The Roll'n 1's and 2's

The story so far...
From Winterhaven to the depths

It Begins

Adventurers come together from all corners of the globe for all sorts of reasons. In this case, they came from three corners. Aquarian, a wizard, has been charged with finding Douven Staul. Douven was his mentor as a young apprentice and helped him become the wizard he is today. Douven has gone missing and Aquarian has vowed to find him. At his side is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, Noname. The strong armed fighter was borne a bastard child at risk youth as the son of a whore lady of the evening. Raised in the house of ill repute, not knowing who his father is, he set out to make hiw way in the world, or at least leave a scar. Xanteuch is a dwarven cleric who has been given a daunting task. His church has asked him to look into possible cult activity around the town of Winterhaven. He is to snuff out any sign activity if he find it, or if it happens to find him. There were also a rogue and a ranger in the mix, but they seem to have faded into the background.

Winterhaven

Our band of heros met on the King’s Road from Fallcrest to Winterhaven and have decided to travel together for safety. Not too far outside the town of Winterhaven the group is ambushed by small scaley creatures that look like small humanoid dragons. Kobolds. Filthy Kobolds. After getting pelted with a barrage of varios pots from a kobold slinger, the heros were able to turn the tide and vanquish the kobolds. Bruised and battered from their encounter, they made their way to the gates of Winterhaven. Winterhaven is a small quiet town. With all the amenities an adventurer could want, the party opted for the comfort of the Wrafton Inn. Within the Inn they got to know the citizens of the town. Salvan Wrafton, an attractive yet surley woman runs the inn. She knows about the people of the town, but not much about what lies beyond the town walls. Ellian the Old is an old farmer that spends most of his time in the Inn nowadays. All he really wants is someone to talk to. Especially since his friend Douven Staul went missing. Wait a minute… Valthrun the Prescient is a sage and scholar who lives in a tower within Winterhaven’s walls. Valthrun knows more than he lets on about the old keep to the North. Lord Padraig is the lord of the town. He is friendly and open to outsiders as long as their intentions are noble. Above all, he intends to protect the citizens of his town. Ninaran is a quiet elven ranger who rarely leaves the inn. She drinks alone and is stiff and bitter, hardly good company for a weary traveler. When asked about any occult activity, none of the citizens are aware of any and even laugh at the notion.

The Kobold Lair

The party asked around town to find out more about the kobolds harassing the town and travelers along the road. Their investigations lead them on a path to a lair a few hours outside of town. Driven by their unparalled greed sense of duty to protect the citizens of Winterhaven, they set out for the kobold lair. No sooner did the party step outside the walls of Winterhaven were they ambushed again by more kobolds. This time the kobolds were better armed and put up more of a fight. Once again the heros beet them back. The party continued down the road for half a day before turning South into the woods. Half a mile in they could hear the sound of a waterfall. Through the trees they could see the outlines of numerous kobolds milling about. With the great idea to sneak up on them, the party attempted to stealth though the woods. SNAP Some genius steps on a twig and flushes the whole plan down the drain. That battle began with a local paladin, Dirk LeDaring, charging headfirst into battle. The adventurers faught their way through the woods pushing the kobolds back towards the waterfall. As they finished off the last of the kobolds, a lone slinger escapes behind the waterfall to warn the others. The party split up and snuk into the waterfall via a side cave. Sending Dirk through the waterfall to attrack attention, the kobolds converged on the paladin. The warlock and the wizard took advantage of the situation to attack the kobolds from behind. The party converged on the kobolds just behind the waterfall. As the battle began to tip in the party’s favor, a second wave of kobolds decended on the party. This time they were led by a brute of a goblin called Irontooth. What followed was a comedy of errors. The part, unable to hit the broad side of a barn, begins to faulter. The party begins to fall back towards the waterfall. Beseaching the god Moradin, Xanteuch reaches deep into his soul and shines like a beacon of hope. This would be the deciding moment of the battle. Healed and renewed with vigor the party re-engaged the kobolds and began to tear them down one by one. Finally the party stood alone against Irontooth. Tough as nails and hitting like a Mac truck, Irontooth fought ‘till the bitter end. With his dying breath, Irontooth cried out, “Kalarel and Lord Orcus, prepare my way!” A letter found on Irontooth’s corpse read, “My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter. In just a few days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.” The party now has more than enough evidence to prove that there is occult activity going on in the area.

Burial Site

On a tip from Ellian the Old, the party investigates an old dragon burial site an hour out of town. The party approached the old burial site which actually looks more like an excavation at this time. The party approached to find a small group led by a gnome with a couple of guard drakes. The gnome, Agrid, greets the party and invites them to come down to investigate the dragon bones. Sensing bullshit that Agrid may have other intentions, the party hesitated. Quickly ascertaning that the gig was up, Agrid orders the attack. The guard drakes rushed the party while a mob of human rabble converged. A halfling rained sling stones down on the party while Agrid stealthed into better position. A blood bath ensued and bodies started dropping. Agrid ambushed Aquarian digging his war pick deep into his back. Then Dirk, in anticipation of a mighty swing of his warhammer into the body of a guard drake, caught Aquarian square in the face with his backswing and knocked him out cold. As Aquarian lay in a bloody heap at the bottom of the excavation site the party finished off the opposing force. Who needs a sissy fairy Eladrin anyway. In a corner of the dig site the party finds an Eladrin bound and gagged hidden underneath a blanket. Looks like the group completed Aquarian’s quest for him.

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All Roads Lead to the Keep
Keep 1

A Preponderance of Evidence

A talisman of Orcus, a letter from someone named Kalarel, agents of orcus digging up a dragon skeleton, it is now too much to ignore. The evidence of cult activity, specifically Orcus cult activity, is now undeniable. The group heads back to town and presents this evidence to Valthrun. When faced with this evidence his face turns an ashen grey. Valthrun then reveals that he knew more about the keep north of the town than he shared before. He recants the tale of the Keep on the Shadowfell. He tells of keep that was built upon a tear in the barrier between this world and the Shadowfell. The evil of Orcus permeated the keep and eventually began to corrupt its inhabitants. The sworn defender of the keep, Sir Keegan, went mad, took the life of his family, his men, and eventually took his own life. The keep has crumbled into ruin since then. The evidence suggests that a cult of Orcus has descended into the keep in an attempt to open the rift. They intend to loose the agents Orcus upon the world. Lord Padraig comes to the heroes and begs for them to keep this from happening. They cannot turn down his request -because otherwise the DM will smite them -to put themselves between innocent villagers and unspeakable evil. A day’s travel brings them into the shadow of the keep. The crumbling ruin sits atop a hill at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains. As the party drew closer to the keep, the sounds of the forest faded away. The ground surrounding the keep is dry and barren, as trees and grass cannot grow in the soil. The only signs of life are the occasional scurry of insects and goblin tracks leading into the keep. A stone is rolled away from a passage way leading down a flight of steps down into the keep.

Entering the Keep

The group stays at the top of the stairs as the rogue descends down to have a look around. As he reaches the bottom he can make out the details of the keep. The walls are carved of smooth stone and the floor is made of large square flag stones. The stairs give way to a square room that acts like a central hall. There are four stone pillars and a passage way leading off in three separate directions. A figure is spotted leaning up against the wall in the southern passage, a goblin. Dressed in filthy rags and smelling like it had never bathed, the goblin warrior stood guard in leather armor and carrying a spear at his side. The rogue holds his breath and flattens himself against the wall to keep from being seen. The goblin appears to be distracted with his own thoughts. The rogue motions to the warlock, Cirrel to quietly come to the bottom of the steps. Without being noticed, the rogue reaches for a shirken and Cirrel’s hands start to crackle with eldritch energy. The goblin is struck simultaneously by both the shirken and the eldritch blast, killing him instantly. The rest of the party makes their way down the steps as the rogue strides across the floor towards the southern hallway. With a loud crack the floor beneath the rogue gives way. He falls to the bottom of a ten foot deep pit hidden in the center of the room. As he starts to clear the cobwebs from his head and regain his footing, he realized that is has fallen into a swarm of rats as they begin to scratch and gnaw at his skin. He scrambles up the wall of the pit, the whole while screeching like a little girl reaching up for help. No sooner had the party pulled him out of the pit; they could hear the sound of footsteps coming down the hall from the south. The goblin strode up the hallway carrying a crossbow and ready to yell at his compatriot. Expecting to find a goblin screwing off, he was shocked to find a fully armed party of adventures staring at him the way a fraternity looks at a drunk girl on spring break. Unleashing a torrent of pain, the party quickly sent the goblin running back down the hall to the southern chamber. The flicker of torchlight showed the goblin using the corner of the wall for cover and sticking his head out only long enough to get off a shot with his crossbow. Behind him loud banging could be heard as the other goblin sharpshooter turned over the beds to use them as superior cover to fire from. Preoccupied with the goblin sharpshooters, the party almost doesn’t notice the goblin warrior charging at them from the eastern corridor. Waiting for the party to be distracted, he attempted to shove Noname into the rat pit. He may as well have tried to push over the Colossus of Rhodes. Shoving him back, Noname proceeds to introduce the goblin to the business end of his blade. With the goblin sharpshooters pinned down and goblin warrior no longer a threat, Noname and Dirk advanced on the goblins. Cirrel and Aquarian remained in the main hall to guard against a rear attack not that Cirrel would mind that. The elven ranger kept the goblins pinned down with a cascade of arrows as Noname and Dirk closed in. Dirk circled around the overturned beds while Noname tosses one aside. One of the goblins is quickly cut down, but the other is more interested in self preservation. He makes a break for it and runs past the paladin and the ranger. Cirrel and Aquarian turn around just in time to see the goblin make a break down the Western corridor. Aquarian promptly roasts him with a burst of flames while Cirrel let fly a bolt of eldritch energy. Just as the goblin begins to turn the corner he is caught square by the eldritch blast and his corpse bounces off the stone corner and slumps to the floor. Gathering their breath and their wits, our heroes realize that they now have a decision to make.

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The East Wing
Where goblins dare not tread.

Excavation Site

An intense debate concludes with a tenacious round of rock paper scissors. The party decides to head down the corridor and through the door to the east. The door creaks open and a flight of stone steps descends to the level below. As the party reaches the bottom of the stairs, they can see the room ahead of them open up. Shadows can be seen moving around in the flickering torchlight. Between the party and the room ahead of them lies another set of steps to the right. The stone steps are carved out of rock and descend into darkness. The rogue is shoved forward to scout ahead.

Peering around the corner into the chamber a curious sight is revealed. The goblins have obviously been busy at work because roughly half of the chamber has been excavated. The excavated area is ten feet below the level of the original floor leaving several plateaus around the room topped with the flagstone floor and connected by rickety wooden planks. The walls of each plateau and the floor are bare earth. In the northwest corner of the room is where the goblins have obviously piled up the excavated material. There are a couple of ladders leaning up against the plateaus and a ramp has been constructed leading from the hallway plateau down to the excavated area below.

Three dirty leather clad goblins are busy at work. With crossbows slung across their backs, they swing picks and haul loads of dirt back and forth while two guard drakes sit alertly nearby watching for signs of trouble. The goblins grumble among themselves something unintelligible. However, it doesn’t take a cunning linguist to tell that they don’t like their current duty.

With a flick of his wrist, the rogue hurls a shuriken at one of the goblins. The whirling blade narrowly misses the goblin and clinks off of the wall behind him. The goblin immediately looks up and focuses on the rogue, in one motion he raises the crossbow and fires, yelling out goblin vulgarities with hatred in his eyes. The drakes spring into action, one racing toward the ramp with the other running from the back of the room to join it. The goblin at the back of the room steps onto a wooden plank and carefully makes his way to the next plateau where he opens fire with his crossbow. The third goblin disappears out of site behind another plateau on the dirt floor below.

The rest of the party takes the cue and charges out of the shadows. Noname and Celekyth are greeted at the top of the ramp by an apparently irritable guard drake. The result is a flurry of gnashing teeth and flashing steel. Cirrel and Aquarian move out to the edge of the floor just before the drop off and unleash fire and brimstone. The rogue runs across a wooden plank to the next area of floor. Seeing trouble coming, the goblin quickly kicks the plank off the ledge and it clatters to the floor. With a curse regarding the goblin’s mother the rogue lets loose another shuriken.

The goblins respond with a barrage of crossbow bolts from the east side of the room. Meanwhile on the west side of the room the third goblin climbed up the ladder and promptly kicked the board off the ledge. He returns fire with his crossbow. The second guard drake joins the first and they push Noname and Celekyth back. Cirrel and Aquarian return fire to the goblin that shot at them. The goblin drops as his mind is assaulted while his body is simultaneously engulfed in flames. Watching his comrade go up in flames, a goblin drops his crossbow and jumps down behind the plateau. He draws his short sword and heads for the spell casters.

Gritting their teeth Noname and Celekyth push the drakes back down the ramp. With a mighty cleave the warrior brings his blade to bear on the shoulder of the drake nearly decapitating it. Moments later the warlord thrust his sword into the heart of the creature and it dies while still stuck on his blade. Without taking the time to clean off their blades, they jump to side of the spell casters. Seeing the goblin making his way towards them they jump down to greet him. Celekyth, with the grace of a swan, catches his foot on the ledge and falls to the dirt floor head first. The opportunistic goblin thrusts his sword into the side of the prone warlock.

Amidst the fury of battle, one of the goblins has unloaded a flurry of bolts at the heroes. The rogue jumps down to the dirt floor and heads for a ladder. Running up to the base of the plateau where the goblin is he slams the ladder into place. He ascends the ladder, and as he hears the top he comes face to face with the goblin. With a smirk he kicks the ladder backwards causing the ladder and the rogue with it to come crashing down to the floor. As he reaches for the ladder again a bolt lodges in his shoulder. He hefts the ladder again and sets it back into place. As he begins to climb the ladder again, he can hear the rest of the party shouting his name from behind him.

Spinning around he can see that the party has all they can handle with the goblin. The bloodied warlord is parrying blow after blow but is getting weary. Seizing the opportunity, the rogue sprints across the floor and lunges into the back of the goblin leading with the point of his dagger. The last thing the goblin saw was the point of a dagger sticking out of his chest. Then in one motion, the party turns and casts their gaze on the last goblin. All at once, the goblin is hit with a magic missile, a blast of eldritch energy, and a shuriken. The corpse was barely recognizable. After cleaning themselves up, they search the room and find little more than the goblins had. In the pockets of one of the goblins they find a metal symbol at the end of a chain. Brushing away the dirt, a silver symbol of the platinum dragon is revealed.

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The Calm 'Ere the Storm
Don't Ask...Don't Tell...

First Adventure: – Monster: (1) Ghoul, (12) zombie minions, (2) zombies, (1) humonculous – Treasure: 180 XP, 175 GP – Synopsis: The stench of the room was wretched. The smell was so overpowering that it would have crippled the strongest of us; but, all of us saved before it impeded our ability to do battle. At first, the minions collapsed beneath our might. But, when faced with more challenging opponents, our abilities began to fail. Noname fumbled his attack and hit himself with his own sword. Xanteuch’s tactic was to lure the zombies into a killing zone. And, when the time was right to unleash his godly “pimp” hand and turn the undead, a skill for which he was born, he also fumbled. A humonculous gazed upon Kyeth and dazed him. Aquarion sent a scorching burst against the humonculous, hitting it. The burst may have also took out some unseen minions, but what it also did was to flush out a ghoul in hiding. The ghoul angrily rushed into the fray to wreak vengeance upon the wizard. Xanteuch was having problems hitting his enemies. Luckily, Noname was flourishing his blade and weeding down the minions. In addition, Aquarion also pitched in and was whittling away at our enemies with the splash damage from the scorching burst attacks. Kyeth did his part and served as a meat shield, but was simultaneously dazed, immobilized, and stunned due to combined attacks of the humoculous and ghoul. In fact, Kyeth had but wittled down to within 1 HP of death, but Xanteuch uttered healing words to keep him in battle. Cirrel and Kyeth, kept the ghoul at bay and were only moderately successful. The ghoul was very difficult to hit due to its 5th level experience and stats. And, the secondary effect of its hits kept our valiant warriors from fully using all their abilities. However, the tide of the battle began to turn when Cirrel burned a well timed action point to unload a one-two punch with an eldritch blast followed by Witchfure. Finally, Xanteuch was able to dispatch his foe, and, turning against the ghoul, used the never before seen Daunting Light prayer which finally put the ghoul away. The humonculous, sensing defeat, flew away. This spineless action earned the creature the nickname, “Homo-culous”

Second Adventure: – Monster: (2) Undead Corruption Corpses, (1) Gelatinous Cube – Treasure: 150 XP, Safewing Amulet +1, 450 GP [Brush (5 GP), Medallion (250 GP), Bracelet (200 GP)] – Synopsis: We approached a sign that read “Closed”. Upon entering, we noticed a polished, ultraclean floor. We suspected a Gelatinous Cube. Aquarion ignited a sunrod and danced it down the aisles. We came into a room with four sarcopahgi. The strongest of us attempted to open the tombs, but failed. Aquarion, however, summoning the strength in his spindly arms, was able to loose the stone (Needed a 19…rolled a 19. [“Well, we loosened it for him!]). Nothing in sarcophagus. Opened the door on the other side of room. That triggered two undead corruption corpses to emerge from the tombs. Their stench was so putrid that to engage them within 5 feet altered our ability to fight (- 5 to hit). Aquarion and Cirrel took cover in corridor to gain ranged advantage over corpses, and to also gain advantage from being under cover. However, Aquarion is surprised and runs into a Gelatinous cube (that had been hiding). Aquarion is absorbed but is able to teleport out . Cirrel is immobilized by cube’s slam, but casts a (XXXX) spell that both immobilized the cube and allows her to teleport out. Cirrel and Kyeth attempt to destroy corpses, but both fumble. Kyeth finally connects and destroys first corpse, which explodes as its final death knell. Xanteuch continues to miss his mark. The cube attacks Xan and immobilizes him. In the next round, Xanteuch is absorbed. Noname kills second corpse, and takes minimal explosion damage. Xanteuch escapes cube, but is slammed upon his attempt to gain distance from cube. He is again absorbed. Xan dies, and is beginning to dissolve within cube, and has only minutes left (two rounds). The cube is beyond bloodied and can be felled with one swift blow from Noname’s brute strike (3d8 damage). Noname focuses and the party has lent him whatever adavantage they could bestow (+13 to hit AC15…he needs only a 5). Noname attempts brute strike but misses horribly, nearly fumbling in the process. (he rolled a 2). The party continues to attack cube, but either missing or doing little damage. Aquarion tries to extract Xan, and fails. Noname tries with brute once again…and again misses! The cube is faltering and the next blow could potentially destroy it (only 5 HP left). The cube makes a grave error and attacks Kyeth, thereby encouraging an opportunity attack from Noname. The attack fails again! The fate of the dwarf falls to the skill of one man…Kyeth. Tired from battle, Kyeth knows that he must prevail or all is lost (he needs a 10 to hit). In an epic face off of man versus monster, the Warlord swings his mighty sword…and barely connects (he rolls an 11). The damage done is barely enough to destroy the creature (damage was 6…cube had 5). The group felt sorry for the little guy and gave him the Safewing Amulet +1. Xan took his Amulet of Mental Resolve and gave it to Noname.

Third Adventure: – Monsters: (2) Orcus Berserkers, (1) Underpriest of Orcus, (5) Vampires, (1) Dark Creeper – Treasure: 195 XP, 0 GP – Synopsis: Berserkers charge. Kyeth and Xanteuch engage, followed by Aquarion and Cirrel. Noname holds back (lowest initiative roll). Initially, berserkers take moderate damage, and one gets immediately bloodied. However, our fatigue takes its toll and we begin to miss and take huge damage from berserkers’ waraxes. Meanwhile, Xan notices vampires and other “creature” skittering around towards flank. Call out to Noname to protect rear. Noname readies a cleave action, but misses when door flies open. Noname continues to miss and is surrounded by three vampires and one Dark Creeper. Xan, Kyeth, and Noname are all bloodied and are barely kept alive by Xan’s and Kyeth’s healing. Priest makes his way towards the fray, succeeding in healing the berserkers with his shadow spells. Kyeth dies. [Normally, his death would spell doom for any adventure, but Kyeth’s deaths have somehow become clarion calls to arms for our party. An ancient tome once spewed, “Mayhap, tis all delight and revelry, till a brother takes it in the eye.” In our case, however, “The quest has no meaning lest Kyeth perishes at least once!”] Noname dispatches one of his attackers (minion AC 20). Cirrel and Aquarion pitch in and dispatch the other two. Xan resurrects Kyeth, and they eventually dispatched both berserkers with Aqurion’s help. Cirrel and Noname flank dark creeper. Creeper gets taken out by Cirrel. Priest is facing off against Kyeth, Xan, and Aquarion. Kyeth bullrushes wih the intention of sending the priest over the edge and into a pit. Kyeth, fumbles his charge and slips and falls in front of the priest. Kyeth must have been an altar boy back in the day, for when the dust cleared from his failed charge, the party notices Kyeth suggestively kneeling in front of the priest. His mouth agape, and his head propped up like in T-Ball, we could only assume what unholy deeds were about to befall upon our Warlord. Aquarion, coming off his high in having bested his stronger companions in moving the immovable sarcophagi , attempts to bullrush the priest. Swinging his spindly arms like a child running with reckless abandon (Stength modifier -1), Aquarion charges the priest. Unbeknownst to the group, the priest, in a fit of hilarity, at seeing this crazed banshee rushing him (think “slimer” from Ghostbusters), and knowing that there is no possible way that this “Fey” warrior could move him, inadvertently slips upon the blood of his fallen berserkers and is pushed into the pit by Aquarion’s Fey-ish caress. (The action required a 17. Aquarion rolls a 16. With his -1 to Strength, but +2 from the charge, it was just enough). The priest falls over and is bloodied upon impact. Kyeth picks up fallen berserker to throw him over. Aquarion ignites sunrod and sends it into pit. Humonculous from 1st adventure flies up and attempts to bite Aquarion. Much to the surprise of the party, Aquarion’s he reveals a latent “Homon”-phobia, despite his Fey origin. In a bout of sheer overkill akin to monster-biased hate crimes, Aquaion unloads with an acid arrow upon the raptor. The raptor is dissolved in a shriek and the spray rains down upon the priest, who was climbing up the chain in the pit. The acid drips upon his face. The excruciating pain causes him to let go of the chain and fall to his death. Wiping his hands in a self congratualtory manner, Aquarion exclaims, “those little fairies piss me off.”

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To All Good Things...
Give Us This Day, Our Daily Power...

We last left off with our valiant party having shored up for an extended rest in the Great Antechamber of the daemonic cult. When all were patched up and ready to face their destinies, they made their way to the center pit, to where all the blood was draining. Having been the most astute student in his medieval school physics courses, Noname began hurling dead bodies into the pit in order to calculate the depth of the well. A fleshy ‘thud!’ broke the silence after 1.55 seconds. Using a pointed stick as a writing implement, the blood of our fallen foe as ink, and the floor as a makeshift tablet, Noname began to deftly calculate with such skill to make the Far Eastern Peoples proud. “Let’s see…1.55 seconds…initial velocity=0…initial distance=0…factor in the acceleration due to gravity along the negative y-axis…….50 FEET! Of course, in the time it took to equate, Aquarion had already ignited a torch and dropped it down into the pit. This illuminated the way for Cirrel, who unfurled a 50’ rope that just hit the bottom in preparation for her descent. Still unsure of what lay at the bottom of the (excruciatingly divined) 50’ pit, the group decides to “send in the dwarf.” Xanteuch was lowered into the pit, “Mission-Impossible-style” to reconnoiter the area. To the north lay the “portal,” a tubular evil of fallopianic proportions! Before the portal, lay a circle of glowing runes. To the south lay a big statue of Orcus. To the east lay two smaller statues or Orcus. To the west was a bone altar presided over by a priest of Orcus. Knowing that this was to be our last stand against evil, the party met to discuss the attack. It was decided to stealth in with Noname leading the way, followed by Celekyeth (“Kyeth”), then Xanteuch, with Cirrel and Aquarion in the rear. Cirrel reminds us that having thrown bodies into the pit would have most likely spoiled any chance for a stealthy entrance. And, as if to taunt us, a voice in the wind emanating from the direction of the pit, avers the following: “What is taking you so long? We will surely die from boredom sooner that we will from your swords.” The eerie challenge penetrated our souls as if it were a Kobold-hurled javelin hitting a tree…beside our heads. Our battle plan was simple. Noname and Kyeth would rush the priest while Aquarion and Xanteuch would cover the rear. Having experienced similar situations in our past encounters, Cirrel would rush and claim the runic circle, preventing our foes from benefitting from its evil. We repelled down into the pit like a well trained military extraction force in Somalia. However, the blood soaked chains proved to be too much for the dwarf. He slipped and fell the 50’. “Blackhawk…err, I mean, Xanteuch Down!” Fortunately for Xanteuch, he was wearing the Safewing Amulet, which allowed him to land on his feet and to take 10’ less damage. Despite our lack of stealth, the clumsy entrance of our heroes evoked taunting laughter from the assembly of villains, thus granting our heroes initiative. Xanteuch uttered a prayer that shattered a nearby skeleton. Aquarion loosed a scorching burst against the Caladrel’s, the priest’s, skeleton guard. However, the priest’s taunting proved to affect Aquarion’s aim. Noname and Kyeth rush the priest. Their execution was nearly flawless (rolling 19 and 20) but the Caladrel was able to sidestep both of their attacks. Laughing haughtily, the priest re-animates the once dead skeletons. The skeletons maneuver to flank Noname and Kyeth, and cause some damage. The priest attacks and bloodies Noname with a club to the head. The bludgeoning is followed by a burning sensation to the head (not unlike that felt after the incident at the bar with the half-human, half-shifter madame who met his primal need for canine-style “expressions.”) Cirrel rushes and claims the circle. Upon entering the circle, she feels a pull towards the portal. She resists the portal’s malevolent pull. But evil senses her presence as wispy claws emanate from the portal, swipes at, and damages Cirrel. From the east, a Wight launches a grave bolt at Xanteuch. The dwarf takes damage, but more importantly, is immobilized. The Warlord, Kyeth, battle commander that he is, unleashes his “Lead the Attack” daily spell and causes 25 damage to Caladrel. The clarion call to arms is heard in the evil chamber as the party now girds themselves for the attack. Caladrel is now effectively “lit up” allowing those within range of Kyeth to take +4 to their attack. Noname follows Kyeth’s suit and unleashes his “Brute Strike” daily attack, causing 21 damage. Caladrel feels the first tinge of fear and teleports to the runic circle, adjacent to Cirrel. Noname takes a final swipe as the priest shifts away, lacerating his skin for an additional 9 damage. Cirrel attacks the priest and connects for a measly 9 damage. Caladrel reels from the warlock’s touch, and sensing her advantage, burns an action point to summon and affect the priest with her daily power, “Curse of the Dark Dream.” Caladrel painfully absorbs an additional 19 damage. He is pushed 15’ and staggers directly in front of the portal. Immobilzed Xanteuch pops open a cold one and continues to watch the fray. Continuing to be inspired by the Warlord’s cry, Aquarion summons his “special” wand and casts his daily power, “Acid Arrow”, and initially burns Caladrel for 22 damage. By the time Caladrel is able to neutralize the acid, he suffers an additional 10 damage. The party divines that pushing Caladrel into the the portal will cause instant death. Ergo, Noname attempts to bulrush the priest. In his attempt to leap over stream of cigarette-paper-thin stream of blood, Noname trips (he rolled a 1). Caladrel grins as the tide of battle turns against the party. He once again re-animates the skeletons that are being felled by the party’s attacks. The skeletons in the room swarm and hit Xanteuch. The Wight also continues to pummel the dwarf with the grave bolts. Xan is now both slowed and immobile. His usefulness as a healer serves the party to no avail as he is forced to use the majority of his healing powers on himself. Caladrel hits Cirrel and bloodies her. She escapes Caledrel by teleporting towards Xan, intending to assist him by taking some of the heat off. Xanteuch, relieved by Cirrel’s presence, uses the last of his healing words for her. She teleports back into the fray against Caladrel. Seeing his opportunity, Xanteuch successfully utters his prayers and dissipates the undead skeletons with his Turn Undead spell. He still cannot break free of his bonds. Aquarion unleashes a Force Orb and hits Caladrel for another 10 damage. More importantly, he levitates the book that Caladrel was reading over to himself and divines a way to close the portal. By channeling the arcane power within ourselves, we can force the portal close. Aquarion leads the incantations, but mispronounces a word, and receives a psychic B-slap upside his head. Kyeth channels his arcane might into the portal. He is successful, and Caladrel’s tome, now in Aquarion’s possession, burst into fire, singing Aquarion’s beard and eyebrows. Noname and Caladrel continues to exchange blows. Caladrel takes another pounding as Noname connects for another 16 damage from his Covering Attack power. The valiant fighter, however, hovers near death as Caladrel brings him to within 2 HP of death. But, ever the tactician, Noname has carefully maneuvered Caladrel within striking distance of the cleric. Xanteuch, seeing his opportunity, summons his Daunting Light attack and connects for maximum damage. The blow is so severe that Caladrel drops his weapon. Xanteuch still cannot move. Aquarion and Cirrel both feel the pull of the portal. Cirrel is able to resist and evade the swipe of the portal’s black hands. Unfortunately, Aquarion is drawn closer to the portal, and is damaged by the grasp of the portal. The party continues to successfully channel their arcane power into portal. Kyeth fumbled some of the words, and received the psychic B-slap. Despite this, it is evident that the barrier between the two worlds is breaking down. In a rare moment of providence, Xanteuch is able to break his bonds and enter the fray. He casts his daily power, “Beacon of Hope”, and hits Caledrel. A wave of healing energy pours down from above and grants 5 HP to those close to the dwarf, including Noname, who can barely stand. The power of the utterance is so pure and so focused (rolled a 20), that the divine energy radiating from the dwarf burns the dark priest for 4 HP of damage. Caladrel falls to his knees. Black tentacles emanate from the portal and drag the dark priest, screaming, into its inky depths…a fitting end. Kyeth then rushes the Wight, who is now left alone to face a rather pissed off band of warriors. Kyeth thrust his spear into the wight, damaging it. Noname unleashes his rage and Cleaves 3 skeletons with one brutal swipe of his sword. Cirrel cleans up the last skeleton. The Wight casts a Death Grimace, forcing Kyeth to temporarily retreat. Perhaps Kyeth didn’t die in this encounter, but seeing him run from a fight screaming like a girl is certainly a “death” to his otherwise macho bravado. Xanteuch charges the Wight who had kept him at bay for so long. The Wight evades the dwarven charge. Aquarion sends a magic missile from afar and plugs the Wight in the head for 11 damage. Kyeth, still frightened from being under the spell of the Death Grimace, fumbles. Noname charges the Wight but misses. Cirrel casts an Eldritch Blast at the Wight and hits for 14 damage. The Wight fights back and hits Noname. Facing his bane, Xanteuch hits with his Healing Strike for 18 damage. Kyeth disembowels the Wight with a mighty blow (he rolled a 20).

View
Visine gets the red out
"I really love my glove!"

A splash of water and a slap on the cheek and the Elf is awakened. We have no time to rest, so we do what we can to patch our wounds as we proceed down the hall. As we do so, we begin to notice that the distant chanting becomes louder with every step forward.

We round a bend. At this point, we have nary a care for tactics as we emerge in full view of the gathering of cultists. And, at the other side of the room, is Daria, for whom we have sought, bound and supine atop a stone table, and getting ready to receive the business end of a crystal dagger. We also notice Torash, the very rude and dismissive village reave to whom we had just recently spoke not more than a day earlier, with his arms raised and paying homage to a giant eye high on the wall. Evil emanates from this orb. Around the room, we count six cultist fanatics, one Dolgaunt, and one Cultist Eyeblade.

“Outlanders,” screams Torash. At his pronouncement, the music and chanting immediately stop. The cultist part as he emerges to address us. We notice he is wearing a breastplate of raw muscle which looks to be adorned with…eyes!

“Your futile battle is over. Lay down your weapons, and we promise you a merciful death.”
“You LIED to me!” exclaimed Erich, displaying a passion that has been heretoforth unknown to us.
With an eerie smirk, Torash turns his back and calmly utters, “The Harvest must happen.”

With our armor broken and chinked, our faces and bodies bruised, and with wounds spilling forth our life’s blood, the cultists must have seen us as easy prey for their pickings and a bonus offering to their dark god. (Little did they realize our stony resolve.) The challenge from Torash is first answered by a now enraged Erich as a Chill Wind bust forth from his fingertips. Both the Dolgaunt (DGN1) and Torash suffer a bit of frostbite, but the spell is enough to put one of the cultists on ice. <fan>. Torash spins around and reveals his greataxe. The speed of the execution catches Avanta by surprise as the axe slices a chuck off of the gnome shoulder meat. In pain the gnome instinctively fades away. DGN1 casts a warped flesh spell to Erich, but the Druid is already on the move, and the DGN1 misses. The Cultist Eyeblade (Eye) sees the druid running to position, and hurls its dagger at him. The dagger catches Erich in the shoulder, and Erich screams as he immediately extracts it. Noname draws his axe and cleaves in Torash. Noname takes a small slice out of Torash, but as Torash avoids the main edge of the blade, the cultist who was behind him does not. FAN2 is cleft in twain and dies <fan2>. In his near invisible state, little Avanta is able to weave his way to Daria, in the hopes of freeing her before she is sacrificed. He casts a Ghost Sound to distract the DGN1, and while its back is turned, Avanta attacks with a Shout of Triumph. Unfortunately, preceeding a sneak attack with a shout is never a good idea, as the DGN1 is able to avoid Avanta’s strike. The cultists unsheathe their blades and enter the fray. Both Noname and Avanta are cut. One of the cultists, in his haste for blood, drops his crystal dagger, and it shatters upon the floor <fumbles>. Peleous summons a Contagion spell against Torash. In his weakened state, the spell is unsuccessful, but the dark energies released still causes small boils to appear on Torash’s skin <misses> Barely alive, with his strength fading, and with his supply of arrows quickly dwindling, the noble elf lets fly two arrows against the cultists with the hope of whittling down the numbers. Both arrows miss.

Working in concert, Torash and the EYE amongst the combatants. The EYE attacks and his daggers cuts into Avanta as our whimsical companion attempts to free Daria. Erich, now visibly dismayed at the impending fate of his childhood friend calls forth a Chill Wind spell to try to clear a path. His anger affects his aim as his spell misses. Shaking off his frustration, he casts it again <burns>. This time his spell creates an icy tomb for three of our assailants; only Torash is again able to evade from being encased. <fan1>. Kerric, after deftly seeking more advantageous ground, let two more arrows fly. Both find their mark in the EYE’s back. With the pressure now off of him, Avanta completes a Warsong Strike to his foe and dispatches him with ease <fan>. Unfortunately, six additional cultists appear from behind cover. Two stab Avanta, but his keen senses prevent their attack from being fatal. The appearance of these new foes disrupts Peleous’ concentration as attempts to cast his Shared Agony spell against the DG1. The severity of his failure is so complete that not only does he become tongue tied <fumbles>, but his will falls prey to the symbiotic mind of the Coercive Gauntlet of the Unblinking Eye that he wears…little did our party realize that he now becomes a pawn of the daemonic occulus!.

Torash realizes that Noname is the brute of the group and maneuvers into position to dispatch our fighter. Both he and Noname exchange volleys, but Torash quickly realizes that his hit-and-run tactics are no use against our battle ready human. Torash is stopped in his attempts to shift away and must face his match. Noname swings his mighty axe and brings the full brunt of it upon Torash’s shoulder, nearly severing it. The blow blows Torash backward and he is immobilized from the intense pain. Blook continues to spurt from the open wound. <crit>. Meanwhile, the pile of bodies accumulating around Avanta catches the notice of DG1. Leeching tentacles spring forth from his hide toward the Gnome. However, DG1, unaware of the rivers of blood accumulating around him, slips and falls, his tentacled attack falling short of Avanta <fumbles>. Avanta’s luck doesn’t last forever as the EYE buries his dagger into Avanta’s exposed back. Avanta falls to the floor screaming. It is an opportune moment the newly arrived cultists pounced upon our downed comrade. From the corner of our eyes, we witness the death knell of Avanta…“Avenge meeeeeeeeaaah **” (FAN7 and FAN8 both hit, AVANTA DIES). At the site of this, Erich sends a chill wind against the group of cultists. FAN7 and FAN8 submit to a deep freeze, but FAN9 and FAN10 are able to sidestep the blast (FAN7, FAN8 die). Seeing our little mascot lifeless, Noname abandons the his exchange with the as-good-as-dead Torash, and moves to defend Avanta. In pitiful defiance, Torash uses his good arm to take a weak swing at Noname. He misses. If it weren’t for the plight of the gnome, Torash’s insolence would have probably incurred a death blow from Noname. Kerric, too, is moved at Avanta’s last stand and rushes to his aid. The EYE seizes his opportunity to strike Kerric, as Kerric rushes to Avanta’s side. However, Kerric’s feigns to the left and right dizzy the EYE, and the EYE misses his attack upon the nimble footed elf. The EYE falls to one knee to regain composure <opp>. Kerric reaches Avanta first and quickly revives our friend. A spell attack against Erich goes wide and fizzles upon the wall by his head. Erich turns to answer the attack and is met with horror as he sees his Erich with his arm outstretched, his eyes ablaze in a daemonic fire! “Duuuude, why?”

The DG1 cast a Maddening Whisper to the gathering of heroes around Daria. Noname and Avanta evade the blast. Kerric, throws his body over Daria to protect her. Unfortunately, the psionic attack burns into both his and Daria’s minds. His heroic action is for naught as Daria perishes. With Avanta alive, Noname turns his attention to DG1. Its cowardly action of striking while their backs were turned triggers a fury in Noname as he delivers a Brute Strike against the DG1. Noname’s rage prompts an additional Covering Attack against DG1 that also finds its mark. Kerric, taking Noname’s lead, draw his bow performs an Evasive Strike against DG1. The shot flies wide. He draws and fires again <elven>…miss. He nocks an additional two arrows and looses a Twin Strike to DG1 <burn>. These, too, miss…the psionic ravaging in his mind coupled with his previous wounds are now visibly taking their toll upon his keen elven eyes. Avanta casts a Healing Word to seal his wounds and moves into position to protect Daria. Avanta dispatches FAN9 with his Warsong Strike. Next, Avanta turns and criticizes DG1’s Maddening Whisper, saying, “What kind of stupid war cry is whispered? Here, try mine on for size!” The squeaky timber of Avanta’s voice draws a look of surprise from DG1, just before Avanta’s deft blade slices across its chest <burn>. Meanwhile, Erich casts a Wind Prison against Torash. Torash, still not out of the fight, cast an Intimidating Presence against Noname. The fighter takes minimal damage and is dazed. The EYE compounds the damages and stabs Noname. Noname’s lacerations now encompass more than half his body. Peleous breaks the hold that his gauntlet had over him and, with his mind free of possession, cast a Shared Agony against Torash. This first attack misses. He attempts a secondary attack, and this one lands! Torash screams. Peleous casts yet another spell <burns> and flick venom at Torash. The acidic bile lands upon his skin and begins to sizzle.

Torash answers Pelous attach by charging him, with blade drawn. In doing so, the effects of the Wind Prison spell take effect, and all of Torash’s minion are thrust to the ground. His charge is deathly effective as he plunges his dagger deep into Peleous. The pain is too much for Peleous to withstand. But, as he begins to slip into unconsciousness, he teleports himself out of harms way. Avanta kills the last cultist (FAN10 DIES). Peleous remains immobile, and we fear that he is slipping closer to death.

Splatters of blood are sprayed amidst the room as combatants from both sides take their quarter from the opposition. The players dance a deadly ballet as they vie for more advantageous ground. Erich changes to a menacing Boar and pounces upon the Dolgaunt. The resultant impact upon the ground cracks the creatures skull; and Erich’s more bestial self feasts upon the gray matter. <dolgaunt> Kerric sacrifices himself as he attempts to position himself for a flank attack. It becomes evident that the elf’s stratagem was to draw Torash’s attack in order to allow Noname to capitalize on Torash’s distraction. <torash>. Despite Kerric’s best intentions, his actions are ultimately in vain, as Noname cannot fell his opponent. Kerric falls unconscious and begins to bleed out. Erich, following Kerric’s lead, moves through the melee to gain position near Torash. Blindly, Torash strikes at the druid, but his assay is interrupted by Noname. This time, the fighter buries his axe deep into Torash’s trunk, killing him. Torash vomits his final death chortle as Noname extracts his axe from Torash cleft body. His last words are wasted upon the air, “His eye will be upon you.” At this, Torash’s breast plate sloughs off of him, eerily of its own accord.

The party now turns its attention to the Eyeblade. The EYE barely dodges another of Noname’s killing strokes, only to find himself critically wounded by the gnome’s weapon <avanta>. Both Peleous and Kerric are unconscious, though Kerric appears worse for wear <peleous>.

Erich renders another cultist whilst in boar form <fan11>. The EYE defiantly stands his ground, but it is evident that he has only moments left to live. We feel the urge to finish the melee as we sense our comrades growing closer to death. Avanta shouts a mocking curse to the Cultist Eyeblade, “Your death comes at the hands of…VISINE;” and our littlest adventurer skillfully dispatches another foe. <crit>. And as he draws his sword from out of the EYE, a severed head rolls past. Avanta turns towards the source and is witness to Noname’s emergence as FAN12’s headless body slump to the ground.

“Why Visine?” questions Noname.
“Because it gets the red out…from eyes…he’s an Eyeblade…Aaaarrrrgh. Just forget about it you dolt!”

Erich and Avanta rush to Peleous and Kerric and successfully resuscitate them. Erich then runs to stabilize Daria. As our compatriots regain consciousness, Erich remembers that our mission was to investigate and determine what became of the missing villagers.

“The gate from whence we entered shall not remain open for much longer,” said Avanta.

“Then we must make haste,”answered Erich. Noname is dispatched to investigate a room off to the side of the main sanctuary.

“Guys, I think I found the villagers. But I think they are all dead. They’re inside glass coffins.”

“Let me see,” said Peleous. The tiefling warrior arises but is doubled over in pain having nearly perished in the last fray.

“Drink this,” offers Kerric, himself not all that much better. Peleous imbibes the healing potion with much zeal. Immediately, we see his wounds begin to magically knit themselves back together. Peleous accompanies Noname into the room. Peleous notices that there are strange characters on the coffins.

“It’s a soul prison,” Peleous says.

“I sense…a flow of mystical energy,” said Avanta, who now joined the two of them in the room. “We must disrupt it…and soon!”

“Let me try,” said Noname. And with that, he laid his hands upon the coffin and channeled what little energy he had. To our surprise, it was enough as the villager awoke.

“Don’t ever do that again…we must succeed or a villager dies. Let someone who is trained in ‘the Arts’ accomplish this task,” chided Peleous.

“I don’t think we have much time,” warned Avanta. “Trained or not, we must all try.” And so, we each took a coffin and imparted our arcane energies upon the glass sepulchers. Peleous’s concentration is broken by a stitch in his side, an aftereffect of his psychic wounds, and his arcane might is dispelled. An eldritch blast of protective energy bursts forth from the coffin blowing him back against the rock. He falls lifeless. Erich and Avanta rush over to tend to him, and bring him back to consciousness <again>.

“What was that you were saying about being ‘trained,’” mused Noname

“Enough. There is no time,” Avanta restated. We set about the task of freeing the villagers one by one. The effort was strenuous, and Erich faltered. Fortunately, he recovered quickly enough to keep from being fried, and suffered only a mild headached.

“That’s it, that’s the last of them…let’s leave NOW!” yelled Avanta. As we approached the portal we noticed that the sigils had begun to fade. The portal was destabilizing. “NOW!” screamed Avanta. We made for the portal and literally pushed the remaining villagers through. In the same fashion as is described in many a theatrical semblance, the portal implodes with a deafening “whoooompf.”

We hobbled back to town where we were greeted by the cheers and adulation of the villagers. Families were reunited. The acting town leader cried for a celebration…that all the finest meats and sweetest ales be brought forth for us.

“Please, a place to mend is all we…I…ask for,” Kerric mumbles.

“Nay I say,” interrupted Noname. “A few hours of revelry is right good for the soul. Nothing heals a wound faster than a hearty meal and mead in the veins. After this evening, we can sleep for weeks if need be!”

“So, be it,” whispered the defeated elf.

And so we reveled. The food was as delicious and plentiful as promised. The ale was bottomless, and the maids were aplenty. The carousing lasted until the morn, whereupon, our heroes, full of drink, were accompanied…were carried…staggered back to their inns. In the case of Noname, he crashed at the table.

TOTALS:
Defeated Foes
Cultists: 12
Cultist Eyeblade
Dolgaunt
Torash

Battle
XP: 1047 (209/ea)
Treasure:
- Leather Jerkin (Coat of Eyes)  Peleous
o +1 leather
o Resist 5 psychic/poison
o +1 perception, -1 insight
o Minor (At Will) – Transform into hide
o Minor (Interrupt) – Stop blindness

Helping Villagers escape
XP: 1000 (200/ea)
Treasure: Khyber Crystals worth 500 GP (100 GP/ea)

Quest reward from Daria’s Family
Treasure:
- Wand of fiery bolt
o Daily: Warlock Fiery Bolt Spell
o Level 8, +2 wand
o Crit = 1d6 extra damage

View
Trolls
Good thing the scouts taught us how to start fires!

We entreated ourselves to a very well deserved warrior’s respite. The few of us who weren’t as battle scared <avanta> as the rest reveled in their heroes’ bounty, while others <kerric> knitted themselves back together in deep slumber. Erich spent much time with Daria’s family reliving simple times long past, graciously accepting the gratitude of the family that took him in when no one else did.

A week passes and the adventurers have gathered at the Inn to discuss their next sortie. It was decided that they would replenish supplies and head back to Fallcrest to receive their reward for all of the Kobolds they’ve exterminated at the behest of Lord Markelhay.

After saying our goodbyes, we headed south towards Fallcrest. The day’s journey was uneventful. It truly was a pleasant walk. We were all in such great spirits that we even entreated our Bard to entertain us with a whimsical tune of his choosing. We laugh.

We decided to set up camp at the end of the day. Erich is visibly concerned as he reports of “alarming tracks” along our path. We look closely and see the certain areas have been traversed upon.

“I feared it would not last long,” quipped Kerric.

We set up our watch order: Noname, Peleous, Kerric, Avanta, and Erich. Nothing happens for the first few hours. And then, Avanta took the watch.

Apparently, our week’s respite must have dulled our gnome’s senses. True, drawing pictures in the dirt can occupy even the most bored minds, but despite his low light vision, he misses the castle-sized Troll. <rolls>. The Troll doesn’t waste a moment as he rakes his claws across Avanta’s back. Avanta’s instinctive ability to fade saved him from being further devoured. His impish cry, however, is enough to alert our party to the present danger.

Our respite from adventure was short lived. Kerric was the first to arise from slumber. Two arrows flew from the bow and sailed wide of the Troll. Noname grabbed his axe and charged the Troll. His swing cleaves air only. Not to be outdone by the creature, Noname swings again, only to slice into darkness <burn>. Avanta, now recovering from his surprise, utters something about the Troll’s hygiene. His mockery falls upon deaf ears. Peleous casts a Shared Agony spell, but the only agony that is shared is the failure to hit lumbering creature who is as big as a barn. “No way,” claims Erich seeing as how a week’s respite dulled our collective fighting edge. He gets up and casually walks into the fray.

The Troll turns its attention to Noname, and it rakes the fighters back, drawing more blood for its voracious appetite. Kerric mates another two arrows to the shaft of his bow and lets them fly. One of them finds its mark in the beast’s hide doing only minimal damage. Kerric maneuvers into a better position, and unleashes another volley. This arrow misses the thrashing monster. Kerric nocks yet another arrow looses it upon the Troll. This arrow too cannot find its mark. <twin>. Noname finally engages the Troll and connects with a reaping strike. Avanta, still wincing from the claw marks upon his backside, cannot wield his blade with his signature mockery. Peleous spits venom upon the Troll, and the sizzling loogi falls short. Angered, the warlock deftly wiggles his fingers and casts a Contagion spell upon the Troll. The spell erupts in a magnificent brilliance as its Eldritch energy consumes the monster. <burn>. The beast howls in pain as the initial brunt of the spell singes its hairs. The beast then begins to feel the contagion seep into its pores. Erich, now assuming the form of the menacing badger, pounces upon the Troll, but is thrown off.
The angered Troll attacks Noname with its claws, ripping into the fighter’s flesh. The Troll attempts to shift away, but Noname’s counter into the Trolls flank stops the creature. Noname then follows with a Reaping strike to take another chunk from the Troll. In addition to Noname’s slice, the creature reels from Erich’s contagion continuing to seep into its blood. Kerric nimbly maneuvers around the field and buries another arrow into the creature’s flesh. Try as he might, Avanta still cannot evoke any soul piercing quips. He is consigned to pitiful knock-knock jokes. Overconfident Peleous grossly misses with his next cast <fumbles>. He attempts another summoning, but it too fizzles. The rabid badger successfully pounces and rends a mouthful of the monster’s backflesh.

The contagion finally courses through the Troll’s body and consumes the beast from within. Knowing the history of trolls, we remember that they will regenerate and resurrect. Because of Erich’s connection to the natural world, he divines that fire or acid will truly kill the Troll. Kerric immediately scours the ground for combustible material. Noname keeps the beast at bay by continuing to stab at it, keeping the monster from regenerating. Avanta cries out, “Peleous, use your new wand <wand>. The still unconscious Troll bursts as the flames consume its monstrous flesh.

TOTALS:
Monsters
Troll
Battle
XP: 200 (40/ea)

“Dudes, these guys travel in packs. And, this one didn’t really put up a fight. Its almost daybreak…I bet he was heading home,” explained Erich. Kerric pokes around and finds older tracks. Noname, upset about loosing his edge, beheads the Troll and impales it upon a pike. “Feel better now?” asked Kerric. “Good. Now help me move this boulder.”

Moving the boulder allowed the morning light to fill the cave. We are surprised to see two bound captives on the floor. “Thank the gods! We thought we were done for. Hurry and untie us.”

“Looks like they’re being fattened for the feast,” muses Peleous, as he pulls out the pitons holding them fast. “How did you end up here?”

My name is Leadren Glum, whispers the still frightened captive. We were travelling by coach when we were ambushed. The trolls took our freight.

“Treasure?” Noname’s eyes suddenly brighten. “How much?”

“Not enough to make rich men out of the lot of you. But, if you help recover what we lost, we can guarantee you at least 1/3 or the treasure. That is nearly all of our profit. Just please help us to get our cargo back to our boss…we are dead men anyway if we fail.”

Kerric and Noname work in quiet concert to move the boulder opposite the entrance. Fortunately, not a sound is made. Kerric stealthily moves in. He reports back to us that he sees two trolls.

SNAP!

Alas, our namesake rings true as Kerric missteps onto a dry twig <fumbles>. The first troll (T1) charges Kerric and rakes his claws across the elf’s tunic, drawing first blood. T2 follows right behind his brother, and catches Kerric with a claw to the shanks. Kerric nimbly dances around the combatants, feigning right and left. T1 sadly commits to a step, lured by Kerric feigns, and Kerric capitalizes upon the opportunity. He impales T1 upon his longsword <crit>. T1 chortles as Kerric quickly draws his sword from its neck. T1 falls lifeless at the elf’s feet. Peleous and Noname immediately take position to press the advantage against T2. Noname attempts to cleave into the monster, but T2 sidesteps the fighter’s blow. At this time, a third troll appears from around the bend. Erich sees the monster and casts a Grasping Tide spell to slow the beast. T3 is overcome by the deluge and is drowned. T2 again evades death’s grip as it jumps out of the way. Avanta attempts to move to more advantageous ground around T2. The monster sees the little gnome moving and claws at Avanta. The gnome winces at his torn flesh. Avanta attempts to retaliate, but his boo-boo stings a wee bit too much.

As we feared, T1 resurrects and now engages Avanta. Avanta takes another claw…this time to his shoulder. Noname also gets raked. Having no way to permanently dispatch our quarry, we fall back. Kerric and Peleous ready themselves, bow drawn and spell woven, and ready to shoot the first monster that appears, as they cover our retreat. Noname swings his mighty axe, and his blow cleaves both into T2 and T3. Their innards spill onto the floor, as both trolls fall dead. Noname understands the futility of the fray and runs out. Erich casts a chill wind spell at T3, and the troll freezes. Avanta sees the opening and runs for the exit.

No matter how many times we lay in witness, we will still be unnerved by resurrecting trolls. All three rise and rush our party. Kerric, having readied and action unleashes a barrage of arrows. T2 takes a shaft in the eye, and falls dead again. The second arrow misses T3. Kerric shoots another, but this too misses <elven>. Noname, Peleous, Erich and Avanta run out into the daylight. With bated breath they wait to see if Kerric was able to make it. Seconds later, the elf bursts through.

Knowing that fire is our only true weapon against the Trolls, we use our flint-n-steel packs to start a fire in the pit outside. With renewed vigor and confidence, we go back in.

This time, the Trolls get the drop on us. T1 and T2 club Noname, nearly knocking him unconscious. T3 fails its surprise against Peleous <fumbles>. We each counter in turn, but, despite our best laid plans, we each miss our intended targets. Only Avanta does anything of any use as the magic of his Majestic Word knits Noname’s wounds together.

The troll press their advantage upon Noname and inflict more severe damage than their previous melee. T2 scores a critical hit upon the fighter, stunning him. Kerric uses his torch to ignite a palette of rags nearby, and carefully begins to sighting the monsters. Unfortunately, the tight quarters offers him no clear shot. Avanta, however, unleashes his “Song of a New Dawn” against T1. [The gnome should have really taken a closer look at the weather, because the forecast was for clouds.] Avanta loses his spell and he too is stunned <fumbled>. Only Erich, in badger form is able to do any harm to the trolls as he pounces upon T3. Reaching behind itself, T3 grabs the badger by the mane and hurls it across the room. Erich is slightly concussed.

T1 and T2 refuse to let up on Noname. This time, Noname is able to avoid T1’s club. T2 is still able to clip the weaving warrior. The stage clears and Kerric unleashes a Thundertusk Boar Strike against T1. The impact is so massive, that it blows T1 off its feet and backward 5 feet. Kerric nocks another arrow and sends it towards T2 <burn>. The arrow sails wide. Frustrated, Kerric tucks and rolls to a better vantage point. Summoning his elven resolve, he mates another arrow with the shaft. Staring down the shaft, Kerric takes careful aim; and in the span of seconds, a third arrow is released <elven>. This time, the arrow finds and imbeds itself in the creatures eye <critical>. The troll falls over, dead, as a cascade of its blood spurts upward. Avanta runs to the dead Troll and tries to pull it into fire before it resurrects.

“I can’t…too heavy.”
“Hmmmmph…” muses Noname, as he hefts the lifeless troll onto the fire.

Peleous casts a shared agony spell against the final troll. His first attempt misses. The spell is recast <burn>. Like Kerric, the Warlock’s focus is true as the creature is emblazoned with Eldritch Energy <crit>. The sizzling troll dies. Erich, still in badger form, finishes it off by running over to the burning palette, grabbing a flaming stick in its maw, and drops it onto the troll’s chest (Good Doggie!). T3 is engulfed in flames and is reduce to bones in minutes.

Seeing its brothers consumed by fire, T1 runs deeper into the tunnels. Breaking off pieces of the palette to serve as torches, we warily make our way deeper into the hole, weapons drawn, to search for the last troll. We give chase, cannot see the troll. We enter a cavern with several rooms and begin to inspect each one. Erich is able to find the trolls tracks, but it is apparent that T1 has apparently escaped through a back passage.

We search the rooms. Kerric notices that an “out of place” boulder. Using his Herculean strength, Noname moves the boulder to reveal a treasure trove. Inside, we find the plunder of the trolls. Further on we also find an arms storage. We rejoice at our good fortune and our impending wealth.

TOTALS:
Monsters
Trolls (3)

Battle
XP: 350 (70/ea)
Treasure:
- (QTY: 2) Gold Plated Helmets @ 3 GP
- (QTY: 2) Bejeweld bracelets @ 1 GP
- Necklace of rare stones @ 15 SP
- (QTY: 2) Matching Jewelry boxes (6” x 6” x 4”) @ 5 GP
- (QTY: 2) Potions of Healing
o Minor action: +10 HP
- Potion of Vitality
o Minor action: Burn surge for a total of +25 HP + saving throw
- +1 short sword
- +1 axe

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