Hillfast's Legacy

A Black Cloud on a Summer's Day

YR 1497

Thunderday

The morning started strangely enough. As the men drilled in the yard a blackened cloud moved curiously across the sky. It seemed to have settled in place of the sun and directly over the vile tower of Dox’ilbis the Black Mage. I stepped up onto the drill sergeant’s platform for a better look. The tower exploded when a bolt of lightning struck it. I could see thick black smoke pouring out of the whole and the tower seemed to have been ablaze. Brigadesmen were dispatched with a wagon and pails to try and put out the fire. The tower is a little ways up the Trader’s Road, but fire is always a fear. I could see the men and cart make their way up the road when a man riding a carpet appeared from out of the smoke. Purple black lightening leap from the marauder’s hands as he raked the brigadesmen with death from above.

As he got closer I could see that it was Dox’ilbis on the flying carpet. Laughing maniacally he threw magical death down upon the city starting fires everywhere his attacks struck. I knew that the town’s defense were no match for this powerful magic. I called my closest bannermen to my side and we rode forth to try and find my family and guide them to safety. Marie and sweet Allie we not home and the fires were spreading in town. One of my men, Neville told me that many of the fortunate were fleeing on Trader’s Road towards Mirabar. We caught up with the refugee caravan and I searched for my precious family.

That night, the grief nearly drowned me. My dear wife and daughter were lost to me. Janice, my wife’s friend asked if I had word of Marie. Elven wine consoled me. It wrapped me in its sweet arms and made me forget. It gave me strength and resolve to vow vengeance upon that devil’s spawn mage. I am heartened that a young knight, Cam and his squire have sworn an oath to me to kill this mage. In the morning we ride to meet Hamil’s army and perhaps the garner the armsmen needed for my quest to destroy this abomination.

Fireday

Young Brent the forge’s assistant brought me Allie’s body last night. He found it at the edge of the woods as he sought cover from the rampaging mage. Her delicate neck ravaged by a blade. Her innocence stolen too young, and the blood, so much blood. By Amaunator and Tempus I swear this mage shall die.

We arrive at Hamil’s camp. He grants me the men I need and we are further graced by Nil the Grey, Hamil’s war wizard. This afternoon I attend my daughter’s funeral and tomorrow I seek my vengeance.

Lord Gregor Von Lerron

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A Company Forged in a Funeral Pyre

Sir Gregor’s newly commissioned army breaks camp and a vangaurd force, Gregor’s Dagger, is sent out under the sturdy leadership of Sir Cam Lawbringer, rapidly becoming one of Gregor’s trusted banner men.

Cam’s man-at-arms, his squire, Hubert seems to have a problem with dwarven ale and buxom women.

The company’s warmage, Allistar, is a slightly aloof mage with a deadly pink missile.

The company also has a cleric, Glorfindall, a radiant being with a ardent faith in the Platinum Dragon that manifests in powerful attacks.

Providing safe passage, Sibrand, acts as lead ranger and scout. He has aquitted himself of being quite skilled with short swords.

En route west, to Hillfast, to hunt down the mage Dox’ilbis….

Sensing an ambush Simbrand dismounts and makes his way into the woods on the southern side of the road. Glorfindell also feels that things are not right and moves his horse up close to Sir Cam to provide cover. Simbrand, as silent as a marching band ninja, is able to ambush an archer and foil the trap. For his troubles a small inky black apparition appears at the feet of his fallen foe. Cam dismounts and charges into the woods and is rewarded with an arrow to the shoulder. The offending archer then turns and runs as
Allister dispatches him with a blazing pink missile, exploding his head. The distraction is enough for the scout to close on another bandit and cleave him in two.

Arrows flash out of the north woods at the unprotected cleric and mage. A lucky shield placement saves the mage from being wounded. Ranger and knight now fully aware that more scoundrels occupy the northern woods, charge head long across the road, with the little inky minion following behind. The dragonborn knight rears back and unleashes his mighty heritage and projectile vomits acid, slaying one of the villains. Glorfindall seeing his chance summons a mighty shimmering lance and skewers an archer to a tree. Simbrand’s woodsy knowhow brings him within striking distance of the final marauder and takes him out with his patented Ginsu move.

Thinking that the fight is over, Simbrand avoids being brained by deftly raising his sword and nearly impaling an assassin that left down from the tree. The fight is on now. Simbrand, Cam, and the thug trade regular blows, whilest the spellcasters pranced on their horses and throw random golden shafts and pink missiles towards the new threat. Ultimately, the menace is defeated and our heroes are victorious.

The bandit’s bodies are strung up as a warning, the slain children are given rites and buried, and the leader of this gang’s body is sent to the main column to assuage Sir Gregor’s grief, that his daughter’s assassin had been punished.

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A Father's Grief

YR 1497

Starday

Morningsmeal

My grief and rage provokes me to unrest. I cannot stomach the cook’s food. This gods’ forsaken march progresses too slowly. I should have sought more swift footed rangers or begged my brother for more mounted men. Part of me hopes that my Dagger Company catches this bastard mage and has him gutted like a fish. They seem to be an odd but sturdy group.

Midmorning

Good squire Hubert’s arrival stunned me and raised my hopes to an untold high. His news was good but not great. The Daggers subdued the bandits responsible for my dear sweet Allie’s murder. I begged him return to his master and complete the task I employed them to.

Later day

The Dagger’s ranger and medic reporting that a huge weapons cache is secreted in a warehouse in Hillsfast. The cleric seemed swayed that the mage seeks to raise an army of the dead townspeople and use the weapons cache to arm them. The ranger suggested I take the cache, which may be a profitable solution to enlarging my expedition to sate vengeance. I am shocked and appalled to learn that Cam, the Dagger’s commander is sleeping whilst his men seek this mage for me. I have demanded his presence.

Sir Gregor Von Lerron

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One Town, Slightly Toasted

Welcome to Hillfast, a lovely town (when it’s not on fire).

So the party arrived at Hillsfast and immediately split up (always a good plan). Simbrand was left in the woods to scout for signs of the Lich.
Glorfindal and Allister went into town to explore the undamaged section; which primarily consisted of the Market District. They found the shop that sold the Lich his flying carpet and seemed to have a great number of exotic magical items for sale. They headed back out of town to see if they could locate the knight and his squire.

Cam and Hubert went to explore the explode tower on the out skirts of the town. They found a secreted door on the main level that took them down to a subbasement that seems to be under construction. They worked on the obstructed area until the rest of the party rejoined them in the digging out process.

The four heroes of our tale were ambushed be some rather meddlesome shadow bats. Quick thinking and some unorthodox uses of Continual Light and the bats were ultimately subdued. The party was able to mostly avoid the deadly doomspores that grew on the side of the cliff wall and found themselves surprising a group of dark creepers.
The dark creepers and their witch task master were completely engrossed in their conservation duties when the party descended upon these poor hapless working class denizens. During the course of the slaughter, the shadow hounds were butchered (a crime in most planes as they are endangered). The party having sated its bloodlust, settled in to rest and take stock of the room.

(continuation of day)

One of the piles of crates is knocked off its perch by Simbrand timely appearance, having found a blind trapdoor in the game reserve above. The battle may have taken a bit out of Cam and Allister as they curled up together and took a nap.

The rest of the party went on to explore the cool shimmery portal in the middle of the room and the crates of (as they learn by cracking a few open) weapons from the same forgemaster (hence the groovey maker’s mark found throughout the stock). They also learned that it was not an Arc of Disintegration (so, so very tempting though), but that it was some cool (Gauntlet styled) Teleportation Ring (of course if you looked at the map there were big letters that said that). The party entered a new room and found two additional portals, one silvery (like the one they just used and therefore by game logic, safe) and one with inky blackness. While rubber necking (like tourists), the party was surprised by three additional dark creepers who appeared from the black portal. They were dispatched relatively quickly and the party moved on to creating a lovely (and pointy) piece of art (read:trap) in front of the black portal as a surprise to anyone passing through it. Bopping through the second silver portal, the party found themselves inside of a huge (magically imbued) warehouse with row upon row of crates of weapons. Investigating the warehouse they also found a small caché of magical items.

The warehouse sits in the Market District of Hillfast and has the same “Ӎ” as the weapons. Glorfindal had his Unseen Servant start moving crates through the portals and into the underground storerooms.

Glorfindal and Simbrand made their way back to Gregor’s army to report the happenings in Hillsfast. Simbrand offered the weapons warehouse up to Gregor and the cleric speculated that the weapons were for an undead army (yet to be raised). Gregor summoned Cam to report as it was stated in the conversation that he was sleeping while the company was exploring and looking for clues to the lich’s whereabouts.

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Just Desserts...

Cam reports to Gregor and currys favor enough to get fresh horses to continue hunting the lich. Gregor’s army arrives in Hillsfast to continue searching for clues as to the liches motives and destination.

Loot from the warehouse was divided.

The horses are saddled and well tended in the stable and ready for you to depart in the morning, south after the mad lich.

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Look Boss! de Dragon! de Dragon...
What the hell just happened?

A side note, the Dagger’s have collected a treasure hunter who is seeking the flying carpet the lich took. His name is Rook and he seems remarkable lucky, having stumbled upon a great sword with some cryptic runes inscribed on it. Once the party is reassembled and Gorge Lawbringer is sent off to report to Gregor, road is paved south towards Longsaddle.

Welcome to Longsaddle, a lovely town when it’s not on fire…

The party arrives at Trader’s Gate on the north end of Longsaddle. With all the peculiar things going on, the guards insist on the party surrendering their weapons. Cam persuades them to allow his faithful squire to enter the gates to purchase provisioning, while the remaining party stays with the horses outside the walls.

Hubert meets with the refugees, who are being quartered in a ghetto, and provides arms and reassures them that Gregor’s Army will be there soon. Hubert’s exit from town is stalled when the Gate Sergeant smacks him in the face for insolence. A full on fight ensues. Cam, Allister, and newcomer Rook ascend the wall and quickly defeat the three guards assigned to the Gate. Before the last guard falls, he calls out an alarm and more town guard respond to the Trader’s Gate.

Another troop of six arrives to find their fallen comrades, broken and bloodied on the road. Hubert has secreted himself within a neighboring building and prepares a massive attack on the guards. Rook makes the most of their arrival and blasts them, before they know what is happening Rook is behind them, killing one and feasting on the soul of another. Allister uses his dainty pink missile to slay another and some felled flying beast harasses Cam. The fearless treasure hunter and the war mage make quick work out of the remaining guard, but receive a fair number of quarrels for their trouble. Allister takes the opportunity to attack the flying creature with his deadly accurate missile again only to be punished by the monster’s near fatal reprisal attack. Next it executes a wall shattering concussive attack and then the dragonborn disappears.

When all is said and nine of the town guard lay dead in the streets and only the war mage’s unconscious body is discovered on top of the wall.

The party regroups in the Broken Barrel Pub and plans for the next day.

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This is not a Cheers Episode.
You did what? again.

And where do I start with this recap. Seriously…it’s all too bizarre.

The party left Longsaddle and were joined by a human named Wilhim, a fellow traveler seeking the safety in numbers on the open road. Later in the day, Wilhim pulled off the road to meet his employer/master, a cheerful dwarf named Irme. Irme sets out a meal for the party, while the mage and treasure hunter choose to catch up on their rest (it was a late night for the mage with his two, I mean one new friends). Either there was some bad fish or everyone had the same strange dream about Carrion Crawlers, because the entire party seemed to be thinking the same thing. The party procures a fast forward of sorts from the kindly dwarf; who, for a tidy sum, transported them to the Splendor of the North, Waterdeep.

Out and about, the party meets up with Kreelo, a charming and gregarious entrepreneur who points them in the direction of the quarry. While the party literally stands at the gates of the lich’s house in Waterdeep, he goes about his day, as a man who pays no attention to ants.

The party decides not to rush the house, but instead takes up Kreelo’s offer of cards later in the day. Arriving at the Splitthead Tavern, Kreelo arrives with Hubert, having found him lost in the streets. The dragonborn suspects some treachery and tests Hubert with some basic questions. When Hubert fails to correctly identify Glorfindall as the knight’s favorite person, he is promptly attacked with a spray of acid. The patrons flee and the fight progresses. Hubert, backed into a corner and suffering a variety of injuries makes way for the door, only to be frozen in place and then zapped to death by the unimpressive bar owner, Tawney. Cam, thoroughly enraged at the presumed collusion with Kreelo presses the inquiry to the point of engaging Kreelo in combat. Kreelo retreats to the now crowded public streets after slaying the dragonborn knight. Allistar attempts to intercept the fleet footed human by teleporting in front of him, only to be stabbed in the side and watch Kreelo disappear into a mist.

So where does that leave the party?

  • The treasure hunter is back at the inn, resting comfortably.
  • The knight is bleeding out on the floor of the bar.
  • The squire is missing and/or a dead changeling assassin in the doorway of the tavern.
  • The ranger is checking out a book at the local library.
  • The mage is pissed that Kreelo slipped away.
  • And…..the cleric…praying at the temple many miles away from combat, while his comrades are dying.
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The Trap is Set!
Me, the lich, and my doom.

In the aftermath of keeping the town watch on the street and out of his bar, Tawny closes the Splitthead Tavern for the day. With no one to keep tabs on him, he proceeds to move all of the liquor from the bar into his magical bag. Sibrand, Allistar, and Rook return to the bar to confront the mysterious barman about his apparent slaying of a party member. Sibrand and Tawny get into a heated exchange as the knight returns after getting bandaged up. Stepping into the middle of a full on interrogation, Cam waits for a moment to break into the conversation and refocus his people.

Waiting a minute too long, Tawny has had enough and creates a protective barrier of flames. Within seconds, Allistar has put out half the flames starting to spread across the floor with streaks of ice, then promptly disappears. On his heels Rook, beats feet for the back door. Sibrand, now assured he is dealing with a dangerous man, quick draws his sword and stabs the bar keep. Cam, always the tactician, puts out the rest of the flames with a blast of icy wind and juxtaposes positions with Tawny, now standing toe to toe with the ranger.
The shock of the rapidly unfolding events, draws the group back together and it is revealed that Hubert had infiltrated the bar and taken on the guise of the bar keep for the meeting with Kreelo. Now the planning to take down the Lich began in earnest. Several plans were crafted and discarded as outright foolishness, then only one was left.

Cam, Sibrand, Allistar, and Rook would take their horses and ride north to find Gregor’s Army and set an ambush for the lich at the roadside hitch where Imre the dwarf had teleported them to Waterdeep. Hubert, the ever faithful squire, would in four days time, approach the lich and attempt to lure him into the prepared trap. Upon approaching the lich’s residence, he is not slain on the spot and actually invited into the home.

Will the party prevail? Will Dox’ilbis be brought to justice? Until next time…

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Everything was fine, until the dragon showed up…

In Waterdeep: Hubert spends an uncomfortable night sleeping in the lich’s lair.

On Merchant’s Pass: at the place that will become known as “The Fields of Seared Souls”, Gregor’s Army and the Daggers plot their attack. Glorfindall prepares a vessel filled with fluid blessed by his hand to help repel the undead wizard. Cam renews his commitment to Gregor and they talk about tactics to take down the lich. The rest of the party and army attempt to rest with anxiety running high about the following day’s encounter.

Dawn breaks on a clear and sunny day. The army goes about its normal encamped routine. The first hint that something is amiss is a stray dark cloud that seems to travel of its own volition…straight up the road. The cloud stops in a hover above the camp and as the cloud dissipates, an ornate flying carpet with the goblin menace astride can be seen.
Gregor give the order for archers to loose their arrows. The goblin vanishes and the arrows hit very little but the carpet itself.

Dox’ilbis brings the carpet lower and unleashes his opening attack. The party responds and a fierce battle ensues. Allistar is able to dismount the lich from the carpet and bring the fight within reach of the soldiers. Rook seeing his prize readily available mounts the carpet and swoops into combat. The pitched fight looks to be in the party’s favor until a large black shadow passes over the battle and the roiling, visceral dragonfear swept amoungst the combatants. Cam hurls an arcane blast at the lich as he attempts to escape during the distraction, easily destroying the damned creature. The lich’s kit falling to the ground proves too attractive a prize for the dragon who swoops in to gather up the loot.

Things get a little fuzzy here…somehow Allistar summons into being a huge Carrion Crawler who proceeds to attack the dragon. In the next instant the dragon is behind the cleric and Cam is in the Crawler’s clutches. Then Sibrand…in his wisdom mounts the dragon without a saddle and is promptly bitten for his trouble. With his (or hers…did anyone check the gender of the dragon?) attempts to leave with his newly acquired magical loot thwarted by the Crawler, the dragon rains down a torrent of burning acid that all but decimates the party its troops. Cam falls, Sibrand falls, Hubert falls (wait…when did he get here?), but lo and behold…Rook is bebopping around on his flying carpet all fine and dandy like… Glorfindall is able to get Hubert and Sibrand back into the fight with his strong connection to Bahamut energized by a fight with an evil dragon. Rook barely escapes the dragon’s attempt to snatch the carpet, ironically from below his feet. The treasure hunter finds safe harbor in the woods, away from the fight.

The black dragon takes to the air once again after punishing the crawler for its repeated insolence. As the dragon escapes, Glorfindall goes about healing the most injured.

Brave Sir Cam Lawbringer lies badly injured. The cleric prays and channels his strongest healing magics into the dragonborn knight, but he expires due to injuries sustained in combat.

In a sea of broken and charred bodies, amoungst the flith of war, the pools of acid stands this small group of heroes, mourning the loss of their once proud leader.

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In Mourning, Faith was Found

A broken leader lies dead. The party is at an impasse. It’s martial leader has fallen. The Lich destroyed and the Black Dragon beaten back, the party’s actors make good for themselves. Rook having made good on his quest disappears with aboard the Lich’s flying carpet. Sibrand similarly vanishes in the post battle confusion.

Glorfindall frantically uses all of his battle training healing devices, but the proud dragonborn is no more. A murder of crows descends upon the remain party. An otherworldly essence bloom in the midst of the dead. As an aspect of the The Raven Queen restores health to Sir Cam Lawbringer’s broken body, a small retinue of guides appear as servants of the Raven Queen. A master of battle, the hard nosed dwarf, Karthas Ironnose is tasked with bringing a fierce edge to the protection of this group. He is haunted though, by visions, visions of a battle yet to come, with thousands of men and beasts throwing themselves at the jaws of war. The ever serene Vasq, brings a peaceful tranquility to the group. Ever faithful to his mistress, Vasq seeks to serve in the capacity of channeler, as needed. The ever so deft, Cicero presents himself with a particular panache and flair. Equally graceful and fluid in motion, Cicero is as persistent as a sharp wind, and possibly as deadly.

With his new found health restored to him, Sir Cam seeks to reform the troops and take a tactical assessment of his resources. The party mounts their horses to return to Longsaddle. Along the road they find a dying Gregor Von Lerron and his already dead aide-de-camp. With Gregor’s dying words he bequeaths his title and lands to his trusted knight, Sir Cam Lawbringer, leaving Cam in charge of a fractured army.

After arriving in Longsaddle, Cam sets about to take stock of his assets while the rest of the party take a moment or two to recover from the harrowing attack they survived. In the wee hours of the morning, the call of the city watch rouses the hardened adventurers. The city’s wall is under attack from a mob of the undead! Without a coordinated plan, and with remarkable effect, the party wipes out the two dozen or so skeletons without a scratch.

The next day, Cicero’s dreams lead the party back to the blasted tower on the edge of town. They descend in the the bowels to find the once tight passageway has been sufficiently improved that the members can walk two abreast. Careful investigation lead the party to the store room and the ash colored portal, where their decorations have since been removed. Cicero, ever curious, finds himself passing through the portal with some experimentation. Upon entering the Shadowfell, Cicero saw in the near distance a huge army encampment. Opting to retreat back and report what he found, Cicero shimmered back into existence in the Mundane World. The party took the news in stride (and why not, the week had already been booked with a Lich and a Dragon…why not a Shadowfell Army…) and opted to demolish the room and seal the Shadowfell portal. A trio of army sappers were located in a bar in town and brought down to set the explosive charges. Once the pyramid was lit, the room was evacuated. Except for Sir Cam, wanting to see this through to completion, waited patiently next to the Warehouse portal. As the fuse burned down close to the charges, the Shadowfell portal rippled. Stepping through, a tall Shadar-kai warrior and his two shadow beasts appeared.

Immediately, aware of that things were not as they should be the hounds descended upon Sir Cam. A furious fight ensued. Cam’s ferocity allowed him to swoop past the first beast an engage the master. The two locked in mortal combat. As the two traded blows, the Warehouse portal shimmered and Glorfindel appeared. Seeing the brave knight gripped in the arms of martial fervor, the cleric summoned the power of his god to knock the foul creatures to the ground for their insolence.

Meanwhile, in town: Cicero and several of the town watch are enjoying mimosas and commenting on how nice the weather is.

Back in the subterranean storeroom, it is a fierce fight. The shadar-kai scoring repeated massive strikes sinking the Dragonborn knight deeper into his primal blood rage.

In town: Hubert is trying on a new hat and gloves.

In the storeroom, the fight rages on. Glorfindel keeps Cam in the fight as the fuse burns ever shorter. Just as the fuse disappears from sight, Cam and Glorfindel leap through the Warehouse portal to safety. In the distance they hear a massive explosion and several townspeople notice smoke and dust rising from a spot deep in the woods outside of town.

The momentary distraction is enough for the shadar-kai to emerge from the portal, hellbent on the destruction of dragonborn interloper. The shadow beast is cut down early in the renewed fight. The rest of the party makes its way toward the sounds of combat within the warehouse. They arrive just in time to gang up on the fierce-some warrior. It is noble Hubert who scores the killing blow as the shadar-kai attempts to retreat through the silvery portal. The party verifies that the room is completely filled in with the earthworks that were, until very recently, situated above it.

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