Tears of Destruction
Summary of Chapter 1 of the campaign
During the High Summer Fare in Tringlee, five relatively normal citizens were called upon to do a service to their community and investigate some missing farmers and the Marshal and his son and a disturbing report from a local hunter around their disappearance. After a brief ceremony held at Kimbertons Circle, to acknowledge your willingness to undertake the task you headed off.
You soon found the missing brothers and the Marshal, dead. The Marshals son (Pete Dowd) had just survived and pointed you in the direction of a trail of clues to find the source of their demise and uncovered a foul corrupting force emanating from an ancient crypt in a nearby hillside. You cleansed the crypt, defeating many undead in the process and destroying an object of unknown origin that was contaminating the surrounding environment with necrotic energy. You also salvaged half of the now empty tear to study.
Possibly using a teleportation gate that you had found, a strange and powerful individual appeared nearby to congratulate you on “an experiment well concluded”. This horned Tiefling seemed to be accompanied by another presence, possibly a powerful sword that was by his side. He was persuaded to “announce his presence” to the world and declared himself to be named ‘Barbatos Malphas’ and that soon all the world would know his name and worship him. He then opened a hole in the air and called forth a pair of hell hounds to try and kill the five….a steel-capped boot soon put an end to that threat.
A passionate discussion was held regarding the destiny of a holy symbol of daring that had been found. Some wanted to gift the item to the Marshals son to guide him after the loss of his father. It was eventually decided to use the magic of the symbol to better facilitate your effectiveness as a group by moving enchantments between items and actively seek out threats and defeat them.
The newly-proclaimed heroes returned to town amid much fanfare. They reported their findings to their village elders and were soon escorted to the city of Greyhawk by Gareth Brown, a passing Greyhawk Sentinel that had seen the fallout cloud from their crypt cleansing operation. A small pit stop was required on the way there to reclaim some items from a royal vault.
Upon arrival in the free city of Greyhawk you were soon granted an audience with the King and two of his advisors; Arch Mage Kathernan Lemyson and Advisor Sodor, whom you told your tale too. The King appeared to be a jolly buffoon that either didn’t understand the danger of the story that you were explaining or he didn’t care. He proclaimed you heroes though and asked you to perform a small investigation task for him whilst he arranged a feast in your honour where you would be rewarded with the ‘ Key to the City’.
Feeling a little demeaned by being asked to “located a missing person” (Narm Stonesong, a Dwarven Stonemason of some renown). You asked around and eventually uncovered an entrance in the city wall that led to an underground cavern that contained 80-90 Shadow Demons, all being given a ‘ proclamation’ letter to deliver to rulers and leaders all over the world. You also fought a vicious Dragonborn that was referred to as ‘ one of her anointed’. You didn’t leave him in a suitable state to answer your questions though, so are unsure what that title means.
The Tiefling was also present in the underground cavern and left in a hurry as he had a tight schedule to stick to and was set to ‘ return the gods’ as a gesture of good will to his new subjects. He then left through a brand spanking new teleportation gate that you promptly destroyed.
Reporting this to the King, he dropped the jolly fool façade and agreed to let you into his inner circle of trust. He took you to a war room and revealed everything that he and his advisor’s knew. Namely that there are at least 70 other tears of destruction in places about the realm and they are beginning to cause problems.
One celebration feast later and after a meeting with rulers of nearby nations, it was agreed that you would accompany the kings son, Prince Arvan, to the nearby site of a Tear of Destruction, inside a sunken temple in the Mistmarsh. Where an arcane ritual would be performed that would attempt to destroy the tear without the fallout witnessed when the first tear was destroyed.
In a final evening of relaxation and drink before leaving Greyhawk, Jack ‘Blackjack’ Wright and some of his colleagues drank too much ale, gambled a lot and woke the next morning to discover that Blackjack now owned a mansion on Arcadia Place, Greyhawk. There was no time to examine the new acquisition though as you had a mission to complete.
After three wet, rainy weeks (most un-summer like) you arrived at the Mistmarsh with forty city guards and split into four teams to assault the sunken temple and hopefully destroy the tear within it. When on your final approach to the temple entrance a strange event occurred. It was like a ripple or non-physical shock-wave travelling through the world….it caused everyone to mentally lurch, stagger and hold on to something whilst they recovered.
Afterwards everything seemed to have changed. Everyone’s mind was open to new possibilities, all of them ranging from mean and unsavoury to down right evil and despicable. Few people acted upon their eyes being opened to the possibilities, but one guard with you stabbed another in the throat “because of the way he looked” and then fled. It was hard to understand what had happened because you were all the same people, but everything had changed. It was like you had been seeing the world in black-and-white, and suddenly colour had been added. Until the colour had been added you were unaware it was even missing.
You continued into the depths of the temple, fighting undead at every turn and blasting them apart in new and exciting ways. You found an interesting crystal coffin containing the perfectly preserved body of a beautiful human female that you decided to release (with a flash of light and a flicker of her eyes) and take with you.
Just as you were closing in on the tear, read to destroy it, you were whisked away to……