Crusades Timeline

Crusades Timeline:
(PCs: Kellenor of Madriel, Vera of the Vigil, Sir Richard of Mithril, Fiona of the Crimson Legion, Journeyman Althum of Hollow Faust)
-Rumors of a rat army pervade Ghelspad and a coalition of nations form to meet the burgeoning threat.
-Fort Deneval-Forces from Mithril, Hedrad, The Crimson Legion (hired by Vesh), the Vigil (scout/warriors of Vesh), a contingent of warriors from the cult of Madriel (Primarily of the Morning Sky), a small envoy from Vera-Tre (Ganjus Forest), a pair of Urian eagle-rider elves, and even a squad of undead from far-west Hollow Faust all converged on the edge of the Mourning Marshes. They set up various camps in what would be come to known as Fort Deneval.
-The great bard, Moira Madilehna, regaled the combined forces with a story of an Arch built during the divine war near the location of the present camp, which was cleverly used to defeat a titan.
-The first night of encampment, the leaders of the many factions met to swear oaths and proclaim intents. Outside, trusted retainers kept watch and guard. Vera, a promising Vigil acolyte, noticed a donkey behaving oddly, slowly inching its way closer to the command tent. She called for the beast’s owner to wrangle it. When none stood up, Fiona of the Crimson Legion took the donkey by the bridle. The beast put up an unnatural fight, drawing the attention of the leaders from within the tent.
When they spilled forth from the tent, the donkey, now dying, rolled its eye toward one among the Vera-Tre envoy, exploding him and infecting many touched by his far-flung viscera with plague. The remainder of the envoy fled and did not return.
Those touched with disease were treated primarily by the priests and priestesses of Madriel as well as those among the paladins of Corean disposed toward healing. Journeyman Althum is said to have carved diseased flesh from his own face, the same way a sane man would slice mold from a cheese.
-An informal group formed, comprised of Sir Richard, caliban and paladin from Golthagga; Fiona, a Crimson Legionnaire from distant Darakeene; Vera, Vigil scout; Kellenor, priest of the Order of the Morning Sky, and Journeyman Althum, necromancer of Hollowfaust. The goal of this group was to smooth diplomatic relations and speed decisions between the gathered factions.
-Disease began spreading through the camps, the symptoms being sores, typically clustered around the nether regions. Sexual congress was suspected as the vector the contagion spread by, however investigations proved fruitless. Scrying failed as well.
-A grand arch was built in a nod to the bard Moira Madilehna’s tale and enchanted to detect disease. The forces marched through and those infected were treated by healers.
-Disease continued to spread through the camps. Scryers and investigators grew mad with failure. Kellenor secluded himself in prayer, seeking the source as well.
-A fevered Kellenor spoke of visions fevering his mind. Even pushing himself to the brink of death, only the vaguest of notions pierced his mind: something to do with the slit trenches.
The trenches were dredged by the undead until a severed elven head, writhing with tentacles was pulled from the muck. Clutched in its coils was an amulet of non-detection. The amulet was quietly pocketed by Journeyman Althum. The writhing remains were burned in a pyre.
-Wooden walls were raised around what is now known as Fort Deneval.
-Under the dark sky and the hanging moon of Belsameth, the alarm was raised by one of the eagle-riders. The rats had come, had sneaked close under the veil of illusion.
The allied forces scrambled to the defenses, yet confounded each other. Priests called light, blinding the night-sight of Vigil archers. Undead barricaded the gate, penning in the Mithril cavalry.
Sir Richard took position outside the gate preferring to meet the enemy horde alone. He called upon Corian to bless his shield, then (to muttered disapproval) called upon Vengal to bless his blade.
Morgoths, once-men driven feral with fever, were unleashed by the rats and met with a hail of Vigil arrows. The morgoths shrugged off wounds, running until cut down.
Deadly magics were exchanged by the two forces, then Red Witches among the rats threw far-reaching, mystically guided blades laced with poison. These targeted the leaders of the factions, and slew Lady Kiran Wheatsheaf, leader of the Morning Sky.
Kellenor stood upon the wall, praying to his goddess and fighting where he could. It is said that Madriel answered, infusing him with holy power. He threw himself into the diseased horde and called down the wrath of the divine again and again.
At the sight of higher intervention, Journeyman Althum called for his dead to clear the gate. Mithril cavalry charged through, followed by the Crimson Legion.
With the combined efforts of the allied forces and the slaying of a great rat-beast, the enemy horde broke. The first battle was won by the armies of the godly races.
-Journeyman Althum claimed the corpse of the great rat, having his dead drag the giant vermin to his camp. When spied the next day, he was missing a joint off a finger on his left hand.
-While clearing the field after the battle, it was noted that there were fewer rat corpses than there should have been.
-The informal group met to discuss the clumsiness of the allied response. They decided a singular leader of the alliance needed to be in charge. Someone respected and elected by all involved. They secretly decided upon the bard Moira Madilehna, then set about putting this idea in front of the various faction leaders.
-The body of Lady Kiran Wheatsheaf was prepared to be returned to her people. Somewhere along the way, her body went missing.
-Two evenings after the battle of Fort Deneval a meeting was called to elect a leader of the allied forces. Before a vote could be held a message was delivered to the leader of the Vigil. The city of Lave was under assault two days hard ride to the east. The attack on the fort had been a ruse. The rats were elsewhere.
The council fell to bickering and all semblance of unity broke apart.
A swamp witch named Adair took issue with the rats’ trespassing, offered to carry forces to Lave in an instant. The majority of leaders and forces declined. However, Sir Richard, Vera, Kellenor, Journeyman Althum and his dead all accepted. Most notably, Fiona of the Crimson Legion, having secured the promise of double pay, rallied many of her fellow legionaries and led them into the portal.
-True to her word, Adair ejected the motley forces from a fountain in the heart of Lave. They found the city unprepared for siege and incapable of true defense. Since the city could not be defended, it was evacuated. The few defenders there were made what preparations they could.
-The rats arrived. The small allied force converged on the most defensible building, a temple of Madriel. Since the city could not be saved, the “defenders” decided to burn it, hoping to quell the spread of disease before it started.
Vera stood alone on the wall, calling upon her god and firing arrows at the rushing horde. She was both injured and infected but escaped with help from her allies.
The rats poured into the city but were stymied at the temple courtyard by a shield-wall of legionaries. In the calm before the bloodbath, Sir Richard walked into enemy lines, calm as a saint, then struck like lightning. The rats swarmed. The legion charged. Magics flew and blood spilled.
Vera took perch on the roof, firing arrows into the titan-spawn horde. Althum hurled spells from inside the temple. Kellenor, once more touched by his god rushed out, called fire, and saved Sir Richard from the mass of gorging rats.
A red witch scattered Fiona into a pile of snakes, but High Priest Vintos Adriam returned her to fighting form, naked yet whole. Vintos then raised a barrier of churning blades behind the rats. Fiona rallied to push them into it. At first the Legion struggled, but at the sound of a horn, the necromancer’s dead burst out of the ground, panicking the rats and giving the Legion the opportunity they needed. They began shoving the frantic rats into the spinning blades.
Unfortunately, Vera had lost faith, renounced her god and the Vigil, then called upon Belsameth, the Betrayer. Belsameth answered, tasked Vera with smiting High Priest Vintos Adriam, and gifted her with a poisoned blade. All this for a promise of victory.
Vera struck down the temple priest. The remaining rats escaped. Vera fled.
-Plague infected many of the survivors, but the rats did not return. The allied forces did what they could for the remaining civilians (including laying a lynched Hedraden priest to rest). Fiona gathered a squad of surviving legionaries to loot an abandoned trade house, meeting an infestation of rats as well as a “rat golem”. Kellenor, Sir Richard, and other healers cleansed as many as they could of the plague. Those few that were not cleansed by the gods were tended by Journeyman Althum.
-Two days later, the armies arrived from Fort Denival. They were preceded by rain which fought the fires and a healing light which cleansed the disease from the city. This turned out to be the work of the goddess, Syahna, who appeared briefly to the gathered leaders and impressed upon them the dire circumstances.
-Kellenor set off to pursue the traitor Vera.
-Vesh seeded a large section of land to Hedrad to purchase their further aid in fighting the rat army.
-Fiona, Sir Richard, and Althum set off to rally allies across the continent, hopefully securing armies and support against the rat nation. They were assigned a vigil guide by the name of Katonis Woodarbor and set out for East Ontanazu and the Canyon of Souls.
-The small group arrived to find the valley sealed and no way to cross. They hired the only guide promising passage, an incredibly shady individual named Chiruli, who opened a rift to a shadow plane. Once deep inside, Chiruli revealed himself to be a gorgon and cast Sir Richard into a deeper darkness. Fiona and Althum chased after him, though their guide, Katonis, remained behind to fight the gorgon.
In the dark, the trio was greeted by a pair of dark elves, Dar’Gotal(a vampire) and Dar’Tan, who had once lost an arm fighting Richard’s uncle Barconius. Both were members of a mystic organization known as the Penumbral Pentagram.For unknown reasons, they let the three interlopers leave.
The three found themselves at the northern edge of New Venir. They found lodging for the night in a small town.
-In the morning, Sir Richard and Fiona’s loud and careless talking drew the attention of a rough pirate elf (Fetch) who gleefully extorted them before scampering away. As they left town, the three travelers were confronted by the sight of a wagonful of caged halflings.
-After much walking and a camping incident involving small, paralytic predators, the trio joined a west-bound caravan. Most notable among the caravan was a gorgeous and talented Calastian bard named Amelia.
-At one of the many villages, Fiona and Sir Richard had a drunken tryst.
-While nearing Virduk, the sentry towers along the road lit their signal towers and rang their alarms. The caravan prepared defenses as a wave of titan-spawn charged towards it. They were giant, reptilian centaur-like beast with acidic blood and spears for hands. The monsters were incredibly difficult to kill, and victory was only had by leading the beasts towards a contingent of local soldiers.
In the aftermath, Althum convinced a merchant to carry one of the monster’s skeletons to Hollow Faust, effectively changing the merchant’s course.
-The caravan arrived at a smallish town on near the Virduk border. Fiona, Sir Richard, and Althum decided to frequent a show and possibly a bar. In an attempt to keep a low profile, Sir Richard left his armor with a caravan guard, who was never seen again.
After some drinking the three ended up in a cellar bar, mostly frequented by halflings. An especially intense looking halfling (Bobo Underfoot/Bane) ferreted out Sir Richard’s order and nationality, took issue with him, donned a mask, and gutted him. The frenzied halfling was called off by another pair of masked halflings.
The pair were members of a halfling underground. They hid the trio away for the night while Richard was healed.
-The caravan reached the village of Three Moons and the trio stayed the night at The Witch’s Teat, an inn cursed with a demonic portal and tended by the ugly Dogface. Travelers staying there were payed handsomely if they entered the pit to slay whatever monster emerged.
An alarm was sounded in the night and Richard jumped in to fight off a twisted angel-woman. Instead of all out assault, he tried freeing her from her hellish bonds. This did not go particularly well, and he was forced to banish her back to where she came from.
-The next morning, Lester LeStrange, one of the Unfailing of Hollowfaust arrived at the inn. Spying Althum, he joined the group, introduced himself and stated his mission. Lester had been sent to hunt down a renegade necromancer named Novos, but his companions had all been slain by a gorgon. Nonetheless, he had tracked his prey to Three Moons.
Althum, noticed an instructor of Lokil, engaged the man in conversation, and realized he was not who he claimed but the rouge necromancer Novos whom Lester was hunting.
The group enlisted help from the tavern warriors, most notably the Dragonslayer Merida, and slew the necromancer in a brief but bloody fight. Then they killed him again. And cut him to pieces. And put those pieces in separate bags to prevent a third fight.
-Fiona, Sir Richard, Althum, Lester, and Amelia all traveled with the caravan when it set out west. Travel slowed at a river crossing, due to large amounts of traffic and an inefficient ferry. A group of anti-undead cultists recognized Althum as a necromancer and attacked. The skirmish was again quick and ugly, but the worst injury seemed to be to Amelia’s pride, as her face was briefly singed.
-Once across the river, the caravan’s travels were uninterrupted. It arrived at Hollowfaust safely.
-Journeyman Althum reported to the High Council, informing them of the dire rat threat and urging action.
-Sir Richard formerly requested aid in fighting the rat menace. He also acquired a blessed long sword, befriended magnus Whitemane, and wooed a priestess.
-There was a triple date. It went mostly well.
-Sir Richard purchased coldweave clothing for Magnus and his entourage, effectively paying their way out of the city.
-The High Council rendered their decision. They were under threat and could not afford to supply military aid to fight the rats. However, they would send the Anatomists Guild to aid in combatting the many outbreaks of disease.
-Lester, Richard, and Althum while on patrol were attacked by a number of ghouls followed by a stunningly powerful undead who’s gaze could kill and who’s bones radiated a necrotic field. Their combined might put the monster down, however, Althum was granted its remains.
-The bard Amelia went missing. Her room was investigated by Althum, Richard, Lester, and Tahna-Lyn. After a long day of seeking answers, they were informed Amelia had been arrested for espionage.
-Days later Amelia’s trial was held. Three Grandmasters stood as judges. She was convicted and sentenced to final forfeiture, a penalty far in excess of the norms.
Refusing to allow her to face such a fate, Sir Richard killed her himself. He was arrested.
-Althum visited Richard in his cell.
-That very evening, a goddess visited Richard and bestowed upon him an artifact sword. He cut his way out of the prison, fought through undead and constructs, and escaped into the desert.
-Richard got lost in the desert, killing people at the command of the sword.
-Realizing the artifact sword was cursed, Richard stabbed it into the sand and walked away.
-Richard wandered in the desert until passing out. He awoke in an oasis and was granted a Corianic steed.
-Althum immersed himself in study, training in Elven arts, and studying under the Disciples of the Abyss.
-Before leaving Hollowfaust to join the warfront, Althum magically contacted Richard and Kellenor. Richard shares that some priest they knew on the front had been reanimated and is in service to a new master, though the details are vague.
As the Anatomists prepare to ride out, a prince of Dunahnae arrives, showering the city with riches and demanding the finest necromantic magics.
-Richard traveled to Darakeene, stated the plight of Vesh to the lords, who claimed sympathy yet did nothing. He consulted wizards of the Phylacteric Vault, gaining horseshoes of the long-strider, but little else. Richard struck a deal with House Blood Hawk & House Asuras to hire a cohort of the Ashen Legion by risking his family fortune.
-Kellenor with followers Clip and Galantine investigated the disappearance of a local townswoman. After much searching, it was uncovered that Aldus Landon, the eldest son of the local noble, Reeve Landon, had been kidnapping, raping, and murdering women. Justice was served and the group moved north.
-While travelling to Vesh, Althum traded knowledge with the Ganjus elves, learning how to craft Hornsaw wood into wands, staves, and other magical foci. He traveled to the edge of the Hornsaw and harvested a limb for the future crafting of a staff.
-Kellenor and his entourage of Clip, Galantine, Katya, Fin, and Tanith rode north to meet the Ashen Legion at the Bridged City. Along the way, they discovered a rare ash lily, signifying the area had been warped by magical fire. Clip collected the lily, later selling it for great profit in the Bridged City.
That night, they were beset by a burning undead. It took the combined might of the soldiers and repeated blessings from Kellenor to lay the tormented soul to rest.
-While crossing the Perforated Plains, Richard came across a smidgen outpost known as Old Mound Fort. It was run by Jolly Flatrock and his Sojourner’s Weald Society. They told him of a treasure-rich lost city which was nearby.
-The next morning, Richard set out on his path, and decided to approach the sunken city of Non. Bells tolled repeatedly, each extracting an agonizing price. However, he reached the edge of the sinkhole, lowered himself down, raided the ruins, was beset by monsters, and retrieved multiple artifacts of value.
-Upon returning to the smidgen outpost, Richard was hailed a hero and thrown a feast.
He awoke in the night, realized he had been poisoned and his quarters were on fire. He managed to fight his way free of the murderous smidgens.
-At the Bridged City, Kellenor attended the duel temple of Madriel and Corian, offering himself up to the Eternal Flame.
His followers, horrified to find his charred body standing in the center of the blazing fire, swore their souls to the purpose of the two gods.
Clip approached, the Flame, only to have Kellenor step forward with the gods’ duel blessing.
-Richard traveled south to the Gleaming Valley and met with The King, who ordered the might of the Hollow Knights to march to Vesh.
-Kellenor returned to Vesh with the cohort of the Ashen Legion.
-Althum returned to Vesh with the Anatomists Guild.
-Sir Richard returned to Vesh with the Hollow Knights.
-A year of war with the rats commenced.
-Kellenor’s vassal, Clip, was cut in half by a rat-bred monstrosity. His entrails were scattered with a spray of gold, losing the last coin gained from selling the ash lily.
-The war grinds to a stalemate.
-Althum is contacted by two grandmasters. He is informed his love, Journeyman Tahna-Lyn, has stolen something of great value and fled Hollowfaust with her father, Abarces. One grandmaster commanded Althum to return for interrogation, the other commanded him to not bother.
The next morning, Althum informed companions Kellennor, Richard, and Lester of what transpired, all of whom decided to accompany him. The group traveled to Lokil via magic.
-Althum sold a copy of the Book of Non (minus ghoul making magics) to the library on Richard’s behalf. He also returned spellbooks and magical possessions from several of their lost scholars. They implored him to keep the scholar ring and named him friend of the library. For the Book of Non, they paid in ioun stones. Althum passed four onto Richard and kept one as payment for the transaction.
-The group traveled south toward Shelzar, to find what had become of Tahna-Lyn and her father. They arrived in Sandoval where the lord and ladies of House Mirth offered to track Tahna-Lyn down in exchange for healing some of their be-plagued employees.