Dark Heart

The Forgotten Tomb of Io'Contra

“What was that? A dragon?!” Algernon looks in disbelief.

Legion wipes the blood from his blade. “I believe so.” He glances quickly at the hole in the wall. “I believe what we are looking for is in there.” He steps forward, towards the crack. Ash follows quickly behind him.

Leonora looks at Legion. “We should probably rest a moment. I must prepare some alchemical admixtures.” She quickly begins work preparing the tinctures.

“Very well. But we must hurry. I sense danger ahead.” Legion kneels and shuts his eyes in concentration.


“Quickly. Weeee must find the Fought some Dragonborn and drake things.

Went through a portal.

Came across some monsters in a strange room.

Killed them.

Got a secret hideout.

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Yuck! Into the Sewers.

Legion awakes from a dream, a memory of a past life. It was 1500 years ago, before the War of the Mark. One of his many selves, the great Lord Seraphim, hosted a meeting with legendary figures. He finds it hard to believe that he had ever been so indecisive, so willing to consider and discuss. As he tries to sort the contents of the dream in his mind, he wonders if perhaps the timing of the dream had some relevance to the events of his current life.

After explaining his dream to the group, everyone prepared to enter the sewers and find Voran Earthmane. As they prepared to leave, a knock came from the door. Two pieces of post wear were handed to the adventurers: one from Sir ir’Gadden explaining politely that Bren was, to his knowledge, still serving for the Brelish army; and the second letter was more decorative and smelled of power and wealth: It came from Darik ir’Tainwho had earlier helped the group to take down the Mourning Haunt at the Cyre commemoration ceremony. The group is formally invited to join Sir ir’Tain and some of the most influential families of Sharn for the annual ir’Tain ball in two days time. Leonora placed the letters in her pack; everyone double-checked their supplies before heading out.

They descended from the central plateau and into the sludge covered walls and reeking garbage of the sewers beneath the City of Towers. Only after entering and walking fifty feet through the slippery maze, they heard a clinking sound of picks and shovels coming from just ahead. The path was now even darker so Ash quietly lit his lantern, while Algernon passed around extra sunrods to Legion and Leonora. The group tried their best to creep through the sludge but a flicker of light from the sunrods and a slip from Leonora alerted two Dragonborn guards.

The two Dragonborn turned the corner only to be ambushed by a large, brooding Deva and what seemed to be, a crazed orangutan. Ash and Legion kept the guards busy, while Algernon threw bolts of lightning at the Kobolds whom put down their picks and shovels to throw rocks at the attackers. Just as the Kobolds were beaten down and one of the scaly guards fell to Legion’s sword, a hiss and deep voice sounded behind the group: “Who are these intruders?!”

Everyone stared as a small black dragon emerged from the sewage glaring menacingly at the trespassers. Algernon quickly replied believing this dragon may be Voran Earthmane: ” We are not the intruders here! We found these trespassers defiling the sewers with picks and shovels and we’re charged from the Sharn Watch to dispose of them!”

The black dragon was completely emerged now, showing his sharp talons and dripping, poisonous maw, and seemingly more angry than ever. “You idiot!,” he shrieked, ” Those are MY soldiers. I am THEIR commander!” And with an angry roar, he charged at the group and spewed a cloud of poison.

In the confusion of the poison, he tried to charge towards Algernon, but was met instead by Legion. The dragon carried no weapons, but his sharp talons could slice just as well as a sword or axe. Legion narrowly avoided some fatal swipes, but luckily, Leonora blasted the dragon with a magical bolt that slowed his movement. With the group throwing all their combined strength and magic, the dragon was taken down.

Just as the dragon roared and his lifeless body sunk into the sewage, commotion and lights started coming towards the group from the next sewer tunnel.

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Dream of a Forgotten Era

“Lord Seraphim? The final guest has arrived.”

“Excellent. Send him in.” The blue-skinned Deva turns to face the entryway as his assistant opens the door to the chamber.

“May I present Lord Darin Deneith of the clan Deneith.” A noble gentleman steps into the room, clad in the finest vestments. He quickly spies Seraphim and walks quickly toward him, extending out a hand of friendship.

“Lord Deneith, my friend, it has been too long.” The Deva extends a hand out to greet the nobleman.

As he approaches, Darin Deneith grabs his hand and shakes it heartily. “Lord Seraphim. It has been some time, my friend.” He pats the Deva on the shoulder. “How long has it been? Six years? Seven?”

“Eight years. Yet, as much as it joys me to see you again, I suspect that you come to me for more than just to visit an old friend.” Seraphim looks closely at his old friend.

“Well, yes, actually…”

Seraphim quickly interrupts. “I understand. Allow me to inform you that you are not the first to come to me. Others also seek my assistance in these dark days.”

“Others?”

The Deva nods. “Yes. I had hoped that we may all discuss the issue hospitably. There are many ways for this situation to end, my friend, but if you give me a chance, I hope we can come to the best solution peacefully.”

Darin Deneith sighs heavily. “I…”

Seraphim pulls him towards the entryway. “Proceed to the great hall, my old friend. There, we may all discuss this and come to the appropriate conclusion.” He looks at Darin calmly, pausing. “If we are going to resolve this properly, this is the only way it can be done.”

Lord Deneith shakes his head slowly. “Very well. We’ll try it your way. But I promise nothing.”

The Deva smiles wryly. “Excellent. I will join you shortly.”


Seraphim enters the old fortress’ temple, slowly approaching the majestic woman staring upon the stained glass window. “My Lady Io’Cantra. You understand the situation I have before me?” Seraphim steps closer to the mysterious Io’Cantra as she slowly turns in his direction.

“I do, Lord Seraphim. We understood that this decision would come to you. That is why I have come to you now.” Her words softly emanate from beneath her silvered veil. “My… people have great interest in the events that unfold even as we speak.”

“And what course do your people suggest? This fighting between the different Dragonmarked clans appears without virtue or justice. The clans mercilessly slaughter the those with aberrant marks with no regard for each other.”

Io’Cantra takes a step out of the moonlight, advancing slowly towards him. “I came because we knew that what happens here today reflects throughout the ages. The words spoken, the choices made, the truths revealed, all reflect in the Draconic Prophecy.”

Seraphim looks at her, concerned. “The Draconic Prophecy? But… how?”

“I cannot tell you now, young one. Prophecy can never be certain until it is history.” She stares him in the eyes, piercing the soul of countless lifetimes. The Deva shudders. “I will stand by your side and provide what insight I can this night. After that, though, you proceed on your own.”

Seraphim looks at her affirmatively but says nothing.

“We shall go together and hear them out, yes?” A slow smile appears beneath the veil. “Tonight, Lord Seraphim, you make what might be the greatest decision of your life. Perhaps of many of your lives.” Io’Cantra quickly heads toward the door.

“Of course, my good… lady.” He grasps the handle and pulls the door open, inviting his mysterious guest through.


A gaunt figure paces back and forth in the hall, muttering to himself under his breath. His grim accomplice approaches, concerned. She pulls back her black hair and looks to him. “Oh, Halas. We’ve been waiting for hours. How long will we wait for the Deva to come hear our request?”

He stops, slowly turning towards her. “What we are doing is extremely important, my dear Lady. Lord Seraphim posses the power and influence to help us become a player in this world. With him, we can go from being animals hunted by the Dragonmarked clans to a clan of our very own, with power over millions.” As the words pass his lips, he cracks a grim smile. “We will wait for him, my dear, no matter the cost.”

“Please, Halas… He’s practically in bed with the clans. Most of their families have members who have fought wars, hunted monsters, and adventured with him.” She steps around him lightly, almost dancing.

“It does not matter, my dear Lady. No matter the relationship, no matter the situation, Lord Seraphim always pursues the cause of justice. When we explain our plight, he will be forced to…”

A slam of the entryway door stops Halas in mid-sentence. Lord Darin Deneith quickly enters. The two lock eyes, staring intently at each other.

“Halas Tarkanan! How did you get here?”

Halas looks across the room at his nemesis. “Darin Deneith. I should have guessed the clans would send you as their lackey.”

“That’s Lord Deneith, you slime.”

“Simple enough. I expect no less in return; you may address me as Lord Tarkanan. Further, you may address my beautiful companion as the Lady of Plague.”

Darin steps forward and spits in his direction. “Lord and Lady…. Ha! A perverse joke if I’ve ever heard one.” He quickly reaches for his blade, advancing on Halas Tarkanan. Halas reaches for his weapon, meeting Darin’s advance.

“STOP!”

Halas Tarkanan and Darin Deneith immediately turn to the entryway as Seraphim charges in, followed quickly by Io’Cantra.

“Both of you, lower your blades and sit! We are here to discuss this like civilized men.”

Darin and Halas stare at each other for a moment before silently consenting. The Lady of the Plague sits beside Halas Tarkanan. Seraphim takes his place between them while Io’Cantra stands behind him, quietly.

“You have both come to me seeking my assistance in this feud between your peoples. Lord Tarkanan, you tell me of great injustice done against those like yourself, those who have exhibited the aberrant Dragonmarks. You want me to aid you in combatting the oppressive forces of the Dragonmarked clans.” He looks sternly at Halas, who nods an approval. “Lord Deneith, you alerted me to a great danger developing in the world, represented by the rise of Dragonmarks outside the great families of the clans. You told me of their unbridled power and capability to shatter the civilized world of Khorvaire. You hope I will assist you in wiping the aberration from the world.” Seraphim looks at Darin, who slowly nods.

Halas stands up. “They hunt us because we are powerful. They hunt us because we are unpredictable. They hunt us because we are different.” He slams his hands on the table. “Because we do not follow their rules, their society, they try to eliminate us completely. They treat us like animals!”

Darin shakes his head and looks to Seraphim. “My friend. I swear to you that these Dragonmarks are dangerous. The people that they manifest in are often unstable, even mad. The power that these Dragonmarks grant is practically limitless. Whereas the clans help control the power of the Marks, those with aberrant marks are free to cause chaos and ruin wherever they go. We must stop them before they have that opportunity.”

“Stop us? We haven’t even started! You revel in the senseless slaughter of people like us!”

Darin quickly stands, agitated. “I revel in senseless slaughter? Your kind has lead to the death of countless many. Your… people have no respect for order or society…”

“Silence!” The Deva stands, looking to both Halas and Darin. “You bicker like children, with no intent nor direction.” He pauses, collecting himself. “But of these details I do not understand. I had been informed that these aberrant Dragonmarks occurred randomly, without warning or indication. I do not see how you can possibly expect to eliminate this perceived threat. What is it you intend, Lord Deneith? Extermination? Mass murder? Genocide?” He pauses. “Of who? Who do you target? Who do you kill?”

Darin Deneith stands quickly. “You do not understand, my old friend. These Dragonmarks… they manifest randomly but often with great power. With the power comes madness. They never receive the education or training of the Dragonmarked clans. They quickly turn their powers to evil, inflicting pain and suffering upon the innocent people of Khorvaire.” He pauses. “These aberrant Dragonmarks are a sign of evil.” He looks to Halas Tarkanan and then back to Seraphim. “The only cure… is death.”

Halas’ female accomplice howls. “You call us the animals? You, who hunt us for sport? You, who cut us down in the night? You call us animals because our powers fall outside your understanding? Because we exhibit abilities beyond your comprehension?” she shrieks.

Halas Tarkanan grabs her and settles her into her chair. After a moment, when she calms, he turns back to Darin Deneith. “I only hope to organize those like me together under one clan, just as your people have. I only hope to bring us together, to provide the stability and order you claim we lack. Yet, when I do, you hunt us down like petty criminals. I cannot help but wonder who the monster is, my dear Lord…”

Seraphim slams a fist on the table. “Enough! I can see that this will not end peaceably. I only hope that the destiny of our world continues better than this discussion.” Darin and Halas sit down slowly as Seraphim continues. “I cannot understand the unbridled enmity between your two peoples. It is unnatural and will lead to nothing short of annihilation. However… you have both come to me seeking my aid.” He pauses, sighing deeply.

Io’Cantra leans forward and whispers into this ear: “Only you can take the next step. You must.”

Seraphim looks woefully at his old friend and his new visitors. From both, he sees nothing but animosity and hate. Looking to Darin, he begins to speak: “Oh, my friend, you have placed me in the most terrifying of situations. For months now I have watched your people hunt down and murder people, innocent people, justifying it in the name of protecting Khorvaire. People with even the smallest aberrant Dragonmark have been have been targeted in the name of freedom, of security.” Lord Deneith lowers his head.

Seraphim turns to Halas Tarkanan. “Yet, I cannot honestly see you as unfettered by villainy. I have heard stories of the atrocities committed by people with aberrant Dragonmarks. I have tried to dismiss them but I realize that with every unbounded rumor lies a brief component of truth. You may paint yourself the hero of thousands but I realize that you and your cause may have different motivations.” Lord Tarkanan looks to the Lady of the Plague, slowly lowering his head as Seraphim continues.

“You have taken your dispute, the simplest of matters, and blown it out of proportion. You have turned your own societies upside down with this madness and hate.” He pauses. “I will not subscribe to either of your interpretations of these events. The situation that unfolds here will soon dissolve to abject madness and both of you will have nobody but yourselves to blame.” Seraphim quickly turns and walks towards the exit. “You have my leave to depart.”


Seraphim looks out the window of his private room. A quiet knock at the door alerts him to the presence of Io’Cantra. Turning slowly, he motions for her to enter.

Io’Cantra steps to the center of the chamber. “Lord Seraphim. I must leave shortly so I must inquire as to what your final decision will be. Will you side with the established clans? Or will the aberrant Marks guide your future?”

Seraphim sighs. “I cannot say at this time. I fear what my old friend Deneith has become: hateful of things he does not seem to understand.” He takes a few steps towards Io’Cantra. “However, Tarkanan and his woman seem just as untrustworthy as the time I first heard of them.”

Io’Cantra steps a little bit closer. “Lord Seraphim. I understand your trepidation. However, these days are essential to the Draconic Prophecy. I must know what your choice will be.”

Seraphim looks at Io’Cantra. “It is clear that the violence of the Dragonmarked clans will only continue to escalate. They have turned fear and mistrust into weapons to be used against those that they cannot control or manipulate.” A distant rumble of thunder comes from outside the fortress. “You must have known that I would not allow this to stand. Eventually, I will be forced to stand against my old comrades. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But soon, I will take arms against Lord Deneith and the rest of the Dragonmarked families.”

A slight smile comes to Io’Cantra’s face. “Perhaps, or perhaps not. You can never predict the eventuality of the Draconic Prophecy. However…” Io’Cantra pauses, considering. “No matter. It is time that I leave.”

“I hope your journey finds you safely back to your home, Lady Io’Cantra.” Seraphim lowers his head respectfully.

“You have been a fine host. Trust your instincts, Seraphim. You have lifetimes of wisdom at your command; do not disregard it when the situation becomes dire.” Wisps of smoke begin swirling around her. The smoke condenses around Io’Cantra, obscuring her from view. Then, as quickly as the smoke appeared, it disappears, taking Lady Io’Cantra with it.

“If only it where easy for us as it were for your kind, my good Lady Io’Cantra.”

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Breaking Through

“Breaking Through”, as told by Algernon Moncrief after a few drinks at the Gold Gargoyle a few weeks later.

So as the door to the backroom gets kicked open, we were faced with a room full of the greasiest, backwater crow people you’re ever likely to see this side of the Dagger River. Of course, I’m one of the first ones in there and as I look around I see all these papers and books and things, maps and plans laying around. There’s a bunch of smaller kenku milling around, eating millet cakes (disgusting little moldy things) and stuff. There’s also a better dressed kenku at the back, talking to some half-elf chum with a freaky looking red and black tattoo on his face that goes all the way down his neck.

When we bust down the door and I tell everyone to stay put or there’ll be hell to pay, it looks like the yahoos in the back are going to grab some maps and gold and bolt, so I do the first thing that pops into my mind, you know? I summon a gale-force wind into a whirling circle and send it cruising straight at the guys hiding in the back. Of course, papers go flying everywhere and all their hopes of bolting get (excuse my Karrnathi) extremely fucked.

Apparently some of the tough guys they had working for them were about as tough as an asthmatic leper with heart condition, seeing as how they passed right out on having the deafening crack of the whirlwind erupt right above them. Though they might have just been so impressed when they saw me that they decided that it wasn’t worth it to fight. That could be it too.

Anyways, so right after that, Ash runs in and turns into some animal that I’ve never seen nor heard of before and belches a load of bees right in the rest of the guys’ faces, which doesn’t make them too happy. In the meantime, Legion pushes past both of us and uses his magic to yank the kenku leader, who has drawn a bow, into the fray and starts attacking him with his sword. Seeing his comrade in need, the half-elf draws his weapon and starts to come forward just in time for me to blast him with a powerful burst of lightning into his chest, which flings him 15 feet through the air, taking him out of commission for the time being.

What’s left of the rest of the crow-men start to close in so Ash summons a boar to cause some havoc. The leading Kenku manges to do a neat backflip over a table, draw his bow again and shoot Legion in the arm all in one movement. I take the time to blast the rest of the goons that Ash’s boar and bees have tied up, every once in a while I send the excess charge over to the half-elf so he doesn’t feel left out.

So Ash, Leonora and Legion are closing in on the kenku leader, his chicklings having all buggered off by now, and I’m staring down this other half-elf, my brother of sorts, when they both strike at the same time. The kenku throws down this feather ball with sends out a bunch of smoke and a ton of black feathers, making it totally impossible to see. At the same time, the mutant half-elf makes a bolt for the door. Legion sees this, throws his thrice-damned sword at him like he’s in a pulp novel or something while Ash moves to block the door with a stack of crates nearby.

There’s a bit of a scuffle, I’m facing down the half-elf by myself, with only a dagger and my wits while he’s got a sword. He slashes, I evade, he thrusts, I parry. In a second or two I get bored with his antics and muster up some real hot lightning, and turn what was left of his aberrant brain into scrambled eggs all in one go.

After picking up the pieces of everything inside, he got the clues we needed to find out the next step in the puzzle, namely what the hell they were looking for. Turns out it was an old goliath’s lab hidden in the underparts of the city, but that was later. So, what do you say, want to go upstairs and see a little thunder and lightning yourself?

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Battle at the Crow's Nest
Who's Garret?!

24 Ollarune, 998 YK

The group spent the morning scoping out the Crow’s Nest. Ash noticed the bar was teeming with even more Kenku than yesterday; they were not taking any risks of the meeting being interrupted, especially since Algernon’s actions the day before had alerted the Kenku that others may be interested in today’s meeting. Algernon studied the note again:

On the 24th
12pm at the Crow's Nest
Send Garret

Each were left to their own prowess: Algernon and Legion spied from the closest bar, Leonora visited the nearby stalls and vendors hoping to pass as a curious tourist or shopping enthusiast; Ash turned into a mangy dog and sniffed and trotted around the Crow’s Nest, hoping to not alert the guards. Unfortunately, Leonora’s shopping rouse was interrupted by approaching Kenku guards, who had become aware of her suspicious behavior. She quickly joined the others at the out-of-site bar, hoping she hadn’t blown their stake out.

After a couple hours, Ash noticed a shady group approach and enter the bar: two halflings, a half-elf and a handful of thugs. The guests were escorted in by the guards. Ash ran back to the group and alerted them to the group’s arrival, but purposely lagged behind to try and sneak in the door after everyone else.

Legion, with his sword drawn, entered by almost pushing the door off its hinges; He looked around at the startled Kenku whom glared menacingly at him. Those in the dining area began to inch towards the group, flashing weapons and unwelcome looks. “Get out! We don’t serve your kind here!” cried the barkeep as a final warning. Legion pointed his blade toward the barkeep: “You do now.”

The barkeep yelled, “Get them, boys!” as he ducked behind the counter. A handful of Kenku rushed towards with clubs, while one zealous fighter, jumped on the table wielding a spiked chain. A couple more Kenku joined the fight, emerging from the kitchen carrying large butcher knives. Legion charged the chain-wielding Kenku and was soon surrounded by three of the crow-beasts. Algernon and Leonora worked together trying to break up the hoard of Kenku trying to take down Legion and preventing the others from getting to close to themselves.

With all the commotion, none of the Kenku noticed the mangy dog trotting up the stairs. Ash was excited that his sneaking had worked as he approached the next floor; however his accomplishment was soon dashed as two Kenku guarding the upstairs door spotted him. Not sure what to make of this lost dog, the guards looked at each other with confusion until the dog opened his mouth and spewed a thousand angry locusts.

Downstairs, the Kenku numbers seemed to dwindle until both Leonora and Legion were struck from a thrown dagger. Both received serious wounds from the Kenku barkeep who resorted to sneaky tactics: hiding behind the tables and chairs, preparing daggers for the rest of the intruders. After a few powerful lightning blasts from Algernon and solid swings from Legion, the fight was over, at least this one was.

As Leonora quickly healed the groups’ wounds, they were startled by Ash stumbling out of the storage closet under the stairs. He angrily explained about the trap door in front of the upstairs door and despite his athletic ability, had fallen in the trap. Twice.

Algernon laughed exclaiming that his wit and tinkering abilities could probably disable the trap and return the wooden floor boards closed; but even with Leonora’s help, the two kept fiddling with the controls for a few minutes without any success. Legion sat by, tapping his foot impatiently.

He finally burst from his impatience, knowing that every minute wasted meant evil was allowed to live longer: “You’re wasting too much time! Grab that table!” He and Ash hurriedly climbed up the stairs and dropped the table, creating a temporary wooden bridge. In their rush, the loud drop of the table and the creaking of its planks made them any easy target as they entered the room.

Expecting to be ambushed, the group hustled inside and were greeted by poorly-hidden Kenku: their feathers sticking out from behind their hiding places. Leonora readied a bolt, and sent it flying towards the first target. The small corridor helped to funnel the next group of Kenku in a spot perfect for bouncing lighting and swarms of locusts. With the others successfully picking of the less-threatening Kenku, Legion went after the powerful sorcerer dressed in robes and holding a glowing orb. His hurricane winds and flying moves proved difficult for Legion, but with help this floor of Kenku too were killed.

But then quickly, one of the Kenku supposedly dead, sprinted to the next room, pounded on the door, shrieking warnings to the group inside. He was quickly pursued by Legion, while everyone else rushed to the secret room. Before the reached the door, a Kenku poked his head out and saw the rushing heroes. He shut the door and Ash, who looked even more intimidating in his raptor form, heard scuffling and a terrified shout, “There’s an ARMY out there!”.

Leonora quickly picked the lock and haphazardly opened the door and was quickly greeted by an onslaught of crossbow bolts. She narrowly avoid wounds, except from a a rock of a well-aimed sling; but she had successfully saw how the enemies were situated. After hearing Leonora’s plan, Algernon and Ash readied themselves to burst through the door. Leonora called to Legion to hurry back and help them as they prepared to charged the last room.

Next Episode…”Storming the Secret Meeting”

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The City Below

21 Ollarune, 998 YK

After leaving Warden Tower, newly deputized and ready for adventure, the party decides to split up. Algernon and Ash decide to take to the streets below, looking for word in the taverns and pubs of Sharn. Leonora and Legion proceed to House Civis to inquire about Bren ir’Gadden, the man who seems to be at the center of it all.

Algernon and Ash spend the evening buying drinks and probing customers of the Copper Kettle, a somewhat respectable drinking establishment. Unfortunately, the only clues of note come form the bartender, who informs the pair that the ir’Gadden family has considerable property off to the east. Leonora and Legion, investigating records and history at House Civis, come to a similar conclusion as Algernon and Ash. Leonora decides that it may be best to attempt and communicate with the ir’Gadden family and sends a dispatch to Bren’s father, Barren ir’Gadden.

With little more to show for their effort, the group reunites at the Inn of the Red Dragon. Looking through his belongings, Ash finds the hastily scribbled note that he found at the townhouse the day before.

23 Ollarune. 3rd Midday Watch. Crow’s Nest. Send Garet.

“Hey, guys. I have an idea. I think we should check out a place called the Crow’s Nest.”


22 Ollarune, 998 YK

As dawn breaks, the group sets out on further adventures. Leonora and Legion decide to follow up with Gydd Nephret at the Morgrave University while Ash and Algernon decide to investigate the Crow’s Nest. They part ways early in the morning.

Leonora and Legion proceed to the Morgrave University to speak to Gydd Nephret concerning the Draconic Prophecy. When they arrive, Gydd is distracted and indirect. Leonora addresses him.

“We need to know about the Draconic Prophecy.”

Gydd looks concerned. “The Draconic Prophecy? You’re here about that?”

Legion looks sternly.

Gydd shakes his head. “Listen, my friends. I would be delighted to help you further understand the Draconic Prophecy. However, I have very pressing things at hand, things that you may be able to help me with.”

Leonora sighs, looking at Gydd, disappointingly. “Alright. If we help you out with this, will you help explain the Draconic Prophecy to us?”

“Of course, of course!” Gydd explains. “As long as you help me with this… little task I have to take care of.”

Legion looks sternly. “What do you need us to do?”

“Well, you see, I let somebody borrow a staff. Unfortunately, he has yet to return it. I need you to go and recover it for me.”

Leonora, seemingly disappointed, looks at him. “A staff? That’s it?”

“Yes. A staff. Just… a staff.”

“Sure thing. Who has it and where can we find him?”

Gydd paces back and forth frantically. “You see, my friends, that is the issue. It is in the possession of Voran Earthmane. Unfortunately, he has not been seen for quite some time. He has a tendency to remain… very private. I need you to go and find him and find this staff. Can you do this?”

Legion and Leonora look at each other. Leonora nods her head. “Yes, I think we can do this for you. We’ll let you know when we find it.”

“Excellent!”


Meanwhile, Ash and Algernon proceed down to the depths of Sharn to investigate the Crow’s Nest. As they approach, Ash notices something.

Algernon looks over to Ash. “What’s wrong?”

“Shhhh! You smell something?”

Algernon looks at him, quizzically.

Ash looks sternly. “Kenku.”

As they enter the entryway of the Crow’s Nest, Algernon understands Ash’s warning. The entire building is full of Kenku.

“Don’t worry. I can handle this,” Algernon assures Ash.

Algernon takes a few gallant strides up to the bar. He looks sternly at the bartender, a feathered, black Kenku. “Excuse me, my good man. I am looking for a gentleman named Garret. Do you know of this gentleman?”

The entire room goes quiet. The bartender looks sternly at him. “Sorry, bub. Braaaaaawk! I don’t know anybody like that.”

Algernon leans in and smiles. “No, my friend. Let me ask you again. I’m looking for a man named Garret.” He slides a handful of gold coins across the bar.

The Kenku bartender shakes his head. “Braaaaawk! I’m afraid you didn’t hear me. I don’t know anybody like that.” Several Kenku from around the tavern stand up and start approaching Ash and Algernon.

The Kenku throughout the bar slowly approach. Ash looks to Algernon. “I think we may want to leave now.” A Kenku draws a cudgel out from beneath his cloak.

Algernon looks about and assesses the situation. “Perhaps you’re right.” He looks over to the Kenku bartender. “Perhaps you are right, my good man. I apologize for the confusion. We’ll be leaving now.”

“Braaaaawk! Good to hear.”


Ash and Algernon return to the Inn of the Red Dragon where they meet up with Leonora and Legion. They retell the events of the day, sharing their adventures with one another. The group decides that the best bet is to investigate the Crow’s Nest again tomorrow.

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The Sky Above...

21 Ollarune, 998 YK

Spending the previous night at The Inn of the Red Dragon, the group gets an early start. A Sky Coach arrives for them, sent by the local Watch Captain. They board the craft and it takes to the skies, carrying the group to their destination.

Looking across the skyline, Legion grumbles to Leonora. “I have lived in this city for some time now and I have yet to determine this obsession your people have with living so high in the sky.”

Algernon shakes his head disapprovingly. “Are you joking? There’s nothing better than soaring up high!”

“If that were the case, I imagine that the Gods would have given men wings,” Legion replies dryly.

“Listen, you…”

As Legion and Algernon squabble, a voice cries out. “Lookout! Enemy approaching from the south!” Ash exclaims.

Goblins on hover boards appear, lead by a strange human in robes. Legion and Algernon look at the man and the strange marks covering his body.

“It’s Aric Blacktree!Algernon shouts.

“And he bears a Dragonmark,” Legion adds.

As the goblins near, Ash engages them as the rest of group readies themselves for battle. Great vines whip across the sky, snapping one of the goblins.

Leonora brings her crossbow to the ready, taking aim at the nearest goblin. “Aric Blacktree? But I thought he was one of the good guys!” she shouts above the din.

Lightning crackles across the sky as a goblin is torn from his disc and thrown to the deck of the Sky Coach. Legion approaches, sword readied. “Yes. Aren’t they all, my dear.”

Energy crackles around Algernon as he projects fierce lightning towards the foes. “We need to capture him! He may know more about what is going on!”

Battle continues as a number of goblins are quickly dispatched. Aric Blacktree approaches and envelops both Algernon and Legion with dark magical energy.

Legion, thrown to the deck of the Sky Coach, rises quickly. “Certainly. You can question him after I have liberated his head from his body.”

Leonora runs quickly to the Sky Coach pilot. “Bring us in on the left! Force them into the spires!”

As the battle goes on, Legion draws Aric to the front of the Sky Coach. Lightning streaks from his blade, drawing him closer to the deck of the coach.

The Sky Coach pilot calls forward to Leonora. “I’m swinging us to port, drawing us closer…”

THUMP

The Sky Coach rams directly into Aric Blacktree; his body drags along the underside of the craft. The Sky Coach pilot, surprised by the collision, falls to the deck. As Aric Blacktree recovers from the collision, Algernon steps to the back of the craft and draws back his arms.

“Allow me be the first to formally welcome you to Sharn, bastard!” Storm and lightning jump from his outstretched hands and envelop Aric. The force of the blast knocks him backwards and tears him from his hover board. His body falls into the murky abyss of Sharn.

With their master defeated, the remaining goblins quickly retreat into the sky. The party takes a moment to recover and check on the wounded.


When the Sky Coach finally arrives at the Warden Tower, they quickly disembark. After a brief encounter with the dark heart of bureaucracy, they are lead to Kale Katarn, the Captain of the Watch. Algernon steps forward to address him.

“You must be the people found at the townhouse yesterday. You defeated the Red Jackals, yes?” The Watch Captain looks at them quite seriously.

Algernon looks up. “Yes. That was us. We defeated the villains and saved Sharn from wholesale destruction, all acts that I am certain warrant some sort of reward…”

“Reward? Excuse me…? Oh, right. Yes, you did save a good part of the city. I have been authorized to issue you 120 pieces of gold.” Algernon’s eyes light up as he accepts the sack of coins. “Furthermore, I would like to ask you if you would assist me in further investigating these matters.”

Legion looks up. “Further investigation?”

“Yes. I would like you to follow up on a few of the leads from the event yesterday. Whatever happened is bigger than just a few gangsters in a townhouse. Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of experienced manpower that this job demands. Therefore, I would like to know if you would be willing to take on a position as… deputies.”

Leonora looks at the Watch Captain seriously. “Deputies?”

“Perhaps ‘contractor’ would be a better word. I cannot give you any more authority than you already possess. However, I believe you would be a great aid in this investigation.”

Algernon steps forward again. “Will there be additional rewards involved?”

“I will do what I can. However, be advised that while the greater realms of society may have wealth beyond imagination, it rarely finds its way into the coffers of the Watch. You will be rewarded in such ways that I can muster.”

Algernon contemplates this thought for a moment. “Well, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”

“Excellent! Please take these charms with you. They will protect you in the unfortunate case that you fall from the spires of Sharn. Other than that, I will eagerly be awaiting your next report.” Kale Katarn the Watch Captain quickly leaves the group, proceeding on with other business.

Ash shakes his head, confused. “Wait… did he say deputies?”

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The Chase!

20 Ollarune, 998 YK

The brave adventurers follow the trail of the mist beast to a mysterious apartment, heavily seeped in eldritch energies. Slowly and quietly entering the building, they see goblin guardians roaming the hall.

“What should we do?” Ash whispers to his companions.

“I don’t know. What do you think?” Leonora replies.

Legion looks about, his hand slowly lowering to his blade.

“Would you stop that!” Algernon whispers harshly. He smiles, filled with confidence. “Don’t worry. Stay close to me. I know exactly what to do.”

The group slowly inches forward. “Stay close!” Algernon whispers. They inched closer to the goblin guardians. “Do exactly what I say.” They inch closer. “Stay close. Steady. Ready..!”

A noise breaks the silence. Before anybody can take the chance to observe Legion deftly trip on a rug, Algernon shouts, “Get them!” A blast of lightning shoots across the room, charring a goblin. Legion runs forward, engaging the other goblin, blade in hand.

Down the hall, a door opens. A gruff, sinister half-orc, responding to the commotion, looks out into the greater hall. He draws his weapon and charges forward, shouting over the din: “Our base is under attack!” Soon, the entire group is caught in the maelstrom as two cat women emerge from the nearby room. The battle proceeds, fierce and bloody. Legion and Lenora give chase around the corner while Ash and Algernon continue the fight by the entryway. Blade and claw clash as thunderous magical energy crackles across the chamber.

After brief moments, the battle ends in triumph. Ash, returning to humanoid form, takes a deep breath. “I love the smell of victory.”

Algernon and Leonora look at Ash, puzzled.

“It smells like… like…”

Legion pulls his sword from a freshly slain carcass.

“Like victory. Yeah, that’s right. Victory!” Ash smiles, proudly.

Legion sheaths his sword. “We must hurry.”


With only a short moments rest, the party proceeds up stairs to the purported source of the arcane power. As they enter, the air reeks of magic and power. A strange, mutated beast works feverishly at the controls of some peculiar contraption. “More! I need more! Quickly! MORE POWER!”

Two men run about the room, working at eldritch devices in the four corners of the chamber, a panicked look on their face. “We’re exceeding the tolerance! We need to shut it down.”

The monstrous creature turns its tentacled maw towards one of them. “MORE!” It cackles in delight as energy dances about the room.

The heroes slowly ascend the stairs to the top, glancing around the room. Ash looks at the machines. “This doesn’t look good, guys.”

Leonora ponders the machines for a moment. “Whatever they’re meant to do, it seems as if they are feeding back. It’s like…”

”... they’re primed to explode,” Algernon finishes.

Legion looks sternly at the mutant beast. “I see only one obvious solution.” He draws his blade out, readying it as magical energy charges through it.

Algernon nods. “I agree. This clearly calls for a certain amount of linguistic legerdemain.” He steps forward, making his presence known to the chamber.

“Yes, umm, hello. I am Algernon Moncrief D’Lyrandar, representative of House Lyrandar. I politely ask that you immediately return to whatever dimension, plane, or associated parallel world that you may come from, respectfully. Otherwise my comrades may be forced to dispatch you.”

The mutant beast turns to Algernon. “You dare to address… me?” It hisses. “I shall destroy you and feast on your flesh, trembling little man! Prepare to meet oblivion!”

The two servants about the room, consumed with fear, charge forward, half in defense of their work and half in fear.

Legion sighs. “Not what I meant,” as he charges the beast head on, his sword cloaked in winter’s touch. As he does, Ash runs to the eldritch mechanisms, attempting to disarm them as battle ensues and energy jumps across the room.

Algernon, disappointed, continues. “Perhaps you misunderstood my last request as I may have wrapped it too carefully with charm and flair. You have been given a single chance to retreat at this time. If you do not, we will most assuredly destroy you. So, I invite you to decide.”

As the words pass his lips, a bolt of unstable energy rockets across the chamber, barely missing Leonora. The two servant men, witness to the terrifying consequences of their actions, quickly turn and flee down the stairs. The beast shakes its head, hissing. “Fools! You know not what you have done! This world shall all be swallowed into darkness!”

Legion engages the beast, fighting off its tentacled maw with his blade and quick footing. Ash, successful in disarming one of the eldritch batteries, quickly turns to the other three as Leonora provides cover fire. Algernon turns his talents to the destruction of the mutant beast.

The battle rages on, with Ash carefully disarming the arcane apparatus as the rest of the team fights off the tentacled monstrosity. Finally, just as Ash successfully deactivates the last of the machines, Legion strikes the monster with a fierce blow as Algernon suffuses the beast with thunderous energy.

“Noooooooooo!” it shrieks as it falls. Algernon runs to the beast, kicking it strongly in the chest.

“Tell us, monster! What are you doing here? What was your purpose?”

The tentacled monster shakes its head. “I will tell you nothing, pathetic worm.”

Legion shakes his head, stepping forward.

“Nothing! I will tell you nothing!” it hisses again.

As it continues to writhe on the floor, the glint of steel flashes across the chamber. With a quick motion, Legion sheaths his blade as the monster’s head rolls away from its body.

Algernon, with a look of surprise, looks up at Legion. “That was unnecessary, wasn’t it?”

Legion shakes his head. “No.”


Upon investigating the remains of the Eldritch Machine, Leonora comes to the conclusion that the machine’s purpose was indeed nothing else than a massive, destructive, build-up of arcane energy that would of resulted in an explosion devastating enough to destroy Dalannan Tower, if not several towers surrounding it as well. Upon searching the rest of the townhome after the battle the group finds little clue as to the identity or purpose of the group responsible for the machine, until Ash’s keen senses discern what might be a clue: a scrap of paper with a mysterious heraldic crest of a Beholder and the word “Tarkanan” on one side, and a cryptic note on the other:

23 Ollarune. 3rd Midday Watch. Crow’s Nest. Send Garet.

As the group continued searching the apartment, a contingent of the Sharn watch arrived.

“What is going on here?” the Watch Sergeant asked.

“It appears we’ve just saved the city from a devastating explosion,” Algernon replied. “We deactivated a machine upstairs after fighting off it’s guardians,” Algernon explained, gesturing to the dispatched bodies lying around the apartment.

“Check it out,” the Watch Sergeant dispatched two subordinates to investigate. Looking around at the bodies the Sergeant muttered, “Red Jackals! What is this filth doing in the city!” Addressing the heroes the Sergeant inquired, “Why don’t you tell me everything that happened here. Start at the beginning.”

As the heroes relate their tale, the Watch Sergeant jots down notes as the other members of the watch search the apartment. “Hmmm, your story seems to check out, but I’m sure my captain will want to ask more questions. Why don’t you let me know where you’ll be staying, so we can contact you if necessary?” After brief debate, the heroes decide that it might be a good idea to lay low, and Ash suggests that they can find rooms at the inn where he is staying on the other side of town…

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Four Years Later...

20 Ollarune, 998 YK

The four years passed quickly. Despite treaties made and old rivalries quickly extinguished, the adventure had only just begun for the four travelers:

The spirited Algernon Moncrief D’Lyrandar came to see life’s sometimes unpredictable mortality. He continued working jobs in Zilargo, but made a personal vow to enjoy life to its fullest.

Ash returned to the Eldeen Reaches, hoping to leave the horrors he witnessed at the ruined tower behind him. He returned to the farm to find his family slaughtered by roving marauders of the Carrion Tribes. Looking to avenge their deaths, Ash began scouring the Demon Wastes, looking for the killers, and revenge.

With her family and friends dead, Leonora D’Cannith fell into a void, lost all motivation to invent or pursue more arcane studies. She stayed in Zilargo in an enclave of House Cannith; but after a year of being pestered by inquisitive gnomes about what she witnessed outside of Cyre, she packed up for the bustling city of Sharn. There she hoped to discover what occurred in Cyre. All she had was the dying words of that Emerald Claw witch, “It’s too late. No one can escape the forgehold now”.

Legion also found his way to this City of Towers pursuing the best intellectuals who would be best suited to tell him who he was and where he came from. An aging priest of the Silver Flame, Mazrim Tain told him the story of the creation of the world: the existence of the three progenitor dragons; how Siberys became the sky and heavens, and Eberron trapped Khyber in her body which became the world, and Khyber the dark underworld. But still, Eberron couldn’t keep Khyber’s evil contained; the powerful demons from Khyber’s heart emerged and ruled Eberron for untold Eons. To combat the the Demon Overlords, the Dragons allied with the Couatls from Siberys, who sacrificed themselves to bind the Demon Overlords in eternal prisons. At this time, several Couatls infused their immortal essence in mortal beings to create the Deva, a race which would stand guard over and defend the prisons of the Overlords from those servants of theirs which couldn’t be bound, the Rakshasas and others.

And after their individual journeys, each adventurer found themselves reunited in Sharn, attending the 4th remembrance of the Day of Mourning at the request of Bren ir’Gadden.

The four travelers came to the ceremony held at Cyre Tower in Sharn. In attendance were a handful Cyran veterans and other guests wishing to share in remembering the Day of Mourning. Only a few minutes upon their arrival, a mysterious cloud of grey mist seeped from out of the kitchen and into the room.

Legionwas the first to charge, drawing his out his sword, ready for destroying whatever evil manifestation was concealed. Leonoraquickly summoned her arcane companion, sending it towards the cloud. Whirring and buzzing, the machine lifted the veil of mist. The intruder was now clearly in view and revealed to be a mysterious Mourning Haunt. As all the guests fled, a lithe swordsman emerged from the crowd and attacked the monster, taking advantage of its preoccupation with Legion. Ash and Algernon ran to the edge of the balcony and begin giving cover fire to help the other guests escape. One guest, however, didn’t run away, but instead mysteriously ran to the balcony too with his eyes wide and wearing a curious smile. He murmured, “Fascinating. Wow. So interesting.”, while eying the monster. It was Ash’s resounding animal growl as he shifted in a wolf that startled the man to sense. He quickly ran down to the first level.

The monster seemed like an illusion as when Legion swung at him, he quickly vanished and reappeared a few feet away. Unfortunately the grey mist was very real: four guests had already fallen to the poisonous fumes and the heroes were also affected. The poison rendered those closets to the monster frozen and weekend with this silent killer; but they increased their determination to extinguish the beast before another person was harmed.

As abruptly as it had appeared, upon defeat the grey mist and monster dissolved into mist leaving nothing but the echo of the prophecy the travelers recognized years before:

“Five on the brink of desolation face the shadow’s roar…”

As the voice faded, the man from the balcony emerged to examine the vanishing misy. The curious scholar introduced himself as Gydd Nephret, a scholar at Morgrave University, and invited the party to look him up at the University, but quickly fled in excitement mumbling something about attending other business.

Thanks to the keen senses of Ash, the group found a trail of fur leading across nearby rooftops. Legion and Ash took the rooftops, repelling down the steep levels with rope being careful not to plummet from the mile high buildings. Leonora and Algernon took to the streets following the trail. After a couple wrong turns, the pair eventually met up with Legion and Ash at a skybridge connecting Cyre tower to Dalannan tower. Legion approached two humans loitering at the entrance, asking them if they had seen the creature pass this way. They claimed to have seen a mysterious cloud climb the tower from lower depths and head to Cyre tower.

They followed the trail of the Mourning Haunt down Dalannan tower until they reached the lower wards of the city. The trail led the group to the door of an innocuous townhome near the bottom of the tower, a place all the more mysterious for the unmistakable waves of arcane energy radiating from within…

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The Mark of Prophecy

20 Ollarune, 994 YK

The Last War has been raging across Khorvaire for nearly a century. On the edge of a major battle, four strangers approach a ruined tower for different reasons…

Algernon d’Lyrandar, a one time airship pilot and sorcerer of House Lyrandar, while spending some time between jobs in Zilargo, was hired by a gnome of House Sivis, one Joranndar d’Sivis, to investigate a ruined tower on the Darguun/Cyre border for some sign of the Draconic Prophecy and report back…

Ash, a druid of the Eldeen Reaches who signed up as a mercenary scout for the armies of the five nations and finds himself working with the forces of Breland as they invade Cyre. His unit commander asks him to track down a commanding officer who was kidnapped from camp in the night, and the trail leads straight for a ruined tower overlooking the battle…

Legion, a deva, reincarnates in a narrow valley in some rugged hills. After searching some nearby bodies of what appear to have been skirmishing scout parties, he notices a ruined tower on a ridgeline to the south, to which he feels a strange pull…

Leonora d’Cannith, an artificer of house Cannith from the Cyran city of Eston, has been fighting with Cyran troops repelling a joint Breland/Thrane invasion when she is dispatched to investigate rumors of Emerald Claw operatives in the area, a group of humans and undead that appear to be heading toward a ruined tower on the edge of the battlefield…

The ruined tower, which appeared uninhabited from a distance, turned out to be infested with several Kruthik hatchlings, which attacked the four as they investigated the tower. The tower was also inhabited by two strange short, squat monsters with four arms, two mouths, and no necks apiece. The creatures appeared almost as if some twisted creator had tried to fuse two different goblins together in a single body. These Dolgrim (as they are known), armed with clubs and crossbows, attacked the four as they entered the tower while carrying on running conversations with themselves and each other (the two creatures had four mouths between them). The dolgrim put up stiff resistance, and managed to knock out Ash and Legion before the fight was through, though Leonora’s quick actions and skill at healing kept both alive, as Algernon and Leonora finally contrived the Dolgrims’ demise.

During the battle, Ash discovered Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden and his aide Aric Blacktree imprisoned within the tower. Upon investigating after the battle, the group found both chained to the wall, Aric atop a glowing Prophecy Mark, a sign of the Draconic Prophecy. As Ash set about freeing the Lord Major and his aide, Algernon recorded the prophecy mark with a special dragonshard he had been given for the purpose, and Legion studied it, feeling it may be somehow connected with his destiny.

The group’s respite was brief however, as a few minutes later the sky to the east erupted into orange flame and thunder and wind swept across the land. Alarmed by the ominous events, the group made haste to leave only to find their way out of the tower blocked by a group of Zombies and three humans, two soldiers and a necromancer bearing the insignia of the Order of the Emerald Claw. With Bren ir’Gadden’s assistance however, the group managed to make short work of the Zombies and their human masters as the Mourning continued to envelop the nation of Cyre. As the group was preparing to flee from a swiftly advancing tide of grey mist, all were able to breathe a sigh of relief as the mist stopped as abruptly as it appeared, ending as a solid wall a mere few hundred yards east of the ruined tower.

Since they had captured Mallora, the necromancer leading the Emerald Claw group, Leonora took the time to interrogate her. Leonora didn’t get much information from the agent, who preferred death to dishonor and called upon necrotic energies to end her own life, but not before gloating about having struck a House Cannith facility before meeting her untimely demise.

In the aftermath of the events at the tower, the group, along with Bren ir’Gadden and Aric Blacktree, made their way back to the Brelish outpost of Kennrun to the north, and from there each went their separate ways…

Along the way though, Legion had time to decipher the Prophecy Mark that Algernon had recorded in the dragonshard, which spoke in lines of cryptic verse:

Five on the brink of desolation face the Shadow’s Roar.

Four stand together, emissaries of Light.

The Shadow waits in darkness, casting wide his web.

The Traveler stands between, holding Fate’s threads.

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