Rock Hammer Hold

A private D&D Campaign for the LOD set in the Silver Marches of the Forgotten Realms.
 
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 Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st

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Sam the DM
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PostSubject: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:07 pm

Over the next week Amyria approached the Platinum Shield of the Silver Marches with her new top priority: Helping Nefelus.

The Platinum Shield agreed to send Amyria as an envoy to Nefelus in the hopes that aid to them bring them out of seclusion and into the battle against the githyanki. The coalition did so despite the protests of Lord Torrance, who secretly fears that adding Nefelus to the group will diminish Sayre’s importance.

Amyria turned to the Lords of Rock Hammer to accompany her on this trip. Charting a ship called Brindol’s Pride, the characters embark on the journey.

A week ago you, left the city of Sayre at the behest of your friend and staunch ally Amyria, a deva scion devoted to Bahamut’s cause and the opposition of evil in the world. She asked you to accompany her on a mission to the isolationist island of Nefelus. When she mentioned to you that you should dress for cold weather even though Nefelus’s a tropical island, the questions started flying. She gave you a full briefing as your prepared to depart aboard Brindol’s Pride, an odd-looking caravel with a reinforced hull and sharpened steel bow.


Quote :
“The tropical island nation of Nefelus is under assault by a sort of unnaturally cold weather. It is obvious to the Nefelese that this environmental change is being directed by a malign intelligence.

Nefelus is an isolationist nation run by a council of deva mages called the Thraxinium. They are known to be among the most knowledgeable arcanists in the world, and their storehouses of information contain secrets lost to the other civilized races. In addition, their navy is incredibly strong and bolstered by their ancient magic. With these two assets, Nefelus has remained fiercely independent until their recent call for aid to Amyria.

The chilling weather has become so intense that a ring of ice has formed around the island, trapping their ships and cutting off any travel to or from the island. Although the Thraxinium is maintaining a ritual to keep the worst of the cold from assaulting the island proper, they cannot maintain it for much longer.”


Your journey to Nefelus is now almost complete. A massive bank of fog looms directly ahead, and the air becomes chilly. A cry comes out of the crow’s nest from the lookout, “Iceberg to starboard!” Looking to the right, you can see a gigantic, shadowed mass far off in the fog, and it stands at least 100 feet tall.

You continue on, the waves licking at the hull of the ship and then finally, after a few more cold hours, the fog begins to lift and you see a thick ring of ice floating up ahead. Smaller chunks of ice, some the size of large wagons, bob up and down in the water near the ship. Just as you see a clear picture of the ice ring and the captain is preparing to ram, you notice that several large forms become visible through the mists.

Frost giants!

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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:23 pm


Looks like they have completely re-done the first two pages of the character sheet. Looks really quick and easy!
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:01 pm

Improvements to the D&D Man Cave...





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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:40 pm

During the trip you noticed that Amyria seemed like she was keeping something from you. When pressed she admits that she is uneasy about meeting other devastating, especially some as ancient as members of the Thraxinium. She is also concerned that if she fails in this task, the Order of the Platinum Shield will lack a key ally - one that can provide substantial military and magical support.

Now, back to the task at hand. Eight giants, none of them minions, are attacking!
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:38 pm

The frost giants were tough as nails, and the heroes weren’t able to eliminate that last three as their ship, Brindol’s Pride, broke through the ice and sailed away. Bastion did take a spill in the frigidly cold waters. Twice. Lozigee got dropped while on board as did….Althalus?

The heroes sailed on through the cold and fog for another mile or so until, abruptly, the fog lifted and they were soon awash in the steamy heat of a tropical paradise.

The city of Nefelus, clinging to the massive cliffs of an inlet, stood before the ship. Switchback stairs, walkways, and small wooden buildings dot the lush cliffsides. At the far top of the cliffs, hundreds of feet in the air, larger wooden structure are packed tightly together. At the horizon, a great domed structure rises above all to dominate the skyline, and from this distance, it looks like a temple of perhaps a university.



After climbing to the top structure on the island nation, the heroes briefly met Bejam, Sixth Thraxus and Keeper of the Mirrors. He and Amyria left for several hours to discuss matters. When they returned, they announced a limited agreement between the Order of the Platinum Shield and the Thraxinium. While Amyria left, Bejam explained what has been happening to his nation lately.

Quote :
“Through the Thraxinium’s research, the heart of the problem appears to bear the mark of an artifact known as the Seed of Winter. When properly harnessed by a creature attuned to it, the artifact can cause drastic localized climate changes and can even alter creatures that come in contact with it or are near it. However, we think what’s happening to Nefelus goes beyond the normal power of the artifact; someone or something must be augmenting it in some way.”

“The Seed of Winter was thought lost to the Feywild centuries ago, but it has apparently made its way back into the world.”

“The Thraxinium knows through divinations and other more mundane observations that the iceberg that appeared out in the seas is the source of the emanations.”

“Just before the ice ring completely blockaded our ships, we sent here ships to investigate the iceberg and attempt to deal with the problem. We monitored their progress, and two of the ships were attacked and destroyed by sahuagin with ice-blue skin. They appeared tougher than normal sahuagin and had an affinity for the cold. The last ship limped to the shore of the iceberg and was under assault by frost giants there; we saw only one survivor make it away from the vessel – a githzerai mentalist named Uarion. We have not heard from him since.”

“Uarion has been with us for several decades; he is the only githzerai in the city, but he proves his worth to Nefelus time and time again through his mastery of the powers of the mind. He soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and he is probably the most accomplished nondeva ritualist in Nefelus. It would be a shame if he was lost to the power of the Seed.”
The heroes and Bejam talked about the githyanki’s use of mirrors as communication devices around the world. Bejam mentioned that several of their magical mirrors around the globe are missing. Finally, Bejam got to asking the heroes for help.

Quote :
“We need your assistance to stop the climate change from overwhelming our island and to break the blockade. From the estimates made by the Thraxinium, we have about a day before out ritualists can no longer sustain the magic holding back the freezing weather. Once the ritual gives away, the island’s climate will be forever altered and many creatures here will die. Nefelus will suffer a corruption the likes of which we have not been threatened with for hundreds of years. I implore you to journey to the iceberg and end this assault on our way of life. If you can bring back the Seed of Winter for study and find out the fate of Uarion, all the better. Amyria says she has not met any more accomplished at dangerous tasks than you. Will you assist us?”
Of course the president agreed to help, and once that was settled on, Bejam showed them to their Apparatus of Kwalish. Lobster shaped submersibles that the heroes will use to sneak into the iceberg.



Just before the heroes departed, Amyria had a quick message for them:

Quote :
“One last thing before you leave. I think that it might be possible to convince Bejam to join the Order of the Platinum Shield as a representative of Nefelus. I will stay here and attempt to work toward that goal, but ultimately it will depend on the success of your mission. May the platinum dragon bring justice to our enemies.”
After several hours of travel the heroes reached the underbelly of the massive iceberg and rose through and underwater tunnel to a cave, where they were met by the already waiting ice sahuagins.



The fighting was fierce but the heroes prevailed. However, going into the next room, Lozigee failed an important perception check. Which allowed the hiding ice behir to slip out and immediately devour the president. This was a bit of a tough fight, with the behir devouring several people including Kregnok and Grognak.

The next room seemed simple, the heroes had to fight through two ice sahuagin raiders, and an ice sahuagin baron named Xurgelmek. Unknown to them, was a Eye of Frost Beholder that was hidden on a nearby ledge. Once again, the heroes were victorious.

The heroes had successfully cleared out the bottom level of the iceberg and were able to hole up and rest before heading to the next level.

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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:35 pm

As you set up a guard rotation and try to get some rest inside the iceberg, you all notice a slight change in Umberto. He seems to have more resolve, more of a sense of leadership than before.
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:28 pm

The rest of you notice no change in Althalus, continuing to regard Umberto's resolve and sense of leadership with disregard.
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:14 pm

After a barrage of “shaft” and “sinkhole” jokes, the heroes ascending to the 2nd level of Icehome where they encountered the ice-touched githzerai Uarion.

Quote :
Uarion background - After he evaded capture by the frost giants, Uarion scaled the iceberg and entered through the caldera at the top. He then encountered Chillreaver, who defeated him in combat and subjugated him to the power of the Seed of Winter, transforming him into an ice-touched creature and shattering his formidable will. With such an unexpected resource, Chillreaver allowed the mentalist to participate in his next servitor experiment, given the githzerai’s affinity for the elements.

Uarion was installed in the elemental farm that Chillreaver had set up on the second level near the frost giants. There Chillreaver’s captured elementals have been placed in icy stasis in preparation for the dragon’s attack on Nefelus. Uarion was provided with the means to awaken them from their slumber should Chillreaver’s icy lair need them.
With a metered and cool tone, Uarion called out from the shadows:

Quote :
“You have come to threaten the will of my master. The Seed must be protected at all costs. Approach no farther and leave the way you arrived, and I shall spare you the agony of the change.”

The heroes dealt with the elementals and dropped Uarion at the end of the fight. Umberto and Kregnok rushed to the githzerai to revive him, but Grognak had other ideas, slaying the mentalist instantly. “He was unsaveable!” cried the barbarian, but the others felt it was Wicked Fang that convinced Grognak to do so.


The heroes left this area, skipped past some Umber Hulks, and into the cavern where Nara of the Wastes and the rest of the frost giants lived. As the heroes made a push toward the stairs, Nara kept blocking them with walls of ice. Most of the heroes retreated back around to climb up the other side. A comical sight was seen as Bastion nearly killed himself trying to climb up to no avail. Eventually the heroes reached the top and swarmed Nara, killing in front of a teleportation circle (that led to the frost giant’s realm).

The heroes engaged the Solace Bole and rested for eight hours, while only disappearing from the real world for an hour.

With new found resolve the heroes headed up to the third level to battle Chillreaver and end the threat to the people of Nefelus.

They entered a great chamber; a walkway that encircled the room on three sides contained 10 silver mirrors that were focusing energy on the Seed of Winter that was on a 50’ high pedestal in the center. On the dais in the rear of the room was Chillreaver, a two-headed white dragon, and Exarch of Tiamat.

Quote :
“The mages must be desperate to save their people. They send outsiders here to do their work. How weak! How pathetic! Soon the storm comes to them, and nothing will escape my wrath!”

Quote :
Chillreaver background – Chillreaver is a mighty two-headed white dragon and exarch of Tiamat that originally laired in the lands north of Icewind Dale. There he made the berserker barbarian tribes run in fear and fought the frost giant jarl to claim control over their clans.

Under command of the Dark Queen, he set his four eyes on Nefelus, where he was tasked with bringing woe to the prosperous island nation. He soon acquired a means to allow him to accomplish his ruinous plans from the fomorian king Cachlain - an artifact known as the Seed of Winter. He is determined to make the most of his time with the artifact, and if he can, find a way to keep the Seed in service to his queen.

He has unlocked power in the Seed that none other can claim; his essence is in perfect concordance with the Seed’s wishes, and it fuels his desire for conquest and ruin upon those who seek warmth and comfort. Crippling Nefelus and bringing the chill of winter will allow the dragon to mount an attack on the island itself.

Chillreaver has a vicious, brutal mind. Above all, he revels in the suffering of others at his command. He aspires to lay waste to lands and turn them into arctic deserts, to kill warmth of the summer, and to turn joy into grief and loss. Chillreaver is, in many ways, the dark parts of winter personified.

The two-headed dragon also loves to subjugate others and would want nothing more than to rule over a continent of sentient creatures that he could endlessly and mercilessly exploit for his own cruel whims. He hopes to begin that dream with Nefelus. For all his aspirations, Chillreaver is not without a practical side. He has assembled a number of allies to his cause, promising to those he cannot directly control a small claim to his soon-to-be massive resource gain. He values strong, unwavering loyalty to him and his “Dark Queen’s” cause, and he reluctantly acknowledges those that aid his efforts. Of course, he’ll ultimately be thinking about the long-term prospects of claiming his allies’ resources even as he prepares to support them in battle.

The battle got off to a rough start as Chillreaver dumped all of his encounters, rechargables, and action points on the heroes. But it was the Seed of Winter that was the true demise of the group. Dominating a hero every round of the encounter, then doing damage and then immobilizing them for another round.

DM Note – I figured the battle went 19 rounds, and with six PCs, that is 114 turns that the heroes took. The seed worked every round, so that’s 19 turns off the top, plus pretty much another 19 from the immobilization the following round (for a total of 38). Consider about 10 failed saves which made the PC dominated for another round that is a total of 48 out of a possible 114 turns (42%) of the possible turns the heroes had, that were completely wiped out by the seed. Plus a grand total of 34d10+85 (or about 272 total points, about 45 per PC) of damage the PCs suffered after coming out of the domination. Wow. And that doesn’t even count the things that Chillreaver did. Thanks TSR!

But by the time the heroes survived the initial onslaught, the bad rolls starting coming in. Failed saves to the domination put up to four heroes under control of the Seed at a time. At one point, Umberto had to kill Lozigee while he was dominated since he was such a deadly force with ranged weapons, (since he was also dazed he could attack each round while dominated).

Late in the battle, as the light of hope dimmed, Chillreaver laughed out loud. Four of the heroes were dead, the other two were dominated, and the two-headed dragon relaxed and concentrated on recharging his powers. Victory was his, and the heroes of Rock Hammer were no more.

Chillreaver flew into a rage when he learned that the heroes had wiped out nearly all of his followers inside Icehome. They would reach Nefelus the following day, and he had little in the way of a landing party. Teleporting back to the frost giant realm brought in as many warriors as he could muster but, still Chillreaver needed more.

Then he looked at the bodies of the heroes he just defeated.

Through the dark magics of his Queen, Chillreaver delayed the assault on Nefelus a full day while he used the powers of the artifact known as the Seed of Winter to raise the former attackers as minions in his dark and twisted plan.

By the time Icehome crashed into the shores of Nefelus, the once tropical island nation had already succumbed to the effects of the freezing temperatures. They scraped together what forces they could and stood in defiance as the invaders landed.

Amyria was crushed to see the attackers led by the Merthuvial-wielding Umberto. The former heroes, not fully transformed by the Seed, fought lethargically but effectively against the Nefelese. Althalus drew back icy arrows, Kregnok engaged now ice-blue runes, Bastion froze targets in place, and Grognak wadded into battle, appeasing the blood lust of Wicked Fang. Chillreaver swooped over the battlefield and demanded a complete and total surrender by Bejam. The deva-leader of Nefelus knelt before the dragon and offered his life in return for the safety of his people. Chillreaver gladly accepted, killing Bejam within his massive jaws, then went back on his word and annihilated every living thing on the island before retreating to Icehome. Tiamat would be grateful to her exarch for removing a potentially strong ally from the forces of the Order of the Platinum Shield.

But not everyone was dead.

Proximity to the Seed is essential for ice-touched possessed creatures, especially those who haven’t complete undergone the transformation. Chillreaver gathered up the rest of the frost giants as Icehome departed, but he either didn’t know or didn’t care that he retrieved all of the heroes. Perhaps he assumed most of them were killed in the battle.

Amyria, still in a state of shock found the bodies of Umberto, Kregnok, Grognak, and Lozigee. While free of the control of the Seed, they were in a catatonic state.

And they would remain this way for the next four years.

With little hope left for winning this war against Tiamat, Amyria felt duty bound to return the heroes home, back to Rock Hammer. Mayor Droverson and High Priest Evan Barksdale took them in and vowed to give them every bit of care these heroes could possibly need for the rest of their natural lives. A weeping Amyria promised to try her best to retrieve the bodies of Bastion and Althalus if she could, knowing full well that this was extremely unlikely as the war was to consume her for the rest of her existence.

While the war against Tiamat raged on across the entire world, the little tucked-away valley of Rock Hammer was safe and hidden from hostilities for the most part. The “Hero Corpses” as they became to be known, were bed-ridden but alive. They were unresponsive except occasionally their eyes would barely open, and they would mumble, “so…..cold….” before again falling into month-long slumber.

They never stirred, they never got better, they never showed any signs of hope.

The only thing of note with them over the years was when a nurse watching over Umberto placed Merthuvial in his hands. The president’s hands instinctively grasped the King-Maker with an icy death grip that would not be broken. Hope arose in the community, perhaps this was the thing that would break the spell over the heroes. But that was only a flicker of a dying flame.

Over the years, news trickled in from the rest of the world. After Bahamut was killed by Tiamat, Amyria sacrificed herself to restore the King of the Chromatic Dragons. But the Order of the Platinum Shield was not to stand long as Tiamat, the five-headed dragon god of evil, killed Bahamut once again, making him irrevocably slain. Her rule over Faerun was complete. Until the Spellplague year later.

One day, the people of the still growing community of Rock Hammer was visited by an old friend. Lane the Hermit, who had been gone for decades, arrived. He had been working on a cure for the ice-touched sickness the remaining heroes had. Weeks later, a bleary eyed Umberto, as were the others still inflicted, opened their eyes and were cognizant for the first time in years.

Still clutching Merthuvial, a saddened Umberto muttered, “My King.....I have failed you."
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:42 pm



Some key features of Tiamat:

  • Aura 10, any creature that enters or starts in that area takes 25 acid, cold, fire, lightning, and poison damage.

  • Automatic initiative rolls of 45, 40, 35, 30, and 25. Yes, five attacks per round.

  • Five action points, one for each head.

  • 1,610 hit points

  • all defenses are right around 50

  • it has resist 15 to acid, cold, fire, lightning, and poison

  • +5 to saves, which is not that bad, but Tiamat makes an immediate save before it would even effect her, plus one at the end of each of her head's turn. So, up to six saves per round.

  • her breath weapon does 8-80 points of damge, plus ongoing 25 and slowed. Save and you are still slowed. Then each seperate head has its own breath weapon. At least those are encounter powers and don't recharge.
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Wil

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Name: Kregnok
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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Tiamat looks like a pussy. I'd only be worried if she had the Seed of Winter with her. That things a nightmare.
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Blaine

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PostSubject: Re: Alliance of Nefelus - Uktar 21st   Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:10 am

you do a great job of story telling Sam....especially considering the material you are forced to work with :-P I am looking forward to what comes next...
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