Journal Entry: Heart of Hope Campaign Travelogue, Vol. I
Entry Date: 9/25/2004
Blessed with success and a better understanding of the Heart of Hope, the heroes exited the dungeons of Itzan Nul by shattering the dwarven-made stone plugs, once again linking the under-levels to the surface structures on the inside of the circular fortress. The crypts and storerooms directly beneath the fortress provided some clean and dry living space for the Kharolian, Neidar, and even Qualinesti refugees seeking sanctuary for the winter. Furthermore, a cache of weapons was also discovered, which allowed the Legionnaires and battle-able refugees to better arm themselves with bows, spears, and swords.
The windfall couldn't have come at a better time. For, just as the heroes emerged from the crypts of Itzan Nul, scouts brought word of a large force of Dark Knights and draconian mercenaries making its way around the Thunder Mountains and toward Itzan Nul. When the host did arrive at the gates of the fortress the Legion of Steel was armed and waiting, but they could not possibly prepare themselves for what make out of the forested mountains. The first wave of attackers were not goblins, not men, but birds. Thousands of birds of all shapes and sizes flew out of the shadows of the tree line and swarmed the Legionnaires atop the walls. The birds attacked with a reckless, murderous lust for blood, as though possessed. Those who knew would have easily seen the birds were possessed by the Blood Fury, a terrible disease said to have been concocted by Morgion himself. The cloud of raptors acted as cover for a second attack, a group of Draconians that attacked one of Itzan Nul's gates with a battering ram. At the same time a sivak, masquerading at the Legion's chief scout, attempted to unlock another gate from the inside. The heroes managed to thwart the sabotage, but the outer attack succeeded when the commander of the Dark Knight cavalry, hiding behind the tree line, sacrificed the bozak engineer in charge of the battering ram squad by shooting him in the back. The resulting conflagration blasted open the rickety gate and let loose an assault of draconian mercenaries and blood raging wolves, cougars, and burrowing creatures - everything from badgers to squirrels and rabbits.
Only after the heroes and the other Legionnaires fought through the assault did the Dark Knights storm the fortress, headed by two Knights of the Lily and a blood-raging grizzly bear. As the Dark Knights overwhelmed the Legionnaires the young warrior Kei broke from the fighting for the south tower of the fortress. Unknown to the other heroes, Kei had encountered a mysterious ghost in the under levels of Itzan Nul. It had challenged him, fought him, and it had yielded beneath his sword. The spirit saluted Kei as a worthy adversary and offered its armor and weapon, the elf-made sword Wyrmscar, to him and told Kei that if he ever needed the service of the ancient defenders of the Heart of Hope, those whom he led in life, that he need only ring the south tower bell.
Kei was on his way to do just this when, out of the sky, fell the Knight of Boils atop his wyvern. Alfricht dispatched his mount to the battle below and fought his old rival on the walls of Itzan Nul. At one point it seemed Kei was defeated, and Valan and Tarsen came to aid him, but Kei reached out with his last ounce of strength and struck down Alfricht. Atop the body of his enemy he whispered to his warrior friends to ring the south bell. With the tolling of the ancient bell a wave of spirits emerged from the crypts of Itzan Nul. The army of the dead wipes out the attacking Dark Knights, driving away those they do not destroy. When the fog of war clears there are many dead on both sides. The Legionnaires are decimated, but the day is won.
Entries in this Journal:
This item has been published here with permission from the author(s) and may not be reproduced without permission. This is a fan submission and its contents are completely unofficial. Some characters, places, likenesses and other names may be copyright Wizards of the Coast.