By Jamey Martin
To the Ruins of Uvaeren
To Spring 1373DR
And so it was that the band left Uvaeren's Legacy and returned to the Hawksong mansion, taking the Scholars Stone with them. Upon their return, the band gathered their companions and decided that they must make a stop in Ordulin before returning to Hap. Thus, with the Stone safely in the keeping of Corrallanthor, the band made for the portal they knew of and quickly found themselves in the wood just outside of Ordulin soon after.
Arriving, they were greeted by a number of surprised Sembian warriors, who had long since turned Darnarest's ruin into an outpost. Within the hour however, the band and it's "suspicious elfin companion" were sent on their way ... mostly thanks to the fact that the band was the reason why the Sembian government even knew this gate existed to begin with.
Making their way to the Hub, the band found itself lodging at the Black Lion Inn, and then set about their business. Corwin touched base with his various contacts, selling some of the precious coins and art objects they carried out of the Witching Wood, and putting the more expensive and/or peculiar items on the market. Hector briefly touched base with the folk at the Dawn Tower before setting about with Vandril to obtain a very expensive mirror, and then to refit and upgrade his lab in Haptooth Tower ... for the mages had much work ahead of them.
As for the others, they busied themselves collecting the necessary provisions and luxuries they would be requiring for the winter in Haptooth Tower ... the grounds of which contained at least three other modest dwellings, a barracks (since taken over by the Servants of the Dawn), and a small shrine to Lathander.
Within the space of a week the band had completed its business and, with the exception of Corwin, who chose to winter in Ordulin, they set out on their return journey to Hap. This was much to the relief of Corralyntha, who was always safe, amidst such company as Baldred, Tyros, Vandril, and Brutus, but nevertheless shocked by the bigotry found in Sembia.
En route to Hap however, it so happened that as the band camped within site of Northgate Keep (which protects Sembia's northern border) one night, a force of CotD agents attacked them. This strike force was complimented by a number of dragonkin and a huge wyvern, which led the attack. Nevertheless, the band rose to the occasion and fought the ambushers back. And before the enemy could regroup, they hastily broke camp and triple timed it to Northgate.
In the morning Tyros and Vandril rode for Ordulin and Corwin, while the rest of the band pressed on for, and eventually came to rest in Hap. There they met up with Lacander, Melvarin, Ellisha and the small troop of moon elves that had accompanied them on their return. They had only recently made it back themselves, and all were pleased to see the others ... especially Corralyntha once again. Within the space of a couple of days Tyros, Vandril and Corwin also ride into town. Apparently, Corwin had noticed some people following him and watching him, and so ditched Ordulin for the time being, meeting up with Tyros and Vandril along the Rauthauvyr's Road.
Soon enough, Corralyntha and her companions bid the folk of Hap farewell. And not long after, the first snows of winter began to fall. As the others nestled in, acquainted themselves with both Hap and Haptooth, and found duties and pleasantries to busy themselves with over the winter, Hector and Vandril set to work researching one of Hector's old spells ... magic mirror. By the new year they had finished with this task. And so it was that Hector attempt to scry out the Orbs of Dragonkind. When this failed, they next tried to scry out the remains of Venominhandar, and thus locate his lair. The mirror revealed an area just up (and beneath) the northern slope of the Haptooth Hill. The diviner was also able to locate the remains of Venom's offspring Manastorm in a forest clearing filled with old dragon bones somewhere in southwestern Battledale, and he even managed to scry out the location of Corellon's Uvaeren temple; more or less a scattering of rubble, save for one intact archway, in a small wood in southwestern Misteldale. Finally, on behalf of Tyros, he learned that Lord Orgauth was dead and in the ground.
As soon as winter receded enough to make travel possible, Corwin, Vandril, and Hector sped with all due haste to Essembra, where, with the help of the local Gondians, they found someone capable of excavating Venom's lair. Returning with him to Hap, where a large work-team of locals awaited them, the lot of them set to work on the task at hand.
In the meantime, with Brutus left behind to oversee the work, the rest of the band, Lacander and Melvarin included, sped off for Misteldale. Travelling up Rauthauvyr's Road to the junction where, nearby, stands the ancient Standing Stone, the band turned southwest down the Moonsea Ride, eventually passing through the length of the misty dale to Peldan's Trail.
Arriving at Peldan's Trail, the band found a sign post, marking a northward running branch as the trail to some place called Peldan's Helm, along with a pump, a horse pond, and a watchtower. Here they met two of the the Riders of Misteldale, Vern and Halstrap, who told them of the barrow fields to the south and of the stories of terrible wraiths and undead the rise up to devour all who disturb the barrows and treasures they hold. In fact, according to the tale the locals wove, it was only a fortnight ago that a company of adventurers went that way ... never to return.
So, leaving their wagon and excess gear in the safekeeping of the Riders, the band soon set off into the Barrow Fields. By noon they had discovered the small wood they were looking for, but search as they might, they could find no clues. So, having figured as much, they began to retire from the clearing when a bored Lacander was inspired to pluck out one of the elfin songs he had learned. Suddenly, a gate shimmering with a silvery-gold perimeter opened within the ruins only intact archway. As the others remained outside, Hector, Tyros, Corwin and Lacander passed into the gate, emerging into a great and wondrous worship hall all set with altar, a great statue of a noble looking elf towering behind the altar, and a number of smaller, warrior elf statues flanking the various doors of the chamber. Light seemed to flood in through the hall's stained glass windows, and at the chambers centre sat a twisting pedestal that appeared to have been fashioned to hold a volleyball sized orb. Of course, it stood empty.
When the four at last left the temple, they found that time had somehow passed quicker in the real world. It was dusk. Of much greater concern however was the fact that their comrades were locked in a battle with a horde of undead zombies and skeletons that were lumbering into the clearing from the Barrow Fields. Somewhere beyond the trees, in the fields themselves, a booming voice could be heard, chanting, commanding the dead to rise up and whelm over the living.
Fighting their way through the undead, the band stormed out of the wood, where they saw Bry'th, Gregorious, and Glistra standing atop a barrow some 100' or so in the distance. Standing amidst them were a number of black abishai, while undead continued to explode out of the ground. And so the battle continued. As it raged Bry'th boasted of how the Cult of Tiamat was wise to the Alliances quest, had in fact anticipated it quite some time ago. He boasted that one of the Orbs was already in the hands of the Cult, and soon, they all would be. In the end however, with the heroes making short work of the CoT's minions, Bry'th and the other two used the might of the priest's magical ring to teleport away.
The content of And Dragons Shall Rule is the property and copyright of Jamey Martin, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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