The Battle of Pale Moon

Nestled at the heart of an almost forgotten southland valley in the Old Empire of Chessenta hides the sleepy hamlet of Willow Glen. There, beyond the watchful eyes of the northern city states and the interest of warring factions, peaceful life has endured for centuries... Until now.

Recently, a mysterious figure calling himself Felthavian Hallowsheld has sent missives far and wide inviting the fringes of society to Willow Glen for an unexplained purpose, promising wealth and intrigue. Interested parties know little more than that they are to report to the "Weeping Willow Inn" at 7 p.m., August 25, 1372, at which time it is presumed details will be revealed.

Here begins the campaign of the Battle of Pale Moon.

Tiamat's Chosen

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It is with heavy heart that I must announce an indefinite suspension of our campaign.

My work responsibilities have increased over the last year and I am finding it more and more difficult to prepare for our sessions in a way befitting our group dynamic and my own expectations.

On the positive side, I have learned an incredible amount about 5E, FG, EW and had some great experiences DMing as well. I have no doubt I will come back to DMing, but I'm not exactly sure what form future games will take.

In the meantime, I'll still be around because I'll probably be looking for a game to join as a player. That, at least, I should be able to do without much difficulty.

I want to thank you all for a great span of Thursday nights. On the whole, I think I'd have to consider my experiment with FG and 5E to have been a success. If you are interested, I will keep all of our campaign and contact information so we can resume our quest at some point in the future if my schedule will allow.

It is also possible that I might seek to take all of my experiences and start over with a brand new campaign at some point. I have to admit, there's a lot of appeal for me there, as I could avoid many of the mistakes that I made the first time around. And, knowing me, I'll probably need some creative outlet after a while.

At any rate, until we meet again, I wish you all the best of luck and happiness.

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Moving On
Nailanthe had returned to the corner by the fire, silently watching as the others left to tend to arranging supplies for the next stage of their journey. She sighed, there would be nothing she would be needing. As the common room emptied, she pulled out a small bag, placed all the coin she had been given as her share of the spoils, the bronze key she had found in the pools in the cavern (idly thinking they had never found the lock it fit), and the chip of the white magic stone, these two items were all she had taken in the days sojourn below ground. She sought out Smitty, and asked him if he could see to it the bag was given to Asklepios, she had added a brief note directing him to use the coin to further his work.
She realized her brief hope that these were companions she could remain with was totally destroyed through the encounter with Chasme, Noelle's appalling threats to the forest and all it's creatures in a rage over what was nothing more than material wealth. She understood none there would grasp that those threats and been taken as a threat to herself and all that was left in the world that she valued. She did not understand how someone could become so demented, then after committing a hideous act of desecration to a body, walk out and say "Hey I am fine, it's all good now". Nailanthe knew it could never be the same again, and despite her willingness to hunt down Chasme and recover the treasure, she knew that was merely an expatiation of the guilt she felt over failing to recognize the threat Chasme posed at the outset. During the return journey she remained aloof, and none seemed to care to seek her out, or show concern over how deeply disturbed she was by the turn of events. Even in their new plans, they made no real effort to seek her opinion, seeming to take it for granted that she was in agreement with whatever they wished to do, or perhaps they simply did not care about her opinion at all. It made her realize that her presence was of no real importance, and perhaps her ignorance of what mattered to these others would further prove to be a liability. After leaving Scotty, she slipped to the edge of town, unnoticed, seeking game paths far away from traveled areas. As she walked, she considered idly, perhaps she could find another small community of her kind somewhere in the many forests in the world, or perhaps she would continue as she had done, seeking out those who would destroy all that was natural and good and wipe them out before they could inflict harm.
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Thursday, September 10, 1372 (DR), Third Age, 1:30 p.m.
The party discusses the words given to them by the man claiming to be Felthavian Shallowheld.

“Tchazzar was born in 603 (DR), a spawn of the red wyrm Rauthstokh. He was a force of pure chaos and evil, convinced of his own superiority over all mortal beings. Yet, mortal superiority was not enough to satisfy his extraordinary ego. Even as a young adult, he set his sights firmly on achieving godhood and turned to mankind to seed his bid for divine power.

“He left the Maerthwatch and, assuming human form, entered Cimbar as a charismatic warrior. Using his great strength, he easily gained the title of Hero in 916. This, of course, gave him noble status and from there it was only a matter of time – 13 years to be precise – before Tchazzar would gain prominence as the warlord who would ultimately lead Chessenta in a successful revolt against Untheric rule.

“In December of 929, after his victory against Unther, Tchazzar was crowned Sceptenar – the first (and last) Great King of Chessenta. Once crowned, Tchazzar’s first official act was to create a temple to himself in Cimbar. He openly encouraged his subjects to worship him as “The Great Red Dragon.” And, because he never revealed his true nature, his devotees accepted the title as a symbolic characterization of his fierce battle prowess.

“As a ruler, Tchazzar was cunning. He killed his opposition quickly but also understood the strategic importance of loyal allies. He carefully chose his ministers and bought their allegiance liberally. His influence grew as did his empire. In 953, Tchazzar’s armies sacked the cities of the Wizard’s Reach and turned them into tributary states. He then focused on Unther, conquered it and converted it into a province of his growing nation. In the span of only 150 years, Tchazzar’s Chessenta grew nearly as large as Unther during its Second Empire.

“Yet, Tchazzar cared not for his subjects or the rule of men. He was obsessed with godhood and was frustrated that he had not yet attained it. So, he conceived a plan. In 1080, under great fanfare, Tchazzar rode alone into the Alamber Sea to face a prodigious Sahuagin army that had been raiding the nearby countryside. Once he was beyond the view of his subjects, he reverted to his natural self and massacred the Sahuagin. After, he created visions of himself in human form standing atop a pile of Sahuagin corpses and sent the visions to his priests, and also to the throne and council chambers of all Chessentian cities. The vision told his subjects that Tchazzar had “won his greatest victory.”

“Tchazzar never returned. His body was never found. Instead, Tchazzar secreted himself away, letting his legend take hold. The visions he sent to his followers had the desired effect. Worshipers concluded that Tchazzar had ascended into godhood. Religious fervor ensued. The Church of Tchazzar grew.

“Little is known of Tchazzar’s activities during his disappearance. However, when the Time of Troubles came centuries later, in 1358, Tchazzar was finally called out of hiding. Forced into her avatar state, the Dark Lady Tiamat assumed the form of a three headed dragon. She faced Gilgeam in an epic battle and was defeated. However, despite her setback, she was not completely destroyed. Instead, her divinity was split into three pieces, each of which came to inhabit a different chromatic dragon. Tchazzar was one of those dragons and catapulted by his followers’ worship, he finally ascended into true divinity.

“Even then, Tchazzar was not done. Whether it was because of his own lust for supremacy or Tiamat’s transcendent influence, Tchazzar was compelled to seek out the other two pieces of her spirit. He quickly found and slew them: Gestaniius the Blue and Skuthosiin “The Venomous” (Green). He absorbed their powers, uniting the Divine Trinity.

“It’s unclear whether Tchazzar expected what came next. As soon as Tiamat’s spirit was united, her avatar promptly appeared and unceremoniously ate him. Then, having been restored to full strength by ingesting her chosen, she turned to seek her revenge on Gilgeam. This time Tiamat was victorious and Gilgeam was destroyed. Of course, Gilgeam’s death thrusted Unther into a state of near anarchy. It took the 12-year-old Horustep, III, 14 years to finally send his feeble armies into Unther last year. This ill-conceived conquest spread Mulhorand’s already weakening power very thin, and now all three of the Old Empires lay prone.

“Are you familiar with the Prophesies of Achrilaugh?

“Achrilaugh was one of the founders of Cimbar’s College of Sages centuries ago – by then an already old and wise fellow with a gift for augury. While serving as a Master Sage, Achrilaugh wrote his largest collection of quatrains, “The Future of Toril.” In it, Achrilaugh made a series of predictions about the world that were heavily cloaked in metaphor and hyperbole. The book was dismissed by many as incomprehensible and fatally nebulous. But it was not dismissed by everyone. Actually, you can still find it in the Great Library if you look hard enough.

“Anyway, as an historian, I have spent decades studying many old and obscure works, including The Future of Toril. In fact, this book in particular intrigued me due to its mystical approach to storytelling. I spent a good year trying to find correlations between The Future of Toril and recent history in an effort to verify and then to understand some of Achrilaugh’s predictions. And now, I have developed what I believe is an intuitive talent for interpreting the prophesies.

“Take quatrain number 48, which is relevant to our discussion. It reads as follows:

In the wake of her father’s son, she will be subdued by her sister.
The astral throne and all that lay below shall fall to the great
Homecoming, pushing east to the Gods’ regret.
Yet, what shall be may yet be undone by the one who has a means.

“Now, you might surmise from my little history lesson that Tchazzar is dead and gone. I did. For many years in fact. But I say to you that the prophesy of Achrilaugh’s quatrain 48 is upon us.

“Gilgeam is recently dead. He was the only child of his father, Enlil, but Enlil was also widely known as the “Father of Unther.” Thus, in a sense, Enlil’s daughter is Unther. Unther and Mulhorand were both created when the Mulani split into two factions and settled next to each other under their respective God-King. They are sister nations and last year, Unther was occupied and thus subdued by her sister, Mulhorand. “In the wake of her father’s son, she will be subdued by her sister.”

And here, look…

[map found in "Files"]

“What does this look like to you?

[circles right crown]

“and this?

[circles left crown]

“The “crowns” of the Sea of the Fallen Stars… and they rest atop Chessenta. Chessenta is the “Astral Throne and all that lay below.”

“And whose homecoming would Chessenta fall to? Enlil’s? No, we know for certain that Enlil is gone. No, it is Tchazzar’s homecoming, of course. There can be no other to whom this refers.

“Pushing east to the Gods’ regret. This was not easy. But, everyone knows that the Plains of Purple Dust were created when the God-Kings of Unther and Mulhorand accidentally destroyed the previously lush countryside while battling each other. In doing so, they deprived themselves of a vast expanse of potential territory. Based on what I know of how the other quatrains were written, I think the Plains of Purple Dust have to be the Gods’ regret.

“I have no doubt. Tchazzar is returning to reclaim his scepter and he will likely seek to conquer all three of the Old Empires, Chessenta first.

“Ah, I see your skepticism. But, it’s not just me that thinks this way. The flames of Tiamat’s Chosen One rise in the Great Temple at Cimbar. His priests quietly prepare for his return. I don’t know if they are aware of Achrilaugh’s quatrain or if they have other evidence if Tchazzar’s imminent arrival. I would guess the latter. And this is only further evidence that I am right.

“The danger, of course, is that few know Tchazzar’s true nature. I suspect even many of his priests are unaware. I only know all of this because … well, I just do. Most think of Tchazzar as an attractive, magnetic leader of men who cares deeply for the wellbeing of his subjects and who created a magnificent empire in a few short years. But as I have told you, that is not at all who he is. And now that he is a god, well. He will have no need to restrain his cruel temper in order to court “loyal allies.” He probably won’t even bother taking human form again. If he is allowed back on the throne, eventually all three of the Old Empires will be enslaved. He will make Gilgeam look like a beneficent consensus builder.

“The bottom line is that Tchazzar moves ever closer to The Great Palace. Achrilaugh’s 48th quatrain makes it clear that all of us will soon bend to his malicious whims unless there is one with the means to oppose.

“That’s where you came in. The book you were searching for is the means that Achrilaugh prophesized. And with it, I will eventually defeat Tchazzar and unite the three empires.

"Continue your work for me and I will make you rulers of men, elves and dwarves - rich beyond your wildest imagination. If I do not hear from you in two days, I will have to assume that you have declined my offer."
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Step 1 - Get Paid. Step 2 - Go Shopping. Step 3 - Leave Town.
Noelle will be doing some shopping for herself, but not by herself. She won't act rich, but will mention that she made enough to relax for a bit and go back to being an entertainer in Cimbar. She will mention the two trolls that were bested as well as the 4 trolls that we ran away from and make it seem like that type of risk isn't worth going back to that place or maybe even worth adventuring anywhere at all. She wants the comfortable life of a performer.

Shopping List:
Noelle wants a Gnome sized Covered Wagon that she could sleep in comfortably and have room for her stuff. I know this is unlikely to be available already finished, but a base cart and the materials for her to finish building it is really what she would expect to be able to find in Willow Glen.
2 Mastiffs or Ponies depending on what is available
Bit, bridle for both, 2 extra wagon wheels, 1 extra wagon axle
She would also hope to find a mini-barrel. Something that would hold around 4 gallons of wine that has a spigot or some way of serving the drink and then sealing back up for safe keeping.
Then she would buy however many gallons of berry wine would fit in said container.
In addition to the tent or canvas purchased to use to cover the wagon, another tent or canvas as a backup, just in case.
A couple of new outfits, one is a costume for performing, one for traveling.
2 bedrolls & 2 blankets
10 feet of chain in case her wagon gets stuck
A signal whistle
sweetbreads, cheeses (wax dipping chunks into 2 day serving sizes), jerky and dog/pony treats
sweet smelling flowers
50' hemp rope
3 waterskins
sack of feed for whichever animals I get to pull the wagon

That should do it.
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Where to now?
So we killed that bloody "fairy" and recovered a hefty amount of loot. I suppose that means we are now heading back to town - it feels like an age since we've been there. Do we deliver the books, or do we make our own way and try to figure out what these manuals do?

My flirtation with the dark arts has come to an end. I worry that even the small amount of power that creature has bestowed upon me will come at a cost, so I'm unwilling to give up more of my soul. I will from here on out return to my birthright and the magic in my veins rather than drawing more power from something I'm sure is utterly evil. To be fair that power has proven unreliable at best, I swear my luck has turned to hell since I took up with that creature.
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Epic × 2!
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Homebrew (5th Edition)
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