Under the Red Moon

The Howling Tower.

Into the Upland Marsh.

Before the heroes can attempt the second impossible challenge, there is a harvest to be brought in and other events to deal with.

  • The Greydogs launch a cattle raid against the Orlmarth herds and drive off many cattle and sheep.
  • Finn is challenged to a duel by Alehelm the Quick. Both equally skilled, Finn is only just defeated by Alehelm, but Alehelm spares his life.
  • News comes from the south of war in Heortland between King Broyan of Whitewall and a foreign adventurer, Rikard.
  • The Dundealos tribe rises in revolt against the Lunars. They have killed all Imperials on their lands and retreated to their hill fort.
  • The harvest is good. There are many celebrations and Esra is kept busy with her duties as a priestess of Ernalda.
  • Overovash the slaver comes to collect the annual tribute to the Red Emperor. One hundred cows or their equivalent, this is far more than last year. However, he offers two ways to reduce the tribute, another Duck Hunt has been announced and a bounty is being offered for magical gems. Gordangar Kenstrelsson looks closely at Esra during this announcement. How much is the The Eye of the Halfbird worth?
  • Esra gets a visit from the trollkin servant of Redbird. He wants her to return the Halfbirds eye to its original owner and he claims to know where he is.

Finally, Earth season comes to an end and as Dark season begins to cover Dragon Pass in snow, the heroes can continue their quest. Their research leads them to the conclusion that a successful expedition to the Upland Marsh needs to have Duck guides and so they set off for the town of Duck point.

Upon arrival there, it is clear that the town is in a turmoil following the news of the Duck Hunt. At the local Geo’s Inn, the heroes find Polgo Hoarfoot holding court and trying to organise the evacuation of his people. He remembers the heroes from their previous meeting at the Feast of Beasts and he agrees to help them on their quest if they will help guide his folk to Yellowflower Isle, where they’ll be safer from the hunt.

The evacuation goes well, partly thanks to the keen senses of Zara and the skills of Kronin disrupting an ambush by bandits hoping to claim the bounty on ducks.

Once the refugee ducks are safely settled on Yellowflower Isle. Polgo arranges for some of his nephews and his bodyguard, Nicholas Wisemustard, to help him take the heroes to the Howling Tower, the last known location of Indrodar Greydog and the sword Wrath. The journey across the marsh in the small reed boats is fraught with dangers and it is clear that without the ducks, the heroes would have little chance of success.

Finally, the Howling Tower is heard before it is seen and everyone must find a way to fight against it’s unearthly screaming. Everyone manages to withstand the dreadful noise and finally they stand in front of the tower, dark , foreboding and not of human construction.

While the ducks stay with the boats, the heroes enter the tower. The entry level has many statues and preserved corpses dressed in armour. In the bottom level they find a seemingly bottomless pit, Esra uses the The Eye of the Halfbird and thinks that this pit might lead to the Underworld. It is when they climb to the higher level they find the goal of their quest.

Amidst the rotting remnants of a banquet long past, there is the iron-clad lich of a powerful warrior seated on a raised dais. On the steps before him is the great sword, Wrath. He is attended by three Dancers of Darkness, the thanes of Delecti the Necromancer. Immediately the Dancers attack, focusing on Finn, Esra and Kronin. Their seduction of Unlife is repelled by the heroes, with the one attacking Finn completely dispelled. At this, the lich animates and leaps to attack. With its iron chain mail and inhuman strength it is almost impossible to fight until Zara picks up Wrath. Forged by Dwarves, the sword evens the odds and the lich is defeated as are the remaining Dancers.

The heroes quickly depart the tower, taking just enough time to grab the sword and armour of the lich and a large sack of gold and silver goods from the banquet table. Later examination reveals Greydog insignia on the armour, the lich was the corpse of Indrodar Greydog himself.

A fraught escape is made possible by the ducks and some hours later they make it to the lands of the Marshedge clan where the chief, Alfgar the Grim treats them as honoured guests after he hears of their deeds fighting the Undead. The return of Wrath is greeted with great applause. Much celebration and quaffing of ale ensues.

In the cold light of morning though, it is discovered that the ducks have fled in the night and that Wrath is missing. The conclusion seems obvious and is confirmed later when the heroes return to Orlmarth lands. Polgo Hoarfoot has presented Wrath to Branduan Hodirson and Branduan intends to give the sword to Ernalsulva Entariosdottir at the Feast of Beasts, next year.

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