Red Hand of Doom is a Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition paragon-level campaign set in the World of Geyhawk. Our heroes, during the Greyhawk Wars, vanquished the hordes of the Red Hand of Doom as they boiled through the Flinty Hills. More recently, they were trapped in Acheron, where they defeated the shadow dragon Urishtar. Now, returning to Oerth, they continue to fight for Nyrond and the greater good. Follow their adventures in eastern Nyrond as they fight myriad evils - from Herzog Grenell to Prince Sewarndt and his minions.

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The Battle of Magrathar's Teeth
Date unknown - time unknown
Sten's Band ascended from General Vorst's frozen throne room to Magrathar's Teeth's next level. The rooms and corridors were smaller as they were near the top of the great honeycombed walls of the Teeth. Above them they heard the tramp of booted feet indicating the battlements were above. Occasionally, a window allowed them to see Urishtar's spire in the center of the Teeth and the Soul Vortex churning above the spire. They also found several chambers filled with dragon eggs of all colors. However, these dragon eggs were corrupted by the dark magic Urishtar harvested from her Soul Vortex. These eggs, the party surmised, were the beginnings of the horrible draconic wraiths the party had seen and done battle with the last several days. It was further evidence that Urishtar must be stopped. But, General Zry was their next goal.

It did not take Sten's Band long to find General Zry. As they entered a long, wide corridor, a party of Urishtar's guards descended a set of stairs form the battlements. The patrol consisted of two bodaks and a death knight. A draconic coprse, some kind of winged dragon zombie or ghoul, trailed the death knight. The patrol saw the party and demanded that they stop.

"The entire fortress knows of your presence," the death knight proclaimed. "We have destroyed the pathetic band of Jasidian women that accompanied you here. I suggest that you come with me. Lie down your weapons or be destroyed."

"We seek General Zry," Cathis and Orsik barked simultaneously.

"Take them," the death knight commanded his bodak guards. The two bodaks moved towards the party while the winged dragon corpse flew directly into the party's midst. Cathis and Orsik took on one of the bodaks. The creature weakened them both and used its death gaze to lie Cathis low. Orsik managed to fight the other bodak and received much help from Lynwerd. Findore got Cathis back on his feet. The death knight was marshaling his companions and had not yet waded into the fight. But, he did so now. He engaged Cathis and Orsik after the second bodak went down. The three exchanged blows, with Findore and Lynwerd lending magical aid to the fight, they brought the death knight down. As he fell, they heard an echoing laugh as the death knight turned to ash. His weapon, however was left behind, as was a platinum soul ring. Rather than wielding his soulsword, General Zry had a shadowfell greataxe, which the party gathered with his ring. It was odd, however, that he should not have his soulsword. That probably meant that Zry was not destroyed.

There was little time to ponder this issue, however. The party had not yet run into Moyshanna's band. Zry said Moyshanna and her companions were destroyed, but he had no evidence. The party decided to ascend the stairs he had come down to see if they could see her on the battlements.

As they reached the open air of the battlements they see a circle of magic on the floor. The inscribed magic circle flared with blinding light as they approached. With a loud crash of thunder, several creatures suddenly appeared in the circle, including greatsword-wielding helmed horrors. Among them was humanoid figure wearing loose-fitting clothes and a mask. A ring on its gloved hand glowed brightly. The being speaks in a warbling, gooey voice.

"I do not know if you are agents of Wee Jas or some other god or demon lord whose interests I have yet to ferret out. It doesn’t matter. You have inconvenienced me. I detest inconveniences. Please throw yourself off these walls and save me further trouble, or things will go poorly for your immortal souls."

Magrathar and his brightly glowing master soul ring

The party no doubt faced the larva mage, Magrathar. His robe undulated and bulged in grotesque ways as untold worms, snakes and other foul things that crawl moved beneath them. Worms, grubs and maggots poured from the bottom of his robes.

"A council of gods has sent us to thwart your plans, Magrathar," Cathis bellowed. "Surrender to us now, or fall forever."

Magrathar answered with a whispering, sibilant laugh, then an icy ray of cold zoomed from his hand. The icy ray blasted Lynwerd backward and the sorcerer staggered from the blow. Magrathar's helmed horror body guards leaped into action next, attacking the rest of the party with their elemental swords. Orsik stood his ground and withstood the heavy blows of the helmed horrors, while Findore worked his bardic magic from behind the sturdy dwarf. Cathis made a run at Magrathar, but the larva mage was incredibly fast. And it was impossible to knock him down. It was as if he had a hundred legs. Magrathar continued to blast away at Lynwerd in an effort to topple the sorcerer off the battlement to fall a thousand feet into blackness. Miraculously Lynwerd survived the onslaught, but not without much pain and sore cursing. As Cathis chased Magrathar around a small watch tower on the battlement, Lynwerd landed his own devastating blow against the larva mage. It allowed Cathis to catch the slippery creature and finally dispatch him. When the killing blow took Magrathar's life, the party could hear the keening shriek of countless worms, snakes and other vermin as their life force was released from the prison of Magrathar's body.

Orsik and Findore slew the helmed horrors at the same moment. They fell to the battlement floor in a clang of empty armor. Cathis knelt to recover Magrathar's soul ring, which was all that remained of him. It pulsed with the life forces that were trapped inside of its diamond gem.

Several hundred feet away the party could see Moyshana's band finish off the battlement guardians that had ambushed her and the Jasidians she was with. The two parties met and discussed their next course of action.

They went below the battlements and attuned the rings to themselves. Moyshanna and Realta each took a ring and Cathis and Findore took the other two. Findore also retained Magrathar's master ring. They decided that Sten's Band should assault the topmost bridge to Urishtar's Spire and the party would work its way up to the soul vortex, where they hoped Urishtar was. Moyshanna and the Jasidians would ascend the second bridge from the top and work their way down, preventing denizens of the spire from bubbling up and overwhelming Sten's Band from below.

They group caught their breath, checked their equipment, and made their assault on Urishtar's Spire.
Session: Game Session 33 - Saturday, Mar 29 2014 from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
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General Vorst's Demise
Date unknown - time unknown
The party walked the long, cold corridor from the frozen prison to what they believed were the doors to General Vorst's chambers. Two tall ice elementals guarded the door. The party motioned that they sought entrance to the chamber and the two guardians opened the frosted iron doors and escorted them inside.

The chamber was an enormous hall. Icy banners and sparkling prisms decorated the tall chamber. The walls were painted with frescoes of a massive blue-skinned humanoid with tentacles for arms. The creature was depicted lording over frozen landscapes, being worshiped by supplicants in blue robes, and slaying all manner of creatures with blasts of ice and frost. It was the same creature the party saw images of in the icy prison - Cryonax. Across the great hall was a grand, frosted throne atop a high dais, beyond which was a balcony opening into the interior of Nightwyrm Fortress. A stone bridge ascended the balcony to Urishtar's spire. On the balcony, a regal-looking eisk jaat conversed with Xenro. As the party entered, the eisk jaat and Xenro observed the party for a few moments, then Xenro spread his great, tattered wings and took flight, disappearing from view.

The eisk jaat walked to his throne as the party approached. Four more eisk jaats emerged from heretofore unseen alcoves. They were guards, and two bore crossbows while the other two hefted frozen mauls. The eisk jaat on the throne was no doubt Vorst. As he sat on his frozen throne, a chimera trotted from a corridor up on the dais's right-hand side and sat at the eisk jaat's side.

"So, you are the Deal Breakers," the eisk jaat said. He pet the white dragon head of the chimera. "I am General Vorst. Xenro told me to guard my soul ring carefully against your treacherous ways." Vorst held-up his left hand, upon which he wore the platinum band and glowing gem of his soul ring[/I. "Why do you seek this? What do you care of our plans?"

"We seek to destroy Urishtar and to stamp her out utterly," Cathis said flatly. "We seek passage into her spire, and we need your [I]soul ring
to cross the barrier that block the spans."

"I could allow you to pass the barrier," Vorst suggested. "I can allow you access across this very span," he said, motioning to the balcony and its bridge behind him. "Perhaps if you slay Urishtar, one that is more favorable to your cause could become master of Nightwrym Fortress. I mean me, of course," Vorst added.

He lies, a voice whispered in Cathis's head. Vorst shall betray you at the bridge. His race is known for their treachery and evil deeds. Cathis considered this for a moment.

"Nay, General," Cathis responded. "We have not the time to play your games of intrigue. We are here to take your ring, not to exchange empty promises." With that, Cathis unsheathed his sword and began to run to the stairway on the left that led to Vorst's throne.

The rest of the party sprang into action. While Vorst's crossbowmen fired into the party, Findore and Lynwerd magically teleported Orsik to the throne. Orsik began to trade blows with Vorst. Vorst unleashed a blizzard of ice and cold at the throne that battered Findore and Orsik. However, Lynwerd was able to dispel the zone of freezing cold and ice and blasted away at the chimera with lightning and thunder. Meanwhile, Findore lent his had to Cathis as well as Orsik. His magic fouled the efforts of the eisk jaat guards Cathis was fighting at the steps and allowed the paladin to gain the upper hand. Orsik soon had the chimera slain and Vorst bloodied. Vorst tried one more time to envelop his enemies in the blast of his wintery zone. But, it was not enough. Orsik crushed his skull with a mighty swing of his maul and Vorst was no more.

Findore cut the ring from Vorst's hand and pocketed it. "We still need Dedanum's, Zry's and Magrathar's," he said. "That's a lot of bad guys."

He was interrupted by a loud bang down a corridor that exited Vorst's dais. The party cautiously approached the door from where the bang was heard. A second crash resounded and the iron door vibrated on its hinges. Someone was trying to break through from the other side. Orsik opened the door. Behind it was Josa and Sonsara, members of Moyshanna's Jasidian band that had gone the opposite way around Magrathar's Teeth.

The two Jasidians indicated that Moyshanna sent them to determine the party's status and to share of her exploits. Josa said that Moyshanna's band found and killed Dedanum and they have possession of his soul ring. Dedanum was a creature of flame and shadow and the fight was difficult and they lost a couple members of their party. There are increased patrols, probably because of Porepherah's and Dedanum's deaths. A creature under Dedanum's command named Nerothoth indicated patrols were increased when Porephorah's death was discovered about twenty-four hours ago. With Dedanum and now Vorst dead, it may be increasingly more dangerous for the parties to freely move around and Zry might be moving around himself. Josa also noted that there was a bridge from Dedanum's headquarters to the central spire, but they could not cross it because it was barred by a shimmering force.

The party decided to not link-up with Moyshanna, and sent the runners back to her. Sten's Band decided to try to find Zry by circling Magrathar's Teeth just below the battlements.
Session: Game Session 33 - Saturday, Mar 29 2014 from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
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The Icy Prison
Date unknown - time unknown
One of Ocanthus's deadly black ice storms forced the party to find shelter on their way back to Nightwyrm Fortress. The flying ice and intense cold was too much to continue. Fortunately, they found shelter and waited for the unusual ice storm to die out. Shards of black ice lanced horizontally across the landscape, tearing flesh and battering stone. The layer of Ocanthus offered neither sun nor moon. The party had no idea what the date was or what time of day it was. After the black ice storm ended the perpetual gloom returned. Like the plane of shadow, Ocanthus was a lightless scape of of indeterminable composition. However, the soul vortex churning above Nightwyrm Fortress glowed in the distance, guiding the party back to Urishtar's keep. They trudged on, entered Magrathar's Teeth and began to search for Vorst, the next general under Urishtar's command.

After several hours in Magrathar's Teeth, the party encountered a frozen chamber of ice and cold. The floor of the frigid chamber was composed of supernaturally cold ice, that send the party members into uncontrollable slides. Along the walls to the left and right rose stone platforms, rising ten feet from the central the floor. Atop these platforms were cages with large reptilian creatures. They appeared to be drakes, bred for the cold. An icy mist surrounded each of these creatures. Attending these cold drakes in the frigid chamber were creatures composed of ice. They noticed the party, and moved to intercept them. The ice creatures on the platforms shot ice out of their hands and created small slides, down which they glided to meet the party. They tried to speak to the party, but their voices were like the sounds of tinkling ice cubes and glass. It was a language the party was completely unfamiliar with. But, through a series of careful hand and arm motions, the party was able to communicate their intent to find who was in charge. The ice creatures appeared to understand, as they beckoned the party to follow them across the large frozen chamber to a corridor on the other side.

The party, with the aid of Lynwerd's magic, negotiated a foggy chamber where the floor was broken away. The wrong step would have caused a sixty-foot fall into darkness. But, the sorcerer easily overcame the obstacle and they party followed the ice elementals.

Eventually, they arrived at a chamber that was blocked by vertical bars of blue ice. Tortured screams rang out from the other side of the ice bars. The ice elementals motioned for the party to wait here and departed. As hey waited, the could see through the ice bars that the chamber beyond was a long, narrow hall dominated by a pair of statues depicting robed dwarves. Before the statues, three elves with golden hair writhed on the floor as a pair of ice elementals lashed at them with sadistic fury. The long hallway also had other corners portioned off by ice bars, wherein the frozen corpses of many other elves, halflings and humans were stacked high. The sight within the ice cages was grisly.

An ice elemental tortures an elf in Ranhan's Icy Prison

Eventually, a dwarf-like creature approached the party. He was short and stout like a dwarf. But he had a beard of ice, pupil-less blue eyes and white, wiry hair that seemed frozen in place. He spoke Draconic and with a wave of his hand opened the ice bars and admitted the party into the icy prison. He identified himself as Ranhan, and that he was an Eisk Jaat, a race of ancient dwarves from another plane of existence. Ranhan explained that he ran this prison for Vorst, their general. Ranhan offered to take the party to see Vorst if they liked, and the party consented.

A disagreement erupted amongst the party members before Ranhan led them out. Findore insisted that they take Ranhan and his tortures before they went another step. The rest of the party, especially Cathis and Findore, suggested returning for the elven prisoners later, after dealing with Vorst. As the party observed the torture, they saw that it was to cause immense pain, but not kill the elves. Orsik argued that they could slay Ranhan's band later, reminding the party that the goal was Vorst. Findore would hear none of that. He said he'd fight these torturers on his own if need be. The party relented, with a sigh from Cathis. So, they party pretended to follow Ranhan, but instead launched an attack on his jailors and torturers.

Catching Ranhan and his lackeys by complete surprise, the party had good positioning in their initial attack. Two other eisk jaats joined the fray from an adjoining chamber, and Ranhan activated two enormous ice golems. In this fight, Merric proved to be a deadly fighter. He fearlessly darted into combat with all comers. The fight ended quickly. When Ranhan went down, the remaining ice golem deactivated and went still. Findore positioned the party well enough so that the two ice elementals that were trying to flee were caught and destroyed.

They questioned the prisoners. The elves, haflings and humans were from myriad worlds, snatched by Porephorah through his many shadow crossings across the planes. The elves were from a place called Evereska, while the halflings were from a place called Breland. The humans were from all over the planes. They knew nothing of Ranhan's or Vorst's designs. They had only been exposed to Ranhan's tortures, which he delighted in. It seemed they were only brought here to satisfy the eisk jaat's sadistic desires. The prisoners were in no shape to travel, let alone fight. The party decided to arm them anyway, and leave Merric with them while the rest of the party went to Vorst's Frozen Throne.

With that decided, the rest of the party headed down the long corridor in the direction that Ranhan indicated.
Session: Game Session 33 - Saturday, Mar 29 2014 from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
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Breaking the Deal
Date unknown - time unknown
Having rested for many hours and regaining their strength in Porephorah's Haunt, the party decided to return to Xenro's tower. During their rest, they decided to confront the dracolich and try to compel him to different terms. They thought that with his phylactery in their possession that they could use it as leverage to change their agreement with the dracolich. They departed Nightwyrm Fortress and made the eight-hour long trek to his tower.

Xenro greeted the party with much enthusiasm. The dracolich admitted that it was surprised that they were still alive. Nonetheless, he as eager to claim his phylactery in exchange for the information that he had provided the party the prior day. It was the deal that was made.

However, the party balked. Cathis and Orsik suggested that the terms with Xenro must be amended. They asserted that he must vow to not follow them to their world, and that no harm should ever come to them from Xenro by any means. Their rationale was that Xenro was evil, and should be constrained, if not destroyed.

"That was not our deal," Xenro decried. "Our deal was that I share with you the secrets of who ruled Nightwyrm Fortress and how and you would return my phylactery. It was a deal made in good faith. You've broken the deal. You are deal breakers. You are liars," the dracolich roared. "You, servant of the Arch Paladin," Xenro said to Cathis, "of all should know better. What of your honor?"

The party had no way to destroy the dracolich's phylactery, they could only deny it to him or destroy him. They were determined to break the deal and continued to try to renegotiate its terms. But, the dracolich would have none of their double-crossing.

"You shall not break the deal," he roared. "You shall honor your word, and I shall give you a lesson in honesty by taking my phylactery from you, even if it means stamping you out, Deal Breakers!" With that, Xenro blasted the party with his supernaturally cold and necrotic breath, and took flight, leaving the tower from an opening up high.

The party was impotent against the dracolich's fury. Their spells could not penetrate his magical defenses and his iron-like hide deflected their swords. It only took a few seconds for the party to realize that they could not destroy Xenro. Not at this time. It was Orsik that wisely consented to adhere to the original deal and supplicated Xenro.

"None of us wish to die this day," Orsik bellowed. "We have offended thee, Xenro. We shall return thy phylactery per our terms together, and let us be done with this. We only seek to not have thee as an enemy. Many troubles lie before us. We do not wish to have thee as one of them." With that, the dwarf presented the phylactery and laid on the ground and backed away from it.

Xenro landed before his phylactery and within striking distance of Orsik and glared at him and the rest of the party. After a few tense moments, Xenro gingerly took his phylactery from the ground.

"Remember that I let you live, Deal Breakers" he said. With that, the dracolich wheeled into the air and disappeared from sight.

The party walked in silence back to Nightwurn Fortress. None spoke of Xenro, or the deal, or his phylactery. While it was true that many troubles did lie ahead for the party, the episode with Xenro did not sit well with them. But, they did not speak of it. Whether or not they would ever see him again was unknown.
Session: Game Session 32 - Saturday, Mar 08 2014 from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM
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Porephorah's Haunt
Date unknown - time unknown
In Ocanthus, the bottom-most layer of the plane of Acheron, the party followed the dracolich Xenro to Nightwyrm Fortress. They were joined by Merric, the halfling they found and rescued in Xenro's tower. Merric was from the City of Greyhawk, and had stumbled into a shadow crossing in the Cairn Hills. Lost and wandering in the plane of shadow, he was discovered by Porephorah, who gave him to Xenro as plaything. Now, with a deal made between the dracolich and the party, Merric joined their band until they could all find a way back to Oerth once this business with Urishtar was done.

True to his word, Xenro lead them to Nightwyrm Fortress. The first thing they saw from many miles away was the massive, swirling vortex directly over the fortress's main spire.

"Urishtar's soul vortex," Xenro said as he saw the party gaze upon the silver and black maelstrom. "All of the souls the shadow dragon steals are siphoned into the top of her spire for some fell purpose. The souls are likely consumed to increase her power. They are denied judgement, disallowed from the paradise of their gods."

Soon the fortress itself came fully into view. It was a massive affair, about a mile wide and with an outer wall a hundred feet high. Jagged spires and massive teeth constituted the alien-looking wall.

"The outer wall is called Magrathar's Teeth," Xenro said. "Named after Urishtar's chief general. The outer walls are hollowed out and contain many hundreds of rooms, corridors and chambers. Urishtar's hoards dwell therein."

Behind the outer wall, or Magrathar's Teeth, the keep's main main spire ascended hundreds of feet into the sky, thrusting itself into the swirling vortex above. There were no guards on the ground outside of the outer wall. And a huge door that pierced the wall was unattended. However, forms moved at the top of the wall behind the battlements. But they paid the approaching party no heed.

"My presence prevents an army of fiends and other fell creatures from descending upon you," Xenro said flatly. "I want to show you something inside, then I shall return to my tower."

Nightwyrm Fortress

They entered Magrathar's Teeth and found that the outer wall was a quarter of a mile wide at its base on ground level. An unknown language identified the portal through which the party entered, but none understood it.

"This fortress use to be called Darrani when it was on its original plane," Xenro said. "Urishtar ripped the fortress from its old master and his plane a thousand years ago. His name and home plane are long since forgotten. But, look here."

Xenro motioned to a large pair of double doors and the party pushed through them. Inside was an enormous chamber that stretched beyond their sight, and curved away as it followed the shape of the fortress wall it was built into. The huge, curving chamber was filled with undead - zombies, ghouls, skeletons and worse. Many thousands of them were lined up, in some kind of inert state.

"One of Porephorah's armies," Xenro said. "Built for Urishtar, and added to daily for her conquest of other worlds." All the party could do was look on in shock. "I hope you survive, my friends," Xenro said. "I do want to possess my phylactery and find a way out of this blasted plane. Remember that Porephorah is on this level of the Teeth." With that the dracolich turned and exited the fortress.

The party searched the bottom level of Magrathar's Teeth fro several hours. Necrotic energy suffused the area. While most of the level's chambers housed inert undead of Porephorah's undead army, they had to fight their way through a few passages. Untamed and hungry zombies and ghouls wandered the halls at random. In one small area of the level, rays of radiant energy leaked into Magrathar's Teeth from an unknown source. It was a strange an unexplained anomaly.

Eventually, the party found Porephorah. The massive creature stood twenty feet tall and weighted ten tons. He let loose his zombie guards and bodak lieutenants. They tore into the party and trapped them in a hallway adjacent to Porephorah's chambers. Surrounded, the party thought they may perish. Initially, the nightwalker had the upper hand. But, the party evened the fight when they killed the zombies and took out one of the bodaks. Porephorah fought on and brought the cold and dark of the plane of shadow to bear on the party. But, with Merric's help, they were able to destroy the hideous creature.

The nightwalker Porephorah

As Xenro promised, the nightwalker possessed an odd ring. The ring was a platinum band with a single lightly glowing diamond that pulsed like a small heart. A single word in an unknown language was etched repeatedly into the ring's surface. It was no doubt one of the soul rings.

Also inside of Porephorah's chamber was a strange pool of glowing light. It was a concentration of more radiant energy, completely out of place in Magrathar's Teeth. The notion that the fortress had cracks and radiant energy was leaking into it was more evident.

Weary from wandering through Magrathar's Keep and their fight against Porephorah, the party barred themselves in his chambers next to the radiant pool and tried to get some rest.
Session: Game Session 31 - Saturday, Feb 22 2014 from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM
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