Olarune 20, 994YK, Late Winter
Negotiations proceeded with Mallora over the fate of Bren ir’Gadden, although a stalemate seemed imminent. Ailbe had mysteriously disappeared with the help of her innate Eladrin ability to teleport short distances – to what purpose, and whether she would return, were both a mystery. Little did either the party in the Tower of Scars or the Emerald Claw necromancer know, however, that not only were Leighloo and Rath approaching from the South, but that an Elven mercenary named Elias had been detached from the battle on the Saerun Road to the East to investigate a unit of undead headed toward the tower for possible Karrnathi activity.
Quercia headed for the west entrance to the tower, only to find it guarded by Mallora’s undead servants. Meanwhile Elias had approached and hidden behind a tree. The noble elf, though he was unsure who the other end of the debate was, knew that the Emerald Claw couldn’t possible be up to anything good, and so he decided to try and give their mystery victims a chance to escape. He threw a stone across the field with the intention of drawing the Claw agents’ attention, but they saw through the ruse immediately. Mallora ordered one of her sergeants to kill the intruder, Bren charged out the main entrance, Rath and Leighloo entered the fray from the South, and all hell broke loose…
…in more ways than one. As the battle was entered, a strange conflagration of mist, fire and crackling energy rolled westward from the horizon.
Mallora fell early in the battle. Her servants, both undead and living, attempted to grab her remains and carry them away for reanimation, but Elias decapitated her corpse, Rath and The Professor slaughtered anyone who tried to carry her, and Quercia’s faithful companion Haynt finished the job when he devoured what was left of the woman. Elias searched what was left of the bodies once the fighting wore down, finding a Onyx Dog figurine on one of the sergeants and a Shroud of Protection on Mallora. The Professor went back into the tower to check on their captive, only to realize that the poor insane Halfling had suffocated inside the bag.
In the meantime the strange mist had fully encompassed what parts of Cyre the party could see from their position at the top of the hill. The battle could no longer be heard. Bren stood in stunned silence. Quercia ordered Haynt down to scout what had happened inside the mist, but the cat stopped at the edge of the sickly white veil and refused to go any further. The magical dog summoned by Elias’s figurine was not so reticent, however – it entered the mist and, before it was out of sight, was practically dissolved into a mist of blood, strands of muscle and bone splinters. Before the elf mercenary could mourn his new pet’s passing however, the figurine reappeared in his hand. Finally, the Professor sent his mechanical servant down to the road. It returned a few minutes later with the head of a Brelish soldier in its claws – but, horrifically, the head was mummified and the armor brittle, as though it had been lying in a desert for millenia.
This was enough for Bren, who threw down his insignia of rank, took his aid Aric Blacktree by the elbow, and declared that he no longer had the taste for war. The party had their own ideas, but there was no convincing Bren that what he had just seen was anything other than a cataclysmic weapon employed in another escalation in the Last War. He thanked them for their help, promised Rath and Leighloo that he would report their success to their employers, and swore that, if they all survived the next few years – if there was even a WORLD left – he would call on each of his rescuers and do his best to reward them in a more appropriate fashion.
After this, the party went their separate ways. Quercia returned to the Eldeen Reaches, where she stood vigil at the border of the Mournland (the name given to the country that had once been Cyre) and investigated the strands of the Draconic Prophecy, eventually stumbling across rumors of a Daelkyr sealed in Khyber deep beneath the Mournland referred to as the Lord of Eyes. Could this be the “lidless eye” referred to in the prophecy in the tower?
Rath was freed from servitude to House Cannith by the Treaty of Thronehold which, on top of ending the Last War two years after The Mourning, recognized the status of Warforged as living beings with a right to self-determination. He spent the last two years after that wandering Khorvaire in search of warforged to consume in his quest for self-perfection. Rumors have reached him that there are two factions of warforged currently thriving in the Mournland. The first are the Godforged: beings after his own heart who believe that the warforged are transcendent beings by default, and that only through constant modification and magnification in size and power can apotheosis be achieved. The second are the followers of the Lord of Blades, an enigmatic firebrand who supposedly seeks the destruction of all the organic races (and perhaps all organic life) so that Khorvaire can be transformed into a paradise for constructs.
(This is where Leighloo’s and the Professor’s activities will go once I remember what they were. Sorry Leighloo and the Prof! :( )
Elias retired to Valenar with the rest of his people and enjoyed what is, in the long lifespan of an elf, a short vacation from the tribulations of war.
At the end of four years each of the heroes received a House Sivis-sealed communication from Bren ir’Gadden requesting their presence at a Mourning remembrance ceremony he was holding in Sharn. Though some were more reticent than others to venture into the largest city on the continent, if not the planet, each of them made their way to the gigantic metropolis. Bren, now a peace activist and patron of the arts in what he assured the heroes they would come to realize was the brightest, most promising city on Eberron, led them from his sumptuous apartments in Ivy Towers district of the Upper Menthis Plateau to a balcony set aside off of Thovanic Hall further down in the middle section of the towers. He introduced the heroes to his guests, a few of which were rather down on their luck looking Cyran Refugees, but most of whom were obviously veterans who had seen better days. Bren began a long-winded speech on the monstrosity of war, the virtue of peace, the brevity and preciousness of life, and so on, but before he was even halfway through there was a sound of shrieking and snapping wood from further down in the tower. A few seconds later the door to the balcony burst open and a cloud of sick-white mist lit from within by swirling fire, concealing the shadow of a nearly eight foot tall humanoid burst out. The Professor and Rath identified the creature as a Mourning Haunt, but what had it come to do, and what could its presence outside of the Mournland possibly mean?