Gustavus and Friends

The writing on the wall

Lantash made a careful study of the engravings on the walls and floor of the tomb. Many surfaces depict the life of Ashurta the hobgoblin and the events of his time. Lantash pieces together what he sees with bits of ancient tales to discern the following:

Ashurta was a great Dhakaani warlord who lived approximately 5000 years ago. He fought against the Daelkyr, invaders from the realm of madness, called Xoriat or the Far Realm. These invaders appeared in the western part of Khorvaire at the height of the Dhakaani empire. Ashurta died near the end of the Dhakaan-Daelkyr war. The engravings on the walls indicate that Ashurta was one of five warlords who bore pieces of an artifact known as the Ashen Crown.

The Ashen Crown, or Arkataash in Goblin, is an artifact of the Dhakaani Empire that could be separated into five pieces. Numerous Dhakaani heroes were known to carry a fragment. All were lost when the empire fell. Among other powers, the Crown could influence death itself.

The five pieces of the crown came to be named for their last owners. Karruuk’s circlet, a headband made of gold and mithril, serves as the base. Ashurta’s blade is a frontal ornament. Zaarani’s solitaire and Mukoorak’s orb decorate the Crown like gems. Lurtaan’s cord, a braided mithril chain, wraps around the circlet. The full Crown grants powers similar to the Gentle Repose, Raise Dead, and Speak with Dead rituals.

The Crown once belonged to Vales Tairn elves who came to Khorvaire in ages past, before the Daelkyr. They made the crown from four elven magic items, calling it the Crown of Remembrance, or Liryana’tani in Elven. The warlike nature of both Elves and Goblins led them to intermittent war. During that time, goblins captured the Crown. After they captured the Crown they added a fifth section, Ashurta’s blade.

The crown was split into five pieces to prevent the Elves from obtaining the entire artifact. In times of need, the warlords would come together and unite the pieces of the crown. As the Dhakaani empire began to crumble the pieces were hidden away in the tombs of their last bearers. Although the Daekyr had been vanquished the madness they spread had infected the goblin empire. The crown’s power was deemed too great for a society plagued with insanity.

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On the habits and habitat of Kruthik

Hello and welcome back dear readers! Gustavus’ left us in something of a bind last week, with the Brotherhood fighting for their lives through a perilous Kruthik warren.

“Having fought the Kruthik several times now, we determined that their greatest threat lay in their mobility. In response we carefully traced and eliminated the Kruthik’s hidden tunnels by lighting oil fires in their entrances and exits. This technique flushed out quite a few of the nasty vermin, safely eliminating them with cleansing, civilized flame.

Having secured the avenues of Kruthik ingress and egress, we searched for their main lair, finding it in a vile mucus encrusted cavern filled with buzzing irate Kruthik. From the darkness their terrible Hivelord appeared and did battle with our brave band. Our frontline held the Kruthik onslaught back by a thread, while careful and concentrated fire from our rear-guard whittled their numbers to zero.

We breathed easier after that fight, bruised and battered though we were, knowing that at last we had hunted down the beating heart of the Kruthik threat. This left us ample opportunity to explore the wondrous mysterious of the apparent Dhakhaani ruin the Kruthik had settled in. Taking a good rest before moving on, we restored ourselves with a quick meal and a little rest.

Moving forward, we returned to the puzzle chamber we had found earlier. The chamber contained an enormous floor puzzle, translated by Glint, which lay between us and discovery. Our only clue was a scrap of leather found in the remains of the Darguuni adventurer’s pack depicted an odd claw… While my teammates pondered and argued I deduced that the clue presented the image of a right-handed claw with an arrow pointing down. Seeing that ‘right,’ ‘hand,’ and ‘down’ were all inscribed on separate floor tiles, I directed everyone to stand on those tiles. The gratifying sound of stone grinding on stone revealed my choice as sound, a statue of a goblin moving to reveal a mysterious shaft!

Being cautious fellows, we did not immediately follow the shaft however. There was one further avenue of investigation left to us, an alternate exit to the puzzle chamber we had not yet seen to. Unfortunately this exit was a dastardly trap. Half the floor gave way, while the complementary other half of the ceiling began shooting spears at our heads! The only way out became smooth and slick chutes instead of proper stairs.

Well did my heart pound! With just moments to react the more nimble of our band grabbed at our flailing fellows, while the rest beat down the doors of the newly sealed room we found ourselves in. Pushing past the wreckage we stepped from the skyship into the air, finding ourselves in a new room inhabited by a nightmarish undead monstrosity, bloated, vile, squamish, and filthy. Flanked by two necromantic drakes it did violence to our persons and only fell thanks to our most potent efforts.

Panting, injured, and finding ourselves near the limit of our resources, we never-the-less pressed on…"

Well that’s all from Gustavus for today folks. Now how about a letter from our fans!

“Dear Glindy,

I was lucky enough to be a member of the Morgrave study of the cite in which the Brotherhood fought the Kruthik some days afterwards. It certainly was a fascinating find. I do have one question though, the statuary in the prisoner chamber took quite a bit of damage during the fight, and I was wondering just what sort of undead creature could damage stone so readily!

Sincerely,
Waltes Konradi"

Well Waltes, I have it on good authority that the monstrosity in question is known as a “Corruption Corpse,” and while they are not normally known to be so destructive, I suspect this particularly vicious example felt the need to express its anger at being made a guardian of its enemy’s tomb out on the statuary.

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S3 - Tower Rock, Cog Block

The adventures of the Brotherhood of Traveling Pants continue in this week’s exciting double-issue!

Astute readers might recall our heroes had just fought their way through a nefarious band of ner-do-well mercenaries and drakes in search of their mysterious assailant. Fear not readers, Gustavus does not leave his stories unfinished!

“Having cleared the first floor of the house, we took a few precious minutes to get our breath back, only to find the entire tower shaking beneath our feet! The disquieting tremors coincided with an odd sizzling noise coming from up stairs. Our duty clear, we pushed cautiously upwards.

A small staircase led to a set of closed double doors through which I could just barely glimpse a terrible machine tended by horrid monster. Just a hands-breadth from my face stood a man-thing, without skin, its muscles pulsing with the beat of a foul heart. If that wasn’t enough, it also sported two flailing tentacles in addition to a decent man’s two arms. Such monsters have a name, and that name is dolgaunt.

Carefully arranging ourselves we burst into the room, surprising the dolgaunt and two human assistants. I made a beeline for the maleficent machine and soon had it shut down, only to find three more versions of it spread about the room. All was chaos as my allies engaged the dolgaunt, the machines spitting terrible energies back and forth, rocking the tower beneath us…

But as any fine Sharn-boy can tell you, Dalannan tower stands still. When the fight is just, the Brotherhood always comes through. No sooner had we started the fight than we had destroyed the abomination, and taken custody of its two human companions. Thankfully for them they were simple hired muscle, hired for honest gold, and loyal not a whit to an employer that paired them to a monster and a tower-wrecking contraption. An employer, we were shocked to discover, that was none other than Alric Blacktree, the aide of Bren ir’Gadden all those years back!

Seeing no sign of Alric, and thinking our duty done for the day, we handed over our prisoners to the fine men of the Sharn watch, and joined our host Bren to tell him the riveting tale and enjoy his fine hospitality. In the morning, heeding a suggestion from Bren, we set out to visit Morgrave University to see what we could discover concerning our demonic attacker when we had true experts to consult.

What we discovered first is that Alric Blacktree is a violent fool. No sooner had we embarked on a Skyskiff to Morgrave than he waylaid us riding a fearsome warwing drake assisted by hired goblin muscle on soarwood flying disks. The thought of engaging in mid-air battle was more exciting than even I am comfortable with, but Konrad is made of sturdy stuff and soon had a plan in motion.

We let the attackers get into range of the skiff, and then with a quick signal from Konrad, I pulled out my heavy climbing hook attached to a good length of rope. I spun this contrived device a few times about my head and then released it straight at a surprised goblin. Olladra must have been with me, the hook sailed perfectly between the goblin’s legs, and secured itself in the disk beneath it. With a powerful tug on my line, I pulled the goblin next to the Skiff. No sooner did the disk bump the skid, than did Konrad charged forward, knocking the goblin from its perch and securing a disk for ourselves!

With Konrad aloft, Gronk seized the opportunity to shackle Alric and his mount to our skiff, allowing us to safely engage him in melee. Surprised and trapped, and facing nearly the full-might of our group alone, Alric showed reckless bravery in continuing his assault.

We had taken a dangerous situation and turned it into a strong position, but the slightest misstep on our part would have sent us tumbling down, to join the pavement in a most grisly fashion. There were several tense moments, a goblin almost knocked Konrad off his disk, Alric spewing dark lightning across our skiff, just missing our driver, but using sound tactics and working together we prevailed and saw off the goblins and slew Alric, prompting his mount to flee.

Sensing an opportunity we hastened to overcome the drake, and through a mixture of skill and luck were able to force it down and tame it to our cause. It seems the poor beast had been secured to Alric’s will through sorcery, not loyalty, and so was willing to accept us as superior companions. Lantash was overjoyed at this turn of events, having formerly been a Vadalis Griffon-Rider, and now having the opportunity to once more take to the skies. Another piece of fine work accomplished, we turned back to our original quest to Morgrave.

Morgrave University is a proud and beautiful establishment, famed for the wisdom and experience of its professors and staff. We were not disappointed in the least. Seeking out Prof. Nephret to help direct us, we soon found ourselves in front of one Xylok Torthanan, an expert on extraplanar and aberrant things.

The good Prof. Torthanan gave us a few tips on what we may have stumbled upon, and, seeing our obvious need to increase our resources to investigate further, suggested that we might find employment dealing with a kruthik infestation in the Cogs. Of course he had higher goals in mind for this action, desiring to study the odd mutations these Kruthik had developed in Sharn to better combat them, and we certainly needed the extra capital!

Sensing an opportunity to advance science, gain more good-will and contacts in Sharn, and of course earn enough gold to keep a roof over our heads, we decided to take up this challenge. Konrad investigated the situation a little bit before we jumped to the task, so while the rest of us took the day off to run our errands, Konrad and Alin (a contact of mine more familiar with the Cogs) did a little research down-below.

What they found was that a veteran turned industrialist Molric Torranel was offering a hefty reward for removing the kruthik as they were impeding the work at his foundry, the ir’Taine Blackbones Foundry and Works. In addition, a well respected hobgoblin priest of the Sovereign Host, Uluki, was offering what little he could add to the bounty. It turns out that the kruthik have not limited their attacks to their foundry, but had been roaming the entire area, spreading misery and death to those poor souls residing in the Cogs. Finally, it seems that a group of Darguuni goblins had already attempted to make their way through the Kruthik hive, with no reports of success… or reports at all.

Bright and early the next day, armed with knowledge and steel, we made our way down to the Cogs. Negotiations with Molric and Uluki went smoothly, and we soon found ourselves delving into the Kruthik lair, a mysterious place clearly interlaced with ancient Dhakhaani ruins!

The first chamber bore witness to a terrible struggle between the Darguun warriors and Kruthik, a struggle they seem to have lost. Additionally, it appeared to be some sort of shrine to an ancient Dhakaani Hero. We paused to kill half-a-dozen Kruthik, including a bizarre winged variety, and then turned back to our investigations. We found a few interesting clues and artifacts, including a Battlestandard of Might belonging to the Dhakaani Hero (a small price to pay for the cleansing of one’s tomb!), a backpack from the Darguun expedition containing a mysterious drawing of a pawprint, and a fantastic set of carved inscriptions detailing the Hero’s exploits.

The carvings told the tale Ashurta, Slayer of Skulls, “Hell Goes with Him.” Somehow his story is tied to a mighty artifact called the “Ashen Crown.” The carvings also detail the history of the crown. The story begins with a mighty victory against dwarves, followed by the founding of a city, and finally the creation of the crown. All the carvings were of a quality isof the highest craftsdwarfship.

Having found what we could, we pushed through to an elaborate puzzle chamber, with goblin ruins carved into the floor, several goblin statues, and a mysterious portal. Seeing no obvious clues to the puzzle, we decided to clear out the remaining Kruthik first. I was sent ahead to scout, and having located another cache of Kruthik, I established a fire-trap and had our party set up behind it. The kruthik were dealt with handily, between our arms and flames, the poor brutes stood little chance."

Well readers, we’re almost out of room, so be sure to come back next week to hear the exciting continuation of Gustavus’ story! Before I sign off, how about a letter from our fans,

“Dear Glindy,

I was lucky enough to have a brief conversation with Gustavus while he was perusing my shop’s collection of Adbarran and Dhakaani relics. He mentioned to me that he studied a tomb contrasting the two cultures which purported that both had clearly inspired the other in several very specific ways. I was wondering what the title of that book may be?

Sincerely,
Abra Hamdabra"

Well Abra, I asked Gustavus, and he let me know that the book in question is, “From Khorvaire with Love, an Analysis of Similarities and Possible Cultural Exchange Between Ancient Khorvaire and Riedra.” Several copies of the book should be available in Morgrave’s University and about the city, it has been widely promoted by both Adbarran and Riedran parties.

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S2 - Good Party, Bad Day

Last week I had the grand opportunity to present our readers with the glorious beginning of the Brotherhood of Travelling Pants. Aereon must have enjoyed the article because Gustavus has since related the entirety of the Brotherhoods first post-War adventure to yours truly!

Last we heard of our intrepid heroes they had gone their separate ways, with Gustavus and %&-* heading into the Mournland. Gustavus wasn’t much interested in relating that tale, but he had adventure a plenty to relate.

“The four years after the Mourning were tough times for everyone. Out of work, off-duty, lost, we wandered our separate ways making do as best we could in a world changed entire. All our lives the Last War had been a constant, and now it was finally over! To keep myself busy, not to mention fed, I had been working on some odd jobs for House Orien and so found myself in Sharn when a mysterious invitation floated my way.

% – Prof. Gydd Nephret invites you to join her in solemn contemplation for this, the fourth anniversary of the Mourning. Light refreshments will be served in a quite setting to prompt discussion and healing between parties. – %

Well, it was a nice enough invitation, and seeing as I had nothing better to do I decided to attend. I had met the Professor on the lightning rail once, and we had quite a lovely discussion about Dhakaani culture and legends. Clearly I’d made an impression!

When I arrived at the party I was surprised to see everyone I had met those four years ago on the day of Mourning itself. Glint the goblin, Gronk the warforged, Faydark the elf, Konrad my colleague still in the service, and even Lantash in stylish evening-wear. Our host on that fateful day was in attendance as well, Bren Ir’Gaiden though not his assistant Alric.

The party got off to a good start. Guests milled back and forth between the upper balcony and the lower platform of the Professor’s house in Sharn. The Professor was tickled to find that Gronk was covered in ancient Dhakaani-Era runes, and we had quite a discussion concerning the evolution of their script from carved runes into more familiar cursive ink-lettering. Everything was going wonderfully when the screaming started…

From nowhere a terrible mist, the spitting image of that which now circles Cyre in its dire embrace, appeared as if by magic on the lower platform. In a blink of an eye it had slaughtered two of the guests and tossed their corpses, spewing blood, across the structures below us.

Thankfully my comrades had lost none of their edge these last four years, for no sooner had the mist appeared than blades and magic spewed forth at the mist. Seeing that my comrades’ attacks dealt no harm to the mist, I determined to jump right into it. I couldn’t live with myself if I let it slay any more bystanders! Dol Dorn must have been with me, for instead of the terrible torpor of the Mournlands, I found within the mists a solid and demonic form. A solid and demonic form that soon sported deep sword and knife wounds!

As a team we hemmed the monster in, and despite its terrible strength, and an unnerving ability to teleport through our attacks, we hewed it down. No sooner had it stopped moving than it evaporated in a mistlike pattern all too familiar: the swirling mists formed a pattern identical to the strange dragonmark scribed on the floor of the tower we had fought in four years ago.

Thinking back on it, it was this remarkable occurrence that solidified us as a working group. Recognizing the sign, we banded together and immediately set off to backtrack the vile apparition, as surely it must have been summoned or transported to Sharn, there being no report of such things previously. By climbing and scaling the rooftops I was able to directly track its flight, and soon we found ourselves in lower Dalannan Tower, near the heart of Menthis Plateau.

Our suspicions were confirmed when no sooner had we reached Dalannan, than we were accosted by two surly street toughs. After a brief struggle we taught them how to sing, and they revealed that they had been paid off to leave us floating in a canal. Other residents pointed us to a small house built at the base of the tower, citing ‘strange lights and noises’.

Well, you can guess what happened next. After a brief once-over I found the house to be locked and barred tight, and so we decided the best course was to walk straight into the obvious trap. And what a trap! We burst into the frontroom to find two guard drakes, half a tribe of goblins, several shifter assassins, and a half-orc hunter. The fight was intense, steel and magic flying in all directions, but somehow we managed to make it through alive.”

Well folks, I have to stop the story here to fit in a reader question. Be sure to come back next week to hear the thrilling continuation of Gustavus’ story!

“Dear Glindy,

I met Gustavus and his party during a party some time ago, where a tremendous white demon appeared and tried to slaughter us all! I was immensely grateful that Gustavus and friends moved so swiftly to save us and put the monster down. It is thrilling to be able to hear more about these fine fellows in your column. Anyway, here is my question, is Faydark single? He was terribly dashing in the fight and I would love to go out with him!

Sincerely, Kashanshara Ashashath”

Well Kash, I can authoritatively tell you that Faydark is in fact single, and ready for love! I’ll forward him your address in case he’s in town again anytime soon.

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S2 - Professor Gydd Nephret's Notes

Gydd Nephret’s notes from interviewing witnesses to the Day of Mourning

Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden held a ceremony remembering the Day of Mourning on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy at the top of Skysedge tower. As a professor of history, I felt this moment needed to be recorded as several eyewitnesses would be present. With Lord ir’Gadden’s consent I was able to interview several of these witnesses.

Several Cyran refugees were in attendance as well as members of the Brelish and Karrn military. I noticed another elf at the ceremony. When he approached me I noticed his eyes were pale silver with no pupils. With him was, of all things, a Githyanki warrior. The elf introduced himself as Faydark and his companion, Lantash. There was something very strange about those two. Faydark put on a charming demeanor but he kind of creeped me out.

He said he and the Githyanki had been present with Bren ir’Gadden on the Day of Mourning. His account matches what I was able to gather from Lord ir’Gadden. Faydark and some others rescued the major from a group of Cyran soldiers and dolgrims who were somehow connected to the Order of the Emerald Claw. Faydark had been following Lord Bren’s camp in hopes to meet with the rumored Githyanki gryphon rider who would be there. Lantash lost his gryphon in the battle, and he was the only survivor from his unit.

After rescuing Lord ir’Gadden Faydark asked Lantash if he knew anything about traveling the Astral Sea. Lantash, surprisingly, was born here in Eberron and was adopted by House Vadalis ranchers. The ranchers said he was naturally gifted as a beast rider. I asked if Faydark hoped to travel to other planes. He said he was hoping to find some rare herbs that were not native to Eberron, but wouldn’t talk about what he wanted them for. Eventually his search led him and Lantash to House Jorasco’s herb experts. In true Jorasco fashion, they were willing to help for an obscene amount of money. Faydark said he and Lantash are still working for house Jorasco to earn enough credit to buy their help. The House wanted them to assist with gathering ingredients in dangerous locations and had them work as “collection agents,” whatever that means.

A goblin named Glint also participated in Lord ir’Gadden’s rescue. He and I share a fondness for Dhakaani artifacts. Fortunately, he was able to provide me with a fine specimen of Dhakaani pottery from his latest expedition. As a citizen of Darguun, he’s had the rare opportunity to access Dhakaani archaeology sites. After the war ended he said he was able to spend more time researching the history of his people. He also mentioned that digging around in ancient tombs was often cleaner than his wartime occupation. I wonder what he meant by that.

I spoke with the two Karrnathi soldiers who seemed to be some kind of experts on the Mourning. Every country has been very quiet about what they know about the event, and it was difficult to get them to speak of it at all. Captain Konrad ir’Curze gallantly helped Lord ir’Gadden return to safety after his kidnapping. The captain then returned to Karrnath to report his account of the Mourning. He would not speak of Karrn military matters, but said he now lives in Sharn as an ambassador of Karrnathi goodwill. He mentioned his colleague Gustavus had actually entered the Mournland shortly after the cloud of mist appeared!

Gustavus Alarich ir’Brand is a very interesting person indeed. I had met him before briefly, but I didn’t know he was present when the Mourning occurred. He seemed very reluctant to speak of what happened in the Mournland. It is unfortunate, because so few have survived that place to give an account. Gustavus must have suffered much to be so pained by the memories. He noticed my Dhakaani artifact and seemed to be very knowledgable about Dhakaani culture and goblins in general. I didn’t think Karrnath had any dealings with Darguun, but I’m sure many details of the war are still state secrets. Gustavus told me that one other from Lord ir’Gadden’s rescuers had traveled into the Mournland with him.

The warforged Gustavus talked about was the strangest construct I had ever seen. His body was covered in engraved patterns similar to those seen at Daelkyr ruins. The Daelkyr invaders from the Realm of Madness fought the Dhakaani empire thousands of years ago. While they were eventually imprisoned deep below the ground and the gates to Xoriat were sealed, some madmen still form cults around these chaotic beings. Could one of those cults be involved with House Cannith and the production of the warforged?

He seemed like an older model. Pieces of him looked rusted or broken. His voice didn’t work properly, which meant he was incapable of communicating anything about the Mournland. How infuriating! Before me were two actual survivors of the Mournland and neither would speak of it. Well, such are the challenges of getting the truth from primary sources. No wonder so many history books get the details wrong.

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S1 - Our Heroes Come Together

A short lull in the action provided your intrepid reporter a precious few minutes to question Gustavus. Naturally the first question that came to mind was how it had all started, what insane stroke of fortune brought together Gustavus’ noble band and set them on the course for greatness?

In response Gustavus had a chilling tale to relate, one that is familiar to many of our fine readers and will send chills down the spines of many, many more.

“We first met several years before we officially began working together. At that time I was part of a diplomatic group assigned to the Brelish army that was to be all but wiped out by the Mourning. Several of my fellows were there on diplomatic missions, or in various shades of mercenary capacities supporting the Brelish-Thranian push into Cyre.

Events started out predictably, with the usual confusion of advancing columns, enemy attacks, and allied counter-attacks. My group had been moved away from the combat zones to protect us, but came under attack never-the-less by a Cyran deep-strike patrol. They took our host and official protector, Bren Ir’Gaiden, hostage. For me it was a matter of honor to follow them and retrieve Major Bren since he had been wounded and captured in my defense. It was for this purpose that I rallied what would later become my adventuring companions to go and save our host.

After an hour or so of following the Cyrans, we came to a small round tower atop a grassy hill. It was obviously in need of repair, and the roof had fallen in some time ago. From the outside it looked abandoned, but always wary I had everyone advance silently up to it. There I climbed a wall to get a peek inside…

Well, [Gustavus laughs], it turns out that was just what our enemies were expecting. They had planted a parcal of Kruthik young in the main chamber of the tower, and as soon as I climbed the ruined wall they swarmed out to attack! Thankfully my companions were as doughty a group of fighters then as they are now and came to my rescue. Half the Kruthik were dead before their master’s arrived: vile Dolgrims emerged from the tower’s second chamber and began shooting at us with crossbows. Our fine swordmage made short work of one of them, while the rest of us focused on the remaining Kruthik and then the second Dolgrim."

I interrupt Gustavus’ story here, gentle readers, to remind you of just what a foul creature a dolgrim really is. In his seminal book, Critters That Go Bump In the Night – A layman’s guide to the exotic dangers of Eberron, Alin ir’Korran explains the dolgrim thusly:

Twisted and horrible, Dolgrims are just one of many of the terrible spawn created to plague us by the Powers Below. Functionally this cursed creature is an amalgamation of two kobolds fused together through nightmare magic. Because of this Dolgrims are much more dangerous than they appear, having two minds and four arms with which to work! Thankfully for civilization, two kobolds are often even dumber than one, and so while dangerous, Dolgrims do not present an overwhelming challenge.

Now back to our hero Gustavus,

“Our foes defeated, we found Bren and his aid, Ulrit Blackroot I think, tied up in the second room. Ulrit was chained just above some sort of Eldritch Rune that the Dolgrims had been using to torture him and had fallen unconscious from the pain. Bren was in better shape and gratefully retrieved his weapon from the corner and prepared to leave with us.

If only things were that easy! No sooner had we caught our breath then did I spot a troupe of vile Emerald Claw agents and zombies coming towards us. As every right-thinking Khorvarian knows, the Emerald Claw necromancers are out of control violent lunatics bent on sowing terror and discord. It seems they wanted our prisoners and were more than happy to carve through us to get them.

Unfortunately for these traitors our blood was already up from fighting the Dolgrims, and while I threw down a hail of sharp steel from the walls of the tower, my comrades-in-arms slew the zombie horde and made short work of their living minders. I am thankful that we were able to catch even their cowardly pet necromancer. Unlicensed necromancy is dangerous, and in the hands of the Emerald Claw a power too evil to allow.

The more notable aspect of the fight was this: we engaged the Emerald Claw agents at the exact moment the Mourning reached Southern Cyre! It was in the lambent light that preceded the Mourning Mists that we slew our unnatural opponents, and it was to an audience of the dead that we presented the corpse of the witch.

Here I parted ways with most of my comrades, believing that whatever this terrible event was, it was my duty as a trained Karrnathi Scout (for that was what I was before I was assigned to diplomatic duty) to investigate these ‘mists.’ My warforged companion chose to follow me into the mists but we became separated.

What happened to us in the Mournland is a story for another day, and it was four years before my companions and I were all re-united, which I suspect is also a story for another day."

[GM’s Note: The proper names are Bren ir’Gadden and Alric Blacktree.]

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