Kypton's Quest

The Breach at Grimhold Keep

As we emerge we are greeted by the rescued commoners and tradespersons. Quinn is there with a box of healing potions. A merchant calls out, “You should have seen them slaughter those Orcs, Quinn.” Gnargle recommends that the non-combtants return below and esxit onto the hill-top, safe from the coming seige.

An Acolyte comes up to Quinn, “They need more vials.” “Have they sealed the breach?” Quinn asks. No they haven’t. Quinn gives us each a healing potion and asks for our help. “Of course” we reply.

Tespin’s sparrow circles the room and exits. A guard briefs us on the status of the breach and our defences – how many archers are down, etc., and tells us to look for Quinn and his Acolytes if we are injured, as they will be providing healing during the battle.

The breach is beside the main gate. Bangalor and the remaining archers will cover the breach as Gnargle seals it.

Tespin is above on the wall shooting into the breach – all of the other archers are dead, an dthe forces on both sides are diminished. Parts of the Keep are aflame and smoke obscures our view – even as a dense mist, 3 feet high begins to pour in through the breach.

The front courtyard is filled with battle – knights, dwarves, Beragin and Loatrin are all fighting Orcs. Gnargle casts Cloud of Daggers to block the breach as the rest of us join the fray. As we fight the main gate is destroyed. Beragin pulls his men to defend the gate.

Orcs entering the breach die as the invisible daggers tear them to shreds. At the gate 3 knights, 2 clerics, 4 dwarven warriors are dead as they take down many orcs. 2 ogres come crashing through. One knocks Beragin flying, then sends an axe into Quinn’s back as he rushes to heal him. The other ogre throws an axe hitting Tespin atop the wall shotting down at him.

Some Orc raiders make it through the breach, but we quickly take them down. meanwhile, the ogres are decimating our forces, even as we manage to stop the lesser orcs coming through.

Bangalor finishes off one of the ogres. Aelodir calls down a Divine Glow, increasing the strength & morale of the defenders. The slaughter continues, and Tespin manages to take down the other ogre, even after being hits by a large rock thrown by [[:kindell].

Kindell smashes his way through the gate and the knights and dwarves massed there. Quinn is sent flying by the debris and Tespin tries to call over Gnargle. Gnargle tries to slow Kindell down with a Shock Sphere as the others takes down the remaining orc raiders and berzerkers. We’ve used up our healing potions by now. Tespin managhes to fire an arrow into the frothing Kindell. Gnargle makes it to Tespin, who gives him a poisoned dagger – “Kindell is regenerating. You must him with this!”

Kindell swings his club and smashes Bangalor. Aelodir calls on the power of Pelor to spear the hillgiant with a Lance of Faith and burn him with Solar Enemy. Gnargle throws the poisoned dagger and hits Kindell. Quinn and Loatrin are badly injured and Gnargle grabs Quinn’s satchels. Kindell pulls out the dagger and turns on Gnargle. Gnargle drinks down a healing potion and fires off a Cloud of Daggers. As Kindell swings at him with the club Gnargle Fades from view then magically creates sounds to kindell’s left, drawing him away. Gnargle fires Magic Missiles into him as Bangalor’s attack misses. A stray swing of the club glances Gnargle. Aelodir heals Gnargle as she spears Kindell with her Lance of Faith and Cavendish ‘Magpie’ Marek masterfully stabs an Orc Berzerker, the Stormbiter Warblade arcing lightning through him.

Gnargle gets healing potions to Tespin, and together they hit Kindell with arrows and Magic Missiles. Kindell makes a mighty swing and crushes Bangalor to paste, killing him instantly. More arrows, magic Missiles and Lances of Faith finally wound Kindell to the point where he tries to retreat, until he is finally taken down by Aelodir. Seeing him fall the orcs flee.

We tend to the wounded. Bangalor and Beragin are dead, but we manage to heal Quinn and Loatrin. The remaining survivors block up the gate and the breached wall.

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The Siege At Grimhold Keep

Gnargle:
Journal post, MidWeek, 4th of Sunwarm, day 4 continued.

Lotrin has tasked us to retrieve the item in the well. Baragor has tasked us to rescue the noble family and the women and children in the chamber of elements. Tespin will ensure that the package is delivered if all else fails. She whistles for her sparrow, stares at it a moment, then it flies off. “All is set. Good luck!”

Bangalor leads us down the passageway, but we already smell smoke. Six or seven hundred feet down the passageway we get to the first skull trigger and disarm it. 2 orcs lie dead in the dart trap. Further ahead there are 3 more bodies, plus one live orc, crouching behind them who turns towards us and attacks. Bangalor decapitates him with his long sword, we hurry on. 3 more bodies force us to crawl over them in the narrow passage. A pile of 4 more bodies blocks the passage. Bangalor slashes their throats as he pulls the pile apart. The bluish smoke is getting thicker. Bangalor sees a body crouching ahead, and lies prone so that I can shoot a magic missile over him at the orc. After a bend in the passageway we get to the far end of the dart trap skull trigger setting it again behind us. We can see flames in the distance, through the thickening smoke. The passageway opens a bit and reveals a large pile of orc bodies just before the flames.

All the orcs in the pile are dead. I could see that they were crisped suddenly by a flash of flame of elven flavour. One of the orcs carried the short sword of one of the keep guards.

Another fifteen feet and we come to the body of an orc with flames shooting from its corpse. Lying beside him is the body of a young nobleman – on of the sons of Gilganesh, the Lord of the keep. He is dead, but not scorched. Bangalor finds a purse beside him – it contains a pile of coins [120 GP], a gold chain [50 GP], a gold and silver ring [25 GP], a headband of gold and emerald [560 GP]. He has a dagger in his chest. His travel tunic has a black gossamer woven shirt with orange threads running through it. I can faintly see the elvish runes in it, and recognize it as fireburst armour. [auto-win saving throws vs. ongoing fire damage, 1d8 + charisma fire damage 1/day]. We gather the treasure, intending to return it to his family.

As we approach the door to the chamber of elements we find the bodies of 4 more orcs, all hacked down with swords.

Bangalor can hear nothing through the stone door, but we open it to bedlam. 2 dwarven ghosts, orcs, humans all fighting, with bodies strewn about the floor. Women and children cower behind crates of food stuffs. There are 2 dead dwarf guards by the door, and we use their bodies to prop open the door as we try to usher any nearby humans through it. I light up the room with a light cast upon the ceiling above the well. There are a dozen orcs with battle axes, light shields and leather armour throughout the room. Bangalor slashes through 2 of them. My spells go wide, but I get the attention of some of the women and children, as they make their way to the door. 2 huge orcs throw axes as they rush forward, one of which hits Cavendish. We attract the attention of more orcs as well – several of them attempt to attack Aelodir, but she begins to glow with a divine light that burns them down. The larger orcs are harder to take down, but between us we whittle them down. Fortunately, this time the ghosts seem to mostly be attacking the orcs, but they are rapidly being shredded by swung axes. Both Bangalor and Cavendish take the brunt of the damage as we continue to decimate our opponents. The last of the 2 ghosts dissipates before we manage to take control of the room. More orcs have begun to stream in through the open door at the far end, and I concentrate my powers there, preventing reinforcements. We destroying all but one of the orcs, who slips back out the door as it slams shut behind him.

We start binding wounds and healing the wounded as some of the remaining civilians begin to pile orc corpses against the door, barricading it. “The nobles were taken as soon as we were attacked” one tells us, “by an orc shaman and a willowy black haired woman who commanded them in orcish.”

Cavendish lowers me into the well where I retrieve the potato barrel that Lotrin had lowered, as well as an orc body that had fallen in.

We organize the survivors and return to the keep, though I fear it is no safer.

Event Log, 4th of Sunwarm, cont’d.

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The Chamber of Elements

Bangalor Maine:

The stone door opened into an open oval chamber – 30 ft. wide by 40 ft. long carved out of the bedrock. 4 pillars evenly spaced around the room, and a well in the middle. Recently placed supplies and crates were piled around the walls. At the far end, 4 banners above 4 stone doors, each carved with an identical dwarven head and arms holding out cupped hands. The pillars each had a pictogram of one of the elements carved into it.

The door closed behind us once we had all entered. The first banner depicted a wind storm, so Gnargle tried blowing into the cupped hands. The stone face of the dwarf then said in dwarven “You may not pass”.

The next banner depicted a fire so Gnargle touched a lit torch to the hands. It said in dwarven “Proceed Master," and the door opened to a narrow winding path that sloped upwards. Of the 4 of us only Gnargle didn’t have to crouch into the 4 ft. high passage. The passage led up through twists and turns and occasional stairs where it was too steep, to a stone door. There was no handle, but it was counter-weighted so it opened easily at a push.

We stepped out onto a very high hill overlooking the woods around the Eveningfall road, some 300 feet away. We could see many orcs on the road heading towards the Keep. Amongst them was a giant, no doubt Kindell, along with 2 ogres pulling a trebuchet. Kindell wore plate armour, including shoulder guards and a helm. Night was falling – we needed to warn the Keep.

We re-entered the passage, closing the door behind us. In the chamber of Elements the dwarves had brought in the last of their supplies, piling them against the walls. Sildo remained behind with his elves to wait for Tespin, and try to protect the horses & wagons. We had informed him of how to enter the passage in case he needed to retreat.

As Cavendish pulled a bucket up from the well I poured dirt into the hands of the next statue, the banner depicting an avalanche of boulders. Suddenly we heard a low moaning and a translucent, dwarven figure climbed out of the ground and shook translucent dirt from his shoulders. He wore full battle armour and yelled out in dwarven “Hurry! Run! We’re all going to die here!” He turned towards us – “So, you’ve come to our gold, have you! You’re the ones who caused the avalanche!” It swung its axe at me, but missed. Candeish and I hit his floating form with our swords, causing him to dissipate. Gnargles staff glowed with a bright light, but his magic missile missed. Aelodir began to chant and started to glow brightly, causing the phantom to dissipate further. His axe swung through my arm, causing no visible damage, but I could feel the arm start to wither from the necrotic force. Finally, Loatrin and his dwarves threw their handaxes, destroying the apparition with a howl.

Cavendish then poured some water into the hands of the final statue, the banner depicting a sinking ship. The figure said “You may not pass” in dwarvish. Gnargle had Loatrin pour the water instead. A mist began to form and we could hear a gurgling sound coming from the wall. We all stepped back as another apparition floated up from the ground, this one covered in barnacles and seaweed. “Stowaways! It’s because of you this ship is sinking!” This phantom attacked Loatrin, slashing him in the belly with his phantom axe. He also hit Cavendish before Aelodir was able to cause him to fully dissipate.

Finally, we had Loatrin blow into the first bowl. A mist formed, dissipated and the dwarven face said “Welcome my Lord” and the door opened.

Beyond was a narrow passage twisting down. After 50 feet or so, Aelodir noticed a glint from the eyesocket of a skull – a small lever on the ground. Gnargle used his magic to test the floor with a floating disk holding a rock along the passage ahead. Metal plates under the sand triggered a dart trap. Turning the lever to the left, we heard a mechanical clanking in the darkness ahead, the traps were disabled. 40 or 50 feet later we found another lever hidden in a skull. Turning this one re-set the traps. Almost a mile further along we came to the end of the passage – it twisted and turned up some stairs to a brick room with a wooden door.

Gnargle could hear voices on the far side, so he knocked and stepped back. There was a stir of voices and an alarm sounded. Loatrin could hear his brother Baragar’s voice on the other side of the door, so he called out and opened the door. There was a warm welcome, and then we warned them of the impending attack and what we had seen on the Eveningfall Road

The dwarves of the Keep prepared for the coming siege as Loatrin escorted us to the banquet hall.

Baragor spoke with a noble, Cronus and his family. They were ordered to take their personal guard and escort the commoners & tradespeople of the Keep to the Chamber of elements until the siege was over, after which they could either escape through the logging camp or return to the Keep.

Those who stay and man the walls returned to the courtyard. Cavendish Marek climbed to the battlement by the main gate while Aelodir, Bangalor and I climbed to the top of the tower. A large raven croaked at us and landed on the tower roof. The forest is deathly quiet. Aelodir headed back down to confer with Quin, the keep’s cleric. His assistants have boxes of healing potions that they had been stockpiling, and are preparing to run to the wounded with them as needed.
An unnatural fog began to roll through the trees from the forest towards us – it had an eerie green glow about it. Tiny motes of light appeared throughout the forest and seemed to surround the keep.

There was a movement from the forest nearest the gate, and suddenly Tespan burst forth at a dead run, chased by orcs and boars. Cavendish called to raise the portcullis to let her in, but she yelled back “No, don’t!” Her dash across the open ground aimed her towards a wall some 30 feet from the gate, and without breaking stride her armour began to glow and she ran right through the wall, as insubstantial as a thought. The portcullis crashes back down as her pursuers flee back towards the forest, still out of range of our archers.

Bangalor was already half-way down the stairs at this point, with me following close behind. Tespan, gasping, warned Baragor of the army of orcs in the forest, ofKindel and two ogres, and of the trebuchet they are currently loading. “Kindel isn’t smart enough to orchestrate this. I caught sight of a female humanoid, but she managed to evade me.”-

A short time later, a boulder flew over the wall and crashed into the courtyard, through the blacksmith’s stable, destroying much of it, and killing several horses. Shrapnel flies everywhere, some it hitting Bangalor.

Over the next short while, we determine that it takes about 5 minutes for the enemy to reload and fire the trebuchet. We lack the man power to sortie out and try to destroy it, and have no siege weapons of our own.

Of to one side in the forest we caught sight of Sildo and his men, trying to make a break towards the keep, but before we could make an attempt to rescue them, they were brutally cut down by overwhelming numbers of orcs.

Bangalor’s estimates are that there are more than 300 orcs laying siege to us.

The next salvo over the walls carried a gruesome payload; A basket that burst open on contact, scattering seven severed heads. Six of them are elves, presumably Sildo’s men, but one is Valecrist. Baragorn went pale and turned to me “Valecrist knew the secrets of the chamber of elements!”

Bangalor, Aelodir, Cavendish and I rushed back down to the cavern to protect the women and children. Loatrin took me aside “The cargo you are to guard – I put it in the well of the chamber – I need it back so I can hide it in this well.”

We returned down the passage.

Event Log, 4th of Sunwarm, cont’d.

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Gut Ripper Orc Ambush

Cavendish Marek (encoded, private cipher): MidWeek , 4th of Sunwarm.

Most of the drive to Grimhold was uneventful, at least until we were almost upon it. Bangalor and I were in the rear-most wagon when Bangalor noticed riders approaching from behind. It was 5 giant boars, 4 with orc riders. I called ahead to warn the others as Bangalor fired arrows at them. We had the wagons slow down, so that they would quickly reached the back of the wagon where we could strike at each other with hand weapons. Between our weapons, Gnargle’s spells and Aelodir’s divine powers we quickly vanquished the 2 orcs, 2 orc berzerkers and 4 of the boars, the 5th one fleeing in terror. The dwarves butchered the boars for meat and we continued on to the copse of trees ahead.

I t was fortunate that we stopped to fight, as the boars were trying to harry us into an ambush. Once we had entered the trees and turned a corner, a falling tree blocked the wagons and a group of 8 orcs burst from the trees. Further along the path we could see a bridge crossing a swampy part of the forest, and in the distance, campfires off amongst the trees. Loatrin tells us “We’re close to the logging camp with the secret entrance to Grimhold Keep.”

One of the orcs at the back begins to cast spells, so he and Gnargle faced off against each other with spells while Bangalor, Aelodir, the dwarves and I took on the rest of the orcs, one of which kills one of the horses before we could kill them.

We made sure all of the orcs are dead – nothing on them except their weapons and the Gut Ripper insignia – removed the dead horse, rearranged the others and quickly headed towards the logging camp.

Further past where the swamp ends we saw an island covered with hundreds of orcs. We managed to make the turn towards the logging camp without them seeing us. We were only about a mile from the Keep through the woods, but we would have had to travel through the swamp and past the orcs waiting along the road to get there.

At the end of the path was a small beach by the river and the logging camp. Dead orcs were piled on the beach. We were met by a group of Brightwood elves. Their leader, Sildo, told us that they’d been picking off orcs as they come out of the swamp, but they were down to only 5 swordsmen and 11 archers. They’d been tasked with helping Tespin discover what attacks are coming, and were waiting for her to return. They were unaware of the passage to the Keep, and Loatrin only knew that it was somewhere in the logging camp.

I finally figured out that the outhouse was a false vault and that it pivoted to reveal a staircase.

We descended about 80 feet and along about 250 feet more to where the passage ended at a pair of stone double doors. They were magically sealed and had writing carved into them in common “Four ancient dwarf brothers were all born together. One could run but never tire. One could eat but never be filled. One could drink but it’s thirst would never slake. One could sing, but was never kind to the ear.” Gnargle figured it out pretty fast and said “Water. Fire. Earth. Wind,” and the doors opened. Loatrin and his dwarves carried a bunch of their supplies as we entered the chamber beyond.

– Magpie

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Valacrist

Aelodir Reiniel:
After rescuing the farmer, Valacrist, I tended to his wounds while Bangalor and Cavendish dragged the orc bodies to the stream and set them to floating back towards the river. They found a small raft moored under the bridge.

Cavendish didn’t believe Valacrist’s story about being a simple farmer, and Valacrist kept glancing nervously behind himself as we returned to camp. Glancing back, we noticed a fog rising quickly from the river – too quickly to be natural. We left Valacrist on the road as we snuck back to the bridge to see what was happening. We could faintly see a figure poling the raft downstream. Cavendish caught a quick glimpse of the girl on the raft before she leapt off the raft and disappeared into the fog. Valacrist had mentioned a girl named Berith in the area – this must have been her. Returning to where we left Valacrist, we found only his shoe on the road. He fled to our camp in such haste that he left it behind.

On returning to camp we saw him deep in conversation with Loatrin. It turned out that Valacrist and Loatrin knew each other. Valacrist was from Grimhold Keep, our stop for the next night. Loatrin’s brother Baregar was in charge of the Keep’s defense and has a company of heavy axemen. Valacrist was out scouting for Kendall and found many orcs. He also knew of a secret entrance to the keep. Loatrin entrusted him with the knowledge that we are agents of Lord Kypton’s. We learned that an attack was planned against the Keep the next night.

We each took shifts guarding the camp along with a dwarf guard. The night was stormy, turning to fog. Somehow, Pelor forgive me, during my shift Valacrist was spirited away from the camp without our knowledge. Bare footprints led from the camp back to the raft, which was now gone.

We hurriedly broke camp and ate a cold meal as we rushed to Grimhold Keep to warn of the attack.

Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

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Camp by the Stream

Gnargle:
Journal post, Wotansday, 3rd of Sunwarm, day 3 continued.
The road on our first day was well travelled. We passed a number of border patrols returning to the city with their wounded, and several bands of refugees fleeing the orcish incursions. Several nearby farms seem unaffected, though. The traffic became more sparse as the day progressed, until we were alone on the road at the end of the day.

Near dusk we approached a bridge, and decided to camp well short of it. We’d be able to hear any large groups approaching across the creaky bridge. As we prepare to make camp, we notice smoke from the direction of the bridge. The 4 of us approached on foot, quietly, and were able to see amongst the brush on the other side of the stream a prison wagon surrounded by 5 orcs. A banner nearby with 3 green slashes marked them as Gut Ripper clan. Further into the brush was a campfire with more orcs around it.

Cavendish started to pick off the orcs with his blowgun of darts. Once they notice something was wrong, we all staredt taking them out – me with my Magic Missiles, Aelodir with her crossbow and Bangalor with his bow & arrows. The other orcs approached and we made short work of them as well. 11 orcs and a leader with Bone Drinker clan emblem on his shield and a purse of 20 gold. The prisoner turned out to be a land owner form a nearby farm.

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Assasin At the Gate

Gnargle:
Journal post, Wotansday, 3rd of Sunwarm, day 3.
We arrived at the Green gate shortly before dawn, as 40 or 50 wounded militia were entering the city. We met with caravan master Loatrin and were trying to get some information about what to expect on the road when Lord Kypton arrived. Aelodir had met him previously, and we made our way to speak with him when she saw the wounded soldier he was speaking to draw a poisoned dagger. Her warning allowed me to fire a magic missile, ending the threat.

The wounded men had lost another 100 in a battle with the giant and a group of Blood Drinker orcs a day and a half from the city. Lord Kypton had sent out another band of militia a week ago, so we may find support along the road if we run into trouble.

Loatrin’s caravan consists of 2 wagons. The first is pulled by 2 horses and contains cloth, fur, skins and barrels. Aelodir and I will ride this one – with her keen perception and my firepower we’ll be ready for anything ahead. The seconds wagon is pulled by four horses, and contains boxes, foodstuffs, barrels and Cavendish Marek & Bangalor Maine. Loatrin also has 3 dwarvish guards riding behind on mining ponies.

Aelodir Reiniel:

We left for the Green Gate well before sunrise. An execution was about to be held in the city square, a red-haired man named Orin who had murdered a priest. We arrived at the Gate just before sunrise. A number of wounded soldiers, 3 or 4 dozen, were entering the city. We discovered that another hundred had been killed by a giant and a group of orcs about a day and ahlf ride from the city. They were under the banner of a red skull on sable –the Bone Drinkers.

I watched riders on giant owls fly out on patrol over the city walls as the sun rose, and we met the caravan master, Loatrin. As we were asking the local milita leaders what they have planned, we noticed Lord Kypton arrive to speak to the arriving forces. I went to speak with him, knowing that he would remember me from our meeting with Valnaras the previous week, but the guards would not let us approach. He was bending down to speak to one of the wounded soldiers when I saw the soldier slip a dagger from his sleeve – he squeezed the hilt and a drop of poison dripped from the tip. I yelled out a warning, but feared it would not be in time. Gnargle immediately saw what was happening and sent a burst of magical energy at the assassin, killing him. Lord Kypton thanked us for saving him, and told us that another milita group had gone out a week before.

Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

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A day off

Gnargle:
Journal post, Tavesday, 2nd of Sunwarm, day 2.
Spent the day preparing for the journey. Stocked up on reagents and consumables. Studied maps. Cleaned and polished. A quiet and uneventful day.

Aelodir Reiniel:
Returned to the temple of Pelor, prayed, prepared for the mission. I noticed that I was being observed… though I’m unsure by whom or what their purpose is.

Cavendish Marek (encoded, private cipher): 2nd of Sunwarm.
Returned to my apartment to lock it tight for an extended journey. I sold the silk robe – 2 Platinum squirrelled away, 50 gold in my purse and rent paid for the next 6 months. Packed everything I thought I might need and reported to the guild office to let them know I’ll be out of the city for a while. Also passed on warnings about the Assassins guild. Noticed that I was being watched – I suspect by Molith’s men. Ditched them most of the time – don’t think they were able to figure out where my apartments are, or the location of the guild entrance I used.
–_Magpie_

Bangalor Maine:
Stocked up on supplies, spent day looking into rumours of activity along the road. Was watched around town – possibly Assassin’s guild, possibly Kypton’s men.
Event Log, 2nd of Sunwarm.

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