Evergreen Vale

39 - The Flesh Remade

Having battled past a pack of warped goblins, the party continues to the gate of the Slave Market district of the Black Pillar. Along the way, they are joined by Nix Cranford, a rogue of Kiri’s acquaintance, from Enigma Keep. Having joined the army in search of new lands and experiences, he was sent as a runner by the CelGuard detachment, with the news that troops have entered the Temple district and linked up with the remaining priests of Bane. Determined to to reach the palace first and plumb its secrets, Sir Delba pushes the party harder to complete the mission at the Slave Market.

Arriving at the gates of the forboding obsidion fortress that controls access to the Slave Market, the party runs directly into multiple swarms of warped goblins, hobgoblins, and a large, multilegged beast feeding on carrion. Pieter is disturbed by strange sights and sounds at the edge of his perception, and by a curious combination of revulsion and understanding as he watches the Warped Ones. Sir Delba calls up Sir Amory the Black Wolf and his knights in support of the attack. They are further aided by a mysterious humanoid seemingly composed of shards of unidentifiable matter, who battles the warped ones with magic.

As the allied forces become fully engaged, Pieter pursues his private vendetta – Sir Jared, a knight accepted into Sir Amory’s service, is one of the men who killed his family, and may know the whereabouts of the mastermind of the murder. Pieter throws a flask of alchemist’s fire, catching Jared in the blast, then shoves him into an alley while pretending to help him. He is taken aback when Jared quickly rounds on him, ready to fight, and kicks gravel in his face. A desperate struggle ensues in the narrow alley, with Pieter demanding to know the whereabouts of his nemesis, and Jared gloatingly refusing and announcing that he had long been expecting Pieter’s attack.

Pieter notices, to his consternation, that Jared’s wounds appear to be slowly healing, but finally manages to strike a serious blow with his enchanted short swords. Jared lurches back, snarling, and then undergoes a horrifying transformation, revealing himself to be a werewolf. He savagely claws and bites Pieter, who, enraged and desperate, calls on the magic of his shortsword, the Verminblade, to summon a dire rat to aid him. Its powers were enhanced by the dwarves of Ironhome, who reforged it with the strange metal from the sky, but Pieter receives a fresh shock when it summons, not a dire rat, but a hovering, amorphous blob of flesh, eyes, and gibbering mouths, seemingly kin to the other warped abominations.

Meanwhile the rest of the party is locked in a deadly battle with the Warped Ones, killing many but being hard-pressed themselves. Finally, one of Sir Amory’s other knights is seriously injured, and reveals that he too is a werewolf. At Sir Amory’s command, he and all the knights shift into wolf-men and attack the Warped Ones with renewed ferocity. Between the werewolves and the heroes, the remaining Warped Ones are quickly dispatched

Unnoticed in the alley, Pieter, setting aside all thought of gaining information, defeats Jared and brutally finishes him off. Fearing Sir Amory’s reaction, and his mind reeling at the repeated shocks he has taken, he commands the obedient gibbering mouther to consume the corpse of Sir Jared, shortly before Lady Kiri arrives and kills it. The heroes and Sir Amory’s people warily regard each other in the sudden calm.

38 - The Black Pillar

The party rejoins the Baron’s main army at its camp in the Red Maze, just across the river from the great city of the Black Pillar hobgoblins. They learn that the city’s population has been warped and driven mad by an attack using the terrible drug, Yellowspine. Cultists have already led away thousands of Warped Ones, but hundreds still occupy the ruins of the city. However, a force led by Blackleaf entered the city and contacted survivors- priests of Bane, who have negotiated a pact with the Baron, submitting the defeated citystate to the Baron’s control in exchange for their lives. Scouts return from various missions, reporting the great fields growing Yellowspine in the citystate of the Green Eye, and the blasphemous Warped One breeding pens in the citystate of the Red Whip.

Meanwhile, unaware of the truth about the fall of the Black Pillar and the corruption of the Green Eye and Red Whip, a vanguard from the citystate of the Spined Crown approaches. The party determines to convince them of the true threat and enlist them against the Cult of Those Who Hear, which now rules the Green Eye and Red Whip. To do this, they plan to cleanse the city of the Black Pillar, secure Warped One specimens to present to the Spined Crown hobgoblins, and obtain powerful magic and weapons that might still remain in the city, which was constructed upon the site of an anciet tiefling city during the height of the diabolical empire of Bael Turath.

The party initiates a complex plan to assault the city, isolate the Warped Ones in the various districts, rally with the priests of Bane, and eventually clear the city. It is a race against time as the party moves to trap the hordes of Warped Ones in the Slave Market before they can swarm out into the middle district and overrun the Baron’s army.

37 - Minions of the Green Eye

Having finally opened the Western Pass, the party leads another group of reinforcements to at long last rejoin the Baron’s main army, which has already invaded the Red Maze. The party uses the elven waygates to arrive at the edge of Elvenhome ahead of their troops, but as they emerge from the waygate, they are ambushed by assassins from the citystate of the Green Eye. The party defeats them, and interrogates two assassins who surrender. From them, they learn the location of other teams of assassins. Once again traveling by waygate, the party goes to Primrose and recruits elves, gnomes, and dryads to hunt down the other assassins. With the strength they have available, they quickly put an end to the threat once and for all, leaving Elvenhome free of invading hobgoblins for the first time in more than twenty years.

36 - The Legion Reborn

The 17th legion rearms itself and prepares to march to its old fortress in the western mountain pass of Evergreen Vale. There they confront their undead comrades in arms, and lay them to rest. The party accompanies the legion, traveling with the legion’s general, Vercigatorix. At the fortress, they are ambushed by Kasmar, who used his portals through the Shadowfell to arrive ahead of the party. He fights the party and Vercigatorix using the dominated undead commanders of the legion garrison, but is eventually defeated and killed. Vercigatorix relieves the undead members of the legion, and they pass on into true death. Vercigatorix informs the party that he intends to send out envoys throught the surrounding regions, to determine how best to carry out his eventual goal – re-establishing the authority of the long dead empire of Nerath. This will include judging the worthiness of Baron Ironblade to rule.

35 - Kasmar the Betrayer

The party battles Kasmar, a decrepit necromancer who was once the chaplain of the 17th Imperial Legion. He was secretly a follower of Orcus, and wishes to turn the legion into a force of undead under his command. The party defeats him and forces him to flee through a portal into the Shadowfell. During the battle they awaken the legion from hibernation, and with their help, clear out the remaining undead from the silos.

34 - The Dead Multiply

Synopsis – With the awakened legionaire, Gaston, in tow, the heroes enter another of the silo’s tombs, and discover that the hundreds of dead there have been reanimated as skeleton soldiers. The party is nearly overwhelmed as they attempt to reach the silo’s exit. Niki and Nia return, equipped with fire bombs given to them by the dwarven alchemists. The party rallies and makes good its escape. The heroes make their way towards the chamber where they can place their last token, but are nearly caught by the pursuing skeletons. The heroes seal the corridors behind them and burst into the final silo to confront the mastermind behind the undead infestation, and awaken the legion.


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