Chaos In Torvar

A Dwarven Vision
Backstory

A shrine in the middle of the woods, a shrine of Kord………..

A glorious battle, goblins, wolves, a man with fangs, and an assassin of light….

Hammer held high, the shock of a goblin skull caving in, a dire wolf’s growl, and a crack of thunder….

And then, a feeling of purpose, of righteousness, of destiny….

The same damn vision every few days, Hadar was growing impatient for he’d been at the shrine in his visions for 4 days now. Other than smiting the kobold brigands that tried to rob him during his journey here there hadn’t been a bit of excitement for Hadar in the weeks since he left the Northic Halls. Being a Warpriest of Kord usually doesn’t call for such patience.

Hadar gave a quick prayer: “Praise be to Kord and may Kord bring me a battle soon.”

And the Warpriest waited.

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The First Meeting

After several days of wandering down the mountain, Heimdal enters the Wrathwood. His faint memories remind him of a temple nearby that would act as a trade hub for his own. Before he gets very far into the forest, he feels a faint rush of wind and is upended as something strikes his legs. His sword goes flying. Heimdal believes himself to be in a dream as he watches a wolf change into a bear and pin him to the ground. It speaks with a commanding voice, “Who are you and whence do you come?”

Slightly confused, Heimdal replies, “My name is Heimdal, and I’m coming from atop the mountain.”

This doesn’t answer the bear’s questions sufficiently as he leans heavier on Heimdal’s chest. “I can see you come from the mountain you dolt. Do you have word from the temple?”

“Gone.” Is all Heimdal can respond with. At this, the bear, unsettled by Heimdal’s response, eases off of his chest but keeps poised to attack.

“Why is it that you managed to survive?” the bear queries.

Heimdal collects his thoughts and states, “I awoke among the ruin. I have little knowledge of what happened as the hour of my reincarnation just so happened to coincide with what ever befell my previous home. I lived there once, that much I do remember.”

“Do you remember where you got that giant’s walking stick?” The bear says nodding to the sword on the ground.

“I pulled it from the hands of a Rakshasa who was slain outside of the temple. Who slew him and what part he played I can only guess at,” replies Heimdal, not entirely sure if he believes what may have really happened.

“That is most disturbing,” and at this the bear stands aside and changes to a young man. Though clearly as tall as Heimdal himself, the boy is a bit lankier. He introduces himself, “You must forgive me, but we have had no contact with the temple for some time now. My name is Aleric. This forest is my home and I do my best to protect it from strangers, and well… you seem a bit strange if you don’t mind me saying.” The young man rubs the back of his head in a sort of nervous joking manner.

“I understand,” Heimdal simply says. “There is another temple not far from here that I wish to visit. Is it possible for you to guide me there? I have nothing to offer you save some faint memories. If you enjoy stories, I would be happy to tell you some on our journey.”

The young man looks around him as if seeking approval. He is not alone. “Smart child,” Heimdal says to himself. Apparently approval has been granted as Aleric dusts off his boots, “Let us begin then. We have only two days travel but there is much I wish to know. Perhaps something will come back to you as well.”

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Destiny's Call

Two days and memories have yet to work their way back into Heimdal’s mind. While he entertains the young Aleric with tales of his people and their nemesis, they make their way to the shrine of Kord. Upon approaching the shrine, they notice that the grass has overgrown the path and the shrine seems untended to. Piles of stone and rubble seem to indicate there was once structures surrounding the intact shrine, but they crumbled long ago. Still their eyes saw the glint of candles within the shrine itself so they continued on. As they entered the shrine beneath the candles, a soft shadow falls from a dwarf who is deep in prayer. “Seems he’s nodded off,” Aleric whispers through a cupped hand.

Their presence doesn’t go unnoticed though. The dwarf pulls himself up and makes his way towards the two strangers.

“Kord truly answers prayers in the oddest fashion sometimes,” he says with a smile beneath his beard.

Heimdal and Aleric trade glances but both remain calm; the dwarf clearly means no harm. “The boy looks like he’s ready for adventure, but you my friend,” scanning Heimdal, “you look like you’ve been to the bottom of a mine filled with Kobolds… possibly a few rats as well.”

“Survival took precedence over aesthetics,” Heimdal answers. “Who are you friend? Travel doesn’t seem to have worn down your spirits.”

“Hadar will suffice though some like to add on a few extra names, Hadar Morgenson of the Granite Spring clan. My visions gave me images but they did not provide names. What do they call you besides tall?”

“I’m Heimdal. I come anew to this plane though I have been here many times.”

“Aleric is my name sir,” reaching out his hand.

Hadar shakes Aleric’s hand, “A bit gangly but there is might in that grip young Aleric.” Hadar looks around twice and pats his pockets. “Well everything is in order, are you two ready? The Goblins will be here soon!”

Heimdal and Aleric stand agape for a moment but before they can answer, Hadar has already passed the door and begun a jaunty whistle. “Kord will show you in time boys. Let’s be off.” And so began their adventure.

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A Battle in the Wilderness

stub for our first session

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A Journey into the North

stub for our second session

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Fleeing into the Night

Having heroically driven off the goblin raiders and their viscious dire wolves. After having not so heroically setting fire to the fields of wheat surrounding Stamford. Heimdall, Aleric, and Hadar faced the task of evacuating the surviving citizens of Stamford to safety.

Unfortunately safety was several days journey away and it was already late into the day TBC

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Searching for Answers

The group returned to Coldfire after successfully evacuating a northern village that was under assault by goblin raiders. After a tense interview with Baron Coldfire the three adventurers were dismissed, on the way out a barister accused them of being the root of the area’s troubles and referred to missing refugees.

Concerned Aleric and Heimdal searched for clues but were unable to find anything concrete thought they confirmed that multiple families and groups claimed to have had members go missing after they arrived in Coldfire. Upon hearing that there was a large sewer system that had fallen to ruins underneath Coldfire itself they investigated the tunnels.

Set upon by a number of disease maddened rats they eventually discovered the lair of several were-rats who had been feeding upon Coldfire residents and waylanders. Most disturbing of all they found a journal detailing how the were-rats had made a pact with some unknown man to allow passage through the sewers unmolested.

Exhausted from two unexpectedly fierce battles Heimdal, Aleric, and Hadar climbed out the sewers to deliver the grim news to Adam.

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A Return to the Muck

Upon their return to Coldfire and speaking with Adam of the evidence found in the were-rats lair, Adam was left at a loss. Without further evidence of exactly who or what was smuggling human captives through the old sewer system Adam was unable to give the Baron a plan of action. Sending the party back to discover where the trail lead, they grimly washed up and got a nights sleep to return seeking more answers.

Upon further exploration of the sewer system they discovered that there was a passageway connected to a disguised and refurbished warehouse. It was guarded by a pack of zombies an several ghoul sentries. After a valiant battle and headlong chase of the retreating ghoul through the grime and the muck the party was victorious. But the noise and length of their encounter allowed for the evil within to prepare more servants and kill what appeared to be the only human witness. The same necromantic force again confronted them with a wraith and several more undead servant.

The party quickly retreated after taking what evidence they could gather to bring Adam and the milita to the site. Sadly the two hours journey proved enough time for unseen servants of the evil to set the warehouse ablaze. The only remaining clues were the clothes, armor, and weapons taken from the slain man, now identified as Joseph right hand man of Sharna the merchant.

Adam raced to the Baron to inform him and hopefuly confront Sharna, meanwhile the party searched for Sharna at his home and staked out Sharna’s mansion to ensure he did not escape questioning. What should have been a boring few hours while the Baron and Adam questioned Sharna were suddenly broken by the screams of a woman from inside the house itself.

Without pause or support from the Milita guards assigned to them Heimdal, Aleric, and Hadar broke down the doors to find horrors inside….

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Aleric's First Lesson

On my first day of Druid training, my instructor, Nimtharion, recounted to me this story:

“Anlothiel was a queen of refugees. Her homeland torn asunder by war and her husband slain, she fled her native shores with her son, Thotoron, and all the people she could gather. After landing in Torvar, Anlothiel sought a home for herself and her people. Ever mistrusting the Dwarves, and disdaining the Humans and their insidious politicking, she sought refuge on the outskirts of the Wrathwood, hoping the reputation of the predatory forest would keep conquerors at bay.

“She asked me to train her son in the ways of the Druid, in the hopes that a greater understanding of the world of the beasts would aid him when he inherited the stewardship of the forest village. The lad was a prodigy, easily excelling in all of my lessons. But his natural talent bred arrogance, which led to his downfall.

“One day, a band of nomadic Shifters came to trade in the village square. One told a tale of a legendary dragon which dwelt within the Wrathwood; a creature the Shifters simply named ‘Predator’. To hear them tell it, the creature had lived 500 years and knew no equal within its domain. Thotoron saw it as a challenge. He grew determined to track, find, and kill this creature as a testament to his own skill. But no matter the legend, the dragon was a creature of the Wrathwood, and the Wrathwood protects its own.

“Three weeks after he set out on his fool’s errand, I found Thotoron in the forest. His left arm was forever maimed and the claw marks across his face had blinded his right eye. He would never fight again.”

Turning to me, Nimtharion spoke this, “When Thotoron looks upon you, you will feel his hatred, but know this: It is a hatred born out of his own failure. The sheep does not stalk the wolf, nor does the sparrow hunt the hawk. To be a Druid, you must always respect the natural order.”

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Death's Doorstep

Heimdall, Aleric, and Hadar burst into the Green mansion only to find that the vile undead had already dispatched most of the living servants and residences of the house. A dark Wraith lurked on the top floor hissed at the site of the three’s entrance and appeared to order the rest to attack before phasing through a wall.

Immediately thrust into battle against a conventional assortment of Skeletons and Zombie Rotters the three quickly moved in as a unit to prevent from being overwhlemed alone attacked the foul creatures. Despite this practice formation young Aleric was siezed by a foul zombie and unable to use his usual quickness was knocked unconcious by the strong but lumbering rotters.

Hadar infused the young shifter with the magic of Kord, allowing him to awaken and rejoin the battle. Then suddenly a young servant girl ran into the room with a foul mass of skin and necrotic energy chasing her, it quickly caught and killed her. Upon ending her life it suddenly divided into two identical creatures. Fortunately these flying creatures proved to be but pets, especially to Heimdal who’s astral nature made him virtually impervious to the creatures fly by attacks.

After dispatching their initial foes and exploring the mansion a new type of zombie was encountered. Long and agile, stealthy instead of lumbering, and crafty instead of ravenous this creature skulked along the walls and ceiling. This foul beast along with two Ghoul companions nearly overwhelmed the party. Before their defenses were completely defeated Adam arrived with reinforcements from the town guard. The powerful cleric healed and inspired the three to continue onward to the top floor, where the source of the evil resided.

In the master suite of the Green’s a dark orb of foul magic was being used to peel back the barrier between the shadowfell and this realm. Any creature nearby rose upon death until its mortal shell was shattered beyond all ability to hold any sort of animus. A fierce battle with the orb’s guardians commenced. A sinster elf, a horde of zombies within the room and from the rest of the house, and finally a hulking giant zombie construct all attacked the party and their companions.

Through Hadar and Adam’s divine power, Heimdall’s cunning unravelling of the orb’s magic, Aleric’s quick use of druid fire, and the bravery of Bob the militiamen the party succeeded in ending the a foul summoning.

In the aftermath the mansion burned, the heroes were rewarded by the Baron, and Greenw as hung as a vile necromancer. In the weeks that followed the undead incursions stopped and Coldfire began to return to normal. The Baron and the people seemed to think the threat had been found and defeated, only Adam and the party seemed to know that this was only the first battle.

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