O.S.M. and Friends

Plot To Date
A bare bones recap

After finding the Wizard Raylor dead and sealing the portal to the strange realm the party returned to Reavespoint. Bent on finding a suit of dwarven armor Ragnor asked the party to travel to the mining town of Mornford to find a smith among the many dwarves who call it home. Posing as wine merchants (the ever full bottle of magical wine supplying their purchased barrels) the party purchased a wagon and took the five day journey to Mornford. Along the way they met a jovial dwarf named Brissen who purchased the bar drinks.

Arriving in Mornford the party heard several rumors, but decided that slaying Orcs would be their best bet and gathered information from Brom Fenris the only surviving member of the Fenris clan who was offering the reward. After hiring a young scout named Young Karl they headed off into the mountains to try and find the lair of the Blood Fur Orcs and claim the head of the Half Ogre Chief.

Before reaching the lair they were ambushed by large orcs, stronger than normal orcs these brutes were nearly naked, but covered in scabs, scars, and sores. Dispatching the strangely diseased orcs the party moved on eventually finding a water filled cave and signs of orc tracks leading in.

The cave was large, filled with a slow moving river feed from a waterfall above the entrance. The water was filled with hundreds of bones of goblins, orcs and a few humans. Small albino freshwater crabs picked through these bones. Wandering the caves the party soon disturbed a crab of great proportions but managed to fight it off sending it wounded down into a deep hole beneath a rock.

Moving on the party soon discovered deeper in the cave a underground waterfall plunging into the darkness and beyond this worked stone and tracks the lead to an area with the look of habitation including the waste of several broken crates, barrels, and discarded junk, among which he party was attacked by several small, but poisons looking centipedes.

Venturing down the hallway further the party was suddenly attack by arrows from the darkness. Cautiously approaching they found four orcs wearing blood soaked furs and rough armor (but no signs of the disease on the orcs found earlier). Soon dispatching the orcs the last one raced to a stout metal door pounding to be let in to no avail. The party regrouped and picked the lock. Finding a long man made corridor and a large lever. Unsure on what the lever did the party moved down the hallway but accidently triggered a pressure plate. Working together they avoided the other plates and found a lever on the far end of the hall as well. Assuming this lever disarmed the trap the pulled it as well and the party escaped the hall unharmed. Exiting the iron door on the far end of the hall the party heard a commotion; they soon found several orcs tormenting a dog. The party rushed in and was subsequently slaughtered after a string of bad luck, only Radnor survived the melee. Gathering the loot from his companions and taking the dog with him he quickly buried his companions and returned to town.

Radnor decided to wait for his armor to be completed, but soon Mornford was filled with the rumors of a Lewisford Consortium caravan being raided by orcs and that Coronel Trembal of Reavespoint was going to send a contingent of soldiers to deal with it. Speculation was the caravan was transporting a magic sword of some kind and this was the true reason for the Legions sudden interest in the Orcs. Regardless of why the local prospectors grumbled that mines got hit for months with no action and one caravan gets destroyed and the legion comes running.

Wanting to claim the 5,000 gold pieces reward, a new party was formed. This party headed first to the site of the caravan’s attack for a quick investigation afterwards, but finding no clear evidence that it was Orcs or if it was someone framing the Orcs the party then headed to the orc lair, that night they were attacked by strange dogs, large and hairless these dogs had the same diseased look as the strange orcs the (other) party had encountered.

Returning to the lair the party found little changed, fought its way through more orcs and then made its way down to the lower level. This area seemed to be the main habitat of the orcs, and the party again fought its way through several guard posts, even slaying two ogres.

Eventually the party wandered down a long unused corridor sloping down into the earth. The passage ended in a small room, much colder than it had a right to be, and the room was dominated by a huge stone “sarcophaguses” 12 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet tall. The lid of the sarcophagus was locked to the bottom by 6 huge silvery pad locks. Getting a bad feeling from the sarcophagus the party decided not to mess with it.

Continuing further into the lair the party found more guards squabbling over a backpack, after dispatching the guards the party crossed a bridge over a subterranean river and found a large iron door. Knocking they discovered dwarves voices after a brief talk the dwarves agreed to let them in. Once in they found several dwarves in a living quarters wearing full plate, talkative, but armed and clearly something was amiss. The dwarves soon made it clear they were allies of the orcs, but did see the characters as a threat, eventually the character attacked the dwarves and the melee resulted in two dead dwarves but two dwarves escaped. Wounded the party quickly looted the dwarves, and among their papers found letters implying another dwarf was working with someone in Mornsford (see Letters Found in Dwarven Barracks in Bloodcloak Orc Lair ).

Knowing the dwarves had alerted the orcs the party made for the abandoned room with the large sarcophagus to hide out and heal. Emerging hours later they explored further killing more orcs and found a large armory filled with weapons, which gave the impression the orcs were stockpiling weapons.

Next they wandered into a candle filled room with and orc shaman dedicated to Orcus. After defeating the shaman and his zombie haram the party found a secret door hiding a stairway leading down into a series of caverns and ramps leading down even further. The party was ambushed by a large undead abomination of multiple creatures sewn together but was able to defeat it.

They next encountered the tomb of the orcs, a cavern filled with dozens of dead orcs standing on stone pedestals posed with weapons but in various states of decay. The party started hacking the orcs up so they could loot them and it brought them to life. Using the cleric’s protection from undead spell the party was able to stay protected and knock off the undead orcs slowly but surely. Eventually the undead orcs were defeated and they reached a large door.

Behind the door they found a small room, a line of powdered silver right over the threshold of the door and beyond it a pile of stones top with rough wooden planks and upon the planks a skeletal orc dressed in rusted armor but clutching a shining two handed sword. Entering the room the party was soon set upon by shadows and the animated corpse of the orc. Another deadly combat but the party survived, and claimed the magic sword for themselves.

After another recovery period the party emerged from the secret cavern to find the orc lair in disarray. It was clear someone had come through the cavern and slaughtered the orcs. Scouting around they found a prison and torture chamber, the orc living quarters, a river area with several boats, and the throne room of the orcs.

They cautiously exited the caves to find the Grey legion camped outside, recovering from wounds. They discovered the about two score of legionaries from the Vadiston barracks, led by an experienced dwarf Lt. Woodburn, and under the command of Sir Harmon Gree, a young (and inexperienced) knight recently arrived from the western kingdoms and a dozen of his men at arms. Sir Harmon had been tasked by Col, Trembal to stop the orc problem in Mornford and the legion killed the half ogre.

The party traveled back to Mornford with the legion and settled in selling their loot and brewing potions. The second night in town they were woken from their sleep by the church bells ringing and after donning armor rushed out to find the soon to be open Hippon House Brewery burning. Joining the bucket line the fire was eventually extinguished. The rumors swirled around town that it was orcs who burned the building down, the party talked to a few witnesses a drunken dwarf and a child who had seen the fur coved hollering orcs leave boats from the river and throw oil and torches in the brewery. Suspicious of how orcs made it by the river gates they went to inspect the towers only to find the house guards of Lord Trihammer arguing with the legionaries guarding the walls. The characters were not given a chance to talk to the guards but witnessed Trihammer himself come down and berate the guard before taking him to the keep.

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The Mercenary Journal of Narn Giffouldevant
Reavespoint Mission

This entry was written into Narns journal before rescued by the party. He believed it would be his last…

My name is Narn Giffouldevant, I am a trained warmage from the east. I am writing these words as a warning to whomever finds them, and also as a way to pass the many dark hours away. I have been trapped in this room for, I believe, five days. I know not who trapped me, possibly goblins, but more likely I have been doomed by a treacherous companion. I sit by the door with my ear to the iron door listening, in the dark, trying to save the lamp oil. I suppress my hunger and thirst trying to stretch my rations, but although I have rations for a few more days, I can feel my strength beginning to wane. I must stop my weapon practice and spellbook study, because I no longer know when I am sleeping or awake.

I tried spellcraft to free myself, but my most powerful magic is electrical in nature and has little effect on iron. In fact the thunderclap that followed the blast echoed terribly in this tiny room and deafened me, fortunately for only a day, but I feared that it was to be permanent, and I was to die in silence as well as in darkness.

If the reader of these words is Raylor, then I curse you. May you rot in the deepest pit, in the lowest kingdom of the abyss, suffering the most putrid torment. You dog! If you did not close the iron door and lock me in this pitch black prison by your own hand, they you have forsaken me, and thereby doomed me all the same. I pray to all the gods to curse me, nay bless me, with unlife. I pray to become a revenant and hound you the rest of your life and destroy all the benefits you have reaped by my death. If by some strange fate I am released from this prison, then there is only one mission for me: revenge. Sweet, sweet, retribution for what you have done to me.

I also pray, when the fire in my belly cools and my thoughts wander, for my companions. Crinel, Trevar, and William. Honorable warriors and good men. The last I saw of Trevar his body was crawling with worms, and Raylor’s apprentice Einman pushed him in a well. May you rot in the abyss as well, Einman you rat! Perhaps the fates will decree you the same doom as poor Trevar. I pity the famished worm that tries to eat your bitter flesh! And that goes for you Kim, you halfling, you half-heart, you half-wit! You would barely make a snack for the worms! I saw you stow the box of gold in your robes “for safekeeping”! BAH!

I see now that I was simply a pawn in this little game. My role was to cast combat spells, I agreed to those terms. But I also agreed to share in the rewards. A single paltry share to Raylor’s four shares and you wouldn’t even grant me that. I’m surprised I was even given the 50 gold signing bonus. I would have guessed that they were fake, but I have had the time to proof each one in my ample time.

So be warned, you who reads these words. Beware the worms in this place. First and foremost beware the worm named Raylor and any that call him “friend”. And if you are him or his friend, then be warned thusly: Narn Giffouldevant is your enemy, and there are few things more dangerous than a betrayed wizard, and my vengance burns as hot as a furnace in a dwarf’s forge!

Postscript:

I can hear the sounds of battle through the door. Strange, it has been so quiet for days I’m not sure if I am dreaming or perhaps I am already dead. No matter. I will don my armor, and refresh my spells. No doubt it is the goblins, or worse, but strangely… I thought I heard a few words of common. Perhaps there are others in this place now. Maybe I can enlist them for my causes. I dare not hope too much. If they do not try the door, I will cast my spell again in hopes to draw their attention.

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Exerpts from the journals of Ragnor the Merchant

Journal Entry, Day Three

The boat trip was a hellish experience I have no wish to repeat. A dwarf doesn’t belong on a water; even a large vessel such as this one, you can still feel the pitch and roll of the water. It’s enough to make me want to heave the only decent meal I’ve had since departing port. The only comfort has been this human swill they call ‘rum’. Bah, it’s made from molasses and sugarcane, too sweet and dainty for my taste. They aren’t much to look at or talk to, but they did teach me a game of dice to pass the time with. I try to lose as much as I win; these men work hard for their coin and they shouldn’t lose it to someone like me, not all of it anyway. I do enjoy the gaming and the ‘sea stories’ they tell me more than actually winning the coin itself. I’ve been told we should be in port on the morrow and then we can find this damnable ‘wizard’ and drop off this lantern, collect our pay and be done with it.
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The Elf, Black Leaf, seems to think it will be no trouble at all. What does that grass eater know? My gut tells me, get a decent meal before we leave, and nothing is ever as easy as you think it is. That, you can count on. Having said that, I hope that flower picker is right and we can conclude our business here

Journal Entry, Day Eight
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Well seems I was correct. The ‘Wizard’ isn’t here and hasn’t been here for weeks. The only more unreliable than a wizard is an elf. We weren’t going to get anywhere waiting around for the wizard, so I tricked the Inn keeper into revealing which room the wizard had been staying in. Once no one was looking, I let myself into his room and took a peek at what he left behind. The locks in this place were so worn down and in such bad shape, they couldn’t have kept me out even if they wanted to. Of course, his room was a mess; papers with strange writing and pictures doodled on them were scattered about, but I found some notes he made that seemed to relate to the his research. It seems he was hunting for something called the ‘Throne of Dreams’. Sounds like something only an Elf would create. The wizard believed it was located below a place called the ‘Fawn Steppes’.
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So the party and I decided to head to the Steppes tomorrow and see if the wizard is there, so we can collect our payment and go. We recruited a Cleric of Tanis to accompany us since we have no healer or anyone smarter than myself. Grizz seems to have a good head on his shoulders for a human, that coupled with his ability heal and treat injury, should prove useful if things go bad. An old friend of mine, Terrick the quarter dwarf, runs a smithy in town; he filled me in on the local legends concerning the Fawn Steppes. It seems like it used to be used by the worshipers of Bacchus in days long since passed. Like everything else that is old, it was simply forgotten.

Journal Entry, Day Ten
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The human’s complaining about the climb to the temple took longer than the actual walk itself. All I could here was ‘Ragnor, can we rest? I’m exhausted, my feet hurt. I’m thirsty, we need to stop. Ragnor, I broke my leg and I can’t walk, can you carry me?” How a species as soft as this one, has survived for so many years, is truly beyond this dwarf’s ability to comprehend. Well surprise, surprise! The wizard was nowhere to be found. We did in fact find a dead horse and a cart containing some wine and oil. There seemed to be some sort of ritual done here involving the burning of the wine. I was able to decipher some of the symbols on the pillars, near the entrance. It seems to be a lunar chart of some sort. The wizard’s notes refer to a portal or entry way, below the steppes. We are going to try to recreate the ritual; gods help us and follow the wizard, to wherever he disappeared to. The rest of the group seems to think this is a good idea but it seems rash and foolish. What did I expect from some whiny humans and a grass eater? If you ask me, I believe we should just sell this lantern to a collector and cut our losses, but no. No one listens to Ragnor, so down we go. Fools!
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So, according to the pillars the next opportunity to open the way should be tomorrow at midnight, of course. To ease the tension and sate my thirst, I drank a little of the wine that was here and by the taste I’m not sure if Bacchus would even accept an offering. It tastes like vinegar and crap! The wizard must have been cheap to have purchased this swill. I wouldn’t give this to my worst enemy, though he’d probably drink it anyway, that sappy pointy eared twit. Well, with any luck, Bacchus won’t strike us down for it. After all, we didn’t bring the offering, the Wizard did.

Journal Entry, Day Twelve
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Well the ritual worked despite the poor quality wine. Bacchus must be a desperate god to accept that has an offering. The doorway into the Steppes opened, just like the pillar said it would and like the fools we are, down we went. The day of course was plagued with problems and delays. The humans bickered among themselves about everything. ‘Do we go left or do we go right? Do we open that door? Who will open that door? Which hand should I use to turn the knob?’ Oh, their stupidity and ignorance was maddening! As they argued and prattled on, a blue mist began to form at our feet. The strange vapor caused anyone who spends a prolonged amount of time in it to fall into a deep sleep. I needed their help to escape this place, so I called it to their attention so that they did not perish right then and there. As we stumbled through the temple, we encountered several groups of goblins. One of these groups had an ogre with them. Now things were starting to get interesting. We tried to interrogate one of the goblins for information, but its head was about as empty as the rest of these fools.
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Grizz took the lead at questioning this small, mindless thing, since he could speak in their foul tongue. Anything the goblin would have said was probably a lie anyway. We continued to search several rooms and anything of use. We did however, a natural hot spring that flowed into this place at some point in time. Apparently, the worshipers of Bacchus made it into a bath house of some sort. I don’t want to know. I located the source of the blue mist; it seems to be pouring from a statue, a statue of female holding an urn. I managed to clog the urn with rags from the goblin we dispatched earlier and the mist has finally dissipated allowing us to move around freely now. It seems that we are going to rest here for time being; we found a relatively defensible room the goblins were cowering in. In this room is what I can only describe as a well of wine. Only a human would waste good drink and make it well. The Elf got it in his head that swimming in the wine well was a good idea. He thought there might be something at the bottom of the well and so without another thought, in he drove. I wonder if Tannis can cure alcohol poisoning…I know there is no divine cure for stupidity, or at least don’t think there is.
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Journal Entry, Day Thirteen
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It seems that the gods do smile on fools and simpletons. Black Leaf survived his wine diving escapade and to make matters worse, he found a silver cup at the bottom of the well. It isn’t worth much, but… it only encourages them to do the stupidest things they can think of. If this species did not breed like orcs, I believe they would be extinct by due to their foolishness. Again, were attacked by what we initially took to be undead goblins, however upon a second death, they seemed to heave up a foul mess of large, purple colored worms. These ‘worms’ then seemed to group together and working in concert they managed to start towards us in a writing mass. We quickly dispatched them with our torches; the smell from the charred carcasses was worse than a kobold’s dung heap! As we ‘progressed’ deeper into the temple, the corruption of this place was becoming more evident. Are these worms some sort of hive mind, like insects or are they being controlled by someone or something more sinister? One of the rooms we discovered had a large blazing fire that took up half the room. The fire must be magical in nature since there was no wood or tinder to keep it blaze; the amount of heat it gave off was minor compared to its size. Sorcery of some sort, I’m sure of it. We also found also several dead trees growing out of the floor. I’m sure when Bacchus reigned here they would bloom and provide edible fruits, though now, they more than dead husks.
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In the middle of the blaze was a statue; the statue was holding a mirror or window of some design. There was an image of a man in black robes sitting on a throne of I believe. I am certain this must be the Throne of the Dreamer the wizard’s notes described. Black Leaf decided to shoot an arrow at the mirror and missed. The image in the mirror must have been aware of us; he reacted without warning and attacked us. Large tendrils of flame leaped from the pit and lashed about the room striking us and causing severe burns on our flesh in places where flames touched. We retreated out of room and Grizz came to our aid and healed us. We then located a pit in the floor hidden by illusionary magic. A rope attached to a large spike made it pretty easy to locate; so we decided to rest and recover, since we could not find the exit to this accursed place. The foulness of this temple makes my sleep difficult, though despite that I am sure that exhaustion will get the better of me.
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Journal Entry, Day Fourteen
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The morning started off bad and didn’t get any better. Ingamar’s snoring made what sleep I could get, broken and un-restful. I considered smothering him but dismissed the idea, for now. He does have his uses. After a quick breakfast we climbed down the pit and discovered a large cavern with a natural staircase descending down to a doorway. Inside this doorway the room has been worked and more of those dead trees stand in rows. Doom waited amongst the trees however. Large cocoons were hidden by the branches and these cocoons disgorged large versions of the worms we encountered above. The battle with them was fierce and dangerous. These worms seem to secrete some sort of paralyzing slime, which quickly overcame the frailer members of our party. With most of them paralyzed, only Black Leaf, Olmar, and myself remained. Black Leaf turned and ran like the flower picking coward I knew him to be. Olmar and I defended our downed companions and fought to the last. Olmar failed to protect his flank, and that was his downfall as the creatures eventually overcame his as well. I had dispatched the remaining worms and had moved to follow Black Leaf only to see the true horror of these creatures. The worm had paralyzed Black Leaf and had left a thick slime his chest. The fear in the elf’s eyes was visible as it lowered its “face” above his and spewed out thousands of smaller, tinier worms all over the elf’s face, most notably, into his mouth. The worms crawled into every orifice on his face and head. I dispatched the large worm on his chest and did my best to try and help the fool but the worms were everywhere. In his nose and mouth, down his gullet, and I even saw one burrow into his eye. I would not wish his fate on anyone, even one such as Black Leaf. Killing the Elf had always been a fantasy of mine but I took no pleasure in cleaving his head from his body, granting him a swift and merciful death. Once our group was whole again, we burned the Elf’s body as a precaution against infection. That by itself should have been the worst memory of my day, but it seemed there was no reprieve for us. While I waited for paralytic effects to wear off of my companions, I found a metal door hidden amongst the dead trees. It was locked, though I made short work of the lock using my own natural born Dwarven ingenuity and before long I had it open. I now regret making that decision. Inside were two people, who claimed to be members of a group who came here with the wizard, damnable fool! One was an Elf who called himself ‘Bra’aq’; another grass eater, I should have known. The other, a human who claims to be a wizard but refuses to give his name; perhaps he feels some strange attachment to his name. Ulff has started calling the wizard ‘Cupcake’ since we had nothing better to call him. I never thought someone would make me miss that coward Black Leaf. Bra’aq seems a little slow and a bit dim witted, though he is brave, if not foolish. At least he’s much better shot than Black Leaf, gods his rest cowardly soul.

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Bra'aq's Journal
A Simpleton's Account

Bra’aq had been on the run now for what seemed like years…how many years? Who could say? Bra’aq couldn’t. Why? Bra’aq doesn’t count so well. Bra’aq had inadvertently wandered into this place looking for shelter, and instead found this dungeon to be infested with inedible worms. Worse yet, these things didn’t die; they just took a different form every time you killed it. Bra’aq’s situation seemed a bit dire when by chance a party of adventurers came bursting into the room, trying to kill the worm-thing.

With determination and grit, he and these others managed to defeat the worm-thing. After which time, they found another room, filled with nothing but writhing, squishy worms. They promptly exited that room and found a room filled with old, rotted books. The dwarf that Bra’aq met up with stated that these books were worthless and then the adventurers went down a pit and into a secret tunnel, which lead them into a room filled with broken glass.

Bra’aq is beginning to wonder if he was better off with bounty hunters outside the dungeon…Bra’aq will wait it out. He thinks the dwarf might be clever enough to get them out.

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