Chapter 5: Our Story Returns to the Present
Timespan: 1st Work 1:1208 to 1st Work 27:1208 (essentially 4/1/1208 – 4/27/1208)
It’s been one year since the group last had any real action. The Gruumsh orcs had retreated into the forests and mountains, while some created their own tribe under the leadership of Gbaja, the party’s old friend. Since then, Thorin, Jayden, and Ralph have been searching everywhere for their missing friend, Delad, the elven monk who holds an old prophecy that could prove deadly to the world. The old, evil wizard Stondylus is dead but the group observed his ghost fly away after possessing Gbaja’s father, Thrull. His spirit lingers in this world for some reason. Maybe to see, what he calls his “Great Theory” come to fruition?
This whole year has been nonstop travels for the party. Of course, visiting towns they have saved in the past, such as Oskoor, the dwarf paladin, in his dwarven city of Pashin.
While the group was in the Midia-Urartu Capital, they made new friends with an interesting and mysterious stranger only known as Leo (actually Leonus Anima). He met them over an ale in a small village and, sympathizing with their plight, joined the party offering to help in any way he could. He never brought up his past but seemed to be anti-religious for some reason, only grudgingly accepting Thorin’s healing prayers.
Through Leo’s contacts in their current city, the group gets their big break and finds out that Delad had been captured and imprisoned for a long time in a hobgoblin fort named Branded by Bane found in the Underdark. After a few weeks of locating the fort, Leo puts his warlord strategics to work, disguising them as prison guards to get into the prison and plan their escape with Delad.
The group also comes in contact with another prisoner, Balasar, a veteran soldier of the old Midian army. They help him escape along with Delad and fight their way out of the Underdark.
During the escape and falling into a Kruthik’s nest, they fight a swarm of Kruthiks. While fighting, Thorin is poisoned by the large spider-like creatures, and at that moment, Jayden remembers what happened 34 years ago to the parents of Thorin.
Chapter 6: 4…2…
After escaping the Underdark the group goes to Haran to collect supplies and figure out what to do next. While at the tavern, Balasar is confronted by some of his old troops, Kesh and Madarr and their new commander. The commander tells him how the 1000 year war between Urartu and Midia (Tieflings vs. Dragonborns respectively) has been settled with a peace treaty. The two countries have become one and they don’t respect Balasar’s old emblem on his surcoat of the old Midia Empire. They begin a bar fight that becomes bloody and even some Tiefling soldiers join the dragonborns’ side against the party. Ralph is used as a decoy by Jayden during the fight and hides in Jayden’s arcane runes for a couple weeks out of anger. The party defeats them, killing Madarr in the process and they knock Kesh out for interrogation.
Upon their victory, Thorin and Jayden talk of his recent revelation of their connected past. Jayden tells the horrible story of his family: how he killed Thorin’s father and how he helped Stondylus put the mark on Delad’s back. It takes a few days for Thorin to take this all in and forgive Jayden for what he did, though it seemed hard for Thorin to take as he did grow up alone without knowing his family and the man he traveled with now was the one who took the life of his father.
During that night, Delad has a terrible dream that seems so vivid. It was of his mentor, Master Ryosuke from the The Temple of Hand Foot and Mind. In the background of this dream is the number 4 and 2 which keeps flashing before the elf. Ryosuke is shown in his study, with books tossed everywhere as he continuously searches religious and historical books. He whispers to himself, “4…2…4…2…” Delad has never seen him so agitated before. Delad’s dream slowly comes in closer to Ryosuke as he sits on the ground, crying, “Delad! Where are you?!” Delad awakens in a cold sweat. While trying to make sense of his dream, Delad goes to the wash basin and mirror to wash his face and notices the fog from outside has seeped inside his room. After a quick splash of water on his face, Delad looks up at the fogged up mirror and he is taken aback to see the numbers 4 and 2 written all over the mirror. The surprise even makes the omen scar on his back begin to hurt and bleed for a moment.
The next day, some of the group decides to do some shopping and Delad, Jayden, and Thorin visit Calvin Notesy in his warehouse. They ask about Thorin’s past family and they find that his mother’s last known whereabouts was the the Island of Resen and the Amber Sea.
When they asked about Jayden’s past, Calvin could not find anything and the only other lead they could give was Stondylus but once that name came up, Calvin immediately erupts in anger and tells the gang to get out of his store.
During that same time, Balasar and Leo ungag Kesh and find out why the new Empire has been created. He did not have much information other than the fact that many of the soldiers were glad that the war was finally over and that Balasar should accept it. Balasar was very upset for the fact the no one came in attempts to rescue him and Kesh’s response was that they tried to find him but were unable to and declared him to be killed in action. Kesh warned him that if Balasar was seen in any of the major cities of Midia-Urartu that he would be taken into custody for deserting the army. With that Balasar knocks him out and they leave town with the rest of the group making sure the innkeeper let’s Kesh out after they’ve left town.
The group then heads to Lystra, an elven neutral city, and spend the night at the inn. During the night, the group awakens to smoke and fire and hear that a dragon has attacked the inn in search of Thorin, wishing to do battle. The group escapes and helps those who couldn’t get out of the fire as best as they can and fight the dragon, who is named Rothia. After knocking the dragon out, they remember that Rothia is the boy they helped out a year ago who was originally human.
They talk to the dragon with the mind of a young teenager and discuss his actions. He assumed now that he was a dragon that he had to act this way by destroying towns and farms in the area as was custom of normal dragons. They also find out that he had been turned into the dragon egg that he was holding a year ago when he was traveling with the group. A beautiful woman (who Thorin recognized as the elven god, Sehanine) came to him in the middle of the night and said she would fulfill his deepest desires so he asked to be turned into a dragon. She then smiled, grew black wings, kissed him on the cheek and flew away. After the kiss he was changed, and ever since then he’s been attacking farmlands everywhere like normal dragons do.
The group was able to convince him that he should try and do good deeds for people so he went into hiding in a forest not far from Lystra. The group said they would be back to help him when they could. After helping with the fire and things became calm, the party went to bed for the rest of the night in a different inn.
Chapter 7: Leo’s True Motives?
Then they traveled the rest of their trip to Delad’s temple. When they got there, they saw that it had been attacked and every student was killed in the midst of what seemed to be an earthquake. The group tried to find Master Ryosuke in his study but couldn’t until finally, Delad was able to open his secret tunnel that led to his secret meditation hall.
As they traveled the tunnel, they came across the paintings of the the common creation story where Erryes was created by the gods and the gods walked in harmony with the mortals. But then what is known as the “Tabula Rasa” took place, where it is an unknown amount of time where know one remembers or recollects what happened in the world. After that time, people were able to write history and no one can find much historical artifacts during that forgotten time period. But what is known is that the gods no longer were able to walk the material plane with the mortals of the world.
Upon entering the mediation hall, the group was able to stop a hag from killing Master Ryosuke. She curses their arrival and begins an attack with her spells and her minions, the earth elementals that caused the earthquake in the first place. She mentions her “Master” is not going to like this. During the battle, she dies and falls to ashes and the group is unable to find out who she was and where she came from.
They find that Master Ryosuke is severely wounded and poisoned and, in order to save his life, Leo suggests they go to the closest city, Geshur. Not questioning his knowledge of the city, the group hastily retreats to the new port city. They are able to help him and cure him but he needed rest for a few days.
While in the city, Leo seemed quite distant from the group, going on frequent walks by himself “to ponder” as he put it. The following day, there was a parade for Emperor Rallis, the leader of the country of Kinsmet to the east. This port city was known for it’s international political business meetings and this recent arrival was in response to a possible peace treaty between Kinsmet and the new country, Midia-Urartu.
During the parade, Balasar and Jayden see Leo on the roof top by the parade with a weird set of goggles on. He is looking down on the Emperor in his carriage and while a fight breaks out during the parade with some commoners, he yells to Rallis saying in their native tongue, “Give my regards to Braivemor.” He then lets loose a hand ax that seems to be covered in a deadly poison called dragonbile where it sinks into the gut of the Emperor.
Rallis’ private guard try to chase Leo through the streets and Jayden and Balasar follow them to see what was going on. They see Leo fighting the Shadar-Kai guards along with what appears to be a Warforged. Leo and the warforged creature leap into a wagon and ride off through the streets.