Shadows Over Cormyr

The Horned Hold
But There Aren't Any Horns.....

Midday, Eleasis 24th, 1479DR

And so, the brave adventurers depart from the Seven-Pillared hall, and descend the Deep Stair. Ereven is suitably worried when they pass several signs that direct them to the Underdark further down this very path.

After an hour or so the path opens into a deep chasm, and continues clinging to one side. They proceed cautiously, unsure of what may be ahead. They soon see the Hold in the distance, towers cut from the living rock on both sides of the chasm, bridges spanning the void to join the north and south outposts. They spot the main entrance, a portcullis guarded by several orcs, and immediately try to strike up a conversation.

Normally this might work, but the orcs had been alerted by the Duergar that had escaped the attack on the trading post, and so they attacked without hesitation. After some struggle, and finding out that spears can reach through bars quite nicely, they get the portcullis up and finish off the orcs. This time they are sure to leave none alive to raise the alarm. Due to having now completed 42 seconds of work, the group found a secure location for a 6 hour rest.

Refreshed and ready for another few minutes work, the party continue to explore the Hold, finding the forge room next. Amongst the flames of the forges, and the glint of steel, the duergar blacksmith and his apprentices are quickly killed. They search the area, and having cleared this entire section of the Hold, lock the doors and have another rest.

It is during the search that Ereven locates the Sceptre that Gendar had asked them to retrieve, with what looks like a stone hand wrapped around the handle. Ereven inspects it, and notices it only has a thumb and one finger, and seems to be talking to him…

Eleasis 25th, 1479DR

Fully rested, they move deeper into the Hold, coming across what appears to be the main hall. Avoiding this however, they move onto explore other areas. Following standard procedure, Ereven approaches a door, checks for traps, and then stealthfully opens the door. This time however, he is greeted by the glaring eyes of a mind-flayer ready to strike! He promptly shuts the door, and runs for his life.

Deciding that taking on the Illithid is a bad idea, they regroup and explore the rest of the area, finding the kitchen with two human slaves, and the main hall full of Duergar. They free the humans, and bait the Duergar into a funnel of death, dealing with them quite easily. Soon they realise that to progress they must go through the room with the mind-flayer, not something they really want to do. In a wonderful example of team work, they develop a strategy, plan the attack and buff up. Then Ereven cut off his hand.

Finally listening to the voices, he jammed the stone hand onto his bleeding stump, it merged and became one with him, enhancing his body and granting new powers. Now, he was ready to fight the Illithid. Screaming their battle cries they flung the door open and charged…into a wonderful example of taxidermy. Minotaurs not only liked statues, but also to stuff and mount their enemies it would seem.

north fortress finish in horned hold

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Interlude In The Hall

Morning, Eleasis 26th, 1479Dr

in the hall ambush

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The Chamber of Eyes - Part 2
Lets try this again...

Early Afternoon, Eleasis 23rd, 1479 DR

The adventurers have a short rest in Krands quarters, and ransack the few rooms for treasure and weapons. Instead they find a letter from the Grimmerzhul Duergar, detailing their latest slave purchase. Finding little else, they move onto the kitchens, and hopefully their lost companion, Saren.

With little finesse, they smash down the door to the kitchen, and with little effort dispatch the few remnants of the Blood Reavers. Within moments it is over, and they find Saren bound, gagged and naked in the back storeroom. And this is where things get very interesting.

Erevan quietly pays Subbie to grapple and hold Geralt, which he does easily, and tries to remove Geralts pants…. Geralt, quite understandably, does not like this idea, and resists. Erevans logic is that it was Geralts fault that Saren was captured, therefore he should surrender his pants to preserve Sarens dignity. (Please note that Saren is a 9 foot tall Dragonborn, and Geralt is not. The odds of the pants even fitting are slim at best.)

Somehow, Geralt is able to twist out of the hold, and immediately attacks Erevan. Saren comes to his aid, and rather quickly Geralt is on the ground, unconscious and dying. Erevan ties him up and treats his wounds, Geralt regains consciousness and is not happy, so much so that he immediately leaves the party and returns to the city.

At this point Saren has a look in the multitude of crates in the kitchen, and in the first one he looks in finds all his possessions, including his pants. You’d think they could have searched sooner…

Morning, Eleasis 24th, 1479 DR

After a good nights rest, (drinking and whoring), at the Halfmoon Inn, the adventurers decide on their next course of action. But before they can, they meet an Avenger called Angelus, who is new to town, and looking for a group to join up with. As soon as they see his ‘PC Glow’, Angelus is welcomed into the party.

They first head to see Orontor, who is disappointed they have no news on Paldemar. But he does offer some insight into the Duergar, and that they may be a good next point of call. He suggests, Terrlen, the guide would be best for directions, and he should be found at Gendars Curios Store.

Of course he is not, but Gendar, the Drow antiques dealer, asks the group to recover a Drow Skull Sceptre, taken by the Grimmerzhaul Duergar to their hold. Unfortunately he has no directions to where it is, only that it is down the Road of Shadows somewhere.

And so they head to the Grimmerzhaul Trading Post, where Saren insults the first Duergar he sees and is promptly attacked. The party bravely runs away and tries to report this attack to Brugg, who has nothing of their story. In fact, he informs them that so long as the fighting happens inside, it doesn’t count as inside the Seven Pillared Hall. Taking this to heart, the party rushes back into the Trading Post, slaughtering all but one of the Duergar, who escapes out a back door into the Road of Shadows. At least now they have a map to the Horned Hold, and an idea of how many Duergar are there.

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The Chamber of Eyes
Justice Comes to the Bloodreavers

Morning, Eleasis 23rd, 1479 DR

The remnants of the Martyrs spend the night drinking and partying in the Halfmoon Inn, deep under Thunderspire Peak. They rise the next morning to discuss their next move, and decide to go direct to the Bloodreavers hideout. Rendil is able to give detailed directions to the Chamber of Eyes, and ancient Temple dedicated to Ghaunadaur, and now the home of Krand and his Bloodreavers.

Seeking further information, they find one of the Mages of Saruun, Orontor, at the customhouse. He welcomes them to the Hall, and ‘requests’ their aid. One of his fellow mages, Paldemar, has not been seen in many weeks, and reports of his activities have been quite disturbing to Orontor. He requires the adventurers to seek out any information on Paldemar and report back. There is no allowance for failure…

After Erevan upsets the local Deepgem Company, they depart through the Dragon Door, on what should be a trip of only an hour or so. Along the way they encounter a Dwarf and his retinue of human mercenaries. The Dwarf demands they bow before their King! He is obviously quite mad, and Erevan and Geralt pay homage. Saren, on the other hand, asks as politely as possible, why they should bow to the little man? The ‘King’ is enraged, and orders the attack!

King Thain is quickly slain, but his mercenaries have the upper hand in the fight. After a few seconds, their leader calls for a stop to the fight, he cannot see the point in continuing when their employer is now dead. The Martyrs agree, and they all go on their separate ways.

The Martyrs continue on to the Chamber of Eyes, and after some deliberation decide to split and pincer the Goblins in the first Guard Room. Saren and Geralt burst through the front doors, while Erevan sneaks through a side door, thoroughly confusing a hapless goblin in the process. After a few seconds it is over, a surviving bugbear reveals Krand, the Hobgoblin leader, is further into the Chamber.

At this point all was going well. After this point…

Geralt finds a room with a large pool in it, he wishes to investigate. The other two want to go an check a door they had seen earlier. Instead of flipping a coin, they split up.

Geralt heads into the pool room, and is intrigued by the mermaid statue in the center of the water. He strips down, and wades out into the cold water, checking the statue in detail, and finding nothing. Satisfied, he climbs out and begins to dress.

Meanwhile, Erevan has carefully opened his door, and finds himself staring at two slightly startled duergar dwarfs. They quickly attack, poisoning him and launching a vicious strike. Saren is able to finish off one of the dwarfs, when Krand himself, along with his mage, arrive in the room. The mage steals the show, first with a lightning blast to weaken Saren, and then a force pulse to knock him down. Krand sees his chance, rushing to the prone Saren and knocking him unconscious as he tries to flee. Erevan decides it is better to survive to fight another day, and flees back to the Hall.

Geralt finishes getting dressed, encounters a few hobgoblins, and goes to find his companions. He is met by a few blood stains, drag marks, and a sense of dark forbodding. He too, flees back to the Hall.

At the Halfmoon Inn, Erevan organises a rescue party. He hires the four mercenaries they encountered earlier in the day to accompany him to the Chamber of Eyes. Geralt is not too sure, but finally decides to come along, and together they return to rescue their friend.

Early Afternoon, Eleasis 23rd, 1479 DR

This time it is a different story, the now six adventurers rip through the few hobgoblins left in the main Chamber. They rush into the back rooms, finding Krand and his mage completely unprepared. Within seconds it is over, and before he dies, Krand reveals that Saren is held in the dining hall. The adventurers regroup, and move to the final act of their rescue…

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A New Beginning
The Martyrs Reborn!

Eleasis 18th – 22nd, 1479 DR

With Kalarel defeated, the Keep cleared, and the loot collected, the Martyrs returned to Winterhaven. Lord Padraig gave them a heroes welcome, showering them with praise, and gifting them an official Charter to operate in Cormyr.

They decided to rest and recuperate for a few days in Winterhaven, while deciding where to head to next. During this rest, Splug informs Haldamir that he knows of the Paladin he is seeking, and offers to lead him to his location. After little deliberation, Haldamir and Alric choose to set off by themselves for Thay, led by Splug to seek their destiny.

On the 3rd day in Winterhaven, a new adventurer arrives in town, a Dragonborn Paladin by the name of Seran. He has traveled from the west, and brings word of Hobgoblins raiding in the Hillock Forest, and the Cormyrian Army rebuilding the Keep. After a few drinks, Ereven and Geralt offer him a place in the group, which he happily accepts.

The following morning they all depart for Thunderspire Peak, following leads and clues that should lead them to the Bloodreavers. The same bloodreavers that Ereven, Alturas and Geralt had been tracking for the last month. The journey is largely uneventful, until they reach the hamlet of Hillmarch. Here the town is raided by hobgoblin slavers, obviously Bloodreavers.

The townsfolk tell them that they had not had an attack for months, but in the last few weeks the raids were becoming more regular. This is not surprising, as Hillmarch is only a few hours south of Thunderspire.

They press on to Thunderspire Peak itself, travelling up the valley path, and finally in under the Minotaur Gate. All were awed by the Road of Lanterns, and the sheer size of the ruins. A few hundred yards in, the Martyrs overheard a group of hobgoblins, and turned down a side path to investigate. They quickly dispatched the small band, and freed Rendil Halfmoon, a halfing residing in the Seven-Pillared Hall.

Rendil thanks the group by offering them free ale and board at his family inn in the Hall, which of course is accepted by all.

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The Cathedral of Shadow
The end is nigh...

Morning, Eleasis 18th, 1479 DR

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The Depths of the Keep
Why does the wall...quiver?

Midnight, Eleasis 17th, 1479 DR

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The Tragedy of Sir Keegan
Deeper and deeper they go...

Late Evening, Eleasis 17th, 1479 DR

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Shadowfell Exposed
The keep slowly reveals its secrets...

Morning, Eleasis 17th, 1479 DR

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The Keep Beckons
Finally, a Dungeon!

Late Afternoon, Eleasis 16th, 1479 DR

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