Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Seekers of the Ashen Crown, Part 1

Moonday, Wealsun 3, 552 CY (50 AN)

As Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn decide what to do next, Shaward Torranol, mayor of Dawnslight, enters the tavern, apparently seeking them. He says that between their work and the Platinum Claws, the town holds no more work for them — the goblin threat is currently suppressed, and all is well. However, he recently received a letter from his cousin, Molric, indicating that he is looking for able men and women willing to help Sorgforge with its kruthik problem. Apparently, Sorgforge suffers from persistent kruthik infestation that attacks the townsfolk. Peren recalls that kruthiks are reptiles forming a hive structure in the structure of highly vicious ant-like reptiles. Their blood smells like vinegar, and acts as a mild repellent to kruthiks; they are cunning enough to avoid areas where large numbers of kruthiks have died.

After discussion, the group decides to go. Shaward says he will arrange for them to travel with the merchant caravan when it leaves, particularly since the caravans always need guards. After leaving, Shaward returns to say that everything is set; the merchants will pay for guards and offer room and board on the way to Sorgforge. The caravan leaves in a couple of days.

The group spends the next few days preparing for the journey. The caravan finally starts its eighteen-day trek on the morning of Waterday, Wealsun 5.

Most of the trek is uneventful. The group trades tales with the merchants and their workers, and spends most of its time on watch. Peren typically scouts ahead.

On the morning of Freeday, Wealsun 14 (or late Earthday, Wealsun 13, depending upon one’s point of view), Emma is keeping watch when she hears distant rustling through the grasses of the plains. She awakens her companions and the group goes to investigate when it is confronted by a gnoll raiding party. They make short work of the gnolls before returning to sleep. The next day, they sell the arms and armor they managed to take from the gnolls.

On the evening of Moonday, Wealsun 17, the merchant caravan camps and is shortly joined by a Vistani caravan. As everyone participates in the revel, a young girl summons Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn to the matriarch’s vardo.

The matriarch introduces herself as Zinnauvial of the Zivkovic clan and offers them tea and scones. She then proceeds to read their fortunes with the tarokka in a divergent cross pattern. She draws the five of Coins, the eight of Coins, the Mists, the Darklord, the nine of Coins (reversed), the nine of swords, the Marionette, the Artifact, the Horseman, the ten of Swords (reversed), and the eight of Stars (reversed). She interprets this to mean that the group is currently in a situation brought about by corruption in high places. The group will find itself on an unexpected journey — perhaps a job they find will actually lead to another adventure. Finally, they will find confrontation with a powerful enemy, but the outcome should be favorable. Overall, they are influenced by the coming of darkness or madness in the distant past. A pawn with a powerful agenda and a remarkable item — perhaps mundane, but probably magical — has influenced the plans of this dark power. After the current situation, the future may bring calamity, war, or the banishing of the great evil. Zinnauvial indicates that the presence of so many cards from the greater deck of Fate suggests that they are destined for great things. She also reads their tea leaves before they leave, and reinforces this fact. She also suggests that Bosabrieln is fated to join the Zivkovic clan.

After taking their leave, they meet Leolann Zivkovic, a fast-talking young human with the Vistani, and decide to play a game of Three-Dragon Ante with him. With a 50 gold buy-in, the game ends with Bosabrieln out, Emma with only two gold pieces remaining, and only Peren and Torinn in the lead. Leolann walks away with 70 gp more than he started, though everyone takes it good-naturedly.

The group continues to revel until sleep overtakes them. Bosabrieln spends time with Zinnauvial to learn about the Vistani and receive the Vistani Blooding ritual.

The next morning, the merchant caravan and the Vistani caravan prepare to part company. The Vistani say that Bosabrieln will travel with them for a couple of days to learn their ways. In the meantime, they will send Leolann and his pet monkey, Juju, with the group to help guard the merchants’ caravan.

On Earthday, Wealsun 20, they find Bosabrieln awaiting them by the side of the road, somehow ahead of the merchant caravan. Leolann bids farewell to everyone and heads on foot to catch up with the Vistani.

The Slaying Stone, Part 4

Sunday, Wealsun 2, 552 CY (50 AN)

After three days, Bosabrieln, Leogold, Peren, and Torinn return to Dawnslight with Emma’s body. It is early evening when they arrive, though they note that the village appears to be at ease. The group brings Emma’s body to the Temple of the Golden Harvest and leaves her with Leogold as they go to the inn to eat and rest.

Upon arriving at the inn, they find a beautiful eladrin maiden telling tales while a stern-looking deva in priestly vestments listens. Two new faces may also be found at the bar — a heavily-armed human woman and a similarly heavily-armed shifter man both drink. Among themselves, the group recognizes the Platinum Claws, a rather famous adventuring group in the area. Peren recognizes the two fighters as former gladiators in the Scandshar arena.

At a break in the story, Bosabrieln speaks to the deva, who introduces himself as Mathas. After hearing a little about their exploits uncovering corruption among the nobles in Scandshar, Bosabrieln explains about the travels of himself and his adventuring companions, as well as the recent death of their comrade Emma. Mathas says he knows the ritual to raise the dead, and would be willing to use it if he can be reimbursed for the components.

After Peren and Torinn buy drinks for the two warriors — the human named Blank and the shifter named Cliff — the groups converge and trade tales. Mathas repeats his offer, and the group agrees to pay him to raise Emma. Before he leaves to go the temple, he tells the eladrin that he is leaving, and she joins the table. Her name is Sariel, and she indicates that she has known Mathas for a very long time. Likewise, Blank and Cliff were slaves in the arenas of Scandshar before Mathas and Sariel bought their freedom.

After tales have been traded, everyone decides to retire for the night. Peren and Torinn sleep in the vicinity of the temple, while Bosabrieln is prepared to awaken early to check on the proceedings.

Early the next morning, Emma opens her eyes again. Though groggy, she is well, and everyone is glad to see her. She meets Mathas and thanks him, and Bosabrieln arrives shortly thereafter. The group pays Mathas the 500 gp required for components. After a bit, everyone regroups and prepares to go to Treona for payment. They once again thank the Platinum Claws for their help, and the Platinum Claws say they plan to go to the former town of Kiris Dahn to search the ruins. Bosabrieln mentions the the brass dragon they met, and the groups wish each other well. Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn then travel to Treona’s tower to receive their payment.

Upon arrival, the group finds an orc mercenary standing outside the tower, demanding entrance. After a brief melee, the orc is defeated. Peren binds her and the group brings her into Treona’s tower, where they interrogate her upon awakening. She indicates that she and her fellow orc mercenaries were hired to retrieve the Slaying Stone by an elf from Sorgforge named Demise. She knows nothing beyond that. After deliberation, and the orc’s promise to avoid them in the future, the group decides to set her free without her weapons, with Torinn having appropriated her handaxes and greataxe.

Treona then introduces the group to Kiris Alkirk, one of the last nobles of the Kiris line. The group shows Treona the broken pieces of the Slaying Stone, and proceeds to describe their adventures in Kiris Dahn, focusing upon the dragon that held the artifact and the fellow Kiris noble (and lycanthrope) who was left behind. Treona and Alkirk thank the group and Treona gives them 10 gp and a ring that she says was last appraised at around 250 gp.

After visiting the merchant to sell the ring and gather supplies, the group returns to the tavern to contemplate their next move.

The Slaying Stone, Part 3

Earthday, Flocktime 27, 552 CY (50 AN)

Throughout the watches during the night, Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn are uninterrupted. However, shortly after waking, they are attacked by a goblin patrol passing through. They quickly dispatch the goblins and move on their way.

As they move through town, they are spotted and move quickly to avoid notice. Making their way to the hot springs, they recognize where a burrow has been made. They announce their presence and enter to find a large, imposing brass dragon. The dragon requests that they state their business, but as they flounder over what to say to convince the dragon to give up its stone, it sends them away so that they may reorganize.

The group decides to make its way to the Kiris Estate to see what they can find, and then return to the dragon’s lair. Finding their way to the Kiris Estate, they encounter the goblin guards and are making short work of them when they are confronted by a hobgoblin riding a large drake. After the hobgoblin attacks Torinn, the group kills the drake underneath its rider, and manages to make short work of him and the other goblins in the mansion. The ritual indicates that there is no stone in the mansion, though they do find 200 gold pieces throughout the mansion, which they split amongst themselves. The group is then determined to return to the dragon.

With renewed vigor, they manage to convince the dragon that their intentions are pure; they mean no harm and only wish to take the stone to their patron so that it may be destroyed. The dragon finally agrees, on the condition that they no longer bother it, and then presents the slaying stone to them. They thank it and take their leave.

The group makes for the edge of town, but are surprised by the orc mercenaries among some of the homes. The fight is brutal, and though Peren manages to swiftly defeat the group’s leader, and the assembled group defeats most of the mercenaries, all but Bosabrieln are quickly defeated. As a last resort, Bosabrieln uses the slaying stone on the orc shaman, causing him to messily dissolve. When all seems lost, Leogold Spiritforged appears, apparently having followed the party after hearing about where they were headed. He manages to get some of the party members back on their feet as he joins the battle. A goblin, apparently victimized by the orc mercenaries, also enters the fray. Among the lot of them, they manage to defeat the orc mercenaries, though the unnamed goblin and Emma both die in the conflict. Amidst the personal effects of the mercenaries, the group finds 420 gold pieces and an enchanted lute that Bosabrieln recognizes as the Mac-Fuirmidh Cittern. Battle-weary, the group builds a makeshift litter for Emma’s body and starts the journey back to Dawnslight.

The Slaying Stone, Part 2

Sunday, Flocktime 23, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn enter the tavern. Noting an older woman waiting there, they get something to eat and drink before they go to speak to her. The woman introduces herself as Treona, and indicates that she has heard of the members of the group, reciting their names and deeds before she is cut off. After introductions are made, she explains that she and her associate, Kiris Alkirk, who is currently not present, are refugees from Kiris Dahn. Kiris Dahn was abandoned and overrun by goblins eight years ago. After relocating to the group’s room, Treona explains the rest of the story. Many years ago, the nobles of Kiris Dahn commissioned the manufacture of eight slaying stones, magical devices that could automatically kill anyone within five miles of the town. As such, any individual attempting to attack the town could be killed instantly. These eight stones were all used in various incidents, but Treona recently read that a ninth was manufactured and never recorded. Presumably, it still exists in the ruins of Kiris Dahn. Treona wants the group to find the stone so that she can destroy it. If the group must use it on their adventure, she at least wants them to present the pieces to her so that she can see proof that it was destroyed.

Treona explains that the town is overrun by goblins, so the group must gain entry and keep quiet. She provides them with three ritual scrolls and the necessary components to perform a ritual that detects the stone. She also gives them a map of Kiris Dahn and explains that it is most likely to be found in the Library, the Shrine of the Moon, or the Kiris Estate. Treona further explains that a rival wizard, a woman by the name of Dreus Matrand, has hired mercenaries to look for the stone for some unknown purpose. Treona explains that she has heard Dreus is a human or an elf, but she does not actually know which is accurate. When they ask about payment, she explains that she can give them about 250 gold pieces, plus they can keep whatever they find.

After discussing, the group agrees to seek the slaying stone. They spend the rest of the day purchasing provisions and preparing. The next day, they set out for the ruins of Kiris Dahn.

It takes them three days to reach the town, and once they do, they wait until nightfall to sneak into it. They enter from the north, creeping through the forest and across the river. They then manage to sneak through town, and initially finding the Kiris Estate, they decide that it is too well guarded and try the library instead. Upon entering, they hear several goblins in the next room. Organizing themselves, they kick open the door and attack.

Surprising the goblin soldiers within, the group manages to cut through them. Even when the well-dressed goblin in the room starts ripping pages out of the library books, throwing magical attacks, and summoning small ooze creatures, the group manages to quickly dispatch him. Treona’s ritual indicates that the stone is not present. However, when the group searches the library, they find an abandoned wing with several bookcases pushed aside. Brass scales litter the floor, and a stone wall panel sits upon the ground in front of a small alcove marked with claw gouges. Also, among the goblins’ things, they find a mace which Emma takes and recognizes as a Holy Healer’s Mace.

Sneaking through the town, the group decides to try the Shrine of the Moon in the temple district. Though the place is empty, they spot a man within. Dressed as a noble, albeit with ragged, well-worn clothes, they beckon the man to speak to them. He explains that he is a resident of Kiris Dahn, and as far as he can tell, the last human resident. He was deposed in a power play by the rest of his family. When they ask about the slaying stone and the strange clues and detritus in the library, the man begins to explain what he knows when goblins run to the porticullis at the south corridor. Their leader brandishes a silver sword and shouts to “Kill the rat man! Them too! KILL ALL RAT MANS!” As combat is joined, goblin troops break through the double doors to the north, as well. Then, the noble appears to completely lose it, and turns into a man-rat hybrid creature whom the group recognize as a wererat.

The group easily manages to defeat the goblin troops, but their leader and the ratman take a little more effort. Even so, the group manages to take them down, carefully ensuring that the ratman, the goblin leader, and a goblin with a strange brand of a closed eye on his face are taken alive. After resting, the group performs the ritual and finds that the slaying stone is not there. However, they find that the goblin leader’s longsword has value, and Peren takes it.

The group then starts to interrogate their prisoners. The nobleman, having turned back to human form upon losing consciousness, apologizes for his loss of control, and says he will explain everything if he is allowed to leave. The group agrees, and he says he heard that the slaying stone was in the library long ago. He has also heard about a brass dragon in the area. He overheard the goblins saying that it dug something up and left, but he claims that it dug a lair by the hot springs. He thanks the group for letting him leave, and then quickly departs.

The goblins, meanwhile, explain that they were hunting the wererat and didn’t expect to find multiple people there. They know nothing about the slaying stone or the dragon, and they can give little tactical information regarding the Kiris Estate. Finally, they do explain that a group of orc mercenaries has been looking for a stone, and that is where the brand originates; the orcs interrogate and brand people, but seem to have little luck finding the stone. Not wishing to give away their position, the group then executes the two goblins and decides to stay the night in the Shrine of the Moon. As Torinn starts becoming sweaty and feverish, possibly from the bite the ratman gave him during the fight, Emma takes care of him through the night and manages to cure the infection.

The Slaying Stone, Part 1

Starday, Flocktime 22, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bosabrieln and Emma finally come upon the village of Dawnslight, escorting Leogold Spiritforged to the Temple of the Golden Harvest so that he may become the new priest there. As Emma makes certain that he gets situated in the temple, Bosabrieln travels to the local inn to play for the enjoyment of the patrons. Shortly after getting Leogold situated in his new temple, Emma joins Bosabrieln to get something to eat.

Watching the newcomers, among the farmers and miners of Dawnslight, is the mercenary pair Peren and Torinn. They care little for the music, but are always glad to have some respite in the tavern between raids on the local goblin tribes.

As everyone settles into the tavern, the mayor, a dwarf by the name of Shaward Torranol, enters to introduce himself to the newcomers and to thank them for escorting the new priest. He also takes a moment to speak to Peren and Torinn.

Suddenly, alarm horns are raised and the cry of “GOBLINS!” is sounded outside. Shaward goes to investigate, and returns to explain that goblins have been sighted marching upon one of the local homesteads. He asks Peren and Torinn to take care of it, and then turns to ask Bosabrieln and Emma if they may also be able to render aid. They enthusiastically indicate that they can, and the group assembles to face the goblin horde.

Quietly making their way through the wheat fields outside the farmhouse, the group splits to flank the horde of thirteen goblins. Expecting little resistance from the farmers and homesteaders of Dawnslight, the raiding party is quickly dispatched, and none are left alive. The homesteader thanks the party for their assistance, and welcomes them inside to briefly rest. After resting and making proper introductions, they are prepared to return to the village.

Upon returning to Dawnslight, Shaward pays the warriors 50 silver pieces each and says he will pay an extra 50 silver apiece if they can find the goblin’s camp. The group agrees and sets upon their way.

As they wander through the woods, they lose the goblins’ trail and become lost in the wilderness. As they come to a clearing, they are spotted by a hunting juvenile white dragon. Though the dragon initially savages them, the tide turns when Emma manages to set it on fire. It fights on before finally stopping to put the fire out and flee.

The party manages to find its way back to Dawnslight and rest before trying to find the goblin camp in the morning. Shaward, grateful to their efforts, informs them that their lodgings are free so long as they stay in the town. As the others get dinner and prepare for bed, Bosabrieln seduces a young milkmaid whom he calls Sally and takes her to bed with him.

The next morning, the group sets out to find the goblin camp. They have significantly more luck this time, finding the goblin encampment atop a hill bearing the crumbling ruins of a once-great tower. A few tents and the movement of several goblin soldiers marks the location. Peren sneaks up a side trail while the Torinn, Emma, and Bosabrieln try a frontal assault. Despite the waves of goblin soldiers and the leadership of their own shaman, the goblins fall to a man. Searching the ruins of the tower, the group also manages to find some small gems and art objects.

Triumphant, the heroes return to Dawnslight. Shaward pays them the other 200 silver pieces. He indicates that a merchant caravan has come through, if they wish to sell the objects they found, and he also indicates that a woman is looking for them about a possible job. After finding the merchants haggling at the general store, they manage to unload their findings for 60 gold pieces, which they split amongst themselves. They then ask Shaward more about the woman, and he explains that a woman named Treona asked for them while they were away. He says that she is currently waiting in the tavern for their return.