Rock Hammer Hold

A private D&D Campaign for the LOD set in the Silver Marches of the Forgotten Realms.
 
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 Marpenoth 19th & 20th - Defending Overlook

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PostSubject: Marpenoth 19th & 20th - Defending Overlook   Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:30 pm

The heroes awaken to the sounds of catapult boulders slamming into the ramparts, and are swiftly summoned to the Council’s war room. During the meeting a messenger burst in with news that Nine Bells is burning. Great Elder Morgoff asked to group to look into it.

The cause of the destruction was a berbalang who spawned two others and they were flying about dropping alchemical bombs on the houses. The heroes quickly stepped in and put them down.

While heading back to the war room a military courier caught up with them and told them that the outer wall had been breached just north of the west gate. With haste the Lords of Rockhammer raced to the breach to find a two-headed troll, a spitting troll, and two war trolls wreaking havoc on the city. While the war trolls were difficult to hit, they were both put down early in the fight. Soon after the spitting troll and the two-headed troll went down as well.

Back at the war room, Great Elder Morgoff asked the heroes to help look for a councilman’s daughter, which they did. The party rested for the day, as the next day would be epic.

The following morning the heroes were woken up by High Ancestor Durkik Forgeheart, with a grim look. “I bring word from Councilor Morgoff. In the late hours of the night, a squadron of soldiers was dispatched to investigate reports of enemies in the streets close to Caer Overlook. None have returned. As soon as you’ve risen and readied yourself, I’m off to show you on the map where they were assigned, and ask you to investigate.”

Scattered around the open courtyard, and across the stoops of the nearby buildings, are the corpses of dozens of Overlook soldiers. Some are badly burned, some slashed to ribbons, and some rotting as through they’d lain dead for weeks on end. Two dragonborn in heavy armor wait across the courtyard; one stands beside a large, red-scaled reptile exhaling large puffs of smoke. (DM Note – Nice job TSR, the description says ‘stands beside the firebelcher’ and then on the map you have the two dragonborn guys 14 and 18 squares away. WTH?!)

The heroes quickly moved to attack the (now) three dragonborn and the firebelcher, nervous they something else might appear. Sure enough, the following round, they saw this:

A horrific boom reverberates from the nearby building as a massive beast soars over the rooftop, knocking several of the stones from their place. What appears to be a dead dragon, its scales dull, its gray leather skin showing between the gaps, rises into the air on broken wings. The entire top of its jaw is missing, showing upward pointing teeth and a wormlike tongue that thrashes about with a mind of its own.

And riding atop that beast is a humanoid figure clad in heavy hides, contained with a body harness of iron joints and leather straps. His limbs and face are gaunt, nearly desiccated. Several old wounds hang open, leaking trails of blood and puss, showing bare bone in some spots and metal plates in others. But despite his old injuries and deformities, his narrow features and his yellowed, leathery skin clearly mark him as one of the dread githyanki, raiders and conquerors of the Astral Sea.

Everything slows for a moment as the Black Knight descends off the undead dragon. Even the dragonborn pause to sneer as what you now face. The General snaps two silver sabers off his back, and they crackle with energy as he points them at you.

“You are going to pay for your transgressions, and I am going to sever your head just as I did that paladin.” He makes a lightning fast scissor-like cut with his weapons, and you are amazed at the speed. “Bow down and accept your fate!”

“Oh heeeelllllll no!” shouted the president. And the epic battle was on. Bastion did a phenomenal job of locking down targets, and the heroes did a great job of knocking the dragonborns out of the right early (especially the two gladiators). With the Firebelcher pounding away on them, the group focused their energies on the Black Knight and the undead dragon. The dragon (Rathoraiax) was a particularly tough opponent (HP: 329, AC: 27, Fort: 29) plus his claw attack was +19 to hit (for 2d10 +6 damage and target is knocked prone) and then he could follow that up with Tail Crush (+14 vs Fort, 3d8 +6 damage).

The heroes whittled away on the General, and in the process lost Kregnok (dead-dead) and for I think two times lost Lozigee (dead). Zithiruun was also a bitch to fight (HP: 280, AC 30; Ref 29, Wil 28) and his Silver Sabre attack (twice per round) was +19 to hit and did 1d8+6 plus 1d8 psychic damage).

Soon, the only hero that was doing ok was the barbarian (at 61 HP) while the rest were at 20 or less (Althalus and Bastion might have been in single digits). But the accumulation of attacks began to wear down the Black Knight until he final succumbed and fell over dead. Furious over losing him, Rathoraiax flew into a rage (*see below), soaring into the air and knocking several building tops over before flying away. Finally the heroes could afford to turn their attentions to the firebelcher and end the threat.

Once word of Zithiruun’s death spreads through the invaders, they gradually break off and retreat back into the wild. Most are mercenaries, after all, and there is little point in fighting on behalf of someone who is too dead to pay. The heroes have learned that the githyanki are behind at least some of athe troubles that have beset the Silver Marches, and they can be content in the knowledge that they’ve defeated one of their major enemies and saved Overlook.

Or at least, they’ve probably saved it.

Overlook has weathered the storm, and though damaged, they city still stands tall and proud. The Lords of Rock Hammer are hailed as great heroes, and several different establishments offer them free room and board for several months. They are invited to dine with the Council of Elders several times over the next few weeks.

Lavinya (the gal who convinced you to look into the mysterious disappearance of Haelyn) abandoned the temple and instead takes over Haelyn’s duties at the shrine. “If this is where the people wish to pray, then who am I to tell them otherwise? Erathis needs no stone walls, merely the hearts and souls of those who would bring civilization and culture to the world. Haelyn understood this long ago. I wish I’d not taken so long to learn it myself.”

Durkik has experienced a reawakening of faith. His time of confinement and torture, followed by his rescue at the hands of the heroes and his survival of the siege, have cause him to reevaluate the previous years. From a beaten-down, tired, and increasingly corrupt politician, he returned to his younger identity as a devout priest of Moradin. In helping to turn him around, the heroes have gained a grateful and powerful ally, and they have done great good to the religious community of Overlook as a whole. This is particularly important since so many of the priests in town were killed by the githyanki, leaving only young and inexperienced priests.
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PostSubject: Re: Marpenoth 19th & 20th - Defending Overlook   Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:54 pm


*General Zithiruun, a.k.a The Black Knight, was a great hero – one of the most respected military leaders of a militant race. From the great city if Tu’narath, he led armies of the githyanki on raids across the Astral Sea, and into a dozen different regions and kingdoms of the mortal realm. From the deck of the astral galleon Siun’kara or the back of Rathoraiax, his great red dragon steed, Zithiruun proved an unstoppable force – a champion among a race of champions. Even Vlaakith, the fearsome githyanki lich queen, acknowledged his greatness, heaped great praise on him.

And then the great General Zithiruun took on a foe beyond even his own prowess.

That was a dragon, a dragon far greater than Rathoraiax, everyone knows, but tales of the confrontation differ as to whether it was a black wyrm, one fo the fearsome scourge dragons, or something else entirely. But while not everyone knows precisely what it was Zithiruun faced, everyone know what happened as a result.

A hideous burst of something – acid perhaps, or pure necrotic energy – ripped the life from the red dragon Rathoraiax, shredding flesh and obliterating entire portions of the beast. And it was this attack that felled Zithiruun as well. It stripped the strength from his limbs, rotted bits of flesh and even weakened bone. Any lesser warrior would have died in the hideous moment, but the general clung to life through sheer force of stubborn, malignant will.

It took years for Zithiruun to retain and reinvigorate his broken body. Even today, he is a shadow of what he once was – weaker in body, far less sound in mind. His own people have all but turned their backs on him; though his great achievements preventing them from executing or exiling him utterly, they scorn his weakness and hold him in contempt for allowing himself and his mount to be so soundly defeated. Today Zithiruun serves as a lowly operative of Tu’Narath’s forces and leads only lesser warriors into battle while answering to and obeying githyanki who would have feared to even speak in his presence.

About four years ago Zithiruun was order to Faerun to prepare for a githyanki invasion. Though he aches to turn on those who would dare command him, he knows that through obedience lies his only hope of regaining his honor and position he craves.

Carefully concealing his identity, he quickly overtook control of a church of Bane in Sundabar and began amassing wealth and followers. The Temple of Tyr learned of the secret church and moved in with full forces to expel the cult of evil.

Zithiruun was well prepared for the attack, having already “replaced” several key members of the Sundabar government as well as Temple of Tyr. The Black Knight, as he was referred to by the Church of Tyr, had relocated his base in the Nether Mountains, to be close to Overlook when the big day came. The over confident githyanki was nearly done in by a force of paladins from Sundabar along the way, but the general escaped, barely clinging to his life, seeking refuge in Rock Hammer Hold.

It didn’t take long for the General to get settled in the nearly lawless mountains, and soon he army swelled in preparation for the attack on Overlook that hopefully would propel him to prominence amongst his peers once again.
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Marpenoth 19th & 20th - Defending Overlook
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