The Forgotten King

Welcome to Drellin's Ferry
DAY #1

The merry band of adventurers began the long journey from Athkatla to Drellin’s Ferry. Along the way the party spotted an ambush just outside of town. A goblin band led by one named Vrog tried to ambush the party. The goblins numbered seven. Ellamin felled two with his heavy fists, Thalamyr blinded, stunned and dazed one into submission before killed it. Ptolemy engulfed three in a well placed entangle spell before Ellamin finished them off. Argo used his thin blade to subdue Vrog. Ela’san, using stealth felled a raider before coming face to face with a goblin rogue. They battled for a time before Thalamyr used a trasportation spell that allowed the injured Ela’san to be replced with Argo. In the meantime, a worg carrying a rider and two others jumped out of the bush and were quickly subdued by Ptolemy’s magic blinding. The two bandits begged for mercy and were subdued by Ellamin and eventually slaughtered by Ela’san. The worg, dropped its rider who was dispatched by Ellamin and finished off by Ela’san, before it escaped. Argo chased the rogue into a farm house that contained numerous bodies of the farmers and the guards. Argo and Thalmyr went to investigate. The rogue, disguised as a dead farmer, attacked Argo. Ellamin and Ela’san, hearing the battle in the farmhouse, quickly came to Argo’s aid. The rogue, using his dexterity and quickness escaped out a window. The adventurers gave chase through the forest but it was Ptolemy’s pie-to-the-face that gave them the upper hand. The group finally ended the rogues life, not before he spoke a curse that the Red Hand will destroy all.

The party rode into town without incident and were met by the town guards. The captain of the guard escorted the party to the Old Bridge Inn and pointed out some locales along the way. After being briefed on the disappearance of a certain family and two guards in the mausoleum, and after hearing there was a reward, the party agreed to investigate. The next morning the party visited the smithy, the temple, and the wizards tower to gain more information about the area.

As the party neared the mausoleum, feral eyes met them. Two wolves appeared to be tearing the flesh off of two dead bodies. Argo dispatched one and Thalmyr and Ellamin dispatched the other. The worg from the road appeared. Ellamin and Argo slashed and punched it to death. Thalamyr went around the building and discovered a runehound lurking. The rune hound spit acid and charged Thalmyr. Ela’san and Ellamin approached it from one side of the building and Argo from the other. Argo carved open the hound’s side in a critical blow and the rune hound went down.

The bodies on the steps turned out to be the missing guardsmen. The party entered the mausoleum and were set upon by two zombies and three skeletons. Ela’san and Ellamin dispatched one zombie while Argo and Thalamyr dispatched the other, after Argo realized his piercing blade was useless against these undead. The three skeltons crumbled under the relentless punches and kicks of Ellamin and the slashes of Ela’san’s sword and crushing blows of her morning star.

Thalamyr discovered that one of the crypts was sealed recently and cries were heard from within. He removed the nails and a young lady appeared and explained that a bigbear killed her family. She ran as fast as she could back to Drellins Ferry.

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XP so far

3490 each

You are now 3rd level. You may “level-up” at this point without the need for training. Please let me know if you want to change class; there may be some restrictions on rare, esoteric new classes, such as Ninja or something. Learning a strange feat could be plausible; becoming a Ninja is a bit much.

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From the Crypt to the Underdark

After the defeat of the Betrayer and Krootad, you squeezed through the hole in the crypt floor so as to follow the smaller Krootadian minions. Descending a rudely fashioned shaft, you found yourselves deep beneath the earth. You stumbled out of the rough-hewn shaft onto a small stone ledge which opened onto a vast cylindrical Earth Node. The spellcasters in the group could feel the power of the node. You discovered two interesting figures: a dead halfling, who had been killed with arrows, which had been removed, as well as small bite marks to the face; the other figure was a stone statue of a goblin, its visage locked in wide-eyed terror. After some investigation, you turned up a scrap of paper written by Krootad, addressed to someone named Fadheela. The only other interesting find was tracks of a booted humanoid that seemed to step off of the ledge and into the darkness.

After some deliberation, you managed to summon two hippogriffs to take you down to the floor of the dark node, 150 feet below. The ‘dust’ that covered the floor turned out to be the old shells of innumerable insects. While resting, these insects, some tiny some as large as a large dog, attacked. Despite the halfling’s having nightmares, there was little effect and the cockroaches were quickly despatched. Once 8 hours had elapsed, a spell was cast and the node took you somewhere in the Underdark into a vast cavern known to locals as the Grotto. Several miles wide, long and tall, the Grotto is host to an underground sea and the former drow city Pedestal, built around the base of a huge spire, a stalactitie-stalagmite connect reaching from floor to ceiling of the Grotto. Your first encounter with life proved fruitful as Bruthwol the Gray Dwarf sold you a few items and told you much about the dark city that awaited you.

What you know: Krootad’s minions, likely the dead halfling and, possibly, the goblin ‘statue’, took powerful magic items and the Forgotten King’s remains into the Underdark. Someone or something, possibly Fadheela, whom Bruthwol told you was a woman with connections to Pedestal’s Assassin’s guild, met and killed the two Krootadians, taking the loot with her. Bruthwol saw her come out of the Node and walk toward the bridge to Pedestal.

What you must do: Get the Forgotten King’s remains back so that the prophecy might save Drellin’s Ferry from the Red Hand and its terrible leader, Azarr Kul; try to recover the magical items that belong to the Forgotten King’s loyal servants (he has given you permission to use them to fight evil); first and foremost, survive in Pedestal, a place more dangerous than any you have ever encountered before…

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Fadheela Vanquished

After defeating Fadheela, you discover these notes:

My Lord Koth, Hail the Rend Hand and Azarr Kul! As you see, I am good to my word. Through Fadheela, I have sent you the bones and most of the items you requested. I still search for Merthuvial as I write this – the blade is hidden well. I hope the Hand is pleased. (signed) Krootad.

Fadheela, You have our thanks for sending the bones and items to us here in the fortress. With the king’s bones in hand, the prophecy is about to be bent to the will of the Red Hand! However, two of the items are missing from what you sent – Merthuvial and Banrhialorg. Please explain. (signed) Koth.

Koth, That fool Krootad never sent Merthuvial as he promised he would, nor has he arrived in Pedestal to deliver it to me. That’s your mess to clean. His worthless lackeys tried to withhold the items you wanted until their master arrived, so you got what you have only because I brook no defiance. The sword might still show up, or Krootad is dead. I do not know which, nor do I care. I am taking the staff as my own, and if you want it, you’ll have to face me. I’ve sent the bones and other weapons along. Count yourself lucky I did not reserve anything else for myself. (signed) Fadheela.

You conclude that the first and last are probably copies, as Fadheela’s other correspondence is kept in good order, with copies of many letters she has sent to others, mostly regarding assassinations.

Now to other matters:

You have several options.

1. Step through the electric portal to chase the remains of the Forgotten King to wherever in the Realms she sent them. This option is the quickest and, likely, the most dangerous, but it could regain you the bones.

2. Return to Pedestal for a while and then go through the portal. Es Sarch offers to either enhance one item or to give you 500pp for your extra services (he is now more powerful than ever with Ellesarwa and Fadheela dead). You may also train if needed and purchase more items (3000gp limit on site; 5000gp limit takes 1-4 weeks). After two weeks, the Red Hand will begin with or without you.

3. Return to Drellin’s Ferry by going back through the Earth Node, either stopping in Pedestral or not. If you stop in Pedestal, then it is the same as scenario #2.

Regardless of what you do, the Red Hand now has the bones of the Forgotten King, and you know it is only a matter of time before the armies of Azarr Kul descend on the small, weak town of Drellin’s Ferry.

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The Grasp of the Red Hand

After the encounter with Fadheela (I think I still have rocks in my ear; luckily, I’m not stone deaf!), we took a couple tendays rest in Pedestal. Well, most of us rested. Argo seems to know some new tricks with that wicked thrusting blade he has, and Thalamyr knows tons of new spells I can’t even begin to describe. Threw a bunch of scrolls at me too.

We picked up a local Svirfneblin that seems to have talents our late cleric (redead?) possessed. I’m surprised Ela’sen and the new guy aren’t up in arms, having to work together. But these are desperate times for us, with Red Hand threats looming and Theron’s bones still missing. The halfling ranger looked like he could handle himself in a fight, too. Belkar was vaguely familiar, but beyond the scope of my bardic knowledge.

We soon found ourselves standing before that strange portal of electricity. We were about to step through, but luckily Thalamyr decided to analyze it first, otherwise we could have been fried. Argo held out the portal key, and through we went. We came out in a forest, though we knew not whether we were closer to Drellin’s Ferry or Maztica. Espying ruins not too far off, we set off, hoping to find some answers as to our whereabouts. The keep had obviously been destroyed some time ago in a giant assault or siege. The gates hung askew and we advanced.

Peering into a dark room, Ela’sen was suddenly attacked, hurled spikes narrowly missing her (and me). Approaching more cautiously, Ela’sen, Belkar, and Argo entered the room, but were attacked by the winged beast that made its nest therein. They quickly dispatched the flying monster with the spiky tail, and Thalamyr and I advanced to the next room of the keep through a gaping hole in the wall. We saw the hobgoblins as they saw us. Thalamyr blasted them with acid and they soon shook with fear and fled. We cut them down as they ran, but a massive monster with the head of a bull attacked. Curiously, he withdrew around the side of the keep, with Argo in close pursuit. As Argo cut down the enemy, lightning and fire exploded from the lone tower of the keep. Injured, the Svirfneblin Spud, Argo, and Belkar advanced from the outside, as Ela’sen, Thalamyr and I advanced from within, though we were momentarily stymied by the locked door. Disaster struck, as waves of confusion assaulted our friends outside. To our horror, Argo laid out Spud, and killed Belkar. Inside, we rushed the sorceror, Koth, and forced him out of the tower. At this point, weary from overexertion during the prolonged fight, my consciousness slipped away. When I came to, Argo had apparently come to his senses and slain Koth. Further exploration of the keep yielded a long-lost treasure, but no bones. Theron’s remains must surely now lie in the grasp of the Red Hand, and the future looks bleak indeed.

We also came across a campaign war map of the region: we were but miles from Drellin’s Ferry, but the invasion plan we witnessed darkened our party’s mood. We found ourselves at a critical location between the mustering attackers, and the town of Drellin’s Ferry. Furthermore, Belkar lay dead, with naught but the possibility of a new-found staff’s power to raise him from the dead, and return him to the land of the living.

~ GE

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Bridge to Rubble

Spud found that his god had answered his prayers, and Belkar’s spirit returned to his body.

Having decided to attempt to destroy the bridge at Skull Gorge, the party advanced North. Along the way, we enlisted the help of a twistusk forest giant, whose hatred of goblins (and love of shiny spiked gauntlets) ensured the help of his kind in the coming Red Hand invasion. We continued on towards the bridge, and found it guarded by hobgoblins, hellhounds, and Ozyrrendion the juvenile green dragon. Gavin approached the bridge ahead of the rest, disguised as Koth, seeking passage and affording him a glimpse of weak points on the bridge. While the guards were convinced, the lead hellhound was not, and we found ourselves fighting for our lives. The hellhounds were dispatched in short order, and a few of the goblinoids fell quickly. However, our advantage was lost as soon as Ozyrrendion entered the fray. Attempting to spread out to avoid his acid breath, and keeping him at bay with missiles of bow and arcane power, we found ourselves losing ground, with hobgoblin veteran soldiers advancing. Argolian swiftly took the towers but was injured, and Belkar fell as he tried to charge across the bridge. Argo and Ela’sen approached with more caution, and I summoned a celestial lion to help them in melee combat. The lion distracted the green, and was able to inflict damage upon the leader of the hobgoblin guards before returning to the celestial plane. We pressed forward to regain Belkar’s body, and to our relief, found that his bleeding had stopped and he lived still. Gavin continued to harry the dragon with arrows as Ela’sen and Argolian finished the remaining hobgoblins. Finally, Argolian was able to strike down Ozyrrendion as he approached too near to the nimble elf.

Gavin was able to use Merthuvial to destroy the bridge at its weak point, and we decided to head back to Drellin’s Ferry. We may be able to fortify their defenses, delay the invasion, and as a last resort, evacuate the people of the town should the Red Hand prove to be overwhelming. With ten thousand invaders, the future of Drellin’s Ferry looks bleak.

~ Thalamyr

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Defeat Inevitable

The women, children and elderly (except Iormel) are leaving Drellin’s Ferry, their faces streaked with tears and set with worry about their loved ones and their village.

The morning after the midnight attack, Captain Sorannah stares with concern at the destruction inflicted on the West (East) bank. As you approach her, she mutters that if that was just an advance raiding party, things are going to get much worse very soon. Along with the solicitude, a gleam of excitement flickers in her lovely eyes. You sense that this is what she knows, this is her specialty.

Gavin returns laden with purchases from Drellin’s Ferry. He reports that Brindol knows of their plight, that the towns from Drellin’s Ferry to Brindol have been warned, that he has heard rumours of goblinoids all over the Vale. The most distressing news is that there are rumours of another force coming from the North, from the ruins of Rhest.

{DM}


The townsfolk would not evacuate until they saw evidence of the attackers. We agreed to help prepare their defenses and train the men for the invasion. We heard rumours of a Ghostlord to the south, and Ssarvith’s troops to the north, but they were too far to reach now, with the attack looming.

One night, as we sat in Guarlla’s inn, we heard a bloodcurdling scream, cut short by the wet gurgle as the victim died. Rushing outside, we saw a strange three-headed monstrosity: the chimera. We dispatched it quickly and were trying to figure out from whence it had come, when a column of unholy fire enveloped several party members. Badly singed, but still alive, we looked for the source of the blast, and saw only a hobgoblin monk exiting Gran’s store, just as it snapped the neck of a hapless villager with its bare hands. It then raised a horn to its lips and blasted Belkar deaf, injuring others with sonic puissance. We chased down the monk and killed it, but not before Gavin too was struck deaf. Spud and I desperately looked for the invisible spellcaster, but to no avail. Finally, a goblinoid in fullplate wielding a wicked battle axe emerged from the vacated house of the locksmith. We stood resolute as his weapon emitted waves of fear, and in spite of his magical protection, we felled him with no casualties ourselves. Still, the villagers refused to believe that the ambush was anything other than a typical raid, rather than part of a larger organization. We left, following a hunch that the new locksmith, Iormel, or Gran might have sided with the Red Hand.

We found Gran outside of Terrelton, and when prompted with copious amounts of strong ale, admitted to having killed the locksmith, in truth a wererat and a spy for the Red Hand. Doubting the legitimacy of his claims, we backtracked and indeed found a body of a wererat, but to our surprise, we also found the corpse of a man that had died of a similar wound. We confronted Gran, now outside Nimon’s Gap. Gavin subtly cast message to link Gran to commoners that came out to witness the encounter. He admitted to stealing from the refugees, to killing the locksmith, and to killing others along the way that refused to buy goods from him. We turned him over to the proper authorities, and the Lions of Brindol took him to the walled city under guard. We led the refugees without incident, and took phantom steeds back to Drellin’s Ferry, the day before the impending attack.

What we beheld the next day looked nigh unstoppable. A red dragon led the hordes of giants, hobgoblins, and siege engines. Thousands and thousands stood across the river from Drellin’s Ferry, and the villagers at last realized the truth, and knew overwhelming fear. The men finally fled, and as we knew that we could not stand alone against this force, also withdrew.

It is clear to us that Brindol is the only place that this army can possibly be stopped, and we may need the help of the nearby halflings and elves. If the Ghostlord is in fact an ally of the Red Hand, it will need to be neutralized. Also, the army of Ssarvith likely approaches from the North, and will have to be stopped before it meets up with the main host. There are now at least two dragons that we know of that must be slain, as well as generals and Azurr Kul himself.

~ TH

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No Rhest for the Weary

We hurried away from Drellin’s Ferry, seeking to dedicate our time to less futile endeavours. The Red Hand must be stopped, and so we shall do our best to help muster the troops at Brindol. Guarlla offered to head to Dauth and the other southern towns, and will alert those unfortunates, providing time to flee or take up arms and head to Brindol. We chose to head towards Rhest, to slow Ssarvith or kill it. And perhaps the elves will prove to be valuable allies when the great conflict takes place.

Taking shelter in an abandoned farmhouse for the night, we were attacked by several hobgoblins led by three massive barghests. We had some difficulty penetrating the armour of the hobgoblins, but to their dismay found they shared the same problem. We were able to fell the barghests, even as one devoured a fallen hobgoblin and seemed to grow more powerful before our very eyes.

We also came across a blockade on the road to Rhest, although the hobgoblins and ogres within proved no match for us, as we went over and through the watchtower. In a matter of seconds, we were able to force our way through the barricade, and extracted some information from a relatively intelligent ogre (he did surrender, after all). He mentioned again the spawns of Tiamat, and alluded to other dangers to the North.

Hopefully, we will make it to our destination soon. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we may be the only people capable of effecting enough change to turn the tide of battle.

~ TH

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