Waterlogged and tired the five heroes looked upon a dour island stretch just a few hundred feet from the Evening Isles coast line. Four hours of clinging onto ship wreckage was exhausting, Dolgrin doubted in his centuries of experience as the Champion did he feel as miserable as he did at this moment. But it was not long before Dolgrin was stretching out on solid ground and Kyras orating blessings upon the thin sandy shore.
“Our gratitude once again Lady Queylia for rescuing us from the waters, unfortunately you will have to tell us where you have taken us.” Kyras said once he, Dramen and Syrendross had secured the sail boat for their female rescuers- Angels of the Sea he hailed them as.
“We are travelers from Gibraltar,” Dramen added sticking the prearranged plan.
“And who were the other groups out there,” Syrendross said motioning back to the dark ocean waters, “They did not seem as sincere in their rescue efforts, they looked like they were more interested in recovery than rescuing.”
Giving the drow a concerned look she said, “Our position on this side of the water-wall has empowered selfish individuals who take advantage for personal gain, I speak of the Peralia.”
As she spoke she lead the five companions up the shore line and to a concealed trail that looked well used. “Including victimizing widows of those who died at sea because they were curious about the approaching wall of water. My new friends, I need your help.”
Our session begins with Dolgrin and Rydin awaking in a stone room on the secret island of Grebaria where the two find themselves alive and in the same physical condition as when we were rescued from this island several weeks ago. In a rush, past memories flood back into Dolgrin and Rydin who realize they are in fact Avatars of the legendary heroes Balder Ironshield and Myrddin Og while still identifying as Dolgrin and Rydin.
Along the stone room were what looked like wardrobes but full of avatar forms for each of the group including Captain Zilinias, who Teneel (Sufferance) later explains she keeps as a necessary requirement of her duties as a Virtue. The room was part of an ancient structure; open to the sky and well hidden from those who did not know of its existence. Here the dwarf and elf meet Industria who for the next three weeks supervises Dolgrin and Rydin’s apotheosis.
Back on the Overwrought Companion Dramen, Kyras, and Syrendross were eased of their sadness and was told by Teneel that Dolgrin and Rydin was alive and to be patient, soon everything would be explained. During the flight back to Grebaria the 'Companion was attacked by a dragon, but to our surprise and the surprise of the dragon, Teneel transformed into a celestial dragon and routed the aggressor quickly. She was an ancient and primal form that invoked a religious experience in all of us.
Reunited and it feels so good, we learn many things regarding Evening Isles history, Grebaria, and that started this literal campaign of virtue:
what occurred forty-days ago
· Everything that was done was done at ‘our’ request. Meaning our core characters: ‘The McCaugh’ Jerit McCaugh, ‘The Traveler’ Smendric Wands, ‘War-Wizard’ Myrddin Og, ‘The Champion’ Balder Ironshield, and ‘Monitor of Magic’ Shar Auvryndar - mainly the Traveler who was lovers with Industira- agreed to aid the celestial dragons (avatars of virtue) against Tiamat (who threaten the parents of these dragons) and they, in their mysterious power, provide ‘us’ a means to do so with Avatars because avatars cannot be killed.
· History 101: Plight of Earth.
o Vlad Tepes, a vampire of legend, wanted a world of darkness as he ruled from his flying citadel over the Fields of the Dead. Vlad’s trusted confidant was an individual named Nissian, the wish master and he knew of a world that would be a suitable alternate to Toril. That plane was Earth.
o A struggle on Earth was already taking place by the Keeper of the Night Adalwin Joscelin and Myrddin Og who fought the Keeper at every turn. Adalwin was an agent of Hell and this made Hell in turn aware of Earth.
o Meanwhile Vlad wanted to incorporate Earth into the abyss but was foiled by ‘us’ centuries ago by imprisoning the vampire lord into the sun that now burns over the once perpetually dark world.
· Grebaria was not connected to the Evening Isles, and when the Isles broke free from its tectonic plate and began its drift it destroyed the two southern islands of Grebaria leaving the farthest northern island behind to evolve in the past eight hundred years into a varied landscape that also serves as home for a small group of humans. It is also part of the Evening Isles and this is protected from evil dragons. It is where the celestial dragons are most powerful.
· The Dragon of virtue need agents to stop Tiamat/Nissian the last remaining threat to this plane before they can return to their homes.
· The Dragons of sin fall under Tiamat’s bailiwick and there are three sins currently at work in Africa.
We are magically introduced to each of the celestial dragons of virtue, some of us for the first time as
As we were given 3,000 gp in gems, four pearls of power, a cloak of resistance, and a single bag of holding (T1) we learn the Isles are largely monotheistic, with some cultures still revering the Old Gods of nature and branches therein. Pact magic was once prevalent but now sees service through dark elementalists, contracts with devils, or as demonologists. Bouvaldia possesses the greatest navy in the Evening Isles and their one major city is called Bouvet Keep.
Carved out of Macron Mountain the keep has never fallen. It contains fifty thousand individuals of varying races, a large volcano dwarven population, and is supported by several smaller communities around its base. The Lord of Bouvet Keep is Duke Calias; the keep is racially diverse containing some drow- refugees from before the Drift.
On the forty-first day we were teleported by Teneel to a sea cave near where a conflict had just taken place off the coast of Bouvaldia. Fire burned a ship hull as people swam for floating debris. After floating for four hours three small boats arrived, one for rescuing the other two boats were salvagers and later believed to be human traffickers.
After being rescued by Queylia, an honorable woman, we sailed to a small island within two hundred feet off the coast. Widow Island, as it came to be known, was home to a tribe of fifty women originally widows of sailors who died off shore investigating the Evening Isles. The angels of the deep fed us while describing the ‘others’ at sea as agents of the Peralia family. They are identified by a black crow across a half-moon sigil and represent the widows of the island's greatest threat.
We agree to dispense some justice by rescuing a group of twelve widows believed to be in the possession of the Peralias. We are informed of one of two places- a location in the near-by town of Surfton (pop. 2,000), or a mile and a half away were docks lie near a mountain river outlet.
The Widows provide us with a hut to rest until the next day.
Arriving into Surfton many of us realize that the Peralia family owns much of the town, and that there seems to be an unspoken understanding to the arrangement of salvaging and selling. The town has three major wells, one central large well and two smaller flanking wells on opposite sides; ballista were placed to discourage siege attacks. Many of the buildings lacked doors as each building has a weather beaten quality to them. There were no street signs but it became obvious where to go once Rydin noticed a hidden sigil within the town. Secreted in the Peralia family symbol, on a cornerstone, and again on an inner door frame was an intriguing symbol.
As this was happening Kyras spots hooved tracks in the ground and Syrendross notices two individuals from last night’s rescue seated and distant, but not long after we entered a Peralia shop of sails. Once an opulent home, now re-purposed into the family business; were met Hallsly who sold Rydin some items before we decide to travel onward to the docks.
A few minutes out of town we encounter deltas were several docks are arranged bearing the crow-moon of the Peralias, many of the boats varied and unmatched. We are then soon accosted by what seemed like a half-orc, Corker who discouraged further travel along the path.
After some brief interaction and a distraction we learn there is a barge event later tonight at 11:30 but nonetheless evade his attempts to halt our passage. We eventually come across Macron River which is fed by the mountains that Bouvet Keep inhabits fifty miles away. We continue searching for more signs of the mysterious symbol, believing that to be the key to finding the twelve widows.
From the river docks several hails solicited services but it was not long before we are approached by Kinasia and his wife who saw us, naive as we are, and decided to intervene on our behalf. While some of our palaver occurred on the docks we soon retreated to his private ship late that morning to speak openly.
Kinasia explains he has been here for two years; the Peralias are half-orc blooded; and that orcs, a half mile up the mountain, are up to no good with their evil cultish ways. The wife describes a cabal of orc demon followers as well as part of their symbol. We explain our search for the twelve women and learn of a particular gang leader that has been problematic.
We learn that a naval battle a year ago against a doomed island chain was the beginning of it all; for four months battle waged creating an opportunity for the Peralias, but now there are not as many battles to capitalize on so the economy here has dried up. In regards to our problem Kinasia informs us that sometimes the orcs visit the barges at night and, should we request, he and his wife would guide the party to the orc caves.