Tales from Elrond

Severius' Journal- On the Cairn Road

We finally decided to leave Red Larch to continue our search for the Mirabar Delegation. Our clues to the fate and whereabouts are limited with only word of their passing through the town of Beliard to the the knightly order located at Summit Hall and the book that Allegro purchased from Valivoe that supposedly was bought from a keel boat captain in the town of Womford.

Womford was the closest of these destinations and we began our journey taking the Cairn Road that connected the two places. The road was well established and provided easy travel as we passed out laying farms and fellow travelers. A fierce rainstorm, of which I have never seen of such intensity till now (the surface world never ceases to amaze me- rain falling in torrents from the sky and naturally-occurring thunder and lightning) caused us to seek shelter in a farmstead off the road with a pleasant halfling family. Allegro put on one of his pupppet shows for entertainment and we providedthem with some coin for their hospitality. With the exception of the Lord of Lance Rock, the people of the Dessarin Valley have been good friendly folk concerned with only making a comfortable living, its hard to imagine that something foul lurks here that would have kidnapped or killed the members of the Delegation.
Unfortunately the evil lurking in the Valley soon became all to real as my friends and I were ambushed by “Pirates” of all things. Unfamiliar with this concept of sea-faring raiders, which my friends has to later explain, these ruffians possessed accoutrements that seemed appropriate to pirates but their presence on land far from the ocean was perplexing. They were quite formidable and outnumbered us, and they were lead by a magic-user of some talent and two members that’s could shapeshift into watery serpents. Gorm was with us and we managed to slay all but their magic-user, who fled with magically enhanced speed. A rest was in order for we were badly in need to healing and recuperation.

The following morning, well-rested and most of our wounds healed by the blessing of Gorm, we continued our journey and late in the day Gorm blessed us by revealing to us the pirates’ camp hidden in the woods off the road. A scouting action revealed more pirates and the magic-user that escaped us earlier and with the element of surprised we attacked the camp after Allegro charmed one of their sentries. Remembering the power of the magic-user in our previous engagement, he was our main target and he died from a combined effort in the opening attack. The battle with the remaining pirate forces was still difficult but without their leader’s magic we were able to defeat them without much injury.

With our charmed prisoner we continued our journey…

Severius' Journal- The Bargewright Inn and the Departure of a Friend

The last two days on the Carin Road were fraught with danger. Not only did the strange unpredictable weather continue, but sporadic tremors of the earth began happening and of course there was the very real threat of being ambushed along the road. We faced two such ambushes- one from a band of orcs, a race I am familiar with as their kind are known to plague my city on occasions, and the other incident involved large fur-covered humanoids who my companions referred to as Bugbears. I did not understand the association of insects to their biological make-up but the bear part certainly seemed appropriate. Our prisoner, the pirate (a term that I am not fully understanding of yet, but was explained to me by my comrades as a profession similar to a bandit but who raids vast waterways instead of on the land but I am confused as this “pirate” was raiding us on a road in some grasslands so I do not think that matches their criteria of a pirate and think that bandit is more appropriate- the logic of these surface-dwellers will take some time to get used to) we took prisoner from the bandits lead by the water priest we vanquished the day prior was killed in the Orc ambush. He will now have to answer to Gorm for the misdeeds he did in life.

Luckily the tremors subsided and battered and bloodied, with little magical power remaining within Lester and I, we reached the small town of Bargewright Inn. The Inn was but one structure in the wall-enclosed town, but it was by far the most prominent and more closely resembled a small elegant fort with its two towers reaching into the sky than an inn. At this late hour there were few people in the streets- beggers, a few fellow travelers and street urchins and several unsavory get folk who took notice of Dovak and I with our gold masks of Gorm. We will have to watch ourselves, as I suspect that many will be lured by the monetary value of the masks and not the spiritual enlightenment and symbol of faith that it represents.
After stabling the horses, we made our way to the Bargewright Inn to seek the best lodging accommodations and the finest food and drink available. Lester conducted the negotiations with the innkeeper, a fellow half-elf named Nalaskur Thaelond who seemed charming enough and a price was negotiated for the best room and board the establishment had to offer. The hot bath was a welcome repose after the long days on the road and sleep was found quickly in the silk sheets and comfortable blankets.

Saying Goodbye:
There was a sudden unexplained tension in the air when Lester joined his companions in the massive taproom of the Bargewright Inn where they were taking breakfast before heading out to the town of Womford.  Everyone looked up as the warlock approached and sat down, a haunted look on his face.

“About time you showed up.  We’s were about to leave ya here to move in with your half-elf friend” Dovak said motioning toward the Bargewright Inn’s proprietor, Nalaskur.  "You’s both been hanging out like buddies since we got here" Dovak continued in a light-hearted jest to crack his friend’s face into a smile.

It didn’t work.  Lester’s face continued to look preoccupied and conflicted.  "Nalaskur…he had a job offer for us.  Caravan guards for one he’s got leaving in the morning for Triboar.  I told him we weren’t interested."

“Ya got that right” Takashi said.  "I don’t think we have time to babysit a bunch of merchants.  Not to mention the last time we signed up for caravan duty.  We ended up getting lost in the desert and found our way back out one short" he said this as his gaze drifted subconsciously to Severius who’s pale face and unnaturally large eyes regarded him with a unreadable expression.  Takashi felt a pang of sorrow well up at the memory of his dwarven friend Gorin.

“There was more” Lester went on.  He placed his hand on the table, his hand displaying the ring his father had given him, the same type of ring that Takashi also possessed from his father- their father.  "Nalaskur recognized this ring.  Said that he’s seen it before."

“Where?” Takashi asked “When?”

“He told me that a man wearing one just like it passed through here two ten day ago.  He doesn’t know the man’s name or where he went, but there was a man with him named Regiden whose a merchant that lives in Amphail- it’s a few days walk south from Red Larch” Lester replied.

“We need to go there…see if we can find this Regiden” Takashi started.

“Yes, but not all of us” Lester said.  "The Delegation still needs to be located.  This is a matter of a personal nature and it would not be right to drag all of us to Amphail and lose the time we’ve already invested on the road to Summit Hall, we’d be going the opposite direction."

“Well you can’t go there alone,” Takashi replied.  "At least let me accompany you.  The roads are treacherous and rife with creatures- we’ve seen that obviously enough."

“No,” Lester countered.  "You must continue with our friends, at least to Summit Hall.  They’ll need your bow and I’ve worked out a deal with Nalaskur to accompany a group of some of his associates that are traveling to Amphail and beyond. Brother…" He said to Takashi “Let me go check this out while you get our friends to Summit Hall.  Maybe there will be word there on the delegation’s status.  Perhaps they have been found, then all of us can rendezvous back here and we can do this together.  Regardless of what I find in Amphail, I’ll return straight here and wait two ten day for your return so I can share what I found and we can plan what to do next.”

“You’ll return here?” Takashi asked for reassurance.  

“I will.  You have my word” Lester replied.

“You better” Takashi responded “Because I’ll come looking.”

“Like I said brother, you have my word” Lester said again.

Takashi sat back seemingly content.

Severius' Journal- Would Be Thieves and a Strange New Companion (Day 18 Fessuran 1630 DR)

Irreverent thieves! Disrespectful brigands! That’s what they were and their deaths in front of the townsfolk were a small demonstration of Gorm’s power. Word will spread on the surface that those who follow Gorm are protected by their God and he will give strength to his faithful to stand against any injustice, including base acts of robbery. To be accosted with the demand of surrendering mine and Dovak’s Masks of Gorm to thugs with no understanding of what the masks represent sent me immediately into a foul mood and was not how I expected to start the day after exiting the Bargewright Inn following our goodbyes to our dear friend Lester. Gorm stood with us as our outnumbered party took on the thieves and all but one found death as a reward for their efforts.

During the fighting, a strange half-orc bard allied himself to our cause, singing out inspiration to Dovak and casting magic at our foes. I am familiar with half-orcs, as we have a few of them amongst the population of Cyndicea, but none of the ones I have met were musically-talented or as charming as this flamboyant person named Biggle Greysong. Apparently Allegro is acquainted with this Biggle (which doesn’t surprise me in the least) and after introductions were made while my companions searched the corpses of the bandits for anything of value, Biggle went on to tell us that he has been seeking out our group to assist a friend who was tasked to join us in our search for the missing Mirabar Delegation. Biggle’s friend, a paladin named Aszh, has been tasked to find one of the missing delegation’s members and sought to join us after hearing of our efforts. The addition of Biggle and his paladin friend should assist in filling the loss of Lester as I fear our task will only get more dangerous and the more fighting strength we have available the better our odds of success.

After some additional supplies, our battered and bruised party made way to Womford. Despite my healing magicks being limited from the fight with the bandits, we entrusted the short stretch of road between Bargewright Inn and Womford to be well-traveled and relatively safe and decided to make the journey instead of being delayed another day. As predicated the journey was uneventful and we made our way across the huge Ironford Bridge and shortly after that, the town of Womford.
To call Womford a town was generous indeed, I felt that village would be more appropriate. The ramshackle houses, limited commerce and sad state of the populace showed that Bargewright Inn was stunting any opportunity for place to become anymore than it is.

Agreeing with Dovak that the day’s exertions and the late hour called for rest, we settled for the evening at decripit establishment that called itself an inn only because it had warm fires and a large common room for people to sleep on the floor. Luckily, there was a stabling facility available as well and Dovak and I joined the horses to share some of Dovak’s ever-dwindling keg of ale while Allegro and Biggle sought out the local tavern and Takashi went to the docks to follow up on a lead about a Womford keelboat captain selling books that were known to have belonged to missing delegation member Bruldenthar.

I don’t know what came of Allegro and Biggle’s foray, but Takashi came back on the verge of death suffering from a stab to the leg and magick-inflicted wounds. After I called on Gorm to heal my friend, Takashi told us that he had been attack by one of the keelboat captains and his crew after he made inquiries about Bruldenthar’s books. With the captain and his crew sounding quite formidable, it was decided to confront to captain in the morning after our abilities had recovered and the rest of our party was back. Unfortunately, morning showed the keelboat and its crew had departed.

Severius Journal- An Orc Army and an Ancient Dwarven Tale

With the company of our new companion Biggle we headed back on the road towards Summit Hall with the intention of joining up with Biggle’s friend, the elven paladin of Titania named Aszh. In a strange coincidence (I’m sure that was put into motion by Gorm) we found Aszh waiting on the roadside playing his flute. Apparently he got bored of sitting around waiting for the return of Biggle and decided to head to Womford hoping to catch up with this friend and see if he was successful in finding me and my companions. Aszh informed us that he was the member of an organization called the Emerald Enclave and he had been tasked with locating the Delegation because one of its number, was a member of the Emerald Enclave and had been entrusted with the transport of some rare magical seeds. Aszh was to locate the missing member and the seeds of possible. Thankful for more assistance to our cause, Aszh was welcomed into our ranks.

The day’s journey held more surprises as we repelled a goblin ambush and saved a man from his burning farm house. Thankful for what we did, the man explained that the rumors that we had been hearing of orcs raiding the countryside were indeed and he was victim of such a raid, his wife and two farmhands having been abducted while he was left for dead in his burning house. I was glad to hear that all (except maybe Allegro) were eager to help this poor soul and we made haste tracking the orcs deeper into the forest. Our efforts were rewarded when we caught up to them and their prisons and the results of a short battle found all the orcs dead and all the prisoners freed.

Generous for our help, the farmer explained that this was only one group of many Iceshield Orcs. Evidently, the tribe was on the warpath and seek to slay and pillage everything in the countryside. So far, the orcs had not been stopped and the remaining ranchers and farmers have flocked to the Dellmon Ranch to make a stand against the advancing orc horde with Lord Dellmon and assistance that he requested from the Emerald Enclave and other factions. The farmer begged for our help against the orcs, stating that capable warriors like us would be needed in the major battle to come. My heart was again filled with joy when my companions agreed to this noble quest to assist these people and I could feel the blessed approval of Gorm. This was indeed what I was destined to do- to bring Gorm’s fury to the wicked and his protection to the weak. Many on the outside would learn of Gorm’s power and what his faithful can do.

We journeyed to Dellmon Ranch and found siege preparations underway. People were busy at work preparing supplies and building a wooden palisade to link three buildings- one of which was an impressive manor house. It was to this manor house that we were escorted and inside we met Lord Dellmon and his family. A noble from the city of Waterdeep, Lord Dellmon decided years ago to leave the bustle and congestion of this great city (so I’m told) to establish a relaxing living in the country. Compassionate and intelligent, Lord Dellmon is looked at as the unofficial leader by the ranchers and farmers in these parts.

After hearing about our rescue and capabilities, Lord Dellmon tells us that the Iceshield Orcs are planning a major offensive. The battle to kill or enslave the countryside remaining residents. At this. Dry moment a massive force of orcs is heading to the ranch, their leader, the Great Ulfe, is so confident that he is letting his lieutenants lead the force while he remains in his mountain fortress with only a small bodyguard. Lord Dellmon knows this because some Emerald Enclave scouts were able to follow some of the orcs back to their hidden mountain stronghold and learn the Great Ulfe’s plans. But that’s not all they learned…

Lord Dellmon produces the broken hilt of a sword and points out the smith’s mark. There is no doubt of the sword’s remarkable craftsmanship and Dovak and I are shocked to see that mark of the legendary Dwarven smith Durgeddin. Even I living deep underground away from the outside world have heard of Durgeddin and the Smith’s War. A great smith of renown, the legend says that Durgeddin fled his ancestral home after it became overrun by orcs and other forces of the underdark. He and his followers established a secret mountain stronghold called Khrundukar and from there he worked his craft creating and selling weapons and armor of exceptional craftsmanship.

Unfortunately for Durgeddin and his followers, orcs were finally able to locate his mountain stronghold and lengthy siege ensued that had Durgeddin and his force taking on many times their number. In the end, the orcs were able to finally breach the defense of Khrundukar and slaughter all within but not without a massive cost to their forces. They looted all they could find and left the Dwarven stronghold to legend. With the sword hit that Lord Dellmon showed us, it appears the story may be more than legend.

Lord Dellmon makes us an honorable offer. Go to the Great Ulfe’s stronghold. Slay the ogre orc leader and hopefully the lost of their chief will cause enough dissension and damaged morale in the orcs’ ranks that the ranchers and farmers have a chance. While in the stronghold Lord Dellmon says we can search for treasures of Durgeddin and he offers to buy any weapons and armor that appear to be Durgeddin’s work for a more than fair price. To potentially walk the halls of legend is an opportunity in itself. To also have the chance to slay an evil being and save the lives of many, surely there can be no answer but yes.

Severius' Journal- "The Great Ulfe Falls"

While in the process of creating a makeshift rope bridge to replace the one that the orcs had cut to prevent us access to the rest of their compound an elf with such alluring beauty and regal standing that I have never seen before in another creature walked into our presence. Prior to leaving Cynidecia my contact with elven kind had until now been limit to the treacherous and diabolical drow and what elven kind I encountered in passing on my recent journeys. This elf introduced herself as Enna, a High elf (I was told by Aszh later about the different elven races) from the nearby elven community located in the High Forest. She had come in response to the call for aid from Lord Dellmon’s daughter, who was a Druid of the Emerald Enclave, and headed immediately to link up with our group when she was told of the plan to assassinate the Iceshield Orcs’ leader, the ogre called Great Ulfe. A wizard by trade, we happily accepted her assistance, as our party was somewhat deprived in that area of expertise with the departure of Lester.

With the rope bridge secured, we crossed the chasm and continued deeper into the stronghold realizing that the Orcs, and probably Great Ulfe himself, knew we were here and were preparing a defense. On the other side of the chasm barred double doors blocked our path, and with a prayer to Gorm asking for protection and strength, Dovak and I lead the charge into what was surely an ambush. Dovak’s armored shoulder and great strength smashed through doors and we were immediately assailed by a volley of javelins hurled by orcs behind the cover of crates, sacks and other assorted piles of goods. Luckily Gorm (and heavy armor) protected our advance and we quickly engaged the newest enemies in a manner so as not to impede our fellows behind us.
This would be the start of a vicious battle that would test the limits of our abilities and faith. The group of orcs initially in the room were reinforced by more and soon the magical blessings that Gorm bestowed on me to aid the cause were depleted, as well as those of my companions; cantrips were the only magical abilities left to most of us and I had to rely on my Warhammer and ability to shield others with my heavy armor and shield as my main contribution. Great Ulfe soon came on the scene with a pair of massive fire wolves accompanying him. The brute was laughing and boosting how we would find death here and described the various household goods that he was going to create with our bones. Dovak engaged the massive ogre after finishing off one of the wolves but heavily wounded he was soon taken down by the Great Ulfe’s massive axe. It was quite a surprise to the ogre when Dovak rose to continue the fight after being healed by Biggle’s last spell. The Great Ulfe soon stood alone and those still standing of our party worked together to vanquish the brute. Gorm’s judgement had been delivered (I had no doubt that it would).

After attending to the wounded and taking a short rest, we decided to continue exploring the stronghold. We had yet to find any of these legendary dwarven blades that were rumored to still be present.

Bahamut has Passed Judgment on Chief Krand

With the addition of more people joining the group in the search for the Mirabar Delegation, Takashi decides that it is time for him to leave the search for the Delegation and join his half-brother, Lester, in the search to find their unknown father. Making haste, Takashi is able to catch up to Lester in the settlement of Goldenfields and finds that Lester has learned of a rumor that a Dragonborn paladin named Magnara is in possession of a ring similar to those that Takashi and Lester each possess as the only memento of their father.

It takes them two tenday to get to the remote town of Winterhaven, where Magnara is said to be recovering after as a guest of Lord Padrig. Takashi and Lester learn that Magnara is a hero of renown in these parts, earring the gratitude of the people and their ruler after Magnara and his group of adventurers stopped a plot by and evil priest of Orcus to open a portal directly to the Negative Plane, which would have unleashed hordes of undead on the region. Sadly, the victory was not without cost and Magnara was the sole survivor of the raid that killed the priest and destroyed his forces.

Takashi and Lester meet the Dragonborn paladin and find him to be an imposing and regal figure with gold dragon ancestry. The valiant servant of the god Bahamut has been waging a war on the local slavers and Magnara shows Lester and Takashi a ring that he took from one of the slavers’ senior leaders after he slayed her. The ring is identical to the one that Lester and Takashi each possess.

Magnara tells Lester and Takashi of his plans to travel to Thunderspire Mountain, which has an entrance to a former subterranean kingdom of the minotaurs. The slavers’ leader, a hobgoblin named Chief Krand, is rumored to have a stronghold in this subterranean realm. Originally intending to venture on this quest alone, Magnara is more than greatful for Takashi and Lester’s company, as they join the paladin pursuing the only clue their have to their father’s identity and whereabouts.
The journey to Thunderspire is uneventful with the entrance into the mountain, the Minotaur Gate, easy to follow by an ancient and well-made but partially overgrown road. Inside the main road is lit by magical light and easy to follow and the massive scale of the subterranean realm is easily noted by the numerous passages that branch from the main path. During their travel, the trio stumbles upon a group of hobgoblin slavers who have captured a halfling. Magnara, Lester and Takashi easily dispatch the hobgoblins and free the grateful, named Rendil Halfmoon.

Rendil leads the party the rest of the way to the Seven-Pillared Hall, a massive chamber held up by seven pillars. Filled with buildings on the floor of the cavern and carved into the walls, the Seven-Pillared Hall is the main nexus of trade between the denizens of the mountain and the outside world. Rendil’s family owns an inn in the Hall, and they offer the group free room and board during their stay in Thunderspire Mountain as a gesture of their appreciation. They also share some of the history and politics of the Seven-Pillared Hall with them, explaining that the Hall is ruled by a powerful group of mages called the Mages of Saruun, who enforce an atmosphere of conflict-free trade and protection within the Hall as long as all remain civilized within and pay the required tax on all business transactions. All in the Hall, regardless of alignment and historical differences, respect the Mages’ law and business affairs are conducted with no issue. Outside the Sever-Pillared Hall is a dangerous place indeed as the Mages’ laws do not apply and deadly monsters wander the halls and rooms along with the various humanoid denizens.
The location of the slavers’ stronghold is no secret and upon hearing of their mission, Rendil tells the party where the stronghold is, in an ancient temple called the Chamber of Eyes, and how to get there. After announcing their intentions to the Mages (in an effort to head off any offense), and not knowing whether the Mages got their message or not, or if they care, the party heads to the Chamber of Eyes with the intent to kill Chief Krand and his slavers. With Rendil’s directions, the party has no problem navigating the mountain’s numerous corridors and they are fortunate not to encounter any hostiles on their route.

At the entrance, the group chooses to bypass the main door by climbing onto a raised balcony and utilize the door leading off from it. Making entrance with Magnara leading the way, The does their best to stealthy explore the rooms and passages of the slavers’ stronghold. It is not long before battle is joined and the party takes on a group of bugbears and goblins in a vicious melee. With their foes fallen at their feet and the alarm surely raised, the party continues their exploration and encounter a duo of duegar. Battle again rages and this would be the start of a prolonged and desperate engagement as the duegar call for aid and Chief Krand himself, accompanied by a hobgoblin shaman, join the fray.
The Chief and his forces are quite formidable. The shaman calls foul magic from her deity to curse Takashi, severely hampering his fighting abilities. Lester and Magnara fight against the odds sustaining severe injuries in the process and exhausting all of their spells and special abilities. In a desperate act before being struck down unconscious and on the verge of death by Chief Krand, Lester pours a potion of healing down Magnara’s throat as he lays on the ground dying after being pierced by Krand’s spear and the gamble pays off as Magnara rises and beheads the hobgoblin. Chief Krand is no more.

The Bloodreavers Are No More But More Tasks Await Our Attention

Bloodly, battered and their abilities expended, Lester, Takashi and Magnara return to the Seven-Pillared Hall for much deserved rest and recuperation. Electing to hold off on publically announcing the defeat of Chief Krand, the party lies incognito as best they can in the Halfmoon Inn before venturing out the following day to engage in some buying and selling with some of the various merchants.

On the way to House Azaer to sell some arms and armor, the party is approached by a hostile party of duegar dwarfs from the Grimmerzhul Clan Trading House. Apparently, the duegar’s business interests were utilizing slave labor that the duegar were purchasing from the Bloodreavers and the actions of Lester, Magnara and Takashi have jeopardized the duegars’ profit margins. A heated exchange between the dwarfs and the party commences, as well as some questioning exchanges involving Lester and his companions when it comes to light that his patron is the devil Asmodeus. Because of their shared master, the duegar seem a bit hesitant to act but believe the situation needs to be addressed, hinting at hostile intentions.

Fortunately, the exchange is interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Ordinatus Arcana representative from the Mages of Sarunn who orders an immediate halt to the confrontation and orders that the laws of the Mages be respected and obeyed or suffer the consequences. The two groups go separate ways and the party is surprised and intrigued when the Ordinatus Arcana tells them to present themselves at the customs house in the hour.

The party concludes their business with House Azaer merchants and the non-duegar dwarves of the Deepgem Company before going to the customs house. After a brief battle of verbal and posturing machismo with the Mages’ head enforcer Brugg, the party enters for a meeting with the Ordinatus Arcana who tells them that their actions have caused some complications for the Mages and their business interests by going after the Bloodreavers. The Mages are willing to quell any issues brought forth by the duegar (or others affected) if the party undertakes a task for the Mages that is a concern of the Mages, as well as the denizens of the countryside outside Thunderspire Mountain, but not so much of a concern that the Mages want to leave their studies and experiments and deal with it themselves.

One of the Mages of Sarunn has recently gone rogue- he left several months ago speaking of conquering the lands outside of Thunderspire Mountain and is refusing to answer summons from his Order. This mage, Paldemar, is a powerful threat, but more so to the people that live outside the mountain than to the Mages themselves. Nonetheless, the Mages want to know what Paldemar’s plans are and want him punished (even sanctioning killing if appropriate) for turning from the order. Information suggests that he is living somewhere in the labyrinth. Should the party complete this task, they will be rewarded and any issues with the duegar (and other offended parties will be dealt with). The party agrees to look into the matter.

While heading to another merchant shop, Gendar’s Curios and Relics, the party is approached by a beautiful brass dragonborn female warlock named Surina. Identifying herself as a servant to the goddess Erathis (goddess of civilization and law) she exclaims her approval and support of the party’s actions against the Bloodreavers and shares that she has been tasked by Erathis to fill the subterranean halls of Thunderspire Mountain with a prosperous population. Her efforts have been hindered by organizations, such as the Bloodreavers, and foul creatures that lair in the labyrinth and prey on travelers and residences. She hopes to enlist the aid of the party to help her address these obstructions to advancing a civilization here, starting with the clearing of a group of giant spiders who have a lair near the city’s ancient cisterns.
The party is interested but speak of their ultimate quest to find Lester and Takashi’s father and tell Surina their story. She states that there is an ancient entity in the labyrinth called the Witch Sage who legend has it can answer any question posed to it for a price. Surina tells the party that she will inquire to her patron the route to the Witch Sage’s secret location in exchange for cleansing the spider menace, to which the party agrees.
After one more stop of buying some magical arrows from the drow Gendar (for an expensive price), the party heads back to the Bloodreavers’ stronghold in the Chamber of Eyes to ensure the slavers have been throughly dealt with. Upon arriving, a search shows the stronghold to be empty of slaver and slave alike and the only thing in residence is a creature (an Otyugh) that surprises the party from a huge pile of refuse in the dining area. It’s surprise attack quickly incapacitates Lester and his companions rush to intervene before the creature swallows the warlock. Waist deep in the garbage, Magnara’s armored form holds the creature’s attention while the dragonborn slashes at it with his magical longsword and Takashi hits it from afar with his arrows. The huge monstrosity is slain and the party heads back to the Seven-Pillared Hall to report their success to the masses in defeating the Bloodreavers.

Unfortunately, their trip back holds more danger as they are attacked by a group of Ankhegs. A bloody battle follows as the party is assailed by acid and large biting mandibles. Partly depleted from their battle with the Otyugh, the party pulls victory from the brink of defeat. Barely standing, they limp their way back to the Seven-Pillared Hall.

Severius' Journal- "Deeper into Khundrukar"

After the challenging battle with the ogre Iceshield tribe chieftain, the Great Ulfe, my comrades and I were in desperate need of rest and recuperation. Wary of what other enemies still remain in the subterranean halls of Khundrukar, we improvised a fortified position by stacking crates and sacks from the store of loot that the orcs had pillage from the countryside around a little used section of the cavern they were using as a warehouse. Biggle and Dovak decided to check if the two prisoners that we had freed had made it to safety and it was agreed that we would return to this location in two days if we failed to hear from them beforehand.

After a much needed rest and healing from Gorm, myself and the remaining party members decided to explore more of Khundrukar. We happened upon a nearby cavern that contained a door with several charred orc skeletons before it and a large stairway carved into the rock leading down. Deciding to explore the door first, we quickly found during our efforts to open it that it was trapped to shot jets of fire into the area in front of it. After sustaining some burns, we were able to successfully disarm the trap mechanism and found that there was nothing beyond the door except the trap mechanism and the vat of oil that fuel the flames. Seriously wounded for our efforts, we decided to rest inside this room (which should prove haven enough from the orcs) and I used the power of Gorm to heal me and my companions.

Following that long rest, we continued our explorations by proceeding down the stairs into the cavern below. The stairs lead to an underground stream and a flock of stirges, which we eliminated easily enough and continued out explorations. The caverns on this level appeared more natural and not cut out as they did above and there were several options on where to proceed. We randomly chose a path and came upon two reptilian-looking humanoids that appeared to be mining the walls of a cavern. Aszh’s attempt at conservation with them was met with an immediate attack and a third creature with a large bear arrived as reinforcements. The creatures (which I later learned with Troglodytes) were dispatched and after several unsuccessful attempts to befriend with bear with calm words and food, we killed it as well.
Our continued explorations found a large cavern naturally lit by light-emitting fungi. This area held dangerous creatures (strange snake-like creatures with star-shaped toothed maws) that were able to camouflage themselves with the surrounding stone. They ambushed our party from several directions at once and several melees broke out as we tried to coordinate our efforts. I must commend Aszh for stepping into the role normally taken by Gorm’s loyal servant Dovak, as he positioned himself to take the attacks of the majority of the creatures expertly used his sword and shield to fend off the blows while the rest of the party concentrated on killing the creatures. It was a successful tactic and we dispatched the creatures will only some minor wounds.

A search of this cavern showed several routes of exploration, including a well-made door of dwarven craftsmanship. Allegro was able to successfully pick what he told us was a very complicated lock and we proceeded past the door up a stairwell that lead to a small room containing three dwarven statues of axe-armed warriors. After some trial and error (as well as injuries), we were able to locate a secret door behind one of the statues that lead to another level of Khundrukar. Like the initial level we entered the mountain at this one was carved into smooth walls, floors and ceilings and it was occupied. We were challenged by dark kin of the dwarves called the Duregar who claim rule over this level. Not knowing their full numbers and not yet seeking a fight, we were able to negotiate passage through part of their level for a toll. They spoke of parts of the level haunted still by the undead and Aszh and I were able to convince they others that we needed to cleanse the undead from this place…

The Dwarven Dead of Khundrukar

After cleansing the undead from what was most likely the tomb of the great dwarven smith hero Durgeddin, the party decides to leave the duregar-controlled level of Khrundukar to see if their companions Dovak and Biggle had returned from the mission of ensuring the prisoners they freed were able to make it to safety. On the mountain level with the entrance to Khrundukar, they find Dovak waiting and he tells them that Biggle accompanied the freed prisoners back to Dellmon Ranch.

The group has a short meeting to discuss if they should return to the Ranch to see if the death of the Great Ulfe gave the defenders at Dellmon Ranch the advantage they needed to repel the Iceshield Orcs or if they should return to cleansing the undead from the duergar-controlled level of Khrundukar. Passionately opposed to allowing the undead abominations to continue to exist, Aszh, Severius and Enna want to destroy the rest of the undead on the duegar-controlled level; the rest of the party agrees to accompany them.

Upon returning, the duegar insist in the payment of a new “toll” and after some tense negotiations, a price is agreed upon. Using Aszh’s paladin ability to detect undead and fiends, the party clears room after of the ancient dwarven fortress. Many rooms are full of nothing but dust, broken furniture and the harmless skeletal remains of dwarves and orcs from the long ago final siege of Khrundukar, but some rooms contain the undead skeletons of ancient dwarven warriors and animated decorations, such as a giant carpet and a suit of armor, that attack.
The party sustains some wounds, but for the most part has little trouble until they encounter an angry dwarven ghost. Impervious and resistant to some of their attacks, the ghost manages to take possession of Dovak and turn him against his companions. Fortunately, Severius is able to call on the power of Gorm to cast the angry spirit out of his friend and the ghost flees the area. After a couple minor battles, the ghost returns and attempts to possess Aszh this time but the Paladin of Titania is able to resist the spirit’s attempt and despite several of the party frightened by its haunting form, the group is able to rout the angry again.
The last abomination that the party clears from the level is a fiend that attempted to fool them into gaining their trust by using the guise of a beautiful young woman that was claiming to be the prisoner of an evil wizard. The party believed her story, except for Aszh, who was able to use his power of detection to see the fiend’s true nature. When he called the fiend out, she cast a charm spell on Dovak and ordered him to attack his companions while she attempted to kill Aszh. The heavily armored Dovak ended up being the more difficult foe to deal with and after the fiend disappeared before their eyes (most likely to safety) the group concentrated their attacks on Dovak and were able to beat him into unconscious and secure him with rope until the effects of the charm spell wore off.

With no other rooms to explore in this section, the group decides to take a rest and the following day they return to Dellmon Ranch to see who was victorious. Trails of smoke mark once burning buildings and funeral pyres and bodies of both orcs and the Ranch defenders alike litter the field. A cheer goes up as the party approaches as the defenders of the Ranch praise the party’s return and thank them for killing the Great Ulfe. They explain to the party that when word spread through the orc ranks of the death of the leader, in-fighting and flight took over the Iceshield Orcs and the defenders were able to easily fight off the disorganized orc army.

The party joins Lord Dellmon for dinner and conversation where they exchange stories of what each party endured over the past few days. Gracious for what the party did to save his Ranch and his fellow countrymen, Lord Dellmon gives the party some magical potions and a pouch of magical dust as a token of his appreciation. He also offers them the opportunity to settle some of land (their former owners recently killed in the battle) which some of the party seem interested in but that will have to wait as they must continue their quest to find the Mirabar Delegation.

Severius' Journal- "The Mirabar Delegation Found"

It appears that we have finally achieved success in our goal to find the Mirabar Delegation…or at least partial success.

Our trip to Summit Hall proved to be most fortuitous. The Knights of Samular proved most hospitable and the deity they worship, Tyr, appears to value the same aspects that my beloved Gorm does. I found their company to be refreshing and look forward to returning when my task is complete to speak with some like-minded individuals. Their Grandmaster, an elderly but formidable-looking woman named Lady Ushien Stormbanner, informed us that a shepherd recently reported the location of several shallow graves off the Dessarin Road just outside of Beliard. She made arrangements for us to speak with this shepherd, a halfling man by the name Larmont Greenboot and he told us of the graves he found while tending his flock. He offered to lead us to the graves for a fee and surprisingly Allegro paid him a generous sum of five gold. Allegro is an odd fellow and never ceases to amazes me though I confess that he brings me despair at times because his make-up and strange mannerisms remind me of home and those of my people who have sought escape through narcotics, fantasy role play and alcohol.

The day long trip to the grave site was uneventful and after resting for the night we explored the site the following morning. There were three sites altogether off of a side road that lead from the Dessarin Road to the River Dessarin. It was readily apparent that a battle had taken place. We found wagons with looted cargo containers scattered about, the skeletons of several individuals wearing clothing bearing the red axe symbol of the Kingdom of Mirabar and a coffin bearing the skeletal remains of a Knight of Samular. Enna and I both could sense a faint aura of elemental magic still present in the area and the way the earth was cratered and upturned it made sense that magic was used to disturb it.

Greenboot showed us a pair of cairns on a nearby hillside and one of these contained the bodies of several bugbears wearing leather armor bearing a strange triangle symbol that none of us were familiar with. The other cairn contained the single body of a human woman dressed in robes and wearing a golden mask shaped in the visage of a Gargoyle or demon. It reminded me of Lady Stormbanner’s inquiry upon meeting me because of my golden mask of Gorm as to whether I shared allegiance with a monastic order in the Sumber Hills called the Sacred Stone Monastery. We suspected this woman was a member of that order though that order is in no way related to the worship of Gorm as Gorm would only allow his true followers to wear masks with his visage and my inspection of the mask showed that it was not gold but most likely gilded tin, which Gorm would also not approve of.

The third grave site had four bodies- a dwarf in artisan robes and a woman that both bared the red axe of the Kingdom of Mirabar on their clothing, a man in strange stone armor (which none of us were familiar with) and a man in a white cloak with feathers adorning one shoulder. While we did not know what to make of the last two bodies, we were fairly certain the first two were members of the Delegation and suspect that the dwarf was the remains of the great Mirabar Dwarven smith Rhundorth. Finding the graves was both cause for relief and despair. We had found some of the Delegation, apparently the victims of an attack, but were the rest of the Delegation still alive, and if so where are they? Also who attacked them and for what reason?


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