TOREN 2002 - Stories|
Forge of Fury
Map of the Theocracy of Synrea - C15 (jpeg, 293 kb)
They decided their next adventure would be to find Khundrukar, the lost halls of Durgeddin the Black. They had evidence that it was located under a famous landmark called "Stone Tooth." They journeyed north from Atilin Castle to Serrai Castle then northwest into the wilderness. Settlements became fewer and fewer as they traveled until they finally came to the last one, a small mining village called Blasingdell. From Blasingdell they traveled North through brooding pine forests and deep vales and on Songday the 4th of Sumsar 7407AR they found what they were looking for. A tall, steep hill that rose to a prominent bare knob of rock, the Stone Tooth, came into view. A thin spire of smoke rose from some unseen point high on the hill's slopes, and they could make out a steep, narrow road or track that ran back and forth across the face of the mountainside. It seemed Khundrukar must no longer be abandoned.
They made their way up the track. It climbed steeply and finally emerged out of the forest in a bare shoulder of rock. The hillside climbed steeply on the party's right and dropped away precipitously on their left. Debris and rubbish lied scattered over the last hundred yards or so of the path–discarded waterskins, bits of charred bone, and splintered casks or kegs discarded carelessly from the path. Up ahead, the path opened up onto a wide ledge and then doubled back sharply into the mountainside. Two bestial humanoids in banded armor stood watch on the ledge. They appeared to be inattentive and bored with their duty. Thorin froze one with a hold person spell and Gregor put the other one to sleep with a sleep spell.
With the sentries disposed of, the party proceeded into the mountainside. Arrow slits guarded a broad entrance carved out of the living rock. The party snuck past the arrow slits to a strong double-door of carved stone. The door was slightly ajar and Leoni and Brack moved through it. The great door opened into a large hall. Brack found himself standing on a narrow ledge overlooking a deep, dark crevasse that cut the room in two. A dangerous looking rope bride, frayed and thin, spanned the gap. He could here the sound of water rushing somewhere far below.
The next thing he heard was the twang of a bow as an arrow struck the rock wall behind him. Two orcs emerged from the darkness on the far side of the chasm. They were soon joined by four more that rushed the party from behind secret doors on the party's flanks. As the party fought the orcs that surrounded them, one of the orcs across the chasm retreated through a door. Knowing that more orcs would be on the way soon, the party brought all their might and all their spells to bear against the remaining orcs. They killed the orcs quickly but not before Kalas was brought down with a terrible cleaving cut from an orcish great axe. The party gathered together the orcs' treasure and Kalas's body and left Khundrukar. They had to travel all the way back to Serrai Castle to find a cleric that could raise Kalas. They got there on Seaday the 9th of Sumsar 7407AR and began planning their return trip to Kundrukar knowing that it would not be as easy the next time.
The party arrived back at the Stone Tooth on Craftday the 19th of Sumsar 7407AR just after noon. As they approached the mountain, they spotted a winged form flying far in the distance. It circled a few times then descended behind the mountain. "That looked like a black dragon, but not a very big one" Gregor informed the party. They could also see that smoke was still rising from a spot on the mountainside. They spent the rest of the day and part of the next morning scouting the mountain. The far slopes of the Stone Tooth descended into a damp valley where water was trapped by the terrain. A dark tarn was nestled under the hill's lopes, surrounded by numerous meres and smaller lakes. The party descended to look for tracks by the lakes edge. As they neared the lakes, the summer heat grew more and more oppressive. Brack swatted at the bugs at his face as he surveyed the ground around the largest of the lakes. Brack looked up with concern in his eyes "not only are there no tracks left by a dragon, there are no tracks of any animals coming to this lake to drinků"
The party continued their search but found no back entrance into Stone Tooth. At the top of the shoulder between the Stone Tooth and the next mountain they did find the source of the smoke that they had seen from a distance. A natural rock chimney led down into the mountain, and a thin stream of smoke rose through it.
The party made their second entrance to Khundrukar through this chimney. In descended into the back of the orc caves. After landing the party went deeper into the complex. They found a room with three female orc shamans. They slew them and discovered they were clerics of Voortrag. These clerics guarded the descent into the deeper halls of Khundrukar. Rather than go back and fight the rest of the orcs, the party went deeper into the mountain. The next level was all natural caverns with various denizens.
Finally they found a worked passage leading out of the natural caverns and back into worked dwarven halls. As they opened the door into one great dwarven hall they heard a harsh disembodied voice call from the shadows "Go back the way you came! This is the only warning you'll get!" The party did not retreat but tried to parlay with their invisible foe. The negotiations got them no where and soon a battle broke out. Five emaciated and nasty-looking dwarves with gray beards and skin became visible. They were all bald and dressed in drab clothing. Four of the dwarves were wearing full plate armor and wielding dwarven waraxes. The fight was a tough one, but it looked like the party was gaining the upper hand. Until one of the dwarves was able to run and summon help. Soon, 10 more of the dwarves showed up, including one wizard. The party was forced to retreat, and even worse, they were forced to leave Keld and Sethyr behind when they fell in battle. In the battle, they had taken out three of the 15 dwarves and they only knew of one that they had killed for sure.
They returned to Serrai Castle to heal from their wounds and to find two more companions to take the place of Keld and Sethyr.
The party returned to Serrai Castle on the Skyday the 1st of Dursar 7407AR. They were able to find two new adventurers to join their ranks. Kronk the Stonk was a hugely muscled half-orc fighter. If anyone could match Brack in battle and sheer ugliness, this was the one. Kronk stood 6'3" tall and weighed about 250 pounds. His hair was black and coarse and his eyes were a sick green color. The only thing more overwhelming than his strength was his smell. He wore so much perfume that you could smell him coming before you could see him. Their other addition was Kaalex, a strong, hardy, and intelligent dwarven fighter. Kaalex was huge for a dwarf, standing almost four and a half feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds. He was just a little less ugly than Kronk and Brack.
With their new companions the party prepared to head back to the Stone Tooth. On their way out of town they were stopped by a sergeant from the Duke's personal army, "The Duke will see you" he said. Not the Duke would like to see you, but the Duke WILL see you. The party was ushered into Duke Atlun's presence. He made it clear that he did not like them adventuring in his lands and told them that as a tax on their adventures, they would have to bring back from Khundrukar a weapon crafted by Durgeddin. The party had no choice but to accept his terms. As they were leaving the Duke's castle, Thorin spotted some orcs in a barracks. Orcs were not uncommon in the armies Synrea, but these orcs bore the same gear and symbols as the orcs of Khundrukar! Could the Duke be sending them into a trap? They would soon find out.
They got back to Khundrukar on Seaday the 9th of Dursar. Once again they went down the chimney. This time they decided to finish off the orcs before returning to the deeper halls. They killed every last orc in the complex to insure none took word back to Duke Atlun. Next they continued to the halls were Sethyr and Keld were left behind. When they arrived there, they found the gray dwarves had gone and there was no sign of Keld or Sethyr. They did find a journal that the gray dwarves may have left behind. It contained a log and maps from an unknown party's adventures in the top levels of the famed dungeon of Rappan Athuk. The rest of the halls were mostly empty except for undead here and there. In one room, there was a slender woman of medium height and long, black hair looking extremely sad. Her clothing looked well worn, though it did little to detract from the beauty of her appearance. She immediately jumped up from her position and begged to be released from her imprisonment. "You are free," said Gregor. A broad smile grew on her face and she went to give Gregor a kiss. He spurned her advances then with a flash of malovence in her eyes, she disappeared. She was truly gone as far as the party could tell, not just invisible. "Why you no kiss her?" Kronk asked. "I know better than to kiss a woman you has been imprisoned for a hundred years with no source of food or water yet remains alive and shows no signs of age," responded Gregor.
descent a natural cavern with a river running through it that had been worked just enough to make it passable--a handhold here, a bridge there, etc. They emerged into a huge cavern with a smooth, inky black floor. Actually the cavern was mostly filled with water and the floor was the surface of this underground lake. They could hear the echoing sound of dripping water. Kalas spotted something even darker moving under the surface of the lake just before a huge, black reptilian creature exploded from the depths. A terrible smell of rotting vegetation and foul water along with a deep fear was almost enough to make each member of the party retch, but they did not have time, the thing was upon them. It stood at least 15 feet tall and 30 feet long with great wings that spanned almost 30 feet. Its face was sinister with deep-socketed eyes. The hide around its horns and eyes was rotting away, as if it were undead. It lowered its head and breathed forth a gout of terrible burning acid. The party overcame their fear and their acid burns and attacked the thing. The battle was going poorly with several party members badly injured but it looked like they might be able to kill it. Just then, a second creature just as big as the first emerged from the darkness and attacked. The party was overwhelmed, there was no way they could take on a second dragon and there was no way many of them could run. They fought on valiantly. With his dying shot, Brack killed the first of the two dragons. This only drove the second into an increased rage. It killed everyone else in the party except Gregor who fled back up into the halls of Khundrukar and escaped.
Gregor knew there was nothing he could do for all his dead companions and made his way back to civilized lands. He did not want to run across Duke Atlun and decided he should move on. Thus ended Gregor's adventures in the Forge of Fury and in the Theocracy of Synrea.
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