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Rising Phoenix Gaming

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  • Shadows of the Worlf: a Game of Personal Supernatural Horror
  • Three Leaves DnD 5E Campaign
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An Epic Fantasy D&D 5E campaign set in a Homebrewed world
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Brarga's Yellow eyes seemed to almost shine in the candlelight, and he clutched his Axes tightly. "agreed, it can't have been long. Do you sense any sort of magic at work here, someone hiding themselves? I'd rather we not be beset from behind as we continue on." He kept his voice to what was a whisper for him, and was ready to continue following Kathra, His eyes searching the shadows for anything that didn't belong. A part of him suspected a trap, either here, or awaiting them ahead. His travels had made him wary of situations like this, but at the same time, they could only forge ahead.
  3. "Well, it can't have been too long," Maighan said as she surveyed the room. "Those candles wouldn't stay lit for more than a few hours, I imagine." She went over to the table and looked at each set of cards, wanting to see which player had the winning hand. "I wonder if it's the dwarves that survived to come down here...or the goblins... Or something else entirely. There are dark tales of what lives in dark places." The eladrin chuckled. "I'll have to tell you some." She drew steel then and faced the tunnel. "Shall we?"
  4. As quietly as they could they descended. The light below flickered, it wasn’t bright and Kathra didn’t believe it was a torch, more likely a candle. And she was right. She readied her weapon and shield held high ran down the last few steps in an effort to catch anyone by surprise. There was not anyone there. The landing was a wide room carved from the stone and not walled. It was roughly ten by twenty feet and at the far end was an open arch about eight foot high leading into a tunnel, Beside the arch was a small table with two wood stools on either side. On the table were a candle in a metal saucer, a pitcher and two metal cups, and a set of playing cards, well used spread out with two hands laid faces down before the stools. Studying the floor revealed booted footprints in the dirt and dust, old, recent , and fresh. Most were gathered around the table and down the tunnel, including the fresh ones. Looking down the tunnel they could see lit torches in holders that had been hammered into the walls. The tunnel was wide, ten foot and tall, ten foot at least.
  5. Kathra's jade eyes flashed with anger. Wars and battles inevitably led to damage and destruction, that was understood and expected. You suffered, then rebuilt. But this passage, it was a wound, a cancer infecting grand, Dwarven design and skill. She had no inkling what kind of magery had formed this passage and the deep well and the winding stair, but it seemed the makers still lingered, or at least someone was partaking of their work. She eyed her companions. She and Brarga, armored as they were, were hardly a stealthy pair. An untrustworthy prisoner and a blunt barbarian of a Grugarch. She didn't know what all the Eladrin could accomplish with her magic, but it seemed unlikely they would be able to sneak up on whomever was below. It wasn't ideal, but Kathra was a direct sort, herself. "It's a Dwarven Hold, and I have a new shield, it seems only right that I lead," Kathra answered in a low voice, a tight smile gracing her lips, as she readied the Ultov Wall and her warhammer. She gave the others a few moments to ready themselves, the began to descend the curving stairs, her steps sure and steady, as she strained to hear any sounds wafting up the well.
  6. Brarga normally took the lead in situations like this, generally with the idea that whatever came of it, he'd likely survive enough to be healed. Still, Kathra was more an expert on the methods of construction of this keep, and even the magic used to create this passage they'd come through. He looked to Kathra, and spoke softly. "Do you wish to take the lead, or shall I?" He was fine with either choice, but it seemed their only choice was to descend the steps, and find whoever else was here. His voice was barely above a whisper.
  7. Maighan glanced at the dour dwarf pulled the key from her pack turned it over shook it and put it back in her pack when it did nothing. Then she gave Kathra a shrug. Tooli shook her head. "It brought us here and nowhere else. There must be a reason and that reason must lie inside here. Somewhere." They searched through the large room mindful of the remains and wary of traps. It was Marida who found what they had been looking for. Cleverly hidden behind camouflage was a passage. Kathra noted that the construction was not Dwarvish like the rest of the citadel and so the party entered with even more caution. The passage was dark but there were brackets for torches every fifteen feet. most were empty but a few held torches which were used but still serviceable. The passage was wide four large men could walk abreast with ease and little crowding. the construction was not normal, the floor was the same stone as the rest of the keeps foundation but the wall and ceiling were smooth if uneven and slightly curved. The ceiling was about ten feet high. the passage seemed to run within the very fortified walls of the keep. It was the determination of the mages among the party and Kathra that the passage had been made with magic and evidence was found in the dust and small bits of scattered debris that the passage had been used recently. After moving through the passage a good ways they came to an end of the passage. There they found a wide opening in the floor and a spiral stair made of stone descending into the depths. at the bottom the could see a flickering of pale light.
  8. A melancholy smile on her face, Kathra fished an oiled rag from her pack meant to polish weapons and armor and cleaned the powerful shield with sure, steady motions. She'd been just a girl, but she could remember a girl's yearning for a handsome man of a Clan for above her. She checked the straps of the Ultov Wall, and finding them sound, exchanged it for her own shield on her arm, it's richly embossed surface now gleaming. "I would like to form a barrow for my fallen Hold-kin, but our quest guides our steps and constrains our time for the moment," Kathra said with somber cheer. "When it is complete, I will return to do so, and perhaps take up another quest unfinished." She frowned, then murmured softly, "If these quests do not already follow the same paths." The big dwarf woman knelt down on one steel-clad knee, the point of the shield on the ground, her forehead resting on its upper rim. "Banrel of Clan Ultov, your journey has ended, but know that one day, your shield shall return home," she intoned with solemn promise. "This I so Vow." Then Kathra straightened once more, giving this witch a dark-eye sidelong glance. "I am ready to continue on. We have traveled far seeking to end the depredations of one Witch, and in so doing, have found ourselves saddled with another." She nodded at the fey Eladrin and bearer of the Key. "Can you tell if the Key has led us to this place in particular or are we to pass through?"
  9. Brarga looked at the shield, and nodded at Kathra's story. "They found their way here, which makes a sort of sense." He looked at all the bones and detritus of an old battlefield. Often there were mementos of a person to bring home to their kin, should they expire afar from home. He himself carried such, if nothing else, to report to the Legions that he'd fallen. He frowned and the remains. "What would you like to do?" He knew death rites among his people, but they were different for other races.
  10. But what Marida saw was the litter of a battle fought years before. For the first time the remains of people other than goblinoids were found. The bare bones of dwarves, shattered armor, broken weapons and shields. The fallen a testament to the dwarves abilities, for at the place of each dwarven skeleton lay the bones of many foes, some time upwards of twenty goblin skulls. The rest of the company joined the elf and the begane to explore. Kthra stopped to study a nearly intact shield for she recognized the device embossed upon its face. Clan Ultov, a clan from Land's End her holding! She lifted the shield and the dirt and detritus of years fell from it revealing its wondrous workmanship and more. It fairly pulsed at Kathra's touch a pulse of divine magic felt by those standing near. "This belonged to Banrel of Clan Ultov. He was from my home. Thirty...Thirty-five years ago, maybe more. I was just a child really He was among a Company who left Land's End on a quest. They were never heard from again." "What was their quest," queried Tooli? "They sought the greatest treasure of our kind, the fable Bannocgonal, the boat which could sail the Sea of Ægte Guld, True Gold in the common tongue."
  11. Marida knew just enough about Kathra to guess that a city of her kin wiped out not once but twice would effect her in a less than optimal way. Nor did she completely disagree with their borrowed witch's judgement. Last thing you did was corner yourself against a foe given have a chance. Always leave a tree at your back to clamor up. At least that's what a Grugach would do. Or try to do anyway. Depended on how many of these 'large' goblins there'd been, really. She grunted and started stalking forward, sheathing her blade with the intend of stalking over to the barracade and give the scene a solid once over vaulting into the ruined hall, fully expecting to see multiple piles of looted corpses.
  12. Kathra grunted, "This city was built by dwarves', there is only one gate. If there are any other ways in or out it will be hidden and probably underground." "Where do you suggest we start then," asked Tooli? Kathra points down the main thoroughfare at an imposing edifice a good quarter mile away. "That will be the Keep. We should start there." Cautiously the party makes their way through the ruins passing the destroyed remnants of an obviously once thriving population. They pass huge ovens and kitchens for feeding thousands, buildings which were divided into spacious apartments for the citizens, shops, taverns, hotels. All destroyed showing the results of dragons fire and age. Also along the thoroughfare are the signs of old battles but more recent, scattered bones of the large goblins and normal ones too as well as human and animal bones, dogs or wolves and horses. Broken weapons litter the way and armor and shields. Other than the wind and rain there is no sound. They come to the keep, the front is a blasted wreck, but there is a makeshift barrier of stone and wood erected where the doors and front wall should have been. The barrier is uneven and stands about five foot high, easily climbable. Beyond the barrier is a great entrance hall with doorway along the sides and at the back. The cavernous room is high ceilinged and littered with trash, bones, and rubble. “Fools,” mumbles the witch who stands close to Marida and slightly behind using the large elf for cover.
  13. "A good job they weren't expecting anyone to unlock the teleportation path to get here," Maighan giggled, unable to hold her mirth back. "Their guard is probably on the other side of the city, where the gates are. We may have a few minutes before you're noticed, if you walk light and speak low." She didn't include herself in that estimation. Obviously goblinkind would never notice an eladrin who didn't want to be noticed.
  14. "Mistress," The witch steps close to Marida and says softly so that only the elf can hear, "The wizard is right, curse her knowledge. That skull and these bones belong to a race from the far west. They were raised from goblin stock. Their presence here means they were brought here. That skeleton at the gate belongs to a beast called a Mamothe a huge war beast from that same place. Such things could only have be brought here by magic" She looks around gaurdedly. "We should leave, now. There is nothing but death for us here."
  15. "These 'er ye deid kin, Kathra. I'll heed ye ken 'f tha place, but some hand live er deid 's keepin this place barren," Marida chipped in, shifting to the groups left, sword gripped tightly in both hands, "Ev'n dragonfyre wouldnae keep nature from claiming more 'f e share e this place. Moss. Grass. 'Ven fungus 'nd shrubs ef ets bin this long." The mention of giants had caught her attention, the possibility of ancient relics at hand matched by the alertness provoked by the chance of some sturdy goblinkin being about dancing in her dark eyes.
  16. Brarga nodded. Kathra was the expert here, and She would know far better the typical layout. "I'll follow you then." His voice was tinged with respect. He seemed to smile, a vote of confidence in his comrade, trusting in her. "Provided outsiders aren't barred from setting foot inside." He knew that there were such places amongst his own kind, where even certain other Dragonborn weren't allowed to set foot, so it stood to reason that this held true for the other races. He recognized that these ruins held meaning for Kathra, for her people, and while survival was certainly foremost in his mind, they weren't so pressed that they had to rush.
  17. Kathra walked among the ruins of a legend, her jade eyes dimmed by melancholy. This was the second fallen Dwarven Hold she was witness to. If the actual halls of her own home of Land's End had not suffered such ruination at the hand of the Dead King, its people had, she the last walking among the living. One Hold fallen ages past, and one fallen less then a generation ago. "I go seeking the Great Forge," Kathra said, not countermanding Brarga, just informing her companions. "It is the Heart of most any Dwarf Hold. It... is what passes for a holy place among us. We were hewn from the mountains by the Stone Father, and the fires of the Forge Mother gave us life and it is in the Great Forge where Stone and Fire meet. Its fires warm the Hold. There once may have been treasures in the Bastion, the Thane's Place, but they would have been crafted at the Great Forge, and the greatest secrets not graven in memory but graven in stone would have been held there." The big she-dwarf seemed to stand even taller among a legend of her people, despite its destruction. The cold rain had not seemed to dull her determined exuberance, but the light in her eyes and the curve of her lips held a solemn wryness. "And besides, except for the mines, the Great Forge would be one the deepest parts of the Hold. Perhaps it largely escaped the ravening dragonfire. We do not hide the Great Forge and it would be as defensible as the Bastion. There will be signs I can read that will lead the way."
  18. Brarga had looked around mutely at the ruins of the great city. They'd allowed a dragon to live, and earned a favor of it, but this, was something else. He knew the stories of what dragons could do, he'd even participated in the taking down of wild younger ones. Still for a dragon to have the power to lay waste to the lands like this, he admit there was a certain pride in that power, but also fear that it would be turned against him. "Normally, I would say let us make for the City square, or the grounds of the palace. One for ease of reaching other places, the latter for the likely presence of vaults that survived, and thus would also serve as destinations for any other visitors to this place. A kingdom of such great wealth, I imagine they knew the value of knowledge, and would have a vast archive as well." He shrugged his broad shoulders. "We may do well to also think of finding a place to rest, somewhere we can be secure against any other threats, yet also able to get out of should that need arise." They had limited rations, but at the same time, a good period of rest would help them all as well.
  19. The party followed the Eladrin warily, the place below them was foreboding, everyone felt menace in the air, but at least the wall would give shelter from the wind and rain. The path was steep and slippery with mud from the accumulation of untold years. Soaked through the heroes trudge onward, the sky growing darker and the rain colder. At last they approached the great wall and saw in the dim light that it was in poor shape, weather from centuries of neglect. Nothing stirred at least not that their senses could glean in the weather. The massive gate, made of stone in the mysterious ways of the Dwarvkin, stood open. The left gate was partially drawn into the wall but was askew, jammed into the recess it was designed to draw into. The right Gate was broken, shattered, stone from it lay about in rubble the size of men. They paused under the shelter of the wall while Kathra searched for signs of where they were. It did not take long. Around the gate were dwarvkin runes faded from weathering but still semi legible. “This place was called Nangrodeem, a Dwarvkin kingdom of legend," said Kathra. " Legend had it hidden in a deep valley in the middle of the Northern Spine. Legend also says that it was inaccessible except through tunnels the Dwarves had built all the way under the mountains, both east and west.” Kathra ran her hand along the wall tracing the faded runes. “Nangrodeem was built upon the richest mines the world had ever known, the Deemdrim. Gold, Silver, Admantium, even Truest Gold came from these halls. They fought wars against the Giants eventually driving them from the north mountains.” Brarga looked upon those ancient walls as Kathra spoke. “What happened to them?” Kathra shook her head, “I don’t know, all of this was just legend. Until now.” They passed through the broken gate and came first upon a skeleton of some great beast the size of a house that no one could identify, then upon the first of the buildings of the city, or what was left of them, scattered among the ruins were skeletal remains and the detritus of the dead. They came to a halt and peered closely at the worked stone. Time had worked on it; cracks from moss and lichen, bleaching from who knew how many sunrises and sunsets. Aside from that though, there were marks of the original damage. Where stone had sagged and blistered. Where it had run like wax and pooled at the base of the blasted walls. "Dragonfire," Maighan breathed, running her finger along the contour of the once-molten runoff. "A city this size, devastated by dragonfire. Kathra, I think you have the right of it. Imagine it...Nangrodeem." She looked at the others and explained. "It was attacked by a Dragon unlike any other. It was called Reivnorrog, and was the color of the purple sky at midnight and of a size and ferocity never recorded before or since. It attacked Nangrodeem at the height of the city's strength and turned the mountain valley into a bubbling caldron of lava...or so the stories say. The speculation was that it sought dwarven treasure in vaults. Others think it was revenge for some insult the dwarves paid it. Anyone who knew though..." She gestures around the city. "Joined the stone rather literally." Maighan nodded, eyes aglow. "To think I'd set foot in a legend, old Nangrodeem. What a story this will make." Antares walks a short circle around the group bow in hand arrow knocked. “That skeleton at the gate,” he gestures among the rubble, “and these bones are not burned. The walls and the gates were not melted. Some of this happened after this place fell.” Tooli moves to a scattering of bones she uses her wand to prod them then points a a rock and mutters a word a broken skull floats out from under the rubble. “I don’t know what this belongs to. It looks goblin sort of, but its much too large. It is also not old maybe a year or so.” She lets the skull fall to the ground and stands up, “This place is huge. Where do we start?”
  20. "Hm. This must be old indeed. The Sons of Earth build to last," Maighan remarks. She begins down the stairs away from the travel column, towards the city sprawling below. A nice warm rain could be pleasant, but this was a chill mountain storm. It wasn't Winter yet, not for her. "So...do you think this is where our quarry is hiding? Any idea where we are?"
  21. The key melded into the platform which immediately began to fold into itself taking the heroic party with it. Existence became nothing as time space and reality bent, tore and reformed. Cold brusque wind and rain lashed at the heroes. Lightning lit up roiling clouds and thunder shook the wall of rock which rose in sharp slopes on either side. Before the party stood a Travel column mounted on a platform overlooking a deep mountain valley, in the flash of lightning a city could be seen below, a city which looked as if it had been carved from the mountains around it. A Dwarven city. Light flashed from the column and the Key extruded itself from within the column and floated down to the Eladrin who took it into her hands again. Kathra strode to the edge of the platform pulling her cloak tight against the lashing rain. She saw no light coming from the city below and the flashes of lightning revealed that the wall were broken and towers fallen. It was Dwarven City in ruins. To the side of the platform stairs were found leading to an ancient road leading down toward the city. Regardless of the state of that dark place, at least under its walls shelter from this storm might could be found.
  22. "It's a strange sort of non-space isn't it? I wonder if wizards created it as part of this travel network, or if they simply discovered it and exploited it for its uses as a travel network. It's a pity you're all so short-lived. If one of my kind had made it, we could simply ask." The redheaded eladrin took a deep bow to Kathra and held the Key up. "At your convenience, sirrah" she said with a grin, and leaned over to offer the key up to the pedestal.
  23. Well, Kathra figured she now knew where all that Heart Stone was used. But she was no arcanist and how no idea how that ancient empire had built this... place. They should have hired some dwarven stonemasons though. So straight and angular, this path through the void had no artistry. Even the most pragmatic of dwarven architecture held more style than this. Kathra had kept a wary eye on the Witch as they traversed the Heart Stone path. Her Vow had seemed a strong one, but having never heard of the Bridge of Erythemees, Kathra had no idea much it truly bound the Witch, and one little push at the right time could send one of them falling for eternity. She was silently glad when they finally reached the landing and the keyhole the Key appeared to be leading them to. She didn't know the truth of this place anymore than Brarga mused, but it seemed likely to her. "This or that, this place is more than uncanny," Kathra stoutly proclaimed, her voice sounding loud in the silence softened only by the distant wind. "And I am more than ready to be quit of it." She gestured towards the keyhole. "Maighan, if you would turn the Key?"
  24. Brarga walked behind Maighan, mostly in silence as they trekked onward. It truly seemed like it was going to keep going, until finally, they came to the branch indicated by the key. As they went down it, and came to a Keyhole, Brarga finally spoke. "So all those branches, even the broken ones, are different locations of these pillars, and if they're broken or not determines if they work?" He mused aloud, coming to what seemed to him to be a logical conclusion. Of course he knew he could be wildly incorrect, but all the same, he didn't see the harm in giving voice to that thought. He rubbed his jaw lightly, and looked around. Magic was beyond him, and while yes, Magic on this scale was amazing, there was little he could do. He was more for direct unsubtle answers. "Or is this all something else entirely?"
  25. Maighan held the Key and followed it down the road. They passed many branches along the way. Some shot off the left and some the right. Never were two branches less than a half mile apart as the count of steps would show and never were two branches together at the same point. Some of the branches were broken, leading from the main road only a few yards before ending at a jagged drop off into the void the others drove straight off of the main road and after passing a few it was decided to check down one of them, at least for a little way. As soon as they stepped onto the branch the side of the Key which faced the way they had been going lit up. Seeing that the Key still showed the way they needed to go they decided to explore. The branch ran straight for about a mile from the main road and ended in a broad circle at the apex of the circle was a slot for the key. They debated trying the Key but in the end decided not to do so. At this time. They returned to the main road and continued. In all they passed eighteen branches and the key never once indicated a change. Until the nineteenth. The Key indicated that they should go down this branch and so they did and after a mile came to a circle with a Key hole.
  26. She giggled and glanced back over her shoulder. In the gloom of the strange otherworld, the light from the Key flickered over her fair skin, giving her a strange luminous effect. "This way." Maighan moved on at a brisk jog, eager to see where this object was guiding them.
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