Crystal Assembly

And Now They Have a Pig Bong

The Brotherhood searched the northwestern frontier for 16 days spending the nights in barns and cottages if invited into, and as they found these frontier towns. However, on several occasions they had to sleep in the wilderness. Their questions about Jaryn and his group continued to lead them in the directions they traveled.

As they went, they continued to come up with additional ways to win over the paranoid frontier folk. When the opportunity presented itself they brought some of the game they killed along the way, Kuruk thought to perform simple healing as he could, and he was able to add to the goodwill and benefit Arjhan while he seeked the information for the group.

F’Lar assisted where he could by offering to remove chastity belts from famer’s daughters, and thinking to steal a pig from one town only to donate it to the next. Kuruk had to put the kabosh on that idea. However, they were given a pig in one town, which they did in fact end up donating to the next town.

Solath utilized his skills to exterminate pests in frontier barns and Uthrag located some skunk weed that he shared, as the group demonstrated the pig skull bong, which Arjhan constructed and donated to that town. The next day though was rough on everyone, and they failed to accomplish much of anything including finding another town.

All in all, as the group moved through the frontier, they leveraged the following information from the folks who called this area home. They found that the paladin, Jryrn, and his followers were going after a Hand chieftain named Larkazh— the foulest hobgoblin Hell ever spawned, and that these hobgoblins have been trained well over the years. Where the Hand used to be seen only coming out of the mountains to the northwest, now the well trained soldiers of the Hand can be seen everywhere on the frontier.

As the Brotherhood continued to make their way north and west, they found the last three settlements they passed through had been burned out, human and hobgoblin bodies scattered in the ash. At last just before dusk, they found a settlement still standing. The track met up with a wide stream, with green fields to both sides. As they approached, a lone figure on horseback rode out from the nearest farmhouse. An older human man hailed them, one hand rested on the longsword at his hip. He introduced himself as Perren Auldwyl, and warned of dangerous times ahead, inviting them in from the road.

The group accepted Perren Auldwyl’s hospitality for a place to stay and a bite to eat. However, they found him shaken when F’Lar questioned him about the Hand. He answered by stating, “Not the first time I’ve heard such questions from outsiders, and I’ll tell you straight what I told them—Erstlin don’t need no would-be heroes making trouble. Best you take your questions and head back to your precious cities at first light.”

However, before much more could be gathered from the scared frontiersman, from outside came the sound of hoofbeats through the dark night. Auldwyl sprinted to a window, carefully peering through the shutters. “Fools!” he hissed as he turns back. “You don’t know what you’ve done.”

As the group started to rise, then doors blew open, Perren flew into the wall behind him, and four large bugbears burst onto the scene dressed in the Hands uniforms. The group had come to silence Perren, and additionally there were several hobgoblin soldiers, archers and a war wizard. As the Brotherhood raced met the bugbears and wizard head on, the combat raged around them, and Perren lay unconscious against the wall of his home….

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Where's my Tail Fuck Button Located?

This session began a new mission that would send the Brotherhood back into the war-torn north with winter setting in. The guild was now hired by the Light of the Sun, a group sworn to uphold the oaths of Pelor, and combat a cult of Bane known as the Hand of Naarash. The Brotherhood’s main task would be to track down and find a missing hero of Pelor’s cause, a paladin by the name of Jaryn, who had set out a year ago to take the fight to the cult, and strike deep into its heart. Rumors had his group of five seeking out a great temple to Bane, known as the Pillars of Night, by following the secreted Black March through the Moonsfall Mountains.

The Light of Sun had left word for the Brotherhood to seek them out in a frontier town two days northwest of Edgecomb. The meeting place was to be the Two Moons tavern in Anklin. The group would pick up operational detail in this meeting, and was briefed by Crystal to dress warm as the northern winter rains had already started.

As the Brotherhood arrived on the outskirts of Anklin they could tell from the shanties and tents seen around town, that like Edgecomb, this was a refugee haven. The group not wanting to waste any time went straight in to find the Two Moon tavern to leave word of their arrival. They saw a few differences from Edgecomb right away. Anklin, though larger, had fewer members of an organized town guard, but at least food and drink stocks were still available for purchase.

As there was not any sign of the Light of the Sun at the Two Moons tavern, the decision was made to gather some information from the locals, and check in with the Pelorian Church in town. In doing so, it was found that the predation of the Hand of Naarash had caused this state of refuge. The membership was made up of Goblinoids, humans, and any other converted races of found in the north. The tactics being used had death squads isolating and putting to the sword individual families, unless they converted.

Later in the day, the group looked to return to the tavern to check for information on their meeting. The rain had started that morning and showed no sign of letting up; the track through the center of town has turned to mire. As they approached the common, a shout rang out through the downpour. Sunrods lit the refugee camp where a tent had been pulled down. Seven figures stormed through the adjacent shelters as people scatter before them. A child screamed as a mace was raised.

Seeing this happen, Arjhan roared, causing one of the figures to turn, delivering a threatening glare, warning the Brotherhood not to interfere. Kuruk notice the symbols of Bane painted on their tunics or armor, and Silvio responded with a pair or arrows, which started the combat.

Garth and Uthrag charged in to occupy the cult’s muscle, that were armed with halberds, and Kuruk moved to back them up. One of these guards hung back and blocked for a cult war mage, who made his appearance targeting Silvio and Solath with a blast of lightning and thunder. As Arjhan charged the mages guard, F’Lar moved into a sneak attack position, being benefited by his triggered invisibility.

As the group finished the combat with little problem, they tried to keep one of the cultist alive to question, but found the cult member was in no mood to divulge any information. His life was ended as he spit curses at Arjhan. As the group assisted picking up the refugee camp and aided who they could, the town watch arrived along with another group. The newcomers were well-armed, all in gray cloaks set with the sun of Pelor. When the last of the injured has been taken care of, a tall human woman approached, greeting you deferentially. “Well met,” she said. “And thanks to you for a timely intervention. We have been hard after these cult butchers for three days now. Had you not been here, our arrival would have come too late.” Soon the group realized that these Pelorians were the Light of the Sun strike team which was meant to meet them here, and Emesha, a cleric of Pelor, was its leader.

That evening, in the Two Moons, the group spoke of the operation detail that they would need as the search the frontier for the Jaryn, word of his group, the location of the Pillars of Night, or the location of the secret path, known as the Black March. With a last word of thanks, Emesha and her compatriots took their leave they prepared to escort a group of refugees to larger settlements south and east. The Brotherhoods destination was west and north.

The frontier road was all but empty as the group headed out in the morning. The Brotherhood was to travel north and west seeking word of passage and information on Jaryn. The plan would be to find settlements and search out clues from any frontier inhabitants they could find.

The first day out they found just how difficult the task would be, as finding the settlements would not be easy, and overcoming the fears that the living had of the Cult would be tough, especially being unknown by these paranoid frontier folk.

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I am Going to Hide Behind the Gnome

It was another night that started out right in the middle of combat, and what a combat to be locked in. It was end game at StormCrow Tor, and Agera of the Shadow Face had been awakened from her decade long slumber. As the Brotherhood had found the previous week, she is rather grumpy when she wakes. However, the group had also found a tactic that work quite well. So for the most part they remained surrounding her, attacking from a distance.

Early in the night, Garth finally came to his senses, and snapped out of her mental grips, prior to bringing down one of his compatriots. The first few rounds, saw Garth move back into position to exact some revenge, as he traded out with Uthrag for the up close and personal attacks. This tied her up, as everyone else plinked away from range.

One of the nights highlights came as an invisible F’Lar snuck in and delivered a well timed critical hit. This strike got her attention a little too well as she responded with three strikes of her own, which brought down the fleeing elusive gnome.

Kuruk was at F’Lar’s side in his next action to stabilize the dying gnome. F’Lar was up later that round as he was given a potion which revived him. However, that would not be the only time which F’Lar went down, as a short time later; Agera’s controlling magic had Garth and F’Lar attacking each other, which ended with F’Lar back prone and out.

To everyone’s dismay just as it looked like the group was gaining the edge, Agera called on her dark lord to give her the aid in exchange for the souls of the Brotherhood, and before their very eyes she seemed to heal (+96 hp)….ouch. However, instead of breaking their will, this had the reverse effect. The group just buckled in and hammered away.

In the 16th round of the marathon with Agera, the worn and ragged Brotherhood, had a moral building round, as hit after hit were scored, with the final blow coming as F’Lar moved in for a flanking assault, which put Agera down and out for good. By this time F’Lar had been down twice, Garth was currently down, and the Group had racked up a combined 510+ hp damage against the bitch.

In the aftermath the group recovered, and searched the crypt, gathering all items of any value that remained in the broken tombs. They spent more time studying the Journal recovered from the desk. From this they learned for sure that the Wrathstone, worn around the neck of Agera, was the definite cause of the Stormcrow Companies demise. A paranoid Agera had polished of the other two with the help of the Dark lord, Asmodeus.

With the info they had come for, the group departed Stormcrow Tor for the safety of the guild halls.

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We are so going to stuff this bitch! (As long as Garth does not kill everyone first)

Garth started the night off by sliding into a flank, and dropping one of the winged constructs. However, when Silvio tried to shoot the other from a distance, the group found that the redirect ability also worked with ranged attacks, and Solath again suffered the redirected results from Hunts End. Uthrag and Solath spent the remainder of the first combat taking care of the crossbow turrets on legs with muscle and fire. Kuruk showed that he was a force by himself as a marked stout defender tried to slide away, only to get dropped by the dwarf’s vicious craghammer. Finally as the battle came to a close, Arjhan, found himself chasing the slippery Iron Cobra around the battle field.

When combat closed the group placed the remaining statues across the word “Crow”, and found that a gate to the south opened. As the group finished the investigation determining that the way was clear, they began to slowly move through the gate only to find themselves within the crypt of the last member of the Stormcrow Company.

This wide chamber was dominated by a stone sarcophagus which sat upon a hellish design painted on the floor in glistening blood. Three of the corners held smashed-in vault doors. The southeast corner instead contained a workbench and chair, with a ward of blue-glowing glyphs surrounding it protectively. Upon entry Uthrag and F’Lar moved to investigate the northern and southern vaults from a distance of the ruined entryway to each, Silvio held by the gate to provide cover across the chamber.

With Garth guarding as they worked, Arjhan, Kuruk, and Solath moved first to investigate the designs painted in blood, where the sarcophagus rested. With the help of the other two, Solath determined that the designs held the symbol of the Arch-Devil, Asmodeus – To which Arjhan stated, that even though he did not know much about religion, this was not a good sign and F’Lar reiterated they should have tossed the scroll in Illugi’s coffin and left earlier.

After the initial fear, the investigative trio moved over to the glyph protected desk, where they determined that the blue glyphs were protective, but would probably not stand up to the power displayed in the meaning of the symbols around the sarcophagus. However when Solath attempted to mage hand the journal from atop the desk, all hell literally busted loose.

The sarcophagus cover exploded! Standing in the swirling dust was the emaciated remains of a tiefling woman who looks more devil than human, and completely dead. A red stone on an iron chain blazed upon her chest. She screamed, “No one can have the Wrathstone but me! You’ll die, just like all the rest. Perhaps it will be your souls that will finally pay my way into Asmodeus’s Court!”

With this combat began, and the Brotherhood found that this battle was going be a tough one quickly, when the opening action of Agera the Shadow face was a charm which had a blood-eyed Uthrag attacking the guarding Silvio as he watched over the room. Additionally as the group found the protections of the she-devil were very formidable, they also found that she was not alone as fragments of armor rose up out of the rumble of each of the vaults to form six hellish armored guardians.

The first few rounds had the Brotherhood finding that the death of one of the guardian within a given range of Agera acted as healing for her. They also identified a few of her battle tactics as she continued to blast multiple members assaulting their psyche, and charming them into attacking an ally. The most devastating attack came as she dominated Garth and continued through the rest of the evening to use him as a black tool of destruction on his teammates.

By the end of the night, the Brotherhood has managed to slow both Garth and her at least temporarily with Solath’ s Grasping Shadows, and the group has fanned out to attempt to avoid the charming blasts from Agera. However, they can only hope to contain Garth long enough for him to overcome the charms, but at least the remaining armored guardian were all down.

Agera of the Shadow Face

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Gnomes shine hammers well!

“You sure you don’t want your hammer buffed”, asked F’Lar. Kuruk just waved his finger in the air, as he walked away carrying his prize throwing hammer, which he had just retrieved from the mischievous little F’Lar. F’Lar had picked it up at the end of the battle, which had started when the Brotherhood had entered the chamber brightly lit by the violently burning brazier of fire. Four glowing sigil circles were scribed in the floor, one per corner, and as the group had moved forward into the room the fire blazed brighter, and four summoned fire elementals appeared none too happily, within these circles.

F’Lar had started the night by tumbling off the scaly shoulders of Arjhan to grab the potion bottle containing the magic fountain water from the Uthrag’s waist, then he attempted to extinguish the fires, which burned within the brazier. The fruitless effort only left him between two of the closing elementals. Arjhan acting next found that the elementals were also dangerous to move around, as he was stunned by one of their thunderous opportunistic blows. So started a combat, which saw, many of the actions of the group earning return ‘FIRE’. At three times during the battle the brazier blazed brighter and a smaller elemental appeared, always near the ever skirting F’Lar.

This happened up until the point where Garth’s maul and Kuruk hammer combinations destroyed the summoning brazier. The other two highlights in this long battle saw Uthrag pinned between two of these flaming brutes, and suffering the fires of each for an extended time. It was a good thing that Uthrag had lots of health as the remainder of the group took their time taking down the other five summoned creatures. This was partly because Solath managed to throw nerf spells throughout the combat for once.

However, as the fires of the brazier went out, so did the summoned power of the elementals, and the beasts of fire were finally all extinguished. With the fires out the warm room made a welcome chamber to camp within, that is once the doors were spiked. A rest period that was strangely silent, but that offered the tired Brotherhood the ability to heal and recover spells. Additionally, Solath spent some time studying the sigils, with hopes to learn more about the school of conjuration (and the power that it held over his spell ability).

When the rest over, the group un-spiked the doors to the east, wanting to investigate the stone corridor that lay beyond. F’Lar determined it was safe to venture forth, and the Brotherhood descended the stairs deeper into the home of the vanquished Stormcrow Company. At the end of the stairs a pair of non-trapped double doors waited, offering no sound from within.

Silent or not the group entered expecting trouble and found a chamber where four statues were arranged near the northern entrance. To the south, a grid of letters was inscribed in the floor. Several odd-looking, partly humanoid constructs and one iron cobra-like construct flank the letter grid, motionless. A niche within the south wall glowed with faint purple light.

As the group spread out to get better vantage points of the room, Silvio noticed that the four statues, which were arranged to the north looked like they were light enough to be picked up and moved, and also that they were not attached to the floor in any way. While F’Lar, Solath, and Arjhan studied the building techniques of one of the other clay lifeless constructs, Solath determined that the constructs were similar to those that high level mages build and use to their ends. This was soon confirmed when Uthrag acting on F’Lars direction, picked up one of the small statues went to place it on the “C”, the first letter of the word “CROW” displayed diagonally across the grid in the center of the room. At the point Uthrag stepped on the grid, the constructs around the room came to life.

Moving in quickly Garth slammed one of the clay winged ones hard, as Kuruk rushed also to the western side of the room to assist the lone Garth. Uthrag dropped the first statue on the “C”, and continue motion to launch a javelin at the crossbow tripod construct just south of his location. However, this location left him wide open for not only the tripod which he had just hit, but the one which had taken fire damage caused by Solath’s flaming sphere spell. Uthrag suffered three bolt wounds from these two, but feeling good though, as at least he could endure better than some of his weaker friends.

Arjhan too found one of the winged clay constructs a good target with his axe, but when F’Lar tried to stab the same one, he found his attack redirected, and instead of delivering the nasty vitals shot to the construct, it hit his ally to the north. Let’s just say that it was not Solath’s session, as he had already been hit by the sliding horror, known as the Iron Cobra.

I Know You Name

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I stuck my hand in it

The night opened in combat with the last of the Kenku and the undead, which had been awaken from their long slumber by the Kenku in hopes of an uneasy alliance against the Brotherhood. The remains of the spells Solath had cast earlier did wonders at grouping and slowing the remaining opponents. And when Kuruk crawled onto the front lines, accepting an opportunistic attack by the Wraith in order to capitalize and get all of the undead with a turn attempt, it seemed to turn the combat. Having seen the positive effects of the radiant damage done by Kuruk, Silvio drew forth the Sun blade at his hip and jumped at a Specter, which had phased through the wall to come invisibly at Solath’s back. The attempt was thwarted by Solath’s saving shield spell, and only left the Specter wide open for the blow from the radiant sun blade. As the final undead fell, the remaining Kenku also seemed to vanish, probably running away to save its miserable feathered body.

With the foes down or fled, the way was open to investigate the room. Part of their quest was answered quickly, as the two un-smashed stone coffins in the room had the names of two of the three Stormcrow members etched in their lids. One of the names was that of the primary, Illugi Swordbreaker, while the other was the eternal home of his compatriot The Emerald Warlock. The coffins were found to house their burned and aged skeletal remains, along with some coinage and a platinum key. Additionally in the room was the skeletal remains of a dragon, where Arjhan spent his time un-successfully attempting to remove the head without damaging it, giving up finally and vowing to return later. Uthrag decided to collect some of the glowing liquid from the fountain, which both F’Lar and Solath had determined to be chaotically magical. Before any could stop him from carrying through with the idea, Uthrag stuck his hand into the glowing liquid to collect some in an empty potion bottle that he pulled from his gear. This time he was lucky, no side effects.

With a passing thought by F’Lar to toss the scroll in the Illugi’s coffin and be done with it, the Brotherhood decided to push on and investigate the blue force wall and beyond, trying to now determine what led Illugi and his companion to this end. Arjhan was the first to approach the wall and was rewarded with a blast, which violently pushed him back. However, as Arjhan stepped in and reached to touch the wall with his axe, all heard the distinct sound of the plate beneath his feet click. Now knowing what he was looking at, F’Lar quickly identified the pressure plates, and the location of a small control panel, housing a small keyhole. F’Lar quickly pulled forth the platinum key, and within moments had the force field down, and the plates disarmed.

Now thinking of traps, F’Lar took the lead at the next door and opened it to reveal a hall which ended after twenty feet at another door with a keyhole. Moving, as only a trained professional would, he safely traversed the corridor to the next door. Turning the key in this lock, opened the door, and again triggered a distinct click sound from the plate beneath his feet as well as from all tiles up and down the hallway. However, this also must have been the sound of deactivation, because no malicious outcomes troubled him. The sight beyond the door did though.

The hall on the other side was ablaze with the arc of electricity, as it traveled the length of this forty foot hall, with a pair of double doors at the end, and another pair in a niche to the south. As F’Lar determined that all was now safe, Uthrag came forward and got on his hands and knees to act as a springboard for F’Lar, who determined that he would attempt to jump the 10 feet to the corner, where he would grab the wall with Silvio’s cat paws to swing himself around and land safely in the niche. A miss calculation to the size of Uthrag, and the initial effort to jump to his back ended F’Lar’s first attempt with him tumbling over Uthrag to go face first into the arcs of electricity. Besides doing a little damage, this also had the side effect of teleporting him back to the initial room. A second attempt ended with the desired effects, and after some initial investigation Solath joined him by teleportation, and Arjhan jumped over as well. F’Lar’s second trip into the electricity came as a result of a failed climb, when Arjhan also failed to catch him in time.

As more people came over, and the niche filled up, the Brotherhood pushed into the next room to the south, which Solath with F’Lar’s input had determined to be some sort of summoning chamber. When the overflow had pushed four of the brotherhood into this chamber, the Summoning Brazier flamed high, and four of the elemental fire creatures were summoned forth. The session ended here.

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Come here, bird bitch!

The session started with the Brotherhood in a dire battle with the betraying Kenku tribe and their not so much of an ally, a Gelatinous Cube. Both Garth and Silvio had found themselves inside the Gelatinous Cube taking damage from it’s acidic internal liquids. Silvio was the first to break free and get well away from the cube of death. Garth on the other hand decided to take another approach, and take a couple of swings from inside the beast before he himself broke free, and by this time Arjhan and one of the Kenku Inciters also found themselves inside the cube, but where Arjhan’s stay was brief, the Inciter would end up making the gel his tomb.

This fight against the Gelatinous Cube would have been a whole bunch uglier if it was not for a well placed use of Moradin’s blessing, “The Beacon of Hope”, which Kuruk called forth. This managed to weaken a majority of the enemy, while giving needed healing to all of the Brotherhood. Solath found himself moving his opponents around the battlefield as they tried to dodge his Phantom Bolts, and as he did he aimed to drop them into a pit, which they had tried to deposit him into earlier. He finally achieved his goal by dropping one down the pit, only to find another waiting Gelatinous Cube.

When Uthrag got tired of being buffeted around by the winged mage, he let out a thunderous cry of, “Come here, bird bitch!” charging and leaping high into the air to deliver a bone crunching chop with his battle axe, which brought down the feathered flying mage. By the time the treacherous TrueTalon and the rest of his tribe were brought down the group finally managed to convince Garth to back away from the slow Gelatinous cube, and allow those with good ranged attacks to safely bring down the scavenger.

After the Cube was brought down the group barricaded the doors to allow themselves a needed rest for the night. It was a good thing as they discovered during the night that what must be more of the feathered ones waited on the other side of the doors, as they could hear the occasional screech and clawing at the blocked double doors.

Morning found the group ready to do away with the remainder of the birds, and see what they could find of the Stormcrow Company. The doors led to a hall, and beyond what looked like a crypt that the birdmen were in the process of carefully searching. When the Brotherhood made their entrance the birdmen sneaks decided to raise the dead lords that also lived here to help fight off the intruders.

The early rounds of the fight saw Solath making good use of Grasping Shadows, Hypnotic Pattern, and Flaming Sphere, a combination which has been pretty devastating to foes so far. This had the early effects of taking down a lot of the birds, leaving only a couple and the undead, which they had risen. One of which had cornered and Uthrag along with a few other birds, and had battered him to a prone position. The night ends with the realization that these undead are taking much less damage than they should be……

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Feather fucked!!!

The night began with the Brotherhood following TrueTalon’s directions toward the root cellar by descending a narrow damp stairwell, which smelled of forest rot. The steep stairs dropped 20 feet to a landing ending at a door. The door was covered in an uneven layer of slightly phosphorescent fungus, which opened onto another landing with an equally narrow length to stairs, finally to enter into a room below. Bioluminescent fungi coat the walls and ceiling of this cool, moist chamber, and tiny mushrooms and other fungal stalks carpeted the floor and the detritus of barrels, crates, and shelves littering the chamber’s corners. Slimy water pools in the chamber’s center. The pool is bracketed by four piles of humanoid skulls. A particularly large fungus stalk grows up the far wall.

As the group fanned out in the room, Solath noticed that the large fugal stalk on the back wall actually had eyes which were opened and staring at him. To get a better look, Solath illuminated the room with his magic, which marked the beginning of the fight. The initial few moments of combat saw both Uthrag and Kuruk pacified as a Myconid guard released a cloud of spores in their faces. The group found this to be a common Myconid guard tactic, as the three guards did this several times though out the rest of the fight, finding Uthrag on two different occasions as well as several of the others. When the watchful Sovereign pulled away from the far wall, a Fungal Bloodthorn erupted from the water, a Rotpriest also joined in, and the Brotherhood saw what TrueTalon spoke of by wanting to rid the cellar of this plant overgrowth.

The fight overall was not too much problem, except for the dazing spores of the Sovereign and the already mentioned pacification spores. The highlights found Solath drawing a number of them into the slimy water with his hypnotic pattern and further harassing them with flaming sphere. When Silvio heard motion on the stairwell behind him, he turned to see a Kenku rogue watching the combat below from the shadows of the doorframe.

After the brotherhood dropped the last of the fungus, they found their Kenku shadow had also disappeared back up the stairs to no doubt inform TrueTalon of the results (as well as the groups capabilities). Healing up, the group searched the fungus covered rooms of the root cellar, finding an old iron box with a pair of worn gloves within. They had also taken precautions to block the entrance from above, as they expected that TrueTalon would not honor his agreement.

When their suspicions of attack from above did not pan out, the barricade of dead fungus was brought down, and the group ascended the stairwell once again. As the Brotherhood exited the stairwell, they found the Kenkus had surrounded the exit, and were laying in wait for them. Arjhan stepped forward to negotiate with TrueTalon who, could be seen in the back.

When Arjhan asked for the group to be allowed safe passage, TrueTalon’s response was more or less what they expected, “So sorry, but when you asked about the lair of those known as Stormcrow, I thought you said Cromestor. My common is not so good. The group you seek lives down the dell a ways under a pile of orc dung. I thank you much for clearing that room for me, and I wish you well on your journey.”

Arjhan in turn just shook his head with a sadden look, stating the feeling he felt, “I am sure that the group we seek is far too powerful to make their home under a pile of orc dung, and the directions which we were given were very specific. You have made the wrong choice in choosing to double-cross us, you liar.”

With a screech TrueTalon signaled the start of combat.

A blast from Solath, damaged a majority of the opposition, and TrueTalon returned the blast with a hurricane force of his own which put Garth and Silvio together, after Silvio had been pulled into place by a spiked chain attack by one of the warriors. As the night ended, an unseen opponent made its presence know, with the sickly sound of ooze engulfing both Garth and Silvio, as the Gelatinous Cube struck from behind.

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Cook'n the Bacon

Picking up where we left off, found the Brotherhood under attack during the middle of the night while traveling through the northern wilds in search of Stormcrow Tor, and those of the same name who once were known to live there. The group had expected trouble during the night, and when the attack came both Garth and F’Lar had alerted the others. While dazed with sleep still in their eyes, all could at least defend themselves in the initial onset.

The attack materialized quickly as two orcish berserkers charged into camp atop Dire Boars, while three other orc warriors stuck from the outskirts of camp. F’Lars ability to teleport away from an attacker put him into a flank the flanker’s position, and Silvio’s tree napping habit added to the battlefield awareness gained from an elevated position, which was further aided when Solath’s magic illuminated up the battlefield. Garth was quickly in need of Kuruk’s first spells as a Dire Boar and one of the warriors first targeted him. Only Solath’s Eladrin luck saved his ass from the charge of the other boar, and he shortly teleport far out of its reach. Uthrag and Arjhan moved to intercept this beast, while kuruk intercepted the other while healing the prone Garth.

Once the battle lines were drawn, and Solath’s magic was in play, partnered with the ranged devastation of Silvio’s arrows, and F’Lar’s hit and run tactics, it was only time before the orcish brutes were undone. Although the battle was determined from the outset, the orcs still had the endurance to make a fight out of it. Within this melee there were a couple of moments where the Brotherhood’s actions were to make the highlight reel. The first one came when Uthrag’s quick combat thinking positioned one of the boar beasts onto the hot embers of the campfire, and the other came as Silvio ended the hunt and dropped that boar into the fire, where he had already began to cook.

With the fight at an end the group quickly healed up and got an early jump on travel, looking to set some distance between them and the other orcs when they found a patrol was missing. Though as the traveled it became apparent that the orcs where still watching. However as afternoon waned on, the group found that they had outdistanced the orcs, or had been allowed to get away, and had located that which they sought.

A weathered pile of stones and packed earth protrudes from the ground like a giant’s rampart. The battered shell of a ruined tower leans from the tor’s apex. The tower is roofless and hollow. Stormcrow Tor was as the Windrider elders had described. Nature checks told that the ruins had been as such for years and it looked uninhabited from all impressions. A partially covered wooden trapdoor was found within the hollow shell, protecting an ancient stone circular stairwell that plunged down into the tor’s heart.

At the base of the stairs, a 20-foot-wide hall leads east. Dirt and black feathers are strewn everywhere. At the far end a barricade of tumbled stone stands before splintered and broken iron double doors. As the Brotherhood began to progress down the hall, two hooded heads poke over the barricade, watching the approach. At this point Arjhan stepped forward holding up his hands in a non-threatening motion, and spoke the words of parlay. As one of the hooded figures ducked between the doors at the end of the hall the other yelled in a high pitched voice for everyone to hold, and await the one in charge.

Within a few moments, where the group heard shuffling and other voices from the inner chamber, a majestic robed man-bird creature enters and hovers just above the barricade to address the group. Flanking him are two other more warrior looking bird-men with spiked chains as weapons. He refers to himself as TrueTalon, and asks why man-creatures have invaded his nest.

At this point Arjhan does his best to use diplomacy and inform TrueTalon of the parties’ intention to only pass through the nest of the great TrueTalon in search of the history of other man-creatures that use to live in the area of TrueTalon’s nest. With some negotiation, Arjhan agrees to clean out a troublesome area of TrueTalon’s nest for him, where several of his warriors were killed by plant-creatures.

TrueTalon then shows the group to the stairwell descending into what appears to be an old root cellar, and as the group enters the darkness both Silvio and Uthrag spread the word to watch for a double-cross, as the race of creatures that they are dealing with are known for not being the most honorable

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Biggest Part of a Gnome...

The night began with several days passing after you returned to the guild, allowing you time to rest, recover, and take care of personal items.

Then after about a week you are summoned before Crystal. She starts by saying, “I hope you all have recovered well from your last outing, and have had time to get some needed rest. A friend of mine has a personal request that best fits the abilities of the Crystal Brotherhood. She would like you to seek out the group known as the Stormcrow Company. If they are still alive please deliver this to them.” As she says this in a dry and emotionless tone, she hands your group a sealed scroll case.

“If their lives have been ended, then please bring word of their demise, and try to find what out what happened to them. I feel that they have come to end, as no one has heard from them in years, and by all accounts this is a good thing, but she still wishes to know.”

After a while of questioning Crystal and some additional research what you learn of this group follows:

Illugi Swordbreaker, the Emerald Warlock, and Agera of the Shadow Face led a mercenary trio called the Stormcrow Company. Each had a storied adventuring background before they joined their strengths, but those stories are as nothing compared to the tales of the exploits of Stormcrow Company. The mercenaries made their base in old tunnels they found beneath a rocky tor in the wilderness.

Though Stormcrow Company was credited with cleaning the goblin tribes out of nearby hills and killing the lich who threatened the valley from its dark tower, the adventurers also accepted contracts to assassinate nobles in a neighboring city-state, kidnapped an Elven princess in return for a ransom of questionable relics (Silvio recalls this well, as the princess was a distant relation), and even burned down an entire village on a lark while passing through (Garth and Arjhan know of this, as it was a neighboring village to theirs). In the end, the Stormcrows were feared more than revered.

Ten full years have passed since any member of Stormcrow Company has been seen, and that sighting (of Illugi Swordbreaker taking ship in an eastern port) is probably only rumor. Each year that passes with no news from Stormcrow Tor is a year that nearby keeps and walled villages give thanks. Anyone with an opinion on the topic now believes Stormcrow Company took on a challenge it was unequal to and came to a bad end in some far off land or echo dimension.

By all accounts Stormcrow tor lies north of Uthrag’s home village. You all are sure that you can get direction from the elders there. Additionally Crystal warns that if you find the group is alive, then care should be taken in dealing with them as their morals are not seen as scrupulous.

The following morning after buying supplies for the journey, the Brotherhood departed the guild bound for the Village of the Windrider Tribe, where Uthrag took the lead to deal with his past tribesmen. However, when the warrior Jarlok challenged that Uthrag only returned to the village because he needed something in front of Chief Nytok “The Raven”, the diplomatic abilities of Arjhan were needed to smooth out the accusation of these selfish goals. Even F’Lar, who slipped under the reach of Arjhan, threw in his two cents (without bitch slapping anyone). In the end, the Chief asked that the Brotherhood join him in his tent to hear of a prophecy that Fareth “the Wise” had spoken of, which also spoke to Uthrag’s appearance back in the village.

In this meeting the chief spoke of the evil spirit of “White Feather” which had been harassing the Village during the fall, and that it had claimed the lives of several warriors. The earthbound spirit in the form a large Owlbear made it’s lair in a nearby cave. The Chief said that if Uthrag and his new “tribe” could bring back proof of dealing with White Feather (one of the Owlbear’s claws), then he would have no problem in giving away the knowledge that the Brotherhood now sought.

As Uthrag knew of the location of this cave the trip to it was a short one. As the Solath, Silvio and F’Lar noted the presence of something large traveling the game trails near the cave it’s existence was confirmed when a loud screech and the sound of heavy charging feet made all of the Brotherhood jump.

Within seconds the Brotherhood saw a large feathered ursinae through the limbs of the trees coming at them. Garth was the first to charge, with Uthrag, and Kuruk following right behind. When Silvio yelled out to all that there appeared to be a strange misty quality to White Feather, everyone added an additional layer of caution as the battled against the large beast. One of the two memorable moments of combat came when Uthrag was hit by both of the beasts claw attacks and grabbed, but manage to break free before the thing was able to unleash a devastating beak attack. The other moment that had the brotherhood worried was when the creature stunned both Uthrag and F’Lar with a powerful screech. However other than that, the battle was long but never really seemed more than the group could handle. When the final strike brought it down, the earthbound body of White Feather evaporated into the mist, leaving only seven large white feathers, and an oversized claw.

The triumphant brotherhood returned directly to the Village of the Windriders where they were rewarded with the knowledge they sought and ended the evening with feasting and drinking.

When the Brotherhood set out the next morning heading north, they did so with the knowledge of the location of the tor that they were looking for. They also went with the knowledge that the northern orc tribes were very active right now, and that they should be very mindful of this activity. It was not long into the travels north, that the group saw the signs of orcs. The night watch that evening was set with the full expectations of trouble, and when on the second watch Garth and F’Lar yelled, “To arms, We are under attack!!!”, no one was all that surprised.

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