Scales Of War

...And the adventure begins!

09/26/09

The campaign starts as the party of ragtag adventures are traveling to the metropolis of Waterdeep in search of fame and fortune. Waterdeep, however, is many leagues journey and the party finds they are in desperate need of supplies. Our heroes decide to sojourn in the town of Brindol, a mere day’s travel to the south. Surely a town as large of Brindol will have the necessary provisions needed and provide our road-weary heroes a much needed rest?

Entering Bristol from the West Gate, the party quickly finds the Antler & Thistle Tavern and settles in for a few pints of ale and mutton stew. Their presence is not lost on the locals in the tavern, especially the barkeep and owner, a stout human who goes by the name of Rhingalt. Obvious to everyone is the fact that Rhingalt is uncomfortable having the party in his tavern, and despite his ever watchful eye, the heroes are served their aie and stew. No sooner does Vondal order a second round of ale for the party, when the front door of the tavern is shattered to pieces as two hobgoblins armed with longswords charge into the building! Battle ensues between the hobbies and heroes as the locals in the tavern attempt to flee by throwing themselves through the windows. This tactic, however, is quickly thwarted by additional hobgoblins outside who begin pulling the occupants through the windows and running them through with their swords and spears. And to make matters worse, shifty little goblins who have obviously allied with their cousins the hobgoblins, begin heaving makeshift incendiaries into the tavern which explode and spread fire across the floor and walls.

Hobgoblin Goblin
Meavoi, Vondal and Asher manage to trap the marauding hobbies in the doorway of the tavern and quickly dispatch them as Peleios, Rosewyn and Frug use their range attack abilities to hold off the hobbies and goblins crashing in through the windows. The threat from the devious monsters has been quelled, however, the Antler & Thistle is lost as the bucket brigade can not keep up with the growing flames that engulf the tavern. As the building burns to the ground, Rhingalt and the party are interviewed by town guards that have arrived (too late) to the scene. Finishing their questioning the town guards attention is pulled away from the remains of the tavern as townsfolk come from around the corner of the of the street and run past the burning Antler & Thistle screaming “It’s going to burn the town down! Save us!!!”

What now???

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Where Meavoi meets his maker!

10/03/09

The Antler & Thistle burns to the ground. The local militia have come to help the bucket brigade try and salvage what remains of the smoldering building, when all of a sudden, townsfolk come flooding towards the party from around the corner of a building further down the street. You can see panic in their eyes as they stream past you and the burning tavern; screams of panic erupting from several people. The Antler & Thistle is quickly forgotten as the party decides to investigate the cause of this mob panic. Thinking it is probably more hobgoblin hijinks, your group quickly makes their way to the location of the disturbance. Spread out in front of the party is a small open air market of approximately 10 stalls. You can see that some of the stalls are covered with canopies and have wooden benches displaying goods and sundries while other stalls are nothing more than wooden carts with miscellaneous wares. It appears the merchants have all fled their stalls as your attention is drawn to the far side of the market by the flames that burn several of the stalls. In the center of the conflagration you spot the source of the fire…two hobgoblins sit atop a wooden cart in an open air market. One ‘hobbie’ is launching arrows into anything that moves, mainly livestock that was presumably brought to market to sell. The second ‘hobbie’ is holding a lit torch in one hand and a small clay jug with a bit of dirty rag stuffed into the neck. Tethered to the front of the cart, pulling the hobbies even further into the market, is a massive Ogre carrying a greatclub in one of its oversized hands. Ogre

Using the torch to light the dirty rag, the hobbie quickly hands the lit jug to the Ogre who promptly throws the jug into the side of nearby stall with a loud grunt of effort. The two hobbies cackle with glee as another clay jug is produced from inside the cart and lit!

Springing into action, the party quickly engages the foes with a mixture of ranged attacks, melee assaults, and eldritch blasts. Fanning out to get better angles of attack, Asher unleashes a bolt from his crossbow that narrowly misses the Ogre’s head and slams into the unprotected head of the hobbie trying to light another jug. With a wet thud, the bolt cracks the hobbie’s skull and buries deep, dropping the creature, torch and jug into the cart. Peleios immediately unleashes two nocked arrows that strike the ogre. Frug continues the assault on the ogre by unleashing surges of eldritch blasts that slam into the ogre with crackling bursts of energy. Meaovi quickly makes his way to the ogre and begins slashing at the monster with his greataxe. However, the ogre is able to match Meavoi’s brute strength (and then some) and swings it’s greatclub with deadly accuracy, slamming the mighty weapon into the side of the barbarian’s head. A loud crack echoes through the square as Meavoi crumbles to the ground unconscious.

As Vondal and Rosewyn rush to their fallen companion, the remaining members of the party eventually overcome the remaining hobbie and ogre, with only minimal damage to themselves. As combat ends, their losses grow exponentially…Meavoi has died from the crushing blow from the ogre’ club. Vondal rushes back into town to find a healer and eventually returns with a priest of Kord named Mhoram. Mhoram, an aged human male with graying hair, eventually shows up at the market while the party continues to contain the fires that were started by the thrown jugs. After speaking briefly with the party, Mhoram agrees to bring Meavoi’s body back to the temple for resurrection. However, before the party can find the means to move the goliath’s body across town, the leader of a local adventuring group named Brindol’s Honor Guard appears on the scene. This human male is wearing highly polished chain mail with a purple tunic that has a rearing lion over a red and yellow crest. Strapped to his waist is a long sword in a scabbard of highly polished leather. Swinging off his horse, the man introduces himself as Tyvok and it is apparent that Mhoram has nothing but disdain for this loud and brash man.

Tyvok - Leader of the adventuring group known as Brindol's Honor Guard Mhoram - Cleric of Kord

Tyvok is quick to imply that he and his group will continue to watch the party as possibly being in league with the hobbies and goblins. Mhoram suggests the party disregard Tyvok and continue to get their fallen friend to the Temple of Kord as soon as possible. The PCs quickly load the barbarian’s body onto a cart and head to the temple. Once there, Mhoram takes the barbarian’s body to the alter where a small group of priests clean and anoint it with sacred oils. Mhoram explains the priests have begun the Ritual of Resurrection and it will take all night.

The next morning the party awakens to find the goliath barbarian sitting at the breakfast table eating large quantities of meat and eggs. Mhoram explains to the group that Councilman Efforam Troyas has requested an audience with the party and they are to leave immediately to meet with the half-elf at the town green. The party leaves the temple and quickly makes there way to the meeting place only to find a hobbie prisoner in shackles guarded by two of the city guard. Peleios and Vondal converse with the imprisoned monster and learn that the recent raids on town are being directed by a goblin named Sinruth who wants to raise an army and carve out a fiefdom of his own. The goblins are using the catacombs under the ruins of Castle Rivenroar as their base and the captured hobbie agrees to draw the PCs a map to Castle Rivenroar.

Councilman Troyas shows up and after learning what the hobbie confessed to the PCs, he agrees to pay the party to travel to Castle Rivenroar and investigate the goblins’ lair…
Efforam Troyas - Councilman of Brindol
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Through the woods and to Castle Rivenroar we go!

Prior to heading to Castle Rivenroar, the PCs decided to spend one more night in Brindol due to bad weather. The next morning Peleois was in a particular mood and decided to scale the outside of a building and heave used leather armor at the guards who arrived to talk him down. Once subdued, Peleois was taken in by clerics who evaluated his mind for sickness. The remaining members of the party were taken into custody. Smooth talking and delicate diplomacy by the party (plus the hesitate endorsement of Councilman Troyas) allowed the PCs to leave custody with a lingering sense of distrust by the Council and townsfolk.

The party eventually put their feet to path and began the 1.5 day journey to Castle Rivenroar to locate and rescue any captives taken from Brindol during the recent raid by Sinruth’s war bands. When the group reached the site of Castle Rivenroar, they found the keep in extreme disrepair and completely collapsed. All that remained was a few stacks of stone that were once walls and mounds of debris. A quick investigation of the site revealed a worn footpath that led to a set of stone stairs that descend into the earth…The Rivenroar Catacombs! The PCs took a few moments to prep themselves before descending into the darkness.

The first ‘encounter’ including a set of braziers attached to a mechanical device that released spouts of flame from the elemental plane of fire. The characters were left scorched and crispy by the time they disabled the mechanical trap. This antechamber led to three vaults: The Rivenroar family, the Von Urstadt family, and the Von Jallach family. It was decided to investigate the Rivenroar crypt first.

The entrance to the crypt was accessed via a long flight of stairs that descended to the crypt proper. At the base of the staircase, a large room opened before the group to reveal discarded architectural building supplies in various mounds about the room. The predominant feature of this room however was the myriad of mushrooms growing in the earthen floor. The room was illuminated by a phosphorescent fungi the covers the walls and ceiling. Being cautious, Rosewyn tossed a few pieces of stone into the room and learned the mushrooms had various defensive properties. The gray mushrooms when disturbed released a cloud of spores. The white mushrooms shriek when disturbed. Regrettably, two of the stones Rosewyn threw into the room disturbed patches of white mushrooms causing two consecutive loud shrieks that in turn awoke the two rage drakes that were slumbering behind mounds of debris! As the creatures roared, a feeble cry for help could be heard in the room behind the drakes.

Rage Drake

Carefully stepping into the room, Meavoi engaged the first drake to step forward by slashing the foul beast with his greataxe. Asher called upon his druidic abilities to help knock the advancing creatures back, even attempting to knock one of them prone. As the creatures slashed and bite the marauders the battle quickly turned one-sided as the strikes from the party caused mortal wounds to the drakes. With the killing blow delivered again by Meavoi, Peleois and the others decided to extract several of the drakes teeth as trophies for their victory.

Once the teeth were cleaned and stored, the group carefully made their way through the mushrooms to investigate the second room where a faint cry for help was heard. Upon entering the room, they discovered they had found their first of the kidnapped townfolk: Zerriksa!

Zerriksa

The elderly woman (rumored to be a witch) was being held captive in an invisible magic circle that kept her from fleeing. The cantankerous old woman was eager to leave and once the group of adventurers learned how to take advantage of a weakness in the arcane prison, Zerriksa was freed from the trap. Peleios learned very quickly that Zerriksa did not think very highly of the tiefling and was not appreciative of her rescuers. Leading Zerriksa back to the entrance of the catacombs, the party decided to continue investigating the catacombs for captives before making the trip back to Brindol. Zerriska, however, was having none of this. She was adamant that she wanted to return home, immediately and not spend another moment in this accursed place. Frug and Vondal agreed to escort the elderly woman back to Brindol and left immediately for their trip to Brindol.

The adventurers next crept into the Von Jallach crypt. This room featured glowing runes on the floor that spelled out ‘Von Jallach’. The walls of the room were lined with alcoves used to store the bodies of Von Jallach family members. As Meavoi stepped into the room, two swarms of needletooth drakes poured out from the alcoves and attacked the barbarian.

Needletooth Swarm

At a tactical disadvantage because they dared not enter further into the room due to the magical rune trap that dominated the floor, the party combated the drakes on the staircase that the group into this room. The diminutive drakes turned out to be a far deadlier foe than their larger cousins (rage drakes) and Meavoi was quickly overcome and fell to the incessant bites. Asher, realizing the tactical blunder made by the party, charged into the room, setting of several of the runic arcane traps. As the swarm of drakes continued to assault the party on the staircase, Frug reached down and hacked off a finger from the barbarian’s body before screaming for a retreat. As his companions began retreating from the staircase that led into this crypt, Asher was left alone in the room, to battle a hidden foe that had just temporarily revealed itself by firing a bolt into the druid!

And so the session ended…Vondal and Frug escorting Zerriska back to Brindol, Meavoi dead, and the party retreating, leaving Asher behind to fend for himself…..

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