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Into the Depths
After their much-needed rest, our heroes got acquainted with the new dwarf who told everyone that he was more or less passing through when the orcs arrived at the monastery. He had stopped at the monastery to worship when orcs appeared. He hid and was about to try to fight his way out when the Defenders of the Vale arrived.

So the team packed up and headed back down to the Hall of Heroes and beyond, but not before moving the dwarven remains to a more respectable locale until others could see to their proper rites of passing.

The way through the Hall of Heroes led to an opening high in the wall of a huge cavern. The dwarves have built a staircase that led down into the depths. IN the low light available, the heroes could not make out how far down the stairs went, so they began to experiment with Benn's light spell on a stray piece of orc armor. It was pitched far into the darkness by Bharhash and revealed a lot more of the staircase as it fell--stairs dropped 40 feet to the left, then a platform, then another 40 feet forward, then another platform, then 40 more feet down to the right...with the orcs charging up them...several orcs...orc bolt throwers, drudges, and an orog champion...great!

Baranzul charged down the stairs as fast as his little legs would carry him, and Tiiren followed and passed him. An orc bolt thrower fired a shot and hit Tiiren--and the force of the bolt pushed him off the stairs! He tried to avoid the fall but failed.

Luckily, the magic sandals he wore, scorned by all the others in his group for their impracticality as dungeoneering footwear, kicked in at that moment to save the day. Mid-flashback of his fall at Rivenroar, Tiiren was instantly fey-stepped to the 2nd platform, appearing on his feet and ready to go. Nice!

Meanwhile Quinn set up his barrage of arrows at the third platform and took out several Orc drudges as they reached it. Bharhash spent his first shots firing arrows at a spiretop drake that was strafing the others, eventually bringing it down.

Baranzul kept running down the stairs while orcs continued to rush upward. One bolt thrower hit Baranzul, who would have also been pushed over the end of the stairs were it not for his stout nature. Another of the bolt throwers dropped his ranged weapon and attacked Tiiren hand to hand.

...But Baranzul continued his charge onto the platform and bull-rushed the orc right over the edge. Tiiren gladly stepped back where he could bring his Gaze of Defiance to bear on the other approaching orcs.

It was at this time that Benn the Impulsive took a few steps back, then ran to the end of the hall's opening, lept out into the air, executing a full-gainer backflip, landing squarely on the steps some 20 feet down the flight, ending his acrobatics nearly half-way to the platform with Baranzul and Tiiren. It was when he landed that he realized how important training in acrobatics is to actually accomplish feats like this...and he nearly broke his ankle.

The fight continued, but the Defenders clearly gained advantage after advantage, and orcs fell under their attacks. Gralamin, Quinn, and the others kept kitting the Orog with ranged attacks, Benn as well, and the Champion fell before he even reached the 2nd platform with Baranzul and Tiiren and Benn.

Down at the bottom of the stairs the cavern stretched forward where the heroes eventually found a tunnel that led to the forge area. Here several orcs watched on as "Og" the Orog Hero beat and tortured a dwarf. The heroes charged in and caught the orcs by surprise.

Again Quinn laid down suppression fire while the others charged in to attack. Rubble covered the floor in places making difficult terrain in spots. Forges burned bright around the room, especially one area where a forge was overturned and damaged, starting a raging fire. The tunnel beyond has been collapsed as well. No doubt, foiling the Orog's plans and blocking off his escape...and the horde from continuing through to this point.

Og seemed rather put out by this, clearly shamed by this stupid dwarf's clever move to collapse the tunnels. His intent was clearly to make him pay dearly for his foolish bravery.

When the Defenders arrived and attacked, Og dropped the dwarf in a heap on the floor and looked to this new encounter as a possible redemption to his current shame. A decisive victory against these adventurers could help him save face over the tunnel issue.

An Orc Eye of Gruumsh was there as well to make matters worse. He seemed to be able to manipulate and control the other orcs, causing them to attack faster, and even stay alive after taking a death blow just long enough to attack another time before falling dead.

The Orog hero swung his greatsword with devastating effect, and he clearly positioned himself as often as he could to make the most of his broad swings. His blade slices into multiple Defenders each swing.

Benn made great use of his Wand of Magic Missile to aim and knock the Eye toward and into the raging forge fires while Gralamin helped whittle away at him, too. Benn took advantage of strategic position to reach the dying dwarf and pull him away from the growing fire to safety.

Eventually the Orc Eye of Gruummsh was consumed in the flames, which dropped his aura and gave the defenders an even greater push toward total victory.

Og seeing the end of his heroic legacy coming to a rapid end, charged over to the dwarf, cursing in Orcish and broken Common about sending him to an orcish hell for his interference in his plans. A mighty blow was struck on the dwarf, who was just getting consciousness back, before Og was dropped by the heroes ranged attacks.

A healing potion and blessings from Tiiren helped the dwarf, Kalad, back from the brink of death. A grateful paladin of Moradin begins to share his story...

Session: Into the Depths - Sunday, May 01 2011 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Tags: Photos , Recap
Photo Journal
Rivenroar has its challenges. Magma claws and nasty gnomes have been only the most recent. But it seems have its rewards as well. After freeing Sertanian from his cell, the heroes, having seen a hint of treasure, searched the crypt alcoves and found 2 Healing Potions and some bags of coins. Finally, some payoff for their efforts, and already doubling the offer from the town.

So after distributing the potions, the party formed up at the base of the stairs that led up to what looked like a room with webbing in it. What was it that Adronsius said about a room that was sticky?

At the top of the stairs, Zorco and Galad were met by two Ettercap Fang Guards who didn't attack immediately, but moved to each side of the corridor instead. Zorco charged in to attack and they both were beset upon him. The first attacked with immobilizing webs, which also seemed to confuse and irritate the dwarf. The other jumped on him and tried to land a spider bite.

Galad joined the fray, and narrowly dodged webbings suddenly sprayed all throughout the area around Zorco, who was again webbed up. Another enemy was in the room, and after Galad was webbed by a guard, he feystepped to the other critter, an Ettercap Webspinner. The battle was fierce, but the heroes prevailed, having learned a bit more about how to fight and deal with being immobilized and restrained by webs.

As they cleared the webs with their hands and torches, having defeated their creators, they found the webbed, poisoned body of Kartenix. They also found more treasure to add to their winnings!

Rather than risk meeting what might be up the stairs in the next crypt, the instead ventured through the north doors and charged to fight a hobgoblin soldier and his drake.

Before they could best the soldier, who kept them tied up in the corridor in fairly ineffective at fighting him, more hobgoblins charged up the spiral staircase to join in the battle.

Benn loosed his powerful Sleep spell, and dropped to of them and slowed the rest. This gave them a little time, but the hobgoblin archer started shooting arrows at them down the hall. Benn continued to lob spells at the farthest targets and took out a few from where he was.

Still pinned in the hallway, unable to file into the room to fight more effectively (but also keeping those not in the front ranks able to safely use ranged attacks), Galad finally fell from a few nasty bites from the Guard Drake.

Bharhash used a new power to bring Galad back and keep him fighting.

Finally dropping the soldier, some started moving into the room to deal with the remaining forces.

Soon enough all but the archer were dispatched, and the archer made a leap to flee. But he was hit by several heroes before he could make it even halfway down the spiral stairs and he fell, and slid most of the rest of the way down the rusty iron staircase.

Below, the heroes found sarcophagi, two of which contained more treasure. In the corner were altars dedicated to Bane, but were discovered to be previously dedicated to Vecna.

Also the room held a lantern that the heroes discovered also had magic properties of hovering and movement.

Aside from the staircase back up, they have found doors to the south, and an opening to a corridor at the west end of the room that also heads south.

While not too beat up, the party is growing fatigued and in need of a long rest. Do they dare risk wasting time resting? Do they dare continue on so weary?

We shall see...we shall see...
Session: Back to Rivenroar - Sunday, Oct 10 2010 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Tags: Photos , Recap
Portals and Teleporters
It has been just a few days since the town of Brindol came under attack. Our heroes, the very next morning were, at the beseeching of a town councilman, set to the task of rescuing 7 citizens taken captive by the Hobgoblins known as the Red Hand of Doom.

A day to prepare, and another full day to arrive, the heroes entered a dark, damp crypt under a ruined castle. Indeed, this was the place where their enemy hold, and this is the place where they intend to find and rescue not just the kidnap victims, but also the stolen relics from the Great Hall of Valor.

This is the place where they shall stand against this new Red Hand, and beat them down.

This also turned out to be the place where swarms of needlefang drakes nearly killed them dead. So after retreating and then returning, and so far rescuing two of the kidnapees, that have chosen to move forward instead of retreating to the town nearly a two-day round trip away.

Back into the crypt, and then into the goblin warren they went. It was too quiet, of course. No sign of life yet...or even unlife.

Through the next door they found a strange shaped room with a flickering and crackling picture of some fell place...some other dark realm. A dark castle of some sort could be seen in the flickering image's background.

Of course, Ben the Curious, always eager to experience the dangers of dungeoneering first-hand set off immediately to put his head right into the portal. Luckily for him...or perhaps unluckily for everyone else, a large Ooze slinked right out of the picture and attacked. Ben was hit and suffered some acidic damage. Eventually, the Ooze was beaten to the point where it split in two.

About that time, two specters appeared. One flew to the two citizens and scared the Behamut out of them, and they fell to the ground.

Luckily, a few more solid attacks later, and one Ooze was rendered a puddle with the other soon to follow. Whew! But the vanishing and reappearing specters continued to be some trouble.

Eventually, they were able to not only protect the poor townsfolk (it is interesting to note that the old crone has been complaining a lot less since this happened), but slay the specters as well.

The next room (out the west door from the portal room, and around a u-turn corridor) was an actual crypt with actual bodies in the alcoves. None of them seemed interested in getting up to greet the party, so the group cast their lights about them, and found interesting frescoes on the walls.

Then a door to the north creaked open, setting the party to their defenses...but nothing else happened for a few seconds...

...until two flaming-hot crab/scorpion critters appeared out of thin air, each about the size of a man, and attacked immediately.

The heroes fought the magma claws swiftly, and had just killed them when a couple of gnomes attacked from the shadows. The killed one, but the other fled to the north.

Can you guess who charged after him into the next room? That's right! Mr. Curious.

Some of the others followed to protect him. Meanwhile, the archer took a quick look up the other corridor and found a flight of stairs going up to another chamber...are those webs up there? Too hard to see to know for sure...

So in the chamber to the north, there are no signs of the gnome, but there is another hostage in one of the cells: Sirtanian, Castellon of the Great Hall of Valor!

In the Crypt, Bharhash continues to guard the others to hopefully keep them safe should more magma claws show up. Something shiny catches his dragonborn eye in one of the crypt's alcoves...
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Tags: Photos , Recap