The Scales of War

The Fall of Sinruth

The large room the party found themselves in was built of pure evil. The cold newcomer to the group, Nwon Knu felt the touch of the Shadowfel with every breath he took. With a focused stare, Nwon began to inspect the many murals found on the giant pillars that were used as buttresses to support the immense weight of the stone that housed the evil. The murals were familiar to him for they bore the image of his deity, the Raven Queen, keeper of Death. With a tap on his shoulder, Nwon spun around, hand at the hilt of his magically imbued Frost sword. Seeing the Dragonborne, he relaxed his grip slightly. He didn’t yet think much of the one called “Deathstryker” but through some machination that he still did not understand fully, he was bound to this creature. With a curt nod, he pushed past the Dragonborne and joined the party as they creeped slowly down a slim hallway towards the light of a room in the near distance…

Fletch and Baern silently crept forward, attempting to catch a glimpse of what lay ahead of them. Fletch flattened himself against the stone hallway, a mixture of cold and evil tickling his spine as he used the wall for support. Craning his neck around the corner he looked into the room and to his surprise, was immediately met with a thunderous voice asking him to reveal himself fully.

The voice had come from none other than the mighty Sinruth himself. Accompanying him in the room were 4 small hobgoblins, 2 bugbears, and 4 skeletons, 2 of which were of the boneshard variety, and 2 were flaming. As Fletch carefully considered his options, Nwon burst into the room, and with a shout, challenged Sinruth, proclaiming, “Evil must die!” A fierce battle erupted all around the small party.

Baern, the pious dwarf who spent as much time worshipping his deity as he did drinking ale, unleashed an amazing assault that battered two of the hobgoblins to their deaths, and grievously injured two of the skeletons. Tatho, watching from his customary position as far away from the battle as possible couldn’t believe his eyes at the speed and quickness the tenacious dwarf showed. “Fists of fury” indeed he thought.

Not to be outdone, the brawn in the group, the mighty La’Zun wielded his massive Crag Hammer, narrowly missing one of the boneshard skeletons. Carried forward by the giant weight of his blow, La’Zun stumbled forward, swinging a second time wildly, and managed to crush the skull of one of the two remaining hobgoblins.

Fletch, ever the sneak, watched the battle from a distance. Pulling his magical cloak around him tightly, he began moving softly in the shadows, light foot presses with no chance of being heard among the clang of steel weapons against hardened armor, the bloodthirsty yells of the combatants. His sights set on one of the large bugbears, he quickly leaped forward, immediately sinking a knife into the back of the bugbear’s skull, while flourishing with his magical longsword, lopping the giant furry creature’s head right off.

After rolling off the bear, Fletch takes a quick towards the main fray, and shudders as he watches Deathstryker emit a toxic gas from his mouth, covering the remaining skeletons as well as Sinruth himself. Shaking his head at the sight, it occurs to him that he doesn’t want to be anywhere near the Dragonborne when he belches.

Deathstryker recoils from the massive blast of dragon breath, and quickly unsheathes his broad sword. A killing glint to his eye, Deathstryker brought the sword crashing down against the head of one of the boneshard skeletons, crumpling it into a heap of mismatched bones on the floor in front of him. He hears a massive roar from his left, and looks on as Sinruth begins pummeling Nwon.

Nwon hadn’t been in this much pain for a long time. The chain attached to Sinruth’s flail had coiled around his neck twice over, and Sinruth had shoulder slammed him to the ground, giant spikes from Sinruth’s armor penetrating the unarmored portions of Nwon’s ghostly skin. Baern, upon seeing Nwon being savagely assaulted, spurs into action, making a rush toward the giant boss. Sinruth watched as Baern rushed toward him, and slightly relaxed his grasp on the flail. That was all that Nwon needed to escape the deadly vice, and as Baern began bleeding from the blows he had taken from the remaining skeletons as he rushed toward Sinruth, Nwon placed a cold hand upon the dwarf and with an ancient chant, magically closed some of the wounds the skeletons had placed upon Baern.

La’Zun had seen enough. He knew it was time to end this. As Tatho began blasting magic missiles around the room, felling the remaining hobglobin as well as one of the fire skeletons, La’Zun pressed towards Sinruth, his giant steps filled with murderous intent. Suddenly, a skeleton near Sinruth exploded, and with a smile, Sinruth began chanting. Where just a moment ago, Sinruth had no remaining allies, 4 fresh skeletons rose anew. As Fletch, Tatho, and Deathstryker fell upon the skeletons just joined to the battle, dispatching them with relative ease, La’Zun began to charge…

A small gasp escaped the lips of Sinruth. Battered and bloodied, he knew the end was near, and as La’Zun began a colossal backswing with the Crag Hammer, Sinruth closed his eyes, stilled his hands, and for the first time in his life, shed a tear. The crag hammer ended Sinruth’s life before a second tear could fall…

La’Zun peered down at the vanquished foe. As is the custom of his people, he stripped the man of his armor, and with a small crack of a smile, realized the armor would fit his massive frame with a few modifications, and that the armor was made from the hide of the mighty giant bats near the mountains he calls home.

The party quickly finished exploring the massive castle, encountering a wight that gave them no trouble, and a few blaze skeletons. Feeling refreshed, and happy to be leaving the perilous place they had spent many a day in, the group quickly began the slow climb toward the entrance, not a one of them with a thought towards the many adventures that lie ahead. It was time to celebrate, for they had saved many of the townspeople, and were expecting a hero’s welcome.

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Behind Closed Doors
further still into the dungeon

After interrogating the remaining hobgoblin we interrogate him and learn that the “Rivin shall roar till the Day of the Black (Hole) Sun” or something like that. Apparently battle hardened hobo’s are just learning early 90s American Grunge rock here, but I digress. Thatho also finds a Signet Ring but has no idea what it means. We also find some more captives and send them back up top. As the party leaves, La’Zun whomps the hobgoblin Krusk in the back of the head, leaving him unconscious, bound, and in a sarcophagus.

In the next room we find 4 statues shaped like Displacer Beasts, which brave (read drunken) Baern charges between. There was a “click.” Luckily the trap was built for taller adventurers and Baern was spared as the deathly tendrils lash over his head. And then there were rats. These rats were stupid and attracted to flying pieces of metal, since Fletch blindly threw another dagger and managed to kill one of the mangy undead rodents. Not to be outdone Baern did some cool shit and killed 2 rats. Deathstryker wanted to be part of the club so he killed a rat too.

Then the Burning Man, err Men, appeared and the whole room was alight. La’Zun fearlessly charged into battle, killing a rat and sliding enemies around like chess pieces on the board, ignoring the flames searing his toughened skin.

Tatho was in the back.

While the flaming enemies were distracted by the awesome display of Warden fury, Feltch managed to dart past them and throw his cloak over the woman. The rest of the party was amazed by this display of heroism from the normally brooding anti-hero, but it turns out he just wanted to feel the girl up. She declined Fletch’s offer of dinner at Carrabas. While this was going on Baern beat up some living fire with his bare fists, and Deathstryker killed some more, and managed to heal the woman. The party had saved the cook, a fact that Baern somehow knew instinctively

Tatho moved out of the hall and into the back.

Once Mirtala had recovered, the party noticed that this was an altar made for the Raven Queen…or so it would seem. In fact the altar was even older and only built to look like for the Raven Queen, but this party was too smart to fall for that trick again. Wise Tatho finally moved forward and recognized the symbol on the altar as the same one from the ring we so recently found. How fortuitus! So Tatho put the ring in the altar and stairs appeared like something out of an Indiana Jones movie and everybody went down. At the bottom of the stairs we kicked open a door and found a giant room. In a dungeon, a room filled with dragons. Dragons in Dungeons. Dungeons and Dragons. (For purposes of awesomess this text will call them Dragons, as their proper term Drake just sounds like a fancy British name.)

Shit. Just. Got. Real.

Baern fought his way into the room drawing the fire of the biggest dragon to one side, soon to be followed by Fletch and Deathstryker. La’Zun took on 2 of the smaller beasts by himself, while Tatho fired missiles from the back. During the fight many of the dragons attacked La’Zun, but his will to survive was strong and he managed to hang on. Then Fletch rolled an awesome D20 from God or something, charged up the back of the blue dragon and lopped off his head with 2 swords of fury. The party was quite impressed.

From the back of the room the Dragon Trainer appeared just in time to see Fletch kill his favored pet. Enraged he charged La’Zun because you always try to take the strongest looking target out first. As soon as he got close though a 2nd dragon fell dead as Tatho and La’Zun took them out.

Then Baern came over and decided to show the party how it was done. First he wildly attacked the dragon trainer with fury of fists and bouncing of beer belly causing the dragon trainer to get disoriented. Then, carefully guiding the trainer in place first, Baern stood back and watched as the Dragon Trainers menacing counter attack plunged straight into the heart of his last beloved dragon. The beast screamed in fear before he fully knew the true nature of his attack. Facing a life with nothing left to train the Dragon Trainer took his own life, falling on his sword so he might fly forever with his beloved beats.

Even as the party was exhausted from the battle, La’Zun felt compelled to plunge his hammer deep into the heart of the big dragon that Fletch and had slewn. This wasnt the smartest of ideas as he was knocked off his feet by the shear force of its power, but here he had a vision. A vision of something awesome that could not be described in this small amount of space. But to be sure it was quite…awesome. When he awaoke he found his hammer was now magic, and that was good.

In the back of the room we found Sorsha and Baern pulled off something awesome to save the her. Fletch would have done it except she was old and Feltch dont play that.

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Runes, Webs, Orcs

Fletch Mavren sneaks along the dark halls to scout ahead of the party. Finding a room with runes all over the floor, the party searches for anything of value. Bearn finds health potions and gold, but suddenly the ghost of an old man appears. The remains of some long lost person have been disturbed. Two large Magma Claws and two Flame Serpents (who act remarkably like bats) are summoned inside the room.

The group charges into battle. Tatho stands in the back.

Splitting forces to each corner of the room and using flanking tactics, the party quickly gains the upper hand. The Dragonborn fights with a new found ferocity. Lawlzoon expertly defends against a Magma Claw. Fletch and Bearn work together to expertly bring down a Flame Serpent. Tatho stands in the back.

Victorious, the party continues into the dungeon. They find a jail cell with Sir Tanian the museum curator from Brindol inside. He mentions there’s more villagers on this level. Fletch grudgingly lets him borrow a dagger and makes him promise to feed Yaris, the group’s mule that remains outside.

Bearn prays softly over the remains of a girl while Tatho loots a wand from her rotting corpse.

Continuing on, the party disregards a clear warning and enters into the web-filled lair of Ettercaps. Although having trouble with stuns and every other status effect known to man, the party eventually slays them all. Looting a sizable bounty, they also discover the tattooed corpse of the guard captain. Bearn probably prays.

After a much needed extended rest, the group moves into the next part of the dungeon. Effortlessly dispatching an orc and drake patrol, the party looks down over the balcony to see a sizable amount of orcs taking a defensive stance in the room below.

Brazenly, most of the party vaults over the balcony one by one to face the force below. Larzoon takes the stairs.

Not wanting to be shown up, Fletch sprints towards the balcony’s edge and vaults over. Flipping and flourishing in midair, his cloak whipping around seemingly in slow motion, he throws two daggers at the orcs behind cover and then lands gracefully onto the ground. One dagger hits hilt first; the other sticks into the wall behind. The two orcs look at one another terrified but confused. One of them shrugs. Fletch clenches his teeth tightly together as he realizes the battle has paused temporarily and the entire room is staring at him. A moment later, fighting recommences.

Tatho summons a giant ball of fire that burns many of the orcs to cinders. The rest of the party rushes into flanking positions. Victory is achieved quickly. An orc archer is left alive for interrogation.

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Interlude - Sinruth

Sinruth sits with a stone in his hand. He receives a report on troop losses. Staring into the stone, he asks for aid and claims to know the old dragons.

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To the rescue

With a loud screech a flight of drakes appeared above the city. Goblins riding atop the drake were fire bombing the city. A burst of flame smashed down upon the Red Banner Tavern. With a shout Baern led the party into rescue the patrons and the beer. Tossing aside flaming Timbers with his bare hands La’Zuun cleared the way for the parties entrance into the tavern. Tatho quickly took stock of the situation, while Deathstryker inspired the terrified citizens to vacate the building. The group managed to get the civilians safely out of the building before it collapsed into rubble, as well as a Red Hand Banner and two barrels of ale.

The watch captain new the group had capabilities the town might need and asked for them to meet with the village council. Only one member of the council seemed interested in speaking with the heroes, Councilman Troiyas. After some negotiations the group arranged for a 500 gold piece bounty, bird seed for Deathstrkers to pet, as well as a wagon and mule to bring back any of the survivors who had been carried off; Jalisa, Sertanian the museum curator, Gaurd Captain Sertinex and his son theran, Murtalla the cook, Zarisha the soothesayer, and Adronsius the town alchemist. In addition to rescuing the villagers the heroes were tasked with recovering valuable relics of the last Red Hand of Doom campaign; a guilded helm, a platinum ceremonial longsword, 3 shields, a pair of iron gauntlets, and a battle standard.

The group quickly set out with La’Zuun leading the way with Baern assisting the group in trying to maintain some level of comfort. Arguments between Tatho and Fletch got the group lost but still managed to find their way to Castle Rivenroar. Upon arriving the heroes were set upon by a ferocious bear the size of a mountain and a crumbling rock-hewn golem. Fletch and Baern made their way behind the beast to give the rest of the party an advantage which the beast was distracted. But the bear was to strong for Baern and raked a bloody slash across his chest bringing him down. Seeing the the wounded dwarf La’Zuun unleashed the full might of his ancestors down upon the bear. While the bear was dazed and stumbling Fletch struck if its forepaw and it crashed to the ground. The golem was quickly dispatched. Fletch quickly looked to the aid of the fallen dwarf and was able to revive him before Baern succumbed to his wounds. Among the rubble of the statue a green emerald was found.

The heroes made their way up the daunting cliff face to the remains of Rivenroar castle only to find nothing. While the rest of the group searched the area Tatho sat down and poured over the copious amounts of history stored in his head. Tatho informed the group that they should begin looking for a way down as the Rivenroars had carved out a large number of tunnels and burial chambers beneath their homes.

Heading down into the tunnels the group found and quickly dispatched a group of goblins and hobgoblins guarding the entrance. Throughout the fight one goblin continually called for Bryark, who never arrived. Quick thinking by Fletch in shutting and barring a northern door prevented the group from additional fighting. Three doors lead out of the entrance room, to the west the Von Earstad chambers, east led to Von Jalech, and North to Rivenroar.

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A New Beginning

GoblinArriving in the township of Brindol after journeys from the West, our adventurers are accosted by a roadside salesman named Otis Redforge. While most are unimpressed with his wares, Deathstryker takes pity on the man and buys a canary named Ezekial from the peddler.

Continuing into town, our heroes pass through a village square only to hear screams up ahead. A party of goblins and hobgoblins rushes out from around the corner, intent on villagers running for their lives. Encountering heavily-armed travelers was hardly their goal. Drawing steel, all five traveling companions made the subhumans pay a heavy price for their incursion into human lands.

Pushing further into the village, the five came upon an abattoir. Slain guardsmen and townsfolk littered the square before the Red Tabard tavern. Another powerful group lead by a mighty bugbear stood over the corpses, and they swung into battle. Mid-fight, the wizardly scholar Tatho realized that the tavern’s banner was nothing less than an ancient war-symbol of the Red Hand of Doom. Screams were heard from inside, and more goblins rushed to join the fight from terrorizing the Tabard’s patrons.

Wielding spells and blades with gusto, even this more powerful group was quickly put down by teamwork and coordinated attacks. The final goblin on the scene, a runt named Izzik, was spared for questioning.

Will Izzik prove useful? Are there more attackers nearby? What prompted this vicious assault on Brindol?

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