Lord of Darkness

Rise of Darkness
"I will not fail again. Soon, Dhedluk will be mine."-Ventar the Fallen

The different paths the characters were following brought them face to face with Vralia, a mysterious woman revealed to be behind the White River calamity. After she was defeated by Pedro in a tense battle on the side of a cliff face, Oriseus and Torik found a chest which, when opened, was found to contain a wealth of golden coins and a sealed letter, which read as follows-

Most faithful Vralia,
I have recieved word that your mission has been a success-congratulations. Soon foolish Thiombar will give in to my demands, and Dhedluk will be mine. I have successfully gathered the orcs of Arabel under my command, and have awakened the Legion. All is nearly ready, and in but a few short months, I shall be ready to march on Dhedluk. My spy has relayed to me that his propaganda is working, and the pathetic rabble of Dhedluk are already turning against their lord. I will not fail again. Dhedluk will be mine.

There was no signature on the note other than an ornate “K” surrounded by a black disk pierced by a dagger, a symbol later revealed to be the mark of the Legion.

The characters took the news of this discovery to Thiombar, greatly upsetting him. Thiombar told them that the Dark Lord was in reality his older brother Ventar, who had been a paladin of Tyr before disappearing into Stormking. According to Thiombar, something in that mountain corrupted him to the point where he attempted to conquer Dhedluk, only to be exiled by his father into the Stonelands, but not before vowing to return. Thiombar asked for the party’s help in facing his brother, and they all swore to do so. Together, the characters and Thiombar determined that the first step would be finding and exposing the Legionite spy, and the party set out to do so.

The characters’ investigation eventually brought them to Saharas Amblecrown, a visiting Sembian merchant who had set up a tent on the other side of the White River. Saharas’s expressed mistrust of Thiombar and his recognition of Kareathis’s symbol aroused the party’s suspicion, but Thiombar warned them that he wouldn’t formally accuse Saharas unless the characters brought forward more evidence to support their theory.

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Halls of Stormking
"Far greater horrors lurk in Stormking than one might expect..." -Thiombar Moonblade

Arriving in Dhedluk, the heroes learned of the town’s predicament and approached Thiombar offering to help. Thiombar told them the full story of how he had recieved an ultimatum to hand over the city, refused, and was now paying the price for his decision. The heroes offered to venture into Stormking Mountain to find what had caused the White River to dry up, and Thiombar gratefully accepted. However, he also warned them that Stormking was a far more dangerous place than they might anticipate, and that he would reward them for their valiant efforts.

After a few hours of hiking, the heroes reached the entrance to the mountain. The cavern was guarded by a pair of orcs, which were easily defeated by the party. However, once inside, they found that Thiombar had been right-Stormking was home to anabandoned dark monastary devoted to Shar, goddess of darkness. Fighting their way past a legion of skeletons and a huge spider, the party has now split up to explore the dungeon, a move that may prove to be disasterous…

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