Call to Arms

The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 6
Queensworn

As the mountain draws near, Dorn, Sova, Kendal and Anselmo search in vain for a safe place to camp. Their sleep is disturbed by nearby wolves and other sounds, but they huddle up to a rockface and don’t light a fire, so nothing attacks them.

The next day Dorn recognizes a treacherous rockfall and they go around it, which takes them several hours out of their way.

Finally scaling the mountain trail, they are taken by surprise as a sabre-toothed cat pounces on Kendal. Dorn pulls her free and together they kill the beast.

As evening falls they enter a narrow pass with sheer 25-30 foot cliffs on either side. Goblins appear on the cliffs above them, firing down with bows while others block the way through the pass. Boxed in the heroes fight a desperate battle and are bloodied. Kendal blasts a path through with a lightning bolt, but even more goblins charge in.

A stranger appears, following their trail up the pass and into the ambush. He fires a storm of arrows with his longbow, picking off the goblins on the cliffs. Dorn and Kendal finally make it up the right hand cliff and sweep the remaining attackers.

The unknown archer beckons for them to follow him and they do. He takes them to a ledge about 30 feet wide with a steep, bracken-filled slope on one side and a rock overhang on the other. Five more strangers meet them there.

The archer defers to one of his waiting companions, a young Arukite woman who introduces herself as Rose in the line of Isolde. She and her companions are Queensworn, here at the request of The Chamber of Five to reconnoiter Rookhaven.

After some discussion and planning they decide to get in a long rest here on the ledge. In the morning the rangers will sneak up the ridge-line to get a good look at the enemy forces while Kendal and the others make a diversionary attack on an outpost guarding the road to Rookhaven. They will meet back at the ledge and swap intel before nightfall and hopefully slip away before the enemy mobilizes.

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 5
A long road of tribulation

The group escorts Miller Lane and his family back to Stonerim where the village celebrates and hears stories of the battle. Reeve Lorcan admits the the town’s stone gates would not stand up for long against two ogres, the heroes likely just saved Stonerim from being sacked. The people give their gratitude for the protection provided by their liege Sova and the noble House of Eghal.

After another celebratory dinner, Dorn gives Sturmfrek a sack of 1000 gold pieces to keep him in comfort in his old age. Deeply moved, Stormy gives Dorn an adamant pentant which he says is the key to many doors in Hammerfall. “I believe in you,” he tells Dorn. “If you do not throw open those doors, no one will.”

The next morning the party sets off at last for Rookhaven, the most remote outpost of Felleg’Avign which fell to orcs a few months ago. No one knows what to expect or how strong the enemy will be when they get there. After that they plan to journey on to Outermost, the last forge of the Fellhammer dwarves, hopefully to find Dorn’s missing brothers.

The first day of travel through young forest and gentle hills goes smoothly. The next day around noon they hear a panicked animal and go to find a lost pack mule under attack by
18 blood hawks. Bloodied by beak and talon they kill most of the flock and drive off the rest. The blessings of Caetar heal the party and save the mule. It’s loaded with trade goods: nails, rope, cloth and such. They decide to keep him.

Later that day, passing through thicker, older forest and more rugged hills, they stumble into the territory of a group of apes who challenge them, flinging rocks and feces at the surprised travelers. Another short battle kills several apes and drives off the rest. Exhausted, the group looks for a place to camp.

Around midnight their sleep is interrupted by 9 hungry wolves. Dorn is on watch and raises the alarm. The pack doesn’t do much damage, but they lose out on a long rest. The next day they set off still weary.

Halfway through their third day of travel the adventurers spy a stone bridge in a valley, one of the landmarks Stormy mentioned and marked on the map he drew in Dorn’s journal. They make for it.

A hill giant guards the bridge and barters with them in a crude, broken common tongue. When the giant asks for the mule and Kendal as a toll for crossing the bridge, Dorn surprises everyone by charging headlong across the bridge to attack the giant. His shocked companions follow up on his attack and together they best the giant, but not before Sova takes a glancing blow from his enormous club.

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 4
Warband

Dorn, Sova, Anselmo and Kendal press on and confront Grumlok – Orc War Chief of the White Skulls tribe. His banner is planted atop a small hill capped with a windmill and it’s clear the miller and his family are trapped inside the building while an ogre tries to smash through the door.

With no time to lose the heroes attack. Anselmo sounds the horn of Caetar and Dorn sends an arrow to knock down the orc banner.

The ogre leaves the windmill and charges Dorn but Kendal enchants the dwarf with haste and his fellhammer slays the ogre in three mighty blows.

A second ogre, ten orcs and the war chief close in and the battle is joined. Dorn cuts a swath through them, slays the second ogre and helps Sova take down the orc chieftan. Kendal and Anselmo take down the remaining orcs with lightning and holy light.

They free Miller Lane and his family and recover some treasure from the fallen orcs. The potion of healing and scroll of protection from undead they keep, giving the rest to the miller and people of Stonerim.

Copper necklace (25gp) , 5 sp, 300 cp

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 3
Worg, Goblin, Orc

Anselmo, Sova, Dorn and Kendal track the goblin scouts which have been probing the remote village of Stonerim. They encounter 12 goblins riding worgs in the forest north of town as evening falls. Two goblins escape into the woods, two are captured and interrogated, then Sova kills them.

The next morning, after camping in the woods, they pursue an orc raiding party heading toward Stonerim and crush 12 orcs sent to stop them.

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 2
Stonerim

At the end of spring Dorn, Sova, Anselmo and Kendal set out for Outermost, following an old map Kendal found in the archives. First they head to the village of Stonerim on the frontier of Eghal lands.

Sova’s father investigated the fate of the Fellhammer dwarves who once served the Tyron family and found they left about 40 years ago for Fairborne. They moved around a lot and eventually settled in Stonerim.

There they meet Reeve Lorcan Bittali and his wife Netti, who host them on the Veranda at the Grape and Rye tavern. The Reeve shows Lady Sova every courtesy, as the village owes her family their fealty.

Over dinner Lorcan introduces them to Sturmfrek Fellhammer, who has been living with them in Stonerim for the last 20+ years. “Stormy” is overcome seeing his lost kinsman. Sturmfrek is the oldest surviving Fellhammer, Dorn the youngest.

Stormy tells them the 8 other dwarves led by Stark Fellhammer left Stonerim about 10 years ago to reclaim the forge at Outermost, hoping other clan members would already be there. They were supposed to send for Sturmfrek once things were settled, but he has heard nothing from them and fears the worst. Sturmfrek draws them a detailed map to Outermost.

Stonerim is about 2/3 Olivetti with some Arukites and Yan. Anselo looks for signs the bloody hand has been active here but finds none.

Lorcan mentions that Stonerim was expecting the Purge but it never made it this far, Sova explains how the Purge went north and was destroyed at Rookhaven. This is troubleing nws for Lorcan. He tells them about recent goblin sightings in the area and they agree to drive out any goblins before they leave for Outermost.

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Part 1
The value of grafitti

Exploring the rest of the Temple of Malice, Sova finds a barracks room with graffiti in dwarven runes reading:

Torec saves necks
Visit Torec’s Forge near Outermost
His coat saved me in battle

(different epigram)

Torec breaks them too
I swear by his axes and hammers
He does Caetar proud

(another epigram)
Matters little which you choose
Outermost Forge is the best
Caetar be praised

She shows Dorn and they consider looking for the forge at Outermost. Perhaps some of Dorn’s relatives went there.

Back home they sell and divide their treasure (1288 gp each, including Kendal).

The Tyrons throw a ball in Sova’s honor, where she is paraded around for the noble bachelors. At least Kendal is there to sympathize. Dorn is invited and keeps to himself, wearing a carnival mask he picked up at the market. The Champion of Caetar attends and plans strategy with Glotton Tyron, but Anselmo declines his invitation.

Dorn discovers Otter is gone and left a goodbye note.

My esteemed hosts,

Thank you for your hospitality these last several days. As I came to Felleg’Avin to face justice for murder, the murder of seven noble men who fought slavers ravaging people you claim are your allies in the North, and as I cannot find that justice here without doing even greater damage to their cause, I have gone to put an end to the slavers personally. Do not think this balances my scales or yours, I am merely doing what should have been done in the first place.

Also, as fine as these accommodations have been, I am at my heart a gamer: do not think you can play me. What passes for justice in this city sickens me, I do not think I shall return. If you decide to look for me, the Right People will always know where I can be found.

Yours in mischief,

Otter.

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Child of Malice, Part 9
Emberlyn

The PCs assault the temple of Malice and defeat a barbed devil, 15 cultists and Emberlyn, fire mage and consort of Malebrant. Sova slays Emberlyn with her rapier. Two cultists are taken prisoner, the rest are slain and the devil is destroyed. Anselmo sanctifies the temple and they claim a treasure chest.

(Serious, epic ass-kicking. Level up to 6th!)

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Child of Malice, Part 8
Bring the Fight to the Enemy

The day after facing Malebrant the Caetari question their prisoners and confirm the location of the main Temple of Malice is in the Undercity, not far from where the PC’s captured Deacon Karas.

Rested and equipped with 4 potions of greater healing from the Temple of Caetar, the PCs go to destroy or at least disrupt the cult on it’s own territory. They battle 4 gargoyles.

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Child of Malice, Part 7
Malebrant

Anselmo stations the 20 House Guard and 20 Vanguard in a perimeter around the merchant’s house to ensure no one escapes. Then they demand entry in the name of the The Chamber of Five and kick in the door.

Malebrant is there, dressed like a noble, along with a female mage, 3 Cult Fanatics, 4 Cultists and several citizens waiting to be initiated into the cult of Malice.

The initiates and the mage make their way out the back door and encounter some of the waiting Vanguard. Three are killed, two escape and the rest are captured. Another group of House Guard and Vanguard coming to help is hit by the mage’s fireball before she escapes. Two buildings are on fire and the guards struggle to quench the flames.

Inside the house the PCs fight a pitched battle Malebrant and his cultists. As the last cultist falls, Malebrant is backed into a corner. Dorn lands two massive hits on Malebrant with the Fellhammer and the fiend has had enough. He swears revenge and vanishes in a puff of brimstone.

Outside, they find a small crown has gathered, drawn by the battle. Sova persuades them that the Vanguard is keeping them safe and sends them home, but some view the raid as an unwarranted attack by the Caetari on civilians.

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Child of Malice, Part 6
Hate Rally

The PCs meet with Lord Glotton Tyron and the Champion of Caetar. They discuss plans for Rookhaven, the cult and Evard Zollis’ crimes.

The next day Sova escorts Evard back to one of her family’s gardens, when Titus Zollis (Evard’s father) calls his son to account for his treason. Evard owns his actions but begs Titus and Glotton not to send forces to Rookhaven. “It will be the ruin of the Zollis clan.” Titus executes Evard to appease Glotton. Harsh justice in Felleg’Avin.

Sova and her father speak about what comes next. The Chamber of Five may be asking Estaria for help, for they have some of the best rangers in the world and what the city needs most now is information about the enemy. Glotton gives Sova leave to fight if she must. He confesses she is the best suited of his heirs to lead their house when Glotton is gone.

The night of the cult meeting Anselmo brings 20 trusted guards of House Tyron and 20 Vanguard; they stay hidden in a nearby workshop. Over 1000 people show up to speak against the Dunsarro and House Fairbourne. There is no explicit mention of Malice, so Anselmo allows the meeting to break up pacefully. Anselmo and Sova (disguised) pretend to support these ideas and try to get invited to see Malebrant, but as newcomers they are just intrudiced to lower-level cult leaders. Instead Kendal (invisible) follows some initiates to a nearby merchant’s house and finds Malebrant and a mage waiting with about 15-20 followers. Kendal goes in and out undetected and reports back.

Outside, the PCs wait with 20 warriors and 20 clerics, ready to drop the hammer on the cult leadership.

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