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INTRODUCTIONEdit

The Game:  Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition

The Players: Tom Forwood, Peter WIlliams, Adrian Glanvill, Bryan Childs, Ian Linington, Andi Clatworthy, Darren Hastings, Iain Russell (Retired), Anita Mitchell (Retired), Kelly Ockwell (Retired)

The DM's: Darren Hastings, Tom Forwood

The Venues: The Wheatsheaf, Southwark & The Crosse Keys, City, and Bankside.

Character Intros (5th Feb 2011)

Current Player Characters

Chapter 1 - The Fleeced LambEdit

The Innkeeper offers up  100GP reward for any information  which leads to the capture of those responsible for a recent spate of horse rustling.  A number of his patrons have had their horses stolen from the rear of the inn. 

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Cocytus, Aragwen, Adrik and Ferath follow a trail off into the south of the forest.  It is mid morning and the party finally come upon a deep part of the forest where the trees are too thick for horses to pass through.  It is here that they find a location that can only be described as an abattoir.  There is blood, and matted horse hide everywhere.  From here the trail of blood leads on into the deeper part of the forest.  The party follow cautiously with the rogue leading.  For the best part of an hour the party move slowly, ensuring they cannot be heard.

As the day draws to a close they finally see further into the forest a small clearing, and the noise of a number of small humanoid creatures making camp.  The trail of blood leads on into the clearing.  Cocytus stealthily approaches the clearing to take stock of what awaits.

He spies 5 short reptilian humanoid creatures  dressed in ragtag armour and wielding short swords and spears. They appear to have eaten their fill of the recently gutted horses, and are now putting together a makeshift camp.  A fire burns brightly in the centre of the camp.  Marking the enemy positions quietly in his head, Cocytus returns to his colleagues and appraises them of the situation.

The party approach quietly, with the rogue once again taking the lead.  The attack comes swiftly and takes the Kobolds completely by surprise.  Stepping quietly into the clearing, Ferath sweeps his arms from his side, forward, spinning his staff in an intricate motion.  “fiolis reftu vurin!” he cries, and over the other side of the clearing  two of the kobolds slump to the ground, their eyes firmly shut, and the faint sound of snoring coming from the larger of the two.  

The other kobolds leap to their feet as the armoured dwarf screams into the clearing his battle-axe swinging alarmingly from his right hand.  He takes a wild swing at the nearest creature, catching it lazily in the side.  The axe passes through unhindered, dragging bowels and intestines with it. As the dwarf spins to confront the others,  he sees Cocytus draw one of his slim, finely honed blades and throw skillfully at one of the remaining kobolds.  The creature has no defence to the speed of the blade.  It buries itself up to the hilt in the forehead of the nearest kobold, the blade long enough to emerge from the other side of it’s head.  Blood and brains splatter the ground by Adrik, as the creature drops to the ground.

Suddenly a lance of white light strikes the remaining kobold as Aragwen summons the sheer might of her deity.  Her holy symbol aflame with religious intent.  The kobold disappears in a cloud of blood, as Pelours indignation takes the creatures life.

Cocytus approaches the two remaining sleeping Kobolds.  Both creatures slumped together in a heap.  His dagger flashes quickly across the first throat and scarlet fountains from the wound.  He moves onto the next.

"Cease!" cries Aragwen.  "We need it alive".  The blade halts tantalisingly close to the scaled throat of the silent Kobold.  The rogue withdraws the blade, and begins to bind the Kobold  securely.

"Almost too easy."  He moves to his first target, and retrieves his blade, wiping it clean on a black both which hangs loosely from his bandolier.

"Aye," the dwarf agrees, also cleaning his battle-axe, but in this instance on the armoured cloth of his departed foe, "far too easy."

Chapter 2 - AmbushEdit

The party return to the Inn with the captured Kobold,.  The InnKeeper is impressed and hands them the 100GP for their services.  He then asks them that they take the captured Kobold to Winterhaven.  He is aware that Ernest Padraig, Lord of Winterhaven is intent on clearing the Kobold scourge from the surrounding area, and is offering up rewards for more information.

The party gather their belongings and head off the West Road to Winterhaven.

It was late when they left the Inn.  The cleric dragging the bound Kobold behind her. Party spirits were high, Cocytus juggling his throwing knives, whilst the armoured dwarf led the party.  Only the Mage was quiet, lost in contemplation.

About an hour after leaving the Inn the five of them turned a corner on the path heading south west.  The sun was low in the sky, and the shadows from three large boulder piles either side of the path in front of them, were long.  The dwarf halted, his arm raised in warning. The rogue ceased juggling his knives and placed one of the daggers firmly back in his bandolier, leaving the others lightly balanced in his hands.  He crouched down, his eyes and ears alert for trouble. The mage stood close by. Aragwen dragged the bound Kobold to the side of the road, and threw him to the ground.

The silence was almost unbearable.  Not a single natural sound could be heard.  No bird song, insect noise, nor tree leaves rustling in the gentle breeze.  Something wasn't right.

The dwarf pointed to the ground, his fingers making walking motions backwards and forwards along the pass.   The rest of the party looked down at the weathered and worn road.  Barely visible, amongst the occasional ancient cobblestones were the marks of several clawed feet leading in both directions.

Out of the corner of his eye, Cocytus spies movement behind one of the boulder piles.  As he raises his arm to point, and cry a warning, the came a shriek of challenge from the furthest pile.  Two small red scaled reptilian creatures, clad in dark green hide armour wearing a dragon scale as a shield, and wielding a rusty short sword, sped from concealement and hurtled towards Adrik. On the other side of the road from behind the nearest boulder, 4 more creatures piled out,   with javelins raised to launch at the party.

Despite the speed with which the Kobold ambush began, Cocytus was the first to react.  His first dagger flying through the air, before the first creature shrill scream had finished. The dagger hit the first Kobold Dragonsheild square in the chest.  The creature didn't miss a step. The dwarf was next to strike, taking the same Dragonshield with a severe blow from his axe, the creature visibly wincing under the blow, as the axe caught him behind the shield.  His companion threw a swift blow from his short sword at the dwarf, catching him a glancing blow across the shoulder.  Blood trickled from the gash. "Terarna Jintara Slakom", the mage cried, his quarterstaff burning brightly as a Cloud of Daggers streaked towards the javelin bearing kobolds.  It burst amidst the 4, killing two instantly, the others appearing unharmed.  They launched their Javelins at the rogue, who with astonishing dexterity managed to dodge both, whilst readying another dagger.

Only Aragwen remained out of the skirmish, calmly ensuring the bound Kobold was secure, but remaining alert for any other danger.


Chapter 3 - Coc by NameEdit

The tale of our band of adventurers resumes and we find them standing on an empty room, well empty if we disregard the tattered remains of seven zombies spread across the floor. Behind the party the whisper of steel on steel reminds them that only Ferath's Cloud of Flying Daggers is holding back the zombies outside the room. Ferath decides a renewed cloud is needed, begins chanting his spell and an explosion of daggers seem to leap from his hands, fly across the room and gather in a violent maelstrom of slicing and clashing daggers in the corridor outside. The three zombies that had been on that space evaporate in an instant.

Niknak meanwhile steps forward into the doorway, murmuring his sinister incantations he launches a ball of dark energy at the one zombie he can see. His aim is true and the spell hits the zombie on the chest. Where the zombie once stood there was simply a cloud of dust and decayed matter. Adrick advances to block the doorway alongside Davrok. Meanwhile the putrescent odor named Cocytus stands behind the party wishing for a change of underwear. Out in the corridor the three remaining zombies, with nothing but the instinctive drive to reach fresh meat, simply lumber into the still whirling cloud of steel daggers and are decimated. All suddenly becomes quiet as the last of the zombies in the corridor were destroyed.

The party decides to send Cocytus to investigate the new corridor. He creeps along, checking carefully for traps, still squelching quietly from the byproduct of his previous fright. As he approaches the end of the short corridor he sees a room stretching to the left and the right. The ornately carved vaulted ceiling curved away above him and evenly spaced along both sides of the room were sarcophagi, each bearing a finely carved effigy of a human warrior. To the left, the eastern end of the room, a raised area could be seen and a starry glow gently illuminated it and the rest of the room which he realises must be a crypt. He signals the party to join him and the move into the crypt and spread out in its western end.

Curiosity over what treasures lay within the sarcophagi soon took hold and, checks for traps revealing Nothing, attempts to open one began. Neither Adrick nor Davrok were able to open on their own so with one at each end they managed to move the lid and expose the empty casket inside. The next two sarcophagi were similarly empty. While the party decide what to do next Cocytus decides to explore the room. He walks towards the raised area wondering if the glow could be anything of value and if it may be small enough that he can hide it in his pack. Suddenly he feels a click underfoot, oops... All of the sarcophagi lids explode open and from the once empty caskets leap skellies armed with longswords. Everyone looks at Cocytus, he shrugs in a "what? It wasn't me" kind of way then it became too busy for recriminations. Cocytus, separated as he is, leaps into action. His piercing strike slices the skelly to pieces. Niknak moves into space, turns and launches his eldritch blast and vaporises the smelly. With a roar Davrok’s holy strike pounds another into dust and Ferath’s magic missile strikes home leaving no trace of his target. Adrick now enters the fray smashing his target to purses with his tide of iron. In an unusual display of confidence Aragwen unlimbers her mace, so seldom used that the price could still be seen on the handle.... Showing surprising ability the mace crashes home crushing the skelly to a pile of bone fragments.

The remaining skellies are, by now, close enough to fight back and launch their own attacks. The one closest Aragwen land a glancing blow, whilst the one near Cocytus manages to land a heavier blow against his side. Two larger skellies approach from the Eastern end towards, Cocytus, they are both larger and more heavily armoured and clearly a greater threat than the smaller skellies. Before the party can move to help Cocytus two smaller skellies leap from the caskets near Adrick and Davrok. Niknak destroys one with another eldritch blast and Davrok’s holy strike smashes the other one. Ferath moves into space and casts a cloud of flying daggers down towards the east past Cocytus into the space between the two larger skellies and three smaller. Instantly the three smaller are sliced to pieces. Adrick then steps up to the smelly that struck Aragwen and destroys it with his tide of iron. Aragwen decides that she will heal the foolish halfling thief, in spite of his living up to being Coc by name.... Her healing surge mends his injury and he turns to face the two larger skellies who are still lumbering through the cloud of flying daggers.

Both skellies near Adrick swing their longswords landing blows and he staggers under the blows. Two more skellies leap from the caskets near Davrok and two more near Ferath. Cocytus moves behind one of the advancing skelly and launches a reflex attack on the first. He hits but the skelly barely reacts. Niknak launches another eldritch blast against a skelly near Davrok and destroys it, Davrok swings at the other skelly but fails to land his blow.

Ferath launches magic missile at three skellies and destroys them all. Adrick pauses to cast a second wind and partially restored to health cleaves at the skellies that had struck him but manages only to land a glancing blow on them both.

Aragwen starts her incantation and casts turn undead against the skellies but misses and the skellies make a rasping noise that sounded suspiciously like laughter even though she still lands a glancing blow. Both the skellies attacking Adrick swing at him again with their longswords, he manages to dodge one but the other nicks his side.

Scrabbling sounds can be heard in the caskets near the cloud of flying daggers; two skellies emerge from the caskets but are instantly destroyed by the still whirling cloud. Two more skellies clamber out of the open caskets at the western end of the room. Cocytus backstabs the skelly he had previously struck and this time it collapses in a pile of decaying bones at his feet.

Niknak curses the two skelly warriors and his eldritch blast misses narrowly. Davrok moves forward to attack the newly emerged skellies. Ferath also moved to launch another cloud of flying daggers at the skellies and hits both of them. Adrick lands his tide of iron and manages to push it back. Aragwen casts sacred flame on the skelly Adrick attacked, hits it and her spell heals Adrick a little.

Two warriors emerge from the cloud of daggers, being hit by the whirling cloud of steel but shuffling forward regardless. The skelly near Adrick strikes a glancing blow, staggering him but he shrugs off the attack. At the same time two more skellies appear behind Davrok and he leaps off the coffin as two more appear. From across the room Coc throws a dagger at the warrior attacking Adrick and hit but the skelly fights on. NikNak casts an eldritch blast at the same skelly but misses. The chaos in the room continues as Davrok launches an attack at one of the new skellies but misses wildly. Ferath launches his faithful cloud of daggers at two of the newly emerged skellies and the charmed one attacking Adrick who in turn launches tide of iron at the same skelly but misses. Aragwen launches a lance of faith against the skelly but again the skelly escapes unhurt. In a change of fortune one of the skellies attacking Adrick finally crumbles under the cloud of daggers. Two others warriors charge Adrick; one misses but the other lands a blow. Two smaller skellies also leap to the attack, one swings at Niknak but misses the other also swings at Niknak, trips over his own feet, falls and lands on his own knife, fatally wounding himself. Another manages to land a glancing blow on Davrok. Two more rush forward towards NickNack and Davrok, one actually managing to hit NickNack and the other somehow missing the huge frame of Davrok. Still more skellies appear, 2 smaller at each end of the room. Coc manages to lstab a warrior from behind, the rumours are clearly true about him, as NickNack misses with his cast yet again. Davrok finalle manages to hit and kill one of the skellies attacking him. True to form Ferath manages to hit Davrok with his cloud of daggers, though it does at least also manage to kill two of the skellies attacking him. After burning through a healing surge Adrick tries tide of iron on a warrior but again misses. Aragwen finally manages to kill the injured warrior with a lance of faith. As the tide seems to turn two of the skellies shuffle into the cloud of daggers and disintegrate. Two of the remainig skellies decide to charge at Coc, one of them manages to land a blow whilst the warrior attacking Adrick manages to land yet another blow. Coc tumbles across the room landing behind the warrior and lands a massive blow, the warrior staggers but continues to fight. NickNack casts at him, it lands and the warrior is finally destroyed. Davrok advances to the two remaining skellies but misses his strike then ducks nervously as Ferath , standing on a casket, launches a cloud of daggers at them, it narrowly misses Davrok and manages to clear the room of the final two skellies. The party pause for breath, cautiously watching now quiet caskets, the room suddenly quiet. Coc now walks, cautiously this time, down the room to the raised area. He can see two alters, one to each side and as the rest of the party approach NickNack recognises the symbol of Behemat on the alters. Recognising the draconic writing on the alters Davrok examines them and discovers a secret opening containing n six platinum and silver dragon statues (worth 60gp each).

Bolstered by this valuable find the party move back to the original room to check they missed none of the zombies they had fought with.

As they look down the dimly lit corridor the party decide its best to send t Coc out in front, he duly creeps off and begins searching the nearest corridors , his careful searching pays off as he detects another trap, which Ferath clears with her WetWipe rune of trap erasion.

The party continue to advance, Coc clearing rooms as he goes forward. As they move toward the sound of moaning, Coc finding and deactivating two more runes of terror, the party come to another rune and, splitting left and right, burst into the room. With nothing in sight Coc peers round the corner of the room and, seeing a zombie decides to stab it..... He lands his blow but the zombie leans overand grabs hold of him. Davrok charges the zombie holding Coc,swings and misses , luckily for Coc he misses them both. Aragwen casts turn undead, hitting the three zombies there but slamming them and Coc, still firmly in the zombies grip, into the wall.. Adrick enters the fight but his first attack misses. Ferath casts his mag ic missiles on the zombie holding Coc, who winces wondering if he needs that sort of rescue, but Feraths aim is true and he hots and heavily wounds the zombie. Coc manages to wriggle free and stable the zombie, killing it in the progress. Davrok leaps forward landing a heavy blow on one zombie, and Aragwen also manages a glancing blow with a spell on it. Ferath finish the remaining zombie with more accurate magic missiles.

Near the entrance to the room NickNack detects a hidden door, Coc manages to open the door but the room inside has already been stripped bare of anything of value. This is the room where the the moaning is coming from. The room seems empty but NickNack detects an illusionary wall, clearly hiding the source of the noise. Adrick decides the best way to find out what is beyond the wall is to walk through it, so he does. To his dismay he is immediately faced with four zombies, he strikes one and continues to move forward but the zombies retaliate, three missing him but the fourth steps in and grabs him. Davrok, hearing the sounds of conflict, leaps through the wall to assist Adrick; he swings at a zombie but misses. Meanwhile the intellectually challenged and still putrid smelling Coc decides it’s not an illusionary wall after all and is busy wondering where his two fighters are in cased more zombies appear..... Aragwen possessed of more intelligence that the somewhat slow Coc, leaps through the illusionary wall but is immediately grabbed by a zombie. Niknak is not sure if the wall is real or not so decides to wait and see if anything else happens to explain where half their parties have gone whilst Ferath, who knows it’s a magic wall cannot see through it so also decides discretion is the better part of valor. Adrick tries to escape, fails and is slammed into the floor by the zombie for his trouble. A zombie attacks Davrok but in its haste only manages to injure itself. Coc finally manages to feel his way into the room, by closing his eyes and pretending there is no wall.... As he does Davrok swings at a zombie but fails to land the blow. Aragwen manages to break free and casts turn undead to slam all the zombies against the wall, stunning them, unfortunately this included Adrick, still in the zombies grasp. At this point Ferath casually steps through the wall, as Adrick staggers to his feet, casts second wind and still swaying launches a blow which misses. Coc steps into the attack and manages to land a blow. Davrok decides it’s time to finish the fight and with a deep breath blows forth his dragon breath. Sadly the methane fumes from Coc’s soiled undergarments ignite and sets both Coc and Aragwen alight. Aragwen, very unimpressed and smoldering slightly casts Pelors Radiance hitting both and killing one zombie whilst stunning the other. Niknak finally joins the fray and his bolt kills the stunned zombie. Ferath casts at one of the two remaining zombies and hits with Adrick following up and smashing it to a pulp only slightly less disgusting than Cocs trousers. The remaining zombie strikes Adrick and Coc hits and dazes it. Davrok steps up and smashes the zombie into a zombie shaped mural on the wall.

Silence descends......

In the room are two racks and a plaque with an inscription of a helm on. Coc detects magic on the plaque.

Chapter 4 - Coc By Name - The RevengeEdit

The party return to the altar room and head for the unopened door behind the raised platform. After thoroughly checking the door for traps and magic, having learnt from their previous experiences here, they open it and peer inside. All that is visible is a stone casket with an effigy on its lid of a human warrior in full armour, its hands clasping a longsword. Davrok walks forward cautiously and. opens the casket. As the lid moves aside it explodes and, with Davrok leaping back, a human skeleton clad in plate armour rises from the cloud of dust holding a longsword above. "The Rift must never be re-opened" it cries, "State your business or be prepared to die...."

He turns to NickNack, Aragwen, Davrok, Cocytus and Cocytus again, each time asking a different question to determine their worthiness. Finally he lowers his longsword.

This was indeed the infamous Sir Keegan that the party had heard about back in Winterhaven. He told the party that he had been the first commander of Shadowfell Keep and his charge was to ensure the rift stayed sealed so that Orcus's unholy powers would not return. Unfortunately the evil of the rift managed to corrupt Sir Keegan's thoughts and drove him mad. Sir Keegan became possessed and killed his family and several of his key captains, and as he realized the evilness of his actions he had fled to the crypts to live out his days in anguish.

When asked if there was anything the party could do, Sir Keegan replied that while he was beyond hope, the party could make use his long sword named Aecris to help fight the evil within the Keep. He also said, "Seek Bahamut's Boon on the altars outside and perhaps he too will grant you aid." The party took this to be the small dragon statues that they had found previously and had distributed to each party member.

With this last statement Sir Keegan handed the sword to Cocytus and lay down in the remnants of his coffin, resuming his quiet repose. Cocytus in turn hands the sword to Davrok.

The sword has a series of diamonds set into the flat of the blade and two large diamonds set into either side of the guard. The crossguard is shaped like a dragons outstretched wings and the pommel is fashioned with a roaring dragons head. The dragons head is shaped to resemble the platinum dragon Bahamut.

The party leaves the room and head back to the stairs leading down to the lower level that they had previously discovered near the excavation site

The stairs lead down into darkness, they seem to be burrowed caves, murkey with stalactites hanging from the ceiling. A faint skittering sound can be heard. Cocytus walks, slowly and carefully, down the stairs. As he reaches the bottom he cavern the floor is a mixture of rubble and loose dirt and it would be difficult to traverse. He moves to the right and slowly continues to, explore when suddenly something lands on his head! Instinctively he brushes it off only to see a huge rat, the size of a medium dog,land at his feet, turn and sink its teeth into his leg. He cries out on a mixture of pain and surprise. The party, hearing him , move down the stairs and into the room, just in time to witness Cocytus yank out a dagger and slash at the rat, narrowly missing himself and simply annoying the rat still further. Davrok steps up to grab the rat but Cocytus is jumping around so much that he misses his grab. Ferath decides overkill is the solution and launches a magic missile, stumbling on the loose floor surface as he casts, and the spell launches in the opposite direction striking high on the wall. Nicknack and Aragwen's looks of contempt fade as a dead rat falls to the ground from where the spell hit. Ferath looked smugly at them as if to say he meant to hit that rat.

Adrick steps up, draws back his axe and smashes it to a pulp adding to the many dark and unpleasant stains on Cocytus trousers.

Cocytus moves over to the left of the room to continue his explorations. He sees nothing obvious. Adrick, climbing, over the rubble mound in the corridor to the right feels a rat land on his head and it moves down to bite his ear.

Meanwhile Cocytus also decides to climb a mound of earth to get a better view. As he does so another rat lands on his head, he dislodges it and kills it by stamping on it. He picks it up and puts it in his pack. Cocytus, a dagger in each hand held over his head, explores further onto the room. Another rat falls from the roof, misses both daggers and bites him in the face. Cocytus shakes his head madly forcing the rat to let go. He stamps at it but misses and the.rat goes scampering off into the darkness.

As Adrick moves forward another rat drops onto his head, it runs down and bites his other ear. Yet again the party wince as he swings his axe at it, he hits again without removing his ear in the process. Another rat drops from the ceiling but Davrok spots it, swings and hits it in mid air, it hisses at him then runs at Adrick who stamps at it but misses and it runs off into the darkness.

Davrok asks if lighting the torches might be a sensible idea, general facepalm later the cavern is lit with the reddish glow of torches.

As the party move along the now brightly lit corridor another rat falls onto Feraths head. Nicknack tries to blast it off, misses the rat and narrowly misses decapitating Ferath as the bolt of energy hits the wall at head height. Ferath knocks the rat off his head and hits it in midair, breaking its back. Cocytus puts the dying, spasming rat into his ever growing trouser material collection bag.....

As they walk along the corridor they come to a door set into the righthand wall, a rat falls from the roof at Aragwen who kills it in midair. Ferath listens at the door, all is quiet so,the party move on, that room can,wait till later.

As Adrick leads the party forward a rat leaps at him, he kills it but a second hits him, grabs hold of his face, biting his nose. He launches a massive axe strike at his own nose. Unbelievably he splits the rat cleanly in two without marking his own face.

The party gather up as they near the end of the corridor. As Davrok leads the way into the room a rat leaps down at him. As it lands he grabs it and as the rat struggles it manages to bite itself fatally.

The party enter the room and hear a slithering sound and see an ochre coloured jelly like creature emerged from a corner on the far side of the room.

Davrok steps up and a jet of fire bursts from his mouth but misses the ooze. Adrick slams his axe into the creature but the is no visible change. Aragwen and Nicknack fire bolts of energy but both miss, as the creature attacks Davrock and Adrick but also misses.

Ferath hits the ooze from across the room but again it seems ineffectual as was the wildly thrown torch from Cocytus.

Davrok hits but nothing seems to harm the ooze and it continued its slow advance. Finally Nicknack hits the ooze with a bolt of fire, I'd quivers and some wispy smoke rises from it. The ooze slides forward and flows over Cocytus and Davrok.

Seeing this and calling out "don't worry, I know what I am doing...." Ferath fires a fire shroud burst at the ooze. Cocytus, seeing the fire burst over the ooze decides its time to get out so teleports, turns and throws a dagger.

While Davrok tries to fight his way out of the ooze Adrick launches a massive strike on it, misses wildly landing a huge blow on Davrok but, despite the injuries he inflicts it does slam Davrok out of the ooze. Adrick smiles, the ends justify the means he thinks to himself.....

NickNack decides to ramp things up a bit and his Eye Bite slams into the ooze which shrinks visibly. As he starts to smile he realises that he has also managed to split the ooze in half. One half promptly climbs back onto Davrok the other onto Adrick and Ferath. Ferath manages to back out of the ooze but the energy bolts launching from his fingers as he backs off narrowly miss the ooze, sadly Adrick couldn't say the same thing, or anything really as they slam into him instead.

Cocytus launches another dagger which lands and slowly sinks into the ooze as Davrok unleashes a judgement on it, under the huge strike the ooze visibly wilts.

Adrick, alternates trying to patch himself up with trying to hit the ooze he is standing in, the former more successfully than the latter.

Aragwen manages to hit an ooze with a spell which lights up the ooze enough for Adrick to see what he is aiming at and land a blow. As NickNack backs off to give himself some room another rat lands on his head as it bites him on the neck he rips it loose and throws it away.

Cocytus, rapidly running out of daggers, takes careful aim, throws and hit. Sadly he hits Davrok who is singularly unimpressed. Davrok moves out of the jelly, pulls out the dagger and slaps on a wad of cloth to staunch the bleeding then turns and angrily slams his sword into the ooze.

Aragwen also moves out of the ooze and sends a burst of energy into the ooze, destroying it completely.

The ooze Davrok just escaped from climbs back onto him and Davrok winces and tries to duck as he sees magic missiles leaping from Feraths hand and heading towards him. For once his fears were unfounded as Ferath’s aim is true, the missiles hitting the ooze on Davrok and destroying it.

Ferath decides its time to search for righteous loot but finds nothing remotely approaching righteous.

After a brief pause to patch themselves up the party move back down the corridor seeing a pit ahead. The pit is around 10ft deep and at its base lie the remains of a dead six legged creature and broken flagstone fragments. The party looks around themselves nervously as the hole in the floor is clearly a pit trap.

Ahead they can see ledges and holes in the wall where more of these creatures, Kruthik they suspect, can live.


Retracing their steps carefully the party backs out of the corridor and return to the large moss covered bronze doors. They can jut make out the words ‘Stay Out. Really....’

Deciding the message cannot possibly be meant for them they open the doors and look into the room. Fungus coated steps lead down, brackish water can be seen beyond a small platform and a small island covered in what appears to be bones and gold lies in the middle of the lake in the centre of the cave.

Cocytus notices what appears to be ripples on the water, suggesting something lurks beneath. Aragwen throws her torch onto the island and the party can see bones, small objects, potion bottles, coins, weapons and armour.

Ferath decides its time to show off a party trick and he conjures up a ghostly hand which he sends over to the island. It picks up a potion bottle and starts back. As it crosses over the the water a blue jelly creature explodes from the water. Ferath casts a spell to tell him what the creature is and announces to the party that its a blue slime with ooze tendrils. The party wonder if he used magic or just stated the obvious.

As the party back off Ferath sends a cloud of daggers onto the platform and shreds the tentacles that were approaching. As the creature pulls the remaining tentacles back it jets a putrid cloud of gas at the party which renders Ferath and Aragwen dazed and weakened. Clearly angered by the damaged tentacles the creature also fires acid droplets at Aragwen and Ferath, hitting both. Davrok and Adrick quickly drag both Ferath and Aragwen back from the platform. The creature sinks back under the water.

Ferath cautiously steps down onto the platform and again sends his magic hand over to the island, carefully picking up a bottle of some kind of potion. As the hand moved back towards the lake the creature bursts again from the water and the putrid stench engulfs Ferath injuring and stunning him.

Davrok leaps down onto the platform and breathes fire onto the huge slime, which, smouldering slightly otherwise completely ignores him. Not wanting to miss out on the fun Adrick joins Davrok on the platform and launches a massive strike with his axe and manages only to nearly remove his own arm. Blue tentacles reach out onto the platform, Adrick dodges one but another grabs Davrok and slams him to the ground.

NickNack, standing on the steps, begins chanting then throws his hands forward and a fist sized orb of dark energy accelerates towards the slime, orbiting it, imobilising it and damaging it as it does so.

Davrok lands two huge blows on the slime, rapidly followed by a massive blow from adrick and Cocytus following up close and stabbing the creature. NickNack summons a shaft of brilliant starlight which illumates the slime burning it where the light touches the creature. As the tide begins to turn Davrok lands another huge blow matched instantly by Adrick whilst Cocytus continues to stab away at the creatuer with his daggers.

The slime retaliates hitting Davrok, Adrick and Cocytus and leavign them weak and dazed and then moves forward, its tentacles reaching out to grab and injure Adrick.

Ferath casts a freezing cloud at the slime, slowing its movement but the slime still manages to slam Davrok with a tentacle. Aragwen casts a beacon of hope and healing surges through the battered party as the slime continues to slowly advance. Ferath manages to stun the creature, rendering it unconscious and seeing this Davrok lands another mighty blow. Adrick slams his shield into the slime and with a huge roar manages to physically puch the slime backwards, in the process freeing himself from its grasp. The noise this makes wakes Cocytus from his stupor.

Aragwen calls forth a burning column of light which engulfs the slime, its brilliance burns the creature to nothing and the party can finally rest.

Chapter 5 - Coc on a ropeEdit

Having rested, the party leave Shadowfell Keep and head back to Winterhaven. As they approach the town they notice that Winterhaven’s gates are closed. Several figures stand with weapons drawn on the parapet above. One of the figures, Lord Parrag, waves as you approach. He calls out, “We are in peril! Several villagers have disappeared, and the dead in the cemetery have risen. We fear these creatures will emerge to assail the gates and drag us all away.”  They are let into the town Lord Padrig tells the group that the undead have risen in the cemetery and the town are afraid they will soon be attacked. The party restock their dwindling supplies, Cocytus purchasing several sets of clothes and a pack of five adult nappies. Once all are ready the gates reopen and the heroes head out through the gates along the path to the graveyard.  As they arrive at the graveyard they are met by a 10 foot high spiked perimeter fence and matching 10 foot high gates. They can see rows of graves, some of which have clearly been disturbed.  There are three mausoleums, two smaller and a larger, set further back, which is illuminated in the gathering dusk, by a sickly blue glow. They walk along the perimeter towards the glow and see this is coming from a circle on the ground near the larger mausoleum’s entrance. They head back towards the gate.  Cocytus carefully checks the locked gate for traps and, finding none, soon picks the lock and the gates swing open. With Ferath’s staff glowing with Mage Light, Nicknack’s everlasting torch and the rest of the party carrying their more mundane torches alight the party cautiously walk towards the first mausoleum.  They reach the door, its locked, and all is quiet.  Cocytus carefully starts picking the lock.  As he does so the ground all around them explodes and 12 skellies erupt.  The closest of these are carrying longswords, those further back longbows or crossbows.   Ferath immediately casts Cloud of Daggers at a cluster of skellies near the perimeter wall to the east but the cast gives the skellies time to move back out of its way. The party all spread out and attack different targets, most missing in their haste to engage the skellies.  Cocytus does manage to strike and kill one skellie, as does a bolt of eldrich energy flung from Nicknack’s hand at a skellie near the larger mausoleum, which promptly disintegrates. The skellies begin attacking, an arrow from one hits Aragwen, a crossbow bolt from another hits Nicknack.  Two attack Davrok with their longswords but only one lands a blow.  One fires an arrow at Ferath but misses, another hits Davrok with a bolt from its crossbow and the remaining one also hits Aragwen with an arrow. Bursting up the steps of the large mausoleum come two large undead dogs the party are somewhat surprised to notice they have four legs each, most unusual.  Ferath recovers from the surprise of these four limbed undead dogs first and his cloud of daggers quickly covers the dogs and the area immediately in front of them. Adrick meanwhile slams his shield into the smelly nearest him slamming it firmly back into the afterlife in a cloud of bone fragments and Davrok similarly dispatches a skellie with a sweep his sword.

Adrick quickly heads off to intercept the dogs as they walk through the cloud of daggers.  He arrives just as they emerge and both dogs bite at him, one misses but the other hits, sinking its teeth into Adrick and knocking him to the ground as it climbs onto him.  Cocytus rushes to Adrick’s aid but in his haste his slashing blow misses it target.

Nicknack meanwhile calmly fires a blast of eldritch energy at a skellie who was raising his bow to fire at the prone Adrick.   As the spell hits the skellie it vanishes in a cloud of dust and the bow and unfired arrow tumble to the ground.  Meanwhile the unharassed skellies start to pepper the party with arrows and crossbow bolts, Adrick being hit by two bolts and Davrok by three arrows.

In the midst of the fighting things suddenly take an unexpected turn as the doors on the first mausoleum explode, the blast and splinters slamming into Ferath, slamming him to the ground.  Standing amongst the remains of the shattered doors in the entrance of the mausoleum is Ninaran the elven woman the party had spoken to in Winterhaven, her dark hair drawn back and her skin pale in the dusk light and a ruthless expression on her face.  She is armed with a longsword but that’s in its sheath, a longbow is in her hand and raises smoothly as she fires an arrow into the still prone figure of Ferath.  Aragwen, seeing Ferath’s plight snaps a lance of faith at Ninaran but misses.

Meanwhile Adrick, roaring throws the dog off and stands back up, draws back his axe and in a huge sweeping blow manages to sink the axe into Cocytus and himself, both stagger under the tremendous but sadly inaccurate blow.

Davrok, oblivious of the calamity occurring behind him steps up to Ninaran and slams his sword into her side, she rocks under the blow but drops her longbow and draws her longsword.

Adrick and Cocytus are having less success as each dog picks one of them and bites them, Adrick takes a particularly nasty bite to add to his mounting problems.  Cocytus manages to stab the dog seemingly intent on eating Adrick and then slams a cloth on the wound from Adrick’s axe to staunch the bleeding.

Nicknack places a curse on Ninaran and then calmly proceeds to hit her with a blast of magic.  Nicknak switching to attack Ninaran leaves a skellie time to fire a crossbow bolt at Adrick.  It slams home and gravely wounded Adrick passes out.

The skellies at the eastern end of the graveyard also take advantage of not being attacked of harassed and a hails of arrows fly through the air, two hitting Davrok and two Aragwen.

Ferath stirs, staggers to his feet and casts a sleeping spell on the dogs and the skellie near them, all collapse to the ground.  This brief lull allows Aragwen time to step closer to Adrick and, softly chanting a healing surge, a glow surrounds him and he stirs and rises slowly to his feet.  Gathering himself up he draws back his axe and slams it into one of the sleeping dogs who tries in vain to bite Adrick as it dies.

Davrok then slams a blow onto Ninaran and she staggers, collapsing to her knees.  Meanwhile Cocytus lands yet another blow on the remaining dog and Nicknack moves behind the first mausoleum to shelter from the archers.

With fewer of the party visible to them the remaining skellie archers they Ferath with three of them hitting him with their arrows.  One hits Davrok and another lands a blow on him with its longsword.  Ferath limps into the shelter of the first mausoleum

Ninaran, on her knees and seemingly beaten suddenly stirs and lands a slashing blow on Davrok.

The remaining dog, now awake tries to fight back but Cocytus lands a huge blow and the dog explodes an a cloud of decaying flesh.  Nicknack meanwhile decides to pick on someone who cant fight back and destroys the remaining sleeping skellie.

The remaining skellies now focus their attention on Davrok with four clustering round him and raining down blows, three manage to land their blows but one misses so badly it runs itself through…..   Ninaran takes advantage of the skellies attack to make a dash for freedom and runs past Davrok heading for the gate.  Davrok chases after her and strikes her a stunning blow and she collapses to the floor unconscious.

Nicknack destroys one of the remaining three skellies, now chasing after Davrok, two reach Davrok but only one lands a blow.  Ferath and Aragwen swiftly destroy both.

Finally able to pause and rest the party leave Cocytus to tie up Ninaran and search her (while they keep a very close eye on him and make him roll up his sleeves first)…

He finds 39 gold pieces on her and a vellum with “From the ground some magic is found” written on it.

Davrok throws the unconscious for of Ninaran over his shoulder and the party head back to Winterhaven.  As they approach the gates open and Lord Parrag greets them, ordering Ninaran taken away to the dungeon.

The next morning the company leave Winterhaven, having rested and eaten, and head for Shadowfeld Keep and arrive early afternoon.

Retracing their steps down through the keep they approach the Kuthrik Lair.  Slowly and  cautiously, having learnt from their previously rash approach, the party move forward checking with Cocytus in the lead, a rope tied round his waist for safety as he carefully checks the paving slabs for more pit traps.  Despite their caution Nicknack manages to step on an unchecked slab and falls 10ft to the pit below, Davrok reaches down and pulls Nicknack to the surface, bruised but with no major injuries other than to his pride.

As they reach the corner and peer round they see three Kuthrik younglings and an adult.  Davrok and Adrick move round the corner to face the four Kuthrik, a pile of coins now visible beyond the huge insects.

Ferath opens the fight by launching a spell straight into the ceiling, as an opening move it was singularly unimpressive.  Cocytus leans round the corner and throws a dagger at the adult and hits, the creature shows no sign of noticing the dagger sticking from its hard carapace. The Ault advances towards the party and flicks its back, sending poisonous spines at Davrok and Adrick.  They are both peppered with the spines and their movements become sluggish as the poison seeps into their bloodstream.  Two of the younglings advance towards Adrick and Davrok, one finding and falling into a pit trap in front of Davrok and the other launching a slashing attack on Adrick.

As Adrick and Cocytus engage the adult and younglings the company hear noises all around them in the tunnel walls.  From behind them, near Aragwen, five Kuthrik hatchlings emerge from the small tunnels bored into the walls, another hatchling emerges near Davrok.

Adrick tries to slam the youngling attacking into the open pit trap next to it but instead catches his shield on the wall..  Davrok slams the blade of his sword into the youngling fighting Adrick and Nicknak begins casting spells against the adult, still some way down the corridor.   Aragwen turns to confront the newly hatchlings near her and destroys one with her first spell.  Three of the remaining hatchlings advance on Aragwen.

The youngling in the pit jumps out and Davrok’s sword slams into it though it manages to slash at Adrick who promptly slams it back into the pit with his shield, Davrok somewhat rashly jumps down into the pit onto the youngling but realises jumping out for a dragonkin in full armour is somewhat problematic. Nicknack continues to attack the adult and his Dread Star hits, immobilising the creature.

Aragwen destroys another hatching and Ferath another hatchling when his cloud of daggers spreads over the adult, two younglings and a hatchling.  Cocytus dispatches another hatchling with a dagger strike and then deftly sidesteps the attack of another.

Down in the pit the youngling Davrok jumped down onto whips round and manages to bite him and above the youngling slashes at Adrick then vanishes into one of the many tunnels honeycombing the tunnel wall.  From along the corridor the adult flicks more poisoned spines at Adrick and Ferath.  Now peppered with spines Adrick slams his shield into a youngling, slamming it back into the cloud of daggers and Nicknack casts his Witchfire on the adult.

Still stuck in the pit the frustrated Davrok in a rage breathes fire at the youngling but merely singes his own armour.

Cocytus is somewhat more successful, dispatching yet another hatchling with a dagger strike.  The youngling re-emerges from the tunnel and attacks Cocytus, clawing at him.

The adult flicks poison spines towards Adrick and Nicknack and then scuttles back round the corner.  Nicknack turns and blasts the youngling attacking Cocytus.  Still in the pit Davrok resorts to punching the youngling.  Aragwen’s attempt to destroy a hatchling blows up in her face, singeing her clothes.  Ferath steps back and casts a fire shroud which sweeps over the three remaining younglings destroying them all.  Davrok clambers out of the pit looking somewhat embarrassed at his earlier reckless behaviour.

Adrick, seeing the adult escaping, charges after the adult and landing a blow on it as it retreats into the corner.  Nicknack, Davrok and Aragwen attack the adult all of them missing hopelessly.  Ferath and Cocytus manage to land their attacks but the adult turns and burrows into the tunnel wall.  Davrok lands another blow as the adult vanishes into the tunnel.  In desperation Cocytus teleports after it and tried to stab it, missing narrowly.  As the adult runs past Cocytus slashes out one last time, lands the blow and kills the adult.

The party reform near the pile of coins and search the chamber.  They find 47 gold pieces, 216 silver, a small chest with 5 amethyst gems (worth 50 gold pieces each), a goblin belt pouch (worth 12 gold pieces) and 2 potions of healing (regain 10 HP).


Chapter 6 - Flacidious CocytusEdit

The party arrives at the top of the stairs leading down to the next level of Shadowfell Keep.  As they descend they can see flickering torches, two large hobgoblins and behind them a well. As the room opens out they can see two smaller hobgoblins at the back of the room.

The larger hobgoblin on the left shouts “Someone tell Kalarel Nineran is slain” then they both draw their flails.  Coc takes the opportunity to throw a dagger at the pair but it sails between them and thuds into the roof of the well with a thud.

Davrok charges one of the hobgoblins but they meet with a crash but neither gives ground.  Nicknack moves down into the room to the left and blasts the larger hobgoblin on the left.  Both hobgoblins flail at Davrok, but only that on the left manages to land a blow with their unwieldy weapons

The party see two smaller hobgoblins at the back of the room turn and run out to the room at the back and towards a cage holding what appears to be a large spider.  At that moment a door to the right opens.

Ferath moves next to Coc and conjures a cloud of daggers over the hobgoblins by the well, the whirling, flashing blades ripping into both creatures.  Adrick moves forward, stopping just short of the maelstrom of whirling steel and slams his shield into the hobgoblin on the left and pushes it down into the well.  As Coc checks the corridor to the left he sees more hobgoblin soldiers armed with flails and grunts with swords advancing and from the door to the right another soldier appears. Davrok, still nose to nose with the hobgoblin soldier, slams his sword into it and Nicknack tries launches a blast at it but misses.

At the back of the room the grunts reach the cage, ignoring the hobgoblin fighting Davrok and landing a blow.  The hobgoblin grunt emerging from the door on the right attacks Aragwen and lands its blow.  Still more hobgoblin grunts and a soldier emerge from the left and two more grunts  enter from the right.  Ferath, seeing this new threat emerging on their left conjures another cloud of daggers on these, the grunt disintegrates adding a touch of colour to the the whirling cloud of death.

Adrick tries to slam the grunt nearest him into the well but it merely laughs at him.  Aragwen unlimbers her seldom used mace and swings at the hobgoblin that had attacked her, the mace slips from her fingers, she makes a mental note to wipe off the excess lube off the shaft next time…

Coc advances into the room towards the hobgoblins at the cage, throws a dagger at one which disintegrates.  Dav lands a blow on his hobgoblin and it staggers under the force.    Two grunts attack Coc, trying to stop him from getting to the grunt by the cage.  Coc ducks one blade and dodging the other.

The soldier near Aragwen, sniggering at her attempts to grasp the shaft of her mace, he slams his flail into her as the grunt facing Davrok also lands his blow.  With the skirmish underway the hobgoblin in the well decides its safe to try to climb out and starts climbing the rope.

The grunt in the cloud of daggers also moves out to intercept Coc but as it staggers clear its sweeping sword sings harmlessly past.  Ferath, seeing more and more hobgoblins trying to delay Coc, sends another cloud of daggers over them and two grunts disappear in a cloud of of flying hobgoblin which adds to the discomfort of the hobgoblin soldier the cloud is also hurting.  Aragwen launches a spell at the soldier, hitting him and a healing glow envelops Davrok, his wounds being to heal over.  Coc vanishes and appears behind one of the soldiers attacking him,  his daggers slicing the soldier nearly in two.

Davrok swings his broadsword as he steps forward but stumbles and slams it into his own leg.  Luckily for Davrok a blast of shadow energy from Nicknak strikes the soldier next to him and it disintegrates.  Meanwhile the solider in the well is busy trying to climb out but singularly fails to.

The soldier in the cloud of daggers runs through it and rushes to the cage.  Ferath tries to sleep the soldier but the spell misses.  Adrick also chases after it but  the soldier outdistances him.

Aragwens Lance of Faith stikes the soldier near Coc and Coc in turn  hits the soldier and dazes him.  Davrok, pulling the sword from where its wedged in the armour on his leg, stumbles forward but only manages to drive his sword into the wall.

Nicknak, with a smirk to himself, peers into the well and chuckling at the soldier struggling to climb out leans forward and, with a slash of his dagger, slices the rope the soldier was climbing up.

As the soldier near the cage moves forward Adrick catches up with him and lands a blow.  Davrok manages to pull the sword from the wall and as he staggers back he simply manages to wedge it in the ceiling.  Adrick meanwhile lands a blow on the dazed soldier.

Aragwen, shaking her head in disbelief over the bleeding, clumsy efforts of the dragonborn takes pity and another healing glow envelops him.   Seeing that Davrok has been little use for th epast few minutes Coc steps up to the dazed soldier and slams his daggers into it watching it  collapse to the ground in a heap.

Nicknak, standing by the well looks down and casually fires a blast of energy into the soldier standing looking puzzled at the coil of rope in its hands.  The blast hits and the soldier collapses to his knees.  Ferath looks down, grins and sends a blast of electricity down the well into the water, electrifying it and killing the soldier.

The remaining hobgoblin dashes past Adrick, Coc and Davrok.  They all lash out at it their weapons striking home and and the remains of the hobgoblin slides across the floor in several pieces.

All is quiet.


The party search the bodies and the adjacent barracks room, finding 10 gold pieces and 27 silver pieces.

Whilst the party have been searching Nicknak has been standing quietly thinking.  He tells the party to gather the bedding and the slats from the bunk bed.  Using the planks he carefully pushes the bedding through the bars of the cage, staying well out of reach of the spider.  Once its all inside the cage he throws a lit torch in the bedding and the resulting fire envelops the cage burning the spider to a crisp.

The party spend some time patching up their wounds and resting before they push on further into the underground passageways.  When all are fed and rested Coc moves off down the corridor, quietly, carefully checking and listening.  He comes to a door and all is quiet, he carefully opens it and hears a goblin voice cry out “We’re under attack” and as he looks in sees the goblin run off to the east.

The party move into the room with Coc and see doors off to the north, and to the east. Adrick moves forward and opens the door to the north.  He sees a corridor stretching away into the distance a hobgoblin solider is nearby, in the distance is a hobgoblin archer, a little closer is a hobgoblin warcaster.  Coc throws a dagger but misses.  Adrick steps forward into the corridor, a blast of shadow energy from Nicknak slamming into the soldier as he does so.  Davrok moves up to attack the soldier as Adrick slams it back a step using his shield.

The warcaster takes a step back and chanting quietly it raises its staff and lightning leaps from it and flashes across the gap, slamming into Adrick.  The archer follows suit and his arrow also slams into Adricks shoulder.

The noise from this skirmish, echoing round the room alerts more hobgoblins and the door to the east is pulled open and three hobgoblin grunts and a hobgoblin soldier charge out attacking Nicknak, one grunt lands his blow and the soldier also manages to land his sweeping attack with the unwieldy flail.

Coc turns and swiftly dispatches one grunt, Aragwen following suit on another.  Nicknak, deciding discretion is the better part of valour, disappears and a shadowy form appears further back into the room his hurriedly cast spell failing to find its target.

Davrok casts a healing spell on Adrick and then, roaring a dragonborn challenge, charges the warcaster and slams his attack home.  The warcasters force pulse knocks Davrok, Adrick and the hobgoblin soldier prone.  Two more grunts appear from the north but in their hurry to attack both fail to land their blows on the prone Davrok and Adrick though the archer slams another arrow into Adrick.

The soldier charges Aragwen and slams into her but the grunt fails to  press home its attack on Ferath.  Coc steps behind the soldier and stabs his daggers home and a beam of bright light streaks from Aragwen’s outstreatched hands and hits the soldier square in the chest.  Nicknak also sends a pulse of dark energy slamming into the soldier.

Meanwhile in the corridor Davrok slams a mighty blow into the warcaster who staggers under the force of it.  The warcaster attempts another force pulse but the blow has put him off balance and the pulse misses its targets, merely glancing off Davrok and Adrick though it hits the prone hobgoblin soldier inflicting more damage and the two unfortunate grunts take the full force, disintegrating as it strikes them both.  The archer switches target from Adrick to Davrok and an arrow slams into the paladin.

In the main room the grunt attacks Ferath whose shield simply disperses the energy of the blow.  Aragwen is not so lucky, with no magical shield the soldiers flail lands a solid blow across her shoulder.  Coc responds to the attack slamming his daggers into the soldiers back yet again.  As the soldier slumps dead to the floor Coc yells “without Coc none of us would be here!”

Aragwen moves up behind Davrok and casts beacon of hope on the archer, warcaster and soldier and Nicknack moves up alongside her.  As they do so Davrok sees an opening and his longsword flashes in an arc cutthing down across and through the warcaster whose body slides the floor in two pieces.

Ferath also moves up into the corridor and a stream of magic milliles leap from his outstreatched hand stiking the prone soldier who disintegrates under the barrage.  Whilst the remains of the soldier are still falling to the ground Adrick launches an attack on the archer, landing his blow.  The archer drops his bow on the ground and raises his hands pleadign for mercy.

The party search the remains of the fallen hobgoblin, finding 20 gold pieces and 34 silver pieces.  They interrogate the prisoner who simply says “Beware of the Blood Reavers”.  Davrok, refusing to let Coc slice theprisoner into small chunks, drags the cowering hobgoblin archer away and throws it into the cage withthe carred and still smouldering spider.  He slams the door shut, locking it and trowing the key into the far corner of the room.

As Coc moves forward along the coridoor a portcullis slams down in front of him.  Through the iron studded beams of the portcullis the party can see a big room with a large table, surrounded by chairs at its centre.  Behind the table they can see a large door set into the far wall.

Adrick and Davrok step forward and slow break their way through the portcullis.  As they advance towards the room they can see aq door to the east and the large door to the south.  The door to the east is thrown open and three hobgoblin soldiers burst into the room.  Coc leaps towards them and launches his attack, hitting one and Nicknak curses the soldier that has turned to attack Ferath.

One soldier manages to launch a counter attack on Coc and its flail slams down across Cocs chest and shoulder.  As the blow lands the large door to the north bursts open and four hobgoblin grunts emerge.

Two immediatly attack Ferath, landing their blows and one also manages to wound Aragwen.  Behind then a burly warchief attacks Nicknak.  Adrick, seeing Ferath under attack from two sides, launches a dizzing barrage of attacks, distracting the hobgoblin soldier Ferath, giving the mage a chance to move away.  Davrok also steps into the melee and slams a viscious blow at one of the soldiers who staggers under the  blow but doesnt fall.

Aragwen, turning to the grunt attacking her and a beam of light flashes from her hand and the grunt disintegrates.  Coc whips a dagger round and slams the handle into the head of a soldier who reels, dizzy and moving slowly clearly concussed.

Ferath, now having a little time to work his magic, launches a cloud of daggers which emerges on the three grunts near Aragwen.  The whirling cloud turns red briefly as the three grunts are reduced to bloody chunks of flesh and bone.  

The soldiers continue to strike at Coc and Adrick with their flails, bot managing to land their blows.  As the flail hits Coc the warchief moves forward and launches a huge sweeping blow which hits the unfortunate Coc.  He slumps bonelessly to the ground, unconscious.   Adrick, aware of this new threat redoubles his efforts on the soldiers, killing the stunned one and injuring the other.  Davrok moving forward to assist, lays a hand on Coc, healing energy surging into the flacid form, Coc stiffens and rises with a smile on his face……   Davrok then turns and slams his longsword into the soldier that Coc had been fighting.  

In a unexpected display of agility, Aragwen leaps onto the table but, far from launching into some form or provocative dance, she bends towards Coc and whispers into his ear, the party cannot hear what she said but he stiffens and he is suffused with a warm glow….. she then turns and launches a bolt of energy which slams into the warchief.

Ferath then moves to get sight of the warchief and missiles leap from his outstreatched hand streaking across the gap to slam into the warchief and Adrick continues to batter away at the soldiers increasign frantic defences which he manages to penetrate yet again leaving another bleeding wound on the soldiers midriff.

The warchief turns to face Aragwen, still perched on the table, leaps up onto it and slams a blow into her side.  Still fighting the soldiers Davrok blasts at them with his fiery dragon breat but the soldiers dodge the main blast and hide behind the protection of their shields, emerging unscathed.  Ferath, timing things nicely slams his magic missiles into one of the soldiers just as it emerges from the protection of its shield.  The other soldier manages a glancing blow on Davrok who shrugs this wound off and continues to press his own attack.

Aragwen responds to the unwanted attentions of the warchief and again a beam of light leaps from her hands, hammering into the warchief leaving him battered and bloodied.   Coc turns and moves behind the warchief and backstabs it.  His blade goes into the creatures back, pierces its kidney, heart and the force of the blow drives the point of the dagger to emerge through the creatures face.  It collapses onto the table, dead.

Ferath then redoubles his efforts on the, slamming more magic missiles into it.  Nicknak tries to assist but merely manages to narrowly avoid hitting Coc with his miss aimed spell.  Adrick and Davrok launch attack after attack but neither seem able to hit the frantically dodging soldiers who, more by luck than judgement, both manage to hit Adrick and Davrok.  Enraged Adrick smashes his opponant into two pieces and Davrok pummels his to the ground and Aragwen, with another beam of light, dispatches it.

As silence decends the party gather themseves, patch themsevles up and  search the room and the remains of the dead hobgoblins.  They find a total of 380 gold pieces a vicious short sword and most importantly, on the corpse of the warchief, crumpled papers showing details of a planned attack on Winterhaven by several hunderd undead and twenty hobgoblins……

Interlude - an interesting conversationEdit

DH map.JPG (444.7 KB)

DH there you go

BC fantastic use of MS Paint there ;)

DH indeed

DH best paint utilty in the world

DH sh*ts on photoshop

BC I would have thought this presented the best opportunity to get new chars in myself - but you’re the ref.

DH :P

BC I’m going to use that market before I go anywhere near another fight too.

DH yeah - i’m not sure that a village of 1000 would be the best place to introduce adrians barbarian

DH there’s tons of stuff in winterhaven as well

BC can we get up on the walls?

DH theres a shop called Bairwins Grand Shoppe as well

DH of course you can

GLANVILL, Adrian, GBM well if my char doesnt need to join tonight then i might skip the session and take the time to go find a minature and read up on how to play the beast

DH and a Smithy

BC Ade - we could still do with someone to play Adrik / Paela

BC *starts making a shopping list*

DH tom will be dm’ing the next session as well so will ned someone to play his dwarf

DH hint hint “a smithy”

BC anyone know any bikini models that like D&D ?

DH erm

DH not as such

Williams, Peter, GBM unfortunately I don’t know any bikini models, D&D playing or not :’(

BC well it was worth asking the question I feel

BC Darren, one of the items I want to see if we can get hold of is a Ritual book (or two, not sure if Pete needs one or not - according to the PH, he can record rituals in his spellbook, but definitely one for Anita). I’m not sure if Winterhaven’s description says whether or not we can buy any rituals to go *in* the  books too - so could you prep for me asking tonight pleasE?

Williams, Peter, GBM if I knew any bikini models i wouldn’t be playing D&D :-/

DH already done Bryan - i’ve actually been spending a lot more time reading up about this stuff as i realised we actually have a party of people who are genuinely interested in keeping this up

DH btw - Paela will not be joining the party this evening.  Before you entered Winterhaven Paela made her excuses and left - she did, however, tell you that she would be back

DH She has other plans

BC hahaha

BC rob us of our cool missile weapon character before a fight with someone wielding a longbow eh?

BC if I were a cynical man….

DH ;-)

DH who? me?

BC /me votes we just set the house on fire and burn it down round Ninaren

DH oh and by the way we’ll be doing something even more interesting with initiative - just a trial - but each encounter who ever rolls highest will go first, and then sequentially clockwise from there including the DM will go next

BC works for me

DH it will include initiative bonuses as well

BC \o/

DH Lord Padraig advises that he will not tolerate the destruction of property to root out Ninaren

BC just cos he didn’t think of it <sulk>

DH you’d be shooint yourself in the foot anyway

Williams, Peter, GBM neither will I as if we get her it belongs to us :-)

BC I’d considered that, but then thought - “Why would we hang around here?”

Williams, Peter, GBM I have a cunning plan too long to write about here

BC not again

Williams, Peter, GBM useful base

BC your last cunning plan was AWFUL

DH property large enough for the HoW and stables as wellWilliams, Peter, GBM :-P

DH Lord Padraig advises you to seek out Valthrun the Prescient in regards to rituals.  He is after all the villages sage and scholar.  He may also have some ritual books for sale.

UPILE, Jay, GBM @Bryan - that chick I pointed you at altho not a bikini model (and does more fetish and the odd hard core role) likes role playing 

BC I said D&D, not role playing ;)

BC I was *very* careful about that

BC Rituals we can perform at our level

Williams, Peter, GBM Darren, what doors and windows are there in this house?

BC and what’s the roof made of?

Williams, Peter, GBM any openings on the roof? skylights for instance

BC and does winterhaven have subterrean sewers?

BC plus - can I mark down that I’ve bought some leather armour *now* (so it goes on my sheet already, and the all the bonuses get taken into account), or do I need to wait till this evening?

DH not until after this encounter Bryan

DH One wooden door into the property with 4 1st floor windows - sashed.

DH No subteranean sewers

DH thatched roof

DH the stables form the back half of the property, with large wooden gates to the rear - bolted

BC not until after? Huh?

DH where did you get the leather armour?

BC from the market in winterhaven

DH the market is a food market

BC But there are other shops around winterhaven right?

DH Yes - Thair Coalstriker’s Smithy may have what you ned

DH need

BC A Smithy isn’t going to sell leather….

DH this one does

BC but that sounds more like I’d be getting a suit custom made

DH indeed

BC which I don’t really want

DH which will take a day to complete

DH you coudl try Bairwins Grand Shoppe 

BC I don’t want a masterwork, just a set of basic leather =/

DH Lord Padraig advises you that the Captain of the Winterhaven Regulars has been tasked to find you suitable leather armour - consider it a gift.

DH it will be of a military design

DH nad may be stained with blood

DH and*

BC which is way awesome of him, and I’m extremely grateful, but does it mean I can put it on my sheet yet? :)

DH yes

BC \o/

DH it does chafe a bit though

BC I’ll use some axle grease

DH what height are you?

DH you’re eladrin right?

BC No Human

BC and 6’1”

DH cool - armour was really designed for someone of 5’8” so dependent on length of time wearing you may get movement penalty

DH it chafes in the oddest of places

BC 5’8” ?!?! His guards are all midgetS?

BC Fine - I’ll wear it for the fight with Ninaren, and then get Coalstriker to make me a custom set.

DH not all of them - the one who gave up this armour (killed by Ninaren) was. if you’re lucky enough to get a ritual book later I would suggest not trying to master one whilst wearing this armour

BC let me know how much gold to knock off my sheet too

DH 40GP for a custom suit from TC.

BC what a rip, the char builder says 25  - you’re a MEAN DM.

DH will be ready tomorrow - any colour preference?  He has a tannery of course, but will be extra charge

BC Black

BC Black AS YOUR SOUL

DH Winterhaven is in the grip of poverty - extra 10GP for black

BC fair enough. I’ll even tip him another 5 cos I’m nice like that.

BC (and you’ll understand when you see the figure I bought…)

DH good man - Thair Coalstriker likes you.

DH tap him up in future if you need anything else.  Does a great line in Plate Armour

BC unlikely as it is that we’ll get a positive answer to this, it would be criminal to not ask - is there anywhere selling magic loot?

BC Warlock’s might look awesome in Plate, unforunately they can’t move.

DH You might be lucky at Bairwin’s

BC well if have time before we get rushed over to this fight, I’ll pop in there.

DH He occasionally has a few magic items for sale, along with some potions

BC oh goodie

BC Healing potions are most useful, but I’ll look at anything he’s got.

UPILE, Jay, GBM @Bryan - sorry back from my incident

DH He’s travelked far and wide has Winterhavens Bairwin

BC useful chap to know then

UPILE, Jay, GBM I know she loved playing In nomine, various D20 Games, Vampire (Vampire Dark Ages of course but she dressed up to that), we also used to play D&D 3 & 3.5 until the BF told her

UPILE, Jay, GBM "its the gaming or me"

UPILE, Jay, GBM he didnt seem to mind her alternative career - but no gaming with geeks and patchouli smelling goths is out of order

BC @Darren, actually, I’ll take a light shield from Thair too.

DH no problem. 15 GP.

DH not much call for those around here

UPILE, Jay, GBM Darren - you arent doing the let the pc’s think they are rich before taking all the money off them in living expenses thing are you ?

DH who? me?

DH i honestly have no idea what you’re talking about

UPILE, Jay, GBM i hope you are applying encumberance rules and making sure they are crossing the rations off for the travel

DH to be honest they’ve not done much traveling

DH but they will be

UPILE, Jay, GBM hope they buy a pack animal then

UPILE, Jay, GBM otherwise those two sets of armour will be heavy

BC what two sets?

DH it wasnt plate armour jay

DH it was leather

BC and I’m only keeping one.

UPILE, Jay, GBM two sets of leather will still be awkward to carry - you seen how flexible a leather cuirass is ?

BC *I’m only keeping one*

DH Bryan - Bairwin has pretty much everything off the Adventuring Gear list

BC so we can get at least one ritual book then?

DH yup

DH they’re expensive though

BC do we need one for Ferath too?

DH might be a good idea

BC even though the PH says explicitly he can use his spellbook for rituals too?

DH oh if he’s got a spellbook then fine

BC I bloody hope he has….

DH it’s buy one ritual book and get one free today in Bairwins

BC well I’ll wait to discuss purchase of this expensive item for Aragwen then with the rest of the party

DH they’re 200GP each

BC youch

BC definitely wait

DH here bert - he won’t haggle

BC that’s not the issue!

DH lol

DH won’t haggle?

DH 10 for that you must be mad

DH me with a poor dying grandmother

BC CMOTD

DH 14? - no, no, no you go to 11 now.

BC my mistake, that’s Monty init?

DH indeed

DH whats CMOTD?

BC "Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler"  from discworld

DH of course - i should have seen that

DH he also has a couple of healing potions for sale as well on top of the usual

BC and how much are they ?

DH same as the ritual books - but they are bogof as well

DH It’s the shipping and handling which has put the price up

BC 200GP, and I get 2 healing potions?

DH yup

BC Come on chief, pull the other one, it’s got bells on. Give me them for 100 and you have a deal. And that’s cutting me own throat.

DH your forgetting the Bandit Insurance as well - Winterhaven is pretty remote

DH the glassware itself comes all the way from Thunderspire Mountain

DH and thats a 5 day ride

DH food, general wear and tear on my cart

BC that’s ok, I’ve got a couple of empty flasks, you can keep the glassware. Use it for flowers.

DH i think 200GP is a fair market price for an out of the way village

BC come on mate - meet me halfway here at least.

DH alright i’ll come down to a little, but only because i like your face - 175GP

BC I’ve had a bath and EVERYTHING.

DH I do have to feed the horses

BC come on, 125 and I’ll get lynched by the rest of the party for being such a pushover

DH i couldn’t possibly go lower than 160 - it’s me grandmothers birthday next week and I did promise her a trip to Wraftons

BC What are you planning on buying her? The entire menu and a set of male whores for the evening? Crikey. 135.

DH I’ll thank you for not insulting my Grandmother.  I don’t have to sell this stuff you know.  We have adventurers coming in her every day looking for Potions of Healing this, and DragonSlayer Broadswords that.  160 is my final offer.

BC You just said you did have to sell this stuff on account of the bandit insurance. Come on. I’ll come up to 150 and not a penny more.

DH I may have a Potion of Hearing in here as well young man.  I did say that 160 was my final offer.  Had you been gracious about dear old Edna, I may have met you at 155, but not now.

BC *Cocytus whispering in the background : “Just pay the man, I know where he keeps the cash.”

BC Fine fine, 160.

DH A pleasure doing business with you kind sir.  Is there anything else I have which catches your eye?

BC I don’t know, I can’t see through the tears of pain that parting with that much cash for two potions has caused. Good day to you.

DH Good day to you sir.

BC I’m going to print this out to give to those who weren’t here. It made me laugh.

DH we could always role play it in the pub :-)

BC You mean take a copy each as a script? :)

DH yup

BC ok

Chapter 7 - Journey to ThunderspireEdit

The Heroes of Winterhaven leave their new base in the town to follow up the lead they got from the Bloodreavers. Thunder Spire was a two day walk from Winterhaven and as the first day on the journey drew to a close they came across a small walled town, the lights glittering through the gathering darkness and rain. As they drew near they could see a stone wall nearly 20 ft high circling the settlement with a taller stone keep to the rear and large wooden gates studded with metal marking the only visible entrance. The gates were open still but only a solitary sentry could be seen, sheltering as best he could from the light rain that still fell.

As the party drew near the guard stepped into the open and asked them their business. Nicknak replied that they were simply travelling the road and were seeking shelter for the night. The guard told them that the town was called Marchbrough and let them past, directing them to the inn on the square which, he said, had the most comfortable beds in town. The party bade him good night and headed to the inn, a modest two story structure called the Broken Snare. They entered and the landlord, a human, stepped out from behind the bar to greet them, introducing himself as Nameneeded. He told than that he had only three rooms available and that the evening meal was an excellent venison stew. After haggling with the landlord they managed to agree a price of 5 silver pieces per person for the room with a meal and tankard of beer each. As they settled down to eat they noticed a halforc sitting by himself in one corner of the inn. He seemed to be trying to attach a longbow to each shoulder before throwing them to the ground in disgust after they kept catching on his longswords. He then proceeded to set light to his Thieves Guild membership before sewing a Power Rangers badge to his sleeve with a faint look of self satisfaction. Meanwhile the landlord was standing at one end of the long wooden bar speaking to a cloaked figure in hushed tones. Ferath overheard the landlord arranging to meet them behind the inn at midnight.

Whilst the party were enjoying there meal and discussing their recent adventures a halfling entered the inn and after a while he wandered over to their table. He introduced himself as Scrote and asked them if they were staying long, where they were from and where they were headed. The party were cautious at this unexpectedly bold approach and even more so when he asked if they had found adventuring particularly lucrative. At that point Nicknak made a show of checking his pockets. They fobbed the halfling off with half facts and continued with their meal.

As it approached midnight the party made a show of heading to their rooms. Cocytus then crept silently down to await the arrival of the cloaked figure and the landlord. At midnight the rear door of the inn opened bathing the small yard at the rear of the inn in pale yellow light. Nameneeded, looking around the yard, emerged and from the shadows by the rear wall the cloaked finger stepped forwards carrying two dead rabbits. The two conversed quietly and briefly and the cloaked figure handed the rabbits to the innkeeper, turned and walked off into the darkness. Once the innkeeper had gone back inside and closed the door a small mound of rags shook and rose up to assume the form of Cocytus. With a sigh and a shake of his head at the waste of his time he silently crept back into the in and returned to the room he was sharing with Adrik without issue.

The next morning the party are awoken by Nicknak banging on their doors, the anger apparent on his face. During the night someone has broken into his room and stolen his magic sword. As they all walk down to the bar they see the halforc arguing with the landlord. In the night it seems he was also robbed. He had his lucky brown rabbit’s foot stolen, it was apparently a family heirloom though quite possibly not his family’s……

Nicknak walks up to the landlord and tells him of the theft of his sword. The landlord, confronted by two clearly dangerous and angry individuals, steers them in the direction of the Sheriff who has his office in a small shed to one side of the town square. Leaning over the lower half of the stable door that acts as a make do counter for the ramshackle office, the Sheriff explains to the halforc and Nicknak that the Lord of Marchborough has himself been subject to the theft of a magic item and that they should all discuss this with him.

The party head to the keep, accompanied by the Sherriff, to meet Lord March who listens patiently to their story before telling them about his own theft. He explained that he had had a number if items stolen though only one was of any real value. Nicknak asked if this item was magical, by any chance? Lord March looked up sharply and asked Nicknak how he knew. Nicknak assured him it was a mere suspicion based upon the fact that both thefts from the inn had been only of magical items. He then asked the Lord if he knew how the thief had gained entry into the keep. Lord March said there had been no sign of forced entry but that they thought it had been through a window that was set into one of the side walls. Cocytus wandered outside to take a look.

As he scouted around he noticed that there was a faint set of footprints in the ground beneath said window, as he looked closer he found a few small clumps of hair pressed into the indentation, sure sign of a halfling. He returned into the keep and explained what he had found then asked the Sherriff if the halfling they had met the previous evening really worked at the apothecary as he had claimed. The Sheriff confirmed that he did and that, moreover, he had arrived in the town shortly before the thefts had begun.

Lord March told the party that if they could solve the problem with the recent spate of thefts then they could keep any of the items they recovered, including his Magical Thimble of Pure Magic that allegedly darns socks, awesomely.

The party, accompanied by the Sheriff and the halforc head over to the apothecary. Cocytus moved round behind the building to make sure nobody tried to escape through the back door. As Nicknak opens the door and walks in, the shop bell rings and the halfling they met in the inn the previous night steps out from behind the counter to greet him. Nicknak bids him good morning and asks if they sell magical items, the halfling says they are an apothecary and that they sell no magical items. The halforc then steps up and asks if they have any healing potions, the halfling produces one and then negotiates a price with the halforc who buys one and places it in his pack.

Nicknak then steps close to the halfling and says “Alright sonny just admit it it was you what done it wasn’t it it was you you did it admit it tell us you did it we know you did it it’ll go easier for you if you just tell us you did it don’t try and tell me you didn’t I know you did everyone saw you everyone knows it was you what done it!” He finishes with a gadp.  Scrote looks at the glowering warlock and the anger clearly visible in his face. He quickly crumbles, any thought of resistance clearly futile with this dangerous looking party surrounding him. He confesses to being part of the band of halfling thieves, his job being to scout the town and to drop a note over the city walls to tell the thieves there were marks in town. The thieves would then come to the town and steal the items identified by him. He reluctantly agrees to drop a note telling the thieves to come in that night, and under the careful watch of the halforc and Nicknak duly does so.

As the afternoon turned to evening the party ventured outside to scout the area. They tried to look for tracks near the city wall to see where the thieves would climb up but, to their astonishment, apart from a field of cabbages, a muddy ditch, a large rock and two bushes, one natural one neatly trimmed, the whole area out to the road and the trees beyond had been paved and no tracks could be seen (DM's note: perhaps they just walked on the paved path?). The party spread out widely to cover all possible routes the thieves might take, some behind the rock, some behind the bushes, some in the ditch and even in its small drainage ditch and finally Nicknak on the ramparts staying hidden being the crenulations.

Around midnight the party hear the sound of hushed voices and soft footsteps over the  flagstones. As they wait the halflings walk quietly and carefully closer to the town and the ambush that awaits them. Everyone waits quietly and patiently as the thieves draw ever closer and as they approach the ditch Ferath stood up and swiftly cast a cloud of flying daggers which spreads out over all of the thieves. Adrik steps from his concealment behind the rock and hits three of the halflings with a huge sweeping blow of his axe. Coc moves behind them and stabs his dagger into the back of one of the surprised halflings, the tip of his blade emerging from its chest before it slumps to the ground dead. The halforc’s attack is less successful with both of his swinging sword blows being dodged. Coc, ripping his dagger free from the corpse, swiftly slams it into another halfling near him. The halforc, annoyed that his quarry avoided his attack swiftly slams both swords into an unfortunate halfling who slams a futile swing of his sword into the halforc in return.

The halfling standing near Adrik falls to the ground dead from the ongoing slashing attack of the cloud of daggers. The halfling reeling under the attack from Coc manages to slash a ragged cut in the rogue’s side. The wound looks bad and bleeds profusely but it’s only superficial. As the surprised and battered halflings begin to gather themselves and close formation they start to back away towards the road and the safety of the tree line beyond it. Paella, at this point, emerges from her hiding place amongst the trees near the road and kills a halfling, two arrows streaking from her bow, slamming into, through and out the chest of the surprised thief. Coc, pursuing one of the fleeing halflings, stabs it in the back and as blood streams down its back it continues trying to escape. Adrik cleaves both of the halflings near him but the glancing blow fails to kill them as does the halforc’s blow on one of them. In return the two halflings slash and hit the halforc and Adrik, both of whom feel the poison burning into the bodies through the latest wound. Nicknak fires an Eldritch Blast into the halfling attacking the halforc. Aragwen’s Lance of Faith hits the fleeing halfling near Coc and it tumbles to the ground unconscious while a magic missile from Ferath knocks the remaining halfling out.

The party search the bodies and find Nicknak’s magic sword but of the halforc’s magic brown rabbits foot there is no sign. Clearly unhappy he decides to think laterally. Now this clearly isn’t his a strongpoint for the halforc the party decide, as they watch him cut the foot of a halfling instead. He stands there looking at it and the size of it then discards it and takes a finger instead, attaching it to a piece of string before hanging it round his neck. Suddenly, a look of avarice upon his face, he goes round the corpses of the halflings and cuts of all their fingers before putting them carefully into a bag in his backpack.

On one of the bodies they also find 200 gold pieces, a map with a location marked that may lead them to whoever hired the halflings and the Thimble of Power with its amazing ability to darn socks, awesomely…..

They bind and gag the surviving halflings and force them to lead them to the place on the map where the person who hired them to steal the magic items for him is located. The halflings lead the party to a cliff face where they see a dark temple carved into the cliff and towering up above them. The front of the temple has a columned portico with large wooden doors studded and bound with metal. Above the columns is a frieze of a dragon devouring people.

Through the doors the party can hear chanting in a familiar language but not one that anyone can understand. Ferath, stepping to one side, begins a ritual, murmuring the words from a battered old book he pulled from his pack. The party wait to see what he is doing, after a awhile he stops, turns to the doors and after listening briefly tells the party that the voices inside the temple are speaking Draconic and that he can now understand them. He translates the chanting for the others: “Now my brothers, our preparations are complete. Come nightfall we will destroy Marchborough and with that power behind us we shall rule this land! Until then we shall sit in prayer to the great Tiamat”

Cocytus leans over to the halforc and tells him that the halfling finger dangling from his neck will protect him from dragons. The halforc looks at him quizzically but Cocytus maintains the bland, trustworthy expression he works so hard on. The halforc shrugs, and there being no sign of deceit, looks closely and smiles, happy that magic halfling finger of dragon warding is protecting him……..

They open the doors and enter the room with Doric columns stretching down both sides and benches placed between the columns. As they step across the threshold two humans and three halflings are revealed. At the far end of the room three dragonborn stand in front of what appears too be an altar with several minor magical items on its surface and fourth dragonborn standing behind it. Behind the fourth dragonborn a door can be seen. The halforc strides into the room and demands the return of his magic brown rabbit’s foot. The dragonborn by the altar looks up at him then cries out: - “We are not ready!”

With a crash like under the halforc is buffeted backwards as a white dragon appears in the space he had so recently occupied, a surprised expression on its face.

The halforc swings his swords wildly as he backs hurriedly away and then turns and runs back towards the party. Coc seeing the dragon wasn’t expecting to put in a personal appearance takes the opportunity to dash past it and Adrik simply unlimbers his mighty axe and steps up to the dragon which towers above him, after all the blessing of the DM will surely protect him…… He swings and somehow misses the dragon, quite a feat since it is considerably bigger than a barn door…

The whole party, with the exception of Adrik, who is looking in a confused manner at his axe and wondering if the excessive alcohol consumption of the previous night may be effecting his aim, move past the dragon to advance on the humans, halflings and dragonborn, drawing their various weapons as they do so. Paella is first to attack slamming both swords through a halfling, it was dead before it slumped to the floor. Adrik charges between the dragons legs and swings a mighty blow towards the remaining two halflings but again misses and demonstrates how drinking can clearly endanger your health. Coc teleports behind the dragonborn that is standing behind the alter and slices it with his dagger as the halforc also attacks it, charging across the room and leaping on the altar before driving his sword into the dragonborn’s shoulder. The dragonborn behind the altar disappears from its two assailants and reappears by the smaller door which it pulls open, dashes through and slams behind it. Even over the fighting the sound of bolts being slammed closed can be heard.

The dragon, now somewhat more aware of its surroundings, turns and encases Adrik in a block of ice then shrieks leaving everyone in the room stunned, except Coc who was far enough away to avoid the worst of the effect. The dragon looks around with distain and promptly vanishes. All is quiet and with everyone bar him stunned Coc walks casually up to one of the dragonborn and slams a dagger in its back. Blood pours from the wound but the dragonborn still lives. Aragwen, first to recover from the effects of the dragons cry, turns to Adrik who is still encased in the block of ice. With a sigh and a disapproving shake of her head she calls down a beam of holy fire, melting the ice and healing Adrick’s wounds.

Ferath, now recovered sends a blanket of flame over the two halflings and all that remains is the blackened corpses. Adrik sweeps his axe at the three dragonborn, hitting them all, prompting polite applause from Nicknak. Coc slams both daggers home on the dragonborn in front of him, killing it for which he too receives polite applause from Nicknak. Not to be outdone the halforc backflips and slashes into the side of the dragonborn near him as he lands then turns and slashes both longswords across it. The other dragonborn turns to Coc and its flail slams into him before he can dodge. Nicknak moves down the room a little and his eldritch blast screams across the room slamming into the dragonborn attacking Coc, it is lifted off its feet and slams into the altar unquestionably dead.

Aragwen calls down holy fire on the remaining dragonborn, the fires holy aura healing some of Adrick’s wounds. Paella delivers the coup de gras top the remaining dragonborn and silence descends on the room.

The halforc walks up to the bodies of the halfling and, bending down, removes the middle finger of one and replaces the one on the string round his neck with it. He then quickly removes all of the fingers from the halflings and places his gruesome collection into a bag he then stores in his pack. Whilst the parties’ search of the bodies has revealed nothing the halforc has walked back to where the dragon had stood and decided to erase it by pissing on it. Not satisfied with the result he then dropped his britches and proceeded to crap on it. He walked back to the party with a self satisfied expression. This quickly vanished as he heard that the small door was to strong for them to easily break through and that the only way past it may be through the grate and drain, above which the dragon had appeared, and where he had recently relieved himself.

Reluctantly he agreed to lift the grate and crawl through the tunnel which was unpleasant even before he had added to its fetid contents. As he reached the other end of the short tunnel he could see another grate above him and through it an octagonal room carved into then rock with a domed roof. Placing his feet carefully and resting his hands on the underside of the grate. With a roar he launches himself upwards, throwing the grate clear and leapt to the door quickly drawing back the bolts. As he steps aside to turn and face the dragonborn, who is standing behind a larger altar upon which is resting a small flaming metal rod, the party push the door open.

The dragonborn cries out something the party cannot understand and with that a black dragon appears in the centre of the room and moves towards the halforc and the now open door, as it advances the party feel tendrils of fear gripping them. The dragon stops, takes a deep breath and breathes out over Adrik who is standing in the doorway and the halforc, covering them in acid. Whilst Adrick retaliates, slicing his axe into the dragon the halforc dashes past it and leaps onto the altar, kicks the flaming rod across the room burning his foot in the process and slicing a sword across the dragonborn’s left arm before flipping backwards off of the altar to land in a crouch facing it. As he lands he hears a whispering sound by his left ear and looks up to see a dagger from Coc impale itself in the dragonborn’s left shoulder. Aragwen begins chanting a healing spell on Adrik but no sooner does she complete it than the dragon slashes at him with both claws and bites him on the right shoulder, though his armour deflects some of the damage.

The dragonborn sends an eldrich blast into the halforc who is pushed back but despite that he manages to land another blow on the warlock in return with one sword. Adrik, now more than a little angry with the dragon, roars a dwarvish battle cry and charges into it slamming the dragon with his shield and physically pushing it back a few feet. The dragonborn warlock, amazed to see the dragon slammed back by the dwarf, doesn’t notice Coc appear behind him until he feels the searing pain in his back as two daggers are slammed into him, as he reels forward the halforc sees his opportunity and also slashes at him, both swords leaving ragged wounds on his side.

The dragonborn vanishes, appearing near the left and side of the room and immediately launches a stream of molten fire at Coc searing his searing the clothes and the sleeve of his jacket where he had hurriedly thrown his arm up to protect his face. Seeing his comrade under attack Nicknak casts dreadstar on the dragon immobilising it, much to Coc’s relief.

Aragwen hits the dragon with a beam of holy light, its radiance healing some of Adrick’s minor wounds whilst Adrik follows up with a brutal strike, burying the axe deep in the dragons flank and the dragon reels, bleeding heavily from its wounds. Paella sends two arrows hurtling towards the dragon which bury themselves to the flights in the dragon’s chest just as a string of magic missiles launched by Ferath also slam into it.

The halforc, who has been advancing on the now immobilised warlock dashes behind it and plunges his special weapon into its arse then slashes its backside and rolls away to a safe distance. The dragonborn, Nicknaks spell now dissipating, moves closer to the wounded dragon, sending another fiery bolt slamming into the smouldering Coc. Coc chases after the warlock but his outstretched dagger strike falls short but the halforc sweeps both swords in circles, stepping in. As he steps back a large part of each of the dragonborn’s arms falls to the floor, slowly followed by its head and then, almost reluctantly, the remainder of the body slowly follows it to the floor.

Nicknak slams an eldritch blast into the wounded dragon and Aragwen’s blast of holy light finishes it of. Silence descends, well other than the faint slap, slap sound of Coc trying to put himself out. The halforc wanders over to the dragon and proceeds to cut its claws off to add to his gruesome collection of digits to sell. Aragwen finds a gold ring with a ruby set into it on the severed hand of the warlock. That should fetch them 200 gold pieces for their troubles. Nicknak has meanwhile picked up the metal rod, Ferath’s detect magic tell is them its a Rod of First Blood. With a smile Nicknak tucks it safely into his pouch then turns to watch the halforc finish stripping the dragon’s corpse of its scales and Aragwen healing Adrik and Coc.

Chapter 8 - Special DeliveryEdit

As the party head towards the Seven Pillared Hall Rendall tells the party that though there may be Bloodreavers in the Hall they will not be obvious. They operated out of the Chamber of Eyes which can be reached from passageways leading from the Hall. The lantern filled road they have been following opens into a large cavern filled with a soft purplish light. They can see huge rune-carved pillars disappearing into the shadows high above, giving support to the roof of the gigantic cave. Inside the cave are stone houses – some built out of the surrounding rock, others erected with stones and mortar on the cavern floor. Many of the buildings have globes of light hanging from the walls, giving off points of light against the endless darkness that otherwise would have swallowed the small community. They notice that the cave village is very much alive, and not some abandoned ruins – even though many of the houses definitely seem to be of some strange archaic architecture. On the streets they see a mix of races; humans of course, but also goblins, dwarves, duergars, drows, hobgoblins, and even some halflings. They see a waterfall emerging from the rock face halfway down the Hall to their left and flowing across the width of the Hall, three bridges crossing it. The one closest building, Rendall explained, was the Customs House. Around it were a number of people of various races, all staring in surprise and fear at the Minotaur standing before them. As they began to disperse they saw an ogre, Brugg Rendall told them, speaking with a hooded figure. Brugg looks up and sees the party and the Minotaur and his eyes widen. The hooded figure looks over in an interested manner. Brugg wanders over to speak to the party, acknowledging Rendall's greeting but his eyes never far from the Minotaur and asks them what their business is in the Seven Pillared Hall. Nicknack explains they are adventurers looking for work and that they had found Rendall and the Minotaur being held captive and freed them. Rendall confirmed this and told Brugg that they were his guests and would be staying with him at his family's Inn. Brugg told them bluntly that he was responsible for keeping the peace in the Hall and they had better get the Minotaur some clothes and to keep it and themselves out of trouble. Whilst Brugg was speaking to the party the cloaked figure slipped off into the shadows and disappeared. With Oloril's scant clothing being one of Brugg's many concerns the party head over to the Deep Gem Trading Company. This store has five armoured dwarves milling around outside guarding it. As the party approach they look at Oloril and back away, one peeling off to head inside. The party stop with Rendall, Oloril and Nicknack heading inside. Rendall, well known in the Hall, greets the proprietor Ulthand. Ulthand is, like everyone else in the Hall so far, surprised to see the huge Minotaur in his shop. Rendall greets him and explains that Oloril was robbed by the Bloodreavers and is in need of some equipment. Ulthand, a gleam in his eye at the thought of a quick profit steps up to the Minotaur, craning his head back to look at him. He asks what The Minotaur is looking for. Oloril asks if they have any hide armour and after a little thought Ulthand replies that though they have none in his size they can have a set customised and ready later that day for 40 gold pieces. Oloril then asks if they have any axes suitable for him. From the back of the shop a scraping noise can be heard. A dwarf appears from a storeroom dragging a huge two handed battleaxe, Oloril steps forward picking up the axe in one hand with ease, the dwarf dodging back nervously. Ulthand, relieved at shifting the enormous axe from his storeroom, sells it to Oloril for 50 gold pieces. Nicknack pays for the axe and leaves a 10gold piece deposit for the armour and they head out to join the rest of the party, much to the relief of the dwarven guards. Cocytus wanders into the now empty shop with Adrik and buys himself a bandolier of 20 shuriken, settling on a price of 10 gold pieces. Adrik asks Ulthand if he has any magical items, Ulthand pauses before replying then tells him to call back later. The party leave the Deep Gem Trading Company, the dwarven guards visibly relieved as they watch the Minotaur depart carrying the huge axe. As they head towards the trading post Rendall tells them it is owned and run by Dreskin the Provisioner. To the West he points out the Temple of Light and to the North West another building that looks a little like a trading post but doesn’t seem to be open for business. Due North an underground river opens into the hall high up in the wall and from it pours a waterfall which feeds the river that splits the hall in half. The party cross one of the three bridges that span the river and see a huge bronze Minotaur statue, on the floor surrounding the statue, a twenty-foot-diameter circle is etched with gleaming runes. Oloril explains that in the days of old, when this was still a Minotaur city, these bronze guardians were created by his people to maintain order and to help defend the city from aggressors. As they move on they hear a scream and an old halforc runs out of the Inn ahead being chased by a Halfling woman who is calling out "get him lads!". From the custom house they see Brugg and his two henchman start running to head off the halforc. As the halforc passes the middle bridge there is a flash of light on the pentagram and at its heart appears what looks to be the cloaked figure they had seen earlier but wearing a gold mask in the stylised design of a face. The figure raises its staff and a golden beam of light leaps from its tip, flashes across the gap to the old halforc and slams into its back leaving nothing more than an expanding cloud of dust. Drawing to a sharp stop they hear the Halfling woman sat, "Shit, that was my best pewter tankard!" Brugg stops, shrugs and turns back to the custom house with his men. The Halfling woman notices Rendall and runs over hugging him fiercely. She eventually pulls back and asks him where he has been. Rendall introduces the party to Erra Halfmoon, his mother, and explains how he had been captured and rescued and she quickly invites them back to the inn as her guests. Nicknack thanks her and says they will be along shortly after they have visited the outfitters. They take their leave and head over to Dreskin, Coc asking Rendall about the masked figure as they walk. Rendall won’t discuss the figure but does say "Justice is swift and merciless and the Mages of Saran don't suffer fools in the Seven Pillared Halls". They arrive at Dreskin’s Outfitters and enter through the open door. A little, rotund man behind the counter drops to his knees on seeing Oloril saying "Oh my God, I haven't seen one of you for ages!” Oloril bids the man to rise to his feet and Rendall introduce the party to Dreskin. As they discuss their needs Rendall suggests they purchase additional sunrods. Oloril also picks up an extra ever burning torch and a climbers kit. As the party are browsing Dreskin’s wares Coc asks him if he knows of anyone with any work that they need doing in the Labyrinth. Dreskin replies that he isn’t aware of any but he does know that a Ulthand had a party of workers that was decimated in there. Coc thanks him and asks if he has any mules for sale. Dreskin suggests they seek out Bersk the Muleright as the best source for them. Rendall suggests a couple of the party accompany him back the Deep Gem to collect Oloril's armour. Oloril and Nicknack agree and the three walk back over whilst the rest of the party pick up their purchases and head to the Halfmoon Inn. The dwarven guards, again nervously clutching their weapons as the towering Minotaur approach the store, step aside to let him past and the trio enter the store. Ulthand greets them and calls his assistants to bring out the armour, in a number of trips due to the size and weight of it! Oloril checks each piece as he dons it and compliments Ulthand on the finish of the red hide armour and confirms the fit is good. Nicknack asks Ulthand if he has any pewter tankards in stock and then proceeds to select the finest from those he is offered. Nicknack then asks Ulthand if he know of any work they could assist with. Ulthand tells them about loosing one of his mining teams, kindred dwarves, but the loss of the party caused him less pain than the loss of his pet dire boar, called Bob, that they had taken with them. He had had Bob from a piglet and they had taken it with them as a guard. When the remains of the party had been found Bob was nowhere to be seen and he would pay 100 gold pieces for information about Bobs whereabouts or for his safe return. Ulthand also said the information he had managed to glean suggested the Gnolls had been responsible for the death of the dwarves and the loss of Bob. Thanking Ulthand for the items and promising to let him know if they learnt anything about Bob they took their leave and the trio headed back to the inn, much to the relief of the dwarven guards. They reach the inn to receive a warm welcome from Erra who has already offered the party individual rooms and has reserved her best table for the party. Nicknack presents the pewter tankard to Erra who is touched and pleased by the thoughtful gift. The party settle at the table with Rendall and Erra and they start to recount the story of the fight that resulted in the release of both Rendall and Oloril. As they get about three quarters of the way through a hooded figure enters the inn and walks to their table they eye the figure, its robes suggesting it might be a mage or warlock. As it reaches their table it draws back its hood to reveal a severe male human face topped with black hair and looking to be around 30 years old. He introduces himself as Orontor, one of the Mages of Saruun Khel. Orontor acknowledges the gift from the party to Erra that they had been polite and had kept themselves out of trouble. He also commented that they had a reputation for good behaviour and good deeds that he was aware of and that he had a deal they may wish to consider. Erra offers them a side room to discuss things further where they may have more privacy than they would otherwise have in her bar. Once they have settled the side room Orontor tells them he is concerned for one of the three mages, called Paldemar. He asks them, specifically; to be mindful for any information they might be able to find out about him and tells them that Paldemar has been missing for some time. Nicknack asks what Paldemar has done to concern him but Orontor will not disclose any further information other than to tell them that he currently has to keep the peace by himself. The mask serves to hide his appearance whilst the other two mages are unavailable. Orontor offers one piece of advice, he says "treat the duergar as allies but do not disclose any information to them". With that he bids them goodnight and leaves the inn. Rendall offers to lead the party to the party to the start of the passage leading to the Chamber of Eyes but suggests they eat, drink and rest tonight and to start in the morning, explaining that the lights were dimmed in the Hall to preserve some sense of day and night for those people who lived permanently underground. The party agree and return to their table in the bar where they eat, drink and enjoy Erra's hospitality before heading to their rooms for the night. The next day Rendall is up early and when the party leave the inn having enjoyed a hearty breakfast, courtesy of Erra, they see him waiting outside with a mule and extra rations that he has arranged for them and they leave the Hall through a door carved in the shape of a dragon with an orb carved in its claw. It opens into a passageway and the follow Rendall out of the Hall, the door closing silently behind them. After an hour of travelling through the twisting turning passageways they emerge into a large chamber. Rendall stops and asks the party to sit and rest while he tells them more about the labyrinth. He tells them that the Chamber of Eyes was created as a temple to Torog by Saruun Khel. The Bloodreaver Hobgoblins have taken over the abandoned temple ruins and now use it as a headquarters. He then leads the party to the entrance to the chamber, as they turn left into the North entrance they see five dwarven runes carved into the wall and a short flight of steps leading up to a door. Coc opens the door carefully and, creaking slightly on its hinges, it opens into an antechamber which is deserted. The room is rectangular, the ceiling around 25 feet above them. At the far end they can see a balcony with a door set into the wall at the right hand end. In the centre of the wall to the right is a door, flanked by statues of winged daemons it features a lintel carved with five staring eyes and the door itself shows an image of a great eye with multiple eye stalks. The party tie the reins of the mule some way back down the tunnel where any noise it makes won’t alert the Bloodreavers to their presence and then quietly head towards the door. Oloril can hear high pitched voices and a scraping sound behind the door. Nicknack leans closer and hears "Keep quiet, Krand will hear us". As he looks through a gap in the door frame he can se two heavily armed hobgoblins with battleaxes and small hand held crossbows hung a across their backs. The party move back from the door and head towards the balcony. Coc climbs silently up onto the balcony and then lowers a rope. After some initial problems the rest of the party finally manage to climb up and join him. Coc checks the small door leading off of the balcony; it is unlocked and opens onto a passageway ahead and a small room to the right. In the room are five beds and a table with accompanying benches in the centre. At the foot of the short flight of stairs leading down to the room stands a hobgoblin, its back to Coc. Another can be seen in the far corner of the room and the hulking figure of a bugbear, squatting on its haunches, asleep near the centre of the room is its final occupant. Coc surmises that the two other hobgoblins they heard are out in the corridor through the doorway visible in the far corner of the room. Coc leaps down the stairs slamming his sword and dagger into the sleeping bugbear, as it wakes he moves behind it and Adrik runs into the room but misses his hurried attack. Ferath, from the top of the stairs, conjures a cloud of daggers which descends on the bugbear and hobgoblin in the far doorway. Paella, standing behind Ferath, launches two arrows which streak across the short distance to the bugbear and slam deeply into its back. As it stands Oloril leaps down the stairs, drawing back the greataxe and as he lands he swings it round and clean through the bugbear which screams in pain even as it dies. Aragwen casts sacred flame on the hobgoblin at the foot of the stairs it strikes home. Nicknack’s eldritch blast slams into the same unfortunate hobgoblin who staggers under its impact, his next spell drives it to its knees and Aragwen finishes it off with another sacred flame. Paella, still at the top of the stairs fires two arrows at the hobgoblin in the far doorway, one of which finds its target. Oloril and Adrik move towards the remaining hobgoblin and both rain blows on it, then a shuriken flies through the air between them and the hobgoblins head explodes, the shuriken carries on through the remains of the head and buries itself into a door on the far side of the corridor. The two hobgoblins in the corridor look at each other and run away turning left and slamming a door shut behind themselves. The party check the room and in the remains of the bugbear they find a Belt of Sacrifice, which they give to Adrik. Coc walks down the short corridor that led from the balcony door. He finds his way blocked by a sturdy locked wooden door. Looking through the gap at the bottom of the door he can see two dark dwarves chatting and discussing two of their colleagues who just ran through the room screaming like girls. Coc stands up and quietly walks back to the now waiting party to tell them what he has seen and heard. While they discuss what to do next Oloril wanders up to the door, sizes it up, draws back his arm and pounds on the door three times yelling out loudly "Delivery for Krand!" The party stop and stare in stunned silence. Through the door they can hear puzzled voices saying: - "Were you expecting a delivery for Krand?" "I wasn’t expecting a delivery for Krand" Then "What sort of delivery?" Nicknack steps up and replies "A parcel" Coc is quietly picking the lock while the questions pass back and forth and, his work done, now steps clear of the door. "What kind of parcel?" calls out one of the dark dwarves "Confidential" he replies. They hear one of the dwarves approach the door and the jangle of his key as he prepares to unlock the door. Oloril steps close the slams the door open into the dwarf, leaving it stunned and pinned it between the door and the wall. Nicknack yells out, "Next time open the door!" The other duergar, shocked at what just happened can only say timidly "So where's the parcel?" Nicknack doesn't bother to reply he simply flings an eldritch blast at the duergar which narrowly misses. The duergar looks at his companion stunned and pinned behind the door which is being held in place by a Minotaur, the blackened wall beside him and turns and runs down the corridor behind him screaming "There is a delivery!"

Coc moves round to the side of the door still pinning the stunned duergar to the wall and slashes at it with his sword. Paella runs into the room just as two hobgoblins run through a door in the distance and slam it shut behind them. She takes aim the duergar they can still see running down the corridor and fires two arrows. One beds itself harmlessly in the roof of the corridor but the other slams into the fleeing duergar’s back; it stumbles, bouncing into the wall but stumbles onwards. Oloril, meanwhile, releases the door, steps back and lands an almighty kick on it further battering the stunned duergar still pinned there. Aragwen hits the distant duergar with her daunting light, it shrieks out “it’s a parcel, a parcel of death!” Sadly it called out in Duergar which most of the party didn’t understand. The party hear a commotion ahead, from behind a door to the left a little way down the corridor. At the end of the corridor a door opens and from it emerges the two hobgoblins that had fled their post guarding the inside of the main door and with them is a hobgoblin warchief. Nicknack sends an eldritch blast after the still fleeing duergar but misses. Having had more than enough the duergar yanks open a door on the left hand side of the corridor and dives inside, slamming it closed behind him. The first door on the left now opens it and from it emerges a medium sized hobgoblin carrying an elaborately carved quarterstaff. He sees Paella, lowers the quarterstaff and fires and lightning bolt from it, striking her in the chest and stunning her. The hobgoblin, carrying what they now know to be a shock staff, backs off to the right down the corridor till he reaches a corner then stops. The warchief, who must be Krand, harries the two hobgoblins towards the party, the first swings at the stunned Paella and somehow misses her immobile form…… The second swings his battleaxe at Nicknack and nicks him and the warlock tries to dodge the sweeping blow. Cocytus throws a shuriken at the hobgoblin attacking Paella and sees it thud home and leaving a gaping wound were it hits. Adrik engages the hobgoblin attacking Nicknack, allowing the warlock to back off out of melee range. Ferath, standing back from the party has meanwhile been murmuring an incantation and a blanket of magical fire sweeps the room burning only their foes. The two hobgoblins shriek in agony. Oloril, still by the door, draws it back once more and slams it one final time into the battered remains of the duergar. The handle goes through the hobgoblins head and embeds itself in the wall behind it. All that remains is a duergar shaped pattern on the wall behind the door. Aragwen calls down a beam of light, searing the hobgoblin; its healing glow envelops the adjacent Paella. Nicknack, now safely out of melee range, fires an eldritch blast at the hobgoblin that had attacked him and sees his spell hit home disintegrating its target. From behind the party the doors open and Aragwen turns to see a Direwolf emerge. Seeing the Minotaur turning to face him the remaining hobgoblin swings his axe at Oloril and runs from the room back down the corridor towards Krand, who also turns to run back down the corridor to the right. Coc seeing this phase steps, appearing behind Krand and tries to stab him. Krand manages to dodge the initial attack but Coc lashes out again and hits, slowing Krand. Adrik moves to face the oncoming Direwolf which it squeezing itself into the narrow corridor. Ferath tries to cast a sleeping spell on the Direwolf but misses and Paella similarly misses her shots, still recovering from the effects of the hobgoblin shock staff. Oloril charges down the corridor at Krand yelling “Special Delivery!” as he slams his greataxe into the fleeing warchief. Aragwen, in preparation for the upcoming fight, casts lance of faith on the Direwolf, her spell landing home and its radiance boosting Adrik’s health as he calmly waits to launch his attack. To be continued……

Chapter  9- Enter The Duergar (I mean Orcs)Edit

<Adrian Needs to Provide the LORE - can't find an ecopy>


Chapter ?? - The End of Maldrick ScarmakerEdit

As the last dying breath of Maldrick Scarmaker leaves his contorted lips, peace descends in the Inner Sanctum. Only the bubbling of the cauldrons and the harsh crying of the last surviving slave can be heard.

You search the dead body of the Gnoll and as well as the Elven Cloak, in a small bag hanging from his belt you find a small silver key and a series of letters from Paldemar. In these letters, Paldemar promises Maldrick an alliance. Using a variety of demonic items uncovered in the Well of Demons, Paldemar has slowly gathered the power he seeks. He wishes to topple the Mages of Saruun and spread his influence beyond the mountain. Over the period of the last few months he has gained great knowledge and lordship over a hidden stronghold dedicated to Vecna – The Tower Of Mysteries.

As one of you picks up the key, you gain a clear vision of a secret tunnel north of the Seven Pillared Hall.

As you perform a more thorough search of the Inner Sanctum, you notice a flagstone is cracked under the altar, and upon lifting the stone you come across a wooden box, about a foot square. It is locked…

Adrik and Nick Nack look at each other. "Shall we open it?" the dwarf enquires. "Check for traps first" patronises the Warlock.

"Don't see none" grumbles the dwarf looking at the lock. He yanks at the lock in a half-hearted way, surprised at it not coming off in his hands. As his hands fall from the lock, the dwarf hears a faint click, and a whir.

"Erm?!" whispers Adrik, trying to move away from the box as quickly as he can.

"Hit it with your axe, shorty" suggests the Warlock, as he backs away from the dwarf, a small furrow of worry crossing his face.

"I think it's too.." A small dart flashes from the left hand side of the lock and hits Adrik in the cheek. "Ow! That hurt! Shit! What the fuck!" The dwarf pries the dart from his face, and notices a clear salve daubed over the dart head. "Oh Shit!" He rubs the affected area, but notices no pain. In fact he notices no difference to himself other than a small tiny pin prick above his beard.

"Don't worry about it dwarf. Shouldn't we let someone with actual thievery in their blood to have a go?" He turns to to Kriv to suggest the Cleric have a go, but just as he does, the lock clicks open.

The Warlock rushes and opens the wooden box. Inside, nestling inside a blanket of blood red velvet, are an orb of grey crystal ( it appears to be a sphere of solid mist), and by its side on a chain of gold, is a dark blue amulet with a crimson centre.

Nick Nack whispers to himself, passing his hands over the items. Finally he identifies the objects as a +2 Orb of Inevitable Continuance, and a +2 Amulet of False Life.

The dwarf looks over the shoulder of the Warlock. "Just those two items for a prick in my face? Dear god, when will I learn?"

Chapter ? - Something or other (still waiting for the other write ups)Edit

The Alternative Heroic Adventures of Mighty Pellinor

(and some other people)

“Muddy or clear? Muddy or clear?” sang Pellinor as the party shouldered a further burden of deciding which way to go in the dank tunnels.  The two tunnels stretched out into darkness ahead of them the two streams of water were flowing towards them, one clear, one muddy. 

Logic prevailed as the party thought long and hard.  Muddy was the clear winner.

“Come on then.  Time to get out of here” Kriv shouldered his mace, and lumbered off into the tunnel.  The rest of the party followed his lead, and slipped after the clanking cleric. “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Almost immediately the tunnel began sloping upwards, with a number of twists and turns, the stream darting from one side of the tunnel to the other, and back again. At various stages the party halted to listen ahead, but no sounds, apart from the party breathing, and the occasional cow fart, disturbed the gloom.

Kriv rounded another bend, his mace clenched tightly in his hand.  Without warning a large cube of jelly ensconced him, with a sound you only hear at children’s birthday parties.

Maros was the quickest to react, as a second Gelatinous Cube struck.  He struck both wobbly masses with his long swords, slicing into the two membranes, but causing only visible damage to the one surrounding Kriv.  The battle was met. 

The bard, struggling with the fact that these fearsome foes had no ears, failed at his attempts to distract, but Oloril had no such compunction.  He hit them both.  Hard.

The melee continued with Kriv, still consumed, but bravely struggling to extricate himself, whilst Maros and Oloril pounded on the gelatinous foes.

The ranged party members assisted where they could, but in a cruel twist of fate (some would say evil) a further blob of darkness added itself to the war.  A creature, heard only of in tales, dropped from the ceiling and engulfed both the bard and the warlock.  Nick Nack immediately teleported, and struck out at the Black Pudding, his wayward attack striking only the wall of the tunnel, narrowly missing Paella.

“By the gods, Warlock.  Be careful!” she screamed, launching Prime Shot at the dark creature.  The arrow carved gracefully into the dank foe, but as it sliced into the creature, it slew off small tentacle like appendages which moved of their own volition, and began to move towards other party members.

“And you, Halfling” the surly warlock retorted, “Now we have more to kill!”

The battle raged for some time with blow upon blow being dealt by both sides.  Pellinor, at one point, nearly fell to the crushing attack of the Black Pudding, his breath labouring at every pull.  His fate was saved by Kriv, who, having managed to break himself free of the original cube after it died to a Sweeping Whirlwind from Maros, crushed the Black Pudding with Healing Strike and restored the bard to full strength.

Within minutes the remaining cube and dark twisting tentacles were dispatched to the dark hell from whence they came.  The last tiny Black Pudding destroyed by the bard chanting “I’ve seen bigger little fingers!”.

Silence returned.

“Nasty business” muttered Nick Nack, wiping black pudding off his cloak. “Would it be too much to ask to fight something that bleeds?”

“Or doesn’t drop out of the bastard ceiling?” agreed Kriv, his lizard snout gesturing upwards.

The party trudged on.

A few hours later, the faint sound of combat could be heard ahead of them.  The Heroes of Winterhaven cautiously approached, weapons bared.

As they rounded the corner to get a clearer view of the situation, the combat ceased immediately.  Ahead of the party were a group of strange spiderlike creatures.  They were each nursing minor wounds and looking up at the ceiling of the chamber, when the party appeared.

The foremost creature, greeted the party, introducing himself as Boris.

“Well met adventurers” he welcomed in guttural Common. “What do we have here then?  Not seen the likes of you around these parts before?”

Still wary of the creatures before them, the bard approached cautiously.  In a strangely disquieting sing/song voice, he spoke calmly to the creatures.

“Well, well, well.  My dear old friend, Boris.  How the devil have you been?” Pellinor smiled a deep trusting smile, and the spiderlike hominoids before them visibly relaxed as the bards Word of Friendship washed over them.

At the bards request, the creatures explained that they had been in mid combat with some fearsome black horrors, but that they had disappeared at the sound of the party approach.  They continued to explain to Pellinor, that they were known as Chitine, and that they were on a hunting trip.

Suddenly, deep from the half-orcs throat, a strange guttural curse exploded into the air.  “Drow filth!”.  Swinging wildly with his glittering long swords, he leapt at Boris.  The Chitine drew back, fear spreading across his face.  He tried desperately to raise his short sword up to defend himself, but the ferocity of the attack left him unable to deal with the accuracy of the blows.  His head fell from his shoulders, and arterial blood arced over the chamber. 

“You daft bastard, Maros!” screamed the bard. “I had them all!”

Maros whirled on the next closest Chitine.  “Die! Spawn of Lolth!” A strange gleam of hideous anger fell across the half-orcs face as he waded into the fray.

The rest of the party, surprised by the half-orc, took a moment to ready themselves, but then waded in to help.  It was at the same time that two Dark Mantle Envelopers fell from the darkness of the chamber roof, shrieking wildly, and dazing Kriv and Oloril.

“Oh for fucks sake” yelled Nick Nack “not a-fucking-gain!” Raising his arm, he lashed out with a crackling ray of arcane power, taking a Chitine square in the chest.  It died instantly.

The chamber filled with the familiar sound of battle.  Blow upon blow was struck, and blood sprayed.  Ear piercing screams dulled the senses, and the aroma of sweat and fear permeated the dungeon.  At the very last, a lone Chitine stood against Oloril, his head bowed, and the spear slack in his hands.  He uttered a word of prayer to Lolth, the dark goddess, and as the minotaurs axe sliced through his body, the sigh of death was the final sound, as the chamber slipped into silence.

“Sweet lord!  What a mess.” the Halfling stepped out from the side of the chamber and looked at the carnage among the party.  Chitine body parts littered the dungeon, with splashes of Dark Mantle Enveloper mixed up in the mess.

“I vote we leave, before the cleaners turn up?”  she shouldered her short bow, and traipsed off down the tunnel, leaving the party no other alternative than to follow her into the depths.


Chapter the next one - Beauty is in the eye of the...Edit

Beauty is in the eye of the “Jesus Christ, WTF!!”

The party sat quietly, nursing wounds, checking equipment, and generally passing the time.  Maros sat somewhat off from the party, counting through his collection of Halfling digits, his lips moving soundlessly as he struggled to move into double figures.  The mood in the camp was slightly listless, as the burden of the unknown ahead of them pressed down on aching shoulders.

“Let’s get moving” grumbled Kriv, his plate armour breaking the sound of the dank tunnels, as he rose.  Shouldering his backpack, he stamped out the fire with one huge booted foot.   “It’s late, and I want to see the sky before I die."

“About bloody time” Maros snarled, as he scrambled the contents of his rapidly decomposing treasure into a large pouch, and leapt up, checking the straps on the two swords strapped to his back.

The party broke camp very quickly.  Bed rolls were stored, and the fire was further dismantled with a swift kick from the towering Minotaur.  “Fire out” he grunted.“Well done, cow” muttered Nick Nack, his hands gracefully tying his dark cloak about his neck. “Whatever would we do without you?”  He stepped to one side as the nimble Halfling rushed to the mouth of the tunnel which stretched into inky blackness.

“Who’s going first?” she squeaked, adjusting the short bow on her back.  “My vote is Maros, although following him doesn’t bode well for our olfactory senses”.  She sniggered, dancing out of reach of the enraged half-orc.  “Shut it, shorty” he snarled, “I’ll add to my collection if you keep it up.

”Maros stepped into the tunnel, grumbling as he went.  He unsheathed Sunblade, held her aloft and whispered an unintelligible word.  A piercing bright light emanated along the blade, drinking in the darkness ahead, “Come on then and do try and be quiet, you lumbering oaf” he directed at the plated Cleric.

After an indeterminate amount of time, threading their way through the tunnels, following the bumbling water upstream, and coming across many surprising dead ends, the party could hear in the distant, the faint sound of a water fall. Maros headed into the direction of the sound, and stepped into a large chamber. The far reaches of the chamber were plunged in darkness, but in the centre of the cavern a large waterfall cascaded into a pool from a rough jagged hole in the ceiling.  The water at the base was murky and bubbling.  No other sound could be heard.

The party was quiet but alert as Maros stepped into the chamber.  His 2nd long sword glittered in the light of its opposite.  He waded into the shallow water to cross to a drier section of the chamber on the north face of the chamber.   Pellinor, the bard, followed the ranger across, and the two stepped out to get a better view of the chamber to the south.  Both the ranger and bards eyes widened in shock and with an almost inarticulate scream of surprise, the half-orc screamed “Beholder!” and pointed over to the far side of the chamber. Moving gracefully, and suspended on invisible threads, a large grotesque horror emerged from a darkened section of the chamber, it’s one single large eye gazed malevolently at the party, while a 100 eyes on darting tentacles writhed around it’s body.  A cavernous mouth with sharp glistening teeth, whispered in horrific Abyss as the Beholder prepared to attack.

The Heroes of Winterhaven struck as one.  Maros, Kriv and Oloril waded into physical attacks on the beast, whilst Pellinor, Nick Nack and Paella continued their dance of ranged attacks.  The battle was one of the most gruelling the party had ever had to endure.  The Beholder’s powerful eyes struck with abandon, striking everyone with differing attacks.  Blindness, Domination, Stone.  The attacks were unrelenting. Oloril suffered most from the debilitating strikes of the Beholder, being dominated twice in the attack, but luckily failing to strike his own party members.  The blood, sweat and fear that was spent in that chamber, that day was rarely ever to be repeated. At last the attacks from the party were beginning to phase the beast. Paella managed to land a string of consecutive hits; Spikes of the Manticore, delivering two swift arrows thudding into the side of the Beholder.  Disruptive Strike and Flying Steel all both hitting.  The Bard delivered a large boost to the party by shrugging off the fear of this dark beast and applying Vicious Mockery, his emboldened voice shrieking, “You should have gone to spec savers” visibly wilting the power of the demonic horror.  Nick Nack continued pounding the Beholder with Curse of the Bloody Fangs, the sharp biting teeth dealing terrible bloody wounds to the beast.

Finally Kriv pounded the beast into submission.  The cleric, praying loudly to his god, dealt Righteous Brand.  His mace bludgeoning the Beholder with such force the chamber shivered.  The eyes closed and went limp. The beast lay dead.  The only sounds, the harsh breathing of the party, and the churning water in the centre of the cavern.

Picking up the body of the Beholder, the half-orc sliced off one of the tentacle eyes and placed it into his treasure pouch.  “Slimy fucker” he muttered, as he stepped over the mushed creature.

The party left the chamber and trudged off, some of them shivering, as they clambered further into the tunnels.The rest of the day was largely uneventful.   A large portion of the tunnel had become submerged, but after much discussion, they overcame this challenge rather easily.  After all a Beholder was really enough for one day



The Time In Between......Edit

At the end of Femo Part Two, the party return to The Halfmoon Inn and take stock of their situation.  They understand the need to identify what Thunderspire and it's Seven Pillarred Hall can do for them.  The party ask for help from Rendil Halfmoon the Halfling owner of the Inn, who advises them of the various places in the Hall which may be able to help assist the party in it's magical item acquisition.  Kriv asks about Residuum, and Rendil confirms that only the Mages of Saruun would have access to this mystical powder, and is not aware of any that they would have for sale.  He does advise that in order to find out, they would be better served to seek the Mages in person rather than sending a messenger.

Maros and Adrik are both keen to identify places where magical weapons may be available, and the Halfling again confirms, as before, that both The DeepGem company and the Duergar Trading Post would be the only places they've heard of magical arms and armour being sold in the vicinity.  Gendar may very well hold smaller items of magical persuasion, but he knows the Drow is untrustworthy, and will not willingly help outsiders, unless the money is very good.  On the other hand though, the Drow is always open to a willing haggle, and considering the fact that the party returned the Sceptre, there is a possibility that he may be more open to the adventurers.  In terms of trading in magic items, he is well known to be very unpredictable in what he offers for items he is interested in. 

"it's as if it depends on what side of bed he got out of that morning", Rendil confirms, waving at one of the barmaids for more ale.

"You do  remember the fact that you returned Boris to Ulthand, don't you?" he enquires, one eyebrow raised.  "If there was anyone here in the Seven Pillared Hall who would be more inclined to help you, it would be the dwarves.  Just remember to leave the Cow outside".  He grins, and moves out of range of the meathead minotaur.

"I'll get you some food, and leave you to your discussions".  The halfling wanders back to the bar.

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