The Adventurers of Arel'Soreth

The Rebuilding or Arel'Soreth

ArelSoreth

Arel’Soreth, the town that our heroes hail from, was not able to be salvaged. No one except Halaster himself (and possibly a few others like Elminster) have the knowledge and/or power to move a whole town like Halaster did.

So Trobriand offered his services to rebuild the town. Muiral can imprint more then just combat onto a golem and with Trobriand being s master builder of all kinds they program what is left of the golems (while our heroes were inside the Iron tower most of the army was decimated.) to build a new town where the old one was. Unlike humans, even master craftsman, whose cuts can be off fractions of an inch which can weaken a beam, these golems do not make mistakes. They do just as programmed.

Within a few months the town is rebuilt and better then ever. Hector (for those of you who don’t remember, he’s the mayor) requested that the houses blend with the forest and no wall be built, and his wishes were honored. So the houses are made from the wood of the forest and there are trees growing all throughout the town. Evne our venerable ranger didn’t spot the town until within a hundred paces of it.

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The Destruction of Dispater

Our heroes entered the Iron tower ready for anything. They marched through the tower killing demons and searching rooms. It wasn’t long before they found the throne room. Dispater was inside with four of his minions.

Dispater looked pleased that they had taken the time to join him. He even thanked them for coming over. He started to explain how they had been played by Halaster all along, but was rudely interrupted by a certain intelligent sword that wanted to kill him.

Dispater

After the sword and the barbarian who wielded it had finally stopped trying to kill him, he finished his explanation as to how Halaster actually tunneled into the Undermountain looking for the connection between the planes. Sometimes planes intersect and allow people to travel back and forth freely, but the more important part is that you can merge the two planes. So Halaster had been planning on taking over the 2nd level of hell so he could connect it to the prime material plane and use his new found demonic hordes to essentially take over the world. It wasn’t a perfect plan, but he is crazy afterall.

After much debating our heroes decided that it would be best to just slay Dispater dispite the revelations. Muiral was the one who actually split Dispater in two, but the magic of the Irontower kept him alive. Even after his death he managed to kill two of our group (it would have been three if not for a well placed spell that saved our barbarian.) Luckily our cleric had used a bead of summons from his necklace and the Solar was able to bring back our rogue, who then in turn brought back the cleric.

Dispater was eentually slain when the Solar and the Barbarian teleported the pieces of Dispater out of the tower.

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Dealing with Devils

While our adventurers don’t have a direct hand on these events, they play a vital part in our story of a group of young heroes from a small forest town. So I will tell them to you now.

After that last battle with the demons and dragons, the dragons informed our heroes that they would do little good against the hordes of demons that awaited them. Shortly after the cavalry arrived. Muiral, Dworkin, and Trobriand arrived with an army of golems.

First let me begin with Dworkin and his story. As the only one of his kind Dworkin has always been kind of a solitary figure. Since being freed of his charge, protecting the Iron Codex, he has wandered across the planes. He has been uniting the Archdevils. One by one getting them to agree that Dispater had overstepped his bounds. Telling them of his plan to achieve total victory in the prime material plane then to spread his influence using his power from said plane to eventually conquer all of Hell. You see the only creature that can destroy an Archdevil is another Archdevil. They are more of a force of nature then a creature. As a ruler of a hell, the slayer of them would become the new ruler of that hell. This isn’t as glamorous as it would seem. The devils that they lead are vicious creatures waiting for them to slip up for a small opening to kill their master. The lord of hell would constantly be surrounded by vile acts, hatred, death, destruction, treachery, and little else. So the only one who would volunteer to this is well a devil.

Unfortunately you can’t use a regular devil. A human would be transformed and would gain powers far above and beyond those they normally possess, but a basic farmer would be a powerful devil with all of his previous farming skills. A normal devil gains little else, and thus would be dispatched rather quickly. The only person that could take advantage of said power gain would be an adventurer who is something like a powerful warrior or mage who then gains all the abilities of a powerful devil. Well you wouldn’t have to doom an adventurer to this fate if it was instead given to an Archdevil.

So Dworkin devised this plan to split the power and the lesser devils among the six other Archdevils. Of course they tried jockying for position among themselves and wanted more or a share, but in the end, Dworkin convinced them that they could argue the finer points later, but it would be an even split for now.

Through powerful magic associated with things like Archdevils and planar magic the devil lords themselves do not have to be present when Dispater is slain, but just allowed by the slayer to take the power.

Adamantine Golem

While Dworkin was on his trek to achieve this lofty goal, Muiral and Trobriand were building the golem army. Trobriand is known as the metalmage and has made every type of golem possible and has even invented a few of his own. Muiral used his magic long ago to transform himself into the mishapen creature he is now, but his experiments are not without advantage. He knows far more of transfiguring and combining things then nearly any other mage alive. Most golems fight with a straight forward “club them” kind of style. It was Muiral who found out how to imprint fighting onto golems. How to “teach” them to use weapons. And thus this army was born.

Golems

Dworkin led the charge followed by thousands of these new golems, along with thousands of older models. It was Muirals expertise as transfiguration that won the day though. He created a spell to manipulate the target of the invitation. The Iron tower is one giant and powerful artifact. Now one can get near it except the owner and those he invites. When he invites someone it leaves a magical mark on them, that causes the magic of the Iron tower to essentially overlook the marked creature. So Muiral figured out how to change the mark so it became a mark for a different creature and just made marks for all their creatures. Unfortunately it doesn’t work on mindless creatures, so the golems while they can provide support, they can never make it to the tower itself.

So Muiral gave the mark to himself, Trobriand, Dworkin, the Dragons, and our Heroes. Now they are all at the tower with the golems not far behind ready to enter the Iron Tower.

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Demons and Dragons

All that remained now was the bottom hatch. Our newly equipped adventurers tried the keys once more, since now the keyholes emitted a soft white light. Sure enough once using the keys that did not open the other doors allowed them to enter the hatch. The hatch led down to thee more doors. The three doors were very different. One was made of a white marble and was unblemished. Another was made from decayed wood and practically on the verge of knocking itself down. While the last was a simple stone door.

The simple stone door was the first to be tried and it led to another trap. The entire room was launched downward. Thinking quickly our heroes teleported out of the room before it had time to crash to the ground. At the bottom among the rubble was another hatch.

They checked on the other two doors as well. The old decayed door looked like an old alchemists lab inside. There were all sorts of alchemical ingredients and spell components of all kinds. Ancient tomes set on the large oaken table. It didn’t take our Wizard long to figure out that this was a room set up for turning into a Lich. While the other room had sacrifices of all kinds and shrines to all sorts of gods. No one knew why this room would be there and they moved on.

The Wizard decided that before moving on though that she would turn herself into a lich. Those who know anything about liches know that they are all evil. Those who really know about liches know about the good liches. They are few and far between, and while there are slight differences in the ritual, the real difference is the intent. Most people that are willing to turn themselves into undead abominations do so out of lust for power or wishes for immortality. Things that are very selfish or evil in nature. Those rare few that perform the ritual for a noble cause, such as an elven wizard who wishes to confront a powerful arch devil to free the denizens of the undermountain from the constant attacks on their sanity. Well those few become good liches.

After this our heroes opened that second hatch. It led down to another dimension. One of the planes of hell.

Fiends

They left a rope hanging down, their own personal bread crumb if you will so they could find their way back. They were confronted with a group of demons, including our Ranger’s long lost twin. While they were talking the rest of the dragons from upstairs were set loose to descend upon the characters. They were intercepted by the good dragons that the characters had freed. Together the characters and their dragon allies killed the demons and the evil dragons.

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Doorways

At the base of the abyss there stood four doors and a hatch. Our adventurers first tried to press on to the finish line by going ever downward through the hatch. Unfortunately that didn’t work, all their keys failed them, so they went back and tried the doors.

The first door they opened had an inscription in draconic saying “This is the room of arcane power. Use your knowledge and arcane might.” Inside there was a clever puzzle that the characters had to overcome to get back to the treasure, and after much experimentation it was the Barbarian who remembered the most necessary word ROYGBIV. To unlock the pattern of the prism they arranged their colored paths in the order or the prism.

The first room held treasure of arcane power the likes of which the characters had never seen before. Including robes, wands, rings, and more scrolls then most of the characters would know what to do with.

The second door they went to had an inscription in giant saying “This is the room of martial prowess – strike true strike fast, and let your blood run free.” Inside there was a set of test dummies that first assaulted the barbarian, who easily dispatched them, but it wasn’t until he spilled his own blood that he and his fellow adventurers were set upon by wave after wave of frenzying orcs. For over a minute the orcs poured forth and attacked our heroes. Slowly but surely they were whittling down even the most powerful of them. It wasn’t until our caster in the back stepped forward into the room to be attacked and her blood was spilled along side her allies that the hordes recessed.

This room held all manner of treasure for the mighty warrior. It held armor and weapons and shields, but the centerpiece of the entire room was a mysterious sword. Now the characters have come to know nightsong as a powerful ally and weapon.

Balor

The third door had an inscription in celestial saying “This is the room of divine inspiration, kneel, pray and be true.” After much hassle everyone made it to the treasure room. A few took the path of no religion or deity and found the final room the easiest, while some had their faith tested as a Balor attacked them ready to smite anyone who dared to raise a hand to it.

The treasure within was of all sort of priestly goodness, containing armor, scrolls, necklaces, and much more for the devout.

The fourth room had an inscription in common saying “This is the room of everything. Be prepared for anything.” Inside there was a series of tests that the characters had to pass. The first time through the characters failed and had to start all over again. The second time through and our Rogue was killed. It wasn’t until the third time through the tests that the characters passed and made it through to the final treasure room.

There was a little of everything in here including rods, rings, boots, belts, and much, much, more.

Our heroes took a little while off to rest up and identify their new equipment. They then distributed it among the group and rested again to make sure that they were completely ready for whatever lay ahead.

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Into the Abyss

This first task that awaited our ntrepid adventurers was what to do with the survivors of the city they had just decimated. After a inspection of the different passages by Zarine, our Ranger, they knew that the westbound path went to their trade route while the eastbound path went down further into the Undermountain. Not that anyone truly cares (everyone just wants to get out), but now they are over two miles beneath the surface.

They let the survivors from the city know that they were going to go down the eastern path and if anyone tried to follow them, that unfortunate Duergar would wind up dead. They then traveled down the path and sealed the entrance behind them with liberal use of stone shape. At the end of the path they found a giant stone door and while they could not open it, it was a simple matter to teleport to the other side of the door. They found themselves on a stone bridge surrounded by a black abyss. They threw a light down it just to have the light swallowed by the darkness.

On the other side of the bridge was a dwarven castle. The castle was surrounded by dwarven statues holding crossbows to ward off wary adventurers. Inside each one of the turrets was three ballistas ready to rain down their bolts on their enemies. Beyond this was a courtyard, then a keep. Therios was able to divine this information through the use of prying eyes. So our heroes decided that discretion is the better part of valor and snuck up to the windows. Okay well it was only Vin, our Rogue. She dicovered pressure plates ready to set off magical traps of unknown origin should any make the mistake of setting them off.

White Dragon

So they decided to teleport inside the castle walls. They broke into the keep and briefly explored that. When they found the stairwell leading down, they took that which led to an armory and then to the edge of the abyss. The narrow winding path took them past the entrance of a cave, which they decided to enter only after the barbarian, Riktor heard breathing from a large creature in the cave. Sure enough inside there was a White Dragon. Our heroes dispatched it in sort order with minimal damage to themselves. However the victory was bittersweat, since instead of a horde they found only a key, and the dragon was a prisoner, imprisoned by invisible chains.

They found another cave, this time finding a Song Dragon. Luckily Faelar, our psionic paladin, recognized it for what it was (since most people only know the basic dragons.) Our heroes asked it for it’s help in defeating the demons and it gladly said yes. They continued down the winding abyssal path to find six other dragons. A red, a black, a green, a gold, a copper, and a Fang Dragon.

The heroes had a simple plan ask the good dragons to join them, threaten the evil dragons to stand down while they retrieved their keys. After a long arduous journey they found themselves at the bottom of the abyss. With a giant stone door on the floor and four stone doors adorning the walls. The one in the floor has an elaborate look involving four keys while the doors have one each. Luckily since each dragon was guarding a key they happen to have eight keys.

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To Seige a City

In an attempt to gain information on the city, the Barbarian held off until the Rogue scouted the city. The rogue was able to get a basic layout of the city, but unfortunately in her haste was uable to ascertain the exact locations of the enemies.

Duergar

Once our characters moved into the city their spellcasters revealed themselves by using magic missiles to trigger a trap of falling rocks. Then their rangers let loose with their arrows and the fight was on. Our Wizard and our Bard began a counter offensive using magic of their own against the guard towers. While the rest of the group charged into the city. It was the Divine Mind who triggered the first trap as a pair of duergar rogues ambushed him with poisoned arrows.

The scout realized that someone must go through the rest of the city finding other hidden opponents. So he did, moving from building to building finding the rogues. While he is very dificult to hit and extremely hardy eventually he succumbed to the poison, but that’s a story for a later time.

While the scout went through the city the barbarian charged the tower in the center of the city. Unfortunately a group of clerics at the top stone shaped his part of the tower away, and he fell to the ground. They then took to the sky to get a better vantage point of the battlefield and provide better healing. What they didn’t plan on was a wizard with a powerful staff and the willingness to use it, as she let fireballs fly and knock them out of the sky.

In a tower in the far corner of the town a group of spellcasters began their offensive against our heroes. Their first strike was powerful and did some impressive damage, however this was short lived as our bard manaed to silence the lot of them. Of the three only the head necromancer was able to escape the barbarian’s wrath, and was MIA at the end when everything cleared.

The bard then took offense to an opposing bard and began her epic quest in bringing him down.

Lizardfolk

While this was going on our rogue, ranger, divine mind, and demon dog took out the rest of the rogues and a group of fighters the whole time being pelted by arrows from two more guard towers. Meanwhile the poor cleric and wizard were about to be run down by charging barbarians. All in all at this point it wasn’t a pretty picture.

Our cleric and wizard fled leaving the barbarians going after our poor wounded and severely weakened scout. The bard had already been killed once, but had been revived by our rogue. Although more then half the opposing forces were gone our troops were weakened, low on health, both the psionicists were nearly out of power, and our bard and wizard had had to rely on wands and staffs to get their job done. The only one who was still mostly in tact was the barbarian, since he had spent most his time running up to towers, knocking down tower doors, and killing the wizards and the like in grizzly melee combat.

So the barbarian decided to end it and quickly. He grabbed the corpses of several of their opponents and ran to the top of the middle tower and yelling in his most mighty of barbarian yells told them all to back down or they would wind up like their friends. With their most powerful clerics and all their wizards dead, they did the only sensible thing and surrendered.

Our heroes locked them outside the city and then began to loot the city.

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A Bloody Battle

Our heroes continued on their journey only to wander into a large watery area. At the end of the small lake they saw a lizardman pop up and run. The Barbarian and the Ranger ran after the lizardman and the rest of the group followed a small distance behind. It was then the trap was sprung. Nearly fifty lizardpeople of everykind jumped out of the water.

Lizardfolk

Lizard rogues encircled our rogue, while lizard sorcerers tried to use magic missiles to drop the Wizard, unfortunately for them by this point the wizard had already switched places with the Barbarian and they looked like each other. So those magic missiles did little in the way to hurt the barbarian.

Fireballs flew, swords slashed, and much mayhem was caused. In the end though the poor lizardpeople were just hopelessly outmatched. So they ran. Our heres ran them down and only three escaped. The druid, and two of their rogues. The druid back the way that our heroes had come from, and the rogues escaped deep into the city that lay beyond the little lake.

The city is a large city built inside a natural cave with some stone buildings shaped from the very stone itself, and some huts built from straw and mud. The river runs through the middle of the city with the mud huts on one side and the stone buildings on the other.

Our barbarian wants to charge through ASAP to give whoever lives in this city as little time to prepare as possible, but our rogue wants to scout it out and get more information on the city first.

Next time we’ll find our who gets their way, and what exactly lies ahead for our advanturers inside this city.

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Escape

After the close encounter with a death’s kiss beholder kin, our heroes decided to scout before moving on. They found a long waterway underneath the cave. At the bottom of this waterway was a hatch, more waterway, then a seigecrab, then a forcenet that seperates them from freedom. In the months since our heroes came by unfortunate means to the undermountain this was their first time that they were confronted with freedom.

Siege Crab

After figuring out a way past the seigecrab they sent the cleric into town to retrieve the necessary scrolls to get the rest of the group out. Upon his return, the group went into town to sell the treasure that they had accumulated and to purchase new items to aid them in their quest.

Our heroes had a brief discussion about what to do next. Since they had only been trapped down here against their will, there was a talk about leaving the Undermountain altogether. In the end it was the babarian’s argument that he was just going to kill things on the outside, so he might as well kill the demons in the demon caves that won the day.

So they adventured on finding a way into the hatch. The hatch opened into a small room. The barbarian was nearly vaorized getting through the room, but in the end they already had the means to get around the trap. They got through and into the next area, only to find a grop of duegar waiting for them. After a short skirmish though the duegar were dspatched with no real threat to the group.

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Into the Seadeeps

After returning the Duegar to their city where he could practice his trade in peace, of adventurers moved on. They went down a long winding pathway that perplexed several of our group. The elves sensed a secret door, and our bard who where’s Halaster’s ring sensed it also. However there was nothing to be found, but stone. It wasn’t until our cleric used stone shape that the true door was revealed.

The door was trapped with poison and had no noticable locking mechanism. The ring unlocked the door only after an area was cleared off enough to safely touch the dor with the ring. The room was a large room containing eight bookshelves and three tables. There were twelve golems (four of stone, four of clay and four of iron). There were three different kinds of tiles in the room, clay, iron, and stone. Even the walls and ceiling were made of either clay, stone, or iron. There were also three magical tomes.

Our heroes managed to avoid the traps, control the golems, and retrieve the books. All in all there wasn’t much to this room. Later down the corridor they found a door that in dwarven said “Beware: behind this door awaits death.”

So far our heroes have found swamps of acid, dark trees, and even a type of beholder kin. However no death. Although they would have if not for the amulet of emergency healing that has now proved useful twice.

So we left off with the heroes resting up since so many of their spells were used, their psionic points spent, and their hit points depleted. They were in a large cave with a swamp of acid, a very deep lake, and an alcove on the far end.

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