The adventurers set forth from the forest’s edge as the sun set, varnishing the landscape in a deep blood orange, blades of grass shimmering with tangerine dew.
The dusk seemed briefly quiet and solemn. The party took a while to adjust to the light after leaving the dark, stretching expanse of the Brecillian Forest. Bell chimes were carried on a chilled breeze, one, two and three. Continuous ringing from the Vintiver Chantry bells reeled the party back into reality, setting their steps into motion as they charged into the village, Boreas and Lirresh leading the way.
Halfway between the forest and Vintiver, the bells were silenced, and corpses began to defile the landscape. The blood mixed with the damp in rancid red, enveloped in the fallacy of the sunset. The parties steps quickened, adrenaline soaring as they reached Vintiver.
The town was plagued with Blood Crows and Revengers, clashing with small pockets of resistance. The village had taken up arms! Some fighting in the inn, the chantry or their own invaded homes. In the center of the malefic chaos stood Elgar’len, disfigured, grotesque and fueled with fury.
The party stared out to what was facing them, all members feeling a cold chill run down their spines to their toes. Fear filled the adventurers like they had not felt before.
Initially, it was five to one. The hero side looking mighty: Yeran, Boreas, Mah’jeek, Banal’ras-Vun and Lirresh stood facing the abomination. Blows were quickly exchanged, Boreas slicing his blade onto Elgar’len, in company of lacerations courtesy of Banal’ras-Vun. The retaliation was equally formidable, Elgar’len’s penetrating scratches cut deep into Boreas through exposed parts of his flesh, as intense fiery heat charred his armour.
The confidence of the party grew over time, bountiful healing from Yeran and disorientating Mind Blasts from Mah’jeek kept Elgar’len’s devastation to a minimum. Soon enough the party felt the blood and adrenaline overcoming their fear. All except Banal’ras-Vun, who was too preoccupied with skillful bluffs and backstabs to take some time for her own mindfulness.
A cry was heard from across the way, a Revenger was chasing Kesla, the innkeepers wife, her children clutching on to her hands, into the inn. It’s mouth dripped with an insatiable lust for death. None but Boreas paid a pittance, as they were determined to take down the source of the problem. Noble as ever though, Boreas charged to the inn, hurling his mass through the very same window that the Revenger had jumped through. Blood trailing before him, he reached the top of the stairs where the Revenger stood. It was violently smashing on a barricaded door in order to get to its prey. Boreas seeing a large shard of glass protruding from the chest of the beast, charged and sent the glass on its way home with an assertive push. The beast, gouged, shrieked out in agony as it is conveyed out of the first floor window, to its death on the feculent dirt below.
As Boreas did so, the party continued to hammer down on Elgar’len, punishing the reckless abomination with all of their might. Arrows rained down, piercing the tainted flesh, only for the remainder to be dexterously flayed by Banal’ras-Vun. In the distance, Coalan struggled to save his forge. He was fighting against three Revengers bearing torches on his own. He bravely defended the wood and thatching from the ravenous flames. Mah’jeek, as heroic as he is over-ambitious, charged down the hill with great pace to meet Coalan and his aggressors.
The fray began with hope, as Mah’jeek immediately grabbed a bucket of water and doused the flame of one of the torches, catching the attention of one of the Revengers attacking Coalan. The Revenger unleashed a mighty fury upon its new prey, bearing Mah’jeek to the ground. Meanwhile the last Revenger with a torch managed to set a part of the blacksmith on fire. The situation grew dire with the fire threatening to consume building and life alike. Coalan, enraged, fought on and successfully disarmed the remaining torch from the Revenger.
Meanwhile, Elgar’len had began to feel the odds against him. He cocked his head back, opening his throat to an unnatural state and unleashing a deafening howl that could be felt to the very bone. Two Revengers exited their battles nearby to come and wage war on the heroes. Banal’ras-Vun, who was currently taking the brunt of the damage, kited valiantly back to the inn in which Boreas had been fighting. Yeran and Lirresh supported Banal’ras-Vun with healing and piercing arrows. One Revenger took a fancy to Yeran, and things started to look dire for the epicly diseased elf. Boreas emerged in time to gut the Revenger where it stood, exorcising its head from its shoulders. Lirresh fixed Boreas with a stern stare as both the corpses turned back into their Dalish forms.
As the battle continued, Boreas and Yeran noticed Mah’jeek fall in the distance. Initially Yeran went down to aid his fallen friend, but was quickly overtaken by Boreas who ran with far greater urgency.
They arrived just as Coalan disarmed the Revenger of its hungering torch. Yeran stabilised Mah’jeek’s wounds and quickly snuffed the torch out. He attempted to drag Mah’jeek back up to the main fight, but quickly saw the futility in this. Meanwhile Boreas aided in the fighting and was generally a badass, assisting Coalan in the feud.
During this time, Banal’ras-Vun had been taking damage from the remaining forces. Elgar’len let out a second shattering howl, calling fourth four of his Blood Crows to make a nuisance. Banal’ras-Vun sidestepped, dodged and tanked as much as she could. Between herself and Lirresh, they cut down Elgar’len more and more. Fear entered the abominations eyes for the first time. Elgar’len began to howl again, but this time it was louder and much more penetrating. The blood curdling yell summoned all of his minions to his aid. This was too much for Banal’ras-Vun, and she fell unconscious as Elgar’lens forces washed over her. Lirresh kited and tried his best to take out the Revengers that troubled him, eventually succeeding with a well placed arrow to the knee.
The villagers rallying under the command of Tarl Dale rushed in and managed to hold off most of the Revengers. Coalan, having put out his shop, also made an appearance and diverted another two Revengers from the fray. The Blood Crows (with the exception of the aforementioned four, who remained in combat) circled Elgar’len providing him with a feather, meat and bone shield. Yeran and Boreas arrived back in the center of town, having left Mah’jeek safely outside the blacksmith. Boreas fought bravely but was beaten into the cold ground along with his fallen friends. Yeran ran to meet Lirresh, who was struggling with a Revenger. Yeran gave all of his healing might, and the last able breath to keep Lirresh in the fight. As Yeran fell, he knew all his friends were stable thanks to him, and he knew Lirresh had the best chance to take down Elgar’len. The heroes, aware of their technical complete and utter failure, watched on in horror at the events unfolding, conscious, but in a fragile, icy stasis.
Lirresh shot volley after volley, into the beast until he had used up every arrow in his quiver. The arrows sliced through and past the orbiting shield-crows, which rapidly dropped in number. He switched to his blade, taking barrage damage from the crows and burning under Elgar’len’s palpable hate and generally taking a beating.
Eventually, with fortune from Yeran for dodging so many attacks earlier and buying time for Lirresh and Lirresh’s fucking badassery (and lots and lots of luck!) Elgar’len was felled. As the killing blow plunged into Elgar’lens corrupted flesh, an explosion of demonic light erupted from him, harmonising with a shrieking bellow. His minions fell to the ground, and returned to their natural, undefiled forms, keeping only the wounds inflicted upon them. Green gaseous souls rose from the liberated, and coagulated in the blinding light of the defeated. The supernatural event reached a crescendo and all faded to dust. None of the party remained awake past the ashes being taken on the breeze.
The party awakened in a makeshift hospital in a tent, dank with the smell of blood, sweat and sanitation. Sister Arda diligently tended to the wounded and needy. Mah’jeek was the first to awaken, promptly leaving to find Eshara. He clumsily conversed with her, offering his healing services in return for Eshara’s vast gratitude to the deeds of the Shits.
Yeran later awoke, heading off to speak to Tarl Dale. Tarl was busy overseeing the repair of the town. Upon a glance of Yeran, Tarl’s face was set ajoy, he expressed his great thanks for the party coming back to help and offered full commendation for the effort on behalf of Vintiver. The party spent an extra couple of days to aid with the immediate problems facing the village. Tarl also informed Yeran that Coalan was looking for the Shits, and could be found busy at work in his smithy aiding in reparations.
Boreas, still half asleep, followed his stomach to the inn, which was in relatively good condition in spite of the bloodshed. The innkeeper greeted him with wholesome warmth, grateful and indebted to Boreas in light of him saving his wife and children. Boreas helped to clean out the inn, both of battle stains and its plentiful banquet. The innkeeper offered Boreas ninety silver, of which he modestly accepted forty to be split amongst the party, asking that the rest be put to aiding Vintivers people and mend its aching foundations.
Finally, Banal’ras-Vun remained in the medical tent, the nights events scarred into her senses. The post traumatic stress ate at her, as she paced and debated her role in this cruel world. Lirresh finds Banal’ras-Vun and he shared his surprise and relief that the Shits stayed with them and fought so bravely for the Dalish. Banal’ras-Vun and Lirresh both were relieved that the townsfolk and Dalish had made some reparations and were working together to help each other however they could. Lirresh asked Banal’ras-Vun to go with him to meet with the rest of the clan, who had now made it back from the tainted keep.
She was quickly rallied by her clan into aid. The caravan was full of supplies, and both Dalish and human worked side by side to restore the battle-scarred town and make repairs to the Dalish aravels. Meanwhile the Shits regrouped after their own little contributions to greet an old enemy, Coalan. The hatchet was far buried, and Coalan slayed the group with a warm smile and unabridged thanks. Boreas was gifted an ornate scabbard. Coalan also offered to make the party one further item, which the party agreed should be an even fancier staff for Mah’jeek.
As the day began to fade to an even more beautiful dusk, Mah’jeek and Yeran greeted Banal’ras-Vun on the edge of the village. Mah’jeek, in an ever eloquent fashion, asked Banal’ras-Vun to join them. Banal’ras-Vun, torn between two worlds, explained her loyalty to her clan, and how it is being tested by an internal battle over what is right to do. She wanted to venture out into the world, and clear the evil within it. Mah’jeek explained that the party was on a quest to slay a group of blood mages, as well as darkspawn. He also offered the daggers as a bribe, but under the guiding hand of Yeran’s better judgement, then offers them freely as a gift. As Banal’ras-Vun took the daggers, the party were summoned by Orellis, the Dalish leader.
The gathering was one of high spirits and victory, but had a heavy mist of exhaustion, and anticipation for the great amounts of work and repair needed to survive. Orellis explained that the clan planned on spending the next year in Vintiver, repairing their homes and aravels.
Banaal approached Orellis at the end of the congregation, offering the daggers for translation. Orellis was somewhat shocked, and began to talk to himself in Elvish. The blades were the ancient magical daggers of Ebony and Ivory, but had lost most of their former power. Orellis offered to do what he could to restore their power and Banal’ras-Vun eagerly accepted. He and Eshara then proceeded to perform a ritual to repair the daggers, muttering a hypnotising incantation as they did so.
While the ritual was underway Banal’ras-Vun reflected on her choice and came to the decision to leave. She spoke to Lirresh first who tried to convince her to stay but Banal’ras-Vun explained that she would never feel sated knowing what evil exists in the world, and how many people suffer at its hand. Banal’ras-Vun said she must leave and fight the evil as this was her newfound purpose in life. Lirresh resigned to the reality of Banal’ras-Vun’s determination shared a last goodbye, insisting she speak with Orellis before her departure.
Banal’ras-Vun did so, reiterating her feelings with more passion and certainty, speaking her thoughts only reinforced her drive. Orellis protested slightly, but accepted that she had made up her mind. He could not wish her well, but he wished her to return safely at her time of need, or the clans. He produced the daggers and explained that they were an ancient relic of the Dalish, and Orellis would normally want to keep them safely within the clan, however, he decides that they are best placed with Banal’ras-Vun as she ventures forth. He called for a parting ceremony for Banal’ras-Vun to call on Mythal to provide protection to their kin. She is given a new tattoo as part of the ceremony and each elf in the clan says their goodbyes to their sister.
They came to Vintiver as Mercenaries, outcasts and thieves. They left as heroes, heralded with the title “Saviours of Vintiver”.
Until they encounter one of the other hundreds of people they have pissed off anyway…