June 17, 2009 06:33
June 09, 2009 05:01
Wet, tired and downtrodden, the heroes decided they had no choice but to seek Rigmund’s aid once more. However, there was still the issue of the Westport survivors: they plead with the heroes to take them along wherever they were going. A plan was hatched to take the survivors with them and head to Northolm, stopping to see Rigmund on the way.
Late that night, once they were only a short ride from Rigmund’s cabin, the adventurers and survivors made camp for the night. Al, Swiftslash and Mithros rode off to meet Rigmund while Torynn and Mylona kept watch at the camp. Inside the warm cabin, Rigmund was still shaken at the knowledge of Westport’s destruction. He told them that they must follow Crenton and his army to Sorrowsworn Keep to prevent the wake of destruction from spreading further across the land. He also said he would accompany them to aid in the difficult task ahead.
The three plus Rigmund returned to camp. Not wishing to delay their attack on Sorrowsworn any longer, Rigmund devised a plan to get the survivors safely to Northolm sans the party. He cast a spell and momentarily five figures strode out of the forest towards the survivors. They looked exactly like the heroes. Rigmund said the illusory heroes would escort the band safely to Northolm and bade the party follow him to Sorrowsworn.
After a long journey through the plains and Serpent’s Run Woods, Rigmund stopped them. Just through the trees stood Sorrowsworn Keep, its dark, decrepit stone towers jutting out of the mountainside like a scab. Rigmund explained that he knew a secret entrance to the keep that would allow them to bypass the main, heavily guarded gates. Sprinting through the trees and tall grass, they arrived at the hidden entrance unseen. The dark passage beyond was little more than an overgrown sewer, and smelled as such.
Rigmund led them deeper underneath the keep through the dark filth until they came to a large pool. The area seemed deserted until Torynn accidentally slipped as he was crossing the pool, landing with a splash into the murky water below. Out of the rippling muck rose an alien creature: a green gelatinous cube that began inching its way towards them, driven by some horrific instinct… The heroes immediately recoiled at the beast, and a desperate battle unfolded. The ruckus alerted a small band of goblins within the tunnels, who quickly joined in the fray—taking advantage of the heroes’ distraction. Luckily, Rigmund was able to assist with his magic, and the party eventually felled the goblins and the gooey entity, which collapsed into a puddle of green ooze.
They soon came to a ladder with light visible overhead; the way into the keep proper. Rigmund cautioned that they were within the gates, but there would still be guards ahead. Mylona utilized a few moments of magic-induced invisibility to scout ahead and confirmed that Rigmund was right: the grate above them led into a courtyard which was riddled with guards. They decided that surprise was their best chance of getting through, and charged up the ladder into the courtyard. Unfortunately, before the heroes could could reach the inner gate, they’d been nearly surrounded by soldiers and archer fire. Crenton and his archers stood high above, visible from a balcony. He taunted them, and ordered the guards to dispatch of the intruders…
May 05, 2009 17:21
With the lucky sword in hand, the heroes made their way out of the cave. Unfortunately, this meant re encountering the unforgettable gnome and ‘pet’ wolf. Hoping to avoid a fight, they hatched a plan to give the gnome one of the old, rusty swords they’d claimed earlier and tell him it was The Luck of Westport. The gnome accepted the sword with glee, and told the heroes to be on their way. However, just as they were about to exit the underground cathedral, the doors slammed shut, and the gnome cackled wildly. “You fools! I’m a gnome wizard! Did you really think you could trick ME? DIE!” A fierce battle ensued. With some new spells and skills however, the heroes were triumphant in finally killing all the foes in the throne room, despite the gnome’s ability to disappear upon being injured. A sizable hoard of treasure was inherited, including the gnome’s magic staff, an enchanted bandore, and a fine green silk robe sported brilliantly by Mylona.
Al, Swiftslash, Torynn, Mithros, Mylona, and of course Turd the bear faithfully following, returned to Westport after Mylona summoned an animal messenger to Rigmund, telling of their success and completion of the task. Once again within the city, they gained an audience with Mayor Silrow of Westport. The adventurers were wary of explaining any details however, seeing as the mayor’s adviser, Crenton was present. They told the mayor of Crenton’s treachery, and upon confirming their story, Silrow had Crenton expelled from his service. The mayor was thrilled to see the heroes’ completion of the task and awarded them a large property complete with all the worldly needs they could possibly want. He also let them keep the Luck of Westport sword, telling them that the adventurers themselves were the new luck of Westport.
Their newfound luxury and relaxation were cut short the next morning when they were summoned by the mayor and briefed about a relief wagon of supplies that had gone overdue and missing. The adventurers minus Turd the bear set out right away and after a day’s hard ride (on their new horses and pony), they came upon what was left of the wagon and a single, hysterical man left to tell the story. After Al healed the ragged man, they were able to discover that the wagon had been attacked and the culprits had continued toward the city.
The party of heroes plus the man and wagon returned to Westport, Mithros and Swifslash going speedily ahead. They were shocked to find Westport in an orange blaze. They spotted some hobgoblins about to commence a firing squad on some petrified Westport citizen survivors. Mithros and Swifslash quickly sprung into action and fired arrows from the distance, killing the half dozen hobgoblins after some skillful fighting that had come to be characteristic of this unlikely band of peace-keeping heroes. The surviving hobgoblins retreated, shouting to one another that “Sorrowsworn Keep” was their rendezvous point. The rest of the adventurers arrived shortly after and the supplies were left to be distributed among the survivors.
Much to their devastation and horror, upon returning to their home, all that was left of it was a smoking crater and some muddy footprints leading off into the forest. Al Na’ir tracked the bear’s footprints in feverish desperation, until the rain made it impossible to continue. Turd was gone…
Back in the smoldering wreckage of Westport, the party was able to locate the mayor’s guard among the survivors. He had uncovered a half-burnt letter among the debris around town hall, and gave it to the heroes. It’s words were disturbing:
Seeing as how early attempts at getting the interlopers to leave Westport were unsuccessful, I was forced to accelerate our plans. Knowing they have the sword, I am unfortunately left with no option but to order the attack while they are gone. The old fool Rigmund has been advising them. If what the Guild says is true my lord; if they are the Children of the Prophecy, it is likely they will continue to interfere. I request permission…
The rest of the letter was burnt off.
In this moment of heavy rainfall, burnt debris, death and despair, a glimmer of hope shone on the horizon in the form of a small sparrow flying towards them. It was the same bird Mylona had sent to Rigmund as an animal messanger. It landed at their feet and recited its return message in Rigmund’s voice: Well done. You must return at once.
April 23, 2009 05:58
The battle in the cave continued as Mithros closed with the nearest zombie: a chillborn. He was injured by it’s aura of cold as he got close, but retaliated with a solid attack with his longsword. The whole party eventually made it across the chasm, and was able to dispatch the vile undead. Unfortunately, two of the zombies exploded as they were killed, injuring nearby heroes with gobs of necrotic sludge.
The zombies had apparently been guarding a door at the end of the cave. The party entered into the next room—another hallway, this one decorated with various murals of the Westport area. On the far wall was a large stone door engraved with a riddle written in elvish:
Through many means I’m sought by all
I’m fickle as a child’s whim
A clover, foot my presence calls
And without me, the outlook’s grim
Mithros suggested ‘Luck’ was the answer, and when spoken in elvish by Mylona, caused the large stone door to slowly slide open.
Beyond the door stood a pedestal in the center of an octagonal room. Floating inches above the pedestal was a shimmering white longsword with a blueish silver hilt. Al Na’ir approached the pedestal and reached for the weapon, only to be electrocuted by an invisible force field. The party decided to search for controls to deactivate the protective shield, and noticed four holes in opposite corners of the room as well as blocked openings on three walls. After realizing it seemed feasible that the room might be able to rotate, they were able to create levers with their weapons and hands which they placed in the holes, causing the entire outside area of the room to rotate as they walked clockwise.
The walls seemed to lock into place after twisting 90 degrees, and one of the blocked openings was now exposed, releasing two skeletons. They were easily bested by the adventurers, but the force field hadn’t been deactivated. They repeated the rotation process, again releasing several of the undead warriors, who were again dispatched. The third time, three openings were exposed, each releasing two skeletons on the heroes. Also, whatever weapons (or appendages) had been used to rotate the room were this time locked within the holes. For Swiftslash, Torynn and Al Na’ir, this meant they were down a weapon. For Mithros, it meant his hand was locked within the opening, forcing him to fight off the encroaching skeletons without means of retreat. Fortunately, Mylona was able to move freely, and after several impressive explosions of divine and arcane energy, the skeletons lay in dusty ruins. Torynn survived the battle as well, despite being surrounded by three skeletons and injured near the point of death several times.
With the room effectively sealed off, and their energy nearly expended, the party decided to take an extended rest—managing to recover their strength within the cold, dark and dusty cavern.
Hours later, they decided to rotate the walls once more to complete a full circle. The room was noisily shifted back to its original position, revealing the front entrance. As the dust settled, they noticed the electrical shield around the sword deactivate as well. This time unimpeded by magical protection, Al Na’ir clasped the sword named Luck of Westport. As he did, the group noticed that the markings on the hilt faded, barely visible without their former blue glow. The sword was theirs.
April 21, 2009 03:20
The faint whisper of a breeze soon caught the party’s attention—the room seemingly a dead end. Upon investigating further, they discovered a secret door in the corner of the room that opened into a tiny cave that led deeper into the mountain side. It quickly grew too narrow for a humanoid, but was large enough for the chest that was hidden there. Inside, the heroes found a healthy sum of gold along with a potion of healing. They also decided to release the caged baby bear (but not the giant centipede), which took an immediate liking to them and followed them back out of the room to the next chamber.
Hearing nothing at the door, the party burst into the room, only to find a large group of goblins waiting for them with makeshift barricades. Apparently, the creature they saw run off at the entrance of the cave had warned the other goblins they were approaching. There were also several large ‘X’s painted on the floor of the room… A bloody battle ensued, which ended with Swiftslash severely injured, and the goblins’ carcasses strewn about the room in messy heaps. The heroes were rewarded by finding the goblin boss’ secret stash of gold.
They moved on, deeper into the cave. A large set of heavy double doors led into a huge, dark cathedral with vaulted ceilings and pillars. Several large torches created just enough light to reveal the Gnome and dire wolf seated at the end of the hall. The gnome was clothed in loose fitting robes and perched on a makeshift throne, slowly petting his giant wolf companion. The gnome spoke to the adventurers in a tense, high pitched, distinctly gnomish voice. “You’ve arrived at last! What a pleasure indeed… Now YOU can fetch it for me!” He laughed maniacally. “I know it’s here, I can FEEL it! Silly goblins goblins can’t find it, but YOU will! The magic, bring me the magic and I’ll spare your pathetic lives!”
After some clarification, the heroes decided it would be best to go along with the unstable gnome’s demands. After all, if they had to fight him, at least they’d have the sword…
Continuing past the gnome and his throne, they came to a long hallway, the length of which they noticed was marked with thin slits every five feet. There were also several dead goblins littering the room. Just as they began to cautiously make their way down the hall, a loud swoosh came from the other side of the room. Al Na’ir lit a sunrod to illuminate where the sound came from, but the room was empty apart from a door at the end of the hall. They continued to move forward, and soon discovered they were in the middle of a trap, as a giant blade swooped across the room like a pendulum, barely missing Mylona. Several of the group ran across the rest of the hallway, desperately trying to force the heavy stone door open. It eventually gave way, and everyone was able to make it out safely.
The next room was little more than an un-worked cave, collapsing near the middle into a deep chasm about ten feet across. On the other side, the party spotted several zombies, each connected to the nearby cave wall with lengths of chain. They recalled Rigmund mentioning that he’d left several undead to protect the Luck of Westport. They approached the chasm, and Al unleashed a bolt of divine energy at a zombie, hoping they might be able to dispatch them before crossing. Unfortunately, one of the zombies was a corruption corpse, and responded to the attack by hurling necrotic gobs of it’s own entrails across the chasm at the heroes. Meanwhile, Mithros was able to leap across the gap with a length of rope and secure it on the other side, creating a makeshift bridge. The battle was just getting interesting…
April 09, 2009 06:09
Determined to keep up with Rigmund and get some answers, Swift continued the pursuit – sprinting down the dark street followed closely by Mylona, Mithros and Torynn. Al Na’ir waited patiently near the mausoleum, hoping to find more answers there.
As the main group rounded the corner, they caught a glimpse of a dark, cloaked figure just as it darted up the side of a building and disappeared over the rooftop. Taken aback by the seemingly impossible feat and deciding how they might continue the chase, the group was nearly startled by a town watchmen approaching them. He asked what the commotion was and wondered if they had seen what looked like a man run up a wall. Both parties eventually decided they’d just keep quiet about the incident (after all, it was quite dark…) and the guard escorted them back to The Goat’s Mane.
Meanwhile, Al discovered that the Mausoleum’s entrance would be difficult to breach, and decided to meet the party back at the Inn. Before retiring, they approached Lily with a few more questions about Crenton, and found out that he was the Mayor’s advisor and was also the one who apparently started the rumor about Rigmund. The party woke the next morning without incident.
Lily greeted the party and presented them with a mysterious sealed letter. It was apparently from Rigmund, and explained that he knew it was hard for them to trust him, but it was imperative they meet him at his cabin. The cabin’s location was obscured with a trick of numbers, which the group was fortunately able to decipher quickly.
Following the letter’s instructions, they made their way to the cabin with ease. It was situated within a beautiful valley between Egrom Forest and the mountains. As they approached, Rigmund greeted them happily (after once again assuring them he was a friend), and seated everyone around the hearth. He then proceeded to explain to them the details of a vile plot to steal Westport’s “luck charm” in an effort to leave the village exposed to some imminent attack. He said that Westport was caught in the middle of a power struggle with a prominent baron, and it was imperative that the charm remain in their possession.
He detailed that he himself had hidden the charm and protected it, but that it’s location had become known to the baron’s spies and it was therefore necessary to retrieve it so as to ensure it remained hidden. Unfortunately, other creatures had taken up residence in the hidden cave, so he required the heroes’ assistance to collect the charm. As a help in their quest and a token of good will, Rigmund then presented them with an amulet of protection and explained how the entrance to the cave could be located.
En route to the cave, Mithros noticed fresh goblin tracks, and the party barely avoided a goblin sharpshooter ambush. Having noticed them first, the warriors made short work of the goblin scouts. The battle wasn’t over, however, as just then a goblin riding a bear burst through the brush and engaged the group in a vicious battle. After knocking off the rider, the fight was quickly ended, and they made their way to Rigmund’s hidden cave.
The party entered the cave cautiously, and noticed a creature running off down a passage just as they entered… They chose to follow the opposite path and soon came to a closed door. Inside they stumbled upon a veritable zoo of caged beasts. The goblin tending them frantically started opening the cages as the heroes frantically tried to kill him before he could. They finally killed him, but not before he’d opened every cage. Luckily, the heroes were able to jam 2 of them shut before the creatures could escape. They were still left to fend off a dire rat, a spider and small drake. The spider proved to be especially formidable, and poisoned several of the heroes before being felled. The cave was quiet for the moment…
April 01, 2009 02:53
Having defeated a small band of goblins in the nearby Egrom Forest, the party was celebrating at The Goat’s Mane Inn – a small tavern in Westport. Amidst the conversation, Mithros (a human ranger) overheard two patrons mention the name Rigmund...
As things were winding down, a man approached them and began chastising Mithros for aligning himself with “lesser races” such as Tieflings and Dragonborn. He was a slightly drunk human named Crenton who refused to back down despite the party’s attempts at peaceful negotiations. This inevitably led to a brawl, which ended with Crenton storming out of the Inn, soundly beaten (it was 5 to 1) and severely wounded.
Having observed the encounter, a short, bearded man in a gray cloak walked over to the party and introduced himself as Rigmund, stating that he was impressed to see someone finally stand up to Crenton. He alluded to a job he had for them, and proposed they meet near “the old temple” at midnight to discuss the details of the sensitive matter.
Not having much information to go on, Al Na’ir decided to question Lily the Barmaid about Crenton and Rigmund. She mentioned that Crenton wasn’t as important as he pretended to be, and had it coming, but she avoided talking about Rigmund, claiming she “didn’t know him.” Na’ir slipped a gold coin onto the bar and asked again. Lily nervously explained that while Rigmund seemed to have good intentions, she’d heard rumors of him double crossing people who had agreed to work for him.
The party waited until midnight, then walked to the temple; deciding they’d take their chances with Rigmund. As they approached the temple, they noticed something shimmer in the forest beyond the cemetery where Rigmund was waiting. Just as Rigmund began to speak, they heard footsteps from the behind the nearby mausoleum. Rigmund looked panicked, and darted off behind the temple with Swiftslash in persuit. The rest of the party rounded the mausoleum just in time to see the four human thugs who were about to surround them. The highwaymen exclaimed that they knew about the “huge payoff” the party had found on the goblins they’d killed (it was actually just 10 gold pieces…), and moved in for the attack. Even one man short however, the battle was pretty one sided – the thieves had obviously underestimated the heroes’ skill. Meanwhile, Swiftslash rounded the temple only to find an empty street. Rigmund was gone…