The Heroes of Brindol

The Steamworks

After determining the brass panel is no threat, the Heroes push onward into the Vents and into a vast room full of orcs. Two massive steam pipes run the length of the sides of the rooms and a strange, shadowed creature stands at one of the pipes, turning a large valve. Like a whirlwind of steel, death, and eldritch might… the Heroes blast into the room and cut down the orcs and the dark one with ease. Several archers ran off after seeing the fierce display of power by the Heroes. After the battle, the Heroes discover the body of one of the Diamond League… one Mistress Suzy and an exquisite bone scroll case on the body of the slain Dark One.

The Heroes then continue pursuit of the fleeing orcs, taking a moment to avoid the gravelly rumbling voice of what they would later discover, was a troll. To the west, they head towards old dwarven sleeping quarters and face the remaining orc archers and a large number of their allies. Wired rushes into the room, heedless of the danger and is followed quickly after by all the others.

The last of the dwarf lords from the monastery, Lord Kalad, is grabbed by an aberrant beast from the Far Realms… a monstrosity called a choker, perched on top of a stone door. Skardreg charges the door, kicks it shut with a hobnailed and spiked boot. The choker barely manages to stay perched on the wall above the door, so Skardreg follows up with a powerful attack that knocks the choker off the wall.

The death of the choker is the start of a frenzy of death and pain for the orcs. Though the heroes leave one alive and extract a number of interesting facts from him before he makes a mistake and insults the dwarves. His fate sealed, the orc clams up until Ravavyr coaxes some more information from him with careful lies and coached voice. With the death of the last orc, the Heroes turn to debating which path to take next.

The troll… or the doors.

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Storming the Vents!

The Heroes of Brindol have rescued Lord Kalad and one Longbeard the Fierce from the marauding orcs. Kalad collapsed a tunnel, barring the orcs from using it in their invasion and has asked for the heroes help in going to the Nexus beneath the Vents and using equipment there to shut down access to all the dwarven tunnels in the region.

After a lengthy journey out of the mountains back towards the Elsir Vale, the heroes discover the horses of the Diamond League and set them free to allow them to forage for food and water. Then, into the Vents they travel. After another hour of wandering the twisting warrens of the Vents, they come across a small band of orcs and a bevy of crossbow traps and iron defenders.

In contrast to their desperate battle against Og the orog and his companions, the battle against these orcs and the dwarven crafted traps is a rout. The orcs fall to the coordinated assault from the Heroes and then the traps are systematically destroyed one by one with few even managing to hit anything but the stone walls and floor.

A set of doors bars the way deeper into the vents and a strange brass panel to the side seems to be the only way to open them…

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Deeper into the Caverns...

Having exhausted themselves of a great deal of their strength and inflicted with a multitude of aches, wounds, and pains… the heroes started to settle down and rest for a number of hours, but a sudden crash below disrupts their plans almost immediately. Skardreg leads the way down into the caverns towards an opening from which a great deal of rock dust is pouring out of. Once inside the narrow tunnel across the cavern, a ruddy red glow emanates from inside the room, revealing a number of forges and a massive pile of burning refuse and rubble.

The heroes notice a dwarf beset upon by a heavily armored orog, shaman dressed in rough hides, and over a half dozen other orcs. The heroes charge in to save the dwarf, assuming him to be this missing lord. The battle is bloody and long, leaving the already fatigued party weary with pain and suffering.

Though a spot of brightness takes the edge off. Clarissa discovers a finely crafted rapier, commissioned for Aramis, the member of the Diamond League that had taken credit for the eradication of the orc patrol back east in the Elsir Vale. A smirk settled over her features as she tested the heft and balance of the thin blade.

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Beneath the Monastery...

After defeating the orc shaman and his allies, the Heroes of Brindol descended into the dimly lit hall beneath the monastery and defeated a number of orcs and orogs, a half-breed of orc and ogre. After an extensive search of the hall, the heroes discover bloodstains in all the small rooms that serve as the monks quarters, but one. They believe that one dwarf may yet live and venture deeper into the depths beneath the monastery in the Mountains of Stonehome.

(insert battle scene on steps down into the cavern)

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Storming the Monastery

Therin leads the adventuring party south into the Stonehome Mountains, heading towards the monastery. The dome of the dwarven crafted building stands tall above thirty foot walls. A warm glow of campfires rises up from beind the walls, but there doesn’t appear to be anyone manning the walls.

Clarissa and Ravavyr scale the walls, seemingly effortlessly. Clarissa slices the throat of a goblin she found crouching behind the battlements and then spins and puts a crossbow bolt into the throat of another goblin a dozen feet away from her. Across the gatehouse, Ravavyr stumbles and misses the goblin with his mace. Clarissa charges forward, reloading and shooting the goblin before it could raise an alarm. Ravavyr snakes out his free hand with a sudden strike and keeps the corpse from falling off the wall.

Therin chooses that moment to try and climb the wall, stubbing his toe and slipping as he barely gets more than five feet up. His pained cry as he falls onto the hardpacked dirt raises an alarm for the orcs camped within the monastery walls. Clarissa curses silently and readies her weapons to assault the orcs rising to do battle.

Francis and Skardreg burst through the slightly ajar gates, sending them crashing against the cold stone walls. Orcs swarm from cookfires, rushing up the stairs and charging the warlock and fighter. The heroes drive the orcs back against the cookfires with a fierce flurry of attacks, though the orcs do manage to draw blood from some of the party. Having cleared the courtyard, the party looks to the monastery itself and frown… worrying about the carnage that lays within. They enter and leave behind the charred dwarf flesh the orc had been roasting in braziers and being gnawed on by the orcs.

The doors to the monastery appear to be barred somewhat, so Skardreg stomps towards them and then lunges forward, throwing his shoulder with the full weight of his body and armor into the doors. The heavy doors slam open and light spills into the darkned monastery, revealing a scene crimson carnage scattered across the thick flagstones of the monasterys main hall.

A number of orc archers, bearing oversized crossbows with bolts nearly the size of a ballistae bolt in them, are stationed along the upper walkways around the perimeter of the monastery. Another orc, dressed in the trappings of a tribal shaman, emerges from the shadows at the back of the monastery near the dwarven altar to Moradin. The altar itself has been desecrated by the orcs… encrusted with black feces and filth.

Another orc, bigger than the others, stepped out of the shadows and took up position near the shaman, acting as a bodyguard to keep the heroes away. Skardreg and Ravavyr moved up the middle of the monastery main chamber while Wired, Francis, and Therin hung back a little. Clarissa dashed up the stairs by the doors and blurred across the upper walkway, crashing into the orc archers with unbridled ferocity.

As Skardreg and Ravavyr tangled with the orc sargeant and shaman, Clarissa snarled at the remaining archer on the east side of the monastery. “Hit me. You’re dead. Run away and I’ll let you live.” The orc then buried his crossbow bolt in Clarissa, driving her back a step or two in pain. Therin saw the opening and spun the orc around with a powerful shot from his own crossbow. The orc tumbled over the edge of the raised area and plummeted into the pews below. There was some life yet left in him.

At least until Clarissa vanished in a swirl of silvered shadow and leapt down as a golden-eyed black furred wolf. She landed next to the orc and tore his head free with a single savage bite. The orc sargeant bellows out a command in the savage tongue of giants, ogres, and orcs. Six of the corpses along the center aisle leap to their feet, snatching up nearby weapons. Wired is soon beset by three of the orcs while two move to block Skardreg and Ravavyr from aiding their healer.

The shaman further confounds the situation, blinding Francis with a curse from the one-eye orc god, Gruumsh. Skardreg is hammered by the sargeant with multiple attacks that spill his orcish blood on the flagstones of the monastery. Clarissa, still in the form of a wolf, bounds across the tops of the pews as if they were clear, flat ground. The fury of her assault draws the orc sargeants attention away from Skardreg for a moment, allowing the half-orc to catch his breath. The fangs sunk deep in the orcs meaty arm also draws a significant amount of its attention.

The formerly “dead” orcs are whittled down by the dark powers of the warlock and the piercing bolts from the woodland hunter. Ravavyr backs away from the sargeant to aid Francis and Wired, pupling the skull of an orc with a single blow from his mace. The shaman leaps down from the altar and tears into Clarissa with his filth encrusted claws. The young thief gags from the stench and is driven back to recover. Skardreg drives back in to battle with his axe and opens up a vicious wound in the sargeants thigh.

Therin turns and instead of taking out the last archer on the walkways around the perimeter of the roomm he narrows his eyes and takes aim at the orc sargeant. Half a breath later, the orc sargeant is pawing weakly at a green feathered bolt that suddenly appeared in his chest, piercing his heart. A look of confusion passes across his features and then the sargeant collapes to the ground. Skardreg then leaps over the corpse of the sargeant, his axe cleaving into the skull of the shaman. Ravavyr bounds up onto the walkway to chase down the last orc, but it throws its crossbow into the rogues face, causing Ravavyr to stumble a moment.

Therin’s crossbow clacks one final time and the last orc falls from the walkway and lands with a sickening splat onto the pews below. Skardreg and Clarissa head warily up the steps and then peer down into the darkness underneath the altar in the center of the monastery.

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Orc Raiders and a Dire Threat...

After a long overdue rest in soft beds with a roof overhead, the heroes continue heading west towards Overlook. Several miles down the road, the party comes across an old campsite and discovers that someone had recently used it and at least five of them were on horseback. They decide to ignore the camp, thinking it was probably merchants, and head deeper into the Westdeep Forest.

As the day grows long, Therin points out that a littler further down the road that has now turned into a trail, they’ll come across a small town where they can rest for the night. A couple hours later, something large crashes through the undergrowth and bursts out onto the trail. Clarissa’s eyes widen as she sees other shapes moving out of the forest behind rather large dire boar in front of the party. Clarissa decides the boar is a greater threat than the creatures shadowing it in the woods and bounces a crossbow bolt off the thick hide of the beast.

“Well shit,” the thief says. Her gleaming golden eyes narrowing in frustration.

Just then, an orc archer comes out of the trees and sees the heroes. He immediately turns his attention from the dire boar onto Wired’s horse. The horse rears and Wired is nearly dismounted. Ravavyr slips off his horse and buries a crossbow bolt into the haunch of the dire boar. It squeals loudly in pain and appears to grow angrier, if that were even possible.

Four more orcs rush out of the trees and three of them hurl hand axes at the boar, all bouncing off the thick, bony hide of the beast. The fourth soldier also tries to take out Wired’s soldier, after being alerted to the presence of the heroes out of Brindol. Clarissa dashes down the road after the others dismount and Therin strikes the boar with a thick crossbow bolt. The others ready for battle and Clarissa leaps in again at the boar, her blade gleaming as she skewers the vital organs of the dire boar. She nimbly dances to the side and strikes yet again. The boar lashes out with its spiked tusks in its death throes, nearly gutting Clarissa.

Skardreg charges into the pack of orc soldiers. An orc seargent appears and shouts, “Kill the half-breed!” The seargents glaive slices down the inside of Skardreg’s arm through a gap in the half-orc’s spiked armor, leaving a minor wound to drip blood onto the ground.

The battle continues for several minutes more, blood flowing freely on both sides… though the heroes out of Brindol prove victorious once again. Fortunately the horses were spared the mayhem of battle and the party was able to continue on to Overlook several days later.

Once at Overlook, Franics spies some children in the shanty town outside of the cities walls, hovering over a corpse. The smell of death and decay permeates the air. Therin notes the children and the corpse and suggests that they may be taking the body to Rufus, the self-appointed leader in the shacks and hovels around the outside of Overlook. Skardreg faces some hostility due his lineage at the gate from one of the dwarven guards. Dwarves founded this town and appear to not care much for half-orcs.

Therin leads them through the city to Beldin’s Rest, leading them through the gates between each district. After passing through each gate, the city smells noticeably less foul. The party then notices that the Diamond League has reached Overlook ahead of them. Skardreg tries to make amends, by inviting Two Teeth to join them for drinks at Dergen’s, a local, well renowned brewery. The half-orc member of the Diamond League declines, preferring to prepare for heading out for war on the morrow.

Skardreg, Francis, Rav, and Clarissa head to Dergen’s and spend the evening with fine food and fine wine, chatting with Aramis, leader of the Diamond League, who ahd joined them for a meal. Skardreg is free with information about their encounter with the orcs along the road, which later is used against them by Aramis.

The next morning at the town council meeting, Skardreg and Ravavyr learns that the Diamond League, prompted by Aramis, has taken credit for defeating the orcs and leaving the leader hanging naked from the thick bough of a tree to serve as a warning against any other orcs in the area. The elders forestall any argument about who did what by reminding everyone that the threat of the orcs is dire indeed. The Diamond League is sent with the army, west to meet the orcs while the heroes are asked to help evacuate the dwarven monastery near the Fist of the Stonehome Mountains. Later that morning, the heroes leave for the monastery as Commander Lauthan heads out with over two hundred solders and the Diamond Leage.

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Brigands at the Bridge

The young hunter named Therin, joined the group at the behest of the commander of Brindol’s army, Lord Louthan. Travel through the Elsir Vale was fairly uneventful, if a bit uncomfortable. The heroes had become used to sleeping under a roof in soft beds and roughing it in the farmlands along the road was not something they enjoyed.

Midway through the fourth day out, after passing through Talar, the heroes come upon a dwarven knight atop of a wagon with a broken wheel. Clarissa is immediately suspicious of the scene, but the others move to help. As Skardreg lifts up the wagon to help the dwarf remove the broken wheel, a number of brigands emerge from the behind outcroppings of stones and thick clumps of scrub growth and bushes.

A number of arrows and thrown daggers fly into the midst of the heroes. Clarissa and Wired suffer minor wounds from the ambush and lose control of several of the horses. Clarissa eyes the archers on the ridge to the north and then dashes forward to engage some of the brigands armed with daggers nearby. Wired moves closer to aid the others and takes more wounds from ranged attacks from the archers on the ridge.

Skardreg drops the wagon and engages with the dwarf and Ravavyr joins him. Together they keep him off balance. Clarissa takes out one of the brigands and uses the opening to dash between the other brigands, evading their daggers with ease. She then leaps and bounds up the cliff with unnatural grace and charges into the midst of the archers. One falls prey to her flashing rapier as Ravavyr catches the dwarf with a fierce attack. Therin picks off a few brigands.

Francis calls on a dark pact with eldritch terrors and places a curse on one of the dagger wielding brigands. The brigands face is filled with terror as his life is drained away by dark powers, leaving a shriveled husk behind. A mage enters the battle from the west and slings spells at the heroes. Clarissa decides to leave harassing the archers and speeds down the cliff and leaps across the river in wolf form. The mage backpedals away from the snarling wolf.

Skardreg and Ravavyr finish off the dwarf as a brigand and archer flee to the north, shouting, “Bugger off Barstrom! You can die with the dwarf!” The mage then surrenders and is left behind for Commander Louthan to find, tied to the wagon after a lengthy interrogation. The heroes continue on their journey to Overlook, taking over the mayor of Drellin’s Ferry’s home for the night for a small sum of gold and rubies.

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The War Effort

Following the culmination of the race and after the celebrations wound down, Clarissa wandered out on her nightly tour of the town to shadow Chett Illyn and his ruffians. This seemed to create quite a stir when she was blamed for the theft of a magical toy boat that one of the Diamond League had lost. She returned to the Blue Dolphin after the others had apparently gone out fo find her. When they returned to the tavern and inn, the rogue, Ravavyr, ran up to her and shouted, “Geronimo!”

“What are you bloody going on about?” she asked with a furrowed brow. Her golden eyes gleamed angrily in the fading light of dusk. Nothing had happened and it left Ravavyr confused. Clarissa continued to frown as the others asked about where she had been and if she knew about a magical toy boat.

“If you’re done interrogating me, I’ll be turning in for the night,” Clarissa said… with a definite note of displeasure in her voice.

The rest of the party later decided that is must have been the eladrin Alys that had taken the boat immediately after the race ended, while everyone else was distracted by the celebrations.

Later that evening, the dwarf alchemist, Adronsius, offers the party a small fee for recovering some ingrediants from a hag out west in the Stonehome Mountains. Adronsius would usually make the trip himself, but rumors of orcs coming east across the mountains have made it too dangerous for him to go. With little reward, the heroes are reluctant to make the trip.

That all changes in the morning, when it becomes known that Ravavyr has “volunteered” the group to travel to Overlook and investigate the rumors of orcs passing over the mountains into the Elsir Vale and Adronsius makes it known that the hag may have information of some interest to Clarissa.

Ravavyr then tells the party that Commander Louthan of Brindol has assigned a number of horses to them. After a bit of discussion, the group decides to go to Overlook. Clarissa then arranges for provisions and supplies for the journey.

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Race Day Shenanigans!

The day of the race dawned bright and early. Earlier than some would have liked, given the rough night they had spent hiding midst leaf and bough. Ravavyr and the others participating in the race arrived at the southern gate and began preparing for the race.

Skardreg tried to get one of the other racers to back down, but the intervention of the mysterious eladrin, Alys, kept the half-orc brute from ending the race for the fleet-footed ranger, Dorian. Alys tucked her letter deftly between her leather armor and her underclothing. Another swift and deft gesture saw the half-orcs letter slipping from his codpiece and finding its way into the eladrins back pocket just as Skardreg’s ally, Ravavyr, ‘snuck’ up behind Alys and stole ‘her’ letter.

Feeling the subtle loss of the letter from her pocket, Alys hid a smirk behind a slight grimace of distaste as she sniffed at the air near the half-orc. Alys then took her place with the rest of the racers. Notably absent were the feywild refugee, Clarissa, and the warlock, Francis. The wolf-blooded thief and the eldritch mage had both declined to participate in the race.

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I'm going to win this..
Scrawled by Skardreg

As usual I had no trouble sleeping due to the quantity of ale I drank the night previous. I’ve come to expect that now. Seems the more I drink, the less I dream so that’s welcome.

Upon going downstairs the next morning, with the notable exception of Ravavyr, I am greeted by Ragnar and the other members of the group I currently find myself with here in Brindol. Perhaps he had the sense enough to stay away from the inn for the night as Two-Teeth would have given him a brutal beating from his comments.

Two-Teeth. Ha! I like him. Reminds me of myself and how I appear to other people. Well if they don’t like me I don’t really care, I’ve been on my own before and survived just as well, if not better than when travelling with others.

The runt, Falcath, brings over the ale that has been ordered and I down my mug in a single gulp. It tastes funny but I pay no attention to it. I make a mental note to introduce the Halfling with his windows at some point for trying to poison me or whatever was in the ale.

We head down to the South Gate and are given our letters. The pompous Eoffram Troyas is droning on about the rules which I vaguely hear. I see the Elf, Dorian Lightstep and approach him and demand the letter that he had. If I can get it at least that’s one less competitor. He refuses me. Seems he’s grown a back bone in the night. I grin and lift him clear off the group with one hand and bring him close to my face and whisper in a menacing voice to give me the letter but before he can answer the Eladrin, Alys Thornstrike, rather foolishly gets in my face and distracts me. Her hand brushes just below my belt, I think she has stolen my letter but upon inspection of my codpiece, the letter is still there. Troyas is shouting something at me about the race not having started by I pay no attention. Dorian has scarpered as far away from me as possible so there is no chance of his letter now before the start of the race so I settle down and ready myself.

The signal to start is given and I set off at a good pace. The Eladrin ghosts past me and immediately get bogged down in the crowd however she is a nimble one I give her that and she leaps up on to the shoulder of the people and continues running. No such nonsense from me so I bellow a war cry and charge headlong into the throng, bracing myself for having to push people out of the way. Unsurprisingly the crowd parts before me as people are evidently not as stupid as they look and don’t want to be crushed.

Rounding the corner I see Alys still deftly running along shoulders and disappearing from sight, the crowds are still everywhere and I continue my headlong charge. The majority of people move but I find myself stopped short when I ram into enormously grotesque human, who is stuffing his maw with what looks to be a meat pie. Disgusted, I move round the fat man and carry on my way. I’ve lost ground to Alys but not too much.

There is even more of a commotion around the next bend than before, it seems the citizens are all crawling around on the floor trying to get their hands on what looks to be like a good number of gold coins. I assume this is Alys’ work and make my way through them. I come upon a wall and leap up and vault over it, landing it what appears to be a parade ground for the local guards. I see Alys just ahead of me, she must have been held up by something and I plough on in pursuit of her. Reaching the other side of the enclosure I vault the fencing and burst out into the market square. Damn, the crowds were huge here so I let out another war cry but catch my footing in a hollow in the ground so instead of a bestial roar it come out more of a strangled coughing noise and the mass of people does not move so I am forced to push my way through.

Up ahead, Alys turns to me and shouts that I have dropped my letter and points to a piece of paper on the floor ahead of me. I stop, confused and hastily check my codpiece. The letter is gone! That skinny bitch had stolen my letter. Quite when, I am not sure of, what I am sure of though is that I am going to break her fingers for even daring to take something from me!

Speeding on I reach the bridge at the North Gate, seeing two carts blocking the way I attempt to vault on to the side of the bridge, which I manage with ease however, I misjudge my landing and almost end up in the river so I gingerly steady myself and jump back down on to the bridge towards the carts. Because of this delay, Alys is long over the other side of the bridge and I feel my chance of winning the race slipping away. The wagon owners are arguing over who has the right of way and are surprised when I bound past and up on to the first wagon and make my way over the goods in my pursuit of the Eladrin. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the Barbarian diving off a low roof and into the river below. A worthy opponent that one indeed, I think. I am glad to have him on the same side.

As I reach the end of the bridge I hear the unmistakable sound of Two-Teeth bellowing something that sounded like “Geronimo” but I have no idea why. Perhaps he thought it was a diving competition as well as a race? I also hear the smashing of glass and rending of timber but I don’t stop to look for the source.

I clear the bridge and start my way up the tower hoping that Alys will fall. For a brief moment, my wish seems to have been granted as she falls a considerable way but manages to catch herself and clings on for dear life before continuing on her way. As I get half way up, the bell rings. I had lost. Cursing, I carry on up to the top and am greeted by the grinning visage of Ragnar who is being presented with a pair of boots, which he places on top of a coffer, brimming with gold coins.

Silently cursing myself, I head down the stairs of the tower with Ragnar and Alys spits out a comment calling him a son of an Orc and that he will pay for winning. I tell her that I am the only son of an Orc here. Well, I am. We head back to the Blue Dolphin and meet up with the rest of the group, Falcath brings ale and meat and I toast to Ragnar congratulating him on his victory. I am annoyed at myself but at leat I beat Two-Teeth.

With this thought in my head, I slip into my cups and drink myself into the early hours of the next morning…

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