Age of Shaedow

It's Gettin Hot In Here
Avoiding slaughter and Finding a forge.

23rd of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

The dwarven priest at the beginning told the party a tale of sorts. We tried to convince them to help us, but the dwarves knew that they couldn't stand against the lich or the Lord of Fades.  They were resigned to death trying to stop them.

The light outside grew too bright to see and the air started to heat up. We moved lower into the keep where the air was less stifling. After discussing strategy, Gio decided to test the heat in order to scout for information. As soon as he reached the roof of one of the towers, the light blacked out and the heat vanished. The lich had broken through and was storming the keep.

Gio ran to warn the others, and it was decided that the group would split up. Gio and Svanir, and the raven went topside to climb out of the keep to avoid being seen. The others went to a hallway near the entrance to the keep proper to try and sneak in as soon as the Lord of Fades was released. While moving into positions, three of the towers collapsed bringing down the upper walk ways.

Right after the towers fell, the Lord of Fades blasted his way out of the keep and by a turn of fate, or roll of the die, the Lord of Fades went the other way out of the keep and Roaran, Darr and Hakkon were spared a most horrible death.

Entering the keep they found that the rubble had been reduced to rubble. Only the walls, floors, and ceilings of the keep appeared to be intact; all the internal walls and features of the keep were demolished. Searching the room they found a dwarf chained to a wall. The dwarf was a mass of scar tissue. He had no eyes or tongue and all he did was whimper and shake after being cut down.

Climbing through the hole in the ceiling where once stairs were they found the ground floor to be in a similar state except for a room protected by ancient runes. The door of the room was slightly ajar, but blocked by something inside. Haaken forced his way in with Roaran nd found a being in tattered robes years dead on the floor clutching a broken staff.

There were strange symbols "finger painted" on the walls and door of the room in some reddish brown material. It was speculated that this is what kept the Lord of Fades out. The outside walls of the room had shallow charred claw marks all over it.

A giant chest was found similiar to the small one Gio carries. Inside of which was a giant orb. Haaken asked Dar to call Gio and Svanir back. Gio and Svanir were already climbing back up as they had heard a chain demon approaching. As they got back up on the tower they saw the invading army marching out a with a few dwarves in tow.

Gio, Svanir,and Sasha ran without haste to join up with the rest at the forge. When they arived, Hakkon asked Gio to try and dominate the fire. Gio did not think that it was a good idea to try to control an elemental so powerful.

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Blast from the past! - Hakkon's past comes to kick our ass.
Kind of a 'boaring' tale.

Afternoon of the 22nd of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

After deciding to stay together as a party and continue as friends rather than random acquaintances the remaining members stepped through the portal. They dis so quite hastily and unceremoniously as the Witch-Bitch we released in the temple was firing a fireball up their arses at the time. We flipped her the bird and dangled exposed genitalia at her as we closed the gate and barred it.

Then as we covered the 500 foot distance between the front door and the closest wall of the keep we realized that the barrier keeping things in was getting brighter. Not sure what to make of it, we pressed on. We relied on the age-old rule of D&D, always go left. We ran into a couple of Large Boars, one of which will be harvested for dinner later, the other charmed by Svanir and will most likely be harvested for dinner some day.

We circumvented the keep-proper clockwise until it became evident that there were no doors. Slightly disappointed by this we noticed 3 Dwarven buildings. One was a warehouse with everything decomposed like we've seen. The second was a Dwarven Barracks, with clean linens. The third was a Dwarven Tavern, complete with casks of Dwarven ale that tasted unexpectedly spectacular. Of course Gio took one to replace his empty one.

Our intrepid group headed towards the closest of the 5 towers that encircled the keep. But this time it was bright enough to notice that there were walkways interconnecting the 5 towers to form a pentagram 200 feet up. The keep only extended up 80 feet, but we had no doubt that the inside edge of the inner pentagon of the walkways line up perfectly with the outer walls of the pentagon shaped keep.

As we approach the tower, Svanir noticed fresh humainoid tracks. We enter and wait in the ante-room while Roaran sneakily scouts ahead. As soon as he leaves the room, he notices the walls have arrow slits going from floor to ceiling. This becomes especially important as a Blackstone Bolt come whizzing out of one at him. He quickly spots a locked door and returns to inform the rest of us. The plan is to have Darr cast his Knock spell on his raven and Svanir would carry the raven, protecting it with his own life, to the door to open it. The rest of the party would follow Sasha when Svanir sent her the signal.

The plan went off without a hitch, except for the fact that our assailants retreated to the next room in the tower and barred THAT door behind them. Awesome. We also discovered barrels and barrels of Dwarven weapons and shields, which we discover the hard way, are filled to various levels with a viscous liquid that explodes when people fire flaming bolts at them. At least Richard (the fire elemental) got healed. Darr doused half the room with a well placed Create Water while Svanir put out the flames around the next door with the pound of normal sand he carried.

Roaran grabbed the bar for the previous door and together with Svanir they took turns with Hakun smashing the next door down. Wash, rinse, repeat. Our opponents retreated to the next room. This time Roaran and Svanir each had their own bar and Hakun still had the Axe. The door collapsed like a sack of wet hammers. Hey! What do you know? ANOTHER door!

We make short work of that door only to enter the last room just in time to see a chain ladder come falling out of a semicircle tube in the ceiling. Svanir stacks some barrels to reach the 10 foot ceiling and get up into the tube to see what we're up against. The tube skips the second level and goes to the third floor, but there are two slots in either side of the tube for people to attack through. Svanir comes down and we all inspect the ladder. Each section of the ladder is made of one rung with two parallel tube on either end through which the chain is run. So, hung up, the chain pulls the sections taut into a solid ladder, but collapses when the chain is released. So, we pull the chain taut and jam 2 bolts into the end of the chain to make a metal 10-ft ladder. We jam the ladder back up into the tube.

Svanir fills 2 empty flasks with the flammable liquid, stuffs a strip of cloth into each, holds a flaming splinter of wood in his teeth and climbs up to look into the slots. After nearly losing an eye to a spear, he lights both flasks at the same time and throws one flask into each hole. Screaming and hilarity ensue as Svanir notices he just ignited two Dwarves. Live Dwarves! So, Svanir gives the call to follow up and he fires a black bolt through where he expects the latch on the above trap-door and the door slides away freely. Using his shield for cover he raises he head ever so slightly so survey his surroundings as a volley of Blackstone bolts come flying from more arrow slits to bounce off his shield.

It is then that Hakkon has an epiphany… he hold his Holy Symbol above both of our heads and casts Daylight on it. Some chattering in Dwarven come from behind the arrow slits, but no Blackstone bolts. After what seems and eternity a voice calls Hakkon by name… it is his mentor, who fought 1000 years ago… and he claims to have been fighting for 7 years at the most.

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Creepy-ass Dolls & Loved Ones...
Now with Eggs and a Moat!

21st of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

It was decided to forgo the door system in the city, climb atop the walls and run along them. Worked fantastically. Followed some train tracks to a forge where we hear rattling chains and metal on stone scraping, (but dismissed it until a physical enemy showed up) and a creepy-ass doll on the bed. There were a few anvils around the forge and a glass orb on a pedestal. The doll was some animated thing who went invis, took the orb and made the elemental attack the party. Svanir snatched the glass ball from the little-girl dolly, burned the shit out of his hand. Giovanni and Darr both leaped for the orb, but it was the quick Catfolk-like reflexes of Darr that came up with the save. Then he put the orb in the Blackstone box he had and the elemental disappeared. While we were looking left at the space where the elemental was, the doll went invis again and escaped through the hood vent.

We took off and continued to follow the tracks south-ish until we came to a river we had passed over earlier while up on the wall. We followed this to what we thought was the center and came to a lake, which we circumnavigated until Darr came up with the thought "What if this lake is a dwarven Moat and the keep is in the middle?" So, he sent his trusty (and trusting) raven out into the void with a Light pebble only to discover he was right.

So, we all stripped naked (where we discovered Svanir has egg sacs all over his back like in Gremlins, which Darr quickly and deftly removed), floated our stuff on rafts made of wooden shields and inflated waterskins and swan across unmolested… until we got to the island. Where we met this odd creature that seams to be made of chains and loved ones. After a stunning blow (literally) from Giovanni, and a successful trip from Svanir's furry companion, the party swarmed the demon (Roaran's sword was all glowy) and beat the ever-loving shit out of it (I don't even think it got an attack off). We rested on the North side of the Island.

22nd of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Then we came around to the South where the two huge double-doors with sigils on them were. There was a barricade bar on the doors from the outside so we removed that, but apparently there was another inside. So, Hakkon cocked his X-Bow, handed it to Roaran, who fired our rope up to the top. Roaran and Svanir climbed to the top and discovered that the barrier is connected to the outside edge of the wall and there was no turning back.

Gio climbed up the rop, but not onto the wall and handed us the box with the fire elemental in it, which Roaran used from the top of the wall to attack two Frogs guarding the door. After the fire elemental took a lot of damage and started showing signs of wear and tear, Svanir and Roaran stepped in to dispatch the already half-dead, remaining Frog (the elemental killed one already). During the fight, Roaran had lost his control over the elemental (Will DC 15), so Svanir had lodged a twig in the lid of the box to keep it open while they fought.

After the fight, Svanir dove to the box and removed the twig and instant before the elemental's hands connected with his skull (he missed his AoE for Svanir's movement). So, here we are, Roaran and Svanir remove the bar from the inside… Roaran, Svanir, Darr's Raven, and Richard are inside; Gio, Hakkon, Darr and Sasha are on the outside and we're ready to discuss where to go from here…

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Have You Heard the Word?
The bird is the word.

20th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

 During our rest in the warehouse a 'smokey' white dove perched observantly near the party. We were reminded of Ceelena's animals who behaved in a similar manner. We finished resting and decided to follow the bird when we woke in the morning.

It lead us outside the warehouse where we had a brief scuffle with a few undead and a frogger. We continued to follow the bird which lead us to a large gate that allows passage between sections of the city. The door was stuck closed, but Darr was able to magically 'knock' it open. We passed though the doorway into the next section and found it covered in jungle. We were immediately set upon by several udead dire wolves, but barely managed to beat them off. Deciding we didn't want another fight like that, we ran 'like we had just stolen something' to the gate leading to the next section.

We were able to quickly open the door and then bar it from the other side. Still following the dove, we continued until we came to a large temple. Inside we started searching the temple for why the dove brought us here. Svenir proceeded to the alter of the temple and released a witch from an imprisonment spell by breaking a pentacle drawn on the ground. The dove which we thought was assisting us, transformed into a raven and flew away.

Svenir then started fighting against us as he was once again possessed, this time by the witch. The witch managed to escape before she was slain. We searched the rest of the temple and decided to sleep in the minaret.

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Bait & Switch
Arguing in the open: not a good idea...

19th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Waking up on top of the wall just inside the city gates, we decided to try and lure some more spirits to the wall and take them out from a distance rather than run into them out in the open. We managed to bait two spirits to the wall and used up a good portion of our ammo to take them out. Deciding that it wasn't worth the ammo, we finally decided to head North (or what we thought was North) into the city.

We fought some undead and some toad monsters. We ended up climing onto the buildings in an attempt to avoid being seen by monsters down on the street. While on one rooftop, the party got into a heated discussion about how to proceed. We weren't seen by monsters on the street, but they sure did hear us. After another fight with a toad monster and some more undead, we decided to continue our discussion inside a building. We found a warehouse, broke inside, remembered to close the doors, finished our discussion and decided to rest for the night.

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Descent into the City
An Old New Friend

18th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

We woke from rest on a ledge overlooking an ancient city. The city seemed to be divided into 11 sections, 10 spoke sections and one central section. We took stairs down the cliff to the level of the city. At the base of the clif we found the remains of an battle that happened a millenia ago. We continued toward a gate that serves as the entrance to the city.

Reaching the door we discovered it was adorned with several glowing sigils. After a short debate we decided to simply try passing through the gate and see what happened. Everyone passed through except for Svenir. On the other side we found an warrior who was rather disoriented. Introductions were interrupted by a flock (gaggle? pride? herd?) of undead who attacked the party. The strange warrior, Hakkon, assisted us in the fight and began to gain our trust.

After dispatching the undead we went back outside the city to get Svenir when suddenly Svenir started attacking us! Being careful not to hurt him too badly we knocked him unconscious long enough for a ghastly possession to leave him. Tired (or unconscious) after the battle, we spent some time healing ourselves.

Inside the gate, the only apparent way forward was through a set of doors that lead to one of the sections of the city. With no idea of the kinds of monsters waiting for us on the other side, we instead decided to take the un-apparent route over the walls. By shooting a magic bolt from the Axebow, we managed to secure a rope to the top of the wall.

Gio made quick work of climbing the wall and started surveying the surrounding area while the others climbed. Some Orc spirits were spotted and two sets of stairs down the walls were found. We killed a few spirits by shooting bolts and arrows from above, but Roaran grew impatient with that, went down the stairs and swung at a spirit through the invisible barrier. Roaran was less than successful and was severely weakend by the mere touch of the spirit. We decided to rest on the top of the wall and head out into the city the next morning.

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All Manner of Ghastly Animal Possessions
OH! So thats what 3 days and 5 nights meant!

After we killed the demon, we quickly disposed of the body and then rested for the night.

12th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Found glittery 'stars' on cliff near a path out of the valley.

Spent the day searching the ruins of the other buildings in the village and resting up.

Fought a fire elemental.

Gio fought and killed a possessed badger. Badger became dinner.

Left in the evening since the 'stars' are only visible at night.

Attacked by a possessed owl along the path.

13th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Rested during daylight hours. Nearing the evening we were attacked by 'Billy the Goat' dropping boulders from the hillside.

Roaran killed Billy with an arrow and Billy nearly fell on Svenir as it's corpse rolled down the hill and off the cliff.

Travelled through the night.

14th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Slept during the day. Traveled in the night. Very uneventful.

15th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Found the path of the Scythe and a path up the cliff side.

The path up the cliff is the continuation of the starlight path.

Slept in the opening of the starlight path.

16th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Followed the Starlight Path underground for one day.

Uneventful.

17th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Followed the Starlight Path underground for one day.

At the end of the day we found an overlook to an ancient dwarven city.

Realized that 3 days meant 3 days travel above ground and 5 nights meant 5 days travel below ground.

Slept at the top of the overlook before going down into the city.

 

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Double Bubble and Big Red
Uh, where is Aronal?

8th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Just fought with Stone Dwarf.

Retrieved Axe/Crossbow from crypt.

Positioned wrong column in socket.

Put the correct column in socket. Placed Axebow in column.

Figured out that the Axebow behaves like a lever.

Opened passsage to North.

Spend 1 day travelling on path North.

Aronal started sleepwalking, muttered something about going the wrong way.

Wrestled him down and tied him up.

9th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Quickly retraced our steps back to the first intersection. 

Opened passage to the West with the Axebow lever.

Made double time going West to first rest stop.

Aronal continuously attempted to sleepwalk off the path.

Kept him tied up to stop him from falling off.

10th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Spent another day travelling West.

Kept Aronal tied up and tackled him when he got loose.

Stopped to rest for the night.

Durring Gio's watch, Aronal was too quick and he managed to disapparate off the edge of the path.

Gio told no one, went back to sleep. He figured it would be a good prank.

11th of Såningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

Continued travelling along path. Exited on hill above a valley with the ruins of a small village.

We all climbed down, and went over to a tower, the least eroded building.

Village was oddly devoid of animal life.

Bar on the first floor.

On seconds floow, found a bunch of weird unfolding boxes with lots of thin material. Had thousands of small pictures on each thin piece.

Tower leading to upper floors.

Heard some strange noises outside. Chopped down a tree, and barred the front door with it.

Demon 'Big Red' smashed down the door, rushed into the building, and cast darkness.

Darr miraculously cast sleep on the Demon. Roaran managed a Coup de Grace Big Red in complete darkness to finish it off.

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Things that go bump in the night.
Exploding dwarvs and falling Wildlanders.

7th of SĆ„ningtid Year of Shaedow 1027

After parting ways with their dear friend Fluffy our intrepid adventurers debated how best to find the starlit path. After reviewing the instructions of Scai Xefyaz it was decided that

“Set forth from the summit of the lost mount 3 days and 5 nights along the starlit path from Tirami’s shame”

meant they would need to be at the summit of Tirami’s shame to see or find the starlit path. There was some debate as to if it mattered when they were looking and some more between Roaran and Svanir as to the best path to take them to the summit. Roaran finally convinced the group that the best was to head east across the glacier. The party set out around the back side of the mountain to the south of Tirami’s Shame.

The soon spotted ahead what looked like the site of a months old battle. Ever wary and still on edge from their encounter with a Carrion Stag weeks before they approached carefully on the look out for Fell. Roaran spotted what looked like a dead dwarf on a ledge some 20’ above that they would have to pass under. He loosed a bolt from his crossbow into the cliff face next to the corpse in a cunning plan to rouse the Fell which was laying in wait. The plan was successful and the dead dwarf was indeed a risen Fell and started to pull its way forward.

A battle ensued with the Fell that were on the ground and the Fell from above dropped down and pulled his way to the group. It was noticed at this point that he was only the upper half of the dwarf. The party dispatched the Fell, and discovered yet another trying to make his way up a stone face from below them. Svanir found a large boulder took careful aim and waited until the Fell was near the top before letting it drop on its face. The boulder slammed into the fell and drove it head first into the ground below with a horrendous splat.

Continuing on to the glacier the party made its precarious way across , slipping, sliding and spilling the entire way across. On one such tumble that Svanir and Roaran took into each other they noticed to the North and West a twinkling coming form a patch of trees and shrubbery growing out of a crevasse. Try as they might they could not catch another twinkle and after some discussion it was agreed to head back as the opposite direction was the quickest route to that crevasse.

Dangling on a rope Dar was lowered into the crevasse like some kind of overgrown cat toy. Dar soon discovered an entrance to a pitch black cavern/cave out of whose mouth came a 30’ wide bridge made of some strange material he had never encountered before. The bridge only extended a handful of feet from the mouth before breaking off in a jagged edge. The material was light absorbing black speckled with bits of twinkling light. They were sure they had found the starlit path.

The strange black material of the starlit path swallowed all light except for the the glinting star specks. Carefully exploring they found the roadway to be about 30’ wide and suspended in nothingness, There were no visible walls, floor or ceiling and their lantern light was swallowed by the abyss.

They came to a 30’ section that had been dropped. Securing Roaran with ropes he decided to take the leap. The was spectacular and graceful, Roaran seemed to glide across landing safe on the far side of the chasm. Dar was emboldened by his kindred’s leap and took a jump himself with a second rope.

This jump was even more impressive than the first. The party startedfeeling pretty good at this point. Giovani slapped on a mountaineers harness that he has, with the ropes held on one end by the 2 catfolk and the other by the Aronal and Svanir. Giovani easily slid himself across and it was decided it was now the Aronal’s turn as he was the heaviest by far.

Giovani slid his harness back across for Aronal and everyone managed to hold steady and support Aronal’s vast bulkd as he worked his was across the abyss.

Spirits were soaring and the party felt relaxed as Svanir is left and he should be able to make the leap no problem. The gear is tied with one of the ropes and hauled across. Svanir tied himself up with the remaining rope toke a running start and flung himself into the void. Svanir failed at least twice as spectacularly as the catfolk succeeded, making it not quite half the distance arms and legs windmilling as he dropped into the void.

Roaran was not prepared for the jolt of Svanirs mass and had the rope yanked from his hands. Being the strongest of those already across, Roaran dropping the rope caused the rest of the party to scramble to dig in and hold the line. If not for Giovanis quickness and Svanir would have plummeted instead of take a few nasty jolts. The rest of the party dug in and managed to hold until Roaran was able to reset. After hauling Svanir up and out of the void all took a quiet moment to rest and reflect on the near calamity and their exuberant confidence leading up to it.

Following the ever descending starlit path about a mile further down and west into the mountains the party discovered a chamber made from the same material as the path. Circular and 60’ in diameter the chamber was near empty. As with the path the part discovers they can find no seams and its as if the chamber is all of one piece.

In the center of the room the group found a circular indentation 3’ in diameter and 6” deep another indentation in that of a star and another smaller star indentation in that. Surrounding the indentation/s are 5 symbols. Facing the entrance they just came from is a crescent moon(3 o’clock), at 12 is a symbol that looks like mountains with a sun rising or setting behind them, at 9 is the constellation of the hammer, Between 7 and 8 are snow flakes and between 5 and 4 is a skull.

The only other items in the chamber stand by the wall opposite the entrance are a raised sarcophagus to the left and right of which are small pillars with “magic” candles. The pillers have a 3’ diameter circular base that is 2’ tall. its diameter narrows and takes on a star shape after that and then narrows again to another smaller star.

Everything the sarcophagus, the dias it is on the pillars and candles are all made from the same light swallowing star speckled material. Each is one piece with no seams, marks, or visibly worked. These are the only pieces that aren’t part of the whole. The candles look like candles made from the starlit material but are wickless and the small flame that flickers above each comes from some unknown fuel source.

Forced to stop or go back the party takes some time to discuss what they’ve found in the room. Reluctant to approach the sarcophagus the group stays near the entrance before cautiously approaching the indentation in the center of the room. Examining the inscriptions surrounding the indentation the strike upon the idea that it is a puzzle or combination lock of some kind and is related to their directions of setting our 3 days and 5 nights from Tirami’s shame. They think the mountains with the rising sun must be day and the the stars or the moon night. OR maybe one suggests it is a setting sun and hence night.

The party decides they could debate all night and the only way to figure it out is to start experimenting. Still wary of the sarcophagus and not wanting to disturb whatever they were sure lurked inside the slowly approached one of the pilers feeling they were part of the puzzle. As they approached, the sarcophagus slid open and a dwarven golem made from the same material steps out and informs them the starlit path has been closed to all travellers. He is holding a large crossbow that looks like it has an axe head at the end.

Giovani, apparently not the best choice for a diplomat, informs him that they are on an important quest and will be opening the starlit path. The guardian informs them he can not allow that and asks them to leave in peace. The monk replies, “isn’t going to happen” and nearly takes a bolt to the chest that surely would have struck anyone else not so damn quick…

After a collective moment of dread from the party who didn’t really want to fight the chambers guardian they resolved themselves to the combat and have at it. A long gruelling battle ensued that took a all the party had. After getting knocked about left and right they pulled out a victory at the last second as a near dead Svanir landed the killing blow. Unfortunately the guardian exploded in a cloud of light eating black dust and sparkly star like dust. Everyone dived for cover and all escaped the explosion and following whirlwind with only a few minor abrasions.

The dust continued to swirl around a bit and then was sucked back into the sarcophagus where the party fears the guardian will regenerate, their only thoughts as the sarcophagus were how much time if any would they have before the guardian was back to exact his revenge.

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It Started Off Easy
And then came Fluffy

With a rescue in mind we began to scout the orc camp on the eve of the 28th of Regntid. Roaran scouted the camp and the orcs fortunately underestimated his sneakiness. After much dicussion a plan was formed and the adventurers sprung into action.

Roaran stealthily freed the horse which ran away from camp, forcing the only awake (and present) orc to pursue it. With an ungaurded camp, Roaran, Svanir, and Giovanni entered the camp, and slew three orcs in their sleep. Meanwhile, Aronal went to free the prisoners.

Soon, the orc on gaurd returned to camp with the horse while the adventurers attempted to hide for an ambush. Although not completely successful at hiding, the ambush by Roran and Svenir went well, and Aronal freed several prisoners.

The last orc, who was on patrol killed one of the prisoners with a bolt though the forehead. Giovanni pursued the patrolling orc, but the orc was ultimitely slain by Svenir?.

After making an acquaintence with one of the prisoners, Dar, the group continued on their way to Tirami's Shame.

6 days later they arrived at the edge of a valley with a dwarf town now overrun by orcs. The town was Tirami's home. After making camp and encountering a bear named Fluffy the group started looking for the Starlight path that they were told to follow.

With a night gone and no path evident it was decided that they must go to the summit of a nearby mountain where an ancient dwarven keep stands. With a valley of orcs in their way, the group must find some way to the summit.

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