Wyrmshadow: The Duskreign Prophecy

TDRP-S2




Session Two

Prologue

Once he was well past the south gate and clear of all the prying eyes and sharp ears of Ouldengaard, the rider quickened the pace of his saddlebred steed, hastening toward the copses of ancient elms that dotted the horizon. Before long, the rider that left Imperia was gone, and a new rider sat atop the swift and sturdy brindle horse. Shifting his weight to the right and tugging the reins tight, he brought the horse to a gallop, then a canter, and finally, a full stop. He gazed through his hooded cloak into the distance, scanning the lands, the skies, everywhere for signs that he might be seen by unwanted eyes.

Confident in his seclusion, the man that was just moments ago the young sellsword named Alen Wilder lashed his horse’s reins to the low hanging branch of a dead elm. He patted the horse lightly before leaving it to enter the small wooded area, and as his cloak faded into the shadows of the trees, he seemed to disappear altogether.

“I have been sent south, my master,” the Nameless said, his voice a sinewy whisper that sounded akin to a violin string being briskly shorn with a dull iron dagger. " The Emerald Knight sent me to check his suspicions regarding this.”

Producing a thick, round disc of silver with a faintly glowing crystal embedded at its center, the Nameless reached to hand the device over to his master, but a shimmering, golden hand waved him off.

“It pains me by its mere presence,” Belthazar said, his voice cold and coarse as stone. “It is a tool of the demons. I’ve seen them before, in ages past.”

“What is it, master? The Emerald Knight thinks it some sort of device for controlling the minds of others.”

“It is indeed,” Belthazar replied, stepping from the shadows to regard his Nameless servant. “Where was this item found?”

“In the boudoir of Elucia Castille… "

“Castille, of course,” Belthazar said, curling the fingers of his left hand into a coil of anger. For a moment, the flames of his halo blazed bright enough to force the Nameless to avert his eyes. “He rides north even now.”

" …Baron Castille is coming here? To Imperia?’

“Yes,” Belthazar said, “And he is not coming alone. You will ride south, as you were ordered. However, there is one further stop you must make before you find your way to the Castillands…”

Session Highlights

In the Courtyard of the Emerald Academy, Eastgates, Imperia

  • Sir Kelvan Oakburne regards the Gnoll that was just unceremoniously shoved to his feet, then brushed past the creature to look into the eyes of the strange woman who brought the Gnoll to his doorstep. Sir Kelvan asked who she was, and her answer (that she was a simple sellsword who came to know that this Gnoll had something to do with a possible assassination plot) led the Emerald Knight to believe the woman to be far more than she was letting on. While Sir Kelvan took the Gnoll into the Emerald Academy to interrogate him, he asked Sir Drogyn Martok to pay the mercenary and send her on her way. However, enamored of her beauty, Drogyn instead offered to allow the woman, Electria Bolten, to accompany him on his way to Reignton, where the majority of the Emerald Guard was standing in wait for the recently arrived entourage of Prince Jeremiah and Princess Serafina of Quae Elfien.
  • Within the Emerald Academy, Kogatana Sunagi aided Sir Kelvan in interrogating Grash Gnawbone, who revealed that a Silver Dragon had accompanied the female sellsword in securing his capture. It was revealed that Grash worked as a courier of sorts, and that he was sent from Iul to Imperia to deliver a black metal box with some money in it to a tavern in Fiuracht Glen. It was the same box that Koga had procured the day before, which contained Castilland coins and a detailed list of ways to subvert the security of the Emerald Arena. Grash was on his way back south, to Iul, to collect his reward when the Dragon and the woman came to capture him. Not trusting the sellsword, Sir Kelvan sent Kogatana to track her down, learn all he could about her, and report back to him.

At the Grand Concourse in Reignton

  • A quintet of carriages rounded the grand fountain to stop in front of a collection of soldiers wearing the green and gray tabards of the Imperian Color Guard. In truth, these soldiers were the elite Emerald Guard, having taken the guise of a lesser unit in order to gain proximity to the unannounced visitors from the south without giving the outward appearance of aggression. Among these soldiers were Nathan Gellar and Haagen Castille. Haagen noticed that Sir Forne, the senior knight on scene, was agitated by something he noticed about the approaching carriages. Haagen realized that these were no Quae coaches, but the familiar conveyances of his youth. These were Castille carriages, and they were piloted, and protected, not by Quae or Imperian forces but by the mercenaries employed by his father, Baron Elrick, to serve as his personal guard. Sir Forne did not like the idea of a mercenary squad coming into Reignton, so he surreptitiously called for the “color guard” to fan out and form a half-moon around the carriages.
  • Exiting from two of the carriages were Baron Elrick Castille, Prince Jeremiah, and Princess Serafina. Elrick did not seem to notice Haagen at all, at least initially. Jeremiah seemed gracious and polite, yet remarkably self-possessed at the same time. Serafina, while quite pretty, was almost too dainty and frail. Haagen saw Nathan craning his neck to get a better look at her from the end of the half-moon formation. Elrick demanded that the color guard escort the Prince and Princess to their accommodations at once, but when the captain of the color guard announced that no accommodations had yet been made, Elrick grew audacious and flippant, demanding an explanation. He claimed that he sent word over a month ago that he was going to be escorting the young prince and princess to visit Imperia for the Grand Tourney, but no such message was ever received. In haste, the captain of the color guard proclaimed that the most lavish inn in Imperia would be cleared of all its patrons in order to satisfy the needs of the visiting royalty from Quae Elfien.
  • It was at this moment that Elrick noticed his son, Haagen, among the color guard. Haagen recognized the danger this placed him in, as well as the fact that his father’s presence in Imperia bade poorly for Elucia, who could not have any idea that Baron Castille was even coming. Before the princess was loaded onto her carriage again, Prince Aren Koslov, heir to the throne of Imperia, arrived with his retinue, and it seemed that he became instantly smitten with the comely, yet frail Elven princess. He knelt to kiss her hand gallantly, and asked that the color guard spare no effort in making their unexpected guests as happy as possible. After the carriages left for their accommodations in Ouldengaard, Haagen departed at once for Eastgates, where he hoped to find his sister in the Farseer’s Tower and get her safely away from the clutches of their nefarious father.

Within the Emerald Arena

  • Primm Skyrin was preparing for his part of the opening ceremonies of the Grand Tourney. Together with his trusted ally, Uryakov Slornn, Primm was going to be a part of the entertainment that preceded the tourney, breathing fire and performing feats of pyrotechnic prowess to amuse and dazzle the crowds as they made their way into the arena the following morning. As he practiced breathing fire and weaving it into animated shapes and different colors, Primm heard rumors of the Drao who came to the arena the previous day, and that Sir Nathan Gellar would be fighting in the final match against this Drao. Intrigued to learn more, Primm noticed that Sir Nathan had just arrived in the arena, accompanied by Sir Drogyn and another familiar face, Electria.
  • Sir Gellar was exasperated about the upcoming fight against the Drao, and he wished to seek the guidance of the slayer of the Drao’s father, Sir Edal Bauer. Drogyn was unabashedly against the idea of bothering Sir Bauer, whose health had been failing him over the past year, but in the end, Nathan gained Drogyn’s favor, the two knights leaving the arena to visit with their old mentor, Sir Bauer. In the meantime, Electria remained in the Emerald Arena with Primm, believing that she was finally where she belonged. She felt strongly that one of the men she had encountered on this day, Drogyn Martok, Primm Skyrin, Kogatana Sunagi, Nathan Gellar, or Haagen Castille, would be the one who is destined to bring ruin to the world of Wyrmshadow. The Duskreign Prophecy would start here, in this very city, and the fall of man and god alike would be brought about by one of those five warriors. Electria was determined to be in the thick of it when the group was first formed, to observe these men, grow close to them all, determine which one was the prophesied destroyer, and slay him before he can fulfill his dark purpose.

On approach to the Farseer’s Tower, Eastgates, Imperia

  • More to come!

The next session of The Duskreign Prophecy will occur on Friday, October 28th at 9:30 PM!

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The Duskreign Prophecy, Session 1




Session One

Prologue

She landed in a weed-strewn knoll, taking Human form and rolling into a crouch behind the cover of a pair of bent birch trees. Sliding her weapon free from its mount on her back, she began to make cautious, scrupulously stealthy progress toward the broken stone wall that separated her from her intended victims. Beyond, knelt in front of the low flames of a modest campfire, was a trio of gnolls engaged in their dinner, all sloppy smacks, noisy gulps, and rank belches.

One of those gnolls, Grash Gnawbone, thought for a moment that he smelled something sweet in the air, and he dropped his bloody horse leg to the ground when he saw the thousands of hairs on his forearm stand up and dance with a sudden static charge. A heartbeat later, a flash of lightning cracked through air overhead and found the campfire, sending burning cinders of splintered wood like deadly shrapnel into the three gnolls. As Grash found his feet, he realized that his two companions lay dead before him, his left arm was torn free at the elbow, and a human female with long, flowing silvery hair dropped down from atop the broken stone wall to land where the campfire once stood.

The gnoll turned to run, but crashed headlong into the chest of an enormous silver dragon! He fell to the cold earth below and spun in crippling fear, clawing with his right arm and left stump to escape the onslaught of the dragon and his human companion. Then, with a sudden jerk, Grash was lifted by his left leg twenty feet into the air, spun so that he could see his reflection in the large, dark eye of the silver dragon.

“You will tell us all you know about the assassination in Imperia, Grash,” the female human said, leaning against the stone wall and crossing her arms. Grash was frozen in fear, and the icy breath of the silver dragon was causing him to shiver even more than he would have if fright had been the only factor.

“Grash knows nothing.”

“Grash lies,” the dragon said, his voice a soft thunder of its own, trembling deeply, as a dam holding back a flood of rage.

“Tell the truth, and you will be spared,” the woman added. “Lie just once more, and I will feed you to my dragon friend.”

Grash trembled as he heard a low, angry rumble from the dragon’s throat. The woman told Grash that Argentum takes a long time eating. “He savors every bite.”

“Grash… Grash knows… something.”

“We thought as much,” Electria said, gesturing for Argentum to drop the gnoll to the ground. As Grash landed, the terror of the moment overwhelmed him, and everything went black…

Session Highlights

Three days ago, at the Old Wolf’s Inn

  • Haagen Castille arrives at the Old Wolf’s Inn in Ouldengaard, Imperia for his traditional, monthly palaver with Nathan Gellar, Alen Wilder, and Kogatana Sunagi, but is surprised to find, seated at their usual table, The Emerald Knight, Sir Kelvan Oakburne, and Sir Jaregan Dwinley, Commandant of the Imperian Academy of Arms and Haagen’s commanding officer.
  • Sir Oakburne passes Haagen a thick, round disc of silver with a faintly glowing crystal embedded at its center. He asks Haagen if he had ever seen the metal disc before, and when he honestly answers ‘no,’ Sir Oakburne reveals that they found the magical device hidden in the topmost drawer of Haagen’s armoire in his quarters at the academy.
  • Sir Oakburne informs Haagen that a plot has been discovered, thanks largely to information obtained from Wendell Gates in the Castillands, which implicates the Hellbrood, the cult of witches and warlocks to which Haagen’s father, Baron Elrick Castille, belonged. The plot appears to be to assassinate a member of the royal family during the Grand Tourney that was scheduled to take place a week from then.
  • The disk, according to Sir Oakburne, is some sort of a long-distance communication device which may allow the demons that pull the strings of the Hellbrood to take direct control of the minds of those who come into contact with it. Sir Oakburne expected to catch Haagen in a lie regarding the nature of the device or his knowledge of it, and thus be forced to slay the young knight-in-training. Fortunately, for both of men, Haagen was completely innocent.
  • Haagen is finally accepted by Sir Oakburne and transferred on the Emerald Knight’s orders to serve as his personal squire. Haagen is now a member of the Emerald Order of Knights. Together, Haagen and Sir Oakburne traveled from the Old Wolf’s Inn to the Farseer’s Tower in Eastgates, where Haagen’s sister Elucia’s quarters were currently being searched for another device like the one they found in Haagen’s room.

Three months ago…

  • Electria descends from Draconia to an uncharted island off the western coast of the continent, where she was met by six other dragons. Among the dragons were Argentum and Thoron, the Dragon King. They were gathered together to initiate Electria into the Thranosian Order as a Valkyrie. This was to be Electria’s Proving.
  • The first phase of the Proving involved five of the dragons, in human form, forming a circle around Electria (also in human form) and Daggerclaw, a Brass Dragon who Electria had to best in combat while Daggerclaw was in his true form and Electria remained in her human guise. After a difficult fight, Electria used cunning to distract Daggerclaw, sending particles of sand into the air and using her shocking grasp ability to render the sand into droplets of molten glass.
  • The second phase of the Proving had Electria in her true form fending off four of the five remaining dragons in their human guises. In the aftermath of her successful Proving, they were gathered at a tavern in Kaselon, where Thoron officially recognized Electria as a Valkyrie of the Thranosian Order. Electria is bestowed the surname Bolten by Thoron.
  • Gildwyn the Gold and the Gray Dragon, Onaga, arrived (in human form) to congratulate Electria, but also to get her to travel with them to visit Dragonskull Castle, where the Prophet Inzaeus had begun to have more clarity in his prophecies. Gildwyn explained that an assassination attempt would take place in three months’ time in Imperia, and that within the band of men sent to give chase after the assassin would be the one prophesied to bring about the destruction of Wyrmshadow.

Three days ago, at the Farseer’s Tower

  • Kogatana Sunagi and Alen Wilder, sellswords in the employ of Sir Kelvan Oakburne, enter the Farseer’s Tower and seek out the quarters of Elucia Castille. Unwittingly, they discover Elucia in a state of undress, which adds further insult to the fact that Alen had been given orders by the Emerald Knight to search Elucia’s quarters.
  • Elucia, in a fit of rage, storms off to find the Headmaster of the Farseer’s Tower, Ozymaris Locke, so that he could prevent Alen and Kogatana from entering her quarters and searching through her belongings. However, when Elucia was turned away by Ozymaris’s personal staff due to his preoccupation with his personal apprentice, Silas Vale, Elucia went on a rant decrying the Farseer’s Tower as ineffectual due to everyone’s obsession with the Headmaster’s favorite student.
  • While Alen remained outside in the corridor with Elucia, Kogatana executed the search and found another metal disc just like the one they found in Haagen’s quarters at the Imperian Academy of Arms earlier that day. Alen leaves to find Sir Oakburne while Kogatana prevents anyone from entering Elucia’s quarters. When Alen returns, it is with Sir Oakburne and Haagen Castille, Elucia’s twin brother.
  • Sir Kelvan enters Elucia’s quarters and disables the magical device, which Haagen realizes has some sort of protection magic that caused Sir Kelvan a great deal of pain while he approached the metal disc. When Sir Kelvan asks Elucia whether she has ever seen a device like this before, she says ‘yes,’ showing Sir Kelvan a drawing she did of the view of her sister Desire’s sepulcher.
  • The sepulcher was a massive metal disc with a large blue gem at its center. Haagen explained that when members of the Castille family died, the disc was magically lifted and the deceased were buried in stone crypts that lay beneath. Sir Kelvan enlists Alen Wilder to take the disabled device south to the Castillands and place it on the grave of Desire Castille. He was to then return to report what happens thereafter.
  • Kogatana is told to use his newfound connections in the seedier parts of Imperia to seek out any sign of a local group that may be in collusion with the Hellbrood in their plot to assassinate a member of the royal family during the Grand Tourney…

Two days later, at the Emerald Arena in Ouldengaard, Imperia

  • Sir Drogyn Martok and Sir Nathan Gellar are sparring in the practice area of the Emerald Arena when an errant sword strike finds a stone object buried loosely under the soft sandy floor of the arena. Nathan unearths the stone to determine that it had a narrow cleft carved into it, wherein the parts to assemble a special crossbow were hidden and buried. As the two young men wondered aloud about the origins of the weapon, they notice the approach of a young Drao warrior.
  • The Drao addresses Nathan by name, informing him that the Drao who was killed by Sir Edal Bauer at the Grand Tourney years earlier was his father, and the Drao girl that Nathan killed (in self defense) was his young sister. The Drao, who never offered his name, questioned Nathan’s honor for having killed a terrified young Drao girl, and he does not believe that it could have been in self defense. He leaves the two men and disappears into the shadows.
  • Later, in Sir Oakburne’s chambers, Drogyn learns that the crossbow was an assassin’s weapon, able to fire a quarrel farther and more accurately than any normal crossbow ever could. Sir Oakburne wants Drogyn to forgo his own exhibition match at the Grand Tourney in order to serve as the personal guard of Prince Aren Koslov. He informs Nathan that rumors have spread that the son of the Drao famously slain by Sir Bauer was back in Imperia to challenge Nathan at the Grand Tourney. By order of Emperor Koslov, Sir Gellar would face this unnamed Drao warrior as the Grand Tourney’s finale.

The next morning

  • The Princess of Quae Elfien and her entourage arrive unannounced and unexpected at the southern gates of Imperia in the early morning hours. Sir Oakburne has been made aware that Baron Elrick Castille is among the revelers that have accompanied the young Elven princess the long way north to Imperia. He orders that the Emerald Guard don the tabards of the Emperor’s Color Guard and perform parade duty to oversee the official royal greeting in Reignton later that morning.
  • Sir Oakburne reveals that his agent, Kogatana Sunagi, discovered a plot to use hidden access points at the Emerald Arena to subvert the security patrols. These plans were written in a letter in Elvish, found in a locked box with a cache of Castilland coinage depicting the profile of Haagen Castille. His meeting with Sir Drogyn is interrupted by Drogyn’s squire, who comes in to inform Sir Oakburne that there is a visitor in the courtyard that demands an audience with him.
  • As they make their way to the courtyard, they discover Electria Bolten (whom none of them know) presenting her captured Gnoll, Grash, who ‘has something he wants to tell you…’

The next session of The Duskreign Prophecy will occur on Friday, October 21st at 9:30 PM!

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