On the coldest night of Abrrrrrril, they came from all corners of Cardhuntria. Halpin Halfstaff was the first to arrive, zapping over from his expedition into the Tomb of Tvericus, rousing and bringing Alet Zhav with him. Idris of the Hauting Horn and Amirault Catt, the sage wizardesses of Greenfang, were next; they made haste through the seas of acid to take their place. The Astral Guardians sent their most powerful representatives, moving along the diagonal and perpendicular paths they had followed since the creation of Cardhuntria, to the hallowed site. Goblin, ogre, and trog wizards hurried en masse, all behind the commands of Strench the Pungent (although everyone was a little displeased when he arrived). Genthan Deathzap and Carolinia, the magi of the Woods of the Magic Elves were present, carefully watching over the group forming. Nianne of Burntree Vale was close behind, scampering at a pace considered reckless by even the most bejeweled of elves. Anjin of Oeld left his treasures behind to be there. Oberlin left all nine of his towers in the care of his apprentices. Carlan woke from her winter’s sleep to attend. Yaro forced his way into the inner circle. Adze, ever the lonely, stood in the corner. Axander. Barnum. Bimson. Chartwell. Elemer. Forval. Hylithia. Sabo. Sargio. Vira. Wym. Even the elder sages of Cardhuntria could not stay away from the gathering, bringing the mighty Whorl in their stead. Akon, the wily Pyromonius, first lingered farther away, but then came closer, say within five squares, of everyone else. Even Lumbrezz the Mad was roused from his elctromantic experiments, deep in the bowels of the Gladatorial Arenas. Vek the Vile, the last to appear, was hoping to have a clear line of sight of everyone and everything that was to take place. He got his wish, but could not execute his plan, once he realized where they all stood. The Tomb of the Magus. Yes, they had all come to the Ironwood Hills, plush with trees of oak, balsa, cherry, and maple. They had all come to this forgotten space, seemingly suspended in time, to face the rising threats within Cardhuntria. The Cult of the Bejeweled. The Lungination. Mere whispers in Janizza, both groups had evolved from the old wives’ tales they had been, to running wild across the lands, laying waste to all before them. The number of orphans in Cardhuntria swelled to greater and greater numbers each passing month. The Goblin Bazaar was always bare, with any sword encrusted with jewels quickly purchased by another elven warrior frothing with frenzy, carefully plotting out their maneuvers. Randimar himself was fearful of the next Lunginator brought into his keep, for the price of one had risen from mere gold to blood itself, easily spilt by a raging battler, shouting the war cry of the dwarves across the plains and mountains. They needed to face the wrath of storms of fire, of the deadliest of sparks, of bursts, cones, and jets of acid. They needed to be stopped. They needed to needed to obliterated. On that fateful Abrrrrrril evening, the pact was made. Oaths were taken. A fellowship was created. The wizards, magicians, sages, mancers of all kinds, and sorcererers swore their lives, and their afterlives, to their new banner, their new pledge, their new cult. The Cult of Ironwood.