They head into the Mournland, but get lost in the mist on the borders, and are captured by strange warforged.
Mol, Barrakas 9, 999 YK.
The party passes through the square where a year ago they defeated Remelius Artauche. It has been restored by now, and the destruction is barely noticeable anymore, though statues of those present at the battle stand to remind of the heroes who saved Wroat.
They go on to Brokenblade Castle, residence of the royal family of Breland, which sits on an island in the middle of the Howling River. After identifying themselves to the guards, they are granted an audience with King Boranel ir’Wynarn, who is happy to see them. The scene quickly turns away from that of a happy reunion, however, as they describe to him the forthcoming invasion, and extend a plea for Breland’s support. Boranel is hesitant to do so; though he trusts the party, he worries he cannot spare the forces as he is preparing for a revolt from New Cyre, the permanent settlement in Breland’s borders for refugees of Cyre who fled the Mourning. According to Boranel, the refugees have been growing increasingly agitated, and believe their leader and last surviving heir of the Cyran monarchy, Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn, is insufficient as a ruler. The King offers to supply forces if they can quell the rumblings of rebellion, by force if necessary. Zil’dejin is resistant to that idea, however, especially given his recent work with New Cyre. The party agrees to calm the Cyrans, but will do so without violence.
They take their leave of King Boranel, and purchase horses and some provisions in Wroat for the journey ahead. After this, Elyas, Zil’dejin, Zan-kyri and Garmeth set out on the lightning rail as lone representatives of the Eclipse Collective to New Cyre.
Zor, Barrakas 12, 999 YK.
Arriving on horseback from Starilaskur, the nearest stop on the Lightning Rail, the party comes to New Cyre. It is a somewhat desolate place, still reminding of its days as a simple refugee camp, though now it has evolved into a functional town. The people here move about solemnly, and when asked about Prince Oargev, they grumble and point the four in the direction of a manor on the far end of town. It is nothing extravagant, but compared to the shacks and tiny houses, it is almost like a mansion.
They are greeted by an attendant of Prince Oargev, who introduce them to the prince himself. He is young, but the Mourning and his responsibilities have aged him considerably.
“Yes, it is true,” he replies to a question about the rebellion. “My people grow restless. They do not see me as a strong leader. Many have already left, spreading out into Khorvaire. Just recently, a large group went far east, to Q’Barra. If they seek refuge in untamed wilderness like that, then surely something is wrong.” He reclines in his chair, suddenly looking contemplative.
“I do, however, have a plan of sorts. One to reestablish myself as their leader, and give my people some hope that Cyre is not as dead as the land it once inhabited. The Cyran monarchy, for generations, would sit atop their throne in the capital city of Metrol, wearing the Cyran Regalia: enchanted items signifying royalty. This tradition stopped with my mother when we had to flee the city on the Day of Mourning, and we left behind these great symbols of Cyran power. Though that power is gone, the symbols could still stand. I want you to go to the ruins of Metrol, and retrieve the Regalia for me. I can practically guarantee a restoration to order here in New Cyre, and I can even provide you with some of my men for your cause.”
Though there is some skepticism over whether this will work, the party agrees to his request, and heads north to Starilaskur again. This time, they intend to ride the lightning rail to Vathirond, and enter the Mournland.
Sar, Barrakas 14, 999 YK.
Vathirond is a town on the edge of collapse, both literally and figuratively. Though generally in better shape than New Cyre, during the Last War it was home to many battles against all other nations, Cyre in particular. Casualties from the war, as well as hardship and disease, brought Vathirond to its knees, and it has had a hard time recovering. Even here, the listless gray mists of the Mournland are visible, and creep gently into the town.
They stock up once more on provisions here, purchasing ten day’s worth, and Zil’dejin seeks information on traversing the Mournland. They are pointed to a local pub, which is evidently nameless. Here, they meet with a one-eyed man wearing studded armor, named Flarran the Grizzled. He tells them about the nearly-impenetrable nature of the mist, and gives them some advice on passing through it, telling them not to stop moving and to try not to turn. For some coin, he also tells them about his experience with Metrol, informing them that it is a dangerous place. He explains that he was once part of a company called Ikar’s Salvage, which did runs into the city, but that it – and the surrounding area – was haunted, and it would be wise not to go. When pressed on the nature of the haunting, Flarran can give nothing more, but he directs the party to another citizen of Vathiron: Canath d’Vadalis.
Canath is an old man who has shed most of his affiliation with his House, but for a bit more coin, tells the party rumors he heard about experiments Vadalis was performing outside of Metrol. He doesn’t know the details, but he believes these experiments may have survived the Mourning and could account for the present “haunting” Flarran witnessed. Satisfied with this explanation, the four set out to enter the Mournland.
It takes them the better part of a day on horseback, but the Collective soon arrives at the border of the Mournland. The Dead-Gray mist stands before them like a silently shifting wall. Garmeth examines the mist before they enter, trying to discern its origin, but comes up with nothing, and Zan-kyri looks for some kind of break or opening in the mist to go through, yet there appears to be none. Elyas seeks to determine the nature of the mist, attempting to recall any relevant research, and remembers some facts about it: it was spawned during the Mourning, and can inflict apathy and weakness on those who spend too long in it. Further, it has a strong tendency to repel travelers, or put them off course.
With this, recalling Flarran’s advice, they press on without further hesitation. Zan-kyri and Elyas lead the way, with Elyas seeking out particularly thin areas of the mist to move through, and Zan-kyri carefully navigating around hazards or hostile entities within. All the while, Zil’dejin attempts to use his former knowledge of the nation of Cyre to look for familiar roads, landmarks, or higher grand to escape the mist, but the nation has changed so much by the Mourning it is futile. Garmeth tries to push away the mist, but this, too, is futile – it is all-present. Later, Zil’dejin tries to apply his knowledge to helping Zan-kyri find a quicker way through the mist, but the two of them come up with nothing useful. Meanwhile, the horses are panicking, and Elyas tries to calm them down, while Garmeth attempts to track the monk Grenim, who was sent here to look for Raveth in the Mournland. No tracks are found, and the horses continue to go wild, bucking viciously.
When they finally emerge from the mists, they find themselves surrounded by dark figures, ordering them to throw down their weapons. Soon, these figures come into sight as warforged, who tell them they have been made “prisoners of the Becoming God,” and that they greatly outnumber the party. Grudgingly, they surrender their equipment. Elyas is knocked unconscious by these warforged, and they are bound and taken away into the Mournland, now certain that they are off-course.