Campaign Log for Bold Beginnings: Part IX

Taking place in the world of Zhalindor, Kingdom of Tumeria, Duchy of Kernan

After resting for a bit at Karst’s Keep, the party headed back to the ancient dwarvish tunnels beneath Logmar’s Tower. Using their three-legged, alchemically created mounts, the Team was able to arrive at Logmar’s tunnels in only two days, rather than the three it would have taken to march.

Caz’par the friendly ghost led the party to the Chamber of Eyes. The party arrived to find a stout, bronze reinforced wooden door. Rayne rushed forward to carefully examine the door. He did not find any obvious traps, but he did observe a strange warding rune on the wall to the left side of the door. Mallan the Mad told the party that the rune was nothing by the hen scratchings of some hedge wizard. It meant nothing. Sterling scratched his head at this, but the party pressed on. Kelmore laughed maniacally as Rayne pushed the door open, screeching horribly on its corroded hinges. Glarg went to silence Kelmore, who artfully dodged out of the burly warrior’s grip. A chase ensued, and soon Kelmore and Glarg were out of sight. Sola muttered "not again," but there was no time for the party to ponder those circumstances.

A huge swarm of eldritch flies, conjured from the thin air appeared around the party causing significant damage and blocking the parties view of the interior of the chamber. Rayne and Sterling rushed forward only to be hit with foul sorceries and a hail of crossbow bolts. The party wisely beat a hasty retreat, running all the way back to Caz’par. Caz’par informed the rest of the party that Glarg and Kelmore had not even paused when they rushed by Caz’par’s position.

The party took about an hour to lick their wounds and make ready their spells and equipment. Once more Team Glarg strode boldly to the chamber. To their collective surprise, standing outside of the chamber was a cowled bipedal creature, whose black robes were embroidered with silver runes denoting Death and Chaos.

He spoke in Blackspeech saying haughtily that “I can defeat you striplings myself.” He nearly did, but his arrogance proved his undoing. Sterling loosed one of the precious Arrows of Slaying at the fell creature, and it fell to the forces of good and light.

The party knew that surprise was no longer an option. So, they flung open the doors of the chamber. Inside they faced a brace of crossbowman on a balcony at the fair end of the chamber along with a mage of some type. On the floor with the party were a handful of swordsman.

Mallan and Varis let go with barrage of arcane spells while Sterling and Rayne rushed forward to engage the horde. Sola and Stasi healed and flung blessings.

In the end, it came down to Rayne facing the mage, but Rayne was the quicker. He brought a blow that staggered the Magnus and brought him low.

The rest of the creatures fled. Glarg and Kelmore arrived shortly thereafter.

The party entered the next chamber. Again, knowing that the element of surprise was lost, the party flung open the next set of doors. They faced a bugbear, several minor mezzodemons, and a brace of goblins. The party did their worst against these. The bugbear, while not the most clever creature that the party had ever encountered, was one of the most resilient.

In a final combat flourish, Glarg slid past the goblins in the rears to offer the coup de Grace. Alas, it revealed the presence of several more goblin guards and another Death Mage!

Mallan and Varis brought their combined magical prowess to bear, but the death blow came again in the way of an Arrow of Slaying shot by the sure hands of Sterling.

After mopping up the remaining, trivial resistance, the party proceeded into the final set of chambers. Here they discovered a band of bugbears. The Team’s resolve never wavered, and using their newly found tactics, the party made quick work of the half dozen bugbears. One fled up some stairs loudly proclaiming in Blackspeech that “the Master must be warned!”

The party took a few moments to heal and prepare and then proceeded to a warren of rooms and passages at the top of the stairs. In one room the party found Glog, a bronze dwarf that had been captured by gnolls and brought here enroute to the Horned Hold to be “branded” and then transported to the burial site of the Slith.

The party eventually found the Master’s chambers. A crude pentagram, dabbed in blood with arcane runes inscribed around it held a pulsating purple tinted portal. Sola quickly determined it to be a thing of evil, and Mallan was able use his arcane skills to determine that only one aligned with the forces of Evil would be able to pass through. Kelmore ran up to and walked through the portal with no difficulties.

He reemerged to beckon the party through. Sterling and Sola wisely warned the rest of the party from following through. Kelmore merely shrugged and joined the party in searching the rest of the room.

The party found a map of the very ruins they sought in the north of County Quival. They also found a scroll written in some tongue that they had not seen.

The party returned to Karst Keep to train and prepare for their assault on the Horned Hold.

Karst was able to translate the scroll that was written in the tongue of the vile Slith.

The scroll contained a riddle that told of seven ruins of the Second Empire of Man that were in and around County Quival.

Riddle of the Ruins

Ancient empire – arcane doom Cleansing nests of eldritch gloom

Slithering masters crack foul gates Driven mad with lust and hate

The Old Ones were, the Old Ones be Between the space that we can see

Eldar signs and elven cloak The Mirror of Souls, a tuning fork Staff of Magi, pigments fair Treasures beckon, but beware Misplaced foot, unlucky glance You’re caught fast with not a chance

Mark these words, mark them well Bring light and life to ancient hell

Seven cities, seven plagues The evil empire did here lag

Dammaron green and ripe Slithering denizens rule the night A thousand eyes and mouths and claws A treasure trove at ghastly cost

Kaddath, dark and deep and cold The godling here is ages old Down the hole for noble bold Light works best for staking gains Wizards shake in impotent rage

Amalon is a fight for brutes Fire and time its deadly fruits Touched and gone and back in shock The first to fall should be the key and clock The godling here has hide of rock

Khulgar is a musician’s bane Filled with sonic pain A mirrored maze of deadly fane Fog of sight, fog of mind The Master’s Eye brings loving sighs

Sillibith warded by slick, black night Sealed with doom till might makes right Tines of metal you must find Else eldritch Dalgran is most unkind

Hammertal boasts an ancient gloom To see his hide is to know your doom Swirling sigils, unclean marks Blind prevail where the sighted lark Shifting walls, spinning floors And back again to its state before

Dalgran claims the final mark Only for the stout of heart A glamour lies upon its shell Careful lest you join this hell Out of joint, out of phase Tines of Metal strikes the way While in hell, you cannot rest Wounds stay open, powers stay lost Tentacled horrors in daemon’s nest You must strike quick; it is the best

[The discerning follower of the Campaign will note that there are only six ruins shown on the map of County Quival. Hmmmmm ... probably means nothing.]