The Swordlands

An Old Land, A New World (Part 2)

From ‘Ragnarok as told by Aengus’

From Falias came the Stone of Fal.
From Murias came the Cauldron of Dagda.
From Gorias came the sword of Light.
From Findias came the Spear of Llugh.
Unite the hallows four in time.
Defeat the king non born!

An Audience With Shewva, Oracle Of Chronepsis

A century ago came what is known as The Curse. At that time I sensed the presence of a dark power. In a dream I saw The Boon Companion, The Apple Thief, The Trickster, Jack-In-A-Hood, The Sleepless Dreamer, The Gift That Is A Curse, A King Unborn, Night and Fear, Death and Dream, Friend and Foe, The One Who Waits At The End Of A Journey, The Night Watchman who fashions a ship from the torn nails of dead men in which will sail the army of the damned through seas of blood at the end of time. That the dead once walked the land was doing of this dark force. That they are now restless is the doing of Siegmund, for it was he who has disturbed them in his search for the Crown.

From ‘The Saga of Harald-Know-No-Fear’

Where now the legion and the crown?
The old king asked the knight,
We now are lost and so remain,
For this war we cannot fight.

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An Old Land, A New World

From ‘The Prophecy Of House Aellrinath’

I dreamed. I dreamed of a land of Ice and Steel.
I saw the Old King, his heart twisted and poisoned by lies.
I dreamed. I dreamed of the UnBorn King.
I saw his acolytes everywhere. In the shadows they dwell, and in the shadows of mens hearts.
I dreamed. I dreamed of the Last Warrior.
I saw his battles against the UnBorn King’s acolytes.
I dreamed. I dreamed of the Last Days of Man.
I saw men accepting the Gift from the UnBorn King.
I saw Man, that strange, foolish, and noble race, become Other.
I dreamed. I dreamed, and I wish, how I wish, I had never woken. For upon waking I knew the dream was real.

The Last Orders of Requiem

The gods forged the world in war. Their fury shook the skies, the bones of the fallen made the mountains of the mortal realms, their tears filled the oceans, and from their blood were born men and beasts. As it was made so shall it be unmade. Surtur, the lord of fire, shall come. Thrymm, the lord of ice, shall follow. The great primordials are almost upon us.

Find the Crown, for he who holds the Crown holds the Bridge, and from the Byfrost Bridge shall the last among men watch the giants fall.

From ‘The Chronicles Of Wyrm And Man’

The throne of Himinborg was won by knight after knight until the time of Gylfi Beast-Skull, named so for the bones of his defeated foes that ornated his hall at Himinborg. No king before him had furnished Kørd’s church with as many conquests. Wyrm-kin, wolf-braer and Jotunbrud, beasts long, tall, scaled and horned he claimed in the name of the One God. Blessed he was with strength and skill in equal measure, and his knights followed him above all others. He one day asked of his champion ‘Rivenhart, my armies now make for the lands far to the west. Will you not fight with me and make peace for our people once more?’

Rivenhart replied:
’At night I look to the stars
For it is they who speak of the coming end.
Ragnarok approaches and all your warring will count for nought.
But this you should know, great king Gyfli Beast-Slayer:
There is no further salvation
Byfrost is lost to you for the wars of your forefathers
And with it the Crown that was meant for your safekeeping
I made a vow in the sight of Kørd
I know now that I have been unwise
I vowed to protect you against any foe
But I cannot protect you from yourself
If there is an answer to this riddle it is not here in the world of men
And I must follow my destiny
I will take up one last quest
And journey deep into the underworld
There lies below a land of darkness
Born of men’s misdeeds and Faerie magic
Where my journey will end I cannot say
But my time here is past.’

And with that Rivenhart, First knight of Himinborg, took off his badge of office and cast it into the firepit. He sailed a small boat out of the harbour and took the first tide northwards, never to be seen again.

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The King In His Mountain Camp

In the royal tent, Serklejof studied the documents before him, his eye darting back and forth over maps, diagrams, and drawings. In strode the giant figure of Gunnar, battle-scarred and trail-worn.

“My Lord,” he began, “The scouts have returned once more and there is still no sign of Siegmunds encampment…”

Without looking up from his business, Serklejof gestured with a pointing finger towards the ground.

“Apologies my Lord,” continued the knight Himinborg, as he quickly knelt before the king, “Fruhli’s men encountered an ogre hunting party in the northern hills but none of the survivors were able to…”

Serklejof interrupted, “Inform the knights that there has been a change of plan. We are no longer searching for Siegmund’s camp.”

“Right my Lord,” replied Gunnar. At length he ventured “…May I inform them of our new objective?”

Serklejof looked up from his studies. “The answer, brave knight, was staring us in the face all this time.”

“Sire?” questioned Gunnar, still kneeling.

“What reports of our friends, the Auslanders?”

“We have recently learned that Snoflgrof was slain in Mycklegarth some two weeks back, my Lord.”

Serklejof smiled slightly. “Then they will now be on their way to Hammingjen, if they are not already there. Find them, sir knight. Find the Auslanders and I shall give you your Siegmund.”

Gunnar paused in thought for a moment before he rose, using his great-axe for support. He made as if to ask a question but saw that the king had returned to his maps and diagrams already. Wearily, Gunnar left the king’s tent and stepped out into the freezing mountain air.

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Severance (Part 5)

As they watched, the mountains on the western horizon crumbled into the lake, revealing the Endless Sea beyond. The water of the sea itself seemed to turn into steam and dissipate until all that remained was a gaping void, filled with the stars of the night sky. Where once had been an ocean, across which could be reached the Feywild, now became the edge of the world.

As the waters of Dragon Lake began emptying over the edge of the world, the current began to pull the party towards the cliff edge. Karl, Aengus and his father managed to reach a small island in the lake, just as they noticed a faint golden glow in the dark waters below.

Growing brighter and larger, the golden light became dazzling as all of a sudden Bangog herself leapt from the surface of the lake, seizing Thunder n her jaws as he clung to a floating tree. It dragged him down to the bottom of the lake, and as its coils emerged into the air and then submerged, it could be seen that she was fatally wounded. Down she swam, still with Thunder in her jaws as he stabbed at the beasts mighty skull. Soon the powerful tide swept the 2 uncontrollably towards the waterfall at the world’s end.

Realising what was happening, Aengus called upon his eldritch powers to freeze the surface of the lake. He ran with magical speed after the dragon, who appeared little more than a golden light from the depths of the lake.

There he stood for a moment on a floe of magical ice at the very edge of the waterfall, as the dark water poured over the edge and vanished in clouds of vapour far below in the night sky. There he saw a myriad shooting stars dancing in the yawning abyss as far as he could see in all directions.

Then suddenly the dragon erupted from the waterfall just below him. Aengus spotted Thunder in it’s maw, who, having lost his shield in the struggle, was still hacking the beasts face and had succeeded in carving out both it’s eyes. With an arcane flourish, Aengus teleported Thunder out of the grapple and onto dry land as Bangogs writhing and flailing coils could be seen disappearing into the darkness.

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Severance (Part 4)

The 4 warriors swung down on ropes to the final earthmote, on which stood the stone circle and the altar to Kord and Bahamut. The Eye hovered at the center, radiating powerful waves of energy. A ring of storm clouds gathered over the floating island and bolts of lightning scorched the ground within the stone circle. The adventures braved the lightning and stood together again around the altar, preparing themselves for the final stage.

At this point, Karl produced a forged Eladrin death warrant. Unrolling it he recited the charges against Bangog and declared her condemened to death. Before he could complete the ritual however, a bolt of lightning incinerated the document and the Eye began to glow with increased power.

Thunder stepped forward and, with a swing of his sword, shattered the Eye into a thousand pieces. Suddenly, the earthmotes fell from the air, crumbling into dust as they did so. Tumbling hundreds of feet through the air the adventurers splashed down into Dragon Lake below them.

Thee was moments calm before the first signs of the disjunction became apparent.

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Severance (Part 3)

Sif shouted across the battlefield, saying that she would deal with the Firbolg while the party made for the Eye. As they ducked and dived through the fray, blasts of magical energy came from all sides. At the far edge of the earthmote the adventurers saw another huge chunk of rock coming straight towards them. They managed to leap just before impact, avoiding the explosion of rock and debris as the 2 earthmotes collided.

Immediately they were whisked away on the orbit of the new island, upon which Aengus sighted the statue of his father. Slowly animating around them, 3 beserk minotaurs charged into battle. Karl counter-charged the first minotaur, and by a miracle of agility managed to throw it back the way it had come. Thunder charged in and smote it with divine fury as it shook itself to it’s senses.

Meanwhile, Aengus spotted that his father’s statue was directly in the path of one of the charging minotaurs, and succeeded in teleporting the beast out of the way and casting it off the earthmote. He took up a position whereby he could defend the statue against any other oncomers.

Karl and Thunder fought the remaining Minotaurs until Thunder was driven back to the cliff edge. Parrying a mighty axe blow he was sent hurtling over the edge. Calling on the will of Kord he was saved at the last moment by a powerful twister that carried him back onto the earthmote from which he had fell.

As Karl and Thunder dispatched the last Minotaur, Aengus’ father suddenly animated and, clearly possessed by the spirit of Bangog, lunged at Aengus with a poisoned blade. Aengus dodged just in time and locked swords with his father.

Thunder and Karl ran to close, but Aengus warned them away, saying that this was for him to finish. As the others watched, the Drow knight and his half-Eladrin son battled in a dazzling display of swordsmanship. Eventually, Aengus fought his father to a standstill, and, as the possessing spirit departed, he was reunited with the one who had warned him not to follow in his footsteps.

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Severance (Part 2)

Thunder worked with Sif to raise an altar to Kord and Bahamut from the earth in the center of the stone circle through powerful divine magic. This altar was to form the focal point of the ritual. Soon the symbols of the 2 gods merged to form a single depiction of a sword across a shield, hewn into the rock. As the basalt slab emerged from the earth before them the very ground they stood on began to break apart. The Eye was releasing it’s energy and tearing the land apart, wrenching huge chunks of rock from where they lay and casting them into the air.

The adventurers and the dragonborn were thrown from where they stood and scattered across several floating islands as the rose steadily into the twilight sky. Soon they found themselves standing on earthmotes, each in orbit around another, all of which orbited the island on which stood the stone circle and the newly raised altar. The Eye Of The Storm hovered over the altar emitting pulses of energy which, one by one, caused the stone statues to animate, taking on the forms of flesh that they had in life.

Seeing that they were suddenly beset by numerous powerful monsters, Aengus called upon his Fey patrons, completing his part of the ritual. The trees and plant life around them began to sway and stoop, providing them with some concealment. Where their path was blocked, the thorns and bracken leaned aside to allow them to pass freely.

Suddenly, the statue of a huge Behir animated and rushed at Karl, almost knocking him off the edge of the eartmote. The party returned the attack and Aengus succeeded in hurling it into the air from where it plummeted to it’s death in the lake far below.

Deciding that they had to reach the Eye to complete the ceremony, the adventurers leapt from earthmote to earthmote until they landed in the middle of a battle between the Valkyr and a horde of Firbolg giants.

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Severance (Part 1)

The party decide to travel through the tomb of the Valkyr to Hamingjen, the ruined site where once stood the mighty city of Helman Fire-In-The-Fen. There they plan to conduct a ritual to destroy the Eye Of The Storm and slay Bangog, thereby severing the conjunction between the Feywild and the Swordlands.

Emerging from the tomb onto the mountain side the see the muddy banks of Dragon lake nestled among the snow-capped mountains which seperate the Swordlands from the Beastlands, the area of conjunction. At the waters edge stand a set of standing stones that represent all that remain of Helman’s kingdom.

The landscape is littered with stone statues, apparently signs of Bangog’s presence, her defeated foes that have been petrified where they stood. All manner of creatures from across the length and breadth of the realm have met their end here, including some that seem to have come from the Feywild. At the edge of the stone circle stands the figure of a drow knight poised as if in battle. Aengus identifies this as his father.

The party, together with the Valkyr and Sif, having assumed the form of a human warrior, take positions within the stone circle and ready themselves to begin the ceremony.

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The Eye Of The Storm

At length, Sif summoned the Valkyr with a roar. Ripples spread through the golden walls of the large chamber in which the adventurers stood, and from beyond strode several dozen powerful looking draconic knights dressed in ornate platemail armour, bearing swords, shields and lances. At the front was Aldis, who stood a foot taller than the others and at whose shoulders a mighty set of wings lay folded.

“So it is true.” spoke Aldis, after examining the Eye of the Storm, “This explains Bangog’s silence of late. We must act quickly if we are to take advantage of our enemies vulnerability. Let us study our options. If we seek to destroy this artifact and it’s contents we must perform a ritual which draws upon it’s associations. We understand the following to be true:

“The Eye of the Storm is of Feywild origin. It belongs to The Hanged Man, or Odin as he is known there. He is the spirit of foolish wisdom and irony. Take nothing for granted when this being is involved.

“Bangog is a faerie dragon, the spawn of Nidhog, who was summoned five centuries ago by a king named Helman Fire-In-The-Fen, at a place called Hamingjen. These ruins are now Bangog’s lair.

“Bangog’s destruction will, we believe, result in the severance of the conjunction between the Feywild, this artifacts origin, and the Swordlands, where we now stand. The effects of the final stage of this disolution will undoubtedly be dramatic.

“Your own personal affiliations may also play a role in this process, as it will be for you to orchestrate and perform the ceremony.

“Know that should this ritual not succeed, and that should we survive the aftermath and face Bangog unleashed, the battle will be fierce. The Valkyr will stand beside you in this fight, if we are still able.”

The adventurers considered this for some time before deciding on a course of action…

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Goldenhair

Beyond the crypt complex the adventurers enter a large golden chamber in which waits an enormous gold dragon. This magnificent creature appears to have only one wing, the other having been torn off. The gold dragon studies them a moment before deciding that they are not agents of Bangog. The dragon introduces herself as Sif, leader of the Valkyr, and is puzzled as to why the undead guardians of the tomb attacked them. They discover that within the Eye of the Storm they have trapped the faerie dragon Bangog. Carrying it with them the tomb guardians sensed the presence of the enemy and attacked.

Together they discuss how they can go about defeating Bangog. The Eye of the Storm is an artifact, and if they can devise an appropriate ritual it may be possible to kill the evil dragon without a fight.

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