Rotkind

Party Crashers
But will the coach turn into a pumpkin at midnight?

The next morning, our heroes set out to learn more about the hand. After quizzing Freidrich Spitz with regards to who might know something about the gauntlet, the party leaves to speak with a new wizard in town who has been spending a lot of time in the library. The wizard turns out to be Zhu Zhu Pho, erstwhile team mate. Zhu examines the gauntlet and suggests that one way to remove the gauntlet might be to help it accomplish her goals. The party’s next stop is at Monika Meyer’s house. She informs them that Dajani Trall likely has two residences. One is mansion where he schmoozes the local rich & noble classes. The other is where he runs his fence & other shady dealings. The bad news is that Monika couldn’t find the location of the latter location; the good news is that the former mansion is well known, and she was able to secure two invitations to a fancy dress ball to take place that night. Everyone takes off to scope out the mansion, which is a large and luxurious building built into a hillside overlooking the river. While looking around, the guard captain takes notice of them. Thinking quickly, Ulrich informs him that his security is sadly lacking, and that the party could be put at his disposal for this purpose. Over lunch, security chief, who’s name turns out to be Captain Vilenus, interviews them, with Brigg acting as the party’s agent. Brigg convinces him to allow the party to work security that night on a trial basis, and they depart. At this point Zigmund & Brigg split off to look for costumes, and Zigmund manages to pull off a surprisingly attractive woman. The rest of the party goes to the castle to set up an appointment to see another wizard, Grumash. The security squad arrives early and is handed their assignments: Ulrich is assigned to the servant’s entrance, Woodrus to the front, and Eldeth to office. After a few hours, Zigmund & Brigg arrived, fully arrayed in costume. After a brief misstep, wherein Zigmund is identified as being some other than the person who’s name is on the invite (Lord and Lady Selachi), they are admitted, with the guard cheerfully assuming that Ziggy is Brigg’s mistress.

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Back in Town

The party returned to the curio shop, where they informed Freidrich Spitz, the proprietor, of what happened. Spitz was frustrated and refused to pay them, since they couldn’t, in fact, deliver the gauntlet. As they left the shop, Redbear’s keen ears detected the sounds of an argument from within. He sneaked back in time to see Spitz get stabbed by an invisible assailant. The party burst back in and did battle with Dajani Trall, who tried to reclaim the gauntlet – mainly by attempting to kill Brigg. After it appeared that the fight was not going his way, Trall burst out a window and made a run for it. After seeing to Spitz’ health (and receiving a reward) they left to talk to Monika Meyer. Meyer informed them that she’d heard of Dijani before, and that she suspected him of being a fence for the rival thieves guild. When asked for further assistance, she told the party that she’d have to talk to her contacts in the guild; The party would have to wait until the next day to learn more from her. After a bought of carousing amongst the bars, the party stumbled home (literally, in Redbear’s case) to discover that Eldeth’s youngest daughter, [[:rhen] was waiting for them in their rooms. Rhen immediately warned them about a white dragon who was threatening their homeland if the party didn’t make itself seen immediately.

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The Trials

The Party entered the cave. Upon entering, the portal closed and they found themselves trapped with the large stone golem from the lab. The golem informed them that they had completed the first trial, which was a test of wits, and they had two more to complete. The second trial turned out to be a test of strength. Here the party had to fight the monsters from the jars in the lab. After beating them down, they had to face the final test. The final test was enigmatic; they received a vision of the final moments of the sorcerer who had ruled the tower. After the vision faded, the party found the gauntlet they were looking for discarded upon the ground. They party could sense that it was both very powerful and very evil. After some discussion and an attempt to destroy it, Brigg put it on, at which point the golem declared the test “complete” and re-opened the portal. Once through, Brigg discovered that he could not remove the gauntlet.

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In the Labs
A puzzling encounter

Zigmund attempts to contact the jar creature mentally, but finds it to be hostile. Redbear discovers a secret door which leads out to the dungeon – through an iron maiden. After squeezing through, with a few scrapes, Redbear scouts up ahead, where he has a vision of someone indicating that a chained figure is to be taken away. Once the vision clears, he sees a strange creature, (probably undead) apparently trying to communicate with a chained skeleton. The creature notices him, and attacks, along with two zombies that were lurking in the shadows. After a short and furious battle, in which Ulrich helps the undead creatures to “see the light”, the party continues to explore the dungeon. In the warden’s office, they find a mysterious note and a bar with a kind of octagonal crosspiece. Looking back into the laboratory, they see that the large statue or golem has disappeared, and that there is a large marble slab with a kind of summoning circle array on the wall behind them. The party quickly figured out the nature of the puzzle before them, and managed to open a portal to… where? Perhaps a cave?

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To the Dungeons!
In which our heroes kick cultist butt, and encounter some interesting puzzles

The party cautiously storms the tower, managing to ambush one cultist before Brigg blundered into the throne room, where the cult leader, Ash’track, was exhorting his minions to find something. Naturally a fight broke out, and after several setbacks (Woodrus is down again!), the party emerged triumphant. After searching the tower, Redbear discovers a secret door, which leads to a small room with a lever. Being an adventurers, the party pulls the lever, which causes the dias in the throne room to move, revealing a stairway leading into darkness.

Redbear takes point, and the party decends into the darkness… There are the dust covered remains of a bedroom or study. The frame is all that remains of what was once a large four poster bed. There is a wardrobe in one corner, an antique desk a about five feet away from it. Next to the stairwell is a large mirror. There is a caved in fireplace next to the bed. There is a door on the East wall.

Eldeth looks in the mirror, which shows the study as it once was. There are beautiful hangings on the walls, a fire in the fireplace, and a beautiful elven woman behind her, walking towards the door. When the Eldeth turns around, The scene stays as she saw it in the mirror. The woman leans against the door frame, and says in an archaic form of the common tounge;

“Don’t worry so! We will see each other again! I promise!” As she says this, the scene fades back to drab reality.

The party searches the desk, where they find an old, leather bound journal. It is written in old Elvish, and missing many pages. Most of the pages that do remain are damaged and smudged beyond legibility. What can be read is as follows;

”...So far, no success. I know that there must me a solution. I refuse to accept failure!”

“Have had some luck with life transference tec…. ....nfortunatly leaves the donor…”

”...effects not sustained. Must look elsewhere!”

The party leaves the study into a large laboratory. It is very large: about 50ft by 40ft. In the center is a 10’ by 10’ magic circle (Arcane DC 20: The circle is currently set up to aid in the channeling of life energies). At one end is a large table covered in dusty, broken pieces of glass which may have once been test tubes and beakers. Along the walls are eight large dust covered bell jars; one jar has a large crack, and another is smashed open completely. There are footprints in the dust leading away from the jar. Against the back wall is a large statue.

The jars are covered in dust. When Brigg wipes the dust away and looks into the jar, he sees a creature…. WHICH LOOKS BACK AT HIM.

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Into the Blight
In which the party sets meets a new friend. Any many Skeletons

The party clears its name and is allowed to exit the city. Zhu leaves in order to research Verbrantum and the Hand. The party overhears a conversation at a bar discussing how the temple hired a mercinary to accompany an expidition into the blight. At the temple, the head priest confirms the rumor, and mentions that they had expected to hear back from the expidition by now. If the party is going there anyway, could they please check into it?

On the way to the tower, they come across a campsite in some disarray. There is a battle in progress as they rush to the scene. There are zombies fighting amongst the tents, and a line of skeletons approaching. During the battle, two of the surviving members of the temple expidition (for that is indeed what it is) die, but one of them gets right back up again as a Zombie!

Once the party defeats the undead, they introduce themselves to the last surviving member of the expition: a warlock mercinary named The Zoltar. The Zoltar offers to join the group.

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Adventure in the Sewers
When the party gets going, the going gets stinky

The party spoke to the incarcerated thieves guild members under the supervision of their lawyer, Monika Meyer. They learned that a rival organization calling itself “the Hand” has been encroaching on guild territory. The hand appears to be operating from out of the sewers, so that is where they go. Once in the cities sewer system, the party encountered group of the hand, one of whom stole Ulrich’s set of commemorative plates and ran. The party proceeded in hot pursuit, fighting off rats and enormous tentacled horror/sewage filtration systems. Along with the plates, the party also retrieved the key to a strong door that had previously been closed to them. The party barely survived an encounter with a swarm of spiders on the way back to the door. The door led to a hand hideout. After another brief fight, and an amusing intimidation attempt, the party learned that the hand is organized in a “cell” like structure, with no one cell knowing the entire plan. Before their captive expired, they also learned that their leader had once gone to “the tower” to receive orders.

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The Slammer - Part 2

The party awakens after a night of carousing to discover that two of their members are missing. Ulrich and Redbear never came back to the inn where they were staying. As the party finished breakfast, a guards man barged in asking if anyone knew the two missing individuals. After some hemming and hawing the party admitted that yes, maybe they had a passing acquaintance with them. The guard then informed them that their friends (“Traveling companions”, “Acquaintances, really”, “Co-Workers”) had been arrested and were being held at the local guard house. At the guard house, the party convinced the guard captain, Samuel V. Grey to let them investigate the happenings surrounding the arrest and mysterious deaths of their assailants. The party then talks to Torsten Achen, a local priest of Torm who was out with them. According to Torsten, their group had just left a tavern called “The Seedy Dive” (which was surprisingly clean) to throw up in the alley when they were jumped by thieves. No sooner were they attacked, then their attackers were attacked, and then the watch showed up and arrested everyone. That night, they heard one of the groups of attackers screaming and yelling. By morning they were dead. After talking to Torsten, the party ventured down to the morgue to examine the victims bodies. There were six bodies; 2 humans in robes, 3 humans in commoner clothes and one half-orc in leather armor. Each of the victims had what appeared to be the rough shape of a hand burned into the flesh above their hearts. Pho realized that this could have been the channel which allowed someone to trigger their demise. The party then visited Monika Meyer, the thieves’ lawyer. After being escorted in by her Goliath butler/bodyguard Tiny, the party negotiated with Fraulein Meyer to speak to her clients. They agreed to speak to the thieves under Meyer’s supervision. We left the party as they were on their way back to the guard house.

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The Slammer

Previously: the party wrapped up its adventure in the mine.. The party, upon returning home and collecting their rewards, eventually followed some leads to Freidrich Spitz, a (ahem) short human who owns a curiosity shop. Spitz asked the party to find a certain item from some ruins from deep within The Blight. The party has been asked to find a guantlet which is rumored to be located there somewhere. When pressed, Spitz admitted that he does not want the gauntlet for himself, but for a client. He did not reveal the name of his client.

To learn more about the ruins, the party visited the local temple, where Ulrich talked to a local priest of Kord. The priest, Torsten Achen referred him to the head priest in the temple, Callum Harris. Callum filled the party in on some of the background of the area. He also asked them to keep an eye out for a group of clerics that he had dispatched to the area upon hearing disturbing rumors of increased undead activity. His clerics are late reporting in and he is worried about them. Ulrich then went off with Torsten to get drunk and get in a fight in a sleazy dive down by the docks.

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Lorkh Wrap-Up

Previously: At the behest of the young Noble Deitrich Klien, the party cleaned out the Mines of Lorkh. Now the party returns to Battenberg to collect their reward, have a drink, and just maybe drum up their next adventure.

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