Beyond the Veil

The adventure begins.

The legendary Jarlael Rathais, known poet, actor, left hand to Khelben Blackstaff, hero of the High Forest, keeper of secrets, teller of tales and lady’s man loved by one and all sat in Belvyn’s House of Good Cheer of Bargewright Inn, not quite knowing how long he should wait for his companions to arrive or if they would at all. But as he mused and sipped his ale, the first of his friends, the large armor clad knight of the harvest, strode into the beer hall. Good, the message was received.

Over the next few days the rest of his old group slowly trickled in, save for the dour dwarven monk, Magnir. Hopeful he would show before Jacob’s arrival the group began preparation.

That evening the guests of Good Cheer discussed the world events as they knew them and learned Khelben Blackstaff, public Lord of Waterdeep, had personally requested Jarlael’s assistance with the crisis. Realizing that even he could not do this alone, sent messages to his friends for their help. It was known that a shadow of sorts had fallen over the realms while portals in the sky were opening and leaving destruction in their wake. Yet the cause was still a mystery. The ever vigilant Jarlael had found a priest, Pastoral Jacob of Chauntea, who had witnessed first hand one of the occurrences. They were now waiting on his arrival in hopes of some clue as to the cause of these rifts.

The pastoral was late and even after Jarlael’s wise suggestion to give the good priest a few extra days for travel, Jacob failed to arrive. The party, suspicious that something was afoul, gathered their gear and set out to find this priest known to tend a sacred grove outside of Ashington Keep. But as fate would have it, while passing through the gates of Bargewright, the young man Varin harried by fear and exhaustion rode toward Aldon, the guard posted outside the gates, and presented the grave news.

Jacob was gone! Killed by a darkness that had fallen upon the village. Most of the militia had been wiped out and Sir Roland Ashington, the last of his line and protector of the people had been struck low by an unknown ailment. Varin told his tale and set to devouring the greedily accepted meal and ale set before him.

The ever knowing Jarlael, with constant demand of his presence throughout the realms, hurried to the West to provide his unique aid which was so desperately needed. The rest of the party, with a new sense of urgency, set out at first light to investigate for themselves the tragedy of Ashington village.

Tymora, her sense of humor unfathomable by mortal beings, thought to test the groups mettle during their travels one midnight with a visit from a dragon of the forest. However, her luck was with them as the party easily dispatched the beast, stripping it of its flesh and brutally mutilating the body for its treasure. Yet this encounter’s impact did take it’s toll. Half the horses had been slaughtered and much of the equipment had been ruined by the beasts acidic breath. Uluvin was to be their next stop for resupply and more horses.

During the quick stop in Uluvin, the party presented a young green dragon’s tooth, the treasure of a lifetime to a lowly stable owner, for supplies. Shocked and in awe from the offer, the stable master presented them with three mighty warhorses and enough feed for a tenday for their generosity, then set himself to the local tavern to spread the word of his great fortune. Now, fully stocked, the party was only a day’s travel from their destination and quickly reached the villagers of Ashington.

Borin, the village’s blacksmith and current leader of the militia greeted, welcomed and informed the party of the current state of affairs. The group gave over their horses to the young boys of the village for tending and set to taking in the situation. Roland was wasting away from some disease and only holding on to life by the works of the village elder and alchemist Baerlatha. The village had been kept safe for years by the Ashington line, the local militia and Baerlatha’s support, was now forced to set camp about a mile outside of town after the local tribe of goblins had overrun the area.

Roland lay in the largest tent and had been unconscious for days. Channeling the will of Chauntea, Gareth was able to rouse the Count but only for a few questions at a time. Shortly after, Angrim was able to deduce, with the help of the tiefling Leah, that the disease was Baator fever and required Marthammor Duin’s grace but was beyond the dwarf to conjure. However, a lesser form of the cure was able to awaken Roland for a full recount of what happened, also allowing him time to give his last will and receive final rights before passing. With the elders of the village as witness, Roland had declared if his shield was retrieved, left in worthy hands and the village saved, that the keep would go to the adventurers to rule and protect.

Fueled by ambition and a need to set things right, the party sent Lipton, the sneak, to scout the keep and village in order to form an attack plan. Within hours the entire party had circled to the rear of the keep, entered and secured the area then stood upon the battlements taking stock of their equipment and readying themselves for what was surely to be a long, tough fight.

The true recounting of the early Time of the Veil, Chapter 1 (3rd printing)
- Lord Jarlael Rathais

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Angrim starts out

Standing outside the gates of Waterdeep, Arngrim shouldered his pack and said goodbye to the humans he’d been traveling with for the last two weeks. “Are you sure you don’t want to travel with us on to Daggerford, Brother?” asked Esrick. “I’m afraid I can’t.” he replied. “I’ve got business that needs attending in the Dalelands. When you leave Waterdeep, just follow the Trade Way. The knights of Tyr keep it clear of any trouble.”

Truth be told, while Arngrim liked Esrick and Shandi and their children, he hadn’t planned on traveling with them at all. However, as they were chatting at a waystop outside of Neverwinter Esrick mentioned that the family would be taking the High Road down to Waterdeep on their way to visit family in Daggerford. Although they were friendly people and the children were happy and full of curiosity, they were in no way prepared to deal with any trouble they might find near the Mere. So Arngrim asked if he could join them ‘to have someone to talk to on the first leg of his journey’. The speed with which they accepted a stranger’s request to accompany them was more proof that it was probably a good idea to escort them to the ‘Deep. Fortunately, there were no problems on the journey aside from one evening that Arngrim had to slip away and take care of one of the restless dead that had been attracted by the noise of the children. After that, Arngrim had everyone play a session of ’The Quiet Game’.

“Well, we hate to see you go, but maybe we’ll see you on the way back.” said Shandi. “Where are you going now?” “I’m going to head east towards the Bargewright Inn.” said Arngrim. “I’ve got some people I need to meet there.” This was, strictly speaking, not actually the truth. Arngrim had never been to the Inn before, but after two weeks of playing tag and watching his language (the children don’t even speak Dwarven! How did they pick up the curse words?!), he was ready for some drinking and carousing.

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Angrim

Arngrim was worried. Worry was an emotion he rarely felt, but this time it was called for. There was a storm brewing. He’d been traveling long enough to recognize the signs, but this time it was different. The wind was a bit too cold for the season, and it was blowing in strong and from the east. Against the Sea of Swords. He couldn’t think of a single time he’d ever felt the wind coming like that. Still, for all his wandering he was a priest and not someone who made their living at the whims of weather and seasons. However, he did know some people who might have answers. Maybe it was time to start asking questions.

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Gareth

Gareth sighed and stretched in the saddle, trying to loosen the weary muscles that protested the long hours in the saddle.

It felt as if he had ridden the length of the Sword Coast in the last ten day, and yet he still felt that familiar urge to keep moving, the subtle message from the Great Mother that he was needed somewhere. He suspected he knew why, of course. It was not yet time for the Midsummer festivals and already the leaves were changing. The farmers watched them fall and muttered uneasily at the thought of an early frost that could wipe out all of their hard work in a night and leave their families to starve.

The other rumors, source less as they were, were even more concerning: tales of war among the gods, of fire and lightning in the skies, of all consuming darkness. Most dismissed these tales as mere fancies of the simple and ignorant, but Gareth had long ago learned that there was often truth in the tales of the farmers and herdsmen.
He had spent what time he could ministering to their needs and attempting to provide comfort, but Gareth new something was deeply wrong. Thus, he moved ever onward, drawing ever closer to where he was needed the most.

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A voice in the wind

You all hear a familiar voice in the wind:

This must be short. My ears have kept you. We are close to another. Let us meet at Bargwright. There is a tale to tell.

It is the voice of Jarlael. A trained deep richness you remember well. You sense the ever present smile in his words, but can not help notice the urgency in the message.

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