This story is a continuation from the previous adventure: THE WORLDWOUND INCURSION
Our story so far:
The City of Kenabres took a devastating blow when the Storm King destroyed the wardstone. The attack that swiftly followed involved the opening of several rifts in the ground that swallowed up entire city blocks even as armies of demons, from relatively minor fiends like dretches and babaus on up to the hulking destroyers known as ulkreths, rose up to attack and destroy.
Many of Kenabres’s citizens died during the assault, but many more managed to escape the city, fleeing into the surrounding countryside while the demons remained distracted by the presence of buildings and stragglers within the city walls. Even after the demons retreated, leaving Kenabres a smoking ruin, the situation in the city remained grim.
It isn’t until the Heroes of Kenabres and the city’s largest surviving group of crusaders, the Eagle Watch, mount a coordinated attack on the remaining demonic defenders that things start to change for the better.
With the lure of a wardstone fragment ripe for corruption removed and the sudden final death-pulse of the border’s wardstones, the demons have retreated for now. A few stragglers remain in the ruins, but they will soon be hunted down and exterminated.
PART 1: CRUSADERS MARCH
It has been a week since the Heroes of Kenabres eliminated the threat of the last wardstone fragment, and suddenly news runs like wildfire through the city.
A new ray of hope shines with the arrival of Queen Galfrey of Mendev and her armies, fresh from the defense of other cities along the south.
News of Queen Galfrey’s arrival spreads quickly through the city as her armies arrive—thousands upon thousands of road-weary and battle-worn crusaders thankful for a place to rest, even if that place has been significantly damaged.
Players describe your actions thus far this last week.
There is some buying and selling available. Arms and Armor of up to 5000gp value, but other magic is only available up to 1000gp value.
Commander Irabeth sends word that the Queen has heard of your heroism, and is certain to ask you to attend her.
Carilain sits on a broken section of battlement overlooking the West Sellen River, and beyond, the wilderness of the World Wound. His spellbook lies open on his knee, but the elf is not reading it. The Black Blade, Grimstar rests in it's scabbard, content for the moment. It had bathed in much demon blood recently.
The elf magus' mind is less at ease. The demons were sure to regroup and counterattack soon. This time there would be no wardstones... True, the Queen had brought her army, but Carilain's understanding of the difficulties of demon slaying has grown. No longer is he the brash, naive would be demon hunter that had come to Kenebres. He has less faith in armies when it come to fighting demons. With the Queen would be her Court, most likely. And where there was a royal court, there was sure to be intrigue, lies and deceit. The sooner they disentangled themselves from that, the better... Of course when a queen requests your presence it is best to oblige her. Carilain sighs.
His mind turns to other thoughts, and a brief smile touches his thin lips. It seemed a romance was budding between Kyra, and Kelden. This was good, and not a surprise to Carilain, he had seen the spark between those two for awhile. Kelden had been cut down by that demon bullhead, his restoration was nothing less than a miracle. Carilain's smile fades. The minotaur had cleaned his own clock with greatest ease. The elf turns his attention to his book, there were spells that needed learning. To fight demons, one needs power. The power of magic.
"What the..." she said as she retrieved her blade and stared at it in wonderment...
The glow of the magical image faded from her view, but she still felt the subtle hum of magic under her fingers. The scimitar is magic now!She couldn't understand why; it was a masterwork blade it was true, but not magic.
The design was distinctive. Perhaps there is a record of it somewhere?
After the battle Thetin started organizing groups of civilians and surviving crusaders to search for survivors and recover the bodies of the dead. This was to prevent the spread of disease after the attack and to recover much needed equipment. Being immune to diseases made him perfect for moving bodies. And being honest with himself, Thetin needed to find out how many of his friends and family had died in the attack. He then led a group of them down into the warrens and caves under the city to recover the bodies of his brethren who were not lucky enough to survive the fall. On the way he stops in to Neathholm to talk with Chief Sull to ask for any he might be able to give recovering the bodies that fell into the underground diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (7) + 15 = 22. Thetin also uses this chance to ask Chief Sull how the gathering of the mongrelmen tribes is going and how soon their numbers might be able reinforce the surface.
After personally overseeing the recovery of the bodies of his fellow members from the Order, Thetin returned to the surface to better coordinate the recovery efforts. Half of the Order of the Nine Moons had come to Kenabres for the celebrations including his parents. The other half of the order, he found out later, had been wiped out while on station guarding the Kite. Between the losses from the Kite and the attack on Kenabres, the Order of the Nine Moons had effectively been wiped out. As for his parents, Thetin had been informed that they had been apart of a task force sent to break through the demon lines to spread word of the attack on Kenabres. Unfortunately there was no word on whether or not the task force had survived or not. It made the temporary defeat of the demon forces more of a bitter pill to swallow than a reason to celebrate.
Despite the situation all Thetin needed to do to smile was think of how Kelden literally came back from the dead and rushed in to help him and the others fight off a horde of demons. This memory also showed him just how much stronger he'd need to be to protect the people around him.
Sighing, Thetin finishes polishing Radiance. He sets aside his polishing rag and looks at his reflection in the hammer's surface and gives himself a weak smile. Well if he needed more strength, the mysterious power left behind from the wardstone explosion would certainly help. And with that power seemed to come some sort of connection with Radiance, one that wasn't there before. Whether or not it was a Paladin's bond with his weapon or something else, he could not tell. Thetin took one last look at Radiance, trying to understand that connection, before setting it aside with rest of his newly polished weapons and armor. Thetin moved to the desk in the room to review the papers scattered across its surface. He reviews the reports and maps on body recovery and the Queen and her forces. However the documents with names willing to join the "Hero's" Order keeping him distracted this time. While the Nine Moons might be gone it was this ever growing list that gave him hope that it could be the next thing in his life to come back from the dead. With a new smile on his face Thetin pulls out the fine outfit given to him by the Loumises after saving them. If he's going to meet a queen he should probably wear something other than his armor.
|Kankai the White|
Kankai would wait until things settled down and would make sure a couple of things happen.
The first thing is she cleans the blade she had been using and would move to Irabeth.
"Ma'am, as a sword master it is not often I get the honor of carrying such a great blade. We found this blade in our travels and I have had the honor of carrying it into battle. Even as it smote the demons it did not sing my name but that of it's true owner. It rose and fell to protect you." She held out her old family sword.
"It is tradition among our kind that only great event's can name swords. Even then, a white tengu shaman must bless the sword. I am no shaman, but I would still like to honor it and you with giving it a name."
Plucking a clean white feather she had already specially marked so that all Tengu would know it was a tengu named blade. Wrapping a cord around it and tying it to the sword.
Speaking first in Tengu and then in the common tongue she said.
"By the spirits of our ancestors and the spirit of the blade before me. I name this sword Dawn's Shield. For even as it glowed with the warmth of the sun, it was not in wrath but always in love for its true wielder and with the hope to protect her from harm."
Once complete she would present the sword to Irabeth.
Kankai would also organize the temple cleaning, personally working on it if possible because she couldn't stand the thought of the temple being desecrated. Not only the vision that warned them of the Minotaur was helpful and she knew it was a blessing so she wished to repay in kind.
Kankai also goes out and finds skilled armor-smiths to help her restore the helms so the temple's warriors were not forgotten. It also would boost the morale of the troops seeing such treasures restored.
She did try to do all this without drawing to much attention to herself but as a white tengu. She was an oddity among a mostly human group.
Being substantially newer to the group overall, Alorah spends the time mingling with others of the army, especially seeking out any spell casters that might have an association with the spiral and tyhe ultimate fate of the Riftwardens, seeking any information that might enlighten her
Kelden spent the majority of his time helping heal any survivors found, and when he wasnt doing that he too was in the temple with Kankai. By the third day he frowned thinking about his rent and ruined armor and well the events that had led him to this place. He.. He had a higher purpose of that he was sure, nothing else made sense.
He spent that evening looking to purchase armor, and settled on a burnished golden leafed breastplate with Sarenraes sun clearly emblazoned on the chest. He rested uneasily that night, but the nightmares of his dreams disapeared in a clearly divine ray that peirced the fog of his dreams and shone in his mind on the armor he had just purchased . . . and he somehow just knew what he had to do.
He awoke that morning and began to pray, polishing the new armor until it gleamed, the set aside wealth piled around the armor... and he prayed harder. more fervently than ever before. Sweat poured from his brow, as if he were hammering and creating the armor himself at a forge.
He paused midway through for simple water, and he was amazed that the pile of coin and incense he had purchased was diminished even though had hadnt touched it once. After a small meal during which he was quiet he returned to his room and once more went to work, praying to his goddess... as Evening fell all at once he felt it, A warmth that seemed to glow upon him and the armor.. and he knew. . . it was done. The pile of things he had gathered was gone, consumed by the holy process that he somehow discovered... but he had done it.
spellcraft enchant check dc 8: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
The next morning he found his friends and allies and excitedly joined them to break his fast.
"My friends... I ... Sarenrae has imbued me with a great gift, to aid in this grand calling... Two days ago, i had purchased this armor from the merchants... and the night before last i had terrible dreams, about falling into darkness once again, failing Sarenrae.. failing all of you, but then... like a fiery beacon cast into a gloomy hole The Dawnflowers light shot down from the heaven's on me... on this armor. I spent all of yesterday praying... and.. "
He paused liking his lips and taking a deep breath.
"I believe I can channel the the holy energies into armor, and possible even weapons, and imbue them with magic. It just requires the proper regeants and time."
He added blushing ever so slightly.
knowledge religion for Kyra's sword if he ever gets a chance to get a good look at it: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Kyra will Take 10 on her Knowledge: Religion
Know: Religion: 10 + 7 = 17
Kyra cannot seem to reckon the events leading up to her sword suddenly becoming magical; clearly it was affected by the Wardstone shards (of which Kyra will gather as many as she can), but how exactly she could not fathom. At least not initially...
She spends much time searching out more information on Sarenrae and her miracles, especially in regards to Kelden's miraculous return to life! While devoting herself to the studies, she comes across information about the Tower of Estrod! Yes, if anyone knew anything, it would likely be them! Quickly she grabs her blade and rushes off towards the tower!!
Carilain happens to be about while Alorah questions one the army wizards about her spiral mark. Later, when it is more private; only the other members of the group are about, Carilain brings the topic up.
"I have a similar birthmark. On my shoulder... The knowledgeable among my people, say that it is a mark of power brought about by contact with bizarre planer energies. They think that I was exposed while my mother was serving as a Riftwarden. She returned home to Kyonin, where I was born, but my father did not." Carilain draws Grimstar a few inches, then settles the weapon back in place. "This was his sword. And the sword of my grandfather before."
"My parents were Riftwardens as well, and my father had a spark of angel blood on top of that...which it feels like the Wardstone explosion has awakened." Alorah responds. "I think it was the same with me, since my mother apparently went on many missions while pregnant. When....they didn't come back from their last one, when I was younger....I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it meant, and I did hear that there were a rare few others that bore it as well."
"The Wardstone explosion washed over us all. It seems to left a strong residue of power in me as well. My wizardry is more potent, I can feel it. My mastery of swordplay is greater too. I feel stronger too. Perhaps the power of the Wardstone triggered something in our birthmarks. Or perhaps the birthmark trapped the passing energy of the Wardstone. It's hard to say."
Irabeth is shocked when Kankai pressed her sword into her hands, and renamed Dawn's Shield.
Tears filled her eyes as she hugged it to her chest.
"This sword... It was my fathers, did you know?" She said, looking down on it.
"I had sold it. I had no other way to afford the... gift I had to give to Anevia. So I sold it. And to the wrong person too, as you found in the Citadel."
She took Kankai's hand and thrust the sword back into them.
"But I cannot accept it back now. I sold it, and can have no further claim on it.
"But you, you who recaptured it back from the enemy who would have destroyed or corrupted it? It is you that the sword should go with. You are a sword master and have already put it to good use. I think you were destined for each other. And I suspect you’ll NEED it more than I at this point.”
Thetin started organizing groups of civilians and surviving crusaders to search for survivors and recover the bodies of the dead.
Fortunately for the city, many civilians had fled into the wilderness during the attack, and there is a steady stream of them returning to the city in the week before the queen arrived. There is however no repite for those dealing with the dead. There are tens of thousands of them, and you can only deal with a pitiful few. Thetin is able to account for barely half of the family, friends and fellow crusaders of his order both killed and wounded. Of the rest there is no sign.Discussing events with Chief Sull, he finds that the mustering of the Mongrelmen below is going very well, and he pledges his people will search out the fates of everyone who fell down into the depths during the violent assault that dropped you down as well.
Kankai would also organize the temple cleaning, personally working on it if possible because she couldn't stand the thought of the temple being desecrated.
There are many crusaders who willingly assist one of their heroes in cleansing the Citadel of the taint inflicted upon it.Skilled armor-smiths also help her restore the helms of the first crusaders.
Alorah spends the time mingling with others of the army, especially seeking out any spell casters that might have an association with the spiral and tyhe ultimate fate of the Riftwardens.
Kimroth Otai, your host at the Defender's Heart inn, points you towards a darkened corner where a tall elf with a bandage over his eyes sits gloomily."I am Aravashnial, once Chancellor of the Librarium of the Broken Black Wing, as well as the Riftwardens in Kenabres. There is nothing left of them now..."
Kyra spends days in the Tower of Estod, rooting through boxes of old records and buried volumes of histories.
By sheer chance, she stumbled upon a drawing of the same symbols that she saw on her sword! The scimitar's symbol was intended to look like the flaming wing of a Phoenix when fully empowered.
Reading in more detail, she discovered that sometime before the opening of the Worldwound the Temple of Sarenrae (NG) engaged in a cooperative ceremony with the temples of Iomedae (LG), Abadar (LG) and Pharasma (N) to provide a sword for one of their Paladin Kinght-Commanders.
The sword blank was forged from cold iron from the planes of Axis, and infused with a feather from Saranrae's wing and etched with the pattern you saw.
In fact, you learn you can see the pattern again if you immerse it in Holy Water; the pattern shines forth and it becomes +1 and +1d6 holy damage for 1d6 rounds then.
The plan was to take it to the Forgotten Shrine and there the ceremony conducted to complete its transformation with energies from Heaven and the Positive Material Plane.
Unfortunately, since the Forgotten Shrine was encompassed in the Worldwound, the ceremony was never completed.
The disposition of the blank was not recorded; presumably it was stored somewhere for future consideration.
|Kankai the White|
Kankai smiled and would reach out taking Irabeth's hands and opens them placing the blade in them once again.
"A sword master does not argue with a sword." Seeing the emotions on Irabeth's face she knew for a fact returning the sword was right.
"I did not know. I suspected it was a family heirloom. You may have sold it and say you have no claim to it. As the finder I have every right to gift this blade to whomever I want. I know, this sword's true power will not awaken for me. Only for you. It is a family sword. It belongs with its family."
Kankai wrapped Irabeth's hands around the blade and turned her head to look her in the eye.
"Irabeth, draw your sword." She stepped back and away.
"Dawn's Shield is waiting."
"I can have another blade forged for me to help fight the demons. In the coming battles all hands will be needed. Dawn's Shield has chosen you to wield it. Accept it's love for you."
"I'm honored to meet you Aravashnial," Alorah says with a respectful bow. "My parents were members of the Riftwardens. Jorah and Danae Morningstar." she says drawing back the hood of her cloak.
You see a difference in the survivors as the day approached for your meeting with the Queen.
All the survivors cheerfully hail you as heroes, having witnessed many of your actions in the city. It’s weird everybody seeming to know your faces and names on sight.
When the newly arrived crusader army troops hit town, they are alternately polite (or disdainful in Kankai's case).
But sometimes, a crusader passing by will look upon you as if suddenly thunderstruck and sink to their knees in reverence before you.
At Defender's Heart you see one of the results of the influx of the Crusaders. It must be most of a Battalion encamped on the lawn surrounding the ancient pile of stone that is Kenabres' last undestroyed structure capable of hosting a queen.
This room is made of darkly polished wood with a real fire laid in and burning merrily. A decent repast is set at the table for you.
Also in the room apparently waiting for you are Commander Irabeth of the Eagle Watch, Master Quednys Orlun and a tall woman whose considerable presence could only make her the Queen of Mendev.
"Welcome. Please no formalities." The Queen said, waiving you off if you start to kneel.
"It has been a long wearying trail to get here, only to find you have done the job for us! Commander Irabeth told me of some of your exploits, but I can scarsely believe that you survived such a cataclysm. Please tell me your tale over our dinner here."
Despite her waive off Kelden couldnt stop himself from kneeling low. He paused a good second before he rose chosing instead to bow.
"I ...we.. are honored by your presence."
He began clearly in awe of well the woman.
"Do.. shall we start in the undergrounds or do you just mean the assault on the Wardstones final resting place?"
He asked clearly not entirely sure of himself. he had come up here due to a vision from his goddess... the vision certainly didnt prepare him to meet a Queen.
|Kankai the White|
Kankai was use to being looked down upon. It also helped she was only 4'1"' She thought as she kept her beak high despite it.
Knowing her own kind well enough to know some of their reputation was earned.
As Kimroth brushed her armor and clothing off she nearly laughed when he brushed her feathers too. She had made sure they were properly cleaned. As he spoke about not embarrassing him she nearly rolled her eyes.
Seeing Irabeth kneel Kankai turned her head to eye her then turned her head to eye the Queen taking her measure. The woman was taller than her, but then again most human females were.
"I would like to hear of the times before I joined this band. I think that would be an excellent start Kelden." Since he chose to speak for them she found no reason to say much else.
The queen raised her hand and said; "Please rise... Kelden, right?" Her voice was warm and you felt the impulse to do as she asked; a product of inborn talent, natural charisma and considerable experience.
Elegantly dressed in rich but informal robes, you could tell as she gestured that there was considerable strength in her arms and legs, as befitting a fighting queen.
"I wished to hear the tale of how you survived the assault that destroyed Terendelev and overran Kenabres. My officers surveyed the site where you stood, and no one believed anyone could have survived.
"As court etiquette is frequently a drag on the conveyance of important information, I arranged for an informal dinner situation."
She gestured to the round table as waiters came in to serve everyone the first course.
"Please, take your seats and tell me your tale, each in your own way." She said, and suiting action to words took her own place.
"Your officers are correct, your majesty." Carilain had taken a knee in deference to the queen. Now he rises to his lanky full height. "Terendelev preserved us. If not for her, we would be dead. Engulfed by the cold embrace of stone, and crushed." The magus's face shows puzzlement. "One would have thought that she would have chosen another course of action." The elf shrugs. "Dragons are wise, and enigmatic. Their ways defy understanding..." Carilain has the tact to not add: Even by elves.
Carilain makes his way to the table and finds his place.
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He began to tell their tale, starting really where Caralain left off, He spoke of how the ground opened up beneath when wardstone was struck, and how vividly time seemed to slow as he met the dragon's eye as they plummeted down into darkness. He briefly went over their travels through tunnels in the darkness, mentioning both the hidden and fallen temple, and the undead dwarf there, How they met the crazy mage and how they had come across a few other survivors there.
He told how they met Sir Thetin and young Barbarian named Ilse below, and how they came to forge the alliance with the mongrelmen. His voice was dark and trembling, almost as if he were saddened in the retelling, though as he described their return to the grounds above his voice did seem to pick up. He spoke of their trials at the tower, returning Hargus to his home, the ambush of the foul man trying to ambush Dame Iribeth.
His voice did crack once more when he mentioned Alesie's sudden disapearance, in fact he had to pause a moment his hand reaching up to touch his holy Symbol to give himself strength. Finally after a rough moment he continued on...Speaking of meeting both Alorah and Kankai at the assualt on the bastion that held the peice of the wardstone. Again his words were fine, strong, almost proud... until they reached the point of the Minotaur on the stair. The shake in his voice returned...
"I... dont know what exactly happened following that your highne... your gra... Queen Galfrey for I fell to the minotaur...strangely It seemed my spirit lingered on and I could hazily see my companions moving on with the mission. Their was a cultist there and there was magic and then... when the rod touched the wardstone... I dont even know how to start to describe it."
Yet, he did continue on, he did tell of the visions as best he could recall, of the sudden demon's arriving, at how he suddenly awoke in his body and they, smote the demons in a great holy ferver.... and then .. well how they were all here.
I uh... condensed things, to not make this a thirty seven paragraph report :) After telling the tale if no one else wants to pipe in about what intelligence we found I will add more to it.
He reached over hand half hidden under the table to try and find Kyra's to squeeze it to give himself strength... he also suddenly found his mouth very very dry and her took a deep draught from his cup.
Thetin bows to the queen before taking his seat at the table. He however does not chime into the conversation at first. Thetin looks exhausted and somewhat dejected, heavy bags framing tired blue eyes. It is no secret that he has been pushing himself the last week to find out the fate of his loved ones, only to be met by an ever increasing pile of bodies. The thought of being the only one from his family to survive the assault on Kenabres weighs heavy on Thetin.
Hearing Kelden talk about their adventure, he realizes he still has plenty of comrades he can count on. By the end of Kelden's tale Thetin begins to feel a little more like himself and ready to add to the conversation.
He fills in the gap where Kelden was temporarily inconvenienced by being dead. He describes the bloody fight with the priestess and her demon underlings and the push to get Kyra and the cancellation rod to the wardstone. He then leaves the conversation open for others to speak.
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Kyra changes into the beautiful dress the Loumises gifted her with in preparation for their meeting with the Queen. She tries to seek out any scented oils to bath in, in hopes of removing the ever-present stench of demon out of her skin and hair.
She smiles at Kimroth's preening and equips her most charming smile as they enter the room. It wasn't until that moment that the awe of meeting a woman such as Queen Galfrey caught up to Kyra and she was struck mute for a time. The idea that little Kyra Greenstar would be hosted by a queen overrode her want and desire to tell the grandiose tale of their survival, nay, their victory over the demonic forces within Kenabres. She listened half in a trance as Kelden made a wonderful showing that would make any bard jealous and Kyra cannot help but stare at him and smile. Since the moment of their kiss, she found herself drawn to him in so many different manners that it was confusing; A brother? A comrade? A friend? A lover? She returns the grasp of his hand with an encouraging wink.
|Kankai the White|
Kankai would stare at the chairs knowing how her own body worked and would quietly move to one of the servants.
"Would it be inconvenient to get a stool? It is a bit more comfortable." Asking in a whisper.
Whether or not they got her one she would take a position at the table.
Watching everyone's reaction to this woman. It was similar to how her kind dealt with leaders or powerful shaman.
"Is there anything else you would like to ask us?" Kankai said turning her head to look the Queen in the eye.
Now it's just a half fallen tower with a lot of books and records in archive boxes.
You can find nothing more than the vague references you have right now.
One of the servants quickly and quietly gets a stool for Kankai.
Queen Galfrey smiled at you in turn and nodded with approval at Kelden's words.
She seems utterly riveted at your tale. When you come to the part where you opened the sword case to find Radiance, she leaned forward eagerly.
"Could I... see Radiance, now that it has awakened once more?" She asked Thetin.
Alorah adds her own tale, from what she remembered of the fall, the day after day fighting for her life, the deaths of those she had been with when it initially happened, watching friends fall to the demons, fighting and hiding for survival until she was captured and held at the grey garrison. She tells of the arrival of the others, facilitating her escape and her joining the group to continue the fight to stem the overwhelming tide of evil.
She felt different, empowered and divinely blessed, as if something spectacular had awakened in her, her smile radiant despite her less than ideal clothing, her appearance still stunning, minor magic removing all dirt and blood form her form.
When handed Radiance, the light dimmed to normal torch levels but does not extinguish.
The queen held it reverently as she gazed upon it with wonder.
"It is decided then. Radiance is kindled again in worthy hands." She said reverently, passing it back to Arthas again. Irabeth nodded with the Queen
"It is beyond all hope that I have lived to see Radiance shine forth once more."
Standing up, the Queen stepped over to the fireplace and turned to face you. Standing tall, she gazed down at you with piercing eyes.
“There are... some narrow-minded souls among the crusade who blame YOU for the destruction of the wardstone border." She said, smiling bitterly.
"Rest assured, I am not among them. I do not begrudge you for what you did. Far from it. From the sound of it, you saved entire legions of crusaders from a vile fate by preventing Vorlesh from transforming them, and the blast of energy gave us the time we needed to regroup and prepare for what will certainly come next."
She hesitated a moment.
"But, you understand the implications of what you’ve done, I’m sure—the wardstones are all gone, but Iomedae has seen fit that YOU will be their replacement.
"I can think of no other reason that would explain why their power would have settled in your bodies and souls and didn’t merely fade into the ether.
"In time, the demons will regroup and reorganize—we can trust their inherent chaos to make this period of regrouping longer than it otherwise would take, but we shouldn’t underestimate them. They’ll be back soon enough. Already I’ve had reports from along the front lines that small groups of demons are attacking fortifications and settlements along the southern border."
She leaned forward, looking intense.
"But what intrigues me most is news from several reliable sources that as our fiendish enemies are starting to mass in the southern reaches along the Riftshadow within the Worldwound, they have left several of their northern lairs relatively unprotected.
"In particular, the fiend Aponavicius has taken the bulk of her army from Drezen, leaving it only moderately protected as she joins with the Storm King in Iz to, no doubt, plot greater attacks on larger targets like Nerosyan, Karcau, and beyond."
She straightened up.
"The time is right to strike into their territory. Drezen was the first of our cities to fall after the First Crusade, and we lost more than our kin and our pride that day. We lost the Sword of Valor, a magical banner carried by the Inheritor herself during the Shining Crusade.
"If Drezen could be retaken—if the Sword of Valor could once again be held by the crusade... well, I trust I don’t need to explain how well that would affect morale.
"But with the imminent attacks along the border, I cannot spare many to lead an assault on Drezen. And even if I could, a large army attacking the city would only draw Aponavicius back to defend the place.
"The obvious tactic is to send in a group of capable heroes with a modest but well-trained army to strike now, while the proverbial iron is hot. And this is why I’ve sought you out."
She leaned forward.
"If you can retake Drezen and reclaim the Sword of Valor, not only will you silence the fools who would brand you traitors for destroying the wardstone, but more importantly, you would bolster the entire war effort with your heroism. And I fear we need all the bolstering we can get!"
Thetin gives a rueful grin to the queen, the idea of striking at the demons wearing away at his fatigue and grief. "Two weeks ago I was the lowest and greenest member of a modest order of crusaders. Now I am a hero of Kenabres being sent by a queen to help lead an army to recapture a demon stronghold in order to regain a powerful lost relic." He stands up and takes a long pull of his drink then sets it back down on the table. "I'm in, but first we need to know a few things." At this point Thetin begins to pace beside his chair. "How many people are you sending with us and when do we need to strike. I'll need to know the name of the man in charge of the army coming with us as well so that we can start discussing supply lines and tactics. And if one of your cartographers can get me some maps of Drezen and the surrounding areas i would greatly appreciate it. Also is there someone in your retinue that i can talk to about the procurement of some magical items." diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25
After hearing the answers he then sits back down and starts to mumble to himself while listening to the others. Anyone close by can hear him talking about maps and routes for supply lines.
|Kankai the White|
Kankai cleared her throat. "I am not surprised by the responses but this is a meal. We should enjoy it for the people that made it worked hard. We must not ignore their efforts." Kankai chided softly.
"We can discuss what is needed after dinner over drinks if her majesty is up for it. Thetin, I know you are eager but please sit and enjoy the meal. You will not be able to plan well on an empty stomach."
While they were quick to jump on board her mind was racing with various possibilities. Her own history coming up as she remembered how her last group fell.
The group as a whole was the type to join in on this so she knew they would be going but she needed to bring a different perspective to this. If she was the enemy what would she do..
Mulling that over as she quietly ate.
"How many people are you sending with us and when do we need to strike."
"I have detailed three companies of armored knights, about a hundred crusaders in each, plus the Commanders detail, auxilliary forces like scouts, wagoneers and so on, perhaps a bit more than four hundred all told." She rattled off.Then she smiled.
"Technically they would be called a Battalion; but I think you'll find that facing the foes you are they will be punching far above their weight class. I have no problem calling them an Army."