Dragon Watch

Episode 26: The Old Kings and The New - Chapter Two


From the journal of Astrid Rogarvia:

Thorgur went to his family for advice and some reassurance in his faith. He left in greater spirits and confidence.

Our plan is now to go to the Rat’s Nest and find out who’s been giving the Hollowmen their orders. As well as to possibly find the rumoured Darklands entrance.
To avoid the guards and alerting our presence, we will go at night and dimension door as far inside the Rat’s Nest border as possible, thanks to Orin’s spell. Once inside, we will go to Warehouse 15 on foot.

When we arrived at the warehouse, I used my gloves of reconnaissance to assess the situation inside. There was a large working space where a couple of dwarves were. One was an exceptionally short dwarf with a black oily beard, while two others were on either side of him up on the catwalk. The three of them overlooked other dwarves working on artillery stolen from Tamran during the commotion.

We went around the warehouse until we arrived at the gate, where my old friend Dog was. This time I let Thorgur’s authority as Ravensguard take point, and he approached Dog. Thorgur shoved him against the wall and ordered him to open the gate quietly. Alas, his order fell on deaf and obstinate ears. Orin told him to obey like a good dog, and with my threatening presence that surely brought back unpleasant memories, we were successful in getting him to open the gate. Once he did, I knocked Dog out with the shaft of my weapon.

The door was heavy but I was able to lift it up and let the others through. Thorgur announced us as the Anvil Guard, despite none of us being dwarves save for him. The black bearded dwarf named Bat told us to go away. Questioning ensued between the two and Bat wasn’t very forthcoming. Thorgur continued to take the lead, using his authority and position to encourage him to surrender.

Thorgur found out that a friend of Bat’s in Tamran gave the artillery to him, and they’re going to use it to protect Kraggodan from the “shit below”. I am quoting his words, vague as they are. I would certainly have been more specific. To continue with our other goal, Thorgur tried to get Bat to slip up and say he is working for the King Greathammer. Instead, Bat mentions cultists working against him, ones that worship Droskar.

Bat also finally mentions the entrance to the Darklands, where the “shit below” might come through. Unfortunately, the portal can’t stay closed like the other entrance we used some time ago, so it is the Hollowmen’s duty to guard it. It’s been open since the Greathammer’s came into rule. Thorgur made a deal with Bat to let the Hollowmen keep doing what they’re doing, and we’ll help close the portal and get rid of the cultists. Once that is done, Bat will say whatever we need to help dethrone the king and place Thorgur’s brother on the throne. The dwarven political machinations are complex to say the least. Although it is obvious that this unstable entrance to the Darklands outweighs any importance of who sits in the Anvil of the Kings.

Bat told us where the cultists were; the old temple called Kragstone. This is where the Darklands entrance also is. We make our way and immediately come upon some cultists in an alleyway. Bat bowls them over, allowing us to continue on our way towards the temple while he and the other Hollowmen create a diversion to keep some of the cultists occupied.

In the center of the courtyard in the temple is a large stone statue, where there was a hammer that bore Torag’s symbol, although the symbol was scored until it was nearly unrecognisable.

Inside the temple there was a mural only visible if one had darkvision. It showed Droskar pulling a dwarf out of a dark pit of despair. Thorgur, as impulsive as he is, began attacking the wall before he told us any of this, much to the confusion of the rest of the group. I have yet to understand the dwarf’s logic, making him quite unpredictable to me. Also inside the temple is a forge that burns brightly with an odd purple hue. I could not figure out why it did so. Perhaps it burned something other than coal. On the walls are copies and copies of various mundane items like plates, silverware, vases, etc. This is unusual since dwarven craftsmanship is supposed to be innovative and unique. They do not mass produce their creations.

Finally, we found what we were looking for. There were two hooded dwarves, and behind them was another in an elaborate robe with a tabard depicting Droskar’s symbol. He had ashen black skin, alerting us to the fact that he was Duergar. Without any hesitation, Thorgur declares war on the cultist and summons a spiritual weapon. The rest of us soon enter the fray as well.

Hudson shoots the leader in the leg, knocking him prone to prevent him from casting. Unfortunately, the Duergar was still able to shoot forth a purple miasma towards Thorgur and I in retaliation. We resist the sickening wave that urged me to vomit, but the cloying energy of the cloud was still painful. The battle ensues, trading blows back and forth. Orin manifested a wall of ice between the leader and the two other cultists, so we could divide and conquer. We dispatched the two cultists just as the leader dispelled the wall. I took the opportunity to run forward and slice him across the chest with my weapon. Hudson took another shot at him just as the leader began to chant for another spell. The bullet interrupted him, lodging itself into his throat. He chokes on his own blood and falls to the ground in an unceremonious heap.

With the cultists dead, Thorgur investigates a tapestry and a stone door. He smashes it, as that seems to be his normal solution to things, and finds stairs leading downwards. While he was doing this, the other party members rummaged through the Duergar to find things that might be useful to us. We didn’t have a lot of time before Thorgur stormed down the stairs, so we quickly followed.

They went downwards for a while, until it met a narrow tunnel that was quite chilly and had a sickly green glowing moss all over it. Hudson was perceptive enough to notice a moving rock above us, that had a flat face lined with teeth. I had never seen a rock such as this. Most rocks I encounter are usually not alive. This one decided to jump down right in front of me. Another sprouts from the wall behind Orin, its claws reaching for him. One of them rends its claws into Orin and the one near me thrusts all four claws at me with surprising ferocity and accuracy. I was able to move deftly enough to avoid the worst of the damage, but I was still not completely exempt from its sharp claws. The force of its attack also sent me flying into the opposite cavern wall.

Quick to react, Hudon shot multiple times and its gaping maw of a head burst in spray of blood and gore. It slumped to the ground. I try to run over to the other one, but in the darkness I trip over a rock and stumble into the creature’s leg. I am not proud of this and the blunder must stay within these pages only. Orin tried to help cover me by shooting multiple scorching rays. Hudon’s gunshots reverberated throughout the small cavern and further down the tunnel. A cacophony of screams, growls, and unknown sounds came from deeper in the darkness. As Hudson reloaded, the sounds grew louder and he said he saw something in the distance. I grow increasingly nervous, slowly inching towards where we came from.

Unfortunately, the rock creatures are still attacking and we won’t make it out alive if they are not taken care of. So the battle ensues, with whatever our imaginations could come up with, crawling towards out of the abyss. Orin throws one last fireball and it bursts into flames, causing the last creature to disappear into a pile of ash. The wall of ice that he had put up to delay the incoming nightmares, burst open to reveal the creatures. There were spider-like ones, as well as half-drow, half-spider abominations, and further in the back I saw something I thought I’d never see again. The thing that haunts my dreams – a Shoggoth. I had not known there were multiple in the Darklands. I had thought it was a unique creature. This is greatly unsettling.

Orin saves us all by casting dimension door to whisk all of us out of the cavern and near the entrance. There we find Bat and one of his Hollowmen, Yenir. Yenir sets off alchemical explosives and collapses the tunnel. He said that should keep them at bay, and keep the entrance closed for the time being. Perhaps another year.

Bat kept his end of the deal and gave Thorgur a parchment that contained his affidavit that was in favor of the Lightshammers, while also detailing King Greathammer’s crimes. Thorgur vowed to give Bat and the Hollowmen the recognition they deserve, rather than defending Kraggodan in secret in the dank streets of the Rat’s Nest. The two dwarves parted on good terms.

The next matter is presenting our evidence. We will see how the moot will turn out with this up our sleeve.

-Astrid Rogarvia

Episode 25: The Old Kings and the New - Chapter One


Season 3. Chapter 1. Session 1.
Jan. 17, 2016

The Gillman sent their recently deceased leader into his final resting place deep in the abyss and a create arose from the depths to select a new leader. The creature selected a young Orin, but the ritual was incomplete and Orin was unchosen.

Years later we see Astrid with her ancient grandfather. Astrid takes precautions as she converses with him and seems very distrusting of this ancient kin. In trying to determine how this man is still alive, Astrid learns that Brevoy was united with the aid of the red dragons. He revealed himself to be a sorceror of a draconic bloodline and the dragons believed that Brevoy needed to be in power to fight a in the future. In return for their help, Astrid’s grand pappy would be in service to the Dragons. On the day he was summoned he went into the forest and slept. When he woke up he was returned as he was the day he went into the forest with no memory of what happened or what has occurred during the three centuries he was gone.

Gramps offered to help and is looking for a book called The Book of Stars. He believes that Astrid was left behind with this book for a specific purpose and the book would have been left as well to help guide her.

Burback Lightshammer has returned from Fort Ferrodan and declared that he wanted to be considered for king. So the Lightshammer’s, Greathammers, and Skykings have been chosen as the candidates for ruling family of Kraggodan.

Thorgur has documents from an anonomous anvil guard report on the Greathammers and their shady dealings with the Hollow men and a second entrance to the Darklands. The documents from the Skykings subversions were found in the archives of the dwarves.

Orin, upon hearing about the Scum, decided to use the Heart of Scrying to spy on the Scum in Avalon Bay. After successfully using the artifact, the heart began to beat and Orrns mind is filled with visions of an underwater settlement filled with creatures that seem to match the description of Scum. Orin fails to notice that something is affecting his connection and barely notices an anti-magic wall around the city. He suffers when he is cast out of this dream state rather unceremoniously. Orin and his brother begin to plan the how to handle the Scum settlement. Orin gifts his spellbook to his brother to begin trainig the Gillman in magic.

Hudson has an odd conversation with his flying machine, adding Amber Wallace to the authorized users of Titanus after. Hudson researches the needs for Titanus’s weapons systems and crafts ammunition for the ship. Hudson introduceds titanus to Hibock.

Thorgur is given permission to provide the council with the information regarding the Skykings and Greathammers. He consults with the group and Hudson decides to join him at the council. Thorgur provides an empassioned speech to the council, but is challenged by several Dwarves and he recommends the guards investigate the claims.

During Thorgur’s speech, the king left the council, but Hudson was quick to tail him. The king made his way to the Rat’s Nest while Hudson successfully stealthed his way to the king’s destination. They were at the Hollowmen hideout where a conversation with Bat was taking place. Hudson overheard a conversation between the Hollowmen and King Greathammer. Hudson was spotted by Molgrim and his dog, Bonnie, and tried to bluff his way out of getting caught.

As Thorgur leaves the council he is stopped by Ravenguard and asked to meet with his companions in the war room the next day. During the meeting with General Ravensguard Thorgur was put on paid leave in order to visit the merchant district and the Rat’s Nest. Thorgur decided that the Rat’s Nest should be the first stop. Thorgur has no official capacity in these investigations, but was provided with incentive, as a warrior or Torag, to find the truth by whatever means necessary, for the benefit of the Dwarves.

Episodes 22-24: Bonebreakers


Episode 20 (15 August, 2015)

Back in Kraggodan to pray and prepare for the upcoming invasion of Molthune at Fort Ramgate, Thorgur Lightshammer was blessed with a vision from Torag directing him to the archives beneath the Anvil of Kings. With the help of Astrid Rogarvia, having recently returned from Crystalhurst on a short research trip, Thorgur was able to procure an ancient dwarven text that taught him two critical spells key to defeating the lich, Nochen Valmugen. The spells promised two abilities. The first would allow Thorgur to trap the lich’s soul within its phylactery after its body was destroyed. The second spell would then allow Thorgur to utterly destroy the phylactery, ensuring the lich’s defeat remained permanent.

Thorgur shared this information with Hudson Graves and Orin once the latter had joined the rest in Kraggodan. Orin had only recently learned that the lich may be working with the aboleth and the dragon, Vellath the Green, and that the trio feared something in Lake Encarthan. Believing an enemy of his enemy to be his friend, Orin remained in Tamran after the siege ended to direct his people to search the lake for any indication of what the aboleth may fear. Sadly, these explorations had already revealed that Tamran had still acquired the artillery the party had worked so hard to destroy during the siege and were already using it to great effect against the Molthuni navy. Orin attempted to dissuade the Forest Marshal, Weslen Gavirk, from using these weapons against the civilians of Eranmas, Molthune’s naval headquarters and Tamran’s ultimate goal, but the Forest Marshal appeared obstinate in his desire to punish Molthune for their war.

Orin also revealed that his people would soon begin construction of fortifications of their own in the waters beneath Tamran to ward off possible attack by Molthune or the aboleth’s allies.

Having returned to Crystalhurst after the Siege of Tamran’s victory, Astrid shared with the group her vivid dreams, seemingly granted to her only in the presence of Kelvennan Duskwalker’s mysterious eidolon, Malam. The dreams appeared to foretell the same dire future if Nochen was not stopped: a land of endless undeath.

The party then met with High General Hadtok Ravenguard at the Anvil of Kings, who had been meeting with the Molthuni defector, General Lady Elizabeth Saewe. General Saewe revealed the existence of underground store rooms, built out beyond Ramgate’s walls. With the aid of dwarven stoneshapers, she believed the party, led by her, could bypass the fort’s defenses without alerting the Molthuni army. General Ravenguard supported the plan, hoping the party could bring down the fort’s defenses from the inside, allowing the dwarven army to invade the fort and put its defenders to the sword. To this end, he had Hibok Marbleaxe gift the party adamantite weapons in anticipation of defeating the golems Molthune so far favored in its battle lines.

Thus resolved to end the lich and Molthune’s invasion once and for all, the party made their final preparations and set out with a pair of stoneshapers and General Saewe the next day.

The plan worked as hoped, at least as far as getting the group into the grounds beneath Fort Ramgate. Yet what they discovered there was something terrible: the entire underground complex had been converted into a corpse farm by the lich’s minions. Molthune’s enemies, both living and dead, were being brought to the catacombs, where they were evidently feasted upon by mindless ghoul workers. At the sight of this abomination, Thorgur expressed a desire to completely cleanse the complex. It was here that Hudson revealed the card up his sleeve: a new technology from Hibok, called dynamite, that would allow them to level the structure. The party seemed in agreement that this action would be worthwhile.

The party continued to explore the complex and unravel its atrocities, eventually stumbling upon two crucial finds. First, the party discovered an army, hundreds strong, of dormant undead monsters waiting in the depths of the complex. Beyond it, they confronted something even more disturbing: a gathering of Molthuni cultists, willingly complicit in everything the party had encountered heretofore, and a terrible corpse golem referred to as the Harvester. After a short but grueling battle in which General Saewe was gravely wounded, the party triumphed as Thorgur used a magical potion to double in size and crush the corpse golem with Hibok’s adamantine warhammer.

Their enemies felled, Hudson decided that he could spare one of his explosive weapons to destroy the undead army gathered in the pit of the corpse farm. Hudson came to the edge of the pit, lit the dynamite with his burning cigar, and tossed it into the mass of undeath. One short but very loud boom later, and the undead army that may have threatened victory during the Battle of Fort Ramgate was no more.

And so our heroes gathered their strength to push upwards into the heart of Fort Ramgate itself.

Episode 21 (23 August, 2015)

Having destroyed the Harvester and put the Cultist of Bone to the sword, our heroes gathered to storm into Fort Ramgate proper. Thorgur Lightshammer tended to General Saewe’s wounds just as voices drifted down from above. Guards had heard the noise from the dynamite explosion and were coming to investigate. Here, Saewe intervened, and to her relief, found the soldiers were known associates of hers and sympathizers to her cause. The soldiers offered their uniforms to the group to aid them in getting through the fort with minimal disturbances, and Astrid sent them back down into the corpse farm to tend to the prisoners they had rescued before.

Hudson Graves lent Thorgur his hat of disguise, as the dwarf could not fit into the human-sized uniforms, and Orin used his invisibility and fly spells to make himself mobile and avoid confrontation. Hudson and Astrid donned uniforms, and our heroes headed out, determined to reach the gatehouse and let the allied armies into the city.

The battle had already begun in earnest, siege weapons opening fire on the small fort, dwarves scaling the walls in groups of three or four, and druids making assault runs disguised as birds. It was during one such siege barrage that Orin came under fire from a series of flying boulders. In the process of avoiding them, Orin crashed through a building window. A trio of guards were startled to see the magus appear out of thin air through their window, but Orin dove back out of the building before they could attack. Hudson, noticing the crash, saw the guards come to the window’s edge and took two of them out with his pistols.

The party made it to the gatehouse, which was guarded by a number of Molthuni soldiers, a pair of trolls, and a gatekeeper. Several dwarves, including Bradoc Skyking, were already assaulting the gate. During the fighting, Astrid was gravely wounded by one of the trolls, but Orin managed to get her out of the fighting with a dimension door spell. Hudson took out the gatekeeper with his gunblade then made short work of the soldiers. Meanwhile, Thorgur held the attention of the trolls, killing one while Saewe took down the other. By this time, Orin and Astrid had opened the gatehouse, and Bradoc and the other dwarves entered the fray. The battle ended shortly.

Yet during the aftermath, a drow assassin dropped in on the party and killed Bradoc. The assassin attempted to flee with mechanical wings, but Hudson shot him down. Bradoc was quickly taken to the dwarf encampment to undergo healing, but it was too late. The Archdruid of Crystalhurst, Heltanto, arrived shortly after, grimly informing the dwarves that he only had the power to reincarnate Bradoc, a fate he was not sure the dwarf would accept.

In discussing what to make of this turn of events, as well as the mysterious assassin, our heroes learned of Thorgur’s own place in Kraggodan’s politics and the option to elect someone from his family, someone other than a Greathammer or Skyking, now that Bradoc was gone – though Thorgur declined the option for himself. Finally, our heroes decided to interrogate the assassin personally, but he resisted their attempts at magical coercion and told them little, except for a vague reference to people from the Darklands rising up to the surface world. Angered by his reticence and lack of respect, and ignoring the protests of Hudson to spare the drow’s life for further interrogations, Astrid put an end to the assassin with a single blow.

Afterwards, Orin requested the body be preserved for him to return to his people in the hopes of gleaning something even from the corpse. He placed an arcane mark on the body, and the dwarves removed it from the camp. Finally, our heroes rested.

The next day, General Saewe returned from the fighting, revealing that General Rondulus had escaped, but she had seen to it that his leadership (apparently intelligent ghouls) perished in his absence. As she returned to the camp to rest, our heroes re-entered Fort Ramgate. Amber Wallace was waiting for them, having broken her cover in the fort. She took them to the lich’s laboratory. Meanwhile, the battle continued, the odds squarely in the allied armies’ favor.

Inside the laboratory, our heroes found some of what they expected – alchemy supplies, a golem works, and a dressing room for Nochen Valmugen’s various forms – and something unexpected. Nochen had apparently been conducting experiments, trying to fuse flesh with robotics, and he had dissembled one of the Technic League’s robots in the process and murdered who knows how many. Although Thorgur was able to recovery a legendary artifact, the Stone of the Mountain King, from the lab, he was enraged at the blasphemy and smashed a great deal of the experiment to bits. Hudson was left to ponder the meaning of robotics here – did Nochen work for or with the Technic League, or had he stolen the technology?

Pressing on, our heroes made one final gruesome discovery: a series of canisters holding fully formed bodies, evidently awaiting possession by Nochen’s lich soul, and seemingly powered by his phylactery, or at least a portion of it. While they laid waste to the contraption, they were assaulted by the Wailing Golem, a terrible creature who screamed for death. It was only after Hudson finally put it out of its misery that they learned the truth of the bodies in stasis. The golem itself turned out to be a conglomeration of the murdered souls Nochen left in his wake.

Their journey was not yet over, however. With the phylactery device destroyed and the Wailing Golem released, the way lay open to Nochen’s innermost sanctum: the Necropolis.

Episode 22 (12 September, 2015)

Our heroes stood before Nochen’s sanctum, ready to face the lich at last. Yet they were interrupted by news from Amber Wallace: she was staying behind to cover their attack and to allow Hudson to face Nochen Valmugen without her, as he must.

They made their way down and through the underground before emerging on a hillside east of Fort Ramgate. A farwatcher stood sentinel over an lift leading into the sanctum below. Astrid Rogarvia recognized the device and noted that it was likely being used to gaze at celestial bodies within the solar system.

Down the lift, our heroes came to Nochen’s library, hosted by an unseen servant who was happy to help them find any book they desired. There was little of interest here, however, except for a pile of scrolls and letters written in aboleth that Orin pocketed for later examination. Further below, Orin found another curiosity: a crystal ball of telepathy in the form of a frozen heart known as the Frozen Heart of Orphys. He attempted to spy on Nochen with it, but the wizard resisted. Nevertheless, they pocketed the object and continued their journey.

In fact, they did not have to spy on Nochen much, for he waited for them in what appeared to be an underground garden filled with blooming bushes and trees and a trickling brook.

Nochen called to Astrid, asking her to give up her quest and join him. Astrid did not outright refuse, but instead asked to speak to Nochen face to face. Nochen agreed, and the door to his final sanctum opened up at last. Inside, however, their talk quickly degenerated into battle. As the party scrambled to defeat Nochen and his allies, Thorgur moved to destroy the phylactery – only to find it protected by Agard Habbraxis, risen from the dead.

In the end, Hudson Graves put both Agard and Nochen down, while Orin and Astrid fended off Nochen’s minions, and Thorgur destroyed the phylactery once Nochen fell. The lich’s soul gave itself up and passed from this world – forever. The lich’s strangehold on Molthune had come to an end.

Yet no sooner did Nochen perish than the complex, without the power of Nochen’s phylactery, began to collapse. As our heroes fled, they found one final artifact: an airship, the Titanis. On approach, it asked for identification, and when Hudson spoke to it, the airship opened its chambers to the party. They scrambled aboard as the complex began to fall to pieces around them.

In the cockpit, Titanis encouraged Hudson to pilot the ship, but he did not possess the skills to do so. Upon realizing this, Titanis injected Hudson with some kind of formulae, and just as suddenly as the chemical entered his bloodstream, Hudson appeared to understand both what the ship was and how to pilot it. And as this knowledge filled him, he ascended, becoming a mythic hero.

Hudson piloted the Titanis away from Nochen’s Sanctum and back towards Fort Ramgate. An explosion rocked the city as they observed it, and its origins appeared to be the general’s chamber, where our heroes had originally descended into Nochen’s labs. Orin gave Hudson the Frozen Heart of Orphys long enough for Hudson to make contact with Amber Wallace. The telepathic connection from the artifact showed that she was alive, and she was able to communicate with Hudson and tell him that she was behind the explosion – the laboratory had been destroyed utterly with Hibok’s dynamite. Amber met the party outside the city, where she was astonished to find what Hudson had acquired. Finally, as his friends watched, Amber sealed her approval with a kiss for the gunslinger.

Back in Kraggodan, our heroes found the war had all but ended, and a treaty would soon be signed. While they waited for word of the treaty, Orin finally disposed of the drow assassin’s body in the Darklands, tossing it from the passageways outside Kraggodere into the depths below.

Meanwhile, Thorgur learned of corruption from both the Greathammers and the Skykings, including one startling truth: the Greathammers had established the Hollow Men presence in the Rat’s Next intentionally, in order that they would protect a second Darklands entrance to Sekamina. He presented it to the party, and they began to discuss their options. Their discussion was interrupted by the treaty’s signing, however.

At the signing, the party met Molthune’s Imperial Governor, Markwin Teldas, who revealed the extent of Nochen’s corruption and hold over Molthune. With the necromancer dead, however, Teldas promised to bring sweeping reforms to the militaristic nation. Fort Ramgate would remain in Molthune but be occupied by Kraggodan and Tamran forces, making the city a kind of hostage for the nation.

Thorgur Lightshammer was then annointed with the Blessed Hammer of the Citadel, and his family elevated to high noble status. Meanwhile, the House of Rising Tide, the gillmen refuge Orin had established, was officially recognized by Nirmathas. Yet as soon as the ceremony began, Orin received word from his brother and departed to Tamran.

Back with his people, Orin learned that Shalako’s scouts had discovered a skum fortress surrounding an entrapped triton city. Shalako asked for Orin’s help in defeating the skum and releasing the tritons, so their war on Chevaghol could truly begin.

In Kraggodan, meanwhile, Astrid is later summoned back to the Anvil of Kings, where she meets an unexpected face: Choral Rogarvia, long thought dead, had returned, and was now seeking her help to open the Observatory!

Episodes 19-21: Under an Ettin's Moon


Session One (9 May, 2015)

The heroes finally travel to Tamran to restore allied control of its shipyards and wrest the city from the hands of the Molthuni army. They arrived at Fort Ferrodan outside the city, a Kraggodan base. After speaking with the fort’s commander, the base came under attack by an elder green dragon and a horde of undead.

Session Two (23 May, 2015)

Fort Ferrodan saved, our heroes infiltrated the city of Tamran and staged on assault on Teldas Keep to rescue the Nirmathas Forest Marshal, Weslen Gavirk. In the process, they rescued General Lady Elizabeth Saewe, former commander of Fort Ramgate who had defected.

Session Three (30 May, 2015)

Our heroes snuck into the city during the battle, only to be harassed by the green dragon from before, Vellath the Green. After evading his attacks, they boarded the Ettin’s Moon at sea and defeated General Lord Resket. They turned the Molthuni flagship to their control and shortly thereafter, the Siege of Tamran ended with Molthune’s defeat.

Episodes 15-18: To a Dream Seen in Autumn


Episode 15 (3 January, 2015)

The party was invited to General Ravenguard’s office for a briefing before they left for Crystalhurst. During the briefing, the general introduced them to a dwarf he asked them to take with them, one of his Raven Guard, Thorgur Lightshammer.

Before he left, Hudson was approached by Amber Wallace, who asked after his story. After telling her his tale of growing up in Torch, Numeria, and fleeing when his parents were killed, Amber revealed her own. She grew up in a village south of Starfall, and when that village also came under attack, she fled with Rond Wolfe, a gunslinger. He took her to Torch where he searched for his brother (revealed to be Hudson’s father), but after failing to find him, he took Amber on the road to stay ahead of the villains hunting gunslingers. It was on this road that he taught Amber the way of the gunslinger, and Amber told Hudson she would be teaching him the same as was taught her after he returns from Crystalhurst.

Shortly after setting out for Crystalhurst, Orin left the party, saying he wished to scout ahead by himself. They were joined by Katsutoshi Hayashi and made their way into the Fangwood, the large forest where the druid village made its home.

A strange dream came to Astrid as they made camp their first night in the forest. In the dream, Astrid met a man unfamiliar to her who nevertheless called her his daughter. He told her that “your mother and I” were proud of her but were making preparations in the Observatory. He encouraged her to continue on her journey. As Astrid found herself departing from the company of this man, she noticed another creature in the dream – a large panther with bright, piercing green eyes. Afterwards, she woke.

The party pressed on into the depths of the Fangwood towards Crystalhurst. As they neared the village, however, they were accosted by a shaman named Gyles and a druid named Elrador, along with a small host of their allies, who challenged them to combat. Katsutoshi embraced the combat, afterwards revealing that it was a test sent by the Watchmen. Gyles, the shaman, was the Watchmen’s seer, who passed along the Watchmen’s quests to them on behalf of a strange creature from another plane, the shaman’s spirit guide.

Having proven a match for each other, the shaman and his companion joined with the party to guide them to Crystalhurst. They were accosted once again, however, this time by a nymph of the wood and her animal allies. Gyles recognized the nymph as Alarea, a one-time guardian of the forest, now corrupt. Elrador then revealed the reason Crystalhurst had not yet joined the battles – they were already at war.

Episode 16 (7 February, 2015)

The party arrived at Crystalhurst, where they found Orin had already arrived and befriended a tiefling wizard named Mellisan. Mellisan desired to help them in their quest against the mad wizard, Nochen, and so joined the party.

Shortly after entering the village, the party found a surprise waiting for them: their old friend Kelvanann Duskwalker and his eidolon, Malam. Malam, it is revealed, is actually the spirit guide of Gyles and the mastermind behind the Watchmen.

The party then met the Archdruid Heltanto, who told them of the Blight that ailed the forest. Several years ago, something corrupted the ancient dryad, Arlantia, who made her home in the depths of the forest. Since then, the Blight has slowly spread, and now the druids find themselves fully engaged in preventing its advance. Heltanto asked the party to enter the forest and find Arlantia and free her of her corruption, destroying her if necessary.

The next day, led by Gyles, the party entered the heart of the Fangwood. Yet as they neared Arlantia’s sanctum, the world turned to gray ash. Orin quickly recognized the Shadow Plane from his time in Karpad, and Thorgur recognized the work of a ritual to a dark god. The party determined that this ritual had cast them into the Shadow Plane and was now preventing them from moving further.

Further investigation led to a fight with rangers of Crystalhurst, corrupted by the shadows, and the discovery of the Book of Day without Sun. Now able to transfer themselves between the First World and the Shadow Plane, the party began to search through the Fangwood for altars to Zon-Kuthon in order to destroy them and free the forest.

Episode 17 (21 February 2015)

​Our heroes made their way through the Fangwood in the Shadow Plane, destroying the altars to Zon-Kuthon and freeing the realm from the shadow’s grasp. They met an image of Nochen Valmugen, who claimed to know of Astrid’s family and made reference to someone named “Chevaghol” being behind the Vanishing. Afterwards, they met Gogmurt, the goblin druid who spoke with Astrid at length about her research. He granted her a book that detailed the legend of a star mage who changed the stars in the time of Earthfall to save the world.​

Episode 18 (28 February 2015)

Our heroes pressed on to the heart of the Fangwood, faced Arlantia, and freed Shalako from her corruption. Relieved of their war against the dryad, the druids of Crystalhurst marched to war and won the Battle of Deadeye’s Haunt, purifying the region at long last.​

Intermission: A Hole too Far
A Holiday Mystery


While the adventurers struggled against Nochen’s undead terrors and the General Lord Habbraxis in Skelt, the Hollow Men in Kraggodan were dealing with their own problems.

For years, the Hollow Men had been plagued by the activities of a mysterious cult. Their leader, Bat Earthrender, believed the cult was somehow tied to the new church of Droskar that had emerged in the Rat’s Nest, but without proof, he could only stew and plot.

When Bat’s Morndin Day gift went missing on delivery, Bat believed the cult was at the root of it. He tasked his cousin, Molgrim, and four of his lieutenants (Brain, Content Not Found: kok-firmfist, Snergle Granitetoes, and Yenir Gemheart) to investigate the missing shipment in time to deliver his gift to his men.

In their investigations, the Hollow Men learned that the Skykings were actually supplying the cult with pesh, an illegal drug used to induce religious euphoria. The truth of the missing shipment, however, was much simpler: the goldsmith, Thatu Stonecutter, had been blackmailed by a strange creature, a xorn, living under his house to obtain rare gems – or suffer the consequences.

The Hollow Men dutifully attacked the xorn’s hovel and managed to retrieve the gems, though not without casualties. The xorn killed both Kok Firmfist and Snergle Granitetoes in the fighting.

As they returned with their gift, Molgrim discovered that his cousin believed the cultists were somehow related to the mysterious organization known as the Dominion of the Black. But Bat could not decipher anything from his research, but now that the Hollow Men knew the Skykings secret, it would not be long before Bat could deal with the cult directly.

Episodes 10-14: Savior on the Mountain


Session One (11 October, 2014)

The party prepared to set out for Skelt, Fin‘s hometown and now under Molthuni occupation. They would ride out to the city and begin to gather intel to prepare for Commander Mera Corby’s arrival on 3 Abadius, 4714. They hoped to find some method to unseat the General Lord Agard Habbraxis, now also Governor of the city, from the mountain city.

It was still a mystery how Skelt fell, crouched as it was on a bluff nearly half a mile high, and guarded by drawbridges and water-powered lifts controlled from the city gates at the peak. It is, historically, unassailable, and only fell during Nirmathas’ rebellion because it was overthrown from within, by its own citizens.

The party was determined to root out this mystery and save the people of Skelt, and set out with their longtime ally, Katsutoshi Hayashi. As they left, Cmdr. Corby warned them of the Canorate Covenant, an elite band of warriors who followed General Habbraxis everywhere and enacted his terrible will.

They arrived at the outskirts of the city a little under a week later. Katsutoshi and Orin traveled to the eastern edge of the city and waited while Astrid, Fin and Hudson disguised themselves as travelers and attempted to gain entry. Molthuni guarded the ramps leading up the bluff and turned them away, telling them the city was closed to unauthorized entry and random travelers.

The party reunited and scouted using Fin’s familiar. The bird saw slave camps and worse – undead roaming the streets at night. The party then elected to fly to the top of the bluff, Fin using his wind powers, the rest using Orin’s magic. At the top, they came to the High Mountain Chapel, where Fin’s foster father, Thaldi Hulfison, lived and led worship of Shelyn. He was overjoyed to see them, and told them that the undead appeared to be working with the Molthuni, and that most of them came from the graveyard at night.

The party decided to investigate. At the graveyard, they found a terrible sight: a mass dumping ground for bodies. Guarding the bodies were almost a hundred zombies and other undead horrors. Curious of all was a skeletal rider, who taunted the party during the battle and was found to have been murdered by someone wielding firearms – bullet holes perforated his now-useless armor.

Whatever he was in life, he was a beast in death as well, charging at the party from his steed. Complicating matters was the dread wraith who appeared during the fight, naming the courser Vomek, and pursuing Fin into the air. After taking a few bullets from Hudson, the wraith fled into the earth.

Puzzling over these matters, the party brought Thaldi to the mass graves to consecrate them, hopefully preventing the creation of further undead.

The next day, they went into the town itself to make contact with the resistance. In the mines, they found the previous mayor, now enslaved – Mayor Costie. Liberating her through subterfuge, they learned that the resistance operated with the arcanist, Mahtore, who ran a shop in town. They came to the shop and, after Fin convinced Mahtore of his true nature, learned more of the dark knowledge Sirlef Marblecut had been pursuing.

Sirlef had theorized that the Molthuni had made contact with a mysterious entity or group of entities known as the Dominion of the Black. Adding to this, Mahtore found hidden knowledge of two powerful spellcasters from the time before Earthfall, one professing mastery of the planes, the other over space and time itself. Mahtore believed they were connected, but needed research from his companion in Crystalhurst to find out the rest.

With these dark tidings, Mahtore then showed the party to the resistance: through a trap door in the back of his shop.

Session Two (26 October, 2014)

The party introduced themselves to Skelt‘s resistance and were greeted by their leader, Ennet Dane, a halfling woman who claimed to have seen Fin descend from the sky to warn off Mera Corby’s army during the invasion of Skelt, and thus responsible for forming the resistance.

She was less than impressed with Fin’s return, however, seeing that he came without an army and instead a group of troublemakers who, in her view, were doing little more than stirring up General Habbraxis against the population. Nevertheless, she gave them what intelligence she knew:

Fort Nirmath, the headquarters for the Skelt army, was not occupied by Molthune and its supplies of arms and armor was thus beyond the resistance’s reach. The mills and mines, now forced labor camps, fared little better, and their resources were being turned to the Molthuni war machine under the broken and bloodied brows of the Skelt slaves who toiled there. The best of the Skelt soldiers and leadership, and many resistance leaders, were also being held by General Habbraxis in his secret prison, whose location was unknown to the resistance. An attack could be planned with Corby’s army when she arrived, but without turning at least a few tides the resistance’s way, Ennet warned, the battle was doomed to fail.

Complicating all of this was the strange wraith who had appeared to the party during the fight in the graveyard. It continued to thwart the rebels and would no doubt plague Fin and his friends if they could not find a way to stop it.

The group determined that they needed intelligence first and decided to confront Bifar, the lowly dwarf and the ex-Mayor’s Chancellor, who now oversaw affairs of government at the Town Hall. They set out, now aided by Baloth, an oread and ally of Ennet Dane’s.

A plan was enacted whereby the party snuck into the back of the Town Hall and tricked Bifar into using the restroom. They grabbed the dwarf as soon as he tried to relieve himself and put him under interrogation. Through intimidation and coercion, they learned that Habbraxis was sending orders directly to the dwarf from his headquarters, buried somewhere within the mountain on which Skelt sat. Bifar also revealed one more member of the Canorate Covenent – an elven archer, always seen by Habbraxis’ side. Habbraxis had also sent an elf female to advise Bifar, named Indilas. Bifar also admitted that Molthune were the source of the undead plague on the town.

The group released Bifar with instructions to trick Indilas into coming for her own interrogation – but neither Indilas nor Bifar returned. When they went to investigate, Indilas was waiting for them. Appearing to known Orin, Fin, and Kel, she scoffed at their attempts to free the city and attempted to question the party herself. Rebuffed, she attempted to leave when Orin – acting on an earlier hunch – attempted to impale her with the Trident of the Last Gillman. Yet she caught the weapon, and when Orin teleported to continue the attack, revealed herself to be Nochen – his soul in a new body.

It was at this moment that Indilas (Nochen) appeared to notice Astrid. (S)he became greatly disturbed at this, insisting that Astrid was not who she claimed to be and did not belong here. Before Astrid could respond, or Nochen could escalate to violence, the elf was destroyed in an explosion of flame. The source of the fire was Panera, newly arrived with Zandak, Shalako, and Gorin, determined not to let her purported creator spread his terror through the land without her intervention.

In the aftermath, the party reunited in the resistance headquarters with Katsutoshi and Mayor Costie.. They decided to head to the mills to liberate the workers there and, with luck, fool the Molthuni into believing it still operated under Molthuni control. Panera and the other allies were left to help the resistance in whatever capacity Ennet Dane saw fit.

At the mills, the party was quickly embroiled in a battle against a terrifying iron golem and a squadron of Molthuni soldiers. While they attempted to destroy the golem, a soldier escaped – returning moments later with a horde of zombies at his back!

Session Three (2 November, 2014)

Kel trapped the zombie hordes in deep pits with his spells, allowing the rest of the group time to put down the iron golem. Baloth struck the final blow with his lance, charging at the beast at full pelt. The zombies were quickly put down.

After the fight, the group set up guards in Molthuni uniforms and freed the workers, asking them to continue to work but to provide weapons and armor to the resistance and to work regular shifts, not the forced labor of before. One of the workers had another revelation on seeing Hudson’s firearms: another gunslinger had been seen in town during the invasion, killing of the mounted warriors before being captured. The mounted warrior, no doubt, was Vomek, meaning the gunslinger Hudson had been seeking may be in the city after all!

With the mills freed, the party returned to the mines to deal with the horrid corpse golem and free the slaves. During the fight, the corpse golem killed half a dozen slaves before being put down by another charge of Baloth. They then used piles of Hudson’s gunpowder to ignite a blast that closed the mine’s entrance, making the mine useless to the Molthuni.

Still waiting for Mera Corby to arrive, the party rested for the next day in order to hunt the dread wraith later that night. Finding it waiting for them at the graveyard, Fin was able to wound it with a light spell. They tracked the wraith’s blood to the fallen monument of Irgal Nirmath. The wraith was waiting for them again, this time with more undead horrors, including mohrgs, shadows, and regular wraiths. After a tense battle, during which Fin pelted the dread wraith with light spells, Orin was able to finally put down the wraith with a mythic lightning bolt. The incorporeal horror fled through a trap door below the monument.

Following him, the party found the wraith collapsed in a heap, at last destroyed. Yet the tunnels continued on, leading them to what they soon realized was General Habbraxis’ long-sought-after base of operations…

Session Four (15 November, 2014)

The party snuck into the General Lord’s lair and freed some of his prisoners, including Skelt’s military commander. The commander informed them that Habbraxis had established the prison as a slave pit in order to excavate some artifact from the depths of the Skelt mountain.

The party rested, informed the resistance of their plan, then sprung their attack on the general. The general, it seemed, was waiting for them, but before he could deliver any kind of monologue, Hudson opened fire.

The fight was short but brutal. The party killed every member of the Canorate Covenant that was there, including Habbraxis himself, his lover Goleguil, and the vile wizard Hardo. In the aftermath, they found yet another prisoner: a female gunslinger named Amber Wallace, the one Hudson had been pursuing.

She told Hudson that her kind were being hunted and killed all across Golarion by a mysterious organization called the Technic League. With nowhere else to go, she decided to accompany the party.

They had one last task to liberate the city: open the gates.

Session Five (15 November, 2014)

The battle at the gates saw the party defeat another two members of the Covenant: the witch Chamba and the antipaladin Malia. The final member, a derhii named Dwoomba, managed to escape. The gates fell, the armies of Skelt stormed the city, and the Molthune and undead were utterly destroyed.

Yet the victory was not without tragedy: Fin Godtouched, Savior in the Sky and the Savior of Skelt, fell in battle to Malia’s creations during the battle of the gates. The ruined statue to Nirmath was torn down, and a monument to Fin erected in its place.

With Skelt free, the Nirmathas war machine was once again ready to strike at Molthune’s own armies.

The party returned to Kraggodan to regroup and prepare for their next task.

Episode 9: Skyfall


While scouting the Thunder Plains for orcs, Orin and Hudson ran afoul of the mountain troll they defeated in the Mindspin Mountains. Before they could engage, the troll was killed by none other than Shalako, Orin’s brother.

Shalako revealed to Orin that his father had disappeared into the deepest depths of the ocean, and many gillman had left to seek refuge in Absalom. Shalako came to aid Orin with the best fighters from Tzim’chevaghol.

Meanwhile, the war between Nirmathas and Molthune raged on, and the war front neared Kraggodan. The general, Hadtok Ravenguard, enlisted the party’s aid in leading the four armies of the Kraggodan Militia into battle. Joining them was Shalako and the gillman and the last free army of Skelt, led by Mera Corby and aided by a native Skelt, Fin Godtouched.

Finally, in early December, the armies took to the field, where they fought against hordes of orcs, undead, and even an elite Molthuni army. The fighting culminated with an allied victory at the Battle of the Thunder Plain triumphed, Kraggodan faced a terrible realization: the armies were only the beginning. Three enormous armies gathered in the east to face Kraggodan’s battered troops.

Rashly, the king ordered all armies to the eastern front. Suspecting a trap, Hudson and Katsutoshi summoned the party back to Kraggodan. Just in time – another orc army emerged from the mountains to attack the gates.

With the paladins and samurai facing off against the orcs, Hadtok Ravenguard and Bradoc Skyking took to the field, led by the party. They faced an elite orc-rider and an immense bulette siege beast. After a tense and bloody battle, the party put down the orcs. In the east, the ruse ended, and the Molthuni armies fled to other fronts.

Hadtok presented the party with his bold plan to attack Fort Ramgate and destroy Molthune’s seat of military power. To do so, he asked the party to liberate Skelt and Tamran and enlist the aid of the druids of Crystalhurst, while he engaged Molthune’s armies across the country to keep them busy.

The war was about to truly begin.

Episode 8: At the Mountains of Madness - Chapter Eight
The Earth Itself Must Scream


Having obtained access to Kraggodere, Zandak led our heroes through the city. It was a scene of devastation and horrific brutality – some battle was fought here, and the duergar were the losers.

Pressing on, the party gained access to the Seal of Droskar in the Grand Cathedral. There, they helped Zandak unwork the seal’s magic. Once unleashed, however, the seal showed the symbol of Torag. It was not the work of Droskar after all, but the ancient god of the dwarves. It was, in fact, a Gate of Torag, meant to ward off the dark.

With the seal destroyed, the party soon faced the dark in the form of a horrific shoggoth. Despite the beast gaining near full access to the Material Plane, the party was able to defeat it. Its weakened state activated the strange dial in Astrid’s bag. The artifact punctured the creature’s flesh, and Astrid dealt it a fatal and final blow.

When the dust cleared, the shoggoth was gone. Katsutoshi revealed the artifact was in fact none other than the Dragon Watch, an immense artifact of power. When the shoggoth died, the Watch activated and selected a new Watchman: Orin. Now ascended, Orin became what would be the first of the party to obtain mythic status, but not the last…

Alas, Sirlef Marblecut did not survive. The shoggoth’s final throes dealt the bard a mortal wound.

Back in Kraggodan, the party informed King Iogan of Ldod and Sirlef’s death and asked for Sirlef to be decorated as a hero and awarded resurrection. He awarded the party the Raven’s Tower as a reward for their deeds, and Gorin Greathammer, now restored to his right state of mind, joined their band as a cohort.

Sirlef’s wife later informed Astrid that he had left a will not to be resurrected. Instead, he left her a letter, and a magical book: The Book of Lost Knowledge.

Hudson returned the adamantite ore to Hibok, who then repaired the gun. He was able to dust off the damage to reveal its name: Star Cannon.

Kel found his mentor withdrawn and lost, the burden of Kraggodere weighing heavy on him. He soon determined that Zandak had cast a summoning spell, not an arcane one, that brought the shoggoth to this world.

Orin learned of his destiny from the orc samurai, and received the Trident of the Last Gillman.

Meanwhile, an ambassador from Nirmathas arrived, informing the king and the party that the orcs were near and worse – Molthune had invaded Nirmathas. Before they could question the Molthuni ambassador, the man attempted to cast some spell on Panera. Orin dealt the traitor a fatal wound, but not before he revealed that he was the power behind Panera’s oracle mystery: a near-omnipotent lich known as Nochen Valmugen.

Episode 7: At the Mountains of Madness - Chapter Seven
Beneath a Stone Sky


The Darklands Opened

The party continued their debate with King Iogan to open the path to the Darklands. With the aid of the prince, Bodrut Greathammer, along with Astrid’s report, and Bat Earthrender’s own personal demand, the king relented. The way to the Darklands would be opened, and the party would venture inside to end the threats below once and for all.

Traveling with them were Sirlef Marblecut and Katsutoshi Hayashi, the orc Watchman who insisted the aboleth’s plans must be stopped in Nar Voth.

Into Nar Voth

The party descened through the Gate of Torag and into the mines. Struggling against a magical barrier of darkness, they encountered a starving group of dark folk, whom they tamed with food and lies, and a mysterious altar, whose purpose remained hidden to them. Soon, they found a duergar camp and met their leader, a cleric named Curego. Wielding a powerful hammer of ice, the cleric and his allies engaged the party in combat.

Curego told them of an old one who had taken over the city of Kraggodere, sister city to Kraggodan. He confessed to heinous crimes, and begged for the party to end his life. They did so, but not before he granted Panera his hammer, and begged the party to travel to Kraggodere and destroy the old one.

The Lost Highway

The party continued on to a series of pathways known as the Lost Highway and were confronted by a wizard. The wizard turned out to be Zandak Buto, Kelvannan’s old mentor, who revealed where the old one came from: a sabotaged spell that he had cast with the duergar, in an attempt to access the First World. In fact, a Seal of Droskar, an evil artifact, twisted the spell, and set some horror upon the city. Zandak told the party that he intended to destroy the artifact and make right his accidental crime.

Soon after setting out, however, the party was attacked by a strange metallic golem, who fixated on Hudson. The golem chased them through a series of tunnels before the combination of Panera’s fire, Astrid’s blows, and Orin’s lightning stopped the thing long enough for them to flee to Kraggodere’s gates.

Inside, they closed the gates in time to smash the golem, in hot pursuit. In the rubble, Hudson found a rare ore, adamantine.

The party, now in Kraggodere, continues their quest to end the dark threat next time…


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