Dungeoneering Squad X

A Tactical Flee
...and Murder

Blood poured from Vaol’s empty eye socket as healing magic flowed forth from the cleric’s finger tips. The party stood around an watched as the empty socket was healed with divine magic, however the damage was to great to restore the eye. Vaol assembled an eye patch from cloth and cord and obscured the empty socket. The air was heavy and silent as the party watched Vaol rise to his feet, adrenaline still flowing from the ordeal and the battle roughly an hour earlier. Romulus stacked the bodies of the party’s fallen rivals as Ryl attempted to tame the horse of the deceased leader of the rival adventuring party, Tam. The party watched as Ryl struggled. Annoyed and frightened, the horse ran north towards Winterhaven, Frustrated, Ryl ignited his hands and tossed a mighty blast of arcane fire towards the fleeing creature. The horse collapsed onto it’s front legs and hobbled over, near death. The horse collapsed as a magic missile struck it’s skull, ending it’s misery. Romulus then returned after reconvening with Saxon, none the wiser to the equestrian murder that had just occurred.

After producing their map the party decided it best to avoid the town of N’JAst entirely and instead travel through the tundra until they could return safely to the western road. Saxon was loaded with the party’s equipment as they began the long walk to the western coast of Faerun. As night fell it became apparent that the party was not alone in this large expanse of tundra. Small torches scattered the landscape, likely goblin scouts of the Ironwall Mountains. As night fell the party prepared to sleep. Vaol inscribed a large magic circle into the ground to target the goblins if they came to close while Ryl produced some impressively powerful magical alarm wards to notify the party. After less than an hour of sleep the party was awakened by the pulsing alarm ward. A single goblin, startled by the loud noise of the alarm frantically re-mounted his wolf and began to run. The goblin did not escape as a cascade of divine light and arcane fire fell over the goblin and his wolf steed. A single shadowy dagger ended the goblin’s life as a magic missile euthanized yet another steed. The party was awakened a few hour later to more goblins investigating the earlier corpse. That was, until they were immolated by an irritated Ryl Fleck.

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The Hordes
A Stroke of Bad Luck

The howling of several hundred creatures broke the silence as Romulus rested, guarding the entrance way to the citadel. The unknown screams sounding ethereal and unworldly. Romulus quickly rose to his feet and ran upstairs to where the party slept. Romulus’ heavy hand met the wooden door to the old master’s chamber, immediately punching a hole through the mahogany. The sound quickly awakened the party inside as three frantic orcs made their way up the stairs. Romulus pulled his arm from the door as the orcs explained that hundreds of elves were laying siege to Gardmore’s gates. The party quickly donned their gear, with Vandal and Vaol reapplying their orcish disguises before rushing out the citadel’s doors to meet what horde of creatures was attempting to break the gates.

The orcs were organizing on the ramparts using torchlight to get a better view of their enemy. Ogres and orcs with weapons prepared approaching from Gardmore village, awaiting Big Tuna’s orders. Vandal barked at the orcs to prepare for battle, commanding all with ranged weapons to join the party on the ramparts and battlements. Ryl quickly identified the threat as eladrin, corrupted and twisted by necromantic magic. They approached in tight formation with robotic movements. The party scaled the southern battlement as the twisted fey creatures crashed upon the portcullis. Vaol’s eyes scanned the enemy, he saw several abyssal maws a midst the fey creatures, however his greatest concern was the towering fomorian approaching the gate. The fomorian wielded an enormous blade in one hand with heavy armor covering his vitals, the ground shaking with every footstep. Vaol notified the others of another creature that caught his sight, a winged devil figure floating off in the distance. However it was the approaching fomorian that was their greatest concern, its height exceeding the city walls, it was only a matter of time before it broke through.

Fomorian_-_Hoghorn.jpg

Ryl immediately produced a scroll of magic circle and began implementing it upon the ground just inside Gardmore’s walls. The powerful ritual would offer a barrier against the undead fey. Vandal called to the orcs to pile anything they could to reinforce the gate and for the ranged orcs to ready their attacks against the approaching fomorian. The bodies of slain orcs and junk laying about was quickly piled against the portcullis as the methodical slashes of eladrin chipped away at the ancient defenses. Suddenly a thought struck the party: fire. Vandal called for the orcs to produce anything flammable whilst Morte assembled a makeshift Molotov cocktail from lantern oil and a glass container. Morte rushed back to the battlements past the battleready Romulus and met the party as the fomorian came within javelin range. The orcs all threw their hand axes and javelins; as well as a single wobbly arrow. A feeling of dread overwhelmed the orcs as their weapons simply bounced off the fomorians hide. The giant fey beast let out a low chuckle and continued his slow pace towards the gate. The party quickly realized that this creature was like no foe they had faced before and it was now an effort to buy time for Ryl to complete the circle.

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The Beginning
Where Roads Converge

Our adventure begins in the small town of Higgendale, a town whose main source of economy revolves around sheep. Things are not well in Higgendale though; a band of goblins has been causing havoc. The goblins have been stealing mass quantities of sheep almost daily for some unknown reason. But one day their efforts were thwarted. Several solitary travellers of skill were wandering through the town of Higgendale when the goblins tried an attack. They goblins were slain in their attempts by 4 adventurers. Morte Samang, a drow assassin, adept with using a large blade and exploiting enemy weaknesses through his taming of shadows. Lavica Sve Vidim, an egotistical bard with the ability to magically channel song and music to defeat her foes. Eisen Madchen, a brutish former gladiator, still seeking challenges. Lakko Verkfall, a twin blade wielding goliath, adept at traversing the forested area surrounding Higgendale.

The Goblins were easily dispatched by the group, and are confronted by Nyx, mayor of Higgendale, pleading that the adventurers find the source of the goblin menace and save the town. The enticement of a reward seals the deal, and the newfound group travel north to seek out the goblins. After some time, they are met by a group of goblins attempting to ambush travellers lead by a particularly brutish hobgoblin. The party holds up the attacking goblin’s advance whilst Lakko scales a nearby tree. Lakko’s ability to traverse the forest allows him to make a surprise attack upon the goblins holding the rear. The goliath leaps from the tree, twin blades cleaving an unsuspecting goblin in three. The Hobgoblin is a bit of a challenge, but is eventually subdued by the party. Morte discovers the Hobgoblin was in possession of a magic longsword engraved with the name “Adrion”, which he claims as his own.

The party travel further down the road, Lakko’s tracking ability eventually leads them to a false covering, concealing a branch in the path. The party follow this path and are met by a lone bugbear guarding the entrance to a stone staircase leading down into the earth. The bugbear attacks with brutal force, but is cut to pieces by the party. They then proceed down the staircase.

The party observes a small underground outpost, most likely built by dwarves, a large seam separating the room in half. Several goblins are poised to attack, and defend themselves against the intruding adventurers. A hobgoblin with silver dreadlocks stands at the back of the room clasping a long spear, his other hand on a lever in the wall. As several goblins are slain the hobgoblin pulls the lever. The room begins to emit a loud grinding sound, then the seam in the parting the room begins to separate. A large gap in the floor is formed, roughly 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The hobgoblin chuckles, but Lakko and Eisen see this as an opportunity to attack. Lakko makes a great leap and engages the hobgoblin in combat. Eisen attempts the same, but unfortunately loses his footing and falls into the pit. Despite the fall, his brutish physique prevents much injury. Lakko begins a one on one fight with the hobgoblin, but finds himself outmatched until Lavica and Morte begin to attack from across the chasm. Lavica’s mystical words prod holes in the hobgoblin’s armor, allowing Lakko and Eisen, to land several attacks. Suddenly, a noose laden with shadow wraps around the hobgoblin’s neck, Morte’s hands holding the other end. Morte pulls with a resounding crack, the hobgoblin tumbles to the bottom of the pit, dead. Eisen and Lakko climb down into the pit and search the body, and to show Nyx of their success, take the hobgoblin’s head. The party then leaves the small stony chamber and returns to Higgendale. They meet with Nyx and show him the decapitated head of the hobgoblin they had slain. Nyx, is rather disgusted by the sight of the head but states that he has seen this hobgoblin before leading attacks. Nyx invites the party to join him in the evening for dinner. The party agrees and then peruses the town until the evening. Several go to the bar and consume ale served by dwarf of questionable sanitary standards. Lakko meets a young weaponsmith who agrees to sharpen his bastard swords to a fine edge before morning. The party then join Nyx for a feast of mutton. Nyx brags of his son’s excellent mutton jerky and spreads some amoungst the party. Lakko, taking a particular liking to the jerky, purchases more. Nyx invites the party to stay in his manor for the night, and the party retires after a night of conversation.

The party wakes in the morning and joins Nyx for breakfast before heading northbound down the trail they had followed earlier. Lakko observes the trail for goblin footprints, and discovers ones deeper than others. He deduces that these must be from the goblins carrying the sheep. They follow the tracks further northbound and discover they lead to a seemingly abandoned entrance to a goblin stronghold. The party ready their weapons and then head down the dilapidated steps. They are met with a large rusty portcullis with a glow of torches behind it. Small humanoids patrol the area behind the portcullis, seemingly on guard duty. One of the goblins spots the party and yells in goblin “intruders!” and prepares for battle. Several goblins draw bows as the party attempts to break through the iron bars. The party is met with a volley of daggers and arrows, but Eisen and Lakko manage to snap through the old iron bars. Just as they do so, a large white bear sprints from somewhere within the room and tackles a goblin to the ground, the bear then proceeds to maul the goblin to death. The party is somewhat taken back by this, but enters the room and begins battling the goblins along with the large polar bear. The party sees another entity within the room, a Drow wearing strange robes and carrying a long staff, he appears to be commanding the bear through a spiritual link. The party has no problem slaying the remaining goblins and then greet the creature that assisted them. He greets the party as Mallister the Wanderer, a druid of the forest. He explains that the goblins are harmful to the delicate balance of the surrounding foliage and fauna and that they must be eradicated. Seeing that their goals align, the party agrees to continue this quest together. The party enters a small door to the right of a spiral staircase leading downwards, and are meet with a long torchlit hallway, a foul smell fills the air. The party enters through the first of two doors they are met with and are met by two large bugbears sitting at a table. The bugbears are caught off guard by the party’s entry, the solid stone construction of the dwarven stronghold obscuring the sound from the previous battle. The bugbears grab morningstars from the table and engage the party. One of the bugbears wields his weapon with considerable ferocity, but Mallister’s bear, called Van’Yla Eyce, guards the party with its large stature and spiritual aura. This allows the party to cut down the bugbear. Lakko, putting the full force of his blades into a mighty scissor swing, cleaves one of the bugbear’s chest open. The other soon falls to a barrage of attacks. The party observes the room they had entered seems to have been converted into a bunkroom with footlockers at the end of each bed. The strongest of the group break open the boxes while Morte’s finesse with a lock pick allows him to open several with ease. They find several small trinkets and a small amount of gold. Lakko dusts off a filthy old fedora found within one of the lockers and places it upon his head. The party insists that it may not be so wise to take something so dilapidated, but Lakko insists that he looks better than ever. The party then leaves the room and continues to the other room. The party bursts into the room with ferocity, and are met by several goblins watching two hyenas fighting in a deep pit. The goblins are taken off guard by the group’s appearance, but a burly looking hobgoblin across the pit lifts a javelin off of his desk and orders an attack upon the intruders. The battle begins vigorously, as a wyrmpriest begins sending hexes at the party. Lavica begins battling the javelin throwing hobgoblin at the opposite end of the room, pitting magic against physical projectiles. Lakko becomes aggravated by the wyrmpriests chanting and with a seeming impossible feat of strength, Lakko leaps 25 feet across the hyena pit, landing effortlessly. The wyrmpriest is stunned by this feat of strength, as it left him exposed on the side. The wyrmpriest manages to hold off Lakko with his hexes, but not for long. Morte, Mallister and Eisen manage to break through the goblin defences, but at this time one of the hyenas climbs from the pit and attacks Eisen. The attack is of no concern to Eisen though; he chuckles at the beast’s attempt to kill him and slays the hyena with a single blow, surely a tribute to his gladiator training. Lavica finally kills the hobgoblin and the party regroup. They search amongst the bodies, finding little of value. Mallister manages to find a secret compartment in the hobgoblin’s desk though, yielding a fearsome looking dagger. Lakko claims the dagger as his own, saying “I can throw it the best”. The party finds this room to be a dead end, and probably held a different purpose when the ancient dwarves occupied this stronghold. The party returns to the main room, only to be met by several goblins fleeing through the entrance, a few of them carrying sheep. Suddenly, a sword pierces one of the goblins skulls from behind. His head freezes at an alarming rate and explodes; his corpse falls to the ground. The blade the flies through the air back to the hand of an elegantly dressed eladrin female. Her features appear flawless, as if never met by battle. She greets the group as Ella Sariel, a Swordmage from Fraustpyre, an eladrin city in the far north. She explains that she has tracked a white dragon here from her home after it attacked and killed several of Fraustpyre’s inhabitants. The party agrees that they should continue at this point together, and proceed down a large spiral staircase. The staircase leads to a hallway that opens into a very large underground chamber with high ceilings. The ceilings have collapsed in several places leaving rubble on the ground. 2 bugbears stand guard in front of a large set of double stone doors while several goblins are ready to attack. The party lures the goblins into a chokepoint, where they are quickly dispatched by both spell and blade. The bugbears attempt a brutish attack, and although they land some brutalizing blows, they are eventually subdued. Only the large double doors stand before them, to their left, an enormous pile of bones Mallister identifies as being from sheep.

The door is pushed open, before them at the end of a long hallway, sitting behind an intricately carved stone throne, is a young white dragon. The dragon rears its head and observes the party as they enter. The dragon bickers at the party, saying they are no match for him. He identifies himself as Gulgorn. Lakko mocks the dragon, as he has become obese upon his diet of sheep. Gulgorn assures Lakko the group is no match for him and attacks. Gulgorn is slow to attack, and the party quickly engages him from the front. Gulgorn unleashes a mighty breath of cold and ice that envelops the party, freezing limbs. Morte sees the dim lighting and shadows cast by the dragon as an opportunity to position him-self. He moves amongst the shadows to the dragon’s rear, where he unleashes a brutal attack with his broadsword, the dragon is taken off guard by this attack and swings around violently. His tail strikes Lakko and Ella, but Morte fades into the shadows, appearing invisible to Gulgorn. Morte moves forward once again and unleashes another attack upon Gulgorn, whilst Lakko does the same from the front. The entire party attacks with ferocity, but Gulgorn overwhelms Lakko and he falls unconscious. Gulgorn unleashes another powerful breath of frost, but it is too late. Lavica focuses all of her energy into a single arcane bolt and hurls it at the dragon. The bolt strikes the dragon in the head, the crackling energy warps and twists the dragon’s flesh, tearing his limbs and hide. The dragon lets out a mighty roar before collapsing to the ground, dead.

Ella curses the dragon’s greed and gluttony, and removes several of its scales as a trophy. Several others do the same. Mallister notices a skeleton behind the throne wearing rune bearing leather armour. Ella identifies the runes as fire repelling runes and is able to graft them onto her armour within a short period of time. The party also finds a small amount of gold the dragon had been hording, and leave the ancient dwarven stronghold. They return to the town of Higgendale and are met by a very eager Nyx. He thanks the party profusely and rewards them with a small coffer of gold. He assures them that they are welcome any time in Higgendale and that he will do anything he can. The party feasts with Nyx and have a small celebration amongst the town. After a night of food and ale, the party retire in Nyx’s manor. In the morning the party decide what do from their current situation. Nyx advises them that they are a formidable adventuring party and should continue together. He tells them of a land to the east where there is said to be a ghost that can answer any question you ask. This seems intriguing to the party, and they decide to continue together, for the most part. Lavica explains that she must attend to some important matters, while Eisen explains he “needs time to think”.

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