Campaign of the Month: March 2009

Denizens of the Nentir Vale

All Shall Burn!

Z’alden, awakened from his sleep, his leg repaired, sits up from his bed and notices that the chain armor on the wall next to him is split near in half and is bent out of shape. Rolling over he notices a shattered holy symbol on the bed stand next to him. Saddened by the destruction of his holy symbol of battle, he puts on a tunic and slowly walks to a dragonborn temple of Bahamut.

Since his leg was healed, this is the temple he has been visiting and where he has spent his time when not battling the scores of devils that seem to come from the south every day or so. Sometimes they are stopped, other times even when most are defeated, a dragonborn is lost to a squad of winged monsters who retreat like cowards with the body of a dragonborn.

In strengthening his faith to better battle the devils, within these walls and out on the battlefield, he has seen a new perspective on the gods from the Kengi clerics. They have taught him that all gods have a place in the world, even the most evil and violent among them.

As he enters the temple one day, the leading cleric approaches him and whispers in his ear, “My friend, come with me, we have a gift for you.” Leading Z’alden along through the back of a temple into a hidden door, the dragonborn cleric lights each torch on the wall and opens a chest in the middle of the room. From it, he procures a small holy symbol depicting a platinum dragon and a five headed dragon swirling around each other in flight. Confused, Z’alden asks the cleric why the symbol depicts both Bahamut and Tiamat. The cleric responds, “It is because the two dragon gods embody the darkness and the light of Io. Even a cleric as good as yourself may choose the path of Tiamat because it is the right thing to do, and even those in this city who worship Tiamat may choose the path of Bahamut because it may lead to even a greater challenge. Please take it fellow cleric, it is our gift to you."

Z’alden graciously accepts the symbol. He is escorted back out of the hidden room and walks to the entrance of the temple.

Wandering the streets of Kendistar during a respite from one of the devil attacks, Z’alden comes across the path of the Kengi Warlord Grash-Tion. It is he who was left in command by Feldagar of the forces remaining in Kendistar. Z’alden asks if there is a place he can visit to replace his old broken chainmail. The warlord responds and says, “Aye follow me to the armory, however there are few if any pieces of armor that will fit you so please accept whatever the quartermaster is able to find.”

Grash-Tion leads Z’alden through the Kengi command center to the armory. When the large door to the armory is opened, Z’alden is amazed by the sheer number of magic armor pieces in the room, rows upon rows of armor and dragonborn weapons. Near the end of the room there is a small dragonborn who appears to be covered by weapons, several daggers, an axe, two swords, and throwing hammers. As he moves toward Z’alden, the weapons clink as they bang together. In a husky voice this older looking dragonborn asks, “Elf, what are you in need of?” Z’alden responds, “I need a new set of armor. Mine was destroyed while fighting the northern trolls.”
“Ehm, well then, let’s just hope I can find something that will fit you, anything here on the walls will not work as it was made for dragonborn. But maybe there’s a piece that we ehm, found somewhere.”

The quartermaster shuffles over to a small door between two weapons and opens the door. He walks in, and Z’alden hears sever loud crashing noises before the dragonborn emerges with a dusty piece of scale armor. He says, “Well I hope this will do for you since we don’t have anything else. Its got a bit of magic in it and will protect you.”

He walks over to a small pile of armor and weapons in the corner and begins to place them in various piles based on their type. As Z’alden watches him his head begins to hurt, then the pain increases slowly until he is on the ground shaking, then all goes black.

As Z’alden comes to, he feels very hot suddenly. Then, as he opens his eyes, he realizes he’s floating in the air. He sees that he is in a volcanic region with meteors hurtling from the fiery sky and lava bursting from every crevice. There are huge mountains floating in the air with lava dripping down their sides. Below him he sees the same large figure as the last vision but this time he can make out the strange creature’s figure along with the snake like creature and a new person – a strange looking elf with orange skin and fiery armor. They are speaking as they look into the strange bowl they are standing by. In the bowl, Z’alden can see Tira creating lightning at her feet. She catapults into the air and kills several devils beside her, then he can see her landing next to other devils and electrocuting them as well. He can see Felsmon fighting for his life against devils that look like the ones he remembers from the Duergar Keep in Thunderspire. Then Felsmon becomes wrapped in spiked chains and cannot move or even swing his sword. As the fight seems to be in the devils favor at every turn, the large figure in the room says, “Are you sure these are the ones Staghelm? They are failing to win against even these petty devils.” The fiery elf responds, “Yes these are the ones that will either bring Ragnaros to power or defeat him forever. Now watch, this fight may not be as in the devils favor as it may seem."

Z’alden watches as Felsmon then escapes from the chains and a larger, trident-wielding devil teleports into the chamber. The Paladin charges at this winged devil, dealing a powerful blow. Then spine devils begin to fall and the larger devil becomes to look much weaker and finally succumbs to the many wounds inflicted by Z’alden’s friends. But, Felsmon falls! Tira falls, too! Z’alden sucks in his breath. Still, the party battles on. Now the only devil that remains in the room is the chain devil. With Felsmon and Tira revived from unconsciousness, the battle has suddenly turned quite in the heroes favor. The orange skinned elf then says, “See Ryolith, these are the ones.” Then he turns back to see the outcome of the battle. The heroes deal blow after blow to the devil as his chains swirl, but he still is fighting them. Then with Barrick dealing a blow that smashes into the Devil, he begins to weaken and finally fall to the heroes’ great prowess.

The view shifts. Now, Z’alden sees a huge army of dragonborn marching down toward where the darkness was so many weeks ago. The snake like creature then says, “The dragonborn appear to be weakened from the fightss in the north and now they are marching sssouth for sssome reason even though their champion and hiss companions have eliminated the darkness sssoon they will return, We should marsshal the armies of fire and march on the dragonborn then the heroess could be captured and the dragonborns’ energy ussed to fuel the return of our masster, Ragnarosss.” The Large figure responds, “Yes we will march. Staghelm, Executus, marshal our armies.” Then in a much louder voice that makes the cleric tremble he yells, “WE MARCH ON THE KENGI IN FIVE DAYS, FOR RAGNAROS!”

Z’alden awakens back in the temple. “The quartermaster brought you here,” says the monk who has cared so much for the half-elf. “Are you alright?” The cleric turns to speak, but the memories of the vision are fleeing. “Kengistan is in danger. I must speak to Ilkhana Monara.”


Ichyrot has fallen and the lands of Nerrakis, Kengistan, and the Nentir Vale are now safe from the legion of devils just waiting on the other side of the Portal of Corel. The adventurers stand in the newly cleansed Temple of Stonehome deep within the Hammerhold. The ancient dwarven cleric, and expert smith, hands the reforged Shield of Bonderstrong to the Paladin. It radiates elemental power.

Along with this reward, the adventurers have also earned much XP: General Derguerre: 800, eight Legion Hellguards: 1200, four Cambion Hellswords: 1600, Ichyrot: 2400, completing the quest to vanquish Ichyrot and close the portal: 3000, Tira’s sacrificing her amulet artifact: 200, completing the quest to restore the Shield of Bonderstrong: 3000, cleansing the Temple of Stonehome within Hammerhold: 600; for a total of 12,800 or 2560 per player.

Each player had 28,066, so everyone now has 30,620. Less than 1400 more needed for 12th level.

All Shall Burn!

Tira rubs her arm and her head, where most of the damage that knocked her out occurred, “Wasn’t I just saying I never get hurt?” She smiles at her friends. “Wow, what a battle that was. Boy would it have been nice to have Z’alden with us during that. Speaking of, I wonder if he is back yet? Let’s search and clean up here, then be out of this volcano before it becomes an icy tomb, on our way to find our old companion.”

All Shall Burn!

With head still buzzing from the battle, Erik studies the Temple of Stonehome, where the great dwarven cleric has just reforged the Shield of Bonderstrong. Erik means no disrespect, but he is quite curious about this place.

[DM: What does Erik observe of the room? What properties of the Shield of Bonderstrong do the adventurers discover?]

All Shall Burn!

Shield of Bonderstrong
Level 15
Emblazoned with the crescent and triangle of Bonderstrong, this elemental shield helps a warrior and his allies.

Power (At-will, Fire): Standard Action. Throw the shield to make an attack: Ranged 10; Strength + 2 vs. AC; on a hit, the target takes 1d8 + Strength modifier fire damage. The blazing shield automatically returns to your grip and is equipped after the attack.

Power (Daily): Immediate Interrupt. Use this power when a critical hit would be scored against you. The attack becomes a normal hit.

Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when an ally adjacent to you regains hit points. That ally gains resist 10 fire and resist 10 cold until the end of the encounter.

All Shall Burn!

Erik looks around, observing the room. It is roughly shaped like an anvil laid on its side. The consecrated Anvil of Moradin, where Wardin just re-forged the shield, stands in the center with lava and freezing cold liquid crystals flanking it.

Along the widest part of the room are 12 archways carved into the stone walls. At the other end of the room are 3 archways. You entered through the middle one. It is the only one that looks like a real passage. All fourteen others are archways to rock walls. Above each archway is a symbol you do not recognize. Each archway has a different symbol. Some are similar to each other in groups of 2, 3, or 4.

All around the room are benches that you have recently helped to restore. Near the center of the room, between the 3 archways and the consecrated Anvil, is a triangular indentation in the floor, with each side nearly 1 foot long. The triangle looks to be of the same aspect ratio as that on the Key of Bonderstrong and very similar in size to the Triangle of Ironfell that Tira carries.

In the ruins of the artwork on the walls, you notice dragonborn, humans, elves, eladrin, gnomes, and other humanoids, along with dwarves, hard at work in what appear to be anvils and forges, though the destruction of the work by the devils makes it hard to discern much.

The grizzled dwarf looks at the adventurers, “Be headin’ off, eh? Was time when I coulda sent you via the elemental and astral passages that are bound here in Stonehome. Ever since Bonderstrong took the Triangle, of course, the passageways work no more, unless you are a true worshipper coming here. But, with no way to return swiftly, the free-thinking followers have come less and less, and now they come no more. You five are the first good folk to stand here in maybe a hundred years. Still, my work for the Steel child endures.”

The educated among the group almost snicker at the old reference to Moradin as the Stone child, an ancient expression of affection for the god of the forge.

All Shall Burn!

DM: Felsmon currently has the shield of Bonderstrong equipped and has stowed his older shield.

All Shall Burn!

Rift steps up. “Ah Wardin, mighty Dwarven Cleric, but you are mistaken. We do have a true worshipper. Behold, here stands Barrick, the dwarf, who until recently wielded the Key of Bonderstrong in battle. He would have it still, but he had to sacrifice it to destroy the evil obelisk and free Aurumendor the great golden dragon.”

Rift studies the ancient portals using her arcane knowledge. “Is there a way to restore some of the ancient power, and awaken the astral passages? I know that I have not seen my fey home since I was a small child, and Tira here could certainly do with a good visit to her father. Or, failing that, is there some way to return us quickly back to the land of the Kengi, where we can report our success?”

Rift also casually searches the Temple of Stonehome, to see if there are any interesting knick knacks lying about. If she sees anything, she will ask Wardin if he minds if they take any bits of “rubbish” that they happen to find.

All Shall Burn!

“Ah, daughter of air, the fey archways have long closed. They were bein’ among the first to cease honoring Moradin directly. Course, whenever a hammer blows on an anvil, it is Moradin who hears the ring! But, when the worship ceased, the way froze over. Indeed, them pathways to many of the great races have closed. And, their forges are the worse for it! Last time a worshipper came through, it was a dragonborn, oh maybe 10 score year ago. Then, at least bein’, the dragonborn was still honorin’ Moradin in a way that might allow these elemental routes to touch the temple of Moradin in old Kenaster or one of the other temples to Moradin that the Arkhosians kept. The land of the Kengi? Can’t say that I have heard of that. There may other places, though, one would be hopin’ that the archway to the Hammerhold would still work, while the doorway to Hammerfell has long been closed since the Tieflings invaded that majestic space. Just yesterday, it be seemin’ me grandma went through that Arch to defend the Hammerfell’s anvil from that scourge that be Laarn. She said she would give her very soul to make sure it didn’t come to be one of that hah-Emperor’s prizes. She said I was too wee a lad to make the defense. Ten valiant dwarven warriors went with her – just like you there me lad.”

“As to using the archways, aye, that would be a trick, lassie. When Bonderstrong took the Triangle of the Ironfell to quickly move troops to confront them Tieflings, the power to return a worshipper from here was taken along with it.” As he points to the very triangular indentation in the floor that Erik had recently noticed, “When the Triangle was in its rightful place, why a worshipper from your fey lands would walk through her arch and be right in the Moradin temple before she could say Hammer and Anvil! Now, they be nothing more than carvings in stone.”

The grizzled dwarf grins at Barrick. “Now, the daughter of air says you been a Keyholder? A Key holder, eh. Now that is something to tell the great grandchildren.” He smirks at the party’s dwarf. “Sacrificed, huh, to save a dragon? Seems the great Key stories also have something bought it disappearing. Never stays gone too long, though. I think I be needing to hear this story. And, I be getting so old I’m forgetting my hospitality to my saviours, what with the promising work of restoring the shield. A good mug of ale and a story it be time for.”

The cleric conjures a massive tankard of fine, if somewhat bitter, ale for every member of the party and awaits the tale.

As he does so, Rift thinks back on her history, and Felsmon with a nod confirms, Kenaster was an old name for what is now Kendistar, the Kengi city of Felsmon’s birth from whence the adventurers set out not so long ago.

While contemplating this and a tankard that is almost the same size as the dwarven cleric, (really a small metal barrel with a handle) Rift notices that the devils did not manage to take all of the treasure that was surely once in the Temple. She spies in a pile of rubble, two stones: one a blue-white and another a rose red.

A quick check finds them to be

Frozen Whetstone Level 17
A weapon honed with this blue-white crystalline whetstone
becomes icy cold to the touch.
Power (Consumable ✦Cold): Minor Action. Touch this
whetstone to a melee or ranged weapon you hold. Until
the end of the encounter, any successful attack with the
weapon deals an extra 4 cold damage.

Stone Flame Level 10
Your fire magic is augmented by this beautiful red stone.
Power (Consumable ✦Fire): Free Action. Expend this
reagent when you use a power with the fire keyword of
up to 7th level. Each target takes ongoing 5 fire damage
(save ends).

All Shall Burn!

Just as the tale telling starts, the room begins to shake. Fissures form throughout the room and walls. Freezing cold gases erupt from the cracks. “Holy Shining Hammer!” the grizzled dwarf erupts himself. “The Stonehome’s been gettin’ more and more unstable since those damned devils opened the portal. The icy cold of Hell and the icy cold of Mt. Hol’dna weren’t meant to meet! Run for your lives, me saviours. It would be a poor turn for me if you died just as you finished getting me saved. Worry not for me. I’ve survived this mountain for long. You must flee now or suffer an icy grave.”

With that, he turns to the anvil itself, says a prayer, and vanishes. The anvil glows with a warm red color.

There is little time to study this as freezing icicles erupt from some of the fissures. One just misses Erik between the legs. Only his quick reflexes same him from a ghastly fate. Another scrapes across Rift’s arm (Rift takes 12 hp of cold damage). The others are away from the icicle eruptions at the moment.

DM: What do you do?

All Shall Burn!

Needless to say, Erik is quite alarmed at the proximity of the icicle to his most precious jewels. Another inch and it could have gotten nasty. That’s enough for Erik and he leads the group out of the chamber, through the tunnels and out of the mountain.

The group rests outside the cavern’s entrance. What is the situation with light and the weather? If needed, the group will make camp in the nearest place that’s good for both observation and defense. Erik would take first watch.

All Shall Burn!

Rift quickly studies the anvil. With her arcana skills, is she able to determine how Wardin was able to use the anvil to escape?

Failing that, did he leave anything useful behind, like his hammer that he used to re-forge the shield? If so, we grab it and the other items we found, and run for it!

All Shall Burn!

Felsmon suggests that we get out of here before more ice comes.

All Shall Burn!

As the adventurers tear out of the mountain, ice blasts and thick freezing liquids trail behind them. Despite the dangers, Rift cannot help but wonder how Wardin disappeared. “It was like a Portable Hole, almost. But, then, it could have been a dimension door. But, to where? No, it was more like a Portable Hole. Too bad that there wasn’t anything else good in the room. He took his hammer with him.”

The wizard doesn’t have much time for contemplation, though, as the group dodges shards of ice that seemingly launch from the floor, walls, and ceilings of the passages and rooms. Most are able to dodge, but the Dwarf is hampered for just moment, perhaps thinking of the ancient one they left behind. A stalactite of ice penetrates his armor. (Barrick takes 15 hp of damage). Felsmon is just able to stop a few with his thick new shield. Without it, he is sure that his reflexes would have missed some of the icy shards.

The remainder of the party stays on their toes and avoids the freezing points that are coming from every which way.

After what seems like an eternity of constantly dancing around, up and over ice and freezing liquid, the party finds itself outside of Mt. Hol’dna. Thick, white liquid gushes out the top of the mountain and pours down the sides. The earth shakes. Out the entrance, a solid block of ice advances. A safe distance away, the party watches as the ice reaches about 30 staff lengths away from the base, spreads out about 40 staff lengths to each side, and then stops. The liquid ceases flowing and freezes in place. The Mountain of Ice is now encased.

Taking stock of the area, Felsmon realizes that they are about half a day’s march east of the path he used to cross the Dawnforge mountains south of Kengistan. Erik realizes that they are probably about three-quarters of a day west of Fort Dolor and the road back to Kengistan or to the dwarven wizard Berune (whose books the wise ranger recalls are sitting in the bag of holding, having been found below the temple in the room of Lorvas the Necromancer and Lacertil the Dracomen several weeks ago).

DM: Which way do you go?

All Shall Burn!

“Friends, let’s head off to see Berune. I’m sure he will be pleased to recover his books, and perhaps he can use his magic to shorten our journey back to Kengistan.”

All Shall Burn!

“Aye”, replies Erik, “May Berune’s magics or the swift feet of four-legged beast shorten our journey – I could stand for either. To Berune’s it is.”

All Shall Burn!

As the group journeys to Berune’s, Erik asks who would like the frozen whetstone and who would like the stone flame.

All Shall Burn!

Rift ponders the two magic items. “Well, I could always use help with my flame spells, so I’ll take the stone flame if no one objects.”

Rift adds, “Although, since I feel that my time here is limited, perhaps someone else should take it.” She gives Felsmon a queer look. “Felsmon, I feel like we are being watched. What did you say that Z’alden was up to?”

All Shall Burn!

Looking back a Rift felsmon says, “His leg is being restored from our battle with the trolls in the north. Hmm that sound, I could swear, but no it couldnt be. Pay no attention to me my friends i seem to be hearing things on the wind.”

All Shall Burn!

The party’s route takes them past forester’s camps where signs of struggle and a few tell-tale spines and hoof prints suggest that devils have been here. Erik can immediately tell it has been at least 2 days since all of the men in this camp were killed or taken captive.

The remainder of the journey to the main road in western Nerrakis passes without incident. It is currently twilight. The party realizes that they have been on this road before, as they are quite close – just to the north – of Fort Dolor.

As they proceed, Erik’s keen ears can hear the sound of chain mail around a bend just up ahead. The sound is coming towards them. There is easy cover of trees and rocks around.

DM: What does the party do?

All Shall Burn!

“We have nothing to hide. I say we stand in the middle of the road. Spells and weapons at the ready, of course.”

All Shall Burn!

Erik does not at all like the idea of the ever so “charming” Rift out front as official greeter. He nudges Tira to the front and encourages Felsmon and Barrick to be at her side. With those three up front, Erik and Rift take positions behind. Erik’s moonbow is in kept in walking-stick form, yet is kept ready to be transformed into the might weapon that it really is.

All Shall Burn!

Around the corner come six Nerrakin soldiers dressed in chainmail. Three are dwarves with crossbows in their hands and short swords. Three are humans with long swords and shields. None are familiar to you. All have the look of seasoned veterans. Upon seeing you, one is clearly disturbed and mutters something to the others, who all nod. They stop at 5 staff lengths distance from Tira.

Looking straight at Felsmon, the one steps forward and says,“I am Lieutant Standfor of Captain Revince’s platoon at Fort Dolor. Kengi dragonborn are forbidden in Nerrakis. You are all under arrest. Drop your weapons and come with me.”

DM: Do you comply? Any actions?

All Shall Burn!

Felsmon Replys, “No, we shall not drop our weapons, we have just eliminated a large invasion of devils and are returning to my homeland to report back our mission success, the devils and yaun-ti have been defeated. We wish not to harm you so please let us pass.”

All Shall Burn!

Lieutenant Standfor shifts nervously. “Devils, you say? Sergeant Shantar told us of great heroes that freed him, his men, and several Nerrakin woodsmen and miners from devils who held them prisoner. The devils have been a bane upon this region for weeks.” He starts out with certainty," He described his saviors to us clearly," and then his voice trembles and his eyes widen, “and you match his description precisely.” Standfor jabs his second in the ribs and mutters,“Why didn’t you tell me that these were the rescuers? Idjit.”

Bowing slightly, Standfor says, “Gentlefolk, you must understand that I had no idea. Unfortunately, Sergeant Shantar failed to mention that one of his rescuers sported Kengi heraldry. For a Kengi to be in Nerrakis is punishable by death, as per the treaty of Overlook. I cannot let you go further, but out of respect for your accomplishments, we will escort you to the border road and wish you well.”

DM: What do you do?

All Shall Burn!

The magic items that Z’alden recieved were as follows
Symbol of Changing paths

Level 14 3
Implement (Holy Symbol)
Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d8 damage per plus (
Only one of this holy symbol’s daily powers can be use each day
Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit
with an attack using this holy symbol. The target gains
vulnerable 5 to all attacks until the start of your
next turn.
Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit
with an attack using this holy symbol. Each ally within
2 squares of you gains a +1 power bonus to all defenses
until the end of your next turn.
Armor of Sacrifice
Lvl 10 +2
Armor: Chain
Enhancement: AC.
Power (At-Will): Minor Action. Use this power when you
are adjacent to an ally who is subject to an effect that a
save can end. The ally is no longer affected, and you now
have the effect. You cannot make a saving throw against
this effect until the end of your next turn.
Power (Daily ✦ Healing): Minor Action. Spend a healing
surge. One ally within 5 squares of you regains hit points
as though he or she had spent a healing surge.

All Shall Burn!
rplayer gorthmog

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