Under Feet of Clay
“Once, Timaedius was an island city, a great Calopene ally and home to just and noble rulers. We were home to a great oracular temple. We believe there may have once even been a Sage of Timaedius, though their name is now long forgotten. After ”/wikis/labors-of-aedikles" class=“wiki-page-link”> the Eighth Labor of Aedikles , its last ruler, Honorius, vanished and ancient Timaedius was forgotten. Some magic was at play, as the city was forgotten more quickly than it should have been. Yet in these troubled times, if there is any place that might hold the promise of bolstering Calopius against the rise of monsters, it is the ancient citadel of Timaedius, claimed by the unholy forest north of our shores." Her brief speech concluded, Lady Eunomia, patroness and ruler of the growing village also calling itself Timaedius turns to those gathered. The torches and candles flicker against the blackness. You received your requests for this midnight meeting with a grave warning: this was to be a secret affair. Details would be given. Calopius’s future may well be at stake.
“Honorius was the last ruler of this island, and he was a mighty dragon of bronze whose very breath was the lightning of ”/wikis/xiphios" class=“wiki-page-link”> Xiphios. He died to seal something in ancient Timaedius. You may well know that I am rightful ruler by blood of my grandfather of this island, despite the servitude of my birth in Zorwa’s sands. After Honorius, my family attempted to keep watch over the island, to protect it and its citizens, but we were captured and taken away as hostages. Those in Timaedius now are not natives from the days of Honorius, but settlers. There are no more native Timaedians, save my line. But my Grandfather left me a clue as to what Honorius faced that Aedikles himself dared not speak."
From her cloak, Eunomia draws an ancient scrap of cloth, and unrolls it. On it, you see drawn the images of several wrathful titans, the heirs of Gaia destroyed long ago. They reach up, toward a gate over which rests a mighty palace surrounded by water on all sides. “If my hunch is correct,” the Lady says in hushed whispers, “Honorius bound himself to seal the gate that bound titans are struggling against. I do not know if this is the case, but if it is, we are compelled by the very gods to save that citadel from the Dark Forest that grows over it, and maintain that gate eternally. Your deeds must be secret, lest wicked ears come to know of this truth.”
She turns her back to you once more, looking out a north facing window in her small tower room. Even in the darkness of night, the top edge of the forest is visible against the swath of stars in the heavens. “I cannot promise you will survive. But you are the greatest living heroes I can call upon, and the only ones I can trust with this task. You each are known to me somehow. A scout from the line of Duandraxis was able to return from the edge, though only he from a party of twelve. He spoke of restless spirits, powerful magic, and restless corpses walking the forest, as well as monsters warped by feeding on such things. Retaking the Citadel may be suicide. Failure, however, is apocalypse.”
Mechanics: This delve will be for characters of level 10. Starting gold will be 62,000 gold worth of items.
Timing: You will be departing under cover of night on 14 Zagrodia, 1198. The preparations from the Zagrinalia will be distracting enough to ensure you are not followed and any unusual activity may be forgotten or chalked up to festival pranks.
Leadership: Your characters will be sufficient level for the Leadership feat, which will be permitted. Your character’s leadership score, should you take the feat, will gain the +2 bonus for Great Renown. Only Cohorts will directly follow you, and players will assume direct control of their cohorts for the purposes of this delve.
Goals: Per Eunomia’s instructions, your group is tasked with finding and fighting your way to the Citadel of Ancient Timaedius and determining precisely what Honorius the dragon of old did there with Aedikles centuries ago. If there is some way to weaken the forest’s hold on the citadel to permit the region to be recaptured for settlement and expansion, you should also accomplish those to the best of your ability. Your task, and thus the accomplishments here, are to be secret, however. Though you may do untold good for the mortal world, the memories of those deeds must only ever be whispered among the most privileged of companions.