Gray Council - Dawn of War

Battle of the Monastery

The treacherous mountains to the west of Overlook holds the Monastery of the Sundered Chain. The travel to the monastery is long and hard. The twists and turns through the jagged rocks of the mountains can cause a long day to seem even longer for the adventurers.

Along the way, the party stumbles across a rabid pack of gnolls. Seeing the glint off the steel of the fighters axe, they quickly charge and pounce on the fighter, while the other party members do the best they can to attack the gnoll’s from behind.

“Simply a bump in the road, nothing more” says the fighter, as he wipes blood from his brow. “We must continue on our way and make sure we don’t run into any more….distractions.”

As the group nears the hammer peak of the mountain, in front of them they see large walls, and 50 ft tall steel edifice. The rogue goes up to the door and opens it, as the immediatly see a small group of Orc Sentries, chewing away on the flesh of killed dwarves. Two of the Orcs quickly jump to their feet and heave hand axes towards party, while the six smaller Orcs take defensive positions near their masters.

The wizard launches an orb of force power towards the orcs, which immediatly slays three of them. The remaining orcs battle with their axes until the death. It does not go unnoticed by the party however that orcs do hold true to their word of hitting extremelly hard. The blood stained handles of the door make it obvious the orcs have already made their way inside the monastery, the only thing left is to open it and go inside…

“We must take back this monastery if there is going to be any hope for the survival of the Elsir Vale! says Coffman, as he drops a haunch of the half-eaten leg of a dwarven child to the ground.

The massive doors of the monestary open to the Hall of Moradin. This chamber was used by the dwarves of the monestary to worship, evident by the large cracked anvil sitting atop a 20-foot tall alter. This relgious artifact has however now been desicrated with filth and gore smeared across it. Kneeling down behind the alter, finishing her final prayers toward Gruumish, is an Orc Witch Doctor. She belts out a large shreak towards you, as the light from outside cascades into the hall.

Aesop begins to make his way to the alter, but is stopped suddently by the sound of massive bolts being loaded. Above on the balcony around the temple, are a pair of orcs holding massive bows to their bellys. The bolts fly from their chambers and make contact with the halfing. Pieter and Coffman rush up the two sets of stairs to quickly confront the bolt throwers, while the witch doctor whispers curses of Gruumish towards the rest of the party.

Suddenly, from beneath a trap door near the alter, a large group of orc drudges, and an even larger orc leader arrise from beneath the chamber. They immediatly rush in towards the casters in the party. Witherspoon quickly launches a magical assult towards the pack…

“When will you learn insanity is no match for arcane intellgence.” – Witherspoon

An arcane orb of powers flings from the magical orb held by the wizard. Soon, only the leader of the new group of orcs remains standing. Once the minions fall, the rest of the group does not take much longer, as one of the bolt throwers is thrown from the balcony. The dwarf fighter also lightens the mood of the group, as he clumsly falls from the balcony in a brilliant effort of strength and agility.

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Arriving in Overlook

As the group removes itself from the jungle, in the distance they can now see the vastness of Overlook, the Dwarven capital city. As they draw closer, they pass through the likes of Shantydown, on the outskirts of the capital. Pickpocketers and family striken with poverty line the streets outside the great walls of the city.

They move inside the gates of the city and quickly head to the local tavern for rest, as the gathering is not till the morning. The streets of Blister, a common-folk area of the city, seems bustling with more adventurers then usual. Occasional fights break out in the streets, as the straggling pickpocketers choose the wrong targets.

After a long night of hearing a drunken Aesop moan about why short swords will always be better then axes, the group decided to head to the High Hall. The streets of the high hall are bustling with a large number of adventurers, as well as the usual bureaucrats, functionaries, messengers, and palanquins bearing representatives from other districts.

Everyone convinces in the council chambers in the high hall, and prepares to hear from the Council of Elders. Megan Swiftblade of the Megan Swiftblade, comes up to you and welcomes you.

“Glad you could come, from what I hear war is on the horizon. Even the Farstriders have shown up to join the bat….” – Megan Swiftblade

In the middle of your conversation, the youngest of the council of elders, Cadrick, starts to address the crowd:

Welcome to High Hall friends. I am Elder Cadrick. I don’t much see the point in bandying words, so I’ll lay it out for you. War is upon us. A great host of orcs comes from the west. Their intention is clear. They will come through the mountains bent on slaughter. Those they spare can look forward to a short life of slavery. Overlook, and Bordrin’s Watch in the mountains, have long held fast against these raids, but our scouts say never has such an army gathered. Thus, we turn to you brave souls to help defend not only Overlook, but also all the Elsir Vale.

When the orcs arrive, we’re certain they will come up through the pass. We know this because already there have been attacks from the tunnels below, compromising the fastness. The defenders have fought back the savages, but it’s clear the rest are coming and fast.

So here’s the plan. Durkik Forgeheart will lead the militias and most of you to bolster Bordrin’s Watch. Orc trailblazers infest the tunnels below, so we’ve tasked their security to the Farstriders. One more mission remains, though. We need a group to evacuate the monastery on the other side of the mountains. It’s dangerous work, what with the orcs and all, but priests need a warning of what’s coming if they don’t know already.

Do we have any volunteers?

The Gray Council stands in front of all the other adventurers and announces they will take the quest. Cadrick nod’s in acknowledgement to you, while Edgar Sommerfield, the leader of the Farstriders, angrily steps forward and says, “Should I remind the Council of our previous arrangement?” Cadrick responds with a nod and a placating gesture, thanks the Gray Council for their service, and dismisses the gathered crowd.

The elder speaks with the Farstrider’s leader for a few moments, after which Sommerfield storms out of the hall. Cadrick holds the Gray Council and promises them 1,000 gp upon their return.

“Quickly, we must head to the Monastery of the Sundered Chain before its to late!” – Pieter

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The Long Journey to Overlook

The Gray Council’s return to Brindol with both the victims and the treasure is met with a round of applause from the council. Eoffram Troyas holds true to his word and gives you gold from the cities treasury. Immediatly however, the task at hand turns toward the grim path towards Overlook.

“We must head to Overlook at once and meet with the Dwarven elders!” – Coffman

The long journey towards Overlook will take about a week, which should allow the party to arrive just in time for the meeting foretold by the Freeriders. The group leaves in the morning, and must cross the mountains and jungle that lie between Brindol and Overlook. The path through the mountains proves to be no challenge, however the dense jungle holds more then a few surprises.

As a small muddy path winds through the rainy forest, it opens into a clearing with a large magical Jungle Temple. As the party moves towards the temple, it is clear this is the domain of a magical beast, as it is protected by a lone guard drake. Suddenly a youthful green dragon springs from his new found home, and sends clouds of toxis gas and poison towards the party. Flying overhead he swoops down and attacks members with his claws, quickly incapaciting the rogue who got a little to close.

The dragon finally decides to land and greet the dwarf of the party with a large bite to chest, and a quick swipe of his tail. However, Witherspoon, the lone Eladrin of the party who has been hiding in the density of the trees, decides to take action! With a magical aura filling his eyes, the stare of the wizard is caught directly by the dragon’s young eyes…

“Go to sleep my friend, you shall bother us no more.” – Witherspoon

The dragon falls to the ground unconcious, as the group see’s it opportunity to the end fight before the beast re-awakens! The warlock and rogue send magical streams and sharp edged shurikans flying towards the dragon, whom is quickly pulverized and left deceased.

As the group continues it’s way towards Overlook, a sigh of relief is felt throughout the party. However the challange that awaits the party next, it is soon to realize, could change the fate of the Elisr Vale forever…

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Rivenroar Catacombs (Day 2)

The adventurers wake up in the morning eager to head back to Castle Rivenroar and finish their duty. This time, the trek back through the wilderness is much easier, having been there before. As they approach the entrance into the catacombs, Pieter suggests following the path Adronsius had set forth.

“To the room with the crackling sound we must head!”

The doors from the Goblin Warren open into a chamber with a shimmering portal. As the party investigates its surroundings, a castle is seen through the portal in the distance. Dazed by the essence of the portal, an Ochre Jelly slides his way into the Portal Room looking to consume! Aesop launches a flurry of blows that immediatly hurts the jelly, while 2 leeching Specter’s attempt to cheat away a quick victory. The cleric instinctively calls on his powers of the light to hurt and immobilize the dreadfull undead.

The council precedes through the western door of the room. The dark hallway they slowly start moving through smells like dead bodies and corpses. They turn the corner into an illuminated room that has several bodies laying on tombs, this must be the Von Urstadt Crypt. As Aesop sneaks toward the middle of the room, suddenly the northern most door swings open, and two flaming beasts appear. While the battle with fire continues, the invisible lurkers of the tomb make their presence known!

Everybody does their part as the battle is quickly resolved. In the room to the north the group finds Sertanian held prisoner in a jail cell. A quick pick of the lock by Aesop and he is freed.

“Just a few hard days, nothing more. Let’s get on with the rescue, shall we?” – Sertanian

The council concedes the only remaining places the rest of the prisoners could be held is up the stairs in the webbed room. As they slowly walk up the stairs, inscriptions on each step tell a story of death. When they reach the peak, they are immediatly greeted by several goblin guards.

“Masacre them! Let the blood run down from their vile throats!” – Sertanian

The old man was a soldier during the initial struggle against the Red Hand of Doom, so he does not seem to take much a liking for our hobgoblin friends. Witherspoon quickly dispatches multiple goblin’s when his arcane powers of the orb. Out of the southern door of the Von Adrez-Kauthin Crypt arrises a goblin with arcane powers to match. Hexes are immediatly placed on the fighter, causing his feet to feel heavy and fill with pain when he moves. However hexes and curses will not stop this group, whom follow Sertanian’s “advice”, and slaughter everybody.

Coffman opens the southern doors to find the acolyte Jalissa chained to the wall. No match for his dwarven strength, he rips the shackles off the wall. Jalissa is more the gracious, as she begins clinging and following Coffman’s every move, looking supsicious of all others in the council, and especially Sertanian!

Moving forward, the party chooses the north door of the 2nd floor entrance room. The encounter an intersection an cautiously begin to search for the next route to go. Witherspoon casts a cantrip that lights up the room below the stairs, while Coffman puts his ear to the western door and heres the shackling of chains in the room. Suddenly, the eastern door swings open, it is now obvious you have disturbed this forsaken crypt.

Thurann is seen in the room chained to a fountain, awaiting the party to slay the undead that protect these halls. Towards the end of the battle, the undead creatures enter a room with a rejuvinating sunburst that pulses with necrotic energy. The healing powers of death however are no match for our fellowship of the light!

“Thanks for the rescue guys, now lets go find my dad!” – Thurann

After a long conversation with Pieter, the boy decided to follow the group, although he is obviously upset. Pieter tells the group he is unsure whether the child actually believes his father could have been killed.

As the group walks through the large column hallway to the north from the crypt, they encounter a room with a massive golden throne. This must have been the audience chamber for the Rivenroar family. Sitting on the throne is the ruler of the the undead inside the crypt, and he doesn’t look to happy to see you disturbing him. Rising from the remains are several skeletons and corpses, as their master sends bolts of nectrotic energy flinging towards the group.

The wizard and warlock quickly launch a aerial magic assault on the leader, sending him to his own death quickly. The rest of his servants are wiped out of existence quickly after their leader has been destroyed. Several treasures are found in the room places upon the walls, including an orb the wizard can use laying on the remains of the wight.

The group moves slowly down another hall way where they encounter a demon that seems to be enclosed in some sort of invisible barrier. The demon quickly attempts to break-through the walls of this guardian chamber. Around the northern corner appears 2 humanoid figures who appear to be transforming into large dire beasts. After shouting a command word the barrier is dropped an the carnage demon starts hunting his prey!

The Wererats quickly infest the most holy member of the group with disease. The plague quickly spreads across several group members as the party seems in serious trouble.

“Go to sleep now you filthy varmits!” – Witherspoon

The eyes of the beasts become heavy, as there attacks and movement slow to halt. One of the beasts falls unconcious to the floor and is quickly battered by the group. With the demon focusing the brunt of its attacks on Coffman, Aesop unleashes a flurry of strikes to the back of the spine. The demon falls to the floor in bloody ruins from the stabs of the blade.

The council moves forward down the dark halls and enters the dark Shrine of Vecna. It is obvious the evil landlords of Castle Rivenroar layed a being of worship to rest in this protected tomb. Kneeling before the altar is an arcane gnome, whom immediatly turns around and sends his skeleton minions hurling towards our adventurers.

As the skeletons attempt to consume the group, the gnome launches dark curses, illusions, and feelings of fear towards the party. One of the skeletons bursts with shards of bones flinging in every direction toward the group, wounding many. Coffman storms towards the staircase by the alter and delivers a blow to the gnomes head, dazing him and removing him from combat. While near the entrance the rogue is dancing and dodging flying shards of bone.

At the end of the battle, Chant approaches the tomb and kneels before it, saying a sinister prayer. As the tomb opens, Pieter grasps his mace, ready to intervene. Muttering beneath his breath as the warlock is filled with necrotic energy, healing her wounds. A blade of pure evil is bestowed upon the warlock…

“Keep that thing away from me, or it won’t be the only thing in this room that smells of death.” – Pieter

It is now time for the party to track down the hobgolbin chieftan Sinruth, and put an end to the evil in these catacombs once and for all. They enter through the western door of the 2nd floor entrance chamber. Immediatly, they come across a room with rune’s scattered across the floor, and a flaming crack in the middle. Sounds of booming get closer and closer, and soon the door flings off its hinges. It is apparent the group has found Sinruths Abode. The hobgoblin warrior, wearing spiked armor, and wielding a massive spiked chain, immediatly starts attacking the rogue and fighter, wrapping his chain around their necks and pulling them close.

The warlock is the last to feel the sting of the chains blades, as she is sucked into the fray. The blistering sting of cold stings at the feet of the party, as the rogue throws some strikes to re-position Sinruth on top of the flames. The wizard and warlock both unleash their magical arsenal, while the fighter forces the hobgoblin master to stand his ground.

As the battle starts looking long winded, the cleric jumps into the middle and unleashes the forces of Pelor, healing everybody in the party, and making Sinruth feel weak for his evil ways. He falls to various blades and axes of the group, as the Gray Council stands victorious. Pulled from the pockets of the leader, is a poorly written Letter To Sinruth.

“Our quest is completed, back to Brindol we must head and get some much needed rest.” – Coffman

“Yes, I feel the dwarves in Overlook are going to require are help, or the entire Elsir Vale might fall to the hands of the Orcs. It is a few days travel, so we must leave prepared for anything that might greet us on our journey.” – Pieter

Major Quest, Rivenroar Prisoners: 500xp, 200gp

Minor Quest Completed, Red Hand Artifacts: 100xp, 200gp

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Back in Brindol

After the fight with the Ettercaps, and the unforunate finding of Kartenix dead corpse, the Gray Council decided to return to Brindol for an extended rest from battle. The trip back through the wilderness goes much more smoothly (XP 100), and they reach the town within 4 hours.

DING!

The group immediatly heads back to the Hall of Great Valor to give a update to councilman Eoffram Troyas. As you enter his chamber, another band of adventurers is currently talking with him. A short introduction reveals this group as The Freeriders. The High Council of the dwarven city of Overlook has put out a *CALL TO ARMS *for all adventuring partys in the Elsir Vale. Within the 10 days, everybody wishing to join is to meet in the High Hall.

“We are heading there immediatly tommorrow morning, it is a few days travel with horses so we should arrive early.”Megan Swiftblade

“I’m sure after you have completed your task with Eoffram, you would be more then welcome to join.”Ragnum Dourstone

“Yes there is still much work to be done! Only half of the prisoners have been rescued, and none of our precious artifacts. Please return to the Castle early tommorrow morning to finish your task, and you will be greatly rewarded!” Eoffram Troyas

The party readys themselves to head to The Silk and Spoon Inn for a goods night rest, and preparation for the morning. Before you leave the hall however, a new found friend has some last words for you.

“Be careful on the last leg of this journey, as I foresee you being much needed by my dwarven brothers in Overlook. Anytime you come to Brindol i’m sure I will have a few Potion’s of Healing for you guys. Of course you will have to pay me at least for materials, 20GP!”Adronsius

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Rivenroar Catacombs (Day 1)

As the Gray Council approaches Castle Rivenroar, dark clouds are beginning to move into the sky to the west over the mountains. The party follows the golbin tracks to a large entrance that goes deep into the catacombs. After taking a quick peak around, it is decided to enter and begin the hunt for the lost prisoners.

The party comes down the stairway into the entrance chamber. Immediatly the party is pinned in a battle with goblin soldiers and sharpshooters. One of the sharpshooters opens the door to a north which causes the braziers to start movings, and having flames dance between them. After a drawn out battle, the goblins are defeated.

The decision is made to move through the east door, which says on the front “to Von Jallach”. Another fight quickly begins as the adventurers learn to avoid the large glowing runes on the floor. Swarms of drakes attach the party, while a invisible gnome lurks in the midst. After the battle, the party locates Adronsius chained to the wall.

The party decides to start following the directions of the alchemist, and heads back across the entrance chamber through the western doors which read: “To Von Urstadt”. What they run into next, in the room that, as Adronsius puts it “stinks of goblin” is the Goblin Warren. This resting quarters for the goblin army is quickly no match for the party, and especially the rogue Aesop, whom uses his acrobatics and agility to dispatch multiple foes in one fowl swoop!

“Down the chains we must go!”, shouts Aesop, obviously very pround of himself. If only he knew that in the Mushroom Chamber two extremelly un-happy rage drakes are lurking. With the fighter quickly taking damage, the group must make a change in strategy. The armor and reflexes of the group where no match for the 2 drakes, who where barly able to keep up in the last leg of the fight. At the end, the party discovers Zerriksa locked in a magic circle. Obviouslly that hobgoblins believed her to be some sort of witch, which Adronsius hints by his reactions they might hold some truth. She informs the group Kartenix has been killed, and that his son Thurann has been threatened with a knife to his throat.

Up the stairs the group travels, realizing where they are located when they come out the north door of the entrance chamber. They head back through the goblin barracks where they must come to a decision where to go next. Do they follow the directions lead by Adronsius, or head forward down the dark hallway. After having the rogue take a quick listen to the door (in which he hears a crackling sound, much like the one described by the dwarf), they go north into the darkness.

Around the corner they arrive into a room scattered with sarcophagi, this obviously is the Rivenroar Family Crypt! Hobgoblins immediatly initiate battle as sounds of footsteps are heard coming down the spiral staircase. “The rogue must be protected!”, shouts Coffman, knowing the wounds in which Aesop has taken. “I’ll take these two!”, as Chant alertly starts blasting away at helpless goblins. Eventually the room is slaughtered, and the group starts to wonder about how many more battles they can survive.

Through the southern doors the group travels, and around the corner they find a most evil chamber. Gnomes are here worshiping the Raven Queen, as they have dire rats feast on the toes of the helpless Mirtala. “By the light of Pelor, I give us a Beacon of Hope.”, says Pieter. This much needed surge of hope is just what the group needs to overcome it foes and rescue Mirtala.

“What is going on here you crazy old woman!”, while Coffman slaps her in the face. “Ignore him, we are just here to help you get back to your family.” says Pieter in a humble tone. Mirtala is convinced you are hear to do her no harm, and tells you a clue to where Sertanian is being held.

As you walk up the spiral staircase, the ground seems to get more and more sticky. The group approaches a door way and hears the rustling of beasts among webs. “How much do you want to bet this is where Kartenix is?”, says Chant. Bursting through the doors into the Spiderweb Landing, it is obvious these webs could prove annoying. The group is quickly hit with a lash of webs that immobilizes 3 of them. Quickly thinking on his feet, Witherspoon caues a massive chasm to form below the feet of 2 Ettercaps. “This will keep them occupied for awhile!”.

After the dust had cleared and webs had been ripped, only one party was standing, the Gray Council. A blank stare is seen across the face of Pieter as he pulls a holy symbol of the neck of his dead, father like Kartenix. And then the stare turns to a gleam of hope, as he notices it is the Symbol of Pelor. Light can be seen in his eyes brighter then the sun.

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Good Cop, Bad Cop

After the Gray Council is assigned their quest, Eoffram Troyas informs the party that a captured hobgolbin from the raid is being held prisoner. Jumping at the opportunity, the party quickly heads to the cell for a quick interrogation of the hobgolbin Morrik. Initially, Morrik does not sound very open to divulging any information. Quickly however, Chant and Coffman begin a nice round of Good Cop and Bad Cop. With Chant using her Warlock bluff abilitys, and Coffman using his nack for intimidation, Morrik quickly informs the adventurers of Castle Rivenroar.

Using a badly drawn map drawn by the hobgolbin, the party leaves into the wilderness towards the northeast mountains Tracking The Goblins footsteps towards a new adventure!

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Meeting at the Great Hall

Adventures wake up early in the morning, and despite the large hangover from the night before head to The Great Hall of Valor to meet with Pieter and Eoffram Troyas. Eoffram Troyas tells the party that the following members of the town of Brindol have been kidnapped by the Hobgolbins.

He also notes the following items that where stolen from the Great Hall of Valor. These items a trophys from the previous defeat against the Red Hand of Doom.

  • Orante, gilded dragoncrest helm
  • Ceremonial platinum longsword
  • Set of three shields with the Red Hand insignia
  • Set of iron gauntlets with extensive filigree
  • Heraldic battle standard depicting two hands clasped in a handshake

After a long discussion with Eoffram Troyas he decided that this group is the one to help save the Brindol people. Pieter is upset that both Kartenix, and Thurann where captured along with the others. He offers to join the party and thus the Gray Council is formed! The councilman says a reward will be granted if the Gray Council returns all the prisoners, and a secondary reward for the return of the stolen treasure is also offered.

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Out for a nice drink...

Everyone is out for a nice drink in Brindol’s famous Antler and Thistle Tavern. Having a drink at the bar is Aesop the Rogue, and Chant the Warlock. At a table sharing a nice appetizer and glaring into each others eyes are Witherspoon the Wizard, and Coffman the burly fighter. Having a drink with a friend from the Shrine of the Son is Pieter. Suddenly someone is thrown threw the window and a Hobgolbin bursts through the door…. Bar Fight!

After the fight in the tavern, the surviving adventures quickly help the bar maids put out the fire, while having a quick chat with the guards about what is happening. Suddenly, around the corner you see The Ogre Bombardier.

After defeating the massive beast, the party rushes to the bridge to help defend Brindol. The hobgoblins have already reatreated into the wilderness, leaving pretty noticable tracks behind. They head northeast towards the mountains.

The barkeep of the Antler and Thistle offers to purchase the group drinks on the house for the night. Pieter, who has been in town the longest, mentions the party should visit the Great Hall of Valor and talk to councilmember Eoffram Troyas in the morning.

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