Shattered Realms

Chapter 12: The Final Days

The heroes heard the end of the tale of the War Stone Clan.

Encounter 1: The Vanguard

The final warriors of the War Stone clan delved into the side of the mountain following a cave that appeared to be dug out of the fortified manor they had attacked. Stepping over the bodies of fallen orcs they pushed into the cave to discover the Vanguard, the heroes of the clan about to be sacrificed by a Drow and her Shadow Hound pets.

Opponents: 4 Shadow Hounds, 1 Drow Cleric

Rewards:

  • 1175 EXP.

Encounter 2: The Shadow Dragon
Dragon and prisoner
The Vanguard told the heroes that a Shadow Dragon had taken them. The beast was a Wyrmkin who had delved deep into the dark arts and had completed his transformation into a full dragon. No doubt the creature was all but invulnerable, but it would pursue the clan so long as it was left unchallenged. The heroes told the Vanguard to return to the clan and promissed to try to deal with the creature.

After a fierce battle the heroes were victorious only to discover that the Shadow Dragon could endlessly regenerate. After several victories they were eventually worn down and finally killed by the Shadow Dragon.

So ended the tale of Loman and the tale of the War Stone Clan. It only remains to be seen if Rostam and the South Gate Heroes will follow Loman’s thirst for revenge and travel to the Ice Fang Peaks to deal hunt down the Dragon and destroy it.

Opponents: 1 Shadow Dragon, 4 Soul Shadows

Rewards:

  • 1310 EXP.
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    Chapter 11: The Tale of the Lost Clan

    The heroes returned to their house in town to rest.

    Caelthal investigated the Juggernaut and determined that at some point in the past it had come through a swamp or a jungle based on the thick earth found crusted deep in the ancient treads.

    Encounter 1: The Shadow Council

    The heroes were summoned to a council that helps the White Seers run the city. Mathus, Aaron, Hector and Alexius were all there. The discusion included:

    • The city population is down to 9,255. 554 were killed, 265 wounded and 42 went missing during the battle.
    • There will not be a serious attempt at a rescue mission for the missing 42. They are presumed dead.
    • The city walls are under repair.
    • Urus, a small ruin several days to the south may be a haven for Gnoll raiders from the mythical Gnoll Empire “Yogthsmire.”
    • There has been no decision about whether to raid this settlement or not.
    • The city is getting low on food. Rationing will begin immediatley.
    • The cities Mechamancers can focus on building additional cannon or developing a long range communication device. It was decided to focus on the communication device.
    • The free companies are ready and willing to take the battle into the wastes. New companies are quickly forming up and old companies are combining forces to take the battle to the enemy. The Warped must be found, the source of the Juggeraut must be found and the source of the Warped Leadership must be found.

    Rewards: 500 EXP.

    Encounter 2: Flashback

    The heroes went and visited Loman (the Goliath rescued by Rostam) in the healing vaults of the temple of Pelor. There Loman started to tell them the tale of the fall of his people. Our focus then shifted from our heroes to the heroes of the War Stone Clan that were Loman’s tribe.

    The players took over the roles of 5 new characters and played out a battle years ago when Loman and 4 other warriors of the War Stone Clan searched the Ice Fang Peaks for the lost Vanguard of their tribe. While searching they tracked a group of orcs to a ruined villa high up in the mountains. Here they encountered a small pack of orcs and defeated them in battle.

    Opponents: 4 Orc Scouts, 1 Orc Berserker, 1 Dire Wolf Rewards: 975 EXP.

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    Chapter 10: The Gun Deck

    The heroes moved to engage the enemy on the gun decks who were firing upon the city walls, killing dozens with each volley. The heroes discovered that a sortie had been sent from the city, lead by Hector, Aaron and Mathus this group had taken control of the undercarriage and had already made one failed attempt to storm the gun deck. With the wounded piling up underneath the Juggernaut the heroes gathered their strength and then assaulted the final most fortified position of the Juggernaut.

    Encounter 1: The cannon deck was filled with Wyrmkin and Warped that were firing cannons on the city walls. The room was filled with explosives and partially loaded cannons. The heroes detonated several barrels of mage powder while the Wyrmkin and Warped defenders turned several of the cannons on the heroes.

    Opponents: 3 Wyrmkin Warriors, 1 Warped Feaster, 8 Warped Creatures. 725 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • None.

    Encounter 2: The Main Gun deck contained a massive cannon with a lit fuse pointed at Sanctuary’s main gate. The heroes had brought their own cannon from the cannon deck and fired it into the room to soften the Wyrmkin defenders.

    A quick shot from Caelthal snapped the fuse on the main gun and the heroes stormed the room. The desperate Wyrmkin snipers used the explosives scattered around the room to shred the heroes battle lines but in the end the Wyrmkin were overcome and the Juggernaut was claimed by the heroes and the city of Sanctuary.

    Opponents: 3 Wyrmkin Warriors, 2 Wyrmkin Snipers. 750 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • 1000 gold pieces.

    Chapter 10 Story

    You fought with the south gate heroes?

    Aye, I did.

    What was it like? Were Rostam and Tarik leading the way into the warped horde? Did they kill a hundred warped?

    It’s never like the stories boy…

    Tell me!

    Alright then. We were all huddled under the Jugernaut trying to survive. We had left the city walls to try to take the Juggernaut after the heroes vanished inside. We feared they were dead. Hector had lost an eye, Sampson and his rangers had found a Mage Lock and were trying to fire it, Aaron was giving the last rites to the dying. We had made a try for the gun deck and paid dearly for it. We had lost a score of men and more. We didn’t think we would last another hour.

    That’s when the heroes came!

    Yes. They came down from the bridge. Their teeth were black with smoke and their armor was slick with the blood of our enemies.

    What did Tarik do?

    He fell to the ground. He didn’t move while Maksim roughly stitched up a wound above his eye. He called for Aaron and they all gathered together and prayed.

    They prayed?

    Yes, as did we all. I prayed not for victory but just for an end, one way or the other. And when we finished the heroes stood and without a word headed back into the belly of the Juggernaut to face the cannons that had already killed so many.

    That part is like the stories…

    Aye son, that part was just like the stories.

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    Chapter 9: Shadow Lord

    As the heroes gathered their forces and prepared to assault the engine room they heard sounds of combat coming from below the Juggernaut. Fearing the Warped were trying to trap them inside the heroes prepared to counter-attack only to discover that Sampson and some of the more adventurous town guard had slipped out of the city to help in the battle on the plain. Seeing some of the Warped moving under the Juggernaut the guard moved to protect the entrance and guard the heroes only avenue of retreat.

    An elven ranger named Caelthal volunteered to leave the guard and join the heroes in their assault on the engine room (Jason joins the party).

    Encounter 1: The heroes moved quickly to the engine room, bringing the War Golem with them. They found the engine room was currently being repaired by the automatons that operated the entire war machine. Commanding the engine room was an Undead Engineer who apparently was slain sometime during the Great War. This revenant was still defending the ship after more than a hundred years and seemed to have no idea who he was fighting or where his machine was located.

    After the battle the War Golem’s power supply failed and the creature shut down.

    Opponents: 5 Juggernaut Engine Drones, 1 Undead Engineer. 1050 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • Marauder’s Armor +2 (Hide).

    Encounter 2: Having secured the engine room the heroes took a short rest before assaulting the bridge. Crossing the open fighting deck they gathered at the main doors to the bridge and overheard a conversation between the commander of the Juggernaut and a Shadow Dragon who was talking through a crystal board on the bridge. The Shadow Dragon was obviously in charge and deeply disappointed with the progress of the Warped.

    Charging onto the bridge the heroes discover a mighty Beholder leading the Warped. Rostam with his usual grace and good fortune, charged through enemy ranks to strike a mortal blow against the Beholder. Arrows and magic flew in the barbarians wake, bringing the commander of the warped horde down in only a few moments.

    Opponents: 5 Iron Defenders, 1 Beholder Gauth. 1150 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • None.—
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    Chapter 8: The Belly of the Beast

    Our heroes awoke in the Sun Dragon Inn to the sound of distant gun fire. Hurrying to the main gate they found that the Juggernaut had been partially repaired during the night. While many warped still swarmed on the battle plain the large and small guns of the massive war machine raked the walls with gun fire. Hector, determined to redeem the honor of the City Guard was prepared to lead a company of green soldiers through the gate and make a charge on the Juggernaut in an attempt to destroy it.

    The heroes along with the High Priest Aaron quickly intervened and said they would do the attack alone. With fewer men they had a better chance of reaching the war machine unmarked by the guns and with fewer men there was less at risk if they failed. Hector relented and agreed to instead draw some of the Juggernaut’s fire as the heroes left the gate.

    Aaron and Hector said there was no money left in the coffers to pay the heroes for this mission but promised to try to find a way to raise some funds, though the heroes said no pay was necessary.

    Encounter 1: The heroes successfully ran across the half-mile between the wall and their enemy, the only casualty was Maksim who was struck in the helmet by a bullet and rendered unconscious (Brian was out for the night).

    The treads were badly damaged by the previous battle and massive amounts of steam flooded the underbelly of the Juggernaut. Creeping into the scalding and blinding steam the heroes quickly encountered a golem repair team and several warped who hoped to take advantage of the situation and earn themselves a free meal.

    It was a bloody battle, with both Tarik and Usirus brought to the ground by enemy attacks. The steam made it difficult to find the enemy, who seemed to have no trouble finding our heroes. Lazerus had a difficult time finding targets for his magic, instead using area-attacks blindly into the cloud until his knowledge of mechamancy allowed him to turn off many of the steam vents, clearing an area under the Juggernaut. In the end the heroes endured and defeated the repair teams and the opportunistic warped.

    Opponents: 4 Iron Defenders, 2 Warped Venom Claws. 950 EXP.

    Encounter 2: The heroes found two entrances into the Juggernaut reached by rope ladders dangling from the structure. Rostam crept up one and saw that both ladders led to the same room, a badly damaged room that served as a kind of guard post with prepared positions and a mixed force of Wyrmkin and Warped ready to fight. Rostam carefully closed the trap door and silently the group made their plans for a sudden attack.

    Tarik was first up a ladder and challenged the entire room to battle, he was quickly surrounded by the ever-ready Wyrmkin but Lazerus and Usiris used powerful area-attacks to destroy the enemy force in only a few moments. Rostam charged past the carnage to smash the warped.

    Looking around the room the heroes noticed an inactive War Golem propped up against a wall. After a few tense moments with the dials and knobs Usiris and Lazerus managed to activate the ancient machine and it quickly came to attention, loudly calling Lazerus “War Leader” and promissing “Death to our foes!”

    Opponents: 4 Wyrmkin Dragonshields, 2 Warped Impalers. 800 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • None.—
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    Chapter 7: The Juggernaut

    Encounter 1: Having returned from their victory over the Wyrmkin Chieftain the heroes collapsed in exhaustion. They slept through the morning and woke in the early afternoon. They found that the few soldiers that yet remained were exhausted but still defending the southern gate. The Warped and Wyrmkin had fallen to battling with one another and only the occasional straggler dared approach the walls of Sanctuary. Meanwhile sounds of battle still came from the main gate several miles away. The heroes decided that the battle was not yet won, and marched along the wall until they came upon the main gate.

    Even as they approached they saw a mighty Juggernaut, a giant and powerful war machine from the Great War firing cannons at the gate. Their old friend Wilhelm and a few guard held the gate in a thin ragged line. The crew manning the last defending ballista was shredded by a shrapnel cannon even as the heroes charged into battle.

    The heroes battled up to the top of the wall, manned the ballista and fired enough bolts into the side of the Juggernaut to cripple the mighty machine.

    Opponents: 4 Warped Swoopers, 1 Warped Mob, 2 Warped Stranglers, 1 Juggernaut. 850 EXP.

    Encounter 2: With the Juggernaut defeated the heroes were summoned to meet with the White Seers, but Wilhelm had other ideas. He had noticed during the fighting that the Warped and Wyrmkin had dropped a large amount of treasure near one of their camps. A huge bloated Warped creature called an Overlord, not unlike a giant baloon, had been carrying a large load of treasure and supplies when it had taken a hit from a ballista. It had dropped many of the supplies and the warped and Wyrmkin were struggling to recover all of them in time.

    The heroes followed Wilhelm out into the battlefield, dodging hordes of Wyrmkin and Warped to get to the loot. By the time they arrived there were 8 treasures on the ground and the Wapred and Wyrmkin were desperately trying to pick them up and return them to the vast floating Warped Overlord that floated overhead. By a clever use of a Sleep spell and other slowing effects the heroes managed to collect 7 of the 8 treasures.

    Opponents: 3 Warped Stranglers, 2 Wyrmkin Archers, 2 Warped Mobs. 975 EXP.

    Rewards:
    • 1040 Gold.
    • +1 Pure Spirit Totem
    • +2 Magic Tome
    • +1 Battlecrazed Longsword
    • +1 Lifegiving Plate Armor
    • The heroes also sold the Wyrmkin banner (to the Crusaders) from the last chapter for 1000 GP.
    Bonus Rewards: The heroes captured 7 of 8 treasures, earning them 3 additional magic items taken from the next levels possible rewards. The heroes earned one bonus item for every treasure over 4.
    • +2 Magic Cloth Robes
    • +1 Deathcut Leather Armor
    • Battleforged Heavy Shield
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    Chapter 6: Dawn Escape

    Encounter 1: Our heroes chose to take a short rest before they fled the Wyrmkin stockade. As the rested they were approached by an animated construct of the White Seers. This huge rotting hulk of flesh was once a warped creature that had died in the battle at the main gate. Now it was under the control of a White Seer and it shouted that it had killed the Wyrmkin Chieftain. As the Wyrmkin rose to do battle with the warped beast and general chaos broke out in the enemy camp the heroes fled the stockade.

    In order to escape back to Sanctuary, our heroes had to run through the rest of the Wyrmkin camp before the Wyrmkin could gather their forces (10 combat rounds). The heroes tried to move through the narrowest part of the camp to avoid enemy arrow fire and were quickly swarmed by the Wyrmkin defenders. Rostam noticed a Goliath prisoner crucified on the edge of the camp and the heroes chose to attempt a rescue.

    In the midst of the battle, Lazerus called upon some reserves of magical energy that gave him great power but caused him to age another two years.

    As the heroes fought their way to freedom a large Wyrmkin force gathered on a nearby hill and as the heroes raced towards safety they were struck by mass volleys of arrows that fell among them, piercing friend and foe alike.

    In the end the heroes made it to safety, carrying both the Wyrmkin Chieftain’s Banner as well as the captured Goliath prisoner. They bled from many wounds and were exhausted to the point of near death, but the few defenders that yet remained on the wall covered the last hundred yards of their escape.

    As the heroes collapsed with exhaustion they were told that there was a great battle between the Warped and the Wyrmkin in the enemy camp, that the southern gate they had fought so long to protect was now safe. As they fell asleep they could hear in the distance the boom of great cannons and the sounds of battle as the struggle for the city’s main gate continued…

    Opponents: 1 Wyrmkin Alchemist, 4 Wyrmkin Dragonshields, 3 Wyrmkin Archers, Countless Wyrmkin Skirmishers (Minions). 1000 EXP

    Rewards: 1 Wyrmkin Banner (which the heroes hope to sell for a tidy sum).

    4e12

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    Chapter 5: Extras!

    On the distant horizon a vague glimmer of sunlight warmed the clouds to the east. Crouched in the blood soaked sands of the stockade, five warriors scowled at the rising sun, knowing it brought death. They had just slain the Chieftain of the stockade and now his army was gathering around them, searching for them and baying for blood. Only darkness protected them. The sun would be their end.

    “How is it that the Chieftain knew you” said one of the warriors to another. “He called you by name Tarik.”

    “These things are filled with sorcery and demons. He probably knew all of us by name, you as well Rostam. Only your hammer silenced him before he could call out to you.”

    “You are a Risen, have you no memory?”

    “We don’t have time for this” said another even as the shrieks of the Wyrmkin grew louder from the north.

    “He’s right, there’s no time. The next hour will decide whether we live or die” said a fourth.

    With a silent nod the warriors closed ranks, until they looked like little more than a single shadow sliding away in the pre-dawn light.

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    Chapter 5: Behind Enemy Lines
    The PCs strike out against the besieging army.

    The heroes used their shadow cloaks and the dead of night to sneak right up to the Wyrmkin Stockade. Here they hoped that by attacking quickly they would be able to break into the Wyrmkin camp, kill the Wyrmkin Chieftain and then make good their escape. By using their Rings of the Brethren their actions were perfectly coordinated as they began their swift and deadly assault on the Wyrmkin.

    This whole set of encounters acted like a single long encounter, with the heroes continuing to get special sneak attack rounds at the beginning of every encounter so long as no enemies escaped form one encounter into the next area.

    Encounter 1: the heroes ambushed the sentries who were guarding the back door. The noise from the celebrating Warped was so loud that they noise of battle went unnoticed.

    Opponents: 2 Wyrmkin Defenders. 250 EXP.

    Encounter 2: the heroes broke into a storage area and quickly took several more guards by surprise. Using nearly perfect coordination and deadly speed they surrounded the guards and prevented their escape.

    Opponents: 2 Wyrmkin Defenders, 1 Wyrmkin Archer. 350 EXP.

    Encounter 3: the heroes were now close to their goal and could see the Wyrmkin Chieftain as well members of his personal bodyguard. While they moved silently into position they could hear the Wyrmkin Chieftain toasting allies who died fighting with him. He mentioned a “Tarik” who died “Killing hundreds at the battle of the great river.” When the heroes charged the Chieftain recognized Tarik and called him by name. But the heroes were not interested in talk, Tarik and Rostam charged the Chieftan and struck him, Rostam using his might maul crushed the Chieftan in a fury of bloodlust and rage. The Chieftain’s bodyguard counter attacked, desperate for revenge for their fallen leader, and while the heroes were badly bloodied in the assault their superior battle skill wore the bodyguard down and cleared the Chieftain’s hall.

    Opponents: 1 Red Wyrmkin Chieftain, 2 Blue Wyrmkin Champions, 2 Wyrmkin Archers, 2 Wyrmkin Defenders. As the battle raged an additional 9 Wyrmkin Minions and 1 Wyrmkin Defender joined the fray. 1100 EXP. + 500 EXP for completing the quest to kill the Wyrmkin Chieftain.

    With sunrise quickly approaching the heroes gathered together and prepared to make a fighting retreat out of the Wyrmkin stockade. The heroes know that soon the entire enemy army will be roused against them. Their only hope is to make for their walls. If they can reach the gate before sunrise they may have a chance.

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    Chapter 4: Over the Wall
    the PCs sneak over the wall into the enemy camp.

    The heroes are given a difficult choice. There is an undermine going on that needs to be stopped with a counter-mine. There is also a force of “Wyrmkin” that have joined with the Warped. This is a serious threat, as the Wyrmkin are elite warriors who are skilled at warfare. Aaron believes if the Wyrkin Chieftain is killed they will be neutralized as they must choose another Chieftain and that can take days or even weeks. The heroes chose to go after the Chieftain rather than stop the enemy mining opperation.

    Encounter 1: the PCs ambushed a group of Wyrmkin and Warped who were trying to find a way over the wall. They were quickly overcome.

    Opponents: 3 Warped Stranglers, 2 Warped Venom Claws. 725 EXP.

    Encounter 2: the heroes were forced to crawl through an old river bed very near the Warped “camp.” As they crawled through the Warped trash heap that had grown up in the river bed over the last several days they were attacked by several giant beetles who had come in from the desert to scavenge among the bones and debris of the war.

    Opponents: 2 Tangler Beetles, 6 Fire Beetles. 1000 EXP.

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