Blood of the Dead Gods

A Lich to Scratch

They discover a secret passage in the side tunnel. Nas is impossible to awaken, and Cale doesn’t seem like himself, but they proceed to investigate anyway. Stairs lead down to a dark dungeon.

Stumbling around blindly attracts the attention of a skeleton, a swarm of corpse rats, and then a gargoyle. Attacked from all sides, they focus fire, and when the last one is defeated, they move much more cautiously through the corridors. Teleporting spiders catch them in poisonous webs, dragging them down the halls and awakening more dungeon denizens.

Finally, they approach stairs leading upward, though it’s guarded by a blazing skeleton. Exhausted, they simply distract it and run past, climbing the stone steps and barring the way behind them.

After a brief respite on a landing, they emerge into a high-ceiling hall supported by eight large pillars. Four arbalests line the walls, and a dracolich awakens at the far end of the chamber.

Alek takes a glorious moment to increase everyone’s defenses while Finch conjures an angry and bloodshot eye. Johan and Cale charge the bony beast, backing it into a corner and trapping it in place against the wall. Finch and Alek dodge bolts from the arbalests and duck behind pillars, eventually destroying two of the giant crossbows.

An earthquake shakes the entire hall, and pillars begin crumbling to the ground. With two arbalests still firing at their backs, the entire party surrounds the dracolich, hacking and scorching its bones until it collapses in a flurry of dust. They grab its horde without looking through it and hurry back to Nas’ resting place before the entire ceiling caves in.

Loot

TBD

Discussion

Everyone level to 5.

View
Hungry Hungry Hippogriffs

While furthering their investigations into the corruption of the Feywild is intriguing, the party decides to continue on to Stonefang to settle their vendetta with the Severed Eye. They return the half-orc child to Winterhaven and resume their trek.

The town of Timbervale sits at the foot of the mountains below Stonefang. Upon entering the Knothole, a small but comfortable tavern, they meet Rangrim, a youngish dwarf with a tarnished crown, and his entourage, the remains of the Glintshield clan.

Previously residents of Stonefang, the Glintshields were routed recently by the Severed Eye, and only a handful escaped, mostly young and elderly. Their warriors, members of a strange cult known as the Shadowed Chain, disappeared after securing their escape and their whereabouts are unknown.

Rangrim is desperate for help in reclaiming Stonefang from the orcs. He hires the party for the task, allowing them to keep anything they find and giving them a ruby ring as a down payment.

An old woman named Flinka also asks for their aid in finding her sister, or her remains. The party uses her sending stone to attempt contact, but instead end up talking to a mysterious child named Dori.

They head up the trail toward the mountains and are ambushed by two hippogriffs at a broken bridge. Several of the less agile members fall into the river and are swept along by the powerful current toward a waterfall. Even when they escape the waters, archerfish appear from the depths and pull then back in. Rather than running away from the river, the adventurers stay to finish off their enemies, flinging blades and firing arrows until the river is cloudy with blood.

The tunnel to Stonefang lies ahead, flanked by huge statues of giant handiwork, though dwarven friezes are also carved alongside. Inside the tunnel, they hear sucking sounds. Stirges of various sizes are feasting on the remains of the dwarves who fell in the retreat, and they attack the party.

Before the battle is finished, an earthquake chases off the remaining stirges. Great cracks open in the floor and ceiling, and deathjump spiders pour from the opening above. They leap down to assail the party with poisonous fangs while aftershocks knock the heroes from their feet. They are eventually victorious and find a quiet side tunnel in which to rest.

Loot

Ruby ringPhoto

View
It's Not Easy Being Mean

With Dreus dead and her workshop ransacked, the party returns to Hammerfast to resupply and fill out their ranks. The city is still in disarray after the drow attack. Bodies of dwarves, orcs, and fey line the streets, and the only inn still standing is the Foundation Stone.

Inside, it seems as if every street tough, wandering minstrel, and errant knight in the Nentir Vale is looking for work. They select a hearty-looking human named Johan and a nondescript elf they dub Nás. Thale continues to accompany them in an observational capacity.

They begin their trek to Stonefang, intent on eradicating the Severed Eye orcs. After a few days, they pass near the village of Winterhaven. The fields lie fallow and none of the villagers toil in the sun. As they approach, a half-orc woman runs toward them and presses a letter into Alek’s hands before turning to confront an angry mob approaching from the village.

The party intercedes, placing themselves between the villagers, who claim the half-orc, Metronda, has poisoned the crops. While this is obviously false, Metronda insists it’s true, but Cale senses that the villagers are under some kind of compulsion. They claim “The Lady” – a statue of an eladrin woman – guides them.

Upon closer inspection, the party discovers a very real eladrin woman who is dominating the villagers. They attack her, but Metronda is killed in the ensuing violence. Alek pleads with the villagers to come to their senses, and when they realize what they’ve done, they turn on their former patron. Cale relieves her of her alchemical stock but only succeeds in empowering her.

The party wrestles with her for control of the villagers until Nás puts an arrow in her eye – an act of such violent and dispassionate cruelty that the others begin to wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. They question the eladrin, discovering that a corruption in the Feywild compels her, as well as former companions, to kill and destroy. Cale puts her out of her misery with a sword through the chest.

They open the letter to find directions to Metronda’s son, hidden in a cabin on the outskirts of town. When they arrive, the child has been spirited away into a corrupted area of the Feywild. After eliminating a group of evil treants, they find their quarry, four eladrin with a young half-orc. They transform him into an ogre and force him to attack the party. Though he swings his club in great arcs and tramples his smaller opponents relentlessly, Alek’s wards prevent the worst of their injuries. After a protracted battle, the curse fades, the eladrin disappear, and the party is left with a small half-orc child.

Thale, who has been silent until now, speaks up. “What a windfall! Let’s sell him into slavery and make a tidy profit.”

Loot

TBD

Discussion

Finch laughs. “That’s funny Thale…a very funny joke. That was a joke, right? Of course it was a joke.” He hefts his fullblade and flashes a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes.

View
Twisted Sister

Franzen’s mutated corpse lies in pieces on the bloody ground. Cale, Alek, and Bren stagger, panting among the carnage; Karnov is gone, taken by an unknown malefactor.

From around the corner, Finch stumbles into view, spattered in gore and dragging a huge sword behind him. “I found it stuck in a guy,” he says with a shrug. Before the others can respond, a dwarf emerges from the shadows, his shoulders covered with the dingy pelt of a great beast.

The newcomer identifies himself as Thale, a mercenary hired by Kiris Alkirk and Triana. While he’s not impressed with their latest battle, he needs help on a job he thinks will interest the party: stopping Triana’s sister Dreus from creating another Slaying Stone.

They agree to accompany Thale to Dreus’ workshop, whose location he’s deduced from an old sending stone. Several days outside of town, they find a cavern blocked by a large boulder, which Cale and Thale roll aside, revealing a spiral staircase of new construction descending into the earth.

It leads to a small, torch-lit room. Empty suits of armor line the walls, and two imps flit about inside a Magic Circle. The far door is locked, and obviously trapped by some kind of magical fire. The imps plead with the party to release them in exchange for the words of power that will disarm the trap. Though Cale and Finch are able to use their magical talents open the door, they can’t bypass the trap. They agree to the imps’ bargain and destroy the Magic Circle.

True to their word, the imps deactivate the trap and fly off, but angry souls, which were also trapped within the circle, animate the suits of armor and attack. However, the rusty metal is slow to react, and the heroes destroy them quickly.

Down a narrow hallway, Bren spies a room full of elemental chaos and enraged, flitting elementals. A pool of chaosstuff in the center draws in elementals and regurgitates more powerful amalgams. Burned by fire, battered by wind, gouged by crystals, the party puts them down. Cale sweeps his sword in a wide arc and takes out four at a time. The party steers them away from the pool, and no more amalgams appear.

Continuing into bowels of the earth, the party is surprised when the imps return, this time with undead reinforcements. The imps vanish while their lumbering soldiers attack, only to reappear to strike without warning, their barbed tails dripping poison. Again, the party reacts quickly, taking down the largest threats and killing one imp before the other escapes.

They follow it and stumble upon an old crone, hunched over potions and alchemical reagents. Dreus is expecting them, reanimating skeletons and commanding her golem to attack. Alek sears the skeletons with radiant energy while Cale stands up to the golem. Focused fire brings it down quickly, and they turn their attention to Dreus. She lashes out with her magic, but the combined force of all the heroes is too much for her. As she falls beneath their blades, she cries, “No! They must not know of Stonefang!”

Thale recognizes the name as a Dwarven settlement a few days away. A sending stone Dreus has on her reveals that the Severed Eye orcs await them at Stonefang. They ransack the workshop and return to Hammerfast for reinforcements, with a quick stop by Alkirk’s tower to collect payment.

Loot
  • Gauntlets of Arcane Might – Cale
  • Bracers of Mental Might – Alek
  • 100g in residuum
  • 70g
Discussion

Level to 4. Bren’s leaving us in town, but we’re picking up two more companions.

View
Arachnophilia

After thwarting the drow incursion into the city, the party takes a well-deserved rest. They have some clout in Hammerfast now, with reputations as capable adventurers. All is well as they head to sleep in their rooms at the Foundation Stone tavern.

They awake to steel tearing through their flesh. Bren and Karnov throw their eyes wide, only to find themselves shrouded in total darkness. Armorless and disoriented, Cale and Franzen tumble out of bed, leaving sheets slick with blood. The drow are upon them. Four blademasters harry the party, cutting Franzen down before he can retaliate. Bren attempts to escape out a window, only to lose his footing on the narrow ledge and tumble two stories to the ground below. The scene that greets him is dire.

Throughout the entire city, drow are slaughtering the populace. Fires rage in cottage and inn alike, dwarves and orcs fight grudgingly back-to-back to fight off the evil fey. The ghosts of the town are out in full force, their seemingly ethereal limbs quite solid as they rip drow flesh apart. Bren hurries back into the Foundation Stone, where the scene is much the same. Adventurers and militia guards do their best to fight off the invaders, using beer steins, chairs, and whatever handy pieces of furniture they can find.

Back upstairs, the drow are gaining the upper hand. Franzen is bleeding out, Cale is unconscious, and only Karnov holds the blademasters at bay, when Alek, groggy from sleep, exits his room into the fray. Grabbing his morningstar (but not his pants), he throws some healing to the swordmage and engages the drow, working his way past them through the narrow hallway to get to Franzen, who is on death’s door.

Karnov, unable to get around the scrum, makes his own door, bursting through the shoddy wall of the room into the hallway to wrap his hands around skinny elven necks. When it seems the party is finally able to fight back, there’s an unpleasant twist. Instead of dying in spurts of blood and bile, the drow seem to deflate for a moment and then explode in a shower of fist-sized spiders whose venom packs a powerful punch. In the corner of the room, a drow priestess materializes out of thin air, cackling wildly. Cale charges her, and she bleeds spiders and poison.

Bren fills the corridor with primal fire that sears only their enemies. The cleric, after a failed attempt to break through a wall with his bare hands, hefts his morningstar and tears through it, crushing the skull of the shocked drow behind it in the same blow. Franzen seems disoriented from his near-death experience, falling out a window but landing on his feet. With her minions defeated, the priestess retreats as a swarm of spiders, and the party tracks her through a city under siege, right back to the White Tomb, the location of their last stand against the drow.

The stench of undeath is all around them, and three ravenous ghouls attack, throwing Cale to the ground and attempting to rip out his throat with their teeth. The cleric Turns Undead and Karnov tears a ghoul off the swordmage. When it seems the battle is won, Franzen begins chanting gibberish. He absorbs some of the life force of his comrades and flings a bolt of baleful energy at the priestess, who is shocked as it burns away her insides before she explodes in a hail of gore. Franzen falls to the ground, seemingly dead.

When the party approaches him to help, he undergoes a terrible transformation, morphing into a fledgling demon who attacks the party without warning. Though they are beset by hellfire and raked by huge claws, they are eventually victorious, but the intercession of a terrible and powerful being is more than they bargained for. Karnov is taken bodily and Cale is indebted in ways he cannot yet fathom.

Loot
  • Cale – Horned Helm
  • Bren – Acrobat boot, Bracers of the perfect shot
  • Alek – Holy Armor +1
  • 125g each
View
Tomb Raiders

The effects of the undead-attracting amulet seem to wane as the party approaches Hammerfast. As far as they can tell, it’s gone dormant…for now.

They have a few days to recuperate in town, taking up lodging at The Foundation Stone, a inn and tavern popular with adventurers, off-duty guards, and local toughs. Finch disappears, not even returning to sleep, but on the morning of the third day, the party finds a note in his handwriting, reading simply: “Found a job for us. The Arcanist’s Inn, sunset, Petrel.”

The party heads to the Arcanist’s Inn, a tavern in the Gate Ward frequented by mages, scribes, and scholars affiliated with the Lore Guild, an association of learned sages renowned throughout the area and headquartered in Hammerfast. The arrive a few hours early to scope it out, meeting the tiefling proprietor and an odd tracker named Saldrin, an acquaintance of their contact, Petrel. Saldrin leads them upstairs to one of the rooms where Petrel awaits, giddily playing with cantrips.

Petrel explains that potentially dangerous items were stolen from one of the Lore Guilds secret vaults, items that could be used to make a large bomb. Upon investigation of the vault, the party discovers a trail of phosphorescent fungus leading from the vault to the White Tomb, a forgotten but unopened catacomb in an empty section of the Craft Ward. Examining it closely, they realize it’s been opened and Mended several times over. Not wanting to seem like they’re breaking into an unviolated tomb – a capital offense in Hammerfast – they camp out overnight, waiting to see what happens, but after a flare of arcane energy, they get the sense that they’re being watched.

Cale turns to acid and seeps through the cracks in the door, finding several scrolls of Mending secreted in a cubby. They destroy the door and seal it behind themselves. The tomb is infested with spiders, and the adventurers fight them off while being choked from above by a cave fisher and peppered with arrows and blinded by miasmic gas from the Dark Ones waiting to ambush them.

The tomb connects to a makeshift tunnel that leads all throughout the Craft Ward. In a last dead end, they encounter a drow priestess and her underlings in the process of lighting the fuse to a bomb near a caved-in tunnel. A battle royale ensues, and the fuse is extinguished and relit several times before the drow fall. A journal reveals that the drow and other creatures came through an old tunnel from the Underdark that collapsed behind them and were planning to blow it back open to lead an invasion force.

Loot
  • Dwarven scale armor +1 (Lvl 2, Karnov)
  • Badge of the Berserker +1 (Lvl 2, Cale)
  • Vicious spiked gauntlets +1 (Lvl 2, Karnov)
  • Armor of Dark Majesty +1 (Lvl 4, Franzen)
  • 250g each. Yes, each!
View
Night of the Living Dead

The party finally made it to Hammerfast. After a brief stop at the Market to pick up some phat lootz, we headed to the Temple of Ioun and met Kendred, a bibliophile gnome. He was happy to give us some gold (not as much as Cale wanted, but no one ever gives us THAT much) for the books, and had another job for us- track down some suspiciously undead-sounding fellows who had made off with a ritual scroll of his.

We talked to an office of the Hammerfast guard, who pointed us towards a temple south of the city where the thieves had been spotted. Finding the temple suspiciously empty and filled with statues/murals honoring the evil god Torog, we headed down through a trap door. Bodies, more bodies, and a dude who had grafted a troll’s arm onto his body greeted us. We picked up a necrotic amulet he was wearing and, well, bad things happened. Where “bad things” means “every undead creature in the area suddenly became very interested in killing us”. We fought off the wight and his zombie friends and felt very good about ourselves until we headed upstairs.

The area around the temple was rapidly filling with hundreds, if not thousands, of zombies. Oops. Our heroes rapidly went to work barring the doors and waiting for sunrise. Things went pretty well… at first… as we fended off the horde, but where there’s an undead will there’s an undead way. The first couple of times our defenses were breached we had no problem fighting off your standard zombies, but shortly before sunrise the great zombie invasion crested. Remember all those hobgoblins we killed in Kiris Dahn? Remember the really, really big orc? Yeah. Not only did we have to greet our latest guests with some undead ass-kicking, we had to keep the doors barred while we are at it. Franzen pulled off some real McGuyver moves as he passed Theivery check after Theivery check, while the rest of the party focused on taking down undead Vox. Many zombies were killed, and our heroes only came close to dying – no actual deaths. Loot collected, we’re on our way back to Hammerfast for some much-deserved rewards (and hopefully a nice extended rest…)

Loot
  • 90gp for returning the books
  • gloves of agility
  • duelist shortsword +1
  • 260gp worth of junk on all the undead corpses
  • 120 gp for returning the scroll to Kendred
View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.