Secret of the Scarlet Door

The First Council of Whitethorn

Upon hearing the clamor of guards mustering in the tower below, and acting on Doctor Zulgaz’s advice, the party flees Vyntirum Keep riding upon the Walker Between Worlds. The party sojourns with many powerful personages, representatives of the good folk of Abred.

Present are Caomhain Brighteyes, the high druid and fili of Wylanqost forest, defender of the Great Bear Spirit of Wylanqost, Fionyr the White; Doctor Zulgaz, leader of the smelter’s resistance in Magrafaelt; Arch Druid Aidon, from the loose alliance of northern villages known as the Circle; Eirenwyld, danaan king of the Aevynqost; Brecca, earthmother and wisewoman of the Bramblewood; Borghast, war chieftain of the nordmen; and Frazunk Frazunnkle, grand crafter of the delvers and erstwhile mentor to Frizzle Undermound.

The party learns that the Red Queen is but one of four aspects and servitors of Varax. Each servitor represents a corrupted form of the four basic elements. The Red Queen herself represents corrupted water (Blood) the others being Ash, Bone, and Shadow.

The great council decides that the party should retrieve a weapon capable of battling the foresakers, rather than charging blindly into the Grey Roads upon the Walker between Worlds to pursue the Red Queen. Though most among the council still believe the heroes must eventually enter the Otherworld and seek out the foresakers in their own realm, slay them once and for all.

The party finds the great bear Fionyr sorely wounded by servitors of Cinderhorn, strange dragonlike creatures that explode into clouds of cinder when slain. In a mighty battle, the heroes save the bear from certain death and vanquish the wretched dragonlings.

The party then travels to the home of the Ash foresaker, the mountain known as Cinderhorn Peak, which is, in fact, the horn of the sleeping foresaker dragon Cinderhorn herself.

After mustering a small but ready band of mercenaries from the nearby (and unfortunate) town of Ruined Rill, the party adventures deep into Cinderhorn peak to face one of the ancient dragon’s heirs, a vile young dragon known as Shradagach, who is bent on wakening his mother.

The party interrupts a ritual led by Shradagach and kills many dragon cultists in the process. In a heroic feat, Creagh Leon and Frizzle the Delver distract the dragon and cultists while MimNym the druidess shapeshifts into bat form and steals the hilt of Námhaid-Marbath, the slayer of enemies.

Now the party returns to Whitethorn to seek counsel on the next step in their quest to drive back the mounting tide of darkness.

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Some More Catching Up

After an unexpected delay in the subterranean city of Magrafaelt, the heroes finally reached the outskirts of Lanyr by traveling along the Grey Roads and passing through a gate stone (Dolmen)resting atop a nearby landmark known as Gloaming Hill.

A shadowy shape pursued the party through the gate stone and swept past them on ebon wings—apparently headed for the city of Lanyr.

After discovering the wreckage left in the thing’s wake—a village laid waste by the creatures passage—the party arrived at Lanyr by boat (obtained from one of Frizzle’s pouches). The party investigated at a tavern known as the Drunken Dragon and learned of much evil transpiring in Lanyr, seemingly centered at the King’s Tower, Vyntirum Keep. These rumors were soon corroborated when the party spotted the king’s soldiers battling shadowy forms atop the keep’s ramparts and decided to investigate the matter further.

Once inside Vytnirum Keep, the party found that the shadowy creatures had not only killed many f the king’s soldiers, but had also somehow possessed them—turning them against one another so that kindred in battle died upon their own brothers’ blades.

At long last, the party fought their way to the top of the tower where they faced off against the shadowy winged creature that had followed them through the dolmen gate. Mimnyn recognized the creature as a Dorchadas, a servitor of Shalgorath (one aspect of the Varax in his shadow form). After a pitched battle in the king’s own treasure chamber, the heroes slew the Dorchadas and finally, long leagues and weeks of questing behind them, the heroes fitted the magical eyes into the ancient metal dragon relic known as the Walker Between Worlds, bringing the thing to life.

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Catching Up

The party faced off against faerie folk turned ghouls and one of the Red Queen’s warrior-elite recently risen from the tomb. They also managed to piece together a bit more of the puzzle of the stones and discovered that they possess the eyes of the walker-between-worlds—an ancient relic now kept in the human city of Lanyr.
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After an an arduous battle with the Scarlet Queen, the heroes escape through a secret door discovered beneath the evil monarch’s throne. Thark and Creagh’leon are badly wounded, but thanks to the tender ministrations of Minnynn and Brecca the party survives intact. -———————————————————————————————————————————————

Next, the party explores the Maze of Miyala—a twisting labyrinth of thorns peopled by servants of the Mad Witch Miyala herself. Overcoming numerous challenges laid before them, including riddles, strangling vines, and illusory giants, the party arrives at last in the Mad Witch’s chambers. Miyala seems terrified and helpless when directly confronted and the heroes find within her tower a gate to the Otherworld. -———————————————————————————————————————————————
Following insights gleaned from the Red Priest’s records and the counsel of the wise woman Brecca, the companions plan to travel the Grey Roads to the capital city of Lanyr where they hope to find an ancient relic known as “The Walker Between Worlds,” a dragon-like, mystical construct crafted by fae and humans millennia ago, before the shattering. This relic should carry them safely to the Otherworld where the party can confront the Red Queen and other rising threats in their own domain…

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Secret of the Scarlet Door Adventure Log
World of Abred Adventure Log

The adventure begins in the small northern village of Haven’s Hold. The Northern Kingdoms is something of a frontier, bordered by the 5 kingdoms (Lanyr, Camyria, Endylmyr, Kordryn, and Dunning) to the south, and the Stonehold Foothills and Norwald Forest to the north.

The town itself is part of a loose alliance of villages known as “The Circle,” which include Raven’s Roost, Haven’s Hold, and Myldyr.

Recently, strange, half-human shapes have been seen wandering near the Ebonmyr Lake and the Bramblewood, and sightings have been reported progressively closer to town. Seers and Soothsayers whisper of an ancient evil and the night wind seems to blow a little colder these days…

You have met in Haven’s Hold, and the tales told by the fire and the whispers heard round the bar this chill winter’s eve may be more than mere fantasy…

Hello and welcome to the village of Haven’s Hold on the continent of Cordryn. To the East stand the Feldspar Hills, which stretch in a great crescent slowly northward and eventually rise into the distant peaks of the Stoneguard Mountains. To the South lie the shining southern kingdoms, now under dominion of the Varaxian Empire; once wild folk like those of the north, the southerners have grown fat and soft within the emperor’s walls. To the west, wild marches stretch on, for leagues uncounted, before, it is said, the land gives way to the sea, where great stones shoot skyward like the citadels of some forgotten city, now sunken beneath the emerald waves.
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And to the north, between the mountains and the villages of the Wyldarfolk, lies the Bramblewood.
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Little is known of this place, save that elders among the druids and bards whisper that danaans still walk above-ground in this place, making the great wild wood the last bastion of that shining and ancient race.
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But there are whispers of darker things in the wood as well…
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As of late, many folk in the Wyldar Villages of Caerth, Raven’s Roost, and Haven’s Hold have died from a terrible plague, known by many as the black scythe. Great healers among the druids and priests of Dana, and among the greatest loremasters of the bards and filids, say that the only cure to this disease must lie somewhere in the Bramblewood. So say the whispering caws of Old Raven and the wind-song that sings in the trees by full moon’s light…
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Elder Dhomhnaill’s eyes flashed in the firelight as he looked calmly but intently upon those assembled. Sparks flew from the fire, bright orange cinders crackling as they shot for an instant hot and bright into the cool night air. Above, a new sickle moon shone and many stars glowed bright and clear through wisps of cloud that spanned like strands of a spider’s web throughout the cold night sky.
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“So you have come to hear a tale of our people. Of the way things were before the good folk vanished and the firbolg were driven underground.” His tone made the question a statement.
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“Very well,” he said, after pausing to watch the crackle and spark of the flames in the Great Hearth fire, “But be forewarned: though this tale tells of faeries and dragons and many things unknown to us today, it is no child’s tale to fascinate, no swaddling’s story to bring joy to the young and faint of heart. This is faerie tale, but it is no thing for a child’s ears…”

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