Amaranthine Rift

Interlude
I hear the Rail a-comin...

It had only been a few days, but already Birdoswald felt anxious about his trip to Lessyk. Not all of the Thranish villagers worship the Silver Flame, and these villagers requested his presence for blessings and some protection. Birdoswald is a penitent Cleric of the Sovereign Host and normally travels by his own bare feet, walking across these warring kingdoms of Khorvaire, performing the rites and blessings that the Host allow. They could not pay much, but Birdoswald accepted their offerings and their ticket on the Lightning Rail to see the rumors of the lycanthrope attack for himself.

A few hours into the trip, the train comes to a rather abrupt halt. The House Orien rail guards burst into the common cart and single out two uncommon-looking men. The first, a handsome man in a long overcoat with a greatword at his back and a stylized longsword at his side. The second, a slender long-haired and serene elf. The guards beg for their assistance and the two step forward to assist. Birdoswald, with his duty to help and protect those in need, joins them.

Outside, small, bony reptiles make their way toward the Rail from both sides. The first man, Sanguilar Roseinvaire, kicks his left foot back, flipping his greatsword forward and catching it in his right hand. Gripping the hilt with both hands, he yells out: Kruthik! and charges. Kane, the elf materializes a slender white blade from a wand and teleports to the outside. Birdoswald never attacks the enemy, instead protecting his new allies and assisting their attacks.
The Kruthik surround the three, with their gnashing teeth and spiky claws, attacking ferociously and giving no ground. That is until the end, when only one of the adults burrowed deep and fled.

Back inside the Rail cart, the Orien Guard Captain, a man named Gavorn, thanks these three for their assistance, owing them some gold at their next stop. The Rail cart does not start moving again, although the Guards and conductors continually remind the passengers that the Rail line is not damaged, and neither were the Rail carts. Eventually, Captain Gavorn summons these three to the semi-private carts. It seems that during the Kruthik attack, something was stolen from the secured cargo cart for the wealthier passengers. Gavorn and his men have interviewed 3 suspects but they refused to say much. He hopes that a man of the cloth can get farther with them than he can.

Gavorn tells them a few things to help and after a few moments, the three adventurers discern that Casaubon, the Half-Elf from Aundair, was the thief. Gavorn enters Casaubon’s room, a scream is heard and Gavorn stumbles out, clutching the dagger in his chest. The remaining guards eyes glaze over and Casaubon emerges, turning towards the closest door and runs. The guards try sto slow down the three adventurers, and fail miserably. Causabon’s left arm lashes out, a purplish black tentacle grabbing at Kane, crushing him like a python snake. Again, Birdoswald protects his new allies, encouraging them from a distance and weakening Casaubon’s defenses. When Casaubon fell in battle, the remaining guard’s eyes returned to normal, albeit with a splitting headache.
A Halfling worshiper of the Silver Flame blesses Birdoswald’s octogram and it renews itself, from the dirty old and worn octogram to a shiny new holy symbol.

XP- none. Birdoswald will be at the same level as the rest of the team when/if they join forces.
Gear- +1 Octogram of the Sovereign Host
Gold- none yet, 150 gp promised upon arrival in Aruldusk. (50 each)

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3.1- Aruldusk

After cleaning up the remains (literally) at the House Cannith Enclave, Torrit D’Cannith gave his eternal thanks. His saviors have earned his trust, so much that he sends hia new alchemical warforged Relic, to the Amaranthine Rift. He needs to get back to his forge in southern Cyre. Erryk sends Stevin D’Deneith as an escort, along with Rakharo and some of the Hobgoblin forces. Erryk hopes that Stevin and Torrit will get along and perhaps that Torrit can teach Stevin that he can still serve his house well, despite not manifesting the House Dragonmark. Stevin and Rakharo are also to investigate this “Crimson Blade” in the goblin enclaves of Southern Cyre, or the Zil region of gnomes in Eastern Breland, wherever and whatever it may be.

Erryk sends your cell off on undercover scouting in Thrane, to find out more about what’s going on with their troop movements and why they raided Eston. Were they looking just for Relic, or was it more? Oddly enough, Erryk let Relic go with them, into the same enemy territy that tried to capture him just recently.
The cell crossed the river and headed south towards Aruldusk. Despite being on the border, Aruldusk is relatively unscathed by battle. The garrison is decently trained, but far from the Thranish troops that raided Eston a few days prior. Bellamy orders the crew to bury their insignias and the major gear, to better pass as farmers and merchants in order ot enter the city. Bellamy knows plenty about Aruldusk, that it houses a temple of the Silver Flame that ceates Holy Avengers and Warcasters. At the start of the War, Thrane decided to create their own Arcane school like Arcanix, but under the strong tutelage of the Silver Flame. This school is here, in Aruldusk.
Once in Aruldusk, the crew try to meet up. Bellamy is no where to be found. Storm moves off to the Library. Kat, relieved Stevin isn’t around, heads to an inn and starts drinking her afternoon away. Amarill takes Relic and they discuss the differences between the Arcane arts Amarill knows and the alchemy that Relic creates. Amarill asks around for a man like him, his uncle Andrul. He learns that Andrul often spends time at the White Lion, a decent sized inn.
Amarill and Relic head there, meeting Kat along the way. When they arrive, Andrul is nowhere to be found. After a short while, Storm arrives at the White Lion.
Amongst the predominantly human patrons, a table of 3 Half-Orcs approach Storm. Their leader, a tall, well-built male, immediately addresses Storm by name, asking him what he’s doing here and not in Lessyk, harassing the village on the outskirts of the Harrowcrowns. This Half-Orc, Ghesh, quickly realizes that this Storm Furyhands is not the same Stormfury he knows. From the short conversation they have, we learn that Stormfury is a Shifter leading a band of shifters, half-orcs and other non-humans that harass and raid the villages surrounding the Harrowcrowns, the haunted forest a few days ride southwest of Aruldusk.
Realizing his mistake, but recognizing Storm as a shifter, Ghesh leaves the White Lion in a huff. A short time later, some of the local militia barge in the doors, led by a beautiful Silver Flame Warcaster. She disgustedly orders that Storm be taken into custody, a Shifter travelling in Thrane. As expected, Storm draws the massive blade he forged (made of steel, it’s a sword). Amarill tries to defuse the situation and appears to calm the soldiers but it doesn’t faze the Warcaster in the slightest. Kat draws her handaxes and hacks into the militia. Not intending to leave a bloody mess, they try to knock them out quickly. At the end, Storm unleashes his rage and fury, hacking the crossbowman in two. The four members of the crew make quick work of the Aruldusk militia and take off through the back door. Storm leaps to the roof of a nearby home, searching for a quick way back out of town. A street urchin grabs Amarill by the hand saying that Andrul needs help and fast.
Bellamy is still nowhere to be found.

The four race through the streets (and rooftops) of Aruldusk, as far away from the White Lion as they can get. Andrul’s home is a decent size for one man a two story home/laboratory. The front door is open, and it looks trashed on the inside. They search for Andrul, he isn’t there. They can’t find any secret doors, but plenty of small-time magic items strewn about the place. Neither Relic nor Kat recognize the tracks of what ransacked the place, but they can tell they aren’t human, and aren’t natural either. As they start to leave, a voice comes out of nowhere and says: “Are you looking for Andrul?” Amarill says yes and identifies himself. The voice replies “Oh, this is even easier than I thought.” and then several creatures appear from the shadows. A pair of chill wights glide toward Amarill, a demon-dog charges Kat, a little Gnome in full scale armor and a pair of short swords moves towards Amarill as well. The strangest looking creature grabs Amarill around the chest and head, from over 15 feet away and moved through the shadows, teleporting around the room. The creatures seemed to focus on Amarill. As one of the wights raked its dead claws through Storm’s blade, it triggered some of the magic inside the blade. The team, still minus Bellamy, fought tooth and nail against these aberrant creatures, taking them down one by one. Relic cast out his all-seeing eye, which prevented the wights and the gnome from using their invisibility at all. Once the tide was certainly turned against him, the Gnome says “Nataeus didn’t pay me enough for this” and tried to flee. He failed. Both Storm and Kat laid into him as he moved away, then Kat brained him from behind with the haft of her handaxe. The remaining wight disappeared the instant the Gnome fell unconscious.

Three questions remain: Where is Bellamy? Where is Andrul? Who is Nataeus?

XP gained- 475 each
money- none
items- (Lifedrinker Fullblade – Josh)

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2.2 - Defense of Eston

The crew returned to Eston with the Couriers in tow. Bellamy turned them over to Colonel Erryk and handed over the encrypted message with as much translation as you could figure out. Erryk gave him a wayfinder badge, created by House Sivis as a short-range messaging system. Range is about 30 miles for regular messages. Beyond that and it appears to work only twice a day. Alreon was moved to a different cell, with two replacements, Amarill and Peleon? a Tiefling Warlock.

The Rift’s cryptographers decoded more of the intercepted message- explaining that it wasn’t a troop surge towards Eston, but a massing of strike troops and skirmishers, intent on getting something or someone from the Cannith holdfast. Erryk heard through the grapevine that one of the Cannith engineers was showing off something new to the House Masters, but had no idea what it is.
Erryk said he’d talked to his Goblin troops about this Crimson Blade, to see if they knew anything.

In the downtime, Bellamy scouted out the defenses of the Cannith Tower in the center of town. Storm checked out the main defenses on the outskirts of town, then went to get drunk. Kat, on the other hand, trid to go to the bar but ran into her cousin Stevin instead. Stevin and his crew kicked Kat out, clearly angry with her and wanted nothing to do with her. Stevin’s father Roland helped found the Amaranthine Rift, but died a few years ago in the Siege of Shadukar, while on a rare contract with Karrnath.

The crew were sent on sentry duty that night. The Thranish strike force arrived that night, a day earlier than what you’d expected. The crew fought off quite a few members of the the strike team, including a battle comander of the Argent Fire, the same crew that ambushed Storm a few years back, right before he joined the Rift.
The strike force was really just a diversion, as Erryk discovered and relayed to Captain Bellamy. The real target was deeper in Eston- at the Cannith Tower. The intercepted message referred to a great power from the south- a new kind of Warforged brought up from southern Cyre. The team’s new target- find and secure Torrit D’Cannith, that Warforged’s creator.

Mayhem and confusion raged in the town, making it hard for the team to break through the crowds of people and get past the alchemical workshops, but they made it through with minimal injuries.

Outside the tower, Bellamy tried to save a Cannith house guard. He learned the general whereabouts of Torrit and the Warforged, but wasn’t able to save him. The team made their way through the Cannith hallways to the guest lodging, when Torrit D’Cannith was already bound and gagged. His Warforged fought vailiantly to save him, and the team took down the final strike team. Their leader, a gnome named Martrand, died in the battle. Although the other dead men appeared to be Thranish, there ain’t many gnomes in Thrane.

Total XP- 760
Gold- 75 (15 each)
Magical stuff:
Kaleb- Bloodthread Armor: (Lvl 5) Daily, +2 to AC when bloodied
Nick- Opportunitistic Weapon: (lvl 4) d12 bonus dmg if crit on opp attack, instead of d6, Daily: free action after opp atk, make a 2nd opp atk (or make it a 2W attack like Power Strike, choice is player’s)

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2.1 - Scouting the Flame

While stationed in Eston, Commander Kasten sends your unit into enemy territory for a short scouting assignment, despite your notorious lack of stealth. The Commander knows you can get the job done, no questions asked.

You crossed the river in a small ferry. A few hours later, you came across a small patrol of Thranish scouts with guard dogs escorting a House Orien Courier. The dogs were taken down quickly, the courier was knocked out in seconds, allowing Bellamy to force the two scouts to surrender. The courier carried a semi-coded map of patrols and other movements along the Thrane-Cyre border. There appeared to be another courier coming through this general area in the next day or so. The Orien Courier was left alive, but gagged and taken back to the ferry.

You made it back to the path with enough time to set up an ambush in a cutout on a hill.
Foolishly, the Thranes walked right into it.
Kat dropped a boulder onto an archer’s head, Storm charged and seriously injured another archer in surprise. Alreon leapt across the cutout and kicked the last archer’s jaw out. That left the three Dwarven bodyguards and the gnomish mage. Kat leapt down into the cutout, chopping one of the dwarve’s arms off, then decapitated him in one swift blow. Storm stepped up to the plate, turned his fullblade sidways and batted that little gnome bastard a good fifteen feet away.

The gnome carried a message sealed with the House Orien seal. You couldn’t understand all of the message, but you could figure out that there seemed to be a large amount of troops moving from Thrane and another area in Southern Khorvaire towards Eston. The attack is coming in a few days and it looks like it includes something called the Crimson Blade.

XP and treasure:
500 XP each
25 sp each
Gauntlets of Blood – Storm
Brooch of Shielding – Kat

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