Truth, Justice, & Adventure

Where it all began
Where it all began

Irina the Eladrin wizard meditates in the woods, while human ranger Cassia approaches. They quickly become friends. Soon they hear a scream coming from the road. It's Wulfgard, a human barbarian, fighting off two goblins. Together they defeat the monsters.

Arriving in Fallcrest, they meet the dwarf arms smith Teldorthan Ironhews, who offers them 200 gp if they return a dragon hide from the Kobold Hall. When the adventurers are about to leave the road to follow a path that leads to the ruined mansion, they run into a fellow named Epistimology, a human rogue. Asked about Kobolds, he admits he knows nothing about them. His honesty deeply impresses Irina [TRUTH], and so he is invited to join them.

Dark stairs lead down into the dungeon. Wulfgard leads so the women can't get hurt. The 5 Kobolds hiding there are quickly defeated [JUSTICE], but not without drama [ADVENTURE]. Wulfgard leaps over the filthy pit taking out the Kobolds, and Irina casts the sleep spell and then feysteps behind the Kobolds in the hallway, killing them soon thereafter. Wulfgard, afraid of sorcery, moves into fetal position after witnessing the feystep. Cassia effectively fends off the kobols with her two sword attacks. Epistimology combines ranged and close attacks.

The hallway leads down, to more peril waiting…

Daily powers used: Brute Strike (Wulfgard), Sleep (Irina)

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The Ancient Tomb and the Skull-Skull game
Arrows up your ass

The heroes find a captured elf, the cleric Varis, in the dark back room. After his release they retire to a secure room in the above ruins to recover. Next morning Epistimology and Cassia stay behind because they are too weakened for battle.

The others venture back down again and enter an ancient tomb with mean arrow traps set off by walking on certain squares. Wulfgard gets hit three times in the ass. The Kobolds try to lure the heroes into those traps but get beaten up badly by the gang.

Going down further, the party enters an odd room where the Kobolds play a game called Skull Skull. Standing on two platforms, they try to hit skulls lying on the coffins in the middle, with a slimy rock hanging from the rope tied to the ceiling. When Irina enters, they choose her instead as a target, but miss. Wulfgard speeds forward to open the door between the platforms, but finds it locked. That makes him fall into a rage and he smashes the door open with brute force, only to find two guarding drakes (small reptilian beasts) hiding behind it, attacking him right away. Varis takes out a Kobold with his arrows, while Irina jumps up on the platform and casts magic missile against the Kobolds, followed by burning hands, which also hits one of the drakes.  Wulfgards hammers the drakes to plump with his maul, but he only survives because of Varis' healing skills. Together they fend them all off but can't prevent one of the Kobolds escape down the hall. Irina suggests to regroup.

Wulfgard spent an action point, and used his brute strike daily power.

Rule questions: Unlike we played it, it's no problem to walk through an ally's square. Also, the "close blast 5" from burning hands is not a blast surrounding the spellcaster, it's a 5×5 square in front of her. Running is not double the speed, but only +2 on the regular speed. Since you can replace a standard action with a move action, it's possible to run up to 12 + 4 squares for a character with speed 6. Also possible is a combination of running followed by a charge attack (6+2 for running in your move action, followed by 6 as part of the charge, then attack with +1 on the attack roll.) The game rewards the daring!

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Indiana Jones meets Beyond the Thunderdome

The next hall the party enters features a grating all over the ceiling, whith dozens of humanoid creatures on top of it, sticking their legs through the grating. All hell breaks lose when Varis moves forward. A giant boulder is released and starts tumbling in a circle around a towerlike structure in the middle, almost crushing him. Kobolds at the top of the structure try to glue the adventures to the ground with special glue shots (works twice, with Wulfgard and Varis subsequently knocked prone by the boulder.) The boulder gains momentum by the slaves at the ceiling moving it with their feet. They are being whipped into obedience by Kobolds. After some daring action (Irina climbing up the tower structure and Wulfgard displaying his favorite pasttime – smashing through doors with brute force) an enslaved halfling manages to break through the grating and jumps right on the boulder. After some tumbling she manages to reach the platform where the Kobold wyrmpriest has been hiding and engages him in close combat (Irina threw her a dagger.) Varis almost dies after being hit by an energy orb cast by the wyrmpriest but Irina manages to get him back to consciousness. The party is on the brink of failure when Varis casts a Beacon of Hope which gives everybody just enough energy to finish off the rest of the Kobolds.

The slaves manage to free themselves, killing their guards. Most humanoids quickly escape, but 4 humans approach the party and thank them. They tell their story of being enslaved and held captive here, but that all slaves were moved again after some days to an unknown location. They feared for the worst  – rumors of sacrifices for evil cults and more unsettling hearsay. Irina helps them out with 10gp so they can make it to Fallcrest before nightfall and get shelter.

They find a magic wand +1 and a small key among the wyrmpriests possessions, along with some gold.

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The Great White Dragon and a mysterious letter

The heroes enter an ice-cold cave with a frozen pond in the middle. A mighty white dragon surprises them, cornering them in the entrance. Irina gets blasted with the ice breath, and Varis is stunnd by fear. Irina manages to feystep behind the dragon, and the halfling Bree sneaks through under the beast, so now the monster is flanked. Wulfgard hits the ceiling twice and himself once, before a successful sleep spell by Irina allows him a coup de grace with "brute attack".

The dragon wakes up and blasts the gang multiple times, but eventually gets beaten after repeat sneak attacks by Bree and successful Maul hits through Wufgard. Irina casts a magic missile into the dragon's eye which finishes him off, but not before he bites off Varis' head (almost.) Varis is dead – a great hero – he saved Bree with a healing spell and suffered the consequences for himself. The party vows to find a temple in order to resurrect him.

They find some treasure, along with the dragonhide, a magic resounding throwing hammer +1 and an encrypted letter the party deciphers later:

MIGHTY S?ARTHARRA?!

I SEND YOU THE GOLD FOR THE SLAVES AS AGREED.

?. WANTS MORE, AND WOULD PAY EXTRA FOR FEY AND LARGE BLOOD VESSELS.

WE CANNOT POSSIBLY CATCH MORE PEASANTS FROM THE W. AREA.

I AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE.

SIGNED: IRONTOOTH

Back in Fallcrest, they run into the half elf Erandil Zemoar who runs the Nentir Inn on the west bank of the river, just outside of the city, who shows a curiosity in what the characters are up to. Then they drop off Varis' corpse in the temple of Erathis, where they also see the 4 freed humans again. Everybody is very thankful, and the priest Dirina Mornbrow grants the raise the dead ritual for 500 gp.

They deliver the dragonhide to the dwarf Teldorthan, not without bugging him about his intentions.

The erratic "sage" Nimozaran the Green in the Septarch's tower is not of much help in order to decipher the letter, so the heroes solve it on their own.

Later, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest, Faren Markelhey, invites everybody over for dinner. He is eager to learn more about the threats the party discovered, and together they try to understand the background of the mysterious letter. It seems to point to Winterhaven, a frontier town in the west (the "W. area".)

But who is Irontooth, S?ARTHARRA?, and the villain who "wants more slaves?"

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