Behind the Mask

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Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:28 pm

After hearing the reports of the escaping half-orc vessel from days before being spotted listing in the shoals less than a day from Waterdeep, the party (Sean, Enialas, Howard, Sera, and Lenia) teleported near to the site and began observing it. Through the night they watched, and while there were signs of recent activity, it did not appear that any half-orcs remained on site. With the morning sun, they approached the area and found charred crates - smelling heavily of the reported alchemicals. The ship has nearly been swallowed by the sea, and there were ropes/pullies along the sea cliffs which appeared to be rigged for hoisting cargo off the beach. Tracks were plentiful and obvious atop the cliffs and headed off inland towards the High Road. However, the as part of their investigations of the area, the party uncovered a spell had been triggered minutes before and soon found themselves under attack by a pack of wild, savage orcs and their incredibly strong and stocky leader.

The fighting was ruthless, fast paced, and deadly. Within mere seconds, all but one of the orcs lay slain and the brute, as well as Sean, lay unconscious in pools of their own blood. The remaining orc, upon a call to surrender, bares his teeth, scowls, and angrily tosses his weapon to the ground. He shows no remorse, no mercy, and appears to expect no quarter. Sean appears to be stable, though incredibly wounded and quite nearly dead. The Brute, despite all his size and strength, sputters up blood in his unconscious stupor and appears to be fading fast. Howard, now with a closer look and not having to dodge swords and axes, can tell that it is a Tanarukk, rather than an orc. The telltale gauntlets on his hands have been forged in place and are only able to be removed by removing the Tanarukk's hands/forearms. They are indeed magical, as is the Tanarukk's armor.

Aside from the weapons and armor the attackers carried, they have few other possessions. Bone trinkets, leather necklaces, and other scrap accessories are all the more they posses. These orcs were here to fight and nothing else. As you search the bodies, mindful of the still live orc, you find all of them bear ornate tattoos on their left pectorals of a bloody longsword - the symbol of the Orc God Ilneval.

Unlike his orc minions, the Tanarukk also carries a map inside of a small scroll case. It is readily apparent that it is of the nearby mere, a handful of landmarks are marked and there is a letter (written in orc) on the reverse of the map. As you inspect the map, the remaining orc starts to growl a bit under his breath... Eyes locking on each one of you, one after the other. In addition to the map, the Tanarukk also carries a simple, but magical ring with several mystical runes inscribed on it. Enialas identifies those symbols as being associated with the now dead god of Myrkul... odd.


----------------------

+1 Flaming Gauntlets
+2 Leather Armor
Ring of Myrkul

5x MW Greataxe
5x MW Leather Armor
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:25 pm

Some additional notes as a result of your Knowledge rolls:

- There was a dragon worshiping cult of Myrkul, located in the Mere of Dead Men, not so creatively named "The Cult of the Dragon". The Cult of the Dragon venerated dragons, evil dragons in particular, and specifically dead evil dragons. They reanimated the gargantuan corpses as powerful and fell dracoliches. The Cult acted as an information network for its draconian "masters", brought gems and riches as offerings, and encouraged evil dragons to become dracoliches.

- In the past, a black dragon known as Chardansearavitriol, or more commonly "Ebondeath", ruled over the Mere, but has not been seen for centuries and is presumed dead.

- More recently, a black dragon known as Voaraghamanthar, or more commonly "The Black Death", is thought to live in the Mere.

- There are only few, but important, landmarks marked on the map of the Mere: Castle Naerytar, Holk House, Mornhaven Towers, and Wolfhill House.

These locations are centuries abandoned by civilization, and little is known about them, but Lenia is able to recall some basic information on some of them:
Wolfhill House- The old manor used as a retreat by Hezekiel Wolf. The once great location with access to the ocean, High Road, and local flora and fauna was his idea of a perfect retirement home. This, of course, was before the Mere was flooded and made uninhabitable.
Castle Naerytar- This location still operated after the floods that created the Mere came, built high enough that only the lowest of its levels were spoiled. But as the Mere expanded over the decades and centuries, and the location became more and more remote and useless to defend. It was eventually abandoned to the wiles of the Mere, and lost to the histories.
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:56 am

The letter reads as follows:

Wolfhill House is secure and operations have begun. Excavations for the treasure have begun at Holk House and Mornhaven Towers, but has been delayed due to lizardfolk raids. Our ally rests and will not attack the accursed lizardfolk on our behalf until we produce one of the crowns. Locate any around the dig sites, mark them, and turn them over to Bladetooth. He will deal with them.

Return to Wolfhill House when you are finished. We need you to test the next generation, which will be ready upon your arrival.


Well written, especially considering it's orc origin. The handwritting is clear and some of the words are actually the dwarven equivalents as there IS no orcish word... "accursed"?!?!
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:06 am

((Planning on resuming Monday 7/6 around the same 7:30-8 EST time understanding that some might trickle in late. Feel free to post any actions/questions in the mean time. You might also elect to take the loot and prisoners back to Waterdeep - we can RP the wrap up on Monday or just call it and regroup - up to you all))
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:03 am

((Dinner plans came up with the GFs family, so no game tonight.))
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:34 am

Just a reminder that we are still on for tonight, around 8 PM EST
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby Stam » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:47 am

Any idea how many more sessions this could take? My wife gets back this week and I may or may not be able to meet future episodes, depending.
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:46 pm

Though the mighty, massive Tannaruk finally succumbed to the party's many, many, strikes, perhaps the greater tragedy persisted all around. Crates nailed shut and containing a variety of frail scholarly types of a variety of races and ages burned violently. Smoke and muffled screams of the bound and gagged prisoners fill the air - your minds race, eyes darting from crate to crate.

It's a discouraging scene, some crates you open have only a charred corpse. Some you manage to open only to release someone engulfed in flames to flail about in the open air for the final fleeting seconds of their lives. You act as quickly as you can, but there are few of you, and perhaps 3 dozen crates... It takes time, too much in most cases.

These are not trained warriors and experienced adventurers, like the lot of you, and the fires have taken their toll on their relatively frail bodies. Of the 38 bodies you count laying in the grass, basking in the afternoon sun, only 3 cling to life, and just barely at that. One is an older human man, the other his niece, and the third is an young looking elf.

The elf and niece are unconscious, for the moment, but are stabilized and on the road to recovery. The man, who introduces himself as Simon Longbrook, informs you that the burned corpses, as well as the trio who lived, are indeed recent kidnap victims taken by the orcs.
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:38 pm

Simon coughs and weakly, gingerly takes a drink of water given to him.

"Oh, aye... that's us. They kept us quiet for the most part, but from we could whisper between all of us, the damn *cough* tuskers seemed motivated to round up as many scholars as they could from Waterdeep... All different backgrounds and disciplines... Not that it matters now..." He trails off, glancing to the burned bodies that litter the ground.

"Me? I'm a cartographer by trade, though I've not done field work in a number of years. Perhaps 20 years ago I was contracted to create a few survey maps of the Mere of Dead Men... I presume that's where we were headed. My niece there, Emily, she had been working with the Church of Oghma to fill in some holes in their collection of the Mere's history."

He shakes his head with sadness. "The orcs... They really know what they are doing - much more organized and intelligent than any I've heard of. And poor Emily... I hope she is okay, if I had know about this I could have helped her, you know?" He looks a combination of distraught and relieved. She is okay, for now, save for the terrible burns.

He pauses for a moment to catch his labored breaths and takes another small sip of water. "What is it you intend to do, exactly?" He asks of you

((Loot etc coming))
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:05 am

((Additional questions/actions etc can be posted here - the party can press on if it desires, but I think scheduling is going to be different for at least a few of you))
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby J.C. » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:10 pm

Sean wants to know what the survivors want to do?
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:27 am

"We've got to move away from here... Once Emily is well enough to do so, that is... The orcs moved on some time ago, but they might be back soon. Anywhere but here that is safe!"
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby Stam » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:00 am

Howard votes that they take the few survivors - and some of the dead, if possible - and go back to the city.

"They're organized. Like, organized enough to have planned for being followed and dumped what may have been valuable commodities as bait for a trap in case they were. They're being godsdamned smart about it, and they're breeding up demon-touched monstrosities in ways we never even considered possible."

"They've got a guarded breeding area that nobody will normally even venture into, double so with the dragon, so they are creating a massive base of operations that they know more about than anyone else - and they're going well out of their way to deny information to everyone else."

"If I had the means, I'd suggest we blow up the entire area and pick up any ashy pieces that survive. Since we don't...this information needs to go to the army. The griffonriders. People with more people than us."
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby Kemian » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:10 am

Enialas speaks up. "If We decide to head back to Waterdeep I have a way to transport all the dead albeit a little grisly fashion. I also have a way to transport us all back to Waterdeep instantaneously without error."

((OOC: Portable Hole as a Portable Grave Yard and Gem Jump.)
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Re: Behind the Mask

Postby Kemian » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:33 pm

Enialas frowns deeply. "Perhaps it would be best if we collect the remains and bring the surviving scholars home and inform the authorities of what has happened."


(Okay Jimmy is assuming we are headed home so I'd like to be able to play my character.)
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