In the aftermath
In the aftermath
The Company of the Runes are victorious in their great task. With the death of the First Speaker, the Cult of the Dracolich has been routed, and the tendrils of their dark influence purged from the stricken lands. Relative peace and stability begin to return to the North as the forces of Goodness and Law prevail over Chaos and Evil… for now.
After his humiliating defeat at the hands of the Azure Riders, High Captain Baram flees Luskan in terrified haste, with most of his remaining lycanthrope pirates and diabolic allies in tow. It is rumored that he sails with his fleet for far Calimshan, seeking refuge among the fell Corsairs of the south.
Several days after Vanamoroth’s destruction, an army 5,000 strong of Lords’ Alliance soldiery from Waterdeep and Neverwinter, commanded by Lords Beryn and Halmar, lay siege to Luskan and capture the city after only a brief resistance. The troops begin distributing much-needed aid to the surviving residents and set up a provisional occupation government. Remaining pirates and other villains are tried and punished for their crimes. Powerful mages begin the colossal task of dismantling the evil Host Tower, stone by stone.
In a great ceremony at the former Captains’ Court, the heroes who stormed the Host Tower are awarded the Shield and Tower, one of Waterdeep’s greatest medals, and the Sable Egret of Neverwinter, that city’s highest honor. Only Sigvard, Liam, Thordred and Stolz attend however; Audrey has mysteriously slipped away into the shadows. Rumors are later heard that the crafty halfling sailed to Calimshan on a merchant vessel in disguise. His further exploits hunting the treacherous Baram in that mysterious foreign land of opulence, corruption and villainy shall surely be told in another great tale.
Sir Sigvard becomes the Commander of Knights for the Order of the Merciful Sword in the North. He spends the winter with Thordred and Liam, exploring the Illuskan portals, facing dire perils therein but succeeding in ridding the gateways of enemies of the Lords’ Alliance. It comes at dire cost, for Thordred is slain by Orcs in a great battle, after which the foul humanoid tribes of the Spine of the World are finally defeated, the scattered remnants driven deep into caves that never saw light of day.
Commander Sigvard’s attempts to establish the faith of Tyr in Luskan at sword’s point are frustrated by the bureaucracy of the Occupation Authority’s officials, and this causes much strain in his friendship with Lord Halmar, who seems more concerned now with politics and expediency than chivalry and honor. In the spring Sigvard returns to Mirabar along with his younger half-brother and takes part in the expedition to hostile Uthgardt lands where a historic peace treaty is finally signed. Now, the renowned hero must decide whether to continue the life of a wandering crusader, renouncing all for religion, or to woo the fair Lady Gudrun of Throndvale, as many in the land expect him to, for she has vowed to remain forever a maiden, if a valiant knight of character and renown should not come forth to court her.
Nym Moondown recovers from the plague, having been treated with the arcane cure which he fought to retrieve. After receiving the Sable Egret and a handsome reward from Lord Beryn, he travels again from Neverwinter to the Heart of the Forest, where he proposes marriage to Sylvania. She accepts his offer and the exiled wayfarer finally settles among the druids and rangers of the Wood.
Stolz Eikenskald finally gains admittance into the Waterdeep Cartographers’ Society, advancing his lifelong ambition and passion of mapmaking. He also becomes a Knight of the City. But rather than live amid splendor, he sells much of his legendary equipment and sets out as a simple traveler, for as he says, “There are still mountains and mines a dwarf should have visited in his life.” He adventures in distant lands, slaying monsters and aiding the innocent, visiting the clans of the Dwarves scattered across Faerun and learning their vast lore.
Aarin Gend is knighted by Neverwinter for his actions. The Azure Riders are released from the city’s service with a substantial reward and honors bestowed by Lord Beryn himself. Neurik is offered a bishopric by the Church but instead goes quietly into retirement and devotes himself to helping convalesced plague victims to recover their livelihoods.
Cian de Guenduroc persuades Josef Olsen to stay on in the Crystal Keep rather than establish himself in Mirabar, where he builds only a small shrine, and together upon the Fire Mountain they build a great monastery and library of Oghma, which becomes famous throughout the North for the erudition and intelligence of its monks and wizards, spreading the light of knowledge and civilization throughout the Savage Frontier. The small city of Doryn benefits from its friendship with the Crystal Keep.
The Harper wizard Taglaronden visits Cian to thank him for preserving the legacy of his elder brother Orestian. A stout middle-aged man named Bear visits to pay his respects to Orestian’s tomb and reveals himself to truly be the legendary paladin Berutars. For he and Orestian had been adventurers together, foiling the schemes of Vanamoroth’s minions over a century ago and Berutars faked his death and went into hiding to avoid the Cult taking retribution on his family.
In the coming years, Mirabar grows fabulously wealthy from mining and trade, making it truly a Gem of the North to rival Neverwinter or Silverymoon. “Rich as a Mirabar dwarf” becomes a stock phrase among northerners and immigrants of many races and backgrounds flock to the city as it rebuilds in splendor. The Uthgardt tribes, for the most part, accept peace with the Lords’ Alliance and grow in numbers and strength, driving back the Orcs and Giants into the remote frozen peaks of the Spine of the World.
Bards’ tales spread to distant lands of the Azure Riders’ heroic deeds and the tales take on epic proportion, to the point where most learned men discount them as mere fable and do not believe that there was ever a Pact of Cynosure among various deities, nor were the Runes of the adventurers any more than colorful tattoos. Indeed, no one can prove otherwise, but the surviving Rune-bearers shall live to the end of their days knowing that they answered the call of destiny, something greater than any mortal may ever fully comprehend.