Tales of Valor

Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 6
Assault on the Horned Hold

The companions traveled into the labyrinth and eventually came to the Horned Hold, the fortified stronghold of the Grimerzhul duergars and their chief, Murkelmor. The stronghold was a series of three stone keeps deep within the labyrinth. The keeps were joined by stone bridges that spanned a large chasm.

Shardon scouted ahead to get a good look a the main gate of the first bastion. The original stone gate had been long since broken down. In it’s place the duergar had put up a rough wooden portcullis. The gate was guarded by group of orcs.

The party assaulted the gate, eventually defeating the orcs and forcing their way into the stronghold.

After a brief rest they continued to explore the first keep. They eventually encountered Urwol the master smith of the keep. They battled him, his orc thralls, and several duergar scouts. The fight was tough and bloody but the adventurers prevailed. The party then headed back to the Seven Pillared Hall to recover.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 5
Trading Post Brawl

The party made it back to the Seven Pillared Hall and rested at the Halfmoon Inn. The following day the visted with Vadriar the Sage. Vadriar was a short, bald human man in plain brown robes. He was never seen without his huge pack stuffed with books and scrolls. He questioned the party constantly while writing down notes furiously in his journal. His shifty, nervous eyes constantly scanned the room as if expecting trouble at any second.

Vadriar also gave them a brief lesson in the history of the labyrinth as the ancient minotaur stronghold Saruun Khel. It seemed that the minotaurs had wiped themselves out in some bloody religious war. Immeral questioned Vadriar about the scrolls in his pack hoping to find some bits of arcane lore, but the sage didn’t seem interested in discussing his belongings.

As they left the inn, Shardon hung back a minute and pilfered a scroll from Vadriar’s pack unnoticed. The scroll turned out to be a brief description and crude map of a region of the labyrinth known as the Houses of Silence.

The group then headed over to the Grimmerzhul Trading Post to inquire about the whereabouts of Murkelmor Grimmerzhul. The duergar there proved uncooperative and claimed to know nothing about Murkelmor or the slaves and demanded that they leave. Finally, the party showed the duergar the contract they had retrieved from the Chamber of Eyes. After reading the note, the duergar locked the door and attacked. When all was done the party left the trading post ransacked and all of the duergar within dead except one who had escaped. However, they had found what they were looking for, a note from Murkelmor to purchase some more food for there “merchandise” and a map to the Horned Hold the stronghold of clan Grimmerzhul.

Upon exiting the trading post, Varis spotted a frail looking kobold slinking around the corner of a nearby building. The party moved in to confront the creature. Shardon, thinking he would be the least intimidating to the kobold hailed the beggar while Medrash and Balasar stood threatening in the background.

The kobold said that his name was Charrak and was nothing but a poor beggar living off the scraps of the hall. He claimed to not have seen anything within the trading post but Shardon could tell he was lying. Shardon gave the kobold some coins and promised that more would follow if Charrak would keep an eye on the happenings in the hall and report anything interesting to the adventurers. They also convinced Charrak to “forget” what he had seen in the trading post and to casually mention to Vadriar that troglodytes had attacked the place.

Finally the party left the hall and headed to the Horned Hold.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 4
A Fallen Ally

Back at the Seven Pillared Hall the adventurers took Shardon’s body to the Temple of Hidden Light, a small shrine to Erathis tended to by the priestess Phaledra. For a donation to the church Paledra agreed to perform a ritual to raise the halfling from the dead. The priestess performed the rites while most of the party rested. Immeral stayed behind to offer what assistence he could.

The next day the party found Shardon alive and well with only a vague memory of his time in the afterlife. After a hearty meal the group decided to return to the Chamber of Eyes to wipe out the rest of the Bloodreavers. They encounterd the new sentries that the gang had stationed since their departure. The fight was an easy, one-sided affair with the adventurers victorious. The rest of the chamber proved to be just as easy to clear out. Finally the party headed back toward the Seven-Pillared Hall with plenty of loot and the satisfaction of having completly disbanded the gang. Only an ambush by some Bugbears and an Ettercap slowed them down, but that proved to be not much more than a minor annoyance.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 3
The Chamber of Eyes

As the hung out at the Halfmoon Inn for a bit getting to know some of the regulars such as Vadriar the Sage and Bennik the Wanderer. Eventually Brugg showed up claiming that Orontor wanted to speak with them.

Orontor had heard that the adventurers were investigating slaver activitiy in the labyrinth and asked if they could also look into a matter for him. It seemed that one of the mages, Paldemar, had not reported back to the hall in several weeks. This was unusual as the mages were required to keep regular contact. The reports that Orontor had recieved left the mage worried that Paldemar was up to no good. He asked the group to look into the activities of Paldemar saying that if they did the Mages of Saruun would owe them a debt of gratitude.

After the meeting with Orontor the party traveled down into the labyrinth to the Chamber of Eyes following directions provided by Rendil. The chamber appeared to once have been a shrine dedicated to the evil deity Torog. Now, however, it served as the hideout of the Bloodreavers gang.

The party infiltrated the Bloodreavers’ hideout and engaged in bloody combat against the gang. They fought valiantly eventually defeating several goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, and dire wolves in a long strung out battle. The Bloodreavers proved to be brutal combatants and by the battle’s end, Shardon had been slain. The party discovered the chamber that appeared to be a holding cell for the slaves but they apparently had been moved. They also found a note on the body of Chief Krand that was a contract of purchase of the slaves by Murkelmor Grimmerzhul.

Leaving the rest of the hideout unexplored, the party traveled back to the Seven-Pillared Hall to recuperate with Shardon’s body in tow.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 2
Arrival in Thunderspire

The party spent some time in Fallcrest shopping for some new gear. Afterward they headed east along the Trade Road toward Thunderspire Mountain. Eventually they found themselves making their way up the mountain following the ancient Vale Road. Finally the colossal entrance to Thunderspire Mountain was before them. Two enormous minotaur statues glared down at the travelers on either side of a 40 foot tall archway carved out the moutainside.

The companions passed through the entrance and traveled along the Road of Lanterns which was illuminated by magical torches and decorated with disturbing demonic statues. Numerous passageways and chambers branched off but the party stuck to the main hall. Eventually they happened upon a chamber whose door hung open, torchlight spilling out into the hall. They crept forward and heard gruff voices. It seemed that a group of hobgoblins were taunting a halfling that they intended to take captive. The party rushed in and attacked, defeating the hobgoblins and rescuing Rendil Halfmoon.

Rendil thanked them and inform them that the hobgoblins were indeed part of the Bloodreavers gang. He then led them to the Seven-Pillared Hall. Rendil explained that the hall was controlled by the powerful Mages of Saruun. The mages had excavated the ancient site and set it up as a place to trade with the races of the Underdark. Within the hall peace was enforced by the mages allowing surface dwellers and Underdark denizens to trade and co-exist. Outside the hall within the rest of the labyrinth no such peace was guaranteed.

Upon their arrival at the Seven-Pillared Hall the party was confronted by Brugg, an ogre and the leader of the enforcers used by the mages to help keep the peace. Brugg demanded payment to be allowed to enter the hall. When the party refused Brugg brought them to the customhouse where the met with Orontor, one of the mages. Orontor explained that there was duty to enter the hall and reluctantly the party agreed. The mage also cautioned the group to not make any trouble. He explained that the mages employed only one form of punishment for breaking the peace, death.

Afterward the party had the chance to witness the justice of the mages. A man accused of murdering one of the merchants was confronted by the Ordinator Arcanis as a crowed of the hall’s residents gathered round. The Ordinator was robed in black and wore a golden mask. It seemed his role was to judge the guild or innocence of the accused and carry out the sentence. Silently he peered in to the eyes of the man. After a few minutes the Ordinator stood and began walking away. The accused man began screaming and writhing in pain. The party watched in horror as the mans skin began to bubble and undulate. Finally thousands of insects and worms burst from the man’s body. Eventually the swarm dispersed leaving nothing but a stain on stone tiles.

Rendil then took the companions to the Halfmoon Inn which was owned by his aunt Erra Halfmoon. He relayed the story to her about his rescue. His aunt was so grateful that she offered free room and board to the group whenever they needed it.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 1
The Bloody Hole

After defeating Kalarel at the Keep on the Shadowfell and saving the town of Winterhaven the party departed as heroes. Their first stop was the small fishing village of Riverdown to check on Magnus’s mother, Y’salla, who lived there. Upon arrival they discovered that Y’salla and about a dozen other villagers had disappeared. Rutger, the human chieftan of the village, told the party that he had reports of the villagers being led in chains by a band of hobgoblins. Rutger had once been a formidable warrior but age and miles had left his best days behind him. He asked the party to investigate. It didn’t take much convincing considering Magnus’s mother was among the captives.

Mikail remembered the note that they found in Shadowfell Keep concerning a slaving ring operated by hobgoblins known as the Bloodreavers. He also mentioned. that he had a contact in a thieves guild within Fallcrest that might be able to give them some information an how to locate the gang. So the party traveled to Fallcrest and found themselves in the Lucky Gnome, a seedy taphouse known to be a haven for criminals and thugs. Mikail inquired with the owner, Kelson, about the whereabouts of his thieve’s guild contact, Blackjack. Kelson said he could send word to Blackjack that Mikail wanted to meet. When he asked the name he should give Blackjack, Mikail answered, “Valerian.”

Blackjack turned out to be a high ranking member of the thieve’s guild. A cautious looking human male with a nasty scar running down one side of his face. Apparently there was some bad blood between Mikail and the thief. During the tense meeting the party learned that Mikail and Blackjack had once been friends. However Mikail believed Blackjack’s brothers were involved in his father’s murder. A few years ago Mikail had killed one of Blackjack’s brothers. Blackjack had responded with an attack on Mikail during which Mikail left the scar that Blackjack now wore on his face. Until this meeting that had been the last they had seen of each other.

Blackjack told the party that he didn’t work with slavers but that the local crime lord Sinruth may have the information they seek. The only problem was that getting close to Sinruth would be difficult. The only time the crime lord was seen in public was during the arena battles in The Bloody Hole that Sinruth presided over. Before he departed Blackjack gave Mikail a dagger that he had found in his brother’s belongings. The dagger was decorated with symbols of Bahamut and the Order of the King, a group of knights dedicated to god. There was also a name engraved on the dagger, “Eltor”. This seemed to mean a great deal to Mikail but whatever its significance was, Mikail kept to himself.

To get close to Sinruth the party decided to sign up to fight in the next arena match. It was decided that Balasar, Medrash, Immeral, and Varis would fight in match while Mikail, Magnus, and Shardon tried to infiltrate Sinruth’s private box.

The plan worked and while the combatants fought and killed Trogdor, a brutal ettin that had been undefeated, the others confronted Sinruth. Sinruth was an emaciated wizard with a dangerous look. The group sensed that he was extremely powerful and not to be trifled with. Sinruth had been impressed with the party’s success against Trogdor and offered to give them the information they sought as long as they agreed to return in a week’s time to fight in the next match. The party agreed to the terms and Sinruth told them to seek out the Bloodreavers within the Chamber of Eyes which lay in Thunderspire Labyrinth.

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