The Lost Lords

Into the Mines
Session Five - August 18, 2018, 2018 - (Work In Progress

The Ruby Throne

 Having spent the morning traveling up the mountain from the cathedral and crossing the swamp our heroes, Christoph in tow, reach the gates to a forgotten dwarf stronghold and prepare themselves to delve deep into the mountain in pursuit of warband and the orcs chasing them. 

The interior is ruinous. Statues are near unrecognizable, handrails are missing, stairs are unreliable, rubble is everywhere. The entry opens up into a foyer of statues; only one name appears recognizable name remaining being AENHILDAE as translated by Darion. The party comes across a fork and chooses the right passage where they eventually come across another room that splits off… one way leads to a massive open chasim that appears to be caved in and near impassible, the other goes to a long downward winding stairs. N'jall leaves an arcane trace behind to help the party retrace their steps as they double back to the other fork to the left. A narrow passage opens up into a large room strewn with orc dead before a giant stone and ruby throne.

Behind the throne two doors, to the left an apparent vault, to the a stairwell up.

Darion, Valner and N'jall take a brief look at the vault… It is a complex lock w ith 2 concentric rings inside 3 dwarven symbols; after a few tries the party grows bored and ventures up the stairs to the right where they find a ruined garden naturally lit by an encased lava flow. Darion is able to save the party from a few traps as everyone searches from one room to the other. A few longdead skeletal corpses and ruined weapons and armor are found but nothing of signifigance. As the party is about to leave Marcellus takes a keen interest in the garden to search for any rare herbs that might have medicinal value… in the moss he finds another corpse with a strange steel rod he pockets.

With the upper chambers clear everyone returns back down to the vault door where prolonged attempts are made by Valner, Darion, and N'jall to crack the code and unlock the door. Marcellus holds the steel rod to the center and the middle piece glows and a about oa third of the glyphs light up but nothing else happens… with Darion as translator everyone begins the process of guessing the pattern using just the glowing glyphs while a bored Marcellus sits and strolls around the throne room keeping watch for some time before he's struck with an epiphany: AENHILDAE! Not knowing dwarvish, he reintroduces himself to the would-be vault breakers and asks them if the name from the statue in the entry foyer could be a clue.. the  glyphs are arranged to match the name and the door is unlocked.

Inside rests a suit of ruined armor, in the same manor the armor upstairs was found ruined with age, but the breastplate is remarkably immaculate. Looking to be a good fit Marcellus claims the prize and immediately changes into it.

Descent into Darkness

With the left wing of the stronghold apparently cleared everyone doubles back to the other side they were at previously and begins to descend the stairs they found previously. The winding steps take the party down until it ends at a small passage jutting off to a sealed door. A careless Darion strolls up to the door and is shot by a bolt from an apparent trap, our heroes grumble among themselves for a moment before they hear common through the door… they've found the imperial remnant. 

The leader of the men steps forward and introduces himself as Daren, he has some dozen men all of whom are wounded to some degree or another. Introductions are exchanged and Daren informs our heroes of the current situation: they face repeated attacks from some 20 surviving orcs from the next set of stairs descending down into deeper portions of the mine. Daren asks for Darion to lead a foray down to attack the orcs… The archer from the tower fight gifts Darion his bow as its now useless to him since hes lost an eye. 

Darion, Marcellus, Valner, N'jall, and Christoph begin descending down the steps but are quickly encountered with a stray javelin and then a few more. Darion charges ahead down the narrow ledge to meet the dwarves, Marcellus takes a heavy hit and is  kept out of battle as N'jall and Valner support them with fire from above. Christoph rushes down to support Darion and Marcellus; after first blood is drawn Darion spins into a wild rage and begins hacking down everything in his way. At a critical juncture in the fight a dwarvish yell is heard as a lone dwarf jumps out and begins attacking the orcs from their side before becoming severely wounded.

Eventually the orcs are broken and the few survivors fall back down into the darkness yet again. Valner rushes to the aid of the Dwarf and stabilizes him. His name is Huldan, before going unconscious he's able to explain to Darion that he's one of a party of dwarves and that he needs to continue through the mine to find the source of the orc invasion. Darion takes up the orc bane sword and together Huldan is brought back to landing where Daren and the other imperials wait. 

Christoph pledges to take Huldan, Daren and the others back to the cathedral as the party will continue deeper into the mines.

 

 

 

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Trivial Pursuit
Session Four - August 18, 2018 - (work-in-progress)

Christoph

Previously our heroes were pitched in a fight against an orc warband in the Cathedral, hope was fleeting until quick thinking on the part of N'jall finished off the orc boss causing the remaining orcs to flee. The mending skills of Valner were put to the test to save Darion  while N'jall gained some valuable information about the orc invasion from the last orc they had cornered.

The lone fighter remaining in the cathedral after the fight introduces himself as Christoph, a knight dedicated to The Three, sworn to protect the cathedral. Introductions are exchanged and what little hospitality Christoph can offer is extended to Marcellus, Darion, N'jall, and Valner who are now exhausted and hurt after the fight. N'jall shares the information  he gained from the orc about the different chieftains in and around Norgas. Christoph explains his situation and the state of the Cathedral, destiny would have it that the chalice recovered from the troll horde in the watch tower the previous night was looted from the Cathedral, Marcellus returns the chalice.

Together they bury Christoph's fallen comrades with honor and as much ceremony as their time permits. Marcellus will appeal to Christoph to accompany them the following day to guarantee his comrades did not die in vain. A reluctant Christoph will agree to accompany our heroes when they continue their journey up the mountain the following day. 

N'jall and Darion help burn the orc dead and Darion claims the orc boss' oversized black plate for himself. 

 

Talking Rocks

Everyone rests for the night in the Cathedral before setting out the following morning in pursuit of the remnants of the imperial warband with the green archer they had ran into at the watch tower and presumably the orcs that chased them. As the ascend into the mountains visibility down and around them dissipates as their path leads them up a narrow way lined with odd markers. Eventually the party becomes disturbed by the continued markers and discusses their being… it is decided that Darion should try and communicate with the stones in dwarvish, the tactic works and the magical markers return vague but accurate answers to simple questions confirming that our heroes are on the right path. Every time  a new  marker is reached Darion sits down and converses with the marker in a tongue unknown to the rest of the party, asking questions, and relaying answers. Some of the anxiety is relieved as any questions regarding their chosen path are confirmed.

Who Needs a Lifeline?

Eventually the path opens up into a wider green valley before ending at the gate to a dwarven stronghold on the far side. Whether through some natural anomaly or powerful magic it is not known, but the ground is unusually wet. Fearing for false ground in the mud everyone ropes up as Marcellus leads the way initially though the marshes. All goes well as they approach a tree before Marcellus quickly plummets becoming completely submerged. Valner, the next in line, is also pulled in after trying to steady the heavy Marcellus to no avail… it takes the combined strength of Christoph, N'jall and Darion to pull Valner and then Marcellus out of the pool.

A now visibly shaken N'jall refuses to remain in the rope and chooses to lead the way without a lifeline; the order of Marcellus and Valner are switched in the lifeline and the party continues. A short while later N'jall quickly falls into a pool much the same way Marcellus had earlier. Impulsively Valner dives in after N'jall to grab him as the rest brace… after a short struggle in the mud N'jall is retrieved and pulled topside. Everyone continues more cautiously from then and eventually reaches the far side safely. They fine a partially ajar dwarven gate and a pitch black interior.

Everyone prepares themselves for the continued journey down into the dwarven stronghold and whatever trials await them there, lanterns are lit and gear is put away and prepared.

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The Cathedral
Session Three - August 13, 2018 - (Work-In-Progress)

Strange Cravings, Loud Screams, Literally Shaking, Oh my.

After driving off the orc warband outside the tower our heroes retreat back to the tower to rest, Valner tends to Marcellus’ wounds and gets him on his feet again while N’jall and Darion wrestle with the temporary insanity from witnessing dark magic during the previous fight, Darion fends off the strange desire to eat orc flesh while N’Jall shakes uncontrollably.

After resting Darion and the Sargent discuss what is next and decide that the party should go to the nearby Cathedral to prepare the way for refugees and investigate the the warband that went in that direction, and to find out what happened to the skirmishers they witnessed in the last fight.

On their to the Cathedral our heroes witness the full scope of the destruction occurring down in Norgas and the surrounding countryside, the entire valley appears to be in flames.

Along their way Darion continues to fight his insatiable desire to feast on the fallen orc’s littering the path up the mountain, a furiously shaking N’Jall is a disturbing sight to behold, while Valner’s random screams occasionally startle the others. The path is littered with the bodies of fallen orcs and Humans, as the Humans apparently fought a heroic rear guard action up the path towards the Cathedral.

While only a mere 3 miles, the rough and windy passage takes them some 3 hours to navigate.

As they draw near to the cathedral Darion is able to spy out makeshift traps in their path and avoid them, but between the random screams coming from Valner and the general lack of stealth used on the approach, several orcs spot the party as they approach and retreat inside the Cathedral.

Who needs Recon?

Hearing the sound of battle, our heroes rush to the entrance in pursuit of the orcs.

Arriving at the entrance  our heroes see some dozen orcs led by a chieftain fighting a lone Knight upon the altar at the heart of the cathedral. The orcs are prepared, Darion, Valner, and Marcellus move to the sides of the entrance as the orcs begin chucking their spears at N’jall to who is wounded before he can get out of the way.

A stalemate ensues with a small struggle for the door while Valner shoots what remaining bolts he has left and then proceeds to use his adamantine gauntlets to open up another entrance through the wall of the cathedral…, N’jall drinks one of the funny blue potions to get on his feet and back into the battle. Marcellus tries to bait the orcs into the doorway to no avail while Darion melees with one around the corner…

Rage, Rage, and more Rage!

As the Chieftain continues to muster more orcs from an adjacent courtyard our heroes decide to leave the safety of the doorway and push into the Cathedral; Marcellus takes up defensive while Darion RAGES and rushes straight past and into the enemy. Fresh out of bolts Valner attempts to start throwing orc javelins back at them while N’jall shoots his heavy crossbow into the ensuing fight.

Marcellus and Darion are quickly surrounded as the Chieftain rages and rushes in to join the fight with his minions, swamping Darion quicker than he can cut them down. With the Chieftain now in range Marcellus abandons his defensive posture and invokes the power of Saint Sabinus to strike at the Chieftain with Smearing Smite, the attack is super effective, passing the Chieftain’s heavy plates to draw blood, and lighting him ablaze… The Chieftain counters and Marcellus begins to waiver as nearby orcs turn their attention to them….

Throughout all of this the Knight on the Altar continues his struggle to survive and hold off some half dozen orcs, a few peal off to come fight with their Chieftain at the entrance.

Things begin to look desperate as Marcellus and and Darion fight side by side against a wall…. N'jall uses his last bound fireball to thin out the ranks of the orcs while Darion move in with him… In an act of desperation N’jall pulls out his whip and harasses the backend of an orc focused on Marcellus… Marcellus having taken some minor hits from the orcs appears visibly staggered, Valner move in to use his cure light wounds to shore up Marcellus and perhaps save his life…

Refreshed, Marcellus and Darion continue to hold off some 10 orcs in a losing struggle making minor hits on the Chieftain and other orcs… An orc makes his way around  behind Marcellus to break his defense… noticing the threat Darion turns and throws everything he has at the orc to save Marcellus, unfortunately with his back now turned Marcellus takes a devastating hit from the back, dropping to the ground, unconscious, with severe wounds, leaving Marcellus alone  to face the (now visibly wounded) Chieftain and the remainder of the Horde, hope is fleeting.

The Kinky Castor Delivers…

In an act of pure desperation Valner comes in and starts striking at the side of some of the orcs to draw their attention away from Marcellus to no avail when N’jall leashes a bolt dipped in alchemical fire into the Chieftain at near point blank range, the apparent insignificant wound is enough to drop the already wounded Chieftain, causing his minions to break and flea to the side courtyard.

It is about this time the Knight at the Altar slays his last opponent and comes up to pursue the remaining orcs (some 4 appear to have fled) while another lone orc huddles in a corner, surrounded by Marcellus and N’jall….

With the fighting apparently over Valner immediately rushes to Darion and tends to his wounds, helping to stabilize him….

The Cathedral appears to be secured.

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Tower Defense
Session Two - August 7, 2018 (work-in-progress)

The Troll’s Horde

Taking stock of the tower…

Valner jumps into action, quickly stabilizing the prisoners who are visibly weakened after having been imprisoned without food or water, Marcellus gives them some rations and the party questions the sergeant on what transpired.

Valner sorts through the Troll horde, a pile of apparent trash and trinkets offered to the Troll, using detect magic to recover what valuables are contained within, Very fine gauntlets, Gold and silver chalice, Engraved copper Ring, Necklace with red stone, Engraved pole of metal/wood, Necklace with engravings, and Banded mail are recovered and distributed.

The party, with the help of the Sargent and the two of the 5 guards who can walk take stock of the tower and begin fortifying it. Marcellus goes to the ground level and stands watch over the gate, N'jall watches over the orcs from the top of the tower while Valner begins obsessively searching for a clean container to make some water… Darion plots with the Sargent upstairs.

What are Bombs?

The Sargent takes Darion to the basement and takes two devices out of a hidden chest and leave the potions to Darion as thanks for being rescued… The Sargent, his few able guards along with Valner and Darion make a sortie out from the tower to use the devices to attack the camps on the slope….

They light the devices and roll them down the hill, after the disappear into the darkness two large explosions shake the entire hillside as light glows up  over the edge of the cliff. The two devices were bomb of either ancient or entirely new make, completely unfamiliar to our heroes. Despite the deafening bang and the shaking earth, the sargent claims the bombs did not meet expectations, and the group retreats to the tower with the sounds of rudely awakened Orcs at their backs.

Death From Above

Alone at the ground floor, Marcellus begins desperately calling out for help as the orcs begin beating on the gate; Darion refuses to evacuate through the tunnel without carrying the debilitated guards out to safety, Valner continues to focus on first aid… The struggle at the Tower entrance intensifies as the wood starts to splinter and the orcs show little sign of letting up.

Suddenly a massive explosion occurs right outside the door…. The Door is instantly exploded along with most of the orcs outside… Marcellus is thrown back several yards from the door with minor wounds and some fringed hair… what few orcs were not caught up in the blast retreat down the slopes…

Meanwhile on the top of the tower, N'jall: meet your maker, Orcs! (holy shit that was cool).

N'jall’s fireball probably saves the party from certain disaster.

The threat now gone, the beacon is finally lit, and in the distance, another beacon can be spotted, their initial purpose for coming is complete.

Blue Banners and a Green Archer

N'jall reports from his lookout position on the tower that the surviving orcs have mustered and are apparently aware of the party’s position in the tower and are blocking the way back down the cliff. Darion decides to lead the group together with the disabled survivors down the tunnel in the basement to escape the tower and down the hillside past the orcs, but the tunnel is now collapsed due to the explosion and the leg of a large dead spider wiggles in the debris. The leg is recovered and Darion begins digging through the debris and the dead spider in a futile effort to fix the tunnel

Marcellus and a guard go back to the tower to keep watch and guarantee nothing was left behind when they see blue banners  begin to make their way past the crossroads at the foot of the hillside; seeing an opportunity to link up with the apparent Imperial band the party evacuates the tunnel and prepares to sortie out again in the early pre-dawn hours as sun begins to dimly light the sky.

Eventually the orcs waiting along the cliff become visibly engaged from their rear and our heroes charge down the hill to join the melee and relieve their apparent allies… In the confusion of the rush Marcellus and Darion overextend as they rush into the orcs, Darion’s heroics are noted by a Green Archer on the opposing side of the melee before the archer is severely wounded and hauled off the field…. Eventually Marcellus and Darion are confronted by a Goblin mounted on a Warg, the two engage, Marcellus is able to mortally wound the Warg before Darion finishes it off. Valner continues losing bolts from his crossbow into the back of orcs.

The Goblin attempts to get away but is halted by some Dark Magic, first a pit of spikes, then tongues Tendrils… Darion finishes off the Goblin… The battle, now turning in our heroes’ favor, Marcellus breaks and charges the next group of orcs (now with the men from the tower joining the fray as well), After quickly dispatching on orc, another charges Marcellus, wounded him grievously as he falls unconscious. Valner rushes to his aid while Darion and N’jall push the remaining orcs back, killing or forcing them to retreat.

By this point the allied war band has already retreated into the darkness and is nowhere to be found..

Three of the heroes are mentally scarred by the use of Dark Magic midst the fighting… Darion now has an uncontrollable strange appetite, N’jall begins to shake uncontrollably, and Valner is struck with random screaming fits.

Valner stabilizes Marcellus and carry him back up to the tower to rest with the rest of the guards. With the immediate threat to the tower gone our heroes can finally rest after a very long night having started in the inn in Norgas, now ending the following morning in the beacon tower up in the hills overlooking Norgas.

Their initial goal of lighting the beacon is a success, but there is no indication where they must go.

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The Siege of Norgas
Session One - August 5, 2018

A Rude Awakening

Our unacquainted heroes, linked by nothing more than having chosen to spend their night under the same roof awake from their sleep to the sound of screaming and ringing bells, outside the peasants appear to be fleeing as the glow of fires can be seen and crashes heard. One by one the heroes leave their rooms and instinctively join up as they leave the second floor of the Inn and make their way downstairs to find the innkeeper behind the bar preparing his crossbow…

Captain Hargrave, A red haired woman named Cass, and several guards rush into the inn to find refuge, some of the guards are wounded, apparently there is fighting against an Orc attack on the city with the lower level of Norgas having been breached, the attack was a complete surprise. The party helps fortify the defenses of the Inn before Hargrave asks them to depart through the sewers and escape the city to the northwest, to light the signal fire to call for aid.

Our heroes accept and leave back around behind the inn and enter the sewers through a grate. Relying on Valner to lead the way with his lanterns through the maze of tunnels our party eventually comes across a small band of some half a dozen goblins. The goblins are busy bickering among themselves, too preoccupied to notice our heroes sneaking up to them… Marcellus leading the way, falling upon them with surprise our heroes quickly slay them all and recover a serviceable map of the Sewers, apparently highlighting a plan to infiltrate the upper level of the city through the sewers….

Saving the map for later, the heroes continue on their way through the stench of the sewer for some time before they come upon the end of the Sewer and fresh air.

Moving Unseen

Our heroes covertly make their way to the base of the cliff side where the beacon tower is standing, some 5 Orc camps stand in their way. The party makes there way past each camp in turn, sometimes relying on N’jall to speak in the Orcish tongue to cover their mishaps… to spite a few close calls the party makes it past all 5 camps and up to the base of the tower.

With the door unlocked and no apparent light reaching out from within, they enter to find a gruesome sight, Orc and Human parts midst puddles of blood strewn throughout, a bashed makeshift barricade against the far wall…. Our heroes close and lock the door behind them, a severed human hand touches Valner.

With the doors shut, midst the darkness, a lamp is lit as they first explore the basement to find a roughly dug tunnel veering away to the outside, an apparent entryway used to bypass the tower’s defenses.

The second floor is filled with similarly gruesome sights to that of the first. There was a fight for the tower.

“I’d like to place an order”

As our heroes prepare to head up to the third floor they hear the sounds of Orcs above them talking about food and orders. N’jall, leading the way, slips and is discovered, The Orcs’ yelling down to him in question, N’jall states that he’d like to place an order…

The Orcs within the third floor slam open their door and rush down after N’jall who is struck almost by surprise…. Further down the stairwell is Valner leading the way, then Marcellus, then Darion…

Completely caught by surprise Marcellus makes no move to reverse down the staircase or move passed Valner to aid N’jall, Valner curses at Marcellus for not grasping the situation and getting in the way, Marcellus then figures out whats what and tries to squeeze past Valner in the dimly lit narrow stairwell, but fails…. Darion then tries to bull rush past Marcellus and Valner but gently bumps into the back of Marcellus and stops…

A frail N’jall facing an Orcish onslaught decides it best to jump down the stairs, over Valner and the others, using his feather falling to ease his fall…. The stunt mostly works, a lightly wounded N’jall grinds down the circular wall and lands prone at the base of the steps…. Darion then retreats down the steps and pulls the prone body of N’jall out of the way before Marcellus and then Valner follow. Marcellus moves out of the way next to Darion as Valner move back further and they all prepare for the Orcs…

The lead Orc rushes down and hurls a javelin at Valner who’s the first apparent target directly ahead… Valner becomes visibly wounded and Marcellus move in front of him using his shield to protect himself and Valner from anymore darts; once out of javelins the Orcs begin rushing down into Marcellus’ position one by one, Darion waiting to the side of the stairs and Marcellus cleaves into the Orcs as they come down, unexpectedly butchering them as they come down, before they know what hits them….

The bloodbath quickly sends Darion into a rage.

They have a Seared Troll…

When the last Orc falls dead our heroes assume the way is clear and prepare to make their way up to the third floor where they encounter a terrible sound… A troll bustles down the stairs and busts through the thin interior wall between the 2nd floor room and the stairs, immediately engaging Darion and Marcellus.

The party fights the Troll off with some difficulty, the Troll visibly regenerates the wounds suffered almost as quickly as our heroes can inflict them…. Eventually a devastating searing smite from Marcellus lights the Troll a blaze and begins to  burn it down with damage the Troll is incapable of recovering… the rest of the party piles in to finish the deed, the Troll falls; N’jall and Valner collect some of its blood.

With the troll now dead Darion now fully enraged charges up to the third floor ahead of the party, quickly slaying the last orc and goblin chef in the process. The rest of the party finally moves up to the third floor where they find a lone goblin chef midst a gory makeshift kitchen where the human captives are being butchered and cooked to feed something. The Goblin is unceremoniously slain and the few remaining prisoners are lowered and freed.>

The tower is secure and our heroes in relative safety.

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The Story So Far

In ancient times, Gods walked alongside their mortal children through the world they sculpted, their paradise. For centuries peace reigned, until an event known as the Gods-war, and the ensuing Shadow Wars. For more than two ages, the war desolated the land, and most of the mortal races. Their safety came about when a God known as The Deep One ushered the survivors into great cities underground, where they lived until the war above passed.

When the various races of Folk emerged, the Gods were gone from the world, and the forces of Shadow with them. Most found it was time to rebuild, and set about recreating life above-ground. It was here when the Nation of Rhyssia rose from the ruins of the God’s greatest city, and expanded rapidly across the face of the land. They subjugated their fellow man, and pacified the Elves in the West. To the East, they drove the Shadow-corrupted Orcs into the badlands and deserts, and began erecting a great wall to keep them out. For Two Centuries the Rhyssian Empire has thrived, colonizing in the South, and keeping the barbaric Greenskin forces at bay in the East, while the wall crawled ever Northward, splitting the continent in two.

Recently, during a great skirmish with an Orc horde by forces lead by the Emperor himself, a great meteor struck across the sky, and slammed into the frigid North. Since this event, the Emperor and his army have disappeared. Meanwhile, another Orc Horde struck deep in the South of the Empire, in a Nation-State known as Sojourner’s Rest, The Duchy of Darmondy was quickly lost, and now the rag-tag band of adventurers finds themselves in the Duchy of Norgas as a horde of orcs descends upon them.

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