Dragon Watch

In the Golushkin Mountains

From the journal of Astrid Rogarvia:

We didn’t get very far in the mountain very far before a very large purple wyrm burst from the ground directly in front of Thorgur and I. He was spelled with the ability to fly, and shot straight up. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to react. Although Orin was kind enough to warn me that it might try to swallow me whole, as if I might be able to do anything about the fact.

Orin hasted us, thankfully, and Thorgur immediately plummeted to the ground with a vicious war cry, slamming his hammer into the wyrm’s head. The wyrm retaliated aggressively, much to Thorgur’s dismay, attempting to eat him whole. Again, to his dismay, he was clenched between it’s gaping maw.

I took advantage that it was currently chewing on Thorgur and slashed at it with my weapon, then promptly bounded away back onto the upper ledge. Orin unleashed a deluge of scorching rays, and it exploded with Thorgur in its mouth. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

We continued on our way in the tunnel where it narrowed, and found metal rails for mine carts. It should lead us to something worthwhile. Forges need ore that is usually carried in mine carts, right? As we expected, we found a disheveled and destroyed dwarven mine. Old blood was smeared all over the walls, and a message with bits and pieces legible. “Beast”, “Sea”, and “Black truth”. Then we heard a spine-chilling, blood-curdling scream. Someone was somehow still alive and needed help. This place is supposed to be abandoned and we still manage to find some in need of rescuing.

A grotesque half human half machine is found holding a dwarf aloft, and flays him alive with his bare hands. Another abomination with chains entwined all around it is patrolling the corridors. I recall that these are Kytins. I hear the scream and run down the hall and round the corner, coming upon the monstrosity. Startled and completely disgusted, I swing my bardiche at it. It slices clean and true, skewering it. The creature seemed to enjoy it though, and pulled itself closer to me, grinning maniacally. The chained being swung at me, but my new armor proved worthy. I looked into its glowing eyes, and the world around me spun. My limbs turned into flailing metallic structures similar to the monster, and while I can feel my arms, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m succumbing to the darkness of the mountain. I can’t become one of them.

Try as I might, I’m severely debilitated. I miss a shot when the monstrosity moves away from me, and I can only chase after it for a short distance before I can move no more. The chained being looks at me again, and its face morphs into the shocked and pained face of my father – my real father. I could not shake the feeling that that was his face during the Vanishing.

Sensing things were devolving quickly, Orin crushed a brown gem and a large Earth elemental appears in front of me. It immediately slams its fists into the chained creature.
I finally return to my senses a bit, still shaken by my father’s face but my limbs have returned to normal. I notice Thorgur has cornered the half machine creature, and I step forward and plunge my weapon into it. The vile abomination tried to grab onto it once again, and I twisted it and swung up, splitting it in two before it could enjoy the immense pain I inflicted upon it. Thorgur finished off the chain demon by wrapping his mace around its neck and popped off its head like a cork.

I eagerly ran around the corner, wanting to preemptively kill things before they decided to do anymore weird shit. The corridor became pitch black and I had to slow down. The others followed me though. We follow it along, struggling to see in the darkness, except for Thorgur. We come upon a room and the light floods it, revealing boxes and other mining equipment, and a further room. Inside was a floating transparent dwarf. Once it saw us, it shot towards us. I identified them as Einharzhe, previously dead dwarven souls brought back to serve their god they worshipped in their previous life. Not incorporeal or undead, but something else from another plane.

Another one I didn’t know was there appeared around the corner, ready to attack Orin. I stepped forward quickly to protect him, and swiped at the undead creature. It appeared to resist some of my attack, but I’m not capable of doing the type of damage that would be most effective. Giving it my all is the best I could do.

Orin cast a spell on me that gave me some cover, but then still stood behind me because a 5’3 woman is apparently sufficient protection for a man that can cast numerous spells and attack numerous times within six seconds.

If Orin was worried, then I was worried. So I hit it as many times as I could, and cleaved it in two, translucent guts and blood gushing out before disappearing completely. Thorgur was getting hurt pretty badly so I ran over to him and swung at the remaining dwarf. Orin bombarded it with magic missiles. Thorgur exacts retribution and finishes it off.

On the far wall, it had been cut into a door shape. Inscribed in the center of the cut out wall, is a symbol that looks like a spade with a diamond shape on a line inside of it. It is surrounded by three dots. I used my gloves of reconnaissance and could not see anything but I did hear slight scuffing like someone sweeping or scraping their feet. Orin sent the earth elemental through the door, instructing it to come back if it is attacked. It did not came back, so that was a good sign. After inspecting the insignia a bit more, I noticed that it was very deepset, more so than a normal engraving would be. I posited that there could be a uniformly shaped item that is to be inserted like a key. It could be somewhere in the rest of this maze.

With a goal in mind, we ran after Thorgur and found him with a very scared female dwarf next to a corpse. There was a makeshift desk with a journal on it. Much of it is ruined but I can make out the first page, written in dwarven:

The Beast hungers and feasts. We hear its roar. We hear the vast emptiness of the city fade away into its endless night.
We are forgotten, and the shores of the Sightless Sea are hidden from us. Why has our god forsaken us? We reveled in her song, and now we are left forlorn in this mine, hunted by her clerics.
I will cling to the Black Truth, for its power resonates even in these blackened, bloodied mines.

I had a conversation with the dwarven lady, after soothing her with a potion of remove fear, a blanket, and some rations. She told me of the Prophet and her clerics with the mechanical arms – the Kytins. They came from the Sightless Sea, and began chasing the dwarves down and killing them. She still believed and possibly worshipped this Prophet, saying she spoke to them through dreams and would lead them to the Black Truth. The mountain fell and killed most of the dwarves and the clerics, and then the Prophet left them. Probably to return to the Sightless Sea. Orin and I talked and together we pieced together that there’s an Orvian vault that’s rumoured to be larger than even the inner sea, and just one large sea. It’s also to be known the Aboleth’s domain. Either the Prophet is a symbol of the Aboleth, a projection, or someone working for the Aboleth.

When I asked her about the symbol on the door and if it had anything to do with the Black Truth, she went still and suddenly slashed her own throat. She did not question the Prophet’s motives and yet still ran and hid from her clerics. The symbol means something and so Orin and I decided to head back to the door and dimension door through it to see what is there. Hopefully it will give us more information about the entire tale. We will scour this entire level, and if nothing comes of the door, we will search the rest of the place for some sort of key.

Somehow all these dwarves vanished, were killed, and yet others survived for fifteen years only to be killed the moment we arrive. Perhaps our mere presence urged the remaining clerics to cleanse the place of all evidence?

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 6
Under the Mountain Where Dawn Never Came, Part II

Greyhaven.jpg

Gathered at Skywatch’s wall, our heroes pondered the significance of the dwarven carving. Astrid and Choral recalled the Golka dwarves, who lived in the Golushkin Mountains in House Garess’ territory, and resolved to pay a visit to Grayhaven to meet with the dwarves.

The party returned to Stoneclimb to prepare for a journey to Grayhaven. Coming home, Astrid was again met by Isaak Orlovsky, who invited her to dinner. Thorgur talked Orin and Hudson into dining apart from the pair, and the two groups went their own ways for the evening. At dinner, Astrid shared her tale of her encounter with Vellath the Green – to Isaak’s astonishment – while the young man related his own tales of the fragile government of Andoran and the minor dramas that played out there. After dinner, Isaak told Astrid he intended to travel to New Stetven later that week, and he requested her company. Astrid agreed to let him know, but her own journeys now took her to Grayhaven, and the pair parted, hopeful for a much earlier reunion than the last time.

Our heroes arrived in Grayhaven several days later aboard the Titanis. After parking the ship somewhere out of sight, and leaving Amber on board to guard it, they set out for Grayhaven.

The city was morose and oddly quiet, and its people seemed downtrodden. Catching the attention of an amicable halfling shop owner, they learned that the city had been withdrawn since 4699, when a landslide in the Golushkin Mountains led to the death of dozens of locals, and Howlan’s son disappeared. Further investigation within the nearby tavern led to similar revelations, and the party concluded that some kind of pallor had fallen on the entire city. Even trade was limited, with very few merchants obtaining authorized routes for the past dozen or so years.

After learning that the mountains were inaccessible, our heroes resolved to speak to Howlan Garess in person. Making their way to the castle, our heroes obtained access by proclaiming themselves on official business from House Medvyed. Inside, they met Howlan Garess and his adoptive son and heir apparent, Toval Golka.

Howlan seemed a bitter and withdrawn man. When they told him of their intention to enter the Golushkin Mountains and make contact with the dwarves there, he revealed that the dwarves had disappeared when the mountain collapsed – an event concurrent with the Vanishing in Skywatch – leaving Toval as the only survivor. Toval told his own tale: the clan chief’s son, he was sent as ward to Howlan to solidify ties between the two states, and so he escaped the devastation that destroyed his people.

Convinced they could enter the mountain and perhaps learn something of his son, Howlan granted our heroes explicit permission to enter the mountain and see what they might find. Toval then granted them full access to the city, as well as rooms within the castle, and sent them on their way.

That night, our heroes entered the Golushkin Mountains and began to explore its depths. First they entered the vaulted Halls of Golka, once a center of commerce between humans and dwarves, now little more than a ruin. There they found the dessicated corpse of a dwarven survivor, only years old – when all Golka were thought to have died 15 years ago during the collapse. On the corpse they found a note with disturbing words written in Common:

Extinguish the Forge.
Silence the mad god, lest the world drown beneath the endless tides of the Sightless Sea.

The corpse had collapsed near a strange, domed chamber that appeared totally empty. Orin detected traces of magic within the chamber, and the party found its floor carved with an enormous symbol. Whatever mystery it posed, however, remained unsolved, and the party decided to move on. After poking around the ruins a little longer, they delved deeper.

They found themselves in an enormous – and completely darkened – chamber, where it appeared the entire mountain had fallen apart on the inside. Investigating the remains of a great bridge, they met another dwarf – though this one behaved oddly. Pressed, the dwarf flung himself off the bridge. Thorgur dived to save him, but fumbled and slid off the bridge himself. Orin quickly unleashed a spell to slow their fall, but the strange dwarf resisted. Impacting a platform below, its body was destroyed, and an intellect devourer emerged from its skull! Thorgur’s fall, now slow, was nearly halted as an aberration, a roper, making its home beneath the bridge, attempted to grab Thorgur in its draining tentacles.

The party sprung into action. Astrid, coming to Thorgur’s aid, found herself entangled in the roper’s strands, which Hudson made quick work of with careful, well-aimed shots. Thorgur ended the devourer with his raging flail, and Orin granted the party wings. Soon they had an advantage against the slimey roper, and put it down.

Pressing on, our heroes found a series of platforms, perhaps once connected, but now nothing more than standalone ruins. At the bottom of the vast chamber, Thorgur and Astrid investigated an old blacksmith’s forge. Thorgur, still holding the boon of Orin’s flight, soon detected trembling beneath their feet. He took to the air just in time to avoid the gaping maw of an enormous purple worm!​

View
The Old Gods: Episode 5.2
From the Journal of Astrid Rogarvia

Returning to my homeland was odd. I had been away for two long years and yet at first glance nothing seemed to have changed. Even my chambers were the same.

Soon I was met with an onslaught of new developments: Choral was eating my adoptive family out of house and home. A red dragon took refuge in the mountains in my own backyard. Larissa is now heir to the house instead of our young brother, having grown into a capable and cunning woman. She also knows of my origins, and I haven’t decided how I feel about that. I was raised to keep my identity a secret for my own safety so the more people that know, the more anxious I feel.

Poul Orlovsky is imprisoned under charges of treason, and his eldest son Dmitri is chomping at the bit to go to war against House Surtova.

One of the most surprising things was seeing Isaak once again. I didn’t think I’d ever see him, when he left when I was just fifteen. I remember being proud of him for going out on a diplomatic mission and representing his house. I remember being jealous he got to travel and explore the world. And I remember the feeling of abandonment the day he left.

While I was only five when I lost my family, and don’t remember anything of that day, the dull aching chasm they left was still there. Growing up felt like living in a house that wasn’t home; my adoptive family welcomed me as much as they could but I found it difficult to grow too attached save Gurev. I couldn’t bear to lose another family. I don’t think I realized how attached to my best friend I had gotten until the day he left.

Now he is back, both of us grown, and a mixture of strangers and close companions. Perhaps I am cautious to hold onto him once again only to have him slip through my grasp so soon.

On the other hand, a living embodiment of my family has miraculously returned. With apparent open arms and an open heart. I suppose I am expected to accept him as family, regardless of the Rogarvians past tendencies to just leave me. I’m fearful that once he gets what he wants, I will be cast aside. So for now, I’ll keep a professional distance.

All of these instances including ancient dwarven runes on the walls of Skywatch (I will never escape dwarves, will I?), I feel are foreshadowing a greater event that could be our downfall. I feel we have very little information, and are very unprepared for what may come. Knowledge is key, and I vow to pursue it to ensure that what may come to pass, we survive and endure.

It’s interesting though – my companions are a small ragtag “family” I have made for myself, but I am not alone in my struggles with my feelings. We lean on each other because each of us have lost our family or home or both. We find it difficult to trust others because we all have been burned. I hope that in our adventures we finally find a sense of home and hearth that we all so desperately seek.

-Astrid Rogarvia

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 5
Under the Mountain Where Dawn Never Came, Part I

Stoneclimb.jpg

Thorgur returned from his sojourn in the Mindspin Mountains in a ball of fire and armed with a giant flaming sword. Orin recognized the weapon of an old ally – the fire giant, Hogon – and learned that the dwarf had spent some time with the giant. Yet word of the old giant came with dire news: the Watchmen were all dead, and even Hogon’s time on Golarion seemed at an end. Orin, having been nominated a Watchman by the activation of the Dragon Watch beneath Kraggodan, was now the last.

The group again whole, the time had come to travel to Brevoy and unravel the mysteries there. Our heroes boarded the Titanis – Thorgur doing so with no objection – and took flight, Hudson taking an altitude that kept them out of sight from anyone below. They arrived near Stoneclimb, home of Gurev Medvyed, Astrid’s adoptive father, nearly a week later, and were met in-flight by the red dragon, Aszrogal, Choral’s friend and mount. The dragon led them to a mountain pass out of sight of the city, where they parked the Titanis where no one might stumble upon it.

Once they entered Stoneclimb, Astrid was met by her adopted father, Gurev Medvyed. He welcomed her and her companions into his home, making provisions for each of them – an opulant bath for Orin, a dwarven bed for Thorgur, a couple’s suite for Hudson and Amber, and Astrid’s own room, just as she left it – and bid them make themselves at home. He admitted to being uncomfortable with Choral’s presence in Stoneclimb, less for the barbarian’s strange existence and more for his rambunctious behavior, but left our heroes to pursue their agenda as they wished.

The party was also introduced to Larissa Medvyed, Astrid’s older (adopted) sister, and now the heir apparent to rule House Medvyed, an unusual move for the houses of Brevoy, who traditionally only gave rule to men. Larissa knew of Astrid’s lineage, but swore to protect her identity as her father had. She excused herself shortly to attend to matters of the estate.

As Gurev departed, he introduced a surprise guest to Astrid: Isaak Orlovsky, her childhood best friend, whom she had not expected to see for several more years while Isaak was assigned to Andoran. Yet she soon learned of the reason for his return: his father, Poul Orlovsky, had been arrested and charged with treason for conspiracy to murder King Noleski Surtova. In the wake of the scandal, his brother, Dmitri Orlovsky, had taken the title of Lord Orlovsky and was rattling the house’s sabers, calling for war against Surtova.

Isaak returned from Andoran, certain his father was innocent but unwilling to take up arms. He convinced his brother to send him to Stoneclimb and New Stetven, to raise support, and Isaak intended to use the time to discover the truth and keep the peace. When he heard that Astrid was returning to Stoneclimb, he delayed his visit, hoping for a new adventure with her: a journey to new Stetven to beg mercy for his father from the king, and speak to his father in the Scarlet Iron and get to the bottom of the scandal.

The hour being late, Isaak soon retired, asking Astrid to summon him when she could.

Astrid came to visit Gurev later in his study and received two gifts: a letter from her parents, and a piece of the puzzle to the Book of Stars in the form of a cipher. This came with a revelation: Gogmurt’s book was originally Astrid’s, carried with her when she came to Stoneclimb as a child.

It had been held for safekeeping by Gurev until, years ago, it disappeared. Gurev related his tale of being confronted by three strangely dressed men who demanded the book. Gurev proclaimed ignorance, and they appeared to believe him and departed as quickly as they arrived. That same night, Gurev found himself in a dream, holding Astrid’s book, and met a strange creature who took it from him. When Gurev woke in the morning, the book was gone. Astrid, deducing that the creature in the dream was none other than Malam, realized what Gogmurt had given her: her parent’s book.

Astrid learned that two more ciphers were needed to decode the book, beyond the one in her letter, but the one that should have been in the book Astrid had as a child, was missing. With little else to go on, she pursued her next lead, and spoke to Choral.

Choral was enthused to see Astrid again and excitedly invited her to return to Skywatch with him, so he could show her something he had found. Uncertain but, perhaps, curious, Astrid agreed, and the party traveled with Choral by horseback over the next several days to the site.

Skywatch was as Astrid always remember: sealed up and locked away – perhaps in time itself, Astrid mused.

Choral took the party on a tour around the grounds, finally uncovering a small boulder to reveal a series of runes. He asked Astrid to translate it, though she could not. Indeed, it was Thorgur who found himself able to easily read what turned out to be ancient dwarven runes, a type of writing rarely seen outside of dwarven culture. With his stonecunning, Thorgur was also able to date them and reported his finding: 15 years old.

To Orin’s question, “Do we know of anything that happened 15 years ago?” Astrid could only answer, “The Vanishing!”​

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 4
The Old Kings and The New, Part IV

Riders_in_Black.jpg

Astrid’s tale awaits…

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 3
The Old Kings and The New, Part III

Kraggodan_Fallen.jpg

Orin’s tale awaits…

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 2
The Old Kings and The New, Part II

Gug.jpg

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

View
Season 3: The Other Gods - Episode 1
The Old Kings and The New, Part I

RatsNest.jpg

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.

View
In the Walls of Ramgate: Episode 5
Bonebreakers

Dragon_Watch_2-5.jpg

Session One (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.

Session Two (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.

Session Three (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!

View
In the Walls of Ramgate: Episode 4
Under an Ettin's Moon

Dragon_Watch_2-4.jpg

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.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.