The Fairwealde Campaign
The following is a recount of the events that lead to the period of history known as the The Feud of the Dragons, as told by the half-dwarf Urdo.
To whoever reads this, whenever you may read it, know that we fought the good fight. Know that few stood against many, that freedom stood against injustice, and that before all was said and done, lives were lost, hearts were broken, and that firmament which was held to be eternal was shaken and torn. And do know, good reader, that I did not do this alone.
My companions were many over the years. But there were a select few that I name in the highest regard.
There was Palora, the young, curious wizard.
There was Eroth, the capable rogue.
There was Vorelus, the fey warlock.
There was Laenthanidon, the wise cleric.
There was Kiera, the brave ranger.
And there was Merope, the deadly executioner.
They were my compatriots, my fellow freedom fighters, and most importantly, my friends.
But there was a time before I met them, when they first joined together, before they found me at my lowest point. It all started in the town of Greensdale, which is called Gorzham in the dragon tongue, on the 268th day of the year of the Green dragonflight.
Such an auspicious day, the 268th of Greenflight, when those 6, in the basement of the Greensdale Abbey, made an oath to the Emerald Order of Bahamut, a secret one, under penalty of death, to secure Greensdale as a safe haven against the dragons. Oh if they only knew then what they were in for! But I can not blame them, the cruelty of Kamroz was well-known, and would only grow worse from then on. They all felt that they had to do something, and I will admit, had they not felt that, I might not be alive today. And then there was Varlga, that damnable hag! She too made oath with them, to enter her lair to remove a trifling presence. They agreed to the old crow’s wish, and so they set out on the next day to the forest.
Eroth’s information gathering skills proved fruitful, coupled with the woodland prowess of Kiera, and the six companions soon found themselves at the hut of Varlga the hag. And they came prepared, and were not fooled by the ambush the xivorts had laid for them. They quickly dispatched the pathetic creatures, Merope above all showcasing her deadly, deadly skills. Within the miserable dwelling they found a basin of burning water, next to a harmless flame. Vorelus and Palora deduced how to throw the two together and thus opened the passageway to Varlga’s dungeon. Oh the horrors they would face, and the dangers they would come against! But they stood undaunted, ready to route the xivorts they found lurking down there!
And the xivorts fled before the heroes! Their yellow eyes quivering in fear as spell and sword drew blood from their rotten blue hides! They ran across the bridge, alerting more of their kind to our heroes’ presence. But they continued undaunted! Palora made sure they would not be followed by a clever enchantment, and Merope made flight across the bridge, striking at the fiends. But fortune did not smile so fairly upon Vorelus, when the bridge collapsed beneath him, sending he and the assassin in to the trench. And what’s more, in the trench the damnable hag was keeping a horrid, creeping ooze, and Eroth did fall in to that ooze! But Palora was keen once more, and her magical ball of flame scared the thing away, and the heroes could rest. But as they rested, they explored a shaft leading to a cold, dark chamber which they could not see. A beastly voice called out to them, bidding them come down. And so they did… the poor, wretched fools.
An audience with King Praloog was no trifling manner. He was big, he was terrifying, and he was hungry. But the heroes bargained with the ice troll, flattering him with niceties, promising him fresh meat to see his wares, and even the promise of freeing him from Varlga’s service, if he would join their fledgling struggle against the dragons. King Praloog agreed, licking his long, sharp teeth as they exited his chamber. Up above they headed back to the hag’s lab, where they found plenty of fresh meat in the form of several rowdy xivorts. They took them down, knocked them out, and bagged them for later, what a sight to see as the xivorts were stuffed down one of their own nets! But Eroth spotted on one of the blue cretins a note, signed by a one “V”, that instructed the xivorts to destroy Varlga’s lab. Pressing on, they entered the next room beyond, where, oh horror of horrors, the witch’s altar, where she took the bones right out of her still-living victims! One such unfortunate soul, a human named Pavel, was rescued by Laenthanidon, and he told the heroes how he was taken from the town of Amkar, and as they talked with him, a few of the group went to investigate the far door, but Vorelus, the eager lad, crossed over one of the hag’s traps, and they found themselves beset by the walking dead!
The rotting corpses could not stop them, a devil in disguise tricked them, but left to fulfill her dark desires, and they came to a human, desperate for an escape, and fought him as an agent of the Draconic Empire. His name… was Varon. Oh how that name sounds even now! And the laughing… the horrible laughing. As the battle with the wizard drew to a close, Merope cast her id moss powder on the beast, driving him mad, and in a last ditch attempt to drown them all, he boiled the hag’s seeing pool in to a cascade of frothing water, shooting them all out in to the forest. Varon escaped, and Varlga took them back to Greensdale. There, beaten and at the mercy of that foul hag, she fulfilled her end of the bargain… and told them my name, Urdo. How I wish it were under happier circumstances that they learned of my name, but time was short, and the hag, damn her withered hide, disappeared after telling them only my name, and not where to find me. Ye gods I wonder how they felt then.
Upon hearing of my name, the heroes set about finding a way to get to me. They spent the day investigating the town, trying to find my whereabouts. They learned from the kind matron Rukyel that I had been taken to the most hellish, unforgiving, ruthless place the dragons had concocted, Orezh. That name… the scars flare up in pain again… the whips… the evil look in his eye… but my friends knew nothing of the horrors they would come to face in time. In their search the merchant Fardo gave them a map to Orezh, but also the good sir dwarf Ordrek showed a treasure map to the ranger Kiera, told her that unfathomable wealth lay within its hidden location. The town of Greensdale was in trouble due to Kamroz’s taxes, and our heroes knew what they had to do. Enlisting the help of a newcomer in town, a warrior named Trevbor, they headed south to find this mysterious hoard, while Merope went to her own mysterious business, helping the cause undoubtedly by some vicious assassination. Oh how helpful Trevbor would be in their quest, seeing how dangerous it was soon to become!
They set out from Greensdale that day, full of spirit, hopeful to find the dragon’s hoard. But the terrain was unforgiving, their map inaccurate, and when they saw their goal in the distance, they were ambushed! Orcs! A thousand damnations on those savage people! They caught them in a tight spot, and our heroes had to retreat to the relative safety of a nearby forest. But were they beaten? Were they down and out! Ha! You do not know the caliber of these heroes dear reader. They would not be destroyed so easily.
The water rushed by his sides, cool, fierce, like a wild animal, trying to drag him back to its lair. But Eroth bravely went down the tunnel as the water rushed around him, trying to secure a safe passage. They had made it through the rough hills and rested during the night, when he heard something far off, but could not spot it. And going through the cave, they set off a trap; poison, acid, a fierce flight across treacherous terrain. Then across a bridge, when the water began to flow. And so Eroth made it down the treacherous chasm, calling it safe for the others to come down. Kiera did so, but as the water, the rushing, flowing water came down, it took her with it! And another trap was triggered, one that would test our heroes even further.
There they were, finally past the treacherous chasm that nearly claimed their lives! And they gazed upon vast, ancient wealth of the dragon-kind. They took the magical items for themselves, and wondered at the strange pillar and pendant, so out of place in this dark and removed cave. When they were about to leave, they heard a growling from behind. Something was coming at them! They readied their weapons for whatever was coming, but how could they have known that it would be not one, but TWO green dragon wyrmlings! And what’s more, they brought along that loathsome, vile lunatic, Varon! The cunning and deceptive greens had planted Ordrek’s map in Greensdale, and my friends had unwittingly led them straight to the hoard! The dragons were hungry, Varon was anxious for revenge, and our heroes? Well the old dwarven saying goes: ‘Fighting your way in is work, fighting your way out is glory.’
Oh what a great and terrible battle it was, with a terrible cost! The heroes fought with valor and bravery the likes of which would have made the proudest dwarven warrior raise a pint to their prowess. The dragons attacked without remorse, while Varon wreaked his sick magic on Trevbor and the others. And what a shot by Eroth when that weasel tried to escape! He may have gotten free of the battle, but not all of him! The dragons, however, fought to the death. The first fell by Tanky’s jaw, snapping the head right off the fiend! The other beast went in to a frenzy, nearly wiping out the team, but Kiera mustered the last bit of her energy to take advantage a spot exposed by Trevbor and did slay the wyrmling. But when they tried to recover their downed allies, all was not well. Eroth did not rise from that battle. Oh good friend! That you have been the first to travel beyond the gates of death, to see the goddess in her cold demesne! Brave Eroth, whose soul was not with his body, not with his companions. That they sought to bring him back is testament to their commitment. But the dangers that loomed before them cast shadows on the wall, even deep in a dark, dank cave.
Our heroes managed to escape that dreadful cave, Palora taking a souvenir of freshly carved dragon scales, and the bear Tanky carrying Eroth out of his would-be tomb. They disposed of the wyrmling bodies, then clambered out of the cave, where they were greeted by an overcast day. Through the forest they went, to find of all things a bird to cast a ritual upon, informing the Head Abbot of the Greensdale Abbey, Eremus, that they would be resting Eroth’s body beneath a tree in the forest. After leaving an unusual marker to indicate where he rested, they dutifully scavenged what valuables remained with Eroth, when suddenly, from the trees, a shuriken came and dug in to Vorelus’ side. It bored in to his mind, seeking knowledge, to which Vorelus could not help but reply. Then the creature escaped, while Laenthanidon, examining the symbols on the vicious weapon, told the story of the Banshrae, a dangerous fey trickster. Then they spotted a white horse through the trees! What more could be coming there way? When they saw this mount had no rider, they followed its tracks, leading to a poor excuse for an abandoned fort, where inside a murderous pack of goblins laired! Our heroes wanted shelter from the storm, and killing a few of the green bastards was an easy price to pay for that comfort.
The heroes did make it back to Greensdale that night, after finding the note Haelm sent along with Jorand and his unfortunate band. In the dead of night, amidst rain, lightning, and thunder, they avoided the patrols and made it in to the Greensdale Abbey. There they found Eremus, who gave them refuge from the unforgiving night, and to whom our heroes told their harrowing tale. They resolved then to send Kiera, under the guise of an eladrin, in to town to relay a message to Haelm. While she went about her quest, the rest of the adventurers stayed quietly within the abbey’s sacred walls, but even there they were not safe! The dragonborn had tortured Eremus, who divulged their location to the authorities. They were dragged to the town square, along with most of the town, where that loathsome beast Kamroz went about brutally interrogating the townsfolk about the death of two of his kind. By sheer twist of fate, they interrogated Ordrek the dwarf before our heroes. They brought him before the square, before gods and all assembled. They asked him if he had any accomplices, to which he truthfully replied no… and at that point there was only one outcome. Good sir dwarf, Ordrek, brave and valiant to the end. Though I never knew you, I know that you rest in Celestia now, among the halls of your ancestors, raising a pint to glory days and boasting of your successes in life. Hamaadrrh’un haegan ne forron. May your gravestone never wear away. It seemed that our heroes had escaped punishment for the time being, but what would be their next move?
And then strange tides turned against our heroes. They retrieved Ordrek’s body and returned it to the abbey. Palora went to drown her sorrows away, while Kiera made a sad goodbye to Haelm. They planned to leave the town as soon as possible, but even as Vorelus dragged Palora from the bar, someone else was watching. Back at the abbey, Laenthanidon made it very clear to Eremus that Ordrek should be well taken care of, and all efforts should be made to raise Eroth from the dead. Meanwhile, Palora wandered in to the graveyard, spotting none other than Kaelra, Ordrek’s former apprentice, chasing after a lithe female form. When Kiera came upon it to, the woman turned in to that conniving succubus, Celion! She took Kaelra in a fountain of fire, saying that they were absconding to that fortress in the forest, the Gargor Rizhkam. With that, she struck Palora down with a mere wave of her wand, killing her instantly. Celion disappeared in to the darkness, but from that darkness came something else. They say death is not the end, and I truly believe that, but not in this way. Oh that such a young, bright, and curious girl, should turn in to… her. She bore the name Ruin, and oh how she would earn that monicker. She was told by the darkest of Queens to “Stop her.” And then, more strangely still, Merope returned to the scene, entering the graveyard with her cool and deadly grace. She said that she had been scouting the Rizhkam, and that she knew a way in to retrieve Kaelra, and perhaps even stop Celion. The next morning an empty wagon and a host of kobolds was the scene of our heroes’ fierce attack.
The kobolds were slain and disposed of, the dragonborn had been ruthlessly tied to their wagon, and the lizards were ready to carry the adventurers to their destination: the Gargor Rizhkam, where they hoped to rescue the half-elf Kaelra from the devilish Celion. They set off early that morning, unsure of what awaited them. The journey was long, nearly two days travel by Merope’s reckoning. They had only her word to go on, only the plan of this cold, hard, mysterious assassin. Ye gods, their faith then was more than mine.