Homecoming

mtg_06.jpg
After over a year of travel through the domains of dread, our heroes had returned to Miredus and found that they had even found their way home to Jura! Each of the party experienced different emotions connected to this tremendous event. For Goodman, Saima, Zephryam and Garret, the return to their homeland brought joy—even if it was with a hint of apprehension. The others, who had lived their whole lives in the Mists were surprised to say the least. What did this mean for them? What indeed!

Under the almost forgotten warmth of a full sun, the party journey from the outskirts of Miredus to the city proper, where they were greeted by members of the Midnight Watch and brought before Councilman Duran. He greeted his friends warmly and explained to them what had happened during their long absence. Time had moved quiet differently for the city of Miredus. Whereas the party had been gone for just over a year, to the people of Miredus the heroes had been on their journey for over three years. During this time, the city had adapted and survived. The Mists had been cruel as always, but without Vosk’s tyranny the people were able to better organize and fight against the horrors. And the citizens had never lost hope that their Heroes would return. They knew that the heroes had been successful in their quest when suddenly, some six months prior, the people of Miredus awoke to find the city had returned to Jura!

The Order and the Midnight Watch sent scouts into the surrounding area to find out that had happened. Their reports confirmed the amazing truth: the kingdom of Miredus had returned to the exact location on the plains of Jura where it had once occupied. But they had not been protected by the movement of time, indeed things were very different. Where the people of Miredus had been lost in the Mists for some eight years, the kingdom was missing from Jura for over ten years! The scouts also learned that the world had moved on without Miredus present.

The kingdoms of Resmir, Grullan, Endril and Strava had been destroyed in the Drought War and were never rebuilt. The ruins of those razed kingdoms remained, grim and haunted monuments to the evil of Vosk Fayden. The refugees and survivors of the Drought War had gathered together away from the ruins of their cities on the banks of the Lagan River, and there founded the kingdom of Thoral. With the royal families of these kingdoms massacred, the people elected a new king to lead them: King Othmar. Through ten long years, the kingdom of Thoral had been forged in the flame of hardship. Many died due to hunger and exposure as the people tried to grow new crops and build a new city. But they prospered in time, with the lessons learned in the early years making them hardy people.

Certainly it was only a matter of time before Thoral learned of Miredus’s return. The Council debated how to handle this situation. How would the Thoralans respond to Miredians? Would they be met with fear due to their magical disappearance? Rage over their dark crimes? Should the a peace envoy be sent? These questions were debated for days before the party’s timely return, and were brought to a head when our players discovered a Thoralan scout in the area!

The scout, who identified himself as Meker, was reluctant to share any information about Thoral or their plans. The party worked to convince Meker of their good will and eventually he yielded some information. He explained that Thoral knew of Miredus’s return and was afraid that the kingdom was one of evil magic and death. They were gathering information to determine what to do. The heroes discussed and saw that this situation was a powder keg ready to burst. They opted to journey to Thoral on a diplomatic mission to prevent any violence between the two kingdoms.

Meker accompanied the party of their journey, and led them through the countryside. They traveled though the savannah, eventually coming upon the haunted ruins of Resmir. They solemnly passed through the city, with the memories of Vosk’s crimes weighing heavily on them. In the city, the encountered a team of witch hunters from Thoral, who accused the party of witchcraft and evil when they identified themselves. Goodman attempted to parley, but the inquisitors would have none of it. The heroes of Miredus defended themselves against the stern witch hunters, sparing their lives in the melee.

Leaving the ruins, the party made camp for the night and expected to reach Thoral the next morning. That evening, they encountered a roving band of restless dead—-revenants that prowled the wastes of Remir and the surrounding area. These ghosts attacked the party as they slept, requiring our heroes to react quickly to survive. Once they gathered their wits, our players quickly put the dead to rest.

After the harrowing evening, the heroes made their way to the outskirts of Thoral. With the city in the distance, the party came upon two men from a local farm. The farmers recognized Zephryam as a holy man and asked the party for aid. Being true heroes, the party pledged their aid. The farmers explained that their mother had passed on the day before, and they were worried that with the “recent troubles” her soul would not find peace. Unsure of what the troubles were, the party followed them to the farm where the old woman’s body was being prepared for burial. With powerful, but descrete help from Goodman, Zephyram’s prayers permanently protected the matriarch’s soul from dark magic. For their efforts, our heroes were treated to a rustic dinner. The family explained that for the past several months, there had been reports of roving dead and dark magic in the world. Though they realized that this certainly coincided with Miredus’s return, the players decided to keep this information to themselves.

What had happened when they defeated Strahd? What indeed.

The party departed the simple farmstead and continued on to Thoral. Meker had agreed to escort them to the city, and led them to the front gate without incident. Even though it was young, Thoral was an impressive city with thick stonewalls around the perimeter. At the gates of the city, the Heroes of Miredus quietly identified themselves and Meker confirmed that they came in peace. They consented to surrender of their weapons and awaited word from the King. After a tense few minutes, the party was allowed to continue into the city and were brought to a local military barracks. There, our players met with the mysterious Scout General Reholb and learned that they could meet with King Othmar.

The evening stay was somewhat cramped, but better than most places they had stayed in the Mists. That morning the Heroes were brought to the King’s Hall, a large lodge where King Othmar kept his court. As strange ambassadors to the returned kingdom of Miredus, the players were brought before King Othmar to plead their case. Othmar was a cautious king, worried that the people of Miredus would bring doom to his new kingdom. He noted that many people living in the kingdom still harbored anger and fear over Vosk’s atrocities during the Drought War. The party acknowledged this fully, accepting some blame for Vosk and tried to explain that the Miredian people had suffered greatly for their sins. The players argued that Miredus was no longer the kingdom it had been, instead became a new nation that had been forged through tragedy. Goodman pointed out the similarities between Thoral and Miredus; hoping that a shared, grim history would allow for cooperation and peace, not further death and destruction. Othmar appeared amicable to this and explained that the new kingdom needed food. An agreement was reached where Miredus would share its grain for the coming winter, and the skilled workmen of Thoral could aid Miredus in its repairs.

With the threat of war defused, and a working relationship established, the heroes graciously departed from Thoral to return to their home and start investigating this disturbance in the Shadowfell. Sadly, once in view of Miredus, they learned that things had not been uneventful during their diplomatic mission. The sky above their kingdom was a strange blood-red color, with bolts of purple lightning cascading across the firmament. Racing into the city they found a chaotic scene where people ran from the green and several large fires had sprung up. The heroes encountered Order soldiers that explained the calamity: several days before, a previously unknown cult had began attacking throughout the city. The Order and Midnight Watch had contained the cultists in most of the city, but the largest group had begun some foul ritual at the ruins of Vosk’s tower. The milita had not approached due to the growing fires and rogue cultists attacking the populous.

Our heroes rushed to the ruins of Vosk’s tower, fighting through a large group of cultists on the way. These cultists appeared to worship the elemental chaos and strangely claimed that Garret was ‘the chosen one’! Garret briefly explained that he had been associated with such a cult in his youth and perhaps, during his absence in the Mists, he had become an icon for the strange cult. With not enough time to continue the discussion, the heroes made their way to Vosk’s Tower.

Outside the tower, a large group of cultists led by a foul sorcerer was preforming some terrible ritual. As bolts of florid lightning impacted the green, the sorcerer called out the Garret, commanding him to take his place as sacrifice to the Primordial monster they hoped to usher into the world. The party immediately attacked the cultists, hoping to disrupt the ritual. They succeeded in killing all of the cultists, but with his dying breath the sorcerer offered himself to the Primordial and the eldritch creature burst onto the plane. It was up to the party to stop it from consuming the kingdom!

Homecoming

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna