By Jamey Martin
Krellthyss and the Farsea Marsh
Hiring a trio of mercs, and with Bry'th in the lead once again, the band set out westward along the High Road.
While passing through the town of Eveningstar, it so happened that Hector witnessed an altercation between a fat, drunk slob and a beautiful woman at a local tavern. Boldly going to her assistance, the stripling showed himself a capable pugilist, and thus came to meet the acquaintance of the stunning wizardress Yolandra, and her equally beautiful sword wielding friend, the quiet Glistra. The ladies quickly joined Hector at his table with the others, where they were eager to hear of the band's mission. Explaining that they were down on their luck and far from home, Yolandra asked if she and her friend could join the band, and needless to say perhaps, the lads wholeheartedly agreed. Thus, began the romance between Hector and Yolandra.
Barely a day out of Eveningstar it came to pass that the band was accosted soon after sun down by a trio of Harpers and a handful of Purple Dragons. The leaders of this gang named themselves as DawnWarrior Arellius of Lathander, Pathfinder, and Sharanthra. They claimed that both Drexle and Bry'th were members of a foreign doomsday cult, and demanded that they hand Bry'th over into their custody for questioning. While Bry'th freely admitted worshipping a foreign god that was imported to the west soon after the Tuigan scare some years back, he denied that his cult of belief anything to do with destroying anyone. The ladies interceded on Bry'th's behalf, and accused his accusers of prejudice and bigotry. When the band backed Bry'th and refused to hand him over, a fight erupted. In the end, a number of Purple Dragons were left either dead or wounded, while the Harper's were set to flight.
Naturally, there was some grumbling amongst the members of the band and their hired mercs, but between the jibes of the women and Bry'th's insistence that, whatever the case, they were all in the same boat now, these were soon put to rest. And so the band sped with all haste through High Horn Pass until they at last reached the village and keep of Huthduth. And here the band remained for little over a day while Bry'th met with the Commander of the keep, Dammanzle the Strong. When Bry'th returned to them, they set off south along the High Road, but soon rode out into the marshy, mosquito infested Tunlands and soon began to head north again. According to Bry'th there was a village of swampers, but a couple days journey from their present position. There they could hire guides and obtain the proper equipment and supplies for their journey.
And so it went, with the band securing themselves a guide in said village and setting out into the gods forsaken swamp. Just a few days into their journey, it came to pass that a ferocious storm rolled off of the Stormhorn Mountains and forced the band to take refuge in an old abandoned ruin they happened upon. Within the ruin, they awakened a black dragon of great age, which was less than pleased at the disturbance. Fortunately, it so happened that the equally frightened Bry'th understood the tongue of the wyrm. He greatly humbled himself before the beast, and spoke to it for along time, but in the end he came away with news that Sha‘Harlegrauth, as it called itself, was young when the Survivor States were old and had long made it's home here in Moander's Marsh as it called it. It demanded a magic item from all that were in possession of such. It further demanded that the band take out a relatively recent rival, the night eye, Grixgraxrix. In exchange for the continuance of their insignificant lives, the was to slay this pretender and return with it‘s treasure.
Thus it was that the band left their terrified porters and guide at the ruin, and both sought out and destroyed Grixgraxrix and it‘s bullywug minions. While many were badly injured, and Corwin left feebleminded, they returned with it's treasure to the lair of Sha'Harlegrauth.
Soon enough, the band collect its strength and recommenced with it's journey. Eventually, they reached the hidden valley spoken of in the manuscripts taken from Zargoth, and therein a building that had stood empty for at least a hundred years judging by the look of it. Bry'th offered no reasons for the tastes of a necromancer, and so the band penetrated into the ruin, where they were soon attacked by a spell-casting wraith calling itself Krellthyss. Before the band could launch a counter-attack, Bry'th called for the band to hold and brandished the strange amulet of a five headed serpent that he wore. The wraith paused in recognition, and shrunk before the priest authority. He then began to question the restless spirit in the name of Tiamat ... about a man named Sammaster, about his destruction at the hands of the Twelve, and about a place called Harrowsmouth and the final resting place of both Sammaster's remains and something called a phylactery. Reluctantly, the well-informed wraith answered all, but in the end it was overcome by it's hunger and attacked the band.
And so it was that the spirit of Krellthyss, ancient servant of the First Speaker of the Cult of the Dragon, was at last laid to rest. Thence, the ruin was looted of the few scant treasures it held, and the band began the journey back to the swampers village. Most were perplexed about at the situation with Drexle and Bry'th, this “Cult of Tiamat” they apparently served, and their hand in the death of the King's men. Of them all, Tyros liked the situation the least, but he was quickly silenced when Bry'th revealed that Tyros was himself an ex-Zhentilar soldier. Of the others, Harmoth liked the wealth thus far, but was otherwise lukewarm toward the idea of serving some crackpot cult, while Hrek, Hector, Yolandra, and Glistra took more of a sincere interest, and, noting their situation, began to question Bry'th muchly regarding the nature of the Cult and the benefits of membership.
As the band continued on it's way through the swamp, Glistra, Hrek, and the halfwit merc. Airovistus of Hlip began to fall ill with fever and gastro-intestinal problems. And then it happened that one night, on Hector‘s watch, the band was ambushed by a number of bullywugs. They most certainly would have been destroyed if not for the timely intervention of a number of black skinned lizard men ... servants of Sha‘Harlegrauth. As it was, two of the hired warriors lay dead, along with half of the porters, while numerous others sat grievously wounded. Thus, when the last bullywug had fallen, and the nature of the lizard men was clear, Tyros turned on Hector. He chased the diviner down, and cut off three of his fingers.
Once order was restored, the lizard men helped the band carry it's treasures and goods to the lair of their master, where Bry'th disappeared for a time to converse with the aged wyrm. When he at last emerged, most of the treasure they had hauled out of the Krellthyss' lair was left behind, and they continued on their way. When the band at last arrived back at the village however, they spotted half a dozen or more Purple Dragons awaiting their return.
Weak and weary from their long journey, the band had little choice but to put in at the village. When they arrove though, they found that it was none other than Dammanzle the Strong that led this gang. He took Bry'th aside and informed him that Drexle, and indeed 1000 Shield's itself, had been forced out of Cormyr by the Crown. Things were in fact, going poorly for their agents across Cormyr. Thus, Dammanzle and those loyal to him were to desert their post in Huthduth and accompany Bry'th, as well as his surviving mercs, down the High Road out of Cormyr. Ultimately they would hook up with Drexle in Elversult, and here the band would receive its pay. When all was told, Bry'th relayed the information to the band. He further told them that if they remained loyal, there would be training, healing, festivities, and further opportunities for gainful employment once they reached Elversult.
Before the lot of them departed for Elversult, the priest obtained a scroll from Dammanzle's keeping and used it's power to heal Glistra, Hrek, and Airovistus of their illness. Of course, Corwin remained a babbling idiot, and Hector a seven-fingered man. And so, when all was done, they departed.
While the journey was relatively uneventful, there was much talk regarding the bands continued association with this Cult of Tiamat. Amongst them, Tyros suggested that they cut their losses and head west for the heartlands when they hit Proskur. Hrek was quick to shout the "Zhent-sympathizer" down, and both Hector and Yolandra were quick to support him. Glistra supported the continued association with the CoT as being the most practical course of action, while Airovistus and Harmoth were in favour of sticking together either way. And so the Band moved on to Elversult following a brief stay in Proskur.
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