Birthright: Rise of the Kingmakers

Session 26: Liberating the platinum... mine

August 11-12, 561 H.C.

Present: Brian, Jess, Ken, Ron, Jen, John; Absent: Dave

Current Goal: capture and hold a fort in the Esmersdan province of Kiergard until the Prince’s men can arrive to reinforce it (approximately August 17).

Secondary Goal: (as quested by The Gorgon’s Wife) find and destroy/disable the temple to Azrai and fortress used by The Eyeless One in the Dark Roads of Kiergard.

Last Session Recap: after meeting with and joining up with Jayanti & Lvarien, the newcomers explained they had escaped capture by a group of Gorgon-controlled villagers. During a short-lived escape attempt by the orogs, Jayanti displayed her substantial combat spell-casting powers. Back on the surface, the group found that the elven queen and The Gorgon’s Wife had left. But The Little Girl was there, and she interrogated the orogs sufficiently: they explained that the “main” dark road lead to a ravine where surface-dwellers grew crops for The Eyeless One’s troops. The ravine evidently had “stones that were not to be touched”, indicating a potential entrance to the temple to Azrai that the group was searching for. The orogs also indicated that The Eyeless One’s fortress was beyond the ravine. Jayanti and Lvarien’s map showed this, to some extent. The next morning, Johan departed on orders from The Little Girl, taking his share of the loot. The group headed back into the dark roads, working past various obstacles, eventually running into the dwarves that Jayanti and Lvarien had partnered with when they escaped from the evil villagers.

Game date: August 11, 561 (Brecht)

A dwarf named Hayer Anvilbeard came to discuss the group’s intentions. After some review, the dwarf was not keen on helping this group of human adventurers. But Lvarien felt strongly that the group should go and “shut down” the platinum mine that the Gorgon’s orogs were using to fund The Eyeless One’s plans. Hayer was eventually convinced to loan a few of his sappers to help block off the mine after the group had rid the place of its orog guards.

After Hayer left, Lvarien noted that he had placed a special mirror in the scribe’s bag before she left. He explained that the mirror was enchanted to capture the things going on around it – though he wasn’t sure of the detail on how it worked. He managed to convince a dwarf servant to take him to the scribe so he could try to get it back. With a clever bit of distraction, he retrieved it unbeknownst to the scribe.

Jayanti spent a long while praying and performing various rituals, and then informed the group that she needed some extended rest to prepare for the coming day’s events. Evidently she was preparing a significant blessing for herself that would bolster all of her abilities.

That night, during Vendar’s and Jenneken’s watch, the woodsman got a strange sensation. Reaching out with his special connection to the environment, he could sense a building tension. Jayanti awoke suddenly, disturbed by bad dreams. Jenneken’s magic ring – the one attuned to magic ley lines – felt oddly warm. Nick awoke Almira to ask her what was going on. After some magical inspection, she explained that some powerful force was actively moving the ley line in the area. Fighting through a painful headache caused by the magical disturbance, Jayanti explained that The Eyeless One did have some magical powers, but would probably need help to pull off a feat like moving a ley line. Sadly, the disturbance ruined her blessing enchantment that she was working on earlier.

Game date: August 12, 561 (Brecht)

After resting, Darryl – the dwarf the Jayanti and Lvarien escaped with a few days earlier – and a few dwarven sappers arrived to join the group in attempting to take over and sealing off the platinum mines.

With the dwarves leading the way, it took about half a day to make their way from the hidden dwarven stronghold to the entrance to the platinum mines, a bit slower than expected due to Lvarien’s and Almira’s troubles navigating through some small and twisty passages.
Jayanti explained how the slaves in the mine were organized, as this was where she and Lvarien were taken after being captured on the surface. Lvarien explained there were several dozen prisoners, but were unsure about the number of guards – he didn’t see very many when they were there before.

Heading toward the food storage area the group slowed as they began to hear activity ahead. Nick crept ahead and saw several bedraggled miners working at a platinum vein. Jenneken went ahead and convinced the workers that the jerky she shared with them had “mushroom dust” on it, harmless other than causing hallucinations. The workers bought the story and didn’t seem to care about the large cat, ghost-form Almira, and other less-than-ordinary party members that sauntered by a short while later.

A bit further along there was a large cave with many workers toiling away. Rather than spinning another tale, Almira dropped her ghost spell and Vendar returned to his human form. Even so, many of the workers took notice of the odd group and mumbled amongst themselves. Lvarien approached them and told them that he and his companions intended to set them free, causing a small bit of excitement.

Moving toward the secure area where the food was kept, the group prepared to confront the orog guards. After Almira and Jayanti cast several enhancements and protection spells on themselves and the others, the companions charged into the room…

With Almira spider-climbing along the ceiling, the rest of the group charged across the floor to the doors that they thought led to the orog guards. When Nick reached the doors (after a deft leap over a row of carts), two giant spiders appeared with a flash of light!

Despite suffering poisonous bite from one of the creatures, Jayanti managed to respond with a scimitar slice that severed several of the spider’s legs. Lvarien then stepped up and finished off the creature with his longsword. Lion-Vendar tried to pounce on the other spider, but couldn’t grapple the nimble vermin. From the ceiling Almira released several of her meteor-like projectiles, badly burning the spider by Vendar. Jayanti stepped over and drove her scimitar into the creature’s thorax, killing it.

From her position on the ceiling, Almira noticed a hole there, smelling of sulphur. After she yelled a warning, the door by Nick opened a bit and two crossbow bolts flew out at Jayanti, effectively canceling her shielding charm.

Two more giant spiders appeared, one on the ceiling by Almira and Lvarien. Almira managed to avoid the creature’s fangs, and then blasted the monster with some of her mini-meteors. Lvarien was bitten, and strong poison coursed into his blood. Jayanti hopped over to cast a quick healing spell on her partner, allowing Lvarien to slash the spider’s head, killing it.
Nick and Lion-Vendar struggled to open the levered door, but couldn’t overpower whatever was holding it shut. Just behind them, streams of hot embers poured from holes in the ceiling, splashing near Lvarien and Jenneken. Both managed to jump out of the way, narrowly escaping the burning coals.

Summoned monsters continued to appear, this time two giant rats. Both appeared next to Lion-Vendar. He avoided one of their snapping jaws, but the other latched on painfully. Almira came to the rescue again, burning one of the rats with her flaming mini-meteors and toppling it over.

Having finally managed to get the door open, a giant, club-weilding orog appeared in entryway. Nimbly dodging the brute’s club, Nick chopped at with his shadow axe but was rebuffed by the creature’s heavy armor. True to her dedication to the god of battle, Jayanti bellowed a battle cry and charged at the orog with her scimitar, finding a gap in the creature’s arm armor.

Lion-Vendar managed to turn and pounce on the remaining giant rat, pinning it to the ground. Another gout of burning coals poured from the holes in the ceiling, but most of the group was bunched around the door fighting the giant orog so it did little to harm the heroes.

Nick’s axe once again bounced off the giant orog’s armor, but Jayanti found better luck. Still crazed with battle-lust, her blessed scimitar bit deeply through the brute’s armor, causing it to bleed badly. She was rewarded with two crossbow bolts aimed her way, both of which were mostly turned aside by her armor. The one that did make it through burned strangely, indicating some kind of poison.

Gray tentacles shout out from behind the giant orog, grasping at Nick and Jayanti. The lad side-stepped the sticky strands and though grabbed, the paladin quickly broke free. Nick distracted the giant orog just enough to allow Jayanti to finish it off.

The group started to pour into the room beyond the levered door, hoping to avoid the assault from the orogs that were firing at them from an opening in the far wall. Nick charged in, avoiding the tentacles, chopping at one of the orogs in the front. It cried out as it tumbled to the floor. Jayanti also tried to charge in, but this time the gray tentacles bound her fast.
Vendar resumed his human form for a moment, then changed into his small owl form, allowing him to fly over the tentacles and land near the door that hopefully lead to the room where the orogs where fighting from. Jennken cast a spell, causing a rainbow burst of ribbons to envelop Jayanti. The paladin was boosted with an extra measure of strength, allowing her to break free from the grasping tentacles.

As Nick stumbled while trying to crawl through the hole into where the orogs were, a massive creature of fire appeared in the room amidst the heroes. Lvarien and Almira were terrified and fled, Jenneken and Jayanti were concerned but not afraid, and Vendar noticed that the flaming incarnation didn’t smell right – an illusion?

As Nick got into the far room and back on his feet, Jayanti scrambled around the tentacles and moved to the door that led to the orogs. Owl-Vendar flew through the fire creature, crying out, “It’s not real!” Jayanti was still not convinced, but the others saw through the phantasm.

Nick and one of the orogs traded blows, with Nick’s armor turning aside the brute’s heavy mace. The lad’s axe fared better with its blow, chopping hard into the orog’s armor. With various encouragements from her companions, Jayanti finally saw through the fire-creature illusion and used her renewed focus to break through the door.

As Nick, Jayanti and Lvarien moved to engage the orogs in the small back room, Vendar and Jenneken moved to climb a flight of stairs that led up and turned to enter a room above. With a low mumble from one of the orogs, the entire area was plunged into darkness. Jayanti quickly responded with a spell of her own, calling light from her holy symbol. Lavarien continued to struggle to make solid contact with his longsword, but Nick landed a deep chop on one of the orogs, killing it.

As owl-Vendar and Jenneken climbed the darkened stairs, they suddenly found the stairwell full of sticky webs. Vendar managed to avoid the strands, and Jenneken was also able to struggle her way through. She also pulled her “dark flame” torch from her pouch, defeating the summoned darkness.

Using her targeting spell from her position on the ceiling, Almira managed a glory shot with her crossbow, spearing an orog’s weapon from its hand. Nick and Jayanti continued to hack into the orogs, eventually killing the last of them.

In the upper room, Jenneken saw several shackled humans shoveling hot coals from smelters into holes in the floor. Vendar noticed a flickering in the far corner of the room, but couldn’t spot anything specific. Jenneken used her glitter spell where Vendar indicated, but nothing was revealed. They noticed a heavily bared and locked door adjacent to the stairwell.

Lvarien burned the webs out of the stairwell with a torch, and owl-Vendar flew back down to the main floor to check for any activity. He noticed a different set of doors slightly ajar. Flying up to the doors, he heard the sound of fast-paced fading footsteps. Flying carefully behind, he saw a slim human holding a staff running down a low, narrow passageway. Vendar flew back to his companions to inform them then returned to his pursuit.
The fleeing wizard had disappeared to the far side of a doorway at the end of the tunnel. Almira conjured her portal through the door, with Jenneken immediately barreling through. Ducking to one side, she lobbed another glitter spell, covering the slim human – and another – with sparkling dust. Nick charged in next, quickly decapitating the shaman’s cohort. Lvarien entered and called out, “You can throw down your weapon or you can die.” The shaman responded by tossing a flask at the group, which promptly exploded into a fireball. Everyone but Lvarien managed to dodge aside, but his armor shielded him from most of the blast.

Nick, his axe ready to strike, shouted, “What should I do?!” Jenneken shouted, “Knock him out!!” With a single deft blow from the flat of Nick’s axe, the shaman crumpled to the ground.

Each member gains 6 Character points!

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