The Conscience of the Gods

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.”

Drakes Dead... so what's in this room?

Venturing deeper into the Cave of mumble our heroes encounter a strange museum-esque exhibit on evil Dragonborn. The exhibit seems to be putting forth the theory that these “Basila” Dragonborn are all genetically related in their heinousness. During the examination the north door suddenly swings open, everyone but Char assuming it was the kind of common underground draft see in caves is unconcerned, until the Imps attack! Shifting in and out of the shadows they at first frustrate attempts to do them harm, but are eventually put down.

Feeling QUITE tired at this high altitude, it is decided a nap is in order! A watch order is set out and though there are strange noises most of the night, everyone sleeps well. Anna spends her watch reading, and then burning, all the books in the room a page at a time. Until the last watch when a strange mist almost seems to attack Char through the door way, as he is thinking about how this dungeon is a fine place for Unicorns, flowing ineffectually off him. At which point he is charged by a fat, marshmallowy looking dough ball that easily fills up the entire narrow hallway. Yelling to alert everyone, the battle is joined!

Sadly, while Hrun, Kyren, Anna, and Char all manage to survive the ponderously bulky Dragon and his strange Tiamat worshipping follower, who probably should’ve been killed first, Drake meets a final, fateful end at the hands of ongoing bad breath and an unfortunate inability to take blasts as well as he dished them out. Thankfully his trusty companions loot his body, skin the dragon, and move along with nary a glance backwards. Though Hrun entertains the thought of skinning him, making a cloak, having him resurrected, and then gifting him with his “Dragonborn-made” armor. He feels this is proper thanks for the fact that Drake led them to near death at the claws of not one, but TWO dragons in the same day. It does not occur to anyone to ask Hrun if that is what he’d like done to him if he should die, for fear he might say yes.

In the next room our adventures are again forced to wade through some very challenging characters. Anna, Hrun, and Kyren get stuck near the door facing a man who simply blazes in combat, while Char runs around to the back to lock down the two ranged enemies. One being identical to that sad, sorry little man who followed around the fat Dragon. While slowly picking away at these foes, another Dragonborn comes through the other door. Sadly Anna’s attempts to kill him fail, and the party meets Kang. A captive of some insane madman who is a Flesh Golem in disguise, he has escaped and is on a quest to do…. things. That do not involve killing the Flesh Golem specifically.

At the very last, the party finds a wonderously useful Flagon. Holding it, you feel quite certain that if there is any alcohol to be found anywhere, you will know exactly which direction to walk. Char is pretty sure the fact that it is telling him to go back to the next room is just an indication that Drake imbibed so much in life that drinking his blood would actually get someone quite blasted. Looking carefully at Hrun and thinking about Orcish ideas of celebrating a comrade’s honorable death, he puts the Flagon carefully away in his pack. The party prepares to journey deeper into the Cave of Dishonor (God damn lying Drake).

Dungeon of Somethingorother
Constructed by Dragonborn, occupied by Monsters
  • Bereth, Dragonborn oligarch of Upper Volta, clued Drake in on the location of the Dungeons of Dishonor.
  • Ghelch mentioned to the PCs that Tyris had been to town many months earlier.
  • Jumbo Jimbo, put to the sword in his own home before his guards could protect him, blubbered all the information he could about Tyris. The tiefling had come to town looking to set up some trade of iron. The prices weren’t to his liking, and after negotiations, left town frustrated with the merchants of Upper Volta.

The adventurers realized something was up. Tyris wanted lots of iron ore and resources. Then set up an Ogre tribe to start stealing from the caravans. What could he be doing with all this? Starting a lawn ornament business? Creating a statue of himself? Equipping an army?

They would have to figure this out by ambushing the next representatives of Tyris to come to the Hidden Valley of Ogres. But since that is likely 10 to 14 days away (depending on which imbecile Ogre you are asking), the team decides to go scope out the Dungeon of … Dread? Ya, that’s what Drake said it was.

It was an eventful trip. First, being attacked by giant ants in the night. Then, being surprised by a young gray dragon just as they were nearing the dungeon entrance. It’s a good thing Drake has an active imagination and fully contemplated what would happen if he tried to leap 10’ vertically and try to grab onto the back of a flying dragon.

The dragon was sent packing, thanks to Kyren’s bardic abilities (in that it couldn’t kill any of the PCs due to everyone healing every time you hit her). The party approached the Dungeon of Dread (“Dishonor”, Kyren notices). It lightly resembles the maw of a dragon—a crafted opening that seemed to take the natural stone shape and give it a rough look of the mouth of a dragon, the sides of the opening being the shape of two long fangs. Carved down the fangs in Draconic reads: “Strength depends on bone. Bones ignore time. They are still here to be strong again.” Inside, traps! Luckily, the team had a decent idea of the principles of Dragonborn-kind.

Draconic above the code says: “What represents the Bone, the Strength, and the Spirit of the Dragonborn” (Heritage, Fury, and Honor of course!)

In the first room the party enters, they see ceiling mounted crossbow turrets hanging limply. Sadly, they don’t fire and thus grant XP. But, the Ankhegs and their broodlings do!

Sober Ogres
Hidden Valley Ranch gone bad
  • Adventurers had a choice: go after Tyris in the mountains of Ceylon (“SAY-lin”), go after slavers in city of Warrington; or track down the disappearing caravans of Upper Volta.
  • After much consideration of travel methods, most dire circumstances, and likely difficulty level, the adventurers trotted off to Upper Volta
  • Got to know the three richest merchants of Upper Volta: Jumbo Jimbo, Bereth, and Ghelch
  • Hid themselves in caravans from all three merchants along route and got jumped by a bunch of ogres on a mountain side
  • Captured and interrogated Pook
  • Went to Hidden Valley, the small ogre village. Tried to negotiate with ogre leader, Grock.
  • Grock pulled Drake aside and explained that he didn’t want Hops crops to grow, or else ogres would make more swill and get drunk again. Sober ogres are effective at actually being an organized force.
  • Grock also revealed he’d been contracted by Tyris to steal these caravans, which are occasionally picked up and taken away by men who work for Tyris.
  • Grock got tired of diplomacy and crushed Drake and left him to bleed out
  • The adventurers negotiated some of the ogres to not fight, one to even join them to kill Grock
  • PCs won the day, causing major political-social reform and instilling a new ogre leader named Brock

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