The Heroes of Westfall
The Guardian Brotherhood
The Guardian Brotherhood was a small group of adventurers formed about thirty years after the War with the gnolls, based out of Westfall, and brought together in order to investigate the murders committed by the nobleman Ves Heathrow.
They first met on the day of Heathrow’s execution, when a mysterious group of red-cloaked attackers and a ferocious Hezrou demon attacked the square just before the executioner pulled the floor out from under the noosed victim. As the commoners scattered, five people stayed and fought them off: Bharhash the Dragonborn warlord, Cherith Wytherthorn the Half-elf bard, Shi-Wei Peng the human monk, Pilindor Coronir the Elf ranger (and his eagle animal companion Branndor), and Sid the Goliath fighter. Though these five had never met before, they recognized an instant connection (and learned of a shared hatred for Heathrow) and agreed to band together to figure out the truth behind the murders he had committed and who these mysterious attackers were.
Over the next few months, they would find that the conspiracy went much farther than they originally anticipated, and they found themselves as the first line of defense against the ambitious mind-flayer Ulth and his minions, who were trying to contact the Far Realm and summon a creature known only as The Devourer. They also learned of a prophecy that foretold their coming, and that it was their fate to either succeed and save the world or fail and doom the world.
On their quest, they would travel to the Shadowfell, where they would meet a like-minded minotaur barbarian named Ibaka (who would join their cause) and lose Peng, and the Feywild where they would fight Ulth’s second-in-command and a flameskull made of the old head of Ves Heathrow. As well as fight the Dragon-thief Ixva and defeat the basilisk that had petrified Bharhash’s father many years before. Their exploits would be told throughout Westfall – they became quite famous.
Eventually, Ulth would bring the fight to the city of Westfall and the Guardian Brotherhood arrived to save the day just in time. They defeated Ulth in the very spot where Heathrow had been hanged and fought and killed the severed head of the Devourer before it was able to escape and wreak havoc across the material plane. For their efforts, they were given many gifts and titles, among which was the renaming of their favorite dive bar from the Salty Seaman to Sid’s Salty Seaman – truly a remarkeable accomplishment!
After the reconstruction of Westfall, the Guardian Brotherhood would be called to action again to face off against the Bandit King in his waterfall hideout. He had been pillaging traveling caravans and the Guardian Brotherhood were the only ones powerful enough to stop his reign of terror on the trade roads. Outside the hideout, they would meet a curious gnome named Gimblewig Fizzlebottle, who had been robbed of some personal effects by the bandit, and he helped them in the ensuing combat, and afterwards was invited into the group formally.
Very shortly after the Bandit King operation, the Dwarven city of Hammerfast in the Blue Mountains sent a messenger to Westfall requesting aid. The messenger arrived with an arrow in his back, clutching the scroll in his stiff hand just before he died. The Shadar-kai sooth sayer Helka had foretold a Doom on Hammerfast, and the Guardian Brotherhood was sent to investigate.
What they learned, with the help of a water archon living in the sewers below the city, was that a dwarf named Krevak Hammerdoom had been creating elemental minions and was planning on taking over the city for a long held family grudge against the dwarves of Hammerfast. In order to defeat him, the Guardian Brotherhood had to first defeat the elemental creatures lending their power to his twisted schemes, which lead them up the side of the Forgepeak Mountain to do battle with an Ice devil at the top and a Magma beast deep inside it. They then stormed Hammerdoom’s temple and killed him and the archons protecting him, learning of the primordial Omnos in the process.
When they arrived back in Westfall they were summoned by Hashsaik to dispatch some demons that had escaped through a portal in the temple of Ioun. After a brief, but fairly easy, battle a Goliath named So-Tur made himself known to them. He claimed that nearly a year before he had given the artifact Blade of Kai-Tan to Sid to protect and that he needed to take it back to the Elders in Cragtop. Sid, who had been on a nearly three-year-long bender in between the Defense of Westfall and the Guardian Brotherhoods’ reuniting, did not remember anything about this blade, and they had to retrace his steps back to the Mushroom Caves outside the city of Lost Fort to refind it.
In the Mushroom caves, they fought trolls and their quaggoth slaves, as well as a deadly Purple Worm that was harrasing the local Myconid farmers, until they reached a cavern owned by a Gauth named Spilth. Spilth told them about the trolls attacking the nearby city of Lost Fort and how worried he was for the people there. He asked to come along to help defend the people there and offered his collection of shinies he had hoarded over the years if they would let him come. The hoard included the Blade of Kai-Tan and they made Spilth an unofficial member of the Guardian Brotherhood.
During the fight against the trolls in Lost Fort, Bharhash was nearly killed by a huge fell troll. The next day, he awoke with a terrible fever and he was unable to join the group as they went after the troll witch they had encountered earlier. Ibaka stayed behind also to watch over their comrade.
After another night’s rest, Bharhash awoke to find a glowing purple mark, similar to the footprint of some type of bird, over his left eye. The Guardian Brotherhood had to quickly make it back to Westfall and when they did, they helped defend the ship Lucky Lady, captained by a privateer named Robert, from the trolls and group of pale kenku that appeared from seemingly nowhere to attack Bharhash.
After asking around, they found the Death Knight Khash who told them Bharhash had been marked for death by the Raven Queen to balance the scales (as he should have died a few days previous agaginst the trolls) and the only way to change his fate was to travel to Blackrock Island to a shrine outside the abandoned city of Vor Rukoth. They made their plans and headed out with Robert to Blackrock Island.
They were harried once more on their trip, but arrived at Flamebrow Harbor unhurt, and set out to find the shrine of the Raven Queen. The ancient Bael Turoth city Vor Rukoth was on the other side of the island and would take a few days to travel to. They were ambushed by devils on their trip across the island, but eventually made it to Coyote’s Refuge safely.
There, they met a Thri-Kreen guide named Kilnik who agreed to take them into the city and lead them to the catacombs where the shrine was located, for a price. No sooner did they step foot inside the city gates than they encountered a roving band of zombies chasing an explorer back out of the ruins. They killed the zombies, realizing this place is definitely not safe.
Kilnik lead them through the bloodsoaked streets to the temple of the Raven Queen. They had to fight through several more groups of zombies and skeletons, but they eventually made it. The temple was a converted mausoleum, and during a particularly vicious fight, they accidentally stepped on a special seal and summoned a Marut that had been contracted by the Raven Queen to hunt down Bharhash.
After the skirmish, the Marut (named Rham) told Bharhash that the only way to truly balance the scales was to either offer his life to the Raven Queen or to offer his service to her. Bharhash chose the latter, and Rham gave him his first assignment – find the lair the devils are working out of in Vor Rukoth and clean it out. They were being lead by a mysterious devil known as Myzos, and that is who the Raven Queen wanted Bharhash to find.
So, Kilnik lead them to an old Blacksmith forge. They fought their way through many legion devils and war devils until they came upon a room in the back, carved into the mountain side, with a large bone pillar in the middle. They fought a pair of chain devils, and were left with the room to themselves to study its features. They found a small chest inside the pillar.
After returning to the temple of the Raven Queen, Cherith carefully opened the chest using a diving ritual and inside found a signet ring – a dimensional anchor keeping the devil Myzos on the material plane. Ibaka crushed it under his mordenkrad, and the Brotherhood was free to return to Westfall.
But, their respite was short-lived. Upon returning to Sid’s Salty Seaman, they found it held hostage by a pair of vicious gnolls and their prisoner – a rabid minotaur. Ibaka identified the clan of the minotaur as one close to his own, and after a quick fight, he asked his companions to join him to investigate this troubling discovery.
They quickly prepared and set off to one of the abandoned ruins nearby Ibaka’s home camp.
Upon arrival at Outpost Besh, they encountered some local wildlife in the form of powerful Cacklefiend hyenas that had overrun the old ruins. They fought through them as they waited for Cherith to make it through the teleportation and then set off across the desert toward Ibaka’s home.
After an abmush by the gnolls, they made it to the camp and found it also overrun with gnolls and hyenas, and several minotaurs were locked in stocks in the center of town. While they kept surveillance over the next day, they saw Ibaka’s uncle Kassador (who had grown nearly twice Ibaka’s size – probably through some sort of magical ritual) and his henchman, a gnoll who was also twice the normal size. They arrived on a caravan, and the Guardian Brotherhood decided to lay low one more night and decide what to do in the morning.
When they awoke, the caravan was gone, so they snuck down to the camp and fought through some gnolls before tracking Kassador and his men to Bloodsand Arena, where the minotaur tribes used to meet for ritual combat. They snuck up to the back, and during a quick skirmish with some patrolling guards, were joined by a mysterious human wizard named Boswell. He helped fight off the gnolls, and they prepared to storm the Arena and face off against Kassador.
What they found in the arena was not Kassador, but his henchman Nix. After a fight against some dragonspawn, the heroes found themselves facing off against the enormous gnoll, who their weapons and spells were not able to damage. He had some sort of protective spell warding off their attacks, so they ran to try and solve this new puzzle.
Overnight, Ibaka had a dream where he was visited by the spirit of Baphomet, which told him about a secret labyrinth hidden under the sands, where he would need to locate five old minotaur family crests. Designed to test the most worthy minotaur at the time of the species greatest need, Ibaka was chosen to represent his people with their existence as the ante.
He led the group to the location of the maze, and they headed down. Inside the maze they fought their way through many strange encounters including a mischievous will-o’-wisp, a wandering rust monster and a room which constantly respawned skeletons until the recreation circle was destroyed. It truly tested the might and will of the Brotherhood as a group.
But, the Brotherhood is made up of heroes. They conquered the labyrinth and confronted an aspect of Baphomet himself who required Ibaka to prove his worth before handing over his power. With the help of his allies, Ibaka was able to do just that, and returned to the arena emboldened and empowered as the Champion of Baphomet. He defeated Nix and Kassador and liberated the minotaurs of the Great Desert for good.
The Brotherhood had time to unwind after their trip to the desert and used it to sell of a few astral diamonds they found. Soon however, they were called back to action.
Birian Iliador, the leader of the Foresters, needed some help. One of his outposts in the Wrathwood hadn’t contacted him for weeks, and every time he sent someone to investigate, they went missing. He knew Pilindor and his companions would help, so he sent word to Hashsaik to send the Brotherhood to him if they were around.
The Brotherhood agreed to help, and headed to the fort, where they found it overrun with vegetation and a tribe of unnaturally aggressive Wilden. The wilden attacked them, with the help of a poisoned treant, and the Brotherhood were forced to fight them to defend themselves. After ward, they found a hole punched through the floor of the base that lead to the underdark below.
They learned quickly that the Wilden were being manipulated by a local group of drow, who were based out of their underground city Quor’Toth. The Brotherhood decided to investigate, to see why the drow were manipulating the wilden and attacking the Foresters.
What they discovered was the Drow were planning on poisoning the water supply in Westfall. They cleverly disguised themselves as Drow, ingratiated themselves with the priestess of Lolth and were able to get into position to deliver a package to the priestess poisoning the water. When they arrived, they instead attacked the Drow and saved the city again from certain doom.
- Gimblewig Fizzlebottle, male Gnome psion – Called home by his family
- Ibaka, male Minotaur barbarian – Retired to the Great Dessert
- Shi-Wei Peng, male Human monk – Disappeared in the Shadowfell
- Captain Robert, male Human pirate captain
- Drusy, male Kobold druid
- Spilth, male Gauth collector
- Kilnik, male Thri-Kreen guide
- Tavros, male Minotaur prisoner
- Tad, male bullywug warrior