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Brave Soldiers was the fourth adventure released for the Covenant of Light Faction Adventure to be run as part of the Xen'drik Expeditions campaign.

Synopsis[]

The adventure opens with an urgent message coming to the PCs during a faction gathering in Radiant Hold. The center of the faction's military dealings, Radiant Hold is also the stage for festivals, tournaments, and other social aspects help to further the bonds of unity and cooperation among the faction's members. It is during one of these gatherings that the PCs are approached by Korvin, a black plumed raptoran, with an important message.

The Lord of Radiant Hold wishes to see the PCs. Once they arrive, he asks them to bear with him while he explains something in deepest confidence. He tells the PCs about Sir ir'Talvos, his assassination, the subsequent burial with honors, and the ill fated expedition to retrieve one of his many commendations. He speaks brusquely but not rudely; it is obvious he has a lot to cover.

Lord Corvalis confides in the PCs that the medal, the Wings of Ascent, was given to Barrak ir'Talvos by the raptorans after he defeated a ruthless attempt by sky pirates to capture the Aerie, a massive skyship used by the raptorans of the Covenant of Light. In fact, it was his bravery and willingness to die for the winged humanoids that convinced the raptorans to come to Stormreach and join the faction. The Wings of Ascent, a beautiful bronze medallion of ancient workmanship, was gifted to Barrak by the raptoran's dying chieftain in honor of the human knight's courage.

Xandrin Corvalis explains the medallion's significance according to a newly discovered passage of the Caldyn Fragments. He obviously regrets both having to disturb his old friend's rest and the loss of life already incurred doing so, but he is left with no choice. He charges the PCs to succeed where Kymus and his team failed.

Assuming they agree to the task, Xandrin escorts them personally to a hidden basement in the Hold. There, resting in a cut stone chamber, a tumbler awaits to speed them on their journey. The strange spherical vehicle is a recent gift from gnomish allies of the faction back in Khorvaire and while untested, it promises to be able to make travel across the interior of Xen'drik much faster. As the time of prophecy mentioned in the Caldyn Fragment is fast approaching, Lord Corvalis has little choice but to use the bizarre vehicle and hope for the best.

The vehicle isn't the only part of this plan Lord Corvalis is unsure about; the tumbler came with a pilot—Glitch. "Glitch" is a gnome from Zilargo and built this particular tumbler himself. As a skill artificer and a genuinely kind soul, Glitch insisted on coming along with the vehicle as soon as he found out where it would be going. He loves to talk fast, move fast, and live fast. He may come across to the PCs as a bit of a flake but he is truly as dependable as they come and extremely loyal to his friends.

With Glitch at the controls, the tumbler (nicknamed Lady Cannonball by her pilot) submerges and takes the PCs on a rapid ride through the solid earth beneath the jungles of Xen'drik. The journey aboveground to the Exalted Barrow would have taken five or six days on foot; Lady Cannonball can get them there within the day, barring complications.

Of course, there are complications. Approximately a third of the way through the journey, the vehicle suddenly lurches forward, rolls madly, and comes to a complete stop. Looking through the tumbler's windows, the PCs can see they have emerged into some sort of cyst-like cavern and landed in an underground pool. The tumbler, unable to travel through water, will have to be moved to the pool's shore before it can continue moving. Unfortunately for the PCs, Lady Cannonball's watery landing has also awakened the pool's inhabitant. Long in size and short in temper, the pool's elasmosaurus resident was struck by the falling tumbler and will be very hostile to the PCs when they climb out.

Once the massive dinosaur is dealt with, the PCs can resume their journey. Glitch takes the tumbler a little deeper to avoid similar caverns, though at the cost of a little travel time. This decision seems like a good one until the risk of going too deep into Eberron's rocky mantle makes itself evident. A xorn, attracted to the metal and vibrations of the tumbler, comes through the vehicle's hull and is just as surprised as the PCs are by its arrival. This encounter does not have to turn hostile but if the PCs are initially combative, it will quickly become so.

The PCs will likely be grateful when Glitch turns upwards and comes out "in a safe place", as the gnome likes to say. In this case, "in a safe place" is literally inside the Exalted Barrow. Within moments, one of the problems with the ancient burial site becomes apparent as the hull is swarmed by undead. The dark power coursing through the now-bloodhulk Sir ir'Talvos has turned the entombed heroes of this place into mindless zombies, most of which are now literally crawling all over Lady Cannonball.

The PCs have to fight their way through this horde of undeath. Once the room with the Tumbler is clear and secure, Glitch agrees to wait here for 12 hours before heading back. He wishes them luck and tells them he'll surface once evert thirty minutes and stay up for a minute before going back down. He's a powerful spellcaster and engineer but undead "give him the shrieking frightberries".

On their own now, the PCs have to make their way through the Exalted Barrow, dealing with its darkly risen inhabitants. This journey eventually takes them into the heart of the tomb where they face a savage, bloated creature that might once have been human—Sir Barrak ir'Talvos himself.

When they find him, he is crouched over the broken body of a human male, weeping bloody tears and sobbing uncontrollably. Killing his own son has returned a brief spark of intelligence and memory to the monstrous creature. He is aware enough of who he is and what the PCs are to parley for a short time if they try. He knows he is beyond help an is acutely aware that within moments he will lose control and become a brutal killer once more.

This short chance at conversation can reveal the nature of Barrak's damnation and his suspicions about its source (the Voice of the Storm, a highly-placed member of the Cabal of Shadows). He can also tell the PCs that the Wings of Ascent is still around his neck, buried in a sea of his blood-bloated flesh. To get it, they will have to cut it free. He blesses them and thanks them for putting him to rest even as his eyes cloud and what was left of his humanity fades away.

What follows is a tragic battle that, with luck and skill, ends with the PCs destroying the abomination Barrak has become and recovering the Wings of Ascent medallion. They can escape the Exalted Barrow using their tumbler and return victoriously to Radiant Hold.

Appendix[]

Connections[]

Eberron Adventures
3rd edition The Forgotten ForgeShadows of the Last WarWhispers of the Vampire's BladeGrasp of the Emerald ClawVoyage of the Golden DragonJungle SecretsQueen with Burning EyesSteel ShadowsFallen AngelCrypt of Crimson StarsTemple of the Scorpion GodPit of the Fire LordMurder in OakbridgeChimes at MidnightTensions RisingRiding the RailThe Aundairian JobQuoth the RavenHell's HeartCity of Blood
Adapted Adventures: Red Hand of DoomExpedition to Castle RavenloftExpedition to the Demonweb Pits‎The Shattered Gates of SlaughtergardeThe Kopru Ruins‎Legend of the Silver Skeleton‎The Whispering CairnThe Three Faces of EvilEncounter at Blackwall KeepThe Hall of Harsh ReflectionsThe Champion's BeltA Gathering of WindsThe Spire of Long ShadowsThe Prince of RedhandThe Library of Last ResortKings of the RiftInto the Wormcrawl FissureDawn of a New AgeThere is No HonorThe Bullywug GambitThe Sea Wyvern's WakeHere There Be Monsters
Mark of Heroes Reflections of the MultiversePirate's Bounty and the Isle of FireNo TicketFinding the WayGambit at DreadholdBlind Man's HuntThe Delirium StoneFreely GivenMote in the Eye of ChaosDesolate EndeavorThe Graywall IncidentEscape from Grea TowerDeep Woods, Dark HeartHouse of MadnessPrice of ProtectionDeath in DarguunFallen of SharnThe Unexpected GateTo Spurn the Churning Discord
Xen'drik Expeditions The Journey Begins: Well of WoeBreaching Thelanis Wall: Well of WoeThe Flame Beneath the Well: Well of WoeMere of Shattered SoulsCairn of Stone HeartsSands of Fate and FortuneShargon's RageTaming the HydraNightfall on SorrowduskThe Dead of NightEndgame
Blackwheel Company Faction Adventure Principal of the MatterPrice of ProgressMarked ManThe Trouble with PiratesTarnished ReputationNone Left BehindTest of MettleA Few Good GnollsA Plague Upon Your HousesPariahWhen in Doubt, ChargeThe Twentieth Lash
Cabal of Shadows Faction Adventure The Sahuagin StoneShadows Over StormreachKhyber's ChildrenFire in the Heart of MadnessNight of ShadowsWhat Rough BeastWhispers Behind the DoorRacing MidnightThe Darkest HeartThirst For Blood and StoneWith His Dying BreathDark Portents
Covenant of Light Faction Adventure Divine InspirationCrisis of FaithThe Good Die YoungBrave SoldiersThings Fall ApartPrice of VirtueDark FugitiveNoble SavagesChoir of AngelsFate, InterruptedGreater the FallTo Live Among You
Crimson Codex Faction Adventure Prophecy's Unwitting ServantForbidden KnowledgeNative IntelligenceTomb of TomesThe Korranberg AffairTurn of the PageA Costly TruthIf At FirstStormrider Slept HereChamber MadeA Shattered Mind's MazeThe End of the Viper's Tail
D&D Open Championship Shards of EberronCrown of Winter FlameTomb of Eternity
4th edition The Mark of ProphecyKhyber's HarvestSeekers of the Ashen CrownKeep on the ShadowfellHeart of the Forbidden ForgeHaruuc's Tomb: A Novel AdventureThe Maze of Shattered SoulsDead for a SpellDark Lantern
5th edition Around Khorvaire in Fifty DaysForgotten RelicsFallen ColossusMurder on the HalcyonRace Through Q'barraSkybridge SkirmishVecna: Eve of Ruin
Adapted Adventures: Against the GiantsBetween Tangled Roots‎Danger at Dunwater‎Dead in ThayGold for Fools and Princes‎In the Mists of ManivarshaIsle of the Abbey‎‎Princes of the ApocalypseSalted LegacyTammeraut's FateThe Fiend of Hollow Mine‎‎The Forge of Fury‎The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan‎The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh‎‎The StyesThe Sunless Citadel‎Tomb of AnnihilationTomb of HorrorsWhite Plume Mountain
Embers of the Last War What's Past is PrologueMurder in SkywayBoromar BallThe Cannith CodeJack of DaggersAgainst the LightningA Holy VisitBlades of TerrorThe Kundarak JobSearching for SecretsThe Killing BladeSecrets Below
Oracle of War The Night LandVoice in the MachineWhere the Dead WaitThe Third ProtocolA Century of AshesThe Last WordSong of the SkyParliament of GearsLord BucketJudgment of IronMy Undying HeartThe Waiting GameStonefireFrom DustDream EaterThe Dragon BelowThe Final TributeScales of WarBack to the MudOld ScoresThe Iron TitanRolling ThunderThe Rising CityThe Last WarHundred-Shard StashOff the RailsSpirit TrainServants of the PastCold Spell in the FrostfellJourney to Salvation
Keith Baker Adventures Curtain Call: A Sharn AdventureTrust No OneMagic Sword: An Eberron Story Seed


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