Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Debt (or Favor) to Teziir’s Redbeard – The Attack of the Goblin Raiders

  • Characters: Alrak, Belton Stoutshield, Dimak Cloudchaser Ogolakanu, Domollo Blue, Farthick, Qualen
  • NPCs: Sgt. Bartran, Captain Redbeard, Garsys the Merchant
  • Synopsis: After defeating the were-rat Vernon Archer, the group collects itself on the docks of Teziir. They are approached by the City Watch headed by Sgt. Bartran. Leading the inquiry Bartran’s attitude shifts from skepticism to reluctant acceptance upon verification of the party’s deeds. He orders the sequestered to the Smelted Horse until the morning when they must explain their activities to the Watch Captain Redbeard. The following morning Bartran’s expectations are met as the adventurers are escorted to the City Watch headquarters and are greeted by Redbeard. He has heard of their exploits and offers up an entirely different escapade to the group. A caravan mercenary survived an ambush from a tribe of goblins that looted the cargo which is desperately needed food stuffs for Teziir citizens. The mercenary produced a map that identifies the revine where the goblins returned to. As the party could earn the City’s good favor, Redbeard suggests that the merchant guild would hold the group in high esteem should they retrieve the goods and slay the trade interlopers. Under escort the group follows the map to the isolated revene and enters one of the several cave entrances. The cave network is only marginally explored before the group intercepts a cluster of six goblins. The bottleneck of the corridors prevents the full group from attacking, but the alarm is raised and another group of goblins attacks from an adjacent corridor. Splitting the party in two, Qualen, Farthick and Alrak challenge the initial goblins while Cloudchaser, Belton and Domollo Blue take on the flanking goblins. The massive battle is soon joined by additional goblins lead by an ogre skull crusher as the sounds of combat and dying goblins has alerted the tribe to an invasion. As Domollo Blue and Alrak are drawn away from Qualen and Farthick, the accompanying light source vanishes as well and the two are left in darkness. Farthick cannot stand against the multitude of goblins and falls to the floor just short of consciousness. The blinded Qualen horribly misses his intended target and lands a fatal blow on his own ally Farthick. Battling back to the others Quallen joins the on-going battle as the combined party forces the goblins to retreat. After a quick assessment and dispersed healing, the party persues their enemy. The encounter turns deadly as the goblins and ogre have been joined by the tribe’s warchief and shaman. Like water the adventurers spread to meet the demand as blades and axes fly. Again the combat shifts to the adventurers’ favor as the warchief is destroyed and the ogre falls. The bereaved shaman is pulled away in yet another retreat, the fallen comrade Alrak is revived and again the party gives chase, hoping to prevent the goblins from regrouping and healing. A locked door is found as Domollo Blue pulls out a rogue trick to give way to a bound and bleeding human. The man is Garsys, the merchant caravan leader, and he pleads for his freedom saying the goblins were planning on using him for ransom. Qualen and Domollo Blue convince the others to persue the goblins so that they cannot regroup. With reluctance the party continues into the chaotic caves on the condition that any additional forces encountered will force a retreat. Rounding a turn in the corridor, they spot the regrouped goblins, but this time reinforced with hobgoblins. It is enough to trigger the condition and the party withdraws from the chase, retrieving Garsys in the process. Returning to near the entrance, they spot the hidden door for the ogre’s personal quarters and loot it. The party hastely retreats from the revene with the saved Garsys and the fallen Farthick and force march back to Teziir. Belton does his best to cover their tracks with his spells but the odds are bad that the goblins know exactly where they are headed.
  • Encounters: goblin tribe, ogre skull crusher, goblin war chieftan, goblin shaman, hobgoblin cloister
  • Achievements: discover the hidden cave network housing raiding goblins, destroyed a significant portion of the tribe including their primary warriors, retrieved the kidnapped Garsys at the expense of one of their own comrades Farthick.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Earthome College and the Firehill Runestones

  • Characters: Aramir, Dorian, Forkbeard, Gallipolas, Jebeddo, Lazbin, Rathgillian
  • NPCs: Romualda the Librarian
  • Synopsis: Holding the cryptic writings of the Historian, the Defenders are at the crossroads. The scrolls identify the Firehill Runestones, documentation of historic dwarven lore, contained at the Earthome College in Cedarspoke. Discussing their choices, the group argues between seeking out these runestones and seeking out the destruction of the Shadow Lord, still captive of the Council of the Divine. The group has recovered Cedarspoke’s payment to the Wizards of Tendale and still has in their possession the bodies of the Divine Hammer. With these bargaining chips they may be able to procure the Shadow Lord and deliver their long sought after justice. Jebeddo offers a different strategy, at least one prior to negotiating with the Council of the Divine. He offers to return to Cedarspoke and investigate these Firehill Runestones before any negotiations take place. At least then they will know what the Historian’s scripture is leading them to. As the decision is being refined, Gallipolas spots a shadow swiftly moving across the snowy floor of the clearing. The bellowing black smoke rises from the forest canopy, providing proof of their conquest for miles around. Gallipolas readies himself as a huge white dragon with bolted on steel plates swoops towards the group releasing a cone of cold. The flyby attack is preceded by an announcement of defilement and breach of agreement by one Salricasa. The white dragon’s fear sweeps across the group, shaking them to their core. Spells are loosed and the group prepares for defense, as magical fire engulfs the attacking wyrm. The next attack proves near fatal for Jebeddo as the gnome imprisoned in the creature’s maw and flung into the nearby trees. But the dragon makes a critical mistake in hovering nearby the defenders. Despite the kick-up of debris, smoke and snow drift, the Defenders find their target and drop it to the snowy banks as it attempts to flee from the overpowering group. Speeding up the decision-making process the group teleports to outside visual limits of Cedarspoke. Jebeddo is joined by Forkbeard and Lazbin who alter their appearance to mask their presence from the guardsmen. The three gain admittance to the city and make for Earthome College where Jebeddo befriends the librarian Romualda. She is perturbed by their inquiries for the Firehill Runestones and leads them to an ancient wing of the library where many dwarf runestones are kept. A barren section indicates that the Firehill Runestones they seek are lost to time. Romualda speaks of the history of the dwarf commander Dessothal Firehill. Commander Firehill lead the dwarven armies against the giant-kind during the First Giant’s War. Tales of his success are epics as he almost single-handedly repelled the attack of the giant-kind and then pursued them back to their point of origin. Dessothal Firehill was the dwarven war strategist behind the ultimate victory over the giant-kind and saved the Dragon Coast. His relentlessness in vanquishing the forces of the giants became legendary as he was bent on their eradication from the lands. The giants fled to their mountains leading to the name of the mountain range, the Giant’s Run Mountains. Firehill pursued them into the mountains only to discover some lost secret that caused him to retreat back to his fortress Scarwall. Firehill took the runestones documenting his successes in combat against the giants, baffling war strategists. His runestones also are rumored to have documented his findings in the Giant’s Run Mountains. But Commander Firehill was so full of despair and grief that he cut off all contact from the region, sealed the gates of Scarwall, and cursed the surrounding lands. Romualda says that periodically foolish adventurers hear of the rumors and seek out the fabled treasures of Scarwall, only to disappear never to be heard of again. When the Black Legion attacked earlier this year, historians and war generals sought out the Firehill Runestones, only to find that the location of Scarwall was lost to legend and lore. Rumors within Cedarspoke say that druid and ranger parties were dispatched but never heard of again, and that the Army of Nature’s Wrath abandoned the effort. With a grave warning the elf librarian grabs Jebeddo and prays for him not to join the leagues of lost souls on a fool’s quest.
  • Encounters: Salricasa the Frostforged White Wyrm, Cedarspoke city guards, Romualda the elf librarian
  • Achievements: defeated the mansion guardian for the Wizards of Tendale, returned to Cedarspoke and infiltrated the city walls, and learned of the ancient rumors of the First Giant’s War.

Teziir’s Men of the Basalisk

  • Characters: Alrak, Belton Stoutshield, Crulamin, Dimak Cloudchaser Ogolakanu, Farthick, Qualen
  • NPCs: Domollo Blue, Jynn of the Kelemvor Sect
  • Synopsis: Domollo Blue has gathered a small band of adventurers at the Smelted Horse in Teziir. A secret contact has been initiated with the Men of the Basalisk, an underground guild rumored to be attempting to take down the Astorians, thieves guild of Teziir. Domollo Blue’s task is to gather a group capable of achieving greatness, but also of surviving. The first task of their initiation is to seek out a crazed were-rat that sought the destruction of Teziir through a series of politically motivated kidnappings and murders, as well as attempted take-overs of the ratcatchers’ guild, the garbage collectors’ guild, and the sewer workers’ guild. The were-rat, one Vernon Archer, was thwarted in his conquest but escaped capture. The target lives on a garbarge scow, frozen in place off the docks in the gulf. The band braves the winter stricken streets only to be targeted by a sniper and a watcher. Both escape and the group calls off the pursuit in lieu of grabbing the attention of the Teziiran guard. Down at the docks, the were-rat’s barge is easy to locate, stacked high with refuse and ill-smelling waste that even winter’s wind cannot disperse. They are immediately attacked by two giant cockroaches as they maneuver onto the barge. The guardians are destroyed after a lengthy melee, and the party proceeds to the lone shack nestled within the mountains of garbage. Through the trapped door, the band stumbles into the firing range of the were-rat, quickly surrounding their target and coordinating the attack to their advantage. Vernon Archer is well dug in, and succeeds in voraciously biting Belton Stoutshield on his casting arm. The were-rat is systematically destroyed before it can infect anyone else, as the group discovers the lair’s treasure, and the almost unmentionable decayed corpse of another female were-rat, propped and meticulously maintained inside a storage closet. Domollo Blue promises to report their success, and if they are still interested, periodically meet the group at the Smelted Horse for further tasks from the secret Men of the Basalisk.
  • Encounters: Astorian sniper, two giant cockroaches, trapped door, the were-rat Vernon Archer
  • Achievements: gained an ally one of the local blacksmiths, Potter Helm, stumbled upon a hidden sect of Kelemvor with the contact Jynn, drew the attention of Astorian assassins, defeated the crazed were-rat Vernon Archer, but Belton succumbed to the bite of the lycanthrope.