Scales of War: Lost Mines of Karak
From the journal of Uvaa
After a well deserved rest we restock our backpacks, the dwarves of Moradin ripping us off, swiftly followed by the proprietor of the local junk shop. We're approached by Khalad, the paladin we rescued from the Monastery some time ago. He's here on the request of the Elsea Consortium, a large mercantile enterprise, based within Overlook. We're escorted to an upscale tavern in elf-town, to meet Bram Ironfel. He thanks us for our actions, and invites us to listen to a story he has to tell, over a slap up meal.
There was a lost kingdom here long ago, the dwarves of the clan Ironfel established a mine, Karak Load, under the desert. Karak was kept secret, and under the pressure of invaders and famine, it was lost and consigned to history. Even the dwarves of the clan lost knowledge of the location of the mine. However, Sarshan's operations having been eradicated from Overlook, a parchment was found in one of the remaining warehouses. Bram investigated his family library and found that the parchement should provide directions to the mine of Karak, somewhere to the south west of Overlook.
We negotiate a 5% take on the mines earnings, knowing that it will be some time before we see the income, but safe in the knowledge that we're securing our futures! We begin plans for a trip to the desert - shade, water, heat at night, face covering - this all totals 42GP, including horse feed & water!!
We set out to the southwest the next morning, heading parallel to the mountains. The broken ground of the thornwaste stretches out ahead of us, stone and brambles all over - giant 8 foot bushes full of brambles. Unkas leads us through the wasteland excellently, his ourdoorsy nature serving us well on our journey, the stink from his custard encrusted beard attracting the mosquitos and flies away from the rest of us.
Two crossbow bolts fly from the brambles and we burst into action. I loose a bolt of chaos which flies wild, Unkas following with a shield of fire on Rangrim, summoning his spirit too, and Chana blasts one of the two hidden dwarves with lightning. More dwarves leap from the undergrowth, attacking various people. We scrabble around, trying to avoid attacks, but they close in and surround us. We shift positions, opening a space for me to use some area attacks. Two blasts later, one of the dwaves is dead, and another is badly injured. Chana unloads likewise, another dying to her attacks. Unkas stands there like a proper fake-tank, taking the hits for Rangrim.
We take out the last of the melee dwarves and advance on the remaining crossbow users, killing them easily. We loot the bodies and find they're members of the Hammerfist clan, arch enemies of the Ironfel's. We continue on making our way through the wasteland, Unkas and Chana guiding our way, we crest a rise and see a desert speading out ahead of us. Between the sand and the waste is a small decrepit village, a tower rising from the center.
In the villiage square a giant gnoll holds a mace over a fallen human. Other humans hide from a blue gekko thing and three satyr's. Unkas suggests a full frontal - we hope he means an attack and not the slightly more terrifying alternative. We march into town, in as non threatening a manner as we can, wielding our weapons. The villiagers scatter as we enter. The Gnoll says "Kneel, and offer tribute to the Queen." We respond by attacking!
Chana using a slowing ability, hitting all of the creatures, and my chaos bolt bounces around 3 of them before fizzling out. Chana takes the brunt of their focus, taking many hits. The lizard breathes electricity over Chana and Rangrim knocking them to the ground, Rangrim then stands and charges the gnoll, Unkas using his spirit to attack the lizard and gnoll. My chaos bolt skitters across 3 targets again, and the satyrs charge Rangrim. Then gnoll assists the satyrs in attacking Rangrim, Unkas steps in and takes one of the hits for our dwarf. The lizard blasts Unkas and Rangrim with an explosion of electricity. Rangrim smacks the gnoll and his axe explodes with lightning, hurting the satyrs around it, then shifts - Chana and I unload with area damage spells on the gnoll and his satyrs, killing the gnoll.
We refocus our attacks on the Lizard instead, Chana dropping some last attacks on the Satyrs. The lizard, a Behir it turns out, grabs Rangrim, and we struggle to rearrange. The remaining two satyrs flank me and attempt to sneak attack me, both missing however. The Lizard moves away from Unkas's spirit, and bites down on Rangrim. I blow up the Behir, and we advance on the remaining Satyrs. They don't last long however, dying swiftly once we focus some attacks on them.
From the journal of Chana
The people aren't that happy about our slaying the monsters. The Queen of the drylands will send another and punish them for it. However it turns out that she is somewhere near where we are going, so we are can deal with her.
Next day we head out into the desert. After 2 days of travel we meet an old woman crawling through the desert. She tells us to go back, Oserik and I move forward to assist her, and she screams at us, rupturing eardrums and knocking us back. Her appearance changes, as she teleports back, she is a Hag. Kronk lobs a Javlin that hits her, the rest of us advance towards her over the difficult desert terrain. Ozrik changes into bear form charges across and knocks her flying. He bellows, "she's not alone!" Seems there is an ambush waiting for us.
The hag teleports away from Osserik as her ambush springs up and tries to attack him. The hag attacks me and Ovaa, Kronk throws a javlin at her then Ozrik teleports in behind the Hag and hits her. The hag teleports back behind the ambushing shifters as Uvaa and I pin them in place with spells. Kronk and Ozrik batter one shifte who had advanced and is now on his own. Unkas uses his spirit to absorb incoming damage and heal us.
The hag teleports away, leaving us to finish off the Shifters. 2 of them attack Uuva, but the magic shielding him lashes out and blasts them to pieces. We pummel the reamining ones into the dirt, but the Hag is long gone.
We continue on our journey.
We cme across a dwarven fortress. We notice that someone has put dummies in the windows - they want to pretend that the place is occupied. Kronk lifts the rusting portcullis with one hand. As we continue onward towards the door another protcullis drops in the middle of the party, separating us. Troglodytes behind arrow slits shoot at us, pinning my arm to a wall. Uuva blasts fire into one of the arrow slits then I teleport the party through it, out of the killing zone. We attack the trogodytes inside the fortress.
Unkas gets pinned at the bottom of the staircase leading in, there are more trogoldytes coming down as we battle those that are in there. Ozrik charges into the way. With the dwarves holding the stairs we mop up those enemies on this level then move up and kill those on the level above. It is a guard room from where the forward defenses are co-ordinated.
From the journal of Chana
We go through one of the exits into a corridor that leads to a stables section, we notice some scales from one of the lightning lizards. We open some large doors into a large courtyward, most of it is covered with a huge arched roof but the middle is open to the air, part of the ceiling has collapsed.
As we walk towards another door a carrion crawler comes out of the rubble and attacks us. We surround it and start pounding. Harpies drop from the ceiling and drag Arindan and Rangrim with their songs. I slide Rangrim back into the fight with the Carrion crawler, Kronk charges round the back of the creature and the 2 of them carve it into itty bitty pieces. Go team fighter!
The harpies split up and pull us all towards one part of the courtyard. We concentrate fire on one, but with their songs dazing the party we are barely able to fight back. We finally manage to kill one. we are DAZED AND CONFUSED. And about to be dead.
End of session: Chana and Arindan on the ground on strike 1. Kronk and Rangrim imobile and saying "I surrender, eat my friends instead!"
From the journal of Chana
Bleed bleed! Arindan is blasted to little bits.
After some more bleeding Uuva comes into the room and lets rip. One of the harpies is turned into a cloud of feathers. Unkas summons his spirit and heals me just before I die. I get up, pull the fighters back a bit then leg it backwards. The harpies retreat. We rest for a minute and loot Arindans corpse, then continue onwards.
We open a door into a large room. There is a tree/polant thing on a throne on a dias, A battered druid is tied up below the dias. A group of thugs and a warrior stand between us and her. The thugs charge and we meet them in the doorway. Kronk drops 2 of them straight away, I kill another and immobilise the warrior. Unkas unties the shifter who grabs his gear. Giant hyenas appear and attack the party. They cackle at us, but fail to effect the party. Then we fight back. Tor the shifter whacks them left and right leaving one on the floor dazed and another not looking much beter. Kronk and Rangrim have engaged the warriortht I pinned. Uuva lets rip with spells and Unkas helps Tor. I send the last of the random toughs to a well deserved hell.
The battle is long and the giant dogs strong. The fighters engage the giant dogs while the magic users battle the dyiad. We knock her away from the trees in the room and batter her. The shifter leaps over and rips her apart. We turn back on the remaining dogs and hack them apart. There is some stuff to loot. We rest up for a while, then decide to secure this level. As we explore one of the side entrances we find a portcullis and barricade blocking the way to a downward stairwell. A single human stands guard.
From the journal of Unkas the Legendary
Unkas has never written of his many and varied adventures with the Order Of The Thistle putting pen to paper is part of his rehabilitation into mainstream society (also this is good practice on his writing). So for those who don't know Unkas was raised by dwarves deep in a mountain who worshipped the demon dogs (hell hounds) from a demonic portal. When they were wiped out he went even more feral and was eventually found and raised by elves. Still wild and unkempt he eventually left the safety of the forests to find his way in the world.
So onto the Order of the Thistle. Only one word can describe them. Duffers, Unkas has never worked with people who require quite so much healing and encouragement to pass simple road blocks. However he does quite like the general mess that they seem to leave wherever they go.
Currently we are trying to get into some kind of mine which we stand to profit from liberating.
So anyway in front of us stands a human guard in front of a large stack of boxes and general debris. The guard swirls his sword in a threatening manner. He is so dead. Kronk steps into the room but then holds his actions, Unkas The Legendary summons Stench his hell hound spirit who bites the guard. Unfortunately it is Stench's last action as he is sent back to the spirit world. Some other characters do some other things which arent as interesting..... Until Rangrimm the foolish charges into close combat, he falls into a rotating floor trap!!! Uvaa unleashes a chaos bolt which is diverted again Stench but it fizzles. Kronk jumps the pit and using some fancy footwork maneouvers the guard closer to the now closed pit. We continue to battle against a guard who is a little more than just a simple guard. Seranna "The Never Present" and Osric turn up to assist us (kill steal). Rangrimm manages to climb up and push the trap upwards a little, some of us can now see him but we have an enemy to kill before we can really help him. The guard is now looking a little dazed and is also prone on the floor. The extra firepower is really starting to take its toll, maybe he should have brought some friends. Rangrimm gets out of the pit eventually and everyone continues to attack the guard causing him a lot of distress, eventually he breaks out of the cordon but he is still cornered. Eventually he goes down under a hail of blows. He has some magical hide which the kill stealer Osric robs. And his magical sword disappears into the party treasury.
We all hunker down for a rest as the druid turns into a mouse and starts exploring the local area. He doesnt find much but does find the winch for the portcullis blocking our progress. We progress down the stairs slowly and surely. After exploring for a bit we come across an addled old man locked in a prison cell with canaries all over his shoulders. He won't communicate so we leave him with some rations in the cell and continue exploring. We find a room with with lots of doors and runes, they appear to be crypts. A discussion ensues about robbing the crypts or not. Unkas believes if they are dead they don't need the stuff so therefore let the robbing commence. However before the discussion turns into fisticuffs a spectral creature appears and battle is joined!!
Another creature is summoned by the first creature and Osric is hit for a minimal amount of damage. The area we are all in is very tight so we retreat backwards to try and even up the battlefield. However they don't follow us, should we go back and fight or just continue onwards. We decide to continue onwards rather than waste resources fighting what appears to be a dangerous creature. We head out of the area and finish exploring but notice nothing else and find nowhere else to explore. A sandstorm is blowing outside of the fort so we are glad we are inside. We decide to head down to fight the Burbalang as it is the only area we haven't explored.
We commence battle in a 5ft corridor, there are 7 of us!!! this isnt going to be easy. Osric manages to get on the other side and we trap the enemy between Rangrimm and Osric as we all start to unleash our strongest powers. Rangrimm believes he has Fornication armour but luckily we all realise he means Fortification armour so the critical doesnt hit him. We eventually finish the creature off after a relatively easy battle. We search the tombs having reasoned that they have already been desecrated. Yay phat loot!!!! One of the tomb door explodes and sets several of us on fire but we manage to put the flames out before we suffer to much damage.
From the journal of Chana
We are resting in the prison cells when a group of troglodytes burst in. We are fighting in the cell itself so they can only attack us 2 at a time, but their rear ranks throw javlins. Kronk has taken a lot of grief by the time the first one falls. I knock the second one back and Serana sticks a pair of arrays into him. Ozrik steps forward to give Kronk some respite and ties them down. They soon start pouring on the pain to him though, Serana drops one with another pair of arrows.
We have 2 of them flanked between Ozrik and kronk, but their leader drops Kronk with a poison bolt, their javlineer drops Ozrik. This is looking bad as only Serana and I are left. Serana sticks a potion down Ozrik which brings him back up. They throw more javlins which nearly drop the dwarf again but he stays fighting. Unable to move them I teleport the party to next to kronk, we shove a potion down his throat as I force them back with magic. Ozrik slays their sorcerer but is felled by the creatures dagger. Kronk charges over him and slays it the last one. We stabilise Ozrik and patch him up.
We loot the bodies and find a dwarven signet ring on one of them. We deduce, brilliantly, that this must be a key. Within a prison cell we find a tiny indentation that the ring fits in. It opens the floor to reveal a pully lift that lowers us down. PARANOID DWARVES HIDE MINE ENTRANCE IN PRISON!
There is a tunnel off the lift, some trogodytes guard it past a portcullis. I teleport the fighters past it and myself and Serana upto it so we can attack. Unfortunately the fighters are proving to be a bit inept and fail to hit anything. More troglodtyes come down the corridor, Kronk and Ozrik are now outnumbered 5 to 2. Serana and I blast through the portcullis. I try to increase the armour on kronk and Ozrik but it is clear they are being outmatched. Kronk kicks one of them back and dives into a doorway, Ozrik follows him and the trogodytes crowd round the doorway. Ozrik yanks one off balence and drags him into the room so he and Kronk can pound him.
Serrana triggers a trap that pellets her and I in poison darts. This is looking very bad. One of them falls to my lightning bolts. More darts hit us, the room is starting to spin now! Kronk is looking injured holding his doorway, he manages to knock the troglodyte back and Ozrik turns into a bear and charges past.
I fall over, and get shot by more darts. Serana runs away leaving me to die horribly. Grabbing the lift pully she hauls herself up part way.
Ozrik kills one of the troglodytes. A posion dart hits me between the eyes and I die.
Kronk kills the one they had dragged into the room leaving just the 2 in the corridor withe the big bear warden. Kronk kills another one just as the last trogodyte puts down Ozrik. And it is a race between Kronk and the last troglodyte to who can stay up the longer.
Unfortunately the Trogoldyte wins sending Kronk spinning to the ground with a well placed axe swing. Kronk is now down and bleeding, Ozrik is down and nearly bled out, and I am reincarnating in some other body far far away. s
From the journal of Aelar
I was meditating when I am disturbed by a noisy party of adventurers. Maybe if I help them they'll go away.
We head down the lift where their friends were horribly killed.
We go round to where the troglodytes are, I run forward and try to lift the portcullis but am not strong enough. They lob javlins at me, pincushioning me into the wall. Tor comes alongside and raises a wall of thorns to pin them in place. Uuva tries to blast them but misses, Unkas summons his spirit in front of me that blocks attacks and heals me.
Ozrik is being interogated in the side chamber, when the trogodytes turn to see the commotion we caused he dives under the tables towards the pile of weapons.
I am still unable to lift the portcullis, Tor pulls the spears out of me, Ozrik tries to kick one of his capters into the thorns but fails. I have the portcullis up with one jerk and Serana darts through to lock the portcullis in place. Tor drops the wall of thorns and Uuva lets rip, sending sending firy blasts into the troglodytes. Unkas sends his spsirt forward then moves into the side chamber to heal Ozrik, standing in the centre of the chamber his unleashes spiritual wrath upon all the troglodytes. I sprint in and pound the mage in the face.
The troglodytes recgroup and hurl javlins at Tor. The trogodyte mage blasts Ozrik and Unkas with stinking bolts while Uuva and Tor blast the javlineers in the corridor. Unkas channels a bear spirit to invigorate us all. Uuva sends a wave of frost down the corridor which kills one of the javlineers. Tor blasts another one. I dance around the troglodytes and hit them a bit. Uuva comes into the room and blasts the troglodytes in here, we are retreating into te room to concentrate fire and escape the remaining javlineers. Ozrik is dropped by the mages bolt, I dart between the enemies and crush the mages head in my fist. The remianing troglodytes attack me until Uuva blasts one into pieces with a chaos bolt. Serranna drops one of the javlineers with a pair of arrows. The other runs away. The last troglodyte is blasts to pieces by Uuva.
We continue onwards and find some recent small mining operations. Dwarf remains scatter occaisonally, though they seem to have killed each other in the end. Also they are without heads. We forge deeper into the mine.
We come to a large chamber, there is a pulsing cleft in the earth that glows red. Across the cleft are a pair of demons and a naga sitting on a pile of dwarf skulls. The naga blasts at us, dazing me. Ozrik charges forward and attacks one of the demons Unkas summons his spirit. The naga summons a fire elemental which dashes past us all and burns us all then tops next to Tor. The demon Ozrik is fighting pins him to the floor with its trident, the other breathes poison on Tor. Uuva blasts the naga. I grab the fire elemental and drag it away from Tor before its flame can kill him then pin it in place.
Ozrik whacks one of the demons hard, they both move to team up and pin him between them as Unkas heals him. The fire elemental explodes in fire. Uuva sends a powerful shockwave out but I stay next to the elemental.
From the journal of Aelar
Serana is pinned to a wall by one of the demons, the fire lasher blasts me back with a wave of fire and frees itself to go after unkas. The Naga blasts Tor and I. Unkas charges and engages the naga, the demon follows him. The other demon breathes poison on Serrana as it twists its trident in her. I leap the firy chasm and attack the naga. Tor runs across the wall to clear the chasm and charges the naga.
The fire elemental comes dashing back and burns us. Serrana loses conciousness as the demon twists the trident. Uuva blasts the naga with a radient bolt. She spins and whacks me backwards then slides and breaths poison on Ozrik and Tor. Rangrim comes charging across the chasm and brutally twats one of the demons in the back ith his axe. Then he asks, "what's this marking thing?"
The demon attacking serrana attacks her prone form again, the fire elemental blasts us aroun he naga and sends me flying, then the naga smashes Tor, Ozrik and I back and makes her escape, fleeing for the rift. She doesn't have to flee that fast - Ozrik and Tor are both down for the count.
Rangrim charges to intercept her with his axe, I flip up and leap round the pillar and batter its head in with my fist. It falls dead. The demon breaths poison over me then the fire elemental moves and explodes over Tor, Ozrik and I again. Tor is bleeding badly, Ozrik is barely better and I am dropped and bleeding.
Unkas crawls through the fire ementals blast and shoves a potion down Tors throat, saving his life. The demon attacking serrana pulls its trident out and leaps at Uuva as he has been doing a lot of blasting. This doesn't stop Uuva blasting the demon attacking me and Ozrik and blasting it to bits. The fire elemental blasts, knocking out Unkas, killing Ozrik outright and burning me badly. The demon attacking Uuva mauls him with the trident and pins him in place.
Tor crawls around and stops me bleeding just before I bleed to death. Rangrim rushes across to use a healing potion on serrana. Serrana stands up and lets fly 2 arrows that kill the elemental. Only 1 demon left! Unkas stands up, blood running down him, and summons his dog to help Unkas. Serrana lets fly with another pair of arrows and the demon drops dead.
Somehow only Ozrik died.