Silver Marches

Ghorlaa, the Glumdram, and the Scepter

27 The Drawing Down, 1371
“Ghorlaa, the Glumdram, and the Scepter”

Small_Council.JPGAfter the presentation in the throne room the party was asked to come to the small council to address the leadership of the citadel. The small council consisted of King Harbromm, Bargor the Commander of the Iron Guard, Runor the Paladin of Moradin’s Hammer, Druthina the Seer, Andour the Sage, and Tobin the Quartermaster. During the meeting, the party learned the following.

  • All the forges were busy making weapons except the Fate Forge, where Rokus Stonecleave was making Kingfriend pendants the party.
  • The dwarves were taking account of the contents of the crates and determined that this supplements the stores and the food should hold through the end of summer, however one of the main water sources seems to have gone dry.
  • Runor is standing in for Merwin Deepmantle, the High Hammer who was on a quest in the Underdark trying to find out what happened to a group of four that disappeared months ago.
  • Runor received a message from Merwin that indicated the “wormway” was closed so he is looking for another way to return to the citadel.
  • Druthina the Seer had advised King Harbromm to make the deal with the Moon River Trading Company for this shipment. She also invited the party to come see her for a reading.
  • Toli Stonebeard was assigned to be your assistant while in Citadel Adbar.

The party spent the evening in a bar near their quarters and Niven kept sending Toli off to buy scrolls and stuff. The next day the party went to Moradin’s Temple Library to find out anything they could on Ghorlaa. The librarian, Rigar Axesmith, found that a book called The accounting of Ghorlaa, the Glumdram, and the Scepter had been checked out months ago by Korlo Silverhair, a member of Moradin’s temple, but he and his wife Tarla had fallen ill and not been seen in a long time.

Toli led the group, now joined by Sariel, to Korlo’s home where he loudly announced “Make way for the Kingfriends”. Upon knocking a dog (or wolf) could be heard on the other side of the door and Korlo asked the party to come back at night. Eventually Niven opened the door and found Korlo sickly and laying down on a sofa asking for the party to leave, but a pack of wolves attacked Toli, Se’if, Gaspard, and everyone outside while the wolf inside turned invisible and started attacking, causing two negative levels for both Dwafer and Banderloft. During the course of the battle Korlo’s wife came out of another room, claimed to be protecting Korlo from the party and then sucked his blood killing him. After a brutal battle that included a devastating fireball from the invisible vampire, both vampires turned gaseous and escaped through a drain. Although Niven used “glitterdust” to outline the invisible vampire, only Gaspard, who had cast “see invisible” was able to see him.

Citadel Adbar

27 The Drawing Down, 1371
“Citadel Adbar”

The party pushed their way through the mouth of the beast and headed toward the sounds of battle coming from the nearby Caravan Gate underneath Citadel Adbar.

monkeyswarm.jpg The party helped defend the Caravan Gate from the attacking Drow and Driders and used a summoned monkey swarm to confound the Drow that were attempting to sabotage the gate mechanism so that the Dwarves couldn’t close the gate. When Glam’DIring joined the battle and breathed acid on the attackers a Drow leader called out in undercommon “Capture our dragon!” and the Drow immediately attacked with harpoons and tried to pull him in, saved only by a spell that turned the dragon gaseous, letting the harpoons fall to the floor.

After fighting them off, the party was ushered through a hidden door to the lower levels of Citadel Adbar. One of the dwarves pulled a lever and the stone wall slid closed to conceal the entrance. Thrane led you to a spiral staircase and explained “No outsiders are allowed within the citadel without leave of the King. Please follow this staircase all the way up and wait in the chamber there. I need to see to some things and will meet you up there.” The dwarves took the crates and the party, accompanied by Gomel and Kerrek, ascended nearly a thousand steps, finally reaching a large waiting room with lots of comfortable seating and dried meats and ale to snack on.

After several hours Thrane led you to King Harbromm’s throne room. The huge room was filled with Iron Guards, Moradin’s Templars, and dozens of other dwarves including Thrane’s team. The King addressed the party and thanked them for delivering this important shipment in spite of the overwhelming dangers. He explained that these resources would ensure the citadel’s ability to withstand this great orc siege and validated his decision to join the Silver Marches. The King also addressed what appeared to be an orc (actually a disguised elf named Sariel). She disguised herself as an orc so she could walk among them and find out what they were doing. She reported that the orcs are restless and most don’t know why they are not attacking. Fights are breaking out in the camps daily. She also learned that the orc leaders are trying to find something rather than planning an attack. She was not able to figure out what they are looking for.

After Sariel finished addressing King Harbromm the King proclaimed that everyone in the party is considered “Kingfriends” (Karrim Thrumm), just like Sariel, and he gave the party a blessing. Additionally, he stated that the party shall now be called “The Fate Forged” within the citadel.

Unusual Friends and the Wormway

19 The Drawing Down, 1371
“Unusual Friends and the Wormway”

Glam_Diring.JPG After the battle the party confronted Kai’rel about the dragon. He said he got the wagon from the Orcs and was supposed to deliver it to the Drow and he was never told what was inside. Eventually the party came to believe him. Kai’rel said that if he failed to deliver the package that he would be hunted down and killed and he could no longer be a merchant in the Underdark but he also agreed it would be evil to deliver the Copper Dragon to the Drow. After some discussion, Kai’rel agreed to release the Dragon and give up his life as an Underdark merchant on the promise that he could become part of the Moon River Trading Company.

Before leaving the area the decided to make it look as though his merchant caravan had been destroyed. They busted up three of his wagons (not Slugrim), killed the rothe that were pulling the caravan, strewn some of his less valuable wares around and set fire to the remains of his wagons.

The company, now numbering 20 including the crate carriers, Thrane’s Dwarves, Kai’rel, Slugrim, and Glam’Diring the Copper Dragon, got back on the road. They left the crossroads in all haste and made for the Gap of Grimdamm, a long tunnel with a persistent biting-cold wind and many intersections that seem to draw the denizens of the Underdark.

myconid.jpg After five days of following the tunnel and avoiding confrontation, Thrane led the company away from the tunnel and eventually came to a huge Fungus Cavern completely covered in grey, brown, green, and violet colored toadstools and other fungus. The cave had a musty smell and dampness in the air, the echoing sound of dripping water, and a dim yellowish-green glow emanating from some of the fungus. Druar, Herona’s brother, got out a satchel and carefully made his way through the fungus to a particularly large tan toadstool with dark brown spots. He put the satchel down and returned to the group. After a few moments the toadstool shivered and moved toward the satchel and looked in. At that, the myconoids and fungus parted the way to create a path the party followed through the cavern to a hidden hole.

Everyone dropped down from the cavern into a rough-hewn tube approximately 8 feet in diameter that stretched out in one direction and was caved in from the other. Thrane explained that this tube, called “The Wormway” was created by a burrowing purple worm and led to the caves below Citadel Adbar. The party followed the tube heading roughly north for another four days until, finally, on 27 Drawing Down, they came to the tail end of the rotting corpse of the giant purple worm that filled the tube. The party made their way through the belly of the beast and came out of the mouth hearing the sounds of battle coming from the nearby Caravan Gate underneath Citadel Adbar.

Ents and Worms and Trolls

12 The Drawing Down, 1371
“Ents and Worms and Trolls”

As the party regrouped in the “Guardian Grotto” Fangwood bent down to bring his “face” close to you all and in a deep guttural voice said “You have been most excellent and honorable and you are definitely not orcs. I am glad to know you and to witness your orc killings. Please, all you that killed the orcs, accept these tokens of my gratitude for your renewal of my faith in not orcs.” Several of his roots pulled out of the ground and walls and reached into the tangled knots above his “head”, and pulled out a rootshard for each member of the party (including the dwarves) and then said “And with that, I return to my path” and left.
The party searched the orc bodies and piled up the loot. Among the loot the party came across a note on each of the orc sergeants which shed some light on the meeting happening in the Emerald Falls Cavern.

Over the next seven days the party traversed a considerable distance in the Underdark, passing the Pit, Dromazzkanin (the “Sunken Garden” of roots and fungus), a huge cave filled with columns where the party fought a purple worm, and the Troll Trenches where a battle with a troll family was narrowly avoided by use of a clever illusion.
On 19 Drawing Down, the party found themselves at a crossroads talking to a charismatic merchant with a friendly smile and very smooth voice named Kai’rel. The party had a short discussion about buying his wares and Kai’rel asked Gaspard several questions including weather they had met before. He also referred to Gaspard as a “Glumdram” at one point.

Before long the party and Kai’rel’s caravan was come upon by a party of Duergar who demanded a “special package” that he was delivering to the Drow. When Kai’rel refused, a battle ensued in which Kai’rel reveled himself to be a spellcaster and one of his wagons revealed itself to be a huge and menacing mimic named Slugrim. The party helped defeat the Duergar while Niven focused on getting into an armored wagon to find out what the “special package” was. He found a bound and chained young copper dragon.

Emerald Falls

12 The Drawing Down, 1371
“Emerald Falls”

Having convinced Fangwood the Entroot to join your party and fight the orcs at the Emerald Falls Cavern the party carefully moved forward. Si’ef and Dwafer managed to quietly take out the two orcs on lookout for Clan Blood Tusk before they could blow their horn… allowing the party to get the lay of the land and cast protection spells before the battle started. The crates and carriers even had invisibility sphere cast on them.

The huge cave was lit from the opposite wall by a bright emerald green glow coming from behind a powerful waterfall. The water flowed away from the pool in several large crevices which also divided the cave into several sections. The crevices could be crossed by a series of rope bridges. A number of orcs could be seen in the main cavern as well as from a few balconies, displaying markings of both Clan Blood Tusk and Bloody Claw Tribe on opposite sides of the space. In the middle of the room there were what appeared to be a leader from each clan of orcs talking to a hooded figure that reminded you of the mercenaries you saw in the vision.

Once the battle began and the party had entered the cave they became aware of even more balconies and orcs than originally tought. Through some well-placed spells (like stinking cloud and web), a summoned water elemental that kept Fangwood fire-proof, Fangwood himself rampaging as soon as he was attacked, and all the members of the party making key saves, courageous jumps, and decisive blows, the party was able to kill many of the orcs, including the orc leaders. Some orcs (including an orc druid) and the hooded figure escaped.

During the battle several orcs blew horns to call for reinforcements and as soon as the battle was over more orcs could be heard running toward the cave from one hallway. The group grabbed as many orcs as they could, webbed the hallway shut, and took off.
After running as far as they could with Thrane leading the way they found a cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Thrane called this place the “Guardian Grotto” and said it was a good place to regroup and catch their breath.

The Underdark

5 The Drawing Down, 1371
The Underdark

At dawn on 5 Drawing Down Banderloft led the way to Rhyester’s Matins (Lathander’s temple in Silverymoon). Immediately Kuth Charagon, Mornmaster’s second, approached and said “this may sound strange, but Onadar, our Mornmaster, asked me to bring you to him when you arrived. He described your shield and said you’d be here. I thought he was waking from a dream or something, but then you walked in.”

He led the party to the Mornmaster’s quarters to meet Onadar, a frail, elderly man with a white beard and white hair grown out of control and barely enough strength to whisper. He motioned for Banderloft to lean close and whispered “I’m dying and this church needs your help. My paryers were answered with a vision of you returning to Rhyster’s Matins with something called ‘The BrightDawn’ and placing it on the altar. The BrightDawn will choose my successor as Mornmaster.”

The party then met up with Jayce at the warehouse and prepared for the journey to Citadel Adbar through the Underdark. Jayce led the party through the city and to a small house. Once inside he opened a secret hatch in the floor that led to a huge staircase leading hundreds of feet down. There you met Thrane Swifthammer and his troop of dwarves Klona, Runkon, Druar, Herona (brother and sister), and Farum to accompany you on your journey. You also met Marcus, Tanon, Jon, Garon, and Krane who, along with Jayce, carry the crates.

After demonstrating the crates capabilities (light, floating disk, extra dimensional space controlled by the keys) Thrane led the way through a series of passageways with many twists and turns until you reached the Grey Snake, an underground river named for the minerals in the water giving it a greyish hew and chemical taste, although it is safe to drink. The party followed the Grey Snake for a few days, fighting a grey ooze, passing a fungus meadow and even hearing a flock of stirges during watch at night. At the start of the 3rd day underground (8 Drawing Down) a spider the size of a buckler shield falls from the ceiling and lands directly in front of Thrane. Thrane fed the creature and said it’s a carrier spider named Kloston as he removed a small note.

“Orcs have taken main road and started the blockade above ground. Drow have been seen outside Mezobarazzan. They will take the West Passage before month end. Hurry!”

Thrane said that at the current pace the party would not arrive in the Citadel by month end so the party decided to step up the pace and risk fatigue and detection. Moving at the brisk pace the party reached the 5-way crossing and turned away from the Grey Snake. The party faced a flock of stirges where benign transposition saved several team members from continued constitution drain. The party met Patronious, a Minotaur that recently escaped some kind of weird gladiator pit. After a discussion the party gave him directions to exit the Underdark outside of Silverymoon and even gave him one of the Moon River Trading Company coins to give to Jarem.
vegepygmy.jpgNext the party came to a room ½ covered in reddish brown mold growing over the floor and walls, and covering several mounds on the floor. An epic “Knowledge dungeoneering” check by Se’if identified it as a Vegepygmy patch, a dangerous mold that causes constitution damage and if it kills you a new patch springs up from your body, including small plant creatures that incubate in your body. After much planning the party used summoned elementals to carry the party (except Niven) across the mold while hiding in the crates. Despite all the planning, as soon as the elementals passed over the mold Vegepygmies jumped out of the mounds and attacked, but to very little effect.

Entroot.jpgContinuing on later that day the cave bent to the left and the party was facing what appeared to be a dense thicket of roots, gnarled with large knots and fresh axe cuts. Near the center of the root bundle the roots seemed to form facial features. Before you do anything, the root structure moves 10 feet toward you (1/2 the distance) and says menacingly “BE YOU ORCS? I SEE AXES!” The Entroot, is named Fangwood Gnarlroot. Fangwood explained that he had just escaped an orc tribe that attacked him with axes and fireballs and he described the cave where he fought the orcs. Thrane said he knows this as a place called Emerald Falls, not far from where the party was. After a long discussion, during which Fangwood relied on the Paladin’s honor, the party finally convinced him to join them to fight a group of orcs under the following conditions. The party (specifically the Paladin) promised to protect him, even providing a water elemental to help protect him from the “fireball” he described. They also promised to give Fangwood at least 2 live orcs for him to kill himself.
As the party prepared for the orc battle late in the day 12 Drawing Down, Banderloft used all but one “lay on hands” using his mercy to remove the fatigued condition from everyone except Niven. No other daily resources were depleted.

"The Hidden"

1 The Drawing Down, 1371
“The Hidden”

After arriving at Everlund docks the surviving soldiers, led by Captain Striker, disembarked to report into the town guard. Firebeard, the barge captain accompanied you to the Moon River Trading Company storefront. After briefly talking to Firebeard, Jerem led you to a back room and debriefed the party on everything that happened since he last saw you. After listening to everything, Jerem recommended you go to the Vault of Sages to research the symbol and the arcane lay line. He also suggested you bring the priest’s body to Luck Priestess Lady Orsey at Fortune Hall. Jerem indicated that he needed you to head to Silverymoon soon anyway. He paused, leaned in, and whispered “now for the scary one…”

“Over the last several months I’ve heard whispers of someone or something that has been able to unite orcish clans under a single banner. I now fear that it is much worse than I originally thought… based upon the orc troop movement that you witnessed. The rumor is that it is not an orc at all, but the only name I’ve been able to ascertain after exhausting all possible leads is ‘Ghorlaa’ which is no name at all and is simply the Orcish word for “the Hidden”.

Jerem also gave the party members supplies and 2000 gp MRTC credit to prepare for the next assignment, accompanying an important caravan headed to Citadel Adbar through the Underdark. But first he needed the party to investigate a shipment to Silverymoon that went missing a few days ago and make every effort to retrieve a small chest hidden in the false bottom of one crate. The small chest is to be delivered to Rokus Stonecleave at Citadel Adbar. He holds the key.

Ettin.jpgA little past ½ way to Silverymoon the party followed some clues (upturned earth, dried blood, drag marks) East from the road and eventually found a Grizzly Bear next to a damaged crate. Once the party engaged the bear an Ettin came up behind the party and attacked the rear guard. Dwafer took on the bear and Banderloft stood toe-to-toe with the Ettin and both managed to overcome. The rogue was able to find the hidden chest and recover a few other items of value (including a +1 dagger stuck in the bear’s shoulder, masterwork breastplate and greatsword, size small adamantium dagger, a metal chest with flasks of acid and oil, and another small chest with 1200 gp).

A few hours outside of Silverymoon the Se’if and Niven spot an orc archer standing guard atop a hill just off the road. Using invisibility and stealth the party took out two orc archers and took the orc raiding party by surprise. The orcs were easily destroyed. As these orcs were part of the Bloody Claws orc clan (same symbol as the as the attacking ankhegs), so Gaspard suggested the orc bodies be carved with the Blood Tooth clan symbol in an attempt cause discord between the clans.

At the end of the day of 3 The Drawing Down the party entered Silverymoon. The next morning Banderloft led the party to Fortune Hall and met the Luck Priestess, Lady Orsey. She led you down to the catacombs below the temple and put the body of Lorras the Lucky on a stone platform. She said that he disappeared from Fortune Hall about five months ago and his son is being cared for by the temple. She took out a large coin with Tymora’s image and placed it on Lorras’ forehead. She asks you all to stand around the body, place your hands on him, and close your eyes and she utters a prayer to Tymora… Immediately you are brought back to the Dungeon where you found the PureHeart and you seem to be seeing through Lorras’ eyes…

You are back in the water room with the black path with the water draining out. You are being held by two thugs (dressed like the bodies you cut down from the roots) and in front of you is a tall dark figure with a hood pulled over his head, hiding his face. He is holding the PureHeart, using a rag so as not to accidentally “touch” it, and you can see the symbol tattooed on the back of his hand. In a growly voice he orders another soldier “Open the portal and bring the cleric into the chamber.” He then looks at you and says “You will channel your god when the statues enter the temple or your son will spend his life as my slave!” You are then dragged into the final room of the dungeon while the dark figure waits out-of-sight.

The dwarven statues come out of the walls and say “Demonstrate, so we may see, your good intent, and let you be”

You see Lorras hold up his holy symbol and pray to Tymora and the statues say “To exit this place you must be within the standing stones when they when they are fully charged.” then return to the walls.

You see a scepter on a stand against the back wall of the room. It has a black and silver metal handle and a large glowing green gemstone. The dark figure moves past you and eagerly picks up the scepter and slams down PureHeart onto the stand.
One of the soldiers asks “Is that the one, Gh…”

“SILENCE” says the hooded figure, “Kill him” as he points to you and suddenly everything goes dark!

Lastly, the party visited the Vault of Sages and met with Niven’s mentor Bartrim Anglescloth. After much discussion

  • The archivists will research the symbol that Niven drew for him
  • The sages are going to study the remains of the pick that absorbed arcane energy from the lay line
  • The Scepter from the vision is “The Scepter of Lorentz” an evil artifact that was hidden over 300 years ago because the clerics and wizards in the Silver Marches were unable to destroy it no matter what they tried

Finally, “Ghorlaa” and “the Hidden” sounded familiar to Bartrim. He disappeared for a while and came back with an old scroll.
After reading the scroll Bartrim tells you the High Hammer of Citadel Adbar in 1023 is still the High Hammer today. He tells you he had the scribes make this copy of this scroll for you to take with you.

Orcs and Giants

26 The Rotting, 1371
Orcs and Giants

In the aftermath of the battle with the fire mephitis Gilmer, Kahmala, and Baroun try to take stock of what was and was not lost. Accounting for the 9 miners that were killed by the Ogres before you saved them and the bodies that they can find slaughtered and burned in the bonfire, there are still 4 miners that they couldn’t find, 2 dwarves (brothers named Kilim and Klonas) and 2 humans (Shawna and Millen). You find your way to a safe room on the other side of the explosion and it is locked from the other side. The door is surprisingly strong and clearly made by master dwarven craftsmen. After giving the all clear knock signal, Shana, Kilim and Klonas open the door. They had been hiding in there, along with a cart of oar that they pulled in with them. The Oar is silver in color, but with two shades…(mostly silver, with a small bit of mithril) They are shocked and horrified when they hear the tale of everything that has befallen the miners and they have no idea where Millen may be, although he was further away from the blast.

orc_army.jpgThe party decided to look for Millen before doing anything else, thinking he may have escaped to the exit. They made their way through the active mine and along the long path to the exit. On the way they came across another apparent cave-in. Upon closer inspection, you find that it just appears to be a cave in and was actually camouflage to hide two more ore carts by making it look like it was a cave-in. Upon reaching the exit the party sees a large orc patrol (more than 30 strong, with warg riders) stopping for lunch not even 100 feet from the mine entrance. What’s more, Millen could be clearly seen hiding in the bushes approximately ¾ of the way to the orcs. With a silent image illusion Niven was able to hide both Millen and the mine entrance until the orcs finally continued their march North. Once the orcs pass, it is fairly late. Millen is reunited with the other survivors and they all lament everything that has befallen them.

The surviving miners decide to try and clear and lock up equipment in the safe rooms and storage rooms as though closing for the winter. They were going to have to close down shortly anyway, and with almost all of the mining crew dead, they are not able to continue. The party stayed the night in the mine and in the morning set forth down the mountain. The path was not easy and it took two whole days to get to Sundabar. The night is passed at a hidden shelter half way between the mine and Sundabar. Although it is very unusual to see orcs in such numbers out during the day. It seems as though they are marching north for something, and at in the morning black smoke could be seen rising from the direction of the orc party, along with 2 others, one in front of the party and one behind the party.

The miners were recognized and the party was able to enter Sunabar without incident. The MRTC is prominent there and when you showed your coin and told your story to the manager of the MRTC store (Horace Bluefire) he said “Jarem is looking for your party and you are to accompany the oar and other items on a barge leaving tomorrow down the River Rauvin toward Everlund and Silverymoon. The captain of the trade barge is just called Firebeard… you’ll know why when you see him.”

As you were brought to barge you saw a huge man standing at the helm with a coppery tone to his skin and as he turns toward you see his beard is red, orange, and yellow and appears to be dancing like a fire.

Hill_giant_-_Jason_Engle.jpgThe barge stopped in Jalanthar and Lhuvenshead along the four day ride to Everlund. A few hous past Lhuvenshead you saw a battle going on up ahead. It appeared to be a group of Confederation of the Silver Marches soldiers fighting Hill Giants… and the barge was quickly closing ground. As you get closer you see one of the four giants drop, but the militia men are taking tremendous losses. The party engaged as quickly as possible with benign transposition with injured soldiers, and the barge guards unleashed volley after volley of arrows, bringing down one of the giants. Finally, the party and the 5 soldiers that remained standing were able to bring down the last two giants. After checking the 25 soldiers laying injured and dead, 9 more were able to be tended and saved. As the sun set on 1 The Drawing Down, 1371 the barge entered the walls of Everlund.

The Black Spire Mine

26 The Rotting, 1371
Black Spire Mine

With the ogres dead, the party healed themselves and tended to the three injured that they saved from the ogres. The names of the saved miners were Gilmer the dwarf (the one enlarged Dwafer switched places with), Kahmala the dwarf (female), and Baroun the human. The dwarves were from Citadel Felbarr, a dwarven stronghold north of Sundabar, and the human was from Sundabar and works for the Moon River Trading Company. The mine had been abandoned due to the increased numbers of orcs and other nasties, but a few years ago when the dwarves retook Citadel Felbarr, they entered into a contract with the Moon River Trading Company to reactivate the mine as a shared venture.

That morning the miners were working a deep vein when an explosion happened. The amount of dust and falling rock made them think it was a possible cave-in. About a dozen of them managed to get to the emergency chute (the black spire is the name of the vertical tunnel that spans the mines levels and gives the mine it’s name). They released the tie and were quickly pulled up the spire to evacuate at the top level and exit the cave…. But the ran into the ogres and were easily captured… the ogres were playing the wishbone game on our friends (for food and treasure, we think) when you arrived.

They are also able to confirm Goramir’s telling that you are in the central Nether Mountains, not too far above the city of Sundabar (a major city in the Silver Marches that lays on the River Rauvin)

Once everyone was cared for and collected, the decision was made to delve into the mine rather than risk more ogres. Not knowing what’s up ahead, the miners guided the party back down into the mine.

They lead everyone into large anti-chamber (where the ogres had stuck the miners into the ceiling) and through a series of smaller tunnels, past some inactive mines and down a couple of levels where you came to a large basket hanging above a deep hole about 20 feet across. The miners gathered everyone into the basket and then used a rope and pulley system to guide the basket down the spire. The descent was slow-going and tedious but as the party grew nearer to the cave in/explosion, the air grew thick with dust and smoke. They stopped to check a nearby safe room to see if any other survivors were there, but clearly no one had been there.
Finally the party came to the room where the explosion took place and found the entrance filled with rubble to within a foot or so of the cave ceiling. Peeking over the rubble revealed a large room with several small fire creatures that appeared to be securing the room. Also visible was a large fire burning in the middle of the room (causing the smoke in the mine) as well as a blue-ish glow coming from a hallway. While observing them, one creature dragged a human body and piled it onto the fire while other creatures seemed to be shoring up the rubble pile, trying to completely block off the room.

Using an ingenious invisibility/benign transposition trick, the party was able to engage these fire creatures quickly. While the party was definitely able to take these creatures down, the party also learned that they had a fiery breath weapon, could summon more of their kind, just had to stand in the bonfire to be healed. In addition, the closer the arcane casters got to the glowing hallway, the more they felt an unusual sensation… not a wild magic area, not a dead magic area, but a “strong” magic area. Casting spells in the area had a chance of not being consumed by the casting. Eventuallyl the last fire mephit was destroyed and the casters attended to the glowing light while the paladin attended to the wounded.

The glowing light was actually a miner’s pick stuck into the wall and acting as a conduit from a magical lay line on one end of the pick to some sort of portal on the other end (where the fire mephitis came from). Gaspard and Niven both felt the area as almost a “pure” or “raw” magic area until they were able to pry the pick out. The pick seemed to absorb power from the lay line and from the portal and melted into a blob on the floor of the cave. Detecting magic on the metal blob shows strong enchantment and conjuration.

The Mountain Pass

16 The Rotting, 1371
The Mountain Pass

Mountain_Pass.JPGAfter spending some time testing how to use the stones to teleport rather than shock (including some summoning spells) the party finally figured out a way to tie ropes to the stones and climb up so that they were inside them when the charge built up. Everyone was immediately teleported into a snowstorm at the top of the mountain. Everyone was almost weak from starvation as the stones seemed to teleport the party several days into the future (to 25 The Rotting). After sharing some food and getting their bearings the party began to figure out how to get down the mountain.

As the party descended the mountain, the snowstorm steadily got worse. The group encountered a frost troll and it’s trusty trollhound. Because of Niven’s well-placed illusion of the party and some impressive fighting on by Banderloft and Dwafer the troll and it’s pet were dispatched, however they kept regenerating until the party finally burned all the pieces!

Polar_Werebear.jpgVisibility continued to get worse and the wind was ice cold when they came across a raiding party of orcs (several warriors, a barbarian, and a druid). The orcs were easily dispatched but it looked like the druid was going to escape when out of the white blur of snow and wind came a humanoid polar bear that crushed the orc druid, turned toward the party, and said “Come with me if you want to live.”

The were-polar bear quickly led you along the cliff edge and into his lair, a well hidden cave with animal furs and a stoked fire for warmth, and boar on a spit for food. Goramir was a dwarf miner working the nearby Black Spire Mine when he was scratched by a were-bear and became one himself. He has kept mostly to himself and firmly believes he should not return to civilization in his current form. He has made a home for himself on the mountain and his favorite pastime, when he can control his disease, is hunting orcs and ogres and trolls, trying to keep their numbers down. The snowstorm turned into a blizzard while the party slept in the warm cave.

The next morning, Goramir fed the party, showed them the way to the upper-most entrance to the Black Spire Mine. The storm had blown over and the mountain was completely white in fresh-fallen snow and perfect visibility.

Monster_Manual_5e_-_Ogre_-_p237.jpg As the party approached the mine entrance there was a commotion up ahead followed by screams of pain as you witnessed ogres playing wishbone on a dwarf and ripping him in half. Three ogres could be seen and they were getting ready to tear apart their next prisoner when the party attacked. With grease spells causing one ogre to slip and fall, ray of enfeeblement making another ogre weaker, and some darn fine fighting, sneaking and backstabbing, the ogres fell, but not before they killed all but 3 of their miners that had been captured.


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