The Coalition's War

Chapter 4: The Lost Mines of Karak
And so begins the tale of the true heroes...

For a few months, Overlook knew relative peace. But of course, dear reader, you did not come expecting the tale’s end, did you?

The story continued when a motley trio of adventurers came to the city seeking employment. Among their number were Erdanen, a bard committed to Avandra’s values; Jett the Intimidator, a fearsome genasi swordmage with a skull mask; and a deva invoker of the Raven Queen called Jayne. The three hadn’t worked together for very long, though the bard and the genasi had a bit of shared history before they set out to adventure together. Due to Jett’s mask, Jayne’s beliefs, and Erdanen’s tendency to make merriment in the face of peril, the three agreed to name their group the Death Mockers.

Due to Erdanen’s habit of spreading his companion’s reputations around town through boastful storytelling in bars, it didn’t take too long for their identities to become known to a wealthy dwarf who called on them for their discreet assistance in a private matter.

He introduced himself as Bram Ironfell, a successful merchant whose family had been prominent in Overlook since its founding. He told the adventurers about a weapons merchant named Sarshan who’d recently disappeared, following suspicion of illegal practices and the disappearance of a group of heroes who’d distinguished themselves in the recent siege at Bordin’s Watch. The city had seized some of his warehouses, recovering documents that mentioned Clan Ironfell. After claiming the parchments and doing some research of his own, Bram discovered that they revealed the location of an old mine his family had owned, the Karak Lode. The mine was said to be rich with mithril and other precious metals, but the secret of its whereabouts had been kept so well that when the last bearers of it had died, it became lost to dwarvenkind.

After receiving a thousand gold as up-front payment, the three set out into the desert to find it. It was not easy making their way through the sands and the Thornwaste, and eventually they stopped to rest at a small town named Dunesend… imagine their surprise to find the people being threatened by a gnoll calling himself The Warden, along with his pet behir!

They soundly beat the oppressor, learning from the townsfolk that he served a mysterious queen named Shephatiah, who ruled from within the very heart of the Karak Lode itself! Erdanen reasoned that Bram wouldn’t be pleased to learn that his family’s mine had been claimed by some desert queen, and so they resolved to remove her from the tunnels themselves. Besides, if she and her servants were as monstrous as the Warden, who was to say they couldn’t find a rewards among any enemies they defeated?

They were dismayed to find that a large keep had been built over the mine’s location, and the entrance of the keep was heavily barred. Its defenses were manned by a group of troglodytes, but a well-used teleportation spell by Jett gained them entry. One of the foes even surrendered under the sudden onslaught, and though Jayne maintained that the Raven Queen demanded his death, Erdanen and Jett outvoted him, sending the poor coward out into the desert with a healing potion.

After defeating a few rooms of bandits (aided by Erdanen impersonating one of them), they found the great hall, where a beautiful eladrin woman sat upon a throne, guarded by a pair of overgrown hyenas and several human lackeys. She idenified herself as Shephatiah, commanding the Death Mockers to leave her home or face death… but Jayne was not fooled. She was a decoy, placed so that even the guards would believe she was the real queen. In reality, she was merely a twisted dryad, meant to mislead intruders. The trio dispatched them with sword and spell.

In the basement, they found a row of cells, guarded by a berbalang, a winged humanoid with the limited ability to duplicate itself when threatened. Keeping track of which was the real one was no easy task, and eventually it proved simpler for the heroes to simply power through every last one of the creatures, though they expended much of their strength in doing so. While resting, they discovered a prisoner – an old man with a long white beard, seven yellow canaries flitting about his feet and shoulders.

All attempts to strike up a conversation with the man failed. He merely smiled at anyone who’d talk to him, then go back to whistling and playing with his feathered companions. The Birdman, as Erdanen dubbed him, was strange, but harmless – so the companions let him stay with them while they spent the night in the fortress.

They’d been all through the basement, and couldn’t find the entrance to the mine! The Death Mockers hoped they’d have better luck in the morning, but were rudely awakened by another damned troglodyte leading a group of cavern chokers, horrible humanoids with rubbery arms like tentacles and wide hands filled with spikes, perfect for strangling the life out of victims.

In the confusion of the battle, the party lost track of the Birdman. It was thought that he’d fleed into the wastes through the open portcullis, but upon further investigation, Jayne found a trail of feathers leading back into the basement… and right to a secret door. Could this have been where the mysterious attackers had emerged from?

Troglodytes were the least of their worries once they found the mines. Poisoned dart traps and swarms of bloodweb spiders were no better, but the true threat were the demons wandering about… What was going on!?

The truth came when they reached the deepest chamber, finding the reason why the mine had been lost in the first place, so many years ago. The dwarves had delved straight down to a vein of strange red stone, tainted with energy from the Elemental Chaos. Unearthing too much of it caused a rift to open in the floor, from which the demons had first emerged. But the true Queen Shephatiah (a powerful Naga) had somehow struck an accord with them, and their alliance made her powerful indeed.

It was no easy battle, the Death Mockers trapped on one side of the evil chasm while Shephatiah languished magical thunderstrikes and fell words of wain upon them from a distance, two trident-wielding insectoid creatures called mezzodemons guarding her. Between Jett’s fire, Jayne’s prayers, and Erdanen’s bewitching words, they were able to divide and conquer their foes. The Queen wore a Primordial Ring on her tail, which Erdanen claimed for himself as a prize – it could fool any magic into beleiving that its wearer was an elemental.

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Chapter 3: The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge
Our heroic trio discover the source of Overlook's troubles.

Fed up with Fluffy’s constant disobediance, Bressal Steelhoof decided to sell him to an eccentric stablemaster in Overlook. After he and his companions chained the rage drake to a post outdoors in preparation of showing him to his new owner, the group was beset by the local thieves’ guild – the Lost Ones. After soundly thrashing them, Radir Vazulam asked them why they’d been singled out – as three well-armed mercenaries, they couldn’t possibly have seemed like easy marks. The one they’d left conscious quickly answered that they were hired to retrieve a brass key in the group’s possession. However, the man could give them little more than the employer’s name: Modra.

Bahrash Warsteel suggested asking around about Modra, and soon they were able to uncover some valuable intel: Modra was a dark creeper, working as the front man for an illegal arms dealing operation. Word had it that he’d met with a shadar-kai woman in the past, who seemed to fit the description of Myrissa. If this was true, then it made Modra an individual of great interest.

However, he had covered his tracks well. For all the people the Triage had quizzed, none of them seemed to know where to find him. As luck would have it, the answer sought them. A woman named Reniss caught up to them after overhearing them asking about Modra. She revealed that the Farstriders’ warlock, Jen, was her sister – and that the last thing she’d heard from her was that name, whispered through their set of sending stones.

Though it pained him to do so, Bahrash informed the woman that Jen had perished in the Nexus, her body lost in the boiling water that now sealed it. She was shaken at the news, but it was plain to see that she had expected it, and she took comfort in the fact that at least her remains were safe from the degradation of orcs. In gratitude, she told them about another dark creeper who’d been able to point her towards the Happy Beggar almshouse, Modra’s last known location. He also said that someone else was hunting him, and likely looking to kill him.

The Triage set to work, swiftly locating the Happy Beggar. There, they met the acquaintance of an old man who claimed to have heard of Modra – he was a retired adventurer with experience hunting dark creepers. He cautioned them against making any bargains with him; Modra was just a backstabbing thug who needed to be put down.

Aside from this helpful patron, no one in the joint seemed to know this Modra, so the Triage took matters into their own hands and searched the building top to bottom, finding an underground passage in the cellar. After muscling their way through a swarm of shadowhunter bats and a shadar-kai witch with talents not unlike Myrissa’s (bearing a copy of their brass key), they came upon a room lined with white marble, bearing an arch in its center with swirling darkness within. Modra stood before it, as through trying to activate it.

For Kord! screamed Bressal, but his axe swung too late as the dark creeper seemed to vanish into thin air. He spoke a soft incantation, and in response, the chamber filled with a half-dozen wraiths. The Triage had difficulty splitting their attention between so many combatants, especially since Modra seemed to prefer skirting the edges of the room and letting the shades do his work for him.

The draining touch of the wraiths passed easily through armor and shield, and soon the warriors found themselves in dire straights. Modra offered them an easy out: hand him the key and he would call off the undead. With little other choice, they disregarded the old man’s warning and forked it over, only to watch the smug bastard escape through the arch after using the key to activate it. Luckily, they still had the second key dropped by the witch, so they followed, wrath blurring their vision.

On the other side, they found themselves in an obsidian reflection of the marble shrine, which led out onto a dark hillside. The landscape that greeted them was foreboding indeed: gloom-choked skies, blighted valleys, and a fiery volcano standing astride a mighty keep. Between them and the crimson mountain lay a vast camp swarming with activity, and a smoke-spewing foundry nestled beside it.

As they slowly hiked down a switchback trail, they quickly ascertained that it was a camp of mercenaries, populated with ogres, shadar-kai, dark creepers, and several mortal races. Radir observed that this meant they could easily blend in with the crowd, pretending to just be three more sellswords. The plan worked better than expected, and they easily made their way through the camp, picking up useful tidbits of intelligence from those they spoke with. It seemed that the one they sought worked for a man named Sarshan, at least until he betrayed his employer to make some quick gold by selling weapons to Tusk against his master’s wishes. In the Vale, he often went by the moniker “The Emissary.”

Their first target was the foundry, which they infiltrated through a neglected hole in the eastern wall. As their eyes adjusted to the overwhelming crimson light from the river of magma set in the floor, they beheld a group of shadowgoblins led by Modra himself. The enemies shouted in surprise, quickly turning their attention to the Triage as Modra opened a strange vat on the far wall, freeing a monstrously-sized two-headed boar (as they would later discover, the foundry was devoted to creating creatures, not weapons).

The monster gave Bressal a rough time, but soon enough the heroes learned to use the terrain to their advantage by shoving the beast into the lava. With the toughest of the combatants out of the way, the diminutive Modra was easily dealt with.

One threat was ended, but Sarshan was still a clear and present danger to the Vale, as it was by his authority that Modra had stirred up Sinruth and the Red Hand. After taking a breather, Radir found a secret door in the back of the facility which no doubt led to Sarshan’s keep. The Triage rushed boldly into the fortress, emerging in a library guarded by a small group of elite shadar-kai warriors, completely bewildered at the sudden, unexplained appearance of a minotaur, eladrin, and dragonborn.

One of them activated a trap, and the walls began firing shadowy darts into the room that seemed to pass through the guards harmlessly. Unable to deactivate it, the three decided instead to press onward to the next room, though they had far from eliminated the current group of foes. This proved to be a fatal mistake, as the door they chose led them to a huge dining hall where another handful of guards were eating their supper. Now they had twice as many enemies to deal with! Bressal roared in fury, but even with the Invulnerable Coat, he simply didn’t have the power to oppose so many.

Miraculously, the guards didn’t finish them off. Rather, the heroes were brought to the top of the tallest tower, where Sarshan himself would decide their fate. As they were roused from unconsciousness, they found themselves free from ropes or shackles, and still in possession of all their weapons and gear. However, they were in no shape to fight – it was all they could do to stay awake.

To their amazement, the old man from the tavern walked up, and the shadar-kai guards saluted him. The Triage watched, dumbfounded, as his scarred skin dulled to gray and his eyes became shrouded in shadow. “I am Sarshan,” he said. “I assume someone has an explanation for this?”

One of the guards rattled off a military-style report, listing the areas the Triage had infiltrated, along with the number of dead and wounded. Sarshan’s scowl deepened as he considered the casualties, until Modra was listed among them. He looked upon the three with sudden recognition and wonder.

“You are, quite literally, the last people I ever expected to see here. The charges leveled by my captain warrant torture and death. However, I am told that an episode of sabotage in my foundry appears to have been thwarted, and that the traitorous Modra has been executed by persons unknown. It was you, wasn’t it?”

Sarshan continued, his tone remaining businesslike in spite of his captives’ peril. “As far as you’ve managed to infiltrate my operations, I can only assume you know a little of who I am. My wealth and reputation turn largely on honor, obligation, and secrecy. When I spoke to you of Modra, I hoped you would kill him and save me the risk of more exposure than he had already caused by consorting with those careless orcs. The fact that you journeyed here to do the job is a surprise, but for your part in ending his threat to me and whatever he meant to do in the foundry, I am in your debt. However, for your role in the death of my personal guards, you are more greatly in mine. Here is a bargain that balances the obligation for all of us: join me.”

Even wounded and cornered, Bahrash balked at the offer, wondering why an arms dealer would be so interested in hiring a paladin and his companions.

“Your skill at arms is clearly first rate. I offer you a place to use and advance that skill. Moreover, I offer you a place where you might live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your bravery. In a month, or six, or a year, your world will be a place you will not want to live. Join me here instead.”

Radir furrowed his brow, his emerald eyes betraying the fear in him upon hearing Sarshan’s words. “I know of no troubles that extend beyond Elsir Vale. What is this ill fate that you portend for the entire world?”

The villain placed his hands behind his back, pacing as he deflected the warlord’s question. “Though I am nicely positioned to take advantage of these things, I know relatively little yet. What I do know, I cannot share for professional reasons, but trust me when I say that you do not want to know. Name your choice, friends.”

Bressal spoke for everyone when he spat at the arms dealer’s feet.

Sashan’s dark eyes blazed, but he smiled as he shook his head. “Your conviction is to be commended. A pity it failed you in the end.” Then suddenly, an ear-splitting explosion shook the tower. Near the eastern side of the chamber, one of Sarshan’s guards shouted that the foundry was in flames! In the end, Modra’s attempt at sabotage was successful, though slow to act.

The guards began running about, Sarshan all but ignoring the Triage as he barked orders. One group was sent to the foundry, and another received orders to keep the mercenary camps under control. Sarshan ordered a last squad of chainfighters with him as he moved for the lift. In the confusion, the trio summoned the last of their strength and struggled to their feet, drawing their weapons.

Before leaving, Sarshan caught a glimpse of the Triage. He knew by the look in their eyes they would end his schemes or perish in the attempt. With a sigh of frustration, he interposed his lieutenant, Thannu (and his two pet panthers), between himself and his would-be executioners. With a voice as cold as midnight, he called out, “If I was as cruel as my reputation implies, I would send you back to watch your world die. Be thankful that I am merciful. Thannu: kill them.”

Elsewhere, an elderly man washed a set of dishes. Pelor preserve me, he thought, I never would’ve thought it’d be so hard to look after the poor before I came here. He thought of his adventuring days (now long behind him), and how serving the cause of goodness and mercy seemed so much simpler with a sword than it did with a ladle. Still, he and his wife were far too old these days to be much good as paladins. Running the Happy Beggar in their retirement was far from relaxing in a city so choked with poverty, but it was the right thing to do.

The man’s wife appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. “Prashant?” she called.

“Yes, Ausma?”

“Our guests tell me that three armed men came in here earlier?”

Prashant thought for a moment. “Ah, that’s right. I saw them earlier. Nice folk, however scary they looked. They just talked with one of the old vets, that’s all.”

Ausma put her hands on her hips. “Well they’re saying they went into the basement!”

“Rubbish! Why would they go down there? We put a sign up…”

“Just go down there and make sure they didn’t steal anything! You know as well as I do that you can’t trust everyone who comes in here!”

Prashant threw down the dishcloth in exasperation and hurried to check the cellar, if only to appease his wife. As he brought his old, flickering lantern down the stairs, he glanced around, quickly deciding that everything was still in its proper place. But just as he turned to leave, he saw the door that used to lead to the sub-basement hanging open.

“Odd. Should be locked up,” he muttered to himself. When Prashant and Ausma first bought the building from its previous owners, they’d been told that an earthquake long ago had sealed up that passage, and indeed the door seemed to hide nothing more than a short hallway ending in a great pile of rocks when first they’d opened it. Prashant chuckled to himself as he tried to imagine why three mercenaries would possibly want to sneak into his basement just to have a look at the dead-end under his establishment. “Probably thought they’d found themselves a dungeon!” he laughed, thinking of his younger days when no call to adventure needed to make sense. To satisfy his curiosity, he shined the light one more time into the disused tunnel, only to be confronted with the impassable pile of rubble. Same as always, he thought, closing the door and locking it.

It was too bad that Prashant’s lantern was too dim, and his eyes too old to see the secret door standing slightly ajar not fifteen feet from his nose. If he had, perhaps the people of the Vale would know of the Triage’s story, and how they made the ultimate sacrifice to keep the Elsir Vale safe. Thanks to them, Modra was slain, the foundry was destroyed, and the mercenary camp scuttled.

Sarshan’s goals were shattered, but his campaign against the Vale was not over.

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Chapter 2: Siege of Bordin's Watch
An orcish horde approaches from the west.

With six of the seven hostages rescued from the Rivenroar crypts, the Triage were content to stay in Brindol for a time and bask in the gratitude of its villagers. The call of battle, however, proved too hard for them to resist. It seemed that the ugly rumors of orc armies gathering west of the Stonehome Mountains proved terribly real, and the dwarves of Overlook were putting out a call for militias and mercenaries to assemble at Bordin’s Watch, an ancient stronghold that blocks the only pass through the mountains.

Upon arriving in Overlook, the three were summoned to speak with High Ancestor Cadrick, along with several other similar groups of adventurers. Among them were such illustrious groups as the Freeriders, the Farstriders, the Green Hand, the Company of Wolves, the Slayers, and others. Much to the surprise of Bahrash, Shiv was present, having been recruited to the Farstriders. He and Bressal were all to eager to pay him back for his betrayal, but Radir stayed their axes, explaining in his droning voice that all of them would need to act united to keep the orc hordes from crossing the Stonehome and reaching the Elsir Vale.

Cadrick explained that most of them were to be led to the fortress to bolster its defenses, but the two most experienced groups would be assigned special tasks. According to dwarven scouts, many orc advance parties had already crossed the mountains, bypassing Bordin’s Watch through a series of underground tunnels (both natural and of dwarven make) called the Vents that had fallen into disuse. Cadrick surmised that the enemy had discovered an entrance to the tunnels on the far side of the mountains, and if the army was led through it, Overlook would surely be crushed, followed by the rest of the Vale.

To eliminate this threat, the elder explained that the entrances on the Vale’s side of the mountains had to be sealed. One was located in the deepest levels of the chambers under the Monastery of the Sundered Chain, a place of prayer and martial discipline erected after the dwarves won their freedom from the giants long ago. Another was below Bordin’s Watch itself, and was soon to be sealed. Many other smaller entrances existed, though, and the only way to be sure the tunnels were secure was to activate a fail-safe the dwarves had built generations ago: the Nexus. A complicated device designed to flood the tunnels with perpetually-boiling water, it would ensure the Vents would never fall into the hands of the orcs.

For their numerous exploits, including the slaying of a young black dragon, the task of sealing the Nexus was given to the Farstriders. For their work in Brindol, the Triage were ordered to warn the Monastery of the coming horde, and order the tunnel below it sealed. Megan Swiftblade of the Freeriders seethed that her group was not to be given a chance for glory, and marched to Bordin’s Watch with envy in her heart.

The Triage expected little trouble in what the expected would amount to an errand run. All they had to do was warn the Monastery, while the real fighting raged without them in the mountain pass. Upon arriving, however, they saw the monastery’s courtyard occupied by orcs, cooking limb-shaped haunches of dwarf meat over open bonfires. Radir gave a war cry, and the three battled their way through the surprised defenders and into the Hall of Moradin. There, an orcish witch doctor had desecrated the altar, but soon paid for it with a fatal blow from Bressal’s axe.

After many skirmishes with scattered savages, they at last reached the lowest chamber, where a mighty fire blazed among the ruined forgeworks. A still-living dwarf was being throttled by an orog – the unusually clever offspring of an orc and an ogre. The Triage slew it and all the orcs that remained, but the dwarf’s injuries were beyond Radir’s ability to repair. With his dying breaths, Kalad made the Triage swear to make certain that the Nexus was activated.

Following the trail of the Farstriders, the Triage navigated the labyrinthine passages of the Vents until they discovered a long-abandoned complex of dwarven make. The place was crawling with orcs, and as they made their way to the central room, they encountered the conniving Shiv standing over the body of Jen, one of the Farstriders.

When questioned as to the motives of his new betrayal, Shiv would only say that he was looking for a way home, and his new employer was the easiest way to get there. Bressal swore that this battle would be Shiv’s last, and pursued the cowardly rogue throughout the room, to the exclusion of all other foes. He left the business of slaying the orcish minions and their fire beetle pets to his compatriots. After a bloody brawl, Shiv seemed to succumb to his wounds and collapse, vanishing into a dark mist. Aside from the bloodstains, all he left behind was a strange brass key.

After camping out inside a room resembling a shrine to Moradin, the Triage pressed on to the final room to gaze the Nexus in its entirety: a huge column of sturdy pipes and valves funneling magma from deep below the mountain to heat a huge supply of water. A ten-foot-wide catwalk wound the circumference of the chamber housing it, bigger than any building in Overlook. As they ascended, yet another party of orc raiders spilled from various side entrances, ladders, and hatches scattered throughout the room and moved to block the catwalk. Among them was Tusk, leader of the orc hordes, and his consort, a shadar-kai witch by the name of Myrissa.

Bahrash and Bressal held off the orcs, allowing Radir to make a run for the control panel that would activate the Nexus. Halfway there, Radir turned to see the mighty Tusk fell both of his comrades with a single blow, laughing heartily as his servants stepped over their dying bodies to murder the lone eladrin. With a clear route to the control panel, Radir hesitated. He knew the importance of his mission, but could not bear the thought of living if it meant leaving his new friends to die. With a howl that few could match, he charged down the catwalk and into the vastly superior orog warrior, shattering his defenses and inspiring unrealized vitality in his nearly-dead compatriots. That single act turned the tide of the fight, and the three managed to slay Tusk and all of his followers.

As the last orc lay bleeding, the three activated the Nexus and flooded the tunnels, leaving through a long-forgotten escape hatch. The vents were sealed forever, and the Vale was safe – for the time being.

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Chapter 1: Rescue at Rivenroar
The story begins in a town called Brindol

In a humble little tavern known as the Antler and Thistle, three warriors shared a table and their tales of battle. Their names were Radir Vazulam, a proud warrior from the Feywild; Bahrash Warsteel, a zealous paladin of Bahamut; and Shiv, a ruthless rogue with ties to the Shadowfell. They made an unlikely trio, but for the moment at least, they enjoyed each others’ company.

In the middle of their meal, a group of hobgoblin grunts bearing swords and shields burst through the front door, shouting, “For ”/campaigns/coalition/characters/65556" class=“wiki-content-link”>Sinruth! For the Hand!" Radir shouted a war cry, and Bahrash charged forth while Shiv slunk around behind. So began the first few steps on the road to war.

The three handily defeated the hobgoblins, as well as an ogre outside pulling a wagon filled with alchemical explosives. For their valor, they were summoned to the home of city councilman, Eoffram Troyas. He wished to thank them for saving the village of Brindol, but he found himself unable to look Shiv in the eye after realizing the dragonborn had crawled down his chimney rather than walk through the front door with his two friends. Reluctantly, Troyas asked them if they were interested in a job: seven people had been kidnapped in the raid they’d fought off, and he would reward anyone with the skills and bravery necessary to see them home safely while punishing the hobgoblins in the process. They fought under the sign of the Red Hand, but they were just a imitating a much larger force from the town’s history that had been wholly destroyed years ago.

Shiv was unimpressed by the deal, and decided that robbing his would-be allies that night would be much more profitable. Bressal Steelhoof, a wandering mercenary minotaur, caught him in the act. Despising the rogue’s lack of honor, he attacked on the spot, rousing Radir and Bahrash in the process. In the end, Bressal took Shiv’s place, and the three began to call themselves The Triage.

Together, they descended into the Rivenroar family crypts and rescued six of the seven hostages and reclaimed several relics that the raiders had seized from Brindol’s Hall of Great Valor, a museum dedicated to the heroes who protected the town from the Red Hand of Doom ten years ago. They also managed to defeat their leader, a hobgoblin named Sinruth, in a battle so impressive that Bressal found his armor blessed by Kord – it had taken the form of a relic known as the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd. Troyas praised them for their efforts, and rewarded them fairly. In addition, Bressal had managed to half-tame a rage drake that he named “”/campaign/coalition/wikis/pets" class=“wiki-page-link”> Fluffy."

Among the relics they’d recovered was an ornate platinum longsword. Clearly crafted for ceremonial purposes, it didn’t look like it would hold together if used in battle. Radir could sense no magic within it, but he could not have realized it held something much more important, as would become apparent in Chapter 5: Den of the Destroyer.

Victory belonged to the Triage, but their journey was not done. On the body of Sinruth, they found a note from a mysterious individual calling himself “The Emissary.” In it, he promised Sinruth glory and plunder if he took the initiative to resurrect the Red Hand use it to terrorize the Elsir Vale. Who was this person, and what would they stand to gain from encouraging this warband to raze Brindol?

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