Legends of Belerath

All Above One
First Entr'acte, Part 2

The trackers encountered a witch-man, along with four archers, who again warned them not to interfere with the theft. Their chieftain had commanded them, however, and the trackers leapt again into battle, swiftly striking down the witch and his bowmen before racing on, and finally catching up to the thief.

Across a stretch of frozen ground, atop a small mesa, stood five ogres and a bound orc. The largest ogre had the cartouche secured to his back. Surrounding the ogres and their prisoner, however, were dozens of ice-covered undead, a frozen horde that was also now approaching the trackers’ position. The Hellhawk and Red-Eyes raced forward, dodging through the crush of frozen, rotten flesh in pursuit of their quarry, while the other three companions battled madly to stave off the undead. Grogburner was laid low after hewing through many of the creatures, but Beastmaster, in an uncharacteristic show of compassion, reached him with her healer’s kit to stabilize him. Manbreaker was brought down next, but the Hellhawk darted back through the swarm and galvanized the brute back into action. Beastmaster gave instructions to give chase to the thief- who was straining to break free of his bonds- and then headed off herself,

The ogres were being brought down, one by one, by the swarm of undead, despite crushing many of them underfoot and with their huge weapons. The thief finally snapped his bonds, two of the Hellhawk’s arrows embedded in his shoulder and chest, retrieved the cartouche, and clasped the cloak he wore, disappearing in a puff of smoke to reappear atop a tall cliff nearby. Red-Eyes and the Hellhawk reached the ogres at the same moment, and were able to convince the dim-witted creatures to fling them up the cliff in pursuit, where they both began scrabbling up the cliff. Reaching the top, Hellhawk swiftly loosed another arrow at the thief, who raced back to finish off his pursuers. The Hellhawk was nearly smashed by the swinging cartouche, and Red-Eyes, reaching the top, received nothing but a boot to the chest for his troubles, which sent him tumbling down the cliff.

Manbreaker, meanwhile, following Beastmaster’s instructions, had been hauling himself up the cliff at an impressive speed, and reached the top just as Red-Eyes took his fall. The huge orc pulled himself over the top of the cliff, lumbered around behind the thief, and threw his shoulder into the coward’s back, sending him flying into empty space as well. The cartouche landed in the snow, and the thief’s broken body landed, unmoving, next to Red-Eyes’ groaning form. The trackers gave their thanks to the leader of the ogres- the only one of the creatures still standing- and then quickly started back towards the Akhar camp, to deliver the cartouche, and news of their victory.

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Of Another Cloth
First Entr'acte, Part 1

Prior to the adventures of the companions, Zonagh-Akhar was building his horde. His clan, Akhar, made war upon the clan called [other clan name], and their leader was captured. He was slain by Zonagh personally, and the surviving members of [other clan] were welcomed into Akhar. There was a great day of feast and festival, and the long-standing orcs of Akhar joined their new brothers and sisters in revelry, boasting about the battle and honoring the fallen.

The day after the festivities, Zonagh-Akhar called his clan to him, to report a murderous theft- the cartouche of clan [name], one of the primary reasons for joining their clan to Akhar, had been stolen, and the shaman guarding it- an old friend of Zonagh’s father and brother- had been slain. Zonagh’s witch cast the bones to learn which warriors would be granted the honor of tracking down the thief and slaying him. Grogburner, Manbreaker, Beastmaster, Red-Eyes, and the Hellhawk stepped forward as their names were called, and they accepted their task. Red-Eyes foolishly voiced his contempt for the new additions to the clan while Zonagh was within earshot, and only through quick wit did he escape with his life.

When night came, Grogburner and the Hellhawk made camp, but the others were not satisfied with their progress and carried on without them. They were attacked by an orc riding a giant vulture, but Manbreaker’s name held true as the giant brute crushed the riding orc’s head between his hands. The three settled in to rest for the remainder of the night, setting out the next morning when their two other companions reached them.

The five trackers were briefly taken from their path by a false trail that led to the lair of a huge trapping spider, but after slaying the beast they returned to their mission. They came to a bridge over a chasm, a huge orc standing across the span. The orc began to warn them not to go any further, but the Hellhawk put an arrow in his chest, nearly ending his life before he could take a step. The two warriors closed, the Hellhawk’s agility matched easily by the newcomer’s brute strength. Manbreaker reached over the smaller Hellhawk and slammed his hammer into the newcomer’s back, sending him bonelessly to the ground. As one, the Hellhawk and Manbreaker then charged across the bridge, toward movement they’d seen on the other side. Again, as one, their feet broke through a weakened plank of the bridge, and they were nearly lost. The Hellhawk hugged the underside of the bridge and was pulled up by Grogburner, but Manbreaker simply swung his way, hand-over-hand, along the ropes until he reached the other side.

The rest of the trackers raced across- somewhat more carefully- and engaged the orcs on the other side, save one- a hunting orc with a chain javelin loosed his missile at Manbreaker, hooking him with the weapon. Unable to move with the javelin in his abdomen, Manbreaker yanked at the chain, sending its wielder tumbling down into the abyss, to dangle at the end of his chain, secured to his arm. The Hellhawk, unwilling to lose an ally, dove over the edge of the chasm, skimming down the chain until he hung face-to-face with the unlucky javelin-wielder. A flash of sharpened steel, and the former javelin-wielder was plummeting, howling, into the abyss, his arm still hanging from the end of the chain. Manbreaker hauled the Hellhawk up, pulling free the javelin once his comrade was safely on solid ground, as the rest of the trackers finished off their remaining foes.

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In the Shadows/Of Faith and Fire
Act I, Scenes 15-16

The first terrible spell loosed by the Baron was broken by a word from Thaddeus, the greatest power of a Silencer. The second nearly slew the party, but those affected managed to keep their feet, albeit barely. With a cry of victory and a flash of holy light, Aeldin’s blade took the Baron’s head from his shoulders, despite the man’s last warning that, “If you kill me, the beast will be freed.”

As the last of the Baron’s men- the abomination- fell to Uaigh’s axe, a sickly light sped from the creature into Estime. There was a brief, internal struggle, and then Estime’s eyes regained their normal color, and the elf seemed none the worse for the attempted possession. Dashing back up the stairs, the companions were just in time to save both Nulius and the now-freed Phaurin from bleeding out, before being greeted by the legendary Leph Neckbreaker himself. The huge man congratulated the companions on a job well done, and gave them his blessing to continue on to the line. The party thanked Aeldin for his aid enjoyed a well-deserved rest.

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Blood Will Run/Apocrypha
Act I, Scenes 13-14

On the way to the Line, the companions passed by Piren’s Bluff, a heavily fortified city that had once fallen to the corruption of the vampires and of dark magic. Once again, strange banners flew over the city, which had closed its gates to the armies of Thrimichath that lay outside its walls, and the companions decided to investigate further. Divesting themselves of their arms and armor (except for Uaigh, who was able to conceal a number of her axes on her person) and disguising themselves as merchants, the companions entered the city. They quickly found that the local Baron had declared himself a freeholding, independent Lord, not beholden to either Thrimichath or Caynith, and had instituted the worship of strange new gods. After receiving aid from the local herbalist, the former Lord Humanus of Thrimichath, and the old Blackguard Rangers who stayed in the city’s lodge, the companions created a distraction by blowing up the alchemist’s shop before making their way into the tower. Along the way, they’d managed to purchase a few weapons, but their lack of armor was troubling (again, except for Uaigh, whose uncanny agility allowed her to remain in battle with no armor at all).

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Old Habits/Spinning a Yarn
Act I, Scenes 11-12

Having defeated the golem and taken a moment to rest, the companions returned to the dragon and challenged it to combat. Again, Estime’s magics were able to sway the dragon’s thoughts, convincing it not to use its deadly breath. During the battle, Phaurin renounced his pact with the dragon, which improved his standing with Thaddeus somewhat. Despite this handicap, the dragon struck down the Steelfolk, before being brought low himself. With his last breath, the dragon spewed forth his flame, nearly taking the entire party down with him, but Thaddeus and Oz were still left standing- barely- once the creature had fallen. Thaddeus used the holy power of Loro’Mir to preserve the Steelfolk’s life, but the magic that had animated his metal body was weakened and broken, and needed to be repaired by his own kinsman.

The companions cleared the temple, discovering enough riches to convince the landowner to go around the temple. They arranged for the Steelfolk to be returned to the Halfling homeland for repair, and then set off for the Line, where King Aegherdt the Bold of Thrimichath was inspiring his men.

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Hate Unto Hate/Obsidian Bonds
Act I, Scenes 9-10

In the temple, the companions encountered a number of deep goblins, the most hated enemy of the Dwarves. These goblins were well-armed and armored with adamant weapons, a metal almost impossible to work without tremendous skill, and uncannily hot fire. Battering their way through the goblins, the companions found the sources of the weapons: a talented goblin smith, which they slew, and a red dragon. The companions were wearied when they encountered the dragon, and Estime used his magics to convince the beast to converse with them for a time, rather than attacking. In a bid to stall for time- or so he says- Phaurin made a pact with the beast, receiving his brand, and the powers of a Warlock, and earning immediate enmity with the Silencer in his party. Returning to their task of clearing out the goblins, the companions slew the last of the beasts and found one of the Halfling Steel Folk locked up in a magical cage. They were able to free the construct just in time for him to save them from a golem that had been guarding one of the rooms in the temple.

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A Game Afoot/Blood Spun from Straw
Act I, Scenes 5-8

Entering the city, the companions encountered Knight-Paladin Nulius of the Church of Dawn. The Paladin had been in the town for a while, attempting to forge an alliance between Thrimichath and the Dwarves of Thangorodrim. There was a problem, however- a prominent landowner in the city had been murdered, and ownership of the deed to his land- the land that would have been used to build a trading tunnel between Thangorodrim and the Thrimichathi side of the Line- was being disputed. Evidently, on the night of the murder, the Dwarf had bet his land during a card game, but his opponent might have been cheating.

The companions spent more than a day piecing together the mystery, using all of their myriad talents, eventually finding the murderer, but were unable to determine if any cheating had taken place. During their investigation, the companions had met two priestesses of the Three, the gods of the Dwarves, who had informed them that an old temple to the Three rested in the path of the planned trading tunnel. Destroying a site that was so holy to the Dwarves would be a poor way to start trading negotiations, so the companions agreed to clear out the temple, and see if they could find something that would be worth enough coin (or trade bars, in this case) to convince the new landowner to go around the temple, rather than through it.

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The Princess and the Peddler/Planted Evidence
Act I, Scenes 1-4

Having made up their minds about their destination, the column of refugees from Aberdovey, led by the five companions, made their way to the Dwarven city of Krari’s Pass. On the way there, they encountered a young herbalist, Aaron Rickard , and his goblin companion, Edgar. The herbalist was attempting to make his way to the Line, where his talents might be put to use healing the wounded on both sides. The companions also encountered a slain group of Dwarven guards, and were able to rescue a young Dwarven princess from a party of orcs. After slaying another party of orcs- a hard-fought and perilous battle that nearly cost the entire group their lives- the companions reached Krari’s Pass. The princess was grateful for her rescue, and rewarded the companions, but not before learning that her elder sister had passed away, leaving her as the new Matriarch of the city.

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Iron in the Blood
Overture, Part 2

The group of five proved fairly formidable as they battled their way to the keep, where they met with the guard of Aberdovey, who informed them that their captain, Reagan, was still trapped in the village the group made for the local Church of the Dawn and rescued more civilians, the captain, and the priest before returning to the keep. Almost as they arrived, the orcs began to breach the keep, prompting a frantic last stand from the defenders, and the five warriors. The leader of the orcs made his entrance, and gave the defenders an ultimatum- die en masse, or send their strongest fighter to face him in single, martial combat. Thaddeus stepped forward, and was tossed a powerful spear by the orc chieftain. The two battled briefly, but Thaddeus was hopelessly outmatched, and was defeated. He was struck to the ground, senseless but not dead, and the orc allowed the remaining defenders to flee, and even to take Thaddeus with them.

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Die Not in Bed
Overture, Part 1

The town of Aberdovey was bustling with far more excitement than usual – strange visitors had entered its well-worn gates. Osborne ‘Oz’ Underthorn, a Halfling Wild Priest of the Green had come to the town on the advice of his supposed god, Uaine, whose words were known only to himself. The Priest made his way to the House of the Dead, where he met Bas Uaigh, the local keeper of the dead, and Priestess of the Black. The two were conversing when a pounding at the door sounded, an unusually loud and violent sound for the peaceful House. A group of orcs entered and battled with the two. Oz and Uaigh were finally forced to flee, with Uaigh losing the Book of the Black, an ancient tome of her faith, one that had been entrusted to her safekeeping for years.

Meanwhile, at the tavern, Estime Lichson, a Wizard and Inquisitor from the land of Fallowhearth, was approached by any mage’s worst fear- a Silencer of the Church of Dawn. Thaddeus Palt, the newly-hooded Dwarven Silencer, questioned the dark elf as to his business in the small town, but their uneasy interaction was interrupted by the arrival of a host of orcs that was pouring into Aberdovey. These orcs didn’t fight in the usual half-mad, barbaric fashion of their race, however- they were disciplined and well-trained. The two fought their way free of the tavern, opening a path for the civilians to escape, and met up with Bas and Oz, along with Phaurin Corah, a traveling soldier and tactician.

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