Way of the Wicked
Book One: Knot of Thorns
PCs are level one
July 24, Year 16 in the reign of King Markadian V called the Brave (Day Zero): The Forsaken are brought in chains to Branderscar Prison. They have no realistic hope of escape and in three days will face just punishment for a crime they did commit.
July 25 – July 27 (Days 1-3): The Forsaken receive a beautiful and unexpected visitor, Tiadora, who delivers them a magical veil that gives them a chance at escape. Over the next three days the Forsaken escape from Branderscar Prison and make their way to Thorn’s manor house on the Old Moor Road.
PCs are Level Two
July 28 (Day 4): The Forsaken meet Adrastus Thorn and sign the Pact of Thorns. Thus they are inducted into the Knot of Thorns, Adrastus’ conspiracy to destroy Talingarde.
July 29-31 (Days 5-7): The Knot is given a three day respite to heal, receive equipment and prepare for Thorn’s cruel training.
August 1 (Day 8): The Knot is sent into the Nine Lessons. There they face many dangers designed to prepare them for the challenges ahead. Their crucible culminates with facing Sir Balin, a famed witch hunter and Knight of the Alerion.
August 2 – October 30 (Days 9-98): Three months of training are received directly from their enigmatic master Adrastus Thorn. The Knot is trained and equipped and is then ready to be sent sent on their first true mission in service of the Nine Knots.
PCs are Level Three
October 31 (Day 99): The feast and infernal ritual wherein the Nessian Knot is forged.
November 1 (Day 100): The Knot receives their orders to begin a war by arming bugbears and breaking the Watchwall. They board the Frosthamar. By the end of the day, they have sailed down river and out into the open ocean.
November 2-8 (Days 101-107): The Frosthamar sails uneventfully along the civilized eastern coast.
November 9 (Day 108): The Frosthamar encounters The Blade of St. Martius, a Talirean patrol vessel, on the edge of civilized waters.
November 10-16 (Days 109-115): The Frosthamar passes beyond the civilized coast of Talingarde into the Savage North. The ship encounters several dangers and encounters along the way. This journey included a stop for hunting at Seal Isle for the Frosthamar’s greedy captain.
November 17 (Day 116): The Frosthamar enters the River Taiga, pushing past iceflows into the wild waters beyond.
November 18 (Day 117): Sailing south through the River Taiga. The Knot gets their first real look at the Savage North of Talingarde.
November 19 (Day 118): The Knot arrives at Sakkarot Fire-Axe’s camp. They deliver the cargo of the Frosthamar, supplying the bugbear army with steel weaponry and are honored with a feast thrown by the Fire-Axe. At an audience after the feast, they learn much of Sakkarot’s true character.
PCs are Level Four
November 20 – December 19 (Days 119-148): The Knot has a month to infiltrate the township of Aldencross and, from there, destroy the watchtower Balentyne. During this difficult and dangerous month the PCs must accomplish with only themselves and what resources they can cobble together what hasn’t been accomplished by centuries of bugbear, ogre and giant raids.
They must break the Watch Wall.
PCs are Level Five
By month’s end, the watchtower is broken and Sakkarot Fire-Axe’s horde has invaded Talingarde. The war is begun. In the course of doing so, the Knot murders its commander Lord Thomas Havenlyn, thereby setting his son on a mission of revenge.
PCs are Level Six
Book Two: Call Forth Darkness
December 20 – December 30 (Days 149-159): Tiadora retrieves the Knot from the wreckage of Balentyne and places them upon a river raft, The Halystyn’s Folly, headed to Farholde. Tiadora spends the trip burning local villages and tormenting villagers in the name of helping along Thorn’s plan. In truth, this is more just her venting her personal sadism.
December 31 (Day 160): Thorn appears aboard the Folly and delivers to the Knot their next mission – bring him the Tears of Achlys.
January 1, Year 17 in the Reign of King Markadian V called the Brave (Day 161): The Knot arrives in Farholde.
January 2 (Day 162): The Knot has dinner with the Baron Arkov Vandermir at his manor in the Calliver Green district of Farholde.
January 3 (Day 163): The Seventh Knot arrives in Farholde. They ally with the PCs.
January 4-10 (Days 164-170): During this week (or so) the Knot explores Farholde and find the Horn of Abaddon. Exploring the Horn, they discover the ritual to break the Seal and take over management of the Horn of Abaddon
PCs Are Level Seven
January 11 – August 20 (Days 171-393): The Knot holds the Horn of Abaddon for 222 days and conduct the ritual to call forth Vetra-Kali. Major events during that period include:
January 11 (Day 171): The First Prayer in the Dirge. The Horn alights with green flame showing everyone in Farholde the location of this once hidden ruin.
January 19 (Day 178): Zadaria’s warning about Hallack’s Crew arrives. Over the next week, the Knot must deal with their first visitors.
February 22 (Day 214): The Baron Vandermir’s 105th birthday party, held at his mansion in Farholde.
March 7 (Day 228): News reaches Farholde that the army they sent to aid in the war has been wiped out at Upandshire.
March 21 (Day 242): Argossarian the silver dragon is seen flying over Farholde.
March 28 (Day 248): Inquisitor Mathias Harkon and his followers attack the Horn.
May 2 (Day 282): The Second Prayer. The ritual is halfway to completion.
May 10 (Day 290): A gang war breaks out in Farholde.
May 17-May 23 (Days 297-303): Elise Zadaria of the Seventh Knot fully betrays the PCs and sends the Banner Verdant as her cat’s paws against them. The Knot discovers her treachery and have an opportunity to destroy the Seventh Knot, eliminating a hated rival.
June 8 (Day 319): A crime wave grips Farholde. During the chaos, a wealthy merchant, Lady Marsten, tries to use the Knot to accomplish her own murderous goals.
June 15 (Day 326): Argossarian attacks the manor house of Baron Arkov Vandermir, slaying him.
June 22 (Day 333): A fair comes to Farholde.
June 29 (Day 340): Sir Valin Darian and his knights attack the Horn of Abaddon.
- Heimal Ruination gifted to Chaya
PCs Are Level Nine
August 16-August 20 (Days 289-393): The final five days of defending the Horn the Abaddon. Earthquakes strike. Allies betray them. Argossarian the silver dragon attacks the Horn. And finally they get to battle Sir Richard Havelyn, son of Lord Thomas. In the end, they break the seal and call forth Vetra-Kali. From the daemon prince they receive the Tears of Achlys, the object of their quest.
PCs are Level Ten
Book Three: Tears of the Blessed
August 21 – September 19 (Days 394-423): The Knot leaves Farholde and travel to Ghastenhall by barge. This journey is uneventful.
September 20 (Day 424): Meeting with Barnabus Thrane in Ghastenhall and delivering to him the Tears of Achlys.
September 21 – October 20 (Days 425-454): A month at leisure in Ghastenhall.
October 21 (Day 455): Tiadora appears once more to summon them to an audience with the Fire-Axe in the conquered Westkirk Castle.
October 21 – December 18 (Days 456-515): The PCs build their army as they best see fit and march it to the Vale of Valtaerna. They must deal with theWatchtower of Saintsbridge or face getting bogged down there in the battle to come.
December 19 (Day 516): The Battle of Saintsbridge is fought wherein the PCs sweep away the defenders who protect the Vale of Valtaerna.
- Bright Evening Star gifted to Nerath
The PCs are Level Eleven
December 20 – March 19, Year 18 in the Reign of King Markadian V called the Brave (Days 517-606): For three months (an entire winter), the PCs hold the Vale of Valtaerna. Unlike the Horn of Abaddon (with its definite events) this is a more freeform mission of exploration and destruction. During that time they defeat the Vale’s many guardians and sack the Cathedral of Mitra Made Manifest. Their rampage culminates in facing Ara Mathra, the most powerful celestial in all of Talingarde, and extinguishing the three flames of the Order of St. Macarius. They have broken the back of that holy order and made Talingarde all the more ready to be delivered into the hands of evil.
The PCs are Level Twelve
Book Four: Of Dragons and Princesses
March 20 – March 31 (Days 607-619): The PCs escape Valtaerna and travel to the sacked city of Daveryn.
April 1 – April 30 (Days 620-649): The PCs explore and rest inside the conquered city. They may, if they choose, help the Fire-Axe capture the missing duke, sack the Cathedral and join in the looting of this doomed city. For a month, our villains get to play in a city-sacking sandbox.
The PCs are Level Thirteen
May 1 (Day 650): Tiadora gives the PCs their next mission – gain an alliance with the black dragon Chargammon and use him to slay the king of Talingarde.
- Staff of Balance is gifted to Nix
May 2 – May 30 (Days 650-678): The next part of the adventure is extremely open-ended. The PCs must gain an audience with Chargammon (perhaps by rescuing his son Jeratheon Knightsbane), receive the dragon’s errand.
The PCs are Level Fourteen
May 31 – June 30 (Days 678-709): They then invade the isle of the rival dragon Eiramanthus and assassinate him. They also receive Dessiter’s warning that Thorn is now trying to kill them. This involves quite a bit of travel, so we’ll assume it takes about two months.
- Bones of Li-Peng is gifted to Tsunggo
The PCs are Level Fifteen
July 1 (Day 710): The PCs return to Chargammon and gain his aid. He will attack the Adarium in one month. They also gain the service of the dragon Jeratheon.
July 2-July 30 (Days 711-739): The PCs travel to Matharyn, infiltrate the Adarium and prepare themselves for the dragon’s attack.
July 31 (Day 740): Chargammon attacks the Adarium. King Markadian V comes to the aid of his daughter only to be ambushed by the PCs and assassinated. Thus ends the eighteen year reign of King Markadian V, the last king of Talingarde to bear his name. The Princess Bellinda slays the dragon Chargammon and flees the Adarium.
August 1 (Day 741): The Battle of Fallingsbridge occurs at Daveryn, wherein the grand army of Talingarde is destroyed by the treachery of General Vastenus Barca.
The PCs are Level Sixteen
Book Five: The Devil My Only Master
Estimating an exact timeline of this book is almost impossible. The PCs are under no time table and completely on their own recognizance. They must negotiate their way through a web of infernal intrigue, perhaps seek vengeance against their old nemesis Sir Richard, and then locate Thorn’s phylactery.
The PCs are Level Seventeen
During this period there is no king in Talingarde and the army has been destroyed at Daveryn. These are lawless days, with the Horde of the Fire-Axe drawing ever nearer to the capital.
Eventually the PCs attack the Adarium and slay their master Cardinal Adrastus Thorn.
The PCs are Level Eighteen
Book Six: The Wages of Sin
After the death of Thorn, the PCs take control of the Nine Knots. They contact Cedrick Malthus of the Sixth Knot and pay him to bring a mercenary army to Talingarde from the mainland. They stage the destruction of the Fire-Axe’s Horde and march into the capital to take control of Talingarde.
For three years, they reign unchallenged, transforming Talingarde into their personal playground.
The PCs are Level Nineteen
The Army of the White Unicorn led by the Princess Bellinda lands in Talingarde. Loyalists to the House of Darius rally to her banner and the PCs must do what they can to stop her army from gaining more strength. Battle lines are drawn and the army marches towards the capital. It stops near the Fields of Tamberlyn.