The Pact - Malchus' Folly (SC'20)

Written by Steve Tremblay

28th of Fara'ure, 1246 - late in the day
The last member of an adventuring party throws up their hands in frustration, signs the agreement and walks out of the room leaving the leadership from the town of Overdale and their guards alone in the room with the Mayor of Winterhaven.   This would become known as Malchus' Folly, detailed in "The Bleak Ten"
  A year before, the group 'led' by one Malchus Grimnas had set up shop as the go-to problem solvers for the city of Overdale.  The partnership was lucrative for both sides until an unfortunate event where the now former Mayor, Lucius Merridian died from a heart attack while arguing with Malchus.    The Captain of the Guard, Ian Serverus would have become the acting Mayor until another was elected but he was missing in action, making Zannon Carter the defacto leader as the head of the clergy in town.    Carter, a cleric of the God of the Sun, Hope and Light had reasonable concerns about the adventurers as one of their group had recently been bitten by a vampire and would soon turn into one of the undead himself.  Carter suggested to the group that they travel into the Yemgar Swamp and seek help from the Witch who lived there who may be able to offer a solution for Thoril Songsteal's affliction.  They did seek out and find the Witch and on the way, found a young girl lost in the swamp who had come from a nearby logging camp. She was a young Briahna Ebelmare who would frequently find herself in trouble and in need of rescue but who would grow into an adult of almost unstoppable power.  Malchus vowed to protect the child with his life, as well as promised to find a resolution for Thoril's vampirism which remained after the meeting with the Witch.    When the group returned to Overdale, Mayor Carter was of course dismayed that they now traveled with a fully turned vampire in their ranks.  As events unfolded the group angered a local crime boss who sent assassins to take revenge. Heroes being the sort they are, left a trail of corpses across the city to the hideout of the crime boss and slaughtered everyone inside.    The next day after burying a fallen team-mate the group visited Carter to explain their side of things. Carter was almost convinced to simply cut ties with the adventurers but Thoril lost control of himself after Carter cut his hand on a letter opener and attacked him.    The group would end up on the run for some time, pursued by Overdale troops for an open attack on the Mayor. With wanted posters hung across the area the group ran out of local places to hide and Carter became obsessed with the idea that they would return to finish their attack on him.    Carter feared their return so much, he implemented laws to apprehend any nearby non-humans for questioning, after all the group consisting of a tiefling, a minotaur, a warforged and a vampire must be known to other non-humans.    The capture and imprisonments continued as did the pursuit. Carter hired one of the most famous monster hunters in the land who specialized in battling the undead. Liara Bryos was well worth her price but in a chance run-in with Malchus' crew had to abandon her caravan or die with the rest of the guards.    This event prompted the group to make their way north to Winterhaven where some of them had been knighted and they held some amount of security.  Tired of running, they asked Lord Padraig to send word to Mayor Carter to hold a summit.  An agreement was reached and Carter and his entourage including Liara, many guards and a former member of Malchus' group Trias Draverson who was now Captain of the Guard in Overdale would travel to Winterhaven.    On the 28th of Fara'ure, 1246 the meeting took place in Winterhaven Hall. Lord Padraig, his guards and the group on one side of the table, Carter and his companions on the other.    The talks went on for what seemed like hours attempting to find a middle ground. Ironhide, the warforged (Essai) wanted to fight and end the chase, Malchus wanted a peaceful forgiving deal where the group would never step foot in Overdale again and the others just wanted to move on with their lives.    Talks escalated to shouting, shouting escalated to Malchus storming out before bloodshed started almost cementing the deal for his side. He accepted the offer to stay out of Overdale's lands in exchange for Overdale ceasing the chase. The others soon followed, upset that the discussions had broken down and Malchus seemingly got his way by refusing to continue.    The Pact had been signed.    This event is known by many names: The Pact, The Treaty Signing but by the reading public after the publishing of The Bleak Ten, it is best known as Malchus' Folly.    The blame for what followed was pointed at Malchus by many. He accepted his deal but did not foresee the nightmare of the next 20 years. Carter would declare himself King and move to expand Overwatch's borders (formerly Overdale) to cover almost the entire west half of the continent of Ellara.  The group, while fighting a historical and thought to be dead warlord was trapped in stasis for 17 years and were unable to stop Carter from claiming lands far beyond his cities borders.
The events in this article take place on the Dungeons and Randomness podcast starting at Arc 1 - Episode #005 through Arc 1 - Episode #010 where the signing happens.

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