In this installment of the Forum RPG live game, our adventurers finished off the Volkar wraith’s with style, but not without some major injuries and gaining a couple new party members. As you may remember from the forum posts, a seriously injured Tregan stumbled his way into the small building next to the fight scene, after having his soul nearly ripped clean from his body. Well apparently the mage was not out of the fight yet!
Tregan burst back out the door, appearing to be mysteriously reinvigorated and full of rage. With clenched fists he screamed “GIVE HER BACK!!!!” and unleashed a wicked stream of fire at the dread wraith who had been taunting him with words of some woman’s soul. Unluckily, the intense stream of lava like fire streaked wide of the dread wraith! After exerting so much of himself into the magical assault, Tregan’s form slumped and collapsed to the ground, with a small glowing ruby falling out of his hand.
After handily obliterating all of the smaller wraiths, Pelic and Arek rushed to aid their allies, who were in dire straights with the dread wraith. Pelic was met with a wicked attack from the lightning-quick creature, nearly an identical move as what happened to Raiffen, and nearly putting him out of commission. Arek, however, was able to avoid the attacks with a series of tumbling maneuvers and unleashed a flurry of blows of his own! His ki-infused strikes ripped through the incorporeal blackness with expert efficiency, putting the wraith into a contorted mess of blackness. The wraith held onto its tie to the material plane and managed to reform, hissing in ghostly, demonic tones.
Just then an arching bolt of lightning streaked through the town and connected with the wraith, illuminating the area with a blueish-white brilliance! The wraith’s form sizzled and evaporated into nothingness. As the party looked to see where it came from, a wrinkled figure emerged from an alleyway nearby. He was dressed in furs and skins, around his neck he wore a horn, and greeted the party with some hesitation, obviously a bit nervous and unsure of his decision to approach.
Before any introductions were done, the group had the issue of town survivors to deal with. There were only about 20-25 left. Corpses were everywhere. Telemacus went to quick work beginning to search over Tregan’s unconscious body, nabbing up the ruby the wizard dropped in the process. As he searched, Fang, the wizard’s weasel familiar popped out to chomp onto Telemacus’ prying hands. Just then Pelic stepped up to guard the body of Tregan and Raiffen too began to say words of protest to Telemacus, who insisted he be allowed to use and keep the ruby. To prove his point he unleashed a short jet of fire up into the air, saying he knows how to use it and it will be of great help. The group maintained its stance and the rogue reluctantly put it back.
Annoyed with the others, Telemacus went about his business searching the town. Arek gathered up bodies and loaded them onto a boat to be burned. Pelic assisted with that grim task. The party decided the best course of action for the survivors was to send them to Iridine, and Dhakwan was elected to escort them. Tregan was loaded up as well. While the survivors were being tended, another new face showed up. An elf who introduced himself as Wyn. He bore a lute and a flute, along with a longbow slung over his shoulders. He offered his assistance, stating he was in the area studying the rare blackroot trees, native to this area. Being short 2 people, the group gladly accepted his help. He played a comforting song for the survivors and bid them farewell and safe journey. Arek promised them they would return with their home intact, by the name of St. Cuthbert.
They also found an unconscious woman, dressed in priestly robes of St. Cuthbert in the small shrine that Tregan had hidden in. Raiffen rused her, and after a few moments of discussion, she offered to help cure their injuries, asking for a show of faith to her god to ensure the power she needs to do the job. Several greater restoration spells was no easy task during these times you know. After a few thousand gold’s worth of donations to the shrine collection box, all were healed and restored of their CON drain…
After a few awkward moments of social interaction, the old man introduced himself and Kerthan of the Frost Barbarians. In his nervousness, he tried to relay some important information to the party, but was unable to convey it, and the group thought it a trivial matter for the time being. Kerthan portrayed the situation as such (paraphrased): The Volkar leader showed up and challenged the tribal chief to a fight, to determine who’s god was stronger. The frost chief lost, but Kerthan referred to it as murder. The group berated the old man saying it sounds like he lost a blood duel, fair and square, and it sounded as if he was wanting to hire them to seek out and kill the Volkar leader. Perhaps it was a language barrier, or just nervousness, but the old man stuttered a few incomprehensible words then agreed to that assessment. The group consensus after hearing that was, the old man’s quest could wait.
They had a new lead to follow. One provided by the elusive and shady Jelkir. He reported the happenings at the Vetallun mine, which apparently they had left to investigate. They reported heavy guards at the entrance, but his scouts found an old side entrance, overgrown with foliage and unknown to the Volkar. They scouted it out to find Duergar working inside, looking for something. Eventually more information was gleaned from Jelkir and he mentioned his suspicion that what the Duergar were looking for was the same ore that he found in the chest acquired from the Volkar carriage raid (the chest the party turned over to him in exchange for his help). He mentioned it to be black metallic, and it would shimmer a faint purple when contacted with magic.
Not really eager to trust Jelkir and his lead, the group decided to get a night’s rest first, then head that way in the morning, using Jelkir’s men as a guide to the side entrance. During the night, Pelic and Telemacus took first watch. Both men heard a sound off in the trees and Telemacus darted off to investigate, near the shiphouse. Pelic, suspicious and distrusting of the rogue after the incident with Tregan, followed him. Telemacus quickly took action to lose him in the woods at which point a loud snarling, sniffing sound could be heard by both. Pelic decided to leave the rogue to his own fate, and darted back to the building where he began to rouse the others.
A few moments later a large lupine-like beast emerged from the woods, sniffing out the ground, probably looking for a meal. It was a large barghest, one rumored to lurk about these parts. Wyn and his dog, not able to see the beast, moved up to the town hall from their hiding spot in the trees, where the group was resting. The barghest caught wind of their scent and turned his focus that direction. Not waiting for it to make the first move, both Kerthan and Wyn unleashed their ranged attacks on the beast. Both scoring hits. As the group rallied, Wyn deftly slung his bow around behind him while in the same fluid motion whipped his lute around and took it up to play an inspiring song! “Kumbaiya!” (lol just kidding about the song choice).
Anyway, they made extremely quick work of the beast, taking it down before it had a chance to do much of anything. Telemacus delivered the fatal blow as he emerged from the forest to exchange a few tense words with Pelic. They all went back to sleep until the crow of a rooster the next morning woke them. They departed, collecting some supplies from the town beforehand and soon met up with Jelkir in the forest. He led them to the mine entrance and disappeared in usual fashion.
In a once in a lifetime, cosmic altering event, the entire group all made ridiculously good stealth checks (all over 20 with a couple nat 20’s), they easily made it inside the mine and past a pair of Duergar pushing a cart full of rock. They snuck their way through the mine until eventually coming upon a ‘Y’ section. Arek using his connection with the earth, put his ear to the stone walls and listened for clues. They decided to take the right path as there were sounds of picks further down than in the other side.
On the way, they propped up some wooden support beams to brace a suspect section in the ceiling and proceeded down the tunnel. They came upon a group of 5 Duergar busily chipping away at the walls. With some insane stealth, Arek moved in and unleashed a flurry of stunning blows on the first three, signaling Telemacus to ignite his magical watch lamp! The rest of the mining crew was quickly dispatched by the team and searched for clues. With nothing of interest, the group continued on and came up on a door. Inside the sounds of several Duergar could be heard. Raiffen, still in his eagle form peered through the keyhole and unleashed a nasty spell.. He summoned several crocodiles on them, sending Gareas in afterwards, barreling over the door. The group once again made quick work of the scene, collecting any loot and checking for clues. The group continued on and eventually came upon a large oval shaped chamber. It had a high natural ceiling with stalactites hanging down ominously. In the center wielding a whip was a Duergar taskmaster and about 15-20 Duergar miners.
Raiffen summoned a dire bear, weighing a staggering 4 tons, and it pinned up the taskmaster with ease while Wyn loosed a few arrows from his “Starbuster” bow. The bright streaks of light buried themselves into the duergar targets, severely wounding them. As Duergar rushed to meet the heroes at the entranceway, Arek deftly tumbled through the fray and engaged the miners who were trying to hack away at the massive bear. The taskmaster called upon his innate ability to enlarge himself, but he was still no match for the mighty dire bear. The group slayed the duergar with expert effiency, and the last 5 ran off for a hidden tunnel hole. The barbarian shaman had other plans and loosed a nasty arch of lightning that burned through all of them, and caused the rock to crackle and collapse, blocking the tunnel.
The group looted and the idea was brought up to have Gork burrow some holes to explore further into the mine. Gork by the way found his master and managed to burrow his way into the mine complex (nat 20’s are awesome). Kerthan experimented with the piece of metallic black ore they found in the mining cart. He loosed some of his magical energies at it, causing it to shimmer purple and slowly absorb the energy.