Lost Winterspire: Into the Void

Chapter 33: Terror at Queen's Refuge

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- Niloc, Malachite, Stab and Machial awake at Queen’s Refuge
- Miri informs the party of a map she had commissioned a cartographer to make, a task that took him nearly a year and drove him mad.
- The Innkeepers agree to find the map, said to be sold among the merchants within the refugee camp.
- The party reunites with Ataba, only to learn he has succumbed to the Void Terrors that have been haunting him.
- The Void terrors reach out and attack the villagers of the town, leading to many deaths but are ultimately subdued by the Innkeepers.
- A trail is held to remove them from town, but the Innkeepers are able to garner support.
- The map is returned to Queen Miri.

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Chapter 32: The Queen's Hills

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- Etch, Stab find themselves barely alive and desperate to find civilization.
- A man approaches, known as the Priest of Lathander.
- He has gone mad and walks upon the Road of Despair to the edge of the land, hoping to escape this cruel world.
- The party attempts to rob and trip him, but he escapes and quickly leaves.
- The Innkeepers agree to head southwards, learning of a refugee camp nearby.
- They pass the great, radioactive Crescent Moon and learn they are being tracked by Displacer Beasts.
- As they arrive at the gates to the Queen’s Hills, they are stopped by the border guard, Bashe who attempts to con them out of coin.
- They outwit her and travel to the camp, only to be ambushed by the Displacer Beasts that have been hunting them.
- However, they safely arrive at the refugee camp and meet the Queen of the Hills, revealed to be Miri, the barmaid en of the former Moon Hills Inn.

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Chapter 31: The Wild Temple
Introducing Machial

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With the Beholder defeated behind them, Etch, Stab and Niloc discover that Malachite has gone missing within the Wild Temple. It becomes apparent that the Temple is a labyrinthine maze, shifting to confuse its prisoners.

However, they quickly encounter a Fire Genasi sorcerer, a new race of people who have become plane-touched by the elemental chaos since the Voiding. He is the noble Machial from House Velliano". With few allies and little chance of survival on their own, they venture deeper into the Temple.

Before long, they encounter what appears to be lost spirits, a Temple and a Wild man, former champions sent within this prison to execute the Beholders held within. At every corner, they are harassed by mind sucking Intellect devourers. These small aberrations are servants of the Beholders whose goal is to devour the brains of their victims in order to serve the Beholder.

Nonetheless the adventurers find their escape by using the Stone Gladius to unlock the final exit. They are greeted by benevolent spirits known as the Couatl, lords of lightning. Despite their benevolence, the Couatl are bound to the Beholder tyrants and cannot stop themselves from preventing the adventurers escape. In the process, they completely killing Machial with multiple streaks of lightning before being defeated by the remaining adventurers.

Having defeated the Couatl, they discover a pile of soil beneath their altar. Crawling within, they find themselves re-birthed on the edges of the Wild Jungles. Before long, Malachite crawls from beneath the soil as well, only to discover the corpse of Machial at her friend’s feet.

Knowing the opening of the Void granted her new powers, Malachite attempted her first ritual of Raise Dead, successfully returning Machial to life but unleashing Void Terrors into the World as a consequence.

Now, with shimmering purple hills in the distance, the adventurers must find their way to civilization to recover from their deepening wounds…

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Chapter 30 (Prologue): The Void
Introducing Etch and Stab

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Awoken in the jungle, the adventurers find themselves without equipment, wearing only rags and a burlap sack tied upon their head.

As the sack is removed, they are surrounded by swarms of savage Wild men, now mutated with rows of shark teeth and claws.

Etch, Stab, Niloc and Malachite discover they are actually sacrificial champions and will be taken to the Temples of the Wilds. There, the Wardruna will send them within the temple to slay the otherworldly Beholders that lie within.

As they enter a Beholder emerges, calling himself one of the Tyrants who now rule over this realm. With every ounce of strength, they are able to vanquish the Beholder and escape deeper within the Temple of the Wilds.

It is here, on day 1 of the Voiding, where our new adventure begins…

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Chapter 29 (Epilogue): Peak of the World
The end of Tiamat

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Epilogue for the Innkeepers of Winterspire: Chapters 1-29

Long before the age of man, these lands were ruled by the Giants and Dragons of Old. Tiamat, Queen of the Dragons, rose against the Giants, hoping to establish the Dragon as rulers of the primordial world. The Giants, in their last bastion of glory, banished Tiamat to the Nine Hells. And in doing so, they vanquished themselves, the Dragon and the ancient world they lived within.

As it often does, history repeats itself. During 1214, in the towering stone Moon Hills Inn, the legend began. An inn owned by the former adventurer Brutus on the border of the towering Winterspire Mountains was clamouring with adventurers. Each of them, for one reason or another, was seeking to climb to the Peak of Winterspire Mountains to be granted their legendary wish.

Instead, they found themselves embroiled in an ancient conflict between Dragon and Giant. An ill-spoken dragonborn known as Talimar sent them on a quest to retrieve his Serpent Herb, lost within the Misty Rock. Once retrieved, the adventurers discovered the truth: Tiamat has returned and seeks to devour the very world they live upon.

There was Rozzo, a moustached man who claims to be from the village of Merrittonia, though no one’s ever heard of that place.

Steeb, the gnome wizard seeking the infinite knowledge of the world beyond the confines of his cloister.

Niloc, the tiefling warlock raised by wolves within the Wild Forests.

Malachite, the tielfing trickster convict who escaped from Waterdeep and a profound mushroom entrepreneur.

Bal-darok, the battle-born half-orc paladin of Pelor and Atremis, a seasoned wizard of the divine and reknown son of Elminster of Waterdeep.

Festoon, the Halfling entertainer known for his extravagant accordion shows and his ability to transform into the circus animals he entertains with.

Farin, the dwarven pyromaniac wild sorcerer whose uncontrollable powers shock those around him.

And lastly, one who refused to join the Innkeepers and swore allegiance only to the Giants, Beats. The Goliath champion and avatar of ancient vengeance.

These are the adventurers who would form the Order of the Innkeepers alongside Brutus and Miri, owners of the Moon Hills Inn. And it was the Innkeepers would lead the call to arms against Tiamat’s return.

Under the reign of King Hrothgar, they helped form the Bannercall. That is, the march of the Winterspire’s thanes under one banner to meet Tiamat’s Black Legion from the East. The Innkeepers also traveled to Waterdeep and made themselves reknown among the cities masses. Using their political clout, they beseeched the Council of Waterdeep to form an army of their own to assist the Kingdom of Winterspire against Tiamat’s wrath.

With an army secured to stop the Black Legion, the Innkeepers now needed a means to vanquish Tiamat. Atremis, son of Elminster, revealed to them that he alone carried the Skull of Orcus. If they could find the Staff of Orcus, they could form Scepter that banished Tiamat prior.

As the armies of the Bannercall and Waterdeep clashed against Tiamat’s Black Legion, the adventurers climbed up Winterspire Peak, hoping to craft the Scepter of Orcus. Below, the Black Legion was stopped dead in their tracks, despite casualties on both sides. However, it bought Tiamat enough time to make her way up Winterspire Peak.

At the peak, the goliath Beats awaited his moment against Tiamat, having been foiled by Rozzo and the Innkeepers with a fake staff. As the Innkeepers reached Winterspire Peak, Oracles sat in anticipation of their arrival as the goliath brooded with vengeance.

With Tiamat momentarily bound by the wasted wish of a love-struck monk, the Innkeepers took their moment to strike. As Rozzo raised the Scepter of Orcus against Tiamat, he banished her to the Nine Hells.

Orcus, devil of the Nine Hells, decided to seize the moment and trade places with Tiamat. Sitting upon the Peak of Winterspire and the very peak of the World, he raised his weapon to rip the world asunder and unleash his devils upon Winterspire.

Instead, the Wizard Steeb used his wish to unleash a torrent of magical energy upon the Peak of World and opening a great void upon the skyline. As Orcus was ejected into a far off plane, the Void was controllable and the entire Kingdom of Winterspire with it.

And here, after this catastrophic moment, is where our adventurer begins. Into the Weird World of the Lost Void!

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Chapter 28: Siege of Winterspire

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On the 13th day of the Rotting, the Black Legion arrived in Winterspire, swarming from all directions.

Despite all odds, the siege was broken and the Black Legion was defeated by the united efforts of the Bannercall and Waterdeep, among others.

While victorious, Tiamat abandoned her army only to escape towards Winterspire Peak. There, she hoped to reach the Oracles and remake the world of Faerun to her liking.

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Chapter 27: Halls of the Elements
Staff of Orcus Part II

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Within the mining town of Stoneheim, the adventurers entered the mines to find the Halls of the Elements. According to Atremus, the ancient elemental tomb is the location of the Staff of Orcus, the second half to the only weapon that can defeat Tiamat (or any deity).

After passing the Trials of the Elements, the Staff of Orcus was discovered. However, it was snatched by Rozzo who quickly disappeared.

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Chapter 26: Gods among Men
Staff of Orcus Part I

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On the 4th day of the Rotting, the adventurers made their way up every grueling step of the Fortress of Frost, besieged by the Giants of Old on the far side of Icewind Glacier. With only 9 days before the Black Legion arrives, time was of the essence.

As Woestag, King of the Frost Orcs fell, so did his army. Their blackened hearts stopped in unison as they collapsed in silence. The Frost Orc were no more, and the siege of the Giants has been won. The Innkeepers had presumably gained favour with the Giants of Old.

Mighty roars of the Giants of the Old thundered across the frozen fortress in triumph. In the distance, the glacier began to crack and heave. From beneath, a gigantic fist burst through the ice, swelling with burning embers.

As his massive ancient arm pulled his body above the glacier, he spoke: “I am Ymir. King of the Giants of Old. The First Man!”

With the Giants on the war path, the Innkeepers decided to head towards Stoneheim, hoping to recruit the dwarves to the Bannercall and search for the Staff of Orcus, hidden within Stoneheim’s mines.

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Chapter 23-25: Fortress of Frost
Return of Bal-Darok and Woestag's end

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For generations, this mighty Orc fortress has stood at the end of Icewind Pass. Its impenetrable walls have miraculously stood against the the awakened Giants of Old, keeping them on the far side of Icewind Glacier. According to the seer Zashiera, the Frost Orc have sworn allegiance to Tiamat in exchange for eldritch power…

Recently, four adventurers, Bal-Darok, Rozzo, Malachite and Beats crawled beneath a small crater in the wall, finding themselves deep within an Orcish Dungeon. Within, Orcish clerics constructed monstrosities made of slain Giant parts.

The adventurer’s slowly made their way through the fortress, encountering a tortured giant head as well as an insane necromancer, ready to betray her King for the sake of the “Old Ones beneath the ice”.

The adventurers eventually fought their way up the frozen tower to meet King Woestag. There, the King pleaded the case for his people’s survival and warned them of the Giants. Despite his pleas, the adventurers beheaded the King, stopping his blackened heart and killing all of his people.

The siege of the Fortress of Frost was broken, and the Giants from beyond the glacier were free to aid the Innkeepers against Tiamat’s Black Legion.

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Chapter 22: Torinn's Detour

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With the stink of Westfurt’s bogs filling his nostrils, the ex-legionnaire Torinn perched in wait. His piercing draconic eyes stalked a cloaked figure as it skulked deep into the mist of the bog. Torinn’s eyes did not blink. They did not falter.

For hours he stalked his cloaked prey as it delved deeper into the foggy mist of the Boglands. There, his prey stepped upon an old, rotted tree stump and crawled within.

“It stinks of death here,” snorted Torinn to himself. “But not the walking corpse of Talimar. And so, a job for pawns” he sneered.

A few days later on the 1st day of the Rotting (November), Torinn sat alongside his so-called pawns: Rozzo, Niloc and Feros within the Dampwalk Inn of Westfurt.

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“The Cult of Tiamat reeks beneath your noses. It festers, like the undead that do her bidding. You may have killed the necromancer Zhul, but Tiamat’s greatest agent, Talimar, still wanders among these bogs. Pitiful humans, not unlike yourselves, have pledged allegiance to the Cult of Tiamat. And with it, they raise rotten dead men”.

“Take these cloaks and meet with Tiamat’s cultists. You will have to coerce them that you are one of them. Have them take you to their den of evil. Destroy it – or face legions of undead upon the battlefield of your Bannercall”.

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And so they did. For Torinn stalked the Innkeepers, in hopes they would bait Talimar’s presence. But it brought another instead. A great white-dragon known as Fenelux, older brother of the late-Farralax, swopped and hovered above the Innkeepers in all its glory. As its mighty wingspan covered them in shadow, they gazed up towards it, accompanied by cloaked cultists in reverence.

“Petty humans” Fenelux laughed. “You’re dusk has come. Worship me! Worship Tiamat! Raise your dead Hrothgar warriors from beneath these swamps. You must prepare for the coming of the Black Legion. Be ready. Frosthold will be sieged by the 13th day of the Rotting. Her day is now. Tiamat will reach Winterspire’s Peak and your servitude will not be forgotten!”

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With those wretched words, the white dragon swopped away into the distance, “Our time has come!” he roared in victory across the Boglands, “The Age of Destruction! The Age of Tiamat!”

In the distance, Torinn’s eyes remained fixated on Niloc, Feros and Rozzo as they proceeded to slay their ‘fellow’ cultists and crawled beneath a rotted log into a hidden den of evil.

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“How fitting,” spoke Torinn. “They’re not useless after-all. Perhaps they will prevent the dead from serving Tiamat. They may have failed to vanquish Talimar – but all is not lost … yet”.

As the new day’s sun began to dawn in the distance, a thundering explosion was heard beneath the swamp. First, Niloc came rushing out from the den and vanished into the mist’s shadows. Second, came Rozzo cackling with delight. And lastly, came Feros, as the thick bog water rushed into the collapsing den.

Torinn’s draconic eyes focused upon them and listened to their celebrations. They had collapsed the den with a well-placed wave of thunder. And with it, buried a den of necromancers bent on resurrecting the dead to serve Tiamat.

“One less legion upon the battlefield,” Torinn whispered. “I must find my own Lost Legion. We have little time to join mankind’s Bannercall”. The dragonborn turned and triumphantly stepped into the fog – only to immediately stop in his tracks.

“That wretched smell of rotting scale,” spoke Torinn. “I am not the only dragonborn who witnessed tonight’s spectacle!" He turned backwards as Rozzo and Feros trekked away in joyious delight.

Talimar…!”

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