Tironde

The Hidden City

Lukham, Kuori, Marukh, and Kayda hide out in a small, mostly-intact building within the ruins of Nyonad Wyndill as night descends over the excavation. They rest for the night while patrols pass outside in the streets searching for them. One patrol almost enters the outer chamber of their building before the overseer warns them off for fear of ancient traps. “No, no, no, no, no! Do NOT go in. You saw what happened the last time we went in one of these buildings? BZZZZT. Yeah, save it for the slaves. Come on, let’s go,” he says. The patrol moves away, but the leader stands in the doorway scanning the street for a split-second – which is just long enough for Kuori to whack him on the head with Chopper and drag his limp body back to the rest of the group.

The guard groggily wakes in a few moments, and as consciousness returns, a faint green tattoo fades from the skin around his left eye. As he shakes, his leather helmet falls to the ground, and Kayda finally sees him for who he is – Terran, her old boyfriend. Her old boyfriend whom she suspects was behind the destruction of her village. Sometimes it’s tough to stay friends after a break-up. Especially when they kill everyone you know and scatter your family to the four winds.

As it turns out, Terran had been wandering from town to town, trying to find his place in the world after the destruction of the Draakki tribe and one day found himself sitting in the back row of a strange little church service in a dank alleyway. The image of a shiny, dark dragon appeared at the height of the ceremony and breathed a noxious gas over the participants and ever since, it has made perfectly logical sense to follow the commands of the evil overlord of Nyonad Wyndill. That leader just so happens to be one Rhaegos the Mad, a fairly young Orium dragon. Marukh remarks that Orium dragons are roughly half copper, half black, and completely evil – he suggests removing the dragon’s head. Terran, now free of Rhaegos’ control leads the party in to ambush the dragon’s crack team of dragonkin bodyguards. Well, mostly. Lukham because infatuated with the strange magical runes on the wall and decided to stay there to conduct field research on the magical channels to learn of practical applications in artificing. The remainder of the group creeps in to the dragonkin barracks to find Azgalorn standing over one guard, dagger poised for the kill. Together, they defeat the dragonkin and the guard drakes to clear the way for a final assault on Rhaegos the Mad. Also, Terran nearly dies, but Kayda finds it in her heart to save him while nearly sacrificing herself.

The party collects themselves quickly after wresting a small fortune in gold from the elite guards, and ascends to the center of the old temple, where Rhaegos awaits in the darkness. Just outside the chamber, Lukham catches up to the group, huffing and puffing, visibly winded, but with a staggering discovery….. … … …

For defeating the Dragonguard, each character gains 250xp
Total treasure found: 290g+170g+260g=720g

NEXT TIME, ON ADVENTURES IN TIRONDE
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Into the Woods

Back in Valaris, the victorious heroes rest after their daring rescue mission. In the basement of the makeshift headquarters, Lukham examines Kuori’s axe, Chopper to make it Harder, Better, Faster, Choppier. Lukham successfully serrates the blade in a few spots to make it a little more lethal. A discussion is also held about latent magical abilities, with Kuori reasoning that Kayda is like a “Skytalker” of her tribe since she talks to spirits. The leaders of Valaris, Ealodel and Edrad can’t decide what to do. They decide that they must retreat and give up the town to save the people, but Marukh has to reason between them to eventually make up their minds to move to the Human town of Trone, where hopefully they will be received well by the xenophobic humans. The heroes grab lunch at the free kitchen and head east toward the Emerald Jungle.

Marukh falls in the river while trying to fill his waterskin, and Lukham has to fish him out. Miles, unfortunately, gets waterlogged in the process – but Marukh comes up with a fish. That evening, Kuori beds the party down in a copse of poison ivy, Azgalorn fails at fishing, Lukham repairs Miles, and Kayda feeds the group by foraging for nearby berries. A very itchy party ventures into the Jungle itself the following day.

Unable to cross the river, the party is stymied. Azgalorn climbs a tree to get a better view, and fortuitously, it falls across the river creating a bridge. Kuori falls off the bridge, but she rights herself and continues on.

Atop a hill on the south side of the river, the party looks down into a large excavated crater onto the ruins of. A patrol of orcs and goblins charge the party!

Skill Challenge

Lukham Prestidigitates everyone into orcs
Kuori Intimidates orcs into stopping their charging
Marukh Tries to disguise them better (FAIL)
Kayda Insight: learns a bit about the intentions of the patrol
Lukham Bluffs into that they’re another patrol out on their way back, talks with the leader of the charge, Gar’lok, and convinces him that they were boyhood friends, long-lost
Kuori Takes Gar’lok by the throat and holds him hostage
Marukh Tries to pray a holy explosion to startle the orcs, but just fizzles out his own illusion (FAIL)
Kayda Fluffy takes down a goblin with a flurry of claws
Lukham Knocks down a branch with a shot and incaps two orcs with it
Kuori Can’t hang on to Gar’lok and he wrestles away (FAIL)

Azgalorn gets into a fight with Lukham and leaves for the deep jungle.

The remainder of the group lights a fire for a diversion and sneaks into the ruins.

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Stopping the Sacrifice

BANG!

CLANG-CLANG-CLATTER-THUD

The thick wooded door rolled to a stop after a theatrical punt from Marukh’s boot as the heroes entered the Cathedral of Sehaine. The gnolls swiftly closed on the party, striking them fiercely down. The gnoll warlock attempted to continue the ritual despite the fight, but Azgalorn’s quick thinking allowed him to interrupt it before more innocent blood was shed. Just as the other gnolls were dispatched, however, the power of Yeenoghu came upon them at the moment of their death and they struck down Kuori, Lukham, and Marukh. Kayda swiftly saved them from certain death, only to be struck down again by Yeenoghu’s deathsworn gnolls. As the last of the gnolls finally fell to the ground (again), Lukham rushed frantically to revive his brother. With a concerted effort of will and some powerful pharmaceuticals, Marukh pulled through and sputtered awake. And oh yeah, Kuori was healed too. The chief of the Council of Valaris, Edrad thanked the group through gritted teeth as a sacrificial knife was pulled out of his shoulder. The group escorted the freed council members through the sewers and back to the north side of the river, where they met up with Guard Captain Ealodel once more.

Edrad and Ealodel were eternally grateful to the heroes for saving the noncombatants of Valaris, prompting Edrad to present Marukh with the holy Oathblade of his order. They decided that they would, at the party’s urging, consider evacuation of the city until reinforcements could be brought to clear the city. The Champions of Valaris decided to rest in the town hall before deciding their next move.

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Back Across the River
...and then back again

As the last of the elven prisoners ducked into the tunnel, the gnolls, led by a warlock, rushed at the group. Blood was spilled, and things even looked bad for the group for a hot minute, until they rallied and defeated the gnolls. They returned through the tunnel to find the battered guards still holding, but bloodied from their distraction. Ealodel pointed out to them that they didn’t save the mayor… whoops.

They head back into the sewers to take the alternate tunnel they didn’t go down before, in hopes that it led to the cathedral. It did. As Azgalorn peeked in on the secret sacrifice to Yeenoghu, Marukh kicked in the door to the central sanctuary and chaos ensued.

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Standoff at the Valaris Corral

The party made their way a bit further down the road to where the road met the River Acheron, and happened upon the town of Valaris. The gate guards told them of the gnolls who had conquered the southern half of the town, south of the river, and cut them off at the bridges. The heroes head into the town hall to meet with Ealodel, captain of the guard. Ealodel immediately recognizes Kuori as former mercenary with her previous company. The team decides to have the town guard create a diversion whilst they sneak into the sewer access tunnels below the river to rescue the prisoners being kept by the gnolls.

Under cover of the guards’ battlecries, the heroes drop into the sewer tunnel, only to be accosted by a few skulking gnolls who spotted their subterfuge. Blood was spilled, but the adventurers were successful in dispatching them before they could run for help. The other end of the tunnel comes up in a ruined basement just across the street from the old jail, where the prisoners are being held. As the guard’s attack wanes, our heroes are spotted trotting across the street and into the jail, slamming the door shut just as the gnolls reach them in pursuit. Kuori barricades the door to buy them some time to free the prisoners, while Kayda searches the old jail frantically for them.

As Kuori and Marukh hold the furniture against the door, Azgalorn picks the lock on the cells, freeing 20 starving and scared townsfolk. Lukham bandages a few of them up, making them fit to travel, and Kuori and Marukh try to inspire them before their escape, but end up scaring them instead. Just as things look bleak, Lukham and Kayda blow the door open in a shower of splinters as Fluffy bursts into the street, wreathed in alchemical flame. The gnolls are startled back, and the team secures the street as the civilians flee into the tunnels. The gnolls close in, as the heroes huddle to protect each others’ backs.

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Meet Chopper (and Kuori)

Startled by the sound of gnoll warhorns, our heroes scatter towards the treeline east of the road. Before they can get there, however, a Goliath with a huge axe comes hurtling down the hillside over the road after them, being pursued by four gnolls atop giant rats. The newcomer Kuori (and her axe, Chopper) assists the party in dealing with the gnoll outriders and introduces herself as a country-western weaponmaster traveling the world to learn the deadliest techniques. She decides to accompany the group on their quest to find Nyonad Wyndill and the secrets therein.

At that fortuitous moment, however, more warhorns bleat in the distance, indicating further gnoll pursuit. The five champions rode (or ran) hastily further into the woods to escape. Being the first major adventure for most of them, they made a few rookie mistakes. Marukh rode into the trees with reckless abandon to draw off the pursuit, but wasn’t watching and was unhorsed by a tree branch. Kayda conjured a wind to mask their scent, but blew it the wrong direction, directly into their adversaries. Eventually the entire pack of over fifty gnolls cornered and surrounded them, snapping jaws and gleeful howls all around. Their leader, a taller and beefier gnoll, requested their money and their horses. Lukham successfully bluffed them away as paupers with only two gold pieces to their name, so the gnolls took their horses and two gold pieces and left them alone in the deep forest.

They made their way back to the road and continued on their journey until twilight descended. They found a shallow cave to shelter in for the night and settled down to rest. While on watch, Kuori accidentally slays a sneaking gnoll just before a huge gnoll leaps down from the overhang to assault her. She wakes the party and begins a pitched battle against the gnoll, who seems to be a bit of an independent operator rather than part of the other warband. Slaying him, the party finds a few powerful items in his shield and knife, no doubt stolen from other adventurers he previously waylaid in this cave. In the morning, the party awoke rested and ready for the final leg of their journey to the Emerald Jungle.


Level = 2
Bloodclaw Dagger +1
Bloodguard Shield

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On the Road Again
"Moo."

Leaving the Justicar’s Hall, the group of unlikely heroes departs on their journey to find the hidden ruins of Nyonad Wyndill. They first head to the Highlands district of western Kyne to procure magical components at Digrad’s Fine Magicks Emporium. The owner, a gnome named Digrad, throws in a little extra dust in the deal with Lukham’s vow to shop there again.

The party then finds horses at the friendly stables by the gate and ride off onto the open road. They take the south road, which bisects the continent from Kyne to Acheron, passing the Emerald Jungle. Tensions flare on the road as the heroes argue about each other’s history and origins. A flash-flood threatens to wash them and the horses off the road, but they manage to charge up a hill and break into a farmer’s barn to shelter from the storm for the night.

In the morning, an old man with a mean dog open up the barn door to find the stowaways. Azgalorn, meanwhile, hides in the hayloft while the other trespassers are confronted by the farmer. He’s confused as to why they stayed in the barn rather than knocking on the door, but requests their help in milking some cows. Kayda and the dwarves acquiesce, and a few buckets of milk later, the farmer thanks them with a few days of jerkey. Azgalorn nimbly leaps from the barn, slides down a beam, grinds off the gutter and rolls softly up to his feet as he trots down the hill from the farm to catch up to the waiting group.

A few days further down the road, as the party breaks camp to travel, Kayda awakes from strange dreams. The group freezes in place as they hear an ominous sound – the tell-tale bleating warhorn of a gnoll warband on the hunt.

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Land, ho
Welcome to Kyne

As our heroes haul themselves up onto the wharf, the harbormaster approaches them with two guards. He introduces himself as Mik Reeder, and seems a pretty even-keel dock administrator, if a little bored with his work. Lukham shoots a barb into the rowboat, sending it to Davy Jones’ Locker, thus avoiding a dock rental, but losing a valuable vehicle. The harbormaster peers at the burning ships on the horizon and suggests the group check in at the Justicar’s Hall to report what happened to the authorities.

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Lukham meanwhile gets directions to the closest tavern from a laborer, and the group heads toward a reputable establishment – The Old Maiden. A busy evening tavern and inn, The Old Maiden is bustling with drink and excitement. Belda, the owner and entrepreneur, provides drink with a wink, and the group mingles amongst the crowd for a bit. Azgalorn, being much taller than his companions, spots a soggy half-elf alone at a table and recognizes her from the ship. The three move then to meet her and find out how she got there.

They meet Kayda, who is equally pissed about the circumstances surrounding their enslavement. They decide to venture to the Justicar’s Hall together on the morrow to try to discover who enslaved them in the first place. Kayda rents two rooms and heads upstairs to retire. Azgalorn attempts to line his pockets with the contents of… other patrons’ pockets. He is unfortunately caught while attempting to pickpocket two gnomes simultaneously and has to do some fast talking to avoid an encounter with the law. He heads to bed. The dwarves drink into the wee hours of the morning, eventually crashing in their own room.

In the morning, the group enjoys a fabulous feast. Of bread. And water. Also, Kayda has honey glazed ham. They then beat feet toward the Justicar’s Hall. mosque-dome-4323100.jpg Entering the Hall, they are met by the receptionist, Jerome, a pale, lanky teenage boy who points them toward a glass breakfast room at the corner of the building. There, they meet with Lord Steward Bertio and Librarian Ono. Bertio is the head of all Justicars in the Kyne district. Ono is a priest of Ioun, patron of learning and knowledge. As the group is explaining their plight, Ono remarks that the name of a ship was found on driftwood earlier that morning. And just at that time, a brick shatters the window, followed by a flaming bottle of booze which sets Kayda alight as four cloaked figures enter the window under a cloud of dust, and strike out against Librarian Ono.

The group defeats the assassins, and Ono shares why the assassins were after him, uncovering the symbol of Vecna on their bodies. He shares with the group a map to a hidden, ancient city deep in the southern wilds, the Emerald Jungle where legends tell of a civilization that lived in symbiosis with magic, integrating their magics into their society completely. The group agreed to investigate this map straight away, in hopes of discovering powerful magical artifacts within.

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On the way out, the group stops to check on Jerome, who defeated an assassin by himself, but got a nasty wound in the side from it. Lukham tries to heal him. He tries so hard he actually stops his heart as he injects him with Alchemist’s Fire instead of Healer’s Solvent. Whoopsie. It takes a concerted group effort to save Jerome’s life. They revive him, and leave him to rest, while Azgalorn lifts a Bag of Holding Fanny Pack and three potions of healing from the dead assassin.

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The Pirate's Booty
Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson and You

Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Azgalorn, Marukh, and Lukham come out slowly from a hazy mind-fog to find themselves rowing along as galley slaves on the Imperious Raven. After an all-day shift, they’re shoved back into their living quarters and given some meager foods. Lukham and Marukh try to make conversation with their peers, to no avail. Azgalorn, stoic as always, breaks off a bed leg and knocks out a fellow slave in an attempt to get him talking. Attempt unsuccessful, other than the blood which spurted from the poor man’s skull. Meanwhile, Marukh and Lukham similarly fashion two shivs from the pewter platter which their dinner was served on, and two clubs from the bed legs.

Azgalorn bangs on the door at the exact moment that a pirate raider ship crashes into the boat, throwing the door off its hinges. Marukh breaks the door the rest of the way off, the three of them gear up in the armory, and charge headlong into the pirate battle on the main deck, atop the stairs.

Azgalorn bluffs a pirate into trying to convince the captain to let them go, and his captain shoots him through the eye for insubordination. Azgalorn then intimidates the pirate captain into retreating from the battle to let his subordinates deal with them.

The party dispatches the pirates and dives into a rowboat, and beats feet to Kyne, where a dockman ladders them up and suggests to talk to the dockmaster about renting this space on the dock if they’re gonna park their rowboat there.

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