Scales Of War

Dori Transformed

As soon as the fearsome dragon fell, its throat slashed open by Crash’s monstrosity of an axe, Dori ran as quickly as his small legs would allow to where Kustaa’s body lay. “No, no, no,” he whispered to himself. “Don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead.” As he skidded to a stop, however, there was little doubt. Parts of the wizard’s skin were charred and cracked, oozing blood and pus, and one of his eyes had either exploded or melted in the heat of the dragon’s fire. Dori had never seen anything like it and had to fight to keep from retching at the smell.

Tears streaming down his cheeks, the cleric turned to see his companions gathered nearby, silent and expectant. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do,” he said solemnly. “He’s gone.” Thoradin walked over and patted the gnome on the shoulder. “Come on,” he said to the others, “let’s get this deck cleared off.”

Dori took a deep, shuddering breath and began to set up a ritual to preserve the remains. At the very least, a Hero of Overlook deserved a proper burial and there may even be someone back in the city with the skills needed to restore some of the eladrin’s graceful, delicate beauty before the ceremony. Pulling the ritual components out of his pack, Dori couldn’t help but wonder what he had gotten himself into. Here before him lay the shattered corpse of the very person who had dragged him into this adventure in the first place. He had known that it would be dangerous when he joined, but had never actually envisioned how grisly the worst case scenario would actually be.

Dori felt despair well up in his chest and was struck with an intense desire to say a prayer to Avandra. Not an invocation to tap into her astral power but a real prayer, the likes of which he had likely not uttered in decades. “Lady of Luck, please grant me your boon. I have long used the power that flows from you into this world without any particular devotion, but I have never felt this need for your grace before. This upcoming battle… I fear that I simply don’t possess the courage to stand up against… something horrible. Lend me your strength and I will fully commit myself to your service.” He paused a moment, and nothing happened. Chuckling at his presumptuousness, the cleric set about preparing Kustaa’s body for storage.

Several minutes later, Dori heard shouts of warning and raced up to the front of the ship. Another githyanki airship was rising quickly and would clearly intercept their damaged vessel momentarily. The gnome pulled himself together as best as possible and steeled his resolve to do what he could to protect his remaining allies. Suddenly, he felt flooded with divine power that washed away the barriers that had thus far hindered his access to the astral forces. Newly cleansed of the limitations that had previously left him relegated to subtle manipulations and support, Dori’s eyes gleamed as the enemy ship rapidly approached…

Helping the Githzerai

Shortly after returning to Overlook and recovering from the party’s previous efforts in the Elemental Chaos, Kustaa was awakened by a frantic guardsman. He gathered the other heroes and was led to the city’s west gate, where a flying githyanki war galleon, the Conqueror, had landed roughly in a field. The ship was piloted by the githzerai monk Tokk’it, who had killed the vessel’s githyanki pilot, stolen the ship from the ongoing siege at Akma’ad and flown to Overlook in search of reinforcements. Tokk’it promised that the githzerai would provide troops to help against the impending githyanki invasion in exchange for the heroes’ help, although they realized that Tokk’it almost certainly did not have the authority to make such a promise. The party nevertheless agreed to join Tokk’it on the heavily damaged vessel in order to provide Akma’ad with much needed reinforcement.

En route to the monastery, Tokk’it told the heroes that Akma’ad was playing host to a summit of githzerai elders who were deciding who would lead them in the upcoming war and how involved they would become in aiding the Prime plane against the githyanki. Searching the vessel, the heroes found a manifest listing an assassin called Brann’ot among the crew, and a note indicating that there was an informant in Akma’ad. They also found three small hand-drawn portraits, whose subjects Tokk’it identified as Kath’ik, Wellik, and Odos – the three major githzerai leaders at Akma’ad. Tokk’it also recognized the artistic style of the portraits as that of Gallia, his former paramour who had recently ended their relationship.

The heroes defended the Conqueror from pursuing dragonriders before arriving at Akma’ad, where they found that the githyanki held the upper hand: the monastery’s defenses had been compromised, the wall was breached and githyanki troops – despite heavy losses – still outnumbered the githzerai five to one.

Dori Gains Perspective

Dori sat huddled in a corner of what had until recently been a dragon’s lair. The rest of the group were busy combing through its horde and enthusiastically recounting their exploits, so the small cleric stifled his sobs into sniffles as tears squeezed out from closed eyelids. He heard the heavy footfalls of the warforged approach and looked up.

“You cry? In my experience crying is not consistent with victory. Perhaps you are injured somewhere I cannot see?" All Dori’s pent up feelings burst forth in response to this expression of concern. Tears now streaming down his cheeks, he managed to whisper, “I killed it! I stood in front of that dragon and murdered it!”

After a moment, Crash said, “It was attacking you. It attacked all of us. We responded in kind and now it is dead. There is no reason to be upset by this.”

“Of course there is! The dragon was just acting off its baser nature, but I should have been able to find a better way than violence to end the conflict.” Crash regarded him silently, and Dori continued, “I don’t know, maybe there wasn’t any other way. But that isn’t the problem, not really. It’s just that I felt this thrill when I felt my prayers tap into the astral forces to their fullest extent, and then to unleash them at that monstrosity… it was just like my father used to be.”

“It was very… effective. Not compared to when I leapt onto the dragon’s back and made it not fly so we could hit it more, perhaps, but effective nonetheless.”

Dori became more animated and said, “But that’s barbaric! I should be better than that!” Again, the warforged addressed him silently. “Oh my,” the gnome exclaimed after the next few seconds seemed to him to stretch on for years, “that was horrible of me! I’m sorry for being so callous.”

“Why did you come?”


Crash repeated, “Why did you join us?” Dori paused and then said, “I’m looking for something. But to spend centuries pouring through tomes, searching for anything more than vague allusions to this unstudied universal power – the thought alone makes me tired. This seemed like a good opportunity to pursue a different course of research.”

“And you think that the source of this power will share your lofty ideals.” Without vocal inflection it was hard to tell if this was a question or a statement, but it didn’t really matter. Dori wouldn’t have had an answer anyways…

Crash stays busy

Daegar Dwindleshanks could not seem to concentrate. Sitting at his desk on the third floor of one of Overlook’s smaller and less traveled municipal buildings he was attempting to make sense of the annual entertainment budget. Daegar often thought to himself that “entertainment budget” was a rather fancy way of referring to how much ale the town council ordered for their official visits, special ceremonies and even weekly meetings. Determined to finish, he once again bent to examine the columns of numbers set before him, but was only halfway down the page when the noise which had grabbed his attention did so once again.


Daegar knew that this was not a normal sound. While it was not especially uncommon for one of his fellow dwarves to grow frustrated by similar mathematical problems, the sounds of them pounding their heads into the desk were nowhere near this loud or distracting. Daegar was aware that the maker of these sounds was not one of his fellow dwarves and was in fact an outsider who did not really belong in these offices. He also knew that trying to impress this fact on the visitor was not going to be easy.


Sighing deeply he rose from his desk and ventured slowly down the halls. He had little trouble finding the source of the noise sitting in a small storage room and surrounded by small piles of rocks and other debris. As Daegar hovered outside the door to the small room he found himself once again in awe of the size of the being before him. Even in its seated position it was taller than Daegar as well as broader across the shoulders. It made the storage room look more like a storage closet. As he stepped into the doorway it raised its right arm and swiftly brought it down on a rock placed before it. Daegar winced, expecting a grunt of pain, but was instead treated to a face-full of small stone shards as the rock shattered and went flying in all directions.

“Ow! Ye daft menace!”

The golem looked up at him (or down at him, as the case may have been), blue eyes glowing richly in its great stone face. Though it had no lips (or mouth for that matter) carved in it, it answered him in a deep tone.

“My apologies, Treasurer Dwindleshanks. It appears that my experimentation has had negative results for you. I would advise that you take more care for your own safety in the future.”

The great warforged turned its head back to the floor and picked out another rather large rock from a pile nearby. Setting it on the ground before him he once again lifted one of his large arms overhead.

“Stop! Wait! Don’t be doin that just yet laddie!” Daegar had thought momentarily of jumping forward and interposing himself between rock and the creature in front of him, but the sight of many small rock piles throughout the room quickly made him think otherwise. “You can’t just sit here all day crushing rocks Crash. There is work to be done and ye be given many of us a headache with all the noise. Don’t you have somewhere else to be?”

The warforged looked to the dwarf again. “Somewhere else? Where else would I be? This room is fine. Look at these rocks.” He pointed to the debris in front of him. “Can you see? They are the same on the inside as they are on the outside. It is very interesting. Also I remind you that my nomenclature is Epsilon Delta One Eight Seven.”

“Interesting?” said Daegar, ignoring for a moment the issue of names. “Well what did ye expect? They are rocks!”

The warforged seemed to look at him quietly for a moment. Daegar found that he could never tell what the thing was looking at with those glowing orbs. Unlike normal eyes, they never blinked.

“Yes. They are indeed rocks. But in my experience things are not often the same on the inside once you smash them open. Take you for example.”

“Me?!” Daegar took a half-step backward.

“Yes. My experience tells me that if I were to slice you open, or perhaps rip you in half, your insides would be completely different from your outside. I have found in fact that most living creatures share this trait. Humans, elves, orcs…in fact I might say that their insides have been more alike than their outer appearance would suggest. Although orcs do have green blood…”

His attention wavered as he looked away from his dwarven companion and once again directed his gaze to the large rock he had placed in front of him. He raised his arm and brought one mighty fist down on the rock, hitting both himself and Daegar with the small shards of rock which flew in every direction. Through a beard now littered with pebbles the dwarf muttered to himself.

“Ripped…in half…”

The warforged did not look back to the dwarf, instead sifting through the stones and inspecting one here or there, lifting them in front of his face and considering them from several angles before discarding them once again. His voice did not sound distracted as he answered however.

“Oh yes. Ripping a creature in half, while not often an ideal method of termination, can be accomplished easily enough provided one has an adequate grip and uses enough force. Though I have often found the phrase ‘ripped in half’ to be untrue, as it is much more likely that a limb will be pulled off or the body will not be pulled apart in equal-sized pieces. For instance I would recommend not attempting to pull a dwarf apart by gripping the beard. While it may appear sturdy, and sometimes it is, I have found that the neck is by comparison not sturdy at all…”


Epsilon Delta 187 looked up at the sound to find that his audience had fainted.

Dori Meets Kustaa

As Dori pulled together his possessions and carefully concealed some of his father’s more valuable magic items, Odin Stonesunder knocked at his open door. “You almost ready to go?” he asked.

“I didn’t realize that you were coming.”

“There apparently has been some sort of incident in High Hall and I received word from Master Lemminkainen that he has been moved to Stonehammer and insists that I make your introduction in person.” The two set out shortly after and made their way to the handsome home where Kustaa had taken up temporary residence. The eladrin who answered the door, even with disheveled clothes and dark rings under his eyes, was startling graceful. “How quickly you forget the beauty of the Feywild when you’re in this place,” Dori thought to himself. Meanwhile, the other two men greeted each other warmly and lead him through the door.

“You didn’t mention he was a gnome,” Kustaa said, apparently with little regard that Dori was within hearing distance. “Come on in, feel free to poke around. I only just got here this morning, so your guess is as good as mine where anything is.” Kustaa brought them to a large, comfortable study and offered to share a light lunch that was on the side table.

“My friend,” the scion of the Stonesunder clan said, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but you don’t look very well. Is everything okay?”

Kustaa proceeded to recount the events of the previous night’s attempt on his life. Dori sat in rapt attention, awed by the idea that someone could lead such a dangerous life that he could take an attack like this in stride and continue on unshaken. At the same time, the elderly dwarf’s continence darkened as he heard the details of the attack and the response of Overlook’s leaders. Red faced and eyes blazing, Mr. Stonesunder practically growled, “I respect the Elders’ decision to spare the citizens this news and avoid a panic, but to leave you completely unprotected like this is unacceptable. By your leave, I have a number of kinsmen who fought alongside you at the Battle of Overlook who will gladly set up a discreet watch over the area.”

Kustaa was visibly taken aback by his friend’s sudden intensity. “Oh! Of course, sir, do what you need to. Normally I would protest, but I must admit that I would sleep better knowing that there are a few trustworthy dwarves keeping an eye out for me.” Odin walked over to the room’s desk and quickly scribbled a short note. He handed it to Kustaa and whispered something in his ear. Then, grasping the wizard firmly by the shoulder, he said, “Be well my friend, and rest assured tonight. I will see you soon.” Nodding to Dori, he hurried out of the room.

An awkward silence fell over the room until Dori ventured a joke about dark creepers’ mothers that he father used to tell and was rewarded with a laugh from Kustaa. They soon fell deep into conversation, interrupted only by the occasional moments when Kustaa’s mind seemed to drift off. When he came back from his reverie, however, the wizard was still on topic and as sharp as ever. At first it appeared as if he was unaware that anything had happened, and it was only through careful attention that Dori eventually realized that his acquaintance was perfectly well aware of his guest’s presence but had come across a more intriguing matter than civility just at that moment.

It was well after sundown when Kustaa stood up, saying, “Ah! I just remembered that our friend had asked me to give you this note. I’m terribly sorry it slipped my mind.” As he started rummaging through the folds in his robes, Kustaa distractedly mentioned, “He said it had something to do with you wanting to help me investigate what’s behind the recent threats to this region.”

The cleric’s look of utter shock went unnoticed by the busy wizard, and by the time he had located the letter Dori had been able to compose himself somewhat. He took the note and read:


I must confess that, when I set up this meeting, I had ulterior motives that I did not mention out of fear that you would not come. If history is any guide, you will be far more likely to find what you seek by traveling with this hero than by sitting in dusty libraries in this or any other city. Please seriously consider this before making any decisions.

Odin Stonesunder*

Dori sat quietly for several minutes, contemplating his options. Finally, he stood up and said, “I believe that I have taken up enough of your time tonight. I can’t recall the last time I’ve enjoyed speaking with someone so much. If you’re available, do you think we could do this again tomorrow?” Lifting the letter in his hand, he added, “Possibly you could tell me about some of the places you have traveled?”

“I don’t have many other pressing engagements, so I don’t see why not. I’ll expect you around lunchtime, um…”

“Dori. Dori Lightningblade,” the gnome said for the third time that day.

“Ah yes,” said the wizard as he settled at the desk with a large tome. “I trust you can find your way out, right?”

As Dori donned his travel cloak in the entranceway, he could faintly hear Kustaa saying to himself, “Lightningblade. A very odd name for a cleric, wouldn’t you say, Quidnunc?” Shaking his head, Dori let himself out…

The Chronicles of Kustaa, 002
Murder in the Dark

Traveling from the Feywild always left Kustaa with slight nausea, something about the auras the portals exuded was disorienting. Perhaps it was simply leaving his home world that was the cause. Noticing his masters discomfort, Quidnunc reminded the mage of the ginger root he always carried in his bandolier for such instances. Third pouch from the top, left side, next to the packet of caravan tea. The uneventful and bumpy carriage ride was of no help either, but Elder Cadrick, councilman of Overlook, insisted their hero should be escorted in such a manner. Hero. Not exactly the most comforting title for one so socially awkward. Kustaa didn’t care for the attention, he was merely did what he felt was right at the right place and the right time. “Worse titles have been given, I suppose,” he muttered to the sun-drenched curtains. “Worse fates have befallen,” was what he thought to himself.

The city was still in disrepair, the aftermath of the siege still visible, although improvements were being made. It seemed only yesterday, it also seemed years ago. Time is a tricky thing when you cross over world borders. Word was sent ahead weeks ago of his return and interest in continuing to assist the fallen city. Arrangements were made for a small home in the affluent High Hall district and appointments were already scheduled. Some applicants may be too young, others too old, but he feared most would probably just want to meet a “hero” and brag about it around the pub. There was a priest on the list that seemed hopeful. An acquaintance, Odin Stonesunder, gave a solid reference that he would be a good choice. Even Elder Cadrick mentioned there was someone he would like Kustaa to meet, a comrade of his paladin friend, Sergeant Kalad. His first meeting was with an arcane researcher, a Mister Sontion, interested in Kustaa’s opinions from the Shadowfell, something about anomalies in teleportation within that realm. How could an eladrin resist such a conversation?

The scheduled visit, just after sunset, was a bit odd. Later than Kustaa would have liked to receive a guest, but he understood a busy schedule. He was also eager to speak of arcane lore and his people’s abilities to warp space and leap distances. But not so much the Shadowfell, that bleak mirror opposite realm of his home plane. The brief time spent there was enough to last him quite awhile. Quidnunc quickly stirred and hovered over to the window as the faint knocking was heard at the door. “Curious to hear no footfall from the garden path,” Kustaa mused. “Even more so to see a heavily cloaked figure on such a mild night”, he imp remarked. “Too slight to be a dwarf, perhaps a halfing? Strange… the garden lantern must have gone out,” he added. A chill went down the mage’s spine as he grabbed his staff before opening the door. “Well met, please come in Mister Sontion,” was his greeting, as warm and inviting as he could muster. “Ah, yes… sun-shun.. ” was the eerily frail reply from the small dark hooded colleague as he silently and quickly closed his host’s door firmly after crossing the threshold. “You seem chilled, may I offer you some…” was all that came from the wizard’s mouth before a cloak was thrown over the lamp plunging the entryway into darkness. The faint sound of a blade being drawn was next.

With one shaky hand he poured himself some satyr brandy, with his other he held fast onto his staff for support as blood stained the right side of his housecoat. He then stepped over the charcoal-like dust of the blasted remains of the dark creeper towards a comfortable chair. His awoken neighbor, Alsic, would soon return with a healer, but still his weary eyes laid fixed on the entryway and a spell prepared for trouble. Quidnunc sniffed the assassin’s remains on the floor and smudges on the nearby wall and furniture. “At least tomorrow’s appointment is with a priest known for his healing,” muttered the imp absently as he tasted the substance on the floor with a wince. Kustaa’s furrowed brow softened as he sunk deeper into the cushions and drained the glass with a sigh.

Early Days: Into The Swamp

She is running again. It’s rare that she would be pushed so hard without knowing why, but in some circumstances this was a necessity. She would find herself having run for days on end before the wind caught her and the truth unfurled in her mind like a fern under morning sun. She knew when to stop – or, rather, she would know when the moment came. She would slow and the world would grasp at her again, feeding and sharing what was needed. She would come to the edge of the wood with the scent of iron or the feel of a jagged blade fully formed in her mind and she would know: danger.
A clearing ahead, and she feels a tug urging her through. She leaps, or she already has, and the clearing is now behind her. The pack of crawlers is a threat, and a confusing one so far from their natural dank, dark holes, but there is another tasked with their removal, the recognition of a second hunter close by pricking at the edge of her mind.

She looks back, following the static of awareness. She can see now looking down from a tangle of branches, and she recognizes her limbs in among them, thinner and frailer but, she knows, swifter and deadly silent. She follows the gaze through to see what she—and then the urge, focus, onward. She knows to listen, knows the rightness of this planted instinct, but she also feels the strain of it, the struggle to comprehend. Her mind is a new thing, different enough that she can touch the minds of the other in the world while still heeding the call to act as guardian, shepherd, hunter. They are still few in number, and, fresh as they are, they must push up and out, as younglings do. She knows the needs and the desire to protect the fey is as deeply held as any other, but with each battle, with each bond, she feels these creepers of thought tangling in among the roots of her. Words and feelings and the connection to others comes more and more naturally, but with each passing day these vines grow thicker, or…

Here. She has passed into deeper forest now, bordering swamplands. She feels the wetness, the snug clinging of moss on the trees around her. She braces herself for the lethargy, the rotten sloth she has faced before. She must keep a clear mind for whatever is to come – more than keeping her sword at hand, this will carry her through. A stinging scent of decay catches her, and an emaciated claw slices out from a shadow. She ducks to her left, but a surge of thought takes her someplace else entirely. What was once a goblin is now nothing but an emaciated husk, but the creature’s mad glee at its own cleverness quickly recoils to confusion as it finds nothing but a stray leaf now floating back down to earth. Confusion turns to shock as a blade pierces the leathery flesh along its back. The creature was helpless the moment she stepped, but she feels no pity. Not for this tainted corpse.

She doesn’t need to turn to know that there are four more of the creatures shambling, crawling through the undergrowth. They are hesitant, but their numbers give them some confidence and, beside, they now know she can teleport – or what looked like teleporting. They’re ready for her tricks now.

She feels a burning, electric wind whip up in her mind and sees the swamp around her bend, and she smiles.

A New Lead for Dori

“Fascinating,” Dori said quietly.

“You actually found something?” was the incredulous response of the young dwarf who was attending him.

“No, at least not what I was looking for. However, your ancestor’s view on how Moradin’s blessing should influence one’s daily life is very interesting. You would do well to read it sometime.”

“I have. I’ve read everything in here. I… I tried to tell you that you wouldn’t find anything. I’m not sure how clear Grandpa has made it that our library doesn’t have anything to do… with…” The lad trailed off as he noticed that the light in the room had suddenly grown dimmer in the last few moments.

Turned towards the bookshelf as he was, ostensibly to return the tome to its proper place, Dori was able to conceal the impish gleam in his eyes. “Right you are young man. You were very clever to point that out earlier. And to bring it up again now. Do you enjoy being clever?”

“I… um…”

Dori struggled to keep his high, mirthful voice as intimidating as possible. “Do you make a habit of pointing out how much more clever you are than your grandfather’s guests?” His voice rose and Dori seemed to fill with a divine power that even the inexperienced cleric before him could feel. “I doubt your grandfather would appreciate you treating his guests like this! Now go draw my bath and prepare me some TEA!” This last exclamation was accompanied by the startling flare of the lights back to their full strength and a resounding boom of thunder. The young dwarf darted towards the exit of the room faster than he had ever moved in his life. The heavy wooden door had barely closed when Dori, eyes watering and body trembling, burst into fits of laughter.

Once he had composed himself a minute or so later, Dori laboriously pulled open the door just in time to come face to face with a much older version of the youth he had just chased off. “Er… hello, Mr. Stonesunder. How are you this fine evening?”

“I lent you the services of my grandson to help with your studies, not to be the butt of your jokes,” the elderly dwarf said sternly.

“With all due respect, sir, he was just making it too easy. And you should have seen the look on his face!”

“I did, for a brief moment, as he streaked past me shouting something about bathwater. Come with me.” He turned and started to walk down the hall with the grinning gnome in tow. “I suppose it was about time someone put that know-it-all in his place, and gods know that his father never will. How did your studies go, by the way?”

“Unfortunately, the know-it-all was right. You have some fantastic texts in your collection, and I would be honored if you would allow me more time to study them, but I’m at a loss as to whether I’m coming across cryptic hints of a clue or if I’m just finding patterns because I’m looking for them.”

The old patron of the Stonesunder clan responded, “I am quite confident when I assure you that it’s the latter. That’s actually what I was coming to see you about. Word has just come that Master Kustaa Lemminkainen, one of the Heroes of Overlook, has returned from the Feywild. I think it’s about time you speak to someone outside of the religious orders about this quest of yours and I can’t think of anyone better than Kustaa for the job. I took the liberty of setting up a meeting for the two of you tomorrow.”

“I think this might be the kindest way I’ve ever been thrown out of someone’s house,” said Dori with a good-natured chuckle. “Again, I can not thank you enough for your generous hospitality…”

Dori Leaves the Feywild

Elder Lightningblade the Survivor – or the Coward, as many referred to him – overshadowed everything in his son Dori’s life. He had made his name and his money as part of the elite adventuring group known simply as The Five. Elder was so enraptured by this thrilling life of excitement and danger that he constantly pushed Dori to follow in his footsteps, alternating between enrolling him in various training academies and dragging him deep into the Feywild for “practical exercises.” He showed a knack for certain professions, and picked up a few tricks during his training, but detested the bloodthirsty gleam in the eyes of his father and his companions when they were in the heat of battle. As a youngster, Dori made it abundantly clear that he had no intention of venturing outside of their community’s safe haven any more than necessary.

Elder’s career was derailed, however, when an ill-advised pursuit of fabled treasure in the Underdark lead The Five straight into a mind flayer ambush. The veteran rogue was able to escape with two members of his party as his paladin friend held the attackers at bay. The days that followed were hellish beyond description and, in the end, Elder was the only one to return home. The passage of time has washed away the memories of his fervent efforts to gather, at his own expense, what would have amounted to a small army in order to avenge his friends and recover their bodies. Instead, all that is remembered is that Elder managed to get away when the rest of his party did not. Wracked by survivor’s guilt and haunted by the nightmare possibility that the valiant defender who had saved his life may have been captured instead of killed, the broken gnome slipped into crippling depression.

Dori had to stand by and witness all of this, helpless to revive his father’s will to live and forced to watch as illicit drug abuse gave way to a wasting disease. At first hopeful that he may be able to find a cure, Dori turned to the clerical healing arts and began to study in earnest. The gods, however, rarely help those who do not wish for their assistance and no amount of divine power could prevent Elder’s impending demise. Nevertheless, Dori became increasingly obsessed with expanding his understanding of the Astral Realm and the power that flowed from it. Unwilling to cheapen the beliefs of the truly devout followers of the Fey deities, he instead focused on gaining Avandra’s blessing through eldritch machinations. Several years later, the cleric’s life reached a tipping point. Shortly after his father finally passed away Dori finally unlocked the secret of tapping directly into the astral forces, flooding him with new powers and imbuing him with immortality.

His obsession sated and no longer occupied with caring for his namesake, Dori tried to return to normal life. Unfortunately, he found himself an outcast in his own tight knit community. Too proud to spend the years it would take to work his way back into his neighbors’ good graces, Dori instead took this as a sign that he should further investigate the cryptic references to the fantastic power of the stars themselves that he had occasionally come across. Sifting through his father’s impressive collection of magical relics, he equipped himself for the journey ahead and settled the outstanding debts of the estate. Once he was fully kitted, Dori set out to follow his one sliver of a lead out of the Feywild and towards the dwarven city of Overlook…

The Chronicles of Kustaa, 001
Let's Get This Party Started

The imp was tolerant of it’s master’s grim mood as it reclined on the divine tome of the dead healer and watched the wizard gaze at the rising sun on the horizon while absently fingering a silvered longsword. The usual quips and sarcasm had been restrained throughout the retreat to the Feywild refuge while his master recovered from the recent ordeal of defending a city and the loss of trusted friends. Kustaa Lemminkainen, the war wizard, the battle mage, the last Hero of Overlook, turned from the tower window and gently placed the sword of General Zithiruun back into it’s scabbard and set it on the table. His eyes suspiciously remaining on the blade as he crossed the room to the sideboard to break his fast after a much needed session of meditation and reflection. Ember, the dragonborn warrior, struck down by Rathoraiax, the undead steed of that weapon’s previous owner while defending the city of Overlook. The absence of his sword arm and shield are truly felt. Myrca, the human priestess of Kord, who joined the others with him, also fell at the teeth and claws of that foul githyanki’s unholy dragon. Her courage and healing ways have not gone unnoticed. Dwarin, the dwarven druid, returned to his homeland across the sea after the battle and continues to baffle Kustaa as to how such a primal advocate could dislike the Feywild so much. A truly strange companion. Etton Roy, the human ranger, left Overlook quickly and quietly after the funerals wanting to retire and put the recent events behind him. The bitterness remains, but he was a great companion when the foes seemed too many. His otherworldly eyes return focus to the present. “Quidnunc, we have an appointment soon”, the mage says to the translucent imp in their own tongue, “let us ready ourselves for who has answered my summons.”


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