A massive adult dragon assaults Loudwater’s walls, but while all quell in fear at the beast’s roar, Kelgrath hears words being spoken in draconic. Our heroes learn that the dragon has been newly formed in the astral sea in response to the massive magical imbalance in Faerun. The dragon is searching for allies, especially among those with draconic influences, like Kelgrath’s dragon based sorcery. To emphasize to the heroes that a war was coming, the dragon uses its breath weapon on the town wall, turning the entire wall into a black metallic substance that defied classification. Town secure, the dragon flew away, vowing that they would meet again.
The situation seemed to fluster Lady Moonfire above and beyond that of meeting a dragon. She invited the heroes to Moonfire mansion, offering the players the use of her servant’s quarters instead of the inn. The players are heralded as heroes by most, villains by some, talked about by all. The players settle in to their new quarters and meet with Lady Moonfire. She decided earlier, after the players left for the Ogre Barrow that she should take the job of running Loudwater seriously (in part, thanks to the players influence). To do that she would need to enter the family vault and reclaim the necessary items. To do this, she had to pass through a ring of fae that she has always been deathly afraid of. She confronted those fears and entered the ring where she passed into the Land of Fae’s realm of Summer and met with the Summer Queen and swore fealty to her. When Lady Moonfire returned she was altered, now appearing more fae in appearance, with tattoos covering her forearms, pointier ears and narrower face. Harrowleaf and Humpineaous also entered the ring, Harrowleaf was also changed –looking more fae, but Humpineaous remained the same.
Lady Moonfire also collects prophesies from the Lady Saharel, a ghost/lich that occupies nearby Spellgard tower. She has established an organization, Saharel’s Pilgrims, where she offers protection of the Silver Crescents on the journey to Spellgard tower and pays for prophecies. Shortly after she entered the fae ring and donned the circlet reserved for Loudwater lords kept in the family vault she received a prophesy that seemed to involve her directly. Moonfire showed the players the prophesy:
The horn of war sounds across the heavens. From the humblest seeds will grow forces that will challenge the gods, raising mortals to heavenly heights and bringing deities low.
While the jewels of the north darken and grow dim, one still shines faintly. From this jewel will rise a herald which will help such a seed bloom.
Like her namesake before her, the herald stands like a lantern in the night’s sky. She will confront her greatest fears; enter the ring which cannot be worn and give fealty to Summer.
Standing as her ancestors stood, standing as old hickory once stood she will secure the boundary of her birthright in time to stand defiant against chaos made manifest.
In the herald’s hands lie six strands of an everlasting force. The convergence of old hickory and the everlasting will be like a die cast in the heavens.
Once wood and rock become the stuff of legends, a foundation will be laid and a beginning begun. Now the dim jewel is on the path to become a beacon in the darkness that comes.
The final piece of the tapestry haunts the tower ruins of an ancient magocracy. Therein lies an eldritch tool capable of tipping the scales, though the forces of darkness are close at hand and gaining.
Uncertainty hangs like a funereal shroud over the outcome of this event. The fate of the heavens balances precariously on the edge of a blade. Which way will it tip?
It appears the prophesy talks about the players as well. The players go and see the fae ring for themselves. The ring, despite being in a cellar has sunlight shining in it as if in a deep forest, birds can be heard, as well as the sweet smell of flowers. As the players ponder, Araellia stepped into the ring. She returns a moment later, slightly dazed and changed –having tattoos of vines and flowers on her neck and the side of her face, pointier ears and a more fae face. When asked of her experience she looked at a loss for words, finally replying, “I cannot say, I am incapable of talking about it.” One by one, the other players entered but nothing happened until finally, being last (and very reluctant) Kierra entered. When she did, what seemed like 1000’s of ravens burst from the ring, buffeting everyone in a chaotic blur of feathers until they disappeared just as quickly.
The players decide to leave for Spellgard tower the next day. Before they leave, a few things happen. Brother Hammond went to the local church and commissioned Brother Griffin to have an Amaunator shrine made. Two members of the Silver Crescents approach Edward, asking him to teach them the finer points of wielding two-handed weapons. The two men are Elbirt of Daggorford, aka Wolf, and Abgar the Slight. Edward agrees. While training, Captain Harrowleaf makes an appearance, he does not look happy but says nothing.
All the players see signs. Water spills and it forms into an arrow, a cloud in the sky looks like an arrow, a horse craps an arrow shaped poop, etc. All the arrows point in one direction, toward Spellgard tower.
Kierra goes back to the Green Tankard Inn and bumps into Curuvar the Brazen. The normally drunk, recalcitrant mage is sober and talking. He tells Kierra that he is impressed with their success, that he has contacts in Waterdeep that will steer the heroes towards some truly rewarding adventures, not the sorry, goblin-ey crap they were likely to encounter if they stayed in Loudwater. He’d be in Waterdeep himself, living the high life, but drinking and adventuring don’t mix well for a mage, and his best days are behind him. He encourages Kierra to tell the rest of the group about his proposal and get back to him.
That night the players go to sleep in their new beds, the rather well appointed servant quarters at Moonfire Mansion. Each of the players awakes to find themselves in a place of smoke and fire, in a city straight out of hell. Each of the players is escorted through this hellish city, packed full with goblinoid creatures as well as beasts too terrifying to ponder; impossible creatures of teeth and horn and rendered skin. Eventually they make their way into a massive building made of huge slabs of iron. They come to a tiered chamber, also made of iron filled with dancing creatures, all dancing to a goblin turning the large handle of a music player whose disks are the size of a wagon wheel. In the room’s center stands a giant iron thrown belching the thick noxious smoke that fills the city. On the thrown sits the massive obscenely fat form of the true goblin king, the god of all goblin kind, Maglubiyet. While our heroes wait Maglubiyet sends hexing clouds toward various struggling dancers to ‘encourage’ them to perform better. Maglubiyet addresses the players to thank them for saving High Shaman Sancossug, THE most devout shaman in all of Faerun. By the rules that govern the heavens, Maglubiyet now owed the players a boon. This has never happened before, never has a human showed mercy and kindness to one of his kind, at least not one so devout, and Maglubiyet HATES it. His return boon is to make a truce between the players and all of goblin kind. No goblin can hurt one of the heroes, BUT the heroes cannot knowingly hurt a goblin or the boon is voided and every goblin in Faerun, every single one, will search them out and destroy them. To seal the boon Maglubiyet personally brands his symbol on the underside of each player’s left forearm. Maglubiyet saved Brother Hammond for last, and though touching Hammond’s skin caused Maglubiyet to burn, the massive god of goblins bent to the task and wrote the entire contract of the boon into the cleric’s forearm. Maglubiyet’s tells the players when he sees them next they will be in chains before him, and then he will make them dance… Smoke from the Iron Throne overwhelms each hero and they leave Grashmog, the hellish city of the goblin afterlife and find themselves back in their beds. When the players wake the next day they find themselves marked accordingly, including a contract written in great detail on Brother Hammond’s arm, and they also realize they can read and write goblin –a deficiency that had been plaguing the group up to this point.
Despite the poor night’s sleep the players leave for Spellgard Tower. Lady Moonfire has supplied them with horses, rations, and a few members of the Silver Crescents –Elbirt and Abgar being among those guards accompanying them. Elbirt and Abgar are both wearing armbands featuring 4 two-headed axes, in honor and solidarity with Edward (Abgar shyly says his wife made them and that there are other guardsmen who would like help learning two-handed weapons).
On the way to Spellgard Tower the band is attacked by militant hobgoblins (losing one of the guards, a red shirt, if you will), but the players rode forth, showing Maglubiyet’s symbol with immediate effect: the hobgoblins stopped their aggression and despite some confusion on their part, they promptly left the heroes alone.
The players arrive at the Monastery of the Precipice, a building (and pseudo religious order) dedicated to Lady Saharel. It is there that we will pick up our next adventure.