Epic DnD - Scales of War

Return to Overlook

We returned through the portal, came up from the basement of the Happy Beggar and it was BURNED DOWN! Umril claims she did not do it, and it does not seem like her style. And Alan was with us in the Shadowfell, so it was probably not him either. Alan declared that it was arson, in the old fashioned (i.e., not magical) style. There is a lot of other news too. Fluffy has been misbehaving since Rhonin was away. Rennis is a bit peeved about that. Khalad is doing better. Some Dwarf guy named Bram Ironfell wanted to talk to Rhonin. The people from Brindol didn’t come back here, but Alan did a sending, and Lena says they went back to Brindol, which makes sense if you think about it. Umril found out that the Lost Ones have not been active lately, but some anonymous dude has been picking on the and Szagyn wants that dude.
With much ado and some hasty bathing, we got Rhonin off to Bram’s office. The Ironfells were big in the mining business. Bram needs Rhonin’s assistance to find the Karak Lode – a prosperous mine long since cut off by sandstorms and lost. Some paperwork Sarshan had seems to reference directions to it and Ironfell wants us to track it down for 600 gp (100 each, half now and half later) and any treasure we find and can carry back.
The Secret of Karak Lode – sounds like a good title for a book. The trail and pass gradually blew closed and the path was lost. I could probably make it more exciting. I’m sure that pirates would make it thrilling.
We had a miserable slog through the desert and found a wandering tattered guy with a book who claims to be the guardian of the desert and wants us to leave. His name is Mag, and he told us of us a town called Dunes End and came with us. It’s surrounded by a wavy wall, which Adara suspects was designed by K&H. We came into town (well, hardly even a village) and heard cries of pain. A gnoll apparently just killed a guy, and there was a Behir (giant lizard thing) as well. The behir was resistant to lightning (we found out the hard way), and the gnoll appeared to be some culty type dude, and more of them came out to play. Of course it was a fight. I took an enormous amount of damage throughout, and Alan had great difficulty focusing. Umril ran off on her own but came back again. Ian shot from well back and bossed us around as usual, but I admit, he is good at it. And we eventually took them.

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Dealing with the Vats

There are 6 doors in this room in addition to the elevator. After several minutes of enthusiastic discussion, we decide to go about them in an orderly fashion, much to Rhonin’s dismay. We pick a door and find…the scientists!!! Silvertongue finds out they know nothing about the bomb. Sarshan’s guys brought in the “test subjects” who are the people we rescued from BRINDOL! They’re trying to make them strong and biddable with no consent, which seems like Unethical Experimentation! Adara and I collected up some magic books. Ian heard some murmurming outside another door. We find out the “spares” are kept upstairs. That’s other people for them to experiment on. We meet a clueless Shadar-Kai named Nekkar who just doesn’t fit in with the Shadowfell. He’s as cheerful as Vialla was at school – all puppies and cookies and stuff. We do save Certanian, the kid and the witch from the vats by working together to figure this out, with one very unfortunate casulty. The door bursts open and a whole bunch of Shadar-Kai with panthers burst in and tell us to stand down…
We are bundled off to see Sarshan. The elevator has no railings. I surreptitiously examined it, which was hard with the panthers and all, but there was a little K&H logo! We are brought up to a place that is a garden, all dark and black, which is very odd. There is also a teleportation portal here. Everything is lit dimly. Then…Sarshan appears, cloaked in black. Then he gave us a huge dramatic speech. I looked at bugs. Sarshan wants us to join in cause in payment for disrupting stuff.

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Entering Sarshan's Tower

Some Time Later…

We camp in a dusty room on the way to Sarshan’s Tower. Wonder again why we don’t just blow up the Tower, but figure that a bunch of mercenaries with a leader is better than one without. Find funny shaped library with unusually tight corners. Wonder of this was designed by the mysterious “K & H” – it would make sense, in a strange way, if they were from the Shadowfell. We decide to go look for bomb anyway, kill things, and ad lib from there. Dusty library lit with dirty lamps. Shadar-Kai warriors digging through books, probably looking for books on how to kill stuff. Attacked by two warriors, a witch who cast areas of darkness, and an invisible guy. I dispatch the invisible guy. The bookshelves start shooting darts at us. Alan stops the trap and we chase after the invisible witch who ran away, into yet another very oddly shaped room. In the library they were apparently working on things to enhance warriors. I think a good program of exercise and nutrition would be much more efficient. New room had wraith and warriors. We got the witch, but the wraith was most annoying. And the chain fighters. This time the wraith runs off. We restrain Rhonin from running off after it. Alan made an illusionary warrior which helped to distract them. After much random flailing, we finally got them. There does appear to be an elevator, which is interesting. Unless, of course, it was designed by “K&H.”

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The Vents

Ugh. What a smell! There are steaming fissures all over the place here, and slippery tunnels, and weird growths on the rocks, and it makes me itchy under my armor which is most unpleasant. Did I mention it smells? Kind of like overcooked cabbage with burned acorns in it. The fancy-schmancy adventures came this way, and we have to see if they’re in any trouble.
We found our way in and – you guessed it – a room full of orcs! Happy Dwarven Christmas to Rhonin! There were Archers and Skirmishers and Bombardiers and Brutes (oh my!). One funny thing happened. The bombardiers threw bombs at us when we were all in a group, and there were explosions and much fire and everyone of us who was in that group (which was pretty much all of us) ended up on fired and hopping around trying to put stuff out. Except for Silvertongue. There was the big explosion, all of us start hopping around, and he pulls off his hat, flicks a little coal off of it, and jams it back on his head again. (Adara and I think that since he does so much with fire, he has fireproof long johns.) Eventually we beat them.
Then we came into a room that had funny statues of arbalests with legs, and iron dogs. Umril ran in, and then armored crossbow turrets came out of the ceiling too. This was not a fun fight. It was all about trying to break these things to stop them from shooting. It turns out it was a trap, and Umril tried her hardest to disarm it, but it was tricky and took quite a while, so we just kept pounding away. And took a lot of damage.
This was not as fun a fight as some of them.

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More Fun in the Monastery

Murg has left us; we were joined by Rakken who is a Goliath (who was raised by Dwarves) who is a partial Runepriest. Hammer (the Battlemind) also joined us for a time, and we also had Ian, who is a skirmisher with a bow. It was good to have them along because there was much fighting.
We entered another huge room, with balconies, and overlooks of the floor below, and balustrades, and statues and a desecrated altar, and blood, and gore, and entrails festooned all over everything, and feces smeared. When these orcs desecrate a temple, they are certainly very enthusiastic.
There were some archers who shot at us, and then a witch doctor who caused some trouble. Rakken had this interesting ability whereby he killed a bunch of minions, and then turned them into shades, who he could then cause to explode. It was very satisfying.
Then we found our way to the the monks bunk room. They had their little rooms up 10 feet from the floor, which is rather odd. Must be that same architect. There was more carnage, and more orcs, and we took these fellows rather handily as well.
Then we made our way to a room that had a wall missing and was an overlook into a great cavern and chasm! This is all well and good, and very scenic, but there was the staircase that meandered all over the cavern on top of a wall that was 40-80 feet tall, and but 5’ wide with no buttressing. We never do it that way in Varshtenspire. Without the buttresses (see, I paid attention when we talked about architecture), you can only keep up walls like this with magic, and it eventually wears out, and then where are you? Well, you can’t get to the root cellar any more unless you spend a huge amount of money and find a magic contractor willing to fix it for you. Not only that, but there were no railings. I think the architect must have been the brother of the one who thought it was a good idea to have a magic thing for reviving the dead in the basement.
But anyway, there were orc archers coming up the stairs and shooting little teeny arrows that packed a huge wallop when they hit, and knocked you back, and they had a Spinetop Drake with them. It was a fight where I didn’t do much, but Ian did. Rhonin and Alan were lagging back somewhere else.

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Jolly Times in Overlook

Rhonin took us to a tavern to get some Durkan’s XXX Ale (honestly, after three or four of them, you just can’t remember the name properly). While we were there some Thugs came in and demanded Protection Money from the barkeep. How rude is that, I ask you! Silvertongue was most clever. He interrupted the lead thug, and said, “Hey, you. It would really be a shame if anything happened to your thugs here, see? Know what I mean? See? Just a few hundred gold pieces would make sure that you and your thugs can carry on undisturbed, see?” Well, not only were they Low Thugs, they had no Sense of Humor and attacked. We walloped them quite handily, except their leader vanished in a puff of smoke. Seems they are members of “The Lost Ones,” a Thieves Guild.
We crossed town, singing merrily. Although, if I do recall correctly, I think we were all singing different songs. Then a poor lost child accosted us for Assistance. And it was a trap! It was yet more thugs! I tell you, this town could use some cleaning up. We did manage to capture one of them, and he took a cyanide tablet and died.
Another party of adventurers showed up. They were all in spiffy armor, and call themselves “The Freeblades” which is a pretty good name. We don’t have a good name yet. If I recall, their names are something like Megan Swiftblade (their leader, human); Ragmun Dourstone; Silent Leafrunner (an elf rogue); Ghena Tensiv (human mage). Anyway. we have our assignment to go to a monastery and clean out the orcs.
Some time later…
We found the monastery and walked into the large room with statues and fires and columns all over the place, and orcs too. We took them down. Apparently monks are being killed and eaten.

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Traveling to Overlook

More travel, pretty quiet. Rhonin is excited to be going home. Murg is depressed to be in the wilderness. Umril is just generally moody. Alan brought a big book with him to read. Adara and I enjoy the scenery and talk.
(Later) What do you think! We were just breaking camp and saw evidence of another camp not too far away. We got up close to it, and it was Orcs! We weren’t totally surprised. Rhonin went crashing into the camp, but we all followed him and leaped into the fray. They were nasty – some archers, one with a poisoned blade, and some tough ones who went in to a rage running all around and striking several of us in quick succession. Rhonin nearly went down, and Murg DID go down, but I did my best to keep them going. It was quite chaotic, but we got them.
(Later still) We have reached Overlook which is, I think, even bigger than Varshtenspire, and quite orderly in its layout. There are several sets of walls, and much to look at. We promptly reported to the City Council, where there was a big meeting with several other groups of adventurers, many of whom were rather grubby or unsavory looking. I’m sure we were much better put together. Apparently the Orcs always attack from the West. Being helpful, we told them about the Orcs we fought in the East. Can you believe it, they said it couldn’t possibly be! We are not old, nor half blind, nor liars (much)! And just because something has always been the case doesn’t mean it couldn’t be different once. They said they’d look into it. Most of the adventurers will be going off to the west; we volunteered to go up to a monastery and bring the clerics there to safety. There was a group, though, who looked upset that they didn’t get the job they wanted to do, or had arranged for. I don’t know what to make of all this, but when we are done with the monastery, we need to check to see if they are guarding the east gates, and if they aren’t, we may need to scout for them.

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Getting Ready to Travel

We bought supplies – not really very interesting here in Brindol. Mostly food (lots of dried stuff, but I bought some spices and onions and things), and blankets and tarpaulins, and chickens, and a pack burro (named Lucca) and a dog (named Burro) and a hireling/cook to watch over the stuff (Alfred). Getting an expedition together is quite a job! Especially when people aren’t used to it. (Rhonin: “All we need is beer.” Adara: “How many pairs of boots can I bring along?” Silver Tongue: “Those chickens are so disorganized!” Murg: “You mean you don’t just squeeze the chickens to make the eggs come out?” Umril “Remember we have to travel by night.” Me: “One hundred bottles of beers on the wall, a hundred bottles of beer…”) (Then Rhonin smacked me.) (I took it in the ribs. He can’t smack very high.) For better or worse, we’re on the road! Before we left, I picked up a letter from Crish and one from Drexna, sent letters home, and arranged to have stragglers forwarded to Overlook.

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After a bit of time

Well, that was quite an adventure, to be sure. We got back to Brindol with six rescued captives and an armful of interesting artifacts from the museum (although I’m not really sure that the chamber pot with the naughty pictures was supposed to be one of them). Councilor Troyus was happy to see us, and the city paid us rather well for all our troubles. Then as it turns out there is something else they would like us to do. I thought it sounded rather interesting, and Peregrination means we’re supposed to explore as much as we can and learn as much as we can about different parts of the world.
A long time ago there were Dwarves who were the slaves of Orcs and Giants, in a great mountain city. In time, the Dwarves overthrew their overseers and renamed the city Overlook. (I’m not making this up.) We do know how some of the mountain Orcs can be. So now it’s a great city, not just of Dwarves, but rather cosmopolitan. But the Orcs have a tradition of attacking the city every hundred years, and the Dwarves defend against the siege and win, so everyone goes home happy for the next century or so. (Don’t ask me – I think it’s a silly tradition.) This is the year of the attack and there are whispers that the Orcs are coming with more reinforcements (probably tired of losing all the time). They’ve asked several towns to send some help in the battle, and Brindol wants to send us. They’ll pay us a bit to help us on our travel. You’d think they’d rather have an army, but listening to Rhonin, he makes it sound like it’s all a great lark, but you know how that it – it’s all great fun until someone gets their kneecap chopped.
So we’re going to be traveling! I do like the mountains – it’ll seem a little more like home. Silver Tongue helped negotiate more pay. We had to quash Murg, who wanted to argue for more money, and Rhonin, who was trying to say how cheap it would be for us to stay at his place. We’re kind of a group, but just not really a very organized one.

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Brindol - Day 6

We found a room with a barrier area. First a bunch of wererats popped in through a door, then the barrier faded and a bunch of zombies shambled in from around the corner. Adara let loose with Flames of Purity and they weren’t much trouble any more. We found a shrine and obelisk and rows of pews. For a bunch of undead, they really have a religious theme going on here. There was something like a “Witherling Death Shrieker” although someone might have been pulling my leg. Things have such funny names. More wererats and zombies, and we defeated them. We unfortunately found one captive who did not make it through this ordeal alive, which was upsetting. We’ve also started finding the museum treasures, although they are a little singed.
We had a good rest. I think we were all a little subdued after finding the boy’s father dead. All we had left to find now was the remaining town treasures. We slogged on this morning, but I think we were all getting tired of being in a dank, smelly basement full of undead things. We found a room with a large, dark sun design in the paving stones. It seemed a little disquieting to me, but Umril frankly became rather obsessed with it. She wants to come back and study it; she wants to camp out near it; she wants to see how it works; she wants to bring a piece of it out with her. But then she also thinks that coffins are a good decorative element for a parlor. Bahamut knows I didn’t pay much attention in decorating class, but I think I would remember if they had mentioned coffins. Then we found a room with a puddle, which is strange because there was no other water leak and the floor was perfectly level. SilverTongue figured out that it was a magic mirror for viewing other rooms and with Adara helping him, he used second sight through it to see that the treasures were still here, in the keeping of the hobgoblin captain. SilverTongue also set up a safe magical camp for our rescued people, which was nice of him. Then we found a room with a bunch of odd tall stones standing in it, like a stone garden, except they were icy cold. And finally we found the room where the hobgoblin was hiding, with a last few followers. Did I mention that another fellow came upon us? Murg the Monk, who was quite a good and reckless fighter, though without the panache that Rhonin has. Rhonin had a hangover and was quite grumpy. I didn’t even tease him about his spelling today either. Anyway, we all lit in and between Rhonin and SilverTongue, they set up magic that kept knocking the hobgoblin down. He had these chains in hand he fought with, and this could be quite fearsome, but he was plainly having a bad day. That, I understand, is what happens when Evildoers get their Comeuppance. I got my most powerful fighting rune to work this time. Some of them just slide out more easily than others; such is the nature of runes. We took him down and, what do you think, this wasn’t all his idea! An egomaniac who thinks calling himself “The Emissary” makes him important flattered him and told him he was such a fierce captain, he would send him troops to take down Brindol! Now really – what is there in Brindol to make it worth taking over? Anyway, I’m sure there is more for us to discover. I wonder if this was all a big distraction, and this Emissary fellow was launching his own attack on Brindol while we were gone. Well, it’s not like we’re the army or even the town guard. When we get back to town I have to write to father, and to mother, and to Madame Prynn, and to the twins. I think we found enough gold that I can afford the wooden tablets, ink and messengers! How jolly this has all been, but I am tired of being grubby

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