It had been the greater part of a year since Jerek's attention had turned to the abandoned fort nestled in the mountains. Battles had been fought, friends and allies died, and the kingdom suffered the grip of an extended and unnatural winter. The Demon of the 7th returned in fury to Sarshel, and brought an army such as had not been seen since Sarshel Elethlim drove back the Scaled Horde. In the following weeks, the temple of the Triad, tainted by demonic energies has been cleansed, at great cost. But the path of a paladin is a patient one, and not meant to be easy. With Ilmater they would endure.Obsidian Sea wrote:There has been a perpetual peril in the lowlands, though as The Time of Flowers passes into Summertide, a faint brush of warmth has infiltrated its way upon the yet-wintry winds that cry snowdrops as tears over the roads and the farms. Tireless work has been done to secure the area, and though Impiltur seems forever plagued by some danger ready to take advantage of the absence of the last, Sarshel has finally returned to a state of somewhat-security which allows for the Warswords to turn their attention once more to their goals elsewhere - high in the mountains.
Alorn Jerek, Paladin of Ilmater, might return to his quest to crush the Hobgoblin power in the Earthspur Mountains, the heart of which appears to be at the place known as Tregorian's Gate. Research has been done to assure the historical significance of the location, but alas there is uncertainty as to the final chapter of humanity's involvement with the keep owing to what was lost in the Interregnum. The events of 7th Mirtul still throw dark shapes into the corners of one's mind; the all-consuming significance of the disaster might have given opportunity for the powers that live in the mountains to reorganise, and prepare for something. An invasion? Or to solidify their hold in the mountains? Perhaps the latter had already been achieved, though Jerek, his wife, Kelda Adler, and their allies had done much to give cause for concern among the Hobgoblins. Regardless of their erstwhile occupations, there is little doubt that the demihuman force that claims territory in the mountains will not easily be claimed. The Warswords must be ready; and so too shall brave adventurers and unlikely heroes, whom the Alorn knows must play their role in order for there to be any hope of victory when the battle is brought to Tregorian's Gate.
Jerek stands atop Sarshel's sturdy walls, cloak flapping gently with a breeze that still carries a chill. He looks to the northwest, both laugh and frown lines starting to etch in his otherwise youthful face. The last year might have aged him five, and he felt keenly the weight of duty as a Paladin, a father, a citizen, and a soldier.
Before him, in his mind's eye, Jerek sees ogres, hobgoblin, bugbear and worse standing in his way, brandishing weapons and gnashing teeth. Already steps had been taken to prepare, gathering allies and forging alliances, and there may be more yet to secure. But Jerek trusts in the men and women he has fought alongside, and has seen the strength of Impiltur's people and the tenacity of the Theskan refugees. Each would have a part to play in reclaiming another bastion of safety and order from the dangerous wilderness in which it slept. Either they would break, or the foes would. With Imater's endurance, Jerek liked the odds.