The Unknown Past

The Return to Orc Keep

Ok…whose turn is it? If you need any help let me know.

Basic outline as Jay remembers it:
  • Pelor messenger arrived – no portable hole at this time, church will work on politicking to get keep restored to feltengara family and still supports reconsecrating the altar in the crypt.
  • Count messenger returns – 5 newbie guards are sent to assist which Lud spars with to verify they are worth taking
  • Party gears up and after 2.5 weeks moves out with along with the assistants; 1 priest of Pelor, 2 Rangers, 5 newbie guards
  • Travel for a week to get free of all civilizations marks.
  • 3 more days, find ruts from a wagon about three weeks old.
  • It dawns on party that they it has been nearly eight weeks since they returned from the keep last time and over 13 weeks since they started their adventures. That makes it now some time in mid-Febrile.
  • They agree to follow the trail to the north, hoping to find an orc caravan.
  • They come across a camp site from the caravan and determine that there are about 25 orcs sleeping there.
  • Continue to follow the trail realizing that they are gaining on the caravan as the tracks are becoming slowly more fresh.
  • Lud and Phlarr are scouting ahead when they notice two orc scouts up ahead of them, one on each side of the trail they are following about 40 feet into the thick Darke Harte Forest.
  • Waited for the party to show up and a discussion on how to proceed.
  • Phlarr decides to scour a wide area for more intelligence before proceeding scours 200 feet in each direction.
  • With the location and estimated timing of the tracks found, the formation of the orcs caravan is calculated
  • The plan to camp here and ready themselves for an attack on the orc caravan in the morning.
View
The Missing Flower, The Return

The party carried the scared girl out of the keep’s catacombs via the riverside tunnel they had used when originally entering the area. In the light of day, the rescued girl recognized Biri from the church of Bahamut in Rivergate and agreed to travel with the group to her home and to her waiting father. Biri helped the Lilly clean herself in the river near the tunnel entrance while the rest of the group discussed how best to return home while avoiding the orcs. Finally the group moved out to the north, towards the mountains with the hope that the orc patrols could be avoided.

The party moved mostly north with a westerly lean, taking time during their travels to cover their trail and lay a few false ones. Biri continued to carry Lilly after it was determined that she could not keep up with the pace the party wanted to set due to her weakened condition. Once the terrain became rougher, and looked like it may slow their progress, the party turned almost due west hoping to hit the village of Clifton’s Way.

After a few days, they ran into a scruffy, gray haired, brown robed, trapper sitting alone in the woods. After a short and slightly confusing conversation it was determined that the man’s name was Ben Koertig, he was a little crazy, and he was the same man that a couple of months ago had sold a portion of an artifact to Professor Raibeart. Xyphus had been previously tasked to find out any information that he could regarding the artifact by the Professor, so the party talked Ben into leading him to where he had found the dyed shard of bone.

They made an early camp at the site Ben lead them to and then searched the area until shortly after dark for objects of interest. While they did not find any additional parts of the artifact Xyphus was looking for they did locate the stone that it had been under originally. They also found an ancient matched pair of daggers that still had faint etchings on the blades, a broken bottle with an unknown signet imprinted gold seal over the opening, and a engraved gold medallion with a thumbnail sized emerald in the center.

After breaking camp the party continued to the west until they spotted the Cliffs of Valkor towering over the tops of the trees. Expecting the village of Clifton’s Way to be about 25 miles away the party pushed themselves to reach it that day. A couple hours after dark the party still had not seen any signs of habitation so they set camp for the night. They traveled about 20 miles a day keeping the cliffs in sight with no signs of people for about five confusing days. During the morning of the sixth day of the second week of their travels, the group found its way into outskirts of the village of Clifton’s Way and made it into the hamlet proper by just before midday.

Deciding to get Lilly to her father as soon as possible, the party continued down the arcing road to Rivergate. They encounter a pair of Knights Verdouyant at each of the resting circles on the road. When they arrive at the entrance to Rivergate shortly after sundown they are met by four armed guards they did not recognize and a freshly installed palisade running from each edge of the road to the bank of the river.

The Sergeant Walter and his guards confronted, stopped, and questioned the party then one of the guards ran into town to get Commander Tynne. When the commander arrived he escorted them to the guard barracks and offered the group the meager remnants of his men’s supper. While Lilly partook of the offered soup, the commander sent for her father, then began debriefing the party while they waited for Master Bartholomew.

Master Bartholomew arrived, tearfully hugged his daughter, hurriedly thanked the heroes and invited them to his house for supper the next night then rushed his daughter out of the guard house barely waiting for the party to agree. With the girl safely in her father’s care, the commander offered to take party members to the Inn of the Dancing Goblin for drinks.

The party’s arrival sparked some interest in the regulars of the Dancing Goblin including the innkeeper, Goodman Adamson, and the storytelling Professor Raibeart. The night continued to go well for the group as the innkeeper offered a meal and a room for each. As the party finally began to really relax, the professor came over to join them where he joined Tynne in hearing the details of the group’s adventure. During the night’s discussion, Mayor Fellid stopped by and congratulated the party on their success, thanked them for the service that they provided the community, and offered his help if it was ever needed. The party ended their day by crawling between clean sheets and sleeping off the ground for the first time in what seemed like forever.

The next day the more scholarly members of the group went to visit Professor Raibeart. The professor allowed his young friends to make use of his facilities to research the function and value of the items that they had procured during their adventure. They did the best they could and with the help of the professor they managed to identify the majority of the items: 20 Drow made gold coins, a bolt of rare iridescent blue-violet cloth, a Drow ritual dagger, magical Wildrunners boots, 2 ancient rusted matched daggers with the barely visible remnants of engraving on the blade, an ornately carved golden medallion with a thumb sized emerald at its heart that once belonged to a High Priest of Melora, the broken off top of a clear bottle covered with a gold seal that was stamped with the personal signet of a 2000 year dead Knight Justicar, and a yet to be identified magical ring.

That evening’s dinner at Master Bartholomew’s house was a rather sedate affair. The meal was standard fare for the area; nutty pastries as an appetizer, roast beef, potatoes,and greens for the main course, and bread pudding for desert. All of the food was plentiful, extremely well prepared, and exoticly flavored, making what would have been a standard inn meal seem to the group an extravagant banquet. As the conversation began to die off and the night became late, the host thanked the heroes again and escorted them to the door. As each one left his home, a misty eyed Bartholomew heartily shook their hands and slipped a small leather bag into each person’s hands. As they walked back to their inn rooms, they discovered that the guild leader had given each of the seven heroes 30 gold Regals!

The next dozen days were filled with the nightly debate and discussion regarding where to go from here and the daily study and training to hone the heroes skills. All during this time the the towns proprietors and skill masters freely gave their skills and wares to the group’s members.

As the community’s generosity began to wear thin the party decided how to proceed: They would move off to the capital of the Barony of Anadar, Wuudwyn, in search of additional support for the newly agreed to quest to remove the Orcish threat to the town of Rivergate.

The overland travel from Rivergate to Wuudwyn was a very uneventful five days. Upon arriving at the stone walled city, the party was greeted by city watch and after a few questions, directed to the castle belonging to the Baron Galeford Anadar. Traipsing through a human city of nearly 1000 was a completely different experience than most of the party had ever had. The press of the buildings, the winding streets, the calls of the merchants, and the aromas all made for slow progress to the castle.

After arriving at the castle and making their way from the guards to the chamberlain, party made clear the reasons for their visit and used the letters from the Mayor Fellid and Commander Tynne along with some smooth talking to get awarded a meeting with the Baron the next day. The chamberlain directed them to a nearby inn and told them that he would contact them when the baron was ready to see them.

The party has a meeting with the priests at the Temple of Pelor inWuudwyn. They informed the priest of the desecrated altar and after a discussion the priest agree to send one of themselves to help reconsecrate the altar when the party returns. (needs some more meat…any takers)

After a few days the party was summoned to meet with Baron Galeford. The baron asked many questions regarding the groups previous accomplishments and their plans. The baron sends a messenger to his liege, the count of Barseen, asking for additional soldier so that he can send some additional help with the party. Either way the baron agreed to send two Rangers with the party to help protect the priest of Pelor since he was a follower. (needs some more meat…any takers)

The party found itself waiting in Wuudwyn for an answer from the count before proceeding to attack the keep and reconsecrate the alter of Pelor. Inn rooms were procured and trainer’s located to allow the group to continue improving their skills while they waited the expected two weeks. They also had a new town to explore with its various shops and inns, its open market with a regularly changing variety of goods from the nearby land owners, and new soldiers, knights, and scholars to socialize with.

View
The Missing Flower, Part 5

Again I am sorry for the late post.

After the execution of the drow shadowhunter, the decision was made to continue the search of the tunnel system. They began their search at the stone door which had been found before the run in with the drow.

The concealed stone door opened into a pitch black, man-made, tunnel heading left and right. The wizards, Xyphus and Erowin, each created a light stones then used mage hand to deliver those stones as far as they could in each direction. This provided a well lit area for to test the doors function and to watch for anything aggressive approaching. Phlarr used his keen powers of observation to locate a method of opening the door from “outside”, and after a few minutes had located the latching mechanism for the very well hidden secret door. The party verified they could open the door from either side and discretely marked the ceiling so they could locate the secret door before heading off down the right hand passageway.

They first traveled to the right a few hundred feet down the obviously ancient, but well maintained, passage until it ended in a small circular chamber about ten feet across. On one wall of the chamber there was what appeared to be a golden ladder leading up to a trapdoor in the ceiling. After careful examination, the ladder and door were determined to be sturdy, only plated in gold, and to have been closed for a very long time. The party’s exploration continued back to the secret door and then down what was originally the “left” passageway. This branch of the tunnel ended in an oddly angled jog to the left and almost immediately into a rectangular room that was 15 foot deep by 10 foot wide. Near the tunnel’s entrance to the room, on the left wall, was a five foot wide archway leading into a marble lined room and on the center of the right wall of the room was another of the golden ladders and its trapdoors in the ceiling.

Phlarr moved into the room to check out the trapdoor and Lud began searching the marble lined room. The first thing Lud noticed was the dry rot infested remains of a pair of benches to the right of the arched doorway, and to the left, a pile of rotting corpses stacked on what appeared to be a golden altar. A quick glance over the rotting wood, and Lud began looking closely at the bodies on the altar. At his touch the corpses began rising and with silent deliberation began attacking the party members.

Lud took the brunt of the initial attacks while Portick moved into the fray in support of his companion. As combat began in earnest, some of the party members struggled to squeeze through the tunnel and into the two confined rooms to battle the eight zombie duergar. During the fight, Lud fell to the undead but the healing touch of Damillia restored him in time to help finish off the last of the zombies.

After the battle and a short discussion over how to proceed, the group decided to clean up after the fight, search the two rooms, investigate both of the areas above the golden trapdoors, and rest before moving as a group to another floor.

The party began searching the marble lined hallway-like room. On each side of the arch leading into the room there were wider spaces. On one side, where the duergar zombies had been originally piled, was a horrifically blood stained gold altar to the god Pelor. With the assistance of Xyphus, a shocked and saddened Damillia began doing what she could to clean the desecrated altar of her god. On the other side of the archway was the extremely dry rotted remnants of two oak benches that had once faced the altar. Most of the room was barely over five feet wide, the ceiling was about ten feet high, and the room ran 35 feet with an alcove at each end. There was a statue in each alcove. Each statue was of a different, noble-looking, male human.

Based on the plaques that were on the bottom of each statue’s base, one of the statues was identified as Ersintine Shakala and the other was Demetrius Feltingara. Everyone knew the name of Ersintine, but it took some brain delving for Xyphus to come up with Demetrius Feltingara as the founder of the Duchy of Feltingara, the duchy that governs Rivergate.

A closer inspection of the wall’s marble coverings allowed the party to identify the two foot tall by two and a half foot wide marble slabs as facings of wall crypts. Each slab had a golden shield emblazoned with a green tree that has blue scales hanging from its lower limbs. Below the shield most of the slabs also had a gold name plaque bearing the name of the interred member of the Feltingara family.

The investigations of the areas above the trapdoors began with Phlarr, Biri, and Xyphus moving to the circular room at the far end of the hallway. After oiling and opening the trapdoor, the three found circular space above. The trap door opened into a small chamber within the hollow of a giant oak tree. Peaking up through the rotted out top of the tree, it was determined that they were probably in the woods many hundreds feet north of the orc keep. It looks like this may have been an ancient secret exit from the keep.

After returning to the room where the fight occurred, Phlarr climbed the golden ladder that he was inspecting before the battle began. He oiled the moving parts on the gold plated trapdoor, slid the locking bars out of the way, and pushed it up and into a claustrophobic, pitch black, space barely wider than the trapdoor itself. The walls that surrounded the space were sanded and waxed redwood. Phlarr’s internal secret door alarm went off so he looked for and located the latch that released one of the walls of the space. After listening for a while for sounds of movement on the other side of the secret door, Phlarr decided to try to open it but it would not move easily.

The rest was uneventful until, during the second watch, a spectral force came out of the statue of Demetrius Feltingara. The ghostly entity silently removed all of the remaining battle clutter and stains from the area of the fight. It then began to move down the tunnel. When it reached the circular “escape” room at the end of the tunnel it moved into the wall and as it did all of the materials that it had collected seemed to disintegrate. The wizards speculated that it was some advanced form of unseen servant.

After everyone awoke and made ready to move on, Portick volunteered to force the door open stuck redwood secret door and after much flexing and straining the door slid open into a dark room piled full of food stuffs .Phlarr and Lud began to explore the darkened space. They climbed over the scattered bags of grain and around the crates and boxes. Upon reaching the clear space in the room they stopped and took stock of their surroundings. On the left wall of the room was a twenty foot long floor to ceiling redwood wine rack with very few remaining bottles. On the left wall where it met the far wall there was a solid iron reinforced door with a sliver of light shining from its base. Across from the door was a spiral stone stair case winding upwards. On the right and rear walls were many various food containers including grains, dried meats and tubers, pickled fish and vegetables, and two tuns of ale.

Everyone moved from the crypt area into the storeroom then they proceeded to follow the stair to the floor above where they found a very narrow hallway. They decided to follow this hall and listen at its doors before they continued up the staircase. Of the four doors in this hall two of them had sounds of people sleeping in them and two were silent. On the next floor the hall was wider, the stairs ended, there were 6 doors, and am iron ladder leading to an iron trapdoor. Four of the top floor’s doors had obvious sounds of sleeping and the two were silent. With the reconnaissance complete the party decided to peak into the door off of the storage room.

Quietly peering into the space let them see a room with a table and two orcs sitting at it. The orcs had their heads down and seemed to be asleep. Opposite the door into the room was a short hall that ended in floor to ceiling iron bars. Feeling that they had found the prison area and the likely location of the missing girl, the party positioned themselves to invade the door off of the storage room, hoping to quickly and quietly dispatch the orcs, find the girl behind the bars, free her, and make their escape before anyone was the wiser.

They planned their raid on the prison to take the sleeping orcs by surprise hoping to prevent a call of alarm. Phlarr and Lud snuck into the room and synchronized the use of their most deadly attacks on the two orcs that were sleep at the table. The devastating blows from the warriors succeeded in killing the orcs but managed to crush the flimsy table and ended up making a small ruckus. Lud began looking over the dead orcs bodies while Phlarr moved to check on the jail area for the girl. From the door at the back of the room two more orc leapt into the area surprising Lud and Phlarr. The party all moved into the room and worked together to quickly dispatch the two remaining orcs, but not before one of them could shout “Intruders!”

With everyone anxious due to the shout, the party blocked the door that the last orcs entered from while Phlarr attempted to pick the lock the jail cell that contained the girl. Amazingly he was able to get the door opened after a few quick attempts. He decided at that moment that he should get some additional training in this so that next time maybe luck and old locks may not have to play such a big part in his success. The grabed the girl and rushed out of the prison area to the sounds movement on the floors above.

With the felling of the orcs, the rescuing of young girl, and the sounds of enemy footsteps overhead, the party moved quickly to the secret passage to make their escape. Xyphus used his flame sphere to create a barrier on the stairs while the others went down the ladder and into the crypt, except for himself and Erowin. When everyone else was down Xyphus went down and closed and latched both the secret door and the trapdoor. Erowin then repositioned as many of the bags as she could to disguise the secret door they had opened to get into the cellar. When she heard footsteps behind her on the stairs, she feystepped into the catacombs below and the party turned to make a run for it.

View
The Missing Flower, Part 4

Sorry for the late post everyone…Jay

After asking some of the same questions of the captured goblin and getting somewhat similar responses, the party decided to set up camp for the night and get a fresh look at everything in the morning. Watches were decided on, camp set up, and everyone relaxed for the night.

Apparently the day was very exhausting because “everyone relaxed” included first watch members, Portick and Erowin. About two hours into the night, and unnoticed by the assigned watchers, a faint metallic sound in the distance woke Phlarr from his light sleep. Phlarr roused the rest of the team then he and Lud moved out into the forest’s dark night searching for the source of the sound.

As they approached the path they noticed a grouping of lights travelling at a steady clip toward the east. Phlarr laid low keeping an eye on the advancing mounted group while Lud moved quietly through the forest to get a better look at who or what was approaching. Before Lud had moved very far away from Phlarr, he made an accidental misstep which caught the attention of a previously unseen humanoid shadow creeping through the woods nearby. Phlarr spotted the dark figure as it moved between himself and Lud. It was silently advancing on Lud with its bow drawn. In an attempt to distract the bowman and protect his friend, Phlarr picked up a stone and threw it across the road at a distant tree. The rock arced through the air miraculously missing all intervening branches and striking the intended tree with a distinct “Thwack”.

The sudden sound attracted the attention of the mounted group and their leader called out quietly that they would handle the ones across the road and for persons unknown to deal with the previous threat. Lud recognized the leader’s voice as that of his friend and trainer Commander Tynne. Lud called out from the bushes to the commander and identified himself, reliving most the tension from what was quickly becoming a dangerous situation.

The group escorted Commander Tynne, the two Knights Verdoyant, and a very stealthy member of the Ranger Corpsback to their camp where the party brought the small group of warriors up to speed on their findings and concerns. There was a heated discussion between some of the party and Commander Tynne as to what had been done, what was known, who should be doing what, and what should happen next. During the discussion the commander sent the ranger to look at the orc camp and its wagon to gather some additional intelligence. After a long wait the ranger returned with the requested information and the startling fact that the wagon had metal cages hanging from it with what appeared to be human heads in them.

In the end, the commander decided that he had to uphold his duties and return to protect the town of Rivergate from possible invasion. The knights agreed to return with him to the town and the ranger agreed to return to town but only after verifying the identity of a few of the wagon’s gruesome decorations.

The rest of the night was used to rest and recover and shortly after the sun rose, the Ranger set out with the party to completely scout the orc war party, try to identify the dead humans, and validate the destination of the wagon. To accomplish this they continued to follow the wagon all during the day and decided to use the cover of night to get closer to gather the specifics of the what was contained in the cages.

Under the cover of night the Ranger, Lud, and Phlarr approached the orc camp while the remaining party members stood out of sight and downwind from the camp. Phlarr and Lud took a cover position and the ranger moved up to open one of the cages. After the Ranger got a good look, he and Phlarr moved back to the party’s position. While the party was discussing the implications of the new information, a ruckus started in the orc camp and Portick moved forward to determine what is causing the commotion, since he speaks orc. Portick overheard a conversation in orc between an orc and a non-orc, regarding the fact that the orcs are being watched, the non-orc voice stated that he would take the heads, and the orc voice made it clear that the orcs were subordinate to other voice. As the voices stopped talking and Lud began to return to the party, his wolf scented something leaving the camp to the east.

As Portick explains that they have been spotted and an orc priest exits the wagon. The camp of orcs watch a brutal sacrifice of two of its own to the orc god Gruumsh One-Eye. The party decided that they need to get away before they are caught, so they tried to sneak away from the area back to the east. The orcs broke their huddle of evil and death with murder on their minds, spreading out from the wagon looking for the interlopers.

The party made it a good distance from the orc camp, when a ghostly floating eye of Gruumsh is spotted following the party. They reached their own camp and the ghost eye vanished. The party grabbed all of their belongings and headed south, into the woods, and shortly thereafter a dozen orcs arrived at the camp with blood lust in their hearts.

The focused pursuit began in earnest by the dozen bloodthirsty orcs..

Xyphus and Erowin apply creative use of their cantrips, and the ranger makes use of his body and a couple of his feathered to draw the orcs toward the sprinting ranger and away from the party. The party used the confusion to skirt their old camp and head east down the road. When they approach the orc’s camp there are still a large number of orcs in camp so the party decided to skirt that area also, continuing their eastward march. As they swing back toward the road, on the east side of the orc camp, the party takes a few minutes to look for any tracks that could belong to the whatever or whoever was smelled by the wolf. Phlarr found the trail and the group decided to follow.

Following the trail lead the party to a battered keep that the group assume to be the orc keep. The trail followed the tree line around the keep’s kill zone to the north and east. It seemed to end at a large debris pile on a wide creek a couple of hundred yards from the keep. In the debris pile, Phlarr found an entrance to an underground tunnel which the tracks entered. The party decided to take a break to rest and regroup before they entered the tunnels, so they moved a few hundred yards further away from the keep a make camp.

After their rest the party moved down into the tunnel. Using the wizards’ light and mage hand spells, the party begins its exploration of the tunnels. They located a tunnel whose sloping floor and widening walls led to a resting Drow shadowhunter. The hunter quickly engaged the party shouting for his dark mistress to escape while he held off the invaders and proceeding to lay into Biri with two massive blows from his long hunting knives. The party made quick work of him and spread out looking for the mistress he had called out to. As they let their guards down just a bit, a shadow streaked from behind the statue of the goddess Lolth , past the floor to ceiling dark purple divider, past Biri, through the decaying bodies of the Duergar miners, past Lud’s wolf, past Portick, Damillia, and Xyphus. Each of the startled party members took a wild swing at the cold dark streak that rushed past them but none of their blows struck home.

They searched the two spaces and found some trinkets of value in the drow priestess’ storage chest. They then chained the Drow shadowhunter to the wall and began questioning it. Seemingly unfazed by the parties threats and intimidation, the Drow held his tongue with only a few snide comments thrown out to frustrate his captors.

Will the party continue the exploration of the underground passages? Will they attempt to explore the keep? Why and how are the Drow involved with the orcs? How do the Drow and orcs relate to the goblins and giants with the flame hand tattoos?

View
The Missing Flower, Part 3

After Phlarr and Lud’s early morning struggle with the two orc scouts, followed by the party’s information light questioning of the survivor, and concern over Lud’s missing wolf companion; the group made the decision to head back east to where the orc caravan first joined the trail to the east.

Near mid-day they had arrived at the desired juncture and still there was no sign of the wolf or of the support that the wolf was sent back for. It was then decided that Lud and Phlarr would scout back down the path they came down looking for anything or anyone that was following them. The pair crept back east slowly, searching their way toward the possibly pursuing orc caravan.

After a couple of hours of travel, and with no enemy in sight, Phlarr and Lud decided to stop heading east and patrol the area that they were currently searching so that hopefully they would still make it back to the party if they spotted anything.

Another couple of hours passed and Phlarr had a bad feeling that they were being shadowed so he and Lud turned and hustled back to the party, trying to prevent getting ambushed.

During the trip back to the party, the suspicious feeling never lessened. As they returned to the area, they called out and the party readied for battle with the pursuers. When they six pursuing orc scouts began closing on their location, the orcs were spread wide in a sweeping pattern. The party moved quickly to engage the northern most scout hoping that with the density of the forest the orc threat could be handled more easily.

The battle began with the two northern most scouts being attacked by Lud and Phlarr. As the other orcs approached the battle split into two main areas with Portick, Biri and Damillia moving to engage the four that were closing, the mages, Xyphus and Erowin providing support to both battles.

Avandra seemed to favor the party, as thanks to luck and the dense woods, the contest quickly became a losing one for the orcs. One wounded scout saw the end was near and began trying to sprint back to the east and his approaching companions. Lud kept pace with the escaping orc and, with the help of Erowin and Xyphus, prevented his escape. That left Biri, Damillia and Portick to dispatch the remaining orcs of the second group. Thanks to the timely ministrations of Damillia, Biri and Portick were able to soundly thrash what remained of the orcs.

One of the orc scouts had been taken alive for further questioning. Biri used all of her angry, 6’8”, draconic looks and a little supportive playacting by her companions, to scare the some new information from the thoroughly intimidated scout:
  • Five goblins riding dire wolves were following the scouts and may be as little as a quarter hour behind.
  • A full war party of approximately 20 orcs, including a fairly powerful orc priest of Gruumsh One-Eye travelling with a wagon an hour or more behind the wolf riders.
  • The war party supposedly came from the south and was headed to the orc keep all the while they were collecting heads.
  • The missing girl seems to have been taken to the keep and may have been taken to start a war.
  • The keep may have up to 60 orcs and retainers

While the questioning was being wrapped up, conversations had, and decisions made over what to do next, Dami used the power of Pelor to help everyone’s wounds heal quickly and completely. Due to the quickness with which the goblin riders might be approaching, the limited probability of successfully disguising their scent and tracks from the dire wolves and their riders, and the in ability of the team to outrun the wolves, the decision was made to move to the most easily defended area and hopefully using a small clearing as a killing ground for the approaching riders.

For a short time luck withdrew her hand as the riders arrived as expected. One of them saw the remnants battle and his mount smelled the blood soaked party. The goblin turned his mount and led one of the other riders to the clearing. The battle ensued and Avandra again placed the hand of fate protectively over the party. Thanks to the tight quarters presented by the very dense forest and the very staggered arrival of the other goblin riders, what would have been a massacre of the party was turned into a barely successful struggle. Again the party subdued one of their opponents for questioning but that will have to wait until later. With the daylight almost at an end, the party badly battered and tired, a new prisoner to question, and the possibility of a 20 orc force slowly bearing down on their position, the party ponders its future.

What questions will the party ask of this captured goblin? What more could it possibly know? How much longer will the gods smile on the party? Is the young girl Lilly really at the orc keep and how long will the heroes leave her in the clutches of the evil orcs?

View
The Missing Flower, Part 2

After the party recovered from the battle with the goblins and dire wolves, they began the questioning of the captured goblin warrior. Lud and Portick were at odds on what was the best way to get information from the prisoner. Lud’s methods were not getting the information that the group required, so the Portick stepped in and bargained with the prisoner for some information. He promised the goblin his freedom for information that helped them find the missing girl. The goblin told Portick about an orc city further east down the path. With that information, Phlarr and the others began searching for the path that the goblin mentioned while Portick continued to question the goblin. The searchers found a small and hidden game trail that led the way the goblin directed them and the party headed off after the girl with the bound goblin in tow.

Near the end of the second day of following the trail, the group came upon a ford across a creek where the bound and gagged goblin became panicked and struggled against his tether to Lud’s wolf . The party stopped and began looking for signs of other goblins or orcs. Phlarr crossed the creek as quietly and discreetly as possible while Lud shimmied up a tree looking for a bird’s eye view and the others closed in to the ford area in case danger reared its head.

On the other side of the creek, Phlarr noticed a large rock that someone had been recently crouched behind at the same time that Lud noticed something running off through the woods in the same area. Lud quickly raised the alarm and Phlarr began the pursuit while the rest of the party began their crossing of the creek to support their companion.

The pursuit of the unknown creature led Phlarr into the midst of a dangerous situation, a group of orcs regrouping after a deadly battle with some of the area’s Rangers and knights. Phlarr skirted the area getting a feel for the area and allowing time for his friends to begin to catch up. As the group closed in the combat began. Three longbow wielding scouts, three seedy warriors, two hulking berserkers, and a foul mouthed witch doctor priest of Gruumsh and our intrepid heroes began the struggle. Biri led with her acid breath and the witch doctor responded with a blinding acid curse on Phlarr that plashed on to his nearby fellows.

The tide of battle surged back and forth. A scout and the warrior fell quickly on the side of the orcs while the orcs seemed to focus their attacks at the imposing dragonborn woman in their midst. Biri fell, only to be quickly restored by the attentive priestess Damillia. The wizards, Xyphus and Erowin, unleashed their most potent area spells into the tight cluster formed by the enemy.

With the fall of the witch doctor, one of the orc scouts sprinted from the edge of the fight, apparently attempting to get help for the remaining orcs. Phlarr and the wizards pursued and captured the escaping orc, while Portick led Lud and Damillia in killing the remaining orc scout and berserker at the main combat site.

After the combat was over, the arrogant witch doctor and fearless scout were threatened, questioned, and slain. Phlarr also killed the goblin that the wolf had drug along and that Portick had promised eventual freedom to. Lud’s wolf was sent to the town with a note explaining what had been learned, requesting help, and communicating location of the dead rangers and knights.

During the questioning, It came to light that a tattoo that Biri had seen on the giants that slew her clan was also on the chest of the witch doctor. After pooling their information, the team felt sure that the orc city the goblin mentioned referred to the keep that was mentioned by the orc prisoners; the flame hand tattoo seems to refer to a cross species organization known as the Order of the Flame; the missing girl seems to be on her way to or already at the keep.

The party returned to the pursuit of the suspected kidnappers following the trail. The trail began to widen and the efforts to hide the passing of the orcs ceased. The group they were following were met by a wagon and some other creatures from the south and the combined group of approximately 30 orcs continued north east toward the expected location of the keep of the orcs.

The party decided to move faster and try to overtake the mob before they arrive at the keep. During a night time scouting expedition Lud and Phlarr found the camp and counted the visible orcs. They agreed that they saw at least five goblins and their dire wolf mounts, four scouts, ten warrior types, a dirty four man tent with a faint light, and a medium sized, simply decorated, gypsy style wagon and its unknown contents.

The next morning Lud and Phlarr returned to scout the orc camp so that the party will know how far back to safely follow the orcs, when they are noticed and attacked by a pair of orc scouts searching behind the camp before the orcs move for the day.

Lud and Phlarr barely survive yet still manage to capture one of the scouts. Again the party interrogate the orc but learn little they did not know other than there is another priest of Gruumsh in the band of orcs ahead and that the girl may already be at the keep.

With the large group of orcs one to two days away from their own keep, reinforcements possibly a week behind the party, and the missing girl already at the keep; What will the heroes do next?

View
The Missing Flower, Part 1

On a crisp Dwarf day morning, early in the month of Flora, Lud and Portick were working on their weapons play at the training grounds of the city watch. Under the guidance of Commander Tynne the watch commander, both warriors were sweating profusely. Biri was sitting on the side waiting for the men to finish so that she can take a turn. Damillia was sitting with Biri, watching her brother and her friend bruise each other.

A pair of the Commander’s guardsmen, rushed into the yard. “Commander! There is a problem at the north docks. Master Bartholomew has requested that you come immediately and bring all of your men.”, the first guardsman said.

“Let us go see what the demanding guild master needs. Lead the way.”, ordered Commander Tynne.

As the commander left the 4 friends followed to see what was going on. Upon arriving at the docks the laborers were in an uproar and Master Bartholomew was standing on a stack of boxes trying to get the crowd of workers to go look for something.

After a some conversation, Commander Tynne determined that for some reason the guild leader had let his eleven year old daughter make a trip to Clifton’s Way by herself a couple of few days earlier and she never arrived, according to a caravan master that had just arrived from there. The commander sent two of his men to get the Knights Verdoyant and the Rangers to begin searching for the young girl and then he dispersed the crowd.

That evening at the Dancing Goblin Inn Xyphus, Phlarr, and Erowin were enjoying the company and the stories of Professor Raibeart, when the news of the child’s disappearance made its way there.

A couple of days later the return of a pair of the Knights caused everyone to gather at the docks for an update. They confirmed the girl never arrived in Clifton’s Way. They had also spent the previous day searching some of the more probable areas for traces of the girl, with no luck.

At this point Master Bartholomew lost all his remaining composure and began insisting that the commander do more. Commander Tynne asked for volunteers. Of course, Portick was one of the first to offer his services. Biri and Damillia quickly joined in. Lud joined making it a group of four, but since Commander Tynne required a minimum of five to be allowed to join the search others were needed. Xyphus, Phlarr, and Erowin joined up with Portick’s group making a party of seven. The commander deputized all of the various groups and sent them off to assist in the search.

Our heroes decided that based on the information they had so far, the best place to begin looking was between the first and second well sites on the road to Clifton’s Way. So after passing the first site they began searching the east side of the road for signs of the missing little girl.

Phlarr found some tracks that appeared to belong to a small humanoid leaving the roadway and walking toward the tree line a few hundred yards away. The group followed the trail to the trees but eventually lost it. After some more scouting of the area, they found a hidden viewing stand in the trees with a good view of the road. Some more searching and they picked up some tracks again and set off in pursuit.

They came across a camp site in a clearing, searched it for clues, found that a medium sized group of goblins and orcs had stayed here recently. Since dark was fast approaching, the party made use of the campsite to rest. In the morning they began the search again. They did not see any child’s tracks leaving the camp so they decided to follow the tracks of the goblinoids that headed to the east and into the depths of Darke Harte forest and The Wilds.

Someone must have been expecting the pursuit because the tracks leaving the camp had been hidden and the party had a hard time following them. They were making slow progress so Lud sent his wolf companion to scout ahead and look for the band of orcs and goblins. They day passed with partial success and as the sun was setting the friends looked for a place to camp in the thick woods.

During the second watch, the intermittent baying of a wolf and a crashing sound that was increasing in volume caused Lud, Phlarr, and Erowin to wake up the rest of the slumbering party. As the group located their weapons and moved to see what was happening, three large wolves with goblin riders came rushing into sight chasing Lud’s wolf companion.

The battle began with the party moving into position to attack the pursuers when within range. Lud began with his bow as Portick moved heroically into melee with a pair of dire wolves and their riders. Biri moved off to one side breathed her spray of acid into the foes and attacked the third wolf and its rider. Phlarr moved to help Biri as the casters provided support. Support which was soon needed by Portick as the four enemies he engaged mauled him unmercifully.

Swinging blades and brilliant magics met snarling fangs and thrusting spears.

The tide of the battle flowed back and forth until Xyphus cast the spell of sleep and two goblins and one dire wolf were removed from the contest. The party focused their efforts on the two remaining wolves and quickly dispatched them. Phlarr called out to be sure and save one for questioning and the team proceeded to remove the threat of the last wolf and subdue the remaining goblins.

The wounded and winded heroes bound and searched the goblins and their mounts. Hoping to gain some clues as to the fate of the young girl and the reason for the abduction.

What will they find? What do the goblins know? Can they save the girl or is it too late?

View
4e System and Character Test

The group ran through the first couple of encounters in H1 – Keep on the Shadowfell on Saturday 17th. The goal of the session was to allow us all to get accustomed to the rules in the 4th Edition, discover how well the characters worked together, and determine if adjustments to were needed to make the party more efficient.

The party was ambushed by a group of small, rust-colored, lizard like creatures. Some of the monsters were wielding spears, a couple short swords, and one had a sling. The party fought bravely and overcame the evil ambushers. Phlarr found the tracks of the fiends journey to the site of the ambush but after some discussion the party decided to continue on the Winterhaven. While in Winterhaven it was discovered that the creatures were kobolds.

In Winterhaven the group secured rooms at Wrafton’s Inn for the night and began looking for information regarding their missing mentor, Douven Staul. Various information regarding their mentor’s time in the village and his quest to locate the dragon’s corpse was picked up while mingling at the Inn’s common room. Lud identified a rude and suspicious elven woman, but when he attempted to follow her he was discovered.

The next morning they talked to Lord Padraig and accepted his offer to remove all threats of the kobolds from the area, and they retrieved a map to the dragon’s grave from Valthrun the Precient who lived in the tower.

They followed the map down the southern road until it said they should strike off to the east. Once off the road, Phlarr again found tracks and they followed them to an excavation being performed by some human laborers and managed by a two short figures (one gnome and one halfling). The gnome called them down to see the dragon’s bones and they cautiously advanced.

When the gnome realized that they were suspicious, he called his comrades to attack. Most of the party focused on the gnome and the halfling, while Biri went after the human laborers, and Damillia went after one of the guard lizards. The lizards turned out to be very strong and Lud moved to help his half-sister with Erowin’s help.

Finally, all of the enemy were dispatched and the excavation site searched. Douven Staul was found tied, gagged, and beaten under a dirt covered tarp. Their mentor saved and his amulet returned all ended well.


Everyone learned that how the magic, combat, and healing systems worked in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. The players also learned which skills did what and how each of their selected powers and feats worked. No XP or other rewards were given.

Some of the party members decided to make some changes to their characters based on what they learned. They have to get those changes made by the next session.

The next session is Friday the 23rd at 5:30 PM and this time it is for real.

View
Meet and Greet
Who am I? How did I get here?

The first meeting started with dinner, everybody made it to Zarate’s on time, well mostly. After we all met, some for the first time, we ate a variety of latin dishes that were all pretty good. The restaurant conversation was a little subdued thanks to the ambient volume and the newness of some to the group. When everyone was full, we all caravaned to the house.

As this session was for character building, it began with a little review of the back story and some Q&A around what character classes and races will fit in the world. The discussions went from the “what can I play”, to “what are you playing” while everyone tried to get the feel of the group and their place in it.

After a couple of hours of talking, swapping books, and passing PCs around, we ended up with a group of seven characters; A human cleric of Pelor from the village of Lakeview and her half brother the half-elven the wandering beastmaster, an curious well educated eladrin wizard and her companion an elven avenger of Ioun, a human paladin of Bahamut from a distant village who has just completed his religious training with the Rivergate priestess, a dragonborn barbarian that was found by the wandering beastmaster and the raised to maturity by the priestess of Bahamut, and the prodigal son of the town drunk returning home from his training at the wizard’s college at the University of Shakala in Kailenhal to bury is father.

The next session is planned for Saturday the 17th. The plan is to run this group through the Keep on the Shadowfell, see how the characters fare in combat, perform any tweaks that are necessary, and polish any character back story that is needed.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.