Scales of War

11b - Kalad

As the party looted corpses Kalad took his greataxe to a forge to clean it. He knelt and uttered a prayer, “Thank you Moradin for sending your servants on this day. Your mighty hand guides us and we will crush your enemies and build mighty edifices in your honor.”

Kalad approached the party. “Thank you, servants of Moradin for helping me defeat Og. Without your assistance I might not have survived the day.”
Donaar spoke. “Actually we are servants of Bahamut…” Elan cleared her throat. Donaar continued ”... and others. But we are glad to help.”
“Perhaps you do not worship Moradin but on this day your are his servants.”
“OK. True. So tell me, Kalad, what happened here?”
“A day ago, perhaps more, hordes of orcs poured through that tunnel into the foundry. They killed everyone and massed into the monastery. I can only imagine the carnage there. I was down across the chasm and I feared an army would follow them so after the horde ran by I went to the tunnel and threw the cave-in lever.”

Longbreath spoke up. “So instead of fighting them you hid and then snuck by them?”
“I did not hide. Moradin teaches us to build rather than destroy and to think as well as fight. I chose to save all of Elsir Vale by throwing that lever. When the orcs came back I killed three of them before Og beat me down.” He paused, “Is that why you are here to collapse the tunnel?”
Donaar said, “We came to evacuate the monastery.”
Elan looked sad. “Our tardiness was catastrophic. Had we instigated our sojourn on the antenocture this tragedy may well have been averted!”
Kalad looked confused. “I don’t understand what you said but the orcs were here before last night. You needed to leave at least two days ago.”

“Longbreath is in no condition to travel” Adren weighed in. “Let’s rest here the night and leave early in the morning. We can report to the council and find how the other teams did, and perhaps win our bet.”
“Other teams? What were they doing?” Kalad asked.
“One went to check Shackle, the other to clear the tunnels beneath Bordrin’s Watch.”
“I have already sealed the main tunnels below Bordrin’s watch. Was this group going for the Nexus?”
“Umm.. the what?”
“Was their group led by a powerful warlord?”
“Umm.. their leader thought himself powerful.”
“Did they have a dwarf with them to navigate the maze to the Nexus?”
“No. I don’t think so.”
Kalad frowned deeply, “Would you trust the lives of all of Elsir Vale to these men? If not, we must rest here and tomorrow go to seal the Nexus. I will teach you the secret training techniques of our order. The process of self-actualization will doubtless help all of you.” (DM Note: This will be considered training for 4th level if you choose to accept it. XP total: 3750)

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11 - Rescuing Kalad

After cleaning up the desecrated altar and neatly presenting the dwarves’ bodies the heroes opened the trap door and descended a spiral staircase.
“We should be prepared”, said Longbreath.
“Shhh”, Adren shushed.
“Don’t shush me. There could be orcs down there. We should be ready.”
Biatch said loudly, “We should try to be quiet. Maybe surprise them.”
“Cease your pettifogging”, Elan whispered. “Your verbalizations will cognizize the foe to our interloping.”
“Look,” said Longbreath. “I’ll take point. At the bottom Biatch flank Donaar to form a perimeter to defend the sneaky ones. OK, here we go. I’ll go right, Biatch go left… Now!”

The staircase opened into a huge cavern dominated by a giant statue of a dwarf hero fighting a hydra. A dozen orcs watched the group emerge before charging them, berserkers screaming their battlecry, “Die human!”
“It’s a good thing we were prepared.”
“We should have been more stealthy.”
Adren and Longbreath briefly glared at each other before turning to the case at hand.

It was a good fight but the heroes were not seriously wounded. They surveyed the carnage. This chamber housed sleeping quarters and the dwarves were taken by surprise, many died in their sleeping clothes. Adren determined the orcs originally came from the huge hallway leading deeper into the mountain.

They followed the hallway for a few hundred feet before it opened up over a chasm under the mountain. A raised staircase provided passage to the bottom but a squad of orcs blocked the way. The heroes set themselves to prepare for the rushing orcs while Elan, Adren, and Longbreath took down the archers. Two of the archers got a lucky shot on Elan, who went down before Longbreath could inspire her back to health. In the fray a Spiretop Drake swooped in and harassed Longbreath while the archers tried to take him down, almost knocking him over the edge from the force of their belly bows. Elan froze the drake in place and orcs were defeated soundly.

At the bottom of the chasm a tunnel led to a foundry with five intact forges and a sixth that had been overturned and had spread to the rubble in the room. A squad of orcs sat about. Their spiritual leader, an Eye of Gruumsh, sat on one side of the room. Their physical leader, Og, an orog Scarred Champion stood across the room interrogating a plate mail wearing dwarf… well not so much interrogating as beating to death.

The heroes formed their favorite defensive position (Longbreath on the right, Biatch on the left, Donaar in the middle, with walls protecting Adren and Elan). This was disrupted by the Eye of Gruumsh instigating a force explosion which devastated them and lay them on their backs. Fortunately they were able to pick themselves up and reassemble in time for the orc attack. The attack was harsh but most were dispatched quickly, even the tough berserkers fell quickly when Adren Split the Tree. However Og seemed unbeatable. He had a whirlwind attack that cut down everyone, including his own. In his plate mail he was impossible to hurt until Biatch’s terror axe weakened his resolve. Meanwhile Elan had Fey Stepped across the battlefield and was taking on the Eye of Gruumsh. His evil eye would not work on Longbreath but Elan was an easier target so he fought her while waiting for his spiritual energy to recharge. If that happened he could heal and inspire Og, which would doom the party. Not wanting to face the Eye alone, Elan thunderwaved him away and ran to Kalad the beaten dwarf. He was alive but hardly moving.
“Hastily now. Imbibe this.” she said as she handed Kalad her healing potion with one hand while shooting a thunderwave at the Eye with the other.

Kalad quaffed the potion and stood. “Thanks” he muttered as he prepared to tackle the much larger orc leader. Instead, Elan handed him her longsword. “Take my hinlendel but know that the balance is for more a dextrous and less brutish touch.”

Kalad gratefully took the sword and swung it two-handed like a club, missing the Eye of Gruumsh. Elan was stuck between the Eye and a forge so she placed her hands on either side of the Eye’s head and fired two magic missiles directly into his brain, killing him.

Kalad took this opportunity to run to a fallen berserker and retrieve his stolen greataxe while the party attempted to fell the mighty Og. With Biatch and Longbreath down it seemed hopeless but Donaar would not give up. He challenged Og so the others would be spared and then healed Biatch. Adren tried to stop Longbreath’s bleeding but the wounds were too great. Kalad ripped off a piece of his shirt and leaned over Longbreath to stop the bleeding. Longbreath regained consciousness long enough to thank him by saying, “You just earned that healing potion” before passing out.

Og was enraged by this and raised his greatsword high in the air, spinning it in preparation for another whirling attack. This would likely kill the rest of the party but Biatch would not let that happen!
“Not this time you ugly son of a biatch!” she screamed as she brought her terror axe down on Og’s leg cleaving it clean from his body. Og looked surprised as he fell. Biatch’s next blow was to Og’s head, his surprised expression immortalized.

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10 - Evacuating the Monastery
Nobody to evacuate

The heroes finally make it to Overlook, a large city with 100-foot walls. A mile out from the city the slums encompass the Dwarf Road. The poverty is severe but there is a functioning economy. The proprietor of the Clean Sheets Inn offered a good deal on a room with breakfast included. The sheets, however, did not look very clean.

After passing multiple walls to the inner city the heroes found the council would meet that evening. A guard recommended Belden’s Rest as a place to stay or House of Sleep if the party was “wealthier than you look.”

Belden’s Rest was comfortable enough. Ruth Teng the owner was friendly and polite and her husband Rory was said to be a good cook. The clientele looked like travelers and adventurers. For the most part it was a good and lively crowd although there were more tieflings than the dragonborn were comfortable with. The party checked into one of the private rooms on the top floor. It was a bit cozy but had a private kitchen and bath.

Donaar used this opportunity to visit the cathedral of Bahamut. It was an impressive building but not nearly so impressive as Moradin’s cathedral. He spoke with a priest and said he’d be back the next day to talk about creating a holy relic and consecrating a temple in Brindol. Elan visited the Red Mage’s Guild to see they carried a large selection of magic items with only a small markup (110% PH price). Biatch accompanied her much to the chagrin of the Red Mage in attendance. Adren checked out Mertys next to Belden’s Rest. It had a gaudy exterior painted in pastels with paper mache monsters fighting adventurers but it’s selection of adventuring gear was impressive. Many of the items were bizarre and had little obvious use. How often does one need a parachute? Spider treats? Salted holy water? They had a good selection of bows, even a few made by elves but Adren hesitated to use any bow that he did not know the creator of. Longbreath had a drink at the closest bar, the Salty Mug. The guardsman said he visited it from time to time but judging by the unsavory clientele Longbreath wondered what that guard did when off duty. The bartender was a hobgoblin who was happy to chat.

Longbreath said, “I’ve killed many of your kind.”
The bartender replied, “I’ve killed many of your kind too.”
“What do you have to drink?”
“Beer that tastes like spit.”
“I’ll have one.”
The hobgoblin poured a beer and spat into it. “Here you are.”

Using his mighty stag helm, Longbreath attempted to listen in to some conversations. Other than prostitutes and petty criminals he heard one man talk about being part of a press gang. Another man was trying to recruit for some sort of mercenary work.

The party attended the council. It addressed over 100 soldiers, militia, and adventurers. The Farstriders were there as well. One council member stepped forward and explained that war was imminent. The orcs were massing and could attack Bordrins Watch at any time. Assignment were given out and the party volunteered to warn and evacuate the Monastery of the Sundered Chain deep in the mountain.

Outside the great hall the Farstriders and the Freeriders had a lively discourse regarding who would finish their mission first. The Defenders of Brindol entered the wager and it was agree that the first to return would collect 20gp from each of the other groups.

At the gates of the monastery Adren pushed open one of the large doors ot the courtyard and was appalled to see orcs roasting body parts on campfires. He stepped inside to make way for Elan who slept a group of orcs as the rest of the group formed a defensive position inside the gate. With the leaders sleeping the orcs attacks were uncoordinated and they were quickly defeated.

The double doors to the monastery were closed and did not looked to have been forced. They carefully opened the door to see an orc crone chanting on the desecrated Moradin altar. She spotted the party and angrily danced from foot to foot. The party rushed in to apprehend her but was surprised by two orc archers in the shadows. They had unwieldy belly bows that were so inaccurate they couldn’t score a single hit. After a bit of fighting a trapdoor near the altar opened and a squad of orcs poured out. It was a good fight but none of the party was seriously hurt. Longbreath had a scary moment when the crone pulled a foul load from her loincloth and flung it at him but her aim was off and he was only hit with the smell.

After dispatching the orcs the party determined that the dwarves had fought and lost a battle here. Bodies of priests and paladins lay decapitated on the floor. The crone had a magical headband, probably stolen from the priests. Elan and Donaar couldn’t immediately determine it’s function but surmised that it was religious in nature.

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09 - Saving Drellin's Ferry

Heading into town, the group saw a long rider approach them. She was a Star Pact half-elf warlock named Jen who seemed somewhat detached from reality. She introduced herself, her company (the Farstriders), and their leader, Edgar Sommerfield (specifically she said, “You haven’t heard of our leader, Edgar Sommerfield”). She said the Farstriders were chasing down the last band of orcs in Drellin’s Ferry but warned that another group of orcs had taken residence on a small island in the middle of the river splitting the town. When she left she cryptically said, “I met you first but you will meet me last.”

Our heroes took to the task of eliminating the orcs on the island. They found a raft and had hoped to sneak up on the island using Hiram’s Floating Disk. Elan stripped to her underwear and summoned the Disk while Biatch helped her swim. Unfortunately there was only one good place to land the raft and the orcs were lightly fortified there. Two archers in a tower peppered arrows while the leader tried (and failed) to use the hastily assembled catapult. Some soldiers crouched behind a short bunker to wait for the attack but one was over-zealous and charged up.

After a tough battle the heroes won and claimed the catapult in the name of Brindol. The Farstriders had also finished their orcs and were helping the townspeople get their lives together. Edgar Sommerfield (“No doubt you’ve heard of me.”) deemed the party’s effort to be satisfactory, a high honor indeed coming from such a famous person. He extended the great honor of allowing the party to accompany the Farstriders to Overlook. Our heroes refused and the Farstriders went on.

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08 - To Overlook

The heroes took a week or two of rest before trying to figure out what to do about “The Emissary”. In that time they communicated with Bahamut cathedral in Overlook and was informed that a priest would be happy to help construct a temple once some crisis was over. Also a representative from Astrazalian, the nearby Eladrin city, tried to persuade Elan to return home before the city disappeared for six months.

The group waited near Rivenroar to set an ambush for The Emissary until a messenger informed them that the council wished to speak to them. Overlook had sounded the Call to Arms and all towns in Elsir Vale were asked to send soldiers.

At first the heroes were uncertain but once they saw Brindol committing all of their active soldiers they realized the threat was serious and set off to Overlook.

An hour outside Drellin’s Ferry they spotted some strange creatures (later recognized to be orcs) on a captured raft. They set a trap for the orcs and lured them onto land where they were easily dispatched.

Outside Drellin’s Ferry they could tell something was wrong. Some of the building were on fire and orcs were looting and destroying. The heroes wished to not be spotted but the guard tower on the island suggested otherwise.

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07 - Sinruth Defeated

Biatch stood before the heavy door to the Rivenroar catacombs.

“Why do we close this door every time? It’s heavy!”

“So no Kritiks come down to nest. We don’t need any surprises”, replied Longbreath.

“Kritiks never bothered me much. I didn’t know you were so afraid of them.”

Longbreath bristled at the insult. “The day I’m afraid of a little bug is the day…”

“Shh!” Adren interrupted. He nocked an arrow although no one had seen him draw his bow.

Everyone was quiet for a few seconds before Adren shrugged. “Nevermind. It was nothing.”

The party proceeded down the stairs when they heard the slam of the trapdoor above them. Someone muttered “uh oh” as six hobgoblins sprang from the hiding place and blocked the passage in a perfect phalanx. Their leader strode into view. He was a large battle-worn hobgoblin wearing spiked plate armor and wielding a spiked chain. He planted a battle standard into the ground and said, “I am Sinruth of the Red Hand and this is my elite honor guard. You cowards deserve to die like animals but I will give one of you the chance to die with honor. One of you may face me in single combat. When you die your friends will serve the Red Hand as slaves. If fate curses me and I somehow die my men will follow you. Who dares to face me alone?”

While most of the group was nominating Biatch, Donaar was observing the hobgoblins. Their shield formation was well-practiced but their gear was mismatched and ill-fitting, not like an honor guard. Something about Sinruth’s speech was a bit off also. It seemed like Sinruth knew he could beat any one of them but was unsure about fighting the whole group.

Donaar shared his insight with the group. Biatch didn’t want to fight alone anyway and Longbreath didn’t want to sit and watch while others got to fight. So they attacked.

The air filled with acid, killing most of the not-so-elite honor guard. Elan slept Sinruth and warned, “Sinruth’s propensity doubtlessly precludes abstinence from any martial engagement. My prescription is to trammel him ante somnolent termination.” Longbreath’s order was more clear, “Biatch, kill him before he wakes up!”

Happy to oblidge, Biatch stepped forward, raised her Terror Axe in the air, and brought it down on Sinruth’s neck, sure that no mortal could withstand such a blow. Instead it woke Sinruth up and he was mad.

“Where is that elf witch? I’ll kill her!” Sinruth had to get through Donaar to get to Elan so he grabbed Donaar with his spiked chain and pulled him into his spiked armor. “Taste my wrath, dragonkin!”

The party fought bravely but Sinruth seemed unstoppable. Only Biatch’s wicked axe and Elan magic wand could consistently hurt him so the others focused on helping those two.

Elan was darting in and out of combat, taunting Sinruth. He couldn’t take it anymore and pushed aside a dragonborn to get at her, ignoring the swords and axes raining on his back. He shot his spiked chain at her, tearing into the unprotected flesh of her leg and tripping her. Then he stomped her with his heavy jackboots. The party rushed Sinruth, forcing him back and pulling Elan to safety. They formed a wall around him and coordinated attacks until they knew they had him. Briefly they considered capturing him but in the end they served him death.

Now victorious the party checked for spoils. They found a strange note on Sinruth implicating “The Emissary” as his employer? Mentor? Associate? They recovered Brindol’s Battle Standard and the stolen gloves, the last two artifacts to be recovered. After a bit of grave robbing they acquired a Stag Helm, a helmet to enhance the senses of the wearer.

Back in Brindol Troyas was ecstatic. He assigned them a butler who helped them get cleaned up and brought them new clothes. The feast would be tomorrow night.

Meanwhile Donaar and Elan attempted to get more information about the note. Hiram was unhelpful and gruff and ask to not be invited to the feast. However, Laeon, the council scribe, happened to be an expert on local scripts. He had trained for many years in Overlook and had seen many official messages both local and foreign. The Emissary’s note was written by someone trained as a scribe but the serifs were unlike any local style. The note originated some place far away.

The feast was a huge success with hundreds of town folk eating, drinking, singing, dancing, vomiting, playing, shouting, jumping, and generally having a great time. The party told stories, arm wrestled, and held an archery tournament. Donaar must have had the most fun since he stayed the latest—the cleanup crew had to wake him in the morning.

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06b - Troyas Dilemma

Troyas did not look forward to the council meeting later that day. First he had some research to do. “Might as well start with breakfast” he thought.

Ronnie, I heard you were giving the heroes a hard time about selling equipment?” “Hmm? No.. Oh. They been bringing back some of supplies from the hobgoblin camp and I’ve been trying to sell it for them. The thing is that I can’t get a fair price without spending a lot of time in the market and I want to make sure I get a fair price for them after they saved my bar.” “So why do they think you are giving them trouble?” “I don’t know. We hardly talked about it. Maybe they sensed I was having trouble. I was going to introduce them to Taunery...” “Taunery? I don’t think they’ll like him much.” “Maybe not but he’ll get them better prices than I will, even after his cut. And I don’t think he would cheat them…” “But Dragonborn can be prejudice. They might not like him at all.” “The least they can do is meet him. Otherwise you might have to buy those weapons for the city guard.” “Right. Like Harkonius will let me take that contract away.”

Troyas found himself at the college of Ioun. “Hiram thanks for seeing me.” “No problem Troyas. You know how I love to interrupt my research to spend time with bureaucrats like yourself. What can I do for you?” Troyas steeled himself. Hiram wasn’t the easiest person to talk to. “I heard some of the adventurers came to you to figure out a magic item and you wouldn’t help them.” “What!” Hiram stood up. “That’s a load of imp coal! They came in last night and interrupted my dinner waving around an axe they thought might be cursed. The only thing I like less than bureaucrats is drunk women with demon axes.” “Hiram…” “Did I throw them out for disturbing my dinner? No. Did I charge the fee that I would charge my own mother if she were still alive, rest her soul? No. Not only did I identify the item I helped the stuck-up elf girl learn how to do it herself. That’s a 500gp lesson right there.” “So other than your less-than-charming personality you didn’t give them reason to bear ill will?” “Less than charming you say? I didn’t invite you here and I have important work to do—my ant colony went crazy last night and destroyed the lab. Perhaps you should find some more charming people to talk to.” Unfortunately that’s not on the agenda, thought Troyas.

“Troyas, what’s this I hear that your heroes refused the escort”, the councilman in fine robes said the word with a snarl.

“I believe they didn’t trust our motives,” Troyas replied.

“Those graverobbing gnome torturers don’t trust our motives? That’s rich. You picked the guardsmen yourself. It looks like it’s they who cannot be trusted. Who knows what they are doing out there and what artifacts they are destroying or fencing? Rivenroar is the rightful property of Brindol in the absence of an heir.”

“Calm down councilman. They aren’t destroying the place. It was filled with hobgoblins. I’m sure anything of value has already been looted.”

“I’ll make sure of that. I’m organizing a patrol to investigate and make sure that Brindol’s interests are enforced.”

“I can’t stop you but I’ll be sending some city guard to assist. I just don’t want to take too many away during the feast.”

“Feast? What feast? Surely not for those bragging drunkards? They should be imprisoned for what they did to that poor gnome, not celebrated. I hope you don’t plan to use council funds for this party.”

“Only with approval, of course, but the people are having a feast one way or another. You can spend a little coin and claim it’s your idea or just let the people do what they are already planning. It is your choice.”

“Fine. But Marlen Company will get the lager contract.”

“I’m sure they will.”

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06 - All Prisoners Rescued!

[Since Adren’s player couldn’t make it I thought to write this up in a timely fashion while the details were fresh. With Longbreath rolling for Adren I expected fewer crits but if anything there were more! It just proves it’s the character who is lucky, not player.]

Before resuming their exploration, the party needed to figure out what to do with the wicked great axe. Biatch was torn—the axe was powerful but she would feel really bad if it turned her evil and killed her new-found friends. “Might as well get this over with,” she thought.

She tightly gripped the axe trying to overcome the fear and slight nausea. It was too much. She put the axe down. Again she would run from her fear—like when the halfling children threw small rocks at her when she grew to be too large, and later when the halfling adults threw not-so-small rocks at her.

“NO!” She picked the axe up. “Not this time!” She welcomed the fear and rode it like a wave. The stronger the terror built within her, the tighter she gripped the axe. When it reached a crescendo she knew it was over. She had beaten it though now she was emotionally exhausted. The axe still felt uneasy but it would not rule her. Later she would find she could channel that fear into her enemies.

The rest of the party looked on, not knowing the internal struggle taking place. Finally Biatch said, “I’m ready. Let’s go.”

In the next room they found an Eviscero demon trapped in a force cage. While they looked for a release lever, a wererat entered the room and said words to free the cage. The party was in a defensive formation and had no trouble dispatching the demon while the wererat watched. When the result was clear the ratman disappeared down the hall.

“Is everyone okay?” asked Donar. The affirmative was unanimous, everyone was undamaged. “What about that scratch, Longbreath?” Someone snidely remarked, “Compared to Longbreath’s typical wounds, that is undamaged.”

So they cautiously crept down the corridor and flung open the doors at the end. The room was revealed to be a small temple with the focus at the far end a large obsidian obelisk dedicated to Vecna that sucked the torchlight from the room. The wererat stood next to the obelisk.

“Archers take aim!” commanded Longbreath as he drew his hand crossbow. Donar grimaced and stepped closer to compensate for his poor skill. He always thought bows were a bit dishonorable.

After taking a few arrows, the wererat transformed into a dire rat and scurried behind the obelisk.

Longbreath took charge. “Let’s go get him but watch for an ambush. Biatch, you are on point.”

Biatch entered the room. “Nothing behind these first pews. Nothing behind … oh no!”

Three dire rats pounced from behind the pews biting and clawing while a goblin arcanist threw spells to daze and blind.

There was a tense moment while Biatch was surrounded but the party was able to beat down the rats. When the battle was clearly going wrong for the goblin he teleported out the door and started to run down the hall.

“Get him Adren!”

Elves are like cats. They spend most of their time relaxing in a sunbeam or watching butterflies. But when they spot prey they become the fiercest of predators.

While summoning his adrenaline Adren let loose the arrows aimed at the remaining wererat. It caught between the spinal cord and skull rendering the rat all but dead.

Adren then prepared another arrow while leaping over pews to sight the fleeing arcanist. His archer trained eyes zoomed in. His arrow stuck true in the goblin’s hamstring, crippling him. [DM’s note: Split the Tree critical for over 50 damage]

With the enemies dispatched, the party found 2 of the Brindol artifacts leaning against the obelisk.

More exploration revealed a room with another prisoner, the boy Thurann. After freeing him Longbreath tried to explain that Thurann’s father was dead. Thurann didn’t believe it and tried to flee the dungeon alone but Donar caught and calmed him.

Thurann knew where “the witch” was being held past the rage drakes. The party thought this would give Donar a chance to redeem himself from his previous encounter although Donar felt there was nothing to redeem.

Opening the doors revealed the large room littered with rubble and carpeted with mushroom and peat. Elan felt winded so she stayed back with Thurann. The rest carefully entered the room until a shrieking mushroom was disturbed.

“The drakes know we are here now,” Longbreath said stomping the mushroom. “Fan out and find where they are hiding.”

No sooner had he finished his sentence when a drake charged him with a ferocious double claw attack as another drake charged Biatch.

“I’ll handle this one. The rest of you take the other one. Let us see who triumphs first,” said Longbreath in an attempt at self-motivation. All dragonborn are motivated by a challenge and as such Longbreath put on an impressive display, nearly slaying his foe in the same time that all four party members took to take the other drake.

In the next room they found an old woman trapped in some sort of magic field. “Get me out of here!” she cried. “If you don’t free me right this instant I will turn you all into toads!”

Wary of gnomes in shadows Longbreath asked, “Is the room clear? Are any enemies hiding there?”

“Does it look like it? Stop wasting time and GET ME OUT!”

Elan stepped into the room. Or did she fey-step? Sometimes it is difficult to tell. Examining the circle she said something like, “How unwise it would be to touch that field. Millions of jewels flow through it and the jolt would be unpleasant or worse. But wait. When I give the signal slow down time to see the break. Pay attention to the locus where the triangle conjoins with the circumscription.”

Only Adren understood how to slow down time. When Elan lifted her little finger Adren focused on the triangle within the circle with such intensity that time seemed to slow. He saw one pulse travel around the triangle and another around the circle. When they met the field would disappear briefly. “I see it” he said.

“A simultaneous disturbance of the lingering flux around the conjunctions with highly resistive superstrate will deny redundant closure and the field will dissapate.”

Adren didn’t understand the words but he got the meaning “When the field goes down we need to disturb the places where the triangle meets the circle.”

Longbreath pulled three hobgoblin shields from his bag of loot. “So throw the shield s on the points of triangle when the field flickers. No problem.”

“Longbreath, the danger is potential. Perhaps you should stand back while I Mage Hand the shields. Or perhaps I could construct a…”

Longbreath had already handed a shield to Donar. “Don’t worry. Just stand back. We’ll be okay.”

They covered the points with shields and the field disappated.

“About time!” cried Zerriska. “Take me home now!” Thurann seemed to be a bit afraid of her.

The party was tired and didn’t want to listen to the old crone so they packed up the wagon and headed back to Brindol.

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05 - More Prisoners Rescued

I wonder why they are keeping me alive,” thought Sertanian as he set in his cell. “They’ll probably feed me to the ettercaps. When they come for me I won’t go down without a fight. Maybe I’m not as young as I used to be but I might take down a hobber. Better than being ettercap food.”

He heard a sound from up the stairs. Maybe the hobgoblins were coming for him. But the footsteps were too heavy and the light wasn’t torchlight.

“Whose there? You hobbers coming for me?”

It was a groups of elves and half-dragons and a mail-clad woman cleaning ettercap web from her pack.

“Are you from Brindol? Is this a rescue?”

The party freed him from the cell and led him outside to their wagon where Adronsius was trying to sleep.

“Don’t leave me out here,” he said. “Give me a sword and let me kill some hobbers!”

Sertanian was an old man and two nights in a cell didn’t help. “No. We need you to guard the wagon. Make sure Adronsius is okay.”

Sertanian didn’t like the idea but agreed.

The party returned to the catacombs and went down the stairs to find more hobgoblins and a goblins hexer. The hobgoblins fell quickly but the hexer was shifty and created confusing clouds of chaos. He tried to get away but was run down and slain. He was wearing Bracers of Precision.

In the adjacent room Jalissa was chained to the wall. She was scared but relieved to be rescued. She attached herself to Elan, perhaps feeling a kinship to a fellow Eladrin.

With three prisoners rescued, the party headed back to Brindol, rested, and returned to Rivenroar. Sertanian wanted to go with them to give some payback but they convinced him to stay and help repair the Great Hall.

Back in Rivenroar the party fought some ghouls and zombies and discovered a room with a magic pool. When the water was disturbed the pool would show different rooms in the catacombs.

Onward they explored through a columned corridor to find a throne room. Piles of bones littered the floor. The wight on one throne awoke to confront the party and commanded skeletons in room to rise and take up arms. They were weak except for the skeleton in the other throne with a large glowing great axe. Anyone struck with this axe would feel terror and doom. This skeleton would also shoot shards of razor-sharp bones, especially when damaged greatly. After the skeleton had been seemingly defeated the wight was able to reanimate him. After defeating the wight and all other skeletons, the boneshard skeleton exploded doing massive damage to the party, nearly killing Elan and Longbreath.

While everyone else was being patched up, Biatch hungrily eyed the greataxe. It was obviously magical but when she approached it she was suddenly afraid. What if it was evil? What if it consumed her soul? Maybe anyone it slays becomes undead. Or maybe the wielder becomes undead? On the other hand it was an awesome looking axe…

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04 - Mirtala Rescued

[Note: This is a month overdue so many details are lost.]

Concerned about Mirtala’s fever, the party decided to return to Brindol to seek proper care. Adren was able to find a shorter route, one populated with Kruthik nests. One such nest started to attack the party but fled for no apparent reason.

In Brindol Mirtala was taken to a temple for care and the party spent the night resting and reflecting on the previous day and got training for 2nd level.

They left their booty with Ronnie to find a buyer and at sunrise set off back to castle Rivenroar.

They faced the room with floor glyphs and found the doglike creatures to be a swarm of needlefang drakes. In the next room the dwarf Adronsius was chained to the wall. He was beaten half to death but didn’t seem to mind. He knew the way out and tried to hide his limp as he made he way to the party’s camp outside.

Another room had some nasty ettercaps. Webbed up in a corner was the corpse of Kartenix, the captain of the guard.

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