The Scales of War

The Black Sun

Heading back from whence they came, our party goes to the intersection and heads for the black sun doors. As they enter the room, our party is taken aback by what lies ahead. Lying in the floor is a large, black, mosaic sun! The torches and the sun both dim when people enter the room, making it fairly eerie. Running right through the center of the sun is a very large and very dangerous crack. They will have to be careful when crossing the room so as not to wind up a floor below…

Noticing nothing of value (more interest than anything) they decide to go back. They head for the honor guard crypt. Ruddick, doing what he does best, sneaks into the crypt unnoticed. This room is the same size as the black sun room, but with alcoves! In the middle of the room lies a fountain, with a small human tied to it.

This young man, who appears to be a pain in the ass from the looks of the other hostages, was taken from Brindle with his father – Cartnicks. He asks about his father, to which our party avoids the questions to not upset Thurin, as he is called.

Our party makes one final discovery before leaving the chambers with Thurin, a kit holding the makings of an escape tattoo is found and taken!

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Heading North

Heading north, Ruddick scouts ahead. He notices an intersection of two hallways, perpendicular to on another. To his left is a door with a black sun on it and voices are heard. To the right is a door with writing in a different language titled: “To honor the heroic guardians of Rivenroar,” and directly ahead is a staircase leading down to a door with a blue light emanating from it. Before Ruddick can decide what to do, two ghouls wander out of the door with the black sun on it. Ruddick decides this is the moment to leave and rejoins the party, telling them of what he saw.

The party heads into the hall toward the stairs with the blue light. There is no evidence of the ghouls wandering about, but they stay wary of what might happen. Upon entering the room, a pool of very flat, clear water takes up most of the room. Before much else can happen, Ruddick shouts “Hey monsters, come and get me!”

Our heroes were not impressed by the recklessness, but proceed anyway. The pool, when touched, showed different images of different rooms throughout the castle. It was a virtual map! They try to jump in, hoping the map would take them to their location, but all except Ruddick only wind up ankle-deep in water.

Trying to figure out what this pool does, Ruddick begins drinking the water. He feels refreshed! Then, to relieve himself, he deficates in the pool…all the characters have left the water by this point, thankfully. Then, with one final act of desperation, he jams a hexor rod into the pool bottom. Still nothing happens. A noise from behind pulls our heroes back from the pool…

Two ghouls and two zombies are at the foot of the stairs, growling at the party! Jenks runs into battle and is knocked out-again. Together, the party moves as a well-oiled machine. They are starting to work as one unit, rather than six separate units. Brigette uses her strength and might, Jenks, once stable, unleashes arrow after arrow at the creatures. Ruddick uses his abilities to flank and sneak attack, Nora hurls potent insults at then, Stoobs unleashes his mighty Radiant Vengeance, Aelar hurls flames at them, and Gratch attacks as a spider-pal should. The creatures fall to the mighty Antler-Thistle Six.

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The Von Arez Kauthin Crypt

Entering this next room, the title “Von Arez Kauthin Crypt” is noted by our heroes. The walls of this crypt were crawling with life. Each part of the wall had a likeness of a human walking around the room. They appeared to be likenesses of those buried in the crypt. Directly in the center of the room, sat 4 goblins and 2 spitting drakes! So much for the element of surprise…

A fight ensues for our party. Jenks manages to bust another bow – somewhere around 25% of the time he breaks a bow. Both he and Bridgette rush into the fight. Bridgette immediately gets blinded by the spit of the drakes, and Jenks is knocked unconscious. The rest of the party rushes to their assistance, stabilizing Jenks and defeating the drakes and goblins.

Once the creatures are dispatched, another enemy enters the room and begins deflecting the party’s attacks off him! Once he was hit, he went down, though. Hard to hit, but easy to defeat once hit.

Following their current path, they enter the next room adjacent to the crypt. Here there are 3 sarcophogi sticking out of the floor a tad. Also, a hostage named Jalissa is chained to the wall! Upon her rescue, the party offers her some food, and finds out she can alarm the room, which would be very helpful to the party, considering the beating they just took.

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The Search Continues...
"I'm gonna bloopity-blam those dudes."

Sneaky McThief (Ruddick) enters the hall first, inspecting as he goes. He notices four statues of displacer beasts, with amber eyes aglow. He also notices a naked female prisoner tied to the altar at the far end of the room. She is being guarded by two gnomish skulks and three dire rats.

As our party attacks the creatures guarding who appears to be Mirtala, the dire rats play dirty. Filth Fever is given to Jenks and Aelar, affecting their health. Jenks reveals another deadly weapon at this point, Gratch, his pet spider, has come along for the fight! Our party continues to attack…

The gnomes proved no match for our heroes, but they had a few tricks up their sleeves, too. The party attacked and attacked until the gnomes were bleeding profusely. As the gnomes got up from their latest wounds, they vanished! The party members attacked the spots where the gnomes had been, hitting something once.

The gnomes reappeared behind Nora and stabbed her in the back! Nora dropped with a gasp like a sack of doorknobs onto the dungeon floor. Upon noticing this, Aelar rushed to her aid and rescued her. The gnomes were ferociously attacked by Stoobs, Bridgette, Jenks, Ruddick, and Gratch at this point. Giving the final blows, Stoobs lowers his weapon.

They party turns their attention to the hostage, who appears to be frightened half to death. She can’t even speak! Jenks softened his voice and talked to her, calming her down. It turns out this is Mirtala, whom earlier reports said she was planned to be eaten! Jenks unties her from the altar and notices this altar is different. Upon further inspection, this altar was dedicated to the Raven Queen!

Finding nothing useful, our heroes head back up the stairs with another hostage in tow…

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The Crypt of Rivenroar

Entering the cellar, the characters notice that this is no ordinary cellar. Indeed, they have stumbled upon something much bigger! Upon entering the cellar, there is an inscription on the wall “Here lie the Rivenroars until the day of the black sun, if you seek their monument, look at the lands around you.” Puzzled, our heroes look around the crypt for clues to the stolen treasures of Brindol.

Four sarcophagi adorn the center of the room, all standing on end. An altar is in the Southeast corner of the room. Searching the altar, they notice it was originally dedicated to Vecna, a very evil god. However, since the hobgoblins invaded the castle, they made some modifications. The altar is now dedicated to Bane, which is noted as the god of war.

Upon searching the room, bedrolls and rucksacks are found everywhere. The characters begin the search for the missing artifacts of Brindol. Nothing is found within the rucksacks or bedrolls and our heroes seem to be at a dead end. That is, until Sertanian speaks up. “I say we search the Sarcophagi, these hobgoblins have no respect for the dead and probably hid the artifacts inside them.” The party reluctantly agrees to search the sarcophagi…

In the first one, our characters slide the heavy lid off to reveal a skeleton beneath. A magical stag helm is located on the head of the skeleton, which is taken for the party. In the next three, only corpses, silver, and gold are found.

Searching the room further, our party notices a pit in one of the corners with an odd smell coming from it. The party deduces this was probably a pit meant for invaders to fall into.

Seeing nothing more of value in the room, they move on…

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The Search for Mirtala
Can we go east? There's totally a wall there, so no.

Our heroes start the day anew knowing one of the hostages is dead – Cartnicks was foolish enough to think he could overpower the ettercaps. Heading north with the remaining hostages, Sertanian and Zariska, the Antler-Thistle Six move into the next room. In this room, they find all sorts of rucksacks, furs, and bedrolls – most likely a barracks of some sort. Before heading in too far, Ruddick notices a silhouette of someone, or something, lurking in the shadows. Luckily, the shadow did not notice our party as they prepared to attack.

The hobgoblin, as the shadow appears, is taken by surprise. However, a guard drake also enters the fight. The party engages in a mighty battle with the lead hobgoblin fighting mightily. Both the hobgoblin and drake are slew within minutes. Before the party can head down the stairs, 4 mini hobgoblins appear out of the shadows, along with a larger hobgoblin archer!

Another battle ensues, as the mini goblins prove to be no match for the Antler-Thistle Six. The larger hobgoblin starts retreating down a spiral staircase, as our party pursues him. He takes hit after hit, and with a mighty blow from Aelar, he falls. Weapons are taken for party use, as well as possible monetary gain.

Our heroes have now entered the cellar…

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The Dungeon

Moving ahead down a hallway, Ruddik takes the lead. Scouting ahead, he sees two gnomes around a fire that appear to be guarding something. Taking notice, there are jail cells all around, along with alcoves nearby. Deep into the jail and alcoves, moans and screams are heard of someone who appears to be human. Could it be another prisoner?

Our heroes move ahead and attack the gnomes. Fire monsters appear to dispatch our would-be heroes, but all are dispatched before long. Upon defeating their enemies, nothing new is noticed right away. Sure, some currency was found upon searching the sarcophagi, but nothing major comes upon them – yet.

Our adventurers notice writing on the eastern wall “Hail Von Erstadt: Ascend with Glory.” Coming further down the hall appears to be moans, groans, and everything but sex noises. Hard to tell, but there is probably only one prisoner down there. The party follows the moans down a set of stairs and finds jail cell after jail cell. Must be where the prisoners were kept until they could be dealt with, our heroes think. In one of the cells is a man who is not in the best shape – looks like he’s seen a lot.

Ruddik, wasting little time, unlocks the cell to free this man. His name is Sertanian and he alludes to the fact that Mirtala, another prisoner might be in mortal danger. He was a cook and might make a pleasant meal for our capturers. Kartenix is also feared dead. Seems Cartnicks wants to rise up against the Ettercaps guarding him and walk out of the castle unscathed. Nice wish!

Our heroes wasted no time in searching for both of these captives. Following a lead from Sertanian, they head toward the area they fear Kartenix is being held. They find all sorts of sticky shit on the floors and walls, along with the Ettercaps that made it. The Ettercaps proved no match for our heroes and were easily overpowered. Could it be that Kartenix managed to overpower these weaklings? Or is the fact that they are still here a grave signal. Upon their defeat, a search of the sticky shit room ensues. In the corner is a pile of sticky shit. Underneath a body is found – Sertanian confirms this is Kartenix, or rather was. Our heroes have had a very busy adventure and rest is needed for them to wipe off the grief of losing one of the hostages.

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The Painting

Once past the barracks, our heroes enter a new room that has a very strange aura about it. A painting of a sinister castle is on the far wall and appears to be flickering a blue light. Very creepy. Exits are noticed on both sides of the room. However, before they can proceed, our heroes are attacked!

A jelly-like creature slithers from the painting, attacking our friends. Before long, the creature splits into two, making it a 2-front fight. Ruddick is knocked out, but stabilized quickly by Jenks. Jenks, making his presence known, gives a valiant effort in destroying the jelly. Though he was sick and having trouble keeping his supper down, he managed to fight well. Unfortunately for our adventurers, the jellies are not the worst of the problem. The jellies died, but then specters appeared!

Stoobs does a flash and a dance and out comes his very potent Radiant Vengeance. Take that you horrid creatures! They inspect the room following the battle and notice writing on the west door “Von U Stadt.” Our heroes enter…

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Into the Abyss

Once Zerriksa was rescued, the adventurers found their way back to the room with the mushrooms. Being careful to avoid them, they made their way to the other side of the room where two ropes appeared to go up…and up into the ceiling. Stoobs takes a quick look at them and climbs the first rope with Aelar in tow. Once up the rope, Stoobs discovers a hall on the next floor. Moreover, there were hobgoblins awaiting our heroes’ arrival!

On the floor, Zerriksa was proving to be quite difficult. Refusing to cooperate, demanding she be taken back to town at once, among other things, Bridgette tires of this and attempts to tie her up. Zerriksa puts up such a fight that Bridgette gives up, as long as Zerriksa cooperates.

Up in the ceiling, Stoobs and Aelar are attempting to rid themselves of the hobgoblin problem. Aelar struggles, but manages to pull one of the goblins out of the hall and down the hole. Meanwhile, Stoobs attacks the remaining hobgoblin. Seeing the fight, Nora heads up the rope to assist the other two. Bridgette heads up the rope, getting hit by the falling goblin, while Ruddick and Jenks await the enemies on the floor.

Stoobs pulls himself out of the hole, but is immediately pushed back down by one of the hobgoblins. Thankfully Jenks was there to break his fall! With our other heroes barely clinging to the rope, the goblins appear to have the advantage. Stabilizing themselves, Bridgette and Aelar climb off the rope into the hall above and dispatch the remaining hobgoblins. However, one of them managed to call for help prior to his disposal.

Bridgette and Aelar follow the remaining hobgoblin into a room above and another fight ensues with more hobgoblins and what appears to be their commander. Nora, not to be left out, attempts to follow, but is pushed back down the hole, hitting Stoobs who has managed to climb back up the rope at this point. Stoobs is not so lucky this time, he is knocked unconscious by the fall. With Bridgette and Aelar the only remaining two in the room, Aelar is knocked out with sudden attacks. Nora manages to make it to the room and assists Bridgette in dispatching the enemies. Nora stabilizes Aelar and Jenks down in the basement stabilizes Stoobs.

Ruddik Klebe rejoins our party after taking the long route around – he went up the other rope and managed to avoid any damage – pretty sneaky! Jenks and Stoobs also rejoin and our party proceeds through the doors in what appears to be their barracks.

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The Basement

After our adventurers secured the entryway, the group went through the back door and down the stairs. They entered a dark room and found many different colored mushrooms growing on the floor. Upon testing them, they discovered the brown mushrooms created a cloud of concealment, the white mushrooms created a shrieking noise, and the gray mushrooms were doomspores. In the back of the room, there were two Rage Drakes awaiting their arrival.

Our heroes took their positions and managed to attack the drakes without hesitation. The drakes proved to be no match for the party who pulled together as one to defeat their adversaries. Once the drakes were out of the way, our heroes moved through to the next room where they found an elderly woman awaiting their arrival.

Our woman was none other than Zerriksa, a famous witch from the town of Brindol. She was trapped in a dome of energy, being held prisoner! After studying the dome, the party tried many things to free her. Bridgette tried using force, even crashing into the cell once. Nora seemed to study it the most and, getting her timing right, pulled Zerriksa from the cell. The cell fell with a crash to the floor and Zerriksa was free! The party only needed to safely transport her and the other 8 prisoners back to Brindol…

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