Rock Hammer Hold

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 Swarms, Ultimatums, Cubes, and Devils - 7th Session

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Sam the DM
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Registration date : 2007-05-19

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PostSubject: Swarms, Ultimatums, Cubes, and Devils - 7th Session   Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:33 pm

A swarm of Wyrmlings attack Rock Hammer

In the early hours a horde of white dragon wyrmlings descended upon the valley city of Rock Hammer and each member of the Brigade fought a one-on-one battle with them. Most of them survived, the only one that was dropped was Homba – who did roll a natural 20 on a death save to be able to burn a healing surge to get up. But the halfling was wiser than that knowing that the wyrmling he was fighting wasn’t even bloodied. But tell that to the poor orphans that were mowed down to the snoozing Homba.

Once the rest of the wyrmlings took to flight and left the Brigade immediately got together to see if everyone was alright. They were not the only ones to be attacked, maybe of the citizens of Rock Hammer lied dead in the street or badly wounded. A messenger asked them to return to the keep.

Here was further evidence of the attack; two buildings were frozen solid and the keep itself, the seat of government for Rock Hammer, was badly damaged. A stunned and beleaguered president Lunini assessed the damage while several members of the Council (Maravan Zelmor of the Amyria Ward, Tain Bravis of the Elmshire Ward, and Milo Bologard of the Rock Hammer Trade Coalition) all hounded her with demands that she pay some unknown tribute.

After all of them left to continue this discussion, the Brigade talked to Wesley Droverson of the Temel Ward about what had happened:

Quote :
“It happened so fast,” Wesley shrugs his shoulders, “but, I don’t know what we could have done. He was on top of us immediately.” Wesley points to the top of the keep, “Literally.”

Wesley composes himself enough to continue, “It was a huge white dragon by the name of Frost Reaver. He demands a tribute of 1,000,000 gold in coin or magic.” Wesley shakes his head, “I doubt there is one tenth that amount in all of Rock Hammer.”

“The Coalition block is working on a plan. They say our only option is to unseal the Vault of Umberto and give Frost Reaver,” Wesley gets choked up, “the sword of kings.”


The following day a report was given on the extent of the damages to Rock Hammer:

Quote :
Dead (73) : Gwenmay Tilsana (The Royal Provisioner), Ythwar (orc of Fine Furs), Rose Adelwood (Adelwood Alterations)

Injured (921) : Adarc Longfang (of Nok &Nak), Officer Greywind (City Guard Rep), Constable Gatlund (Lower Ward Constable), Shagold Gatecrasher (seriously unjured), Senith Mistbrook (Silver Stallions), Lurios Aela (Lost Acolyte), Usten and Leran Usk-Lurent (Banshee Bowyer and Straight and True Arrows), Ilthana Lunini (Lou LL), Dende (Blaine LL), Carlos the Dwarf (Jordan LL)


An Ultimatum from the dragon Frost Reaver, son of Chill Reaver

The following night the Republic of Rock Hammer held an open town hall meeting to discuss what happened. It is here when most of the people learned of the ultimatum from Frost Reaver. People of reputation were allowed to speak in front of the Council and a distraught President Lunini. Very few of the speaker suggested that Rock Hammer actually fight back, and those were all met with a chorus of boos. Victor Clanath (and if the PCs would have succeeded on a streetwise check they would have learned that Victor is a candidate put forward by the Coalition to become the next president during the next election, if not sooner) spoke and was the first person to present the solution of giving up the “ceremonial ancient relic known as Merthuvial” as tribute to the white dragon. He informed the crowd that this item, almost by itself, would appease Frost Reaver and that he is willing to head up negotiations himself in order to save the city.

This was the crowd’s first sense of hope.

Later a number of the PCs non-adventuring characters got a chance to speak:

Feng-Jiu: said there are heroes in the city right now, but they may not yet be up to the task and he warns that giving away Merthuvial is a dangerous proposition especially since we of Rock Hammer would have no guarantee that Frost Reaver would stop attacking the city after this.

C’Nedra: calls this place home although she has not been here long, and enjoys how the various faiths in town work together. This is not a time to falter and we must not give in to evil. The gods would look down upon us as would the original founders.

Talain Warhaven: said it is not tactically advisable to give an already powerful creature legendarily powerful magic item. He also added that he is willing to train and lead an army to attack Frost Reaver.

Milo Bologard: said we must protect the citizens, first and foremost, of the republic of Rock Hammer and reiterated that some ancient relic sitting in the ground is doing us no good. We have an opportunity to save our fair city and the answer is right in front of us.

Torin Stronghammer: as a dwarf, preserving history and our legacy is of utmost importance to Rock Hammer. However, he did add that he saw no way around this as there was no one able to fight Frost Reaver, but if needed, his forges would be used for the war against this beast.

The presentations ended and the Council went in to deliberations, and having several weeks to talk about this, no answer was forthcoming that night or that week.


Into the Stormcrow Tor, and into a gelatinous cube

Having dug up more information on the Stormcrow Company, the Brigade set out to liberate their treasure and also bring back the Wraithstone (it is still unknown what they will do with it). After descending into the earth the first room they came to they heard the cries of young boy. Later they learned that this was the mimicry ability of the kenku that had moved in to this area of the tor.

The battle ensued with half of the Brigade heading down one side of the room and the other half on the other side. Baern, Un’goro and Logan we stuck fighting a gelatinous cube (that swallowed Logan twice and Baern once). Xune and Homba dealt with the kenku mage, but the bird spellcaster shoved Xune into an open pit where she landed on another gelatinous cube.

And never got out.

Each time she escaped the grab and made the athletic check to grab a hold of the rough walls, the next round the cube would pull her back in. Each time it did this, it did 10 acid damage.

Finally, through some acts of heroism, some favorable rolls, and acts of god, the Brigade was finally able to pull Xune out of the pit. But, she had burnt through a majority of her healing surges.


There is a Fungus Among us

The next room was later learned to be a cellar for the Stormcrow Company, but presently it housed several myconids that attacked the party. They were particularly difficult because of their ‘roots of the colony’ ability that allowed them to share damage. When the rotpriest died, he bestowed 10 hps to any living creature in an aura 1. Much to the surprise of Baern.

The crypt of don’t-touch-the-dragon-skeleton

As the Brigade entered this room full of hiding kenku, one of them shouted, “Don’t let the intruders touch the holy dragon!”

Xune noticed something about the way that was said, like it lacked conviction and was probably a trap, but before she could say anything, Logan had run over and touched it. Bringing to life two specters and a wraith.

Perhaps channeling some rage for Logan’s mistake, Xune summoned all of her strength and downed the wraith in a single hit, not allowing it to attack nor use its regeneration feature. Quickly after that the two specters fell as well.

A magical fountain was located in the room and thanks to an arcana check by Homba, it was learned that most likely it confers magical abilities to the PCs.
  • Baern drank and was bestowed with Wizard Sight (PH 315)
  • Xune drank and was bestowed with Discern Lies (PH 303)
  • Logan drank from it and was cursed with Blinding Sickness (DMG 49)


The strangest or dumbest puzzle ever

The next room was set up by the Stormcrow Company designed to provide those with “permission” to move into their ultimate vault chamber where the mercenaries stored their most significant loot.

The room contained a grid of letters on the floor. It took the Brigade about .2 seconds to see that you need to spell out “CROW” on the floor by moving the statues in to place over the letters, which would open the portal at the far end of the room. However, as soon as a PC steps inside the letters, the constructs attack. So, why would the Stormcrow Company set up a puzzle to let friendly people in, but still have it attack them.

Anyways, the PCs defeated the constructs, moved the statues in to place, and stepped through the now active portal.


Dealing with the devil

The final room was large and contained crypts in three corners and a work area in the fourth. In the center of the room, atop of marking of Asmodeus, was a coffin. As soon as someone entered one of the crypts the sarcophagus cover exploded. Standing in the dust was a tiefling that looked more devil than human, and all dead. A red stone on an iron chain blazed on her chest, she screams:

Quote :
“No one can have the Wraithstone but me! You’ll die, just like all the rest. Perhaps it will be your souls that will finally pay my way into Asmodeus’s Court!”

And the final fight was on. Agera of the Shadow Face was a formidable opponent. She could not be rooted from the Symbol on the floor where she was more dangerous. After a few rounds, six Infernal Armor Animuses emerged from the crypts to attack. While they were just minions, each time one of them dies it gave Agera 15 hit points. Agera started with 316 hit points, got knocked down to 209, went back up to 269, down to 232, back up to 247, down to 160, back up to 189, before finally being whittled down to nothing.

Along the way, Xune was dropped, and even though she rolled a natural 20 on a dead save, she had not healing surges left. In the end, everyone was bloodied, and Logan the huge was nearly dead as well. In a final battle cry Agera called out to Asmodeus to:

Quote :
“Strike down these mortal shells, as you did Illugi Swordbreaker and the Emerald Warlock. Take their souls, as you did my former compatriots, as my sacrifice to you!”

Once the battle was over, the group had time to go through the stuff on the workbench. There they found Agera’s journal:

Quote :
Agera’s Journal begins in common but switches to Supernal toward the end, after the journal indicates the Stormcrow Company found the Wraithstone. Prior to that point, the journal reads like any successful adventuring party’s journal might read. After acquiring the Wraithstone, Agera became more and more paranoid, until she finally indicates she’s had enough! The last entry states only, “Asmodeus, you have shown me the truth!”

The Brigade was able to find a good deal of treasure in this area along with the Wraithstone:

Quote :
The Wraithstone is an artifact. The red gem on an iron chain acts like a +2 Amulet of False Life, with one additional ability that is not known.


The Real Story behind the Stormcrow Company

No one outside Stormcrow Tor currently known is that the adventuring group wasn’t silenced by an external threat but by internal strife. In the end, an artifact pulled from the devastation of a ruined lich’s tower (the Wraithstone) drove Stormcrow Company to madness. Tempers and paranoia ran riot. Before an all-out internecine rivalry exterminated Stormcrow Company, each principle fortified his or her portion of their shared base, gathered secret allies, and tried to snare former friends in traps, catch them with curses, or kill them through simple force of arms.

A final paroxysm of rage and murder swept through the torchlit runnels beneath Stormcrow Tor. When it was over, two of the three principals were dead and one was altered beyond all recognition.

In the years since, the old base has been partly colonized by kenku and myconids; even these opportunistic monsters, however, know to stay clear of the deepest chambers. Though great treasures surely reside there, so do the most insidious traps left behind by maddened mercenaries whose sanity was well and truly shredded long before their bodies followed.
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Swarms, Ultimatums, Cubes, and Devils - 7th Session
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