after a fallen soldier of Onaco. Vanol is renamed Silvinæn for all the elves that died during the war. Ralolen is renamed Ceran after a Bitran gnome of Rulad but Ralolen Castle is not. Voha is renamed Lenna after a human mage from Onaway and Itol is renamed Khilman in honor of the fallen Prince Consort of Javeldos. However, the Bay of Itol and the keeps and castles are not renamed.

    14. Starday
    In Navirosov, High King Sir Jacard Winternight extends a special invitation to the King of Ahamudia to visit the Kingdom of Paladins. “As soon as things quiet down a little.”
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 10th September, 2008 at 02:39 AM.
    Robert Blezard

 

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    Week Thirty-Four

    15. Moonsday
    In the eastern half of the Monarchy of Avion, the flight of mounted griffons sent out passes over the Regiment of soldiers heading to Nasundria. The soldiers will soon arrive at Nidbor Keep but the griffon riders do not wait for them, continue on to Nasundria.

    16. Earthday
    In Avion City, a week has passed since Rathenar Dovecote last contacted Lady Felicia. She worries for the young man and his friends’ safety. Young untested wizards should not be fighting against a seasoned army. She asks several of the more powerful members of the Arcane League to teleport to Nasundria to see what is going on.

    The wizards become agitated at the Queen’s request. The League has always been autonomous of the political structure of the Monarchy, as that was the condition of them agreeing to live and protect Avion City. They have lost many to the tabaxi, and the League will not risk more lives on what they believe is a fool’s errand.

    The Queen is highly annoyed at the self-centeredness of the League members and reassigns the bulk of Cronn’s Pride, guarding League Hall, to guard other locales in the city.

    17. Fireday
    The Regiment of soldiers sent out towards Nasundria arrives at Nidbor Keep. The keep’s commander, Matthieu Wischard, welcomes them.
    ---
    In the Far South, Anders Carrin beseeches the Commerce Doctorate of Xcellian to help find out who or what caused the destruction of the Gem of the South. They agree, for a sizable fee donated to the group’s coffers. Lord Carrin has little choice but to pay the fee, as that is how things have always been done in Xcellian. Now, more than ever, he misses his vizier’s magic.

    Then the Torin dwarf wonders, “Could Baer have done this? No, he wouldn’t dare betray me to that degree.”

    18. Seaday
    Above the lands of the Aerie Holds, the griffon riders from the Monarchy pass over several burnt out villages and homesteads. The leader of the riders, Joachim Mélowe, looks down upon the burning homesteads with anger in his eyes and rage in his heart. “Will this never cease?”

    His eyes catch a glint of steel in the distance and soon the griffon riders are passing over a large column of humanoid soldiers led by tabaxi war priests. The column is heading for Nidbor Keep.

    Mélowe orders two of his best fliers to head back towards the Monarchy to warn the Regiment heading for Nasundria of the approaching menace. Mélowe knows that the soldiers will have to fall back to Nidbor Keep and that he, his men, and the people of Nasundria are on their own.

    19. Windday
    In the Monarchy, the Regiment of soldiers heading for Nasundria leaves Nidbor Keep, marching all day and half the night.
    ---
    In Thallin, King Varath reorganizes the royal guard, as roughly 85% of the members are replaced. It is renamed the Fury of the Dragon.
    ---
    In the Far South, the Commerce Doctorate informs Lord Carrin that they haven’t found anything pointing towards a specific foe, in the sink of the Gem of the South. However, they suspect the sorcerous denizens of the city-state of Livaley had something to do with it. They also insist the Merchant Lord make plans for another mission to the City of Fear.

    Lord Carrin isn’t convinced of their findings. (He orders a more detailed arcane investigation within his family’s trading house.) He puts off the idea of any more ships being sent out in case the force responsible for sinking his ship is a rival trader or merchants’ guild out to destroy Xcellian’s mercantile strength.

    20. Starday
    The two griffon riders sent back to warm the soldiers, marching on Nasundria, arrive just before the camp of Monarchy troops begins its preparations to leave. They warn the members of Cronn’s Pride, leading the contingent, that continuing on would be suicide. There are too many humanoids.

    The members of Cronn’s Pride insist on marching forward to meet the threat head on instead of retreating. They trust in the path, which Lord of the North has led them.

    The griffon riders are ordered to Nidbor Keep to prepare them in case the Regiment fails. As they leave they can’t but be impressed with the devotion of Cronn’s Pride and the unwavering loyalty their troops have in them.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 10th September, 2008 at 02:40 AM.
    Robert Blezard

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    Week Thirty-Five

    21. Moonsday
    In the city of Yuln, several of the kha warriors are hassled by an outlander priest who believes them to be “demon birds” sent from the lower depths of Baator. “They will steal all our souls and doom us all!”

    The outlander priest is quickly taken away but the man’s words have already deeply hurt the Kha warriors. They retreat to the confines of the Monastery of Jalivier to seek the wisdom and serenity of the monks.
    ---
    In the Far South, the wizards in the service of the Carrin-Austil Mercantile House are baffled in their magical searching for a reason for their Lord’s ship being sunk, as if something, or someone, was blocking their scrying. All divination inquiries are highly cryptic or lead to false trails.

    Lord Carrin begins to believe that his suspicions about Randolph Baer might need further research. The dwarf informs the Commerce Doctorate of his suspicions and suggests that before any more expeditions are sent to the City of Fear, that the truth about Baer’s current location and intentions be divined. The Doctorate agrees, assigning their magical resources to help Merchant Lord’s arcane staff.

    22. Earthday
    In the Aerie Holds, Joachim Mélowe and his griffon riders arrive over the city of Nasundria. The tabaxi force holding the city seems to have its hands full with several well-armed pockets of resistance including Rathenar Dovecote and his friends.

    The griffon riders descend to swoop in and help the beleaguered city, but the riders quickly discover the tabaxi have aerial support, as several flights of hippogriff riding tabaxi, a few gargoyles, and a manticore rise to meet them.

    A pitched battle ensues both on the ground and in the air that night over Nasundria.

    23. Fireday
    In the Monarchy, the two griffon riders arrive back at Nidbor keep to warn of the advancing tabaxi army. Commander Matthieu Wischard immediately begins preparing the keep for battle and sends riders out to the surrounding communities to call in the local militia.
    ---
    In the Aerie Holds, the battle for Nasundria continues on throughout the morning. Joachim Mélowe and Rathenar Dovecote effectively combine their resources and drive most of the tabaxi out of the city proper. Other tabaxi, griff, and allied humanoids dig in throughout the city and take to the sewers. Without more help, the citizens of Nasundria are in for a long struggle.

    24. Seaday
    On the 24th of Hela, 749 N.C., the advancing army of the tabaxi and Cronn’s Regiment, as it is later named, meet on the field of battle just west of the Hills of the Holds. The battle is short and brutal, as the tabaxi overrun the small Regiment of Monarchy soldiers. All of the members of Cronn’s Pride perish in the battle but they give as good as they get. Two-dozen humanoids die for every member of Cronn’s Pride whom falls.

    The remaining Monarchy soldiers, no more than 50, divide into two groups. One group retreats back towards Nidbor Keep and the other retreats southwest to the town of Jalmur, in order to protect that community in case the tabaxi try to conquer it.

    The conflict is later named the Battle for the Hills.

    25. Windday
    In Thallin, Varath declares that Nether will now be the official state god. He also lifts the ban on three other Sword Gods: Mussin, Druaga, and Xuar. The populace is in shock.
    ---
    In the Far South, after several days of frustration by the wizards working for the Merchant Lord of Xcellian, a rolled up scroll of parchment magically appears on Carrin’s desk late in the evening. It is sealed with wax and bears the arcane mark of Randolph Baer. Wary of a trick or trap, Lord Carrin has the scroll studied by his arcane staff.

    None detect any sort of magical trap or trigger.

    Unsure, but curious, Anders Carrin unseals the scroll. He turns irate when he reads its contents.

    26. Starday
    In Thallin, Varath’s new Royal Guard crushes a peaceful protest by several key religious factions.
    ---
    Meanwhile, in Onaway, Taith-El receives a vision of the rise in power of the Tyrant of Thallin. He sees the dying protesters trying to flee the Fury of the Dragon. He informs his followers of the dark tidings happening in the Eastern Shores. “We must pray for the souls of the dead and the salvation of the living. There are dark times ahead in the east.”
    ---
    In the Far South, Anders Carrin reads the scroll sent by Randolph Baer in front of the Commerce Doctorate of Xcellian.
    Anders,

    My old fiend, it pains me to inform you that after a lifetime of friendship and camaraderie, I must terminate our business dealings. I have been taken into the confidence of the newcomers of the city your known as the City of Fear.

    These newcomers are wondrous beings of beauty and peace known as the Breshidi. Their city is called Cardamere and is as wondrous a thing as its denizens are. They come from another world during the fog and are quite frightened of all they have seen of our world.

    It has taken a lot to earn their trust.

    My Goddess has spoken to me through my trances. She is insistent that I stay and guide these noble beings so that the unscrupulous minded do not take advantage of them. While I know you would treat them fairly in your dealings, that cannot be said of everyone in Xcellian or the rest of our land.

    Thus, I regret the unfortunate action taken against the Gem of the South. Yes, I was responsible, with the Breshidi’s insistence. They have decided to remain isolated from all those they deem untrustworthy. I tried to speak in your behalf, but they were unbending. It was all I could do to ask them to allow me to make sure you were close enough to shore so that you would have a chance for survival.

    It heartened me to discover you had, thank the Patron.

    But now I must deliver their terms to Xcellian. Any vessel sailing under the city’s colors will be sunk if they so much as hint at putting in near Cardamere. They will brook no intrusion from land either. I have witnessed the power they have over the Elements of Magic and believe they could follow up upon these demands.

    I realize that the Commerce Doctorate will not be intimidated, but hopefully after their first major monetary loss they will see reason and leave Cardamere to its own will. If you are offended by the loss of your own monetary resources, which I’m sure you are, then I deeply apologize, my old friend. I will gladly recoup your expenses in this matter, as I have wealth beyond what was seized by the Doctorate.

    Please do not act rashly, Anders. I would hate to have to come into conflict with you.

    Regards,

    Randolph Baer of Cardamere
    Stipends are paid in order too exact revenge on Randolph Baer and the Breshidi of Cardamere. Lord Carrin puts in a small fortune for the capture and execution of his traitorous vizier.

    Dozens of ships, both sea vessels and airships are told to prepare to head for Cardamere. Powerful arcane and clerical forces are hired on to aid in the magical battle to come. These magical mercenaries are powerful worshippers of the Interloper God, Boccob the Uncaring.
    Robert Blezard

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    Week Thirty-Six

    27. Moonsday
    In Thallin, Varath outlaws the worship of the North Gods and all demihuman deities. Attitudes change from shock to fear.

    Word quickly spreads throughout the Eastern Shores that the new King of Thallin is quite mad, as well as power hungry. Both Minar and Stonn increase their border patrols, and the kingdoms warn their ambassadors in Thallin to be watchful and careful of King Varath’s behavior.

    28. Earthday
    The surviving members of Cronn’s Regiment, who retreated west, arrive at Nidbor Keep with the tabaxi only two days ride behind them. Commander Matthieu Wischard is disheartened that so many Monarchy soldiers died, needlessly, as he put it. He is surprised when the soldiers of Cronn’s Regiment rebuke his opinion openly, believing that those that died did so to protect Nidbor Keep and the Monarchy. They and the members of Cronn’s Pride should be honored for their bravery, not ridiculed.

    Commander Wischard doesn’t like having his words questioned and proceeds to give Cronn’s Lapdogs, as he calls them, duty digging ditches and cleaning the privies. “This will remind them of discipline in the ranks, by Jalivier!”

    29. Fireday
    In Thallin, Several ambassadors from demihuman lands are tortured and executed as spies by the Fury of the Dragon. The ambassadors from the Duchy of Minar, Kingdom of Navirosov, Barony of Wolffire, Kingdom of Stonn and the Onan Territories quickly leave Thallin, fearing for their lives.

    Dwarves, elves, half-elves, and halflings living in Thallin either flee or go into hiding.
    ---
    In the Far South, the sea and air armada of Xcellian leaves for Cardamere. Powerful magic will allow the armada to reach Cardamere within several days.

    30. Seaday
    On the 30th of Hela, the tabaxi army arrives at Nidbor Keep. They lay siege to the fortress with everything they have including foul Necromantic magic, animating the fallen from both sides to fight on in the army of the Priests of Tu.

    The tabaxi use every sneaky and dirty trick they can think of including summoning monsters upon the walls of the keep and ethereal assassins. These tactics are against the rules of civilized warfare up and down the Sword Coast.

    Commander Wischard is disgusted by the lack of discipline and ethics by the tabaxi. “It goes against the Code of Warfare but I will not stoop to their level.”

    The Battle of Nidbor Keep continues on into the night.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 10th September, 2008 at 02:46 AM.
    Robert Blezard

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    Month of Seraph
    Week Thirty-Six (cont.)

    1. Windday
    In the Monarchy of Avion, the battle for Nidbor Keep turns into a stalemate, as the Monarchy soldiers hold the walls and the tabaxi army digs in around the keep. Commander Wischard is severely wounded. Clerics of Jalivier struggle to keep the old soldier alive, as several vile, poisonous wounds sap the life from him.

    The beleaguered soldiers turn to the Hounds of Cronn, as the men are calling them, for leadership. The former ‘lapdogs’ lead the soldiers from the front, helping man the walls and shore up the defenses. Numerous members of the militia petition to join the ranks of the Hounds to help defend their homeland. The Hounds turn none away.

    At dusk, the tabaxi army once again comes to the walls to try and take Nidbor Keep. The battle is hard-fought and brutal on both sides. Tabaxi, griff, orcs, ogres, and gnolls pour over the walls into the keep proper. The soldiers hold back the onslaught from the central tower, pushing the humanoids back to the edge of the outside of the wall.

    Nidbor Keep looks and smells like a slaughterhouse by midnight. Several groups of gnolls and orcs break from the battle in the middle of the night. (No amount of tabaxi gold or possible pillage is worth the risk anymore.)
    ---
    In the City of Yuln, Ambassador Wingspread informs Auwk-wa that The High Peregrine has agreed to ally with Tschaja but will only allow Liran and Yuln partial trade allowances with the ee’aar. This is more than Lord Mal and Baron Gaill have been able to get from the ee’aar in over ten years of secret negotiations. They are ecstatic.

    Ambassador Wingspread also informs them of the changes taking place in Thallin. The new King is a madman who is persecuting demihumans and allowing the worship of the Sword Gods. Many elves and half-elves have been killed by the Fury of the Dragon and soldiers loyal to King Varath.

    Lord Mal worries that his Ambassador to Thallin might have been killed or worse. The ambassador is a half-elf named Petyer Willowswan. Ambassador Wingspread agrees to have his spies in Thallin try to locate the Yulnian Ambassador. The ambassador of Liran sends word to Baron Gaill through the Rapid Riders (sort of like pony express for those that don’t trust magic).
    ---
    Meanwhile in the Capital City of Thallin mass riots break out over the changes instituted by King Varath. The Fury of the Dragon put down the riots with the help of several Priests of Nether. None of the protestors are spared being executed by the vile, vengeful guards.

    2. Starday
    In the streets of Nasundria, tabaxi and griff warriors take dozens of citizens from hidden locations, throughout the city during the night. The citizens are dragged down into the city’s complex sewer system. Joachim Mélowe suspects treason amongst the jaded nobility of Nasundria.

    Rathenar Dovecote leads a small scouting party into the upper levels of the sewer but there isn’t any sign of the missing citizens of Nasundria. They do encounter several gangs of humanoids scouting the upper levels but make short work of them.
    Robert Blezard

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