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haldir

Rescue at Rivenroar

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Rescue at Rivenroar

Part I of the epic Scales of War adventure path

A Wizards of the Coast 4th ed D&D Play by Post game

by David Noonan & Wizards of the Coast

 

Gamemaster

 

haldir (yours truly)

 

Players:

 

Qwyksilver (Brannor, half-elf, paladin

orcsoul (Kaanite, half-orc, ranger)

Stink (Grins Like Hyena, human, shaman)

Spike (Akaru, half-orc, wizard)

 

The setting for the game will Elsir Vale & the surround areas. The world is a generic standard fantasy type, so think Lord of the Rings, Greyhawk, & certain areas of pre-4e Forgotten Realms--elves are elves, dwarves are dwarves, etc, etc.

 

Speaking of the Elsir Vale, here it is!!

 

Elsir Vale & Surrounding Areas

 

If you've played the 3e adventure Red Hand of Doom, then some of this will be familiar to you. It has been 10 years since the last great adventure company banded together the people of the Vale & defeated the half-dragon warlord Azarr Kul & his huge army. The land still has scars from that glorious battle but for the most part, the area has existed in peace, except for the occasional bandit raid on the Dawn Way, the main road in the area & other lesser roads.

 

The main site of that battle was centered around the town of Brindol

 

The town has repaired the damage from the great battle, but alas the population has dwindled a bit even with the mild prosperity the region has enjoyed. With 6,700 or so people living within the walls & 1,000 more living outside within a 5-mile radius, in farms & other outlying areas. Brindol is home to most of the common races, but mostly humans, dwarves & half-elves call it home. A clan of halflings called the "The River folk" do live among the taller folk occasionally, as they make their trade on the river as boatmen & laborers.

 

The town is ruled by a non-elected council. 2/3rds coming from hereditary landlords & the rest from the leaders or guild-masters from the city's most important guilds. The public leader or face of the city is Lord Warden Harrik Orenna. He is also the leader of the city militia. The city has a standing army of 200 well armed soldiers, armed with chainmail, halberds & swords. Only a quarter of them thou are on standing duty, the rest are in reserves. If there is crisis, the Lord Warden can muster up an additional 200 soldiers but they are ill-equipped & aren't really for battle.

 

Notable buildings in town:

 

Inns: Chatrenn and Sons; The Red Door; Avandrian Hostel; The Silk and Spoon; Pantashi Inn.

 

Taverns: Ilya’s Cardhouse; The Marooned Schooner; Cleftie’s; Brindol Gentleman’s Club; the Blue Parrot; the Antler and Thistle.

 

Major Guilds: Prospectors; Blacksmiths and Smelters; Teamsters and Farriers; Weavers; River Bargemen(halfling "River Folk" controlled).

 

Supplies: Alchemy by Adronsius (currently closed);Gavriel Arms and Smithy; Staghunter Outfitters; Alpenglow Trading House.

 

Temples: Temple of Erathis; College of Ioun; Shrine of the Sun (Pelor); Moondust Temple (Sehanine); Shrine of Bahamut (no permanent clergy); Shrine of the Open Door (Avandra).

 

Here is a link to a Player's Guide that the person made up for the game. This can be found here:

 

Scales of War Player's Guide

(key to the map, note this key is now copied & pasted from a site I found using Google today which is repeated in the Player's Guide.

 

1. City Gates

2. Chatrenn and Sons (Inn)

3. Axenhaft Security (Guard Service)

4. Alpenglow Trading House

5. Brindol Market

6. Antler & Thistle (tavern)

7. Red Magic and Sundries (Magic Shop)

8. College of Ioun

9. Guildmaster’s Street (various)

10. Shrine of the Open Door

11. Brindol Academy

12. Ilya’s Cardhouse (Tavern)

13. Kaal Manor (Noble Estate)

14. Shrine of Bahamut

15. Brindol Gentleman’s Club

16. The Hall of Great Valor

17. Shrine of the Sun

18. Brindol Keep

19. Haskin Mansion (Noble Estate)

20. Brindol Cemetery

21. Temple of Erathis

22. Moondust Temple

23. Staghunter Outfitters

24. Gavriel Arms and Smithy

25. Alchemy by Adronsius

26. Avandrian Hostel (Inn)

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Mid-Summer; Evening; The city of Brindol; Antler & Thistle tavern

 

The day was hot & people are thirsty. The hot night air is lit up from various taverns that are in full swing. This one in particular is named the Antler & Thistle. A small building, but the beverages are priced right & the service is great. To most that is all they need to take the aches & pains of a day's work away. Everyone (PCs) is at this tavern, a half-empty tankard of whatever quenches your thirst is in front of you. None of you know each other right now. Each has come to Brindol for various reason, either by the The Dawn Way or by the slow moving, Elsir river.

 

One is particular is here due to there was really no where else to go. That is you, Sturdy Oak. Your tribe decimated in a midnight attack by a band of goblins, hobgoblins & ogres. They attacked with ferocity & might that your people had really no chance to fight back. Your uncle knew this & was able to lead you away from most of the fighting, he told you seek the townfolk of Elsircross, a small rivertown, that was more a tradepost then anything, warn them of this humanoid band. He told you to tell of them of their symbol, a upside down Red Hand.

 

You insisted that you'd rather stay & fight with the rest of your people, but your uncle told you, that you would be helping, by bringing reinforcements & to warn the civilized folk. You finally agreed & made your way into the woods with what supplies you could grab. As you ran you took a chance to glance back at your people, that was when you saw a ogre bring it's huge club down onto your uncle. The blow bashing in his skull, he had no chance.

 

No humanoid followed you as you made your way to the small town, but no one would listen. All they would say, no reason to fear the humanoids, "They just aren't that organized" or "Eh, it's only gobs & hobs, big deal." Furious, you left the town thinking maybe you'd find someone that would actually listen in the capitol city of Elsir. This is where you are today.

(I'll leave the other histories & how you came to be in the town up to everyone else)

 

The tavern is in full swing, 2 barmaids carrying platter-fulls of mead, ales & other alcoholic beverages to the patrons. There is a table in the NE corner that has a card game in full swing. 3 Farmers gambling whatever they probably earned at today's market. A robust human bartender with a balding head fills a mug full of beer for a patron, it's a normal evening at the Antler & Thistle.........

 

Antler & Thistle Tavern

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Smiling graciously at the barmaid delivering his ale, the young half elf leaned back in his seat and took a long pull from the cool clay mug. A yawn escaped his lips as he stretched muscles stiff from a day of long, strenuous work.

 

“Rough day in the fields,” The maid asks, eying the young man in his simple, homespun clothing.

“Not the fields miss,” the young man responds, his eyes sparkling in humor. “But a truly tedious day it was. My brothers have worked me hard this past fortnight. Tonight is the first evening I had to myself since, well it’s been so long I cannot recall.”

 

Although a little young for her tastes, the barmaid eyed the comely youth warmly. “Brothers you say? Are there more of them like you at home?” Flattery may get you nowhere she thought, but it certainly helps the tips.

 

A blush creeping across his cheeks, the youth nodded. “Most certainly. Though my brothers, most of them are a bit older than I.”

 

This may be promising the barmaid thought. “So, do you have a large family?”

 

A flicker of pain creased the youth’s forehead. “No ma’am. Azarr Kul took my family from me.”

 

A flash of anger danced across the barmaid’s face. The brat is just playing with me. Oh he’s good.

 

But the insults died on her lips as she saw a medallion escape from the ties of his shirt. Nodding at the symbol of Erathis, the barmaid smiled. “It looks like you’ve found a new family since those hard times.”

 

Grinning boyishly, the youth nodded. “The brothers took me in and raised me after the Red Hand passed through. I’ve just taken my vows actually. Reaching behind his chair, he brought out a well crafted longsword in scabbard and a shield, both wrapped in cloth. I just picked this up from Gavriel. It was my mentor’s gift to me for completing my training as a Knight of Erathis. I’ve been given the rest of this week as holiday.” A bright smile flashed across his face. “Next week, I am to travel to the borders to help construct and oversee training at a new signal tower.” The youth’s face took on a surprisingly mature cast as he began to talk about his duty.

 

“Congratulations.” Taking the coins from her tray, she returned the price of the ale to the young man. “This drink is on me. May the road take you safely to your duty.”

 

Brannor returned to his drink, watching the farmers playing cards at the table next to him. Watching what his life may have been had not the Red Hand marched through Brindel a decade ago.

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barmaids carrying platters full of mead, ales & other alcoholic beverages to the patrons

Valken deftly grabs an ale from the barmaids platter as he rises from his seat. The jingle of coins upon the platter lets the barmaid now that its paid for.

 

“Aye, you’re a lifesaver” he adds with a quick grin as he turns and makes his way toward the card game table.

 

“So, room for one more neighbor?” he asked once he approached the table

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Sturdy Oak enters the inn, finds an empty chair in one of the corner tables and sits down after a long journey of the day. He is frustrated. His kinsmen are all probably slaughtered, beyond all help. "I'm too late, too late", he sobs to himself, tears in his eyes. He feels anger pulsating in his veins, but he keeps it in. As in Elsircross, he was not taken seriously when he was asking for aid: "Talk to the guards captain tomorrow or next week", "Get away from me you mad savage! Gods made us a favour if they got us rid of most of you...". What can I do next, he thinks?

 

That is when he hears it from another table nearby: "the Red Hand". He rushes to the table of the half-elf hopefully, maybe this one will believe.

 

"You know the Red Hand?" Sturdy Oak asks the half-elf. "Tell me who will I crush for slaughtering my tribe!"

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Sitting at an isolated table in the southeast corner of the Tavern, his back to the corner, observing the raucous crowd with inquisitive eyes. A brutish half-orc exterior belies a serene, for a half-orc, nature. The stigma serves its purpose, people don't bother him, and are pleasantly surprised when they find him not to be an imbecile, or a thug; not that he can't or won't be a thug when the situation calls for it, it's just easier to get what you want with a kind word and a tusky smile than a swords edge and a jail cell.

 

Sipping quietly at a pitcher full of what passes for water in these parts, probably from the horse troughs outside, listening to the drifting sound of conversations and gambling nearby, he smiles inwardly. This is the life.

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Grins Like Hyena leans against the bar staring into his still full mug of ale, head down and shoulders heavy.

 

He was born under a bad sign, they said. He never thought much of it until now. He was found, the only survivor, as an infant in the midst of a butchered caravan. The Longtooth tribe that found him made him one of their own and he was raised in semi-priviledge as the son of the clans elder. Following the footsteps of his father, he was to be the next Shaman of the tribe. The healer. The nourisher.

 

Now, though. Now they're all dead.

 

"Why didn't I see it until now?" he thinks to himself. Bad luck seemed to follow him throughout his life. "Not just my birthparents" he thinks. The image of his best friends broken body at the bottom of the Red Cliffs floods his mind. "Accidents happen" they told him followed by warnings to trek carefully through the mountains.

 

"Ha." he mutters. How foolish they were. Death was his aura. Not by his hands do people die around him, but by the Spirits. It is their wish and their way....it must be. The beautiful face of his lost love brings water to his eyes. His last sight of her was as she slipped under the current to be dragged untold leagues down river. He had a hold of her hand but didn't have the strength to pull her to safety.

 

And now. Now it all comes together. Away on his Spirit Walk, the ritual a young Shaman must complete to not only gain his Spirit Companion but also a ritual the members of his tribe must complete to become men, he found solace in the isolation of the wilderness. The world made sense, suddenly and it was like he had awoken from his previous lethargic life with the knowledge of the planes. He was at the pinnacle of his life until he wandered back into camp and discovered the aftermath of a gruesome raid. Once again, those around him that he loved were slaughtered while he was left alone.

 

He wandered the wilderness for many moons after that. Living off the land and occasionally civilization whenever he'd come across it. Thats how he ended up here. Just another stop in his endless, unknown wandering.

 

"I'm cursed!" he grumbles as he slams a clenched fist onto the bar.

 

Suddenly his ears perk and he whips around to see the source of his curiosity.

 

"Tell me who will I crush for slaughtering my tribe!" a massive human questions.

 

 

Hmmm.....could this, somehow, be related? He quickly glances over the man to determine his nature, hoping he guesses right as not to offend.

 

 

 

"You! Wild man! What is this you say about a slaughtered tribe?"

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"You know the Red Hand?" Sturdy Oak asks the half-elf. "Tell me who will I crush for slaughtering my tribe!"

Valken turned slightly toward the outcry.

 

hmm.., a madman no doubt… The Red Hand was dealt with long ago…

 

thou even a madman can wreak a fair amount of havoc with a weapon like that…

 

that fella gonna have his hands full… this could be interesting…

 

Valken looked about the room to see what manner of attention this would draw, it would give him some insight of the general temperament of the locals.

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Hearing some loud voices, clearly not in bawdy jest or merriment, Kaanite focused his attention on those being most loud, and those that the yells were directed at, an out of place shaman and an equally out of place barbarian. This could be trouble, barbarians in his experience, weren't well known for being subtle, and this shaman would be guilty by association.

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"You! Wild man! What is this you say about a slaughtered tribe?"

 

Sturdy Oak turns to the speaker, eyeing him suspiciously and noticing he is looking at another tribesman. "Aye, three nights ago our tribe was attacked by a horde of goblins, hobgoblins and ogres. My uncle sent me to get help from Elsircross, but the cowards there would not listen. No-one here either. Now my tribe is no longer. They are all gone, and before his death my uncle told me that it was the Red Hand banner under which the beasts marched."

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"Its true" Grins steps away from the bar and scans the room trying to decipher who was paying attention. "I've been wandering the wilderness, following my Spirit Guide, since the day my tribe was also destroyed. The wind does not speak of who did this to my family, and I know not if we were stricken down by the same foul hand, but there is something stirring out there."

 

This must be the reason the Spirits lead him here. Even if this barbarians tribe was destroyed by a completely different evil, they were now brothers under some twisted, malicious bond. Maybe he could set the stars right by helping. Maybe he could find the source of his own tribes demise.

 

"Who have you spoken with? I am Grins Like Hyena, son of Coils Like Snake and Shaman of the Longtooth of the Blind Boulder tribe, maybe they would listen if our voices were stronger."

 

(I would say my character is two squares off the right from the bar on either side of the fireplace depending on which side Sturdy Oak is on)

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The door swings open and a guant human, his face pockmarked with scars enters. He stops for a moment scans the room, his face not betraying any emotion while his eyes size up ever person in seconds. Slowly he makes is way to an empty seat walking between the heated conversation not paying either party attention. He raises his hand up to get a barmaids attention, spaps a coin on his table and pulls out a book. He seems to become lost between the pages of the book.

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One of the barmaids, a older middle aged woman passes by on her way over to the the man who just came into the tavern, she stops when the party mentions the Red Hand. "Red Hand?" Excuse me good sirs, but their threat was extinguished 10 years or so ago. Heck I was here when the Diamond Company defeated their great leader." she says to the party.

 

"Aye." a man says, form his look he appears to be a common farmer. "I lost my oldest son in the terrible battle." he adds. "While the goblins, & hobgoblins in the area are a nuisance, they aren't united & are certainly not under a single leader." The bartender, looks over at the woman & nods to her as a sign to get moving, there be thirsty patrons about!!

 

She leaves but the man stays "Heck, they burned my fields during that battle. My son defended our farm till the last. The Diamond Company arrived too late to save him, but alas my life was spared." he says pausing a bit to remember his son. "Aye, Tad was a good son." Sorry to bother you but if the 'Hand was back, I'm sure we'd have some word of them.

 

The night continues (at this time, the party can talk amongst themselves & what not). The tavern continues to receive patrons as the night progresses. All sorts of professions, races all come to drink here, a normal night in Brindol...................

 

 

Suddenly the normal evening is shattered as the door to the place violently swings open, the impact on the wall breaking one of the hinges & the door falls to the floor. In rush, 4 humanoid creatures with dirty orange skin & dark red piercing eyes that flash when they hit the torch light of the tavern. They are dressed in dark colors with shades of crimson & dark blue mixed in their appearance. Hobgoblins! On their chest armor is a upside Down Red Hand print. (think LOTR Uruk Hai)

 

"AGHHHHHHHH!!!" a barmaid close to the door screams, as one cuts her down quickly. 2 rush to a empty table a smash it apart!. Anther rushes to a table of 3 people, 2 elves & a human. He stabs with his longsword at one of the elves & kills him where he sat. He cries out “For Sinruth! For the Hand!”, as he lops the other elf's head clean from his shoulders!!

 

ROLL SURPRISE & then ROLL INITIATIVE

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Surprise (presuming this is a Perception check): 9 +2 = 11

Initiative: 8 -1 = 7

 

[OOC] Why am I wishing I had also picked up my scale mail armor at Gavriel's too, and happened to be wearing it around town, showing it off. I blame my lack of iniative on the Barbarian ruining my mojo with his lunacy :lol::poke: [/OOC]

 

 

Brannor leaps to his feet, his mug shattering with its impact against the floor. Reaching behind him he grabs his sword and shield, fumbling with the cloth wrappings as he draws forth the shining steel.

Edited by Qwyksilver

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