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BOOK 1 – PRINCES OF IORDEN
Prince Uther Guernatal was the sole heir to the High Throne of Iorden, and much beloved by his people. While out on a goodwill mission in the south, Uther vanished without a trace, never to be seen again. The Templars of Discord – a militant cult of the chaos god Garedien – claimed to have assassinated the Prince, but no members of the shadowy society could be apprehended for questioning. And so began the slow descent from power of the once awesome House Guernatal (Book 1 Prologue).
Chapter 1 – “The Prince of Iorden”
Three high school kids from Northeast Pennsylvania mysteriously find themselves in Iorden, a land of dragons and elves, Orcs and kings. The kids inadvertently become embroiled in war, politics, and prophecies. As Billy would say, what the hell, right? Meanwhile, Iorden is threatened by an army of Orcs led by General Traft. King Gunther’s wife, the Queen Dagmar, just tragically suffered complications of childbirth-neither mother nor child survived. Thus Iorden finds itself with no known heir and on the brink of war (Pt. 1).
When three children arrive out of the blue, wearing strange clothes and speaking with a strange vocabulary, well…given the political climate in Iorden, they aren’t treated too kindly (Pt. 2). But superstition and an old man’s dream may be the children’s ticket for adventure and hopefully, eventually, a way back home (Pt. 3). So, the party sets off towards the storied city of Armstrungard, in search of clues about the betrayal of House Guernatal. Meanwhile, at Castle Guernatal, the nobility makes arrangements for the impending conflict (Pt. 4). When the party arrives in Armstrungard, after buying some armor for the children, they seek the aid of the legendary Elvish wizard, Ba’a lo-Ky’yr. But instead, they get the help of his teaching assistant – a doctoral student called Nia – who agrees to join them on their quest. Ostensibly, her help is needed to find whomever betrayed House Guernatal, but of course Brennen needs her to decode the mysterious scroll given to him by his King (Pt. 5). So, they descend into the seedy underbelly of Armstrungard in search of a legendary thief (Pt. 6).
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Chapter 2 – “Life In A Corner”
After a brief encounter with some of Armstrungard’s law enforcement community, our party of seven departs the city in a hurry. Their search for a locale in which to…let us say, “sequester themselves,” as the reverberations of the previous night’s events quiet down, brings them to the doorstep of an old acquaintance of Brennen’s (Pt. 1). Hoping to make the best of the situation, Brennen sets to teaching the children the basics of armed combat. Meanwhile, back at Castle Guernatal, Ardel Redmoor makes the first tentative moves of a nefarious scheme (Pt. 2). The children’s training is slow-going, but personalities clash even more than blades – until an external threat forces the party together (Pt. 3). Namely, a large group of mercenaries, whom the party must beat the odds to defeat. But the real danger comes with the realization that the party’s temporary host led these unsavory men to them. So, Brennen must deal with his friend’s act of betrayal – and a dangerously angry Regan (Pt. 4).
Chapter 3 – “A Little Blood”
The party sorts through the carnage from the skirmish with the mercenaries at Briarhelm farm. Meanwhile, the imminence of Arlene Redmoor’s wedding pushes her to tell Gwen a dark secret which Ardel has been using to blackmail her. With little left to lose, they double their resolve to thwart Ardel’s scheming (Pt. 1), and indeed soon make a breakthrough. Meanwhile, after a few uncomfortable disputes about logistics, the party departs Briarhelm’s farm for Castle Guernatal (Pt. 2). Finding the main road blocked by a large Felghir encampment, they are forced to journey into the labyrinthine caves below the foothills. As King Gunther’s court analyzes the latest information about the movements of the rebel General Traft, Arlene and Gwen deduce the next monstrous step in Ardel’s plot (Pt. 3). When at last he springs his nefarious trap, Arlene has one last chance to stop him. And, the party must defend against a surprise attack from the Redmoor soldiers they’ve made camp with. But the worst consequences fall on Billy and Nelson (Pt. 4).
Chapter 4 – “Monsters”
In the west, Traft’s army captures the tactically advantageous Castle Ironhertz, and kills all members of House Ironhertz (Chapter 4 Prologue).
After the foiled ambush on the party by Redmoor soldiers, Brennen fears – correctly – that King Gunther is in danger. So, he makes haste back to Castle Guernatal with Regan in tow, hoping to re-establish the Guernatal dynasty before it’s too late. This, of course, leads them right into Ardel’s trap. The rest of the party heads back to Armstrungard to hide out, but Billy and Nelson are deeply troubled by the events of the recent battle (Pt. 1). When they reach the sanctuary to which Regan directed them, they quickly discover that their new host’s house is…of considerably worse repute than Nia would prefer. As Billy and Nelson struggle to process the killing they were recently party to, Jen and Nia stumble upon an unspeakably vile truth, beneath the already grimy surface of their new surroundings (Pt. 2). Meanwhile, the Rebel General Traft enlists an unlikely ally to bolster his arsenal (Pt. 3). Back at the castle, the big confrontation between Brennen and Ardel finally happens! Unfortunately for Brennen, it does not go in his favor, and he winds up in the dungeons, reunited with his King. Aerona Regan is forced to make a decision about her future, and the children contemplate some of the Monsters in the world (Pt. 4). Brennen, Regan, and King Gunther attempt an escape from the Dungeons, and then must face the consequences afterwards. Jen finally reaches a decision about Sgt. McShane, one that will certainly have consequences of its own (Pt. 5).
Chapter 5 – “The Worthiest Knight”
Queen Regan and Brennen hold a brief funeral for King Gunther, before setting off towards Armstrungard to rendezvous with the remainder of the party. Ardel Redmoor “interviews” Gwendolyn to learn about her meeting with Regan. Nia, Yllowyyn, and the kids consider their next course of action after Jen’s meeting with McShane (Pt. 1). Brennen and Regan track the children’s path through Armstrungard. Mishap to mishap, they postulate on what had happened as they follow the trail…and occasionally even guess at something resembling the truth of things (Pt. 2). At the inn, it turns out, Nia had managed to learn the cause of the fire at the Lemming, and decided to move the group onwards. Brennen and Regan continue to follow the trail, but so does Jaspar Frieshelm, a knight loyal to Redmoor. Meanwhile, Arlene dines with her betrothed, Antonin Mooncrest (Pt. 3), and the dinner proves the prelude to a daring gambit which may change everything for the Redmoors. In the party’s inevitable battle with Frieshelm and squires, Jen desperately employs an awesome new talent, and Brennen finds his station raised, but not before the party suffers grievous injuries (Pt. 4).
Chapter 6 – “The Singing Sister”
General Traft assults and captures the fort at Blackhold. Meanwhile, our party decides to travel from Armstrungard to the White Forest, the home of the elves. They hope that the elven High Council may intervene on behalf of House Guernatal against Ardel Redmoor, and are also seeking the famed elven medical prowess to heal the injured Jen and Brennen. On the way out of Armstrungard, Nia meets a blind man, who may have been mentioned in her prophetic dream. With some trickery and some buffoonery, the group departs Armstrungard and sets off on their journey (Pt. 1). On the road, Regan fears that Sir Brennen’s wounds are so grave that, should he fall asleep, he would never again wake. In order to keep conscious through the night, Brennen tells stories from his childhood (Pt. 2). He tells of the first time he met Gunther Guernatal. Next, Brennen tells of the first time he met the rebel General Traft (Pt. 3). Meanwhile at Guernatal Castle, Rickard Redmoor confronts Arlene about the events at Arlene’s Nyy’lynni feast. The discussion is traumatic for Arlene, and pushes her beyond a breaking point, especially when dealing with her brother. Sadly, it is not too long before Sir Brennen is too beset by his illness to continue his storytelling, and party must race for his life towards the White Forest. Meanwhile, before embarking on the next leg of his campaign, the Rebel General Traft sees fit to tell a story of his own (Pt. 4). And Arlene and Gwen take refuge with each other from yet another horrible reminder of Ardel Redmoor’s cruelty.
Chapter 7 – “The Last Douchey Domicile”
With the lives of Brennen and Jen hanging in the balance, Yllowyyn puts his reputation on the line to grant his friends access to the White Forest. But the experience leaves an impression on the naive young Elf. Meanwhile, Gwen finally convinces Arlene that life in Ardel’s house is unlivable. They resolve to flee during Arlene’s wedding (Pt. 1). While Castle Guernatal is engaged in preparations for the wedding, back at the White Forest the best Elven doctors nurse Brennen and Jen to full health. Once they are well, Yllowyyn is socially obligated to introduce his friends to his parents (Pt. 2). While dining with Yllowyyn’s parents, Billy, Jen, and Nelson learn a bit about the history of Iorden’s Elves. Brennen attempts to give his account of Redmoor’s coup before the impending High Council meeting, but is stymied by Yllowyyn’s well-meaning but intoxicated sister. Through charm, cleverness, and a good bit of luck, Arlene and Gwen make good on their plans to escape (Pt. 3). Faced with the harrowing choice of whether to declare her regency to the Elven High Council, Regan turns to Jen for advice. Jen, in turn, reveals a horrible story from her past. Meanwhile, Antonin Mooncrest discovers Arlene is missing, and immediately blames Ardel. It is revealed, however, that Arlene and Gwen have in fact stowed away on a supply convoy headed for Freehold (Pt. 4).
Chapter 8 – “Evil Untold”
Regan decides not to declare her regency to the Elven High Council, leading Yllowyyn to clash with his parents over whether the Elves should lend aid to the Guernatal cause in the absence of an heir. But Ry’y lo-Th’yyt approaches Brennen with a proposition: if he retrieves a particular artifact for her, she and her Knights will come to Brennen’s aid against Traft, and possibly against Redmoor (Pt. 1). Disturbed that the location of Ry’y’s desired artifact is actually called “The Cairn of Evil Untold” on official maps and records, the Party decides to split up; The Kids will stay at a tavern and gather information, while the rest head for the ancient crypt. But, left to their own devices for once, the Kids hatch a plan to try and find their way home. Meanwhile, Antonin Mooncrest is out for Ardel Redmoor’s blood, as he is convinced that Ardel is responsible for Arlene’s sudden disappearance. The reality, as we know, is that Arlene and Gwen fled Castle Guernatal during Arlene and Antonin’s wedding. But General Bryce Riverfell, Esteemed Commander of Freehold is not please to find two stowaways on one of his supply convoys (Pt. 2). The Kids enact their plan, using Jen’s charm to try and coax information out of some college students, but a careless oversight by Billy is likely to have dire consequences for them all. Despite his Uncle’s warnings, Antonin Mooncrest challenges Ardel Redmoor to a duel (Pt. 3). Brennen, Yllowyyn, Nia, and Regan locate and enter the Cairn of Evil Untold to discover it the site of a grisly atrocity. But ruling over the remains is a Necromancer who shares a history with Nia (Pt. 4). After a long and hard-fought battle, Nia dispatches the Necromancer’s unholy army, and repudiates him once and for all (or so she hopes). Meanwhile, the Kids suddenly take ill, just before three Templars of Discord enter the inn where they are staying (Pt. 5).
Chapter 9 – “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
Pushed to honesty by each other, Jen and Billy admit that neither is in much of a hurry to return to Pennsylvania. But the Templars arrive before they can get much further. Incapacitated by poison, the now helpless Kids are rescued by Bryce Riverfell and his band of retainers, who agree to take them to Freehold for medical treatment. On Bryce’s (not entirely forthcoming) recommendation, the owner of the Horse’s Head Inn consents to taking in Arlene and Gwen as workers (Pt. 1). The Kids are taken to the Freehold infirmary where they are treated by Riverfell’s erudite medic. He explains that the Templars’ poison is meant to induce visions which the imbiber is not prepared to see, and thus break the person’s mind in order to re-shape it. Nelson has a vision of his parents shortly before their deaths, in which he must defend the path of his life since their departure (Pt. 2). Billy has a vision of his father, in which he must finally resist the toxic values instilled in him (Pt. 3). Ardel Redmoor launches a surprise attack against Antonin Mooncrest, paying off some of Mooncrest’s retainers to assassinate him. Mooncrest survives and kills his attackers but is badly injured. Meanwhile, Bailey nearly kicks Gwen and Arlene out of the Horse’s Head inn due to the latter’s inexperience as a server. But Arlene’s singing voice saves the day (Pt. 4). In Jen’s hallucination, she encounters a vision of her father, who pushes her to realize all that she can become. But she’s woken suddenly when Traft’s scouts mount a sneak attack on Freehold. Arlene, realizing her singing might finally grant her and Gwen some control over their lives, finally admits her love for Gwen (Pt. 5).
Chapter 10 (FINAL CHAPTER) – “The Evening Redness in the West”
As his troops amass outside Freehold, Traft asks to talk with Bryce. The rebel general asks his former comrade to join with him. Bryce refuses, and a brutal battle ensues. Jen’s magic is powerful, but begins to take a psychic toll on the girl (Pt. 1). Nia has been attempting to copy an etching found in the chest in the Cairn of Evil Untold. But the Party still hopes to make good on their deal with Ry’y lo-Th’yyt. Elsewhere, the undead General Mag Uidhir tricks Renault into resurrecting a great ancient warrior, whom he hopes will finally vanquish the necromancer (Pt. 2). Though House Mooncrest is in mourning for the death of the young lord Antonin, it is revealed he survived his wounds, and faked his death in order to more easily infiltrate the Redmoor-held Castle Guernatal. Antonin gives every indication that he will make life very difficult for Ardel. Meanwhile, Gwen’s newfound happiness with Arlene seems fated not to be, as she stumbles across a dying Orc and her starving child. Perhaps even more disturbing, it seems the characteristic grey skin of the Orcs is in fact some kind of paint or powder, easily removed with water (Pt. 3). At Freehold, Jen helps the garrison keep the attackers at bay through great effort and skill. But the Templars bring down the walls with their thunder dust. All seems lost until the Elvish Knights of the Wood ride in to rout Traft’s army. But after the battle, Nelson shares a disturbing dream with Nia, Brennen, Yllowyyn, and Billy. And Regan learns the truth of who our heroes have come to ally themselves with (Pt. 4).