Dalun

Chaos beneath Drithkowl
A violent prison riot

The party weighs their options and decides that the best way to help Rokourd and defeat Golthos is by meeting with Aust and Lorgrium. They are being held as prisoners in the city dungeon below Drithkowl, so the party decides to infiltrate the dungeon to meet with or perhaps free Aust and Lorgrium.

Larkspur donned the cloak of disguise and distracted the door guard while Aegishand sneaked into the dungeon, opening a door from within. After only about a minute inside the dungeon a riot erupted and a full blown prison break was sprung. It quickly became clear that there were other agents at work organizing the prisoner uprising.

Solgrin rallied the flat-footed guards and suppressed the riot on the first level of the dungeon. As the party moved deeper in they found cultists and heretics wielding sorcerery driving the prisoners on in a blood frenzy to kill the prison guards and secure their freedom. Gylek banished a mighty tentacle beast that had ruptured the ground and broke through the floor of the prison and the party defeated a mysterious black-clad provocateur who admitted to inciting the prison riot. It was not clear what his motives were beyond laying blame for the riot on someone else, possibly the members of the party or possibly Aust and Lorgrium. The evil provocateur wore a skull mask and used powerful magic, but was ultimately slain.

The party rescued a guard who agreed to tell the truth of what happened including Solgrin’s push to retake the prison with the other guards. Moving to the lowest level of the dungeon the party spotted a magic door rippling along a stone wall which they entered and found an open chasm. Within was a vast, abandoned subterranean dwelling which appeared to be a type of underground settlement belonging to some long extinct underground civilization. Amongs the old stone buildings and aged skeletons, a pair of mage initiates attacked the party saying “it’s not them, but let’s get them anyway!”

After the fighting it was revealed that the attackers were sent by a Wizard of the Kowl searching for obsidian stones used to animate the bones of the dead. Pressing forth the party encountered the bodies of additional apprentices of this Kowled Necromancer and eventually made their way to the surface where they encountered Aust (in animal form) and Lorgrium doing battle with a group of mage initiates.

Once the parties united they spoke and revealed their plans to each other. Lorgrium explained that he and Aust were captured following up on a lead while pursuing The Dragon’s Eye gem. They were doing this because they were given a quest by a roguish man named Ridden. They now know that the gem has great power and Lorgrium indicated that it could be used to “reveal all dragons” and possibly be used against Tyrannax the Destroyer. He offered that Aust and he could hunt down and defeat Tyrannax while the party pursued Nurvaal White, saving Drithkowl and taking away Governor General Hallour’s excuse for not helping Eltgaard.

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Journey to the North
The party heads for Rokourd

After having slain Saazixthumei and returning to Tradekeep the party reconvened at The Grinning Goblin to discuss their next move. It was decided that Golthos the “king of giants” has gone unchallenged long enough. Aegishand left some of his gold from the dragon horde with Erel to help expand the Grinning Goblin’s business opportunities and then the party headed north.

The party left Tradekeep in the middle of October, traveled over the Suncrest Peaks where they cannily outsmarted an ettin and continued on their way in peace. By early November they arrived to Westwater where they were met with a rather cold reception, so they restocked and kept moving. There were few incidents on the road through Vyankal and the party reached Lathlor without facing any peril.

While travelling along the edge of The Glarwood the party heard from some of the elven communities that the warmth and power from within the forest was fading. There are whispers of a great corruption spreading from within.

Determined to complete the quest that they set out upon, the party continued on their way and arrived to the city of Drithkowl where they were bidden to meet with Governor-General Hallour, the master of the city. In meeting with Hallour the party learned that the heroes of the north, Aust and Lorgrium, had been captured attempting to break into the Fortress of Lazandroth. The party asked how they could seek their audience and Hallour said that he would release Aust and Lorgrium to the party if they slew the mighty dragon, Tyrannax the Destroyer.

Frustrated with this “offer” the party met with Traggath, the lord commander of the Drasguardian Knights Hospitaller and his men who have camped out just beyond the walls of Drithkowl. In their meeting, Lord Traggath revealed that he has been sending spies into the city in an attempt to gain audience with Governor-General Hallour to discuss “saving the north” from Golthos, Tyrannax and the vile necromancer Nervaal White. So far, however, the Governor-General has not granted audience with Traggath or any of his diplomats.

Traggath estimates that Golthos has a force of over ten thousand orcs and goblinoids. His band of hospitallers numbers close to one hundred, but he knows that Drithkowl’s garrison is 3,000 to 5,000 strong. Aegishand gave a large sum of money to Lord Traggath to pay for the hiring and training of mercenaries while the party looked into their remaining options: rescuing Aust and Lorgrium, seeking out and defeating Tyrannax the dragon or looking to Edril or beyond for aid.

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In the Lair of the Dragon
Battle with Saazixthumei

Travelling south out of Vaelyngroth the party made for the lair of Saazixthumei, the Green Terror, dragon of the Elernain. The journey took a number of days before the party arrived to a hill darkened by a thick canopy of spider-infested trees. The monstrous arachnids were many, so the party fought a moving battle to reach the entrance of the cave. Werler, who demanded be brought with, was struck by spider venom and paralyzed. It was Gylek who carried him safely inside despite the peril to himself.

Once inside the party navigated the rocky depths for a time, avoiding the goblins who called the upper levels home. They crossed an uncertain bridge where some members of the party nearly fell through the rickety wooden boards to the chasm below. It was too dangerous to keep going with Werler in his paralyzed state, so the party decided to leave him with a dagger in a dark crook near the bridge. Creeping past a dungeon ooze monster and using fire to thwart a cave infested with poisonous mushroom creatures the party entered a large hall built by ancient hands.

Throughout the chamber gold coins crunched under foot and columns of thick worked stone reached up to a high ceiling. At the center of the massive treasure horde was the dragon Saazixthumei. It appeared scarred, but uninjured and was furious with the interlopers for entering its domain. Threats were made, swords drawn and battle was joined.

Saazixthumei opened with an impressive attack of poisonous breath. The party rallied; Larkspur crippled the dragon’s wing with a pair of arrows while Solgrin and Golthiron mounted the dragon’s back and hammered it’s scales. Aegishand dealt a telling blow with a sneak attack critical hit from his crossbow.

In the end the party was victorious with no casualties. They recovered the Dragon’s Eye Gem and used a portion of its power to release the dragon’s many captives who had been encased in emerald stone prisons. The company of about 100 some gathered up what treasure they could fit in their pockets and bags and made for Tradekeep.

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Among the Elves

The party reconvened at The Grinning Goblin and spoke of their next move. They discussed news of Aegishand’s home, Eltgaard and the dangers there as well as a means of locating this forest spirit of the Elernain that seeks to restore itself. The party decided that this spirit must be the same that cursed poor Werler who was last left distantly to the north east of Tradekeep at Vaelyngroth and so made the elvish fortress their destination. After crossing over the mountains, then east along the Eredral River, and into the Elernain the party arrived to Vaelyngroth two weeks after leaving the Goblin.

When they arrived they found that the fortress appeared nearly exhausted of troops. In fact, when the party implored the castellan for assistance in their quest to locate Saazixthumei he refused unless they agreed to help him first. Reports of monsters, invaders, forest spirits and the undead have caused a great deal of unrest in the region, but Commander Calundor claims that he does not have enough troops to counter these threats. The party chose to help a pair of scouts in their mission to rescue a group of human and elf commoners being held captive by a vicious band of gnolls believed to be in the service of “the Warboss.”

The journey to the gnoll camp took a day and a half and the mission was a success. There were nine prisoners held in plain sight in a sturdy wooden cage located centrally within the camp. The camp itself was protected by a wide stream of the Eredral river to the north, a natural cliff wall to the south and makeshift walls to the east and west. The party devised a strategy to rescue the captives and split up. Solgrin and Gylek assaulted the front gate slaying many gnolls with axe and spell. Larkspur and Aegishand snuck into the camp, sprung the captives from the cages and ferried the commonfolk across river using a makeshift raft. Solgrin slew the gnoll chief and Aegishand personally rescued a captive too injured to move by his own power, carrying him to safety on his back.

The party returned to Vaelyngroth, Calundor was pleased and permitted the party access to the magic divining pool. Within the mystic waters the party scried Saazixthumei using a set of three scales recovered during their battle at the Four Winds tavern. Beholding the divination they saw before them a dark hill in the wood inhabited by hundreds of poisonous spiders of monstrous size. Under the dark boughs of the trees was the entrance to a rock tunnnel occupied by dozens of savage orcs. Deeper in still the party saw a bio-luminescent grove of tree-sized mushrooms and carpet-like fungus. Finally beyond this they saw a grand hall, perhaps of dwarf-make, filled with mountains of treasure and atop the highest pile of coin rest a great green dragon…

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A Return to Tradekeep

The party departed Westwater after witnessing two men charged with grave robbing be executed by way of the “breaking wheel.” The journey back to Tradekeep took nigh on two weeks as the party marched out of Vyankal across the bridge at Deepfoot’s Crossing, through a pass in the Suncrest Peaks and down into Bravaul. Once back to the city the party stopped by the Grinning Goblin to speak with Erel about recent events who reports that the Baron’s men had captured and publicly executed Willem the Black to set an example for all other wouldbe thieves. The party set their sights on the Wane & Wright trade company, for it was the Wane & Wright co. that sponsored the Dragon Knight’s trade mission into Vyankal.

At the Wane & Wright headquarters the party spoke with Sir Kaymo, a head merchant, who revealed that his company was paid a high price to keep their silence and not ask any questions of the Dragon Knight’s business to the north. This only made the party more suspicious, so they looked into the whereabouts of this secretive client and discovered that he was staying at the Four Winds tavern. When the party arrived they entered the inn room of their target and read through a number of letters of correspondence, one of which was signed by Saazixthumei. The letters, maps and other evidence suggests that this mysterious (and apparently wealthy) man had been hiring adventurers and mercenaries to recover items of value from various dungeons, vaults and other secure locations throughout the area. These items are seemingly being used as sacrifice or some other ritual to “restore” this Saazixthumei.

During their investigation a trio of dark-clad characters returned to the inn room and immediately took to combat with the party. A powerful wizard, a cunnning rogue and a mighty barbarian engaged the party directly. Through clever use of spell and tactics the party took down their attackers and identified this mysterious wizard as simply “H” by the design of his signet ring. The party recovered some magical items and left the scene.

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Sojourn in Vyankal

Of late the party has been traveling and staying within the grey and haunted lands of Vyankal. They came there after receiving a tip from a mysterious elf sage they rescued from a temple of Iess located in Tradekeep. The elf sage said that he could see that many of the members of the party bore the burden of death on their shoulders, that they were “surrounded in death.” He said that he gained this sight after visiting a haunted hill in the far east of Vyankal. After many other adventures the party made their way to this hill, did battle with a number of fierce guardian wolves and communed with the spirits of the dead.

Each member of the party had their own experience, often seeing friends and family that had long been dead. Some learned of past events, others forecast things to come. After the party had heard all that they would and were about to leave, a ghostly form appeared and cursed the party if they did not do as he commanded. The spirit bade them to destroy his tomb so that no living creature may enter it and defile it any longer (as he implied that it had been defiled). The party accepted this errand, as they had little other choice.

After a distance of walking and numerous battles, the party managed to collapse the tomb and rescue the “defiler” the spirit had mentioned. They returned to the city of Westwater and did battle with an arrogant human warrior named “The Dragon Knight.” After slaying the evil Dragon Knight the party reclaimed a stolen ward-stone which was said to keep the city of Westwater safe from the evil curse magic of Vyankal. Once the stone was returned to the temple, the party headed out of the city with a small band of merchants that had come to Westwater in the first place in the company of the Dragon Knight.

On their way back to Caelildran the party won a treasure map during a gambling match with some merchants. The map lead to one of Vyankal’s many tombs, so the party stopped to investigate. The tomb was located beside a recently-vacated village. The party explored its depths, defeated its guardian and claimed the treasure for themselves. When they surfaced from the tomb they were confronted by a bizarre scene of ghosts carrying our their daily activities from life. There was one woman who was still alive, though possessed by an evil spirit of Zethos. The party learned that the woman had lost her son, pleaded for help from the village folk. They refused to assist her in the search for the boy, she was taken by grief, and cried out to any who would listen. It was the god of death who lent his ear and gave her a dark gift. One by one she drowned the children of the village in the town well. The party performed an exorcism of the spirit of Zethos and when the woman awoke she remembered nothing. They took her back to Westwater and turned her over to the temple of Ies for a life of servitude to the church as penance for her sins.

The party then turned back to the road and made for Tradekeep to investigate the Wane & Wright Trade Company, for it was Wane & Wright co. that sponsored the mission for the Dragon Knight to come up to Vyankal in the first place.

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Righteous Vegeance

After Larkspur stole the planar gem that held A’eziel’belloc’s realm intact the party used its power to free the trapped souls and escape. They awoke near the burned-out ruins of the tower they were slain in all those days ago and made their way back to Tradekeep. They spoke with Erel at The Grinning Goblin who remarked that he just spoke with them moments ago, he explained to them that apparently they, themselves, were asking him how to get to the Temple of Iess here in town. Erel thought it odd that they would need directions because he thought everyone in the party was familiar with the city by now, but he told them how to reach the temple all the same. The party discussed these bizarre events and decided that their very own blood mimics must’ve been released form the Silt-Lord’s domain just as they were.

Upon arriving to the Temple of Iess the adventurers found a demonic creature and the blood mimics torturing some the priests of the temple. They did battle with the creatures, taking revenge on their blood mimics and banishing the demon. They rescued what priests they could who offered them what advice and treasure they had.

After a time the party would continue their quest to pursue the cult of Dranoth.

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Descent
Death is not always the end...

After a tragic battle with a group of powerful cultists hiding out in a ruined fortress in the Green Country the adventuring party was slain. When they awoke they found themselves in a hellish landscape of fire and brimstone. They were escorted by demons into the forges of great demon who said to them upon their arrival:

“I am A’eziel’belloc, the Silt-Lord and master of this domain. You stand in one of the Thousand Realms of Dranoth, God of Vengeance. You have been brought here from many places across the eddies of time and it is here that you will remain for an eternity. For while there is one way to leave this place, you must ask yourselves what you are willing to sacrifice in order to return to your lands. For if you enter the Forge of Sorrows and barter with the Shaper of Men, he will reforge your destiny and set you on a new path, a path of vengeance that will take you far from here just as Dranoth once did a millennia ago. So do not despair, my servants, for there is always hope for your… salvation.”

It was here that the adventurers were made to toil in a wicked afterlife, but it was also here that the adventuring party would make a powerful ally who would ultimately help them escape. After many hours or days, perhaps, of working in the Silt-Lord’s demon forges the adventurers made a deal with a mysterious alchemist. This man, maybe even a lesser demon, offered to create “blood mimics” out of the party. These mimics would take the place of the adventurers in the forges and work in their stead. This would give the adventurers time to steal away from their miserable work and explore the hellish landscape.

The tunnels underneath the demon forges were populated with wayward dead, wandering demons and even a city of lost souls. Eventually the party made allies with a paladin named Golthiron who would later help them escape by acquiring weapons and a planar stone responsible for binding the power of the Silt-Lord’s domain to the demon.

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Battle in Bravaul
Siege of the Goblin Fort

The adventuring party had been doing some work in and around Tradekeep, some of which was for Baron Vaustburn and some of it was for themselves. After a time the group set their sights to the Green Country to address the growing issue of banditry. Solgrin Drothspell enlisted a force of Shield Bearers of the Dragon mercenaries combined with a group of Bravaullian Scouts recruited by Aegishand and Larkspur to assault a nearby goblin fortress. The adventuring party and their allies attacked the fortress during the daylight using siege weapons built in the field. The combined force proved a greater match than the goblins could handle and the adventuring party destroyed the fortress and rescued numerous prisoners in the lower dungeons. The party won a good deal of recognition and a handsome pile of loot.

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A New Adventure

Four strangers all connected to a retired adventurer arrive to the Grinning Goblin, a small tavern in the city of Tradekeep. Larkspur, a halfling archer travels from Rokourd to meet an old friend to discuss a vile curse that has been laid upon him numbering his days. Aegishand, a dwarf thief, has departed his home in Eltgaard to keep secret a magic gemstone he stole from a powerful warlord in the region. A dark swordsman with an even darker past, Solgrin, has come from Burndordraath to plot his next move: hide from his foes or confront them with bloody vengeance? Mogroth, a half-orc traveler, has been all across Dalun and recently has been made to deal with the grief of loosing his betrothed. She had been captured by evil men, now likely slain, he wishes to find her, confirm her fate and claim the gift she intended to give him – a gold-threaded belt.

The men were to meet with their mutual friend, Erel, once an infamous thief with a long and profitable career and now a retired adventurer and barkeep. However, their meeting quickly turned from discussing plans for the future to fighting for their lives!

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