Episode 26: The Siege of Courtbridge
Repelling the undead, one step at a time...

In this adventure, the party play out the the undead siege of Courtbridge led by Zane Bloodstrike, with climatic results.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Lord Farfal Kerreh, a chaotic good human cleric of Pelor
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder/Vampire Stalker

Chapter 1: First assault
Following from last time, there was an impending threat of an undead siege which the party had helped to prepare the defenses against, and were now prepared to defend against the undead on the front line. Attached to a 6 man squad, two particular people they got to know were Sgt.Baed, a hardhitting soldier used to fighting the undead, and Daglos Shield, a recently married and freshfaced recruit. The sky was now increasingly darkening, and the thickness of the white mist increased. It was on the 9th night of the declaration of war that the heroes heard the scrabbling of claws on hard stone, and to their horror a first wave of ravenous ghouls had climbed the west wall. The party and the squad fought off the group heroically with minimal casualties. It was then the mist disappeared, and revealed a large army of undead, with siege ladders, catapults and a huge bone tower, and they assaulted the west wall. The party were told by a messenger that they had to hold them off while the Courtbridge army dealt with undead resistance at the other gates. With that, the group prepared themselves for difficult encounters…

Chapter 2: Defense of the West-gate
The undead struck in waves, some of the monsters the party had to fight included frost zombies, wights and their hated tomb guardians, as well as a number of zombies and skeleton minions which acted as support and a nuisance. In addition, every turn a potential siege event could happen which could badly effect the party, including things like arrow storms, flame catapults and undead surges. The party dealt with them largely well, but the squad lost 2/3 of its men, only Daglos and Baed being left. It was then that the huge Boneskull siege tower crashed unto the wall, and began to spit out undead as well as slowly breaking the West-gate in with a swinging siege hammer made of bone built into the tower. As the party attacked it, they realized that it took damage and was effectively an undead creature. A successful arcana check then revealed that a magical force must of been sustaining it, and was separate from the rest of the energy that was keeping the undead army animated, so the party attributed it to Malidon Skull-Drain, the final necromancer of the cult. With this in mind, the party hacked away at the tower in one of the most tensest battles in the campaign, but finally managed to destroy it-one hit away before the gate collapsed. With that, waves of Courtbridge soldiers swarmed up the wall and took over from the heroes, and the heroes then returned to High Lord Alain to rest and prepare for their next task. While taking their daily rest, Sir Stelian Soul-eater embraced his true dark inner self, and changed from being a devoted warlock to a vampiric monster, largely due to the power he saw in Zane’s attacks from Valdevich many weeks ago.

Chapter 3: Zane’s reappearance
However, just as the party were convening with Alain, Zane landed down on his skelental bat (known as Vyshree) and doomed the party and the High Lord to death. The fight started and was highly intense, Zane not only substantially stronger than last time, but also the party wanted revenge for being beaten in the mansion in the Valdevich adventure. Zane, despite still being highly tough and causing masses of damage, finally had enough with toying with the heroes, and after they managed to kill Vyshree actually showed anger towards them, threatening to kill their Supreme High Lord if nothing else ! With that, he became mist and then floated towards Lordsbreach. Stelian also turned into mist now being a vampire and followed him, while Farfal and Kai left Alain to deal with defending the capital while they also pursued Zane but through the sewers.

Chapter 4: Zane’s revenge
However, the sewers had a surprise in store as Kai and Farfal run into none other than High Lord Zarkovich, who was trying to flee the capital. The two bullied and intimidated the traitor into coming with them, so he could be held responsible for his actions. Meanwhile, by the time Stelian reached Lordsbreach it was a terrible sight indeed. Most of the Supreme High Lord’s Royal Guard were dead, Drogen Steelblade himself having been decapitated. Zane was now locked on combat with the Supreme High Lord himself, who was still a worthy combatant be it aged and mortally wounded, but he was ultimately killed, a single flaming broadsword strike across the chest blazing him and throwing him into the pool. Then, using the power of an blood-red amulet, Zane summoned black balls of shadow energy and attacked Stelian. It was here where both Kai and Farfal arrived, and they too joined the fight, although not before they checked to see if the Supreme High Lord could be saved, which he could not be due to the effect of the poison, but then did warn them to look for his Codex in his quarters in order to find Zaggaroth’s phylactery before expiring, the next key step of defeating the Lich.
Zane now had more powers from the amulet, and with some successful checks the party realized that it was tied to both Zane’s life force and the undead army, and without destroying it he would be unbeatable. As such, the party aimed to destroy this amulet, and Zane showed physical anger and intense pain with each hit, and realized that it was time to flee. Just as he was to teleport away however, Farfal managed to grab unto him and as such was able to teleport with him. Zarkovich had accidentally been thrown into shadowfell ball, and infused with such energy began ran into the city screaming about his unbridled power. Kai and Stelian, praying that Farfal could end Zane and this siege, decided their efforts would now be best used to reinforce the Courtbridge army and perhaps try to find Zarkovich.

Chapter 5: Zane’s ruin
Farfal teleported to a place known as Blackfire mountain, which overlooked Courtbridge, and found Zane firing up one of the eldritich machines that the party had found in Valdevich. He explained that these could be used to rip open holes to the Shadowfell plane, in which undead and shadow energy would spill out from them, and thus would give the armies of undead the advantage. Regardless of this, Farfal was able to destroy the amulet, Zane finally dying and rather satisfyingly melting into a pool of bloodied goo, before passing a skill challenge to disable the machine. Due to the sheer power of the amulet, the undead army besieging Courtbridge also collapsed, and it marked the end of the attack. Farfal returned with the heroes, and the day was won ! However, it was not exactly the celebration the heroes expected, as the Supreme High Lord, the beloved if mysterious leader of Lorr, was dead, and as such a great funeral parade was organised among the people and guards of the capital. In addition, the city had suffered damage which may take years to recover, a great loss of life of both civilians and armed forces and finally it was clear that despite the victory, the undead threat was not over, but rather had just begun.

Chapter 6: Ah, so THATS who the torturer is !
Realizing this too, the party now has to act quickly and destroy Zaggaroth’s phylactery in order to stop him returning so that the final assault on the Black Pyramid really counted. As such, they found in the Supreme High Lord’s quarters a key that opens a vault which leads to the Codex itself, which in itself contains the location. The location of the vault was unknown, and as such Farfal suggested going to the library to find some potential clues. Farfal decided he would go there alone while Kai and Stelian went to the now reopened markets to buy items, and the party split there ways. When Farfal arrived there, he found a suspicious looking book which could give a possible clue to where the vault is. Suddenly, a half-elf sat adjacent from Farfal, and explained in an Australian accent that his name was Cryce Larker-The Torturer ! He told Farfal that he had been hired by Zaggaroth, and the deal was simple; give the Black Pyramid stone over and he could live, don’t hand it over and it would be taken from his corpse. When Farfal laughed at his attempts to threaten him, Cryce rebutted by showing him a bomb under the table they were sat at which would soon go off, leveling the whole building, and also that his entire family (Kayla, Layla and Daniel) were here to for whatever reason. As such, the threat suddenly became no longer a laughing matter…

And that’s where this episode ends ! With not many episodes left to go before the campaign finally ends, be prepared for story arcs to be tied up and characters to die in the next final episodes, as the story reaches it’s climax ! As you can tell, it sounds like it’s gonna get pretty damn awesome, so stay tuned !
Until then, Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 25: The Imperial War Museum
KOBOLDS ?!?!? AT LEVEL 11 ?!?!?

Our heroes now prepare themselves to travel to The Imperial War Museum, and take not only the gem to power Lichbane, but also take a number of magic items to aid them on their quest.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Lord Farfal Kerreh, a chaotic good human cleric of Pelor
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: Travelling to the Museum
Before meeting with Drogen, Farfal received a box which Strom had sent him before the war on Valdevich. The package contained Novak’s mask with blood on it, to show that he was in fact dead, presumably killed by Strom. The party’s hatred for him was driven further, and was a constant reminder of his actions against them and the fact he still had the Orb of the Far Realm with him. With this in mind, the party met Drogen Steelblade, who was an impressive hero indeed, especially being the Supreme High Lord’s champion. He explained to them that the vault was guarded by a complicated lock system, and only one person in the Empire could feasibly open it. Drogen took them to secret interrogation chamber where none other than Abos Garter, who was unwilling to help. However, the party managed to convince him to help them on the grounds that he would be pardoned of all his crimes against the Empire, which were many in number. The party along with Drogen and Abos travelled on the back of Akaroth, the Imperial War dragon, and it took them two weeks to arrive, stopping halfway through the week where Farfal received some words of wisdom from him. Finally, as the group came in site of the place, a great snow blizzard kicked up, and Drogen checked if the group had the dragon scent lotion applied to them to mask themselves from Brutalitax, the fearsome white dragon that guarded the place. It was then revealed that Abos had not done this, and a loud roar from amongst the blizzard confirmed this. Akaroth tried his best to slip away, but both he and Drogen fell foul of the monstrously large white dragon. The party feel off Akaroth, but managed to land safely and snuck there way into the museum to begin the task of plundering it.

Chapter 2: Divine guards
Upon entering the Imperial War museum, the party found themselves in awe of a large temple like area, with several shrines to different gods set into fonts. Suddenly, a group of Angels of Erathis appeared and attacked the party. Despite a few opening attacks, the angels were too strong for the group, and it was at this point that Farfal realized that they pacify them by making offerings to each of the gods in the fonts. After doing so, the angels ceased their assault, and the party was free to continue up the staircase.
The next room the heroes encountered was a large room split up into several squares, each of which with a different word and colour on them. This room was quickly solved by the party, and it was a basic puzzle in which each gods path was tailored to something different, be it the word or the square on the plate.
After this, the party came to a large intersection, in which a single door with a large hole in the center of it was positioned. Writing in deep speech to the side of the door revealed that the party had to get each of the 4 pieces of the elemental tablet, which were held in the lair of 4 elemental archons, earth, wind, fire and water respectively. The battles were tough, and the party struggled particularly on the fire archon, but otherwise they got all the pieces of the tablet and opened the door to continue their quest.

Chapter 3: Fight with the Kobolds
It was in this room that would hold the most surprises. It was a large stone square room, on one side was a giant circular door with many locks and mechanics visible-the vault containing the magic items the party dearly needed. They sent Abos to do his thing and as investigated the room, they suddenly heard a familiar drilling noise. Suddenly, 2 drilling machines burst out of the walls either side of the door, and groups of snarling kobolds piled out. These machines were like the one Klast Karracus had used a year ago, and made the party wonder greatly if there was a link. These kobolds were more savage and deadly than the ones they had encountered before, and were armed with deadly mortar weapons. However, as always, the party co-ordinated their attacks well and slew the creatures. With that, Abos opened the vault door, and the party entered.
To their surprise, a large hole had been blown in the far side of the room, and a patchwork airship drifted carefully along. Kobolds were many in number in the room, and were looting the magic items there. Standing near the airship, a large monstrosity constructed of flesh stood dumbly, half of its face clearly Brugs-the evil bugbear bodyguard of Klast Karracus the party slew a while ago. And to no surprise, inside a pouch on the mighty beast’s back was the infamous Kobold high priest himself. Metal plats may have been fused here and there, but he was alive. And as he delivered his opening monologue, he told them he was working with Malidon Skull-Drain (the last necromancer of the cult) to steal these items so the party could not have them, and also t rebuild the kobold empire. With this, the party charged foward, intent on slaying this villainous duo once and for all !

Chapter 4: The end of Klast Karracus
The party fought hard, and both Brug and Klast showed they were far more worthy adversaries than they had once been, dealing plenty of damage with each attack. In addition, the kobold javelin gun on the airship with them did not help at all, firing around 3 shots a turn and becoming a general nuisance. However, much to the party’s surprise Abos Garter had taken as much as he could handle, and run up to the ship, killed the crewman firing the javelin gun and then activated it and flew away, presumably back to the Empire. Ultimately, Brug was defeated due to his fear of fire (something which Kai Rellin’s bow provided nothing less) and fell at least 300ft to his death from fleeing from it. Similarly, Klast’s minions were quickly dispatched leaving only him, but he then, backed against the hole in the wall by the party revealed his secret weapon; he had planted bombs around the tower, and would explode, taking him and the party down with him. As he launched himself into a villainous monologue however, he failed to notice the large white dragon Brutalitax behind him, and with a final cry of “Oh SHIT !” was eaten and killed. The bombs went off and the place began to collapse, the party hauling themselves as fast as they could out of there, but not before grabbing all the magic items in there (including 4 more staffs of life and the gem required to activate the powers of Lichbane). To their surprise, Abos returned with the airship and save them from the collapsing museum. However, Brutalitax was on their tail, and managed to damage their airship, causing them to crash land in the Northlands.

Chapter 5: A startling threat…
Getting out of there ship, they found the near-death Akaroth, who had heroically fought Brutalitax off. They realized that by sacrificing a staff of life, they could bring him back from the brink, which they chose to do. It was then that Brutalitax appeared, and the party decided to make their stand. The battle was ferocious, the players causing literally rends of damage to the huge monster, but it’s toughness and size allowed it to take it before doing back just as much. Akaroth managed to recover near the end of the battle to provide some lightning attack damage, and ultimately Lord Kerreh himself dealt the finishing blow, the mighty white dragon crashing down into the ground and dying. The party felt proud for now having slain their second dragon in the campaign, and hopping on the back of Akaroth, along with Abos, took their two-week ride back to Courtbridge.
However, when they returned there all was not what it seemed. A black sky with red crackling lightning could be seen in the horizon, and to their surprise many of the milita and people from Valdevich were there, including Lord Albrecht himself, who told them what had happened. A huge undead army was invading the land of Lorr, and Valdevich had been completely destroyed. Shocked by this as they had only saved it from destruction by Strom about a month ago, they quickly went to the Supreme High Lord. However, it was found that he had been brought to near-death, poisoned by a deadly poison known as Necrolight (which the heroes bottled some of) and as such the task of leading a defence against this army had fallen to Alain and the other lords. The party helped them to plan their defence not just of Courtbridge (where the undead were headed next), but also of the rest of the Empire. The party moved the majority of their NPC friends to Jader-stone and Jingle-water in order to keep them safe from the siege and also to keep peace and order among the populaces there. Just as the party were assigned a squad of guards which were to hold the West-gate of the capital city, a shrill extremely high-pitched cry echoed across the sky, and a huge monstrous skelental-bat, dripping with black ooze hovered in the air. A red-armour clad vampire sat on it’s back-none other than Zane Bloodstrike, one of the party’s most hated foes. He declared that they were all to die at the hands of the undead, and it would be best to flee now. The party restored back at him to the cheers of the people, and Zane traded quips too before leaving, and at the same time ushering a grey thick mist around and within the capital. Suffice to say, the next adventure of the party was going to be not only tense, but highly important, as the very Empire itself could fall before the party were ready to take on Zaggaroth in his lair…

What a fun episode ! As always, we hoped you enjoyed this adventure report, and look forward to the next adventure which will obviously be a very important one for the whole campaign.
Until then Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 24: The Supreme High Lord
Ah, that makes sense now...

When we last left our heroes, they had saved Valdevich from the wrath of Strom, and had reconciled the two lords, who both swore allegiance to Lord Farfal. Just as this had ended, a unit of The Supreme High Lord’s Royal guard ordered the party to allow them to escort them to Courtbridge to speak with the leader of the Empire of Lorr itself. One of the most mysterious elements of the campaign was about to be revealed…

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: The beginning of the end
When the party arrived at Courtbridge, they were taken immediately to Courtbridge, in which they encountered Zarkovich, who surprisingly did not arrest them as he had threatened for breaking free Balrad due their backing from the Supreme High Lord. The party were then escorted to the very top of Lordsbreach, and were ushered into the Supreme High Lord’s quarters. To their surprise, his room was a simple one, with very humble objects. The Supreme High Lord himself was a extremely old, grey haired and thin human. His voice was aged and wise, and he first commended the heroes for their actions up to now, believing to be true shining paladins of justice. He then told them an ancient story-one which is well known to the world of Lorr, but shed new light upon it:

Centuries ago, the land of Lorr was not like it was today. It used to be a empire under siege, as a evil Lich king by the name of Vastormix the Black lord, used all the time, effort, and power he could muster into destroying all other creatures upon Lorr. Using large armies of undead, and powerful necromatic spells, he laid waste to many cities, killing thousands of people only to raise them again and have them fight under his undying control. Other creatures, such as foul orcs, goblins, gnolls, and evil villians attacked the empire en masse too, often making alliances with the Black Lord to insure their place in his new and terrifying world order. Despite the empire’s best efforts, their resistance was being crushed, and it seemed as though the Black lords’ banner would fly over every stronghold.

However, there was light in the darkness, as a party of adventurers presented themselves as saviours of the world. Andran Foeslayer, a strong and resilient fighter, often fought his way through much of the Black lord’s army. Loneth Darkshade, a silent and precise rogue, often disrupted many of the Dark armies evil plots by killing their leaders. Mallosar Spellbreaker, a wizard of infamous magical power, blasted away enemies and duelled evil magical-users. Ustrad Sunbrand, a devoted and determined cleric of Pelor, led this band of adventurers in their fight against the The Black lord. This party of legende travlled across the land instating Pelor’s religion and setting up the Wizard Covens, as well as beating back Vastormix’s rule.

Despite the heroes’ great powers, they could not stand against the army of the Lich lord alone, and although they fought truly and with great strength, the empire of Lorr was still slowly failing. As such, the armies of the empire led one last desperate charge against the force of the Black lord, and as grim soldiers fought unnatural foes, the party cut their way through the lich’s lair via teleportation into is using the pieces of the Black Pyramid, finally confronting The Black Lord face-to-face. The armies of good fought for as long as they could, and it payed off, as the army of undeath crumbled, and the armies which had sided with them fled. Within the lair, treachery took hold, as Mallosar Spellbreaker, who had long sought and achieved levels of great power, transformed into an all-powerful Lich before the heroes very eyes. He instantly slew Andran Foeslayer with one of the most powerful spells in existence. Loneth fled the lair, believing failure to be certain, leaving only Ustrad to duel with Mallosar. For many hours, the two fought a grim and long hard fight, the favors heavily in the Lich’s. Finally, Ustrad managed to bind the Lich with ancient chains of pure God light so powerful only the power of hell itself could unbind them, known as “The Chains of Eternity”. As Ustrad left the Pyramid, Mallosar swore that he would have his revenge, that the land of Lorr would belong to him, the Dark King, Zaggaroth the Dreaded.

Ustrad assumed a new identity in secret, and from this position of power he combated the Cult of Zaggaroth wherever it grew, and began to formulate a new plan to finally defeat the Lich King.

It was here the Supreme High Lord revealed that he was the famous Cleric Ustrad Sunbrand, and now that the Zaggaroth is free from The Chains of Eternity due to the event as Noscarta. With the help of the party as the Supreme High Lord’s heroes, they can put his plan into action and defeat the Lich King which threatens the Empire. Upon agreeing to this, the party will each be rewarded a gift-however, the Supreme High Lord warned them that previous villains they have encountered may join Zaggaroth and fight for him with his help. Despite this, the party saw no other option, and agreed to these terms. Accordingly, each of them were given a different reward. Kai Rellin was given an ancient artefact, the powerful Bow of the Elders, allowing him to use his incredbile marksmanship to true effect. Stelian was taught a powerful spell known as “The Lesser Chains of Eternity”, allowing him to bind his foes in strong chains of light. Finally, to Farfal Soulshard, he offered him the chance to become both a Cleric of Pelor and human once more, using the “The Glory-Ligh Occularis”, the ultimate shrine to Pelor on the mortal plane, located within the Supreme High Lord’s chambers. Farfal agreed, and through days of pain and anguish, was reborn as the stronger Farfal Kerahh.

With this done, the Supreme High Lord now told the party the first step of the plan they had to complete: Breaking into a place known as the Imperial War Museum. This place is home to not only the gem which will activate the power of Lich-Bane, a fundamental object to slaying Zaggaroth, but also to many other powerful magical items which will help the heroes succeed in their task. The Supreme High Lord warned them that the Museum was in a particularly harsh area of the Northlands, and was guarded by a gargantuan white dragon known as Brutalitax. As such, they should seek out the Supreme High Lords champion, Drogen Steelblade, and hitch a lift with him on the back of Akaroth, the Imperial dragon. Before they went on this task, the Supreme High Lord wished them good luck in their quest, and that despite these were going to be the most difficult challenges of their adventuring career with everything at stake if they failed, this was a quest only this party of heroes could succeed in…

And with that I leave you until the next adventure. Lorr is beginning to reach what is termed as “The End-Game” among D&D players, meaning that the next final episodes will be climatic and awesome, so with any luck your going to really enjoy what this campaign has in store.

Until then, Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 23: The War of Valdevich
Oh, that reminds me...

After being teleported to different places via the portals (Farfal was Courtbridge, Kai Rellin was Jinglewater and Stelian was the Deadlands. While at the Deadlands, Stelian found a group of tieflings from Valdevich burying something, but didn’t check it out. Also, Kai Rellin checked on the tower of the Leaflord and found it was being repaired, and all the NPC’s in there during the Black Pyramid ritual were fine. The party met up at Jader-stone, and evaluated the next best course of action to deal with a obvious Empire-threatening Lich king…

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: Prelude to conflict
Stelian began to trek back across the lands, and found himself confronted by what appeared to be a large war garrison outside of Valdevich, upon further investigation, he found it to be a combined Maplefield/Hellmoney Guard army led by Lord Greymoor… and Captain Rolstone Strom. Horrified by this shocking alliance, he rushed back to tell his friends of this discovery.
The party decided they would gather a council of their most trusted allies to talk about the oncoming Lich threat, but first Farfal got a dwarven patron of his town to tell him what was engraved in the sword-“Lich Bane”, which meant it was no doubt of some use to the party. Farfal also blamed Strom for the mass eldritch storm which had damaged Jader-stone, further deepening the people’s hatred of him. Farfal also met with Novak, who explained to him that his spy-ring was being “killed-off” and that he had found Balrad-in the hands of Courtbridge, under arrest and due to be executed. With this knowledge, Farfal thanked him and proceeded with the meeting. The meeting included NPC’s such as Captain Ludvig Rosewater, Abos Garter, Harg Farst, Cador Bayronx and others. A representative of High Lord Alain was also present, and this was when Farfal told all his trusted friends the news: Zaggaroth, a Lich King of immense power plans to destroy the Empire, and they must take some form of action if they hope to survive.
Stelian had not arrived at this point, and as he was nearing the meeting place, he stumbled into a serving boy, who dropped a vial of deadly poison. Rushing to the meeting, he burst in and warned his friends of the poison. Cador Baronx and Abos Garter suddenly began to choke, and Harg Farst had already died. Farfal and Kai Rellin quickly healed the group of their afflictions, and also resurrected Harg. With a few days of rest, they would all be fine. Upon interrogation of the serving boy, they found he had been bullied by Strom himself to assassinate the heroes, but was not told what they looked like. The party decided to let the boy go, and Stelian filled them in on what he found out. The party concluded they had one obvious intention-to destroy Valdevich, as Greymoor is infamous for hating Lord Albrecht. The representative of High lord Alain assured them he would send them back-up, but until then they were on their own. After finding out other pieces of information, the party decided to raise an army of Jingle-water/Jader-stone and send it to Maplefield (for Stelian had not told them where the army was really deployed, a mile or so off Valdevich) and the group then headed to Courtbridge to glean more information from Balrad Hellmoney himself.

Chapter 2: Racist intentions
Upon arriving at Courtbridge, the party went to the make-shift prison and found Balrad, surrounding by guards. He explained to them that Strom has most likely gone to Coin-Tyrant Hold, a place which Novak informed them of earlier, as it was one of the original bastions for the Hellmoney family-and contained some of the most deadly weapons, which Strom porbably was looking for. Deciding that Balrad could be of some use in taking down Strom, the heroes decided to speak to Zarkovich about possibly allowing him free, as well as getting the Courtbridge reinforcements now. Along they way, they encountered a middle-age woman, known as Olivia Strom-Strom’s mother. She told them that she knew what was happening, and to be fair to Strom, as he was attacked by a gang of tielfings after they murdered his father as a child. As such, he became some-what racist towards them. The party took no notice of her, but did glean that Strom was allying with Lord Greymoor simply to murder Lord Albrecht-who, being a racially proud tiefling, would be a true success for his racist ideals. With this in mind, the party pleaded Zarkovich for soldiers, who as always turned his nose down to them, and was highly inquisitive into their endeavour. He also would not allow Balrad free, promising the group he would strip Farfal of his lordship and have them tried for treason if they did. At was at this point, after much of the forces had mobilised to Maple-field, that he told the party and the High lord…
…that their enemy wasn’t there at all.
After some beating up by the party and Kai Rellins pet Pseudo-dragon Geoffrey, the party sent messages to mobilise the forces to the correct place, while Farfal and the group raided the prison, and freed Balrad, Graar (the half-orc bodyguard who almost killed Kai Rellin) and around 30 prisoners, all who promised to fight alongside the party for a chance to kill Strom. With that, the heroes sent the prisoners to bolster their forces upon arriving at Valdevich, and Farfal managed to persuade the drunken and hopless Albrecht that he needed to command his miltia army, which he rightfully did. Leaving Kai Rellin in charge of their forces, Farfal, Stelian, Graar, Bayronx and Balrad went to Coin-Tyrant Hold to catch and kill Strom before he could start the war.

Chapter 3: 20 Acid damage
Upon the group entering the hold, they found themselves attacked by a group of Rage-drakes and Hellmoney guards. After slaying them (bar the epic minion, a minion who could not be killed by either Balrad nor Baryonx, two powerful swordsmen) and burst into the next room, in which they had seen the back of Strom sitting in the chair. However, after knocking him down, they found he was not Strom at all, but an imposter. Suddenly, the two doors were shut down with iron plates, and the wall opened to reveal secret grates. The ceiling moved to reveal sheet of glass, and Strom appeared above them. In typical villainous fashion, he told the party that he had a ancient dwarven ballista armed with bolts similar to the bolt they used a long time ago to kill Baryonx, but on a larger more deadly scale. Also, he revealed to them he had used a magical item to steal their Orb of Far Realm Displacement so they could not escape. With that, virulent acid started to fill the room from the grates, and Strom left the heroes to their fate.
Meanwhile, Kai Rellin attempted to lead a group of archers through a forest to flank the enemy army, but found themselves stuck in a prolonged fire-fight with Hellmoney crossbow guards. In addition, Strom was soon to return, so if the party did not act quickly, the war could be over before it began.
Meanwhile, the heroes found themselves taking huge amounts of acid damage, and the trap difficult to escape-Graar himself died of it. However, thanks to Stelian’s shade twin of Strom and the troll which had been left to batter them at the same time, it was tricked into smashing the iron plate open, and after a short rest, the heroes rushed as fast as they could to the ballista watch-tower.

Chapter 4: Strom’s revenge
While Kai Rellin was still pinned down in the forest, the rest of the group arrived at the watch-tower. They found a group of elite mercenaries guarding it, and Farfal deciding they didn’t have the time for this, paid them a large sum to let them have it, which they duly did. With the deadly weapon in their possession, they started to aim it Strom’s/Greymoor’s army-which was now about to charge, Greymoor now dishing out threats and insults to Albrecht, who was sending them back just as well. The group realised that Greymoor can’t be this evil and foolish, and decided to diplomacy with him, explaining to him who Strom was, and that whatever he and Albrecht had fallen out over was not worth that. It was then revealed to them what their fight had been about, and why they had a deep set hatred of each other:
They believe that that the respective lord had cheated in a card game.
Despite the party’s shocked reactions, they convinced Greymoor it was not worth it-which he agreed with, but was then knocked to the ground by Strom, who was sick and tired of the heroes interfering with his plans, and as such led a assault on the watch-tower instead. His force came under attack from the armies of all 4 towns respectively, and the party fired the deadly bolts down onto the most elite soldiers of Strom’s army, but Strom still managed to reach them and engage in combat. They found him to be a skilled combatant, but with solid tactics and good teamwork, they managed to deal a lot of damage to him. As he tactically retreated, the now allied Lord Albrecht and Greymoor appeared, and ordered him to surrender or die at their hands. Without warning Strom pulled out his escape plan-the Orb of Far Realm Displacement. Farfal and Stelian tried to grab a hold of him, but failed, and Strom teleported away. Despite this, the Hellmoney army was finally destroyed for good, and the War of Valdevich was over.

Chapter 5: A royal Summon
After the battle, the party were rewarded by both Greymoor and Albrecht, who gave them both wealth and alliances. The party asked Balrad to come with them, but he wanted to go his separate way. Without warning, a group of horseman appeared-the Royal Supreme High Lord’s Elite guard, heavily steel plate-armoured bulky soldiers, with great yellow and red plumage and the proud symbol of Courtbridge displayed on their chest. They group told the party they were to be escorted to the capital on the summon of the Supreme High Lord himself. They also informed them that Balrad was pardoned of his crimes and they were too (for freeing the prisoners) due to their contribution. The party said their farewell to Balrad, who now decided he would re-build his fortune in legitimate manner, and rode on to Courtbridge-about to meet arguably the most mysterious character in the campaign since the very beginning…

You’ll have to find out next time who the Supreme High Lord is, and what the party still has to decided to do about the threat of Zaggaroth, whose power is ever-growing.

Until then, Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 22: The Black Pyramid
"No more Skeletal Tomb guardians !"

Farfal,Kai Rellin and Stelian awoke to find themselves in a black-stoned room, inscribed with intricate writing in a language which they could not understand. A single ball of purple magical light moved through it around the room, and facing them was a ancient wall with a obvious crack down the centre. The party gathered their senses, and with a single press, the wall split in two, and the party ventures into the next room…

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: Many, many undead
The next room had a large stone pillar in the centre, with a huge semi-closed eyeball made of stone on the top. Two, four-armed skeletons, a scimitar in each hand, charged the party, while the eye lay down psychic blasts from above. The party found themselves hard-pressed in this strange, new place, as their foes were quite tough, and they found their life was being slowly and surely drained from them by necrotic magic which surrounded the place. This took the form in game mechanical as the only gain half their surge value every time they spend one, which made healing worse and combat more deadly. In addition, the skeletal tomb guardians would gang up on a single character, so often a party member would be taking 8 attacks a turn. Ultimately, they killed the skeletal tomb guardians, and managed to disable the pillar-eye, but took a lot of damage from the encounter. Despite this, they spent the appropriate amount of surges and went. They went right down a long, black stoned corridor. The group could see thanks to the darkvision of character and Kai Rellin’s many torches. They went into another room, where they fought a group of skeleton warriors and frost zombies, long-dead creatures whose heart had been so cold in life they froze over in undeath, and then proceeded through the next entrance.

Chapter 2: Impaling fun
They saw a door at the very end of the long corridor and head towards it, but as they closed in on it, they heard a heavy metal clanking sound coming from a corridor peeling off from the middle. Suddenly, a huge robotic construct, with massive metal arms and a spiked carapace burst from around the corner, and beset the party. The fight was joined, and the party determined that this feared automaton was a cadaver collector-a robot which it’s goal is to collect the corpses of the dead, spiking them on their back, and bring them to necromancer master. With this knowledge, the party decided to run away from it for a while, but they then decided that they would attack it to gauge its weaknesses. Upon doing so, they found it was not as initially hard as expected, and destroyed it quickly and Farfal took it as a minion. The party then advanced onto the next room. Within it, more frost zombies and a pair of powerful mummies were crowded around a black stone well filled with bright purple glowing energy. The party quickly found that it was overflowing with magical necrotic energy, which gave buffs to the group of undead, and penalties to the party. Their cadaver collector minion fell within seconds, and they quickly found themselves falling foul of the mummies curses. However, through a tough and stretched-out fight, the party won once more. After a extended rest (where they took surge penalties, and had the chance of being attacked by the place’s spectral guardians), they moved through a long corridor into the next room.

Chapter 3: Moving upwards
This room was a completely bare, black stoned one-at a glance, for Kai Rellin got an exceedingly high perception check,and found a secret wall made of a weaker stone in the structure. The party quickly broke through it, and found themselves facing a 200ft shaft leading up to the next floor. They began a careful decent upwards, but found themselves assailed 100ft up by a stone gargoyle, which chucked chucks of black stone at them. However, through careful manoeuvring, the managed to knock the gargoyle from its perch to its death. Farfal then brought it back as a new undead servant, and the broke through the wall it had been guarding to get to the second floor. Upon entering, they found themselves in a large pillared black stone room confronted by multiple skeleton warriors, and a horrible green-skinned woman with snakes for hair and a bow-a fierce medusa. After taking some pre-battle nature checks to deduce information on it, the party decided the best tactic to avoid the medusa’s petrifying gaze was to close their eyes and fight blind. This made a difficult, if entertaining battle, as the party could barely see where they were going or who they were hitting. However, their perception checks to find their way rolled true, and although the medusa was by far the last to go and toughest foe there, they slew them all. Seeing the gaze as a potent weapon, the party bagged the medusa’s head to use when necessary against a hated villain.

Chapter 4: The Arduous Stairs
Entering the next room, they party were attacked by a pair of large rust monsters-creatures which had a nasty habit of eating metal armour and weapons. Not wanting to lose any valuable items, the party adjusted their weapons and armour accordingly-except for Stelian, as the pair of creatures ganged up on him, and it was found out later that he had misread his hit points to 21 rather then the correct value of 71. Regardless, due to good divide-and-conquer strategy Kai Rellin and Farfal employed, the rust monsters were easy meat. They re-switched their equipment, bagged Stelian’s corpse to resurrect later and they headed up a long, black set of stone stairs. They climbed this for many hours, and stopped to rest, where they resurrected Stelian. After that, they took multiple arcana and perception checks to find the right way. This revealed that there had actually been many other staircases hidden by magic, and that one way in particular drew them in, as they could feel great magical power oozing from it. As they proceeded this way, the entire structure they were stuck in began to rumble, and they felt the magic power begin to grow stronger yet.

Chapter 5: The True Foe
They continued upwards until reaching a large black stone door where a golden face was inscribed in it. After several religion, history and arcana checks, they found out that this face is the depiction of the legendary Magus the Arcane, an ancient elven wizard who once possessed the most powerful of all magic within the empire-more infamously known as his villainous self, Vastormix the Lich-king, the creature which almost brought about Lorr’s ruin 200 years ago. With this knowledge in mind and the amount power being radiated from behind the door, the party entered.
The room itself was a large, black stoned one, where a set of black stair where situated in the lower half. Several skeletons, a flying flaming skull and a heavily black-armoured undead knight armed with silver shimmering sword were guarding the ground area, whereas at the top of the stairs forming a portal stood a truly terrible foe. A skeleton made of polished bone was clad in a long black flowing robe, a golden pendent around it’s neck, and a deathly golden crown bejewelled with crystal green and red gems. It’s eyes glowed a deep-set red, and as it spoke, it’s voice pitch went from high-to-low due to the number of souls it had taken to sustain itself. It was The Dark King, Zaggaroth the Dreaded, and it mocked the party for their constant interference. It showed them a true fraction of it’s power by conjuring a image of Jaderstone as Zaggaroth bombed it with an eldritch magical blast from the sky. As usual, the party traded funny quips with the lich before Zaggaroth tired of this, and with that, the undead knight and the other creatures attacked while Zaggaroth continued working on his portal. The party fought hard against them, and found the knight to be more then a match for them independently. They believed it to be a former hero who met his fate, and was then enslaved by Zaggaroth in death. The encounter was made infinitely more difficult due to the fact that Zaggaroth had a aura which re-animated the dead as they died 50% of the time. However, after a fight which truly tested the skill of the party against their unnatural foes, they managed to kill them all. As they finished off the knight, Zaggaroth had finished his portal, and before stepping through, promised the party that the mortal world would be his own before it was all over.
Bearing this threat in mind, the party looted the corpses, and as well as finding 2 green gems in the flaming skull worth 500GP each, they also found on the knight a vanguard shield, a gem of vision recollection and the silver sword. In regards to the gem, they believed that with the right equipment, they could replay the visions engraved into the gem, and possibly glean some important information in regards to the Zaggaroth situation. As for the sword, they found it was missing a specific gem in the centre, which they believed unlocked the sword true magical capabilities, and that something was written in dwarfish on the hilt, but was impossible to read as none of them spoke dwarf. After this, the party decided that they needed to return to the Empire, and warn them of the threat the Lich king posed to the world, and to deal with that as quickly as possible. As they approached the portal to leave, they found its purple form splitting into 3 distinct portals with 3 distinct colours: Red, Blue and Yellow. The party decided after weighing up the options that the best way to escape this place and get to a (hopefully) safe area, each of them would jump into each portal. With that, Farfal went Yellow, Kai Rellin went Blue and Stelian went Red, and they found themselves teleported to very different places indeed…

However, you will have to wait until the next session to find out whether or not the party were successful in their attempts to escape wherever they were, and whether or not they are able to get the warning out about the threat of Zaggaroth before it is too late. The sessions that follow on from this one are about to get interesting…

Until then, Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 21: The discovery in Valdevich: Part 2
"Now you have made me angry"

Continuing on from last time, the players venture to old Carlston family mansion to hunt down a group of vampires, and find the final piece of the Black stone.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 7: Entering the mansion
Upon travelling a few hours through the dark and desolate swamps, the party came upon the Carlston mansion. It was a medium-sized, abandoned and run-down house which once was home to a honourable Valdevich warrior family, but was now home to a group of evil vampires. The party contemplated climbing up to a large, broken stained glass window at the top, but thought better of it, and sent Stelian to spy ahead. Stelian decided to knock at the door, and when no-one came, went in himself.
He found a large, stone corridor with several door either side, and a large staircase going up to the next floor. He went to the staircase (after some exploring), and as he was about to walk up it, he heard foot-steps coming down it. He quickly hid, and two cloaked vampires, armed with a mace and a sword, as well as several undead came patrolling down the stairs. As such, Farfal, Kai Rellin and Bayronx attempted to sneak into the mansion, but were spotted by the pair, and combat was joined. The vampires quickly made themselves known as dangerous foes, as they separated the party to make them easier pickings. However, thanks to Stelian’s surprise attack, the battle was won, and the party kept one of the vampires alive for interrogation. He revealed to them (under the threat of being burnt to death) that Eltaen Kerrah was dead, and had died a most painful death. He also confirmed that there was a group of vampires here, a bloodline known as the Bloodstrike’s. However-they weren’t going to stay for long, as their leader had business to attend to. After this, the party killed him anyway, and continued up the stairs to the next floor.

Chapter 8: Vampiric Castes
Upon reaching the next floor, they found themselves confronted by three door: one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle. The party took the middle door, and found it led to a set of iron bars, currently lowered-the only way to get them back up was to pull a hidden lever which was no doubt nearby. They then took the door to the left of them, and found a small stone corridor leading to two doors-one made of wood, like the rest, and the other made of a strong iron. They immediately approached the wooden door, but suddenly two black spirits, both armed with spectral swords and deathly red glowing eyes phased through the walls-wraiths. However, the party had fought these creatures before, so as such were prepared for them. The only fatality they suffered was Bayronx, who was mentally shaken due to the lonely death power of the wraith. Other than this minor setback, they headed through the room, and found it to be an old store-room. They quickly looted its supplies, before picking the lock on the iron door and going in. Inside was a small study, and Stelian looked around it while the rest of the party went through the right door. While Stelian found a book describing the various Castes of Vampires (The Bloodstrikes, The Dreadspawn, The Gloom Graves and The Cairn-Dragons, each of which were detailed in a great measure), the rest of the group found a large crypt room. Stelian also discovered a lever hidden behind a suspicious book in the bookcase, and pulled it-which opened the iron bars blocking off the corridoor from the middle door. Once Stelian caught up with them, the group tried to sneak up to one of the opened coffins, but they failed, and a vampire burst out of one of the coffins, summoning his undead minions scattered around the room to attack the heroes. Despite this, the party were getting well-versed in slaying vampires, and stuck together, regardless of the undead assault. After a couple of rounds, only the vampire was left, and while he took a few more rounds to die, the party didn’t take a lot of damage from the combat. However during the combat, Kai Rellin found out that Stelian was a vampire, and a rift of distrust and unease set between the two party members.
They then ventured into the next room, and found a large statue depicting Markon Vokhiir, the creator of vampires. Stelian had read the book on vampires, and explained that Markon attempted to discover the formula of eternal life, and by doing so discovered it was possible-by drinking human blood to sustain it. He passed on his secrets to his four closest disciples, who then went and created their independent castes. With this knowledge in mind, the party took the two large red gems in the statues eyes, and carried on through the now open iron bars.

Chapter 9: A deadly new enemy
Upon entering the next room, they found it to be the one with the broken glass window on the far side.Standing in front of the window was 3 figures-a skeletal knight, a cloaked vampire armed with two maces, and a well-dressed, black-haired and rather handsome vampire, who wore a red cloak, as well as the final piece of the Black stone around his neck. He introduced himself (in a german accent) as Zane Bloodstrike, the head of the caste, and told them that he was working for Zaggaroth, who wanted the machines for his own fell purposes. However-more than most, Zaggaroth wanted the Black stone. As such, Zane offered them a deal: give him the two pieces they had, and he would let them live. The party refused, and combat was joined. Although initially the party started out strong (slaying both the skeletal knight and the vampire by knocking them out the window), Zane proved to be possibly the toughest boss the party had fought so far. At one point, he almost killed Farfal by dominating him with his gaze and sending him out of a 200-ft window to his death. Had it not been for the guardian whistle which the party had bought a while ago, he would of died. As the fight drew on, the party kept expending surges and taking damage while Zane dished it out and regenerated his wounds. In the end, the party decided it would be better to get rid of him, so as such, Farfal grabbed the now fully assembled Black pyramid off Zane(which he had taken their two pieces during the fight, and in its completed form it was in the shape of a pyramid) and used the Orb of Far Realm displacement to teleport Zane, Bayronx and himself to the guard barracks in Courtbridge.
Upon arriving at Courtbridge, they found themselves surrounded by guards. Farfal told them to attack Zane, which the duly did, but it was in vain. He butchered his way through all of them, and promised Farfal he would get his revenge, before dissipating into white mist. Instantly, High Lord Branen Zarkovich burst in with a group of guards, and questioned Farfal on what had happened. Farfal explained what he had done, and Zarkovich was furious, warning him that if he did such a thing again, his lordship would be revoked. Farfal was not happy about this, but swallowed his pride, and accepted it. After Zarkovich and the guards left, Farfal and Bayronx bought a horse, and rode hard back to Valdvich.
Meanwhile, back at the Carlston mansion, a large explosion came from the ground floor, and the mansion began to burn to the ground. Stelian and Kai Rellin began to run out, and during it, Kai Rellin was pinned down by a burning pillar. He told Stelian to leave him, who refused, and saved Kai’s life. The two escaped the mansion, and watched it be consumed by the fire-no doubt caused by Zane to cover his tracks. As such, the pair headed back to Valdevich, as the reward ceremony was but a day away.

Chapter 10: A fortuitous brawl
The pair returned to Valdevich, where Kai bought a house, and the pair slept for the night. The next day, they found themselves before the whole town, about to be given their rewards, when suddenly Farfal and Bayronx arrived out of the blue. They joined the group, and the rewards were given out by Kya and Lord Albrecht. These included a bag of two-thousand gold each, as well as a Baldric of time, and for Lord Farfal-an alliance. As Kya gave out the gifts, she kissed Kai Rellin on the cheek, which cause Lord Albrecht to start a fight with him over her. The brawl was very one-sided however, as no matter what Kai Rellin tried to do, he always rolled poorly, and had the living hell beaten out of him by Lord Albrecht. In the end however, Kai Rellin punched him in the nuts, and Kya left him for Kai. The lord lay on the floor, embarrassed, broken and alone. The party left him, and Kai and Kya had a private moment catching up in Kai’s Valdevich home.
Over the next month, Kai and Kya got re-married, and the party got some well deserved down time, before heading back to Jingle-water. Once they arrived there, they found Ambrose, and gave him the Black pyramid to study. A few days later, they returned to him, and he explained to them that by channelling power into the stone, they can unlock its purpose. Each of the party was required to hold a metal channelling staff, while Ambrose blasted magic energy into the pyramid. As the spell went on, more and more magic flew around the room, and energy was going everywhere, until finally, after all that time…nothing happened.
The party laughed it off for a second, and then a huge beam of purple energy shot through the tower of the Leaflord, and then everything went black for the heroes, and they had the vague idea that they had been teleported somewhere, but were unsure where.

What has happened to the heroes ? What is the Black Pyramids true purpose ? Are the occupants of the tower ok ? You will have to find out next session, in which the heroes will discover a dark truth.

Until then, Happy gaming !

Episode 20: The discovery in Valdevich: Part 1
"Lets go talk to the Bent guy."

Having now hit 20 episodes, the party plays a certainly different toned one-a horror story.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: A deadly journey
Continuing straight off from last time, the party found themselves travelling on a coach with two tieflings and Bayronx to Valdevich. Their journey was going smoothly until they hit the swamp which surrounded the city, the infamous area known as Fog-marsh downs. After a couple of hours within the area, the group heard a large cracking noise, and it turned out that one of the wheels on the coach had broken. As such, the tiefling driver began to work on replacing the wheel. While he did so, the party got out to stretch their legs. AS they did so, they began to notice shapes moving within the damp swampland, which appeared fast and dangerous, but were almost impossible to clearly see. They informed the tiefling guard, who went to inform the driver, but found him missing. Then, a creature revealed itself before the group-a robust wood-like creature, with green glowing eyes, and carrying a headless tiefling corpse. It threw it to the ground, and glared at the heroes. Within an instant, more appeared, and battle was joined. Kai Rellin managed to work out quickly that they were Twig blights-strange plant creatures with a thirst for blood that are native in the Fog-marsh downs. Although outnumbered, and despite the creatures doing a lot of damage when they hit, the party managed to fight them off, despite the death of the tiefling guard. Coachless and lost, the party now explored the downs to try find their way to Valdevich. After many successful skill checks, they arrived at the town, which they noticed was largely made of wooden houses, with a large church to Erathis. They also noticed several taverns, and a large impressive building in the centre of town made of stone-the lord’s quarters.

Chapter 2: The quest is given
However, before they went to speak with Lord Albrecht, they wanted to garner more information from the townsfolk. They could tell a thick curtain of fear covered the town, and they wanted to know why. They approached a man walking towards the tavern, who jumped when they spoke to him. He told them that there had been a number of attacks in town from a predator stalking the streets, which had been literally ripping its victims to shreds. With an idea of what the Lord would ask of them, they thanked the man, and entered the lord’s home.
They were greeted by many plate-armoured tiefling guards, and of course Lord Abardon Albrecht, the tiefling lord of the town. He greeted the party and explained that his family had been given the town many years ago, as his great-great-great grandfather had fought alongside the four legendary heroes. He also told them about his racial pride, which Farfal emphasized with, as they were both the only lords of a different race, and while the Empire is by no means racist, it does indeed have stereotypes.
Nonetheless, Lord Albrecht proceeded to introduce the party to his wife-which cause Kai Rellin to be shocked. There, before his very eyes, was his wife-Kya Rellin. His wife,who he had previously believed to be dead. She too was shocked, and stared back at her husband. However, Albrecht got suspicious, and asked how the two knew each other. Kai Rellin told him why, and the two characters tempers clashed immediately over it. Regardless, Lord Albrecht told them why he had summoned them here- to hunt down the creature which had been causing the attacks. He informed them that so far thirteen people had died over the course of half a year, and that no more should be killed. He told them that the attacks happened always at night, and more often than not, outside the weapons and armour shop, ran by Darlish Brassheart, a dwarf. He told them there best chances of starting this investigation would be to speak to him, and possibly the head of the church of Erathis. He promised them that if they were to do this task, they would receive rewards, as well as permanent alliances with the Albrecht family, and money which Valdevich had in excess being poured into the Jaderstone economy. The party agreed; Farfal so he could bolster his town, Kai Rellin so he could find out more about the lord’s “wife”, and Stelian so he could continue his task of spying on the town for Lord Greymoor.

Chapter 3: Were-bears
The party headed to the weapons and armour shop, and as they did so, Stelian spied on the defences of Valdevich. Other than the swamp surrounding it and its small tiefling guard force, the place seemed defenceless. Upon arriving at the shop, the party met Darlish Brassheart. They asked him a number of questions, but found out very little from him other than the attacks have caused him to lose a lot of business. Kai Rellin asked him of his wife’s marriage, and he explained that they had been married for two years now-happily it seemed. The party began to speculate, and believed the predator to be a were-wolf, due to the nature of the victims deaths, and as such had their weapons silvered before they left. Wanting more knowledge on the matter, they headed towards the church of Erathis, but were interrupted along the way by a woman who called herself Sarah Charleston, who was some-what of a reporter. She continued to ask the group sensitive questions about the attacks, which they didn’t answer, and got very annoyed by her. In the end, they intimidated her away, and she threatened to them that she would get the truth.
The group arrived at the church of Erathis, and met the head priest of the place, Jerran Back. He introduced to his clergy-brothers, Jack Papier and Bent Larslin. When they asked about the church, he explained that while they pay homage to Pelor (like the rest of the Empire does), the main god of Valdevich is Erathis, as there is more isolation from the other towns than anywhere else in Lorr. They asked him questions about were-wolves, and he revealed that back in the day, he was a cleric who used to hunt down monsters. He told them that were-wolves are effected by silver, holy items and are strong and fast combatants in combat. As they conversed with him, the two clergy brothers shook their heads at the group, and gave them suspicious glares. Farfal shook his head back at them, which unnerved the head priest slightly, and then as a bit of fun, Farfal told Jerran that Stelian may be a were-bear. The priest believed him, and began to get suspicious about him. Kai Rellin asked about his wife, and the priest said more-or-less the same as Darlish, but was not telling him something. Upon being pressed about it, he explained that before the wedding, Kya mentioned her previous husband, and how much she missed him. Farfal then asked if anyone else could help them in their hunt, and the head priest suggested talking to Ralf Benivald, a miltia soldier of Valdevich who saw the creature kill his friend. The party thanked him for his time, and left.
Upon finding Ralf, he was found being questioned by Sarah Charleston-rather intensely too, as he looked very overwhelmed by it. The group got rid of her, and then asked him to re-tell his story to them. He recanted that on one dark night, he and his friend were out on patrol, when all of a sudden it attacked. It ripped his friend to shreds, drinking the blood from his neck, and went as fast as it came. He did not get a good look at it, but it looked vaguely humanoid in shape. This lead the party to believe it could be a vampire instead of a were-wolf. As such, they headed back to the head priest, and asked him about vampires. He told them that there were a lot of rumours about the dreaded creatures, but the only ones the priest knew of which worked is that vampires cast no shadows or reflection, cannot go in sunlight, and are repelled by holy symbols. The party thanked him for his knowledge, and then decided the best course of action would be to wait outside Darlish’s shop and see if the creature attacked.

Chapter 4: The fourteenth attack
As they waited, opposite was the tavern “The Greedy Goblin”, and about to enter it was Lord Albrecht, some of his tiefling guards, and Kya. Upon seeing the heroes, he asked if Lord Farfal would grab a drink with him to see how they were doing on finding the creature. He agreed, and he went with him to the tavern while the rest of the party waited outside the shop. After Farfal told him them what they had found out, Lord Albrecht asked him if Kai Rellin prior history with his wife was going to be a problem. Farfal assured him it wasn’t, and as the lord left to get another cup of wine, Kya came up to Farfal, and told him her dilemma. She explained that she still love Kai, and always has, but she is married to Lord Albrecht now. One does not simply break off a marriage with a lord. Farfal explained to her that at some point, she would have to make a decision, and he assured her that she would choose the right one. At that point, Lord Albrecht rejoined them, and continued their conversation, until a loud scream was suddenly heard coming from outside the tavern.
At Darlish’s shop, where Stelian and Kai were, the scream came from around the corner, and upon running there, found a young girl, bleeding to death, cradled in the arms of a hooded, blood covered Jack Papier. Upon seeing them, he immediately bolted, and the pair gave chase. The chase escalated as Farfal, Lord Albrecht and his tiefling guards joined the chase. As Stelian ran after Papier, Jerran Back was walking round the street, and having suspicions that he was a were-bear, tackled him to the ground. After a few minutes of running, Farfal broke ahead, and was about to confront Papier in the street, when a creature jumped down from above and struck Jack. It was a pale skinned, black haired creature, with gleaming white fangs which shone in the moonlight. With a snarl, she bit into his neck, and then escaped. It was a vampire.
Farfal gave chase as fast as he could, but the vampire was leagues ahead of him, and he watched it from a slight hilltop go to a wooden shack on the outskirts of Valdevich. Lord Albrecht and the rest of the party caught up with him, and asked what had happened. Farfal filled them in, and the group (along with Jerran Back instead of Lord Albrecht) decided to head down to the shack, and attempt to slay the vile creature.

Chapter 5: Slaying the vampire
Upon reaching the shack, Farfal snuck in ahead of the rest of the group, and found Jack Papier, with a pale white face, slowly bleeding to death. He told Farfal, as he lay dying, that he should go to a tunnel nearby, as that is the vampires lair. He also told him that he should speak to Bent. He then died. Farfal thanked him, and then went outside, and told the rest of the group what he learnt. The group then looked around for this tunnel, and found it. The party wanted Jerran and the four tieflings to go with them, but Jerran explained that surprise is the only way they will get an advantage against the vampire. As such, only Farfal, Kai, Stelian and Bayronx crawled through the long, dirt tunnel to the vampire’s lair.
Finally, they reached the end of it, and found a stone room, where a large wooden coffin was propped up-the vampire’s resting place. The party drew their weapons, and Farfal prepared himself to set the coffin alight, but without warning, a large mound of dirt from the side wall collapse in, and perhaps the worst possible thing came through the hole that was made-Sarah Charleston. She began to shout loudly on how impressive the place was, and Farfal attempted to silence her (non-violently) but it was for naught, ad the vampire Farfal had seen earlier burst from its coffin and attacked the group. Battle was quickly joined, and Sarah Charleston was the first to be slain, as the vampire ripped to shreds with its claws.
However, what had initially promised to be a difficult battle was surprisingly not too bad, as the dice gods were on the parties side-they rolled multiple critical successes throughout, and just as the vampire was about to escape, they slew it. As such, the party had now saved Valdevich from its unnatural predator, and were prepared to claim their reward-however, they found a secret passegeway in the furthest back wall, which lead to a large dig site. It was filled with ancient equipment and bodies-people from Valdevich. Upon closer inspection, they found a large metal machine half-buried in the large hole in the centre of the room. They figured out it was charged with Shadowfell energy, and realized it could have some importance. Upon re-meeting with Jerran Back, the party asked him to lock the place down, and to not inform Lord Albrecht of this. They agreed, and the party returned to Valdevich.

Chapter 6: The threat grows
Upon returning to Valdevich, the party informed Lord Albrecht of what they had done, and he thanked them greatly for their help. He told them that in true tiefling tradition, he would hold an award ceremony for them in a few days. The party then went to the church, to speak with Bent Larslin. He told the party the truth as to why he and Jack were so suspicious of them- strange event had been happening for the last year or so in the swamps. As it turns out, there was not merely one vampire plaguing the lands.
There was a whole group of them.
Bent explained to them that several, strange-looking machines had been dug up all around the swamp-lands, and was done so by vampire and their slaves. One vampire in particular, who was well-dressed, had black hair and a striking face, appeared to be their leader. He also noted that the vampire had a piece of black stone hung around his neck at all times. The final piece of the Black stone ! He begged the party to go to the old Carlston family mansion, about half a day from Valdevich, and slay the reaming creatures. He also told Farfal a shocking revelation-his mother, Eltaen Kerrah, was sent there to do their task. With such a important reward in stake, and possible information on Farfals mother, the group agreed, and left the church almost immediately to go clear out a vampire-filled lair. Before they left, Bent gave them a magical item known as the amulet of Vokhiir sense, which was an amulet which glowed blue when vampires are nearby. The party hoped that they would find out what the machines are for, and with any luck, collect the final piece of the long-sought after Black stone.

I hope you enjoyed this some-what different kind of adventure, and you’ll have to find out next time how successful the party are in their goals.

Until then, Happy gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 19: A couple of Conmen...
I back away nervously...

They players continue their adventures through the world of Lorr.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: “Demonology”
As the party was taking a few days off in Jader-stone, they were visited by a strange pair of people. The first man was short, with slick blond hair and wore silver glasses. The second man was a large, tattooed human, who didn’t respond to any questions. The pair introduced themselves as Einsin Sige and Munder. Einsin explained he was here to talk to the party about killing Jaeger for good. He explained he was something of a “demonologist”, and Jaegar was an “arch-devil”, which meant he could not be killed unless a ritual was performed on his body. As such, he tasked the party with finding the body of Jaeger, so they could put a stop to him for good. They headed to the library, and found out there were a total of 6 elf covens:
However, this was all the information the party could glean from the books. Logically, the heroes decided to head to Spell-edge to investigate, as there was a better chance of yielding more useful information from there Before they went in, Einsin gave them a stone, which he called a “Beacon stone”, which allowed them to communicate with the players when rubbed. Then, the party headed into the depths of their first dungeon…

Chapter 2: Knowledge is power
Upon exploring, the party found several traps, and when they got to the library area, they found two harpies there. Using Kai Rellin (as the pair of winged creatures only spoke elven), they bribed the harpies using rations so they could get to the books and investigate. Within the books, they found some diaries written which told the story of Jaeger Grimmsword. He was once a captain of the empire, but went totally renegade and murdered all 6 of the elf covens. It is believed that after he was the only survivor of his squad after a goblin ambush, he turned to Asmodeus. Using the genocide of the elven wizards within the covens, he demonically ascended. After learning this, the party headed to the main teleporter room, where the harpies informed them a group of elves were.

Chapter 3: Something is not right…
Upon heading there, they found 2 elf rangers and an elven wizard there. However, the room was completely fixed-it was no longer flooded, and the massive hole which Klast had drilled through was fixed. The wizard introduced himself as a friend of Kaidos’, and told the party the elves had been here for a while, and had managed to fix the teleporter, which main function was not to store artifacts, but to have a link with the other covens. Stelian dived straight through the portal into an identical room with no escape. However, after a few minutes of conversing, the two ranger began to speak as characters the party knew, such as Lord Greymoor, and began to make strange movements. Farfal and Kai (understandably scared) began to back out the room, but the elves chased after them, and eventually caught the pair.
Stelian woke up, and found himself lying in water in the Spell-edge teleporter room as the party had always known it. He followed back around the corridors to find both Kai and Farfal on the floor, screaming about elves attacking them. After waking the pair up, Farfal figured out that the stone the pair gave them was not a Beacon stone, but was a “Nightmare stone”, which is a magical item which causes hallucinations of a horrible kind. However, despite the amount of false information they received, they figured out that the history of Jaeger Grimmsword was true. After destroying the stone, the party headed outside, to find a note which told them that Einsin Sige and Munder had found the body at Scroll-edge, and they were waiting there for the party. However, they heroes (bar Stelian) decided it wasn’t worth it, and went back to Jader-stone.
Upon returning there, they found that both Einsin and Munder had been arrested by the guards. It turned out that Novak and his spy ring had been keeping an eye on the pair, and had found out they were famous con-men who went around tricking people about “demonology”. As Farfal was about to kill them, Einsin admitted that they had been hired by Strom to trick them. For their honesty, Farfal sent them to Lochway prison (now the prison of Jader-stone) with extra harsh punishments. As such, Farfal made contact with Novak, and thanked him for his services. He told Novak and his three spies to look for four new targets: Strom, Lattai, Eltaen and Gwen. Novak accepted the quest, and went off to inform his spies.

Chapter 4: Adventure in Valdevich
Just before Sige and Munder were brought to Farfal’s attention, he received a package from the Lord of Valdevich, and a letter. Upon opening them, he had been given a gift of a drake-scale cloak for his action in the assault on Courtbridge, and he and the party now were being called to Valdevich by Lord Abardon Albrecht, who had a difficult problem which could only be dealt with by a party of adventurers. He offered a suitable reward, as well as monetary gain. Farfal agreed to the adventure, and asked for a coach to be sent to pick them up. Farfal and Kai then relaxed for the next few days, and attended to some business in Jader-stone.
While this was happening, Stelian was summoned to Maple-field by Lord Greymoor. As he was his most noble knight, Lord Greymoor asked Stelian to spy on Lord Abardon and Valdevich while the party was there, as the two lords hate one another. Stelian agreed, and decided to keep it a secret from the party.
A day or two later, the coach had arrived, driven by two tieflings. They explained to the party that Lord Albrecht himself was a tiefling too, and was very big on breaking the racial norms and stereotypes of the Empire. Farfal (being the only other different race lord) found this easy to relate too, and after a few last minute business to deal with, the coach doors were closed, and the party began travelling to Valdevich.

What problem awaits the party in Valdevich ? Will the players like Lord Albrecht ? Will Stelian’s secret of his vrylokanism and spying task be found out ? You will have to wait till the next episode folks.

Until then, Happy gaming !

Episode 18: Dealing with Balrad
Strom, I challenge you to a DANCE-OFF !

Once again, the players set off on adventure-this time to find Farfal’s long-lost son.

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: The gratitude of the Empire
Upon returning to land, the heroes and Bayronx were greeted by High lord Alain, while Graar was pounced upon by guards and arrested. The party recounted the entire story of what happened at Noscarta to him, including killing High lord Jorgan (Abanazar). As such, High lord Alain had the party detained for a while so that he could investigate what had happened, and make sure the heroes were innocent. While they were detained, each player received an Imperial seal, which allowed them to be given a favour from the Empire’s jurisdiction (within reason).
A half an hour later, High lord Alain returned, and told the party they had found evidence of Jorgan’s treachery. They were free to go-however, Baryonx was still a criminal, and could not. Lord Farfal elected to use his favour to get Bayronx off the hook. As such, Alain agreed to let him go, due to his helping in saving Courtbridge. As such, Bayronx vowed to serve the party, and clear his name.

Chapter 2: Making deals, breaking deals
Upon returning to Jinglewater, they found Balrad still tied up there, and prepared to interrogate him-however, High lord Zarkovich had spoke to them a little earlier beforehand, and told them that they could not harm or allow Balrad to be killed or escape, as they needed someone for the people of the Empire to blame, due to Logan being dead. Farfal agreed, and decided it would be better to make deals with Logan. After many negotiations, they agreed to take Balrad to make sure his back-up fortune was safe, and to let him go once they were finished with him.
The party travelled to Maple-field, and were surprised to find that Errich Seagar (the halfling merchant whose son the party saved back in episode 2) dealt with Balrad’s money. However, he revealed to them that Strom had already threatened the location out of him. Furious, Balrad demanded to be taken there, which the party duly did-only to find the fortune had been dug up. Balrad (seeing himself losing out in the deal) immediately demanded that the party give him 20,000 of the gold which they took from him in Noscarta. Fortunately, they managed to appeal to his reasonable side, and he agreed to keep going only for the promise of his freedom.

Chapter 3: A cunning plan
Balrad led the party to Gold-watch, only to find a small force of Hellmoney soldiers inside. Balrad told them this was a bad thing, as the idea behind the under-ground prison was for it to remain a secret-so Strom is here. Farfal sneaked up and killed a few sentries, but soon combat broke out, and the party quickly slew them. They then headed underground to the below-surface prison which Daniel should be in.
Upon heading down there, they found a cuffed Daniel being held by a handbow-toting Strom, guarded by two battle-trolls. Strom made a deal with Farfal: Balrad for Daniel. He wanted Balrad so he could kill him and consolidate power, and Farfal wanted his son back.
As such, the party concocted a plan: Stelian (using shade twin) would impersonate Balrad, and as the two prisoners swapped over, he would teleport them using the orb of far realm displacement. As for the real Balrad and Kai Rellin, they would swig the teleportation potion which they had saved since the Trouble of Bayronx adventure and escape. Farfal would then evade Strom and hide. The plan went swimmingly. Stelian and Daniel teleported to Jader-reach, Kai Rellin and Balrad ended up in Harg Farst’s house (which was hilarious) and Farfal hid himself from Strom. However-Farfal heard Strom say that he was not finished, not by a long shot, and would have revenge for this trick. Strom and his men left, and then Farfal sneaked away to Jader-stone.

Chapter 4: Enemy of the Empire
The party re-met at Jader-stone, and Farfal kept true to his deal by letting Balrad free. Balrad thanked him, and hoped they would never meet again. Farfal then sent a letter to Zarkovich, who replied with furious words. Now who was the Empire to blame for the assault on Courtbridge ? Farfal, being ever-the most helpful of lords, suggested Strom, and now the Empire are actively hunting him down.
Then, Farfal and Daniel spoke for a short time, and reconnected as father-and-son. However, Daniel would be better with his mother, so Farfal got Novak to transport him to Layla and Kayla. Daniel got there safely, and the party relaxed, knowing they had succeeded in their quest. However, Farfal knew both he and Kai Rellin had family to be found, so gave the task to his spy ring. Hopefully, with a bit of luck, they would uncover something.

I hope you enjoyed this adventure, as it was especially enjoyable for Lord Farfal to finally complete one of his character goals. However, the question now is would he find the rest of his family ? You’ll have to find out in the episodes to come.

Until then, Happy gaming !
-Mike, DM

Episode 17: The Assault on Courtbridge

As always, the players travel forth for adventure-however, this episode promises to be a much different one…

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder

Chapter 1: Break-in in Jinglewater
Kai Rellin and Farfal Soulshard travelled to Courtbridge briefly to pick up their horses before travelling to Jingle-water. Once they arrived there, they found something terrible had happened. The tower of the Leaflord had been broken into while they were away. The two guards and Farfal’s gargoyle had been slain, Ambrose and JJ were missing and perhaps most worryingly of all, the ring of Asmodeus had been stolen. The pair did a bit of digging, and found out that a group of Hellmoney guards had done this. Furious, they vowed to find them as soon as possible.

Chapter 2: Taking care of business
Until then, they returned to Jaderstone, where Farfal told his people he had returned. In addition, he spoke to Emila Pax about setting up a spy ring, as she likely still had contacts to her rebel friends from the Trouble against Baryonx days. She said she would contact them, and one in particular (a spy by the name of Novak) was one to watch out for. Farfal thanked her for her assistance, and for the next few days, he and Kai decided that they would stay low, and wait to see if they hear anything.
However, Farfal and Novak did indeed meet, and Novak agreed to work for Farfal. The lord of Jaderstone sent him and his spy ring to look for Logan, Balrad and the rest of Farfal’s family. Novak agreed, and also introduced Farfal to a friend from the days of the rebellion- a vryloka (although the rest of the party don’t know that) warlock by the name of Stelian. He immediately joined the party, and was considered a valuable ally.
A couple of days later, Novak returned to Farfal, and informed him that Logan Hellmoney was spotted in Courtbridge. In addition, Novak discovered a captain within the House Hellmoney ranks by the name of Rolstone Strom. He warned Farfal to watch out for him, as if both Logan and Balrad find themselves incapacitated, leadership falls to Strom. He told Farfal that the best thing he could do was to go there and deal with Logan personally. Farfal agreed, and thanked Novak. The next day, the party set off for a few days travel to Courtbridge on horse, hoping that dealing with Hellmoney could bring both the ring and their friends back to them. They stopped in Maplefield along the way (where Alistair’s character was made a knight-again) before finally reaching their destination.

Chapter 3: The first assault
Upon arriving there, they were greeted by High Lord Redgar Alain, who queried why they were here. The player explained their problem, and Redgar offered his and the other high lords assistance in finding Logan. As they went past the docks while Alain led them to Lordsbreach, he explained how busy he had been handling paper work about the Imperial navy (half of which was docked in Courtbridge, the other half on a training exercise, and asked the party what they had been up to.
Suddenly, the bad weather over the docks cleared, and 3 hulking ships appeared, coming at the harbour at a incredible speed. The party and Alain watched in terror as the 3 huge ships smashed through the docked ships and wooden pier, finally hitting against the stone of Courtbridge. Previously concealed large planks at the front of each ship swung down, and garrisons of soldier charged out of them. They wore golden chainmail armour, over which a beige tunic, with a blue outline and a hand holding a single gold coin is displayed proudly-the Hellmoney flag. The Hellmoney soldiers murdered their way through the docks, and began charging up the steppes to the city above.
High lord Alain immediately ripped off his black lord cloak to reveal a suit of plate armour beneath, and with a group of guards charged down to fight them-not before telling the heroes to take the steppes area nearest the right. The party charged down the stairs, and met the Hellmoney group head-on. They fought well-however, halfway through combat, a pair of leather-armoured mercenaries charged them from behind. Despite this, the players defeated the group, and did a speed interrogation. They found out that this large assault from the docks, and the inside groups of thugs attacking were all preliminary-a much larger fleet of ships was on its way, and when they arrived, there was no chance for the empire. After this, the party met up with High lord Alain briefly, who told them to travel to Noscarta (as this was the only place a fleet this large could get here so quickly) and find out what was going on, and to see if they could put a stop to this fleet. The party agreed, and they sneaked down to the harbour, where in-between two of the large assault vessels there was amazingly a single wooden fishing boat left. Once again, the party passed their stealth checks, and stole the boat and began to sail to Noscarta.

Chapter 4: A visit from the Shadar-Kai
As the party travelled their, they spotted the fleet which was to assault Courtbridge-it was made up of about 60-70 ships, which were everything from mercenary groups to goblin pirates. The party estimated they would be at Courtbridge in about 12 hours due to the amount/size of them, so the party had that long to check out Noscarta. Suddenly, coming in from the opposite side of them, they saw a familiar looking black, wooden ship with a charred skeleton pinned to it, with tattered white sails-the Shadar-Kai’s ship. The party quickly bailed out of their fishing boat, dived underwater and took stealth checks. The ship smashed through the fishing boat, and because Stelian failed his stealth check, a flesh hook came down from the ship, embedding in his back, and he was dragged up on deck and captured. While the Shadar-Kai interrogated him on where his friends where, Farfal and Kai began a long process of punching several holes in the ship to sink it. After a few good rolls, they were successful, and just as the interrogation was about to get nasty, the ship turned on its side, and the two mercenaries accompanying the Shadar-Kai fell off. Kai and Farfal were quick to act, and after several rounds of aquatic skill checks, the two mercenaries were dead, they had stolen a escape boat from the bottom of the black-ship, and the Shadar-Kai had swum away. Although in any other given time they would of pursued him to finish him off once and for all, they had a more important task at hand, so continued to Noscarta.

Chapter 5: Getting in the fortress
When the players were only a mile off from the prison island, they had found it had changed. A large fortress had been constructed there instead, bearing the Hellmoney colours. Adding two-and-two together, they realised that when they were here last and saw signs of construction that it was this fortress, and the guards were likely hired by Hellmoney. Suddenly, as they were observing the fortress to see what ways into it were, a huge beam of red energy erupted from the very top, beginning to roil the clouds in the sky. It also travelled down the building, to a platform far below the top. The players now knew they had to get in the fortress and fast, otherwise anything could happen next. They perceived several different ways in, but in the end swam up through the main water pipe, and found themselves in Hellmoney’s fortress.

Chapter 6: Infiltration
Taking a page out of their previous adventures, the party decided bluffing and pretending would be best. They broke into a nearby arsenal, and found several Hellmoney guard uniforms. They all dressed up as Hellmoney guards, and bluffed their way past a group-save for Farfal, who was on “cleric duty”, who had to go a separate way. Kai and Stelian explored the fortress, while Farfal went into a room which was a converted shrine of Tiamat. There, a dwarf cleric proceeded to sacrifice him. Farfal played along, until the dwarf cleric and his lackeys were in a vulnerable position, and he then struck back. However, he found himself outnumbered and trapped, and as such needed to hold off until his friends could reunite with him.
While this was happening, Kai and Stelian were exploring the fortress, and found the prisoner hold-where both JJ and Ambrose Melachor were being held. Using bluff, the pair got the strongest opponent out of there, and surprised the other two, killing them. They freed both Ambrose and JJ, who had both felt the sting of the torturer. Ambrose explained that Balrad Hellmoney was on the second floor, and that a 3-piece key was needed to open it (each piece on a different captain). Kai informed Ambrose of Farfal was on “cleric duty”. However, Ambrose knew what that really meant, and Kai and Stelian realised the danger they were in. Dressing up Ambrose and JJ as Hellmoney guards, they bluffed their way past the same group of guards from earlier and went to the shrine. They saved Farfal from being killed, and killed the cleric and his allies. After this, Ambrose filled Farfal in about the key pieces. As such, the party continued exploring the ground floor of the fortress, and using a good bit of thievery, stole 2 of the 3 pieces before heading up to the first floor.

Chapter 7: Strom
Upon arriving at the first floor, they saw a patrol of guards and a necromancer and his undead minions guarding a big door. Farfal once again stole the 3rd key piece of the final captain, fully assembling the key. However, then they heard a voice through a large red curtain address the captain-it was Rolstone Strom, who warned him that if he didn’t find the heroes and take the key back, he would unleash a basilisk. As such, the guards ran downstairs, and the players sneaked to the curtain-however, the necromancer saw them, and a fight ensued. After several rounds of hard fighting, the party slew the necromancer and his undead. The guard captain and his patrol suddenly reappeared and charged at the heroes, but Strom’s voice could be heard saying “Time’s up”- then a large grey lizard creature ripped its way through the curtain and attacked the patrol. It tore through the guards, and turned the captain into stone. The players hid, and watched as the basilisk worked its way around the first floor to kill the other guards. When it was gone, Farfal turned the stone captain with holy cleansing, and he was living again. He thanked them greatly, and led them to a hiding place so as to wait for the basilisk to move down a floor. While here, the players took an extended rest, and then they carried on, but left JJ with the captain, who now respected and was helping the players. The party went through the curtain to the golden door there, and opened it using the key. It opened up to a large staircase, and they went up it to get to the second floor.

Chapter 8: AC 26 ? With pyjamas ?
Once they got to the top of the staircase, they found themselves faced with a group of bugbear mercenaries. Using their time-honoured tactic, they bluffed with them. The bugbears (being fairly foolish) let them through. They went through the door behind them to a large hall full of impressive paintings, which they took to sell on. Then, they went through the next door, and came face-to-face with Balrad Hellmoney and a succubus. They had just been having a bit of “pre-war fun”, but despite a exchange of banter, a fight quickly took place. The players found Balrad to be an impressively good warrior, as he was kicking their asses in only his pyjamas. However, the party continued to fight back, and slew the succubus. Unfortunately for them, all the commotion alerted the bugbear mercenaries in the other room, who quickly came in and joined the fray. After a long, hard fight, the party managed to beat Balrad and the bugbears, and tied him to a chair. Once again, they had a bit of quick-fire interrogation, which ended up in finding out a lot of information and cutting Balrad’s eye out as revenge for the crimes he committed against the empire. They found out that the evil Abanazar (the head of the necromancer cult) was on the next floor, and was conducting a ritual which would destroy the empire. The party also found out that in Balrad’s room there was a teleporter which was linked to Logan’s flagship – the only thing was that a lodestone was needed in order for it to work, and Abanazar had it upstairs with him-when Balrad was finished doing his business downstairs, he would come up and grab the lodestone. However, as Farfal went to kill him, Balrad revealed that he needed to be kept alive in order for him to see his son again. He revealed that Farfal’s son (Daniel) was taken as insurance a while ago due to Larraf’s discovery. The party accepted that they would need this lodestone,and then found a key around Balrad’s neck. It led to a locked door, which when opened, contained the remainder of the Hellmoney fortune, and a greater bag of holding to carry it in. Suffice to say, the party looted the 50,000 GP there, before locking Ambrose and a tied-up Balrad in the room. Then, the heroes went up a large staircase which would lead to one of the most difficult fight in their career…

Chapter 9: Betrayal on a high level
When they got upstairs, the party decided to burst in rather then conventionally sneak, as it was time to confront the evil wizard. They found themselves in a large room, with a large window looking outside, where down on the platform they saw earlier now had a large brass hell-cannon jutting from it. Within the room, there were several frozen ex-heroes. Also in the room was a familiar face: Cador Bayronx. He was being held in place by magical black tendrils, and the ring of Asmodeus was on him, glowing brightly, and the hell beam was emanating from him and out a window above him. Also in the room where zombies, legion devils, a necromancer adept, and another familiar face: Jaegar Grimmsword. He had been re-summoned from hell by Abanazar-who was a blue-cloaked figure facing away from the party. He began to monologue, and explained how he had always been pulling the strings; he was the one who had the Hellmoney’s hire Vi-Nuk-Sa (the Shadar-Kai) to kill Farfal, as he had discovered his identity, he was the one who had Kayla and Layla arrested so Bayronx could be freed and in his grasp, it was Abanazar who funded Bayronx and sent him the ring all those months ago. He was the one who had Larraf killed for discovering his identity. The players slowly watched as the long web of deceit and plotting unravelled, and realized they had been duped from the beginning. Then Abanazar turned around, and slowly pulled down his hood to reveal himself…
It was High lord Jorgan Arcarnate
The party, stunned, watched as he pulled down a brass lever nearby the ritual circle Baryonx was in, and explained they were too late-his main goal was to free a powerful being known only as Zaggaroth. His secondary goal was to fire the hell-cannon at Courtbridge and destroy them, and he told them they still had time to stop him if they tried, but he wouldn’t let them.
This fight was no longer business-it was personal.
With a roll for combat order, the party attacked. Kai and Stelian focused on Jaegar Grimmsword and the legion devils, while Farfal made a rush to the brass lever to stop the cannon from firing. The fight was intense-every inch the party fought with what they had, the villains fought back. However, Kai and Stelian did a great job of slaying Jaegar, as they displayed some of the greatest teamwork ever seen among two newly-met player characters. Farfal displayed teamwork too, by freeing Baryonx (so the cannon could no longer fire), who then proceeded to stab the hell out of the adept. Despite this Abanazar stood in their way, destroying the ring, which caused Bayronx to be set alight. Nonetheless, he and Farfal continued to beat down on the evil wizard whereas Kai and Stelian continued to finish off Jaegar. At one point, Baryonx actually knocked off Jorgan’s head-and revealed it to be a mask. Underneath was a icy blue zombie-like face-Abanazar was actually a blue arcanian. Despite this, not one of the party members showed any remorse for the two villains, and slew them both. With that, the party had achieved victory-they stopped Courtbridge from being burned to the ground from the hell-cannon, and two of their enemies were slain. They grabbed the lodestone, and proceeded to go downstairs, but as a possessed arcanian reminded them, they had also failed. The now-controlled dead body of Abanazar delivered a terrifying message: that Zaggaroth the Dreaded,the Dark king was free, and soon the heroes would have to truly prove themselves. The party laughed it off and said they would be ready, but Zaggaroth seemed unphased, and with a final evil laugh disintegrated the arcanian’s body. The party went back down the stairs and to the teleporter. They gave themselves a minute to prepare, and then proceeded through.

Chapter 10: The final fight of Logan Hellmoney
They teleported through and found themselves on Logan’s flagship. Sure enough, on the other, surrounded by Hellmoney soldiers and his half-orc bodyguard (Graar) was Logan Hellmoney himself. He laughed, and challenged Farfal to the fight they had always wanted. Suffice to say, battle was quickly joined, but Farfal and Logan could not seem to get the one-on-one they desired. Graar, on the other hand, was beating Kai Rellin to a pulp. As they battled, the other half of the imperial navy were coming from the flank of the fleet (led by the parties good buddy, Captain Ludvig Rosewater), and the army and guards within Courtbridge had dealt with the inside threat, but that still was not going to be enough. The heroes had their work cut out, that was for sure. As the battle went on, the fighting became more intense, and the party was beginning to find themselves digging into their resolves to win.
Suddenly, a mighty roar came from the heavens, and a blue dragon, ridden by a heavily armoured knight swooped down, blasting lightning all across the fleet. The party was just as surprised as the Courtbridge army, and of course the fleet. A history check or two later, it was revealed that the creature was the mythical Imperial dragon, and was being ridden by the Supreme high lord’s champion-a fighter of infamous skill and power. Perhaps most importantly, the dragon seared Logan’s flagship with lighting, and it began to sink. A few turns of fighting later, it flipped on its side. Graar and Kai found themselves fighting in the water, but decided (upon seeing the amount of crossbows that were going to fire on them) it wasn’t worth it, and simply helped one another hide underwater. Logan, Stelian and Farfal were hanging on to the side of the now sinking flagship. Logan got up, and kicked Stelian into the water below. He raised his broadsword, and issued his challenge to Farfal.
Farfal accepted the challenge from his arch-enemy. The two fought, tooth and nail, and at one point, Farfal was only a couple of hit-points away from a negative bloodied death. However, the Raven Queen, Pelor, or any god most of smiled on him, as Logan rolled a critical fail on his attack roll-a natural 1. The following turn, Farfal got back up, and the run after, when Farfal was dropped again, Logan was knocked down due to Stormhawk’s vengeance. To make it interesting, Farfal had to get back up before he could finish off Logan-at this point the two near-dead warriors were wrestling and punching one another. Sure enough however, Farfal got back up, and finished off Logan in a very befitting way-stabbing him through his right eye. With that, the fleet had taken enough damage, and as such was broken. The remaining ships fled, under the chase of the imperial navy. The heroes had succeeded-they had stopped the fleet attacking Courtbridge (with a little help from their friends) and had killed or captured many of their enemies. With their success done, Kai, Farfal, Stelian and Bayronx were scooped up onto Captain Rosewater’s ship, and as they were being taken back to Courtbridge, they got a well deserved rest, and would deal with whatever was to come next in the fashion they knew best… like heroes.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Lorr. As you can imagine, it took a very long time to play and even longer to plan, but it was totally worth it. More importantly, it opens up many more arcs in the campaign despite closing a few, and in the next episodes you will see them come to bear.

Until then, Happy gaming !


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