All across Qairn, a humble reaches the scattered five members of The Nameless Company, inviting them all to attend a bizarre wedding in the Ironshod Hills outside the small city of Belltower. From Arkhosia to Witcomanee, from the Azure Sea to Dread Salarza do they come, one and all, the legendary heroes that reforged the world and, with them, come all the companions that once they knew and fought beside on their long journey. For one of their own, their dear friend Vaca, is finally, finally getting married.
They assemble on the parade ground before the Collegium and exchange brief stories, where they’ve been, the battles they fought, the scars they’ve earned since last they parted. Some come alone, like Leviathan, fresh from the briny sea, some come with great retinues, like Zanna and the captains of the Haggard Host. In short order, the four friends are joined by Alecta and a gaggle of professors from the Collegium and, together, they depart down the road towards the wedding.
Along the way, they meet the halfling crew of The Distressed Damsel, reinstated to their previous post and Captain Yolanda at their head. Once they arrive at the Lunepomme Orphanage, they reunite with Drek, the crowd of shifter children and the groom himself, Vaca L’oy Dakursa, arguing with his parents, Mason and Benita, as they scramble to ready their wedding preparations. As an even larger group, they continue to head further and further from town, towards the looming Ironshod Hills.
As they wind through the forest, protected by patrols from The Blue Banners, they cross paths with representatives from both the Arkhosian Crown and from House Amethyst, neither group particularly pleased by the wedding’s remote venue. Before long, torches and streamers and candles guide them to the site where, in the shadowed caves beneath Challenge Rock, Vaca conspires to hold his wedding.
In accordance with all dwarven weddings, the heroes commence with the Rebam Abo, the Mingling phase of the wedding. Vaca and Culas make their rounds, meeting and greeting Lanakhiz, Tawel and Baron Zuss. Meanwhile, Leviathan makes the acquaintance of Gnish Humanfriend, Zanna has an awkward conversation with Alazne, Chogaruk frets over his gift and Zencaré, with some effort, manages to tame the hordes of crows that swamp the wedding. That is, until Levi hears the approach of Tojezen, Dracoempress of Her Selfsame Empire and the wedding’s official lectern.
After picking a brief bone with the wedding invitations, Tojezen proceeded to officiate the wedding of the two heroes, during the Zavan Avo, or the Weaving. Culas read her vows first, while Vaca fumbled through tying his ring into her hair. Next, Vaca read his vows while Culas expertly tied her own ring into the shifter’s hair. With a kiss, the two were married. That done, Tojezen’s guards deposited three strongboxes of rubies (possibly as bedding?) and immediately took off.
Next came The Presenting, the Jozam Azo, in which all the guests presented the lavish gifts they’d brought. Everything from swanboats to statues, knighthoods to songs, every guest that came (with a few notable exceptions) presented their gifts to the happy couple, including The Nameless Company. Zanna presented Vaca a custom helmet, a permanent pavilion in the Haggard Host and the eternal title of the Field General’s Shield. Leviathan gifted Vaca a chunk of his outer plate, the one on which he’d first etched his drawing of Vaca. Zencaré gave to Vaca an enchanted quill that, when asked, would ask any historical question that Zencaré could answer. Chogaruk dropped a red dragon’s partially rotted head at his feet and was suddenly quite violently ashamed at the prospect he might not actually like the present.
No sooner was this gift delivered, however, when another pair of wingbeats sounded overhead. It seems their old enemy, Calexzar the Vitriolic, Firebrand, the Unquenchable Flame, had come to ruin Vaca’s day of bliss. Working quickly to evacuate the wedding, The Nameless Company hurried out onto the pinnacle of Challenge Rock to meet the ancient red dragon, in pitched battle. Exchanging a few brief threats first, the fight was soon begun in earnest!
As with all great battles against the Unquenchable Flame, there was fire and claws and eventually Chogaruk (and Leviathan) atop the dragon’s back. In short order, the wyrm was driven from Challenge Rock and, even shorter following that, Calexzar was scooping up Vaca againt and taking to the sky. As he made swooping destructive runs against Challenge Rock, the party needed to work quickly to evacuate the entire wedding, to clear all their loved ones from the present danger. No sooner had they done this, when all of Challenge Rock came crumbling down.
A firebrand of rage, Calexzar descended amid the destruction and gave mortal combat to The Nameless Company. The blows were many, savage and fierce, more than one hero dropping to the ground during the battle. As it always was with these pitched battles, it is Zanna who delivers the killing blow the world’s oldest dragon, exploding the creature into ash and fragments of bone.
Soon as the battle was won, heads were counted and a number were found to be missing – all shifter orphans, hidden in the rubble. Four of the missing five were recovered alive, if injured. One, Trok, did not survive and the day looked to be dampened when, with some divine intervention, Levi appealed to his “”/wikis/osl-" class=“wiki-page-link”> mother" and asked that he be restored to his original body, and that Trok be placed in his old metal shell. This done, Dondo Whitewave is returned to the land of the living and Trok, once a wereboar shifter, is now a warforged.
As the remnants of the wedding gather at the orphanage for the conclusion of the festivities, The Nameless Company are led, by a somber Vaca, to a small hill behind the Lunepomme, where they, beneath a full moon and with scattering moonbloom, perform Thistle’s funeral, three years after they all first met.