Compiled and Recorded by Qinha Tailteller, independent historian; commissioned for the Sages of the Temple of Kannath. Written on March 14th, Year 1 of the Age of Balance.
Bryden’s Ferry, the Town of New Beginnings. Home to both Rifters, those few who remain, and Azkonians of all types. The past cycle brought many changes and challenges for the intrepid Ferrymen. From the Massacre at the Peaks in the spring and the plagues that ravaged Valzenn to the destruction of Malmira at the hands of the Broken Crown to the seizure of the Wild Plains by Hazon- many things have changed.
Last cycle saw the gods and powers walk as mortals and the efforts of the people of the Ferry were instrumental in restoring nearly all of them. The Fae Lords declared war upon the gods. Aranayan and Belendor walked hidden in the town as the Prophet Cromwell and his follower Grigoria. A new goddess of war, Noreis, was born from the sacrifice of her fathers, Nargoth and Neleth as they fought the Fae. Teel sacrificed himself, along with Dor, former mayor of Bryden’s Ferry, to thwart Twiggle’s plans and Tidron gave up his mantle and identity and ascended as the new incarnation of Aranayan. Nelmaros, the Last Fae Lord, fought against the Chosen of the gods at Midwinter; his defeat marking the end the Fae War.
The cycle began with Cromwell and the people of the Ferry seeking a magic staff from a grange in the Peaks that was overcome by plague. A massacre ensued, and a paladin helping the women and children who had fallen ill fell, becoming a death knight that stalked the night, seeking vengeance for the deaths of his charges. These fell deeds inspired several in the town to become paladins to fight against the evils in the world.
As spring moved into summer, more gods visited the town of Bryden’s Ferry. Enoth chief amongst them, urging the people of the Ferry to bring balance back to the pantheon. The town of Bryden’s Ferry mobilized under the Prefect’s command to reinforce Malmira and combat the Broken Crown on the Wild Plains. During the siege of Malmira, one of the Ferry’s own was knighted after saving a Peaks general. However, the town was ultimately destroyed and through Twiggle’s machinations, the group of Ferrymen found themselves unwelcome guests in the Flodgraeg. They found the dwarves divided between curiosity and xenophobia and it was only though Reghasting’s actions that their lives were saved. The dwarves gave many tasks to the Ferrymen to earn enough to pay their ransom, one of which soured relations between Kran and the Dwarves.
Upon the trip back from the mines, the town encountered many difficulties, the least of which was a vile, undead crocodile. A black wagon came, offering a Ferryman a chance- redemption or death. Kin, who acted as a lone assassin, chose death to pay for his crimes- the murder of loyal king’s men, including his Minister of War.
As summer turned to fall, Feydor blessed his green skinned children and their war cries and dances echoed throughout the Ferry.
As the leaves turned and winter drew near, the town made a new ally in a man named Titus, who taught them much of the undead. A terrible foe, Hallmach, waited deep in the Temple of Misigoth, intent on betrayal, murder, godhood and gods only know what else. The Ferrymen passed their trials, but only just, and escaped due to Titus’ sacrifice. A rogue Baron, Appletree by name, rebelled against King Thorn and was dealt with by the town of Bryden’s Ferry.
As the first snows began to fall and the nights grew cold, Teel’s sacrifice sundered the Twain. And a thief of some type brought Vanaria’s wrath upon the Ferry, the weight of the curse Belendor placed upon her bled onto the townspeople in her blind wrath. More gods made themselves known, sometimes as travelling players and others hidden in plain sight. An old friend, a paladin from realms far away, Balindor, was redeemed from undeath after a long and brutal fight.
With winter’s arrival, the people of Bryden’s Ferry witnessed the arrival of Lune Mountain at the Peaks. There, they learned the greatest secret of the moon elf people- that Tidron lay near death, hidden away under the care of his children. As they ascended the Peak, Cromwell the prophet was revealed to be Aranayan, and his devoted companion Grigoria proved to be a power hungry and lovesick Belendor. Tidron gave up his mantle and became Aranayan to restore the balance. And one more black carriage came, carrying the Rifter Aleister away to face justice for the crime of necromancy.
Cromwell was then revealed to be not just Aranayan but also Nelmaros, Lord of the Fae, free now that Aranayan’s essence had passed on to Tidron. The people of Bryden’s Ferry stood against the Fae demi-god and would have quickly been destroyed had all the gods not interceded, bestowing blessings on those who most embodied their virtues. The Chosen of the Gods, along with the rest of the town, defeated Nelmaros–Noreis struck the final blow in vengeance for her fallen predecessors.
With the Fae defeated and eradicated from the world, the gods declared a new age; the Age of Balance.
As the cycle came to a close, Odara asked for one last favor, and tasked the Ferrymen with drawing her symbol and solving riddles across Azkon. Why? Perhaps Odara only knows, and leaves riddles within riddles.