Three for the Twelve

Invasion, Repulsed

A year of war, and its immediate aftermath

The Droaamite Invasion of 998 began in early fall, reached its high watermark right before winter, and only held and Brelish territory of note after that because of the harsh winter, and its blunting effect on operations. Although the hordes had made respectable gains in the north and in the vicinity of the Six Kings, the rugged passes through the Graywalls hampered their ability to establish a unified, stable front. Coupled with their setbacks in the south, the monsters were held in pace throughout the winter, and by the time spring came Brelish forces had reinforced and regrouped to the point that the still-disorganized monsters could not withstand pressure across the broad front.

Small guerrilla forces also infiltrated behind the Droaamite lines, again from the south, and wreaked havoc with what passed for lines of communication and supply, further degrading the monsters’ ability to coordinate their defenses. By the time the spring rains came, there were only pockets of the horde left in Breland, and the passes were slowly being retaken.

The Hags, for their part, remained mostly silent throughout the affair, with only rumors providing their voices for months. By early spring, however, emissaries from the Great Crag had made contact with Breland through House Tharashk diplomats, and had insisted that the “regrettable friction” between the two countries was the result of a break-away faction within Droaam, and not a coordinated effort by the Sisters themselves. Little more came through diplomatic channels as the monsters were steadily beaten back to their own borders.

Intelligence gained from reconnaissance forces that had operated within Droaam did uncover other Droaamite operations, elsewhere in Khorvaire. The King’s Citadel, having established contact and productive relations with a key group of partisans along the southern front early in the war, shared intelligence related to these other efforts, far to the north, along the mountainous divide between the Eldeen Reaches and Demon Wastes. The Icehorn Mountains, running northeasterly and dead-ending in Eldeen Bay, separate the Reaches, and nearby Aundair, from the eastern plains of the Demon Wastes. The King’s Citadel uncovered evidence of contact with Droaamite agents and efforts apparently operating in the northern Reaches, near a series of ancient monasteries and keeps that guard the passes out of the Demon Wastes. The areas involved can be seen in some detail on this map. The location in question is northwest of Merylsward, and in the Icehorn Mountains, south of Ashtakala, the de facto center of power in the Demon Wastes.

The King’s Citadel has arranged for transport by elemental galleon across Silver Lake and Lake Galifar, and into Eldeen Bay. The party will be accompanied by agents of the Citadel, as well as other representatives of the Brelish government in order to properly assess the potential threat from any Droammite involvement with the demon nation.

Comments

on a personal note. did we level up and can we split up the loot and get what we want?

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Level up, ye dogs of war! You’re experienced partisan commandos now.

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Since we are metagaming the winter, could a relatively high level cleric have come by shadowlock keep or we go to the Argonth for supply to have PULLED THIS BLOODY EYE OUT OF MISHKAS HEAD!!! I’d like to be 9th level with the rest of the troop. Besides, I would be able to teleportation us all over creation if I can.
Also, besides the upgrade of the sword, all I really want is a replacement eye with darkvision in it. I am willing to forgo all other treasure.

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Another piece of the prophecy puzzle was revealed. Brought to you by Arko! who remembers nothing of the ordeal. There might be some connection to the 72nd Brelish Dragoons that disappeared on the Talenta Plains. Who knows?

Loyal hearts
and loyal souls
Though for them
the death knell tolls

Nightmares feed
On rattled nerves
Some are gone
And yet still serve

Vow and oath
Still hold their power
And so they ride
In darkest hour

As if from
beyond the grave
Breland, will
these 72 save

Hoof and boot
A whisper sound
their homeland
is their hallowed ground

Nightmares feed
On rattled nerves
Some are gone
And yet still serve

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Correction: Tillorn Expanse not Talenta Plains

Invasion, Repulsed
 

We took out those 4 in the tent in 5 rounds, 30 seconds.

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Thats because we are FINALLYthat B.A.D. !!!!!!

Invasion, Repulsed
 

So we’ll begin Saturday riding the elemental galleon with the Agents from the King’s Citadel?

Invasion, Repulsed
 

@Pik: Yes!

Invasion, Repulsed
 

…and Mishka is like a pirate now with an eye patch?

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Better, Mishka is traveling with a prosthetic dragonshard eye.

Invasion, Repulsed
 

We regale them with tales of high adventure, and shipwrecks.

Invasion, Repulsed
 

The five marks strode into the keep the day following the slaying of the southern front leadership. The stories spread like wild fire on a brittle plane. The death of an Oni otherworlder, a medusa, and 2 gnoll generals in mere moments. They were surrounded by hundreds of monstrous soldiers, guarded by giants and altered gnolls. They strode into the tent by disguise. And once the battle was over, time and space was bent and they disappeared.

They were grim faced as they gave their recount of the swift battle that occurred. Colonel Anwar was grudgingly impressed. Of course he could use 10 more bands like this group. However this group did not answer to him. They were beholden to noone but themselves. He was pleased that they fought for him and Breland this time. And they only asked for a place to rest and recoup after the battle.
After a night of hot baths, a dish of good food, and a round of beers, the heros laid down for a well deserved night of rest.
The following day, more debriefing. When any of the marked 5 would enter the courtyard, all eyes would be drawn to him. Whispers of their skill and triumphs were on the lips of the soldiers fortunate to catch a glimpse.

The following week, communications went out to the keep commanders general of the southern front. In return, the team we requested to report to the General Salevi. There were questions that needed to be answered.

After a weeks worth of communications between colonel Anwar and General Salevi, they decided that the group would make their way to the small city of Ardev. There were important dispatches that were to be delivered by hand.
The five marks made their way north on horseback with the desire to reach the forward base of operations in A months time.
On the second day, they made it to the town of noname. In the daylight, the scars that were left of the city were worse than before. bodies being fed upon by carrion feeders, burns marked where homes were built. A shadow seemed to hold in the air.
A day after the former town was the camp of the main body. It was a field of trash and bodies. It seems as though the gnolls fell upon themselves to see who would lead the army. Since there was no attack, there must have been no winners of the conflict.
A week passed with no encounters. The going was easy less the rain that fell on a daily basis. The companions were joking amongst themselves that they generate an aura of repulse low power random encounters.
Another week passed without significant trouble. The goo.g was slow with the muddy roads and having to hunt for food. The deviation the monster army caused to the villages and hamlets along the route was complete.
Strangely however, there were no stragglers. No survivors. There were signs all around of the monstrous army, but none showed themselves.
During times of clear skies at night, Mishka would map the heavens, looking for clues of the prophecy. None easily presented themselves. With a different view he would try to connect the stars and moons with the 75th legion. It was still bare. It shows now is their time, however what does their time mean? Further study would be needed.
On the 15th day of travel is when disaster struck. There was a winner of the southern advance. One of the Giants which was standing guard strode over a distant hill with a retinue of gnoll warriors, Much less than the hundreds that were marshaled against Shadowlock keep, however enough to cause some pause for the five friends. They must have spied the party from the open area of the foothills where they made camp.
The Giant and his fifty warriors were too much for the marked five to handle. They detoured into the forest.
Through the trees they rode with tipping and barking just out of eye shot. In the forest, they made slow time. The mounts could not easily fit their bulk through the trees. Soon they came upon a clearing where they could dismount and go on foot.
The companions decided to split up and set a trap. Arko! and Fayne Moved on to draw the small hoard. Foen, Mishka, and Flet climbed trees to wait for it.
Across the clearing, team 1 hunkered down waiting for the first gnolls to break the clearing. They didn’t need to wait long. Arko! placed an arrow into its chest and it fell.
The cowardly gnolls held their advance until they could get the numbers they needed. They milled about at the treeline for minutes. Another arrow from Arko flew, striking another. Then one which stuck in a tree. Five gnolls arrived, ten. When they were up to around twenty, they started advancing. Mere feet into the clearing, an arch of lightning reached out obliterating 3 of them. They dove for cover back into the tree line.
Their forces grew until a bellow from the giant came echoing through the trees, a small tree in his hands.
Again they came on. This time en masse with the giant at their heels.
This time, fire erupted around them in a sphere. The howls of the dieing gnolls were heard for miles around and the giant looked on in fear but not discouraged.
This was the sign team 2 had to leap from hiding.
Out of the trees flew Foen with his mighty bardiche glinting in the sun. Flets form altered from the look of a gnoll as he stepped out from behind cover, and Mishkas form winked into existence behind the giant. All three struck as one against the giant. The powerful and well placed hits were too much for the giant to bare. He fell in a bloody heap, in the pile of charred gnoll bodies in the clearing.
More gnolls were showing up behind the treeline, and those who witnessed the carnage had no more will to fight. They flew into the woods and disappeared into the woods.
The friends came together to inspect their work. As one they nodded their approval, turned to find their mounts and ride.
Over the next 2 weeks, they didn’t find another large contingent of monsters, however, small bands would take them away from their path to Ardev. Rather than a swift 3 week ride, it took 5. Gnolls, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogers, and all the common foot soldiers that Droam had to offer. Yet the Harpies, Oni, Giant, and other leadership were not to be found.
The closer they came to Ardev, the less fun the adventurers were having. Then the first intact settlement came into view. The populace were stunned at the companions and the direction they came.
Brelish soldiers came to greet them with suspicions but once the marked dispatch case was presented, their worries were relieved.
The friends were given fresh mounts and were provided more documentation to travel. Ardev lay 2 day ride to the northwest. Finally, their destination was within reach.

The five marks made their way into general Selaris’ office with official dispatch from Colonel Anwar. They had the weathered look to them like the General was to be respected yet just another soldier. Any one of the Five Marks could end his existence with a simple flick of their wrists. However, since they gave their word to Anwar, they were here.
Salevi greeted them at the door and bade them enter. They entered the cramped office but made their way to a conference room. There was a lot of brass in the conference room. They all wanted to know about these five heroes.
The order came from the highest levels in all of Breland. Borenel himself requested his men look into them. Who are they, where do they come from, and why would they risk themselves for his country?
The word had gone out months ago when the five walked out of Droam. Few people would exit that cursed place as easily as these did. Let alone with the large haul they had, and a rotting head of a Cyclops, and one scarred with a glowing artifact in the place of one of his eyes.
When the general strode into the room he led the five. He gestured to one side of the table. On the other was Kor ir’Wynarn. Borenels own brother and head of the kings’ citadel.
He was flanked by one of the greatest of the citadels wands and on the other a Dark lantern. Of course the companions did not know this. None were known to them.
Over the course of hours, the companies true identities came out. A mix of subtle spell use, and drink to make ones feel more at ease. Arko! Was only too pleased not to have to hide anymore. Flet was the last to fold, but only suspicions were left in the minds of the citadel of his nature or who he was.
For the citadel, it was a good start. For the friends, they were mystified how they revealed as much as they had.
They found out about how the companions were apart of the Twelve. How they were pulled away for fear of their lives. How they were, and could possibly still be hunted.
Why they fled to the shadow marches, and what took them there. How they fell into the prophecy and how they have been following it ever since.
It was the prophecy that brought them through Droam, and it was the prophecy that gave forwarning of the invasion into Breland.
All the company wanted to do was to get to Sharn, drop off the packages to the temple of the sovereign host. It seems as though the Dark Six have been conspiring against them baring their way to the great city.
And in the interim, they have been gathering more and more to provide to them. Culminating with the eye that was transfixed to Mishkas head.
They fell into the war to keep up with their life of adventure, and it was the right thing to do. It was written in the stars, and therefore, they followed.

After the meeting, they were released to the town. They were suggested to visit the officers mess. Also, there was a certain Host priest that would be very interested in the books, dispatches, and eye they carried with them.
The team went to the best inn they were able to find. Again, hot baths were taken, and a a steaming bowl of venison stew with chunky potatoes. A cask of magically cooled beer and a steaming loaf of bread.
Over dinner, they discussed with the ease of which they opened up to the brass of the fort. They somehow felt relieved yet violated at the same time. They decided that since their secret was out, there was nothing they could really do about it. They decided to write a letter to… Who was that guy who was running the interview? The team did not like this at all. Well, if anything bad happens because of what they revealed, then Sharn would be the least of their worries. Yeah. They would take the fight to them if their secrets were given out.
That night, they celebrated to their continued existence. No one in the place went without a drink in hand. revelry was had by all. Even stoic Mishka was able to relax and join in the fun.
Late the following day, the companions cleaned and dressed themselves. They strapped on armor and slung weapons. In their dangerous world it was only natural and second nature to them. They were ready to travel if needed.
Through Mishkas insistence, the traveled to the Sovereign Host temple as … They were suggested to do.
Father Michael Gerloch a dwarven priest of the host. A jovial soul, with a cleanly shaven face. He ushered them in the doors and had them in the side room that doubled as his temporary office.
“Books books, oh yes, dispatches from the shadow marches, now let us see this eye. Mmmm. MMMMMMM. OOOH. That must have been painful. You 4 have done wonderful. You brought this stuff to the right place. Oh, yes indeed. You will need to go. I have much work to do with this one. Yes yes go.”
Over the next few hours there were spells cast, and rituals performs. It was not pleasant. His first voice he heard from the eye was a true plea. Mishka felt a sick sense of relief the eye was fearful.
The following day, and a pair of blessed tongs later, Mishka had the offending due removed. He didn’t care what was done with it, only that is was gone. His strength had returned, and his health was no longer being siphoned off by the offending artifact. He was still weak from the ordeal but it felt as of a fever he had for the past 6 months finally broke.
Once he woke in the morning, he felt the relief of the eye gone. He fell into the most restful sleep he had in that time. There were no nightmares of spell flinging Cyclops, no heads cracked open and brains missing. He fell back to sleep to leave the warring road behind, if just for a few hours.
That night when he woke he had depth perception once again. What’s more, the darkness didn’t blind him. He sat up in bed and looked around. There was a mirror hanging on the wall he moved to take advantage of. He closed his eyes as he moved to the mirror. Slowly he opened his eyes and looked. There was another eye. But this wasn’t malevolent. It was a many faceted siberus dragonshard implanted where his eye was. He could see once again. Not only see, but could see in pitch darkness. The new eye was a crystal blue. It looked a bit off but not as off as the previous eye.
He gathered his gear together and made his way outside of the temple. Silent as a ghost he walked in his bed clothes through the town in wonder once again. His sight was back and better. He could see in pitch darkness up to 60 feet. His night time activities just got much more easy.

After the 4 friends left their 5th in the good care of the priest, they started exploring the town who’s population exploded 10 fold with military persons. There were also camp wenches, suppliers, and materiel pouring in on the Orien trade road trying to get in before the winter took hold. They wandered the city looking for places of interest. There were black smiths, artificers, games of chance, drinking establishments, but everywhere they turned there were Brelish uniforms.
They were able to locate a purveyor of magical goods. An old elf by the name of Thesila who set up shop within the past few days. With so many men here for combat there were bound to be adventurers looking for glory.
She had most of what the group needed. Armor light and easy to move in, the ability to enhance weapons, and the mundane artifacts such as the Huberts handy bowl of soup good for every adventurer. With the amount in trade she had with the companions, she provided each one with the magical bowl to include the one who was being operated upon in the church.
She was truly sent by the host for the group.
They spent the day at Thesilas as they worked with her and her artificer assistants to exchange what they had for what they needed.
In the end, they walked out with a bag of coin and gems, and all the gear they needed for their travels ahead. As they exited the shop, she waived to the friends and a soft smile on her lips. Her eyes blinked to the draconic slits of her true form. As the companions walked away, the shop turned insubstantial and disappeared. No one on the street noticed the shop was even there. Had they recognized the turns and twists of the shop, it as in the form of an unknown dragon mark.
They went back to the inn where they were staying. They walked into the common room with their new kits. Dinner was had and they went to visit their friend at the temple.
They walked into the back room where was the ritual room. In there was Mishka resting. The offending eye was in a bowl to the side. The priest was casting healing spells, and a eye sized dragon shard easing its way into the socket which was most recently filled with the sphere of evil.

The four companions went to the temple of the host to visit their friend. Curiosity was rampant amongst the friends.
As they entered the church, they were brought into the room where the rituals were taking place.
The offending eye was in a bowl next to Mishka, and a new spherical dragonshard was placed on his empty eye socket. It eased its way into the socket and rotated into place. A small glowing pupil of black light up on the field of crystal blue. Mishkas eye lid closed and they saw his breathing was steady and strong.
The offending eye was scooped up bowl and all and brought to the church proper. It was placed on the alter of the Sovereign Host. A brief prayer was spoken and the priests warhammer was brought down on it. The eye was crushed to dust to no longer pose a threat to anyone again.
The priest ushered the friends to the door.
“He needs rest. Yes yes. Rest. You have done well young ones… Except you elf. Not so young. Give him a day or two and he will be back better than new. Yes. Better than new. Yes. Blessing upon you five marks.”
The companions knew Mishka was in good hands. They felt comfortable leaving him in the priests care. They went back to their room to rest from the long wary road.
The friends felt out of place. They have been on the move every day for the past year. Every day there were dangers. Every day they had to find food. Every day a new adventure. Here in this place, there was no imminent threat. All needs were met. They felt out of place. So what do adventurers do? Have a party. Again they went to the common room. They gave 50 gold to the bar keep and once again the beer flowed like warm SAP, and the music was good. Bawdy drinking songs of the might of Breland came out. Late that night when the songs were loud and the first bodies were slumping to the floor, the door opened. In came a man through the front door. He seemed out of sorts. His scruffy beard and unkempt hair fell on tangles. He wore a bag over his shoulder and bed clothes were his only coverings. The house came to a standstill. This man did not seem to fit. Everyone looked at his face and a crystal blue eye was in his right socket. This was strange, but not so far out of place. Everyone saw the scars of the road, and the scaring of the eye when he plucked out his own.
Arko! stood with a beer in hand raised the stein and shouted!!! “MISHKA! OF HOUSE ORIEN! WE SALUTE YOU!” With that the revelry started again and louder if possible. The Five Marks were rejoined.
That evening, a joyous celebration was had by all. One of the bards picked up on the stories Arko! regaled to all who would listen. by the end of the night, there were new songs being sung of the five marked partsans of khorvare.
The following day, they were summoned once again to the generals office.

“I and the Kings Citadel could use your help.”

Invasion, Repulsed
 

“That’s funny,” Flet says. “I don’t remember the story going quite that way. This is more like it: There was always a particular monster running with the packs that the 5 were hunting down. These monsters were better looking and didn’t smell as bad as the rest, and it would always turn on the the other monsters as soon as battle was joined.” “Then later in the operating room, we had gone in because there were these screams of a little girl. Well, heroes have to save the girl, right? Turns out, it was Mishy laying there on the table, crying his eye out, squeeling like a 6 year old. It was horrible! We decided to stand guard outside the door, ignoring the pleas of the priest to come in and talk Mishy down. We couldn’t let anyone know who made the awful noises, so we made up lies to tell passersby. Finally, after what seemed like days, the operation was finally finished. Come to find out that Foen had gone back in after we had gone back to the party and had had enough. He knocked out Mishy and the operation was over in less than a minute. Not to worry though, Mishy. Your secret is safe with us…and Lord Nathaniel Nightingale, the King’s personal bard, of course. We would split the bribe with you, but we bought everyone in town drink and eats for the whole night and there’s none left. Maybe next time though.”

Invasion, Repulsed
 

Ok, if Flet wants to tell that story, he gets left on the elemental ship and the rest of us can appear at our destination and no boat ride. He cM sweat out tsunami, and dragon turtles. We shall be sipping mojitos on the shore waiting for the ship to make port.

Invasion, Repulsed
Lyle

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