Ashes of the Empire

Prologue: Chapter I
Setting Out

Surge, Tamm and Aneer started in a village on the western edge of the great forest.

They met a young boy in an inn named Arris. Arris told them something was happening to the children. Surge investigated, met Ar’gu, a man in a dark cloak with a close-cropped graying beard and wearing a large oval ring on his finger, the symbol of an ancient order of mages from the east.

They eventually managed to recruit themselves into a caravan of children Ar’gu was taking east through the forest.

surge tamm and anner wake up from camping in a field, head southeast towards village. upon ariving, didnt know what they were doing, desparate to find new experience. decided to start at tavern. sat around tavern, acting like they knew what they were doing, acting comfortable. tamm noticed mage (some shady character in corner). aneer just wanted to drink. they drank while tamm talked to bar tender. turn around to see mage, he had disappeared! after aneer was drunk. decided to walk around town. church with royal guards standing in front. Guards: human, didn’t recognize uniforms (faded, people clinging to past). wandered around town. guard interrupted them, said you’re supposed to check weapons at gate. confiscated weapons. headed back to church, went inside. at top of church, beautiful emblem, master craftwork of some unknown deity. church seemed like center of culture. people in church dismissed them as weird tourists. went back to tavern to get drunk. tamm and surge started talking about being disillusioned about “adventure”. mundane, burning money, escapism.

Arris, showed up. said they looked like outsiders, but people who looked like they would want to help a village/people in danger. said that children had been taken over 3 months, ever since dark mage arrived (tamm confirmed same mage). surge: what did mage say reason was for being in village. arris: buying village. pople renting his homes, hard economic times. gave Ar;gu;’s apartment address. went to get weapons. surge distracted guard buy asking directions to bar they just came from. tamm snuck in and got weapons. headed towards Aragus place.

said they were travelers and they didnt know bearings, told you were traveler but made yourself comfortable. perhaps you could share your advice. aragu was friendly and let them in. started talking and mentioned what they heard about children. araguys mood changed. “i know what it is you want, and i have nothing more to say to you. you are strange characters in a strange land”. forced them out with dialoge.

stayed in inn atop tavern. in middle of night arris showed up. said 2 more children went missing. immediately grabbed weapons and headed to aragus place in morning. knocked on door, said they would barge in to get answers. aragu opened door, noticed there were 3 other dark mages, looked powerful. almost confrontation. aragu diffused situation. “what are you talking about, come in, have some tea”. said he got the impression that you all are brave, but inexperienced men. its true children have gone missing, but they are safe, and their families are with them. surge: whats going on. aragu: they are in a caravan in forest, but they will serve important purpose. surge: what. aragu: their innocence may be the key to our worls salvation. i owuld like to hire you to prote`t them as they travel dark forest. surge: if i go along, neither i nor my friends are doing this for you or for payment, but just to insure safety of children.

got to caravan after days travel. fell asleep in caravan, children safe. surge woke up with feeling of being watched. walked down to forest floor. all of a sudden bows and swords poiinted at him. told by wood elves they are being watched and that they are on foreign territory. surge is not emmisary of mages, but as a protector of children. when he came back at 4 am, attacked by kobolds. slaughtered shit out of them. couple kids died. (50 kids to start off with). in morning, tamm and aneer and surge looked for nests of kobolds, and found them. dawned on surge that they were attacked out of self defense. caravan was on nesting territory. tamm healed an injured mother who was protecting her eggs. headed back to aragu, said they needed answers. aragu: “go to sleep”

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Prologue:Chapter 2
Into the Forest

One night, Ar’gu left the narrow forest trail and went north into the forest, Surge, now accompanied by Benezia, who had been with the caravan, followed him to the Gate of Illolge, the southern entrance to the Temple of Talmolge, the tombs of the royal family of the ancient tiefling empire.

Second day: gathered and burned bodies of kobolds. surge wanted to go check on nest. benezia said we should stick with caravan. followed aragu off trail, b.c we wanted answers. trail started to get darker and ickyer. lost sight of aragu. saw light far ahead of us. came up to it. saw door glowing, looked like a solid stone material but looked like it was liquid too. benezia noticed to catches, one in handle of door, one by foot of door. door had dwarven runes, in old unknown language, across it. tried to hold one catch with dagger while opening the other one, but dagger broke and acid splashed on surge and little on aneer. benezia healed surge. we went in. darkness. all of a sudden we were attacked by three diseased dwarves with axes. we fought and killed two of them, while trying to get answers off of the wounded third one. Unfortunately, it went into a deep coma and died before we could find any answers.

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Prologue: Chapter 3
Finding of the Dark Ring

Benezia, Surge, Tam, and Aneer, after killing the dwarves headed down a hallway where we started hearing voices. We turned the corner and saw Arg’u talking to dwarves in what appeared to be a tense conversation. The dwarves had their hands on their weapons, and they were arguing in an odd dwarven dialect amongst one another. Benezia was able to decipher that they were talking about our slaying of the diseased dwarves, their brethren. The dwarven mercenaries, upon finding out that it was us who slayed their kin, immediately asked for justice, which boiled down to asking for our blood.

We defended our actions, pointing out that we were ambushed and were a part of Arg’u’s caravan. They said that it was injustice, and that we should die. Ar’gu, knowing that the raged dwarves simply craved blood for blood, carcass for carcass, placed his hand upon one of his mages and killed him instantly through some sick magic. He then gazed upon all of us and simply uttered “I believe the cost has been paid in full. We now face deeper worries”.

Terek, a head dwarven mercenary, recognized Benezia and vouched for her character. Meanwhile, Adrian, a human wizard, was wandering around the dark forest. Adrian, a theological intellectual, was tripping on some serious mushrooms in an effort to obtain oneness with pure ethereal reality. He wandered into the tombs and heard the noise, following us in a distance. Adrian approached the adventurers after they entered a large room with a Tiefling statue placed in the middle of it, which was composed of the same faintly glowing material as that of the entrance.

Adrian cast ghost voice, from the back of the tomb, seemingly out of the blue, for no other reason than to freak everybody out. Perhaps some desperate effort to make the wrongest first impression. Ever. The dwarves ran to the back of the hall, everyone got tense and drew their weapons. Eventually the dwarves came back and reported they couldn’t find the source of the sound. Benezia soiled herself, ever so slightly.

Annoyed, Ar’gu and the dwarves headed further into the tombs. Benezia, Surge, Tam, and Aneer head back to the entrance to see if we could talk to the comatose dwarf. He had disappeared. There we found Adrian, still mildly hallucinating while chomping on dwarven remains. Adrian introduces himself, and tells us why he’s there and joins the party.

We all head back deeper into the caves and find ourselves in a room with a dark well in the center of it. Surge is lowered down, after Adrian casts light on Surge’s leather plating. Surge finds a corpse with a dark ring & a dark dagger placed by its side. He picks both of them up and heads back up. The corpse was too decomposed to tell its race.

The well room had three entrances we chose the one furthest to to the left and headed down. We noticed the room to the right with rubble in front of it. We entered to the left and found ourselves by three giant spiders. We hastily ended them, with the help of some of the returning dwarves. They dealt with one of the spiders behind them. And Adrian rocked some shit.

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Prologue: Chapter 4
Strange Discoveries

Eventually with some of Ar’gu’s dwarven mercenaries and Ansible.

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