Violent Tides

Now things are starting to get interesting...

As the party moved through the room found a small hallway that ended in double doors. Throwing caution to the wind, Starke kicked the doors in, surprising the inhabitants.

The party acted quickly, taking advantage of the surprised beasts, bloodying two Wererats before they could even act, Starke made a move for the caster near the front of the room. The caster, while having a few special abilities of his own, didn’t last very long with his two cronies now dead.

Working back through the Demons room, the party came to a long hallway lined with columns. The columns in the hall made is impossible to enter the room anything but single file, with Starke leading the way, Lilah pulling up the rear where she rarely need to move from to cast Mind Thrust, sending agonizing jolts of pain to her enemies brains.

As they entered the room and noticed the two unoccupied thrones. A low, raspy voice was heard as the closest turned to look at the party saying “Arise, my warriors” and “Intruderssssss! Consssssssume them!” the wight lisped. At that moment five piles of bones around the room came to life and readied to defend their lair.

The party made quick work of several of these smaller skeletons, only to have them reanimate the very next round. While the Wight and Boneshard skeletons were formidable, the party made pretty easy work out of them… except for a new lesson the young adveturers learned this day.

With the Wight dead, the party went to work on the larger, Boneshard Skeleton. With several of the party members hurt, the skeleton knowing his fate soon to come, had his prey in the range he wanted them. As Wemnar struck out using radiant damage the skeleton was hurt badly, passing the pain threshold that a more seasoned party would have recognized and distanced themselves from.

The skeleton shattered, unleashing bone fragments into almost the entire group. Lilah, the Psyonic that rarely moves, was rewarded this day, as she was out of range of the shards of bone. The rest of the party was not so lucky, however. Most of the party was now bloodied, Wemnar just barely hanging on to death did not look good, leaning on a wall for support.

Starke now moved in to what, at the time seemed like a good idea. He positioned himself for the kill and landed a devastating blow. Seeing that Torment was not in range and Akron, the Warlock, had been on cold streak most of the evening, Starke looked to the fate of the gods and used another action. His action accomplished exactly what he wanted it to do, but yet again, it was the young band of adventurers that would gain the knowledge that may keep them alive in the future.

As Starke landed the killing blow, the rest of the skeleton’s body exploded into a mass of bone shards, obliterating the group. Torment’s quick reflexes allowed her to scramble out of the way, but Wemnar and Akron were not so lucky. Both dropped to the floor unconscious from the pain.

Making quick work of the remaining lesser skeletons the party healed up their falling comrades. Surveying the devastation of the room, the party searched the room, finding not much of value, save for a few tapestries. They did however find an additional hostage just down the second hall that entered this room. At which time, the party unanimously agreed it was time for another extended rest.

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Wererats, Demons and Undead - Oh My!

After an extended rest the party moved out. Checking a door to the west and finding more stairs up, they decided to try the north door and complete this floor before going up another.

Coming to a 4-way intersection the party wasn’t sure which way to go. Sensing something to the west the party listened and noticed a faint hum from beyond the door. Opening the door they party noticed the room emanated a sense of evil, a black “sunburst” pattern was on the floor in the middle of the room and as they entered their torches seems to dim. Standing within the sunburst pattern were two zombies and two ghouls.

The two zombies went down quickly, but the ghouls were much more resilient. Using the powers of the sunburst to heal themselves only delayed their fate, as they too soon joined their fellow zombies in the final resting place within the crypt.

Moving on the party came to a room where they discovered yet another odd beast. As they moved into the room, a small demon known as an Evistro (or Carnage Demon) charged toward them only to be stopped by an invisible barrier. Somewhat relieved, but now a little cautious the party moved into the room. They heard some commotion ahead of them as two Wererats entered the room, one mumbling something that made Lilah’s skin tingle.

Sensing the aura of magic dissipating Lilah quickly used her powers of arcana… The barrier of magic was down, the Carnage Demon was now free. Starke, not being sure about this demons abilities charged it so it could not reach the rest of the party while Wemnar cut off one of the Wererat’s path.

The battle was back and forth, these foes being tougher than anything the party had met so far. As one of the Wererats lunged at Wemnar it landed a lucky blow, sinking it’s rat like teeth into him. A sense of disease washed over Wemnar instantly and he began to break out in Filth Fever.

As the battle raged on, Starke the groups mighty defender became bloodied and this seemed to put the Evistro into a rage. Seeing the amount of damage the creature was already doing and feeling this could be a problem, Wemnar switched rune aspects and healed Starke, seemingly calming the demon. This seemed to turn the tide and the party made quick work of the monsters at this point.

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Pushing On

As the young band of adventures moved on, they discovered new obstacles and strange new beasts around every corner. The faced more Hobgoblins, which seems to be the norm, but this day they came across Hobgoblins using drake attack pets. The discovered a room completely covered in spiderwebs which contained a band of Ettercaps. In this room, they made the gruesome discovery of Kartenix, the guard captain’s corpse.

In this room, they also found a set of stairs going up. Taking the stairs, as the approached the top the group noticed the words “Von Adrez,” “Kauthin,” and “Crypt” carved into the top three steps. Upon entering the room they party was met by more Hobgoblins and two spitting drakes. After combat started a set of doors in the southwest corner burst in and a hideous Goblin entered the room. The goblin dropped a large cloud over the room, making it nearly impossible to see. Akron recalled reading of such vile creatures, known as a Goblin Hexer.

The party dispatched this room of creatures and found yet another city hostage in the room from where the Goblin Hexer emerged. Feeling it was safe in this room, the party sealed the door so they could take an extended rest.

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Adventuring we will go...

Gathering the information they needed, the party headed north to the old crypt under castle Rivenroar.

Finding it odd that there were no patrols as they made their way to the entrance, the party soon discovered why. As they descended the stairs into the first room, they were met by several hobgoblins and goblin sharpshooters. It seems the “not-so-smart” goblinoids learned to use features of the dungeon that used to be used as a way to impress visitors to the crypts, as a defensive tool.

While the hobgoblins engaged the the party in melee combat, one of the sharpshooters opened the nearby doors, causing the rooms braziers to move, shooting fire back and forth across the room.

The party dispatched hideous creatures room after room, meeting foes the likes of that they never imagined. As they made their way through another room, it seemed a good time to break and replenish their powers. Searching the room, they found stairs leading down to some jail cells, one containing a member of the townsfolk they were looking for.

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Visit from a Councilmember

Awakening the next day, the group of adventurers packed their gear and set out to meet each other in the Inn’s main room. Up arriving they found Akron, the Dragonborn Warlock, sitting downstairs with his head in his hands. As they approached he handed them Olorin’s letter.

Before they could get too far into discussing what this meant and what they would do, Councilmember Eoffram Troyas entered the Inn looking for them. It would seem the news of their defeating an Ogre in town the night before had spread quickly. He asked them to return to his office with them to discuss the grave matters that had befallen the town the night before.

Agreeing, the companions returned with Troyas. He told them not only was the town vandalized during the attacks, but several rare items from the original war with the Redhand were taken from the Hall of Great Valor and seven prominent members of the City were kidnapped. After a discussion with the adventurers and being sure he could trust them, he offered them a reward for returning the relics and the kidnapped people.

He informed them of the lone hobgoblin the city guard had captured during their raid. The party members set out for the “city green” to talk with this hobgoblin and see what information that could ascertain from him. During their talks with the hobgoblin, not only did they figure out where the vermin were holed up, but they also found out this band of renegade wannabes couldn’t even manage to copy the Redhand logo properly, they were displaying it upside down.

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A bump in the night.
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Exhausted after their trial against the Redhand raiders, Olorin fell into a deep sleep. His dreams replayed their great victory over and over in his mind, and he relished each swing of his mighty warhammer. As the young goliath watched the ogre die in a pyre of its own creation, the flames intensified and consumed his entire field of vision, and his dream took sudden and unexpected turn into nightmare.

Finding himself in the middle of his tribe’s mountain encampment, Olorin struggled to understand what he saw…

The tents had been set ablaze, and dozens of goliath warriors were lifeless upon the ground. Women and children wandered around aimlessly through the smoke, trying to pick up the tattered remains of their lives and loved ones.

“What happened here?!?,” Olorin exclaimed, frantically trying to find out what had befallen his friends and family. He rushed from person to person, desperately looking for answers, but no one would even acknowledge him. “Someone! Anyone! Tell me what is going on!,” he shouted.

“They won’t answer you, warden. You are not really here…,” came a voice from behind him.

Olorin spun about to confront this voice, only to find the ethereal form of his tribe’s wise-woman returning his gaze.

“Orc raiders have come upon us this night, Titanfist. Our warriors fought valiantly, but ultimately their efforts were not enough to stave off the tide of treachery and death from the orcish horde. So many are dead. Everything is gone. They have nearly wiped our tribe from this land. Look around you. Only these broken few remain” she said, gesturing to the tattered remains of the goliath camp. “I have sent you this dream as a message, Olorin. A message of our most dire need. Someone must lead, young one. Someone must take these people on to the next tribe so that our ways may continue. Someone must protect them on their perilous trek through the mountains. Someone must ensure that our tribe survives and recovers to one day take revenge upon these vile orcs. You, Olorin Titanfist. You must come. And you must come NOW!”

...

Olorin bolted upright out of the bed, with the haunting eyes of the wise-woman still seared into his mind. He knew that his road home and the tasks set upon him by his tribe’s spiritual leader would be arduous, but he could hardly ask his newfound comrades to undertake so desperate a mission This was goliath business, and they certainly could not be expected to abandon those in need at Brindol.

Olorin Titanfist, earth-warden of the goliaths, quietly strapped on his armor and weapons, stopping only to scribble a quick note to his friends, and ran off into the night…

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Out of the fire and into the frying pan... so to speak

Standing outside the captain of the guard came by. He informed the party that the creatures stormed all 3 city gates from the bridges at once, while more climbed the walls for quick access into the city.

Soon the nearby screams became apparent as an ogre pulling a cart full of explosive casks and two hobgoblin archers, sitting on top, came into view. The ogre was throwing the casks as one of the hobgoblins lit the casks. The second hobgoblin launching arrows into the fleeing townsfolk.

Looking to be over matched against the ogre, the party of adventurers being either very brave, or very stupid, charged in for the attack. As it played out, it appeared the party was smart. The ogre being strapped to the wagon could barely move and his thrown casks kept landing way off mark.

Making quick work of the hobgoblins and having to scramble to get a lit cask out of the back of the wagon, which was about to be handed to the ogre, the hobgoblin holding it met a final blow and fell into the wagon. Whisper made her way to the cask, throwing it away from the wagon, it landed on the cobblestone street exploding close enough to damage the ogre and set it and the wagon on fire.

“The wagon is on fire” the party shouted, “get the other casks out of the back quickly” came next. As they finished of the ogre and scrambled to remove the remaining casks a crowd of citizens poured into the streets with water to put out the fires.

Exhausted from the fight, the party briefly spoke with the captain of the guard again as he made his way off to check on the situation in the other potions of town. Lady Fairwen came over to congratulate them on a deed very well taken care of.

The party excused themselves, wanting to get a bit of sleep, as it was now getting late. They asked to meet with her again in the morning to discuss the plan of action ahead.

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Did someone order a bar fight?

As Lady Fairwen went on with her story the sounds of yelling, no screaming, could be heard outside. Just then the doors of the tavern were kicked in, splintering off their hinges as two hobgoblins charged in killing two tavern patrons and a goblin followed throwing a torch behind the bar.

Without hesitation the adventurers leapt up from their table and charged the beasts. As they battled with the creatures wave after wave entered the bar, the numbers seemed to outweigh the companions two to one. Several customers were killed while the companions thwarted the hobgoblin attacks and picked up the torches being thrown by the goblins before the tavern could catch fire.

As the party fought the invaders in the doorway there was a crash of glass as several hobgoblins now came through the windows as well. As Olorin and Whisper shouted the numbers coming toward the door, there was a loud crack of thunder that filled the tavern. In a flash of lightning, six hobgoblins fell to the ground while two goblins seemed to be shaken by the attack. The party turned in shock to see that Lady Fairwen had joined them in the defense of the tavern.

Continue the onslaught the party cleared the tavern of the invading creatures, only to end up out in the street to see townsfolk from all directions, screaming to run as they wen by.

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Antler and Thistle

After making there way into Brindol, the adventurers checked into the inn. All expenses paid they were informed. They were also told they were to meet Lady Fairwen at the Antler and Thistle that evening for drinks and discussing the reason for their needing to travel to Brindol.

In early evening, ffter gathering supplies and spending their day exploring Brindol, the companions made their way to the Antler and Thistle. This was a cozy little tavern on the west end of town. When they arrived, the tavern was pretty busy, almost every table in the place was taken. Though oddly, there was a table available for the seven companions.

As they sat a bar maid came to the table to take their order, drinks are also on the house they were told. After giving their orders Lady Fairwen, who had been speaking with the tavern owner, made her way to their table. As she began to talk with the adventurers a rude dwarf from a nearby table, containing four ruffians that had been scowling at them since they arrived, made his way over to “inform” Lady Fairwen they had no need for outsider help in these matters.

Upon dismissing the group’s leader as a worthless, ragtag band of no good Lady Fairwen again turned her attention to the group. She explained to them the situation of how this so-called band of “Redhand” were actually descendants of the actual Redhand being lead by a Hobgoblin named Sinruth. His band of goblinoids and other creatures have been raiding the smaller towns and villages, but lately have been assaulting Brindol itself.

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Strange Awakening

Waking at the farm house the next morning, Torment’s head was throbbing and she didn’t feel right. Something had changed… something unnerved her more than usual. What was this odd feeling?

Then it hit her, the vision of a goblin in a dark hooded cloak leaning down with a smile on it’s grotesque and mutilated face to whisper into her ear. “But that was just a dream” she exclaimed, as her new companions all turned to look at her not realizing she had said that aloud. “What was just a dream?” Olorin asked her, still picking up all of his belonging sprawled across the floor from where the Dragonborn had burnt a hole in his sack.

Torment sprang up from where she sat on the edge of the bed and grabbed the piece of parchment they had recovered from the goblin the night before.

In rough penmanship the parchment read:

“We have heard about your small band of mercenaries. We would love if you would consider coming northwest to the hills north of Brindol to join us, the Red Hand shall rise again! We rebuild the army to take back what is rightfully ours.”

Signed with a scribble, an S to start the name all you can make out.

Torment turned to her new friends, “quickly, speak to me in Draconic she said”, but when they did, she is unable to understand a word. Torment cringes for a moment, the idea that someone, some thing being able to visit her in her dreams and make her completely forget one language while learning a new one is disturbing.

Who was the goblin, why would he visit her in a dream AND why would he assist her and her new companions in this way?

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