Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Journey to the deep

I apologize for the delay in getting you an update on the adventures of Maribe, Thorian, Silj and Gaylord. Our gaming schedule is erratic and most recently has been consumed with Mouseguard.

However, our intrepid adventurers did get a game in recently and here is how it went, from Thorian's perspective.

After banishing the Everwinter back to the Elemental Plane of Ice the party was taking a much needed rest. They were staying with Thorian's parents in their simple but comfortable home.

Thorian had just returned from providing Buttercup's morning meal and brushing when he saw his mom sitting at the table. The look on her face was one of great sadness. His first thought was that something terrible must have happened to his father.

"Thorian, I need to speak with you." she said. Her voice was so full of sadness and despair that Thorian knew it couldn't be terrible news of his father, it had to be something much worse.

She handed him a mercenary hiring notice stamped with the seal of the Decanter Religious Sect. "The bank is trying to repossess our home."

"This old shack" said Thorian, "Let them have it. I have amassed quite the treasure adventuring and can buy you a fine home with sturdy stone walls and…."

His mom cut him off mid sentence. "Not this home. Our home."

Thorian looked at the notice. It stated that the title of Iron Peak was granted from the Lords of Magnimar to the Decanter church along with everything below it. They were putting together an expedition to retake the mountain and the keep of Brazenhold from the goblins. The notice went on to offer a generous rate for any dwarf with knowledge of the area.

Thorian looked at his mother and said, "Magnimar can't give our home to the bank. They don't own it."

"They just did." She replied. "Ancient dwarf tradition states that abandoned land belongs to whomever recovers it and this church of bank tellers and low level customer service representatives plans on doing so."

"Not if we get there first", Thorian replied and called for his mates.


Silj sat at the table watching Maribe question the ever elusive Gaylord but yet again about the wanted poster. Silj wasn't all that interested in the affairs of humans but it was fascinating to see who would break first - the unrelenting force of Maribe's curiosity versus the unbreakable nature of Gaylord's privacy. Silj was happy that Drenla had left earlier in the week to head for Magnimar. At least he didn't have to put up with her drunken cackling.

Just as Maribe's line of questioning seemed about to pay off, Thorian walked in.

"Gather your things." he said in his normal gruff and short manner (Pun intended). "We are heading home."

"We are at your home." said Maribe.

"Not this one, my real home" said Thorian and he left to prepare Buttercup.

For a while nobody moved. Finally Gaylord said, "If Thorian is going there will certainly be treasure, danger and excitement."

"I'm in for danger" said Silj the Dragonborn.

"Love excitement" said Maribe reaching for her staff and calling to Ithy.

"Excellent, that leaves the treasure for me" said Gaylord under his breath while smiling.


The journey was uneventful but their arrival was far from it. At the base of the Iron Peaks stood a makeshift fort with an odd assortment of buildings. A great tent stood to the west and a basalt keep to the right. Smaller tents were about and the camp was awash with activity. Mercenaries, craftsmen and bank tellers were everywhere.

The guards stopped them at the gate.

"What's your business here?" Said the guard captain.

"Yes, my business is here. As well as my home and my history. Thank you." Thorian replied and walked past them.

Confused the guard turned to Maribe and tried a more civilized greeting. "Are you here to see Decantor Vernon?"

"Perhaps we'll make time for him." she replied and walked past them as well.

The guards decided that these must clearly be people of great importance and let them pass. They didn't notice a drow archer follow them into the camp, hiding in their shadows. His name was Warath and he had business here and this group of adventurer's just might help him to accomplish it.

The camp was chaotic and sprawling. The basalt keep seemed to be the home of Drow Elves and based on the number of guards they were acting as if they were surrounded by hostile armies. The tents to the west were full of important looking functionaries with log books, abacuses and measuring scales.

Maribe nudged Thorian and said, "Look your people are already here. Great day for Brazenforge, the dwarves have returned" and she pointed at a small encampment of dwarves.

Thorian looked to where she was pointing and his eyes snapped open. He reflexively placed his hand on his hammer and he growled, "Those aren't my people. Fools, heathens, traitors and cowards. Those are Clan Stardust. Betrayers of Brazenforge and the lynchpins in it's downfall. There is going to be trouble. I would rather join forces with the drow than spend a moment with these accursed fellows."

He released his Warhammer and sighed. "I need a drink". He looked quickly about and saw a small but richly made tent with a symbol of a golden owl upon it. "Ah, the tavern of the golden owl" he said and walked in shouting out, "Barkeep, an ale and more". Maribe and Silj followed.

Gaylord paused outside the tent. He recognized the golden owl as the holy symbol of the church of Decanter and expected the party to realize their mistake shortly and return. He, however, miscalculated their perception, intelligence and how strong their desire was to have a drink.

Warath stepped around the side of the tent by a window and waited. This group will be perfect he thought to himself.
Decanter Abbot Motenebrea was sitting at his holy accounting table pouring over the profit and loss statement for this expedition. He was enjoying the last bottle of a rare vintage of fine elven wine when suddenly his tent door was opened and a monty crew of ruffians and thugs walked in shouting and ordering drinks and food.

A female human druid, a kobold warrior and a dwarf dressed in heavy armor bearing the ancient symbol of Brazenforge upon his shield. They walked right up to his table and sat down with him. The dwarf mumbled something about what a terrible tavern, having only one table, hope he didn't mind.

The dwarf then picked up his bottle of wine and shared it out with his companions. He took a huge swig and spit it on the floor. "This is terrible ale" he shouted. "That's because it's wine" responded the druid. "Dreadful tavern" he responded.

It took all of Motenebrea's patience and diplomacy but he was able to work through the obvious social issues of the group and hire them on as mercenaries. Which was very good because everyone else he had hired had never returned from the keep. THe Stardust dwarves had assured him that they were making progress but it was slow going.

He didn't really trust the dwarves, they seemed to know more than they were sharing and they weren't sharing a lot.

Recently they had brought liaisons from the goblin tribes to meet with the high priests. Too many factions involved meant splitting the profits to many ways. Already the dependence on the drow was making this a barely profitable endeavor. Any more upsets and the church might pull support for the entire project.

Motenebrea was happy with his recent hires, however only briefly. Only then did he notice that the captured Fairie dragon that was always threatening to eat his liver was gone. The golden cage stood opened and the magic chains were cast in the corner. This wasn't going to be good, not good at all.


Thorian never had a head for wine. He barely made it out of the tent before looking for a place to sleep it off. He walked around the corner and passed out in the shadow of Warath the stalking drow elf. He was joined later by Maribe who preferred to sleep under the stars. Gaylord and Silj spent the evening learning the lay of the land and finding more suitable quarters.

As Thorian slept he dreamed. He dreamed of the shameful night that he and his parents fled the halls of Brazenforge. Being so close to his home must have brought back memories. Because he remembered the escape so vividly, he remembered coming up through a trade passage in the Valley of Grickland. He awoke with a start. A drow was warning him that the Stardust dwarves had spotted him while he slept and he was in danger. Thorian accepted all of this immediately and never thought to wonder who this drow was or from where he came. This camp was in the valley of Grickland. He was sleeping no more than 5 feet from the tunnel. He cast about frantically and realized that the tent was build upon the entrance. Thorian work Maribe and quickly explained everything to her then he grabbed up his hammer and rushed back into the tent and began smashing it into the stone tiles laid out upon the floor. Under one of these tiles was the way home.

Maribe joined him inside the tent and sent Ithy for Gaylor and Silj. She knew this wan't going to go very well.

The Abbots surrounded them and said, "We heard everything. Now we can use the backdoor to take back the hold if negotiations fail. You however, have outlived your usefulness. No Brazenforge dwarf will ever set foot in the keep again."

The battle that ensued was both epic and heroic. Thorian and Maribe anchored the line until Silj, Gaylord and Warath the Drow joined it. The fairie dragon played a completely irrelevant role other than to be turned to stone by the bite of a pet cockatrice and Sammy the Level one Accounting Clerk was thrilled to survive the first round only to be killed by Decanter Abbot Motenebrea for standing in his way.

When the smoke cleared the Abbots were dead, their owl, cockatrice and Sammy were no more and the Death Curse of Abbot Venethra which took the guise of a giant purple frog with eyes of gold and platinum pieces for his entrails was slain and collected as loot.


Maribe discovered the control for sending the tent back to its pocket universe while Thorian opened the entrance into the keep. By this time they had gathered quite a crowd. Before anyone could interfere, they leapt into the passage and using an ancient deadfall trap they collapsed the tunnels behind them.

At the last moment amongst the tunneling rock the Drow Elf jumped in with them. Gaylord drew his sword out of surprise but Thorian told him to put it away.

"Who is this?" demanded Gaylord, surprised that Thorian seemed to know him.

Without a moment to think about how improbable it was, Thorian responded, "This is the Drow I said I would rather join forces with then join the Stardust clan." Then he continued down the passage.

They came out in the statue of an ancient dwarves king's goblet that feed and underground stream. In the cavern they spied a number of goblins making camp and two Stardust dwarves meeting with the obvious goblin leader.

Warath was about to suggest a subtle battle plan full of flanks, surprises and amazing tactics when the party leapt out amongst the goblins and started smashing them.

Warath just shook his head and joined into the fray. He briefly wondered how these adventurers had managed to live so long while obviously putting no effort into their own survival.


When the fight was over they journeyed deeper into the keep. Thorian's plan was simple. Find the throne room and reclaim his home for the dwarves. Magnimar would surely understand that they had no right to give away the deed to his lands once it was recovered by the ancient dwarves.

If they didn't understand. Well, then they could come down here and take it.

No comments:

Post a Comment