Baldimar

Just Gnoming around a new town
Journey to Snortifyndel

Though the party was able to stop the drow agent that was attempting to poison the town’s food they were unable to capture him. The adventure picks up with the part talking with Content Not Found: null_. They give him the “device” that he had sent the crew to retrieve and though he was pleased with the results, he seemed to not care much about the device itself. The party asks for information regarding the drow agent and learn that he is on his way to the drow city of SSespoolle. They could try to catch him but with his head start it would be difficult to intercept him before he made it to the city. Instead, _Content Not Found: null is willing to set up a meeting with this agent. That way the party could capture him and possible get more information on the drow plans. The group agrees and a meeting is set for 2 months out. It’s a 4 week journey to SSespoolle and the meeting will be midway there so the party will need to manage their time till then.

The team decides to try to make headway in tracking down one of the four keys to the great gate. Specifically the one thought to be held by the gnomes. After updating command on the thwarted drow plot, the party asks for permission to travel to Snortifyndel to request war resources from the gnomes. Command said they would get back to them in a couple days with an answer.

Since the team doesn’t really have a couple days to wait for an answer and had no pending orders from command, Fangris and Eric chat with Dorfdin and secure employ for the party as guards for his trade caravan back to Snortifyndel. The caravan crew consists of Dorfdin, 4 gnomes, and 2 human porters. None are helpful in combat. The path he takes is not one that many people know about and is a couple days faster journey.

On the way they encounter some baddies (10 gobs, 5 orcs, 1 ogre) and dispatch them easily.

Once the gnome city is reached, the caravan master is very pleased and gives each member 20g which is fortunate since the town is expensive. He suggests that the party rest up at the Dancing Troglodite Inn. They have a particularly good porter.

At the inn the team meet Tindo who is working the bar. The porter is indeed as good as advertised. Tordok, Hadghar, and Tic-Toc ask for the best blacksmith and are pointed toward Anklebiter. They plan on going there the next morning while Hadrai, Eric, and Fangris plan to initiate diplomatic contact.

At the blacksmith the three are surprised to find the smith is a dwarf. Tordok asks permission to use his shop to modify some armor for Hadghar and in return will perform the Rite of Purification on his forge. Anklebiter agrees but admits that he doesn’t believe in superstitions. Seeing this as an opportunity to bring another dwarf to the Great Father Tordok casts Stoke the Flames on Anklebiter to improve his smithing skill and has him fix the armor.

Hadarai meets with Dildano. The gnome agrees that it is in their best interest to help even though gnomes are not fighters. They will help with supplies as they can but also suggests that they talk with the city scoutmaster, Jalek. When asked about the key to the great gate he mentions that it sounds similar to the Snortifyndel Key to the City which is a large platinum disk.

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Catching up
It's been a long time

Magic Recap: The intrepid heroes were last seen on their way to the Azers to deliver a package to them from Dhaxigar, the Dark Elf merchant. The heroes did this in payment for him setting up a situation where we could ambush the evil dark elf we’re trying to kill.

Eric Nobeard named sword “Witherer” after his penis.

We’re in a toxic city, with some protection from the heat.

Hadarai’s blade is called Regret.

We went to a cavern near the Azer city and there are dozens of fire/magma creatures looking to kill us.

  • Magma Hurlers (bugbears) – artillery, vulnerable to cold (slow), resist fire, cannot be petrified
  • Flamespiker Tongues (minions) – melee, spikey hands, immune disease, petrify, cold; resist fire
  • Bloodfire Ooze (big fiery guy)- immune fire, vuln cold
  • Fire Elementals (troll) – vulnerable to cold (cannot shift), fly, mostly melee

Victory. We has it.

4 frozen whetstones, 8 frozen bolts, bloodstone (400gp)

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Rollin' out of town, bitches

The party is heading north, down into the caves. We return to the Kruthik layer (where we killed the hive) and sleep for the night. Prepare to go down the shaft we previously went up.

Secure and bind 300 feet of rope in order – it’s 275 feet down, narrow in parts. At other end of chamber at bottom is a 10 ft corridor, sloping down. Ceiling here in cavern is around 25 ft high on average. Grade varies from 2-4% with ittermittant drops of 10% and 25%-30%. It used to be an underground river (wash).

Head down for a while. Run into several caverns similar to the original one we descended. After several hours, it begins to loop back on itself, like a switchback descending. At the end of the first day, come across an underground stream. It’s fairly deep, but only 5 feet wide.

Hadarai leaps the river. Tordok trips and falls in, luckily secured by rope and hauled in by Hodghar. He makes it on the second time. Tik Tok also falls in due to his incompetence. The water is clean and feeds Darkglass lake – we refill our water supplies.

After a few more minutes travel, we encounter a cavern with mushrooms growing in it. Dinner is prepared. Everyone rests.

Next day, we continue down (and further from town). We hear something in the cavern walls – 30-40 feet up. Tordok and Erik go to investigate ahead of Hadarai’s glowing aura. Tordok tosses a torch up into an alcove and several winged underdark bat-like predators swarm out and attack. Erik takes the bulk of it before Hadarai moves forward and tossing an incendiary sword at them. Hodghar used his breath weapon after the next rush. Hadari jumps into the group and blasts them, followed by a massive light of arvendor attack by Tordok. We kill them all.

There are shiny objects in the nest. We find more of the strange foreign coins – 15 gold coins with strange designs. S hsndful of copper (9) and silver (15) and a flask (healing potion).

Several more days descending into the bowels of the earth. Three+ miles down, 7-8 miles across in that time. Four days of rations have been consumed.

Finally the switchbacks seem to have stopped, mostly headed north by northwest. The caverns are widening up (50-100 feet wide). Find food every once in a while (mushrooms, fish).


Day 8: Now come to bioluminescent moss in a huge cavern (500ft across). Extremely long (over a mile). The moss is wet – water trickling down the wall and into a crack on the floor. Hadari takes a sample.


Day 9: Continue on for several hours. Get to end of cavern back down to a small channel. One more hour it opens up again and at the far end, 200 ft, some small creatures standing at a double door. They are kobolds. They’re watching us, but not reacting yet. Hodghar’s axe is vibrating and humming in reaction to them. There are spaced holes and kobold-height along the way to them. The kobolds slightly shift as we approach. We talk to them, they nod to the door and say “Master”, indicating we should go on. The kobolds pay Hodghar (and his axe) more deference than the rest of the party.

Inside is another hallway – worked, 40ft long. Alcoves are there – larger kobolds stand guard in them. Human-sized (6 ft tall). They all have the same inverted tear-drop on their armor. At the end is a T-branch and a door on both sides.

We go left and go out on a terrace, 20 feet above a cavern (both doors connect on ends of the terrace). On the far side, 50ft away, there are a large number of kobolds. The far side doesn’t appear to have a way up (30 feet above the cavern, fairly dark). See several dragonborn atop there. See movement in the darkness. Deep, raspy voice of mama dragon (?) – very large dragon.

Dragon asks Hodghar if he is a paladin and asks who he worships. Hodghar answers “Bahamut”. Dragon wants to know why he wears the symbol of “the taloned one” – his family heirloom. Has religious signficance – it is a symbol of Tiamat.

Business: Dragon (Uofalth) needs our help, will pay. Another dragon stole items hundreds of years ago. In exchange for returning them, the dragon will part with something else.

  • Agent of unique red/white dragon crossbreed named Rimefire stole several scrolls from this dragon’s horde when he was away. It’s on the surface, several hundred miles to the north.
  • In return, the dragon will give us magical items and information.
  • Upper world is very wild (snowy where we came up) – Rimefire’s layer is at the north end of the daggerspine mountains. Might be some maps in Garnok or Snortyfindel. All of the human and elven cities were laid to waste.
  • Prophecy concerning Hodghar – a dragonchild will rise from under the earth to battle the dark queen. That’s all he has. Uofalth thinks Hodghar is the subject of the prophecy.
  • Has potions that will help on part of the journey.
  • Keys to Western Gates
    • one of the keys in Snortyfindel;
    • one key stolen by drow (who are preparing to march from their city in the south)
  • Garnok water/plants dying because of drow poison.
  • Hodghar’s axe is a Scalebane
  • Strange coins are from the kingdom of Chad. A small city-state on the surface world over 1000 years ago before the great wars started. They controlled a decent sized portion of land off of the sea and their borders went from the great cliff wall in the north to the eastern side of the elven wood of Aelindar. The kingdom was 150 miles north to south with 100 miles east to west covering its area. At the time there were three major cities:
    • Helmsport (capital)
    • Old Chad (ruined by attack by great green dragon, rebuilt)
    • Tortuga
  • It was one of the first places to fall during the war.

Ways out?

  • Gates
  • Our way
  • Grockelstaad (north of Garnok)
  • Darkglass lake – flows north empties into the Dark Sea.

Gifts

  • Suit of Armor for Hodghar (?)
  • 5 healing potions
  • 3 protection from fire potions
  • Medic’s Amulet +2 (Tordok)

Experience: 175 (bats) + 250 (dragon rp)
Tordok +50XP (river), Tic Tok +25

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Return
7/16/11

Hadari spoke to Adrialla Brightwing about finding the surface. She asked him not to share information because of a massive drow army coming to destroy everyone.

Tordok and Hodghar in library researching:

  • Dwarven Prince Grathnor, whose tomb we found.
  • 4 keys to gate
    • we have 1
    • elves might have one (Telthoran)
    • gnomes might have another
  • Hodghar’s Axe – Wilholm of Clifton, Protector and friend of Prince Grathnar, stood valiantly against the hordes. Kord, seeing his skill and bravery, chose to make permanent Bless Weapon on axe (standard +1 with something else)

Party meets up again. All agree not to share information with public. Tordok has some leads – Snortyfindel and Elven (Telthoran).

Adrialla tells Hadarai that the harvests are getting smaller…. the plants are “weak” and beginning to shrivel. Need to check the source of the water supply. Tons of springs to feed into the lake – flows into dark sea.

Plan: Going down to investigate Hodghar’s visions, then investigate lake, then Snortyfindel gnome/key thing.


Walking through lower class section of time. Shady guy asks if we want to make money. Erik is dumb enough to accept. There is a pit, he is going to fight an ogre.

Three of us fought and won lots of money.

Roleplaying XP: 150

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Nest hunting
Where the party closes in on the Kruthik home nest and receive an unexpected visitor

After resting and regaining their strength, the party advanced through the tunnels looking for the source of the kruthik horde. The group found the first group in an open cavern and quickly and methodically dealt with the creatures. Unfortunately, Leoric was separated from the group and killed by an adult kruthik before help could arrive.

Throughout the fight, Hadarai felt a rising magical energy throughout the entire cavern, like crackling energy. It rose to a crescendo until, with a crack that seemed to split the universe apart, a person appeared out of thin air. He seemed to attack the kruthik, so the party decided to wait until after their foes were dead before investigating the newcomer.

Once the fight ended, the visitor named Gerthion gave his story – he was an apprentice mage picking up components for his master, Hethrion, of the distant city of Snortifyndel. He regularly used a teleportation gateway to meet Dhaxigar, a traveling drow merchant. The party agreed to allow the sorcerer to accompany them, despite the random and unreliable nature of his magic.

Heading south through the tunnels, the group found a small alcove which contained what appeared to be a very deep natural chimney 4 foot wide. There was a high concentration of kobold remains in the areas surrounding this alcove. Agreeing to investigate the chimney at a later point, they pressed onward. The party then found themselves in an even larger tunnel and found another group of the kruthik, along with a larger specimen that seemed to be some sort of Hive Mother. The party dealt with the group, delaying and obstructing the Hive Mother while the other adults and young were dealt with. With the kruthik dead, the party took a short rest to evaluate their options.

Experience: 763 XP
Treasure: Large purple gemstone (unknown value), 2 gp, 15 sp, 48 cp

Notes: The while all the other monetary treasure so far has been either simple metal blanks or coins of Garnok, the two gold pieces bear a design on both sides unknown to anyone. One side contains an engraving of some type of winged serpent with his tail coiling down at the bottom, while the other side is engraved with two crossed sabers.

Additionally, under on of the kobold bodies is a small scroll tube sealed with red wax.

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XP Totals
Player Character XP Level Need for next level XP Diff to Level
Matt L Erik 3068 3 3750 682
Chris C Hadarai 2665 3 3750 1085
Josh H Tordok 2608 3 3750 1142
Cloudwalker Lia 1785 2 2250 465
Jeremiah Baern Boltthrower 1685 2 2250 565
John M Hodghar 1497 2 2250 753
Mike H Fenris 1484 2 2250 766
Jeff S Leoric 1470 2 2250 780
Matt H Jaymee 1110 2 2250 1140
           
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The Hunt Continues
Where the party continues to seek the kruthik nest

The party continued through the elaborate cave system, looking for the source of the kruthik infestation, taking the Eastern passage in liu of heading further North.  The group continued to encounter passages heading both East and North, with the groups leader Erik deciding continue heading Eastward during each branch.

After two smaller skirmishes, the party found themselves in a bigger nest. The fight was hard fought, but successful due to excellent tactics and the very effective sleep spell on the kruthic hivemaster by Lia.  After completing one of the smaller skirmishes, a search revealed several additional kobold skeletons mixed in with mostly golbins and a few humans and dwarven remains.  

One exceptionally large kobold remains was also found along with what appears to be a scale of a of some large reptilian creature. The scale appears to have been sewn into a tattered cape. The scale is shaped like a crescent on one side and coming to a blunt point on the other with the crescent side being jet black fading to an deep purple color.  With an overall size of around 7 inches, the scale must belong to a creature of immense size.

Tordok performed rituals to lay the bones of his fellow dwarves to rest and provide them with a fast journey to the Halls of Moradin.  

Experience: 735 XP
Status: The party is taking an extended rest

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Tordok Journal Entry 2

It must be the Western Gates! I’m sure of it now.

I was able to sketch out some of the runes from the door and took them to Bolov. My instinct in consulting the mage was good one. He had never seen an application like this. However, he did recognized exceptionally powerful runes from both dwarven and elven schools of magic.

This gave me a good idea of where to look. I do admit that I am much less familiar with the arcane section of the archives. It took longer than I expected. There have been very few times that elves and dwarves have worked together to create something that….permanent. The Exile was one such time. I found a description in a moldy treatise that was more boast than substance. No wonder it was buried. The mage described the creation of a great portal to seal off our world from the destruction above. You would think he single handedly constructed them! The key points however. There were two: He admitted to being assisted by an elven wizard named Hanchir. Hanchir! (The Transcendent One himself!) He also mentioned the keys. Four of them.

There can be no other explanation. I know what I saw. But why? Surely it cannot mean for me to attempt to open these gates. The way to them has been blocked (or so we have been told) and is some of the most dangerous tunnels in the Underdark. Even if I am able to get through to them, the surface would provide even worse horrors; even if I do not perish instantly.

Where are the keys?

These are questions for another time. I have been up for 28 hours now and am scheduled for patrol tomorrow. It looks like it’s going to be a bug hunt. May the Light of the World Forger protect us.

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Bug Hunt
Where superior tactics and terrain prove greater than numbers

The party were back on duty and off towards Kartan’s Crossing, this time with a purpose. Command gave orders to hunt down the kruthik hive and put an end to it. The party ventured deep into the caverns, stumbling across a smuggling hole along the way (where Erik found a very nice short sword, replacing it with a cheaper goblin copy).

Eventually, they found the kruthik in multiple areas of a cave network. The party came up with a plan to draw the beasts to a choke point and butcher them. The plan worked to perfection and the first major group of kruthik was destroyed with little impact to the group.

Experience:

  • Tordok: 1457
  • Hadarai: 1930
  • Hodghar: 1497
  • Erik: 1917
  • Leoric: 1470
  • Jaymee: 1110
  • Fenris: 1068
  • Garthen: 1095

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Tordok Journal Entry

It is the middle of my sleep period but I feel it is vital that I take note of the dream. It’s been two days since coming off patrol and I haven’t slept well but this…It still feels like it is pressing behind my eyes. Like I could close them and still see it. This is the dream…

It is dark and I know that I am in a large cavern, though I cannot see anything but myself. Suddenly I notice in my hands are four large keys. Two in each hand. They glow bright, but not painfully so. They appear to be made of…platinum? Suddenly they fly from my hands into the dark before me as if falling horizontally. Two to the left. Two to the right. As they slide through the gloom I notice an immense double gate about 200 paces in front of me. It is far larger than any I have ever seen or heard of. The doors seem to be made of the same metal as the keys and they glow as well. It is ornate with runes (that I do not recognize) covering every surface. It is reinforced with strong bars as big around as the stoutest of my kin. These slide into the floor and the ceiling. Hinges are on my side. What was this made to keep out? The keys slide into four niches to either side of the gate and turn. Silently the bars draw out of the floor and ceiling. The doors (at least a foot thick!) swing toward me with an equal lack of sound. There is light through the opening and this time it is blinding. Painful.

That is all I can remember. I need to speak to father about this. I wish Grand Da was still here. He told me stories of prophetic dreams, though he never claimed to have any. This was not normal. I hope I can remember this tomorrow.

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