Taurria

SESSION 11

Erdan Halueth, L5 Half-Elf Paladin of the Raven Queen
Bree, L5 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L5 Human Warlord
Running Bird, L5 Shifter Druid

  • With Padraig found, the heroes travel further into the Winterbole Forest, trying to join the main Taurrian army led by Grand Consul Paricus.
  • Along the way they encounter ettercaps and spiders, and are reminded of the dangers of this forest.
  • After three days, they finally find the Taurrian legions, surrounding a crude Orc fort.
  • The heroes and Padraig report the demise of the reinforcement legion to Consul Lauros, who informs G.C. Paricus. Paricus decides to call off the siege and retreat before the legions are surrounded by the orcs, but orders an assault on the fort in order to weaken its defenders and discourage any pursuit.
  • An orc champion by the name of Grumbar had been causing a lot of damage among the Taurrian ranks.
  • When the heroes assaulted the fort, they met Grumbar and killed him after an epic battle at the fort’s battlements.
HIGHLIGHT
  • Bree forcing the Orc Eye of Gruumsh off the wall, killing him whilst it wondered around contemplating it’s next move.
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SESSION 10

Erdan Halueth, L4 Half-Elf Paladin of the Raven Queen
Bree, L4 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L4 Human Warlord
Running Bird, L4 Shifter Druid

  • The heroes searched out LordErnest Padraig through the forest battlefield. They found him surrounded by orcs and an ogre, and managed to rescue him after defeating the savages.
  • They were joined by Running Bird, a shifter from the forest, whose tribe had been wiped out by the orcs and was now on a mission to kill as many orcs as possible.
  • They decided to head towards the main Taurrian force deeper into the forest.
  • As they break camp, a green dragon named Helfax appeared, and told them of an old grave site of a dragonborn prince, buried hundreds of years ago in the forest. The grave contained some treasure.
  • Helfax proposed that if she led them to the grave site, and the heroes overcame protective glyphs of warding, they can share the treasure with the dragon. The heroes believed that the dragon wasn’t telling the truth, so Helfax brought a bag of treasure to show her sincerity.
  • The heroes agreed. When they arrived at the ruined grave site, they saw six crumbling statues of warriors surrounding a stone coffin. Six specters suddenly ambushed the heroes, which the heroes eventually overcame.
  • The heroes lifted the coffin lid, which was indeed trapped with a glyph of warding, engulfing the heroes in flames. Surviving the flames, the heroes took out some treasure, one of which was a piece of the Ring of Aurrock.
  • Helfax the green dragon, who waited outside the grave site, demanded that the heroes show her the treasure. The heroes showed her all the treasure, except the piece of the ring (Bree managing to bluff their way through).
  • Helfax, suddenly losing interest, turned and left, giving the heroes all of the treasure.
  • The heroes moved on towards the main Taurrian force.
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SESSION 9
Ring of Aurrokk

Erdan Halueth, L4 Half-Elf Paladin of the Raven Queen
Bree, L4 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L4 Human Warlord
Vigo, L4 Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut

To crush the Orcs of Winterbole once and for all, Grand Consul Paricus smashed into the Winterbole Forest with a massive force of 10 legions (50,000 men). Among the invading force are the ferocious Red Iron Legion (a legion made up entirely of hobgoblins), Elven scout units, and several squadrons of hippogriff riders. The mighty Taurrian army have already had several initial victories, and were now marching towards the main Orc hold-out deep in the forest. The citizens back home were excited with the news of the war, and Nentir Vale was booming with the business of war, attracting merchants, mercenaries and adventurers to this remote part of the empire.

Winterhaven was also buzzing with activity. Hoping to make a name for himself and the heroes, Lord Padraig invites them to ride with him to war. The band joins the reserve Taurrian legion which was marching on its way toward the main army deep in the Winterbole Forest. Along the way, the legion was ambushed and destroyed by a large hoard of orcs. Surviving the ambush, the heroes make for the forest to escape the massacre…

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SESSION 8 - Part Two

THE SHADOW RIFT

They descended into a nightmare.

Crimson streams spilled from above and formed a shallow pool of blood in the center of the chamber, where they stood. A yawning, black portal dominated the northern wall, and something strained against the darkness within, as if it were a thin film keeping back a vicious clawed beast. Vigo knew what it was. “The portal leads to Shadowfell… a place of unspeakable evil” he muttered to his companions “Any living creature that passes through it will die, instantly”. Stairing at the portal with fear, Bree took a step closer to Redgar, seeking his protection.

Opposite the portal stood a massive statue of Orcus, pointing toward the darkness with a skull-capped wand. To the east, steps rose to a platform where a pit was flanked by two smaller statues of Orcus. Beiro’s sharp eyes noticed a gaunt figure crouching near them, with its long, black claw-tipped fingers twitching. A circle of blazing runes had been inscribed on the floor before the portal.

To the west, another set of steps ascended to a high ledge supporting an altar of bone and wide pillars. Two skeletal warriors guarded the stairs; tendons and sinew bound their bones strongly together, and their longsword gleamed in the dim light of the chamber.

Wearing a horned helm and carrying a skull-capped rod, Kalarel stood behind the altar. His eyes were closed, and a book rested open before him. He was chanting a low, droning prayer when the heroes came down the chains from the floor above.

“Welcome, guests. I waited long for your arrival” Kalarel shouted in his crazed, barritone voice. As Kalarel spoke, the undead crept towards the heroes. Redgar gripped his shield handle tight, cold sweat streaming down his cheeks. “The opening of the Shadow Rift is nigh,” Kalarel continued, “Will you join me and witness this great moment of our Lord Orcus?”

The undead attacked. Redgar and Bree engaged the skeletons. Soveliss locked with the wight in a magical contest. Vigo called upon Bahamut’s strength and courage. Beiro prepared to engage Kalarel.

Kalarel vanished, then reappeared inside the circle of blazing rune in front of the portal, shooting his Decaying Ray at Redgar. Redgar grunted, immediately feeling weak, necrotic energy weighing heavily on his entire body. He almost fell to his knees, but his Blackiron armour gleamed darkly, absorbing some of the Ray’s effects, giving him just enough strength to deflect the skeletal warrior’s fast longsword thrusts with his shield. Before Kalarel could shoot more of the Decaying Ray, Beiro pounced, his twin blades dancing in the air, forcing Kalarel to fight him in melee instead.

The air between Soveliss and the deathlock wight sparked with frosty shards and necrotic energy as the two locked in a battle of magic. The wight was gaining ground, its power enhanced by the dark energy of the small statues of Orcus which stood behind it, until one of its bolt hit Soveliss’ legs; necrotic energy jolted through Soveliss’ nerves, immobilising him as he double over in agony. Vigo, continuing desperately to call upon Bahumut’s help, stepped in front of his wizard companion to defend him.

Bree ducked and rolled skilfully from her skeletal foe’s speedy cuts. But Bree wasn’t merely dodging the attacks; she was circling, each swift step putting her where she wanted to be, behind the skeletal warrior that was pressing down on Redgar.

Redgar’s muscles felt like lead, the Decaying Ray’s effect now coursing through his entire body, until finally, he could no longer lift his shield. The skeletal warrior raised its longsword for a final backhand swipe, and Redgar clenched his jaws. Blade crunched and sliced through muscle and bone… but it wasn’t Redgar, it was the skeleton’s neck and Bree’s shortsword! The skeletal head flew across the chamber and through the shadow portal and beyond, while the rest of the body crumbled to the floor in a heap of useless metal and bone. “Bree… I owe you another one…” muttered Redgar, but Bree was already on the move, tumbling away from the second skeleton’s downward cut.

Beiro’s swords clashed with Kalarel’s Rod of Ruin. Clad in scale armour, Kalarel made a formidable figure. Despite his pale flesh and gaunt cheeks, he moved with strength and vitality, his eyes glazed with fanaticism. Beiro struggled to pass Kalarel’s defences even with two swords, and Kalarel was beginning to gain ground. Immediately assessing the situation, Beiro suddenly withdrew, sheathing his swords and drawing his longbow and arrows to engage Kalarel from a distance. Grinning, Kalarel prepared to fire his Decaying Ray.

With his shield held up, Vigo slowly advanced towards the wight, as the wight continued to fire its necrotic bolts from its finger tips at the Dragonborn. Soon Vigo came to striking distance of his mace, but just as he was about to swing, he looked upon the horrific visage of the wight; its leathery skin stretched taut over its bones, nose sunken and lips pulled back in a death grimace. Unnatural fear gripped him, and he fell backwards. The wight shot necrotic bolts into Vigo, its death grimace unchanging as Vigo writhed and screamed in pain on the bloodied floor.

Soveliss was still unable to move, but seeing Vigo fall, cast his Scorching Burst spell around the wight. The wight was engulfed in flames. It did not feel pain nor fear from the flames, but it knew that the flames were burning its body as the skin burned and melted away. Whilst the flames lasted only but a moment, it was enough to stop it from killing Vigo. The wight hissed at Soveliss. Soveliss hissed back.

Redgar regained his strength as the effects of the Ray wore off. He turned towards Kalarel, who was readying another Decaying Ray, this time at Beiro. Shield in front, Redgar charged, knocking Kalarel side-on. Kalarel staggered but did not fall, immediately swinging his heavy rod toward Redgar. Redgar ducked. The two were now locked in a fierce battle of strength against strength.

Beiro lowered his bow. He was unable to shoot Kalarel now that Redgar was fighting him. He assessed the situation; Bree was fighting the skeleton. Redgar battled Kalarel. Vigo and Soveliss was engaged with the wight. “Everyone’s busy”, he muttered, but just then, noticed a small, gargoyle-like creature swooping down towards Bree from the ceiling; it was the Clay Scout which they let escape from the upper floor, now trying to attack them.

Two arrows flew; one just in front of the clay scout, stopping its’ descent towards Bree. Another struck off one of its clay arms. Screeching, the clay scout tried to flee up the hole in the ceiling. Two more arrows flew, this time through its head and heart, and the thing fell lifeless to the floor. Beiro assessed the situation. He ran toward Bree and the skeleton.

Bree continued her duel with the skeletal warrior. On her own she struggled to make any decisive strike against the heavily armoured undead. Beiro then joined her, striking from behind the skeleton. It turned to face Beiro, and that’s all Bree needed; the skeleton crumbled to the floor as Bree placed several swift strikes to its vital joints.

Grunting in pain, Vigo regained his feet and charged at the wight. “Bahamut!” he cried, bringing his mace down. The wight managed to deflect the mace, but then was struck by Soveliss’ Ray of Frost, ice taking hold of its movements. Seizing his chance, Vigo swung his mace again, this timing striking the wight square on its hideous face. Radiant energy flowed through his mace into the wight, destroying it instantly.

Kalarel pushed Redgar back. Gesturing towards the fallen skeletons, he shouted “rise!” Answering to the priest’s command, the bones shook, reassembled into skeletal form, and slowly began to re-animate. Bree rolled her eyes, but didn’t waste any time and hacked one skeleton back to the ground, while the other skeleton, with its missing head, rose, shook again, then crumbled back to the ground. “And stay down!” said Bree with glee.

Kalarel was now alone. The Thing in the portal writhed, as if trying to grab any living being and drag it into the darkness of the Shadow. Redgar rushed him with his shield again, pushing him further away from the portal. Bree slipped past behind him, short sword stabbing. Beiro attacked with his twin blades. Vigo came as well, mace swinging. Soveliss shot his ray of frost…

Kalarel fell, although he didn’t hit the floor. Instead the Thing in the portal reached out with a shrieking scream, grabbing hold of Kalarel, pulling him up in the air and into the Shadow Rift. As he plunged to his death, Kalarel sung his praise to Orcus, his fanatical eyes full of fervent joy…

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SESSION 8 - Part One

Beiro, L3 Elf Ranger
Bree, L3 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L3 Human Fighter
Soveliss, L3 Eladrin Wizard
Vigo, L3 Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut

The heroes descended the staircase which lead to the Cathedral of Shadow…

CATHEDRAL OF SHADOW

Crimson streams of blood trailed across the floor and flowed through a grate surrounding a hole in the floor of the shadowy cathedral. A human underpriest of Orcus held a knife at the alter, singing the praises of the demon lord Orcus, seemingly unaware of the presence of the heroes. Two human berserkers of Orcus stood carrying large axes, their spit-flecked lips moving in unending prayers.

Just as the heroes inched closer to the underpriest, they were suddenly attacked by several vampire spawns who burst forth from behind the side doors. The underpriest turned, unsurprised, as the human berserkers also closed in to engage the heroes.

Undeterred, the heroes advanced to meet the monsters. As always, Redgar led the group from the front, swinging Aecris in wide arcs, followed closely by Vigo and his crushing holy mace. Beiro provided cover fire from the rear with his longbow, along with Soveliss and his Ray of Frost. Bree positioned herself to the enemy flanks, cutting and jabbing with her deadly short sword. Gradually Redgar pushed back the berserkers, while Beiro prevented the underpriest from causing magical harm by shooting his arrows at the priest with deadly accuracy. Vigo found himself struggling with the vampire spawn, but the monsters were eventually overcome with the aide of Bree and Soveliss.

Suddenly from behind them, a dark creeper appeared and threw daggers at Beiro and Soveliss. Beiro and Soveliss stood their ground; Soveliss’ ray of frost slowed the small creature, and Beiro finished it off with a flurry of his twin blades.

Redgar continued to push the berserkers back until eventually they lay dead on the cold cathedral floor. The underpriest swung his mace wildly, loudly singing his praise to Orcus. Bree skilfully slid past his attacks and jabbed her sword into his body. The crazed human staggered backwards, then fell down the hole in the floor. He was still singing as he fell…

Chains led down the hole, down to the lower part of the cathedral; down to the Shadow Rift…

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SESSION 7

Beiro, L3 Elf Ranger
Bree, L3 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L3 Human Fighter
Sovelis, L3 Eladrin Wizard
Vigo, L3 Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut

The heroes press on through the second level of the Keep on the Shadowfell.

  • They overcome a trap room that includes a giant warrior statue, two force breathing dragon statues, and a water trap that consisted of four cherubic statues with water vases.
  • They then overcome more zombies, lead by a ghoul, however was unable to stop a clay scout from escaping down a flight of stairs leading further down.
  • The heroes backtrack to explore the level further, and defeat a gelatinous cube and two corruption corpses.
  • They discover a chest that contained the stale, moldering clothes of a young boy and young girl is a small gold medallion with the name “Drystan Keegan” etched into it and a thin platinum bracelet with the name “Ceinwein Keegan” etched into it. Also among the items is a wooden toy sword, a child’s doll, a hairbrush with a mother-of-pearl handle, and a safewing amulet +1.
  • Heroes backtrack further again, to defeat the remaining hobgoblin guards.
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SESSION 6

Beiro, L3 Elf Ranger
Bree, L2 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L2 Human Fighter
Vigo, L2 Dragonborn Cleric

Whilst resting in the secret armoury, the heroes overhear the conversation of Kalarel’s goblin and hobgoblin minions and learn that Kalarel is aware that the heroes have infiltrated the Keep, that Ninaran works for Kalarel, and that a messenger is sent to her for reinforcements. Upon hearing this, the heroes decide to expedite their search for Kalarel and press on down to the lower levels of the keep.

After a failed attempt to crack the hobgoblins’ secret password, they battle and slay many of Kalarel’s minions, including the hobgoblin war chief. They succeed in keeping one of the hobgoblins alive, and proceed to interrogate him for information. They learn that there are still more hobgoblin minions in the keep, and that there is a chamber of traps where the hobgoblins dare not enter.

The heroes are starting to gain confidence in their capabilities, both as individuals and as a fighting unit. Whilst battered and bruised through numerous fights, they remain determined to press on and stop Kalarel from opening the rift.

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SESSION 5

Beiro, L3 Elf Ranger
Bree, L2 Halfling Rogue
Redgar, L2 Human Fighter
Sovelis, L3 Eladrin Wizard
Vigo, L2 Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut

  • Heroes encounter Sir Keegan, the former guardian of Shadowfell Keep now turned skeletal undead.
  • Their first attempt to convince him that they’re there to stop Kalarel from opening the rift fails. Sir Keegan unleashes his wrath until he interrogates them again; this time they succeed and gain valuable information about the keep;
    * The rift is located three levels lower.
    * There is a hidden armoury in the zombie’s maze.
    * There are items of value at Bahamut’s alter.
  • Sir Keegan passes his sword, Aecris, to Redgar.
  • Heroes fail to locate the items at Bahamut’s alter, but succeed in finding the armoury where they take an extended rest.

Magic Moment: Redgar walking up to Sir Keegan’s sarcophagus, only to find himself facing the undead knight alone when the lid bursts open (others staying right by the door).

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Session 4

SESSION 4: To Shadowfell Keep

Characters:

• Bree, Halfling Rogue, Lvl 2 (Pei) • Beiro, Elf Ranger, Lvl 2, (Marcello) • Regdar , Human Fighter, Lvl 2 (Son) • Soveliss, Eladrin Wizard Lvl 2 (Johnny)

The companions now had three clues about the cult. An ancient mirror used by the old Nerath Wizards to open a rift, a figurine of a dragon carved from black obsidian, on which was etched the outline of a skull with ram’s horns (symbol of Orcus, the lord of the undead), and a letter carried by Irontooth, the goblin boss who led the kobold insurgence, which read “My spy in Winterhaven have advised me to keep an eye for new visitors in the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. The Winterhaven’s people will serve as food to all those that Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding. Signed Kalarel”. Beiro and Soveliss return to Winterheaven, triumphant but battered from the battles with cultist minions. Vigo travels to Fallcrest to give an update report to the church superiors. Beiro and Soveliss are joined by Bree and Regdar, who are on a quest to search for an ancient ring of wonderous powers… and a job to make ends meet. These were enough clues to prove that a cult was active in the area. Valthrun the village sage told the heroes of the possible location of the rift, Shadowfell Keep. Lord Padraig was also convinced, and with his blessing the heroes set off to Shadowfell Keep to stop Kalarel from opening the rift.

Shadowfell Keep

The new party enters the ruins of Shadowfell Keep… and killed goblin guards, zombie guards, and recurring skeleton guards, and end up in a crypt…

—End of session 4 --

Written by Kenji

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Session 3
  • Beiro, Elf Ranger Lvl 1 (Marcello)
  • Soveliss, Eladrin Wizard Lvl1 (Johnny)
  • Vigo, Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut Lvl 1 (Andrew)

On the return trip from the kobold lair, the adventurers came upon an uncovered, open burial site of an unknown dragon. The site was a crater in the ground, inside which a gnome and an old man were searching for something. At the top of the crater were two guardian drakes, and a Halfling.

When the companions approached, tension filled the air. The gnome stopped searching and invited the companions to come into the crater for a look, however the wary companions, suspicious of the gnome, stayed at the top of the crater. The old man looked scared and confused. The Halfling watched the companions with anticipation, as did the guard drakes. Soon the gnome shrugged and resumed searching.

Beiro decided slip away and circled around the crater lip to get a better view, just behind the Halfling. To distract the gnome, Soveliss used his cantrip spell to lift a bone in the air from the centre of the crater. The gnome reacted by reaching for his crossbow, but Vigo bellowed a loud command “Freeze sucker!”

As if that was the command for the drakes, the drakes charged towards Vigo and Soveliss. A fluid battle ensued; Vigo and Soveliss each had to contend with one of the drakes, who were very strong, whilst Beiro surprised the Halfling, who was preparing to use his sling. The gnome shot his crossbow and began to pull the scared old man out of the crater.

But soon the companions each overcame their opponents, and the gnome never made it out of the crater thanks to Soveliss’ magic missile and Beiro’s bow.

Upon the gnome they found a magical amulet (Amulet of Health) and a mirror. The mirror was an old relic, and Soveliss recognised it to be a creation of the ancient Nerath Wizards, and that it was used to break some kind of a seal.

The old man, Douven, was an old explorer, who happened upon the map to the dragon’s burial site. He thanked his rescuers and walked back with them to Winterhaven.

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