Episode Fifty-Six - Upon the Walls
Their bodies harden once more as their vision faded from the red woman. The sound of a bold voice then questioned in the nothingness, "what if we cause more suffering this way Bruce?" A flash, like a dream, and they were before to the skyline of Waterdeep as the city burned. In another moment they heard a grim but hopeful voice declare, "it's all hypertime Clark, we need a timeline that can defeat it. It's proven to much for us." A searing darkness then came upon them, hungering just before they heard a woman, accented differently then the men but strong sounding in nature; ask, "have you found our lynchpins Barry? Have you helped them?" Thawing for a fourth time they saw Baern Stonehammer on a throne before they spun away, hardening again, only to hear an innocent voice respond, "no Diana, but I can get someone to save them I think." As time cemented in that crucial moment, a critical hero had made a journey unseen. Victims caught in the winds of Hypertime no longer, the Champions of Destiny thawed once more. As their limbs filled with motion a dark, stone room lit by sparse candlelight housed nothing but cobwebs as they looked down upon several robed men. Stood between them, clad in a sullied version of his typical garments, was none other then Dagult Neverember. Behind Dagult two men, clad in armor and pierced full of holes, bled out on the hay covered ground. As satisfaction crept across Dagult's face, he looked to the wizards and ordered them to clear the castle for a retreat. "Welcome back my friends," Dagult declared jovially, "You're at Castle Never in Neverwinter, there will be time to explain but we're leaving this castle before we're over run. Follow me and try not to trample me with those horses." After an exchange of concerned glances the Champions of Destiny followed Dagult. They all exited a stone-built stable at the foot of an imposing castle; the tall towers of Castle Never. The castle was half-covered with ash and half-gleaming in the early light as it stood ever distant in the morning sky. Beyond ruined castle walls and sundered buildings further on, towers and keeps swept across chimney fires and emblazoned buildings as the warmth of Neverwinter eased the aching bones of the heroes. Through the courtyard, they passed an encampment of Drow that watched as they all made an exit through the castle gates with a dozen soldiers, a few wizards, and the Open Lord of Waterdeep Dagult Neverember. Beyond the walls of Castle Never an uneasy feeling was easily obtained as, over a guard camp, they witnessed weary soldiers before a sundered bridge once depicting a sleeping dragon. Across the city ahead, even at distance, they could make out the forest of scaffolding that encompassed many of the buildings in the southwest quarter of the city. Neverwinter was certainly a city being repaired even as they watched. Stood atop a hill below the cliffs under the walls of Castle Never, Dagult presented himself and shouted to the camp below, "Here me now! The battle has been hard fought to obtain our first glances of Castle Never but its safety is long gone and its halls beyond us. In taking this place we’ve suffered losses, but we’ve not lost the war and therefore I beseech you to remember what it is we are fighting for." He continued, "we fight for the common man and we cannot let them bide the mistakes of the gods. I have accepted this burden with all that I am and I implore you to do the same if not for the right of all, then for gold. So hold ye this land as we take back Blacklake and give not the enemy, one more inch of ground. I don’t have to tell you what’s ahead for us. Our enemies must be stopped and we’re the only ones who can do it. Freedom, peace, and prosperity mark the rights of all souls and I beg you fight for those rights. Though today we have found safety, mark my words, in any war, there are calms between storms. There will be days when we lose faith. Days when our allies turn against us... but the day will never come that we, the true guardians of freedom, will forsake our duty or our people. I swear that as I stand before you, in my name: Dagult Neverember, protector of the innocent and Lord Protector of Neverwinter, that we will win this war!" The men cheered as they stood in Dagult's presence. He then looked to the heroes and commanded, "gather yourselves, then allow me to show you something. I'll be with my men." He left their sides and went down to the camp below as they pondered their situation, all the while Calaeriel had locked eyes with a curious Drow. Fearing a fight, as the group discussed their plethora of questions, Arion rounded the situation down. After a few moments, the heroes interrupted Dagult and learned that they had awoken on the 29th of Alturiak, not long after they'd been turned to stone. Dagult then looked upon them in desperation. "I understand that your quest is mighty, though I know not its contents, but this town could use your help." Dagult stated before he told the heroes of the troubles of Neverwinter. Arion was happy to help, Aldrich right along with him, and as the group readily agreed to aid the city; Dagult led the Champions of Destiny and company to the wall before The Chasm. Upon the walls a crowd of soldiers gathered and a horde of onlookers formed at the base. All eyes found Dagult as he peered over the wall at another incoming horde. Ash filled the air and the fires of The Chasm emblazoned the helms of the many brave warriors upon the wall as Dagult turned toward those looking to him for encouragement. Stood there upon the wall Dagult looked to his soldiers and began a speech, "there's a thin line between being a hero and being a memory. You've named me the Lord Protector of your valiant city and in this moment I know, in my noble right, that upon this day the heroes upon this wall will always be remembered and in those memories, we will live on." Before all and louder Dagult continued, "our enemies would have us sundered and forgotten, using underhanded means and skullduggery. They try to poison our minds and route our lines but yet we holdfast. Low we must not stoop to the vile level of our enemies, they will not defeat us with weak tactics and vile tricks. We will earn our rights with bravery and honor stood upon these walls." As Dagult held his hand toward the heroes he continued, "though we have lost great comrades, we have gained new ones who honor us with their bravery. Through this I guarantee, one army shall stand, one army shall fall but either way we’re going to prove who we are, and why we’re here!" Turning to the land beyond the wall Dagult called, "Should you defeat us, others will rise up to defeat your tyranny. Should the gods cleave us from this world, we will regroup and fight them in the hells. Fear us, for freedom is our right! This is our home! We will stay! We will fight! And we WILL win!" The crowd erupted into cheering as the charge of the thundering horde behind Dagult became all that could be heard. Nothing but the horde could then be seen beyond, nothing could be spoken, there was only the horde, the storm was upon the Champions of Destiny. Three manticore rushed up from within the horde as the twisted bodies of the plaguechanged assaulted the walls. Violence and blood found the heroes but in the end only one injury was sustained that was not healed. As Calaeriel held her side, dripping from the rows of manticore teeth that had bitten her, the ice of the last beast to fall began to melt into the ground below. Varis' arcane firearm crackled with sickles as Arion collected the two manticore heads he'd removed. With the battle won, Dagult suggested that the heroes head in to town to see what they had defended as blood dripped from his sword. Aldrich and Thorum opted to stay upon the walls as Arion, Calaeriel, Tokin, and Varis followed a local to a nearby market. After a trip to a taxidermist, Arion offered to help with a problem in the nearby sewers but before anyone could do much in the way of helping; plaguechanged monsters burst forth. Suddenly, the world had filled with a lingering unease. Nausea filled their stomachs and the heroes began to feel dizzy. The feeling passed, but a lack of balance remained. The world seemed vaguely wrong and that was when the air filled with a cacophony of roaring and mewling cries. The sewer grates were then thrown aside as moaning creatures climbed forth. They looked like skeletal men, but their limbs bent at weird angles. Their eyes trailed blue flames as their heads jerked through the air. At the same time, three scaled creatures clawed up from the pipe that projected out into the river. Calaeriel had certainly heard of the creatures she would come to try and desperately talk down, they were guard drakes but parts of their bodies didn’t seem to fit together properly. Folk ran in all directions, a few hid nearby to watch, as the creatures turned to the heroes. As townsfolk were chewed up by the drakes, the party gave a valiant fight. As a drake bit down on Arion and he sliced off its head, more plaguechanged surged form the sewers. As Tokin called lightening forth from his hammer, the melee cleared for a moment and an armored figure appeared, purple cloak wafting in the wind of battle. The warrior was clad in full plate armor. A helm hid his face and atop his head sat a gleaming mithral crown with sapphires set into its tines. “For Neverwinter,” he declared in a rasping voice as he raised his sword. Icy cold flames flared from the crown and into the blade as he charged toward the plaguechanged monsters. Calaeriel worked ever desperately all the while to convince the drakes to stop fighting in their tongue but she could not reach the warped beasts. Eventually, the combat subsided with the death of the plaguechanged monsters and the heroes were able to rest for a moment as the armored warrior tended to the dying townsfolk. A crowd gathered around the battlefield. As the warrior worked, someone, somewhere, cried out “It’s him, it’s the Lost Heir! The king has returned!” As folk cried out, “The king! The king!” the warrior stood, mithral crown gleaming atop his brow. “Their master comes,” he warned, in a voice like steel scraping through gravel. “Make ready!” He pointed his bloody sword into the sky, where a great winged shape descended toward the market with a roar. It landed with a clap of thunder, and when the vision of all around cleared, the heroes found themselves facing a towering white dragon wreathed in blue fire. Without warning, a great winged serpent had landed before them, its pearly white scales glistening with blood and blue flame. The violence of its landing sent the party staggering back a step as the dragon’s eyes crackled with blue flame and malevolent hunger. It looked upon each of them in turn until its gaze fell upon the crowned warrior. It was then that the dragon became mesmerized by the Lost Heir, who appeared to engage it in a battle of wills as he put two fingers to his temple. The heroes drank down potions of invulnerability and surged in for the fight with the young dragon. Varis was blasted by the dragon's ice and Calaeriel made her attempt to ease the mind of the beast before her but to no avail. As Arion slew the monster, the Lost Heir seemingly charged forward to steal the glory. As the beast recoiled from the blow of Arion's sword, bellowing in agony, the crowned warrior finished an enchantment with a sharp command and pointed a finger at the dragon. As the crowed watched on with Arion behind the beast from their vantage, they saw the blue flames surrounding the dragon begin to fade and the creature’s movements become sluggish. Its scales started to turn from white to gray and it howled in agony and struggled against the arcane assault but to no avail. Finally, within the space of two breaths, the young, female dragon stood immobile in the square, as a statue. As the crowed chanted, “The king! The king has returned!” the heroes tried to speak with the warrior but he ran away. As the party left the scene, a wererat looked upon them from the sewers. When Arion heard the cries of a child from the sewers below, the party headed down. Inside, the party split up and long before Arion was forced to kill the ghost of a weeping little girl, Calaeriel and Varis found trouble of their own. When Varis blundered into a black pudding, Calaeriel on his heels, the two found themselves and their items being chewed away by acid. As an ooze melted away Calaeriel's foot, Varis grabbed her and pulled her away. As they retreated, an ooze reached out and hit Varis in the neck. Varis tossed Calaeriel away as he collapsed but it would be of no help. As their gear was eaten away their bodies bubbled in the acid. Calaeriel's hand was severely burned and her eye bubbled out. Varis' very hand melted away as Arion and Tokin finally arrived to lead the oozes away. Arion soon there after carried the corpses away but not before he locked eyes with a wereshark and swore to return for him.
Part TwoUp on the street Arion freely rented a cart from a Gnomish shopkeep who's shop he and the party had saved. Arion and Tokin then rode to the Hall of Justice where a cleric of Tyr offered to watch over the bodies and keep Tokin safe. The cleric had directed Arion to the Breached Leviathan for a spell scroll of Raise Dead from an adventurer but once over the Winged Wyvern Bridge Arion stopped short at the local militia camp. Arion had seen the armor of a Griffon Calvary Guardsman of Waterdeep in the camp and his curiosity had been peaked. Inside the camp, Arion met the newly appointed Commander Razael who, knowing his directive in Waterdeep, offered to help keep Arion safe as he lacked other duties. The pair then headed on to the Breached Leviathan. Inside the tavern, they met the barkeep well and then conducted a trade and received quite a gift from one of Neverember's staff, Len-Jes. Having heard their deeds straight from their own mouths, Len-Jes offered to give up two scrolls of Raise Dead should the pair clear the tavern of loud mouthed rebels. Arion and Razael did so as General Sabine arrived beckoning the heroes back to Neverember. Having been informed on the Lost Heir thanks to Arion's prior run in with Sabine in the temple before the cleric; Neverember proposed that Arion place the Lost Heir at the top of his concerns and offered to help in any way to bring his companions back should his help be needed. Razael was then told that he has free reign in assisting Neverember with his problems, to conduct himself as he would think best fit.
525xp (Full Party)
200xp (Arion and Razael)
200xp (Arion and Razael)
Sidequest Forever War in Neverwinter Started, Subquest Lost Heir Started, Encounter Mysterious Heir Completed, Encounter Wyrm of Frost and Fire Completed, Encounter Emboldened Patrons Completed
Notable Party Damage:
- Aldrich has a scrape on the right arm of his armor from a javelin. He has claw marks across the left breast of his armor from a manticore.
Noted Effects: None
- Arion came from Arda with a scar that won't seem to heal. He has several faint scuffs on his shield from the tail of a horned devil. He also has a small hole from from an arrow on his forward facing, left pauldron. He has three puncture marks on his right bracer from the teeth of a drake.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Head). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
- Calaeriel has a near complete bite from a manticore, it lacks several teeth but has all three rows, on her left side just at her lower ribcage. She had her right foot melted off by the acid of a black pudding as she stood in it. Her right hand was burned by the acid of a black pudding and it left a scar on her right hand. While she was laying lifeless in a black pudding it melted out her left eye.
Noted Effects: Lose a Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage. Minor Scar. The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar. Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.
- Varis was hit in the neck by a black pudding, the acid left a terrible scar on the right side. He had his left hand melted off by the acid of a black pudding as his body was laying lifeless in it.
Noted Effects: Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar. Lose an Arm or a Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.