New Friends, Old Secrets
As they begin cleansing the docks with the clerics of Dalda, Deldund and Hobbes are surprised to run into Imara Skybuck, one of Horselord They’s advisors and one of the few people to have noted the significance of the Kenoran Box.
Imara is surprised herself to encounter the pair, and expresses her sorrow at the news of Luke and Neema’s demise. She quickly moves on to the equally disturbing revelations she’s had regarding the Kenoran Box. She introduces two of her associates with whom she has been working on a plan to voyage south in search of Deldund and his compatriots.
First is a Daldan Ridge Rider named Ishrana Swaythe, an accomplished half-elf warrior whose upheld the law and honor of the Horselord for years. Ishrana herself had been serving on the southern front against he hobgoblins until very recently, when she was approached by an elf from the enchanted Delldun Forests to the West.
This elven wizard, Variel, is Imara’s other companion. Variel further explains that he’s part of an ancient academic order among his people that were tasked with protecting the very box Deldund has come to posses. The wizard explains that, during the final Battle of the Kenoran Empire, Agus Tevidus’s body completely disappeared, along with that of the pit fiend. It is well known that the fiend was not merely banished from the mortal plane, the enchantments used by Agus prevented that. It’s also not entirely known where the fiend or Agus himself actually went, but it is suspected that they are somehow linked to the two pieces of Agus’s broken sickle recovered from the battleground.
The two pieces, the blade and the shaft, were separated and sealed in the highly-guarded boxes, one of which is the one Nimseo discovered in Agus Tevidune deep in the Southland Jungles. When he did so, Nims breached the arcane defenses installed by the elves, and they were alerted to the disturbance. Immediately, the order of elven academics convened and agreed to send Variel to investigate.
He traveled across the lands of Kardam first, waiting to enter the jungles until the shortest path through them led to Agus Tevidune. Just before crossing into the Southlands, he encountered a Kard warcamp. During the evening meal, he learned of striking events that took place in Theynehold, involving outlanders, a strange box, and the possession and subsequent murder of one amongst them, followed by the mysterious disappearance of everyone involved…and the strange box.
Investigating further, Variel met the Ridge Rider Ishrana Swaythe, and she agreed to escort the elf to speak with Pogarn, the Ridge Rider Captain of Theynehold who was serving nearby on the front as they spoke. After fighting their way to the front and meeting with Pogarn, the duo was directed to travel north to Theynehold and speak with Imara Skybuck, the horselord’s historical and arcane adviser. Ishrana, sensing the grave significance of the threat, further escorted Variel north in search of Skybuck.
They eventually found her in Dalda, attempting to find some trace of Deldund, Luke, and the others. They joined efforts to pursue and locate the box, attempting to earn passage by tracking down a local pirate named Cagey Vic and arresting him. Just as they had just accomplished this task when they encountered Deldund and Hobbes.
Variel shares with the party his knowledge of the box and it’s contents: This is the sealed resting place of the shaft of Agus’s broken sickle. Were this half of the sickle ever to meet the blade, the consequences for the mortal plane were extremely dire. To ensure this would never happen, both pieces were placed in identical boxes and hidden far apart form one another. The elves took charge of the Shaft, and they deliberately have no knowledge of where the Blade was hidden. Variel’s task is to retrieve the Shaft, return it to his order in Delldun Forests, and assist them in relocating the Shaft to a new hiding place.
This solution is entirely unacceptable to Deldund and Hobbes both. Hobbes indicated that the box was found once, and it will therefore be found again if the same tactic is used. The gnome insists that they should become the guardians of the box, keeping it on the move at all times such that no seeker could ever happen upon it. For his part, Deldund wants it destroyed…utterly removed from existence. That is the only final solution in his mind.
For their part, Ishrana and Imara are still trying to comprehend the significance of what they’ve gotten into. Imara’s expertise is limited in dealing with existential threats to the world, and Ishrana’s experience lies in fighting savages, criminals, and abominations…not concealing veritable keys to the birth of a new dark empire. Both are more inclined to bring the issue to their respective superiors.
As the specter of Pandemic looms across the eastern seaboard, these five souls alone contemplate what is to be done with the wooden box that could bring about the rebirth of the most powerful and vile empire Henal has ever known…
Hero Points: None
Awesome Points 5 points to Ishrana Swaythe for Capturing Cagey Vic alive and preventing the murder of Skood the Mad
Pity Points 5 points to Variel for attempting to calm Skood the Mad, triggering his outburst, being forced to “shake hands” with all of these dirty folk, and having to thwart the clumsy advances of drunken bar patrons in the Wharf district.