Awakening to a much quieter, and much more burnt down chapel than they’d left the night before, the party searched the grounds for any sign of their attacker. Only the open graves of the undead Orcus’ priestess had created remained. From the parts of the temple that remained, the party was able to identify it as an ancient Cathedral of Pelor. Knowing that it would please their friend Priestess Marla, Onodrim blessed the ground around the temple, and consecrated the grounds in the name of Melora. The mother of nature shone her light upon the grounds and the forest began to reclaim the lands with greenery. The temples ruins were covered in the most beautiful plants and flowers of the region, and Onodrim knew that Pelor would be pleased, for the Gods of good often work to the same goals. Setting back to the road, the party encountered a most unpleasant sight. A sight not seen above the Nentir Vale for generations. Three Dragons were locked in combat above the road. A large Silver Dragon, well advanced in age was locked in combat with a younger, faster Grey. A smaller Copper flitted about the edge of the battle, attempting to assist her Metallic ally. Though many of the party were apprehensive about entering the fray, Magdronan and Vimak recognized that Silver Dragons are often the Knights and most honored warriors of Bahamut. They implored their fellows to assist, neither having the ability to strike at a distance. Darmok, always up for a challenge, unleashed a series of Chaos Bolts, while Onodrim attempted to drag the Grey down with his divine chains. Outnumbered in the air, and now facing a devastating barrage from below, the Grey flew off. Both dragons landed besides the party, the Silver showing many wounds and injuries. He explained his name was Douvistos, and introduced the copper as his mate, Jolendra. The grey, named Varsentes, he explained was an old rival, though he has since grown strength and powers he had not previously shown. Powers that Douvistos attributed to Gethzerian. A name he is shocked to find the party is aware of. He informs them that Gethzerian is, in fact, alive, though he has not yet shown his face. Douvistos believes that if Gethzerian were at his full powers, he would have come for him personally, not sending a minion such as Versantes. Wounded greatly, Jolendra convinces Douvistos to return home, though accepting of what healing Vimak and John Snow can offer, dragons heal differently than the younger races. Douvistos wished you luck in your endeavors and set out on his way.
Finally, you arrived at the Village of Harken, seat of Baron Stockmer, and the location from which you began your adventure, those many weeks ago. The Baron awaits you at the crossroads, with Douven and Juli and Priestess Marla. Juli greets each of you with a massive hug, and thanks for saving her husband. The Baron is eager to hear your tales of battle, but luckily Stahl steps in, recognizing your signs of travel weariness. As he sheperds you back to his home, The Baron invites you to a grand feast that evening in honor of the Heroes of Winterhaven.
Douven Stahl welcomes you back to your old quarters in his home, and Juli sets out a small sampling of each of your favorites. Douven listens eagerly to your tale, and is intrigued by the book of prophecies Onodrim recovered from the temple. He tells them what he knows of the Fel Oracle, including a tiny bit of skepticism.
That night, as the sun sets, Douven and Juli lead the group up the hill to the Iron Keep, historic seat of the Stockmer family. The castle is not large or glorious, but strong and well built for defense. Only a single entrance exists, at the top of a twisting path up a hill, and it is well covered with arrow slits and murder holes. As you enter the great hall, you see it is filled with everyone of note from not only Harken, but the rest of the Barony as well. Baron Stockmer offers a toast as you arrive, and welcomes you to the high table, alongside himself, Douven, Juli and Priestess Marla, who is thrilled by the the gifts Onodrim offers, having recovered them from the desecrated temple of her God. As you are greeted by old friends, and make new ones, you are feasted on the finest food and drink Harkenwold has to offer. Course after course, until you are glad you left your armor behind, as it would now be uncomfortably tight. Between courses, Juli departs the table, returning a few minutes later with a dark-skinned woman, whom she introduces as Hyacinth. Seemingly human, Onodrim recognizes her instanly as a hama-dryad, a fellow Feywild resident. Juli has passed word that you seek Galadran, the Deva who served as Cleric for the party of heroes that defeated Gethzerian 200 years ago, and Hyacinth claims she knows where to find him, for a price of course. She intstructs you to meet her in the Feywild in the Court of Thorns within a month, if you wish to accept this quest. As she departs, the evening takes an even stranger turn, as a beautiful red-headed woman approaches the table, asking John Snow for a dance. After some slightly akward flirting, John accepts, and the two take to the floor, swirling in time to the minstrels music. The rest of the party, naturally, is quite shocked by this turn of events, but continues their enjoyment. Moments later, a man dressed in dark robes bursts in the door, instantly putting his sword to the throat of the nearest party-goer. Stockmer objects, but the man address only the party, offering them the chance to surrender. Stahl demands the innocents be released, but the intruder only scoffs at him. Several other intruders enter the room dressed in a similiar manner, including two Tieflings. As the party is mostly unarmored and weaponless, they hesitate initially, none more costly than John Snow’s hesitation. As he turns to watch the intruder, his dancing companion whispers in his ear “a message from your step-mother” and drives a dagger into his ribs before running from the room. Onodrim strikes the first blow, however, unleashing a divine spell upon what appears to be the enemy caster, striking true. However, the leader responds exactly as he threatened, slicing the throat of the civilian he held. This is too much for the party. As Stahl drags the Baron, the Priestess, and Juli to saftey out a secret doorway, Grak charges headlong into the battle, ignoring the fact that his armor is off and his hands are empty. But even empty, the hands of a half-orc are formidable weapons. A moment later the stony fists of Vimak join him in felling opponents. A Dragonborn never truly being unarmed, Magdronan unleashes a blast of his Dragonbreath before running for his weapon. Having held their implements through their hosts courtesy (its only my walking staff) and trickery (a secret pocket in his sleeve) Onodrim and Darmok begin to unleash their attacks from afar. After a slow start, Vimak is able to regain his axe, while he and Magdronan defeat a fierce tiefling gladiator. John Snow, recovering from his suprise, recovers his sword before rushing to the aid of Grak. The half-orc, however, has held his own, disabling one enemy and claiming his Falchionn to turn against another. Finally, the last intruder falls dead. Running to the doors, Onodrim hears shouting outside. As the party emerge, they see how the intruders entered the castle. Unable to defeat the gate, they have made their own. A large Ogre has smashed a hole in the wall, and several more soldiers dressed in a manner to match those corpses in the great hall are with him. Several wolves also rush forward into the gap, but two are cut down before they even reach the fray. The third, however, reaches Magdronan, and as it dodges his blade, transforms. This is no ordinary wolf, but a lycanthrope. The werewolf sunk his jaws into Magdronans arm as the Dragonborn watched in suprise. The ogre was dispatched quickly, and the rest of the foes began to fall, but not until the werewolf had added bits of Vimak, Onodrim, and Grak to his dinner was he finally defeated. Only one foe remained, and Magdronan bravely issued a divine challenge to the dark warrior. However, realizing his numerical disadvantage, he began to retreat. Onodrim led his comrades in a valiant attempt to capture and subdue the foe. However, the enemy was smarter than he appeared. Not wishing to be captured, he turned and sliced his sword at Onodrim, activating the Divine challenge of Bahamut laid upon him by Magdronan, effectively suicide by Paladin. As the party surveyed the area, Douven Stahl returned, with news that the Baron and the others were safe in the Wizards tower. He was able to identify the markings on the assailants as belonging to the Iron Circle, a viscious southern mercanary group with roots in the ancient Cults of Asmodeus. Suddenly, a scream is heard from across the Keep, coming from the direction of the Wizards tower……