The heroes rush through the Brecillian Forest after the escaped revenger to find Mythallen and the kidnapped Goldenhawk clan. Eshara leads the group through the woods, and across a gorge guarded by corrupted, darkspawn crows, toward an old keep, hidden in a low valley. The keep was old and crumbled, having not seen use until only very recently. Quietly, the heroes approached.
The fallen masonry and crumbled pavement were cleared before the heroes’ arrival to make room for a staircase leading down into the keep’s basement. The keep was dusty with broken and rusted weapons strewn about the basement’s floor. The heroes were not alone however, for the guardians of the tower still stood, their flesh rotted from their bones but their empty sockets filled with hate for the living. Human skeletons wielding old Tevinter garments, spears, and bows threw themselves with enraged howls towards the living heroes.
The skeletons were broken down, and the room was searched. A tripwire connected to a dead fall filled with rusted blades was disabled before continuing on. Alora knew this was the place she was ambushed by the darkspawn before. She was overwhelmed in the hallway they stood in, yet the rooms seemed quiet.
Checking the same doors that once held a dozen darkspawn, the heroes found, instead, several dozen trapped elves behind bars. The Goldenhawk clan’s women, clederly, and children were being kept in cramped dirty cells. Several men and women hunters were in the cells, their flesh burned with magic, lying unconscious.
Orellis, the Goldenhawk clan’s keeper, thanked the heroes and explained what parts of this puzzle they did not understand. First, the abomination was once an elven hunter of the Goldenhawk clan: Harralan. He was instructed to hunt two days after the clan had left on harsh terms with the humans of Vintiver. Orellis had hoped that he would simply cool down and come to his senses, but instead he did not return for one night. A hunting party was sent to find him, including Alora, but they found nothing the first day. The second day, they did not return, and the clan thought Alora dead. Another party was sent, but they also disappeared. Before a third party could be sent, the clan was besieged by darkspawn and dragged to this keep, where the transformed Harralan imprisoned them. He began to take the stronger members of the clan and turn them into these strange darkspawn, the once lying in the cells with the rest of the clan were the ones who resisted the transformation, and were discarded. Mythallen, as he called himself now, seemed to crave revenge against the humans, and indeed, all of humankind. Orellis feared what he would be capable of, being able to craft darkspawn from living people with time. If he remained unchallenged, he could take the villagers of Vintiver and expand his army into other human settlements and spread his hate with bloody war.
Mythallen had only left hours before the heroes arrived at the keep, Orellis explained. He planned on marching to Vintiver tonight.
Eshara offered to escort the clan back to their camp and wagons. A hunter from the clan gave the heroes directions to a more direct route through the forest towards Vintiver. He warned them it may be dangerous, but it would be faster.
As the clan departed, the heroes decided to investigate the room where much of this started. A circular room contained a crushed statue, several large chain’s hanging from the ceiling, and a weathered altar standing in the middle of a large circle of magic runes. The chain link that Asha carried sparked and hummed when she carried it into the room. She removed it from her bag and placed it alone in the room where it resonated with the magics still present in the room. Asha could tell that the spell placed in this room had stood for centuries, was not of elven origin, and was a powerful binding spell. The chains had been severed in one place.
Unable to do much with the room or find anything else of use, the heroes made a beeline for Vintiver. The woods around them seemed to be corrupted with Mythallen’s influence. A large corrupted spider halted their progress, as did wicked barbed plants, hidden holes, and low-hanging branches.
When they cleared the forest and found Vintiver, they found it in chaos. The darkspawn and Mythallen had beaten them here. The villagers were locked in a struggle for survival against bloodcrows, revengers, and even Coalan was in combat with Mythallen himself. Mythallen brushed him aside before addressing the heroes.
He invited Alora, Kallian, and Ashalla to take part in what would become history: the fall of humanity. They refused to become like those that Mythallen remembered: scared and angry humans who drove the elves from their homes twice. Myhallen laughed and called them weak, having no love for their kind if they saw no justice to be done after the humans had torn down the elves twice, leaving them to live in poverty in human cities or hide in the forests.
Mythallen claimed he took this name because Mythal was not here to do what must be done, so justice must be done by someone else. He was that someone, who would bring the death, fear, and carnage that the humans so willingly gave to the elves everyday.
The heroes refused to be part of this. Mythallen no longer considered them elves; not even Alora.
He lunged at the heroes, swinging mighty claws and bursting with flames of rage. Several of his revenger minions came to aid his battle, and the heroes were tested. His claws were sharp, his abomination form gave him thick skin, and his flames were tall and hot. Asha also made sure to cure Coalan of many of his injuries, urging him to help the village as best he could. Coalan, confused and angry, became oddly serene, and nodded to Asha. He grasped his blacksmith’s maul and set himself on the revengers.
The battle was bloody, and all around them they could see that the village of Vintiver had struggles of its own. But the people still fought back. Rocks and tools were tossed from windows at passing bloodcrows, farm implements and clubs bludgeoned the revengers, and fires were extinguished by frantic buckets of river water. Likewise, the revengers took lives on the ends of their claws and teeth, eyes were plucked by the bloodcrows, and many families were trapped in their homes by hot flames. Thankfully, the ruffians that the heroes had pacified days before were part of the fight, which softened the blow to the village.
Mythallen nearly brought the heroes down, but as he gasped and grasped his own wounds, he drew a dagger to slay an injured Alora. He drove his dagger into the ground beside her and looked into her eyes.
“I have made my choice. I am sorry”
In the moment of pain and indecision over killing Alora, Mythallen stopped. His revengers and bloodcrows began to cry out in pain, clutching their heads as if they were assaulted in their minds by demons. The battle halted around the village for just a moment.
Alora knew what needed to be done. In one mighty thrust, her sword pierced Mythallen’s body, and the strange powers from his rage began to subside. Magics of strange origin erupted into the sky from the dozens of revengers around the town, bloodcrows fell from the sky, and Mythallen exploded into a light that lanced into the swirling magics in the sky. This storm of strange power blasted skyward, and then all was quiet.
Lying on the ground was an elven hunter, with Alora’s sword still piercing his body, his blood creeping across the soil.
The villagers cheered and thanked the Maker for the strength to carry the night. The heroes rolled their eyes and turned to Alora. She sat on the ground, quietly looking on her former husband-to-be.
Tarl Dale offered what little he could to thank the heroes for their help, offering equipment, food, lodging, and a strange proposal: Coalan had suggested that the village offer aid to the Goldenhawk clan, claiming “it was only fair.” Sister Arda aided Asha in tending the wounded, keeping the elf from collapsing from exhaustion and stabilizing villagers alongside her. Coalan even offered the heroes repairs to their gear or commissions for new weapons or armor.
Several villagers accompanied the heroes back to the Dalish camp with Harralan’s body. The humans brought food, water, wine, and tools to help the elves rebuild. The elves were grateful, and offered to teach the humans hunting techniques and grant them some of their woodworked tools. In this one instance, elves and humans could be seen working together.
The clan gave him a proper burial, allowing Alora one final goodbye. Orellis offered for Alora to come back to the clan, but could tell in her eyes that she was destined for greater things than the clan could give her. He gave her the choice and wished her the best of luck, and for the Dread Wolf to never catch her scent. Eshara asked if she would be leaving the clan, hinting that Eshara would enjoy Alora’s continued company. Alora responded by offering Eshra a chance to leave with her and the rest of her group.
Eshara agreed to speak to Orellis first, but accepted the offer with a knowing smile.