This is part of my ongoing storyhour. I’m roughly a year behind the present campaign in the story hour, though, and as I wrestle with a backlog of tapes I thought it might be fun to skip forward to what’s happening in the campaign right now. I’m going to hint at a few campaign developments, and others (the really interesting ones) I’m not going to spoiler in the least; you can read this, and it shouldn’t mess up your enjoyment of the regular story hour.
Roughly two months have passed since the Defenders of Daybreak resolved the issue of Agar’s engagement and left the outer planes. In that time, it seems that allies and enemies they made while on the outer planes haven't bothered to track them back to Spira. It's been a quiet and productive break from the feverish pace of the preceding year, a time of reflection and rebuilding.
The spring has been a cold one even down south in Corsai, and back to the northeast it's been virtually disastrous for crops. A major famine is expected in the coming year; it's no consolation that there are less people alive to share the available food after the negative-energy plague which accompanied Imbindarla's death. Druidic councils throughout the continent are working to either promote or retard crop growth, depending on their philosophy and outlook towards civilization (friends of the Defenders like House Roaringbrook of Eversink should grow much more powerful in the coming year, especially when aided by agents like Palladio.) The name of Galanna is still scorned and blasphemed for her perceived role in the death of Imbindarla, but Tao and Raevynn and the Knights of the Horn are working to fix that. Nolin could have spread the word in no time flat. . . but Nolin is dead, and the repercussions of his sacrifice still reverberate.
There has been no word from the group of dwarves who journeyed to Corsai to find the key from the vaults of Mrid, and who then vanished in a shimmering planar glow. Corsai itself has been largely rebuilt after the devastation caused by the horrible swollen crawling head of Grgl. The church of Aeos now controls Corsai in name as well as in fact. (It turns out that Corsai's puppet mayor was slain in the undead attack, and the Clarion has taken formal control of the city council. The city has now become an official theocracy, and in welcoming new trade has arguably become a better place to live.) The Holy Embodiment of the Sun continues to court Lady Mara Thornhill, and he appears to be genuinely smitten despite maintaining perfect decorum.
Lord Malachite has retrained his knights into a formidable fighting unit. He has a tremendous amount to accomplish, but trusted assistants like Sir Duncan and extremely competent troops have certainly helped. There has been no attempt to steal the Star of Saint Samantha since the attack that the Defenders thwarted months ago; perhaps the Dark Hunger (Teliez) feels that he has made his point. Even the despicable Soder has been completely absent.
Speaking of which, the Knights of the Emerald Chapel have reported an interesting phenomena. Although undead has been quite low compared to before Imbindarla's death, the undead seen over the last several months have been, and they have trouble expressing this, “better looking” than one might normally expect undead to be. There has been a particular surge in hot female vampires. No one is quite sure of the reason for this, but sages from Corsai to Oursk have been working on the problem feverously. Speaking of Oursk, Lady Sharala has returned and is working behind the scenes to prepare for her third miraculous return to the lands of the living. This time, she expects that her political maneuvering will win her a position of true power in the city. She certainly doesn't expect her insane nephew Griggan to object.
Neither the rogue wizard Kestellin nor the dragon Tagachark the Inferno have been seen since they attacked Nolin's funeral, looted the palace, and took off for parts unknown. High Mage Emeritus Arcade Deltarion has lead a strike force to find them, rumored to be somewhere on the inner planes. Meanwhile, Queen Kirisandra of Gaunt has widened the search for her missing brother-in-law; both she and her husband King Kemic hope to surrender the throne if he returns from his exile. While they search, they have set dwarven engineers to building Nolin a monument fit for a king.
Dylrath could possibly tell you more about this, but he's on a beach half a world away, lolling in the sun. Considering what he's gone through, he deserves it.
The outer plains are in a time of turmoil. A war rages in Limbo, as the githyanki launch an all-out offensive on the strongholds of the githzerai. Perhaps they are taking advantage of the slaads' absence, as many of the chaos-frogs try to seize a piece of abandoned Mechanus for themselves. They're certainly not alone; dozens of power groups have attacked the plane of the dead modrons, and no clear winner has yet emerged. If anyone knows why the modrons died in the first place, they're not talking. A half-dozen planar sages have sought out the Defenders to question them, and each time go away disappointed.
In the underdark, the dwarven defender Splinder stands a lonely vigil before the Black Gate. He prays to Moradin that other dwarves will eventually come and settle those dark halls. Meanwhile, Priggle Gembreath learns what it's like to come back an unknown hero from an unappreciated war. It's not like he didn't already have things to complain about, though.
Things proceed apace for other members of the defenders. Training with the Crystal Spire in Sigil, Eve finds that "A. Nonny" keeps trying to send her creature comforts and make her life more pleasant. Stone Bear has taken to the desert in an attempt to hear his spirits more clearly; his spirit of vengeance has told him that Elder has surfaced and destroyed his entire village, transforming the lot into undead who wait for Stone Bear's return. Spurred on by this news, Velendo balances his time between his temples (where he has kept his promise and resurrected Claris, but literally thousands of people who asked Velendo to resurrect dead relatives had to be turned down) and his work researching the two remaining worms. The research is frustratingly slow, since almost nothing is known of them, but Velendo hopes to forge an alliance between some of the most powerful individuals on the planet. Between these people of importance and might, he prays that a solution to the worms' threat can be found. The Archmage Emperor Congenio Ioun has expressed interest in discussing this, although it’s apparent that he wants political considerations in return for his help.
As we return, however, we find the Defenders gathered for a more immediate crisis. Months ago the Defenders easily turned away a giant-ish scouting party of a Calphasian temple, a former hill giant steading located high above an icy pass. At the time, they mandated the dominated giant to explain exactly how bad an idea it would be to ever bother them again. Ah, ego. The other giants don't appear to have listened.
So join us as we return to the game after a five month (in real life) hiatus, when the Defenders of Daybreak regather to negotiate far-reaching political alliances and defend a temple; giants of old walk the earth again, and proverbial butt gets kicked with no hidden moral or social implications!