After recovering from their adventure in the Shadowfell, the group met with Kalad. All was going well until Khem revealed the ingot of metal he recovered from Sarshan’s dark foundry. Kalad became visibly concerned when he saw the ore and quckly rushed off, instructing the PCs to seek Councilman Cragsplitter as soon as possible
The party returned to High Hall for the first time since they searched for Modra and the mysterious Lost Ones. When they met with Councilman Cragsplitter, they were greeted by Kalad and Bram Ironfell. All three of the dwarves examined the ore and came to the conclusion that it was from the Karak Lode.
Bram went on to explain that the Karak Lode was famous for the rare metal it produced. Metal that was very difficult to work but produced weapons and armor with astounding magical properties. Bram’s tale continued on and explained the location of the mine had been lost in time. He also revealed that Kalad’s recent raids against the Lost Ones’ warehouses in Overlook had uncovered a fragment of a map that maight lead to the Karak Lode.
The party had recovered a second piece of the same map in Sarshan’s dark foundry. When the two maps combined it revealed the location of the Karak Lode from the ancient dwarven trading post of Haz’Khzdur. Unfortunately portions of the map were still missing, and the precise location of Haz’Khzdur was lost to the ages. However it’s general location was known.
Cragsplitter entrusted the party with the mission of locating Haz’Khzdur and in turn the Karak Lode. The Councilman informed them the journey would take them across an unpleasant bit of terrain known as the Thornwastes. He did arrange for an old friend to meet the party.
It always comes down to the library….
Laurzon Cragsplitter furrows his brows, "Ore? Hmm. Perhaps you better start at the beginning.... Last I heard from Kalad he had tracked you to the Happy Beggar and found a pair of portals in the basement. Portals that lead to warehouses full of illegal weapons, contraban, and a mix of Shadar kai and dark one." Vyhev: Indeed good sir, one portal led to the Shadowfell itself! Khem: Er, we continued to follow up on Modra and the blades Arannis sits in the chair, looking comfortable. He seems to perk up his ears at Cragsplitter's question. Khem: It led us to the basement and the shadowfell... as V stated Vyhev: There was a dastardly plan afoot, sir, one that would see this world ended! Khem: uh and a dragon, don't forget the bloody dragon Reginald: A mercenary camp of sorts Arannis: (mumbles) I know I won't. Khem: We met a nice lass and some bonecrushers Laurzon Cragsplitter writes a few notes, "Continue" Khem: Which led us to Sarshan foundary where we located the ore, a mindflayer and a plot Vyhev: One that would see chaos set loose upon the whole of the cosmos! Shady deals, Double-dealing, all sorts of foul plotting to undo our world Laurzon Cragsplitter: And what do you know of this plot? Khem: Modra disobeyed Sarsharan and made a deal to sell weapons to the Orc Khem: But the head man has a more dastardly motive and didn't want anyone stumbling upon it so he set Modra up Vyhev: and that the one behind it, Sarshan, tried to buy our services as mercenaries to his cause Khem: Perhaps I could relate a more detailed report sir but you see their was a library... (grows quiet) Vyhev 's scales turn redder than normal... Reginald: We told him we already had employment elsewhere. Reginald drops a hint. Vyhev (splutters): they were also doing unholy experiments on creatures! Khem: Er and there is that ore that troubled Kalad and the um the portals (raises an eyebrow) Arannis: Sir, it's also important to note that he was using several portals to accomplish this. Laurzon Cragsplitter: I see....it seems you had quite an adventure. Khem nods enthusiastically Vyhev: some of which have been destroyed, or disabled...or only work with a key... Arannis: It seemed he had reached his influence into several locations. Arannis: The magical instability caused earthquakes and a volcanic eruption that I can only assume wiped out his base camp. Vyhev: mostly to disreputable sorts like Orcs and goblins...but who knows what peoples may have succombed to his offers of wealth and power Laurzon Cragsplitter: But as I understand it, you know little of this Sarshan's plans or motives? Arannis: Not much, sir, except that he was hiring and training mercenaries. Arannis: His endgame, we didn't discover... Vyhev: ...er...he was creating new...creatures and bent on the destruction of the world! Laurzon Cragsplitter: Definitely a troubling turn of events. Laurzon Cragsplitter: So what is this ore that got Kalad so upset? Arannis: He didn't identify it, just said it was rare and special. Vyhev: I ... don't think he said, exactly... Khem: Something he had not seen in many years
Following the fragment of the map, they headed south deep into the Thornwaste. The sharp brambles and the lack of any discernable path made travel difficult, but as promised the party soon located an old….friend, Jack Darkhollow. When they lost saw Jack he was another adventurer hired to help defend Overlook from the impending orc attack. Vyhev attempted to sweet talk him for more information. But now Jack was the “legendary” Sir Jack Darkhollow. He wasn’t clear on how he had become knighted or what great deeds made him legendary, but he did manage to lead the party through the Thornwastes to the town of DunesEnd.
DunesEnd was once the last trading outpost between Overlook and Haz’Khzdur. But with the decline of the dwarven empire, the town was little more than a trading post. A trading post that was under attack by gnolls. The gnolls were nowhere near equipped to deal with skilled adventurers.
After questioning the townsfolk, they soon discovered the gnolls were sent by someone known as “The Warden”. Apparently this “Warden” had sent the gnolls to collect ever increasing amounts of tribute from the villagers. They also encountered an old hermit.
They pull him aside at the airport too
Jack Darkhollow looks around surveying the dead gnolls. He places his boot on the skull of one of the beasts, "Another stunning victory for Sir Jack Darkhollow...and his loyal band of followers! Blacksmith, see to the wounded when you finish with dinner" Khem (mumbles): I got your blacksmith right here, Rock farmer, blacksmith, that is racial profiling that is. Oh yes and next they be asking where my horned hat is
A one sided conversation
Vyhev looks somewhat distracted and ...shocked...at the odd antics of the canaries that are landing on and around the man with a fringe of snow white hair and matching beard dressed in desert garb Sir Jack Darkhollow flourishes his longsword to make his point. Khem continues to dig ignoring the others Sir Jack Darkhollow: Scout have you found the path yet?! Vyhev turns in a circle as if she is watching someone walk.... Arannis goes over and helps Khem, keeping an ear toward the conversation. Arannis: What man, Vyhev? Keldo salutes yes, first you need to jump in the well.. from there, swim to the bottom Vyhev points "That man there" Khem turns at Vyhev's voice, Sir Jack Darkhollow looks to the skies, "Burdened with not one but two elves who obviously were kicked while milking as a child" Arannis: (to Khem) Are we going to bury the fallen one over there? Khem (mumbles): Dinner will be delayed... Arannis looks at Vyhev, then where she is pointing. Arannis: (to Khem) It would seem so. Arannis looks at the bird-man. Birdman whistles and chirps...the canaries tweet and dance about him. Keldo: well.. lets go talk to this guy Khem rises covered from fist to elbow in pigs blood, "Er, would that be the warden then?" Arannis: (to Birdman) Hail, friend. Keldo starts walking over there Birdman smiles and nods. Khem (dwarven): Oi you speak? Birdman smiles and whistles...the birds chirp. Arannis: Most odd. Vyhev cocks her head to the side "you speak to the birds?" Birdman tosses a scrap of food which the birds gobble up. Vyhev: Are you the one who has been keeping me up with the damn happy chirping? Reginald: Greetings friend. Khem (mutters): Bloody Deaf Elf and a mute warden and no cactus in sight for these boots. What a day I be having? If uncle Barl could see me now, how he would laugh... A bird lands on Vyhev and coos Arannis: Well, whoever he is, he has taken some interest in Vyhev. Vyhev walks to the man, an odd look on her face "Do you have a purpose or message, or are you an observer?" Sir Jack Darkhollow sniffs at the sand and wanders off a short distance. Arannis: (to Jack) And just where do you think you are going? Khem points at the nearest villagers spear and then the pig. He holds up two fingers and clanks his belt pouch so the coins jingle... Keldo: she.. let him go Birdman smiles and holds out a finger....the bird lands on it and then flutters off. Keldo: shhhh* Arannis: (to Keldo) That man is misfortune personified. I'd rather have him where I can see him. Vyhev looks perplexed, and holds out a finger A bird flutters onto Vyhev's finger and chirps. Vyhev looks at the man, an eyebrow raised Arannis raises an eyebrow, then whispers "Fascinating". Sir Jack Darkhollow: I'm looking for thtrail...someone has to save these people....and since I'm the hero that obviously falls on me! Reginald: Don't worry no one expects so much of the porter. Arannis: (to Jack) Don't wander far. You still have a flask to retrieve. Birdman smiles and nods Vyhev: ...ok now what Arannis: Well, he sought you out, Vyhev, we just need to find out why... Reginald: We can either rest here for the night and set out at first light or move out now. Vyhev flexes her finger slightly, to let the bird know it can take off if it likes Sir Jack Darkhollow: Ah ha! I have found them! Tarry not my loyal followers ....and you my fair lady! There is villany that needs besting! Reginald: I suppose we should see why this person is following us as well. Arannis: (to Birdman) Can we be of some help to you, sir? Khem pulls out two gold coins. He points at the villagers spear again and then at the pig and makes a giving motion with the coins. Birdman whistles and a bird hots over to Arannis's boot. It promptly poops. Arannis narrows his eyes at the poop on his boot. Arannis goes over and wipes it off on the bush. Vyhev purses her lips but mainly only produces spittle, as it is nearly impossible to whistle around fangs Vyhev smiles a little sheepishly, nods, and turns back to the others... Reginald snickers
The trail of the Warden’s gnoll enforcers lead through the Thornwastes. Keldo had little trouble following the trail. The tracks ended near a rather enomous pit. A wooden staircase descended into the pit, so it was pretty obvious the gnolls and the Warden were using as a base of operations.
The group planned a sneak attack but despite his elven birth, Keldo was unable to move through the woods without alerting the gnolls. Soon the battle was joined and the party began to overwhelm the gnolls. Reginald took the opportunity to shove one of the gnolls into the pit and was disappointed when the fall did not kill him.
His disappointment grew as howls and barks from below signalled reinforcements.
Elves are sneaky!
As Keldo moves forward he steps on a branch and it breaks with a loud CRACK! The gnolls all look towards the sound. Arannis winces at the sound. Gnoll Huntmaster barks and yips loudly as he points to the woods in the general direction of Vyhev and Keldo. Arannis looks thoughtful for a moment, then grins to himself. Gnoll Huntmaster knocks an arrow and sends it Keldo-ward. Gnoll Huntmaster strikes home! Arannis looks at Jack, a look of wariness in his eyes. Jack Darkhollow stumbles through the woods nearly falling and tripping over every branch. At one point you think he is about to step on a skunks tail. Yet he passes without making a single sound. Gnoll Demonic Scourge barks and yips and points to Arannis's rough location! Arannis looks at Reg, the tips of his ears bright red. Khem curses Khem: That hunter sent, If the elfs would bathe occasionally however
With the barks from below drawing them deeper into the hole, the party found themselves fighting several gnolls on a wooden staircase. Arannis and Reggie performed a daring dive off one of the platforms to engage some troublesome archers who were at the bottom of the hole. Vyhev, Khem and Jack moved to block the stairs while Keldo engaged another set of archers.
Combat took a sudden turn for the worse when a Fang of Yeenoghu slammed into Vyhev and knocked her off a platform. She barely survived the fall but thanks to Reggie’s quick healing was soon back on her feet engaging the huntsmen.
Khem and Jack managed to fend off the advancing gnolls and Keldo traded arrows with a pair of huntsmen.
After fighting their way down the staircase the party crept deep into the cave, seeking the Warden’s lair. Reggie crept forward and was the first to discover the Warden, was in fact a black dragon. Several of his gnoll servants were nearby. Vyhev distracted the beast with some negotiations while the rest of the party mopped up the gnolls. Eventually the beast grew wise to the party’s tactics and launched into a ferocious attack.
The previous battles with the gnolls had taken their toll on the party but in the end, Vyhev slew the beast and Arannis went swimming in sludge to get treasure
So do we fill out a resume or what?
Vyhev: Great master dragon, allow me to rid you of these filthy gnolls! Arannis's knuckles go white on his sword hilt. Khem: Er, nothing foolish now ears! Arannis looks as if he's struggling to regain control of himself. Warden pauses and sniffs at Vyhev, "But the gnolls bring me such tastey morsels....what would you offer in their place?" Gnoll Thug 13 charges at Vyhev barking, "We are not so easily replaced! " Vyhev: less smell, for a start, and my clan has long been searching for a new great advisor of your kind, since our last was slain long before my birth Arannis: (mutters) Oh, we're going to have words, she and I... Gnoll Thug 13 whiffs. Reginald: Let's remove those to the south so that we don't leave our backs exposed. Khem: South Aye Warden swishes his tail, "and this clan...would move here? And of course bring me food and treasure...." Vyhev: As you know, great master, the clan follows the advisor, and provides for the advisor for it shows the favor of Bahamut on the clan Warden snorts, "Bahamut? I didn't think the cave was that dark......Maybe my guards landed one too many blows to your skull?!" Vyhev narrows her eyes "Are you a follower of The Queen of Darkness then, great master?" Reginald: I'll deal with these two. Warden: I am a follower of none! I am a leader! Warden roars. Vyhev: Even the greatest of dragons recognize the first dragon, the creator dragon, Bahamut! Reginald: Unless the Dwarf can deal with these peons Arannis: Jack, guard the flank! Vyhev: The greater the dragon a clan has as advisor, the greater the favor Khem: Er, Jack ever had roasted Dragon meat? Any Good? Warden: Yes I can see now you are hopelessly addled......Io was the first. Bahamut was just left over when he was sundered! Khem's belly rumbles Khem: I haven't eaten for hours after all Jack Darkhollow hurls a dagger at Thug 14, slaying it. "Hardly a challenge for the glorious Sir Jack Darkhollow. Squire don't forget to return my dagger" Reginald mumbles I'll return it to your neck Khem: Oy did he just spit that common rumor that Io became Bahamut and Tiamat Vyhev: But Bahamut remains, Io was hopelessly torn, we do not speak of Io Vyhev spits Khem: That one is too small for me spells to hit lad The Warden: Then you are fools! Pray to Bahamut...perhaps that leftover husk will aid you!" Arannis grins evilly and says "Excellent". The Warden rises up to his full height and ROARS
After defeating the Warden, the heroes returned to the newly liberated town of DunesEnd. Unfortunately the old man was gone and they had yet to find another clue to the location of Haz’Khzdur, the landmark they needed to reach Fortress Ironfell and the Karak Lode. The party decided to spend the night in the town and then set out fresh the next morning. As they gathered and pondered what to do, Sir Jack Darkhollow mentioned he had a friend named Baznnikul who might be of some assistance.
The townsfolk overheard this discussion and cautioned the heores against such a foolish plan. It turns out Baznnikul is a legendary brass dragon who was suffering from some form of madness. Even worse, local legend had it that Darkhollow’s history with the wyrm was somewhat…checkered…..”
The diety you have dialed is not available…please stay on the line
Khem kneels in front of the altar of Melora imploring Erathis to aid him Arannis looks at Khem with a quizzical expression. Far far away in the Astral Sea, Melora relays the message to Erathis. Divine powers are brought to bear upon the mortal plane and somewhere...over the horizon near a dwarven citadel....a new fern springs to life. Maybe something was lost in translation.
Well he wasn’t using it….
Lotho Elberesk: I don't think that will save her from being eaten..... Arannis: That may very well be, if that is her fortune. Arannis: Now, what do you know of the Baznnikul? Sir Jake Darkhollow: Foolishness...Baznnikul would never eat me or my companions. It was only a barrel of 100 year old mead...nothing significant.... Vyhev punches the dwarf in the arm "and you likely never will!" Khem taps foot looking at the sun and dreaming of ale Arannis: (to Jack) To a dragon, my friend, you would be surprised what matters. Sir Jake Darkhollow: Hush porter, the adults are talking. Arannis's hand keeps twitching toward his weapon as they talk of the dragon, but his expression is cool and neutral. Vyhev wrinkles her nose "dwarves, ugh" shudders Arannis: Jack, given the several times I have saved your neck, you would do well to show me and my companions more respect, or I might just leave you to fortune's whim next time. Lotho Elberesk: Baznnikul is mad! Too long in the sun! A brass dragon...older than any can remember....he lives out in the desert somewhere. No one knows where. Only a fool would go looking for him! Vyhev looks to Jack "You took a barrel of 100 year old mead from a DRAGON?!" Khem pulls out a pipe unslings his pack and huffs at the delay Sir Jake Darkhollow: There was a party to be had...you can't have a proper party without mead. It's not my fault his lair happened to be on the way. Besides we go way back... Arannis: Unfortunately, Lotho, we must seek his aid, crazy or not. Khem: Aye the Knight is correct, not a proper party without booze Vyhev: way back...how exactly? Khem lights his finger and thusly his pipe Arannis looks thoughtful for a moment. Arannis: (to Lotho) Is there a particular place he stays near in his wanderings? I'm sure, as much as he is feared, the locals try to avoid him... Sir Jake Darkhollow taps his chin, "Let me think...we first met after that business in Overlook...with the orcs.....must be at least three or four moons" Vyhev: er, dear, did you fight the dragon these moons ago... Vyhev (mutters): and 3, 4 moons is hardly "way back" Lotho Elberesk: I haven't heard of anyone seeing him in over a dozen years.... No idea where he'd be. Sir Jake Darkhollow waves his hand dismissively, "I know exactly how to find him. It's simple. We just walk a little ways out in to the desert....."
The party set off into the desert, following Sir Jack Darkhollow to the lair of Baznnikul, a brass dragon that the locals cautioned them was insane. There was also a rumor that Jack had stole a barrel of 100 year old mead from the dragon, but that was probably just a misunderstanding…..
It quickly became apparent the party was lost in the desert wastes and water was running low. The heat was beginning to affect them all, and Jack was no exception…which is unfortunate because he supposedly knew the way to the dragon’s lair.
When all seemed lost, the party was set upon by several whirlwinds. They soon learned these were elemental servants who had been scouring the desert for Sir Jack Darkhollow. Vyhev convinced them to transport the party along with Jack to Baznnikul’s lair.
The conversation with the dragon was….interesting. The villagers had not been mistaken, the poor old beast had spent too much time in the sun. After some convincing, Baznnikul provided them with a map to Haz’Khzdur. Sir Jack Darkhollow decided to remain in the dragon’s company while the party continued their quest for the Karak Lode.
Lost in the desert with Jack…
Sir Jake Darkhollow: Can't be long now....I'm sure it's just over there by those palm trees and waterfall..... (there is no waterfall or palm trees) Khem Er, wipes sand from his eyes Arannis: What trees, Jack? Sir Jake Darkhollow: The ones over by the mermaids.....who aren't wearing any clothes Reginald: I think I'm going to climb on Khems back and have him carry me. Sir Jake Darkhollow: ...Hello ladies....Sir Jack Darkhollow is here...why yes that is a longsword... Arannis: Name of the gods... You're hallucinating. Vyhev seems to be absorbed in prayer Arannis smacks Jack in the back of the head to snap him out of it. Khem: Um, I don't see hand trees nor a trip tub Khem: Oh never mind something lost in the translation to dwarven I guess Sir Jake Darkhollow: Ooo...you are a frisky minx....if you're into that I better get my remove affliction scroll handy....
Conversations with a dragon….an insane one
You later find youselves in some sort of sandy cave. Perhaps part of a mesa. The chamber before you is huge. In the distance you see a pair of large glowing eyes and you hear the sounds of a great beast breathing. Oh and you have sand in your boots. Khem curses Arannis takes off his boots and nonchalantly dumps out the sand. Khem: (in dwarven) Fuckin' Cyclones can't travel without blowing sand up me bloody ass crack and down me boots Keldo looks at dragon.. looks at vyhev.. your stage Baznnikul snorts. It's head moves out of the darkness and stares at Khem intently. Vyhev pours the sand from her boots and shuffles her armor to dislodge some of the sand there Khem: Er, hi again? Vyhev: (in Draconic) Oh Great Baznikkul! We come to you for a trade! Baznnikul: (in dwarven) You dwarf....amuse me....do you fancy some ale? Reginald: Can we all speak the same language? Arannis: I can see that much, I want to know what those things were in the sand and how you negotiated our way down here... Baznnikul switches his gaze to Vyhev, "a trade? My my and what do you have to offer?" Vyhev (under her breath to Reginald): that is up to the dragon...we want something from it, I am trying to flatter not offend Khem: Aye, please Khem: Ale, your great desert is a bit dry for me tastes and ale would go down well Baznnikul wiggles a claw. Vyhev: Yes, great dragon a trade...We ask for information, and mayhap you have a treasure you want retrieved, or some quest we can complete for you A small sand cyclone moves in from another chamber and sets a cask down in front of Khem. Khem Raises an eyebrow Khem: Thank you very much Vyhev looks over her shoulder at Arannis "Does it matter? Or is it enough to know we are here unharmed?" Reginald: We'll give you Darkhollow as trade. Khem Works on unsealing the cask and fishes around in his pack for his mug Arannis: It might matter, depending on what was offered. Reginald: He's mostly undamaged goods. Khem drains the first draught and refills his mug Arannis: (to Khem) And how is the ale? Keldo: at least physically.. mentally he is way off his rocker Baznnikul: Hmmm....A treasure? or a quest? Vyhev quickly interjects over Reginald "we cannot trade Sir Jack, for he already is indebted to the dragon!" Khem: Ah, the underground and ale! I could die a happy dwarf! Vyhev bows her head, "Indeed great Baznikkul in exchange for some information" Khem sits down resting his weary legs on the slowly emptying cask Baznnikul: Do you have any astral diamonds? They sparkle. Keldo heads over to khem to have a sup Vyhev turns to Arannis "nothing was offered, I just asked for an audience and asked that they not harm us" Baznnikul swishes his tail. Arannis: (whisper to Vyhev) It couldn't hurt to see if there is a water source down here... Vyhev looks in her pack "I am sorry great one, I do not, but I would happily retrieve one for you" Khem refills his mug Khem: Just one? Arannis raises an eyebrow at Vyhev and says, "Interesting. Pretty easy, given the menacing look of the creatures". Baznnikul sniffs at the pack, "What do you have then?" Reginald: No Astral Diamonds that I recall Khem: Well, she is betrothed to that one, points at Jack Khem swigs some more hearty ale Reginald: We have him. Reginald points at Darkhollow Baznnikul smiles, "Sir Jack is to be married? That sounds like a great story. Is it a great story? Sir Jack always has the best stories!" Vyhev displays her items to the dragon Vyhev: Oh, indeed it is a great story! Baznnikul: Did you know he saved an entire town from zombies with just a dagger and a longsword? Khem: Aye, did he have a squire, a porter, a cook, a blacksmith and a fiance back then too Khem chortles Arannis: He did not tell us that tale, great Baznnikul, but I'm sure it is a fascinating one. Khem looks at his suddenly empty cup Baznnikul: No but he had a mighty steed with hooves that shook the earth like thunder! Arannis takes a slow, deep breath, in and out. Khem: Wow, the loss of such a fine beast, tsk tsk Vyhev smiles a little uneasily to the dragon "Do you count Sir Jack as a friend, great one?" Khem refills his mug Baznnikul sniffs at Reggie, "What about you? What do you have?" Baznnikul: In my 726 years I've never met a hero as great as Sir Jack! Reginald: I have my friends here. Baznnikul ponders, "Hmm...but what would I do with them?" Vyhev smiles hugely and cocks her head to the side "Really?! I mean, of course, why else would I, a dragonborn, be betrothed to him?" Khem: Er, Jack mentioned some mermaids ... hiccuup... have you seen them about great dragon? Arannis bites his lower lip. Reginald: Well you could keep the one *jerks his thumb at Darkhollow* The others could be used to complete some task Baznnikul stares at Khem wide eyed, "Mermaids? No I haven't! But mermaids in the desert would be a sight to see! That does sound just like one of Jack's adventures!" Khem nods trying not to spill any beer on the sand Baznnikul spots Keldo Baznnikul: An elf! Vyhev turns to Jack "Jak, darling, why don't you tell the dragon how we became engaged?" Khem holds up two fingers Baznnikul: I haven't seen an elf in ages! Keldo bows toward the dragon Keldo: how may i serve you great one Sir Jack Darkhollow is unconcious/delirious still Vyhev looks with concern at Jack Khem quaffs more ale Arannis looks at Darkhollow with mild concern and says, "Perhaps you should have a look at your fiance, he looks unwell". Baznnikul: Do you know anything about trees? Not many trees in the desert. Vyhev: Great Baznikkul, do you have any water, to revive Sir Jack?" Khem points at the rapidly emptying ale barrel Arannis: (to Khem) Water would serve him better, I think the heat has gotten the better of him. Khem: Ersh cae ave ome ot his Keldo: yes, I know quite a but aobut trees.. I live in one Baznnikul absently wiggles a claw and a servant sand cyclone brings a waterskin in from an adjoining chamber. Reginald: I once heard a story of a shipwrecked man who lived for two weeks drinking his own urine. Baznnikul: Live in a tree? Is it a big tree? Where do you go to the bathroom? Reginald: He may not like it but if we top off a canteen for him it could save his life. Arannis looks with disgust at Reginald's story. Khem: Weally etter en blaud that Keldo: ahhhhh.. we let it rain down onthe more unfortunate creatures.. you really dont want to live below an elf Arannis mutters, "May fortune never find me in such desperation." Vyhev dabs some water on Jacks lips Arannis shoots a coveting look at the waterskin. Baznnikul laughs a loud and terrible laugh. Vyhev: Thank you, and thank you Great One Khem indicates the cask of ale Khem: Yoursh aunt ome? Baznnikul: Live below an elf! Arannis seems to relax a bit at the dragon's laughter. Vyhev begins to trickle a little stream of water into Jack's mouth Keldo chuckles-- well i cant see you ever doing that Arannis steps over to Khem's ale cask, digs out his cup and gets some ale, sipping it slowly, savoring it. Sir Jack Darkhollow mutters, "okay...but just once more...your sisters are waiting...." Khem: Esh gaud ent et? Arannis: (to Khem) Quite, my inebriated friend. Vyhev raises her eyebrows and pours a cupful of water on Jacks head Khem nods sagely, spinning in circles trying to fetch his pipe from his belt pouch Reginald: So to pull this conversation back on track what aid might we give you that you might assist us in our quest? Arannis smiles at the dwarf's antics. Khem: Asque aboust mine mine? Sir Jack Darkhollow sputters, and shoots straight up, "I swear her chasity belt was like that when I found her! I was just helping her put it back on!" Vyhev (quietly to Reggie): He seemed to be happy with an epic lie, I mean tale Reggie Baznnikul: A quest? What quest? Does it involve zombies? Khem: Esh no wragon sleighing talesh Baznnikul wags his tail....skittering treasure about. Reginald: It involves the greatest zombie of them all! The zombie king! Vyhev does a long slow blink and thrusts the waterskin at Jack "I think you are quite able to drink it yourself now, De-ar" Baznnikul ooos Khem: Andsh his re-viving Bone Sharshd Skeletons! Arannis nods at the dragon, a more somber look on his face, as if contemplating having to deal with this powerful zombie looms on the horizon. Reginald: and turning them into zombies! *nods sagely* Khem takes another swig, not noticing his cup is empty once again Baznnikul is enraptured Vyhev: We are searhing for Haz'Khzdur, then the Fortress Ironfell for the Karak Lode Great One, we are sure to meet many foes along the way, if we could just FIND it" Sir Jack Darkhollow looks about, "Ale! Ah! Good work blacksmith. I hope the porter didn't get sand in it carrying across the desert!" Baznnikul: And the zombie king is there?! Vyhev: No, Jack, this particular cask was given us by the Great Baznikkul Khem hands the pewter mug to Jack Arannis: We believe so, Great One. Khem: This was made by me Uncle Barl Khem: You can borrow it and we be even Khem slumps over holding the mug straight up Khem: Jawst need a sec Reginald: All signs point to our villain being there. Sir Jack Darkhollow: Excellent! Metalworking runs in the family then! Khem: Be wright as elven rain in a moment, really Arannis: This is why we have come to you. We need your help finding this foul creature's lair. Baznnikul: So you're all apprentices to Sir Jack?! Khem nods Sir Jack Darkhollow raises his mug, "Rightly so!" Arannis gives a slow nod. Vyhev tilts her head to the side "Not I, great one, Jack is my betrothed!" Arannis turns to Vyhev and whispers "Could I trouble you for that waterskin?" Baznnikul nods, "Right right. Now where was it the zombie king was hiding?" Reginald: No he's more of our porter Scarlett (Vyhev): She would Jake but she thrust it at Jack at the "chastity belt" comment Jake (Arannis): oh, missed that, so it's most likely on the ground... J Z: It was like that when he found her! Jake (Arannis): haha Troy (Khem): Waiting for you to pick it up J Z: And carry it Troy (Khem): You are the porter J Z: like a well trained porter Troy (Khem): :) Arannis picks the waterskin up, takes a sip, then pours a small amount over his head. Arannis shoulders the waterskin. Khem sits bolt upright Khem pats his belly Reginald: The villain we seek is located at Haz'Khzdur Khem: Cast Iron Stomach, now where were we Khem: Right, yes... My mine Khem Snatches up the mug made by his grandfather Baznnikul: Haz'Khzdur....hmmm....dwarves and zombies.... Khem: Oh, great dragon I know my gift is not much but I give it of my own free will. This mug was made by uncle barl. It is not shiny but it practical and of fine make. I would part with it for the info we seek Baznnikul: There was an old dwarven fortress.....I found once. Ooo treasure Khem: You know of my love for ale, and it tis a sad loss but it would honor me if you would accept in promise of your share of our successful reward gained Baznnikul: I'll happily accept such a find! Baznnikul sends a small cyclone to retrieve the offering and ferry it to the top of his treasure pile. Arannis looks at the cyclone with fascination. Sir Jack Darkhollow: Truely.....those are fine porters you have old friend.....wisking things away silently...always at your beck and call. Vyhev turns to the dragon and bows her head slightly "you found an old dwarven fortress, do you remember where Great Baznikkul?" Sir Jack Darkhollow: Take note porter, you could be replaced one day! Vyhev snorts Khem: And on that stuff would not come up missing good Jack Arannis bows at Jack. Vyhev indicates the cask of ale .. "May I, good dwarf, I seem to be parched" Sir Jack Darkhollow: No back talk either...nor craziness of jumping off cliffs to fight gnolls. Khem nods at Scales Arannis: Great One, we have gone through our water supply on our journey here, and I need to refill our waterskins. Is there a supply of water down here. Vyhev looks around for a cup of some kind... Arannis seems to be abnormally unfazed at Jack's comments. Baznnikul: I remember where....I think. I could draw you a map...I think! Khem: Excellent! Vyhev: That is great news! The best we have had in many a day! Khem (mutters): Since meeting Jack in Fact Vyhev: Might I have the use of one of those goblets there, Great Baznikkul? *indicates the treasure pile* Reginald: A map would be splendid Baznnikul: Okay....but take one from the middle of the pile...the ones on top get dusty! Vyhev laughs "Indeed? I will take care" Baznnikul sets about casting a spell to create a map....he appears unusually focused. Arannis , while the dragon is casting the spell, says to Jack, "It might be wise, sir, to ask the dragon for fresh waterskins. I'm sure he would not hear the words of a lowly porter." Sir Jack Darkhollow ponders for a moment, "For once a useful idea porter" Vyhev moves over to the treasure pile and tentatively tries to remove a goblet from the middle of the pile Khem scrunches up waiting for the crash of the pile Sir Jack Darkhollow furrows his brow and makes a complex gesture. A tiny cyclone struggles to bring out a cask of water. It wobbles along in an endearing, almost Eladrin fashion. Vyhev pulls the goblet from the treasure pile and proceeds to fill it from the cask Sir Jack Darkhollow: I told you porter, you could be replaced. Arannis goes around, collects everyone's waterskins, and begins filling them from the cask. Vyhev looks intently at Jack for a moment wondering how the heck he did that The tiny cyclone follows Arannis often winding up underfoot. Arannis smiles at Jack and says, "Perhaps, sir, but I doubt they would have my fighting skills and then the world would be without your... heroics." Arannis: (to the cyclone) Stay put, you're getting in the way... J Z: Now you know how Jack feels! Vyhev looks at Jack, a considering look on her face Vyhev takes a drink of the ale Arannis fills the waterskins, then hands each one back to the appropriate party member. Khem bows to the porter Arannis gets to Jack and says, "Where did you learn that particular skill?" Reginald: How is that map coming along? Sir Jack Darkhollow shrugs, "Sir Jack Darkhollow is a many of many talents!" Arannis: That's I'll grant you. Baznnikul squints at the map, "Done! I think..." Khem: Aye, like the talents of a lightning rod! Vyhev laughs and hiccups "I drank more than I thought, I thought he said that whole thing wrong" Baznnikul delivers a rather simplistic map to Reggie via cyyclone servant. Khem: Ah, the map Arannis catches Vyhev's eye and raises an eyebrow. Khem steps close the dragon proffering his hand Vyhev smiles, her eyes with an unusual twinkle in them Reginald: Excellent! Thank you friend! Vyhev bows low in deference to the dragon "Thank you Great Baznikkul! May Bahamut's blessings be many upon you" Khem (to Reg): Good, keep it away from Jack, Arannis and Keldo and it should be a short trip Reginald tucks the map into his tunic Sir Jack Darkhollow: Actually my friends, I think it is best if you go on this adventure alone. It is time for my little birds to leave the nest! Sir Jack Darkhollow claps Khem on the shoulder, "Blacksmith take care of them" Sir Jack Darkhollow looks at Arannis, "Porter don't leave things behind or eat all the food...again" Arannis can't hide his look of complete relief. Khem's shoulders slump, sad to see the man who save his life leave Vyhev raises her eyebrows and purses her lips "I cannot, unless you are releasing me from our engagement" Sir Jack Darkhollow: Squire, make sure their weapons are maintained! Sir Jack Darkhollow: Scout, try not to get them lost in the brambles again Keldo sighs.. no one understands strait through is usually the most painful way Sir Jack Darkhollow: and Vyhev, dear sweet Vyhev, I only hope this abscense will be brief, for Sir Jack Darkhollow is an exceptional man, and fighting off hordes of suitors is much harder than besting a horde of zombies!" Baznnikul: Zombies! Arannis: May fortune bring you your reward, Sir Jack. Arannis: (to the party) Now, off to find the zombie king! Khem scratches his head Arannis turns back and bows deeply to the dragon. Khem mouths "Zombie King" to Arannis Vyhev nods, dumbfounded and unable to find any words Arannis mouths "Later" to Khem. Khem shrugs Reginald pulls his cloak close around him as he prepares to leave. Khem: Luck Jack! (he'll need it) Sir Jack Darkhollow stands next to Baznnikul and waves. Reginald: I suppose it's time to leave before we wear out our welcome. Vyhev places the goblet back on the treasure pile and turns to the dragon Arannis nods to Reg. Khem gathers up his pack nudging the cask to insure it is suitably depleted and walks towards the exit Vyhev: Thank you for your aid, Great Baznikkul! Vyhev bows and stands to leave Baznnikul: You are welcome, and don't worry I'll take care of Sir Jack for you! Keldo nods to Baznnikul as he prepares to leave Vyhev smiles and nods "I am sure you will, great one" Khem pulls out his ivory pipe and winks at Reg as they leave, Lighting it
Using the map from Baznnikul the party set out across the wastes once more. A few hours into the journey a terrible sandstorm began. They quickened their pace but ran afoul of a Bullette. The burrower made repeated hit and run attacks against the party but eventually Arannis laid the beast low….and then Keldo made sure it was dead by pumping a few more arrows into it’s corpse. Shortly thereafter they discovered the ruins of Haz’Khzdur.
From the ruins, the party was able to use the recovered map fragments and easily locate Fortress Ironfell. They managed to sneak in without being noticed. After a few minutes of creeping around they encountered several foulspawn guards. The aberrents put up quite a fight but the party managed to surive. Afterwards they began to explore the fortress. Ever since seeing the fortress Khem began to experience flashes of the same image he saw when he touched the ingot of Karak Ore they found in Sarshan’s Dark Foundry. The images were much more intense and frequent. They continued moving randomly around the hallways and soon they encountered a second group of foulspawn guards, much weaker than the first. These were dispatched with minimal effort, and that is where the evening ended.
When sneaking around a scary fortress..it’s always good to have a conversation
Reginald: So master Dwarf how does Erathis feel about the seedier side of life with things like stealing? Khem: Pends on what you do with it lad Reginald: Profit I would imagine Reginald: making a living and so forth. Khem: Ifin you were to establish a store thereby improving the quality of life about you all good Arannis makes his way back to the group. Reginald: An interesting concept Reginald: Have you ever done anything like that? Taken things that belonged to others? Khem: Butin if ye are off to use it to drink and fornicate (wthout) the creation of children well then... Arannis: This place is too quiet... Could be feet shuffling past the west door, or sand shifting in the wind... Arannis laughs and says, "Khem, for a man that lays with shadar-kai and can outdrink most men, you are surprisingly uptight." Reginald: I don't know it wouldn't surprise me if he's borrowed a few things with out the intent to return before. Khem: Me faith is more of a do as I say type of thing Reginald: So it is something you've partaken in then? Khem: You know I have REginald, I steal from the dead every time I am with you Reginald: So it's ok as long as they're dead but you wouldn't steal from the living then? Khem: Is the elf going to open the door or shalt my beard fall out first Arannis: The dead do not care about their possessions. Khem: Nah, Arannis but their kin and rightful heirs might Arannis: That is true, Khem. Khem give a penetrating look to Reg Reginald readies his blades Vyhev: while stealing in itself is wrong, there are situations it would be permissible...I am uncertain that this particular line of conversation is appropriate at this time, unless you are gauging our reactions to something specific, master Reginald? Reginald: Careful boys this could be dangerous. Keldo motions the others to follow. Khem peers into the brazier and under the benches Arannis gives a very subtle "thumbs-up" to Reg. Reginald: So do you believe its ok to steal as long as you kill them first? That seems a strange notion. Khem laughs Arannis: Not that simply put, but I can see the necessity in theft sometimes. Khem: I never said it was ok to steal Khem: I said if your going to steal what it was ok to spend it on Khem winks at reg Vyhev: taking from your defeated foes isn't stealing, its spoils of battle! Khem (loud): All clear open another one Elf Reginald: So you wouldn't steal from others you would just liberate the belongings from the dead then? Khem: Spoken like a true liz...abethian Keldo: Dear gods, dwarf, silence yourself. Keldo opens the door. Khem: And return them to their heirs or redistribute them as society needed them yes Arannis rolls his eyes. Reginald: So no sense letting goods waste on the dead but don't kill them for the belongings and dont take them from the living. I suppose that is a pragmatic approach as any. Arannis checks the opening to the east. Khem: Er, Keldo it is polite to let the spirits of the deceased dwarves here no we are in there home. So that we do not suprise them with their armor off Khem nods at reginald Vyhev smiles at Khems explanation Keldo: I'd rather not bring anything down on us that we don't need to through carelessness. Khem: looks like a dead in unless we are climbing thru more windows Khem: Me either, hence letting dwarf spirits know we are here Reginald: With the whole Shadder-kai thing I was thinking maybe you'd tried other things such as your hand at thievery perhaps. Reginald: Check the court yard to the west Keldo. Khem: Nar, reginald. Not that I am aware of. I have picked up a few items here and there that others had left behind Keldo looks down in the courtyard. Khem: Just to ensure they would not be permanently lost mind you Arannis: And all those belongings made it back to their owners, aye? Reginald: Never keep anything on the side though eh? Such an honest Dwarf. Very noble of you. Khem: Aye, the ones with living decendants etc yes Arannis simply nods at Khem's explanation. Khem: Keeps the books straight it does Reginald: Indeed Khem: Never had a copper come up short in my days no sir
The memorable events of Sir Jack Darkhollow
There was just too much Jack to include in the other sections!
Jack Darkhollow: (to Reggie) Squire! Attend to my dagger! Arannis shakes his head bemusedly and says, "Such posturing". Jake (Arannis): oh, so many tacky jokes at that line... Vyhev attempts to stifle a chuckle Jack Darkhollow bends Vyhev over backwards with a kiss and hurls a dagger into the nearest gnoll....slaying it!
Khem: Er Jack I believe your flask is nar to perishing with the porter Sir Jack Darkhollow: Foolish porter! I told you to stay back! With the womenfolk and the cooks! Arannis: Jack, I swear to Orcus himself, if you don't silence yourself and fight, the gnolls will feast on you. Vyhev looks sideways through slitted eyes at Jack and says through gritted teeth "What was that, dear?" Khem: Oh, joy we hired a servant of Orcus as a porter!
Sir Jack Darkhollow eyes Vyhev, "did you know our blacksmith had magical skills? And here I thought his best skill was fixing boots and codpieces?"
Jack Darkhollow stumbles forward and strikes at a gnoll with his longsword. Khem: My good lad you got a barb que pit near about Vyhev says to Jack as she turns and runs to the fray "Good to know, Jack" Reginald: You clumsy git watch what you're doing with that blade. Jack Darkhollow slays a gnoll, "That's two! I'll save you porter! Just keep your head down and protect my flask!" Reginald: For a legendary fighter that stumble wasn't very heroic.
Sir Jack Darkhollow nods smartly, "Right, here's the plan. Squire get the porter out of the well. Scout go see if you can find the trail these gnolls left. Blacksmith, prepare my spare boots!" Khem (mumbles): Or bores them to death, same net effect Sir Jack Darkhollow tosses a pair of boots at Khem Khem gets a glimmer in his eye as he holds Jacks blade and looks about for a suitable cactus Keldo elbows arannis.. can we kill him yet? Arannis clambors out of the well and carefully removes his boots. He then steps over to Jack, and without missing a beat, dumps the water from his boots out on Jack's head. Vyhev stalks to stand in front of Jack, a look on her face that plainly says "I want an answer" Arannis: Now, good sir, I believe the lady asked you a question. Arannis nonchalantly puts his boots back on. Sir Jack Darkhollow is doused. Khem begins to dig a hole for the pig entrails using the blade. Sir Jack Darkhollow sighs, "Porter...the water goes in the flask...and not until I call for. Egads lad...you're lucky I take pity on those not born of swift mind!"
Sir Jack Darkhollow: Sir Jack Harkhollow does not leave simple folk in need! Why where would my elven porter be if I hadn't taken him under my wing? Surely with his limited mental capacity he'd be reduced to slopping pigs or worse! The Warden must be slain!
Sir Jack Darkhollow: Of course milady, but I must stay with you, as we are to be wed when we best the creatures in your dwarven fortress! Do not think I forgot my crafty minx!" Arannis moves over to Vyhev and whispers discreetly, "Should we offer to bury the villager that was slain?" Vyhev: I was merely thinking of effeciency my dear, that is all...and do not forget we cannot be wed without the consent of my clan! Sir Jack Darkhollow waves his hand, "A simple matter! I'm sure they'll have time to raise a sufficent dowry!"
Arannis: (whisper) We need to try to flank, catch them off-balance Sir Jack Darkhollow (whisper): An excellent suggestion....maybe that fall down the well rattled something loose. Khem glares at Scales praying she does not mistake leaves for books Reginald: I think we should just sneak up closer. Arannis sighs in exasperation, then whispers, "I suggest Keldo and Jack go right, Reg and I head left. Vy and Khem, stay together." Khem: Well Aranis proved he can climb, send him to scale that rise Khem points at the 20 foot cliff Arannis smiles and whispers, "In good time". Sir Jack Darkhollow (whisper): That's a dangerous task for a porter....I think he should stay back here and guard the supplies. Sir Jack Darkhollow (whisper): Perhaps he could write a poem detailing our epic deeds! Arannis: (whisper) Then remain, Jack, as you are the porter, or do as I say. Arannis looks at everyone to see if they agree with his suggestion. Reginald nods agreement with Aranis. Arannis: (whisper) Fortune favors the brave... Sir Jack Darkhollow chuckles, "You make me laugh elf. Your time with the halfling squire has definitely improved your skill as a jester. Perhaps a second career for you" Khem nods at Aranis. Whispers "Wait for Jack and Keldo to go left then..."
[GM] Damage  -> [to Gnoll Demonic Scourge] [DYING] Jack Darkhollow flourishes, "Once again Sir Jack Darkhollow triumphs where lesser men might fail!"
Jack Darkhollow slices the gnoll deeply, "There now...maybe one of you can finish him off. Show me you have the potential to be great adventurers and not just squires and porters!" [TURN] Arannis Vyhev: ... *opens her mouth then shuts it again quickly* Arannis -> [HEAL] Second Wind [COST 1] [HSV 1]  [1d6 = 0] Heal [HSV] -> [to Arannis] Effect ['DEF: 2'] -> [to Arannis] Arannis -> Power [Second Wind] [std] [TURN] Reginald Sir Jack Darkhollow nods at Arannis, "Adventurers always need good porters lad. Just sit there and rest"
Jack Darkhollow: Haha! Come forward and meet your death at the blades of Sir Jack Darhollow and his blacksmith, scout, squire, porter, and the fair scaled maiden Vyhev! Vyhev smiles a half smile back at Jack "you're learning..."
Sir Jack Darkhollow: Why would a blacksmith carry potions? Isn't that the porter's job?? No wonder you all keep ending up in such trouble. Arannis: If it's the porter's job, shouldn't you have them Darkhollow? Khem's eyes roll in his unconcious head Arannis mutters "His last name must mean the giant hole in his head..." Sir Jack Darkhollow: I think the fall has addled your brain porter! I am Sir Jack Darkhollow legendary adventurer. You are the porter.... I understand you dream of becoming me, but now is not the time! Arannis: Jack, becoming you is what I imagine would be my torment in the Nine Hells. Sir Jack Darkhollow: See you have eternal reward and torment all confused. Maybe you should sit back down and rest porter!
Jack Darkhollow rummages around in the blacksmith's pack and feeds him a healing potion, "By the blessing of Sir Jack darkhollow, I bring you back to life blacksmith! Breathe once more!" Arannis: (whisper to Vyhev) I still don't understand why you are kissing his backside; he's an arrogant ass... Vyhev eyes open a little wider and she nods approvingly to Jack Khem's first sight is of Jack Darkhollow's grim feature. he immediately rolls over and vomits on his boots Arannis 's eyes open in shock at Jack's words. Khem: Looks like ye need a polish job Jackie! Vyhev (whisper to Arannis): I'm not "kissing his backside" as you put it...I am supporting my husband-to-be in his endeavors Arannis: (whisper to Vyhev) You actually intend to marry him? Vyhev (whisper to Arannis): he has proposed, I cannot turn him down, my clan must do that Sir Jack Darkhollow: Not now blacksmith! I know you feel a great debt because I have once more saved your life, but you can attend to my boots after the battle!
Vyhev drops to her knees by Jacks side "Are you well?" Khem brushes himself off, "Check the bonnie lass for a love potion, while I get cleaned up" Arannis goes to where the ropes are, coils them up, puts his in his pack, then hands Reg's back to him. Jack Darkhollow springs to his feet, "Ha! Sir Jack Darkhollow is not so easily defeated! Where are the gnolls? I smell them still....oh wait...that's the blacksmith" Khem: Aye that is the blacksmith Arannis then goes back over to the group, looks sternly at Jack, and says, "A "Thank You" would not be entirely out of order". Vyhev: They have all been defeated, now we can further investigate this "Warden" Jack Darkhollow recovers something from the fallen Fang, "Nice work porter. Here take this! It should aid you in your....portage!"