Tales from Elrond

Severius' Journal- Divine Assistance (Day 1 Duscar 1630DR)

I pen these words on the morning following a day of near catastrophe. Our party was nearly vanquished and Dovak would have been lost to the living if it was not for the blessed intervention of Gorm. I find myself both shaken, thinking back on what had transpired, and in wonder over what I saw yesterday and the freshly fallen snow that now covers the ground. I have never seen or felt snow until this moment. Aszh says that it is still too warm for it to last past noon, but in a few tendays I shall have plenty of snow, so much that I will be tired of it.

Dovak seems physically and mentally fine, ever brooding is his nature and it is difficult to tell when he is actually distressed past his regular mood. I know of no other who has been brought back from death so many times by Gorm’s will- surely Gorm sees something of worth in the Dwarf to grant his continued existence. I do sense something underneath Dovak’s stoic and dutiful mannerisms, which I believe has something to do with whatever caused him to leave his home of Thunderdelve Mountain. Perhaps in time, I will learn of what happened and be able to help him.

The giants we had fought, and almost lost our lives to, if not for Gariena’s help and the divine might of Gorm, were stronger than we had originally anticipated. Incredibly strong and with the ability to breath fire, all of us but Enna (who retreated to safety), quickly fell to their counterattack. Luckily for us, Gariena and her sprites were able to rescue us before the giants returned from their search for Enna.

We recovered in Gariena’s camp, Enna reuniting with us a short time later. Gariena explained that she was investigating the giant problem in the Desarrin Valley. She confirmed what we heard in Beliard, that giants of all types were ravaging all over the world for unknown reasons. Many people have been killed and several communities have been devastated. Seeing that the Valley was also plagued by this threat, she intends to travel to Golden Fields to petition the Druids there for aid. Tobias appears to be quite taken by our Druid rescuer and they both appear to enjoy each other’s company.

Of course we could not allow the giants who had defeated us to roam free in the Valley to continue their path of destruction, so after healing the majority of our wounds, we pursued them with the intent of having a re-match, one we were better prepared for. We easily found them feasting on the horses from the caravan they had attacked previously and we set an ambush for them.

Despite taking them by surprise, this battle was just as challenging as the last. Aszh, Enna and I had not yet recovered most of our majicks and our wounds were not wholly healed. As my companions became incapacitated one by one I knew that we needed aid and I called to Gorm for help. I have been in his service since my youth and never have I beseeched him for aid like I did then. I did not take the decision for making this plea lightly as I knew there could be consequences for calling out to Gorm as he expects his servants to be competent and resourceful with his blessings.

Suffice to say my lifetime of faith and servitude to Gorm was total and Gorm saw this and blessed me with the aid of his most powerful of servitors- a Serph. Prior to this I had never seen one, only heard stories and seen the few remaining works of art in the Temple of Gorm with its likeness, but none of these truly captured the majesty of justice incarnate. It appeared in our midst, our minds filled with calming words of righteousness. The giants felt the Serph’s just wrath and all was good.5D2A54B3-51CB-43C5-BF05-2E05BEAE5DC5.jpeg

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Severius' Journal- Into the Depths of the Earth (Day 1 Duscar 1630DR)

Committed to finding more members of the Mirabar Delgation, we acted on the only verified information that we had available, that at least two Delegation members were taken into the subterranean levels below the Sacred Stone Monastery by Earth cultists. We reached the second sub-level of the Monastery and found a bridge over a chasm guarded by Gargoyles and a stone-armored wielder of magic. This figure warned us there would be no entry and battle commenced when we pressed forward. This would be the beginning of what would be a protracted battle against the cultists within that took us deeper into the re-purposed Dwarven ruins.Burrowshark.jpg In a great entry hall we were besieged on all sides, and even from below, by Duegar and stone-armored warriors, some of which rode Bulettes as mounts. This enemy was no crazed mob, but one of tactics and cunning. They assisted each other and chose opponents based on their vulnerabilities. Enna was singled out for attack because of her destructive majick and she had to flee to safety on the opposite side of a closed portcullis to avoid death. Twice, I was forced to uselessly expend the Spirit Guardians of Gorm because the enemy forced me to break concentration. Though I believe that we were more powerful, the enemy had the weight of numbers on their side and this started to take its toll. While I am sure the battle took mere minutes, it seemed like an eternity. The magical blessings of our group were dwindling due to the enemies’ numbers and resiliency and several of my party, including myself, were knocked unconscious and had to be revived at least once during the battle.

At one point, things got so desperate for our side that Aszh called to his Fey goddess Titania for aid. As Gorm had done for me, his patron honored his request by sending her most powerful servitor which Aszh called a Sidereal Vizier. It appeared as a majestic-looking elven figure with star-speckled skin that looked like it was taken from a section of the night’s sky. Chain lightning shot from the Vizier’s fingers, decimating the ranks of the enemies and our foes quickly turned their attention to this new threat. The Vizier did much to assist us before it was called back to its home plane and the damage that it had caused was enough to significantly turn the tide of battle in our favor. We easily dispatched remaining enemies. While we were victorious, none of us thought it wise to continue deeper into the Earth cult’s base in our weakened state. We decided to recuperate in the safety of the level above before returning to continue our search.C774CD90-DF55-439F-96E8-DE35B50AD50D.jpeg

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Severius' Journal- Down to Earth Negotiations (Day 2 Duscar 1630DR)

We returned to the subterranean domains of the earth cult better prepared because of our experiences on the day prior. Likewise, the earth cult was ready as well and though both parties had changed their tactics, again we found ourselves crossing blades and unleashing magicks in the entrance hall. The gargoyle gate guardians, in a sneak attack, were almost successful in splitting our party to face the cult forces. It was only due to Aszh consuming his potion of giant strength to lift the portcullis were we able to join together to make a stand. Luckily, the cult’s forces were not as many as the day before (perhaps our efforts have reduced their numbers, or some were too scared of us to fight) and we dispatched them with only minor difficulty.

Free of opposition, we explored the level and found rooms that acted as living quarters and worship centers. We did encounter a small band of cultists holed up in a dining hall, which we easily vanquished, and shortly afterward met a cultist that did not immediately attack us. This cultist introduced herself as Yarsha, and she claimed to be the third in line for leadership of the cult. She expressed a recognition of our group’s power and sought to enter into a bargain with us instead of fighting.

Wary of these fanatics, we engaged in a lengthy discussion about the cult and its intentions, and Yarsha explained that the cult’s leader, who was called the Prophet, was a man named Marlos Urnayle. According to Yarsha, Marlos has sought refuge in in yet, another subterranean level that lie beneath this one to commune with their deity, a power named Ogremoch, to seek guidance on the cult’s recent setbacks. Yarsha claimed that she was interested in remedying the cult’s weakened status by entering into an alliance with us. In exchange for killing the cult’s second in command, a man named Miraj Vizann, Yarsha would use her ascension to that position to influence Marlos to stop the cult’s more nefarious activities, as well as provided us with information on the status and whereabouts of the missing Delegation members. As a show of her sincerity, she disclosed that famed blacksmith, Rhundorth, was alive and currently being forced by the earth cult to make weapons for them, she also offered that the moon elf, Teresial, was a captive of the Cult of the Eternal Flame.

Despite our scrutiny of Yarsha’s intentions, she still came off as sincere in her offer and we decided to agree. Satisfied, Yarsha told us where we could find Miraj- in his alchemy lab only a short walk from our current location.

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Severius' Journal- Descending Deeper and a Notable Find (Day 4 Duscar 1630DR)

Concerned about the fate of the blacksmith Rhundorth after the failed negotiations with the earth cultists, we made haste as best we could looking for this staircase that lead to the lower levels of the earth cult’s domains. During our search, we interrupted a vile sacrificial ceremony to the cult’s foul deity…this Ogremoch. There was a desperate battle against the cultist forces in which both the sacrificial victim and Aszh were both killed, and unfortunately Gorm had only bestowed upon me enough of his blessings to bring Aszh back to the world of the living. There was…not enough of the cult’s sacrificial victim for me to work with as most of its body had been dissolved by a living blob of foulness that the cultist priest had summoned. Aszh was understandably shaken from the experience of having died and returned (I surely was when I had gone through my own experience), but he was not dissuded in our cause and we proceeded on.

We eventually found what we believed was the staircase we were looking for. A massive pillar of stone with a staircase descending even further into the depths of the earth. It had a lone guardian, an earth elemental encased in metal armor. Despite it taking us by surprise, we easily vanquished the creature, Aszh unleashing several mighty strikes infused by the raw divine power of Titania.

The end of the staircase found us truly in the bowels of the earth. I don’t think that any of my companions, with the exception of Dovak, had been this deep underground. The massive chamber we found ourselves in offered only two ways out- a single door and an unnatural cold black fog that totally blocked vision and caused sickness in those that entered it. We elected to take the path offered by the door and found ourselves in an ancient iron ore mine that had probably not seen any use since Besilmer was still a dwarven kingdom.

Shortly after entering the mine tunnel, Tobias and Dovak were attacked by the spectres of some fiendish-looking creatures that I have never seen before. Most of them were quickly banished when I invoked the power of Gorm’s name and the one that remained was quickly dealt with by the rest of my companions. As the last spectre was vanquished, a ghost of a dwarven female bearing the holy symbol of the dwarven/halfling goddess of Ulaa materialized briefly and pointed to a section of the mine that had collapsed. Upon investigation, we found the decomposed body a female dwarf that must surely have been the same person that apparition depicted. This appeared to be a cleric of Ulaa and it clutched a beautiful, golden glowing hammer of incredible craftsmanship. Dovak recognized the hammer as a mighty artifact called the “Hammer of Ulaa.” A powerful magical item said to be given by the goddess herself to her most blessed champion on Elrond. We had found another Delegation member…Thandarth Rumblerock. Ulaa_s_Hammer.jpg

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Severius' Journal- Breath of the Minotaur (Day 4 Duscar 1630DR)

The bellowing roar of the Minotaurs echoed throughout the tunnels as Dovak and Tobias charged forward into the room trying to prevent the bottleneck that we had in the tunnels. I held back in the rear, as my companions engaged the enemy, asking Gorm to grant his blessing upon my friends to guide their attacks and defenses. The minotaurs were powerful, but they were reckless. They had no fear of the danger they placed themselves in to obtain a strike. While they hit hard, it was easy to bypass their defenses and inflict injuries. This lead me to initially believe this was only a momentary delay in our quest to find the blacksmith, but I soon found this was premature.

More Minotaurs converged on the site of the battle and all of us were surprised when we found these Minotaurs capable of breathing fire! Flames engulfed several of my friends, some even collapsed to the ground dying of their wounds. The tide of battle was quickly turning against us. This also signaled the arrival of the largest Minotaur I had ever seen. A massive brute of muscle wielding an battle axe. It was at this time that Tobias sounded a retreat. Priority change to recovering our fallen comrades and fighting a rearguard action to escape. 9B71284A-8603-4A87-9656-948ED208621A.jpegAszh conjured a magical column of moonlight to block the Minotaurs’ pursuit while Tobias barred their passage so the rest of us could escape. Several of the Minotaurs ran to side corridors and it was soon apparent they intended to cut off our escape. Tobias taunted the Minotaur leader from the other side of the moonbeam but quickly regretted his decision when the enraged Minotaur barreled through the moonlight ignoring the pain it caused and savagely gored him. Bloodied and battered Tobias lay motionless on the ground. Ahead of our line of retreat I heard the sounds of combat as the Minotaurs intercepted our escape.

Times were desperate and I knew that we would all be dead. We needed a miracle and I knew I could call on Gorm for his divine assistance, as I had when we fought the giants, but I had begged Gorm for assistance less than a ten-day ago, and I knew I was tempting Gorm’s ire by calling on him for direct help again so soon after having done so. The screams of my friends being near death convinced me to take the chance, I had been Gorm’s faithful servant my whole life, surely Gorm would take that into account.

I went to my knees and said the prayers. I asked for Gorm’s holy vengeance and protection to be made manifest. I beg for his intervention in a dire situation. I asked him to have pity on his most loyal servant that I was too weak to do his work using the generous gifts he had already given me.

There was an explosion of divine radiant light and I watched in awe as my prayers were answered again by a Serph- Gorm’s most holy of servitors. To be blessed twice in such a short amount of time with the appearance of such a being, I had never heard of such an occurrence happening. Tears flowed down my cheeks and all was good.

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