Friend or Foe

The group escorted the remaining prisoners out of the Plane of Shadows. Once that was done, they had someone stand guard at the portal within Shaarhaven until they could get a strong enough wizard to destroy it. It took a little while but they eventually found a wizard who could destroy the portal for a considerable sum of money. Not wanting to tap into the kingdom treasury, the group pulled their gold together to pay the wizard and was finally rid of the accursed portal. One thing that weighed heavy on the group’s minds was the unfinished letter from Ethar that stated the cultists true intentions was something more devious than what was on the surface. Their true goals could only be found in the “Book of Black” and yet the group could not find any such book in the Plane of Shadows. One couldn’t help but ask, “Was the evil really over and their plans truly foiled?” The answer was to come sooner than they would realize.

Time passed after the closure of the portal and the group continued to build their kingdom. One day the Steel Vanguard received a letter requesting their presence at the Temple of Chauntea from Jhod Kavken. They were wary from the unusual urgency of the letter, but they headed to the temple in due haste. Their they found Jhod disheveled and relieved that the group had shown. He spoke of tragic dreams and visions that had been plaguing him recently. He said they we’re of the evil that would be wreaking havoc in Shaar Haven soon. Many thought that Jhod might be scheming behind their back or playing some evil trick, but they could sense the sincerity in his words.

Jhod had a request, he wished for the group to enact one particular vision he has had. In the vision the group stood within the shallow pond in front of the Temple of Chauntea. He was uncertain of its relevance, but he knew it must have some sort of meaning. Willow was the only one who was happy to oblige his request (Helps that the same pond healed her eye many moons earlier). The rest of the group was hesitant to fulfill his request, but thought it would be in the best interest of the kingdom if some evil was truly rearing its head at their kingdom. They stepped in and all were overwhelmed by a vision. Before them stood a fair complected woman with bright silvery hair. She wore a white wispy dress that was covered with designs of grain and wheat. As she opened her mouth to speak, her soft soothing voice induced a warm feeling amongst the listeners. She was in fact the avatar of the goddess Chauntea, who wished to relay a message to the group of adventurers. She said-

“Evil is beginning to swell in Olegstown north of the capital. There are villians there working in the shadows that wish to bring an end to Shaar Haven and perhaps even the world. The lady of loss, Shar, has brought together the worshippers of Cyric and Bane to help her beegin an Unwinding of the Weave. You must journey to three places: the Castle Korg to stop their reenforcements, the Crypt of Alzakair to stop Shar’s ritual and look to the lands below to gain entrance to the Turning Tower, but beware the shadowdark drow. Please go and stop those who wish to do everyone harm. My sisters and I will lend you a few pieces of equipment to aid you in your future battles. We will bestow upon you a cloak, a bow, and a staff. Now please end their evil.”

The group awoke lying face up in the pond. Jhod had only witnessed their convulsions and not the image of Chauntea. He approached them confused and asked what had happened. They informed him of what they had seen and heard. As they spoke they noticed three items in the water of the pond. It was in fact the three items Chauntea had mentioned. Upon identifying the abilities of each item, the group gave the items to the individuals who would benefit the most. The Harvester Bow went to Willow, the cloak to the prince and the staff would go the prince’s loyal companion ’eragorn".

The group stopped by the capital to pick up Lord Valis and made their way towards Olegstown. Half way their they noticed smoke coming from a small town off the side of the road. They ran theere quickly and found the town was being pillaged by Giants and Briggans. The group ran up to find many of the villagers lying injured or dead amongst the pathways in the village. It didn’t take but a moment for the pillagers to notice the Vanguard’s presence and charge at them. The group made short work of the pillagers and managed to take a particularly vile archer into custody. He was very uncooperative and Rikimaru though it best if he take him into a small shed for interrogation…alone. The group agreed and it didn’t take long for Riki to get the information he needed. Riki opened the door to the shack and told everyone the interrogation was over. Orrin immediately took it as his queue to end the miserable pillager. He yelled out " Fireballs coming, Get Away". Riki was surprised by what he said and barely escaped Orrin’s fireball as it came down on the shed, killing the last pillager.

The group was shocked by Orrin’s actions (Rikimaru in particular). The Prince stated it was out of line and their was no excuse for killing an unarmed man. The prince agreed to let it go this time only if Orrin shows repentance, to which Orrin agreed to do. Although not everyone noticed, but Rikimaru was not able to forgive so easily almost being caught in a fireball. He forgoed his anger for the moment and informed the group of some very disturbing news. He said the pillager informed him that they were told to ransack the village by Oleg. Many could not believe it, but Riki reassured them that he sensed the pillager was telling the truth. It would seem that they will need to be careful on who they trust when they enter Olegstown. Could Oleg be the mastermind behind the evil or is he just another pawn caught in a truly evil individual’s twisted game. Time will tell soon enough.



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