Stairwell Harassment

•January 7, 2010 • 1 Comment

The group find a stairwell winding upward. An opening in the middle goes up to the top.

As they attempt to ascend, they are attacked by a harpy. The stairway is a trap, steps suddenly flattening out into a slide, threatening to tumble them down into the central space. The group work together, protecting the archer to slay the harpy always flying out of melee range. The elf struggles to lock the stair contraption for climbing. As they make headway up the structure, two gargoyles animate to harass them. The heroes maintain their strategy and one gargoyle crumbles from multiple bowshots and one is felled frozen and smashed by Garrosh. Double-doors at the top lead to a narrow corridor leading east.

Yshven opens a door in the corridor. Suddenly they are attacked by creatures made up of a hodge-podge of humanoid and animal parts. The party slays them all – two foulspawn berserkers killed by Kurgan and Garrosh; two foulspawn manglers laid low by Yshven and Quorbin; and one foulspawn grue killed by ‘the betrayer’ Kurgan.

In the room they detect a hidden passage leading to another room with a strange portal. One of the doors show two humanoid figures, one about to stab the other in the back. Kurgan steps forward and he hesitates. Suddenly the door opens by itself. The others look at each other, then proceed. Nothing notable in the room beyond, just two plain iron doors. They double back. In the corridor outside, Kurgan pulls Quorbin aside and says “Something has put a curse on you! There were voices in my head before I entered that door back there.” Quorbin looks at the warlord, not knowing what to say.

The Birth of a Betrayer

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Pushing onward through the pyramid, the party arrives at a heavy door that has apparently been barred from the inside. True to their nature as explorers, far from being dissuaded from entering, the group decides to break the door down and, after a few blows from Yshven’s hammer it gives way in an explosion of wooden shards.

Inside, they are confronted by an irate group of armed humanoids, led by an imposing blue dragonborn in finely wrought black chainmail wielding a wicked looking hand and a half sword. “Who are you? What is the meaning of this intrusion?” demanded the dragonborn, sword held at the ready.

The heroes decide to parlay, and soon discover that the dragonborn is Garash Vren, a bandit leader and raider of some notoriety, who, like them, was trapped with a small contingent of his men by the pyramid. Garrosh, noting the similarity between their names and their common origin, speculates that they may be related. Despite this suggested “blood tie,” however, the negotiation soon breaks down and blades are drawn. Vren orders his men to attack, and a chaotic melee ensues. At the end of the battle, Vren lies dead by the hand of his “kinsman,” and Kurgan bears a shiny, albeit somewhat bloodstained, new sword.

After some more exploration, the companions come upon a room with two doors on the far wall. A bronze plate with levers mounted on the wall nearby to the left of it. The plate shows an interior of a large room, nozzles protruding down from its ceiling. Also, it shows a short corridor, a haze of distortion to it.

Yshven opens a door, it reveals a short corridor ending at a door. Beyond in a room with nozzles hanging from the ceiling, a group of men are milling about, surprised at Yshven’s presence. Kurgan speaks out at them, signifying peace, they are wary and suspicious.

After a terse exchange of names Kurgan strikes an agreement with their leader, a human named Borrick, to allow the group and escort them through their hideout to the pyramid’s exit.

Borrick himself comes with two bandit companions to enforce the agreement. Along the way, Kurgan dupes Borrick’s companions to march ahead to their deaths in a room called the hall of mirrors where some devils and a flame skull lay in ambush. Realizing the treason, Borrik turns to attack but  too late, he realizes the completeness of Kurgan’s treachery. And so, flanked with danger on all sides, Borrick falls alone by Kurgan’s stained blade, an expression of utter shock and dismay on his pale dead face.

The group goes on to fight against the room’s guardians and meet with success. However, to know and witness firsthand Kurgan, their noble leader’s capacity for malevolence sowed a seed of fear among his compatriots and from then on they were instinctively wary of his words and were glad that his malice was directed outward of their circle.

Lover’s Quarrel

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Continuing their quest for Virellis, the group finds a room filled with soft mysterious chanting. The chanting gets louder on entry. Inside stand four statues: a human in full plate hefting a full blade; a dwarf armed with an axe; an elf in leather with daggers; and a dragonborn with a shield and longsword. A search for hidden compartments prove futile and they are stumped about the chanting sound. They leave through large double doors leading east. The corridor leads at a bend with a southern side passage ending at another double door where this time the group hears singing from beyond. They burst in surprising a woman in front of a plain altar lit with candles. Virellis’ orb stirs and tells Kurgan that what she seeks is nearby. The woman, introducing herself as Dana pleads for assistance. She claims to have been brought there by bandits and is prevented to leave by some magical compulsion. The heroes agree to help her.

Suddenly, two devils appear in their midst and focuses attacks on Yshven. The dwarf responds with a cleaving blow, hitting them both. The woman turns into a succubus and attacks. The room erupts into confusion as Kurgan and Garrosh fall under the temptress’ compulsion and hack at each other’s throats.

The scuffle is ended when the succubus is finally slain, apologies are exchanged, and tears wiped off scaly cheeks. Searching the altar, a hidden panel yields a chest containing magical and masterfully made plate armor which looks to distort itself every now and then and a garnet gem that is absorbed by Virellis.

Kinslayer

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yshven bursts through the doors and yells in defiance, Garrash and his men surround him in a rage. The dwarf rushes a crossbowman and spins, making multiple hits. The dragonheaded craghammer slams the dragonborn bandit smashing his clavicle. The enemy warlord combusts. With a cry, he slides away, calling upon his lackeys for assistance.

Yshven is swarmed. The other crossbowmen divide their fire between Yshven and Kurgan to bring them down quickly. The bolts cause them to stagger, dazed. Kurgan and Garrosh dispatch the club-wielding swarm with their dragonborn breaths. Blackened corpses lie on the ground at their feet. More surge forth from the sidelines. Kurgan does his muttering thing. Garrash Vren suddenly bows his head, eyes closed and mutters to himself as well. He does a Kurgan! The group is amused. But the companions suddenly find themselves in a gush of electrical sparks and tendrils as Vren blasts them with his breath.

Surprised, Vren connects with a slash against Yshven. Quorbin surges forth, scoring a double hit at the enemy warlord. The surrounded Garrash blocks Yshven with his shield as the remaining bowmen and club swingers focus on the attacking dwarf. Quorbin ruins one bowman’s shot, his bolt ricocheting across the room. Kurgan shouts something terse to Garrosh making him resolute.

Blades continue flashing, drawing blood. Shafts and arrows fly pinioning hapless targets. The tide swings this way and that. Finally Garrosh, calling upon divine fortune connects with a deadly slash and his dragonborn kin falls lifeless by his hands. The group clears the room of remaining stragglers. One of them opens a door, however, unleashing a captive werewolf on the group! A new wave of fighting ensues, taxing the groups endurance.

In the end, the werewolf is slain. Kurgan’s blade sliding out drenched from the creature’s ribcage.  He quickly claims the fallen Garrash Vren’s equipment while Yshven wonders aloud whether the recently deceased blue-scaled dragonborn warlord bandit is in anyway related to their companion who has a strikingly similar name, Garrosh, also a blue-scaled dragonborn.

The group finds another of Virellis’ items and gives it to the eladrin head.

Garrash Vren

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

They move out backtracking through the room with the pool and head out north to a staircase rising for 15 feet to a set of double doors. Quorbin listens to the door but discerns no presences active beyond. The doors are open, however, so they file through to a corridor bending east for 20 feet ending at a pair of barred doors. Listening, the elf hears nothing through its thickness. Yshven muscles it down assisted by Kurgan. The doors fly open revealing the chamber beyond. Pillars line the hall parallel to the walls. A group of humans in leather sporting clubs, others with crossbows are standing at the far end. Through their midst, a blue-headed dragonborn in finely maid chainmail, a metal shield strapped to his arm, bastard sword slung across his back approach, obviously a leader of some sort.

“What is this racket?” He demands. “Who are you?” Kurgan fronts, offering cooperation to escape but the dragonborn says, “Escape? How? There is no escape here! Trust me, we’ve tried and we’ve been here longer.” To impress him, Kurgan shares their victory over the Charnel Lord. The dragonborn stranger is incredulous but remains unconvinced. He asks not to be bothered again and sends the group on their way without trouble. He advices them to avoid their area of control — the rooms beyond the southern stairs, from the lizard room. “My men are there. The next meeting will bring battle.” he warns.

The group leaves. Just then, Virellis pipes up asking for them to go back, “I can sense something I need in one of the rooms near where we were,” said the head. Without second thoughts, the group backtracks.

Wet and Wild

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Muttering to himself, Kurgan connects with renewed vigor versus his wounded mark. Quorbin assaults his quarry with one hit of two. Kurgan’s flanker moves for another sneaky barrage but Quorbin fires to interrupt him. The rushed shot hits air and Kurgan’s flanker menaces him yet again with a pair of painful lunges. Garrosh’s opponent closes in on Yshven but misses. With a sweeping blow, Yshven crushes the skirmisher and lands an impact on the bruiser as well.

Garrosh moves to flank the hulking reptile but opens himself up for an attack. Yshven swings in at the momentary lapse of the bruiser’s attention. Kurgan lets loose with a guarding strike against his skirmisher and connects. Quorbin aims at the the bruiser and hits home twice. The reptiles attack Yshven and Garrosh but both prove to be too battle wizened. Both hit in retaliation, Garrosh with a divine strike lining the bruiser with divine light, Yshven with a hard-hitting charge. Kurgan surges against his mark hitting it twice, bloodied and sore.

Quorbin looses on his hulking quarry but is still vexed by his misses. Garrosh and Yshven continue to dance away from harm delivering tremendous blows in return. The club wielding reptilian hulk goes down with a blazing attack from Garrosh. Kurgan trade tremendous blows with his target but the smaller reptile proves inferior, it falls a flayed crisscross of slashes.

Virellis directs the group to a small dry room, there is a statue of an eladrin knight. They spy the moonstone, one of the objects Virellis needs on a table before it. “Touch it to the orb!” Virellis says and Kurgan tries to do so. He fails and asks the elf to do it. As Quorbin touches the moonstone to the orb, it disappears.

Scattered Engagement

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Garrosh ducks beneath the two flailing bruisers. As the caster rises, it attempts to duck the incoming arrows but two projectiles hit him nonetheless, it attacks Kurgan but misses. The skirmishers circle Kurgan again and he takes three hits of six thrusts. Yshven shouts a challenge peeling the skirmishers from the spear riddled dragonborn. He hammers one but misses the other.

Garrosh keeps planted from the whirlpool’s suction and casts priest shield. Hackfrost arcs and falls, leaving a fatal freeze dried gash on the bruiser’s torso. He faces the other one as his target falls to its side, a mean gleam in his eye. Kurgan breathes fire at the pair of spear wielders including the mystic. With a croak, the mystic falls boiling fat mixing with the darkened water. He continues with his attack, making an ugly gash at a skirmisher’s arm.

Quorbin designates one of Yshven’s targets as his quarry, leaving two arrows sprouting from its scaly back. It sloshes down slowly under the surface, very surprised and very dead. Garrosh ducks from a massive club swing but the reptilian bruiser is wise to his maneuver and clubs the dragonborn back toward the suction behind him.

Yshven dodges two spear thrusts. Kurgan’s fair closes in, his flanker gets lucky and he grimaces at a pair of wounds at his side. Yshven attacks, pushing his enemy back with hammer blows and shield shoves. Garrosh advances out of the vortex, healing himself and bracing for the next swing.

 
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