Echoes of Ragnarök
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What Lurks Beneath
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War of Shadows

 

 
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KoEF Event 2010
Quest Log

September 25th, 1010:

The portal opened in a field nearby Cold Spring, and a wave of heroes spilled out of the Nexus onto an awaiting quest. As they stumbled ahead, trying to deduce their surroundings, they quickly realized why the Nexus had brought them forth. Before them stood a small army of trolls, garbed in the same heraldry as those that live under the city.

The Troll Army

A troll shaman stepped forward to warn away the heroes, holding in his hands a curious book. Though the questing party attempted a brief parley, they army of trolls marched forward and engaged them in combat. All the while, the shaman made clear the fact that he would not be stopped on his mission. This first battle with the troll force was devastating to the heroes, as they lost many of their number in the ensuing combat. As their resources were worn from this and previous struggles, the Nexus sensed that they would need help, and opened another portal to allow some reinforcements to join them.

Soon, the initial waves of trolls had been dispatched. The strange book was recovered off of the shaman's body and a note therein was read. From a troll general named Rigaz, to the shaman, the note stated that it was their mission was to obliterate the creature that was described in the book. The book contained research notes; information about an hourglass that held within it a greater being in stasis. This mystic hourglass, the quarry of the archeologist who wrote the book, had the ability to release what was trapped inside or to destroy it, depending onto which side the sand was allowed to fall. The trolls had stumbled upon this book and it seemed that they wished to destroy this captive creature. Did that mean it was in the best interests of the adventurers, and Rhiassa, to release it?

A Slow Advance

Reinforcements for the troll army soon arrived, and the adventures proceeded down a forest path, fighting them along the way. The creatures were strong, and numerous, and the battle took a high toll on the heroes who had a slow, but steady advance. After a lengthy struggle, the heroes glimpsed an altar and ritual circle in the distance. Crouched at that altar, holding the very same hourglass described in the book, was the shaman. What was his aim?

If there was a chance to ask him and deduce the shaman's purpose, the heroes would never get it. In a daring flanking maneuver by the adventurers, the ritual circle was reached and the shaman quickly dispatched. Though the hourglass was left behind, there was no real indication of the troll's true purpose. Only these clues remained; most of the sand was on the 'obliterate' side of the hourglass and the note in the book indicated that the creature must be destroyed. What should be done?

While troll warriors continued to assault the ritual circle and impede the heroes, the adventurers debated how to react to these strange circumstances. Every indication was given that the trolls wanted this greater being destroyed. Did that mean it would be to the benefit of all Rhiassa should an enemy of the monsters be released? Would it upset the balance of power in some way? Would it do more harm then good? These questions weighed heavily on the minds of the adventurers. Little did they suspect, they were all trapped in a ruse.

A Slow Advance

A vision and other divination magics were cast to determine the right course of action, but these actions had been anticipated by the malevolent force that was pulling the strings. The divinations were skewed or subtly manipulated with devilish ambiguity, and the heroes were pressured into a hasty decision as the onslaught of troll warriors began to wear them down. Praying they were making the right call, the heroes chose to release the greater being and turned the hourglass to that end.

The sand trickled down the glass as the heroes summoned what little strength they had left to protect the ritual circle. After an eternity of seconds, the final grain of sand bounced into the bottom of the timer. In that moment, the nefarious scheme of the now-deceased troll shaman came to fruition. All along he had set the stage to make the heroes believe that his people needed the creature destroyed, while in reality, he needed the help of humans to complete the evil ritual. The ancient people who had trapped the greater being centuries ago had put a ward on the hourglass to prevent trolls and their kin from operating the device at all.

A Slow Advance

Through devious planning; a fake note placed in his journal, the subtle positioning of the hourglass when the heroes first found it, and some clever adaptations of his ability to skew divination; the shaman had sewed enough doubt into the minds of the adventurers to make them ignore their own instincts. The ritual, now complete according to the will of the shaman, brought forth a monstrously powerful demon. Springing from the hourglass, the beast lashed out with blades of pure fire, prepared to wipe out the entire questing party while the trolls cheered with joy. In that very moment, the Nexus hurled the heroes back to its center, and away from their fatal error in judgment.

What new dangers will this creature bring to the war under the streets of Rhiassa?

 
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