Eschaton

Well of Demons - part 3
The horror.....The horror.....

Continuing through the next few empty rooms the group met the ghost of Sir Terris a paladin of Pelor. He explained that there were 3 other areas connected from this central area, the Proving Grounds. Each of the other rooms contains 1 of the remaining items needed to complete the ceremony required to open the Inner Sanctum. Completing the ceremony would open the door but would also call out The Guardian. He would not say much about the Guardian other than it had been responsible for his own death.

The team decided to first search the West room and pushed open the double doors to reveal a horrific nightmare. 20’ tall brass minotaur statues stood at the near and far ends of the room. The group stood on a small platform in the northeast corner with a matching platform in the southeast both raised 5’ above a swirling pool of blood. A narrow walkway split the room from north to south and on the opposite side were 2 low platforms (1 in the north and the other in the south) each containing 1 half of a dagger. Thoradin noticed dark shapes moving under the surface of liquid and everyone decided it was not good for anyone to go into the blood pool. A plan was hatched to have Shorndorr attach a grappling hook to one of the statues and try to leap over the pool to establish a sort of zip line to keep everyone dry. As soon as he stepped onto the narrow middle ledge, the statues animated and began swinging their scourges across the room. Shorndorr had one end of the ‘zip’ line attached to his belt and in what felt like slow motion realized the path of the scourge was going to entangle in his rope and fling him at best into the pool and worst into a wall. The rope slowly went taught and he was able to pull himself under the swing of the scourge and brace against the stone steps to keep from being thrown. Upon falling up to his neck into the blood though, the Evistros lurking were suddenly aware of his presence and more importantly his warm flesh. Before they could move to attack him, Onder in a moment of bravery (or insanity) leaped into the pool and sprinted across to cut the rope free. Saving his companion but making himself a blood drenched target. Thoradin jumped across to try to disable the statue but only succeeded in denting the base. The Evistros swirled in to attack but Shorndorr and Onder pushed past making a dash each for 1 of the blade parts. Onder had to use his short range teleport ability to escape the initial rush and made his way to the platform. With a running start, Shorndorr hurdled the gap and retrieved his half of the item. Now that both pieces were off of their base, the brass statues began whirling their scourges at twice the speed. Wyger was caught trying to cross to the middle and battered badly by the statues. The Evistros sensing his weakened state moved in for the kill but Onder rushed back to administer aid putting him back on his feet to try to escape. Meanwhile, Shorndorr was cornered by 2 of the demons and knocked out. Thoradin, finally giving up on the statue controls hurled himself into the pool to heal his friend. Arriving just in time to perk Shorndorr up but drawing the demons to attack him next. The group struggled back out to the east side pool taking a savage beating from both the statues’ scourges and the demons claws and bites. Shorndorr made it to the northeast platform but the rest of party was in the south so he tried to leap across the platforms to help. His bloody boots caused him to slip though and he was back in the pool. The poisonous effects of the liquid began to take a toll and soon Thoradin was knocked out and starting to sink. Onder rushed again to render aid and perked him up enough to get him to move onto the southeastern platform. Wyger took one final blow as he climbed away and nearly collapsed escaping down the hall with Onder and Shorndorr right behind. As they staggered away, they realized the dwarf had again passed out from the poison. Shorndorr hurried back to the rescue but was himself knocked out by the statue’s scourge. Onder and Wyger dragged the 2 nearly lifeless bodies back into the hallway to complete their escape. The party collapsed in the hallway covered in several types of blood (much of it their own) and decided to call it day and make camp to recover.

View
Well of Demons - part 2
Trust me, I'm a Tiefling

After clearing out the gnolls and taking a short rest the party continued on to the south. There they found a long hallway with 2 closed rooms and a open chamber. Wyger sneaked down the hall and in the open area found 2 tiefling brothers discussing ‘how to get what [they] needed from this fool’. Returning to tell his companions what he found launched Shorndorr and Thoradin into a argument which grew progressively louder and louder. Thoradin wanted to talk with the tieflings to see if their interests were aligned while Shorndorr could only think of how quickly to kill them. The loud exchange brought the gnoll demonic scourge from her room, immediately attacking the party. The tieflings came to the end of the hall to observe the fight but made no move to help. The gnoll began some sort of menacing chant and before anyone could act a Barlgura was summoned from the other closed room. The fight was brief but violent and the tieflings joined toward the end, helping to finish off the Barlgura. When the dust had settled the tiefling brothers informed the group that they also were adventurers who had ‘come in through the other entrance’ seeking fortune and glory. The group was torn about what to do so Wyger went off to search the gnolls room while Thoradin and Shorndorr were invited to go sit down and decide for the party whether to ally with the tieflings. Wyger uncovered a large pile of gold and jewels and a horned helmet for Shorndorr. The brothers ducked into the Barlgura’s room but quickly re-emerged explaining that they would prefer to continue on alone and left. About 5 seconds later the team looked at each other and realized they had not searched the Balgura room and the tieflings were suspiciously quick to leave. The chase was on. The party was able to track the brothers despite several double backs to the area near the hyena pens. Thoradin again tried to negotiate but Shorndorr was no longer willing to talk, leaping across 2 tables to crush one of the tieflings with a huge blow. Both tieflings whipped their capes around theatrically and disappeared. Shorndorr then blew a lighting blast that vaporized sevarl chairs hoping to see their outlines but they remained hidden. Thoradin scooped a handful of chair ash and tossed it in the air to try to outline them, to no effect. Eventually they re-appeared at the back of the room shoving the startled drake out of the way to clear a path to make a run back down the hall. One managed to get down the hall but the other was pinned against the wall and dispatched. Shorndorr did that cool chair walk over move (step to the chair back and tilt it down like an escalator) and charged the remaining tiefling, holding him up for Wyger to finish off. The brothers had the Book of Wrath Unveiled tucked into a backpack. 1 item down, 3 to go.

View
Well of Demons - part 1
Into the breach dear friends

The team finally discovered the entrance to the Well of Demons and were greeted by a Minotaur statue telling them:

_ Greetings, seekers of Baphomet’s boundless glory.

Those who prove unworthy of his attention

Shall be claimed forever as his slaves.

Those who prove worthy

Shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning.

Mask, bell, blade, and tome_

The moment the magic Minotaur mouth stopped talking (and coughing dust) the other residents of the foyer attacked. 2 creepy crawlers living in the ceiling used their long tentacle graspers to entangle the team while an opportunistic ghoul came around from the side hoping to have a little brain flavored snack. In addition to these horrors, up from a long dry well emerged a burrowing tentacled monster poking up 2 sets of attacking arms through the ground. The party effectively dealt with the monsters and moved off down the hall.

The next room held a group of Gnoll archers using a captured Dire Boar for target practice. The Boar was kept in a makeshift pen and harassed by a small pack of hyenas. The hyenas immediately attacked, attempting to block the entrance to the room so the archers behind could fire. Shorndorr rushed recklessly through hyena pack taking several bites on the way, with Thoradin hard on his heels. Shorndorr then leapt up to the barrier of hay bales screaming his soon-to-be-famous battle cry “Don’t be a coward….Fight ME!!!”. The 4 Gnolls responded by simultaneously swinging a hand axe and firing 3 longbows from point blank range all of which hit and dealt enough damage to finish a lesser hero. The Gnolls all exchanged a look seeming to think ‘um, we are in trouble’. Thoradin chopped at a hyena and shouted a prayer to Bahamut which energized Shorndorr and carnage ensued. While Thoradin, Shorndoor and Wyger were dealing with the gnolls, Onder and the drake were stuck further behind dealing with the hyenas. The drake, cut off from Shorndorr ran off down a hall leaving Onder alone against the final hyena. The Benny Hill theme music began to play as Onder and the hyena played tag round and round the boar’s cage.

After the battle, Thoradin successfully calmed the boar while healing it and was content to follow Thoradin after that. Shorndorr led the party to track the drake and found another group of gnolls and hyenas that were quickly dispatched. A search of the hyena’s pen revealed a cloak that turned Thoradin into a super-healing machine.

View
Clean Up
Now if only we a wheelbarrow, that would be something

After defeating Murkelmor and taking a short rest the party went back to examine the last bridge across the Horned Hold. As they peeked through the gate they saw a shabby looking one-armed Dragonborn hauling a wheelbarrow with a body in it. Just before tipping it over the edge, Shorndorr noticed it was Rendil in the wheelbarrow. The team confronted the wheelbarrow-er and found out he was also a captive and that there were more duergar just across the bridge.

The party rushed through door and engaged the bad guys. More came in from the back hall, one with a very young drake on a leash. The dwarf holding the drake had no control over him and he was soon off the leash. The drake was red w/ a gold belly and immediately gravitated toward Shorndorr eventually cowering behind him and fighting at his side. The dwarf champion leading the group was tough and after suffering a few wounds grew from a normal sized dwarf into a giant. Despite his size, he was eventually defeated and the party journeyed back to the Halfmoon Inn with their new drake pet in tow, delivering Rendil’s body back to his mother. Rendil was eventually delivered to Phaledra to be resurrected and his mother insisted the group keep his sword in gratitude for bringing him home (and to discourage him from acting on any more bad ideas).

After resting a few days the group was delivered a note that there was someone in the ‘evil organization’ that could help the group and they should meet. Instead of help they were ambushed in a cave by 2 tieflings and a huge bronze warder. The Warder rolled a huge boulder in front of the cave entrance initially trapping Shorndorr and Thoradin inside leaving Wyger and Onder pressed against the cave wall. The slow moving Bronze giant was a dangerous opponent but was eventually defeated along with the tieflings. Among their possessions the group found notes tying about the Blackfang Gnolls in the Well of Demons to Paldemar.

Informing Oronotor of this connection, the mage urged them to find Paldemar as soon as possible and promised to reward them well. The party next delivered the skull scepter back to Gendar and found that Terrlen would be the best guide to reach the Well of Demons. Terrlen turned out to be a good guide but a bad companion, turning into a werewolf and attacking the party as they approached the Well of Demons.

View
The Story so Far -- Part II
and but so

Travel to Fallcrest, drop off Rod of Ruin w/ Bahamut Clerics, Douven getting worse, met w/ Shorndorr’s old boss and sold Burning Gauntlets for some 1/2ling leather +1.

Off to Thunderspire to confront Bloodreavers and deliver Valthrun’s payment

Rescued Rendil from Hobgoblin Bloodreavers, he claims to be the unofficial mayor of the Seven Pillared Hall.

Met with Orontor one of the mages of Saarun, he was concerned about one of the order named Paldemar. Paldemar hasn’t been seen for weeks and rumors about him are concerning. Says he’ll make it worth their while if they can find out what he is doing and report back.

Gendar – Magical Curios takes Valthrun’s case as payment of a debt. Tried hard to run some fake dice on Wyger but Wyger ran it back on him and ended in a draw. Asked the team to be on the lookout for a skull headed staff for which he would pay 300 gp.

Rendil gave some info that the Bloodreavers might be in Chamber of Eyes and provided directions.

Tried sneaking up the balcony but made a loud crash, negotiated the door opened and then threw down w/ the hobgoblins and a bugbear.

First meeting w/ durergar and their fiery beards. Wyger threw one in the fire, prompting duergar laughter. Once the battle turned bad for them the grey dwarves began to scream for :

KRAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDD

Krand and his guards were eventually put down and the team found clues linking the slave trade to the Grimmerzhul dwarves in the Horned Hold.

Moved on to the slave holding pen (recently empty) and took on archers and a dire wolf. Shorndorr made a super-awesome jump down from the balcony to crush 1 guy and Thoradin jumped on the back of a huge dire wolf, smashing with 1 hand and trying to reign him in with the other. Crushing helped but reigning did not. Onder finished the wolf off as he ran away w/ the dwarf. A little more cleanup and then found a note asking for more provisions for the new captives.

Grimmerzhul Dwarves – Shorndorr walked in and tried to run a game of selling ‘captive’ Thoradin to the slavers. They seemed to recognize his family name and believed the ruse to the point of disarming Thoradin and starting to lead him away. Not liking how things were heading, Onder snapped off a magic missile at the big girl running the show and the battle went down in the mining office. They found a pathway to the Horned Hold and eventually a portcullis guarding the entrance. They tried to run a fake wagon to trick the guards, but became impatient and fought it out with the orc guards. Further into the hold were a powerful duergar Blacksmith, guards, and scouts. The scouts with the invisibility bit were particularly tough. One nearly escaped (a theme) but got cut down before he got far. Unlocked the bridge door and snuck over to a ruined room and then kicked in the door to a barracks and smote the grey dwarves they found there. The next room had more bad guys and some Arbalesters (clockwork crossbow automatons). Wyger got bored during the next phase of discussions of where to go next and snuck into a room containing a big Ogre and some mean orcs and though he hit super hard on the sleeping Ogre, the team had to work to finish off the Ogre and orcs to get Wyger out of trouble. Back around to a ruined Baphomet chapel and took on some wights. The wights hit hard and drained life-force enough from Thoradin that they briefly took over his brain and made him attack Shorndorr, who later got zapped too and returned the favor on Thoradin. They next found a back way into the main chamber where the captives were held. Big throwdown with flying spiney tailed devils raining down fire. Wyger cleverly poked a dwarf into the pool and then finished him off as he climbed out. Bigby’s Icy hand was very effective in preventing the spellcasting leader from doing much damage.

After freeing the prisoners and instructing them to return to the Halfmoon Inn, the guys discovered a secret door leading to a fireplace grate and saw more grey dwarves inside. Taking down the Grimmerzhul was a long and bloody fight. Wyger harried TheUrge and backed him into a bathtub finally erasing his map. The leader Murkelmor was nearly impossible to hit and the party spent a ton of effort finally wiping her out.

View
The Story So Far - Part 1
and but so

Realms, both wondrous and dire, border the world. One such realm is the Shadowfell. Although not inherently evil, the Shadowfell is fraught with dangers, and the barrier between worlds can be thin. Sometimes the darkness breaks into the light. Nearly two hundred years ago, a cult of the demon prince Orcus purposely created such a gap, connecting one of Orcus’s unholy Shadowfell sites to the world. Skeletons, zombies, and fouler creatures flooded through the rift into the light of day. The empire of Nerath dispatched legionnaires to eliminate the threat. The empire’s soldiers destroyed the undead, sealed the opening, and built a keep to watch over the location and contain the threat. This is the site known as the Keep on the Shadowfell. Decades of peace followed, and the village of Winterhaven arose within sight of the keep. Eventually, the great fort fell into ruins and its grand purpose forgotten. Today,it is seen as a harmless tumble of stone and wood. If only that were true.

Our story begins with Onder Sherpzinnig, a student of magic in Fallcrest. His mentor and teacher Douven Gately left unexpectedly for Winterhaven to go exploring and after a few weeks seemed to disappear. Onder recruited Thoradin, a Dwarf cleric of Bahamut, Wyger a sneaky type halfling he met at the dice table and the Dragonborn warrior, Shorndorr to help accompany him to Winterhaven to check on his teacher

The company was first tested when they were ambushed on the way to Winterhaven by raiding kobolds out to capture travelers for slaves. After arriving in town, the company met Ernest Padraig, Governor of the area around Winterhaven. Padraig employed the party to check out the Keep on the Shadowfell and then later to try to put and end to the Bloodreaver slaver activity around Winterhaven. Speaking with Valthrun and Sister Linora they learned something about the history of the Keep and set out to investigate the burial site where Douven had last been seen. Arriving there they found and defeated a group of slavers who had kidnapped Douven and taken the Samizdat Mirror for delivery to Kalarel.

The party took Douven back to Winterhaven and found a small army of zombies walking toward the town from the local graveyard. Several more zombie attacks had Padraig urging them to investigate the graveyard.

At the graveyard they found Ninarin who had been tasked with stopping the party from disturbing Kalarel’s work. She had been given a power symbol to raise the dead from the cemetery to attack the town and distract the adventurers. Fighting the undead was very tough and even with Thoradin’s abilities against zombies, the team was hurting badly. Eventually Onder made a run through the zombies and graveyard hounds to disrupt the power symbol shutting down the powering animating the undead and allowing Shorndorr to trap the elf in one of the crypts, forcing her to surrender. She was delivered to Padraig and eventually gave up the location and time she was to have met with Irontooth the hobgoblin leading the nearby band of Bloodreavers. She also carried a note from Kalarel that he only needed a few days more to complete his work.

Padraig begged the party to deal with the Bloodreavers first, believing the greater threat was posed by the slavers than from the Keep. The party found Irontooth’s hideout and battled through the lookouts before awesomely/dramatically/cinematically busting through the waterfall entrance to the cave and wiping out Irontooth and his lackeys. Onder used the battle to first demonstrate a particular spell the team referred to as the fiery ball of awesomeness to wipe out many of the low level minions and press Irontooth and his lieutenants toward Shorndorr and Thoradin. There were no captives present and the team returned to Winterhaven to rest.

After a brief overnight stay, the party headed for the Keep and began working their way through the first level of the ruined keep. Shorndorr fell into a pit of rats in the first room but cleared it quickly after that. Next they found a secret passage leading to the captain of the goblins living on this level and rather than killing him outright captured him and got what turned out to be a false password to the lower levels. The ruckus brought guards to investigate and a fight broke out that eventually caused 2 rooms to catch completely on fire. The southeast section was an a series of unfinished tunnels where the party fought more rats, kruthicks and finally encountered a particularly powerful blue slime in an underground cistern. The slime had been part of a failed attempt to kill Kalarel by the Bloodreavers who were not happy with their ongoing business agreements regarding slaves. They next explored the southwest area and encountered a series of floor runes that acted like alarms for the zombie rotters congregating nearby. Failing to hurdle the runes a few times caused panic and mayhem but the area was eventually cleared of undead. Continuing down they encountered a chapel guarded by crypts full of skeletons that continuously disgorged new enemies until the party had moved through the area completely. The chapel was dedicated to Bahamut and Thoradin and Shorndorr were singled out for special favors and a secret door was opened revealing Bahamut icon necklaces. Just beyond the crypt was the tomb of Sir Keegan, the last paladin responsible for guarding the Shadowfell Rift who had been driven insane by the proximity to the rift and eventually destroyed most of the people and the Keep itself in a fit of rage. His cursed spirit was finally put to rest when he found someone willing to atone for his actions and fight the evil he had fallen to. He gave Shorndorr a magical Greatsword of Light and reminded Thoradin to call on Bahamut for protection when they were near the rift. Continuing through the first level they encountered Rolf, an elf being held by a group of goblins. The elf quickly joined the party in attacking his captors. He eventually admitted he was a mercenary working with Ninarin but that he would help the party if they would give him weapons. After lengthy debate in the party they armed him and he helped in a few battles before betraying the team and escaping during a large fight that did not look promising.

Before proceeding to the lower level the team returned to Winterhaven to rest and inform Padraig about what was happening. Bairwin who had been harassing them throughout their stay became increasingly belligerent as the party described all they had been through. Wyger decided to follow him home to see what he could learn and snuck in the back of the house while Thoradin and Shorndorr tried to distract him at the front door. Though nimble and sly, Wyger loudly tripped on a chair alerting Bairwin. Bairwin immediately fled to a secret door behind his fireplace revealing a hidden temple of Orcus in the basement. After defeating the cultists, the party reported to Padraig and Linora all that had happened and everyone agreed the group should return to the keep as soon as possible.

The team initially found the entrance to the lower level guarded and in fact they arrived just as the full garrison of hobgoblins were fighting their pet deathjump spider against one of the slaves they had captured who had become sick and would not be sold. Retreating the group found a secret room with a magic puzzle and solved it to receive ancient magic armor. The lower level was full of much tougher guards and they also had to defeat a gelatinous cube that filled an entire hallway and threatened to devour Wyger in acid. Approaching the doors to the rift they had to fight through a room of traps including dragon statues that shot fireballs at anyone approaching as well as a 30’ tall statue that swung a huge sword severely damaging Shorndorr as he tried to disable it, Thoradin meanwhile just ducked. Onder was trapped in a magic square that began to fill with water as he frantically blasted the posts holding it up. Eventually they stumbled into a room full of zombified versions of creatures they had battled on the upper floor the day before and had to wade through them all again. There were 2 final rooms, 1 with priest of orcus being attended by a swarm of vampire and a berserk cult warrior. Climbing down bload soaked chains to the rift chamber itself they found Kalareal and his personal guard of undead. Thoradin and Shorndorr wiped out the underlings with area attacks and Wyger (bravely or insanely?) went right after Kalarel. As he began to weaken, Kalarel teleported to the power circle directly in front of the rift where one of the Shadowfell demons was already beginning to push through the portal. The longer Kalarel stayed in the circle the stronger he became and the party had a tough time pushing him off without getting too close themselves. Shorndorr was knocked down several times and Wyger was very nearly pulled into the portal. At several key moments the Bahamut amulets the party all wore gave them extra power and in the end Shorndorr was able to use Sir Keegan’s sword to knock Kalarel into the portal itself where he is presumed to have died. The group then attempted to use the ritural book Kalarel had been using to close instead of opening the rift. They very nearly failed but in the end got the formula right and the rift was finally sealed for good. Among the treasure was Orcus’ Rod of Ruin which the Kalarel had used to create the power circle for opening the rift. As the party returned to Winterhaven the Rod seemed to be tormenting them constantly and the party planned to give it to sister Lenora and her order to guard again or destroy.

While the team was fighting the final battles in the Keep, the remaining Bloodreaver hobgoblins and kobolds attacked Winterhaven taking 15 prisoners as slaves including Padraig himself. Sister Lenora was killed and the group decided they should take the Orcus rod to the main Bahamut chapel in Fallcrest for safe keeping and then pursue the Bloodreavers to their base in the Thunderspire Mountains. Valthrun also asked them to take a box containing something valuable to Thunderspire to give to Gendar in payment of a gambling debt.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.