Equitable Endeavours

The Duskwood

After a good nights sleep, our heroes awaken and finally bother introducing themselves to each other! Felix the Shifter Cleric, Tarak the Fighter, Lady Victany Silverwing the Elven Ranger, Anony the Gnomish Bard, Orin the Gnome Psion, Shuri the Dragonborn Sorcerer and The Warden.

As unlikely a bunch as any, the adventurers decide that theirs skills work well together and that staying together in search of fortune may work out profitable for them all, and so Equitable Endeavours was born. While finding no jobs going at the moment on the town charter, they ask a local guard about the geography. They find out that there is only one commonly used road out of the outpost which leads back to Fallcrest which is a 2 day hike. There are also two bush paths out of the outpost which lead in different directions into the Duskwood. To the NW is a path that leads to the abandoned Duskwood Mansion, and to the NE a path that leads out to Grim Warren Ridge.

Ignoring the wishes of their Cleric, the group make a majority vote decision to head towards Grim Warren Ridge and set off into the Duskwood

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The Tower

More of a spire than a traditional tower, this ominous looking structure usually serves as a watch tower used by the soliders at the Duskwood Outpost, just one of the local garrisons under the control of the Duke of Fallcrest. The outpost itself appears to be a small military camp with simple well and a thin watch tower, but what is not apparent to passer-bys is that both the tower and ‘well’ lead to a subterranean dungeon which is primarily used by the garrison soliders to hold troublesome beasts from the wild bushlands surrounding the outpost.

Our party are currently in the basement, or dungeon, of the watch tower in the dead of night. A few dim torches burn in their sconces, the only sign of life on this clear but eerily still night in the Duskwood. On the table outside of the dungeon cell sits our adventurers travel kits and weapons which they quickly reclaim before moving up the spiral staircase, searching for answers as to what had happened and where they were.

The party move up through the vacant ground level and ascend to the first floor, where they discover a very wide open room with the NE corner of the room removed and a large landing style platform overhanging the outer wall and an illusion, like a black shimmering curtain made of the night sky itself in the southern wall. At first they decide to look out from the platform only see an undead legion, thousands in number, staring up and the night sky directly at the moon. Still as night but somehow alive, the skeletal army stands somehow at ease but ready to attack at any time. Arcana checks confirm to the party that this is definitely the work of a very powerful necromancer or multiple necromancers, and that the undead legion outside is most likely the Fallcrest townsfolk.

Aware that excessive noise may alert the legion to their whereabouts, the part quietly move there way across the room into the illusion – hesitant to enter, they eventually move through the inky black substance into a room of total darkness. The gnome psion, while unwavering in his extreme cowardess, leads the way and seeks out a device in the room centre, resting upon a square podium of stone. The device was moving.. by touch it appeared to be two floating balls, one small and one large orbitting each other. Unable to glean any knowledge about the device, the gnome tries his luck by halting the smaller orb temporarily with his hand causing the room to shudder and shake with increasing intensity until he let go, and all was once again still. Nervous about killing them all, but having no other option besides facing wave upon wave of undead, the little gnome stops the larger orb and jams a bone between it and the podium – the result of which opens a door at the back of the room which the party swiftly move through.

As the small gnome responsible for opening the door enters the room, he is assailed by an almost mind-shattering psionic scream from one of four marionettes hanging in the room. The marionettes hang still, silent except for the psionic blast, which only effects one of the party – but the marionettes are not attached to anything. They float in the air, their strings standing upright as if attached to an invisible control bar, three of them staring blankly into the party while a fourth is without a face at all. As the party attempt to move through them the marionettes attack, all the while leaving the gnome psion all but incapacitated, clutching his skull as if at any second it may explode and he sought to hold it together.

As the attack went on the party managed to crack and destory two of the puppets, and as they did they found that with each one destoyed the others gained gouge marks and scratches as if they were taking the damage as well. Eventually the psionic blast stopped and the marionettes ceased there attack. The gnome then communicated with the remaining enemy as the party deliberated whether they should strike them down or not. After some disjointed psionic conversation he discovered that these marionettes were infernal cages for the souls of the undead soldiers outside. They had been taken hostage by necromancers, robbed of their bodies by demonic forces and stored away within these four puppets – told to fight or die the true death unless they gaurded the sourcerers. What they discovered during the battle was that when 1 marionette was distroyed, the souls migrated into the remaining dolls. When it became clear they would not be triumphant the souls decided they would rather betray their cruel master than to see what happens when there were no vessels left to house their souls.

Disorientated with the illusion creating room after room in a thin and upright tower the party press on through a door behind the marionettes, looking to take vengence on the undead conjurers responsible for all of this and free the good people of Fallcrest and hopefully gain reward from the Duke. As they pass through the door behind the puppets they come out of the illusion and find themselves back on the 2nd floor of the watch tower, the spiral staircase ahead of them and the undead horde below. They take the stairs upward only to find the top floor of the twoer gated and locked. As one of them shakes the bars they hear the noise of thousands of bones snicking together at once, and know that they are moments away from alerting the skeletal army of their whereabouts if they do not remain silent from this point onward. Across the room they see another dark portal, another illusion that will take them to more rooms that do not exist within the plane of their reality.

The tiny gnome, who up until this point has become the only adventurer to have real input, casts a ward of silence over the room as the others smash the lock and open the gate, solving their noise dilemma. They quickly cut their way through a room filled with sarcophagi through the portal and into the next, a room with no exit except for the door they in through. They see three necromancers, one against each wall, and a large pile of offal in the center of the room – of where it came from they cannot imagine. As they spread out to attack the necromancers remain in their entranced state, unconcerned with the warriors and spell weavers surrounding them until they draw near and begin their assault.

As the first of the necromancers fall, the meaty pile of remains in the center of the room begins to stir. Suddenly the remains begin to grow and stand upright in front of the attackers , a living wall of human flesh and entrails with no features or limbs, but hell bent on consuming those that attack those it was sent to serve. Through a hard fought battle where none of them could get close to the Offal Horror, our adventurers slay each of the necromancers along with the meaty mound of human remains thus breaking the magic of the necromancy. The aftermath of the battle saw the townsfolks souls set free, and their bodies magically restored to the state they had previously been in, leaving thousands of people otherwise stranded two days walk from home but otherwise intact and relieved to be alive.

Our party take the momentary peace as a change to make camp at the outpost and rest up as most of the Fallcrestians start their long commute home opting to stay in large numbers for saftey.

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A call for help
Heroes needed! Apply within.

The word was sent, far and wide, for any hero or would-be hero across the land to rally to Fallcrest. The Duke had urgent work of a very important yet non-decript nature, and anyone willing to fight would be hired and paid good money if they would assist.

Our adventures are those heroes. With varying levels of theoretical experience among them, but all green on legitmate fight time, they arrive at Fallcrest to find the city in a very usual and otheriwse normal way. There is no hint of danger in the air and all seems well, with none of the adverturers knowing any more information about the Dukes calling. Having travelled in from all over the land our heroes head to the local inn and some ask around about the Dukes calling, while others meet each other for the first time before they all decide to hire rooms for the night and turn in.

They awaken in a dark pit in the dead of night. Faint moonlight illuminates a circle in the center of the room is a grated well acts like a lunar skylight. As they come to they quickly sense another creature or creatures in the dungeons with them, but are yet to hear or see any movement. Hesitant to talk or make aquaintences with their fellow captives, the motley bunch stuggle to decide what to do, when suddenly the smallest of the bunch, a skittish gnome that is tiny even by his races standards, screams a horrifying screech into the night.

Almost instantly the diminutive psion was surrounded by 5 ghouls, undernourished and ravenous. While the bulk of the ghouls concentrated on the gnome, one avert his attention to the clumsy dragonborn which stumbled into it in the darkness of the pit. Forced to fight with nothing but their bare hands and whatever rock and bones they could find at their feet in the dark, the group had almost despatched the ghouls when the psion gnome backed up against the wall in fear – bringing to life the first of 12 skeletal warrriors arranged in around the outer edges of the dungeons in a clock face manner.

Crushing skeleton after skeleton with a mixture of bare handed melee, psionic attacks and clerical magic the group are fighting for their freedom across the dungeon floor when they notice the shards of shattered bones moving unaided. Watching the pieces of crushed undead creep across the floor as if pulled by an invisible string, they notice two grand warriors lumbering toward them from the doorway. Two large skeletal constructs begin taking shape before their eyes, their armour seeming to grow around them as the broken pieces of their lesser skeleton kin worm around them and come to rest, creating breastplates, gauntlets and helms.

While our adveturers had been stripped of their weapons, among them they had a cleric who still retained his implement, and a very scared but powerfully psionic gnome, and the constructs were disposed without any major injuries being taken. All that stood between our band of unlikely companions and freedom now was the door to their cell. Not wanting to bother with the handle (it was unlocked..) the dragonborn smashes his way through the door into a small room with a table to the left of the doorway, and a spiral staircase leading up to ground level.

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