Defense of the Empire of Henniswyyr

The Story So Far

The Empire of Henniswyyr has a tight grasp on the power of the creatures that threaten it. No monsterous creatures like Dragons tear apart villages as they used to, the Dragon’s Grave Castle accepts the proof of a dead Dragon for a high price. The other countries accept proof of Dragon corpses as well, but for a much lower ammount. However they do the service of sending the corpse to the Castle at the Imperial Capital for you. Recently there have been constant reports of dragons, unlike before, dragons that were not seen commonly before are being seen more often now. There have been reports of other creatures not commonly seen approaching civilization too. The countries of the Empire have come to the Imperial Capital for aide, but the Human Capital has had it’s own trouble keeping the peace when the once peaceful tombs of their dead and honored warriors are now filled with the shambling undead Draugrs.

There have also been creatures spotted that are believed to have come from the Unknown Lands, Orcs and Goblins and monsters of all kinds that have not been spotted before. The mysterious Nagas of the Sandsea were the first to come to the Empire about the monsters rising up, but not for Aide, rather to offer their services to other countries. Their warriors have seen been sent to every nation, what was once one of the most rare races in Henniswyyr is now a common sight in any castle across the land. The Emperor Maldus himself is guarded by a pair of massive Naga warriors, armored in the familiar Paladin armor and wearing shining gold greatswords across their backs.

The Elves of the Heartland have sent mages to the Empire to research the new creatures and why the others were making attacks. And the Ironwood’s merchant villages and Smithing masters have found themselves near buried in orders for weapons and armor. The Dwarves themselves have an entire force living in the mines deep beneath the Iron Will Mountains. Digging out everything of value they can to aide the effort of defense.

The Half-Orcs of Shiva’s Reach however mostly keep to themselves, refusing to aide the “weak” members of the empire, and having only joined the Empire under the forced contract of the “Holy King” Maldus as they viewed him.

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Prologue

In the Ancestral Library of the Heartland, the Elder Magus Xhalh called for the Heartland’s best rogue. She answered the call but was to his dismay, a Drow, the race of Dark Elves seldom seen but commonly disliked by all the various races of the Empire. He never the less offered her a job. This job was to find the powerful artifact known as “The Ring of Truth” which is capable of forcing it’s wearer not to tell any lie. He warned her that in the wrong hands it could be a most powerful tool for evil and that it was best sealed away in the Library, as the Heartland itself holds dangerous secrets and the other kingdoms no doubt held their own. He was not unwilling to pay her, and promised a handsome reward should she be successful. She was given a bag of gold marked with the Emblem of the Heartland, and purchased some items before heading out. However, just prior to purchasing her items she decided to spend a few hours studying in the Library itself and came across a tome written in Dragon Tongue recounting the fall of the Dragon God Ohrssus and the narrator’s nature as a dragon that was loyal to the human empire. It also stated that after the Dragon God’s fall, Dragons became a commodity of high value and had to go into hiding. She was capable of reading this tome as she found a similar book on the translations of Dragon Tongue. She soon set off.

Once she reached the Southerlands she began her tread down toward the Capital Village through the forests but along a path, and she met with a few small monsters of little meaning or power but met two creatures of particular interest. First was a Psuedodragon, a house cat sized dragon that is not nearly so formidable as it’s larger cousins but no less a helpful companion. Upon gaining enough of it’s trust that it would approach her, she spoke to it, and convinced it to accompany her on her journey south. It was helpful in getting her to sneak up on monsters and also aided her in the battling of a wolf that had tracked her down. However it was unable to stop or forsee the earth golem that harried her, however she deftly destroyed the beast, finding in the rubble of it’s remains a large and obviously valuable ruby. She took this with her on her journey but continued southward, soon however she came to a tree where she heard a strange noise. Upon looking for the source of it she saw a black cat with violet glowing eyes and a nearly human grin in it’s sharp teeth. It claimed to be a Sylashee, and said it knew where to find what she was looking for but would not tell her unless she specified what she was looking for. Some time later through their back and forth conversation, it gave her the advice to go to the capital village of Falchion and look for the “Bird like men in hoods” and that they would have the item she lied about to the cat. Soon after she came to a bridge and noticed a large hunting dog had been following her. Once on the bridge she was caught by a whip from a nearby Naga that had been patrolling the forests. He claimed the Smith King of the Ironwood would pay a high price for her head, but she was able to bribe him to instead simply leave.

When she finally reached the village, she asked around for the bird like men she had heard of, and was told by a man that looked as sketchy as the Sylvashee’s advice sounded that she should go to the alley behind the Inn. When she went she found a dark bird man in a hood that claimed he had many things of value and asked what she was looking for. He claimed he had “The Ring of Truth” and would sell it to her for the right price, and asked how much she felt her PsuedoDragon was worth, she refused to give up the creature, to her companions relief, and offered the bird the ruby she had found in the forest instead. The bird gladly accepted and tossed her a ring with a blue hue to it. She put on the ring after he vanished before her eyes and found it to not only NOT be “The Ring of Truth” but instead to be something she’d heard of called the “Ring of Displacement” which, while unsuccessful in it’s defined purpose made her feel for an instant when she put it on that she was a man which quickly wore off. She was convinced she should search out the creature which locals called a Tengu, but was unable to find him. She went into the Inn, exasperated and wanting a drink, and asked the portly bartender if he had any helpful advice. However he was frightened by the presence of a Drow and was thusly unwilling to give her much help. However, she got the attention of a nearby Goblin Merchant and his Dwarven guardian. The Dwarf despised her race and the Goblin claimed he could give her a trinket and ended up giving her the bits of a broken quartz crystal that had been painted to look like parts of a ruby. She asked them for help in finding the Tengu and the Portly Bartender offered toward the Dwarf that the Smithking Eddrick might be of help in the matter. At least in finding the item she had come looking for in the first place.

In the Village of Falchion’s Bazaar there was a Goblin Merchant who was sending off his Son to become a wandering merchant just as he had done years before. He told his son that he would be given the ancestral chest, a magic box that could contain anything and that one never knew what would come out when it was opened. The Goblin gladly took it and the first things he pulled out were a magic Bag of Holding, and a Merchant’s booth, which he promptly stored in his bag of holding. He soon went into the tavern and found himself face to face with a loud and raucous dwarf who boasted of having killed a Frost Giant in aid to the village with the help of a large friend of his who was otherwise engaged. The Goblin decided it would be good to have such men as guards and offered to hire the Dwarf who immediately asked for payment, the goblin offered him a trinket and opened his box, managing to pull out a goblin crafted greatsword of human scale. Which the goblin promptly fell over trying to hold up. The Dwarf decided to take the greatsword as a form of down payment for his services as guard and the two began drinking until the Drow arrived.

While in the Tavern with Tyros and Weatmad, Thorg still upstairs, a young barmaiden brushes against the Drow as she walks through. She makes no comments toward anyone but soon vanishes into the crowd too. When she attempts to buy herself a drink, she notices a small note sitting atop the bag of gold in her pocket, and when she reads it finds out she is to meet someone in a position of power in the Black Market in the Great Smithinghouse.

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End of the Prologue

With the morning came the time for the Drow D’anta to answer the mysterious call left in her bag of gold. Upon reaching the Great Smith House her and her companions were guided into the forges and D’anta was directed to a different forge, a dwarf opened a secret door and before she had a chance to realize what was going on she was pushed into a secret room.

The room she found herself in was a smaller forge, secretive and hidden from the rest. In the room, when she first came in she saw a figure sitting at a table, and despite her strongest will, she almost didn’t believe it was there, something about the figure made it seem like a figment of her imagination. Once she came to understand it was real, she sat at the other side of the table.

The figure took down it’s hood, showing herself to be a Catfolk of the village they were in, and with her emerald eyes glistening in the light of the fire she told D’anta she was the leader of the black market, and knew what D’anta had been searching for, and offered her the information she would need to find the Ring of Truth, as well as a separate ring that would hide the fact that she was a Drow from others’ eyes. She also said the price for the information was to join their ranks and give them any information she discovered in her travels and any unique items as well. She accepted and was told she would have a signifigant discount from the Black Market itself, as well as being paid handsomely for anything she offered them.

Once they all gathered together again it was told that the Smith King Eddrick was looking for them. D’anta had confused the rest of her group now by appearing to be a normal Elf with white hair, and the group approached the Smith King, who’s garnet false eye could see past the Ring’s power to prove who D’anta was. He did not care though, and instead thanked Tyros Gimli and Thorg for having taken down the Frost Giant that had made it’s way south of the capital village of Falchion. Upon wondering why a Frost Giant that had not been seen below the mountains came down so far, he decided to send Tyros and Thorg to find out, telling them to climb the Iron Will Mountains and discover the reason the ice fleshed monsters were coming down from the mountain.

Upon leaving, they discussed their course of action, D’anta had been told too go to the Oasis, a farmland island used by the Nagas to the South East of the Sandsea, and was not in a hurry to get there. They decided to climb the mountain, but Thorg mentioned wanting the Goblin Weatmad to take a “present” for him out of the “box.” Weatmad happily did so, taking out a huge tome that he came to know was the “Tome of Infinite Knowledge.”

The Tome was found to give any information one asked for from it, Tyros took the Tome from Thorg telling him that Weatmad would give him another “Present.” When asked, the Goblin reached into the chest, and pulled out a large box covered in chains. Against the arguments of his companions Thorg decided to open the box, having broken the lock he opened the box releasing a wolf sized monster with smooth blue skin and what appeared to be tentacles growing from the back of it’s head. The creature was talked down by Thorg, seeing something in his strength that it found familiar. It did not know how it was put into the box however, but quickly became a companion to Thorg, the two of them going off into the forest that night to Hunt Together.

Tyros, having taken the Tome of Infinite Knowledge sought to see the future with it, he asked what was to come of the strange nature of seeing a full Orc who was smarter than the degenerative creatures seen in caves, and the Tome told him of a coming war. He then sought to see the end of the war, asking the Tome who would win it. However, the Tome took his question and in turn told him the Gods would win the war, as they win every war between mortals. He was unsatisfied with this answer however and sought to make the Dwarves reach the level of glory they had once known, he intended to do so by seeking out the Dwarven god Moridan.

He first went to the Great Smithhouse seeking out the Smith King Eddrick, and told him of the dishonor that the Dwarves had seen in the time of the dragons and even more so in having submitted to a Human Empire. He eventually convinced Eddrick to take a warship and start a Civil War against the Empire, knowing the strongest blades of the Empire would come from the battle loving Half Orcs of Shiva’s Reach. Eddrick thanked him for showing him the error of his ways, and made him the Warden of the South in his place while he went to wage war on his own. Tyros not realizing the Alchemist Naga that acted as Eddrick’s personal guard was taking notes of everything said.

He found the secret passage in the Great Smithhouse that lead under the Kingdom deep into the tunnels under the Iron Will mountains. He was careful enough to be able to avoid the monsters stalking the tunnels, until he came to a subterranean temple to Moridan, it was written on the walls that this was the place Dwarven Kings would go to, seeking Moridan’s blessing for their Rule. And that he could summon Moridan to him by sacrificing his greatest weapon. He made the mistake however of sacrificing the Tome in the sacred Forge, which destroyed the sacred Item, summoning Moridan. Moridan told Tyros he’d have been more proud of his Axe had been sacrificed to summon him, but that he was proud either way to see a Dwarf who was not afraid to find his temple deep beneath the mountains. Tyros asked Moridan to bless him by making him Moridan’s Avatar, Moridan saying he felt fine in doing so as his current Avatar was soon to die. As the Blessing, Tyros received axes that attached to his arms with chains, the axes could be swung far infront and around him by the chains, and that they would always come back to his hands. He was also granted the ability to launch balls of flame from the axes attached to his arms, and boosted his ability to smith greatly. His original axe being sacrificed to create the axes attached to him.

When Tyros returned, he went to the Southern Kingdom’s master of Treasury, returning to the camp D’anta and Weatmad were still at and told her he wanted to help her make a place of her own, where the few remaining Drow of Henniswyyr could call home. He was informed that she would need a signifigant ammount of gold, and Tyros gave her the ammount he was told it would take. D’Anta worked through the Master of Treasury to purchase a set of islands between the Shiva’s Reach and The Heartland. The islands were however perfectly positioned to intersect all the water based trade routes of Henniswyyr.

Thorg and the Akata hunted down a jaguar monster with snakes coming out of it’s back, the Akata telling Thorg that doing so would allow it to have children from the corpse. Thorg after that then decided he wanted to return home to his father, and wanted to bring the Akata with him. His new companion was more than happy to oblige, but was a nervous wreck during the boat ride to his home.

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The Final Pages

In the years since the purchase of the islands between Shiva’s Reach and the Heartland D’anta had taken hold of nearly the entirety of the trade routs of the Empire, amassed a huge army of Drow and even stopped a massive war that threatened to tear the Empire apart at it’s seams.

Thorg had taken to his home with the Akata, a strange and difficult to understand creature that seemed to have an intelligence all it’s own. The two became famous among the Orcs of the unknown kingdom they held in secret.

Weatmad found himself at a crossroads, the option came to him to follow D’anta down her path, to ruling over a vast army, controlling trade on a massive scale, or to seek his fortunes himself, he took to a singular life. He managed after that, to become quite a notable merchant in The Grand Bazaar of the mysterious Sandsea.

You might be curious how this happened. The answer is simple. Tyross Gimlee. Upon attaining such power and wealth, he sought the next step in his plan for true perfection. He sought a secret place meant to be known only to the King of the Dwarves, but spoken of in songs and legends to all the Dwarven people. He used the Tome to find it, sneaking and fighting his way past monsters of horrifying form and ability. Upon finally reaching the very depths of the mountain the Great Smithouse is built into, he found the Temple to Moridiin, a massive monolithic feat of construction that forced him to stand back and take a long breath of reverence. He took his time patrolling through the temple, taking care to see each monument to the Gods’ magnificence. Upon the end of his search he found his ultimate goal, the Master Forge, which burned with the fires of the worlds blood. He sought a way to call out the God to ask his favor and tell of his deeds hoping his recent past would elevate him. There was an inscription on the walls telling that any worthy Dwarf wishing to see the face of their God must sacrifice their greatest weapon to the Master Forge, thus submitting himself fully to Moridiin. Tyros, taking the words in his own way, threw the Tome into the firey maw of the Master Forge, it sunk, burning and spewing magic into the smokey air around him. The flames the magic kicked up formed a huge man and Tyros knowingly knelt before this figure. Being told by him that the face he looked upon was that of Moridiin himself, the god of all Dwarves, their true birth father and the one who holds the burden of their failure. Over the course of their meeting, Tyros spoke of his many feats of power and political grace. These feats were indeed of note to Moridiin, who decided it was sufficient to make Tyros his Avatar. He warned him however, that in seeking Moridiin, as he had, he had also gained the ire of other gods in Henniswyyr. Tyros claimed he was not scared of the wrath of other gods. He said he would fight any that sought battle with the will of his ancestory, and strike them down with the Wrath of Moridiin. For this he was gifted magical chains, attached to axes. The chains wrapping around his arms, and lightning on fire granting him a power the likes of which he had never imagined. He proudly left the Master Forge to return happily to the Kingdom.

However, Moridiin’s words were not to be taken lightly. Eyes were watching from far away, making note of his actions, weighing his fate against the world without him. And, like that, in his absence from the group he had come to call friends, he was written away. Finding himself fast fading into nothingness. His actions remain, but his name stricken. Thoth, the God of Knowledge, upon Tyross gaining the book warned Moridiin this could happen, perhaps even would happen, but Moridiin was unwilling to hear the warnings and thus paid the price of two avatars swiftly.

His past gone but his actions remaining the world changed from his experiences. This event, this one singular small seeming event reshaped the entire world. The Great Smithking Eddrick became known as the Mad King Eddrick, who came to believe himself better than the rest, that the Dwarves were meant to rule over all and went off to wage war against the Orcs. However, this shifted everything, the Black Market’s newest agent came to rise up through the ranks of the thieves and rogues beneath the streets and past the alleys. She came to have the money through her own works and dealings, acting on behalf of the Black Market directly to the Nagas of the Sandsea for several years. Upon earning the money to purchase a landmass, the Nagas came to her with an offer, soon after that the Empire had a representative appear before her too.

The Nagas offered her a massive island chain, saying they wanted no part in her dealings in it, allowing her to do whatever she wished with it, as well as a fleet of ready to sail ships, and even releasing the rest of her kind from the lock the Elves of the Heartland had on the portal to their homeworld. A tempting offer of course, but she was convinced they would not take no notice of her actions or keep no watch of her personal life and dealings. She was more than right, their offer was that she take the island chain, the fleet, and even her people as her own in return for favors of a yet undescribed kind and importance.

The Empire’s representative offered a small island on the western ocean from the Empire’s own Capital, and a single small vessel that would be enough only to hold herself and a small crew. Also that she would pay a hefty tax to the Empire to be seen as sovereign from the Empire.

Her choice was thus made simple, she took the offer the Nagas gave, and started her rise to the position she holds now over her own kind. The deed they wanted of her was soon asked, a single Naga approaching her throne in her massive castle built of solid Ebony bricks and white marrow that was hardened to hold them. The Naga came to her speaking of a Mad King wishing to destroy the Empire, at first she laughed saying there was no interest she held in the puny empire who she basically owned on the waters being taken down by a mad king. The Naga changed her thoughts on the matter when he enlightened her to the fact that should the Empire fall, all that would be left is waring nations, disparate of each other and unwilling to ever work along with one another much less pay taxes to her. She thusly made it her duty to stop this Mad King, with the use of a creation she had obtained from a mysterious source.

Being the first of the Empire to have Cannons on her ships, or even at all, she was able to stop the Mad King’s lust for war easily and send him home, keeping the peace became something of a job of hers. She either killed or converted all the pirates and would-be scoundrels on the waters of Henniswyyr. The waters of the Empire became a treacherous place for anyone seeking to sail across the paths of the world. Any ship sailing across Henniswyyr would be stopped by the Drow, paying a tax to her kingdom before going on their way.

Weatmad found himself in the Bazaar, after seeing the temptation of D’anta’s new path. In this clogged and thick cloud of people and things he found a spot he thought he could make use of for a new shop, and pulled one from his chest, having purchased it’s land from a very enterprising elf who he heard several days later had been sold as a slave to pay off debts of some kind. He felt worried at first, as such debts and such stories were all too common among those who wandered the Bazaar. But, his shop brought in coin enough to hold him above debt and then some, and even afforded him a guard he could trust, supposedly a rare find in such a place. His shop was frequented by all walks of life, and all forms. Many spoke of his shop as if a place of mystery and impossibility, and he allowed them to believe that it was indeed true. He knew each time he opened the chest it was a risk but he had found in his efforts with it a way to obtain from it something at least close to what he was searching for. Instead of wildly among anything of the infinite cosmos.

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The New Blood

In the new years ruled by the Empire itself, and the Pirates of the water, there were many who feared tread from their village or town. There were many that knew greater fortunes laid beyond such small borders, though there were plenty of things to fear out there.

We arrive first in the Southern Kingdom, where two souls found themselves on a converging path, though not at first aware of it. One who appeared to be a half elf but who was far more underneath. He was raised by a man in a traveling circus of sorts, going from village to village across the kingdoms amazing the locals with acts of “magic” far beyond the paltry cantrips most were capable of. These acts were nothing so pathetic as simply a spark from the fingers or a bit of light flying across a small room, he would make people disappear, send blades through a person without harming them, and even lift coin from the audience without them ever realizing the theft had taken place until long after he was gone. Thus was our first hero raised, cutting purses and reaching into pockets. He became something of a prodigy to the man, who thus taught him the art of some of his own special tricks, and then because of the vast wealth he had made the man, allowed the strange one to “retire” from his service as apprentice.

At this point, the strange lad found himself in a strange city, in a strange kingdom with no knowledge of what to do with himself. He ended up finding himself in the back alleys of the capital city of the Southerlands, approached by a tall robbed man with a long black beak coming from his hood. The man chuckled and made mention of having seen the lad taking so much coin from people who could not even see what he had done untill they had gone home. The Boy was suspicious, but the man with the beak assured him he was safe, but he had commited quite a crime. He had stepped into the territory of a very powerful group that ran a very large black market, and was expected to return some percentage of what he had taken, or work it’s value out. He chose the second, being brought to a secret place in the Great Smithhouse. Here he met a woman who to him seemed to appear from thin air, telling him she ran the Black Market and it’s network of thieves and informants. He was to be ensigned into the group to pay off the crime he had committed against them, and was afforded a matching set of armor that gave him rather an advantage in shadows.

He took this as a marvelous boon to his life, instantly moving out into the world and plundering the richest areas of the capital city. In one home he found the security of it’s upper floors were most surprisingly lax. The entrance he gained was through a window which he discovered led into the bedroom of a Noble’s child. The child was quite deep asleep which was fortuitous he thought, as most children do not react well to the sudden presence of a prowler in the late hours. Upon silently creeping into the hall he saw an old nanny, sitting in a chair quite deep asleep as well. He had to fight back a light chuckle, fearing she might wake if she heard. However a rather loud crash was heard from below followed by an angry man’s voice cursing and speaking of shoddy craftsmanship with regards to some manner of dishes. He quickly looked at the Nanny as he slipped past into the nearest room, she barely even stirred, her snoring not stopping at all. In the room, he found many wonders worth taking in, shelves upon shelves of books, various pieces of antiquities worth near impossible to quantify. He moved quietly to the back of the apparent study, noticing in one corner a locked cabinet containing elaborate glass bottles and cups, likely made of crystal. Too fragile to risk taking, but perhaps just the bottle of ancient brandy. He moved to it, attempting to open but it would not. It was then he noticed the lock, he quickly picked it and found himself noticing how oddly shallow the cabinet was for it’s size. From this he realized, it had a false back. Soon he reasoned a way to pull off the false back, finding a tiny box with what was obviously a far better lock.

It took him some time but he prized it open, and, after realizing it had been of masterful craftsmanship, he found a stone that was black as the midnight in the sea, though, within it’s blackness it seemed to having a mass of squirming blood red worms. The stone intrigued him, but it made him most uncomfortable. Less so however, than the cold hands he suddenly felt on his shoulders. This was of course, a harsh thought to take in. Knowing the man of the house had risen to the study with the silence of death itself and, knowing now the prowler had found his secret item of obviously dark origin and was looking to make him suffer for the crime. However upon looking back, while hearing a laugh that chilled him to the very bone, he did not see the owner of the house. As well the laugh seemed to come from inside him. He stood up swiftly, but the hands that he now knew were not there, pulled him back down to the chair. The voice in his mind telling him to take the stone, that the man of the house had betrayed his path, settling with child and turning his back on the truth. He chose to follow the advice of the strange voice that chilled him with each word. He was told by the voice to check the lower right drawer. Upon doing so, he learned it was twice locked. Some time later he had prized this drawer open as well, finding within it a large blade with death celebrating decorations and a set of stains that smelled weakly of blood. Under it, and weighed down by it was a large set of deep black robes of incredibly soft and rich fabric. The voice told him to take these and to search the other drawers to find something more than valuable enough to make his trip worth it without selling the three items he had just been made witness to.

After having sold the items and purchased a house from the Black Market, marked as a protected home so it would not be prowled, Once inside, the voice directed him to set down the robes and other items. While he was doing this, he noticed a frightful sound and light, and upon turning found the fire had been lit, seemingly on it’s own. The voice described that he had done it, and would direct the man in the way down the “Path to Truth,” through the following weeks he was taught to manipulate the souls of creatures recently killed, and taught in the ways of using what the voice described (while posessing the robes as a figure of black smoke that seemed to darken even the light of a huge fire) the use of what it described as a Soul Stone, using the stone the man had found in the house as an example of one.

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The New Generations

We move now to another new soul in this Tapestry. She found herself another similar soul, one so much like herself she was enamored instantly. She had come up in the capital city, running through it’s alleys and shadows working alongside Tengu to make ends meet. She came up to being a highly regarded thief, and was blessed by the leader as an agent. Her new job was to move from Kingdom to Kingdom, doing what she seemed to do best, collecting valuables, prefferably information and favors, but items as well would work. Along with her new lover, she became far more comfortable, stealing and moving items through the entire southern kingdom. Her lover had been born within a tribe of nature shamans. She lived among them happily, working as a clothier for them and occassionally working her hand at skinning the animals they fed on. After many years the elders came to her, telling her they had seen a glimpse of her future, and it was not among them. They saw the very meeting they had called her to now, and asked that she leave their village, moving to work in the world among her own people. It was with a heavy heart she did this, not wanting to leave the only home she’d ever known.

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The Quest Begins

A new group has come up to try and solve the issues of the world. A rag tag group of adventurers in the Southern Kingdom were gathering in the Capital City of Forgehome when they heard the Town Crier declare that the King would pay a man’s weight in gold for information about the possible return of the Dragons that once ruled over Henniswyyr.

Upon gaining an audience with the king, they were told there were so far 5 villages that have been attacked by what is believed to have been dragons. The group each took a scroll with the instructions and locations on it, and decided to join together into a party to solve this issue.

The first village they found was destroyed, utterly, it’s people obliterated leaving only ashes in the vague shape of who they used to be, one building still burning with the bright green fire from the belly of a dragon. However, the party found that there were no signs of the massive lizards in the village, no broken trees, no taloned foot prints, no wayward scales from a battle.

Whatever happened, it had happened in an instant and appeared to not have been dragons. However, within one mostly standing building they found a strange symbol burnt into the floor, one of the party members took the time to draw the symbol for later use should they find more information or someone that knows more.

That night, the fighter in the party took first watch, after they had gone into a cellar, finding a single untorched corpse, it’s throat slit and nothing else of use around him. The fighter, a Lycan who had not revealed his ability to transform to his mates prayed to his god Lupus Lucanus. The god saw fit to bless his disciple with a personal visit, the Lycan being shocked into submission by the sudden appearance of the massive white wolf, fur frosted with ice.

He asked his god for any information on what did it, and his god said it was not a thing, but many things, when asked why they would do it the massive Deity said they acted in service to something else, a creature it could not name, a creature who’s nature it could not know. It said this made it scared, and told the Lycan Fighter the party should go to the 3rd village in the list. He thanked the god for his information, but the creature was gone.

The next morning, the Lycan told the party to go to the third village which they did. In that village, they found only a single building they could enter, it’s roof burning with dragonfire but it’s ground level save to enter. Once inside, they found another strange symbol like before, and a cellar that held strange items like a leather bound book of strange text, scrolls depicting spells the party did not understand, and a candle made of stone with a hemp wick. Within the cellar, the Lycan found a bookshelf that clearly was capable of moving, upon finding a way to move it, the party found a dark hall leading deep into the earth. Once they finally followed it to it’s end, they found a sconce in the wall, filled with oil.

They lit the sconce, only to find the fire went out through the wall and lit a small temple, complete with benches, an altar of stone and a pair of large statues at the back. They first investigated the statues, finding that the statues seemed at first to be human, but with one strange difference, the head was that of a viper, it’s neck twisting back on itself building up to the viper like face. The Altar itself was uninteresting, large, heavy, and made of stone with odd but clearly decorative carvings over it’s sides.

At the back of the temple, they found a door, once it was open it led to what was clearly a storage and preparation area, holding a wardrobe and lots of boxes and chests, most of which held cloth for covering the alter and possibly for use as banners as well. One chest held a box within it, hidden by cloths for the later filled with large vials of a strange green fluid, the only thing they could discern is that the fluid was not poisonous, but that it was likely best not to drink it.

Within the wardrobe, they found several vestments clearly meant for some kind of priest, and a hidden compartment that held a statue similar to the massive ones in the outer temple, but small enough to be held, with strange rainbow shining jewels for eyes. They took the statue, and left for the fourth village.

On the road, they were attacked by something, it was hidden and tried to get them without being seen, but they eventually found it once the Lycan shifted into his hybrid form, rushing it, this took the creature by surprise, but it managed to nearly hit a vital spot, the Lycan’s natural armor and massive size being about the only thing to save it from instant death. The rest of the party quickly joined in, the Rogue spending most of the battle getting closer, the Druid attempted to hit the creature but it’s prodigious speed allowed it to dodge most every strike that came it’s way. Only the Magus, who joined the party as they were leaving the third village seemed able to strike it from a distance.

The fight was hard, and came close to ending the party, save for the need for the dark creature to focus on the Lycan. The creature was done in by the party, and it burst into burning cold shadows, leaving only it’s torn rags and broken dagger in it’s place. The Party, exhausted and fearful of what may come quickly trudged to the next village. Once there, they rested, and the next morning found a suit of armor, ashes falling out of it, and a massive gash down it’s back, near by a creature attempted to escape, but was found as it tried to get away.

The party came closer and interrogated it, finding it to be a Shae, a mysterious dweller of the Shadow Plane who have connections to the Thieve’s Guild of Henniswyyr. The Shae eventually tells them that it was sent by the Guildmaster to obtain a box, he said he did not know the contents, and that when he arrived he barely managed to escape alive, having killed one of what attacked with a single powerful blow to it’s back, but that he did not remember anything else about the incident, or even what the things that attacked looked like. He told them that even something so simple as where they came from or which direction they left in was not of his mind. At first the party believed this to mean he did not know anything of aide to them, but then they realized the lack of memory was itself a clue. The creatures, or people, that had done this had wiped the memory of themselves from his mind.

This brought to mind a god the Magus had heard of, the god of a strange and alien people known as “The Faceless” a god so horrifying to view that the memory of it’s visage would be wiped from the viewers mind as soon as they saw it, but the Shae proclaimed it could not be them, that the Faceless were a peaceful people, ashamed of their horrific visage, a people who masked themselves as other races to walk unconfronted among the normal people of the world and live peaceful lives. The party asked it for more information, and it told them all that it knew, but soon, the wound that made it desire to leave so quickly began to take it’s toll. It was dying, quickly.

The druid attempted to discern what could be done to help the poor creature but it was no use, and soon, it fell to the ground, it’s body slowly dissolving before their eyes. The Ranger of the ground took the opportunity to harvest some of the creatures blood, the Shae having told him it’s blood would burn cold against the flesh of beings not from it’s own plane, and from there they decdied to find a place to rest.

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