Realm Runners

CHAPTER FOURTY FIVE: Alea Iacta Est

Cliff’s Vision


Cliff and Sam make their way over to the Temple of Amanator. Sam sits down quietly in the back as the monk heads towards a large relief of a Golden Sun to explore his new found faith. An elder of Amanator greets him as he approaches the altar. Cliff asks for information attempts to express what he is going through and calls into question his punching of Undead in the eye of the golden sun. The elder, named Alfaeus, reccomends punching whatever his heart tells him to punch, and offers him time alone to meditate.

Everything in the temple begins to shine with a divine light. Cliff feels an overwhelming sense of love and protection. The large Golden Sun relief of Amanator mounted on the wall before him shatters and opens, becoming a window to another place…

He can see a volcano erupting, then a forest edge at dusk, the bodies of Eladrin and Elven warriors lie among the remains of undead. A bell rings out in the night, and an army of skeletal dwarves charge forward across a field.

The Temple of Amanator begins to burn up around him. It’s walls crumble away, to reveal a burning Neverwinter. A screeching wail can be heard above, the silhouette of a Dracolich beats it’s wings amongst the billowing smoke.

The temple returns as it was, the sun reforms, and the divine light returns to the light of dawn.

Cliff stands as the vision fades and his Tattoo reforms into a new design. The elder returns with a scroll of information about Amanator. He thanks Elder Alfaeus and leaves quickly with Sam, telling him what he just experienced. They make their way back to the Golden Griffon.

Worm Delivery


As Mentathenis, and the others are getting back to the Inn, Terrlen greets him warmly after having missed his return. He tells the Eladrin that he met Lex Broadbarn last night while drinking at the Gullhouse and the halfling has been waiting for him to pick up the worm that Saranine requested, delivered by Trysta Riversong.

Mentathenis, Aces, Fanidea and Megilwath head to the western cliffs to the site of the fairgrounds of Neverwinter. As they approach, they can see four wagons, two of which are large cages, one piled with rocks. and one is an ornate carriage. One of the cages is covered and one holds a large Dire Deer. They make their way past the two guards and enter into Lex Broadbarn’s office cart.

The Halfling Entertainment King greets Mentathenis, and the two briefly talk about his Faire, Mentathenis’ father, and their adventures together. He informs Mentathenis that Trysta left to help fight against the Netherese in Neverwinter Wood after dropping the creature off. The worm will respond to the name “Gyre” and consumes rocks and any other organic thing placed in front of it.

They thank the halfling and say their farewells. The three head out to inspect the worm as the remaining Broadbarn Faire wagons pull away from Neverwinter. Fanidea has heard tale of Drow Priestess’ in the underdark controlling purple worms with certain magical items, but she is unsure what exactly is required to do it properly.

As they feed it rocks and try to figure out ways to get the worm to dig where they need it, the ground rumbles beneath their feet. In the distance, to the north east, a red orange glow blasts smoke into the sky. Moments later, a concussive blast rips across the city. Mount Hotenow has erupted, and the Dracolich Aurgloroasa can be seen in the skies above the volcano.

Aces’ Gamble


After regrouping at the Golden Griffon and hearing about Cliff’s vision, including Aurgloroasa, her dwarven army of Thunderholm, and the possible fate of Neverwinter. Aces invites Megilwath to help her free Valindra Shadowmantle from the dungeon. When asked why by Fanidea and Sam, the mul admits she believes the only way to defeat an army of such size is to free Valindra and make allies of the Thayan Undead Empire.

Fanidea goes with them, unwilling to let Megilwath out of her sight, at the behest of Aces who would have rather relied on stealth. They pass the guards with ease and head down into the dungeon, making their way to the bottom and into Valindra’s cell. The Lich, now returned to her Eladrin form, is suprised to see them again. Aces attempts to make amends for the misunderstanding of her motives and offers the Lich back her rings. She also offers the bones of the remaining Neverwinter Nine if they can speak to her boss, the Red Wizard Szass Tam.

Valindra agrees and opens a portal between the dungeon cell and another room. Through the portal, Aces, Megilwath and Fanidea can see into a command room packed with undead. The Red Wizard sits on a raised throne in the center of the room, overseeing. Aces stands for a long while staring through the portal, questioning her decision to take this path. Finally she steps through and Valindra motions for her to speak with Szass Tam.

After talking things through with the Thayan command, and turning over the powdered bones of the Nine, Szass Tam agrees to protect Neverwinter and it’s mortal citizens from the encroaching Shadovar and their allies. Satisfied with the outcome of the tenuous meeting, Aces, Fanidea and Megilwath step back through the portal. On their way out of the dungeon, they pretend that Valindra has escaped her cell due to negligence of security on the part of the Neverwinter Guard.

Securing a Vessel


As Cliff, Ehd and Sam watch over Gyre; Aces, and Mentathenis return to the docks near the Gullhouse and talk to Gregor Faringray about chartering the Tombstone for their journey into the trackless sea in the hunt for the Island that Saranine believes may hold the key to the locations of the other wraith blade shards.

The old sailor tells them that it of great risk to sail into the Trackless Sea this time of year. The weather is a danger and to stock a ship for that kind of journey and for that many is highly expensive, beyond loading a giant worm and it’s pile of rocks. Not to mention the possibility of piracy, or disease, or sea monsters…It would be irresponsible. The passengers, his crew and sons, could end up paying with their lives. He reminds Aces that the Tombstone is old, and is not a fast ship.

Despite this Aces and Mentathenis convince Gregor to rig the ship for such a journey at the cost of 7,500 gold, and the party begins to move their cargo onto the ship.

Scouting


Sam, upset by being left out of the decision to suddenly place their trust in Thay, asks Lythannis, Mentathenis and Modreg to mount up on Celestine to scout the woods to see if there is a better way to protect Neverwinter besides placing it in the hands of another undead army.

The three fly out over the woods and see the Elves and Eladrin still cleaning up Xinlenal’s remaining forces. As they fly closer to Mount Hotenow, they can see the army of the Thunderpeaks assembling. They spot thousands of undead dwarves, hounds and Minotaurs.

They keep their distance and head back hastily when a draconic scream can be heard.

They return to Neverwinter and tell the others what they would be up against. Knowing the enemies numbers, the heroes decide to stay through the night and be the city’s last line of defense if the Thayan lines are broken.

Battle of the Never


In the evening, no dwarves make their way across the fields towards the city, though a Blazing fire spreads through Neverwinter Wood as the sounds of thunderholm catapults lay siege to unseen armies. Green arcane flashes and explosions can be seen and heard well into the night. By the next dawn, Neverwinter, and all it’s guardsmen still stand at post without a scratch. Aurgloroasa is nowhere to be seen. It appears that Aces’ deal with The Thayan Empire has paid off.

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Trysta

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