Scales of War

The Lost Mine of Karak

Following the events in the Shadowfell, Valasaar, Corren, Dargoth and Marcus were under pressure to register as an adventuring company. After much debate they decided on the name “”/campaign/scalesofwar-uk/wikis/the-dawnriders" class=“wiki-page-link”>The Dawnriders" and needed to find a fifth member. Although the quartet felt they were a strong operational fighting unit, they needed someone to act as pointman and scout aswell as someone who understood mechanical traps. After posting sever notices around Overlook, The Dawnriders recieved a visit from a kenku rogue who was new to the area. After a short period of discussion, Rahbn O’lDeerz was accepted as the fifth member of The Dawnriders.

Over the next few weeks Valasaar spent most of his time repairing and renovating the Monastery of the Sundered Chain after recieving permission from the Elder Council in Overlook to take control of the fortress.

One evening, while sinking a few rounds of local brew in the Pig & Bucket, a messenger arrived with an invitation to Caer Overlook to see a member of the Elsir Consortium, a Dwarf named Bram Ironfell. The Dawnriders drained their drinks and left for the fortress. Bram had heard of their exploits like everyone else and had a mission of great importance for them. Bram Ironfell’s clan once owned a large mine in the south full of rich veins or numerous precious metals and gems. The location was kept as a secret known only to members of the clan who worked the mines. One day the usual shipment didn’t arrive at the depot, and all contact was lost to the mine of Karak. No one knew the location of the mine, until Bram found an obscure note with vague directions, located in the aftermath of the raids on Sarshan’s warehouse network in Overlook. He wants The Dawnriders to go and locate the mine and ensure it is safe to re-open. If so it will mean that there is enough gold to fully protect the city from further attacks.

The group rode south at dawn and presently arrived at the Thornwaste, a large area of dense thorn bushes, and began to negotiate their way through. After only a couple of hours the company encountered a ranger by the name of Mag Blackthorn. He warned them not to destroy any area of the Thornwaste and that he would be watching, but also gave them directions to get through to the southern edge.

The journey through the forest of thorns was slow. As they reached an open area Rahb’n noticed some movement ahead in the bushes. The company halted and took cover calling for the presumed would be ambushers to show themselves. After a short wait a dwarf appeared atop a rocky outcrop. He demanded they hand over the directions to the Karak lode. Realising that these Dwarves wanted the gold for themselves The Dawnriders refused and several Dwarven warriors armed with a combination of warhammers and crossbows burst from the undergrowth to attack. The Dwarves were well armoured and resolute, but it was not enough to defeat The Dawnriders who stood victorious.

With some precise navigation from Marcus The Dawnriders exited the Thornwaste near Dunesend, a small town on the edge of a vast desert. In the centre of town was a large Dwarven Tower that they presumed to be the depot indicated on the directions. They headed toward the town only to find the villages being attacked by a Gnoll, his pet Behir and three Satyr’s. Valasaar having taken a vow to protect the weak charged in against the Gnoll and a short but bloody fight ensued. Dargoth engaged the Behir in combat and ended up being swallowed by the beast. He eventually fought his way out and slew the creature. Valasaar, blessed his blade and killed the Gnoll known as the Warden. Seeing the death of their comrades, the Satyr’s had no more stomach for the fight and fled.

After the dust had settled Valasaar learnt that the Warden was taking a tribute from the village for someone known as Shephatiah, the Queen of the Drylands and they now feared reprisals. The Quintet decided to rest here for the night before heading south again into the desert.

The journey across the burning sands was long and hard but The Dawnriders were well prepared for it. After three gruelling days they arrived at a large outcrop of rock with a fortress cut into it. Although there were figures at the arrow slits there was no movement and all seemed quiet. The group approached without challenge to find a closed portcullis. Dargoth used his great strength to force the portcullis open allowing the party to enter the fortress only to be ambushed by Troglodytes. From slits in the walls and murder holes in the ceiling they trow javelins foul magics at The Dawnriders. Corren stepped throughthe shadowfell to reappear behind their defences and un-bar the doors allowing his comrades to join the foul smelling creatures on their own terms. After defeating this small unit of Trogs they ventured further in to find a large and well constructed dwarven fortress. It was almost completely abandoned. while walking through a large room with a partially collapsed ceiling a carrion crawler emerged from the large pile of sand that had fallen from above. This creature was easy to slay on its own, however as it died four harpies swooped down from the gap in the roof to attack. These creatures were a challenge for the experienced group but thanks to Marcus’s spells they were dispatched.

After searching the rest of the area, and because they hed taken several wounds from the harpies they decided to rest. The Dawnriders constructed several barricades and recovered their wounds in a fairly secure place before moving on to investigate the rest of the fortress.

They soon found an area containing strange trees that usually grow upside down in the underdark, their roots reaching up to the sunlight. However, these trees were right side up, they must be feeding off some other sort of energy…

Passing through a set of double doors they encountered a large room with a raised dias opposite them. On the dias was a regal looking Eladrin female who demanded to know who had invaded her realm. Valasaar could see straight away that she was other than she appeared to be. seeing that she was not fooling them the illusion slipped away to reveal a hideous dryad with roots burrowinging into a corpse at her feet. Surrounding her were shifter warriors, human lackeys and cacklefiend hyenas. The dryad caused The Dawnriders some problems because she could teleport from one tree to the next, however they were eventually victorious. The party then searched the rest of the fortress and found nothing but an old man in the prison. He was surrounded by 7 singing canaries. They released him and gave him food and water but he seemed to be frail of mind as well as body and said nothing to them, almost as if they were not there. He soon wandered off into the desert. There was nothing else here, try as they might they were unable to find any entrance to the mine. After several hours of searching they found nothing new so decided to sleep for the night in a very defensible area.

While Dargoth watched he heard a portcullis open and ran to wake the others. They were soon met by five cavern chokers led by a Troglodyte Curse Chanter. The chokers were no match for ‘visions of averice’ and soon fell to the blades of The Dawnriders. On the Trog they found a Dwarven ring wedged onto his large finger. When they searched the fortress again they discovered a number of scattered canary feathers leading to the prison area. When they investigated the old man’s cell the ring actvated a secret portal leading down via a pulley lift. They had finally found the mine.

When they decended they were met by another group of Troglogyte guards who were slain by the vengefull adventurers. The walls of the mine were filled not with ore, but with strange elemental energy. Something was seriously wrong here, a power greater than they had imagined was down in the mine. The main shaft eventually opene up into a large cavern that appeared to be home to another 2 carrion crawlers, and a swarm of spiders. A large gorilla like Demon was also waiting for them. The floor was riddled with the strage elemental veins and The Dawnriders were hesitant to touch it. As they crossed over it to engage these guardian beasts a strange decaying form rose from the elemantal chaos, its flest was icy and a chill aura eminated from it. Dargoth charged into the demon hoping to keep it tied up while the others took care of the rest. The chillborn zombie fell to a flurry of blows, and the spider swarm was destroyed by Corren‘s swordburst. The carrion crawlers almost paralised Corren and took longer to kill and the Barlgura couldn’t beat Dargoth’s defences and was finally slain.
The next cavern was even bigger and was separated by a chasm containing raw elemental energy. At the far end was a pile of Dwarven skulls, and perched atop them was large Naga that was clearly the real Queen Shephatiah . Her two Mezzodemon body guards turned to face the intruders. As The Dawnriders approached a flaming elemental form rose from the chasm and attacked. The odds were stacked against them but like any snake if you kill the head the body dies. They focused their attacks on Queen Shephatiah and eventually vanquished her. Seeing their leader die the demons escaped through the chasm into the elemental rift.

The Dawnriders were victoious, the Karak lode was safe but still contaminated and unfit for future mining.

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