In which Valarea Erioso the noble Ambrian templar tells the tale of a battle against dark sorcery near a sanctuary at the edge of the Davokar Forest. Valarea is a member of the “B-Team” party in The Throne of Thorns campaign.
Symbaroum is a dark, mediaeval fantasy world where Ambrian humans have subjugated barbarian humans who live within the vast Davokar Forest alongside elves, goblins, trolls, and other creatures. In between Ambria’s exploits to further expand her borders, fortune hunters venture deep into the forest in search of ancient treasures and mystical knowledge that once belonged to the mysterious fallen empire of Symbar.
Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers for the adventure Blight Night.
I am writing to you from Kastor. Tomorrow morning I shall begin the journey to the estate with a few companions. This is the band of mercenaries and church members who were hired to deliver letters to the priest Father Lucian in Kastor alongside myself.
On the way to the city, we came across a sanctuary called Jakad’s Heart on the eaves of the forest, where a black cloak had erected a shrine near a spring with mystical healing properties. Jakad was slain by elves and the shrine was destroyed; when we found it, there was an inn for pilgrims standing in its place. Koldra, the innkeeper who ran the business with her three young children and house ogre, welcomed us with warmth. We decided to rest there before proceeding to Kastor, and that night we bore witness to an assault on good-hearted, ordinary Ambrians by evil forces.
A tribe of goblins suddenly attacked the palisade that enclosed the inn, attempting to chip at the walls or to climb it. Fortunately (Prios be praised), I had ordered the party to keep watch on the gates after hearing a tale about an uncouth pilgrim who demanded from Koldra the holy water of the spring (even though the holy spring had apparently lost its mystical quality after Jakad was martyred) and had to be cast out of the sanctuary. My companions and I repelled the assault valiantly, but it only bought us time before the next wave, as the rabid animals retreated to chop down trees to craft more ladders. In the distance, I saw two taller figures who seemed to command the goblins.
Through the dying breath of a goblin, we learned of a robber baron called “Lady Nightblade” who sought the Water of the Dusk and a cauldron that must be destroyed in order to “free” the tribe. By the grace of the Lawbringer, our path to victory became clear. To Kastor we sent Koldra and her three children away on horseback, along with the only other guest at the inn, a minstrel who went by the name Blackhawk. Since Koldra was a treasure hunter in her previous life, we trusted in her and Blackhawk’s capability to defend themselves. At the same time, we crept out of the palisade unseen and went towards where the taller figures were standing as the next wave of goblin warriors descended upon the sanctuary.
My companions and I caught the heretics and their goblin bodyguards by surprise. The Lady Nightblade was a woman wracked with corruption, and she fought fiercely with a sword wreathed in black fire. As Prios willed it, she was vanquished, although her accomplice, a wretched poison-maker, fled with his life. The bewitching cauldron was destroyed but alas it did not stop the attacking goblins from burning down the inn. I took solace in the thought that the spring would likely still be there.
We walked to Kastor and reached the gates in the early hours of day. After delivering the letters to Father Lucian, we asked whether Koldra and the others entered the city last night. Tragically, only the three children made it inside the gates. I decided then and there that these orphans would be my responsibility now; as such, I am taking them to the estate with me. They shall stay in the manor as guests, and eventually as workers. I hope that you will not mind, Father. Their names are Melga, Sandros, and Pegel; the eldest is 13 years old and the youngest is 5.
When you next write to me, have it delivered to Mervidun, for I expect to stay there awhile to help the orphans adjust and oversee the farms and the mine. Perhaps you might even visit, if your business in Templewall is concluded before I am gone away again.
Your daughter in blood and in Prios,
Cover image by Martin Grip for Järnringen/Free League Publishing