Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Story So Far I

Start Date:
4th day, Silvangate the 18th, 1845

The party has traveled from the peaceful land of Elnarra across the Stormwind Sea on a merchant ship to the ports of Miragar. They met aboard ship and decided it would be best if they worked together to face whatever adventures Malavon might bring them.

They passed through the city of Miragar on their way to the more untamed lands to the north. Miragar is a fortress city of grey stone and cobblestone streets with strong walls and battlements. This city was the scene of the final battle with the Shadow Dragon before he was driven back to the north. Lord Farethlon a Knight in Exile to Malavon rules it.

The party took the north road from Miragar to Wychton. The land between these settlements is green and pleasant in the summer and it is dotted with homesteads and farmland. As they traveled north the imposing Ironstorm Mountains loomed up before them. They arrived in Wychton at dusk just before the guards were closing the city gate. Wychton is a small village of mostly wood structures located along the South Arcas River. It is fortified by a solid 10’ high wall of wood logs that have been sharpened to points at the top. It has two exits, one north across a bridge over the Arcas and one south to Miragar. Gates and two 15’ high wooden watchtowers guard both exits. A fine manor house can be seen resting upon on a small hill on the west side of the town. The party learned from the guards that the gates close at dusk and open at dawn. It is rare that any are allowed admittance after dark; this is due to Wychton’s close proximity to the infamous Ironstorm Mountains. Wychton has been raided at night by goblins in the past and was terrorized by a wyvern as well.

Upon entering the gate the main road led them to the village square, which serves as a market and meeting place for the inhabitants. The merchants were closing up shop for the evening as the party noticed a large two-story Tudor-style building with a stable attached. Over the large oak-door hung a sign depicting a heraldic wyvern over which was painted “The Wyvern’s Watch Inn”. On the opposite side of the square was an impressive white marble temple surrounded by a well-kept cemetery. Fionnula noticed that it was a temple dedicated to Varcan her patron deity.

Our heroes decided to make for the inn as they had been traveling all day and were quite tired. Upon entering they found a cozy common room with a large fireplace over which hung the stuffed horse-sized head of a serpentine creature, a wyverns head! The wyvern had red glass eyes that seemed to watch everyone in the room. The proprietor of the inn is a large man with a heavy drooping mustache named Garam. This friendly fellow told them that many years ago he killed the wyvern himself with an axe that hangs proudly displayed behind the bar. This wyvern was none other than the creature that was terrorizing the town twenty years ago and its destruction made Garam something of a local hero.

The party questioned Garam about the lands beyond Wychton and was informed that there have been some strange disappearances on the road north of the village. People have been missing and carts and horses have been found abandoned along the road. Garam said that he sent gold and a messenger to buy a cask of fine elven wine from a trader is Berengel but he hasn’t returned and it has been two weeks. He told them he would appreciate it if they would tell him if they learn anything about this. The heroes decided to get lodging for the night and investigate the north road the following day.

5th day, Silvangate the 19th, 1845

The following day they set off across the bridge over the Arcas River. The bridge north of the town is a sturdy structure made of wood planks and massive pine logs, it stretches for 50’ across the river. There is a tax to cross it however; this is 5 copper pieces per person and 3 cp per horse. The land immediately became wilder as soon as they crossed the river and the Ironstorm Mountains towered over the party from the east. West of the road down a steep incline flowed the Arcas River. The day was overcast and warm as they traveled northward and soon they passed the edge of the mountains and came into the Broken Lands. The Broken Lands are an area of moss-covered rocks and wasteland that was the scene of terrible battles during the war with Zorvoath the Shadow Dragon. Garam at the inn told them that the Broken Lands were once green and verdant before the battles and many ruins are nestled between its twisted pathways.

Thinking to surprise any would be attackers the party devised an ambush. Lono and Martijn with his steed walked the road while the others held back and followed. This was in hope that they might lure any adversaries into attacking a smaller group of travelers. Lono, with his elven sight, saw riders approaching in the distance. They turned out to be men-at-arms from Wychton who were patrolling the road. The soldiers told the party that they found an abandoned overturned wagon further north along the road. They were going to try to bring a ranger from the town to see if they could track down what happened to the occupants. They warned the adventurers to be careful and continued on their way.

Eventually, at nightfall the party found the wagon guarded by a frightened and shaky soldier. He pointed his halberd at them and asked them who they were and if they had a cat with them. Apparently, as he was watching the wagon and waiting for the return of the other guards a cat (that was not acting like a normal cat) kept trying to approach him. He had chased it off but was worried some strange magic was afoot.

Suddenly, in the middle of this banter, a gray cat came loping out of the rocks causing the guard to scream. The cat walked up, did an odd sort of bow, and then signaled that she wanted to be followed. Svarnos the wizard immediately recognized this as a familiar (a wizards magical companion). He questioned the animal (the cat answering with nods of its head and meows) and indeed the cat wanted them to follow as her master was in trouble. Fionnula cast her spell Detect Evil on the animal and found no evil aura.

After some debate, they decided to follow the familiar into the Broken Lands. Martijn couldn’t bring his horse into the twisted rocky paths and was at a loss as what to do with the animal. He decided to see if the soldier would watch his horse as the party ventured to follow the cat. Svarnos finally convinced the soldier after both Martijn and Lono failed to sway him. So, they set off after the cat and after about an hour they came upon their destination.

They saw a large black stone building with smoke billowing up out of collapsed sections of its roof. As they quietly approached the gaping entrance they noticed that the building was covered with strange bas-relief carvings. The carvings depicted a horned bat-winged demon presiding over a host of ghouls devouring corpses and killing victims. Fionnula immediately recognized this to represent the foul demon Adramalech Overlord of the Undead. They got to the entrance and Svarnos peeked inside to see a horrible scene. Four armed goblins (scale mail & short swords) were in the center of this huge structure roasting meat over a smoky greasy fire. The meat appeared to be the parts of horses and possibly humans. Huge pillars held up what was left of the ceiling.

The adventurers swept in to attack! Svarnos cast his spell Sleep on the goblins. Three succumbed to the magic and the other was caught off guard as the heroes rushed in and then he was flattened by Gjord’s warhammer. Fionnula felt a strange “evil and eerie” sensation as they began to search the chamber but could make nothing of it. After searching the bodies and coming up empty-handed they found a wooden trapdoor set in the floor at the far end of the building. Beyond the door was a narrow flight of stonework stairs leading into the earth. A voice speaking in the goblin tongue called from below saying to, “Hurry up and bring down the meat.” Pretending to be a goblin Gjord called back down.

Suddenly, our heroes stormed down the steps into the chamber below. They entered a square chamber with a set of iron double doors directly before them with a large boulder resting in front of it. To the left and the right there were heavy wood doorways as well. Of greater concern were the two goblins flanking the iron doors! These proved to be no problem as the party dispatched them easily with Martijn and Gjord leading the way.

Uncertain on which way to go they turned to their trusty guide the cat. The familiar led them to the door to the right. Past this door was a wide hallway with three small 5’ openings on the left wall and a larger 10’ opening on the right wall. A guttering torch was in a sconce on the right wall as well. From the larger opening the party could hear the voices of goblins arguing over a dice game that they were playing. Lono, decided to investigate and attempted to sneak a peek into the chamber beyond the entrance. When he was almost around the corner the scabbard of his dirk scraped against the wall, alerting the goblins to the presence of someone outside the room. The goblins called out demanding to know who was there. Gjord used the same trick he used at the stairway speaking in goblin to try to fool them.

Using the same tactic as before the adventurers rushed into the room hoping to catch the goblins by surprise. They met four goblins and a large brutish hobgoblin in battle. They jumped up on the tables in the room to gain a fighting advantage over their enemies. It was a tough fight against the evil creatures with Gjord getting sorely wounded by the hobgoblin. They were victorious, and no goblin escaped their onslaught. Lono found a chest at the far end of the room and was successful in picking the lock that held it secure. Inside, they found some gold, rope, and a steel breastplate in fine condition.

So now, our heroes stand amongst their fallen enemies in a dank chamber deep underground with only a smoky brazier lighting the room. The cat sits at the entrance meowing and entreating them to follow…

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