Against the Fey

2.3 The Catacombs of Cromil (teaser)
A blast to the past...

Three dwarves – and one mysterious wizard who just looks like a dwarf! – sit in the study of human sage and arcanist Helmar the Learned, in the coastal city of Flussmund. They are slightly uncomfortable with Helmar’s job offer – a delve into the forbidden catacombs beneath Flussmund Castle to retrieve a gauntlet from an ancient grave. Several of the party members change their stance abruptly when Helmar reveals that it is the grave of an elf. The old man shifts in his chair, his mismatching brown leather pants and bright blue ruffled shirt wrinkled as he lounges.

“Listen, you folks will feel better when you hear the full story. You see, this elf was a great hero, a vanquisher of the undead – and Flussmund’s been having a problem with the undead of late, let me tell you! Why, even in this well-populated and -protected city, we’ve had two incidences of zombies in the streets and even a string of killings by a vampire! The Gauntlet of Telmandar was buried in the tomb of the elf bearing of that very name, deep within the catacombs beneath the hill to the northwest, when Flussmund was simply a gathering of cottages around a small wooden fort.

“Many years later, the fort was overrun and captured by a vicious warlord named Cromil the Cruel. Cromil and his monsterous army was eventually surrounded and forced to retreat into the catacombs. Unable to fully destroy the enemy, the force that retook Fort Fluss sealed the entrances to the catacombs, trapping the various monsters and evil men who followed Cromil forever beneath the surface.

“Though initially happy that the conqueror and his horrific army was defeated, many people were concerned that Cromil and his minions now lived beneath the city and held the many treasures that were stored in the catacombs. Not even a generation passed before adventuring parties began delving into what became known as the Catacombs of Cromil, defeating monsters and retrieving treasure from its depths. This continued for many years.

“One day, the residents of Flussmund felt the ground shake, and a great cloud of dust erupted from the lower entrance to the catacombs. Many of the passages collapsed, and the lower entrance was blocked by tons of fallen rock. The lord ordered the upper entrance closed, and none since has descended into the Catacombs of Cromil.

Helmar sets his mug down and leans forward to puts his hands on his knees, elbows in the air. “Now, the upper entrance is barred, and the lower entrance is collapsed. As far as anyone knows, any decendents of Cromil’s horde are long dead, and I guarantee that getting to Telmandar’s tomb would require major excavations. Even better, and here’s the real kicker, I know for a fact that the Gauntlet of Telmandar was removed from the catacombs many years before the collapse! But none of this matters, and I’ll tell you why…”

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2.2 Rollin' Down the River

The dwarves make a delivery to Flussmund and arrive minus one elf, to none of their disappointment…

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2.1 The Broken Tower (teaser)

The dwarven rescue party returns to Copperknight Hold after freeing their friend and trading partner, Willie the Carter [as several of you pointed out during the session, you did indeed Free Willy. That was not an intended pun, but good job finding it anyways. Could have been worse, I could have made him Jimmy Carter instead…]. Kaval Copperknight graciously gives the traumatized human a fine meal and a warm bunk for the night; Inga Herdsfriend, an expert in animal husbandry and medicine, has been mending and caring for Willie’s bloodied ox, and the next day it is hitched to the cart in preparation of a trip down the mountain.

“Ah’m not lookin’ forward to makin’ this trip alone after last time,” Willie says nervously. “Any chance of hirin’ a guard from this here dwarfhold?” [the humans from the village have Germanic names and Texan accents. No, I don’t know why.]

Clank, clank, clank, clank, clank – up the path comes six short, green, armored figures – one bearing a tall pole with a tattered fabric banner hanging down from the crossbar at the top. As dwarves raise their weapons, the party of goblins stops and one steps forward a stride ahead of his fellows.

“I, Grakon, Herald of the Warlord of the Gray Mountains, bring a message. It has come to the attention of the Most Illustrious Warlord that the mountain roads are no longer safe. In his benevolence, he is willing to protect all travel along the mountain roads. In return, he asks only a small tribute of 1000 Gold Pieces each month to support his patrols. Please know that His Greatness cannot guarantee the safety of travellers along the roads without this payment.

“The first payment is due at the Warlord’s tower in five days.”

The goblin makes a short military bow, the whole company turns on their heels, and they march orderly back down the trail. As they disappear around a bend, Kaval throws his hands in the air.

“Fantastic! First a kobold invation, and now goblin extortion…I’m beginning to think that Copperknight Hold is cursed! What are we going to do?”

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1.3 Picking Up the Trail (teaser)
Time to play Where's Willie?

The party of dwaves returned triumphantly from their expedition to Burgheim. Copperknight Hold is now filled with the yeasty, hoppy smell of brewing beer. The Burgheim tavern paid tribute to the short town heroes and, having stuffed and mounted the dwarves’ proof of the bridge troll’s demise, is now known as the Troll’s Head Inn. Willie, the human peasant farmer that they hired to help haul their brewing goods back to Copperknight Hold has started a regular weekly trading run between the village and the dwarf-hold. Work continues as the industrious dwarves add rooms and remove precious metals from below the mountains.

The Great Hall is abuzz with activity as the first batch of Undermountain Ale is poured into new wooden kegs when suddenly, a shout is heard from the stairs leading to surface. Weapons are unsheathed and helmets donned as the party rushes to the front entrance of the hold, ready to defend against whatever foul creatures await. To their surprise, they find Willie’s ox-cart, a panicked and snorting ox still attached…but no Willie. Blood drips ominously down from a wound on the bovine’s side as the dwarves try to calm the beast…

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1.2 There was a troll? (Bjork's account)
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to drink we go!

Apparently there was a troll I was assaulting. Honestly I don’t remember because I delved into the stash we were taking home and I had this song stuck in my head…

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1.2 . . . and then I killed the bridge troll. (Gorm's Account)

After talking our way past the bridge troll on the way into town to pickup much needed brewing supplies we again had to cross the same troll infested bridge. This time it was strictly business as the troll had been harassing the innocent townsfolk so it needed to be put down.

I was reminded again that I am a terrible swimmer, but still excel at sinking. After much mocking and visions of blood our brave group dispatched the troll, much to the enjoyment of the townspeople, we returned with the sorely need brewing supplies to Coppernight Hold, where I had previously slain the menacing baby dragon, just in case anyone had forgotten.

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1.2 Waters of Life (Torf's Account)
Nightmares

Flames erupted from the splitting earth as Torf wavered on the edge of a crumbling spire, his beard was singed and the tangy smell of burning hair sizzled in his nostrils.

“Dagnabbit! Fire again!” Torf yelled, scrambling backward to safer footing. He looked to Bessie at his side, “Any advice?”

Just then, everything went dark. Torf flailed his stubby arms and legs in distress—he seemed to be caught under a thick, impenetrable canvas. He kicked with all his might, he punched with all his strength, he bit with all his teeth!

“If you had only added spikes to my head,” nagged Bessie. “Shaddap, you tool!” Torf fired back.

The canvas suddenly swept away, leaving Torf staring into the face of a young white dragon. Torf scrambled to brandish Bessie and let forth a tremendous blow—just in time for the dragon to disappear into a puff of smoke, leaving Torf and Bessie spinning in futility.

Beneath the smoke lay a ruined statue. Torf bent down and picked up the head, turning it over to see his own broken face staring back at him.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”


And then Torf woke up, his head rested on Bessie.

He missed the fight.

“Pansy” hissed Bessie.

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1.2 Waters of Life (Adrik's Recount)
Recap

No sooner did I make my home in Copperknight Hold I found myself leaving it. Though it be for a very important task. Ale. Even with so much power at my disposal, I see the need for the soothing drink. I gladly offered to go with the other volunteers.

The road down the mountain was a treacherous one. Not long after we left the keep, a storm rolled in over the mountain, making our path dangerous. Lucky for me and my companions, Kord hears those who plea to him. As I whispered the last words of my prayer, the storm swiftly moved on, clearing our path.

At the foot of the mountain, we began making our way through the woods where we stumbled upon some queer fellows. The nerve of these men demanding a toll on a road they have no rightful claim to. They almost got their toll, at the cost of our lives. Thank the gods for Bjork, she kept us on our feet at times I felt I had no strength to spare to the task. After following the would-be thieves tracks, we found an empty hideout. They probably fled in the night while we rested and licked our wounds. Bastards.

After a short while we emerged from the wood and found a bridge spanning the river between us and our destination. As our luck would have it, this bridge was guarded by a troll. For a brief moment I feared, until one of us began to lie to the troll, promising him a meal of bandits whom would be much more filling than the likes of us. Much to my astonishment, the troll agreed to let us pass and to wait for the next meal.

Upon arriving in the village, we met a giant of a man and halfling who could supply us with the items on our list to get the keeps brewery up and running. Though we soon realized that all of the supplies would be rather difficult to return to Copperknight with in a single cart, so we offered payment to some of the farmers to go with us and lend their carts. But there is always a catch. The troll. It had to be removed.

Under the cover of night, we returned to the bridge and set up a trap. The bard and I positioned ourselves on each side of the bridge and set up a trap for the troll, positioning our stronger allies on the bridge with him. It was a rather heated battle, though the paladin got to cool off in the river. In the end, the troll proved no match for the four of us. We returned with the trolls head.

For taking care of the troll problem we received a discount on our brewery supplies and plenty of help shipping it up to the keep. I think this will be a good start to our relationship with our new neighbors.

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1.2 Waters of Life (teaser)
Quest for Beer

It has been a month since the party of five brave dwarves rescued their cousin Kaval Copperknight from the white dragon wyrmling and her kobold minions. In that time, work on the new dwarf-hold has proceeded quickly. With the adventurer’s help, the workers have completed bedrooms, storage, and added to the great-hall that they took back from the dragon, making space for long tables and a grand hearth. They’ve even begun work on an imposing gate and thick door to the hold. Still, one vital thing is missing – Copperknight Hold will never be complete without a dwarven brewery!

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1.1 Heroic Beginnings (recap)
Five dwarves, one dungeon, one dragon

A party of dwarves follows a rough trail up the mountains. Their cousin, Kaval Copperknight, had begun excavation of a new dwarf hold several months ago. Each week, he would send a runner to get supplies and bring news of the construction; however, there has been no word from the fledgling Copperknight Hold for three weeks. Concerned, five stout dwarves set out to see what has happened:

The party arrives at the construction site, but finds no sign of dwarven activity. The sharper ears hear a draconic whisper; peering through the fence that surrounds the excavation, they find a horde of kobolds! They smash the small lizardy creatures to pieces and – after extinguishing the flaming goo clinging to the stocky barbarian – climb down the shaft into the unfinished hold.

Oena sneaks ahead into the darkness. As she peers around an unfinished statue, the rogue discovers more stinking kobolds! They push the rigged statue down, pinning the unfortunate dwarven woman to the floor. The rest of the stalwart party leaps into action! A spell-slinging kobold wyrmpriest pulls on thin cords leading to tapestries on the walls and the thick fabric falls onto the adventurers; only Garm is caught beneath as the others leap out of the way or cut dwarf-sized holes quickly. Though these enemies are tougher than those on the surface, they make quick work of the kobolds – but not before they shout a warning further into the dwarf-hold.

A thick, iron-banded wooden door bars the passage ahead. Oena makes good use of her lockpicks and soon the door swings open. Having abandoned any element of surprise, the party charges into the room, only to find it swarming with short-sword-armed kobolds – and a white dragon wyrmling! The brave adventurers attack, quickly dropping the wyrmling’s minions, when suddenly one pulls out a second short sword and makes a brutal strike. With the help of Bjork’s healing power, Garm’s thick armor, Oena’s swift daggers, and the thundering strikes of Bessie, Agi manages to invoke the full force of the Moon Goddess, stunning the dragon. The heroic dwarves hit the incapacitated wyrmling with all their might, and Garm makes the final blow with his trusty craghammer, destroying the evil threat once and for all.

The party quickly dispatches the remaining panicked kobolds. Opening the large double door, they find Kaval Copperknight and most of his builders and workers chained in the unfinished rooms beyond. The adventurers quickly untie their fellow dwarves and are hailed as true heroes!

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