The Scarred South

The Vaelan Riots

After checking with Blue Ghost to see if he had any objections, the team boards the Buccaneer’s Tear and flies to Vaelan, the capital of Durpar, to pick up the Corynians, stuck in a city in revolt. The population, tired of the Datharathis’ alliance with the monstrous nation of Veldorn and helped by foreign mercenaries, start to burn the symbols of power in town, with widespread massacre taking over the streets.

Unable to bring the skyship close to the Corynian’s location because of the large amount of towers blocking their path, the Birdeyes enter the city by foot, crossing numerous bodies and signs of revolt, even ignoring an angry mob about to assault an Order of the Blue Flame building, pushed by a devo on top of an elephant!

Later, the mercenaries encounter another team of sellswords, le by a priest of Garagos who challenges Tristan. The agent of the Red Maiden, annoyed by the persistence of the Reaver and his allies, quickly make an example of the cleric and send his goon away, scared and humiliated.

When they finally reach the Corynian mansion, they discover a skeleton crew of servants and soldiers, busy moving boxes and art objects while the lady of the house, Tamesis Corynian, is coldly planning the family’s escape if Lucius and his partners are not showing.

Tamesis explains that they are carrying important objects dug out during a few archeological missions in the Raurin and Southern Imaskar and that one particular object needs to be protected: a stone tablet of Imaskari origin and a potential key in the family’s fight against the Mad Karanoks.

The tablet is being analyzed by their hired scholar, Recius of Mishtan. Until he is done with the tablet, the mercenaries are to wait and provide protection against potential Karanok attacks and the current revolt in Vaelan.

That night, Recius’ quarters are attacked by a trio of slaads, clearly searching for something. Easily dispatching the blue slaad and stunning the red juggernaut, the team work to bring down the Acolyte of Entropy, a clear sign of the involvement of Chessenta’s ruling family. However, the slaad prove to be only a decoy as Roswyn discovers, behind a hidden door, an assassin slowly attacking the enchanted stone tablet with something that looks like a tiny sphere of annihilation. Pushed far away from the tablet, the assassin finds herself engaged by Tristan as the daughter of Entropy keeps eating the wards around the Imaskari artifact. There is no sign of Recius while the wounds on the assassin indicates he was there while they were fighting the chaotic outsiders.

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Blood, Sweat and Headache

Having faced agents from both Chaka Datharathi and the Order of the Blue Flame, the Birdeyes try to gather more information on the mysterious mine and the crystal prison mined by the members of this strange alliance.

In a laboratory, they encounter Saraethiel, Commander of the Order of the Blue Flame in the region, who starts a conversation with them. Using guile, he tries to lead them into a trap but is discovered by Lucius. During the fight, the elf is killed along with one of his men and an intellect predator, an aberrant psionic creature related to mind flayers. The scouts are able to make on prisoner, a loremaster accordant who surrenders, citing the rules of war to ensure that the mercenaries spare his life. Even though, Tristan and Malukah aren’t too willing on keeping the man alive, seeing it as an hindrance, they finally opt to take the wizard hostage.

After a brief encounter with a hulking beast created by a mind flayer, the agents of General Aporos, wounded and tired,noticing the arrival of an illithid and two other aberrant constructs, escape the mine and return to Faerun…only to discover the Datharathi encampment filled with corpses and traces of another giant assault. Evacuated by Sattur, they return to Blue Ghost’s side for a debriefing.

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The Crystal Prison

Realizing that this Datharathi mining operation might have dire consequences for Estagund or even the whole region, the team decides to strike against the personel present in the mine, focusing its efforts on the hobgoblin guard. As he charges the member of the Iron Eye Tribe, bearing some plangent crystals and an ooze-like creature on his arm, Tristan quickly feels something reaching into his mind, trying to make him loose his focus.

Once the surprise attack mark its toll on the hobgoblin, the priest of the Order of Blue Fire, the Datharathi overseer and the miners join the fray, inflicting mental attacks and melting a part of the floor with blue fire. Most of the thralls are put to death, as the mercenaries don’t consider they can be saved from whatever controls them. Lucius seems to be more merciful and knocks them out with the shaft of his spear while Quewaun hits the priest to the chest with one of her crossbow bolt and forcing the priest to turn back into his original form: a creature with a body made of an black and blue substance, with one large eyeless head and three sets of arms, each ending with three sets of claws. Roswyn quickly identifies it as a sharn, an aberration linked to the Spellplague and known for it ability to use powerful magic and its alien mind.

As the battle rages on, the sharn is finally killed by Tristan with a strong hit of his vanguard longsword, allowing the cavalier to charge at the Datharathi osberver who was remaining far from the action on a ledge, ten feet in the air, leaving the hobgoblin and the last thralls to Malukah and Lucius. It took some time, and help from Roswyn, to neutralize the hobgoblin and as he fell down, the substance on his arm took shape and moved into attack position, doing his best to latch unto Malukah or Lucius with the intent of connecting with them in the same way it had done with the goblinoid warrior. Due to their strong will and their tactics, the dragonborn psionicist and the priest of Red Knight resisted and pushed the sharn symbiont away, leaving time to their four friends to terminate the old Datharathi representative. Soon after, the symbiont was unable to flee and was killed by Roswyn who complained once again that she had to do the job of the team’s fighters, something that was clearly not her job in the first place.

Taking a rest for the time since they had infiltrated the strange plane, Roswyn tried to reach into the pillar of crystal to confirm if a creature was indeed prisoner in there. The crystal prison, probably of Imaskari fabrication was self-regenerating and seemed to be under the effect of a powerful prismatic spell affecting anyone, except the mindless, that touched the crystal. Another effect of the weird prison was that it affected the mind of people in proximity, making them more easily damaged by psychic attacks. The gnome was pretty sure that the later effect was coming from inside the crystal and was not an effect desired by whoever creature the crystal.

As she reached inside, Roswyn felt a incredibly strong presence, something cold and hateful, thoroughly evil and was overtaken by fear. The huge creature inside was probably the most evil thing she had ever seen. It wasn’t clear what it was but it kept reaching out in her mind, speaking in a mysterious language that Lucius later identified as Supernal, the language of the Gods. It was simply repeating: “Free me or Die”

In the only other access out of the mine, the team discovered a meeting room, filled with documents confirming that the Datharathi were exporting the crystal in every city around the Sea of Fallen Stars as well as Delzimmer and Estagund. They were far reaching and were connected with the Corynians, helping the Chessentan nobles into hiring mercenaries and in raiding ruins in exchange for their expertise in architecture and engineering.

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The Celestial Nadir

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Moving into the portal, the Birdeyes arrive in a very old room covered with frescoes depicting humans fighting giants on the back of dragons or dealing with demons and feys. A large obsidian statue carved to ressemble one of the human leaders on the frescoes blocks one of the exits.

Soon after its arrival, the team hear noises coming from two other opening, quickly revealing two pale gnomes with red eyes, mumbling madly and aggressively while a large aberrant creature with a tentacle charges into the room. Clearly all three are plaguechanged and they target Quewaun, inflicting the drow painful wounds while trying to make her fall to the ground. As the combat begin, the obsidian statue enters the fray, moving inexorably towards the intruders and slashing anyone moving to close to it.

Splitting the attackers, the mercenaries quickly dispatch the aberrant slave, switching their focus to one of the gnomes while Tristan remains close to the golem, ensuring it remains as far away from the rest of the team. Upon dying, the last gnome thanks Roswyn in Deep Speech, tears in his eyes as he is put out of his misery as Lucius and Tristan pin down and destroy the construct, shattering it.

Leaving the small ruin, the party discover a large empty space filled with trails lighted by a minor version of the Datharathi crystal. The silhouette of mountains and hills are visible thanks to the powerful light coming from a large mountain far away at the end of one trail. Lucius, Tristan and Malukah quickly discover that their link with the divine seems tenuous here while anyone using psionic powers finds the place filled with psychic energy.

Quickly the Crimson Talons representatives take one of the trails and explore the area, realizing that there is no stars or ceiling here, making it difficult to evaluate time. Soon they arrive on a small hill where the decomposing remains of huge tentacles are scattered and where a broken font is leaking a red liquid, quickly identified by the team’s scholars as Primordial Blood.

Before they have a chance to move closer three insubstantial creature appear near them: one large mass of screaming faces a Caller in Darkness, born when numerous creatures are killed by a powerful psychic attack; a wraith and a creature of pure darkness and evil- a Nighthaunt. During the vigorous fight where Tristan and Malukah almost have their souls ripped out by the Caller, Lucius moves to step into the Primordial Blood.

Immediately his mind is touched by a powerful vision of an army led by a tall and shiny human with coppery skin wielding a black waraxe shaped like a crescent moon. While the human army is fighting orcs, the axe-wielding general is fighting a large, one eyed orc. Lucius, with his religious knowledge, easily identifies the human general as Nanna-Sin, Untheric God of the Moon and the orc general as Gruumsh, the orc god of savagery and destruction. As the two avatars fight, a large shadow casts above the battle and wispy tentacles grab Nanna-Sin lifting him up in the sky, impervious to any attacks.

Back to th fight, the wraith is destroyed first, by a hit by Tristan’s sword while Quewaun keeps shooting at the Nighthaunt, finally destroying him and dispelling the zone of darkness the creature was controlling to help the Caller in Darkness. The psionic undead is finally destroyed when Tristan strikes it with a well-placed hit boosted by the power of the Red Knight.

After a short rest, the team move back on the trail to investigate the mountain from where the light comes, hoping to discover the origin of the Datharathi crystal. As they walk into the large cavern, it became rapidly clear that the mountain was not made of rock but of some sort of artificial material that didn’t exist on Faerun.

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In the Adama's Shadow

Carrying their guest, the rakshasa infiltrator Sattur, the Birdeyes fly towards Assur to meet with their target, the director of mining operations for Chaka Datharathi. After a brief encounter with the leader of the Five Companies of Pirates of the Shining Sea, they arrive in time to bring the engineer and his wife on board. During the trip towards the Adama’s Tooth, one the Datharathi’s main mining concessions, Sattur replaces the target, oblivious to his concubine and his bodyguards, thanks to the Crimson Talons’ support.

Shortly after their arrival at base camp, the fortress is attacked by a giant and his elemental servants. The scouts discover the storm giant was sent by his Queen, the mistress of the Dustwall giants, to stop whatever mystical danger looms on the region. Decided to understand this peril better, the team decides to enter the mine only to discover an imaskari portal hidden by illusions and ward near the first shaft of the mine.

After pondering on the possible perils they would face, Blue Ghost’s agents enter the magical doorway where they are assailed by plaguechanged gnomes, their monstrous plaguechanged slave and an obsidian golem.

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Eye of the Storm

Now in control of the Buccaneer’s Tear, the team must fight off two pirate ships equipped with magical siege engines and keep control of the ship. They are then sent to attack the beholder camp North of Chavyondat only to discover it occupied by human thralls, with no beholder or threat visible. As they try to make the real menace leave its hideout, a weird storm of blood starts to fall on the battlefield.

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The Highjacking of the Buccaneer's Tear

The Birdeyes are sent to commandeer the pirate fleet’s flagship, the Buccaneer’s Tear, that happens to be an Halruaan Skyship. The will have to fight the halfling pirates on board, along with the support crew of siege engineers and the mysterious Jordaini Vizier.

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A Unicorn's Run

After a fight with duplicitous Peacekeepers from the The Order of Blue Fire the team receives a mission from Lady Knight Zara Sernet.

They are to descend into the Underdark and more specifically into the Feydark to confirm the presence of a powerful source of energy used by the fomorians and if it could be turned into a weapon. The priestess of Red Knight also informs them that a team from the Red Wizards of Delzimmer was captured as they were investigating the same energy source. Tristan’s in-laws were among the captured, along with their black unicorn mounts.

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A Giant Step Towards Victory

As they finally leave Lastarr, the Crimson Talons scouts are reached by the superior officer, Blue Ghost who, upon learning that they are behind enemy lines, asks them to move into the Curna Mountains to spy upon a meeting between two factions of the Beastlords. The Dustwalls Giants, led by Queen Thrumbolg are meeting the Fomorians of King Nacmoran near an abandonned mine to discuss.

The master spy ask his agents to learn what are the reasons behind this meeting and if, possible ensure the Fomorians won’t join Veldorn against Estagund.

While travelling towards the rendez-vous point, the group encounter a team of Peacekeepers from the The Order of Blue Fire, who hire them to assist in their mission against the giants.

The party’s master plan worked perfectly and, after some subterfuge, the giants and the fomorian start a fight, leading to the death of almost all giants and the loss of the magical item carried by the fomorian leader, an orb made of crystallized blue fire which seems to be the focus of the Peacekeepers’ intervention.

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Dealing with the enemy

Following their gut feeling and some strange signs related to Red Knight, the Birdeyes follow a mysterious figure revealed to be Petros the Free, a man linked to Lucius’ past.

As he gets attacked by slaads in a warehouse, they move in, defending the spellscarred wizard.

Petros later reveal his employer, House Corynian, has forged an alliance with Chaka Datharathi, making him an enemy.

The wizard then makes them a proposition, informing them about the Datharathis’ hatred of the Beastlords. This revelation might change the course of the war as another possible ally appears.

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