Eager to pursue their foes the scion’s are halted by Ector Dhoesone. Their forces have the cleanup well in hand.But the Baron himself is not well, hacking and coughing up blood, his face becoming more wan with the hour. The Dhariel’s dismiss rather any suggestion that the Baron’s condition is anything but natural ailment; indicating that such accusations are dangerous to make at the least, even when substantiated. Ser Frederick is heaped with praise for his valiant deeds, Brother Eamon sets his men to the task of saving the injured and easing the suffering of the soon to be lost. Meanwhile the irascible Maxwel Gramaracy clears the battlefield of loot with great efficiency and Kael attends to returning the dead’s personal belongings to their families. Edmund is somewhat quiet, musing over his father’s ill health and his own visions from beyond the pale. At feast Baron Ector rewards his men, his knights, his bannermen and the heroic scions, with gifts of banner and horse, gold and boons. By morning the army is off for the south.
On the road the army is met by the train and escort of the baroness Alyenor Mhoried-Dhoesone. The parties combine and camp together, feasting the recent victory over the Bloodskull Barony. It is there that the scions learn the baroness was off visiting the truant Daeric Holst … a suspicious proposition given that the lord was supposed to be with the Baron’s army.
While at the feast, Baron Ector fell mortally ill. Daeric Holst and Eamon did their best to recover the Baron but at best staved off his impending death. His mind grasping for any means to salvage his liege, Holst asked for volunteers to go on an expedition to a long abandoned tower of Magery. It is rumored that a treatise was still left in it’s halls; a tome that addressed physicians in regards for the care of blooded persons. Without a moment of hesitation the scions stood to the task, and with little preparation were riding hard to the south.
While stopping in the capital, the party was beseeched by representatives of the faith’s of Sarimie and Erik to recover missing relics from the tower. In the case of Sarimie, a tome of figures and a golden set of scales. Erik’s acolyte describes the tower as built upon an ancient sacred grove of his god, and that the grove’s Heart of Oak may still be lost deep beneath the tower. Returning the Heart would be a great service for the followers of Erik.
Before going the scions were “encouraged” to hire none other than Garen the Knife: a notable treasure hunter and sometime graverobber. Amused, or not, with his off kilter attitude he was hired with promise of salvage rights and accompanied the scions and their small escort to the tower ruins.
Through feat of arms and no small luck the scions carved their way through a troop of Oorogs who had taken up residence in the tower. Thanks to Garron’s keen eyes the golden scales were recovered, though whether or not it would be returned to the children of Sarimie was up for debate. In a foreboding room with a strange portal at one end the scions came across an Oorog shaman. He intoned that he had lived his whole long life in the place, chosen to guard the portal and keep whatever lurk within where it was. Beyond was a place outside of time and space, and powerful horrors dwelt there. Yet there was no choice in the matter – what the scions sought was no doubt beyond the ethereal vale and failure was unacceptable.
Maxwell and Kael tried to cajole and reason with the Oorog but he stood adamant, stating that the only way through was bloodshed or trial by combat. Without a breath brave Ser Frederick took up the challenge. Amid the shouted encouragement of his friends and the bellows of the Oorogs he faced down the half-bred champion in what was a close and vicious duel. Frederick laid the beast low, and to the disquiet of his friends, Edmund drained the last of the Oorog’s life force in a grim demonstration of his powers. The duel was won, and somberly the Oorog shaman bid the scions to go.
They tread through the gate, tightening the grips on their weapons and sharpening their senses to the twisted world beyond.