2013 Tulane

The Story So Far

On the road the the Nentir Vale, a merchant named Traveas gathered a group of individuals to help guard his caravan. A dwarven warlord, Drakon Stronghammer, a silent human Monk, a dragonborn paladin of Bahamut, Kazroth, an elven druid, Varrah, a half-elven hunter, Matthias, and a warforged fighter, Hammer.

Shortly into their journey the caravan was ambushed by goblins and a small chest belonging to Traveas was stolen. He implored the party to retrieve it from the dark mounted figure who seemed to command the attack. The party tracked him to a nearby dungeon and cleared it of the monsters within, recovering the chest and the obsidian skull within. The party decided to destroy the skull before returning it to Traveas.

The party rejoined the caravan and made it to Fallcrest without further incident. There Traveas told him of the organization he worked for, The Raven’s Flight, and the undead menace that they worked to combat. He sent them to clear a broken tower near the town that was showing new signs of being occupied. Inside, the party discovered the undead and orcs working to unseal the undead buried under the tower. Fortunately, the party prevailed and managed to reseal the undead in their graves.

Upon returning to the tavern, undead bugs attacked Traveas and attempted to silence the party. One of the attackers was identified as the body guard of a local merchant, Marok Azaer, so the party staged a raid of his home, following him to his underground lair and finally killing him among his horrific experiments.

Within the laboratory, the party found many experimental notes, an encoded journal, and a letter further implicating the Bloodspear Orcs in the attacks and goings on. Showing Traveas this evidence, he suggested that the party go help defend Stonefang pass from an orc incursion that was just recently started.

Despite Drakon’s misgivings, the party was convinced to go. The journey was uneventful and soon they found themselves in the small frontier village of Timbervale. There, they met a group of dwarves who had survived the orcish onslaught. Their leader offered them 100 gold each for clearing the tunnel of orcs and saving the rest of the dwarves trapped on the other side. Rising to the challenge, the party quickly sets out.

Just outside the mouth of the tunnel near a bridge the party was ambushed by two Hippogriffs and several giant fish. The ability of the fish to knock people into the swift river proved to be quite challenging as Varrah was nearly swept over the falls. The party was, however, victorious, and continued into the large tunnel.

They soon came upon several dwarven corpses being fed on by large bat-like creatures called Stirge. The party made short work of them but immediately afterward were rocked by an earthquake. The earthquake opened a large hole in the ceiling through which giant spiders came and pounced on the party. Nearly pushed to their limit, the party regrouped and managed to kill all but one of the spiders, driving the last back into the ceiling.

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1-19-2012 Continuing in the Pass

Exploring farther in the pass, the party came across what looked like a secret passage that was propped open by a dwarf corpse. After examining the corpse, the party found that the dwarf had a tattoo of a chain that ran from under her eye to her wrists. Drakon and Kazroth knew that this was a very unusual thing for dwarves to have considering their history of slavery to giants and that such chains could mark one as a worshipper of the god of torturers and jailers, Torog.

Pushing into the passage, the party surprised and killed 3 orc sentries. Following the passage down 40 feet of spiral stairs the party found a carving along the wall that depicted dwarves fighting and crippling a titan by cutting off his hand, eye, rib, and heart.

Further down, the party found a large chamber with four glowing circles around two alters around a large pit. The room wasn’t unoccupied, however, and a fight with several orcs and an Ogre ensued. The party was extremely surprised when, in the course of the action, the leader of the orcs was knocked over the pit, he neglected to fall in and another earthquake rocked the room. After the battle, Kazroth was experimenting with the force field over the hole when it suddenly failed, dropping him straight onto his back. Fortunately, one of the circles granted regeneration so he was able to recover without too much difficulty.

One of the shrines was dedicated to Moradin, god of the dwarves, and the other was dedicated to Torog. Trying to decide what to do next, the party summoned a hand of fate; asking it whether to pray at the alter or to proceed down the passage. The hand pointed to the passage. Next, the party asked the hand if there were many enemies lying in wait for them. The hand gestured in the affirmative. Last, they asked which dwarf present was the most worthy of being followed. The hand pointed to the only dwarf in view, Drakon.

Their minds made up, the party then decided to proceed down the passage to see what laid deeper in the mountain.

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2-3-2012
The Rise and Fall of Stonefang

Getting deeper into the caver, the party was ambushed by a band of Orcs who had a group of Dwarfs cornered. Dispatching them quickly, the party found that the dwarfs were the few surviving members of an order devoted to keeping an earth titan, Stonefang, imprisoned beneath the mountain. 4 pieces of Stonefang were taken during his initial imprisonment, his eye, his heart, his hand, and his rib. By placing the pieces in the 4 circles and reciting a ritual, the party could return Stonefang to his prison and prevent his escape.

The party decided to leave the piece they had already discovered with the dwarfs and to continue through the tunnel to find the rest of the pieces the orcs took. The warrior Duggin was sent along with the party to help them identify the pieces and to assist in their fight. Arriving at the end of the tunnel the party came to the foot of the dwarven fortress and quickly dispatched the defenders. Continuing their search, the party fought several orcs with hydra powers guarding the Thane of the dwarves and defeated them. Freeing the Thane, they sent him back to his people with the glittering heart of Stonefang and continued up to the top level of the keep.

There the party fought the orc chieften and his wolf shamans who proved to be worthy foes. Bloodied and battered, the party emerged victorious with the final piece of Stonefang, his eye. Their triumph was short lived, however, as another earth quake reminded them of Stonefang’s imminent escape. Moving quickly, the party headed for the secret cavern where Stonefang was imprisoned.

There, they found the Titan rising from the depths of the earth. An epic battle ensued that pushed the party to their limits. Using his indominatable will, the Titan forced Matthias and Hammer to remove two of his pieces and cast them into the pit. Monk, thinking quickly, climbed into the pit and retrieved them in time for the rest of the party to subdue the titan. Placing the remaining pieces in their place, Kazroth assisted the dwarves in the ritual to seal the Titan away again. There was much rejoicing.

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2-9-2012
Return to Timbervale and the Orc Counter-attack

Following their victory over the earth titan, the party returned to Timbervale with the surviving Shadowed Chain dwarves. There, they recieved their promised reward and got some much needed rest. While enjoying their respite, a scout returned to the village with alarming news. The remaining hoard of Bloodspear Orcs were on their way to Timbervale to extract their revenge. The dwarves immediately set about the business of preparing to defend their home and enlisted the help of the party to do it. Heading out into the wilderness to intercept the hoard, the party and the dwarves, including Duggin, ran into the Orcs in a small clearing. A pitched battle ensued with heavy losses being inflicted on the Orcs and the Dwarves. Eventually it came down the to party against the Queen of the tribe, Msuga, and her sister, Rohka, the evil blood witch. During the fight, the two expressed recognition of Varrah, which unnerved her greatly. The Orcs were mighty opponents, but ultimately, it was the party who proved to be victorious. Blooded and battered, the party set about the business of cleaning the area of the orc dead and carrying the bodies of the fallen Dwarves back to Timbervale. On the body of the bloodwitch, Varrah found a strange idol that looked vaguely familiar…

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Downtime in Timbervale Interrupted
Cool, Expositio-DRAGON

The party returned to Timbervale and held a short ceremony for those lost in the latest attack. Drakon Stronghammer said a few heartfelt words and then proceeded to get drunk with the Thane and trade more news about his home. From the Thane he learned that he had been branded a traitor after his escape from the city and that the city was on the brink of the civil war when Clan Glintshield left. King Gnarl Blackvault grew increasingly paranoid after his departure and began a reign of terror, attempting to crush any opposition.

The rest and relaxation was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a red dragon, come to take advantage of the weakened state of the town and the party. After negotiations broke down due to some half-elvin impetuousness, the dragon attacked using its flame breath and powerful jaws and claws. Kazroth nearly succumbed to the full fury of the flames but Drakon‘s encouragement along with the light of Bahamut saw him live through the ordeal. By the end of the day, the party was victorious and decided to attempt to discover the dragon’s lair, hoping that some treasure would be found.

While on the trail, Varrah and Matthias discussed some things in elvish that the rest of the party was not privy to. Kazroth, upset that some of those he considered friends were keeping secrets from him, attempted to find out what they were talking about, but was rebuked. Meanwhile, Hammer and Drakon speculated about Hammer’s past. Hammer revealed that he doesn’t remember anything past waking up in the bottom of a well in the mountains and that he’s been trying to figure out what happened to him since.

Eventually Mattias tracked the dragon back to its lair. There’s only one problem though: Kobolds

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Excerpt from Mattias's hunting journal

“We entered the last chamber and before us was a 20-feet wide 10-foot tall monolith of necrotic energy and two mummified ogres standing upright in the corners by our door. Hammer wanted to get the jump on the ogres and chop them to peices before they had a chance to animate and that provoked action from the dead. The beasts fell easy but The warlord, the big nasty of the tomb, came from around the corner and began beating on the party with his flail. It took us some time to realize that an obsidian sword on the wall behind the warlord was glowing, but the connection was made that it controlled the monolith of necrotic energy. Unfortunately, the warlord held steady and blocked the adventurers from gaining access for quite some time. Finally, with the sword in Hammer’s hand the warforge and dragonborn shattered the sword, and the undead were put to rest again (with a little push and shove from the fatigued adventurers). With the terrors destroyed flesh eating scarabs began emerging from the back of the room and the adventurers began to flee.

Adventurers began running from the chamber. Matthias and Monk were both clever enough to search the warlord before the scarabs overtook the corpses and wasted no time in keeping up with their party. Closing doors behind them they entered the opening area of the tomb to find their exit door had closed. Varrah flipped the lever needed in the room with the sarcophogi and hammer ran into the room with fire (where it lit up in flames). Monk, seeing his opportunity to run in and grab a gem right after the flames did so and made sure to make it back out. Hammer, on his way out of the room grabbed a gem as well, though unfortunately the trap was charged and ready for his intrusion once again. With the door to the outside world open the adventurers were ready to to storm out and leave this crypt behind them, but the shallow pool of water before them had turned to acid (and burned Matthias’ broad sword while he tested it). Kazaroth, Drakan, and Matthias ran to retrieve a lid from a sarcophagi but once it was lifted it became apartent that they did not have time to make their bridge; the scarabs were too close.

Monk, not wanting to wait for the lid jumped to the other side and beckoned for the remaning adventurers to join him. After doing so Matthias, Kazaroth, and Drakon came fleeing madly around the corner; In the nik of time all the adventurers made their leaps – with great luck nearly everyone made it. Varrah, though trained to move through nature’s trecherous terrain, was flooded with fear and could not make the whole leap. To everyone’s great enjoyment she now wears less clothing.

Shutting the final door behind them the adventurers sagged to the ground, taking a much needed short respite. The ragged adventurers heard a giggling from the darkness and heard an female elf exclaim “Yes! You finally brought it to me!” "

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Duggin on Duggin

“Dear Diary,
By Moradin’s beard this has been an interesting night. Not only did me and my new friends kill a crazy mummy warlord, we just fought a Vampire. And not only that! A vampire Lady. She was a little tall and skinny for my tastes, but that Mattias fellow certainly seemed to like her. Well, that was until her skull things started shooting at us and her friends showed up. I actually managed to kill one of the little blood suckers too! We managed to stop her from sucking our blood but we kind of killed her in the process. I was a little sad to see her go but Kazroth said that she was a special kind of vampire that regenerates from a cauldron of blood or some such nonsense. I wouldn’t mind seeing her again, but I’m not so sure about fightin her again.

Anyway, after we dealt with with that we kind of sat around and licked our wounds. Figuratively of course. Dwarven mouths are completely sanitary but I wouldn’t want that human or dragon guy licking my wounds. Or that robot for that matter. Who know’s where its been..

Gah. Anyway, we were all sitting around and I guess we couldn’t really decide where to go. There was a lot of arguing but the one thing that kept coming up was a black anvil. That reminded me of the black anvil those Nerathi guys brought to good ol’ Boatmurdered back before we left but when I was about to tell everyone about it Drakon shot me “The Look”.

I was really confused and I guess that made him mad because he snapped at me but eventually he told this really sad story about what happened to him and the rest of the guard. I felt really bad for making him remember all that stuff, I guess I didn’t hear about it because I was training to join my order at the time.

Anyway, It was decided that we were going to return to Fallcrest to resupply then we were going back to good ol’ Boatmurdered to find the Anvil. It was really scary right before we left for Timbervale. I hope that things have cooled off since then.
By the mountain, the fog is thick tonight.
"

-Excerpt from Duggin’s Journal
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