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Old 06-29-2014
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[DM] Grinning Death [DM] Grinning Death is offline
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The Day of Broken Blades

All great events in history begin, as a general rule, like any other. The blessed light of Lathander pushes away night's embrace, and the gods look on as mortals rise and fall with deeds both heroic and cowardly. Villains slay the brave knight, and good men learn where their morality ends and survival begins.

The 28th of Kythorn was such a day, in that its auspicious beginning could never have prepared an onlooker for the eventual end, culminating in Shar's watchful eye.

The Fourth Legion advanced upon the once sleepy town of Sestra in the evening light, its banners raised high. The symbolic hand of Emperor Nautius Vernius reached out against its enemy, and tried to crush the now organized resistance to his rule. Sundren's foe, gathered within its reach, would now suffer for the years of warfare waged against Sundren's people.

The battle waged was harsh. Sundren's elite soldiers clashed with Sestra's forces, blades tearing through flesh both undead and living. The Legion's blades were sharp, ready to take Sestran lives and necromantic creations alike without mercy. The Legion tore through the Banite forces, slaughtering the troops with impunity. Led by Grand Marshal Datton, a small cadre of dark knights pushed back against the onslaught, bringing the Legion advance to a near halt. Blood covered hills reflected the rising light of the coming morning, as both sides recovered.

The Legion used its advantage of not having the vampiric forces of the Black Hand on the lines to move its siege engines into position, battering the Sestran position. The Grand Marshal Datton ordered his undead warriors to burn the engines, not only setting them alight but the undead themselves. A cheer rippled through the Sestran camp, its warriors glad for the turn in battle.

That eve, as the sun set once more, the Sestran forces doubled in strength, forces coming in from the Citadel to bolster the undead. Datton and his warriors faced the fearsome Iovani Maximus in battle, slaying him and his warriors and forcing a retreat. As the blackguards celebrated their victory, lightning flashed in the sky. And there was a Hand of Mundus in person, an archmagi of untold arcane knowledge, smiling at them.

"You have won nothing today, Banites."

With those ominous words, she uttered the incantation for a beast of the Abyss to come forth and do battle with the Black Hand. The mighty demon did battle with the Tyrant Lord's servants, until they vanquished it in green flame. As they exclaimed their victory to Bane, the ground rumbled....

For little did they know, but the Emperor had set a ruse. The attack on Sestra was never meant to succeed, only take the attention of the Grand Marshal and his men. A cadre of the Emperor's agents had secretly gathered allies, in an attempt to do the impossible: storm the Citadel, and destroy the Nexus.

The Tuatha, the little known masters of the ley, manipulated the lines that crossed in the heart of the Mossdale in order to sneak into the Citadel's portal room, accompanied by the Triadic and Legion forces. Met with a vision of hellfire and a thousand doors into unknown planes, the representation of the ley made manifest confused the heroes. That is, until they noticed that the portals themselves had no reflection, being of physics and magics strange to the Prime Material Plane. They found the hidden way out of the ley line, and into the heart of the Black Hand itself.

Guided by Greagrios Whiteflame, Tuathan elder who had infltrated the hold ahead of the group, they rushed to the heart of the Nexus at the base of the Tyrant Lord's statute. Despite the distraction at Sestra, reinforcements had rushed to the plight of the Citadel and hunted the assorted agents of the crown. Greagrios, knowing his time was at an end, ushered them through the ley point. His usually angry and bitter visage melting into something akin to fatherly affection at his two apprentices.

"In my five hundred years, I have never been a father." He said quietly to the Triadic Knight next to him as the two rushed to the ley point. "But I feel as though I have been given two daughters to guide and love." With those final words, Greagrios the White Flame locked the door, and met his fate at the hands of the wrathful undead.

Perhaps unknowing, the agents entered again into the ley, this a plane of water so still that one could barely tell where the world ended and the water began. Waterfalls in the distance dwarfed mountains, so mighty were the falls. And in the heart of this strange place, the heroes found the Nexus' heart beating.

They destroyed it, and any remnants of it. Pushed out of the ley by the force of the shockwave, they ended where they began: at the cult site within the Mossdale. Only here, they found only more carnage. Triadic and Legion alike littered the ground, with the remaining warriors wounded. The Right Hand explained that they had been betrayed, that the Left Hand had given away their position. The Banite forces had flanked the Triadic Knights, catching them by surprise.

And so the Triad fell.

The warriors who had fought against Bane's influence and iron grasp for so long had faded away into ash, set alight by some of the remaining few still alive.

Emperor Verinus declared the 28th of Kythorn a holy day, a day of remembrance for those who had fallen for Sundren's victory at the Citadel, now barren with the loss of the Nexus within. With his next breath, he declared the Left Hand traitors, as discovered by its colleagues in the Right Hand. An investigation provided by the Helmite church proved that the Left had been plotting with the Black Hand all along, and that they were hereby banished under the pain of execution if they were to return to Sundren lands.

Unable to teleport back to their fortress, the Banites who had gone to Sestra remained there, deciding that Sestra had proved for the first time its strength in all out war against the Legion. A new hope has sprung up in Sestra, one that the Black Hand may yet prove itself the strongest, and therefore fittest, one to rule this valley.

Regardless, there remained only corpses and broken blades by the end of the short conflict. Fields of blood and tears matched the fading sunlight, marked as different in Sundarian history only because of the sheer loss that hadn't been seen since the Second Sundering.

It was a day that the Triad, and Sundren, would never forget.
"Use the Force, Harry" -Gandalf

Last edited by [DM] Grinning Death; 07-31-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Grief-stricken and lost, the only triadic soldier to leave the Mossdale left only with the trinkets of broken pride and emptiness. Where she walked there was no hope, or courage offered, only a confusing miasma of divine and arcane power that flickered and grew unstable at each moment spent needing to sate her grief. The silver and blue soldier detoured from the path to her temple and slowly vanished into the mists of the Viridale...
Aesa Volsung - Uthgardt Warrior

Gabrielle Atkinson - Mage Priest of Torm
Anasath Zesiro - Mulhorandi Morninglord
Kyoko - Tiefling Diviner
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Old 06-30-2014
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In the hallowed halls of the Three, walls that once rung with the joined and harmonious voices of the Triadic faithful are all but silent, the only sound caroming from their surfaces belonging to the boots of the few crusaders held out of the mission to the Black Citadel - the minimum needed to guard and operate the temple's affairs.

News of the betrayal by the Left Hand is fast brought to the begging ears of the few dozen left in the temple-barracks; it is carried, appropriately, by a Legion officer in dress uniform, his left arm in a sling, his head wrapped in a fresh linen. His message delivered, he stiffly limps away, his own wounds stealing much of his compassion.

Deep in the recesses of the temple, Lord Darius Blackwell, the Penitent, seethes. He stands before the altar of Torm, though he stares at his hands - his bloodless hands - and he resents them. Luther, Judicator of Tyr, scrambles about the temple, insisting on greater unity, greater organization. His letters to far-off temples, asking for new knights, new pilgrims to again swell their numbers, are politely answered in faithful denial; Sundren is where good men go to die, and not all good men are ready to expire.

Martyr Melchior, the wizened man who has suffered longest of Sundren's remaining Triadic, quietly moves among the ill housed there, guiding his Broken Ones, shedding soulful tears for the suffering. He does not weep for those knights who fell in dutiful faith against their sworn enemy; having chosen the sword, they died by it, and no doubt their souls have lifted to Celestia, a just reward for making the greatest sacrifice they could. No, he weeps for the future, for the generations of children who will grow and live without their footfalls illuminated by the guiding light of the Church of the Triumvirate, with no visions of the Triadic host spilling forth from the temple, their polished armor gleaming and songs of devotion spilling from their lips.

The Halls of the Triad are all but silent, joyful cries reduced to whispers as the ashes of their fallen brethren seep into blood-soaked earth, to be taken by a bog that will never give them up.
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