Scales of War

21st Day of Reaping, 4V249

The Lord of Rivenroar

On the dawn of their third day in the catacombs of Castle Rivenroar, the group of fledgeling adventurers awoke before an alter to the Raven Queen. They headed up through the Rivenroar crypt and the ettercap lair and ascended a staircase into the crypt of the Von Adrez-Kauthin family. Here, a number of hobgoblins were waiting for them, spitting drakes at their back. They set up a phalanx around the entrance, but Norah leaped forward and slew three of the four immediately with a flurry of her full-blade. While she held back the last, the other party members charged into the room, avoiding the corrosive drake spit. With all their might against the two small drakes, their victory came swiftly, even when a goblin vexer burst in from an adjacent burial chamber. James and the spell-caster desperately cast powers and counter-powers but this left the vexer open and Brandis and Lohgan where able to surround him with Norah’s assistance. Brandis then lead the way in to the chamber, where his torch illuminated three sarcophagi jutting out of the floor. While Norah and the rescued townsfolk stood back, the others tried to pry open the ancient burials to see what was inside. James’ curiosity was rewarded and he discovered, clutched to the breast of a long dead Von Adrez-Kauthin, a Blessed Book, along with some Rhestilorian coinage.

It was only after this that Brandis paid heed to the captive chained to the wall of this chamber. She flung herself at him immediately after being freed, praising Ioun for his skill in combat and thanking him for his bravery in the slaughter of her captors. Brandis recognised the symbol of Ioun around her neck and she confirmed that she was indeed the acolyte Jalissa.

Opening up the door opposite the tombs, Brandis discovered a crossroads and stood there at a loss for which way to go. His mind was made up for him though as a group of patrolling undead rounded the corner and lunged for him. The ghouls were not able to pin him however, and in the narrow corridors the party again had the upper hand. Brandis held most of the creatures back away from the less armoured members of the group while the assassin and monk twins darted in and out of combat, landing damaging blows on their enemies. Eventually the zombies begun to break the line and one made a grab at Brandis. The warden was quick to retaliate though, swinging the Thane’s Blood Mace and knocking the zombie’s head clean off its shoulders. The other zombie was felled almost as easily and it wasn’t long before the ghouls felt the wrath of James’ sacred flames.

Looking through the rooms patrolled by the undead guards, James noticed that a sun patterned mosaic on the floor was actually a secret holy symbol of Vecna, which was radiating unholy energy. Moving on they found a pool of water in a room on a lower level. James recognised the scrying spell used and when Norah kicked at the pool’s surface the ripples begun to cycle through images of other rooms in the catacombs. These pictures finally offered some clues as to where the artefacts that the party was requested to find where and they set off to try and locate the last remaining townsfolk and to find these treasures. In the next room they were able to recover the boy Thurann who was quick to ask why his father Kartenix was not with them. They tried to suggest that he had ventured back outside after being rescued in order to make safe their escape, but the boy refused to accept that his father would leave him in chains and Brandis and Zerriksa cracked, informing the boy of his father’s death and leaving him in a state of shock.

After recovering some more coins from the tombs of dead Rivenroar guardsmen, the group ventured up an important looking corridor and into the chamber beyond. Before them, in their thrones, sat none other than the Lord and Lady Rivenroar. The Lord of Rivenroar, a Deathlock Wight, awoke as the party entered and commanded to life several long dead soldiers of his house guard. Norah rushed in and cut one in two, the rest of the group close behind her, fanning out to tackle the other skeletons. They were quickly destroyed and the group closed in around the lord and lady. Lohgan grabbed the Wight from behind using his garrotte and the undead creature was dispatched with James’ radiant power. Soon afterwards, Norah took a few sweeps at the Lady Rivenroar withe her fullblade and shattered her utterly, leaving little more than shards of bone.

Continuing on, through the Lord’s chamber, the party encountered an Evistro demon, pacing around the centre of the next room. Brandis stepped forward to taunt the beast, and found it trapped behind a magical barrier and unable to retaliate. At least not at first, for as he stood before the beast, a pair of wererats rounded the next corner and freed the demon from its magical bonds. A melee soon broke out and to add to the confusion, James grabbed a nearby brazier and pulled it down, the flammable content spilling over half the chamber and eventually covering near half the room in flames.
The group managed to get past the wererats through, and slay the demon. In the next chamber they encountered a gnome arcanist and an additional two wererats but they prooved no match for the party, even the gnome’s power to fade to invisibility didn’t save him from the assassin Lohgan’s deadly strangle. Once all the enemies had been dispatched, the adventurers noticed a pile of treasure stacked below the stone obelisk at the end of the chamber. It was in fact most of the treasure stolen from the Hall of Great Valor in Brindol, specifically the old Red Hand shields, the battle standard of Brindol and a ceremonial platinum longsword.

With only one captive left to find, and two relics of the Red Hand war, the group decided to send Brandis back to wait in the entrance hall with the townsfolk they had rescued so far while the others searched through the pathways they had skipped past earlier.

Heading into the upper levels of the catacombs, the remaining adventurers came a cross an unusually cold, dark chamber and decided to make their way through there as carefully, and stealthily, as possible. It payed off as they snuck all the way to Sinruth’s chamber without him noticing. James and Norah stalled the chieftain while Lohgan snuck arround to gain an advantage against him. James suggested that they had come to join Sinruth’s war band, but Sinruth’s was determined that adventurers had foiled Azzar Kul and the new Red Hand would have none of their ilk. He unclipped the spiked chain from his belt and swung out at the party. It was at this time that another would-be adventurer, the mercenary Xanfire Wolfbite awoke in the corner of the room. He had been sent to kill the Hobgoblin chief but had been captured by a goblin patrol several days earlier. His wolf Poncho and he had been brought to Sinruth for final judgement but now took the opportunity for retaliation, Poncho leaping forward to claw at the hobgoblin as Xanfire notched an arrow to his bowstring.

Despite managing to trip Norah, the hobgoblin chief could not hold up against the onslaught from all sides, and eventually he found himself distracted and paid for it with Norah’s blade slicing through his thick skull. On his body the group discovered several maps used during the raid on Brindol, as well as a mysterious letter signed by an individual known only as The Emissary. Poncho tore the right hand from the hobgoblin for Xanfire to prove his kill, and the group took from him the ornate iron gauntlets that they needed to return to the Hall of Valor. On the sarcophagus in the room they also found resting, the Dragoncrest helm, the final relic from the first War of the Red Hand.

Xanfire helped the group track down the final hostage from the raid, a dwarf alchemist named Adronsius. The dwarf was close to death and barely conscious, but poncho tracked him down and ran ahead to grab him. As Xanfire went to follow, a swarm of needle fang drakes swarmed out of the dark alcoves and he was pulled down by the mass. The others rushed to help but Lohgan was punished for his uncharacteristic lack of stealth as a bolt from the shadows revealed another gnome skulk had been ready and waiting for them. Lohgan cried out in pain and rushed to attack the gnome. Eventually the party were able to defeat the drakes, but the gnome managed to slip away. By the end of combat, Poncho had already dragged an unconscious Aronsius to the entrance and so the group left the crypt to meet up with Brandis and the other citizens of Brindol.

Once everyone was safely outside of the catacombs, the adventurers decided to barricade the entrance in order to assure no one would be able to reclaim it any time soon. Once that was done, the group made straight for Brindol, preferring to put rest off until the rescued citizens were safe.

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Kaavek

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