* SPOILER FOR THE SCALES OF WAR *
And so begins The Gray Vale War.
Three adventurer’s wander into the small town of Brindol, just west of Overlook in the Elsir Vale, other wise known as the Gray Vale. Balasar the Dragonborn Fighter, Theraninn the Elven Ranger, and Etri the Eladrin Wizard all came into town on the same day. When entering the town they were greeted by a friendly dwarf attending to a shrine of the Raven Queen, an odd combination, but a friendly fellow. His name is Ebirk.
That night, they met at the Antler and Thistle for some drinks. While downing as much ale as they can, a group of hobgoblins rushes into the bar, attacking the patrons and setting fire to the place. They quickly learn the error of the their ways as the four adventurers dispatch them all.
Once on the streets, the attacks continue, with an Orge pulling a cart of pitch, setting fire to the buildings as he runs. Etri ignited the cart with a perfectly placed spell, killing two more hobgoblins and nearly killing the Ogre.
There are thanks all around for the quartet. The next morning, they are summoned by a town elder, a half elf named Eoffram Troyas. They quickly earn his trust and are hired to recover seven kidnapped citizens and a number of lost artifacts.
The trick is finding the hobgoblins. An interrogation of a captured hobgoblin tells the group that this is the work of the Red Hand, a group of hobgoblins put together by the villainous Sinruth, a mysterious orc chieftain.
Theraninn tracks the hobgoblins through the woods to the Rivenroar Ruins. There they entered the catacombs of the ruins, where they were met by more hobgoblins. The group seemed to gel as they worked as a team, dispatching the hobgoblins in short order.
Stay tuned for more!
Rescue at Rivenroar, Part II
And so we begin in the crypts under Rivenroar Keep. In the first room, our quartet dispatched a group of Hobgoblins in very short order. Feeling good about their easy victory, they take the western door in the hopes of further glory, and of finding the seven lost townspeople
The next room isn’t so easy. They find themselves staring into a portal that overlooks a great and mighty castle. The portal shimmers like a blue light cast upon the water. Etri examines the portal, and as he does, an Ocher Jelly slithers from the painting. Once again, the party is pleased as Therannin dances forward, both longswords drawn, and delivers a series of blows mighty enough to split the Jelly in half.
That’s when the tide turns, and two Specters enter the fray. The Dwarf is eager to get into the fight, his radiant powers ready to make quick work of the undead, but is dropped by the two parts of the Jelly. Balasar, Therannin, and Etri have to eek out a difficult victory over what is now their four foes.
After the fight, they are healed, and enter a chamber where two stealthy gnomes use a magical door to summon a pair of magma claws to fight the party. This time, the group works together again, dispatching the magma claws and chasing down the gnomes. There, they find the first of the townsfolk and rescue him.
The group decided to take a break, and leaves the underground crypt to recover. After a long rest, they reenter the crypt, and begin the fight anew. They follow their previous path, and find themselves in a chamber filled with the webs of ettercaps. The party is held up for a moment in the doorway, as the ettercaps use their web powers to hold them in the doorway. Balasar proves too powerful, Therannin too capable, Etri too crafty, and Ebirk too… dwarfy to be held down for too long. They defeat the three ettercaps, and find their way down a flight of steps, into a burial crypt.
The final fight of part II winds up in a large underground chamber. The group rallies to battle a number of hobgoblins, two fire drakes, and a hobgoblin hexer. The hobgoblins fall quickly, but the drakes fight hard, and the hexer proves to be a wiley foe. A short battle of casters ensues as Etri goes toe to toe with the hexer, but soon finds help as Therannin, bane of all casters, moves in for the kill.
Another hostage is found, and the party has some magical armor for Balasar, and a pair of magical bracers for Therannin. They take a short rest, and prepare for part III.
Rescue at Rivenroar Part III
We took a short break after the encounter with the Goblin Hexer to rest up. It felt like weeks, but was only long enough to heal up and get ready for the next encounter. We’d recovered three of the seven captives taken from Brindol. Well, sort of. We found two living and one dead. We decided to forge ahead and take the northern passage.
We came to a four way intersection, and went west. We entered a room with a large, dark sunburst pattern on the floor. We soon saw that the room also had two ghouls and two zombies in the room. Without hesitation we entered battle.
Balasar stood in the middle of the room and challenged all of the undead, swinging his bastard sword with bad intentions. Etri began blasting away with his magical energies. Theraninn then entered the fray, and all were amazed as his twin long swords cut into the undead with a fury we’d not seen before. Ebirk, the cleric with the power to blast the undead out of existence, could do little but miss with every attack.
The room was soon cleared, and it was discovered the dark sunburst had dark necromatic energies fueling the undead. We left the room through the northern door and went down a flight of steps to a room with a lightly pool of tranquil water. The prudent eladrin convinced the dwarf he should inspect the pool. While everyone watched, the dwarf plunged his hand into the pool, and found that it was a scrying pool, showing various rooms in the crypts under the Ruins of Rivenroar. We got our first glimpse of Sinruth, the evil black hobgoblin behind the attacks on Brindol.
Undaunted by this sight, we went south, and back to the four way intersection where we started. We then went east, and entered a large chamber with alcoves and an alter. Tied to the alter we found Thurann, the eight year old son of Kartinex. In a manner befitting his cold eldarin exterior, Etri told the boy his father was dead. The boy, understandably, burst into tears, and was consoled by the other two recovered kidnappees of the orcs.
We then went north, through a long hall to an audiance chamber with a deathlock wight and a boneshard skeleton. A number of other skeletons climbed from piles of detritus scattered about the room. Once again we lept into battle, with Theraninn starting by burying an arrow deep into the chest of the deathlock wight. We worked as a well oiled machine, dispatching all of the undead in the room without any trouble. We then found, tied up to a column in the room, a young halfling named Kohl. He told a story of being kidnapped by Sinruth and his clan of Red Hand hobgoblins with the intention of feeding him to the undead as part of Sinruth’s pact with the undead.
We rested and moved forward, heading west into a room with a demon. We fought, battling the demon and his wererat allies. They were all dispatched without much trouble, and we took another break.
Rescue at Rivenroar Part IV
And so we’re off again. We have a small retinue of rescued hostages in tow, and we’re looking for more. We enter the temple of the underground crypt, and are quickly beset by a pair of were rats! They gnaw and scratch at our front line, but Balasar and Theraninn are in fine form, and make quick work of the vile beasts. It’s while dispatching the lycanthropes that we discover the Goblin Hexer in the room. His magic is no match for Theraninn’s blade, though. The elf closes quickly, ruining the plans of the dark magician while dealing him grave blows. Through trickery and magic, he gets away from Theraninn, only to fall to Balasar’s blade.
We feel we’re almost done with the lower levels, but we know that our time in front of Sinruth, the Hobgoblin responsible for all this mayhem is still about. Some tracking through the crypts and we find him, still wearing some the spoils from Brindol. Kohl tries to sneak into the room to catch Sinruth off guard, but is instead caught off guard himself. Sinruth uses his spiked chain to haul the hapless halfling headlong into his hardened armor. Kohl falls in a heap at Sinruth’s feet.
And that is all the offense Sinruth will be able to muster tonight! The party descends on him like a well oiled machine. Balasar steps up and challenges him, getting his attention. Theraninn delivers terrific damage as he cuts and slices with his dual blades. Even Ebirk, long derided for being less than effective in combat, attacks with vigor, his Craghammer smashing into the vile Hobgoblin. Etri stands in the hall, dispatching stinging magic from afar. Even Kohl regains his feet to cut deep into the Hobgoblin.
And soon, the boss of the goblins in the Gray Vale, is laying at our feet, dead. More artifacts from Brindol are recovered, as well as Sinruth’s head, which is removed from his corpse by Etri.
We take the rescued hostages out of the crypt and send them on their way, looking to finish our rescue. We head to the unexplored parts of the upper level, and soon find a room filled with more hobgoblins. These do not last long, as they’re shown the severed head of their champion by Etri. They flee at the sight.
We adjust our equipment. “Let’s finish this,” is all Balasar says as we head to the unexplored parts of the upper level.
Rescue at Rivenroar Part V
We’ve just had our confrontation with the evil and mighty Sinruth of the Red Hand clan of goblins, and have rescue many of the townsfolk. We have the artifacts from the town of Brindol. We were only missing two of the citizens. Balasar turns to the rest of us and, with his raspy draconian voice says, “Let’s finish this.”
We all resolutely nod our heads.
He head upstairs, and made quick of of the denizens left there. We were attacked by a guard drakes and darkling gnomes, as well as swarms of vicious beasts. They weren’t much of a challenge after dispatching Sinruth, and we rescued the rest of the townsfolk. There was nothing left but to return to Brindol
The homecoming was a successful one, and everyone, even the aloof Etri, was embraced a hero. Ebirk, a native of Brindol, showed the rest of his new friends the heights of hospitality as everyone ate and drank to victory.
But the celebration was short lived. Word has come from Overlook that the Dwarven fort at Bristol is in trouble, as hordes of Orcs gather to invade the peaceful lands to the east. The next morning, our adventurers head out.
They arrive in the walled city of Overlook the next day, and are awed by the old dwarven buildings. Ebirk leads them into the heart of the heart of the city, where they enter the home of his parents.