Prolouge and Arrival at Hillcrest

For several months, war has been brewing on the continent of Eur. For the past thirty years, the kingdom of Castelon and the Coalition States have been waging a brutal cold war. After a brief border battle, the Coalition has unveiled its warmachine! They have declared war against Castelon and march against the Kingdom of Wonder!

Our heroes,Amellania Telothien, Egg Shen, Jamir, Glod, Krosand others are drawn to the southern city of Hillcrest in the kingdom of Castelon. Each has their own reasons for seeking to aid the kingdom, but they meet together and form a party.

As the town prepares for a possible Coalition attack, the party pledges to the mayor of Hillcrest that they will stop the scourge of bandits that have been plaguing the region. Together, they wipe out over twenty bandits hiding on the roads between Hillcrest and Castelon. While journeying, the party uncovers evidence that the Coalition has been attacking isolated groups on the roads.

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Several days later, the party discovers that the town of Hillcrest has been under attack by a vampire! With the aid of an old ranger named Nash, the party stops an evil priest of Gwaf and stops his undead minions…only to discover that the vampire is the risen soul of one of the bandit’s victims. The party restrains the vampire’s former cousin and puts the tortured soul to rest.

The next day, during the grand (and carnal) festival of Zamzer, the remaining forces of the bandit king attack Hillcrest. During the brutal attack, the mayor killed, his daughter kidnapped and numerous townsfolk slain. The party pledges to the king’s magistrate and the mayor’s son Darius that they will stomp out the bandits and rescue the mayor’s daughter. The party tracks the bandits to their hideout at an abandoned keep. They defeat the bandits, a minotaur and numerous traps. The party discovers that the bandit king Kardash is in league with the mayor’s son. The party barely defeats the brutal rogue and the traitorous mayor’s son. During the final battle, the party feels the aid of the god Zamzer. They return to Hillcrest as heroes with the new mayor of Hillcrest.

Unlikely Allies in Sator

The party decided to journey to the kingdom of Belstin. The came to the massive city and were granted an audience with King Bartholomew in the former palace of Zaad. The King heard their plea for aid and offered them a solution that if they aided Sator against the Marauders in a significant way, Sator could send aid to Casetlon en masse.

The party journeyed to Sator and met with Governor Orland Daywin. They saw the city in a constant state of dread and offered their support. A man weary from the hardships of his kingdom, Daywin showed little excitement at the party’s arrival. He suggested that they speak to Colonel Ratcliff to see if there was anything they could be put to use for. Meeting with the party, Colonel Ratcliff described a plan of his that they may be able to aid in. The Marauder clans had been attacking frequently, mainly the Goresplatter clan. Ratcliff explained the need for the clans to brutally prove their worth, otherwise Kurz and the other Marauder clan leaders would be quick to attack the weak. The Colonel had sent a strike team to assassinate Goresplatter’s leader Jethel. Jethel had been succeeded by Margu, who had then been eliminated by a mysterious foreign wizard. Colonel Ratcliff explained that the current leader Dadoc was in a terrible position and if he was precieved as weak, he and his clan would be destroyed. The Colonel tasked the party with eliminating Dadoc, which would surely bring an end to the Goresplatter clan. With the most aggressive clan gone, Sator could afford to send some troops to Castelon.

The party learned that Goresplatter clan was moving to the annual meeting of the Marauder clans and raced to intercept them. They did and they met with the now second-in-command of the clan, a stone giant named Raz. He appeared eager to aid the party in bringing them to a confrontation with Dadoc, apparently to further his own ambitions as clan leader. Tricked into confronting the party in front of the entire clan, Dadoc had no choice but to honor their challenge and met them in combat. The fighting was brutal, but the party overcame the giant and Raz became clan leader. After much discussion, Raz agreed that he would aid the party in anyway. The party decided, much to Raz’s displeasure, that their next objective was to kill Kruz and end the Marauder’s organized aggression.
The party arrived with the Goresplatter Clan at the grand summit of the Marauder Tribes. The news of their battles with Dadoc had beat them to the gathering, and they were summoned by the terrible Kurz himself! Kurz met them and revealed himself to be a cunning and calculating warrior, dispelling the brutish facade. He explained his overall plans to take Belstin, a kingdom he saw as his rightful inheritance from his mother Lushael. A fight with the party, whom he called “Creed’s Knives”, may weaken him enough to leave him vulnerable to a coup. He bargained with the party, and in exchange for their agreeing to fight his champion instead of he, Kurz would legitimize Goresplatter. The party readily agreed and at the height of the summit, they fought a creature that Kurz summoned from his own blood! This shadow-self of Kurz was feral and full of rage, but the party was able to overcome the creature. It appeared that Kurz and his creation shared some life force, as Kurz took some damage from the fight too. Kurz held true to his word and Goresplatter was saved. They were given the territory closest to Sator as their own and they could keep their land until the next summit when they would have to prove their worth once more.

The party returned to Sator and, together with Colonel Ratcliff and Governor Daywin, they forged an alliance between Goresplatter and Sator, ending immediate aggression between the Marauders and Sator. Victorious, they returned to the grand city of Belstin and appeared before an unamused King Bartholomew. They plead their case for further aid, citing Kurz’s threat that once the Dragon Kings of Freehold were gone, nothing would stop him from attacking Belstin. The embarrassed king had no choice but to appease the fearful Senate and send aid to Castelon. The party then left Belstin quickly and began the journey to Ilamar.

Assault on Outpost 17 and the Battle of Hillcrest

Over the next several days, people from all over Erenor began arriving in Hillcrest to volunteer to aid the nation of Castelon. The nation of Quinslin was reported to have left the Coalition States! There was much rejoicing over this news! The party left from Hillcrest with a new member and began making their way to the capitol with an important message for the King. While traveling, they saved a lone scholar who had been attacked by Coalition troops. After a night attack from a Coalition construct, the party began to plan how to deal with the enemy.

The group departed the next morning continuing on their way to Castelon. They captured a Coalition scout and learned that there was a hidden Coalition outpost to the northwest. Continuing on their journey, the party came upon a squad of Coalition soldiers slaughtering an elven caravan. They bravely assaulted the large enemy force and managed to save the survivors. The group, now larger, journeyed to the north. Amellania Telothien was almost killed by a Coalition trap located on a bridge, but was able to escape. Together, the group crossed the dangerous stream, escaping the area before more Coalition troops arrived. They met Highway Guards and were escorted to Castelon. There, they delivered their message to King Robert Creed and met with Warlord Corrin Scard. Corrin examined their reports and agreed that Hillcrest was of greater importance than previously thought. He asked the party to escort the platoons he was sending back to Hillcrest and aid them in destroying the Coalition Outpost 17 in the west.

Acting on a message recovered from Feryllad, the group departed Castelon to make their way to Hillcrest. The message was a communication from General Abacus Drogue to Major Drake of Coalition Outpost 17 that he was sending three platoons of troops to aid Drake in the taking of Hillcrest. The heroes sent Kros to warn Hillcrest of attack and led the troops given by Castelon halfway to Hillcrest. The heroes decided that they would leave the troops continuing on the way to Hillcrest while they inspected Outpost 17. Arriving at the fort, the party discovered that the invading force had left for Hillcrest by a southern route and the outpost was manned by a skeleton crew. They quickly mounted a daring assault on the Coalition outpost! During the battle, they freed several prisoners awaiting execution. Among these prisoners was the terrible dragon Ventralix. The party agreed to free Ventralix in exchange for his aid in Hillcrest. The party then assaulted the command building using the supply of cannon powder left in the base. They then battled and defeated Lt. Ballon and his bodyguard. From here, they raced back to Hillcrest to prepare for the battle ahead.

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The party came upon Hillcrest to find it frantically preparing for battle. Homes were being torn down for lumber for the fortifications and every able bodied person was armed for the fight ahead. After meeting with the Magistrate and the Mayor, the party identified three targets that needed to be taken out if Hillcrest was to survive the battel: the Coalition’s tank battery, the Iron Dragon Tank and the Command squad. The party organized some militia to help them set up booby traps and blockades to halt or stall the cannons and tank. That night the party hid past enemy lines and waited for the battle to begin. The traps destroyed one cannon and slowed down the tank. Attacking from ambush, the party struck the remaining cannon, destroying it and it’s protectors with a clever use of the device’s own black powder supply. Wounded but not shaken, the party rushed to face the damaged war machine. Using cunning and bravery (bordering on fool hearty bravado) the party destroyed the Iron Dragon before it could inflict further damage. The group rushed to meet Major Cornelius Drake and his bodyguard and were able to defeat them. They summoned their dragon ally Ventralix who made short work of the remainder of the command platoon and claimed his prize: Major Drake. The Coalition Army was routed and Hillcrest was saved.

Torrel the Tratior and the skull Zorlon

Returning to Castelon, the party was hailed as heroes and given a private audience with King Creed! After being rewarded, the King gave the group a new quest: to recover the artifact of knowledge Zorlon from the traitorous former Council of Eight member Torrel!

The party journeyed to the north west and encountered strange weather and time distortions on their journey. They came upon the town of Volsberg and learned about Torrel’s keep being a few days ride away. They sought the aid of a known adventurer named Jamiye. Jamiye told the party of his previous battle with Torrel and his degradation due to using temporal magic. Jamiye led the party to Torrel’s keep. Inside, they encountered strange magical transportation, foul beasts and evidence of Torrel’s link to Atchelon. After over coming these terrible beasts and deadly traps, the party was able to open the portal to Torrel’s upper keep. There, they found the evil wizard in the grips of lunacy demanding the skull Zorlon to tell him “Where it is?”. The party confronted the wizard and, while Zorlon cackled at Torrel, battled the wizard to the death. Torrel almost killed Egg and gloated about his murder of King Guargadan before being felled by Ferrylad. The party escaped the collapsing keep with Zorlon, returning it to Castelon.

On the journey back, the party asked Zorlon many questions, to which it only gave vague riddles for answers. The skull said: “Three great kings, one blinded by hate, one blinded by fear, and one blinded by ignorance. All need sight” and “The hand of evil saved the world once. will it again?”. Troubled by these riddles, the party asked the skull no more and returned to Castelon. They were rewarded by King Creed and given a new quest. They were to journey to the distant lands of Erenor to plead support for Castelon in its war against the Coalition!

The sword Tempest and the Seven Sons of Castelian Draves

The party journeyed across the sea towards the powerful kingdom of Harfax. Along the way, on Belstin’s feast day, the party was attacked by a terrible sea monster. With a little aid from Lir, the party was able to defeat the kraken and appease the gods. They arrived safely at the massive city of Harfax. After a day’s journey through the cyclopean citadel, the party reached Stormspire and requested to speak to Castelian Draves, the Storm Lord of Harfax. They met with the dying king, but he regretfully refused their request for aid because tradition would bind his son to whatever decision he made. Castlelian implored the party to return within a few days after his death and seek aid from his sons. Castelian died two days later and after the days of mourning the party was summoned by the sons of the Storm Lord. The heroes meet the Seven Sons of Castelian Draves who enlisted their aid in recovering the sword Tempest. Without the sword there could be no Storm Lord. The sons agreed that if the party returned the sword, whichever of them became the Storm Lord would aid Castelon in the war. The party agreed and were given information suggesting that the mind flayers, thought defeated, were likely responsible. They prepared to head to the monster’s lair, being warned that diplomats from the Coalition were also pledged to the same task!

The party prepared to the mind flayers’ old lair when they were approached by Azer Draves who informed them of dreams that he and his brothers had. Together they uncovered the truth of these dreams, the sword Tempest was reaching out to them giving them clues on how to find it. The mind flayers had been defeated, but one ithallid named Sakrt had been banished several years later after stealing several mind flayer tadpoles. The party believed that the creature had stolen the sword solely to sow anarchy allowing it cover to continue with its terrible plans. The believed the Sakrt had taken refuge in an abandoned temple of Lir. The party journeyed to the temple and found it overrun by foul creatures from another world. Sakrt had been using the temple for its unspeakable experiments and the lair was filled with monsters that few had ever encountered. The party fought their way through the temple, careful not to disturb any of the god’s belongings and confronted the ithillid. The Sword Tempest aided them in their final battle with the monster and they were able to end it’s terrible plans. The party then recovered the sword and returned to the surface.

The party returned to the castle Stormspire and there handed over the sword to Volker Draves who explained that he was alone in the castle, as his other brothers had fled to their established strongholds. The sword Tempest was to be handed over to the Stewarts of Harfax while the brothers battled. The party returned to their lodgings and discussed how to go about their next move. They decided that they would support the noble and honorable brothers and would not betray one another over their decision. They would act as a group. Together they met with each brother and offered their aid. Volker would need their aid in finding Raulo Draves and Greggory Draves, pledging to send some of his army to Castelon immediately. The party discovered that Benedict Draves was believed dead from an assassin the night before. His face had been removed and he was found in his secured room. Azer Draves told the Egg that he would not be in Harfax for very long, but showed him where Raul was and hinted at where Gregory was hiding. Hendrix Draves reported that he would have a task for the party in a few days time. Raulo Draveswas drinking heavily in the tavern “The King’s Rose” and requested that Volker be told of his location. Protomer Draves wished to learn the location of Gregory and Raul as well. Gregory could not be found.

The party decided to report their findings to Volker, who also felt the Benedict was dead. Though warned of a possible trap, Volker marched to Raul and met him at the King’s Rose. Volker challenged Raul to combat and during the duel, Volker fell to a poison he was tricked into indulging in. Raul killed his brother, revealing his years of decadence had been a farce to lower his brother’s suspicions. The party was also attacked by a strike team sent by the Coalition diplomats, but were able to overcome them. The party sought out Hendrix, who requested their aid in bringing something far from Harfax, his brother Gregory. They party agreed to aid the knight in exchange for his army to be sent to Castelon. While leaving the city, Protomer attacked in order to kill Hendrix and Greggory. Hendrix stayed behind to fend off the attack while the party and Gregory escaped aboard their ship.

The Darkness in Solaris

The party decided to journey to the Kingdom of Solaris and attempt to gather support there. On the journey, Jamir befriended the young prince Gregory Draves and decided to train the young man as a paladin of Solaris with the aid of Glod. Gregory readily accepted the training and after two weeks was on his way to being a paladin like his brother Hendrix Draves. The party arrived in Solaris days before the feast of Sourey. Glod and Jamir brought Gregory to the Grand Cathedral in the Old City of Solaris. They explained that Gregory was the seventh son of Castelian Draves and wanted to join the church. The Knights told them to return on Sourey’s feastday to speak with Lord Virgil Croak regarding the young prince. While waiting, Jamir joined the festivities honoring Sourey taking place outside of the city.
The party returned to the Cathedral on Sourey’s feast day and were warmly greeted by the Grandmaster Virgil Croak. The Grandmaster gifted Gregory with his brother’s knight errant weapons. The party pleaded with Virgil to send aid to Castelon. Virgil recalled a terrible dream he had about the Coalition fighting the terrible monsters known as The Fallen during the war. He was concerned that Castelon may fall to darkness, literally or figuratively, and did not want the Knights of Solaris to be pulled into the fight for this reason. The party requested that the Knights aid Castelon’s noncombatants in the war. The Grandmaster requested some time to reflect on this.
High Priestess Oleena, of the sister church of Selene, interrupted the meeting to inform the Grandmaster that the diplomats from the Coalition had arrived. The Grandmaster allowed for a joint meeting with the party and General Lucas Reid of the Coalition. A tense meeting indeed, Reid requested the Grandmaster to deny all aid to Castelon and return aid to the Coalition States, citing the attack of Lady Prosek as the cause of the war and the Coalition’s belief that Castelon had been responsible for Lady Prosek’s death. The Grandmaster denied General Reid’s request, but the meeting was interrupted by report of an attack on the city! Knights and wounded citizens were flooding the cathedral with news that the Old City was surrounded by hordes of undead! The High Guard were positioned on the wall and would have to fight through hordes of zombies before they could be of any aid. Oleena responded that by closing the great doors of the cathedral, they could hold out against the hordes until aid arrived. The Grandmaster rebuked this plan because it would leave the citizens of the Old City at the mercy of the undead. The Grandmaster ordered all staff to protect the Catherdal while he alone faced the monsters on the steps of the church. He requested the party and the Coalition troops to race into the horde and find the necromancer leading it.
Fighting through the masses of zombies and skeletons, the party encountered evil, ghostly shades and foul undead monsters before meeting with the dread necromancer Arzak and his terrible blood golem. Glod identified Arzak as a cleric of Atarop. Accompanying the cleric was a band of humans disguised as zombies. With the party’s arrival, Arzak bid them to leave him and claim their prize. The band of assassins raced through the zombie crowd and the party realized that their target was Grandmaster Croak! The party quickly dispatched the cleric and Jamir, Gregory and Glod stayed behind to finish the golem while the others ran to save Grandmaster Croak before he fell. Egg Shen arrived first and bravely defended the Lord of the Knights but was incapacitated by the lead assassin Cassandra. Lord Croak defended Egg and defeated the cultists, leaving Cassandra helpless. Just when victory appeared certain, an invisible assailant struck the Grandmaster from behind with a powerful destruction spell. Virgil Croak crumbled into ash and Cassandra escaped with her sword covered in his blood.
The party reunited and with Oleena, secured the Cathedral. Ferrilad discovered that the invisible attacker retreated into the Cathedral and was likely still there. Oleena ordered all exits sealed and the Cathedral to be searched. She resurrected one of the assassins and questioned him as to his goals. The cultist confirmed that they were worshipers of the lost god Atarop and sought to return him to power by using the blood of the Grandmaster. Realizing that Cassandra had escaped with the Grandmaster’s blood. The party was able to discover where the hideout of the cult was and left to recover the blood of the Grandmaster, to foil the cult’s plans and hopefully return him to life.

The party quickly assembled and journeyed to the port of Solaris where Cassandra and her cultists had gathered at a hidden cavern at the mouth of the sea. After waiting for the entrance to appear during low tide, the party entered the lair of the cultists. Egg Shen used illusions to appear as Arzak and the party was able to ambush groups of horrible undead and demons of the forgotten god Atarop. The fighting was brutal at points and the party was nearly overcome by their foes, but were able to push through to Cassandra. The party discovered Cassandra attempting to complete the ghastly ritual with the Grandmaster’s blood to no avail! Cassandra announced to the party that she had been mislead and that they were there to “tie up loose ends” for her betrayer. Cassandra questioned the party as to how they found her lair and was enraged when they told her that one of her minions had confessed to the location. A fight erupted and the party faced Cassandra and her living shadow, defeating them both. The party recovered Lord Croak’s blood and left to return it to Solaris.

Upon returning to the city, the party discovered that Oleena had taken control of the Knights and was claiming the Grandmaster had gone on sabbatical. Realizing that there was treachery afoot, the party discretely summoned the High Priest Soto to aid in resurrecting the Grandmaster. The party succeeded in returning the Grandmaster to life, though he was weakened considerably the the attack that slew him. Needing a few days for him to recover, the party returned to the Cathedral and surrendered to Oleena. There, when confronted with the gruesome trophy of Cassandra’s head, she confessed her relationship with her to the party. Cassandra was Oleena’s daughter by an incubus who had disguised itself as the Grandmaster. Cassandra was given away to a village in the Western Kingdoms and Oleena kept the affair secret. Cassandra had returned years later, hopelessly evil and had developed a connection to the dead god Atarop. Oleena couldn’t bring herself to slay her daughter and decided that she was being tested by Selene. Cassandra would be her tool to shock the Grandmaster into action across the globe or she would fulfill her destiny as Scion of Atarop. Oleena aided Cassandra in the attack on Solaris and she would have succeeded if Egg Shen had not arrived on the steps. Enraged that she had been thwarted, and that her daughter was to die for no reason, Oleena cast a spell from the shadows and killed Virgil. She later recanted and aided the party in finding Cassandra so Virgil could be brought back. The party was shocked at this revelation and were preparing to fight when Cassandra’s wraith, aided by a foul demon, attacked her mother for her traitorous ways. She then turned her attacks on the party, who using quick thinking and holy magic, were able to defeat her once again.

The party was arrested and it appeared that Oleena was to blame them all for the affair. While waiting in the holding cell, General Reid visited the party to gloat at their apparent misfortune. He commended them on humiliating him in front of the Grandmaster but boasted that it cost them something to do so. Shortly after he departed, the Grandmaster returned to free them. He called a grand meeting of the Knights in the city and told them that if their hearts desired they could journey to Castelon to join the war. Oleena left the meeting and the Grandmaster told that party that he would deal with her when the time came. He bid them farewell and the aprty left the kingdom.

Coaltion Report 1

Pieces of a report issued to Jovan Prosek and General Jerico Holtz from General Abacus Drogue.

Tactically, Hillcrest was an ideal target and one that needed to be dealt with as soon as possible to stop the flow of supporters from Castelon’s allies. But I knew the danger involved and advised my Recon Army to ignore the city of Hillcrest until more support had arrived. Major Drake disobeyed direct orders and stormed the fortified city with the entire Recon Army. This is most troubling because it left Outpost 17 unprotected and it was destroyed along with Lt. Ballon shortly after Drake lead the army out. Lt. Ballon fought bravely but was overcome by a large force of monsters lead by the identified war criminals (see below).

Ultimately, Hillcrest was much too fortified a position and our troops were outnumbered three to one. Hundreds of monsters and magic users from other lands had teleported into the city days before. Drake’s arrogance lead him to walk into a trap, one that when sprung cost us over 500 troops. The Recon Force may have still carried the day, but the party that lead the assault on Outpost 17 was able to destroy the cannon batteries and the Iron Dragon Unit by using foul magic and brutal tactics. Horrifyingly, the forces of Hillcrest employed the services of the dragon Ventralix. This terrible monster is the spawn of Ventrox and hundreds of years old. Our troops could not fight the beast as it swooped down from the sky devouring whole squads. Realizing his folly, Drake met the elite party in single combat and slew three of them before being overcome. He was given over to Ventralix and is hopefully dead. Even though Drake disobeyed orders, when the time came he fought as bravely as any Coalition solider should and I believe the investigation into his conduct and the battle of Hillcrest itself should be called off.

On a personal matter, Major Eric Hallworth was killed in the battle as well. This deeply troubles me, as I felt the Major and I had become friends during the Border Campaign. When he chose to take control of the forward platoon I was worried for him, but I knew he had to do what any patriot would. I heard that he was captured during an attempt to rescue Coalition prisoners in Hillcrest. Major Hallworth was tortured and broken before being hanged. I feel this loss personally and I propose that we create a memorial to Major Hallworth that can be a testimony to his greatness as well as acknowledgment of the sacrifice he and all out troops make daily.

Identified War Criminals

Of the newly identified war criminals, it now appears from intelligence gathered that they are responsible for the loss of several squads in recon, the destruction of Outpost 17, the sabotage of the cannon batteries, the destruction of the Iron Dragon and the capture of Maj. Drake. Few members of this band have been formerly identified but for the time being they should be identified as the “Hillcrest Criminals” until better classification is found. Though their numbers have been reduced, there are six identified members of this high powered and dangerous group:

A human sorcerer named “Egg”. Due to his physical features it can be determined that he is a member of one of the Western Kingdoms, likely Luix or Quan. He is a disgusting creature that can be barely called human and he wields strange demon infested magic. There are reports of Egg shattering the will of soldiers and draining life from people like a vampire. There is believed to be a romantic connection between Egg and Amellania, showing the true depths of his depravity. He is also a weakling and is likely to be found hiding in the back.

Closely connected to Egg is an elf known as Amellania. An obvious elf due to her alien appearance, sources report that she is likely from Volmir due to the quality of her weapons and her callous disregard for human life. She is a skilled scout and assassin, reportedly responsible for the deaths of several sentries. Her cruelty knows no bounds as she was witnessed cackling as Ventrolix tore apart Maj. Drake. She would likely be slipping behind enemies and attacking unarmed men.

Similar to Amellania, another elf travels with the party. Little information exists on this creature, but an alias of his is “Ferrilad”. He excels at tracking and is brutal in combat. It is clear from his barbarism that he is a warrior from Amil. He often works in conjunction with the main group, but also on his own. He may be the easiest to eliminate due to his nature of scouting.

The group’s main support is a dwarf named “Glaud”. Due to his race’s xenophobia, he must hail from Vugan. Interestingly, he is a member of the Knights of Solaris and uses his ability to heal to support his companions. This fact makes his elimination a top priority. Our history with the Knights makes this fact unfortunate, but any foe that stands against the might of the Coalition must fall regardless of connections to former allies.

Also with the is a mysterious human named “”/campaigns/erenor/characters/72116" class=“wiki-content-link”>Kros". This man is of unknown origins and his features do not betray is history. He is a cunning warrior, yet he uses only his bare hands in combat. This unusual tactic is known to few but it is brutally effective. Warriors of this variety are famously from the Western Kingdoms, but there are reports of isolated practitioners throughout the land. Nothing is known about Kross, but as is evident from eye witness accounts that he revels in bloodshed and violence.

This group should be identified as war crminals. I suggest putting a price on their heads to get the headhunters and mercs to target them. Any platoon near the front should be briefed on this group and the highest effort made to eliminate them before they conduct any more acts of aggression.

Coalition Letter

They’ve given me a few moments to write this before they hang me. It’s meant to be a confession, no doubt to fuel the propaganda of Castelon. It’s better this way, the Coalition will not believe anything coming from Castelon so my family will be safe. For that I’m glad, mostly because everything I’m going to write is true.

I didn’t start out as a murderer, but I am one now. Drogue picked me to be in the Special Division. The General himself came up to me after I was promoted to Major and said, “I need a man like you. You live for this.” Looking at him I swear he was practically giggling thinking about what he was going to have me do. I turned him down. I honestly thought he was going to have me killed right then and there. He let me go and I was able to take charge of a platoon at the front far away from Drogue. Unfortunately, Drogue’s reach is greater than I thought. He would send me well wishes frequently: my platoon being merged with Drake’s Recon force, me and my squad going out on recon patrols a mile away from the kingdom of Castelon, me delivering an ultimatum to Hillcrest myself. Drake wants to get me, but it’s worth it. I have nightmares about the things I’ve heard the Special Division does. If I only knew where the camps were I could write it here. If the High Command knew what Drogue was doing he’d be executed for Conduct Unbefitting of an Officer.

I avoiding being in Drogue’s squad, but he reserved a special mission just for me. During the Battle of Hillcrest, Major Drake told me to lead a squad of Drogue’s handpicked best to cause as much damage as possible to “crush morale”. That was easy to read: kill civilians as brutally as possible. Civilians that were hiding in their homes, civilians that never lifted a hand to the Coalition. I wish I would say I told Drake no and faced the consequences Drogue had in store for me. I didn’t. I lead the squad under the cover of darkness and hid in some farm house after we butchered the family. When the battle began, we moved from house to house. We torched people in their beds with the Dragon Tongue units. I’m glad I won’t live much longer because I’ll never be able to get that smell out of my hair. It was too much. During the fifth house, I cut down the shooter of the Dragon Tongue team and turned the flames on the others. They fell almost instantly. The house went up too. I sat down and let the place burn around me. It went black as the roof collapsed.

The people of Hillcrest pulled me out of the rubble. I wish they let me burn. They worked me over pretty good. The magistrate kept asking me “How could you do this?”. I just shrugged. I had no answer for him. What do you say? I look at everything I’ve done in this war, and shudder because it just started. Who knows what’s to come. I hope that I’m counted as a casualty of the battle. My family might get a commendation from the Emperor. That would help them a lot. I just wish I could know they’re safe. The guards are coming. They say if it’s done right, you’re neck breaks and you die instantly. I hope it’s quick, but I don’t deserve it. It’d be more mercy than I’ve shown.

Maj. Eric Hallworth

A Shepherd's Journal

I have never been truly afraid before. War is coming, and the Coalition are said to be ruthless.

Over this past week, strange people have been arriving here at Hillcrest. They have formed in groups, mainly resembling untrained, headstrong cliques. On top of this, we have all been ordered to tear down our homes, they need the lumber for the war effort.

One group however gives me hope. I have seen them fight, and they are strong, and unwavering.

The mayor sent them on a special mission, from which they return with a dragon…a Black dragon.

The Coalition arrives at our doorstep, the war is upon us.

I see a man, he is strong, with a quiet resolve. He is a monk. I see him head out with his compatriots to ready themselves for the coming battle. I thought he was insane. He departs with nothing to use to fight with, or to defend himself. I see this man fight wearing only linen robes, with no blade or magic. What madness would drive a man to certain suicide. But when he moves… Evil men fall before him. It is like watching fire dance with water. The water does not extinguish the flame, but fuels it. It is this man, this man that destroys canons with only his fists, this man who moves with deadly elegance, this man…who gives me hope. I know not how this man has come to be with us here, but I now know why.

Field Journal - Amellania

I have seen many things in my journeys, but a floating castle was new even to me. We knew that Torrel was dabbling in magics that had warped the land and that he had created pockets where time was strange, but I don’t think any of us expected his keep to be suspended in mid-air. Once we were inside and found the magic circles of transport that seemed to go nowhere, things began to seem even stranger.
There was chatter about whether he deserved death for betraying Castelon, and I was of a mind to wait and gauge the situation. If he was willing to give the artifact back to us, then I thought we should spare him. The skull may have developed a strange hold over him. We were told that Zorlon speaks, and that it is not a particularly benevolent presence. Perhaps it had told Torrel something that led him to flee Castelon. It seemed best to just wait and decide our course when the time came.
The types of creatures that Torrel has chosen to protect this place have made my mind up for me though. He has all foul manner of beasts, including a minotaur that he raised from the dead. The stench of putrefaction was unbelievable. Only a truly evil wizard would possess the awful power to create something so grotesque. I only hope that he does not have worse horrors waiting, and that we are strong enough to defeat him.


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