This is a storyline that took place in the Platinum Instance during 2017 - 2018. Official title is unknown at this time.
Shake It Up
Last evening, fate brought down a terrible blow upon the City of Ta’Illistim. The quakes plagued the city all day long, their occurrences becoming more frequent and violent as the night settled in. Many buildings in the city crumbled to dust, or were buried in rock. The citizens and others who call her home spent hours digging out those trapped and searching buildings for survivors. Just when it seemed like those working hard in the mud and dirt were making headway, a large quake struck the foundations and collapsed the Keep on top of their Beloved Mirror. Working hard and fast, the Mirror was found unconscious among the rubble. Digging continues, but not many are thought to be alive in such destruction. Wounds to her body were quickly healed, but she remains unconscious. Lord Caylio has taken her to Cysaegir. Survivors are encouraged to take refuge in Cysaegir. ~GM Valyrka
As the cities recovered from Vindicto’s attacks, Ta’Illistim was rocked by a series of small earthquakes that caused minor damage to the city. Citizens and officials were perplexed as to the cause of the earthquakes because no one had observed the path of the magical blast wave that was unleashed as Vindicto was destroyed. As the earthquakes increased in frequency and power a number of learned scholars and mages are consulted to ascertain the cause of the quakes. Sadly, before the cause can be determined and counter measures implemented, a massive earthquake rocks Ta’Illistim causing extensive damage to the city. A number of building are collapsed and many citizens are killed in the aftermath. As adventurers are contributing to rescue efforts and attempting to dig out those trapped under rubble, the strongest earthquake yet hits Ta’Illistim with great force and caused the Ta’Illistim Keep to collapse with the Argent Mirror, Myasara, buried underneath the rubble with many others. Adventurers work feverishly to save the Mirror and after many long hours she is found alive, but in an unconscious state.
With the majority of Ta’Illistim in ruins and fear of more earthquakes to come, most of Ta’Illistim evacuated to the town of Cysaegir in order to tend to the wounded and provide the necessary care for Myasara in hopes she would recover. The Aelotoi were more than happy to return the favor of offering aid and succor as the Elves of Ta’Illistim had once done for them. As the days passed and the dead were accounted for, a vigil was organized by the Lady Issalya to mourn the dead and offer some comfort to those who survived the recent disasters. Bareth, an Aelotoi Priest of L’Naere, was chosen to lead the vigil and offer prayers for the dead and hope for the living. A number of officials were in attendance including the Lord Caylio (the Mirror’s husband), King Qalinor of Ta’Vaalor, and even the Faendryl sent an ambassador, Lictor Ardryll.
Lady Ardtin and the Council of Thrones have issued a dire statement earlier this evening. With heavy hand we must report the events of last night. Members of the Sapphire Guard went to relieve those guarding the Argent Mirror in Cysaegir, they arrived to find her protectors unconscious and the door to the chamber battered open. Within they found Lord Caylio prone on the ground with a large knot on his head and a bloodied knife in his hand. There was no sign of the Mirror save for her empty bed and the struggle within and without. Since this time there has been no word from the Mirror or those responsible for taking her. Those wounded in the attack are being seen to by our healers, but have not been able to report as to what happened thus far. We on the Council vow to not let this stand and will do everything in our power to find those responsible for this heinous act. ~GM Valyrka
A few days later, Ta’Vaalor is attacked by undead and the adventurers that were aiding the refugees of Ta’Illistim rush to defend Ta’Vaalor before it falls to the undead horde. The weary forces of Ta’Illistim, already exhausted from days of aiding its citizens, musters itself to assist the Crimson Legion of Ta’Vaalor as well. This leaves Cysaegir nearly defenseless though and the Mirror is abducted while still in her unconscious state. Ta’Vaalor is saved, but Myasara is lost and the citizens of Ta’Illistim are dealt yet another crushing blow that threatens to swallow them in despair.
Embarking upon an inspection of the Ravelin in search of Argent Mirror Myasara, His Majesty King Qalinor the Sovereign Commander of the Crimson Legion sent multiple requests to local heroes to join him to pursue these rumors. When it became evident none were answering the King's call, His Majesty, along with a handful of personal guards, went on alone. They had nearly reached the remote fortress when the group was beset by bandits. Utilizing stealth, cunning, and sheer numbers, the bandits prevailed leaving only one stunned guard alive. He reports, "They hit us hard and fast. Smoke. Explosions. The works. His Majesty fought valiantly but was greatly outnumbered. One of them caught a lucky blow and knocked him on the head and they carried him off. I followed when I regained my senses, but they seemed to have vanished." A dispatch was received shortly thereafter in Guardian keep demanding the surrender of Ta'Vaalor to the undead in exchange for the life of the King and the Argent Mirror. The missive indicated that His Majesty would be held alive along with the Argent Mirror as long as Ta'Vaalor remained under undead control. Valuing the lives of the two monarchs, and in hope of one day bringing them home, the Fortress capitulated to the demands. Ta'Vaalor is no longer safe and should be treated as such. Undead have begun to roam the streets and justice has been suspended under the new rule. ~GM Mazreth
Qalinor vows to search for the Mirror and quickly organizes a small force to scour the surrounding environs of Lake Fear, thinking that the abductors must be hiding away in the forests. As the day ends, the king does not return to Ta’Vaalor and worry begins to gnaw at the hearts of everyone that he to has been lost. That night, another horde of undead mass in front of Ta’Vaalor, but a figure appears to demand the surrender of the fortress city. If Ta’Vaalor and Ta’Illistim are not surrendered by midnight, Qalinor and Myasara will be killed. With all of the recent misfortunes, hope is in short supply and the cities are surrendered without much resistance.
As the invasion forces march through the city of Ta’Vaalor it is discovered that the one leading this army of the damned is none other than the Faendryl Ambassador, Lictor Ardryll. At his side is the dark elven warrior, Auvreaian, who had been so unfairly treated at the hands of the Crimson Legion and its king. Also present, is the half-krolvin ranger Brinret, who had once plotted to assassinate the Mirror of Ta’Illistim. Lictor Ardryll proclaims that Ta’Illistim and Ta’Vaalor will henceforth be ruled by him and the cities administered by his two overlords, Auvreaian and Brinret. Auvreaian would see to the administration of Ta’Vaalor and Brinret to the administration of Ta’Illistim. That not being shocking enough, it is declared that the undead will be considered equal citizens in both cities and have the same rights as the living.
Welcome to Ta'Ardryll
Welcome to Ta'Ardryll Under the brilliant leadership of Lord Ardryll the city of Ta'Illistim has been reborn as a more open and inviting place, Ta'Ardryll. Those of all races and states of living are welcome in Ta'Ardryll. Law has been suspended, as we are all adults able to look after our own affairs. Order is kept under the watchful eye of Lord Ardryll's chosen representative, Overlord Brinret Ithillote. No area of the city is off limits to non-elves at this time and all are treated equally. If you have any issues in our fair city please do not hesitate to reach out to Overlord Brinret. Please be aware that we are working to restore structures damaged in the recent quakes as quickly as possible. All Hail Lord Ardryll, All Defend Ta'Ardryll Lord High Inquisitor Brinret Ithillote, Overlord of Ta'Ardryll
News From the East
News has been pouring out of Ta’Illistim since last evening, following in the wake of shopkeepers and citizens fleeing the city. They bring word that the city has been overrun with undead, and that the Faendryl Empire has invaded. Others telltale that the Krolvin are the ones who have attacked. With no clear information on what has taken place, and no word or sighting of anyone from the ruling factions, it is believed they have either been slain or taken captive. And the city itself is a loss, with undead roaming its streets slaying anyone they find. ~GM Valyrka
The New Crimson Legion
Rather impressive, he mused to himself looking over the companies of soldiers standing at attention. He chose the most inopportune time and setting, high noon in front of the Keep, with waves of heat radiating from the stones of the fortress. "On behalf of Lord Ardryll, I've been requested to perform a general inspection of your forces. Worry not, those of you still interested for searching for your cowardly King after this may go in search.", Auvreaian intones with only a slight amount of irony. The slight tensing of hands on hafts for those standing at attention bearing polearms is evident, and it leads to a slight chuckle as Auvreaian walks along the companies, baiting any of them to strike at him. For this event a visible leader was required and so the mysterious shape armor had been set aside for a more substantial set of platemail bearing his own sigil of a blood eagle in flight, polished to a slight glisten as the Warlord made minor corrections to stances and positions of bodies. The slow, systematic pace takes no small amount of time as the soldiers of the Legion stood awaiting their turn to look at their new oppressor. The whispers were that Ardryll spent most of his time in Qalinor's chambers, leaving the more broken city in spirit to his second-in-command the Overlord Brinret, and that for their arrogance and stubborn ways, they were punished by having their forces controlled by this "monster", a combination of two of the things Vaalorians hate the most, dark elf and troll. Battalions of soldiers already inspected stand by tense, as in their ways prior they normally were allowed a more relaxed position once their inspection was completed. Not today, however. At the front of the Keep a sudden flash of darkness flickers and then dissipates leaving another dark elf standing where Auvreaian did prior to beginning his inspection. "I do have the honor of introducing you to my Mate, the Lady of the Wraithenmist and Queen of Shadows, Cassae.", Auvreaian's voice booms in stark contrast to his calmed demeanor amongst the soldiers. "In all things, she is your better and you will answer to her as you do to me!", he adds while glancing over his shoulder at her before moving on with his task. Finally, Auvreaian moves to the front of the Crimson Legion, looking them over in full a final time. "I would like to take this time to call forth the guard captain who defended the Victory Gate against the undead forces of the Lich.", he demands. "Front and center!", the command is given with a flat tone as the aching bodies of the Legion attempt to glance at the lone soldier who breaks ranks and heads to the front. "Captain, what is the procedure for calling for aid when your city is under duress?", Auvreaian intones with a look of utter contempt on his face as he glances over the lone soldier. "Procedures were followed exactly as instructed, sir!", the guard captain replies sharply, "You were there to see it, sir.", he adds with a bit of menace in his tone. "Where in your procedures does it state while your gate is under attack you are to attack innocent civilians who are moving into the city for safety?", Auvreaian replies and before any retort is made, the black and crimson tones of Auvreaian's gauntlet becomes a blur and the captain crumples to the ground from the force of the blow of his backhanded haymaker as it connects. "If the sight of this captain on the ground angers you, raise your weapon and sound off!", Auvreaian roars as he steps over the barely stirring solider. The symphony of warcries is nearly deafening as banners and spears raise almost in unison. "Then you all know the feeling of injustice, and the next time you think to attack or harass someone not of your kind, remember this guard captain. He is now truly a member of the Crimson Legion from the mark on his face, and if I hear of any other acts of injustice done by you on your patrols or in this city, you will join him! This is the new order of things in this city, and as Viceroy my task is to ensure the safety of all its inhabitants. Any questions among you?", Auvreaian asks with his hands on the hafts of his twin morning stars resting on his waist, the query hanging in the air. Only to be answered by silence, the Warlord nods once and turns his back to the Legion to stand next to his Mate. "All hail Ardryll!", he yells out while gazing among the riled up soldiers. The response lacks some of the voices from prior, though the majority echo the reply. Moments later, streaks of darkness extend from the ground by Cassae's feet and encircle random soldiers among the Crimson Legion. "Looks like we have some volunteers! Those marked by my Mate for not acknowledging the ruler of this city, seize them!", Auvreaian bellows as he clenches his fist. "Our new set of volunteers will be provided to the Overlord of Ta'Ardryll to aid in the clearing of rubble in his city and restore the town's economy. To show our unity in this matter, these soldiers will wear their full set of armor while working to assist. Take them into custody and fit them with ankle chains and prepare for their transport." "The rest of you are dismissed.", Auvreaian says before extending his arm to his Mate, and together move inside the Keep. A lone figure stands at the top of the Keep, pleased by the display. ~Auvreaian
The Overlord of Ta'Ardryll
What in the Rift was he thinking, taking on the role of Overlord? Not only had that madman suspended justice in the town, he'd let in roving bands of undead to scare away all the citizens. Those that remained seemed to openly hate him for taking charge. Would they have preferred he let their beloved Mirror lose fingers and had some ruthless tyrant that didn't care about them as Overlord instead? Fools, all of them! "Chanceler!" He bellowed into the next room, drawing the attention of a stooped and wizened elf. The old elf sighed and rolled his eyes. "As I've told you before I am not a simply magistrate and my name is Pranator." He lowered his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. "What can I attempt to do for you today sir?" "Ah don' much care if yer name is Tiddlewinks Happyfarts." The Overlord roared. "We need tae get the keep back in good shape an' get them damaged shops back up an runnin." He gestured out the window as he was saying this, though Pranator knew he wasn't even pointing in the right direction for the keep. With another great sigh Pranator responded. "As I've tried to tell you before the workers got attacked by the unliving the last time they attempted keep repairs." His tone grew soft, but stern. "Those that survived that attempt refuse to go back out, and you can't blame them." Now it was Brinret's turn to sigh. He felt terrible about what had happened to that work crew but half the guards he sent with them had run off when the undead attacked. Some people weren't meant to face down the terrifying corpses of their former comrades. Even with that he had to do something to return some semblance of normalcy to the city. "Kin we get t'gether enough strong willed guards fer another work crew if'n ah leave maeself unguarded?" He knew he was taking a risk but he could look out for himself. At the worst he could take his rest outside the city to avoid being killed in his sleep. "Or kin we maybe hire sum adventurer's or ask the Viceroy tae send sum troops from Ta'Vaalor?" Pranator nodded slowly, though he was not going to ask that snake in Ta'Vaalor for help. "We could probably scrape together enough guards and volunteers to at least begin work on the keep. If that is your wish... Overlord." He hated calling this hairy, blue beast that but, he had to admit, the man did seem to be trying to help the people, in his own way. "Yeah do wha ye gotta do an ah'll take a guard shift as well. Le's get the keep back tae it's former glory. Ye know fer Lord Ardryll..." Then quietly, under his breath, "or the Mirror's return." ~Brinret
She fanned at herself gingerly, taking in the scene before her with not so great interest. Truth told she was bored beyond words. The random clink and clank of hammers were far from a swan's song and everything about what was occurring before her seemed a great waste of time. There was a small wad of paper that she idly rolled about in the palm of her hand like some form of detached affixation. "A little to the left!" she called out, barely noticing the figure walking up beside her with equal parts urgency and purpose. "Madam, this location is now well underway with adequate protection..." the stoic looking elf spoke plainly as he approached. "These men and women are to be trusted, yes?" she asked with a tinge of a Nalfein accent. "Yes, madam. Many are those that disbanded when..." "Yes yes, I understand..." she interrupted briskly with a dismissive wave of her black-and-white fan. She snapped it shut and rested it within the crook of her elbow as if it meant something and waited. ...and waited. When the man didn't respond she turned sharply towards him with a savage glare... and then abruptly realized that her entire face was covered by a black veil that entirely concealed her expression. She caught her breath and quickly recovered with a distracting flick of her wrist that swiftly flung her fan back open. "Let them continue to 'disband' and kill each and every undead entity walking these streets..." she slowly intoned, fanning at her covered face in a patient rhythm as her concealed eyes wandered from alley to alley, "Let them congregate where work is being done to rebuild." "Even if it is what the monkey wants?" the Elf asked with an irritated snarl, "How are we helping our cause by helping... it?" She gave a warning hiss of a sound and turned to 'stare' the elf down through her black veil while the fanning movements of her wrist grew to an agitated stillness that seemed equal parts motionless and waiting to strike. "Do not call him that..." was growled through her teeth, "Call him what he is." The elf didn't seem as chastised as he should've, but that could more or less be explained. He gathered himself and stood straight at the back and wide at the shoulder, "and what is that, madam?" "Lesser..." she answered in a plain, emotionless drawl, "Half-blood. Half-breed... call him... unclean." "Yes, Emissary." the Elf responded with a half-bow, fist clenched against his chest, "For Her." "Yes yes," she said through a dispassioned sigh, flicking her fan to and fro and moving in contrary to the veiled roll of her eyes, "For the Mirror. Reinstate in all of them a new purpose until they can properly fight for her return." "There are other concerns, Emissary," the Elf asked in a meeker tone, looking to gather himself as she turned again to address him. "Yes?" "The plans you've drawn up, they're not all for repairs..." "No, they aren't," she admitted, already knowing where this conversation was going as her hands smoothed their way down the front of her black gown. "Then what are they, madam?" "What do you see?" "A trap..." "Then I shall have to redo them," she admitted with a heavy sigh, turning away from the Elf to scowl at a group of workers struggling across the road, "More to the left!" They did exactly thus, moving a corner of canvas that draped widely and proudly across an entire closed storefront. The depiction was that of a colorful, animated looking peacock trampling over the remains of many bleached skeletal remains and a single blue krolvin. Elven text was scrawled below that read: "Until Her Return." Throughout the night other banners would spring up all around Ta'Illistim bearing a similar image. A resistance was demanded, and a resistance they'd receive. The Emissary dropped the wadded up piece of paper in her palm and wandered away. There was still a lot of work to be done. For Her. ~Jaired
Sitting in the dark room, several elves speak in low voices, their heads close together. “We must find my wife. She is the only one who can bring order to this mess.” “We cannot know if she is even alive. Cay you have to be prepared.” “Lady Ardtin was revived, was she not? There is no reason to think that my wife, YOUR Mirror is not fine.” “There are others who wish her back as well. We need to find them.” “It is time. More come to us each day. We gain in strength. Watch for the signal. You will know when the time is right.” Quietly, they slip away into the night. ~GM Valyrka
Whip-Smack, Bone-crack ( Hoo-yah-Yah-YAH )
"I don't care what cadence you call, if you don't get these "volunteers" moving in quick-time, I'm going to flay your skin and slide your entrails down a spear and make your legacy as an Elven banner!", Auvreaian yells at the officer who was chosen to supervise the revolting soldiers sent to Ta'Ardryll. Frantically, the officer tries to stumble through an utterance of a normal travel song only to stop midway realizing it sings the praises of their kidnapped King. The reaction was not unexpected, yet the viciousness of the Warlord's bullwhip striking his shoulder causes him to cry out in agony. Morale was already low after a squad of soldiers realized far too late that Auvreaian had lined the inside of their ankle manacles with tiny razors, so when he placed the people who had whispers of a mutiny together, it was less than a mile outside of Ta'Vaalor when they tried to turn and attack their beloved town's new Viceroy. As they circled around Auvreaian armed only with military-issued spades, the Warlord laughed and took out a battered gaff used to hook livestock from one of the wagons in their train and rolled between the chained attackers, only to hook the gaff's curvature into one of the links and pulled. The result was nearly instant as the razors sliced into the veins of their ankles and feet, leaving them to bleed out as they tumbled to the ground, coating the well-traveled soil in crimson. The next few candlemarks were spent at a slow, downtrodden pace after they dug shallow graves for the fallen. "Fine, I'll give you an incentive to march!", Auvreaian said with disgust. "Pity me, oh foolish ones A time for change has just begun, Sweat and scars underneath the sun! Whip-smack, Bone-Crack Hoo-yah-Yah-YAH!" Each of the Warlord's claimations ( yah-Yah-YAH ) timed with a flick of his bullwhip to the soliders at the end of the line, leaving streaks of exposed skin on the randomly selected soldiers. "I served a King without qualm Did as he pleased and laughed along, Now my penance is this song! Whip-smack, Bone-crack Hoo-yah-Yah-YAH" "When we reach Ta'Ardryll, you will sing as you work and draw the attention of the unlife there. You have been issued spades with a sharpened edge, and Lord Ardryll was kind enough to send a few Chaplains with our forces. One squad in five will march in the area of our labors to destroy any unlife who cross our work areas. We will work efficiently and restore the city to its former glory. All hail Lord Ardryll!", Auvreaian bellows out. The cry is returned with the sound of broken, yet malleable spirits. The whip is rolled up and put back against Auvreaian's waist as the soldiers begin to march in unison, either in fear of the pain of the bullwhip, or knowing should they lag behind the rest of the soldiers in their squad, they would join the bravest who marched forth in an unmarked grave. "We will be in Ta'Ardryll by tomorrow, and not a day too soon.", Auvreaian mutters to himself as he watches squad after squad of soldiers move towards his goal, and empty wagons to be used to haul debris beside them. "I need a bath and a drink.", he trails off and begins to move in time with the soldiers. "I know my path to right my crimes A Tyrant's grip for this time, While Ardryll makes my city shine! Whip-smack, Bone-crack Hoo-yah-Yah-YAH!" ~Auvreaian
Pranator shook with rage as he delivered his terse report to the Overlord. "He whipped those poor Vaalorians the entire way here! He's got them in chains like slaves! Is this the freedom you promised us!?" The old elf was shouting by this last part. Brinret heaved a sigh and carefully considered his response. To be fair they did finally have some help protecting the work crews but he was trying to keep the elves from being brutalized like this. "Alright Pranator, ah get it tha ye ain' happy. Ah ain' happy either. Ye know ah was a slave once?" The Overlord shook his head, remembering a less than pleasant time in his past. "They're here now an we be needin the help right? So le's make sure they kin help. Set em up tae guard the work crews." The old elf started spluttering halfway through the suggestion to put the poor men to work. "You can't be serious!" he argued angrily "Those soldiers are nearly dead on their feet after their forced march. They won't be any good to anyone. Besides, we are not treating our fellow elves as slave labor!" He shook a wrinkled fist to emphasize his point. The Overlord just chuckled and shook his head. When was the fool going to understand he was trying to help? "Ah didn' say make em slaves." he explained with a smirk. "They're guests here tae help. Why don' ye quarter em wit wha's remainin of the Guard. Make sure they're given the same meals as our own Sapphire Guardsmen. Have em take a day or two tae rest. Ah'll leave how long they need up tae yerself." He almost burst out laughing as the old man's expression changed but managed to hold it in. "You don't mean to force them directly into labor?" Pranator asked suspiciously. "The city is a mess and you've said yourself that it needs to be put right immediately. Besides what do you care about a bunch of elven slaves?" He added this last part as a bit of a jab but he was starting to see the Overlord might actually have good intentions. At that last remark Brinret winced. He hated anyone thinking he would stand for this kind of oppression but it couldn't be helped if he was going to keep everyone safe. Or at least as safe as possible. "Jus take care of em an, when they're rested an ready, get them work crews out there wit their new guards. If'n there's enough of em able maybe have a few groups patrol an clear out summa the undead." After a brief moment he added "Oh an give em proper weaponry if'n they wan it." Pranator blinked in surprise. "Ye... Yes sir." He stammered as he made his way to the door. "I'll see to the accommodations and other preparation right away." With that the old elf was gone. The "Overlord" rubbed his forehead, trying to fight off his latest headache. He hated the way Auvreaian had brought those poor soldiers here but he was happy to have their aid. Now if he could only win them over enough that they were willing to help him protect this poor city and it's remaining people. ~Brinret
Life cannot help but go on and the overlords set to work. Brinret organizes the citizens and forces of Ta’Illistim and begins to clean up the debris from the earthquakes as well as beginning reconstruction. Auvreaian orders the Crimson Legion and citizens of Ta’Vaalor to gather aid for the beleaguered Ta’Illistim, but his methods are less than benign when it comes to the legion. The legion balks at being ordered to perform manual labor to aid the city of Ta’Illistim and threatens to rebel against its new ruler. Auvreaian crushes these dissidents and force marches the Crimson Legion to Ta’Illistim; having them whipped the entire way by undead overseers with no sustenance or rest along the way.
Last evening, those loyal to the elven crowns gathered in secret to formulate a plan for retaking the Elven Nations. Lord Caylio supplied Nilandia with a piece of the Mirror's clothing. She spent time trying to pull information about the Mirror from the garment. The group was able to see the Mirror in a light stone-walled room, but not much more. The group traveled to the Ravelin, where upon searching found what they thought was King Qalinor. As they tried to take the King to safety, it was revealed that he was really undead in disguise. The group battled their way to the Fortress where a member of the legion met them with the true king. After freeing the fortress, there was discussion on how to proceed in freeing Ta'Illistim and the Mirror. The evening ended with King Qalinor and Lord Caylio leaving together to plan their next action. Everyone loyal was reminded to be at the Ta'Vaalor Keep at Nine elven time tonight to retake the Shining City. ~GM Valyrka
After a few weeks, Caylio contacts various adventurers and asks them to aid him in searching for the Mirror and King Qalinor. He reasons that if the pair can be saved, the citizens and forces of the two cities will rise up and overthrow Ardryll’s forces. Adventurers agree and plans are set in motion to begin gathering intelligence and discreetly searching the environs of Ta’Illistim and Ta’Vaalor.
The resistance catches a break after a time and hears rumors of Qalinor being held in the town of Ravelin. Caylio and a small group of adventurers set forth to search the town of Ravelin and verify the truth of these rumors. The party does indeed find Qalinor alive and well in the town of Ravelin, being held in a house there. The party frees him and make their escape, but shortly after leaving the city, Qalinor is revealed to be an undead imposter and attacks the party. Apparently the rumors had been nothing more than a trap put in place to ensnare the resistance and put an end to it.
However, when the fake Qalinor was found, it spread like wildfire through Ta’Vaalor and the Crimson Legion rose up to challenge its overlord and undead oppressors. The resistance rallied to aid the Crimson Legion as they fought to retake the city and in the process, the real Qalinor was found alive. Apparently, a few members of the keep’s guard had been able to ascertain his location and were merely waiting for an opportunity to present itself so that they might act. With the real Qalinor found, the Crimson Legion and resistance rallied around the king and fought fiercely to free the city. The battle was fierce, but in the end, Ta’Vaalor was freed from Lictor Ardryl’s forces. Auvreaian managed to evade capture and retreated into the Wraithenmist.
Extra! Extra! Ta'Illistim Free! Lictor Ardryll Dead!
Tonight a small, mobile strike squad comprised of a wide variety of individuals ventured forth from Ta'Vaalor with King Qalinor and Lord Caylio in an attempt to free Ta'Illistim. Expecting the gate to be watched, they were able to appear within the walls using some bit of magic that the King did not completely understand. Once inside the walls, they searched several areas at the direction of local residents for any clue to the whereabouts of the Argent Mirror. Repeatedly they came up empty and frustrations were beginning to set in when Veythorne manor was suggested. Immediately, undead began pouring in. Tortured souls of the very townspeople attacked. Bravely the group fought through the streets, making their way for the heart of the city, the hanging gardens. Lictor Ardryll was there, bandying words, attacking residents, and espousing his vision for some brave new world full of equality and undead. Many argued with him, pleaded with him to change his ways and surrender Myasara. Even his faithful Overlord Brinret had turned on him and had been serving as a double agent feeding information to the resistance. Things simply went from bad to worse. Threats were made and a zombie overlord was summoned forcing nearly all to cower in fear and retreat. Some discussion was had in favor of avoiding this beastly monstrosity but King Qalinor reminded them that strangely powerful undead roaming the streets simply was not an option. A small group detached and pursued the creature, attacking with all their might. Many fought valiantly as His Majesty landed the killing blow, dropping the abomination. Upon returning to the hanging gardens, the group found many engaged in more debate with Lictor Ardryll. The Lictor was obviously deteriorating as he now held a knife to the Argent Mirror's throat and threatened to kill her to usher in change. As the debate prattled on and on and on, Brinret took it upon himself to take action. Nocking an arrow quickly and surely, he let it fly in one fluid motion. The arrow flew true and struck Lictor Ardryll in his right hand, forcing him to drop the knife and stumble backward, releasing the Argent Mirror. Lord Caylio wasted no time and seized the opportunity to release a blinding stream of liquid fire from his hands, striking Lictor Ardryll full in the chest and engulfing him in a conflagration beyond imagine while leaving the Mirror miraculously unharmed. Lord Ardryll lay dead, the Mirror was safe, Ta'Vaalor was free, Ta'Illistim was free… not a bad week. ~GM Mazreth
With Ta’Vaalor and its king free, the resistance fears that Myasara will be harmed as a consequence. Caylio and Qalinor quickly organize the remaining forces of the resistance, now bolstered by the Crimson Legion, and formulate a plan to free the city of Ta’Illistim and hopefully save Myasara. A small party is assembled to infiltrate the city via the Hall of Patrons using a power granted to members in the Order of Voln. As the party searches the city for Myasara, they come under attack by undead forces. With the plan in ruins, the resistance and Crimson Legion attack the city of Ta’Illistim in the hopes of forcing Ardryll to reveal his hand and force a confrontation whereby he might reveal Myasara’s location.
Ardryll must have felt backed into a corner at this point as he does indeed make an appearance in the Hanging Gardens of Ta’Illistim with Myasara in hand, along with Auvreaian and Brinret. The Mirror had recovered from her unconscious state and implored the assembled forces to disregard her safety and save the citizens of Ta’Illistim in her stead. Auvreaian was still bitter towards Qalinor and his mistreatment at the hands of the Crimson Legion and challenges him to a one on one duel. As all eyes are on the spectacle of Auvreaian versus Qalinor, Brinret takes the opportunity to disappear from view. The contest is a dizzying blur of swordsmanship, but Qalinor succeeds in the end and dispatches the dark elven warrior. Suddenly, an arrow shot from the shadows to strike Ardryll in the chest, causing him to lose his hold on Myasara. Seizing this opportunity, Caylio unleashes a magical onslaught fueled by months of his anger and frustration, reducing the lictor to ash that drifts away in the wind.