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Part 2,

The Forge of Fury

Party Members

Darius Darkhammer, Male Dwarven Fighter/Cleric of Moradin
Dzindra (Dizzy) Daggersmith, Female Human Monk
Paks, Female Half-Elven Paladin of Yondalla
Shaidarol, Male Elven Psychic Warrior / Rogue - Deceased
Caleshorn, Male Elven Rogue/Illusionist


Couradil the Chicken Farmer, Torch Bearer

What has come before:

What adventures await the party in Blasingdell?

In the Sunless Citadel the party recovered a carved bone scroll case with dwarven runes "Khundrukar", which translates as "Glitterhame", on the outside. Inside the case is an old crumbling scroll that reads "...the remaining few. By order of Durgeddin the Black, we have created a secret dwarven redoubt. None shall find us; however..." The party also recovered a letter from Cassiopeia to Sir Bradford that read “Once you have Shatterspike, bring it and the map to me in Blasingdell. Untold riches await you in Durgeddin's stony redoubt ... and, I fear, the chance to be a hero. Your fall from grace will not be in vain …”

Although the party did recover the sword Shatterspike, no map was found. It appears that the bottom of the crumbling dwarven scroll was torn off sometime in the past; that portion of the scroll may have had the map on it.

After returning from the Sunless Citadel, the party also spoke with the dwarven blacksmith, Rurik Lutgehr. Rurik informed the party that,

It takes the party about two weeks to travel to Blasingdell.

Forge of Fury, Day 1 Fifth Game Session

Upon reaching Blasingdell the part either learns or notices the following:

Pax detects evil on many of the citizen’s of Blasingdell and determines that about a quarter of the population is evil.

The party heads to the Griffon’s Nest Inn (a very nice establishment) where the party speaks with a “plucky” half-elf barmaid. The party learns the following information:

Shaidarol asked the barmaid about Cassiopeia and we learned that she doesn’t mix well with the women in the sewing circle and she tends to be shunned. She seems rather strange – although she is very pretty. We also leaned that Cassiopeia has been in Blasingdell for about two years. The barmaid gives us rough directions to Cassiopeia’s cottage. We reserved rooms at the Griffon’s Nest for a week (5 sp each).

From the Griffon’s Nest we headed over to the constable’s office to offer our services to the constable. Dora Whitewood wasn’t in, but we spoke an assistant – Ruddick. He was a rough lumberjack looking individual and after speaking with him Darius decided he’s a thoroughly distasteful man – a coward. The party left word with him for the constable that they were in town and would lend assistance if needed.

From the constable’s office the party headed to the supply store to speak with the dwarf Kheldegen Tolm, the proprietor. The store’s interior is covered with exquisite mahogany wood paneling. Darius and the party speaks with Kheldegen and learns the following:

On a hunch, Darius shows Shatterspike to Kheldegen; he confirms Darius’s suspicion that the sword was made by Durgeddin. Kheldegen uncovers a secret compartment (which contains an ancient map) in Shatterspike’s pommel. The last Kheldegen heard Shatterspike was guarded by an order of paladins dedicated to Torm.

The party and Kheldegen cannot decipher the map.

Kheldegen tells Darius that he lives over the shop and that if he knocks 5-2-5, he will know its Darius. Kheldegen also describes Cassiopeia to the party.

Darius and Paks go to the hospice where they aid Sister Elonza in caring for the wounded and then return to the Griffon’s Nest where they meet up Dizzy and Shaidarol. The party decides to find and speak with Cassiopeia the next day, although they do not intend to tell her about the map. In case the party needs to show hear a ‘map’, Dizzy tries to make a fair copy of it, but with a few lines missing.

While Dizzy works on the map and Darius tries to decipher it, Shaidarol and Paks return to the constable’s office to see if the constable has returned. When they arrive they see a white-haired woman who looks like she has seen many battles – Constable Dora Whitewood.

Paks tells Dora of her assistant’s cowardice, but Dora says she needs all the help she can get with the orc troubles this years.

Paks and Shaidarol learn the following:

The party spends the night in the rooms they rented at the Griffon’s Nest.

Forge of Fury, Day 2 Fifth Game Session

Before setting out for Cassiopeia’s, the party stops by Kheldegen’s and purchases some winter blankets – the nights here are cold and the inn drafty.

The party finds Cassiopeia’s cottage without any difficulty; the cottage sits at the edge of a glade and is very beautiful.

As the party goes to knock on the door, Cassiopeia invites them in. The interior is very well maintained and decorated richly – fine china and a nice bar. She warns the party not to step on the center section of the floor – the boards are broken and they may fall.

Shaidarol asks her to examine the wand we recovered from the druid Belak, and although she identifies it as a wand of entanglement with 10 charges remaining, she acts like she doesn’t know much.

She suddenly reaches out – with lightning fast reflexes – and takes Shatterspike away from Shaidarol. She asks where we got her sword and what has happened to Sir Bradford; she also wants to know if we have the map. Shaidarol demands Shatterspike back and we inform her that we killed Sir Bradford and recovered the sword. She returns Shatterspike and after further discussions admits to turning Sir Bradford from his vows – she had to have the sword and she convinced Sir Bradford to take it from his order and bring it to her. She also says she knows how to use the map.

She will show us how to use the map if we agree to bring her a particular item from Glitterhame – a “weightless” box. She says that only she knows how to use it, that she needs it, and won’t tell us why. She claims she is working for the greater good of humanity. Dizzy tries to pass off her fake map, but Cassiopeia sees right through the deception.

The party leaves the cottage to talk over her offer and Jot suddenly speaks up asking what was going on; he says that he couldn’t enter the cottage or hear what was being said inside.

Shaidarol returns to the cottage to speak with Cassiopeia and when he looks in the doorway, he sees the party – including himself - already in the cottage with Cassiopeia looking at the real map. The party reenters the cottage and demands to know what is going on. She says that she “recorded” the party when they were in the cottage and that she was using the “recording” to study the map. She says that she has a magic items that “records” everything in its presence and when the images are “played back” in her cottage they are real, solid.

The party agrees, reluctantly, to work for her and will turn over the “box” if she can demonstrate that she is working for the good of humanity. Shaidarol is displeased; he wants to search on his own for a while, but goes along with the party’s decision.

Cassiopeia overlays her half of the map with our map and it becomes clear where the entrance to Glitterhame lies. While Cassiopeia is making us a copy of the map, Paks tries to throw something onto the “damaged” part of Cassiopeia’s floor; she uses a spell to catch the item and return it to Paks. She says that area of the floor is trapped and to be careful to avoid it.

Cassiopeia also gives us her

recording marble

and asks us to record the room where the box is found. She says to record, twist the marble to the right and twist left to play. Dizzy takes the marble.

The party returns to town and they go to visit Kheldegen. They tell the dwarf everything and provide him with a copy of the map to Glitterhame. He agrees to send a rescue party after the party if they do not return within 3 weeks. The party also warns Kheldegen about Cassiopeia, but he thinks she is harmless.

The party stocks up on supplies and plans to set out for Glitterhame in the morning. They spend the night in their rooms at the Griffon’s Nest.

Forge of Fury, Days 3-5 Sixth Game Session

The party follows the map for two days before they spot a 400-foot spire of rock that looks like a tooth in a hidden valley; there is a small amount of smoke coming from the spire. It appears that a trail leads up the spire. The party decides to approach the spire obliquely and it takes them another day to reach the spire.

Forge of Fury, Day 6 Sixth & Seventh Game Session

The Mountain Door (#1 and #2)

Since the party didn’t approach the spire directly, they need to climb up the side to reach the trail; it takes them approximately 4 hours. Once they reach the trail, they decide to follow it up the spire.

After a short hike, the party hears voices ahead, but they can’t make out what is being said. The party creeps ahead and sees two humanoids with tusks – orcs – about 200 yards away; there appears to be a hollow in the side of the mountain with arrow slits overlooking the area.

The party attempted to sneak up on the orcs, but they heard Darius coming. The party killed both orcs (with arrow, crossbow bolts, and sling stones) but one of the orcs managed to shout a warning before being slain.

The hollow is a tunnel opening into the spire; the party follows the tunnel and around a sharp bend, the party is attacked by an orc firing arrows from an arrow slit. The party runs past the arrow slit and continues along the tunnel, which climbs a short flight of stairs. As they move up the stairs the party is attacked by two more orcs with axes; Diz is hit hard, but Shaidarol manages to dispatch the orcs. Two more orcs come down the passage at the party and are slain. Just past the stairs the tunnel opens up into a small chamber with a large door on the opposite side. A pair of arrow slits allows the orcs to shoot arrows at anyone in the room. While Shaidarol tries to break down the door, Darius and Paks shot at the orcs in the arrow slits; Darius manages a lucky shot and slays one. He and Diz then help Shai break down the door.

Chasm Room (#3)

Behind the door is room spilt by a chasm – a very deep chasm with a frail looking rope bridge spanning it. Across the chasm are a door and two orcs with bows hiding behind large shields. The party kills one of the orcs with arrows while the other hides behind its shield. Diz ties a rope around herself and starts across the bridge; Diz is anchored by Shaidarol. Just before Diz reaches the other side, the remaining orc cuts one of the bridge supports; Diz manages to leap from the bridge to the other side of the chasm and slay the remaining orc.

On the entry side of the chasm, the party finds two secret doors. One of the doors leads to the arrow slit with the slain orc; the other door leads to the other arrow slits and an orc archer. Darius chargers the orc and knocks its lifeless body out the arrow slit (it was quite a mess). Further along the second passage, Shai finds another secret door that leads further into the complex.

The party decides to follow that route, so Diz starts to cross the remnants of the rope bridge again – and falls! As Diz falls she uses Quaal’s feather token to grow a tree out of the chasm wall below her and grabs onto it before she falls to her death below. With help, Diz climbs out of the chasm and the party continues on.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 400 XP

Orc's Barracks (#14)

Listening at the secret door Shai hears voices inside – orcs. The party prepares for battle and opens the door into a room being used as a barracks. Inside the party finds five orcs - one orc is an old warrior named Yurik. The party defeats the orcs and recovers a masterwork handaxe. Behind a bunkbed, Shai finds a secret compartment with a sack containing 40 gp, 250 sp, and a potion of cure light wounds.

Stone Dwarf Hallway (#13) and Chamber of the Ogre (#12)

A door leads into a hallway with a statue of a dwarf holding a sword in one hand and a smith’s hammer in the other. Stepping into the hallway triggers a trap – the dwarfs mouth opens and noxious gasses pour forth.

Following the hallway the party finds a short flight of stairs leading up to a door. Shai climbs the stairs and checks the door for traps. Shai goes to listen at the door when it suddenly bursts open and an ogre – Great Ulf - and two wolves attack. Great Ulf slays Shaidarol with two mighty blows while the rest of the party slays the wolves. Darius, Paks, and Diz avenge Shai by slaying the ogre.

In the ogre’s room the party finds two large chests containing 440 gp, 1600 sp, a potion (potion of spider climb), and a glowing rapier (a +1 rapier made by Durgeddin).

Jot speaks to the party saying "One down".

The only way the party could think of to bury Shaidarol was to throw Shai into the chasm and let the river carry his body away. Darius and Paks perform a short ceremony before they throw Shai into the chasm.

Darius says, “Shaidarol was a fierce warrior of the mind and a rogue. Shai was a loyal companion and a friend. We all had disagreements with him as well as good times. He was a reckless fool and a brave warrior. Shai died doing his duty fighting one of the old enemies – I salute you. May the All-Father protect you on your journey to Arvandor, the Kingdom of Corellon Larethian.

After the burial the party returned to the orcs barracks room and rested for the night.

Forge of Fury, Day 7 Seventh Game Session

Storage Cavern (#5 and 8)

The three remaining members of the party continue down the Stone Dwarf Hallway - past where Shai fell - and into a natural cavern. The cavern contains many crates and barrels. Inside the cavern the party surprises four orcs. The party had just defeated the orcs when they hear a human chuckle behind them. A handsome-looking human with black hair and dressed in the black and red armor of the orcs was hanging on the wall.

As the human speaks, his features drain away – he seems to become ugly – and the party is rocked by a psionic blast that drops Paks and Diz. Darius shoots at him with his crossbow but fails to kill him. The humans’ muscles seem to drain away as Darius is rocked by another psychic blast. Darius shoots again and hits, but a third psychic blast drops Darius. As he falls he hears the human order someone to grab him.

While Darius was unconscious, the human psionicist, Turg, implanted a hypnotic suggestion. Darius will meet a woman in a chamber below. She is trapped in the room and needs four people to give her permission to leave the room before she is free. Darius wants to help her – release her from her prison. He must convince the party.

At the time, Darius and the party were unaware of the hypnotic suggestion.

Prisoner's Cell (#6)

A short time later the party awakens in a cell; they are not bound, but their weapons and belongings have been stripped away. There are three other prisoners in the cell: Caleshorn, ad elf, Couradil, a human chicken farmer, and an old, blind white-haired human male dressed like a monk. Outside the cell stands a pair of orc guards and the human - Turg - who captured us. After taunting us, Turg and the guards leave; he intends to leave us alone in the cell to die. We did learn one thing from Turg – he was here hunting deserters.

After Turg leaves, Diz bends the bars apart so we can escape from the cell. The elf, Caleshorn, decides to join us in our quest; Caleshorn recovers a small book – a spellbook – from behind a lose stone in the cell’s wall. The farmer, Couradil, also decides to accompany us (he doesn’t wish to try leaving on his own). The old master says he cannot leave - his time is past. When Diz approaches him, he takes her head in his hand and Diz feels a sudden jolt as the master dies (Game Note: Diz gains the dodge feat twice from the old master’s knowledge). Diz stands and says “Thanks lifeless master.” She then takes his body to the chasm chamber and throws his body into the river below. Paks and Darius claim the greataxes of the orcs they had previously slain.

The party sets out to find their equipment and complete their mission. To assist, Couradil holds the party’s lantern. The party searches the natural chamber. They find nothing of use in the crates, but they find a strongbox at the bottom of a well – they decide to leave the box until they recover their equipment (no one dares to brave the water). Their search leads to a short hall that ends in a secret door, behind which is another corridor and another secret door. A foul odor and chanting comes from behind the secret door – and the sound of glass shattering – someone is destroying their equipment.

Shaman's Kitchen (#9)

The party bursts into the room and confronts three orcs – two warriors and one old female holding Shatterspike over a bubbling cauldron. Caleshorn casts color spray while Darius charges in and cuts an orc in half. Diz moves to attack the old orc – Burdug – who drops Shatterspike in order to defend herself. Diz kills her while Paks kills the other warrior.

The party recovers all of their items except for the potion of disease resistance, which Burdug destroyed. The party also recovered three flasks of alchemists fire and two leather sacks containing 320 sp. The party gives Caleshorn all of Shaidarol’s equipment except for Shatterspike, which Paks takes. Caleshorn takes Durgeddin’s rapier. The party also gives Caleshorn their arcane spell scrolls.

The party returns to the well in the Storage Cavern to recover the strongbox; Couradil fishes the box out of the well with Darius’ rope and grappling hook. The strongbox contained a vial of holy water and 180 gp.

Hall of the Staircase (#10)

A locked door in shaman’s kitchen led to a room with a staircase descending into the depths below. Dwarven carvings covered the walls of the room and three skeletons lay on the floor in front of a door in the far wall. As the party approached the staircase, a buzzing sound was heard and four winged creatures – stirges - flew out of the staircase. The party destroyed the stirges, but not before Diz was bit.

The doorway beyond the skeletons was simply a trapped door that led nowhere.

Before following the staircase into the depths, the party decided to finish exploring the Stone Dwarf Hallway. At the end of the hall, the party found a second barracks chamber and recovered 210 gp, a 200 gp topaz, and two 50 gp onyxes.

Staircase Into the Depths (#15 and #15a)

For hundreds of shallow steps the staircase twisted and turned down the natural chasm. After descending for some time the party finds a shallow stream rushing across the staircase. Downstream, the channel the stream flows in shrinks and becomes impassable. The passage upstream appears navigable.

Darius attempts to go upstream to see if the passage goes anywhere, but the rushing water knocks him off his feet and begins to carry him downstream when Paks catches him. Diz and Caleshorn climb the passage and find a stirge nest – two move and attack. Caleshorn throws a flask of alchemists fire and kills one stirge and then retreats back to the party with Diz following. The party kills four more stirges that follow Diz and Caleshorn.

Darius and Paks are going to go upstream and examine the nest, but Darius falls again and knocks Paks off her feet; only the rope Diz is holding saves them from being washed downstream. Diz, thinking she can do better, tries – and falls also; Darius is holding the rope that saves her. Caleshorn tries - and succeeds. He climbs up to the nest and burns it.

Excerpted from the Journal of Couradil the Chicken Farmer

"... and so we made our way down these terribly dangerous looking stairs. I'm certain the steadfastness with which I held my lantern is the only thing that saved these youngsters from taking a nasty spill. Still, my back is a little sore from peering over peoples' necks, but all in all this is a much more exciting way to pass my retirement than that pig slop manufacturing scheme my stupid nephew came up with.. but I digress..

We stopped at a spot where this cold subterranean stream came rushing out of the wall, only to disappear into the rocks on the other side, forever plunging along its twilight journey. Now any fool would have seen that this opening was dangerous, but if you think we passed it by like sensible folk then I tell you you don't know squat about these youngsters these days. Its always, "let's climb up that way" or "how abouts we open that door?" with them, so of course they decided to send some people single file up that foreboding crevice!

It was the new guy and that dark-skinned beaut who made the initial climb... obviously the new guy is trying to prove his worth.. as to Dizindra, perhaps subterranean crawlspaces are in her blood. Anyhoo the three of us remaining.. that's Yours Truly, the dwarf and that nice young paladin girl all get real quiet as we watch the others disappear around a bend.. and then there's all this yelling and a kind of buzzing noise and next thing you know there's an explosion and a bright light and the adventuring duo come sliding back down to the group without thought to getting soaked both of them yelling their heads off.

And then some more of those terrible mosquiter fellas come flying on out of that passage, damned if they ain't all persnickered aboot something, know what I mean? Luckily this group of youngsters, well they've got all sorts of talents you know, and I've seen them swat these buggers like you wouldn't believe! Anyhoo a few well placed bolts, slingshots and sword slices and all five of the damnable bugs are well and squashed.

Course, any respectable person would tell you that this was a good time to move on, but nooo, now they have to go up and see if they've finished with pest control. So the Paladin and the dwarf decide THEY need to see what's what up there, but as they're climbing up the dwarf slips all over those slick rocks and the two of them go tumbling back down... if not for our ropes we might of lost them down the other way! Now Dizindra is all showy saying she'll demonstrate how to climb in a proper fashion, but maybe the dwarf knocked some stones loose or something because damned if that girl doesn't come sliding back down on her tush just like the others! I tell you, this adventuring business is a good one for laughs... I'm not missing my chickens one bit. Nope."

Lower Entry Chamber (#16)

The chasm the staircase descends through opens into a large natural chamber with a stream cutting across it. Four passages lead from the chamber. The stream enters from one of passages and exits through another. The passage the stream exits through is nearly completely flooded – only about six inches of the passage is above the water. The other two passages are dry.

As the party enters the chamber, four stirges attack and three are slain by the party. The fourth heads back to the nest.

The party returns to the Hall of the Staircase to rest for the night. Paks and Darius lock the door from the Shaman’s Kitchen and then circle back to the Hall of the Staircase.

On their trip back, Jot speaks to Paks and warns her that something is not right with the party. She detects evil on Darius, and when she doesn’t detect any, she tells him what Jot said. When they rejoin the party, Darius casts detect magic on the party and Paks detects evil on the party; neither detects anything unusual.

Jot spoke to Paks again, and warns her not to trust anyone.

Game Note: Darius, Dzindra, and Paks are awarded 1850 XP each. Caleshorn is awarded 850 XP. Darius, Dzindra, and Paks advance to 4th level.

Forge of Fury, Day 8 Eighth Game Session

Staircase Into the Depths (#15 and #15a)

As the party descends the staircase for the second time it seems even colder than before. When the party crosses the stream they see a light coming from the upstream passage. Diz and Caleshorn climb up the passage to see what the light is and kill a stirge when they are attacked. The glow is coming from a wand (wand of light, 20 charges) in the stirge nest.

The party returns to the Lower Entry Chamber and continues up the northeast passage.

Chamber of the Bear (#21 and #21a)

The passage opens up into a large chamber with three other passages leaving the chamber. A side chamber, blocked by rough timber bars, contains a large bear. Two gray-skinned lizard-like humanoids – troglodytes - are in the center of the chamber and move to attack as the party enters. Caleshorn puts one to sleep and Darius charges the other. As Darius approaches the creature, a foul odor causes his muscles to weaken, but Darius, Paks, and Diz slay the creature. Paks slays the sleeping creature and feeds the bear some of her rations – quieting the bear for a short time. The party continues on through the southern passages – the two passages connect and continue to the south. Another passage also breaks off the western southern tunnel and heads west.

Great Chamber (#24) & Dwarven Burial Ledge (#23)

The southern passage opens up into a truly magnificent and gigantic chamber. The floor of the cavern is covered with a variety of fungus except for a path leading from a door on the east wall to a flight of stairs leading up to a ledge on the west wall. There are two other ledges in the room and a passageway to the south. The only way to reach the path is to cut a new path through the fungus.

The party returned to the Lower Entry Chamber and took the other dry passage. This passage led to the western ledge overlooking the Great Chamber. The ledge contained 23 stone & marble sarcophaguses - only three of which appear to be occupied.

At Diz’s urging that she has found a secret passage, the party opens one of the unoccupied sarcophaguses; there was nothing inside.

A passage leading off the ledge seems to have been blocked with stone and some type of hard “spittle”. Caleshorn breaks down the wall and uncover a chamber with a pool of dark, cloudy water; it appears there is some dry land on the far side of the pool and that water is both flowing into and out of this room.

Chamber of Yellow Mold (#22)

The party returns to the Chamber of the Bear and explores the passage heading to the west from the southern passage that leads to the Great Chamber. The passage opens up into a natural room. Inside is a dwarven skeleton clutching a shining bastard sword. The dwarven skeleton and much of the chamber is covered in a yellowish mold.

Darius, needing to lay the dwarf to rest properly, enters the chamber to recover the dwarfs’ body. As Darius approaches skeleton, he sees another chamber and another dwarven skeleton. Darius takes hold of the first skeletons bastard sword and the mold erupts in a spray of spores clouding the entire room. Darius holds his breath and carries the skeleton and the bastard sword from the chamber. Darius washes the skeleton and the bastard sword in the stream in the Lower Entry Chamber; he presents the bastard sword, another magical sword created by Durgeddin (this sword also contains a secret compartment in the hilt), to Paks and lays the dwarf to rest properly in a sarcophagus on the Dwarven Burial Ledge. Paks recovers the other dwarven skeleton and a masterwork dwarven warhammer. Darius also lays this dwarf to rest and carves inscription upon both their sarcophaguses. Darius kept the masterwork warhammer, but buried his own with the dwarf. The dwarfs other belonging – a rusted helmet and a non-magical golden ring were also buried with the dwarf.

Chamber of the Bear (#21)

The party returns to the Chamber of the Bear and explores the passage to the north. The passage is very rough and climbs; at the end a boulder blocks the passage, but it appears that the boulder could be rolled aside. Daylight can be seen around the boulder. The party leaves the boulder in place and climb back down.

The party decides to climb the stairs back to the Hall of the Staircase and rest for the night.

As the party climbs the stairs it seems to be even colder than it was before – and the number of stairs seem to be different. The party decides to return to the chamber of the bear and sleep in the passage leading to the surface.

Forge of Fury, Day 9 Eighth Game Session

Great Chamber (#24)

The party returns to the Dwarven Burial Ledge and take the stairs leading down to the path in the Great Chamber. As the party follows the path to the door in the east wall they are ambushed by two gricks; the party slays one grick and drives off the other. The gricks were very resistant to damage from non-magical weapons. Paks gives Shatterspike to Caleshorn (she now has Durgeddin’s bastard sword) and Caleshorn gives Diz, even though she can’t use it proficiently, Durgeddin’s rapier so that all party members have magical weapons.

The party reaches the door in the eastern wall; the door is iron marked with Durgeddin’s silver rune. The door has no visible hinges and is very cleverly locked. Caleshorn can’t open it - we need to find the key. There are two ledges and one passage yet to be explored.

The party first heads to the northern ledge where they find and slay the grick that attacked them earlier; the party recovers 60 gp, 180 sp, and 200 cp – but no key. The second ledge is empty. The party continues on to the southern passage out of the Great Chamber.

The Dam (#25)

The passage leads to a room with a stream flowing through it. Upon entering the room the stream is partially damned, reducing the volume of water flowing through. The stream flows through the room, down a short passage, and falls through a shaft to a chamber somewhere below. A circular stair leads further into the earth.

The Waterfall (#28)

The stair leads to a rough oval chamber with a waterfall pouring into a pool from above. A stream leads out of the pool and the room to the south. A passage also leads to the south and two doors are in the east wall.

The left door on the eastern wall leads to a series of three storage rooms (# 30); in the first room a ‘puddle of water’ reared up and attempted to slam into Caleshorn. The party attacked the creature and after a number of strikes the ‘puddle’ was splashed all over the room. We think the creature was a gray ooze. The party washed off the remnants of the creature in the pool to try and prevent any nasty surprises. The party avoided a puddle in the next chamber and found nothing in the last room.

The right door also leads to three storage rooms (# 31); the party found nothing.

The party continues on following the passage to the south.

The River (#29 and #33)

The passage leads to a chamber with a narrow ledge and a stone bridge leading over a swift underground river; the river flows into the room from the east to the west. On the far side of the river, a passage follows the river upstream and another passage continues to the south.

The passage to the south leads to a short flight of stairs leading down with a doorway at the bottom; the stairs and the door are under 4-5 feet of water. The party decides to avoid this area for now.

The party follows the path upstream and comes upon a creature that looks like a stalagmite with tentacles – a roper – on an island on the far side of the river; further along the passage there is an open door. The party attacks with missile weapons and Darius casts one his strongest spells as they try to withdraw; Darius’ spell doesn’t even affect the roper and the arrows just bounce off his hide. The roper attacks Darius – and hits – with four tentacles; the tentacles drained Darius’ strength and dragged him towards the river – and the roper. Diz and Paks attempt to free Darius from the tentacles and are each struck by a tentacle and are dragged towards the river.

When Darius realizes he can’t escape from the tentacles, he tries to jump the river and attack the roper in melee; Darius falls short and lands in the river. Paks also tries to jump and ends up in the river and Diz is dragged in before she can do anything. The current breaks the roper’s hold on Paks and she is swept downriver into Diz – breaking the roper’s hold on her and causing Diz to be swept downriver also.

Couradil races back downstream (with the party’s only lantern) to try and rescue Diz and Paks. Caleshorn stays behind, as Darius is dragged melee with the roper. The roper takes a bite out of Darius, but Darius is unable to penetrate the roper’s thick skin. Diz catches Paks in the river, but has to let her go to safely grab Couradil’s hand; Couradil pulls Diz to safety and they race downstream after Paks. Diz manages to grab Paks and pull her to safety.

As the roper is about to finish off Darius, Caleshorn calls out to the roper, “Don’t kill him.” The roper responds, “Why not?” Caleshorn says, “We’ll give you anything you want.” The roper says, “I want food - interesting, tasty food.” Caleshorn says, “We can bring you a bear if you will let him go.” The roper replies, “Bring live bear, and he can go free. You have 30 minutes.” With that the roper slams Darius against the wall and knocks him unconscious.

Caleshorn, Paks, Dzindra, and Couradil race back up to the Chamber of the bear where they knock the bear unconscious (Caleshorn dazes the bear and Diz stuns it). Diz then drags the bear to the Great Chamber while the other party members race ahead to cut a path across the chamber. Once the path is cut, they all drag the bear to the Chamber of the Dam where they allow the stream to take the bear over the waterfall to the chambers below. The party races to the Chamber of the Waterfall where they drag the bear from the pool and along the path to the roper.

When the roper sees the unconscious bear it screams, “I wanted live food.” The party quickly responds that the bear is alive, just unconscious. Paks heals the bear to bring it around - at which point the roper drops Darius and grabs onto the bear with its tentacles. While the roper is occupied with the bear, Caleshorn rushes to the open door, warns the party it is a dead end, and searches the cells found within – finding a key in one of them. At the same time, Diz jumps the river with two ropes she ties around the unconscious Darius; Diz grabs Darius’ morningstar and jumps back across the river. Diz and Paks then pull Darius back across the river. As Caleshorn leaves the cells and begins heading back towards the party, the roper realizes what is happening and attempts to grab Caleshorn and other party members with its tentacles; the roper misses and the party escapes.

Game Note: Caleshorn is awarded 50 XP for initiating negotiation with the roper.

Great Chamber (#24)

The party returns to the Great Chamber and Paks revives Darius. Darius learns what has happened and thanks the party for their effort, vowing to repay them for their loyalty and friendship. Darius realizes that the maps he has been making, as well as the map to Blasingdell, and the letter from Cassiopeia to Sir Bradford have all been destroyed by his time in the river. Luckily, his journal was well protected from the environment.

party continues to the Chamber of the Bear where they rest for the night.

Forge of Fury, Day 10 Eighth Game Session

Great Chamber (#24)

The party decides that due to Darius’ current condition (the roper drained much of his strength), they should rest for another day. The party returns to the Great Chamber where Darius’ will rest while Couradil tends to him and Caleshorn stands guard.

Paks and Diz plan to re-map the area while Darius rests. During their explorations, two troglodytes ambush them; Paks and Diz easily slay them.

After Dzindra returns from her explorations, she sits on a rock, cradling her head and pondering her future: How could that silly slip of a girl Cassi maneuver the party into this situation? If Sir Bradford had to be *turned* from paladinhood in order to complete this quest, what questions had he initially asked that forced her to do that? Why wasn't the party more insistent?

But regardless, Dzindra *was* impressed with Cassi's power. She ponders how powerful a wizard she'd be. Perhaps she could have saved poor Shaidarol, blinding the ogre or perhaps having shielded Shai.

Then her thoughts drift towards the other poor fellow "put to rest" in the same way as Shai; the nameless monk master. Now, there was someone! Blind, captured by orcs, he had still managed to keep his dignity and his sanity. He had also somehow been able to pass on some of his gifts to Dzindra. She smiles with fondness at the intensity of their brief encounter. No, she would not become someone like Cassi, a manipulative enchantress. She would prove to the old master, prove to herself that the path of the monk was the right one. Enlightenment was the light at the end of the tunnel, not power. She smiled.

Rising, her thoughts began to drift towards what became of the bodies of her two friends. Now that they had seen the bottom of the chasm, it didn't seem like such a great burial. Were they devoured by the roper? Or perhaps ... there was that dam ... and that lake monster. She shudders as she realizes that if Darius breaks the dam, the bodies of Shai and the old monster will come tumbling out, possibly only as bones...

The party rests for the night in the great chamber.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 2500 XP. Caleshorn advances to 4th level.

Forge of Fury, Day 11 Ninth Game Session

Great Chamber (#24)

When the party awakens, it is even colder than when they went to sleep and frost covers the giant fungus grove. It is warmer towards the door leading further into the depths of Glitterhame and even colder back the way we have come.

The party returns to the chamber of the dam. Once there they breach the dam to drain the water from the other side.

Chamber of the Albino Lizard (#2o)

The party follows the passage behind the dam and finds a small chamber off to the side. In the chamber is a giant albino (subterranean) lizard - chained to the wall so it can’t leave. Behind the lizard are two iron chests. Although the lizard appears to be blind, it seems to be able to sense our presence.

Caleshorn silently spider climbs along the ceiling to get to the chests while the rest of the party attempts to distract the lizard with a lot of noise. Suddenly the lizard’s tongue shots out and grabs onto Caleshorn. The lizard attempts to pull Caleshorn from the ceiling, but his spider climb spell holds him to the ceiling. Darius moves to attack the lizard and Caleshorn frees himself by severing the creatures tongue. Paks joins the attack, but fights to subdue the creature. The party finally renders the creature unconscious and recovers the chests. The first chest contained 2200 sp. The second chest contained two potions, one of which is a potion of swimming.

Before the party continued on, they freed the creature and Paks healed its tongue so it could survive.

Pool Chamber (#17) and Troglodyte Warren (#18 and #19)

The party continues up the passage until they reach the pool chamber off of the Dwarven Burial Ledge. The chamber is empty but the party finds another passage sealed with stone and “spittle”.

The party breaks through the “wall” and into a series of passages beyond. Within the party is attacked by four troglodytes. The party slays three of them, but the fourth runs away. As the party moves further into the troglodyte warrens, a general melee erupts. Caleshorn keeps several troglodytes busy in the far end of the chamber as Paks, Darius, and Diz confront the clan’s leader in his own chambers. In the end the party slays eight troglodytes, their leader, the sorcerer Kaarghaz, and two small subterranean lizards. The party recovered 1500 sp and a 300 gp ruby.

Durgeddin's Door (#27) and Chamber of Statues (#35)

The party returns to Durgeddin’s door and Caleshorn opens it with the key recovered from the jail cell guarded by the roper. The stairway behind the door leads to an octagonal chamber with three 10-foot tall bronze statues of dwarven warriors. The chamber also has two doors. The party suspects a trap, so they tie a rope to the handle of one of the doors and pull. Instantly, the statues axes smash to the ground in front of the two doors. Further examination reveals the doors are fake. The real exit is a secret door behind the east statue.

As the party ascends the stairs, a voice suddenly calls out in dwarven “Alert! Alert! Intruders approach!” - the party has set off a magic mouth spell. At the top of the stairs is another door carved with a glowering dwarf face.

The Great Hall (#36)

Behind the door the party finds the dwarven throne room – defiled. The once magnificent frescoes have been defaced and Orcish graffiti covers the walls. Columns carved in fantastic images of giants and dragons support the vaulted roof. As the party enters, a harsh voice calls out “Go back the way you came! This is the only warning you’ll get.”

Darius is enraged, he begins to step forward demanding that the speaker show himself and face Moradin’s just wrath – but Diz and Paks grab him and hold him back. A gray-skinned dwarf – a duergar – appears on the throne and introduces herself as Ghared the Black. She says that the forge is theirs and they intend to keep it - but they are willing to allow the party peaceful passage in exchange for certain help. Dwarven ghosts still haunts this place, if the party silences them, they can keep all the treasure they recover and they will be given safe passage to the dragon Nightscale’s lair – for surely that is why they are here. If the party can kill the dragon, they can keep its horde for themselves. But the forge belongs to the duergar – they will not give it up.

After much debate (Darius is very unhappy about this), the party agrees. Once the party agrees, several more duergar appear – all around the party.

The Temple (#42) and Dwarven Chambers (#43, #44, and #45)

The first door the party explores leads to a desecrated dwarven temple. As the party enters the room two orc skeletons and an orc wight move to attack. The party defeats these evil creatures and recover 280 gp and two arcane scrolls (web and spider climb).

The party continues to explore the dwarven chambers. In the process they reduce 6 dwarven skeletons to dust, find the corpse of a female adventurer, recover a masterwork scimitar, 670 sp, and a painting worth 10 gp.

Upon entering a chamber with a small pool of water they hear a weird moaning sound - and see a ghostly figure of a dwarven cleric - an allip - drifting towards them. The moaning begins to sound like dwarven words randomly strung together – its almost hypnotic. The party shakes off the affect of the sound and attack. After a short chase, the party defeats the creature, sending the dwarven soul to his final rest.

The Library (#49)

The party finds a room lined with books - the dwarven library. Sitting at a table is a very attractive female who appears to be very sad. When she sees the party, she begs for their help. Her name is Idalla and she came here with an adventuring party; they were all killed and she was trapped in this room by magical wards. She says that while trapped in the room she doesn’t age. She says that the only way she can be freed is for four people to give her permission to leave.

Darius instantly agrees and gives her permission to leave. He then tries to convince the others. Idalla gives the party four arcane scrolls (alarm, shield, change self, reduce) and a cat’s eye gem (70 gp) to help convince them of her good will. Paks and Diz finally agree and give Idalla their permission, but Caleshorn refuses. They ask her if she has ever heard of a diviner known as Cassiopeia; she doesn’t, but she is willing to cast a divination spell to learn more about Cassiopeia in exchange for her freedom.

During the spell, Idalla says the following: “Cassiopeia the Fallen Angel, labors for a cause that no longer embraces her, heavens rules do not do enough to protect the innocent.” The party instinctively knows the words are true.

Caleshorn gives his permission as agreed; Idalla laughs as she reveals her true form – a succubus – and teleports away. The party has released another evil into the world.

Darius suddenly realizes what he has done and that the Turg, the human, psionicist has used him. He swears vengeance upon Turg and hopes to one day send Idalla back to her home plane.

The party also recovers 110 gp and a pewter statue of a charging bull (60 gp).

Dwarven Chambers (#47)

The party continues to explore and finds what appears to be the room of the ghostly dwarven cleric. When the party enters the room, an animated rug attacks them. The party destroys it and recovers 1200 sp, 3000 cp, a star sapphire (500 gp), and two matched blue topaz (90 gp each).

The party decides to rest here for the night.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 3075 XP. Darius, Diz, and Paks advance to 5th level.

Forge of Fury, Day 12 Ninth Game Session

Armory (#48), Kitchen (41), Forge (#37), and The Chasm (#38)

In the morning, the party continues its exploration and comes across the armory. As they enter the room, a weapons dummy animates and attacks them. They destroy it but find nothing of value.

On the other side of the Great Hall, the party finds the kitchen, where they are attacked by an animated kitchen table; they promptly destroy it.

The party returns to the Great Hall and inform Ghared the Black that the ghosts have been put to rest; they ask to be shown the way to the dragon’s lair.

Ghared and her warriors escort the party through the forge, where several duergar are working, to a large chasm. A stream runs through the forge and over a waterfall and into the chasm. Ghared informs the party that Nightscale lairs below.

Couradil stays with the duergar while the party descends a rope into the chasm.

The Black Lake (#50 - 54)

Below, the party finds an old path leading to a series of old stone bridges of dwarven construction. Following the path the party finds a large underground lake – the far side lost in darkness – with a small island. A path seems to run along the shore of this side of the lake.

Paks and Darius begin following the shoreline, heading towards the island, with Caleshorn following a short distance behind. Diz, using a potion of spider climb, heads up the cavern wall on the opposite side of the lake and plans on crossing the cavern’s ceiling. As Paks and Darius cross a series of “stepping stones” along the shore, Nightscale rears from the water and breaths a spray of acid across them – then disappears back into the water. Caleshorn is catching up while Paks and Darius are taking cover and preparing for the next attack. Suddenly, Nightscale leaps out of the water and attacks Diz. After a short fight, Nightscale dives back into the water and Diz quickly heads for the cavern floor. Paks and Darius head back towards Caleshorn and Diz, but Nightscale surfaces and catches Darius on the “stepping stones” with another acid attack. Before she escapes, the party launches a counter attack – Paks uses her bow, Caleshorn casts a spell, and Darius invokes the power of his deity and casts spiritual weapon.

Caleshorn heads for Diz while Paks and Darius finish returning across the “stepping stones.” Before Caleshorn can reach Diz, Nightscale charges ashore and attacks. While they fight, the others rush to Cal’s aid. Diz attacks from behind, while Paks charges from the front and Darius casts another spell. Meanwhile, Cal tumbles through Nightscale’s legs reach Diz. After a short, but savage battle, the party manages to defeat the black dragon Nightscale.

On the island, the party finds Nightscale’s horde (6200 sp, 1430 gp, two garnets (20 gp each), a black pearl (50 gp), a +2 dwarven waraxe bearing Durgeddin’s personal mark, a +1 large steel shield, a potion of cure light wounds, a potion of levitation, and a wand of magic missile (3rd level, 32 charges) and a small tunnel leading to a chamber below the lake’s surface.

The chambers walls are covered with arcane symbols and in the center of the room floats a small box – the box Cassiopeia desirers. The party uses her recording sphere to record the room and the symbols and then take the box. As the box is moved, the writing disappears.

On the far shore, the party sees what appears to be another passage leading out of Glitterhame.

The party heads back towards the chasm where they descended and Darius is thinking about returning with the dwarves of Blasingdell to rid Glitterhame of the vile Duergar and the monstrous roper when they hear screams and the sounds of battle from ahead and above. Suddenly, Couradil appears running down the path from the chasm; he is yelling that the roper has come and is attacking – killing – the duergar.

The party, not ready to face the roper again, decides to follow the other path out of Glitterhame.

Once outside, the party finds that winter has set in a little early. The party rests before setting out for Blasingdell.

Forge of Fury, Day 13-15 Ninth Game Session

As the party travels back towards Blasingdell they become aware of a large orc army heading away from town and towards the mountains – probably towards Glitterhame. When the party finally reaches town, they find it completely deserted. It appears the orc army defeated the cities defenders and took everyone away – there are no bodies.

The party heads for Cassiopeia’s and finds her house in rubble. The strange winter storm seems to be centered around the ruin of her house. In the ruins of Cassiopeia’s house, the party finds another recording sphere – although it appears to be damaged, it is still functioning.

The recording shows a large half-ogre/half-demon confronting Cassiopeia in her home; he says, “Your time has come, this is your end. You won’t get the cube.” As he finishes, Cassiopeia attacks. He brushes her spell aside and counters with a force bolt. Cassiopeia is trying to finish another spell as he advances on her. He is quickly crossing the room when multiple black tentacles suddenly erupt from the center of the floor - the trapped floor she warned us about. It delays the creature long enough for her to finish her spell. A glowing white tunnel appears and she escapes through it.

Another creature – the demon’s lieutenant – enters the recording and reports, “No one else in town knows of the cube.” The demon replies, “Tell Gulthias, we should be …” and the recording breaks up and stops.

Darius is really shaken up. He knows this creature – this demon. He is a cleric of Gruumsh. He led an attack against Darius’ home – his people – a little more than a year ago. The dwarves drove them off, but there was a price. Darius’ Great-Great Uncle Muirack Darkhammer was locked in combat with the creature when there was a sudden flash of darkness – and the two disappeared. Darius has been searching for his uncle – or the demon - since that fateful day.

The party decides they should set off immediately. They decide to head to Brindinford. Diz’s family lives near there and they can replenish their supplies. They can also take some time to determine what to do next.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 650 XP. Each member also receives 1333 gp and 5 sp. The party lost 3700 sp in the chests left behind in Glitterhame.

Silence descends in the halls of the Glitterhame. With Nightscale vanquished, the orc invaders gone and its deepest treasures unearthed, the ancient dust of stones seems to settle in a quiet sigh of relief. In the great mushroom cavern, a milky-white subterranean lizard's tongue darts out, its cold surface snatching a baby troglodyte up and into the creature's waiting maw. Below a roper glides slowly past gray dwarf bones picked clean, no doubt in search of more populous underground regions. And deep within the darkest recesses of the complex, in water-swept passages untouched by surface-dwellers for years on end, the white skull of a hero grins defiantly in the silent darkness.

Not many people notice the disappearance of the town of Blasingdell. In the realm of Fleodese disappearances are all too frequent for one more to matter since the days of the great engine's rampage. A building company in the metripolitan city of Brindinford senses his shipment of wood will not be arriving, and merely switches his attention to another struggling frontier town. On the New Road, in the town of Oakhurst, the Matron of the Hucrele Trading Company takes a moment only to pause, and wonder about the state of the Heroes of the Sunless Citadel, who she last saw heading in Blasingdell's direction. But she is a busy woman, and has not much time for revery.

As for those who remain of the heroes of Oakhurst, with victory comes new responsibility. Powerful enemies roam the land, and an item that can not be easily discarded has fallen into their uneasy keeping. Now wealthier

than ever before, the group turn their eyes towards Brindinford, where the Autumn celebration brings halfling magic traders from around the realm to sell their wares. Now is the time to stock up for the future, as winter is on its way.