A Gathering Storm

Session 2 - Storm Crow

The heroes made ready and ascended the final flight of stairs to the top of the lighthouse, bursting through the hastily created barricade. Belim was first into the room to spot a number of goblins scurrying around and the wizard standing next to an enormous orb that filled the centre of the room. Belim and Ashcar quickly closed with the wizard only for him to call up a massive storm to assault the lighthouse before he was defeated. The heroes dispatched all but one goblin who managed to render Belim and Brandt unconscious before the storm began sweeping everyone across the tower. The goblin, Ashcar, and Kazen-kai were swept over the railing of the tower while Manteia attempted to gain control of the storm. By pouring his arcane energy into the orb, Manteia was able to change the direction of the wind enough that Ashcar was swept close enough to the wall of the tower for him to drive a dagger into the wall and catch himself with one arm while snagging Kazen-kai with the other. Manteia then dragged Brandt to safety within what shelter was provided by the walls of the orb chamber while they tried to revive the unconscious heroes. Brandt was revived first and was able to rescue Belim in the nick of time before the hardy dwarf bled out in a corner of the chamber. With their foes defeated and everyone out of immediate danger, the heroes quickly got the storm back under control, collected the wizards staff and the muzzled firedrake, and prepared to return to the city to inform Iskandar of the success of their mission.

Iskandar was delighted to hear that the wizard would no longer be plaguing the waters around the cities harbour, allowing trade to resume in earnest. The heroes rested and recovered from their trials in town when they were again approached by Iskandar with another job. In exchange for supplies and a crew for their ship, Iskandar wanted them to hunt down and eliminate a local band of pirates known only as the Storm Crows. After fierce negotiations with Ashcar sent away for fear of his compromising the proceedings, the heroes agreed to deal with the pirates.

The pirates had a camp located on the shore near the city and the heroes approached with all stealth and were able to take the group unprepared. The fighting was vicious but over quickly with an appearance by one of the giant storm crows the band was named for. Amongst the spoils of the victory, a map was found showing an island marked with a symbol of a giant crow. Taking the two small craft the pirates had, the heroes made for the island.

Upon reaching the island, the heroes were attacked by sharpshooters from the trees. When they moved to confront the enemy before them, a number of creatures rose from the depths of the islands small harbour to strike at their rear. As Ashcar struck at the snipers, Kazen-kai was severely pressed at the back and it took both Belim and Brandt to extricate him from his predicament. With their foes defeated, the heroes advanced up the only path from the harbour to a small building with a chimney continuously belching smoke into the sky.

As Kazen-kai climbed unto the roof of the structure, Belim and Ashcar stood ready by the door. Kazen-kai then proceeded to plug the chimney, they would smoke out the occupants of the building. Amongst the sound of much coughing, the voices of two dwarves could be heard from within the structure then two thuds and silence. Kazen-kai unplugged the chimney at a signal from those on the ground and Belim and Ashcar threw open the doors, to reveal a forge with the unconscious dwarves chained to it. Belim and Ashcar quickly broke the chains and brought the dwarves outside where they were quicky revived. The dwarves were prisoners of the pirates and were happy to provide as much of the layout of the complex as the knew to the heroes who fed them before preparing to delve deeper into the complex.

The first room past the forge was an armoury, and the heroes were able to liberate two complete sets of armour for Brandt and Belim to make use of. As they moved further into the complex they began to encounter opposition in the form of a number of pirates along with a Pirate Captain by the name of Ann. The heroes fought the pirates back into a mess-hall where Belim and Ashcar duelled the Captain atop the table before she was knocked unconscious and captured.

After some strange and unusual treatment of the captive by Ashcar, the heroes proceeded further into the bowels of the complex. Upon reaching a locked door which Belim kicked in, the heroes were confronted by another door from which behind came the sounds of voices. Belim and Ashcar, thinking quickly, grabbed the rooms table and chopped it down to make a rough shield almost as large as the door before them. When the shield was ready, they rushed the door and battered it down to reveal a hallway with a boat laying on its side blocking the passage. Arrows came from behind the boat to lodge firmly in the table, more pirates had barricaded the hall. At the sight of the table, the pirates quickly retreated into the chamber beyond the barricade and made ready a defense.

Kazen-kai approached the boat to hurl magic into the room beyond, only to have the floor collapse beneath his feet dropping him into a pit. Leaving Brandt to rescue the elementalist, Ashcar and Belim took a running start, and still firmly grasping the table, leaped across the pit and over the table to take the door and cover their allies. With their first sight of the chamber beyond, the heroes spotted a number of cages lining two of the walls that held dwarves. One of the dwarves was released from his cage as the heroes began to fight with the pirates in earnest. With the battle going against the pirates, the heroes could feel victory within their grasp only to have the freed dwarf drop to all fours and begin to sprout unnatural hair across his body, a wereboar!

The wereboar rushed the table where he was met by Belim, who refused to yield the threshold. With a chokepoint to the heroes advantage, even the wereboar could not turn the tide of the battle and the heroes quickly dispatched the pirates and the wereboar. Moving into the room the heroes quickly questioned the prisoners but did not set them free for fear there may be other were creatures amongst the captives. Taking the large door to the side of the room the heroes descended into a room light with a reddish glow.

At the foot of the stairs, a magical forge chamber was revealed. The reddish glow was from half of the chamber being an open pool of lava, yet the room was strangely cool. Ashcar quickly spotted a line of runes crossing the room at the edge of the pool, surely this was what kept the heat of the lava at bay. Next to the runes, were four anvils, each with a dwarf chained to it while near the entrance stood two Minotaurs, a large goblin and a man wearing a captains hat.

Belim quickly moved to take the door while Ashcar rushed further into the room to engage the Captain. Belim faced down the goblin while Ashcar was pushed back by the Minotaurs and the Captain. Seeing Ashcar hard pressed, Brandt moved into the room to support him while Belim worked his way around the goblin. With the goblin defeated the heroes engaged in a close melee with the other three enemies. The Minotaurs pushed Ashcar almost into the lava before the others were able to relieve the pressure and allow him to free the first of the Dwarves. With his chains broken, the dwarf freed the next in line and so on down the line until all four Dwarves were free. With four new allies the heroes pressed the pirates hard and knocked the Captain unconscious and then managed to slay one of the Minotaurs. The last Minotaur, in an effort to take the heroes with him, smashed the line of runes on the floor allowing the heat to begin washing into the room and destabilizing the volcano.

With the tremors beginning, the last Minotaur was quickly dispatched as the heroes fled up the stairs. Unwilling to leave the caged dwarves at the mercy of the Volcano, Belim and Ashcar quickly began busting open the cages before everyone headed out towards the next hallway with the pit. When they stepped through the doorway, the pit was awash in lava that would present a serious obstacle to the large group and their two prisoners. Seeing the boat still in place barricading the hall, Belim dropped his shoulder and slammed it over and into the pit to form a temporary bridge for everyone to cross. The last dwarf caught his leg in the ruins of the boat and Ashcar had to go back for him. With the dwarf freed from the wreckage, the heroes quickly made their way to the harbour where they piled into the two boats and rowed madly to get out range of the erupting volcano.

When the weary band encountered a small island in the middle of nowhere, they were quick to land on it and rest from their ordeals. The four heroes, eleven dwarves, and two captives made camp on the small island. With camp set, Belim was the first asleep while Ashcar began to question their newest captive. The man was the leader of the Storm Crows and after spending some “time” with Ashcar, revealed the disposition of the rest of his forces. After leaving the man, Ashcar then proceeded to convince the other captive, Ann, to join their crew. Once everyone was rested, they resumed their journey back to Alazar.

Upon reaching Alazar, the captain was turned over to the authorities and the band of heroes along with their greatly enlarged crew settled in for some quiet time in town.

Comments

DM_Ryan Gillric

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