Overlooked

Into The Vents
Siege of Bordrin’s Watch, part 2

Later Kalad explains that it was he who sealed the tunnel. Og had lead a raiding party up into the monastery in the dead of night slaughtering the monks as they slept. Kalad had fought his way down to this cave and just in time too. A massive force of orcs lead by Tusk himself, the largest orc Kalad had every seen, was preparing to enter the monastery through the tunnels. Kalad rushed back and collapsed the main tunnel behind him. This was when Og caught up with him. Og wanted him to re-open the tunnel but there was no way to undo the damage even if he’d wanted to. Og, in his fury, had almost killed Kalad when you all arrived.

Kalad feels sure that this was to be Tusk’s primary exit point. Nobody in Overlook or Bordrin’s Watch would expect this thinking that he would use the larger tunnel network at the Nexus. When Kalad hears that Overlook have sent only one party, the Farstriders, to secure the Nexus he is deeply troubled. ‘Why have they not sent a whole battalion? Why risk the lives of everyone in that valley on the efforts of just one group? It’s madness’.

Kalad resolves to go immediately to help seal the Nexus and you agree to assist. The way into the Nexus from the surface involves traveling through the Vents, a twisting cave network made by escaping steam from some naturally occurring superheated water source deep below the surface. The Nexus uses this resource by channeling boiling water through huge copper pipes. Open the right valves and you flood the Nexus effectively sealing it off from the tunnels below the mountain.

Tusk will now almost certainly make for the Nexus. He has a large force to maneuver and Kalad estimates it will take him well over a day to navigate the labyrinth of tunnels leading from the monastery. You, on the other hand, can travel straight overland down the mountainside to the Vents. ‘We have time, if we hurry’.

You make your way down the mountain in good time. The Vents are not difficult to find as you can see the column of steam raising high into the air from miles around. You also find evidence where the Farstriders camped before entering the Vents. Five horses are tied up near a larger fissure in the rock and five sets of print can be seen leading in. There are no print leading out. Duderino brushes a hand over one of the horses and checks the straps on the saddle.
‘Very fine horse this. And the saddle must be worth a fortune’.
Harad can see where this is going. ‘Hands off Dud, nothing here belongs to us.’
‘Just saying, you know. If, heaven forbid, anything has happened to Sommerfield and his chums, and these are still here when we get back…’

The Vents consist of a spider web of caves and fissures. Even with Kalad’s help you find navigating through them more that a challenge. After a couple of hours of wedging yourselves through small gaps and scrambling down dark openings you find yourselves coming out of a crack only 200 yards from where you started. It takes you more than three hours to finally make it to the man-made corridors of the Nexus.

Like the monastery, an advanced party of orcs and orogs has already been sent to the Nexus. You fight your way through the corridors having to deal not only with orcs but with the Nexus’ own defenses designed to attack any non-dwarves. In one chamber you find a Dark One, a create from the Shadowfell, inspecting a valve on one of the great copper pipes. This was a surprise as the Dark One was obviously working alongside the orcs and you would normally associate the two races. From the body of the Dark One you recover a mysterious brass key. The key seems to be constantly shrouded in shadow.

Finally you come across small chapel dedicated to Moradin and discover the fate of Edgar Sommerfield and his Farstriders. All but one of their remains are being greedily devoured by a hulking cave troll. Later, you would find the last body, Jen, in one of the adjoining rooms. She had managed to drag herself away from the troll and had died clutching a broken communication sphere.

You manage to kill the troll only for it rise up again a few moments later. In fact you kill it several times before remembering that you need to kill the damn thing with fire. Not a easy job when all you have are a couple of torches. With a final effort you manage to burn the last of the life from the troll. You don’t feel you can continue without resting for at least a little while. Bruised, drained and a little singed, you grab a short break.

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The Monastery of Sundered Chain
Siege of Bordrin’s Watch

On reaching Overlook you bring this information to the attention of the council elders. A meeting is hastily organized and you are called to the council hall along with all the other adventuring parties and mercenaries that have not yet been sent to Bordrin’s Watch. The hall is crowded with grim looking warriors and shifty looking strangers. A few of the faces you recognize. Edgar Sommerfield stands proudly near the front of the hall surrounded by his Farstriders. The Farstriders are probably the most famous adventurers currently working out of Overlook. The group includes twin elf rangers, Uulath and Reiner, a female half-elf warlock named Jen, and Corben, a human fighter. Their most famous exploits include slaying a black dragon, ousting a nest of kobolds, and even undergoing an expedition into the Shadowfell.

Megan is also there. Wilgold has not seen her since he and Harad first left Brindol over two years ago. She now leads an adventuring group called the Freeriders. They consist of Ragnum Dourstone, a graying dwarf priest of Moradin, Sylen Leafrunner, one of the northern Westdeep Fey, Ghena Tenson, a talented human arcanist, and Madrick a diminutive pale skinned Fey with a raccoon pet called Bandit.

Dudrino doesn’t notice any of this. His attention is drawn exclusively to the back of the hall. There lurking in the shadows is a figure he was hoping he would never see again. With sinking dread, Dudrino recognizes the bounty hunter Gilgathorn. His fall from the cliffs outside Castle Greyhawk had obviously not been fatal. His right eye now sports a black eye patch and you at least gain some satisfaction in seeing that he didn’t come away from your last encounter totally unscathed. Still, that probably hasn’t improved his mood any so with whispered warnings you hall duck your heads and head for the other side of the hall. You never know, he might not have seen you…

Lord Cadrick, of the House of Duenrend, calls for quiet and then addresses the hall.

’Welcome to the High Hall my friends. I am Elder Cadrick. War is upon us. A great host of orcs comes from the west. Their intention is clear. They will come through the mountains bent on slaughter. Those they spare can look forward to a short life of slavery. Overlook, and Bordrin’s Watch in the mountains, have long held fast against these raids, but our scouts say never has such an army gathered. Thus, we turn to you brave souls to help defend not only Overlook, but also all the Elsir Vale.

’Bordrin’s Watch has never fallen to force of arms. But new intelligence has reached us that the tunnel network, thought to be secret and unknown to our enemy, has been breached. We have reports of orcs already east of the mountains and this morning we hear there have been attacks from the tunnels below, compromising the fastness of Bordrin’s Watch. The defenders have fought back the savages, but it’s clear the rest are coming and fast. So here’s the plan. Durkik Forgeheart will lead the militias and most of you to bolster Bordrin’s Watch. Orc trailblazers may infest the tunnels below, in particular the complex known as the Nexus. We’ve tasked their security to the Farstriders. One more mission remains. We need a group to evacuate the Monastery of the Sundered Chain as we know there are tunnels beneath this site. It’s dangerous work, what with the orcs and all, but priests need a warning of what’s coming if they don’t know already. Do we have any volunteers?’

As Harad steps forward to accept the challenge so does Megan. Again you find yourselves arguing your case before a group of city counselors. This time your arguments are better received and you are given the task of warning the monastery, much the Megan’s frustration.

You set off immediately out of Overlook into the foothills of the mighty Stonehome Mountain. The air is cold but clear as you climb higher and you can see the jagged peak of The Hammer impossibly high above you. As you raise above the snowline you are attacked by ghouls on a narrow mountain shelf. This, the altitude and the hardship of the climb leaves you exhausted by the time the monastery comes into view.

It’s immediately obvious that the monks already know of the orc threat. Crude camp fires can be seen burning within the grounds and a number of orcs are huddled around them eating what suspiciously looks like chunks of Dwarvern monk. They don’t look to be taking their guarding duties very seriously and you quickly dispatch them. The first real resistance comes once you enter the main monastery building. A hideous orc hag commands a sizable force and reinforcements quickly arrive from a spiral staircase sunk below an alter in the center of the monasteries chapel.

As you move deeper into the monastery complex it becomes increasingly unlikely that any of the Dwarves have survived. The place is teaming with orcs and the walls plastered with dwarf blood. Any thought of rescue leaves you and instead you resolve yourselves to at least cleanse the monastery of it’s filthy orc infestation.

You fight your way through the dwarf living quarters and lower into the monastery until you reach a huge underground cavern almost 200 feet deep. Stone platforms had been built at intervals down it’s steep bank with narrow stairs linking them. A potential deathtrap with no cover on the stairs and a fatal plunge to the trench for any missed step. The platforms were guarded by orc drudges and bowmen lead by a orog (a half orc ogre hybrid). But this would be Wilgold’s finest hour. Conjuring a vortex of swirling air, Wilgold flung the enemy like rag dolls to their death far below. Seeing his troop wasted within seconds, the orog leader tries to make a dash for it down the stairs but is run down by Dude and Harad. Nobody takes any damage until you are almost to the bottom of the trench. A huge explosion rocks the chamber. Both Harad and Diff stumble and fall from the staircase. Harad manages to catch onto a ledge after only about ten feet but Diff bounces like a beer keg some forty foot to the cavern floor. You’re not sure what has happened but the sound seems to have come from a cave leading away from where Diff sprawls painfully on the floor.

An ominous orange glow emanates from deep within the cave. The cave narrows to a tunnel but then opens out into a large chamber with forge fires lining the walls. The forges seem to have been crafted from natural lava sources and heat within the room is oppressive. At the back of the chamber a tunnel once lead further under the mountain but is now blocked by a rock fall. The cave-in looks fresh and you guess this was the result of the explosion you heard earlier. Many orcs crowd this chamber. Mainly drudges and berserkers but also an orc shaman brandishing some Gruumish holy relic. At the back of the chamber a huge orog called Og, one of Tusk’s senior lieutenants, holds a dwarf at arms length off the ground. The dwarf has been roundly beaten and Og is shouting at him in orcish to ‘open the tunnel’. As you enter the chamber Og drops the dwarf and rounds on you in a furious tempter. The other orcs also attack.

As simple as the last encounter had been, this fight was anything but. The orc drudges we able to land a few hits before they were killed and the berserkers proved difficult to deal with. As usual Harad had waded in and was taking the brunt on the attacks. Harad had already soaked up too much damage by the time Og joined the fray from the back of the room. A few swings from Og’s bastard sword had Harad reeling and most of the party, except perhaps Wilgold, were on their last legs. It had been a long time since you had rested. Things were touch and go and even Harad started making furtive glaces toward the exit. Meanwhile, Wilgold was desperately going through his options. The orc shaman was almost done for which would leave them with only Og to deal with. Unfortunately the towering orog was still going strong and not looking like tiring. Looking over Og’s equipment it didn’t look like he had any ranged weaponry and he didn’t look that quick. Perhaps you should fall back into the cave and then up the cavern stairs taking pot shots at Og as you went. You could maybe ware him down and finish him off in one of the monastery’s upper floors. But then …Oh f**kit. Wilgold fey-steps right into the fray distracting the shaman long enough for Duderino to skewer it with a dagger.

While this was going on, the tortured dwarf, left discarded at the back of the chamber, slowly raises to his feet. He fumbles for an axe and staggers toward Og’s broad back. Diff can see their new ally is in very bad shape. Diff heals him as best he can but the cleric is virtually drained of divine energy and there is only so much he can do. You would find out later that the dwarf is called Kalad and is a paladin of Moradin. Kalad is in no real shape to fight but his arrival means Og has another flank to deal with. Surrounded and attacked from all sides, Og finally falls but not before Harad succumbs to his wounds and crumples to the floor.

Wilgold and Diff rush to his side and manage to stabilize him. Then everyone, with a collective sigh of relief, slumps to the floor in exhaustion.

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The Rescue at Rivenroar

After your adventures in Greyhawk and the South you eventually arrive back in Brindol. Harad is recognized by many of the townsfolk and receives a warm welcome. In particular the party is greeted by the Captain of the Guard Kartenix, an old friend of Harad. There is a ‘Call to Arms’ that has been issued by Overlook. An orc horde lead by a massive orc/ogre chieftain called Tusk is threatening to overrun the city and it’s outpost Bordrin’s Watch. Brindol has already sent many of it’s troops and Kartenix is planning to ride with the final contingent in the next few days. He suggests that, if you are also planning on joining the fight, you ride with him. He is off duty later and you agree to meet up in the Antler and Thistle. In the mean time your only plan is to rest and relax after your long journey. It was not to be.

You had just settled down to a beer in the Antler and Thistle when the door burst open and in rushed a band of hobgoblins. It would appear that they were after an old Red Hand banner that was on display over the fireplace. The hobgoblins were expecting to waltz in, kill a few unarmed townsfolk in their cups, grab the banner and waltz out. What they found was an angry scaled and pointy eared can of whoop ass. Those raiders that had yet to even enter were knocked down by fellows being forcefully ejected from various doors and windows. The fight was over before many of the tavern patrons had realized something was amiss.

As you cleaned your blades outside the tavern doors you realized it’s not just the Antler and Thistle being attacked. Brindol itself was under assault. A large group of panicked townsfolk came rushing round a corner further up the street. The reason for their terror was revealed a few moments later as a huge ogre rumbled into view. He was strapped to a cart that was stacked with barrels and on which sat two hobgoblin bowmen. The hobgoblins were taking the barrels, lighting a short fuse and handing them to the ogre. The ogre was then throwing them with stone crushing force at the retreating townsfolk and random buildings. These barrels, filled with some flammable substance, would explode on impact engulfing anything nearby in white hot flames.

You did not hesitate to engage this new threat. This proved a much bigger challenge than a few unruly hobgoblins. By the time the ogre was dead at your feet the noise of fighting elsewhere in Brindol had ceased. The attack on Brindol had ended as quickly as it had begun.

You had prevented a great deal of destruction to the town but in the hours that followed it became apparent that the hobgoblins had not retreated empty handed. The attacks hand centered around the Hall of Great Valor and a couple of other specific locations. Several artifacts from the time of the Red Hand had been taken and a number of townsfolk had been captured. These included Kartenix and his young son Thuran.

Council member Eoffram Troyas is a new addition to the Brindol city council. As such, he likes to think ‘outside the box’ when finding solutions to important tasks. As a half-elf, he has shown little of his race’s good-natured tendency toward patience. Your ogre killing antics had come to his attention. He approaches you about taking on a rescue and recover mission. Eoffram leads you to the council chambers. The council are not keen and after interviewing you are not exactly reassured. However, with their militia and scouts all tied up with the aftermath of the attack and the trouble to the west, they are left with few options.

And so, hours later you find yourselves knee deep in snow following hobgoblin tracks into the foothills of the Giantshield Mountains. The tracks lead to the ancient house of Rivenroar. An stately home / tomb that long ago housed the Rivenroar family both living and dead. Now it would seem it was the hideout of a motley collection of hobgoblins and gnomes. The original hobgoblin army of the Red Hand had been thousands strong lead by a formidable leader both cunning and powerful. This sorry bunch were lead by Sinruth, a brutish but not exceptional hobgoblin with delusions of grandeur. Never the less, your mission would not be a walk in the park. As well as hobgoblins and gnomes the old mansion was home to ettercaps, were-creatures, drakes and blobs of man-eating goo. Not to mention the fact that not all of Rivenroar’s previous residents had left the building.

You found yourselves in a number of tight spots. One was when rescuing the cook Martala. She was shortly to be a meal for a group of were-rats and her mind had gone. The rats proved stubbornly difficult to dispatch with Harad taking the brunt of their diseased claws and fangs. Harad contracted a bad case of Filth Fever and it was touch and go for a time. To this day he still holds a deep hatred and revulsion of rats.

It took two full days to search and find the townsfolk and recover Brindol’s precious artifacts. You rescued your first prisoner, Sertanian, late on day one. He was the custodian of the Hall of Great Valor. On the first night, you were awoken by a blood curdling scream that ended abruptly. You would later find the body of Kartenix killed by ettercaps and wrapped tightly in cobwebs. He was the first of the townsfolk to be lost. Later Sertanian would have his head bitten off by a ghoul. Other than that you did manage to rescue all the other townsfolk and recover the stolen artifacts.

You had slain Sinruth and the rise of the second Red Hand army had been stopped before it had really started. Sinruth had been a fool to attack Brindol. He should never have attracted attention to him self so early in his attempt to raise a new Red Hand following. But perhaps he was goaded into it by a third party. While looting his body …I mean looking for clues, you found a letter promising aid and reinforcements. The letter was signed simply The Emissary. This had special significance to Harad who’s murdered father had written the word emissary as a dieing act in his own blood.

All in all the mission was a success and Brindol welcomed you as heroes. The whole town turned out for the burial of Kartenix and Sertanian. They were laid to rest at the shrine of Bahamut near the river and later a lavish feast was prepared in your honor. You spent the next week recovering in Brindol. Zerriksa the ‘witch’ had given Harad a cure for Filth Fever as a thank you for rescuing her but he still needed at least a few days of rest. You knew you could not linger too long. Winter was drawing to a close and with the spring the orc hordes would breach the pass through the Stonehome Mountains and attack Bordrin’s Watch.

Eventually you leave Brindol with the blessing of the council and a gift of swift horses that you may reach Overlook in time. Even with no delays you knew that you were cutting it fine. Fortunately the journey passed without mishap except for one rather disturbing discovery. Two days into the Westdeep the ground rose giving a rare view of the road ahead amongst the trees. A column of smoke could be seen that did not look like a camp fire. Carefully you advanced to discover a caravan had been attacked, its guards and occupants slaughtered. In amongst the bodies were a number of slain orcs. All signs indicated that the caravan had been attacked by a small but well organized band of orcs.

This was not good news. For years uncounted the Dwarves have kept the Elsir Vale free of orcs. The orcs live in great numbers in the Dreadlands west of the Stonehome mountains with the only overland route into the vale a high pass that is totally blocked during the winter months. In the center of this pass is Bordrin’s Watch, a bleak fortress that has never been taken by force of arms. There are many tunnels and passages under the mountains but these are a closely guarded secret. If the orcs had discovered and found a way to navigate these tunnels, Overlook was in serious trouble.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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