The Heroes find themselves on a boat crossing the sea from Aerenal to Khorvaire. At the start of the adventure read the following:
You have answered the call of your High-King Shaeras Vadallia and you find yourself on a boat crossing the sea from Aerenal to Khorvaire. It is cold and dark, and the water is choppy. Elves stand huddled in multiple groups around fire pits on the main deck. You hear cheers and laughter from below deck.
The heroes get a chance to learn more about their circumstance.
- Rumour has is that we’re heading to some staging grounds.
- I’ve heard that the King Galifar is dead! Maybe we’re headed to profiteer from the confusion.
- Shaeras Vadallia is here to make war with the inhabitants of Khorvaire.
- I’ve heard we’ve been hired as a mercenaries to guard some treasure.
- before we got on the ship I saw them load some excavation equipment. Maybe we’re here to gather some natural resources.
There is a impromptu boxing match challenge where the Heroes gain an opportunity to make a name for themselves among their kin.
The Heroes see a chalk circle drawn on the floor and two Elves fist-fighting in the ring. They’re surrounded by elves shouting and placing bets on the contestants. As one fight ends another begins after a particularly gruff elf declares a winner. He announces to the winner and cheers pour from the crowd.
Skill Challenge Complexity 1
4 Successes before 3 Failures
Skill Challenge Difficulty
Easy-Moderate DC 9
Creative use of skills or powers will grant a success.
The Staging Grounds
The next day the boat anchor is dropped and the elves make there way to land by long-boat or swimming.
Once on shore, everyone is processed in a tents not far from the beach. The heroes are registered are required to sign a ledger.
Once the Heroes pass the registration tents read the following:
As you peer a cross the camp you see a large set of uniform tents lining the field. You see larger open tents with blacksmiths and shopkeepers. Past the tents you can see a stage and hastily assembled arena.
The Heroes have the day to themselves and are told that in the evening Shaeras Vadallia will make an announcement. During this day the PCs are free to gather whatever rumours that they didn’t here on the deck of the boat. Additionally, they can find additional weapons or supplies.
Once the the sun begins to set, unannounced, Shaeras Vadallia takes the stage. He stands tall and proud. He exudes a indomitable spirit.
My kin, proud and strong! Strong in strength of arm. Strong in numbers. Strong in the sprits of our ancestors! Too long has our warrior spirit been trapped in the hills and mountain sides of Aerenal. I have summoned the branches of Valaes Tairn as your High-King.
King Galifar is dead and his Kingdom is in ruins. His spawn fight like dogs over scraps. I mean to test our strength against these Khorvarins. I have allied ourselves with the nation of Cyre, the true heirs of the Kingdom of Galifar, but the most battered of the nations.
Through our strength we will turn the tide of this war and immortalize the Valaes Tairn. Tomorrow we begin. You will divided into squads and be sent to secure the Cyrian boarders and eliminate any enemy presence. From there we will conquer this land. One. Nation. At a time.
Now Feast my brothers. For tomorrow we will head to glory.
After a loud final cheer from the crowd a great feast begins. Soon music, food, and contests break out. The heroes are welcome to join in or go to bed.
The next morning the elves all gather before the arena. Names are being called out of the ledger everyone signed upon arrival.
In the arena you see two squads of elves. battling in the arena. it doesn’t take long for a match to be decided. If a group is deemed worth they’re allotted an encore vs the High-King’s troupe. None, seem to fair well against them.
It doesn’t take long for your names to be called. A elf leads you to a staging area where a wizard sits in waiting. He instructs you to lay your weapons on a glowing arcane circle. Once the Heroes do he casts a quick incantation.
If asked he informs the Heroes that he has cast a enchantment that renders your blades non-lethal.
Then the Heroes are lead to the entrance of the arena.
Three stage battle
Meeting with the king
After the arena matches are over Shaeras Vadallia sends a invitation to the Heroes for a private audience. When the heroes they find the kind meeting with a Man, one the few non-elves the Heroes have ever seen, if not the only.
Shaeras Vadallia informs the Heroes that he was impressed with their performance in the arena and has a special mission for them.
Now, this is your Cyrian contact Barka Swiftrunner. He is a scout and a intelligence gatherer. He will be accompanying you to your station near the boarder of Karnath.
Barka picks up the conversation and explain that rumor has it that Karrn forces have successfully crossed over and are operating behind our lines. Now, we have two objectives:
1. Intelligence gathering. We need to know what they’re doing. there have been no attacks or raids. on the surrounding military out posts.
2. If we can, we need to eliminate them at all costs.
I have more intel, but for now we need to gear-up and move out. Once we reach Baydell I will disclose the rest of our mission details.
Not only is your presence a secret from the other nations, it is also unknown to most of our troops. So, be prepared.
Answer any questions revealing as little as possible.
Head to the north east near the boarder of Karrnath. Near Baydell
Crossing the country side
Once the Heroes arrive at Baydell read the following:
As you crest a hill you finally see your destination, Baydell. The city seems ravaged by the war, some stone buildings lay half collapsed or leaning on other buildings. Large craters fill the streets. From a distance you see people milling about. Some conducting business and others clearing rubble.
Baydell is a large town, bordering on a small city. It straddles a semi-large river. Baydell is of great military importance due to the bridge spanning the river. Baydell is a a medium sized town with an couple of Inns, Taverns and a reasonable residential district.
on the way in, Barka informs the Heroes that the Karrnath invaders have been spotted around the region. scout the town and find out what you can.
Now that the heroes have arrived they must see about gaining any information they can about the Karrn troupe.
A quick search of the town leads 3 leads:
- Expatriate Karrn soldier
- Karrn sympathizer
- Maria Galestrum
Expatriate Karrn soldier
Joel Lightsbane is an expatriate Karrn soldier. He was banished after he saw the necromancers turn his fallen comrades and enemy soldiers into undead soldiers.
He is gruff and doesn’t like answering questions. After work he usually buries his woes in a bottle. If questioned by the Heroes he initially doesn’t pay any attention to them. If they press the issue he issues half/vague answers to the point of becoming violent. If the Heroes continue to press him, he breaks down and tells them the horror that he witnessed that day. His tale of the Army That Doesn’t Breathe.
Saul Il’coth is a scraggly mill operator. He is angry at Queen Mishann for taxes and has since become a supporter of King Kaius (of Karrnath) and would like to see him rule Khorvaire. His political opinions are known only by a few in the local tavern. He tends to loosen his tongue after a few pints.
Unfortunately he does not know anything. However, if informed that Karrn troops maybe in the area he claims its a blessing and becomes antagonistic toward the Heroes
Victim of Karrn Ransom
Maria is a frail woman, who is acting as a spy for the Karrn troops in town. Her child was taken by the Karrn troops and her husband is at home, being held hostage by some a Karrn soldier and 2 zombie soldiers.
Maria has been acting suspicious, which has has lead the Heroes to her. Maria is a bad liar, so if the Heroes approach her they immediately know something is wrong. She doesn’t believe that he Heroes can help her so she will not volunteer any information. To get Maria to explain the Heroes must either persuade her that they can help or follow her home. Either way the Heroes must rescue her husband for her to disclose what she knows.
Skill Challenge Complexity 2
6 Successes before 3 Failures
Skill Challenge Difficulty
Moderate DC 12
After the “battle” the captured Karrn soldier or Maria tells the Heroes that the Karrn encampment is in the nearby woods in the ruins of an old temple.
After heavy interrogation the Karn soldier only volunteers that there were 20 squads, 6 soldiers each. Each Squad contained a Death Mask (necromancers).
In the forest The Death Mask has raised several undead soldiers from the corpses buried there. 3 of the soldiers have been dispatched as scouts holding the perimeter.
After defeating the Karrn scouts the Heroes can easily sneak up upon the ruins. Once the heroes arrive read the following:
As you approach the ruins you hear chanting and see a glowing light emanating from a arcane circle. Over the circle you see a Soldier dressed in the Karrn uniform with a bone mask covering his face. Suspended in the center of the circle you see a small child pulsating with arcane energy. Milling about the camp are undead.
Battle Death Mask
As the Heroes investigate the site they notice that the magic circle has created what appears to be a dragonmark in the land. But this is not a dragonmark of one of the houses. This is an aberrant mark.
Barka Swiftrunner immediately gives orders for the Heroes to return and report to High-King Vadallia. He sets off to report to Cyrian Intelligence.
He wishes them luck on their trip home because he fears that they will need it.