Whyn Burae

Death of Dershen and a Scaly Foe Returns
Far below the Reaper's City, the party battles Ven's Dark Elf Companion from the edges of a 60ft cliff, and Tic Tok, a kobold the party once dispatched within Whyn Burae's Sewers returns thanks to some help from the Master of Crystals.
A Showdown with Ven, and crawling through the Necropolis.
The party catches up to Ven, much to his shagrin, and then begin pursuit of a mysterious Dark Elf through the ancient streets of a long dead city.
Fresh out of the fight with the Eladrin Spellcaster, the party encounters yet another one of the natural dangers present in the Dark Hills. 3 Rhimefrost Chimera, who appear to be in search of a quick meal thanks to all the dead combatants now lying about. Not wanting to leave these creatures to possibly attack another group, the party roared into battle and quickly dispatched the 2 young, and 1 older Chimera. After picking back up on the trail of Ven, Elcin notices that another group on horses seems to have very recently come by here. Somewhere during this exchange, Stein coxes the group into realizing that the Black Stone taken from the ruins of Lybar, is likely a Necrosis Stone and may infact be the “Key” that Ven is looking to have delivered. Rham reasons that if Ven is looking for this thing, that the group would do well to destroy it. So after a few well placed strikes of his hammer (and a couple of miss-placed ones as well) Rammm breaks the stone into dust.

As the party enters a dark, fog shrouded lowland, they find that the snow that is falling elsewhere seems to lessen within the fog. A number of hours of travel on foot brings the sudden sound of battle to the groups ears. Pressing forward the party finds a few combatants taking on a number of insectoid creatures. After a moment, the party recognizes Ravel (a rogue that was with Stein and Balt during the rescue from the Orge Stronghold), along with a human mage that had participated in the same rescue, and in the middle of the fray Xasia, the half-orc assasin that the party had as a companion for a short time back in Whyn Burae. After Krayst commands one of the larger bugs to jump to its doom, and Ravel and the mage meet violent deaths, the party is able to dispatch the rest of the swarm and save Xasia, who explains that she is looking to collect a bounty on Ven and that she assembled some other adventurers to help her. Stein gets what information he can from her before sending her away into the wilds. After a fitfull night of sleep, the party finally breaks out of the fog and comes face to face with Ven and his group (or what’s left of it) the Blades.

A shrouded companion of Ven’s reveals himself to be a Drow, who is just as scarred as Ven is, and whom accuses the party of being in league with the Master of Crystals. The Drow has an urn, and after a bit of banter, heads off with some orcs towards a distant mosuleum. The showdown between the party and the Blades is on. Ven’s 3 companions fail to impress much, as Stein breaks through to the Dragonborn Cleric, and Human Archer who are in the back rank, and proceeds to tear them apart. A dwarven fighter who goes head to head with Rahmn (literaly) sticks around a lot longer, but in the end, after taking out a few of the party, and getting Elcin to defend him for a moment, Ven is the last man (err Halfling) standing, and with the combined might of the party against him, he is quickly dead, burning up in the end until only a charred skull, with a back tooth missing is left.

The party eventually found their way undground into a great and expansive necropolis. At first following evidence left by the drow’s passage, and then pressing forword due to the awakening dead that came from all corners. A heroic river crossing, culminated in a battle in a run down chapel with a dragonborn vampire and a few of her minions.

A Summit at Farhill or The Chase Begins?
Stein is back to give us his unique insight again, as it pertains to the parties most recent endevors!

Why Me?

Well it appears the group has appointed me their leader. Why me? What have I done to deserve to lead the group? Oh well such is the life of a dwarf I guess, we are natural born leaders. Many a good dwarf has lead people to greatness. Me brother Ramm must have felt the heavy hand of responsibility upon him when they went down into that hole.
On the other hand Elcin and me determined that the escapee from our battle in the ambushers camp needed to be handled so we took off after the escapee. Elcin is really a good tracker, gotta give the lass credit for keeping us on track to find and eliminate the escape. She was able to help us make up ground and shortly before dark on the 2nd day of her tracking we found the makeshift camp the escape had made.
Dang blasted spell user was able to keep me guessing where they were but not Elcin, what is it with that lass. She just seems to know where they are and her arrows rang true taking the escapee down. A quick search of the camp and the escapee and we found the following note.

Your lack of progress is troubling. I have sent this wizard to help finish destroying the wards, when it is done, dispose of him. Due to your failures I am forced to take the Blades north without the key. As soon as you have it, you and your men will bring it to us. And just in case you feel inclined to change the plans, remember what happened to your precious children. Your pain will be a thousand thousands times what they suffered before He is done with you. You have 5 days….

So it seems the escapee’s name was Cerwyx. What kind of a name is that? No matter there is one less Cerwyx in the world thanks to Elcin’s tracking and arrows. Wonder who this Ven character was talking about when he mentioned “this wizard”
When we came back to where the group was last they were not anywhere to be found, this was troubling as not only Ramm was missing but also me other brother Mauer (not that I would miss Mauer and his ramblings about Moradin). Once again it was Elcin who noticed something. She thought she heard some sounds from underground. So I started trying to get the rubble off the entrance to the underground and started shouting for our companions who apparently felt the need to go chasing somebody or something underground.

It was then that I heard Ramm or somebody saying something about beer, ahhh me favorite thing. A good beer will make even the worst day seem like paradise, the quality of the flavor and the texture of the head… Oh sorry got to day dreaming there for a minute.
Anyhow we were able to get the rest of the group out of the hole and made our way to Farhill Keep. Skumbag was right, that place is bristling with defenses. It appears they are hiding something they consider to be militaristically important to me. That place has at least one army there. They have more artillery there than many cities I have seen on the frontier.
As we were on our way in to see if we could find some hint of what is going on there, well that is what the rest of me companions appeared to be wanting to do. I was just wanting to get rid of Mauer, we met up with some new people who were sent by others to look for us. One is an elven namby pamby who has a name that is just too difficult to pronounce let alone spell and the other a shifter by the name of Dune. These two seem to be healing types. Now I do not see eye to eye with Mauer but he is me brother and I have not seen a healer better than Mauer so these two have some big shoes to fill in the healing department. Afterall somebody has to keep Puff and this new wizard, hmmmm the group picked this new wizard up at the scene of the last big battle, who seems to love making fires from taking too much damage. Ramm and me can take care of ourselves.
While we were talking suddenly a couple riders came out of nowhere and were shouting something. But just a few seconds behind came the bulette that was after them. I will not go into the details of what happened to the riders but it was not a pretty sight.

Now I ain’t never seen a bulette up close and personal before but I did not let that stop me. Me and Ramm ran off into the fight immediately. The fight was fun and gratifying as the group took down the bulette. Bah! Another of those blue gems! This time the new namby pamby started acting like he wanted to examine it. Well I threatened him with losing his hand and actually had to tackle him to prevent him from touching itl Dang stupid idiots! Why do I seem to attract people who trust magic far too much for my own good.

Anyhow after the fight I pulled out the letter again and reread it. Things just were not making sense, who was the wizard that was supposed to be helping this Cerwyx character? What is this key the author, Ven, was talking about. Sure would be nice to know what the heck that is. Afterall it appears this Ven character is headed out with his minions, the Blades, to use said key for something. Dang it, I hate puzzles when I am not fully aware of what the pieces of the puzzle are.

Then it struck me, Ven said they were doing something in 5 days and it had been 3 days since Cyn and I chased down this Cerwyx character. The new guys had mentioned seeing a halfling and a eladrin who were “scary” looking and that these people headed NW out of the area the day before. Dang it! They had a 1 day head start on us and they are the Blades!
So I announces to the group that we are headed north. Cyn immediately backed the decision. Balt now known as Puff was his usual quiet self. Ramm figured he had nothing better to do and decided going with his brother was better than sitting around. The new wizard said nothing. The other two new guys started to argue with me about it but I just announced again we are going north and started gathering me gear to take off after the Blades.
We started after them and shortly into the first day we found some tracks, I asked Elcin to see if she could stay with our quarry and is typical of her she was able to help us keep up. We found one spot where there was a battle and was approaching the site when we were suddenly attacked by a group of wolves. The wolves were no match for us and were quickly put down. Now some of me group wanted to stop and rest but I knew we did not have the luxury of stopping, we had to keep pushing through as much as we could if we hoped to catch up to the blades.
Later in the day we found another site of battle, this time we saw a horde of rats scavenging on the remains of the site. This time rather than wasting time and energy I decided we should just go around the battle site. The rats were wary of us but did not bother us as we went past.
Eventually we came to the point where we could not continue following the Blades because it was dark. So we made camp. I set the watch with Ramm taking first watch, Puff second, Elcin third and meself last watch. About the time the watch switched from Puff to Elcin there was some sort of disturbance. Puff woke Elcin up who woke me up immediately. Knowing we have been gaining ground I wanted to keep moving so off we went towards the area of the disturbance.
We eventually made it to a location where the tracks became mixed with the tracks of humanoids. Elcin was able to determine that our quarry went around a tunnel we found. I was not going to go off on a wild goose chase into the tunnel even though given the fact that there were humanoids more than likely in the tunnel it is not our quarry so around the hill that contained the tunnel we went.
The day started uneventful with Elcin continuing to track our quarry but we did have a bit of fun.
We were entering an area with a series of hills and cliffs on our left and I just senses something was up. Then I saw it. There was an ogre who was very poorly trying to hide in a gully between two rises. I am sure others in the group spotted the ogre as he was doing a very poor job of trying to hide.
Ramm and I in our normal method just charged up to the ogre and laid a pretty good wallop on it. I knocked the ogre down and me brother smacked him a good one. Fortunately for us when we charged up we found the rest of the group that had laid an ambush. There were 3 total in that gully, a eladrin magic user (gah how I hate magic) on one hill and two archers straight ahead of the rest of the party.
The battle was on! I won’t bore you with the details of the entire battle but when all was said and done we ended up killing 4 archers, the eladrin, the ogre and 3 melee types. The eladin was the trickiest as she seemed to be able to move around invisibly. Gah how I hate magic!
Now one thing that I found curious was that she said something about my master? Odd, me have a master? Not since I was a little lad have I had a master. Bah, just an eladrin mind game.
Now we sit in the aftermath of the battle and I cannot help but pull out the letter again. Who is this Ven character? What is/was the key? I do not recall anything that we acquired that could be called a key. Maybe the group found something when I was off chasing Cerwyx with Elcin?
I also just noticed that this Ven character used the formal use of the word He. Someone has some power over Ven. Whoever He is has Ven referring to him as a master. One does not use that kind of formalization unless one owes fealty to the person you are talking about. Whoever He is Ven has sworn some sort of fealty to him. Once I catch up to Ven if he is lucky enough to survive the battle I will be sure that he tells me everything about He. If I find out that He is in any way related to the Duke’s family it will just give me even more reason to take the family down one by one.

The Fate of Lybar
After a party shake up, the group encounters skeletal parishiners, waterlogged zombies, and a ghastly spell caster in the remains of a long lost town.

After dispatching the bandits, and searching through the camp, the party discovered another person, who had hidden himself inside one of the structures. The new man was a mage, whom had evidently been paid to come to the sight to help with breaking the enchantments on a door the bandits had excavated. Having no affiliation with the bandits, and always looking for ways to further his craft, the mage joined in with the group. It wasn’t long after this that another group approached, evidently drawn by the sound of the battle. This new group was mostly made up of dwarves, and to the shock of Stein, his and Ram’s brother Mauer was amongst this group. For reasons that you’d have to ask Stein about, Stein immediately set out with Elcin to track down a tiefling bandit that had slipped away near the end of the combat.

To top it all off, Ramm arrived on the scene a bit later, a Monk who had been sent by Wollen was with him. After swapping some info, it was decided that Mad Dog the Artificer would return to Farhill Keep with the group of dwarves, and Mauer would stay with Ram, Balthizar, the student monk, and the new Mage, who consequently had the name of Mad Dog the Fire Mage. The group as it were, desired to find out what exactly was underneath the door that had been found within what appeared to be the top of a ruined structure.

Once access was gained, the party climbed down to discover that they appeared to be in some sort of ancient bell tower. Through a set of doors at the base of this tower, the party discovered a ruined chapel. Strange visions of death and bloodshed assaulted them, as well as skeletons intent on making the party permanent residents. In the end the skeletons were dispatched, in no small part thanks to Mauer’s radiant magic, and Mad Dog’s fire spells. Mauer and the monk also cleansed the profaned alter to Pelor located within the chapel.

Outside of the chapel, the party found a buried city, where in water had cut several passages and chambers that provided access to some of the other structures long buried beneath the earth. In a waterlogged chamber, with a partially buried tower in the middle, the party came across a number of undead, which included several zombies, 2 shrieking and spell flinging ghosts, and a wraith like monster that could pass through walls. Fighting was fierce and everyone played a part in helping to dispatch the enemies, but not before one of the ghosts opened up a hole in the ceiling near the front of the chamber that caused water to come rushing in at an alarming rate.

The party sought shelter in the tower’s upper reaches, where they found an old lab of sorts. They also came across a journal (see the item’s Tab) and a strange devise that seemed to be designed to keep items suspended in time, but that actually teleported items placed within it to the center of the room after a visit to an unknown location. Thanks to Balthazar’s ability to fly, and some clever strategies, the party was eventually able to escape the cavern and backtracked pasted the chapel and into a new part of the village.

Finding a rather large and important looking building, the party entered and soon had undead coming at them from every direction. Skeletons, Ghouls, and a powerful, 4 armed monstrosity came at them. Even as they appeared to be getting the upper hand a spell casting undead joined in the fray. The party had to fall back and regroup, but thanks to the group working together, they soon found themselves on the winning side of things. Within the tower, the party found what seemed to be the source of most of the undead power. A small stone on an ensorcelled pedestal, with mummified bodies laid around it. Taking the stone, they moved upstairs, and found the trapped spirit of a woman who seems to have been the same woman who wrote the journal. Mauer was eventually able to free her from her soul prison, and for doing so, the party was given a token of Pelor’s appreciation. With one more set of stairs to climb, we left the party until the next game.

Highlights of Monster’s Killed – Shadow Infused Skeletons 6, Lesser Haunts 2, Ghouls 3, Lesser Tomb Guardian 1, Shadow Infused Spell Wight 1

Selection of Treasure – Level 7 Magical Sword, Necrosis Stone, Journal with Ritual Included within it.

No Ramm! or The Story of the Time Stein Got Sober
A lack of the Creature, and the absense of his brother, leads Stein to take verbal lead with the party, to somewhat mixed results...
The following entry is the last found in a Journal that states that it is written by someone calling himself only “Stien” Some content has been added, or edited by the finder… The Treachery of the Crown?

The party goes off in search of a crypt and finds …

Well about the time we were getting set to cut down the poor lass who was hung upside down we suddenly had a very realistic vision. In the vision we went overland quite a ways to the entrance to a crypt and once inside we found a room just filled with urns, I am not talking about half a dozen or even a couple dozen urns. The crypt was absolutely filled with them. Hundreds if not thousands of urns!

As we were coming out of the vision we were all marked by something, something like a brand. Now I know that the namby pamby Alfred probably had a case of loose bowels, Pin Cushion probably yelped and Balt wondered what he did to deserve to have his flesh marked like that but the reaction of me brother was quite unique. He suddenly said he had a hot date and scampered out of the room. Weird, I know he has his priorities confused at times but is any female worth that much?

Anyhow about that time Pin Cushion felt a difference in temperature near one of the walls and figured it was a door that the builders tried to conceal. Alfred wanted to investigate and play with the door but I wanted none of that and after I put the poor lass in a safe place I just pushed the door open. Now me memory is kinda frazzled for a bit here, not enough good drink for the better part of a day and a half, but I think I got it straight.

We found a back tunnel that the city’s sewage ran through with evidence of footprints taking off further to the south. I anticipated that this would lead to a set of stairs going up and when we found the next door to the south sure enough it led to a triabular room with some of the most gruesome sights you would ever want to see, blood, body parts, entrails, and who knows what else was in there. But on the opposite wall was a set of stairs that a quick investigation proved was a passage to the surface and apparently outside of the city’s wall. So we start back to where we came from.

As we get to the sewage tunnel a kobold, yes a single kobold, popped out announced that I was some sort of play thing for Tick Tock. Me? Play with a kobold? Nah, the only thing that played with the kobold was me craghammer when I slapped it upside his head. Now he did summon some nasties, looked like leeches and worms, for me compatriots to deal with but it seems the nasties did not care for the way I treated Tick Tock. So two of them immediately attacked me. Did I mention how I hate magic? So I ignores the nasties and continued to work over Tick Tock. Two more swings and he was properly tenderized.

Now me compatriots were trying to help, well Pin Cushion and Balt were trying but Alfred was hiding behind Pin Cushions’ skirt. Told ya he was a namby pamby, I would be ashamed to call meself a dwarf if I acted like he acted. Hiding in the background like a camp follower not wanting to get his fingers dirty where the real glory is to be found. Pin Cushion is really starting to get the hang of using her bow, maybe I misjudged her a little bit and owe her a bit of respect because she is doing well with riddling nasties with arrows.

Balt’s breath attack proved to be a very good attack as he damaged pretty much all of the nasties that Tick Tock summoned. He still needs to be a bit more aggressive in taking decisive actions but he is getting better at picking times to use that nasty breath attack of his. He seems like he could do more damage with that maul of his but he seems content to stand back flicking things with a little shock.

Anyhow Balt, Pin Cushion and I managed to kill off everything without taking too much damage so we were ready to move onto the next area. But once again at about this time we found ourselves a tiny door. Apparently Tick Tock was coming through that door. Just to make sure there were no surprises I decided that we needed to investigate it. …. Anybody besides me getting the feeling that the party is waiting on me to make decisions? Bah! It makes me head hurt to have to think so much!

Well Pin Cushion showed the elven heritage in not wanting to get her hands dirty going through the door and it needed investigates so I went through. What a mess, so many nasties but there are multiple uses for alcohol J I poured out that nasty drink that Alfred gave me, gah it smelled just horrible .. there was no way I was tasting it, and lit it on fire with me flint and steel. Whoosh! Fried Worms ….Stunk a bit too but I think it actually smelled less than that garbage Alfred tried to pass off to me as beer.

So one kobold and a multitude of nasties taken care of., a passage leading south from the city found and one dead girl to have someone answer for. Somebody is going to have to give me some answers and give them to me quickly! I know just who to talk to.


So off to the military ward I go with the poor lass in me bed roll, I might have to break down and buy me a new one as this one is getting a bit crusty. Oh and the other three are tagging along even though I have no clue why. When we get to the military ward’s main gate interestingly enough they just open the gates and let us through before stopping us inside the main gate.

Somehow I kept my peace and politely asked to speak with Vanity and they took us, the others just tagged along and became a nuisance in the long run, to speak with Vanity. When I arrived with her I said “We need somewhere private to speak” which she took very seriously. Unfortunately I had to show Vanity the body as I had no physical description of the banished member of the Duke’s family. Vanity told me it was not her so that was somewhat of a relief I think.

While speaking to Vanity she suggested once again that we speak to Wollen about the crystals. I told her everything about the dream we had and showed her the branding we received. For that she suggest we speak to Frenquile (rhymes with tranquil, a local Halfling ranger) for a possible idea where the crypt might be. I told here I believe it is time that the no good arrogant son of the Duke of what we found. She agreed but said that he is probably asleep. I informed her which she actually took very seriously believe it or not that either she get us in to see him or else I am taking the body to the gates of the palace ward and displaying it for all the people gathered there. I think that changed her mind a bit.. She really is a good kid and I actually kinda feel sorry for putting her in such a position but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do and either she was getting me in to see “His Duckiness” or I was going to make the boy quack all on me own. At this point in time I was not happy with the little piece of donkey droppings and I was itching to confront him on several fronts.

As we waited on her to get her people in position to get us into the palace ward I took the time to draw a representation of what I remembered seeing in my “dream” so that I could show it to various people and get an idea of where it was. A little later in this journal entry ye will see where it came to some good use.

So off we go to the Palace Ward where Vanity and one of her business associates greased some palms to get us into the palace by a side entrance. Gee imagine that me a lowly dwarf stepping me unworthy feet on palace dirt. Funny the dirt looks just like the dirt you find in every other ward in Whyn Burae. Once again we are led off on a maze of passages, no I am not telling ye how many lefts and rights this time, finally ending up in a meeting room with a large table that has been set for eating some morning meal. I ordered the table cleared then put the body on the table.

We are made to wait it out, at one point in time a servant girl popped her head in to see if we needed anything and as I was getting more and more upset I snapped at her. Probably owe the lass an apology for doing so or better yet His Duckiness should apologize to her for putting her in that position when he could have been prompt in coming to see what we found.

Finally His Duckiness shows up and acts like he wants to eat while we talk. I warn him that it would not be a good idea to do so as what he is about to see is not pretty. I suggest that he have the majority of his guards leave the room as I am no fool and know that he has plenty of guards occupying murder holes that would have made the whole group nothing more than a group of practice dummies if we drew on the boy. But His Duckiness is stubborn and wants to see what it is that is so important for me to awake His Duckiness so early in the morning.

Now I must at this point in time point out that if ye thought I was the insane one in the group then ye would be sadly mistaken. Ye see Alfred decides at that point in time that it would be a good idea to start acting like a jackass. Not sure what the namby pamby’s problem is but he seems to lack self control and does things that are totally off center. This time he decided that he was hungry and started eating the eggs that His Duckiness was fliddling with. Now mind ye I was hungry and would have loved to get a large amount of ale, mead, beer and whatever else inside me but there was work that needed done and screwing around like that was something that I am going to have to have a chat with the lad about, maybe he needs to have his brains examined and me craghammer can be the surgical implement that is used to allow the physicians to look at them.

Anyhow I shows His Duckiness the body and explain to him that he has a breech in the walls to the city. His Duckiness first denies the breech but I quickly put that argument down by telling him he can either believe me or he can call me a liar but when somebody gets an army inside his fair city he will learn I am telling the truth. That slap in the face kind of woke His Duckiness up. Next I was itching for a fight and started blasting away at His Duckiness about his glory hound approach to being the Duke’s Son. Now where me and me brothers grew up we learned that glory is a good thing but if ye are a member of the ruling family in the clan ye have a responsibility to the clan first and foremost not to yerself to get glory. That is why I am so happy that I am not a member of the ruling family in the clan. Me best friend, other than me brothers and sisters, growing up was Kaleb but he is the son of the 4th in line to the throne of the clan. He unfortunately has responsibilities far beyond himself and I respect him for bowing to those responsibilities. Maybe some day Kaleb will call on me and me family again to assist the clan as we have done in the past but as of right now Kaleb is living in the walls of Turak-Tol.

His Duckiness backed down almost immediately, the boy is just that a boy, not a man. No man that I know would have ever taken the insulting I laid upon him and ducked his tail between his legs like he did. I did not like the arrogant little puke from the first time I laid eyes on him and I still don’t like him. He is a glory hound who uses others then accepts the glory for hisself even though he does nothing to earn the glory. Had I insulted Ramm like that he and I would still be fighting. Heck if I had insulted our sister Bardryn she would have probably started ripping me bear out!

So His Duckiness is a coward as far as I am concerned. He offered to pay us to go clean out the rest of the area we found so his engineers could start sealing the area off to prevent further disturbances coming from there. If it were me in charge I would have just said to the people who reported it that their work is done and me and me clan would take care of any further problems in that area. But he decided to try to throw money at the problem in the hopes that he and his toy soldiers would not need to get their hands dirty.

So me and me camp followers head out to try and find this Halfling fellow, we first head to Thade’s tavern, which when he saw me he was very excited and offered to tap everything he had but I informed him that I was seeking the Halfling. His face fell at that and he was noticeably upset at the loss of income for the time being. He said the Halfling was not there but he would be glad to let the Halfling know we were looking for him. But that was not good enough and I was prepared to go to the Halflings house. Thade was nice enough to have one of his workers show us to the halfling’s home.

When we got to the halfling’s home I gave the servant a pay raise and sent him back to Thade. Who knew a simple gold piece would make the lad’s day but it seemed to do just that. We were polite this time even though I just wanted to bust down the door and make the Halfling talk. Perhaps a bit of talking and less bashing would make things go easier. Once again Alfred decides to be an idiot and wants to start picking the lock in broad daylight luckily for him the Halfling opens the door before he gets started on committing suicide. I begin to explain what is going on, seeing as though me camp followers are incapable to talking intelligently. The discussion with the Halfling produced some good rumors that I intended to follow up on with me old friend Skumbag.

Now ye have to understand what Skumbag is and be willing to overlook a few indiscretions to be able to talk to him and get the information ye want. That I was prepared to do and was really hoping the rest of me camp followers were not going to be a problem in the course of discussion. After the typical chest thumping of Skumbag over his exploits as an adventurer I managed to get him to talk about what he knows about the Duke’s family and political ties. It was then that Skumbag let me in on the first bit of information that would eventually see me off in the direction we would go. It appears the Duke’s family operates a rather large gem mine north of Whyn Burae and they are using a small army to protect it. Now this would not normally cause me to think twice but when Skumbag reminded me that the only prison in Whyn Burae only holds about 40 prisioners all sorts of bells and whistles started going off in me head. This would mean one of 3 things.

1: Nobody gets arrested in Whyn Burae – This is very doubtful as me compatriots and I were responsible for about a score of prisoners when we busted up the porters guild after finding a temple to that fake god Orcus under their main building.

2: Once convicted there is swift and deadly justice done – This is even more doubtful as there would be massive burial mounds or whatever in and around Whyn Burae to house the prisoners who are executed.

3: The prisoners are put to work as slaves in the gem mines – This one makes sense. Now mind ye I am not opposed to forced labor for a crime or to pay off a debt but I am deeply troubled by the fact that those who are sent off are not seen again.

I paid Skumbag 50 gold to keep an ear out for me and to let me know everything and anything he hears. He was a bit shocked that I was willing to part with me gold so easily but honestly with me golden drinking ticket I probably saved over 200 gold so spending 50 gold for information is getting off cheaply.

OK several pieces of the puzzle have been put into place but there is a big hole in the middle of me puzzle. From Vanity and confirmed by His Duckiness the keep of the disowned members of the Duke’s family is to the south. I would really like to head there at this point in time. From Skumbag the family of the Duke might be using slave labor to the north. The Halfling provided me with an idea of where me group might need to go to the north to investigate me dream. So now it is to reasons to go south and two reasons to go north.

Off to see this mysterious Wollen. Now let me tell ye Wollen is not your normal mind tricker, He looks like he could pick up a full grown ogre and toss him across a room as Wollen is a goliath! The man is absolutely huge! But what really struck me was the red gem that Wollen seems to have implanted in the middle of his forehead..

Immediately upon walking into the room with Wollen that gem went into some sort of freaky mode and Wollen starts looking at us. I thought for a second I was going to need to use me craghammer here and pry that gem from Wollen’s head to relieve him of some sort of curse but it seems as though it was me group that had the problem. Ye see the blue gems that we kept on finding were tracking devices that the Master of Crystals was using to know what we were doing where. That would explain why he was not under the house where we found the poor lass. He knew we were coming and beat a hasty retreat. Well Wollen neutralized the blue gems so now they are worthless pieces of glass. Once again I tell Wollen everything, I show him the pictures I drew and he said he wanted to see where we found the poor lass and that she suffered a fate of psychic surgery which is too barbaric for any civilized psion to do. So we show him the place and once again Wollen’s gem goes nuts. This time it is a pretty good sized gem in the wall behind where the lass was hanging upside down. This battle is harder on Wollen and for a second or two I thought I was going to have to break the gem in the wall. But once again Wollen won the battle and this time instead of neutralizing the gem he transformed it so that now I can track the Master of Crystals with it.. Neat trick.

Now the one thing that Wollen said that struck me more than anything else was that the branding that me and me group received is really a result of being spirit touched by a shaman to show us something. That is what the dream sequence was all about the lass with the last of her life wanted to show us something. In that crypt as I said there were literally hundreds if not thousands of urns. Why would there be urns there?

That is when me head cleared and me eyes uncrossed. The urns represent the slave workers who died and were cremated to dispose of any evidence of the slave labor the Duke’s family is using to mine the gems. This set me mind on what needed done and why. As I said before I am not opposed to forced labor to pay off a debt or as a means to serve a sentence for a crime committed but to work the laborers to death is just wrong.

So me and me camp followers went to Vanity to tell her what we were going to do. I decided to push her a little bit and see if she will give up anything about the gems that Skumbag say are coming into Whyn Burae. She openly admitted that her merchant house is not the house that deals in the gems. Her house deals in normal goods that are bought and sold in Whyn Burae and the keep to the north. She offered to have us hired on as guards escorting the caravan that her house was sending to the keep but when me head cleared enough to realize what was going on I decided we needed to start heading north with all haste to hopefully beat the snows and uncover what is going on.

As we were headed out of town Vanity came riding up on a horse at a pretty good clip and handed us a marker that her house would recognize and allow us to purchase things from the caravan at reasonable rates. While this was a nice gesture it unfortunately allowed others to know what we were doing and to be honest the lass must have forgotten that I am a dwarf and as such the colder climes are something that I am more used to. Besides I will either be dead or back in Whyn Burae well before the weather gets so bad that it concerns me.

Along the route north Pin Cushion heard a horse galloping at a rate that made her believe it was trying to get ahead of us. When Alfred shut up enough for her to alert the rest of us, it was decided to see if we could cut this outrider off and see what was going on.

We cut across country and found him down by a stream watering his horse. As we had the drop on him he realized he was in no position to offer a fight and after some negotiations he decided that it was the better part of valor for him to allow me to search his belongings. Everything was normal until I found a letter that was written in a code that I could not immediately recognize. So I asked the group if someone could decipher the code. Balt proved his worth when he deciphered the code to be a latter that was to tell a group up ahead of us to be on the lookout for us and eliminate us.

Jackpot! We spooked someone and that someone now wants us out of the way! So me head starts turning things around to see if we can put the fear of us in the group that is supposed to be waiting on us. I wrote another note and told the rider to deliver me note along with his master’s note to the group ahead. While I was writing the note once again Alfred showed his nature by telling the outrider to strip. Well I decided to let Alfred learn from his stupidity and just kicked back to watch the fight. When Alfred figured out he was not going to have backup he backed down from his demands. Now if it were me who made a demand and a prisoner decided to defy me I would have taken me craghammer and used it to open his armor and forcibly remove the prisoner from it but Alfred in true namby pamby cowardice did nothing. From there we released the outrider and I even paid him 2 gold to deliver me note he decided that it was better to not deliver the notes and run like a coward.

Now we know there is a group ahead of us up the stream from where we were, I wanted to get the drop on them so I asked Pin Cushion to keep an ear out for when we got close. She does have a nice sense of hearing as she was able to tell me when we were getting close to their outer guards.

Now the fun begins again! I asked Pin Cushion, I guess I should start calling her Elcin since she actually is proving to be a very good archer, to eliminate the guard closest to us with arrows and she did it quite nicely. At this point I began the charge into camp figuring me compatriots would follow suit. So much for that idea as I charged full speed to get close to melee range while the rest of them just went in as if it were a normal fight.

So here I am off ahead of the rest of the group while they lollygag behind. I took a hail of arrows getting clipped once but all that served to do was to irritate me enough that I bull rushed the nearest one into the fire they had going killing him instantly. This is when it became fun as the ones that were hidden in buildings or out of sight came into the fight. If me memory is right we fought about 10 or so of the would be ambushers, one was a magic user and if I had me way he would have been the first to feel me craghammer but I was delayed by one boy who thought he was special as he was on a horse. He and I began trading blows but what he was not aware of was that I have learned that to take down calvary ye need to eliminate their mounts and I determined to do just that. So I hit him once then hit his mount. He then realized what I was about to do and dismounted INTO THE FIRE! Idiot, is what me first thought was as he was hurting himself by standing in the fire and I was able to start beating him down. The battle between he and I took a while but because of the fire and his magic using friend I was able to put him down.

It took me a long time to beat him down and in the meantime the camp followers were playing with several others. Elcin is a damn fine shot as she popped two of the remaining archers. Balt was occupying a couple of the would be ambushers and holding his own but taking some damage. Funny I thought he was one of those barbarian types who just get better in a fight when they get smacked around a little bit. I am not sure what Alfred was doing except running around like a scared kid who was about to be whipped by his father.

By the time I had the big guy down and cleaned the magic user off the face of the world Balt used all his brute strength to eliminate the sole remaining menace from the battlefield.

I picked me up a few new scars but delivered far more scares than I received, wish me brother was here right now to share in the glory of the fight but some piece of tail was more important to him so he missed out on the fun.

After the fight and after we looted the bodies we discovered a series of crates that were marked with a merchant insignia of The White Lantern Merchant House and the insignia of Whyn Burae! Why that no good ……… I don’t know which of the Duke’s family is doing this but they WILL pay for what they are doing, if I have to take the family down with me own hands one dirty family member at a time I will see vengeance upon the family for what they have done!

A "Shocker" of an Experience
Feed the Dead Festival Turns Somewhat Literal

The following is a journal entry recently uncovered from a book known as "Stein’s Journal… Italics indicates information added by the poster.

Well me compatriots and I were given some rewards for ridding Whyn Burae of a temple to that fake god Orcus. What was the big deal? It was some low rent opposition that fell easily to me and me brother’s hammers. But what the heck I got a good craghammer out of it so all is good. Still have 28 days worth of free drinking on the good old Duke so I intend to take full advantage of it.

When we were finished that no good son of the Duke asked us to go off someplace as part of his retinue. Why would I go with him? All he is good for is looking down that beak he calls a nose at the people who do all the work while he accepts the accolades. There is not enough brew in all the land for me to follow him anywhere

Vanity also offered something and we were about to set off in that direction when we ran across this big fellow with a sword beating up anybody or anything that was close enough to him. Well I started in on him and though I had him occupied but he ignored me. That was a bad move for him because everytime he tried to do something I smacked him again. I put him down no less than 3 times basically on me own because the dang blasted thing decided to impale me brother on a sword he stuck in the wall of one of the buildings. He also skewered 2 more party members on the sword blade Finally after the 3rd time he fell he did not get up. This time I made sure he was not getting up as I ripped the mask off his face. More of those blasted blue crystals…

So we are about to leave the area when the shadowy figure, who ended up being a minotaur priest of Orcus shows up with about 6 zombies. Well after the crap he pulled under the porter’s guild warehouse I decided he needed to be relieved of his heartbeat and was prepared to attack. Unluckily for him our newest party member Xasia disemboweled him with an improvised weapon. A couple smacks later and one of his zombies exploded, TOLD YA magic is good for nothing as it seems the dark magic he was using to animate the zombies also provided him with health when he ran low. Took us but a few moments to take out the trash and finish off the priest.

All I wanted to do was have a nice quick fight then spend the night drinking again but NOOOOOO … we took the bodies of the first guy and the minotaur to the military ward and demanded entrance to see either dukey boy or Vanity. Eventually that young colonel The colonel’s name is actually Captain Roland came out and asked us to follow him.

He led us to see Vanity and when I started asking questions she decided we needed to go see someone else. Off we go on another walk through the maze of corridors, do they think they can get me lost? I am a dwarf for crying out loud and we dwarves understand that type of stuff better than they do! Anyhow after 13 left hand and 14 right hand turns we ended up at this door that was obviously magically locked. GAH HOW I DESPISE MAGIC!

In that room was this odd character The eladrin wizard Moytra who began speaking about things that were just mumbo jumbo. Why don’t they just tell me who I need to go eliminate to remove the threat so I can go do it? All this thinking is giving me a headache.

After we are done talking to this new character, whatever it’s name was, we talk to Vanity and she seems to believe that one of the Duke’s disinherited family members might have some answers. The wimps in the group wanted to go knock nicely on the door in the daylight hours but me brother and me know that is not how to do it so we started just blasting down doors.

Several doors, some steps a couple empty rooms and a fake wall later we find some fun. Obviously whoever was faster on the draw between Ramm and I will get to the fun first. This time it was me and I charged in on the two nasties I could see. When I did that 2 more nasties became evident to us to my right. I quickly tell Ramm where the other nasties are. Pin Cushion found the last of the nasties in the corner to the left as soon as you enter the room.

The battle is on!!!!!! One of the two nasties I am fighting must have had some odd magical power as he seemingly split into 2 and suddenly I am fighting 3 at one time. Ahhhh the fun of having 3 nasties to scar and get scars from. They gave me a couple good ones but I gave more than I received and quickly I was only facing 2. Then I was only facing 1 and that last one did not last long.

Meanwhile me brother is enjoying himself against a big old slow nasty. He was wiping the floor with the nasty. One of the nasties that Ramm was going to teach how to fight went poof and ended up next to Balt and Alfred. Pin Cushio was doing much better and was holding her own against the one nasty she found.

Slowly the nasties near the others became more and more weakened and we were able to finish taking out the last of them.

But we are now faced with this gruesome sight of a mutilated lady hanging upside down from chains on a dias that had multiple blue gems inlaid in the wall behind it. The lady appears to be alive but based on the contortions she just went through I am not so sure if she really is or not. She started to say something but I am not sure what that something was.

Monsters Killed = 1 Gem Empowered local butcher, 1 Priest of Orcus and his 6 Zombie Minions, 4 Orcs, 1 Psionic Shade, and a Bugbear Fanatic

The Devil In Distress

In their second game session, the party finds itself starting out deep in the bowls of one of many military buildings within Whyn Burae. After gathering info from some of their fellow rescuers, and delivering a report of their experience below the halls of the Orge Lord Direfang, the party (or more specifically Stein, along with Ram, Mad Dog, A dragonborn who calls himself Balthazaar but who’s name is evidently not Balthazaar, and Elcin) set out to partake in the spoils of their successful rescue. Drinking, followed by more drinking, followed by much more drinking, brings the party to the steets of Whyn Burae, late at night, and heading towards the cities infamous northern quarter known to locals as “The Depths”. But before they can make their way to the “Drunken Ogre Tavern”/Brothel/Gambling Hall/ hmmm… what else is there", the party hears a cry in the night.

Following the sound down a side street, and then into a dead ending alley, the group comes upon a group of thugs assaulting a Tiefling woman they recognized as one of their fellow “rescuers”. The thugs, lead by a man the party dubs “Prince Charming”(who says he was planning on coming after the PC’s when he was done with the Tiefling) attack, mostly unsuccessfuly, except for a couple of roof top archers who briefly turn Elcin into a pin cushion. After dispatching Prince Charming, and healing up the Tiefling, the woman reveals her name as Vanity, and says that Prince Charming is actually a man named Durran, who evidently runs a struggling porters guild located within the Depths.

Vanity tells the party that the thugs were looking for an “Urn”, though she is not certain why. The party finally reaches the Drunken Ogre, where propriator Skumbag Buttknuckler breaks open a keg and Ram and Mad Dog encounter a pair of men wearing porter’s guild cloaks. After roughing up one of the men, the party made its way to the porter’s warehouse. Upon arriving they find that the place has already been broken into, and smashing sounds are drifting up from the lower level. Investigation reveals a lone figure holding a torch, who was watching a lumbering crystilian animate bashing on a wall. Upon engaging the pair, the animate was quick to put Ramn in a bear hug that crushed the dwarf into unconcisiouness. Mad Dag was able to quickly get Rahm back in the fight, while Stien was repeatedly thrown by the torchbearer whom exibited strength far beyond what he appeared cappable of. Elcin peppered the man with arrows, but rather than doing him any harm, it appeared that most of the damage was transfered instead to the golem. Bal discovered that his thunder and lightning elemental spells seemed to have the greatest effect on the golem with the damage appearing to effect the man. After a hard fought battle, the man seemed to nearly explode, and the golem collapsed into a pile of goo. Soon after the party discovered a hidden secret door that revealed a lift leading deeper below the warehouse. The party also found that the torchbearer had 3 small blue gems sewin into his spine.

After being interupted in their attempt at an extended rest by what was apparently a number of people arriving (some of whom fell down stairs that Mad Dog had rigged with a trip wire) and killing a few more thugs, the party desended the lift shaft and discovered a strange temple dedicated to Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead. From a ledge high above the temple floor, the party was mocked by a hidden follower of the demon. From a pool of blood 4 mishappened zombie like creatures emerged, and from a ledge near the back of the temple, a group of cultist artillerymen assaulted the party with arrows and exploding balista bolts. During an epic fight, reactionary damage played a key roll, in both destroying the zombies, and causing further bloodshed to the party. Victory was finally achieved just as a group of town guards came down the lift. The mysterious figure on the ledge evidently escaped.

As the game session began to come to a close, the party was escorted to a wagon, where they were greeted by Vanity, and the prisoner that they had rescued way back at the end of the first session. He now revealed himself to actually be Albos Bardin, the Duke’s son!

Killed: 10 Thugs (mostly human), 2 Bandit Leaders, A spindly man and his golem companion, 4 Cultist Artilerymen, 4 Deathspew Zombies

Treasures (Not all monetary rewards are listed): (2) Level 3 Magical Weapons, (1) Level 3 Magic Implement, (1) Level 4 Magical Weapon, 3 small blue gems, a cut onyx, a good bit of gold.

The Story Begins
A recap of our first game session.

This first post will serve the dual purpose of giving a recap of the first session of gameplay, as well as provide some backstory that will also be sent out via e-mail to party members at a later date. First some backstory about Whyn Burae and the surrounding area-

Holding a reputation that is both romantic and horrifying, the “foothills” of the Skelrothin Mountains are fertile and green. Huge pines tower over rolling, rock strewn hills. As light filtered through the high canopy falls on beds of lush ferns, tall grasses, and multi-colored moss. As a gateway to the Storm Coast, the High Hills were oft sung about by bards in times of yore. While many histories record these lands as the great homeland of the elves, this is actually quite incorrect. While many elves, including the drow, have lived among and under the hills over time, they certainly did not start here. What have existed are hundreds of fortresses, castles, and walled cities, meant to protect the trade roads, mines, and other precious commodities that the hills cling to so tightly.

Amongst the natural beauty, creatures unnatural and ugly lie in wait for the unsuspecting and foolish who travel these lands without sufficient protection. Not that these lands are wholly uncivilized. At least partially protected by some of the mightiest storms that roll in off the coast, the land has enjoyed settlement by a very diverse grouping of peoples. Those that find life to busy, or politically rocky near to the coast, or to dangerous and frightening nearer to many of the mountains, often settle in or around the Highlands. The one place that has risen in prominence however is the many walled city of Whyn Burae. Curious in its architecture, and more ancient than some of the oldest trees, the city was first founded during the time of the great Tiefling empire of Bael Turath. Over the centuries that have passed since its founding, the city has been raised, rebuilt, destroyed, and built again. Each incarnation has simply taken the old and added to or rearranged it to the new builders liking. Like the rings of a tree, one can almost trace the age of the city by the number of rings of its walls. The city is much bigger in look than it is in actual population. The current ruler is Duke Artuzz Bardin, who’s family came to prominence during the reign of the Nerathan Empire. Duke Bardin has already outlived his wife, and 2 of his sons, and his remaining children are shrouded in mystery and speculation by those who concern themselves with nobility. The cities influence has waned signifigantly over the past 50 years, and what holdings the old Duke clings too now, he clings with an iron fist.

To the east, the Ghostwood becomes more and more dangerous, and the only mode of travel to and from the west, the dubiously named “Fiend’s Road” yearly becomes more and more shrouded in darkness. It is from this land that the characters look to carve a name for themselves. As we prepare to join them, it should be noted what brought them together. All of them were recently contacted by a mysterious cloaked figure who offered them each something they would find tempting(release of a family member from prison, relief of a debt to some unsavory types, a months worth of ale, ect.) in return for helping in a rescue effort.

The night started with the PC’s finding themselves in combat immediately following an apparent detonation of some unknown origin. They had been escorting a group of prisoners out of a fortress and up to this point had been successful in their escape. But with only one (unconcious) prisoner left, and 2 comrades (healers) down, the party looked to be in trouble. Itching for a fight, the dwarven battlerager Stien set off down one passage and was quickly greeted by a number of seemingly feral(mindless) goblins. The battle was joined as other members of the party charged in. Ravel, Scorpio, Argoth, and others came to Stien’s aid. Soon, more goblins joined the fray, dropping from the ceiling, appearing to completely ignore broken bones and other injuries. As the goblins began to fall, a spell casting one that had been hanging back attempted to flee.

The chase was on, but just as the goblin was crossing a rickety wooden bridge, Stien caught up to him. But Stien also caught up with a new enemy, a slavering, blood covered gnoll, which quickly cut the ropes on the far side of the bridge, sending both Stien and the goblin tumbling to the cavern floor. A furious new battle started up, as a powerful gnoll wielding heavy flail and shield charged in to join its companion. These dogmen also fought as though they did not feel pain, the large one, even rising up for one last attack after it seemed he should have been dead. After awaking, and interogating their prisoner, the group moved to an underground river that was meant to be a rendezvous, only to find that the boat had been attacked and those in it, slaughtered. Taking the boat out of the complex, the group finally made it out into the open air, and were quickly brought ashore by a group of Whyn Burae Army Soldiers. The soldiers quickly took the prisoner away from the boat, and after a few moments, the soldiers leader seemed to decide that it was time to leave, and the party, along with the remaining soldiers were quickly teleported to a chamber in an as of yet unknown location, and left with word that things would be sorted out soon.

Well, that about wraps it up for the first game. Hopefully in the coming weeks, things will begin to become more clear. Before we go, here is a brief “Metagame” type run down of foes vanquished, and treasures gained!

Monsters 7 goblins killed, 1 gnoll soldier killed, 1 gnoll berserker killed

Treasure 60 gp found on spell casting goblin, 1 gem found in bag on spell casting goblin, 3 remarkably similar gems found, weaved into the flesh and fur on the back of gnoll berserker.


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