Chapter 1 – Exile

The once grand Elven city stands before our heroes in ruins, torn asunder by an unknown force and a cadre of hideous undead.

Erillas thanks the party for looking after his son, Combellon, during the battle. He chides Combellon for fighting alongside the deployed forces like a common foot soldier. Combellon apologizes but protests, saying that he wishes to be a fighter and not a prince.

Erillas tells the party to look help in the city and look after their own families. He then tells Combellon that he wishes to speak to him in private.

The three Elf-brothers rush quickly to their family home, and the Desert Ranger, Meran, accompanies them. They find that their home is burning, and they hear cries of their family members from inside. After Meran tries to scale the burning tree and falls onto his backside, Galandil and Atentir manage to climb up the trunk of the tree and get inside.

After breaking down a heavy door, they manage to get to their family members inside. Their father, it seems, has succumbed to the smoke and heat and has passed on. Their other family members, including their mother, sister, grandmother and grandfather are suffering from smoke inhalation.

The family members are lowered to the ground and tended to. The father’s body is also removed from the burning building, and given to the town’s cleric for a special healing rite. After a long while the cleric returns with sad news — the father has passed on and nothing else can be done for him.

Later that evening, Erillas addresses the remnants of his people and announces that this day will be a day of mourning for the homes and the lives lost — sadly, his wife Shanni was killed in the battle. On the next morning, they will leave their ancient home and travel north to the Human city of Tymirr to seek refuge. King Arayen of Tymirr has long been an Elf-friend, Erillas says, and he will welcome them there.

The next morning the Elf brothers bury their father in a brief ceremony. Elowisyl, although the oldest child, is too overcome to speak. Galandil mutters a prayer under his breath. Meran plays a sad tune on his lute to honor him, and the sister says a few short words.

Packing what belongings they have, the Elves set out for the long journey to Tymirr on horseback and in wagons. The band departs (made up of our heroes, Erillas, Combellon, 150 civilians and 50 Elf-soldiers).

While traveling it is noticed that the ground on the nearby plains has been eaten away by the oncoming threat, leaving little but dead grass and dirt. It is nearly impossible to follow the road north, and navigation must be done by compass.

Soon after the caravan leaves, their path takes them to a small village that appears to have been attacked by a similar band of undead that ravaged the Elf Guild’s city. There are only a few remaining survivors, one of which is a young woman who appears to be dressed as a warrior. She introduces herself as Neith. Elowisyl invites these people to join their band traveling to Tymirr. They gladly agree, and they all pack up their belongings to leave. Neith also decides to go with the caravan.

Another evening passes without incident, and the band enters a mountainous area that does not seem to be affected by the surrounding scourge. The weather turns to rain, and they camp that evening in a rocky hollow with some trees for shelter.

While scouting the perimiter, Meran hears a noise off in the distance. Silently approaching the area from which the noise originated, he sees a man in his mid 50’s, exhausted and wounded. Meran attempts to help him to the camp, though the man’s horse cannot get up and after a few moments, it expires.

The man introduces himself as Aesmos, a resident of a small town about 20 miles east of their position. He explains that he was out riding earlier in the evening and was attacked by undead. Meran takes him back to the camp and the party attempts to heal him, but a large wound on his neck remains open. The party calls for the cleric, but before he can arrive the man displays strange symptoms and then attempts to attack Elowisyl.

The party attacks the man, Atentir finally slicing him apart with his javelin, but not before he can strike a brutal blow on Neith. She is soon healed, but is worried that the attack would cause her to become an undead. The cleric checks her wound and says that it is not infected.

Erillas, hearing of what happened with the man, asks the party to scout out the area for any other dangers that may threaten the camp. With a few Elf rangers as escort, they ride out and make sure that the man’s horse has not become an undead. Finding that it is indeed dead, they ride up to the north over the ridge to search for any other threats.

As they crest the ridge, they see campfires to the north. Moving closer they see a group of at least 20 kobolds making camp in the area. While attempting to sneak back to camp to warn them, the party unwittingly makes a sound that alerts the kobolds to their presence.

They race back to their horses, the kobolds hot on their heels. They manage to get back to camp to alert the guard, and see that the kobolds have turned back and are not attacking the camp.

Elowisyl attempts to convince Erillas that they must mount an offensive on the kobolds before they could plan their own attack, but Erillas refuses, saying that he will not waste the lives of his people. Instead he says that they will leave early the next morning and give the kobold camp a wide berth — but to make sure that there is no further threat, he volunteers the party to ride up and check the camp to see if the kobolds are still there, while the caravan continues north.

Later that evening, Elowisyl further examines the strange blade that he recovered from one of the undead that attacked their village. It seems very dull, and does not cut human flesh. Atentir also examines the blade, and is able to divine that it is used for cutting wood. Elowisyl tests it on a piece of wood he was carving for a bow, and it cuts through it easily. He then tries it on a dead tree, and it slices through it as though it were a hot knife cutting through butter.

In the morning they follow Erillas’ plan, but Combellon hears of the plan and takes the place of one of the guards set to go with the party. They advance on the kobold camp, but see that they have been wiped out by a group of undead. Meran finds the tracks that the undead left, and (using a spell) finds that the trail originated in the southern Wastelands and ends a few miles north at another village.

Traveling north in pursuit of the caravan, the party crests another ridge and sees the village to the west, already destroyed. They surmise that the caravan moved further to the east to avoid the town, and have entered a heavily forested area. They follow with all haste.