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Chapter 2: "Fortress"

March 15, 2003
Ramagi, Pedro Gil
Mon Macutay, DM

Dramatis Personae

Amenrath Sethnakhtehamen, Jackalwere Psychic Warrior (3) 1, CG © by Myk Roman
Quinntalis "DeadBane" Galendale, Elven Curst (3), CG © by Jet
Malcolm Silverbrow, Irda Paladin of Bahamut (1) 2, LG © by Chris Cruz
Alliana, Gold Elf Wizard 2, NG © by Prixie Tan
Endarth, Avariel (2), NG © by Erwin Nanez
Jakob Firehand, Human Monk/Wizard 2, LN © by Tony Cruz Jr.

Return of the Heroes

5TH of Ches, Claw of Sunsets 1371DR (The Year of the Unstrung Harp)

The irda paladin of Bahamut, Malcolm Silverbrow and Alliana, the wizard, arrive in Targos from Bryn Shander bringing a message to Ulbrec from Speaker Jarl. They try to locate Vagrad, the dockmaster to take them to the mayor.

Endarth, the avariel, also arrives in Targos to locate his missing friends (apparently abducted by the same tribe of orcs, the Black Skull, which attacked Malcom and Alliana at Bryn Shander).

Meanwhile, the heroes of Shaegarne river, Tarion, Amen and Quin return to Targos (onboard Oswald's airship) to the cheers and applause of townsfolk. Dereth Springsong, together with the rescued hostages and his men arrive a few moments later.

In a simple ceremony, Ulbrec recognizes the efforts of the "Shaegarne Heroes" and awards them with commemorative scrimshaw. They are also promoted as officers. A feast follows suit.

During the feast, Ulbrec forms the "Targos Defense Strike-Force" (whom the characters just refer to as the "company"). This elite team will be responsible for missions and tasks to defend Targos and Icewind Dale from the growing orcish threat. Ulbrec leads the company as senior officer and adviser while Dereth and Emma Moonblade act as consultants. Malcolm, Alliana and Endarth are also inducted into the Company as members (due in part for their selfless acts defending the docks from goblin sappers).

The "Company" met to discuss present and future plans to protect Targos and the Ten Towns in general. Malcolm shared his information about the attacks at a nearby Bryn Shander logging camp while Endarth confirms increased orc activities by informing the company that several of his fellow avariel have been abducted by the same tribe.

Amenrath, taking over the reins of leadership from Tarion Gourn, suggested that gathering information (legends and gossip) would be the prudent thing to do.

The Company learns of the following:

  • Magic items have been reported missing (or stolen) from Bryn Shander.
  • Fishing sites have been raided by goblins and even Rothe are stolen (perhaps to beef up on food supplies for a coming invasion)
  • Bryn Shander has reported similar tunneling but have managed to seal them
  • Malcolm learns of stories behind Emma and her Elven Moonblade

Meanwhile, a group of Uthgard barbarians from the Great Worm Tribe call upon Ulbrec and the party. Gjal Hjothleid, their leader, informs everyone that the orcs are preparing to descend the Spine of the World in great numbers. They (the barbarians) have slowed this descent somewhat but the orcs are taking up fortifications along the foot of the great mountain. One such structure was once an ancient Netheril ruin which the orcs have converted into a fort. They also confirm to have spotted several prisoners (yes, an avariel was among them) being transported to the fortress.

Emma and Dereth make haste towards the fortress to scout and investigate. They promise to return in 8 days with news.

Assault into the Fort

The Company tunnels into the Fort undetected

Emma returns after 8 days, wounded and almost dead. She regrettably informs the Company of the tragic

abduction of Dereth by the orcs. They were spotted by a heavily armed orc patrol with an ice troll. She managed to escape. They have taken him prisoner in the fortress. Furthermore, her Moonblade has also been taken by the orcs. Although she wishes to return and rescue Dereth, Lord Ulbrec advises her against it due to the grave wounds she suffered during the battle.

In her stead, Ulbrec sends the Company on a mission to rescue Dereth (and other prisoners) and to retrieve Emma's Moonblade.

Amen mobilizes the Company and prepares them for the journey. After stocking up on potions, scrolls and alchemist's fire, they travel to the fortress….

Arriving at the foot of the Spine of the World, they locate the menacing structure. Amen confirms the Netheril architecture since he has seen similar buildings back in his homeland, Anuaroch.

Malcolm and Amen discover a secret entrance to the fortress.

Ingress via the tunnels to the subterranean section of the fort was fairly easy. Alliana discovers and old bronze Netherese scroll with the spell "See Invisibility".

Malcolm decides to do a little "investigating" and shapechanges into an orc. Unfortunately, the paladin doesn't know a single iota of the orcish language to make his disguise credible. With some luck (if you call drinking 'fermented Rothe bile', lucky -DM), he manages to earn a semblance of credibility. Malcolm discovers a heavily guarded corridor leading to the lower levels.

It was during this time that the prisoner, Jakob Firehand (together with "Mandro" the 'Mandriod' and Old "Mac" the farmer), arrives. The monk of the Shining Hand was escorted to the main chambers (Malcolm was prevented from entering and made his way back to the party).

At the main chambers, Jakob witnesses a female half-demon hurling invectives and dissatisfaction over the orc chief, Rezzowar. She is apparently "displeased by the chief's failures" and that "the master will not be pleased".

Meanwhile, the party decides to take the battle to the heart of the fortress. Moving quick, Alliana felled most of the orc guards with perfectly placed Sleep spells, "webbed" some ogres, and dealt the killing Aganazzar's scorcher to the Ice Troll! (doing 80 points of damage!)

Dispatching the ogres and the orcs from the main hallway, the party move on to the double iron doors leading to the altar/main room. Endarth opens the door using the "key" from the orc captain. Amenrath rushes the orc chief. Before reaching his target, Amen falls weak and disoriented when a magical negative-energy enhanced arrow hits him square in the chest (draining one level). Catching himself, he scans the area for the unseen bowman. Nothing there…

The Prison section showing the cables covering the pits manned by orc guards

Quinntallis follows his friend and is also hit by the magical arrows (good thing he is immune to level drain). Malcolm rushes the orc chieftain and delivers a numbing 'Power Attack' that sent the enemy down on his knees reeling in pain.

Alliana reads the Netherese scroll (see invisible) and spots the assailant, (an orcish rogue with improved invisibility suspended to the pillars using a 'Troll Gut Rope'). Malcolm successfully burns the rope with a well aimed alchemist fire! The rouge falls to the ground.

From out of nowhere, Jakob Firehand slays the orc chieftain with a 'flurry of blows'.

Soon, they also silence the orc thief… forever!

Releasing Dereth and the prisoners (and discovering a cache of treasure and Emma's Moonblade), the party (thanks to Dereth's Tracking skill), sneak out of the fortress undetected.

With the mission completed and having dealt another crucial blow to the orcish offensive, the Company make haste towards home.

But several questions were raised by this adventure. Who was the half-demon? What are their plans? The half-breed spoke of a 'master'. Who could this be? What is the connection between the orcs and the Red Wizards of Thay? Will the orcs mount a major offensive? If so, when and how?

For the answers… only time will tell if our heroes follow the right paths.

Until our swords meet again!

QUOTABLE QUOTES

Alliana: "Wow!… nice spell…" (referring to her own Sleep spell which felled 4 orcs)

==

Endarth: "It would be wise for us to venture down and investigate the Underdark… although THAT would be the LAST thing I would want to do…"

==

Ulbrec: "So, Amen, what can you tell us about the orcs in Shaegarne River? Any patterns perhaps? How were they organized?"

Amen and Quin: (after a lengthy pause) "…uh… we're just glad we escaped with our lives…"

Ulbrec: "Oh… okay. Your thoughts on the matter were quite helpful…"

==

Amen: "okay guys, it's time to load up on Alchemist Fire!" (preparing for the trip to the fortress}

Endarth: "You guys go ahead… I'm NOT carrying any of that stuff!"

==

Malcolm: "goodbye table… we'll be missing you. You saved our lives" (bidding the "table" they used to charge the orcs down the tunnels, farewell)

==

Malcolm: "Come out here you 'girlies'. You buncha cowards!!! Is that all you can do? Hide behind rocks? Face us, you faggots!!!" (rolls intimidate… fails)

Orcs: "grash umbarkh ikhtu" (gives Malcolm the Finger!!!)

==

Fortress Orc Guard: (in orcish) "Where the fuck are you going?"

Shapechanged Malcolm: (Cough-Cough-Cough…) signaling that he has a "sore throat" (Malcolm is bluffing since he doesn't know a word of Orcish. Rolls bluff… success!)

Fortress Orc Guard: (in orcish) "Suit yourself, asshole… what a weird dude?!?"

==

Jakob Firehand: "These damn chains are giving me a hard time!!!" (after failing 6 attempts to break free)

==

Jakob: "get whatever treasure you want, the Troll Gut Rope is MINE!!!!!"

==

Malcolm: "Ouch… (taking 6 points of shock damage from the gargoyle statues)!" "I told you! We SHOULDN'T have touched them!!!"

Endarth: "I'm sorry… I thought they were some sort of warning device"


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