Shadows of Eberron

Expedition to King's Forest
5th of Aruth, 998 YK

This was the month of Aruth. The weather grew colder and rains set in. Dominic Thorven disappeared with a Soul Blade just before group delivered Lucan corpse to Viorr, captain of Dark Lanterns. This was a quiet week, nothing amazing happened. Riute Unes made some coin as a healer; Krak spent money in a local taverns drinking and relaxing; Conor was busy with a small-time job: helping trader to get rid of goblin infestation in his storage facility.

During one of the drinking evenings Krak met an elf Layrreth. After a few drinks and shared stories, he promised to introduce to the rest of a party.

After a week Conor caught a rumor that House Vadalis need able adventurers for an important mission. Without delay, adventurers departed to Vadalis enclave to offer their services.

They were met by house clerk who quickly assessed them as passable candidates. Mission was simple and difficult at the same time. Party needs to venture into the forest and acquire rare Gryphon Fruit. The catch is that fruit will be ready to ripen in three days. The other problem is Knights Rangers (people who guard borders of the King’s Forest). They don’t allow anyone in the forest.

To get the access in the King’s Forest adventurers decided to pick another job for Knight Rangers. They heard that local bandits, named Jungle Boys, are causing trouble. Forces of Knight Ranger are stretched too thin and they can’t get rid of these poachers and robbers. Since they were quite popular in certain circles Knights Rangers were glad to make a deal.

Party entered the forest in the middle of a day. Conor easily assessed surroundings and took the point to show the way. The first day was uneventful except for occasional snakes and strange flowers that party decided to walk around. While breaking the camp they attracted the swarm of wild monkeys. But Conor was able to shoo them away. They have to move fast in the morning: only two days left to retrieve the fruit…

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The Brilliant Speech
Knight Rangers Guild

Party was hired to get Gryphon Fruit and without delay gone to the forest, but…
Thanks to the Layrreth’s speech. Layrreth headed the negotiation, he introduced himself with Conor as experienced rangers that came from outer lands answering the call of pain from fellow rangers. This trick granted the opportunity for the party to also be hired by rangers and receive papers for entering the forest without any issues. Negotiations.jpg

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Griffon Fruit
8th of Aruth, 998 YK

Finally, adventurers arrived at the place near the grove, where Griffon Fruit can be found. The territory around the grew more silent with every step, only a few small animals and birds can be found around. Silent aura of threat surrounded forest when heroes entered the grove.

Suddenly from nearby bushes horrifying tiger jumped and grabbed Krak starting to tear him apart. This tiger was bigger and meaner than any tiger Conor and his friends encountered or saw before. Covered with numerous scars he was a terrifying killing machine. With tremendous effort they were able to distract tiger and get Krak out of his grasp. Shortly the vicious animal was dead, it will terrorize grove and nearby territory no more.

Get a Griffon fruit after it was a simple task. Conor took a rope and climb up the palm. He waited several hours for the moonlight to get fruit when it ripens. After these adventurers decided to camp half a mile away from the grove for the night.

While Conor was on the watch he heard suspicious noise from the grove. He immediately woke up everyone and then quenched fire immediately. After a few minutes standing in the darkness and trying to listen to the noise from the direction of the grove Layrreth decided to sneak there. When he silently arrived at the grove he saw four pale humans with empty eyes and large horrible wolf covered in bone plates with acid dripping from his jaws. He tried to retreat back, but wolf got his scent and moved swiftly to his location. Shortly Layrreth was back at the camp with enemies at his heels.

The battle was short and vicious. Krak was locked down in the battle with the wolf, backed by Riute Unes and his divine force. Layrreth was knocked out by a bandit with greataxe shortly after the battle began. Conor tried to calm strange wolf and neutralized him for several minutes. That was enough to overcome other enemies and ensure victory.

Conor recognized that wolf was a horrid animal. Horrid animals were created by druids to fight the aberrations. Other enemies were strange aberrations. The fact that the controlled horrid animal was very disturbing. Party decided to move further away and break a new camp. Conor felt he was obligated to pay a visit to Jungle Boys.

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Layer of the Bandits
9th of Aruth, 998 YK

The next morning Conor tracked the trail to the lair of bandits. Adventurers carefully scouted surroundings to ensure that there is only one entrance. It was the dark, gaping maw of the cave. Krak’s eyes pierced the darkness of the cave and he saw two disgusting creatures: dolgrims. Dolgrims a terrible product of daelkyr magic – two goblins fused together.

Adventurers charged bravely into the cave, crushing down two dolgrims. About eight strange bandits engaged them in battle and heroes slowly advanced throw their ranks, killing them to the left and to the right. Layrreth was knocked down for a few seconds, but Riute Unes was able to bring back him from the brink of death, thanks to his divine magic.

Finally, bandit leaders entered the combat, throwing curses and summoning terrible monsters to kill adventurers. Krak with the support of his friends was able to go through the ranks of bandits as a hot blade through butter and killed enemy leaders.

After bandits were dead Riute Unes a symbol on the body of one of the leaders. It was definitely the symbol that one of the Cults of Dragon Below could use. These were a disturbing news especially together with the fact that they controlled horrid animal somehow. They also found in one of the cells almost dead ranger, named Radric, who was transformed beyond any recognition. Before he died ranger employed heroes to go to the Great Druid Oalian in Eldeen Reaches and deliver his message to him with the symbol of the cult and any notes they found.

Searching the hideout they found a lot of valuables that were probably the result of the robberies. Heroes also found a number of bodies, most likely the results of unsuccessful experiments.

It seems that Order of the Emerald Claw is not the only enemy they should be careful about after all.

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Journey to Greenheart
4th of Vult, 998 YK

The Broken Blades returned from the King’s Forest destroying bandits that were turned into the abominations by unknown cultists. They collected hefty reward from House Vadalis and knight rangers, but the horrors of the cultists’ hideout demanded resolution. So Connor insisted that they must travel to the Greenheart and deliver the message to the Great Druid Oalian.

Adventurers booked tickets to the Passage immediately. They decided to take lightning rail to the passage and rent Orien coach to the Greenheart. The whole journey takes slightly more than 20 days. Everyone was taking their time to rest and they arrived at Passage with little interruption. It took a little time to rent Orien wagon and they were on their way to Greenheart.

Eventually, the Broken Swords arrived at Eldeen Reaches. Last part of they way the had to travel by feet. Not far from the Greenheart they met a huge horrid bear. The bear wasn’t glad to see them, but Connor defused the situation. Eventually, after half an hour, orc druid appeared. After a short talk, he let them pass and finally, adventurers arrived in Greenheart – spiritual center of all druids on Khorvier.

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Village near Gloaming
10th of Vult, 998YK

Heroes were led to the great druid Oalian to deliver the message. It was disturbing message indeed. There were a lot suspicious cult activities around Khorvier. But adventurers arrived in the time of need and timing of their arrival were perfect. Just in a few days, the druid was planning to hold a divination ritual to uncover the location of the dangerous summoning ritual.

The group agreed to help druids to disrupt ritual. Connor volunteered to get a rare component for the ritual, while his friends decided to relax and rest.

They were walking through Greenheart aimlessly when Layrreth met a ranger who seemingly knew him. After a few words he told him strange phrase: “In the Autumn of Blood, the Kingdom of Orbs shall rise”. It was strange and sowed a certain distrust between him and other group members.

Finally, the next day ritual was performed and it revealed that place of interest is located on the border of Gloaming, sinister part of the forest, which is home to many monstrous insects. It is also the holy place for Children of Winter. Heroes set out of the Greenheart, they had little time to prevent ominous ritual.

Travel was fast and safe: local druids and rangers granted adventurers free and safe passage. Finally, they were not far away from Gloaming, when they were confronted by Children of Winter patrol. They were naturally distrustful to people outside their druidic tradition but the word about Broken Swords and their pledge to help got around druidic circles in Towering Forest. So eventually after short squabble, they retreated but continued observation.

Eventually, Broken Swords arrived at the small village near Gloaming, which was approximately in the predicted location of the ritual. The old sign didn’t betray its name and it looked old and abandoned. When they walked in they saw a few people who cautiously watched them, hiding in their old and almost decrepit houses. The old church of Sovereign Court rose above the village on the hill in its center. It was evening and the shadows darker than usual started to fall.

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Terrible Days in the Shadow of Madness
13th of Vult, 998YK

Travelers entered the village, slowly walking forward and carefully assessing surroundings.
Almost all windows were shut, and ones that weren’t were closed by its inhabitants immediately.
There were almost no apparent villagers and the ones they saw made haste to disappear in one of the houses.

They walked to the local inn with the constant feeling being watched. Layrreth eyes noticed local drunk near the entrance to the tavern. Unfortunately, his questioning didn’t reveal anything of use.
Innkeeper greeted them with a simple hello. After a few words with him, he seemed to be a simpleton completely unable to cook. Since the night was upon them adventurers decided to pay for the beds and explore village for the evidence of future ritual tomorrow.

The night proved uneventful. In the morning they decided to visit local alchemist shop they saw yesterday, chapel of Sovereign Host,
which is located on the hill in the middle of the village and find and talk to the village elder. Adventures exited the inn and decided to
visit alchemist shop ‘Haunted Cauldron’ first. When they were in 50 feet away from entrance adventurers noticed Dominic, who turned around for a moment,
before entering the shop. A light chill ran through the spine of Riute, Connor, and Kryak because they noticed symbol of Emerald Claw on his robes.
They rushed to the shop, but strangely there was no one inside.

A quick examination of the shop yielded a few useful potions but no clues of Dominic’s location otherwise. The shop itself looked long abandoned. Broken Blades carefully descended into the shop’s basement. The basement was in disarray but it revealed the terrible fate of the owner. After adventurers defeated a number of oozes they saw a human body inside defeated gelatinous cube. By its look owner was dead for a long time now.

After a few fruitless attempts to talk to villagers and being dismissed by the elder adventurers decided to sneak into the chapel.
While being definitely abandoned the chapel definitely was used, but not for prayers to the Sovereign Host. It was obvious that the chapel is the only place in the village where ritual can be performed.

Since adventurers didn’t know who actually is going to prevent the ritual, they decided to wait and attack them during the ritual. They returned to the inn to rest and spend the night. While the nights grew deadlier new danger was awaiting them in the dark.

It was Layrreth turn to keep watch. While others peacefully slept he was sitting near the door and kept guard. Suddenly, he heard a soft creak as the door slowly slightly opened. He stood up to check the other side but the corridor was empty. He turned around to survey the room and suddenly saw brain in the middle of the room. But it was not the regular brain, it has small legs and teeth! Right before the brain was ready to jump on Kryak Layrreth shouted to wake up everyone. Adventurers made a short work of this hideous creature though it managed to escape. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but Layrreth suffered a strange and strong headache after it. They went down to check on the innkeeper but found him dead with skull burst open. Tomorrow was the day the ritual should take place, they returned to their room to ready themselves.

Next morning they woke up but it was still dark. Adventurers went out on the village street and saw the whole terrain was engulfed in strange shadows. They readied their weapons and started advance to the chapel. Some of the villagers were on the streets and they were prey for horrible monsters jumping from the shadows.

At last, they arrived at the chapel entrance which was engulfed in shadows. Two hooded figures guarded the entrance and as soon as heroes approached they attacked. They shed their cloaks like a snake sheds the skin. Underneath cloaks, dolgaunts were hiding – horrible creations of the daelkir. Heroes weren’t frightened by their horrid looks and quickly slew horrible guards.

Kryak opened the doors and adventurers entered into the chapel filled with shadows. In the middle of chapel stood the village elder wrapped in shadows and surrounded by two concentric circles he chanted strange words performing the ritual. He was so engulfed in the ritual that he didn’t notice heroes when they entered. Broken Blades charged forward to disrupt the ritual but suddenly a few monster appeared from the shadows. Greater Barghest, shadow, and shadow mastiff intercepted heroes. A battle ensued under disturbing chanting of the cult leader. Layrreth sneaked past the enemy and tried to attack cultist. But before he was able to do this, cultist slowly flew into the air out of his reach continuously chanting.

Barghest jumped on Kryak trying to get him with his deadly claws. Meanwhile, shadow drained Kryak’s strength. Seeing this Riute took his holy symbol, called for the holy power and destroyed malevolent shadow instantly. Mastiff let out frightful bark sound of wich frightened Connor and Layrreth. Ritual continued while Kryak and Riute tried to fend off evil fiends. Finally, the malevolent fiend in skull mask slipped through the darkness into the temple and hid in shadows watching the fight from the distance.

Eventually, Connor and Layerreth overcame the fear and returned to help the friends. With their help rest of the party easily destroyed evil fiends. They saw portal started to open in the middle of the temple, which led to unfamiliar lands. They combined their strength trying to get to cultist flying in the thin air. He was almost unreachable for their attacks but it was enough to distract him from the ritual. He snarled the curse: “Blasted fools! I’ll kill you and then finish the ritual!”. He sent a couple of bolts filled with dark energy targeting heroes. Each bolt caused great pain. Seeing that they didn’t have means to reach him, heroes decided to destroy carefully placed items to permanently disrupt ritual. Seeing that his job was undone, cultist snarled another curse and flew through the window, leaving the scene.

Tired adventurers left the temple only to see mad mob gathered around it. All kinds of hideous humanoids were in it, and not one of the could be identified. Gathering last strength they pushed through the mob. Finally, they were on the fringe of the village. They saw that ring of Children of Winter shrink around the village to purified anything that left in it. They let adventurers pass and heroes left this terrible place for good.

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