Nerath Reborn

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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The '20's are here today!
Game 16: 2011-02-27

The group moves forward slowly down the hall where the last had fled. They examine the rooms and, finally, decide to enter what they believe to be a smithy by a secondary door. In doing so, they catch the orcs and duegar in the forge by surprise.

As the group charges in, they overwhelm the defender. However, 2 duegar scouts manage to become invisible before the players know they are present. As Bark charges an enemy, the duegar scouts appear and attack him. Asha Greyjoy, in full form, finishes off the head smith (rolls 3 20s in a row). As his allies fall, a duegar scout attempts to flee but he is killed in the hallway as the group catches up to him.

The group decides to block the door heading into the rest of the complex and crosses the bridge across the chasm. At the other end, they pick the lock of an obviously unused door and discover an abandoned room behind it. They listen to all the doors and decide to rush several duegar guarding the other bridge over the chasm.

They rush in and quickly dispatch most of the defennders. However, on the the connecting doors open and a duegar Theurge enters, casting vile fumes which blinds all except for Bark and Asha.

As the groups fights back, the Theurge knocks almost everyone prone with brimstone hail. bark succeeds in finally dispatching the Theurge, securing the hall.

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Give the ogre another beer!
Game 15: 2011-02-06

Returning from their assault on the Chamber of the Eyes, the group goes to the Halfmoon Inn. There, they discuss the secret slave trading of the Duegar. Rendil says it’s likely the Mages of Saruun know about it but their enforcer, the ogre Brugg, would not allow the group to simply attack the dueagar.

Rendil proposes that the group somehow distract Brugg long enough for them to get what they need from the duegar. The group decides to arrange for Brugg to be occupied at the Inn and gives enough money to Rendil to keep Brugg drinking for a good long time.

Indeed, once Brugg arrives at the Inn, he goes on a drinking binge paid for by his ‘secret admirers’. The group head for the duegar’s outpost, confidant that Brugg will be out of play for a good long time.

The group enters the duegar outpost, pretending to want to buy food. The duegar inform them in broken common that they do not sell food. Gurdil, attempting to be diplomatic, comes cross as a retarded three year old and, eventually, makes them mad. As the dueagar attack, the group are surprised by a duegar theurge, who uses his powers to great effect. Nonetheless, the group overpowers the duegar and kill them all, including the theurge as he tries to flee.

The group search the outpost, the group finds a rough map of the Labyrinth that includes the location of the Horned Hold, the duegar stronghold in the area. They also find a note from Murkelmor instructing the Theurge to purchases additional provisions to feed their new ‘merchandise’.

The group barricades the outpost from within and leave out the back entrance so as to arrive int eh Seven Pillared Hall from another direction. As they return to the Inn. Brugg is still drinking.

The get some rest and, in the morning, they head out for the Horned Hall, in search of their missing friends.

The group approaches the Hall’s main gates.

_The path winds along the edge of a deep chasm for several hundred feet, rounding a corner to reveal several large bastions clinging to the side of the chasm. Two bridges span the chasm’s depths, linking the bastion together. The path ends at the nearest fortress, where a portcullis blocks the way. A couple of orcs are visible behind the portcullis, keeping watch.
_

The group is spotted by the orc guards. The group is stuck on the wrong side of the portcullis and must try to get through. They rush the portcullis to try a force it open. Aurum uses his breath to reach the orcs, who are now using spears to attack the group through the portcullis. After two attempts, the combined efforts of Aurum, Gurdil and Bark manages to open the portcullis.

As the orcs form a defensive hedge with their spears, the group attacks, overwhelming them quickly. One of the archers flees around the corner and down a hallway. Bark catches up with him and, despite the orc’s cries for help, Bark kills him before any other denizens of the Hold hear.

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Flanking Maneuver
Game 14: 2011-01-16

After the success of the surprise assault via the balcony, the group takes the upper path and open a door into a room with two duegar.

Two fierce-looking dwarves with grey skin and stiff beards of rust-red bristles are here enjoying the warmth of a fire. Seeing the group, they spring to their feet and draw their weapons

The dwarves cry for help as they attack the group. The group piles into the room to attack the dwarves. As the fight progresses, the dwarves allies, a large hobgoblin chieftain and a hobgoblin caster appear. The enemy retreats into the hallway, fighting defensively. The dwarves are the first to fall. Gurdil attacks the hobgoblin chieftain, hitting hit severely, nearly killing him with a single blow. He is easily dispatched by Bark. The caster throws Bark across the room before being killed by the group.

The group explores the corridor, finding the chieftain’s room. In it, they find a letter to the chieftain, Krand. The letter, written in common, is a contract to purchase the Caravan slaves for 1000gp; it’s signed by Murkelmor Grimmerzhul, dated two days before.

They also find a secret door that brings them into the Chamber of the Eyes from behind the altar. Within the Chamber are 3 hobgolin archers and a Dire wolf. The group surprise the enemy and attack them swiftly. During the battle, Urzula manages to calm the Dire Wolf, who does not participate in the battle. As the two other archers die, the third archer attempts to flee but he is captured by Aurum who intimidates him enough to make him surrender. The group interrogates him and he reveals that the prisoners were sold two days ago to the Grimmerzhul clan.

The group kills the prisoner, no longer needing him.

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On the trail of the Slavers
Game 13: 2010-11-21

The group returns to Winterhaven to find that the cloud that was hanging over the village’s spirit has lifted. The villagers are relieved but seem shaken. They learn that in their absence, the village was attacked by undead rising from the cemetery. The villagers managed to fight off the undead but they lost some friends in the process.

The group returns to see Lord Ernest Padraig with the news that the portal in the Keep has been destroyed. He is indeed pleased and promptly gives them their reward of 250gp. Lord Padraig thanks the group for their efforts and tells them to go rest a while. He informs them that he has more work for them in a little while.

The group returns to the Inn and rests for 2 days before they are summoned by Lord Padraig again. When they meet him, he informs them that he wants to follow up on the Note they gave him.

The possibility of slavers establishing a trade route in the area worries him and, combined with the slaver attack on the group’s caravan (see The adventure begins ), the group is more than ready to follow up on the lead towards the slavers. Lord Padraig promises a payment of 1000gp and will attempt to procure 2 magical items for the group for the completion of this mission.

The group prepares to leave the next day. While they make preparations, Asha Greyjoy finds Allora Tinshell, the daughter of Brendor Tinshell, one of the villagers who fell defending the village from the undead. He gives her the doll he found in the tomb of Ceinwein Keegan, the daughter of Sir Keegan. She has repaired and cleaned it up. She also gives her some money.

As they sit at the Inn, they are approached by Bairwin Wildarson, the proprietor of Bairwin’s Grend Shoppe, who informs them that he needs a discrete group for a trade mission in Thunderspire. He has heard that they are heading there and enquires if they would be willing to act as his representative while they are there. Once the group assures him of their discretion, he gives them a small wooden box and asks that they go to the Seven PIllard Hall, under Thunderspire mountain, and seek out a man named Gendar. They are to trade the box for a bag of stones. It is important that the group does not use Barwain’s name with anyone save Gendar. The group agrees. Bairwin will give them 450gp for the mission upon their return.

The next morning, the group leaves Winterhaven, heading east. According to Lord Padraig, they should find the dwarves mentioned in the note under Thunderspire mountain, probably somewhere in the Seven Pillared Hall.

They travel for two days without incident and eventually reach the valley leading the foot of the Thunderspire mountain. They follow the path from the Trade Road to the gates of Thunderspire mountain. The ruins under the mountain are collectively called the Labyrinth and somewhere within those ruins lies the Seven Pillared Hall. The group enters the tunnels and follow the path.

The path splinters into numerous passages a short way into the mountain. A wide tunnel with several smaller tunnels leading off of it seems to cut a path towards the mountain’s deep center. As the group makes their way, they notice light spilling from a partially open door a short way down one of the side passages.

As the group walk pass, they hear guttural laughter . A rough voice, speaking Common, says :“You’re ours now, halfling. We’ll easily get ten gold for you!” Another voice responds: “That’s a shame, ‘cause I’m worth twenty. I’ll buy myself if you let me go.”

The group, hearing this, approach the side passage and begin to maneuver to see what is going on. They sneak up and attack the hobgoblin within the chamber who have capture a halfling. After a brief battle, they slay all the hobgoblins and free a halfling, who introduces himself as Rendil Halfmoon.

Rendil is grateful for their rescue and he invites them to the only Inn in the Seven Pillared Hall. The group, happy to have found a guide, agree.

They head off and soon reach the Hall. As they head into the large cavern, they are approached by a large orge. Rendel tells them to remain calm and to say as little as possible. Brugg, the ogre, gruffly tells them that the can stay in the Hall but they had better not make trouble. Otherwise, HE will deal with them.

As Brugg heads off, Rendil give them quick pointers on the Hall and leads them to the Inn. There, the group meets Erra Halfmoon, Rendil’s aunt, who runs the Inn. She greats them warmly as Rendil loudly announces that the group saved him from attackers.

The group settle in and then heads for Gendar’s shop, Gendar’s Curios and Relics. There they meet Gendar, a happy-go-lucky drow who makes the trade within moments of the group identifying why they are there. The group returns to the Inn and rests.

The next day Rendil tells them where to find the Chamber of Eyes where the Reavers have made their base. He leads the group to the Dragon Door in the eastern wall of the Seven Pillared Hall. Once there, he instructs them how to travel to the Chamber.

The group quickly travels to the Chamber of Eyes by following Rendil’s instructions.

Once they come to the door described by Rendil, the group approaches cautiously. They see a gate overlooked by a balcony. Discreetly scouting the location, the group climbs on the balcony to discover that the door leading from the balcony into the hideout is not locked. Most of the group climbs up on the balcony and manage to surprise the guards in the room behind the gate, quickly dispatching them before they can raise the alarm.

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The Grand Finale....for now.
Game 12: 2010-11-13

The group now goes to the stairways leading down. They enter a large hall, obviously a religious building.

Crimson streams trail across the floor and terminate at a grate surrounding a hole in the floor of this shadowy cathedral. Blue green light emanates from crystal columns. A dais along the eastern wall appears to supply the blood. A human in dark robes stands there, knife raised high, singing the praises of the demon lord Orcus! A tattoo of a ram’s skull covers the man’s face

A soon as the battle begins, the group tries to flank to their left, using a side door of the vestibule. The berserkers charge up the main door while the vampire spawn and the Dark Creeper all head towards the group on the left side.

The berserkers manage to surround Bark in the entry hall and render him unconscious. Meanwhile the priest come in behind the berserkers to support their flank by boosting them and cursing Gurdil. The group manages to kill the berserkers and then gangs up on the priest, finally killing him.

Patching their wounds, the group climbs down the chains that leads into the hole. They discover the Shadow Rift in a large room with a lage pool of blood int eh center of the room. They manage to surprise the people present but their advantage is short lived.

They quickly dispatch 2 skeleton warriors but Kalarel teleports to a magic circle which boost his power and renders him difficult to attack. While they redeploy to attack him in the circle, a wight uses his powers to immobilize and attack the group from across the hall and the Thing in the portal behind the magic circle attack any who venture to close. The group, caught between Kalarel and the wight, are hard pressed to defeat either. Finally, the group manages to defeat the wight and concentrate on Kalarel. Even then, he is difficult to defeat. Only when, in his arrogance, he steps out of the circle do they manage to defeat him.

Their joy is short lived as whatever it is behind the portal grabs the unconscious Kalarel, dragging him Beyond. As the chill of the presence of the Thing fades, the group realized that the hall is near collapse as the magic powers that kept it erect fades. They hurry to escape the hall and the cathedral above as both collapse in a long slow rumble that shake the Keep to its very core. Orcus must have decided the Portal would be of no further use to him.

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Blocking the wrong door
Game 11: 2010-10-09

Having fought off a surge of undead from the room beyond the door Gurdil smashed in, the group now cautiously investigates the room. Finding the room essentially empty, they spot a large crack in a wall big enough to permit Gurdil to enter the tunnel. Gurdil finds the lair of one of the ghouls with the accumulated junk of several victims. Among the junk, he also finds a bag of holding.

The group also finds a large stairway down but they prefer to fall back and investigate other corridors on the same level that they have not seen yet.

The heads east from the main hallway, finding a long corridor with double doors heading north and a hallway heading south. They open the doors:
A short hall opens into a wider, torch lit chamber. A figure peeks around the corner, looking down the hal. The figure is human sized, with big pointed ears emerging from under its helmet. He screams out, “We’re under attack”" and ducks out of sight to the east.

The group charges into the room, following the sentinel into another room. This permits the hobgoblins to flank the group and a vicious battle ensues. A hobgoblin Warcaster uses his powers to throw Bark across the room. During the battle, Urszula falls as several hobgoblins concentrate on her. Finally, Gurdil leads a counterattack which kills off the last hobgoblins with Aurumusing his breath to bring down several of the lesser enemies.

The battle having severely taxed the group, they decide to rest after, barricading themselves into the newly conquered hall.

After their rest, they head down the hallway they saw earlier. Down the hallway, Urzula spots a trap by noticing that the flagstones are uneven. Jumping over the trap, the group heads down the hallway. Finding the room empty with several doors, they decide to barricade one of the doors. As they try and move the 2000lbs oak table, the doors burst open and they are attacked a hobgoblin Warchief and his retainers.

The hobgoblins charge Bark, who is in front, and manage to render him unconscious. Aurum manages to revive Bark but the hobgoblins drop a portcullis across the entrance, trapping the Warchief in the room while they flee. The warchief manage to bring Bark down again but he is slain by Aurum.

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The Steeve Strikes Back (a.k.a. rolling 1s forever)
Game 10: 2010-10-03

Corridor of the Cube.

The group now heads south then west from the main hall. The hallway turns south and ends at a set of double doors:

A board has been nailed across these doors. Scrawled on the door in the Common script is the word “Closed”.

The group tears the board off and opens the doors.

The doors open to reveal a short, 10-feet wide corridor that splits left and right. The floor is remarkably clean and dust free.

Urzula, poking her head around the corner, spot what seems to be a gelatinous cube down the eastern hallway. The group discusses for quite some time about what to do. Too long. The cube advances towards the group. They quickly throw some lantern oil in the hallway but the cube doesn’t care.

During the fight, both Bark and Aurum are engulfed by the cube. Bark is, in fact, engulfed multiple time and is near death before the group manages to kill the cube.

The group decides to rest between the doors they just opened and the other set further on, reasoning that they should be relatively safe. They prove to be right as no one attacks them during the night.

The next morning, they head down the western hallway they have yet to explore. They find a room with four stone sarcophagi along the west wall. While the rest of the group explore, Bark and Gurdil manage to open one of the sarcophagi, releasing an undead within. Another undead rises from another coffin.

The group manages to destroy the undead but they learn that these undead explode when destroyed the hard way. Aurum in unconscious after the fight. He is quickly healed by the other in the group and they continue on to another area.

Chamber of statues
The group heads south and fins a large room with a large statue in the center:

The room looks vaguely like a memorial. Dominating the western part of the room, a towering statue of a warrior in plate armour holds an outstretched sword. Across from the warrior, in the corners of eastern wall, sit two statues of crouching dragons. To the south, an entryway leads to a set of double doors. In the entryway stand four more statues of small cherubic figures holding vases above their heads.

The group explore the room, which turns out to contain several traps. Gurdil is examining the southern entryway when, suddenly, a force filed appears between the two statues at the entrance of the alcove. All four cherubic statues turn their vases down and the now enclosed space begins to fill with water. The group rushes to the aid of Gurdil but the statue in the middle swings the swords at any who pass close while the dragons breath on any who approach them. Finally, the group reaches the force field while Gurdil fight to remain above water. The group attempts to move the cherubic statues but simply cannot budge them (roll 1,2,1,3,4). Meanwhile, the water within the enclosed space begins to form a whirlpool, flinging Gurdil against the walls.

Eventually, Gurdil manages to hold on and smashes the doors leading south, frees the water. Teh group manages to break down the force field and rejoin Gurdil.

With the door open, undead come from the other room. The group fight valiantly and manage to fight off the undead.

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Nice Spider, Nice Spider...
Game 9:2010-09-05

After the battle against the Kruthik, the group decides to open the last door they have not yet opened on this level. A message written on the moss of the door says ‘Stay out. Really’.Aurum opens the door to discover a large cave with a large underground lake.

Fungus-coated stairs lead down into a natural cavern. Much of the chamber is filled with a stagnant pool of brackish water. A path of land rises from the foul water at the pool’s center. On this little island, bones, spilled coins, and other small objects are visible among the carpet of fungus.

However, Bark senses that they are not alone in the cave.

Ripples stir the calm water, as if something moves beneath the surface.

Asha Greyjoy moves to the side of the water, and with indications from Back, she fires a power into the water. Suddenly, from the depths, a large amorphous blob of bluish ooze attacks.

As the group battle against the Blue Slime, it releases a cloud of noxious gas which weakens those affected by it. It also launches a slime attack, which burns Urszula and her bear.

After a long fight,which drops Bark unconscious, the group manages to destroy the slime.

On the island, they find some treasure, including a shield and a message cylinder. Within the cylinder are three sheets of vellum: a map of the area indicating the location of Shadowfell Keep, a message :

“Remember, don’t wet the nodule-unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance , and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy and it will consume anything it can reach.

The third page also contains a message:“Greeting Kalarel, I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messenger will show the way.” It is signed: “Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers.”

The group patches themselves up and proceed to head for the stairs that lead down to the next level.
The stairs descend into a large, torch-lit chamber. Two human-sized creatures stand near the entrance. Big-pointed ears stick out from under their helmets, and sharp teeth glitter in their mouths. One of the guards yells out a challenge phrase: "Shadow seeks shadow!

The group tries to bluff their way in with a counter-phrase but gets it wrong. One of the guards yells ‘Intruders!’ and they attack. Several more of the same creature appear from other doorways to attack the group. 2 head for a cage at the back of the hall, containing a large spider. The battle is long, with the group essentially staying int he entrance to defend themselves. The spider finally gets released but Urzula manages to befriend it, so he is ignored by the spider. Others, however, are not so lucky. Back falls during the battle but the group emerges victorious.

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The Steeve is Strong tonight....(or the incapacity to roll above 4 to save your life)
Game 8: 2010-08-22

After some discussion, the group decides not to descend down the stairs at this time. They return to the area near the excavation site where goblins were digging for treasure and go down the stairs leading south.

The finely worked stairs and flagstones of the dungeon give way to a wide, natural cavern. The ceiling drips with dozens of stalactites, and the floor rises unevenly with loose rocks and stalagmites. The rocks and debris become thicker to the east and west, and both directions offer only narrow paths of unobstructed terrain.

As the group stands at the base of the stairs leading to the cave, Aurum decides to explore on his own, moving off around a corner.

As he does so, the sound of rats is heard and, suddenly, several giant rats converge on Aurum to attack. The group rushes to his aid, which is complicated by the many hiding places the rats have to hide. Eventually, the group manages to kill off some of the rats but require Aurum to use his breath weapon to clear them out.

Two corridors head south and the group splits up to hunt down the rats. As Gurdil heads down the east tunnel, he is attacked by a large Ochre Jelly. Again the group rushes to aid one of their own, but this time the battle is much harder. The jelly eventually splits in two, making the match even more difficult. After a long and difficult fight, the jelly is killed and the last of the rats crushed.

The group decides to rest in the defensible cave where the jelly was found. The rest is without event.

After their rest, the group heads for a long tunnel heading south. As they approach a turn in the tunnel, an open pit in the ground draws their attention. Within the pit, the remains of a goblin and of a kruthik, a giant biped insect. After searching the bodies, some gems and 2 potions are found. The group also notices smaller tunnels in the walls of the main tunnel. these smaller tunnels are far too small for them, so they continue along the main on.

As the group turns a corner, they enter a large cave which seems to be the main lair of the kruthik. They are immediately attacked by the kruthick. The group backs out of the lair but soon discover that the smaller tunnels are usuable by the kruthik and the group is soon surrounded.

The group pulls out all the stops to battle the kruthik. During the battle, Aurum is downed but is returned to battle by Gurdil. As the situation worsens, Aurum uses his fire breath to dispatch many of the kruthik young and, eventually, the group prevails.

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