Zombies, Commies & Dwarves, oh my

To The North, And Beyond!
Session 4 - 9/06/08

Loaded down with the body of their fallen comrade Thorgrim, the party returned to Karn’s Depot. There they found another party of adventurers battling a young white dragon. Just as they arrived the creature’s vicious frost breath weapon took down three of the four, leaving a DragonBorn Paladin the lone combatant. The PC’s joined the battle and swiftly dropped the young dragon.

The paladin introduced himself as Korinn, the protector of Mother Honora, a young cleric and one of those felled by the dragon. Rushing to her side, he found that she had survived although the wizard Mozbek and the warrior Gyrthr were dead. Korinn healed Mother Honora, and she began the prayers involved in giving the dead (including Thorgrim) a gentle repose.

Korinn and Mother Honora told a frightening tale of zombie attacks in Odd’s Crossing, which they had passed through only the day before. They informed the party that fully a dozen had died in the town, and that many there were afraid for their lives. The southern migration had increased dramatically as well. They also told of their quest, to find the tomb of Julian the Bold. The tomb apparently figures into a prophecy regarding an uprising of undead, which they believed was what they were in the middle of. The party agreed to join with these two on their quest, and escort Mother Honora to the tomb to try and find a way to stop the vast zombie hordes.

Ka’Shaun expressed concern for their families in Soothton, and the party decided to return there before continuing on with Honora and Korinn. They made their way back to Odd’s Crossing, where it seemed the majority of the inhabitants of the town were packing up their households and beginning the journey south. The party found an armorer, Heinz, who answered some of their questions and provided some needed equipment. They also met up with Balthazar’s father, who told them that their small village had also been attacked by the undead.

Spurred on by his words, the party headed to Soothton. In the small cemetery outside of town, they found empty fresh graves. In the town itself they found only zombies. With the help of Korinn and Honora, the party defeated the zombies with little difficulty. Checking his home Damakos found one of his family treasures, a statue of the demon Nebankh, Destructor of Worlds, although his parents were absent just like all the villagers. Saddened by the destruction of their home, the party returned to Karn’s Depot to wait for the Dwarven train.

The train arrived exactly on time, and Vitali even managed to express regret at the death of Thorgrim. Paying their fare, the adventurers settled in for the long ride to Caterglen. They passed the abandoned towns of Ogleby and North Crossing before heading into the [[Len-Kahn Tunnels]] of the Dwarven kingdom. The train made brief stops at [[Zul-Kayn]] and [[Cal-Thett]], with a few Dwarves getting on at both stops. Ka’Shaun managed to strike up a conversation with one of these Dwarves, despite Vitali’s obvious disapproval.

At Grand Plateau Central Station, the train came back above ground and stopped at a very busy station, with many trains and lines. The party was informed that there would be a two hour holdover, and that for their own good they should stay aboard the train. The party watched as Vitali intercepted the Dwarf who had spoken to Ka’Shaun, and led him through a black door off to the side of the main station entrance. Shortly thereafter, Vitali returned with two other dwarves, one male and one female. The male never spoke, but the female introduced herself as Milena Petrovna, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs to his majesty Anton Dmitrovich Tikhomirov.

Petrovna had many questions for the party, particularly in regards to the Glorious Protectors Council and any dealings they had with it. Fortunately for the PC’s they’ve had no contact with the Council and told the truth about that fact. They had questions about the Council, and Petrovna told them some of the history of their country of which they were unaware. She denounced the “communism” under which they were raised, and the mixing of the races as unnatural. She warned them not to remove any Dwarven items from Dwarven territory without the proper paperwork (form [[27J-6]]).

When the party inquired about entering the station itself, Petrovna stated that it was possible, but that customs forms would have to be filled out. The party was led through the black door into a small office, and given official looking documents written entirely in Dwarvish. On the recommendation of Balthazar none of them filled out those documents and they were returned to the train. At the end of the two hour period the train returned underground, coming back out in the center of Northhold, the Dwarven fortress on the border of Eladrin territory.

The train passed through the gates of Northhold and swiftly arrived at the far northern end of the line, in the forest city of Caterglen. The city, built into massive trees, was astoundingly warm. The party learned this was an effect of the Feywild, and that the weather in Caterglen was always perfect. They were greeted at the Eladrin depot by Immarral, a surprisingly friendly and helpful man. He explained that they would shortly be joined by their host to the city.

Sariel arrived shortly thereafter, and answered questions from everyone while leading them through the city. They were taken to a stone building, one of the few built on the ground, bearing the sign of a green sunburst. This was where they would stay while in the city, and where they met the owner, Thibaud. Thibaud and Sariel were both extraordinarily friendly, and made the party feel very comfortable. While Thibaud went to arrange a meal, a young Eladrin girl came into the waiting area and washed their feet. The party had a magnificent meal, although it was oddly devoid of any meat, then got some rest. One of the things the party learned from Sariel was that the Dwarves were in a near constant state of war. At one point they had been fighting the Kingdom of Ainsbury to their south, the Giants to their east and the Drow beneath them. It was at that point when the Eladrin had negotiated their treaty, giving them the best terms ever achieved in such a negotiation. She also told them that the founding of the Dwarven city of [[The Bar-Dayn Ruins|Bar-Dayn]] had been the cause of the wars with Ainsbury, and even though that kingdom had long since abandoned the far north, the Dwarves wouldn’t even consider breaking their treaty and returning to their now abandoned settlement.

The next day they went shopping, finding a merchant willing to make trades on some of the magical items they had gathered. They also met Cedric, an elderly Eladrin wizard. After another fine meal, the party made plans to leave the fine city. At the next opportunity, they boarded the Dwarven train. They took the train back through Dwarven territory to North Crossing, and set out on foot for the Bar-Dayn Ruins.

The intense cold and snow slowed their progress, but towards nightfall Lloyd heard giggling nearby. He snuck closer, and found a small group of Orcs pulling food from a basket and laughing all the while. The party ambushed these Orcs, and made short work of them. The next day they reached the ruins, and found instead of an abandoned city a fully-functioning and well-populated Orc settlement. The party took to the trees and made their way around the city, headed for Jarl’s Pass and the hope they quest for in a long forgotten tomb.

View
Enter The Zombie
Session 3 - 8/23/08

The party arrived in the small village of Karn’s Depot. The ridge of land the road had been paralleling developed a new feature – parallel metal tracks separated by wooden beams. When they got to the town, they found a platform built next to the track with a small building on top.

The PCs investigated the town, and found it on first glance to be abandoned. The party began to hear low groans, then quickly found themselves surrounded by zombies dressed in the tattered remains of white robes. The zombies were faster than expected, and one threw hideous globs of necrotic matter at them. The party managed to put them down with little trouble.

As soon as the last zombie was destroyed, the door to one of the houses flew open, and a middle-aged man with stark white hair came running out. Jer Smithson introduced himself and thanked the heroes profusely for killing the zombies that had killed the other villagers and left him trapped in his home for six days. Jer told the party that the zombies were dressed in the robes of the brothers of the Ancient Order Of the White Tiger, a monastery a few hours southwest of Karn’s Depot. Jer’s celebration was premature – more zombies quickly appeared in the center of town.

Jer and the party ran into his home and barred the door, though Jer was the only one who ran upstairs and hid under the bed. Several members of the party took positions at the upstairs windows and began sniping at the zombies who rapidly moved to house and began bashing at the front door. One of the hideous undead was actually a ghoul who had retained a small amount of intelligence from his former existence. The ghoul moved to the side of the house and began climbing.

The ghoul quickly burst through the window and landed on the bed. The smell of warm urine wafted gently from under the bed. Balthazar was prepared, and a quick Thunderwave blew the ghoul, the bed, and Jer through the wall and onto the ground. The ghoul made short work of Jer while the party took shots at the hideous creature. Soon enough the heroes had destroyed the remaining undead.

The party decided to investigate the monastery. A quick trek through the forest found them in the fields surrounding the ancient walled compound, looking at over a dozen zombies wandering the grounds. Lloyd did some recon work and found upwards of fifty zombies in the clearing and evidence that the monastery gate had been battered down.

The PCs devised a plan to dig a large pit and try to get as many of the zombies into it as possible. It was a two day effort, so after several hours of work everyone returned to Karn’s Depot. Just as they returned, Balthazar and Thorgrim began hearing an odd rhythmic noise coming from the north. A strange vehicle soon appeared, running along the tracks. The PCs hid in Jer’s house and watched from the upstairs window as the train stopped and several dwarves hopped out.

Thorgrim and Ka’Shaun approached and began speaking to what appeared to be the head Dwarf. The Dwarf introduced himself as Vitali, the foreman of the last train on the Grand Treaty Line. Vitali showed clear disdain for his fellow Dwarf, saying that he wasn’t really a Dwarf at all, having grown up in the “Glorious State of Ainsbury.” Vitali explained that as part of the treaty that ended the Dwarven Wars he was legally bound to provide rail service to this small town every three days, and that although he stayed for the legally required ten minutes each trip, it had been years since anyone had taken the train. He hadn’t seen or spoken to the villagers in years either, as they had taken to hiding when the train approached.

Though he maintained constant disdain for Thorgrim, Vitali was marginally more polite to Ka’Shaun. He told Ka’Shaun that he was legally bound to inform all Eladrin that they were eligible to receive free passage to their city of Caterglen, on the far side of the mountains to the north. Ka’Shaun asked for and received a schedule of stops and fees for the rail line. Vitali explained that the train used to travel further south, but that the “citizens of the Glorious State” had vandalized the tracks and stolen them for building materials. He made a point of stating that even though the humans had clearly broken their side of the treaty, the Dwarves maintained their part of the bargain.

He never stopped checking his pocketwatch while he was speaking to them, and as soon as his ten minutes were up he got back aboard the train and ordered it to depart for the north.

The next day the party returned to the monastery, with a brief encounter in the woods along the way. More zombies were dispatched, including a nasty one who generated an aura of cold. The PCs completed the pit, then went back to Karn’s Depot and rested one more time. The following day they returned to the monastery grounds and Balthazar filled the pit with the smell of human blood. The zombies came quickly and soon the fight was on.

The party fought valiantly, but there were far more zombies than in their previous encounters. First Thorgrim went down, and then Lloyd. Almost immediately Lloyd returned to his feet, ready to continue the fight. Thorgrim was not so lucky. His injuries were too severe, and he quietly died on the field of battle.

View
Cleaning The Tower
Session 2 - 8/1/08

Following the goblin battle in the center of Dunkel, the party tried to get some rest. Lloyd did some recon and got the first view of the tower, where he saw a large mass of goblins surrounding a bonfire. On his way back to the village he found a small encampment of goblins watching the path to the tower. He reported back to the village and everyone bedded down for some rest.

Shortly thereafter, another wave of goblins hit the town and though the PCs had more difficulty with the second batch, their excellent planning and use of tactics enabled them to dispatch these goblins as well.

The following day the party went on the offensive. They first found the abandoned encampment where the small group of goblins had been watching, and then got to the tower and saw only two guards. The party was not considering a frontal assault however, rather they spent the day preparing an ambush along the forest path. The traps combined with the element of surprise took down the first wave of goblins as they came down the path. The party made another great choice by constricting the movement of the goblins and limiting their own tactics.

While the party were ultimately able to kill the goblins, Thorgrim spent a great deal of time tanking the Underboss and was ultimately knocked unconscious. Quick healing brought him back from the brink of death however, and the party continued on to the now abandoned tower.

Most of the tower smelled of goblin urine, but there was one item of interest to be found. From the outside it was clear that at some point there had been a massive explosion that had blown out part of the top levels of the tower. Inside, the party found that a large portion of the stairs had been destroyed in the explosion. The party quickly climbed up to the burnt out floor which appeared to have been left undisturbed by the goblins. While there was extensive fire damage in on this level, the group found a partially charred scroll case which contained an old map of the region showing a number of sites the party had never heard of.

Following a night’s rest, Balthazar stayed behind to begin magically cleaning the tower and the rest of the party returned first to Dunkel and collected their payment then moved on to Odd’s Crossing. There they found some info regarding the map and looked into the costs of getting the tower repaired to use as a base of operations. They decided to collect Balthazar and move on to Karn’s Depot, a small town next to the Grand Treaty Line. They arrived there without difficulty and found the town to be deserted.

View
Leaving Home
Session 1 - 7/19/08

Following the harvest festival, the party leaves their small town home of Soothton. After a day’s travel they arrive in Odd’s Crossing, the big town of the area. They quickly find that the two most well-known taverns in the city are the Frozen Dog and the Dancing Sally. The group secured lodging in the Dog, and spent some time talking to its Dwarven owner/barkeep. They learned that the fishing village of Dunkel has been having goblin problems, and that a man from Dunkel had spent two days in Odd’s Crossing trying to recruit goblin exterminators. The man was unsuccessful and moved on to the south and Tilson City. The party also learned that the giants in the mountains to the north had been restless lately, even going so far as to raid a town, but what specific town was not known.

Balthazar spent some time talking to Daniel, the master blacksmith of Odd’s Crossing, buying several sets of manacles. Thorgrim examined the collapsed bridge that had run parallel to the stone bridge and found the remains of strange metal rails. The party headed to Dunkel and spoke with the surviving head of the village and found that just about every night a large party of goblins had been raiding, carrying off villagers & food, burning huts and killing people. The poor fishers of Dunkel offered the party 50 gold pieces, which they clearly couldn’t afford but which the party felt the need to attempt to haggle to raise anyway, to clear out the goblin infestation. The party accepted and began planning. They found that the goblins had taken over an old abandoned mage’s tower. The mage, Garvin, had disappeared years before and the fishermen didn’t know anything about him.

The party correctly guessed that the goblins would raid that night, so they spent the afternoon and evening preparing the town. The villagers were crowded onto the docks, with their most able men defending them. Using prestidigitation, Balthazar successfully drew the remarkably gullible raiding party to the center of Dunkel where they slaughtered them with little effort.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.