Erenor

Uncertain Victory

The party quickly regrouped after their fight with Brigadier General Pyman as the remainder of the Eastern Coalition Force collapsed into rout. Meeting with Garellia Draves, the party discovered the Drogue had escaped the battle and was fleeing towards a rendezvous point to the east. The Harfaxian forces needed to press the attack on the fleeing Coalition troops so the party was tasked with finding Drogue and eliminating him before he could resume command of the fleeing army. The party tracked the evil general to the rendezvous, arriving ahead of him and set up an ambush. Drogue arrived with his personal bodyguard and a stone golem. Before the trap could be fully sprung, Drogue sensed the hidden party members and brutally attacked Amellania, almost killing her in the process. While his troops quickly engaged the party and Jamir attacked the golem, Aiden challenged Drogue to personal combat with a vicious charge. The fighting was brutal and uncertain, until Aiden struck Drogue with his devouring sickle and pierced Drogue’s heart with his righteous longsword. Drouge’s body crumbled to the mud and the remainder of the body guard fell to the party. With that, the party returned to Castelon.

On their return, the party were greeted as heroes by King Robert Creed. Creed explained that the first parts of the Sorcerer’s Revenge had been successful: the party’s actions lead to the defeat of the Eastern Coalition force and the Western Coalition force was broken by the dragons of Freehold forcing them into the Formorian hivelands. No sign of Holtz’s army was seen afterwards, both armies had been destroyed. Creed explained that for now the war was halted and Castelon was safe for now. Creed had a new mission for the party: to journey to Quinslin and forge an alliance with the kingdom. The result would be the ability to crush the Northern Coalition Force and end the Coalition’s ability to wage war for years. The party seemed uncertain as to the next move and requested sometime alone to discuss the matter. They asked Creed to leave the skull Zorlon behind, to which Creed obliged.

The party immediately began debating the ethics of continuing the war, if Creed had been corrupted by Zorlon or the bloodshed of the war and, finally, what to do with the mysterious “gem” that they would seek soon. Glod proposed continuing with their mission to Quinslin in order to prevent the Coalition’s war of genocide from continuing, however Egg Shen disagreed strongly, citing that that action would only raise the death toll further. They could not agree on what to do with Quinslin, Jamir and Egg being adamantly against it. The party continued to debate on how much Creed had been influenced by the skull, with Egg unwavering in his belief that the skull had poisoned Creed’s mind and turned him towards war. Egg proposed that the skull needed to be taken from Creed and then argued that the gem they were to recover should go to the Emperor, as he had the power to end all future Coalition campaigns. Amellania and Glod believed that Creed should be given the gem as that would cure him of any madness, from the skull or the war itself, instantly. Jamir and Adien began asking the skull questions that may give them insight into the issues, however the skull, aloof and treacherous, mocked them and gave fickle answers. Egg suddenly decided that there could be no more discussion, seized Jamir who held the skull and teleported to Hillcrest. The remainder of the party was stunned by the sudden betrayal and were immediately arrested.

The group in Castelon was led to the dungeon and Egg & Jamir discussed their next step.

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The Return to Castelon and the start of the Sorcerer's Revenge
The turning point of the war?

The party returned to Castelon after a long journey across the sea. They arrived and were warmly greeted by King Robert Creed, who complimented their successful mission to gather aid for the war effort. Creed told them about Corrin Scard’s constant devotion to the front line and alluded to a grand plan that could end the war! The party met with Creed and two members of the Council of Eight for a grand feast. There, the party regaled the King with their tales of adventure from their mission around the world. The conversation turned sombre with the King speaking on the horrors of war, but he reassured the party that victory may be in their grasp.

The next day the heroes met with Creed once again while the Warmaster briefed the rest of the Council on the upcoming plan. Creed revealed that now Castelon had acquired aid from the other nations, Castelon would be going forward with the “Sorcerer’s Revenge”. The King revealed a plan of his design to eliminate the Coalition forces and stop the war. Creed described the first phase of the plan to eliminate the Eastern and Western Coalition forces.

The Western Force Led by General Abacus Drogue would engaged by a large Castelonian force that would feign retreat. Once Drogue took the bait, he would be lured into a trap where he would be attacked on his flanks by the new forces sent to Castelon. Once he broke and ran, he would fall into ambush after ambush until his force was utterly destroyed.

The Eastern Force led by General Jerico Holtz had been avoiding direct conflict for weeks. Creed had brokered a deal with Freehold to give up their defensive stance and attack Holtz’s force directly. Holtz would have no chance to defeat an army of dragons and would be forced to flee to the east, placing him directly in the Formonian Hivelands. There, he would face insectoid monsters that numbered him 50 to 1. Even the great Jerico Holtz would fall and his army would be wiped out.

The success of this first phase was almost guaranteed because the Coalition forces had been operating with ignorance of Castelon’s receiving of aid because of the party’s interferring with General Lucas Reid. The King then detailed the later phases of the plan. The remaining Coalition army, the Northern Army, would likely be pulled from the war to continue the fight against Castelon. Creed’s plan involved an alliance with Quinslin and a join military strike against the Northern Army. With a Casetlonian force attacking from the rear and a concentrated assault by the forces of Quinslin, the Northern Army would be destroyed. This would leave the Coalition relatively defenseless and the combined Castelonian and Quinslin forces could take Chible with relatively no effort. This would mean the complete destruction of the Coalition and the end of the war!

The King gave the party its new mission, to join the fight against the Western Army once the attack had begun. Their target was none other than General Drogue himself. Creed explained that with Drogue’s death, the army would be leaderless and fall easily in rout. He left the party a few days to prepare for the battle.

After this meeting, Kros pointed out that Creed was a changed man, focused on the defeat of his enemy and appeared to be filled with hatred. The heroes were concerned that the Skull of Zorlon was responsible for this change in behavior, though Jamir was quick to point out that war changes people. The party was troubled by the prophecy of the skull that said “only the true King of Castelon could save it”, not knowing if that meant some unknown offspring of King Gargudan or if Creed had been compromised. Egg Shen became focused on the tales of Zorlon himself and left to Numas to utilize the grand library there.

Egg’s research revealed information about the greatest wizard of the world from the Age of Antiquity. Zorlon was responsible for the creation of the skull, a magical artifact with a bound spirit from the far realms inside, the Eye of Zorlon, and numerous other wondrous items that he used to fight the forces of evil. Little was known about Zorlon, where he came from or who he was. Deeper research revealed that he was a farmer that somehow came into possession of a “gem” the gave him great power. After this encounter, the simple farmer was no more and Zorlon became a wizard of might and wisdom. Buried deep within the old tomes was a similar story from even further in the Age of Antiquity. This story was of a decadent prince who was gifted a gem of power that gifted him with insight and strength, allowing him to become one of the greatest kings of the world.

Egg returned with this knowledge and the party, reflecting on the prophecies of the the Skull, believed that this Gem must lie with the corpse of Malthax and they must recover it. This was troubling because there was no known body of Malthax. The party resolved to figure out this dilemma once they returned from their mission. The party prepared for the battle.

Once everything was ready, the party teleported to the battlefield where they were met by the First Legion of Harfax and the dragon Ventralix. Those forces were to cut a line through the enemy allowing the party to attack General Drogue’s command post. The party joined the fray and cut down dozens of elite soldiers on the way to their target. Finally they were greeted by Brigadier General Pyman, who revealed that Drogue had escaped, leaving his troops to die. Pryman was filled with rage and a desire to kill Drogue. He had seized command of the Army and was attempting to break the rout. The party could not let this happen and attacked Pryman and his bodyguards. They raced a mighty steam tank and the elite soldiers, but overcame all foes. They watched the remainder of the army break and were chased into the ambushes that awaited them.

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Festival of Samhain

The heroes teleported to Volmir and, with Amellania Telothien as a guide, entered the city of glass. Seeking the First Lord of Volmir, the party learned that Lord Tilas was on a diplomatic mission to Harfax to met with the Stewards of Tempest. Instead, the party met with Varlyn, a member of the Third Council. They presented her with the Sword of the Resistance and the bones of Lushael. Varlyn pledged to offer any aid she could, but acknowledged that with the First Lord gone, it would be limited to small arms and food stuffs. She invited the party to the Grand Festival of the Seasons that was to held the next day on the feast day of Samhain. The party agreed and spent the night as guest of the Third Council.

The members of the party were troubled by dreams and restless sleep. The next day before the festival, the heroes each sacrificed something in a small private ceremony before making their way to the feast prepared by Varlyn. While dining, the party shared stories of their travels and old fables of the gods. Varlyn began discussing a local cleric to Samhain named Dalethe that had become fanatic and formed a cult. Moving from this grim topic, the party began to watch the central parade of the festival. This stunning visual display showcased eight troops of acrobats and performers, each displaying a season of the year led by its respective god. Following after the first seven were troops deticated to Lir, Selene and Solaris. The final troop was the most grand and deticated to Samhain.

After the parade, the party decided to investigate the stories of Dalethe. They discovered that eight children had been taken that day by cultists and that Dalethe still met with his cult at a stone circle on a lonely hilltop outside of the kingdom. Realizing that some foul sacrifice was to be underway, the party raced through the forest to the stone circle. There they found Dalethe with two huge wicker men, one filed with his own followers and one filled with the missing children! He addressed the party, explaining that he had nightmares about Aiden. He believed that they had been sent to test his faith. With a sneer he lit the wicker man with his followers, who cried in ecstasy as they died, bringing the destructive construct to life. The party attacked, with Amellania rescuing the children, and Aiden cut down Dalethe. The rest of the party were engaged with the wicker man, who was able to imprison Glod in its fiery chest. In the end, they were able to destroy the construct just in time.

The party returned the elven children to Volmir and were celebrated once again. Aiden revealed his true nature, as a paladin of Samhain sent to bring the god’s dread vengeance on the unfaithful. The party was uneasy about this, but conceded that Aiden continued to support them so he still deserved their trust. They began plotting their next move, seeing that their mission was complete, they weighed the options of confronting Raulo Draves in Harfax or returning to Castelon. Deciding that they would rather lure Raulo out of his fortress and eager to return to Castelon, they made way to Eur.

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Castelon Report 1

King Roland Creed and The Council of Eight:

Brothers and Sisters in Arms, I have prepared this report in answer to the many questions I have received as of late. Please refer to the numerous battle reports I have submitted on our engagements with the Eastern and Western Coalition Forces if you have other questions about the main war.

The topic of this report is to discuss the overwhelming success of our team of diplomats from Hillcrest. This unlikely bunch as completed their mission and has returned heroically! They’re contributions have been felt over the past ten months and will now allow for our next phase of attack to take place. The Hillcrest team is directly responsible for the following foreign forces:

50 Elite Swordsmen from the 1st Legion of Harfax.
These troops arrived shortly after the team was dispatched and have shown to be an amazing strike force lead by Volker’s top lieutenant, his wife Galiana Draves. Volker Draves‘s men have proven themselves time and again, it is a shame we were unable to secure more of their numbers. Their actions have won several major skirmishes that eliminated elite units of General Holtz’s force.

23 Harfax Knights of Solaris, over 50 battle clerics of Harfax 5th Legion.
These forces made up most of Hendrix Draves’s force, one he surrendered to Castelon prior to his death. The Knights of Solaris are amazing on the battlefield, arriving the same time as the 1st Legion forces and serve as a moral boost and elite unit. They’re worth their weight in gold.

An unknown number of Knights of Solaris. Estimated to be over 100.
After the Hillcrest Team saved the Old Citadel of Solaris from an undead attack, the Grandmaster Virgil Croak lifted the official ban on Knights aiding Castelon. This action has brought scores of the Knights from across Erenor to our cause. This act is more than martial support…it legitimizes our cause in the eyes of Solaris, somethings that shakes some of the Coalition’s sun clerics to the core.

20 battleships, 200 heavy calvary units, 1000 master-crafted weapons from Belstin
After the Hillcrest Team secured peace for Sator, King Bartholomew of Belstin prepared a fleet to deliver aid to Castelon. At the urging of the Senate, he sent 20 warships with advanced Harfaxian cannons to make an effective navy for Castelon. This piece alone has proven to be an incredibly valuable addition, as our navy was extremely poor in comparision to a Coalition Navy, even one weakened by the loss of Quinslin‘s superior ships. Indeed, the powerful fleet has all but ceased the Coalition’s naval attacks.
Additionally, Belstin sent 200 heavy dragoon units and over 1000 master-crafted weapons. The heavy calvary is being put to use against the Eastern Coalition Force with great effect and the weapons have allowed for our elite units to have quick replacements for lost gear.

Dwarven seige weapons, 3 gold dragons and 1000 Ilamarian Swordsmen
The Archduke of Ilamar met Belstin’s support after the Hillcrest Team aided him. One thousand elite swordsmen have been sent, each bearing magical arms and armor, to wage war for our side. Dwarven cannons and fire ballistas have been sent as well. These weapons have been critical in the defense of many small towns and villages, often surprising Coalition troops. Amazingly, 3 adult gold dragons, skirmishers in the Ilamar militia, also requested to journey to Castelon and make up part of the aid. These three work as a single unit, supporting one another and have destroyed a company of the Western Coalition Force.

One dozen fire-ships, 500 Luixian crossbowmen, 200 Fire Lance warriors and 100 black powder shooters
The nation of Luix has completed our budding Navy with an introduction of fire ships. Together with the above mentioned naval aid, Castelon as stalled any Coalition advance on the sea. It is anticipated that unless Harfax or Quinslin send naval aid to the Coalition, our war on the sea is won and it is directly related to these forces. Luix has also sent a division of crossbowmen with advanced repeating crossbows, several platoons of fire lance warriors and several units of black power pistoliers. These forces serve us as elite combat units, but are also teaching us the ways of their weapons and how to develop them for ourselves.

The entirety of the Burisotu Clan, 25 Western sorcerers
Luix has sent over a score of specialty wizards utilizing magic unheard of in our land. Though most of these wizards are inexperienced compared to our elite magical troops, they are formidable in their own right and they are using magics unknown to the Coalition, something that directly interferes with the combat doctrines. Additionally, the small clan known as Burisotu has come to join the war. Most of these are elite swordsmen known as “_samurai_”and their skill is legendary. They bring their support staff and families with them, but appear to be mostly self sufficient. It appears that Burisotu has damaged their honor in some way and seek redemption by aiding our conflict.

Two score Aegmegil swords, one hundred thousand bushels of grain
The elves of Volmir have supplied us with a substantial amount of rations. I cannot stress how important this is as many of our farms have been burnt to the ground by the Western Coalition Army. I cannot fight a war with starving soldiers and our resources are heavily taxed. This is truly a gift from Solaris and we cannot thank the elves enough. Additionally, the elves have gifted us with dozens of magically enchanted swords known as Aegmegil. These terrible blades can slice through almost any armor with ease and make their shrug off grievous injuries. These weapons have been issued to the body guards of King Creed and the Council of Eight as well as our forward commanders. It is doubtful we will need these weapons to protect our leaders, but they are treasures we must be grateful for.

See additional notes for specific battlefield engagements involving these troops.

Warmaster Corrin Scard

END REPORT

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Reflections of Madness 4

(fragments of the journal of Celieis recovered byAmellania Telothien)

Elembious 24, The Time of Claims, Second year after the Dragon Wars

My transformation is complete and I now have some idea as to my powers. I do not know if this was the intended outcome of the ritual, but I care not. Truly the majesty of the Dragon Warlords has been embraced by the power of Death. Raw, dark power courses through my veins. I have the strength of ten, maybe twenty men. My skin has withered to that of a mummified corpse, but my flesh is hard as steel, only the most terrible weapons of light and silver can shred my skin, and even then those wounds quickly heal. I am faster than a will-o-the-wisp and my senses are magnified to that of a dragon. I can see craters on the distant moon, hear insects half a league away and smell the beautiful aroma of corpses deep in their graves. Initially I feared I had become a vampire, but I appear to have none of their weaknesses. I feel I am a completely new creature. I am a queen of the darkness, wrapping myself in a cloak of the night and radiating fell power.

Vampires are consumed by a hunger for blood, but I do not share this. Their terrible thirst is my greatest strength. I found this one night while I tested my new powers. There was a young girl who was lost in the woods near my keep. I heard her a mile away and leaped through night to find her. And find her I did. She was beautiful and innocent, frightened by the monsters of her dreams. And truly one found her. When she gazed onto me, she was stunned to silence, a victim of my awesome power. I reflected that the vampire would be a slave its hunger, but I felt no compulsion to do what I did. But I reveled in my ability to pull her soul from her body, tasting the exquisite joy of a life that would never be. As the girl shriveled to nothing, I was awash in the beauty of youth and the power of life taken by a god like myself. I cried out in complete joy, my voice becoming a haunting echo the culled all but the wolves into silence. Their cry met mine as they knew their master.

I know not where I went that night, but I knew that with this power nothing could stop me. Soon I would be Overlord of Erenor, overshadowing even Malthax with my might. But even in my state, with my power, I would need allies. I would need an army. As the First Lord of Volmir, I could take what I wished. I will take what is mine.

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The Eye of the Storm

The party journeyed to Quan with the emissary of Luix and petitioned for aid from Daimyo Garlon. The party had prepared the terms of a cease-fire between Luix and Quan, one that would allow the nations to stand against Zu and aid Castelon. Garlon was aloof and unimpressed with the party, noting that Zu was focused on building their new alliance with the Coalition States diplomatically and offering them aid as opposed to waging a new war in te Western Kingdoms. Garlan was sure that Zu would turn against Quan and Luix in the future, but for the time being there was no reason to draw their attention. The party continued to plead their case and Garlan offered to agree to the cease-fire if the party would accomplish a task for him. The party readily agreed and Garlan wanted the heroes to recover a lost artifact.

Garlan explained to them that the Order of the Shattered Star, the arcane order of the Chimera Dynasty, had long studied an ancient artifact “The Eye of Zorlan”. This artifact was believed to be the remains of a series of artifact scrying orbs from the Age of Antiquity. One by one they had been destroyed, and the remaining one gaining all the powers of the rest. The Eye allowed even non-magic users to scry with incredible accuracy and it allowed spellcasters to target anyone viewed. A terribly potent item if its powers could be unlocked. Garlan explained that the Eye was being transported to the main palace when they were attacked by the Marthosa Ogres. The Ogres took the artifact with them into Zu territory; if Luix sent any formal recovery force it would be readily considered an act of war. Garlan explained that none other than Azer Draves had preceded the party and went to recover the Eye. Azer had yet to return and Garlan feared he was either killed or had betrayed Quan. The Daimyo charged the party to recover the Eye and return it for Quan’s aid.

The party set off into the land of Zu, following the Linqi Clan of Ogres responsible for the theft. They infiltrated a local farming community and were able to discover the location of the Clan from a local farmer. The party raced to the tribe’s hideout, a cave at the base of the local Mount Filicoro. Expecting a fight, the party prepared themselves, but discovered an Ogre scout who told them the tribe had been all but wiped out. Meeting with the Ogres, the party learned that a lone human wizard and a beholder had attacked them and, using terribly powerful magic, had killed half their number. The Ogres fled and the wizard went into the cave. Descriptions of the wizard confirmed that Azer had assaulted the tribe. The ogres went on to say that frightening sounds could be heard echoing from the cave continually. The Ogres and the party left in peace and the party turned to recover the Eye from the cave.

The heroes ventured into the cave and discovered that there were several monsters bound by arcane directions to attack intruders entering the cave. The party fought a group of Penanggalans, vampire-like undead monsters that are the floating heads and internal organs of fallen creatures, and moved onto a room filled with elemental fire demons. The final guardian of the cave was a terrible demon of fire and hate, an Akuma No Oni. This terrible being was one of The Fallen, and it’s horrible rage was barely contained within the summoning circle that brought it to Erenor. The party was able to best this terrible beast and reached the final chamber of the cave.

There they found Azer Draves working heavily in a magic circle trying to unlock the Eye. Floating above him was the dead and bloated Beholder that still severed as a farmilar to the mad wizard. Azer was a changed man; observation by Egg Shen revealed that he had modified body heavily through foul and forgotten magic. Indeed, he had replaced parts of his own flesh with the appendages of several fallen enemies including his brother Benedict, a beholder, an ithillid, and the former leader of the Goresplatter clan. Azer mused that he was close to unlocking the Eye’s power thanks to the memories of his former teacher Torrel. With the Eye he would be able to slay Raul Draves with a mere thought, making him the Storm Lord…after Gregory’s death. Azer implored the party to strike Gregory down and he would aid them as the Storm Lord according to the blood pact the Sons of Castelian Draves had made to the party. The party refused and together with Gregory they attacked Azer and his undead aberration. The fight was terrible, but the party was able to best the wizard prince with Gregory landing the final killing blow. The party now had the Eye and left the cave.

Outside they were greeted by General Lucas Reid and his strike force. Reid explained that he wanted the Eye for the Coalition’s war effort and would yield his mission in the East, and allow the party to escape, if they handed it to him. Amellania mocked him and the party refused to deal, offering instead that if Reid withdrew they wouldn’t kill him. Reid revealed that Jamirwas a war criminal from Quinslin, wanted for the cold blooded murder of his men. The party was unmoved, and Reid sadly acknowledged that they must fight. A brutal battle was waged, with the party fighting the elite team Reid prepared. Reid rushed Jamir and viciously dueled with him while the remaining heroes attacked his companions and their golem. In the end, the party defeated all of the Coalition soldiers. With Reid’s dying breath, he lamented the war and remarked that if things had been different they could have been friends.

The party journeyed back to Quan and delivered the Eye to Daimyo Garlan. Quan agreed to honor the cease fire and with that the party continued to Volmir.

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Reflections of Madness Part 3

(fragments of the journal of Celieis recovered byAmellania Telothien)

Elembious 4, The Time of Claims, Second year after the Dragon Wars

I found it! In a rotting grimore I recovered from the ancient library of Numas, I uncovered the missing fragment of a ritual needed to maintain the essence of the Dragon Warlords. I pieced it together and know what I must do. The blood I consumed months ago still gives me power, but it’s waining. This ritual will bind it to my own blood, elevating me to the majesty of Ventrox! It can only work during the festival of Lughan and only because of the deeper cycles of the stars that bind our world and protect us from Atchelon. I am fortunate that I discovered this in time. It would be impossible to gather the necessary components in such a short time, but I am the Lord of Volmir. Dozens of scribes and adventures have been sent across the plane to recover these items for me. My servants do not know the nature of their bizarre and rushed task, but they will soon learn they were part of the greatest event the race of the Elves have ever known: the raising of me to godhood! I must be careful in procuring the final component. The weak hearted among my kind would never justify the sacrifice.

Elembious 16, The Time of Claims, Second year after the Dragon Wars

It is done. The ritual worked, but there was an unexpected twist. I have been trying to figure out what went wrong, to see if it can be reversed.

I had everything exactly placed according to the placement of the stars at the birth of the plane. I had the circle drawn in quicksilver and my blood. The burnt offerings, the golden idols to the gods of the seasons, everything was as it should have been. And the sacrifice was exquisite.

I had told Castien to meet me in my bedchamber to discuss our reunion for I had realized how far I had strayed from my path. I knew he would arrive, how pathetic he was. He came into the room, giving pause at the bizarre scene set before him. I smiled at him and he returned the gesture with tears forming in his eyes. As he rushed to me, collapsed to his knees and began professing how happy he was that I had asked for him. He began saying other things, but I heard them not. This pathetic worm was beneath me, unworthy of even my notice. I reached down, caressing his face with my hands as lovers may. It allowed me better grip around his eyes, and in a sudden motion I thrust my thumbs through his eyes. Castien screamed in pain and tried to back away, but I held on his the might of Ventrox’s blood. I let my rage go and Castien’s skull cracked like the an egg. As his pitiful brains spilled out, the blood dripped onto the circle and the ritual was complete.

Ventrox’s blood flared in my body almost immediately, fusing with my own and I once again felt it’s awesome power. I laughed, feeling the power of the Dragon Warlords once again. But there was something else. I felt the chill of death pulsating through my body and, while I still drew breath, I saw that I was exhaling frost even in the warm night air. I looked around the room, and when my gaze met the grand mirror in my room it shattered. Puzzled, I took looked down at my hands and saw they had become shriveled and corpse-like. I reached up to my face and felt the skin was that of a mummified body. What had happened to me? This was not the intended result, though there was a beautiful majesty in death.

And then occurred to me. Ventrox’s blood, though magnificent, was cold and dead. Perhaps that changed the ritual in some way. I expected fear to build at this revelation, but I met the epiphany with cool composure. I felt the power, maybe the source had changed but the power remained. Perhaps this would yield unexpected results. I need to monitor the progress.

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Reflections of Madness Part 2

(fragments of the journal of Celieis recovered byAmellania Telothien)

Riuros 22, Month of the Cold Time, First year after the Dragon Wars

I am concerned about the direction my kingdom is heading. I was rewarded for my service in the Dragon War by being enthroned as the First Lord of Volmir and The Nine were to be my advisers. It now appears that they seek to share power. They continue to push for reunion with our degenerate cousins, a path I long abandoned due to their pitiful mutation. My edicts are constantly being questioned. Their insubordination fills me with cold rage, but I must keep my face for fear of an uprising.

As I feel my own life approaching twilight, I feel this will be a truly poor end to a great saga. I feel robbed, an unheroic end to the greatest hero the world has ever known. I slew two of the Dragon Warlords and freed the elves from captivity; in the end I’ll be remembered as the first leader of the new elven kingdom…robbed of my right to rule by politicians that never led an army.

Castien does not share my bed any longer and he avoids me whenever able. He claimed that I had changed in some terrible way and he could not bring me back. I laughed at his absurd remarks; I’m more now than I ever was. In any case I need him not, as pleasurable company is at my whim should I require. Yet I seek it not. I find that I am dreaming about swimming in a vast ocean of that dark blood I consumed on the battlefield. I am crushed when I realized how I squandered that rare gift! There’s no being with the majesty of the Warlords to hunt. I’ve begun a search of all that is arcane in order to find another source of that awesome power. Surely with it I can quell the Council.

Giamonios 11, Month of Festivals, Second Year after the Dragon Wars

My research has begun to bear some fruit. Some of my searches have uncovered books thought destroyed by Malthax, from before the Wars. There are dark secrets in these books, secrets that can be unlocked by the power of royal blood. The magic in the very ink of these books is so great that I can only read the words on feast days of the gods. I shall learn more next month during Sourey’s feast.

There is one other component, something else hidden I have uncovered. My craving for the magical blood of the Warlords is growing, and for long I have feared that I would go insane for the lack of it in the world. In one of my fevered searched, something occurred to me and I have acted on it this day. Using the powerful teleportation scrolls I have in my disposal, I left my homeland and arrived in the land of Eur. The night had fallen on this side of the plane and the land was bathed in the silver light of the full moon. I had arrived at my destination: a massive pile of blackened stones. Beneath those stones, laid the burnt and broken corpse of the Dragon Warlord Ventrox. In a frenzy, I clawed away the great stones, breaking the magical enchantments protecting the vessel of my prize. After hours, I revealed the bones of Ventrox, the great and righteous leader of the Second Dragon War. Encased within the ivory cell of Ventrox’s ribcage was the blacked, charred heart of the Warlord. The creature’s will was amazing even in death, for even though his flesh had long melted away, the Warlord’s heart remained as it did the day it stopped beating over a generation ago. I broke away the bones and seized the heart of Ventrox. Much like a steak that had been flash roasted, the heart’s outer flesh was crisp and flaking. The inside, however, held the raw and bloody pulp that, even in its chilled and putrid soup, radiated power. I ate it all, revealing in the ecstasy the decaying flesh brought. Truly, Ventrox was the most powerful of the warlords, second only to Malthax himself, and I could taste it in his long dead flesh. I can’t describe intensity of the feeling. It was greater than with Eshu, perhaps because of Ventrox’s power…or perhaps death had added its own depth to the magic.

I awoke the next day, giggling under the pale sun on a damp spring morning. The power I felt those months ago remained, and was magnified. I have no doubt that The Nine will bow to my will now.

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Coalition Letter 2

General Drogue,

I am in no need of a reminder to my duty for I am reminded of it every time I look at my sword. Should you have forgotten, I’m the only living commander to have been given both that Coalition Iron Cross of Victory and the Imperial Medal of Valor and the Emperor himself gifted me with an enchanted sword that reads: “Honor. Duty. Loyalty”. I need no reminder. The Warmaster Corrin Scard does give me pause, but I have never been frightened of death. Scard will not openly engage me, choosing to instead massacre my men in droves to send a message to me. His bloodlust knows no limit and I would suspect that as you approach the capitol, he will change his target from me to you. As a man who lacks either medal I mentioned, you should consider training for an encounter with the Warmaster.

We too have faced many hardships on our front. My mages tell me that Mida Elektis of the Council of Eight is among our adversaries and she has been summoning horrors like ones you describe. We are attacked by brutal combatants as we engage highly valued military targets. The elimination of these targets allows you to have such an easy time, yet you delay in arriving at Castelon. If things were so easy, would you not have sacked the city by now?

Fear not, General Drogue, we will meet in Castelon. At the time I would enjoy discussing the terms of any court martial personally.

General Jerico Holtz

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