Journal Posts

Tag: recap

Modra and the Wraiths
The song crescendos as the paladins charge into the white marbled room.

"Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
Of The Coming Of Pelor!
He Shall Trample Out The Temple
Full Of Wraiths That We Deplore!
We Shall Loose The Fateful Radiance
Of Our Right And Holy Swords!
His Truth Goes Marching On!"


Even from her near-death state, Patience moans with a new agony as their song reaches her ears. "No! Not THEM!" she thinks...

Those who are still fighting are glad to see the cavalry arrive.

The battle has now turned, but only moments before, things were at their darkest.

Tiiren had just fallen under the psychic screams of the mad wraith and the ghostly claws of another. He slumped between the wheels of the cart, and was pulled under it by a pair of small, dark hands.

In the confusion of the battle hymn, radiant blasts of power, and screaming wraiths, Modra darts from under the cart, now carrying the portal key. He wisps in a flurry of cloak and ethereal shadows, around the teleportation portal toward the other room where the shadowfell gate stands dark and ready for him.

He dodges arrows launched by Quinn, sneers at the fallen body of Patience, then laughs as he inserts the key, activates the portal, and steps through the shadows. He is gone.

Where did things go wrong? It was Modra.

<rewind>





Bharhash pushes the doors to the White Temple in. Modra stands at the portal whispering to it, trying to get it to open. He sees the intruders and spins into a whirlwind of shadow and vanishes.

A moment later, his voice echoes in the chamber, summoning the guardians of the portal to attack the heroes.

Wraiths pour from the boiling shadows of the portal and whoosh toward the party. Mad whispers begin to fill the room. Tiiren steps forward, raising his holy symbol, and challenges them with his holy retribution. He drives back several of them as they cower from his radiant faith.

The other wraiths attack and surge toward the heroes. Quinn devises an instant plan to evacuate and escape through the shadar-kai teleportation portal. He retreats and prepares covering fire.

Modra's voice whispers to him from behind, and sharp blades find their marks between his armor's protection. "Give me the key and I shall call off the wraiths and spare you a terrible doom."

Quinn turned him down, and the dark one's blades went snicker-snack. Quinn, fell bleeding to the floor. Modra snapped, "Then I shall search you for the key myself. And if you don't have it, I shall search your friend's corpses as each of them falls in turn!"

Gralamin and their new ranger friend, Reniss, descended on Modra as well, trying to save Quinn and fight him back.



But this also left fewer in the other room to defend against the vicious wraiths.



The fight went from bad to worse, with Modra holding his own and the wraiths gutting the others in the next room.

Again, Modra vanished into a swirl of wispy shadows, but the wraiths followed Tiiren as he retreated back into the other room to help heal Quinn while escaping the maddening whispers from the Seething Wraith.

This left Bharhash and Patience in the White Temple against the rest of them, and it looked to be a losing fight.



Patience fell, and Bharash retreated hoping to draw the wraiths away from her so they could not turn her into one of their own. But even he was overcome by the wraiths a they swarmed him with their icy claws.



The vile undead seems to regenerate, if that is even possible, unless radiant powers were used against them. The battle was clearly lost, and it was only a matter of time before all of them were overcome by the shadowgate guardians. Tiiren mad a desperate move into the thick of it, to try to raise Bharhash back to consciousness, but he himself was overcome by the wraiths, and Bharhash fell again as well.

Tiiren's body slumped by the cart, and all seemed lost.

What is that? Singing?

Session: Facing Modra and the Wraiths - Sunday, Sep 25 2011 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Entering the Vents
DM's Note:
{Campaign Experiment: All players can edit this Recap. Let's collectively write about what happened and let's see how it goes. Still feel more than welcome to write a different Journal for your character if you wish, to fill out the story from your own character's perspective.}





Defenders of the Vale left the Monastery, led by Baranzul and Kalad, who knew the mountains well. They guided the group down the mountains in the safer places where their wagon could go. The vents were easy to find with its billows of steam and noxious smoke spewing forth from the fissures.

They found a camp that was more than a day old, five horses there were starting to get nervous for lack of food since their feedbags were empty. After restocking the horse's bags, they set off to enter the Vents, and hopefully meet up with the Farstriders to help ensure they accomplished their goal.

The tunnels of the vents were very twisty and confusing. Their first trip in led them around and about, and right back out a different fissure about 500 feet from where they entered. Frustrated, but determined, they went back in and this time were able to find their way to the entry of the dwarven-hewn halls of the Nexus structures. However, not all arrived. Baranzul was somehow separated from them, and never made it with the rest of the group.

Orcs seemed to have almost been waiting for them when they arrived, and a battle was afoot immediately.



It became clear after the fight was won that the orcs had come from the opposite direction and were not so much waiting for them as much as they had just arrived and were cautious and battle-ready.



Beyond the entryway, a long, wide corridor held new dangers. An animated, man-sized arbalest, and a couple of metallic dogs lay in wait. When the heroes entered the hall to engage them, magical crossbow turrets appears along the walls and started firing volleys at them...well-aimed volleys.











Eventually, wounded and battered, the heroes defeated the automatons, and retreated back to the steps of the entryway to re-evaluate how they will get past the magical crossbows and through the door at the end of the very long gauntlet.
Session: Kalad and the Vents - Sunday, May 15 2011 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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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 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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More Orcs at the Sundered Chain!
Our heroes arrived at the Sundered Chain and found orcs in the courtyard having a dwarven BBQ.



They defeated them soundly and after securing the area and bringing in their horse and wagon, they entered the Great Hall of Moradin.

Gralamin tried to push the door open, but it was too heavy. Bharhash figured they may be weather-worn and lacking grease in the hinges, but under his strength they moved too easily after the initial push, and the doors opened wide. Within the huge cathedral, known to the paladins here as the Hall of Moradin, the freshly slain bodies of several dwarves soaked the floors with their pools of blood. In the center of the Hall, at the broken Anvil alter an orc witch doctor cried in surprise at the intruders. Her wailing brought the attention of 3 orc bolt throwers who prepared to fire from their places on the balony that circled the entire Hall.



This was fortunate for Baranzul, who was very nearly discovered by one of the bolt throwers while he hid behind a tapestry. Taking advantage of the moment of suprise, Baranzul jumped out and attacked the distracted orc. Meanwhile below, the Defenders of the Vale started to enter and tactically spread into the Hall to attack.

Quinn fired his bow into the balcony and missed, and his target returned fire, reminding Quinn to move back behind the cover of the open door. Bharhash charged in and fired his bow, and Galad fey stepped to the other balcony to attack the other orc.

At least that was the plan. Quinn fey-stepped and winked out, but never winked back in. He vanished in a flash, and never returned!

The fight continued without the Eladrin. It had no choice. The witch doctor begain throwing disgusting filth at the hereos, and more orcs emerged from near the altar as well, where there was apparently some kind of trap door to a place down below. An orc sergeant and several drudges formed a rank and started to march forward. However, Benn lobbed a Shock Sphere at them and took out a few, followed by Quinn laying down heavy fire from his bow, taking out all but the sergeant and one drudge.



By then the orcs on the balcony were dead, and the Baranzul, Tiiren and Gralamin had moved back down to the main floor to help finish off the rest.

A short bit later and all the orcs were as dead as the unfortunate dwarves they had killed not long before.

Gathering themselves together, they forged ahead, down through the trapdoor and into the depths under Hall of Moradin. At the bottom of the spiral staircase they came to the Hall of Heroes, where small alcove rooms lined the walls, and large statues of of dwarven heroes stood in various poses down the length of the hall. A huge statue stood tall in the middle of the room. In true under-mountain dwarven style, the ceiling here underground was at least 150 feet up giving this Hall an ancient and majestic feel. It's really too bad the the fiery braziers here again displayed more than a dozen freshly killed dwarves, and their killers were still there looting the place.



The battle ensued with the Orog Militants and the Orc Berserkers leading the charge while the drudges filled in where they could fit. The heroes fought hard and wisely, and with their new dwarven warrior on their side, they defeated their foes.

Tired and ready for a rest before moving on, the team moved back up the stairs to the Hall of Moradin so they could secure the trap door and the doors to the Hall before taking their rest.

Once they are rested and ready, back down into the dwarven dark...
Session: Game Session: Orcs at the Sundered Chain! - Sunday, Apr 17 2011 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Overlook to the Monastery












Session: Monastery of the Sundered Chain - Sunday, Apr 03 2011 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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The Fall of Rivenroar, Victory of the Heroes
Our heroes, having saved the boy from the clutches of the not-so-friendly wight, took a quick breather after feeling the amazing powers of relief come over them when defeating the Undead Lords of Rivenroar. There was still much to do, but they could feel the hope of soon being done with the quest and back to safer (hopefully) ground in Brondol.

Only 3 main areas were left unexplored. One to the west of where they stood, beyond the room of the black sun, which was also somehow connected with the Hall where they encountered the wight. The other back south where the goblin hexer was chased to--the menhir room. And finally, the door several rooms back that they left unopened after defeating the hobgoblins and finding the magic lantern.

A quick stop in the pool room revealed the circuitous hallways that joined back to each other. But more interesting were the images that appeared in the pool each time the surface of the water was disturbed. The scenes they saw were of rooms in the catacombs where they had already been, and they were as they had left them. However, soon they saw a place they had not been, a chapel of sorts, with pews and a large black obelisk. They also saw someone in the room but could not make out the details.

They decided to plod forward into the catacombs and catch the other to areas on their way back out. Beyond the black sun room, the corridor looked precarious with a large fault line running its length. Best guesses by those who had experience with faulty halls guessed that too much weight could cause a collapse, so rather than risk it, they went all the back around through where they found Thurann and fought the wight and boneshard skeleton.

The other hall, also lined with grand pillars let to a room with a nasty surprise. A deep-red, pointy-sharp clawed demon...an evistro...a carnage demon. Luckily for them, the demon was incarcerated in some sort of force wall between four pillars.

After some nervous testing, the group started to make the careful trek around the outside of the room, while the beastly demon clawed and gnashed and tried to tear its way through the invisible wall.

Of course, nothing can ever be that easy, right? From the hallway they started to head into, a wererat lept out and yelled, "Crypt Guardian, I release thee!"

...just great!



The fight that followed split the group between the wererat in the hall, and the nasty evistro. Bharash and Galad engaged the more dangerous-looking demon in HTH, while Quinn and Benn attacked from a distance.



Tiiren took on the wererat...and a second wererat also joined in against him. However, Tiiren held the line, surrounded in a maelstrom of thunder and lighting. Blow after blow on the wererat bloodied it severely, and after three solid blows, the little bugger ran off while his partner kept up the fight.

By that time, the others had dropped the nasty carnage demon to the ground, and joined Tiiren to finish the fight against the remaining wererat. He was dispatched quickly with all attention on him.



Chasing down the fleeing wererat, the heroes barged open a door and found themselves at the portal to the very chapel room they saw in the water. They were greeted by two nasty-looking zombies, and two wererats (one being the wounded one). With them, near the obelisk, was a gnome arcanist.

Tiiren again stepped forward and asserted the divine power of Bahamut, causing one of the zombies to stagger back, dazed.



The arcanist attacked from a distance with bolts of energy, so Galad fey-stepped out of harms way of the zombie, then rushed the arcanist and took her on with a charge attack. His divine challenge kept her from attacking anyone else, which let the others get to work on the zombies and wererat.



The closest zombie got some good slams in and Tiiren fell to the ground unconscious. The others attacked back as well, but the zombie survived and started scaling the wall.



The wererat took advantage of the moment and jumped in to attack Benn. Bharhash helped to stop the rat while inspiring Tiiren back to his feet. Quinn continued his regular volley of arrows at the target. Benn was quick with the rays of frost and the magic missiles as well.



After being hit by Galad's daring charge, the gnome vanished; so Galad turned to take out the rat that was trying to flank him. Shortly after, the arcanist re-appeared to launch another attack from a safer 30-feet away. Galad was set to finish off the already wounded wererat, but not before succumbing to his wounds and falling unconscious. Another inspiring word from Bharhash, and Galad was up and finished the deed.

Meanwhile the gnome took on the party with a wild illusion that slowed everyone and kept them from moving into the room. However, Quinn and Benn were able to take out the troublesome foe before any more harm could be done.



A quick once-about the room, and the party had gathered the shields, battle standard, and platinum longsword that were taken from Halls of Great Valor.

Gathered a safe distance from the obelisk that seems to share light-dimming properties with the black sun from the other room, Benn loosed several bolts of magic and crack and shatter the obelisk into ruin.



Tracking back into the menhir room, the party found the cold room of strange menhirs at the edge of a void that seems black and bottomless. They could not see the far wall. A tentative fog clinged to the bone-white menhirs and as they approached they could feel the deathly chill that seemed to come from them.

Galad sent the lantern in so they could better see what they were up against in this dangerous place. They decided that walking between the menhirs might not be a desirable path, so they stuck the east wall and worked their way to the path that turned and rose to another cliff-faced room ahead.

They could then see at the edge up in that room a large hobgoblin in armor that looked something like an iron maiden that had been turned inside-out. Sinruth!



In a deftly athletic move, The Hobgoblin Sinruth, launched himself from that cliff and landed to one knee on the ground between the menhirs. He challenged the heroes, laughing and taunting them.

Bharhas charged in and engaged him, as did Tiiren. He laughed and warded off their attacks with ease. Bharhash set his jaw and prepared for another round. However, Galad sprang into action delivering a staggeringly impressive flurry of attacks that drove Sinruth off-balance and back...




...back the very edge of the precipice, where he could not recover, and started to fall backward, he barked an oath of revenge. As he flailed for something to grab, Galad noticed the gauntlets he wore, and the ornate filigree on them. A moment's hesitation caught Galad off guard as he contemplated the consequences of letting those gauntlets go over the edge with Sinruth.

He wondered...was I the only one that noticed the gauntlets? If so...the secret dies with me!

...and he let Sinruth fall to his doom, yelling back up his promises of revenge.



Up the ramp ran Bharhash as the little goblin hexer he chased in here earlier started zapping off attack spells. Tiiren followed suit and a few minutes later, she too was dead and kicked over the edge.

Up in this area was another sarcophagus, atop which was a dragon-crested helm. Aside from the gauntlets, this means they have recovered all the missing artifacts. They also found two large bags of gold.

Down among the menhirs, Quinn's eye was caught with something that looked like movement. A moment later, a tremble in the ground helped his clarify what he suspected was happening...the menhirs were moving!

Like a clawed hand, the menhirs began to flex a little...the ground was becoming precarious. Everyone ran back as quickly as they could, but those in the upper area were caught in the deathtrap. The clawed hand came together and crushed the ground within it, tearing away from the wall and dropping into the void. This left a narrow and unstable precipice with a couple teetering heroes trying to cling to the wall.

Galad and Quinn had made it back to the entrance to the cavernous room, but Benn, Tiiren, and Bharhash were balancing for their life. Benn inched along, as he was the closest, and made it to safety, but Tiiren slipped and fell. He tried to grab anything he could, but could find no purchase.

As he started his drop into the void, a rope coil flew into view, and Tiiren managed to barely grab it. It snapped taut, and he swung down and into rough rock while above, Quinn felt the rope start to slip. Galad joined him to catch the cleric's fall. They heaved him up and he reached safety, too.

Galad then fey stepped over to help Bharhash (and the gold he carried) and they tied the rope to him. As he inched across what remained of the crumbled floor, he fell, but caught himself with his strong arms, and swung himself up to safety.

The rope was tied around Galad next, who promptly fell from his perch the moment he tried to move. A long, long swing later, Galad planted his feet against the wall far below his friends that held him from certain death above. Motivated to get up to safety by something dark and unspeakable, Galad climbed faster than the other could hoist, and he was up and out of the room in a flash.

From there they quickly went back and to the last unexplored area and found a room with evil-looking displace beast statues that had glowing eyes. On an altar in the room Mirtala, suffering from some disease was rescued and taken out of the crypt with care.

The heroes loaded the wagon (thankfully Zorco didn't take it) and started the trek back to town.



(comments welcome)
Session: Session for: Scales of War - Sunday, Mar 06 2011 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Entering the Halls of the Lords of Rivenroar
Deep in the multi-level maze of halls, crypts, and strange rooms of Rivenroar crypt, our fearless band of adventurers continues forward to free the captives taken from Brindol and return the stolen artifacts.

Pressing forward, the team, with a new cleric in tow, enters another large room with more alcoves with ancient skeletons in them. However, in a side room with a small fountain, the group finds and frees Thurann, the small boy. None have the heart as yet to tell him of the demise of his father.



Slowly exploring down the hall to the north, the heroes enter the Great Hall of the Lords of Rivenroar, abode of the living dead Lords. This is the Audience Chamber, containing two thrones. One holds the glowing-eyed Deathlock Wight that calls up skeleton warriors from their slumber to fight the heroes. The other throne a bleached-white Boneshard Skeleton slowly stands to join the fight.



Galad led the party into the room, first sending the floating lantern before him. Ah! The undead...finally solid ground for the bearers of Radiant Powers to really shine!

And that they did. Right behind Galad the new cleric prepared to launch in as well.



But before he could get anywhere helpful, the Paladin was attacked on all fronts by the boneshard and other skeletons.



The Cleric challenged them with his holy symbol and prayers, and they were scattered and shattered. But the Wight just laughed as one reconstituted from his pile of bones again. The room itself seemed enchanted with dark necrotics that kept raising the defeated skeletons one by one.



Perhaps the greatest threat, aside from the Wight casting evil necrotic spells at the holy PCs, was the exploding boneshard skeleton! After damaging it to a point, it blew up with a flurry of shrapnel in a radius around it. Then it kept fighting with an unholy intensity.



These explosions nearly spelled the doom of the party, and dropped both the Paladin and the Cleric. Bharhash was barely able to rouse them from their wounds, but they barely mustered the strength and returned to the fight.

The wight fled the room with frightening speed, and the skeletons were finally defeated.



Alas, as the party secured the rest of the room, the wight appeared from behind them, having run the circuit of halls to flank them. He snatched the small boy and, cackling, ran off with him.

Galad and the others made swiftly to catch and barely did so back in the halls outside the crypt where they found the boy. A tense moment or two passed as Galad tried to make his move, and with his heroic might, and the help of his band of brothers, they felled the undead villain and saved the boy!

Session: Session for: Scales of War - Sunday, Jan 09 2011 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Quick Recap
Just a quick recap that I may be expanded upon later. Sorry I forgot to take pictures. :( I guess I am just out of practice.

The consensus was hoof it back to town with the 3 captives you have rescued. That turned out to be a good move (it seems so far) as the group was able to travel the 8 hours back to Brindol without any issues and return again in an uneventful trip.

When arriving in Brindol, the group was met with warm welcome and some celebration for returning some of the captives. They heard rumors of an orc horde gathering on the other side of the Stonehome Mountains, and that all available soldiers from Brindol have been sent to help fight. This means no spare horses for the party to buy. However, the town mustered a couple of horses from the city guard, and a team of two draft horses with a wagon.

After a night's rest, the party left to return to Rivenroar.

Arriving back at the crypt, they were very pleased to find little to no change in the condition of the crypt. Perhaps they had dispatched more hobgoblins than they thought.

From the ettercap webbed landing, they recovered the body of Kartenix and stowed it in a crypt with the intent of keeping it safe(er) until they exit the crypt again. From there, they moved directly up the stairs to the next crypt, leaving the lower area where they left off to be explored later.

Climbing to the next crypt brought them to a new conflict with more hobgoblins, a couple of spitting drakes, and a goblin hexer. They worked quickly as a team and dispatches the hobgoblins. The drakes were more of a challenge, and the Hexer made a quick run for it, yelling for Sinruth.

Bharhash made chase, with Benn close behind. They entered an odd room with white mist and thin menhirs, and Bharhash landed a few good blows on the fleeing hexer, but she got away. Bharhash, feeling they had pulled too far away from the rest of the group (and those remaining behind had also realized that they were leaving unchecked doors at their flank if they followed).

Reunited again, the group entered one of the adjacent rooms and found Jalissa chained to the walls. Galad, using acid extracted from one of the dead spitting drakes, freed her from her chains. They also searched the crypt and found a magic brass helmet (which Galad discovered in a later fight to be a Helm of Opportunity +1) and magic sandals (as yet unidentified).

With no returning threat from the Hexer, the party moved on to the other unopened door and moved into a corridor that led to a 4-way intersection. They moved to a door to the left (west), and just as they listened at the door, it was opened by some upwardly mobile undead.

Two zombies barred the way, but two ghouls leaped over them into the fray. They were both very quick and deadly, immobilizing several party members, with each claw-rending attack sending the chill of the grave through their victims. Luckily, while it froze the heroes in their steps, being immobilized didn't mean that they could not fight back.

Swinging away, they eventually dropped the first ghoul, and sent the other running back into the room from which it came. But during that battle Quinn was nearly killed 3 times. He was rallied back to the fight twice by the dragonborn warlord who inspired him to keep fighting, but eventually his wounds overcame him and it took the healing powers of Correlon through his paladin, Galad, to keep him at his feet.

After defeating the ghouls and zombies, the party examined the room beyond the door and found a dark, necrotic sunburst in the floor that flowed with dark power.

Where will they go next?
Session: Back to Rivenroar - Sunday, Oct 10 2010 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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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 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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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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Return to Rivenroar
Our heroes, having healed and prepared to return to the castle ruins, first sent the Ranger to scout for alternate entrances to the crypt. Quinn returned, however, with news that the main entrance seems to be the only one.

The party cautiously approached the crypt entrance again, and while others checked around for signs of ambush, Galad scouted down the steps to the entrance room. Unfortunately, the hobgoblins made a makeshift alarm out of some metal cups and such, which clattered and clanged down the stairs. That brought trouble to the bottom of the stairs, so the team formed ranks against them and the battle ensued.

More hobgoblins arrives from the left door after the first two were dispatched, and the party also now had the flame-spitting braziers to work around as well. There were efforts to move the hobgoblins out of ranks, and that worked a few times to break up the phalanx but the enemy worked pretty well to stay in ranks and thus much harder to hit.

It was a tough fight, but the heroes defeated the hobgoblins and chose to go back to the Von Jallach crypt where they very nearly died the day before. Once past the runes (and Benn's repeated failures to find a rune that would not deal 2d6 damage to him) the team found Adronsius in the next room, chained to the wall. He had suffered from several brutal beatings by the Red Hand, who seemed to really enjoy beating the dwarf, but had been untouched for the time between the fight the day before and when he was finally found.

He was very pleased to be rescued and told all he could about the other prisoners. He knew that Mirtala was still alive. He told the rescuers directions to where he thinks she is being held. Since he was blindfolded, this is the best he was able to offer:

Adronsius
...down the stairs, straight across the entry chamber, turning left in the room that smelled of goblin, then left again in the room with the crackling sound, around two right corners, then through a room that smelled of the dead, then up the stairs to a room with a sticky floor, right and up another set of stairs, then through a dusty room and left through a door...


A clever plan to keep Adronsius safe while the rescuers kept looking for more victims emerged. They stowed him in a high crypt shelf with food and water and asked him to keep deadly quiet should any hobgoblins come looking. Hopefully he would avoid detection until they could return.

From there, they ventured back to the main entrance, and through the center doors and down a long flight of stairs to a large chamber below that was even more damp than the rest of the crypt and full of a variety of strange mushrooms and subterranean plant life.

The room also held two large Rage Drakes that immediately charged and attacked. Strategic moves and attacks from all of the members, now clearly forming good coordinating moves together, defeated the drakes with only a couple of them getting hurt in the process.

The mushrooms varied and presented varying levels of surprises and danger. Cloudspores, Shriekers, Slumberspores, and another type that could not be identified were spread and growing throughout the room.

Beyond the dangerous mushrooms, Zerriksa was trapped in the next room within a barrier powered by a magical rune in the floor. The party discovered quickly, again thanks to the ever-curious Benn that touching the barrier not only harms the toucher, but also the old crone trapped within. Galad feystepped in with her, but still could not find a way out with her.

Eventually, Quinn discovered that the barrier vanishes for a split second now and again, and was able to time a leap into the circle and discover that the barrier did not return while his foot blocked the rune's border. Apparently dirt was not enough to stop it from flickering back on, but his foot was.

With Zerriksa free, the party now has to plan how to rescue the remaining 4 captives. Alas, Zerriksa informed the party that Kartenix has already been killed, leaving the poor boy Thurann an orphan. She hopes he is at least still alive.

But time is not on the heroes' side. How will they be able to rescue the others while keeping them safe from harm at the same time? Should they risk the 16-hour round trip to Brindol? Or should they move on and take their chances?


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Attack on Brindol
What started out to be a normal, fairly boring night in Brindol went sideways quickly. A small goblinoid army swooped down on the town in a surprise raid that caught almost everyone unprepared.

Let's zoom in to a small tavern called the Antler & Thistle on the west side. A fairly quiet tavern that often sees a good mix of travelers and locals seemed no different this night than any other. At the bar, we see a couple of locals and a couple of travelers, both of the magic-using sort. In the middle of the room a quiet monk contemplates life, the universe, and possible means of manufacture of his mead.

Across the room, in the corner, a few locals and dwarf play cards. One of the locals, though, is decked out in chainmail and swords, looking more like a traveler than a local.

Suddenly, hobgoblins burst into the bar and begin a vicious attack, killing two locals instantly. The adventurers, equipped to do so, all leap right into the fray while the locals tried to escape danger. Quickly engaged and defeated, the attacking monsters were joined by two more, one who tossed a bitumen torch onto the bar, setting it ablaze.

In the chaos, one adventurer, a Tiefling Warlock named Kairon jumped the bar and started looting the bar, taking the till and looking for anything else of value to steal. Unfortunately, the chaos was not enough to keep the tavernmaster, Agoth Kwiktap, from seeing him, and he started to yell at the thief. Kairon jumped back over the bar, till in hand, and Agoth ran to him and tried to wrestle the till away from him.

Kairon was the stronger of the two and the till was his. He launched it across the room into the middle of a melee between Ederon, Gilyaen Aldaron the monk, and two goblinoids.

As the battle continued, it became clear that at least one reason this tavern was targeted was because of a Red Hand Battle Standard from the war 40 years ago was displayed on the wall as part of the decor. The wizard Benn made quick work of getting to the banner first and taking possession of it.



With the tide of the fight clearly in favor of the adventurers, Ederon the ex-gladitor threatened the Tiefling Warlock with his swords, demanding that he stop stealing from the locals and help with the fire or the fight. The tiefling tried to ignore him and walk around him to get the thrown till, but Ederon blocked his way and threatened violence again, suggesting he just take a seat and have a drink. With another attempt to ignore and circumvent the fighter, the tiefling was attacked by the fighter with a quick maneuver and slice that wounded the warlock and pushed him toward the bar.

Surprised by the actual follow-through of the threat of attack, the warlock sat at the bar and grabbed a flagon. As soon as he did, the fighter dropped his stance and returned to make sure the fight was won and a bucket brigade was started.

As the last of the goblin reinforcements were slain, a couple of city guards arrived to assess the situation. Once the fire was extinguished, with great haste and expertise by the wizard and a ray of frost spell, the guards asked the heroes to help at the bridge where the attackers were still being pushed back.

The guards left and the PCs soon followed. But as they came out of the tavern, they were met by a huge Ogre pulling a wagon behind him. The wagon had two hobgoblins at the fore, lighting and handing barrels of pitch to the ogre...who lobbed them like bombs.

One bomb landed just shy of the party, exploding with a loud boom!

With the party very short on ranged attacks there was little more to do other than engage the Ogre in melee combat, a situation that would prove to be fatal for some.

Initially, the dwarf ran forward and lobbed one of the bitumen torches recovered from a dead goblin onto the wagon with the casks of pitch. This played out well for the heroes with one cask aflame followed by the wizard using a Scorching Burst that lit the rest of the casks and exploded the first. Two charred hobgoblins jumped out of the wagon, unsure of when the next casks would blow and took aim on Ederon, who was charging the Ogre. Wounded but still charging Ederon found himself marked with a warlock's curse.

Gilyaen used a flying monk maneuver to reach the ogre first, but was unable to affect him. Ederon followed through with some fancy footwork spinning the ogre around and trading places with Ederon. Between unusually accurate archers and an enraged ogre using his Angry Smash, even after the Monk landed a very effective Thunder attack the kept the street echoing, Gilyaen fell from mortal wounds.

Ederon, still slicing as he fell, joined the monk on the street, bleeding to death as well. This left just the dwarf, warlock, wizard, and ogre scrapping it out.

While the dwarf continued his attack as best as he could, the wizard attacked the ogre as well. The warlock used a few edlritch blasts of his own, but not at the ogre; instead, he nailed Ederon in a couple of coup de grace attacks that made it hopeless for him to live.

Finally, the ogre was slain, but not before the dwarf also fell from his wounds. However, though not as skilled as some in healing, Benn stabilized the dwarf and helped him back to consciousness.

While Benn feverishly worked at reviving Zorco, Kairon left the other two for dead and began sacking the hobgoblin bodies of any loot they may have been carrying. That was when Gilyaen finally stopped breathing and died.

Zorco, having just barely regained consciousness, and using all his battlefield experience tried to revive Ederon. Benn tried to help, too, but it was too late. His wounds were to extensive, and he too died there on the street.



There they were, the three remaining, hearing the crackle of flames and seeing pillars of smoke around the city ascending into the night sky. Screams and wails could be heard here and there as some now mourned the loss of their loved ones.

Who mourns for these fallen heroes, laying in the street outside the Antler & Thistle? They were new to this town, alone, but for the brief camaraderie of a few other strangers that fought together for just a few brief minutes. Who shall mourn for them?



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