Hammerfists of Aladrov

Vax's Journal
An illusion to die for.

I would say I’m killing it, but I’m a zombie. Day 02 of being dead-Hasn’t grown on me yet. Nomak woke me up in Thallworth, we’re in a tavern. I don’t even have time to groan for brains before Mick puts me in a trunk. Dick. Mick’s a Dick. I heard some commotion with Thea outside and some rustling, I think I’m in a bag. Shit’s dark. Might reach Ardania today if we pitter-patter.
We spoke to Thesmea the barmaid before we left and she warned them about wearing orange and blue in Ardania, since those are colours of rival factions. If they only knew. We were filled in on the nieghbouring faction too, Korim. Place is run by Dwarves, and Dwarves being dwarves aren’t really liked by the rest of the populace. Oh and they worship Mallorith and like Synderforge Ale. 3 guesses as to which party member bought a cask of it. (Hint: their name rhymes with “prick”.) The barmaid also gave them some sob story about magic and a missing farmboy, but thankfully they headed to Ardania (but not before Thea took my disguise kit. I expect it back. She looks like one of us now- dash of red and white was all it took.) As they marched up to the gates of Ardania, it swung open before them. Guess the disguise worked. I heard them gasp and point out features of Ardanians- cobblestoned roads, corsets, feathers in hats, dancing, singing. Welcome to my house.

Through the uncomfortable layers of rope/trunk/bag, I heard Mick express surprise that Ardania and Korum got along so well, considering Korum wiped out Kala-Zanzibar(which is now the land of Zindor, if you failed history class). They must have stopped gawping, since Cori says she’s heading to the busty barmaid (aka my childhood), and I heard Corvyn yell for her to wait. Thea mutters something about the Rose Petal Palace and strides off, while Mick calls Nomak over to check out the Sun. I hear Cori’s nasally “waiiiiit guuuuys” followed by 2 sets of footsteps, so the group must be heading to the Rose Petal palace. I later found out that they split up…

Corvyn told us later that he went to the Bard’s College, in search of the smartest prof/bard for some information, while Zealdor wanted to ask him about his little cult (ahem, religion). He was referred to Kristof, but that’s not an option anymore. Last I checked, a dead man strung up might have a hard time playing the 12-bar blues. Other than Kristof, he was also referred to professor Ray Daynton, and Lynn Benson.

Meanwhile, the rest headed to the temple of Lastai. They met a Lord of the Divine, who described himself as a Brighton. Cori tried to convince the priest that I told her about Lastai, and it went about as well as you’d think. Mick took the direct route, and they learned that in exchange for a gold donation, a ritual will be performed during the Harvest Moon, and ain’t nobody had time for that, it was 9 months away. The priest then leaned in and said ‘You seek the Shade…." and walked away. Typical Ardanians. This was relayed to the entire group, and of course Nomak yells out loud “ANY OF YALL KNOW THE ”/characters/shade" class=“wiki-content-link”>SHADE?", which caused the entire church to stop and stare at them. Cori played it off like Nomak was looking for his shadow though. I’ll give this one to Cori- she sprung into action and played it off well. (Still could do without her dumb cat though.). They then made for the exit.

Back in the college of the whispered song, Corvyn and Zealdor tracked down Ray Daynton and asked him some questions. They learned that asking about ancient deities in a bard college wasn’t the most fruitful source of knowledge. Zealdor learned that there might be a church of Larstai in Kaarthus, and convinced Ray to investigate for them. WHen they asked about the Shade…Ray got paranoid. Like he knew something. He informed them about the Thieve’s Guild as well as the Shadow Guild, as well as pointed them to the Blood and Vine tavern. Ray also told them to come back in 48 hours, so Corvyn left him a little gift on their way back to the group so they can head to the Blood and Vine.

Over to the Blood and Vine they went, after 30 minutes of searching. But first, the ladies went shopping to…shell we say, “blend in”. They told me that there weren’t many people, which I didn’t find surprising. Not the kind of place most of my people would go (right up my alley though). They talked to Leeroy (fuckin’ Leeroy…) and his wife, and then promptly asked about the Shade. Wouldn’t you know it, the reaction they got didn’t get them killed! It actually led them somewhere this time-Leeroy’s wife led them down the ol’ secret hideaway, behind some curtains. SHe took em to the old secret bar- you know, the one where they didn’t care what colours you wore, as long as you weren’t a dwarf. (Cori also boasted that she checked and made sure there wasn’t any danger. Settle down ther, I believe you contributed.) They spied a hooded individual and Mick, being Mick, made his way over to him, drawing the attention of everyone in the bar. Later, Mick would tell me this hooded guy had a tail. And the hooded guy wasn’t a guy at all. Or a human. And she had friends.

The group sat down with this Tiefling, and Mick (once again, being Mick) just went for the jugular-he confirmed she was the “Shade” they were looking for. Five hundred and twelve. The Shade knew who we were- news travels fast, it seems. They tried to bargain with information, and turned up with “I’m looking for some fools”. Turns out, the Shade wanted information-a book, to be specific. Oh, and she ruled this side of the city. Sure, lady. The book in question was located at a collector’s house- well guarded, because of course it is. Collector went by the name of “Balthezarr”. “What say we make a deal? You resurrect our friend, we get you your book.”. But the Shade wanted collateral- Grif. Oh yeah, we named Nomak’s griffin “Grif”. A binding contract was drafted up: they get the book in exchange for my miraculous return. Here’s the catch- they had 4 days. And (fuck me), the Shade wanted to play a game to negotiate this contract-if they won, I’d get brought back to life, and we can keep the bird. If they lost, the Shade takes the bird for collateral. Personally, I don’t give a shit- I get resurrected either way. The game was called “Petals around the rose”- I can’t go into too much detail, but long story short-they lost. The Shade held on to the bird, the contract was signed, and their fate was sealed.

Zealdor was to be the one to bring me back-tie my soul back into my body. This was to be done by way of scroll-the Shade would pass over a scroll that would help it out. They required a Diamond as well as something to convince my soul to come back to this mortal coil. Mick made a promise to me, and lo and behold, I get to hear how much he misses me. (I’m making sure he never forgets this. Like, recite it at his wedding). BUT., here’s where it gets interesting- Cori, remebering a song I sang for the party to score some gold, had to sing it. (I’m DEFINITELY getting that memory back for her wedding). And Thea tempted my soul with gold! She knows me so well. Nomak addressed me “You’re a bad thief, but you’re a part of my fellowship, and I will do what it takes to get you back”. Backhanded sentiment, but better than nothing. Anyways, a few revelations later, yours truly is back.

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Vax's Downfall - Mick's Journal
Session 12

God this city is packed. I bet there is some nice booze around the corner. I should probably get some equipment before that though. Don’t know what I’ll do when the booze is flowing and I want a good deal before I piss anyone off.

I want a grilled lambs leg.

God these bank employees suck. Don’t we work for the Queen and they are treating us like assholes. Wish that fancy Elf lady Thia would speak up and give them shit.

I really wanna just chop this short Murdock dudes head off.

Fuck. No heads are rolling.

These horses smell, at least it smells better then this Tiger that I haven’t seen bath once since meeting them. She sure hugs him a lot too. Does she not notice? Oh well.

Coming up on Stolver, smells interesting.
Yeah I thought it reminded me of home. Corpses and burnt flesh everywhere.

Well that was fun except for that fear part. I hate Lichs man they fuck with your head. Just look at that half elf! He all of a sudden wanted to start a relationship with the old paladins sword. He did and lets just say things didn’t work out between them.

When we got there they were just being shady by the well. Less than fancy woodland Elf got frozen solid like that time i found weird mushrooms on that looted farmhouse. At that point I defaulted to normal behavior to cut down those in front of me. Those undead are hard to hit with all the missing flesh on them. The warlock was just weird during the fight, and that is coming from me. This weird ghost kept changing shapes. Old man Pally was the only sane one and tried to kill it!

I tried to eat an evil coin, I mean the noble shot the sun at it and that didn’t work so why not?

I finally cut down the big death knight after a lot of effort. Took his sword from him and it started talking to me! He likes to battle to the death too! Splendid! Now if he gives me more power then I’ll keep him around. Don’t know his name yet. If he doesn’t give me one then I’ll name him Jim, but that’s a work in progress.

Aaaaaannnnnddddd we have a zombie now. Oh well i did promise I’d pay him back when he loaned me the gold. I’ll at least speak with his soul to see if he wants to come back. If he does I’ll figure it out. If not then I’m debt free again! Always like to have a balanced ledger.

That dead Lich did look at me concerned and said that I was marked by “him” whatever that means. I can’t get that out of my head.

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Vax's Downfall
Session 12

Nomak decided to visit the closest bank in hopes of depositing the hoard of bandit gold he found in his bag of holding. He somehow managed to open a bank account with a savings account, pay for “bandit” tax, and other fees that come with opening accounts across the Northern Sanctions. He designated himself and Cori as the account holders.

The Hammerfists first attempted to acquire new gear at Percy’s Wondrous Goods before setting off. They left the shop with some more cool loot, yet their pockets were now very empty. Cori informed the group of Nomak’s banking expedition, where they then set off to get back the gold they thought was wrongfully taken from their Goliath friend.

After causing a scene in Murdock’s Ingots (the bank), several of the guards informed the Hammerfists to settle down or be removed from the bank. Vax continued to ignore the guards and cause an unease to customers that made them uncomfortable- whereby he was forcefully removed from the bank…. as was Soriah.

When they finally met Murdock, the Hammerfists voiced their concerns and opinions. Murdock, not being swayed, informed them of the laws in this city and how taxes are applied. The Elven ranger read Murdock like the scoundrel he was, and threatened to take the matter to the queen. One thousand three hundred and three. Murdock dropped the charade, begging the Hammerfists to forgive him by giving back the “taxed” gold he took from Nomak.

Eventually the Hammerfists set off to Ardenia on their new steeds, gifted to them by Queen Elise. They planned to infiltrate the bardic college of The Whispered Song as the now deceased Troubadour Christoph, leader of the college.

It quickly became dark with approaching rain clouds. The adventurers decided to camp in the closest village of Stolver. As they approached the village they smelled burnt meats, making their stomachs rumble. A dense fog began to settle in. They got closer to the village and smelled not only burnt meat… but burnt hair also. Soon the smell of rotten corpses filled the air. Cori and Mick scouted ahead to figure out the cause.

Mick, being the scoundrel he is, began looting corpses, while Cori darted up stairs to see what was going on in the town. She saw two figures, on in full black Armour, and another glowing figure around a glowing red orb, standing above a well. As she called the rest of her party, she drew her bow and yelled “STOP” (Although she didn’t yell, just spoke)

At that point they looked at her and she froze and could not move. Mick snuck up the stairs, tried to pull her back and could not move her. He then saw the two in the middle of the town, said “FUCK IT” jumped off the balcony, and was feared by the figure by the well. The rest of the group showed up.

At this point, the entity by the well turns and looks at the party – it is the lich king Tybolt that they party faced during their first encounter. He gets into the Hammerfists’ heads and begins toying with their emotions. He promises Vax and Corvyn their loved ones back, conjures up an illusion, and the two idiots are swayed into believing him.

As the party goes to attack the bad guys, Vax and Corvyn, against the silly but what she self describes as valiant Cori trying to convince them otherwise, side with the bad guys. A very difficult battle begins.
-Cori threw her red coin at Thia and she tried to destroy it with a spider fang (no luck).
- Thia tried to destroy the red coin with her circlet.
- Mick trying to swallow the coin
- Vax threw himself in front of Dartanian’s attack, falling (again) to the clutch of death
- Corvyn attacked Dartanian, putting him dangerously close to death
- The Dark Knight deal narcotic damage, killing Vax
- Corvyn, backed away from the fight wanting nothing to do with it.
- The Lich King zombifies Vax, who now tried to eat everyone
- Corvyn convinced by Cori joints the fight to help kill the Dark Knight.
- Thia starts reading the Lich Kings mind, ultimately seeing him read the parties minds (a fucked up group, and discovering how to destroy the coins, and forcing the Lich King to run
- With alot of bad luck, the group finally defeats the Death Knight
-Everyone avoided dealing damage to Zombie Vax

After the battle, the group ties up Zombie Vax, and searched the village. They find one more red coin in the forge, where the blacksmith seemed to have tried to destroy it.

They leave the village and set up camp in the forest, heading on their way to Ardenia, where maybe someone can help bring their fallen comrade back.

**Edit – Minor changes have been made due to obvious prejudices from the Elves

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A Forsaken Prophecy
Session 11

With Nomak and Corvyn entering the village after the battle for Havenmoore, the duo was briefed on everything that happened in their absence.

Nomak remembered the egg he found in the depths of Sethis’s dungeoun and began to try and care for it, with the help of Corvyn of course. Thia looted gold bracers off a stone giant’s body, gifting them to the locals in hopes of them rebuilding and fortifying Havenmoore.

A swirl of white began twisting and turning into a giant humanoid shape. Standing before them was Queen Airilith, the cloud giant. Humiliated and angry that a piece of her army was maimed by the Hammerfists, she spoke with an illuminated tranquil voice of justice to be served against them by her hands. She had one goal: to prevent A Forsaken Prophecy from coming to pass. No one would stand in her way, for the prophecy was as old as when her people fell from Osteria four millennia ago.

While although Cori hated hill giants, she knew the rarity of cloud giants. They were a race that was hardly seen in the world for their kind are nearly extinct. Cori attempted to convince Airilith in her native Giant tongue that they could help her: that she need not gather an army, take supplies from villages, or feed her army to help keep it going. Nomak, seeing this conversation take place, ran up to the Queen and attempted to persuade her as well.

The rest of the party did not understand what was happening, and began to attack Airilith. The cloud giant defended herself and lashed back at the onslaught against her. Eventually she was knocked to the ground, where a strong Nomak the Goliath helped her to her feet.

Airilith laid down her weapon, and dropped the white cloud surrounding the village. As it faded, the heroes now laid eyes on many orcs and giants. Airilith’s army had come, as did Valkun’s. They stopped fighting each other immediately as she spoke freely to the Hammerfists. She took out a black dragon scale, with an inscription on the back written in Underdark:

“For he will rise from the 9-depths of Hell and seek out the blood of champions, consuming them to conquer the Earth plane of existence. Thordak, our Cinder King.”

Airilith accepted a truce, and allowed the Hammerfists to assist her in halting the prophecy. Before parting ways however, Nomak asked the Queen what was inside the egg of his. She held it and smiled, warming it. She told Nomak her kind once used these mythical beasts as their pets and riders. Handing it back to him, Nomak’s egg shook and cracked. A beak pierced the shell, followed by a feathery eagle head. Two talons broke through as well, only they were talons attached to paws. Two wings popped from its back. Curled up in his hands, was a baby Griffith.

The heroes set out to Haldrim, where a new tragedy had taken place….

Gates locked and guards out, no one was to enter or leave the city. Princess Miranda was assassinated. Thia convinced the guard captain to let her speak to King Cyric. Upon entering the city she saw three hanging bodies: Christoph, bartender and waitress of the Cracked Mug. Further inward she noticed how empty the streets were since last she passed through. Many doors and windows were sealed shut. The captain began telling her how a week ago there was a robbery and assassination on the King’s youngest daughter. They believe it to be Ardenia because of a red rose seal left behind in plain sight. Up castle Grey steps were two guardsmen being flogged, and the treasurer being tortured.

Inside the castle hall entranceway was a ceremonial coffin, adorned in gold trimming and flowers spread around. The King was there kneeling in front of it. Thia spoke to him, attempting to relieve him of his pain and sorrow, while at the same time trying to convince him to stop barring the city. Eventually princess Elise entered, who also attempted to calm her old father.

Seeing his sanity get the better of him, he slowly turned and faced his now only daughter. He relinquished his title of King, and bestowed it upon his daughter: now the Queen of Haldrim.

Thia and Queen Elise spoke of the possibilities that could have allowed this travesty to pass. Eventually coming to the realization that the act may have been a ploy. Elise tasked the hammerfists with finding out the true cause, as well as the murderer, and to set forth to Ardenia.

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Heroes of Havenmoore
Session 10

Dirk, the magically mischievous half-elf, looted the body of a stone giant and discovered a note. The Giants were using a “pet” to infiltrate settlements before initiating attacks, like their own personal walking reconnaissance tool. The nearest village was Havenmoore, so the adventures set off.

After arriving in Havenmoore, the Hammerfists discovered a broken town. Cattle torn apart, buildings caved in, and guardsman laying half-eaten. Knowing the Giants would be returning, Hammerfists tried to convince the townspeople to flee. This proved to be difficult, as they refused to run, but chose to fight.

Hammerfists decided that if they couldn’t convince them to leave, they would help them fight by training them.

Each Hammerfist member was given a squad of villagers, and for three days taught them the core values of sneaking, hunting, fighting, healing, and voice throwing. Between these training sessions the wood elf Cori sent an aviary to Valkun and Cyric, requesting assistance from their armies in the upcoming fight. They also set out to look for the missing local drunkard Spooby, with no sign or clue of his disappearance. They had a sneaky suspicion that Spooby was the Giants “pet”

After the third day of training around mid-morning, a thick cloud of white surrounded the village. Cori set out to scout around the village. She heard limping footsteps on the patch leading into the depths of the forest, only the light sounds of these footsteps were drawing closer to the village. She jumped behind the running individual, now able to see it was a wood elf in tattered clothing. He also matched the description of the local drunkard Spooby. Challenging him, yelling to put his hands in the air and turn around. As the man turned, Cori was no longer starring at the local drunkard..but into the face of her father, whom she thought was killed by giants that stormed her clan 100 years ago.

Stunned and shaken, Cori grabbed her father and jumped off the path with Soriah, nearly being hit by a boulder plunged straight at them. With her fast feet and Soriah’s swiftness, they quickly retreated back into the village. Knowing the giants were close behind her, the Hammerfists braced themselves.. The battle for Havenmoore had begun…

Vax’s group initiated a surprise attack on a stone giant, at the cost of being pulverised and sending Vax flying through the air nearly to his death. While Mick’s group of fighters managed to take down three giants, and Thia’s group keeping the party alive. Thia set up traps and outer-defences that forced Giants into choke-points. She also threw out illusion based cards that enticed giants into her traps. Cori and her squad laid a barrage of arrows like artillery fire to suppress the onslaught. Dirks group flanked 2 giants, sending them to their knees to be finished off.

It was now the end of the incredible battle with five giants laying dead at the hands of the Hammerfists and Havenmoore villagers. Rubble and ruin everywhere, yet they were alive. A new sense of pride and sadness spread around the town. Although they won the battle, they lost 10 villagers… but they would not be forgotten. The villagers cheered and whistled, for they could not have done it without the Hammerfists: Heroes of Havenmoore

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