The Wardens of the Eclipse

Rumination
The Wardens outline their next move...

28 Uktar

- Elara rises early and heads to the battlements. Summoning Nyx, she takes to the skies. After an hour of aerial acrobatics, the cold wind and winter’s breath chills her mount. She bonds with her on a cliff overlooking the ruins of Gwarch.

- Aedan starts his day searching for Garthos Bei Fong. He finds him in the family’s arboretum, tending to his herb garden. Aedan asks after the three-headed dragon Calastryx, curious if it is the “six eyed beast” mentioned in the rhyme given to him by the servants of his deity. While Garthos agrees with Aedan’s supposition, he has very little concrete information with which to support it.
He inquires after the arcane heaters Garthos is using to heat his garden. Garthos explains that it is tied to the strange purple stone that Gwarch is famous for, which has the ability to channel arcane properties. Aedan asks if he could obtain a sample of the stone for use in providing heat to Nyx in the winter cold. Garthos agrees and sends a slab to Aedan’s chambers.

- Moira awakens in her room and, setting a chair out to watch the rising sun, pauses to meditate and pray on the fates of the late King Foril and the missing Crown Prince Irvel. As she offers her prayers she receives a vision. Seated in a vast shadowed hall upon a throne of bones, a blindingly bright brazier suspended above the hall, she sees the hall doors open. A sword floats into the hall: it is Ansrivarr, the Blade of Memory, traditionally wielded by the Kings of Cormyr. Taking the sword, she places it on a set of massive scales weighted by a Raven’s feather. The sword and the feather balance, upon which the weapon dissolves into a mist and is absorbed by the brazier.

A second sword appears: it is Orbyn, the Edge of Justice, weapon of the leader of Cormyr’s military. As she takes this new sword, suddenly a bell tolls out far beyond the confines of the hall. The weapon pulls itself from her grasp, leaving behind only the grip as the tang pulls itself loose. It flies from the hall, returning from whence it came, the massive doors slamming behind. Moira is jarred from her vision, realizing that at least an hour has passed since she entered the dreamlike state. She tells her father what she has seen and rushes to the common room to consult with the party.

- Aedan, Elara, and Moira meet for a lengthy discussion about how to proceed. The joint armies of the Bei Fong and Bloospear groups have a supply shortage and must make a plan of action. While the party wants to further investigate Daggerburg Fortress, the pressing threat to Arabel demands attention. The party decides to take a small fighting force of 20-30 troops to Daggerburg, while sending the main army for the Gnoll Pass before winter hits full force preventing passage.
It is then that they realize that Moira, to maintain the unity they have fought to instill in the armies, must leave the party and lead the army to Arabel…

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Peace Talks
The Duskcloaks mediate negotiations...

24 Uktar

- Garthos Bei Fong invents a cover story involving a Netherese Shadowmancer. Tells Merrick and Therlyssa that Bowen and Neesa went in search of him.

- Aedan has a vision of a Nightingale. When he awakes, he finds his power to Channel Divinity has partially been restored.

- Merrick meets with the party, thanking them for their part in putting his parents’ souls to rest. The party discusses peace talks between Hammerhold and Clan Bloodspear. It appears the orcs will require some form of tribute before capitulating, in particular some contested lands.

25 Uktar

- Negotiations begin. Elara works to calm Merrick’s side, as Moira takes a hand in mediating the talks. Aedan heads down to the Orc camp in Gwarch and, impressing them with his shapechanging ring, begins to teach them the basics of battlefield first aid, engendering trust between the orcs and humans.

- Arkail, frustrated by what he perceives to be human arrogance in the Bei Fongs, returns to his chambers in a rage. Moira works to calm him, showing that she too has suffered the judgement of the ‘civilized’ races. They speak of her mother and bond.

26 Uktar

- With Elara lightening the mood around the table and working her diplomatic magic, things get off to a good start.

- Moira has developed a plan regarding the disputed lands, the Dragon’s Teeth. Both the Bloodspears and the Trollsbanes have claims to the land in the form of hunting grounds and burial rights. In addition, its defensible position makes it ripe for conversion into a stronghold, as Tonden’s brother-in-law Grok has done in recent days. She proposes that neither side have a firm hold on the land, but that it is a designated no-conflict area where rites and tradition are respected and, in the case of an external threat, both sides may use as a refuge.

- Aedan, meanwhile, tends to the fallen Wulfric Bei Fong. Sitting at vigil for five hours, his prayers are answered as the boy awakens. He asks after Tonden, with a hint of resentment in his voice, and marvels that his mother would so willingly make off with him on a hunt for the “Netherese Mage”. He says that he should have expected his father to leave again, but is confused that his mother would leave. He asks for pen and paper, so he may get used to writing with his new hand, and Aedan is only too happy to provide.

- As the day’s negotiations come to an end, sendings arrive for Elara and Moira. King Foril Obarskyr the First is dead. He died in his sleep, in his chambers and among his family.

27 Uktar

- Negotiations draw to a close. Merrick and Arkail agree to Moira’s terms. Merrick rouses the Bei Fong fortress, swearing to bring the fight to the enemy and “make them remember the month our King died.”

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Uktar Timeline
Because session recaps are hard to write.

1 Uktar

Christmas Special. Met up with three wise men and ran into Greenwich.

2 Uktar

Left Castle Crag for the Gnoll Pass.

4 Uktar

Slew the Gnoll leader and broke their hold on Castle Crag.

6 Uktar

Returned to Castle Crag, sent last messages back to civilization, left for the Stonelands.

17 Uktar

Arrived outside Gwarch, to find it besieged and under the control of Clan Bloodspear. Met with Grok Trollsbane and heard of the events in the North.

18 Uktar

Departed for Daggerburg Fortress to search for Wulfric Bei Fong.

19 Uktar

Arrive at the Goblin Fortress. Bluffs their way in to see the leader, a three-headed Red Dragon named Calastryx. They try to negotiate, but a dragon’s ego is fragile, and combat breaks out. The wizard they had been traveling with reveals himself to be Silakul, and betrays them. Despite the odds, the party maims Calastryx, rescues Wulfric, and flees with as much treasure as they can carry. Elara loses a leg in a faulty teleport.

21 Uktar

The party returns to Gwarch and partakes of a Heroes’ Feast before approaching with the head of Calastryx.

22 Uktar

The party buys an audience with Msuga and Rhoka by presenting the head of their enemy. Moira challenges Msuga to a duel for leadership of Clan Bloodpear. She prevails, slaying the queen, but Rhoka and her elite guard attacks. The party defeats her and Moira is crowned Queen of Clan Bloodspear.

23 Uktar

The party attempts to speak with the Bei Fongs. Tonden reveals his identity to the Captain of the Watch, his sister Therlyssa. Merrick arrives on the wall, accusing them of being spies for Netheril. He lowers the gates, only to launch an attack with Chain Worms captured in the mines.

The party slays the beasts and flies over the battlements, where they are promptly arrested. Merrick informs them that his parents, Therrus and Bella, were killed in their sleep over a tenday ago, and their murder was still unsolved. As no one went through their door guard, Merrick rashly accuses Tonden of the deed, having seen his ability to fly.

They are kept prisoner for a few hours, until Garthos Bei Fong arrives and breaks them out. He tells them Tonden’s parents’ ghosts have been seen wandering the night, and any guards they encountered were slain. He asks the party to go with him and Neesa Darkeyes, Tonden’s wife, to confront them that night and uncover their murderer.

Neesa and Tonden have a violent reunion that is mitigated by the reveal of an alive, though comatose, Wulfric. The party waits until dark before heading out.

24 Uktar

In the small hours of the night, the party steals out of their rooms and to the battlements, where they find the spirits.

It is then that Neesa springs her trap: it was she who killed Therrus and Bella.

Resentful at her husband’s perceived desertion, saddened by Lynn’s angry departure, and destroyed by what she believed was the death of her son, Neesa was overwhelmed by grief and loss. She had been spoken to by Shar, the goddess of loss. Shar promised her that her pain would be taken from her if she killed Therrus and Bella. Unable to see past her grief, Neesa obeyed. And a tenday later, her son was returned to her, her husband in tow.

Shar had promised further relief if another life was given. Neesa had planned to sacrifice Garthos, but with Bowen’s return, she decided to give Shar him and his friends.

It is then that Shar takes direct control of her, becoming a manifestation of her dark power. Shar’s Aspect, aided by her ghostly allies, attacks the party with wild fury. The Wardens of the Eclipse, however, are not to be underestimated. Beating back Shar’s dark allies, they thwart her every attempt to kill both them and Neesa. Infuriated, Shar’s Aspect vanishes, leaving them with an unconscious Neesa and a hard decision to make.

Rather than risk Neesa’s execution or imprisonment in Wheloon, Tonden resolves to take her to Arabel and seek help from Moira’s mother Minerva. He bids his party farewell before stepping through the Sword Herald gate and heading south…

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Chapter 2 - The Battle of Arabel Field
The party punches through the Daggerburg blockade.

SUZAIL

- The party attends the firearm demonstration. It goes less well then anticipated, but the crown pledges money for further tests.
- The party is introduced to Murgatroyd Rothskilne, retired soldier and renowned author. His compatriot, Lord Vescaras, asks the party to take him and a shipment of wine with them to Arabel. They agree, welcoming Mur to the team.
- After final preparations, the party makes their way to Arabel.

ARMY CAMP
- Passing streams of refugees, the party passes through Immersea before arriving outside Arabel. They work with the army commanders to plan the assault.
- The Army of the Eastern Marches attacks the Daggerburg Goblins. Though pushing an opening for the convoy, the Cormyrans are outmatched and sustain heavy casualties punching a hole in the enemy lines.
- The party fights furiously to the gates of the Palisade, losing one wagonload of food in the process. Successfully pressing through, however, the wounded but successful Wardens enter the gates of Arabel as the Palisade burns behind them…

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Book 3: Chapter 1 - Tides of War
The war becomes more dire.

- The party receives news from across the kingdom.
- After finalizing plans and assigning the Golden Keep’s denizens to various tasks, the party departs for Hultail.
- Arriving in Hultail, they penitently convince Annan Borne to send a caravan of dried and salt fish to Arabel.
- Making the long journey to the Capital, the party passes through Wheloon before arriving in Suzail.
- At the war council, it is revealed that Crown Prince Irvel has disappeared and Prince Baerovus has been struck into a deep sleep. With the Crown Prince missing, the kingdom is in crisis.
- Having learned this, the party finalizes plans to head to Arabel after taking care of some business in Suzail.

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Interlude - The Tenebrous Cabal
The party says farewell to one of their number...

- While resting and repairing the Keep, a portal opens and out pour hellspawn, led by Ashtar’s mother Diadria, pursued by assassins and ghosts.
- The party engages her enemies before following them all into a portal.
- Emerging in the Nine Hells, the party is nearly slain by a family of Erinyes before their allies rush through to aid them.
- Pursuing Diadria, they eventually reach her inner halls, where a Lich offers Ashtar a choice: join the Tenebrous Cabal by killing his mother, or walking away.
- After a tense moment, Ashtar stabs his mother, who is then revealed to be Destin Greyscar, his long last father. He had killed Diadria tendays ago, and was testing Ashtar’s loyalty to her.
- Destin welcomes Ashtar into his organization, and Ashtar says his farewells.

Present: Aedan, Ashtar, Elara

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Chapter 8-11. Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass.

- The party scales the tower and battles their way to the top.
- They defeat the lizardfolk within before encountering the dragon and a Netherese commander. The two foes retreat, beaten back by the Wardens.
- Resuming their journey in the tunnel, the party emerges in the lower depths of the dungeon below the keep. There they encounter and battle a myriad of strangely adorned undead, before realizing they were in the lair of a fairly demure Halfling Necromancer named Herbert.
- Though upset, Herbert decides to let the party go up to the main floor, supplying them with potions to assist in their efforts. The party storms the ground floor, slaying numerous giantkin and lizardfold.
- Moving to the second floor, the party finds several powerful and hostile ghosts. Beaten back to a retreat, the Wardens resolve to address that problem later.
- Heading to the top floor of the towers, the party encounters the dragon again. It approaches them, speaking in Netherese. Begging the party to kill the Shadovar agent who controls him, he vows not to attack unless forced by the agent’s ring.
- Gathering their strength, the party assaults the final hold of the tower. There they find a powerful Beholderkin, a Death Kiss, who fights desperately against the Wardens. The Shadovar agent attacks from the rear, along with the last of the Lizardfolk. Though flanked, the Duskcloaks are unhindered. With their combined strength, the enemy is no match for them, and they strike each foe down save the dragon, who escapes.
- Dragging the carcass of the Death Kiss onto the ramparts, Tonden hangs the bloated eye from the walls as a warning to all the monsters in the land: The Wardens of the Eclipse have taken the keep, and are here to stay.

……………………………………..

- The Warden’s allies arrive at the keep with a detachment of Purple Dragons. They bring with them labourers who immediately begin rebuilding the Keep to it’s former strength. Using the considerable wealth found within the Keep, the Wardens also commission several specialized facilities within for Enchantment, Alchemy, Beast-training, and the like.
- The Wardens have a home now, and what a formidable fortress it is…
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Chapter 7. And by his hollow whistling in the leaves.

- The party takes the lay of the land and decides to venture south toward the woods. There they make camp.
- They are attacked in the night by powerful zombies, animated by large vines in the earth. They decide to move camp, narrowly escaping another attack.
- Guessing that the zombies originate from the forest or the large tree on the hill, they elect to go the long way round the town, cutting around the old quarry and towards some stairs in a cliff face that lead up to the large watchtower on the eastern rise.
- At the quarry, they spy a group of lizardmen with an ogre, bringing a load of the area’s signature stone out of the mines and toward the keep. They decide to keep their distance and head as stealthily as possible for the stairway.
- Finding the secret stair, they begin a careful ascent. Halfway up, their progress is interrupted by a great beating of wings. Tonden opens a passage in the cliff face, sealing it up behind them, leaving just enough of a crack to spot the source of the noise: a large black dragon.

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Chapter 6. Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i' th' mire,

- The party says their farewells, provisions themselves, and heads off for the Golden Ruins.
- Cobblestone insists on joining them.
- The party enters a large swamp between them and their destination.
- A group of Gnolls attempts to ambush their tower in the night, but is easily frightened off.
- The Gnolls attempt an ambush the following day. It does not go their way in the slightest.
- The party happens upon an old abandoned town, with a single occupied hut. Aedan’s augury leads them to believe it is safe. Inside they meet two thirds of a coven of witches, Bertha and Marie. They eat and parley with them, and convince Marie to help lead them through the swamp.
- Using her primal magics, Marie opens a faster path in the swamp and the party finds themselves on the outskirts of the cliffs of the Golden Keep.

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Chapter 5. And summer's lease hath all too short a date

29 Flamerule, 1490 DR

- left Immersea
- crossed to Juniril, arriving in time for the final day of Midsummer
- got all dolled up for the Midsummer Festival.
- Festivities were interrupted by the Summer Queen, who goaded the party into a competition in order to keep her from kidnapping townsfolk.
- Captured numerous beasts, including a displacer beast and two green dragons.
- The party far outshone the Queen’s own hunters, and she thanked them for their hospitality and returned to the Feywild empty handed.
- The party retired to various places for the night.

Present: Aedan, Ashtar, Elara, Tonden.

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