Year of the Blood Moon, 658 CF
It was during the time that the humans call Brewfest that I encountered my old friend, Sir Asher de Covelet. He had been traveling with a group that included a large middle aged half-orc called Brak, his grandson Krett de Covelet, a young woodland elf magician named, Sariya, and a curious half-demon creature claiming the surname of Rend.
This band of heroes had set out from Brie under the command of the king himself, Loring Silchester. Loring had commissioned them to quietly journey to the western province of Andevar. Rumors of demonic possessions and mysterious disappearances of villagers had began to cause trouble and the King feared that it could harm the reclamation of the region. The region had a trouble history and as recent as two decades ago was ruled over by none other than my old traveling companion and sworn enemy, Sieboldiana or The Betrayer. Loring had asked that they find the his administrator in the province, Lord Erwin Tathos from the House of Vandal. Tathos had not answered the king’s inquiries nor had any of the messengers sent returned.
Ash and others told me of their travels. They spoke of an encounter with soldiers bearing the House of Vandal and a half-troll like creature near a burned out village. They confirmed rumors of missing villagers and found that the entire town of Montinelle was empty, save for three individuals hiding in the local inn’s basement. Montinelle had once been the site of a great Abbey before the coming of the Betrayer, this new Montinelle was the seat of power in the province and home to Tathos’s keep. The keep like the town was empty, a smoking charred shell from some great fire.
One of the three occupants turned out to be a former guardsman for Tathos, Thorsten. Thorsten told them a tale that I already knew myself, having just journeyed from mountains before meeting Ash and his companions in Andevar. Thorsten was part of an expedition led by Malachi Lethbridge to recover the dread Ebonstone shards from the vault in which they had been placed some twenty years before. Thorsten and the other guards from Andevar took the sword pieces back to their master after breaking the wards at the Great Gates of Urizen. The sword caused many of the soldiers to go insane and attack friends in suicidal rages. The sword ended up having some effect on Tathos himself. Cumulating in an attack on Montinelle and the kidnapping of many of the villagers that survived the initial attack by his men.
I knew all of this before even meeting Sir Asher because I myself had journeyed to Urizen’s stronghold and tracked the sword to Andevar just before meeting Ash on the road. My way had been slowed by a group of men and demons, no doubt sent by Tathos or his master, The Betrayer to stop me.
After we had made our greetings I set out with Ash and his companions.
We came in a short time to the Abbey of Nevron, built on the old trail that ran up to the shrine of the same name. I paused to remember the time when we rescued Loring’s ancestor, Aerial, from Malachi Lethbridge, only to see her be assassinated on the way home. In some ways that event was Sieboldiana’s first step toward madness that would one day over come him in the Egg of Lolth.
We made our way across the grounds of the abbey which consisted of a small tree ringed hill on which the abbey sat. A set of weather stone stairs passed through the trees.
Before arriving at the stairs we did battle with a group of hell spawned hounds that inhabited a ruins and discovered an undead creature of some fallen brother from the abbey. These along with the two lizard dragon crossbreeds we fought on the way to the doors of the Abbey we of no challenge to us.
As we reached the top of the stairs and looked back a curious thing happened. The very landscape itself had begun to shift and the tall fruit trees of the hill became a hellish landscape of endless dusty planes. We could not have planeshifted so easily but indeed we seemed to be in some place other than Andevar. I suspect The Betrayer must be behind off of these happenings.
The shrine had taken on a demonic appearance of dark stone and blacked out stained glassed windows. The great doors leading to the main worship all were both torn from the hinges. We found the interior infested with demon kind and defaced with diabolical writings and scrawl.
The entry way statues of long dead figures of Briean history attacked us and proved a worthy fight. We were forced to destroy them despite feeling as if we were contributing to the foul reek that was upon this once holy site.
The main audience hall was home to a pair of massive winged demon kind that had transformed the floor the chamber into a liquid lava. They teasingly lobbed lava at the magical force shield and mocked us when we flinched. One of these beasts wore the hilt of the Ebonstone sword around his neck on a black chain.
We could not penetrate the great wall of force keeping us from these two and they soon sunk into the lava.
We turned to the right passage and surprised a group of bony, horned devils attempting to burn the holy font in the chamber of all remaining holy water. We dispatched them quickly.
The next chamber contained wreckage from a collapsed wall and tower. The wind moaned here and we could hear far off screams of torment. Atop a pile of rubble the old iron tower bell sat. We uncovered a shard of the sword that had been hidden under the bell, perhaps for safe keeping?
The next chamber that we came to appeared empty but was occupied by a large winged beast brandishing a whip. He took flight and we found that he wan’t alone. His orge-mage allies surprised us all and dealt a serious blow to the party before each being defeated.
At this point we had many injured amongst us but an encouraging cool wind blew through the fallen walls and a hit of blue sky appeared overhead replacing the infernal red of the hellish sky.
What awaited us beyond this point surprised me greatly and it is wonder any of us survived.