Part 1 – March To the Mountains

It was deemed the best way to slip into the Windy Valley unnoticed – travel with other embedded Empire agents in the long column of paladins, clerics, avengers, invokers, and assorted followers answering the Call. Together they marched as a heterogenous, righteous caravan, around the outskirts of the plaguelands, meeting up and combining with others going towards the stormy peaks of Delzimmar. Closer to their destination, people were also coming the other way, away from the mountains. They confirmed the suspicions of the caravan leader, Durkon, high priest of Pelor. It seemed that unseasonable autumn lightning storms were striking along the peaks of the Windy Valley. The party heard the grizzled dwarf on these occasions muttering that the second coming of the Nightmare Storms was upon us, and may Pelor help the unprepared.

Durkon was no fool – he knew there was no stopping whatever the Signs were making way for. By all reports the storms were similar to those of the Nightmare Storms, 40 years ago – ferocious, and prone to co-occur with breaches into the material plane from Gods-know-where. The creatures that came forth from the storms violent enough to create temporary portals were not keen on being noticed 40 years ago, but many were still found and destroyed. Perhaps some managed to evade capture and were summoning these new storms? Durkon could only speculate, and was wont to do so around his campfire on most nights, with the most able and knowledgeable fighters gathered around him. The party was included in these musings, as they had shown their prowess in a few skirmishes with monsters along the way (some elves in the caravan even recognised the party members from Karelle).

By the end of the second week of marching, the caravan came in sight of the Delzimmarian mountains. Those people familiar with the outline of the mountains immediately started pointing – there was a new peak visible, squatting high up and some way into the Windy Valley. It was dark, like the black Delzimmarian bedrock, and half-shrouded by a thick, wide bank of grey mushrooming cumulonimbus.

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