War looms upon frost-dusted foothills and plains of the Sword Coast North. As the vernal equinox lifts the frigid air from the land, the fierce warriors of the Kulkor Zhul, "the children of the dragon," gather beneath the dreaded Red Hand banner, ready to sweep forth from the Wyrmsmoke Mountains and conquer the peoples below. Are you brave enough to heed the call for aid, and face an onslaught of fire and steel the likes of which the world has not seen since ages past?

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VARIS enters the fray once again.

During my time in Waterdeep I communed with the gods too many times. As such, I suffered an injury to my mental health, as well as to some of the speech and memory centers of my head. This renders my speech to more "normal" vocabulary. I also spent extra time learning healing spells to maintain my mental health.

I heard about the attack on Neverwinter and decided to head north to help with the cause. My first thought was to head to Phandalin to possibly reconvene with old friends. Upon arrival I found the town under a goblin regiment occupation. I found a resistence cell of townsfolk and decided to help them with saving their town.

On my journey I noticed a big Red Hand blockade along the High Road from Waterdeep to Neverwinter. I was able to slip by unseen, but this blockade must be destroyed for Neverwinter to receive reinforcements.

I know that there is a second-in-command hobogblin named Krusk. About half of the remaining goblins are rallying with Krusk in the south of town. Bartimeus lures the remaining goblin horde into the town center where the rest of us prepare a trap. I cast cone of cold, Nissa zaps them with lightning, and Bartimeus throws an Alchemists' Fire. They all die a quick death.

We save the rest of the people in the tavern. A young orphan boy of six years named Aiden Windseeker comes and hugs my leg, and I tassle his hair with my mage hand. He seems to have grown attached to me.

The silent little *girl* came along with Syldar. We had a funeral pyre ceremony for Perrin, and the little girl walked up to the fire and whispered "Erin."

We later decide to head for the spellforge. As we get there, we see some shaded figures running away from us. I cast fly and run with Grigor to catch up to them. We manage to ensare them, and they turn out to be bugbears. We kill two, and the third drinks an invisibility potion. We cast dispell magic, and Tywin launches an arrow from a thousand meters off. The bugbear dies.

We head back inside and make use of the spellforge.

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Burning Blaze
1) Eliminate Kardswann
2) Prevent Red Hand from locating Wave-Echo Cave
3) Free Gundren + Townsfolk

Estimated ~100 troops. So we need to be sneaky/indirect in our methods.

We make the two-day trek to Phandalin. About half a day's ride we find three sets of bloody footprints. These might belong to refugees.

We come upon a campfire; I go ahead and scout. As I get close I discover they're all dead, and hobgoblins spring a trap on me. They knock me down and bound me, but Tywin kills enough of them and I can break free. I get grabbed again by a bugbear. I get knocked out but eventually all of the hobgoblins and bugbear are slain.

We rest. Bartimeus leaves the area after a big fight with Nissa, and the rest of us press on without him.

We arrive near Phandalin. Grigor sneaks in disguised as a hobgoblin. He eventually gets thrown into their arena, and is pitted against Bartimeus. They persuade Kardswann to fight them, and together they kill Kardswann (with Nissa's lightning). But other hobgoblins start to charge once they kill Kardswann.

Inn gets set on fire, and I rush to it to free as many prisoners as possible. I freed the upstairs prisoners, and on the way out I had the option of saving myself or a little kid. I threw the kid out the window to save him, but in doing so I was trapped in the burning blaze. Thus I have met my end.
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We sleep on the backs of the spectral bears on our journey to Hammerfist Hold. On our way, about midday, we take a rest in a nearby barn, which looks very sturdy, far surpassing its needs. Some of us take watch of the road, and I take a look around the barn. There is wet straw in one corner of the barn, and a cart on top of it. I move it and find a trap door. We also find a lockbox with a list of names (probably a lineage) and some gems. We open the trap door.

Grigor jumps down, and seconds later Bartimeus flies down with his flaming wings and lights the room. There is a dead human on the floor and a young child hiding behind a barrel. Our basic antics frighten the child more, but we eventually calm him down. A group of elite hobgoblins appear on the horizon, and we attempt to flee on our bears. We do so (thanks to Keegan for the loophole) and we make it to Hammerfist Hold.

On our way in we sign our names into the guestlog. We take a glance through the names and we see two names, Lord Neverember and Syldar Hallwinter. Neverember is a lord of Waterdeep, and also responsible for Newan's death.

We are lead into the Prince's castle, and we find Syldar and Leosin, and they greet us. Syldar tells us of a rider who arrived dead on his saddle. He bore a note saying Gundren and the people of Phandalin had been captured by the Red Hand. They are being tortured until they give up the location of Wave-Echo Cave.
Wyrmlord Kardswann, one of the Red Hand interrogators, is said to also be in Phandalin.

We ask Leosin about Lord Neverember. He was calling a council in Waterdeep.

We speak with Lord Helmbreaker and make a deal with him. We give him 20k gold and tell him that Neverwinter will pay him 15k gold after they fight.
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We return to the Ghostlord's lair to return his phylactery. As we are arriving we find a troop of Red Hand hobgoblins. As we show up he is talking with their commander. The Ghostlord disintegrates him and we jump in to destroy the rest of the hobgoblins. Various rewards are claimed.

The Ghostlord hints at the past of my new weapon, Hazirawn. When I left Hell I heard Newan's voice in my head, so I assume this sword steals the souls of whoever it kills. Rezmir used the sword to kill Newan, so this must be what happens! Newan talks to me again, saying "I think... I think there is someone... something else in here."

We make haste for Neverwinter, and we find a mile-wide swath of destruction, where the horde had marched through. The land is savagely mangled. Seven days later we find 15 goblins and 3 two-headed giants scavenging a wagon (that was drawn by 4 horses). A few motionless bodies dressed in surcoats of blue and white (the colors of blue and white). We attack the group and slay them (Nissa died but was resurrected).

We find four bodies, one with their face smashed in. We find iron coffers inside. We open them and find mountains of gold coins. This is about 625 pounds of gold. There is a sealed letter addressed to Captain Helmbreaker. The letter is signed by Lord Nasher Alagondar of Neverwinter. We decide to take the gold to Hammerfist Hold.
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Fall of Rezmir
After our botched attempt at pulling off a bank heist, Bartimeus, Nissa and I were slain. However, our party was dragged into the high courts of hell. We manage to convince the devils that we are there to take out Rezmir, and they assign us the mission to stop her from bringing back Tiamat.

We make our way towards the River of Styx and find a robed figure (much like Herzog) and barter for passage across.

We come by a huge tower of skulls, and the skulls babble creating a waterfall-like sound. I approach them to ask for help. They tell me that there is hope for saving Newan's soul, but the rules of Hell are difficult to bend. I leave, unsure of what their message might mean.

We make it to the top of a cliff, and at the edge of a large plain is the lair of maggots. We get down into the plain, and stumble upon a dark ritual at the edge of the maggot pit. Rezmir is attempting to summon some kind of monster, perhaps.

Bartimeus attempts diplomacy and some of the demons helping Rezmir actually fight for us. Rezmir finishes her spell using Newan's soul, but Bartiemus slays her and her head rolls into the pit of maggots. Seconds later, an enormous skeletal dragon appears, and we fight for our lives and eventually slay the reincarnated Rezmir.

I take her rapier (and as soon as I do, I hear Newan's voice in my head). Bartimeus takes Rezmir's mask and the phylactery. We acquire the orb of dragonkind and give it to the Avatar of Tempest. We leave Hell and emerge to blazing sunlight. About a month passed for us in Hell, but only two hours passed in the middle realm.
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