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.