Upon returning to Ironridge the Captain of the guard approaches. "Ah.... its good to see the old woodsman is safe, but I have more troubling news. While you were away, more townsfolk were taken, Mostly women and children. I was able to spare a few of my guards to look into the matter but I have not heard from them since. The last mention was they were tracking some red robed figures out to the Old Moathouse. I know you are just returning but I need you find the townsfolk. People are panicking!"
Grabthroat pulls his axe from his side and points it at the Captain, "Don't be gittin ur panties in a twist, give me time to grab sum ale. Or you be havin summin worse ta deal wit! Besides I don't see you gittin off your arse ta do sommin about it!"
Surprisingly the Captain seemed to be taken back by the remarks and did not respond to the Dwarf. A look of panic started across the face of the militia leader as he looked to the other adventurers. "What am I to do? I didn't want this job? I wanted to bake rolls, croissants, and flats breads. I wanted my own bakery! I didn't ask for this!"
Sensing the deep despair Alyanna approached the dishearten guardsman. With a gentle flick of her hair and a twinkle in her eye she says to him. "Things will get better. Don't let the short stubby half man bother you. (Grabthroat grunts in displeasure) My friends and I will look into the matter, once we are able to re-supply." Alyanna puts her hands on the shoulders and peers into the eyes of the captain. "Your job is important. You have to keep the townsfolk calm. I'd suggest you get it together and grow a set! "
The heroes leave the half witted Captain of the guard and head into town to restock.
The next morning the adventures meet at the front gate to begin their journey, but one member is missing. "Where... is.... Gor-don?" Orin says mysteriously to the others. (With a name like Orin Darkseed, everything is mysterious. Continue to read Orin's statements as William T. Kirk for full effect) Grabthroat and Alyanna shrug their shoulders and look around. "Hmph green skins" Grabthroat mutters under his breath.
As they waited a few moments a guardsman runs up to the group. "Alyanna, more people were taken" He pauses to catch his breath. "They....they took....your goblin friend.. Elmo wanted me to inform you."
"What, how is that possible?" She responds.
Putting his finger to his mouth the guardsman ponders and then responds. "We'll I don't pretend to know all the fine arts of kidnapping but I think they would have used some sort or tool to maybe knock out the goblin. And then I would think they would have used some type of material to bound or tie up the individual, before transporting him to a location for ransom, imprisonment or even sacrifices."
The heroes look at the guard puzzled and Grabthroat pipes up. "Me thinks der guardsman is a pint short of a pint haha" With a quick elbow to the side of the outspoken dwarf, Alyanna looks to the guard. "Thank you for..... that ....interesting information. We shall go forth and rescue the townsfolk and our companion and friend Gor-Don."
With a flick of her hair with one hand, Alyanna lifts her sword high in the air with the other. "I Alyanna Waystone, Priestess of the moon, Cleric to all that is good shall smite the evil that has caused the town so much pain. With the radiant holy power I shall......."
“Come on woman, pick up da pace.” Grabthroat shouts to the cleric as he and Orin are already a few yards away.
After a days travel the heroes meet up with a druid and his companion. He informs them he has been sensing a disturbance in the natural forces of the area and was investigating. He introduces himself as Karajan Druidae and this is Chomper. He offers to assist the adventures with their explorations.
The druid was played by our newest Delves member Stu.
During the next day, Orin spots numerous animals heading south away from the point of their destination. Bears, wildcats, elk and the like can be seen moving away at a quick pace. They seem paranoid and scared as if evading something dangerous like a forest fire. The flora of the area is becoming withered and lifeless
Bending low Orin grabs some dirt and rubs it through his fingers. “There is…..something strange…at play here.” He comments mysteriously. “Druid.... do you.... sense that” Orin glances at Karajan
“Aye, the ground is being drained of its life essence. The nutrients are all but gone." the druid replies.
“I sense the area is tainted with evil. The closer we get to the Moathouse the stronger the impression. I’ve got a bad feeling about this” Alyanna says uneasily.
“Go on wit yur foolishness, just means more enemies for me and my axe to deal wit” Grabthroat proclaims as he continues his march. “She’s bloody well sharp n ready. Bring em on! He shouts into the cool crisp air.
The adventures continue onward for another day before reaching the gate of the old Moathouse. They find the building has held well to the test of time, small damage and weathering can be seen in various places. The heroes cross the moat for a closer look.
"Be care....my friends....tread lightly.....as I sense evil is a foot" Orin warns as he surveys the perimeter.
"Evil a foot? I'll tear evil's foot off! And beat'n wit it!" Grabthroat snickers as he advances towards the courtyard.
A look of concern molds its way across Alyanna's face. "Stay close Grabthroat. We don't know what is in there."
The stubborn dwarf continued his exploration of the courtyard. Knowing strength in numbers and that Grabthroat's axe has been the sharpest blade, they decide to keep pace with the dwarven warrior.
While the others explored the courtyard Orin takes cover in some trees. Notching an arrow as he observes his surrounds.
Then suddenly a low, rumbling voice was heard. "I smell you mortals Do not try to hide from me!"
Alyanna could feel dark forces at play and called upon her divine god for aid.
Again the menacing voice was heard. "Do not try to hide from me, I am more powerful then you can imagine mwahhaa!"
"Coward, show urself! I've got an Axe wit ur name on it laddy!" Shinkicker shouted as he warily moved deeper into the courtyard.
Karajan pointed forward. "Chomper go see what you can find." With that Chomper dashed further into the courtyard only to stop in its tracks after a few strides.Growls and shrieks were heard from the small lizard as it stood still.
Then, as if out of thin air, the formation of the creature appeared a few feet in front of Chomper. Karajan's eyes widen and he could not believe what he was seeing. "Its the size of a behemoth...... look at those red beady eyes, that tainted ivory.....armor....its...its...its a BONE DRAGON!!!! The druid yelled.
Orin wasted no time and loosed an arrow at the abomination, only to have it bounce of the dragon's thick bony hide.
The undead lizard let out a vicious roar. "Tonight you all will die. Taste the fires of death" The bone dragon lets loose a fiery blast from its maw.
The flames engulfed Chomper, Alyanna and Grabthroat. Luckily the priestess was able to raise her shield in time to divert the flames. Chomper also fared well, being able to evade most of the flaming blast. Grabthroat took the brunt of the blaze, which only made him angry.
Alyanna knew she had to react. Raising her shield and looking to the sky she ordered. "Father of the moon, maker of that is good, banish this abomination back to whence it came" The shield began to glow and shake, when suddenly a beam of light bursts forth and surrounded both Alyanna and the Bone Dragon.
"What did you do?, you wretched mortal" The bone dragon snarled as he was compelled to flee Alyanna.
Seizing the opportunity Grabthroat rose his great axe high and brought it down hard on the undead dragon. Bits of bone flew in all directions from the vicious blow. Chomper also charged in with claws and teeth, sinking them deep into the dragon's form.
Alyanna continued forward pushing the undead creature back causing it to recoil from her holy powers. Orin continued to rain down arrows on the undead lizard. Karajan Druidae moved to a better vantage point within the trees to better aid his companion.
"Enough of this, you can not defeat me!" The Bone dragon snapped as it took to the air only to drive directly at Orin. The dragon's jaws opened wide to swallow Orin. With quick reflexes the Ranger dodged the fierce attack. "Guys.....this is... a little too close....a little help...please!" Orin exclaimed.
The Druid, Chomper and Alyanna quickly rushed to the aid of their comrade.
The dragon continued his assault on Orin. Claws and teeth tore deep into his flesh.
Again the Priestess of the moon directed her righteous power on the bone dragon.
"You revolting witch! What is this power." The dragon hissed and screamed trying to fight the urge to flee from her. But the divine power was to great and the dragon began to take to the air.
"Not this time, you ain't goin anywhere. Taste my Axe!" Grabthroat bellowed as he charged forward. With a mighty swing the great axe sunk deep into the back of the undead creature. A single hiss was heard as the bone dragon slumped over on the ground.
Biceps bulging and chest hair flowing the dwarf stood on top of his kill. Raising his axe high in the air. "These teeth be mine" He growled and then proceeded to remove the abomination's head.
After the battle the adventures decided to examine the area.
Alyanna headed to the small log cabin. But found nothing of interest, only old papers of taxes and charges. She seemed to think the structure may have been some sort of toll booth.
Karajan and Chomper investigated the tower but found the door had been barred with no way in.
Orin noticed some strange rocky outcropping at the outskirts of the courtyard and proceeded to check it out. He discovered the formations were stairs heading underground. "I've found something.....something over here.....A passage way..... down. They must have went.....this way." Orin calls to the group as he peers into the dark underground.
"I'll be damned to hear of an elf goin underground where a dwarf ain't" Grabthroat muttered as he headed over to meet Orin while lighting a torch.
By the light of the moon the four adventures, Alyanna Waystone, Orin Darkseed, Grabthroat Shinkicker and Karajan Druidae with Chomper ready themselves for what may lie below. Together the heroes cautiously make their descent into the blackness........
I was hoping the Bone Dragon would have made for a tougher battle but when the players were rolling like this I knew it would not go well.....
The Monster Cast
Bone Dragon (120 pts): A terrifying visage of undead strength.
[Monster, Undead] 5D, Str=6D, Def=5D, Tough=8D, Init=11
Mv=8, HP=15, Primary ATT & DAM: 6D/7D
Fate: () () ()
Attributes & Powers: Breath Weapon Large Cone 6D Damage, Flying, Armor:Medium, Dark Vision, Severe Damage, Tail Attack, Terrifying Aura:TN4, Vigor +1, Large Target, Deadly +1D, Fated 1.
Reward Level: +4D – Includes dragon's hoard
Stay tuned for Part two: The Dark Descent
Cheers and thanks for reading,