Greyhawk (Against the Giants/Tyranny of Dragons)

Running street battle to the Keep

Day Two:

The Keep of Greenest was just visible over the rooftops from our position as the town came under siege. The blue dragon dove from above striking terror into the hearts of men and blasting the walls with its lightning causing the ground to shudder. All around could be heard the screams of towns folk whose were under attack by the hodge podge army of goblins, kobolds and drakes who began the pillage and burning of Greenest.
Between us and our goal lay many an obstacle, not least of which, the dragon man who had just broken his bonds. Den’Var the bard reacted to the chaos first, stepping over the fallen guards and casting a sleep spell at the half dozen kobolds dropping all but one into a deep sleep. He then ran south between two buildings for cover as we all shouted, “head for the keep!”.
The dragon man suddenly said in common, “My name is Leomar and I am not your enemy. These creatures must be stopped.” He then picked up the shield and sword from the dead town guard and advanced to Kasil. To our total surprise he called upon the power of Bahamut and healed Kasil who had been badly hurt from the slings of the now sleeping kobolds just moments before.
As I moved to the intersection I noticed one of the kobolds trying to wake the others so I swiftly called on the power of fire I had so often practiced as a child and send out a bolt of flame that stuck the beast lighting him on fire like a torch. He died swiftly as the flames consumed him.
As we frantically made our way east through the buildings a woman could be heard yelling frantically for help saving her babies. Her home lay just east and half our group headed toward her while the other half headed southward around the backs of the buildings in hopes of finding a clear path to the keep.
As we approached the building, inside a young human woman was engaged with a nasty looking drake. Behind her was her husband and two children. Clearly, the father had taken a significant claw stike for he lay near death on the floor. Letting fly with an arrow I struck the impaled the beast in the eye dropping it instantly as we called for them to come with us. We crossed the street as a group attempting to meet with the others just south when just east of us on the road appeared a large group of kobolds being directed by a spell caster and his guard. As the family was picked up she attempted to bandage him and allowed me to take her youngest daughter from her arms.
Leomar proved his truth when he placed himself between us and the raiders as two drakes advanced on him under the sling fire of the kobolds. Bravely, as a paladin might be known to do, Leomar stood his ground taking several deep hits and fought back the attackers. With this young human child on my arm I advanced southward and let loose a second fire bolt spell into the ground between us all slow the pursuers and allow us to get the family to safety.
We then met with a second group of villagers, one a healer, how managed to save the husband so badly wounded. Having seen my fire bolt spell the kobolds moved to a protective position around the acolyte. I realized he was the strength behind their actions. I rolled my free hand in a delicate maneuver and drew upon the webs of arcane power flowing in the earth and summoned an orb of acid. Willing it to strike the acolite is flew between the heads of two of the kobolds, swiftly expanded and engulfed the leader. His screams of pain and terror were loud and angonizing, but, short lived ans the acid melted him leaving nothing but bone.
The dwarf cleric Thorrak came running in from the south to heal the dragon man Leomar allowing us all to head south once more. As we crossed the next street to head to the keep Kasil, who was nearest the keep, was shouting about kobold snipers on a roof and the cultist and remaining kobold slingers were set up on the other side of the building east of us.
I slipped north along the edge of the building, calming the child and peaked around the corner. The remaining cultist did not see me so I once again let loose an acid orb, dropping in a heap the of scorched human in the street. We continued our advance south and witnessed several goblins leaving a home arms full of loot, and gathering with the remaining kobold slingers. Distracted with the loot they carried we were able to slip east to the keep and enter.
The guards at the entry summoned the page for lord Highhill. Stunned by the visual of the half dragon man I aroused the man and he agreed to bring us to Lord Highhill. As the castle walls had been breached the formalities we could have other engaged in were skipped and the lord demanded answers. At first he wanted to throw Leomar into the dungeon, but, to his credit the Lord Highhill listened to his story and then asked us all to help save his keep by protecting the breached wall.
It was swiftly discovered that Leomar was of a race from a plane filled with his kind. He was somehow transported here during a fight between several warring dragon clans one claiming a cult of the dragon the other trying to stop their evil. He was here to help us, but, only time will tell the truth of that.
As we prepare to defend the keep and save a village, I wonder, will I be able to overcome the death my dreams fortold? And, what does the lord Highhill’s bedchambers look like?

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The Road to Greenest

The owl sits calmly on the branch looking at the clearing intently. Slowly it takes to the sky and begins a slow circle over the field seeking its prey. Intent on the leg of a grasshopper the mouse had snagged there was no inclination of the doom that lay ahead. Spiraling at first and turning into a steep dive the owl plunged down upon its prey claws extended, ready to grab its first meal of the night. As the mouse looked up it realized too late its fate….
But then, all stories don’t end the same. For this night, the mouse lived. For minutes before a larger airborne hunter had begun its dive upon a prey. Her scales were each larger than the owl and she had thousands of them. The beat of her wings sent trees crashing to the ground and caused bears to flee for nothing was more fearsome in the world than a hungry dragon!
And it was the blood red dragons whose hate oozed from them like the flame they belched upon the world. And this mouse was saved by this very creature, as she passed at just the right moment, and the beat of her wing cause a blast of air to strike the owl with hurricane force. The owls wings spread out and claws down allowed the blasting wind to tear her right wing of sending her crashing to the ground. And the mouse, on this night, running toward its hole, may be all that lived in the area.
The flames burst upon the sleepy town like a volcano. I stand upon the hilltop looking in horror and the buildings filled with sleeping families of humans explode into flame like torches. And then, an instant later she turns to me. Wings pumping and fire all around she swoops, closer she comes, and then the fire emerges between her foot long teeth…
I sat up in bed, sweaty from the dream. For years this vision haunted me, but, it had been absent from me meditation for near a decade, until tonight, when it suddenly and vividly returned. It was this dream and this town that caused me to leave my home in search of the truth.
My father was often upset with me over the years as I constantly told his sister of my dreams and belief in them. For my aunt was the Queen, and I, my mother’s youngest daughter. So when I was able, I took my belief and headed east into the woods to seek the truth of it. And it was here, along the eastern edge of the Gnarly Forest, I would find my proof.
Dusk lay upon the forest as I followed the clawed prints of the dragon man. I stared down upon its unusual bronze armor, covered in blood, laying on the edge of the small river. The sound of a lute beginning to play to the north of my position echo’s through the woods. Moving swiftly I begin to head swiftly and quietly through the woods to try and save whatever poor fool is drawing such attention to themselves in this part of the woods. And there it was, engaged in a fight with a man, who I would later learn, was named Kasil.
I let loose my arrow into its leg dropping the beast and advanced, tying the beast up and making introductions to the human. Two dwarves, Thorrick the Cleric and Crixus, a Halfling named Den’Var clamming to be a famous Bard, and a sickly looking human ranger named Eldora were drawn from the road to the river’s edge by the sounds of the beast.
Knowing we must all find a way to save these lands, I set aside, at least temporarily, my distrust of the dwarfs and introduced myself. “I am Lady Avanna Aldarin of Celene and this beast is under my control now.” They agreed to assist me in taking the beast to Greenest Castle, so when it awoke I could question it. Perhaps its answers would prove the truth of my dreams.
We managed to secure transport a time later from a passing merchant wagon to the town of Greenest. The town watch began escorting us to the keep to meet with Governor Highhill when from some covered wagons waiting to enter the town burst many dozens of kobolds and goblins who began attacking the town. From the sky could be seen a swooping dragon spitting out lightening upon the town and the keep we were headed to. As we drove forward to the keep we came under attack from a group consisting of seven kobold’s and two drakes.
It was at an intersection and the three human guards and the dwarf Crixus were felled in the opening volley of fire from the enemy. It must have been the kobolds, but, the dragon man suddenly awoke, and let out a loud roar. From the sky above a light shot down and bathed the dragon man. His bonds slipped free and he roared even louder matching the roar of the dragon overhead.
For truly, this must be the dream I had all those decades ago, and then again every night for the past three month. For tonight, I would face my dreams and god willing, save myself.
Avanna Aldarin

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Tyranny of Dragons
Greenest

The people of Greenest are anxious as the fear of invasion has once again returned. In the halls of the Green Dragon Inn, veterans of the orc wars with Turrosh Mark murmur that the Wild Coast is as ripe as this region has seen for invasion. They contend that the Knights that once ruled this region have left and now it is run again by traders and thieves.

Governor Highill of Greenest has hired loggers to gather the robust wood of the Gnarley forest to build a wooden fortification around the trading village. Recently, fear has taken over the citizens as a half/dragon man was spotted in the woods by the loggers. They speak of men worshipping in dragon masks and dancing around fires in the forest.

Govern Highhill has responded plastering the trees and in town halls of small trading villages around the town of Greenest wanted posters of a half dragon/half humanoid creature. Governor Highhill of Greenest has offered a 100 gp reward for the capture of this creature. The wanted posters say emphatically “HE MUST BE FOUND ALIVE.”

The characters begin their individual search in the Gnarley Forest.

Parts of the Gnarley Forest are claimed by Celene, Dyvers, Verbobonc, and Greyhawk. Most is generally considered as part of the Wild Coast region, however, and the inhabitants of these woodlands are free-spirited folk, so no formal government is ever likely to hold sway as long as there are deep woods to shelter resisters. The Viscounty of Verbobonc is well liked by the folk dwelling in the northwestern portions of the Gnarley, while Celene is favored by those in the south.

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The Fall of Amerith
And the hands of doom fall on the hero's

Amerith Strode into the cavernous dark temple with the remainder of he companions behind him. The evil mage stood in a river of blood and lightning offering a hand out in peace.

Amerith determined to set the world aright after realizing the mage was creating a tear between world in this lightning storm rush forth drawing the Blade of Bahumat swinging twice but found his foot caught in a crack in the ground. As he attempted to recover the mages familiar slipped in behind him and struck him just below the base of his head killing him.

The remainder of the party seeing their leader felled sled the temple only to be attacked by a second party of adventurers…….

In the Halls of Pelor the Deva spirit Amerith walked forward to his lord and dropped to a knee. “I have failed you my Lord and Savior Pelor to my endless shame. I will return to the mortal world at your behest to take up and fight for your will once again, as always. What role is you wish of me this time for there be no depth to the sorry I feel for the failure of this lifetime.?”

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What's come to pass at Oytwood Pass?
Oytwood Gnoll more!

The party arriving at Winterhaven (formerlly known as Steryn) began seeking information of their new surroundings. Rook engaged two of the city watch who yearned for battle. Poor fools wouldn’t survive a night beyond the walls Rook assesses. Hobson fumbles his way through a conversation with Delphina in the marketplace and learns his wits are no match for hers. Heian meets with the shoppe keep Bairwin and peruses his wares. The most fruitful discover is that of Amerith who visited with Lord Pardraig. The Lord commissions Amerith and his party to travel to Oytwood Pass. Traders due back have not returned. Lord Paradig explained that the Pass has served as a buffer between Winterhaven and the raids of the outside world. If the Pass has fallen he will need to know immediately. The party accepts the quest and heads out the next morn, to Amerith’s dismay without mounts or a beast of burden.

Day 1 – Heian tries to rest the party on top of a hidden ant hill but the party assists in providing better lodgings for the night. Otherwise the day passes uneventful.

Day 2 – The party arrives at the proverbial fork in the road. A recent shallow grave has been haphazardly made not far off the path. Hobson and Heian can’t resist and upturn the burial site. A brother of Heironieous is buried within, the life recently smashed out of him. No other clues are left as to what occurred. The party reburies the fallen and Amerith adds a few words of prayer. Otherwise the day passes uneventful.

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Day 3 – The party arrives on the outskirts of Oytwood, the town engulfed in wisps of smoke. Carefully the party approached the walls of the town. The first discoverer was the remains of a camp, the inhabitants mutilated within one of the tents. Amerith barely holds his mornings meal at the macabre scene and a sense of dread comes over him. Heian scensed the smell of burnt dog hair in the air. Still quietly the party approached the city’s outer watch tower. It was then the pack of gnolls launched their attack. A couple ogres and a crew of mercenary kobold sharp shooters already roosted in the tower assisted the gnolls in their assault. The God’s favored us that day. Our weapons repeatedly guided with critically accuracy against our assailants. The turning point was a moment of genius by the psyonicist V. She utilized her newly acquired card from a Deck of Many things and sent the Pack Lord into another dimension. The ruse threw the pack into utter chaos and the party made every advantage out of the packs hesitation. In the end the gnolls that weren’t killed, ran off. Two of the kobold’s remained alive, beged for mercy and pledged their service for a mere GP a day. Hobson quickly agreed and mockingly told Amerith the beasts of burden had been procured for far cheaper than the donkey would have cost in town. V scoured Outwood with her psyche and quickly assessed Oytwood had no survivors. The group decided to make back for Winterhaven with their new found knowledge. By the way the fire continued to spread as the party battled on, odd!

The trip home – The party made camp and the first four watches passed quietly. That changed during Hobson’s watch. Another pack of gnolls quietly approached the campsite. Somehoe Hobson managed to pull off something he never does well. He sensed the camp was under attack. Quickly the party was hastened from their slumber to combat their ambushers. The battle waned back and forth but seemed to take a tide for the worse when Amerith was brutally struck. Rook heroiclly took the brunt of the blow for him and immediately dropped unconscious. Hobson noting the swing in the tide of battle resorted back to setting the forest on fire and manipulating the arcane powers that had become so unstable. His storm wind thundered around the gnolls and scattered the pack apart. Quickly the pack turned on the halfling leaving him a heartbeat from death’s door. Once again the God’s took favor on the party. Hobson critically eviscerated the gnoll’s chief again throwing the pack in chaos. The battle was over almost as quickly as it began. The next morning the party said goodbye to Jeak and Beak, their Kobold mercernaries, and returned back to Winterhaven.

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Rescue at Rivenroar

RESCUE AT RIVENROAR

PARTY – Hobson (Rogue), Heian (Druid), Gauthak (Brawler), Anamander (Templar), Vieva’Wyss (Psion)

1st Day – While in a tavern in Preston, the party is besieged by goblins, hobgoblins and an Ogre, who try to sack, pillage and set the town to flame. The party is able to defeat the mauraders and learn from one of the party members, Hobson, a halfling rogue about a possible quest.

The Oytwood forest has been teaming with activity in the past moons. A new presence with an old name, “Red Hand of Doom” has entered the Oytwood led by a hobgoblin named Sinruth. His marauding army of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins have been sacking town and villages around Hochoch. They have recently stunned all those in Hochoch by raiding the city. They took seven prisoners and stole an artifact from the Hall of Great Valor and are residing in Castle Rivenroar, which is deep in the Oytwood forest.

With the assassination of Owen I, the city of Hochoch has been dealing with political turmoil. The knights of the Gran March, who provided service and protection to Owen I and the refugees of Geoff have returned to their homeland. The monastic of order of Knights Watch has taken power in Hochoch led by Grandiose Imperial Wyvern Darwyck of Hookhill. Grand Imperial Darwyck has disbanded the splinter sect the Knights of Dispatch after a traitorous band of Dispatch members tried to usurp the order by killing Hugo of Geoff. Wyvern Darwyck had the band of knights executed and disbanded the order. This turmoil has created a perfect opportunity for an attack by the Red Hand of Doom.

Knights of the Watch have made no effort to track the Red Hand of Doom down. They have instead spent most of their resources fortifying the city. Contrary to the Knights Watch lack of an offensive, the elves in Preston have left the city to combat the Red Hand of Doom.

You are fascinated by the prospects of finding this castle Rivenoar, but you have no idea of its whereabouts or who or what resides there.

Day 2 – Party leaves to find Castle Rivenroar. Led by Heian the Druid, the party is led in the wrong direction and into a Kruthik lair where after suffering major wounds Anamander and Gauthak are left unconscious. Party members are able to revive Anamamder, but the Goliath Gauthak is unable to regain consciousness and is buried in the woods of Oytwood.

Day 3 – While traveling in the woods of Oytwood, the party runs into a Paladin named Amerith and an elven warrior named Bren who Amerith found in a hangman’s noose. They continue towards Rivenroar Castle.

The party finds a castle in ruins and discover tracks that lead into a catacombs. Moving down the stairs into the catacombs, the party combats hobgoblins and goblins who guard the entrance. Bren, the elf is stuck with bolts and dies in the first minute of combat. The party is able to regain the battle field as Heian brings locusts on the hobgoblins. The goblin snipers run away as the party decides to let them go.

The main entrance room has three doors, one to the north, east and west. The party decides to go through the door labeled Rivenroar family. This leads to stairs that go down into the catacombs. This leads to a room full of mushrooms. Amerith decides to explore the room and encounters a sleeping Rage Drake. As he returns to the party to explain what he has found, Hobson checks out a mushroom that begins to screech, alerting the Rage Drakes. The party has much more success against the Rage Drakes.

In another adjoining room, the group finds an old woman in a magic circle. She is one of the prisoners and her name is Zerriska. They group also finds in a niche in the ground in the mushroom room, a holy symbol +1, Magic Orb +1 and Plate Hero Armor +1. The group decides that they will take an extended rest.

Day 4 – Rested the group moves back to the entrance room. As Hobson listens at the door, he hears the moaning of the undead. The group opens the door to find that the two hobgoblins and Bren who were killed in the room are now Zombies. The group slices, dices and psionically blasts the undead very quickly moving to the door, the goblins escaped through the previous day.

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New Heroes of Greyhawk
Rescue at Rivenroar

Oytwood

Although the elves of the Oytwood have long maintained cordial relations with the humans of Geoff, and even helped build the capital city of Gorna, these relations cooled considerably in the aftermath of the giants’ depredations. The Olvenfolk of the Oytwood survived only by retreating into their hidden halls to regroup and recover.

With no help coming from beyond the woods, the elves began a guerrilla war against the invaders that has met with modest success. Although the Oytwood has not been under giant control since 588 CY, sev­eral of the brutes still roam the forest. That fact, in addition to the threat of wandering fey beasts, has kept the elves from joining the larger effort to reclaim Geoff, and from helping their sylvan cousins fight the Shadow Dragon. If the folk of Hochoch can win the elves’ help, the Oytwood could serve as a direct route from Hochoch to the giant-occupied capital of Gorna.

Preston
Population: 50
At a Glance: An elven outpost, recently reclaimed
Established before the formal founding of Geoff, Pres­ton has long served as an outpost from which the high elves of the Oytwood watch for invaders. Its first such use was against the Suel and Oeridian migrants, and more recently, against the giants. Despite the best efforts of the elves, half-elves, and humans who lived there, the invading giants captured Preston, forc­ing its residents to flee either to Hochoch or to deep within the forest.
In recent months, the elven forces have expelled the giants from Preston. Currently, the treetop ruins of Preston serve as a base for a small garrison of stoic elves tasked with holding it until more forces can be spared to rebuild it.

THE FIRST ADVENTURE PROLOGUE

The Oytwood forest has been teaming with activity in the past moons. A new presence with an old name, “Red Hand of Doom” has entered the Oytwood led by a hobgoblin named Sinruth. His marauding army of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins have been sacking towns and villages around Hochoch. They have recently stunned all those in Hochoch by raiding the city. They took seven prisoners and stole an artifact from the Hall of Great Valor and are residing in Castle Rivenroar, which is deep in the Oytwood forest. Liberation_of_Geoff.jpg

With the assassination of Owen I, the city of Hochoch has been dealing with political turmoil. The knights of the Gran March, who provided service and protection to Owen I and the refugees of Geoff have returned to their homeland. The monastic of order of Knights Watch has taken power in Hochoch led by Grandiose Imperial Wyvern Darwyck of Hookhill. Grand Imperial Darwyck has disbanded the splinter sect the Knights of Dispatch after a traitorous band of Dispatch members tried to usurp the order by killing Hugo of Geoff. Wyvern Darwyck had the band of knights executed and disbanded the order. This turmoil has created a perfect opportunity for an attack by the Red Hand of Doom.

Knights of the Watch have made no effort to track the Red Hand of Doom down. They have instead spent most of their resources fortifying the city. Contrary to the Knights Watch lack of an offensive, the elves in Preston have left the city to combat the Red Hand of Doom.

This is where the adventures will start in a tavern in Preston. It has been a few days since the group left to Rivenroar castle. You are fascinated by the prospects of finding this castle Rivenoar, but you have no idea of its whereabouts or who or what resides there.

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Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (Epilogue)

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 13th day of the month of Planting

THE EPILOGUE
After making a deal with the Giants and the Fire Giant, Smolderheart the party leaves Kargyraa Fort (the Steading) bandaged and bruised. As they venture outside toward the back exit of the fort, the fire that the wizard Malador created is still burning. Next to the fire, two large Ogres, work as a team as one slowly tosses bodies on a cart while the other removes the bodies, placing them on the fire. After spending a day in the dungeons of the Fort, the newly orinated Knights of Dispatch can’t imagine that there could be a smell so hideous and vile, notwithstanding the burning of Ogre, Orc and Hill Giant is much worse. Soft hearted Cur, sees a few remains of Hill Giant children amongst the pile of bodies and wonders if the atrocities of war is something he can stomach much further.

The parties trek is slow and long up the hills of the Crystalmists as the badly tortured Half-Orc Javok and Zorn Ironbeard have to be carried along with the deceased Delita. Each person focuses on their movement and barely speaks as they forge their way up the mountain. Flavious scouts to see if the Giants are following the group, but they seem to pay no interest to the party exiting the fort. Fortunately, after an hour up the mountain, they are not met by any aggression and make it to the rendezvous point without any great difficulty.

Inside the cave, the two Dwarves Benij and Rynij are not to be found as well as the Hypogriffs they used to journey here. The pot that the two dwarves left over the fire is still hot, but they are nowhere to be found. Where the two have gone as well as the four Hypogriffs is a mystery to the group. However, minds and attitudes are changed when Malador casts a delightful spell that brings sustenance and warmth to the cave. A thick venison-barley stew, snails in honey and garlic, fresh trout baked in clay, pigeon pie, and lemon cakes are devoured by the tired giant slayers.

As the mood of the room changes dramatically as each person is satiated by the feast. Zorn Ironbeard and Javok, who were less than communicative, begin to express their gratitude to the party. They comment that there lives were in great jeopardy and if it wasn’t for the parties intervention they would certainly be dead.

Javok tells the party how he was part of a scouting that was gauging the giants movement. His commander Arco Iris, a large stubborn human of a man led them deep into this region. He continues and laments how his scouting party was ambushed by a stealthy blue dragon and a band of trolls a season ago. He was knocked unconscious by the dragon’s wings and left for dead by his scouting party. He was discovered by orcs and disguised himself, enlisting himself in their ranks. Javox has discovered that the orcs were actually under the yoke of the very Hill Giant his scouting party was looking to find, Chief Nosnra. A few days ago he infiltrated the Steading and found Zorn Ironbeard was a prisoner. He tried to free Zorn, but was discovered by the Bugbears as Zorn was too badly beaten and hobbled to run.

As Javox drowns on and on about the failed escape, Zorn interrupts him suggesting that we can laugh and talk about our mistakes later. Zorn insists he must return to his homeland and hopes the party can assist him. He does not like that you were adventuring with a Suel, as his eyes look to the your dead comrade Delita and sees no reason why you shouldn’t bury him and get rid of his kind. Venix defends Delita’s presence as a dutiful member of the group and sees no malace or evil in his heart. All Venix has experienced is a skilled warrior who has put his own life in danger time and time again and should be remembered as a hero, if they should not be able to find a way to bring life back in his body.

There is an unsettling silence among the group over the discussion of Delita. Halldor breaks the silence with a belch and begins singing an old Dwarven ballad about about the history of the dwarves in this region one thousand years ago. The dwarven kingdoms were destroyed in the Evoke Devastation in -422 CY. The last High King of the dwarves perished during that cataclysm, the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords lost, and the dwarven people have not been united by any king since. Legend has it that if the Axe is ever again found, the Age of High Kings will return.

Zorn Ironbeard explains that his clan the Ironbeards are the descendants of the High Kings and the fortress of Argent Tor is where he needs to go to reclaim his lordship. As Halldor informs him that when the Dwarves return with the Hypogriffs, we may begin that quest. The other party members are not so certain. Malador and Flavious are not interested in venturing from their mission. They have found the maps to the Giants strongholds and assisting Zorn is not part of the mission. Zorn laments that they are correct. The mission should be to cut the head off the Giant leadership. However, his returning to Argent Tor and regaining that citadel is important strategically for this region. They can restore Argent Tor as a base for operations for future rebel operations.

In the morning, after they rest, the party awakes to see that Benij and Rynig have returned. They tell the party that they were flying around watching the Steading and waiting to help anyone that had to escape. They are pleased to see that you all are safe and inform the group that since this mission has been accomplished they agree with Zorn and his mission, taking back Argent Tor should be our next mission and they will accompany them to Ironbeards stronghold in Argent Tor. They are extremely pleased that the group has acquired the location of the Giants lairs and ask to make copies of the maps immediately.

As the party begins their ride to the fortress of Argent Tor, they see a large plume of smoke coming from the valley of the fort. Malador is insistent that they take a closer look. As they fly closer, they see that Kargyraa Fort is ablaze. It looks as though the remaining survivors have put the wooden fortress to the torch.

SIEGE OF ARGENT
In Argent Tor, the party assists in its liberation. The forces of orcs, hobgoblins and ogres are easy foes for the likes of this party. Cur and Flavious were able to sneak in and defeat the Ogre leader, causing chaos in the humanoid ranks. While disorder ensued for the forces of Orcus, Malador was able to bring down wind and lightning upon them destroying their will to fight. The siege only lasted a few hours and Zorn Ironbeard was once again lord of Argent Tor.

In Argent Tor, priests of Moradin would not raise Delita from the dead. To them he was an agent of the Scarlet Brotherhood and no priest was going to raise his Suel soul from the dead. With no transport out of Argent Tor, as the Hippogriffs that brought them there were discharged immediately after the party had arrived, Malador spends this time rummaging through his books. Malador’s years of research and extraordinary knowledge of the arcane has led him to an ancient scroll which used Shadow magic to return those from the dead. He informed the party that he is working on a way that he could return Delita back from the dead. However, it may be very dangerous.

WARRENS OF THE STONE GIANT THANE
Of all the giant lords, Thane Arnak of the stone giants seems the least likely to rally behind the banner of Snurre, king of the fire giants. Until recently, the stone giant thane maintained a steady truce with neighboring clans of dwarves, and stone giants rarely ventured far from their warrens in the craggy foothills of the Crystalmist Mountains. But something has changed. Stone giants have emerged from Howling Crag to join the rampaging hordes, providing needed artillery to Snurre’s growing army. Dwarves are convinced that Arnak still commands the giants of Howling Crag, but they fear that a dark influence has persuaded the thane to act against his better nature.

In addition to convincing Thane Arnak to break his alliance with the other giant lords and King Snurre, Stone giant marauders attacked the Gray-Beards, an ally of the Ironbeards, dwarven military encampment and stole a battle standard, atop which was a golden falcon. The dwarves take it as a sign of ill omen that the falcon was lost. Return it to them if you can. Lastly, a Sterich delegation sent to negotiate a truce with Thane Arnak never returned. The group included a human noble named Merlian Saar, his two human bodyguards, and their guides—a pair of goliaths. Find and rescue any survivors.

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The Dragon in the Pit

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 12th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy….Still
Would this, the longest day of my life, not end?!? _

If it were not for the bounty taken in that dungeon the giants who sued for peace would have paid this very night. After negotiating for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the Hill Giant King Nosnra informed us that his prisoners were located below his keep in a dungeon. Our group descended the stairwell into darkness our way lit by my wisp some fifty feet down ancient step that ended in a long stone hallway. Our concerns for the safety of the walls were soon of no concern as the giants above began tossing boulders and dirt over the entrance and down the stairway sealing us within. Fortune was however on our side briefly as all managed to round the corner at the end of the hall safely save some minor bumps and bruises to Cur.

Yet this was small condolence as the room lay open before us. We stood in the Southwest Corner entrance to a eighty by eighty hall with four giant columns spaced equal distance from each wall and the other columns. One can only guess that this was once the subterranean storeroom for a long forgotten keep that lay above. Floor of rough stone and the walls, once magnificent stonework, lay now covered in bones and dried blood, deep scorch marks burned into the floor as if dwarf hammers had been unleashed in a vain attempt to destroy this place. This was but a backdrop to the real horror of the room.

Protruding from the walls and columns, from floor to ceiling, were five foot long iron spears jutting out like dragon teeth with bones and remains of numerous victims stuck within as foot scraps between so many thousand teeth. The stench of rotting flesh hung heavy in the air and from the north could be heard a howl of wind turning up the dust of long dried out blood and broken rock. All was quiet as Delita entered and moved deeper lead by the light of the wisp and the sunrod that he had produced from his pack. Light flickered shadows on the walls and the wisp moved around and through the columns, sometimes just out of sight casting long shadows of columns toward us. To the far southern corner and far northern corner could be seen a raised portcullis’ and in the west side of the room the wall had been broken down creating a large entrance to a cavern.

As our group began its slow walk through the room, as if from nowhere was a sight of unimaginable horror, an adult iron dragon who announced its presence with a burst of lightning sending Cur into a wall of spears and knocking me to the ground. As my ears rang from the blast I stood dazed and in hast cast out my Color Orb spell which struck the mighty beast and then in a flash of light deflected back knocking me to the ground stunned. Venix reacted quickly and called upon the power of Pelor to send divine healing into Cur saving him from near death for a second time in the past 15 minutes.

Honestly, I worry that the little munchkin will not long survive at this rate. Perhaps it is the price he pays for the curses he throws and this shall just be his fate for many adventures to come. I wonder just how long will Cur’s magic armor hold up under this constant assault. But that discussion shall be a topic of much conversation at a later time.

Dragons are impressive beast to watch and thankfully, I can say this as the last two we encountered were unable to defeat us. The beast began snapping out with its jaws and prepared to launch a second blast of lightning when Flavious launched several arrows at the beast. His first arrow struck true as it entered the dragon’s nostril causing it to collapse to the ground snorting and growling, momentarily stunned. Taking maximum advantage Delita and Halldor leapt to the dragon raining blow after blow sending it off balance to fall on the ground at the monk’s feet. Realizing its predicament, the dragon teleported away whoever it re-appear next to Venix who struck with the light of Pelor and shot the beast in the heart weakening its blows at the same time I called on the elemental forces sent forth protective energies to my company. Combined these two forces ensured that the dragons blows landed as not more than scratches upon us, yet we continued our relentless pursuit of the beast as it vainly attempted to teleport away. Delita pursued the beast to the southern hallway yelling for us all the location. As we converged the dragon teleported out of the hall and appeared nest to me ready to breath but as fortune would have it I was able to use the power of the thunder through my staff and hurled the dragon backward 40 feet causing his breath to harm nothing but the walls. Sadly, this was the second time the dragons protective magic responded and blasted my staff out of my hands and sent it skidding under the wall of spears.

Then we lost the beast again for a moment but Delita once again managed to locate it in the cave to the west of the great hall hiding in rubble and the remains of the many long dead adventurers the dragon had devoured. The beast sent blasts of lightning into the ceiling attempting to bury us, but as fate would have it, the dragon was to be entombed within the resulting ceiling collapse.

When the dust cleared, we all entered the southern room to find much treasure spread about and more importantly to the cause, maps and information outlining the enemies plans. I can only assume at the very same moment King Nosnra was finishing putting out his fires and may have felt the earth tremble and heave and must believe that we had all met a violent end. Little was he to know that day was the day Cur decided the Giant King Nosnra would suffer and die a painful death at his hands for his betrayal of our good faith by sealing us in a tunnel with and angry iron dragon. As any good merchant knows, it’s the rats in the cellar that hurt your business the most, a lesson Nosnra going to be taught at Cur’s hand.

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The Battle Continues, Part Three

Nosura


The next minutes was pure chaos. I find it hard to imagine that anyone, even our foes survived. Flavious took a second arbalest bolt throwing him backward from Nosnra and then fled into the burning outbuilding followed closely by Vaarg and a hill giant hunter. Moments later that building exploded into flame the roof falling caving and the hill giant hunter burst out covered in flame near death. Flavious managed to flee through a chimney deep in the building and began to circle around to the front.

In the meantime, I continued to toss giants into the wall of fire who were fool enough to stay within range of my windstorm. Several met their end in those fires, including the hill giant matron, shouting all the while that “I shall get you and crush your bones to dust for what you have done”. Although, the last sound she would make was a screech as she was tossed one last time into the middle of the wall, the magic flames searing the skin and muscle from her bones, followed quickly by the Stone Giant Emissary who met the same fate.

Inside, Cur and Venix had a much tougher time of it, as several ginats converged on them, with one leaping off the roof to land directly on them as Nosnra began running along the roof edge toward us. He was shouting in human common “I demand that you surrender to ahhhhhhhhhh” as the roof under him collapsed sending him plummeting to the floor inside. Getting up he rushed forward to help his giants kill Cur and Venix. Delita slipped behind the giants into a chimney and began searching the last rooms for what we came. Venix fled from under the hoof of the giants, slipping through a hole in the walls into the room Delita was hiding as our short companion Cur was struck by a near fatal blow from Nosnra sending him flying across the main hall landing hard against the giants’ dinner table.

Nosnra’s giants advanced upon Cur, lifted his unconscious body, tossed it on a table and began to remove his belongings. Nosnra, mistakenly shouted that we were to surrender or he would kill the gnome. But Venix was not to hear of such nonsense and, calling upon the powers of Pelor, summoned Curs to him and administered a life saving healing. This was the final loss for Nosnra and he began shouting for parlay.

Knowing that his mighty keep and forces of arms had been mightily reduced and hearing in his desperate plea that we could take his prisoners with us we listened. As it turned out, unbeknownst to us, the giants were holding many dwarf prisoners, who were in bad shape. Knowing that If the battle continued, the prisoners would likely be buried alive under the keep, we agreed to allow Nosnra to live. He and his giants laid down their arms and retreated to the furthest corners of their keep as we entered the dungeons and claimed his prisoners. Seeing caves in the back of the dungeon and with our dwarf allies in tow, we headed our of the keep by underground caverns.

And in those tunnels, we would be tested again.

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