Eberron 4e

Battle Around the Slave Pits

The wights had been defeated, but whereto next? There is still the House Cannith heir to rescue from clutches of the duergar that had purchased him and his companions. So our heroes push on.

Teddy and Lorin backtracked to make sure the party wasn’t being stalked. In the meantime, the rest of the group pushed forward, traveling down several dusty corridors, and finally emerging in a large room that contained three large pits. Two of these pits held the captives. The third was partially filled with water. But the captives were not alone! A duregar theurge, two guardsmen, a couple of spine demons, and the two orc raiders that had escaped the Hunger of Hadar were also present, and were in no mood to surrender their slaves.

The guards advanced, the orcs threw hand axes, and the devils rained poisoned spines down on the party. In the middle of this mayhem, the theurge dropped blasts of brimstone hail and vile fumes on friend and foe alike. But charging through the midst of poison darts, hand axes, swinging hammers, brimstone hail, all while holding his nose against the vile fumes, Thorgrim pushed and dodged his way to the theurge.

When the sounds of battle subsided, the party stood, bloodied and battered, over the bodies of their foes. All except the warlord, who had fallen, grievously wounded. The captives were free! But the party still had to get them out of the duergar stronghold and back to New Cyre.

Thought of a cowardlly Warlock

Yes the battle was fierce with minimal initial rewards. All gold and glory rests in the completion of the mission and not the journey traveled. Alas, we need a bard to sing of our deed and accomplishment. I must have Halfling gene locked somewhere within my half eleven soul because I wish to hear my tale sung when I no longer have a stomach for adventuring. Unappreciated and often forgotten, I the party’s half-breed am essential. I have a deep desire to enter the fight mixing it up with the big boys but subtle reminders help me refocus and understand my true value to the party. As the party’s warlock I bounces about the battlefield reeking havoc wherever I goes. This week I skillfully teleported to a location of apparent safety well out of harms way only to be surprised as the door opened behind me and an orc attempted to beat me senseless. However, I, Arazan, know: it is all about the cursing BB’s. (Curse them, blast them, then bounce). While everyone sleeps tonight I contemplate if there is utility in adding backstabbing before the bounce.

Horned Hold: Assault on the West Tower

The party now knew that there were a recently arrived batch of slaves being held in the western part of the fortress. They could see that two bridges spanned the chasm separating the western portion from the northern and southern outposts they had cleared. Both bridges were lit, but they could see movement behind the double doors the wider of the two bridges lead to. So the narrower bridge was taken.

Once again, Teddy led the way. Across the bridge he crept, and stealthily attempted to unlock the door, only to not-so-quietly drop his tools (he rolled a “1”). But fortune smiled upon the group and no one heard the noise. Once Teddy got his act together and got the door open, the party discovered they had entered the western part of the hold through a room that was essentially unused and still contained piles of rubble, waiting to be cleared.

The party pushed forward, soon stumbling into the sleeping quarters for some of the duergar guards. A guard and a theurge currently occupying this room were soon joined by two more guards. But the party prevailed, and then pushed on to destroy two arbalests still standing guard over the wider bridge.

They could tell they were reaching the end of their endurance, but there were still slaves to rescue! The party next came across a group of orcs and an ogre standing guard in. These too quickly fell and added to the growing body count, but the party’s fatigue was beginning to show and two of the orcs escaped the room, fleeing into other parts of the hold.

The party backtracked, setting up a secure area to take an extended rest in by judicious use of Quinn’s Arcane Lock ritual. After resting, they came across an unused temple/shrine area. But it soon became apparent why the duergar avoided this part of the hold – it suffered from an infestation of wights. The cleric took the lead – shining forth as a radiant example of how to smite undead. OK, that was lame, but the party managed to take out the wights without losing too many healing surges.

Horned Hold: the North and South Towers

As the party stood around the cooling body of the final orc guard, they found themselves in a lighted hallway with numerous doors. Rather than simply kicking down doors are barging in to rooms, they actually proceeded rather carefully and determined that the ringing sounds of hammering could be heard through several doors.

Assuming that these doors all opened into a common room, the PCs times their assault carefully and went through two of them at the same time. Right into a workshop area with several orcs and duergar. The duegar master smith smote his anvil, crying out words, and fire leapt from it to Teddy’s cat’s claws, to Freakachu’s longsword and to Emere’s fullblade, burning them all. Showing an unusual degree of tactical competancy (for them), the party quickly moved across the room, blocking all escape routes for the inhabitants of the workshop.

Despite the heat of the forge, orc and duergar bodies were soon cooling on the workshop floor. The party took down the oppostion fairly quickly, being somewhat surprised as one of the duergar demonstrated an ability to turn invisible for short periods of time.

The party had now cleared the northern tower of the Hold. They next made their way through a corridor to the southern fortress.

As they worked their way through the southern fortress, they first came across a couple of humans working as kitchen slaves. They quickly learned (maybe not so quickly in the case of Teddy – he had to talked out of running off with one of the slaves) that these slaves were not from the ambushed caravan, having been there 6 months. But a new batch of slaves were chained in pits in western fortress on the other side of the chasm. Also, there were several duergar eating in the adjacent great hall, including Rundarr, the duergar champion commanding the southern fortress.

Again, the party showed an unusual degree of tactical competancy (maybe they were actually listening to the warlord!) and figured out how to enter the great hall from two different doors at pretty much the same time. Within the great hall, the party found themselves facing Rundarr, a duergar guard, and another human slave. The human quickly took off as the party moved to engage both the guard and Rundarr.

It was a tough fight. Rundarr and the guard were soon reinforced by another guard and two duergar scouts entering through another set of doors and trying to take the party from behind. But the valor and skill (or stupidity and blind luck) of the party enabled them to prevail – even when Rundarr polymorphed to a large creature.

They know the enslaved survivors of the caravan are nearby, but the fighting has left them running short of healing surges. What will the PCs decide to do next?

Finding the Horned Hold

Can you say Death Boon? As impressive as the double crits agaisnt Jim Darkmagic was, the death boon was more so.

Clearing the Chamber

As the two surviving goblins fled the guard chamber in one direction, reinforcements for the party came racing into the area. Loren Stormway and Jim Darkmagic had gotten off to a bit of a slow start, and despite the short legs of the dwarf, they had caught up. Following a short rest, the assault on the chamber continued.

The party next entered a room that was apparently the dining room of the hobgoblin gang. As they crashed through the door, the goblin guard that had headed in this direction ran towards the back of the room and vanished. However, the party quickly forgot about him as they were confronted by hobgoblin soldiers, human bandits, and a couple of goblin snipers. It was a hard fight in close quarters, but they party prevailed. Then they availed. Availed themselves to the stakes of a poker game the former occupants of this room would never finish.

Finding the secret trap door in the back of the room, the party climed up through it and found themselves on a balcony overlooking a large room. This room appreared to have once been a worship area, but now was clearly a staging area for slaves, with manacles and chains in the center of the hall. Four hobgoblin archers and a dire wolf kept the party form pursuing a closer examination. One of the hobgoblin archers immediately headed out of the room, and the intimidating presence of the warlord eventually caused another hobgoblin to drop his bow and flee the room.

But reinforcements arrived, summoned by the two surviving goblin guards and the hobgoblin archers. The fighting was intense, spilling out of the great hall, down corriders, and finally ending up in an open room where two gray skinned dwarves, known as duergar, joined in the fray. When it was over, the hobgoblin band had been eradicated and, to Azarn’s great joy, one duergar had been taken prisoner.

Though no more survivors of the ambushed caravan were rescued, the prisoner and a bill-of-sale recovered from one of the rooms, clearly showed that the survivors had been sold as slaves to the duergar. The party had time for an extended rest before their next move – a “visit” to the nearby duergar trading post!

Rescue at Thunderspire

The party spends a few well earned days of rest in Sharn. Some of the gold they spend may not be so well earned! The PCs swing by the House Sivas message station. First, they send word to Neya ir’Krell, the Aundairian ambassador to Zilagro and former friend of Lucan, that Lucan was safely apprehended and returned to interested parties in Breland. In fact, the PCs informed Neya that Lucan had been turned into a vampire and that the interested party was the Dark Lanterns. It’s possbile that the secret service of the kingdom of Breland really didn’t want a diplomat from another country knowing that an important agent of theirs had gone rouge, nor that they had resorted to “independant contractors” to bring said rouge agent back. But then again, many people seemed to be after Lucan, and there are a lot of unasnwered questions about his transformation. The party may not have heard the last of this.

While at the message station, the PCs also discover that the Lady Elaydren d’Cannith has left word enquiring about their services again. It seems that Baron Merrix d’Cannith, head of Cannith South, has sent an emissary, Stannis Cannith, to New Cyre. Near the Darguun border, Stannis’ caravan was attacked. Lady E offers the PCs 1500gp each to track down Stannis, rescue him (if need be), and finish escorting him to New Cyre. It’s a lot of money, and a chance to see New Cyre, where a country is trying to rebuild from amongst the refugee camps. So, our heroes are off again.

With the help of a gnome that escaped the ambush, the PCs find the ambush site, then track down the ambushers to a cavern. There, they find a handful of hobgoblins holding another caravan survivor – Rendil, a hafling healer from House Jorasco. The hobgoblins are quickly dispatched, and the PCs learn from Rendil that the rest of the caravan survivors have been taken to another location to be sold off as slaves.

The PCs pursue, and enter an ancient chamber. There, they find what appear to be several different ways to explore further into the chamber. They could go through the small, unlocked door they find at the end of a balcony. They could try to unlock the larger door that they can hear voices behind. But no, they allow Teddy, the bugbear ranger that met up with them on the way to the ambush site to try to bluff their way past the guards they hear speaking in goblin on the other side of the door.

When the smoke clears, the PCs have slain 3 goblins and a bugbear. But two of the goblin guards have escaped, and only time will tell what problems THAT will create.

Lucan's Last Stand

The headlines would read “Lucan Captured”...

If there were headlines.

But when you capture and return a rogue spy to the Dark Lanterns, the Belish government doesn’t exactly advertise that. Espcially when the secret services of several other governments have been after him, and he stole an artifact that was captured from Karnathi forces during the War, and when said spy has been altered and is no longer human.

Despite the lack of publicity, the party was handsomly rewarded with 2500gp each and the knowledge that they had successfully completed a quest for the Brelish Dark Lanterns. Will they also score points with the Aundarians by letting Neya ir’Krell know what became of Lucan?

Current xp totals: Azarn Silverleaf; 9865 Quinn Haldrin; 9480 Emmere; 6640 Noname: 4365 Jim Darkmagic; 4410 Dayerth; 3490

The PCs took an extended rest, recovering all their powers and making their plans to gain access to the inner sanctum where they believed Lucan was holed up. With a shouted command, they simultaneously placed the four magic items in the circles and then discovered that the spirits called this area the Proving Grounds for good reason – arcane energy flowed out from the circles, activating traps throughout the Proving Grounds and releasing the Guardian – a young green dragon.

Crimson Whip

The action picked up where it left off the previous week – with the PCs standing in the doorway to the Hall of Pools of Blood.

The Restless Dead

First thing on tap for the session was to finish off the gnoll huntmasters and their hyena “pets” in the practice range. The eladrin rogue had used his feystep to retreat back from the wall of haybales. But where an eladrin had vanished from the wall, a drow appeared 25’ away! What’s more, the drow was armed with a longbow, which he quickly put to good use.


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