Fires of Creation Epilogue and Lords of Rust Part 1
As the adventurers emerge from Weeping Lake, bearing the corpse of Meyanda, they see that the violet bonfire atop Black Hill has been re-ignited and is flaring up into the night sky. The snow-covered town is illuminated by the light, giving everything a purplish appearance. The echo of a large crowd is heard off in the direction of Khonnir’s Foundry Tavern.
At the Tavern, the adventurers discover that Erston‘s father, Gaius, has arrived in town and has immediately won over most of the townsfolk. He greets Erston warmly and presents him with the repaired family sword, Eternia. Fizzle notices that Gaius uses a magic ring to cast charm person on Erston as he passes on the sword. Grosh, examining the blade carefully, notices that Eternia has something that looks like circuitry hidden subtly along it’s length.
Gaius announces that Erston is the new head of the Greatman family, but shortly thereafter convinces his charmed son that Gauis should “take on the burden of the day-to-day activies of the family” so that Erston can “concentrate on his adventuring career”. In effect, this leaves Erston as head of the family in name only: a figurehead.
Emileth‘s adopted father, Keldroth, arrives with a handful of Black Thorn Knights. Keldroth reports that he found Val Baine lost in the snow near Torch; the girl and her father are swiftly reunited (Meyanda’s black nanite hypogun is used to cure Khonnir’s aliment). Gaius attempts to charm Keldroth, but fails. The two men are chilly toward one another.
When Gaius leaves the gathering, Fizzle follows him out into the snow. The stealthy goblin overhears Gaius and his manservant, Anthony, plotting about Eternia. Gaius says that “Erston can’t possibly know the sword’s true purpose” and “he’ll serve to distract our enemies.”
The next three months are fairly uneventful. The adventurers are snowed in, unable to travel away from Torch, and must find ways to keep themselves occupied. Fizzle buys Khonnir’s house and hires a servant boy, Scorch, whom he quickly begins to abuse. Emileth spends the winter months training with her father and his knights, developing her strength. Erston enjoys the luxury afforded to him by his newfound wealth, but also spends a bit of time training up for battle. And Grosh spends most of the winter in Khonnir’s foundry, smithing a variety of arms and armor.
At midwinter, a mysterious group steals Meyanda’s body from the Temple of Brigh (where she had been kept on ice waiting for the ground to warm up enough for burial). A fox-faced halfing girl wakes Fizzle and tells him to gather his fellow adventurers and meet her atop Black Hill. There, the halfling and her companions reveal that they are working for someone who opposes the rise of Hellion, and they are stealing Meyanda’s body for their purposes. The halfing also cryptically warns the adventurers to watch out for ‘crystals’.
As soon as the spring thaw hits, the adventurers buy horses and ride out toward Scrapwall, finding that the land grows emptier and more desolate the further they travel. Mutated beasts prove common, as do irradiated springs. The adventurers also spot increasing signs of violence as they near Scrapwall; remains of burned out villages, ransacked camps, etc.
A half-day’s ride from Scrapwall, the adventurers approach the small fortress of Aldronard’s Rest, a known haven for travellers. They decide to rest there, so that they can approach Scrapwall during the morning. Unfortunately, they are attacked by a vicious group of Smilers who had taken control of the fort…