Close Encounters of the Polar Kind

Four Choices, Seven Characters
Log 1

The Group

Human Paladin – Ragnar

Half-Orc Monk – Grok

Dwarf Cleric – Taklinn Dankil

Halfling Rogue – Marcus Fluffyfoot

Elf Wizard – Lyari Mythalvarin

Human Ranger – Kielder Maul

Gnome Bard – Wilbury

 

The Characters met together in the village of Entsworth where they heard about two bounties and two areas of interest. Kielder taking the lead asked if anyone wanted to go with him on one of the Bounties to the Urkallan Hills and investigate the troubles plaguing the farmers there.

The group agreed and after a few days, arrived at the Hamlet where Grok scared one of the farmers and the bounty reward was revealed to them. They set out looking for the troublesome creatures (An Orge and some Kobolds) only to find an abandoned farmhouse looted or cleared out by the previous owner.

The one thing they find was a piece of strange meat which confused Marcus and freaked out Ragnar after changing colour and turning briefly into a rat. The land seemed just wrong to the group, the grass was blue and they could see smoke on the horizon, but the smoke was moving in a un-natural way. The strange meat disappeared when everyone had their backs turned to see the smoke.

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The Orge Cave
Log 2

The group decided to head towards the smoke and came upon a cave with a very unusual Orge that had Jet Black skin. Words were shared but any kind of diplomacy was wasted as the Orge then tried to kill them, many were hit by the Orge but it was put down before any serious harm could befall anyone.

Due to the level of injuries the party had receive and the light of day was disappearing, the group decided to retreat back to the farmhouse and recover and start out fresh (or close to fresh) in the morning.

The Party explored more of the cave avoiding being ambushed by Stirges although some friendly fire did happen when Lyari drop-kicked his crossbow onto Taklinn's head!

The group then came upon a trapdoor which seemed to fill with water over time, they also encounter a chest with animated wooden dolls inside them. The fighters of the group held the dolls back long enough to ransack the chest before throwing them back within it.

The group then went down the last route available to them and came across some giant beetles, what the party will do next will be revealed next time.

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Slippery when Wet
Log 3

The group decided on luring out the Beetles to clear the way and it would have worked except the rocky ground was a bit wet; Kielder, Wilbury & Marcus all fell over with Marcus staring into the mouth parts of the nearest beetle and used his 10 foot pole to keep it at bay!

By the time the others had come to his aid (Grok falling on his arse on the way a few times) he had a 6 foot pole. With the beetles defeated the group move onto the next batch of beetles where upon as the commenced combat, they were ambushed themselves by rock centipedes this time!

While Grok showed his awesome moves by not hitting anything in particular, the group slayed the creatures only to find a dead end Lyari cast Detect Magic thinking it might be an illusion but only found that the shield they picked up in the Orge cave was magical.

They returned to the trapdoor only to find the water had drained. The Rogue went-a-scouting and was attacked by some surprised Kobolds who only succeeded in hitting his footprints of where he had been before legging it with javelins.

After a little while the group advanced avoiding a bear trap but seeing no Kobolds just more ambushing Rock Centipedes. The found an underground river, very wide and fairly deep but managed to get across with aid from Grok who made his way across to attach a rope (the Halfling throwing idea was brought up but was quickly dismissed by Marcus).

The group had a choice of two tunnels, one was lit and the other was not. They decided the un-lit tunnel was safer and advanced into it avoiding a net trap but Marcus fumbled with his disabling of the trap and it went off!

None of the group were affected but a rusty old kettle came down crashing and clanging to the floor making the group's ears ring and worrying who else had heard it….

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Close encounters of the Kobold Kind
Log 4

As soon as the clanging stopped there was a march of metal boots from the north corridor, quick as a flash Marcus utilized his bear trap and put it into the corridor, alas the trap was seen and was disarmed by a lucky throw of a sunrod.

8 Kobolds marched in looking like they meant business, alas the combat looked anything but, however the Kobolds did not like what Grok had to say to him and shot him a great wound which left him screaming on the floor.

The Kobolds mostly went down to friendly fire and Grok was patched up. Searching the room where they came from found nothing of interest apart from a gate which looked like a crude jail door, no-one could quite see what was inside except Grok who pulled them back and explained to them there was lots of Dire Rats in there.

The group were not sure what to do when Wilbury started to squeak to the rats! She negotiated them to run free and play a merry tune on her Flute as they went. The rats revealed the other corridor led up to a guard post.

With that knowledge they decided to setup an ambush and sent Marcus to lure them to them, while Marcus did get their attention and used the slippery ground to aid his retreat he was shot to the point of being unconscious, Ragnar brought him back around and Grok gave him some healing, but there was no sign of pursuit.

Heading up the corridor they came to a junction, Taklinn spotted some loose stones in one of the corridors and indicated that they should go this way first. Marcus took the lead and waved them to stay where they were, unfortunately his stealth was rather ruined when Kielder tried to throw the sunrod up the corridor and failed and then kicked it further, it bounced and clanged all the way up. Marcus advanced up the corridor only to pause when he could hear a rumbling that was getting closer, he quickly flung himself against the wall only for a boulder to come quickly past, he did the same again when a second came past and quickly waved the others up and made his way up.

He spotted the Kobolds same time as they spotted him and started shooting each other, Marcus yelled for help they was a lot of Kobolds up here, Taklinn, Ragnar, Grok & Wilbury charged in cutting down the first rank and getting stuck in, the Kobold were protecting a Kobold wizard of some sort as he fired Magic Missile into some of them from a wand and returning ranged fire pinged off some sort of magical defence. The fight was cut short however when Lyari shoved his hand between Ragnar and Taklinn and cast Colour Spray instantly felling the Kobolds and leaving the Kobold wizard vulnerable. The Wizard tried to finish them with Burning Hands but was killed by the group. The group rested up after finding a few items of interest.

The next day they scouted where the boulders had ended up finding themselves in what was a barracks, a new suit of armour was found and Ragnar strapped it on, the group then debated which corridor to try next.

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Into the Depths
Log 5

The group started to look around the final areas find a darkmantle (that Marcus almost got grabbed by) and the Underground river again, this time with 2 rafts.

Thinking there was more to this place the group decided to split into the two rafts. The first raft had Kielder, Lyari & Grok. Raft 2 had Marcus, Ragnar, Wilbury & Taklinn.

Partway down the river, Raft 1 found the spider lurking on the ceiling and kill it without it laying a bite on anyone.

The river after about 20 minutes came to an end in a huge underground lake, since it was quite big the rafts stuck to the left hand wall when suddenly Grok was hit by crossbow bolts from a Kobold sniper position on the wall, the group fired back but either fell short or bounced off the Kobold's armour. The Kobolds reign of fire abruptly stopped when Lyari cast Colour Spray on them and they all fell into the water to drown.

Pulling each other up to the sniping position they found a corridor which they all followed and came to a crossroads, one tunnel looked blacker that the rest and the group decided on the tunnel next it especially when they thought they could footsteps approaching. However it was not footsteps, but shuffling! A Ghast came round the corner, with an impressive turn of speed Taklinn produced his Holy Symbol and the Ghast turned tail and ran away. At which point skeletons jumped on the group and caused some injury until Taklinn showed his symbol again turn two of them into dust and the last one making a hasty getaway.

Not wanting to pursue the undead the group advanced down the black tunnel and started to see things; blood covering their hands, finger turning into maggots creatures among them striking them while their backs were turned, it was lucky the swing and shots did not hit each other.

But they did create a lot of noise when a patrol of 12 Elite Kobolds found them and engaged them in combat, thing looked grim until Lyari cast Enlarge on Ragnar which then proceed to splat Kobolds one after the other. The group advanced again after the battle and saw a purple light up ahead, Ragnar spoke to them at this point saying there was evil beyond the light.

With that they cautiously stepped into the light ready to vanquish whatever they met.

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Hostile Reception
Log 6

Ragnar could sense evil beyond the purple light ahead and warned the group, since their arcane & divine support was a little low, they retreated and rested in the former Kobold sniper post.

The visions of weird things were getting more intense the further they into the cave complex and then they step into the purple light. A room was revealed with lots of statue acting as columns, as Marcus & Ragnar headed towards the rooms they were attacked by Lemures! The Lemures were dispatched quickly but they left a bitter taste in Ragnars' mouth Devils were present here, they needed to go further and purge this evil.

The walls and floors were made of some kind of black tar material which made the skin crawl touching it, the place radiated evil like a rock band, splashing blessed Ale on the floor (Taklinn had no water on him) made the ale froth and fizz.

Marcus open the door to the next room which was similar to the first and then detected movement behind the next door, but before they could open the door, the door burst outwards!

Kobolds and a Lemure attacked the group many wounds were sustained but the valiant singing of Wilbury pulled the group through and they were triumphant!

Marcus spent time in here with some of the others looking around the shelves (the room was a library) and found some scrolls, Taklinn had a kip to regain the spells he had used to keep everyone alive and the group proceeded on.

The next door led to a massive garden of sorts, completely dead and overgrown with large thickets of thorny brush. Marcus set the plants on fire hoping to turn them to ash, alas what was seeping into the plants had infused them with something as while they caught fire, they did not appear to be consumed, but by the light of the fire they could see a tower in the middle of the garden.

Group decided to back track and do other thing while the fire burned itself out and tried another door which led to a corridor with another door, opening the door revealed a large amount of Kobolds along with a large amount of javelins that were thrown at Grok. The party leapt in action, it seemed that the Kobolds wre examining some curtains which hung at some points in the room, the group changed into the room. Unfortunately for Grok the floor was wet when Taklinn tried to exorcize  it with blessed water. Grok was very annoyed . Marcus had managed to find a powerful wand in the library and used it on the Kobolds nearest to him which beside killing them, also vaporized the curtains and revealed a mass of fire which singed his eyebrows as he dodged back to avoid a gout of flame.

The fight continues, next time….

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The Tower in the garden
Log 7

The group carefully engaged the Kobolds and finished them off with a little difficulty.

Grok & Ragnar inspected behind each curtain getting wet with water, blasted with air and almost crushed with rock. They did find a small room behind ones with some nice treasure and a few magic items.

The group inspected the other room only to be Ambushed by a Derro, which used some poison on Grok but despite the Derro's skill he was overcome in short order.

Everywhere has now been search so the group backtracked to the garden, the thick spiky brush was no longer on fire but was looking quite unharmed, the group with a sign decided to cut a path to the Tower they saw earlier and stumbled across a path before they came across the tower. They advanced along the footpath and rounded a bend into some sniper fire!

Taklinn, Grok & Ragnar changed in while the rest hung back to provide some covering fire, taking down some of the Kobolds. The ones to charge forward were met by some sort of Dragon kobold who breathed cold on them, leaving them feel a little weak.

The fight continues nest time.

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The Outer Limits
Log 8

Finally with a last flurry of ranged fire and a few more sweeps with their weapons, the group managed to dispatch the Kobolds and their Dragonkin. The group looted what they could and rested a while before descending the stairs.

It was warm and moist down here, the first door led them to a similar garden but one with mutated trees with birthing pods hanging off them protected by Spider guardians, the spiders were dispatched easily and Ragnar & Taklinn urged the rest to purge all the pods, the work took an hour but it felt good, to put the creatures out of their misery and what they could of become.

The group advanced down a corridor and opened the next door, only to find horrors waiting behind it, living furniture and walls made out of Kobolds a dark hooded Kobold raised itself up and tried to fight them but was unsuccessful. The group overpowered all of them and set the room ablaze with holy fire.

More and more horrors were discovered in the rooms beyond and were dispatched by the group until they came to a room that glowed an unearthly crimson.

The Kobolds within smiled evilly and bashed their shields trying to goad the group towards them, Lyari shouted a warning but it was too late, Ragnar & Grok fell victim to a reverse gravity effect while poor Taklinn got thrown around the room like a ragdoll, whereupon the Kobolds engaged them…

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Worlds Collide
Log 9

Lyari cast Detect Magic which revealed the pattern of the gravity effects and made traversing the room much easier and dispatched the remaining Kobolds. Sensing a great evil ahead, Ragnar urged the group to rest before one final push, the source of the blight was up ahead.

The group advanced after resting and saw a glowing crimson portal, consulting with Lyari revealed that the Outer Gods world was on the otherside and to close the portal would require to kill something on the otherside that was keeping it open.

After some preparation where Grok cast Enlarge on himself, the group stormed through the portal and a hellish scene greeted them.

It was a bleak dark world with a single bright star providing the illumination, in front of them a swirling globe of flesh which produced mouths which moaned in unearthy voices split open and exploded leaving a hideous birdman like creature behind which imediatly attacked scything into the group with its long claws, further bits of the fleshy glodes re-made themselves into tentacles which sought to distract and immobilize the party members.

After a long fight the group emerged victorious and the world shook and then faded leaving them in a room paved with white marble. They have done it, the portal was closed and the Outer Gods influence had gone.

Returning to the hamlet the group were cheered for solving the Orge and Kobold problem little knowing how much bigger the danger was and gave them a reward, a feast and free credit on the bar (which Taklinn made heavy use of).

With their new wealth they sough to go buy something, asking Wilbury of the surrounding area, the small town of Fornlar was chosen.

(End of Urkallan Hill of Mystery)

After a week of travel they came upona dead elf and his wagon, the killer was still around which made a lunge at the group. Taklinn quickly cast Entangle and snared the thing which the group promptly slayed. The creature was an undead wolf, the forest around them was very quiet and Kielder examined the surrounding ground spoke of there being no tracks to indicate deer and elk around which was disturbing.

The group brought the elf and wagon into town, the town guards took the body and wagon off them and said they would delivered to the family, the group wished to pay their condolences to the family and the guard agreed after a time and the Magister might want to have a word with them.

While waiting the group set forth to spend their aquired treasures.

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Grok meets the Maw
Log 10

After their spending spree (or lack of one) they returned to comfort the wife of the dead elf and returned the belongings to her. Grok then went round to all those affected by the attacks to comfort them and to tell them their Kin will be avenged!

The group hung around town for a day while Lyari enticed an Owl in to be his familiar in the meantime, various bounties were told to the group and a treasure map was sold to them about some interesting caves.

The next day the group ventured into the woods plus an Owl. They hid while a party of Orges walked though the woods past them and eventually arrived at the first cave marked on the treasure map.

Everyone entered cautiously but no danger was apparent although the cave did stink, Taklinn entered the cave and immediately recognized the smell, it was Lion Urine, they were in a Lion's Den and they whirl around to find the Lion had pounced on Grok and was carving some very deep wounds into him. Taklinn jumped into the Lions face and started speaking to it!

After a bit of negotiation Taklinn convinced the Lion that Grok was an aquired taste and they they had better food to share and it would be in Lion's interest to help them. To the amazement of all (including Taklinn himself) the Lion agreed and followed them.

The group then proceeded to the next cave after fighting some Undead wolves with their new ally. The group were ambushed in the cave by ghouls and the group almost came to their end when the only people standing were Marcus & Ragnar which prevailed.

Taklinn also has a close call when a body on a slab grabbed and slowly leeched the life out of him while everyone pounded the thing.

The teasure caves were more really filled with danger than treasure but still they had a few things of value, they just needed to find some more….

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