998 Dravago(May) 14:
The character players are ’’Charises’’, a word of draconic origin meant for members of the Dragonmarked Houses who managed to impress their respective Houses during the past year. Those individuals are usually blood relatives to their Barons in a distant way or not. Whether they’re a long distant nephew, a grand children or great cousin they are all Favored in House and are perceived as trifling celebrities within their respective Houses. The selected people are chosen as part of a tradition between the Dragonmarked Houses. Each barons choose someone with potential success within the family to accompany them for a meeting at The Twelve main enclave in Korth, Karrnath. They symbolize that the House is doing well enough and that a future for the House is secured. Consequently, if any Baron shows up without a ’’Charis’’ then it will be seen as a sign of weakness. The Charises are expected to be silent and still for the whole meeting where the Barons and Baronesses discuss the future of the Dragonmarked Houses. Usually, the session takes the form of a report, where each baron/baroness outline all major problems encountered and then they talk about potential threats to a House or Houses. This is the first meeting since the end of the Last War so there is a lot of discussion and debate needed.
The main subjects of discussion were:
- -The state of House Orien post-war.
- -The state of House Cannith post-war.
- -Increased apparition of many aberrant marked individuals all over Khorvaire.
- -The Korth edict.
The state of House Orien post-war: A lot of the roads all across the five nations are either destroyed or in a very poor condition. The bridge between Aundair and Karrnath, now destroyed, made the business very hard for House Orien. Yet, above all else, the Lightning Rails suffered the most. The smugglers and thieves stole a large quantity of the conducting stones much needed to move the Lighting Rails and, with the annihilation of Cyre, the Lightning Rail railroad system is on the brink of disaster. That’s where The Twelve comes in. As the leader of the House Orien, Baron Kwanti d’Orien asks The Twelve and the other Dragonmarked Houses to help with the road repairs and to put pressure on the governments of the five nations to repair the roads and bridges as soon as possible.
The state of House Cannith post-war:
When Cyre was destroyed on the Day of Mourning, the Baron of House Cannith, Starrin d’Cannith, died in the terrible event that occurred. In fact, the main enclave of House Cannith and a lot of very skilled artificers were lost that day. In the meeting room today, three members of House Cannith came as ‘’Barons and Baroness’’ each with their own ’’Charis’’. This is a problem, The Twelve and the other Dragonmarked Houses expect House Cannith to settle their dispute and elect a new Baron or Baroness quickly for the sake of stability or else The Twelve will elect the new leader themselves. There is three candidates; Jorlanna d’Cannith, Zarlon d’Cannith and Merrix d’Cannith. Merrix, not as much in lust for power, calmly pointed at the triumvirate of House Tharashk to justify his position of the matter.
Increased apparition of many aberrant marked individuals all over Khorvaire:
There has been many apparition of aberrant mark all across the continent. Many of these aberrant marked people are found dead each morning across all five nations. Strangely, none of those individuals were found dead in Sharn, Breland. This is a serious matter without any doubts. As a matter of fact, aberrant marked people have already been, in the past, a severe threat to the Dragonmarked Houses. The sheer thoughts of the devastating consequences of The War of the Mark brought fear among the members of the Houses. As discussed, it has been judged worth investigating even if some of them die every now and then. It could be the beginning of something of dire repercussion.
The Korth Edict dictates that, within the Kingdom of Galifar, the Dragonmarked Houses will not hold any land nor exceed the limit of building size. It also dictates that the Dragonmarked Houses will not be allowed to train troops and keep them under the banner of their House. Special arrangements were made with House Deneith. In exchange for these political restrictions, the monarchy would help the Houses to prosper and ensure their economical strength. However, now that the Last War is over, the Kingdom is no more. What will happens to the Korth Edict? The aftermath of the war left four of the five nations in a pitiful state and another one completely destroyed. Should The Twelve and the alliance of the Houses rise to power, the five nations would have a hard time stopping them. But what of the nations ruled by a descendant of the last king of Galifar? Is the Korth Edict still to be valid in their territory? A lot of heated debate occurred but before they could reach a decision they were interrupted by a weak knocking sound.
Declaration of War:
Once they figured out where the noise came from, they opened the door. The body of a Phiarlan elf was found at the doorstep. Using his last breath, he tried to warn the Barons and Baronesses of the upcoming danger. Baron Trelib d’Medani, Breven d’Deneith, Daric d’Velderan and Maagrim d’Torrn d’Tharashk rapidly took in charge the sudden investigation. The Charises were tasked to find any information regarding what was going on. Lord Morrikan d’Kundarak chose to erect a security perimeter around the corpse. As soon as it was found out the elf was a member of House Phiarlan, Matriarch and Baroness Elvinor Elorrenthi d’Phiarlan suspected House Thuranni to be involved and it turned out that Elar d’Thuranni and his Charis were nowhere to be found. She rapidly manifested her dragonmark and vanished in the shadows. Chaos was erupting in the room as the Barons of House Cannith, Orien, Lyrandar became louder and louder claiming they had rights to know what was going on. Matriarch Lysse Lyrriman d’Sivis raised her cane and very loudly smashed it on the floor to impose her authority. She then asked everyone to calm down and act as the people of Khorvaire expect them to be. Only Baron Yoren d’Ghallanda, Dalin d’Vadalis and Kundar’aashta of House Tharashk remained serene from the beginning.
Relating to the Phiarlan murder it was found that:
- -It isn’t known if the Baron and Charis of House Thuranni were in the meeting room during these events as no one noticed their absence earlier. It has been confirmed that once the corpse was identified they were nowhere to be found.
- -The elf was a middle-aged male, around 300 hundred years old named Aust Elorrenthi d’Phiarlan. Nobody in the room could tell what his role in House Phiarlan was.
- -His chest has been lacerated by four very sharp lateral blades almost like claws but the damages were way to big and the cuts way too deep to have been claws. Aust’s leather armor was ripped open as if it didn’t offer any resistance at all. Magic is most likely involved.
- -His back was also very damaged, in fact it was the deepest cut of them all. A single cut, very deep, inside which was placed a device with strange looking symbols that can be rotated. Much like a worded padlock.
Soon after the last clue was found, the building started shaking and collapsing. The pillars of levitation allowing the building to fly were destroyed by most likely whoever killed Aust. Now the only thing left to do was to brace for impact and hope for the best. The PCs were in luck because when you are with some of the most powerful people of Khorvaire maybe home isn’t the only thing left. Hastily, all the barons worked together to secure the conference room as best as possible, given the minute they had before impact. When the building hit the ground, everything went black.
The Charises woke up in the burning and smoking ruins of The Twelve enclave in Korth. They started to explore the ruins, desperately trying to find their Barons and other survivors. It turns out they were near an improvised emergency camp that the barons managed to build in matters of minutes. It was the most secure place at the time. After a few small talks, they were tasked to explore the ruins and help any survivors they could find. What they found was utterly disturbing. They stumbled upon people being corrupted, fascinated by orbs of light levitating among the ruins. These orbs were very large, unstable, dragonshards emitting very strong magical radiations. Casting a spell near any of these would have unpredictable effects. The sound of the footsteps of the PCs broke the fascination pattern of the wretched folks but the mind of these poor souls had already been damaged permanently. They became violent and attacked the PCs. In the altercation, one of the lunatic was pushed in an orb of light. He was sucked in overwhelmingly and, much to the disgust of the PCs, the being became a twisted chunk of flesh and then formed a small mass of Syberis dragonshard.
They later found members of the Order of the Emerald Claw in the ruins. Some Emerald Claw workers were scavenging dragonshards, magical equipment, crafting tools as some soldiers were overseeing them. After being put down by the group, three templars of Order of the Emerald Claw and an officer engaged the PCs. Baron Breven d’Deneith intervened and helped the PCs because the foes were particularly strong. The officer was a vampire wizard and the PCs stole his grimoire, which Devent d’Velderan took as a token of victory.
Once back to the camp, they learned that the Order of the Emerald Claw was most likely responsible for the destruction of The Twelve. They targeted this enclave to put their hands on some of the best resources and magical tools on Khorvaire. Loeva Shol d’Phiarlan, Baroness Elvinor’s charis, left the group to investigates on the matter and found out that some cultists were using strange daggers in some weird and disturbing ritual. Indeed, the cultist turned an orb of light into a liquid state by stabbing the orb with the dagger. The fresh fluid then entered a cavity well hidden inside the blade and it is after this process that he stabbed a freshly made undead with it. The blade harvested the blood as it entered the same empty cavity. A captured servant of The Twelve was then stabbed in the chest with that dagger. A flow of energy flowed into the victim and an unknown dragonmark started appearing on the chest of the martyr. The newly formed marking suddenly started convulsing and the trait turned black before glowing a bright red. When the convulsions ended, the karrn was dead. His body turned to a smoky shadow and flew deep in the sky and attacked Baroness Esravash d’Lyrandar who was protecting some survivors far away by guiding them to safety while in the air. It is also important to note she recovered some of the magical equipment of The Twelve.
During that time, the rest of the PCs were given precious informations concerning the leader of the operation. He was in an underground part of the ruins and worked on the pillars of levitation that crashed when the building collapsed. Baron Breven d’Deneith asked them to take him out while he, at the same time, would take care of a stronger, unknown, undead outside. During that fight Breven was badly wounded to the head. This undead was a tall creature wearing a dark full plate probably made from a strong alloy of metal. After tearing through the low-ranked members of the Order of the Emerald Claw, the PCs used a rope to get in the underground ruins. There, they met a man in his early thirties. He bore a lesser aberrant dragonmark. After a very brief introduction, hostilities were engaged. The man used his aberrant dragonmark to absorb parts of the raw dragonshards that were lying everywhere on the ground. He used this energy to teleport himself to other zones of dragonshards and also used this energy to blast the PCs. He kept absorbing dragonshards to heal himself but it slowly turned his body to a dragonshard matter. Once fully crystallized, he became very fragile but thanks to his constant teleportation he managed to offer good resistance to the PCs. He was eventually caught and in a last attempt to survive he used up all the energy he gathered to push the PCs away. Once the PCs woke up they found him lying unconscious but a dark figure emerged from the ground it grabbed him and disappeared. It was the same creature that wounded Breven d’Deneith.
Once outside, the forces of the Order of the Emerald Claw that were remaining all left. Breven’s wound was terrible and even Baroness Ulara d’Jorasco couldn’t definitely cure the necrosis that spread on the it. She could only maintain his condition. It allowed the Dragonmarked Houses to calm down and choose a course of action. Time was of the essence. The Barons asked the PCs to help them during this time of crisis. Obviously, the PCs accepted. They were given a choice:
- - Travel across Khorvaire to find a cure for Baron Breven d’Deneith
- - Travel to Sharn to investigate the rise of a group of aberrant marked individuals.
- - Travel to Droaam to investigate the disparition of some important Twelve’s agents and dignitaries.
They chose to travel to Droaam and so their adventure begun.