The party takes an extended rest after battling the cave trolls then heads towards the river’s edge.
They find a small dock where a barge moves from one side of the river to the other through a chain and wheel system operated from the Fallcrest side of the river. The barge is at Fallcrest and no one can be seen. It appears the outer city has been vacated.
Kriv attaches a note to a crossbow bolt and shoots it into the door of a building near the wheel, but no one comes out to read it.
He then crosses the river by climbing along one of the chains.
Kriv turns the wheel to move the barge to the side of the river where the rest of the party is waiting but is unable to bring the party back due to the additional weight.
Enri climbs the chain but falls into the river. She reaches the shore but loses some alchemical components and a vial of holy water in the strong current.
Vashta and Nor climb the chain across and join the rest of the party.
They find that all of the gates to the inner city are barred and covered except one which is manned by guards. They approach and yell out greetings. They tell the guards that they were sent by Clarissa DeGarmond to help fortify the city against the siege of the Orcs.
The company is met by Captain Doragan. He says his mercenaries are down to 140 men, and mentions having some problems with Faren Markelhay not wanting his men garrisoned in the city. Because of this, the mercenary camp was outside of the fortifications and took heavy losses in the last wave of attacks by the Orcs.
Kriv asks Doragan if Faren is incompetent as evidenced by this tactical folly. Doragan assures him that Faren is only interested in the town’s defense but also wants to know why the Orcs are here. It is unusual that the Orcs have brought their entire warren – families and children – with them to the siege in such great numbers.
Captain Doragan takes the party to see Faren.
With Faren is his Seer, Tarsus Nighteye, and Commander Laird, leader of the town militia.
Kriv introduces Lost and Found to Faren, and informs him that they successfully stopped Og Skullsplitter‘s plan to use Cave Trolls to attack the town’s defenses. Tarsus interrupts and states that this confirms his visions. Kriv squints at Tarsus and asks, “Yes, we killed the blue shaman. Right, Tarsus?” – knowing that the shaman was indeed red, to test Tarsus. Tarsus is intimidated and retreats to his pensieve.
Faren and Laird believe that in order for the Orcs to have brought their warrens this is more than a raid. Normally the Orcs might raid for food, weapons, or slaves, but these forces are intent on capturing the city.
Kriv asks Faren quietly if Tarsus has brought any unusual artifacts back to the city recently.
Faren tells Tarsus to show the party what he has found. Tarsus reluctantly waves the party over to a table and shows them three objects:
- A portion of a granite column from an underground site. Vashta determines that it is Dwarven in origin; he touches it and has a vision seen through the eyes of an Eladrin warrior in a scouting party underground. The last thing he sees is a flood of kobolds clubbing him to death.
- A misshapen rough gem, size of a melon, cloudy as quartz. Blood dark red. Vashta senses the gem is unnatural. Enri find it has no discernable arcane purpose. Might be a raw material.
- A mask made from the skull of an Eladrin, hollowed out to fit a small head. The eyes have been hollowed out and raised vertically.
Tarsus tells of dwarven ruins north of the city that are connected to crypts below the castle. The crypts have been filled in to prevent invaders from using the ruins to gain entry into the city. Enri uses diplomacy to get Tarsus to admit that he does not understand the visions he has been having of kobolds, underground, participating in some form of ritual worship.
When the party learns that Og may be responsive to parley, they set out for his camp to the north.
The party is conducted into Og’s presence. They are surprised when he greets them in the common tongue. When asked why he is attacking the city, Og goes on and on about how the orcs have for too long put up with their miserable existence, driven back by the humans and other races. He longs for a return to old times when orcs roamed the land freely.
Kriv gestures magnanimously with his hands and in a bold voice tells Og that he should take his warren to Hammerfast, where orcs live well. Og is unimpressed, and tells Kriv that the orcs at Hammerfast would not take his warren in. He does not want to live as they do either.
Vashta suggests that something must have chased Og’s people to Fallcrest. Tension fills the air as Og asks “what do you know of this?” Og tells the party of the dragon Singe, spawn of an old red dragon who lived along orc territory for years in relative peace. The old dragon died and Singe is greedy for the orcs’ treasure and lands. He has grown an army of kobolds who live with him underground. Orcs don’t like to fight underground.
The party offers Og a deal. The party will kill Singe and his kobold army if Og agrees to stop the siege of Fallcrest and take his warrens home. They also get to keep any treasure they find, and want 1600 gold pieces upon delivery of Singe’s head to Og.
Og reluctantly agrees. The party sets out for Singe’s lair.
Shortly after entering the lair the party is confronted by a decision. Take the left or the right passage? The party pools ingredients to help Enri cast Hand of Fate. The hand points them to the left passage. They proceed.
Here the party fights a dragonborn cleric and a plethora of kobolds, who enter the room in waves. Even though the party kills many kobold minions, more come to take their place.
The kobolds are wearing Eladrin skulls as masks. Nor knocks the cleric prone where it spends most of the encounter. Eventually the party kills the cleric and all of the kobolds, and takes a short rest. They then proceed through the big double doors where the kobolds came from, and find themselves in a grand chamber. At the far end they can see a red dragon. It is Singe.
Flanking the dragon are two Exemplar. Nor Commands one of them to jump off the platform to its death. Battle ensues.
Once the party kills off all of the kobold minions, Singe takes flight and begins to attack the party from the air with various attacks such as bite, claw, tail strike and breath blast. During the fight, Enri and Nor get grabbed by Singe. Enri is able to escape but falls to the ground because Singe was in the air. Vashta invokes Diabolic Transformation to get protection from Singe’s fire breath while regenerating health slowly. Kriv uses Boundless Endurance to regenerate when bloodied.
Nor dishes out healing to party members, eventually sacrificing his own life energy, bringing him down to a low level of health.
Vashta comes up with the idea to use the rope and grapples from their adventuring kits to try to rope Singe down to the ground and restrict his movement. Vashta and Kriv, with Smoke’s assistance, are able to get two lines hooked to Singe and bring him down. Smoke becomes grievously wounded. Nor uses all of his remaining healing surges.
Singe strikes out and bites Nor, holding him in his mouth, dealing ongoing damage. Soon Nor will fall unconscious. Kriv steps forward to swing his longsword at Singe, who is down on the ground…
To be continued!
Encounter Continuity Photo:
1500XP/5=300 for crossing the river
1750XP/5=350 for Plethora of Kobolds