Nentir Vale Campaign

Pyramid of Shadows
Welcome to the Pyramid!

After returning to the Seven Pillared Hall, the party is summoned before the Mages of Saruun, Lords of the Seven Pillared Hall. They ask to examine the possessions of Paldemar, once a Mage of Saruun who betrayed his comrades and now a dead body at the Well of Demons thanks to the party. They are particularly interested in a map found among Paldemar’s possessions with notes written along the edges: “Place of Power”, “Vast magic for the taking”, and “Seek Karavakos. They ask that the party investigate this map and report back their findings. In return, they offer 2,500 g.p. and a small, magical statue of a lion. Roscoe has heard stories of a Halfling warrior who used an object like this to escape a group of trolls. Their one condition is that the party must travel with an apprentice Mage of Saruun, an eladrin named Rollin Storm. When the halfling spoke a command word, the statue came to life. With nothing better to do, the party agrees and off they go.

The map leads them to the Winterblade Forest. Along the rode, a group of riders quickly intercepts the party. Everyone braces for battle until Roscoe recognizes the banner of Lord Markelhay, Lord Protector of Fallcrest. Roscoe immediately snaps to attention and salutes. Lord Markelhay explains that he is leading a posse, hot on the heels of the notorious bandit Gharash Vren, a dragonborn. He informs the party that there is an 850 g.p. reward for Gharash Vren’s head and then rides off.

After a few more miles, the party enters a clearing and comes across a mad wizard stumbling out of the woods. The crazed magician takes one look at the party and screams, “The place of power is mine! Karavakos has summoned me, not you! Not you!” Moments later there are lightning bolts and magic missiles flying all over the place, but the old man is no match for the party and soon lies dying in the field. With his dying breath, he whispers, “Find the pyramid. Seek out Karavakos.”

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Journey to the Well of Demons
Gnolls and Pumpkin Pie

The party returns to the Seven Pillar Hall. During our assualt on the Western Fortress, the party found a sceptre. Hey, that was one of our quest items! We hurry to Gendar’s Curios and Relics, return the sceptre, and received 150 xp.

We decide to kick back at the inn and celebrate our victory. This also gave us some time to do some intelligence gathering before journeying to the Well of Demons to face the Blackfang gnolls.

Gnolls: doglike creatures, can be big, ferocious fighters, nomadic, kill everything, don’t bargain or parlay, can’t reason with them, work with hyenas and demons (!), use slave labor.

Well of Demons: chambers devoted to minotaur god Baphamut. In ancient times, this was a training ground for minotaur warriors.

While sipping on some ale, a kobold entered the inn and delivered a message to us. The note congratulated us on our actions against the druegar. The author said he was in a position of power in an evil organization and wished to help us defeat his comrades. It asked us to follow a map and help him escape from the organization. A few minutes later, a wizard named Orentor bought us a round of drinks. He explained that he wanted our help checking on a fellow wizard named Paldemor. He said that he hadn’t checked in for several weeks and “his actions in the labyrinth concern me”. He believed that Paldemar is involved with gnolls. If we help him, he said that the Mages of Saruun will be indebted. He says that the note looks like it was written by Paldemar.

Off we go! We followed the map and . . .gasp! . . . it’s an ambush! Two tieflings and a big, bronze golem (similary to the ones in Seven Pillar Hall) attack us. The golem rolls a big boulder into Jade, Roscoe and Veracroix. The tieflings fall quickly. The golem took a little longer. We find an amulet of warder controlling but haven’t discoverd the command word. We found a scroll: “To Maldrek Scarmaker, Chieftain of the Blackfang, Paldemar offers these corpses. May our arrangement continue.” It included a map to the Well of Demons.

Ticked, we head off to the Well of Demons to thank Paldemar for his kindness. In the entry hall, we encounter two chokers, two ghouls, and a phalager (tentacles that grow out of the ground). After dispatching them, we head down a hallway and get the drop on some gnolls. Snicker snack and the gnolls and their hyenas are dead. Down another hallway and we find a boar being attacked by hyenas. We rescue the boar and discover that it has a tag. Turns out that it belongs to Althand Deepgem in Seven Pillar Hall. With our dailies used up, we head off to Deepgem’s and return the boar. As a reward, he offers a 10% discount on arms and armor and a 20% discount on enchantments at his store.

Kiriv, Roscoe, Veracroix, Owengar, and Jade each get 1052 xp for the evening’s work. We also added a +2 cloak of resistance to our bag of holding.

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Assault on the Western Fortress
"You were better shooting blind!"

After some planning, we decide to storm the Western Fortress across a bridge using a stalagmite (or was it a stalactite) as a battering ram. Before we reach the door, the druegar open it, throw glow sticks at us and start shooting at us from two bridges. Shields up! The battle is pretty long because reinforcements keep showing up. While blinded, Roscoe rolled a 20 and scored a critical hit.

Exploring the fortress, we came upon a room with arrow slits facing out into a second entrance area. Jade lobbed in a fireball, and the party rolled into the room SWAT-style. They squared off with several druegar and an ogre. Owengar put the ogre down. Roscoe missed several times during the battle. Karlak exclaimed, “You were better shooting blind.” That turned out to be true as he was blinded twice more during the evening and managed to hit his target each time. Hmmmm, maybe he should go for the Daredevil approach. At this point, Cox headed home sick. Hope you’re feeling better!

We headed through the east door and found the Master Pimp Daddy place – a druegar with a flaming maul, a couple of thugs, archers, and a cleric. The big guy is Murkelmor of Clan Grimmerzahl! He laughs and says, “I look forward to selling you as slaves!” The fight is on! We discover a secret door after one of the archers runs into a fire and comes back with a cleric. After being thrown into the fire several times, Veracroix decided, “The thing’s not in front of me now. I’ve got an archer. I should be okay.” He was thrown back into the fire shortly after that. In the end, we managed to kill everyone except one archer. In the next room, we found the slave pits and rescued 14 slaves. Of that 14, ten were from the village of Riverdown – one of our quests. The other two have been sold to the Blackfang gnolls at the Well of Demons. Hmmm, I wonder where we are headed next?

XP total: 781 xp for each character except for Owengar who earned 416 xp

Treasure: Gold: 710 gp (118 gp each), 359 sp (60 sp each), gems worth 790 gp (131 gp. each) = total 252 gp. each

The bag of holding contains: 3 suits scale armor, 3 suits chainmail, 5 crossbows, 10 spears, 5 battle axes, 5 short swords, 2 +1 warhammers, +1 flaming maul, and +2 amulet of health

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Chapter 2 - The Horned Hold Addendum
Stormin' the Castle!

The party decided that it was time to pay a visit to the evil slavers in The Horned Hold. After a little investigation (in a tavern, naturally), we learned that the Hold is a essentially an underground castle divided into three sections about 1/2 mile from The Seven Pillar Hall (See Roscoe’s map in Map Section).

Sneaking down a tunnel, we see that the only way into the fortress is through a locked gate. While Jade distracts the guards with a Ghost Sound spell, Roscoe sneaks up to the gate, rolls a natural 20(!) and we’re in. A few well-placed sword blows and magic spells overwhelms the guards.

In this portion of the fortress, we found an armory with some druegar and orcs making weapons. Snicker Snack!

We next followed a tunnel that led to the southern portion of the fortress. We rescued some human slaves from a kitchen. Where there’s a kitchen, there’s a great hall with great big bad guys. Sure enough, through some doors, and we’re squaring off with Rundar, a big, dark dwarf. He and his minions were waiting for us! Just to make things a little more complicated, the big dwarf became REALLY big as the battle continued. In the end, Kiriv put him down.

We secured the room, gathered our treasure, and took a 6 hour rest.

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Chapter 2 - The Horned Hold Part Deux
XP and Treasure

Our hard won victories netted us 642 XP each.

The Treasure count was: 108 gp. each (649 total, including gems); 60 sp each (359 sp total)

Arms and Armor: 3 suits scalemail, 3 suits chainmail, 5 crossbows, 10 spears, 5 battleaxes, and 5 short swords

Rundar’s Iron Key

Magic Items: +1 warhammer; Dwarven Greaves – I don’t know that anyone took either of these items yet.

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Chapter 2 - The Horned Hold

The Duergar of the Horned Hold seemed to be ready and waiting for the party. Make that aware of their arrival. They were certainly no match for the kind of brute force the party brought to the table led by Dragonborn Warlord Karlak.

Karlak said, “Clockwork. That is what it is. We move like clockwork. Roscoe and Jade from a distance to soften them up or peck at their artillery and the rest of us just kinda lay waste.”

The passage led to the Forge area of the Urwol, Master Smith. He and his minions of orc and duergar put up a fight, but it did not last.

Some Orcs, Duergar and a 180 HP Duergar Brute named Rundarr faced the heroes in the Southern Hall. Rundarr was big and bad and became bigger and badder. But constant barrage and fearless frontal assault by Karlak put an end to the duergar’s hold on the N / S Halls. But remember, one got away.

The western hall is vast and should be well fortified.

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Chapter 1 Addendum

During the battle against Chief Krand, a drow named Token Bola appeared. He claimed that he had been sent on a mission to eliminate Chief Krand and took a small token to prove Krand had been defeated. I wonder if he’ll show up again?

The party also found a contract signed by Murkelmor Grimmzuhl for the purchase of slaves. Wait, Murkelmor Grimmzuhl?! Isn’t he the guy who owns the trading post where Veracroix got ripped off by paying too much for an everburning torch that might not be so everburning? Why yes, he is! The party decides to investigate (read start to interrogate Murkelmor, decide it’s taking too much time, and try to stab him with a sword). Battle ensues! Whoa! Evidently druegar in 4E can shoot quills out of their beards like porcupines. Weird. Well, they’re dead now anyway.

Unfortunately, the slave have already been sent to the Horned Hold. Time to rest up and get ready for more killin’.

Total experience for the evening: 334 xp each.

Treasure: Map to Horned Hold area (in Bag of Holding) +2 Delver’s Chainmail (taken by Karlak) Potion of Healing (taken by someone in party – sorry, didn’t write it down) +1 Life Drinker Scimitar (taken by Roscoe) +2 Orb (in Bag of Holding) Keys (from Chief Krand) Letter from Murkelmor Grimmzhul to purchase slaves (incriminating evidence)

GP: 199 each

Roscoe has moved up to level 5.

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Chapter 1 comes to a close

The second half of the Chamber of Eyes proved a challenge for some and same old, same old for one or two as well.

Roscoe reconnoitered his way around to 4 possible entries into the “showdown” area of the map… there was very little map left on the playing surface after all.

2 of the 4 were noisy while 2 that seemed to lead to the same area of the map, were deathly quiet. So quiet, in fact, that Roscoe’s roll of a 1 hardly seemed necessary. No one was in the upper section. No one but 2 thugs and a wizard who ran and warned EVERYONE. There goes surprise.

The main battle took place in the actual Chamber of Eyes, a really creepy ex-shrine to a minotaur god and now slave pit. The PCs accessed the Chamber via a secret door to a balcony that horseshoed the perimeter of the slave pit.

Fast and furious and a little brash at times, the PCs plunged their way into battle against Hobgoblin Chief Krand – Head Slaver – and his minions (some dire wolves, duergar, human slavers, hobgoblins, oh my!). Owengar lept into battle, got thumped havily on the melon, Veracriox had to go in for the assist. Some good battle tactics were used and the Bloodreavers were defeated.

The PCs learned that the slavers had been sold to the duergar in the Horned Hold. An old fortress in the Labyrinth.

With the Bloodreavers squashed, the PCs believe they have time to rest. However, a new threat looms…Chapter 2.

“Bone Scepter from the Horn Hold; Roscoe gets a +1 bow” what _does _this mean?

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Thunderspire Labyrinth: The gory details of the first foray

Notes from April 4, 2009

Vera St. Croix, the doughty human cleric, clamped his hands to his temples and cried out in anguish.

“Holy man, what’s wrong?” cried Karlak the Magnanimous.

“I sense… a great disturbance in the heavens,” said Vera. “As if the virtuous, button-up, curriculum-minded gods have been suddenly replaced… replaced by something tricky. Tricky, yet mellow.”

“Oh, gee,” said Roscoe P. Underbough, dropping from his treetop lookout. “My compass is not pointing North any more. It’s pointing Chaotic Neutral.”

“It’s true!” cried Vera. “The DM gods have changes alignment!”

And so began the Bessey Era in the dungeons of Schaumburg. Here’s how the night went down:

Somebody named Padraig was worried about slavers close to Winterhaven. THE QUEST: Seek out the dark dwarves, kill em, put an end to slaving, etc. (in particular: get Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers) THE REWARD: 1,000 GP and gobs of XP

The destination: the labyrinth in the mountains, which used to be run by minotaurs, but which is now a fully functioning town and mage-run trading post: The Seven-Pillar Hall.

“Oh, it’s going to be a spelunking adventure,” said some wag.

EXTRA QUEST: Berwyn Wildarson from Winterhaven finds us before we go; he owes big money to the police chief in Seven-Pillar (Brugg the ogre-sheriff) so he can’t go there himself; wants us to deliver a package to Gendar’s Curios & Relics in 7P, then get some “goods” in exchange. REWARD: 420 GP, 175 XP

EXTRA QUEST: Some old dude (hereafter named Mr. Oldude) who runs a Winterhaven magic shop wants us to bring back something kind of magicky and cool (a vague request, as I recall). REWARD: 10% off now, and a 420 GP credit later

Rumors learned about 7P: 1. Used to be called Saruun Khel, the minotaur city destroyed by civil war 2. 25 years ago, three mages (named Hesifir, Niame, Samazar) moved in, set up the town of Seven-Pillar and used bronze constructs to maintain order 3. The Mages of Saruun have been trading with denizens of the deep dark

Mysterious note from the crappy note-keeper; no idea what it means, sorry:

PROBLEMS

A. A renegade mage

B. Slavers

C. “Other dangers”

AT LAST we’re off to the mountain, riding a big red line like a comet across the map, when suddenly: A computer-generated skull and crossbones icon whirls into our path. Attack!

Rocks zing past our heads, flung by little slings!

DM: “You see a bunch of guys holding bows.”

SOMEBODY FUNNY: “Oh no, they’re going to fiddle!”

It’s an ambush by 7 norkers (some kind of goblin) and 1 dwarf. We make quick work of them. REWARD: 600 GP, 1100 XP, +2 greatsword, +1 Armor of the Tactician, Cloak of Walking Wounded

We rest in Riverdell, an idyllic riverside village (idyllic creditials certified thanks to nifty overhead presentation).

EXTRA QUEST: Baron Stockner of Harkenwold is missing some people from his realm, thinks they’ve been kidnapped by – gasp – slavers. Save them! REWARD: 500 GP, 1,000 XP

At last, we reach Seven Pillar. We enter a long, lit hallway; pass a outpost door and overhear bad guys threatening a halfling. WE BUST IN! Make short work of 4 hobgoblins REWARD: 750 XP

We save Rendill Halfmoon the Halfling, owner of the Halfmoon Inn and, like, a cousin to Roscoe. He tells us: If you’re after the Bloodreavers, go to the Dragon Door.

We visit the custom house, where Orontor the Mage is on duty, welcomes us to 7P, tells us to keep our noses clean

We rest; go to Gendar’s (he’s a drow); make the swap; he likes that we didn’t try to open the package; shakes Roscoe’s hand—JOY BUZZER; “The halflings always fall for it.”

EXTRA QUEST: Took bad notes on this one: “Bone Scepter from the Horn Hold; Roscoe gets a +1 bow” What does this mean?

THROUGH THE DRAGON DOOR: We round a corner and: Slavers! We make, as usual, quick work of them: 3 soldiers, some archers a dwarf. REWARD: 800 XP, Staff of Storms, Armor of Contingency, Some Kind of Broach

Another walk down the hallway, Roscoe find a female slave.

Waif: “You’re not a slaver…”

Roscoe: “No. I’m Roscoe!”

Not sure what we did with her. We keep going until we enter the Chamber of Eyes! We sneak in the balcony, surprise a chamber of sleeping goblins & a bugbear. We make quick work of them. REWARD: 1100 XP, Belt of Sacrifice

Looks like the final note is: 750 XP, which I take to mean apiece.

WE END EXACTLY AT MIDNIGHT

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Thunderspire Labyrinth

Beneath Thunderspire Mountain lies a sprawling network of mazes, tombs, and caverns collectively known as the Labyrinth. In recent years, this vast labyrinth has become a living dungeon where trade between the surface and subterranean worlds is possible. However, beyond the well-lit halls where prospectors, merchants, and traders convene lies a darker world where adventurers battle monsters and fiendish beings perform secret rituals for their dark masters….

Eight days ago, a notorious gang of slavers known as the Bloodreavers raided the small town and made off my fresh humans to be used for who knows what. Thunderspire Mountain lies amid a wilderness of pine forests and rocky hills. The mountain’s pinnacle is often wreathed in gray clouds, but on rare clear days, it can be seen from a great distance.

The Trade Road, an old dwarf-made highway, passes near the mountain. It links the human town of Fallcrest (about a 1-2-day journey west of the mountain) with the dwarf stronghold of Winterhaven (3-4 days east of the mountain). Once travelers and caravans hurried past Thunderspire to avoid attack from monsters lurking in the ruined minotaur city, but this part of the Trade Road is now reasonably safe thanks to the Mages of Saruun. From the Trade Road, a steep cobbled path called the Vale Road turns north and then cuts east and south into the mountains. The road rises through a valley with sparse vegetation and ends at Thunderspire’s base. Small waterfalls and brooks wash down from the rocks above. A few shepherds, woodcutters, and trappers live in the vale. Their humble houses are made of turf and fieldstone and are fitted with stout doors to repel predators, including bears, wyverns, and griffons.

From there, the PCs’ search for the Bloodreavers could take them within the labyrinth of the mountain, which is where the fun begins: After asking around, you learn that five Bloodreavers lair in an abandoned vintner’s shop a short distance from the Seven-Pillared Hall. You’re now standing in a dimly lit passageway with the door to the Bloodreaver’s lair before you. What do you do?

Just keep your eyes out for a little kobold named Charrak; he might have a message for you. . . .

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