Sterling Adventure Company

Into the Well of Demons session 25

I don’t know if I’ll finish this but I do know that I will start it.

The party collected scant information on the Well of Demons. They knew it had been a temple of Bahomet for the Minotaurs and was used as a testing grounds for the faithful. They knew that it has of late been occupied by the Blackfang gnolls under the leadrship of one Maldrick Scarmaker. They knew that this Maldrick was a slaver and was benevolence challenged.

They entered the Labyrinth and plotted a course down deep into the underdark. They got to the Well of Demons and the first room they entered had nothing but a well in one corner and five columns with minotaur figures carved into them. Suddenly they were attacked by two chokers which were horrid long armed goblinoid monstrosities that scampered along the walls and ceiling as well as a ghoul. They entered the room and as soon as the combat started they heard a voice welcome them in and challenge them to overcome all the obstacles and prove there worthiness to Baphomet. As the fight got underway they discovered that they were also fighting a Phalagar, a burrowing many tentacled creaure who was unseen e=xcept when its tentacles reached through cracks in the floor and struck the hapless target. two times it exploded up from the floo with a tangle of tentacles and disappeared just as quickly, except for the tentacles that clung to hapless victims and oozed acid. It was very tense and seemingly near run, but in the end the party defeated their adversaries and pressed on.

Next they entered a series of rooms that were inhabited by gnoll marauders and gnoll beast masters with hyenas. They seemed to be getting the upper hand in the contest when one of the beast handlers escaped and called for reinforcements. The gnolls had many pack attack bonuses that caufght the party off guard. Aponym used a firebolt and a prismatic spray to eliminate a whole bunch of hyenas.

The session ended at that point. The party was uncertain what reinforcements were going to appear and how hard it would be to kill off the gnoll marauders, not to mention the beast handler with his long bow…

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Torgar responds

My Master Hravn:

Apparently there was a create bronze warder ritual, but the dwarves never knew it. They supplied Bronze warder statues to the Minotaurs who created the animate constructs. The dwarves then used these constructs to mine tirelessly and ceaselessly. They were actually controlled by possessing control amulets. Over time the Minotaurs had created several hundred bronze warders.The dwarves, in their greed, kept making more and more bronze warders. A high priest of Moradin, Hralnor Hravn, thought there was something suspicious about those bronze warders and through a high level divination ritual discovered that the Minotaurs had made a deal with a powerful devil who had the power to take control of all the warders whenever he desired! In response to this, he devised a control warder ritual which creates a glove that can control any one bronze warder, arresting the power of the control amulet. The gloves can either be in the form of a +2 rod or as a large leather glove. When in glove form the wearer gains control of any one warder that is being controlled by an amulet. When he was about a third of the way done in manufacturing and distributing these amulets, the devil caught on and launched his attack. The battle was devastating but the dwarves finally won out. They vowed never again to create any more warders.

Ever your most loyal servant, Torgar

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Meanwhile, back at the library

Thunefir, away from all of his tomes, is very curious about the past of Thunderspire and its previous inhabitants. How did these minotaurs create these constructs? What connection did they have with the Dwarves of Thunderhelm?

Thunefir needs to know more about these, so he sends word to his friend Torgar back at the monastic library to research as much as he can about the history of the minotaurs of Thunderspire and their constructs. Were there rituals? Who employed them? For what purposes? Were these cross purposes? What, if any, impact did they have on the Dwarves' downfall?

 

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Investing Deep Hold

In any spare moment when he is not resting or helping his party, Thunefir is busy consulting with Deep Gem about how to increase the strength of the newly won Deep Hold. He wants the Deep Gems to take ownership and Thunefir will gladly assist in any way he can.

Thunefir also sends our any messages to Lord Stirling about the party’s exploits, but he also sends out messages to the different leaders in the Thunderholme exile community to keep them posted and report to them the successes of the Party with the Deep Gems. He tells them that Deep Hold has been won from the hands of Duergar wretches and that we now have a base for advance parties.

He wants the Dwarves allies and Thunderholme exiles to begin sending their volunteers to Deep Hold with instructions from Deep Gem on how to get there. He imagines that Dwarven traders traveling to Thunderspire itself and dropping off one or two volunteers so as not to arouse suspicions. OR Dwarves that would lend their services as guards to groups traveling to Thunderspire or Winterhaven. The dwarven volunteers need to be circumspect and maintain a low profile.

For Lord Stirling, he will have maps and intel and encourages them to start training the Silver Legion in earnest. He gives rough estimates as to when he thinks the Silver Legion might be needed. He tries to write in code for Lord Stirling so if his dispatches are intercepted, they will arouse less suspicion.

Thunefir, after each encounter where Baern is involved, is very intent on recording the exploits of Baern as his Chronicler. Thunefir realizes that not only does Baern lineages is important in claiming the throne of Thunderhelm, but that his exploits and worthiness as a leader are just as important. Nobody wants a King who doesn’t know how to fight, right? He especially highlights the different artifacts that Baern has. This is all to aid in making Baern the bona fide pretender to the Throne.

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Back to Deep Hold session 24

The party was greatly aided in their combat by the profundity of critical hits the inflicted on their adversaries. After the Legion of Avernus was destroyed they went in pursuit of the last Tiefling who had dove down through the trap door, but he was unfortunately lost to sight and they decided to take a short rest before pursuing him in the labyrinth. While they rested and healed and looted, Nemanock’s familiar noticed that the Tiefling had circled around and was looting the body of his cohort in the first room. Nemanock called to the bronze warder to grab the last Tiefling, which it did but not before throttling him of his last hit point. He was trying to recover a satchel and an amulet from his partner. they looked at the satchel which contained three scrolls. The first was a mesage from Paldemar ordering the two Tieflings to kill the party with the bronze warder and instructing them to bring the corpses to the black fang gnolls. The second scroll was to the leader of the black fang gnolls, Maldrick Scarmaker, asking him to accept the bodies of these adventurers and hoping that he found their blood pleasing. The third scroll was a map of the labyrinth with the lair of the black fang gnolls, the Well of Demons, circled.

They took everything back to the dwarves at the Horned Hold, now rechristened Deep Hold, and met with the dwarves. They asked them to keep the bronze warder and to keep him secret and only use him in defense of the hold. They were concerned that the possesion of a bronze warder would raise the ire and distrust of the mages who would see them as a threat. They could have returned the warder, but they could not be certain who was and who was not their friend or enemy. They had recovered an amulet from the Tieflings which was used to control the warder, but which was trumped by the rod that Nemanock possesed when he uttered the command word and changed it into a glove and put on the glove and comanded the warder.

The map proved to be fascinating, asking as many questions as it answered. Ulthand Deepgem, the old dwarf cleric of Moradin, was very helpful in helping make heads or tails out of the mostly unlabeled map.

The party had no pressing engagement than to head out to the Well of Demons where the rest of the halfling captives awaited in certain peril. Ulthand also inquired about his missing pet dire boar which he was still sorely concerned about.

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Sterling Silver In! Session 23

Aponym’s meeting with Orontar, one of the mages of Saarun, went well. They were concerned about the plans that the party had now that they had proven themselves a force to be reckoned with. Aponym bluffed and told them that all they were concerned with was treasure hunting in the Labyrinth. Orontar knew he wasn’t being forthright because he was aware of the Dwarven plan, but he went along with the charade. In conference later, Rendil opined that the mages must know of the Dwarven scheme and Lord Sterling’s plans, and he wondered why he chose to play along with Aponym’s ruse. Of course, Rendil himself has only the most limited knowledge of the full dwarven plan, so he doesn’t necessarily know what he is talking about when he says the mages know all about the plan.

Nemanock’s meeting with his father was preceded by a meeting with Gendar who told him that he was able to make a better offer than Noristo, and that he shouldn’t trust Noristo in any event. N met with Noristo and the negotiations were tense but not without result. Noristo invited him into the clan, but N resisted and said, “We’ll see.” Before he left Noristo warned him that he should not trust the Drow Gendar.

The party then went to make their rendezvous with Paldemar or his representative in the labyrinth. This turned out to be a trap. Quick thinking by nemanock, who turned his rod into a glove and donned the glove, allowed him to control the Bronze Warder who was going to destroy them. At this the Tieflings gave up and retreated to the next room, or were going to, one was actually killed in the first round, but the other escaped to the next room and took cover. Upon entering the next room the party was assaulted by a Legion of Avernus, a hellish mercenary group from the first plane of heck. The session ended with them in combat; six minions were down, four were left along with their captain and two spined devils who were hurling flaming spines o’ poison. Thunefir had sent his spiritual hammer to attack one of the spined devils since they fly and can not be reached from the ground.

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Duergar Out! Session 22

Our session opened with the party attempting to assimilate the dwarves to their new surroundings and decide whether or not they should head back to the seven pillard hall, take an extended rest, or search the rest of the Horned hold.

They elected to search the rest of the hold in hopes of finding and rescuing the halflings that made up the rest of Windy’s crew. The first room they entered was a foyer that had a huge bas-relief of a dwarven army being slaughtered by a legion of demons. across from that was a very ornate door and they entered that room next. I turned out to be the very richly furnished quarters of the duergar chieftain Murkelmoor who the party had just slain. After a brief search they located a heavy iron chest under the bed and Nemanock unlocked it using the key they pilfered of the dead duergar’s body. Indie they founf a black velvet bag that Bearn imediately claimed as his, surprising even himself, and which contained quickstrike bracers that were part of the artifact set that he is acquiring. This caused his accordance with the artifact ring to increase to the point that ring now additionaly allows him to use the 9th level warlord daily power “Knock them all down.” Also in the chest was 261 gp and an onyx statue worth 250 gp. Finally, there was a +2 amulet of protection which they decided should go to Thunefir.

Next they went to the room with all the cisterns and discovered it was where the prisoners were being held and two spiked demons that were guarding/taunting them fled when they entered. They rescued the emaciated halflings and brought them back to the main area to be taken care of by the dwarves and they went to check out the last area, some sort of abandoned temple. Aditionally, there were three halflings (Huey, Dooey, and Louiy) taken away before the rest were rescued. Who took them and where did they take them?

No sooner had they entered the room then they were beset by seven wights who drained them of a healing surge with each successful hit.

The battle was tense because people were running out of healing surges before they ven started. Ultimately, they were defeated and Thunefir was very threatening with his flaming maul, though true to his character he didn’t actually hit them very often, but when he did it waas most grievous, most grievous of all was radiant damage attacks which he had in abundance.

After applying the wight-out, they went back to the main room and shared some loot with the dwarves that were already there and everything else they put in their several chests which were then put in their bag of holding.

The next morning they brought the halflings back to Wrafton’s Inn at the seven pillared hall. Along the way they met up with the kobold charrak, who had a message for them from a shadowy figure who terrified the poor kobold into venturing into the catacombs in search of the party. The note was unsigned, but it said: “Your actions against the Duergar are commendable. I am in a position of power in the evil organization behind the Duergar’s actions, and I wish to help you defeat my comrades. I have been seeking a way out of the organization and I believe you can help me. Follow the attached map so that we can meet in secret.” They decided to take the halflings back to the Inn first and then talk to Gendar before they ventured into this likely seeming trap.

There was much rejoicing all around when they got back to the Inn, but they passed up the immediate celebration and visited Gendar. Gendar had no information to offer about the meeting or the note, but they traded him the onyx statue from Murkelmoor’s room for his estimate on what the mages of saruun might think about the elimination of the Grimmerzhul Duergar and whether they should approach them about this meeting. He told them that the mages liked to remain aloof and unapproachable and any meeting with them would likely end up with provoking them and then they would have to fear the apearance of the ordinator arcanis which usually means the death of somebody. He did add that the mages were none to happy with the Duergar slaving activities, not because they had anything against slaving, but because it attracted the attention of Cormyr. The fact that the income lost by the duergar’s disappearance might be offset by the income gained from the Deepgem Dwarves…If that income were replaced soon enough.

The party is now deciding what to do next:

Go to the meeting

Acquire some minor magic items

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Duergar down! 21

The party searched the entire west gate area and found nothing but mundane detritus. They took a brief rest and wizard locked the one bridge with a ritual and then sallied forth acrss the bridg to the south gate. The doors were partially open and they could here the sounds coming from the Deepgem dwarve’s diversion. It sounded as if there was a fight going on so they proceeded directly across and met the returning Duergar force, which had just chased off the diversionary forces fileded by the Deepgem dwarves. They were surprised to run into the sterling silver adventure company and were quite full of hubris after having chased off the dwarves. That false confidence was to prove to be their undoing as the SSAC dispensed with them quite readily, it was not done quickly, as these duergar were quite tough, but in the end they were defeated. Thunefir and Darius raced out to check on the Deepgem dwarves who had been located not far from the gate by Nemanoch’s familiar.p. With the Deepgem Dwarves safely within the walls of the horned hold, the party bow turned to the original task of locating the halflings as they began to explore the rest of the horned hold.

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They have a cave troll 20

The party ventured back and as they approached the Horned Hold Bearn heard some voices which turned out to be an approaching party of Duergar and their allies. They hid in a litle cave where they found a secret door which Nemanock was able to open just in time for them to get into the secret passage and shut the door as the Duergars marched by. They followed the passage until it let them out in the area in front of the gate. When they emerged from the gate they were set upon by a duergar guard and two homonculi with the bodies of an arbalest. The battle was over quickly, but even so in the first round of combat the duergar had blown a horn and the party had raced back to their rescue and they had to fight this new party with out a short rest. The battle was a real donnybrook with the party finally vanquishing their foes, but not before they had used almost all their encounter and daily powers. Darius was one hit away from death. They next will have to decide on their next course of action.

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The Map 19

The party pressed home the attack and wiped out the remaining orc thralls and a couple Duergar smiths as well as the mastersmith Ulwol. Actually, once again, an enemy got away to worn others. One of the smiths who was adept at invisibility was able to slip past them and run to warn the others. Whilst he was away doing that the party quickly began blocking the doors as Nemanock, later joined by Aponym searched the first part of the Horned Hold that they had cleared. They found some coin and the ceremonial dagger that Gendar had quested them to find, they also stole away with some Duergar armor. They took their leave when the Duergar and orc thralls returned in numbers with a large orc/ogre/troll thing that began bashing in the doors they had blocked.

Upon return they delivered the scepter to Gendar the drow elf who, true to his word, paid them handsomely. They then went and met with the Deepgem dwarves and hatched a plan whereby the dwarves created a ruckus at the main gate while they gained entry through the rear again and tried to find the halfling sailors that they are after.

Their meeting was interrupted by an imp that told them Gendar wished to see them again. Gendar recieved them in his same cool demeanor, but offered them a map of the hold for the return of an onyx idol possessed by the Duergar leader Murkelmoor.

They learned from the Deepgem dwarves that the Duergar are immune to illusions and resistant to fire and poison.

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