Scales of War Adventure

Caden's Cipher
27 & 28th of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS

I met with an interesting woman the other day. Xul was obviously a night-walker or Shadar-kai, though she had the look of a fighter, rather than one of our art. She was brought to me by a new talent in town, a halfling calling herself Bree. When asked for her tithe, Bree was quick to hand over a fair share. The night-walker had other business in mind.

Xul is looking for a scarred elf reported to have been in the city some time ago. I am intrigued and will send out lost ones to see what can be learned. If the elf is here, I will know soon. However, I also want to know more about this night-walker. The young ones grumbled a little about being sent to gather information rather than pocket change but they will learn soon enough.

It seems that Xul and Bree are traveling with a a strange group. There is a half-elf named Rhayn who seems to know her way in the world. She and Xul both got tattoos before seeing me. They seemed to be commemorating a fight, something about a red hand. Also in the group is Soyala, a paladin of the Shadow Queen. You certainly don’t get many of those around here. There is a scholarly wizard by the name of Hurit who made a bee line for the nearest library. I probably would have missed the last member of their group, had not money changed hands. A poor young elf by the name of Alia was pranked by her group. While it may have seemed funny, I don’t think the young thing knew what to make of it. I will have to see if I can make it up to her…

The next day, this strange group of adventurers was summoned to the Council of Elders, along with several others. Though I don’t yet know all that was discussed in this meeting, it seems clear that they ride out to defend Overlook from the rumors of war. If war really is approaching, I will have to consider what arraignments I need to make in order to profit from the situation. Certainly, stocking up on liqueur and healing potions wouldn’t hurt. I may lead the Lost Ones in Blister but who’s to say what might happen in the midst of a war…

Bardigan the Crier

How can we forget the suffering of our kin during the Age of Chains? How can we set aside those ancient grudges when the risk of slavery is now greater than ever? Fellow warriors, the orcs are upon us, marching once more to the beat of the giants’ drum. It falls to us to stop them – to hold fast no matter their numbers. If we falter, we give into fear. It’s not just ourselves and our way of life that will suffer, all people of the Elsir Vale will perish as well. War is upon us. Now is the time for men and women of courage to stand up and defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Call to Arms

War approaches. A week ago, a call to arms sounded throughout the Elsir Valley, summoning warriors to help defend Bordrin’s Watch in the Stonehome Mountains far to the west. Word of an army of orcs on the march had spread through the Vale for months, but now, it appeared the rumors were true.

You, along with militia groups and other adventurers from all over the Vale, marched west until you came to the city of Overlook, a large fortified community raided by dwarves centuries ago. Once there, you and two other groups were invited to attend the Council of Elders for a special assignment.

Back at Brindol
12th-19th of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS

Upon leaving the entrance of Rivenroar, Xul quietly went to check on the hobgoblin Morrik. Fate must have allowed the poor creature to live, for all that was left was a sawed down tree and broken manacles.

Leaving Rivenroar, Alia was able to successfully lead the group back towards Brindol. About an hour away from town, the group was met by a scout for council member Eoffram Troyas. The councilman soon followed and had a quick conversation with the group. Trying to appeal to their love of money, the councilman seemed to try to orchestrate their moves, obviously in a bid to make himself look good. And it worked. The town will never forget the sight of council member Eoffram Troyas riding into town with the wild adventurers and the hostages safely returned.

After baths and fresh clothes, there were speeches and merry making. The two high points in the evening were the return of the artifacts to the Hall of Great Valor and the presentation of the reward money to the team. Needless to say, few people in town were moving the next day as many were recovering from hangovers.

Several things happened in the next few days. Mario the Bartender found Xul, not long after their return and revealed what he had learned. After asking more questions in town, Mario was able to learn that there had been a scarred elf in town, about a month before Xul arrived. After more digging, he was able to determine that the elf had left on the Dawn Road, most likely headed for Overlook. Incidentally, several days later, Mario and Mirtala were engaged. Xul also used this time to dedicate a shrine The Raven Queen in the grassy area between the two bridges entering town. While many were unsure of what to do with the new addition, they kept quiet, especially with the current popularity of the adventurers.

Hurit spent the next few days at the library in the Great Hall,learning new rituals, where Sertanian gave him virtually free reign. Jalissa was seen to have made several stops by there daily checking on the academic. Hurit also began to cast his eyes enviously to the west upon learning of the libraries in Overlook.

Bree looked to the well being of Thurann once Rhayn told him of his father Kartenix’s death.

Alia, after spending several well earned days in the luxury at The Silk and Spoon, soon began looking for her next adventure.

Rhayn soon heard the call for warriors gathering in Overlook and began to make preparations.

After the celebrations of Moradin’s Forge Day on the 19th, the team, along with a militia group and the Freeriders set off for Overlook.

The Cleansing of Rivenroar
12th day of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS; Barter Day

After taking an extended rest in the now barren lower level, they ascended the stairs once again. Alia quickly sprinted up the stairs to conceal the body of Kartenix from his son Thurann. With the son none the wiser, the group turned to the northern door. Xul offered to scout the room out but was not quiet enough to escape the notice of the guard drake. Without warning, it was upon her. It’s hobgoblin master also joined the fray as the group raced into the room to help. Hurit was quick to translate the hobgoblin’s guttural calls for aid and the team soon heard the metallic clanging of enemies descending the iron circular staircase. With good team work, and tactical positioning led by Rhayn and Soyala, the adventurers were able to kill the first two enemies before the others made it down the stairs.

Alia readied herself to target whatever came down the stairs and Xul hid below the stairs ready to kill whatever fate placed before her. In no time at all, the team was going through the pockets of corpses. Also, for some odd reason, Soyala had Hurit conjure a floating disk and take the room’s flaming brazier with them.

Ascending the circular staircase, the team found the room where the hobgoblins had been congregating. Four stone sarcophagi dominated the room and were quickly pilfered. Some noticed the inscription bordering the ceiling which read, “Here lie the Rivenroars until the Day of the Black Sun. If you seek their monument, look at the lands around you.” The two alters in the side chamber seemed to be dedicated to Bane, the god of the goblinoids. However, on closer inspection, they had only recently been converted from alters dedicated to Vecna. Xul spent a lovely few minutes re-purposing them again, this time as toothpicks. During this time, none noticed the double doors to the south move ever so slightly.

Moving into the southern room, the team encountered several strange sights. Four statues of displacer beasts, each with glowing amber eyes, stared back at them. Beyond them was an arcane circle glowing in the dim light with a crumpled old woman standing in the center. This almost distracted them from the three dire rats leaping to the attack. Alia seemed very concerned about the old woman and almost targeted her. Instead, some of the people from Brindol shouted out that they knew her and Alia instead let out a devastating attack on the rats. Hurit was able to ascertain that the arcane circle was a magical prison, though he could not understand the magic behind the statues, which troubled him deeply. What Xul found more troubling was the crossbow bolt piercing her armor. Only then did she notice the Gnome skulking in the shadows. It was quickly dealt with but the second Gnome was able to invisible it’s way out the door. After the fight, Hurit was able to free the grumpy old woman, Zerriksa and Rhayn was able to heal poor Mirtala who lie crumpled in the corner, suffering from filth fever. The alter in this room was devoted to the Raven Queen and Xul was quick to repatriate the raven sculpture. Here they left the flaming brazier and instead took the weighty sculpture.

Crossing several pits and shoving the remains of several hobgoblins out of the way, the team reemerged in the front room. They were still short one hostage so they moved to the hallway that glowed blue. Alia took point, finding a room with glowing square of arcane runes, and initiated the fight at the top of the stairs with several swarms of needlefang drakes. She was engulfed in seconds. Xul danced her bloody way through the swarms and Hurit froze the swarms in place. Once again, Xul was attacked by a Gnome skulking in the shadows, this time receiving a warpick in her insubstantial back. This one was not able to escape though and its pockets delivered up the key to the manacles holding Adronsius in the next room.

Having completed their task, the group was not willing to leave the tombs of Rivenroar with one door remaining. Rhayn was able to kick open the door, where the team found a room filled with the musty odor from the mushrooms growing here. Of course, the loud entrance also set off the two rage drakes locked down here. It was a tough fight but in the end, the team was 70 gold richer.

And with that, the team, along with the seven hostages set off on their journey back to Brindol.

Session XP:

  • 3575 XP for the group
  • 715 XP for each PC
  • Each PC has a total of 2,250 XP (3rd Level).

Session Loot

  • 410 gold for the group
  • 50 silver for the group
  • 1 potion of healing
  • Stoneborn Armor +1 (AV p. 53) – Soyala
  • Boots of Stealth – Alia
The Second Level
11th day of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS; Gather Day

Although Sinruth had left his mark, there was little need to take a long rest. The group back tracked to the large chamber and headed north. Coming to a crossroads, Alia crept into one of the rooms. This room was full of more alcoves containing skeletal remains along the south wall and the repeating message carved into the wall, “Honor the Heroic Guardians of Rivenroar”. When she saw a small boy bound near a fountain in an annex room, she rushed to him and began working to release him. Only then did she feel the prick of a blade and hear a low voice ask, “Friend or Foe?”

“Friend” she immediately answered and continued working on his bonds. “My team was sent from Brindol to set the captive free. Here they come now.” As the team entered, they saw a gruff halfling poking a dagger into a chink of the armor of Alia. Sertanian recognized the boy Thurann who jumped up, not really being bound at all but only a decoy, and ran to hug the old man. Thurann explained that the halfling was Bree, a friend that had stayed to protect him. Once introductions were made, Alia pulled Bree aside and let her know of the demise of Kartenix. They decided that Thurann had no need to know that his father was dead, yet.

As the team was deciding which way to move, they heard the door open behind them. A group of undead moved into the room and attacked. The ghouls immobilized several people and chewed on Xul quite extensively. There was some worry by the team that this would result in the impregnation of Xul, though no one had a good reason why this might occur. The zombies were more interested in slamming into people and grabbing them. This battle took some time, though Bree was able to show her worth, while also preventing anything from approaching Thurann.

While Thurann wanted to join in the fight, he knew that these things were beyond his ability. However, he spent his time well, locating 80 gold pieces and a jade gemstone worth 100 gold among the remains in the alcoves. When the fight was over, he showed his new found treasure to Bree, who smiled and held on to it for him. Being a sentimental rouge, she plans to use this to pay for his boarding, once they return to Brindol.

After the attack, Rhayn tossed a copper into the fountain and made a wish. Although the wish has yet to come true, the fountain began flickering with images from other rooms in the tomb. Some of the rooms were smeared with the blood of hobgoblins that the team had already dealt with. Other rooms were eerily still.

Sneaking down a columned hallway, Bree, then Alia and Xul came to an immense chamber. Two golden thrones sat along the north wall, one containing a rotting but still fleshy corpse. On the other throne sat a bleached white skeleton. Other piles of bones littered the ground. Soyala instructed the team to target the fleshy corpse, perhaps preventing the others from awakening. Rhayn entered the room quietly, stepped in front of the fleshy corpse and shot it with her crossbow. The eyes began to glow and it lisped, “Intrudersssssss! Conssssssssume them!”

Soyala stepped in front of the fleshy corpse, identifying it as a deathlock wight, and proceeded to wail on it. Alia did enough damage to the skeleton seated next to it to cause bone shards to explode outward, injuring Soyala. Xul finished off the wight while Bree finished the skeleton. The fight was over before it really began and no one was quite sure who was supposed to consume them, though they were happy enough not to find out. The walls of this room were painted, depicting a series of older, robed humans standing on the clouds or riding chariots through the sky. The faces were realistic enough that Hurit was able to determine that they matched the descriptions of of the the lords of Rivenroar. Three of these portraits along the south wall had been defaced. Mounted above the thrones were Quick Hit Bracers (AV p. 118), Hedge Wizards Gloves (AV p. 135), and a full suit of Shared Suffering Chainmail armor (AV p. 51).

Exploring further, the team encountered an evistro who, having heard their approach, was hurling itself against an invisible barrier, marked by four square columns. The team was happy to leave the carnage demon incarcerated and make faces at it. However, a wererat appeared from in the north tunnel and yelled, “I release you, crypt guardian!” The team dispatched the demon and two more wererats and followed the northern tunnel.

There, Alia and Bree were able to position themselves for a surprise attack against three more wererats and a gnome mage, who fell quickly. Then the team was able to explore the room. It was lined with pews, making it clear that this was once a shrine dedicated to the rune-encrusted obelisk dedicated to Vecna, at the north end. At the base of the obelisk, which seemed to suck the light from the room, they found the ceremonial platinum longsword (too heavy and blunt to be useful as a weapon), a set of three shields with the Red Hand insignia, each with a charred hole near the center, and a heraldic battle standard depicting two hands clasped in a handshake.

In the last of their search of this level, the team discovered a room with a starburst mosaic inlaid in the floor. When the team entered the room, the starburst turned black and the lights they carried turned dim, but there were no other observed effects. A still pool of water dominated another room, noticeably more humid than others, though there was little else of interest there. With that, they returned to the large room that led them down here, and regrouped for their final foray into the crypts above.

Session XP:

  • 2450 XP for the group
  • 410 XP for each PC
  • Each PC has a total of 1,535 XP.

Session Loot

  • 0 gold for the group
  • 0 silver for the group
  • Quick Hit Bracers (AV p. 118) – Xul
  • Hedge Wizards Gloves (AV p. 135) – Hurit
  • Shared Suffering Chainmail armor (AV p. 51) – Rhayn
  • Antique – A ceremonial platinum longsword (too heavy and blunt to be useful as a weapon)
  • Antique – A set of three shields with the Red Hand insignia, each with a charred hole near the center
  • Antique – A heraldic battle standard depicting two hands clasped in a handshake
Rhayn's Ramblings
a day's journal

This dungeon we are in is quite a nasty nest of dead and undead things. Signs of a resurgence of the Red Hand Army are everywhere. I don’t care much about who has the checkbook, just give me a fight and a team of fighters and I am at home earning my way through this lonely life.

These travelers I have fallen in with are well versed in techniques of war. Everyone pitches in and gets the job done. I feel as though they have my back and that is a nice feeling to have. I have run with less trustworthy crews. Alia is a brat, running from a home of privilege. She is squeemish about a lot of things (especially the smell of poo), but has much to prove to the world about how grand she believes herself to be. Xul is a Raven Queen fanatic who cares mostly about fate. It makes her fearless, but she can spout some pretty weird world view stuff when someone says some keyword that gets the conversation running. Hurit works for cash alone. It is strange seeing an eladrin mage doing little tricks, but he sure comes in handy with a fireball when we need it. Soyala is quite an original. She healed me a couple times and came up with some grand ideas for getting us out of a crisis. I wish she hadn’t had to take all my clothes to get that crazy acid jelly crap off of me, though. I guess I’ve been more embarrassed before.

We finally found a place to rest and I am strong and ready for the next steps in our adventure. I hope there aren’t any webby things or jelly up ahead. Give me an ogre or a hobgoblin with a flail any day!

Deeper into Rivenroar
How deep will this rabbit hole lead?

10th & 11th day of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS

After a short rest, the team moved further into to tombs. The next room, lined with skeletal alcoves, heated up with the appearance of two magma claws. They seem to have been summoned by the opening of an arcane trapped door. What opened the door remains a mystery.

Not long after, the group was able to locate and release Sertanian from his captivity. Angry at the robbery of his Great Hall, he was more than willing to assist in the recovery of the antiques.

Unfortunately, the next captive located had already passed into the realm of the Shadow Queen. Kartenix’s body was glued to the wall in a den of ettercaps. The team quickly dealt with this threat, too, though they were beginning to look for a safe room to hole up in for an overnight.

Alia quickly scouted out the stairs leading up to the west and discovered a room full of hobgoblins. With out waiting to find out what they were doing here, she fired off several arrows, surprising the enemy. The rest of the team joined in, with Hurit slowing the movement of many but taking a face full of acid for his troubles. Xul waded in and was soon covered with the cast-off of the dead. Rhayn and Soyala did there part and even the surprising addition of a hexer barely phased the group.

Now low on energy, the team was relieved to find a room with only one entrance. It happened to contain Jalissa. She clung to Rhayn for freeing her, though also made fast friends with Hurit. She was able to cast the ritual eye of alarm and the team slept fast. The room also contained three sarcophagi and, with no conscientious objectors present, they looted the corpses.

Well rested, feeling a new sureness of powers, and with two of the rescued in tow, the group ascended another set of stairs and found themselves in an triangular room with seven menhir’s (large stones standing vertically) scattered across the floor. These stones we exceedingly cold, enough to cause immediate pain if touched. As they were investigating the room, Soyala fell under attack.

Sinruth surprised the group by entering from the north doors. He immediately used his spiked chain to pull Soyala into the barbs on his armor. Ripping her off, he threw her to the ground and attempted to kick her with his jackboots. However, Soyala seemed very adept at fighting from her back and was able to avoid further damage. It took a concerted effort to deal with the leader of the hobgoblins, but the task was lessened when Hurit caused him to believe the ground gave out beneath him. Seeing a grown hobgoblin flailing around wildly on the floor is a sight to behold. Two of the antiques were recovered, the gauntlets and the dragon crest helm. Sertanian was overjoyed to see them. In addition, the team found a disturbing letter, folded into the breast pocket of the deceased leader:

Session XP:

  • 2195 XP for the group
  • 439 XP for each PC
  • Each PC has a total of 1,125 XP.

Session Loot

  • 730 gold for the group
  • 300 silver for the group
  • 3 potions of healing
  • Shroud of protection – Adventurer’s Vault p. 177
  • Antique – Ornate, gilded dragoncrest helm
  • Antique – Set of iron gauntlets with extensive filigree
Hurit's Journal

I have started out on an adventure with some interesting companions. We have set out from Brindol following a captured hobgoblin from the Red Hand. Eoffram Troyas has hired us to get back some lost antiques that were stolen from the town’s Hall of Great Valor; this could prove very interesting in my quest for more spells and relics of the ancients and the gods.

I was glad in our first battle to show that I was more than a conjurer of cheap tricks and sound effects. I was able to feel that real power that I control as it calls out to me wanting me to use it.

After our encounter at the tavern we left the city on our quest and were led by the most horrid of creatures. It was almost as if it pained him to think how awful a life, to shun knowledge and learning. He tried several times in his own pitiful way to trick us however, I am not unlike in the bars surrounded by fools and we did not fall for the half thought out traps he tried to lay for us. I hope if he escapes from the tree and chain that he will seek a better life one more filled with thinking.

We found our way into the camp of the Red Hand they have taken up shelter in a tomb for some very wealthy families, that are so old that I have even barely heard of them. We dispatched a few more minions of the Red Hand while there. One of the rangers the darker one that I feel is some how very different than the creatures of this world and very different then those who reside in the Feywild. She lead the exploration of the tomb and after we dispatched some of the Red Hand’s minions, we happened upon a very interesting mural. It was more than just a mural but a one way portal, as I was inspecting it I was attacked by Ocher Jelly, strange creature indeed. Thankfully I was able to freeze part of it before it could split into too many parts that we could not handle. I look forward to the other secrets this crypt holds.

I pray that Corellon will keep me safe and help me to skill my craft even more. That the Queen will spare me from a dreadful fate but if that is what she has in store for me so be it.

Duncan's Correspondence
Following the Youngling, 10th day of Earth Wakes, 435 AoS

I have followed the Youngling to the human town of Brindol in the Elsir Vale. Your coin is still good here and it is easy to determine the inn where she will stay. The other evening, she surprised me and sought out a more normal tavern. While there, she encountered an acquaintance from school, though neither seemed happy to see the other. There was a bit of trouble in the town which you may hear about later but your daughter was never in any real danger.

I was a little concerned that she would be burned to a crisp but they don’t need to know that…

She has met a group of adventurers that seem to have accepted her, at least for now. Before I could intervene, they were commissioned to track some ruffians into the wilderness. Your daughter really shone here, moving through the wilderness with ease.

I, on the other hand, felt the need to investigate the cave containing the hungry bear. It took a while to loose the infernal thing. Then, while racing to catch up, I ran right through a nest of damned Kruthiks!

I have followed at a fair distance and all seems well. Presently, they are dealing with the ruffians and should resurface soon. She is still unaware of my presence, as you instructed. I look forward to the end of these shenanigans.

Faithfully yours, Duncan

I don’t regret teaching the child in the old ways. They are proving useful already. I simply wish I was not the one held responsible for her wanderlust. It would have found her, whether or not she was prepared.


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