Well our newly formed group of dungeoneers met up & decided to head out & explore the ruins of the old citadel, but a funny thing happened on the way to the dungeon
_And so they came, brave young souls lured by the desire for fame and fortune and perhaps something more. They came, directed by colorful invitations to join the “Delvers Guild”. They came with the clothes on their backs and just a few gold in their pockets, little more. Will these small flowers someday blossom? Will they succeed in a career more lucrative and more dangerous than any other? We shall keep a close eye on your enterprise, old friend. Hopefully, they will not make the same mistakes we did._
In a village not far from Bryn Mawr, an ex-adventure named Turtle has opened a business catering to would-be dungeoneers; The Delvers Guild.
The combination of his Delvers Guild mixed with his worldly first-hand experiences give him an edge over other would be delvers.
It is currently MoonDay, the Sixth Watch of Hu’Athe (September) 1002 SR (Sovereign Rule)
You arrived most likely with the near weekly supply run that makes its way to the Devens from Waylands’ Crossing two weeks hard travel from the west.
The trip was uneventful, save for all the rumors and gossip about copper being found in the once thought dry local mines. Along with the amazing adventures of Ozreth of BlackStone & his realm renown exploits in Bryn Mawr.
The small community of the Devens was founded in 928SR by an exploratory team from Waylands’ Crossing looking for natural resources to supply troops during the DarkLight Conflict. With permission & aid from the BloodStone Dwarves of Bryn Mawr, The Devens & Delve Deep were formed
This community was formerly a bustling mining town. The nearby mines of Delve Deep were rich in copper & iron deposits but began to run dry nearly 30 yrs ago. Roughly at this same time did the dwarves of Bryn Mawr simply vanish. Locals had thought that their mines had run dry as well & they simply moved on, sealing their former community up behind them. Slowly over the next couple of decades life in the Devens & the surrounding country side has slowly waned. A few “hard-core” still remain, & the local “Frost Farms” still maintains a profitable business exporting their magical fruit, The Nord Apple & Nord Apple Wine..
Recently however two events have begun to rekindle the Devens;
1.) A large deposit of White Copper (Nickel) along with several smaller deposits of cobalt were discovered in long abandoned sections of Delve Deep, thought dry for decades. This has sparked interest in the mines again & spurred a “mini-rush” as prospectors from the west & south have started making their way to the area.
2.) Recently the Company of the Broken Lantern explored the nearby abandoned citadel of Bryn Mawr & one member returned with a dwarven artifact, pockets lined with dwarven gold, & stories of a horde of treasure (& a dungeon load of monsters!) to be had by those willing to ascend its depths. (Please note however that only one of the seven adventurers return, the others met gruesome deaths at the claws of vile creatures & wicked traps.)
Promising that his comrades deaths were not in vein, Ozreth purchased & is renovating the local tavern as well as the general goods store. He swore to bring adventurers to Bryn Mawr & aid them in their quest to cleanse it of the evil that resides their currently.
Both of these recent events has lead to a rejuvenation of the Devens community, new people have arrived almost weekly seeking to stake their claim. A the stories of Ozreth have spread across the realms like wildfire.
Our heroes get acquainted with old Turtle and the Delvers Guild, they claim their room and head out to the local tavern for an evening of merriment and drink after the long trip to the Devens from the west coast.
After a night of ruckus drinking, including flaming shots & an elaborate piercing ceremony our would be dungeoneers retire to the comfort of their new rooms @ the Delvers Guild.
Another day spent wandering about town casually wasting the day away our heroes return to the scene of last nights hullabaloo. They again take their place amongst the fray, though the townsfolk always seem to give wide birth to the Tiefling & Dragonborn, the rest of the party pass unnoticed. They once again find comfort in their new abode for the evening.
Day 3: Well after getting familiar with the locals (or perhaps out of sheer boredom) our cadre decided to gear up and head off to the old citadel in hopes of discovering its secrets (& earning a lot of coin along the way!).
The cadre reservedly marches along the BlackStone Valley Corridor, a long standing trade road the begins in the western coastal city of Waylands’ Crossing. Used by merchant & traveler alike for near century this winding coarse dirt road follows along the southern base of the EverFrost mountains east, passing the old ruins of the town of Weathersfield, past the bustling Frost Farms. It cuts directly through the old mining town of the Devens before turning sharply northward & into BlackStone Valley roughly two miles away.
SUDDENLY A horse’s shrill scream splits the air, followed by panicked shouting and the sound of splintering wood.
Through the trees just ahead on the side of the roadway, our intrepid adventurers spot a wagon sinking into the ground. The horse tied to the wagon screams and thrashes as it is pulled back to the hole. Several men and women dressed in robes and wide brimmed hats run about in panic. Climbing on top of the wagon and helping the situation not at all is a wild-eyed lunatic wielding a long walking stick.
Aeyis heads into the wood line to investigate, shortly thereafter Fodder bursts through the woods along with Tarja and Shambalinn. They confirm that this wagon is sinking into some sort of hole and proceed to investigate.
Just then the wild-eyed man on top of the wagon spots the cadre and screams,
“I knew this would happen! A trap! Kill them! Kill them all! They‘re after my formula, quickly dispatch them!”
The robed men cease their actions of trying to pull the wagon from the hole and move towards our intrepid adventurers.
Always looking for a fight (or mug of ale) Fodder steps right up and unleashes a devastating blow to the first man, laying him flat. Traja and Shambalinn move into defensive positions, while Aeyis moves into the scene. Ak-Hta decides that his services might be useful and decides to make his way towards the commotion from the road. Another bruiser steps from behind the wagon, this rather large gent seems to be wielding a massive quarter staff (or mayhap a fence post by the looks of it), he moves towards the group, a wry smile across his face.
Without warning the source of the sinkhole becomes all too apparent, ANTS! Our combatants are standing on top of a large ant mound, the wagon had collapsed one of their tunnels and now they have surfaced to deal with this threat to their home. Unexpectedly a large ant surfaces right in the middle of the chaos.
Our group refocuses and attacks the ant, with Shambalinn stepping front and center to face this threat, meanwhile the robed men realize they are no match for the cadre and with the looming threat of giant ants attacking head to the hills, so to does their “leader” as he leaps from the wagon top and hi tails it towards town. Tarja, an obvious animal rights activist moves towards the poor stuck horses flank and cuts it free from the wagon. The rest of our group are heavily engaged with the several ants that have surfaced for the next few rounds.
Having dispatched a pair of ants (and a hireling, mwa ha ha ha) Fodder’s nose begins to twitch, ALE! Sure that the wagon contains a good quantity of the stuff he races (well you know, runs as fast as a dwarf can) over to the wagon and hurls himself into the back. Well wouldn’t you know it, the added weight causes the wagon to begin to slip even further into the hole causing it to tip on end!
Bumbling about in the back of the upturned wagon Fodder is having a hard time getting about, meanwhile our other heroes continue to battle the influx of hostile ants, Shambalinn sustains a serious wound from a larger Soldier Type Ant before dispatching it with his breath weapon. The group manages to subdue the large man with the fence post and all run beyond the wood line, Shambalinn toting the subdued human, to the safety of the road, full well knowing that their could be literally hundreds of ants in the mound, Fodder too manages to escape the sinking wagon and head for the road. Tired and weary our heroes rouse the bruiser and question him before releasing him. Ungratefully he scampers back towards the town.
They quickly move on, not wanting to draw the ire of the now enraged ants down upon them.
A bit farther up the trail they are ambushed by a wild giant boar, bearing down on them from the roadside they haven’t got a chance to prepare for the creatures bold rush. It knockes Aeyis several feet away, his rogue skills allowing him to somehow manage to stay afoot after being tossed.
A bit more “in sync” our cadre manages to dispatch this beast with little effort and are soon enjoy a meal of pork over a blazing roadside fire that evening, mmmmm bacon!
After a well deserved rest and a full belly our cadre is up and off with the sun the next morn.
Two miles from the Devens is the entrance to BlackStone Valley. The valley entrance is flanked by two massive dwarven statues that flank the opening. They are carved directly into the walls of the mountains. The walls of the valley climb swiftly into the distance. The road here is paved with massive black granite flagstones measuring easily ten foot square. They are well worn & traveled as if from a hundred years of traffic, though it is plainly clear there hasn’t been any recent traffic.
The flagstones are all ornately carved with dwarven runes. They tell the history of trade & traffic history going back hundreds of years. The cadre enter the valley and make good time moving up the roadway.
Swiftly climbing higher as they progress. The pitch of the road is enough so that one travels 30’ up for every 100’ traversed. A bit steep, but fairly easy going.
After a mile of travel you have easily gained 1500’ of altitude. The southern panoramic view is quite literally breathtaking, you can see the Devens far below and just barley make out some farmed fields, so to are the bogs & warrens visible to the southeast. Looking northward however the distance is quickly obscured by low lying clouds & fog.
Another half mile (and over 700’ in elevation) you come upon the ruins of BlackWatch Gap. An old BloodStone dwarf fort that was the first line of defense for their kingdom. In a time long before man arrived, the BloodStone warred with the orcs of the Savage Wastes, as well as the many denizens that reside to the south. The ruins are currently very dilapidated & sign of humanoid activity is apparent.
They stand at the bottom of a crevasse, surrounded on both sides by blackrock cliffs. A heavy fog ebbs around them in dark wisps. The icy grasp of it biting at their soul. They make your way cautiously, but quickly forward. After what seems like an eternity the fog begins to dissipate and it’s not long before they find themselves at the edge of BlackWatch Gap in a rocky basin. The gnarled cliff rock stretched and sloped high on all sides forming massive walls around a field of damp ground.
Rock spiders and smaller vermin crawl casually out of the way as you slowly press onwards. The air here is damp, heavy, and smells of musty stagnant earth. They trod warily across the spongy, slick ground. Sinking into a coating of slime with each step.
As they peer into the distance they can barely discern a large structure ahead. They also note small figures moving about.
Gobbers, they are crawling all over the ruins. They can easily make out half a dozen and they sure there’s more. There sure there’s more here than meets the eye. The figures in the distance seem unaware of their presence.
Within minutes, the fog begins to roll in from whence they came, washing over the basin like black blood, the figures in the distance are now obscured.
Cautiously the cadre moves across the basin, encountering a fast moving but narrow brook, cautiously they begin to cross it but to their surprise they stumble upon a solitary goblin lounging about the edge of the brook apparently lost in thought, Fodder quickly rushes the foul beast, the rest of the group unaware of Fodder’s intentions move to aid him. Surrounded by five stout adventurers the gobber turns and jumps into the cold, fast moving brook and disappears underwater, letting the stream carry him under the walls of the valley, but not before it lets out a blood curdling cry for help. The other know instinctively that help will soon be on the way, they quickly begin to negotiate the area and move towards the old ruins.
They encounter a natural staircase leading upwards, they also hear several gobbers heading down it directly towards them, weapons at the ready our group engage them on the path down.
Three gobbers appear, directly confronting the group, Ak-Hta quickly hurls and eldritch bolt towards them, Fodder, Tarja, & Shambalinn directly engage them, while Aeyis stealth fully climbs the side of the wall to gain a better vantage point behind the gobbers.
All seems to be going our heroes way, though not pushovers, they cadre easily holds their own against the three gobbers, soon enough however Aetis learns their are three more gobber perched on the ledge above, bows at the ready, peering through the thick fog trying to discern their enemies below in hopes of peppering them with arrows. The fog seems to be dissipating, as though the valley itself were breathing, it ebbs and flows steadily.
Aeyis sneaks behind one of the unsuspecting gobber archers and attacks, launching his infamous, Sly Flourish attack he manages to dispatch the beast, the other gobber turn towards their fallen comrade and engage Aeyis.
Meanwhile on the steps below our cadre battles bravely, Shambalinn however missteps on the slick slimy steps and manages to take a spill knocking himself unconscious. Fodder however jumps to his aid, Ak-hta launching a slew of curses and eldtrich blasts, while Tarja tries to bash her opponents off the ledge with her shield.
Behind them down the path they hear more gobbers approach. The fog now is almost completely gone as our heroes spot four more gobber all brandishing large clubs making their way up the path behind them. The fight is one, the clash of metal upon metal reverberates across the basin as the group fights for their life. Aeyis causes one of the gobbers to misstep and fall from the cliff while the group slowly dispatches the remaining filth. The last archer gobber flees along the upper ridge and climbs down the cliff face trying desperately to escape the loosing battle. Aeyis, gobber bow in hand makes one final effort to slay the beast but barely manages to nick the monster as it flees. Shambalinn back on his feet along with the others slowly dispatches the rest of the stinking gobbers.
Knowing full well the fleeing gobber is headed up the valley to warn his kind, the group is now poised with the dilemma of chasing after it, or securing their current position and binding their wounds while they figure out a game plan, or mayhap returning to town.
What will they do? Check back after our next session 4/17/10 to find out!
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