Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Darach Muerdelain
It happened at four minutes to midnight: The Fellowship of the Heart caught up with Darach Muerdelain at Craven Abbey in the Southern Ranges. He killed them all.

Darach Muerdelain was known to be in possession of the Skull of the Underking, a mighty arcane artifact holding untold dread secrets. Bishop Theocrace Hobbs of The Church of Aurelia, after failing to enlist the help of the Royal Council to stop Muerdelain, contacted the Adventurers' Guild. Despite the legion heroes upon their books, few of them had a prayer of facing down the Prince of Profane. The Fellowship of the Heart were thought to be the kingdom's best hope.


The Fellowship of the Heart are famed throughout the land for their acts of courage and kindness. Before this day, they were five in number:

  • Sethar Eldwall - Nominal leader of the Fellowship. Previously a General in the Granite Army of Caefro, his reasons for leaving have always been clouded by talk of disgrace and conspiracy. Whatever his past, his life as an adventurer was characterised by steadfast virtue and an unyielding sword arm.
  • Laenaya of Owlark - Despite a life on the road, it has long been rumoured that this great sorceress holds high office within the unseen hierarchy of the Magisterium. Prior to joining the Fellowship, her greatest feat was defeating the dragon Caephrax through the power of rhetoric alone.
  • Dane Orenne - Proclaimed as the finest trap and locksmith this side of the Pantheonic Ocean, Orenne was recruited by Eldwall when the Fellowship dared to venture into the trap-strewn vaults of Subarcadian.
  • Bartemus Balcrest - The reformed necromancer. Defeated by the Fellowship and persuaded to turn his talents to more virtuous pursuits by Laenaya, his knowledge of the dark arts has helped them foil countless evil schemes.
  • Amarisa Innskeld - There is only one warrior considered the equal of Sethar Eldwall in close combat and that is Amarisa Innskeld. When the others sleep, these two are often heard sparring; driving each other beyond the reach of mortal prowess. The speed of her blade is reputedly faster than demon lightning, something the bilious lich of Dawnrygh discovered to its cost.

On hearing reports of Muerdelain passing through Trollsholme, the Fellowship rode southward without rest. When their horses tired, they bought or roped new steeds to carry them on.

They arrived at Craven Abbey shortly before midnight, exhausted. A novice of the Abbey met them, delivering warning that Muerdelain was here and meditating in the Cloister of Doves. The Fellowship made the fateful decision to confront him there and then, rather than risk the villain escaping.


There is no doubting the formidable arsenal of skill and experience The Fellowship of the Heart can draw upon, but even they must have entered the Cloister of Doves fearful of what they were about to face. Darach Muerdelain is no longer an ordinary man. His armour is knitted from the shattered skull pieces of greater daemons, his blood boils with dark enchantments, and over his broken helmet he wears the crown of King Alfric the Destined himself.

There were no witnesses to the battle. All the shutters of the abbey were closed. The monks sealed themselves in their chambers and shouted chants to drown out the furious noise that erupted within the Cloister of Doves. The sky rained down cancerous shots of green lead as far afield as Wizenskeld. Streaks of red lightning were seen lining the sky even over the Royal City some five hundred miles distant.


Yet the battle lasted only minutes. Then all fell silent. Still, the monks did not leave their quarters until dawn broke. Even then they waited for the Abbot to descend from his tower and walk each of prophet's squares, as is custom, until he reached the Cloister of Doves. There they found the bodies of the Fellowship, all five of them; with their skulls burned away to blood and bone, save for one pristine, staring eye left in each head.

The whereabouts of Darach Muerdelain are now once again unknown.

Casewick Essendine

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