Upon the party’s return to Torm’s throne room, Codrus presented the head of the wyrm. Despite Torm’s lordly wisdom, he failed to identify what exactly the strange creature might be. Stepping out of the dark corners of the throne hall, a mysterious woman who emanated great power revealed herself as Chauntea, Torm’s advisor. Overcome with awe at her presence, each of the gathered five found themselves staring at the most beautiful, regal example of their species’ opposite sex when looking upon her. Chauntea explained that the creature was called a dragon. “Quite a young one, in fact,” she added, “fortunately for all of you.” Quick to point out the rarity of such creatures, she elaborated upon the enthralling power young dragons seemed to exhibit: the ability to control the minds and actions of weak willed mortals. Codrus carefully prodded her for further information, and Chauntea divulged, “It is my belief, and that of my allies, that the power to steer the wills, and control the minds, of other beings—which seems inherent within this species—might very well grow in scope and power as they age.”
Torm closed talks about the dragon by bestowing upon the party a revelation: it was no accident the five of them had been brought together. They had in fact been selected, under Chauntea’s valued guidance, and then tested. King Torm’s plans called for the creation of a new kind of champion. “Only those loyal to Ruul, who are also individuals of rarest, most exceptional ability may hope to survive the tasks that await you in the dark days to come, let alone succeed.” Set against improbable odds in the gnoll lair, Codrus, Gnash, and Rog proved their worth. Working together with the three to quell the Coppernight Mine rebellion, Culgeka and Jinsoku earned Torm’s faiths. He offered each of them a position filling a newly created post within the militia—the Advents of Ruul, free agents of the kingdom who would be above all law except the direct word of the king himself, and who would bear the responsibility of representing Ruul to the outside world as its most fearless and skilled champions.
The choice was easy for Codris and Rog: as loyal members of Ruul’s militia, the call of duty led to a quick acquiescence. Curiosity about the origins of Chauntea’s strange power led Gnash to take the step. The ability to call Saruun Khel their home was enough for the two newcomers.
The newly selected Advents were given magical Sending Stones by Chauntea, so they could stay in touch with eachother and their king at all times, regardless of distance, and then promptly received their first task: far to the westernmost borders of Ruul, high within the Cairngorm Mountains, stood a keep known as Ogrefist Hold. Established as an observation post to keep a watchful eye on the comings and goings of barbaric, nomadic peoples beyond the bounds of Torm’s kingdom, the Hold had recently fallen prey to a militant tribe of orcs who stormed and captured the fortified structure. Due in large part to panic and fear caused by observation of the “strange star which fell from heaven” Ruul’s militia could not respond as swiftly to the threat as Torm’s chosen Advents. Thus, they found themselves swiftly dispatched to infiltrate the Hold and identify the figure ultimately responsible for the agression, assassinating him or her if possible to break the ranks of the orcs and hasten Ogrefist Hold’s return to its rightful caretakers: the people of Ruul.
Upon arriving at the perimeter of Ogrefist Hold, the Advents discovered that the orcs had entered into an alliance of convenience with a band of goblin brigands that populated the section of the Cairngorm Mountains in which Ogrefist Hold was situated. The poorly trained brigands were easily overtaken, and the Advents breached the tower which guarded the crossway into the Hold proper. After surprising the brigands guarding the tower, and dispatching their ruthless hobgoblin commander, the Advents commenced their infiltration and seige of Ogrefist Hold…