The Third Host
Bevayn relays that things will be happening in Strahnbrad with the Crushridge gone. The party is sent to Silverpine for a rare herb that will cure Indurien.
– The rare herb needed to save Indurien can found growing near Pyrewood Village, and is called Ashen Snow. Brewed, it creates a powerful curing potion, that can also then be fermented. If mixed with a different harmless herb, it becomes a deadly poison (1d6 Con, 1d6 Con). The problem is, the Forsaken are launching an all out attack on Ambermill, and though the wizards are trying to stave off the Forsaken, it does not look good for them. Archmage Ataeric is seen fighting off a val’kyr. The fight ends when either the val’kyr or Ataeric is dead. If Ataeric lives, the party can offer the survivors refuge in Alterac. They will not stay as a group, but a few, including Ataeric, will.
-The party will reach Pyrewood an hour before nightfall, and be welcomed in. The townsfolk seem unaware of their curse, and invite the party to drink, and share stories before the Mayor’s son will take them to where the Ashen Snow grows. They get to enjoy the drinks, and the son, Daniel, will take them to the Ashen Snow, on the back side of the town. As they reach the Ashen Snow, the sun will set and Daniel will turn into a worgen right before their eyes. Ailedayn will beg them not to kill him, as he still seems to have his soul during the day. This will turn into a game of hide and seek, with a bigger reward for not killing anyone.
Adosael will find the party as they return and ask them to explain how it is that when they are sent out, Alterac gets more refugees. He tells the party that the Ambermill refugees are doing well, but eager to get back to Dalaran. A few have elected to stay, and Adosael thanks the party.
It won’t be until the party is resting that a contigent of Deathguard are sent by Sylvanas as envoys. The envoy requests that Adosael meet with Sylvanas in the Undercity, along with Ranulfr and Lycemdion. Adosael will admit that he expects a trap, and thus the party is being left in charge of Alterac while the Council is gone. Lycemdion requests that the party go and investigate Tarren Mill and Strahnbrad.
-Tarren Mill seems completely abandoned. (All the inhabitants have been rounded up and taken away by the Alliance, but that won’t be obvious).
-Strahnbrad has walls around it now, but they aren’t particularly long lasting. The city is being converted into a staging ground for… something. (The Argus Wake summoning the Legion and Sargeras. They have already begun summoning demons to begin the process). There won’t be any demons visible, but a Syndicate scouting party will try to get the drop on the party. If they succeed, a warlock will encase the party in a felsphere and bring them to Aliden. Aliden seems more cocky, and tells the party to relay to the Council of Alterac that they are to vacate the city ASAP. Banter aside, he will let the party leave unmolested.
As the party is on their way back to Alterac, an explosion will go off in front of them that will block the way to Alterac with sickly green vapors that seem to reach out to grab the party. A plaguespewer will roll up behind the party. The machine carries four level 6 alchemists on it, who will disembark to attack the party. The fight ends with the plaguespewer expelling it’s contents completely, filling the entire valley with the plague. The party will have two rounds to get the Forsaken’s gear on, which will protect them from the plague for a short while. The gear is ill fitting and won’t save them for long. From the direction of Alterac, a roaring engine can be heard.
-Zaeune comes from the plaguemist astride her mechanohog. She raises an army of ghouls to combat the plaguespewers that roll up. She then summons a group of undead winged horses and tells the party to hang on tight. When they get to Alterac, Melianth and Einderu are on the walls, focus firing down a small attack force. Zaeune roars through the gate and a huge wall of thick, grasping bone arms grows up like a forest in front of the main gate.
-The attack dies down, and every assembles into the town square. Melianth says that they’re surrounded on all sides by the plague, and leaving Alterac would be ill advised. The Council isn’t back yet, and everyone looks to the party for a plan. The general sentiment is that the Forsaken will leave them alone to let the plague weaken them, and barring that, being cut off as they are will. The fog gives way for a moment, long enough for the sentries on the wall to be able to see that there are torch lights littering the countryside, and Strahnbrad seems deserted.
-Einderu will attempt to leave if the party suggests someone fly out, and is promptly swarmwed by deathguard on bats. He picks off a few, but is forced to land as he is impaled by several javelins.
– Zaeune says that her relationship with death prevents the plague from affecting her, but she isn’t immune to the other things the Forsaken have added to the plague.
-Ailedayn will comment that if they’re stuck, then everyone should spend the time fortifying and controlling the coming battle.
At the dawn of the fourth day, there has still been no word from the Council. Melianth bursts into the party’s quarters and tells them to come quickly. She takes them to the Council room, where an ethereal high elf stands by the small statue of Neltharion near Adosael’s chair. Ataeric sits on a stool nearby, stroking his bears. The high elf introduces herself as Lanassori Dawnblade. She states that she is the leader of a large high elf community that has been homeless since Northeron was affected by the Cataclysm. Lanassori has heard about the mision statement of Alterac. She and her people have discussed it and they wish to join and live in Alterac. They are 5000 strongs, with half that number being capable fighters. Since the council left the party in charge, she humbly asks to be allowed to aid against the Forsaken, and prove themselves. She states that they have supplies, and they can help fortify the city. Rhisaene quietly tells the party that Adosael might balk at having so many come at once, but that he will honor their decisions.
-Assuming that the party lets them stay, Melianth tells Lanassori to have her strongest mages create a portal, and that she will tether it. Lanassori disappears, and Melianth calls for Azshauyiane and Naitheric. The party is told to help direct the flow of people, and to have them meet in the center of town. Drake is tapped to help with the portal. It takes an hour, but the portal opens and Melianth steps through. She returns after a few minutes with Lanassori, and high elves begin to pour through the portal, following directions. The rest of the day will be spent constructing temporary shelters for the high elves. There are also a group of one hundred Ironforge dwarves, all of them capable of shaping the earth with magic. They will offer to build an extensive underground fortress, in exchange for a large portion for living quarters and a mead hall.
At the dawn of the sixth day, an exhausted nether dragon lands and Adosael, Lycemdion and Ranulfr slide from its back. By this point, the high elves have managed to create several guard towers, and the dwarves have created an underground bunker in which noncombatants can hide. Adosael demands a situational report, and Lycemdion is seen carrying several large kegs. He appears snappish and angry, but tells Lanassori can stay, if Alterac even makes it to be around. Adosael then grabs Seythinel and Einderu and quickly has Einderu create what looks like a moonwell. He tells Seythinel to request Elune’s blessing. So blessed, he has her step into the basin, and then slowly pours the water from the kegs over her, so that it comes to rest in the basin, channeling magic as this happens. The result is a fully functional moonwell, and Adosael is quick to heal any sick. Only when he has taken care of these afflicted does he answer any questions.
-He refuses to elaborate on what, but relays that Sylvanas asked Alterac to do something that would cinch an alliance. Ranulfr chimes in that they’d considered it before Sylvanas let slip that she had troops poised to attack Alterac should they refuse. Lycemdion took exception to his daughters’ safety being threatened and went berserk. The three only managed to escape because Adosael’s trusted nether dragon, Voizelthon, swooped in as they were being overwhelmed by abominations. Adosael stated that they had to make a hard choice. They chose to trust that the party could handle seeing to Alterac’s defenses, and they gathered the thing necessary to create a moonwell, one of the few things that can stave off the plague. They also add that they studied the aerial patrols and were able to sneak in.
The next day, the sounds of war horns are heard. Sylvanas appears at the gates, and tells Alterac that they only have to help her kill Garrosh to avoid the battle. Adosael tells the party to banter with her, and to give her nothing, to keep it secret that the Council has returned, and to also not mention anything about the high elves. Surprise will be their only chance.