The Return of Zargon

The Trial

A fire burns warmly, but casts little light into Prince Heward’s study. The flickering shadows only hint at the vast number of books and scrolls that fill the many shelves. Slowly Prince Heward walks over to the fire.

“Well, my friends, you wish to work for the king? Go one a secret mission for king and country?”

“About that m’lord,” starts Lusciano, who is quickly silenced by the hand of the prince.

“Do not interrupt me again, mageling. As I see it, you volunteered for the job. Perhaps you’ve heard rumors around town about someone spreading the word of the Xoriati gods?” The blank looks on the companions faces told the prince that they were not familiar with the old ones. “I have reason to believe that someone seeks to bring back Zargon, the Returner. An ancient being from a time before the Vyshaantarii Empire. I need some adventurers that can work without being connected to the royal crown. I have sent a few Purple Dragons to find information and they have not returned. I am hoping you can prevail where they have not.”

“We will succeed!” exclaims Bulwark without a second thought.

“Indeed noble barbarian, I believe you can. Lets start this on a trial basis. I need you to enter the catacombs which contain Fellmarg’s Tomb. You must seek out and destroy Verag, a foul Gargoyle who hides in the catacombs. I believe the Verag is in league with the Cult of Zargon. Fellmarg’s Tomb is in the Duchy of Westvold, it is not hard to find, but many believe the place is cursed. Do not disturb the tomb, only Verag and his minions.”

“It shall be done. Come my friends, we have a mission.” Bulwark storms from the study with grim determination , followed quickly by Stone. Sora looks at Lucky and follows the dwarf, leaving Lucky looking between the open doorway and the prince.

“yes wizard, you will be compensated for your efforts,” says the prince, who then furrows his brow and adds, “Aventro, where have I heard that name before?”

“Fear not my liege, we are at your service. My stalwart companions are tenacious if nothing else.” Lucky bows and then exits the study, running to catch up with his band. Prince Heward waves his hand and the door closes, walks over to one of the many bookcases, and selects a text on Cormyrian lineage.

The Brotherhood of the Griffon

People step gingerly out of the way as the tall dark-haired warrior as he strides into the magistrate’s office of Suzail. His muscular, shirtless frame draws eyes more than a few ladies in the stone building. They hide their smiles as they assess the northern barbarian’s swarthy physique. Bulwark wastes no time finding the well dressed scribe who scoffs at the barbarians approach. Behind them the door rattles open as the barbarian’s companions enter trying to keep up with him. They hurry to the table where the scribe gives an inaudible sigh and eyes each of the members. The dark haired barbarian, obviously from the principality of Grimhold stands proudly dressed only in buckskin breeches and fur boots. A broadsword that had seen too many winters, yet maintained with a well honed edge was strapped to his back. Besides him a dwarf, probably from the lands of Morridan to Grimholds west stands stoically beside him. Stones with dethek runes were woven into his bright red beard indicating he is a member of the Runestone clan. The dwarf wears simple leathers, leather cap and a drusus, unconventional for a dwarf and the scribe assumes that he is probably a rogue, the worst type, a dwarf rogue. Next to the dwarf stands a female sun elf, her golden hair is tied back and wears travelling leathers much like the dwarf. She also carries a short sword, but carries herself as a spellcaster. The Thieve’s Guild call them Spellfilchers and are highly paid in Cormyr. The scribe secretly motions to the guards who move to block the door and rest their hands on the swords. The last member of this troupe, a wizard who smiles sheepishly at the scribe. Wearing a blue tabbard and traveling breeches, the style of his clothes is that of Halruaa and the single gem on his forehead indicates he has been initiated as a wizard. The barbarian defiantly rests one fist on his hip and holds out pouch of silver falcons, allowing them to fall to the table with an audible clink.

“I’d like to purchase a writ of adventuring,” states the steely eyed Barbarian. The barbarian is taller than the stories he had heard, but it was obvious who he was, considering his lack of wit.

“It’s called an adventuring charter; you are the Moron of Grimhold, I presume,” replies the scribe. As expected Bulwark looks perplexed at the question, a look that quickly turns to rage as he reaches for the broadsword on his back. The guards draw their swords and prepare for the fight that is about to ensue. The dwarf quickly steps in front of the barbarian and places a hand on his companion to diffuse the situation.

“Are ye daft man? Aye this worrior be from the lands of Grimhold, but he not be dat idjit. Do ya see any lizards wit us. Dis be Bulwark, Barbarian warrior of Grimhold. I be the dwarf warrior Ulric Runestone.” The scribe motions for the guards to stand fast and smiles at the pair.

“My apologies, I mistook him for another Grimholder, they all look alike to me.” Opening the bag the scribe begins counting the falcons at an excruciatingly slow pace, going so far as to test the weight of suspicious looking coins. Even the normally patient dwarf seems irritated by the scribes antics. It’s not until the wizard steps forward, scoots the bag out of the way and taps on the table does the scribe take notice.

“Excuse me good sir, hi. How are you? Excellent. My name is Lusciano, Lusciano Aventro. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? No? Lucky Lusciano? Still nothing, huh? Oh never you worry, here’s the situation, we’re in town for a short period of time, we have a very special mission from a very special person, you may have heard of him, but we’re not allowed to tell you his name. All I can say is that he may or may not be a wizard and may or may not be of royal lineage. So that being said is there anyway we can speed up this process?” Lucky Lusciano places five gold lions onto the table hoping the bribe will speed the process up. The scribe, irritated by the group decides he has had enough of these outlanders and motions for the guards.

“Bribing a city official is capitol offense. Your request is forfiet and you shall…” The scribe is cut off before he can finish the sentence.

“That’s all right Cedric, these adventures are here at my behest. I asked them to obtain a charter so that everything can be legal when they assist me.” The scribe, Cedric, looks over to see Heward Ireabor step out of the shadows of the room. The arch-mage of the Cormyrian war wizards briskly dusts non-existent dirt from his impeccable purple robes. His neatly trimmed beard and shoulder length hair makes a dashing figure and he appears equally at ease in any setting.

“My apologies m’lord. I’ll get this done right away. What is the name of your company?” The scribe starts scribbling furiously with his quill.

“The Brotherhood of the Griffon,” states the barbarian, Bulwark, stepping forward.

“I heard the Brotherhood was wiped out in the northern wildlands, how did you come about this name?” Asks Prince Heward with genuine interest.

“I met a warrior in Skullwatch named Falin, he asked if I could help rebuild the brotherhood. So I came here to obtain a char-ter of adventuring.” Bulwark smiles at the scribe at remembering the name. The dwarf, Stone, puts his and over his face and the wizard, Lucky, just looks down and shakes his head. Prince Heward smirks and motions for the Cedric to continue.

“Can I get your names, any titles you carry, and your profession?” asks Cedric.

“In the effort to save time, allow me. The tall, dark, and shirtless one is Bulwark the Barbarian. He claims to have no last name, nor any title to speak of. My Short companion is, as he said, Ulric Runstone. We call him Stone for short. He is a warrior from Morridan. The quiet elf is Soranthena Hai Gwaedhel, we call her Sora; she is a Spellsword from some far away place I never learned to pronounce. And I am Lusciano “Lucky” Aventro, Halruuan wizard."

“And you are the leader of this group?” asks Cedric.

“Me? No; what would give you that idea. Bulwark is the leader.” Both Cedric and prince Heward look at the mage in astonishment.

Cedric quickly finishes the charter and sprinkles some sand to help it dry. “M’lord, would you like to sign this yourself?”

“Yes of course.” Prince Heward leans over the table, whispers and incantation, and a purple sigil appears on the page. “Now, if you four will accompany me. We’ll discuss that special mission you aren’t suppose to be talking about.”

Lucky gulped at the idea of what the arch-mage may have in store for them.


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