Though a tough fought and perilous battle, the party managed to defeat the Remorhaz but with a loss of a dear friend, Rosco, the bard. The party scavenges what it can, but otherwise moves on after burying their friend and completing last rites.
The journey takes them up and along a trail that runs next to the tallest cliffs seen by them. The water below appears to be barely move as it crashes and crushes the ice against the stone. The weather causes them to move more slowly and camp more often to get warm again. After the Remorhaz encounter, it takes about another week in which the sword longingly attempts to press them faster to arrive home before they encounter something else. The deep snow slows them down greatly.
Arriving at what the sword tells them is home, they see a abandoed fortress of sorts. The snow hangs on large arches and covers staircases that lead further up leading to massive stone walls and a large iron door. As they progress further, they are suddenly surrounded on four sides by a men in cloaks with a pieces of the cloth a dull yellow. The men stand with their sleeves touching their hands underneath. Their faces obsurced by the windy snow and a large hood.
The party and the monks converse briefly until they are satisfied that the party are truthful and bring them up the side of the mountain to the large monastery on top.
Inside the monastery, the weather is quite warm. In the center is a boiling geyser that has a number of pipes that lead all around that have the water flowing through it keeping the floors warm as the monks walk barefoot through some snow then onto the heated stones. The beds all have several pipes as well and after walking around, you spot a total of four geysers that this occurs with. The monks will lead you to a main chamber where a large, clockwork creature sits meditating in complete silence and it seems that this room does not have the geyser’s warmth being pumped through it thus giving it an glass-like icy floor and the feeling of being heated only from the other sources nearby. About a dozen other monks are sitting behind him in a semi-circle, meditating. Rimcus is with the party, moves forward and introduces the party to him.
The creature speaks with a loud, thunderous voice, the mouth of the creature shifts then in a booming voice speaks, though he has yet to open his eyes converses with the party about their adventure. When presented with the sword, it retells much of what is has been doing over the last few hundred years with both Vixtor and the party. Though it seems to be more excited about what it has done with the party and speaks greatly of them.
Through further discussion with the creature, he gives his name of Lusik and the previous leader of the Sol Sanctum, Lord Tidaul Songseer. He then provides them with pieces of history about this world that should prove useful going through it.
Order of the Sol Sanctum:
Was initially run by an elf from Theikon named Lord Tidual Songseer a long time ago. A bard first and cleric second, he was instrumental in uniting those that had common goals but were sworn enemies. He established the order under Pelor as he always found he had great strength under the sun over of the moon and believed that Pelor had blessed him with it. Using the power invested from Pelor, he assisted the god with many things and is believed to have assisted with him becoming a full fledged god of the pantheon.
During the war with the Ashdor Empire, Lord Tidual thought it was right for the Order to assist in the overthrow of the lich king. Tidual used his powerful band of followers as a strike force for the Wizard Amerys and his quest to overthrow the lich king. The strike force proved to be very successful in defeating powerful allies of Ashdor and weakened his overall powerbase under the Wizard Amerys could finally lead the final assault.
Lusik had already joined the Order by that time after his encounter with the legion in the Mirewood Forest which Tidual had witnessed.
During the final assault, Tidual was mortally wounded by the lich king and Ashdor took the soul of Tidual and hid it away. Lusik took lead and with the Wizard Amerys they were able to successfully defeat the lich king, Ashdor. Lusik then wandered the new lands for nearly a half century destorying any and all of Ashdor’s previous allies, destroying many artifacts or securing them away and reclaiming many lands for the Wizard and the people. Finally though, he was found and asked by several monks of the Order to return and maintain the Order of the Sol Sanctum should it ever be needed again.
Lusik agreed and has since guided the paths of the Order of the Sol Sanctum. While he doesn’t directly follow Pelor as Tidual did, he did see the power of Tidual possessed and believes that perhaps Pelor does watch over the Order assisting as he can.
The Kingdom Below was the opposing force to the Order of the Sol Sanctum. They were a clan of Vampires that had pledged allegience with the lich king, Ashdor. He used them as a devastating strike force against the heroes and the Wizard Amerys. They were even nearly successful in an assassination attempt against the Wizard. During the assassination, the leader of the clan and right hand of Ashdor, however, was captured by the Wizard Amerys. After some powerful mind affecting magic, the Wizard Amerys was able to launch his final assault using the vampire leader as a way inside the castle. Ashdor learned of the traitorous acts of the vampire leader, attempted to destroy him. The vampire came to and saw his Lord attacking him and struck back in defense and nearly ended Ashdor’s life again himself before the Wizard Amerys interceded to finish and destory Ashdor. It is believed that the sword that the vampire used was forged by the lich lord himself and the dark magic contained may have been the only thing capable of hurting him. It is believed to have been locked away when the Order came after the clan in the mountain.
History, Creation (Bane Weapon):
Dragons were the first beings created on Valcia and some very powerful ancient dragons obtained some manor of divine rank before the rest of the world was populated by the gods. There are some texts that write that dragons not gods created many of the races and that some dragons are believed to be the sole progentior of several races.
Lusik suggests that perhaps finding and killing this god/dragon could be enough to slay the entire race. However, he would not be entirely sure. Though it would have to be someone quite powerful in order to destroy one of these ancient dragons. He’d guess that it would have to be a rival dragon. He would suggest that is Ashdor was able to find a way back in, he would be powerful enough.
After some further discussions with Lusik about other matters, he informs them that they will be provided accommodation while they remain here until tomorrow when he can prepare the necessary materials to send them home along with the monks to the Cavern of Sorrows.
Asking politely for a reward, Lusik tells them that they do not have much in the ways of monetary value, however, the story of your lost comrade burdens me to provide you with a replacement. A powerful monk named Crag Stonefist will assist you in your journey to what is right.
However, as RE sees the cleric again, he’d notice something about her neck that no one seems to have noticed before. The only reason he notices, if well other than the normal reasons, is because there is a silver butterfly necklace that he’d recall his mother wearing from time to time. He also remember that your father had it specially crafted for her and used to hide little love notes to her in it. Perhaps one of the reasons his mother kicked him out. He knows that it has to be folded a specific way to unlock the secret. Inside is a roll of paper that seems to be from Tevin, RE’s father, at least so its signed.
“RE, if your reading this, I’m still alive and you seem to be doing well yourself. I’ve listened to your companions stories and I believe that you and them are destined for further greatness. I will find you tonight and speak with you, for now it is not safe.”
Discussion with Tevin
He’d tell him that when he left it wasn’t entirely because his mother just upped and kicked him out from boredom, but because he still wanted to adventure and he felt like he wasn’t meant to be done yet. Finally after some discussion with her, she agreed to take care of them and he’d provide some monetary support. He then left and went traveled to many of the kingdoms throughout the world, making many friends and enemies along the way. Most notably, he worked for some time with Prince Hesper, teaching the boy of many tales and seeing that the boy was kind hearted as his father and eager to become the greatness that he was and still is. Though, Amerys elects their kings, noble families are the mostly likely appointed by the families and Prince Hesper eagerly wished to be King of the people of Amerys. He would do a lot of good for the people and be willing to help anyone in need in way that he could. Tevin tells of the Prince giving a royal red cloak to a young boy in the dead of winter to sell to buy himself winter clothing and enough food for the winter for his family. He even made a guard accompany the boy so that it wouldn’t be mugged off of him.
He tells them that he believes that the Prince, now King Hesper is an imposter. I can’t offer more proof than that, but the man leading this country into the ground is not who he says he is.
Why am I here? Because I accussed the prince of his wickness and after narrowly escaping, I went north. I had heard of the Order a long time ago by the elves in Theikon. They granted me passage and gave me a token to ensure safety if I would ever need it. However, I must remain here now at least for two more years of service and also safety. Few know of this place and even less are capable of making it, less want to deal with the outsiders that come into this region. I do kinda enjoy it though, but it is pretty fucking cold.
Now, perhaps you are capable of greater good than myself, perhaps you can become powerful enough to stop whatever imposter has taken the crown and lays seige to the stability of this world. It will be a tough fight, but I’m quite certain that you are all capable of it by your stories of adventures.
The Next Day, Leaving the Order of the Sol Sanctum
The next day, a monk named Rimcus arrives and tells them that Lusik has prepared the necessary components to return them home and enough reinformenets to guard the Kingdom Below and await the orc, Numot to depart from it with whatever horror he believes will be able to get out.
“I thank you deeply for your actions that brought you to me. I only wish the best for this world and it is my duty to protect it from all evils. I believe that there is great evil at play and we will need heroes like yourselves to stand against it. I hope that it will not be a problem should I ever need to call upon you.”
Rimcus hands a small, white stone to Crag.
“This stone will allow Lusik to relay messages to you and will also identify you as a member of the Order of the Sol Sanctum. The stone doesn’t activate until Lusik needs to rally the troops so you won’t be able to communicate with him but keep it on your person and be ready.”
Pick up some milk on your way home
The party decides that it would be best to ensure everything is well at the Cavern and stops by. The monks had already arrived after going through the portal and much the area seems to be cleaned up well. Vixtor is pleased with them relaying the message for him and lets them know that the group with maintain the roads to ensure safe passage through the area.
Heading to Elijah’s they drop off nearly a dozen books that they picked up in the monastery. He is quite pleased and the group decides to clue him in on many of the matters at hand as him and his group are close to the action. He doesn’t appear to be worried much about it visibly, but notes the concern and the monks that are now nearby.
Cresting the same hill as they first did only a few weeks ago, they find that quick palisade walls have been constructed and what appears to be a guard patrol is in effect. Gideon tells them that the gnolls, hobgolins and goblins have united under a central banner and are waging war across the area. He knows that the palisade walls won’t take much to defeat, but it will at least provide some protect. He tells them that Blackvine Keep is about to fall, they haven’t been able to get food for nearly a month. He also tells them that it has been difficult to maintain some level of control over the small town. Several prominent members have spoken up trying instead to gain support to flee rather than letting the people be destroyed. Many more have simply fled, leaving for Alisar.