And so it came to pass that in the year 30 while enjoying my fifth tankard of Raging Trollmasher in the Dragon’s Flagon of Brewnall Village when a quartet of strange companions entered the establishment. Many of the lesser travelled kinfolk in the tavern could only stare slack-jawed at these strange interlopers but I have a nose for finding allies in any situation so I quickly made their acquaintance before they turned tail and left, or worse. We spent many an hour making one another’s acquaintance over tankards of Raging Trollmasher and the Tauren warrior Atruaghin told tale of their most recent exploits far to the north in a village named Riverwatch. I have set to chronicling the totality of that adventure as I heard it from his mouth (with plenty of side comments from the rest of his company).
The company departed from Thoradin’s Wall in high spirits atop horses and beasts of burden carrying them to points northwest. Their high spirits were quickly dampened as the seasonal rains joined them on their journey. Six hours of ceaseless moisture put the whole company in dour spirits as they sought some dry place to bed for the evening. Amongst the foothills the company happened upon a small cave which had not seen the wrath of the storm gods fury and they set to drying out and getting some rest while Syrnik took watch.
Late was the hour and the rain had only briefly taken a break when Syrnik heard his name called from afar. A ghostly blue apparition, a servant of the Lich King, sought Syrnik in an effort to ‘suade him to his master’s cause. Syrnik sounded the alarm and the company found themselves in a fight against the wraith which stood a candle’s chance in a windstorm against the fury of a woken company. The wraith was dispatched, but it was merely a portent of evils that would soon beset the party.
The next morning the company continued their journey until they happened upon the town of Riverwatch. Not always welcomed in civilized parts Syrnik and Atruaghin waited outside the city while the others entered. At first glance the town appeared to be nigh on deserted; shops left untended and no sign of villages milling about. It did not take long to discover the cause for it seemed that the entirety of the village had assembled in the Church of the Holy Light. Despite its large sanctuary the church was filled to standing room only as a well dressed man waxed eloquent of the “sins of Lordaeron” and how the “Holy Light punished man consigning them to undeath.” It was clear that the preacher saw the Scourge as a retribution for the sins of mankind.
As the preacher’s words continued he was suddenly interrupted by a small well dressed girl sitting off to the side on the stage. Her voice was not her own, or rather, was a combination of not only her own voice but the voice of another. She issued an edict that shook the congregation (not to mention the members of the company who were present). “It is here” she cried “sin incarnate. It must be purged with holy fire.” At this point the company members were none too enamored with the idea of staying around but before they could quietly slip away the girl pointed directly at them. “They come with the gifts of the matriarch to fight the living sin.”
Now with all of the town’s attention upon them a quiet exit wasn’t an option. The preacher approached the company and introduced himself as The Mayor and invited the company to retrieve the remainder of their party. The company was rightly wary of the Mayor and some questioned if they could just move along and put as much distance between him and them as possible. Still, somewhere deep inside the company knew that something was amiss and it wouldn’t be right to abandon the people of Riverwatch to whatever fate was waiting for them. They soldiered on, unpacking the web of darkness that had been cast over the town of Riverwatch.
The Mayor had been sending off some seriously bad juju and it wasn’t long before the company’s wizard Allarin tapped into arcane forces to detect the presence of evil around the Mayor’s house. Most assured as the sunrise the Mayor’s house was swimming in a miasma of evil and the company forced their way inside to put it down. They met resistance in the form of a warband of gnolls. The gnolls were fierce fighters, but in the end they fell to the efforts of the company and in a back room of the mansion the company uncovered a frightful evil transformation taking place. Some great and powerful entity was consuming the Mayor, but it fled at the company’s approach taking with it the darkness from the town.
The little girl was the one to fill in the blind spots for the company. It had arrived several months before, the shadowy presence, and had taken control of her father, the Mayor. Since that time the Mayor had started making changes to the town and hired a company of gnoll bodyguards. The little girl had no choice but to play along, hoping for salvation from the terrible horror before it was too late. The entity called itself the Insidious Matriarch.
With the blight upon the town lifted and the town of Riverwatch resuming its usual business the company journeyed on along the road.