Shaintar J&L The Shattered Warband

The Down Day

The Down Day

You awake on the morning of the 11th, at least, you assume it is morning. Morning, noon and night look the same by the orange glow of the Arclights. Yet you have not been underground so long as to lose your body’s natural rhythms.

Those of you awakening in the dormitories hear the snores of the other human. Since being freed alongside you, Owen Argort has kept to himself. Unlike the goblin, he has done little to aid the company. He has stayed in the camp, near to Karrol or Leandron whenever possible.

Gandogar and Alfie did not sleep in the dormitory. They spent the night in the forge, building the fires, working the billows, and sleeping on the bare floor.

Yet the dwarf is not long absent. Even before you have stirred out of the room, Gandogar enters with slate in hand. “Alright, the furnace in the forge is stoked and I’m ready to start working on things. What do you need?”

“I require bracers,” hisses Eska, drawing out the C and S. She says no more and departs.

Reener holds up his wrists for inspection. Each is enclosed in a wide band of bronze and iron. Each ends in a loop, previously used to secure the goblin, as is covered in the markings of Reener’s former owner. The bracers are crimped shut. They have adorned his wrists for a long time.

“Hmph. Yeah. I’ll knock those off in the forge.” He turns to Hodor and turns the discussion to replacing the Minotaur’s Axe with something more the the Ogre’s liking.

Outside the dormitory, the elderly goblin woman, known to you by the name “Grimey,” given to her by the Kal, is already up and fixing a breakfast of grilled onions and mushrooms.

After eating, Eska and Zaro depart to watch the two entrances to the cave system. Eska watches the Tunnel where the Kalinesh scouting party was destroyed; Zaro watches the natural caves.

Most avoid idleness and put their energies to valuable pursuits. Leandron observes their work appreciatively.

Alfie uses the stores of crysarium and what organic ingredients he can sneak from Grimey’s kitchen to craft new potions. His supply of high quality bottles exhausted, he stores his concoctions in bits of tubing salvaged from the workroom, tied off at both ends. From time to time, the “pop” of some unexpected reaction sounds from the workroom.

Anton gathers the Builder armor and the hammer, taken from the dwarf encountered in the mines. Draping the armor over a stone bench, he raises the hammer and swings down. A loud ping sounds through the hall, Unsatisfied with the mark, he sets his feat, raises the hammer, and strikes again. The diamond shaped indentation left on the breast brings a smile to his face. He sets the hammer aside and measures the width, height, and depth against his fingers.

“You don’t have to hammer it. I’ll melt it down.” Gandogar calls out.

Anton looks up, startled. “Although we may not be able to presently appreciate the quality and capabilities of this alien equipment, I think we would be remiss in destroying it before we learned how to engage its proper use. In other news, I believe I can identify which of the golems will be helpful to us. I intend to prepare a crysarium power source that we may activate it.”

“If you wish to not smelt the builder armor I shall not; we will need to carry it out of the mountains along with everything else. I’ll make room in one of the packs for it. For now, I need to get these shackles of this goblin.” he gestures to Reener. “The golems are beyond my scope of knowledge. If you wish to activate the friendly one I’ll be there as well as the others. I hope you know what you are doing.“

He leads Reener into the forges, where, after a harmless slip of the hammer, he’s able to free the goblin of the shackles. Reener’s newly exposed skin is calloused and scarred.

As Gandogar continues his work in the forge, reducing the metal from the Minotaur Axe and other items down to a workable form, Reener sets out to forage and graze Betsy. He collects a list of desired plants from Grimey, for use in cooking, and from Alfie and Anton, for use in alchemy.

As he passes through the gate, Reener stops at the golems. Anton is standing before the left golem, pressing his thumb into a dent in the guardian’s thick armor. This golem stands with its weight on its left foot. Its right arm, ending in a blade, is poised above its head. The right foot is slightly back, raised onto the toes.

Reener scrambles up onto the right golem, sniffing and looking along the length of the club held in its left hand. This golem has a wider stance. Its right hand is about waist height, with the palm flat and down-turned.

The goblin and the dwarf trade places, applying their search to the other golem.

“No blood,” Reener says, climbing down from the left golem, “but this one is more work.”

Anton nods. “I think that’s the friendly one. That hammer blow,” he points to the domed crown, housing the optical orbs of the golem, “seems to match the hammer we found.”

With that, Anton joins Alfie in the laboratory, calling out “Hodor?! Did you find another large piece of crysarium? I’d like to use it.” Anton does not emerge for many hours.

Reener moves up the tunnel, but diverges into the crack to exit into the sunlight via the natural caves. An uneventful morning and afternoon of foraging, hunting, and rock collecting passes before he returns to the cave. He adds to Alfie and Gandogar’s stores of components, and Grimey’s stores of food.

Rakepick spends the day re-exploring every room of the city, save the forge. When Leandron finds the Brinchie idle, he asks to inspect his swords. As the swords are dented from ill use by the Kal, he offers his whetstone to see to their sharpening. The two then spar, both fighting with two blades.

Eska and Zaro return shortly before dinner and everyone gathers for the meal. Gandogar emerges from the furnace, his face bright red. The work has proceeded well, but is not yet complete.

Anton emerges from the laboratory, holding a large object under a cloth. At the table, he shows it to Leandron. The crysarium has been refined and worked. It is now an amber color and evenly shaped into a ball. When Leandron nods, he covers it again and sets it aside.

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Session 5
The Nest

Date: The 10th Day of Raining Leaves, about 2pm

“Leave our mine.”

With the command issued, the ancient dwarf passes back through the solid stone. Reener quickly backs away.

Eska addresses the Dwarf, stating that they did not know it was owned and that they have no wish to intrude.

From the darkness, the dwarf again orders them to leave.

Eska warns the dwarf that there are Slavers outside.

“They are no concern of mine. You are here. Leave my mine.”

Gandogar addresses him bluntly, asking if he’s able to translate any of the runes. He mentions that they found a book on the island.

“You have crossed her waters? Get out.”

Eska makes mention of Shanais, but the dwarf is done talking. A crossbow bolt is fired at Gandogar, but strikes Eska.

Skeletons, the remnants of dwarves long past, emerge from the walls and the pillar in the room’s center. They attack the party, but are dispatched. Reener stabs at the still living dwarf, but his spear is turned away by the dwarf’s shield.

The bones, and the living dwarf, melt into the stone, disappearing.

Gandogar, Alfie, Hodor, Eska and Reener remain beside the nest, but are not given much piece.

Again, the 5 skeletons and the dwarf emerge from the walls. The skeletons refuse to remain down until Gandogar, shouting that he wasn’t done talking to the dwarf, strikes the ancient mine-dweller down.

Immediately, the skeletons collapse into their natural state.

Gandogar removes the dwarf’s armor as the others explore the nest. They remove 3 servicable backpacks, 2 crossbows, another dwarven hammer, and additional pages of the claimbook. They also find a detailed drawing of the gate to the underground city. The exterior includes a diagram of how to open the gate. The interior, however, includes a description of how the gate could be collapsed, sealing the city and the mines.

Eska and Alfie take backpacks, filling them with crysarium (increasing their resource die to a d6). The third backpack is filled and reserved for Anton.

As it is quite late, they return to the city to sleep.

That night, Alfie overhears an argument between Leandron and Karrol. The Adept, recognizing the value of the mines, suggests that the Grey Rangers put the full mine into service. Leandron is opposed. The next morning, out of earshot of the Rangers, Alfie warns the others of the argument. He fears that Karrol may have contracted “Gold Fever.”

It is now the morning of the 10th day of Raining Leaves. The party has 7 days worth of food remaining.

The party explores the East Shaft of the mine. Here they find, much to Gandogar’s delight, a reasonably stocked forge. It is low on fuel, but this can be supplemented by wood from the Warehouse.

Alfie brews a potion of light and bottles it. This is fortunate, as Anton’s glowing potion has begun to dim.

Attention is turned, again, to the box Eska saw at the lake. With Alfie capable of recreating a glowing potion, he lends his to Eska for her use.

Gandogar suggests a means by which he could be lowered into the 25 foot deep water to aid in the retrieval. He pieces together multiple sections of tubing from the laboratory to create a 30’ rope.

Alfie and Gandogar take the raft onto the water. Eska swims. Reener fishes the shore by spear while Hodor sleeps.

By the light of the potion, Eska is able to see that his object appears to be a metal box, resting on its lid. Two loops of loose chain rest under the box. Eska pulls the chains above the box and has Gandogar lower his rope. This is tied through the chains, to allow the box to be hoisted without spilling. This also allows the dwarf, who cannot swim and weighs over 200 pounds, to avoid the deep water. With Eska aiding in the water, the three are able to get the box to shore.

With Zaro’s aid, they open the box in the forge. Inside, they find a solitary, small book. This is the writings of Dourin Limestone during his attempt to translate the runes.

Reener has speared a blind cave fish, and makes a happy meal of it.

Gandogar lights the forges and begins soliciting a list of requests from the others.

Reener, meanwhile, returns to the broken room. He climbs up to the shaft in the ceiling. There, he finds a scrap of paper, a pouch holding two coins, and that multiple hand and footholds have been carved into the vertical shaft. A 40’ rope hangs in the opening as well.

The spry goblin uses this to ascend. He finds a side passage, extending just a few feet to connect the vertical shaft to a ventilation shaft. This too has a few footholds. He can smell the smoke from Gandogar’s fire, but climbs anyway.

Another 40’ up, a natural crack extends into the ventilation shaft. Reener enters this and is surprised to find the tracks of two dwarves, only days old. He sniffs, and is able to pick up the scent of his comrades, Anton and Gandogar.

Climbing back into the city, he turns over the scraps of paper, another few pages from the Log and Claimbook of Dourin Limestone. He tells the others of the passage, informing them that there is a second way into and out of the city. This passage, however, would be impossible for one of Hodor’s size.

After eating a soup made by the elderly female goblin, the party prepares for the night. Leandron, who along with Zaro and Karrol have been sharing turns watching the approaches to the city, reports that the weather has improved. The snow is melting and should be gone in a day or two.

Gandogar and Alfie sleep in the forges, taking shifts to work the bellows and get the forges up to the desirable temperature.

Eska stays awake, curious to hear whether the rangers will again turn to the topic they discussed the previous night. Sure enough, Karrol does not leave the topic alone. He discusses the value of the mines, commenting on the recruitment efforts, weaponry, and other resources that could benefit the group.

Leandron insists that the risks make such a scheme impossible. He reminds that Adept that they pursued the Kal-a-Nar outside of Olara. The group and the mine and firmly located in Camon. General Gisela Breck, commaner of the Olaran forces they fought beside, would not lead her troops into Camon to pursue the Kal-a-Nar.

If the rangers were to move any significant amount of crysarium out of the mine and into Olara, it would draw attention of both the Olara and Camon. At best, the Prelancy of Camon would seize the mine from the Rangers. At worse, it would spark a broader war in territory that has been contested between Olara and Camon in the past.

Leandron reminds Karrol that the purpose of the Grey Rangers is to guard Shaintar against bigger threats and that allowing the Kingdown of Olara and the Prelancy of Camon to fight over wealth would distract Olara when it needs to be preparing for the bigger threats posed by the Kal-a-Nar, the Red Store, and the forces of Flame and Darkness that threaten Shaintar.

Through the conversation, Zaro attempts to alleviate the situation with jokes and wry observations.

Karrol insists that it could be done carefully and that the benefits outweigh the risks, but Leandron orders that the topic is closed for the evening.

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Session 4
The Island

Date: The 8th day of Raining Leaves, about 8pm.

After the quick battle on the lake shore, the group repairs their raft, carefully watching for more threats from the water. When none materialize, they make a slow crossing, as they have only 1 paddle.

Eska swims, watching carefully. She sees an object in the water, but cannot make out any details. Anton refuses to allow his glowing potion to be carried into the water, so the object is left undisturbed.

On the island, the party discovers a stone slab, roughly 8 feet across, 4 feet wide, and 3 feet tall. The top section of the slab seems to be a lid, set into the stone. Gandogar uses the back of his hammer to pry this section up, ultimately sliding it off.

Inside are four objects:

  • A set of armor
  • A set of bracers
  • A long staff, with a crossbow like head
  • A heavy tome

The Armor, Bracers and Staff are all covered with wires, tubes, knobs, dials and inset with refined, amber crysarium. The armor and bracers are of interest to Gandogar, himself an armorer, but do not meet his satisfaction. While an appropriate size for a dwarf, they are stiff and unwieldy in some places, and loose and bending in others. They do not move or fit as they ought.

The armor is half plate, but has sections at the front and back that appear that they could slide to provide coverage under the arms. However, the panels refuse to budge.

Anton takes up the long staff and attempts to operate it. He is not successful, but neither does he activate anything that might harm himself or his companions.

The book is appears to be a set of schematics for the devices. Eska takes this up, but turns it over to Anton when she realizes she cannot carry it back while swimming.

The party returns to the underground city. Leandron has returned.

The party shares what they have discovered. Leandron and Karrol identify the items as being of Builder make. The staff is an Arclance, a deadly device that can be used as a spear, but can also fire crystalite projectiles with deadly accuracy and distance. It can also be used to stun targets or disrupt magic.

Leandron mentions that Grey Rangers have been killed by the devices in skirmishes with the Red Store.

Anton asks what is required to join the Grey Rangers. Leandron answers that the applicant must been taken on by a more experienced Grey Ranger, must be read, as the party was by Karrol, must prove himself capable of survival, fighting, or some other skill of use to the Grey Rangers, and must swear an oath.

Anton affirms his desire to join the Rangers and Leandron takes him on as a trainee.

The armor is of builder make, and requires activation before it can be useful. Leandron again warns against the builders and is glad that the party, on the Builders, have found this place. He is most interested in the tome and schematics. While he cannot read the builder language, he tells Eska of “Belissa of the Jade Flame, a Korindian who would be interested in the book.”

Leandron also shares his news. The Kal-a-Nar are within the greater underground structure. He followed the tracks of the slain Minotaur and human back to the carved tunnel. While the party had descended deeper into the mountain, the upward path led to another cave. While a portion of the tunnel had been caved in, more Kal-a-Nar were camped beyond the cave-in and had cleared enough to allow the Minotaur and human to explore.

The party makes plans to destroy the Kal-a-Nar scouts before they can alert a larger force.

On the morning on the 9th day of Raining Leaves, the group attacks and defeats the Kal scouts in the entrance to the worked tunnel.

As a speedy Ratzin flees out into the snow, Leandron orders Rakepick to catch him. The catlike brinchie pursues, pouncing on the ratzin and killing it. He spins to return to the fray, only to have a second Ratzin run past him. He turns again and slaughters the small creature, staining the snow red.

Inside, the remainder of the Kal force is destroyed. The last to fall is the enraged Minotaur.

Leandron leads the effort to obscure and hide all traces of the Kal in the chamber. The dead are pulled deeper into the tunnels. White snow is pulled over the red. Tracks are brushed away and snow is used to clean blood from the floor.

The group returns to the underground city, where they begin exploration of the mines, starting with the North Shaft. Gandogar is eager to find a forge and better the party’s equipment.

Despite the notes in the Claimbook describing the mines as exhausted, the group finds that they are flush with crysarium. The valuable minerals is readily available. It can even be extracted by hand.

The North Shaft ends in an open chamber. Here, two digging machines lie idle. Between them a 4 armed Golem stands motionless. 1 limb ends in a claw, but the others end in mining equipment, including a pick, a shovel, and a piston.

In the corner of the room, tucked between two walls and a digging machine, a cluttered structure has been built. Picks, hammers, fragments of beams and other remnants of mining equipment have been collected into what the group describes as a “Nest”. Several backpacks and bits of rotten bedding are also incorporated.

Reener takes point, climbing onto the lip of the structure to look in.

As he places his hand against the wall, a hand and a thick forearm reach through and clasp the goblin’s arm. A white bearded dwarf faces follows through the wall.

“Leave our mine.”

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Session 3
Exploration

Date: The 8th day of Raining Leaves, 3122, about 2pm.

_The fur on the back of Rakepick’s paw stands on end in the ambient energy of the Arcfire runes. He slides the last symbol, showing three triangles topped with circles, below the crysarium. When it slides into line below the other runes, the glow turns from blue to a flickering orange. Like blood in water, the orange spreads across the door, tracing paths of the crysarium on the surface and buried benath the door’s metal, until the left side of the door is bathed in the glow from floor to ceiling.

With a hum and a click, an unseen mechanism unlatches, allowing the left door to swing slowly open. The right remains in place.

The stale air of the chamber beyond reaches your nostrils. Using only the glow on Anton’s potion and the door, you can see little of the room beyond. The newly opened archway gives access to a large, open chamber.

Your light doesn’t reach the ceiling, though it does reach the roofs of two small buildings on opposite sides of the door. Each is no taller than fifteen feet. The width and depth of each extends 10 feet before being lost in darkness._

Lighting a torch to aid in light, the group begins exploring the underground city. The first two buildings, located on either side of the gate’s interior, are mostly empty. They hold only a stone bench and bits and pieces of broken wood.

Deeper, they find two much large buildings. Hodor’s strength allows him to open a wide door, that rises vertically.

Inside is what appears to be a laboratory. Tubes, wires, metal sheets, and refined crysarium litter two long work tables. Large mechanisms of unknown purpose sit on either side of the tables. Despite the crysarium, a common alchemical ingredient, it does not appear to be a alchemists workstation (though it could serve as one). For one matter, it is missing the bottles and flasks commonly used to store potions.

There is some debate among the party as to the origins of the city. Gandogar points to the dwarven runes that they found in the natural passage as evidence of dwarven make. Others suspect the city is the home the Builders seek.

Karrol contacts the group telepathically, requesting a status report. When Leandron is told of the discovery, he requests that they send a guide back. Rakepick volunteers, racing into the darkness. He gets a dozen paces before remembering he can’t see in the dark. Newly equipped with a torch, he sets out again.

Exploration continues. A warehouse occupies the space opposite the laboratory. Inside are:

  • A pile of Crysarium of various degrees and quality. All gain a d4 resource die. Hodor finds a fist sized chunk, roughly the shape of that used on the door.
  • A pair of metal carts. They lack wheels, but are carved with runes, embedded with crysarium, and covered with wires, knobs and dials.
  • Barrels, mostly empty, but some with remnants of mining supplies
  • A single Barrel of Caskmaster beer, “Intestinal Fortitude,” from Anton’s family brewery. It is stamped with the date 3019

The group continues to explore, finding two dormitories, a kitchen, a smaller storeroom, and what was likely once another dormitory, but is now in disarray. The stone door has been smashed to pieces. Wood and rocks are strewn about the floor. In the ceiling, the remnants of a stone structure still cling to their fastenings on the wall. A hole is opened in the ceiling, extending to darkness.

In the rubble, the remnants of a book are found. The cover identifies it as the “”/wikis/log-and-claimbook-of-dourin-limestone" class=“wiki-page-link”> Log and Claimbook of Dourin Limestone, Scribe and Accountant of Farrin Bearstrong."

Two passages lead from the city into mines, but these are left alone for now. Instead, focus turns to what appears to be a temple.

The walls of the temple are covered in runes, similar to those on the door and on several of the devices in the underground city. There are dioramas showing scenes of motherhood or possibly fertility.

An altar or idol stands at the far end of the temple. A mother figure is carved into the idol, her torso extending out of the altar. Her arms are extended above her head with each hand cupped as if holding something. Refined amber crysarium is set into the base of the altar. There are two gaps at the back which could hold more.

The party rearranges crysarium, and ultimately adds two new gems to the empty socket (from those they found earlier), however, nothing changes.

Only when Anton asks Hodor for his fist sized chunk of Crysarium, does something magical occur. When it is placed in the Mother’s hand, the altar glows with orange energy… but then fades.

The group runs to the Gate, removing the crysarium used there, and returns to the temple. Without power, the gate closes slowly behind them.

When the second stone is placed in the altar, the energy returns with more power. Lights throughout the city (set into globes in the walls) turn on. Additionally, the altar moves forward to reveal stairs beneath.

The stairs lead to an underground lake. A light from above illuminates a small island with a stone slab about 300’ into the lake. A repeating string of runes line the edge of the lake. No magic is detected. The water is still.

The 12’ tall Hodor attempts to wade to the lake, but reaches neck deep. Eska swims about a bit, but the party decides they need a raft in order to reach the island. They depart, not noticing the ripples on the water as they climb the stairs.

Meanwhile, as Rakepick made his way back up the passages to the cave where the rangers were staying, he smells the too familiar smell of the Kal-a-Nar. Stowing the light, he proceeds forward and finds a human and a Minotaur exploring the large cavern. He waits until they have moved away, then dashes for the passage leading to the Grey Rangers.

Leandron orders Zaro, Netia and Rakepick to kill the intruders. They do so, but Netia is slane by the Minotaur’s axe.

The Grey Rangers and escaped slaves move all their supplies, including Betsy the Mule, to the underground city. Once everyone is secure, Leandron departs to find how the Kal-a-Nar were able to enter the cavern.

Rakepick and Zaro help the others complete the raft and carry it to the lake.

Everyone is loaded and Hodor has just pushed them off when a Troll erupts from the water, splitting the raft apart and spilling its occupants into the water. The Troll is aided by a Dregordian, who attempt to knock or pull others beneath the wave. A troglodyte and several humanoid creatures emerge from the water to aid in this goal.

Hodor, wielding a stalactite, dispatches the Troll. Once downed, the creature’s body turns to water and flows back into the lake. The other monsters each do the same as they are summarily dispatched. Eska can detect the power of Darkness in the creatures.

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Session 2
Escape

Following the lead of Leandron and the other Grey Rangers, the group travels 4 miles from the Kalinesh camp and reaches the camp the rangers used as a staging area for their attack against the Kal.

During the night, it begins to snow. It is unusually early for such weather. The cold adversely affects Rakepick and Eska. The Brinchie and Dregorian are not used to such cold climates.

In the morning, the 7th day of the month Raining Leaves, Leandron asks the freed slaves to submit to a reading. Each must tell a story of their selves as Karrol, himself an Adept like Eska, searches their mind for ill will against the Rangers.

Anton tells of his childhood with the Caskmaster brewers, and his interest in Alchemy.

Hodor tells of how he was raised in Anton’s family.

Reener tells of his life of slavery among the Kal-a-Nar.

Gandogar tells of how he fell into disgrace by losing a prized armor, commissioned of his father, to a raiding band of goblinesh.

Eska tells of how she was captured by the Kal-a-Nar and taken from her home of Dregordia, all the while concealing her abilities as an Adept.

Rakepick tells of his mother and how she was lost, or a least separated from him, in a fire that burned through their makeshift home.

Karrol finds no ill will, though he seems to think little of the goblinesh. Netia warns him against speaking ill of her “Little brother or big brother”.

Another alchemist, Alfie, was awaiting the rangers in their camp. While not a Grey Ranger, he has been assisting them through the War of Flame.

With confidence that they harbor no threats, Leandron shares that he had planned to lead the freed slaves south, out of the mountains, through Camon territory, and into friendly Olaran territory. Getting out of the mountains should require no more than 2 days, but is made much more difficult by the snow.

As there is no confidence that Rakepick or Eska could handle a full day in the cold… or that the Gargoyle and the pursuing Kal could be avoided in the snow… the party decides to seek shelter.

Leandron and Zaro set out to hunt and scout.

Rakepick, Eska, Alfie, Hodor, and Netia set our in search of shelter.

Karrol, Anton, Gandogar and Reener set out to find Fireroot, an herb that may aid against the symptoms of the cold.

The group searching for shelter spots a roving band of Kal-a-Nar, including 2 minotaurs, but chooses not to engage. They are successful in avoiding detection and are able to find a natural cave before returning to the ranger camp.

Karrol, Anton and Gandogar are able to find Fireroot easily and return to the camp, but Reener continues his own hunt for food. Karrol scolds him not to lead anyone back, but lets him go on his own.

Hearing strange noises from the woods, the little goblins discovers the 4 Builders as they work at some project in the woods.

Being Cautious, Reener returns to the camp and gathers the others.

When all have returned, Leandron says that the Rangers will lead the frail to the cave, but asks the others to investigate the Builders. He is keenly interested to know what brings the builders to this area.

All travel to the Builders, where they find the 4 dwarf-like creatures working to clean and restore a golem. The device, made of stone or metal, is covered in knobs, tubes and crystalite protrusions.

While the group is prepared for a fight, Anton takes the lead, approach with a friendly “hello” and wave. Despite the very wary response of the Builders and their poor understanding of Galean, the tense situation remains peaceful.

Anton’s cheery nature and persistence allows him to reach the golem, where he begins to fiddle with the mechanisms under the eyes of the builders. He even manages to spark some locomotion from the device.

The others converse with the translating builder, who identifies himself as “Samael”. The conversation tends to circle around several topics:

  • This is their machine
  • The Builders are looking for their home
  • Arcfire is better than smithing and other technology

Alfie also joins the conversation, convincing Samael to share a map of the area. This map clearly identifies the location of the Kal-a-Nar warcamp, as well as several lines running throughout the mountains. When Alfie asks about the lines, Samael quickly pulls the map away.

Finally, the builders insist it is time to leave, and the party departs peacefully.

The group follows the rangers to the cave. Looking back in the direction of the Builders, one can see the Gargoyle circling.

Once they reach the cave, Leandron gives his own opinion of the Builders. While they appear neutral to the lands of the South (Olara, Galea, the Free Lands, the Fae Nation, etc.), they actively avoid supporting the Grey Rangers. Their ultimate goals are unknown.

Karrol talks of the nature of their Arcamancy or Arcfire technology. It is a new source of magic, powered by crysarium, that presents itself as a strange blending of The Way, Pattern, and Flame.

Anton sets himself to work at Alchemy, crafting a healing potion.

Gandogar, Rakepick, Reener and Hodor set about exploring the cave. They find a passage deeper into the mountain, a very large open cavern, an a natural pool. In the shallows of the pool, Gandogar finds an old dwarven hammer.

They proceed deeper, finding another passage, flanked by a pair of stalagmites and stalactites that give the impression of fangs. As they search deeper, they find that each time this natural passage splits, a dwarven rune has been left to mark the way. Ultimately, this leads to a passage of worked stone that crosses against the natural passage. One path leads down, deeper, the other up.

They return to the others.

Suspecting that the passage is related to the Builders, the group decides to investigate the next day.

Anton crafts a potion of Arcane Resistance. This potion glows with its own light, acting as a torch for the group’s explorations.

The weeping orc passes in the night, of natural causes. Netia attempts to bury her, but settles for a cairn at Gandogar’s mocking suggestion.

As they explore the crafted passage, heading deeper into the depths of the mountain, another crack and passage is discovered. Anton and Gandogar squeeze into the passage and follow it until it reaches a vertical airshaft. They leave the passage alone and return to the others.

They follow more turns in the tunnel before it opens into a domed room. Crossing the dome stands a large gate of intricate design. Crystalline and depressed patterns run over the entirety of the door. Two statues, similar to those the Builders were working, stand on either side of the door.

The group explores. Anton and Gandogar work the door. There are no handles, bars, or other mechanical means of opening the passage.

Rakepick looks for traps. While he doesn’t find any, he does notice that the right hinge of the door is damaged, showing the effects of a blast. There is a circular orb of crysarium embedded in the hinge, larger than a closed fist.

Anton remove the crysarium from the socket and finds a place where it fits into the left side of the door.

Once the crysarium is in place, 3 runes appear surrounding the crysarium. A trial shows that they are safe to touch. When moved, they slide over the surface of the stone door.

The runes interact with each other, pushing each other aside when moved together and sliding apart slightly when released. There seems to be a border as to how far they can be removed from the crysarium before they simply stop.

Anton attempts to rearrange the runes, but receives a blast of orange energy when he does. He is unharmed, but nervous.

The party turns their attention to the golems. 1 has runes matching the door. The other shares 2 runes, but has a different third.

Rakepick returns to the door. He arranges the runes in a different matter and is rewarded when the door hums to life. It slowly rolls forward, revealing a small city hidden behind the gate.

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Session 1
The Shattered Warband

Year: 3122
Date: Unkown, either Forest Dance or Raining Leaves

Anton, Gandogar, Rakepick, Hodor, Reener, and Eska awake in the Kal-a-Nar war camp. They do not know the date, but do know that it has been two days since they’ve eaten anything. They are shackled at the hands, each linked by a chain to a tall pillar and then to another captive.

The Kal Camp is positioned around a ruins. The slaves are located at the back of the camp, against a cliff face. The cook tent is too the North, with the warriors settled mostly to the North East and East.

4 other slaves are present: A pair of orcs, an elderly female goblin, and a human.

The group is roused by the Slave Driver, a cruel human of the Kal-a-Nar empire, wielding a Kal Barbed Whip. He sets the group to work about the camp.

Anton and Rakepick are set to work repairing armor and weapons throughout the camp. At the Brinchie’s request, Anton sheers off a thin strip of metal, which Rakepick uses, somewhat surprisingly, to unclasp his shackles. Confident that he could do it again, he closes his bonds and secrets the metal under his fur.

Reener and Eska are sent out with Kalinesh hunters. When a deer is killed, they carry it back to the cook tent. There, the Brinchie cook, “Cookie”, says that he’s already “found some meat”. The deer is placed on a table as the Cook returns to his stew.

Gandogar and the giant Ogre Hodor are set to work digging a grave in the stony ground. Armed with shovels and brash overconfidence, the pair discuss trying to fight their way out from the center of the camp. However, before they make such a move, an exhausted voice seems to speak into their minds, saying, “Just wait for tonight, won’t you. Sigh”. They complete their task, dropping the body of the previous Kal commander into the grave and covering it up.

When the six slaves are returned to their camp, once again chained to the pillars, they find that one of the orcs is missing. The other is weeping, complaining that Brinchie are demons and will “kill us all!”

Soon, Cookie and the Slave Driver return, taking Eska and Reener to carry the stew to the remaining commanders and their guest. They carry the stew through the ruins, and serve it to the Slave Driver, a tall Kal Warrior Commander, and a War Priestess, as well as their guests, 4 strange creatures. They have the appearance of dwarves, but have red skin. Eska and Reener have heard of Builders, but never seen them before.

Cookie leads the slave away, but pauses behind the door, curious to hear the discussion. In very broken Galean, the Builders explain that they are searching for their ancient home. They ask the Kal-a-Nar to give them free passage, and offer to help them in return. They have contacts in Camon who could give them passage back to the Kal-a-Nar empire.

This sets off debate, in Kalinesh, among the three commanders. The Kal Warrior eagerly wishes to return. The Slave Driver is for making for the Malakar Dominion, where they could find places in the Maelstrom. The War Priest wishes to make sacrifices to Ceyanara to determine her will.

At this, Cookie pulls the slaves away and returns them to their pillar.

Once again, Rakepick frees himself from his manacles and begins freeing the others. Hodor is left dragging a long chain, but the others are all freed. The group heads to the wagons near the Cook tent, hoping to find equipment, but the dragging chain alerts Cookie, who comes to investigate.

Eska reacts quickly. A splash of blue energy greets the Brinchie cook as he exits the tent, dropping him.

The party equips themselves as best they can from the wagons and cook tent and plan their escape. However, as they leave, they again draw attention. Before the startled guard can sound a warning, an arrow pierces him from above. Zaro, an Aevakar Grey Ranger Scout, has come to help them escape. He frees Hodor from the trailing chain, and distributes potions and some additional weapons to the group.

As the group, including the other slaves and a mule, follow Zaro’s escape route, an object falls from the cliff face and lands just in front of the escapees.

With a roar, what had appeared to be a boulder unfurls broad wings and reveals itself as a fearsome gargoyle.

The beast wades through the escapees, shrugging off their attacks. Its red eyes focus on the Aevakar.

Zaro flees to the skies, but the Gargoyle pursues, catching the ranger with a fearsome blow that drops him back to earth.

Moved by the plight of their new ally, Anton displays unusual courage, leaping to action with a hatchet. The escapees follow his example. Some secure the escape route, others attack the gargoyle and the Kal Warriors who’ve been alerted.

The sounds of battle come from elsewhere in the camp.

The group is successful in dealing with the few ratzin and Kal who stumble upon this area of the camp. Hodor manages to grab hold of the gargoyle, preventing it from escaping to make a snack of the Aevakar held in its grasp, but no lasting damage is done to the stony creature until Rakepick scrambles up the Ogre, onto the Gargoyle, and begins clawing at its eyes. At last, the Gargoyle gives up its prize and flies away.

After being given a healing potion, Zaro recovers enough to lead the frail slaves away, while the emboldened group follows the sounds of battle to the other Grey Rangers. They find Leandron Everwalk, Karrol Gessler, and Netia Ott in battle against the Slave Driver, Kal Warrior commander, the War Priestess, and several others.

When the fighting is finished, the Kal Warrior is dead, and the Slave Driver and War Priestess have fled. Leandron allows the others a moment to gather additional equipment, and then leads them from the remains of the shattered warband.

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