These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.
The sun is starting to dip below the horizon as we approach the land of The Cult of Blackened Earth. The final rays of light show movement within the tents and stone huts as the people notice our approach. Surely the Temple of Pelor are right, this cult will be friendly and no weapons will be drawn. Then again those were Randal’s words as we entered his god’s holy shelter and I see where that got me.
A small group approaches from the small hamlet. Though they come armed there seems no threat in their movements. Good. I am quite tired of having to draw weapons every time I seem to meet someone new.
They greet us openly but not too friendly. It is quite understandable seeing how we are strangers approaching as the night comes. Like those we encountered in the complex under Red Larch, some of the diplomats skin shows the color, texture or a combination of both like that of stone. After a brief introduction we get down to business, asking all the same questions seeing how the only answer we learned pointed us in their direction. And by the Nine Hells that same question from hours ago has everyone instantly aggressive.
The Bringers of Woe.
I should learn to keep my mouth shut. It is clear I am no help in such situations.
Quickly the threat is quieted as the people of the Blackened Earth find us as allies against their former tribesmen. Surprisingly, they cannot believe they made no move to battle us. More importantly, they are shocked to find out we are even alive after crossing their paths. Their leader, Brom, tells us the tale of how they had broke away due to a difference of opinion on how the elemental powers should be used. He goes on to reveal that there is an imbalance between the four which is the cause of the quakes throughout the lands.
The last piece of information turns knots in my stomach. The Blackened Earth fears that The Bringers have formed an alliance with the Eternal Flame. Putting two and two together, we faced this cult down in Red Larch a handful of times. We try to reassure the leader that they are no more but by the numbers of those we slain he is sure there are more still hidden in the area.
Lastly, I show him my brand of The Restless Hand. His eyes widen at the revelation, only confirming my fears. Novak’s hands have been in Mirabar. I will not be surprised to still find them here. To make things worse, he believes they have had ties with the Eternal Flame and The Bringers of Woe.
From the hamlet someone shouts, informing Brom that his child is coming, cutting what little tension is left in our conversation. All the worries in his face fades away and is replaced with joy. With a smile he invites us all to come celebrate. Dundragon quickly offers his aid in the birth which is gratefully welcome.
I watch them all race toward the hamlet as torchlight shines through the huts as cheers of congratulations echo through the short, dirt avenues. All I can do is look toward Red Larch and worry of its fate.
Without my aid will the townsfolk be safe?
Who will protect Amara?
It seems I have a decision to make this night.