Scales of War

17 -- Sleeping in Jail

(A few days ago)

“I need that key, Mase. Have you found it?” The speaker was a Dark Creeper, a gnome-like creature from the Shadowfell.

“No, Modra, but the group carrying it calls themselves Defenders of Brindol. They are staying in town. We’ll find them soon.”

“Good. Spread the word that I am paying 500gp for the key.”

“Wait. You promised the reward to us!”

“And I will pay you if you deliver it. I’ve already paid you plenty and I can’t afford to be so secretive so put the word out. I’ll be at the Happy Beggar.”

“I’ll find you as soon as we recover the key.”

“Good. And be careful. I’m not sure how they got the key but they might not give it up easily.”

“Don’t worry.” Mase smiled as electricity danced among his fingertips. “I think we can handle a few hicks from Brindol.”


After convincing him to help them, the party staked out Haelm favorite hangouts. After a few days a Dark Creeper named Tiff asked Biatch and Haelm to purchase the key. They tracked him to shack in Shantytown and apprehended him. He revealed that someone named Modra was paying 500gp for the key.

Meanwhile a strange voice was heard from Elan’s backpack. It turned out to the sending stone she had retrieved from Tusk. A ranger named Reness was looking for her sister, Jen (who had been slayed by Tusk’s orcs). Donaar and Elan met Reniss and found that Jen had mentioned Modra. They agreed to join forces to find Modra.

Between interrogating Tiff and Reness searching the city they learned that Modra was some sort of weapons merchant. They inferred that he bought weapons from the Shadowfell into Overlook to sell.

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16 -- A Nice Rest
(xp was awarded to bring the party to 5th level)

Bordrin’s Watch Aftermath

Cleaning the Battlefield: Immediately after the orc retreat squads go strip anything useful and make orc pyres. They explain that the death beetles will descend soon. Each squad seems to have an arcanist looking for magic items.

Preparing the Dead: The alliance dead are being treated by Rufus Crumley a tall gaunt man with greasy jet black hair and glasses. Elan recognizes he is performing a variant of the gentle repose ritual. There are guards to dissuade bothering him but Elan feystepped past them. Rufus was eccentric and friendly but a bit creepy.

Overlook Wrapping Up

Report to Council: After a wait the council hears from Defenders of Brindol and Freeriders. The Freeriders fought a groups of orcs and learned some thing:

  • Their leader is a large Orog named Tusk
  • Ragnum Dourstone noticed they had some high quality weapons, not typical orc crap. The metal is darker and if you look closely you can see moving shadows. This looks similar to some of the weapons found in the Nexus (like the bellybows).

The council pays their reward and asks that they keep the existence of the Nexus a secret. DoB also claims the Farstriders’ reward.

DoB hears that Kalaband Whisperwind wishes to speak with them. He runs the House of Sleep. As an additional reward he houses them in a luxury suite for a week explaining that he is not a warrior but he is a patriot.

Celebration: DoB and Freeriders share a table. The celebration is a feast with recognition for those who fought bravely at Bordrin’s Watch. Then Elder Cadrick says, “Each table has a plaque with a name of one of the Suicide Skirmishers. Without their sacrifice the Gate may have been breached and the orcs would have access to Overlook and all of Elsir Vale. Take one minute to finish your drink and memorize the name on the plaque. In the future when you drink to honor, bravery, and sacrifice, drink to that name.”

The name on the plaque is Derak Ironfell. He was related to the wealthy Ironfell merchants but saw little honor in joining the family business.

Temple to Bahamut: Performs the ritual to create a holy item from Donaar’s dragon scale.
The Bahamut treasurer is a devout Halfling named Heinrich Resolute. He has some ideas for raising money.

  • Make it a stronghold. Convince Brindol and Overlook it will help defend Elsir Vale.
  • Ally with Moridan. They have overflowing coffers and would like to build elsewhere in the Vale.
  • Ally with Pelor. They are less wealthy but have a strong base all throughout the Vale and can contribute labor

Checking Leads

Brass Key: Elan asks around town and determines the key likely opens a portal to another plane.

Note From Emissary: Adren and Biatch kidnap the scribe from Brindol and bring him to Laenn Tindel, a wealthy book collector. The scribe agrees to take a job for Laenn and also researches the note. He finds some correspondences with a similar style written from Gloomwrought, a large trading city in Shadowfell.

With evidence from the key, note, and orc weapons, and two Shadowborn in the Nexus (a Dark Creeper and a Shadar-Kai) the party suspects some sort of influence from the Shadowfell and determines they need to find an expert. They head to Blister, the poor part of town (but still inside the gates), to find some Shadowborn. On the way they are ambushed by seven soldiers and a mage.

All are slain except a single sellsword. He reveals that they were hired to kill the party and retrieve a key by someone named Modra. The mage had a note to the same effect with a sketch of the brass key.

The party conspires to spread rumors they had been killed. They go with the thug to his hangouts in hopes that Modra will contact him looking for the key.

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15 Defending Bordrin's Watch

The heroes rested in the caves then proceeded to find their horses and ride to Bordrin’s Watch. Once there they found some of their friend from Brindol: Troyas was leading Brindol’s 200 men. Hiram was providing sending to communicate and was ready with a linked portal to move someone to or from the wizard’s guild in Overlook. Taunery was acting as a quartermaster. Loarn was repairing boots. He seemed to have a knack for good quality fast repairs and became very popular not just with Brindol’s men but with all of the militia that had to travel but did not have a cobbler. When his repairs were finished he would apologize for the ugly large stitches but all were happy with his work. The scribe (note: must find notes for his name) who had helped identify the note from the Emissary was there for official communications and to recount Brindol’s role in the conflict.

The group put themselves under Troyas’ command and then reported to Field General Durkik Forgeheart to brief him on their activities at the Nexus. Durkik didn’t know details about the Nexus but did know that three groups were sent out on important missions and that the Defenders of Brindol completed two of them. He thanked the party and went back to his business.

Hiram apologized to Elan for being so gruff and gave her a hairweave made from a rare Eladrin material. Elan did not completely trust his motives—he claimed not to know what it was but she sensed he actually did. She wasn’t sure if she should wear it. One one hand she didn’t know Hiram’s motives. On the other it was the most beautiful thing she owned. Even the princesses of Astrazalian would not wear such a thing for Feyweave was too precious in crafting magical cloth armor to be worn as jewelery.

The party spent the rest of the day learning the basics of defending the wall. It was 150 feet tall, 80 feet deep, and extended the entire width of the valley. It had numerous archer slits, siege weapons, battlements, and could withstand a siege for months. The wall itself could hold 3000 men which took most of the 5000 men present to defend the wall.

All of the front line positions in the Elsir Alliance were occupied by active Watch Defenders, Overlook Army, or Overlook Militia who had been trained on wall siege maneuvers. All other militias would be used primarily in a support role. This suited most people. The dwarf regulars had obvious respect for men who marched hundreds of miles to a city they had never seen to dig latrines so that the veterans would be ready and refreshed when the battle came.

Brindol with 200 men had the largest and best organized militia from beyond Overlook and was given the honor of being the second line of defense if a force broke the 100’ gate and got through the first line of defenders.

The strategic setup was this: Orcs had a huge army that would easily swarm Bodrin’s Watch if they breached the gate.

Artillery: orcs had much more but alliance had much longer range. The orc artillery would wait outside of range except for the occasional skirmish to test the wall’s defenses. Air: Orcs had a few dozen giffin riders. Elves had a dozen owl riders. Owl riders were much more disciplined but a single griffin could take an owl in a one on one fight. Magic: Neither side had long range magic. A few of the more powerful wizards like Hiram would use sending to communicate instantly. One powerful wizard sent a bolt of lightning to clear a wall breach. It was later learned that some powerful wizards from the wizard’s guild had used a linked portal to attend the battle when the breaches started happening but they had not had a chance to do any magic.

Orc Strategy: Minor skirmishes where archers and artillery tested the defenses. They would inflict some minor damage but not much.

At 1am a strange noise and a dust cloud. Telescope saw coming out of the dustcloud a large house on weels, not sure what was pushing it. A wave of orcs preceded the charge with grapple launchers (jai alai type things) carried by orogs.

The Durkik determined that the full speed house could shatter the gate and so deployed the suicide skirmishers, 60 dwarves riding aurochs (large bulls).

The door was slow to close and a dozen or so orcs maked it through. One vaulted over the first line and Brindol’s militia is able to slay him. Glory to Brindol!

Suicide skirmishers slamed the aurochs into the ram, stopping it. Some of the dwarves made it under the house. After a few minutes of fighting the house began to move again but much more slowly.

It as the largest battering ram ever built. All that could be seen from above is a wood and metal roof 100’x25’ with a sharply tall 30’ roof. It had a cowcatcher in front and huge wheels. 100 aurochs pulled it.

As the orogs closed with their grappling hooks, Elan sighted the largest and put three magic missiles into his skull, exploding it (four consecutive crits, a 1 in 160,000 chance).

When it rammed the gate everyone felt it. A boulder is dropped on top of the house. It slides off to the side. The ram starts to move back. Another boulder drops putting a crack in the house.

Longbreath was in the gate tower and ordered the defenders to take up grappling hooks and snag the ram. When the ramming piece swung back the house was unbalanced and the defenders pulled the ropes, tipping the house slightly. This was enough to help the boulders hit the house without being deflected. After about six boulders the ram was broken.

With the ram out of commission the orcs made a desperate attempt to scale the wall. A massive wave of grapplers came up. The heroes positioned themselves where the fighting was fiercest. A wave of orcs came up the ropes and the heroes took them out like a well oiled machine. Elan burned most of the ropes and slept the rest. Longbreath and Donaar wounded and killed many with their acid breath. Biatch waded into the middle and killed them in droves. Adren picked off those flanking or assisting other orcs. They orcs didn’t have chance, the Defenders of Brindol were too much. One orc flung himself at Longbreath screaming “die human” and attempted to push him off the ledge. Longbreath smirked knowing his dwarven greaves would hold him fast. Soon the breach was secure. Other breaches were secured, the orcs were sent running and the Elsir Alliance was victorious.

By morning it was estimated that Elsir lost 200 troops while the orcs lost 3000.

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14 - Nexus

Most of the party wanted to head south but Longbreath felt there was more danger to west so west they went!

Upon opening the door they saw The Nexus. A huge chamber dominated by a giant column running the entire height of the room. A large catwalk spiraled 100 feet to the top. A few orcs on watch saw them and gleefully charged. The party took up formation and prepared while the archers took on the orc bellybow archers.

Elan used thunderwave to send the first wave of attackers into the pit beneath the catwalk. Just then with a loud battlecry a huge Orog named Tusk crashed through the tunnel above the party landing in front of them. He challenged and taunted them while his Shadar-Kai witch stayed in the tunnel cursing them.

Then things got chaotic. Longbreath ran to flank Tusk by running across the hot hot steam pipes but was intercepted by some drudges. Elan feystepped behind the witch and used thunderwave to blast her out of the tunnel and on to the floor beneath the catwalk. Biatch was hit by a bellybow and thrown into the pit with the two veteran orogs and the witch. Kalad and Donaar kept Tusk occupied while the party tried to get control of the situation. Things looked bad until Elan and Adren were able to take out the witch. Biatch was trapped between the burning hot pipe and the two battle hardened orogs but went into a rage that healed her wounds. She called on the power of her bracers to leave gaping wounds in her enemies and was able to defeat them both.

Longbreath flanked Tusk who seemed happy to be in the thick of battle. He raised his falchion and spun in a whirlwhind, stabbing and slashing at everyone near him, and killing a drudge. Tusk seemed unstoppable and singled out Kalad, delivering a devestating blow, nearly killing him. A similar blow felled Donaar. Longbreath planted the Banner of Brindol and let its healing power rejuvenate the paladins. Thus inspired, the party was able to kill Tusk. Kalad ripped a jade hammer, a holy relic of Moradin from Tusks neck and some stolen dwarven greaves from his legs.

While this was happening orcs had been pouring into the Nexus from the connecting tunnels. Elan and Biatch conspired to throw a grappling hook to the platform above so Biatch could study a control panel while the rest of the group fought orcs.

Biatch was able to quickly climb the rope but couldn’t figure out the controls. She called for Kalad to help. Not much of a climber, Kalad took the more direct route—through the waves of orcs. Donaar ran with him as Adren shot orcs as they appeared. Longbreath was pinned between orcs and Elan was helping him.

Finally Kalad, Donaar, and Biatch were able to turn on the controls. A loud machine noise was heard from the base of the pillar as water quickly poured out and steam filled the room. The flow was tremendous and water would fill the room within minutes. Elan was trapped on the lower part of the pillar and had to tie the rope around herself while Biatch hauled her up faster than the water could rise. Longbreath chose to run down towards the rising water!

“What are you doing?” yelled the party. “Get up here fast!” “No!” replied Longbreath. “I cannot leave the Standard. It does not belong to us but we are it’s steward. I have sworn to protect it and …” “Just leave it! You’ll boil to death!” “I’d rather boil than leave it along with my honor to be destroyed or captured. When I swear an oath, it is sworn and I will not break it for selfish reasons. Or for any reason unless it conflicts with another oath. Then I would attempt to accomplish both oaths as best I could and make penance for any oath that I could not keep. But it is better to be vigilant and not make oaths that cannot be kept. If I was to …” “Shut up and just run!”

Longbreath could only barely keep ahead of the rising water, his boots damp with the boiling tide. He had to stop to cut down orcs in his way. Orcs that would rather boil than flee a fight. Elan and Adren were able to clear out most of the orc. Donaar attempted to fire his hand crossbow, much the terror of his companions. Fortunately he didn’t injure anybody.

At last, Longbreat was at the top and all climbed through the trapdoor to safety.

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13 - Cave Troll

The party opened the steel doors and entered some sort of maintenance or control room. After killing lots of orcs and a few fire beetles they saw the body of Jen, the warlock in the Farstriders. They opened two water control valves and pressed on.

Following a blood trail, they found themselves in a shrine to Moradin inhabited by a few orcs and a huge troll. They used all of their daily powers but otherwise were not much harmed. The partially eaten bodies of the rest of the Farstriders were there. Kalad said a little prayer and thay went off to find the Nexus.

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12 - Vents

(previous to this characters had just enough xp for 4th level) (xp awarded this session: 295)

The group finds the vents, navigates the maze, and discovers the worked passages that Kalad believes will lead to the Nexus.

A group of orcs were arguing about something. The party slew them. It turns out they were trying to decide what to do about the trapped passage behind them. A mechanical walking crossbow and two mechanical guard dogs guarded the passage. When the party entered the passage, 4 turreted crossbows came from the wall and started shooting the group. Thankfully Adren, Kalad, and Elan were able to figure out the control panel and disable the turrets. The other guardians were dispatched relatively easily.

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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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