It is twenty years since the murder of the one true god Amet and the world is now a very different place. A zombie apocalypse raged from the time of his death in 858 until 861. During that time, many small gods arose and wreaked havoc on the world. Then the hidden dwarf community of Gladak Bruin emerged and in just a few short years redeveloped many of their technologies. Whether they recreated them from ancient tomes or uncovered hidden stores or some combination of these two is unclear. They set about executing the new gods as they had the old, but this time there was even more death and destruction to the rest of the world. Pretty soon they was almost no one left except the dwarves and the gods as the last remaining pockets of free people were obliterated one by one.
Now, in the year 878, the once great trading city of Parchen stands alone, protected only by its magical barriers. But it cannot last much longer. The Merchant Princes of Parchen and the Wizards of the Three Wishes have come up with a desperate plan. They will send a team back in time to prevent the war from happening in the first place. There is no way for the spell to cross the barrier of chaos caused by Amet’s death, but they should be able to reach back to near that time and maybe some way can be found to repair the damage.
The spell that can send people back only works on non-borns. People who were not yet born at the time the spell goes to. So Parchen can not send back its greatest warriors and wizards because all the time-travellers must be under twenty years of age.
The Merchant Princes and the Wizards choose a group of young heroes. A kenku wizard named Quill, a tiefling ranger named Avihyq, a tabaxi monk who goes by the name of Bag Of Nails, a dragonborn called Tarako and twin tiefling druids named Fernia and Cassia.
An ancient priest of Amet’s dead religion, named Brother Albus, tells them to find Amet’s heir. Amet’s only child must be located and a ritual performed. No one in Parchen knows what the ritual entails, but they know that the details can be found “beneath the birthplace of Amet”. This is thought to be in a cave in the Boorhomec Desert, near the “Gates of Heaven”. After that it is hoped that Amet can be drawn back into existence and that he will hopefully take it from there. The only record they can find of an heir is of a desert religion which started around that time called the Cult of the Butterfly. It’s members claimed their leader and founder was the “Heir of Amet”, but most records of it were destroyed in the wars.
It is explained that some part of themselves remain in the present time and only by saving the world before Parchen falls can they save themselves. When the timeline is broken no one knows if they will snap back to the present, remain in the past or become truly non-born and cease to have ever existed.
The Merchants Princes tell them of a pass phrase which was in use amongst their foreign agents in 858; “The price of ivory is high this year in The Haj”. This should allow them to get help, money and resources. One such agent was Fayn Al-Gha who was a rich trader in Al Hajerit, they should go to that city on the edge of the Boorhomec Desert and seek out his house to enlist his help.
The group are outfitted with all the equipment and magic items that can be spared from the defense of Parchen.
It is decided to send them back to Al Hajerit at a time when it is believed that the Cult of the Butterfly emerges there. During the casting of the spell the heroes hear the wizards speaking in alarm about something they called “interference”. It seems the group end up being dumped in the wrong place and the wrong time. They are too early and hundreds of miles out. They start to see the sea beneath them and experience a feeling of falling. Then one of the wizards says, “There, look, put them there”. “We can’t do that” replied a second. “We have no choice!”
There was a feeling of emptiness and then the group appeared on the benches of a slave galley in the Erdel Sea on the day of Amet’s demise. They are, of course, chained to the oars and none of their wonderful equipment has come back with them, they have arrived with only the barest of clothes.
“Row!” commands a stern voice and a whip licks their backs. They pull on the oars to the mesmerising rhythm of a drum.
Boom-boom boom-boom boom-boom boom.
The ship was run by merciless orcs and for hours the group tried to escape their chains. But every time they got free the orcs whipped them to unconsciousness, chained them back up and forced a foul tasting liquid down their throats. The liquid burned them back to consciousness and once again they fell under the spell of the drum.
Boom-boom boom-boom boom-boom boom.
They rowed and they rowed. From snatches of conversation with the other slaves they discovered they were in the Erdel Sea. The water girl was named Sal and they tried to get her to help but she was too frightened.
Then the sound of the drum was drowned out by thunder. The sky grew black and the storm stretched from horizon to horizon. Lightning flashed and the world mourned the passing of Amet. The ship tossed about on the waves and suddenly lightning struck the mast and it exploded. A hole was ripped in the bottom of the ship. It listed to one side as it started to sink.
The orcs began shouting and the drummer and whippers dashed up to the main deck. Here they joined the rest of the crew in the only lifeboat and launched into the storm, leaving over one hundred slaves chained hopelessly to their oars.
Struggling with their bonds, one by one the heroes broke free of the oars and climbed out the forward hatch as water poured in. In the spirit of revenge they turned the ships balistas on the receding orcs, but whether from the angle of the ship or their inexperience with the weapons they missed. When all the loaded bolts had been fired they grabbied some flotsam and taking Sal with them, they began to swim towards a distant shoreline, sometimes visible during the brief flashes.
Ahead of them the orcs rowed on confidently. But then in a blinding flash their boat was hit by the lightning and they sank into the dark water.
The group swam on and on battling exhaustion until finally they were washed up on a wide beach where they collapsed into a dreamless sleep.
Everyone receives 300XP and is now Level 2.
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