Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, PT 2., 9/19/2017

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·       Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·       Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·       Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes’ strength was being drained by the relentless wraiths, but they continued to fight bravely and managed to destroy the undead creatures.  Sorely weakened after that fight, the heroes rested a bit, as the battle took its toll on them, particularly Mathias’ sanity.  Gruntbelly was forced to release built up sorcerous energy and in doing so blew holes in two walls.  The heroes entered the keep through the holes, searching for Nareesh and the Sword of Unmaking.  They found many empty and decaying rooms, but then stumbled upon a room full of cursed dolls, similar to the one in Mathias’ possession, and it was trying desperately to join the other dolls, but the jotun would not allow it.

The heroes found several rooms with demons and these encounters put a strain on their sanity.  Eventually they found a way to the second level of the keep.  Mathias found a clockwork person whose key had apparently wound down, so he ripped the key out to ensure it would not be a threat.  The group went up the stairs and found the next level very loud as the Demonstorm bore down upon the keep just above them, unmaking it as it descends.  The group did find a magic circle that seemed to be a countdown timer for the storm’s descent, which Gruntbelly determined would be just a few hours before the entire keep was consumed, driven by a large-scale arcane ritual.  They pressed onward and found a large chamber with a pile of bodies, which had motes of light coming off them and floating away into various parts of the keep.  Next to the pile, a large dark-skinned demon stood and somehow the group instinctively knew that this was Nareesh, the relic hunter that Mathias had been chasing for over a year.  Behind Nareesh, two horned ogres sat and upon the pile of bodies, three small  demons emerged.  Nareesh taunted the joten, driving him into a manic rage and the battle commenced. 


Session ended mid-battle.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

SOTHDL CAMPAIGN DIARY – PRINCE OF DARKNESS PT 1, 9/5/17

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·       Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·       Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·       Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

After rummaging through the giant’s sacks and taking the valuables, the heroes continue on towards their destination, but find that the trek becomes more and more difficult as they near the keep and the perpetual storm that dominates the skies above it.  Gale force winds buffet them and nearly drive them back, but they press onward and when they enter a valley near the keep, they find themselves in the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm.  In the valley they spot several holes and tracks which they deduce belong to beastmen and large creatures called stone worms.  They decide to make a break for it across the short valley to the towers & bridge that lead to the keep.  The dwarves ride the jotun and Kane flies thanks to an enchanted item and they all converge upon one of the towers, attacking the bugbear beastmen that are within.  The trek across the field draws the attentions of stone worms, complicating the fight.  The heroes manage to overpower the bugbears, but took some hits in the process, so they decide to rest in the keep. 

As they rest they notice that the storm is actually descending upon the keep at a slow but steady pace, and seems to be dismantling it stone by stone. Their proximity to the storm also causes some of them to have a restless night.  The following day the decide to head across the bridge, but as soon as they step upon it, they are assaulted by an overwhelming dread, which assaults their sanity.  Pulling themselves together, they continue on and find the center of the bridge to be fragile.  Mathias and Kane jump across without difficulty, but the dwarve’s short legs fail to carry them over that section, which breaks under their weight.  Fortunately, both had ropes attached to them prior to leaping and were pulled up the other side by Mathias. 

The heroes pass two more towers, which seem dark and empty, but they decide to check them out anyway to prevent a later attack from behind.  Within they find two wraiths, who ruthlessly attack the heroes, attempting to drain their souls!


End of session.

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY - OFF THE RAILS PT 3, 8/29/17

The Heroes:
·        Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·        Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·        Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·        Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes continue their assault on the orcs that sacked the orc village of Crow’s Feet.  Mathias manages to disable their Iron Titan and the combined efforts of the team enable them to kill the invading orcs.  The heroes talk the orc prisoner that led them here into helping this village rebuild. The heroes leave to try and make the train back, but when they arrive at the tracks there is no train waiting for them.  Faced with the choice of walking the Iron Titans back to Thorpe or going to Foundry, they opt to walk to Foundry with the hopes of finding another train back.  They fish out the 3rd Iron Titan from the lake where it was deposited with the remains of the train and make their way on foot to Foundry. 

After a few days’ journey, they group arrive in Foundry and find their way to the Ironmonger offices, where they meet Korin Ironmonger, son of Gundren Ironmonger, the dwarf that sent them to retrieve the Iron Titans.  Korin agrees to help the heroes on their journey into the Iron Peaks by offering a ride in his airship and while they are gone his people will clean up the titans.  The heroes agree and the following day they fly out of Foundry and into the Iron Peaks towards the region called the “demonstorm” due to the perpetual storm that many say was brought into being by a failed demonic summons. 

The airship makes it most of the way through the mountains, but as the ship approached the storm it became too dangerous to continue, so the captain drops the heroes off on a plateau and tells them he’ll wait for their return as long as the storm.  The heroes go on foot through the mountains the remaining few miles and encounter two giants that attack them with boulders.  Despite the size of the monsters, the heroes manage to take them out with little trouble, finding some money and a few odd things in the giant’s sacks.


End of Session

Friday, August 25, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY - OFF THE RAILS PT 2: 08/22/17

The Heroes:
·        ·         Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·        ·         Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·        ·         Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·        ·         Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes continue their assault on the orc lair on the cliffs of a Silver River tributary. Despite some powerful magic being thrown at the, resulting in Mathias being turned into a pig, the heroes manage to quickly restore the jotun and push the orcs back into their lair.  Giving chase, the heroes lose the orcs and find that they escaped through a hidden hatch in the floor.  

Searching the lair they find the plaice laired many orcs and had supplies and weapons to support a warband.  The orc chief's chambers had a number of maps of the area with various settlements marked, apparently for attack.  They also find a tied-up and gagged orc and learned from him that the orcs were sympathizers and supporters of the new Orc King, Drudge, who led the revolt against the now-dead emperor.  The orc, named Gruk, said that this warband was led by an orc called Grimfang, who planned to raise a large orc army by recruiting the orcs of the Silver River country into service, willingly or by force.  Since many of the orcs in the region fled the Empire to seek a peaceful life in the Northern Reach, Grimfang was forced to sack many of the villages.  

Gruk was threatened by Gruntbelly, who has a terrible hatred of his kind, but was ambivalent to the threats as the orcs had already destroyed all he cared about.  Unwilling to attack an unarmed and uninterested orc, the dwarf backed off.  The heroes decide to let Gruk lead them to the apparent next target of the orcs, a small village called Crows Foot.  The group take their newly acquired Iron Titan and head to the village.

When they arrive they find it under attack, so they march into town and start fighting the orcs.  Mathias attempts to find the hatch where the orc's Iron Titan's key is hidden by climbing onto a roof and jumping on the back of the titan.  An ogre moves in and climbs up the Iron Titan's back in order to attack Mathias.  Meanwhile the heroes and their Iron Titan move in and start attacking the orcs. 

End of session.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: OFF THE RAILS, PT 1, 8/8/17

The Heroes:
·        ·         Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·        ·         Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·        ·         Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·        ·         Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

Our heroes meet at the East Gate the following morning and though Ecna and Gruntbelly were harassed at the gate leading into Smokestacks, it wasn’t a problem that a couple of gold coins couldn’t resolve.  The group meet up and find a strange, horseless iron coach awaiting them, along with a company of six armed “guards” on horses, who looked more like mercenaries.  The dwarf driver introduces himself as Deede and tells them they’ll be on their way in a few minutes.  As they wait, they see a goblin being thrown outside the gates and Ecna loses his sh!t and begins to pummel the goblin senseless.  Leaving the creature alive, the dwarf returns back to the iron carriage, washes off, and the group departs.  With only minor trouble on the road, cared for by the guards.  They arrive in Thorpe and find it also in a state of high alert.  They are allowed into the city and as they enter they notice construction noises coming from the south end outside the city walls.  They meet Henrietta, manager of the Thorpe Railway Station, and she leads them into the station and to the platform, where they meet Engineer Bork and his assistant.  The train has 7 cars in total; the main engine, two passenger cars, three box cars, and a return engine.  Henrietta tries to rush the group along, claiming that she has paying customers awaiting in Foundry, but the heroes point out that they are supposed to be looking for missing cargo for Mr. Ironmonger and can’t very well do that at night.  Henrietta seems disinterested in this, and more interested in keeping her business running, but a couple of the heroes sense that something else seems to be motivating her as well.  The group continue to press her to delay departure until morningwhen Henrietta unexpectedly starts shouting for help, tearing at her clothing and claiming that the heroes are accosting her.  A couple of the mercs run into the station and demand the heroes leave the lady be.  Not wanting to cause a scene, the heroes relent and head back to the train, but as Henrietta and the other’s attentions were diverted, Gruntbelly casts a spell on the train causing some mechanical parts to break. The engineer tells Henrietta that repairs are needed and the group encourage the engineer to delay the departure as long as possible. 

By morning the repairs are completed and the group depart.  The trip is largely uneventful for the first few hours, but as they pass the Silver River, Kane spots something unusual and asks the engineer to stop the train while they investigate.  The group disembark and search the area and find that a significant amount of damage has been done in a particular spot, but was covered up by someone who knew what they were doing.  The damaged area has bits of iron, like the kind that their train is made from, and tracks from orcs and from some giant, non-human thing – presumably one of the Iron Titans.  The tracks lead off to the west away from the tracks and The Fall. 

As the group searches the area, they spot some flying creatures that start swooping down on them.  The creatures are winged humanoids with distended bellies and inhuman faces.  They are picked off at a distance by Kane and drop into the lake below The Fall (the cliff that separates the east and west of the Northern Reach).  But then several more fly up from the cliff and attack.  One manages to sting Ecna, but the creatures are killed by the combined efforts of the heroes. 

Kane looks off the side of The Fall to see where the creatures came from and spots a small cave about halfway down the cliffside.  He is lowered down by rope and enters the cave to find several crude nests and an orc corpse with several infants of the creatures that apparently burrowed out of the orc, consuming it from within.  Kane leaves the cave and is brought back up to the top of the cliff.

Ecna spots another set of large tracks and they find more signs of damage to the earth as if something large and heavy were dragged through it, but then an attempt was made to cover this up by someone who knew what they were doing.  Looking over the cliff, they spot what appears to be the missing train far below in the lake at the bottom of The Fall. 

End of session.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY – ASYLUM PT 2 & INTERLUDE IN CROSSINGS

The Heroes:
  • ·         Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
  • ·         Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
  • ·         Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
  • ·         Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

This entry encompasses the events of the last two sessions.

The heroes find a secret room in Dr Feldman’s apartment behind his office and this leads down to an ancient crypt beneath the Asylum.  The crypt appears to have been built during the time of the Empire of Gog, over 900 years ago based on the designs and images on the walls and posts.  It’s not long before the heroes encounter a room full of ghouls, which flood out into the hall and attack!  Mathias is momentarily overwhelmed, but Ecna, Kane and Gruntbelly join the fray and the ghouls are slain.  Inside the room they emerged from the group finds a gory mess of torn bodies; the ghoul’s dining hall. 

They search the room then move on and find two doors that appear to be carved in the likeness of two portals – one that enters Paradise and one that enters Hell.  The group chooses the door leading to paradise and emerge in a large chamber that has a number of ghouls and an open sarcophagus.  A mist curls out from the sarcophagus and the heroes are confronted with the vampire Lucretia.  Before they can attack, Lucretia tells them that she is not their enemy and that she is here only to retrieve her property, the Eye of the Demon Lord, that was stolen from her by Kane’s ancestor, the demonologist Moore and is now in the possession of the Brotherhood of Shadows.  She claimed that the cult was using it, along with other stolen relics, to complete a ritual designed to open a vast gate, through which the Demon Lord would enter this universe and destroy it.

Skeptical about her claims, the group asks what she would do with the relic if it were returned to her.  Lucretia tells them that she wishes only to keep it away from those who would use it for the purpose that the Brotherhood of Shadows is using it.  The relic is linked to the Demon Lord, who wants nothing more than to destroy all of creation.  Since she exists on this world, she does not want to see it destroyed, so she would keep the relic safe, as she did for hundreds of years before the fool Moore took it from her. 

The heroes ask why she didn’t just get it from the Brotherhood herself and she responds by stating the Brotherhood is hidden from her and has erected powerful wards to prevent her from seeking them out.  She has no other choice but to have others reclaim it for her. 

The heroes say they will get the Eye on the condition that Lucretia stop her murderous rampage through the city.  She agrees to do so until the next full moon, three weeks from that night.  At that time, if the Eye has not been reclaimed, the Brotherhood will have completed their ritual and all will be lost regardless.  The heroes ask how they will be able to locate the Eye if she cannot, and her response is that there is another relic that has an affinity to the Eye; the Sword of Unmaking.  If they can acquire that sword, it will lead them to the Eye, wherever the Brotherhood have it hidden.  The Sword is currently in the possession of the fool demonologist Moore, who still lives, but is now in a clockwork body.  She learned that he has been in Iron Mountains in the keep under the Demonstorm for the last few centuries and recently acquired the Sword of Unmaking.  She even gives them a map to the Iron Mountains showing trails leading to the keep.

The group agrees to this task and take their leave from this tomb.  Before they go, Mathias asks if Lucretia knows of Nareesh, the man Mathias has hunted for the last year.  She says they may find that this man is also with Moore at Demonstorm, but doesn’t explain herself.  She then turns to mist and leaves the crypt.  The group plunders the rest of the crypt and leave to get rest before planning their next move.

After a lengthy rest, the heroes review the map and decide to see if they can find a faster ride to the Iron Mountains than horse or buggy.  They head over to the Smokestacks district to seek an audience with Gundren the Ironmonger, whose mine they cleared out a few weeks earlier.  They go to the Engineering Academy building where his offices are found and find a campus full of wonderous mechanical devices.  The two guards are large clockwork men themselves, who let the heroes into the campus.  They make their way into the building, and after a harrowing trip up the mechanical elevator that Mathias broke on the way up, they find his offices and are welcomed in by his secretary. 

Gundren is pleased to see them, believing them to be there in response to his job offer, but the heroes say they are simply there to see if there is a way to get a train ride to Foundry as they have another job to work.  Gundren says that they can catch a train from the town of Thorpe, but he suggests that if they are on their way to Foundry that they may be able to take on his job offer as well.  He explains that his job involves finding some equipment that was recently lost en route from Foundry to Thorpe.  The train that had the equipment never made it to Thorpe and subsequent train rides have not turned up the missing train or equipment, so he wants to hire them to find what happened to the train and the missing equipment.  The PCs ponder this and agree to do the mission for a “favor” to be later named.  Gundren agrees and reveals that the “equipment” is actually 3 warmachines – giant clockwork warriors that were ordered by the Emperor a couple of years back, but since the Orc uprising, they’ve been sitting in Foundry.  However, Gundren became alarmed when Sixton was sacked by an orc warband, so he decided to bring the prototypes down to Crossings for defense.  However, while en route, the train was lost and the warmachines along with it.  He wants the heroes to track down the machines and put them on a train back to Thorpe.

The heroes agree to take the job and Gundren says he will put them on a guarded coach to Thorpe first thing in the morning.  The PCs leave the Academy of Engineers and decide to do some shopping before they go, but they find that the rest of Crossings seems to have been commandeered by the Inquisition.  The group ask a browncloak what’s going on and he says that Inquisitor Randofus was arrested by a new Inquisitor, some guy named Malius, who threw Randolfus and a bunch of others in the Inquisition dungeons.  Martial law has been called in Crossings and the Inquisition seems to be running the show, including the Browncloaks, since one of the ones arrested was Commander Crowley.  The PCs decide to try and see if the mayor was still in power, but when they passed the Browncloak headquarters on the way to the Gavel district, a Lord Inquisitor called Duush, emerged with several inquisitors and browncloaks and demanded that the jotun and his companions leave town immediately as they are obviously “outlanders” and do not belong in the city.  The heroes try to explain that they were on a job for the mayor and they are informed that she is no longer in power.  The heroes decide to leave peacefully to avoid bringing the Inquisition down upon them, and go to a copse of wood outside of town to plan their next move.

Using an enchanted item, they have Ecna enter town to try and find Gruntbelly, who did not accompany them and instead went to visit his master’s tower to see if he could get information about the Demonstorm keep.  Ecna transformed into a bird and tried to fly into the tower, but it’s magical protections caused Ecna to land and transform back to his normal shape.  He attempted to go to the front door, but was warned away by the nearby browncloaks.  Ecna decided to leave the area, went back to the Moore house but found it empty.  He then went to the Honored Dead Shrine and Brewery and found Gruntbelly there grumbling about his lost friends.  The two decide to drink and stay the night in the house and meet the heroes out by the gate in the morning.


End of session.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: ASYLUM, PT 1

The Heroes:
  • ·         Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
  • ·         Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
  • ·         Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
  • ·         Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes proceed to the asylum known as Mercy Hill, which stands atop the rise of the same name.  As they approach the grounds, they notice that the refugees from Sixton, that have been given temporary leave to camp on the lawn until housing can be found for them, begin moving out from the shadows in large groups, chanting "protect the mistress…" over and over again as they approach the heroes.  Realizing their danger, the heroes take off running towards the asylum, whose doors stand open.  Most of them make it in, but Kane and Ecna must fight off a few of the refugees before they can make it inside and close the doors behind them.

Once inside, they find bodies of orderlies and other hospital workers, having died violently.  They also find Dr Feldman's door open, but he is not in his office.  The group enter a nearby stairwell to go to the second level of the asylum where Lara was kept, but find many of the patients have escaped their cells and are violently rampaging through the halls and immediately attack the party as they open the stairwell door.  The heroes fight through the crowd, forced to kill many of the patients in order to get to  Lara's room, but before they do they see a light in the darkness, coming from behind a closed door.  They force the door open to find Dr Feldman in a surgery with a patient, apparently implanting eel-like creatures, similar to those found in the strange, hooded creatures that attacked them at the Katandramus house.  Feldman berates them for interrupting his surgery and the heroes then realize that he, himself, is  apparently insane.  They take him out fairly easily and kill the eel-creatures.  A pile of bodies in the room shows that Feldman has been busy, but there was nothing else of interest within the surgery.

The group proceeds to Lara's room, where Ecna had already found her and warned the incoming group that she was not herself.  Indeed, the woman was floating in her cell with a strange darkness emanating from her, and speaking in an eerie dual voice she informs them that she will tear them apart.  The heroes, not interested in dealing with a demon, unleash their power upon her and manage to kill the body of Lara before the demon could attack them.  The darkness fades and Lara's corpse drops to the ground.


End of  session.