Blood of the Dead Gods

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
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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!
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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
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Between an Orc and a Hard Place

The peculiar room the group was resting in continued to work it’s magics yet again as Finch was impossible to awaken whenthe rest of the party set out to continue their quest. Cale, although awake and coherent seemed distant to the rest of the group.

They traveled the corridors and came across a stone slab blocking the tunnel the party had been looking for. Examining the slab, the group observes an arm hanging to the side, blood dripping into a pool below. Nas identifies it as Orcish.

Alek, notices a large chain mechanism connected to the large stone slab however the chain is much to high for the party to utilize at the moment. The party also notices a door that leads to a gate house.

Continuing on, the group comes to a small hallway which is lined with pressure plates activating four crossbow turrets placed throughout the corridor. Johan and Cale easily cross along the wall finding suitable hand and foot holds to avoid touching the floor. On the other side, the two find another small hall with a pressure sensitive plate and three mechanical snakes just past it. Nas, much more agile then then the rest of the party, uses an array of acrobatic flips, cartwheels, and handsprings to cross the hall narrowly avoiding each bolt as they pass by her. Alek trying to emulate Johan and Cale, attempts to find his own hand holds to cross the area but slips and finds himself in the cross hairs of all four crossbows. Avoiding the plate, the three heroes attack the snakes without mercy while Alek runs across the rest of the hall taking pot shots from the crossbows.

The mechanical snakes are formidable foes but ultimately fall under the combined might of Johan primal might, Cale’s sword and magic and Nas’s deadly twin strikes. As the last snake whirls around signifying the end of it’s mechanical life, a door at the end of the hall opens and two more mechanical automatons activate each with a hammer and claw at the ready.

Upon entering the room, Cale notices a large chasm in the middle of the room and large piles of dirt and debris along side it. Presumably, the constructs had been busy digging prior to the party’s arrival. The back of the crossbows can be seen to the west as well along with a large shut door on the opposite wall. A large switch is also seen in between the enemies.

The party charges in and attacks ferociously at the constructs. Johan savagely attacks four times and practically severs the hammer from one of them. It tries to attack back but it’s newly defective hammer makes attacking much less effective. Cale charges forth, critically striking the construct with booming blades while Nas attacks from afar with her spider wasp sting. Alek contributes with his sacred flame attacks. The constructs go down without much effort.

Searching around, the crossbows are reprogrammed to attack at orcs as a precaution and Alek opens the large door. Inside, he finds a large looming construct made in the likeness of a dwarf. Fearing another fight the group prepares for the worst, only to find that the construct does not move. Examining it, Cale is able to decipher some runes at it’s base and tells the rest of the party that the large dwarven construct can be controlled with a ritual and that it’s use was to help the short dwarves to open the large stone slab.

Alek concentrates and completes the ritual. With the golem under his control, he wills it to open the gate. The sound of the large stone slab opens in the distance followed by the sounds of a large group of orcs. Alek wills the golem to drop the gate. A slamming sound is heard and only one orc’s cry is heard as it is caught by the crushing stone slab.

A large contingency of orc savages, followed by three orc reavers and led by a orc captain begin to make their way through the gate house. As these enemies advance, our party hold their positions hoping their newly reprogrammed crossbows will serve them well.

The orc captain holds it’s reavers and sends it’s group of savages across the hallway where the party’s trap has been laid. Crossbow bolt fire indiscriminately at the orcs and many fall dead under the assault. Now knowing what they are up against, the captain and reavers charge ahead and take minimal damage from the trap.

On the other side, a reaver activates the previously avoided pressure plate in the small hall and a portcullis falls damaging the reaver and blocking the enemies’ advance. The party uses this advantage and moves into position to attack the enemies biding their time until the portcullis falls.

The orcs attack the blockage without mercy and as the pathway is cleared, many of them fall to Cale’s attacks. Johan and Cale move to flank the captain and take it down with deadly attacks moving on to now startled reavers. Nas and Alek focus fire on the remaining reavers and savages until the party emerges victorious.

Using the golem again to reopen the gate, the party pauses to collect Finch and themselves before heading further into the tunnel.

Loot
300 gp

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Pit Stop

With the party finally together again, they proceed deeper into the pass. Wedgd into a side door, they find the body of Flinka’s sister, as well as the spirit of the dwarf child Dori, who thanks them and fades away.

Nas overhears several orcs arguing over spoils, allowing her and Finch to surprise them, cutting them down before they can raise an alarm. The party cautiously descends a stone staircase lined with friezes, each depicting a dwarven battle with what Cale determines is an earth titan. In each vignette, a piece of the titan is cut away: an eye, a rib, its heart, and a giant stone hand, exactly like the one they already have in their possession.

The stairway ends in a large, high-ceilinged cavern ringed with orcish archers. They face the center of the cavern, which houses a large pit, four glowing magic circles, and a large, brutish ogre being reprimanded by a cloaked figure in a troll mask.

The party surprises them, hacking apart two of the archers before they can respond. Cale and Johan charge the cloaked figure, finding that each of the magic circles provides a different benefit, though it grants the same powers to their enemies.

The masked shaman orders the ogre to attack and begins hurling spells, but he is quickly laid low. Other archers appear from the shadows and skewer the party with volley after volley.

Finch pulls the earth titan’s hand from his cloak and binds the ogre to his will. He commands it to drop its weapons and leap into the deep pit, which it does, with relish. A loud thud let’s them know it’s not bottomless. As they circle the pit to approach the archers, the masked figure suddenly stands up, his wounds healing before their eyes. Cale runs him through with his sword and rips off the mask.

The earth shakes, throwing everyone to the floor, and for a while the battle continues on hands and knees. The shaman rises yet again, declaiming, “The magic is not in the mask, but in the wearer!” and is put down yet again before Alek crawls over to him, lights a torch, and stabs it into the shaman’s eye. He lights like a pyre, burning away to ash in seconds.

Meanwhile, the archers take up advantageous positions, and the ogre climbs out of the pit. Finch uses the strength of the hand to push the ogre back into the pit, but is knocked in after him by an archer. Several tense seconds pass as they trade blows in the dark. Then the shaman’s voice rings out again. “You fool! Stop hitting me and get us out of this pit!”

The ogre complies, and the rest of the party sees Finch on his shoulder, but his arms are mottled green, like a troll’s. A few seconds later and he seems normal again, hopping off the ogre’s back and telling everyone to finish off the brute. The ogre goes down, and the archer’s finally succumb to steel and fire.

Alek is very suspicious of what happened in the pit, questioning Finch but receiving no answers. Before it escalates to a fight, they hear dwarven chanting and orcish battle cries.

They rush down a hall to find a cadre of Shadowed Chain cultists engaged in a protective ritual as a horde of orcs lays siege to their position. The party routs the orcs, though Alek takes a few potshots at Finch, and all is calm for now.

Loot
bunch of gold and platinum
Bracers of Archery

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Bloodwings

The Shadowed Chain cultists explain that the dwarves of Stonefang Pass sealed an earth titan named Stonefang deep within the mountain thousands of years ago. When the seals began to fade, a small group of them turned to the worship of Torog, god of jailers and torturers, to maintain the bonds. They have been chanting non-stop for several weeks now to keep the titan in check, but he is still able to cause tremors and quakes that shake the entire mountain. Only when his four body parts are returned to the Pit Room can he be sealed away again.

The party is already in possession of the hand, and they convince the dwarves to give them the rib, though one of their number, Duggan, insists on accompanying them to recover the other artifacts. Nas remains behind to guard the chanting dwarves.

The orcs are holed up in a citadel on the other side of the pass. The party comes to a broken stone bridge guarded by archers on towers, orc savages, and a huge orc riding a wild boar. The archers skewer Cale, nearly killing him before he can move. Alek pauses for a glorious moment, and the heroes feel more resilient. The path across the bridge is tricky, but they navigate it, hacking apart the savages.

Finch uses the titan’s hand again, sending the boar crashing into the river, though the orc nimbly dismounts. The archers pelt them with arrows while the party ignores them and focuses on the giant orc. Johan pushes him into a gap in the bridge, where he clings desperately for a few seconds before Cale finishes him off. Then they set their sights on the archers, clambering over scaffolding to reach their perches. But the boar climbs out of the river and rushes Finch, who dared to toy with his emotions.

Finch scrambles up the catwalk out of reach, and the boar turns to Alek, charges, and leaps over the rickety wooden beams, narrowly missing the cleric. From their vantage points, they fling spell and steel at the boar until Alek cooks it through with searing light. The archers quickly fall, too.

Within the citadel, they hear the sounds of dwarves being tortured by orcs. Duggan bursts through the door to rescue them, but the orcs are ready. The party bottles them up in a narrow hallway, ganging up on each orc before they can bring their full force to bear. When all the orcs are dead, they free the dwarven prisoners, one of whom is Thane Harvak, Rangrim’s father and leader of Stonefang Pass. He and Duggan argue, revealing that a civil war with the Shadowed Chain gave the orcs the opportunity to invade, though they agree to put their differences aside for now. A chest nearby houses the earth titan’s heart.

A dragon-masked orc and two wolf shamans await them on the floor above, though the party gets the jump on them. They quickly wound the dragon-faced leader, and he sprouts wings of blood before breathing noxious poison over all of them. One of the shaman pulls a lever which open a skylight in the ceiling, and the winged monster flies away, letting the heroes focus on the two shaman. Wolf spirits attack them from all sides, and boar spirits explode when they kill them.

The dragon-orc returns, hovering just out of reach and blasting them all with his poisoned breath. Finally, the shaman are killed, and when the monster lands to confront them, they chop off his wings and sever his head. He has the eye on him. With all four artifacts in their possession, they prepare to return to the Pit Room to bind Stonefang once and for all.

Loot
Skald’s armor +2
River of Life gloves
Vanguard weapon +2
200g

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