The Boundary Lands

Chapter 14 - Meanwhile... (s. 34)
14.3 Bringing Down the House

Kendrick informs the party that the entire tribe of ogres, other than their leader, Grull, have all taken up residence in a large mead hall in the village. The structure clings to the edge of the village, half of it supported by tall wooden stilts as it hangs out over a cliff. The group formulates a plan and waits until nightfall to execute it.

Old Breddy and his three remaining soldiers all head out into the street in front of the ogre’s hall, pretending to be drunk as they get into a fight with one another. This distracts the few ogres still awake who lazily watch the spectacle for a few chuckles. Meanwhile, in back of the mead hall, Palloth and Voland climb down to the structure’s wooden stilts. Palloth uses her training in thievery to carefully weaken some of the stilts, while Voland calls upon the divine power of Melora to warp the wood of the others. Soon, the entire structure comes crashing down, falling over the edge of the cliff and pludging thousands of feet down to a rocky floor. A few ogres manage to leap out of the front of the mead hall before falling to their deaths, but the party makes short work of them.

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Chapter 14 - Meanwhile... (s. 33)
14.2 The Local Saloon

To spread the word of the Empire’s rebirth, Aramil and Old Breddy work with Bane to begin sending missives to everyone they know across the northlands that was at all associated with the Empire of Nerath in the past. The letters ask for their help in supporting the new Empire and bringing peace to the land. Old Breddy receives a confusing response from one of the letters sent to an old sergeant he served with in the Empire, a dwarf named Rort who is now mayor of a small village. The letter says, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to join the Empire. We are already protected by the Sisters of Corellon.” This response is suspicious, as Old Breddy knows that Rort spent many years fighting the Sisters of Corellon as the Empire fell in Quinalyn. It doesn’t make sense that Rort would pledge his support to this group. He manages to convince Aramil to let him take a contingent of men to investigate Rort’s village, Krat’thar, in the dwarven ruins of Arnathon. The party consists of the same group that battled Uthrin on the docks, along with a few soldiers under Old Breddy’s command. Each party member takes time to wish one of their friends good luck on their journey:

  • The Zaza – Lucinda, human ranger
  • Erik – Old Breddy, human warlord
  • Aramil – Palloth, half-elf thief
  • Invicto – Voland, wilden invoker of Melora
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Chapter 14 - Meanwhile... (s. 32)
14.1 The Other Battle of Arastur

While the party is busy taking on the gravest threats the army of undead can offer, there are of course many other skirmishes throughout the battle of Arastur that are of some importance. One such skirmish concerns some of the party’s closest friends. Fortunately, each party member gets a chance to offer an encouraging wave to one of their friends on the wall before the battle starts:

  • The Zaza – Lucinda, human ranger
  • Erik – Old Breddy, human warlord
  • Aramil – Palloth, half-elf thief
  • Invicto – Voland, wilden invoker of Melora
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Chapter 13 - The Battle of Arastur (s. 31)
13.2 The Wail of the Dead

Saviors of Arastur
by Mujeh Stomdrik, Bard of the Guildhouse of Ellendor

Deep in the boughs of the city,
The heroes tread through the dark,
Tracking the source of the plague
To its black, infested heart.
Down into lightless sewers
The Zaza followed her pray
‘Til, caught where two tunnels cross,
Joined its allies and joined the fray.
Two lurking in the river of filth,
Abominations from beyond farthest stars,
Where horror and madness dwell
Worse than the nightmares of ours.

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Chapter 13 - The Battle of Arastur (s. 30)
13.1 Spreading the Disease

“The Empire of Nerath?” A hulking male dragonborn speaks up with a surprised tone. He wears vestments emblazoned with the image of a Platinum Dragon – Bahamut, god of justice, protection, and honor. “We heard the empire was no more, destroyed by an army of goblinoids from the Torin Plains.”

Aramil replies, “Yes, but an heir lives on. We seek to return the Empire to power, as the order it brought to the land is our only hope for defeating the undead armies threatening us.”

The dragonborn nods. “Of course, no one else responded to our call for help. The Empire of Nerath did bring peace and security to the land. I can’t speak for all of my brethren, but you will certainly have my support.” Several of the other priests eagerly nod their approval, though some maintain dubious looks. “My name is Rikus. I am the leader of our small community here, or whatever is left of it.”

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Chapter 12 - On the Northern Ice Sheet (s. 29)
12.2 Cold Choices

The party picks through the ice trolls’ belongings but is disappointed to find very little. The trolls were only carrying several empty sacks, and the party presumes the creatures had entered the small temple community with plans to gather up loot. The Zaza, a studied expert in creatures and monsters of the natural world, knows a little about the tribal structure of trolls. She speaks up to say, “That battle was brutal, but the good news is if these ice trolls were entitled to come through the town for the first pick at treasure, they would have to be the strongest and best of the trolls’ tribe. If we encounter anymore of these creatures, they shouldn’t be nearly as much of a threat.”

The rest of the party nods their appreciation at the news, as the battle drained most of their resources and they still only barely survived. They debate what to do next, discussing trying to track where the ice trolls came from, exploring the rest of the village, or resting for the night to recover their strength. The party is concerned that if the ice trolls’ tribe is nearby, scouts might be sent into the town when the band the party killed doesn’t return. However, Erik suggests that if they really did encounter the tribe’s strongest warriors, they’ll probably be safe – other trolls would doubt that their best warriors would encounter something they couldn’t handle, and would be wary of entering the town and looking like they’re trying to take a share of the spoils that are meant for the stronger warriors. In their current state, the party agrees that inviting more danger could be a lethal decision, so they head back into the ground floor of the temple of Boccob and set up camp for the night.

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Chapter 12 - On the Northern Ice Sheet (s. 28)
12.1 Divine Intervention

The party spends a restless night in the ruins of the castle, keeping a tense watch out for more undead. Fortunately, they make it through the night undisturbed, and the large group of soldiers packs up their belongings at first light and prepares to head out. Though some soldiers were lost in the battle, with the addition of Sam’s followers, the party’s group of recruits has actually increased in size on this trip. The party now must decide where it is they’re all headed.

The party and their growing pool of recruits are committed to bringing the Empire of Nerath back to power. However, there is no seat of power to return to. Verind’s Edge, the last bastion of the empire, was wiped out by the Arinfax Colossus and the goblinoids of the Torin Plains. More importantly, political rulers are paranoid of any semblance of the empire sprouting up in their domain. After decades of fighting and bloodshed to earn their independence, the nobles that rule the dotted city-states and regions throughout the northlands have no interest in giving up their newfound authority to a reborn Empire of Nerath. If the party is open about the heir’s heritage he would likely be exiled from anywhere they go, or possibly even assassinated.

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Chapter 11 - The Return Home (s. 27)
11.2 Army of Darkness

The party looks out grimly at the undead army spreading out before them. In all, they count 40 undead minions – assorted zombies and skeletons that don’t look like too much of a threat to the party or they’re well-trained allies. In addition, they can pick out some much more powerful undead – eight Dread Knights lurk amongst the unholy horde, well-armored and equipped with black blades that radiate necrotic energy. Finally, the undead’s leader, Uthrin, stands in the back of the force. Even from this distance, Erik and Invicto can tell he is not a ‘lich’ as Larindra described him, as he was not a powerful wizard in his former life. He is most likely a Deathlock, a powerful undead creature that is granted a number of magical necrotic powers by its master when raised.

Uthrin calls out to his troops, “Forward my minions! Find the heir to the Empire of Nerath and kill him! I will see the Empire ended once and for all tonight!”

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Chapter 11 - The Return Home (s. 26)
11.1 Shocking Discoveries

During the long journey at sea, Invicto finds his skill at demon summoning is growing. He fully masters the four rituals he learned earlier, and no longer has any trouble controlling the demons and devils he summons to complete the rituals for him. The Zaza makes an interesting discovery of her own as well. After enduring a dose of the infernal poison of a Pit Fiend’s barbed tail in the arena and surviving, she finds that that which did not kill her has made her stronger. She has developed a small resistance to poisonous attacks.

The party finally arrives back in Arastur, and they are delighted to see their new home come into view. When they left Arastur, winter had just begun and snow was falling as they pulled out of the docks. But, having been gone around four months, spring is now in full bloom, and the forested city is truly a sight to behold. Lush trees spread out as far as the eye can see, and patches of wildflowers blanket the hills leading down to the coast.

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Chapter 10 - Debts Must Be Paid (s. 25)
10.4 The Sad, Lonely End of Ignacious Malatar

As the party prepares to journey into the mountains northeast of Sijil to track down Ignacious Malatar, Palloth mentions to Aramil the issue of the 18 new recruits that signed up to follow the party yesterday. Before the group leaves the Jeweled Cities to head north, the recruits need to be screened to ensure that only those who are actual capable fighters are accepted. Some of those that signed up are likely untrustworthy, unskilled louts, just looking for some quick coin. The party is confident they can handle Ignacious on their own, so Aramil agrees.

Razzing Aramil

Palloth, Brutus, Azaz, and Azad begin making preparations to test out the new recruits. Aramil insists, however, that those who choose to leave, or who are rejected, are given a gold coin each, to ensure there is no hard feelings. Aramil wants to be certain that the party’s reputation is solidified as an elite fighting crew rather than a cheap one, and paying a gold to the rejected candidates will show that they were not accepted purely based on their skill, not on the size of the party’s payroll.

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