The Mountain of Once Men

220 ADE Eighth Moon (Day 9)

After a night of much needed rest our heroes made their way to a cave on the north end of the dwarven capitol. After a little convincing the dwarven guards let them pass. Their journey to the old capitol had begun. Many hours had passed before the group had seen any changes in the tunnel before them. It was slowly getting bigger. After deftly circumventing a few traps they found themselves in a large underground cavern and the way forward collapsed. No bottom of the cave could be seen even with the help of Acer’s light stones. Luckily they found a small ledge to the side and began their climb. A short while later the group came upon a lever based widget with two platforms. Makoa attempted to step on the closest platform and it shot down to the base of the system. After some intense finagling and clever tactics the group used their weight to drive the mechanism forward. After what seemed like forever and a close call or two the group reached another system with only one platform. Also they could see a rock formation further out with a juicy looking treasure chest! Oh Boy! After nearly killing themselves they got close enough to descend to the chest. Alanna and Acer being the lightest of the group ( and with greatest track record in such matters) attended to the treasure. With each attempt to disable the trap the formation began to fall. Luckily the rope they descended upon was attached to the chest, otherwise they’d have a severe case of the dead. After looting the chest the group continued forward acrossed the chasm. Finally reaching the other side a great door appeared before them. Once opened a supernatural fog surrounded the group. Unable to see anything Acer cast a spell to give them some distance between themselves and the fog which revealed a rickety old bridge before them. After some close calls due to over zealous acrobatics. the group reached the other side. Unscathed by creatures that appeared in the fog. They did not attack, which was quite odd to our heroes. The end is in sight! An exit to the cave was found ahead covered in snow. A blizzard raged outside! The group found this to be a good place to rest for the night. Having not slept through the entire ordeal the dwarven cave forced upon them. Strange sounds perturbed our heroes through the night but their rest otherwise went undisturbed. This is where our story continues…

220 ADE Seventh Moon (Day 8)

We rejoin our heroes in the underground path to Eastwatch. We have a burnt human and a long way to go! The group continued forward till the reached a giant steel doorway. After Allana disabled the traps protecting the Dwarven stronghold the group cautiously moved forward. After narrowly dodging stairwell traps and an empty armory (curious) the adventurers came upon a doorway and the sound of a ferocious battle. Suddenly silence… Creeping through the door into the dwarven barracks a grisly scene lay before them. A dozen dead heavily armed dwarves and a figure covered in their blood. Arth nearly took out their foe silently but there was something supernatural protecting it. A terrible battle took place leaving the group with more questions than answers. Identified as a blood golem the party wondered what it was doing there. Continuing forward the heroes reached the entrance to the forward bulwarks of the dwarven city. Seeing the ferocious battle taking place Falgrim knew they would need protection if they were to reach the dwarven throne room to confront his sister. Sounding the dwarven war horn of his family. A few dwarves recognized the sound and rushed to his aide. Safely escorting the party out of the battle zone and into the keep. Betrayal! The group was surrounded by the dwarven home guard. They did not believe Falgrim was who he said he was. (probably due to the blonde hair) But luckily Falgrims mentor and leader of the remaining dwarven forces recognized him and they embraced. In a warm, totally no homo, man squeeze. After catching up on what had occurred in the dwarven capital the group made it’s way to the royal burial chamber to visit Falgrim’s father and sister. After obtaining some cool stuff from the desecration of their final resting place a secret stairwell was found. A cursed and lonely boy. After many years of lonely forced seclusion in a stick… had finally found friends… until Acer exorcised him and banished him to the nether realms to forever be tortured by the demons of the Forbidding… or maybe we will see him again. Who knows? Finally before heading to the old Dwarven capital our heroes restocked on supplies and gear. Our lovely lynx companion final found some armor. And a whole new adventure lies ahead. What will happen next?

220 ADE 7th Moon (day 7)

We rejoin our heroes in the crypt of The Orc Chieftains. They have prepared to leave with Makoa’s father on a makeshift stretcher when they came upon a door they had not opened. Whether it was curiosity or greed or both the drove them forward we don’t know. but through the door they went. After barely solving a jar puzzle with their life they came upon an elevator that led in a blackness below. After much debate Alanna and Acer were the ones to explore below. A dark pit of dead orc bodies. Fresh. Curious. A crypt puzzle solved. A new friend suspiciously talking to no one. A dead seeker?What treasures does the bag hold? It’ll have to wait because holy crap there are a lot of undead orcs surrounding everyone. After spending quite a bit of time trying to determine if Makoa could control the undead or not (still up for debate) The party made their way back to the Fireforge! The visited Makoa’s mentor. A shaman that had lost his marbles. He vowed to help Makoa’s father recover and slipped a drawing into Makoa’s pocket. What was it? The artistic styles of a three year old! Or a young Jackson Pollock! Who knows! The party began to head north to the Great Dwarven City of Eastwatch, but was forced to retire early due to inclement weather. Arth sneaks off to talk with a friend? Question mark? He barely gets away with it! Morning comes and low and behold Eastwatch has come under siege by the Human army! They must circumvent the army and use a secret passage only known by the Royal Family…and the enemy! After a battle that will leave Arth with trust issues forever we continue!

220 ADE 6th Moon (Day 6)

After resting and restocking supplies at the Orc fortress our heroes made their way into a deadly and unnatural swampland that stood between them and the tomb of Orc chieftains. As they pressed forward it became quite clear that they were being watched. Deep in the fog figures danced around them. A quick glance here and there was all our heroes got of these mysterious figures. It didn’t help that the rot of the swamp was hard to bear. After many hours trudging through the muck our heroes found a large tomb with orc inscriptions. Makao and Acer walked out of the swamp to get a closer look only to fall through a trap door down over a hundred feet into a dark pool of swamp water. While in the process of trying to save their companions the rest of the party was ambushed by more of the men neither alive or dead. Now separated from their companions Makoa and Acer explored the crypt that they found themselves in. They came upon an alter surrounded by trip wires. After easing around the wires Makoa Placed a skull on top as an offering. This action had the unfortunate side effect of summoning a dead orc chieftain. After the deadly encounter Makoa claimed the chief’s pretty axe. On the upside Arth was doing a great job of being a punching bag while Falgrim and Alanna sniped their attackers from atop the orc tomb. Upon defeating their foes Alanna found a creepy looking voodoo doll and Arth found an amulet. Falgrim sniffed it out and tried to solve the amulet’s puzzle. This resulted in him being branded by a magic seal and having a vision in which he was attacked by a man with red eyes. (Totally possessed for life dude) After disabling the tomb’s traps by…unconventional means (by throwing corpses in tripwires) The party descended into the tomb. They Then found a door separating them from Mokoa and Acer. With the group now together again they prepared to continue their descent into the tomb. Acer examined the voodoo doll and it sprang to life! It jumped out of her hand and fled under the door heading deeper into the tomb. The crew quickly followed solving a puzzle so simple only an orc could devise it and gaining new tools and weapons to prepare for what lie ahead. In the central chamber they found Makoa’s father holding the doll in his hands. After some vulgar gestures from the doll combat began. The doll put up a worthy defense summoning axes and barriers to defend itself, but the rage of Mokoa proved too much for it and it was decimated. We leave our heroes having rescued Mokoa’s father and him receiving the blessing of fire.

220 ADE 6th Moon (Day 5)

As our heroes fled north the came upon the entrance to the mountains that lead to the Fireforge. ( The Orc homeland) They entered the mountains with Makoa in the lead. Confident he could lead his companions to his home. After many hours of wandering the fog filled maze they came upon a wondering bard. Being wary of humans the were not quick to trust this drunken fool. But after some charismatic humor and puking on Falgrim’s shoes they decided to let the man join them till they reached the Fireforge. As the companions continued surprisingly the fog faded away…This revealed creatures neither living nor dead that quickly attacked our heroes. Our heroes dispatched of these creatures easily and with the aid of their new companion. They were disturbed by what they saw and confused. When our heroes finally made it to the Fireforge they were taken aback by it’s enormous size and prowess. Unfortunately their awe was short-lived for Alanna fell ill to the ground. Luckily a passing orc took her to a shaman for healing. Afterwards our heroes found an inn to rest for the night. The following day they headed east to find Makoa’s teacher. Quickly they found that all was not right with the Firefordge. As the buildings became more dilapidated and the people more sickly they knew something was wrong. With the shaman gone and Mokoa’s father missing the heroes did not know where to go. When they came upon a blacksmith… that after some proper coaxing game them the information they needed, but not necessarily what they wanted to hear. "Mokoa’s father had led the attack by the creatures neither dead nor alive that destroyed 1/3rd of the orc homeland. They continued east to a newly created bulwark defense where the commander told them of a Tomb of the hero Rognack where these fiends seem to be pouring out of….

220 ADE 5th Moon (Day 4)

We rejoin or heroes as the ascend to the top of the druid tower. Face to face with a sleeping rock golem our heroes needed a way around without disturbing it’s slumber. Too bad! They woke it up and it was angry! Luckily the combination of lost druid knowledge and Falgrim’s heritage quieted the beast long enough to slip by. Unfortunately in it’s rage the golem sealed their way out.

With no rest for the weary our adventurers were forced up an endless staircase which increased in temperature like an oven..shrinking… till they could barely move forward. Well, only Makoa had a hard time. Coming upon a pitch black corridor Acer lit a stone with magic to reveal the way which could barely penetrate the dark. Fed up with the delay Makoa ventured into the black. The rest followed shortly.

Once inside the black faded to reveal a library in which seekers (shapeshifters) lie in wait. Combat ensued and the creatures could not be felled by ordinary steel. Magic and Magic infused weapons were to be their undoing. Finding a chest Acer believed it would seal the beasts away but only succeeded in fusing them together to a more powerful form. A giant pitch black dragon… Makoa tried to break the chest to slay the enemy but to no avail. Magic was still the creature’s weakness and fire brought it down. (caused it to explode)

Wounded and weary our heroes climbed the stairs to what would be the final floor of their test. A study filled with alchemist’s materials/ telescopes/ancient books/ and a magic circle carved by druid markings. Once Acer saw the madness through the telescope the runes activated and a shade appeared before them. This shade was Bremen. holding onto the world long enough to give our heroes their charge. Feeling warmth flow from their chests similar to that of their entrance into the tower elemental light flowed through them. ruby fire for Makoa, sapphire blue water for Acer, a gentle emerald breeze for Alanna, and steadfast topaz earth for Falgrim. When the light subsided Bremen was gone.

A giant golden chest reveals itself and inside was a great treasure for each of our heroes. A gold ring with a sapphire stone for Acer, a silver emerald necklace for Alanna, a dwarven mythril gauntlet for Falgrim with a topaz encased on the dorsum, and finally a steel open helmet with a bright red ruby for Makoa.

After some alchemical shenanigans that almost killed Falgrim the party decided to depart the tower and head north to the Fireforge to begin their new task. Unlocking the lost magics of Valorin. Upon exiting the tower our heroes discovered that the Federation seekers were not far behind and fled north out of the forest.

220 ADE 5th Moon ( Day 3)

After a pleasant conversation with the elven commander our heroes decided to rest up in the village. After a good nights rest the inquire to see if there is anything they can do to help in the fight against the federation, but Commander Rose quickly denies their help. The heroes then decided to continue on their journey to the Upper Marche to find Bremen. As they were leaving a young elf boy gave the group horses expedite their travel.

As the group made their way east they continued to have the feeling as if someone was following them. It didn’t make them feel any better that with each passing hour they were getting closer and closer to the stronghold of their enemy. (The Federation outpost) That combined with Falgrim’s mental state continuing to diminish (aka horrific bird/ animal calls) our heroes were on edge.

About a mile out from the outpost our heroes sent animals to scout ahead for danger. Surprisingly it appeared as if the entire area was abandoned. Fearing a trap our heroes decided to give the outpost a wide berth to the south and then continue on their way east to the Upper Marche.

Our party reached the Upper Marche without incident and noticed very strange happenings in the woods. What began as a very beautiful forest began to whither and die as the heroes went deeper into the forest. Noticing something was wrong in the air our heroes prepared for combat. Two assailants appeared in the trees above them bearing a falcon insignia on their arms. (the mark of the seeker) These men were well trained and combat was fierce, but finally our heroes succeeded in dropping one while the other vanished into thin air.

Our heroes cautiously moved forward noticing changes in the woods. trees warped sideways. Air was bending around them. Then finally when they thought they would be sick from the distortion the group came into a clearing with a large obsidian black tower in the center. When our heroes approached the tower great orbs of colored light flew forth from them and shattered the tower’s protective warding.

Once inside the tower our heroes faced many trials… electrifying books, trip wires, poison arrows, trapped chests, R.O.U.S., falling rocks, and trap doors. Most of which ended with Falrgrim getting hurt. Now our heroes stand on the 5th floor of this terrible tower facing a giant sleeping stone golem. What will happen next I wonder?

220 ADE 4th Moon (Day 2 meeting)

We resume with our heroes injured with a gnome raider prisoner deep in the Elven Lowlands. The farming village of Pettel is burning to the south. Our adventurers decide to hold off on the interrogation of the Gnome and go to the aid of the Elves. Upon reaching the outskirts of the village a battle worn elf named Lieutenant Landler warily greeted the group. Upon explaining the situation the group was allowed into the village agreeing to help put out the fires…except for Falgrim. The Elf explicitly forbade him from entering the village, which is just as well for Falgrim had planned on interrogating the prisoner in private….wink wink.

During the process of aiding the elven survivors Alanna, Makoa, and Acer discover that the federation was behind the attack on Pattel/ had stolen an elven artifact of great importance to the elven royal family. (or did they? dum dum dum!!!) They also discovered that the last remnants of the elven army were fighting the federation to the south in Twilight Vale. Meanwhile in a rather unorthodox fashion (eye gouging by bird, gluing fingernails, and other bazaar methods) Falgrim interrogated the prisoner. He discovered that the gnome raiders were hired by a seeker of the federation to capture our heroes. Shortly after discovering this information the gnome bit into a poison pill and kicked the bucket.

After restocking their supplies our heroes decided to head south to Twilight Vale to inform the elven commander that his people’s most valuable treasure has been…misplaced. Our heroes crossed the Ruune River undisturbed but the smell of rotting corpses that rose from the river and the sound of battle was heard coming from the forest surrounding Twilight Vale. Cautiously our heroes made their way into the forest determined to find the elven commander, but instead they were ambushed by the Federation army led by a seemingly crazed man in seeker garb. Due to supernatural or magical causes our party was overcome by sleep and poison.

Waking up in a dungeon our party “escaped?” with the assistance of the seeker’s brother only to be led from corridor to corridor by his voice. Running out of time due to rising water levels in this dungeon of traps and trickery our party discovered they themselves were completely enveloped in an illusion. They stopped playing the voice’s game and awoke to find themselves in the same location where they were ambushed with no sign of the soldiers who attacked them.

Searching around they notice a door in the woods that wasn’t there before. Ace went to check if it was an illusion like everything else but it opened! Through the door was Twilight Vale and the elven army. Walking through the door the group attracted the attention of townspeople and soldier alike. Taken aback by our heroes’ entrance into the village General Rose questioned the group. After earning his trust General Rose revealed that only an elf instructed by the royal family can access the treasury and retrieve the artifact. Curiouser and curiouser. To be continued….

220 ADE 4th Moon (Day One Summary)

After months of horrific dreams plaguing their sleep our heroes made their way to Tyrsis. Some to discover whether there is truth in them, and some just to stop the visions of madness.

Upon their arrival at the “Flying Donfish” tavern and after a not so friendly encounter with some locals… our heroes discovered that it is quite possibly the last Druid Bremen who has been sending them these dreams. With only his last known location as a guide our ragtag group of heroes left the tavern behind. (quite quickly I might add) But then again if I had killed thugs in the middle of the street in plain sight and angered a Federation officer I would leave rather quickly too.

Nursing injuries and low on supplies our heroes took a slight detour north to the Gnome Camp to resupply before their long journey to the Upper Marche. During this detour our Heroes learned the value of water and that a half-orc can’t fit into any Gnome buildings. Sad face.

Our heroes decided that the short route to their destination, laden with dangerous swamps, a federation controled dwarf capitol, and the Kree was not the smartest route and elected to circumvent Lake Pyra to the west and south to reach their destination.

Well things are never quite as easy as you plan… on their quiet trek through the Elven lowlands our heroes engaged in battle with a group of gnome raiders after their lives. Bloodied and exhausted our heroes prevailed and have a unconscious gnome to interrogate…. to be continued( two words… “water boarding”)

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