Echo of the Dragons

Session D

Following the battle with Ugrog and the last of the occupying Fangcrag orcs the Brotherhood needed to make a hasty decision: try and follow the Darkstalker and his crones into the tunnels through the the ruined dwarf citadel; chase down Gulgor and the Fangcrag orcs and extract information from them, preferably through bloodshed, or journey to the tunnels below Karins Hold overland.

Talk with Lokvist Thronehold revealed that he had recently sealed the tunnels leading directly from the ruined dwarf citadel to Karins Hold when he heard of the gnolls gathering on the far side of the Embertuls. However there existed a now abandoned mining complex on the far side of the Karins Hold whose tunnels ran up below the Hold and also connected to Gomril. The old mines had been craftily designed by the dwarves to defend against attack from orcs, goblins and worse in the lower tunnels. The central defense was a great system of pipes that collected the water heated within the earth and could be opened to flood the lower passages and seal off access to Dwimlows upper corridors which lead to Karins Hold and Gomril. Dwimlow could be reached from the Southing via a number of thermal vents and fissures near the road to Karins Hold.

The Brotherhood decided that the Orcs were likely dupes and unlikely to be the true danger, and given the collapsed tunnel would take time to clear, the headstart the darkstalker had and that the ruined dwarf citadel likely housed other menaces following them underground would be futile. Deciding that the danger was still the passages under Karins Hold the Brotherhood set out for the thermal fissures intending to venture into Dwimlow and seal the lower passages, provided they reached there before the gnolls.

NOTES:

- Lokvist gave some basic instructions on how to work the flooding mechanism

- As the Brotherhood left the 1001 Fisted Monastery a cohort was just returning and hustled forward to help Lokvist with the reconstruction.

- Conflagration

Upon arriving there the at the fissure the Bortherhood noticed a campsite and a number of horses that were tethered there. Investigation didn’t reveal any clues besides a sigil of a warrior stepping over a horizon worked into each of the saddles. Tracks from the camp led into the vents. The Brotherhood unable to ascertain much from the camp entered the steam filled corridors in pursuit?.

NOTES

- The sulphur and minerals and heat made the journey arduous

- The Brotherhoods skin is cleaner and their pores are cleansed

- The Brotherhood eventually found there way through a series of chalk marks on the wall and small cairns. The chalk was relatively recent though already blurred by moisture from the caves.

Eventually the Brotherhood found there way through the labyrinthine caves to the worked stone walls of Dwimlow, only to be greeted by the rasping and abyssal voices of a group of gnolls in heated discussion, there was certainly some gesticulating. The Brother wasted little time on the nuance and charged in, quickly overpowering the small party of gnolls.

NOTES

-No one speaks a useful monster language anymore.

-Gnolls don’t ride horses

-Gnolls don’t carry chalk

-Gnolls like a conflagration

Stairs at the back of the room led down to a long, wide, high ceilinged corridor that ended at two large brass doors. Standing in the corridors was an odd group; an odd looking walking crossbow with three stout legs and a pair of steel hounds, the corridor itself was littered at either end with the bodies of fallen gnoll bodies pierced with crossbow bolts. Curious as to whether they were hostile Adjurah descended the stairs, as the Brotherhood watched in trepidation. The three automatons ‘watched’ without reaction as Adjurah descended the stairs, sword sheathed and unthreatening, however as his foot touched the bottom an audible click announced that Adjurrah had stepped on some sort of pressure plate. From hidden cavities in the roof four statues of dwarven warriors with repeating crossbows descended and began to rain down a deadly volley of bolts on Adjurah. Faced with the prospect of fighting the automatons under withering volleys of bolts the Brotherhood withdrew before the repeating crossbows fired again. Well everyone wearing heavy armour did, Fondu however was left by his brave defenders to face a volley of bolts on his own. Haldane deduced that as the gnolls had come from the corridor and the trap was hidden when the Brotherhood arrived it would reset with time, so the Brotherhood waited until the statues smoothly receded into the ceiling.

When next they approached the corridor the Brotherhood searched out the well concealed pressure plates that trigger the deadly dwarf trap, and made their way carefully through them before cautiously approaching the far end of the corridor unsure of the intentions of the automatons. The automatons simply ‘watched’ moving out of the way of the Brotherhood until they got to the door, at which point the walking crossbow began blasting and the steel hounds dropped into a defensive crouch jaws ready. Adjurah who was closest to the legged crossbow stepped forward and unleashed a devastating strike and then a coruscation of lightning breath that shattered the arcane spirit that animated the walking boltthrower with a single blow. The steel hounds seemingly animated to defend the walking bow were confused and the Brotherhood sensing this disengaged, leaving the steel hounds to defend the corridor should any other gnolls stumble this way.

NOTES

- The gnolls seemed to come from the other side of the door

- Adjurah and Boldar wonder whether they are scouts or the main force

Suspicious of the likelihood of further traps Fondu pushed the door open with his spear. It swung open easily, revealing a cavernous room a ‘bridge’ of stone extended to the far side where a set of double doors stand, on either side of the bridge are two large recesses filled with enormous iron pipes. Within the room a collection of gnolls turned from their study of the pipes with a snarl.

NOTES

-Should have had a short rest

-Roll initiative

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Session C

The Brotherhood searched the upper floors of the Thousand Fist Monastery for survivors, occasionally encountering small groups of drudges that they summarily disposed. The Brotherhood first headed towards High Patron rooms where they found evidence of a great battle where it seems the warriors of the Thousand Fist Monastery made their last stand. Amongst the hundred of orc bodies they found the beheaded body of Silanus. From their they quickly headed towards the Library, as they got closer the ever thickening smoke foretold the Libraries fate. Books littered the corridors still smoldering and the Library wing couldn’t be approahced as it was still a conflagaration, the funeral pyre for The Lightkeeper. From a captured orc they found out that the leader of the warband and a lot of the warriors have already left carrying off their loot. An orc by the name of Ugrog was the Boss remaining and he was below in the Chamber of Works questioning what is presumably the only survivor of the attack. Giving up hopes of survivors on the upper halls and spurred on by the captured warriors words the Brotherhood began to descending toward the Chamber of Works to confront Ugrog.

Finally they came to the cavernous natural fissure that marked the bottom of the Monastery, from the worked chamber an ancient set of stairs arced out into the chamber and descended to the chamber floor below where the halls of the Chamber of Works lay. Ascending the stairs was a band of orcs shouldering sacks of stolen loot. On seeing the party they charged forward to confront the Brotherhood. Not wanting to confront the orcs on the stairs and risk being knocked off to fall the best part of a hundred of feet to the rocks below the Brotherhood held on the landing and dug out out there ranged weapons.

The battle that ensued saw the Champion of Grumsh and his drudges charging up the stairs to engage in melee while orc crossbowmen softened up the brotherhood with their fearsome bellybows. The Brotherhood meanwhile peppered the approaching orcs with missiles, however they began to come under attack by the orc’s tame drake which was making a nuisance of itself trying to filch magic items. When the orcs finally made the landing the combatants proceeded to bash and shove each other trying to push them to their deaths. To avoid the Brotherhoods shield wall the Champion of Grumsh chose to leap like a hero of legend across the gap from the stairs to the ledge. Like the hero of legend his leap fell short, reached out and grabbed at the ledge and found himself suspended above the precipice by a strained hand. A hand that Fondu was happy to rid him of, and so the Champion of Grumsh tumbled to his death. Quickly the Brotherhood overwhelmed the remaining orcs shunting them into the precipice below.

NOTES

- Boldar “Javelin? What’s a javelin?”

- Boldar “Oh you throw the point end first?”

- Boldar “At the enemy? Oh right. Can I have another one? Why not? I’m just getting the hang of it I’m sure”

- Adjurrah thought jumping to his death to get back a basic magic item and spite kill the drake was a good idea.

- Everyone else didn’t.

Once down the stairs the Brotherhood quickly made their way to the Chamber of Works where they find Ugrog beating a dwarf and demanding the tunnel be re-opened. The Chamber of Works had obviously been damaged by some event with a number of the furnaces broken and rubble strewn across the Chamber. A raging fire was out of control where the great furnace once stood. The room itself had a large number of orcs watching the interrogation all of which were unaware of the Brotherhoods approach. Taking advantage of the element of surprise the Brotherhood charged into the room and a great battle ensued.

Boldar, Haldane and Adjurah charged into the fight while Fondu was peppering the warriors from the edges.Seeing they were under attack Ugrog unsheathed his enormous orcish blade and hurled himself at Haldane and Boldar. Fondu soon found himself assaulted by drudges.

Boldar and Haldane were fighting for their lives, the Berserkers were merely nuisances next to the fearsome and brutal hulk Ugrog. The battle appeared to be turning against the Brotherhood, Fondu was still beset with drudges, Haldane and Boldar were struggling to land blows on the iron titan that was Ugrog and Adjurrah cursed by the Shaman was flailing blindly. Soon Haldane and Boldar found themselves bloodied and then quickly struggling to stay standing as Ugrog was laying them open inspired by the chanted words of Grumsh flowing from the shaman. With the battle in the balance Brotherhood managed to tip it in their favour landing brutal blows that saw the berserkers and shaman finally fall and the last of the drudges in front of Fondu fell. Unperturbed Ugrog continued to hammer the Brotherhood, with Haldane and Boldar exhausted, bloodied and near death Ugrog finally missed what surely would have been a killing blow. The Brotherhood did not waste this small mercy and with fatal precision, no doubt inspired by the terrible consequences of failure, each landed decisive blows on Ugrog who finally fell.

NOTES

- In saving Lokvist the the Brotherhood saved the sole survivor in the monastery.

- Ugrog was carrying a magical shield blessed by Kord that he had obviously looted from the monastery.

As Ugrog fell the Brotherhood dashed to the fallen dwarf. Tortured and exhausted the warrior priest was helpless and on the edge of death. When revived the last Paladin of the Monastery Lokvist Thronehold thanked the Brotherhood. Lokvist quickly told his story as the party recuperated from the battle and prepared themselves for the journey back from the Monastery.

NOTES

- Lokvist triggered the collapse of the old dwarf tunnels that led into the basement of the Monastery throught the Chamber of Works.

- The High Patron, Light Keeper and some of the older warriors of the Monastery were aware of the old catacombs and passages below the Monastery but were sure no one else had living memory of the maze like tunnels.

- Lokvist was wounded and left for dead by the initial assualt and when he came to he made his way stealthily to the Chamber of Works intending to set off the deadfall and seal the catcombs.

- When he arrived in the Chamber of Works he found the orc Warbosses Warlord Gulgor and Ugrog in council with an assortment of villains; a shrouded Darkstalker referred to by Gulgor as Kashaba who was cowled in ebon and deep blue cloaks with a distinctive mithril necklace with a dark dwarf vassal and his shrouded gaurds; a cabal of hooded humanoids whose hooded robes of deep purple were sigiled and worked with dark ruby stitch amongst.

- Lokvist overheard the Kashaba say he would deliver these maps before returning to the “other forge” or the “under forge”.

- Before leaving the Kashaba took back a map from Gulgor returning it to a plain scroll tube and handing it to the dark dwarf who was carrying a number of others, he then passed a number of purses to Gulgor and the hooded cabal.

- As Lokvist watched the council broke, the Darkones troupe began to withdrew into the catacombs a distraction that Lokvist used to dash forward and trigger the deadfall hoping to crush some of the interlopers.

- As the dust cleared it was apparent that the rubble crush had caught some of the hooded cabal and hopefully the Darkones suffered a similiar fate. As the forge exloded and flames claimed some of the bodies Lokvist fought a futile battle against the orcs who quickly overpowered and captured him;

- The hooded cabal quickly took their leave, seemingly untrusting of the orcs, who seemed to have no love for them either

- Gulgor left to return to ‘the fort Fangcrag’, leaving Ugrog ‘to kill anyones left and torch the filthy temple’.

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Session B
Alpha Brotherhood getting Alpha

The shadows of the Embertuls seemed to have been infiltrated with orc scouts. As the Alpha Brotherhood made their way across the plains towards the mountain paths that lead to the Thousand Fist Monastery they encountered another war party of orc raiders that had fallen upon a group of adventurers set out from Longmoot. The Alpha Brotherhood fell into the fray joining the hulking Goliath Barbarian Boldar who was the only member of the group still standing.

It came to pass that Boldars party carried a request for the Thousand Fist Monasteries cohorts to sally forth to help defend Karins Hold. As his party needed to return to Longmoot to heal and recoup Boldar chose to join the Alpha Brotherhood on their journey to warn the Thousand Fist Monastery.

When the Alpha Brotherhood arrived they found it overrun by orcs, the stench of battle was still heavy in the air or it could have been the orcs cookpot. The Alpha Brotherhood descended upon he Monastery with vengeance in mind. They slew the guards sheltering within the wall before falling upon the orcs within the Monastery.

NOTES

- An orc was heard to complain about being sent as sentry while the others had all the fun looting and hunting the survivors below.

- Another was heard to retort ‘those that are left to loot’ leading Adjurah to assume that the orcs paid a heavy price to take the fortress.

- Someone actually speaks a useful monster language….. WTF?

Within the Hall of Might and Glory an orc witch and his minions were defacing the altar there in the name of Grummsh. The Alpha Brotherhood slew them and the other orcs that rushed to the battle from the hidden stairs below the altar. Within the Hall of Might and Glory it seemed the acolytes and warriors had fought mightily against the orcs boiling up from the chambers below. The Alpha Brotherhood tried to clean Kord and Bahamuts altar of Gruumsh foul taint. However the Altar and hall had been violated and needed to be re-sanctified. So enraged by this was Adjurah that he swore an oath to cleanse the Moanstery of the filthy invaders and find any survivors.

NOTES

- The party found a Brooch of Healing on the body of the Dwarven warrior Madrik Ironhelm

- The party has seperated the bodies to return and make a funeral pyre

Once the Alpha Brotherhood had cleansed the Hall of Might and Glory, Adjurah strode forth to make good on his oath and descended the stairs towards the Chamber of Acolytes which echoed with the sounds of orc voices.

Here they found a scene of horrible carnage, the priests and attendants to the Hall of Might and Glory had been surprised in their sleep and slaughtered where they sleep. Those few that managed to arm themselves confronted the orcish tide of steel were quickly slain.

The Alpha Brotherhood found out shortly why. As the raging orc berserker and the plate and mail armoured Orogs were fearsome warriors. They charged fowrard to meet the Alpha Brotherhood as they entered the chamber. The battle that ensued was brutal and the Broterhood found themselves in a bloodied encounter.

NOTES

- One of the Orogs was overheard to say ‘find the loot and lets get out, we weren’t paid to hold this stinkhole and them squishies will send an army to take it for ‘ere gods honour’

- Fondu got beaten senseless by drudges.

- There was a statue of a Squid fighting Johnny Short Legs in the middle of the room.

The Broterhood are quickly recouping and deciding their next step.

SESSION NOTES

- The battle that saw the Thousand Fist Monastery fall was only hours old

- Any survivors will likely be found by orcs if they aren’t found soon

- The orcs seem to have taken heavy casualties in the battle and are still scattered looting

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Session A
A new alliance

Haldane, Fondu and Adjurah found themselves in Olana, each had travelled a different journey that lead to the same conclusion: their people were threatened and individually they could not hope to protect them.

In Olana they soon attracted the attention of the Winged Brothers who saw the honour that each carried. Suel the head of the Order in Tembria has great hopes for each of them as agents for good within the Southing and hopes that he can use them to destroy many of the insidious elements that fester within the region. In doing so he hopes that he can help each achieve their goals, be it saving their town, people or backstory. He came to call them Alpha Brotherhood.

Suel was quick to ask them to assist when the murder of a stable hand pointed to cultists operating within the town. The murderer apparently had committed his act to keep a scroll tube of papers from the “stable hands filching hands”. The murderer had fled before he could be captured, but had left numerous documents, artefacts and charms that suggested that he was an evil cultist and mage with undoubtedly nefarious intent. Whatever was in those tubes were important enough to kill for, and in doing so risk discovery in Olana, which led Suel to believe something greater was afoot. Whatever it was the scrolls were a clue.

Haldane, Fondu and Adjurah were instructed to bring the murdere to justice and recover the scrolls.

Kicking down the door the party encountered a small group of human rabble and charged into the fray, but also found themselves under attack by stones being flung from behind a curtain in one corner of the room. The humans were quite quickly cleaned up and one captured with a minimum of fuss or injury, but the Halfling that had been slinging the stones fled into the streets and escaped justice. Some quick interrogation of the prisoner revealed that the cultist they sort, who the prisoner referred to as Kartem, was in a secret chamber below the stairs in the next room where he spent much of his time. In return the prisoner was disarmed and released with a couple of coins to aid him in leaving town before the associates of those he had just betrayed could track him down.

A quick search under the stairs revealed the release for the secret panel just as the prisoner had told them and they descended into the dark room below. They found themselves within a crude Temple to Torog, the god of torture and pain, where the cultist Kartem stood upon a dais guarded by a a disgusting demon Dretch. Below the dais a congregation of men stood and observed whatever ritual was in chain.

The appearance of the Brotherhood turned the Temple into a melee. Kartem‘s sorceries, demon accomplice and the zeal of the followers were slain to the man by the Brotherhood’s assualt. Following the battle the Brotherhood searched the hideout and discovered that the scroll tube contained a number of maps of forgotten dwarven tunnels under the Tembrian border fort Karins Hold and also the Thousand Fist Monastery. The map of Karins Hold was a first draft while the map of the Thousand Fist Monastery was a duplicate. Apparently the mage had been planning to copy the map of Karins Hold for someone.

As Adjurah is familiar with the Thousand Fist Monastery Suel of Erranard has asked the Alpha Brotherhood travel to the monastery to warn them of the possible danger lurking below. Meanwhile Suel has sent riders to warn the Lord of Tembria about the danger to the fort at Karins Hold.

On their travels to the Monastery the Alpha Brotherhood have heard that a Gnoll army has begun to gather on the far reaches of the Embertuls in the plains below the pass gaurded by Karins Hold. Not more than two days earlier they had planted a totem of war with a great braying and gnashing of nasty, big, pointy teeth! A call to arms was sent to the armies of Tembria. The party has decided to press on to the monastery but has sent numerous other messengers to the Lord of Tembria in case Suel of Erranard’s rider was ambushed, and plan to immediately journey to Longmoot after they have been to the monastery.

Other notes:

- Map maker is unknown though clearly a master artisan. Maps did not have a hallmark on them.

- Kartem talked of delivering the maps to their ‘friends’.

- Two sorts of coins were found on the cultists. Moon coins and Finger bits

- The Alpha Brotherhood travelled to Marnion to cross the Cyndal river.

- While in Marnion the Alpha Brotherhood sent messages to the Lord of Tembria with one of the riders of Tembria who was delivering the call to arms and also with some travelling merchants from Longmoot.

-There was no Crown and Anchor to be found in Marnion

- On their way to the Thousand Fist monastery they ran into a party of orcs, an uncommon thing as orcs don’t often venture far from the crags unless they are raiding for slaves and then they don’t do so in such small numbers.

- Orcs had a number of Finger bits on them.

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Session 17
The (Table) Drums of War

Characters Present: The Brahman “Hobolock”, Errol , Denasdra & the (new) Rangertard aka “Posh Spice”

Following the battle with the Flame-touched Goblin Hexer and his allies, the Great Night returned to the secret passage that backed onto the Black Dragon’s cage to rest. As the rest of the party slept the Eladrin sat meditating and could hear goblin voices on the far side of the door as they searched for the adventurers. When they emerged it was clear that while they had been pursued, the secret door had provided them with sufficient protection from their hunters. As the Great Night made their way back to their last location they again heard goblinoid voices arguing about their whereabouts but these were abruptly cut off by the sound of large iron doors slamming shut. Seeing no such door when they reached the vicinity, the Great Night attention was immediately drawn to a large section of wall that backed onto nothing that their searching so far had revealed. To no ones great surprise they found the door concealed by a simple illusion.

Bypassing the trap in the middle of the corridor beyond, which the Hobolock’s familiar had completely failed to notice (lift your game Bitey!), and assuming they held the element of surprise the Great Night opted for (the usual) plan alpha to try and remove any guards before they could raise an alarm. Unfortunately, as they swung the door open though the Great Night found the guard quite prepared and waiting for their arrival. Continuing their plans regardless of the changing circumstances, Errol and Posh Spice the Ranger charged into the room – failing to notice the rest of the guards that quickly moved in to split the party. Through a combination of repositioning from the wizard and shear determination from Errol the party regrouped though and relatively quickly and painlessly over came the guards.

A quick investigation of the door revealed that those on the other side of it were well aware of the fighting taking place beyond it and were prepared for the Great Night’s arrival. While the ranger muttered something that no one was listening to Errol suddenly had a brain wave that they could use the upturned table in the center of the guardroom to provide cover to stop them from becoming pincushions as they entered the next room. While the ranger continued to say things that no one listened to, he and Errol picked up the table and, holding it as a shield in front of them, attempted to batter down the double doors leading to the next room. The door was of a much more solid construction then they had expected however and other than sounding a thundering doom their efforts had no effect. Swinging it much harder the second time, and making much, much more noise in the process, they managed to partially wedge the door open, just enough that the defenders on the far side thought it time to lob javelins in the Great Night’s direction, but to no effect. With the third attempt finally the door was breached and the Great Night deftly moved forward under the fantastic cover of the table, saving them from full volleys of the ranged attacks of the defenders. Positioning it as best they could to provide invaluable cover at one end of the room, the Great Night now took the fight to their enemies, which turned out to be made up of a pack of Goblins, bugbears and an Ogre and Wolf. Seeing another, this time unfire-touched, goblin Hexer in the room the Brahman went Supernova on him, firing off all of his most powerful attacks in a blistering assault. Although the hexer survived the initial onslaught the after effects of it were too great and the continuing damage of his burning clothes finally claimed him (who’s flame touched now, motherfucker?!) and his malign influence on the battlefield ceased. With the Hexer gone all fire power was directed at the Ogre, who spent most of the combat dazed and confused, and in the process the remaining goblins were easily whittled down. On his last legs, and with only a bugbear and the last remaining goblin in support, the ogre made a break for it. However, still dazed from the fury of the Great Night attacks, he only made it as far as the door. Seeing their greatest (or at least largest) fall, the remaining goblinoids both made a run for it hoping to alert anyone in the fortress that may have been so fast asleep/passed out/completely stoned out of their skull that they hadn’t heard the extreme subtlety used by the party to smash open the doors. Although they made it out of the room, before they could reach a second door and raise the alarm/flee they were taken down by a concentrated volley of attacks.

As the Great Night stood regaining their breath from the battle, they were greeted by the sound of more approaching enemies from the far door – no doubt alerted by the drumming of a table on a door. Suddenly they all remembered what the ranger had been saying. It had been HIS stupid idea to use the table as a battering ram! Surely by now they should have learnt not to listen to him…

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Session 16
Flametoucher and his cliche filled allies....

Characters Present: The Brahman “Hobolock”, Errol , Denasdra & the (new) Rangertard

In the aftermath of the battle, the (new) rangertard eagerly went to search the chest for which he had so willingly sacrificed the element of surprise, and to no one’s great shock, found nothing, but kept searching anyway. Meanwhile, after looting the body of the duegar “godsmith” (and finding the hobolock a nice little teifling crown…), the dwarf’s paranoia/hatred of his evil kin kicked in, and he dumped the body into the molten metal of the forge. The half finished golem quickly followed his master in, and was slowly overcome by the burning metal.

With the hammers of the forge silenced, The Great Night quickly turned their attention to the remaining room in the forge complex. Inside they found themselves face to face with a pathetic collection of sniveling goblin and orc slaves. Despite trying both persuasion and intimidation to gather information about Mugrub, the slaves refused or were unable to provide any information of use, and they were left to their fate.

For some strange reason, The Great Night were then compelled to search a section of wall in the main corridor and hey presto! They found a secret door. Unfortunately, half way along this secret passage, they managed to trip an alarm and soon the sound of chanting and summoning was heard in the far room. Charging forward, the teifling found a clichéd fire room, complete with fire beetles, fire snakes, fiery cauldrons, a fire bat and of course the flametouched goblin hexer. There was also a bugbear strangler who was a cunt. While the battle began well for the great night, the flametoucher soon covered the room in an oppressive cloud of smoke, stinging their eyes and covering his allies movements. Despite this the Great Night were confident of victory, at least until several waves of goblin reinforcements joined the battle. The sheer weight of numbers combined with the flametouchers blinding hexes and the bugbear strangler, who if I didn’t mention before was a cunt, began to tell on the Great Night. With Denasdra blind, dazed and more importantly unconscious, the hobolock blind, strangled and surrounded by enemies and the (new) rangertard on the verge of death fighting to clear an escape route, a TPK (or at least PK) looked on the cards. Finally the gish and hobolock managed to roll some saves, and Errol invoked his deities blessing to consecrate the battlefield, which both killed enemies in deaths by 100 cuts and bolstered bloodied allies health. Once the hobolock finally escaped the stranglers grasp, the (new) rangertard hacked the vicious lurker to death and the dwarf’s hammer rang true smashing the flametoucher to the ground, The Great Night were back in control. The wizard, finally revived, got into the act as well blasting the remaining goblinoid soldiers and preventing their escape. Another battle won, but this time only just, The Great Night retreated to lick their wounds and rest.

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Session 15
Ogres and Demons (and hopefully not an Owlbear and as Grick too...)

Characters Present: The Brahman “Hobolock”,Errol , Denasdra & the Rangertard

Quickly finishing the ogre, the Great Night began hacking into the gnashing abyssal creatures who were harassing and harrying Errol. Waving a piece of burnt meat, the hobolock tried to remind the ravenous demons of the pile of meat unguarded since the ogre’s demise. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to understand his bluff and instead decided the tielfing was next on the menu. This at least allowed the Dwarf a moment’s respite, and soon the Great Night had refocused their attacks and seemed to have the battle under control. However, as one of the remaining demons was grievously injured, it teleported away and made a run for the level controls for the owlbears cell. The rangertard –knowing the danger that would be faced if the owlbear was released – sprinted for the controls. Denasdra disengaged himself from the fight to guard the other cell lever, and ensure the Grick stayed caged, while Errol was left face to face with the last gnaw demon. The rangertard and hobolock quickly dispatched the bloodied demon but not before it had raised the portcullis enough for the owlbear to gain a grip on the bars and stop them from closing. Tormlin charged at the owlbear with a flying kick to push it back into its cage, but the attack bounced harmlessly off and it continued to force the iron bars upward. At this point the rangertard had something of a brain fade, taking advantage of a missed attack to shift so he was no longer blocking the cage door – thereby allowing the owlbear an exit path which it took with relish. With a great heave, it pushed the portcullis higher, then squeezing its giant frame under and roared in delight. The rangertard lost what was left of his nerve, and harnessing the spirit of brave, brave sir robin, took flight across the battle field. Spitting in disgust at the human’s cowardice, the hobolock charged towards the owlbear, calling on the power of Hadar to smash the it back into its cell, and allowed himself a self satisfied smile as the portcullis came crashing down behind it. Meanwhile, the wizard had the foresight to destroy the lever to the grick’s cage, and Errol managed to injure final demon enough for the hobolock to jump in with a kill-stealing eldritch blast.

After a quick rest, the Great Night took the time to organise a funeral pyre for the butchered corpses of the slaves that the ogre had been using to feed his pets. They quickly searched the area, finding a similar room to where they had fought the dragon (this time with a chain, but empty? Dun dun daa…) and some frost vales. During this search, The hobolock also finally managed to coax a rat with burned chunks of goblin meat into excepting his tutelage and began conversing with it in a strange (at least more than usual) gibberish language. Listening at the main doors, they overheard a conversation (translated by Snuffles) referring to a “godsmith”, and snuck off to follow this goblin and disrupt any evil work. Moving through a room full of smithing material – worked metal, chain and alchemical items – they found a small room containing a single chest. At the far end of this room, a rhythmic beating noise could be heard and heat radiated from this door, leading the Great Night to suspect a forge was on the far side of the door. Planning on taking forge by surprise, the great night lined up ready to charge through, however the rangertard was insistent that they should check the suspicious chest before moving on. Despite assurances that they could return to the chest after there immediate enemies were vanquished, Tormlin insisted that there were no traps on the chest and demanded they search it now. Finally acquiescing to the rangertard, the hobolock was angry, but not entirely surprised, when a glyph of warding triggered as soon as he set to work with his thieves tools. An explosion shook the room, and with the element of surprised ruined the Great Night quickly enacted plan alpha.

The rangertard entered the room first, followed closely by the hobolock’s curses and threats, to find a large forge room with rivers of molten metal, a half finished iron golem and a duegar theurge barking orders to an ogre and a troop of goblin skirmishers. The gish threw a sleep spell at the theurge and his henchmen, dropping the ogre to the floor asleep, and the hobolock followed this with the hunger of Hadar – covering them in gnashing darkness. Unfortunately the duegar shook of his drowsiness and responded with a cloud of poison gas – blinding and burning both Denasdra and Errol. The hobolock charged forward, eager keep the ogre pinned down inside Hadar’s influence, however out of the molten metal a being of primordial fire and might rose up, smashing burning stone into the teifling. Anger welling up inside the hobolock unleashed a burst of psychic energy blasting nearby foes and dazing them with the power of this mental assault. Soon the dwarf was charging back into the fray mauling enemy forces with his giant hammer and healing those in need. Finally regaining his eyesight, the wizard also replied in kind – covering his enemies with a stinking cloud then driving the ogre back into the convergent zones of darkness and noxious gas. Meanwhile, the rangertard had been busy slicing his way though the goblin forces and somehow managed to avoid the constant javelin fire heading in his direction. However, when another elemental climbed from the molten fire nearby and the duegar began to focus his attacks on the rangertard, things began to look grim for tormlin. But, drawing upon all their reserves, the Great Night managed to slay the duegar leader, and once he had fallen the remaining forces were easily mopped up. The Great Night then had to use all its remaining will power to not beat the ever-loving piss out of the retarded human before as a group swearing an oath never again to listen to him about anything.

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Session 14
Dagron defeated! The search for Mugrub begins...

Characters Present: The Brahman “Hobolock”, Errol , Denasdra & the Rangertard

Denasdra and the rangertard rejoined The Great Night to find them in the midst of a vicious battle with Mugrub’s great weapon – a Black Dragon. With reinforcements arriving for his foes, the dragon cloaked itself in darkness to provide a respite to the barrage of attacks. However Denasdra had witnessed the effectiveness of the hobolock’s zone of darkness and summoned a rolling fog of noxious gas to blanket the dragons position. Finally shaking off the cleric’s mental assault, the dragon charged forward lashing out with claws and bite but was unable to break out of the wizard’s poisonous fog, and was soon forced to retreat. However there was no escape from the relentless assault and after a final breath of the poisonous air, the dragon slumped lifelessly to the ground.

With only one exit to the room, other than the secret door through which they had entered, the hobolock’s paranoia kicked in and he quickly arranged false tracks leading to another section of the room in case the dead dragon was discovered while they took an extended rest to recoup from such a brutal battle. Once rested, they returned to find the dragon corpse undisturbed – at least until the rangertard began hacking it to pieces in an unsuccessful attempt to harvest both its acid and scales. However they were interrupted by feeding time, as a troop of goblinoids pushing a cartload of meat opened the great iron door. Using the element of surprise The Great Night launched into attack and the two hobgoblin soldiers fell quickly. However the bugbear proved a much tougher opponent – taking advantage of the dwarf’s lack of dexterity to grab him and use his body as a dwarven meatshield – while the remaining goblin backblade viciously stabbed out at every opportunity. Once the rangertard managed to bull rush Errol free from the bugbears grasp, The Great Night were quick to exacted retribution, and easily finished the remaining forces.

Following the corridor, The Great Night found themselves at the entrance to a large room alive with activity. Cages on either side of the room contained an Owlbear and a Grick, while in the middle stood a large ogre, alternating between chopping up meat and chasing off three flying demons who were constantly trying to steal the food. There was also a number of goblin helpers gathering the chunks of meat and piling them into carts to feed the caged animals. The Great Night lured the goblin helpers into an ambush (so that they wouldnt be able to free the caged creatures) before focussing their attacks on the huge ogre butcher. The dwarf again found himself to be the focus of enemy attacks, and was only managing to keep his feet through the strength of his healing magic. With the ogre bloodied and bruised in the ground, The Great Night prepared to deliver the finshing blow, before turning their attention to deal with the swarming demons…

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Session 13
Dagron!!!

Characters Present: The Brahman “Hobolock” & Errol

The Great Night was finishing up its interrogation of the hobgoblin prisoner, when a scouting party could be heard returning from the far corridor. The Brahman apologised to the captive before raising his wand to deliver a killing blow, however the hobgoblin calmly replied “I am no threat to you”. In a moment of compassion, the hobolock replied “we’ll let you actions be the judge of that” before turning to face the new arrivals.

Despite being heavily outnumbered, The Great Night easily overpowered the hobgoblin scouts – but not before on of their number managed to escape back down the darkened corridor. After being assured that the escaping warrior could not reach and alert the main body of hobgoblin troops, Errol and The Brahman quickly finished of the remaining scouts. Moving down the corridor, it was clear that the fleeing scout had barricade himself behind a damaged wooden door with another force of goblinoids. The hobgoblin captive once again proved his worth by translating the frenzied cries of the goblins – who were obviously trying to force open another exit from the room.

Employing the time honoured techniques of plan alpha, the hobolockand cleric charged the door, but not before goblin sharpshooters had made The Brahman bleed his own blood. Inside the room, the door was defended by a couple of goblin archers accompanied by a hobgoblin warrior and a guard drake, while another hobgoblin soldier frantically tried to force a concealed door open on the other side of the room. As the tide of battle turned, one of the sharpshooters managed to squeeze through the far door however his escape was short lived with a high pitched squeak and a fiery explosion heralding his end tripped a deadly dwarven trap. The last hobgoblin proved to be a tough enemy – fighting to the bitter end, he survived long enough to thoroughly infuriate the hobolock as neither of The Great Night could land a telling blow for many rounds of combat.

The hobgoblin captive had proven his worth – both as an interpreter and by providing information as well as not alerting The Great Night’s enemies – and hence Errol and The Brahman decided to keep hi as a mascot/interpreter. He was christened Snuffles, and now follows The Great Night- although still as a prisoner.

After the battle, the party managed to break into an abandoned dwarven armoury (only setting off one trap…), before heading through the concealed door where the last goblin sharpshooter met his demise. The Brahman tried unsuccessfully to coax a nearby rat to search the corridor for traps – but it squeaked in horror and scampered off when he accidentally pulled a dagger out instead of rations to bribe the diminutive creature. Next time maybe. Fortunately though, the hobolock managed not to set off the trap (this time), and The Great Night & Snuffles found a network of secret dwarven passages, and evidence that maybe a resistance movement was using these corridor. In an effort to aid this resistance movement, they returned to the armoury and brought back the weapons and armour to arm any freed slaves.

Met with a crossroads, The Great Night decided to head towards the lower temple where, according to Snuffles, the shaman Mugrub kept his lair. Apparently this Shaman was developing a ‘great weapon’ for Organ Grinder and this would also provide the most direct route towards the lower halls and Organ Grinder himself. Finding the backdoor to the temple, the party could hear a rhythmic noise, not unlike mechanical bellows and quietly cracked the door open to find… a Dagron!

Faced with the Shaman’s ‘great weapon’ – a young black dragon – The Great Night charged fearlessly into the fray. Sensing the challenge of battling this might (though young) creature, the hobolock quickly drew upon the power of Hadar to cloak the dragon in necrotic darkness, while the dwarf waded in vicious blows with his mighty maul. Even as the dragons mighty breath weapon began to take its toll, Errol called upon the power of Pelor to commanded the creature back into Hadar’s zone before smiting him with a mighty blow from the maul – leaving the dragon dazed, prone and surrounded by vicious darkness. The hobolock’s curse tore at the black dragon’s strength leaving it bloodied, but in a roar of anger it once again delivered a mighty gout of acid, leaving The Great Night battered and burning and the battle hanging in the balance….

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Session 12

The Brahman heard them mutter, but wasn’t listening; the crackle of the inferno filled his ears. Each of them was tracing a flame running on coruscated lines, a beautiful web of fire that guttered and pulsed covering everything. Each of them was fuel to the great fire, so was the world he looked upon. Unthinkingly he ran a finger along a pyre line, feeling the warmth. Behind his eyelids this was the only thing he saw, the towering blaze, each of them torches dashing before it; fuel to the fire.

A flicker of movement in the ley lines of flame made him blink away the conflagaration of souls. Each of them were still burnt into his vision, ghosting his sight. The stout one had squatted and had traced a map in the dust, marking them with a jab of his blunt finger, crossing out the other corridors showing how they did and didn’t connect. The Brahman was suddenly agitated, the map had reminded him, they had to be told, they had to know. As he squatted at the map, the they looked at him with quizzical faces.

He begun scratching in the dust map, adding a symbol to the corridor behind them: a big oval with eight long legs and eight dotted eyes. Now they also knew the danger that stalked them.

Like the Hobolock’s mind the group seems to be wandering. They will need to find a guide to the layout of Chus Guthra, a hobgoblin to question would suffice, perhaps a freed slave would be preferable and more trust worthy. But that came with the problems of having to free him unnoticed.

Eventually they will have to decide what they want to do about the gnolls, the rest of the slaves and all the other elements of this puzzle.

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