War of the Gods

A Duel

The heroes set off to the west in search of the Broken Fang orcs. After awhile, they came across a small group of orcs wearing the insignia of the Broken Fangs. Basajuan demanded to see the tribe’s leader, but a tough-talking orc challenged the ranger to a duel, rather than give in to his demands. Basajuan accepted, and he was taking the tough-talker to task when one of his friends intervened with a throwing axe.

With the treachery having been committed, the rest of the orcs and heroes charged into the fray. It was then that the heroes noticed some of the orcs had eyes than gleamed with purple fire. When the orcs attacked, the fire seemed to leap from their eyes onto the blades of their weapons.

The heroes were looking to make short work of the Broken Fangs, but one of the orcs sounded a horn and the orc forces were bolstered by a quartet of warriors mounted on dire boars. After a vicous battle in which Juliand and Brigitte prevented the boar-riders from breaking through to the back ranks, the heroes managed to kill the orcs, at which point the boars became docile. Basajuan used his knowledge of nature to gain dominance over one of the boars, and presented the animal to Umsh. The goblin and the boar seemed to become fast friends.

At that point, Coren came up with a plan. He had to reveal his true identity as a changling to the rest of the group, which he did by morphing into an orc. He asked Basajuan to tame a boar for him, and revealed his plan of transporting the group as prisoners to the leader of the Broken Fangs.

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Making a Deal

Doxth came lumbering out of his lair to meet the heroes. What the orcs hadn’t previously mentioned was the fact that Doxth was a green dragon. Doxth explained to the heroes that he controls the Greenrock orcs, and that he had been robbed by a rival tribe, the Broken Fang orcs. The Broken Fangs stole an amulet from Doxth; a tooth said to have come from the jaws of Tiamat. The tooth glows as if engulfed in purple fire, and is said to enhance the arcane capabilites of any evil aligned creature who possesses it. Doxth claimed to have possession of the Bloodvein Hammer, and agreed to turn it over to the heroes if they recovered his amulet.

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Into the Mountains

The heroes started up the pass into the Flat Top Mountains. While winding their way through the narrow pass, they came upon a patrol of orcs from the Greenrock tribe. The heroes lured some of the orcs into combat, but the other orcs fled to raise an alarm. the heroes gave chase and managed to catch up to all but one of the orcs, though Juliand took a rather embarrassing tumble along the way.

Now that their presence had been detected, the heroes were unsurprised when they came across another group of orcs in a clearing. The head of the group introduced himself as Captain Worgfang, and explained that anyone trespassing in Greenrock territory was to be taken before Doxth, the tribe leader. The heroes agreed to speak with Doxth, as they were hoping to discover the location of the Bloodvein Hammer. Worgfang led the heroes to a shaded clearing where four pillars surrounded a still pool of water. Across the pool was the entryway into a large cave, presumably the home of Doxth.

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Researching the Jade

After the evil Zoltan had been defeated, the heroes spent some time trying to figure out a way to destroy the Undying Jade. Their attempts to touch the gem had disastrous effects, but Basajuan was able to slide a bag over the gem without placing his hands on the Jade. The heroes secured the Undying Jade in their Bag of Holding and proceeded to explore the temple. Thanks to Juliand’s thorough search and Coren’s communication with the Raven Queen, the heroes found a secret door leading to Evard the Enlightened’s secret library.

In the library, the heroes discovered the origins of the Undying Jade, and learned that it could be destroyed only by the Bloodvein Hammer, rumored to be in the possession of a tribe of orcs in the Flat Top Mountains.

The heroes also learned about the Champion of Light, Halthor Hanson, who defeated the armies of the evil gods 1,000 years ago. The Champion was given sacred artifacts by the gods of light. Kord granted the Champion a set of Adamantine Gauntlets, which was entrusted to the Southern Empire after the War of the Gods. Bahamut granted the Champion a helm, the Draconic Visage, which was entrusted to the Northern Empire. Pelor granted the Champion a staff, the Staff of Glorious Radiance, which was entrusted to the Eastern Empire. The Sacred Book of Ioun contained the knowledge necessary to properly wield the power of the artifacts. The Book had been entrusted to the Western Empire, but the heroes discovered the book in Evard’s Library.

On the way out of the temple, the heroes found a small crystal ball just like the ones Tea’Una the Witch and Tiryth had possessed. After much debate, the heores decided not to try to use the orb. They tucked it into the Bag of Holding for safe keeping.

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Zoltan

The heroes secured the doors in the temple antechamber and proceeded into the main chamber. The room had a ditch running through the middle and a raised platform opposite the entrance. The Undying Jade sat on an altar at the top of the platform.

Of course, between the heroes and the Jade were a retinue of skeletal soldiers and a decrepit corpse who refered to himself as Zoltan, servant of the Blood Prince. Zoltan told the heroes that he was possessing the body of Evard the Enlightened, but the body has wasted away over time. He offered the heroes the chance to leave in peace, if they will leave one of their party behind to sacrifice their body to Zoltan.

Of course, the heroes disagreed and Zoltan’s undead army attacked them. The heroes managed to thin the ranks of soldiers and Zoltan was forced to enter the fray. Brigitte was ready; she flung the undead mage into the pit and leapt upon him, landing a vicious blow.

The battle was long, but the heroes won the day and now seek to destroy the Undying Jade, to end its corrupting influence.

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Evard's Temple

Dugan Stonewarden has explained to the heroes that he located a secret temple in the mine, and asked them to retreive his enchanted plate armor. The heroes re-entered the mine after a night’s rest and found the hidden temple.

Azul recognized the markings on the temple doors as belonging to the god, Ioun. He realized that the temple was a long lost trove of knowledge belonging to Evard the Enlightened, a wizard and follower of Ioun who lived almost 200 years ago.

The heroes breached the temple and came upon a trio of dwarven skeletons in plate armor being picked over by flesh-eating bugs. Lured by the possibility of fresh meat, the bugs came after the heroes. As the group moved to engage the bugs, the skeletons reanimated and attacked as well.

After dispatching the creatures, the heroes discovered that one of the dwarven skeletons wore Dugan’s Screaming Plate Armor, a suit of armor adorned with intricate engravings of screaming faces.

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Rescuing Dugan

The heroes faced off against a group of zombies led by a giant mutant abomination holding a glowing bastard sword. The heroes fought bravely and overwhelmed the giant zombie. However, as they turned to face a few other zombies closing from behind, the abomination reanimated and strode back into the fray.

The heroes defeated the abomination…again. This time, Brigitte decided to take no chances. She drove her sword through the creature’s chest, and took the abomination’s enchanted bastard sword for herself.

With another victory under their belts, the heroes left the mine and reunited Dugan with his brother. The heroes were rewarded with a Frost Rapier.

Azul spent some time doing research on the gem troubling the mine. He determined that the gem in question is the Undying Jade, an artifact created a thousand years ago to bolster the ranks of the evil gods with an undead army.

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Dugan Stonewarden

The heroes moved through a winding passage, trying to locate the person who had called for aid. As they proceeded, they heard an odd rumbling ahead, and were dismayed to find a large boulder rolling down the corridor towards them. Brigitte and Kaylana were hit by the boulder, which rolled right over them. The rest of the party managed to keep ahead of the boulder, but soon found that the rock had blocked them from proceeding towards the increasingly desperate cries for aid.

Adding to the indignity of being run down by a boulder, the two women had to retrace their steps and move the boulder out of the way so the rest of the party could join them.

At the end of the passageway, the heroes found a dwarf being tormented by a pair of wraiths. The party immediately attacked the wraiths, but eventually realized their attacks were having no effect. The party realized that the wraiths were only an illusion, and at that point the spectral figures disappeared.

the terrorized dwarf introduced himself as Dugan Stonewarden, head of the Miner’s Union and brother of Council Chief Duncan. Dugan told the party he and his men had discovered a long hidden temple at the end of one of the mine’s side passages, but they had been waylaid by undead and Dugan was knocked unconscious. Dugan asked the heroe’s to explore the temple and recover his enchanted armor, which is engraved with holy symbols of Moradin.

The heroes needed a rest, so they decided to escort Dugan out of the mine, and then re-enter to explore the hidden temple. However, as the heroes approached the exit, they found their way blocked by yet another group of zombies…

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The Willow's End Mine

The heroes headed into the darkness of the mineshaft. Tossing a sunrod ahead of themselves to illuminate the path, they encountered a group of zombies. Aided by a Flaming Sphere summoned by the wizard, Azul, the party easily dispatched the zombies.

As the heroes took a brief rest after the battle, they felt a malevolent presence invading their minds. The heroes fought bravely against the madness rising in their heads, and they pressed on into the mines. After dispatching some more undead creatures, the heroes heard a cry for help coming from a side passage. They set off along the detour in a valiant attempt to reap a reward… and perhaps to save a life.

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Meeting Rianna

The heroes met up with a few like-minded adventurers and set out to determine the cause of the sickness that originated in the mine. As the heroes set off through the city, they came across Rianna, a young woman screaming about a dark man with red eyes and a flaming sword who appears before her every night and tries to kill her. Questioning the locals, the heroes learned that Rianna has been screaming about the dark man for seven years, ever since her mother died.

Basajuan tried to speak with Rianna about the dark man, and learned that he appears before Rianna in her dreams. Rianna also claims the dark man murdered her mother, despite the lack of wounds on her mother’s corpse. Unfortunately for Basajuan, Rianna crazed statement were not very helpful, and the heroes decided to head into the Willow’s End Mine.

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