By Sigrunn (Adam F.)
Udoroth and I left Griffon’s Roost nearly a week after returning from the rescue of Marchwarden Ainsley to meet with our good friends Krolan and Lianna, along with the aging Ser Martius, to track down the source of the Gnolls in the north. We gathered at Great Scale Village, where we encountered several Lizardfolk of good acquaintance and after exchanging greetings we went to see Vecca. She had finished with the supplies I had brought her several weeks ago and gave me two full potions of hill giant strength for my trouble. Lianna was present as she had been talking to the Shamaness about the strange properties of the saddle bags that were around her companion animal Cinder.
Once we left there we picked up Krolan at the smithy, which really looked like a proper smith now, and headed off to meet Martius who was (im)patiently waiting at the north gate. He has yet to become comfortable around the lizardfolk, though he knows that they are good and honorable allies.
We went north, bending slightly west. We walked into the plains, along the edge of the desert that it borders and were rapidly engulfed in a sandstorm. Our visibility was reduced to barely beyond the ends of our arms and I was soon wincing from the sand gathering in my mail. We camped when we deemed it night and waited for the dawn as the storm abated.
In the morning we noticed mounds of sand around us, like bumps on the ground. We dug one out to find a, I don’t want to call it a corpse, but a gnoll like creature that seemed to have never actually been alive. It had a strange sword sticking out of it’s back of a design none of us had ever seen. I took the sword hoping that I may be able to have it identified. If not in the Fort, then hopefully when I go to Sanctus after we return.
We continue north once we determine that we can learn nothing more from this strange gnoll like creature. After a few hours we come across an obelisk sticking some 30 feet out of the sand. Udoroth and Krolan are nearly horrified by the object. Apparently they have discovered these obelisks before, each of the others were tied to one of the hags that used to rule the lands we now settle. Could this mean that there is a fourth Hag? We dug out around its base and found what appeared to be the symbol for wind on the north face. We dug down far enough that Krolan and I with our knowledge of stone were able to determine that the base was hollow and likely had a cavern of several hundred feet in size below it. We couldn’t locate a doorway of ny type and were about to leave when a Wyvern landed atop the obelisk. I attempted to communicate, though I don’t know why as they do not speak, when it slid a slight ways down and attacked Udoroth.
Freya forgive my haste but we responded in kind. We rapidly beat the beast to the point where it fled but not before Cinder pounded and removed it’s tail and stinger. It flew north, the direction we were heading and we headed after it. We hoped that maybe it laired in an entrance to the cavern below the obelisk and had attacked us to defend it’s home. Giving chase did us no good, despite the monster’s wounds it outflew our hasty speed. We didn’t realize until after it was gone that it was of the same skin coloring as the winged being that had blessed us weeks ago.
We soon came to a river, what would be the southeastern fork of the Black River and decided to turn west towards Proximus Flumen and the long ago meteor strike. We were unprepared for what we would soon see.
As we headed west we noticed smoke rising into the sky. Udoroth thought it was coming from where the city stood. We doubled our efforts to find a crossing and soon saw gnoll corpse in the river near a sturdy stone bridge of elven make. (I will admit that Krolan and I joked about elves and stonework) As we drew closer the sky shaded red and the number of gnoll corpse began to rise, along with the occasional Dragonborn. We soon topped a hill and saw into the valley where our destination sat and had to pause. There were thousands upon thousands of gnoll corpses in the valley. Piles standing twenty feet high pressed against the city walls. Dead dragonborn littered the field as well, hundreds of them dead. Smoke rose from within the walls and from corpse mounds that had been set alight by magic.
The Gnoll attacks to the south were nothing. The raid against the Great Scales was a diversion. This was where they were focussed. This explained the Centurion being away from Black River Island when the Treaty was made. An army of gnolls in the north, an army of Orcs in the west. Our home was being overrun by creatures aligned with abyssal forces. We had to get into the city and learn what we could.
We soon spotted people upon the walls who flagged us around to the far gate. We explained who we were and demanded our rights as stated in our treaty only to learn that the treaty had yet to be brought north and therefore was not binding upon them. However, in the interest of peace and offered aid they told us what they could. None of it was good.
To begin, the Centurion is dead. She fell defending her people against the gnoll invasion. The citizens of the city were sent north, deeper into the empire, only a dwindling force of soldiers and mages remained. Krolan and I offered to heal as many of their people as we could and were sent to the infirmary to give aid. Afterward a soldier was brought to us to explain how this war began.
He told us that some months ago one of their lieutenants was leading a patrol to the south when they saw some stars moving in the sky and three meteors fell near their camp. Gnolls crawled out of the impact sites and were immediately killed by the dragonborn soldiers. Returning home with this news they soon found themselves under attack as more of these stars fell unleashing hundreds of the monsters around the city. It rapidly became a fight for survival as every few days more meteors fell and more gnolls appeared. They fought and fought but have reached a point where they know that without something stopping these events, they will soon be crushed under the limitless numbers of their enemy.
We thanked them for the information and asked to speak with the scholars here in the morning. We were tired and needed rest. The next morning we went to the great library in the center of the city to speak with someone who could help us. We were directed to the scholar Sila who was the understudy to The Ancient Knowledge - who was currently in BRI. Sila was not very interested in us until we started telling tales. Apparently we had knowledge and experiences that made him rather eager to help.
The gnolls, we learned, are spawn of the the demon Yeenoghu. A creature of killing and destruction, like most demons, that exists solely for the kill. It cannot be bargained with, only banished by a devil, or a god.
By the mention of a god we told him of our encounter with the Elk Rider, which set Sila off on another search. He brought us a book called “The Telling of the Warning”. Apparently the Rider was the god Helm who was warning us to run because of the coming Blood War.
We gave him the knowledge of the orcs fortifying the Long Claw village and the Harbinger.
He was able to add that in and informed us that the Harbinger is a servant of the Demon Lord Baphomet who is out to destroy the Demon Lord Demigorgon. The only way to stop the Blood war is to make a deal with a devil. Most likely an Archdevil, such as Bael or Zariel, as they are the only things besides a god that can oppose a Demon Lord. Silas was actually suggesting that we make a deal the the devil.
This was a lot to take in. We thanked Silas for his information and left his tower. We returned to our point of entry and made plans to visit the camp where the gnolls had first appeared. They were willing and able to provide us with a guide, a Copper Dragonborn named Erolad who was the only surviving member of the patrol that had been at the camp.
We headed south and reached the camp site near the end of the day. The camp was undisturbed aside from the craters the gnolls had sprung from. We spent the night in the camp. During first watch Krolan awoke us to see a golden masked Goshu circle overhead on a giant bird. The goshu didn’t land but watched us before flying away. We knew of a golden masked Goshu from those who had been in the Temple of Gahaelyn a month ago, but don’t know if this is the same warrior.
In the morning we sent our companion home with knowledge of our plans. Ser Martius would head to BRI and inform the Senator of the situation at home, I would go to Fort Providence and share my news. Krolan and Lianna would return to Great Scale Village to tell them the news and to try and learn why the Deep Breaths and Shimmerscale seem to be visiting there so frequently. Udoroth returned with me but did not share his plans with me.
Now that I have gotten out the word I am off to Sanctus. I will see what I can learn about this threat, Demons, Devils, Gods, Orcs, Gnolls and this sword. I will fit that in with getting new armor and facing my parents. I hate to abandon my friends now but Freya is pushing me in this direction and I cannot refuse my goddess. In my absence may she watch over all of those who face this threat and the terror of the red dragon who will soon be at our door.
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast