Tales of Penundra

When in Dolraven....
....do as the Kanthonite's do

Having escaped from the bizarre and terrifying Apsu crypt, the heroes finally arrived at the city of Dolraven. Almost immediately upon arrival, Eva Preed gave them vague instructions, a sack of gold and disappeared into the crowd.

Feeling confused yet moderately wealthy, our heroes decided to shore up some weaknesses in their personal lives and after squeezing some extra coinage out of the Dolraven treasury courtesy of their handy receipts from Greenhill, finally get a chance to develop their skills.

The stalwart Tandros Kreel became both a champion of arms and a champion of the written word, while Ezio Auditore learned the art of defending of his fellow hero. Nicolas Cage meanwhile, developed his skills in both the wilderness and the bow and is on his way to becoming a true patron of the Wild.

After spending a few weeks developing their skills (and spending their coin on food, drink, and rigged games of chance), the heroes are given a note from a Eva Preed telling them to find the captain of Scully Maid for passage to Kanthon.

Unfortunately, the Scully Maid has been impounded by authorities and while Captain Daria would be delighted to provide passage, she can’t even go near her ship without getting clapped in irons.

Fortunately, our heroes had a plan and in the dead of night, on the day detailed by Eva Preed, they sprang into action.

Nicolas snuck into the guards barracks and not only found a few uniforms that just happen to fit the party, but a seal used by the Captain of the Guard himself. A forged noted by Tandros Kreel and some smooth words by Ezio got the crew of the Scully Maid passed the garrison and onto the ship without an ounce of bloodshed.

However in the berth nearby, Tandros Kreel, who was attempting to sabotage one of their possible pursuers, found the guards dead and the deck of the ship deserted. As he stepped aboard, he caught a glimpse of a dark figure dowsing the deck in some kind of fluid and diving off the edge and realized that Eva Preed had taken matters into her own hands.

Tandros dove off the side of the ship (taking care to get as much of the viscous liquid off of his boots as possible) and climbed up the side of the Scully Maid, just as a ship at the far end of the harbor burst into flames.

All along the bay, ships were exploding into brilliant displays of orange and yellow and the guards couldn’t help but notice that the only ship still intact was the Scully Maid. Archers began raining fire on the deck and our heroes fought back, with Ezio actually leaping back onto the dock to ward off an enraged guard with some brilliant swordplay.

Once the dock was clear and the heroes back on board, Captain Daria gave the order and the ship sailed into the night, leaving a ruined Dolraven in its wake…..

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A Moonlit Riverwalk
Rain, rain, go away....

Our brave heroes, having spent the better part of a week running from the Mystic of Lorehaven and their entourage, decided to take a break near the edge of the Mud Creek. A light shower did little to improve their mood, and the three begin arguing with their host, the aloof and ever-rude Eva Preed.

Only some timely answers and veiled-threats from their employer keep things calm and the assasssin began to lay out their plan once they reach Dolraven.

However, the keen-eyed Nicolas Cage noticed a strange phenomenon – the light rain turned into a thunderstorm and the little river was swiftly becoming a flood. With a shout, he rousts the others and they begin a mad dash along the edge of the river. The cliffs have them trapped and the four are forced up the side of the cliff as the rapids grow in strength behind them.

To make matters worse, elemental figures began to rise out of the gushing torrent and the heroes realize that this is no natural flood. The Mystics have somehow bent the sky itself to their whims and are looking to drown the butchers of Greenhill like rats in a barrel.

Fortunately, the party spied a cave in the side of the cliff and hurried inside. The four then shoved a large boulder over the entrance, mere seconds before the onrushing flood. The heroes then decided to explore their new hideout, only to discover that in all the excitement, Eva Preed was missing.

Their payday gone, and more importantly, that incredibly valuable crate with it, the three heroes decided they would do the noble and try to rescue poor Eva.

As they explored the dark ruins, they discovered the place was overrun with Apsu, the ancient snakefolk, whose fallen structures still haunt the darkest places of Penundra. Ezio and Tandros make short work of the first group, but Nicolas Cage found himself face to face with yet another beast – a strange half-man, half-apsu fumbling around in the dark.

He tried to reason with it, but the poor creature only shrieked in pain and attacked, forcing him to put it out of it’s misery. He filched a strange-looking key from it’s pocket and the three realized that it matched the glowing door at the end of a particularly ornate tunnel with a disturbing door.

Expecting a fight, or at least more Apsu trickery, the three burst into the room weapons draw and found an overgrown Apsu Prophet performing some bizarre rite on Eva Preed while the rest of the Apsu shrieked and hissed at the crate she’d been carrying.

While Tandros rained blows on the Apsu Warriors, Ezio charged the Prophet and with a single slice, separated the creature’s head from it’s body. Nicolas frees Eva and the four collected their things and made their way out of the tunnels with haste….

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Greenhill's Dirty Little Secret
The plot thickens....

The virtuous and unstoppable team of Ezio Auditore, Nicholas Cage, and Tandros ‘Motherfucking’ Kreel is gathering tonight for another delve into the Penundran Wilderness and we would be remiss if we didn’t provide a recap on what happened in our previous session.

After our mighty heroes conquered the brutal Ogre and a cave full of Goblins, they returned to Greenhill with a month’s worth of stolen supplies and a strange symbol torn off a cart. Close examination of the symbol revealed it was a sigil of one of the great houses of Kanthon, a large and powerful city found on the western coast of Penundra.

While the Magistrate of Greenhill wasn’t particularly interested in the details, the Warden personally hired the heroes to not only guard the town, but to interrogate a thief the guards found in the woods.

To our heroes surprise, the thief introduced herself as Eva Preed told them that Greenhill was sitting on top of the something big, powerful, and incredibly valuable. If they agreed to help her and her cohorts, the Kanthonite who hired her would make them very wealthy.

After weighing her offer, the heroes agreed to betray Captain Par and attack the town in the dead of night. They unleashed an Armored Ogre on the unsuspecting guards and managed to wipe out the entire militia in a matter of minutes. However, the Ogre had plans of its own and while the heroes prepared to steal away with the artifact, the Armored Ogre attacked and nearly brought Tandros to his knees.

Fortunately, Nicholas and Ezio took down the beast while its back was turned and the three grabbed the crate and disappeared into the forest.

After viewing the mysterious head inside the box, the heroes met with Eva who paid them each handsomely and invited them to follow her to Dolraven where they could take a ship to meet her employer.

At the promise of gold and influence, the heroes followed her into the trees, leaving a devastated town in their wake….

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The Captain's Court
The adventure begins....

Our heroes, Tandros Kreel, Ezio Auditore, and Nicholas Cage, found themselves in irons after accidently ransacking the mansion of the Magistrate of Greenhill, a small farming village on the southern tip of Penundra.

Despite the heroes insistence that they were only trying to help, the Warden of Greenhill was less than impressed with their methods and decided that the only way our heroes would be able to redeem themselves as to clear out the Goblins from the hills nearby.

After determining which direction to search and gaining the goodwill of the townspeople, the heroes returned to Captain Par and received some basic supplies, training, and the promise of gold on their return.

The following morning, the heroes set out for the goblin-infested caves and to their great surprise, found an ogre waiting amidst the excitable little beasts. The hulking brute was more than a match for the heroes and only a lucky strike by Ezio managed to fell the beast before it could tear Tandros Kreel limb from limb.

Nicolas Cages’ skill with throwing knives managed to slay the remaining goblins and the heroes discovered that someone or something had been supplying the creatures with food and weapons.

The heroes broke off a strange symbol from a cart of supplies and brought it to the Captain, hoping to find answers and, naturally, collecting their hard-earned gold….

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Scenario 6 - Enemies Old and New

After the harrowing events in the Hellsforge, the heroes decide they’ve had enough adventuring for one day and head back to Stonewatch Keep. With the sun setting on the horizon and their muscles aching, even the drafty keep seems like a paradise and the four push on, eager to be out of their soiled armor.

When they arrive at the bridge to the keep, they see that the gate is already shut. With a shrug and a few murmured words about paranoid dwarves, the heroes cross the bridge and knock on the gate. To their surprise, the gate creaks open and a sour odor spills outward. A quick check by Brandis confirms the party’s suspicions; death has come to Stonewatch.

The heroes ready their weapons and move forward, each prepared to fend off what evil befell the keep. However, once the door swings wide, all thoughts of valiance are replaced by horror.

The brave dwarves of the Frontier Watch are scattered all over the castle. In fact, some of them are in pieces large enough to recognize. The cold stone floor is slick with their blood and the drone of carrion insects confirms the heroes worst fears. There’s not a living soul left in this place.

The heroes carefully pick their way through the grisly scene and come upon the blacksmith’s table. And though the blacksmith’s mangled head stares up at them from a blood-soaked barrel beside it, they find themselves drawn to an item on the table itself. It’s the rune they’d pulled from the hill tribe near the edge of the Grey Deep. Before his death, the blacksmith appeared to have repaired it.

The mystic attempts a spell to reveal the rune’s purpose but the device simply glows blue for a few moments. Clearly, they needed someone more familiar with runes if they were to have any luck determining what the item does.

Their hearts heavy, the heroes turn to leave the keep. As they do, something catches Rhogar’s eye and morbid curiosity gets the better of him. He heads towards the keep’s open watchtower and to his surprise, sees a lone figure standing at its center. In the dim light of fading sun, he can barely make out it’s shape, but the one thing that’s clear is that it is not the Frost Giant that had been stranded out their before.

Calling out to the rest of the party, he instructs Brandis and the mystic to take up positions near the entrance to the keep and has Tandros follow him across the bridge. They call out to the figure but the wind takes their voices and it doesn’t respond. Feeling wary, the two heft their weapons and make their way closer, hoping that Brandis and the mystic have their own weapons ready.

Their caution is rewarded for just as they get within a few paces of the figure it turns around and reveals itself – the Juggernaut has returned. An inhuman scream echoes from beneath the gleaming armor and the construct charges forward, its giant sword angled towards Rhogar’s chest.

Fortunately, the dragonborn warrior is ready and with Tandros covering his left side, Rhogar swings to the right and parries the Juggernaut’s swing, clipping its shoulder and sending bits of armor into the dark waters below.

Tandros then tosses a pair of throwing knives at the creature’s face, as Brandis skillfully sends two arrows into its midsection. To their dismay, the Juggernaut shrugs off the blows and even cleaves the mystic’s fireball in half with it’s massive sword. But it wasn’t prepared for Rhogar and with a mighty swing, the warrior buries the head of his axe into the center of the armored creature. Gripping his weapon in two hands, he then pulls upwards and out, tearing the construct to pieces.

As the enchanted armor falls the to walkway, the heroes, remembering the last time they faced the unstoppable being, sweep the glowing pieces into the Grey Deep, hoping against hope that the dark waters can disrupt whatever magic is holding it together. To the relief, the construct does not reappear and the heroes walk back into the keep to plan their next move.

As exhaustion threatens to overtake them, the heroes look at their options. Despite their best efforts, Stonewatch Keep had fallen. Yes, the Giant’s invasion may have been delayed, but in a few weeks time, the beasts would regroup and without the Frontier Watch to hold the line, there was nothing to stop them from completely overrunning the North. And while Lieutenent Rathar may be drumming up reinforcements, the Silven Glade needed to know that the situation was even more dire than expected.

That meant only one thing – the heroes had to travel to the Silven Glade, the largest city in the North and, coincidentally, the site of the 3rd Centennial Prestige Games.

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Scenario 5 - Rescue at Stonewatch
The Coming Storm

After defeating the shadow at Grommel Keep and stopping to resupply with Lieutenent Rathar, the heroes set out for Stonewatch. The letter written by Captain Arganis had suggested the fortress was in dire straights and the heroes had decided to travel all night to get there in time.

To their dismay, the keep was already under attack by a group of wild men led by a Frost Giant. The Dwarves of Stonewatch were holding their own, but the giant’s forces outnumbered them and they were slowly being driven towards the Grey Deep.

Fortunately, the heroes timely arrival took the wild men completely by surprise and after Tandros Kreel and Rhogar dragonspine cut their numbers in half, the beserkers fled back into the hills of Morh, leaving the Frost Giant wounded and alone.

One of the dwarves offered the Giant a chance to surrender and the brute, seeing itself clearly outnumbered, surrendered.

However, despite the heroes’ assistance, the men of the Frontier Watch eyed them wearily and the lead dwarf demanded they lay down their weapons and explain what heavily armed strangers like themselves are doing in this part of the world. After showing him the letter and Lt. Rathar’s sigil, he begrudgingly introduced himself as Captain Fritz Arganis, took them to the ancient keep of Stonewatch.

Once inside, Captain Arganis explained that after decades of infighting and ineffective raids, the Fire Giants of the Hellsforge clans had allied themselves with the Frost Giant of Morh. Some dark force had brought the two together and turned there fury on the people of the north. The dwarves standing in front of them were all that remained of the brave men and women of the Frontier Watch.

The captain said that he hopes to get more information out of the captured giant, but he believes that without backup from the Silven Glade, the rest of the north will fall to the beasts. He tells the heroes that supplies are too limited to share; they’ve got to hang on to all the Silven weapons they’ve got, since they’re the only thing that can hurt the beasts.

Seeing that their help is unwanted, the heroes turn to leave. As they do, one of the other dwarfs, Harsk, approached the heroes and tells them that leaving the Frost Giant alive is making the rest of the men mutinous. He suggests that the best thing the heroes could do would be to get rid of the Giant.

The heroes ponder his words and set out to explore the rest of the area. They come across another band of wild men and manage to defeat them, despite a cleverly staged ambush. They discover the broken pieces of a rune and decide to collect them for further study.

As the heroes explore the snowy hills of Morh, they stumble upon a magically warded chest. Attempts to open it fail, as the chest lashes out at the heroes dealing damage, and summons a mighty Ice Elemental. The fire from the mystic combined with the steel of Rhogar and Tandros manage to fell the beast, but the contents of the chest remain beyond their reach.

The heroes return to the keep and discover the blacksmith is overjoyed that they recovered the lost Rune of Rannveig. He promises to repair it and will let the heroes know if its magic still works.

Meanwhile, Harsk approaches the heroes again and asks them to get rid of the giant problem before the men do something stupid. Recognizing his plight, the heroes trick the guard in to letting them question the prisoner.

To their surprise, the Frost Giant seems almost melancholy and does not respond to their threats of violence. It tells the “little people” that the “true people” are coming soon and offers them a trade – if they can retrieve an item from its chest, it will give them 3 gifts.

The heroes eagerly agree and back at the chest find an enchanted rune that allows its user to walk on water. The heroes realize the Frost Giant means to escape its prisoner via the sea and debate whether to inform the Captain.

The heroes approach the Frost Giant with a colorful tale of their deceased comrade, but the beast sees right through their ruse. It threatens to takes its information to a watery grave unless the heroes act “true”. The heroes relent and hand over the rune. The giant then keeps its promise and gives the heroes their gifts. One is a rune to give the heroes giant strength. Another is information about the “Young Great One” who uses strong magic and makes promises to the “true people”. The last is a warning that this “Young Great One” has given the giants magic to use against Stonewatch. It finishes by warning the heroes that dark things are coming from beyond the Grey Deep and that the little people may not survive its return…

The heroes make the giant promise to wait until the cover of darkness to make its escape and then inform the captain about what the giant said. The captain dismisses the claim about “Great Ones” saying the term refers to the long-banished dragons. He also wonders if one of the Giants hasn’t just gotten a hold of an extra powerful bit of magic and was using it to impress the others into making peace.

Either way, he argues the important part is that the Giants are coming and thanks to the heroes’ efforts, they now have advance warning. He grants them the next Prestige Level and provides them with Silven weapons for the eventual assault.

However, the heroes have another plan in mind and tell the captain that they intend to strike the Hellsforge clans first and disrupt the Giants assault before they’re ready. The captain says its suicide and jokes that the heroes would need a ridiculously powerful artifact to survive the choking ash of the tunnels. To his surprise, the blacksmith points out that the heroes have the Protective Rune of Kelda, gifted to mortals by the Ancient Kyrie Healer. The magic of the rune should protect them in the Hellsforge, at least long enough to disrupt the Giant’s plan.

The heroes agree to let him activate it, astonished that the random artifact they collected months ago from the caverns beneath Rookwood is astonishingly rare and powerful. Wishing the heroes luck, the Frontier Watch sends them on their way, telling them they’ll be sure to prepare Stonewatch’s defenses in case the heroes fail.

Armed with new weapons, new abilities, and new magic, the heroes delve into the volcanic tunnels of the Hellsforge. They battle fiery elementals, molten rock beasts, bloodthirsty monsters, and battle-crazed giants, and finally work their way to the place where the magic is deepest and darkest.

At the heart of the cavern, a mad cultist performed a dark ritual and opened a small hole in the world. A shadow swallows him up whole and out from the twisting nether came the Archdemon Taelord. The foul creature raised its voice high and summoned three fire demons. Beasts attack with reckless abandon and the heroes soon found themselves fighting for their lives against forces beyond understanding.

The fire of chaos swirled about the horrible creatures, each blow weakening the already weary heroes. The magic of the Rune of Kelda began to wane in the presence of such evil and it seemed only a matter of time before the heroes fell.

But, a lucky strike by Brandis Skyhunter killed two of the demons in one blow and the mystic managed to shatter the other with a curse. Enraged, Taelord flew to another perch and attempted to cast down the heroes with a dark spell. However, the battle-hardened team of Tandros and Rhogar struck first, and with two carefully coordinated attacks, cut off the demon’s spell arm and skewered it into the molten lava.

The silven blades bore deep into the heart of the demon and with a final shriek it exploded into ash. With a shudder, the darkness inside the Hellsforge was lifted and the heroes watched as the remnants of the Giant’s army fled deep into the twisting caverns beneath the Coastal Ridge. For now at least, the grey keep and the lands it protected were safe…

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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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