Chapter 1 – Rescue at Rivenroar
Our story begins with four adventurers (Khem, Reggie, Tak, and Kloog) enjoying a drink at the Antler and Thistle, a tavern in the town of Brindol. It isn’t long before the quiet evening is interrupted by a goblin attack. Our heroes along with Alys a local dragonborn, repel the invading goblins and even an ogre who all seem intent on setting on the town to blaze.
In the aftermath of the attack, the group learns that the goblins made off with prisoners and stole many items related to the infamous Red Hand of Doom. A young member of the Brindol town council, Councilmember Eoffram Troyas, hires the group to rescue the prisoners and recover the items. The group interrogates a goblin and eventually learns Sinruth is the leader of the attacking goblins and his base is the abandoned estate of Rivenroar.
Once the party locates the ruins of the estate, they descend into catacombs below and encounter a small army of goblins, hobgoblins, and supporting creatures even a wyrmling. Along the way the party recovers a number of stolen items and locates many of the prisoners. They also encounter Skrag, a half-orc who the goblins are torturing, he joins the party for a short period of time but leaves once Sinruth is slain. On Sinruth’s body they discovered a note from the mysterious Emissary which talked of supplying the goblins with arms.
Among the prisoners they discover Sertanian who is Alys’ employer and curator of the Hall of Great Valor, from which many of the items were stolen. They also meet an old witch, a dwarf, and several women. Unfortunately they learn that one of the prisoners, a member of the guard, attempted to escape and was slain. In their final excursion into the catacombs, they find the last prisoner, a small child, and face a staggering number of undead. In the aftermath of the fight, they learn the child is the son of the slain prisoner. They decide to conceal the death from the child.
Our heroes exit the tomb and return to the camp where they had left the prisoners, only to find the prisoners gone. In their place they discover a note from Edgar Sommerfield, leader of the Claw of the Griffon. The note explains the Claw found these defenseless people and was going to escort them back to town, and collect the reward.
The adventurers return to Brindol and learn that the Council, against Councilmember Eoffram Troyas’s wishes paid the bulk of the reward to the Claw of the Griffon. Councilmember Eoffram Troyas does his best to calm the party’s (particularly Tak’s) rage over the outcome. He sends them to The Hall of Great Valor where his agent Sertanian collects the items they recovered and pays them the bulk of the reward from the personal coffers of Councilmember Eoffram Troyas.
Enraged by the injustice, the group sets off to the city of Overlook, where the Claw of the Griffon is said to be headed…..
Chapter 2 – Seige of Bordrin’s Watch
On the road to Overlook, the adventurers ran across several orcs assaulting a caravan of pilgrims. A lone dragonborn paladin was attempting to hold the orcs at bay. The party eagerly vented their rage onto the orcs and slaughtered them all. They learned the dragonborn was a paladin of Bahamut named Vyhev and the pilgrims were lead by a man named Friar Jacob (and that beer battered chicken was just what a dwarf needs). They escorted the pilgrims back to the city and Vyhev decided to tag along behind the group as they explored Overlook. Once inside the city, Kloog disappeared in the crowds and was never seen again.
They party searched the city for the Claw of the Griffon and learned that many adventuring groups had been called to Overlook as part of the “Grand Mustering”. A large force of unusually well armed and organized orcs was massing near Bordrin’s Watch, if they broke through the defenses, the way to Overlook and the rest of the Elsir Vale would be open to them. They decided to attend the “Grand Mustering” in an attempt to either locate the Claw of the Griffon, or to speak to the leadership of Overlook.
While waiting for the “Grand Mustering” to begin, Khem and Reggie met several members of a mercenary group of gnoll fighters called the Freeriders. Vyhev encountered a man named Jack Darkhollow who had come to fame by rescuing an entire town from zombies. They learned the Claw was already inside the Council chambers and that they would not have a chance to address the Council. Not satisfied with this turn of events, the party found the nearest member of the watch and demanded to address the Council.
To everyone’s surprise, the group was granted audience with a member of the council named Lurzan Cragsplitter. Apparently Lurzan Cragsplitter had some past dealings with Councilmember Eoffram Troyas and Sertanian. In addition and was no friend of the Claw of the Griffon or their ally in the council Durkik Forgeheart. He explained to the group that their accusations wouldn’t carry any weight as the Claw had several well placed friends in the Council. He proposed that the group seek out the Monastery of the Sundered Chain. The Monastery of the Sundered Chain was formed when several religious leaders felt Overlook had become too concerned with commerce and not more traditional dwarven ideals. Many times in the past the Monastery of the Sundered Chain had answered the city’s call when the need was great. In addition, Durkik Forgeheart had a long standing dislike of the Monastery of the Sundered Chain, preferring to use mercenary groups like the Claw of the Griffon instead. Satisfied that thier actions would help the city and hurt the Claw of the Griffon, they set off for the Monastery of the Sundered Chain.
In the Monastery of the Sundered Chain our heroes encountered an orc force that was much better armed than one would expect. All the orc weapons bore a maker’s mark similar to the mark they had seen on the goblin weapons in Rivenroar. The orcs had caught the dwarves unaware and had slaughtered them wholesale. Khem’s heart remained heavy as the party pressed deeper and deeper into the Monastery of the Sundered Chain and found nothing but more orcs and the corpses of dwarves. In the forges, deep below the Monastery proper, they discovered several orcs torturing a single dwarf, the sole survivor of the Monastery of the Sundered Chain. Our heroes fell upon the invaders and rescued the dwarf, a paladin named Kalad. Kalad recounted the tale of how the orcs stormed in through ancient tunnels, long thought blocked, and slaughtered the dwarves in their sleep. Kalad managed to avoid detection and smashed the forge’s keystone, causing a cave in that sealed the orcs on this side of the mountain. Concerned for his health and realizing no further aid would come from the Monastery of the Sundered Chain, Kalad and the heroes returned to Overlook to report to Lurzan Cragsplitter.
Tak had long felt Kord’s calling, and after the events of Monastery of the Sundered Chain excused himself to pursue a greater purpose. The remainder of the party returned to Overlook and reported to Lurzan Cragsplitter they learned that the Claw of the Griffon had been diverted from their original assignment to a place called Khaza’rula an ancient dwarven outpost/mining operation. Once Lurzan Cragsplitter learned of the orcs use of tunnels to bypass the mountains, he became very concern the orcs might try something similar at Khaza’rula. He asked the party, along with Kalad, to hurry to Khaza’rula and make sure all was well. Seeing their depleted numbers, Lurzan Cragsplitter arranged for a reliable elven scout named Keldo to join the group.
Then Khem, Vyhev, and Reggie set about collecting Kalad and Keldo from various locations in the city. Just as the companions were together once more, they were ambushed by local thieves. A quick investigation of thier assailants revealed they were members of the Lost Ones a local criminal organization. One of the members had a list that contained the names of several prominent mercenaries. In the end, Vyhev let one of their members, a doppleganger, go free, charging him with aiding one of Friar Jacob’s friends. The party finally left Overlook and traveled to Khaza’rula with great haste.
In the abandoned dwarven structure, the heroes quickly discovered a number of orcs. Moving deeper they entered a boiler room where a dark one was instructing several orcs in the disabling of a series of valves and pipes. The party quickly put an end to this activity. Among the dark one’s belongings they located a seemingly innocous brass key.
Beyond the boiler room, the group discovered a cave troll feasting on the remains of several members of the Claw of the Griffon. The heroes triumphed where the Claw had failed. The party took many items from the dead adventurer’s corpses, including a sending stone that they were unable to activate. To balance the exchange, Reggie left a special something behind on the bodies.
A short time later they encountered Edgar Sommerfield leading several orcs. They quickly cut down the foe they had persued for so long….only to discover he was a doppleganger. Had he been replaced before or after the Claw robbed them? Edgar’s quick demise made interrogation impossible.
Finally the party reached the central chamber. A large stone culumn rose from the center of the room. Iron pipes routed into the column and numerous side tunnels lead deeper into the mountains. Kalad spied a control panel at the top of the chamber and surmised it could be used to flood the chamber, sealing it from further orc advances. As the party ascended the platforms along the chamber’s outer edge they were confronted by wave after wave of orcs, including a mighty war chief named Tusk and his Shadar-kai mate. Keldo’s arrows cut down any orcs who attempted to reach the control panel as the party pushed to the top of the chamber. Eventually Kalad activated the control panel and flooded the chamber. Our heroes managed to evade the scalding waters, but Reggie did so only by being carried out over Vyhev’s shoulder.
With the tunnels under the mountains now closed to the orcs, the party rode on to Bordrin’s Watch and helped the other mercenaries put an end to the orc threat.