The Torchbearers

Setting Sail
Mol, Vult 9

From the deck of the airship, you watch the sun set on the endless blue horizon. It strikes you as strange that, since The Lantern took flight from Aruldusk, the days have been getting longer, despite the fact that winter is fast approaching.

Your thoughts shift back to the first days of your voyage. With mouths agape you stared out at the unfathomable expanse of gray mist to the east. “Terrifying, isn’t it?” commented Jan. “Seen it a hundred times since The Day of Mourning, and it still scares the elf right out of me!” Not even Kal could manage a weak smile in response to his brother’s musings.

It has been almost a fortnight since the unsettling mist finally edged out of view. With only a short stopover in Sharn to re-supply, you left the mainland of Khorvaire at your backs. Since then, only the occasional white sail of a trade ship has broken the waves of the Thunder Sea below you. Your feet yearn for the feel of solid ground, and your ears ache from the continuous whine of the howling wind.

The Dead-Gray mist over The Mournland still lingers in your consciousness, along with the words of Cardinal Patoria’s letter. Cyre was a powerful country. How could it be reduced to rubble in the blink of an eye? What if it were to happen to Thrane? Or the Shadow Marshes and the Icehorn Mountains?

Most importantly, who or what would do such a thing and why? Your fear mounts into a sense of urgency: you must find the source…and quickly…


Elrick’s Journal Fane’s Journal Naali’s Journal Duragilis’ Journal
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The Fall of The Lantern
Zol, Vult 10

“Land ho!” The excitement is uncontainable. An infectious smile creases Captain Jan’s face as he points out the slight sliver of land on the horizon. The Lantern hums along as the terrain develops in front of you. Lush jungle greets the shoreline and a thick fog hangs heavy in the canopy.

Another call rains down from the crow’s nest, interrupting the view; “Captain! Wings at our tail!” A glance to the north reveals the unmistakable ring of an airship in the distance.

“Pirates?” asks Elrick nervously.

Jan dismisses his question with a laugh. “In the skies? You might run into a dragon up here, or a roc maybe, but pirates no. Airships are still beyond them.” Jan strokes the stubble of his chin as you wait anxiously, the same question plaguing everyone’s mind:

“Who the hell is it, then?”

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The Beach
Zol, Vult 10

So far you haven’t found much – a few crates of dried food, now as sodden as your boots, and a cask of fine wine meant for some high table, judging from it’s seal. Food is the last thing on your minds, however. There has been no sign of your other companions – no sign of anyone for that matter – just endless, desolate beach.

Yet you refuse to give up. Rummaging through yet more wreckage, Duragilis uncovers a clue – bite marks and a trace of acid on a broken plank. Something was here. Naali and Drudge pick up tracks leading into the jungle. Elrick decides to stay behind and set up camp while the rest of you, though exhausted, trudge on desperately.

Before long you come upon a river that runs roughly over rapids before emptying into the sea. Above its din, Naali picks out a sound towards the shore. “Someone is out there.” She perks up, “They are in trouble!” Fane draws his sword in a rush, “To arms!”

As you draw your weapons, you see the shapes of massive creatures moving toward you through the trees…

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Inside the Hive
Zol, Vult 10

From a side tunnel, the party watches the passing drones as they carry bulbous larvae upward. Fane finds it unsettling how they ignore the glowing light of his shield, but he trusts in Naali’s senses. Were it not for her, they would now be fending off those very ants.

Seeing no end to the line, the group slips further into the tunnel. “There are too many. We’ll need to find another way.” Duragilis remarks grimly. Fane nods his agreement, stretching his arms to dispel the onset of fatigue. Without a word Naali sets off down the tunnel, willing the others to follow. The path twists and turns away from the main hall until it opens into a large cavern. A stench overwhelms the group as they enter.

Against the far wall stagnates a large puddle of green slime. Countless ant carcasses lie heaped at its edges, their oozing entrails seemingly its source. “What darkness is this that has defiled these creatures so?” questions Duragilis in horror. Naali quickly silences him.

“Listen.” The group hears it – the slight sound of something dragging slowly across sand. Fane scans the room and spots the source at the edge of the light. A twisted thorax slowly inches toward the puddle, a trail of slime in its wake. Fane moves closer to investigate. As the silver light of his shield fills the cavern, he notices something else above him. A patch of slime hangs from the ceiling, and it’s moving…

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The Escape
Zol, Vult 10

The hive is in a frenzy. “It’s not going to be pretty, but I should have enough left in me to blast our way through to the exit.” says Elrick grimly. He rolls up his sleeves, briefly pausing to whisk away the dirt soiling his bright orange robes. “Filthy creatures…”

Fane brandishes his sword in defiance, “We came here for Jan, Elrick. I’m not leaving here without him!” Naali takes a firm stance next to the warlord, hoping his

“I believe they were taken that way.” Fangrim points to a tunnel at the far end of the chamber. “I was tracking them before that beast set upon me.”

Drudge shakes his head. “So they may be, but the ants are coming. We cannot fight them all!”

“Nor can we outrun them.” States Naali flatly. “But perhaps we can buy ourselves some time.”

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Rupert's Lighthouse
Zor, Vult 12

“Gods be damned! How do you get anywhere with a map like this?”

“It’s an aerial map, Cap’n. It’s meant for airship travel, not walking through the jungle.” Chimes Ebenezer, failing to realize the Fane’s question was completely rhetorical.

“Wouldn’t matter, Eb. They say Xen’drik is uncharted. Ain’t a single map of the place, to be trusted at lea-”

“Enough!” Naali cuts the crewmen short.


Character Journals
Elrick’s Journal Fane’s Journal Naali’s Journal Duragilis’ Journal Elynasi’s Journal Nei’s Journal
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Stormreach - Arson and Half-giants
Far, Vult 13

The heroes rowed for almost an entire day before reaching Stormreach. To the south of the harbor stood a massive stature of a noble looking human-like figure. From it’s outstretched hands, a beam of yellow light projected into the darkening sky like a beacon for incoming ships. When they entered the harbor, Rupert led them south of the Lyrandar shipyard into a tangle of ropes, pulleys, and fishing vessels called Fisher’s Folly. After tying off, Fane instructed Fangrim to escort the surviving crew of The Lantern to House Lyrandar’s compound in the city. He was also to take Captain Jan’s dagger and return it to his family or commanding officer. After giving the orders, Fane disappeared into the Wavecrest Tavern. The others followed, and once inside ordered their first warm meal in days. Naali was even adventurous enough to try The Torchbearers quickly made friends with Elynasi “Eversun” Loralyndar, a sulking tight-lipped eladrin, and Nei, a curious human who was preoccupied with an odd-looking compass she wore around her neck.

The new friends wined and dined, when suddenly a woman clad in bright blue robes burst into the tavern screaming for help. Duragilis was the first to volunteer, but the others all followed. Curiously, no one else in the tavern seemed eager to join them. Outside the heroes saw the reason behind the woman’s anguish. The Riedran Consulate was in flames, and the last remaining guards were hard-pressed fighting a squad of half-giants. The heroes waded in, cutting down one brute after the other. When an open lane presented itself Elynasi dashed into the burning building hoping to save Lord Khatanavash before it was too late. After blasting away the flames with icy magic Elrick charged after him. Outside, the rest of the heroes dispatched the last of the half-giants only to find themselves surrounded by a crowd of spectators that were intent on enjoying the night’s activities.


Character Journals
Elrick’s Journal Fane’s Journal Naali’s Journal Duragilis’ Journal Elynasi’s Journal Nei’s Journal
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Stormreach - Riedrans, Hope, Sahuagin and a watery tomb...
Far, Vult 13

Inside the burning Riedran Consulate, Elynasi searched frantically amongst the flames for Lord Khatanavash and any others still alive. Elrick followed his path, creating an escape route with blasts of cold. Meanwhile, the others attempted to move a beam that had fallen from the 1st floor ceiling and blocked the main entrance to the building.

Elynasi found Khatanavash and two servants in a fiery meeting room. He jumped through the doorway, narrowly avoiding the flames. Elrick cleared the main stairway of fire and rushed to the second floor, but he was quickly disoriented. He did however, find the body of a Riedran servant who had succumbed to the fire and smoke. Outside, Naali cleared the doorway, allowing Nei to rush in. The flames licked out at her and she narrowly avoided her death by tapping into the magic within her compass, teleporting herself to the stairway. Duragilis unsuccessfully goaded the crowd of bystanders into helping.

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Stormreach - Elmo revealed
Sar, Vult 14

Water poured into the bowl-like chamber. Elynasi tapped into his eladrin heritage, teleporting across the chamber and charging the sahuagin caster. In a blink the sea-devil leader was slain. However, Elynasi was now separated from his companions by 3 gushing walls of water. Meanwhile, Naali was surrounded by the remaining sahuagin. She was the first to fall despite Nei’s best attempts to heal her. Elrick went down next.

Hoping to make a quick escape, Nei began inspecting the trap’s trigger mechanism: a marble cylinder depressed into the wall. Thinking quickly she set a blastpatch, jumped to the side and fired. The explosion broke the cylinder but the water continued to flow. Duragilis did his best to keep the sahuagin at bay, and keep his friends alive. He brought Naali back to her feet, and the two of them took the sahuagin down one after the other. Trying to buy everyone some more time, Elynasi jury rigged one of the stone mouths shut with a dagger; however, the other two continued to spew water at an alarming rate.

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Stormreach - The Cult of the Devourer
Sul, Vult 15

korel

The heroes headed out to Fisher’s Folly where Elynasi used his silver tongue to haggle with the smarmy fishermen. He hired a man named Habe to row the party to Shargon’s Talon. As the boat left the harbor black thunderhead clouds rolled in and lightning flashed in the distance. Duragilis instructed Habe to bring them in from the side under the cover of the lengthening shadows of night.. Habe did so, but would not stay his boat for very long, fearful of the cultists and what might happen to him.

Shargon’s Talon loomed before the adventurers, a 50 foot tower of worked stone, angled back like the curved claw of a gargantuan sea creature. Duragilis led the group up the stairs to the entry as thunder boomed from above and lightning burst around the tower. He cracked the door open and pale green light poured out of the doorway. They headed inward, ducking through a broken doorway to the right. Drudge and Elynasi crept into the shadows searching for signs of Sahuagin.

“There they are!” are voice shouted in slurping common. At the far end of the ritual chamber a Sahuagin priest in kelp robes pointed his trident at Elynasi. “Feast on their flesh my minions.”

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