The Hidden Hand

Interlude 1

Delamor's Travels

Delamor stepped on the teleportation square and saw the familiar hazing of his surroundings swim into view. A moment passed, and he found himself somewhere new.

The headquarters of the Purple Eclipse in Cormyr had been recently refurbished, he noticed. The large conference room in which the connecting square had been installed was dominated by an ornate oak table, around which were seated twenty chairs. One of the chairs was occupied by a worried-looking young wizard. Delamor’s memory could not quite recall his name, but he well remembered the occasion of their meeting in Spellgard.

“Thank Kord you’re here”, said the young man with obvious relief. “I take it you got our message?”

Delamor nodded, and motioned for the wizard to continue. “The dragons began attacking soon after an earthmote was sighted in the northern reaches of the kingdom. They razed many villages to the ground in a single night. After that the Royal Family made great haste in organising the defences of the greater cities, and have managed to hold off the dragons for the time being, but their numbers seem to increase daily. We have been helping where we can, but our forces are stretched.”

Delamor looked out of one of the windows into the far distance across the landscape of Cormyr. Somewhere over the horizon black smoke plumed upwards.

“We’ve only a skeleton staff here maintaining the centre of things, but I hope your father will join us soon.”

Delamor: look of shock appearing on his face “Father, they let father out of prison? My heart swells with joy at the same time as my mind fills with worry and suspicion. It is important that we do all we can to help in this battle but, we must also ensure that Cormyr’s allies are encouraged to join the fray. Best start by bringing me the rolls so that I may ascertain what resources are available. What of Aradon and Zyanne? It has been many months since I’ve seen either my friend or my love.”

“Your father was released along with many other prisoners as part of a militia force to help with the defence of the cities. He travels under supervision, but has been assigned to help organise our forces. The Royal Family is somewhat desperate for men.”

“Aradon himself is leading a patrol, but should be back later today. Zyanne is with him. Some other ‘old friends’ of yours are expected. The Durano clan of halflings have sent word that they’re joining us, and sent a message to you personally that ‘the curse has been lifted’, whatever that means. They’re bringing fifty of their kin to aid us, and they will join the 75 men we’ve been able to recruit in your absence. Some are little more than militia, but some have excellent skills in weaponry, magic and the ways of healing. Our losses are few in number compared to the regular forces, and I think you’ll find more than a few people have heard of the Purple Eclipse in Cormyr.”

“To be honest, we’re hard pressed, but holding our own right now. Aradon and Zyanne believe that this is the work of Diker Thane and his undead master, but the Earthmote has been sighted over the mountains in the north, and rumours of a pitched battle between the undead dragons at Thane’s command and live ones in the mountains have reached us. Is Thane searching for something there? The Royal Family have heard of your exploits in foiling Thane’s plans, and thought you might be able to shed some light on the matter.”

Delamor: nods slowly Thane is the only one I can think of that would command undead dragons in this way (history check to make sure?)and it is true that the founding members of the Company have been busy working on trying to counter his influence in the west. Hopefully, very soon we will be two thirds of the way to being appropriately armed to take Thane down. I have no doubt that the ruler of Thay is looking to expand his holdings and is attempting to shatter the larger cities and kingdoms that may be able to stop him. We’ll need to arrange a meeting with the Generals in charge of the armies and any available ambassadors that Cormyr still has available. We maybe able to combat this villian both on the front lines and in the throne rooms of the “goodly” nations (The Dales, Sembia, Evereska(including the Gray Vale))… mayhaps even with the help of the not so goodly (Netheril) for as they say the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I personally have made some little progress in Waterdeep, Candlekeep, and the Grey Vale. If we can arrange the appropriate meetings post haste we may be able to gather more reinforcements and mayhaps with that in place the founding members can seek out the last of the Narselkin and fight this evil at it’s source.

“Perhaps you can speak to the Royal Family on these matters yourself. I will send a messenger to their court telling them you have come. I am sure that, after you have refreshed yourself and perhaps consulted with your comrades and your father, the Court would welcome your visit and your insight.”

END OF INTERLUDE ONE

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