Characters: Roland, Jak, James, Thornside, Alton
Location: Overlook, 18 Years Ago — Village
NPCs: Brak, Kalad, Emil, Rufus, Mary, Jalissa, Glorin, General Zithiruun, Washburn Windleaf, Althaea Windleaf, Bain, Nathyra, Balatan
The Bear Claws jump into the battle with Zithiruun. Seeing his ability to shift around the battlefield Alton pinned him to the ground with a magical spike through his foot, keeping him place. His dragonborn henchmen closed in and the undead dragon blasted them with his poisonous necrotic breath before flying up to knock tiles from the rooftops of the buildings at those below.
Thornside and Jak both had close calls with death and the Bear Claws burned through a number of healing potions before they finished off the fight.
When it was over the word of Zithiruun’s death passed quickly through the mercenaries who quickly broke off the assault and fled from the city. Emil and Kalad searched the bodies of their comrades to find those who were still alive and try to heal them. Covered in blood and grime a small caravan of halfings arrived with Emil’s parents who stopped and watched him work before his mother came forward and said, “Emil, what did you do?”
Glorin Hamerfist and the Free Traders volunteered to help rebuild the damaged parts of the city and Ruth and Rory Teng opened up the Belden’s Rest with free food for anybody helping rebuild.
The city elders thanked the Bear Claws and paid them handsomely for the many ways in which they saved the city. It was their destruction of the mercenary camp in the Shadowfell, the closing of the portals in the Mountainroot Temple and their actions in helping with the siege that saved the city from much worse damage.
During the next week the Bear Claws spent some of their hard won money. They had to approach several merchants to sell their valuables because the Elsir Consortium goods were poor quality and not selling well so the merchants didn’t have money to buy their wares.
Jak got a tattoo shaped like a bear claw. James put in an order for an elephant and a war chariot to go with it.
Roland spent his time trying to figure out how to control the massive amounts of power that he channels from the Elemental Chaos.
Thornside checked on his ‘father’ and left him some gold while he was sleeping.
Alton hired somebody to take care of the Temple of Avandra and also commissioned somebody to carve a statue of Miranda and Avandra playing dice in the courtyard.
Jak and James took the body of the undead dragon to Rufus and found him packing up his tower and leaving town, moving back to Sayre. He told them he has an estate there and his tower was mostly destroyed during the siege. He will ship their table to them when it is finished.
Back at the Belden’s Rest Emil introduces them to his fiancé, Sweet Potato. Her friends call her Pattie. She can’t talk and speaks in sign language which Emil translates. Even though it’s obvious she is not happy about meeting all his friends he translates her gestures as, “she’s happy to meet you too.”
Their wedding is the next day. He wants to make sure that all the Bear Claws will be there. Family starts to arrive. The wedding is going to be at the Belden’s Rest and Ruth has cleared the common room of all the tables so she can set up for the service.
While the Bear Claws are there Mary comes in with Jalissa and two other Eladrin that she introduces as Washburn and Althaea Windleaf. Washburn was the Eladrin who raised her. Althaea is her ‘aunt’.
Washburn explains to the Bear Claws that he met them, eighteen years ago in a small village in the mountains beyond the Orc lands. They helped him destroy a dwarf who had been possessed by the hand of Vecna and was murdering his way across the countryside.
Althaea steps in and explains that the magical situation is just right and the stars aligned just so that it is possible, right then to send the Bear Claws back in time to the location Washburn is talking about.
They agree and she and Jalissa start the ritual that will send them through.
James invites Emil along and he quickly agrees.
Mary accompanies them as well. As they pass through the portal Washburn shouts at them that Emil wasn’t there when he met them before.
They arrive on a snow-covered hillside and see a small village below surrounded by a deep black forest in a vale surrounded by mountains. As they approach the village they see a large deep red dragonborn outside one of the houses cutting wood. He introduces himself as Balatan and invites them in. Inside they find Nathyra, his wife, who is watching over her egg protectively. They are in disagreement as to what to name the infant when it hatches.
As they are talking there is a commotion outside and they see Washburn with a small squad of six Eladrin marching through the streets. “Get out now. He’s coming and I don’t know how many of you will die if you are still here.”
The Bear Claws help him convince the dragonborn, who do not want to leave their village, to hide in the forest so they will be safe, just for a few hours until the danger is past.
Once they are hidden Washburn leads his Eladrin into the forest in the direction of the danger to face down the Hand of Vecna. James, Roland, Thornside, Jak and Emil go with Washburn. Alton and Mary stay behind to guard the hiding civilians.
A large horde of zombies comes shambling, running and crashing through the forest and the Bear Claws and the Eladrin soldiers lay about them with their weapons bringing everything they can to bear on the undead.
They fight off the horde and the dragonborn come out of the forest to find their village mostly destroyed, their houses burning or torn down by the horde. They gather in the square. Nathyra has her egg and is clutching a two-handed sword in one hand, spattered with blood she drags the body of Balatan behind her.
Washburn warns them that it’s not over yet and at that moment one of his scouts shouts a warning. A dwarf, wearing chain mail and a dark baldric marked with the symbol of Vecna strides out of the forest, his movements unnaturally quick. He catches the Eladrin scout and tears his throat out with his withered and rotten right hand.
As he approaches Mary steps up beside the Bear Claws who are getting ready to fight and whispers, “Bain?”