A Harrowing Saga

Prologue

Karn the Eternal led his army from St. Sulpice to the beaches of the cursed city of Tho-Siggot.

Edarn, Nash and Drak acted as storm troopers in the battle, and followed their commander Toreg Karak, a black orc into the city, where Karn’s knights faced off against demons and Aren’s personal army – the Golden Hands.

After regrouping with the other commanders, the party broke into the Great Hall of Tho-Siggot with the other storm troopers, where they assaulted Aren and his royal guard.

In the Great Hall, they found Aren and his royal guard, and high inquisitors made up of sorcerers and other magic users.

The storm troopers volleyed arrows and bolts at the spell casters above, while the sergeants and commanders of Karn’s army jumped into the fray against Aren and his personal guard.

Karn and Toreg fought Aren head on, while dealing with the constant pressure of the spellcasters above weakening the stormtroopers and sergeants in the midst of battle.

The stormtroopers were attacked by horned devils, that butchered the unprepared soldiers, and pushed into the great hall.

The sorcerers destroyed the staircase leading up to the second floor, killing the remaining commanders, and trapping the party, and the other fighters in the Great Hall.

Toreg was mortally wounded by horned devils, where Drak poisoned him to gain immortality, a gift promised to him by Aren.

Edarn, and the remaining sergeants were turned to stone with power word petrification spells cast by the sorcerers above. Aren had Drak behead Karn, after Karn promised that even after his death, men would fight in his name for years to come.

Drak was tricked, and turned into a lich, where he now serves Aren as a watchdog and hound.

Sorcerer’s in Aren’s army turned the rest of Karn’s army, and demons that were in the midst of battle into the city into stone. The city is truly cursed, with men and demons frozen in combat, forever in stone.

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Escape from Cairnstead

After having been imprisoned in Cairnstead, the adventurers were put to work in the salt mines, where they had become malnourished, awaiting the time they would be executed for being followers of Salun.

Going down to the mines, they were attacked by three prisoners who were really Koren in disguise. For what reason they did not know, but Aren had sent three Koren to assassinate them.

In the midst of the prison fight, the support beams in the mines began to collapse, and the imprisoned adventurers reached the surface to find that the town, and prison had been set ablaze.

The beast men, sons of Aren were attacking and destroying Cairnstead. Their assassination, and destruction of Cairnstead were clearly linked, and they were not intended to survive either attempt on their lives.

Fleeing Cairnstead, they headed toward Gibber Peak, a once fort that was ruined during the time of Karn the Eternal, now a haunted, empty shell of what it once was, the adventurers head to the abandoned fort to lose the chase of the Sons of Aren.

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The Darkness of Gibber Peak

After escaping from Cairnstead, the adventurers sought to make camp in the forest that they traveled to. They noticed a smoke in the distance, which they went to investigate.

Upon investigation, they found the camp of Sir Stephen, a Knight of Cintra who was making a fire in the abandoned ruins of the old Dwarven village Marikest.

In conversing with Stephen, they encountered the delusional, somewhat mad former sheriff of the town – Reginald ‘Reg’ who spoke to an “imaginary” friend who he called Donal.

Delving into conversation with Stephen and Reginald, the adventurers found out Sir Stephen was an errant knight of Cintra, sent to find an artifact from Gibber Peak.

Donal, was not imaginary. Reginald’s friend was the former watchman of Marikest, and now lived on as a ghost. Donal explained to the adventurers that the old Dwarven fort atop the mountainside was sacked in the days of Karn the Eternal, and was now inhabited by an Orc chief, and other creatures. He explained that the artifact Stephen was after was infact the shroud of Salun, the linen death cloth that covered Salun upon his death, a holy item. What reason the Lord-Regent had in trying to obtain the holy relic was unknown, but Donal asked the adventurers if they could recover his old axe, which was being used by one of Kurjan’s followers and to bury it so his spirit could rest.

The adventurers went along with Reginald and Stephen, where they scaled the mountainside, and made it to an underpass where they fought a yeti, and finally reached Gibber Peak.

The fort itself was in ruins. Getting inside, they finally realized that Kurjan, the orc chief was up to something much more sinister than just holding a fort, as they found holding cells filled with slaves. What else the fort had inside, they were yet to find out.

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Kurjan and the Shroud of Salun

The adventurers helped free the wolf, Finnaire, after defeating a dwarven ancestor spirit.

They learned that many of the orcs in the fort hadn’t been seen for nearly a week, along with Kurjan himself.

On their way to the chapel, the adventurers had accidentally alerted guards in one of the keep’s towers, and fought their way to the chapel, where they found Kurjan himself.

Along with Kurjan, the chapel of Salun had been desecrated, and zombified, and skeletal orc guards attacked the adventurers. After slaying Kurjan, Sir Stephen and his companions went to the crypt below to seek out the shroud of Salun.

In the crypt they found that Kurjan had summoned a stitched devil, Archien, and trapped it to weave fate, and tell him of the future, and help him become a lich.

The devil offered to help the adventurers, and offer them their true fates, not once, but twice.

Orden destroyed Kurjan’s phylactery, and Gavin offered to help the trapped creature.

Wiping away part of the glyph, Gavin’s arm became wrinkled, and marbled crimson in color, and his pupils of his eyes became golden.

“I am now freed. In your realm. I have promised your fates. Kurjan’s treasure is hidden underneath my glyph in a holowed stone block. You shall all die, in the name of Salun, to give birth to a new world. Soon, your true fates will be decided when the world plunges into war. Then you shall take your places politically and decide the outcome of all the realm. Farewell men of Salun. Your friend Gavin has now been tainted by the Abyss.”

Archien laughed, and after speaking he vanished, and Gavin was left tainted.

The adventurers heard the sound of heavy footsteps, and struggling upstairs, where they found Old Reginald in the grips of two Cintran knights, where Prince Vilmos of Cintra declared that they give him the shroud of Salun, and that they should watch Reginald be punished as a traitor to Cintra.

Sir Stephen, a knight of Cintra refused Vilmos, and denied him the hanging of Reginald.

Vilmos and Sir Stephen are now locked in a duel that may decide both Stephen’s, and the adventurers’ fates.

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Leaving Gibber Peak

After having settled with Prince Vilmos, the adventurers left with the prince to Erusmea to deliver the shroud.

Expecting treachery, the adventurers were introduced to Baron Mathan of Erusmea on a camp that the Prince made outside the main road. They accepted an offer by the Baron, where they learned that the shroud was actually commissioned by Chancellor Zoretha of the Citadel.

They all had odd experienced from the taint they gained from the exposure to the evil domain of Gibber Peak.

As the morning came, and they ate their breakfast and watched the Baron instruct his soldiers, they all saw the Hellhound and his warriors preparing themselves on a set of hills in the distance…

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The Path to the Citadel

The adventurers saw that Drak al’Than approached with a white flag, and he instructed them and Baron Mathan that he was sent as an escort to get to the Citadel unharmed.

Their comrade Bal, the hound archon left for Aedirn, where he went to hunt demons. He was not allowed to venture with them to the Citadel due to his celestial bloodline.

They traveled swiftly, ignoring cities and towns, to where they reached the Citadel unscathed.

The Citadel gave off many strange sights, a city built out of cerulean blue stone, and many of it’s inhabitants were half-demons, and of mixed race.

They met Chancellor Zoretha, in the palace, where they met her in her private office.

Baron Mathan, informed Zoretha that the adventurers were his prisoners, and he captured them for trying to steal the shroud of Salun.

Chancellor Zoretha had Baron Mathan beheaded, and disclosed to the adventurers that he was lying. She also informed them that they had a great duty, as she needed them to resurrect Salun by bringing her the taint- the spear which killed him, and his remains.

They also learned that Aren had died nearly five decades ago, his death hidden from the realm.

They met a new companion – the Inquisitor Ariakas, who would lead them to the cursed city of Tho-Siggot, in search of the taint.

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Lothering and the Dragon

On leaving the Citadel, the adventurers learned from their companion Gavin, that he received a letter from the University of Magi, that his Grandmaster had made a deal with the demon they previously encountered – Archien.

They headed to Lothering, the farming village on the highway, where they spotted a blue dragon flying from the Iron Knolls.

Heading into Lothering to rest, they learned that the dragon Kyracolides, had been terrorizing Lothering, and forcing them to give him sacrifices, and was stealing their cattle.

When they were escorted to the Rooster’s Perch in the village, they walked into a village meeting, where the Mayor Yordel and Captain of the Village Guard – Gustav were arguing about sending a letter to Pagua for aid.

The adventurers accepted to help rid Lothering of Kyracolides.

Upon being led to the entrance of the crypt where Kyracolides kept his lair, Gustav explained to them that the village lied, and the crypt that the wizard Elizar had been forced into was in fact a crypt that was made for him, as the wizard had been forced into it by the village centuries ago after the death of Karn.

Ariakas beheaded Gustav for being a coward, and not facing the dragon himself. The adventurers fell into conflict with Ariakas for killing Gustav for poor reason, but even with their conflict of interest, they headed down the tunnel of the crypt into the lair of the dragon and the vampire-wizard Elizar…

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The Crypt of Elizar

Upon staking out Kyracolides, the adventurers and the Inquisitor ambushed the young blue dragon, and slew it, and found it’s hidden hoard.

The Inquisitor had been lost to a trap that threw him into a subterranean river that carried him far from the grasp of his companions.

Pushing through into the crypt, the adventurers encountered many dark spectres, and those that haunted the crypt.

Getting close to Elizar’s crypt – Orden the White, fell through a trap on a bridge, into a massive pit of hot tar that engulfed his companion Cyrind. In an effort to save his master’s life, Cyrind sacrificed his own so Orden could grasp the rope his companions threw down to him.

The Knight – Sir Stephen’s hands were torn raw and bloody by the time he was able to haul Orden back up the bridge.

Upon regaining their focus, the adventurers finally reached the tomb of Elizar, where he was trapped.

Finally opening the tomb, unbenownst to the adventurers – they set free Elizar. When they entered the room, Elizar distracted them just long enough so he could escape, by turning into a mist.

The adventurers chased after him, and determined that they had been in the crypt nearly an entire day searching for the vampire, before settling that they should split up and hunt the vampire each on their own…

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The Grip of the Abyss

Travelling towards Gavin’s alma mater, the heroes found the University, a massive old Elven city of Ildranar.

The lake surrounding the city, and acting as a natural defense, was crashing upon the city’s walls, and a massive, black swirling storm crackled lightning, and thundered onto the city below. The statues of stone mages that were built into the city’s walls eyes shone in the darkness, staring at the heroes at the bridge to the city, watching them as they headed into the Abyss itself.

Encountering Todd, the once manifestation of Gavin’s taint, as an imp, Todd informed the heroes that the storm above the city was a portal, to none other than the abyss, opened by Archien, the devil that Gavin had made a pact with.

Entering the city, the heroes saw that the inhabitants were no longer men and women, but in fact husks of flickering gold, as they had been trapped in between the material plane and the abyss.

The city itself was under the control of Tzrenkit, an elder omnipotent evil from the abyss, that had been summoned by Archien, and was controlling the city.

As the heroes went through the city, their own memories, and experience became the plaything of Tzrenkit, and were forced into illusions of torment, and pain, reliving past experiences in a twisted, sick game.

Making it to the University, Archien held the heroes back by pitting them against a gibbering, foul beast made up of many mouths, and slabs of flesh that defended the gates to the University against the heroes goal of freeing Gavin’s soul.

Pushing forward, and into the University, the library at the entrance was filled with gusts of wind, and many of the books, and papers rustled, and slammed against walls.

Several mages delighted in playing a game with the heroes, a game of riddles, which the heroes had succeeded in winning. Had they lost, one of them would have lost an eye – literally.

Heading into the mess hall, the heroes faced a large group of manes, small, rotting demons filled with maggots that blocked the heroes way to find Tzrenkit, and Archien.

Destroying the manes, the heroes headed into the office of Garreth Lorren, the University’s Grand Master, only to find Lestat Agrias dead – on a glyph painted on blood. Deducing that Lestat had in fact been murdered while trying to perform a ritual of reversal to reset the abyss, he was murdered while performing it.

On his person, the heroes found that Lestat felt that Garreth was forced into opening the portal to the abyss, no doubt by Archien himself.

Heading through a secret chamber into the Chantry’s supply room – Sir Stephen found a sword that called to him. Perhaps the sword found him, but the Blade of the Nameless One seeks to make Sir Stephen it’s champion, and commit an act of evil to take the first steps of becoming it’s true owner.

As the heroes entered the Chantry, they saw the statue of the Patron Champion of the Ildranar casting a shadow over many lit candles that were bleeding wax onto the steps leading up to the statue. A hooded man, in purple robes gilded with gold was at the feet of the statue kneeling. Beside him was Archien himself.

Archien revealed that he was a lieutenant of a demon prince, and that he no longer had Gavin’s soul. He revealed to Gavin his own mother made the greatest sacrifice herself – and became Tzrenkit.

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Memories

Slaying Tzrenkit, the elder evil that took over the University, the heroes were confronted by Graz’zt, the prince of the Abyss.

Upon having defeated Tzrenkit, Graz’zt felt it was worthy of Gavin to have the choice to regain his soul, albeit at a price.

Graz’zt offered him two choices, and upon deep consideration, felt Gavin was not worthy of either. He gave Gavin back his soul, although he left the University as it was – with its entire population dead, and the small city left in ruins.

Sir Stephen of Cintra left the party, conflicted with his own morals, to confront the life he left behind.

With Stephen now gone, the heroes pushed forward to Pagua, where they looked to meet Ariakas and finally reach the Cursed City of Tho-Siggot…

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