Dragonmarked

Woodhelm!
Fresh from the forest, seeking information.

27th Dravago, 1004YK
Byron, Dharon, Edric, Nerissa, and Tor arrive in Woodhelm.
There is a massive sawmill and several subsidiary mills nestled within the woods at the north end of town. The mills are powered by the fast-flowing tip of the Dagger river.
The main streets are cobbled, but most of the cross-streets and alleys are dirt or gravel.
Along the western bank of the river are houses and businesses. Across the double-laned stone bridge, itself the only way of crossing the river in Woodhelm, are the more industrial buildings, mostly catering to the needs of the townsfolk themselves rather than the woods- and river-folk who come to town on a regular basis.

With the note signed “I d’T” fresh in mind, the party sought information about the town from a nearby guardsman (Tylo) and his taciturn shifter partner. In addition to seeking information about Woodhelm, the youngsters took the opportunity to notify the Woodhelm officials about the state of affairs in Forest’s Edge.
After being informed that the south-east part of town across the river is considered to be somewhat rough and that Lathan Talrak (as mentioned in the note) is known for acting as a clearing-house for roughnecks and river-guards and that it is strongly suspected, if not provably so, that he also deals with connecting hirers with thugs and bandits.
Our heroes also asked the guards if there are any wizards or alchemists in town who might be able to help with the analysis of something-or-other. Tylo pointed them to an inn further down the river towards the south end of Woodhelm.

Debating briefly about whether the note was meant as information to pursue or simply a threatening warning, the group made their way to The Round (actually called The Heron’s Nest), an inn down near the docks that has been built inside a huge former grain silo.
There they had a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, grits, sausage (“I’m a snob about sausage” – Peter Cummuskey, 15/7/2011), freshly baked bread, and small beer.
Their waitress, upon being asked, told the group that the wizard who is staying in The Round had not come down yet and that she would be happy to send word when he does.

Wishing to have a look at the local industry, our heroes walked yet further south towards the pier and locate Narl’s smithy.
Tor purchased a Cannith-standard craghammer and Narissa commissioned an hexblade’s implement of iron.
There, attention was also paid to a mithril rapier hanging on the wall. The shop-keep said that the sword was commissioned by “one of them fancy magic elfs” for the purposes of dueling. The sword itself was bequeathed back to the smithy in the eladrin’s last will and testament, saying only that “it was I that failed, and not your blade” during his dying soliloquy.

The party also took the time to stop in at Taravestian’s a jeweler that the shop-keep at Narl’s recommended in order to have the ebon ring appraised. Despite Mssr. Taravestian’s well-hidden disdain for backwoods youth, he treated them with courtesy and professionalism and quoted a price of two-hundred and twenty galifars for the ring. After their own appraisal of Mssr. Taravestian’s honesty, the party parted ways with the ring and each pocket forty-four gold pieces.

Rightly thinking that enough time had passed they returned to The Round and found the wizard sitting with his two assistants.
Iazen Temmethi (whose name the group never obtained) is a Hearty and upper-crust burly man of fifty-four years of age. He has a bowl cut of blonde hair with a large bald spot on the back of his head. After inquiring as to whether Forest’s Edge has any interesting frogs nearby, Iazen headed up to his room with the party to take a look at the glowing goop that has been collected. After performing a quick ritual he announced that the goop is comprised of nightsbane, mudwort, and hippogryph gall bladder. He made stout complaints about “bloody useless beasts, bloody hippogryphs! Nothing on a hale and healthy frog, what what!” and said that the techniques used to make the goop went out of fashion about twenty years ago. This coincides with the time that it was discovered that the secretions of the common swamp toad work as a perfect replacement for hippogryph gall bladder in almost every application.
Iazen also said that it is a growth enhancer and that it is highly unstable. In ‘normal’ proportions, he opined that it was probably intended to grow muscle but not overall stature.

Seeking a second opinion – just in case – the party made its way to the hut of an off-duty artificer by the name of Ralvana Mazen. She was suspicious and mistrustful, often bordering on the outright hostile. She is a young human woman in her mid-to-late twenties and is missing the lower portion of her left leg, hobbling around on a peg in place of a shin and foot.
She activated one of her homonculi and used its analysis routines to spit out a psychometric paste which she then ate (and proceeded to vomit in short order).
She said that it is (quite specifically) the result of an experiment twenty-nine years ago, designed to make heavy cavalry heavier and able to run faster for longer while carrying heavier burdens. Unfortunately even the original experiment was unstable, leading to psychotic cannibalistic horses. The program was shut down.

The party took its leave of Ralvana and discussed the next course of action, eventually coming to the conclusion that it would be best to procure rooms at The Round and sleep before seeking out Lathan Talrak on the last day of Dravago.

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A New Age Begins
The Draconic Prophecy Shattered!

At the height of conflict, The Dread Pirate Karik used himself as a focus and channeled the combined might of all the Dragonmarks into the Draconic Prophecy itself!
The Prophecy shattered like spun glass and the fallout is as yet not completely known.
What is known however, is that the enemy force was greatly diminished and that action against the opposing armies became more fruitful over the following months.
No further attacks on cities were successful and the Five Nations gathered speed and started to repel the enemy in earnest.

Khorvaire lapsed into another uneasy peace, knowing now just how fragile that peace truly was. Nations have withdrawn into themselves to lick their wounds and the Thranite refugees have headed back into their ravaged lands.
The Dragonmarked Houses have reeled from the blow to their power and many branches have shut their doors to business all over the continent.

Dark forces shift within the dust and shadows, eager to insinuate themselves deep within the foundations of renewal…

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Immortal Madness
Saavaarik's history revealed... somewhat.

On the first day of the month of Aryth, each and every one of the Great Weapon Wielders found themselves in a trance of memory. In their shared vision they were all members of the Council of Dragons in Argonnessen. In the council session, Saavaarik Blightscale, also known as Saavaarik the Mad, was railing at the council to heed his words.

They scoffed at and dismissed his warnings.

The Thirteen Wielders went with Saavaarik to his laboratory in the mountains where they were joined by Rhashaak. Together they witnessed the creation of the Great Weapons.
Disturbingly, Saavaarik altered the design of one or two of them based on what they looked like from a time in the future fifty thousand years after their creation.
He explained that, to him, there is no time…

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Past, Present, and Future.

During the three weeks preceding the 8th of Sypheros, the Tyren and the Dragonfly were fitted with weaponry. The Tyren has a for’ard Lightning Emitter and has Elemental Cannon, two banks on each sides. The Dragonfly, a much smaller craft, has a single Elemental Cannon and mounts for heavy crossbows.

Alston d’Sivis began to assist the Zil resistance by flying over Zilargo and dropping supplies to the guerrillas on the ground.
Beyond that, he also focused all of his energy into using his Great Weapon in an attempt to write the future of Zilargo: Freedom. Through contact with Colonel Eldrean of the Resistance and the agent Mereia of the Trust, Alston determined that all across Zilargo, gnomes began to have amazing flashes of knowledge and inspiration that have started to allow them to, if not turn the tide, at least halt the enemy’s advance.
Most importantly, the Zil have hope!

On the 12th of Aryth a meeting at Thronehold was arranged for all 13 of the Great Weapon wielders. Due to the security provided, the opportunity was seized to sign into law the official existence of the Throneforged Army.
During the meeting of the wielders, much was made of the abstract abilities available to the Dragonmarked.
Ressan d’Ahvaar used his Scepter of Will to form a hive mind with his retinue and to subsume the entire being of the Quori spirit within his mind.
Deeria d’Deneith is now forever alert and awake, a tireless sentinel.
Deeria and Moira d’Kundarak, along with the writing powers of Alston, united to create a solid eastern front for Aundair – spy reports show that a twenty foot high wall constructed of earth, stone, and the bodies of warforged troops has linked the keeps within Aundair’s border.

Finally, realizing that Calvin “Cal” d’Medani should have the ability to detect anything he seeks, he used his Blade of Detection to locate The Divider. As Cal was opening his mouth to reveal its location, Hainsleigh drew forth The Divider from within his cloak and blasted Calvin across the room so forcefully that only the immediate attention of the Jorasco Dragonmarked Wielder was able to save his life!

“It would appear that master d’Medani has forced my hand somewhat. Thanks for the army, old chap.”

With those words and a polite smile, Hainsleigh tore a gap through space and disappeared.

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The Flame Yet Burns.
But Thrane lies in ruin.

The Tyren repelled another attack, suffering only light damage in the process and minor casualties. A Warforged army is built and extracted from Dolurrh, ready for battle.

Kor ir’Wynarn, head of the Citadel (Breland’s special forces, spies, and royal guard) and brother to King Boranel says that he would only be able to accept Warforged into his command if they swear fealty to Breland. Instead, a missive is sent to each of the Five Nations, including the Cyran remnant in Breland. The message is simply that the army will be sworn into command of Thronehold with each nation having a share – a people’s army of Khorvaire unable to be turned against any nation by another.

With the paperwork being drafted, an ill wind blows from the north. Aundair and Thrane are both under serious threat by the enemy. Our heroes have the time and resources to adequately protect only one of these nations. Deciding that Thrane will be harder to defend and thus easier to retake, the Throneforged Army (as it will come to be known to the people by the efforts of the Korranberg Chronicle) marshals and marches to Passage and Fairhaven. They fend off a brutal series of attacks in a bloody campaign that lasts over a week.
Korranberg and Trolanport in Zilargo were both taken by enemy forces: The elemental shipyards, both air and sea, have been captured!

Thrane, however, is not forgotten. Our heroes head to Flamekeep to offer safe passage from the city before the enemy army assaults. Jaela Daran, the Keeper of the Flame, refuses to go with them. She says that it is her holy duty to tend the Silver Flame and that no force, neither supernatural nor mundane, can sway her from that charge.

Being somewhat more pragmatic, Cardinal Krozen and Queen Diani ir’Wynarn both consent to be whisked away to safety in Wroat.

Shortly after the Tyren escapes Thrane, the campaign begins… and ends.
The enemy razes Flamekeep! Barely one stone is left standing upon another when they finish their ruinous work. Through the dust and destruction, from beneath rubble and detritus, the Silver Flame burns on, reaching into the air and blazing with the same intensity it has always had.
Of Jaela Daran, there is no sign to be found.

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A Visit to Making
Ancestral home of House Cannith

Heading into the Mournland, our heroes made their way to deep within the Glass Plateau and into what remains of Making. There they sought out the Genesis Forge only to find it active and functioning with no apparent signs of any power source.

There was a head-sized smooth metal sphere in the aperture, but it could not be fully examined before the Tyren reported the imminent arrival of at least three Flameforged…

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Conflict in Breland!
Delaying the inevitable?

On the twelfth day of Rhaan, one thousand and two years after the founding of the Kingdom of Galifar, the mighty city of Sharn was ravaged again. Thanks to the mercy of the Host above, or perhaps due to some sinister plot, the City of Towers remains largely intact.
It is occupied by thousands of warforged and that same army sent an expeditionary force toward Wroat on the Lightning Rail, only to have it stopped by the efforts of a handful of heroes aboard the the Tyren, an airship captained by Karik d’Lyrandar.
He and his companions spent some time in conference with Duke Kor ir’Wynarn, brother to King Boranel the First.
Jevresh d’Cannith also spent some time with Nuada d’Orien and Alston d’Sivis speaking to Hainsleigh d’Cannith at the Cannith Enclave in Wroat before boarding the Tyren and sailing towards the Mournland.

Woodsmen and trappers near Wroat report seeing unsettling things within the King’s Forest. Their claims are as yet unsubstantiated, but include sightings of oaken warforged slipping silently through the undergrowth.

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Death and Destruction
Iren's Ire

Our heroes arrived in Port Verge with a need to learn of the mystery bidder from Prince Kolberkon’s auction.
After deliberately attracting all the wrong kinds of attention from the Diresharks, they finally found themselves face to face with Garrick Sattler, formerly of the Order of Rekkenmark (dishonorably discharged for rape and torture), who gave them the chance to prove themselves by killing Nathanon Khybereyes.
Once at his crude hut along the beach, Nathanon told our intrepid crew that they would not leave with his head unless they offered as payment to his canopic jar one pint of heart’s blood, two fingers, and an eye.
Karik d’Lyrandar accepted a hollow needle into his chest and a pint of blood was drained from his beating heart.
Alston d’Sivis allowed Nathanon to remove his ring finger and pinky from his left hand with a pair of rather sharp gardening shears.
Nuada d’Orien sacrificed his left eye to the tiefling’s scooping device, the retinal nerve severed by Khybereyes’ razor claws.
Once the payment had been made, the seer clawed out his own khyber-shard eyes, dropped them into the jar, and then bent his head for Nuada to remove cleanly with one strike of his blade. Nathanon’s blood mixed with the payment and his own eyes. A thick purple smoke rose from the canopic jar before subsiding.

Our heroes returned his eye-less head to Sattler and were given membership to the Diresharks. They staged an ambush, using Jevresh’ thrall as the attacker and saved Prince Kolberkon. Though immortal from a payment from his auction, the Prince was nonetheless extremely grateful and admitted the heroic group into his throne room for an audience at dawn. There they were inducted into the Prince’s Guard and allowed to roam freely within the mansion.
Using this to its greatest advantage, the adventurers scoured the manor for information, eventually breaking into a records room and copying a few books and an arcane crystal by Alston’s Blade of Scribing.

It was discovered that the mysterious bidder was using the name “Zarroth” and that the items he won were listed as an “ancient battlefist with manifest emitter” and an “Architects’ Divider” capable of separating anything into its literal or figurative constituent parts.
“Zarroth” gave payment to Prince Kolberkon in the form of a promise that he would “bring Khorvaire to its knees.”
“Zarroth’s” face was glimpsed in a recording of the auction. It was a porcelain mask of the face of Iren, the Crown Prince and Heir to the throne of Cyre.

Alston d’Sivis also learned that despite their failure to obtain Great Weapons at the auction, Prince Kolberkon re-entered negotiations with Sarah and the Emerald Marshal, each acting on behalf of their respective mistress.

On their return to Karrnath our bold heroes reported their findings to Koleb d’Tharashk in the Tower of the Twelve. After a short discussion, it was decided that “Zarroth” could quite easily be Prince Iren ir’Wynarn, as no-one has seen him since the Day of Mourning.
During this discussion, Karik d’Lyrandar felt someone else drawing upon the power of his Dragonmark to create a storm to cover the sky. He put a stop to the intrusion and everyone dashed for the 13th floor where Karik felt the presence of the interloper.
There they encountered the robed and hooded figure wearing a immaculate porcelain mask precisely mapped to the face of Prince Iren of Cyre!

Iren had a rod with him, topped with a giant khyber shard amalgamation. A shot was taken at him, but it glanced away from a barrier of the invisible variety.
Jevresh d’Cannith shouted at him “What are you doing?
To which Prince Iren replied “What I was born to do – WIN THE WAR!
With that, he used the rod to pull a siberys shard from the sky big enough to destroy a city.
If not for the timely intervention by Jevresh drawing upon the souls of his countrymen and women, the siberys shard would likely have eradicated Korth!
As it was, much of the city burned. Our heroes set to grim work that day, saving as many as they could. Swooping from the sky in Alston’s Dragonfly, using the Mark of Storm in conjunction with Karik’s Great Weapon to cause a torrential rain to put out all but the hottest of the fires.
Without their efforts, Korth would have been in far worse state. One third of the population survive and most of the stone and some of the wooden structures are intact.

While Prince Iren used a pre-prepared ritual to punch a hole inelegantly through space, Nuada was able to attune to his own Great Weapon and get a good idea of where he arrived: Somewhere in southern Breland, between Sharn, Flint Keep, and the ruins of Yarkuun Draal.

Iren’s closing words were these: “Your city survives to fight again. But this is not the last.

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A Pirate's Life
Piratical Interlude

Our story is put on hold for now, as we leave our heroes and instead bring you the wacky tale of a group of pirates. Now, these aren’t your mainstream marauders, nor your burgeoning buccaneers, and they most certainly are not the richest raiders.

No, we bring you to this boat, er…ship, to meet the Hobgoblin Gorthag, Captain of this fine coastal skiff, previous owner of an index finger, a thumb a pinky, a right eye. Missing several bits, with more than one story for how each was lost, but this isn’t the story of the past, nay, it is the tale of trip from the Coastal BoatShip Raider’s usual haunt of Mror Holds and Karrnath to the rugged Lhazaar Principalities. A yarn telling of the five of Gorthag’s crew who set out to become more the pirate than they had ever been before.

Sailing from Rekkenmark to the Pirate Stronghold of Port Verge, our new intrepid quasi-heroes! Squeaky the gnome, Blastwave the Warforged (and his Minion who henceforth shall be ignored),

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Secrets Uncovered
A research facility with an explosive surprise.

After spending some time flying over the dense jungle canopy, our heroes saw a recently extinguished campfire and tracks heading out of the clearing.
Following on foot, they came to a large bunker. Inside it seemed less like a storage facility and more like the office of a noble or Dragonmarked scion.
A large testing chamber was discovered on the first level, with controls that enabled the emission of gouts of fire and sparks of lightning within the chamber. It was there that the intrepid explorers were engaged in combat by eight warforged grunts, three stoneforged troopers, and a flameforged lieutenant: The latter being capable of causing people to burn from within, eventually detonating in a burst of heat when it could no longer be contained.

Eventually our heroes were victorious! But not, however, before the flameforged could jet off into the basement levels ahead of the party.
Once they descended they found opulent offices appointed with all the comforts of wealth and privilege. Of particular note was the appearance of two large paintings. One was of a robed figure striking a self-important pose. The other was a painting of the recent battle in the Dark Tower within the Shadow Marches. It showed our mighty heroes locked in combat and the painting was in the style of a master of Old Galifar who was famous for his “doomed hero” artworks: Each depicting a hero or heroes fighting a battle that would end up being pointless, even if won.

Deciding to keep the paintings, an explosive panel was uncovered when the portrait was removed from the wall. Calling upon the power of his Dragonmark, Jevresh Highthorn d’Cannith overcame the call of Dolurrh and reactivated the mark upon his dead flesh. By its use he and Alston d’Sivis were able to defuse the arcane explosive.

An escape tunnel was located behind the battle tableau. The plucky band used this to leave the facility, but not before completely searching it and retrieving invaluable notes from the research and administration level above.
With these notes, the Creation Forge at the Frostwall Enclave will now be able to produce warforged of a level of power equal to those seen gathered beneath Sharn!

Not all was rosy for our heroes however! Upon leaving, The Dread Pirate Karik found that his ship, the Tyren, was burning and listing dangerously to one side! The flameforged lieutenant had emerged and set upon the Tyren, scouring its flanks and deck with fire. Only the heroic dedication and quick thinking of the officers and crew saw it off. If not for the first officer’s strength of will, the storm elemental could not have been freed from its ring to defend the vessel, or returned to its captivity either!
Overall, two officers were killed, as were ten of the crew. The remaining five officers and forty crew were all seriously wounded, some even crippled, in the attack.

Limping home to Sharn and putting the Tyren into Lyrandar skydock for repairs, our heroes were able to take advantage of the connections and influence of Nuada d’Orien. They hitched one of Baron Kwanti’s private carriages to the rear of the Lightning Rail and made the trip to Korth in record time.

Koleb d’Tharashk commiserated with them for the damages and suffering caused during their mission. While brainstorming, it was decided that the attack on Fairhaven, and all the subsequent smaller attacks, were probably demonstrations made by a weapons dealer. It was also noted that the robed and masked figure had been seen before at Prince Kolberkon’s auction in Port Verge.
With that conclusion, our heroes began the process of becoming run-down pirates seeking new employment. They set sail for the Lhazaar Principalities and will infiltrate the Prince’s inner circle to learn (by any means!) what he knows about the bidders at his auction.

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