To Rise from the Ashes

The tunnels kept going...
...and we're just not up to this

The note from the miners was short and specific, and included a simple map. The downward-sloping tunnel wasn’t that difficult to drain, at least enough to get through, and what they found on the other side was a surprise. It was obvious that the natural tunnels provided access to an improved, albeit likely ancient, set of larger tunnels. When they explored deeper into the hillside they found evidence of mining activity: a few tools, supports, and other long-forgotten implements and constructs.

It seemed that the spider tunnels connected with the end of a horizontal tunnel, probably the northern end of a set of improved tunnels. Coming topside, they searched among the hills and trees and found, about 1/2 mile to the south, a collapsed mine entrance, buried under rubble and dirt, with trees growing through the heap, obscuring it from easy notice.

The men believed that the old mine was of human construction, and probably hundreds of years old. Beyond that, they had little to add. They’d found evidence of living creatures: filth, more webs, and other refuse of beasts. After the death of Allyn they were unwilling to go any deeper into the tunnels without support – and who could blame them?

Prince Oargev, two days after his meeting with G’Toch, again dispatched Amarack, Deaton, and Luc to investigate the tunnels and, if possible, clear them in order that mining could begin. If precious metals or gems were in those hills, New Cyre would profit mightily.

You’ll have had two days after returning to town with G’Toch and getting back together with Deaton before the prince calls you to his house again and hands you the note and map from the miners. The map is pretty rough, and is only meant to show the openings relative to one another, and the tunnels that connect them underground. They’re not moving any deeper into those places until more muscle shows up.

Into the hills
and into diplomatic talks

Dinner with the prince was informative and interesting, not to mention filling. Deaton was given a letter of marque and not so subtly asked to deal quickly with a loan shark who was bilking people out of their futures through high interest loans. After finishing his meringue he went quickly about the business of tracking down the loan shark and his enforcer and extracting from them the proof he needed to hand them over the the Watch, with a few bruises and cracked ribs added to the mix.

Meanwhile, Luc and Amarack headed south toward the mountains that same evening, making good time that night before camping. They would make contact with the small group of miners the prince had said were in distress first thing in the morning, and would discover that one miner was dead, the victim of some underground beast, and that the survivors reported that they’d been under surveillance by goblins up in the surrounding hills.
Not wasting any time, Amarack and Luc followed the lead of the miners to a small opening in a ravine and climbed underground, finding their way to a small cave, full of webs. Using both magic and the blunt force of Amarack’s hammer, the pair confronted and crushed a giant spider. They also found what the miners said was likely gold in a handful of rocks in a nearby flooded tunnel.

Once above ground again, the pair was alerted to the immediate presence of goblins up in the surrounding hills, watching. Amarack approached directly while Luc moved stealthily around to one side. Once in range, Amarack was confronted by a large hobgoblin, in rustic armor, who demanded that he and the others leave his land. Instead of attacking, the cleric began to negotiate with the savage warrior, refusing to back down, and refusing to be baited into insulting or attacking him. Luc transformed himself into the likeness of a hobgoblin and, although he could not speak much of the language, thoroughly confused both the hobgoblin chieftain and his two goblin flunkies to the point that G’Toch was willing to continue talking.

After Amarack told G’Toch of his flight from the Mourning and the plight of New Cyre, and how his honor was tied up with that of his people, the hobgoblin accepted an invitation to meet with Prince Oargev and discuss the possibility of some sort of pact or agreement between New Cyre and the Torvasch tribe.

Luc rode ahead to New Cyre while Amarack and his guests followed, eventually delivering G’Toch to the prince’s home for negotiations, from which all others were barred. His goblin riders were given humble food and drink and left to sit in the front garden, under the constant but polite watch of the house guards, while Luc and Amarack, after formally introducing the hobgoblin to the prince, were dismissed.

An invitation awaits
to a quiet, intimate meeting

The summons to see Prince Oargev came in the form of a rolled parchment, in the hand of a member of the Metrol Watch. Constable Gibbs found Amarack at the docks, assisting in the unloading of a barge. Deaton Fameleux was tracked down a little later by the same officer, who found the former house guard strolling the streets of Bergen.

Your are hereby summoned to the presence of His Royal Eminence, Prince Oargev of Cyre, at His residence promptly at the evening bell, this day.

"String'm up!"
the sick bastard!

New Cyre was abuzz with the news that the murderer had been captured. Word of the sting operation launched by the Metrol Watch spread by late morning, and although there was revulsion at the crimes and the man behind them, and the fact that he was a government official, the cachet of the Metrol Watch grew quickly.

By late in the day Prince Oargev made a public announcement that a trial would be held and conducted “according to the highest ideals and traditions of Cyran justice.” In the case of this sort of crime, an official inquiry would be overseen by a prosecutor (the town has one), who would determine if the evidence available was enough to hold a trial. The prosecutor would recommend the charge and sentence to the crown, which would then, on behalf of the people, order the trial. The trial would include witnesses, presentation of evidence, and would be itself overseen by a judge, who would then present all the findings and a recommendation to the crown – that is, the prince – who would then decide guilt or innocence.

Given the profile of the crimes and the alleged perp, the small size of New Cyre and the relatively slow news week, this would probably all take place within the next week. Already people began talking of the construction of a set of gallows, as New Cyre did not have any, while others talked of wanting to bring back some of the older forms of execution, like drawing & quartering or other nasty means from Cyre’s past.

Some people made attempts over the days to make conversation about the crime with Amarack as he went about his regular business; and some few also tried to talk up Deaton Fameleux, although his normally taciturn demeanor kept most people away. A slight buzz of talk persisted about the girl involved in the sting, and where she might be…but no one seemed to recognize or know her.

The Sons of Oblivion
...or how to build a dream

“Good, you figured out my directions! I figured it wouldn’t be hard for you two.” Luc stepped out of the shadows of the stilted shack, and smiled at Deaton and Amarack. “Thank you for coming” he said, motioning for three stools, as he moved to shut the door behind them.

The three seated on stools, looked at each other through the dim candlelight. “Well, I realize this is odd, I mean, while we have worked together, I think I know you two much better than you know me. But, I know that we all three share something in common. Do you know what that is?”

A new day in New Cyre
which means that something bad has probably happened

The news traveled quickly through Misty Bottom, and then through the other neighborhoods: murder. A young woman’s body had been found at dawn under one of the docks, strangled by a length of cord still around her neck. It seemed that she’d been assaulted, too, as her modest clothes were torn asunder.

Two similar crimes in one month. New Cyre was already barely keeping it together and now this. The fear and anger were almost palpable by high sun, long after the Metrol Watch had removed the body and a priest of the Host was consoling the family of the dead girl. The town was on edge.

The Day of Mourning
where were you?

Cyre was on the ropes in 994, after a century of war. Located in the most central position on the continent, the great nation was simultaneously able to strike at its enemies, keep them separated from one another, and yet was itself completely surrounded. Were it not for the near mastery over arcane power, the might of House Cannith – based in Cyre – and the valor and skill of her soldiers, the nation would have long before been crushed. Any other nation would have long before surrendered or been conquered. But not Cyre.

And yet 994 brought perils that threatened to overwhelm even such a great people. From the north, Karrnathi forces advanced on horse and foot, seeking revenge for Cyre’s recent attack on central Karrnath and the city of Atur. Princess Borann of Brelend led her troops from the west, combined with Bishop-Militant Grodan’s Army of Southern Thrane, advanced on a much smaller Cyran force.

For days the Cyran army, place cat & mouse with the larger enemy force – some say the odds were 3:1 against the defenders. Clever use of the tireless Warforged and the lightning-fast cavalry of the Metrol Light Horse slowed the attackers’ attempts at consolidating for a final attack. Finally, the armies met in what is now known as the Field of Ruins, on the Glass Plateau – once a great plain of agriculture. As the armies clashed, a great rumbling came from within the earth. Fire filled the sky, and a great light – silent, and brilliant beyond the brightest star – spread from deep within central Cyre.

No one knows what it was like within the borders of the Mournland, because no one who was there survived. Soldiers on watch hundreds of miles away in Thrane were blinded by the flash of light, and some deafened by the thunderous roar that followed moments later.

Where were you, and how did you survive when your homeland was destroyed?


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