Rick's Hold

November 1
Shadows!

Whilst the party retreats from Knurl with a few retrieved captives, they encounter a suspicious building. The rogue nominally offers to investigate and the wizard volunteered to join him.

Once inside the building, the rogue was quickly able to discern several immobile forms in the darkness, lying about the room. The forms appeared to be corpses and near their general center sat a small sack of what looked like coins and a golden crown.

Though the rogue had yet to encounter a trap, this scene looked more than suspicious. So the wizard cast a mage hand to determine if the crown was an illusion or trapped. It was of course trapped. Not in a mechanical sense, oh no! What a relief that would have been! No, instead twelve Shadows rose from the still immobile corspes around the room.

This beautiful scenario quickly resulted in a hasty and weakened retreat of both the rogue and the wizard. Luckily the rest of the party was not far behind and as a group they all fell upon the shadows.

The cleric was able to turn only a few of the incorporeal horrors, and the wizard loosed his spells upon them with similarly disappointing effects. After retreating to a ‘safer’ distance, the rogue started throwing things at the shadows to some effect. The bard, along with his elves (who helped in only a nominal sense), also pelted the Shadows to a greater effect. Even the schtrikers of Sir Krotchlikmeoff waded into battle, Giselle vanquishing more than one during the conflict and all taking some form of draining.

It took the efforts (and weakening!) of nearly the entire party and the life of Sir Krotchlikmieoff to put the creatures down. Standing in the front line, behind which the rogue and the wizard retreated, that valiant paladin of Pelor took the brunt of the second wave of attacks. Having nowhere near the agility of his halfling companion, the knight quickly succumbed to the repeated ravages of the shadows.

Near the end of the fight, the cleric consecrated the ground to Dumathoin in a last minute attempt to keep the paladin’s shadow from forming, as is typical for a victim of a shadow. (Should the paladin become a shadow in undeath, he cannot be raised back to life.) The party waited in suspense-filled anticipation to see whether the spell had taken effect in time or not. Eventually it was clear, as no shadow rose, that the gambit had been successful. Picking up the body of their fallen comrade, the party returned to the war camp generally weakened and in a more somber mood.

After negotiations, the clerics of St. Cuthbert raised the fallen paladin in exchange for his mighty blade “Icerazor”. They also healed the wounds of the party and restored strength to their limbs. Following this, the party took a much needed rest.

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October 25

Upon wearily returning to the war camp outside the walls of Knurl, the party is granted a day’s reprieve from the war effforts, though this is mostly to interrogate and determine the extent of the betrayals.

It turns out that the halfling guide who back-stabbed the party during their previous mission was not alone, and that many guides were traitors who led their charges into grave danger on purpose. In fact, most groups sent into Knurl to raid or recover items (or people) did not return at all.

Originally just peeved at what, for them, was a relatively normal occurrence, the party is dismayed at the turn of events and the loss of other raiding parties. (“I’m not!”). After recovering for a day, the party is once again assigned to re-enter Knurl, this time to attempt to recover any prisoners taken on the failed missions of the previous day’s raids.

Led by another guide (notably NOT a halfling) the party returns to the under-city catacombs and eventually engages a building full of nasty beasties where there are a handful of (hopefullly) alive captives watched over by these monsters.

Foolishly attacking all possible enemy fronts without doing any form of reconnaissance (preparation is for the weak!), the party becomes quickly embroiled in a long fight that did, in point of fact, end a few of their lives. From the building came orcs and ghouls, the roof sprouted goblin archers, and two hill giants swung around from opposing sides of the building, nearly overwhelming the party with their mighty great clubs. (#notaeuphemism). Though the party prevailed, they only did so with the loss of Abbot, Dimitri’s cohort, and Bertrand, another of the paladin’s Schtrikers.

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October 18

The tower successfully retaken and defended, the party is assigned a rest back at the camp, where of course they are immediately reassigned to recover a holy book of Pelor from a temple in the orc infested city. They are to take the catacombs beneath the temple which they are to then enter from the cellar below. The army provided a halfling guide to navigate the twisting tunnels beneath Knurl.

The halfling leads the party into an ambush (or trap, if you will) with ogres and Baklunag the Necromancer, who we’ve fought before but who had escaped. Spike, also a familiar face, was there as well. (The lesson here: Never Trust A Halfling!)

The battle was very swift with the wizard and cleric disabling Baklunag and the sneaky halfling bastard betrayer and the paladin literally carving a bloody path through the enemies one after another. Post battle, the party took all three (Demi-)humans prisoner, with only the sneaky halfling bastard betrayer remaining conscious.

Upon entering the temple above, the party searched for and found the holy tome they were to retrieve. Before they could retreat to the army camp victoriously, the paladin grabbed a suspicious amulet off the wall and vanished, also starting an earthquake-like event.

Once the paladin disappeared, a hordes of Dretches began appearing to hassle the remaining party members.

Abbot grabbed one prisoner and carried him away from the demons, but Nuati, left to guard the prisoners, attempted to drag the other two to safety, and was only able to save Spike. The fight was long, drawn out and increasingly desperate as the resistances and immunities of the demons became a telling advantage over the unprepared (as usual) party. After several rounds of killing Dretches, only to have more appear, the party was in desperate straights.

Just as things began to look truly dire, the paladin reappeared in the temple, whole, healthy and hale, and the drenches dissappeared. Confused, the party departed before anything else could hinder them, taking the holy book of Pelor, two prisoners and the loot they had acquired.

The paladin claims to have fought an impossible fight with a powerful demon and only returned to the temple by sacrificing his life on the swords of his opponent. He bears no wounds, scars, marks or even blood from this ‘fight’. (More likely, the guy tripped, hit his head and had a dream before waking up next to a dropped amulet.)

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October 11

After preparing the field for battle by reshaping the stairs to make them more difficult to ascend, the party met the oncoming monsters, with a giant! Turned out the stairs only helped keep the party away from the troop of hobgoblin crossbowmen who enjoyed taking pot-shots at the party for the entirety of the combat. Aside from that, the party successfully defended the tower, allowing it to be used to great effect on the monsters below.

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October 5

The army sets out against the walls, meeting the outpouring hordes of r orcs and other beasties. The party followed in the rear, swinging inside the walls and heading directly for their target.
The party quickly removes the monsters within the tower in a mad battle of strange tactics that included levitating paladins and a Minotaur. The battle is fierce but quickly decided in the party’s favour. After the battle, the party quickly looted the corpses of their fallen foes and bandaged their wounds, readying for the responding attack from the orcs and their allies.

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September 27

Party returned to army camp, searched out the priest of Pelor, Posen. Posen was able to remove the vampiric curse (Thank Gods) on Dimitri and the party quickly joined the army on the march.
The army of men is joined by a small contingent of elves of Laughing Hollow (every war does need fodder) and a small battalion of Dwarves from Illfern. The army is marching to retake Knurl, a large city recently overtaken by the besieging orc hordes.
The party is dispatched to retake a tower along the walls, near the breach. Once retaken, the party is to hold and defend the tower from orcs and their allies so a fireball-throwing canon can be operated by an allied wizard from the guild.

The party settled with the rest of the army at camp outside the city and waited for the upcoming battle.

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September 20

Found one of the walls in the dungeon was actually a Wall of Stone, which the group then opened a tunnel through with the cleric’s stone shape ability. Fought (and turned) some Vampire Spawn, and were almost ambushed by the Vampire. After a long battle, finally put down the unholy beasts. One by one they assumed Gaseous form and fled to their coffins, where the group staked them and removed their heads. Before the Vampire was slain, he laughed and offered Dimitri a necklace…which he took.

The group decided to rest up before checking the rest of the dungeon as they were out of spells and low on health hit points. In the morning the paladin woke up with pale skin and a strong thirst he couldn’t quench. He absent-mindedly was licking the dried blood off his armor and weapons. Why does he still have dried blood on his weapons and armor?? Clean that shit up, you slob!!

Unsettling….

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September 13

Briefly thought about sending the halfling down the chimney they discovered but didn’t want to separate the party. Opened the trap door and descended into the dungeon, where they were immediately beset upon by a group of hobgoblin sorcerer/warriors. Defeated them, but the combat was heard by the Boggle hiding in the next room. It came to help the hobgoblins but dimension door-ed away when it was obvious they were losing.

As the party looted the bodies, Khurbock and his men moved into position in the next room and Khurbock hit Dimitri with a Melf’s Acid Arrow to draw the group into the trap (or ambush if you will…). The Boggle had greased the floor at the entrance the Worg Gimick was waiting to attack the first person to enter. Sarror cast a Fireball into the room, which inadvertently drew the attention of a slumbering Umber Hulk from down the northern hallway. The Umber Hulk came in and killed a couple hobgoblins before the party had to put it down. In the confusion Khurbock and one of his men escaped to their lair to make their last stand.

Dimitri led the group down the south hallway into the hobgoblins lair, where he was hit by Khurbock’s last Burning Hands spell. Khurbock charged in, his attack being deflected by Dimitri’s Protection from Evil spell and then Dimitri put him down hard with a critical hit.

The group looted the areas they had cleared and took some more prisoners and Khurbock’s head. They are currently planning whether to continue in the dungeon or to attempt to rest somewhere with a possible vampire nearby.

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September 7

Travelled north to Lurgen where Gil caught the guards slacking and yelled at them for a bit. Went onto the ruins of Cadmill where the group discovered they couldn’t take the wagon into the forest and decided to return to Lurgen and leave the wagon, several horses and the Groom behind. Went back to the ruins of Cadmill and entered the heavy forest going towards some smoke they saw in the sky.

Got ambushed by elves who realized they were (mostly) friendly and escorted them to a tent and they watched the elves burn their dead from a battle they had with the hobgoblin Khurdock’s forces. Some of the group went to meet with the leaders, an Elven warrior named Liitraan and a Priestess names Trewkly. They gave the group a tracker to follow the hobgoblins into the Cursed Forest and offered the group 5000gp for Khurdock’s head.

Went through the forest and got ambushed (again) by Needlefolk. Wizard learned how lightning bolt works and started a small forest fire with a Fireball instead. After defeating the Needle folk, discovered an old path which followed the tracks. Followed it to the ruins of the Ashen Tower.

When they started searching the tower they were ambushed (for fuck sakes DM find another plot tool) by hobgoblins who were warrior/sorcerers. A search check by the rogue discovered a chimney that is 1 foot in diameter for the group to play with next session.

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August 31st
Cadmill

We searched the remains of the village/hamlet of Cadmill for survivors and defeated the remnant monstrous attackers. We rescued the boy named Abbott who might make a good cohort for someone.

We found out about Nepenchil, who may be a vampire.

Army commander Humourless Dwarfguy [Harry Balzac] has sent us to aid the elves in a battle with hobgoblins.

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