Slaughtergarde

Session 1 - Spices
slaughtergarde spices

Party: Calael, Dahmel, Kark, Thorail, Tiertan and Ulmfor.

Through various connections each party member receives an invitation to the Chicane Guild for possible employment. Despite their disparate motivations they accept the task, all save a hung-over dwarf named Glorin. Lady Vintra Marktunsel explains that a Chicane Guild caravan was waylaid by goblin bandits on the road to the south while en route from Tulvercross. Expensive spices were taken and she desperately wants their return. The party assembles quickly, purchasing a horse and a wagon and then leaves that afternoon. With the advance of pay, Calael has time to buy his elvish bow out of hoc.

On the road, soon they are surrounded by the stark rolling hills of the Kurkel Ridge. In late afternoon the scouts spot a Hippogriph circling high in the sky, riding the hot midday updrafts. It passes overhead to give them (or perhaps their steeds) a look, and then disappears to the south.

Before dusk they find the wreckage of the caravan along the road. The scouts in the party piece together the method of the attackers and the direction of their retreat thanks to Roukan’s canine nose. Following the trail Dahmel divines that the path ends at a dark cave mouth. In the waning light they set camp.

In the morning they hobble the horses and camouflage the wagon in a small gulley before approaching the cave. The entry tunnel is steep and movement is slow going. Calael sneaks ahead where he spies two hobgoblins guarding some burnished copper doors. In a deft move Calael plugs one hobgoblin with an arrow enticing the other to pursue him up the entry tunnel. The party springs from its hiding place taking the hobgoblins by surprise. The battle goes quickly; even the hidden hobgoblin archer is no match for the fledgling party.

Ulmfor transforms into a smoky apparition, seeping under the door for some advanced scouting. Within he sees three goblins playing cards. The party bursts into the room, again making short work of the guards. Amongst the supplies they uncover three of the missing Chicane guild spice crates. Further down the hall they battle two more goblins and discover three more spice crates, bringing the total to six.

Pressing on they cross a chasm to enter another excavated area of the dungeon. Up a short flight of stairs they are ambushed by two more goblins. In the ensuing battle a viscous axe hews a goblin in twain from a bordering sunken room. With some trepidation Thorail approaches the threshold revealing a stone guardian in the sunken chamber below. Ulmfor recognizes him as a Maug – a magical construct sent across the planes to slay demons in a place called Slaughtergarde. As a Luminary Knight, Kark recalls that Slaughtergarde was a fortress of evil that existed between two planes, issuing forth hordes of demons into the valley. The Knights Luminous shattered the evil fortress scattering its pieces across the planes. Until now it was assumed to be completely annihilated. Sections have survived – this is ill news.

Two intact mirrors are in the ambush chamber. The first shows a window into another place where steam fills a room, with only glimpses of a stone like form within. The other cracked mirror holds three faces in its jagged panels: a woman of unequaled beauty, a huge toad like demon and a mysterious bearded man with an obscuring hood. Kark recognizes the first two as a succubus and a Hezrou demon respectively – the bearded man remains an enigma.

Beyond the Maug’s chamber they encounter a strange pattern of runes containing a creature called a Howler. It throws one burst of quills before being taken down with the aid of the Maug. On a balcony overlooking the runes more hobgoblins await. During the battle, goblins ambush from the shadows at the order of the hobgoblins. Thorail is nearly killed by a javelin to the throat. Ulmfor buys time by distracting the goblins in smoke form while Kark and Dahmel hack their way through the hobgoblins to rescue their fallen companion. The room is a bloody mess. In a small area that appears to be a torture chamber they find strange masterwork implements, three of the daggers emit a small continuous drip of blood. Ulmfor is able to determine that they are used in some sort of ritual and that they store small amounts of power that can be used by the bearer of the blade.

Onward down a dark passage, Tiertan spots four rotting hobgoblins standing erect in a large chamber. Alert to his presence they start to move…

…to be continued.

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