|Last Updated||2020-10-03 12:17:34 - Update|
Episode #4: The Road Goes Ever On
Tanamier remains the main general of the Nyrond army at the fortress of Blazebane, right on the border of Almor, formerly a beautiful and good duchy, now the decimated wasteland territory of the undead animus Duke Szeffrin. Tanamier is a "Captain Kirk"; kind of general, often accompanying strike teams seeking out magical artifacts or Almorian survivors. The other general at Blazebane is General Younard, an elderly, wise tactician who was being forced into retirement by the chief military advisor Admiral Basmajeen and King Archbold himself. When given command at Blazebane, Tanamier chose Younard as his adjoint, and it has reinvigorated the old warrior.
Most of the party members are officially located at Blazebane, and serve in some function for the military, officially or not. J'afrock is a highly regarded lieutenant on the field, even more so than Tempus. Tiemel often leads guerrilla type missions with Elric, (who functions as a sort of assassin for the besieged forces, taking out key demonic figures) while Graymore leads the cavalry. Gorath is technically commander of the shock troops, but sleeps during meetings; he is there to smash evil and prefers to let others do the thinking and talking about it.
S'Thiss periodically sneaks in with information about larger events in the Flanaess, but is not officially associated with Nyrond; he just likes his friends in the Scourge. Similarly, Kaelis also acts as a scout abroad and conveyor of information, though he does so with the official title of Nyrondese Diplomat and unofficial title of Spymaster General.
Caelynn Silverleaf battles alongside Tanamier and his forces out of loyalty but is not a Nyrondese citizen. In fact, he has no real home, since he has been banished from the capital city of Elvandaar in Celene and has been declared dead. While he hears news of his former homeland from Kaelis and Prince Melf Brightflame, he has yet to return, though he longs to do so.
Brother Griften felt compelled by the prophecy in The Ba'atanaari Codex to travel to the Bright Lands, home of Lord Robilar. While Griften and Senji were able to defeat more of the clones, Robilar easily defeated Griften but let him go; the young psion reminded him of his own adventuring days, perhaps. Without clear knowledge of what the next step might be, Griften sought to rejoin his friends at Blazebane. He has participated in the defense of the country since, though has declined inscription despite being Nyrondese.
One of the first things Tanamier did, on the advice of the enigmatic Grey Seer, was create a network of diviners and seers who constantly scried areas of interest in order to have as much forewarning as possible. Any time rumour surfaced of a crystal ball or other scrying device, Tanamier would make sure a party was sent to find it. As such, there is little Duke Szeffrin does that catches Blazebane off guard... although it could be because the Iron General does not care.
Prevailing theory is that Duke Szeffrin is not really interested in conquering Nyrond, but rather Rauxes, and even then not to become Overking, but to revenge himself on Ivid V for transforming him into an undead animus. Some wonder if this is true, however, and there are definitely political forces within Nyrond that advance the idea that the rape of Almor was merely the precursor to an attack upon Nyrond. Some wonder if the Overking does not have some magical means of controlling those transformed into an animus...
Regardless, Szeffrin remains a threat. He has access to at least one gate to the Abyss, and Tanamier strongly suspects a second. Additionally, the Iron Duke is thought to have several artifacts capable of producing never before seen magical effects; mostly, his offenses against Nyrond seem to be trials and tests of what he can do with these magical relics. To the people who die, it is of little consequence whether or not the animus-duke really intends to conquer Nyrond or not...
King Archbold remains as ineffective as ever, and it is reflected in his policies. His sons, Crown Prince Lynwerd and Prince Sewarndt publicly support their father but behind closed doors things are different: Lynwerd knows many wish him to ascend to the throne but he is uneasy with supplanting his father. The Scourge knows Sewarndt is treacherous, but have no proof. He has come close to killing a few members (such as Larian and Riyan Erroshel, forcing them out of the country) and sold to the warlock Karoolck in Rauxes the captured Khaal Wraath. The group encountered him again, apparently re-devoted to the Nine Hells as Khaal Wraath.
Reports from Kaelis and S'Thiss
The Necromancers of Skahlehn have not been heard from in some time; rumours are they and the cult of Thasmudyan the Devourer destroyed each other in some great underworld battle. Pizentios and Mandraka were heard to have traveled through the town of Col Fen, but that cannot be substantiated.
Celene's borders are completely closed; even emissaries from the elves in the Adri are refused and teleportation circles connecting the two no longer function. Melf is effectively a prince in exile, though he retains some agents within the Court of Moons.
The Scarlet Brotherhood seems to be directing the actions of the humanoid armies of the Pomarj; J'afrock suspects they have a failsafe within the Half-Orc overlord, Turrosh Mak and that they are using it. He also suspects his own was defective, and that is why they turned to their other creation, Mak, though he cannot know for sure.
In the darkest corners where only S'Thiss will go, there are rumours that Iuz has returned to the lands that bear his name. Coincidentally or not, all the senior members of his Boneheart have returned to the capital city of Dorakaa.
Prince Xavener of the Darmen Lands within the Great Kingdom has entertained Kaelis for dinner more than once; he sees the Scourge as a possible solution to eliminating Grace Grenell of North Province as well as Duke Szeffrin, cementing his own claim on the Malachite Throne. He makes promises of non-aggression and trade between the countries should this come to pass.