Tellus-Aboreah

Tales of Tellus-Aboreah
The Adventure Begins....

*27th of The Wilting, 637 cf *

Our campaign begins at the end of the year 637.

Five strangers all travel the road to Brie.

A halfling, Telly Greenbottle, seeking adventure and escape from those look for him.

A half-orc, Brak, seeking freedom and the training necessary to have his revenge.

Farooq, a holy man from the desert lands far to the south, seeking converts to his religion.

Forg, a young dwarf, seeking to make a name for himself and uncover his hidden past.

Lastly, Ivo, a cowardly wizard who travels to Brie for training, or so he says.

Each of the strangers is bushwhacked in the early evening after falling prey to an inviting fire off the side of the road. The fire turned out to be a ruse set up by a small team of giants who made off with the strangers into the hills after binding them with rope. The five strangers were rescued by a group of Celestial elves riding toward the forest and the Eternal City.

The strangers soon found themselves left under the moonlit sky. They decided it was safer to remain together and made a camp near some trees on a snow covered hill. After spending some time introducing themselves they bedded down for the evening. The rest was only interrupted once, by wolves coming to gnaw on the giant corpses.

28th of the Wilting, 637 cf

The next morning the party of strangers journeyed down from the hills following the directions given by the elves. First they came to a small lake. Brak unsuccessfully tried to take down a deer, but frightened it off before he could get a good shot. His only arrow fell far short of the animal.

From the lake they found a trail and followed it down to the road leading to Brie. They were able to arrive at the Bay of the Moon tavern at dusk. At the tavern the strangers took a table together and ordered heaps of food and drink. Ivo paid for the meals and drink. It was while they were eating that they were approached by a portly balding gentlemen wearing gold belt and signet ring on his pinky finger. AgorThe large man spoke in soft voice and announced himself as Agor Smithsson the local mayor of a….“town”. Agor was seeking adventurers willing to help his small village defeat a “death cult”. He offered a small sum. Suspicious, the companions pressed him for more information…his story seemed to have “holes” and it was eventually learned that it was not a “poor village” but a “mining company” that needed help in clearing the “death cult” so they could establish a “silver mine”. The companions decided to accept the offer (however skeptical they were) and journey together with Agor the next morning. Before meeting Agor the next morning they did some investigation around the tavern discovering that the ‘death cult’ is an ancient legend and that ‘beastmen’ are rumored to be in the hills hording great wealth in the old ruins. It was also mentioned that a ‘sword of great power’ was lost in the ruins. Some of the party begin to speculate that perhaps the ‘death cult’ was a red herring and Agor and his ‘mining company’ have other plans for them. In any case the lure of a handsome profit was to much for the five rather poor individuals to refuse and so the decided to meet Agor in the morning.

29th of the Wilting, 637 cf

After signing a contract and purchasing supplies they journeyed up the site of ‘ruins’ that Agor said were the lair of the ‘death cult’. The ruins sat on top a a low hill, that had been cleared many centuries before. On the hill top ancient structures could be seen through twisted wind blown trees. Before the party could investigate the details they were ambushed by 6 humanoids, gnolls, armed with swords and spears. After defeating the humanoids in a quick battle they searched the hill top, finding a tablet written in dwarven and two staircases descending down into the hill.

One staircase lead down a steep stair to a dangerous looking rope bridge.

The other staircase lead to a large chamber filled with bats and guano. A search revealed three passages leading off into darkened halls.

The shortest passage held a surprise at the back end, a gelatinous cube. It nearly duped the halfling and half-orc. Once the party discovered the creature they made short work of it.

The passage to the right lead down a twisting corridor. The uncovered a plaster covered hidden door. The door had an inscription on it warning against entering it. The party decided to pass by and continue down the hall.

Telly missed the pressure plate in the hall and unleashed a pair of spears, one of which gravely wounded him. Farooq called apon his god, Aedon, to heal the halfling.

Just after springing the trap they were sprung upon by a group of gnoll guardsmen shouting “in the name of the minotaur king!!!”

The gnolls rushed in and were quickly dispatched. Three lost their nerve and turn an ran. The party pursued them to a guardroom where they were the remaining gnolls were slaughtered.

With the gnolls gone the party continued down the hall that now had a downward slope. The passage brought them deep underground to a massive cavern that they crossed quickly. A gnoll guardsmen is spotted and killed from close range. As the party closed in on the dead guardsmen Brak stumbled into garbage filled pit. His fall was minor and he was pulled quickly up again. Before the party stands a pair of stout wooden doors.

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From Frozen to Flaming Halls
Companions are forged by Sword and Spell.
29th of the Wilting, 637 CF

After pulling Brak from the pit the party investigated the double doors. They led to a room that was unnaturally cold and decorated with crude paintings of winter scenes.

Advancing into the room Brak triggered a trap when he placed a torch in an empty sconce on the wall. The trap caused the floor to tip to a 45’ angle and both Telly and Brak slide down into a dark opening before the floor sealed itself again.

The others quickly figured out how to trigger the floor and joined their companions at the bottom. The party found themselves in a long hallway that stretched off in one direction. Like the room above it was unnaturally cold, even having frost on the walls and floor. Cautiously they advanced down the corridor toward a chamber at the end.

Up ahead their lantern light shined on what appeared to be a snow drift…underground. By the time they reached the end of the corridor several inches of snow and ice were under their feet

The frozen chamber hide a pair of ice encased warriors. One male, the other female. The two figures wore armor of the long forgotten Kingdom of Thanos, which disappeared over a millennia before.

After some debate the party decided that they should free them and give the bodies proper burial. Telly and Brak argued that the armor and weapons should be used while Farrokh and Forg thought otherwise.

Once freed they decided to carry the bodies up and outside of the ruins for burial. When they were free of the frigid rooms the female warrior sprang to life. Bewildered she held the party at sword point until she was confident that they were friends.

The party found out that she was Epicaste, a warrior from Thanos, frozen by a Beastman shaman along with her brother during their attack on the palace over 1,000 years ago. She vows to avenge her brother and travel with the companions. Although she cannot speak the Common tongue she has been an able companion.Epicaste

The party made camp in the ruins above and in the morning held funeral rites for Epicaste’s brother, Danaus.

30th of the Wilting, 637 CF

The party now journeyed back into the ruins and re-traced their steps to the unnaturally frozen chamber, dispatching a group of gnolls at the guard post along the way. They crossed the chamber this time, avoiding the torch sconce, and then traveled down a long hall that lead to a large natural cavern.

The cavern was filled the sounds of rushing water from an underground river. The ceiling was filled with stalactites and the dripping from the moist ceiling. The humid underground chamber was covered in darkness as the party set out to explore it. West from the door they came upon a series of crude shacks constructed of river wood and canvas. Before they could investigate the shacks closely they were attack by a group of lizard men from the river. At the same time a lizard man shaman revealed himself from the the shacks with a guttural shout. The battle was LONGGG and hard fought. The party seemed to be plagued by ill luck as they fell victim to a spell that held Farrokh and Epicaste. Telly turned up a few items of interest but otherwise the shacks were a dead end and the party turned around and headed eastward.

In the eastern cavern they were attacked by creatures disguised as stalactites. To avoid the creatures they ran fast through the stone forest. On the otherside they found an abandoned cottage of a mummified halfling. The cottage was a strange place and turned up a scroll that no-one could read.

Beyond the cottage the river split and made going any further impossible because the Forg refused to cross the river.

Heading back they had decided to enter the rune carved door on the first level but before heading there they went to investigate a cavern that they had early passed by. In that cavern they encountered a small group of gnolls guarding a lost temple of the Thanos people.

Outside the temple they spotted a marble statue worn with time but with an inscription that Epicaste could read. When she read the words the party was healed!

They soon spotted a hidden door behind a layer of plaster. Chipping it away they uncovered a straight hall that led to a circular room that housed a demon, wings outstretched, made of black stone. The demon statue had a large pair of amber eyes that glowed with a fiery yellow color. Telly with out much hesitation climbed to the top of the statue and proceeded to pry them out. That was when he notice that a shaft was cut in the ceiling above the demon idol. After getting the gems he scaled the inside of the shaft to the top.

Above the circular room he found himself in an immense hall, perhaps once used for worship of the demon idol, for when he stepped away from the shaft the room was lit with a fire as bright as dragon’s breath. While the fire was burning the demon idol ascended the shaft but some unseen method and then after entering the hall above let out a mocking laughter.

When the fire died away the idol sunk back down into the circular chamber and Telly soon followed. He convinced the others to climb up with him and in doing so they too got to see the fiery demon’s entrance. Unfortunately they lost most of their rope and now find themselves trapped in the old worship hall.

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Orcs-A-Plenty
The Forest Awaits...
Sometime in Frosthaven, 637 CF

Much time has passed since the last entry. Since then much has happened. The party was able to defeat the beastmen and the death cult. Agor rewarded them well for the artifacts they returned from the ruins and was especially pleased with a sealed scroll. He told the party to “find him in Brie at the Pirate’s Eye Patch if they were ever in need of work”.

After several days of recuperating at the Bay of the Moon Inn they were betrayed by Telly and his companions the warrior, Epicaste, and the whining mage, Ivo. Telly made off with nearly all the group’s wealth as the others slept one night.

Brak, Farrokh, and Forg all gave chase hoping to catch the “little bastard” just after first light. Tthe trail led into the hills north of the Inn. Several weeks were spent tracking him and along the way they met a traveling Bard named Pharis and a halfling from the Shire, named Otis(coincidentally— he was also looking for Telly).

The trail of Telly led the party, now numbering five to the mining town of South Hill, nestled just below the Forbidden Forest towards the southern end of the The Drifts. There they lost the trail when winter arrived in the form of heavy snow fall.

They took up residence at the Iron Buckle Inn in South Hill hoping for the snow to melt enough that they could continue their search.

On the second night at the Inn while they were dining on roasted pheasant, spiced potatoes, and ale the town was attacked by a group of Orcs that carried off several children into the hills.

After doing battle with orcs the party ran off into the night with few supplies hoping to rescue the kidnapped children.

The trail was easy for Brak to follow because of the snow. The orc trail led them right into the Forbidden Forest. After entering the forest the party encountered a giant humanoid with a single eye along with a group of poorly trained orc guards.

Eventually they tracked the orcs to a ruined tower. There Otis killed a sleeping orge and discovered a shaft leading down.

The shaft had a simple rope ladder leading down into the ground. At the bottom they found themselves in a mine shaft. Missing the trip wire they were lucky to escape a sliding block.

At the end of the mine shaft they came to an underground network of old worked stone halls. Soon they were battling more orcs as they hoped to find the children before it is to late.

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Into the Depths of the Earth
Dark caverns and ancient ruins await...

Sometime in Frosthaven, 637 CF…

The delve into the Orc lair leads the party to a feast hall beyond a large smoke filled forge. From the empty beds found in the barracks it appeared that all of the orcs were either working the forge or feasting in the hall. The hall was lit by several roaring fires and set with large tables and benches. There the party encountered the orc chieftain, Maksym Bloodskull. Unable to dispatch with the door guards before one of them alerted the others with a gong. The battle turned into a large affair – with many orcs and even an ogre falling in combat. When the battle was done the party found the lair empty. Otis Everfull was badly wounded and so the party rested before continuing on.

Just before the battle commenced Brak had spotted a dark elf and two pale dwarves escaping with the three village children. After resting, the party followed the trail out of the lair and into caverns below it.

The cavern came out on a narrow ledge with only a old rope bridge spanning the chas. When the party attempted to cross the bridge small dog creatures peppered them with arrows from a ledge on the other side while one of the strange pale dwarves blocked the way.

The party soon defeated the dog men and the pale dwarf. Afterwards they gained entry to an ancient ruins on the far side of the chasm. The party avoided several traps before surprising a group of dog men. They took one prisoner and it confirmed that the drow had come this way. The party enlisted the dog mans help and followed him deeper into the earth.

A spider soon kill the dog man and left the party following the trail on their own. Coming to a hall filled with statues, each with gemstone eyes, the party paused and Phariss found that he could not resist the urge to pluck two green jade stones from a large obsidian statue.

Removing the gems awakened a great stone guardian that now hunts for the party….

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Fungi Caverns and Clockwork dogs
Strange things wait in the dark caverns...

Sometime in Frosthaven, 637 cf.

Deep beneath the earth the party delves underground in search of three village children hoping to find them before it is to late.

After awakening the Stone Guardian the party journeyed through a pair of large bronze doors and down a steep natural stair before arriving in fungus filled caverns. The caverns hung low and almost every inch of it was covered in fungus of many kinds. The caverns were naturally lit by vines with glowing violet polyps.

At the bottom of the stairway the Stone Guardian waited and it sprang to attack when the party entered the cavern. Its mighty fists bent armor and its stone hide dulled many blades. The battle looked hopeless and the party began to make a tactical exit from the battlefield through an adjoining cavern. It was then in a flash of brilliance that Farrokh saved the day. He instructed the others to use his rope to bind the Stone Guardians legs to slow it down and distract it from attacking. The plan worked and allowed the party to pummel the Stone Guardian with blows before it could break free.

During the melee the party stumbled across a lovely wood elf maiden, apparently lost in the caverns below while gathering spell ingredients for her master. She seemed relived to find some surface dwellers that could help her find her way out of the caverns. It was so that Sariya Ellifarius joined the ranks of the party.

From the battle with the Stone Guardian the party traveled together down many twisting corridors covered with spiderwebs and fungus. Finally coming upon a long hall of worked stone. In the center of the hall a stone basin was filled with a black viscous liquid. A misty portal was carved along a wall.

The black ichor attacked the party and chased them from the chamber. After regrouping the party was able to destroy it with flame and oil but nor before Phariss, Otis, and Brak all went missing.

The three of them were found resting in a peaceful cavern overcome by the enchantments placed on it.

Daringly, they decided to use the misty portal after finding a key that transformed the misty to a greenish color.

The portal took them to a large cavern with tall mushroom “trees” and a neatly kept fungus garden with paths that ran between them. The cavern was cut by an underground river that entered the cavern by way of a waterfall. Near the waterfall stood a small stone two story building with an active chimney and waterwheel.

The party found that the stone building was actually an outpost run by a gnome , Glink, his wife and two clockwork servants. The stay at the Inn proved restful if not informative. The party discovered that a drow elf (possibly the one they seek) lives down the river in a large cavern with an underground tower.

Unable to convince the dwarf that creating mushroom boats to float down the river was a good idea they decided to find their way by cavern.

Leaving the mushroom forest behind they journeyed up into a worked stone hall that hid many deadly traps and a small hidden cache of treasure. The treasure itself was guarded by a strange creature that disguised itself as a chest.

From the hall the party found the mine of a group of Grey Dwarves. The initial parlay did not go well and swords were drawn…

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...Talking...Toads...really?
The deeper they delved the stanger it got..

Sometime in Frosthaven, 637 CF

The Dark Dwarves and their pets were defeated by the party, only one escaped running wildly away with an axe imbedded in his shoulder.

The party freed the dark dwarves’s slave, an older Mountain Dwarf named Krog Stoneshield.

Krog

Krog agreed to show the party the way to the Underground Tower.

After setting out the party stumbled upon an old camp in the center of one cavern. The camp was filled with the skeletal remains of several humans and a dwarf. A search of the remains turned up a few useful items including a small red leather book that Sariya placed in her pack for later study.

The party traveled through the caverns and passed through a lair of some beast, following narrow passage down to the edge of the underground river. The party could find no way to continue and were wary of the large amphibian eyes that watched them from the water so they turned back.

It was then they encountered two trolls. The battle was hard won and made worse when Otis used his magic bag to pull forth a skunk that sprayed the trolls and several party members before being slain.

Afterwards the party bedded down near a rope bridge that crossed the river. It was then that they decided to test potions. Several were identified before Forg sampled one that caused him to begin to act randomly. He attempted to wander off and was chased down by the others.

It was then that the party met the talking toads of the river. The toad spoke only in the thoughts of some of the party members. The toads offered to take them to surface by way of the river. They knew they needed a powerful cleric to cure the dwarf of his madness.

Instead of heading to the surface they decided that the closest help probably could be found in the nearby Dark Dwarf city. Krog knew the way and so the party set out for the settlement.

The dark dwarf city, Motsignorr, lay even deeper in the earth and was surrounded by carved stone walls. The city was shaped from several intersecting caverns with towers and buildings carved from the natural stone. In the center of the city stood an imposing clock tower visible from all parts of the city.

The party bluffed there way past the guards under the guise of being tradesmen.
Drow3

The city was filled with the different underdark races as well as those from the surface. Otis quickly disappeared into the crowd and stayed gone for most of the groups stay in the city.

The party picked up some necessary supplies but more importantly found a cleric of Dumanthion, Rocknor Firebrand, willing to help Forg. Rocknor agreed to call upon his god in exchange for the party agreeing to quest.

After Rocknor cured Forg’s addled mind the party departed the city and led by Krog headed for the psionic toads. The toads gladly ferried the party downstream to the underground lake.

There at the center of the underground lake stood a all stone tower that stretched from a small island to the ceiling of the high cavern. The party was soon spotted by a sentry, a gargoyle, that swept down and attacked the toad riders. Farrokh cast a spell that sent the gargoyle temporarily spinning out of control. The pause in battle gave the party enough time to make it to the small island.

The rushed the guardhouse and did battle with the Derro sentries while the gargoyle closed in behind. After a tense battle all the enemies were slain and the party found themselves in the bottom most level of the tower staring back at themselves in a large darkened mirror…

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Wagons and Warriors
Onto the Ruins of Thoromir

Sometime in Frosthaven…

Chests were still heaving from battle when a grim creature stepped forth from the darkened mirror. The creature stood nearly 8 feet tall. Its well muscled body naked accept for a small loin cloth. Its flesh was the color of death, pale white and with sickly pink blotches. Sutures zig zagged across the body where body parts had been sewn together. Its bizarre form animated by some foul magic. The insane creature flew into a rage and attacked the party. Weapons passed through its magically enhanced form with no effect. It rained blows from its mighty fists down on the party. Forg’s black metal axe dealt damage as did the sword of Damian Darkblade. Soon the great beast was beaten and collapsed into a heap of flesh.

The party decided that it was better to take a risk and journey through the mirror then wait to be assaulted by another foul creature.

The mirror portal led them to another level of the tower. The tower room was filled with laboratory equipment. Braziers burned with nauseating incense. Bizarre liquids moved through glass tubes burping multicolored steam puffs from unusually shape containers. Hanging from the short ceiling were four man-sized brass cages. Two of them contained village children, the third child was unconscious and laid out on a table with strange tubes connected to his arms.

Soon the party was under attack from the drow wizard. Both sides refused to retreat and were soon joined in battle. The drow cast many spells that called on the power of fire and illusion. In the middle of the battle when the tide had turned against him the drow conjured a fiery swirling ball of flame and ignited the chemicals on the table along with nearby tapestries. The room quickly filled with foul choking smoke making breathing and sight difficult. At last the drow fell. Even before his last breath the party had begun a hasty retreat with the children.

Outside the tower the party made quickly for the river barge as the tower blew itself apart weakening the cavern overhead. Rowing swiftly the party made it to the river as the cavern behind collapsed.

Deepwinter 4th, 638 cf

The party arrived in the town of South Hill as heroes. They had made the journey quickly overland from the underground river and were glad to spend a night resting on a comfortable bed. Staying for free in the Iron Buckle Inn and being treated to as much free drink and food as they could consume the party quickly regained its fighting strength.

One morning soon after arriving back a tall platinum blonde Arapeshian knight rode up to the Inn on a great steed. He was well armed carrying a large claymore sword strapped across his back. He wore the armor of a Knight of Galahtine, though he looked to young to be a full member of the order.

Krett de covelet2

The young knight’s path eventually crossed that of the party. He smelled sweet, almost feminine, but his manly bearing dispelled any notions that he was any less of a man. He introduced himself as Krett DeCovelet.

After hearing the parties tales of rescuing the small children with no thought of reward he asked to accompany them on their quest to the dwarven ruins of Thorgrim. His offer was accepted and soon the party and Krett had procured provisions for the journey and set out.

Deepwinter 10th, 638 cf

Travel was slow though since Forg insisted on riding on a wagon the entire way. The party passed through some small dwarven mining settlements on their way into the Drifts toward the ruins. The weather was cool but not harsh and no rain fell on the journey. In short time they spotted the hill with its crown of ruins atop of it.

Tlos ruins turkey
Shortly after spotting the hill they found the old dwarf road and followed it up to the peak passing by a set of dwarven stairs that appeared to lead into the hill side. Krett had felt the presence of evil nearby giving everyone a cause to be careful.

At the top of the great hill, perhaps 1,000 or more feet, above the surrounding area they found they could see for miles. To the west, the fringes of the Crystal Mist lake could be seen and to the East, the dwarven mining villages and the mud splattered roads.

The dwarven ruins lay before them, a tumble of weathered stone, twisted trees and small gnarled shrubs. The wind whistled by and a chill could be felt in the air. A tendril of smoke was spotted across the ruins and the party decided to make a path toward it to see if something was alive in this desolate place.

Building ruins at top of hill

Forg hung back with the wagon and horses as the others made their way through the rubble on foot.

The smoke appeared to come from a makeshift chimney made from some of the fallen stone blocks. Staring down into the stack only revealed that it went down into the hill itself.

The party discussed climbing down the chimney to see what was there but decided instead to head back to the stairs.

Back at the well worn stairs they slowly crept down the first flight keeping an eye out for what ever evil Krett had detected. The keen eyed party members spotted arrow slits high up along the wall to the left of the stair. A loud grinding noise was heard down the stair, it was followed by a thunderous clap that vibrated the stone under the parties feet.
The party hesitated watching for a sudden attack, none came and so they went on.
The stair descended down into the hillside following a series of landings deeper into the darkness. The last landing turned back into the hill and led down a short set of steps to a dwarven door, made of stone, nearly unbreakable. Above the door the party spotted more arrow slits. They hoped that the slits were were unmanned by sentries or no longer held a trap.

With no keyhole visible the party decided to force the door open. It was hard won but soon the dwarven door gave way and the party entered into the ancient dwarven stronghold of Thoromir.

Immediately they were under attack. Pig faced orcs armed with battle axes and wearing grubby scale mail blocked the entry into the wide hall. The hall itself was split by a wide chasm, the other side only assessable by a moss covered semi-rotten rope bridge.

The party made quick work of the badly trained sentries and advanced into the room only to be greeted with bow fire from guards stationed on the opposite side of the hall. The orcish bowmen were better trained then the door guards and took up cover behind the pillars. They still didn’t last long but one of them was able to escape.

Valuable time was spent by the party trying to secure a grappling hook to the other side to make crossing the rotted bridge safer. Before they were able to do so more orcs returned bringing with them an immense orc with giant tusks and a hulking form. Pharis quickly sprinted across the rope bridge heedless of the danger. His brilliant blue cape swirling about him. He held the line and the orc reinforcements were unable to close in on the bridge and cut the pylons holding it in place. Brak drew forth his impressive bow and provided covering fire. Sariya unleashed both magical and mundane bolts at one orc cutting him down as he took cover behind a pillar. Krett leapt into action and foolishly or perhaps gallantly ran across the rope bridge in full armor rocketing himself over the stumbling dwarf. His charge brought him into the melee and he took his position beside Pharis. Pharis then hurled his light spell at the colossal orc captain and blinded him. With their captain blinded the other orcs fell quickly and the party easily dispatched the leader as well.

With the sentries all dead the party threw open the doors and journeyed deeper into the dwarven ruins…

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The ringing of Hammer and Anvil echo in the distance...
Many secret and dark places await in the Ruins of Thoromir

Deep Winter the 10th, 638 CF

After forcing their way past the orc guards the party found themselves inside the ancient dwarven ruins of Thoromir.

The walls were both of worked and unworked stone. After exploring a large chamber filled with trade goods the party discovered a corridor of worked stone as well as a small stone well. Before they could explore the chambers beyond the storage cavern Sariya broke down and cried. She received little sympathy from the dwarves. Brak was even more sure now that she needed protection. With the party watching she marched back to the chasm and found the orc she had slayed earlier. While standing over the dead orc she cut her hair with her knife and laid some of it on the fallen orc.

Once Sariya had gathered herself the party headed away from the chamber and spotted a small stone well in a darkened natural cavern. While investigating the well the party heard orcish voices followed by the growls and snarls of some large animal. They charged down the cavern and into battle to find four orc guards with a chained brown bear. The clash of arms brought forth a massive ogre from his chamber who proclaimed himself the “Great Ulfe”. He brought two wolves and a pair of gigantic weapons into battle including a double headed axe and a club the size of tree limb.

A battle ensued and the orcs, ogre, and bear were all slain.

After the battle the hallway was explored including the empty chambers. Some small pieces of treasure were found but little else.

As the party explored the worked stone corridor Forg spotted a stonework trap at the end of the hallway. A cunningly hidden stone slab was discovered and then set off with a barrell. The dwarven statue at the end belched forth a noxious cloud into the hall but the party had moved to a safe distance and was unaffected.

While the air cleared the party journeyed back to the well. They explored a series of natural caverns that led to a pair of secret doors that swiveled on a central axis. The secret passage brought the party to a room filled with skulls hung from the ceiling.

The foul chamber was the home an ugly orc shaman who demanded to know who would disturb her before commanding her guards to attack.

The battle with the orc guards was easy but the shaman proved a bit more difficult. She was unable to cast her magic upon the party but she did move agilely about the chamber while hurling flasks of explosive fire. It was then that Brak was burned and flew into a terrible rage smashing nearby skulls with his waving arms. He grabbed hold of the shaman and strangled the life out of her. The other party members had to pry his hands from her neck but not before he had squeezed it loose from her neck. A search of her chamber turned up a few useful items.

The shaman’s chamber led to a large dwarven hall of worked stone. The opposite end had a tall stone door carved to look like an angry dwarf. Blackened bones of several corpses lay about the floor in front of the dwarf door. A pair of natural stone stairs led down.

While searching the chamber Phariss spotted a rusted iron barred gate and decided to pick the lock. The rest of the party examined the room making a good deal of noise that attracted a small group of angry stirges. The stirges swooped down on the party. The battle was won easily and the stirges destroyed.

Phariss was unable to pick the lock and the iron bars were torn from the hinges. The noise attracted another swarm of stirges that were easily dispatched.

Forg and Krog decided to open the stone dwarf door. Ignoring signs that a trap might be present that opened the door and unleashed a torrent of liquid flame upon them. Krog collapsed in a smoldering heap of flesh and bone. Forg was badly burned but lived.

After unleashing the fire trap the party was more cautious with opening the door. The dwarf door proved to conceal nothing more than the trap mechanism itself.

With no earth available to bury Krog properly the party, led by Krett, said a few words about the dwarf and dropped him into the deep chasm near the rope bridge. His tomb would be the natural rock deep beneath the earth.

Satisfied that nothing remained within the upper halls the party descended down the natural stairs past a small underground stream and into a large natural cavern cut by the stream. The party was once again attacked by stirges that swarmed down on the lantern light.

Once the stirges were driven off the party crossed the large cavern, waded the small stream, and entered into an immense glittering cavern. Surrounding the party were ancient dwarven tombs. They left the tombs undisturbed. Before finding a pair of natural stairs that led down to the lower half of the glittering cavern the party repelled over the edge with a rope and grappling hook.

Below the shelf that held the dwarven tombs the party found themselves beneath a sparkling field of mineral deposits imbedded in the surrounding stone. They followed the left most wall stopping to investigate another shelf above the ground floor. It proved empty and they continued onward until they came to a iron door set in the side of the cavern wall.

The door was decorated with a silver hammer and anvil set in the middle of the door. With a great effort the door was pulled open. A darkened stair led from the door down into an eight sided chamber with a pair of doors and three tall dwarven statues. The statues depicted heavily armored dwarves. A hidden door was found and a long stair ascending upwards. The party marched up the stairs and swung open the door. A booming voice suddenly barked in an unknown language loud enough to alert anyone beyond the door.

Before the party was a vast chamber, a great dwarven hall, lined with tall pillars. At one end on a raised dais was a throne. The hall was lit by sputtering torches. From somewhere beyond the pillars, at the far end came an unfriendly voice that warned the party to travel no farther. Heedless of any danger Forg charged forward into the chamber…..

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A Black Dragon and A Blacker Sword
What destiny awaits the new heroes?

Deep Winter 10th, 638 CF

As Forg charged forward into the dimly lit hall the rest of party joined him. Some members stayed in the shadows and others joined the dwarf in his frontal assault on the formless voice that emanated from behind the shadowy pillars. As the team arrived at the far end they found it empty, only to be surprised moments later by a small dwarf that appeared behind them.

The dwarf was no bigger than a hobbit child, gray skinned with sunken features, he called himself Ghared. He wore an apron that was partially covered by a wispy gray beard. When the party moved to attack a large net fell on top of them and hindered their movement allowing Ghared to parlay with the company.

Ghared informed the party that they could go no farther into the hall because his people had claimed the forge beyond the double doors as their own. Ghared explained that the forge of legendary weaponsmith, Durgeddin the Black lay beyond and none should have it with out a fight. The two sides soon found themselves at an impasse. The majority of the party wanted only to find the three holy items of Dumanthion so their quest could be at an end. Forg, however, laid claim to the bladeworks as a descendent of Durrigedin the Black. Ghared agreed to fetch his master in hopes of negotiating at peaceful resolution.

The companions were left in the hall to discuss strategies while they waited for the Ghared to return with his master.

Soon enough he returned and brought with Snurrevin, a dark dwarf of large stature dressed in robes with a pet rat that appeared to whisper into the master’s ear.

It was apparent that the dark dwarves had paid a steep price in securing the forge and would not willingly part with it. A deal was struck that the dark dwarves would show the party where to find the three holy items they sought in exchange for leaving them alone.

The party agreed and sent Brak, Phariss, and Krett with the dark dwarves to locate the three holy items. They were blindfolded for their trip through the bladeworks and taken into a large cavern that had a river spilling over the side into a deep chasm. A foul odor wafted up from below and though Krett could detect no evil it was apparent to all that it was a wicked hole and no good would be found at the bottom. Across the cavern, out of reach, because of the chasm that divided it the party spotted a stone door, a ledge and an old metal ladder.

The dark dwarves informed the party that the holy items they sought were given to the beast that lived at the bottom of the hole as part of the payment for their use of the forge. The beast was described as a massive black scaled serpent…the realization that a dragon, even a young one…waited at the bottom sent shivers through many of the party.

Brak, Phariss, and Krett were led back to the pillared hall and the dark dwarves sealed themselves inside the forge leaving the party to make a decision on how to proceed. While in the hall they discovered a hidden passage that led to a small square room guarded by a single dark dwarf sentry. The party attacked the sentry, and easily slayed him, but a another dark dwarf escaped through a second hidden passage. The party gave chase but lost the trail. However they did emerged on the other side of the chasm near the metal ladder descending down.

Phariss sprung over the side, while the party debated the best course of action, and floated down into the darkness. The rest of the companions soon followed and they found themselves at the bottom of the dark hole. The water above crashed down into a pool that flowed northward out of the cavern and into the underground. The noise of the waterfall was deafening and concealed the parties movements. All along the edge of the water large reptilian footprints could be seen going into the water.

The party formed up a marching order and slowly went north, all the time expecting a dragon to appear. What they found instead were a pair of old dwarf stone bridges that spanned the underground river, a metal ladder going to the surface, and very large lake.

The last bridge collapsed making travel difficult but eventually the party found themselves on a gravel beach at the edge of the underground lake. They could see no treasure trove containing the holy items they sought but soon the dragon’s head broke the surface and attacked.

The cunning beast stayed submerged below the neck making melee attacks difficult. Brak and Krett bounded out on some stepping stones to attempt an attack. The dragon drew up and blasted a stream of acid in the direction of Brak and Forg. Brak sidestepped most of the blast but Forg was struck and went down. Farrokh and Sariya both tried to help the dying dwarf. The cleric bound his wounds and Sariya tried to find a useful potion in Brak’s pack. Meanwhile Phariss had plunged himself into the water and made for a small island on the far side of the lake. He had spotted what he hoped was a glint of gold and the location of the three holy items. Krett had lept onto the dragon’s back and embedded his sword into the beast. He soon found himself riding the beast out into the lake where he was tossed off. The dragon quickly moved away from the bulk of the warriors and made for the backside of party where some of the unarmored members were stationed. When the dragon came ashore it flung the now flying Sariya to the side after she had dropped a cloak over it’s eyes. Brak struck from behind and soon the great beast was dead.

Phariss located the dragon’s treasure and the three items of Dumanthion. After a long day of battle the party made camp on the dragon’s isle.

After spending several days resting and returning Forg back to health the party journeyed to the surface.

Deep Winter 20th, 638 CF

From the surface they made their way back to South Hill to check on the progress of Farrokh’s temple and stash some of the loot they had acquired from the dragon’s hoard.

Isis 6th, 638 CF

The journey to the Temple of Dumanthion was uneventful and everyone was relieved to have finally completed the quest finishing that chapter of their story.

Isis 15th, 638 CF

The companions decided to stick together for now and see Krett off to the Stone of Farwell. They welcomed traveling under the stars.

Isis 17th, 638 CF

On the second day out from South Hill they spotted a pair of horsemen that appeared to be shadowing them. When they confronted the strangers the horsemen left saying nothing, but were soon spotted again off in the distance.

Isis 18th, 638 CF

On the following day as they neared the old elven temple they were met by Taro Miyazawa on the road. The noble elf with silvery hair, pale skin, and amber eyes guided them the last leg of the journey.

This last part took them down into a flooded valley with a rocky hill thrust from the center. Crossing the valley lake on barges they followed a narrow path up the rocky hill that wrapped around the hill, slowly spiraling upwards to the flat peak. At the top a scattered set of ruins could be seen with one central building.

Stone of farewell cover by kerembeyit d2yauyh

Within the central building the party came face to face with the Elder Eye, head of the wizard’s Conclave in Tellus-Aboreah. Krett presented the package he was tasked with delivering to the Elder Eye and took a seat around a large stone table with the others.

The Elder Eye carefully unwrapped the package revealing a broken sword of some dark metal. As the wizard folded back the thin layer of lead covering the dark sword the magical lamps in the room dimmed and it felt as very air grew heavy….it was the Ebonstone Sword….the sword of the Betrayer.

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The Long and Winding Road
My god, will WE EVER GET THERE?!?!

Isis 18th, 638 CF

With the Ebonstone Sword before them the party and the ElderEye discussed what to do with the remains of the baneful weapon. They were soon joined by Fujimoto Nakatori.

The impromptu council decided that the ElderEye would take the three broken shards of the sword with him to the Tower of High Sorcery in Brie. There he would call a conclave of the council members and choose two of his most trusted friends to take two of the three shards to a safe hiding place. He would keep the third. The hope was that by scattering the shards it would make it more difficult for those seeking the sword to find it.

The council also decided to seek a way to destroy the sword or banish it from Tellus-Aboreah. With no known method of accomplishing either task Fujimoto volunteered to journey to Westport to see an alien oracle kept by a secretive wizard, Telemachus. It was rumored that the oracle knew of such matters since it was said to have come from the stars itself. The party offered to assist Fujimoto in his journey.

Isis 19th – 22nd, 638 CF

The party left on their journey taking a circuitous route to the road leading to Westport. Along the way the party encountered two groups seeking the sword, one an undead knight of the Betrayer and the second a pair of Arapeshian mystics.

The mystics used mind powers, trickery, and murder to try and uncover the whereabouts of the sword. They murdered a traveling farmer so they could travel under the guise of a pair of commoners and trick the party into a parlay. Although the disguise worked the party offered little information. Later that day the murdered farmer and his family were spotted far of the road. It didn’t take long for the party to guess what had happened to them. Several party members made a vain attempt at tracking the mystics down but came up only with the abandoned wagon and lots of questions.

The Arapeshian duo shadowed the party to an old elven way station before being discovered by the party.

Some of the party traveled the Dream Road with Fujimoto to the Plane of Dreams. There they learned that the alien oracle was housed near the top of Telemachus’s tower in Westport as well as the location of the hidden Arapeshian mystics just outside the way station.

Isis 23rd, 638 CF

Fujimoto decided that he would travel north to Brie and try to confuse their followers. The party agreed to follow through with the journey to Westport. He advised them to make for the Bay of the Moon Tavern and then follow the road to Westport.

After Fujimoto departed Phariss slipped out of the way station to spy on the two hidden mystics. He witnessed them quickly packing in an attempt to follow Fujimoto. Phariss sprung to attack them when their attention was turned away. He quickly slayed the man but the female put up a vicious defense before surrendering. Phariss was joined by the other party members who set about questioning the captive. She identified herself only as Denore. She confessed to murdering the farmer and his family with her partner, claiming it was necessary to completing their mission. She was defiant and didn’t heed the warnings against trying to read the minds of the party. After a single warning and continued defiance Brak broke her neck with a powerful head punch.

Forg was visibly disturbed at the execution of the prisoner and voiced his opinion to the others.

From the way station they made for the Bay of the Moon Tavern, soon finding it and taking refuge within its safe confines.

At the Inn the party encounters Otis once again. He explained that he was still searching for Telly and had heard that the cutpurse has made his way to Westport.

Isis 24th, 638 CF

While at the Inn Forg traded his horse and cart for a pony and the party made arrangements to journey the following morning.

Isis 25th, 638 CF

Brak found Loring Silchester’s lost sword, Gelradrian, off the forest path.Gelradrian2

The party let an Arapeshian patrol go by while taking cover at the edge of the forest.

As dusk approached the party encounters Abdul and his sons traveling caravan of trade goods. The do business with the Makkah and decided to make camp with him and his family.

The camp fire attracts a traveling dwarf, Osk Stonecrusher, on his way to Westport as well.
Osk is an older dwarf with a long braided red beard. He wears the holy symbol of Haela Bright-Axe, dwarven goddess of luck and battle. He freely shares stories, advice, and ale with the others. Apparently, Osk has returned from some sort of magical prison or purgatory after journeying with Loring Silchester during the Imperium Invicta nearly two years ago. His memory seems a bit clouded and his story doesn’t make complete sense.
Osk

Isis 26th, 638 CF

After breaking camp the party set out again, Osk joining them on the way to Westport. While taking a break at “The Haven”, a small roadside tavern, they learn that a group of bandits has been operating along the road, led by a man named Arnor.

Just after mid-day they come upon a pair of young teenage boys traveling to Westport, Pal and Kalf. The two young boys convinced the party to allow them to tag along.

The party passed through the village of Ombrelle with plans to camp closer to dusk. Before making camp the party was attacked by Arnor and his bandits. After an intense battle the bandits were killed or driven off into the woods.

Osk witnessing Gelradrian in action once more and remembering the difficulties that the sword created for Loring the dwarf paralyzed the half-orc with magic and ran off with the sword. After wrestling with Krett, Brak pursued Osk in a mad rage before calming down and realizing that the sword posed a danger to him and perhaps it was best to leave it be…for now.

Osk returned with out the sword but was seen by Krett and Brak exiting the forests of the Wizard Hills.

When the party gathered together at the battle site they decided to find the trail of the bandits and follow it into the woods. The way was confusing and it felt like the trees actively discouraged the party from traveling deeper into the wood.

While traveling Phariss decided to drop back and lurk about after hearing or seeing something behind the party. It nearly cost him his life when he was attacked by a massive purplish and green stripped hunting cat. The giant cat nearly tore Phariss’s head off before the rogue blinded him with a flash of magical light and sent him bounding off into the night.

The party was able to locate the bandits base of operations and sprung upon them. The battle was fierce, the bandits employed two hill giant guards, but in the end they were defeated and the party recovered treasure and the loot taken from travelers along the road.

Isis 27th, 638 CF

The party left the goods behind hoping to turn over the location to the authorities in Westport so they could be returned to the proper owners. They spent the evening in Garthalton at the Frosty Tankard before setting out in the morning for the last leg of the journey to Westport.

Isis 28th, 638 CF

The party arrived at Westport and claimed the bounties for Arnor and his bandits. Weary from travel they find the nearest inn for some well needed rest. 10 days on the road had taken its toll.
Westport

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