Shadows over Aethon

The 'Wrath' of Malareth (Chapter 3)

I am told that between my minor head injury (caused by a fall into the pit mentioned earlier), the need to prepare my most powerful spell (for the upcoming assault on this lair’s master), and my overall need to avoid pressing on with the company in the short term, our group of adventurers found themselves caught as the unwitting pieces in an unusual game of chess, among other things.

Instead, I will proceed to continue this story where I had rejoined the group. Our party decided to investigate rummaging sounds from yet another room whereupon we found yet more goblins, these two helping themselves to the contents of various crates lining the walls. They were none too pleased to welcome us, and another melee ensued. They were quickly joined by a third goblin, but proved to be outmatched in the end. Unfortunately, the odds were evened for them with the arrival of a monstrous bugbear companion. Wielding a terrible greataxe, he managed to badly injure me and hurt my companions until at last we were joined by Aurelia who, fresh into the fight, was successful in routing the bugbear away from the room. He was finally killed by yet another new companion, the infiltrator of this lair’s cult, a fellow we came to know as Reiks Hammerhand. After destroying his skeletal ‘companions’ we gathered from Reiks what knowledge we could about this place’s dread master, the villain known as Malareth, and prepared to engage him in a final battle.

Malareth had nothing but contempt for our band, and sent his three skeleton guardians and a horrifying hulking zombie to deal with us. We had planned a trap involving a brazier and flaming oil courtesy of Sav, but this plan met with mixed success. Tor and the paladin Utumno lead the fight and were injured the heaviest, but managed to recover as we pressed on to put Malareth’s servants down once and for all. The large zombie proved much more difficult as I had to recollect how to destroy these resilient re-animations permanently. As we began to turn the tables, Malareth was suddenly no longer amused and decided to give us his worst. However, in my many years, I do not think we had been so fortunate to have so many things go so wrong for an adversary. His mightiest foulcraft did little more than cause minor irritation. Worse still for him, I launched my most potent attack, the Dragonfang Bolt, which caused a spectacular amount of damage and left him badly injured. He was then killed by my companions, leaving Tor without a foe to interrogate. We searched the room thoroughly; I recovered Malareth’s staff, while others took various items for themselves.

All in all, we were fortunate this day…although I very much hope our company realizes that it will not always be as easy down the line.

-Lorne

Lorne Hightower (Tom Lapcharoen)

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Into the Caves (Chapter 2)

After resting for the night, our journey in search of the fate of the caravans began anew with the dawn. Sable had returned to Falcrest, for reasons still unknown; she may have had some business to attend with her druidic order. We travelled a few leagues to find the river outside of the caves. It was shallow enough to cross without boat or ferry. Suddenly, JK Scrumpy, our rather fearless companion, let out a ferocious battlecry and proceeded with the intention to cleave a goblin in two before we knew what was happening. The party was quick to join in the pursuit, and soon we were caught in a mad chase to the caves where the goblin had fled.

He was joined by another of those comtemptable hexers, as well as more common goblin thugs like himself. Most unexpectedly, we found a fellow adventurer who had chosen to brave these caves on his own. While formidable looking, we feared for his chances alone and asked him to join our company having assisted us in dispatching the goblins. Calling himself Tor, he is a secretive fellow who seemed reluctant to speak of himself but would prove valuable nonetheless. We were wondering if the caves would provide challenge beyond a gaggle of goblins. We did not have long to wait.

We soon found ourselves deeper underground. The caves were merely a facade, intended most likely to disguise the very deliberately crafted underground lair of sentient creatures. We happened upon more goblin foes, and their vicious cave drake pet. Our company was starting to learn how to act as a team, and they proved to be less of a match than we had anticipated. The rooms of the dungeon chambers held numerous secrets, and I was fairly successful in unlocking them with some help from the others.

Not entirely dominated by goblins, we then happened upon kobolds, diminuitive draconics who typically worship all dragons. Unfearful of us, they nevertheless understood our numeric advantage and greater might. We were soon lead to their master, a young white dragon. Attempting to parley with this dragon, we learned of the stewardship of this abysmal place. It was not long before we found ourselves in conflict with more of this lair’s denizens, and found misadventure involving a shallow pit…

-Lorne

Lorne Hightower (Tom Lapcharoen)

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At the Crossroads (Chapter 1)

I shall begin this tale as many often do, making merriment and carousing at the fabled Inn of the Drunken Dragon in the city of Falcrest. Though I am new to adventuring, many’s the day I had spent in the study of the sorcerer’s arts to prepare myself for what lied ahead. I make my way to the city of Falcrest from west of the Elven kingdoms, for I am both mannish and Elvish by birth. Whilst supping on my favorites of mead and roasted pheasant and other delights at the Inn, I was later approached by some familiar faces, and those not so familiar. Seems a certain Dwarvish businessman was interested in the fate of caravans of which he was invested. With fellow wanderers JK Skrumpy the fighter and his associate (a fellow Bahamut faithful, the paladin Utumno) Sav Sawadee the shifter, Sable the Druidess, Moxi Crimsonmist the rogue, and Aurelia the warpriestess, our adventuring company set out to the general direction of the missing caravans, and met with resistance at a crossroads en route.

We were attacked by several wolves and their foul goblin masters. They were joined by a hexer, a nasty little goblin sort with some rankly amateurish spellcraft, but enough to cause our fledgling party some considerable inconvenience. Though the battle seemed somewhat drawn out, we were eventually victorious, and decided to camp out for the night to recover strength. The goblins had little on them, save for some minimal coin and typical trinkets. Most disappointing, but expected. Clues would lead us to caves beyond the nearest river.

-Lorne

Lorne Hightower (Tom Lapcharoen)

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