Dorthone - Episode 1

Final Crossing of Kylaes Bridge (Mike GM - 11/05/09)

In the final battle between The Elven Kingdom of Dorthone and the Orc Clan of Bludchok’Hai, the elves were able to defend their kingdom, though the losses they suffered still permeate throughout the land, and the citizens can hardly bring themselves to claim the final battle of the war as a “victory”. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, and the land, once revered for its beauty and calm resembles a wasteland in parts. While the Steward of Dorthone has done his best to retain some semblance of the Dorthone of old, it was not until Princess Thedra returned from her work in The Mountains of Misplacement that a small spark of optimism had any hope for the surviving elves.

Questions percolated throughout the kingdom, always with the tone of hope, and as time went on, these questions became feverish and extreme in their desire for the promised course correction that Thedra’s return signaled in the citizens’ minds. What would the daughter of Eldros Elenesse do to return Dorthone to greatness? Would she track down her father’s assassin? Were there plans already in place to strike at Bludchok’Hai again, and perhaps rid the elves of the orcish plague once and for all? And what of the treacherous Lamascans? Would other nations follow suit and strike at Dorthone when they were at their weakest?

Much to the dismay of the citizens and her advisors, Thedra answered none of these questions. In fact, she chose to not make public appearances at all. Rumors spread of a horrible attack that occurred in the Mountains that had disfigured her in some way. Some said that her return was a front, a lie agreed upon by weakened politicians and that the revelation of the true end of the Elenesse lineage would portend Dorthone’s doom. Others spoke of a sister…

Meanwhile Thedra had but one question to answer. What were her father’s secrets? Unraveling that has consumed her mind… looking for an answer to the many factions that plotted the end of Dorthone and why… and how those that swore to protect it could have let this happen…

In the days leading up to the final battle, King Elenesse had pulled back most forces to protect Dorthone, various scouts having confirmed that the Bludchok’Hai were on the march. However one group was dispatched to the outer reaches of Dorthone's protection, on a mission near Kylaes Bridge. It is believed that the tragedy that befell this group began on this day…

The PCs are sent to provide protection for a group of Dorthonians who outside the protection of the elves; an NPC by the name of Kalias is providing a great sum of money to buy off the local orc chieftan in control of the area, so that the noble and his neighbors may flee to safety. However in the process, the PCs discover that Kalias has misrepresented the need for protection as the orcs are truly after the group of Dorthone warriors led by Wrothgar the warlord (though they will happily take his money as well). The PCs kill many an orc and manage to leave the area with Kalias under their control, all the while a local elder elf has destroyed the bridge connecting the outskirts to a direct path to Dorthone, as well as insuring that Kalias' neighbors escape in one piece.

The Massacre at Karae Kylaes Bridge

As usual the two rangers are split up, but both have their eye on the same target. The only difference, and the duelist, Talai, brings this up often, is that he is usually in harm’s way, while the archer, Manthwe, is decidedly not. Joining Talai in the bullseye is Palanir, an odd scout who though he has proven usefully to Sai J’haer, still provokes a feeling of unease. Perhaps that’s why Palanir is so good at noticing when tension has reached its boiling point. Regardless all are waiting in a delicately kept garden to meet a Bluchok’Hai commander by the name of Gratase; waiting and expecting trouble.

The staging ground is on the grounds of a large property on the outskirts of Dorthone, kept by a noble named Karae Kylaes. Normally an elf of Wrothgar's station would be by his side in the mansion while the operation was in action, but the warlord has little patience for entertaining, even if it is apart of the job. That task has been left to Palanir, an odd scout who though he has proven usefully to Wrothgar, still provokes a feeling of unease. The warlord assumes that’s good enough for a scout, but he still doesn’t leave Kylaes solely in the scout’s hands. He leaves that job in the hands of his own assassin, Madyrn Maer.

To guard against traps, the archer Manthwe has his eye on Gratase, but Wrothgar goes a step further and not only assumes traps, but assumes that the cowardly but clever Bludchok’Hai will be successful in their plot, and has his warden, Fenrir Volon protecting their exit. A bridge over the River Donas, named aptly for the lord of this land, much to the amusement of Fenrir’s companion, Kalor, an invoker who wields mysterious power to match that of Fenrir. Wrothgar hopes the two can handle things if, predictably, the mission goes badly.

The whereabouts of Wrothgar during the mission are unknown to his squad, but each have learned to focus on their given task.

The Tasks

Talai is to negotiate the terms, which include a generous donation from Karae Kylaes, and in turn buy Dorthone the right to safely escort nobles into the safety that Elenesse and his city can provide them.

Manthwe is to watch Talai’s back, should betrayal be afoot, or the negotiation goes badly.

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