Session Date: 03/20/2011
In Attendance: Robbb, Drew, Josh, Jason, Scott, Chad, Chris, Kyle
Date: 20th day of Thirdmonth, 1,102nd Year After the Founding of Nerath
The game began with a flashback over 1000 years in the past to the last days of the War of Darkness. The evil Necreus and his Army of Darkness awaits the assault of the Alliance of Light at Ryjum Pass. Ahead of the vile army stands the terrible Tarrasque, a gigantic monster awaiting its master’s orders to attack. Within the ranks of the Alliance are the Champions of the Flame, the Alliance’s greatest heroes. They watch helplessly as Necreus and the Lady Sola battle. The Lady fights valiantly, but ultimately falls to the Dark Lord’s power. He orders the Tarrasque to attack and disappears with the dying Sola. The Champions of the Flame attack the monster, intent upon at least slowing it down. But not long after the fight begins, a brilliant flash of light comes from the north, blinding all momentarily, triggering an earthquake that shakes the mountains. A great crevasse opens up beneath the Tarrasque, swallowing the beast, while a massive avalanche of rock comes tumbling down to choke the crevasse and crushing the Champions. But the heroes die knowing that Sola sacrificed herself to stop Necreus.
1000 years later, eight new recruits find themselves working at the under-staffed, under-manned and under-funded Keep on the Borderlands, which was built after the War of Darkness to watch for dangers from the Forbidden North. But after the fall of the Empire of Nerath, the keep was abandoned for decades until the settlements of the Southland reclaimed it to protect the settlements of the Southland from the growing threats of Ryjum Pass, the Blacksteel Peaks, and the Borderlands. Meant to staff up to 500, the keep now holds barely 50 bordermen. Each of the recruits have this strange dream, or perhaps a vision, of an ancient war and feel as though they actually played a part in it.
The characters are called into Lord Warden Grafire’s chambers, where he and his two advisors; Solarus Aryn and Threnval of the Autumn Wind await. The Lord Warden forms tem into a border patrol and gives their first assignment – to deliver a message to Brogan Pax at the Crossroads Tavern, two days travel from the keep.
Threnval speaks privately with the mage Rolen and asks him to search for whereabouts of the lost Conclave of Magi tower, which was said to have been destroyed at during the Magi Heresy.
The Lord Warden gives the sealed message to the knight, Alexander Hawkins to deliver to Pax and urges the group to make haste. The group hit the road as the weather turns bad. Late in the day, they come across wreckage in the road and all signs point to a wagon beseiged by gnolls. They follow the trail and catch up to the wagon under attack by a pack of hyena and two gnolls. A sole figure holds the pack at bay, defending the fallen wagon occupants and the little girl still in the wagon. The bordermen attack and manage to kill the hyenas and the two gnolls, but not before one warns that “Gnarmak will feast upon their innards.”
The heavily cloaked and covered individual seems protective of the girl and when her father is healed by the priest Azrim, he confirms the stranger to be an ally. The group continue on to the Crossroads and the following day arrive, finding the tavern to be damaged and undergoing repairs. The bordermen spot a halfling directing the repairs and approach him for the whereabouts of Brogan Pax. The halfling, named Maris, says Pax went to Winecrest to restock on his spirits and was due back days ago. He says the inn was attacked the day before by rogue elves and wolves. Some of the townsfolk said the elves were acting strangely and one said their eyes were completely black – a sign of possession from a malevolent entity. They also overhear a servant of the tavern telling Maris that Pax’s personal chambers were broken into during the attack and his chest was taken. The bordermen decide to follow the trail found by Rasper and Damocles and they head south towards Winecrest.
Not an hour later, they come across Pax’s wagon, overturned and several barrels broken lying upon the road along with elven corpses. Signs of battle indicate that Pax was attacked by elves and wolves and dragged into the wilderness. The dead elves had a skull symbol burned into the flesh, another sign of malevolent possession. They follow the trail into the wilderness and are attacked by elves and wolves at the edge of a copse of trees. The battle is short, elves and wolves are killed, and a search reveals the same skull symbol on the elves’ bodies.
They enter the woods and find Pax held captive by the rogue elves. They also find the source of the elves’ corruption – a tree possessed by a palpably malevolent entity. The elves attack with swords and arrows, while the tree reaches out with animated roots, branches and psychic energies. The bordermen manage to dispatch the elves and drive the entity from the tree. Within a hollow of the tree they find magical items.
Also within the hollow, a large open chest is found. A mess of documents are scattered around the hollow; the contents of the chest. As the bordermen gather the fragile documents to put back in Pax’s chest, they can’t help but notice that they are records from the Keep on the Borderlands and are very old, dating back nearly 600 years. Most of the pages are damaged by age and elements, but some of the writings seem oddly clear, as though somehow restored to its original quality. These pages are records of a prisoner at the keep – a dragonborn named Valthorn. Apparently, the dragonborn was once a paladin of Bahamut, but had gone bad and murdered his companions and numerous other innocents. Captured by the keep’s knights, Valthorn was sentenced to death and hanged at the keep. The records also mention that Valthorn carried upon his body a strange object – a black crystalline skull, which the keep’s Solarus declared to be vil and ordered it be destroyed. Nothing more is legible in the papers.