By Jared Rascher
Kythorn 3rd, 1375 DR
Just outside of Ashabenford the gnomish ship is nearing its destination, but it begins to act erratically. Killidaegra believes that the ship has been affected by some kind of spell, and she tries desperately to land the ship without damaging it.
After the rough landing, the adventurers as well as the gnomes exit the ship to see what is going on, and they see a large shadow pass over the ship. A blue dragon, being ridden by a dark form, circles above, enclosed in a cloud of darkness. The adventurers prepare for battle, but do not provoke the dragon, and the dragon, ignoring them, flies down and lifts the ship up off the ground, and begins to fly off.
Neither the gnomes nor the adventurers want to challenge the dragon, but Swarnart begins to blubber about losing the ship, over and over again, and Killidaegra tells Swarnart to act like a grown male.
The adventurers and the gnomes head into Pelden's Helm.
Kythorn 4th, 1375 DR
Upon arriving in Pelden's Helm, the group secures rooms at the Man with Fire in his Hands, and the gnomes set up lodging, while Emen, Stilgar, and Grim head to the temple of Helm on the edge of the Beast Country.
The temple has clearly been damaged, not just by scortch marks and seige damage, but by a large hole that appears to have been blown out from the inside of the building. The preists are close mouthed about what happened, but one of the underclerics slips and mentions something about a lich.
Although they will not talk about the more recent attacks, the clerics do fill in the adventures about what has happened in the Dalelands since they left for Wildspace, explaining the arrival of the Elven Crusade, the Daemonfey troops, and the armies of fiends that swept through the region. They also confirm that Meriden made it through the battles fine, and is away on temple business.
The adventurers meet back up at the Man with Fire in his Hands and Grim agrees to fly ahead in bird form to scout the way to Ashabenford given recent events and the mysterious happenings at the temple.
Kythorn 5-7th, 1375 DR
Grim flies ahead, and while he sees some places ravaged by the hordes of fiends, he sees no sign of immediate trouble. He flies toward the farm house that the Meriden rented, and finds that it has been destroyed in the battles. Grim then flies north to Ashabenford to find out more information.
Grim tries to get an audience with Haresk Malorn, but finds that the High Councilor is too busy to see him, but he also notices that the meeting hall of the Councilors is being built in town. Councilor Ulwen Sharin meets with Grim and informs him that while some of the outlying farms were hit hard, Ashabenford survived the recent events fairly well, and that they are slowly rebuilding.
Grim spends some time with his centaur aquaintance at the Velvet Veil before setting back out to Pelden's Helm to tell his compatriots about what is going on. The next morning he flies back toward his friends.
Kythorn 8-10th, 1375 DR
Grim tells Emen and Stilgar what is going on in the dale, all of them head to the ruins of the farmhouse to see if they can find any of their old belongings. The trip to the farmhouse is relatively uneventful, and they arrive at the farmhouse unscathed.
Wulgar Browniefriend sets out from Glen on his trusted war boar, heading toward the farmstead, and narrowly misses Meriden on the road back from his voyage to Tsurlagol.
A naked figure find himself in the woods, near some robes, a piece of jewelry, a ring, and a sickle, with a note written in Infernal that explains that these are a gift for him, and that he should continue to honor those that have bestowed this gift upon him.
Grim, Emen, and Stilgar arrive at the ruined farmhouse and start to sort through the rubble, when Meriden arrives, followed shortly by Wulgar. Wulgar and Meriden share an emotional greeting, and Meriden introduces Wulgar to Stilgar, whom he has not met. After the introductions, they all share their stories from the last few years, and Grim, Emen, and Stilgar share what happened to the temple with Meriden.
In the shadows, the adventurers see a figure, and are on guard. The figure has red metallic skin, silver hair and eyes, small black horns and black fangs. His features are very elf like, and Meriden is nearly ready to draw his sword and attack what appears to be a fey'ri, but Grim recognizes him, and stays Meriden's hand. They all then recognize the elf-thing as Mourn, but Mourn himself remembers almost nothing, though he has an amazing grasp of arcane knowledge and planar trivia.
The party stays at the White Hart Inn and catch up with Holfast Harpenshield. They hear about the rumblings of civil war in Sembia, and they catch up on local gossip as well. There are many adventurers staying at the inn, hoping to hire on with the elves to clear out Myth Drannor and the woods around it. Grim is concerned about them, and so talks to a few of them, as does Wulgar.
Wulgar takes up drinking and trading adventuring stories with the Company of the Iron Hammer, a group of Cormyreans and Tuigan who have decided to seek fame, fortune, and adventure after meeting each other in Kourmira in the Hordelands. They hope to impress worthies in Cormyr with their adventures, but are fairly forthright folk.
Grim talks to the Company of the Spur, an oppourtunistic and cynical band; the Starcrossed, a group of romantics and dreamers, many of whom are followers of Sune; and the Rolling Drundle, a band of gnomish adventurers hoping to prove themselves to the elves in Myth Drannor as worthy allies. Grim is wary of the Spur, and the Starcrossed remind him too much of the ill fated Varim's Band, and he directs them to the Velvet Veil to relax and to pursue safer pursuits. The Rolling Drundle actually seem to be the most goodly and competant adventurers he talks to.
When Grim mentions something about the competancy of Varim's Band to Meriden, Meriden sharply points out that he'll not hear an ill word about the Sunite adventurers, as they were brave and he himself sent them out to die two years ago. Everyone retires soon after, though Grim visits his centaur friend once more.
Kythorn 11th-14th, 1375 DR
The adventurers travel back to the temple, and Emen remembers to tell Meriden about the sword that she was entrusted with. He knows who Murdane was, but knows nothing any artifacts sacred to her. He tells Emen that he will put it in a safe place at the temple. Meriden also prepares to commune with Helm, in order to dicern what he should be doing, and if Mourn can be trusted, and how to help him.
Meriden learns that Helm does not wish him to investigate the troubles in Sembia, and that Mourn's path is his own, and that Meriden can freely try to work with him to aid him, but in the end, his path will be decided on his own lessons.
Meriden sends word to Tsurlagol about the artifact, and the attack, and they let him know that a force of paladins from the Vigilant Eyes of the Deity will be arriving soon, and they may be able to help fill him in on the artifact.
Stilgar and Wulgar propose a drinking contest, and Meriden shocks the whole party by telling them he doesn't drink alchohol any longer, but he has the best temple stock brought out for them. Emen and Mourn also start the contest, but Emen takes one drink and realizes that she no longer feels any effects from the alchohol, and Mourn passes out fairly quickly.
Stilgar and Wulgar drink each other to a standstill, until both have to be carried out of the common room of the temple.
Meriden learns from his clerics that the temple was attacked by a lich, who appeared in the area of the temple where the Moonstar agent sent by Myrmeen Lhal discusses the information gathered by the Helmite spies. The Moonstar agent tells Meriden that the lich was a being known as the Frustrune, and that he struck several sites of the Moonstars back during the fall. This attack took place back in Marpenoth, not long after Meriden left, and the agent tells Meriden that the lich apparently has been “dealt with,” according to a missive from Laeral.
The next day, the paladins of the Vigilant Eyes of the Deity arrive, and their leader, a Watchknight, knows a bit more about the sword and what it might be able to do. When it is passed through Mourn's head, his mind is cleared, and he is not only sober, but remembers almost all of his past and what has led him to this point in time.
The sword can restore clarity to one's mind, and it can take away painful memories, though it might take away one's recollection of time passed as well as the painful memories. Meriden locks the sword up in the safest chamber of the temple. Stilgar and Wulgar donate some of their gold to the temple, and Meriden has his priests clear their minds from the drink of the night before.
Neylessa Shendean, leader of the Mistledale Lancers, arrives, and tells Meriden that Haresk would like to see him, if he is available. Meriden tells her that he would like to come, and he will leave soon. She says her goodbyes, and Meriden is a bit aprehensive about seeing Naurvintha's father again.
After a short time preparing, the adventurers set off back to Ashabenford.
Kythorn 15th-16th, 1375 DR
The party travels until sundown, and set up watches. Early hours of the morning, on the last watch, Stilgar hears the mounts disturbed, trying to break their bonds and trying to run, squealing and neighing as if injured. Stilgar calls to the rest of the camp, but sees nothing. He peers out into the woods to investigate, but still sees nothing . . . but claw and bite marks apear across his body.
Everyone is awake but Mourn, and Stilgar finds the assailants, a group of four creatures that look somewhat like decaying, hairless, black skinned gnomes, with long red claws and sharp teeth. As they giggle and slash one another, Stilgar is injured by their wounds.
Stilgar and Emen close on the creatures, and Emen nearly kills one, and everyone near her is hurt as if struck by a huge fist. Stilgar cleaves through one beast, then into another, killing both cleanly. The creatures heads hover and curse in a multitude of languages as once before disappearing. The last two try to summon more aid by drawing symbols in the air, but they fail.
Despite this, two more demons teleport into the camp, huge armored toadlike creatures that walk upright like men, with mouths filled with sharp teeth and reeking of horrid otherworldy filth. One creature waves its claw, and everyone but Mourn and Stilgar are battered with mystical force. The other creature does the same, and everyone but Emen are assaulted with otherworldly dread.
Meriden calls on Helm to bind one of the demons to Faerun, unable to teleport or bring forth allies from the Abyss. Stilgar finishes off the smaller demons, and everyone closes on the toad demons. Mourn is still further away, near camp, firing blasts of eldritch energy at the creatures.
While this battle rages on, yet another demon teleports into the fight, this one a fearsome creature with four arms, a canine head, and massive pinchers. The creature prounounces a powerful word, and just as one of the toad beast's perishes, the entire band of adventurers, except for Mourn and Grim, are completely stunned, unable to keep up the fight. Grim tears into one of the demons in bear form.
Mourn blasts the large new demon, trying to draw it off of his companions. He then calls forth some black, writing tentacles infused with cold, trying to hold the abyssal creature away from his friends. The creature manages to teleport away from the tentacles, and closes on Morn. Morn tries to teleport himself, but the creature is too close to him, and its pincher nearly slices him apart, nearly killing him.
The second toad demon fails to summon help, and is finished off, and the adventurers attack the largest demon. Mourn slinks away, and wills himself to begin healing, using his newfound infernal powers. The demon tears at the air with its smaller hands, and with a pincher reaches into the Abyss and draws forth a vulture like demon. Grim strikes the killing blow with his magically enhanced claws, and the beast explodes in a sickening buurst of yellow energy.
After this encounter, the rest of the travel into Ashabenford is uneventful. The party travels back into town, and rest for the evening before their meeting with Haresk the next day.
Kythorn 17-18th, 1375 DR
The meeting between Haresk and Meriden is somewhat strained, with neither being fully able to relax. Still, Haresk asks the adventurers to acompany him to a secret meeting with some of the elves, including Luvon Greencloak and representatives of the new force in Myth Drannor. The elves wish to discuss recent events and rumors about Sembia, and they want the meeting to be informal. Haresk wants to travel in secret, without a detatchment of Mistledale Lancers.
The adventurers agree, and Grim goes to the Velvet Veil to secure some makeup and other items to help disguise Haresk for their trip. The adventurers set off mid day, and head toward the Standing Stone, as the elves have a camp nearby.
In the evening, while on watch, a group of shadowy figures near the camp. Expertly thrown daggers sail toward Meriden and Stilgar, but neither one finds a home in their flesh. As they rouse the other adventurers, Meriden is struck with a blast of heat that takes him unaware, and magical energy nearly overwhealms him.
The assailants are drow, and as one passes by Emen's tent, a large hand shoots out of the tent, and yanks a drow warrior inside. Emen easily accosts the warrior and begins to crush the life from him in a massive bear hug that he cannot break.
The drow wizard continues to fire blasts of heat, while the cleric of the dark elves invokes the power of their god to fire streaming, slashing ribbons of darkness to injure those nearby. The adventurers make short work of most of the drow, except the wizard and the warrior that Emen has captured. The wizard surrenders, and tells the adventurers and Haresk that he will gladly give them any information that they wish to know if they will spare him, and he begins to detail a demonic creature stalking the drow, as well as the mishaps that have occurred from the returning elves and the marauding devils.
Meriden casts a spell on the surrendering drow to imprison them in the Etherial Plane until such time as they can suitable retreive them.
Kythorn 19th, 1375 DR
The travel during the day is uneventful, but at night, the adventurers find a single figure trying to stalk into the camp. Fairly quickly he is recognized as Sentesk, the monk who has vowed revenge upon Meriden and Wulgar. Wulgar makes short work of the monk, and curses that he has died so easily.
Other figures stalk out of the woods. A goblin dressed as the Grodd goblins do, the two halfling Dancers that Wulgar and Meriden faced down in Scardale, the orc warrior that the pair embarassed outside of Scardale, and Khez'rit, the drow wizard that Wulgar and Meriden captured years ago.
Khez'rit and the Dancers are somewhat less bloodthirsty than the rest of the accosting band, but the goblin and the orc are fully ready to shed blood. After a few moments, the halflings are ready to surrender, but Khez'rit is too afraid of their “mistress” to give up on what he has been hired to do. All of the band seems afraid of this shadowy mistress.
Khez'rit is killed, the halflings surrender, but the goblin brings down a blast of cold, shadow lightning which arcs to all of the adventurers before he himself is felled. The orc fights to the death, cursing them with his dying breath.
Meriden carefully collects Khez'rit's remains, remembering the drow from their conversations years ago, and the halflings agree to be imprisioned in a manner similar to the drow. They are reluctant to talk about their employer, until Mourn shows them his true vissage, and accesses some of his infernal traits. Between this display and Wulgar's insistance, the halflings give up that they were hired in Scardale by some shadowy figure that never revealed its face, that it was a female that paid very well, and that everyone hired seemed to have some kind of connection to Meriden.
Kythorn 20th, 1375 DR
Upon arriving at the elf camp, the party notices that it is unnaturally quiet. They scout around, and Grim turns into a bird to fly around the country side. The elf camp is still except for some glow globes floating around, but Grim then sees a strange, malignant giant made of black energy, gaunt and with a fearsome gaze, standing taller than a hill giant.
Grim warns the rest of the adventurers about this figure, and they cast a few protective spells and begin to get ready to assault the monster. The beast itself lumbers into view, somewhat awkwardly, as if listening to distant commands. The creature fires a blast of cold over them, then closes on them.
The party attacks the creature, and Meriden can tell that it is some kind of undead creature, and perhaps from the plane of Shadow. The adventurer so little harm to it, and Meriden is prepared to use healing magic to damage it, but then an unseen spellcaster speaks a word of power and knocks most of the adventurers senseless, unable to attack or defend themselves effectively.
Wulgar is unaffected by the word of power, and invokes the talents of the Dwarven Defender to root himself to the spot, standing between himself and the undead thing, keeping it away from his friends. He tears into it will all his might, and although he does little to it, he will not budge.
Some unseen caster continues to hurl spells, and Meriden thinks he recognizes the voice. Blasts of cold rock the wounded party, freezing but not killing. A hand touches Meriden and tires to utilize translocational magic, but his will holds out against this. Meriden is almost certain that the voice in Naurvintha's.
The creature uses its fearsome gaze to try to terrify the adventurers, and it picks up Meriden's sword and crushes the relic as if it were a twig.
Haresk, who is far enough away to avoid most of the magic that has been hurled, is using the rod of Pelden to shield himself, as well as to throw shards of force into the undead creature. The adventurers recover, and together they bring the creature low, although Grim has the distinct feeling that the creature could have done much more damage than it did.
The adventures pin point the invisible assailant, and eventually they knock her unconcious. When she comes into view, it is clear that it is Naurvintha, but she appears much older than she should be for the age when the adventurers last saw her.
When Naurvintha is captured, a figure, with grey skin and cloaked in swirling shadows appears. He introduces himself as Ambassador Venthraen, and says that he is Borsaelis' replacement. He tells the adventurers that the Shadovar had replaced Naurvintha months before the wedding, but that the Maulaugrym foolishly kidnapped their agent, who was then eaten by the raging green dragon.
Venthraen mentions that they used “advanced temporal techniques” to train her quickly, and showed her alternate realities where Meriden and Haresk did unspeakable thigns, in order to turn her against them. Unfortunately, the training was too destablilizing for her psyche, and she seems to have snapped.
When Grim attacks, Venthraen is reavealed to simply be a projected illusion, and he tells the adventures that he will meet them again later, and to thank the gnomes for their generous contribution to the “grand experiment.”
Naurvintha is terrified of Meriden and Haresk, and mutters about what she has seen in the alternate timelines.
Kythorn 21-28th, 1375 DR
The adventurers revive the elves, and the elves give the adventurers gifts of several rare gemstones. They also tell Haresk that they will find another time to have their meeting. Haresk asks Meriden if there is anything he can do for Naurvintha. Meriden reluctantly mentioned the Mindsword of Murdane, and Haresk says that he wants to use it on Naurvintha.Upon returning to the temple of Helm, Naurvintha is “restored” after contact with the sword, but she has no memory of the years going back to when her sister was first kidnapped by Khez'rit.
The content of the Mistledale Camapign is the property and copyright of Jared Rascher, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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