Strange Alliance

Mi-gnome-ity Report

Quarry and Temple

  • The quarry is being used as a “military” training ground by the dwarves who are currently not mining because it has been overrun by the Duergar
  • There is nothing of interest in the Druid Shrine at the back of the quarry
  • The Stone Arch is magical, and in fact was previously the portal back to Winterhaven
  • We talked to Falsun in the temple about the portal
  • Falsun stated that he had closed the portal because of the increased number and closer proximity of Kobold and other creatures in the surrounding countryside
  • Falsun agreed to reopen the portal so long as members of Team 5 were posted to guard it, and we / Winterhaven agreed to split the cost of reopening (2000gp)
  • We committed to this and he reopened the portal

Winterhaven

  • I returned to WH to negotiate the cost of reopening the portal.
  • Padraig agreed to pay half if Codrus agreed.
  • Codrus re-emphasized that the teams priority was to get to Shadowfell ASAP and stop Kalarel from completing his ritual. As part of this he made it clear that we should not delay by fighting the Duergar unless necessary to uncover the location of the underground passage in to Shadowfell
  • Nobody else in WH had any useful information to provide as to how to influence Thoel to help out
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Asshole Duergars, the Mines, Shit I stole, Shit I bartered

Duergar are dark dwarves. (Drow are to Elves as Duegars are to Dwarves) Duergars are good with magic. Duergars have taken over the mines. Duergars are either working with or captured the brother of the manager of the mines. We have to get through the mines to the Shadowfell Keep to kill Kalarel. In order to navigate the mines, I stole the maps of the mines from the office. We may still want to enlist the help of the manager Thoel (he might be too drunk)

The black market is where you can barter and/or buy goods. Through the use of your skills (bluff, diplomacy, etc.) you can get the prices changed. Have fun. The items are:

  • Flame Bracers
  • Boots of the Fencing Master (nasty and I got them)
  • Frost Gauntlets
  • Phylactery of Divinity
  • Belt of Fitness
  • Cloak of the Chirugeon +2
  • Orb of Spatial Contortion +2
  • Opportunistic Dagger +1
  • 7 x Firestorm Arrows
  • Elixir of Dragon Breath
  • Elixir of Invisibility
  • Augmenting Whetstone +3
  • Whetstone of Venom
  • Desert Rose
  • 2 x Ring of Brotherhood
  • Gray Bag of Tricks (This bag lets you conjure creatures, get it if you can)
  • Skeleton Key
  • Power Jewel
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Battle Royale
4 + 5 = 9? No, 4 + 5 = kickass

Kalarel’s spies in Winterhaven were defeated, and the hobgoblins assaulting the garrison were turned away as easily as one might swat a fly. Unfortunately, Kalarel continued to move forward with his plan. He caused a massive rock slide on the Shadow Trail, effectively blocking the way to Shadowfell Keep. Codrus and Valthrun have heard of another passage from Delver’s Dale that leads to the Keep through the mountains, but they were fairly certain that the Guard would not be allowed to reach Delver’s without a fight.

Valthrun and Sister Lenora worked tirelessly to lift the Shadow Curse Mark and Codrus carefully re-assembled Team 5 to fit well with Team 4. Before dawn, outfitted with a wagon, two draft horses and two war horses, Team 4 set out for what they knew would be the largest battle they had ever fought.

Wave after wave of goblins came at the 8 Guard Members, along with many hobgoblin mercenaries and a handful of strong bugbears. Although there were a few perilous moments, the Guard prevailed. Team 5 stayed behind to take care of the bodies and collect any usable weapons, while Team 4 met some additional resistance in the canyon leading to Delver’s.

In the end, both teams reached the mining community safely, although a menacing group of hobgoblins have vowed to return and finish them off…

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Aiding Team 5
Mataron to the Rescue!

What the lumbering dragon-man lacks in style he makes up for with athletic ability. As he barreled down King’s Road to reach the garrison, he battled a few bands of hobgoblins and outran another by opting to crash through the woods, hopping over fallen logs and ducking under branches. By reaching the ailing Guard members as fast as he did, we avoided any casualties.

Mataron learned that Team 5 had been ambushed, and the prisoners were released. They managed to escape with their lives, and they fled to safety. The garrison was once a waypoint for travelers on the way to Delver’s and Winterhaven. Fortified and guarded, it offered food, shelter, and a place to replenish depleted supplies. In recent years the gates of the fort have remained open, and the Border Guard has turned it into an outpost, usually manned by a small regimen. As Mataron and the others prepared for the upcoming assault by the hobgoblins, the three surviving members of Team 2 staggered into the fort. After routing the remaining kobolds they too were beset by hobgoblins, losing 2 comrades in the process. They took care of their wounds while every reasonably healthy body prepared for battle.

Inevitably, the brutes came. Threw themselves against the gate over and over, trying to reach the remaining Guardsmen and finish them off. Although morale was dangerously low, the tenacity of the artillery fire and the fighters stationed at the gate made it possible for the Guard to rout the hobgoblins without a single casualty. The satisfied dragonborn was rewarded with ample XP and an item in the garrison’s armory. (Too bad he rolled a 1…)

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Defending Codrus
Can the assasination plot be foiled?

At the Winterhaven front gate, Eldon, Quarion, Peanut and Valthrun are stopped by 4 Guard members. They had specific instructions from Ellan not to allow anyone to enter the town. Through a combination of diplomacy, bluffs, and ultimately intimidation, Team 4 managed to gain entry without confrontation.

Just inside the gate, Team 1 attacked. They were all covered head to toe with a curse mark similar to Quarion’s. After a heated battle, Team 1 and Peanut all lay unconscious. A healing potion from Eldon revived the goliath, and Valthrun was called upon to stabilize, but not heal, the felled members of Team 1.

Hearing the sounds of battle coming from the Border Guard Hall, the heroes entered through the south door and made their way to the practice arena. Codrus was being attacked by two humans in black robes, while Ellen sent bursts of powerful magic that smashed into his chest from across the room. Alek lay unconscious on the floor, and two Quinns were battling over his prone body. After the last blow had landed, everyone had survived. Codrus, Alek, and Quinn were unconscious but stable, and the doppleganger impersonating Quinn was bound and gagged. Ellan, shown no mercy, lay dead near the north exit.

After picking up a few items from the fallen combatants, the weary Team 4 managed to fight off several specters that threatened to take over the Temple of Avandra, and defeated the shadow creatures that guarded the inner gate.

All that remains is to lick their wounds, try to find a recourse against the devastating curse mark, and interrogate the captured doppleganger. Hopefully Mataron is able to fare as well in his attempt to save Team 5.

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Valthrun's Advice
What next? Why not ask a sage for advice?

As you prepare to leave the campsite, Valthrun suggests that even though time is an issue, everyone needs to be in peak fighting condition in order to face the dangers that lie ahead. If you camp in the trees at the top of the mountain pass, you should be safe for the night, especially with a drow to keep watch in his meditative trance. This will also allow you to travel under the cover of darkness.

As you sit down to make camp, Valthrun asks Peanut if he may examine the mirror. Peanut and the group realize they are in the company of the real sage and hand it over confidently. To everyone’s surprise, Valthrun flips a latch on the back of the mirror and slides one of the pieces of the frame away. He then pulls out the mirror itself which turns out to be a highly reflective cloth armor.

“Ah, its as I thought! One of Winterhaven’s greatest mages died in the Drought Skirmishes 4 years ago, and he was buried with his armor. Everyone called him the Mirror Mage because of this very garment, the Mirrorsheen Coat. Perhaps Kalarel wants it because it can resist radiant damage? Maybe he needed it as some sort of focus to complete a ritual? I cannot be sure what his plans were for the Coat, but one thing is for certain, he must not get his hands on it! Please seriously consider whether or not it is wise to wear this into battle when you face him.”

“Based on what I overheard, this shapechanger used his influence to get most of the Guard teams deployed, weakening Winterhaven’s defenses and making an assassination attempt on Codrus more feasible. The caravan to Delver’s Dale is set for an ambush too, but I am not entirely sure why. Is it in order to take out Team 5, who has been regarded as the most capable in the Guard? Or is the goal truly to release the prisoners? Apparently Quarion overheard a discussion between the gang leader and the imposter that indicated some collusion there.”

“In both cases, what is needed are reinforcements. I can contribute with my animal messenger ritual to warn one group or the other, but truly I dont know how much help that will be. I suppose the other alternative is to split up, but I personally believe that you will need the man power to face whatever threats lie ahead.”

After a lengthy discussion, Valthrun clears his throat and interjects.

“So, based on what I heard so far, you guys have decided to go back to Winterhaven? If so, I will prepare my animal messenger ritual and warn Team 5 that they’ll face an ambush before reaching Delver’s. Although I have been thinking…it may be possible that instead of splitting into teams of two, three of you can return to Winterhaven and one of you can go to aid Team 5. Quarion, it seems like you might be a threat to the team if you confront these shapeshifters, do you think it would be wise if we sent you to Delvers, and let the rest of Team 4 try to save Codrus?”

With that settled, Team 4 waited for nightfall…

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Quarion's Recap
After the encounter at the burial site, Quarion sums it up.

Peanut, Mataron, and Quarion fought valiantly through the gnome skulk, human rabble, and ultimately the apparition of Kalarel. After having vanquished these foes we find a bound Valthrun, who lets us know that he has been tied up with these evil men for the past 3 days. Quarion finds the mirror in the pit and immediately gives it to Peanut for safekeeping. Quarion then decides to come clean and tries to tell his teammates the truth about his Ring of Rage, the Bandits, and Kalarel. Unfortunately, as soon as he begins to speak he finds himself speaking in the Infernal language and is thus unable to communicate.

Just then Valthrun suggests that we get home as quickly as possible since Codrus is likely to be in grave danger. Peanut suggests using the portal scroll that Quarion was carrying. Quarion then begins to shake his violently. This arouses suspicion in the others. Through sheer force of will (saving throw), Quarion manages to speak two sentences.

“The night I spent in the tower, “Ellan” came to me and showed himself to be a shape shifter; I suspect that he is Kalarel. I helped free another shape shifter that night and I suspect that if we use the scroll we will be brought face to face with Kalarel.”

From there the team decides to head home on foot. Along the way back with the help of Valthrun, Quarion’s verbal curse is broken. He then explains everything about the offer he received while imprisoned in the tower -

“I of course took the offer. During the subsequent encounter I nearly died, but was able to help save a shape shifting friend of “Valthrun/Ellan.” I was then freed, and able to go with you guys to zombie house. This morning, I was told that I was supposed to find the mirror and keep it for myself, then use the portal scroll. I assumed that the portal scroll would either bring “Valthrun/Ellan” to us or us to him.”

“After the encounter with the zombies, I looked back at our previous clues and realized that this shape shifter is likely to be Kalarel. I guarentee you that Kalarel knows that I have chosen you guys over him, and is probably pissed. I have to say that because of his anger, I think it would be wise to stay together at all times until we get an opportunity to kill him. I trust Codrus, and I think now that we have the real Valthrun with us, we need to go to him and tell him the entire story about Kalarel.”

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Before Departing for the Burial Site
Aaaaaaaand they're off!

After destroying the sarcophagus and watching the magic inscription of Orcus on the floor fade away, Team 4 wearily returns to the farming village to find Eldrian. Although he is overwhelmed with gratitude, he’s underwhelmed with means to offer you an appropriate reward. While leading you to some accommodations in the village where you can eat and rest, he promises to convey his gratitude to Atkain hopes you will be compensated.

The following day at dawn everyone rises to return to the village. On the short walk to Winterhaven, the Britishy gnome in your party blathers on incessantly about being level three. Quarion challenges him to a fight every six steps, and Peanut “taps” Quarion with his hammer to remind him to be good. Mataron does some dragon-type shit.

Just inside the Winterhaven gates, the bustling marketplace has been replaced with the Border Guard making preparations for departure. Two workhorses are being harnessed to a wagon where the four prisoners are chained and guarded by Team 5. Codrus, Ellan, and Valthrunare overseeing the preparations. Alek and Quinn are helping the members of Team 2 check their packs. Upon your arrival, Valthrun hails you and makes his way over.

“Ah, so glad to see you returned safely from the village. As you can see, much of the Guard is being mobilized today. Team 5 is going to bring the prisoners to Delver’s Dale and Team 2 is travelling further east on King’s Road to root out and destroy any other kobold camps. You are headed to the burial site to retrieve the mirror mentioned in the enciphered letter you found. After much discussion, we believe that the burial site the note refers to is just north of the King’s Road in the foothills of the mountains. We are not sure what the ‘mirror’ is, but we do know that we cannot let it fall into the hands of this ‘Kalarel.’”

Valthrun then reaches into his robes and pulls out a scroll that he hands to Quarion. “This is a portal ritual. I believe that you, Quarion, should be able to read it. Although you are not a ritual caster, I have prepared the scroll with all of the necessary components, and reading it should be sufficient to open a portal back to the market square here in Winterhaven. You will need a few minutes to read the scroll in its entirety, but please open the portal and return safely as soon as you have the mirror. We must not lose it! “

As you prepare for departure, Codrus approaches Peanut. “I want to thank you again for helping me to sort out the mess with Quarion and for going with him to the village. He has thusfar proved trustworthy, but I am a stubborn old bull and I have a hard time believing he was the innocent victim in all of this. Please do keep your eye on him. In addition, please take these with you on your journey, I am afraid it will not be as simple as showing up at the site and collecting the mirror. Safe Travels.”

Codrus hands Peanut three belt pouches, two of which contain two healing potions, and another that has two potions of clarity. With that, you are off…

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Quick Summary
Talktopus. Its a talking octopus. Wish we had one, it's awesome. EARLIER!
  • Teams 1 and 2 assigned to train and patrol the town
  • Teams 3, 4, and 5 assigned to dispatch the kobolds in the area.
  • After an encounter with several kobolds, a note from “K” is found on the wyrmpriest’s body. Codrus is warned about the plot on his life
  • Eldon and Mataron stop a robbery at the Inn, the bandits are locked in Valthrun’s tower. Quarion overhears Valthrun talking to the prisoners, they seem to be in league.
  • Team 3 found dead on King’s Road; their bodies are used by the kobolds to set up an ambush.
  • The kobold lair is in the Waterfall Cave, and the leader, Irontooth, is slain. Another note identifies “K” as Kalarel, says that the rift will be opened in “a few days.”
  • While Eldon and Mataron are sent to the lake house in the farming village to destroy the undead, Quarion gets in trouble picking pockets in the marketpace and Peanut does his best to bail him out. The end result is Quarion being tossed in the tower.
  • Ellan catches the thieves from the marketplace and finds Lord Padraig’s signet ring as well as a pendant of Orcus in their possession. Based on this evidence Quarion is free, and they join their team at the Lake House.
  • Next assignments: Team 2 will travel further east on Kings Road to clear out remaining kobolds; Team 4 will search the burial site for the mirror; Team 5 will escort the prisoners to Delver’s Dale
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The Adventure Log
A blog for our campaign

I will transcribe all the stuff Team 4 does here in this Adventure Log. Each post also becomes a wiki page, and I will tag them with stuff like “plot” and “battle.”

You guys can use the comments field to talk to each other about the events, or just use this site as a reference and stick to gmail for communication.

As for the stuff that has happened up until now, I will probably just do a quick summary up to the burial site, and then detail that encounter to make sure everyone knows whats going on right now.

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