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Posted by the GM
Shadows & Dust
S1 & 2: Bloodbath in the Death Pits of Shuul!
Sessions 1 & 2 Summary:

Champions! Our brave heroes claimed the Bloodbath Championship in the dreaded Death Pits of Shuul, a savage gladiatorial arena in the city-fortress of Shuul that has claimed hundreds upon hundreds of daring adventurers lives in decades past.

How did this come to pass? Listen closely, young one, and I will regale you with tales of high adventure!

Traveling on the road in search of their first adventure, the heroes find themselves captured by a large warband of hobgoblins, orcs, and brutal humans. The warband takes them--along with slaves and other captives--to the city-fortress of Shuul, ruled by the powerful and feared warlord Radix Dragonclaw. The heroes are imprisoned and forced to fight in the infamous Death Pits of Shuul, both for the amusement of Radix and his sycophant courtiers, and for the fanatical gamblers and spectators from across the Wastelands attracted to the Death Pits by bloodthirsty greed.

The heroes survive several intense preliminary battles before they face tougher opponents in the championship known as the Bloodbath. The heroes easily defeat a skulking band of goblins in their first championship battle. Next they struggle to defeat a mixed group of fellow adventurers, consisting of a halfling slinger, human wizard, several human soldiers, and an elf archer. Again the heroes come away the victors! In the final, the Bloodbath Championship, the heroes face their most formidable opponents--an orc raider, half-elf assassin, giant centipede, goblin runner, and a terrible gnaw demon. And once again, the heroes prove their battle strength and guile, soundly defeating the motley evil band and claiming the championship!

Back in their slave pens, recovering from the wounds of battle, the heroes are approached by a hooded figure. The hooded figure is a dwarf named Oden Tannheim. He reveals to the heroes that Radix Dragonclaw seldom awards Bloodbath Champions their promised freedom. Instead, he enlists them into his service ... or kills them. Oden promises the heroes an escape route, if they promise to fulfill a quest for him: to explore the lost dwarven citadel called the Halls of Tannheim.

And so the story will continue, young one ...
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Posted by the GM
Paul's Online 4e
11/21/2008 Recap
The party found their way through the wilderness to the Dragon Burial Site where they were greeted by a group of humans, halflings, and a gnome. The group invited the party down to see what they had discovered. The party noticed that there was something moving under one of the tarps covering the groups supplies, and didn't believe the gnome when he said that it was just rats getting into their food supply. When Maxwell tried to remove the tarp, the gnome called for the group to attack. After a hard faught battle in which both Demona and Daja were knocked unconscious, the party triumphed. They found their former mentor Douven bound beneath the tarp, and an ancient mirror packed in a crate for delivery. Douven told the party that he had overheard the gnome talking about needing to deliver the mirror to Kelarel, and that the mirror was used in an ancient sealing ritual to seal some sort of portal or gate.

Douven gave the party his magical locket that the gnome had taken from him, telling them that he didn't think he needed it anymore since he was planning on going home to his wife and staying there. The party accompanied Douven back to Winterhaven and visited Valthun in his tower to ask him about the figurine with the symbol of Orcus and the mirror.
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How much abnormal stuff can we fit in one spot?
Ice. Brambles. Holy rainstorm. Carrion Crawler. Oh yeah, and unnatural spiky dog things. Whatever happened to normal things like orcs and bandits? Those Cranberry knobs seem normal enough, though. Kind of wish they had started something, but I'm not about to throw down where some of the townfolk might get hurt.

I noticed those guys were nowhere to be found during the attack. Probably up to something. Their town! HA! Three days and they think they own the place. Something tells me that Mr. Pratchet has a serious whupping coming to him. Maybe we can let Kref's friends eat his face. Cross seems to have the runt spooked pretty good, though.

Could've used Caledon in the tower. Guy probably got distracted by something shiny over in the market. At least we found our druid, albeit in a somewhat moist condition. Once we find our locksmith, we'll let HIM open all the doors! And listen to Kref's list of commendable actions.

I apparently am now the owner of the horse-man Wek. Or at least I ponied up the money to buy him. Get it? Ponied? I kill me.

Time to rest,
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Posted in Punjar
Something calls to me...
<Scrawled on parchment as if with fingernails>

I feel an electricity in the air.
Has the moment finally arrived?
Something calls to me. And its will is strong.
But there is still much to carve out of the flesh of this city.
Be patient wild one. Be still…for now.
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Posted by the GM
Something wicked...
Having met at the The Silent Maid at the bequest of Geroff Nisjal, a high placed member of the Thieves Guild in the Smoke Ward, our group of five, each for their own personal reasons, have taken the assignment to rid the Smoke Ward of one nefarious Beggar-King. Geroff has agreed to pay the party 1000gp total for their services. 200gp up front and the other 800gp for the head or proof of the Beggar King's demise.

Geroff - Apparently the Beggar King's men are out of hand. Even for the Beggar King underlings, not known for their discipline, their recent activities have been just random at best and suicidal at worst! Plus, there are too many reports to be ignored that something much more foul than just a lack of discipline is infesting the Beggar Kings dealings. For one, it is said Old Mother Zeb’oltha is now in his service, plus there are too many words to be ignored that the Beggar King has uncovered some kind of dark power to aid him. There is a dark cloud hanging over Smoke and even for a wretched place such as Smoke the citizens are on edge. Either way the time for the Beggar King has come to an end.

Basic known motivations:

Shadwin - Good for a big haul, how could he refuse. This is the big one!

Meera - Aleana has seemed to have taken an interest in the on goings of this Beggar King and something foul he might have uncovered. She has decided this would be a good mission for her young acolyte Meera to investigate, but she won't be going alone.

Marius - Sent north to Punjar by his mentor Marketh to seek his fate with a scroll to deliver. Marketh seems to have offered Marius' sword in to service for one Aleana of the Temple of Valdreth, apparently an old and trusted friend of Marketh. If Marketh trusts this Aleana, then Marius will do the same, for now. His first assignment: Protect a young acolyte named Meera in her investigation of some kind of foul doings in some miserable cesspool called the Smoke Ward.

Jeval - Another job, seems easy enough, but with Shadwin involved I have to be careful, but really what could possibly go wrong?

Fenrir - Finally, something with a payout that might be worth my time!

Rumors and Gathered Information:
Doing some investigating has come up with the following additional bits of information:

1. Finris the Blind - "I hear tell the Beggar-King is looking to hire a few good swords to his cause. Must have a king’s ransom, for the purses he’s offering to mercenaries. ‘Course, what good is gold if you don’t live long enough to spend it?"

2. Aleana- Stories hold that somewhere in the rat’s nest of tenements is a fountain dedicated to ancient evil gods. Dark, forbidding thing, where warlocks used to meet to work their wicked rites in days of yore. I hear by some of my sources the Beggar King has woken powers best left alone.

3. Crazed Street Woman - ‘Ware the smoke lurking over the Beggar-King’s lair. I’ve seen it take a man and reduce him to nothing but bones and gristle in the time it took me to tell you as much! Stay low and stick to the cobbles and you should be safe, but avoid the slate-road at all costs!

4. Geroff- I’ve heard tell that Old Mother Zeb’oltha herself answered the Beggar-King’s call for allies. Mother Zeb’oltha is a nasty one, a demonblooded black sorceress, who ain’t above using folks for spell components, if you get my drift. You’ll know her by the eunuch bodyguards she keeps, but by then it’s usually too late.

5. Smoke Ward Street Folk - Truth of the matter is, the beggars are all dead. Their boss sacrificed his kin weeks ago; all to earn the patronage of some fell power. Don’t know if it worked, but it seems a beggar’s soul ought to be worth as much as any other.

6. Maleek - Before the Beggar-King took hold, there was a band of slavers that worked out of the same dilapidated slums. The slavers shipped their vile cargo out of the ward via an underground channel. The old network of caves and tunnels should still exist. Wasn’t so long ago when the slavers preyed on us common folks, was it?
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