Atlanta Gamers: Scales of War

For Testing
We need one of what's in there for testing, cause like, Sarshan said, and stuff...

Our last episode left our adventurers outside of Overlook with only 2 leads to follow within the city: The Pig & Bucket, and the Happy Beggar. With the “Happy Beggar” being the more sinister of the leads, they headed there first. The Happy Beggar turned out to be some form of a half-way house. A Pelor Paladin and his wife run the establishment, but didn’t really have any more information on Modra. That didn’t mean things weren’t going down though. With no real leads from within the Happy Beggar, our adventurers went back outside and decided to hang around for a moment and see if anything out of the ordinary happens.

It doesn’t take long before a humanoid shadow moves into the Happy Beggar and goes downstairs to the room below. Our adventurers quickly went back in and informed the owners of the situation. As suspected the owners were oblivious to the dark happenings below their establishment, they gave the adventurers permission to head below and investigate.

After heading below they find a secret passage leading further down. As soon as they entered the passage they were assaulted by three large bats. After the bats were dispatched the party moved on, eventually making their way to a room with a large teleportation portal in the middle of it. They kicked off the battle with a strong start, quickly moving into positions and giving their foes many wounds, but that time was short lived. Their foes were powerful, and once the opposing caster appeared it seemed like they might actually lose this battle. They held on though, eventually defeating the enemies and retreating to heal and rest for a bit.

Waking up well rested and fully restored, the party pressed further into the dungeon. They discovered a white marble room with a large portal in the center of it, surrounded by runes, and another teleportation portal to the side. Being the cautious adventurers that they are, they tested all the portals in both rooms and then eventually went into the one in the earlier room, it wasn’t clear as to where it was, but it was a warehouse with weapons and bottles of “whisky” which did not smell like whisky. Thinking that only bad can come of this stuff the party took a couple of bottles and went back through the portal, except for Tuckolas. Tuckolas stayed behind to set the whole room on fire, the blast generated from the “whisky” bottle launched him back through the portal. Once they were all on the other side, Vinoran destroyed the portal. A quick investigation into the other teleportation portal revealed it only had weapons, but it was the basement of the Pig and Bucket. With no desire to destroy a tavern (you never know when you need one), Vinoran just destroyed the portal.

Left with no more options, the group entered the main portal, after some testing they all made it through and kept their key. On the other side they felt gloom, then saw a black marble room with a ceiling made of diamonds that more or less mirrored the white room they just left. They exited through the only door in the room, and walked out into a much different looking outdoors. The Shadowfell.

In the distance was some sort of encampment, near there was a massive tower, and not much further was some sort of foundry with smoke billowing out. With no fear the adventurers moved towards the encampment. “What’re you doing here? You should be at the mercenary camp,” speaks a Shadar-kai behind them. With their cover conveniently made for them, the party moves towards the camp.

Demitrius starts lightly asking those around us about the tower and Modra. He learns that the tower is owned by Sarshan, and Modra is laughed at on this side. He apparently botched a big plan on our side and was shamed for it. With this new knowledge of the area and of their main foe, the adventurers decide to try to bluff their way into the tower. They cross the only bridge leading to it and are then blocked by eight Shadar-kai, who question their motives. Demitrius tries to convince them that we have business with Sarshan but they don’t buy it. One of the Shadar-kai then proposes they complete a challenge in the training area to earn his respect. With no other options the adventurers accept the challenge and leave.

With plenty of time to kill before the challenge, the adventurers head to the foundry area to look around. Once again they are blocked by more guards. This time Demitrius tries to convince them that we are to test one of the subjects. With no real knowledge of what is being made in the foundry, and no details at all really, Demitrius fails his bluff. The guard laughs at him and eventually loses his calm and headbutts Demitrius. Just then a large tremor happens near the party, and the ground opens up. The guards seem unfazed by the giant bats and lava beast that emerge from the crater. With no provocation the beasts attack the adventurers, who quickly retaliate. Alek and Tuckolas were the first to get hit, both of which caught fire from the bats attacks. Vinoran helped dispatch one bat while Demitrius maintained the lava beasts attention. Luckily Kord was on their side as they quickly disposed of the opponents. The nearby guards even applauded a bit.

Not long after their victory a female Shadar-kai approached the adventurers, saying that she is working closely with Sarshan, and that she had heard of our inquiries about Modra. She would like us to kill Modra before Sarshan can get to him, knowing that he will torture Modra for the rest of his days. We accept the task as the female tells us how to quietly get into the foundry, where Modra will attack later that evening.

With night time still a while away, the adventurers go to the training area to complete their challenge. They see a large pit with two ogres fighting in it, people are beginning to gather as news of our heroes recent victory has already spread. The Shadar-kai urge them into the pit to begin the challenge. Once in the pit the two ogres leave, and one of the Shadar-kai blows a whistle, upon doing so two ogre skirmishers, two umbral savages, one of which is maintaining a large beetle. The battle kicks off with both skirmishers attacking and missing the adventurers. What continues is more or less a blood bath. Our adventurers pull off some incredibly great attacks that hit more than one of their mammoth opponents. They make short work of them all, soon the crowd starts booing and begins to dissipate. When Demitrius kills the final skirmisher they leave the pit and look for the Shadar-kai that challenged them, but they are long gone.

With nothing else to do except prepare for their ambush on Modra, the party makes their way back to the foundry. They enter through the broken wall that the female Shadar-kai alerted them to, but it seems there are foot prints in the ground around it. They weren’t the only ones aware of that entrance. Walking through the wall puts the group in a large pipe, they continue down and see two groups of shadowy goblin size creatures sabotaging the foundry. With the intent of killing Modra, AND destroying the foundry, the party waits and watches.

Overlooking Paranoia
It's not paranoia when they're really after you

With the Vents sealed, and the confirmation of the previous party’s death, we depart for Brindol to tell the Freeriders that their scout team is no more. Upon arrival we discover that our main contact with the Freeriders, Megan Swiftblade, has been killed. Alek takes a moment to delve into the shadier dealings of Brindol in order to discover some unsettling information. He is told that Megan’s death was most likely caused by a group known as the Lost Ones. With not much left to learn from the streets, we decided to see what we can learn about the Lost Ones from the Antler and Thistle.

On our way to the tavern, we hear an unknown voice say “it’s a nice night isn’t it?” And with that we were attacked from almost every side. Unprepared for the ambush, the party completely divided and out matched, the Lost Ones gained the upper hand. Alek and Argon fight hard but are eventually knocked unconscious. Tuckolas casts many damaging spells hitting several of the attackers and leaving entire areas scorched, but in the process he becomes beaten down and is severely wounded. The Lost Ones take this opportunity to capture him and demand that we relinquish the key we had found in the Vents. Vinoran and Tuckolas try to act like there is no key for a while, but with seemingly no other options, Tuckolas gives them the key. With no more reason to stay, the Lost Ones retreat. As the opposing wizard crosses Vinoran’s path, Vinoran takes the opportunity to destroy him. Vinoran is determined to make the Lost Ones pay and bring his friends back to health, but blind determination can only accomplish so much against bad odds. He makes his way to Tuckolas, who through all of the commotion has also been incapacitated. Vinoran stands alone against the remaining attackers for mere moments before he too is dispatched by the Wizard’s Apprentice.

We awaken as the Freeriders, and a half-elf of which we have not seen before, bring us back to good health, surely a gift from the gods that they heard our calls during battle. As we quickly heal up, we search the bodies of the fallen Lost Ones. Each carries a detailed letter describing the key and us. Clearly this was not a random attack. Argon uses Helor to try and track where our attackers fled, but there’s is just not enough of a trail.

With night falling fast the party continues to the town hall to tell of the happenings in the Vents. There we learn that by sealing the Vents, we have spared Brindol from further attacks. We are once again heroes in Brindol, but the cost has been great. We are still injured and our trust in the Freeriders is waning. As we make our exit, the Freeriders ask “what will you do?” Vinoran smiles and says “tomorrow, the Lost Ones are found.”

On our way to the inn, the half-elf that helped heal us tells of her sister’s involvement in the first party sent to the Vents. We know she did not survive. With some certainty that the Lost Ones are launching out of Overlook, we tell Reniss of our intentions to hunt down the Lost Ones. Reniss gives us a little more insight in the key and how it will be used. It seems it is necessary to complete some sort of magical transportation device. With vengeance on our minds, and a lot of unanswered questions, we do our best to get some rest. Sleeping in shifts before departing for Overlook.

In the morning Alek talks to the shadiest person in Brindol, who says he knows nothing, but is clearly lying. With a little more “encouragement” he tells us of a shop in Overlook, the “Pig and Bucket.” The owner will lead us to the Lost Ones. With nothing left to gain in Brindol, we make our departure.

Time is lost on our adventurers, with the closest thing to blood lust the party has ever felt, time just disappears as the party catches up with the attacking Lost Ones group in what feels like mere moments. Helor relays to Argon the group’s location and we prepare for our surprise attack. Upon closer inspection we see not only the man who took the key from us, but a sort of shadowy figure, clearly an agent of who is truly behind the Lost Ones recent attacks.

With no time to spare, Vinoran and Alek move to establish the front line. Tuckolas says “nice morning!” as he fires off the first blast, a crippling fire attack that sends five of the Lost Ones to the ground, screaming in pain from their horrible burns. The battle is extremely one sided, but this time it isn’t the Lost Ones who have the upper hand. We quickly and methodically destroy all but one of our attackers.

Seeing an opportunity to gain some information, Alek seizes the remaining berzerker and Tuckolas punches him square in the face. He is scared but he speaks of Modra, an arms dealer that hired the Lost Ones. Alek knows there is more and conveys that to the others. Vinoran yells at the berzerker “Spill everything or we’ll spill your entrails across your friends.” Clearly needing more reason to fear us, Tuckolas bites off one of the berzerker’s fingers. The berzerker tells us Modra maintains a shop called the “Happy Beggar.” Tuckolas, blood dripping from his previous snack, attempts to go in for seconds, but the meat is just too rough. Vinoran is tired of the berzerkers breath and puts him out of his misery. The Lost Ones don’t fear us, they may not even really know us, but after a bit of discussion we string up and cut open the bodies of our attackers. They will fear us, and they will never forget us.

Reniss is a little put off by our violence, and rightly so. She met us at a very weird time in our lives. We’ve been through a lot in a short amount of time, and after a while the lines begin to blur. We have to get to Overlook and find out who is behind the Lost Ones, who is using this arcane transportation device, and for what means? Who is leaking information? This isn’t the first time that we have suspected the Freeriders of betraying us. Can we even trust Reniss? Overlook has answers, and we’re going to find them.

Unchained Melody: Part II

Date: 9/14/09 Location: Charlie Mopps Guest DM: Jarrod

Krosak’s Summary Monologue:

I did not think that I would survive to see you all again… When they realized that I had no idea about the monastery or its former inhabitants, I consigned myself to death again…. No more fine dogs or lusty wenches on my lap… Ahem… to be clear… wenches on lap, dogs on floor… I mean.. well! Damn it, you know what I mean!

When they first grabbed me 3 days ago, it was just a bunch of hobgoblins covered in soot, coal dust and foul intent. That bastard Morrick led them straight to us… That other bastard, the mage follower of Gruumsh, was also with them the whole way…. He knew how to handle Cog with a bag. They were all laughing about it later and pantomiming with another sack… They were singing in ugly common:

“Sticks and Straps… guts of rag.. lost his sight… with a bag!”

Still can’t get that damn song out of my head….. It is…. kind of catchy you have to admit.

They called the half-orc magic user “one eye” because his left eye was promised to Gruumsh. The coward hadn’t taken his own yet, but he damn sure promised me that mine was next as a sacrifice. The things he said to me…. I can’t bear to repeat….. but seems my eye was not the first that he’d “found” for Gruumsh… Thank Kord you came in time… No…. no, thank Avandra… Yes. It was her doing. The strength of Kord abandoned me in my bindings…

When we got to the caverns, the filthy bastards took me to a large holding pen which they used to keep me between trips to the foul torturer’s chamber. That son of a halfling, Morrick, didn’t have the guts to watch me bleed, that death-marked, smelly bastard. I knew we should have heeded Cog’s advice and slit his damned throat that day… (nods sagely in Cog’s direction). My only company was that legless one, Sorch. Not a bad fellow really… gave me some willow bark to chew as I lay there. Whatever happened to him? Oh… oh well. (gives Cog a sour look)

Finally, the day before you guys saved me, Arator, the guy with the ice rays and fireball came to see me. He didn’t have much to say, but he kept his pets in line and saved my eye for the moment. I think he knew my father, and assumed that whether I was a half-wit or not, at least my dad’d pay for my release some-day.

@ Krunchy  -    No.  I'm not really a half-wit, thank you very much...   I just played dumb.

And that’s all I really can recall… They took all my gear, but thankfully Krunchy was able to find my father’s sword and my new mail in that final chamber. Had to watch them use my damn healing potion on one of those evil little duergar that smashed his own foot in a fight. You would have thought they were Arator’s lovers the way he protected them from his other pet, that bloody, evil troll. They broke my warhammer and warpick, smashing into the dwarven rubble and masonry along the wall. Damn fools… can’t tell a fine weapon from a stick in the dirt.

Anybody want to spare some change for a broke warlord….??? No? Oh well, Avandra will provide… She will provide….

Unchained Melody: Part I

Date: Location: Charlie Mopps Guest DM: Jarrod

So… last we left our little group.

You were establishing a guarded encampment for an extended rest amongst the smashed bodies strewn across the torture chamber. The hobgoblin torturer lies with neck elongated and at an odd angle still with that ghastly grin and open eyes facing the south entrance. His belt gone, he no longer looks so invincible. His hot poker, now only a bent bar of iron, black and wretched.

Blood coalesces on the floor beneath a dangling arm of one of the hobgoblin archers lying atop the ledge. The mad dwarf lies broken on the floor amongst the manacles that once held the powerful arms of the bugbear strangler. From the marks along the dwarf’s arms and torso, it is likely that they also once held him as well. Oddly, tears still seem to seep from the broken dwarf’s eyes as he lies quietly in death… desecrated and forlorn.

What looked to be your own mortal wounds, so gloriously earned in contested battle, now seem less pungent after your rest. Though, no doubt, Krunchy will bear the scars of the longbowmen’s wrath upon his right shoulder for as long as he lives… Alek as well will be marked, and so will bear the scars of the burns seared into his left leg from the torturers fiery implement. Should the group survive to find Krosak, each will be marked in their own way by what they have seen and wrought amongst these wretched caverns…

You recall that there are two apparent exits from this foul chamber. Atop the ledge there appears to be an excavated tunnel extending out of your vision. From that direction can faintly be heard mewling, sobbing sounds. Alek, you sense great suffering from that direction as well as a perverse evil.

The other visible exit, the one that Alek chased the hobgoblin warrior down, your newly found dwarven compatriot, the one from the dirty pen, notices the faint dust of an ongoing mining operation lingering in the air. While still far, distant down the tunnel, the tree sap still seeping from the support structure bracing the 5×4 tunnel also project what seems to be a recent dig. This tunnel can be seen from your encampment to trail off into the distance….

On to Rivenroar

Date: 5/17/09 Location: Computer Arena

Made it to Rivenroar. We let Morrick our hostage prisoner hobgoblin go free after he showed us the way unerringly. After defeating a bunch of entry guards, Krosak was struck down by a swarm of needle drakes…... The companions took Krosak back to Brindol where he was reborn, costing us a debt of costs to the local alchemist. Krunchy conveniently “found” some of the necessary components.

After clearing Rivenroar, we found this letter in Sinruth’s lair:

Brave Sinruth, The Red Hand will rise again! The other remnants take great cheer in your recent attacks on commerce coming into The Blight That is Brindol. We’re particularly pleased with your ability to inspire a fighting spirit in others, whether they have true goblin blood or merely wish they did. To be blunt, we think you should have many more soldiers under your command. Many, many more. And recent events have rendered some remnants leaderless. With a bold stroke on your part, the remnants would rally to the Red Hand you so proudly display. As your bold stroke, do this: Attack the The Blight That is Brindol by night. Focus your efforts on their Hall of Great Valor, for it mocks the many hard-won victories by the first Red Hand of Doom. Take from them the spoils of war they shamelessly hang on their walls and bring those antiques back to Rivenroar. Do this before the moon is next full. And with regard to your previous question, turning over captives to your unliving allies at Rivenroar is perfectly acceptable. War sometimes makes strange bedfellows, and we appreciate how you’ve united such disparate forces under your banner. Whatever prisoners you take from Rivenroar you can give to the wight. Fight with the valor of your ancestors, Sinruth. And keep your hands stained red with the blood of the weak! I will visit you again next month, at a time of my choosing.

The Emissary


Date: Location: Computer Arena

Met companions at the Antler & Thistle inn while on a bender. Village of Brindol was attacked. We were given the option to pursue the perpetrators to retrieve the hostages as well as find the stolen town artifacts…

Additional dialogue from sidebar conversations:

@Tugalous from Krosak: What the hell were you doing in Brindol, anyways…? You said something of a university? I do enjoy reading, just haven’t had much time, what with all the taverns still serving me on credit… Seriously though, I might enjoy joining you there someday.

@Krosak from Tugalous: (Tuckolas closes the book he was reading and places it next to his untouched ale. He looks at krosak with sad eyes)

I originally came to Brindol to visit the University of Ioun. My Master, Rodraig the Raven, was a teacher here many years ago. I came here to see if I could find any clues on his disappearance. I was studying in the rose garden outside his tower when my ears felt, more than heard a loud popping sound. My skin burned slightly from the magic in the air. I ran toward the sound and came upon a swirling black mass. The frightened look on my master’s face scared me more than the three demons attacking him. He saw me, spoke words I failed to hear, and ran directly into the swirling mass and disappeared. The demons ignored me and chased after him into the portal which immediately closed. I stayed alone at the tower for a month, worried that the foul demons would return. I waited and prayed he would return instead. I searched through his things and discovered that he once was a teacher here in Brindol. I came here looking for clues, having nothing else to do. I’ve found nothing and I have gone through the meager amounts of my master’s gold I found hidden at the tower. I’m now with you guys looking for jobs to earn enough to keep searching.

(Tuckolas takes a breath. His hand grabs the ale and finally takes his first sip. A smile lights up his face)

I have enjoyed visiting the University. I’m a follower of Ioun, as was my father and his father before him. Her teachings, along with Master Rodraig, have intensified my need to seek out lost and ancient lore. Too much arcane knowledge has been lost. We must preserve what we can. The Library at the university has an amazing collection. I’ll be happy to show you around when we find some time Krosak. That goes for the rest of you too.

(Tuckolas downs the rest of his ale and motions to the bartender for another)

Krosak, didn’t you say you had family here? Did you grow up here or nearby?

@Tugalous from Krosak: Tuckolas

Yeah, my family has a small hold just outside Iskun. It’s about 6 days hike northwest from Marthron which lies east of Brindol. I love that place, but the trouble! Gods, gorgeous women and mead will kill me yet. (double swig from flask, then passes around to companions). Worse trouble than a boatload of randy gobl… er.. pirates. Anyways, I’m not headed back there anytime soon. Someday, when I just figure out what the hell I want to do. I’ll control it all someday, but who wants to deal with all that when there’s ale to swill, hobgoblin swine to pummel, and maids to pinch, eh! (elbows Cog in the side jovially, then rolls eyes conspiratorially with Tuckalos).

As far as my family goes, I am Krosak son of Kara’tur son of Kartor (of the Diamond League) son of Maradun son of Marsak the Gryphon! Kartor was a renowned member of the League and helped to crush the Red Hand the last time they thought to poke their nose where it didn’t belong. (expression turns self-reflective) I don’t know about that nonsense back in Brindol. Sounds like our new boss had a few bones to pick with my grandfather…. Must of came out on the wrong side of a dice game, eh!! Maybe old Kartor stole his bride to be! Or, his daughter, that old fart! Hahah!

Yes, let’s get ourselves to the university when we have a chance. Maybe even some of the old books the Gryphon collected may help? Who knows what’s buried under all that dust back home. Ah the Gryphon… now there’s a Real hero. That’s where my coat of arms comes from (attached), the Oooolllld Gryphon (shakes his head, wistfully). Did I ever tell you about the time he raised an army with 50 silver pence?? Well, back in the year of the Salty Rat…..

@Krunchy from Krosak: What about you? Not exactly town-sentry material, eh?

@Krosak from Krunchy: I was in brindol looking for work. I’m not an unfamiliar face around the town, my master was a druid who often visited the town to purhase materials for his work. His work being myself. I am tolerated within the city, but only one tavern will serve me, and most of the shop keepers, while more then willing to except my coin are quick to let me know just how “welcome” I am in there shop.

@Krunchy from Krosak: And we burned the damn thing near to the ground…! Gods! (looking up in the sky smiling) We may need to check old Erik’s place off the list as well, haha…! Anyways, you’re an ok sort, and you saved our sorry hides quite a few times with that double shot of yours. Blasted, dirty gnomes… (grumbles) Well done, friend. Well done! And, I won’t forget you spending your “hard earned” gold to bring me back. (with raised eyebrow). I can look past the means to the end, especially when I’m dead on Cog’s back for near a day. (With a pensive look) Dark place I went, I can assure you, and lasting memories of needle-drake bites is not something you want to ponder swirling through those mists…. I need to think on what I saw while I waited. Need to come to grips with what it means….. (staring darkly at the walls) Ah, hells. Who knows…?

@Krunchy from Krosak: Two weeks in Brindol, and all you got was dried pig and beans??? Hells man! Spices! Spices! and garlic make the world turn, man!

@Alec from Krosak: You find any use for that Lich’s nutsack, yet??

@Cog from Krosak: You aren’t as dumb as you look, right?? (readies double-move, haha)

@Krosak from Cog:

Very funny Krosak. I suppose my headstrong approach to battle may give off the impression of a simple mind, but I assure you my actions are well calculated. Remember, it was not I that died in our previous engagements. ::goes back to cleaning his shield::

Cog from Krosak: Cog

(mthr fker grmble,grmble..) (chuckles) I know, friend, I know. Your guts clink, but I know what goes on in your mind. (points finger to Cog’s head). Just remember that our souls meet on an empty field, all we can do is choose which side of that field we stand on. Search for those marionette strings long enough, and you’ll find that “you” held them all along. You listen to me. I will help you find what you seek.


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