Scars of the Past

Week 1 - Memory lapse

The next chapter of your adventure began with a blinding flash of light. When the light receded, you realized that something was terribly wrong. The last thing you remembered was celebrating a victorious excursion into Darguun where you aided the Leader of that nation in recovering a young goblin girl. But you found yourselves instead in the middle of some sort of crumbling temple adorned only by a large altar and several large coffins. You felt more powerful than you last remembered. Martial power courses through your veins, arcane spells jump to your lips seemingly unbidden, and your weapons glow with magical might, but you couldn’t remember learning any of those abilities or acquiring most of your possessions.

You only had spare moments to focus on that, however, as you’d apparently awakened the ancient guardians of the temple. Emerging from the coffins were four large skeletons and some other undead fiend. Needless to say, they weren’t there to explain your predicament.

You dispatched the undead easily using powers you only just learned you possessed. You spent some time resting and trying to piece together the missing fragments of your mind you’d seemingly lost. You found some sort of artifact in the form of a sphere covered in runes that are vaguely Draconic, although neither the wizard, the Warlord, nor the Rogue with his magical goggles are able to decipher them. The orb is seemingly tied in some way to the temple. It appears in a stone carved bas-relief, as well as in a domed fresco in the upper level of the temple, as part of some sort of ancient Giant ritual.

Using a ritual of Object Read, the Warlord was able to discover that he apparently had a romantic connection to another Eladrin.

Using the same ritual, the Wizard tried to examine a pulsing Dragonshard that he had found on his person. The only useful information he was able to glean was that it was given to him by a female Deva aboard a ship. In the process of studying the shard, it continued to pulse every five minutes.

You explored the upper level of the temple and discovered another passageway leading to another underground chamber. This chamber also appeared to have some religious significance, but more importantly, the room radiated arcane energy tied to the Elemental plane of Shavarath. Shavarath is believed to be the Heart of Siberys, and is constantly in a state of warfare fought by angels, demons, and elemental armies for control of it. The Warlord seemed to believe that this room could possess a Manifest Zone, a region of Eberron where the veil between Eberron and other planes is so thin that energy from the other plane can cross over into Eberron. In this instance, the constant elemental forces that rage in Shavarath manifested themselves into the forms of three Earth Archons from the temple rubble and fragments of gold antiquities scattered throughout the room.

After dispatching the elementals, you took a short rest and gathered what treasure you could from the scattered remains of the giants’ antiquities. You then set back to the upper level to explore the rest of the ruins…

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Levels 1-5
The story thus far...

For simplicity’s sake, this recap assumes that we have been playing in Eberron all along, so some of the names of cities and regions may change, but the events that led you to level 5 remain largely intact. This is merely a brief summary to get us up to speed. I’m not going to fill in every detail of what happened from levels 1-11!

Fallcrest

You began your adventuring career in the small town of Fallcrest in Northeast Breland. A local dwarven artificer, Teldorthan Stoneshaper, employed you to seek out a small Dragonshard that was stolen from him. He claimed it had been taken by kobold bandits, who had recently been surging in activity due to the lack of presence in the area of either the King’s guard or House Deneith mercenaries. With Cyre having fallen to the Mournland and the war ended, trade routes through Fallcrest were less and less travelled, and more and more dangerous.

You journeyed to Kobold Keep, where you discovered a nest of Kobolds who had been organized by a Young White Dragon named Szartharrax. In a letter from a goblin named Irontooth to the dragon, you discovered that Irontooth sought an alliance between his band of goblins and Szarrtharax’s kobolds.

Starilaskir

After defeating Szartharrax and recovering the stolen dragonshard, you decided to travel to the nearby city of Starilaskur (Winterhaven). Once there, you were approached by a woman whose husband, Douven Stahl, had gone missing. She entreated you to help search for him near some ruins he had been investigating. You also stumbled upon the legend of the Keep on the Shadowfell, an abandoned fortress that housed a gateway between the coils of Eberron and the Shadowfell.

The Keep turned out to be overrun by cultists who worship Khyber, seeking to break down the barrier between Eberron and the Shadowfell and release Orcus, a powerful and extremely evil demon. The cultists were lead by an insane priest of Khyber named Kalarel. The party stumbled upon Kalarel just as he was in the midst of the ritual to release Orcus, and only barely defeated him and stopped the ritual with the aid of a mysterious and rather handsome Tiefling Warlord.

Having vanquished Kalarel and saved Starilaskur from the Cult of the Dragon Below, the adventurers were sought out once again to aid a nearby city of new Cyre, which was being overrun by hordes of Goblins and Hobgoblins, who had seemingly grown restless and brave enough to begin venturing out of Darguun and into Breland. The party ventured closer to Darguun’s border, where they discovered that the goblinoids of Darguun were not randomly assaulting towns and villages in Breland. There seemed to be a certain pattern to their movements that spoke of a purposeful search as opposed to normal random raiding.

Upon learning of this development, the Lord Warden of New Cyre, Oargev sent an emissary to Lhesh Haruuc, the itinerant ruler of Darguun, to learn why his forces were no longer content behind the Seawall mountains. To his surprise, Haruuchimself arrived in New Cyre within days of the Emissary leaving. Oargev met with him in secret, but thanks to the stealth and ingenuity, the party’s rogue, Belwar, was able to eavesdrop on their meeting. Belwar learned that Haruuc and his forces were seeking someone, a young child. Haruuc didn’t say why, only that this child was vital to maintaining the stability of the chaotic region of Darguun. Oargev was able to convince Haruuc to keep his forces out of Breland. In exchange, he offered to help Haruuc find the girl.

Oargev hired several groups of adventurers to search for the girl. The party was one of those groups that agreed to help. They ventured into the Seawall mountains and searched an ancient monastery that was overrun with hobgoblins and orcs. They found evidence that the girl was somewhere in the monastery, but a thorough search turned up little. Finally, they discovered a passage that led deep underground into the sulfur-filled caverns beneath the monastery. They encountered several goblinoids that were extremely hostile to outsiders. Finally, at long last, they came to an underground lair of hobgoblins and the young girl, who was herself a goblin. After defeating wave after wave of hobgoblins and goblins, they rescued the girl and were able to escape the mountain tunnels with her.

The girl, whose name was Zariga, seemed to be a perfectly normal goblin, but upon spending a few days with her, the party sooned realized that she had an uncanny ability. After spending just a few minutes with any of them, she could tell them almost anything about their lives from the time they were born up until the present day. They learned that the girl in fact possessed an Aberrant Dragonmark, which seemed to be the source of her ability.

Upon returning the girl to Haruuc, he informed the party that she had been captured by a rival band of Hobgoblins that sought to overthrow his band and seize control of Darguun. Because Dragonmarks are extremely rare and respected among goblinoids, they sought to somehow use the girl to reproduce Dragonmarks within their clan. Haruuc admits that the girl is one of the reasons he is able to hold the tribes of goblinoids together because of her unique ability to see the memories of other people.

Haruuc rewards the party handsomely, and gives them a token of his appreciation: a banner bearing his personal seal, which will guarantee them relatively safe passage through Darguun, at least while he still holds some sway over the various clans.

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