Defenders of the Realm

A Monarch Falls
The Black Knights Run

After the death of the King and Queen the group make a run for the city walls and it is quickly aparent that Noir is missing without a trace, they come across ‘Lions Rest’ where 3 nooses are set up and 2 prisoners are being taken up to the stage, 1 blue dragonborn and Marawyn. Raven blasts one of the guards without warning and this starts a small battle and all the guards are killed. We release the prisoners and Vin’Mar leads js toward the city wall.
We find a crack in the wall where a tree has grown under the foundations and yet to be repaired.

Vin’Mar climbs the tree but Raven falls down from a hight, Araligh slides through the crack but Brathor is unable to fit so he instead climbs up the tree and defends against coming guards with a javilin. Beast comes running from the city and crawls through the crack with Arileghs encouragaement, Raven copies but also gets stuck untill he budsts out the otherside.

Outside the city in farm land we run to the forest to hide.
Marwyn “Thankyou for saving me, whats happened, why were you running”
Vin’Mar " Theren betrayed us, i suggest we stay in the wilderness to stay undetected. I cannot let Theren take my city!"
Brathour “What can we do?”
Vin ‘Mar “with the king and queen dead the next in line to the throne is the Queens sister, she is like you, an adventure seeker, restless as far as princesses go. If we find her she can support us to build our allies. Her name is Zandra”
Araligh “what were you being punished for”
Marwyn “insubordination, i struck an iron company officer”
Vin’Mar " I do not trust them, the leader Jounta has a reputation of being barbaric and very secretive. We need resources and allies as the odds are against us. I ask you all the same, help me free my lands a d restore princess Zandra to her rightful place"
Everyone agrees , Brathour " I know what it is like to loose you home so you have me"
Vin’Mar " I do not know where Zandra will be, someone in the city could find more info but we first need somewhere to rally, a beacon of hope. There is a place but I think it is impossible. A castle in the west, Castle of Tethryn. It would be in ruin, but it is atop of cliffs and naturally protected. Said to be cursed its grounds tremble and skys are stormy. If we could secure this castle it would be a symbol of hope. If Theren has gone as far as to murder others may aid us."

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An Audience with Royalty
A return to Darromir

The exhausted adventures finally approach the city of Darromir. They have learnt so much during their travels and are eager to receive some answers from Theron.
The guards at the city gates are not those that the party recognise so they approach with caution. They pass with no disruptions.
Nymeria and Layla say farewell to the rest of the group as they begin their journey home together.
Raven, Noire, Brathour and Arileigh make their way to the barracks to hopefully find Vinmar and get his support to speak directly with the royal family and Theron.
They find Vinmar easily enough, upon hearing of their adventures and the possible hidden intentions of Theron he is quick to support their plan to reveal all directly to the King and Queen.
The group march into the castle, leaving poor Beast at the front, where they confront Theron and the king and queen in the throne room.
The group haul a flurry of information and accusations as Raven detects thoughts on Theron. He seems relieved that the group uncovered the orb but before anyone can do anything Brathours stone maul is ripped out of his hands with magic and it flies into the head of the Queen, crushing her skull. Theron then points at the king and he is engulfed in flames. He calls out to the guards accusing the party of murdering the king and queen.
Theron was able to leave via a back door as the group defend themselves against heavily armed guards.
The battle is long and bloody but the team emerge victorious and are quick to escape the castle.

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Layla
Returned from the Fey

Brathour pokes Layla making sure it is no illusion. Layla and Nymeria hug and there is a flurry of questions and answers.
Layla has been with the queen of air and darkness and grown to be 100 years old. She has been sent on a mission and part of it was to stop Amelia from summoning a fiend.
Most of the party begin to help and talk to the villagers as Nymeria and Layle chat about more personal matters.
Harry explains that Amelia hired him to make the cages although he had no idea how they were going to be used.
Everyone helps the villagers with the wounded and deceased, back in Erdale graves are dug and a funeral held. With mixed emotions the party drink and chat away at the towns only pub. Brathour confides in Arileigh that he doesn’t trust Layla and her motives.
In the morning the group are quick to head off towards the city. Arileigh scouts ahead of the group and comes across another group heading back towards Erdale. The party consist of 1 half elf, 2 dwarfs and 3 humans they question Arileigh closely about a half elf, elf and tielfing traveling together. She feels they are talking about her own traveling group so quickly wraps it up and back tracks to warn everyone. The party scramble to hide as the second group pass by. With more reason to get away from the area the group travel more swiftly down the road.
With the new fast pace the group are caught unaware as an arrow just misses hitting anyone and a wild elf jumps out of the brush hitting Brathour with a great axe. Vines entangle all the horses and the party can see 3 different wild elves.
The wild elves are no match for the coordinated attacks of the party and only Brathour comes away with wounds.
Further down the track the group make camp and although Arileigh hears travellers on the road the group have an uneventful rest.
Last day before arriving at the city the group hear some odd thumping, they leave the road to investigate and come across 3 bug bears and 1 hobgoblin attempting to tie down a dinosaur. The group jumps in to the defence of the poor animal.
The bug bears drop like flys and the hob goblin follows soon after. Immediately Brathour begins a ritual to speak to the beast and Noire and Raven untangled it from the ropes. The dinosaur runs off as the last rope breaks free. Brathour misses his chance to speak with it but is not discouraged.

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A Luminous Raven.
Level 5

During a restless slumber Raven is given a vision form the Queen of the Summer Court. Raven walks though a deserted fey wild, a familiar place but somehow strange. No souls in sight when the Queens voice can be heard behind Raven, cool and terrifying “there is a town near by, follow what you find there to help our kind. If you do this I may forgive your transgressions”
Raven wakes up with a start and all the camp are looking confused. with no explanation they begin to travel on.

The group come across Erdale and it is completely deserted, not a person in sight. the group split up the search for the villagers. Brathour finds himself in the tavern and helps himself to some ale. Noir is about to slip into Harry’s house to look for some gold when Arileigh calls out. She had found all the peoples tracks leading the the town centre and then they stop, there are strange marking on the ground that are not animalistic or natural but they lead into the forest. The Black Nights set off to save the villagers from what ever horrors they had come too.

They come to a clearing up ahead and can see movement, Raven pulls out the Potion of Clairvoyance they fold some while ago, after casting a language spell Raven drinks the potion. Raven reports back to the group that there is 4 large metal cages containing all the villagers, they are guarded by some small fling creatures, imps. In the centre of the circle of cages is a large pool of water and floating in the centre is Emilia Lioncourt. She is casting some sort of ritual spell as she chants and concentrates.

The heroes align themselves and prepare to attack, Noir is the first to fire but as he does Emilia turns to look at him and laughs. Screams then come from each of the cages as Emilia drains some of their life force. A woman falls down dead and Emilia is completely healed from Noir’s arrow.
The plan quickly changes and Brathour chargers forward to attack an imp, as he pounds it into the ground he also swings at the cage, breaking a lock and allowing the villagers to run to safety.
Raven then receives a whisper in the ear from the Queen that shatters Ravens faith in her “Kill the villagers”
Beast pounces forward and another imp is pinned to the ground while Araligh brings up a magical fog cloud around Emilia, as she does so a dark cloud appears in above the fog and more screams from villagers as she draws more energy to feed her spell.
Noir taunts Emilia and questions her motives and master “I am doing my masters will” she replies
Brathour charges forward a second time and breaks open the second cage, Nymeria uses an ice knife on an imp and this freezes the 3rd cages lock which allows Noir to crack it with the butt of his blade.
Raven dashes up to the pool and Arileigh follows. Lightning the slams into the fog and a child in the last cage falls to his death as the others scream in horrific tortured screeches. Emilia then sayd “you are doing well my former friends, I am almost done and my master will reward me”
Raven Breaks at this statement and screams “no reward is worth this!”
Brathour breaks the final cage but before the villagers can escape another imp appears in the doorway, Noir sneaks up behind Brathour and digs a silvered rapier into its chest. At this Raven then blasts Emilia through the fog cloud and we all hear a splash. Raven screams again “No reward in the world is worth these innocents, my master wanted me to help you kill these people but I wont”
Em,ilia replies “You have no idea, your master may not have wanted you to help me little feyling” And then Emilia disappears.

As the realisation settles in that she is gone a voice can be heard by all, Ravens Queen speaks to the Black nights
“Those who travel with my child, you do not know what you have done for my kind. Perhaps not the most direct way but I will reward you.
I will return what has been lost”
“Arte” calls out Arileigh
the pool in the clearing begins to ripple and a light shines from below, forming a pillar as it rises up. A being then comes to the edge of the pool, a young but fully grown elven female. Brathour recognises the similarities in her face and then the woman looks directly at Nymeria.
“Mother?”
Nymeria is overcome with emotion and falls to her knees and bursts into tears of love, joy and relief.
“You have no idea, your master

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The Untraveled Road
An absent Raven

With a sick Raven, the party decide to move on with haste. However coming around a bend in the road they almost run into a wee camp including a hobgoblin & two goblins (at first the group think it is the escaped hobgoblin from their last skirmish).
With Arileigh & Brathour swiftly taking out the goblins, the hobgoblin unleashes a frost storm taking both Noire & Beast out.
Arileigh finally catches the hobgoblin in the eye with an arrow finishing him off.
After reviving both Noire & Beast the party decide to travel at a slower pace. Travelling through the day without incident, the party set up camp.
Brathour taking first watch hears movement in the surrounding forest. Arileigh & Noire scout out the area discovering another hobgoblin with three chained apes.
After a discussion on whether to engage, with the decision split down the middle. Nymeria decides to take a closer look, but the hobgoblin & his apes are alerted to her movements.
With Raven still unwell & sitting the fight out & the other Black Knights not fully rested from their earlier fight the ensuing skirmish is a very close call.
With the hobgoblin taking out Nymeria, Brathour & Noire come to her defence.
With Brathour reviving Nymeria with a healing potion brought from camp. Noire gets pummelled into a blooded pulp by an ape just after shouting how the skirmish was swinging their way…
Beast finished the battle notching up his second kill, & arriving in the nick of time to defend Arileigh fiercely from attack.
After Nymeria revived Noire for a second time in one day, Noire could feel the stare of Brathour saying I warned against this fight…
After a long rest & level up they turn to Raven to notice their fellow Black Knight emitting a strange luminous glow…
Concerned looks are passed between the group…

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Painting of Minitures
Bringing life to the Knights
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Emerging From the Crypt
Miniature Black Knights

Heading through the hallway to exit the crypt the group after some effort manage to open a large trapdoor and find themselves back in the forest. After covering the crypt entrance to avoid unwanted visitors the black knights head back to the campsite next to where the crypt was first entered only to find kobold tracks as they get closer. As the group gets closer they find the campsite ransacked, the horses gone, and make the unfortunate discovery of Alex slumped up against a tree with her throat cut with all signs pointing to the group of kobolds the group encountered in the crypt. The group spends the next few hours rounding up the horses and wrapping up Alex’s body. With the horses all rounded up and the camp remade the black knights decide to cover the entrance to the crypt to keep it safe then settle in for the night. In the morning the black knights set off for the lumber camp and return Alex’s body to them. The group then decides to take the orb back to Erdale via the main road. After some time the group sees a crumbled tower in the distance and decide to get closer to investigate and find a starved giant sitting in a pile of filth chained up to the tower wall. Brathour who has met giants before tried in vain to befriend the giant with a ration bar but insteads nearly gets his arm bitten off before Arileigh fires an arrow at the giant. After a short struggle the group manages to kill the giant and search the tower. With night time approaching everyone tries to forage for food and set up camp for the night. After a couple hours sleep the group is ambushed by a group of bugbears and hobgoblins who the black knights dispatch of in short order but the hobgoblin leader manages to escape in the heat of battle. Grumpy and tired at being woken up from their slumber the black knights return to their bedrolls to get some rest before the long ride in the morning.

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The Secret Door

After a long rest the band of merry adventurers head toward the discovered secret door. Before entering Nymeria & Raven find a vase behind the alter. Nymeria tips the vase to discover a kitty of gold.

The secret door leads to a corridor, midway down a healing potion is found with a scroll Nymeria discerns to be “Sleat Storm”.

The corridor ends with another secret door which leads to the large chamber where the chest of gold was found.

Raven & Noire head to the entrance with Ashtongue & YipYip. Whilst attempting to deactivate the Muriel trap Arileigh, Brathour & Nymeria are ambushed by a pack of Kolbolts.

Once the Kolbolts have a round of attacks, mostly punishing Brathour. It’s inevitably the Black Knights turn…

Arileigh nails one with a swift arrow.
Raven hearing the ambush casts a her Kolbolt favourite ‘Sleep’ & sends 4 into a deep slumber…

Ashtongue knocks Raven to her knees by casting “Poison”.
Nymeria casts “Flaming Spere” onto the last Kolbolt awake from the ambush party.
Noire misses with a rapier strike but manages to gut Ashtongue with his cold dagger…
Brathour cleaves a sleeping Kolbolts head in two with his mighty axe.
Beast ends another sleeping Kolbolt.
Arileigh plunges her dagger through the eye of another dozing Kolbolt.

The ambush has backfired & is looking like a massacre, highlighted by another hapless Kolbolt igniting in flames from the residual heat of the Flaming Spere & their largest warrior fleeing…

On the other side of the room Raven punches a hole through the chest of YipYip, with the Eldritch blast striking the Muriel & setting off the trap. Raven without hesitation grabs Noire & hauls his skinny ass to safety.

Nymeria shifts her Flaming Spere to the last remaining Kolbolt standing, who is fleeing. When he’s still standing she gracefully launches an arrow into his shoulder.

With only a brief thanks to Raven, Noire covers the room to fire an arrow into the leg of the last Kolbolt.

With the Kolbolt still standing, a sudden but booming “Iron Within!” Is heard followed by the sickening thud of the Kolbolt’s head being bounced of the wall by Brathour. This putting an end to his retreat & ambush.

A quick search of the Kolbolts reveals nothing of interest, whilst Arileigh heals the weaken Raven.

After a recoupe the group head to the room with the Dragon fountain, after placing another gold piece in the fountain they continue down the corridor previously missed. Half way down they branch of, heading to a door seemingly leaking sunlight.

Upon entering the grassy sunlit chamber they notice a huge tree at its centre.
“Greetings Young ones.” The are met with from a deep, knarled old voice.

The tree speaks to Nymeria, talk turns to Dragons, the great (unknown) war, & the reason the Crypt was built. Father Oak doesn’t remember much of the past, his transformation into the Guardian has been for too long, his former self too faded…

Father Oak reveals the Orb they seek, isn’t complete & that only one piece is kept in the Crypt. Father Oak gives Nymeria a flask of “Growth”. Also he talked of the Fey & how there is portals into their world.

The Black Knights talk of their growing unease of Theren Nightbreeze. During the discussion Raven feels a strong need to meet with Queen Cyriana.

Leaving the chamber & continuing down the corridor they come to a door which Brathour kicks down.

Inside the room they are met with a group of Elemental creatures called “Minfits” who are tending to 5 model dragons sat upon pedalstools. “Boss” the Ice Element is the most talkative, but after an amusing few minutes the Black Knights realise no real sense is being made, so leave…

After trashing two library’s the group comes to 3 doors ranging in size from large to small. After trying the large door which lead to stairs, the group decides to hit this door last & after finding a dead end in the middle they open the small door which leads to a room with a huge mirror at the far end.

Looking into the mirror they see a reflection of the room which held the ’Minfits except instead of model dragons on the 5 pedalstools there are real Dragons. Brathour attempts to tap the mirror with his maul. Raven casts “Fey Presents” to stop him & removes the group from the chamber.

They then head to the large metal doors…

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Deeper into the Crypt

Our brave adventures continue their way through the crypt, walking into a chamber containing a beautiful dragon head fountain and doors to either side. The party stop with suspicion and search for a trap. no one can find anything in particular but something doesn’t feel right. Raven considers the wishing well like fountain and decides to offer the dragon fountain a gold coin. There seems to be no reaction and the party passes through the left door with no problems.
Noire scouts ahead through a dark corridor towards a door at the end. As he gets closer he can smell the scent of death. The group hustle forward and enter the room.
There are 3 dead humanoid corpses at the back of the room. Everyone steps closer and 2 carrion crawlers descend from the ceiling. The group are quick to react and dispatch of one very quickly. The second gets a big hit on Beast and he falls unconscious. Noire dodges a hit to himself and realises a wild magic killing the creature. The group look at Noire with stunned expressions on their faces.
Arileigh revives Beast as everyone else investigates the corpses. The dead turn out to be Kolbolds who haven’t long been dead.
Brathour takes the lead down another corridor which enters into a huge grand chamber. The walls are adorned with gold and patterns. At the end of the chamber are large double doors but the groups focus goes straight to the middle of the room where there are 2 Kobolds sitting around a camp fire.
“Please help us” one pleads as the group approaches. Through some questioning the party find out the Kobolds found the crypt and have been searching for the treasures but have lost most of their party to the various creatures living within. Now with only 2 of them left they can’t make their way out to safety. They plead with the group to help them escape. The party cautiously agree to help them out.
Everyone approaches the double doors at the end of the chamber. There is strange script over the door way. Raven reaches out to touch the script, maybe she will be able to understand the writing.
“It seems to say that only the righteous can enter.” The party encourage Nymeria to try the door. It doesn’t open. It is locked and no one can find the key. Noire picks the lock and the party step through.
Inside is a Huge chamber and floating in the middle is a set of large animated armour. It beckons the party in to fight.
Our black nights are quick to jump into battle and get some devastating hits on the armour. It retaliates with strange bolts of lightning, hitting out at Noire. Wild magic springs from Noire and he grows a third eye. Another bolt of lightning hits Brathour hurting him severely.
The group attack again with vigour and the armour begins to look worse for wear. It stabs Noire not realising what a mistake it was making as Noire reacts with Hellish Rebuke, defeating the armour.
Noire has again shocked the party as they notice a third eye on his forehead.
Arileigh picks up the blackened and charred helmet of their foe before searching the room.
Raven and Nymeria head to an alter at the far back of the chamber. Sitting on top is a golden half sphere. Not exactly what they expected. Raven wraps it up.
Brathour is in need of healing and decides to chug down a potion the party suspected was a healing potion. Luckily it was.
Arileigh calls out to the group as she finds a secret door. The party are exhausted after the battle so decide to take a long rest by the kobolds fire before continuing on.

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Search of the Crypt

The group continue to search the crypt and come across a room with 3 suits of armour, a human an elf and a dwarf suit, each with a large sword. Raven spots a bookshelf on the opposite side of the room and strides across the room to get to it, without checking for any traps.
The armour suits then awaken and begin to attack Raven, their swords fighting independently from them.
After some intense fights Araligh brings down the drwarven armour, Raven takes a lot of blows and retreats with some bad wounds.
Beast claws at a sword but also takes damage.
The armour then charges at Raven who hides behind Nymeria, she then slams it with a flaming sphere.
Araligh is then swarmed by a sword and collapses from her wounds. The flaming sphere disintegrates the human armour then Nymeria heals Araligh.
Nior uses his skills with his daggers to defeat another sword and when all of the armour and swords are down the group heals up the wounded.

Nior finds an Arcane focus on the bookshelf on the other side of the room, the group also finds:
-A vial of orange liquid
-A glass comb and ring
-Silver ribbon
-Perfumed candles
-and a small temple carving
The room also contained a large chest of coins, Brathor drags the chest back to the main foyer room with his brute strength.

The group then attempts to take a long rest however is it interupted by a ghost that attacks Araligh.
Brathour defends her with his maul but it passes strasight through it, Nymeria becomes a mountain lion and goes to bite it but misses. Araligh takes another shot at her favoured ememy.
The ghost screams a frightening sound but its affects do not work on our groups who have been through so much already.
Raven casts an eldrict blast from the bed roll on the floor and the ghosts starts to wink out but comes back moments later. Noir then digs his daggers into the being and it disappears altogether this time.

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