An epilogue

February 4, 2023

rpg d&d

An epilogue written for the end of the third chapter of long-running D&D campaign that began with Tomb of Annihilation, continued with the destruction of an arcane prison held hundreds of feet above Port Nyanzaru, and concluded with a murder mystery which lead to eldritch horrors from the deep - an adapted The Styes from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

Port Nyanzaru, 28 Eleasis, 1492 DR

The first day of Elient will soon be here, to be swiftly followed by the Autumn Equinox. The Chultan weather will break, a little. The port of Nyanzaru is heaving with life despite the late summer heat and humidity. Craftsmen, labourers and guards have started their six day march to Castligliar to begin work at Hopene'er Asylum, and the first ship from Fort Beluarian sets sail to Port Castligliar soon, establishing a new trade route around the coast of the north-eastern peninsula of Chult.

On Temple Hill, Dorn looks up at the stone and stucco building, the star of Lathander sat atop its tallest point. The temple stands proud alongside the nearby Temple of Savras and Goldenthrone, palace of the Merchant Princes. Chevall Dorn Ambleside, cleric of Lathander and Master of the Temple, wanders inside. Proud of his achievements both here in Nyanzaru and in encouraging a change of attitude towards faiths of light and life in Castligliar, he carefully unwraps a dark blue cloth and places the two relics on a pedestal in the vestibule leading to the sanctum. One is a tarnished chalice, the other a small statue. The chalice will polish up nicely. Dorn's reverie is broken by a voice: "Do you have today’s prayers, your holiness?". He turns to see Refrukk, whose bespectacled eyes are drawn to the relics he had previously lost to poverty and desperation. "I'll get to them in a moment, head priest Lindalam. Leave me to have a moment with my thoughts, would you? And don’t call me your holiness."

In his tree house, Darr-kling opens a small teak casket and begins to deposit items from his cloaks and pack. His eyes pass over the black, arcane artefacts amongst the gems. How deep does this darkness go? Can the world be ridden of these terrible curses, where the dead are left to roam, to tear entire clans apart, cause fear and misery, or even be put to use as menial workers in a decaying port’s mortuary, damn it? The terror of the Necromancer, the destructive evils of Acererak, the impenetrable otherworldly schemes of beings from beyond the Endless Deep. Are they all connected? Connected to the one, true darkness… he shudders, thinking of how many times its touch has been close since being forced from his fractured home. And these, these artefacts. The amulet of the black skull, the greenish yellow gem encasing three dead bloat-flies, and the fine dagger of a man not of sane mind, hanged for murder. Should they be coveted, protected, handled… used against the darkness? Or locked away, protecting the living world against their blackness? Cast into the roiling waves of the Shining Sea...

Eve sits, tired after another busy day keeping things in check at the boutique and socialising with the well-to-dos and powers in the port of Nyanzaru. Kicking off her boots, she can hear Black Cat prowling the corridor outside, restless. He’s still not used to the raptors perhaps. Eve’s eyes drift to the half-written letter on the desk nearby. She can't bring herself to finish it. The envelope is written out in full, addressed to House Ningle. She just can't finish the letter, not until… not until it can be signed Lady Everlyn Ningle, Harpshadow and Herald of the Lantern King, Merchant Prince of Nyanzaru. Her eyelids close, and she dreams of the lantern flame. On the desk, flickering some, Lynethen Ise'ren the Starfallen dims her light and lets her Lady rest.

Eve wakes with a start, not knowing how long she has been asleep. This is no time to rest, not when there’s a hugely pressing matter to attend to. A matter she doesn’t yet understand despite her diplomacy, charming conversation and subtle enquiries. The token - a large coin with a shaped triceratops head emblazoned on one side. A warning, and a severe one at that. A clear message from a powerful organisation here in Nyanzaru, and a message they apparently should understand.

So what does it mean?