20 Gozran – 11 Deznus 4711
The Grand Crusade of Sir Hightower
Sir Granit Hightower, son of the Lord Warden of the North, arrived at Nerosyan to gather an army to retake the lost city of Drezen. This was believed to be an impossible task since the demons of the Worldwound had turned the glorious city into a wretched hive. Sir Hightower’s counter to this claim was a secret weapon. Between the rumor of an easy victory, his natural charisma as well as support from luminaries such as the great hero Sir Baldor Meade, the Drezen Crusade’s ranks swelled.
Our heroes joined the crusade for much the same reason. Valdir had met with Xalianna and learned of a lost vault near Drezen that held an item that would be of great importance to her. He agreed to crack the vault for her in exchange for a sizeable cash reward.
Ilmarinen’s past came back to haunt him as the Grand Magister of Ustalav is offering a bounty for his capture in regards to the murder of his apprentice Amalia Windborn. The wizard had employed the services of a decoy to throw the bounty hunters off his trail.
Fort Amlur and the Tears of Iomedae
The trek took them to Fort Amlur where Hightower was mustering its troops. There they encountered Vanir Swiftstrike, youngest son of the Hightower family. He was in charge of the secret weapon. Roth and Ilmarinen asked Valdir to poison Vanir both as a way to remove him from the potentially dangerous campaign into the worldwound as well as getting access to the secret weapon.
This ruse, however, attracted the attention of Karzak, a inquisitor of the Iomedae’s temple. Roth was captured and submitted to interrogation underneath a Zone of Truth. Roth admitted to his interest in the weapon but managed to conceal knowledge of Ilmarinen and the other fugitives in his party. Karzak bound Roth in an oath to the crusade and put him to work to maintain the weapon.
The weapon turned out to be the Tears of Iomedae, a glowing stone that cast searing holy light. It is said that the light of the Tears burns away the sins of any who look upon it and only the most righteous can stand to be in its presence without being lit aflame. Vanir Steelstrike had been set to repair the lost weapon. He had been layered in the most potent of protective wards, even then the Tears of Iomedae was said to have affected the boy’s mind.
Within the Worldwound
The Hightower Crusade’s journey into the Worldwound was dangerous but they were buoyed by the nature of their holy quest. When a demonic horde caught wind of their advance, Sir Hightower believed it would be a fitting test of the Secret Weapon. They met the demons on the field of battle and the Tears were deployed. It’s light washed over the charging horde. The initial ranks were incinerated completely, the rest scattered and broken by the Crusade’s fierce counter charge. The Tears were a resounding success.
The Black Vault
A hidden vault of proscribed magical artifacts was hidden beneath an abandoned temple. Valdir snuck out with the rest of the party and raided the vault. They found the Demon’s Eye, the artifact that Xaliana requested, as well as an Imp that had been trapped in a magically sealed bottle. The Imp agreed to serve whoever let him out for so long as they lived. Their cart stuffed with loot from the vault they made their way back to the Crusade’s camp.
The Massacre at Drezen
On the following day the army arrayed itself outside of Drezen. A vast horde of demons spilled out from the lost city to meet them. Despite this the crusaders were not afraid for they knew the Tears of Iomedae would tip the balance in their favour.
When the horde swept towards like the a howling tide Sir Hightower gave the order to open the sealed box containing the Tears. Like before, it’s beam of light struck the horde, however there was an almost imperceptible whine and the cracking of glass and the Tears of Iomedae fractured. The beam split and the light began scything into the ranks of the crusaders. Terror was pandemic and the Crusader’s line fell beneath the demonic assault. Thus began the slaughter at Drezen.