The Jewel of the East

Raid on Loudwater
Goblins attack and shopkeepers get slapped

The sleepy town of Loudwater was woken up by the sound of the south wall exploding and goblins pouring forth. Luckily, the PCs were on hand to drive off the invaders.

A note was found on the lead goblin, instructing him to raid Loudwater. It was a smash and grab; they were after a Horn Totem, stolen from their lair. It was supposedly part of a ritual to raise the Ogre King, a long dead menace to the region. The goblins smashed a window at Garwan’s Curiosities and stole it back, fleeing to the Southwood before they could be caught.

The paladin and warpriest investigated, and found that Garwan was sold the Horn Totem by a wizard named Curuvar, who frequented the Green Tankard Tavern. Garwan did not know if the item was magical or not, which angered the warpriest to a point where she tried to slap him, but he dodged. Annoyed, she took a vial of something from the counter and left, but Garwan threw a dagger at her. Despite being struck in the back with it, she just left. The paladin managed to intimidate Garwan into calming down, and diffused the situation before it got worse.

The group decided to approach the mayor, Lady Moonfire, and offer their services to eliminate the threat (for a reward, of course). The invoker took the lead on negotiation, spinning tall tales about himself and his companions. He claimed they were the Order of the Gryphon, an adventuring group with 5 years experience. The mayor bought it, and after some back and forth she agreed to pay a 50 gold advance for their services, and 50 gold for proof of them eliminating the threat. The invoker also requested a poem. Though confused, she agreed.

While preparing for the journey, the group met Curuvar in the tavern and he explained that he did in fact liberate the Horn Totem from the goblins, and if they managed to recover the matching Skull Totem, he would tell them the truth about the Ogre King.

They headed south from Loudwater, following the trail to the Southwood. They came across a small ruin by the forest, and decided to camp for the night. Near daybreak, they were attacked by a small group of goblins and undead, though they fought them off easily and resumed their journey.

After some time lost in the forest, the group found what they were looking for. The trail led through the mouth of a dwarf’s face carved into a stone wall, and through to a wide stone courtyard. They noticed false stonework in the center, and triggered a trap that collapsed the stone floor into a pit 20 feet below. Vicious dogs growled and snarled at them from the pit.

One by one, the group lowered themselves into the pit (some with acrobatic grace, some less so). Goblins were waiting for them in the pit, hiding behind old dwarven statues. After a lengthy fight, the goblins and dogs were defeated. The assailants only carried chainmail and few rusty, substandard items. A locked double door on the north side of the room appeared to be the only exit.

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Barrow of the Ogre King
Delving deeper into the warren, the party finds battle and carrots

Past the fight in the pit and beyond the locked door in the North wall, the party came across goblins worshipping at the feet of a large ogre statue. The smell of decay was strong, and sounds of scraping and shuffling were heard across the hall.

The goblins were on alert, and turned to face the intruders. One flipped a switch, and the iron bars that kept the undead at bay were raised, allowing the rotting zombies to sally forth and and engage the party. A melee broke out in the tight corridor, and the party prevailed without issue. The long corridor led to an iron door down a short flight of stairs.

Past the door, hobgoblins stood arrayed and waiting for their prey. In the fight that ensued, the party nearly lost one of their own to the foul creatures, and the goblin hexer cast a stinking, poisonous cloud over the whole area, obscuring view. His comrades fell one by one, and he retreated down the long spiral staircase. They caught up with him and slew him before a locked door. This was the goblin that led the charge against Loudwater, and he carried with him the Horn Totem.

Inside the locked room there sat a single goblin shaman praying over a large stone sarcophagus with crude goblin runes etched in red. At first the party attacked, to show they meant business, but soon realized that this Goblin was much more powerful than the rest, and also not about to throw his life away so easily by fighting entire adventuring party single-handed.

This was High Shaman Sancossug, leader of the goblin tribe. He was waiting for the goblin raiders to return with the Horn Totem so he can perform a ritual that he believed would revive the Ogre King. Unfortunately for him, the ritual was found in a crude cookbook, not a magic tome, and the ritual would be wholly ineffective. (It also included carrots.)

Dismayed by this revelation of futile effort, he let them have the Skull Totem and left in a huff. The party looted anything they could find and left at once for Loudwater. They found no trouble in the day’s return journey, though they had a close call with what they thought was a bear in the dark of night. Though, the wizard had a vision of the vast forest ringed by white trees.

Lady Moonfire was pleased to hear of the party’s success and gladly paid the other 50g for their services. Back at the tavern, the wizard Curuvar the Brazen was surprised to see the Skull Totem again, and made good on his promise to tell them what he knew about the Ogre King, who as it turns out was an Oni, come to use the goblins for his own gain. It sought to learn more about the Dire Wood and the magic contained therein. The Dire Wood, which he described as a 60 mile area of forest ringed by albino oak trees. He described it as a very dangerous area which few dared enter willingly since the time of the Spellplague.

Moreover, there was an area North of Loudwater on the edge of the Dire Wood that required the attention of an able party of adventurers. Draigdurroch Tower is a stone structure sealed beneath a layer of magic ice. Beneath its frozen cocoon, the tower stands three stories tall and is capped by a windowless spire. At night, witchlights dance above the tower. A warlock named Draigdurroch built it 30 years ago hoping to enhance his own magic by studying the strange phenomena of the forest. He amassed a library of rituals and lore and was said to have forged a warlock pact of mysterious origin. Before he finished his studies, magical weather boiled out of the Dire Wood and sealed his tower in a layer of ice. None have seen him since, and recently the weather has been getting dangerously colder, threatening Loudwater.

Intrigued, the party agreed to invesitgate the tower. Curuvar would pay well for any interesting tomes they could find, and arranged for transport up river to a shore close to the tower.

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Menace of the Icy Spire
How to almost get killed by goblins

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Our heroes journeyed by boat to the shore closest to the icy spire, the magically frozen tower of the warlock Draigdurroch. From their dropoff point it was a short hike inland to the tower, but they would not arrive unscathed.

As they drew closer, the frost became more and more treacherous. A group of frost goblins guarding a rocky pass assaulted the party. Twice they almost fell to the arrows of goblin sharpshooters, but in the end they managed to fight through to the tower.

The 3-story stone fortress stood encased in ice. The party approached and began to melt and chisel through the frozen sheath. As they began their work, iron statues animated and attacked, but were soon dispatched without major incident, and our party went forth into the tower.

The first floor was a comfortable living quarters, complete with a library, kitchen and dining hall. As the group explored, they were attacked by ice warriors who burst forth from magic fireplaces that served as portals to a frozen elemental plane. Our heroes fought through the invaders and proceeded to raid the library shelves, gathering anything that appeared to be of value.

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The Spirit of Winter and the Orc Menace
The game of haggling and horrible party names

The second floor of Draigdurroch’s tower an even better library of tomes, from which the party looted the best to take back to Loudwater for sale, or keep to expand their own magical knowledge.

Through a secret door on the third floor was the warlock’s private study, where they found his journal, explaining his research into creating a magical ritual to call forth the power of a dead god. His research was cut short by fey invaders from the elemental planes, which caused the freezing of the tower and the spillover of frost into the prime material plane.

The party rose on a magical elevating platform to the roof, where a giant sapphire a big as a fist hung in the air. Disturbing the sapphire caused magic to erupt from it and a hulking Spirit of Winter attacked the party. The fight was long and brutal. The group almost died, but with one final blow to the creature, the gem shattered and the magic encasing the tower and befouling the weather evaporated.

Our heroes made the return journey to Loudwater on a passing fishing boat, where the drank with the dwarven crew and came up with a name for their adventuring party: Waukeen’s Phoenixes (a name which not everyone cared for).

Loudwater was a flurry of activity. A call to arms had come from Llorkh in the East, asking all able adventuring parties and mercenaries to assist in repelling orc invaders. The party got paid for their assistance with Draigdurroch tower, sold their loot to Curuvar, and were tasked with guarding a merchant wagon heading toward Llorkh.

It was a 2 day journey to Llorkh, and they were set upon on by an orc raiding party. they were quickly dispatched, but how a party of orcs were encountered this far West of the Greypeak Mountains was a mystery.

They pushed forward through the second night to arrive quicker in Llorkh. The next day was one for shopping before they would meet with the other adventuring parties in the city council chambers to discuss the situation.

The council elders explained that orcs were amassing East of the mountains and were planning to invade the Grey Vale. Defenders would be needed at Bordrin’s Pass and to warn the monks of the Monastery of the Sundered Chain of the coming orc invasion. The latter task was what the party was tasked with, and they set out at once through the mountains to the monastery.

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