Gnomish Adventure

Dragonshade
Lord Rivan's Treachery

We woke in Dragonshade to find stitches gone without a word or trace. After questioning GW he told us he’d been sent by the Council of Druids to deliver a secret message to him. I figured he’d been called off on some business, and we decide to keep on with our quest.
Within the Toad and Stool, a local bar, we spoke with some of the local guardsmen. One of them pointed us to a local Lord, Rivan, who is known to hire adventurers to search local ruins.
His estate is located about 30 minutes outside of town, in a partially collapsed tower growing out of the base of the DragonJaw Mountains. When we arrived we were greeted by some of his guardsmen, who ask us to wait until the Lord is ready to see us. They seem harmless enough but something about their demeanor seemed off, as if they were on edge, maybe expecting someone else? We sat around the central fountain and awaited our summons.

Lord Rivan has asked us to deal with a Kobold problem they’ve been having. They’ve been able to stop their raids with minimal loss but can never get them all before they scurry off into their hidden tunnels. As time has passed their attacks have become more frequent and he fears that if he doesn’t find a permanent solution to this problem they’ll become emboldened a become a true threat. As we agree to take the job and toast to our good luck, I feel a stranger stupor take over me, and I know treachery is afoot. My whole world becomes darkness.

I awaken in a large cavern, stalactites line the ceiling. Theres two braziers in the distance, and a large stone door beyond that. All our gear has been taken from us. Devlin used his divine powers and could feel many evil sources moving along the ceiling. As we look around the room we find a few rusted weapons to arm ourselves, preparing ourselves for whats to come. A chant slowly builds up in volume in the cavern, first as a whispering in the background but now I can hear it coming from within my skull. I quickly look over the door, trying to figure out how to get us out, but I know our time is running out. Kobolds begin to descend down upon us. We fought through nearly two dozen of the filthy beats before we had a chance to get out bearings. Once we’d scavenged what we could from their bodies i began to try and open the giant stone door in front of us. My first attempts to pick the door with some bone hair pins failed, but once i tried to use my electric powers the door budged and began to open. Within was a chained Blue dragon, static but still ferocious. As the door opened he howled with rage, sending a bolt of lighting at Devlin which knocked him bac with force. Seeing no other choice we began to move in the other direction, eventually finding a gate at the far end. GW managed to steal a keyring off the guard and open the gate, and we quickly took down the guards waiting at the bottom. Now we prepare to climb the stairs back up and see where else this adventure takes us.

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The Revengence of the Lobster Men
Stitches' Sea Journal

After defeating the giant lobster thingy that lived inside the ship, we ventured forth into the jungles towards the inside of the island only to stumble upon a horde of lobster men chanting around stone structures. Devlin tried to make friends but the stench of their fallen friend made them quite mad. We retreated. Defeating one lobster was hard enough. All of the sudden , in the middle of running away, the island started flooding. Grout tried to cover our escape by casting some fog, but in doing so was left behind. Most of us made it to the ship in time before it all flooded, but Grout was left behind swimming as best as he could. The lobster tried to grab him but thankfully failed. Grout finally made it back on board in one piece. then a storm came and we anchored the ship. Who knows whats waiting for us outside. It is known that storms bring monsters. It is known…

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The Island (Stitches' Sea Journal)

We found a strange island on our journey. The captain didn’t recognize it. Professor nerd could not explain it from the charts either. We had to check it out! Forest justice is slow. The Hafling will get it soon enough. We found a ship on the island too ! As soon as we approached it a ghost voice told us to stop. Then, out of nowhere, a giant crab creature attacked us. I guess the monster was living there or something. Devlin, like always, took the brunt of the lobster’s attacks. It grappled him hard. I summoned a lion that pounced on the thing and almost tore it to shreds. Luckso used his dirty arcane magics and shanked the beast with that new dagger of his. But it was Grout that finished the lobster off with his ice powers. Hopefully the captain and nerd face didn’t see that. Lobster dinner for everyone!

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Stitches' Sea Journal.
(The first three days at sea)

The water surrounds me. My bloodline has proven of little use. Sure I can sustain life with it almost indefinitely if combined with my other magical abilities, but I cant douse myself in water and smite my enemies! I mean I could but… I saw Devlin shoot fire down his throat! He just nonchalantly burped smoke afterwards and cured his illness. His fire even has healing properties! I must train. I must control the water…In other news/casual observations Grout is getting chummy with some muscular tattooed guy (didn’t know that was his type), Luckso keeps trying to get the crew to gamble, and Devlin seems to have gone into a Maya related trance. Oh yeah, almost forgot, we also defeat our first sea monster :) Totally not natural. It was a dirty dirty magical creature I’m sure! Dont know why that captain wants us to obtain a specimen for him. We also saw some ships. I don’t care about that, but I guess is worth noting. Oh yeah Cottonballs is going on my shit list. Fuck that guy.

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The tomb of Githmaster Boris
Straight Chillin

As the door closed behind us we knew we had no choice but to follow this quest to its end. The room ahead was filled with snow, yet the the chill seemed to reach down to our bones. As we approached a hill in the distance Devlin seemed to be unnerved by something. Soon afterwards I began to hear whispers in my head reminding me of my greatest fears and failures. I could feel the will draining from my body. As we reached the summit we could see large stone covered in arcane and elven sigils. I could only make out some of the story carved upon its surface. It spoke of Githmaster Boris, a great mage from the north who brought his arcane secrets with him. He is sealed here for all eternity to ensure his dangerous magiks are kept in check. As I explained this to the party a great evil revealed itself above us. A ghastly form appeared, with hands worn down to sharp bone claws and feet worn down to a nub. He emitted a dreadful howl as we prepared to fight.

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Into the Beavers Den
Everyday I'm smugglin

We were sent by the town guard to a local den of iniquity to try and find information about The Keepers of the Oath. While at “the beavers den” Devlin made contact with (the madam) and got us a job working for this devious gang. Our first job involved protecting a caravan with unknown contents on the way to (city). On our way there we were attacked by a group of bandits and a pair of rust monsters.

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Storm-Peace
The long road to Elbulder

Grout Pebblekin and Devlin had only met each other a few days back. When the official delivered their calls to service, they were in close enough proximity to each other that he introduced them. They were able to prepare for the journey together and make the journey south from the Maerthwatch to Elbulder.

After a week of relatively uneventful travel, the weather has turned unmistakably dangerous. The wind and rain drive so hard that you’ve had to leave the safety of the road to be able to walk at all, lightning cracks frequently, and sporadic hail threatens injury. Fortunately you were able to spy some rock outcroppings in a hill from a high tree branch. Upon closer inspection you recognize it as the ruins of a building of some sort. The light of a fire flickers from the barely-open entryway to the structure.

STORM-PEACE!” Grout calls out, observing the ancient custom of peace (even among the lawless) during great storms. “storm peace!” they hear repeated back to them, barely audible over the storm. They enter cautiously.

Inside they find a female gnome in heavy white and gold robes and armor. Clearly a cleric of Garl. She greets them and they dry off by the fire. The storm only seems to be intensifying. After a short rest, their visiting is interrupted by a call from outside. “STRM-PIZZ!” They respond as quickly as they can, readying their weapons all the same, as a fourth gnome wearing a heavy cloak and carrying a longbow makes his way in.

It turns out that Grah is on the same journey as Devlin and Grout, summoned by the council. Ellywick is also on her way to Elbulder, having returned from a dispatch by her order. With four now present, they are able to maintain a good fire, and share in rations. Grout takes time to examine the building they are in, and it seems to be of ancient design. There are writings along the walls in a language nobody can decipher. Large doors are visible on each of the three intact walls. Having settled over the aeons, the doors bear the weight of the doorway sagging down onto it.

Eventually sleep and a night watch begins.

A blinding flash of light is followed immediately by a shockwave that nearly extinguishes the travelers’ campfire. All are rousted from sleep and prepare for the worst as the foundation of their sanctuary continues to shudder. At once, stone shatters out of the 3 doorways, providing rough entries into the passages beyond. Before an investigation can be launched though, dire rats begin streaming out of the passages.

A hammer swing, an axe slash, an arrow’s sting. The rats fall.

Exploring first to the room to the leftof the entrance, the heroes find a statue resembling the sarcophagus of a giant humanoid. As they approach a strange evil creature shrieks out and flys at them. Swat, smash, plunk, pop, it lays on the ground oozing a green luminescent goo.

Before anyone can do more than turn their nose in disgust, Grah drops down and starts scooping some up, seemingly knowledgeable in some alchemy unknown to the others. … or not, he lets out a yelp as it burns most of the way through his gloves and singes his fingers. “…ok, yea, bad stuff”. “Has anyone ever seen something like that before?” asks the inquisitive Grout, poking at it with a recovered crossbow bolt. A round of negative gestures spreads across the rest like a wave. Something glints out of the goo.

Poking more carefully, Grout fishes it out with the bolt and rubs the polished stone ring clean revealing ancient writing. As he does it begins to shrink down, reducing by half, then half again, until it could slip right onto a gnomish finger. The writing morphs before his eyes, and he can read it as though it were gnomish: “Ring of Understanding”.

The opposing hallway beckons to them and the rush in to find a chest on a low altar. Darts fly out as it is flipped open, deftly dodged by our heroes. Within, stray coins and precious gems. Nothing overly worthwhile, but in the traditional style it is noted for sharing afterward.

“Only one way left” Devlin points out. After a long hallway, they find themselves toe to toe with some just-roused Orcs that they valiantly slay. “They should have said storm-peace” muses Devlin, fitting himself with some leather belt strapping off one of the Orcs. Search of the room indicates that they entered this area of the ruins through the tower above.

Some time is spent making a climb up the ruins into the tower to explore. Grah makes it up and finds more evidence of orcish habitation. He makes haste back in as the the storm makes its presence more well-known in this exposed area.

Continuing down the hall, a narrow sidepassage is visible. Once a full hall, partially crumbled to barely allow an orc to pass through. Webs occlude further vision down the passage. Fear gives way to curiosity (as it usually will) and webs are cut down clearing the passageway. A monstrous spider blocks their way, but not very well. Bodies covered in web seem to have been orcs or hobgoblins in the past. Some minor treasure was found on them.

The final room at the end of the hall is dominated by a large stone table, on it a large body. About 8ft tall, and undoubtedly humanoid, it’s not similar to any race known to the gnomes. Gold glints and sparkles on the floor and adorning the corpse. After some ransacking, a rumbling is heard and the stone table breaks flinging the body to the floor… to its feet. Ellywick calls upon her training and blasts out with divine positive energy, causing the undead creature to flee. Arrows and bolts fly at it, and Devlin makes a smiting charge.

Armed, and possessing great fortitude, the creature was clearly not a warrior in life or unlife. Once it falls, Ellywick performs some rites “It’s safe now, this thing won’t be animated again.” Grout finds a strange weapon scabbarded on the creature’s side. It seems completely unaffected by the passage of time. Triangular and engraved on most of its length, it comes to a fine thrusting point at the end. It feels masterfully balanced in his hand. ‘Toothpick’ is written on the side in the language of the ancients.

“It looks like we’ve secured all the rooms.” Ellywick says, sounding relieved and tired. “Yup, but we should probably barricade the entrance to this area in case any orcs decide to come in from the top” Grah pitches in. Less than an hour later, they’re back to resting, ever more wary of the dangers the world has to offer. Is this the life of an adventurer?

For those curious, this adventure was based off the premade ’A Dark and Stormy Knight’ available free from Wizards on their website. It was rethemed for the setting, with encounters and treasures being different. To get an idea of my workings, you might be interested to look it up and see how it differs from what you remember.

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Prologue to Adventure
In which the first adventures are set up

The Chondalwood is, overall, a peaceful land. It is one of the few places in the known realms where gnomes have established long term homes, but has suited them well. The Council of Elbulder typically does very little in the way of interfering with the lives of the common folk, existing primarily to resolve trade disputes and coordinate guild cooperation. From time to time though, the council also has to deal with more grave concerns. Banditry, natural disasters, aberrant magics, incursions from neighboring powers, or even the building of a dam or road repair can all become the purview of the council if a request for aid is made. Now is such a time.

For such reasons, the council sends out requests for exceptional citizens from each county to report to Elbulder to be grouped and dispatched where needed. Few refuse the call, as it is seen as a great honor and a fast track to adventure, even if the service is only mundane in nature.

You have been chosen by your community leaders as exemplary and capable of assisting your fellow gnome. You’ve answered the call, and with all due haste make your way to Elbulder.

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