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May 30 2010

Chronicles of Netheril – May 29th, 2010

During our first gaming session Fyrewind and myself were playing two characters and Mavic, our third player, only one (Garnik).  Despite being a veteran Dungeons and Dragons player, this was his first time playing under the 4E rules. After that first session, he decided he also wanted to play two characters. Luckily, it was easy to bring him in to the adventure. An item from the very same dungeon we were in would be the key.

***

After resting for a bit we looked around the room and found a stepping disk, a portal to a pocket dimension, lying on the floor.  When Artrius picked it up, its magic was dissipated and a Goliath Barbarian appeared in our midst. His name is Ilikan, and he told us he’d been trapped in a white void for many years. Based on the year he said it was when he was first trapped we were able to determine that he had been imprisoned for about 15 years. He decided to join our party and help us in our quest, both as thanks for freeing him and because he’d been out of the world for so long that he didn’t know was going on anymore.

We proceeded, through a set of double doors that led out of the sloping room. We found ourselves in the SOUTH end of a short corridor facing another set of double doors to the NORTH. Since we had been noisy coming in, the creatures on the other side of the doors were alerted to our presence and we could hear them shuffling about as they waited for us to enter. On the other side of the doors we again found ourselves at the SOUTH end of a corridor. This one was longer, and past the midpoint, a stairway descended toward the exit in the NORTH end. Halfway down its length, the corridor was flanked by two rooms. On the EAST side, a door led to a shrine with three goblins worshipping at the feet of a large statue. On the WEST side, a portcullis provided access to a crypt where dwarf-like zombies were milling about.

We managed to eliminate all the enemies, but it was a much harder fight than the last one. Our efforts were rewarded when we found gold, gems and a healing potion hidden in the rooms. We took a short break and then proceeded onwards through another corridor, until we arrived on the western side of a large room.

The goblins in this chamger had apparently heard our fight in the corridor because they were ready and waiting for us. Two Hobgoblin Soldiers were in hiding, flanking both sides of the door. They stopped us in our tracks quite easily. In the SOUTH-EAST end of the chamber, were two Hobgoblin Archers who could attack us with no fear of reprisals. Our melee combatants had to remain near the entrance to protect our weaker ranged combatants from the Soldiers; and our ranged combatants were unable to attack the Archers. On the EAST end of the chamber, across from a pit but directly in front of us, the goblin’s commander, a Hexer, used his magic abilities to hex us and make us less effective. Garnik fired many arrows at him, with very minimal success; and Artrius’ attempts to pull the hexer into the pit using his telekinetic powers were equally unsuccessful. When we did eventually manage to enter the room, things only got worse. A Goblin Warrior appeared out of nowhere and flanked us. Turns out this chamber also contained a stepping disk.

We were on the verge of loosing the fight, when Eramus tried a risky gambit. Because the Hobgoblin Soldiers were using a special technique they knew to defend and reinforce each other, it was virtually impossible to hurt them. Eramus decided to charge further into the room and attack the archers. This left our defensive line completely open; usually a very unwise move. But as the saying goes, “fortune favors the bold”. Eramus’ maneuver distracted the Goblin Hexer, who by this point was wounded. Artrius landed a deadly blow  and pulled the Hexer’s corpse into the pit; which apparently was bottomless. Without their commander, the goblins’ strategy fell into disarray and we finished them fairly quickly.

To the SOUTH, a door led to the goblins’ sleeping and eating area. Looking around through the trash, we found a few valuable gold and silver items. After the fight we were all wounded and needed to sleep and rest. We returned to the Shrine off the long corridor, propped the statue against the door to block it, and then we went to sleep. When we awoke, we returned to the large chamber and examined the pit. The pit is in fact the entrance to a large vertical shaft that was used as a catacomb by the previous dwarf residents. There is a large spiral stone staircase leading down through the catacomb all the way to the Tomb of the Ogre King.

In the tomb we met the goblin leader, High Shaman Sancossug, who is attempting to revive the Ogre King. We talked to him and he revealed his plans. By observing carefully, we discovered that the Skull Totem, was in fact the skull of the Ogre King mounted on a shaft. It could serve as a makeshift mace. One of the horns was missing from the skull; obviously the Horn Totem. Unfortunately, our efforts to intimidate him into surrendering were unsuccessful and he attacked us.

Despite being alone, he is more than a match for us. His magical abilities, which are quite powerful and debilitating, can also target a large area.  After being blinded by one attack, and taking the full force (critical hit) of two fire cloud attacks (3d6+1 damage), Voulge was killed. The rest of the team ganged up on Sancossug, but actually hitting him was quite difficult because of his speed. We slowly chipped away at his health; and a few truly devastating assaults by Ilikan finally brought him down. Along the way Ash was knocked unconscious; but he was eventually revived by Eramus.

Having defeated Sancossug we took the Skull Totem and Voulge’s corpse, left the barrow, and returned to Loudwater.

***

In Loudwater we returned to the Green Tankard tavern to speak with Curuvar. Upon seeing the Skull Totem, he reveals to us that the Ogre King was not an ogre, but an oni: “an ogre-like beast with mystical power”. It wished to learn all it could about the Dire Wood, and used the goblins as servants to help him accomplish his goals. In the end, he lets us keep the Skull Totem. He never wanted it in the first place; he only wanted to see if we could obtain it.

We ask for his help in reviving Voulge and he directs us to Brother Griffon, the head priest at the Temple of Sylvanus. Sunsteen informs us that Brother Griffon is can only be found at the Temple at dusk and dawn. While we wait for dusk, Sunsteen buys us a few rounds of drinks.

At dusk we head to the temple to see Brother Griffon. He can revive Voulge, but the ceremony and prayers required will take all night. As payment, he asks for a small donation to the temple, and that we agree to go to the Loudwater General store the next morning. Its owner, Calla Maran, needs our help with a problem. We return to our rooms at the tavern for a well deserved nights sleep.

The next morning, a Revived Voulge joins us in the tavern’s main room. We head over to the Loudwater Smithy to sell the treasures that we have collected. Its owner, Megana Nistral, is a very tall and brawny human woman. Some describe her as being “broad as a dwarf”. We sell all our treasures at reasonable prices, but during the transaction, her lewd and lascivious statements make it clear that she’s attracted to Ilikan and the other overly tall members of the party.

We then head to the General Store to speak with Calla Maran. Her “problem” is that a gang of criminals is running a protection racket on the shopkeepers and business owners of the town. Since we helped defend the town from the goblins she hopes we will help with this problem as well. She has refused to pay the extortion money and is therefore a target. She also mentions that Brosha Manx, owner of the Loudwater Apothecary has also refused to pay. He is therefore the next person we should speak with, as he will probably want our help as well.