Tales of Penundra

Scenario 4 - Blood and Stone
The Price of Freedom

After the hero’s difficult encounter in the Shale Forest, they prepared themselves for a confrontation with the dark presence at Grommel Keep. Lieutenent Rathar told the heroes that the shadow over the forest and the surge in Werewolf sightings could all be traced to whatever malicious being had taken up residence in the tower.

Tandros, still wounded from the previous fight, decided to stay at the camp and attempt to heal himself. In his stead, Lieutenant Rathar’s cleric offered to join the party and help rid them of this evil, an offer the heroes readily accepted.

And so after spending the night to recover their strength, the heroes set out for Grommel Keep. After arriving at the door and speaking some words in the fel tongue, the mystic managed break the spell holding the door shut and gave the heroes access to the throne room. However, as they stepped into the darkness there was a blinding flash and before the heroes could react, they found themselves in dank underground cavern.

It appeared the throne room had been trapped and the heroes had been teleported somewhere into the bowels of the keep. After sensing no immediate danger, Rhogar took a single step in the shallow pool at the center of their new prison. To his dismay, the heroes were not alone and out of the darkness surged a four headed Hydra. Before any of the party could react, the beast struck, mortally wounding Brandis Skyhunter and dealing heavy wounds to each of the heroes.

However, before his death, Brandis dealt the horrific creature three terrible wounds, driving it back a few steps and giving Rhogar the opening he needed. Planting himself in front of his comrades, Rhogar hefted his axe over his head and brought it down not on the beast’s many heads, but on its unprotected body. The axe bit deep and severed the creature in two, ending the threat of the multi-headed horror.

After felling the beast, the dark sorcerer of Grommel Keep appeared and taunted the heroes before blasting them with dark magic and fleeing up the stairs. The heroes revived their fallen comrade and followed, determined to catch the foul wizard and end its reign of terror.

But as they stepped into the hallway of the keep, they found themselves boxed in by the blue flames of the sorcerer’s magic. A spell revealed that the only a blood sacrifice would allow the heroes to pass through the lesser doors and after some exploration they soon found themselves confronted by a sadistic choice – they could either let a priest die and save a vampire of the influential Esenwein Family, or they could sacrifice the vampire and save the priest, hoping that the cleric would help them escape.

The heroes chose the latter and the newly released cleric agreed to help the party find a way out of the prison. As they continued to search the keep, they came upon a room with a magic circle. Upon entering the circle, the heroes were accosted by some lost souls killed by the dark sorcerer. A convincing speech and a calming prayer by the cleric managed to bring the spirits closure and the heroes found they could redirect the circle’s energy to shut down the mystical fires blocking the doors.

The final room of the keep appeared to be a mystical holding pen for the Werewolves that had been terrorizing the Shale Forest and the heroes found themselves drawn to the rune at the back of the room that kept the wolves at bay. The artifact was clearly quite powerful and the cleric determined it would be useful to help them heroes break through the final door’s enchantment. Bracing themselves for the upcoming fight, the heroes separated the rune from its base.

But their preparation was in vain as the wolves regained their ferocity within seconds. The snarling beasts descended upon the heroes and the party suddenly found themselves fighting for their very survival. Rhogar, the mystic, and Brandis all fell victim to the curse of the werewolves and even as they cut down the foul beasts, were afflicted by a sudden blood rage, making them lash out and injure their comrades. Only the concentrated powers of Lieutenant Rathar’s cleric managed to destroy the wicked creatures and in the aftermath of the battle, the worn-out and cursed heroes were faced with yet another twisted choice: they could only break through the enchantments binding the door at the cost of one of their lives.

The debate between the heroes raged but the cleric, sensing an opportunity to repay the heroes for their valor, gave up his life so they could break down the door. However, the lich’s twisted magic played a final cruel trick on the heroes and while their rune-enhanced sacrifice broke down all the enchantments guarding the keep, it also cost Lieutenant Rathar’s cleric his life.

Enraged by the deceit, the party descended on the sorcerer’s throne room and lashed out at the foul creature, ignoring its offer of peace and striving only to end the life of the evil being once and for all. The dark sorcerer declared that mere mortals could never hope to match the might of Arkham, Lord of Night and summoned four Death Knights to punish the heroes for their shortsightedness.

The battle in the throne room turned dire as the heavily armored and mystically warded Death Knights shrugged off the heroes’ attacks like water and pressed them towards the walls with their enchanted blades. The lich, furious at the heroes’ refusal, also cursed the party with his dark magic, turning their attacks against them and decaying their armor even further. It seemed only a matter of time before the dark creatures would overrun the valiant group and the heroes steeled themselves for the worst.

However, in his arrogance, Arkham overreached with his magic and when he dodged blow from Rhogar, the mystic’s curse slipped beneath his dark shroud, stopping him dead in his tracks. At that moment, Tandros Kreel burst through the now disenchanted door and charged the deathknights, felling two with a single blow and opening a wound on the lich’s side.

As the lich howled in pain, the rest of the party saw their opening and struck. Two arrows from Brandis Skyhunter found their mark on the lich’s arms while the mystic froze the dark being to the floor with an icy blast. Finally, a blood-soaked and battle-crazed Rhogar hefted his axe that over his head and with a single blow, cut down twisted sorcerer.

The lich’s body exploded in a wave of dark energy and while the rest of the party was injured, the keen-eyed ranger saw a shadow flee from the exploding corpse and slip out of the open doorway.

However, for now, the shadow that hung over the Shale Forest had been defeated and the heroes patched themselves up and confident that they’d prevailed against evil, began the long walk back to Lieutenant Rathar and the rest of the Frontier Watch

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Scenario 3 - Trees and Tunnels
A Narrow Escape

After carving their way through the Drow and taking down the leader Estivara, the heroes were faced with a grisly scene. Mangled corpses were strewn throughout the tunnels and not a single room had escaped unscathed. Something had been lurking in the Drow Caverns and its wanton slaughter had driven the dark elves to desperation.

With a sense of trepidation, the heroes revive the fallen Tandros with one of their precious potions and decide to explore the caverns. After moving through a particularly narrow passage, the heroes come across a cave with a pile of rusted weapons and an innocuous chest at one end.

Wary for traps, the party sent forth Brandis Skyhunter and Rhogar dragonspine to investigate, hoping that their speed and strength would be a match for whatever danger awaited. However, the chest seemed perfectly harmless and the heroes were able to obtain an instant rune from its recesses.

However, still feeling something was amiss, the heroes determined that they should burn the chest and prepared themselves for whatever trap awaited. Their caution was rewarded for as soon as the mystic set the chest aflame, a steel giant burst from the pile of weapons and crashed through the chest, catching fire as it passed through the wreckage. The construct seemed completely unaffected by the fire and charged towards the surprised mystic, dealing him a massive blow with its longsword.

The other heroes sprang into action and attempted to corner the figure, raining arrows and blows on it from all direction. But to their dismay, the Juggernaut seemed to shrug off all wounds with annoyance and magically enhanced its armor, turning it into a walking death machine. With a single swipe, it severely wounded Tandros, Rhogar, and the mystic and all hope seemed lost.

However, a spell from the wounded mystic revealed that the Juggernaut was being controlled by a powerful entity far away from the lowly Drow caverns. Seeing that they couldn’t bring the construct down and they couldn’t sever the connection to its master, they decided to run and live to fight another day.

The ranger’s keen eye had spotted a pile of rocks suspended over the entrance to the narrow passage and while the heroes lured the creature into position, he and the mystic cut the bonds that held it to the ceiling. The resulting avalanche crashed down on the construct, burying it in a ton of rock and sealing the cavern entrance.

Wearily, the heroes returned to Rookwood to claim their reward, only to discover the town in ruins and all the townspeople dead. They stumbled across a mortally wounded Krix di Rhoe holding a bloodstained letter and mumbling about “death from the skies”.

The heroes read the letter and discovered the dwarven keep of Stonewatch was under constant attack by the Giants of Hellsforge. Captain Fritz Arganis of the Frontier Watch was requesting aid and asked that the Rookwood militia sweep through the Shale Forest for Lieutenent Rathar and his scouts.

Realizing that the only way to garner favor with the magistrate and to stop more bloodshed was to move on, the heroes collect what they can from the town and head to the Shale Forest. Once in side, they hear shouts and discover Lieutenant Rathar and his people under attack from a group of strange looking wolves. After driving off the beasts, the Lieutenant reveals that they were no ordinary wolves but instead were vicious Werewolves, demons of the night. Shale Forest had become overrun with them over the last month or so and his own team had gotten separated in the last attack. He feared that if the men in his patrol don’t return before sundown, they won’t make it.

Fortunately, the heroes managed to catch up with the patrol before they were killed by another group of werewolves. Unfortunately, they group had been wounded and none of them admitted that they’d been bitten.

Things got tense as the brothers in the group were ready to flee, but an impassioned speech by Rhogar convinced the bitten brother to sacrifice himself so the others may live. The brother allowed himself to be tied and beheaded once he changed. It was a somber moment for the party and after taking a moment to honor the patrol member’s sacrifice, the heroes returned to Lieutenant Rathar who thanked them for their courage and dedication to doing what was right.

Lieutenant Rathar then tells the heroes that all of this pain and death is on the head of the being in Grommel Keep. If there is to be any hope of peace in these lands, it must be destroyed…

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Scenario 2 - Rookwood in Peril
In the Middle of a War

After defeating the Mindflayer and determing the fate of the former heroes, the band of champions returned to the town of Rookwood to seek out the magistrate and their reward. To their dismay, they discovered the Magistrate had left town and they were forced to deal with his advisor, Krix Di Rhoe.

Di Rhoe was less than impressed with the heroes, but paid them their gold and suggested that “if they wanted to make themselves useful, they’d best get back out there…”.

The heroes first encounter a desperate Drow attack on a patrol from Rookwood. After defeating the band, they were assisted by Shiori (nicknamed ‘Susan’) in crossing the dangerously swift river.

Once on the other side, the heroes were caught in a trap set up by the Death Chasers of Thesk and were nearly brought down by a vicious Ogre Pulverizer. However, the might of Tandros Kreel‘s blade felled the Ogre’s handlers giving Rhogar dragonspine an opening to strike at the beast’s unprotected neck. With a single blow, he took off the creature’s head.

The party’s victory was cut short as the commotion from the battle had attracted the attention of a Grut Warband. The heroes, recognizing the need for tact, sent the rogue Brandis Skyhunter to negotiate with the Grut’s leader, Tornak. However, negotiations turned south and the Grut Warrior challenged Brandis to a duel.

Fortunately, Brandis’ aim was truer than his tongue and once the dust settled, Tornak lay dead on the ground with numerous arrows sticking from his corpse. The Gruts disbanded and the heroes collected months-worth of gold and supplies.

Afterwards, the heroes tracked down the lair of the Drow raiders, only to discover a poorly defended tunnel with a weakened Estivara shouting threats to the shadows. The group’s mage felled the black sorcerer with a burst of flame and Rhogar slashed his way through the disorganized Drow. Tandros had fallen during the fighting and the heroes were left wondering what other dark things lurked in the Drow caverns…

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Scenario 1 - The Mindflayer's Lair
Tabula Rasa

The heroes awoke in cold dark cavern with no weapons, no gear, and no memory of how they’d gotten there. Investigation slowly revealed that the heroes had been trapped by some unknown entity and were left to scavenge the tunnels around them. After a frightening encounter with some heavily armored Mezzodemons, the group managed to track down their stolen memories and recover their original quest.

They had been sent by the Content Not Found: ivan-dunathor to discover what had happened to a band of heroes a month earlier. None of the heroes remembered how they were captured but one thing was certain: whatever had trapped them here would never let them leave.

As they reached the mouth of the cave, they found the the creature behind their torment. It was a horrific mindflayer that had drained the other heroes of their free-will and were using them as pawns for its own nefarious purposes.

The otherworldy creature attacked with fury, dazing the heroes with bizarre mind-powers and turning their former comrades into twisted abominations. The creature itself easily evaded the heroes attacks with dark illusions and dealt wound after wound to the haggard band.

However, as the creature’s thralls tore into the party and all hope seemed lost, the brave Brandis Skyhunter, after a hours of misfires and mistakes, sent an arrow straight through the eye socket of the twisted creature, ending it’s rule over the thralls and freeing the heroes from the bowels of the earth.

The brave heroes collected the sigils of their fallen comrades and set out for the town of Rookwood

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