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 30th – Well beyond the Mottled Tower

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Sam the DM
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PostSubject: Marpenoth 30th – Well beyond the Mottled Tower   Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:49 pm

Umberto quickly led his people down the platform and onto the base of the Ever-Tree. The group was fortunate that the dragons that lived here were sleeping. And that they were successful in their last skill challenge as Sarshan would have warned them that the heroes would be coming through the portal at any point. But they wouldn't be asleep for long.

Having weathered many repeated attacks from the breath weapons of the two green dragons, the heroes killed the female. The male, Anthoriax, flew into a rage and singled out the president since he delivered the killing blow. Althalus the “XP Sponge” fell down and had to run halfway around the island to get back into combat.

Once the dragons were defeated, the treasure collected, wounds mended, and taxidermy trophies gathered, the heroes entered the labyrinth underneath the base of the Ever-Tree and continued the chase on Sarshan. They successfully navigated the skill challenge and entered the next encounter at full strength.

The group caught a glance of Sarshan as he darted across a bridge into the northern half of this chamber. Stepping in the way were a Skull Lord Servitor, two wight bodyguards, a troglodyte curse chanter, and four Cyclops. The battle was easily handled by the heroes, and they caught a bit of a break as the first skeletal head of the Skull Lord that they destroyed was the one that would re-animate a recently killed undead to full strength. Like as in the wight bodyguards who were running around Soul Reaping everyone.

Documents carried by the Skull Lord identify it as an envoy of Onthorirfel, a lich dwelling in the Shadowfell (which is where you entered chasing Moradin, and learned who Sarshan really was). These documents also suggest that Sarshan and the lich have been collaborating on some plot, though no details are provided. After another successful Arcana check, Grognak was able to confirm that Onthorirfel is a powerful lich famed for his specialization in ritual magic. Although this information is not immediately relevant, it will become important in later adventures. End foreshadowing.

After the fight, Grognak was able to arcanically ascertain that Sarshan escaped through a portal to the Elemental Chaos, and that he locked the portal when he fled so that the group had to complete a skill challenge to activate it. After tinkering away at it for 12 hours, the party activated it and were whisked away.


Through the portal the Lords of Rock Hammer found themselves in the Sea of Fire, floating on one of several earthbergs. To the south lies a much larger island with tall dikes to shield it from the molten waves. Far to the north was the City of Brass. Preventing easy access to the next portal were an array of defenders in Sarshan’s employ.

The battle was exciting as the earthbergs floated randomly each round. Also playing a factor was Althalus “The Clumsy” falling into the drink. A drink of molten lava. The dark clouds overhead parted and the Hand of God (the DM) cooled the deadly molten lava so that the group could escape. (Seriously? 10d10 and ongoing 15 fire damage? Really?)

The heroes dealt with the defenders, and of note, they quickly brought down the Duergar Hellcaller, who could have knocked every single PC into the lava with a couple good rolls.

Once they reached solid land the heroes quickly dashed up the tower to the set of doors at the top step. The insides of this tower had been hollowed out, outside of a few platforms that lined the outer walls at various heights, with wooden ladders or stairs connecting most of them. Again, Sarshan had left bodyguards to defend the path. Shortly after the heroes entered, the molten lava that was pooling at the bottom of the tower started to rise, giving encouragement for the heroes to be swift. The two most deadly attackers were the two abishai snipers are the far end, standing on the next portal.

The group got separated a bit here, most made the run for the portal, but the president, ever cognizant of his duties, remained behind a bit to protect his flock. As the group closed in on the portal, and the lava continuing to rise, the president made a bold leap from the high platform to a statue on a low platform. The heroes fought their way up to the portal on the high platform, and this time it was Bastion’s turn to be the hero. He cleared a path for his comrades to climb the ladder, but in doing so, was nearly killed until Kregnok rescued him at the last second.

Most of the heroes were on the high platform, and the last defender had been pushed off (although he was still flying). Kregnok grabbed the tall ladder which they all just climbed to extend it to Umberto trapped on the statue. Grognak, feeling a sense of urgency, grabbed it from the dwarf swung it around, but knocked the dwarf into the lava. Quickly the barbarian engaged a power that allowed some healing to Kregnok and he was able to grab a hold of the ladder and begin climbing up. While he was, Grognak swung the ladder in to place and the president dashed up the walkway to the ledge.

Althalus gauged that the group had a few moments before the lava would overflow them so everyone healed up as much as they could before activating the portal.

DM Note: Sarshan knows the heroes are in the tower, and despite holding the upper hand in their first meeting, he has come to fear their power. Sarshan’s escape portal was damaged when he miscalculated the amount of power needed to open the portal that vented blood chaos into the Silver Marches. As the heroes arrive on the roof of his tower, he labors behind a force sphere to activate his escape route, two shadar-kai warriors at his side. A squad of githyanki stand on guard outside the sphere.

Room Description: The top of the tower is guarded by eight warrior githyanki, all bearing silver greatswords. Their leader wields a sliver longsword, eyes flashing with mystic power. On the far side of a tower, a sphere of translucent force protects three figures: Sarshan and two shadar-kai bodyguards. However, the scars that the arms dealer bore when you saw him in Umbraforge pale in comparison to his current state. The shadar-kai’s skin seethes and bubbles as tendrils of blood chaos erupt from open sores on his face and hands. Within the protective force sphere, he works intently over a teleportation circle, attempting to activate its power.

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PostSubject: Re: Marpenoth 30th – Well beyond the Mottled Tower   Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:11 pm

Bring it on. BRING IT ON!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Marpenoth 30th – Well beyond the Mottled Tower   Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:28 pm

The first wave of this battle was over quickly, although the githyanki mindslicer was able to inflict some damage to the group before he was dispatched.

The heroes closed in on Sarshan in his sphere and began to bash away at it. His shadar-kai bodyguards stepped out of the sphere (unable to return to it) and went toe-to-toe with the group. Shortly after the 500 hit point sphere was dropped and Sarshan smiled sadistically and entered battle.

Sarshan had a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but with six heroes attacking him from all different angles, it didn’t take long for the 650 hit point Sarshan to be defeated.

He had a footlocker of treasure and gold inside the sphere which was liberated by the heroes. Also found inside the footlocker was documents that confirmed of his plot against the Free Riders (Megan Swiftblade) and the Silver Marches. His notes also indicate that he fled to the Elemental Chaos after the fall of his fortress at Umbraforge, discovering Djamela’s island during his travels. After saving the island from the raging lava sea, the shadar-kai found fragments of the old efreet mage’s work, and soon completed her dangerous work.

After a couple of hours of reconfiguring the teleportation circle, the heroes were glad to leave the Chaos Realm and head back to Overlook.
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