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January 2023 – Defusing the Bomb

Things have been very quiet along The Shield of Mardrun for quite some time now. It seems the series of outposts have been largely accomplishing their task of keeping the Mordok threat from spilling into the inhabited southern lands. With the final raids of the year seemingly in the past, the whole continent began a slow ease into the cold of winter.

Unfortunately it seems that rest is not in the cards for Mardrun. A small band of Mordok following command of one of their mysterious blue-clad leaders was seen near the Clan Shattered Spear outpost on the Shield. They did not approach the outpost proper and instead moved further South. After their departure a scouting team was sent out to follow the Mordok until a Warpack could be mobilized. They found a strange, new type of idol near the closest settlement just past the defensive line of the Shield. Corrupting influence spread forth from the idol and seemed to sap the land itself of life in a way not seen since The Red Eyed Syndar raised corruption to swallow Onsallas Outpost near the home of Pack Longfang. As the corruption spread, some of the Ulven at the settlement began to fall ill and the leadership of the village ordered the townsfolk to evacuate.

Clan Shattered Spear has sent forth a request for aid in dealing with this strange and potent form of corrupting magic. Clan Spiritclaw has answered the call and has agreed to send a team of Truthseekers and Daughters of Gaia to the Shield to help understand and hopefully destroy this idol. They welcome any additional outside help that can be mustered, both in the realms of research as well as security. Spiritclaw leadership has also made it known that they’d been looking to undertake a few research experiments of their own and that this will grant them the perfect moment to bring these tasks into focus.

Ravina Spiritclaw seems to have taken a strong interest in the announcement from the late Celestial Arragones that the Ulven’ Witch Magic is the leading cause of The Siphoning that plagues the Syndar people and other magic users of the world. A second call has been placed inviting anyone who wishes to see this question answered once and for all to travel to The Shattered Spear Outpost and give what aid they can.

With the sun high in the sky, a sizable group of researchers, warriors, and curious parties marched into Shattered Spear territory. Despite the cold, it wasn’t long until rituals headed by the Daughters of Gaia and several eager volunteers were well underway. Brave individuals moved forward to scout the land and locate the idol. However, it became swiftly apparent that the effort was not going to go over smoothly. A group of bandits, who were unaware of their sickened and maddened state, harassed various travelers and groups along the roads. The bandits haggled the lives and safe passage of captured travelers for silver and food, or sometimes demanded payment to simply leave the area temporarily. The bandits did not seem to be aware of the affliction that they carried, as any individual who got too close to these brigands began to suffer from a strange form of corruption that seared through the body and spread amongst the camp.  Now faced with a dilemma, the adventuring party set out to research the idol while keeping the bandit threat at a distance. Thanks to the efforts of several kind and …persuasive healers, the bandit forces slowly dwindled throughout the day, as they were one-by-one cleansed of their corruption. 

Despite research taking precedence and some difficulties on the road, it was not long before the idol was located, and a horrid visage met those who dared to investigate. The idol was not one, but two. The idols, constructed not far from each other, were tethered with stinking viscera and pure corruption magic. Impossible to destroy separately, the research team decided to complete their ritual for the idol’s potential relation to the siphoning, after which the aim would soon turn towards severing the connection between the idols to weaken them with the little remaining time available. The researchers hoped that this would ease the ever-growing damage on the surrounding land and allow their endeavors to destroy the remaining parts to become easier in the future.

With everyone eager to witness the severing of the idols, a crowd formed around the ritual that had begun as the sun was setting.  Once the Daughter of Gaia’s severing ritual was completed, feelings of accomplishment quickly fell to horror as realization struck. The Mordok had set a trap; the idols were triggered to build and release a massive burst of blighting corruption throughout the nearby land should the tether be snapped. With time as the enemy, everyone unable to provide assistance in destroying the idols was ordered to evacuate. A panicked effort to organize capable casters was thrown together as corruption began to grow thick in the air. With only a few moments left until eruption, the idols were destroyed simultaneously, and the remaining crowd broke out in joyous cries. Although the destruction of the idols was successful and a brief celebration was shared as the sun faded on the horizon, an undeniable feeling of unease remained heavily on everyone’s minds. The lead ritualists could only imagine the extent of the damage the disaster would have caused to the land of Clan Shattered Spear, or how many of them might have been killed outright or left grotesquely corrupted.

Some days later word of preliminary results regarding the siphoning divination rituals start to spill from Spiritclaw. It’s too early to have any real results yet, but it’s clear that they are hard at work. Some who are more connected learn that Spiritclaw has also sent copies of the raw data to Newhope’s Research Wing to process in their own manner. This seems to be in an attempt to make sure that no one can imply any biases in the results should both sides come to the same conclusions. Rumors spread that both sides intend to report their findings at the February Political dinner. People of the continent with a stake in the matter wait with bated breath.

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