Erebus: Age of Rebirth

The Road to Starhaunt, Part 2
Rantine's Defeat

Year 814, Kiran 33-37

Before you is a dusty sea punctuated frequently by large craggy rock formations, some deformed from the spell blasts of the black sorcerers from the age of magic. Rarely, a barren tree stands, surviving off of the little water it can steal from any small weeds nearby. A haze sits on the horizon from a perpetual breeze that constantly stirs up the dust on the surface and causes a constant background noise of wind in one ear. The sky is clear with few clouds to give respite from the sun. Tempest forces of nature are hard at work here.

The party woke up the day after their disturbing excursion into Castle Irgoz to find that Willard had left, leaving all of his things behind. The locals reported him walking North further into the badlands, but nothing of interest lay that way. The party continued on without him as they knew he would come back for his hard earned gold at some point!

Walking through the barren badlands, the group decided to head for the coast and follow it West towards Thariss. On the way, some anklosauruses huddled in the distance and they passed through an abandoned and burned out town with no signs of life. They found no evidence of what happened or anything of interest there. Esbur realized after some time that the party was being tracked by some sort of large predator…

To get to a more defensible position, the party headed towards a large rocky hill and at its top ran into the more unexpected thing- Teutorix, Aleric’s old nomadic friend from when he was young! Teutorix, as surprised to see Aleric as Aleric was to see him, asked the party to help him storm a goblin fort nearby. The fort, aside from being a threat to the area, was also where Teutorix had tracked down a devious Orc hero from the Clans named Rantine. Rantine had pillaged Malakim and its allies lands from Vallus to Evermore and Teutorix had sworn to the Overcouncil to hunt him down. The party took him up on the offer.

The fort had clearly been poorly built by the goblins around the ruins of an ancient fort that existed here long ago. Under the cover of fog summoned by Esbur and a zone of silence sustained by Art, the party entered the fort unimpeded and proceeded to clear the goblins and hobgoblins inside the fort. They discovered Rantine performing a ritual of some sort focused around an evil artifact in the shape of a cup. After interrupting the ritual part way, random goblins began transforming into magmins who Rantine commanded to attack. By swiftly defeating Rantine, the magmins were broken of their influence from Rantine and began attacking anything that moved, threatening to set the whole fort on fire. The party quickly used the confusion to vanquish the goblin army and the last of the magmins. The party discovered the cup at the center to be known as the Infernal Chalice, an artifact that serves as a connection to the plane of fire. The plane of fire is ruled by Bhall, the goddess whose fall to evil allowed the Age of Ice to occur. As soon as the Infernal Chalice was removed, storm clouds quickly gathered and covered the previously cloudless, sunny sky and it began to rain. Heavily. They also recovered a magic warhammer, forged on the plane of fire, that Rantine had wielded during the battle as well as a shoddy storeroom near the back containing treasure.

With the rain clouds covering up the sun, the party discovered some ancient runes that began glowing near the back of the ruins the fort was built over. The runes were in ancient Patrian and at the time, the party could not read it. As they discussed what would happen next, Esbur spotted something huge in the distance heading for them. As it got closer, the party began to feel the ground quake with a thump…. thump… THUMP. It quickly became apparent that these thumps were footsteps…..

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The Battle for Khazak, Part 2
The Party's Surprise

Year 813, Shaliel 40

The party entered the camp quickly and found it lightly defended. It took them a short amount of time to clear out the enemy. Then, they shut the gates and prepared to hold the line.

Hippus began streaming back to the encampment, only to have barred doors and the party’s arrows to the face greet them. It was actually quite fun, especially with a marksman in the ancient tower, until a hill giant the Hippus had hired for the siege destroyed a section of the wall to the encampment.

After a pitched battle, the party fell the hill giant, who destroyed the ancient tower in its death throes. The dwarves finished off the Hippus horde, and King Kandros himself killed and beheaded Tasunke, the Hippus leader. The leader’s death sent shockwaves through the Hippus civilization.

The party were hailed as true heroes, and were rewarded with magical weapons form the King’s personal armory.

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The Battle for Khazak, Part 1
Taking the Bridge

Year 813, Shaliel 39-40

The first phase of the battle plan was for Kandros and his general to lead the main counterattacking force across the river and engage the Hippus horde in the Western fields while the party led a small platoon of Dwarves to take and hold the only bridge over the river. By doing so, the party would cut off the Hippus’ only easy route for retreat; without the bridge, they would have to either retreat through the orc infested hills to the West or the spider infested forest to the South. Once held, the party could join the assault in the second phase when it pushed on to the leader’s encampment and ancient tower on a hill overlooking the battle.

The party pushed forward, using the dwarves to cover their rear and flanks. They fought well, and the enemy’s morale broke. Once they occupied the bridge, they realized the route to the enemy’s encampment was clear. The dwarven main force had suffered serious losses, but the Hippus were beginning to retreat. If the Hippus retreated back to the main camp, it would be hard to dislodge them from it and the dwarves would suffer many more losses. But if the party could take the encampment themselves, they could hold it against the retreating Hippus horde and allow the dwarves to catch the Hippus in a crossfire, promising a swift end.

The party decided they were going in!

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The Necromancer's Cave
Catching up with Jegar Baruso

Year 813, Shaliel 35-38

The party then set out to find the cult’s cave. After some investigation, the party realized it was behind a waterfall called the brass falls. Although they had a hard time finding the falls, they did eventually find them. The cave was a hollowed out area in the mountain carved out by the waterfall when it had flowed more fiercely. After defeating the cave’s hired hobgoblin guard and their raised bodies, the party came face to face with none other than Jegar Baruso, the cultist responsible for Artuvael’s village’s destruction.

Before the party could defeat Jegar, he escaped using a broom of flying. They party bypassed the glyph of warding and the arcane lock on the vault in the back of the cave, and found Mina. But Mina quickly told them that Jegar lured them here as a trap and diversion; he had gone back to Khazak to enact his plan!

Traveling back to Khazak, the party found Arturus had been savagely killed by a wight! The wight, once confronted in the King’s war room, was clearly raised from the corpse of Timah Redhelm by Jegar to galvanize the city before the battle. With the channeled combined wrath of Lugus and Arawn, the party quickly dispatched the wight and its 2 dozen zombie thralls.

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Breaking the Siege, Part 2
Caravan Escort and Recruiting the Griffons

Year 813, Shaliel 32-34

The party first escorted the supply caravan to Khazak. On the way, they defeated 4 hungry Ankegs and a simultaneous ambush by a party of frostlings. They then traveled to the top of the mountain with Luda and convinced the griffons to “enjoy the feast” that would happen in several days.

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Breaking the Siege, Part 1
Cultists and the Battle Plan

Year 813, Shaliel 31

The party traveled to the Gleaming Stag and vanquished the cultists in the tavern itself. The party captured the leader, Timah Redhelm and brought her to the Stonewardens for safekeeping.

The party interrogated the Hippus rider they captured. The rider’s name was Aleksander of the Dibra Host and after some perfect intimidation, he told the party anything they wanted to know. While some of the cavalry are veterans, many are new recruits from the Hippus tribes. The Hippus were also fighting a war with the Lanun coastal raiders. The Hippus like protection money, but the Khazad dwarves like money more and won’t pay up. The enemy commander, Tasunke, was camped in the field on the West side of the city where the forest covers the Southern approach. The main encampment’s defenses were augmented by an ancient tower from a long forgotten civilization that the encampment was constructed around. The horsemen try to avoid the Southern side of the city because the fields were infested by Akhegs.

The party next interrogated Timah Redhelm. She revealed to them that the Hadriel’s Chosen were led by 12 leaders, including her. The party didn’t get much else out of her, except that Mina is held at the cult’s cave. They received a clue on that cave last session, and it was to “follow the brass beast”. Then, Artuvael slit her throat, killing her.

The party met in the King’s war room with King Kandros, Arturus, the dwarven general, and the head druid of the mountain circle, Luda Stoneheart. The general reported that the dwarves had 2 companies of pikes that could be battle ready in 3 days. Arturas reported that the dwarves could also outfit a company of arquebus, but they needed to have his supply caravan escorted through the Southern fields to do so; outfitting the arquebus would take 10 days of training. Luda also mentioned there was a community of griffons that lived at the top of the mountain that, if contacted, could be convinced to feast on the horses below during the battle to discourage the Hippus to battle while mounted.

They party lastly interrogated the slaver prisoner, whose name was Gimli Golgazar. Mostly, they learned that the slavers work for the Undercouncil and he is afraid to reveal more for the sake of his survival.

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Unrest in Khazak
The Slaver's demise

Year 813, Shaliel 30

After asking around, the party discovered the most likely place the cult was meeting was the “Gleaming Stag”. The barkeep, Hotur, offered the party free lodging in reward for their work. The party spent the night and would start looking for the cult the next day.

That night, a huge fireball appeared in the sky. It was a rare, but not unique occurance in the skies above Erebus. It was then that Mina became possessed by some sort of entity and revealed the prophecy. In the morning, everyone woke from a good night sleep to find Mina missing!

The party went downstairs and met the inn owner, Yasef “Briggs” Lockseeker. Aleric recognized he wore a necklace with a shard of a sun stone on it, and it looked exactly like one of his little brother’s! The party confronted Briggs about it, suspecting him of working with the slavers, but he revealed that Hotur had given it to him. Briggs had a visiting good friend of his, a gnome named Shale, to help him bring the innkeeper to the front and interrogate him. The party convinced him to explain that the slavers had coerced him into helping them by feeding them information. He said their leader was Dina Earthsmither, an outspoken noble rival of King Kandros Fir in town. Shale knew where it was and agreed to join the party in getting revenge.

The party traveled to the arcane library in town, defeating an ambush planned for them and taking a slaver prisoner, where Dina was the curator. After her cronies in the library were dealt with, she caved and told them they were hired by a cult to kidnap Mina. The slavers were finished in Khazak, but the party found information narrowing down the possible locations for Aleric’s brother and the contract with the moonclaw cult, who called themselves the Hadriel’s Chosen. Furthermore, Dina revealed the cult was meeting in the Gleaming Stag that very night.

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Evil in Khazak
The "House"

Year 813, Shaliel 29

The party had no sooner been in Khazak than they had heard several children had vanished, leaving many to suspect an abandoned and supposedly haunted house in the corner of the city. The party entered the house, and fought off some zombies in the main room. Upstairs, they found the ghost of a girl who was consumed here and a very annoying mimic. It wasn’t until they noticed picture with members of the “Moon Claw” cult in the room that the party unlocked a secret door back downstairs. Following the steps, they found a dark room with a door at the back. As soon as they entered, it struck. A shadow demon!

The party defeated the shadow demon, and opened the back door. There, they found the missing children and a few magic items, like Maros’ storied Shield of the Order. They also found an ancient, evil tome along with a note that the cult was going to meet in a tavern in town!

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Khazad Reunification
The Road to Khazak

Year 813, Shaliel 26

_Whether through desperation, blackmail, a contract, or a favor to a friend, you have been hired by a dwarf, Arturus Thorne, to escort him and a cloaked cart to Khazak, home of the dwarves of the Khazad clans. The road you travel will take you through lands that Hippus marauders, raiding men who only respect horses above gold, have claimed as their own. They are knocking on the doors of Khazak, pillaging trade routes and harassing the country side. Kandros Fir, the leader of the city and the Khazad clans, prepares for war with the Hippus. But he is hindered by internal strife within the city. The civil unrest has been stirred by opposition to his direction and rule and the situation is growing dire.

Arturas has not said what his business is in Khazak or why he seeks to cross such treacherous territory in haste, but he sounds urgent in his desire to complete the journey._

The party fended off a pack of wolves and then made camp at the ruins of Seven Pines. While there, they were ambushed by a patrol of Hippus raiders whom they quickly dispatched, earning horses and taking one captive. They arrived at a bridge crossing, but the bridge was out and so the party had to take a detour through a cave nearby because they had a cart to deliver. In the cave, they were ambushed by a giant spider and found some treasure there, including an ornate jade key.

The party made it to the doors of Khazak, but the distrustful dwarves had to be convinced to let them inside before Hippus marauders caught up with them. Once inside, Kandros and Arturas had an emotional reuninion where Arturas revealed the cart contained a runestone with the entire clan’s history. The Khazad clans were united once more.

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