Chapter Nineteen: Crimson Death


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Session Date: September 16, 2017

After three and a half years, two editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and twenty levels; the campaign finally comes to a end. And not just this campaign, but perhaps the whole story of the Realms, this campaign world that I started one and a half decades ago.


The Langur Tann, Kaldur

  • Silvaras brings dire news to the party: his mother, Selendriel, and Lethias have been captured, and the Imperial Magi and an army of dragons have gathered at the city of Northwind and, in an excavated Knights Shadow temple upon an obsidian altar, they prepare for a ritual to summon the dragon goddess Tiamat

Caerwyn, Capital of Elemey

  • the party fly back to Caerwyn to gather their allies and form a plan to stop them
  • Queen Siana Rhaewyn the First pledges the Elemi Lancers and their small fleet of airships
  • Azeem enlists Dash with an offer of 56,000 gold for this last job, along with Edana
  • King Bardrok Kragmaul says that a suicide mission seems like a great way to redeem himself
  • Silvaras will follow Corbin wherever they need him
  • Valandriel and Doloriel, the Sun Lord’s eldest and full-elven daughter, say they’re going to rescue their mother regardless of the party’s plan
    • the party agree to rescue Selendriel and Lethias first
  • Ellestriel, the last Princess of the Moon and widow of Zerefin, is reluctant to join the fight, fearing for the welfare of her son, but Azeem promises to take care of the boy should the worst happen
  • Kronus the Black is reluctant to leave the Black Spire unguarded and untended in the event of his death, but Ezekiel assures him he will take over his watch if it comes to it
  • Nerezziel and her dark elf allies refuse to join the fight, believing that they can survive a dragon apocalypse
  • Eldaine, a sympathetic Imperial Magi who’s helped Ezekiel twice now, contacts the party and lets them know that not all the Magi support the idea of living under dragon overlords, and they will join the fight on the party’s side when it comes to it
  • Avrum and the Knights Torment along with their small army of knights will commit their forces however the party needs
  • the plan is simple: while their allies draw away the Imperial fleet and the dragon army, the party infiltrates the city, saves Selendriel and Lethias, then moves to stop the ritual directly

Northwind, Capital of Thanranon

  • Silvaras cloaks the Crimson Hawk as the rest of the party’s allies draw away the Imperials and the dragons
  • as they approach the city, the sky begins to darken and they realize that a solar eclipse is taking place
    • the party suddenly wonders if they should continue with their original plan or head directly to the ritual
    • they decide to stay the course and exit the ship in the courtyard of Northwind Keep
  • they fight their way through a company of draconians and find Jurandas on a cliff overlooking the ritual, preparing to sacrifice both Selendriel and Lethias
    • a grueling fight ensues, with Jurandas nearly getting the best of them, but Tarkonus finishes the dark elf in a blaze of sacred fire
  • they free Selendriel and Lethias and make haste to the ritual site
    • they are waylaid by draconians and Imperials, but the two tell the party to continue on as they hold them off
  • the party fights their way through the outer guards, and find Grandmaster Seraphina barring their way to the obsidian altar
    • Seraphina nearly kills them all, but while on death’s door, Corbin pushes through an overchanneled cone of cold to cut the Grandmaster down once and for all
    • Ezekiel takes up her sword, the Sword of Shadows
  • as the party approaches the obsidian altar, the sun is half blocked by the moon, and the dragon goddess Tiamat awaits, but is not yet at full strength
    • as the fight rages on, Mawganar simply waits, high above them
    • as Tiamat falls to the party, Mawganar descends and absorbs her divine essence
    • Ezekiel casts fly on the entire party, and they battle Mawganar in the skies above the altar
    • after a pitched battle, with a final slash of his elven runeblade Moonfall, Corbin takes the dragon’s head
  • the dragons scatter to the winds
  • seeing Ezekiel bearing the Sword of Shadows, the Imperial Magi submit to him
  • the essence within Mawganar joins with the party’s two other stones and forms the Source
    • Ezekiel takes it in his hands and it reveals the truth to him
    • the Source is the source of all elemental power in the world
    • the dragons were once the Aurasanna’s shining guardians of creation, but they were all corrupted by Venos, their scales lost their luster, and they became self-serving creatures of destruction
    • with the Source united, Tiamat would soon rise again
    • Ezekiel uses the Source to drain the power of the dragons and to rebirth the two great forests, Seldelar and Ley Seren, and the Source split apart, its pieces dispersing to the ends of the earth
  • the battle is won
    • flawless victory, no casualties among their allies, but one
  • the dragons’ find themselves growing weak and tired, retreating to caves and mountain perches, eventually falling asleep to never wake again, becoming stone-like statues

Chapter Eighteen: To the Edge of the World


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The party heads west, past the end of the Empire and the Realms, into the frozen tundra of Kaldur.

  • The party makes their way to the Vindurslag, the tallest mountain in the world
  • The top of the mountain is hidden inside a raging, swirling, thunderstorm
    • Probably magical
  • They land the Crimson Hawk a few miles away and approach on foot
  • They battle frost giants and remorhazs in the middle of the storm
  • Tarkonus finds a path up the mountain and they battle their way to a gate that leads into the mountain itself
  • Winding their way through frozen halls, they pass around a massive shaft leading straight down to a pit of lava
    • Tarkonus sees a belt stuck on a rock in the middle of the lava, but it doesn’t burn
    • Azeem tries flying down to retrieve the belt, but the heat is too intense for him to reach it
  • They make their way back outside and see massive, floating rock formations surrounding the summit, with floating stone stairways forming a path upwards
  • As they climb, they battle a storm giant who can disperse herself into the storm
    • They force her to retreat, and the storm withdraws with her
  • They enter the last and largest of the floating rocks, and find a large chamber where the Empyrean waits on his golden throne
    • Ezekiel burns the Empyrean to death, and the storm giant flies into a rage
    • Corbin beheads the storm giant
  • Tarkonus takes Armor of Ifrit from the Empyrean’s collection, armor that wards off any fire or flame
    • He uses the armor and Azeem’s cloak to brave the heat and retrieve the belt, which they find to be the Empyreal Wrap, a belt of epic strength
  • They return to the Crimson Hawk and find Silvaras waiting for them

Chapter Seventeen: Dark Remembrance


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After three separate sessions spread over the last five months, it’s finally over.


  • The heroes decide to find the last unaccounted for gem, the Eye of the Abyss
  • Using the Trevusphere, they determine that the Eye is in a secluded Temple in the northern territory of the Empire
  • As they fly towards the area, the entire ship is overtaken by a wave of darkness that spread across the entire horizon


  • The party awakened in a strange, nightmarish dreamscape where everything was in shades of gray and black wind obscured everything beyond their immediate area
  • As they wandered through the darkness they stumbled upon Nathan’s farm, the home of Ezekiel’s mentor, and witnessed Grandmaster Seraphina and the Imperial Magi killing Nathan and ransacking the place in search of the Verdant Star, the green gem
    • as they attempt to interfere with the scene playing out, the Imperial Magi attack them and out of the darkness steps a man in black armor with a skull mask and crimson cloak
    • as they defeat them, they fade away
  • Next found themselves in a field in the middle of the Ghostwood, with Magus standing at the center holding the white gem, the Heaven’s Spark
    • as he uses it, as wave of light explodes around him, and a field of flower blooms in the middle of the dead forest, and Magus falls unconscious
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears again with a fire giant in black armor and they lead an attack on the party
  • Then the party are in a tunnel and hear fighting up ahead
    • It’s a vision of themselves fighting the draconians in the mine north of Tortaron, where they find the red gem, the God’s Blood
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears again with a frost giant in black armor and the draconians attack the party
  • The darkness gives way to the Imperial capital of Harthanmoor when Seraphina revealed that the Empire had the power of the blue gem, the Spirit of the Sky
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears once again, introducing himself as Avrum of the Knight Torment, with a mind flayer lich and they attack with the dreams Imperials
  • Then they were back in the Dwarven Halls of Kor Garan, facing off against the death knight Lord Kragmaul and the balor and also Avrum and a High Priest of Tornara
    • afterwards the yellow gem, the Light of Dawn was revealed to them
  • Then they were shown a vision of Northwind, the gateway between East and West, where Mawganar sat perched atop the main keep, and a circle of Magi led by Grandmaster Seraphina performed a summoning ritual
    • as they completed it, six massive dragon heads rose out of the circle
    • then they saw the world in flames, with dragons dotting the sky
  • Then they were in a dark cavern, with Avrum once again, and he explains that he is not the master here
    • Out of the shadows, a beholder launches an attack on them
      • after a pitched battle, Tarkonus incinerates the beholder in a storm of fire and the darkness fades away

Temple of Tornara, Somewhere in the Northern Imperial Forests

  • The party stands across from Avrum and the other members of the Knights Torment: the fire giant Haskel, the frost giant Izzur, the High Priest Zalman, and the mind flayer lich Lusyllec
  • Between them is the corpse of the beholder, Dovid, and embedded in its eye is the black gem, the Eye of the Abyss
  • Avrum offers the party a temporary alliance to stop the Knight Shadow from summoning the dragon goddess, Tiamat, and to defeat Mawganar
  • Avrum gives them information about the Ifrit’s Plate, a suit of armor that can withstand even the fire from a dragon god
    • Corbin uses the Trevusphere, and discovers that the Ifrit’s Plate is in the hall of a titan atop the Langur Tann, one of the tallest mountains in the world, surrounded by a swirling vortex of storm and lightning, the the southwest in the frozen lands of Kaldur
  • The party sails off towards Kaldur

Chapter Sixteen: Ancient Evil


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Deep in the Forests of Ley Seren

  • stranded down river from the Elven capital, Corbin’s brother, Silvaras, contacts the party and wants to meet with them
    • Silvaras’s spell goes awry and he and his sister land at the nearby mountain range, by Elder’s Crest, an old Elven watchtower
  • Azeem leads the party through the forest to meet up with them
  • the party runs into large bands of naga, ogres, and goblins
  • eventually the party meets up with Silvaras and Valandriel
    • Val and Corbin sense a powerful evil deep within the mountain
    • as a paladin of Souladil, she can not abide its presence and ask the party to help her vanquish it
  • the group sets off into a mountain pass and finds a ancient tunnel from the First Age
    • Tarkonus notices its construction is a strange mix of Dwarven and Elven masonry

Under the Giant’s Teeth Mountains

  • leads to a small undermountain outpost that’s been long abandoned and then desecrated by the ogres and goblins, turned into camp and sacrificial blood altar to whatever lies within
  • the group finds keys of light to open heavy mithril gates
  • they finally enter the main chamber and confront a pit fiend, a beast of flame and shadow
    • after a vicious battle, the party emerges victorious and sends the devil back to the Abyss
  • Ezekiel finds an old Elven journal from the First Age

Ancient Elven Journal Excerpt from the First Age

…these humans, calling themselves the Knights Shadow, have formed an alliance with the dragons. What could the dragons possibly stand to gain in exchange for their aid? This I cannot fathom, but it matters not…

Chapter Fifteen: The Sunspire (Part Two)


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Deep in the Forest, Ley Seren

  • the party defeats an Elven wind runner patrol

Elransi, Ley Seren

  • Azeem meets an old friend, Nethrendir, who agrees to help them get to the Sunspire
  • Nethrendir explains that the Council of Thorns has called a meeting of the nobles for an announcement, pulling back most of the Commonwealth forces to the capital
  • Nethrendir suggests to sneak the party in using his largest, most ostentatious carriage drawn by six white horses
    • given his position, it won’t seem out of place

Seren Tir, the Capital of Ley Seren

  • riding in Nethrendir’s carriage, the party enters the capital, and the Sunspire’s courtyard without incident
  • the major of the Wind Runners and the Elven army is arrayed within, along with a gathering of all the major noble houses
  • as the party is about to the enter the Sunspire, Lord Telvanas takes the stage and reveals that he is actually a dark elf demonologist, Jurandas of House Lirnoris
  • the Imperial Magi, lead by the Imperial flagship, and the Red Dragon Flight launch a surprise attack on the capital
  • the party rushes up the Sunspire, which is bombarded by airship and dragons
    • as they reach the top, they find the ceiling and crystal atop the spire blasted away
    • the table where Magus was is empty
    • Azeem and Ezekiel quickly grab some books from Jurandas’s library before they descend back down the spire
  • back at ground level, the courtyard and the skies are in chaos as magi, dragons, elves, and draconians battle it out
  • two horses are left of the carraige, which the party takes and flees north east towards the river
  • a blue dragon moves to intercept them, and is quickly brought down
  • at the gate out of the courtyard, they are met by Jurandas who has a bone to pick with Azeem
    • after a short, but vicious fight between Jurandas and the party, the dark elf retreats



Sun Elven noble who’s sympathetic to the Loyalists. Azeem has done helped him in the past, and he’s more than happy to help Azeem and his friends in any way he can.

Jurandas of House Lirnoris

One of the last surviving dark elves from the purged city of Nar Maser. Took the place of Lord Telvanas and slowly worked his revenge against the Sun Elves from within. As the final step of his plan, he traded Magus to the Red Dragon Flight and the Imperial Magi in exchange for them destroying what’s left of the Elven Commonwealth.

Chapter Fifteen: The Sunspire (Part One)


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Watcher’s Rest, Sanctuary

  • Kronus tells the party that Magus’s body is missing
    • they suspect he either woke up or he was taken
  • Jacques and Fritz, the Black Spire’s door guards, said Virion visited the Spire with a Sun Elf noble, who was later revealed to be Lord Telvanas, leader of the Elven Commonwealth
  • The party confronts Virion about Magus being missing and Virion acts like he has no idea what they’re talking about
  • Nerezziel introduces herself to the group, says she’s trying to figure out what her brother, Virion, is doing because she knows it can’t be good
  • Ezekiel uses the Trevusphere and finds that Magus is still in a coma in an arcane laboratory at the Sunspire of Seren Tir, the capital of Ley Seren, and sees a shadowy figure in the room with him
  • Hear that the Sun Elves don’t have any powerful wizards
  • The party sets out aboard the Crimson Hawk for the border of the Elven Commonwealth

Eastern Border, Elven Commonwealth of Ley Seren

  • Azeem leads the party on foot through the Elven forest
    • Something seems off about the forest, eerily quiet, like the life is missing from it
  • The party stumbles upon Elven patrols and dispatch them as make their way to the capital


Virion of House Vanmarthak

The new Lord Protector of Sanctuary. Seems untrustworthy. Is making friends with the Sun Elves who should be his hated enemy.

Nerezziel of House Vanmarthak

Virion’s younger sister. Wants to preserve Zerefin’s dream of a free nation. One of Sanctuary’s Shadow Guard.


Chapter Fourteen: Halls of Ruin (Part 2)


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The Halls of Tharum Tor, Kor Garan

  • King Kragmaul pulls the hood of his tattered cloak over his head and he disappears
    • but Ezekiel casts a spell to see through the death knight’s invisibility
  • a balor emerges from the pentagram below the throne and the concubines turn out to be succubi
  • Azeem activates his angel wings and leads the succubi on a chase through the air
  • Ezekiel and Corbin charge the death knight, and everyone tries to avoid the rampaging balor
  • King Kragmaul is defeated, but Tarkonus and Corbin are on death’s door
  • Azeem summons a team of pixies to polymorph Corbin and Ezekiel into giant gorillas
  • Gorilla Corbin and Gorilla Ezekiel battle the balor King Kong style
  • the balor whips the pixie that polymorphed Corbin, and Corbin returned to normal form
  • Corbin takes his elven runeblade, Moonfall, and cleaves into the balor and it explodes in a storm of fire
  • Corbin comes flying out of the flames and double amputates an unsuspecting succubus
  • King Kragmaul presents Ezekiel with his cloak, the Wraithmantle, and swears fealty to him
  • they pick up the Light of Dawn, one of the six gems
  • the death knight leads them into his personal treasure vault where they find a couple enchanted items and a fortune in gold


King Bardrok Kragmaul

The Dwarven King of Kor Garan, turned death knight for betraying his kingdom and its people for the promise of eternal power.


The Light of Dawn

A small, golden colored gem of unknown material and ancient power and purpose.

The Wraithmantle

A tattered, black cloak. When its hood is drawn, it hides the wearer from the eyes of men.

Chapter Fourteen: Halls of Ruin (Part 1)


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Watcher’s Rest, Sanctuary

  • the heroes attend Zerefin’s funeral where they have bagpipes playing funeral songs
  • Ellestriel, Zerefin’s widow, tells Ezekiel not to blame themselves after Ezekiel tries to apologize for not arriving in time to save him, but doesn’t look sure that she really believes that
  • heard rumors that a dark elf by the name of Virion Vanmarthak would likely become the new Lord Protector
  • Kronus finds the heroes and tells them that it could be him in that casket if they hadn’t gone to the Black Spire
    • he also says that the party’s ship looks familiar, asks if he may have a look around it
    • he finds that the control sphere of the ship is actually the Trevusphere, an artifact that can be used to locate any treasure
    • seeing the sphere jogs his memory and he remembers that the ship used to belong to Harken Hawk
    • Kronus explains that the stronger connection to the item you’re looking for, the easier it is to home in on it
  • Ezekiel asks Tarkonus to see if he can find the stones with the Trevusphere
  • Tarkonus uses the Trevusphere, and his eyes go blank as he grips the sphere
    • he sees the blue gem, the Spirit of the Sky, is back west in the Imperial capital of Harthanmoor around Seraphina’s neck
    • he finds the black gem is in the same city, but the vision is cloudy and he’s not sure who has it
    • and his vision crosses the world and dives deep into a familiar place to him, the Halls of Tharum Tor in the south
      • he sees an armored dwarf sitting on a throne with a yellow gem, the Light of Dawn, in his hand
      • the dwarf has two burning yellow eyes that turn to him and he says, “I see you,” in a distorted voice
    • Tarkonus releases the Trevusphere in a cold sweat and explains what he saw
  • news from the north is grim, the Red Dragonflight has ravaged most of Greyfell and is pushing towards Delrune’s capital
  • Ezekiel and Azeem asked Virion if he would be interested in forming an alliance with other nations, like the dwarves of Kor Garan and the men of Elemey
    • he said if he could convince them, then sure, but doesn’t seem very enthusiastic or cooperative

Caerwyn, Elemey

  • the party makes a short stop to speak with Queen Siana, who receives them warmly
  • they have dinner and the party explains about the gems and asks Siana if she’d be willing to form an alliance to stop the Empire and the Red Dragonflight
  • she agrees and gives them writs with her royal seal and makes them official ambassadors

Tharum Tor, Kor Garan

  • the heroes fly to the dwarven mountain ranges to the south
  • Tarkonus had been to Tharum Tor four decades ago, and he remembers where the entrance gate into the mountain is there should be a small town for receiving guests and travelers
  • they find the town and the gate, but it’s all in ruins
    • seems they’ve been destroyed for 15-20 years
  • they travel deep into the dwarven halls and find bones and broken armor, cracked weapons, the entire stronghold in ruins
  • as they make their way through the cavernous halls and across the massive bridges, they find packs of demons and devils
  • eventually, they arrive at the throne room and find a single being, the former dwarven king, Bardrok Kragmaul, now an immortal death knight
    • on the arm of his throne sits a shining, golden gem, the Light of Dawn
    • they ask him to fight with them against the dragons and the Empire to redeem himself
    • King Kragmaul says he shall test them first

Chapter Thirteen: Siege of Sanctuary (Part 3)


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Watcher’s Rest, Capital of Sanctuary

  • the heroes face off against Gorram Man-breaker and the elite warriors of the Bleeding Hand, the Orog-hai
  • Corbin cuts down each of the Orog-hai warriors as fast as they can come at him
  • Tarkonus is thrown around like a rag doll by the warchief
  • Azeem finishes Gorram with an enchanted arrow that he fired out the window of one building, across the streets and the canal, through another window into a different building, and through the warchief’s skull, blasting it apart
  • Ezekiel checks Zerefin and finds that he’s succumbed to his wounds
    • recovers his body and his sword, Baxicurel
  • with the warchief defeated, Sanctuary’s army manages to fight off the Horde of the Bleeding Hand, who slowly retreat from the field

Chapter Thirteen: Siege of Sanctuary (Part 2)


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The Fields Outside of Watcher’s Rest, Sanctuary

  • the green dragon Shadowthorn emerges from the river and ambushes the party
    • Azeem finally uses his magical arrows, which streak though the air like shooting stars, and together the party cripples Shadowthorn’s wing
    • Corbin’s sword Moonfall effortlessly slices through the dragon’s hide
    • Tarkonus saves Corrac, who’s almost killed by the dragon’s deadly poison breath
    • Ezekiel unleashes a literal storm of lighting, and finishes Shadowthorn with a bolt of lighting as the dragon tried to flee back into the river
  • Ezekiel takes some of the dragon’s webbing
  • Tarkonus finds nothing but rusty swords in the dragon’s belly
  • Corrac carves off a few of the dragon’s scales
  • the Imperial dreadnought continues to approach as does one more storm cloud covering the orc advance
  • they fight their way back across the battlefield to the city

Watcher’s Rest, Sanctuary

  • the heroes meet Zerefin at his command post in the city square
  • the entire city is rocked by a huge explosion that came from the last storm cloud, and they see huge chunks of the city’s wall go flying into the air
  • Zerefin rushes towards the wall even as the Imperial dreadnought passes over heading straight for the Black Spire
    • the heroes decide to head to the Black Spire to stop the Imperial Magi
  • as they near the Spire, the heroes are confronted by Grandmaster Seraphina
    • Seraphina says that Ezekiel’s mentor, Nathan, was a traitor to their order
      • before they joined the Empire, they were known as the Knights Shadow
      • she draws the Sword of Shadow, a blade of shifting void, like a black scar in the fabric of reality
      • Ezekiel draws the Emerald Sword in return
      • Corbin gets a few solid hits in before Seraphina locks him in a forcecage
      • the Grandmaster stuns Azeem with a word of power
      • Seraphina blasts Tarkonus with ice and lightning, before pulling him into a whirlwind
      • then she teleports away
  • they see the Imperial dreadnought retreat
  • Ellestriel arrives and frees Corbin from the forcecage, and asks if they’ve seen her husband
  • she says that Kronus and the others were able to hold back their attack at the Spire
  • the heroes head towards the front line
  • they find Zerefin laying in the middle of a legion of orc corpses, and standing above him, the orc warchief, Gorram Man-Breaker


Grandmaster Seraphina of the Imperial Magi

Leader of the Imperial Magi, and apparently the Knights Shadow. She is a master of abjuration and evocation, and she wields the Sword of Shadow, an artifact passed down from the very beginning of their order. Around her neck hangs the Spirit of the Sky, one of the six gems that everyone wants.

Ellestriel, Daughter of the Moon

The former princess of the now extinct moon elven kingdom, she is now Sanctuary’s first lady alongside her husband, Zerefin. An archmage in her own right, she has been instructing new pupils in the ways of the moon elves’ arcane traditions so that their magic might live on, even if their people do not.

Gorram Man-Breaker, Warchief of the Horde of the Bleeding Hand

A force of nature who has gathered first a clan, then a tribe, then an army, and now a horde under his primal might. There hasn’t been a horde this size in almost three decades, not since Terym marched on Ley Seren.