Raksur Ahkmad Abdul Khokhar and his Tairnadal warband speed across Cyre to its capital, Metrol. Raksur has been summoned by Queen Dannel ir'Wynarn, the queen of Cyre.
Talvaras Dragomir and his squad of Cyran heavy infantry recover from another battle on the borders of Fort Bright, near Karrnath. One of his men has been killed in battle, so he secures the body to his horse and heads back to camp.
Lasai Tharashk awakes in the warm bed of Col. Reddstromm. She slips out of bed after he falls asleep and sneaks over to his personal documents. Shuffling through papers and books on his desk, there is no sign of what she looks for. Then, she discovers his hidden alcove, and in it a journal. Flipping through it, she finds it has the information she's been looking for.
Raksur and his warband fly across the Cyran cobblestone roads, speeding to Metrol. Raksur is greeted by the Royal Guard outside the palace and escorted inside to see the queen by her most trusted guardian, Andibian d'Deneith. Andibian keeps watch over the queen as she instructs Raksur of her request. Raksur agrees and Andibian leads him out to the Tairnadal waiting for him. They ride toward Fort Bright.
At Fort Bright, Talvaras returns to his bunk where he finds a letter of denial to go on leave to see his family, not but 10 miles from here. A new recruit not more than 16 years of age is at his tent. He welcomes the new recruit and heads out to see his platoon leader, Lt. Benwick. Lt. Benwick tells Talvaras he has been reassigned from his squad. He has been chosen, due to his incredibly honorable character, to go on a mission for the General. Talvaras takes his orders and heads to the General's tent.
Lasai's heart skips a beat when she hears Col. Reddstromm's voice. She apparently woke him, or worse, he never fell asleep in the first place, which means she was losing her touch. None-the-less, he spies her rummaging through his journal and confronts her. As he dons his robe and heads over, Lasai notices a shadow has appeared. A tall menacing figure, one Reddstromm refers to as a "fey-elf" stands motionless. Reddstromm calls him Lapok Narpathu, and threatens to call him down on Lasai if she tries anything suspicious. He then offers her something even more valuable than the journal - he offers to help her get aboard a mission, the same mission her brother went on several weeks beforehand.
The three have arrived at the General's tent in one way or another. Introductions take place, and in addition to Raksur, Talvaras, and Lasai, two other people are in on the briefing. A shady-looking human named Isik d'Tharashk and a clean-cut Cyran captain named Cpt. Joeel Guarm. Gen. Kalidor ir'Burgess briefs the party on their mission. The five of them are to take a commissioned Lyrandar airship into the borders of Darguun, the dangerous southern region of goblinoids. There, they will paracoin into the jungles and make their way to a Dhakaani ruin. They are to find an artifact, led by Isik, and possibly keep an eye out for a group of missing operatives that were sent to the region weeks prior.
Shortly after the party leaves the briefing tent, they witness balls of fire streaking across the sky. A Cyran war trumpet is blaring in the distance and shouts of battle can be heard; Fort Bright is under attack. No doubt from the Karrnath forces.
Charging through the labyrinth of pavilion tents, Cpt. Guarm leads them to a small outcropping of forest. Through the trees, a glowing ring of lightning can be seen hovering roughly twenty feet in the air. It's the airship. "Come on!" The captain shouts his last words as a flaming sphere comes smashing into him tearing him into pieces and rocking an explosion that causes all the tents in the immediate area to burst into flames. The light gives Isik some vision and he notices something through the trees ahead.
Several squads of Karrnathi soldiers, typical in garb with a heavy chain armor and flails with the crimson tabard of Karrnath on their chest. But, not typical in features. Instead of flesh and leary eyes, bleached bone and animated life were the hallmark of these troops. Isik and Lasai zoomed ahead through the forest while Raksur and Talvaras, heavy as they were, hung back. The skeleton troops eventually notice the two and a battle ensues. As the fiery blasts from the distant arcane ballista continue to hammer the area, the party defeats nearly a dozen of the skeletons and make their way toward the airship at least.
A rope ladder descends from the small ship hovering above and the four clamber onto it. As the ship sails off, the battle can be seen below. Legions of undead swarm over the encampment and Fort Bright. The general's tent crumbles and it seems the battle is in favor of Karrnath.
The mission doesn't seem to be off to a great start either as one of the five have already perished before arriving at Darguun.
The fires below seem to fade away and the cold winds get colder as clouds of mist engulf everyone.
To be continued...