Band of Battlehammers

Arrival in Sasserine
Four dwarves from Clan Battlehammer disembark in Sasserine.

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And once they do, they head strait for the nearest tavern, of course. Being from such a distiinguished family, they arrived via special reception in the Azure District. Shortly after a few tankards of ale, they were greeted by Freya Dracktus, local Sasserine Ambassador and Concierge. They were supposed to have met her, but it was to be expected. Not one to decline their drink offer out of hospitality, soon she was involved in the conversation of a local crossdressing elf, one that shopped in her stores.

Xogar’s drunken advances were rebuffed by Freya and he called her a “racist bitch” and attempted to leave. She grabbed him, he kissed her which she didn’t resist and proceeded to charm Xogar. She told him to challenge his brothers for her time, and he sucker punched the nearest brother. The remaining three’s response was to attack Xogar. Torgar grabbed him, the others attacked, then he broke free.

A brawl erupted in the tavern, they kept fighting, mostly focused on Xogar. torgar dropkicked him. Mogar bullrushed him.

“I’ll save you lady!” Drogar decided to protect the pretty lady after a couple of beers. “Wait, where’s the lady?” None of them had realized she was gone already, having slipped out in the chaos.

Torgar grabs the brother’s drinks and passes them out, attempting to calm the riot. Drogar hops up on the bar and throws a full mug at a bartender, hitting a wench instead. Xogar goes after him, gets hit in the back f the head with a thrown mug. Drunk enough to think it’s Drogar in front of him, he knocks him off the bar. Drunk and feeling overconfident, Xogar flexes his muscles and leaps from the bar attempting to drop an elbow on his brother Drogar, and fails miserably smacking hard off the wooden floor.

Torgar & Mogar cheer some drinks Torgar found, and bet on Xogar & Drogar who are fighting. The brothers are drunk enough to confuse each other.
Mogar says “I’m betting 5gp on Mogar”
Torgar’s like “you’re mogar, man.”
Mogar responds “oh, well then I win, man”.

Mogar bullrushes Drogar knocking him onto a table, and Xogar smashes a bottle on Mogar’ss head cutting him open. Mogar rages, attacking Xogar. He tries to tackle him, but charges him into the table. Drogar yells for people to stop, but goes unnoticed.

Xogar says to his brother Drogar, “Hey brother, ‘high-low’!” Drogar nods and Xogar clotheslines Mogar as Drogar sweeps his legs out from underneath him, whipping the brother viciously into the floor.

Moments later, the Harbor Watch bolstered by orcs (recent mercenary hires by Harbormaster Captain Jack Christ), burst in smashing them all and quelling the fight. Awaking in garrison jail cell, they are still a bit drunk and attempt bust out, and are once again beaten on by the guards. Bailed out by Freya, she informs them they’re headed to nearby Cauldron to meet a contact with some information on their lost relative.

Travelling to Cauldron, they tell their cleric brother “Hey Xogar, you should be making ale for us!”
“Fuck you guys, pay me for it” Xogar replied.
“We pay you in not punching you,” Torgar responded.

They arrived at Lucky Monkey, Torgar grabbed the nearest bottle. He chugged it, and passed out almost instantly. Mogar grabbed it, chugged some and passed out. Xogar and Drogar followed suit. Freya grabbed it and passed out also.

They slept through the night in the silence of the empty tavern.

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Morning After at the Lucky Monkey
Waking up hungover in an empty, abandoned bar.

Waking up in a haze, they find the Lucky Monkey empty, having been too drunk to realize the night before that it was abandoned. Beer-Tankards.jpg Most of the brothers waking along with Freya, they decide to explore the place. Joining them late is Drogar.
“I’m here, I’m ready!” he huffs, charging into the courtyard… “Where are we? What’re we doing?” he tries to get his bearings. Finding the place completely empty and stripped of most of it’s goods, the signs of a flood and a brutal bandit attack still fresh, they decide to set off for Cauldron, less than half a day away.

In the hills outside of the city, they come across a large Bullette, attack it, and cannot hurt it. Having trouble piercing it’s armor plates, Freya calms the creature. Having not got his shot at it, Drogar takes a parting shot at the creature and hits it nicely, his axe finding a gap in the armor. Enraged, the creature pounces on him,
“Did a mosquito just land on me?” Drogar taunts, pinned down by the massive creature. With some effort they’re able to kill it.

Once in Cauldron, they perused the shops while Drogar enjoyed some whores. Coming out of the moneylender (he needed to get more change for his gold pieces), they regroup. Moments later, a fiendish Umber Hulk burst forth from the ground, collapsing the corner of Maavu’s Warehouse. Acting swiftly, the dwarven brothers slaughter the creature, but not before it confuses Drogar, who babbles incoherently.
“Nothing unusual” quips Torgar.

Impressed by the quick acting and superb display by the dwarves, the crowd roars. The brothers make Xogor carry their banner,and the crowd cheers “Battlehammer!” over and over. The brothers convince the crowd to cheer for ale, and they all make way to the tavern.

A beautiful woman dressed in all white approaches, compliments the dwarves on their battle earlier, and hands Freya a card, an invitation to the Cusp of Sunrise.

The next day, they go to the Cusp of Sunrise. Entering is a little awkward, as they didn’t realize they’re supposed to give the card back. Once inside, Torgar wins at dice, and then Celeste finds them, and takes them to Davked Splintershield. An old dwarf dying from a curse, he informs them they will need to find an alternate route to the Underdark, from a crazy old hermit.

They gather supplies, rest for the night, and prepare to leave the city.

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Setting off for the Underdark
Seeking out the hermit Crazy Jared for guidance. . .

Leaving the city, the party seeks the advice of an old hermit in finding the way to their lost cousin.

Marching out of Cauldron, Freya and Xogar begin debating the merits of his religion, that of a rebellious god of drink and revelry.

“Drinkin, singin, and enjoying yerself” Xogar appealed. “All good things.”
“I believe in all those things, so why not worship me?” She didn’t seem to be joking, and waited for an answer. The dwarf’s mouth hung open stunned at the question. In all the time since he left Mithral Hall, he hadn’t met someone so blatantly blasphemous. Quickly he changed the subject.
“…er, this is my first time in the Underdark” he admits, obviously filled with shame. How could a dwarf from not just Mithral Hall but a prestigious family like the Battlehammer Clan, have never ventured into the Underdark? Torgar began warning his brother about the dangers of the Underdark, to which Xogar brazenly called him “scared.” The older, more experienced brother sighed.
Drogar interjected out of the blue with his usual pearls of wisdom, “We wrecked that umberhulk worse than yer mother! …oh that doesn’t work, we’re brothers gahaha!”
Torgar joined the conversation. “Yer bringin’ yer slave, Freya? Gonna be dangerous.”
“Yes,” she replied simply. Why wouldn’t she? She needed to be waited on hand and foot wherever she went.
“His funeral.”
“Not yours or mine.” She winked at the dwarf.

Before long, they arrive at the location marked on their map. Another couple hours of searching, and the find Crazy Jared’s hut. And not a moment too soon, for over the horizon, flew a great red dragon.
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It bears down on the small thatch hut, surrounded by a low wall with fabric and wood painted to mimic a castle wall. Here and there straw stuffing pokes out of gaps in the makeshift “towers”.

The dragon soars up high, then dives strait at the ground firing a blast of fiery breath. Some of the flames whip back over the dragon harmlessly, but the bulk of the breath blast directly into the ground and spreads out into a massive blast radius. One of the corner “towers” explodes with the force, and nearby “walls” catch fire. The dragons swerves clumsily and redirects itself upwards, circling around for another run.

The man ran at the the band of heroes. With a wave of his wand, the old man’s tattered robes changed into the finest king’s garb, flowing robes speckled with jewels and lined with furs. “Onward, my knights of Anduria!” He commanded. With no one else around, it was clear he was speaking to the dwarves. The party opened fire with their arrows and bolts as the dragon fire a second blast, the flames narrowly missing but still burning some of the more forward combatants.

Unsure of what to do first, Xogar begins applying as many defensive spells onto himself as possible. Most of the party stood around ineffectively, either in awe or in fear of the dragon soaring overhead. You’ve heard many legends among dwarves, and twice as many tales of the shadow dragon Haerinvureem, or as he is more commonly known among the dwarven folk, Shimmergloom. This red dragon pales in comparison, but still has a fearsome presence none the less. Another blast of the dragon’s breath erupts centered between everybody, hitting them all.

As Torgar sprays flurry after flurry of damaging arrows at the dragon, Xogar begins running in circles panicking. Conjuring up enough concentration for a spell, he begins casting.
“Uh, uh…” he points at Torgar… “I cast at you!”

The rest of the dwarves scramble as Torgar continues firing. Badly hurt by his arrows, the dragon changes course and heads for the dwarf. As he’s flying in, Drogar fires a random bolt, striking a vital spot and the soaring dragon comes crashing down to the ground.

An elated Jared approaches the victorious “knights”. Drogar immediately begins hacking at the dead dragons neck. “Behold, the wonderful kingdom of Anduria!” Jared professes. He waves another wand and the landscape changes from flaming straw hut in a field to a flaming hut in a magnificent landscape of rolling hills, lush forests overflowing with fauna. He introduces himself as King Jared IV, ruler of Anduria (a nonexistent realm). With Freya indulging the old fool in his fantasy, they are quick to get the information they need.
“Someone wanna help me with this trophy?” Drogar asks, covered in dragon blood.
“Why, are you not a male?” Freya insults him.

Soon they decide to set off for the ominously named Pit of Eight Jaws, allegedly the nearest entrance to the Underdark below.
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Traveling through the hills outside of Cauldron, they stumble across an ogre scouting party. Freya begins playing a melody on her violin, marching slowly and sternly toward the oncoming ogres. All around her the dwarves swarm, charging forward to meet the ogres in melee. Similarly they dart around the ogres, hacking and screaming, all the while sending ogre blood flowing freely. Still playing, Freya ends her walk standing in a pile of ogre corpses left by the blood and beer drunk dwarves. She marvels at the dwarven handiwork: “These dwarves are fine murdering machines, slaughtering everything in their path…”

The Pit of Eight Jaws is little more than an hole in the ground in a field, and they decide to set up camp before setting off into the Underdark below. Loudly and drunkenly they march down a narrow and noisy, rickety set of steel stairs ringing the pit.

As soon as they reach the bottom of the pit, they meet it’s namesake. An eight-headed cryohydra bursts forth, blasting the unwary dwarves with it’s icy breath. Unflinching, they stand toe to toe with it. “Bahahaha! It looks like one ‘a Mogar’s ex girlfriends!” Drogar jests. Appprently Mogar has a habit for donning the beer goggles. As if they do this regularly, the dwarves made short work of the hydra. Slashing with their axes, they cleave great chunks from the creatures body, it’s flailing heads no match even with two to one odds.

Behind the hydra, a fissure barely large enough for a man leads into the dark, the tight tunnel slow and winding and the path nearly vertical at some points. In one area, it breaks into a cave where an Ettin, a large two headed giant creature, prepares a meal of carrion. Catching it off guard, the band rained arrows on the creature before charging forward with their axes. A drunken Torgar let his drink get the best of him, and put a couple stray arrows in the asses of his brothers. Drogar cries out after being hit by one. Turning around, he realizes it was friendly fire.
“No worries, brother. A few beers and I won’t even feel it!”

Pressing on, they reach a great cavern, an indoor lake, easily hundreds of feet across. A Kua-toan ferryman waves them aboard, and they disembark for Bhal-Hamatugn.

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Bhal-Hamatugn (Part I): Fish Shaped Temple
Arriving via ferry, the party charges into the temple ruins.

Drunk as usual, the brothers Battlehammer paid little attention to the two ravens on the front of the ferry, and paid even less attention when they started circling overheard. They might have noticed one of the ravens had three eyes. Not surprisingly, they paid even less attention when Xogar claimed to be seeing a man appear in front of them.

“I must be trippin,” he said, ingesting more of the drugs in his pack. He continued to freak out as he though he saw bats flying around (which actually wouldn’t have been unusual in the Underdark, except that there were none flying around at the moment).

kevsguyprofile.jpgThe raven turned into a man right in front of them. The dwarves began arguing, almost oblivious to the shapechanger. Perhaps they’ve seen stranger things in the Underdark. Freya cleverly interrogated the guy, judging him to be safe enough. His name was Misurlu Socartes, a travelling artist and showman. He didn’t say why he was in the Underdark, only that he insisted on tagging along until they made their way out. It would be safer that way.

Faced with three directions to go, past a curtain, double stone doors, and a portcullis, they opted for the gate. Torgar pullled a nearby lever, the bars raising a little bit with a screech, but he was stopped by Misirlou.
“Grab on to me” the newcomer cried. All of the dwarves did as told, and the group did a short teleport to the other side of the gate.

There they met two prisoners, a hairy, shirtless human and a little cloth-robed halfling. Both of them immediately began begging to be released and accused the other mummy.jpg of being a spy for the Kua-Toa. Not trusting either, the dwarves left the prisoners, ignoring their cries, and pressed on down the watery steps to a torture chamber below.

The chamber filled with waist deep water, they trudged through only to be attacked by a mummy. Most of their weapons barely hurting the creature, Mogar took the lead, smashing huge chunks of undead flesh from the mummy with every hammer blow until nothing was left.

Proceeding down a narrow corridor, they could hear the rhythmic chanting of frog like croaks growing louder and louder. Moving single file with Torgar in the lead, he came to an abrupt end, the backside of a secret door. He could clearly hear the chanting on the other side, peeking out he realized he was under a large ‘stage’ where the chanting was being done.
“We cannot disturb their ritual” Freya said. kt3EDIT.jpg
""Sure we can" Mogar replied. “I put a bolt through one ‘n he’ll stop.”

Stepping through the doorway under the stage, the dwarves felt a strong presence of evil, but continued. Behind them, Freya and Misurlu could not bear it, and froze int he corridor. Fanning out under the stage, they sent Drogar out to investigate. He was met with crossbow bolts from two floors above on the balcony. The brothers charged up two flights of stairs, slaughtering the Kua-Toa with crossbows. Mogar bull-rushed one, punching it over the ledge to it’s death. Drogar decided to jump across the ledge, and instead plummeted to the second floor balcony. Overestimating his abilities, Xogar attempted and failed to disenchant the 70ft tall statue. Nothing happened. Four Kuo-Toa clerics near the gigantic statue dominating the room blasted them with bolts, but the party charged forth, eventually killing the clerics in battle.

Almost immediately, a Barbed Devil appeared above and dropped to the floor below. The dwarves attacked, most of their attacks resisted except for Xogar. He stood toe to toe with the devil just out of range of it’s armored spikes, and smashed it with his holy staff, finally crumpling the creature. He asked his brother Torgar to take it’s tongue. Strangely enough, he also refused to leave copper behind for the devil’s corpse unlike his previous creature kills.

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Bhal-Hamatugn (Part II): Battle for Bhal-Hamatugn
Moments after the devil falls, the High Priest enters...

Despite the obvious old age and subsequent hunch of the High Priest, he still stands taller and larger than any other Kuo-Toan you’ve seen, warriors included. He doesn’t hesitate and empowered by the evil presence of the of the massive statue, he immediately blasts a lightning bolt into the nearest dwarf, Mogar. Already wounded from the previous fighting, the shock overwhelms him and he falls to the ground convulsing, the stink of burning flesh filling the air.

Torgar returns fire from the upper balcony, his arrows striking the high priest.

Literally ignoring the arrows sticking out of his body, the high priest presses his attack, Kuo-toa_staff_1.jpgusing a large staff with the pincher of a crab-like creature on the end.

All attempts by the party to return damage are thwarted. Arrows seem to veer of course or fall flat at the priest’s feet, swings and blows from axes and hammers do nothing. The brothers however feel every bolt, every blast, and every clubbing swing of the priest’s clawed staff. Their wounds begin to wear on them.

The hurt brothers decide to retreat, collecting together near the secret entrance where Misurlu and Freya are trapped, and they teleport out arriving near the Pit of Eight Jaws.

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Bhal-Hamatugn (Part III): Battle for Bhal-Hamatugn (Cont.)
Retreating and regrouping, the brothers return.

Kuo-toa_-_Daren_Bader.jpgHaving suffered many wounds and retreating from Bhal-Hamatugn, the brothers set up camp and rest just outside of the Pit of Eight Jaws. After resting, with little planning they decide to charge back into the ruins.

Having easily remembered the route, as dwarves tend to do underground, they travel safely (especially for Underdark standards!) back to the ferryman. Despite having just slaughtered many of his kin, they thought it safe to ride across the massive underground lake.

About half way across, almost a hundred and fifty feet from the entrance to Bhal-Hamatugn, the ferryman made his move. With a strong leap he launched himself into the air, flipping the shallow boat over and dumping the passengers. With a quiet “bloop” the kuo toan disappeared into the water, ignoring the sinking dwarves as he darted out of sight.

Xogar quickly cast ‘water breathing’ on himself as did Misirlu, but the others had begun to sink and were out of range. They struggled to swim in the dark, murky water but made their way to the steps of Bhal-Hamatugn, never knowing of the massive danger stalking them from below.

Soaking wet, they make their way inside, also unaware of the kuo toan scouts watching them from the hollow eye sockets of the fish shaped temple. Believing themselves sneaky, they proceed down their original path through the temple. This time in the prison they opted to free the starving, dying prisoners who would remain across the hall under Misirlou’s care and Mogar’s guard. The rest of the party waited while Torgar continued on in order to loopp around and unlock the large double doors sealing off the main auditorium. Moving past the torture chamber filled chest deep in water, and out of the secret door beneath the stage housing the massive evil statue in the main forum, Torgar moved stealthily past the chanting kuo toan clerics, and quietly unlokced the main doors.

This time, Freya passed through the overwhelming barrier of evil with ease and joined her comrades. Leaving the unconscious prisoners under Mogar’s watch, Misurlu joined the fray. He and Freya remained on the balcony, providing support for the dwarven brothers who charged down the stairs. Torgar went to teh third floor, taking the high ground.

Their concentrated attacks quickly overwhelmed the lightning bolt throwing kuo toan whips, and almost immediately upon their fall a Barbed Devil appeared. Screaming something in Abyssal, another appeared at it’s side!
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The brothers continued their attacks. Torgar raining down arrows. Xogar swinging his mighty holy staff, every strike bursting with a blast of white light and causing the devils to screech. Even Drogar stood toe to toe, flanked by Barbed Devils, every strike he lands also causing him to be impaled on the devil’s barbs. He didn’t stop swinging until he fell.

When Drogar hit the ground, the devils disappeared and reappeared, teleporting to Torgar. As he charged downstairs to draw them back to his brothers, Xogar stepped up and healed Drogar, returning him to the fight. Unfortunately, at that moment a dozen kuo toan warriors burst from the main hallway, crashing over a surprised Misirlou and Freya.

The brothers battling two devils, the casters battling a wave of kuo toan, the party was nearly overwhelmed when Mogar burst from the hallway!

Charging into the group of Kuo toans, he plowed one over the balcony while his spiked armor impaled those around him. He swung his massive axe cleaved monster after monster, lobbing chunk and spraying blood from the now scattering kuo toans. One of the devils having fallen, the party focused their efforts on teh remaining one, soon killing it.

kt4EDIT.jpgNot a moment too soon, as the High Priest once again emerged from his chambers, armored and prepared for battle. Once again, he launches bolts of lighting, toasting dwarven flesh with each blast. Still they press their attack, with little more luck than before. Torgar’s arrows causing the only real damage, tehy continue to push the attack. The high priest begins to fall back toward his chambers. A raging Mogar becomes enlarged, chasing the high priest around the base of the massive statue of Blidooploop dominating the room. All the brothers follow suit, chasing the priest as he darts for his door.

From across the room, Misurlu casts ‘hold portal’, and the High Priest is horrfied as he’s locked out of his chamber and overwhelmed by the combined might of a giant Mogar and his brethren.

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Bhal-Hamatugn (Part IV): Finding Zenith
Exhausted, the brothers must press on.

The less resilient members of the band insist on retreating to the surface to rest and regroup, but the more battle hardened deny they request, not allowing any remaining kuo toan to regroup themselves.

They do some patchwork healing, exhausting most of their supply, and continue deeper into the ruins, starting with the high priest’s quarters behind the statue.

Inside, they find some goods, a small hoard, and a duergar slave cowering in the corner. Mogar locks Drogar & Xogar out of the room for a lauhg, but the joke is on him – the locking door triggers a channel that begins flooding the room! Outside, Drogar & Xogar see only a pool of water leaking from teh bottom of the door… until they see a still enlarged Mogar smashing through, a wave of water and the remaining memebrs wiht him. They make quick work of their mortal dwarven enemy, the duergar. Having no useful information, he is summarily executed.

Making their way through some out of sight double doors opposite the massive statue, they ignore all other corridors and head for some stairs on teh right, in a room with puddles of water on the floor. The puddles turn out to be deeper than expected, and they’re ambushed by kuo toan rogues underwater. Any attempt to enter the water is thwarted by swarms of dragon-like tadpoles. Xogar throws up a Windwall to prevent the incoming javelins, and the party dashes up the stairs. The kuo toans suspiciously do not give chase. . .

At the top of the steps, Torgar finds a set of locked doors. Fiddling with the lock, he triggers a lightning bolt as wide as the ahllway, blasting everybody! With his party grumbling at his back, he disarms the trap, picks the lock, and they move into the room beyond.

Once inside, the all step on a large floor plate, triggering spears launched from hidden grooves in the wall! Those who are struck manage to resist the poisonous substance smeared on the spear points.

Assuming the worst is now over, they open the door in front of them. unfortunately, before them stands a massive black dragon, old and angry. It lashes out without hesitation, blasting them with it’s acidic breath. Mogar & Torgar stand toe to toe with the creature, swinging and slashing as violently with their weapons as the dragon does wiht his claws. Xogar proveds some healing, then freaks.

“We must retreat!” Xogar cries, overwhelmed by the terrors of the Underdark. “We’re going to die here!”

Mogar has no patience for fear. “Shut it you elf snatch, and heal me!” he roars, swinging his mighty dwarven waraxe as dragon acid burns away chunks of his flesh bigger than the dragons claws cleave.

Torgar laughs as Xogar regains his sense and does as commanded. Finally turning the tide of battle, the old dragon sees his end and begins his escape. Charging over the dwarves in front of it, the massive dragon smashes through the wall and flies down the corridor, leaving the dwarves to his hoard.

The celebration is short lived as they realize the room is a dead end. That leaves one possible route: the highest, least accessible balcony in the statue room.

With surprising ease for a dwarf, they make the jump, and once again their dwarven intuition kicks in and they head strait for Zenith’s chambers. In the antechamber they spot a dastardly kuo toan assassin monk, who reacts by casting a magical darkness ont he room. Mogar & Torgar ignore it, charging through and heading for the door beyind, intent to get to Zenith. Xogar goes to work attempting futilely to reomve the spell, before finally giving up and covering his own ass with a protection from evil ward. And not a moment too soon, because the kuo toan appeared from teh darkness, slashing at the dwarves throat.

Shocked by his weapons failure to even hurt the dwarf, the kuo toan panics and scrambles up the nearest wall, onto the ceiling, and out of the room. Xogar joins his brothers in the room beyond.

To his surprise, they are already embroiled in battle with Zenith. Not a prisoner, instead he occupies a throne, and calls himself King of the Underdark. Between slashes, he takes a moment to taunt and mock his enemies with prophecy. Pointing at Xogar as he enters the room, Zenith cries “You! You shall destroy the city you love!” He ducks around a column and prophesies Torgar’s doom; “You will die by the hand of a man in blue!”. Continuing to trade blows with the brothers, ignoring Mogar’s spikes as he impales himslef on them, Zenith speaks to him: “Your heart harbors two ships… Joy and Betrayal!”. Not taking to kindly to Zenith’s accusation, Mogar lands a felling blow.

Xogar steps forward, mumbling some preacher speak and casting ‘stabilize’ on Zenith. Binding him up, the now quiet and timid “king” remains silent as the party regroups, and teleports out fo the Underdark, arriving jsut outside the West Gate of Cauldron.

They all breath a sigh of relief, having escaped the Underdark.

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Returning Zenith to Cauldron
Wasting no time, the party teleports out.

With no hesitation the party immediately regroup and teleport to the gates of Cauldron, their target in tow with them. With Freya at the helm, they are allowed in, and head immediately for the Cusp of Sunrise.

This time an exception is made for their lack of fashionable finery, and they’re quickly escorted to the private offices. All eyes are on the dirty, disheveled dwarves and the silent, emaciated kin they escort. Upon reaching Davked Splintershield’s quarters, they are greeted by an awaiting Celeste.

No sooner does she greet them, in awe that they not only found but safely returned Zenith Battlehammer, than she disappears behind a locked door with the sickly door. “Davked is very ill, and needs to see his kin immediately. We will update you on their recovery.”

After changing their clothes, mingling around the Cusp of Sunrise reveals nothing towards Torgar’s inquiries. Soon they make their way into town to sell their bounty.

They decide to return to the Lucky Monkey and take a well deserved rest.

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Unrest in Cauldron
Tensions rise in the streets of Cauldron.

Waking once again from a night of drunken antics the brothers could hear clearly the sound of footsteps and the chatter of travelers outside the bar. A glance into the morning sun revealed numerous peasants scattered along the trail headed towards Cauldron. Interested in investigating, the brothers gathered their gear and decided it’s be best to use aliases. Walking outside they merge with the flow of traffic.

Torgar approaches one of the travelers, a strange bird-like man. Speaking with an accent, the Tengu politely begins a conversation with Torgar, and introduces himself as KiRen. In broken-common the birdman explains that many of these “unfortunate” peasants headed towards Cauldron are Sasserine’s poor, hired to protest during the current turmoil in Cauldron.

Xogar doesn’t take kindly to the foreigner, and gets in his face.
“You cool, man!” Xogar stares at the bird, nose to beak. “You coo man??”
“No friend it is quite warm here” KiRen replies ignorant to Xogar’s hostility.
“No man, you need to learn the lingo, man” Xogar threatens.
“Impossible. I know too much languages” KiRen answers.

Entertained by the confusion, Drogar laughs heartily as the group marches toward Cauldron. He begins mocking Xogar for his misfortune.

Not taking too kindly to it, Xogar responds, and Drogar escalates his shit-talking antics. He swings at Xogar, a terribly telegraphed punch. Xogar easily slips it and lets loose with a hook of his own, his large dwarven fist colliding with Drogar’s bearded chin.

Drogar landed face first in the dusty road.

The other brothers help a stumbling Drogar to his feet, and soon they reach a human traffic jam at the gates. An increased number of gate guards are questioning everyone attempting to enter the city. They part ways with KiRen, who sets off along the outside of the wall and pushed their way to the front. A few kind words from Freya and they were inside. Loud protesting could be heard in the streets to the north. overheard among the sounds were complaints of a recent tax increase. As they moved through the throngs of people, they could see city hall.

Several guards stood in a ring around the building, using their halberds to form a barricade to keep the people out. A small group of dignitaries, easily recognizable as tax collectors, scuttle behind the guards and into the safety of the building. The citizens boo and scream insults. Maavu Arlintal, a local merchant, climbs on a nearby ledge. He raises a hand and the demonstrators calm down a bit, then he begins shouting to the crowd. “Over three weeks ago, local Paladin of St. Cuthbert Alek Tercival, according to Cauldron’s Old Law of Peers, challenged Watch Captain Terseon Skellerang to prove his valor in a duel!” The merchant waves a copy of the decree, stamped and signed by Cauldron’s Office of Dueling. “The fact that the challenge has not even been published by the Cauldron City Council is a violation of the law!” As the words of the fervor-filled merchant begin to imbue the crowd with rage, a Watch Sergeant by the name of Skylar Krewis emerges from the city hall with an entourage of half-orc mercenaries. The people’s anger culminates when Maavu reminds them that Skellerang is feeding these orc mercenaries with their share of bread.

One of the half-orcs approaches Maavu, growling. “In the name of ”/characters/terseon-skellerang-watch-captain" class=“wiki-content-link”>Terseon Skellerang, Captain of the Town Guard, I must arrest you!" Quickly, a small boy emerges from the crowd screaming “Let’s kill these orc brigands” as he plunges a dagger into the heart of one. His screams are drowned out by the roar of the crowd erupting into a riot. Several hooded people emerge from the crowd near the other orcs, and in unison stab with their daggers, dropping the entire entourage of orc guards. Immediately Sergeant Krewis quaffs a potion and Maavu, startled by the eruption of violence, dashes into the crowd.

The brothers spring into action. Archers from the town hall fire at Maavu, hitting bystanders with their misses. Torgar returns fire, and the other brothers push through the crowd. On the steps a wizards summon appears: a Froghemoth, and the Battlehammers focus their attacks. Felling the creature with few casualties, Torgar begins searching the crowd for Maavu.

He spots the merchant waving him over from an alleyway, and waving his brothers over they follow the merchant out of town. Dashing through some backstreets, they soon make their way out of the fracas and into an open sewer entrance. Leaving behind a town hall strewn with chaos, an abomination carcass, and even a dead squad of half-orc mercs courtesy of KiRen.

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Mortar and Chisel (Part I)
The Battlehammers flee with Maavu to Redgorge.

After a couple hours or so (it’s hard to tell time in the sewers, though the dwarves are quite insightful underground), the party emerges from a sewer outside of the southwest wall of Cauldron. Maavu leads them toward Redgorge, mostly somberly pondering the events of earlier, but still partaking light conversation any of the dwarves make. KiRen follows, but keeps to the shadows and trails the band. Finally Maavu tells them: “The password is ‘mortar’,” he says.
“Wha-huh?” nearly all of the brothers reply in unison.
“That which binds stone to stone. ‘Mortar’. It is the password.” He changes direction. “Go to the ”/wikis/Redhead%20Miner%27s/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Redhead Miner’s Inn when in Redgorge. There you will find a contact."
After the brothers exchange a few confused glances, they look around to realize Maavu is nowhere to be seen.

A few more hours along the Cauldron Trail, and the brothers arrive in Redgorge. The town is as expected for a mining ghost town; rundown and mostly uninhabited. Exhausted, dirty, and especially smelly, they decide to retire to the Redhead Miner’s Inn. The large, two-story building even contains a large store catering specially to adventurers and explorers. Behind the bar a large, smiling man with his long hair tied in a ponytail notices the party as they enter.
“C’mon over beggars, ya won’t starve as long as Mikimax lives!” he introduces himself, waving them over.

In the corner of the common room a handsome man ignores Mikimax’s call and plucks at the strings on his lute. Dark haired and rather short, he wears a fine blue robe and polished knee high boots. As the party approaches the bar, he calls out a riddle to them.
“What can bind, with water sand and lime?” He plucks a little tune.
“Wha-huh?” nearly all of the brothers reply in unison.
The bard repeats himself, plucking the strings some more. Confused, the band ignores the man and approaches the bar for some drinks.
KiRen strides over on his lanky legs to the man, and says in his birdish accent, “Mor-tar”
“Close enough!” the man winks at the Tengu as the brothers nearly spit out their ale. They shake their heads in disbelief, having already forgotten the password Maavu had recently mentioned. The man slings his lute over his shoulder and introduces himself. “”/characters/the-honest-minstrel" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ekaym Smallcask, The Honest Minstrel" he brags. “The Chisel knows of you heroes from your growing fame. In fact, ”/characters/the-foreman" class=“wiki-content-link”>The Foreman has requested your presence at the next meeting of The Chisel. The Paladin Alek Tercival and even your friend Maavu will also be in attendance."
Shrugging their shoulders, the brothers follow The Honest Minstrel. Xogar grumbles, “…as long as there’s food…”

Following the bard into the rear of the bar, behind a fake shelf and down a flight of stairs they come to a magnificent room clearly out of place in this rundown town. Elaborate torches light the room and a massive gleaming oaken table dominates it surrounded by equal fabulous chairs while beautiful frescoes cover the entirety of the circular walls. Xogar slumps into his seat, disappointed at the lack of food. The frescoes along the wall depict the glorious moments in the life of Surabar Spellmason. Starting with his arrival at a dormant volcano, followed by an encounter with an angel, the founding of Redgorge, construction of the Basalt Bastions, the battle of Redgorge, and an image of Surabar transforming into a mountain, oddly enough.

Sitting at the head of the table is a tall human in fine brown leathers with grey hair and a short well trimmed goatee. He greets the band, introducing himself as The Foreman, and offers them some fine wine from a nearby cask. The brothers willfully oblige, and servants emerge from the corners of the room to serve them. “Welcome to the ”/wikis/Hall%20of%20Carvings/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Hall of Carvings."

Moments later a hidden door slides open in the fresco, and Maavu emerges into the room. “Glad to see you made it” he greets the party, but they give no reply as another door slides open and Mikimax enters the room. Following them is the bard from the barroom. Cursory greetings are exchanged as the servants leave as if commanded. Mikimax speaks first.
“Alek Tercival will not be joining us.”
“I did not expect him tonight,” The Foreman replies, “but his continued absence is worrisome nonetheless.”

Turning their attention to the newcomers, The Foreman begins to speak. “We are always looking for fresh blood to join our ranks, even indirectly. Many of our members have grown selfish, thereby violating the philosophy of The Chisel: to protect the region and support artisans and craftsmen. Many of the violators are Cauldronites who have shifted their ways and now care little for the wellness of society as a whole.” He sighs. “Turning our minds to more direct matters, I fear a great force of chaos and evil has beset cauldron’s government, and even the ”/characters/severen-navalant-lord-mayor" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lord Mayor himself may be involved. All our Divinations suggest a great disaster on the horizon."
Maavu interrupts, “Were the Paladin Alek Tercival here, he would second this motion. Lately he has been experiencing visions that proclaim the same fate.”
The Foreman turns his attention to Maavu and continues. “Though your intentions were well, they nonetheless caused more harm than good, Maavu. I now fear The Chisel will become the scapegoat for the ”/wikis/Unrest%20in%20Cauldron/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”> troubles in Cauldron, and action may be taken against us."
“It was meant to be a peaceable demonstration. Some villain stirred up the riot when they ambushed those guards.”
“T’was the Last Laugh Thieves Guild,” The Honest Minstrel chimes in. “Only one who fell for it were you” he jabs at Maavu, inciting a little squabble.
“Better dead than slaves! A wandering strummer like you should know!”
“Peddler! You count lives like gold pieces; no difference to ya, eh?”
Growing tired of the argument, The Foreman demands silence.

The Honest Minstrel breaks the silence with dire news. “My informants in Cauldron tell me that ”/characters/terseon-skellerang-watch-captain" class=“wiki-content-link”>Terseon Skellerang is indeed building a force of half-orc mercenaries to invade and search Redgorge. On the surface it is to find the mad criminal Maavu, who he blames for a list of crimes. The summoned Umber Hulk that left a handful dead and property ruined, conspiring with the Last Laugh thieves, inciting a riot, and even ‘targeting city officials’ for the slain orcs."
After a short discussion, The Chisel agrees that although the Hall of Carvings would survive such an event, but the town of Redgorge may not. The villagers would resist the invaders, and that would mean certain destruction.

“We must persuade ”/characters/terseon-skellerang-watch-captain" class=“wiki-content-link”>Terseon Skellerang to renounce this plan," The Foreman says. Looking directly at the Band of Battlehammers. “This is where you come in to play.”

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