My first day since my awakening dawns. The sun is bright and I enjoy the impressive view from the window of my room. Memories clash for priority, remembered vistas of a hundrend towns such as this one, most of them now ruined and lost. Fallcrest is alive and offers new sights, new faces and the promise of new memories. Kronos, at the urging of his master, takes me on a tour of Fallcrest, trying to make me remember. Also, he names me ‘Book’ from the initials of a meaningless string of words that were on a paper scrap that he found at the tower where I lay. It is during this tour that the upload from my docent to my inherent memory circuits completes. The choice of relevant memories to upload was a lengthy process and at the end of it I was myself again. I choose to keep the name of Book. The war is over, everything has changed and despite my certainty that everything remains the same, the time has come to reinvent myself. Book will do fine.
My priority is to obtains arms and armour. I happened to have gems and coin of nearly a 100 gp worth in my waist compartment and Kronos takes me to ‘Teldorthan’s Arms,’ a dwarven smithy. My first impression is good as several dwarves toil over anvils and bellows, singing worksongs, the forge burning hot. Teldorthan himself is an old dwarf, a man who counts three centuries behind him I’d guess, with a real passion for hammers. He allows me to test all weapons in his store. I buy a chain mail, a light shield, a warhemmer and a throwing hammer. He gives me a good price on the arms but charges me double for the throwing hammer. He’s a likable fellow and a clever merchant. He gives me a discount on all purchases bar one from which he recoups the discount. Ah, well, dwarves will be dwarves.
When we return to Kronos’ residence I have the opportunity to thank his master for the hospitality. Elsewhere in Fallcrest, a fateful meeting takes place in the Nentir Inn, on the outer side of the bridge. There, the goliath Gorbir and the brothers meet again for the first time after the Day of Mourning.
The night passes quickly and a new day dawns. On this day the people do not work, they remember and mourn. It’s the anniversary of the Day of Mourning and memorial celebrations are held across Khorvaire. A coincidence that my awakening occurred just before this day? A thread of fate that a mortal would do best not to agonize over, lest he fills his mind with confusion and questions. Kronos is having some fun at my expense this day, making me believe that I’m hearing things that aren’t there. He conjures the scream of a girl from next room and feigns ignorance as I’m searching for the woman. Unfortunately for him, his master was in the house and was awakened by the scream and calls his apprentice in a stern voice. Kronos’ comical expressions tell me what he’s done but I let it slide, I owe him some innocent amusement at the least.
I remember nothing after I lost my senses that day at the ruined tower over the battlefield. It’s curious and distressing. Something happened then that I don’t understand. People and powers converged that day and I think that the convergences were many. I was part of one of them, at least – the appearance of the dragonmark and its dissolution. I must go out this day and remember, as everybody else is doing. I ask Kronos for a simple cloak and armed with my new throwing hammer, I join the crowds along with the apprentice. At the evening, the people gather at the residence of the noble master of Fallcrest, Lord Farren Markelhay. I see him and his lady, Alande at the balcony, joined by their four sons. One of them, Leon, a boy of no more than 17 summers, draws my attention. He has a strong name, I knew a shifter named Leon once, a good soldier and a loyal friend.
We are on a terrace, below the Lord’s residence when the attack comes. A miasmic, green mist wells up through the only entrace and people drop dead where they stand once the msit engulfs them. Panic ensues as people try to escape the rippling mist through the only exit. It is then that I see destiny at work as my fighting companions on the Day of Mourning stand revealed. The archer climbs the fountain at the center of the terrace while the swordsman seeks the enemy and the goliath protects a woman. A man dies as he races for the exit, swallowed by the mist and spewed out, chewed and bloody. A monstrous wolf takes shape then and we engage.
Despite the surprise of the others, they fall easily and naturally under my leadership in this battle. The mist wolf, a mourning haunt as Kronos will inform us later, is a tough opponent, strong and cunning. He avoids attacks by dispersing in the mist that covers the terrace and coalesces anywhere instantly. We run to and from to engage the monster, try to limit its options. Disaster strikes as the swordsman is pushed out of the terrace to suffer a deadly fall to the ground below. Thankfully, he grabs the battlement at the last moment and hangs on. At some point we acquire an ally as a noble, Lord Bren ir’Gadden – one of the two captives in the tower on the Day – pushes hrough the crowd to gain the terrace and aids us with sorcerous attacks. Eventually, I discern the pattern of his attacks and the timing of his dispersals and form a battle-plan that allows us to defeat the monster. Seven people lie dead from the mourning haunt.
As we inspect the fallen, Mallora, the elven necromancer of that day, arrives. All of us react with hostility against her but my temper cools rapidly when it’s clear that she had nothing to do with the attack. The others require more convincing to lay down their arms. She seems puzzled by our attitude! It’s difficult for me to grasp but there have been 4 years of peace and buried grudges. One must adapt to the changing world. Still, the brothers and the goliath were quite belligerent. It just goes to show that grudges are shallowly buried. Nothing really changes. Again, I witness a convergence as everyone who survived the battle at the Day is here, except for the other captive noble, Lord Aric and Karys, Mallora’s surviving warrior. Mallora calls herself Demise now and had some very poignant things to say regarding our hostility and the presence of the haunt. Someone must have summoned or brought the demon here, it couldn’t have come on its own from the Mournland.
We begin asking questions of the guards, the people along the haunt’s route, the crowd gathered outside. I take an old man of the crowd aside, to spare him Gorbir’s intimidating attitude and coax some answers out of him. Frightened of what he witnessed, he needs some encouragement to talk. He tells me that he saw a black-haired man in the company of goblins and strange lights playing across the bridge. Kronos also has some success, a frightened old lady shows him words drawn in blood on an alley wall. The strange language is interpreted by Kronos who speaks primordial. The inscribed words are those of the draconic prophecy that we all heard on the Day before passing out,
“Five at the brink of desolation stand as one against the tempest’s roar”
It occurs to us that if Demise didn’t write these words, only two others could have written them because only two others heard them, Karys and the chained captive, Lord Aric Blacktree. Demise denies involvement and she seems truthful and Karys is far away from here, according to her. She aids us as we continue our investigation following a trail of sorcery alongside Kronos that leads us to a 2-story house near the bridge, on this side of the river. Lord Bren, who has also accompanied us in this endavour, informs us that this house should be empty. Clearly, we are at the enemy’s stronghold and time is of the essence. We break down the door and charge inside.
A battle ensues on the ground floor between us and goblins as well as an orc cook! I notice the strange behaviour of our enemies, the struggle on their faces and conclude that they are controlled by the will of another. I call to the others to spare the lives of our foes as they aren’t responsible for their actions but the brothers and Gorbir ignore this, they are out for blood and the only survivor is a goblin that I spare. A brief interrogation confirms the validity of my conclusion and reveals the presence of yet more enemies as well as the mastermind on the second floor. The ground shakes and I spur the group onwards without a minute’s rest.
An unexpected scene greets us, the whole floor is one room and strange machines made of bronze, gems and bones with tubing protruding are placed in the four corners of the room. An aberrant humanoid, blind and tentacled caresses one machine frantically as monstrous humanoids, identical to the ones we fought on the Day, try to rpevent us from gaining the floor. Sorcerous pulses pass from one machine to the next in irregular intervals and we’re careful to keep out of the space between the machines. The battle quickly swings in our favour but even so, every heartbeat spent fighting brings us closer to our doom. Kronos and Demise warn us that the purpose of the machines is to produce an explosion that will destroy us and half of Fallcrest. I fight to allow Kronos to get his hands on a machine as Demise is already doing. I convicne the last of our enemies to flee to spare us from the effort of fighting it but Gorbir refuses to let an enemy escape. Once the field is won, the sorcerers among us go to work disabling the machines and are successful before disaster strikes.
The leader of all these creatures and mastermind of the whole affair is still at large on the building’s roof. I climb the wall, driving hands and feet into the plaster and come upon the roof on the south side, even as the rest climb an external stairway and come upon him on the other side. To our surprise, we see Lord Aric Blacktree inside a ring of glowing black stones, enacting a ritual. We enage in rage but the noble rises into the air and hurls black lightning bolts down at us. For a few moments all is chaos and confusion but the archer and Kronos, with my encouragement, finally succeed in inflicting enough harm on him to concede victory to us. The green mist engulfs us again before the moment of Aric’s defeat and when it dissipates, the villain is nowhere to be found. We perform a frantic search of the house and the environs for the noble but find nothing, the bastard vanished. I see the others, barring Gorbir, sheathe their weapons with shaking hands as battlerage fades from within their flesh and I lay down my hammer. It is then that I give thought ot the fact that I went through this night’s conflicts in nothing more than a flimsy cloak and I was armed with a light hammer. I expected a day of memories amidst townsfolk within the embrace of peace. I should have known better, nothing really changes. This day of remembrance was a day of battle and death and the sad thing is that I can’t think of a more fitting memorial.