The tales of the Cohort; The dreaded Three of Bane

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    The tales of the Cohort; The dreaded Three of Bane
    By Elestra Thundersword

    Humble beginnings

    In the beginning, they were three. Three devoted servants, three missionaries from Mulmaster. Camilla Carshal, a blessed sword, Karl Steel, a laysword, and dread brother Waynolt. Bound together in faith, they took to the road, traveling down The Moonsea Ride, looking to better their lot in life, and to spread the word of the Tyrant. Their beginnings, one might stipulate, not unlike the Dead Three, the origin of the Divine Tyrant. Their journey was filled with hardship, caravan attacks and acts of banditry against themselves, and whether by accident or divine purpose, the Dreaded Three came upon Arabel.

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    Like most servants of The Tyrant, they were not welcomed with open arms, but were shunned, discarded as vicious and cruel, and like so many before them, they had to make good with the opportunities presented to them, exterminating rats, kobolds, and whatever work a sellsword must take to purchase a bed and a meal by the end of the night.
    Yet they had a purpose, a divine calling. They carried out, accepting grudgingly the name calling, the aggressive nature of the inhabitants of Arabel, especially within the adventuring community. Meager beginnings, of a tale that would take them to the highest honors a god and his church can bestow upon a mortal.

    The day it all began to change

    After days and weeks of taking whatever employment they could find, Karl Steel had taken upon himself to earn a bit of extra coin as a blacksmith. From his home in Old Town, he picked up an old, rusted axe, and ventured into the Kings Swamp, looking for coal for his creations, like he had done so many times before. Just outside the gates, two known faces appeared. Tamila, a slender woman known for her uses of kamas, and Wrozar, a large man with an equally large scythe. They attacked Karl, subdued him, and drained him of blood, leaving him for dead.

    Karl, known for his fierce determination, began to slither, then crawl, then slowly walk, making his way to his long time ally, the blessed sword Camilla. Using Banes blessings, she healed him, and the two decided to stop the ritual for which Karls blood was to be used. A fierce battle erupted in Old Town between the four. The infernalists were soon joined by Perappi, a Halfling wizard of some renown, and soon after, dread brother Waynolt too joined the battle. Magic missiles, large demonic spiders, and the green light of Banes divine powers lit up the streets, as the six of them fought a battle between the forces of chaos, and the forces of Order. Into the sewers, into Downtown Arabel, the six of them fought on, until only one side remained.

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    The three infernalists were given the choice; Repent, or death. While the mage and Wrozar repented, offering their prayers to the Dread Lord, Tamila refused stubbornly, and thus was executed in the Old Town arena. This caused the “false repenters” to once more attack, this time with renewed magic and fresh supplies. They managed to defeat Karl, but against the Dreaded Three, they met their demise, and by the powers of Bane, Karl Steel was raised from the dead. And so, in a large pyre, three infernalists were burned and eaten by the Hell Hound of Camilla. The cold, green light of Bane shone brightly over the arena that day, as he showed his pleasure of the work of the Dreaded Three.

    Word quickly spread after the battle, and few enemies dared to stand against the Dreaded Three. They continued their preaching, they continued to grow in strength, and just like the Dead Three defeated their enemies, one by one, so too did the Cohort.

    The Divine March

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    Years ago, against The Temple of The Unquiet Night, The Axe of Tempus challenged the Dread priest Deschurr. In a divine March, The Axe of Tempus thought himself superior to all other faiths, inspired by the actions of Tempus during the Silence. But Bane and his Cohort leave no strife unchallenged. And so the Dreaded Three called upon a Divine March against the Temple of the Triumvirate. Joined by their adventuring companies, Anton the Mage, Laysword Ward Rogers, The King of Gnomes, and Eesha Fallingleaf, seven adventurers marched against the Axe. The Axe, having few champions to call upon, hired the mercenary band known as The Harrowed Huntsmen to defend the temple, despite the Cohort having saved the Huntsmen on more than one occasion.

    7 men and women marched against 60, and against the greatest warrior known in the North, The Axe of Tempus. According to Karl Steel, it is tradition for the servants of Bane to use the undead during divine marches. And so, in the glory of Banes cold green light, and with a retinue of undead, the second Divine March of Old Town began. Old towners barred their doors, for to stand between the forces of Bane and Tempus, few mortals would dare. The battle was epic, and walking over corpses, the Dreaded Three and their allies, slowly made their way into the temple itself. Here, dispelled, without his blessings, The Axe of Tempus made his final stand, against the odds, while the remaining congregation cowered in fear. The battle was fierce but swift, and at the end of it, The Axe of Tempus fell to the blows of Karl Steel and Camilla Carshal.

    For their efforts, Karl Steel became an anointed Knight of the Green Flame, and dread brother Waynolt will forever be known as Bishop Waynolt of Bane. But furthermore, the Temple of Green Flame now sits like an Iron fist upon the inhabitants of Old Town.

    The conversion of House Mertoi
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    In the aftermath of the Divine March, the Dreaded Three ventured to Easthaven, fending off an attack by the Albino werewolf, a war they had taken part of several times. As their enemies lay dead, Lord Mertoi emerged from her keep, kneeled before The Bishop, and asked for her fears to be removed. By the Bishops hands, and by the powers of Bane, Lord Mertoi converted for all to see, her fears of much and more vanishing, replaced by the steel resolve of a servant of Bane.

    The end of the Cohort of Bane
    As the sun rose over Arabel, a group of adventurers led by the Banite Cohort, departed the Temple and traveled north, on the very same road they had walked so long ago. Their journey was not too hazardous and only light resistance was encountered. The destination, Zhentil Keep.
    The Cohort arrived at the siege lines and slipped through, meeting with the commander of the Keep. He gave them their assignment. At a prearranged time, the Martyr battalions would attack the Shadovar upon the length of the line, to be followed up by strategic attacks upon certain objectives. Their objective was to defeat an ancient netherese lich in service to the Shadovar, releasing the legions of Zhentarim soldiers that had been animated.
    Upon the eve of the battle, Sir Steel knighted his squire, Ward Rogers, into the Order of the Green Flame, as he had earned the right to stand among our members time and time again. As they witnessed the Martyr battalions charge forth, zeal for the Tyrant in their hearts, The Dreaded three and their followers began their attack. They fought through their most potent undead, dread knights, dread knight commanders, and rotting flesh giants. They then had to fight through swarms of their own former allies, now turned undead. Once they were destroyed, the cohort charged into the final chamber, finding the lich and assaulting it. They were faced with spells such as meteor swarm, horrid wilting, and a foe that could not be dispelled. The fight was long, over an hour, and the Cohort took many casualties, but in the end, the lich was struck down. Most of the Shadovars undead destroyed, they claimed their fallen brethren, burned the camp, and departed.

    Now the Shadovar and their siege is weakened, and the Cohort, showing their devotion to their gods, have earned their place amongst the most prized Zhentarim forces. Sir Steel, Eesha Fallingleaf, Bishop Waynolt, Champion Camilla Carshal, Sir Rogers, and Finger Tussgut now pledge their loyalty to Zhentil Keep, and shall serve them for eternity. A tale that started with three inexperienced adventurers from Mulmaster has turned them into the stuff of legends or nightmares, depending on the eyes that behold them.

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