Unlikely Heroes of Fallcrest

Battle of Fallcrest

The Iron Circle attacked Fallcrest with a monstrous force. The heroes were stationed on the north wall, where figting was expected to be the fiercest. However, they stood against the onslaught well, fighting a horde of soldiers, orcs, ogres, and even a pair of dragons.

After fending off those threats, the heroes were forced to run to the north gate, which had broken under the strain of an ogre attack. However, the adventurers were able to take charge of the situation quickly, and Niir was able to barter peace with Irontooth, causing the Iron Circle troops to withdraw.

At this point, the heroes were able to relax for a moment, thinking the battle to be over. However, they were soon approached by Dar Gremath, who told them that enemies had been sighted coming from Serim Selduzar’s old house. It quickly became obvious that the entire attack against Fallcrest had been a distraction.

The heroes hurried toward Selduzar’s house, only to be stopped by some kobolds, who had seen a group of Iron Circle soldiers heading into the catacombs. Not having time to spare, the heroes sent Kaltis and Aughran with a detachment of soldiers to close the portal in Selduzar’s house, while the heroes (accompanied by Dar Gremath) set off for the catacombs.

It didn’t take too long to find where the Iron Circle troops had broken through a cavern wall into a long disused portion of the catacombs. The heroes hurried on and quickly killed a small group of IC troops that had been waiting in ambush.

In the next room, they surprised a group of Iron Circle troops, Selduzar among them, who were intent upon a pit in the center of the floor. Across the room, Selduzar and another mage were chanting a spell. Once the battle broke out, the two mages continued to chant, not taking time to attack the heroes.

As the group of adventurers engaged the enemy, they began to focus on a powerful dragonborn. They eventually realized that he was Lord Vhennyk. The battle raged on for a while, but it gradually became clear that the heroes would be victorious. Niir and Tyria focused their attacks on the mages, and eventually succeeded in killing Selduzar. But before they could kill the other mage, the portal opened, and a monstrous demon began to climb out — Torog himself!

As the heroes gazed in wonder, Kael noticed that his mighty sword, Hellbringer, had begun to glow a fierce red in response to the god’s presence. Without thinking, Kael leapt toward Torog, bringing his blade down into the god’s back. With a scream of rage and defiance, Torog fell back through the portal — and Kael fell with him. A blast of energy shot through the cavern ceiling, straight into the sky. The portal immediately closed, and the cavern began to crumble in on itself. As the heroes ran to safety, they saw a large boulder fall onto Vhennyk, presumably killing him.

Over the next several days, the heroes helped in the cleanup effort in the city. They were celebrated as the saviors of Fallcrest, but their hearts remained heavy with the loss of Kael. One night, as they sat around a table at the inn, a young man came inside, leading an old blind woman. He apologized for interrupting the heroes, but said that his grandmother wished to speak with them.

The old woman thanked the group for all they had done for the city, and she offered her condolences for what had happened to their friend. However, she also told them that Kael was not dead, but merely trapped in the Abyss. There may be a way to rescue him, and she proceeded to tell them of one far to the north who might be able to help…

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Preparations

Dar Gremath has arrived, but there is little time for catching up. Spies have reported that the Iron Circle is marching toward Fallcrest and will be there within days. Luckily, the heroes’ stronghold, Brightstone Keep, is south of Fallcrest and shouldn’t see any action. Faren Markelhay has asked the heroes to help shore up defenses along the city’s walls.

Heroes, what suggestions do you have? Fallcrest hasn’t faced a threat this grave since the Bloodstone Orcs attacked, and that battle brought the city to its knees. May the gods keep us from such a fate this time!

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Cult of Torog

Things are finally coming together. Kaltis reported to the heroes that Serim Selduzar has been attending weekly meetings at Armos Kamroth‘s estate. Many people from town attend, sometimes as many as 30. They all come in robes, but it’s not certain if that’s merely to hide their identities, or if there’s some other reason.

The heroes also receive word from Dar Gremath that spies are reporting heavy Iron Circle activity in the north. Apparently, Lord Vhennyk has been able to gain a foothold in Hammerfast and completely overtake Winterhaven. The spies also report that Vhennyk is interested in Fallcrest, and there may be a group of Iron Circle sympathizers in Fallcrest right now, plotting to take the city from within. Gremath promises to come to Fallcrest soon. Until then, the heroes should stay watchful.

After discussing Gremath’s message with Lord Markelhay, the heroes decided to learn more about what Selduzar and Kamroth were up to. They had Kaltis “interrogate” one of the people who went to the weekly meetings. From that, they learned that Kamroth was leading a cult of Torog worshipers who were set on bringing him into the earthly realm. It also appeared that they were connected with Lord Vhennyk — he was searching for portals in Winterhaven, Hammerfast, and now Fallcrest. After sharing this information with Markelhay, the heroes (and some soldiers) raided the cult’s meeting. They arrested about 5 cult members, including Kamroth. Selduzar escaped further into the caverns beneath Fallcrest.

After persuing Selduzar for some time, the heroes found Tev Markelhay‘s final resting place, after his flight during the battle with the Bloodspear Orcs. Deeper into the caverns, they met some kobolds who were complaining about their leader, an ogre named Snots. The heroes offered to rid them of this ogre, and the kobolds led them deeper into the warren. Snots was wearing the tarnished crown of Tev Markelhay and also had Moonsbane, Aranda Markelhay’s sword, on his hip. The heroes defeated the ogre and returned the crown and sword to Faren Markelhay. They also agreed to keep the kobolds’ presence a secret, and Niir has told their leader, Rysys, that he may be in touch.

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Brindol

After spending a couple of weeks at Brightstone Keep (our heroes’ home), they set off for Brindol. Serim Selduzar told them that Astinus the Chronicler had once lived there and wrote histories about the region. His house would be a good place to check for information on the Markelhays’ history in Brindol.

After several days of travel, the heroes found themselves on a narrow trail that cut through a forest. The sun was sinking low, and they began to wonder where they should settle for the night, when they met a kind old woman coming the other direction. She invited them to stay at her house for the night and exchanged pleasantries with them as she led them there. When they arrived at her quaint cottage, she invited them in, but asked Tyria to help her gather some eggs for dinner. When Tyria complied, the door latched shut on the other heroes, and the old woman turned into her true form, a death hag.

As Tyria Mithlass fended off the hungry fiend, Kael burst through the wooden door in one charge, but was stung by a poisoned needle in the process. The ensuing battle was difficult, but the heroes eventually defeated the hag. As soon as she was dead, the quaint cottage and stables faded and overgrown ruins replaced them. Humanoid remains were scattered all over the place, as well as old weapons and armor. There was little of value to be found, until they uncovered a remarkable longbow with the name Relentless etched into the handle. It was perfect for Tyria.

After spending the night, the heroes continued on their journey and met with no other misfortune for the next three days. Finally, they could see Brindol in the distance. On their way to the city, they passed some farmers working in a field who were able to provide some basic information about the city, though none of them knew anything of great detail. They knew that something horrible had happened there long ago, and they believed the Markelhays were the cause. They also warned that no one who entered the city ever came back out.

Undeterred, the heroes continued on to the town. They were able to secure a couple of rafts that brought them across the river, and they landed at Brindol Square. It was the middle of the day, and no signs of life could be seen in the city. It had obviously been long abandoned.

As they started down a side street on their way to Astinus the Chronicler’s house, they noticed movement off to their left. A being was coming their way from a shadowed alley. Then the moans began. What happened to Brindol suddenly became clear. The town had been ravaged by a zombie plague.

After a brief altercation with a small group of zombies, the heroes made it to a nearby rooftop. Luckily, no one had been bitten. However, the moans and commotion were drawing other zombies to their location. The next couple of hours consisted of the heroes moving from roof to roof, firing at whatever zombies they could catch in their line of sight. One of the buildings they happened upon was Wind and Wood Provisioners. Finding it empty, they were able to loot a fair amount of gold and valuables. Eventually, they came to Astinus’s house.

In order to make it inside, they were forced to run across a large open area, which provoked some attacks by a few zombies. But once again, the heroes were lucky enough to avoid being bitten.

Inside, they found the remains of several citizens on the third floor. It was obvious that they had starved to death, never finding a way past the zombies. They also found the last entries Astinus made in his History of Brindol. It was clear that this new information made the Markelhay family look bad, but the heroes reasoned that this was still old news — events of things that happened generations ago. It didn’t necessarily mean that the current Lord Markelhay was involved in any evil.

After taking an extended rest and waiting for the zombie crowds to dissipate, the heroes crept out onto the roof and started making their way toward Brindol University, where they thought they might find a portal. However, before they could get far, they came upon a mage who seemed to have control of the zombies. He was searching for the heroes, and when he sensed Niir’s presence, he called out a greeting. He said his name was Faust and that he had been trapped here years ago by a group of wizards. They had devised an ingenious trap — he could only leave if he was accompanied by other living beings. And since Brindol had no more living beings…

The heroes could sense that he was powerful and evil, but they felt they had no choice but to accept his request and let him travel with them. In exchange, he escorted them through the city to Brindol University. From there, they all teleported to Septarch’s Tower in Fallcrest. In preparation for their arrival, Niir had telepathically informed Aughran and Kaltis that they would be coming, so the two wizards were waiting for them when they arrived.

Niir insisted that Faust stay for a while, but Faust was equally insistent that he needed to be on his way. He had earlier hinted at going to Hammerfast, so the heroes assumed that was his destination.

Once he left, the heroes paid a visit to Serim Selduzar to pass on their new information and to collect the remaining 2000gp he owed them. Selduzar seemed surprised and disheartened by the information, but once again suggested that they begin seriously considering a move against the Markelhays. The heroes disagreed. They simply felt that the evidence so far was circumstantial, and not enough to start a coup over. Selduzar was obviously angry, and they all left on tense terms. Afterward, Niir told Kaltis to keep an eye on Selduzar and report anything suspicious.

It seems as though tensions are mounting, though there’s currently no sign of danger within Fallcrest. Only time will tell what lies in store…

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Our Adventure So Far

Our tale centers around the town of Fallcrest. Niir, Kael, and Alayna joined together to take up a quest from Lord Faren Markelhay to clear out the travel threats around Kobold Hall. As they finished that adventure, they rescued a young elf ranger named Tyria Mithlass. She decided to join their party.

After Kobold Hall, they helped a young man named Draavil from the town of Blackroot who was searching for his missing fiance. The heroes uncovered an evil cult in the village and eradicated the threat. At that point, Tyria left the group to return to her tribe.

Lord Markelhay then dispatched the heroes to Harkenwold where an invading band of mercenaries (the Iron Circle) had taken control of the area and imprisoned Baron Stockmer. Early in the adventure, the heroes teamed up with a githzerai monk named Dak. The adventurers began work with the Harkenwold Resistance, let by Dar Gremath. One of their first tasks was to convince the Woodsinger Elves to help fight the Iron Circle. As it so happened, Tyria was a member of the Woodsinger tribe, and she decided to join them permanently.

During the Harkenwold adventure, Dak was killed. But the heroes were still able to rid the Harkenwold of the Iron Circle and free Baron Stockmer. They returned to Fallcrest as true heroes.

Back in Fallcrest, Markelhay asked them to clear some bandits out of Brightstone Keep and then gave it to them as reward. The heroes were also alerted to a problem at the Septarch’s Tower in Fallcrest, where they found that Nimozaran the Green and Tobolar Quickfoot had been killed by Tobolar’s necromancy experiments. Niir has since been made the Septarch of Fallcrest.

The heroes were also approached by their friend Serim Selduzar, a tiefling merchant. He and his friends had heard troubling rumors about the Markelhays, and they had begun to fear for the safety of the city. Selduzar paid the heroes to investigate the ruins of the Lonely Tower in Fallcrest where they found some possible evidence linking the Markelhays to devious acts. He’s now asked them to go to the city of Brindol, where it’s rumored that more evidence might show the Markelhays as a threat.

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