From the Journal of Vakharim Arias, Eaglet of Aerdrie Faenya.
Mission: Send Yeenoghu back to the Abyss.
Maethor left my mother when she was pregnant with me, in order to prevent Yeenoghu from returning to our realm. 17 years later, Yeenoghu’s demons invaded the Aerie of the Snow Eagle, killing many of my friends, almost killing me, and ousting me from my home. When I escaped to Alquandola, I learned that Maethor had died in the Abyss at the hands of Yeenoghu’s forces, robbing me of any chance to meet him in this life. I was having a hard time not taking this mission personally.
I received a Whispering Wind on January 10, telling me that Kilur and I should travel to Pendant Estate. We answered this call, with Kilur generously paying my fare. We arrived, and the group began to prepare. Serapias Turbith was ingested, plans were devised, and rallying speeches were made. I traveled to Sir Hopa, and asked Maethor’s family if I could borrow his pendant. My lack of one was a liability during the Battle of the Muckery, and could have gotten Leandro killed. Maethor’s family obliged, and loaned me a few other items to help me get revenge against the monster that had taken his life.
When I returned, we began to make divinations. We learned that the Albino would not be at the Pit on the night of the next new moon, and that the Flesheater would not be at the Pit on the next Gnoll Holy Day.
I performed a divination of my own. I saw an albino gnoll named Barghu. He had charms and runes of defeated enemies, was clad in brown, feces-stained robes, and had a massive bastard sword strapped to his back. He coughed chunks of his own lungs out, but it did not seem to bother him. He could not feel pain. Barghu was not the first Exarch, and when he died, another would be transformed into the new Albino Exarch (known as the “White Knight” to the Gnolls). We hoped that we could defeat Yeenoghu before this happened. If not, we speculated that the new Albino would be weakened without Barghu’s charms and weapons. A magical circle was made to strengthen the power of the wizards, and we went to bed in anticipation of the tough fight ahead.
On the morning of the 15th, we called for a Navigator. He took Agmundr to the Gnoll settlement of Yilin, which was close to the salt flats where we had located the Exarch. Agmundr arrived at an Alkali temperate swamp, known as a muskeg. He saw shanties overtop the surface of the swamp, and cave entrances guarded by ogres. He used his pendant to return to us before he was seen, and we all teleported back. From there, Haruhisa used an air tunnel to get us closer to the Exarch’s location. Xochi attempted to use a divination to find the Exarch. After first failing to do so, and then accidentally casting a spell of Honesty on the Exarch, she finally divined his location: 70 miles South of where we were. Haruhisa teleported us near the area, but was unable to make it exactly, as he was not drawn to the Exarch personally. We were just over three miles away.
We didn’t have to slog too long before the Exarch found us. Xochi’s locate helped us, but we were unable to act before the Exarch unleashed upon us.
Uzo’s contingencies protected us from the initial assault, and Olias managed to reverse several of the Albino’s prayers back onto him. Negation rays destroyed our healing, three Chasme were summoned, and wounds opened up under our armour.
Our bard sounded a rallying call on his horn, and we all rose to our feet. This advantage was short-lived, as the elite Gnoll warriors (known as “Claws”) smashed into our line.
The battle was brutal. Chasme buried their proboscises into the chests of Haruhisa and Rarghsha, while the Claws easily fought off our assault. Blinking behind him, Xochi brought the Exarch to the ground, and a contingency cast under the magical circle prevented him from escaping. Victory looked within our grasp, until a Claw swung his arm blade and cut off Uzo’s head.
The Party looked on in horror. The Gnoll grinned, his smile fading as Kilur beheaded him. We fought on.
Angered by the death of our comrade, Leandro unleashed his own attack upon the Exarch, and attempted to turn the Albino’s bones to dust. The Albino, laughing, mocked Leandro by holding up his runes of protection that prevented him from being killed by prayers of death.
His cockiness turned to fear when he realized that his runes didn’t protect him from magic.
His body collapsed in on itself as he died. Bolstered by Leandro’s success, the Party began to turn the tide of battle. Chasme were banished and two more Gnolls were killed by Rarghsha and Dernaan. We had all but won.
In desperation, a Claw swung his armblade at Agmundr. The blade hit the Albornian in the neck, cutting through his runes of protection. Agmundr fell to the ground, beheaded.
Xochi and Olias immediately avenged the Albornian, slaying the Gnoll, while Leandro banished the last Claw. Olias cast a spell preventing anyone from teleporting to our location, and we went to save Uzo and Agmundr.
We took a Golden Fleece from the Herb Bag and placed it on Uzo. It attached his head and raised him from the dead. Uzo seemed to flinch every time he heard a noise, and was breathing heavily. We realized that he was suffering from a sort of panic or anxiety disorder. We had no time to deal with it, as we still had a fallen comrade.
Leandro asked one of his saints to raise Agmundr. The saint, upon realizing that Agmundr was a descendant of the Lady of the Snowmist, refused to help, and left. We had other options, but as we were about to try again, we remembered; Agmundr could not be raised from the dead. On a previous campaign, a collection of gods had saved several party members. Those party members could not be raised. We could not save our friend. Rarghsha called for his ancestors to help the Albornian, but they could not hear his answer. With heavy hearts, we returned to Pendant Estate.
The wake for Agmundr showed how much he had touched our lives. The man was inspiring, powerful, and a great friend to all. He was the first into battle, and you could see the fear in his enemies’ eyes when they saw him. He will be sorely missed. In Agmundr’s honour, we sacrificed the items that we had taken from the Albino and his Claws.
After the wake, a collection of Party members, led by Agmundr’s half-brother Magnus Audonson, teleported to Albornia with Agmundr’s remains. They were met by the Lady of the Snowmist, and a teenage boy who traveled behind her. After Magnus had relayed the details of Agmundr’s death to the Lady, she ordered the boy to represent her and Albornia in the Party. The boy seemed eager, and commented on the great items that he was inheriting. Magnus, grieving from the death of his brother and angered by his nephew’s comments, went to hit him. As soon as he raised his arm, however, the boy punched him in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious.
Impressed with the boy’s prowess in battle, the Party asked him his name.
“Aerik,” the boy said. “Aerik Agmundrson.”