The Sundered

Adventure 18 Hammers of Hammerfast

4/28/12

We returned tae Hammerfast to find the dreich weather had reached the city, though of course not the snow, since the city was inside a huge cave. This didnae help the mood of the city and more and more of the dwarves were listenin’ to auld glaikit Grond’s bletherin’. Marcinda wanted our ear for a moment but first we took to divestin’ ourselves of all the loot we’d accumulated.

On our way back tae the inn we were accosted by a brace of dwarves nae doubt in liege with Grond. These were joined by rooftop archers and the ambush was sprung. Wee Eli nearly ended up deid, bless him, but through Amaunator’s grace we won the day, capturin’ two of the eejits for questionin’ and turnin’ over to the town guard.

Much to our surprise, one of the prisoners, a female, told us that they didnae work for auld Grond but rather Garrick, the leader of the Hammers. They at least seemed honest aboot who was behind the attack, even if they were lowly assassins.

We decided to make a visit tae the warehouse where the half-goblin had told us Cartain kept a spy. We soon found the rat, Fariss by name. It was nae work at all before the dowie lad was singin’ like a gannet, though he had to admit, hell slap it intae him. He told us that he sent messages tae the bard Teris who passed it on tae Cartain and poor auld Serlick.

The auld town gaol was rapidly fillin’ courtesy the Platinum Squares but first we paid a visit tae bonnie Marcinda at the Pony. There she squeezed a bit more information frae poor Fariss as we learned than none other than Grond was behind the attacks on the caravans in an attempt to sway more of the dwarves to his cause against the heathen ootsiders. But without more evidence, she couldna act agin him. Marcinda gave us the choice of investigatin’ the source of the cold or goin’ after Cartain.

We decided to continue to harry the bandits, so Marcinda sent another pairtie of adventures, the Fists of Kord, to investigate the cold and report on all they ken. She also told us of the Hammers, led by Garrick and made up mostly of thugs and ne’er-do-wells. But first, bein’ fair puckled frae our rammy with the Hammers, we looked aboot for a safe place for our newfound dragons and flyin’ contraptions while we rested.

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Adventure 17 Search for the Fire Opal Part 3

4/21/12

On the morn, we arose considerably refreshed frae our rest on the monks’ trainin’ mat. We set off explorin’ the rest of the stiflin’ compound. Near the kitchen we’d found, we came upon a cistern room with the skeleton of a long-deid giant at the bottom. The poor galoot had a dagger in the back o’ his heid that we identified as belongin’ to none other than the infamous fire giant King Snurre. Nearby we also found the giant-size lavey. Fortunately it was long dried and didnae contain any surprises other than me catchin’ FILTH FEVER! After the bowfin’ chore of diggin’ through the dried shite, we found a gold ring that also seemed to belong to auld Snurre.

Onward past a long hallway full of trapped giant statues we came tae a great door. After two days of encounterin’ every kind of trap imaginable, we checked thoroughly for snares but gave nary a listen before pushin’ open the portal. Inside was a huge room with broken chunks of floor revealin’ magma below. There were three red dragon eggs here, nae doubt what the eejit dragonborn had been seekin’. And tryin’ to break open the eggs were a group of bowfin’ troglodytes who seemed none too happy to make our acquaintance.

A roustin’ rammy broke oot durin’ which poor auld Dahlwhinnie nearly fell deid as a stoot troglodyte dumped him intae the lava. Fortunately though we were able to prevail over the bowfin’ brutes and by Amaunator’s grace, won the field.

One of the red dragon eggs had been destroyed and the “wee” dragonlin’ half-eaten. Eli tried to seal up the remainin’ two eggs, but he ken it was too late. In a short time, the two had hatched. Fortunately, wee Eli was able to imprint them as if he were their mum. But Eli also ken that they were born glaikit due to the chibbin’ and early birth. But they were still solid enough to use as mounts, bein’ big as ponies they were.

With little more fanfare we uncovered a hidden panel nearby which contained the Fire Opal. At first auld Gaff was edgy we might try the auld double-cross, but soon he ken we meant to uphold our bargain, bonnie as the Opal truly was. Besides we had collected a mint of coins between the trip tae Green and the caravans we’d found here. Noo it was off tae Hammerfast to rid ourselves of a pile of loot even auld Acererak wouldnae hae sneezed aboot.

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Adventure 16 Search for the Fire Opal Part 2

4/14/12

Takin’ a well-deserved rest after fightin’ the flame creatures, we doubled back tae search the area we’d hurried through earlier. Our efforts were rewarded when auld Dahlwhinnie discovered a hidden cache in the area the dragonborn had been searchin’, revealin’ a fist full of platinum coins.

Movin’ along we came tae a mostly broken room full of steamin’ hot lava. Only fragments of the floor remained. A temptin’-lookin’ cabinet lay off to one corner, oot of reach. We started to use some of the huge giants’ beds for bridges when one of them fell in the lava and disturbed a half-dozen flamin’ skeletons that were lurkin’ there. A hard rammy ensued in which the bastard skellies refused to engage us up close, instead hurlin’ fire at us. With some doin’, we managed to kill the lot of them deid, mostly by pushin’ and pullin’ them off the fragments of floorin’ where they fell tae the lava below.

Inside the cabinet we found a flamin’ dagger that should be worth a fair heap of coin jammed fair into a wizardin spell book. We also found a blueprint tae one floor of a fire giant hold (two other sheets burned black and unreadable from the heat), though not the one we presently occupied.

At some point durin’ the battle, the bowfin’ goblin Serlick had run off, so we backtracked tae the cave entrance before he could do any serious damage. We found him tryin’ to coax the horses over the flamin’ lava that Everitt had unleashed on the path leadin’ tae the cave. The wee bampot tried to surrender and I almost had a moment of weakness until the others reminded me that the dowie eejit had already surrendered and escaped once, so we chibbed his fool head in. We left the last human bandit tied up in the wagon where we were sure he wouldnae dare cause any trouble.

We returned tae the caves where we explored the path leadin’ off frae the third portcullis. Up a steep ramp we soon found ourselves at the base of a volcanic caldera open tae the bright sky above. Two odd contraptions like giant dragonflies sat on the floor; it didnae take long to figure oot they were flyin’ machines that were activated by the medallions the dragonborn had worn.

Explorin’ further, we found a shaft leadin’ down into a kitchen, and finally we discovered what appeared to be a trainin’ room occupied by five mechanical fightin’ dummies. Needless to say, another rammy ensued durin’ which all of the dummies were destroyed. Findin’ nothin’, we decided to hole up and rest for the night before explorin’ a secret passageway that wee Eli had found.

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Adventure 15 Search for the Fire Opal Part 1

4/7/12

We questioned Serlick, Cartain’s half-goblin lieutenant. Turned oot that auld Cartain’s henchmen were a mite more loyal when Cartain himself were around, and the promise of coin in hand (and a few sharp pokes) convinced the bowfin’ goblin to see things our way. Serlick dinnae ken aboot the entrance tae the Fire Opal, though the thugs had searched all over for it. Auld Gaff looked aboot for a hidden door as the rest of us searched the raiders’ cave.

Much incriminatin’ evidence was found. Pigeons and ravens were used to relay messages between contacts in Hammerfast, the cave, and tae Cartain. Terras the bard, now in gaol, was one such contact, though there was another that Serlick said worked in the main town warehouse. We had recovered quite a bit of loot frae the various wagons and piles of booty when Auld Gaff let oot a cry. We’d found the door! Soon we were clamorin’ to get it open, though of course not withoot gettin’ blasted by a spray of poison darts!

The passageway beyond was so hot we could feel the sweat bile away frae our very skin. Pictures of auld rituals tae fire gods were carved here and there. The whole place was massive, obviously bein’ built by giants. We recalled the stories that monks had supposedly taken over the place after the giants had left, claimin’ the fist-like Fire Opal as their symbol.

After a warm half-hour we were all fair puckled. We came upon three portcullises ahead. With a wee bit of pure dead brilliance frae Eli and Everitt, we were able to open the leftmost gate and soon ambushed a brace of eejit dragonborn warriors. They refused to parley and chose to fight instead, but soon realized we were a bit more solid a rammy than they could handle. But instead of acceptin’ our offer to aid them in their quest tae find some dragon younglin’s, they demanded we remain at the gates until they were done searchin’.

It wasnae five minutes before we heard horrible screams and rushed through another door to find the dragonborn on the floor deid, killed by great burnin’ flamin’ rock creatures, flamespikers. A hard fight commenced, though we gave those fire-skins a fair chibbin’. Nae closer to findin’ the Fire Opal, we continued explorin’ the huge complex.

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Adventure 14 Home and Out Again

3/31/12

On the morn we packed up all five of our wagons and headed back tae Hammerfast see end of notes for a brief history of the city. We had to hire on two drivers since there were only four of us and wee Eli was fair puckled meltin’ the snow in front of the lead cart with his magical fire blasts. On the road we heard rumor that food shipments frae Fallcrest tae Hammerfast had ceased—not a sign that bodes well.

Back at Hammerfast, word of our success in Greenfield had preceded us. And the guards were surely pleased to see that we arrived with five wagons loaded down with wine and ale. They announced us as we entered as if we were some sort of royalty. We were soon accosted by Grond Silvermoon, the glaikit dwarf who havered mince against “ootsiders” and non-dwarfs. Everitt wasnae havin’ anythin’ to do with that, and approached the galoot to speak, after tryin’ to sunder his wooden stage to pieces with a mental blast. I offered the crowd a free round of ale at the inn, and soon dowie auld Grond had nae audience save Everitt. The auld numptie told Everitt that an exarch of Moradin himself had spoken to him, tellin’ him that the pact between Gruumsh and Moradin was a fiction; Moradin had merely bought time for his people to recover from the orc attack and become strong enough to retaliate.

At the Pony, Galwick Goldspinner met us and asked that we meet with Marcinda. That we did, findin’ her interested in the growin’ cold but more concerned with the missin’ food shipments frae Fallcrest. She offered us 500 coins to investigate and a clean thousand to solve the problem. After some discussion, we decided to first deal with Cartain, the bandit in the Cave of the Fire Opal. We figured to mony a mickle and maks a muckle since Auld Gaff wanted us to accompany him there anyway.

When Everitt returned tae the Pony, he told us tales of his dealin’s with Grond. He was to meet with the eejit later, and auld Dahlwhinnie would shadow Everitt just in case. When the two met, Everitt refused to “cleanse” Hammerfast of non-dwarfs. The meetin’ nearly turned into a rammy, but Everitt decided it wasnae worth it and returned tae the inn.

On the morrow we decided to investigate auld Grond and his claims while sellin’ off the substantial amount of loot we’d accumulated in our recent exploits. As we moved through the markets, we spotted a few thugs givin’ us the eye. These we learned were a few of the tenth or so of Hammerfast dwarves who were smitten by auld Grond and his mince. Auld Dahlwhinnie cornered one of the numpties and forced him to admit that he was workin’ for Grond. Unfortunately for that galoot, he was chibbed deid shortly after Dahlwhinnie turned his back, and the town watch wasnae especially helpful either.

At Moradin’s temple I learned that the daft dwarf had it all wrong. I mean, my recollection of history is a bit muddled at times, but this galoot had his bum oot the windae. Whatever auld Grond’s intentions, we were fairly certain it wasnae any exarch of Moradin who had set him on his path. Somethin’ was afoot, but it would hae to wait. We spotted another dwarf shadowin’ us but it was just auld Gaff. He was itchin’ to go tae the Cave of the Fire Opal, and not havin’ much excuse not to we decided to leave immediately tae the cave.

The cave wasnae but a wee piece down the road and we soon saw a guard pretendin’ to be pished. We tried the fast talk but he was edgy for us and shouted oot the warnin’. A great rammy broke oot in which daft Everitt blasted the hells oot of a wall, unleashin’ a torrent of lava frae the earth. Fortunately Amaunator smiled upon us and we smote a wide variety of foes rangin’ frae eejit humans to drakes, halflin’s, and even some of those bird-like kenkus. The oddest of these though was the lieutenant whose name we ken frae somewhere—Serlick, a half-goblin, half-halflin’ with a vicious temper and bowfin’ breath to match.
________________________________

History walks the streets of Hammerfast in the form of the dead, the dwarves and orcs who died in this place more than a century ago. They are now ghosts consigned to wander Hammerfast’s streets until the end of days. Hammerfast was once a necropolis, a collection of tombs where the dwarf lords interred their people. As the dwarves’ wealth grew, their burial chambers changed from simple stone sepulchers to lavish treasure vaults filled with the material wealth garnered over a lifetime.
Hammerfast transformed from a graveyard into a storehouse for treasure, and thus it became a target. A hundred years ago, the Bloodspear orc tribe conquered the necropolis but gained little from it. The orcs killed the priests and warriors tasked with guarding Hammerfast and started to loot the place, but the dwarves’ burial chambers yielded their treasures only grudgingly. The necropolis held street after street of unmarked tombs, some riddled with traps, many empty, and only a few containing great treasure. The orcs suffered great losses to the defenses of Hammerfast and, after butchering its guards and capturing a few of its treasures, they turned their attention to easier targets in other locations.

In time, the dwarves returned to Hammerfast. Due to the fall of the Nerath Empire, the citadels of the dwarves were broken, famine and plague grew thick across the land, and monsters and raiders prowled freely. In the face of such chaos, the dwarves made a fateful decision. Why waste fortifications on the dead? They had no use for it. Thus, Hammerfast was transformed into a town of the living. It has since grown into the largest and richest settlement in the eastern portion of the Nentir Vale Motes.
Yet although Hammerfast has changed, its past lingers on. The remaining sealed tombs stand untouched on pain of death by decree of the Town Council. Ghosts still walk the streets, some of them orc warriors slain in the Bloodspears’ attack, others priests of Moradin or the necropolis’s doomed guardians, and even a few of them dwarves laid to rest here long ago. Such creatures enjoy full citizenship in Hammerfast, as long as they observe its laws. In a sacred compact struck with Moradin and Gruumsh, the town’s founders agreed to respect the dead and defend their resting places in return for the right to settle here.

When the dwarves first resolved to settle in Hammerfast, the priests of Moradin beseeched their god for guidance. The necropolis was once sacred ground, before the invading orcs defiled it.
A champion of Gruumsh led the assault on Hammerfast. He swore to Gruumsh to destroy the place and loot its treasures. That orc died in the assault, along with many other fanatical worshipers of Gruumsh. In Gruumsh’s single, baleful eye, Hammerfast became a monument to his worshipers’ ferocity.
With two competing deities laying claim to Hammerfast, only a compromise could avert a second war. Moradin and Gruumsh argued and threatened each other through intermediaries, until at last they reached an accord. Gruumsh had no use for the town, but he saw the chance to create a stark reminder of his champion’s victory. He demanded that the dwarves set aside part of the town for his priests.
Moradin agreed, but as a condition of his assent insisted on a strict set of rules that both parties must follow. Gruumsh gained his show of defiance, and Moradin ensured that his followers would be safe from Gruumsh’s treachery. The rules set forth were simple but inflexible:
Worshipers of Gruumsh are not to be attacked or detained within the town as long as they do not commit acts of violence against Hammerfest’s residents.
Any priest of Gruumsh in the town must aid in its defense if it comes under attack.
The ghosts that dwell in Hammerfast are to be left alone, as long as they do not attack the living.
The temples of Moradin and Gruumsh are sacred ground. If either is attacked by the other, the gods will intervene.

The punishment for violating the compact varies. If a priest of Gruumsh is injured or detained, the dwarves must turn over a priest of Moradin for torture and execution at Gruumsh’s temple. Any priest of Gruumsh that violates the compact is struck blind and exiled to certain death in the wilderness. The town guard enforces the law regarding the ghosts: Any attack on the undead is treated as an assault on a living citizen.
The final rule spurs much speculation. The exact nature of the divine intervention was never set forth, but most residents believe that the gods would send a cataclysm to destroy the town if this rule is broken.

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Adventure 13 Finishing the Job
“He drew a circle that shut me oot; Heretic, rebel, a thin’ to flout. But love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle that took him in.”

3/3/12

With the Iron Circle numpties bangin’ on the door tae get in, we made haste down tae the dungeon to try and rescue poor auld Baron Truncheon. We tried to get the guards there to surrender, but they would hear nothin’ of it, insistin’ that our captive quine had already forfeited her soul tae Lord Strife. Well, they wanted it the hard way.

With nae rest to be had since our last rammy, it was a hard fought win over the last remainin’ galoots. A pair of solid oafs, a bowfin’ tar devil, and a crafty auld wizard stood between us and the baron, but they didnae stand long. In the end, with the grace of Amaunator, all were deid save the wizard who had the wits to surrender. Even the tert got hers, wee Eli burnin’ her alive when she tried to escape her bonds and open the door tae the bampots bangin’ ootside.

We were victorious but the war hadnae been won just yet. The auld baron was in nae shape to help, bein’ nearly as old as Dahlwhinnie only not nearly so stout. He did however give us some healin’ draughts while explainin’ our one final task in the keep. The bangin’ and poundin’ ceased upstairs, so the Iron Circle must have withdrawn. In the quiet aftermath, the baron told us of an evil quine named Caltus, a worshiper of Asmodeus who had defiled the keep’s temple.

We were in nae shape for yet another rammy, but auld Dahlwhinnie snuck down under the cover of night and captured the only guard we still saw inside the grounds, a particularly daft bampot guardin’ the doors tae the kirk. From the guard we learned that most of the Iron Circle had retreated frae the keep. Caltus was inside, creatin’ some kind of portal for summonin’ undead and whatnot. Fortunately, the portal wouldnae be complete until the next day, so we retreated tae the town of Green for some much needed rest.

On the morn, we rose and returned tae the mostly-deserted keep. The doors tae the kirk were now guarded by a human sentry and a metal dog. As before, auld Dahlwhinnie crept up while we edgy frae cover nearby. Dahlwhinnie launched his surprise attack and the rest of us gave handers, soon deafeatin’ the poor auld doggie. Inside the kirk we saw a pair of shadowy phantom warriors who proved devilishly hard to injure. These were joined by a devil and the tert Caltus. I focused on dispellin’ the portal while the others kept the ghoulies at bay. Soon we had the portal closed and poor Caltus was on the run. We gave the dunderheid a good chibbin’ and returned tae give the auld baron and the townsfolk the news.

A great feast was given in our honor. Baron Truncheon named us all Knights of Green [“Knight Defender of Greenfield”] and presented us with a pile of coins, gems, and assorted loot. Now it was time for a well-deserved rest, and for givin’ many thanks tae Amaunator for seein’ us through another day.

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Adventure 12 Iron Keep
“A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.”

75th Year, 10th Month (2/25/12)

Praise be! A sign frae Amaunator! But now I’m puttin’ the cart before the horse.

We traveled tae Green under assumed names. Everitt and I were to be guards, Everitt takin’ the name Norman and for some reason plasterin’ on a false beard. I would be Hordor, half deaf and wholly glaikit, makin’ my disguise simple. Auld Dahlwhinnie would be Erwin, the driver, and wee Eli would be Jade, a bumblin’ noble frae Hammerfast come tae Green to buy wine and spirits.

We first headed tae the Cliffside Brewery to discuss purchasin’ some ale and to test the waters with the Ironbeards, who auld Dar Gramath hinted might be sympathetic. We soon met a solid auld dwarf named Danerk and a fair dwarven lass named Datilda. We played at negotiatin’ for a time but auld Danerk soon saw through the con. Soon he ken our true identities as the “heroes of Goodbridge” and as Dar Gramath had guessed, offered us help in our plan to free the baron. Mainly, though, he offered us a deep discount on any ale we purchased and even offered to throw in a free wagonload should we succeed on our quest. Not wantin’ to haul a full load of ale aboot town, Everitt purchased two casks to “test” and we set off for Nonnie’s Inn.

At Nonnie’s we tried the con again but Aunt Nonnie was nae bampot. Fortunately she was also sympathetic to our cause and nae friend of the Iron Circle. She told us of the whereaboots of Auld Kellar, and it was then that Everitt hatched a plan that was pure dead brilliant. Under the guise of merchants hopin’ to purchase a large shipment of ale, we would give away the two barrels he’d bought to the patrons of the town. In the excitement and confusion, we’d be able to meet privately with Auld Kellar.

The plan went off withoot a hitch, and soon we were face tae face with the grizzled auld dwarf. While the patrons got pished and began singin’ tales aboot the heroes of Redbridge, the dwarf explained the history of keep atop the cliffs overlookin’ the city. He had been involved when the new bailey had been built, and still had detailed plans he could share, includin’ the location of certain secret passages. Dahlwhinnie would shadow him home and return with the plans under cover of darkness. Before he left, I questioned Auld Kellar aboot his familiar accent. I’d not heard proper dwarven spoken since I arrived on this world.

Turns oot Kellar ken much aboot my home, hailin’ frae the Savage Coast not too far frae my home of Lakeside. Like me, he was sucked through a portal and had spent many years searchin’ for a way back. He suggested buildin’ a kirk to Amaunator and bein’ as he was a master builder, he would take the job himself if I desired.

On the morn, we had formulated a plan. Based on information frae Auld Kellar and Nonnie, we would hide ourselves in a shipment of supplies that would be soon delivered tae the keep. Dahlwhinnie would replace one of the usual drivers, and once we were inside, would slip away and hide. Then, at the right moment, we would come oot frae our hidin’ places in the supplies and slip intae the dungeon where Auld Kellar was sure the baron was held. As we rolled up tae the gates, Dahlwhinnie laid it on thick with that smooth tongue of his, and the guards let us on through. A teiflin’ lass the guards called “lieutenant” seemed more interested in hurryin’ the wagons along that searchin’ them, bless Amaunator.

Soon we traveled tae the kitchen in the upper bailey. As fate would hae it, a dwarven cook named Kergut was more than willin’ to aid us against the Iron Circle and warned us aboot the new leader, a fearsome human lass. At Kergut’s suggestion, Eli and Dahlwhinnie disguised themselves as porters while Everitt and I hid in a cart that was wheeled over tae the bastion where the baron—and the Iron Circle mistress—waited.

Once inside the main entrance, Eli and Dahlwhinnie surprised the guards with a quick ambush while Everitt and I clambered up the stairs to join them before they could close the gate. Then we closed the gate and barred the doors so that none of the other numpties could distract us. Usin’ a secret staircase frae Auld Kellar’s map, we burst in and surprised the Iron Circle quine in her chambers.

A fierce rammy broke oot and though the battle was hard fought, it soon became clear that we had the upper hand. The daft tert tried to bargain with us, claimin’ that “Lord Strife” offered 10,000 coins for mere information on the location of auld Dahlwhinnie (known as “Lord Death”). She tempted us with a million coins if we could kill the poor shade. But in the end she realized we wouldnae be swayed by her mince, and agreed to surrender if we’d turn her over tae Dar Gramath.

Talkin’ to the lass afterward shed some light on our companion, auld Dahlwhinnie. She ken auld Yisarna, and this prompted Dahlwhinnie to explain a bit aboot his past.* Unfortunately our respite was short lived as we heard poundin’ on the doors as the tieflin’ tert we’d seen before decided to come tae rescue the latest prisoner in the keep.

*[When he was a young man finding his way , he discovered a prophesy and a ritual. The prophesy foretold of a great sundering of his home world, the Shadowfell, and the ritual provided great power to those who performed it in order to stop the sundering. He persuaded his five closest friends to swear a pact that each would use the power to save their home world. But something went terribly wrong.
Soon after the ritual, each of them began to fade gradually from existence, becoming light and ephemeral and occasionally translucent. Dalbrech felt a strange hunger—a craving for vitality and experience. His friends, however, became mad and destructive. Now, instead of protecting the world as they swore to do, they seek to bring it and other worlds down with them. They have apparently named themselves Strife, War, Hatred, Doom, and Terror, and they have dubbed Dalbrech Death.]

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Adventure 11 Brief Return Home
“It is a heretic that makes the fire, not she which burns in it.”

2/18/12

After restin’ the night at Goodbridge, we returned tae Hammerfast with three wagons of wine and apple jack. Before we left, auld Dar Gramath gave us some advice for use upon our trip tae Green to rescue the poor baron. He told us to seek oot auld Kellar, who had a cyclopaedic knowledge of the keep where the baron was bein’ held. Also of help might be one known as Nonny, sympathetic to the cause against the Iron Circle. Nonny could be found at her inn just inside o’ Green. Or we should visit the Ironsides, three dwarves that run the Cliffside Brewery, where we might also find some ale suitable for sellin’ to the thirsty citizens of Hammerfast.

It was a two day journey back tae Hammerfast by wagon, and the trip was largely uneventful. Toward the end of the last day as we drew near tae the underground city, we encountered a wagon travelin’ in the same direction. At the reigns was Galwick Goldspinner, one of the strange dwarves of this realm and son of Marsinda Goldspinner, mayor of Hammerfast. Galwick was loose of tongue, haverin’ on aboot some shipment of hydra blood he carried back tae Hammerfast. Of course when pressed he admitted he hadnae actually killed the hydra himself. We agreed to join them on our trip back, though we warned them that they shouldnae go ahead of as we had a tendency to attract trouble. The auld blether wasnae too good at listenin’ since he rode on oot ahead despite our warnin’.

After a mite we encountered a few other wagons headin’ away frae Hammerfast. These brought grim tidin’s of attacks on the city by giants a day or two past. Shortly after that, we heard cries frae up ahead and rushed forward to see poor auld Galwick and his two guards tryin’ to fend off an ambush. We charged intae a rammy with a group of blaggards made up of a couple of wee halflin’s, some human bandits, and a flock of kenku bird-men. We gave them all a good chibbin’, sendin’ several scamperin’ off intae the surroundin’ forest. Auld Everitt nearly got deid, aboot blastin’ his fool brains oot with some sort of mental wave attack. Other than that, the only other casualties were the numptie guards and poor Galwick’s pride. Apparently, the bletherin’ dwarf’s mince had fallen on the wrong ears, the end result bein’ an ambush frae which he was lucky to escape.

Finally back in Hammerfast we were treated to the sight of a bampot dwarf screamin’ and haverin’ frae a soapbox. Grond Silverstar was his name and he was preachin’ against the perils of non-dwarves. Numptie heretic! As if this mumbly-mouthed dunderheid knew sane frae screwball.

We returned tae Marsinda Goldspinner to claim our reward for returnin’ the two carts of wine. We didnae however tell her any of the details of our rather lengthy quest to obtain the wine.

At the market, we sold the extra cart of wine as well as the drakes for a fair amount of coin and returned tae the Lore Ward tae our auld home in the tower near the wall. Unfortunately, the giants had smashed through the wall nearby, and though our home was untouched, a group of women were squattin’ inside. A dowie lot they were; a halflin’ lass named Mooch; a wee fairy named Power; and a brace of half orcs named Kodow and Skutch, both with a puss only a mum would love.

Not able to kick the poor lasses oot on their ears, we returned tae speak to Marcinda. We learned she was oot on an errant near the Fey gate and we happened to catch her unawares speakin’ to a particularly crabbit duergar named Osmee. Marcinda was sympathetic to our tale of our tower. She already ken aboot the matter with auld Galwick and had arranged for us to stay at the Coach and Pony.

We ken a bit aboot the Pony, or rather its driver, a glaikit half orc with the memory of a sieve. As it occurred to us, auld Galwick also stayed at the Coach and Pony, meanin’ that some ne’er-do-well probably ken the bletherin’ dwarf’s plans to fetch the hydra blood tae Hammerfest.

After shoppin’ aboot town for a few essentials includin’ oats for the trip back and a stronger breastplate to keep my heid a mite safer in battle, we paid a visit tae the eejit orc. Turns oot that his notes on his passengers seemed to disappear each night. We soon hatched a plan whereby auld Dahlwhinnie would hide inside the orc’s quarters at the Pony and track down whoever took the notes. We didnae hae tae wait long after the orc turned in for the night. Madira, a human female servant lass, made the rounds through the rooms and left the orc’s door unlocked. Later she returned to take the notes, though she also gained a shadow when auld Dahlwhinnie tailed her oot the back stairs and tae the Gate Ward.

It was at Rondell’s Inn that Madira passed her papers to an eladrin bard upon the stage. Later the bard returned tae his room with Dahlwhinnie close behind. The eladrin edgy aboot but not edgy enough to spot Dahlwhinnie creepin’ intae the room where the bard tied the notes to the leg of a raven which he released oot the windae.

Not havin’ much else to do, auld Dahlwhinnie confronted the bard, practically givin’ him his death right there in the dark. The bard, Terliss by name, first tried to fight but Dahlwhinnie proved too solid for him. Terliss thought Dahlwhinnie worked for the Goldspinners, but spilled the beans nevertheless on a ring of blaggards operatin’ in the area around Hammerfast. He told of a leader named Cartain who hid in the Dungeon of the Fire Opal. Cartain also had more companions in a town tae the north. Dahlwhinnie delivered poor Terliss tae the guard and returned tae the Pony for some much needed rest.

On the morn, mistress Goldspinner called for us to meet with her again. She shared concerns aboot a ring of spies targetin’ caravans near Hammerfast. The eejit Grond on his soapbox was blamin’ the Goldspinners for it all. We explained all we had learned and Marcinda confirmed that the Dungeon of the Fire Opal was only four miles away. She also explained that the duergar Osmee was pumpin’ the city for “protection” money frae the giants, which is what the carts of wine were for in the first place. Marcinda hadnae wanted to involve us in this business, but we explained all we had done against the Iron Circle bampots which seemed to boost her impression of us some.

Marcinda realized we needed to help the poor baron back in Green, and gave us some coin to purchase two more carts of wine while we were away. She also told us that some “very attractive men” had been lookin’ for us though not by name. Nae one knew anythin’ aboot them other than that they were “very attractive.” Unfortunately, the four had apparently stopped by our auld tower lookin’ for us and the four women livin’ there had ended up deid.

We were leavin’ to go back tae Greenfield when we were hailed by a gimpy auld dwarf named Gaffe. He claimed to need a “bit of muscle” on his search for the fabled Fire Opal. He had a map, and we agreed to meet with him upon our return.

On our way tae Green we stopped by Greenfield to drop off Dar Gramath’s wagon. The weather was pure chankin’ nearly tae the end of the mote now, travellin’ slowly toward Hammerfast for nae apparent reason. Dar Gramath reminded us to visit Old Kellar or Nonny before we stormed the keep.

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Adventure 10 Winning at Goodbridge
Every revolutionary ends up either by becomin’ an oppressor or a heretic

75th Year, 10th Month (02/11/12)

Respondin’ to the warnin’ of a horseback messenger, we rushed tae a farmstead where some hellish creatures were bedevilin’ the lines. Fiery tar devils and a dark adept harassed us mightily. We were holdin’ our own until two assassins showed up, vexin’ wee Eli sorely. He blasted the bitches and flew up to perch atop a buildin’. The tar devils tried to snag him with their nets but he was too quick, and after a tiresome rammy, we laid low the heretics.

We’d barely caught our breath when none other than Red Prick himself showed up shoutin’ a challenge. The battle with the devils had us fair puckled, and so we had nae other choice but to beat a hasty retreat back to ask auld Dar Gramath for handers. Explainin’ our situation, he tended to our wounds and sent us back tae the fray.

Red Prick, whose men ken him as Lord Nazin Redthorn, champion of the Iron Circle, was waitin’ on our return. His rabble and more of the accursed flamin’ devils approached, but the heavy snow hindered their approach, givin’ Eli a chance to devastate the poor galoots before they could reach us.

When auld Red Prick finally met us, he seemed a mite disappointed that we werenae the marauders he was seekin’. He dismissed us as nae threat and called for his horse. But poor Red Prick was in for the (last) surprise of his life. We’d learned our lesson in the last rammy and focused our attacks to give our enemies a good chibbin’ one by one. Auld Red Prick tried to flee, but we blasted his poor pony right oot frae under him, I finishin’ the beast with a sling stone guided clear across the field of battle by Amaunator’s own hand. Red Prick put up a valiant fight, but in the end there was nae hope for the heretic.

With the fall of Red Prick the field was ours. We returned tae Greenfield where there was much rejoicin’. Dar Gramath paid us handsomely for our services, and with the wine that had been recovered frae the Iron Circle bampots, we had enough to return tae Hammerfast. There was still the business of the baron bein’ captured and all, but it would wait until we finally finished our original mission to return the wine, hopefully keepin’ those eejit humans of Hammerfast pished and tamed.

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Adventure 9 Battle of Goodbridge
False doctrine does not necessarily make a man a heretic, but an evil heart can make any doctrine heretical.

75th Year, 10th Month (01/14/12)

We continued investigatin’ the crypt. The black dragon skeleton appeared to be knitted together. It looked like auld Usurna was tryin’ to resurrect it as one of her undead pets. We decided to continue explorin’ rather than leavin’ just yet. We opened a door and found a long hall full of webs and several of those accursed spiders. Damned spiders!

After a bit of plannin’, we decided to use the bookshelves and tables to build a makeshift wall to push back against the spiders. We attached some spikes frae a nearby pit along with several of the alchemist flasks we’d found lyin’ around. Then we started pushin’.

For 20 minutes we pushed. Then after 30 minutes we met some resistance and heard some of the alchemical flasks explode. Then those damned spiders were pushin’ back. We took turns pushin’ back and forth against the spiders until finally the wall gave way and the spiders were able to see to teleport through and attack us. After a hard rammy, we defeated those eight-legged horrors.

We found ourselves in front of a door. Auld Dahlwhinnie managed to jimmy the lock and we found ourselves in a ruined, haunted buildin’. We were probably in Dal Nystiere, the haunted eladrin city the wood elves had warned us aboot. There were spider webs everywhere, and ghostly humanoid shapes drifted aboot, so we high tailed it back through the tunnel and oot of the crypt.

Wee Eli managed to tame the drakes and coax them into pullin’ the goblin wagon for us. That made for an impressive show when we returned tae the elves. The fairies found the mettle to join the rammy against auld Red Prick, and would join us two days hence.

On the morrow we rose and headed tae Goodbridge. The weather had turned even more dreich than before, and as we rode the snowstorm turned into an honest blizzard. We stumbled upon a large Iron Circle checkpoint, but fortunately these galoots werenae lookin’ for us but rather those mercenaries we kept hearin’ aboot. It took some convincin’, but they finally agreed to let us pass withoot a fight.

Back at Goodbridge we were met by a rider with a message. The mercenaries had helped but at a high price. Now the Iron Circle and auld Red Prick was marchin’ to grind the resistance intae the ground beneath his boot heel. Even with our reinforcements, the Iron Circle bampots matched our numbers and were better equipped.

On the morrow we rose and met with the leaders of the resistance: Dar Gramath, Auld Rhyth Ann, the Halflin’ leader Jered, and Bran Torson, along with Willet Reedfoot, the paw of the wee Halflin’ lad we’d saved frae the bullywugs. It was decided that our wee troupe would be held in reserve durin’ the fight. Dar Gramath encouraged us to rally the troops, but unfortunately for us, none of us was particularly inspirin’. It will be to Amaunator to see us through this fight.

After two days the elves arrived, true to their word, and not a nary bit too soon. The Iron Circle numpties soon set upon us and a glorious rammy unfolded on all fronts. They were aggressive and confident and it wasnae long before some of them were threatenin’ to break through the lines. We rushed to reinforce as a solid enforcer with a drake and a gaggle of scraggly henchmen began to break the lines. The henchmen were nae problem but the cursed enforcer gave us fits for a spell until we laid him low.

Just as we were catchin’ our breath, a Greenfielder on horseback rode over to enlist our help with a breakoot at the Redden farmstead. As we rushed forward, we saw some critters that looked to be scaly red devils killin’ the wounded and burnin’ the forest. As we surged forward, a light frae above washed over us, fillin’ us with a feelin’ of power. Amaunator would see us through, all right.

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