Seattle DnDnD

The Goblin Moon
A chaotic seige

The group started as a disparate group fo adventurers but chance has brought them together at the behest of a mysterious organization, the only contact they have beings the mysterious " L ".

After each receiving invitations and accompanying rings bearing symbols that many can connect to events in their past the group is brought together when the rings teleport them to the city of Eldolan near the Arch Mage’s capital of Horizon. “L” directs the groups attention to the outside turmoil which centers around a smallish yet quite formidable flying realm that sits directly above the city and seems to be infested with a goblin tribe which leaps from the hovering rock into the streets of the city.

L describes it as an “interview,” and ask the players to locate and deal with a goblin shaman that is likely controlling the rock.

The party takes command of a ballista stationed on an inner wall of the city and uses it to fire a rope into the rock to use as a bridge. Unfortunately, for the group, the rope is just as usable to get off the rock as it is to get on and they find themselves in a moving battle to board the flying realm. As the battle grows literally more tense by the moment the party fights their way aboard just before the rope snaps, killing all the goblins climbing down.

Now within the caverns of the flying realm, the group makes their way inside fighting off small bands of goblins from outside. Within the core of the rock, the group finds a goblin shaman desperately struggling to maintain control of the flying realm.

Attempting to make their way to the shaman without sending the rock crashing into the city below the group battles through the goblin bodyguards around the shaman. Unfortunately, as the group makes their way toward the shaman the stress of battle takes its toll and the shaman looses control, shattering the magic staff he is using to control the realm. As the party listens to the stone smash into the roofs of homes below they fight their way to the shaman and threaten him into one final attempt to re-assert control. While the attempt is successful the power of the realm is too much for the shaman to channel without the power of the staff and his body is quickly consumed.

Quickly scrambling to find a solution, Vode channels the dark magics she has learned in her youth in order to rest a temporary control of the flying realm. By calling on a fragment of the energies of the Diabolist she stabilizes the rock before it crashes into the city below and manages to control its decent into the fields beyond the city.

As the chaos subsides several members of the group notice clues to the events of the day. Lief examines fragments of the shattered staff wielded by the goblin shaman and recognizes as fairly power magic associated with the High Druid. Gili hears subtle whimpering from somewhere in the cavern and traces it to its source to find a terrified and lost dwarven child imprisoned in a small nook in the cavern wall. Fernando locates an abandoned dwarven shrine that cradles a magical dagger than upon examination appears to be a gift from the priestess to the dwarven people.

As the party leaves the crashed flying realm they encounter L once again who congratulates them on passing the interview and welcomes them aboard. He informes them he will be in touch soon but needs to use the recently crashed flying realm to take care of some other business. As he is talking the party notices a small group fo elven wizards rush board the rock. A short while later a detachment of elven archers advance inside.

The last words L says to the group is, “Ah, yes. Please think of a name for your cell before I return. I’d also appreciate it if you could investigate the cause of these events. Thanks again, talk to you soon.”

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Team Venture
The team forms, a new member is brought aboard, and the group looks for answers.

Summary

The group officially join the organization and begins investigating the source of the Goblin Moon. Vode receives a very short letter and grisly gift from her long absent great great great grandfather. Meat join the party. The group discovers that the flying realm likely originated far to the south-west near the mountain of Cloudhome and set off in that direction. The poke and then attempt to avoid some highwaymen.

Important Characters

Location

Full Story

As the chaos of the crashed moon subsides the party emerges into the large field several hundred yards south of the city of Eldolan. The goblins that survive the crash quickly scattered towards the nearby forest. They will likely not be threat for awhile, what’s a few more goblins in the woods.

Walking with a bounce in his step towards the group is " L ". He is clapping excitedly.

“Well done everyone, I think this counts as a success don’t you?”

“L” congratulates the party on a job well done. He informs them that he needs to be taking the moon away for another mission but that the group should take a few moments to search the caverns within the rock for any clues to its origin. Off in the distance can be seen a small cadre of elves approaching the crashed moon.

A quick search reveals several interesting details. 1) A long abandoned camp, that appears to have at one time been lived in by a druid based on that items the group finds. 2) A smaller side chamber is enclosed in a ramshackle paddock that contains the remains and possessions of about a dozen dwarves. The group takes some of their equipment to analyze the symbols to trace their source. Meanwhile, Gili comforts the Lost Dwarven Child previous found in the moon and attempts to find out what she can from her.

After the group has completed their search “L” hands them a wooden box containing 11 rings, each bearing a similar symbol to the ones found on the rings used to teleport the group here. “L” explains that these rings can be used to gather the group together at a moments notice. Putting on one of the 10 “bound” rings will teleport the wearer to the location of the one wearing the “master” ring. Each member is given one of the “bound” rings. “L” offers to send anyone back to where they were prior to being brought to Eldolan so that they can put the ring on in that location, giving them an easy way to return there, should they need to. The newly arrived elven cadre, comprised of members of each elven shard, and “L” board the moon which takes off moments later. As the moon drifts away to the NE the group gets a glimpse of a side of the realm they hadn’t seen before. On the bottom of the moon a large chunk has been scooped out as if something quite large took a bite out of it.

Fernando and Vode each head towards Eldolan to see if they can learn more about their discoveries. Gili begins questioning the dwarven child, however in an attempt to approach the child who is currently being comforted by her kitten she spooks the child who runs towards Eldolan, Gili gives chase.

Meanwhile, one of the original teleportation rings finally reaches its intended recipient, a monk named Content Not Found: meat who had been hiding from his abusive and still bitter father. Receiving a ring from a small sprite who motions that Meat should put the ring on, Meat placates the small creature and finds himself standing in the same field south of Eldolan looking at the back of a dwarf who appears to be chasing a dwarven child. Noticing a box tied to the adult dwarves pack that bears the same symbol as the ring he was just given, he also gives chase.

Vode takes the symbols found on the dwarven remains to the cities register hoping to learn more about their origins. On the way he encounters his grandfather Content Not Found: vax‘s undead gnomish manservant Specula or “Speky”. He is given a small box sealed with a wax seal bearing the symbol of the house of Arpa by the silent servant. The box contains a want made from the fused fingerbone of what an attached note explains was the finger of his grandfather Vax’s brother. Tucking the wand away Vax makes his way to the register in the wealthy quarter. Buttering up the bookish halfling registrar Vode learns that the symbol found on the equipment found on the dwarves is associated with a dwarven clan based largely to the southwest.

Fernando approaches a guard in town and inquiries as to where someone in town might who would no more regarding its origins. The guard directs him to the local dwarven guild for more information.

Gili, still chasing the dwarven child finally decides to bring an end to the pursuit and safely tackles the child, giving Meat a chance to catch up. Wrestling with the terrified child they are approached by a humbly dressed dwarven priest who, with an air of authority demands and explanation for the scene before him. Gili attempts to explain the situation and where the child comes from but the priest remains weary for the benefit of the child and requests that they all accompany him to his temple to settle the matter. While the group walks Meat questions Gili regarding the nature of the ring he was given, the symbol it bears and their apparent connection. He learns from her about “L” and the organization he represents and that they are working for. Meat decides to tag along to learn more.

Fernando reaches the dwarven guild and enters a small temple to the side of the workshop where most of the cities dwarves labor on their craftsmanship. Inside he attempts to glamor the priests in order to learn more; however, his attempts falter and he instead manages to anger the priests who demand to know what business he has there and by what authority he would attempt to manipulate them. Fernando adroitly avoids the worst of the priests anger and somewhat calms the situation. Luckily about this time Gili, Meat, the dwarven child, and the priest encountered on the road arrive. Seeing one of their own amongst the group calms the priests and every discusses recent events.

From the discussion with the priests, the party learns that the shrine is associated with a dwarven god of volcanoes and would likely be found in a town nearby or in a volcano. They also confirm what Vode discovered at the registrar regarding the clan iconography being mostly centered in regions of the Giantwalk to the South West. The child, also calmed by the temple, finally opens up as well. She discloses she comes from a mountain she describes as flat topped. She also tells a story of fleeing from her home during a great earthquake, boarding the flying rock along with her family, and then her people fighting off little green people who escaped onto the rock too. Her story ends with the summit of the flat top mountain exploding as a giant worm bit the rock. Following this story she collapses into tears and won’t relate the rest of what happened.

With the information gathered the party can safely guess the location of the dwarven child’s home was likely the mountain known as Cloudhome, a flat-topped mountain frequented by flying realms. The group agrees to head that way and pools their resources to hire half-orc guide Olga to aid them in their journey through the Dire wood and over the Giantwalk Mountains.

On the way the group learns of a band of highwaymen from a suspicious character who talks to Fernando. They are also asked to deal with another group hiding out in the Dire Wood to help their “mutual friend”. Fernando suspects this to be the Priest of Shadows, who he is now on poor terms with but that perhaps this individual had old information.

The group decides to cautiously stick to the main road and spots a scout for the highwaymen who they manage to capture and question, but not before he manages to get off a signal to his group. Deciding to avoid the highwaymen now that their presence is known the group leaves the road. Unfortunately, several of the bandits find them in the forest and attempt to ambush them.

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The Corrupted Woods
  1. Summary

The group turns a botched ambush attempt and pursues their would-be attackers into the forest. The bandits lead the group to an ancient crypt, long abandoned, and once used to bury the dead of a cult worshipping the dark gods, now sealed by paladins of the Great Gold Wyrm. The seal is broken by one of the foolish bandits in an attempt to escape the group, which ends poorly for them. The party cleans up the newly unleashed undead from the crypt while Lief investigates deeper into the ruins. The ruins are discovered to house an ancient altar to the dark gods as well as some magically corrupt creature that dwells in its foundation. However, before the group can investigate further a small cadre of soldiers loyal to the Crusader arrive and declare ownership of the tomb and its contents. After some debate, the group agrees to let them deal with the cursed place and leave to continue their journey.

Leaving the small wood the group continues on to the Dire Wood and the Giantwalk Mountains beyond. Along the way they encounter a recently attacked and desperate convoy of nobles returning from a hunting trip in the dire wood. Lief decides that the best way to help the disrespectful aristocrats is to leave them to their devices after a stern lecturing on the importance of respecting nature. Olga also finds a newly kindled affection for Fernando after he heals her of badly twisted ankle.

After arriving in the Dire Wood Lief receives a vision of a ghostly white board which leads him to the abandoned camp of a druid overlooking the wood. As he steps into the camp he is momentarily transported into the past and observes the final moments the previous occupant spend there. The druid who was named Raul Hairfoot had been camping in the wood when a hell hole suddenly opened in the depths of the forest. Scrambling for a solution Raul noticed a distant flying realm on path over the forest and concocted a plan to seal the breach. He had planned to take control of the flying realm and crash it into the hell hole to seal it. As the vision fades Lief is entrusted with finishing the task that Raul set out to do and in payment the shard of druid staff that Lief now carries and once belonged to Raul re-activates as a powerful wand. After some discussion the group heads back to the nobles they previously encountered to negotiate a solution and enlist the aid of their laborers. They find that the leaders of the nobles, a man named Rikkard has established a sort of crazed survivalist camp and will only help if he is defeated in a duel. While they succeed in defeating Rikkard and sending him off to get help from his lands along with his compatriots Dorin and Michel, _______ is injured.

WIth the promise of the hell hole being dealt with the group continues their journey. Just as they reach the edge of the desecrated region of the forest they notice a crystallin structure. Investigation reveals the crystal to be the focus of interest for a small group of imps. Deciding to get to the bottom of the oddity the group attacks and defeats the imps. However, in the tussle Fernando is lured to the crystal and makes contact. In a loud bang and a flash of light Fernando is pulled into the crystal and in his place is a new person. This new comer identifies himself as Kronus and after some discussion it is revealed that Kronus has been imprisoned within the crystal since the time of the Wizard King.

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Kronusetics
A laboratory out of time

The group continued their journey into the Giantwalk mountains with the aid of their guide Olga. After the unexpected fate of Fernando and the appearance of the oddity of Kronus, the group makes the choice to press on into the mountain pass.

Heading up a narrow nearly impossible to find mountain pass the group makes their way through a gorge that leads through the mountains. Unfortunately, the group runs into a problem when the pass turns out to be blocked by a recent slide. Lief identifies the slide as the recent work of unknown agents of the High Druid but it is Kronus who finds the barely visible base of an ancient pillar, faded rune of protection and all.

Several members of the group make attempts to investigate the oddity including Lief who burrows into the gorge cliff side to see if further evidence can be found within and runs afoul of some form of damaging magic several feet into the cliff. Guided by Lief’s unexpected encounter the group decides to dig into the cliff side only to find the cliff side is mostly comprised of an illusion to hide the presence of an ancient tunnel that leads into the earth. Carved into the top of the arch are ancient runes dating back to the 6th Age that roughly translate as “School of Kronusetics.” Disturbed by the usage of his name as an apparent school of study Kronus and the party enters the tunnel.

After walking for nearly three miles into the earth the group enters a small workshop filled with more tomes on ancient history than any has seen before, covering periods between the 2nd and 9th age. While many of the books are rotted beyond recovery Vode discovers an ancient phylactery dating back to the 6th age, quite possibly one of the first ever constructed. However, upon further investigation, he discovers that the phylactery is, in fact, a well-engineered fake that when used creates a very convincing illusion that the user is infusing their soul into the foul artifact while leaving them intact.

Meat discovers an odd statue holding a lantern aloft but facing the wall instead of the room. Investigating the surrounding area he brushes up against the lantern. Suddenly the lantern shudders to life and the wall around the statue evaporates in a quarter sphere that leads into the previously solid wall. The statue then begins to take steps into the newly opened area taking his bubble of clear space with him. Deciding to follow the statue the group enters the bubble and journeys into the unknown.

No sooner as the workshop disappeared from sight as the bubble closes behind them then strange constructs of clockwork step out of the stone at the edges of the bubble. These constructs flicker and shudder between times as they rapidly shift between shining new figures of engineering marvel to decrepit rusted monstrosities. They advance onto the party even as the statue continues its relentless march forward. A pitched moving battle ensues as the strange constructs from out of time engage with the party. As the battle rages the bubble of safe space they travel within occasionally reveals alcoves and other oddities and the group comes to realize that the statue is walking down some sort of tunnel that they both can’t see or interact with without the statues guiding lantern. Thankfully after what feels like hours of battle the edge of the protected sphere breaks through into daylight and the attacking constructs vanish.

As the group emerges into daylight the statue comes to a halt. It stands still for a moment before it begins to judder and start its form shift between a male elven figure, an immaculate and new version of the statue the group had traveled with, the weathered and old statue they had traveled with, and a pile of dust. After observing this strange phenomenon for a few moments Kronus decides to forcefully push the golem from its temporal loop and hits it. Suddenly the statue is knocked to the ground, now back to its original weather-beaten form and stands. The statue introduces itself as Breldin and informs them it has a message for Kronus, but will accompany them until it can confirm his identity.

As they recover from their recent ordeal the group looks upward and realizes they now gaze upon the slopes of Cloudhome their long-sought destination.

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Climbing the caste system of Cloudhome

After weeks on the road to Cloudhome the group has finally arrived. The mountain looms above them, its top piercing into the very overworld. But, the ominous peak now bears a large blemish in the form of several large burrows holes near its top. Whatever was large enough to cause such damage must have been something of immense size, not to mention power. The groups trail leads them down the slope of the adjacent mountains and onto a road that comes in from the north before cutting west towards Cloudhome itself. Where the road meets the base of the slope the outer districts of a dwarven city, that goes by the same name as the mountain it resides in, sits.

The dwarven guards at the gates great the travelers and seem to be oblivious to the recent damage done to their mountain home. They inquire on the group’s business in the city, but let them in with little questioning. The guards inform the party that as visitors they may go anywhere in the outer district and the lower inner city but the noble district above is forbidden to them without proper papers. Recently made destitute upon their departure from Eldolan and hiring of the guide Olga the party seeks a means to fund their stay and any expenses they might incur. As the first order of business, they seek out more period appropriate wear for their friend Kronus and then a merchant to sell his old garb too, hoping to cash in on its pseudo-ancient nature.

Though a merchant is quickly found it is quite clear that the stingy dwarf is unlikely to pay the group well for Kronus’ clothing. After a few moments of fruitless haggling, their exchange is overheard by a noble merchant trolling the wares of the lower quarters. The noble informs them he is an experienced collector of goods from past ages and if the group claims possession of such a windfall of ancient artifacts he has a merchant in the lower noble quarter that he could connect them with. The noble gives the party a letter of introduction to the merchant and asks only that any further acquisitions of ancient artifacts go through him when next they are in the city.

Unfortunately, the group still lacking the papers to gain access to the noble districts heads back to the guards, hoping to come up with something to convince them to grant the group access. After a few moments of convincing Gili manages to get the guards to believe the group has dire news for their king. The guard stamps the papers giving the group access to the lower noble quarter and informs them they’ll have to take up further permissions with the guards at the higher levels.

Papers in hand the group heads to the lower noble quarter, find the merchant mentioned by the noble and the additional papers necessary to reach the upper noble quarter. There they run into yet another tier of guards, this time protecting access to the peerage quarter. It is at this point the group seeks out a local watering hole to learn what they can. While heading to the nearest tavern Lief notices that the ceiling of the upper noble quarter appears to have an infestation of a strange form of ivy, even from this distance he recognizes the telltale signs that identify this plan as a unique strain of ivy referred to by followers of the High Druid as Destroyer Ivy, a plant that when charged with druidic power quickly tears the foundation and structures of civilization to the ground.

In the tavern, Vode Arpa happens to make contact with a local member of the cities death cult, worshippers of the Lich King. The contact points Vode to the cities crypts, a maze of catacombs that typically stretch the height of the entire dwarven city. With little else to go on the group heads to investigate this cult. There they find the leaders of the cults presence on this level who offers the group passage through he crypts in return for dealing with the levels sheriff, a stubborn dwarf who has made the cults operation difficult.

After some debate, the group decides that murdering a sheriff isn’t something they are comfortable with and seek other paths. It is at this point that Lief mentions the Destroyer Ivy he saw earlier and the group decides that perhaps the ivy could be used to open a path to the upper levels. Leif, shifting into the form of a small bird, flies to the scaffolding of the workers who seek to tame the growth to investigate. There, he places his hand upon the ivy and channels his nature magic through the plant. Within moments the ivy begins to rapidly expand, tearing scaffolding and cavern ceiling away. As the portion of the cavern in contact with the ivy gives way an opening into the peerage quarter appears. The group quickly takes advantage of the chaos ensuing in the city following the collapse and darts through the breach.

The peerage quarter is an opulent district where the wealthiest dwarves live, but as the party enters the streets of the district they are struck by the uncanny silence that greets them. The windows are dark and the streets quiet, the street lamps flames have long gone out and a deathly pale can be felt. The group heads towards the side of the district that would have the crypts, hoping to take the unguarded entrance and find their way to the top of the city. As they travel the streets they get the impression they are being watched and from the corner of their eyes they see small palid dwarven figures dart between abandoned house windows.

Just as the crypts come into sight a dark iron crossbow bolt skitters off the cobblestones near the groups feat and the chittering manicale laughter of the derro surrounds them. Forming a tight defense group in the center of the square outside the crypts the party fights off the derro. Off in the distance the huddles band of crypt priests and priestess can be seen, apparently still at their post despite the state of the district.

to be continued….

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As below, so above
The source of the Derro is confronted

Previously, the group had arrived in the silent and abandoned peerage quarter of the dwarven city of cloudhome, built into the sky scraping mountain of the same name. Just as the hive of crypts that will lead them to the upper most quarter of the city and the answers they seek comes into view, the derro attack.

The fight focuses upon the square at the edge of the district, surrounded by buildings for the derro to snipe at the party from. Meat wastes no time in closing the gap and robbing the Derro of their high and range advantages as the rest of the group closes ranks and fends off the derro foolish enough to charge at ground level. Lief even summons an as of yet unseen well spring of power and channels the aspects of one of natures most ferocious beasts, the owl bear. As the battle is joined in the square the priests of the dead look on from the entrance to their labyrinth of tombs.

As the last of the derro flees back into the city the priests approach. It would appear that the attack was enough proof for the priests that the group may in fact be their salvation from the threat of recent events. The group is urged to follow as the priests wend their way deep into the catacombs. After several minutes of travel as they slowly make their way upwards within the tombs. The group enters a dimly lit hall filled with many priests and the most richly appointed of them all, standing upon a short raised platform, garbed in a black, stands their leader. The cult of dead is lead by an ancient gnarled dwarf named Istet. He wears a cloak and hood of all black, inlaid with silver embossing.

Istet informs the group that the derro arrived shortly after the cataclysm that ravaged the mountain. His priests have been unable to determine what exactly the derro are doing here. Only one priest ever returned and he had lost his mind by the time he made his way back. Istet would see the derro removed from his city. Despite Vode’s attempts to draw out the high priests obvious Lich King sympathies the priest seems determined to keep up his appearances.

Istet offers the group a priest as a guide to the royal quarter and offers a small gift of healing potions to aid the party. As the group travels upward the projected figure of “L” appears before them. It turns out he has been observing their progress. He asked that in addition to determing the source of the chaos that destroyed the royal quarter of Cloudhome that the group determine a suitable figure to rule over the city in the royal families absence. He feared that if the royal family were known to be destroyed it would cause a civil war amongst the noble families and the city of Cloudhome would become unstable. Cloudhome being a rare physical conduit between the underworld and the overworld it would be very dangerous for it to become so unstable.

The royal quarter is wasteland. What few artifacts of the great dwarven architecture remain are simply chunks of columns, arches, and carvings half buried in a sea of rubble. This fact makes the groups discovery of a near intact wooden structure all the more impressive. After searching the home the group come upon a large painting of the royal family of the city. The most shocking revelation of the painting is that Malon, the dwarven child rescued from the goblin moon, is present in the painting. This discovery suggests that she is in fact a member of the royal family of Cloudhome.

From their temporary base of operations in the home, Lief shifts into the form a bird and flies off to investigate the rest of the quarter as discretely as possible. His scouting discovers a massive staircase that appears to lead to the mountains summit. Upon the steps can be seen large scorch marks and a massive sword, far too large for a human to lift, and the corpses of near two dozen derro. Further along he discovers the warped alien structure of a temple, clearly not built in this city, sitting tilted violently to one side. Passing over the temples interior courtyard he sees a large glass cyclinder filled with a murky yellowish green fluid and the dimly perceptible shadow of a creature swimming within. Standing around the cylinder stand a small group of derro as well as a hooded figure and a large bugbear. Outside the temple is a small ramshackle hut constructed of ruins from the city. Within flash of light can be seen within and as Lief passes overhead a derro runs out of the structure on fire as his compatriots howl with laughter and pepper him with crossbow bolts.

The group decides to light the house they now reside in on fire as a distraction for the derro outside the temple. They wait for the derro to pass them to investigate and then make for the temple. Before entering they investigate the ramshackle structure near the temple. Inside they find a prison with two inmates. One is a elderly dwarf who mutters to himself between chocked back sobs and a relatively speaking small female storm giant. The storm giant introduces herself as Yvitte, the ambassador to the dwarven royal family from the people storm giant people. She offers her aid if the group will free her. The dwarf does not address the group. After rooting around the prison the party finds a set of keys and frees both the storm giant and the dwarf. The giant offers aid in destroying the derro if the party can return her sword to her. Lief tells her the swords location and Yvitte marches out to retrieve it. Meanwhile the group attempts to coax some information out of the dwarf.

The dwarf is clearly overwhelmed with grief but manages to inform them that his name is Volmer and he was once the royal engineer of Cloudhome. He says little else but frequently mutters to himself that “how could he let this happen”, “my fault, my fault”, “so many lost…” and so forth.

With Yvitte’s return the group heads into the temple to confront the derro leader. The derro have entrenched themselves in the temple behind barricades and the group struggles against their defenses and Yvitte strides through their ranks and precedes to attempt smashing the cylinder at the center, after proclaiming that “their most powerful is mine!” Yvitte succeeds in destroying the cylinder and freeing the grotesque creatures within, calling down the storm clouds at her command upon the creature the two vanish. While she battles the abomination the group presses into the temple battling the crazed derro, a slavishly loyal bugbear guardian who’s thick hide makes him a hardy foe, and the warlock leader who shows the tell tale signs of corruption from powerful dark magic. As Yvitte destroys the cyclinder the warlock looses his connection to his power source and becomes vulnerable. In addition to their foes the party battles a hail of bone from the tornado like storm cloud that covers the storm giant and the abomination and a riddling of lightnings coming off of the battle. After a great struggle the derro and the bugbear lie dead and Yvitte emerges from her evaporating cone of cloud, a bloody stump driping where her left arm once was and a great grin across her face.

The group finally makes their report to “L” that the source of the chaos has been dealt with. In addition, the group suggests Yvitte take control of the city, despite their knowledge of Malon’s ties to the royal family, believing that, for now, she is best kept out of the hands of the noble families’ politics. With their mission complete “L” informs them that the time for their proper initiation is at hand and that they will soon be contacted regarding the details. As they set out to leave Lief notices a small bird fly toward him and drop a small pebble into his hands, the pebble bares the mark of his master.

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The Treasure Map

Return to Eldolan

No sooner had the group returned to Eldolan than they met two new companions.

Cazaril the son of a great paladin hero who fell in battle defending his family and empire from orcish invaders. He was raised by the wood elves following his father’s death and gained much of their knowledge as an agent for their cause.

They also met The Sword of Punishment, a forgeborn cleric sworn to the service of ancient 12th Age dwarven gods of justice, only recently re-awoken a few years ago to right the wrongs of the world.

As the group approached the gate Kronus was struck by a vision upon noticing a hill outside the city with an odd structure at its crest.

As the group reached the top of the hill they saw what appeared to be a large cask of ale sitting there, a weather-beaten sign across a round door on the side read, “The Ol’ Bung Hole”. As they approached Kronus received a sudden flash of the large structure replaced with a more humble wagon driven by two peculiar dwarves.

The group entered the structure to find themselves in a tavern. No sooner had they stepped inside than an exuberant dwarven character darted out from the kitchen and ushered them to their seats. The dwarf wore a grimy apron and as the party found out, nothing much else. He introduced himself as Dirt and shouted back into the kitchens for someone named Bernie to bring them ale and food before dashing back into the kitchen. Confused by the odd events but still starving from their long journey the group stayed to eat. As they enjoyed their admittedly delicious food, they realized, they were not alone. From a side room in the tavern, gruff voices could be heard having a heated debate.

Investigating the sound the group discovered a small band of orcs wearing the unmistakable garb of seamen, each with a tattoo of an asp along the side of their face. Listening in on their conversation the group soon realized that these orcs possessed a map to some sort of treasure. Deciding they would be better finding the treasure themselves, than a group of orc pirates, the group launched an offensive. The fight was over quickly as the group surprised the orcs. As the fight came to an end the leader of the orcs made one final desperate attempt to salvage the situation and summoned a shadow imp to inform their comrades that the party was coming. The group managed to temporarily hold the shadow imp and TSOP attempted to seal the creature in a phial. Unfortunately, the ritual failed and the evil creature managed to escape.

Knowing time was short the group quickly located the map from Gronk’s body and set out to find the treasure.

The map pointed to a nearby range of foothills and the group made it to the base of the trail in good time. However, as they journeyed along the path through the woods Caz noticed motion from the corner of his eye. There, in the distance between the trees, was a unicorn. Lured by the creature Caz leaped from his horse and pursued the creature. However as he neared the mystical beast it shimmered and evaporated as small mischievous wood imps fled in several directions snickering as they ran. As they fled one grabbed the reigns of Caz’s horse and made off with it.

Slowed without Caz’s horse the group continued along their path as it wound up the side of the hills. As they crested the top of the latest hill the sound of a small group approaching from behind drifted over the tops of the trees. From far below the group could see several shapes advancing on them and as they neared they recognized that one of the now clearly orcish pursuers rode atop Caz’s horse.

The group took the opportunity to turn the orcish ambush and reclaim Caz’s horse. They advanced up the trail quickly with their mounts re-acquired before coming to a fork in the road. There, on a tree situated between the forks, was a symbol of the dwarven god that TSOP followed pointing down the right path. A quick side trip down this path lead to an ancient dwarven temple in the side of a mountain, long abandoned. Deciding the ruin was too much to investigate given their likely pursuit by the orcs the group returned to the fork and took the left trail. They soon found themselves at an odd bridge.

A magical bridge spanned a wide chasm. Floating blocks of stone hovered across the gulf, each too far for a normal individual to jump to. While some in the party would have no problem traversing the span the heavier and less nimble members would find the bridge difficult. After pushing and pulling the blocks around to make their way across TSOP was finally able to call upon the aid of his gods to enact a ritual to summon a floating golden shield he could step upon and push the stones to the other side. Thus the party crossed the bridge.

Nearing the final leg of their journey the group came to the crest of the highest hill in the area. There at the end of the path was a dark and ominous-looking tree. As they approached a massive black oaken limb slammed into the ground near the party just as they narrowly leaped to safety. Before they could collect their senses the gnarled brambles along the paths trails began to writhe and lash out at the party. A desperate battle ensued in which several members of the group were brought near the brink as massive branches tossed the adventures about like rag dolls. As the tree was finally hacked to pieces it dissolved as the dark magic that created it bubbled and evaporated. Where the tree once stood was a large ornate door, free standing at the top of the hill, no structure stood behind it but a large horizontal jewel decorated its face. Recalling a doodle recovered from one of the ambushing Orcs, Kronus approached and placed his palm on the jewel with his fingers pointing to the right. As he did this the door opened.

Beyond the doorway, the group looked upon a desolate and scorched desert. In the distance a caravan slowly trudged along the crest of a dune, hunched humanoid figures pulled wagons driven forward at the lash of monstrous mutant creatures. A gaunt figure stood just inside the doorway his teeth wormed through with maggots as he croaked, “welcome to Pestilence.”

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