Skylords

Scourge of the Howling Horde, Part III
Things take a turn for the worst...

Having barricaded themselves within the stone shrine-room of the Howling Caves, the party considers their next moves. Working furiously for several hours, Kurginn is able to decipher the Druidic journals, which suggest that the entire Skavenoid tribe is under the tyrannical control of a black dragon, Noak, that recently inhabited the Howling Caves. The journal also mentions that the author planned to travel to a nearby Human mage’s tower, who had been summoning “horned things” to harnass their power. In the final journal entry, the Skavenoid druid laid out his plans to kill the mage and usurp his power.

Meanwhile, back at Barrow’s Edge, the gnome rogue Ella has met another adventurer, Hugr, an Avyan sorcerer. Together, they venture towards the Howling Caves, losing their way in the surrounding forests, only to be captured by Skum patrols and taken to the caves, unconscious and bound.

Hugr wakes in a dark, dank cellar within the caves, where a helpful female Skaar, Urrtarr, aids him in escaping. She tries to implore him to help her, or help her tribe… Unfortunately, a language barrier prevents further communication.

Urrtarr leads the Avyan sorcerer to a safe room inside the cave complex, where she instructs him to wait for her return. Shortly afterwards, the rest of the adventurers remove the barricade on the shrine room door – and encounter Hugr for the first time. Together, the party moves deeper into the caves to rescue Ella, but is ambushed by a Skum & his pet dire weasel in the process. Chaos ensues, as our heroes struggle to decide what to do next, while Hugr meets privately with Urrtarr, Kurginn, and the unnamed warforged. Meanwhile, Ravenclaw sets fire to a wooden door leading deeper into the caves, which draws the ire of Urrtarr. The flames are quickly doused.

Urrtarr explains the situation in detail to Ravenclaw & Ella. She implores the party to help the tribe by defeating Noak. The dragon, she insists, is the cause of the recent increase in raids and hostile activity by the tribe, and that by defeating Noak, the tribe’s attacks on the nearby village would cease. She tells the group that she will return to the rest of the tribe and draw their attention for as long as possible, giving the party time to escape through a dark section of the caves that the Skavenoids don’t enter, for fear of giant spiders that inhabit it. This route, she explains, would lead deeper into the caves, to Noak’s lair.

The adventurers reluctantly agree to this plan, and head into the spider-infested howling caverns. Only moments later, they are ambushed by a monstrous spider, and, nearly losing the warforged fighter, they retreat back to the stone shrine room nearby. There, they are assaulted by waves of Skavenoids, and they succeed only in barricading themselves inside the room, their assailants clabbering and scratching at the great stone doors…

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Scourge of the Howling Horde, Part II
The adventure continues...

Secured behind a self-imposed barricade in the small guard room at the entrance to the Howling Caves, our adventurers bunkered down for a long night, eager to rest and refresh their spells after a grueling fight in the antechamber. Little did they know, however, that the Skum inhabiting the caves had their own machinations at work.

Some 6 hours into the night, Ella felt an uncomfortable heat pouring into the small cave room via the antechamber. Curious, she opened the solid wooden door leading outside, and great columns of hot and acrid smoke poured into the room, filling it almost immediately. While most of the party choked and coughed on the hot fumes, both the unnamed automaton and Philoctetes seemed largely unaffected. Only Ella’s quick wit in fashioning a makeshift gasmask from wet cloth saved her from suffocation. Grabbing for their gear, the party immediately fled from the room, through the antechamber and past a large bonfire and out of the cave mouth – and directly into a Skum ambush!

Fighting off the ambush as well as they could, the party decided to return to [[Barrow’s Edge[[ to regroup. Once there, Ella elected to stay behind in order to recover from her grueling brush with death. While in the hamlet, the party finds and is recruited by a fellow adventurer; the Avyan ranger, Ravenclaw, who joins our heroes as they return to the caves to resume their adventure.

They find the cave entrance to be much more heavily guarded, but through great tactical fighting they press through the antechamber. Once within they encounter a champion of the Skum – a Skaven fighter called Laughing Dog, who nearly defeats the party before he is slain.

The cave network opens into an exceptionally well-crafted hallway, with flagstones and smooth stone masonry on the wall, obviously not of Skum craftsmanship. Once within the tunnels themselves, our adventurers find a small alcove guarded by two undead Skum, where they find some magic potions and a series of Druidic journal entries written in a crude bastardization of Druidic. Kurginn sets to work on deciphering the script immediately. Directly across the hall from the small room, they also find a ruined stone shrine, where a magical font is discovered which heals the party from their wounds. The shrine, covered by plaster engraved with sinister markings, holds several secrets: the plaster is cracked and removed to reveal that the shrine is to the Dwarven god Moradin – an unprecedented and astounding find, since no Dwarf has ever been known to worship any deity for as long as anyone can recall. Additionally, a magically trapped compartment in the altar reveals a cache of armor, weapons, and potions, which the party takes. Finally, scrolls hidden in the compartment suggest that these tunnels were built by the Dwarves to guard against some terrible secret hidden beneath, in passages called the Underdark, but no mention of what that secret could be, or where these Underdark passages are, can be found in the mysterious writs.

Our heroes secure the shrine against attackers by barricading the great stone doors leading back to the tunnel network, and prepare to rest from another grueling day of slaying Skum…

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Scourge of the Howling Horde
The first session begins...

The world Caelus is entering a new era of exploration and discovery. The age of sail has begun, and the various empires of Humans, Avyans, Haflings and Dwarfs – The Skylords – are just beginning their outward expansion and exploration of nearby skylands. Great wooden sailboats, kept aloft by an ancient magic metal called [[]Aurit]e, carry explorers and settlers across the skies, where exotic lands and plentiful spoils await those brave enough to seek them out.

In the skydock city of Lock Harbour, four adventurers seek fame and glory. A mysterious living construct in the semblance of man – a stalwart defender of whoever holds his control rod. The holder of his rod is Kurginn, a Dwarf druid exiled from his people for his worship of nature and research of the old ways. There is also Ellamorspin Gimbranger, a spry young Gnome rogue, fleeing from a forced marriage and seeking out her own fortune and destiny; and finally, Philoctetes, a wise Gnome cleric of Garl Glittergold, mischievous but kind-hearted.

Our adventure begins with the intrepid party meeting on a dirt road leading into Barrow’s Edge, a small hamlet on the Skyland of Trell’s Hope, a frontier world just recently discovered by the Skylord empires. The people of Barrow’s Edge have sent out a call for help in dealing with a menacing tribe of Skum that have begun raiding the small settlement at night, stealing valuables and killing villagers. Along the road to Barrow’s Edge, the group came across an unsettling scene: an overturned merchant’s wagon; its Avyan guards under attack by Skum raiders. After a short skirmish, the raiders lay dead and the wagon’s owner appears from hiding; a Gnome merchant named Sten Goodseller, who gratefully thanks the party for saving her life and asks to accompany them to Barrow’s Edge. However, the road ahead was still not safe…

The party was ambushed near twilight the same day by another Skum – this one a Druid, with a mangy wolf companion! After a fierce battle, in which Kurginn’s squid companion was slain, the Skum was vanquished and its pet left in the wilderness to fend for itself. Finally, after these tribulations, our heroes arrived at Barrow’s Edge, greeted with a warm welcome by the villagers there.

After exploring the town, and learning more about the Skum threat, the adventurers set out for the Howling Caves, a mountain range less than a day’s travel from the village, where the Skum threat is believed to have originated. Before leaving town, Kurginn successfully befriends a small skyshark as his new animal companion.

At the Howling Caves, the party finds a cave entrance guarded by Skum raiders, whom they defeat in an intense battle that leaves most of their spells spent. They barricade themselves in a small artificial room just inside the mouth of the cave, blocking off both entrances with furniture, and bunker down for a long night…

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