HomeSchool. Teaching my son the in's and out's of D&D 4th Ed.

In the Temple, defiling.
Dragon Gate energy, good for what ails you.

The doors to the temple looked to have been both physically and arcanely sealed long ago, but both wards had been broken open, though from the bodies laying around, the cost to force their way in was high. The doors now stood open, with obvious signs of activity from within.

upon entering the temple, they were greeted, rather warmly at first, by the DBN, and given the opportunity to leave him be, go about their business, and remain among the living. They refused and began the job of removing him and his minions from the temple. Forcefully.

As the battle wore on, the DBN began to tap in to the gate temple’s (and it’s wards as well) energy to revive his minions and give them boosts in speed, durability and strength. Repeated drains and boosts made the minions a definite threat, but the effect on the Gate itself was much more perilous. The Gate began to rumble, shaking the whole temple. As the heroes pressed in, destroying even the most powerful of the DBN’s hoards, the DBN became desperate.

He finally drew on the Gate for a final attack, attempting to blast the chamber with a massive wave of power, but as he drew on the Gate, the wards finally collapsed, and the Gateway reformed, allowing the form of a large black Dragon, strongly resembling a much more mature Icewing, to claw it’s way out. Once fully emerged, it turned and smashed the dormant gate to rubble.

The Dragon turned to face the room, and upon spying the heroes, demanded to know who was responsible for Lord Dragon Septus’orba Malanegra’s release. He was sentenced to a thousand years of solitude, but it had been much less. The Dragonborn Necromancer immediately stepped forward, proclaiming Harkima Vidaarus’ allegiance to the great and powerful Lord Dragon, and owned up to setting him free, making it sound as though it was entirely intentional, of course. Septus scooped up his new “loyal” minion and launched through the roof of the temple, collapsing the ruins down on the hero’s heads.

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Lost paths, and "found" old friends.
He's Dead Jim.

Upon waking, the group is dismayed to find that the Diving Rod has lost most of it’s power, and is draining fast. Arcane study of the area reveals that this region (though how large of an area is affected is still unknown) is slowly being drained of magic and life energy, causing the stunted growth and loss of power for the rod.

Without the direct guidance of the rod, the heroes had to revert to their own talents to continue the hunt. They managed to use a combination of Tracking, Arcane wight, Brute Force and keen observation to re-acquire a path of sorts, though it is obviously lightly used, and only recently at that. Within minutes of hitting an actual path, they come upon a clearing.

This proves that they have found the right path, as the sickly an stunted plant life opens up to reveal piles of rubble, and ancient stone altar, and an Eladrin. The last is recognized by Valenae as one of his mentors academic explorers, and an old friend. Kaerin, sadly, is most definitely not physically well. And though he seems to be able to speak with the party, he is slowly rotting right before the party’s eyes. He manages to relate a tale of an attack from a combined force of Kobolds (as some of the Clan is probably not yet aware of the DBN’s betrayal)and undead. Resulting in the loss of the entire exploring group. Kaerin was only sent to this place to slow down the party. As his final moments of clarity melt away, his transformation to a Corruption Corpse completes, and the party is attacked by a small horde of undead, blocking the path onward.

Through the course of the fight, the surrounding undead were crushed, but Valenae insisted on trying to save his friend, finally managing to break the necromantic bonds that held Kaerin to his half-life state. As he sank into peaceful rest, he gave the heroes some final directions to help them find the Dragon’s Gate temple.

The party decided that with the connection to Kaerin severed, the DBN would already be aware of their impending attack, so they took a moment to rest up and give Kaerin a proper burial.

Kaerin’s directions were sound, and the heroes carefully made their way towards the temple. A combined force of undead and constructs were guarding the temple, and though the fight was brutal, they heroes managed to use the surrounding terrain to slow the uncoordinated zombies down enough to pick them off after dealing with the faster Skeletons and constructs. After a thorough mess was made of the temple grounds, the heroes were able to corner the DBN in the temple.

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To the Gate!
Over the hills and through the Feywild.

With a kobold slinger (his name was to draconic for the party to speak it correctly) in tow to return news of the DBN’s location or his demise to the Clan, the heroes set out to find the BDN, the Gate, and any remaining undead he had managed to create along the way.

As they follow the diving rod (more than a week passed from the initial defeat of the DBN in the Dragon’s Den to the party setting out fully prepared for a longer journey) Valenae realizes that they are nearing the point that he moved from the Feywild in to the Natural plane a couple weeks earlier. As the scenery changes and the heroes see evidence of the transition to the Fey realm, they become more and more worried. The lands here should be lush and green and full of life, albeit strange and magical life. Yet they see much in the way of evidence that there has been a sickness, a stunting, a change that could not have been anything other than magical. The lands are too quiet, and farther they travel, the more stunted, warped, and poisoned the lands look. Even the wildlife seems weaker and starving.

Finally, at a fork in the path they have been following, some of the Fauna shows enough backbone, or hunger, to strike out at the party directly. A large growth of roots and vines reaches out and begins hauling in members of the group, dragging them towards a central mass of snapping, razor tipped vines. A couple of the plants previous victims shamble about, zombies who are almost skeletons, as well as a few death motes that have been feeding off the deaths of the Plants previous meals. After killing off the Tainted mass, they dump it over a small cliff in case it can regenerate (after torching a fair bit of it with fire) just to get it away from the road in case it can regenerate. The party continues to follow the rod, and soon enough are directed to leave the path and head across open wilderness. They decide to take a nights rest before heading into the unknown, but they hope that this road was not too far from the Gate when it was built.

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Cleaning up the DBN's mess.
So... what do we do with a ton of rotting dragon anyway?

The heroes gather together what treasure there is, finding out that there was quite a bit less than could be seen, as some of that was illusionary as well, having been spent, apparently, on the DBN (Dragonborn Necromancer)‘s experimentation and necromantic endeavors. They do, however, find several small magic items and a cache of the DBN’s notes, clearing up a couple of mysteries and opening the heroes eyes to a whole new threat.

It seems that the DBN has found a way to create minor magical weapons and armor (in game terms, a +1) by transferring the life energy of living beings through arcane means. On the upside, you get both an enchanted weapon and a new zombie minion in one foul swoop. On the downside, the enchantments, so far, have been minor, weak, and short-lived, lasting only a day or so. The Zombification of the subject, however, is quite permanent.

The death of Icewing was the last step in a series of experiments to find a source of life energy that would last longer and be able to produce stronger magics. Aparently Draconic magic and life forces combined can create permanent (or near enough for shorter lived creatures) magical effects, and the DBN had plans to move the whole Clan to a sealed Draconic Gate to siphon off the magic and create an army of magically armed undead.

Using these notes, and some help from one of the kobolds (the clan is willing to assist, as long as they get to have a piece of the DBN when he is found for killing their Lord Icewing) and a combination of personal effects to track down the DBN, a Ritualist in town was able to fashion a crude divining rod to lead the heroes to the gate the DBN was heading to, hopefully in time to stop the DBN from fulfilling his plans.

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Dragon's Den
Lord Icewing is... dead?

“Who dares trespass in the domain of our Lord Icewing!”
So begins the first foray into the caverns below the Keep. The kobolds invoke the name of their Lord Dragon, Icewing and douse the lights of the cave, plunging the party into darkness, with bolts of acid and sling stones flying out of the hidden shadows of the cavern. The heroes regroup, striking up their own lights and hunting down the hidden attackers and slay them each in turn. The last of the first line of defenders flee through a large metal door, locking it behind them with arcane magic.

The party struggles to access the next area of the cavern, the great iron doors turning back all of their attempts to open them. They eventually discover the doors true nature ad after dispelling the illusion, smash through the simple wooden barrier that truly stood in their way.

With the extra time it had taken to figure out the secrets of the door’s illusion, the kobolds had set up a firing line and small walled blockades. This allowed the slings and mages to attack from cover, with a pair of piked defenders keep the heroes from rushing the berms. Time patience and no small amount of luck enabled the Heroes to dispatch the protected ranks of the ranged attackers and make their way down into the Dragon’s Den itself.

As the party descend down the final stone passageway, the air turned acrid, an acidic burning in their throats becoming more noticeable. Rounding the last bend, they are greeted by Icewings most loyal guards and an oddity. There in the center of the room was an area of impenetrable darkness. Icewing himself held back for a round or two, allowing his minions to soften up the invaders. When the heroes get close enough to engage the defenders in melee, they find out that several of them are undead. Creatures that used to be kobolds, some recently dead, some much older. The living kobolds seem reluctant to fight along side them, and must be ordered repeatedly by Icewing to press forward.

As the party edges forward, foot by foot, seeing victory draw nearer, Icewing begins his own assault. After a couple of direct attacks from Icewing, PsyTrev suddenly realizes that something is very wrong. Another illusion is in place, over the form of Icewing himself!

With input from PsyTrev, Valenae dispells the illusion around Icewing revealing the horror underneath. Icewing is shown to have been dead for several weeks, and raised up as a Zombie of his former self! The remaining kobolds turn towards the patch of midnight and advance, shouting threats of revenge at the presence within. the darkness finally falls and a Dragonborn Necromancer steps forth, the source of the Zombies up above and cause of Icewing’s demise. With his deeds revealed and a combined force of Kobolds and Heroes closing in on him, he beats a hasty retreat, the remains of the kobold clan following close behind.

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To the Keep!
Dealing with the squaters.

The Keep known as the Eye was a few days travel to the north, but the trip was relatively uneventful. Gaining entrance to the keep was anything but, however. Sadly during the first attempt to storm the keep, one of the sentries escaped and alerted the Kobolds within to the heroes arrival, making the first floor a series of hall fights and skirmishes, slowly gaining and losing ground for both sides, with the heroes resting when able, and the kobolds sending what reinforcements they had form below the keep.

Once they finally cleared the path down to the second floor of the keep, dodging and failing to dodge a few traps along the way, they were able to cut off the kobolds from the upper floor, and stop the threat of an attack form behind as they descended.

The second floor had been used as an emergency shelter, taken over from a small, abandoned mine that had been dug into the hill in the past. The heroes cleared out all traces of the Kobolds and dealt with a few life sucking Frost zombies as well. The rear chamber where all the left-over mining equipment was still being stored had enough debris and was far enough away from the keep above that it was easy for the Kobolds to dig their way in and storm the keep.

The heroes laid waste to the aggressors, now defenders, and pushed the Kobold forces back down into the tunnels that had been their way in. The party rested, healed, and steeled themselves for the coming cavern crawl.

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Townsaver
This paladin fights fair!

Daunted by the size of the raiding party, the heroes returned to town with a dire warning. They arrive at the GreenMire main guard post just as a small Company of Royal troops do. They had been trailing the Raiding band by only a day when they had lost them at the edge of the swamps south of town. They had skirted the swamps, costing them valuable days of travel. The paladin leading the Company, Markesh, was thrilled that they had made good enough time to reach town before the Raiding band had struck. In reality he got lucky because the scouts in the sewers had taken longer to case the town than they should have.

Markesh sent out the bulk of the Company to attack from outside the town, hopefully drawing off the majority of the Kobold forces, while Markesh and the heroes passed through the sewers and attacked from the rear, taking down the main camp, and again, hopefully, the leader of the Raiding band. The diversionary force was successful, and upon rushing the camp, Markesh pinned down the leader in solo combat, after issuing a challenge, letting the heroes take out his guards and remaining forces.

The immediate danger to the town dealt with, markesh returned to his troops, took stock of the situation, healed and helped with the wounded, and debriefed the officers, hoping for any clues as to where the Raiding band had originally come from. Confirmed by a few soldiers, and scouting reports from the north, the Kobolds had seized a small human outpost called The Eyes, mostly just a keep on the side of a large hill, meant as a way point for troops and supplies from the north, and an early warning station for things like the Raiding band.

Markesh was unwilling to leave the town unguarded in case the Kobolds had sent out other Raiding groups, so he asked the Heroes to see if they could retake the Keep. Meanwhile his company would patrol the area and keep the town protected.

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The Party Gets Dirty
Below GreenMire, a town built on a swamp.

The four soon-to-be heros dropped down into the sewers and quickly dispensed with any senblance of stealth (or, at least, Garrack did) and stepped out into a catch basin to be set upon by a small band of kobolds which had been waiting for the two fey. With four of them to handle, they were quickly defeated. From the looks of the loot they had managed to aquire, they had been looting anything not niualed down for a few days, and seemed to be going for bigger and bigger items as time went on, culminating in the kidnapping of the little girl, either to eat, for sacrifice to their Dragon God, or, if any of them were so bold, for ransom, but the last was unlikely.

Though the battle was quick, it was obvious that the group was new-formed and unused to working together, and tactical mistakes were made, with little effect on the outcome. They collected the stolen loot and retrieved the little girl, escorting her to the alley she had been taken from, with instructions to return home and tell her father to let the Guard know that they were going to continue on to see if they could find out how the Kobolds got in, in the first place.

PsyTrev scouted ahead, solo, to prevent a repeat ambush, following the trails left by the kobolds, and ended up at an exterior drain near the south of GreenMire. The little group they had fought inside was not even one tenth of the actual raiding group that was assembled outside of the town. The kobolds in town had probably been supposed to scout around and decide where to strike, and had gotten greedy, then sloppy, then caught.

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GTKY- The Local Duo
Meeting the Characters, two by two?

PsyTrev could faintly hear a small child’s voice from down in the sewers, along with some occasional other voices that neither of the two could understand. With Val’s assurance of assistance, they rushed back around the block to Hamer’s shop, and informed him of the new developments, and to let him know that they plan on entering immediately, to save his daughter.

As they left the shop, fully prepared to enter into the unknow of the sewers, they were joined by a pair of the GreenMire guards, Kat and Garrack, who had been sent to assist Hamer in finding his daughter. Once they were filled in on the Kobold problem, they took the lead, having only
a small amount of knowledge of the sewers, which, nonetheless, was more than either of their Fey companions did.

Before Going below they a grabbed a passerby and asked them to go to the GreenMire guard post a few blocks away and inform them that some Kobolds had decided to move in to the sewers, and to see if they get some help to find out how they had gotten in, and what they should do about it.

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GTKY- Valenae
Meeting the Characters, one by one.
Valenae was searching for his mentor, who was attempting to research Dragon magic and had heard of a sealed Portal of Draconic origin, but as of yet, had been unable to locate it. His last communication had been from the GreenMire region, and he had been seeking out a local tribe of Kobolds who, rumor had it, had some knowledge of the location of the portal, having been closely tied to one of the Dragons that had created it, long ago. (Most likely as labor for the construction) While meditating in his room at the GreenMire “Restful Slumber” Inn, he glimpsed a clawed hand reaching through his open window and snatching away his cloak, a gift from his mentor. he immediately sprang into action, leaping out of the window and following the thief in a foot pursuit. After following the thief, now identified as a kobold, for a couple of blocks, he rounded a corner and watched helplessly as the kobold slid down into a grate in the alley, propped open from below by another pair of clawed hands. Valenae finally noticed the Elf at the other end of the alley, as they both rushed towards each other, only to be greeted by a closed and silent sewer grate.
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