Eberron: The Mourning After

She Never Sleeps
End of Chapter 2

The heroes return to Laitam, the Ogre Mage, and his troops with their spoils from the trials. Laitam reveals that the party has one last task before them, though the choice of how to proceed is up to them. Go on to Graywall to collect Tiburon, who was sent to wait for someone, or stop an encroaching threat up on the city, itself. The party becomes divisive, some members certain that pursuit of Tiburon is their top priority, while others feel obligated to save Graywall from whatever fate befalls it.

During their discussion, Laitam informs the party that they have been offered a “gift” from the Daughters of Sora Kell, and a treasure will be waiting for them back home depending on what it is they most desire. Kolt wishes for tools for his trade, Elsbeth asks for an answer or solution to her Primal Scar, Maki loftily dreams of World Peace (or candy), Eldritch wishes for greater command over the dead, Navir wishes to empower Necessity further, and Karne seeks the ability to punish the wicked. As the party makes their desires known, but linger on the subject of where to direct their efforts, the Daughters of Sora Kell arrive, to personally thank them for their efforts. Sora Katra reveals that there are no good choices though a choice should still be made, and that deviation from two ordained paths, while unique, may yield results no one is happy with.

They finally come to an arrangement with Viral, whom they send ahead to keep watch on Tiburon and prevent him from leaving, while they assess and deal with whatever trouble is headed in the direction of the city. What waits for them, however, is both a new threat, and an old face. Leading a small but dangerous Quori force, the warforged Armigus engages the heroes on an open battlefield. Turning party members against each other, threatening their very sanity with Quor psionics, and wielding overwhelming firepower, Armigus is eventually defeated by the heroes. His last words before going inert, however, are cryptic, boasting only “She never sleeps.”.

The party moves on to Graywall to see what progress Viral has made and find a bloodbath waiting for them and panic in the streets. A bloodsoaked and paranoid Viral springs out on the party, but they’re able to bring him back to his senses. He reveals that there were Quori agents stashed among the refugees, many stolen in from the Drooam countryside. The party begins to connect that these may be some of the slaves that Nine had been taking before, and begin to see a bigger plot unfold as a result. Tiburon, on the other hand, has already escaped to his ship, informing the party that putting him in the same location as Elsbeth would be courting with misfortune, as her scar gives Asherat knowledge of her surroundings, and seeing Tiburon would bring the Cloud of Darkness down on all their heads sooner than expected. For now, aboard the Devil’s Due, he can continue to mask his presence until Elsbeth has dealt with her primal scar, and Tiburon is in better fighting shape. For now, the party takes their victories, and trek back to Xen’drik for some well-earned rest.

The Onus is On You
Get Yourself High

The party overtakes the Trial of Vision with minor casualties, after defeating a gang of Medusa, their Dire Cockatrice companions, as well as Dracolisk, and their leader Onus, a horrifying Medusa-Cyclops half-breed. With the help of Elsbeth, several party members are cured of their petrification, in addition to a handful of petrified prisoners. With the Eye of Stone in their possession, the party buckles down for the evening and rests, before returning to Laitam with their spoils in exchange for Tiburon.

I Got Stoned Once
Visions of Failed Fort Saves

The party managed to defeat Nine, the Maleficarum, but with no insight into what she was collecting slaves for. The party could tell that many people were moved through the area they encountered Nine and her Dolgrim vanguard, but could not identify clues as to where they went and for what purpose. After making camp, they went on to Cazhaak Draal to finish their final trial, the Trial of Vision.

On the outskirts of the ruins of Cazhaak Draal, they found hundreds of ruined stone figurines, and began to deduce that whatever they would encounter, might have the power to petrify. Faced with the option of a full frontal assault, or a more nuanced approach, the part opted for the cover of nightfall and subtlety to catch their foes off guard. Upon entering, the party used stealth and found an entrenchment of Medusa and Dire Cockatrice patrolling the area.

I've Got a Bone to Chew With You
The Gnolls Have Nine

The heroes locate the Bonechewer main camp and are treated to a curious display of hospitality. Rather than fight, the leader of the gnolls, Marrow, wishes to parlay the lives of his gang for information. He identifies a maleficent employer who has put the gnolls to the task of rounding up slaves, and with this person out of the picture, the gnolls can leave that part of their portfolio behind them. Eldritch attempts to persuade them to give up their life of crime and turn a new leaf, but to no avail.

The party is not completely trusting, but take Marrow at his word. He points out where they can locate the Maleficarum, in a failed settlement that never had a chance and so lie in ruin. During the exchange, Elsbeth realizes that Marrow is not in fact a larger than average gnoll, but a dire werewolf, and an anti-paladin on top of that. She keeps this information for herself, not wanting to alarm the party, and the group set out before sundown to engage with the malefactor that has been using the Bonechewers.

The unnamed thorpe plays host to a small group of Dolgrim, as well as Warped Ones, the footsoldiers of The Cloud of Darkness. During the fight, the villain makes her presence known; another Shadow of Keshava. This time, it is Nine, the Maleficarum, purged of her invisibility as she hovers above the party with wings made of Eberron shards.

By Blood and Bone
By Hook and Crook

The Part has completed the Epic of Fury, destroying Quern Braxx’s, the Chimaera Matron, and her brood. Reporting back to Amuun about their success, she rewards them with riches from her vault before leaving to join her king across the valley.

Satisfied with their own handiwork, the party rests up before setting out for their final test, the Trial of Vision. Along the way, they spot a gnolls raiding party escorting prisoners and set upon them. The fight is brief but hey realize they are now in Bone Gnasher territory and discuss either completing their trial, or taking a detour to the Bone Gnasher camp and ending their slaving ways.

Worried about a power vacuum, they ultimately decide a short term solution is worth the long term risks and set out to crush the gnolls.

We'll Burn That Bridge When We Cross It
A Simple Case of Foot-in-Mouth-Syndrome

The party concludes their trial in the Ordeal of Agony, when they slay the master of the cavern, Yulhotei, Sultan of the Burning Flesh. A gargantuan aboleth wreathed in flame, it attemps to melt away the party’s defenses with its otherworldly powers, but is no match for their combined might. They claim an elemental saturation, the Heart of Fire, and the treasure from the cavern and make camp. Viral attempts to ease the tension between him and Karne, but finds the cleric’s righteousness impassable and abandons further interactions.

The party proceeds onward to the next trial, the Epic of Fury. Upon arriving, they must travel through a small vale, where they encounter the Sphinx, Ambra. She attempts to engage them in one of the Sphinx’s famed riddles, but is cut short when Eldritch threatens that death and destruction are forthcoming if she attempts to confound them. Unamused, she pounces and the party stands back as Eldritch is forced to deal with the mess he’s created for himself. He manages to remove her as a threat, by banishing her to the outer ring of Eberron, and Elsbeth is forced to bring Ambra back. With pride wounded, the Sphinx attempts to end all further interactions, possibly forfeiting the party’s chance to complete the trial. She is made pliant, however with Maki’s childish riddles, and Elsbeth’s arcane conundrums.

Ambra tasks the party with slaying her sister, Amuun, who lives in the valley beyond, so The Queen, can lay claim to her territory, and Ambra can move in after her mate. The party decide to investigate Amuun and pass judgement when they have enough info. Upon entering Amuun’s layer, she is aware of why they have arrived and immediately tests them with queries about morality and wickedness. Satisfied with their answers, she provides them an alternative task- to slay The Queen and rid the land of her presence.

Now thoroughly perplexed, the party sets out further into the vale to investigate the queen and immediately fall into combat with a brood of chimera, Prince Shivataar, a legendary chimera, and Queen Brax’is, a legendary chimera brood mother.

The Forge of Evil
How the Party Got a Totally Sweet Tan

The party takes a moment to gather their wits when they reach the Ordeal of Agony. Accosted immediately upon entering with sweltering heat and shifting shadows, they protect themselves from the inevitable fire damage and slay their way through hordes of Salamanders.

Elsbeth and Asha spot a creature of horrific proportions, the likes of which they’ve never encountered before and Elsbeth sets about trying to corral it away from the party. She finds out that it is merely an illusion, and deduces the actual threat yet remains.

Kolt frees a bevvy of slaves from a fire elemental captor, but when the rest of the party catch up, they reveal their hideous outsider forms and continue the assault.

A Land of Adventure (?)
Welcome to the Wasteland

The party has prepared to follow Alodi’s directions towards where Tiburon has gone, but are immediately intercepted by a force of trolls and an ogre mage, named Laitam. Laitam informs the party that Tiburon is in the custody of the Daughters of Sora Kell, and is being kept as “an honored guest”. He will be relinquished once the party is able to prove their mettle, cunning, and versatility in a series of trials, each meant to provide a reward that the party will bring back to Laitam as proof of their success. Begrudgingly, and with unsuccessful appeals to bypass such trials, the party sets out to overcome the Trial of Vision, the Ordeal of Agony, and the Epic of Fury. Their clues are cryptic and are only given locations, and so they set out to do what they must to get their pirate prince back.


Black Flag Over Silver Waters
What Do You Kick In When There Are No Doors?

Riot revealed to the party that their quarry has fled to Droaam, the unironically named “Monster Nation”, which is ruled by three Hag sisters, the Daughters of Sora Kell. Karne takes a hard stance against the evil that lives within the party, making it known that he will not tolerate villainy in his presence, and offers them the chance to repent, cowing the Bloodess, and earning contempt from Viral in response. During this time, Kolt decides to take Viral with them, in the hopes of both keeping their promise to him, and appeasing his bloodlust. Elsbeth has come no closer to the secret of her Primal Scar, even with Æoriel’s help, but her journal has begun to fill in information again, though it is expectantly cryptic.

Once in Droaam, the party makes their first stop in Graywall, where they cash out one of Riot’s favor tokens. They are almost immediately greeted by the mayor of Graywall, Xor’chylic, an ilithid. Despite his chilly presence, he invites the group to his estate to discuss their business in private, and insodoing, he reveals to them information that will put them on TIburon’s trail. The party says their thanks, and prepare for the journey north to Silver Lake, that quadresects Droaam, Breland, Aundair, and the Eldeen Reaches. True to Xor’chylic’s word, the heroes find the Devil’s Due, Tiburon’s flagship, moored near the shore. Karne deduces it best to seize control of the bridge, and without further discussion, Elsbeth, Navir, and Kolt leap overboard to assault the dreadnought. The the bulk of the crew are ordered below deck the three heroes still engage with the two shipdeck officers, First Mate Alodi Atu’A’Hwah, a water kineticist naiad, and Boatswain Raemora Lowe, a fire kineticist ifrit. The three heroes find the two hardy and strong, but attempt to defuse the battle when they realize a more peaceful resolution can be found.

Alodi lets the party know she’s been tracking Tiburon’s movements on shore, and knows his approximate distance and direction.

A Return to Form
Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love a Pirate

With the last of their loose ends currently tidied up, the party returned to find another legendary hero waiting for them. While they were wrapped up in their own troubles, they didn’t realize that back in Zilargo, there was another hero who was working beside them.

Karne brings his Iron Legion to the guild hall and offers his services and his troop strength to the cause to root out evil. While the threats surrounding the party are still numerous, two goals have not changed; finding Tiburon, and stopping Asherat. While the latter is more nebulous, the former may be obtainable as they give Riot the okay to start seeding Khorvaire with funds, in attempt to buy out Tiburon’s location. Several months have passed, and they finally have a lead….


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