Nerath Reborn

The McStompers stomp on!
Game 25:m2012-03-18

15th of April 100 A.D.

After having heard the plea for help from Lord Padraig, the group accepts to help but, as usual, Gurdil negotiates hard for some reward for the “McMithril’s Dragon Stompers”, his new name for the group.

Lord Padraig does agree to a reward, to be specified later. The group immediately gathers their possessions and heads east on the King’s Road.

About two hours east of Winterhaven, the group comes upon 5 corpses lined up on the road. They cautiously approach and find the corpses to be those of 4 humans and 1 eladrin. The eladrin is dressed in the red uniform of a Royal Messenger while only one of the humans has the remains of a black uniform of a Royal Guard.

The group searches the corpses and the general vicinity and finds little except for a path that leads off the King’s Road and heads north. They do find one thig out of the ordinary: on the inside of the messengers left arm, it is written in blood “Bahamut save the King and Nerath”.

After some discussion, Urzula takes the messenger’s body and return to Winterhaven with it, in hopes of having the man raised from the dead.

The rest of the group keep the corpses of the Guards and keep going down the King’s Road. After about two hours, Gurdil receives a Sending from Lord Padraig:
Urzula arrived, No raise available, will procure one, speak with dead tomorrow, stop and wait for Urzula’s return. Please find arrows. Padraig

The group waits for the return of Urzula and, the day being essentially over, make camp that night.

16th of April 100 A.D.

The next morning, Gurdil receives another Sending from Lord Padraig:
Speak with dead, attackers 11 humans, messenger thinks near Winterhaven now, might have split up, check abadonned farms north of road. Padraig.

The group heads back towards Winterhaven and take the first path north they come upon. As they follow the path, it becomes evident that the path was once a minor road towards an abandonned village. As they come upon the remains of the villages, they see a clearing in the distance where the building seems to be a bit more intact than usual. As they cross the remains of what might once have been a fence, they see a humanoid figure on the roof of the building.

Unfortunatly, he sees them too and shouts something down to the building. As the group approaches, several men emerge from the building and begin to shot arrows at the group as they approach.

The group spreads out and behind to work its way towards the building. Asha creates a portal to permit most of the group to teleport forward, making their approach faster. As the group emerges in front of the 3 archers, one of them calls for help. From behind the building emerges another 4 men, who attack the group. The enemy fights a well fought retreat, edging ever closer to the back of the building.

Urzula, who had not teleported in but stayed in his horse, kills on of the archers, making another flee for his life. The bandit leader, alone before the group, falls back as fast as he can towards the remainder of his allies. the fleeing archer mounts a horse that was unseen behind the building and attempt to flee on horseback, only to be cut down by Urzula.

Another of the brigands also manages to get to a mount, only to be killed by one of the group.

Having dispatched the last of the brigands, the group inspects the area and their corpses. On the man who seemed to be the leader of the group, they find a red arrow, a suit of magical armor (warsheath armor +2) and a scroll. On this scroll is written the following message:

a Royal Messenger will be leaving tomorrow heading west on the King’s Road. He will be heading towards Winterhaven. Take Kunzan and his men and intercept the messenger and his escort as far west as you can. Kill them and take the Arrows. Leave the corpses where they can be found. Send Kunzan to Winterhaven and have him kill the Lord of Winterhaven, a man called Ernest Padraig. If he can, have him replace him and impersonate him.

If he does manage to replace Padraig, have him travel to Fallcrest within the week to attend the conference with the King’s representatives but make sure the real Padraig never makes it to the conference.

Behind the building, they find 7 horses and the remains of three humans, who have been dead some two days. The remains have no identifying marks and have minimal clothing. The group ponders what it all means.

The traditional reward for a job well done.
Cut Scene 2: 2012-03-12

After defeating the gnoll and his minions, you free the last missing survivor of the caravan, a guard named Heral. He thanks you and helps you loot the corpses of his fallen tormentors. As you prepare to leave the Well of Demons, you take the head of the Guardian, so as to show the world your exploits.

You and Heral begin your trek back to the Seven Pillared Hall. When you enter the Halfmoon Inn, the patrons give you a cheer and when they see the dragon’s head, well, the party start anew. Spending a few day at the Inn to rest and swap stories with the locals, your fame grows. Erra Halfmoon, the aunt of Rendil (the halfling you saved) lets you stay for free, saying only that your presence makes her rich.

During your stay, Rendil sees to it that your dragon head is properly cleaned and mounted, so that you can show it off correctly. As you pack your few belongings, you say goodbye to the Halfmoon clan and make your way to the surface.

Once on the surface, you journey back to Winterhaven, taking your time. Once you reach Fallcrest, Heral takes his leaves, thanking you profusely. He has kin in the town and he says that he will be able to employment quite easily. Having finally completed the goal which brought you together, you decide to continue traveling together, at least until Winterhaven, where most of your belongings are.

After nine days of leisurely and uneventful travel, you finally reach Winterhaven. As you approach the gates, the guards recognize you and wave. Upon seeing the dragon head on your pack horse, they look upon you in awe.

“My lord is at Wrafton’s, if you wish to speak to him. He will certainly be happy to see you” says the guard as he lets you through the gate.

As expected, Lord Padraig is at Wrafton’s Inn and the common room erupts with cheers at your arrival but quiets quickly as the Dragon’s head is brought in.

“You’ve been busy, I see” says Lord Padraig, “but you can tell us of this later. Come and rest, for now”.

You sit at a table as Salvana serves you a hot stew. Lord Padraig sits with you and says little, letting you finish your meal. However, it is obvious that you will have to tell the story of the dragon’s head to the expectant customers of the Inn, or you will not be left alone for long.

Once you finish you meal, you begin to relate what has happened since you left Winterhaven last. You tell how you reached the Seven Pillared Hall, how you found the slavers who had attacked your caravan only to find out that your friends had been sold to some duegar.

You explain how you infiltrated the duegar’s trading post and tracked your friends to their base in the Labyrinth. The groups gasps at your assault on the duegar’s stronghold. They rejoice upon hearing that most of the slaves were there but their interest only heightens when you explain that still two of your friends were missing (not to mention a shield). The crowd recoils in horrors at the description of the Well of Demons and of the vile evil within. The battle with the dragon is epic, the crowd busting in laughter at how you maneuvered the dragon under the sphere twice, trapping it in its own trap.

In the end, the death of one of the last captives is sorrowful to your listeners but they rejoice in knowing that you saved as many as you could and in doing so defeated a greater evil than they imagined existed in the Valley.

Once you tell of your exploits, you spend the rest of the evening sipping a well deserved beer while answering questions from the village folk. Lord Padraig stays for the evening, listening attentively and asking pointed questions about the slavers, the duegar and the role of the Mages of Saruun in all the story. He asks about Fallcrest and how the town seemed as you crossed it on your way to Winterhaven. He seems strangely interest in when you left Fallcrest and the trip from there to Winterhaven.

As the evening winds down, you begin to make for your rooms. As you get up to leave, Lord Padraig beckons you to his table.

“My friends” he says, ”your service to the village and to the Nentir Vale has been great and demonstrates your noble character. Your service should not go unrewarded and I would grant you each a boon. Come tomorrow to my house, say at the second hour (8 am), and I will let you choose some reward for your service.”

He lowers his voice and takes on a grave expression before continuing: “However, we will also need to discuss grave news I have received. I realize you are tired, and I will let you rest this night, but I fear your rest may be short. I say no more, rest tonight. We will discuss these matters in the morning.”.

He rises and walks with you to the stairs leading to the rooms. He refuses to expand on what he has said, saying only that it can keep until morning.

You return to your rooms, intrigued and not a little worried but the soothing comfort of the beds after so many night sleeping in open ground quickly lull you to sleep.

The next morning, you rise somewhat later than usual and have a quick breakfast. You head for Lord Padraig’s manse. As you approach the bailey’s gates, the guards wave you through. As you enter the courtyard, Lord Padraig is waiting for you on the steps to his house.

“Welcome, my friends! I trust you slept well. Come this way, we might as well go directly to the vault for your reward”

He leads you to a side door in the gatehouse, taking stairs that go down under the interior walls of Winterhaven. As you follow him, you quickly gain a sense of a hidden size to the underground portion of Winterhaven. The stairs go past at least two basements before finishing at a stout wooden door.

Lord Padraig takes a key out of his pocket and looks at you with a strange smile. “Now then, to unlock the door”. He does indeed unlock the stout wooden door but does not open it. “Here’s the trick” he says, as he pushes on the wall to his right, revealing a secret door that opens inwards.

He lets you in then follows you. On the other side of the secret door lies a short corridor that opens up into what seems to be a large armory, but of a sort you have never seen before. Before you lie weapons of all sorts, neatly arranged along the walls and on racks in the middle of the room. On shelves placed around the room, wands, rods, medallions, cloaks, rings and other paraphernalia are organized. At the back of the room, on wooden manikins, armor of every kind is displayed.

“This, my friends, is proof of my trust in you. This is the treasure of Winterhaven and of the Padraig clan.” explains Lord Padraig, “During the Time of Dark, many died, none the least the heroes of that age. Much was lost, trampled under foot of the crowds as they fled in panic before the Dark. In their haste to flee, fortunes in gold, jewels and other items were thrown down, as only the bare necessities could be saved. My great-great-grandfather realized that, in the times ahead where much learning would be lost, such items requiring magical knowledge to craft should be saved, much as the books of the Realm were saved.”

Lord Padraig slowly paces the room, continuing to explain “He began to accumulate those items that could be useful, once he had a secure place to protect his people. Often, the heroes of the age died holding the line against the Dark, as the people fled into the Keep. All that he could do was to keep their weapons and magical items, noting to whom they belonged and how they died. Later generations of Padraigs continued the tradition, using these treasures to protect what they could.”

Lord Padraig comes to a large table in the center of the room, upon which rests a large tome.”Within this tome lies the history of Winterhaven since the coming of the Dark. It lists all the items you see within this armory, to who it belonged and what their role was in protecting Winterhaven. As you can see, many have died protecting this village, many were adventurers like yourself, some were my kin.”

“Considering what I think is coming, you will need all the help you can get. Take a look around, my friend, and choose whatever you think will be useful to you. However, you should perhaps know what tidings I bear, so as to choose items that will help you.”

Lord Padraig sits in the chair set next to the table.

“Seven days ago, two after you left Fallcrest, I received a Sending from an old friend in Fallcrest. He is a mage who was born here and he was my friend growing up. He moved to Fallcrest to pursue his studies in magic, but he has never forgotten where he came from. He sends me news of importance as much as he can. In this Sending, he said the following.”

Lord Padraig takes out a small piece of paper from a pocket in his vest and reads it to you aloud:

”Padraig, King Eltir convening regional council in Fallcrest to reunify the Vale with Nerath. A messenger will reach you soon with Red Arrow summons. Arick"

Lord Padraig looks at you gravely and says: “The messenger is undoutebly a Royal Messenger. While you took nine days to travel from Fallcrest, you have admitted to traveling slowly, as you were not in any hurry”. He continues: “Normally, the trip from Fallcrest takes 6 days and, if you travel alone and push, you can make it in five. Royal Messengers are renowned for their speed and could have made it in four.”

Lord Padraig looks at you and expand on this idea : “ In other words, my friends, the messenger is late. He should have,in fact, overtaken you on the road. Therefore, I must assume that he is missing or, worse, dead. He carries the Red Arrows, enchanted arrows used by the King to convey important, official messages that require that there be no doubt about their origin.”

“Since the King intends to convene a regional council to discuss reintegrating the Nentir Vale with the Kingdom of Nerath, you can imagine that the impact of those arrows getting lost or used for the wrong reason is immense. Indeed, those who would oppose such an idea might very well have taken steps to intercept the Messenger.”

Lord Padraig sighs. He looks up at you and says “I know you have just arrived and have already done this village and the Vale a great service but I would ask of you another service. Those arrows need to be found, the fate of the Messenger must be determined and, if possible, we need to know if there is a link between whatever has happened to the Messenger and the plans of reunification of the King.”

“Would you help us again? Do not fear, you may still choose whatever you wish from the vault, you services have merited that. I simply ask for you to continue your work and find the Messenger. What say you?”

DM Note: You may choose whatever standard equipment from the PHB. Additionally, you may choose two items as follows:

  • An item of your level +1
  • An item of your level

Also, you have a monetary credit equivalent to a magical item of your level -1. You may spend this credit on rituals, potions, or magical items.

Game 24: 2012-01-21

As the group readies to execute the ceremony with the four artefacts they found, they cast Unseen Servant and Tenser’s floating disk.

The group splits up to place the artefacts in the runes at the same time. As they place the objects in the circles, all the doors in the complex bang open and a large roars echoes through the complex. From below, a dragon surges out of the large well in the centre of the complex.

The dragon moves towards the doors leading to the Inner Sanctum. These doors are opening, but very slowly. As the dispersed members regroup to defend against the dragon, Asha casts a spell that stuns the dragon. Bark then pins the dragon to the ground using earth grasp.

The source of the marks in the hallway is suddenly known as a large sphere turns the corner, moving down the corridor. The dragon, stunned and pinned to the ground is crushed by the sphere. As the dragon attempts to get out of the hallway, the group endeavours to keep it there with all their powers. Again, the sphere returns and crushes the dragon again.

As the dragon reels from the second crushing, Aurum closes in and kills the creature with a mighty blow to the head.

Having defeated the Guardian, the group takes a short rest and congratulates each other for their victory.

The group now advances slowly into the inner sanctum. They enter large chamber:

This chamber is dominated by a leering idol depicting a howling minotaur warrior armed with a massive axe. Before this idol is an iron cauldron filled with a bubbling liquid that gives off a thick mist. A short staircase leads to a raised area that over looks the idol. Three more cauldrons are set in this upper area, along with a stone altar. To the east of the altar, a series of green ghostly runes have been scribed on the floor.
Two humans, the last missing members of the caravan, stand within the the glowing runes. They appear to be in some kind of trance.
A gnoll with large bat wings and curved horns stands behind the altar. He grasps a rod in one hands and a sheaf of parchment in the other. A massive apelike demon stands beside him, while a small pack of carnage demons snarls at the group from atop the raised platform. Looming over all of them is a massive skeleton of a minotaur clutching a greataxe. With a shrill howl from the gnoll, the monsters move to attack.

The group moves forward, intent on rescuing the humans trapped in the circles. A fierce battle rages and, allthe while, the gnoll keeps chanting. As his cries reach a crescendo, one of the humans screams and disappears violently from the circle.

The group battle all the harder, dispatching the skeleton first then the apelike demon. Quickly they surround the gnoll, interfering with his chanting while fighting off the carnage demons.

With a final effort, the group overcomes the last opponents and free the last missing survivor of their caravan.

Game 23: 2011-11-13

The group leaves the chamber of blood and heads south. They find a room with many pools of different colours in it. They spend much time examining the pools and their contents, trying to determine their nature. Finally, they end up sampling a few of the pools with now great effect.

Further south, they find another set of double doors and open them.

A hot blast of damp air washes over them as the double doors to this chamber opens. The room ahead is carved from black rock. Here and there, pillars formed of piled bodies stretch from the floor to ceiling. Gibbering mouths, darting eyes, and squirming arms which end in taloned hands move within the strange columns of flesh. As one, the forms within the pillars let loose a mournful howl.

The group enters the room, and attacks the first pillar. Bark moves deeply into the room, some part of which are not visible from the entrance. As the group moves further into the room, they are surprised by demons that leap from within the pillars and attack them.

A larger demon is present at the back, near an altar with a bell on it.

The battle goes poorly until the group finally decides to coordinate their attacks on the smaller demons, dispatching them on by one. The larger demon, which seems reluctant to move away from the altar is then attack in a concerted way and brought down.

I'm not going in there!
Game 22: 2011-10-23

The group take a moment to rest before continuing its exploration of the Well. They decide to follow the bloodstains back to their origins. The stains lead to the double doors they cam e across at the entrance of the Proving Grounds.

As they open the doors, they come in on a room that is obviously a Temple to Baphomet. A bloodstained altar, several pillars and two statues are found in the room. The group proceeds very cautiously, examining everything in detail. As they search the room, they realize that the altar can be moved and beneath they find a large amount of money and some gems. On the altar, they find the book mentioned by the ghosts.

The group uses another set of double doors out of the temple. They enter a large hallway that bears the obvious marks of something very large being moved through it. The hallway make it way around a central chamber with a large well in the middle. After a quick look around, the group decides to open some doors to the west. They enter a room with several statues that are very lifelike. Again, the group proceeds very cautiously, but this time they find nothing of note.

They do, however, find more doors heading west. As they open them, they come upon a scene straight from the Abyss:

They stand on a small stone platform overlooking two large pools of bloods (50X100). A stone walkway divides the room and sits just above the surface of the pools. On the opposite sides of the room, lagre bronze statues of snarling minotaurs face each other. Each monitaur statue holds a long barbed whip, as if about to strike. A smaller minotaur statue stands between besides each door leading into this place (2). Flaking the large statues on the far side of the room are two pedestals that rise out of the blood. On one pedestal rests a grey dagger-sized blade. On the other rests a matching hilt.

Asha attempts to bind the closest statue with rope using his unseen servant. She then sends her servant to get the hilt. As the unseen servant returns with the hilt, something in the pool attacks it from below, dropping the hilt into the pool of blood. At the same time, the large statues begin to move, rotating t high speed with their chain whips. Unfortunately, the ropes that Asha has tied on the minotaur are not enough to contain the maginc within and the whip attacks all the party who are on the platform closest to it.

Aurum gets pulled into the pools of blood. One after the other, the group retreats out of the room. Aurum manages to climb out of the room and escapes also. The party regroups and casts a Water Walk ritual.

They return to the room and send the unseen servant again for the blade. Again, the unseen servant is attacked and the blade falls in the pool. The trap re-activates also.

Asha attempt to navigate across the pool on her Floating Disk but is pushed off. Then, the creature in the pool begin to attack the group. As chaos ensues, several of the group fall in the pool, either from the chains or by the demons attacking them.

Eventually, the group defeats the demons and destroy the statues to stop the trap, but not before Urzula falls unconscious from the poison in the pool.

Here and There
Game 21 : 2-11-10-16

The group moves south, As they move down the hallway, they come upon double doors…
Blood stains the floor here. Crimson trails run from a set of double doors in the east down the corridor and into a door to the west. A sudden chill washes over you, The cold seems to penetrate your body, causing an involuntary shiver. Three spectral figures appears faintly before you, rising from the bloodstains. The ghostly figures raise their hands in greeting.

The figures are the ghostly remnants of three adventurers who died trying to destroy Baphomet’s demonic influence from this place.

The figures ask what the group is doing in the Well of Demons. As the discussion progresses, the group attempts to get information from the ghosts that might be useful to them. The ghosts are suspicious and their doubts need to be quelled before. As the group assures the ghosts of their good intentions, the ghosts informs the group of several things:

  • This place is the Proving Grounds, a testing place for worshippers of the demon lord Baphomet. The group must find four items: a knife, a mask, a bell and a book. They must place each of those items on one of the four circles of runes found in this complex. The items must be placed on the runes at the exact same time.
  • Three items are held within chambers built to test Baphomet’s worshippers. You can find these chambers to the north, west and south of where they now stand, through these eastern double doors and then another set of double doors that lead to the west.
  • The fourth item, the book, is on an altar in a small shrine to the east.
  • To the east of the Proving Grounds is the Inner Sanctum. Its door opens only when the proper ceremony is completed. The items used for the ceremony disappear if you try to remove them from the Well of Demons, and upon completion of the ceremony, they return to their former locations.

Once the ghost have imparted this information, they wish the group well and fade, finally at rest.

Slightly perturbed, the group moves west, following the blood stains. The stains end in an empty room to the south. The group continues west and comes upon a corridor heading north ending in a set of double doors. Assuming that the doors lead to one of the tests the ghosts spoke of, the group opens the doors.

The door opens to reveal a ten-foot wide room. Jet-black curtains hang from hooks set into the ceiling, forming a wall ahead of the group. The group very cautiously approaches the curtains, attempting to determine what lies beyond. Eventually, the group enters the room behind the curtains.

The room is quite large and turns to the west out of sight. The room is filled with many mirrored columns. As the group advances, they discover that the columns are traps, attacking with deadly force those reflected within or teleporting them around the room. As group attempts to deal with these traps, they are teleported around the room and split up. Several are severally wounded until Aurum manages to get to the western end of the room, behind another set if curtain. Here, he finds an altar with a mask upon it but also 2 skeletons that attack him. By this time, the rest of the group has arrived and they dispatch the skeletons.

Healing up, the group manages to exit the room with minimal trouble as they have guessed that closing ones eyes make you immune tothe effects of the traps.

Where there's a boar, there's a way
game 20; 2011-09-18

Once the group has calmed down from their problems among themselves, they move south down a long hallway. They come upon a set of double doors on the west wall. They open the doors and find themselves at the northern end of a large room:

The walls of this chamber are covered with faded murals that depict minotaurs in combat. The images show minotaurs fighting each other, as well as battling demons, dwarves, humans, and dragonborn. In all the pictures, the minotaurs lack weapons and armor.

A barrier of hay bales divides the room. In the northern portion of the room, a large boar is chained to the floor inside a pen. Arrows jut from the trapped creature, and the floor around it is covered with splatters of blood. Hyenas encircle the pen, trying to bite the board. One by one, the hyenas become aware of the group’s presence and turn their attention in their direction.

In the southern end of the room, behind the bales are four gnolls with bows. As the group advances, the gnoll start shooting at the with their bows. As the rest of group engages the hyenas, Urzula attempts to calm the boar. His attempts are foiled by the constant attacks from the hyenas and he too must participate in the fight.

As the group dispatch the hyenas, the sniping from the gnolls begins to take its toll and Gurdil is nearly killed by an arrow through the chest. The group, having killed all the hyenas, move towards the gnolls.

Urzula sets fire to the hay bales and the rest of group move over the barricade and attack the gnolls. After a fierce battle, they manage to dispatch the gnolls. Urzula returns to the boar and attempts to calm it down but the poor beast is panicked by the smoke and fire. It pull the pin out of the ground and attacks the group in a berzerk frenzy. The group retreats out of the room and closes the door, locking the boar in the room.

Later, they return to the hall only to discover that the boar bashed one of the door and fled.

The group exists the large hall from the south through a second set of dorrs heading west. They find, further up the corridor, another set of doors. As the doors opne up into a corridor heading south.

The corridor, hewn from black rock, connects three different areas. Ahead, the passage opens into a chamber, while along the eastern wall, closed doors can be seen.The doors are made of black wood, and each has an iron knocker carved with the shape of a minotaur’s snarling face. One is a single door, while the other is a set of double doors. The flagstones on the floor each have the symbol of a bull’s horned skull worked into them in blood red stone.

Urzula goes ahead to scout the chamber ahead. As he peeks around the corner, he sees two Tielfings sitting at a table. He signals the group and they move forward to engage the tieflings. As the group rushes the 2 tieflings, they manage to kill one of them but the remaining tieflings disappear into thin air.

At this point, the group hears a sound like a whip-crack from behind the double doors. The double doors slam open and demon steps out and attacks the group. Then, the single door open and a gnoll steps out also and attack the group.

As the chaos of surprise attack overwhelms the group, they attempt to respond. They fight valiantly and manage to dispatch the two new attackers with difficulty. The group searches the area for the last tiefling but cannot locate him.

Just kill the darn thing!
Game 19: 2011-07-02

The group heads for the Well of Demons. When they reach the area indicated on the map, they find a large room with several columns and a pit in the floor off to a side. As the group enters cautiously, a creature with long arms hanging off the ceiling attacks Aurum. Gurdil, in an attempt to free Aurum from the creatures Choke attack, hits Aurum as the creature uses the later as a shield.

As the group maneuvers to defend against another of the creatures, the floor under Urzulaerupts with many tentacles as a Phalagar attacks the group.

As the Phalagar keeps the group pinned with its tentacles, two chokers and a ghoul attack. Urzula manages to hit the Phalagar with a massive attack and Ashafinishes it. Once the distraction of the Phalagr is gone, the group easily dispatches the Ghoul and one of the chokers. However, the second choker almost manages to escape until the group hunts it down in extremis.

The group decides to move west, cautiously opening a set of doors. They find a long corridor filled with the stench of rotting food. As the advance, they find a side room with several gnolls in it. As the battle erupts, the group is attacked by several hyenas from further down the corridor. While the group fights the gnolls, they disagree on how to deal with the hyenas. Urzula orders the group to leave the hyenas alone and fethces a corpse to feed them. Gurdil beset by the hyenas, ignores the her orders and defends himself. Urzula is so upset with this that she strikes him but misses.

Gurdil, upset at this, hits back and orders her to attack the hyenas. Urzula, intimidated by Gurdil, obeys, much to her chagrin.

In the end, Urzula manages to calm one of the four hyenas that attacked but Asha destroys it, saying that it is too dangerous to live.

Kill it!
Game 18: 2011-05-22

The group decides to fall back with the freed prisoners to the 7 Pillared Hall. They go to the Halfmoon Inn and see to the care of the prisoners. Bark gives each prisoner 2 GP.

The next day, the group returns to the Horned Hold, only to find it empty, the few creatures that were left long gone. As they return to the Halfmoon Inn, a crowd has gathered to see the freed prisoners and to celebrate their liberation.

At that time, the group is approached by Charrak, a kobold beggar, who delivers an urgent message to the group:

_Your actions against the duegar are commendable, I am in a position of power in the evil organization behind the duegar’s actions, and I wish to help you defeat my comrades. I have been seeking a way out of the organization, and I believe that you can help me. Follow the attached map so we can meet in secret.

The group, while suspecting a trap, decides to go ahead and meet the source of the message. They follow the map into the Labyrinth and come to a large cave. In the cave, the groupis attacked by 2 snipers from a large ledge around the top of the cave and a large metallic construct, a Bronze Warder.

While the group handles one of the snipers relatively quickly, they need to gang up on the Warder to kill it. It takes many attacks on the Warder to destroy it, all the time being shot at by the remaining sniper.

Once the group finally manages to destroy the warder, they finish of the last sniper. Both sniper turn out to be thieflings and on one of them, the group finds 3 scroll.

The first scroll reads:

I don’t care how you do it, but deal with these adventurers. Take one of the Bronze Warders if you must. If they remain in the Labyrinth, they could disrupt my plans. Once you’ve dealt with them, deliver their bodies to our gnoll friends, along with the enclosed scroll.

The second scroll reads:

To Maldrick Scarmaker, Exalted Chieftain of the Blackfangs and Chosen of Yeenoghu: Paldemar offers you the corpses of these champions as a gift of ongoing friendship, that our arrangement might continue to be mutually beneficial. May you savour their blood.
Your friend and ally, Paldemar.

The final scroll bears a map of the Labyrinth that has directions to the Well of Demons, which is circled and marked with the word “Blackfangs”.

The group returns to the Halfmoon Inn and rests. They clean the robes of the thieflings, in case they can make use of them.

Grandstanding never pays.
Game 17: 2011-03-26

The group listens to a door leading further away from the bridges. They hear rough voices speaking in a guttural language. A rumbling voice interrupts the speakers; the first speaker laughs harshly and then resumes talking. The group discusses tactics. they decide to draw the enemy out of the room.

Asha Greyjoy opens the door, casts a spell and retreats back down the hallway. An ogre rushes out and follows Asha only to be ambushed down the hall. However, the ambushers are then caught between the Orcs who remained in the room and the ogre. The orcs begin to throw axes at the group while the ogre is slain. One of the orcs again attempts to flee and is caught in extremis by Bark

The group explores the room and finds that this room connects to a large tunnel leading away from the complex. They leave that door unlocked in case they need to flee. They then cross the hall and charge into the room where the orc was rying to flee. Inside they see:

Two large fireplaces-both filled with roaring flames-stand on either side of the room. A short staircase leads up to an area furnished as a bedroom. The stairs are flanked by statues of leering gargoyle-like monsters.

Several grim-looking dwarves with grey skin and bristling, orange beards glare at you. One stands at the top of the stairs, wearing armor of black plate and carrying an enormous maul.

“So, you think to challenge the Grimmerzhul?” he snarls. “It’s your last mistake, fools! I think I’ll sells the lot of you to mind flayers and count my gold while they feast of your brains.”

During the ensuing battle, Bark gets pushed into one of the fireplaces, where he is severally burned. Aurum charges a duegar Theurge, smiting him with Paladin’s judgement, killing him.

The guards, two duegar shock troopers, use their power to enlarge themselves and hold the doors against the group. The group defeatsthem nonetheless. The duegar leader, standing by a fireplace, turns to mock the group. It turns out to be a fatal mistake because he is stuck down before he manages to duck into the fireplace.


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