Call to Arms

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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Child of Malice, Part 5
Zone of Truth

Anselmo interrogates the prisoners at the Temple of Caetar. Champion Dras is going to address The Chamber of Five so he takes a brief report and leaves the questioning to Anselmo and Brother Talas Heamy. Talas casts zone of truth and Kendal casts detect thoughts while Anselmo questions the prisoners.

The cleric is Deacon Karas Farthien (Olivetti, from Alesha). He was a fisherman who joined the cult 7 years ago after a money-changer took his home, his boat and ruined his livelihood. Karas’ wife and child took ill and died as a result of their poverty.

Kendal catches a thought of a meeting to take place in 3 days at a training hall in Riston’s quarter of Felleg’Avin, and Malebrant is supposed to be there. They confirm this with Evard Zollis when they question him.

They also learn Raven Rustheart was a devotee of Malice.

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Child of Malice, Part 4
Race in the Dark

The party tries to return to the surface with the cleric of Malice they captured as the cult tries to stop them.

Evard Zollis and his brothers-in-arms Allandro and Gant politely ask Sova to leave the cleric behind. They seem surprised the party is here if they haven’t come to worship Malice. The party duels the Zollis mercs over who gets the cleric and wins handily. The mercenaries are good to their word and follow them back to the temple of Caetar.

They take a short rest, hiding in a small room. Evard mentions the leader of the cult is a man named Malebrant, and he tries to convince Sova that she’s backing the wrong side.

Moving on, the group cuts their way through a dozen goblins and 3 Spined Devils before finally reaching the streets.

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Child of Malice, Part 3
You don't belong here!

Rested and ready, the PCs and Kendal return to the Tyron catacombs. Searching the area they find a goblin arrow and Dorn picks up the goblin’s trail, which leads them deeper into the Undercity.

A squad of 12 goblins attacks and is quickly defeated. Pursuing the fleeing goblin survivors, Dorn leads the group to a large cylindrical room dropping deep below them. It can only be crossed by a narrow bridge and is guarded by 8 giant spiders. Using the narrow archway as a choke point the party destroys the spiders without getting poisoned.

After a short rest, the party follows the goblin trail and finds a large square chamber full of 20 Grimlocks worshiping with a cleric of Malice (Cult Fanatic). The capture the cleric and slay the Grimlocks.

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Child of Malice, Part 2
An Ancient Hatred

While the PCs restore some order to the desecrated crypt, Dorn notices a black cat watching them. It runs off and he sees it was waiting beneath an old religious carving from the cult of Malice. More line the hallway every 20 feet.

This leads the group to a huge tomb (20’ ceilings, over 100’ wide) belonging to Cadmus Tyron, leader of House Tyron over 500 years ago, his hatred of the Bloodwicks has turned him into a Wight. He has 12 zombies at his command, some slain members of the Caetari Redguard.

Cadmus smells the blood of his ancient rivals and demands they turn over Kendal. They defend her and destroy the undead. Sova takes bracers of protection (+1 AC) from the dust of her ancestor.

Brother Dalca blesses and re-inters the remains in the tomb. Dorn finds a way to the surface nearby, after some discussion they agree to go home and rest up before having another try at finding the cult.

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