Tales of Auriga

00: Prologue
A mysterious gift.

As the customs officers of Nyrinis usher you through the massive entrance gates, you once more unfold the parchment letter you received almost a month ago.

It feels like the hundredth time you’ve done this; tenderly pulling open the rigid paper to reveal the elaborate calligraphy scrolled upon it. The lettering are almost as curious as the arrival of the message itself; squarish, almost mechanical lettering written by a seemingly unsteady hand.

“Your presence in Nyrinis is requested. Make haste to ‘Under the Vault’. Look for Jih’zdar En Moroq. He will guide your way.

I have included a small gift as a sign of good will. Make haste. There will be more to come."

The letter still shows the marks from where a large coin had been placed within. You retrieve the dust coin from your satchel, and admire it’s unique markings. On one side, it shows a flat, emotionless mask symbol. On the other, a six-fingered hand or claw.

You’ve never seen such a coin, and nobody you’ve asked could recognize the mark. But the worth of the coin alone would have brought you to Nyrinis if the mystery of the letter had not.

The gatesmen had been kind enough to inform you that ‘Under the Vault’ referred to an Inn near the exit of the Gate District, and the winding stone streets lead you through the crowds to the entrance with little delay.

The run-down, wooden structure of the single-storey Inn is far from impressive, and the common room you step into is even less impressive. A smattering of human patrons are scattered around the large room, gathering around rotted and broken wooden furniture.

As you look around, you are immediately drawn to a table near the back of the Inn. Sitting at the table is a dark-skinned man – probably a Roving Clansmen, you think – draped in dark red and yellow wool. He is somewhat unremarkable, and you would probably have missed the man, were it not for the large coin he spins in his free hand. The coin has an unmistakable mask-like marking on it’s face.

As the man looks up at you, he notices that you are also holding such a coin. He nods, impassively, and gestures for you to sit. You’ve found Jih’zdar En Moroq, it seems.

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01. Caradoc
The adventures begin

Jih’zdar explains what he knows of the letter: a mysterious benefactor has recruited him, as well as Aldo Farriq, Lorwyn Feldorne, and Imara Valanti to explore the ancient Endless ruin of Caradoc.

Long abandoned, Caradoc should hold a Dust Nexus; an Endless device that can power other Endless devices. You are to use a Vault Key to enter the ruins and retrieve the Nexus.

The adventurers agree, and set off for Caradoc.

On the way, they are met by Nyreese. A Wild Walker hunter, Nyreese leads them through the forest, and helps them fight off an Erycis ambush.

They eventually arrive at Caradoc, and after a few quick rounds of Dragon Chess, rest outside the great walls of the ruin.

In the morning the party entered through Caradoc’s main gate, using the Gate Key to open the portcullis.

Inside the find the ruins of Caradoc: small, scattered metal houses in a state of disarray and ruin litter the interior. Near the entrance, they find an archaeologists camp. The camp has a number of corpses inside, presumably the archeologists themselves by their trappings.

The camp also contains three Memory Cubes, which contain audio recordings from the archeologists. They mention a woman called Morah, who has apparently left them to die, as well as a Haunt who watches over them.

They then approach the main keep, hoping the Dust Nexus will be there. They find a group of Orc looters, but Aldo convinces them to allow them to pass. The Orcs agree, on the condition that the group exterminates a Haunt that is living inside the keep.

They find the Haunt inside, who identifies as Watcher 01. Watcher agrees that should the adventurers instead turn on the Orcs, he will allow them access. The adventurers agree, and slay the Orcs in combat.

With the Orcs defeated, a vaulter by the name of Morah Ensolad reveals herself. She reveals to the party that the Orcs have been hunting and killing her archaeology group, and that she is the last survivor. She seems to have befriended Watcher, and helps the party convince Watcher to let them pass into Caradoc’s interior.

Watcher warns them that if they try to take the Dust Nexus, he will slay them.

As they venture into the Vault itself, Morah convinces the group to let her join them. When Lorwyn reveals the masked coin to Morah, she panics, telling them to destroy the coins. Lorwyn consumes his using his Broken Lord abilities.

Morah explains that the coins are in fact marks for death from the Cult of Eternal End, a mysterious faction that hunts and destroys Endless technology, as well as any who use or protect it.

The group chooses not to take the Dust Nexus, but loots a few items from the room, at the advice of Morah. They return to Watcher, who tells them that they are now Guardians of Caradoc, and must help rebuild the ruined city. The group agrees, and as they leave the keep they find a grim omen.

Jih’zdar hangs from a wooden stake, with a note on his chest: “We will find you.”. It is signed with the masked symbol from the death marked coins.

Lorwyn buries Jih’zdar, and the group begins to plan how they will begin Caradoc’s reconstruction.

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01. Interlude
The Activation of Caradoc

In the weeks following Caradoc’s liberation, the group assists Watcher 01 with the revival of the city.

Under the watchful guidance of Watcher 01 and Morah Ensolad, they bring the Dust generator back to full power. Watcher demonstrates complete control over the city now, and the city itself seems to automate various aspects of itself, such as the street lights and inner gates.

The main gates themselves still require Vault Keys to open, even for Watcher, and the deep Vaults below Caradoc itself remain closed to all but Watcher, who denies you access still, though he refuses to give you a reason, remaining silent when questioned.

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02. Rebuilding the City
It takes a village...

Dragged by the scruff of his jacket by Aj’Vrakhazar, Rell Kettar finds himself locked away after attempting to sneak into Caradoc.

After much discussion with Watcher, Vrak, and the rest of the party, Rell is allowed to join the party on a probationary basis as Junior Sub-Assistant to the Archeologist Morah Ensload.

At Morah’s suggestion, the group head to Nyrinis in order to attain craftsmen to help rebuild Caradoc, She gives them two names: Biz’gald the Delver, and Forging Hurnak the Orc.

The group sets off toward Nyrinis, and are set upon by Vinesnakes when they discover a destroyed cart. They manage to fight off the Erycis’, but Rell and Physician are badly injured in the battle.

The arrive at Nyrinis and recover in an Inn before being summoned by the Ruling Family, who negotiates an agreement with them to continue resurrecting Caradoc. The Guardians will pay a tax to Nyrinis, and set up a Valdari Trading Post near the city itself. The Family also sends a Marshal to watch over Caradoc in their stead. Lastly, the Guardians must give itemised lists to the Ruling Family regarding Endless Artefacts recovered from the Vault.

Afterward, they meet with Murad En Musheer, a Valdari Trading Company Merchant who has a long standing relationship with Aldo Farriq. Murad directs the group to Biz’gald, a Delver who runs the Crafting Guild of Nyrinis.

At the Crafting Guild headquarters it takes little persuasion to convince Biz’gald and his crew to help rebuild Caradoc, as the task is both prestigious and profitable. The builders agree to make their way to Caradoc at once.

Biz’gald also requests that the group attain the services of an Orc Blacksmith by the name of Forging Urnak. Urnak had spent time in Nyrinis recently, and although his work was exceptional, his inability to live amongst society drove him back to his home in the Yonkathu Peaks, to the north.

The Guardians attain travelling gear for themselves and a pair of stout travelling horses, and set off toward Yonkathu travelling up the Indigo Road.

Two days into their journey, they stop at an Inn called The Bronze Kettle. In the night, the Inn is attacked by three Broken Lord Knights. The group defeats the knights, and the last reveals that they were sent my Lorwyn’s father, Baron Kelador. On the bodies of one knight they find a letter proving their claims true.

Darion Gendry, the Innkeeper and owner of the Bronze Kettle agrees to start a new Inn at Caradoc, after a generous offer from the Guardians. He sets off immidiately.

They continue their rest in the barn, and prepare for the rest of the trip to Yonkathu.

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03. The Journey North
Into Yonkathu Peaks...

In the morning, Rell Kettar sets off for Caradoc with Darion Gendry. The rest of the group continues north towards Yonkathu Peaks.

As they come to a crossroads, Imara Valanti senses the presence of powerful magic to the east. They choose to travel toward the source, and find Emberwatch, an Ardent Mage Academy.

In Emberwatch, they meet with Oskar Al’Thor, the leader of the Academy. Thinking they are simply a band of adventurers, he asks them to assist him in removing the Orc settlement in Yonkathu so that he may gain access to their Manastone, a rare resource that will give Emberwatch great power.

Agreeing to Oksar’s request, they set off for the Orc settlement.

At the Orc settlement, they meet Leading Akrah, who informs them that they are a peaceful settlement and that the Emberwatch Magi are killing her people and pillaging the Manastone. In exchange for Akrah’s promise to support Caradoc, the group sets off to return to Emberwatch to negotiate a peace.

On the way, Lorwyn Feldorne realizes the group is being followed. He calls out to the hidden bandits, telling them to show themselves. A Broken Lord called Geralt reveals himself, and informs Lorwyn that he has been hired by Lorwyn’s father to capture or kill the Guardians.

Geralt is happy to turncloak on Lord Kelador’s bandit group, and helps the group defeat them. They send a lone survivor back to Nyrinis with a message to Kelador.

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