Journey to Gelsh

As the party departed from the Duergar fortress they climbed to the peak of the mountain and scanned the valley below in preparation for their journey to Gelsh’s lair and Mount Speartip. The valley below was vast and some hundred miles across. The troops of the greens that had cluttered it before had moved past, all that remained was an encampment set in its center. The druids changed to bird form and scouted the settlement and found it to be some hundred elite guard in fine armor and Duncan’s servant. The night hag and her nightmare settled inside the encampment.
After some debate it was decided that Gwydion’s task was to important to wait so the party would head straight across the divide. But after dealing with his matters and perhaps Gelsh, they would return to face the hag and her troops.

It was revealed that Earamir was indeed of the bloodline of the enemy, and that the hag had been able to track him some how. He remained steadfast in resolve and gave notice to the party that his intentions were to see both the hag and Duncan slain for their crimes. The party made their way down into the valley and after a weeks travel made a stealthy path across to scale Mount Speartip. At its base, they encountered Gwydion’s escort. She said he had gone ahead to speak with Gelsh and after council with the druids agreed to serve as the new druid for this area and work to move the people north into the cleared tunnels for greater safety and departed.

Into the Plains

November 3rd Session

After securing Nostri, and getting the residents of the Morgan Tunnel established, we moved out to bring in the residents of Dimitri and Aschim’s groves into the safety of the Tunnel.

While Dimitri’s 2 groves were found unharmed, it seems that while he was gone – Aschim’s Grove was discovered and burned. In the end, the number of people involved were :

Dimitri’s Groves – total humanoid population of 214
Aschim’s Grove – 74 killed originally, at least 1 survivor found later (see below)

On the plains, after we gathered my groups of refugees and found that Achim’s were slaughtered, we headed out to see if we could find out who attacked his grove. We found the kobold tent city of Kull (I think) seemed to be where they came from.

A day or so after we began backtracking from Aschim’s Grove, we ran into a patrol, and killed them all (approx 40 – nothing stronger than kobolds). Recovered a Human Child, survivor from Achim’s Grove. Apparently, taken to Kull, and then traded to these Kobolds – likely as “food”.

Continued on, ran into large force of Kobolds, with several casters and 4 hill giants. All thing equal – poor choice of us to fight them … We got hit hard, and eventually managed to break contact with them using magical cover. We did take down several casters and all (?) of the giants – but we nearly lost the Dwarf in the fight. Avoided encounters for a few days, and then in the middle of the night had a group of humanoid refugees wander within range of our cold-camp. We spoke with them, and found they had escaped from Tarronville (?). The kobold forces are thin, as a major Orc attack is taking place & all Kobold reserves are being moved to combat it. We moved north to the western side of the Harlsburg Heights, and contacted a druid there. We have left off the refugees we had (22 human, 18 elf – 11 men, rest women / children, and the surviving child from Aschim’s Grove) there. Our plan is to move to the base of Mount Speartip and find Keldra – Gwyndion’s aid. Once there, we will plan our next step – and we hope that Keldra will go back to the grove in the Harlsburg Heights and with 2 druids there, they might be able to shuttle small groups of refugees overland to the Morgan Tunnels, and to safety.

As we headed out from the lower reaches of the Western Harlsburg Heights, we began using the newly realized abilities of our two druids – Wild Shape. Between the two brothers they could maintain a bird-form for a total of about 8 hours. So the ongoing plan is for one of them to be our eyes-above at all times. Very shortly after we began moving, Aschim spotted a massive column of Orcs moving in the plains to the North. Apparently, the fighting between the Orcs and Kobolds is getting serious … He reported a scouting party of some 20 orcs, and a black-cloaked figure leading them. Thier course would take them within easy reach if we wanted to engage them. As a group, the vote was to do so – but with the plan that we needed to make the remains of the encounter seem that it was not “us” – but a kobold band that they were attacked by.

We placed ourselves in a fairly concealed area – being the plains, the best we could do was an area of fairly tall grass with a couple of well placed depressions to hide ourselves in. As we watched the Orc band approach, there was a flash nearby and a figure appeared … The figure – a Night Hag, was riding a Nightmare …“Umbarra” called out to Aeromir, one of our wizards, as well as to Razmik, our dwarven cleric. The Hag asked them to “Join the Bloodline” – to which they both replied “no” … With her offer rebuked, she rode towards the Orcs, and gave them a wave of her arm – and they attacked.

As they rushed forward, Dimitri cast one of his Entangle spells. This brought the entire band to a halt at first. As they began to slowly fight thru the spell effect, the party rained arrows and magical damage down upon them. We had dispatched about 2/3 of the Orcs, when the Hag appeared again. She was invisible at first – her position being given away by the tall grass she was riding thru … She charged down upon (Chris A.), and the Nightmare struck him a fairly serious wound. As the party changed its attention from the remaining Orcs to the Hag / Nightmare, Dimitri summoned a Gust of Wind – which was just enough to dismount the Hag from the Nightmare. She was only 10’ off the ground, so she took no damage from the fall. However, the riderless Nightmare took the chance to gate (?) away once it was apparently free of the Hag’s control … We apparently managed to hurt the Hag enough that she shifted to an Ethereal state – smiling at us as she watched us. She then faded away. We finished off the remaining Orcs – there were no escapees that we are aware of. We searched them, took a few weapons that were useful, and then set to burning a few of the bodies with some kobold oil flasks we were carrying. We left a few of the battered kobold weapons we were carrying in the area. The last thing we did was have the druids and the ranger try to cover up the tracks of the “normal” sized members of our party – leaving only the smaller shoe prints of the halflings, hoping they might be mistaken as kobold tracks.

End of 11/2 session.

11/9 session

Needing to try and lay low for a day or two to heal our wounded comrades, we began to search for a place to get out of sight. Not that easy, in the middle of a vast plain … We angled our path North West, trying to make the lower edge of the Alton Mountains. Dimitri and Aschim remained aloft as much as possible, scouting to keep the party clear of trouble. Late in the day, as the party trekked closer to the western edge of the Alton Mountains (see Map 1) Dimitri spotted 4 figures in a cave opening high up towards Oliver’s Peak. 3 men and 1 woman, who moved inside the cave and out of sight before any closer look could be taken. In the morning Aschim flew up that way to see if he could spot anything. From the air, he spotted a druid-trail moving up the mountain from the plains. There was a small camp of kobolds, approx. 25, camped in the path of the travel we would need to take to reach the druid-trail. They were not Nitchgar, but were dressed in reddish clothing / armor. They have a greenish skin, which upon closer look seems a bit “scaley” – but is still more “skin” than “scale”. As we found out, it is definately tougher to punch thru with a weapon ! (AC-20)

We moved up the low pass to a point just out of view of the camped kobolds. Our obsevations revealed 25 kobolds, a few which were noticably bigger that the rest. We would find out that they are a bit stronger, but in fact are no tougher than their smaller counterparts. There also were 4 large sacks in the camp – we would investigate them after dealing with the owners !

Earamir used his powers of illusion to create a “false wall” – the view of the pass we were coming up out of. We planned to close the gap between us as fast as possible, and if they believed the illusion itw could buy us an extra round or two to close. The vast majority of the kobolds did not notice the illusion right away. We moved forward as quickly as possible – some of our band opened fire with arrows, and in the case of Razzmek – a Spiritual Gauntlet spell effect. (Fir-ria or Aschim) nearly fell into a concealed pit – but at the last second relized there was something in front of them. Unfortunately, with the attacks from the bows, and the noise of the pit-trap sprinnging – the illusion was breaking down quickly. As we began to take some damage from crossbows that the kobolds had, Dimitri cast a Wall of Wind – aligning it partway across the encampment. This caused any missiles crossing the Wall to be deflected and automatically miss. Earamir, I believe, summoned a Swarm which he set upon the nearest kobolds. As we closed into melee with them, Fionn and Aschim lead the way into the melee. The fight was short, and no kobolds attempted to flee. We cut them down entirely. When all was said and done, we investigated the bags, one of which seemed to be wiggling. Inside, we found a dwarf fighter named Finaharal. He had been captured farther north, and was apparently sold to these kobolds. He seems willing to stay with us for the time being, as we are heading generally northward – and as he has found out, it is not safe to travel alone !

The other bags held poor quality foodstuffs, mostly inedible to us – but one bag had 12 carefully wrapped packages in it. Upon opening them, we found each parcel contains 12 crossbow bolt-shafts. They appear to have been soaked in a naturally-based poison. They obviously were intended to be tipped and fletched where-ever they were to be delivered to. But, it made us question if these new kobolds were possibly resistant to poison – as it seemed that even to handle these shafts to finish them would expose the fletcher to the poison soaked into the wood. A new twist, and a new breed of the vermin …

We took a few more of our kobold oil flasks, and tried to stage things as if this was a squabble between factions – dumping all of the bodies into the pit-trap before we left the area. Again, working to cover our tracks as best we could, and trying to make things look like it was more in-fighting amongst the green-skins, and not what it really is – “us”.

End of 11/9 session
The December Sessions

The party wound their way with great toil to the end of passages. Fighting off Nichegarr attacks and eventually found their way to a passage in the rock that seemed suspect. Upon closer examination it revealed itself a passage into the tunnels of the Duergar. These people had little respect for the outside world. But having problems of their own agreed to invite the party in for a parley and perhaps recruit them to do business. This meeting revealed much.

The party was placed in a waiting chamber and eventually sat with the Duergar Queen. She was calm but obviously mistrusting. She revealed answers to a few questions and made a grand offering. The first answer was that the Duergar had found the body of the druid that looked over these lands. It was suspected that he was slain perhaps by kobolds, greens, or worse. His valuables were returned to the party druids to bring to Gwydion. The Duergar were divided into two factions. The elders that dug deep, and the grays that the queen revealed wished to leave this lair of generations and reunite with others in mountains in the north.

When asked by the party why they simply did not leave, they revealed that Gelsh had a great hatred for them, as the elders had long ago killed his wife in mage form. They asked the party to approach Gelsh on this matter and offered the lair for the humans to make a new home of in return. The party left giving no assurances, and the Duergar made it clear that they would not be welcomed should they come back. While in the guest chamber they spotted what they assumed the crypt of Gelsh’s wife.

After making their way to the surface the party spotted a passage across the mountain to avoid climbing all the way over it. It was a scary journey as the mountain was riddled with bug bears and owlbears. They proved to be dangerous foes, and on a few occasions the party took injury to its ranks in battling them to make passage.

Clearing the Morgan Tunnels

After we managed to remove the massive bars holding shut the lower doors in the Tunnels, we ventured forth to see if we could clear the way to the lost city of Nostri. One thing we noticed immediately – there was a coating of a black, pitch-like soot covering the floor and much of the walls of the tunnels. Experimentation revealed that the substance was flammable, which became the point of major concern. We moved forward, in short order our shoes and lower clothing was covered with the black soot. Not far from the door, we began to encounter very thick layers of spider webbing. While not overly tough or sticky, it served to obscure our view down the hallways and slowed our progress. In another situation, it could simply have been burned away – but we were concerned with suffocating and with revealing the end of the tunnels to the outside world with a column of smoke. The long term plan is to gather remaining survivors and bring them thru the tunnels as a way of getting to the old city of Nostri – which we hope will be able to be defended by the remaining civilized-world forces. Once we have cleared it, our plan is to ignite the soot during the dark of night, if possible on a rainy night to keep the pall of smoke as hidden as we can. But for now, we simply cut the webs as we go. It is very slow, and tiring work.

While pushing forward, we found the long dead corpse of a dwarf. He was hiding a lantern, which we took with us. We cleared a lot of webbing, and along the was encountered a very large spider, with a red hour-glass marking on its body. Fortunately, none of us was bitten. Earimir harvested the poison sacs from the creatures mouth, for further research and experimentation.

We cleared a long stretch of tunnel, and eventually came to a downward set of massive stairs. Side hallways off the stairs revealed old silver mining tunnels. They also revealed a nest of spiders – more normal, not the very large poisonous variety, and an undead Kobold. We dispatched all of them, and there was great conjecture about just how or why a kobold would be raised as an undead. On the corpse we found some teeth.

Eventually, our trek ended at a crude wooden wall that had been constructed across one of the 15’ wide hallways. It had a crude door in it, which Novya believed to be trapped. She thought that it might well collapse if it was opened the wrong way – either from a trap or just from the ramshackle way the wall was made. Using a cantrip, we opened the door from a safe distance. Nothing happened, and we moved up – to see about 10 sets of glowing red eyes reflecting our light back at us … Kobolds ! These particular wretched creatures were “Nitchgarr” – or as they are commonly referred to, The Fire Kobolds. As we watched, the first 2 ranks came rushing down the stairs towards us, wielding spears or shortswords. The back rank, 2 kobolds, began striking flint and steel trying to ignite something. Knowing that whatever they were going to throw at us would be flammable, and knowing that we were still in an area covered in the black soot, I (Dimitri) opted to try and preempt their attacks with the use of a produce flame spell. While my companions thought I was crazy, I knew that the kobolds would be throwing fire anyways – so igniting the soot was inevitable. As the combat ensued, several flaming pots of oil were thrown down the stairs at us – setting the soot on fire. It burned with a low, blue flame (picture “sterno”), and while hot, it did not give off a lot of heat at any distance. It also did not flare badly enough to use up the oxygen in the area, although we were concerned about any smoke in the air. We dealt with the kobolds with a mixture of magic, arrows, and a good old beat down at the hands of our dwarf and Aschim. We put the burning soot out by snuffing the flames with blankets and cloaks – and ended the session searching the bodies of the kobolds. We have acquired a number of sealed flasks / pots of a low-grade, but very flammable oil.

We moved from the room where we fought last week and the rogue smelled smoke through a door. He went through and investigated the passages until he discovered that passage that we were in opened into a room with more then twenty kobolds in it. They were preparing a meal and we decided to wait for them to sit down and eat. During the wait is when the other dwarf showed up. The priest set some runes of power down as traps in the mouth of the hallway and one of the druids cast obscuring mist also at the mouth of the hallway. I cast a silent image of a wall made of the same stone that the rest of the room is made out of the funneled the kobolds through a narrow space and then we fought. We did discover that the kobolds are immune to all fire. The kobolds moved into the hallway towards us and we took them out in waves. The priest moved up the hallway followed by on of the druids and then the rest of us. We broke out into the room killing the rest of the kobolds near the entrance of the hallway. The kobolds on the other side of the illusory wall had set up a cauldron of oil that they had aimed at the break in the illusory wall. We moved through the wall instead of making for the break and their aim was ineffective. They poured the oil but it missed us completely.

(( we are missing notes on the kobold fight and the spider encounter))

( notes: session – sept 28)
We finished exploring the main mine area in which we fought the giant undead spider and the many many Kobolds (Again props to the Cleric)

We assured that there were no more creatures that could threaten us within the mine area. During this search we discovered a concealed/secret door that led from the mine area to the 5th great stair. We entered the 8th great stair and found that there was no lock or deterrent to
the kobolds having lived in this stair but seemingly they had avoided it. We found no tracks or signs that they had traveled here recently. The 8th stair is massive of 10,000 steps, at the top of the stair was a glowing monument of some sort and a short tunnel or gate. The tunnel/gate
and monument glow highly magical with a protection aura. Upon entering the gate there was some sort of divine judgment that took place. Anything evil was affected within the gate there were a few small piles of ash and bone that we took to be kobold or hobgoblin remains.
We assumes that at some point some creatures tried to defy the gate and were destroyed. Earamir (link) also noticed that the Kobold artifact lamp does not work within the confines of the gate.

We traveled through the gate and found the city of Nostri. Most of the buildings have deteriorated or been destroyed, but there still remained a few. We found an Inn and tavern, a blacksmith, a larger 4 bedroom house, and a keep behind a wall.(fix: which is the the governor’s house?) There were still people living in the city. A population of 30 or so that had remained here since the last king (link) went away.
We first stopped off at the Inn. The owner was the cook for the first king named Conrad of Burstill, and he seems like a nice enough man. After we ate a meal the likes of which I seriously doubt any of us have ever eaten before, we went to the keep to speak with the leader of the city, Captain Jonathan. We spoke to him of our short term errand and of the state of the world outside the city. He informed us that there are special properties of the cavern
that imbue it with a timelessness. Earamir (link) believes that this cavern is actually a small pocket dimension and that the gate is some sort of divine dimensional anchor. Jonathan stated that this place was created at the request of the King (which one?)to the Gods (which ones?). It also seems that there is an abundant supply of food here. Captain Jonathan alluded to magical means for the creation of the food. Captain Jonathan instructed us to begin the transportation of all the refugees to these caves. Not just those already in the Morgan tunnels but to bring all of the settlements within the range of the druids influence to the city of Nostry at once. We estimated that getting the closest settlement to the City will take about a month.
During this time while the Druids are busy with this task, others will begin work on other things. Most notably the rebuilding of Nostri and the gathering of resources. The timber that made up the scaffolding were taken and are being used to rebuild. Plans to cull some timber from the mountain were also discussed. All of the metal from the junk gear that we took from the Kobolds was given to the blacksmith to smelt down and reuse in the creation of new and
better tools and weapons.

We also met Ulti, the city’s governor. He told us he is also the city record keeper and we are free to investigate the library if we wished, and extended the hospitality of the governor’s mansion for our use. Ulti has been the governor for 903 years, and is the only the city’s second governor. The library is supposed to contain information of places to find spell components. We think that the library there is an invaluable resource for information and need to learn what we can from it, but at least two of the elven wizards intend to make my living space outside of the city and outside of the gate. They feel the differential between the way time passes inside and out is too extreme and fear that too much time will pass in the world if we spend too much time in the city.

Now that the need to eek out an existence has been mitigated and food, we hope, is plentiful the need to fill out the skill sets for the population becomes a priority. To that end searches have been made to discover those with talents that might be useful if trained. 32 children(mostly kids?) have been found to have magical aptitude. The most powerful 8 seem to have a calling towards the clerical path and will begin their training with the Dwarven cleric. The remaining 24, with their parents permission (even if that permission is granted through wheedling, cajoling, or intimidation) will begin learning the secrets of studying magic under the tutelage of at least two of the elven wizards. The Fionn has taken on one young dwarven boy who seems to be a hand full. We think that, with Captain Jonathan’s permission, the blacksmith, the governor (Lore master/Historian) and perhaps some of the guards should take on teaching classes or taking apprentices. While not teaching his classes in woodcraft and tracking the Ranger(link?) should along with Thanalon should begin producing bows and arrows AND teaching others to make them as well.

Other odds and ends:
We met and elf archer when we first met Jonathan. We also met to elven women who offered us food and drink. There were two elven guards at the keep, who we did not formally
meet. Gwydion knows Johnathan. The first king was here in the city for 6 days, and the second king was once here for 40 days.

Introduction to Kings World II

This information was given to all players prior to the first session

Kingsworld – The Calling

As the first tour of duty ended for the Kings Royal Excursion Core, the brother of King Everdone lay dead at the feet of 29 core members that committed every minute of 18 months to track him down and kill him. Prince Duncan should have been the first Great Mage of Kingsworld. Instead, after banishment and consumed with vengeance and bitterness, he did all that he could to rip his royal brother from his throne and strike terror in the hearts in citizens of the realm.

A lot has taken place since that day. Orders were given to return Prince Duncan to his brother for burial in the royal graveyard in Capitol City. Soon after his arrival he was laid to rest with his descendants. At his funeral King Everdone wept and spoke of his personal responsibility and the sacrifices his brother made for the realm. The time for peace had come, and now without the guidance of Duncan the evil would pose no threat to the realm. More cities would be built. Good times lay ahead.

Or so they thought. King Everdone was never the same after his brothers passing and soon handed down the throne to his daughter Allenia and her husband Rynwe. The new king and queen held the throne for only ten years before Everdone passed and was then honored and buried aside of his brother and parents in the royal graveyard.

Some twenty years later, the evil that was believed to weaken began to gather and make strikes at the cities. More and more the hordes trained by Duncan arrived in larger and larger masses at the walls of cities. Shutting them away from the realm, cutting off supplies and starving residents. Eventually the first city fell. Burned and pillaged, all were captured and killed. Then another, and another. The fourth city to fall was Capitol City. Queen Allenia was hung stripped and bound and then slowly lowered into a bath of boiling sap. Her husband forced to watch before being blinded by a white-hot blade being laid across his eyes.

After Capitol City fell, his minions retrieved the body of Duncan, and looted the royal graveyard. The death of the Queen hit the realm hard. Cities reacted with panic and fear. City governments and defenses failed. The hordes kept coming. City after city was slaughtered. Finally the last few coastal cities broke back in retreat. They loaded what ships time allowed and took to the sea. Others abandoned the cities knowing that the time would come seeing the masses gathering in the distance. Knowing that they too would be starved, burned, and shown no mercy. The realm and the Days of Kings had ended.

And such began the Days of the Druids. This class swore oath to become caretakers of those who remained. To safeguard and protect from extinction the humanoid races. For seven hundred years they have performed this task. Waiting for the right time. Waiting for today.

In 700 years the Kobold horde has grown in size and roams the earth by night and day. They are the dominant race now. They hate and feed on any humanoids they can find. The Orcs have grown as well, reclaiming and seizing many of the fallen cities. They serve no one and are determined to eliminate all humanoids from the world. Stealing what they can to prepare for a final battle with the Kobolds for dominance of the continent.

Most surviving humanoids from the days of the realm have long passed. Only a handful remains. The druids have safely tucked most settlements of humanoids away. But as generations pass it has become apparent that if something is not done, and done soon, the days of the humanoid might follow the realm into oblivion. The Council of Druids have collected secrets and gathered information to keep the settlements safe for over 500 years. New information has been discovered that shows a faint chance for survival. A faint chance for recovery if action is taken a glimmer of home in a world of darkness.

The druids have just five months ago began to gather the best prospects available from humanoid settlements and brought them here to the Morgan Tunnels. This is how you came here upon issued your calling. Here to wait and told only that it was essential to humanoid survival that you attend. The last of the called ones arrived last night delivered by an escort of three elven druids. You will meet after breakfast tomorrow morning. Your quest begins.

First session introduction

Kingsworld – Gwydion’s Quest

Three elven druids call you into a drawn circle on the cavern floor. You are alone in the Morgan Tunnels. Two of the elven druids remove their hoods to reveal that they are young women, they introduce themselves as Keldra and Cassandra. The third removes his hood to reveal an old worn elven face. He introduces himself as Gwydion. While age has caught up with him, he remains relatively spry and looks at you with a steel gaze.

After introductions between all he begins. “Long ago I was here once before. You sit inside the Eight Great Stairs. Beyond the doors lay the lost city of Nostri. It is here King Everdone once fled in hiding, faking his own death to fool his brother into the open so that we could hunt him”

Gwydion continues “ You have been gathered here for two reasons. First, the humanoid races are dwindling. The druids see it all over the continent. If we are forced to continue living in this fashion, we will not survive. Communities need to be gathered to one safe secure location where we can live a better life. They will come here to Nostri. But first, you must secure it. Once you open those doors, the people here will be put at risk. But we have no choice. These are desperate times. “

“As the druids wander the continent, they do what they can to keep our small settlements from coming under attack. We owe them a great debt. In the process they occasionally come across information. Ten months ago, news so horrible and deadly was discovered that I could barely believe it. But I fear it is true. While trekking across the plains near the remains of Currant, Keldra and Cassandra stumbled into a Kobold encampment. They will relate to you what they heard.” He concludes and nods to Keldra.

Keldra sits on the floor and begins to speak as she doodles in the sand with her fingertip. “The kobolds were lead by a kobold called Frod. He spoke of new orders. Word had come from the other hordes that the time had come and the master had returned. Nacnud the Dead now sits in Capitol City in King Everdone very throne. He controls the orcs, and that they too must abide his bidding or soon he will control them too.”

Cassandra nods and continues the story. “The kobolds have a habit of not being strong thinkers. Lazy putrid animals that are more naturally cunning than smart, they simply take names and reverse them to make them their own. Centuries ago Capitol City fell and the realm collapsed. Duncan’s body was exhumed by the raiders and tales have it carried off in tatters. If what they say is true and somehow Duncan has been revived and now leads the horde, he will most certainly wipe out what remains of the humanoid races.”

Gwydion steps forward and looks at the party. “I can no longer solve these matters myself. My time for travel has passed. But you have no choice. It falls on you to find, confront, and defeat this evil. If you do not, there will be no where to hide strong enough to repel his attack. He will in time find you, and destroy what remains of our peoples. There will be no escape for any of us.”

He continues “ But it will take him time to gather his forces once again, and for word to spread of his coming. There are places you can go to gain more information, and one last hope that can perhaps rid us of him forever.” He too now sits next to Keldra. “Everdone was a complex man. He had no trust of magic that is for certain. But he had great respect for its power. His father fought the magic wars and he saw first hand what it could do. As Everdone the first lay dying and passed the realm on to King Everdone he shared with him a secret. An ancient secret passed on to the first King Everdone by his father from before the magic wars. It has to do with the royal crown”

“The crown has eight finials, one for each of the eight original cities, each topped with an emerald. Inside the rear finial, the finial of Currant, is a small compartment, and inside that sits a small ancient scroll. The king told his daughter Queen Allenia of it, and she felt to keep it safest she would bury it with her father, sealing it away in his tomb. To be even more cautious, she buried her father in a simple grave in a cemetery in Capitol City and buried an imposter in his place in the royal graveyard. Wrapped in cloth and hidden from view, the ruse was a success. The king’s burial protects his crown to this very day. But it is not that simple and not nearly enough.” Gwydion continues.

“When Everdone the first disclosed his secret to Everdone his son, another stood at the bedside. Duncan was present at his father’s bedside that day. And knows of this secret. But he knows not where Queen Allenia hid the crown, and she elected to share that secret with only one man before taking it to her grave. Her husband, King Rynwe was the mastermind of the plot to hide the crown. It was he that found the final resting place of King Everdone, indeed he and myself alone that buried the king there.” The old elf shakes his head slowly.

“Rynwe is mad now. His wife and the realm meant the world to him. Witnessing her death hit him hard I am sure, as well as being blinded and carried away with the realm in ruin. I have not seen him since that day. Since we fled the city. I was his magistrate. I failed him. I failed the realm. I hunted and killed Duncan once, and with your help we shall do it again. Rynwe has a will of iron. To be sure he took the secret to his death, telling only me in his wisdom in case a day like this ever came.” He speaks now in a but a whisper. “The scroll is very powerful magic. Very powerful. It holds a spell granting a wish. With it we could wish Duncan gone and set the world right again. But if Duncan beats us to it, he will become more powerful than any of us could ever imagine.”

Standing he looks at each of you in the eye and continues. “You must do this. You must keep this secret. You must travel to Capitol City and recover the crown. You must defeat Duncan. You must find the grave of Elnar Smith. If you fail, all is lost.” Speaking now in a full voice “But there is work to be done in the present. When your work comes to Duncan’s attention, he will move quickly to find what settlements remain and wipe out our people. You must secure Nostri and make it safe for our people. Nostri was built by the dwarves to be defended. If the druids can move the settlements here it presents our best chance of survival. There might be some trinkets in Nostri to better prepare you for your journey as well.”

“I will leave this place and probably never see you again. I head north, through the Kobold lands to Mount Speartip. It is my hope that Gelsh remembers our council some 800 years ago and is tempted by the offer I bring forth. Many years have passed, and while dragons have great memories, it is not a journey without risk. I will leave Keldra at the base of mountain to wait for you, and Cassandra here to guide you once your work here finished. I think Gelsh has a few items that might make our tasks against the forces of Duncan a little less difficult. Perhaps our discussion will prove fruitful.”

Shaking each of your hands he draws his hood about his head. “I am to old for this.” He smiles faintly. “Our future lies in your hands now. Keldra will see you later. Good luck, and god speed.”

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