Jam Campaign

The Next Days
what comes between

The party makes there way safely from the city encountering no guards or trouble and aided by a shroud of fog enveloping the city in the hours before dawn. Perhaps the gods themselves had shed a little grace on their brash endeavor. Once you reach your rendezvous point, Faenthar begins his sending ritual to recall the dragons for the ride home. As the rest of you take a short rest (the end of the encounter) Fox notices a sudden pallor has come over Arthedain and Gelmyr. She motions to Sim just as Arthedain collapses and Gelmyr sits somewhat unsteadily on the ground against a tree. A quick heal check of both of them reveal that they show signs of exhaustion, only Arthedain seems to have passed out. Once Faenthar finishes his ritual, he sits as well as a rush of queasiness and exhaustion flood his senses.

Fox tends to Arthedain, enough to make him conscious again before the dragons arrive. He, Gelmyr, Sim and Faenthar discuss the possible causes and conclude that the rituals (for what else could they be called) that they had done in the Sun Room were obviously not without a cost-just a delayed cost. Arthedain remembers times when his mother would often become quite tired at different times of the day after “reading” in her Sun Room. Perhaps it was during a time of weakness like that when Garralon was able to poison her. With their combined knowledge of the arcane and what they have seen of the effects of primal evocation and the price of religious devotion, they believe the power in the Sun Room could even kill an unwary or weaker “visionary” if they took too long a look into the window.

The dragons arrive and return you to the camp. The most surprising sight is Illyana and Rufus tending to the “dead” Firebelcher. Rufus had noticed the creature was still breathing, though very wounded and sought out George’s aid when he returned from the flight to Tantalus. With his help the creature may be salvaged to help with the war efforts.

Dawn is waiting when they arrive with a large pot of strong “tea”. It helps quell the queasiness and brings a deep sleep for the next several hours for whoever chooses to drink it. It is closer to noon when those who use the drink awake, but they do so refreshed and vigorous.

Faenthar-either early and tired-or later and refreshed-begins his morning in the room at the manor he has co-opted for his magic. Once his counting and measuring is done, he seeks communion with the “mystic sages” on the bond between himself, his familiar and his mother. Once his ritual is cast the spirit of an aged, almost frail looking eladrin appears before him. Her hair is white and brushes the floor, her skin so pale it is almost translucent. He notices a pattern woven into her robes of crystalline ivy leaves and then he looks into her glowing silver eyes and an uncanny sense of knowing is shared between them. Her mouth opens as if to speak and Faethar feels her words inside his soul.

“Life is long and blood is thick when the eyes of the crystalleaf shine upon you. Ties of blood and intent can only be severed with the same, but once a bridge is built and until it is broken-it can be crossed from both sides. This bridge is in three parts, break one part and the bridge is destroyed.”

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The Oath
A sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course....

After the attack on the manor house and the rescue of Avalesca and Dawn, the party defers to Arthedain as to whether to rest for the night, or continue with the breach of Hollingard. Arthedain, beyond frustrated with the assault and overly determined after seeing his broken mother, decides to go forward that night. Taking the dragons and their riders about a mile outside of Tantalus, the party dismounts and treks the rest of the way on foot. Sim, who has kept a route into Hollingard greased and prepared for such an occasion, leads the way. Gelmyr, Faenthar, and Arthedain use the three hats of disguise in their inventory to appear as candle-lighters, Sim appears as a beggar, and Fox generally just melded with the shadows . . . or attempted to.

Once inside the central tower of Hollingard, they change their disguises to all appear as servants, and ascend up to the fourth floor without any trouble. However, two guardsmen confront them, and Faenthar sells that they are seeing another ally of Garralon’s (the undisguised Fox) to the proper quarters. The guards mention that ‘they’ have started the meeting already and they should hurry up to the conference. On the fourth floor, they see an eladrin noble emerge from his lodgings. Faenthar again distracts him as he tries to gather who this eladrin is. The eladrin seemed utterly revolted at being spoken to by servants, but Faenthar is able to deduce he is of the Winter Court, a member of the Bittershard family. They continue upward, and Faenthar sends Zaz into a meeting of multiple factions, all in some way patronized by Garralon, including Erasthena and more Bittershards. Erasthena refrains from speaking as an argument rages on as to who should assume the mantle of general after Khosrav’s elimination. Then Faenthar recalls Zaz suddenly, after noticing his mother detected somehow the invisible imp was in the room.

Again they continue up, and Arthedain takes a detour on the seventh floor to visit the royal chambers. Most remains unchanged, except that Arthedain’s room has been swept of its contents. On the flight of stairs leading to the Sun Room, a pair of Templars stand guard. Before anyone else can react, Arthedain recognizes them as honest men from his past and takes the hat of disguise off and steps to reveal his true self. The two begin to sound the alarm that the doppelganger (the lie that was planted by Garralon to avoid anyone assuming Arthedain was still alive if he was seen) had been sighted. But before they continued much further, Arthedain called upon the ducal ring to conjure an image of a white lion. Only Arronal Hollin had ever been known to do that, and with that they listened to what Arthedain had to say. Once they ascended the stairs and the companions used the key on the door to the Sun Room, the knights dropped to a knee and pled allegiance to their returned leader.

In the Sun Room (with Sim and the Templars stationed outside the door), Gelmyr and Faenthar find underneath a window seat a drawer with Hashgar’s journal inside. The page that was bookmarked told of Hashgar’s encounter with Hobb and was imbedded with names of places and things the party knew little of. When Arthedain continued to the opposite chamber, he triggered the Sun Room’s power and witnessed many flashes of the past before his eyes, including the night of Tal Neccar’s disappearance and Amarant being held captive and tortured in the dungeons below them. As it turned out, the Sun Room’s magic answered to any that can speak the command word to activate it, and therefore they found that their enemy would be able to use the room if they gained access.

After spending some time there, the party began to make their way back down to the ground floor, but on a few flights down their way was blocked by Erasthena and a group of eladrin warriors. Faenthar threw bolts of energy at his mother, but Gelmyr noticed that the damage was being transferred from her to the warriors that surrounded her. Erasthena demanded to know what they saw in the room, and suddenly a hidden assassin had a poisoned blade to Arthedain’s throat. A standoff ensued, with an invisible Gelmyr and his blade poised at Erasthena’s own neck. Fox had an arrow nocked in her bow, Faenthar simmered, and Sim flourished. Literally. Instead of allowing all unholy hell to erupt, as was their standard back before Arthedain assumed a mantle of responsibility, the new duke instead diffused a situation by telling the cold eladrin woman that he would never tell her anything in life without some negotiation, and that Cantor would protect his soul in death. After some talk, Faenthar and Erasthena both swore The Oath of the Eye on these conditions: Garralon and Amarant both would be delivered to Arthedain, alive, in exchange for exactly what the party had witnessed in the Sun Room, in a week’s time at the manor house.

The Ivory Rebels made their way out of the city the same way they entered, unscathed.

SESSION NOTES: Gelmyr (Aaron), Fox (Trenton), Sim (Dan), Faenthar (Mike), Arthedain (Josh); DM – Amy

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The Puzzle Box
"Oh Mommie Dearest!?!"

After the funeral of Lyr, Arthedain and his advisers gather to discuss their strategy in the coming conflict with Garralon for the control of Tantalus. Illyana barges into the room having solved the mystery of how to open the puzzlebox recovered from the enemy. She has opened the wards and found a key and a note to Erasthena Crystalleaf from Asteroth Hollin written decades ago and never delivered.

The note hints that some clue to the mystery of the lost city of Tal Neccar is hidden in a place favored by Erasthena those many years ago. Using a series of rituals, Faenthar and Illyana determine this is the Sun Room in the palace of Tantalus, a places that only a handful of people have had access to since the time when Erathena seduced Asteroth and Garralon was conceived. Arthedain, Faenthar and company plan a raid on the palace to get into the Sun Room, but before they can leave on the raid, the sentries sound the alert. The camp is under attack. General Khosrav, Garralon’s Carasthonian ally has led a flight of dragons and troop of dragonborn to attack the camp. The Ivory heroes fend off the attack, but soon realize it was a diversion for an assassin to strike at the manor house and abduct Dawn, the conduit for Garralon’s foul purpose. Squire, the gnoll bannerman of house Crystalleaf has been assigned by Faenthar to guard awn, and fends off the assassin long enough for the rest of the Ivory Heroes to arrive and dispatch of him, saving Dawn and Avalesca (Arthedain’s mother) from the assassin’s clutches.

Session Notes: DM: Amy, Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Dan (Sim), Josh (Arthedain), Mike (Fanethar), Trenton (Fox); NPC/Companion Character: Squire

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Perchance to Dream
The Passing of a Demi-God

Duke Arthedain Hollin of Tantalus is desperate to make inroads against the advances of the Usurper Garralon, and the wizard Faenthar Crystalleaf may have the means to do so. He has found a ritual that will open a passage to the Dreamscape and allow a rescue mission to be mounted to recover Lyr the Court Mage of Tantalus who has been imprisoned there since before the death of Arthedain’s father.

Allies have gathered around Arthedain and Gelmyr leads the expedition consisting of himself, Luna, Squire, and Sim to liberate Lyr from Garralon’s clutches. Arthedain must remain behind to coordinate the rebellion, and Faenthar must be in the physical plane to keep the portal open, so neither accompany Gelmy’s band.

In the Dreamscape, Gelmyr and company encounter a white lioness, reminiscent of the crest of House Hollin, and follow the lioness as a guide through the twisting labyrinth of the Dreamscsape. The party is plagued by nightmarish visions and creatures as they track down Lyr. They find the landscape of the Dreamscape here resembles that of the Winter Realms of Faerie, and that the Winter Court has a strong influence here in this region of the Dreamscape. They find an ice castle that resembles the royal palace of Tantalus and make plans to infiltrate it. The Lioness reveals herself as Leanna, Lyr’s lover and one of the Arcanum, the avatar of Strength. She is in the mortal realm, dreaming bt has projected her dreamself to aid the rescue of her lover.

The party storms the castle and overcomes its guardians, finding within the legendary lost tomb of the Hollin line’s founder, but the tomb is empty and has been stripped of value. Lyr is imprisoned within, guarded by a demon of guilt and vengeance. Overcoming this speed demon, the party rescues Lyr and returns to the material plane, but Lyr is unwell.

They discover Lyr too was one of the Arcanum, the Hermit, but he has been stripped of the vital energy that powered the apotheosis of the Arcanum and returning to the material world and real time has caused all the years he has lived to catch up with him at once. It seems that Garralon and his allies used Dawn, the conduit, to steal this vital energy when last the party fought Garralon in the Dreamscape, but Dawn escaped before he could achieve his own apotheosis.

Lyr’s mortality catches up with him and he passes on, as most of the remaining Arcanum appear to witness and honor the passing of one of their brethren. Leanna swears vengeance on Garralon, and Arthedain’s cause has gained a new ally.

*Adventure Notes: *Played over 2 sessions in Oct and Nov 2011. DM: Mike,Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Danyul (Sim), Trenton (Squire) and Amy (Luna). Josh filled in as Leanna in the second session.

Monsters encountered: Will-o-wisps, Callers in the Darkness, Garrolon’s presence, Beholder Eye of Frost, Frost Hounds, and Speed Demon.

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The Beat of Drums
war approaches

War approaches. In the past weeks a call to arms has quietly passed throughout Tantalus and the southern plains, summoning all who would to help defend the city and restore its rightful ruler. An army of Black Hand orcs in league with the Bane Sons has been seen on the march north and are believed to intend to join with the Usurper’s forces in the city. Word from our allies in the Northlands tells of the barbarous forces of Drumar Flamehair and the dragon warriors of the Traitor Khosrav sailing south even now.

Many have gathered south of Tantalus at the ancestral home of the Baroness de Bourening, a large fortified holding now surrounded by forces loyal to Duke Arthedain Hollin.

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A Homecoming
Sort of...

Part VI: A Sort of Homecoming (DM: Josh, Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Amy (Fox
& Dawn )
& Mike (Ice/Faenthar)

As they prepare to leave for Tantalus, a party of Templars (the personal guard of the Dukes of Tantalus) arrives bearing a message for Arthedain Hollin. They inform him that his mother has fallen gravely ill and that his father, the Duke, requests his presence immediately. Arthedain had been hoping to get in and out of Tantalus without his family learning of his presence, and is disheartened that they knew he was in the Kirsvald, but decides to honor the request out of affection for his mother. The rest of the party decides to accompany him since they were headed that way anyways. The Templars will serve as escort back to Tantalus.

On the road to Tantalus, they are attacked by a band of gnoll raiders while they are camping for the night. As the party is awakened by the noise, they find that all of the Templars have been turned to stone and have to scramble to drive off the raiders. After the fight, they find strange reptilian tracks leading off the road, but lose the trail before they can track what did this.

They continue on towards Tantalus without further incident until they are within sight of the city. There they are accosted by a group of ruffians who are seeking to capture Arthedain to ransom him back to his family. However, these ruffians are not prepared to deal with a band of experienced adventures and use tactics meant to bully weaker foes. The party tears into the ruffians with extreme prejudice giving them far more than they ever bargained for when they conceived this half-baked plot. However, one of the ruffians only watched from a distance, and manages to escape and enter the city before the party can deal with him.

Once they enter the city and make their identity known, they are quickly escorted to the ducal palace. Here they are greeted by the duke’s younger brother Alistair, a strange affected but graceful man garbed all in black. They are taken to ducal chambers, where Duke Arronal Hollin greets them. Introductions are made and Arronal tells Arthedain of the affliction that grips his mother Avalesca. His mother is of Varastani descent and the chosen of Istus, goddess of prophecy. It seems she is in the grip of some vision and trapped within it. She keeps calling out for “the conduit” but no one seems to know what she means. Worse, the toll of the visions is wasting her away and she can get no nourishment from food, so her body is essentially consuming itself for energy to fuel these visions. She cannot survive for long, but have no clue how to free her from the grip of these visions. Worse, any who come too close can be trapped inside the vision trance as well if proper precautions are not made. She does not have long before the visions consume her entirely. Even the duchy’s archmage Lear is at a loss to find a solution.

Faenthar speaks to the duke, telling him that with Arthedain returned home, his obligation is fulfilled and his mother’s debt repaid. He tells the duke he has an idea for something that can aid his wife, not cure her, but to keep her alive until a means to free her can be found, but if he does it, it will be the Duke that is in his debt. Arronal agrees and Faenthar tells him the materials he will need.

Fox and Dawn are uncomfortable in the trappings of the palace and go into the city to explore. They find a small group of Northlanders and catch up on the news. They learn that during their three week sojourn through the Shadowfell, over three months had passed in this world, and events in the Northlands had continued to develop.

Gelmyr also sets out to explore the city. Arthedain continues to visit with his ailing mother. Faenthar spends two days assembling the materials and performing the ritual to create a magical belt of sustenance for the Duchess. He presents it to the Duke and tells her that it will at least give sustenance to the seeress to prevent her form wasting away and consuming herself, allowing her to survive the ravages of the visions until a way to free her from their grip can be found. The Duke is in Faenthar’s debt, and he asks for access to the ducal libraries, the very same libraries his mother sought a century before seeking clues about the location of the lost city of Tal Neccar. The duke’s gratitude is great, and he not only grants Faenthar’s request, but appoints him as an adviser to the court, granting him the power to act on the duke’s behalf on many matters and giving him access to most of the ducal palace.

The belt is given to Avalesca, and attention is turned to trying to find a cure for her affliction.

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The Manse of Shadows
Always Helpful

Part V: The Manse of Shadows (DM: Mike; Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Amy (Fox & Dawn) & Josh (Arthedain); NPC: Ice)

The party awakes face down in the mud. It’s raining, and they have no idea where they are. Fox is the first to awaken, and she hears the sounds of combat from nearby. She awakes the others and they investigate to find a lone female Knight of Erathis being surrounded by a horde of devils. Arthedain recognizes her fallen horse’s livery as belonging to House Stauffen, a minor noble family that rules the Kirsvald, a region to the south of his homeland, and one friendly to his family.

Still he is reluctant to intervene, but lured by the potential rewards, the party steps in and destroys the legion of devils besetting her. Introductions are made, the woman is Rhiannon Stauffen, the youngest daughter of the house who has recently returned to the Kirsvald to visit her family before being deployed by the Knights of Erathis to the Northlands to aid those beset by the brewing war between Carasthorn and Vadera. She recognizes Arthedain as a Hollin, and invites the party to come to her family’s manor house to seek shelter from the storm and to receive their due reward.

All is not well at the manor, but what ails the place is not apparent, and the party accepts the hospitality offered. Something seems off about Rhiannon’s family, but the party cannot quite place it. They discover that her six siblings have fallen under the influence of six minor artifacts known as the Sin Totems, and they plan to bring Rhiannon under the sway of the seventh, allowing all of them to become Exarches of Sin under the influence of the arch-devil Mammon.

The party is suspicious, but not careful enough, and they are drugged at dinner, as is Rhiannon. They are given the narcotic “Morpheus” a drug that shifts their consciousness into the Dreamscape, rendering the bodies inert and unconscious. Here the party experiences three very vivid dream vignettes.

In the first, the party relives the attack on Dawn’s tribe when she is a child, witnesses the death of Dawn’s father, and learns of Dawn’s true connection to “Mother” and why she has an affinity for lupine creatures.

In the second, Ice’s mother (Erasthena Crystalleaf) arrives at the Hollin family estate with a baby in swaddling. It is her half-elf bastard fathered by Astaroth Hollin 7 years before Ice was born (i.e. exactly 100 years ago). Erasthena has come to dispose of the child before her husband learns of it. Amarant, Arthedain’s grandfather and heir to the ducal throne, agrees to take the babe Garralon into fosterage, but tells Erasthena that she, or one of her line, will owe a debt to his line that must be repaid. He has only to present a crystal eye amulet she gives him to one who bears the symbol to collect on his debt.

In the third, they see Erasthena again, this time slightly older (it is several decades later, but Eladrin age very slowly), and seated in a circus tent. She meets with a heavily cloaked figure, the heavy clothes make the figure androgynous, and the face is veiled making the figure anonymous. This is the infamous assassin Blackthorn. Erasthena wants to hire the assassin to eliminate Sylvar Nightstar because Nightstar has left for Tantalus to locate Garralon and the clues to the location of Tal Neccar and the tomb of King Saerval Talesspur. She hands a payment to the figure, and tells him/her to find and eliminate Nightstar and recover any clues before Garralon is discovered and revealed to her husband and other son.

The party then has a vision of the Lord of Dreams (they think) telling them to awake. They awake on the floor of the dining hall to find all of the Stauffen siblings gone. They trail Rhiannon’s captures to a hidden shrine to Mammon beneath the abandoned temple of Ioun and defeat the six sin thralls, their minions, and the warlock who initiated the scheme, rescuing Rhiannon in the process. While this occurs, the local townsfolk have risen up against the evil of the Stauffens, killing Rhiannon’s parents. Rhiannon manages to rally the crowd to her banner and regain control. She is now the lord of the Kirsvald, and seeks to make amends for the cruelty of her family.

The party rests, and then prepares to travel north to Tantalus, Arthedain’s home, where they can book passage to another place of their choosing.

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Into the Shadowfell
Twisting Darkness

Part IV: Into the Shadowfell (DM: Aaron; Players: Amy (Fox & Dawn), Josh (Arthedain), & Mike (Ice); NPC: Gelmyr)

The party is still stuck in an insubstantial state and tries to use the portal in reverse to escape this condition. Uruk and Ilea pass through first, then Telchar, and then the rest of the party follows shortly after, and find themselves in a strange gloomy place, with Uruk, Ilea, and Telchar nowhere in sight. Ice confirms their worst fear; they are trapped in the Shadowfell.

They are unsure where to go. Ice knows that the Shadowfell often mirrors the material world, so if they travel to somewhere they know a portal exists, they should be able to find their way back. They seem to be in the Shadowfell equivalent of the Dromik Hills. He suggests they travel to his home city, Tal Verak, located in the Crown Mountains, but it is a long journey and none of the others are up for such a long trek through the Shadowfell.

They manage to find a small town, after a few near deadly encounters with denizens of the Shadowfell. In this village, they stumble across a string of mysterious disappearances and the trail of the mystery leads them to an ancient lost ruin called the Blood Tower. This is a possible way to return to their home plane. They find their way to these ancient ruins, and begin to explore them, but find that they are not the first to arrive. They defeat the plans of a vile sorceress seeking to gain the Tower’s secrets for herself, and open a portal they believe will take them home. They enter the portal…
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A Howl in the Dark
We venture north

Part III: A Howl in the Dark (DM: Mike; Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Amy (Fox & Dawn), Jonathan (Telchar) & Josh (Arthedain); NPC: Ice)

It seems the “liberation” of Felicaria from Carasthorn was unexpected and creates a sticky political situation, which earns the party more disapproval from elements within the Vaderan nobility. St. Germaine however, is grateful for their efforts in finding his son, and offers them another mission, one of great delicacy, secrecy and importance, and most importantly one that will get them out of Vadera for a while until things cool off.

He asks them to escort the Vaderan princess Ilea into the Dromik Hills to deliver her to Uruk Van Delmar, High Thane of the Trelfar tribes to complete a marriage alliance and unite the Trelfar tribes with Vadera against Carasthorn. He suspects someone will try to capture or kill the princess to prevent the alliance with the Trelfar tribes, and has taken several precautions. He has sent a handmaiden, disguised as the princess with her dowry escorted by an honor guard of Vaderans and some of Uruk’s most loyal men. The party must escort the princess to the hills and replace the disguised handmaiden with the real princess before the wedding without anyone, especially Uruk, knowing about it. Uruk’s honor would be insulted if he learned of St. Germaine’s deception and lack of trust in Uruk’s men to protect the princess, and this would break the alliance.

Along the way they are again accosted by werewolves, and discover a bizarre elemental maelstrom ravaging the land. They learn that a new power is rising in the north, the Bane-Sons, a cult of Bane that seeks to sweep the tides of war upon all the Northlands and conquer in the name of the dark lord of tyranny.

The party makes it to the village of Erindal, where they are supposed to meet a contact who will guide them through the treacherous Dromik Hills to rendezvous with the dowry train. They find their guide is missing, having left on a scouting mission, but is late in returning. While investigating, the party is drawn away from the inn where they are staying, leaving only Ice to guard the princess, and she is captured and taken into the Hills. They follow and manage to catch up with her captors and rescue her. Their guide returns to Erindal and they set out for the Dromik Hills.

However, they find that the dowry train has been attacked by a band of gnolls, part of the Bane-Sons’ growing army, and that the handmaiden and her dowry have been taken to an ancient megalithic site known as the Giant’s Fingers. They also learn that another force moves to attack Uruk where he awaits the princess. The party chooses to try to warn Uruk. They find him and a few of his men under siege by a large band of gnolls. They move to aid him, but discover that their guide has been replaced by a doppelganger assassin working for the Bane-Sons, who tries to kill Princess Ilea during the fight. It seems that the cult seeks to eliminate Ilea and Uruk to prevent the alliance. The party manages to rescue Ilea and Uruk, and the thane say he knows of a portal stone that can take them to the Giant’s Fingers quickly so that they can rescue the dowry and prevent the Bane-Sons from keeping their plunder.

They arrive at the Fingers. But something has gone awry with the ritual. They are insubstantial, mere phantoms of themselves, and can only watch as a flight of griffons lands, meeting the force of gnoll raiders. They can do nothing, but learn that the leader of the Bane-Sons is a warlord known as Drumar Flamehair; the very same warlord Fox learned had destroyed her and Dawn’s tribe when they were children.

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Carasthornian Nights
Tensions Rise

Part II: Carasthornian Nights (DM: Amy; Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Jonathan (Telchar), Josh (Arthedain) & Mike (Ice), NPCs: Fox & Dawn)

The party is received by the Vaderan court, which accepts the relic and rewards them. However, the eladrin are made to feel extremely unwelcome. It seems there is some ancient prejudice against the fair folk in this kingdom. Perhaps it stems from the competing claims to this relic the party recovered, but no one is certain. The party needs time to rest and recover, but are afraid to overstay their welcome.

Soon however, they are approached by the Duc St. Germaine, one of the Council of Eight, the chief advisers to the Queen. He hires/recruits them to infiltrate into the neighboring kingdom Carasthorn to seek out and rescue his missing bastard son. Carasthorn is the last remnant of the ancient Dragon Empires and known to many simply as the Dragon Kingdom. Vadera has long been at war with Carasthorn, a war that has run hot and cold for many decades and is currently in one of its periodic cease-fires. His son disappeared in Carasthorn a few weeks ago, and he has been unable to get any information through official channels, and dares not send any Vaderans for fear of reigniting the war. His son, Damien D’Montford went to Carasthorn in the guise of Grey Malkin, a grain merchant, and had been sending messages back to St. Germaine, but those messages stopped suddenly.

St. Germaine does warn them that if they are discovered to be Vaderan agents, they may well be put to death in a very public execution and be used as scapegoats by the hawkish members of Carasthorn’s leaders to reignite the war. Discretion is of the utmost importance. The party agrees, and of course the duke offers to send one of his other non-native agents, a boisterous and drunken letch of a dwarf named Telchar (fighter)-just what they needed to be inconspicuous.

They manage to sneak across the border posing as merchants and make their way to Narakon, the new capital city of Carasthorn. Along the way, they are hunted by a pack of wolves led by a werewolf, who try to capture Dawn for some unknown nefarious reason. They drive off the pack, and make their way into Carasthorn.

There they use their cover as merchants to seek out their associate Grey Malkin. In their investigation they learn that Grey Malkin/Damien D’Montford had fallen in love with a member of the Carasthornian royal family, and their efforts reveal a sinister plot reaching to the highest levels of the Carasthorn nobility and military. The details of the plot are sketchy, but they place both Damien D’Montford and his love, the Carasthorn princess Felicaria in danger.

While in Narakon, Dawn attracts the attention of a particularly sociable dragon, and learns that she is some sort of “conduit” to a divine source of power, and that she seems to draw an undue amount of attention from wolves and the were-creatures of the wild. Telchar makes a name for himself in the pit fights, and in so doing gains an ally among the Carasthornian guard.

It seems the capital is a morass of partisan politics and factional divides, a steaming mess that Damien has gotten himself wrapped up in. Still, the party manages to find and rescue Damien, along with his lover, the Princess Felicaria, and they all return to Vadera.

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