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Children of the Shadow
Session 6 - January 11, 2011
Start of Session:
20th of Doshram

End of Session:
Afternoon, 33rd of Dorsham

The Action:
The party stays 10 nights in Pardrum Holdfast, where they accomplish various things. Tolmaar and Voll set in to learning new spells, Alric participates in trading with the locals, Bollin mulls about causing trouble here and there, and Wendell shacks up with a widowed dwarven matron.

Some other things accomplished:
* The party is interviewed by the persistent clan loremaster
* Tolmaar and Alric explore the Hall of Heroes and glean some background information about the holdfast and the Cardaal Clan
* Alric distributes some of his carvings to the children of the holdfast
* Dola inspects Tolmaar's heirloom urutuks and reveals some of their powers
* The group notices a shy child who they deduce is half-dwarf, half-orc

Toward the end of their stay, they are drawn to the fighting pit, where they witness a warrior youth earn his right of passage by fighting a goblin to the death. After this spectacle, the party is offered a chance to prove their worth in the ring. Alric lowers himself into the pit without hesitation. After working up the crowd, Alric finds himself face to face with a vicious warg, which nearly gets the best of him. Fortunately, Alric is able to land a killing blow and the warg is slain. After celebratory cheering, Tolmaar decides to try his luck. He is matched with a pair of goblins, which he cleverly outmanuevers and overcomes. The crowd is impressed with his use of the ancient dwarven urutuks, which he handles with ease.

Finally, Voll enters the ring. His opponent is an orc, and the crowd is certainly on Voll's side as the goblinoid is jeered and hissed. Voll handles himself well and skillfully decapitates the orc with his elven blades. Holding the head up high, he uses magic to cause it to glow, and this causes a stir in the crowd. The horrorfied crowd treats the victor with silence, and Voll is obligated to make an inaudacious exit to return to his friends, the lesson apparently learned. With this the dorthane calls an end to the festivities and a party commences afterward.

On the day before they leave, the party is called in to speak with Dola. She is uncharacteristically silent as the heroes make their way into the room and take a seat. She offers them each a prophecy by having them break a small stone with a hammer, then reading the pieces.

To Alric she says:

Wildlander, I know what you seek. You will find it in the most unlikely of places. You must seek out the one called the Teacher and trust him with your life.

To Voll:

Erenlander, I see something within you; a seed which grows even now. Whether it will bloom with good or evil fruit I cannot say.

To Tolmaar:

You fear your hunters but would fight for freedom. Do not lose heart, but know that the magic in yours may betray your company to the darkness.

To Wendell:

Riverblooded. The fate of your family has come to pass and your beloved Eren flows with tears. Be strong and hold a true promise. The ends are indeed justification of the means.

To Bollin:

You can never replace those who sacrificed themselves for you. But do not strive to be alone. Find trust in new friends and your heart shall grow to fill your frame.

The next day they set out for the surface with the tracker Calia as their guide. She is eager to pay a visit to her boyfriend who is stationed at the West Gate, half a day's march from the exit.

For 2 and a half days they travel, and when the group approaches the fort, they notice several pikes mounted with dwarf heads, and one of them is recognized by the devastated Calia. After sneaking forward, Alric spots the gate and notices some activity from within the windows. It is quickly determined that orcs have taken the tower. Alric tries to negotiate with the orcs to "trade" Calia, but isn't able to strike a deal with the stubborn occupiers. Finally, he resorts to hurling insults, as an invisible Bollin moves forward to climb the gate. The large plainsman takes advantage of an opportunity to pull an orc out of a window and is met by an attack out of the far gate. The rest of the party assaults the gate and a bloody battle ensues, but eventually the orcs are diminished. Bollin goes down and is in dire need of medical attention, but Voll and Tolmaar are not able to come to his aid just yet. Meanwhile, Calia storms the tower and meets the orc boss in his lair. Voll is there as well, but is not able to prevent the foul leader from cutting down the dwarven wildlander and finishing off the job, execution-style. Having no where to go and refusing to surrender, the orc stands and fights until death. In the end, one of the orc lackeys escapes down the western tunnel, but he is not pursued.

After the battle, Bollin is restored to health, but unfortunately Calia has joined her lover in a tragic end.
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good write up. too bad calia had to give up one last roll in the hay before her untimely demise. voll feels extra bad for not being able to save her life.