The Boundary Lands

Epilogue

Your dutiful scribe must bring this tale to an end now… Sadly no more records can be found of the brave heroes that saved the world from the darkness of the Keystone Mortalis. Of course, that was only one of their many deeds, if perhaps the most significant. Among their other titles must be Saviors of Arastur, Sijil, and Osteros; Champions of the Arena, Dragon Slayers, and Demon Slayers; Rescuers of the Villagers of Al’abazan; Defenders of the Thri-Kreen Tribe of Chieftain Grux’Nichil; Vanquishers of the Arinfax Colossus; Leaders of the Reborn Empire of Nerath; and of course, most importantly, Adoptive Parents of Lucinda, Rescuers of Lock, and Friends of Old Breddy.

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Chapter 15 - Into the Darkness (s. 37)
15.3 All Good Things...

The stone architecture of the castle cannot withstand the strain of the collision and the upper floor balconies in the grand hall fracture and crack apart. (The party’s old dwarven companion, Fargrim, had commented on the shoddy workmanship when the party had first visited Lord Dread’s keep.) Heaps of stone rain down on the heads of the undead creatures filling the first floor of the chamber. The collapsing balconies drop the undead from the second floor down into the heaping pile of bodies and rubble as well.

The party is thrown forward, but fortunately tumbles across the open section of the grand hall, avoiding the crushing tons of rock raining down on the outside edges of the room. They are bruised and battered from the collision, but they all survive. As they stagger to their feet, they feel the castle lurch and rise beneath them as they sense a sinking feeling in their stomachs. The party presumes that Lord Dread’s keep suffered only a glancing blow with the earth as it collided with a tall mountain or hillside, and the necromancer’s undead servants have apparently resumed the castle’s flight and have begun to ascend away from the ground.

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Chapter 15 - Into the Darkness (s. 36)
15.2 Party Crashing

The party peers warily down into the opening at the bottom of the shaft as the land passes by thousands of feet below them. Aramil briefly wonders whether he could just fall out of the bottom of the shaft, plummet to the earth, and fey step safely to the ground at the last second to get out of this certain death trap he finds himself in, but decides against it… for now. Instead, the veteran warlord turns to The Zaza, whose crazy vision led them here, and curtly asks, “Well, Zaza, what do we do now?”, purposely leaving out the ‘The’ in The Zaza’s name.

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Chapter 15 - Into the Darkness (s. 35)
15.1 Going Around in Circles

After celebrating Arastur’s victory over the undead army, Invicto, The Zaza, Erik, and Aramil catch up with their friends. Old Breddy and Lucinda tell the party of their adventures during the battle, tracking down the group of undead led by the Deathlock Uthrin, who was somehow able to magically protect himself and a few undead from the pull of the carafe. Erik recalls learning of his true parents, when Queen Larindra told him that his birth mother, the lady Milicin, was married off to Sir Uthrin shortly after he was born. Erik asks Old Breddy to take him to Uthrin’s body, as the wizard plans to use the Speak with Dead ritual on Uthrin’s corpse to learn what he can of the fate of his mother, and of Lord Dread’s plans.

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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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