The Return of Talon

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The Return of Talon

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:57 pm

These are pages from the Journals of Alastair Synge, an adventurer and historian of Aenea, recounting the Rise of Talon.

The early months of the year 5520 were troubled times. Rumors spread, fueled by sightings and speculations of the late Talon, Great Red Dragon. Though Talon had been slain many moons before, his bones resting in Valorian's Vale where he fell, these rumors persisted. Dark creatures scurried from their warrens to trouble the lands.

During a call to arms to defend the graveyard of Valorian's Vale, a group of heroes slew great beasts, inluding werewolves of legendary strength and stature. After the last foe fell, the heroes thought the day won, but one of them, a wolfblood, caught the scent of fire and burning upon the wind. A frantic search of the environs failed to find the source of the fire until too late. The heroes came upon the once still bones of Talon. The bones burned with demonic fire, and ghostly, draconic laughter could be heard on the wind. The spirit of Talon had not been vanquished as thoroughly as had been thought. Over the course of the months, the rumors grew and grew, the beasts and darker denizens of the land grew more brazen, as if spurred into action by some evil force. Steely eyed and determined warriors clad in red scaled armor were sighted in remote regions.

Then hope, if not fortune found foot in the lands of Aenea. While exploring the mysteries of the Wanderer's Portals, the Avatar of Kalas, the Judge and master of all knowledge appeared before a few heroes of Aenea. The Avatar told of a prophecy, the return of a great beast of evil, bent on the destruction of Aenea. The prophecy also held that a child would follow the beast, controlling it. The Avatar of Kalas set the heroes forth to gather information, and to bring warning to the people of Aenea.

And as Lysis' fortune smiled upon the heroes, a giant came through the Wanderer's portal. Though the giant was of simple mind, and simpler speech, the heroes determined that the giant had come from the portal of Dawnholm, and that there was trouble there. With a call to arms, a band of Aeneans marched on Dawnholm. The heroes found a band of warriors of the Order of the Red Talon. A battle ensued, and the heroes were victorious. A blade was recovered, and the hunt for the origins and intent of the Order of the Red Talon began in earnest.

As the months drew on, the Order of the Red Talon grew more brazen. Raids and major attacks upon the cities of Aenea, assassination attempts against the heroes of Aenea, and a dark force using magics to scry upon the people of Aenea. During one such attack, a leader of the Red Talon order was taken prisoner and held by an arch-mage of Aenea, and the magi's companions. Although the Red Talon leader possessed both strong will and enchantments to guard against mental spells, the heroes proved stronger, and wrestled at least some information from the Talon leader before he was mysteriously killed by powerful draconic magics.

The heroes learned that the Order of the Red Talon sought to fully resurrect the red dragon Talon, although the order leader they had interrogated knew few, if any details. The order had been charged with finding materials to aid in the resurrection. Dragon's blood, bones, scales, and other items macabre.

Although they had learned much, the Heroes of Aenea had not learned enough. The Order of the Red Talon grew more brazen by the day, their strength and ferocity increased; vile undead joined their cause, necromancers and foul blackguards wrecked havoc upon the lands. During one such attack however, the heroes of the land found that these agents of evil, once they had found an artifact for the resurrection, would deposit it into an enchanted tree stump, where it would be whisked away to the dark power attempting to bring Talon back to life.

The scrying magics, and search of history, rumor and lore of the land proved futile in learning any more of the leadership of the Order of the Red Talon, despite the growing resolve of the Aeneans far and wide. It was during a vicious raid upon Mountainholm, however, that the heroes bested the dark forces, and retrieved a vial of dragon's blood the Order had sought to gain. With this precious vial of blood, the Heroes of Aenea found hope, and a plan to strike at the darkness that would prey upon the lands.

With cunning and skill, and great magics, the heroes formed a plan to find the base of the Order of the Red Talon. An arch mage of the land enchanted the dragon's blood with magic of his own. A band of heroes sought out one of the many bands of Red Talon warriors as they slew red wrymlings for their blood and bones. With skill and stealth, the heroes planted their enchanted dragon's blood on a corpse of one of the fallen wrymlings. The Talon warriors, being strong of determination, but not of skill or wit, took the baited blood. A stealthy chase across the fields of the Shieldlands ensued. As the Red Talon warrior sent the blood through another enchanted stump, the heroes sent word back to the Achmage, who activated the enchantments on the blood, allowing him to scry out the blood's destination.

Although the scrying was successful, it nearly cost the mage his life. With a cryptic message scrawled in his own blood, the heroes determined that the Order of the Red Talon found it's base in the twisted swamp of mists in southern Nektaria. Though they seached and searched, they found nothing in the swamps, the base was guarded from sight by the most powerful magics. After the archmage recovered, it was revealed that it was the fiendish born vampire child Veleron who sought Talon's resurrection, and that Veleron was indeed close to his goal.

With a call to arms, heroes of Aenea great and small, young and old, gathered. As Veleron focused his evil powers on resurrecting Talon, his magic sealing his base from the rest of the world faltered, and the heroes stormed into the swamps. Through the twisted mire and murk, the heroes fought and slew many of the Order warriors until they came upon ancient ruins never before seen or heard of by even the most knowledgeable of the heroes. A circle of mossy stones surrounded a pool of dragon's blood and gore. Smaller circles of stones and the symbols of the Lord of Lies surrounded the area.

In a pitched battle, a high priest of the Red Talon Order was captured, but he did not survive interrogation. And though he was slain, the ritual still proceeded, guided by the dark will of Veleron. The spirit of Talon flew in a fiery visage into the pool of dragon gore, and rose up again as a fearsome monstrosity of dragon-bones and still forming flesh. The heroes destroyed the creature, but again, the spirit of Talon dove into the pool of gore, and rose up again, clawing and screaming for life-reborn. Again and again, the heroes struck the beast down, denying it rebirth.

When it was clear that the dragon Talon would not be reborn, Veleron himself appeared, and taunted the heroes. Thought they fought bravely and fiercely, the heroes could not wound the demonic child. With dark promises of an eternal night, Veleron fled into the swamps, defeated in those ancient ruins much as he was a hundred years prior by the Knights of Balance in the kingdom of Dawnholm.

And while the heroes could not send Veleron to the Great Hall, they stood victorious in preventing the rebirth of Talon the Red Dragon, and thwarting the evil of vampire child.

Viva Aenea, Viva the Eternal Foes of Talon.

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