The Conscience of the Gods

Errich's Bravest Day Ever.

With Char stranded alone after the death of Uncle Oris, barring some dirty dwarves, and slowly making his way to Warrington by sea, our brave adventures continue to foil the enemy army’s advance. They convinced Lady Moonfire to accept the population of Upper Volta, so that we might concentrate our forces. Hrun, Webel, Dara, and Errich trek back to Upper Volta to deliver the news and convince Drake to convince the population that this is a good idea. Drake has done splendidly as a mayor so far, even managing to level up one of his guards, change his class, and grant him some cheap magic items.

In the evening during a strategy discussion Upper Volta has two visitors. Kyren, beaten and shaken, the obvious victim of torture, appears and says he has been in Ceylon. He claims the Banites know where his wife is and that she is alive, but they won’t tell him. He doesn’t have a goatee so we assume he is safe. Webel takes the opportunity to softly and silently vanish away, saying he is going to scout the surrounding territory and possibly defender Upper Volta till he feels like restarting his wandering.

The second guest is the Friendly Neighborhood Elf, who tells us he has discovered where the river is dumping supplies. Our heroes decide to trek out there, with Dara inexplicably staying behind and standing on top of a church while the Dragonborn Warlord Kirv, Drake’s #1 man who will never advance in the world because he insists on saying “In Ancient Dragon Born Empire (noun) (verbs) you.” The supply dump is easily found and disposed of, and as always Hrun keeps things interesting, this time by throwing the dead bodies of fallen enemies at living enemies in order to frighten them into surrendering.

With only one enemy left alive the interrogation proceeds apace, and an ambush is set for the Dragons that supposedly show up the supply dump every night. However all our adventurer’s see is a wagon that bolts as soon as they tell it to stop. Hrun darts forward on Scar and the chase is on, hand axes flying, things falling and/or being cut off the carriage, climaxing in the unlikely sequence of events that starts with Errich teleporting onto Hrun’s mount, Hrun throwing Errich, Errich falling and thus activating his boots to teleport five squares directly onto the carriage, where he proceeds to incinerate the driver and severely damage the wheels.

Interrogating the sole remaining member (noticing a trend here) of the carriage crew, this money was intended for the same destination and personage as the last carriage our adventure’s stopped. Back-tracking to pick up the various dropped items, another surprise awaits our heroes! The dropped chests are in fact Mimics! They open up with a surprise round, biting Kyren harshly.

While the group manages to dispatch one of the Mimics swiftly, fate strikes. Tyrus, on a Wyvern, appears and begins taunting and blasting our heroes! Not to be deterred, Errich knocks him off his mount and causes him to fall 50 feet to the earth, where Hrun rushes up and starts beating on him. But Tyrus escapes by teleporting away! The group converges again, dishing out dailies, auto-damage zones, charge attacks, anything to get Tyrus down. Even Scar joins in. Surrounded, Tyrus manages to mount, but he is dragged back down to earth by Kriv, and surrounded again! His mount shifts upward slowly, completely out of reach! Oh no!

But wait! Halfing Sorcerer to the rescue! Errich flies up over the Wyvern and uses the power of wind, thunder, and lightning to force it back down to the ground. Then he kind of hangs out in the air. Next round, again!, the Wyvern attempts to shift away, but Errich pounces (as in jumps) on Tyrus on his mount. Hitting Tyrus twice, he finally dispatches him!

But no! The other Wyvern, who has done almost nothing up till now… runs away. Then Tyrus rolls a 20 on his Death Saving Throw, gets up, lives a round, recharges his teleport, and is then chased down like the dog he is by… Errich’s auto-damage zone! Yes! Errich then promptly gets retrograde amnesia, remembering nothing of how he exactly pulled off his these amazing feats.

It was Errich’s Bravest Day Ever.

Divided Times

Charand Uncle Oris continued to scamper away from the entrance to the lair of a Soreth, the Green Dragon. Being very careful and meticulous about covering their tracks, the two managed keep the dragon and its lackeys off their trail. Hiking westward, staying to the hills, this odd couple felt safe to sleep for a night.

Meanwhile in Volta, Hrun Tarrok un Hunding, Webel, and Erich went about business in town — taking advantage of a few days in civilization to shop, talk to people, and rest. The city of Volta is still flooded with refugees. Ships are booked for weeks in advance and merchants are starting to capitalize on the high demand. The group spoke with Curuvar to see about getting assistance with the missing Char and Uncle Oris. Curuvar was able to cast a Sending spell to update Char that the group is in Volta and will come to help soon. Char sent word back that he and Oris were fine and on their way westward.

As Char and Uncle Oris worked their way through thick, mossy forests and hills, they detected movement surrounding them. They climbed trees to hide, when a group of three dwarves burst onto the scene. They looked ragged and outdoorsy, with tan skin and unkempt clothes and armor. “Where are they at? Where did they go?!” one of them shouted. They all stopped and looked up to see a Goliath in a tree waving at them. A glob of spit landed on one of the dwarves shoulder and he looked up to see a grinning hunchback laying on a branch. Before they could respond, raptor-like trills rang out and reptilian beasts attacked. Fast Scytheclaw Drakes pounced on the dwarves, Skinwinged Behemoths flew down to snatch up the anybody. At one point, Char was lifted away by a Skinwing that seemed bent of flying away with him. He crushed it with his maul and sent both he and it toppling to the ground. But poor Oris, being so slow and easy to hit, got grabbed by another who took off. Leaped up into a tree to get one throw of a hand axe at it… and took the behemoth down! The drakes continued to swarm the dwarves and now threatened to run off. The dwarves shouted, “Get ‘em, bring ’em down! They’ve got our comrades inside!” Char pummeled the remaining drakes down. Then, he went to check on Oris. The poor, crippled man had broken during the fall and was no more.

One of the dwarves spoke up, “My name is Gerrek, we are outcasts of Bastion. Thank you for your help… I suppose you earned a right to the loot…” The other dwarves were already slicing open bodies of the drakes and pulling out the valuables from the recently digested meals. They seemed to show no regard for the actual remains of what appeared to be dwarves.
“It’s lucky the came back in our area so soon! Usually they only feed every two weeks. It wasn’t lucky to see these flying behemoths that killed your friend. I’ve never seen those around here before. Seemed like they were working together… looking for something…” said Gerrek.

The Upper Volta Revolution

The heroes gathered in Upper Volta to take stock of the situation developing in the Baku Forest. Tyris’s armies of goblins were pouring out of the mountains, pillaging and enslaving elven villages. Danees, a half elven cleric, gathered the PCs and a few other shop owners together to talk about the situation. In this town that is ruled by wealth, power, and business — the defense against the oncoming armies was placed upon Jumbo Jimbo, Bereth, and Ghelch, the three biggest bosses in town. Palisades had been constructed, but were sabotaged by a group of goblins that was let into the town at one of the three last openings.

After some gumshoe investigation, the team found that Bereth had been in league with Tyris and some agents of Tiamat. However, Ghelch was also guilty of ordering a slaughter of some innocents at a mine in order to gain some ground. And Jumbo Jimbo was secretly draining all of his money and investments to pull out of town before the war came. Being a very principled group of adventurers, when the time came in front of the gallows to call out the guilty verdict on one of the bosses, they accused all three of harming the town. Hrun yelled out an inspiring speech about rising up and taking the town back. Pretty soon, the miners, lumberjacks, and laborers were all about taking down the bosses. All three bosses gave each other a silent nod that this would have to be put down all together.

The heroes slew Jumbo Jimbo, chased Ghelch down to his main lumbermill and killed him and his men among as the whole building collapsed in flames. Then, they went after Bereth’s house. While formulating a plan involving a large shield, Hrun noticed a magical glow going on inside the building. It was a portal ritual! They all charged!

Erich, the halfling sorcerer, released a thunderclap and soared through the air into the 2nd floor. He saw a portal surrounded by Dragonborn, hastily throwing bags and boxes of gold and valuables through to the other side. Erich exploded again and jumped across the room to get between Bereth’s men and the portal. Char and Hrun were scrambling inside as the dragonborn began retreating through the portal. Erich knew this thing would only last five rounds… but when did it officially open?!? Char chased after Bereth into the portal, followed by a giggling, drooling Uncle Oris. A Deathpriest of Tiamat was the last to travel through the portal and then it closed, leaving no trace behind.

In a dark, humid, acrid cave in the middle of ????, Char and Oris now had to battle most of the Dragonborn by themselves. With Uncle Oris’s immense healing and damage reduction abilities plus Char’s constant marking and autodamage, Bereth and his men were finally defeated. Battered and tired, the two heroes decided to try to find a way out before anyone else might come check on this portal room. But first, they grabbed a couple pieces of the portal to temporarily disable it.

While trying to find their way out of these sulfurous caves, a group of dragonborn and abashi came down their way, failing to notice the heroes. But soon, they discovered the bodies of their comrades and called to alarm. Char and Oris ran outside, finding themselves in a lush forest. They did their best to cover up their tracks as the fled off into the wilderness.

Meanwhile in Upper Volta: Hrun, Erich, and Webel (a bugbear monk) assessed the situation. There was no way to know where the portal went or to recreate it. They had 2,000 gp laying in front of them. The three main bosses were out of the picture, as were almost all of their guards. The town was perhaps even worse off now verses the oncoming goblins. They split up and began trying to emphasize the leadership qualities of Drake, determined to make him the leader of the town. Drake, a recovering alcoholic dragonborn that was recently raised from the dead, took right to the role, thinking this was just the way to return to his true status and place.

The next morning, the three heroes rode off towards Volta, in search of Jimbo’s last carriage. They didn’t find it along the way or in Volta. But the town they knew, was now a bustling, overcrowded refugee sanctuary. Hundreds of elves, humans, and halflings have been fleeing the oncoming goblins. Most of them are living in tents outside the city or on the streets. Lady Moonfire met with Hrun and told him what has been going on: there is a meeting of nobles in Warrington in four days, she thinks that if the heroes accompanied her to that, they could get some military support; crime was up and morale was down in Volta; the guard had been training more intensively and adding citizens, but they need some experience before the war actually comes to them.

What will the heroes do?

Many Things Have Happened in Which New Characters Are Born!

After dealing with the scary Rust Monster, the party of adventurers arrived at a strange room full of severed hands. The adventurers dealt with swarms of evil severed hands and a long nosed, shadowy figure.

The party gathered all of their followers up and rested again before again plummeting through the darkness. After resting, the party was ambushed by a group of fel taints. The party dispatched the fel taints and continued on through the King’s Highway.

On the King’s Highway, the party encountered a drider mourning over a fallen drow elf. Kyren communicated with the drider and found out that the drider had passed a test for Lolth, The Spider Queen. The drow elf was ambushed by mindflayers and was killed before he could take the test. Kyren agreed to assist the drider in burying her fallen companion but was opposed to resurrecting an evil drow elf.

After leaving the drider to mourn once again, the party continued down the King’s Highway. They soon encountered a band of dragonborn. The dragonborn were albino and had adapted to living underground. These Baslonian dragonborn offered to trade with the adventurers. Kang and Torsal, the leader of the Baslonian band, started arguing over a matter of strength. Kang agreed to a strength of test against the leader. The terms stated that if Kang lost, he would serve the Baslonian dragonborn tribe. If Kang successfully completed the test, he would take Torsal’s place as leader of the band. Somehow, against all odds, Kang overcame Torsal and became the leader of the band.

The adventurers continued down the King’s Highway. As they walked along, the children in the group of followers started developing a cough. The adventurers consulted Sharrik on a cure for the cough and the dwarf told the adventurers that they needed to obtain a fungus that grew on the ceilings on the caverns. Char, with his stature and long halberd, climbed up the walls and cut down enough fungi to cure the children.

The group then found a group of dead drow that was seemingly dispatched by mindflayers.

The group then arrived in a room with a crystal in the center. They fought a beholder, dolgrim, a shard golem, and Sharrik betrayed them. The party dispatched these monsters and disabled the crystal laser trap in the center of the room. Along the walls, strange gooey wrappings were trapping people. The adventurers cut down the bugbear Webel, the ranger Rosa, Thorm the thief-catcher, and Odarra the druid.

Where we last left off, the adventurers dispatched an everlasting group of void callers.

Going Underground For Fun, Profit, And Because The Tunnel Is On Fire.
Oh We Should All Go Underground, And Try To Live A Life Without The Sun!

The Khyber… it calls us…. sssss

The Party ended the last adventure with the tunnel behind them literally on fire. Hrun with no healing surges, and 600 burned, hacking, gasping, coughing, smoke-inhalation suffering refugees. The Dwarves are quite certain the tunnel we are in is of Dwarven make, since it is very smooth and has good joins that followed the grain of the rock. Looking for a way out, Hrun, Kyren, Char, a Goliath Sunspeaker named Tim advance forward to scout the way, leaving Oris, Kang, the rest of the Goliaths, and the Dwarves to guard the refugees. Oris is really racking up the people points by curing them of nearly fatal burns, and then losing them from drooling on them. Win some, lose some.

Further along the tunnel becomes very familiar in feeling to the party. Sort of.. breathing, and moist, with strange forks that look like they erupted out of the wall… as if something hatched from them. Hrun is careful to put chalk marks on the wall, so we don’t get lost, and Char leads the way with his creepy newly acquired low-light vision.

They eventually end up in a dead-end room that seems perfectly safe, and there is a scrumptious looking mushroom there as well! It looks mighty tasty, but before Char can take his 1 dungeonearing check out for a spin, they are attacked! By.. troglodytes. All three of the initial attacks target the surgeless Hrun. In a fit of extreme concern, Char charges one enemy, and then action points to charge the other set of enemies clear across the room, marking all of them! But wait! In the process he ran by the mushroom, which attacks everyone in a burst 3! Including one of the bad guys! Thankfully the Mushroom does Poison Damage, and while Kyren and Char are both hit and take 10 ongoing poison damage, they have resist 10 poison! The poison spores gravely injure one of the troglodytes, and Char is convinced the mushroom is safe for him to eat.

Tim proves his worth in this fight, recharging his recharge power nearly every round and attacking, then hiding in the corner, thus taking very little damage. Hrun follows his example till the first enemy is dead, then charges in. Net result: Hrun has 5 HP when the fight is over. Thankfully, as we dig up a rock fall we find both a map and a Fey-Blessed Circlet. Now Hrun has 5 HP and 1 THP! We ignore the dire warning of finding a whole dead low level adventuring party, and continue on our way. Char cuts down the mushroom from a distance and pokes it into the pit, finally convinced it is not safe to eat.

Moving along, we find a Dwarf cowering in a corner, totally freaking out. Some plants apparently killed all his miner friends, even though they were in a “safe place.” This isn’t the Underdark or anything, safe places are everywhere, and they really are safe. He agrees to show us a tunnel heading toward (Dwarf town) if we help him get this magical hammer back, and a huge Khyber Shard but he’ll let that slide. Sounds like a good deal. Off we go. Leads us to a mostly hidden shaft with a rope going down. Char drops straight down the rope and then calmly gestures everyone to follow him. There was something strange about that shaft.. but then he is distracted by half a dozen floating tadpoles and quite a lot of plants. They don’t look happy to see him, thankfully there are some narrow choke points for their approaches! Away Defender!

Kyren follows Char down the rope and begins to aid him. Hrun, fearing death and being quite restrained, attempts to brace himself in the bottom of the shaft and fire his bow. He feels quite safe, since the shaft ends 15ft up from the ground. Tim gets down as fast as he can and starts AEing everything to great effect. And then! A spore dies! And heals everything in burst 3… but worse, harms enemies! Oh no! Hrun is in the burst. Will he live….. somehow he dodges the burst of poison spores! Which Kyren and Char are, again, immune to. Whew. There is something.. strange though. The spores are healing the plants when they die, but it seems like whenever you hit them, another one gets injured… oh no. They can split damage via their roots! A brutal war of attrition ensues, where, finally, all the enemies dies in basically the same round, having had to reduce their total health pool to zero collectively to start getting rid of them. Ouch.

The room is full of many dead dwarves… and absolutely no metal. Knowledge check Hrun. A Rust Monster prowls amongst us… fade to black, as our heroes take an extended rest.

Waking up and continuing along on our quest, we stumble across both the magical hammer the Dwarf wants us to recover and… the Rust Monster trying to eat it! Having none of them, we quietly discuss the best way to take economic advantage of this unique opportunity. Do you think we could raise them and.. oh no, he’s climbing the wall. Char bravely charges the Rust Monster with a Quickcurse Rod as an Improvised weapon. He hits! It rusts! Yes!

And then Char notices the room is full of quite a lot of plants. Whoops. Another epic battle ensues, where the plant leader does more damage to his followers then to his enemies. Yes! With Hrun not handicapped, we clean up the enemies easily until.. the Rust Monster tries to escape! Char successfully chases him down, distracting him a crowbar and critting him on an OA to slow him a mere 20 feet short of the next room, which sounds quite crowded. Char has one again proved he is the finest Thief-Taker around, because he always gets his… monster. He passes his stealth check to quietly drag the Rust Monster back to the previous room, and guts it for the digested Residium.

Then everyone takes a break, because that shit was scary.

Harken III: Taking Care of Business
3 Wolf Moon happens

8:30 pm—Another group of goblins eradicated. Crathlor and his goons had found the unguarded freemen/slaves-again and set up an elaborate ambush. One that would make Ewoks look primitive and incapable of taking on Imperial forces.

The heroes scaled a small cliff to get close to the keep overlooking the city of Harken. Those not burdened in plate mail and heavy shield snuck around the back and climbed over the wall… just barely keeping quiet enough not to alert the goblin cooks, who hadn’t noticed their freshly baked pie was missing and in Hrun’s belly.

Those who were burdened in plate mail and heavy shield (just Kang Basilla) approached the four goblins at the gate. He intimidated his way by the goblins, who were amazed when the gate was opened from the inside and closed behind him before they could act. For a few brief seconds, they could only silently mouth curses as they were too dumbfounded after letting an intruder walk right past them. Soon, they realized what just happened and started yelling.

Our five characters dashed across the courtyard to the large manor that had lights and inhabitants. They pounded down the door and burst into a small dinner party: three goblins and three humans. Only the goblins seemed rearing to fight, as two berserking goblins started swinging their flails and Grady, the big boss of Harken, charged forward with his short sword.

Goblins don’t do well in difficult terrain, and since Char Wild took on a Iceberg form, there was no where to run and no where to shift. Anna Dietrich, caught up in the heat of the battle, blasted at one of the humans leaning against the far wall. Suddenly, this scar marked ruffian joined the fray. As he charged adjacent to Char, the two recognized each other: this was Grull, a murderous robber from the streets of Warrington that Char had brought in years ago. Grull began slashing and spinning, countering Hrun’s attack by putting him in a headlock while still cutting Kang Basilla to submission. Kyren was able to heal the Paladin of Berronar Truesilver. But now, Grady had an ally to work with… fortunately for the party, the rich noble sitting at the table, still enjoying his fried chicken and grape juice, interrupted Grull, telling him it was ok if Grady were to die. Grull begrudgeonly halted his assault. “Come, have a seat, there is plenty of food remaining and I had ordered the best!” said Fastud il Sook. As the party awkwardly tried to whisper to each other whether or not to attack, he continued: “So, you must have dispatched with the goblin guards sent out to find you. You’ve killed off Grady, who was put in charge here. Now what do you intend to do?” “We’re heading to Ceylon to stop an invasion,” spoke Char. Fastud frowned, looking upon the horrid armor of sinewy flesh and eyeballs that is Char’s Coat of Eyes. “Why do you wear such an awful thing?” Fastud asked. “It’s handy and protects me. We tried to destroy it, but couldn’t. I tried it on, and now it won’t come off,” said Char. “Well…. you should really do something about that. Do you ever wonder who is seeing through those eyes and what they want?” “What the crap are you doing here anyway?” blurted out Anna, who was eying up some fried chicken but worried how it would affect her good looks. “Business, as usual. I’ve dealt with Harken before and now that there was a new show in town, I had to attend to some personal negotiations and matters. You know, there is a decent food production output from Harken, but the fools don’t have any advanced machinery for fine goods and wares,” said Fastud. “Are you dealing with the slavers?” Char asked pointedly. “Dealing with them… yes… dealing in slaves, no. Business is business, and if I didn’t do business with people who took slaves or stole from the weak or something or other… well, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.” “What other forces are there in this town?” Asked Hrun, who was stuffing chicken legs into his backpack. “Well… about 40 goblins, their wolves, and whatever residents have converted to the cause of Bane,” answered Fastud. “Converted? Why would anyone betray their own people?” puzzled Hrun. “Hah… not unheard of really. Put anyone in captivity, they adopt a sort of ‘if you can’t fight em, join em’ mentality. They call it the Stockholm Syndrome, you know, falling in love with your captor. Right, bard? You probably have heard of that.” Kyren wasn’t listening closely, but was suddenly puzzled why he was mentioned.
The PCs journeyed downtown. There was an archer’s tower along the way, guarding the path up to the keep. But Char just leapt over and into it and mopped the floor. Note: Archer Towers are more effective verses enemies coming from below than from above.
The heroes came upon a nicer manor amongst the town where humans were milling about. One stood outside and was about to act tough, but Kang Basilla convinced him with a growl of sparking flames that it would be best for him to run. Opening a door normally for once, the party walked in on a party and quickly broke it up. They beat down some more Blades of Bane and another Adept of Bane, but left one to question. He seems a bit ornery but shares some enlightening information which is perhaps best shared by this Adept of Bane’s Journal.
Harken II
"Defend the Barn"

After tossing the dead wolf-trainer in a pen (to make it look like the wolf must have mauled him with large, slashing weapons), the adventurers hunkered down to wait until nightfall…

barnAs dusk was settling into the valleys, around 7:30pm, the sound of a number of wolves and goblins was heard coming down the road to the east. Kang, the heavily armored Dragonborn Paladin, crept away from the barn and behind the silo. There, he discovered a Leg Breaker trap. While he managed to dodge it, his heavy shield clanged against the silo… alerting the approaching Goblin Wolf Riders.

Again, with the power of doorways… the heroes held the barn against the onslaught of superior forces. But as they cleaned their weapons of the last of the Dire Wolve’s blood, they realized there was one less than they initially saw. One had gone back for help!!

The clock was ticking (or at least the DM was counting rounds) as the party headed South. Across an open field, they were careful to drag a dead goblin to mask their scent and then cover up their tracks. But it was a long stretch of open land, and just as they were a mere 30’ away from the edge of the woods… the goblins returned to the barn. Despite their distance away, the goblins spotted them in the dim light and immediately pursued.

Our heroes rushed through the forest, hearing the barking and snarling closing in behind them. Suddenly the forest ended in a 70’ steep, rocky ridge. Hrun, the Half-Orc ranger positioned himself in a tree with his longbow. Anna set herself up in a tree, wrapping her ball and chain around the tree branch. Kyren, Char Wild, and Kang Basilla got in position near choke points of large trees. 16 goblins and two dire wolves walked up to the heroes: “Come out come out wherever you are! Your precious liberated slaves are now safely back in our hands… how nice of you to bring them here to us since the Bugbears failed to watch over them properly!” Battle ensued: Kyren bit the dust three times after Kang literally slide him out of the kettle and into the fire; Char chased down the spell casters; Hrun finally jumped down from the tree to hack apart the archers; and the lone, grizzled Dire Wolf came in to assert control over the other Dire Wolves. As the three wolves trotted off into the creeping darkness, Hrun ran after in futility, whistling and kissing for the beasts to return.

And so… they must decide… to skip out of town so they can nurse their wounds. Or to advance on the fortified house that had been housing the goblin chief?

They Call it Puppy Love
Fort Coyote and Harken

The adventurers chased Captain Gnash, Bugbear leader of Fort Coyote. fallingHrun and Char climb up the wall to the roof and find Gnash there, preparing to climb down. They fought valiantly as Gnash ignored Hrun like a red-headed goblin-child so that he could strike at the Warden who kept marking him. Char went down and then suffered a coup de grace from the rapier. Hrun, realizing he was only a striker and no defender, pulled Char away and down stairs. The rest of the party: Anna, Kyren, and Kang came running up to the second level only to see their spider-climbing friends nursing serious wounds. They dashed back downstairs and Kyren caught a glimpse of Gnash flopping the last 15’ from the end of a burnt rope. They chased after him, but there was no chance catching him.

They went back to the fort to take a break and then barricade themselves. Soon, Gnash came back with four more bugbears. Anna rained fired down from above with her patented Stand>Shoot>Prone method.

The bugbears had a hard time making their way through the bunk beds the party had put in their way. It impeded their flow into the fort, allowing the heroes to dispatch them with much less flanking danger.
  • In the fort, they found much gold and information:
  • An invasion is about to commence within a week’s time.
  • There are numerous slave bases around the region, supplying Ceylon with natural resources and labor.
  • Lorther is at Camp Blackscar.
  • A warning notice was delivered to Fort Coyote, identifying the heroes as “savages and villains” who have been responsible for the deaths of many. It gave specific instructions to not approach them without superior numbers and tactics, rather to report to the nearest base and to Lorther when they’ve been spotted.
  • Erika Uray is the recent leader of Ceylon, serving as High Priestess for Bane. She sends missionaries to slave camps weekly.

The slaves of Fort Coyote are about 60 men from a nearby town called Harken. Their women and children are held there, and are the reason these men hadn’t tried to escape.

Wolf Puppies! After much consulting of a map the former cartographer of Harken was able to sketch up, the party decided to roll down south in three wagons, so that all the slaves could come along. A mile out, they left the wagons and went off the beaten path. Hrun, taking point as the forward scout, snuck up on a aged and battle scarred dire wolf that bolted as soon as Hrun made himself known.

The heroes snuck up to a small set of farming buildings where barks, yips, and growls emanated. Hrun spied a grizzled man, undoubtedly a trainer of these dire wolves. The trainer spotted Hrun and went to release the hounds. Two dire wolves and a swarm of puppies came spilling out. Using the power of sliding barn doors, the party kept the wolves out of the fight while only dealing with a pack of puppies that were bound and determined to lick faces and chew on shoestrings. Kang grew tired of their hindrance in battle and breathed fire upon them, causing much harm. Instantly, the party turned on him and attacked, locking him in a wolf pen. The trainer was dispatched, and using his gloves and whistle, the nature-ific Hrun and Char were able to quell the female wolves attitudes.

Fort Coyote
What's up, fort full of bugbears? It's cool, we're slavers too.

The adventurers had a fine time interrogating the three Bane-ists that were left alive from the ambush. Char, the Goliath, and Hrun, the Half Orc, played “Bad Cop, Bad Cop”. Mostly, they just discussed the various ways they would enjoy brutally harming their captives. Since they never really asked any significant questions, this foray into the imaginarium of the sick and twisted lasted many hours. In the end, the squirrel in the backpack was never sewn into anyone’s stomach.

The PCs learned that the Bane-ists had semi-expected them. The wagon (pulled by Spike!! {on a 1 in 6 roll}) was loaded with two barrels full of ale. Sweet delicious ale… wait a minute, Char notices a black residue around the cork. It’s poisoned ale! Good thing Drakewas already dead at this point because he wouldn’t have made it through this one.

It is also learned that:
  • there are some slave camps nearby, notably Fort Coyote where slaves work on lumber.
  • Tyrisis in charge in Ceylon.
  • Bane-ists are all about a new lawful control of the land.

The party heads back to Upper Volta, where Anna gets a bit lost in herself and regales the poor workers with the tales that they have done to clear the land of ne’er-do-wells. She tries to get them to buy drinks enough to bring to the ogres, before it dawns on her that these black-lunged locals are poorer than dirt.

The party heads down to Volta. Some shopping is done for residuum. Dragon scales are given to Meganna Nistral. Many kegs of beer are purchased from . Sarah, the captured Blade of Bane, is converted to worship Kord and brought to the Temple of Kord. Hrun is offered 300 gp for his Symbol of Divinity by Mac Warren. He explains that it belonged to his brother, who was killed by goblins many years ago.

Next, back to Hidden Valley Ranch to try to turn a profit on some booze to the Ogres. The team doesn’t get the price they were hoping for (50% markup?) and learn why merchants have not bothered to try to tap this possibly lucrative trade route. Sober ogres are only slightly less aggressive around barrels of ale than drunk ogres. Still, they made some money. Then headed to Fort Coyote, as marked on their map by Sarah.

The party rode the wagon up to the fort, a three story tower surrounded by canvas tents and tree stumps. With the face characters up front and the others hiding under blankets in the wagon, they were sure to ride right up to the tower. They successfully bluffed the bugbear guards into believing they were bringing some more slaves. But then the game was up. Battle ensued. The bugbears called alarm to the others in the tower. They started shooting from above. The half-orc creatively decided to use the horse shelter as a huge shield. They chopped it down and carried it over their heads, deflecting tings of crossbow bolts from above. When they got up to the front door, they began chopping at it with axes. Anna was just barely visible from above and got shot twice with a crossbow from above. She fired back a perfect shot, knocking the assassin from the 45’ tower. The party scooted over, turtle style to start attacking the bugbear. He called for help and the doors swung open, the whole mess of them came out to attack. The PC’s won the day, and beat them back. The BBEG, Captain Gnash, retreated back into the fort and barricaded the door.

Now… to go after him or take 5? The slaves are expected to return soon and with them, their contingent of bugbears…

That's Far Enough
Save some of the Dungeon of Dread for next time.
The PCs got lightly acquainted with a new Dragonborn by the name of Kang. He looks a bit different from Drake being:
  • Green
  • Shorter and stouter
  • Alive
    Hrun was very paranoid that the group should go back and check all unchecked doors. Then he noticed some nooks that didn’t seem to be efficiently chosen and built for a dungeon. He looked and looked but couldn’t find any secret doors. So Hrun sat down to read some of the books that the agents of Tiamat had been reading through. Interesting stuff about each lineage of the Dragonborn:
  • Dracum: Drake’s predominant lineage. Most dragon-like features and crimson hues.
  • Serpen: Longer necks, taller. Yellow and orange hues.
  • Komoda: Massive and thick looking. Gray, black and blue hues.
  • Anolis: Lean and slender traits. Green, brown, black hues.
  • Agamid: Spikey scales. Brass and brown hues.
  • Basila: Shorter, squatter. Green or brown hues.
    The party found a private room, warded by an explosive trap. After a few bursts of damage, they got in to discover a 300 year old study and bedroom. The remains of the inhabitant, Kalim Serpen was on the floor, completely decayed. A Quick Curse Rod +2 was on his posession and there was a journal on his desk. It detailed his experiences consorting with ancestral spirits of the Dragonborn for his warlock pact.

A small weapons cache was found. It had aged poorly due to the moisture and some 500 years since they’d been used. But one spear looked very interesting. Char went to seize it, but it happened to tip over right at that moment. Kyren picked it up, analyzed it and passed it over to Char explaining it was a Grasping Spear +2.

The team decided not to back track, but to keep progressing forward which led them directly into a room full of spiders. Like dragonborn tend to do, Kang charged right in amongst all the spider swarms and phase spiders. Anna was bit by one of the phase spiders and soon fell into a slumber of which she couldn’t be awakened. Kyren gently slid her out and around into the hallway so she wouldn’t be preyed upon.
Another room full of books was found after the spiders. But all were fed up with books at this point and ignored this room.
A room with teleportation stones was found… with evidence indicating this was how the fat green dragon found it’s way into this dungeon.
In the last unexplored portion of the first level, there was a grand mosaic showing the top battles of dragonborn history. Mostly it was dragonborn kingdoms fighting each other; some of the dragonborn uniting to battle other races. One image stood out, of all races uniting to fight against dolgrim and dolgaunt and other strange creatures with an array of tentacles and eyes. This mosaic shows the dragonborn driving the fell creatures into holes in the ground as druids blanket the earth with a green magic. There was something that stood out in this setup. One dragonborn that appears to be facing the viewer instead of the battle. Upon twisting its shield, a drawer slid out of the wall. It had a Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth in it.
Finally, the PCs made their way back to the room that Kang had escaped from. The main room was a study. The door into it had been bolted and barred many times over to secure against entry from the outside. It was wide open since Kang left from the inside. The strange body of dragonborn lay slumped on the floor. His skin had been sewn and reattached many times over. Occasionally, small parts didn’t look like his own. The figure wheezed ever so lightly, inspiring Char to cut its head off immediately. Kang took offense, and attacked Char, with a big whiff, accidentally lobbed his sword down the stairs and fell on his butt. The head rolled off and Char went downstairs to go pick up the longsword and get away from Kang. Everyone but Hrun went downstairs to start searching the cloister. They found a pretty basic living and studying environment. A little gold, and a lot of dead dragonborn that Kang slew to escape. At the end of the room, was a massive set of double doors inlaid with draconic decor. Upstairs, Hrun started flipping through the notes on the table and found a chart that was pretty recent for one Ember of Drakesville. It was circled with a note next to it, “Three lines run true! Such a good match!” Then, Hrun noticed the body still moving. He put the head back on a bit until the figure was able to speak again. We learned that Ember could produce a “Fullblood” and that this creature had a phylactery embedded in his chest that must be destroyed for him to die. Hrun hurled the phylactery against the floor and the dragonborn died peacefully. Hrun shared with the group…
The Team then went to check out the downstairs. It was a cold, powerful aura that they first noticed. A dragonborn spirit approached them and told them to leave. They wanted to talk. It really demanded they leave. They tried to ask more questions. “Only a Dragonborn Paragon or a Fullblood may go further.” Hrun was really trying to figure out what this guy knew about Tiamat followers amongst this dungeon… but was only given, “Your troubles are petty compared to what we deal with below.”


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