Hey everyone sorry for being so late with this, but things have been a little busy and with the next part of our campaign saga starting tomorrow night, I figured that this would be a good time to let you all know how the first part of this saga ended last friday! Enjoy it!!
When we last left our heroes, we saw them defeat Rory, the halfling rogue, and his band of halfling ruffians. Having befriended the surviving members of the group and gaining their loyalty, the crew of The Barrel and Hammer tavern (led by the goblin, Skakaan) make their way to valve cluster E-213.
The goblin showed them down the narrow path leading deep into the tower. The stench of the mold and sewage alert them to how close they all are to the sewer. For reasons unknown, Vit was not able to accompany the group, but an Elf Seeker by the name of Elros had been nearby and witnessed the battle in the Market. Sensing the need from the group, he traveled down into the sewers with them, hoping to reach the Valve cluster. As they enter the sewer, Elros notes that they are not alone and Skakaan flees back up to the surface.
Not moments after Elros’s observation, a crossbow bolt streaks over their heads and a pair of Warforged appear from the shadows of the dark and dank sewer. Only one of them speaks. “You have the Provost’s Journal.” It stares pointedly at Bolgor. “Give the book to us, and we will allow you to live to see another day.”
The other Warforged speaks then, a sinister smile spreading across it’s metal face, “Refuse, and we will make your deaths slow…and painful!”
Harjongr tried reasoning with the duo. “Look, what is it that you want with the book?”
The Warforged Attackers eyes blaze in the dark. “That is only for our master to know!” They wage their attack upon the group, soon joined by a trio of Razorclaw Shifters, that savagely launch themselves at the party. Contending with the warforged, who seem to vanish and reappear to strike at will at them; and the shifters , who mindlessly attack Bolgor and Horjongr; the party must also avoid the random movements of the sewer valves which either shoot gouts of flame or a sudden column of steel. Caught by one such column, Bolgor and “Wolfie” (his Direwolf Mount) are knocked over, his mount landing on top of him.
Seeing Bolgor’s dilemma, the two Warforged laugh, “Serves you right, you pathetic Flesh Traitor!”
“What the hell?” Bolgor cries out in response. “Why do you keep calling me that?” Soon he is up again, and begins to attack alongside his comrades as they bring down each of the attackers. The lead warforged, finally falling, opens his chest and releases a clockwork dragonfly, much the same as the one the Warforged “Cutter” released in Sharn. Before the group can move to catch it, the machine jets away, back up the stairs from which the party had just come.
Elros looks over at the rest of the party. “This kind of thing happen to you often?
Othello, holsters his guns. “More and more, lately.”
The crew move forward through the tunnel, coming to a door lined with arcane symbols and intricate metalworking. Hamilcar notices that, in the center of the door, is fixed a piece of worked metal in the shape of the ancient house Cannith seal. The same one that covers Bonal’s journal. Harjongr fishes out the journal and moves it to the doorway to compare the two. As he does, the two symbols glow brightly and the symbol on the doorway begins to unweave itself before bursting into a magical fire. Within a few moments the door slides open, revealing the way into the Ruins of Dorasharn…
The Ruins of Dorasharn
The group moves into a passage that is completely consumed by darkness. In a brilliant move born of foresight, Othello puts on and activates his Darkvision Goggles. Through the psychic link granted by Hamilcar, his darkvision is granted to the entire party.
Upon passing through the tunnel and entering the chamber, the group is assaulted by a swarm of angry, shiny, black beetles. They are easily destroyed with the use of one of the many fire bombs that the group purchased before their journey. However, the assault does attract the attention of a horde of giant rats that ambush them as they progress through the ruin. Our heroes manage to corral them all into a corner and end the threat they pose just as easily.
As they deal with the rats, Wolfie and Othello break away from the rest of the group for a little scouting. Wolfie gets an uneasy vibe as they approach a ruined old temple. Othello takes out the long gun he purchased and looks down the sight and into the room, using Wolfie as a shield. He discovers a small magical pool inside of it and wanders nearer. Satisfied that the room is free of any possible threat, he examines the room and the pool itself and learns that it is part of a healing fount. Moving back into the range of Hamilcar’s psychic link, he informs the rest of the party of the fount and they, having just defeated the last of the giant rats, all move to the temple room to partake of the waters. The two dwarfs storing some in a vial (oh yeah, Vit has come back, paid Elros 250gp, and relieved him of his post) to take with them for later.
The group soon come across another room with admantine double-doors that bear, you guessed it, the Ancient House Cannith seal. Horjongr touches the old journal to the door and waits…
After some observation and scrying on the doors, they discover that the doors are spell-sealed and fortified by an amazing lock system that, unfortunately, none of the gang have the skill to unlock. As they check around the outside of the room, they notice a gaping hole in the roof and, after skillfully climbing the wall, Othello is the first to enter it.
The room turns out to be the ancient foundry that the party had been sent to find. As he looks around the room, he notices three pairs of glowing eyes staring back at him from the shadows.
They are warforged doggies…er…woof?
Three warforged dogs step forward, a collective metallic growl vibrating from the trio.
Wisely, Othello leaps up the wall and back through the large hole and onto the still intact portion of the roof, where the other heroes have begun to gather.
“Uh, guys…metal dogs down there.” He speaks as the Vit and Horjongr make it up onto the roof. “They don’t look very friendly at all.”
Horjongr looks down into the room, the dogs look back up at him, almost quizzically. “Well, what we need is in that room. I’m bloody going down there.” He leaps through the hole and onto the floor. All three dogs converge around him…
…and all three dogs sit where they stop, not moving, just staring. An occasional robotic whine escaping from one of them.
Horjonger takes his hammer and smacks the nearest dog square in the jaw. The dog’s face clangs, snaps backward, and then turns to look at him again, doing absolutely nothing.
“It’s fine lads!” The Dwarf yells to his comrades. “They won’t harm you, come on down!”
Vit and Bolgor follow Harjongr into the room, leaving a wary Othello and Hamilcar looking down into it from the rooftop. The moment their feet touch the ground, the Iron Dogs leap at them, snarling and biting. Othello starts shooting at them from his perch on the roof and Hamilcar lends the group Psionic aid in the way of his Telekinesis. The only one of the trio on the ground not being attacked, is Harjongr.
It takes him only a few moments into the fight to understand why. “The Book!” He calls as he smashes his hammer into another Dog. “They won’t attack me while I carry the book!”
“Well goody for you, Mate!” Vit yelled as he smashed through one of the Dogs with his hammer. As the dog fell, deactivated, a small rectangular rod expelled itself from it’s head. Vit looked at it curiously and then went to aid his friends, reaching Bolgor just as he was finishing off another of the constructs. A triangular shaped rod, emerging from it’s head.
“I got this one.” He wipes what looks like oil from his blade and dusts away the metal shavings from the dog he had just felled and they both turn to aid Harjongr, converging on the last of the metalllo-dogs and rendering it scrap metal. From this dog’s head a circular-shaped rod emerges the only intact piece of what used to be a metal dog. The Trio examine the rods as Othello and Hamilcar descend onto the floor, satisfied that they have quelled the threat within the room. As the two wander over to the rest of the group, Hamilcar notices the forge/furnace unit in the room.
“Hey, isn’t this what we’re looking for?”
The others look over as well, and a wash of excitement washes over the entire group at their find. They do notice, however, four depressions, evenly spaced atop the forge. A Pentagon, a triangle, a rectangle, and a circle. Othello walks over and examines the forge with Hamilcar. Together, they discover that the depressions fit the rods that emerged from the Iron Defender dogs.
Bolgor gave a look of confusion. “But, there were only three of them!”
A Quick look around the room revealed the pentagon rod, trapped underneath a large bit of the collapsed roof. Vit, Bolgor, and Harjongr work together to lift the rubble and collect the rod. They all move towards the forge and reach to start inserting the rods when Othello stops them with a “WAIT!!”
The rest of the party turn to look at him in confusion.
“The forge is rigged. You have to put the rods into the slots in a particular order, or else a magical kind of fail-safe will activate.” He explains
“Any ideas as to what the fail-safe might be?” Harjongr asks, warily.
“None.” Othello replies. “But, honestly, do you really want to know?”
Recognizing his point, the others decide to heed his advice and try to figure out what the correct order placement might be.
They start with the Triangle rod – click. And they are safe
The Rectangle rod – click, safe again.
The Pentagon rod…click, once more.
The party insert the last rod into the forge and hear the sound of something slowly shutting down, followed by the sound of something else retrieving power. There is a series of clicking sounds and a hidden vault emerges from behind the forge and opens, revealing a few gold ingots, some silver and gold pieces, a few healing potions, a potion for mage armor, an old and dusty map, and an admantine plate in the shape of a seven-pointed-star.
They also notice that the spell-locked doors are now open.
Triumphant in their victorious find, the party begins to leave the foundry when a flaming crossbow bolt whistles just past Bolgor’s face and into the wall behind him. Before anyone has a chance to question where the bolt came from, another flaming bolt thumps into the ground just in front of Othello’s feet.
From across the room, a large Warforged carrying a large sword and a crossbow emerges from the shadows. “Weak fleshed FOOLS!” His voice booms across the distance. “Here, you will face Saber, greatest of the devoted followers of he who is the LORD OF BLADES. You will throw down the schema and walk away.” There is a bit of a gleam in his red-gem eyes. “This day does not have to end with your blood on my hands.”
Saber…yeah, that’s his real name
Othello draws his gun as Horjongr speaks up. “There’s no way you’re getting your hands on this schema, lad. You’d best be the one to walk away.”
Saber laughs hard. “You think you pose a threat to me?” He glares at all of them, stopping at Bolgor. His red-gem eyes glowing brightly with surprise and sudden rage. “YOU!” He throws down his crossbow and points a metal finger at him. “You dare side with the weak fleshed peons? You FLESH TRAITOR! You will be the first to taste my blade!”
Once again, everyone turns to look at Bolgor, who holds a look of utter confusion upon his face. “I have absolutely no idea what this thing is talking about!”
“Liar!” The Warforged shouts. “But it does not matter, I gave you your chance. Now! You will all…”
Vit raises his hammer to the sky. “CHARGE!”
No quarter was drawn. Before Saber had a chance to raise his sword, the party had torn into him to the point of barely being able to stand. He managed a good swing of his sword upon Horjongr, who staggered back at the ferocity of the blow.
In the end, it was Bolgor, himself who delivered the killing blow, sinking his blade deep into Saber’s chest. Saber looked him in the eyes and spoke one last time. “It would…be you…to end me…brother!” A final flail of his sword landed a solid cut into Bolgor’s face that slashed in a diagonal line from just below his eye to the other side of his chin. As he pulled his blade from the fallen Warforged, he realized that he could feel no pain from the wound. Thinking it just a scratch, he turns to his friends who all gasp in shock.
Horjongr tilts his head as he takes in Bolgor’s face. “Well…this certainly explains a lot.”
Vit’s eyes go wide. “Nine Hells, man…”
Othello, for the first time, is speechless.
But it’s Hamilcar’s face, a mix of shock and horror, that causes Bolgor to worry. “You can’t be…you just can’t be…”
Bolgor looked at them all in confusion. Othello mimed at his face. Bolgor lifted a hand to his own face, feeling where the skin had tore from Saber’s final blow. Where the skin had parted, he felt something cold and metallic. Almost on queue a sudden flash of memory…
Bolgor stands on a massive battleground in the middle of the night, a large sword in one hand and a mace in the other, blood dripping from both. The old crest of house Cannith was etched upon his armor, and the colors of the house adorned his armor as war-paint. A large war forged soldier, also wearing the crest and colors of Cannith, is beside him. This figure’s armor is adorned with many blades along his back and his face, his eyes burn white in the darkness, but his face is as calm as a warforged is able to manage. The large worforged places a massive hand on Bolgor’s shoulder. “Fear not, little brother. You fought well today. I have faith that this war will be over soon and we will be as free as the humans that created us.”
Bolgor feels a swell of warmth from the place he feels his soul must dwell, and he looks at his older forge-brother and nods. In doing so he is able to see the reflection of his own warforged face looking back at him from one of the face-blades. “That will be a good day, my brother.”
That’s right friends, the Lord of Blades is Bolgor’s Big Brother!! Take that!!
Bolgor snaps out of the memory, looking at his hands in horror. “But I’m…but I’m…I’m human!” His voice is low and scared.
Horjongr, in an act of mercy, lays hands upon Bolgor’s face and heals the faux-flesh, once more concealing his true form. Bolgor weakly nods his thanks, a wave of melancholy washing over him. Hamilcar keeps his distance from Bolgor as the party leave the ancient ruin and make their way back to Sharn.
At the Broken Anvil tavern Lady Elaydren, stunning in her glammerweave gown, beams with elation as Horjongr passes the schema to her. She raises her tankard of Mead to the entire party. “You have my thanks,” She speaks enthusiastically. “and the thanks of my House.” She looks over at Bolgor who sits alone, still in shock over his self discovery. “Will he be alright?” She whispers to the rest of the party.
Vit, takes a swig of his ale. “He’s taking the whole not actually being human thing pretty hard.” He whispers. “Granted, it does explain a lot.”
Hamilcar’s eyes flash with anger. “How could he not know?” He glances at Bolgor for the briefest of moments. “Did my father know about this?”
Othello puts a hand on Hamilcar’s shoulder. “Calm yourself, nephew. I’m certain there is an explanation for this, but let’s not dwell on this now. Let’s celebrate our victory.” Hamilcar nods in compliance, his mood somber.
Elaydren, unfazed by the outburst, happily drains her tankard and stands. “My friends, I must go.” She drops a bag containing the remaining gold for completing the assignment and smiles at them all. “If you care to, periodically check in with the House Sivis message station. I shall leave word for you when more work becomes available. Until then, I bid you a good night.” She tucks the schema into a satchel and hands it to her bodyguard, and the two of them depart the tavern, leaving the party to what merrymaking there is to be had.
To be continued…(in Shadows of the Last War)