Party of Scoundrels

Deep in the Dwarven stronghold

Party journeyed on into the natural cave network, and freed the hobbits & arcadian. He thanked them for saving him, but refused to demean himself by dressing as an orc. He agreed to follow behind the party, in order to not give up their disguise.
The party wandered into the orc quarters, and with his hatred burning arcadian drew his bow. Jack reacted qickly, clobbering arcadian and tossing him on the floor in front of the orcs, playing it off as if he escaped & snuck up on them. The party pummeled arcadian into submission with fist & weapon, and allowed the orcs to haul him to the prison once again.
This was only a ruse. They ambushed his captors when the chance arose. Battered and bruised but still alive, arcadian got the message: staying alive was more important than his antics. They proceeded through the orc commons, and spent a couple hours moving crates and barrels blocking the path into a tunnel. The clutter had been plugging up the tunnel for a reason, and for their hard work they were rewarded with an attack by Stirges, which they fended off easily. They approached the door to the north, and trigger a spray of alchemists fire which engulfed them.
In a nearby room they encountered and orc shaman, and after dispatching her proceeded down the grand stairs.
The stairs continued for some time, finally being intersected by a rushing stream that exit a crevice on one side, and entered one on the other side. Kain, Felina, Kamui & Errandor continued down the natural steps into the large cavern below. Arcadian & Jack Christ decided to enter the crevice & scale the steep decline the stream rushed down.they slipped and tumbled down, crashing into a small natural cavern. The room housed a dwarven corpse & a stirge nest.
Stirge
The creatures stirred, & Jack grabbed the corpse, threw it in the rushing stream, and rode it down the crevice. Arcadian attempted to follow suit, but instead of sliding safely down the cascade of water, he tumbled clumsily, landing hard in the room where the stream exited the wall – right in front of the party, who stood at the base of the steps. The party fended off the stirges, and Jack looted the dwarven corpse. Exhausted, the party made camp & rested.
Incredibly beaten, arcadian stayed behind to rest while the party moved on. The stream exited the room under a primitive mud wall to the east. Seeing reptile/bird tracks & slither marks near it, the party decided to wade under it in the neck deep stream, and entered another large cavern.
Foul smell, rotten remnants of game corpses hanging on the wall, something lived here. The party was jumped by Troglodytes on ledges above them, and as Kamui, Felina, Kain, & Errandor scrambled out of the stream and onto the ledges to fight back, Captain Jack simply stood in the water &, after drying his pistol powder, shot the trogs dead. At the far end of the cavern, the stream pooled, and then continued to carve small tunnels throughout the cave complex. Near the pool, a mud wall similar to the one the swam under caught their attention, & they decided to smash through it.
Doing so revealed a room full of dwarven sepulchers. Most were empty and unused, but in a couple of them the party found some treasure. Mor amazing than the tombs though was the cavern just down the steps.
The great cavern known as the Glitterhame was easily a hundred feet across, and went an unknown distance into the endless dark.Giant fungi as tall as a human & glowing puffballs 3 hands wide grew there, and the party was able to make rations of it, and much to the delite of the pirate, collect some of the puffball juice for later distillation. Such rations could give them enough food to explore the caverns and dwarven ruins for days!
Faced with the prospect of wandering further into the wide open darkness, Kain, Jack, & Kamui left the party at rest and snuck down some nearby stairs. In this small cavern, the river, literally and figuratively the lifeblood of the caverns, toppled of a ledge, creating a waterfall that dropped an unknown distance into the darkness. Following even more stairs even deeper into the earth, they eventually came across the cavern at the base of the waterfall and some old dwarven store rooms.
Inside the damp store rooms, piles of expired foodstuffs, crates, barrels, and small pools of water waited. As they took their time searching for loot, a Grey Ooze attacked! As Kamui & kain struggled with the creature, Jack continued searcvhing the room. Deciding to flee, they were joined by the now awake party members, and all traveled up river through the cavern.
In a room with a number of stalactites & stalagmites, an especially odd one drew the attention of Kain. …

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Into the Dwarven stronghold
Silence & sneaking win the day as the party slips into the dwarven fortress

High on adventure from their last bounty, the party decided to delve deeper hoping for a larger payout. Having heard the rumors of Durgeddin’s Vault, they were employed by one Baron Althon to retrieve what remains of Durgeddin’s famous arms. Felina tapped into her savings & purchased a carriage & a few horses, making the week long journey to the Stone Tooth that much more manageable.

Upon approaching the small town of Blasingdell, the party was introduced to the mayor, Sir Miles Berrick. He directed them towards Stone Tooth, and offered a bounty for proof of every orc slain.
Locating the Stone Tooth was not hard, the landmark sat atop a massive hill. The party travelled up the hillside trail, noting the tracks left by orc patrols. Finally reaching the peak of the hill and the base of the Stone Tooth, they followed the trail into the canyon below.

The canyon eventually sloped down to a hairpin bend, where the party spotted a couple orc sentries. Acting quickly, Jack Christ disguised himself as an orc, and wandered down the path. Distracting his “fellow” orcs with an offering of rum, Kain & Felina slinked up in tandem behind the orcs, dropping them quickly & quietly with killing blows. Noticing the arrow slits in the wall along the approach, the party snuck carefully under the windows as the pirate strolled by, unnoticed as an orc. His disguise was so effective, he convinced the orc archers to open the mountain door for him. For their folly, they were rewarded with the sharp end of the thieves weapons.

Inside the dwarven door, they decided to disguise the entire party as orcs. In front of them waited the endless darkness of a giant chasm, the slight sound of rushing water emanating from hundreds of feet below. Only a narrow, frayed rope bridge allowed them to cross, and Kamuai spotted two snarling orcs hiding on the other side. Once again, Jack Christ proceeded the party, distracting the orcs with a combination of wits, rum, & devilweed.
Ropebridge
As the other members were crossing the bridge, Felina slipped, plummeting into the darkness. With the same blinding speed he draws his blade, the samurai darted his hand towards the falling thief, barely catching her by the fingertips, sparing her certain death from the fall.
They proceeded across the creaking rope bridge, catching the distracted orcs unaware. Jack Christ grumbled in his best attempt at orcish, “Beware, this rum will hit you,” as the party’s weapons came crashing down on the unsuspecting orcs.

Continuing into the dungeon, Kamui & Felina wandered past a dwarven statue – which promptly dropped its jaw & blasted a cloud of noxious gas in their faces, leaving them feeling ill & weak.
In the doorway beyond the statue, the party entered what appeared to be the orc barracks, a large room with bunks & a group of orcs resting & eating. Quickly, with the rogues sneaking through the darkness to flank the orcs, the rest of the party approached the group, and Jack Crist lit a sunrod, blinding & stunning the orcs. Errandor slammed his axe through one of the orcs, pinning him against the wall. The leader of the orcs chucked a couple axes at the party, both missing their mark, and charged at Jack Christ. Kamui’s blade met him across the waist, and only half the orc made it to the pirate.

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Dwarven Descent
Will greed get the better of the party, drawing them deep into the earth in search of riches?

A few centuries past, the great dwarven smith Durgeddin the Black carved a secret stronghold from the caverns riddling a hill known as the Stone Tooth. Laboring cease-lessly in their halls under the mountain, Durgeddin’s clan forged enchanted weapons for use in their vendetta against the orcs that had driven them out of their old homes. Durgeddin and his followers are long dead, but the dwarf-hold is not empty. Deadly peril waits in the caverns beneath the Stone Tooth, as well as Durgeddin’s hidden armory of matchless weaponry.
Stonetooth
Two centuries ago, Durgeddin the Black was driven from his home by a horde of fierce orcs and trolls. They plundered his ancestral halls and slew all they could catch. Fleeing his enemies, Durgeddin led the destitute remnants of his clan in search of a new
home. After years of wandering, the dwarves discovered a great cavern system beneath the Stone Tooth, which is a rugged, forested hill crowned by a bare rocky crag. There Durgeddin and his followers founded the secret strong hold of Khundrukar—the Glitterhame. About one hundred years ago, one of Durgeddin’s clans-men was captured by orcs during a raid, and a powerful orc tribe learned the secret of their enemy’s stronghold. The orcish chieftains raised a great army and marched on Khundrukar. In a hard-fought siege lasting months, the orcs tunneled around the dwarven defenses and stormed the place, putting all within to the sword. The monsters
abandoned the scene, carrying off wagonloads of booty. In the years since the great battle, various goblin or orc bands have occupied the Glitterhame and used the dwarf-hold as a base for their raids. At other times, the caverns have lain empty except for the mindless and
bloodthirsty monsters that haunt such places. Today legends of Durgeddin’s Vengeance, the Smith’s War, and the extraor dinary blades he forged in anger still surface from time to time in the lands near the Stone Tooth.

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Gorgoldand's Gauntlet
A band of scoundrels brave the traps & puzzles of the gauntlet.

Sitting in the basement of the tavern, Kajn holds the scrap of parchment bearing a map to the gauntlet. He’s going to ask the rest of the scoundrels, but he already knows the answer. The treasure would be enough, but some of them were adrenaline junkies and liked the danger. Like that Jack Christ, he was a curiosity that annoyed him to no end. Always blabbering on half drunk, talking shit, and constantly getting the party into shenanigans. And that was when he wasn’t trying to be annoying; often he was busy pulling “pranks” that were more dangerous than funny. Felina was always up for some fun… when she was around. Samurais and barbarians tended to have a habit of following, so they’d be in. If his buddy Arcadian were here, he’d also be in. Kajn hadn’t seen him much since they’d arrived in Sasserine, and even when he did he refused to say where he’d been.

“Do you guys wanna run this Gorgoldand guy’s gauntlet and get that treasure?” Kajn asked already knowing the answer. A series of nods and no argument meant it would be their next endeavor.

He couldn’t remember where the map came from any more than , only that it way to a treasure stash in a cave network known as the “Gauntlet”. No other details, only that treasure waits at the end. They may have procured the map anywhere; in some stolen goods, in a previously found treasure hoard, buried in their own stash, maybe the tavern keeper?

He was the only common link they all shared, the tavern keeper. His basement was like an orphanage for the worst kind of scoundrels. It was a good deal for all involved: they got to come and go freely from the basement and had access to food and drink above; the bartender was ensured with a steady flow of coin (legitimate and not), access to rumors and the black market, and some measure of protection. They were after all in the slums of Sasserine, one of the worst and most dangerous areas.

Before long they set off for the Gauntlet. It’s location wasn’t exactly public knowledge, but it wasn’t much of a secret either. It was almost a right of passage for many rogues to seek out the gauntlet and run it. Few debate the prize at the end, and even few have even won it… and stayed alive.

Following the map eventually leads to the top of a cliff overlooking a large lake. A metal piton hammered into the stone near the edge of the cliff gives silent testimony that others have been this way before, although the rope is missing. A narrow cave, the entrance to Gorgoldand’s Gauntlet appeared to be about sixty feet below.

gorgoldandspider.jpgDescending with little trouble, they enter the gauntlet, essentially a network of caves. The first trap was laughably underwhelming: A thin, frail rope looped into a snare, with the words “Put Fut Her” scrawled on the ground. No one triggered the trap. As they crossed the room though, a “spider” leaped from the ceiling. Or rather it hung from the ceiling, where it was stabbed. Instead of blood, a noxious green gas poured forth, revealing the artificial nature of the spider trap. It seemed that other than the scurrying and chittering that can be heard in the darkness, always just out of site and stopping whenever they investigate, there was little worry in the gauntlet.

After clearing a chasm over an underground river, they entered a room divided by a scalable wall about eight feet high. Climbing over it, they were met on the other side by a rust monster! Dissolving weapon after weapon as the barbarian attacked, they slayed the creature after binding it with rope.

The next room contained a long grid, clearly some of the squares trapped and some safe. Sending the rogue in first, their assumptions were assured when he would step on the wrong one and end up paralyzed. The wandering ronin Kamui embarrassed them all when he cleared the grid untouched, leaping and twisting from safe square to safe square by chance alone.

Beyond the grid room they found a door, and beyond that a narrow corridor. Unlike the rest of the natural cave network seen so far, this passageway is carved into the rock; the floor, the ceiling, and walls are smooth. Each of the ascending steps has a single word engraved on its front face; the words all glow slightly, making them easy to read even in the gloom of the corridor. Solving the puzzle easily they were rewarded with the door to an armory… of sorts. The weapons mounted on the wall ended up being the key to the room’s puzzle, as did the skeleton statues in the room beyond.

Their reward was the hoard of Gorgoldand. a nice pile of coins and gems, deep enough to hold a golden longsword standing upright in it.

The golden longsword began to float and the pile of coins and gems swirled into the form of a dragon, with shining red rubies for eyes. It attacked the scoundrels, fighting to the death, at which point the coins showered the floor along with the clanking longsword.

They claimed their prize and exiting the gauntlet (which looped back almost like a question mark) set off to return “home” to the Plucked Parrot Inn.

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