Borderland of Adventure #2: Dwarven Ruin

At the end of the last session, we left our heroes about to begin their exploration of the ruined dwarven monastery. They had previously explored the courtyard, finding the bones of a previous traveller, and now sought to enter the ruined watchtower of the place.



Led by Krorz, the party advanced to discover a ruined building filled with cobwebs and rotting boxes and barrels. Sadly, the place proved to be their lair of a gigantic spider  that pounced upon Krorz. Luckily, its attacks seemed completely ineffective and in short order the party slew it. Exploration of the tower revealed little of interest except a slightly rusty, but very well-balanced short sword hidden behind a crate that Krorz claimed for himself.

With the watchtower cleared, the party moved into the main building through a ruined double door and immediately discovered a shrine once dedicated to Moradin, but now a place of worship dedicated to Abbathor – the greater dwarven god known as the Master of Greed. Adoven (unsurprisingly) was incensed by this desecration and vowed to wipe out all evidence of the foul cult’s presence. The party’s exploration of the place was interrupted by the attack of two strange flying creatures identified as darkmantles. While one of the beasts did manage to strike Krorz, they were quickly destroyed.

Subsequent exploration of a few small side rooms revealed a magic scroll hidden in a fungus-infested library and a single ironbloom mushroom growing in an old cloakroom. Exploring another chamber – that seemed to once serve as a sitting room – Krorz triggered a trap and was knocked down by rocks falling from the ceiling. Moments later, a kobold emerged from a side chamber and struck him again, knocking him unconscious. Again, his friends came to his rescue with Belivar’s companion tearing the kobold apart. Although, Adoven’s magic was equal to the task of restoring the half-orc’s vigour, the party decided to rest overnight.

Their rest passed without incident and the next morning, they set out to explore the rest of the complex. In short order, they discovered a wolf den – complete with two wolves. Belivar charged in, but then immediately retreated after he spied a large, much more muscular wolf lurking in a side chamber. Battle ensued, and eventually, the wolves and their master were slain – several falling to Kemmo’s expertly wielded blade. Searching the wolves lair, the party uncovered much treasure including a great store of platinum pieces (the discovery of which resulted in much rejoicing) and a small patch of ironbloom mushrooms.

Although their mission was now seemingly a success, Adoven demanded that the party cleanse the rest of the monastery and the adventurers readily agreed. Much of he remained of the complex appeared empty, although the party discovered and destroyed a swarm of bats in a partially ruined chamber. Their map revealed, though, that secret areas remained yet unexplored and so after much searching they discovered a secret door leading to a small set of cells. Within, the skeletal remains of four dwarves lay; three of which immediately animated and attacked. However, the foul creatures were no match for Adoven’s divine power, and in short order they were destroyed.

One of the skeletons had not animated, however. Interested, the party searched that cell and discovered the skeleton wore a ring of Moradin – a great treasure and one that Adoven immediately claimed.

The party were not yet finished! Assuming that underground levels must exist, they spent the next day turning the monastery upside down. They did discover a possible entry to lower levels, but could not breach the mighty capstone. Disappointed, but certain they had enough of the various ingredients to save the town, the party retraced their steps to Falcon Hollow. Several days later, they arrived back in the town and gave the ingredients to Laurel who immediately began brewing the cure. Sadly, many people had died while the party were away – almost 40 souls had perished. (Unfortunately, Milon Rhoddam’s nephew was among them and the party were mortified to learn that he was very angry and looking for someone to blame.)

While Laurel distributed her cure to the populace, the party rested and planned their next move. Adoven fancied returning to the ruined monastery, but rumours swirled through the town of an adventuring band missing in the Sunless Citadel – a strange, subterranean fortress near to the town of Oakhurst several days to the west. The party included a brother and sister, and the couple’s parents were said to be offering a substantial reward for their safe return…

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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