Elemental Dawn

Hall of the Howling Hatred II
If it moves then we kill it!

Chapter 14 – Hall of the Howling Hatred II
or “If it moves then we kill it”
The party’s well deserved rest is interrupted by the sound of movement. Investigation reveals that there is a group of potential adventurers, perhaps attempting to loot the party’s rightfully plundered dungeon! Shots are fired as the other party attempts to flee. A bard is killed, and tears are shed. The other party was a group of abducted bards seeking freedom now that the Queen of Storm and Air (and her personal bard Windharrow) were dead. Leading them was the elf lass once enamored with the Heroes of Alesport, rebuffed for her attempt to learn form them before she joined with the Company of the Ebon Scroll. She quickly recounted their adventures that led her to this dungeon. It was agreed that she would lead the other abductees to safety (with possible assistance from ‘ghosted’ players – meta!).

Meanwhile, the original party grew fat on the loot of this lost dwarven city, laying waste to the creatures of the Underdark that had been held at bay by the cultist (now free to run amuck!), until they choked on the fearsome (and befuddling) beast of below – the dread Umber Hulk!
Eventually felling the foul bug, the party concluded their looting and began to discuss where they would travel to next, to follow up on quests of long ago or even find a town of substance to sell their treasures in.

Notable NPCs

  • Merilwyn of Alesport (Half Elven, Bard, member of the Company of the Ebon Scroll)
  • ‘Corby’ (Alien bird person, last of his scouting party, wings have been cut off)
  • Aurora (Human, Bard, deceased)
  • Oric & Lathana (human, rescued prisoners)
  • Wulgreda Stonefist (Dwarf, prospector, rescued)
  • Other nameless rescued prisoners
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Halls of the Howling Hatred
On a Wing and a Prayer

In which the Heroes of Alesport fought their way through the subterranean halls of a forgotten dwarf city against the cult of elemental air (so … airians?), an invisible wyvern, and a self proclaimed queen of sky and storm with a legendary spear.

Though nearly losing several party members, with spells and artifacts spent, the Heroes once more emerged triumphant and richer than they started. Still, questions remains – will they remain in to explore the rest of the tunnels and ruins, will they use the spear of legend despite fear of a curse or merely sell it to the highest bidder, and will there ever be better armor classes made available by a tight fisted DM?

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Old Friends and Other Enemies
Westbridge Ho

In which the Heroes of Alesport catch up on international events, meet up with another band of adventurers, and leave town after an all too brief time spent shopping and being insulted by the local sage, Devries the Sage.

Count Reyes Harkonnen, Marshal of the Long Road has set up temporarily in town, overseeing the Lord’s Decree for a levy of food or fighters brought to Town Hall by Month’s End. His soldiers have set up outside of town and assisting in providing security with recent attacks on caravans.

The Company of the Ebon Scroll are found in heated argument regarding the plan to recover lost party member Merilwen of Alesport. Apparently they have already lost their tiefling barbarian (“got et by a land shark on the road”) and half of the dwarf Fellhand brothers (“but still got one, and he drinks enough for both of them”).

Word of Old Gnawbones does little to sway them from journeying into the Kryptgarden Forest. However an inquiry about a dragonborn warrior and tiefling in a tricorner hat send them scurrying from town, leaving questions about what happened to Red Larch the week before it became a hole in the ground.

Rumors:
Missing farm kids (Oric and Lathana Alderleaf, abducted by bandits)
Missing dwarf prospector (Wulgreda Stonefist)
Haunted Bridge in the Black Maw Bog
Orcs & Ogres sighted again near Wyvern Tor

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The Hills Run Wild
Giant Sized Problems

Chapter 11: The Hills Run Wild
aka Giant Sized Problems
Wherein the Heroes of Alesport unleash the full elemental force of the Elemental Orb, flooding out the Valley of Fire + the Burning Tower + washing out a number of elemental beings and druids.
After parting ways with Iniri (aka, the druid who supported the party’s inclination to run around and break stuff), the Heroes divvied up the loot and continued along Larch Path to come across a party of fighters under assault from a Hill Giant brigand. Yes, really ("Give Stuff or Get Hit! works surprisingly well on most). Party intervenes, rescuing Dame Tessa of True Strike and the two squires in her care (Niro and Cedrik). Not satisfied with vanquishing the giant, the party decided to look for its lair. For their efforts, they are rewards with attacks by lurking trolls with gourmet inclinations (defeated with the noble sacrifice of the elven romance novels) and an angry mother giant. Eventually emerging triumphant, the party reveals more of their adventures and findings to Dame Tessa of the Knights of Samael. Dame Tessa agrees to deliver messages to Goldenfields on the party’s behalf as well as inform the Knight Commander at Summit Hall of the dangers lurking in the Slumbering Hills.

Post Note: Cut scene of a shadowy figure vowing to burn everything related to the meddling adventurers who foiled the Burning Tower.
Loot collected: Not much besides that captured form the Burning Tower and the Desk of the Elder, except for carved giant action figures and some shiny rocks. Unofficially, the pledge of a noble knight to support their cause of uncovering the threat of the elemental cults.

Side Quest: Missing Noblewoman Lady Savra Belabrantae
(Further info)
You receive a letter sealed with wax, pressed with the crest of House Ruggente, one of the noble families of Vivoterra

“Lord Martino Ruggente seeks the aid of those noble in heart to find his beloved fiancee Savra Belabrantae. She has recently disappeared from Vivo Terra, leaving a note saying that she was ‘becoming a knight’. If she is seen, please ensure her safety and see to her return to her family in Vivo Terra and the favor of House Ruggente shall be yours.”

Side Quest: Consult the Chronicles of Herbert for further details on Heroes of the Silver Horn and the Temple of Elemental Evil

Off screen cutaway scene: Cultist reporting to superior the loss of the Tower of Eternal Flame and Elder Elizar.

“Find them. Scorch the earth beneath their feet. Sear their flesh with the heat of our wrath. May their blackened bones crack in flames unending. We will not allow such interruptions. As dearly as we wish them to suffer, let it be swift.”

“Our passion to be pure is all consuming, Our strength draws upon unending might”

“When all has been rendered purified, reduced to the scorched cinders mirroring the blasted plains of our lord and master, then and only then shall we cease our efforts and not one moment before.”

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Valley of Fire
Thank you for smoking ...

The party comes under suspicion as they try to infiltrate the previously unknown Circle of the Scarlet Moon. It seems that each time they enter a camp, people die and the party claims it was self defense. Eventually grudgingly trusted by the only druids they haven’t gotten killed yet, the party decides to take it up with the leader of Circle and bluff their way into a private audience.
Indeed, the Circle has either always been a front or has been taken over by an insidious elemental cult and the Ritual of the Burning Giant is now nothing more than a scheme to funnel sacrifices into the ever hungry maw of Imix “Ia’ Ia’ Cthughua Fthagun!”. The meeting with Elder Elizar quickly turned to flames and pain. No lengthy talker, the Elder preferred to watch the world burn, starting with the party.
Though nearly defeated, the party narrowly escaped the burning tower, set aflame by the reckless actions of its inhabitants. Having returned to the ground, they soon discovered that they had jumped from the fire into the path of a rampaging fire elemental that had been caged in the flaming giant as part of the ritual.

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Burning Bridges
Once Burned, Twice Shy

Chapter 9: Burning Bridges
or Once Burned, Twice Shy

The party having emerged battered but not beaten by the cult lurking beneath Red Larch slunk away to the Helm at High Sun (Bella in disguise as her dice were unwelcome). Come morning as they discussing a plan, the local reeve came knocking at their door. In response, they fled while the tiefling acted as a distraction, first through a kiss and then through kneeing the reeve most indelicately. He was heard to moan as he slumped to the floor, “I only wanted to ask some questions.”

On the road once more, the party decided to clear the region of some of the menaces they had heard so much about. Driving off minor threats, they at last arrived at one of the abandoned quarries. However it was not nearly as empty as they had expected, having become occupied by hobgoblins with goblin minions and a couple of siege weapons. Eventually clearing them out of the quarry, it was only another day and a half before they found the smoking region spawned by the Circle of the Scarlet Moon.

Drawing nearer through dense smoke and a winding path, they saw before them scattered bonfire and a tall tower in the middle, accompanied by burning wicker giant. The first camp they encountered greeted them warmly enough, offering some small drink and food as they were regaled by an explanation of the need to return the balance to the natural world through the purifying Rite of the Wicker Giant.

The second camp was far more direct in its questioning of the party, demanding to know if they had purified their souls enough to be worthy of the inner secrets. When the answers of the party were found to be wanting, the two fire druids unleashed flames and spells, attracting attention from the nearby camps. Emerging triumphant over the fire druids (though losing to a raging bear), the party resumed the battle as new apparent combatants appeared. Only after shots had been fired and spells cast did it turn out that these were the same friendly druids from earlier.

Being skeptical of the stories they were told, the druids of the first camp declared that Elder Elizar would have to place judgment in the morning. Meanwhile it was suggested within the party that maybe they should be elsewhere when morning comes …

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Lurking Beneath Red Larch
Ground Down and Spat Out

Chapter 8: Lurking Beneath Red Larch
or Ground Down and Spat Out

In which our adventurers find themselves on the road to the Kryptgardens after tracking down the River Maid but deciding to go elsewhere, eventually winding up in Red Larch. Shortly after arriving, the adventurers deemed the mystery of the haunted quarry was worthy of investigation, despite protests from the quarry owner.

Sneaking under the cover of nightfall rather than risk another encounter with the cut throat lawyer, the adventurers discover a hidden door in the living stone leading to a series of tunnels and terrors. Overcoming thugs, cultists, rodents of surprising ferocity, they soon found themselves confronting another stony visaged Priest of the Black Earth, defending a secret room of moving stones supposedly foretelling weal and woe.

Defeated, the Priest fled through another secret door, soon followed by the party to an unknown exit.

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One Last Stand
Raiders of the Farm

Chapter 7: One Last Stand
or Raiders of the Farm

The characters soon part ways with the Knights of Feathergale Spire, instead acting upon the pleas of the simple farm folk, the recently rescued Tyberio and daughter, and escort them to the nearby Dellmon farm where it was said others were gathering for strength in numbers.

Along the way, they encountered a burning farm and an unconscious half elf. Upon waking, the half elf Selvin shouted out “Maygan!” before lapsing into delirious ranting about orc raiders. Following the poorly concealed orc and wagon tracks, the party soon caught up with the small band and rescued the many months pregnant wife of the half elf farmer. They also recovered a sealed document detailing the conscription of Selvin Toerndil into the service of Duke Dorian Villanova for three months in the militia.

Arriving at the Dellmon ranch just before nightfall, the party quickly was brought up to speed on the impending doom as well as One shoe renewing an old acquittance with Snout, now Pathfinder Scout 5th Class Alvyn Bricklberry and Bobert the Badger (Scout 4th class technically).

With the dawn came the first wave, repulsed despite some minor fire damage to the ranch. Additional preparations were made as the day went on, punctuated by regular harrying at a distance. With the dusk came something new, an actual push rather than a testing of the boundaries. Three mobile pavises were rolled up to striking range, and orcs, ogres, and bugbears were unleashed onto the untrained farmers and the party (and the assistance of Sir Ernest Stoutblade, Knight of the Order of Samael aka the Sable Knights). Though casualties were high, the farm was defended into the night and the tribe of Vulcha Sky Teeth was driven off, Nok son of Krugge and Krugge son of Moog choosing to prey upon lesser defended sites. With the arrival of the guards from Averni finally arriving with the morning, it seemed like the orc band would get no respite on their retreat.

The highest cost was most likely to Selvin who was not only almost killed in a single blow from an ogre but lost his wife due to complications, leaving him still conscripted with a suppurating wound, and the only parent to the newborn child.

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Three Meetings and a Feast
Days of Swine and Glory

Rumours
Pietro the Pious has sought sanctuary in Merrovin
Pietro the Pious is an Agrikan firebrand, soon to be tried by the Patriarch
The Sea Sprite just arrived in town is carrying spies from the courts of Vodarre
The Mines of Red Larch are Haunted!

Rennic has a metal book of dwarven origin come into his possession. He might be willing to part with it for … 600 GP (400 GP lowest he will go, though will trade for other items to reduce cost). Though damaged, what remains is in surprisingly good condition.

Town Crier
Orcs sighted to North, Undefended Merchants warned to steer clear of Bargewright until further notice.
Festival Goers are advised to Behave responsibly or face the consequences of the Watch.
Outcome of most recent battle to the East: Victory to Giovani Fortini and Virgil Harkonnen, bearing the banner of Atreus, over the Merrovin occupational army. Soon they are expected to march on Ravenna within weeks. Mercenaries wishing to hire on should speak to Karl Holtzjager at the Broken Jug.

Dinner with Abner Nettlebee
Letter of recommendation
Lots of gratitude

Festival of Dawn’s Grace
Characterized by many root vegetables and other stored goods being emptied out in dishes, house cleaning, and songs of spring.

Brothers in Arms: Two dwarfs (Gamme and Gutte) are arguing loudly about their future. One wants to return to the land of his fathers in retaken Eisen-Kal, joining in the prosperity to be had or even help drive out the ruks from the great halls of Morvin-Kal, restoring Brightaxe to the throne. The other brother wants nothing to do with it, instead insisting there is nothing to be gained but heartache for the likes of them. “We Fellhand worked long enough for the nobs! Here we own what we work for, here we get respect for the weapons we carry, here no one gives a nug dropping about Filli Fellhand’s standing in the clan! It ain’t much but it’s ours. Now shaddup and finish your elf-piss of an ale.” Gamme approaches party for hire, Gutte approaches rival party.

Bright Eyed adventurer elven adventurer pesters party for how to be excellent! but is rebuffed …
Four finely dress gentlemen in wide birmmed hats with rapiers at their side, sitting at table and being loud and obnoxious. They have business later on with the Tailor.

One healer for hire. His equipment shows signs of wear and his eyes stare into the fire of the hearth at great lengths.

A game of dice is going on in the back room. It has some strange rules that are unfamiliar to you.

Aldren Foxglove invites the party to Shantytown, home to many of the elf freeman. The party watches, struggling to remain awake through the highly structured and abstract dance performance.

“I couldn’t help but notice your views on slavery. Perhaps you would care to join me for a special performance this evening. It should be something memorable.”
“Many have never seen an entire Face Dancer performance. Some know only the abbreviated forms passed on during the Imperial Occupation. They have not seen a true House of Ballads nor heard their tales.”

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A Dangerous Journey
Blessed Frater Daro's Excellent Adventure!
‘A Dangerous Journey’ or ‘Frater Daro’s Excellent Adventure’

In which our heroes escort the robust Frater Daro to Alesport while beset upon by hired thugs disguised as bandits, only to be confronted once more by the agents of the Black Hand behind the ambush.

An unnamed (‘Some might call me Donnie or Leo..’, technically both true) Bandit / Rogue who is captured (while others flee or the two that are killed alongside dogs) reveals much about the attack.

1. They were hired by an unnamed individual operating from the Wormford docks, a barge called “The River Maid”.
2. Normally they just harass travelers and occasionally capture those who won’t be missed.
3. This time, they were contacted and overseen by a gravelly voiced warrior in strange armor and a brown cloaked man with a much more brutal objective, the execution of the ‘fat priest’.

Despite promises about being released, the casual threats and violence convince him to attempt escape as soon as possible (particularly the retying up after his ample co-operation). Managing to luck out during a later ambush (see below), he does and intends to make his way somewhere far safer.

The following dawn, the ground trembled preceded the appearance of that gravelly voiced warrior in stone armor (with a sigil of a black triangle upon it) and the cloaked caster (in stone / splint), and two teen bullettes. Uttering triumph “in the name of the Black Earth”, the attack was however driven back, the caster promising that the “Black Earth would swallow them whole, when time was in its fullness” before summoning an adult bullette to escape.

Hurrying forth to Amphail to get horses, they pressed onward to Alesport and arrived just prior to the Festival of Dawn’s Grace.

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