Call To Arms!

Session Three

Portals and Prisoners

After slaying the goblins in their makeshift living quarters, the party was able to take a short rest and decide what direction they would head next. This allowed Varis ample opportunity to identify the totem he found as a Pure Spirit Totem +1.

The party decided to head west through double doors since the pits that layed to the north may pose quite a threat to some. The group took formation and proceeded through the doors. As they rounded a corner to the right they saw a large room up ahead and the apparent source of the crackling noise that Sven heard through the doors. The room was illuminated in blue hues from an image the crackled with magical energy. The image was of sinister looking castle in the middle of a swamp. The party searched around the room for any dangers before inspecting the glowing image.

Then Sven approached the image and reached out with his hand…

To Sven’s surprise, his hand went right through the image. The image flowed away from Sven’s outreached arm, like ripples upon a pond’s surface, and slowly revealed the room behind the image. Sven removed his arm, which was unaffected by the prodding, and the image slowly reconstituted back to its original form. Murmurs from the rest of the group remarked “What is it?” and “Is that a portal?”.

A few seconds later their questions were answered…

Out from the image came a large, jelly-like creature. Varis recognized it as an ooze, an Ochre Jelly to be exact. It sensed the closest creature (Thor Manfoot) and flowed its way to him. But the heroes were no match for the ooze as they quickly took half its lifeforce with a few blows. Then the jelly spluttered and split into two creatures. The heroes wasted no time in dispatching the ooze and finished the battle unscathed.

But the battle was not over…

Suddenly, Varis and Sven felt an aura of cold about them. This chilling presence made them feel like their defenses were weakened. As they turned to confront their aggressors there was no one in sight. However, both Sven and Varis had ample senses to know the whereabouts of at least one of their assailants.

The battle commenced and the opportunistic specters found they were in an unwinnable battle. Sven, calling upon the divine strength within him, laid one specter to rest with a devastating radiant blow. The other specter was slain before it even had a chance to retreat.

With the battle finally over the heroes took formation again and headed through a pair of double doors to the west. They rounded another corner and found themselves within a dark room lined with alcoves. The skeletal remains from within the alcoves had been strewed across the floor from apparent looting.

Suddenly, the north door of the room flew open…

The party took formation and wondered what would cause the door to open. After a few intense seconds, two fiery scorpion-like creatures appeared in the middle of the room. Shrazkil, from his arcane training, knew these creatures to be called magma claws. The fiery, magical creatures were no match for the mighty heroes. However, just as the creatures were put to death, the party was attacked by crossbows from the shadows.

“Gnomes! What are they doing in a goblin hideout!”, exclaimed Varis.

The heroes had two sneaky gnomes on their hands that were using thier natural stealthy abilities to perplex the party. But two small fey creatures were no match for five maturing heroes, and the gnomes were slain in the most horrible of fashion. Thor Manfoot, in a display of raw strength, picked up on gnome and snapped its body in two.

The party searched the remains of the alcoves and looked around the room for clues as to where any prisoners may have been taken. Alas, the search for footprints or any other telltale signs turned up nothing. However, one of the gnomes did carry with him an iron key.

The party had two choices on its hands – two routes that traveled north – one to the west and one to the east. They decided on the western route and took it down some stairs into another dark, dant room. As they approached the room they heard shouts of “Help! Get me out of here!.” When they arrived they found an older human man locked with a cell. They tried the iron key they found and click! it opened the cell.

The heroes had found Sertanian.

Sertanian introduced himself to the party as the castellan of the Great Hall of Valor. He mentioned he had been kept with Kartenix and the cook a short while ago. He feared for both and hoped the party would start up the search very quickly. And they did just that.

The party made their way back to the alcove room and now took the eastern route north. They proceeded up a flight of stairs and found themselves on a landing that was completely filled with spidery webs. Within the webbing were three spider-like creatures, guarding the passages beyond.

Varis called upon his knowledge of nature to remarkably recite just about every facet of knowledge about these creatures, called ettercaps – their kinship with spiders, their use of poisons, their freedom of movement within webs – the list went on and on.

The battle commenced and an ettercap in the back used its webbing to immobilize the heroes and keep them pinned within the entrance of the room while the two spidery creatures in the front attacked with fercious blows from their greataxes. Thor and Thales, the two frontliners for the party, took many blow from these creatures until they were finally able to kill one. This allowed the other heroes a chance to reach the ettercap in the back. One by one the ettercaps dropped until the heroes were once again victorious. This fight, and the difficult terrain caused by the webbing within the room, posed a more difficult challenge than the rest, but the party of heroes were becoming a force to be reckoned with.

They searched the webbed room and cut down the webbing as they went. After several minutes they found a gruesome sight: a human male wrapped in webs, his face pale and eyes bulged. Sertanian knew the human well.

The heroes had found Kartenix.

Sertanian had feared for Kartenix, for the captain of the Brindol guard had hatched a plan to overtake his captors. For some reason Sertanian surmised that his foolhardy plan resulted in his current predictament.

The heroes also found a couple sacks next to the dead body – one filled with residuum and another filed with gold coins.

Another decision as to the direction of travel: to the west up a flight of stairs, or north through a pair of double doors. The party decided to continue north through the doors.

The heroes could feel within their bones that the hour grew late. Thier day had indeed been long and many hours passed since they were awoken by Geoffery. But they had a task at hand, and the lives of innocent townfolk were at stake. The heroes pressed further.

Once through the doors the party came into a dark hall that stretched far to the east. As they took formation within the hall their sunrods lit up the room ahead and the guardians within – a hobgoblin and drake. The hobgoblin acted quickly and retreated to the unseen shadows of the room ahead, leaving the drake alone to fend for itself. The heroes assailed the lone drake and shread it to pieces within a few seconds. Then they assaulted the well-armored hobgoblin which fought back with all it had.

Then the sound of footsteps began to echo within the room has the spiral staircase reverberated with sound. Reinforcements were arriving from above!

Varis sensed the danger and directed his spirit companion to block the lower part of the stairs, effectively preventing any reinforcement from entering the room. Meanwhile, the hobgoblin was able to injure Thales with relentless strikes from its flail. But it was outnumbered and soon became bloodied itself. The draconic sorcerer Shrazkil, sensing the battle was soon over, belted out a mighty roar and commanded the goblin to drop all arms and succom to his will. The creature’s will had been broken by Shrazkil and it dropped his flail at the sorcerer’s feet and tried to flee from its impending capture. But it could not escape the agile Sven who caught up with the beast and slayed it before it escaped.

With the reinforcements now retreating back above and the hobgoblin and drake dead, the heroes had another victory at hand. They quickly searched around the room – another makeshift living quarters for the goblinoids. Within the mess they found more gold coins, a potion and a pair of black boots graced with the image of a stalking panther.

It was late, and the string of vitories started to take their toll upon the heroes. They decided they needed an extended rest – but rest where?

Comments

—-Continued from the previous entry-- Despite my distaste for the raiding of mortal dead without proper respect paid to them, one can’t help but look at these lavish funeral markers of deceased nobles and stare in the futile attempts to be remembered and honored forever. Even now, a crypt of past nobles lies pillaged and in ruins held as a home for goblinoids. Nothing else remains, and even their graves they wish to preserve for eternity lies abused and worthless except for the items within.

Further investigation into the tomb has lead to a…strange conclusion. The goblinoids are working with other races, it seems, rather then amongst their own kind. Both Gnomes and Ettercaps were found residing in this dungeon, apparently helping the Red Hand organization. Rather strange, as I had initially thought this was an organization comprised of goblinoids only. The leader of this organization must be either powerful, well-spoken, or incredibly charismatic to have Gnomes working along side Ettercaps. I cannot help but recall a different life, where an Ettercap preferred the taste of Gnomes for its meals. Preferred only, as it was still willing to feast on a variety of flesh. It is probably most fortunate for the leader of this Red Hand that the Gnomes were not allocated to the same room as the Ettercaps, whether this decision was made purposely or not. I shall detail the individual battles and other events shortly, after I make note of the groups effectiveness.

The group composition has not turned out problems so far, but that may only be the case temporarily. Though this information should not be taken as fact, but rather an opinion. While I have fought beside these others, they are still a mystery to myself in who they truly are. Time shall reveal more, but these introspections into their characters is all I currently have for now.

The Dragonborn Paladin, Thales, has opened up a touch more recently. For a Dragonborn, he is rather stoic and quiet. A rarity for his kind. I will have to ask him of what faith he follows in the morning, as the current events have kept my attention elsewhere. While he is the one I currently see no trouble working with, it is also the lack of information on Thales that leads me to be wary for now. Though it may be in his nature to be reserved amongst relative strangers, it is strange he trusts to fight along side others so eagerly. His decisions are more as suggestions, nor has he explained why he prefers such a course of action clearly. This one shall be the most troubling to predict on his actions when conflict occurs with the others of the group.

The Dragonborn Sorcerer, Shrazkil, is basic in his desires as I can tell. He is a hunter of challenges and battle, yet his actions are conflicting. He is violent, that is certain, yet he attempts to end battles in a method other then lethal methods. This is more apparently for information, rather then mercy, and very well be a source of trouble when dealing with another. So far, he has attempted to honor the lives of those who have surrendered to his rage, but this may not be true if the opponent willingly tries to surrender then submit to Shrazkil’s commands.

Sven, a recent addition to the group in the Gensai’s absence. A Shifter Avenger, who is more in tune with the natural world then civilization. His reasons for helping us in this task are not selfless, but a misguided act of redemption rather then vengeance. A distinction I hope he shall learn its meaning truly, before it consumes him completely. He has lost his family at minimum, possibly others as well, to goblinoids and is driven to kill their kind similarly. This is not an act of vengeance, as his rage is seemingly not limited to just the ones that ended the lives of those he held dear, but their entire race. I take his task as redemption, due to the guilt he must feel at not protecting the lives of his loved ones and the broad…anger at the creatures rather then the murderers alone. That which redeems, consumes. Corellon, may he know the true meaning behind those words rather then just the words themselves, before it is too late. I fear that he is one of the three that may be part of a conflict with the rest of the group. If Shrazkil is willing to let a goblinoid live after the being surrendered, I am unsure if Sven will allow him. If Shrazkil wishes to end a life of a being who surrendered, the human Thor will cause conflict and won’t let them due to honor. This situation nearly has occurred, though fortunate that the goblin in question ran in an attempt to live rather then submit to the party. I am relieved that situation has not occurred, so early in the group’s formation.

Finally, there is Thor Manfoot. A…tiny human with a large axe. Boastful, brash, and anything but respectful. At least at first. When a situation demands respect, he is oddly quiet. Even stranger, he adamantly wishes to keep his word, despite the large boasts he made in the tavern. Outrageously prideful, silent and respectful, and stubbornly honorable varying on the situation. Such a strange mortal to switch between so many aspects, and seemingly without even trying, or acknowledging the shifts. Are these just masks he wears? If so, which is his true self, the boastful personality or the honorable one? When it comes to the surrender, especially of that of a goblinoid, he may come to conflict with Sven. A situation to be wary of.

As for the descriptions of battle? There were four. An Ochre Jelly followed by two restless souls that I believe were disturbed by the raiding that occurred. Two Gnomes with two creatures Sven called Magma Claws, which I could not recall at that time. Three Ettercaps. Then a raptor and a goblin, with reinforcements blocked from entering.

The Orche Jelly was not originally in the dungeon, by my knowledge. Rather it was located on the opposing side of a one-way portal, which I thought of as a picture in memorium of those that lay in this crypt. The actual battle was rather tame, assuming one already knew of the actions an Orche Jelly takes. I can offer no extra data of what the creatures capabilities are, as it was dispatched rather easily by the party. The ghosts that attacked us immediately after, I felt pity for. Their graves plundered recklessly and without remorse or honor to their remains. They were not of much trouble, as their corporal forms were dispersed quickly and with ease. Again, there was no information to offer on these ghosts.

Next came the Magma Claws, initially as a distraction by the Gnomes hiding down a nearby hallway. A strange creature that I could not recall before, though by Sven’s reaction and that of Shrazkil, they are within the realm of the arcane. I truly believe these creatures are detailed within Corellon’s archives already, but I have written down the information I observed from them after this entry. When the gnomes fired upon us, I was surprised. This was the first non-goblinoid creature in this crypt. I thought of them of tomb raiders at first, that were caught behind the goblins that occurred, but a later observation ruled that out. Gnomes were working along side, or as a part of, the Red Hand. A troubling conclusion, as this means the organization we are facing can be much larger then initially believed, having members of other races and possibly skills added. The gnome’s ability to turn invisible caught me off guard, as one attempted to introduce a mace to my face. Thor…showed another facet of personality, or possibly of his prideful mask, as he ripped a Gnome into two pieces after killing it. A gruesome sight to see, as well as unnecessary.

After that group, we stumbled across one person held by the Gnomes as a captive for the Red Hand. Sertanian, the record keeper that was taken captive. Why would the Red Hand, an organization I originally composed of just goblinoids, leave this man in custody of Gnomes, I do not know yet. For information, he is useless for information where the other captives could be located. My recent life, dealing as a Shaman and the world of nature, leaves me…rather in distaste of the man. My mind cannot help but paint him in the light of the worst that civilization breeds, weak and worthless in the case of danger. At least the disciples of Corellon, as well as its lorekeepers, have the arcane to draw upon for power.

A web filled room showed that not only Gnomes were a part of the organization we were trying to retrieve artifacts and captives from. Ettercaps, though their canivorous taste should leave one wary to work beside them. We were tempted to set fire to the webs, but we could not be sure of what would have happened. Would the air become saturated with smoke, killing us, or could it possibly blaze out of control and destroy more of the crypt? The resulting fight was rather tasking for my allies, as many of them required traversing the webs to reach the creatures inside. The strands often bound them, causing them to become immobilized in a position they were not expecting to stay. Their poison effected Thales rather painfully, while Thor was being ravaged by the attacks of axes and a sole spear. Thor’s state is worrying me, as while he claims to be fine, it is apparent he is starting to stand on his last legs in his current state.

When we cleared that rooms of the webs, by hand or spirit in my case as we were still worried of what a fire could cause in these close confinements, we discovered the corpse of another captive. Apparently given to them to sate their hunger, and not go after the goblins or possibly the gnomes. A painful death, by the way rigor had set his face though the venoms of the Ettercaps are not meant for comfort of their meals.

The final battle that has occurred, as I write this, was a simple one between a lone Goblin soldier and its pet raptor. The raptor fell early, as the goblin dived deeper into the darkness. I can’t help but wonder how all these creatures navigate in complete darkness, as I do not recall their kind being able to see in these conditions. These last couple of fights have all occurred in the darkness, except for the lights Shrazkil and myself are carrying. The lone goblinoid apparently was holding out for reinforcements coming down the stairs, and I assume in despair as he watched them climb down only to be blocked from leaving the stairs by my Spirit Companion. They retreated back up the stairs, and Shrazkil attempted to force the lone goblin into surrender. It merely dropped its weapon and ran for the exit as fast as it could in the situation, scared too completely to simply give up. With the current dynamics, I was unsure of what would have been done with the goblin if it did surrender and give up. Would we have let it simply leave alive, possibly warning its allies and rejoining them, or would it have been killed by Sven? I can’t help but feel fortunate that question was not answered that night.

Rather then attempt to take refuge inside the crypt, with any manner of ghost, goblin, or other creatures possibly attacking us through the night, we headed back outside to rest at the entrance to the crypt. Leaving the goblinoids who retreated, and possibly fortifying their position up the spiral staircase to wonder. The donkey lent to us has so far managed to survive our abscense, and possibly shall be lead by Sertanian inside on our future searches.

For those in the Church of Corellon who reads and catalogs this journal’s information, there is a specific wonder in this tomb that must be studied by those more knowledgable then my current life is. A possible portal, single directional with the exit being in this tomb, is located in this crypt of “To VonUrstadt.” A rarity, that was personally thought to have been a simple illusion of a picture an aged castle, possibly that of the VonUrstadt or their lineage. Maps of the location of the crypt, as well as the location of this discovery is drawn to my best description in this journal. I am also including a description of the surroundings of the entrance to the crypt, in case changes to the landscape occur that may render a map worthless. War appears to be kindling in these lands, and the knowledge of this wonder should not be lost. Be wary as the object of inquiry has allowed the Orche Jelly to engage us from another land, and researchers should best be protected from assaults both in the tomb and past the portal. That is not including the possibility of ghosts that were disturbed by recent raidings.

===============The next morning of the previous entry.=================== More memories of a previous life filled my sleep once again. The chanting, symbols, and more were vague. I could not help but remember my Wizard’s training of how I once setup and casted various rituals, before I went on this pilgrimage to find esoteric lore and knowledge normally outside of Corellon’s grasp. Yet as I try to speak these words, my tongue feels heavy and swollen, my hands shake and are careless drawing the symbols, and my mind is not trained for the task. Nor could I recall exactly what was once written in my spellbook so long ago. My talents in this life would not easily fit the rituals I once cast before, yet I remember the steps and preparation that must go into them. I shall need more practice, as well as a new ritual book and rituals, to be able to accomplish these tasks as I once did.

Session Three
 

Shoot, those references to Corellon were meant to be references to Ioun. Don’t have a way to go back and edit that.

Session Three
dm0bunghole

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