Scales of War

The Shadowrift of Umbraforge

Investigations in Overlook
Upon their return to Overlook they learned that the Orcs had been stopped at Bordrin’s watch and the land was once again safe. The Freerunners and the other adventurers had aided the guards in holding back the hoard, and the Orcs retreated in disarray without any kind of cohesion or leadership.

The City was in their debt and the elders arranged a celebration in their honour, following which they spent many days in the City recovering from their ordeal. One evening as they wandered through the city they were ambushed by a group of thugs in a dimly lit back ally. These rogues were easily dealt with, although they were led by a Wizard of some power. Corren tried to find some way of identifying them and found a note on the Wizard ordering them to attack the party in order to retrieve the strange key they picked up from a “dark one” in the vents. The note was signed by Modra.

The Happy Beggar
After some investigation and interrogation of a prisoner in the custody of Kalad they learned that Modra was looking for people with a knowledge of the Stonehome mountains and tracked him down to an alms house called the Happy Beggar. He had been seen there but the owners were completely unaware. Upon further investigation they found a secret passage in the cellar. Much to the dismay of the landlord, Valasaar started shifting loose stone in the disused pantry and fell headfirst down a shaft. When he came to his senses he could dimly see a large natural cavern ahead, and was ambushed by viscious shadowhunter bats. These creatures were difficult to kill as they remained out of sword range, harrying the adventurers from the relative safety of the stalactites in the ceiling.

The party continued into another room to find a strange arch in the centre of the room, three dark ones, two shadow hounds in a cage and a witch. Dargoth charged the witch before she could cast her foul sorceries and smashed into her with his Warhammer, the others sprung into action and in a flurry of flame and steel the only survivor was the Witch, who escaped through a set of double doors. Valasaar secured the doors so that they could investigate the arch. When Corren touched it a portal appeared to a warehouse in overlook above full of weapons, enough to equip an army.

The time had ome to deal with the Witch. They opened the doors to find another arch in the centre of this room also. The Witch opened this portal and released six Wraiths into the room that moved to attack the heroes. At that moment from a crack in the floor in the corner of the room a dark one shouted to the group “throw me the key and I can call them off”. Not trusting this new stranger they refused to comply with his demands. He then ran at the Witch, stole her key and disapeered through the portal.

The fight that ensued was the most bitter the party had encountered. The Wraiths seemed to be almost immune to their weapons and seemed to regenerate. After killing the Witch and only two Wraiths, the party escaped through the first portal back to Overlook

==The ShadowfellUmbraforge==

The party, after resting, once more ventured beneath the happy beggar to further investigate the incursion beneath overlook. Expecting to find wraiths haunting the storerooms they found nothing but the slain corpses of their enemies. Wasting no time the used their key to activate the main gate and stepped through.

On the other side they found a mirror image of the room they had just left, with another portal leading to what seemed to be a dark wood. This portal was surrounded by a field of force, preventing any of them from stepping through it. Upon leaving the room the group found themselves in a strange land, the Shadowfell. The sky was a dark boiling mass of cloud and the plantlife was grey and dark shadows clung to everything. In the distance was a large volcano spewing lava, a tower, and a dark fortified structure. Surrounding these two building was what they were soon to discover to be a mercenary camp.

In order to discover what threat this posed to overlook and untimately their world the company decided to investigate and, as always, trouble was close to hand. They learned that the tower and the squat building, known as the forge, belonged to a powerful Lord named Sarshan. They also discovered that Modra used to be in his employ but has fallen from favour because he was working beyond Sarshan’s orders. While they were gaining this information, a tribe of Ogres started a fight with them in order to prove their strength.

The experienced adventurers fought with skill and savagery that shocked the growing audience, and before long a pile of dead Ogres lay at their feet. The group finally discovered that Modra was planning to break into the Forge and destroy it. This was their opportunity to get inside and investigate this strange place. During that day spontaneous erruptions from the volcano violently shook the area, and seemed to be getting worse.
That night they watched the Forge and crept in after Modra. Once he saw the group he released a strange, mutated creature upon them from one of the large holding pens. It was a huge and mighty two-headed boar! This beast was hard to put down and they had to fight Modra and his minions at the same time. When they had finally finished them off it was clear that Modra had damaged the complex system of pipes and there were noises issuing from the front doors. They quickly found a secret passage to the tower and escaped.

On the other side of the passage they found a corridor leading to a library. Within were three shadar-kai warriors, guarding the secret entrance. One was armed with a great-sword, the others were armed with punching daggers. The lead warrior activated a switch in the wall which in turn activated a shadow dart trap. The quartet had to destroy these warriors as quickly and quietly as possible to avoid detection. After a brief but violent fight the shadar-kai lay dead, although one nearly escaped to raise the alarm.

The party moved to the base of one of the towers and ascended a staircase. At the top they found a civilian researcher working on some arcane formulae. Unfortunately he knew very little of Sarshan’s overall plan. They moved into the central courtyard and were suprised to find a small garden and another portal on the far wall. Recalling the blocked portal they found when they first arrived in the Shadowfell, they believed this one to lead back there. As they moved towards it they were ambushed by shadow scarab swarms and a large shadow beetle. The swarms were a terrible foe as there were thousands of the beasts, and to add to this threat a wraith and a chain wielding Shadar-kai warrior emerged from a hole in the floor using some kind of levitation device. Moments after these enemies had been defeated a hoard of warriors including a scarred lieutenant, named Thannu, and his pet shadow panthers, arrived. The four companions were outnumbered, however it was about to get worse…

Sarshan himself emerged from the portal and stood before the party. He expressed his unhappiness at the deaths of so many of his employees and servants. Thinking on his feet and possibly with some divine intervention Valasaar bluffed that they had been hunting Modra and came to warn Sarshan of the plot to kill him. Sarshan was not entirely convinced, but due to their obvious martial prowess he offered them work as mercenaries, informing them in the process that their world will shortly be no place to live. Just at that moment the elemental rift errupted violently and Sarshan was forced to cut the meeting short, and without confirming Valasaar’s story ordered his lieutenant to kill them, instead of wasting precious time and effort keeping an eye on them.

Thannu and his vicious pets leapt into battle. He bound Dargoth’s feet to the floor rendering his mighty hammer useless, leaving only the other three heroes to worry about. The fight was very hard fought and the group were battle weary, however they finally managed to defeat Thannu, and escaped from the tower. Marcus Brandale and Corren were able to recalibrate the portal that led back to the gateway to their own plane of existence. They fled through the portal and back to Overlook before the chaos caused by the erupting shadowrift could cause them further harm.

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Siege at Bordrin's Watch

Siege at Bordrin’s Watch

Answering the Call to Arms

The inhabitants of Brindol were overjoyed to hear that their town was now safe and the resurgence of the red hand had been stopped so threw a celebratory feast in honour of Valasaar, Corren, Baron and their new ally, Dargoth. During the feast Eoffram Troias suggested that the group should travel to Overlook as they had clearly proved their worth in Brindol. A call to arms had been issued because of recent attacks by Orcs in the West.
They decided to travel to Overlook and investigate. The next morning Corren, Dargoth and Valasaar woke to discover Baron missing. He left a note explaining that his path lay in another direction. Knowing that there was nothing they could do they bought horses and rode west.
Before they arrived they were ambushed by a group of Orcs. Although they were caught by suprise the trio fought well and left the corpses of 7 Orcs in their wake. They were worried by the presence of Orcs so far East of the mountains that had always served as a barrier with Bordrin’s watch as the gatehouse. Perhaps it had already fallen. They hurried on to Overlook.
Upon arriving at the huge walls of Overlook they were ushered to the ‘blister’, the area where all the adventurers were gathering. There they met Megan Swiftblade, leader of the Freerunners and Edgar Sommerfield, leader of the Farstriders in the Pig & Bucket alehouse. the Farstriders are a rather flamboyant and egotistical adventuring group, while the Freerunners are more down to earth.
While the trio were drinking and resting from their weary travels a familiar looking wizard made a spectacular entrance. He turned out to be none other than Marcus Brandale, Baron’s elder Brother, and was asking for news of his whereabouts. The group told Marcus of Baron’s heroism and the fact that he is safe, and off to find his destiny. This seemed to reassure him and he agreed to join the group now that he knew his Brother was safe.
The new larger group headed further into the City to find lodgings. The came to a reputable establishment known as Belden’s rest and were genially served by Rory & Ruth Teng. When they awake the quartet headed to Caer Overlook for the adventurer’s meeting. There were scores of adventurers there, including the Farstriders and the Freerunners. The meeting was called to order by Elder Cadrick and he identified three main attack routes that the Orc’s could take. The first was obviously Bordrin’s Watch, which will be defended by the majority of the adventurers. the second was the Vent’s – an ancient Dwarven maze of tunnels stretching below the mountains. The Farstriders were tasked with protecting that area by themselves. The third was the Monastery of the Sundered Chain. Located high in the Stonehome Mointains, the Monastery is ancient enough to have tunnel entrances in its basement. Elder Cadrick then asked for volunteers to travel to the Monastery to protect it and warn the priests there. Valasaar volunteered the services of himself and his friends for this mission.

The Monastery of the Sundered Chain

The group travelled across country to the river, then followed it to the mountains before heading up towards the monastery. When they finally arrived they found it had been attacked by Orcs. The savage beasts had slain the inhabitants, including Aurin Goomrin, Valasaar’s father. The heroes put dozens of Orcs and Orogs to the sword to avenge the deaths of the priests. Valasaar knelt beside the dying body of his Father, who with his dying breath blamed Valasaar for not being there to stop them. He then handed him his Holy symbol of Bahamut, which doubled to a key to open the secret passage used by the Orcs. Without pause Valasaar led his companions into the depth.
Their first challenge was a deep stairwell guarded by a dozen Orc’s. One false step would mean certain death as the fall would be fatal. Without pause the heroes launched into combat, dispatching the enemy in their path. The stair led to a very large cavern illuminated by a huge fire. Here they fought their hardest fight yet. A huge Orog in plate armour, weilding a bastard sword lay waste to the group, felling Corren and seriously wounding the others. After finally landing the killing blow, the group found a dying Dwarf, who told them that he had blocked the passage to the Orc lands but the vents were not yet secure. The heroes had to ensure that the Farstrider’s had completed their mission.

The Nexus

Led by Kalad, the Heroes travelled overland to the Vents to aid the Farstriders in their quest, to ensure that the Orc’s could not use them to enter the land surrounding Overlook. When they arrived at the Vents they discovered a recently used camp-site but no sign of the Farstriders. The group descended into the vents, hot on the trail, but ended up lost in the tunnels. They eventually came across a group of Orcs and a Troll, who they ambushed, and dispatched, after taking some heavy wounds. Before them was a long room with double doors at the end. Dargoth ventured in first, only to discover the room was trapped with an ancient Dwarven defence mechanism. Crossbows and guardian automotons appeared from nowhere and attacked. Dargoth retreated to Kalad’s position, where he had found a control area. Unfortunately Dargoth did the only thing he can do well, and hit it with his sacificial hammer. The mechanism exploded, but it didn’t deactvate the defences. It took the group some time to destroy the devices, and they were in need of rest before continuing.
When they opened the large double doors they encountered another group of Orcs, fire beetles and a strange cloaked figure who attcked from the shadows. Valasaar ended the skirmish by incinerating the cloaked figure with his daunting light prayer. The creature’s body was gone, but in the smouldering cloak was a small key-like device. Marcus identified it as a magical artefact for opening a portal.

Tusk and Myrissa

Along the endge of two walls were very large hot pipes with valves, leading into the next room. Moving swiftly onwards in hope of finding the nexus that operates the ancient Dwarven defence mechanism the group found themselves in a huge room with a spiralling walkway ascending around the edge. In the centre was a great column with the two large iron pipes leading into it. As they began the climb hordes of Orcs charged from tunnels in the walls. They were led by Tusk, a hulking half-ogre warlord and Myrissa, a Shadar-Kai warlock.
The Heroes were stuck on the walk-way, unable to move, surrounded by their bitter enemies, there seemed to be no stopping them. As Tusk charged in, Dargoth and Valasaar shared a knowing glance and stepped in to fight the giant. The ensuing battle was desparate and bloody. Tusk was finally slain by a crushing blow from Dargoth and fell from the walkway to his doom. He then fought a valiant rear-guard to allow the others to reach the top of the room where Myrissa waited. Marcus hit her with a barrage of Arcane energy and she fell dead on the operating switch. Gurgling, steaming water began to rush into the room from ground level and began to engulf the swarms of Orcs. Dargoth only just managed to reach the exit hatch in time.
The nexus had been activated and the Vents were safe from further incurrsions. The companions journeyed back to Overlook to report their success and the demise of the Farstriders.

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Rescue at Rivenroar

Valasaar, Baron and Corren were enjoying a peaceful rest, at separate tables, in the Antler & Thistle in the town of Brindol. The quiet was shattered when a group of humanoids smashed through the front door. Hobgoblins and Goblins poured in and started setting the place alight and killing the patrons, until the three warriors stood to face the threat. Before long the invaders were laying dead in the ground and the survivors were rescued by the heroic trio. After short introductions it was soon apparent that there were more incursions throughout the town.

Corren ventured forth to investigate only to encounter an Ogre bearing a cart full of incendiary devices. A bitter fight ensued and with reinforcement from Baron and Valasaar the beast was put down.

There was to be no rest for the heroes as the attacks were continuing throughout the town…

The Search for the Red Hand

When they arrived at the bridge our brave adventurers found no more of the foul beasts. The attack was over. leaving Baron to guard the bridge from further inccursions, Valasaar started organising the guards and healing the wounded. They found there was a lack of leadership, and went to find someone in authority. The Keep was locked and deserted, and no-one knew where the Master of the Guard, Kartinix was. Eventually Corren, Baron and Valasaar, found rest in the Thirsty Zombie Inn.

In the morning the trio found Eoffram Troilas, a half-Elf and member of the Town Council. He had heard of their bravery and after Valasaar, had assured him of their loyalties he hired them to find a group of prisoners that were taken by the Red Hand, along with sacred artefacts stolen from Brindol’s Hall of Great Valour.

He also advised them that the guard had taken a prisoner themselves, a Hobgoblin, who was in the stocks. Baron and Corren managed to prise the location of the Red Hand’s lair in the North, near the ruined Castle Rivenroar.

The intrepid adventurers set off in following his direction, but were clearly misled as they wandered into a Kruthik Hive. A bitter fight ensued, with the heroes barely escaping with their lives. Finally, exhausted they reached their destination just as night fell.

Castle Rivenroar

After a nights rest and a prayer to Bahamut, Valasaar, Baron and Corren descend into an open Mausoleum within the ruins of Castle Rivenroar. As they enter they soon realise they are not alone, two large and heavily armed Hobgoblin soldiers and a Goblin sharpshooter are waiting for them. The heroes brace for the charge as their eyes become accustomed to the darkness and manage to slay the creatures and avoid the deadly flame trap. There were three doors facing them, one to the left, one central and one on the right. Taking the central door they once more descended further below the ruins. They came upon a large chamber full of broken flagstones and rubble from collapsed areas of the ceiling. While making their way across the chamber, avoiding unusal growths of fungus they were set-upon by a pair of Drakes, who were plainly guarding something. The ensuing battle was hard, with Valasaar taking serious wounds. Once the Drakes were slain they moved to the only other door in the room. Beyond it they found a small chamber, inhabited by Zerriksa, one of the missing inhabitants of Brindol. She was held within a magical globe of force. Corren used his extensive knowledge of arcana to establish that there was a weakness in the sphere and with the aid of Baron managed to release her, and take her back to the surface. She told them that there were other prisoners from the town being held here against their will, but she was not sure how many. the only other one she saw was a small boy that they threatened in order to force her co-operation. Taking the left hand door this time the trio discovered a small living area containing four Hobgoblins and another Hobgoblin soldier. Seizing the initiative they charged into battle and dispached them with relative ease.

Blocking the left hand door the trio entered a long corridor puntuated with two gaping holes in the floor. The only apparent way to cross was a rope haong from the ceiling above each. Once negotiated they were in a large room dominated by an alter and 4 large sarcophogi, the crypt of the Rivenroar family. As soon as they entered they were attacked by a group of hobgoblins and a guard drake. The ensuing fight was possibly their toughest yet and Valasaar fell just as the last soldier was slain. Following the skirmish, the heroes decided to recover their wounds back at the camp, and left the crypt for another day.

After being berated by Zerriksa for leaving her alone in the wilderness and pestered to head back to Brindol the party once again entered the ruins of Rivenroar crypt. Heading up an iron spiral staircase from the Rivenroar crypt, they entered a hallway with a door branching off. Inside this room was another of the captives of Brindol, Mirtala, the cook from The Laughing Manticore. She was beset by a group of dire rats and appeared to be suffering greatly from weeping sores caused by their infected bites. Dealing with the pack with relative ease, Valasaar bound Mirtalas wounds and the group led her back to the camp to leave her with Zerriksa. Mirtala was dumbstruck from her ordeal and no one was able to communicate with her, although she followed the party around willingly.

Heading back and pressing onwards, the next room to be entered contained a group of three Ettercaps, spider like creatures who had captured two humanoids and web them to the walls of their lair. During the fight, one of the captives broke free and assisted with the fight. He introduced himself as Dargoth, a Goliath warrior who had tracked the Hobgoblin forces down into the crypt, only to be ambushed by one of their Warcasters and handed to the Ettercaps. He agreed to join the party in their task to locate the prisoners and the missing items. Unfortunately, the other humanoid webbed to the Ettercaps lair was the now dead body of Kartenix, captain of the guard. Valasaar determined that he had died sometime within the last twelve hours. Clearly they needed to hurry in their rescue of the prisoners for fear of losing more!

Heading down the stairs, they came across the Von Urstadt crypt, several alcoves in the wall holding decayed bodies of the former noble house. At first glance this seemed like a normal crypt. Corren went to investigate the room further and as he stepped within the middle, the North door swung opened and a small gnomish creature appeared out of the shadows near the door. Within seconds two magma creatures were summoned in by the protective magics warding the tomb, throwing the party into another fight for their lives. During the fight, one of the gnomes managed to sneak away and appeared to be running for help but he was chased and cut down before he could escape fully.

The room to the North was a small jail cell which contained another of the citizens of Brindol. Sertanian, castellan of the Hall of Great Valour. He was welcome for the rescue and joined the party, saying that he would recognise any of the missing treasures on sight and as such had to accompany them so as to be sure they didn’t miss any of the precious artefacts that needed returning. The party pressed onwards through the room that held the Ettercaps and the corpse of Kartenix and moved upstairs to a guard room with several more of the Red Hand Hobgoblin army.
The guards were dealt with swiftly but a Hobgoblin Warcaster gave the heroes the run around for a good while. Eventually he was dealt with as he was attempting to flee the room to the west. The party saw a dark side of Sertanian as he spent part of the fight dismembering the bloody remains of some of the Hobgoblin guards, cursing the ‘foul beasts’ who had invaded his town and stole his precious antiquities. Scouring the area, the fourth prisoner, Jalissa, an acolyte of Ioun, was found tied to an alter in an antechamber to the south. Corren freed her and she clung to her saviour for dear life, grateful for human contact after so many days spent in the company of the Hobgoblins.

Following the Warcasters intended route and heading West, the group wandered into a room containing several large stone Menhirs. Bitingly cold to the touch (as Dargoth discovered to his pain yet not seeming in any other way malevolent, the group headed to open the North door. Inside the Northern chamber was a huge Hobgoblin in spiked armour, contemplating a highly decorative helm sat on the sarcophagus in front of him. Upon the door opening, the Hobgoblin turned to see who had violated his inner sanctum and roared a challenge before hefting his large spiked chain and charging into the group. This was Sinruth, leader of the reborn Red Hand!

A vicious fight ensued, with Sinruth swinging his massive spiked chain with reckless abandon, greatly damaging several of the party members and causing them to trip and fall precariously before he would stomp on them with his huge Hobgoblin jackboots. The superior combat awareness and skill of the heroes shone through in the end and despite his tenacity, Sinruth eventually fell under the onslaught.

Sertanian confirmed the helm and also the gauntlets that Sinruth were wearing were both treasure from the Hall of Great Valour. On Sinruth’s body, along with a map of the area surrounding Brindol marked with key ambush points and hiding locations, was the following letter:

The growing party left Sinruth’s corpse and headed deeper into the crypt. Corren was heavily wounded and Valasaar knew that only time and rest would heal them. Corren insisted that they all press on and rescue any other prisoners. Fearing the worst, and after reading about the Wight in the letter to Sinruth, they cautiously advanced. In the next room they found a strange emblem enscribed on the floor, the only inhabitants were two Zombies and two Ghouls. They seemed to be drawing energy from the emblem and their eyes glowed manacingly as they moved to attack. The paralyzing attacks of the Ghouls slowed the party, however after a brief fight they were victorious.

The next room contained a strange fountain. Dargoth approached to quench his thirst only to witness scenes appearing in the water of rooms within this crypt. The most prominent of these was a large throne room. Upon the thrones sat two rotting corpses.

As they moved through the crypt they soon found the throne room. Two powerful undead creatures rose to destroy the heroes. Small piles of bones knitted together to form skeletal warriors that seemed to keep coming back to life as soon as they were put down. The mighty Dargoth was immobilised by the undead and the battle was hard fought until Valasaar unleashed the holy might of Bahamut upon the foul denizens of the afterlife, forcing one of them within reach of Dargoth. The fight was won and the Crypt was cleansed. They soon recovered the rest of the lost artifacts and Kartenix’ son, and returned to Brindol, their quest accomplished.

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Scales of war Adventure Log
A record of the exploits of The Dawnriders

From their humble beginnings as wandering adventurers in Brindol to their role in thwarting the Githyanki invasion of the free-lands and beyond…

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