Erebus: Age of Rebirth

The Road to Starhaunt, Part 5
Retreating into the Underdark

Year 814, Thouran 3-4

Reen, Mel, Jorpip, and the party went downstairs and fought through a never ending horde of drow. Realizing they had no chance of winning, the party retreated through the secret underdark entrance. Esbur threw all but one of his magic beans into the doorway, causing a cave in at the entrance there. The battle was over.

The resistance was devastated, but survived to fight another day. With the way back sealed, the party continued forward, guided by Reen with Mel in the rear. They followed Reen long a small stream, sleeping at a safe house on the way, and eventually they reached a grating that the stream passed through and plunged into a gargantuan cavern below. The slave pits.

The party, using Jorpip’s feather fall spells, safely descended over a hundred feet to the cavern floor. There were several huge cages containing the slaves and Reen begged to let them open them. Together, the party convinced Reen to see wisdom in holding off until the way was clear. The 2nd to last cage held only one person, someone familiar, Esbur’s Aunt Bertha! But before they could interact, a huge draegloth!

But the draegloth was no match for our party, and the demon only got in a few missed swipes before Aleric smote it back to hell with Lugus’ radiant wrath. The party made sure the route to the exit of the slave pits was clear and then freed Bertha.

The Road to Starhaunt, Part 4
Defending the Thariss Resistance

Year 814, Thouran 3

The party met Reen and Mel Essels, the leaders of the Thariss Resistance. They told them of the ambush and Reen and Mel began evacuating the resistance into the underdark of Thariss. Jorpip was there as well, surprisingly. He had been captured by the drow on his way to Ithralia and the resistance had rescued him. Shale went to scout out the forest and Willard left to scout out the underdark for any drow surprises. Mel, Reen, Jorpip, and the rest of the party prepared to defend the top entrance while the resistance warriors would hold the underdark entrance. Jorpip brought along his pilotable golem prototype and decided he would help out by using it. Unfortunately, the drow attacked the hideout before the evacuation could be finished and the party helped defend against the attack.

At first, the Drow attacked the hideout’s secret well entrance where the party decided to defend. A drow witch led a pair of drow warriors mounted on a dryders and a pet basilisk. Though the party engaged them from a considerable distance, the witch cleverly covered her force’s advance under a series of magical darkness spells, hindering the party’s ability to engage them. Jorpip began entering his golem, but it would take a while to get everything started up ok inside of it.

During the battle, Aleric heard some commotion down the well. When Art asked if everything was alright, the resistance warriors shouted that they found a body of one of their own with his throat slit. Reen decided to go down to help find the assassin, but after being downstairs for a few seconds, the assassin got to her too and Reen was killed in one movement of the assassin’s blade. Before the resistance warriors could go to Reen’s aid, their position came under attack from the underdark’s main passage from the drow.

The party repelled the attack above, but the witch escaped. Jorpip finished getting into his golem and the party quickly went downstairs to find it blanketed in that treacherous magical darkness that hindered them above ground. Even still, Art was able to find Reen’s body. Recognizing that her soul had not quite left her body, he called upon Arawn’s aid and cast Revivify, bringing Reen back to life with 1 HP.

The Road to Starhaunt, Part 3
The Forests of Thariss

Year 814, Kiran 38- Thouran 2

Around the corner came Willard! He couldn’t leave the party with all of his loot! Unfortunately, right behind him was a T-Rex! The party made short work of it, but not before Shale was almost eaten alive!

Willard had a revelation during his long way and realized that he could read any language! So he was able to read the Patrian runes on the wall behind the goblin fort and it read:
“They come out at night without being called and are lost in the day without being stolen.”
Willard immediately knew the riddle’s answer was “stars”. Saying this in any language caused the runes to fade and crumble the wall away, revealing a Wand of Lightning Bolts. The party continued heading towards Thariss.

The rain continued to pour down, causing heavy flooding in the Border Marches. Shale slipped into a pool of mud and almost drowned in it had Aleric not used quick thinking with his ring of water walking to rescue him! The party continued on and at last arrived at the edge of the Forests of Thariss.

The ancient dark forests of the Svartalfar looms ahead. Light doesn’t escape it’s branches and a mist clings to the ground. The roots leave and reenter the ground at sinister angles, like an infection and swarms of dark birds swoop chaotically in the canopy.

They had a wagon laden with supplies, so they were forced to travel using the road through the forest knowing dangers could await them that way. They were proven right when at a turn in the path, 6 displacer beasts ambushed them for what they thought was an easy meal; what the party supplied them were swift deaths!

Almost to Thariss, the party arrived at an abandoned shack where Art’s contacts were supposed to meet them. They instead came across 2 dark elves who had just finished torturing a halfling to death, reveling in the pain they had caused before it’s death. The party swiftly brought their’s (without even an initiative roll!) and found orders from Erelov Viconia herself: an ambush was planned for the resistance cell outside of Thariss itself the next day!

The party quickly found the resistance cell using the orders’ directions. It was a simple well inside a set of ruined walls. Down the well they descended, and found the resistance cell unaware of the prepared ambush. The resistance leaders were 2 halfling siblings, Mel and Reen Essels. The resistance agreed to help the party through Thariss if they agreed to free the resistance in Gereth Minar, who had been captured by the Svartalfar and were all being systematically executed.

They gave the party 3 options to get through Thariss: by a smuggler’s sloop, disguised as slaves being transported through the city, or by fighting through the city’s underdark with a guide helping them along. They chose to fight through the under dark. If only they survive the onslaught that was surely coming for the resistance cell in less than 18 hours…

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…..

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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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