August 15, 2013

The History of the Valley...

GM Notes:

The story of Slaughtergarde begins almost a thousand years ago, when a sorcerous demon prince named Mu-Tahn
Laa set his sights on the millions of souls on the Material Plane. As he gathered demon hordes and depraved mortals to his layer of the Abyss, a place known as the Mountains of Sorrow Beyond Measure, he began plotting.
Mu-Tahn Laa quickly reached an impasse. The energy required to sustain a gate to the Material Plane large enough to march an army through was incalculable. Even if he could accumulate enough power to create such a gate, the forces of good could quickly thwart his invasion by attacking the gate on the Material Plane, where defending it would be difficult. Mu-Tahn Laa’s frustration was so great that even the screams of the innocent provided no succor. He brooded on his black throne, contemplating other means to reach the Material Plane.
In a flash of inspiration, Mu-Tahn Laa conceived a fiendish plan. He cast off his despondency and started a series of eldrirch trials, using his rival’s minions (and sometimes his rivals themselves) as experiments.
After decades of research , Mu-Tahn Laa’s efforts bore fruit. If his cults could provide enough energy in the form of souls who were honored and then sacrificed, Mu-Tahn Laa could actually transpose part of the Abyss and the Material Plane. Several square miles of the Mountains of Sorrow Beyond Measure could become part of the Material Plane. The corresponding territory on the Material Plane would be part of the Abyss forever.
The transposition would be a one-way trip, so Mu-Tahn Laa began to hollow out a mountain, packing it with his armies and enough supplies for an extended campaign on the Material Plane. Mindful of the risk of failure, the demon prince thought it prudent to build some smaller gates connecting the mountain-fortress to the Abyss. He
couldn’t retreat an army back through those gates, but he and his personal retinue should be able to travel between the two planes unimpeded. After years of toil, Mu-Tahn Laa’s mountain fortress, which he named Slaughergarde, was ready. Mortal cults, responding to whispered promises of dark power, began gathering in a remote mountain valley. Demons were coming to the Material Plane, and they were coming to stay…

But the forces of good were not as oblivious as Mu-Tahn Laa had imagined. The blind dwarf sage Thermeskor had a vision of a mountain weeping blood. Elf mystics found their meditations interrupted by similar scenes. Humans native to one particular mountain valley began erecting black obelisks at the direction of their priests, often with the aid of dwarves and elves.
Oracular visions warned angels that extraplanar war was coming to the Material Plane. A celestial army encamped on the Plain of Ida in the Heroic Domains of Ysgard received a loathsome but ultimately useful visitor-a jealous lieutenant of Mu-Tahn Laa named Kuthrikki. Kuthrikki revealed Mu-Tahn Laa’s plans to the celestials. They, in turn, hastily moved their host to the Material Plane and worked with the mortals there.
When Mu┬ĚTahn Laa transposed Slaugbtergarde to the Material Plane, he found an army of elves, dwarves, humans, and angels waiting eagerly to cast his invading force back to the Abyss. At first, the prospect of battle delighted the demon prince, and he ordered his armies forward into battle. It is said that the very sky shook that day, and the Murrilach River ran dark with mortal blood, celestial essence, and demonic ichor.
As the sun set on the first day of the battle of Slaughtergarde, Mu-Tahn Laa noticed a faint pull on the eldritch weavings responsible for Slaughtergarde’s transposition. The black obelisks were siphoning away the power of the
demon prince’s magic, threatening to throw his entire fortress back to the Abyss. Mu-Tahn Laa ordered his soldiers to destroy the obelisks quickly, lest his invasion end in disaster.
But Mu-Tahn Laa’s host was wild with blood-lust, and the chaotic warriors scorned his orders. As the obelisks siphoned more of its power away, Slaughtergarde began to break apart. At first, it crumbled around the edges, but as the forces of good redoubled their efforts, the entire mountain began to quake as if about to erupt. Before sun rise, in an upheaval loud enough to be heard across a continent, Slaughtergarde exploded. The majority of its wreckage hurtled across the void between the planes to its proper place in the Abyss.
Satisfied that the Material Plane was safe, most mortals returned to their homes. The celestial host, aided by a few brave natives of the Material Plane (later to become the Luminous Order), turned its efforts toward tracking down stragglers from Mu-Tahn Laa’s horde. Now, eight centuries after the Battle of Slaughtergarde, the only reminders that it ever happened are a sinister crater where the transposed mountain briefly stood and a network of crumbling black obelisks.

As for Mu-Tahn Laa, he never returned to the Mountains of Sorrow Beyond Measure. His fellow demon princes gave him up for dead. They then fought over his vacant holdings in the Abyss.
The obelisks did their job, but the destruction of Slaughtergarde wasn’t total, nor was its return to the Abyss complete. A few chunks of Slaughtergarde retained enough of Mu-Tahn Laa’s transposition magic to embed themselves in the Material Plane permanently. There they remain…

PC Notes:

Once Sassypants is dead, Fezzik smells something familiar coming from a direction. Myerin and Thorin see a section of the desert that seems differently bony. Once there, Myerin searches and finds a place that looks like someone has covered a hole with bones. No traps! Oh wait, a trap. Myerin and Fezzik almost fall down the hole, which is actually larger than it first appears. We all like the dark and can just barely see the ground. The party climbs down the hole.

The men seem to leave the room one by one for refreshments.

We continue down the hole and there are bones everywhere, even in the walls. Still no traps! Fezzik takes his ass to the flo’ and gets low, gets low. Once on the floor, a fireball blast goes off. Thorin, Myerin, and Fezzik evade the flames, and Cecily blocks it. Now there must be no traps! After about 20 feet, we see a giant pile of sculls with arms (necronaut). The red solo cup tramples all four of us. It then bullrushes Cecily into the wall. Fezzik smash. The necronaut tramples back over us all and disappears out of sight, but Cecily blocks the damage. Thorin moves forward and attempts to cast a spell, but cannot overcome the monster’s SR. Myerin continues to fire arrows. Fezzik smash. The necronaut does another smash-by, but Cecily is next to Myerin and Fezzik, so they take no damage. Thorin, however, is beyond her reach and he takes trample damage. Cecily is bullrushed again. Cecily tries to enfeeble the monster, but forgets that undead creatures are not affected by energy drain. Duh! Cecily needs a refresher course on undead. Fezzik smash. Thorin heals the party, and Myerin sneak attacks. The necronaut – surprise – tramples us again, but Fezzik does a smash-by and the necronaut is no more. We heal and Myerin searches the area. She finds twistroot. We don’t know exactly what this does, but we know the Ebon Cabal wants it. Cecily climbs to the ceiling above Fezzik’s head. He tries to jump up and boop Cecily on the head, but she’s out of reach! What a fun game!

As we walk along the passageway, the bones seem to amalgamate into a Boneyard behind us. These are undead monsters, and capable of summoning helpers, which it does. Two adult red Dragon skeletons join the fight. However, Thorin does not have much knowledge about these creatures. Fezzik attempts to grapple the Boneyard and succeeds. A dragon skeleton grapples Thorin. Fezzik smash. Myerin stab. Cecily takes a gamble and casts Wings of Flurry at the two skeletons, who make their saves and take half damage. However, Thorin fails his save, then fails his alter fortune, and takes full damage and is dazed for a round. Cecily feels terrible!! The monsters are happy. Cecily hisses at them. Myerin yells at Cecily not to trust her friend when he tells you to shoot at him. One skeleton readied to attack Thorin on Thorin’s go, but due to Josh’s wording, the players stop for a brief argument. The fight continues. Fezzik smash, Myerin stab. The skeleton grappling Thorin attacks him and knocks him unconscious. Cecily Wings of Flurries the two skeletons, one of which takes full damage. Fezzik and Myerin kill the Boneyard, and Myerin finishes off one of the skeletons. The other skeleton kills Thorin completely. Cecily kills the last skeleton and Thorin realizes he’s not dead after all due to his permanent Vigor. He had so high a Bluff check he believed his death himself. Myerin slaps Thorin for scaring her.

Armenhammer bursts through the wall and Fezzik goes down to get him. Armenhammer can’t see in the dark and he fights Fezzik. Back in the sanctum bubble, Armenhammer has trouble believing us. We tell him we are tired of him trying to kill us, but he has no idea what we’re talking about. Right. We take him back down to the ground and try to help him find his equipment. He is acting like a dick, but we follow him through the wall. He has apparently killed almost all of the monsters on the other side of the wall. We find his shit. Ungrateful bastard. We make him say thank you and give him back his stuff. Fezzik and Cecily dance. Armenhammer pulls out some orbs that turn into Griffins. We all fly back to the Citadel. He whistles at our horses to make them run back to the citadel. Myerin tells him that Naryalla helped us earlier and he calls her insufferable. Fezzik says “glass houses.” The entire flight back to the Citadel, Myerin incessantly berates Thorin for almost leaving her with Fezzik and Cecily. At the Citadel, Armenhammer thanks us and tells us new information. Now we know everything he knows about the valley.

That’s a wrap!



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