Campaign Report – Ashes and Salt

Part 1: Unfamiliar Lands, Familiar Foes

Participants: Tinwëtar (Vicky), Melaniel (Danielle), Kathene, Aariam, Ialluen, Elysar, Cinelyn, Ilyande, Alylia, Duskshroud, Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Delanae (guest)

Mission report 1 – Nightblade Camp, Stormsong Valley
Date: 30th of Mennare, 2018

Summary: A few nights had passed since the naga ambushed the Nightblades at sea, destroying their ship with a monstrous kraken and scattering the sentinels and their allies to the merciless, stormy ocean. Many of the shipwrecked kaldorei had washed ashore along the coast and islands of Stormsong Valley, scattered, starved and injured.

Kathene, Ialluen, Aariam and the draenei anchorite Danielle had secured a safe campsite near the cliffs above the Stormsong coast, and used the Nightblade moonstones to call out for other survivors in hopes of regrouping.

Ilyande and Alylia were the first to respond, having washed ashore on a nearby island where Elysar had also ended up. Kathene and Aariam set off along the beach to find them, meeting up with Astralarius and Maracyn along the beach. Cinelyn and Delanae arrived soon after, having come from a nearby Kul Tiran fort.

Aariam and Maracyn rode a raft over to the island to bring Ilyande, Elysar and Alylia to the mainland, with Astralarius following in aquatic form, while Kathene and Delanae accompanied Cinelyn, who didn’t seem quite in her right mind after the ordeal of the shipwreck, back to the camp.

The group on the raft were accosted by a trio of deep-sea murlocs when they reached the coast again, who thought the exhausted night elves would make easy prey, but the group managed to fend them off with daggers, claws, moonfire, and an improvised oar.

With a good number of their sisters now gathered, the group returned to the camp to gather themselves and think on their next move. Though many of the Nightblades had been found, the Commander and Captain were still unaccounted for, among others.

Since some of the Nightblades had favourable contact with the local humans, a small group left the camp to make contact with a nearby Kul Tiran settlement, looking for supplies, shelter, or traces of the missing Nightblades. They were met with a very hostile reception by distrustful locals, and learned that an edict had been given by the local Tidesages to deny aid to any mainlanders. They also noticed that the woman was wearing one of the Nightblade moonstones around her neck, but weren’t able to recover it from her, and left to avoid causing further offense.

Returning to the camp, the Nightblades decided to gather their strength and forage for food and water while planning their next move to recover their missing sisters and find a way back to Kalimdor.

Part 2: Shadows and Salt

Participants: Tinwëtar (Vicky), Melaniel (Gaelen), Kathene, Aariam, Ialluen, Tiola, Ilyande, Alylia, Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Delanae (guest), Arun/Farkleberry (guest)

Mission report 2 – Thresher’s Point, Stormsong Valley
Date: 1st of Kaldore, 2018

Summary: After a few nights in the makeshift camp at Crescent Cove, it was decided it was time to take action, and head towards the Kul-Tiran villages once more, to find and investigate the moonstone necklace found on one of the local guards.

However, as the Night Elves approached the village, they were greeted with the sight of a group of Tidesages preparing a ritual, with Kul-Tiran militia guarding them. Not only that, the captain of the guards, identified as Vicky Seaspray dragged a clearly Night Elven prisoner to the center of the ritual circle.

The prisoner was none other than Captain Darkantler, of the ship the Nightblades had been on during the Kraken attack. She was dragged and shackled within the ritual circle and shadowy tendrils slithered towards her and took her over.

From initial investigation, it seemed that the Naga had taught the Kul-Tiran some form of vile magic, as one of the Naga was observing the ritual, although, she left the moment the Nightblades made themselves known. The Nightblades were quick to intervene with the ritual and forced the Tidesages to shield themselves inside a magic bubble made of water, while Vicky and her men confronted the Night Elves.

The Nightblades and their allies fought valiantly, slaying the Tidesages and several members of the Militia, but the shielding bubble was not disrupted in time. Brother Gaelen, the Tidesage who was presiding over the ceremony finished his spell shortly before being slain by one of the druid companions of the Nightblades.

Huntress Wildstar had tried to free Captain Darkantler but she was too late. The Captain turned into a horrible creature with a head of an octopus that tried to choke and drain the life out of all the elves in the vicinity with shadow magic, speaking in the unholy tongue of the old gods. Moreover, Vicky, the last remaining Kul-Tiran has been empowered by a Tidesage spell and fought to the bitter end, until her and the K’thir abomination both fell to the Nightblade assault.

When the battle ended, a quick investigation revealed three prisoners: a Kul Tiran sea captain, Commander Ravenmist and Captain Glaivestar, who, while injured and beaten, seemed to be in high spirits and should make a full recovery. The Kul-Tiran Captain went by the name Alistair and he was thankful for the timely rescue and offered the Night Elves a place to stay at Thresher’s Point. From there the elves would be able to book a passage back to Kalimdor. The Captain himself said he would pass word along to Brennadam and Boralus to warn them about the new allegiance of the Tidesages.

Part 3: The Rising Stakes

Participants: Tinwëtar (Sister Benedict), Melaniel (Sister Watson), Kathene, Aariam, Tiola, Ilyande, Thylendra, Thendorion, Duskshroud, Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Delanae (guest), Arun/Farkleberry (guest), Kelendra (guest), Sedmerian (guest)

Mission report 3 – Crescent Cove, Stormsong Valley
Date: 4th of Kaldore, 2018

Summary: What started out as a simple plan for debriefing and leaving Kul-Tiras ended in disaster. While the ship was ready to set sail from Thresher’s Point, and several of the Nightblades were eager to leave, it was pointed out that there were still several members missing.

Commander Ravenmist and Captain Glaivestar both dismissed the notion of staying to look for them, claiming they were either dead, or able to hold on until a real rescue party could come to save them, and ordered everyone aboard the ship.

The town itself seemed to harbour some resentment towards the Nightblades as well and it was made very clear that they had worn out their welcome. The villagers were happy to see them leave, claiming that they had been killing the local livestock and frightening the fish away from their nets.

The odd behaviour of the Commander and Captain struck a nerve with several of the Nightblades and they started questioning their superiors’ orders, which the Commander and the Captain rebutted harshly. This was taken to the point that the leaders threatened their Sentinels with expulsion or charges of treason. Huntress Wildstar and others started suspecting that perhaps they had been put under a Naga spell, as they were all very eager to leave by sea.

Eventually, with harsh words from the officers on one hand and the growing town mob on the other, a Highborne mage named Kelendra decided to check the commander for magical interference and unveiled a dark illusion. Both officers were replaced by two old and haggard witches, reeking of death and decay, who called themselves “Sister Benedict” and “Sister Watson”, and they attacked the Nightblades.

At the sight of the witches the mob of villagers became incensed with bloodlust and also started attacking the Nightblades. The druids held a line to keep the mob at bay while the others fought against the strange witches and their blood and shadow magic. The witches were easily defeated, but not before they set the docks ablaze with one of their spells.

With the witches gone, the bloodlust seemed to have receded from the town, although the distrust had not, and the Nightblades were forced to return to their old camp at Crescent Cove. However, when they arrived someone was waiting for them; an image of the Naga Handmaiden that caused the shipwreck in the first place, in Highborne form.

She explained to the Night Elves that these witches, a “Coven from Drustvar”, had taken the Commander and Captain from right under her nose and she had taken great offence. She was willing to assist the Nightblades in finding the two, as the Coven was hiding too far inland for her to fight them directly. She supplied boats for the journey, should the Nightblades feel the need to use them.

The Nightblades are currently tending to their wounds from the incident at Thresher’s Point, and deliberating if the Naga are to be trusted, or if they should procure their own means of travel to the forest of Drustvar, to the Southwest.

Part 4: The Moonlit Grove

Participants: Tinwëtar, Melaniel (Danielle), Kathene, Ialluen, Ilyande, Tiola, Syrune, Duskshroud, Delanae (guest), Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Boulderbear (guest), Kelendra (guest)

Mission report 4 – Moonlit Grove, Drustvar
Date: 6th of Kaldore, 2018

Summary: The Nightblades and their allies packed up their meager belongings and erased any traces of their camp in preparation for their journey into Drustvar. It was with some trepidation and distrust that they boarded the small fishing boats that the Naga had provided for them. But it seemed that the Naga witch had been true to her word and the trip to Drustvar went without incident.

They landed their small crafts on a gravelly shore not far from the village of Fallhaven. The air was dense and heavy around them and the woods eerily quiet. It was not a very ressuring welcome.

The elves made their way up a small slope and encountered a small farmstead with several small corrals scattered about the yard. Farming tools and pig feed was also scattered haphazardly about, as if someone had just…left their things in a hurry. The only sign of life was a murder of ravens that perched on a nearby fence, watching the elves with amusement and hunger.

The ravens attacked without warning and when the Nightblades and their allies couldn’t fight them off, they were forced to flee. Cawing, mocking laughter followed them as they escaped further inland.

Up another small hill they found themselves on the outskirts of the village of Fallhaven. There were people about, but they were still as statues; frozen in whatever action they had been performing as the spell had fallen over them. In the middle of the village stood a large, wicker effigy. It was crowned with a giant deer skull and it had candles scattered about the base, as if it served some form of religious purpose for the villagers.

One of the druids in the group approached the effigy, but was forced to stop in his advance as a small, and very angry, emerald spirit owl appeared in front of him, hooting and flapping her wings in warning. Luna, Captain Glaivestar’s owl companion! Seeing the owl confirmed that the Nightblades were on the right track, but before they had a chance to follow they were suddenly surrounded by horrendous wicker creatures that reeked of decay, rot and blood.

A battle ensued and, luckily, the Nightblades and their allies emerged victorious. Deeming it unsafe to remain in the cursed village, the group decided to put their trust in Luna and allowed her to lead them further into the woods.

Luna led them to a strange grove, filled with deer and bunnies. The deer seemed completely careless and unafraid of the elves, which was probably due to the strange barrier of an unknown magic that surrounded the area.

Upon testing it was deemed that the barrier seemed more benign than evil in nature and the elves decided to try to cross…and good thing that they did! As soon as they had stepped through the barrier the grove was surrounded by hexed wolves. The wolves could not pass into the grove itself, but their presence meant that the Nightblades were forced to stay where they were…for now.

Inside the grove the group found a scrap of blue mooncloth that had come from Commander Ravenmist’s robes, as well as Captain Glaivestar’s moonstone bracelet. Luna, who had seemed very adamant that they reach the grove did not seem in a hurry to leave, so the Nightblades made themselves at home and saw to their wounded.

Throughout the night they were sometimes visited by a sweet doe, her coat the colour of twilight with silvery spots and streaks, as if she had been dappled by the Moon herself, and the doe’s cute little fawn. The deer seemed very curious of the Nightblades and the doe even managed to steal a Nightblade tabard from Syrune Sagewing. The deer’s behaviour was certainly unusual…

Part 5: Midnight Sermons

Participants: Tinwëtar, Melaniel, Kathene, Aariam, Ialluen, Tiola, Alylia, Duskshroud, Syrune, Thylendra, Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Delanae (guest), Sedmerian (guest), Kelendra (guest)

Mission report 5 – Ulfar’s Den, Drustvar
Date: 8th of Kaldore, 2018

Summary: There was a feeling of restlessness in the grove that night. The formerly peaceful deer were suddenly huddled together in a group at the northern edge of the clearing. Their eyes were large and fearful and their movements slow and jerky.

The twilight coloured doe with the silvery dapples, and her fawn by her side, stood a little apart from the rest. Her eyes were rolling wildly and the Sentinels could almost smell her fear in the air.

Then, a soft crooning voice was carried over the wind, a call of some sort since all the deer raised their heads and turned towards the south east, their nostrils flaring.

Trembling in terror, the twilight doe and her fawn began to make their way towards the edge of the clearing and the path that led up into the hills. Neither she, nor her fawn, looked back. None of the other deer moved a muscle as the chosen two left the safety of the grove.

As the Nightblades and their allies followed the doe and her fawn it became increasingly clear that something was very, very wrong. As they made their way up to the summit of the hill they were suddenly attacked by hex-crazed bunnies who were out for blood. Some members of the group tried to be gentle and just push the fluffly little critters away, but they were relentless in their pursuit of death. But eventually the crazed animals were put out of their misery and the group could continue.

The group trekked up the hill and near the top of the summit was a huge opening into the mountain. The doe and her fawn had already disappeared inside. The opening was guarded by a murder of mean-looking ravens, watching the Sentinels with black, suspicious, eyes as they approached.

The cave mouth was dark and misty and it was almost impossible to make out anything inside. But, as the group pondered ways to get into the cave they suddenly heard soft chanting coming from the depths of the cave. Two voices stood out; even if they were broken and hoarse, they were still familiar to some of the Nightblades…but to get to those inside, the Sentinels and their allies still had to get rid of the ravens.

After the ravens were disposed of, the group could finally make their way inside the darkness of the cave. They sent in two scouts first to assess the situation and report back, but it quickly became clear that the Nightblades and their allies would not have much time to save their wayward Commander and Captain and had to go inside in full force.

Inside the cave the Nightblades were met with a grisly sight; Commander Ravenmist and Captain Glaivestar were standing with their backs to the group inside a large ritual circle. Their arms were bleeding from several deep gashes, blood slowly trickling down into bowls placed on either side of them.

The pair were holding hands and they were focusing their Elunite powers on a huge wicker construct at the very far back of the cave; seemingly trying to empower it. There were also several smaller effigies placed all around the cave; four outside the ritual circle, two within it.

In front of Tinwëtar and Melaniel stood a witch. Her hair was long, reaching almost all the way down to the floor, and her posture bent. Despite that, it was very clear that she had once been a very beautiful woman, even if her complexion was now grey and quite dead.

Her eyes gleamed with fanatic glee and lust for power as she continued to chant and urge Tinwëtar and Melaniel on, too enraptured in her ritual to take notice of the Sentinels. As the ritual wore on the golem behind the witch twitched slightly and that’s when the Nightblades decided to attack.

To break the protective shield of the ritual circle the Nightblades had to first destroy the wicker effigies around the room; a task that was made even more difficult when the witch ordered the Commander and the Captain to join in the fight.

Unwilling to bring harm to their superiors, even if they were spelled, the Nightblades tried their best to distract the Commander and Captain while some of the others made short work of the effigies.

Once the effigies outside the circle were destroyed, the protective shield fell and the effigies controlling Tinwëtar and Melaniel could safely be disposed of as well; thus ending the witch’s control over them.

The witch should have been enraged at losing her servants, but instead she just laughed manically and declared that the ritual had been a success. As she vanished, she gave her construct the order to pursue and destroy the Nightblades and their allies. With a roar, the fearsome creature woke up and the group had to flee head over heels to escape it.

Once they reached the deer grove they were met by a group of humans who had been drawn by the commotion that the construct made as it pursued the elves. They revealed themselves to be Thornspeakers, a group of people practicing some form of druidic arts and they promised the Nightblades and their allies shelter and protection in return for their promise of aid, should the Thornspeakers ever need it.

Pressed for time, the Nightblades agreed and the Thornspeakers took them deep into the mountains to rest and recouperate…safe from the witch and her construct, for now.

Part 6: Seaside Lullabies

Participants: Tinwëtar, Melaniel, Kathene, Ialluen, Aariam, Thylendra, Meirawyn, Cinelyn, Ilyande, Duskshroud, Syrune, Delanae (guest), Maracyn (guest), Astralarius (guest), Kelendra (guest), Boulderbear (guest)

Mission report 6 – Feathermoon Stronghold, Feralas
Date: 11th of Kaldore, 2018

Summary: With Commander Ravenmist and Captain Glaivestar finally safe and secure, it was time to leave Kul-Tiras behind and return to Feathermoon. Thankfully, the Kul-Tiran Thornspeakers – the local druids – had made contact with a small regiment of sentinels called the Shadowblades. The Thornspeakers had brokered a meeting between both regiments on a nearby island where the Shadowblades had made landfall.

However, to reach the rendezvous point the Nightblades would have to sneak through the town of Corlain – currently under the dark influence of the coven, who were still seeking the Nightblades with their nefarious spells. The Nightblades and their companions would have to sneak past the haunted town and avoid detection.

The Nightblades first approached a small mining complex at the outskirts of Corlain. The miners there were clearly enthralled by the coven. Worse yet, they were used as husks for hordes of spiders, skittering about on the grass, the trees, and on the miners themselves. The Night Elves carefully snuck past, slaying the spiders and husks that managed to notice them before they could raise an alarm.

By a small farmstead, the Nightblades found a cast of falcons and their enthralled trainers keeping watch, as well as a few coven witches discussing matters about the town. The witch matron in command was identified as the one who took Ravenmist and Glaivestar, and for a moment she sensed their presence.

She discussed, partly to herself, partly to try and sniff out the hidden Nightblades about “upgrades” she had made to the golem construct that the Nightblades faced few nights before, but the Night Elves managed to remain hidden. With a small spark of inspiration, the Nightblades caused a distraction by attacking a nearby flock of ravens, bringing the witch’s attention elsewhere, and they snuck past her.

However, the next obstacle was the Golem. Upgraded with size and strength, it now towered over the farm it was currently placed in, and as the Night elves attempted to sneak past, it gave chase as it had been able to sense them by magical means.

The Nightblades ran down the mountain towards the beach and the rendezvous point, and met up with the Shadowblades. While the Golem was not far behind, it was not smart enough to go by the trail, and instead jumped directly off the mountain and vanished into the waves below. The Night Elves used the reprieve to reach the Shadowblade outpost, and started preparing for the journey home.

However, the preparations were cut short when a storm began; a familiar lullaby echoing in the thunder. With the Nightblades on an island in the sea, they were once again within the Naga’s reach, and she wasted no time trying to capture them once more.

A fight erupted on the beach as the Nightblades, their companions, and the Shadowblades clashed with the Naga. While they slew every naga that came ashore, there was no way to properly defeat the Kraken that the Naga called to aid them. The very same kraken which had stranded the Nightblades on Kul Tiras in the first place. Astralarius managed to damage the creature, striking its single eye with a lance of starlight, but even that was not enough to turn the monster away.

Salvation came instead from an unexpected source. The Golem, ever hunting and ever hungry, had continued to pursue the sentinels from below the waves. Once it surfaced, it saw the rampaging kraken as the greater threat, and the two monstrosities became entangled with each other in a fierce battle – taking their attentions away from the kaldorei.

The Naga Handmaiden, now without her kraken support, was forced to relent, and the sentinels seized the moment to escape the island on the Shadowblades’ ship. Though the naga echoed her vow of vengeance through the waning storm, the Nightblades and their companions could at last safely put Kul Tiras behind and return home to Kalimdor – although with the knowledge that the Thornspeakers may yet call upon them once more to repay their debt.

This marks the end of the “Ashes and Salt” campaign.

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