The Trail of Tears
By Eric L. Boyd
The Lord of Battles strode across the battlefields of Faerûn during the Time of Troubles, leaving a trail of Tempus's weepings in his wake. These blood-crimson gems, also known as red tears, mark a path of pilgrimage for the Foehammer's followers seeking either atonement or a boon from the god. Strap on your armor and grab your trustiest blade, for this chain of magic portals will lead you straight from one field of battle to another!
"The Trail of Tears" is a portal network connecting at least four famous battlefields of Faerûn on which humans battled one another: the Fields of the Dead in the Western Heartlands, Sword's Creek in Mistledale, the Fields of Nun in eastern Chondath, and the Tharch of Thazalhar on the southern border of Thay. Each of these four fields of battle offers a deadly challenge to those who would travel in the Foehammer's wake, but successful supplicants can earn the favor of the Lord of Battles.
Stride from one battlefield to the next along the four-part Trail of Tears:
- 12/5 The Fog of War
- 12/12 A River of Blood
- 12/19 The Scourge of Pestilence
- 12/26 Death Before Dishonor
Statistics and supplemental information:
- Swordwraiths, ghosts of mercenaries who cannot rest
- Malik yn Memnon adh Shoon, undead mameluk commander
- Bloodstained creatures, legacies of a blood-soaked land
- Plague Bearers, contagious carriers of pestilence
- The Darkcrypt, ancient Mulhorandi dungeon
- Kethoth Uuthrakt of Delhumide, spectral Red Wizard
- Ramathanhur, incarnation of Anhur
How to Incorporate the Trail of Tears Into Your Campaign
Introduce the Trail of Tears as part of an established campaign, or use the network as the backbone of a mini-campaign all its own. Consider the following hooks to draw characters along the chain of portals left in the wake of the Lord of Battles.
- A follower of Tempus who seeks atonement for her misdeeds is directed by her superior to walk the Trail of Tears, beginning with the portal atop an unnamed hillock in the midst of the Fields of the Dead on the night of the full moon.
- An army commander seeking an edge over his foes in an upcoming conflict receives a vision from the Lord of Battles directing him to follow the Trail of Tears.
- A high priest of the Foehammer who seeks to establish an abbey dedicated to Tempus explores the Trail of Tears in hopes of finding a site sacred to the Lord of Battles.
- A band of adventurers seeking to quickly travel the length of Faerûn stumbles across a reference to the Trail of Tears and decides that any challenges it entail are worth the savings over other forms of travel.
About the Author
Eric L. Boyd has written articles for Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Adventures, and Polyhedron Magazine. His game design credits include Faiths & Avatars, Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, Powers & Pantheons, Demihuman Deities, Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark, Cloak & Dagger, and the upcoming Faiths & Pantheons. In addition to writing about his favorite game world, Eric leads a software development group in Ann Arbor, Michigan.