It’s just past dawn on an early autumn morning. The air is cool as the individual PCs stand on a plateau of the Saerun mountain range. To the west, the mountain looms. Beyond that is the goblin land of Darguun. Just to the east the plateau drops off to a cliff, and they can survey much of the country of Cyre. The sounds of battle can be heard in the valley below as the sun rises. The golden Ring of Siberys is beginning to fade, and the twelve moons are now low on the horizon.
They have all been drawn to pass by this spot, for one reason or another.
An ancient, decrepit, black tower standing almost two hundred feet tall looms on the plateau. The PCs all spot each other, while at the same time noticing a group of elemental airships on a bombing run across the battlefield. Lightning crackles from the underbelly of the ship as it strafes the valley. While it doesn’t appear that the ships have noticed the PCs, they seem to be in the direct path of the strafing run.
The PCs make for the crumbling entrance to the tower. As they cross the door they can hear the quiet rustling of chains, though it is quickly drowned out by the hum of the warships passing by. Their skin vibrates, and hairs stand on end, as the ships unleash lightning onto the hillside. Pockets of brush outside burst into flames, and smolder, as the ship continues into the woods that climb the side of the mountain.
The PCs gather inside and introduce themselves; Elyas, a human with artificer technologies integrated into his armor and weapons; his assistant, Helper, an early version of the warforged with human-like tendencies; Kestor, a dragonborn on a mission of vengeance; Tordek, a young dwarf invoker, seeking an apprenticeship; and Chisler, a revelent, undead, and without a past.
There is a slight rumbling under them. Elyas is tossed a few feet as the flagstone beneath him pushes upward, and a young kruthik emerges from a tunnel below. It spots the PCs and rears back, slamming its metal-like talons at the flagstone, and screeches at the party. Three more come up from the ground to attack the PCs. The party bands together to defeat the threats. Three dolgrims emerge from around the corners, each holding a sword, shield, and crossbow in their four arms. They hurl insults, and attacks, at the party.
The PCs make short work of their attackers, and investigate the calls for help that they heard during the fight. As Chisler peeks around the corner he sees two prisoners blindfolded and chained to the wall. One is straining to see what’s going on, while the other languishes on the opposite wall; alive, but not really responding to what is going on around him. He is standing over a ten foot wide prophecy mark. The energy pulses, and swirls with ever-changing colors and patterns.
The group gathers around the mark to study it, while Kestor frees the prisoners. He releases the first, who introduces himself as Bren ir’Gadden, a nobleman and commander of the Brelish army.
He says that he, and his assistant, Aric Blacktree, were making there way up onto the plateau to gain a better vantage point, when they were attacked by a band of dolgrims. His men were killed and the two of them were brought to the tower. They have been chained there for weeks. He says that the dolgrims have been holding Aric inside the prophecy mark, and have been studying his skin, possibly for the appearance of an aberrant dragonmark. He was certain they were doomed, as the dolgrims were becoming increasingly agitated that a mark was not appearing.
Kestor carefully reaches into the prophecy mark circle to free Aric. The dragonborn can feel the arcane magic tingle, and try to attach itself to his scaled skin, but a moment later he pulls Aric free. Aric slumps against the tower wall, and then slowly slides into a sitting position, his head gently bobbing around.
The others in the party have been studying the patterns, as a sudden voice resounds in their heads, and in their native tongue they understand the prophecy; Five at the brink of the desolation stand as one against the tempest’s roar. They argue over the meaning; some believing that “the five” represent themselves, others believing that it refers to the five nations of Korvaire, uniting once again.
The academic discussion is short lived as Bren insists that he must return to his troops below, and that Aric must be taken to Sharn for treatment. The PCs argue about some form of payment, while at the same time demanding to know of people that they are looking for. Bren seems to not know anything about anyone they are looking to find, and he also says that he doesn’t carry his wealth into battle, and has no way to pay them.
After more arguing, finally, exasperated, Bren says that if they are willing to walk down onto the battlefield he is able to outfit them with weapons and provisions for their journey, and when they arrive in Sharn they will be paid handsomely by Aric’s wealthy merchant family. This seems to satisfy the PCs, and they agree.
As they begin to exit the tower, the smoke is starting to thin, and several spots are still burning. Through the dissipating smoke, zombie rotters shuffle forward, moaning low. Behind them two sergeants of the Emerald Claw appear, along with a woman wearing a dark-hooded cloak.
The woman demands that they turn the prisoner over to them in the name of the Emerald Claw. The PCs ask what they will give them in exchange, and she balks at the suggestion, saying that no one refuses the demands of the Emerald Claw, and she raises her quaterstaff to begin the attack.
The rotters close in, slamming their putrid fists into the PCs, as the priestess uses ranged magical attacks that burst over the PCs. The dwarf rebukes the hordes of zombies, who immediately fall down, and don’t rise up again. The dragonborn hacks away at the sergeants with brutal precision. Helper, shifts around, trying to protect Aric, who is clinging to his back. Elyas dishes out healing, as Chisler shrouds his enemies in deep shadowfell magic. Bren, though unarmed, fires magic missiles from his fingertips.
Amid the battle, the party notices a grey fog rolling across Cyre. Lighting and fire erupt from within it, and the screams of men can be heard from the valley below as the fog envelopes everything in its path.
As the last of the Emerald Claw are dispatched, silence falls over everything. The screams have ceased, and all of Cyre is covered in the dead grey fog. Bren falls to his knees and weeps for the lost of his men on the battlefield. The battle for Cyre is over. Moments later, he regains his composure and tells them that they must press on to Sharn, and that it appears the only path is over the mountain and through the dangerous goblin land of Darguun.