Best Served Cold

The final battle in Tu’narath left Emperor Zetch’r’r dead and his army defeated. The gith alliance with the chromatic dragons ended and Gith returned to rule her people. The Coalition was disbanded and its forces returned to rebuild their material plane. Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk returned to the Manse Victorus for a well-deserved rest.

Months went by and the heroes each continued on their path to legend. Madmartigan founded a security force of warriors to protect Overlook and the Vale. He dubbed these warriors: The Other Men. Shortly after establishing this group, he vanished for weeks but returned from his mysterious absence vastly stronger.

Verne, Kage the Black and Tzolek all went missing for weeks as well. Tzolek journeyed to find more information on his nemesis. Kage the Black claimed that he spent his time in the Nine Hells. While no one could confirm this, Kage returned with devilish power and was clearly changed. No one heard of where Verne went, and he returned very suddenly without a word.

Thanoril and Ithyk returned to Overlook. Thanoril resumed his nightly patrol of the city, protecting it from criminals and other threats, becoming a frightening champion of the weak. Ithyk focused on growing his pack of knoll warriors and unleashing their rage on bandit camps throughout the Vale.

Within a few months, the heroes eventually returned to the Manse Victorus after hearing Madmartigan’s call. Deciding what to do next, Tzolek reported what their devilish benefactor had told him before the attack on Tu’narath: Kurzan, the leader of the barbarian tribe that enslaved Tzolek and Ithyk, had been transformed into the new White Exarch of Tiamat. His marauders had begun waging a new war through the decimated northern parts of the plane, threatening to plunge south into the Vale. With this information, and the fact that Tiamat was clearly preparing to move in a new direction, the party set off in their astral skiff to attack the barbarians.

Days later they arrived in the northern tundra and tracked the barbarian horde to their camp. Using the airship, the party descended into the middle of the camp and began battling the barbarians. The heroes cut a bloody swath through scores of the brutes before they were met but an enemy assault team. Moments before the melee began, two different groups of foes entered the fray: a strike team from the Winter Court of the feywild seeking Madamrtigan and another Aspect of Dispater with devil bodyguards. All three groups wanted Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk dead and a massive fight broke out.

The party focused on the evil winter fey, killing most of them before they were able to act. The remaining doomspeaker fey inflicted terrible wounds of Madmartigan and Tzolek before being defeated. The Aspect of Dispater was in a state of fury and viciously attacked Kage and Thanoril, but even another powerful shade of the dread hell lord was no match for the men. Almost noble in the face of these powerful enemies, the northern barbarians continued their attack and were also overcome by Madmartigan’s Men. In the end, the heroes defeated all foes and pressed on to find Kurzan.

After slaying an Ettin giant, the party found Kurzan the new White Exarch of Tiamat. The Exarch taunted the party and seemed unfazed by threats from Tzolek. Before the fight could begin, an Avatar of Tiamat appeared before the party. The avatar mocked that she had rose Kurzan as an Exarch as a lure to bring Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk to be destroyed. Seeing that they were still unafraid of the god, the avatar offered the party a chance to join the Dark Queen. The party once again refused and launched their attack. Tzolek killed Kurzan with a brutal barrage before the Exarch could even defend himself. With Kurzan slain, the party focused on destroying the avatar of the evil dragon god. It was a terrible fight, but the party prevailed once more.

With the Avatar defeated and the barbarian horde leaderless, the northmen fled into the mountains. The party returned to the Vale and began considering their next move against Tiamat.

Best Served Cold

Scales of War ignatiusvienna