Saturday, June 18, 2016

Campaign Recap Part 2: 990-993 YK

April 990-December 993 YK: 

In April, 990 YK, Prince Oargev got word that an information broker in Sharn was selling the location of an item of ancient power called the Heart of Flame. It was advertised to be an almost inexhaustible source of arcane might, and the prince was determined to get his hands on it.

Oargev, Istav, Martin, Bas'shi, and Tact traveled by lightning rail to Sharn in order to secure the artifact's location. In Sharn, they ran into the Order of the Emerald Claw and an expedition from Thrane, all after the same information. Only the Thrannish and Cyran contingents left the city with the information, both on the lightning rail, headed north, for their destination, Icewhite Island. 

The Thrannish contingent was most notable due to its commander, a Paladin named Jared Daran. He and Istav got along very well, despite the fact that they were vying for the same ancient artifact. This meeting laid the groundwork for a very close future relationship between Oargev's government and Thrane. 

In Stormhome, the Thrannish expedition booked passage on one of the fastest sailing vessels in Lyrandar's fleet. Fortunately, Prince Oargev (let's be honest-Istav) secured the use of one of Lyrandar's fledgling airships, the Strikes Twice. This made all the difference in Prince Oargev's success in securing The Heart of Flame, which proved to be every bit as powerful as reported.

In one sense, this success spelled doom for Cyre. In a much greater sense, this success saved the world from a free and unrestrained Laz Shathoom, also known as the Lord of Mourning. Had Thrane or Karrnath secured this artifact and used it, they would have released him from his prison. Cyre was able to re-imprison him instantaneously-unfortunately, it cost them their nation.

Queen Dannel's Arcane Council went to immediate work drawing up ways to utilize the power in the Heart of Flame. A massive epic spell was developed which would activate a defensive perimeter around the entire nation, preventing invading armies from passing through. 

In the years following this expedition, Prince Oargev developed something of a shadow government separate from his mother's government. While Oargev continued to publicly work for the Queen, leading troops against the Captain of Corpses, defending Cyran territory in the Battle of the Cauldron, and placing the focii for the defensive ritual, his allies were making diplomatic ties to the Valenar, Thrane, and Breland.

World leaders rose and fell. Random poems started popping up in publications around the world by a man called Halmander, the Dragontongue. Prince Oargev and his followers took notice and organized the poems into a series of prophecies describing a year of signs and tragedies that would be inflicted upon Cyre before a great calamity. His shadow government began making preparations to prevent-and then when it became clear that prevention could end the world- minimize the damage to Cyran life and property.

The signs began, Prince Oargev and his followers became believers in the end of Cyre. Others read the signs and began reacting in their own ways, hurtling the world towards the Day of Mourning.

The poems that predicted the end are included below:

1. Signs
These thirteen signs shall break the proudest jewel
of Galifar’s mighty, prosp’rous lands:
The first shall show both time and death a fool,
The second dim the sun with misty bands.
Beasts not of this world next month appears,
For thirteen days no cock will ever crow,
Then rain will fall not water, but as tears
For never-ending heat that all shall know.
Thirteen beasts of every herd shall die.
The wash of soured wines shall make a flood.
Thirteen days of tears the makers cry,
Then the nation’s river runs with blood.
When moons go dark and dreams are things men share-
Even bold men of the Jewel should beware.

2. Decay
Death, you are not death when nothing fades,
When power robs you of corrupting grasp.
Though our spirits go unto the shades
Not so our bodies after dying rasp.
My true love, though she died a decade past
Lays just as sweetly on her final bed.
Her ruby lips and sparkling eyes will last
Even after all the world is dead.
Though poets write of powers in their verse
To save the lives of loves beyond their graves,
Not through my words but by its dire curse,
My love’s fair skin, forever, Evil saves.
Because today until the last tomorrow
My love lies deep within the Land of Sorrow.

3. Sunlight
In every land the sun rises at break
Of day and brings with it a happy dawn.
Except where, due to arrogant mistake,
Within that land sunlight’s warm face is gone.
For four long months we’ve never seen the sun.
We’ve only mists and clouds to clothe our sky.
I fear, before this gloomy spring is done
That every man of heart will wish to die.
For sunlight is the food that feeds the soul
And sunlight makes our loves and hopes to grow-
Only in the sun are we made whole.
For in the dark our bravery will go.
But soon, when sunlight sees this place at last,
We’ll wish these mists and clouds had never passed.

4. Beasts
In the forests of our mighty land
Ran deer, flew birds, stalked wolves, and swam the fish.
More things exist than e’er we’ll understand
And if we understood, well might we wish
To unremember things that we have learned
For there are things no man was meant to know.
But things once seen into our minds are burned
And force us, our innocence, outgrow.
Seek not the secrets locked behind the trees.
Seek not to know the things that nature’s hid.
For seekers will be brought unto their knees
For seeking that which nature has forbid.
But in these days no nature can be found
When forests stand on curséd, mourning ground.

5. Time
Who greets the morning with a one-note song
And rules his land with claw and garments fair?
He fathers armored children by the throng;
He’s calléd by the name of Chanticleer.
He is the herald of the morning sun
He is the cock that starts us on our way.
But once our days of sorrow have begun
For one less than two weeks his voice will stay.
In morning silence, we won’t know the hour
In mourning silence we’ll regret our loss.
This silent herald ushers in the power
That wipes us from the land like worthless dross.
The rooster who sings morning’s light is gone.
The rooster who brings mourning’s fright lives on.

6. Tears
What grief could make the heavens freely weep
And wash the earth in sorrow’s salty wine?
The griefs that into nations, peaceful, creep
And threaten peace and lives, both yours and mine.
We’ve built a court to house the Lord of Mourning.
We’ve brought him home to feed him from our fears.
We’ve disregarded every single warning
And soon he’ll slake his thirst upon our tears.
For one less than two weeks these tears will fall:
Arawai mourning that which mortals do.
But when these tears have fallen one and all,
The hazy, sunless mists will then be through.
The One Who First Brought Weeping to this World
Brings weeping to our land: his flag unfurled.

7. Heat
Until the final sorrow claims our lives,
When winter’s cold embrace should grasp our hands,
We’ll find the chill of winter ne’r arrives:
Only the sun to blast our fields to sands.
Our lips are parched and rivers nearly dried
From long-lost sun’s miraculous return,
For all the prayers for sun’s return we sighed
Have only served to make us sweat and burn.
We thrive on warmth, deny the chill of death,
But death can come as surely when it’s hot.
When suffocating fires claim your breath,
I’ll thank the Crying Lord your flesh can’t rot.
The fires from far north that bring despair
Were brought here from the cold by our brave heir.

8. Feasting
A dozen taken from us for our sins
And one more taken from us for our fear:
A time of tears and weeping soon begins
In a nation that won’t see another year.
When we feast sorrow, set with fresh-cut steak
At thirteen places, mourners all to sit,
We celebrate the day our jewel will break
And welcome he whose fate to ours is knit.
Though death will come to all in mortal time
To some it comes too soon, a rapid fate.
The time we’ve left, in revelry sublime
We’ll meet our death and always celebrate
The lives we lead ‘fore power’s grasping fist
Knit us shrouds of death in dead, grey mist. 

9. Celebration
A dozen taken from us for our joys
And one more taken from us for our pride:
These are the tools the Crying Lord employs
To move into our land and there abide.
When we feast sorrow, set with soured wine
At thirteen places, mourners all to drink,
We spoil the meal, forever to malign
The day in sorrow’s pit we start to sink.
Though grief commands us all to drink its health
The vintage it provides will never sate
Our thirst, no matter how much of our wealth
We spend to try and fight to stop our fate.
The vines of grief are ripe--so take your cup
Of tears and vinegar and grief--drink up!

10. Industry
The People of the Gorgon always craft
Cunning things of steel and wood and flame.
Accordingly, their city’s shops are staffed
With cunning people who all do the same.
The truest steel will never, ever weep
In hottest forge or in the cool of snow;
As finest woods, relied upon to keep
Their spring when used to make a mighty bow. 
The only flame they know is forge’s light;
No fire ever burns within their breast.
But passions in their hearts will soon alight
When Sorrow’s Maker makes a mighty test:
Will workers keep their crafts within their keeping
When one less than two weeks all eyes are weeping?

11. Water
Through our veins blood flows providing life
To every mind and heart and leg and limb,
But when blood leaves our flesh it causes strife
And causes life, so sweet, so short, to dim.
And so the waters flow, bring life unto
The land that calls the flowing waters home.
And so, in times when rains are overdue
That we miss river’s life-sustaining loam.
The day that river runs with life-red blood
For thirteen hours of fear and sorrow dire,
It signals death for child and planted bud
As surely as does plague or burning fire.
In three month’s time, no river, mortal man,
Or blood will flow, will walk where now they can.

12. Moons
Above our heads the windows to the planes
Look down and teach us things we’ve not been shown..
Amidst this nation’s trials and campaigns,
They offer comfort that we are not alone.
When we look to Siberys above,
Lighting up the clear and darkling sky,
We see the source of flame, and war, and love,
A home for beasts, for dreams, and those who die.
Even when all allies leave our side
And enemies surround on every shore,
Above is where our allies all reside
And with their guidance we’ll win every war.
The night they turn their faces from our land
Will mark the night our end is close at hand.

13. Dreams
The Crying Lord, long sealed in fire and ice
Can only visit men in thoughts and dreams.
Once he’s freed, a nation is the price
To buy the world and silence dying screams.
The sacrifices know their lives are due-
The One who Drinks All Tears will tell them so.
But soon their dreaming horrors will be through.
It is the ones who live who’ll have to go
Out to a world that’s left them all behind,
To find a way to live their lives again
While haunted by the dreams that once maligned
The strongest of belovéd countrymen.
The one who chose his nation for this fate
Will fight the Dreaming Grief and be made great.

14. Mourning
Oh Jewel of Galifar, please tell me why
The bitter tears are streaming down your face.
Your victory is won, though now you cry-
You took the curse in all of Khorvaire’s place.
Though only monsters, metal men, and fools
Walk on your roads or tread your hallowed halls,
You’ve bought the world the time to find the tools
To kill the Lord of Mourning and his thralls.
In any other realm he’d be set free-
Only your blood will fight him to the end.
The world can’t know how great your heroes be,
But all who know will call your nation friend.
Today we consecrate you to the ground-
Tomorrow, be reborn, once hope is found.

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