Rock Hammer Hold

A private D&D Campaign for the LOD set in the Silver Marches of the Forgotten Realms.
 
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 Decisions, Excavations, Treasure Hunt, Rescue - 8th Session

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Sam the DM
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PostSubject: Decisions, Excavations, Treasure Hunt, Rescue - 8th Session   Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:41 pm

The Decision on what to do with the Wraithstone

Having returned with a good haul of magic items, the Brigade sat down to discuss what to do with the Wraithstone. The tiefling Tain Bravis, formerly in charge of Rock Hammer Gold & Trust, had essentially hired the Brigade to recover said magical item in exchange for all the other treasures found in Stormcrow Tor.

Logan felt the Wraithstone should go to Tain and while Xune agreed, she thought that they should tell a number of people around town about it. Those informed included C’Nedra (Temple of Selune), Shagold (of the League of Fighters), Talain (battle tactician and NA PC to Logan), and Lucky Luxinilly.

There is a general feeling that Tain could be using this as a bargaining chip to get back into the Rock Hammer Trade Coalition to which Logan said, “Might be nice to have someone on the inside if Tain takes over.”

Tain Bravis was very happy to receive the Wraithstone and promised to see that the licensing for Nok & Nak’s Brewery go through.

During this episode and when the group talked to Lucky, they also checked on the meteorite. No progress was reported, but Lucky was hopeful that something would happen soon.



A Trail of Clues

A few days later a commotion was heard on the streets. The Brigade ducked out of Nok & Nak’s and asked someone running towards the town center what was going on. “They are unsealing the tomb!”

Here the Brigade realized that the Council must have decided to unseal the Tomb of Umberto to retrieve the Sword of Kings (Merthuvial) to give to the dragon Frost Reaver in exchange for their safety. The group headed out to see what would transpire.

Victor Canith, representative of the Rock Hammer Trade Coalition and possible future president, gave a speech about how he would save the community. But things went horribly wrong as when the seal was broken and the lid was slide back, inside was not the item that would save the valley city.

It was empty.

Chaos ensued as the public felt panic once again. Some immediately prepared to move out while others ran to spread the word. Victor Cannith and the private guards of the Trade Coalition, went straight back to the Rock Hammer Gold & Trust to discuss the matter with other Coalition members. Something caught the eye of Xune and Logan as they read the plaque inside the sarcophagi, particularly certain words.

Quote :
Umberto Lunini – First Lord of Rock Hammer, may he rest in peace here and his favorite sanctuary.

Both heroes saw something there, perhaps Umberto was secretly buried somewhere else, whatever this ‘favorite sanctuary’ was.

Their first stop was to the Order of the Shining Fist where they talked to Feng-Jiu. Through his riddles they were able to learn that Umberto (the druid part of him) had a place he liked to get away to that was not far from here. North of the valley in an area that overlooks the plains and the city of Silverymoon.

Once they arrived at the sanctuary they found a mosaic painted into the side of a rock. Upon closer inspection they noticed that the center of the painting was actually something that was carefully placed there. With a little bit of chipping, they were able to remove an emblem that when a hundred years of dirt and grime were washed away, it revealed a lot of writing on it. While no one knew what it said, it was recognized as being from Kara-Tur.

A return to the Order of the Shining Fist was the next obvious stop where they presented it to Feng-Jiu. He knew exactly where it went and took the PCs over to an elaborate mosaic the same as the one at the sanctuary. Feng-Jiu placed it in the missing center and turned it to the right. A triangle portion of the emblem separated, revealing another clue.

This was a picture of an elm tree with the inscription that read:

Quote :
“Dedicated to my dear friends so they will never be forgotten.”

Next the group headed over to the famous elm tree from which the Elmshire ward was named after. Here was a plaque that read:

Quote :
“With this elm tree we celebrate the lives of Bastion and Althalus as well as the birth of the Republic of Rock Hammer. Truly they, and other powers, were behind the document that marked our sovereignty.”

While the Brigade was unable to gain entrance inside the keep to the original, they learned of a copy that was hanging up in Lunini Manor. After some small talk with Sienna Lunini, granddaughter of Umberto and mother of current president, Fiona Lunini. When they were alone the group was able to remove the frame and find two documents.

Quote :
“Dire circumstances, that I do not have time to explain, have forced me to return to the past. In an effort to preserve the future of our Republic, I brought the Sword of Kings with me to right a horrible wrong. I have enclosed a strange ritual that will… in a manner, bring a select few to the point I have returned to. Since you have followed the clues I left I assume the need for the sword to be great. It truly is more powerful than even I ever imagined and is capable of great things.”

The second document was the Ritual that would take them back in time, and when they did, they saw the following:


Quote :
Your body slumping to the floor is the last thing you remember. That and the phrase Umberto used about returning to the past “in a manner”.

You don’t really become awake, you just seem to snap out of a trance. You find yourself in a village, more a collection of primitive yurts that is surrounding by a wooden, not stone, fence.

A gathering is taking place and a huge crowd surrounds a stage where one man kneels in front of another, and he holds up a sword to him. The standing man, while he wears old fashion chainmail, it is clearly better than the hide and leather armor worn by the other warriors in the crowd.

The kneeling man speaks, “Theron, defender of the lands from the Nether Mountains to the Rauvin River, I present a gift from the gods themselves. The Sword of Kings, Merthuvial.”

The crowd gasps in awe at the craftsmenship of this fine weapon, much better than the crude stone weapons they use.

Theron accepts the sword and looks it over, marveling at its properties for a moment before forgetting his manners, “Please stand friend, what is your name?”

“Umberto, my king.”

“Umberto, will you join us as we defend ourselves from the horde of orcs fast approaching?”

“I will, my lord.”

King Theron turns to the crowd and gives an inspiring speech.

“We stand united today against those who wish us ill. We will send a message that we have earned our place in the world. We will not be swept to the side. We will fight side by side, riverfolk, hill tribes, and mountain clans, and we will prevail! If the gods see fit to make us victorious today, then we earn our freedom once and for all!”

The crowd erupts in a battle cry. You yourselves are even taken in and pull your weapon out like the others to raise it in triumph.

But your weapon is a crude stone sword.

And you are not who you thought you were.


The Brigade found themselves as old-school 1st edition characters, armed with crude stone weapons. Recalling the history of the Lords of Rock Hammer, then knew how Umberto received the sword Merthuvial from the ghost of King Theron years ago. Theron acquired the Sword of Kings when he stole it from the half-orc Laarsh (leader of the Vile Rule Orcs) and slew him. Ending the attacks from the Vile Rule and establishing the human’s presence in the Nether Mountains.

However, something happened that preventing this from happening. So, Umberto faked his own death, to travel back in time with Merthuvial to right this wrong.

Now, Laarsh was still alive and the Vile Rule Orcs were marching on the human village. The “Brigade” had only a short amount of time to organize the human defenders before the battle begun. And it started with two hill giants smashing the wooden fence and the horde of orcs quickly flowing in through those openings.

Theron yelled to the Brigade to take care of the elite forces of the orcs while he and Umberto would tackle the hill giants, leaving the common soldiers to take on the bulk of the orc army.

Only one member of the Brigade, the thief Gratlin, son of Hrothgar was killed. And Bledkin the Pure was nearly killed twice by Laarsh.

The human defenders stood tall against the onslaught of orcs. Outnumbered 100-75, the humans got off to a great start and never looked back, slaying all 100 orcs while only losing 14.

The humans of the Nether Mountains established themselves thanks to the confidence gained from the victory and the steady leadership of King Theron.

After the battle, the crowds erupted with shouts of triumphs and job. King Theron held Merthuvial and listened intently to its whispers.


Quote :
“I…I can banish a group of creatures from this spot forever!” shouts an astonished King, “I say the words and strike the sword to the ground and the Vile Rule Orcs will never return to these lands as long as the sword exists.”

The crowd goes wild but the King ponders this for a moment, “But…is this the best use of this power, I wonder?”


The Brigade entered a skill challenge to convince the wise King Theron to release the sword to them to repel an attack from Frost Reaver in the future. Theron knew what he must do, but still worried about the attacks from the Vile Rule orcs as well as others.


Quote :
Umberto interrupts, “I will stay here and aid in our fight against the orcs”

The king’s eyes well up, “Umberto, how can I thank you when you have given me such hope?”

Umberto, thinking about the time when he received the sword and how it brought about the Republic of Rock Hammer, “You already have, my king.”


And with a flash, the Brigade returned to Rock Hammer with Merthuvial. The citizens were overjoyed as many of them knew the now changed past and the prophecy that heroes would go to the past to retrieve a weapon that would save Rock Hammer.

Crowds started to gather as Baern Coldforge, of Clan Coldforge, walked boldly through the streets of Rock Hammer. A near magical feeling swept through the valley town, hope lifted and spirits rose.

Standing in front of the statue to Umberto near the center of town, Baern held the Sword of Kings high. The crowds shouted with approval.

Quote :
“No longer will be live in fear in Rock Hammer. No longer will we tolerate threats. Once was this weapon used to fend off those who wish us will. And so it shall do again. I….Baern Coldforge, of Clan Coldforge…great grandson of Kregnok Coldforge…do hereby…banish all ice dragons….from Rock Hammer….from now until the end of days. So be it!!”

The dwarf slams the sword into the ground and a wave of light blue energy, emanating from the point where the sword struck the ground, quickly ripples across the entire town, knocking every to the ground except for Baern. The wave of light blue light reaches the edges of the valley walls and starts to climb. Everyone stumbles to their feet to see it rise overhead, like a protective shield, over the entire valley. When the blue lights reached a stop directly over the swords, covering the entire valley, many claimed to hear angels singing.

Baern pulled the sword out and the crowd went wild, the most uplifting a euphoric feeling they had ever experienced. Baern, along with the rest of the Brigade were lifted onto the shoulders of the citizens as they paraded them around town. A three-day celebration ensued as finally, Rock Hamer was saved by heroes the people would love.


The Rescue of Troy Percival

Sister Emesha of the Temple of Torm visited the Brigade with urgent news.

Quote :
“Heroes, I am quite worried about Troy Percival. He and his team have been gone far too long and each day that passes lessens the chances of not only his triumphant return, but his ability to eliminate the hierarchy of the Bane encampment of Naarash high in the mountains. I know that you have served the city well and I hesitate to ask you again, but we have no one else to turn to.”

The Brigade gathered as much information about the situation as they could.

  • Troy was accompanied by Andressa and Annika, sister-clerics of Torm, the fighter Kelma, and Dajani, a tiefling weapon-master sworn to the cause.

  • No one has heard from Troy in over a month, his last report had him at the head of a trail called the Black March.

  • His mission was to take the fight to the Bane faithful at a temple called the Pillars of Naarash.

  • Naarash is said to be a hobgoblin prophet of Bane centuries ago.

  • The Cult of Bane from the Pillars of Naarash prey on isolated mountain villages. There has been reports of them as close as Cholnudon.



The trek up the mountains is long and arduous. From Rock Hammer it took four days to reach the village of Palervale, where they learned the following rumors:

Quote :
“I heard this paladin of yours. He and his group were headed up the mountain. I told him all he’d find was cult trouble. He was smiling as they rode off.”

“The Hand of Naarash enforcers were always after silver and gold, but that’s changed. More of their death squads are on the hunt for arms and magic now.”


Three more days to reach the village of Milturn, and the rumors learned there:

Quote :
“Used to be the cult’s hobgoblins were thugs that a strong threat and a pitchfork could drive off. Now, they fight like soldiers.”

“I remember that paladin and his group. Hobgoblins hit us and your folk healed up our wounded, helped us give last rites to the dead, then headed up the mountain.”

Five days later the Brigade reaches the village of Weathersby, and learned another rumor:

Quote :
“We were hit by the Hand of Naarash twice recently. That Troy and his group came through and told us not to worry about them anymore. Cult came back just the same.”

Four more days of travel and the group reached the village of Porterville, and learned more:

Quote :
“Heard about a fight between the paladin and a force of Hand members come down from the mountain to hunt him. Didn’t see it, but the crows were thick over the hills.”

Six days after that they arrived in the village of Hightop and heard more rumors:

Quote :
“I talked to a trapper coming down the mountain. Said he saw nothing but burned villages up there. Said too that he met a long knight and a tiefling on foot. Heading up the mountain as he was coming down.”

“I heard a story from a refugee family that met a holy knight of Torm. Said he looked like a wild man – mud and brambles in his hair, and a string of goblin teeth around his neck.”

Four days later, after passing several other burnt out villages, they came to Erstling. Here a rider came out to great them and quickly usher them to his house for dinner.

Strangely, Perren didn’t want to talk about the Hand of Naarash much:

Quote :
“Not the first time I’ve heard such questions from outsiders, and I’ll tell you straight what I told them – Erstling don’t need would-be heroes making trouble. Best you take your questions and head back to your precious cities at first light.”

And the Brigade was just about ready to do that, but as they got up from their chairs, the sound of hoofbeats came from the dark of night outside. Perren looked out, and shouted, “Fools, you don’t know what you’ve done!” And as he went to lock the door, the hobgoblins with Bane cloaks bashed the door in and attacked. Baern got dropped, and Logan nearly did as well. But once again, the Brigade prevailed. The hobgoblins also wore strange amulets that “burnt out” when they were killed. The Brigade wisely confiscated the Bane cloaks.

Perren wasn’t full of compliments after the fight.

Quote :
“Unless you’re planning to stick around to take on the group that comes looking for this one, you ain’t done us no favors.”

Perren goes on to explain how the village of Erstling is left alone as it allows the Temple of Bane to smuggle weapons through here.

A crowd formed around the battle ground, and a young woman stepped forward.

Quote :
“Name’s Shandra. Hobgoblins killed my pa when they first came. Said it was a warning. I followed them, meant to take revenge but I couldn’t keep up. But I saw where they went. I can make you a map for finding their Black March.”
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Decisions, Excavations, Treasure Hunt, Rescue - 8th Session
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