Dante Aurelios

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Two followers of Kelemvor can been seen sitting at a campfire. The smell of burned corpses still hanging strong in the air as the two overlooked the now silent battlefield from their campsite.
Even the wind from the passing storm could not get rid of the strong odor of burning flesh. They expected they would have about two more days before the snow would cover all of the fallen soldiers, making it unable for them to make sure every last one of them would get a proper burial rite. Preventing them from raising as undead as this now cursed land now seemed to do to all who fall in combat.

The elder of the two, an aging priestess, can be heard telling a tale of the past.

“It all started here at Bloodstone pass, the trade route between Vaasa and Damara.
Due to the extremely impassable terrain that constituted the majority of the mountain range, the pass was the easiest route and was of great strategic importance to both Damara and Vaasa.

The warlock knights would have jumped at an opportunity to face Damara’s armies of the usurper King Yarin Frostmantle.
They knew if they could defeat the army, the people living under the tyranny of their new king would easily fall in line to continue life under a new ‘slightly less’ tyrannical ruler.

If the two armies would have faced each other in battle, it would have been in Bloodstone Pass.
A region that houses the loyal paladins of the gold great wyrm Tamarand, chosen of Bahamut who became the new King of Justice after defeating and killing his brother Lareth in honorable battle.

While the group may have seemed small as a whole, they are the very reason why the two armies had not clashed yet. Were they to choose a side in the battle, the other army would surely have fallen.

The forces of Tiamat where not happy with the situation as the small but effective fighting force were growing stronger both politically and economically as they profited from taxes of the trade between Vaasa and Damara.
They knew they had to interfere if they ever wanted to be able to take out their leader Tamarand.

The wearers of purple came with a solution.
They bided their time until news came to them that Tamarand had traveled to the council of great wyrms for a meeting. Dragons while powerful are known to take their good time for things and they expected him to stay away for at least a year or two before returning to his home. Giving them more than enough time to initiate their plan of destroying the order of paladins.
The key was not to face the paladins in battle but to spread corruption from within. Or at least create the illusion of it.
They travelled to bloodstone village where they started spreading rumors about the paladins.
While the paladins of Bahamut scoffed at the idea that any of their order could ever be corrupted, they did feel the need to investigate these false accusations. Even if it was to ease the minds of the peaceful inhabitants living in bloodstone village.

Zephyros Moros Thanatos, a paladin in charge of diplomacy was to accompany the investigator Lady Gwynevra.
A woman from high standing out of Damara, known for keeping a neutral stance on both the political or social scale of things. Were it not that the Dragon Cultist were anticipating this action and killed the woman, while framing the diplomat for it.

After news of this occurrence took place, the order of paladins quickly turned to action and managed to dispose of the wearers of purple within a day. The cultists believed they were safe hiding amongst the villagers, but the paladins spotted all of them immediately and took little to no time to show them justice by the hand of a paladins who have taken the oath of vengeance.
The wearers of purple never expected such swift and brutal justice and therefor never managed to execute their plan.

While victorious, the damage was already done to the order.
They evidence against the diplomat were so overwhelming that the word of the order was not enough to convince anyone of his innocence.
All the surrounding lands were watching their next move and they knew they had done something to make sure the people would not turn against them.

While they would never execute an innocent, let alone one of their own they had no choice but to take a different approach.
So Zephyros voluntarily allowed himself to be banned from the lands in order to show that justice had taken place.
Before being banned he had to turn in all his belongings that were granted to him by the order.
His magically infused draconic full plate armor, the holy avenger and his loyal warhorse that had served him well since the day he had been accepted into the order.
He took along a few small possessions of his own, including an old chainmail armor and a simple warhammer taken from the armory used to train new recruits with.

Bloodstone_pass.jpg
Leaving the lands ended the story about the encounter with the Wearers of purple for all but Zephyros himself who had taken along a tome that was in the possession of one of the cultists.
The tome contained blank pages save for a drawn map of Vaasa.
Yet the more he studied the map the more he started to suspect it was not a map at all but it contained specific instructions.
He believed the plan of destroying the order was inside this map.
There had to be a way to destroy the order that the cultists had figured out and were planning to take advantage of if given the chance. While that particular cell of the evil dragon cultists may have been taken care of, the path to destruction must still exist that could allow another cell a chance to destroy the order after all.

Needless to say he failed….

We never heard anything from the paladin, but it was not a lack of trying.
Following his trail all the way to a place known as Daggerford.
Duchess Morwen was the last who had seen the paladin since he vanished from the plane.
We believe a group of travelers known as the Vistani took him to another plane for purposes unknown to us.
Turns out he was the only chance the order ever had to prevent the cultists plan from succeeding.
The ruins you see around you was once a great fortress owned by the paladins of Bahamut.
Now long forgotten save for a few elderlies who might still recall the days of the past.

Our nemesis the dracolich Carathrax who you may feel has been a thorn in your life alone, has actually been working against Tamarand long before you were born.
It was him who had been helping the cultists succeed, while working on a plan of his own.
A plan that we can see the results of now.

To think that he went through all this effort in an attempt to curse these lands. Not to force the great wyrm away from these lands, no that was only him adding insult to injury.
All this pain and misery he caused back then all the way till this day and many years to come, was only to show his superior intellect over Tamarand.
He must have plotted and schemed for centuries, only due to arrogance and spite.
While Carathrax knew he could never face him in battle, he went for the next best thing.
To humiliate the king of justice.

I brought you here not only to help me put these poor souls to rest, but to make you understand what you are up against.
The blood of your father runs strong through your veins. The changes are already showing and that is why you must leave. That is why I am sending you to an old friend who lives at one of our temples in Aglarond. You will present yourself as a diplomat of your father and not his son, as you will become a direct target if you do. Tamarand’s weakness will always be his children and Carathrax knows this.
You will have to face him someday and I know you feel you are ready but you are not.

While partly my fault you truly have been living a blessed life. Not once have I seen you struggle with an obstacle that seemed impossible to overcome. You lack experience and true understanding.
The forces of Carathrax cannot be so easily persuaded like the young women you like to ‘entertain’ so much at the local taverns. You cannot keep on jumping smilingly into fights to save the day, acting like nothing in the world can hurt you. The more powerful you become, the more attention you will draw from beings with motives far beyond your comprehension.
Your power won’t always be a blessing and you need to go out into the world to truly understand this.
I do not want you to lose your always well spirited nature, but your naivety you can do without.

Carathrax will learn every little detail about you before he strikes. Make sure to figure out your flaws before he does. As it will be your undoing if you do not.

While you may believe the fight with Carathrax will end up being a physical one and yes maybe you are right. Take advantage of dragon’s biggest weakness they themselves cannot see.
Time…dragons are slow. While the strength of his plans will grow over time, you grow faster.
I believe with time you will learn to beat him.”

The young man turns away his gaze from the sight of the battlefield to face the priestess and smiles.
“Please promise me not to worry as you taught me well. You did everything right and more.
Besides with parents like mine, how could I ever fail” he grins while giving a smile to the priestess, who in return turns to him with a straight face.

“Do NOT underestimate him…”

His smile vanishes as his tone turns more serious.

“I promise…mother.”

Dante Aurelios

The Circle lockdar Juramenta