Borderland of Adventure #78: A Terrible Truth

At the end of last session, we left the party as they had just rescued some adventurers taken prisoner by the pirates of Dekspoint. As the clamour of battle filled the streets and choking smoke rose to the heavens the party rejoiced to be reunited with their old friend, Rayne…

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Talk turned to what to do next. Quickly, it was determined that two of the adventurers – Murar and Cinto – and the merchants were in no shape to help the party. However, Rayne (a skilled archer) and Ghorn (a follower of Clangeddin Silverbeard) were both keen to revenge themselves upon the pirates. With this decided, the party escorted the non-combatants back to the abandoned Dragon Cult temple before continuing their exploration of the town. It was quickly decided that Yorn’s palace would be an excellent place to start their investigations.

Sadly, luck was not on the party’s side. As they crept through the smoke-choked streets, they came upon a small band of goblins. The goblins were looting some corpses strewn about the street, but spotted the party. Battle was joined! Krorz and Ghorn surged ahead of the party while Gerald and Rayne provided a sustained and accurate archery barrage. Unfortunately, just as the party were getting the upper hand, three orcs burst onto the scene – probably drawn by the sounds of battle. Even worse, the orcs came up behind the party and caught the archers and spellcasters unaware, badly injuring Gorinar.

Now, fighting on two fronts the party pivoted to this new threat. However, their luck had not yet turned for the better. Moments later, one of the goblins looked down a side street, visibly blanched and moved quickly behind its companions.   Bravely Krorz moved to face this new threat only to discover a gigantic ogre wearing half-plate and carrying a huge sword and shield bearing down upon him! The ogre was a mighty warrior and impressively armoured. Both Krorz and Ghorn as well as the two archers tried to injure it, but the beast adroitly used its shield to block their attacks. Of course, the ogre had no defence against Ulmo’s potent magic and a fireball followed by waves of magic  missiles lashed the ogre’s body.

Although tremendously dim, the ogre realised Ulmo was the true threat. As Sir Eril held off the remaining goblins the ogre burst into the middle of the party. Ulmo was badly injured by the ogre and only the healing power of Heironeous kept him from death. By now, the ogre was badly injured itself and a few more magic missile attacks from Gerald (who had swapped his bow for a wand of magic missiles) and Ulmo finished the beast. The ogre was the last attacker to fall – a few goblins and the final orc realising the party were too strong had fled moments before the ogre was brought down.

Their foes defeated, the party moved on more cautiously and reached Yorn’s palace without further encounters.

The palace was not abandoned, however. A small crowd of goblins lurked outside the front door listening intently to a much larger goblin harangue them. Behind him, Yorn’s naked body was nailed to the palace door. With their goal in sight the party immediately attacked – Ghorn sprinting into the middle of the goblins. The goblin leader reacted with unbelievably fast reflexes and injured the brave warrior with a vicious bite. As his companions moved forward somewhat more cautiously, Ghorn was cut off as the goblin leader enlarged his followers to block the dwarf’s escape. As the battle raged, the goblin leader, now in its true form and revealed as a greater barghest, began to blink into and out of existence and stepped through the palace wall.

The party – battling goblins – could do nothing to stop the creature’s escape, but in any event it returned moments later in a nearby alley. The battle raged on, the barghest laying about it with a huge falchion. In short order its goblin allies were slain and it was surrounded. When the creature stopped blinking, it disappeared whisked away to safety via a dimension door. Fearing it would return at any moment with reinforcements, the party beheaded Yorn’s corpse (Sir Eril beating Krorz to the punch for once) and fled the city via the secret tunnel under the Dragon Temple.

Wisely deciding it was sensible to rest overnight in the woods before delivering Yorn’s head to Vesicwyr, the party found a campsite near to her lair and bedded down. Their night was without incident – the dragon having killed everything in the surrounding forests. The next day, they entered her lair and gifted the dragon Yorn’s head. Vesicwyr was happy with the party’s gift, and once again tried to dissuade the party from learning their enemy’s true identity. Again, the heroes disregarded her warnings and so she finally gave up the terrible secret. The agency behind the attacks on Ratik was none other than Lord Monduiz Dephaar, one of Demogorgon’s feared death knights! This revelation unleashed fear through the party. Krorz, particularly, seemed very keen to move to a different part of the Flanaess while others seemed genuinely unaware of the horrific deeds attributed to the death knight since his creation three centuries ago…

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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