On a late morning hour the ground suddenly shake under the boots of thousands upon thousands of road-weary and battle-worn crusaders arriving to Kenabres. News of Queen Galfrey’s arrival spreads quickly through the city as her armies arrive thankful for a place
to rest, even if that place has been significantly damaged. The crusaders set about refortifying the city even as their leader, Queen Galfrey, seeks out those who played such a key role in its defense, and in the transformation, however temporarily, of the wardstones into a potent defense that drove the demons back into the Worldwound, if only for a short time.
Queen Galfrey has heard the rumors that you were the ones who triggered this event, and that you’ve become imbued with the wardstones’ power. On the evening of the day she arrived, she arranges a meeting with you somewhere within Defender’s Heart. The queen is eager to hear your story about how things developed in the Gray Garrison, and is both respectful and wary about the your party. To you she appears as a weary commander who nonetheless maintains a heroic facade of hope and faith that, despite current events, this newest crusade will be the last, and that it will end with the forces of good triumphant.
After she hears their story, she speaks quietly and in a very official and serious tone:
“While there are some narrow-minded souls among the crusade who blame you for the destruction of the wardstone border, I do not begrudge you for what you did. Far from it. From the sound of it, you saved entire legions of crusaders from a most vile fate by preventing Vorlesh from transforming them, and the blast of energy gave us the time we needed to regroup and prepare for what will certainly come next. But you understand the implications of what you’ve done, I’m sure-the wardstones are gone, but lomedae has seen fit that you will be their replacement. I can think of no other reason that would explain why their power would have settled in your bodies and souls and didn’t merely fade into the ether. In time, the demons will regroup and reorganize-we can trust their inherent chaos to make this period of regrouping longer than it otherwise would take, but we shouldn’t underestimate them. They’ll be back soon enough. Already I’ve had reports from along the front lines that small groups of demons are attacking fortifications and settlements along the southern border.
But what intrigues me most is news from several reliable sources that as our fiendish enemies are starting to mass in the southern reaches along the Riftshadow within the Worldwound, they have left several of their northern lairs relatively unprotected. In particular, the fiend Aponavicius has taken the bulk of her army from Drezen, leaving it only moderately protected as she joins with the Storm King in lz to, no doubt, plot greater attacks on larger targets like Nerosyan, Karcau, and beyond. The time is right to strike into their territory. Drezen was the first of our cities to fall after the First Crusade, and we lost more than our kin and our pride that day. We lost the Sword of Valor, a magical banner carried by the Inheritor herself during the Shining Crusade. If Drezen could be retaken-if the Sword of Valor could once again be held by the crusade … well, I trust I don’t need to explain how well that would affect morale. But with the imminent attacks along the border, I cannot spare many to lead an assault on Drezen. And even if I could, a large army attacking the city would only draw Aponavicius back to defend the place. The obvious tactic is to send in a group of capable heroes with a modest but well-trained army to strike now, while the proverbial iron is hot. And this is why I’ve sought you out. If you can retake Drezen and reclaim the Sword of Valor, not only will you silence the fools who would brand you traitors for destroying the wardstone, but more importantly, you would bolster the entire war effort with your heroism. And I fear we need all the bolstering we can get!”
On the next morning, the Crusaders hold a big ceremony declaring the start of the 5th Crusade against the Worldwound. During the ceremony you are awarded the honorary title “Knights of the Crusade” as well as the Medal of Clarity.
After the ceremony the queen takes you to meet the army that you will lead to conquer Drezen. At the camps just outside of Kenabres’s northern wall a group of crusaders quickly fall into line, standing at attention as you approach. The queen informs you that these knights have volunteered to aid in retaking Drezen, and that their loyalty and devotion are true. Three others wait at the camp- the three experts who’ll be joining you on your
Sosiel Vaenic – a priest of Shelyn,
Aron Kir – a tactician and scout,
Nurah Dendiwhar – a Drezen historian
Before leaving the queen says: “I’ve never been one for ceremony, and you’ve a lot of work ahead of you. I wish you luck in your mission, and hope to hear of your triumph soon!”