Saturday, August 8, 2009

Recap #25 - Andred's Report

2 Vult
Andred Wormblade scanned his carefully written report. He had received the report request this morning. That meant the pouch he'd purchased and sent her from Sharn had finally arrived in Lakeview. The set had come at a steep price but it would make contact with his benefactor that much easier. He shook his head and focused on the task at hand. Alara did not pay him for amateur work. More importantly a historian of his caliber didn't omit important details. He knew that the actions of the Clifftoppers had the potential to alter the course of history in ways they couldn't imagine yet and he considered himself to be their witness. He started at the top once again. His eyes caught the major points of the journey since Sharn as he skimmed the writing and mentally recalled his travels.

They had left Sharn on the 21st of Sypheros. Two days later they had made an abrupt stop over a remote forested area East of Delver's Dale. The party had disembarked for a day. When they returned they bore new treasures. Even more impressive than that was the fact that he almost saw the hint of a smile upon the warforged face. He'd never thought it possible. Nenia informed him that the party had dispatched a Green Dragon. He research later told him the creature had been none other than Razcoreth. Andred recalled his previous dealings with the warlock dragon. He would not be missed.

Two days later they had landed in Flamekeep and spent two days talking to Thelio and some madman in the Houses of Healing. While dealing with the broken man had been unpleasant it had been fruitful. The ravings had supported Andred's research of the Boneyard. Even the state of the man confirmed that Xoriat was involved somehow. It gave credence to the rumors of the Xoriat manifest zone.

On the 6th of Aryth they had departed Flamekeep and spent the better part of a week flying to a settlement in Q'barra quaintly named Hope. During this time Andred had spent many hours with Nenia pouring over books and records trying to narrow their upcoming search of the jungle. He knew from his research in Newthrone many years ago that the jungles of Q'barra were an extremely dangerous and foreboding place. Death came quickly to the unprepared. Andred had been impressed when Nenia has stumbled upon a small note on one of the scrolls that indicated the general area they were looking for. he was sure it had saved them weeks of searching.

Even with this new information it had still been a week of waiting in Hope for the signal from the party that indicated they wanted the airship to pick them up. With the help of a Genasi Druid named Cur-ri they had destroyed a cult of Yuan-ti worshippers and obtained the Symbol of Fire. If the story was not embellished it was seem that the young human lad had actually tied a rope around his ankles and leapt into a flooding pit containing a Yuan-Ti Anathema! However when I pressed them on what had become of such a dangerous creature none of them could say. The holy warrior Delian looked particularly disturbed about that detail. My instincts tell me that the area there has become even more dangerous. Regardless, we got what we came for. The jungle can look out for itself.

They party has entrusted me with safeguarding the Symbol of Fire until I can perform the ritual in Onatar so I spent the next two days studying it and recording every detail I find. For two days after plucking the group from the jungle I was able to do so in peace. However as we neared the Boneyard we were attacked by Halflings of the Talenta Plains. They have learned much since they declared their independence. Incredibly they have mastered the use of kegs that burst into flame when dropped. With them they were able to crash our ship into the side of an ancient temple in the foothills of the Endworld Mountains. Many of the crew were lost in the battle and the crash landing. I am amazed that I have survived to make this report. However it turned out that our predicament was about to get much worse. It turned out that the temple - which is older than many I have seen - is considered to be a holy place to the Halfling tribes. To make matters worse it was also being held by a horde of creatures we know as witherlings. There must have been a great battle here at some point in history to account for the magic required to create such sheer numbers of the beasts.

Being caught between an advancing army of Halflings and hordes of Witherlings we wisely chose to hide. Somehow we ended up above the temple and the dwarf Braddoc released a devastating landslide of rock and rubble upon the battle in front of the temple. Luckily the Witherlings caught the brunt of that maneuver and the Halflings offered us quarter in exchange for the assistance we inadvertently granted them. In the nine days that followed we were able to repair the ship to its present condition. During our repair time we were honoured with the presence of Holy Uldra. The party did not share my enthusiasm though. We barely convinced her to grant us permission to enter the Boneyard in search of Kristoff's fate. She also spoke of some curse upon us and the lands if we removed any items from the valley. I hope to someday get a chance to sit down and record the histories locked within the mind of Holy Uldra. It would be a shame for our libraries to one day lose such a valuable source of information.

We now sit within the airship hovering over the mouth of the valley know as the Boneyard. It is an hour before dawn and we have just dropped the Clifftoppers off. It seems they wish to move in on foot in order to avoid any denizens spotting the ship in the air. Only history will tell us whether they find Kristoff or simply meet the same fate as his caravan.

Andred carefully reordered the stack of paper on his desk and counted them once again. Seventeen pages of details, diagrams, and commentary were ready for Alara's study. He rolled the sheets together and pressed his wax seal on the outside. He then waved his hand over the seal and murmured the words that would leave his arcane mark ensuring that Alara knew the words to be his. Placing his findings within the mate of Alara's pouch he closed the flap. It took only a moment for a slight warmth to fill the bag and he knew she had taken the letter from her own pouch. The ship shuddered slightly. He sighed as he repositioned the ritual components on the floor. The airship wasn't nearly as steady as it used to be. But that was understandable considering the damage it had taken in the previous couple of weeks. History predicted that Alara would have words for him to pass along to the group. He reached into his bag and withdrew a tome he had been studying. He may as well pass the time constructively.