Wilderlands: The Rise of Tharizdun

It Came From the Swamp

Ochre-robed pilgrims started buying swampland around Overlord City. It was more than bad business to Shyath Syrus, Arch-priest of Mitra. He knew what was buried the flood plains outside Haghill, and he knew the stakes.

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Syrus sent a party of adventurers to the site of an old moat house, recently purchased by the mysterious pilgrims. The ruins above were quiet, but dark rituals were playing-out below.

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After dealing with cultists, and the remnant horrors of the moat house dungeons. The party stumbled upon a giant black obelisk; the first of many to be discovered in the coming years.

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Darkshelf Quarry

When a small granite mine South of Overlord City started turning-out gemstones, the Overlord’s accountants became suspicious. The Overlord sent adventurers to the site of Darkshelf Quarry to investigate the windfall.

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The adventures soon soon found the new source of wealth at Darkshelf: Slaves. The quarry was a staging ground for illegal slave trade; those who survived in the mines were sold for gems. The Invincible Overlord has no objection to slavery, unless he’s not getting his cut.

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The operation was broken-up, and the party had a lead on operations spreading all the way to the coast.

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It wasn’t expected, but ochre-robed priests were found in the depths of the mines, worshiping a huge black obelisk.

One of the party, a priest of Mitra, delivered the disturbing evidence of cult activity to the temple in Overlord city. This was one of many obelisks that had been appearing in the known world. Recent cult activity, and the alignment of celestial bodies all pointed to a coming apocalypse.

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Deathhall

The shadows of Overlord City hold many secrets, and the depths of Deathhall even more. On the wrong night the right group of adventurers can find themselves in a death temple plundering artifacts that seasoned rogues wouldn’t touch. This night was one such night.

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The party was tricked into raiding the Temple of the Undying, known to the locals as “Deathhall”. It was clear what they were in for when they were greeted by being dropped into a pit of slow-burning acid.

The party prevailed over the death cult, killing them to a man. They found a disturbing book containing information on the prophesied apocalypse, and foreknowledge of many events where death’s hand is present.

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When the party exited, the building was surrounded by guards. The party was captured, and the book eventually made it’s way to the Temple of Mitra for further study.

The party had a choice of death by hanging, or a suicide mission to the slave pits. This would be the second ill-fated mission commissioned by The Overlord.

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The Slave Pits

Running an underground slavery ring in his territory is a great way to get the attention of the Invincible Overlord.

The trail led to the town of Bier, something of a shanty village on stilts at the marshy edge of the water. The Overlord sent a party of adventurers to investigate illegal slaving, and they found that slaves were being held in some ruins North of the town.

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Unfortunately the first party met with a terrible fate at the hands of lingering ghouls.

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A second party was sent to investigate, and after some fierce resistance, they were able to bust-up the slave ring, and did a right-proper job of killing anything that moved. That is until they met heavy resistance in the deeper slave pits.

Most of the party was captured, and some were afforded to a process known as “”/wikis/Gentling/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”> gentling" where the subject’s soul is removed, leaving the slave fully functional with no personal will.

The few survivors parted ways, presumably moving-on to safer careers.

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The Overlord had all he needed to bring the hammer down on the operation. The guild monopoly in Bier was broken-up, and Black Lotus agents were brought-in to ensure loyalty to the City State. But the Overlord was distracted with growing unrest in the lands North of the sea. The slave ring eluded him, and now continues in the shadows, supplying slaves to patrons who’s names are best forgotten.

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It Happened in Flint

The brewing civil conflict to the North of the City State made it difficult to justify the finance of investigating rumored end-of-the-world cult activity. But Shyath Cyrus is a resourceful man.

It’s not often that the faiths of Morg and Mitra join-up, but in this case the interests of The Overlord were also aligned. The small town of Flint South of Overlord City is the only supplier of marble to the capital. Shipments come every three months, but it’s been a long time since the last shipment. Lord Disbad, the senate-appointed ward-steward, and nominate of Morg was sent to sort things out; that was nine months ago.

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There were interesting encounter along the way, including a potentially deadly encounter with some hill giants that was resolved with diplomacy and deer-hunting.

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The town was under the protection from a stronghold of Morg worshipers at Keystone Castle, so it fell upon Ralak, Arch-priest of Morg to make things right. Ralak funded the operation, and Shyath found adventurers willing to investigate Flint, and the possible location of a temple of elemental evil.

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Once in Flint, the party found themselves in the midst of a gang war. Lord Disbad was found, crippled from torture, and two warlords had positioned themselves as heirs to the marble mines.

The party met-up with Arctennius in Flint. At the time he was acting captain of the guard in the Keystone (a keep to the West).

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Worse fears were confirmed when ochre-robed priests were reported to have passed through, purchasing supplies. The influence of chaos was apparent in the high incident of disfigurement, deranged behavior, and the thing the party found in the basement of the Temple of Morg that used to be resident priests and servants.

The party deemed it most important to find the temple, if one indeed existed. So they set Nevron in the temple, and put a contingent of guards on him. They otherwise left Flint to it’s own devices and pressed-on towards the rumored temple.

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The Hidden Temple

The party followed the path of the ochre-robed priests to a rich, but foreboding forest where they met and absolutely destroyed the green dragon who had been terrorizing the area for decades.

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Once the dragon was defeated, passage to the temple was easy. The entrance sat high on the cliff, protected by obscurity and guarded by a (dead) dragon. The party entered stealthily, and took the forward guard unawares. But the further they ventured in, the thicker the fighting got.

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Signs of elemental evil cult activity were everywhere, and stronghold occupation was recent. Any signature of the dwarves that once built this complex, has been removed long ago.

Then, deep in the bowels of the old caverns, the party found what the feared would be here; another obelisk.

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Amid the ruins of the old cult, the party found a sword of ancient dwarven construction, and bound to elemental earth. Further study would reveal it as a key of some sort.

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Before they left, the party decided to clear the abandoned mines; part of the original dwarven stronghold. They found another dragon, and working together they were able to defeat it.

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Among this dragon’s treasure were the remains of a dwarf bearing heraldry of the line of Flametounge, an ancient and mysterious line of dwarves. Their wealth and influence is undeniable, but their history is all but erased. The dwarf carried a broken axe with similar markings as the earth sword. Though useless as a weapon, the axe could still be used as a some kind of key. What it would open remained a mystery.

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The Twinhorns

The party was overburdened with loot, and needed to strike a found treasure deal with the local governor. That man happened to be Lord Nevron, a devout worshiper of Mitra, and castellan of the Twinhorn Gate.

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The party was greeted with open arms, but before a deal could be struck, the South gate was attacked by marauding orcs, and two very angry stone giants who were pissed at everyone for making so much noise.

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The battle was won. Lord Nevron voiced his concern about the increasing boldness of the Southern orc tribes. He offered his gratitude to the party for turning the tide of the overwhelming assault on the gates. Treasure and land arrangements were made, and the party was ready to head-off.

That’s when Sir Gayle of Tane showed-up on his griffon mount seeking the bounty on Arctennius’ head. There was little explanation before the two faced-off, but when Arc showed mercy, it gave Gayle pause. As it turns-out Sir Gayle was looking for just that sort of virtue. For what it’s worth, Gayle invited the party to Sky Reach should they ever find themselves in the badlands West of Overlord city.

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Return to Flint

The party laden with riches from the forgotten temple, passed through Flint on their way back to Overlord City. They found half the city burned to the ground. One remaining warlord had seized control of the city. His name was Hoxar, and he was a mean-looking orc who held his chair at an inn called the Hung Drawn and Quartered.

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Surrounded by a tavern full of loyal brutes made negotiating with Hoxar difficult, and most of the party had zero tolerance for the atrocities he’already committed. But they reached an agreement: One of the party would fight his champion, and Hoxar would step down. Mor-gor, Hoxar’s champion met the brave paladin Thastir in the old fighting bit behind the inn.

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The power of Mitra went super-nova on Thastir, and he killed the beast. But Mor-gor’s blood seeped into an ancient chaos marking at the base of the fighting pit, and was reborn in a more powerful and evil image of his murderous, bestial essence.

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That’s when the tension broke, and the party threw down with Hoxar’s men. By this point, the party had already worked the crowd so once Mor-gor reborn was felled, the crowd dispersed, and Hoxar started negotiating.

The party chose to leave Hoxar in command, after all his augment was compelling: A governor who sends marble to the Overlord is better than no governor at all.

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The Tomb of the Forgotten King

A dwarven hero and his companions sought-out the lost tomb of King Torhild Flametongue to retrieve the fabled greataxe, Orcsplitter.

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This hero was of the Line of Besilmer. He had been researching the tomb for some time, and compiled extensive notes on the location, construction, and secrets of the tomb.

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The party found true tomb of The Flametounge but his effigy was puzzling…

Here lies King Torhild Flametounge;
As true in his majesty as the city he defended;
hidden with his secrets, as the city in the shadow of the Phantom Peak.
May the peak wail and blast to ward discovery,
and protect the legacy of the forgotten savior of the world.

The Phantom Peak is known to those who travel the Rorystone road north to the dwarven halls for trading. But the valley it overlooks is barren. Could it be that the ancient city Tyar-Besil exists, somehow hidden in the shadow of the peak as the effigy suggests?

Once in Overlord city, the party met with several scholars, eventually getting the attention of the clerics of Mitra. They believe the legendary city of Tyar-Besil is real, and more than that, they believe Torhild and his “forgotten” clan may have done whatever they could to erase themselves from history to protect its’ secret.

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In the Shadow of the Mountain

Reports of black obelisks had been trickling-in for years, but news of the rediscovered tomb of King Torhild brought new light to the investigation. The link to the supposed location of Tyar-Besil was unquestionable, but when the priests of Mitra plotted the locations of the obelisks, they found that all of them followed ley lines. Those lines intersect at the supposed site of the mythical city of Tyar-Besil.

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The Overlord was invited to counsel, and agreed that the threat should be dealt with. So a coalition was forged whereby anyone needed could be recruited without consequence. City factions would put-aside disputes by the authority of the overlord. This allows guild thieves to work with justicars, and priests of opposing faiths to work together.

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This alliance is known as The Rangers of Northmarch. The rangers bear the sigil of the City State, and go with the authority of the overlord. Their mission is to find the city of Tyar-Besil (if it exists), and end any cult activity. The rangers travel under the pretense of a City-State special forces team executing war-based covert operations at the Rorystone front.

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