Monsters Rule!

Session 16
Are you sure those dice aren't weighted?

Avoiding the serpent men for now, the party heads for the upper keep.

756F1074-E8FE-41B1-AC65-C27A8435B0CF.jpegA trio of tentacled serpent creatures lair in the old gatehouse. It’s a tough battle but Keth strikes two critical blows, sending them to their graves

As they enter into the courtyard and discuss which building to explore first, an ominous shadow darkens the ground. A dragon flies overhead carrying a wild animal of some sort in It’s claws! It circles and flies into the cave on the cliff behind the keep.

Eager to get indoors and out of sight, the party investigate a ruined building filled with statues and frescoes celebrating long dead heroes. It’s infested with giant spiders, but again Keth makes a couple more critical blows to drive back their venomous foes

(DM checks Keth’s dice for weights)

C65894F0-A015-4415-BA02-9090DDAC0A68.jpegIn the spiders lair, Tor spots.a poorly made wall that hides a stairwell. The cut stairs turn to natural stone. At the bottom is a cavern full of steam geysers guarded by kobolds. Thanks to another couple of critical blows by Keth, the party disposes of them quickly.

Deeper in the caves, they find a lone kobold feeding scraps of meat to two caged dogs. As the dogs start to growl, Tor assumes wolf form and establishes herself as the alpha. The dogs quickly quiet down. The kobold, Speelock, speaks a little common. He begs them to let him live and encourages them to flee before the dragon eats them. They lock him in an empty cage, and ignore his advice.

As they peer around the next corner, they are assaulted by a wave of heat and sulfurous fumes . A vast lava-filled cavern awaits. Narrow bridges, paths and stepping stones provide access to two raised ledges on the opposite side.


A a stones throw away, a pair of kobolds with red tinged scales lean against the rocks by the edge of the lava, seemingly unphased by the heat. They don’t notice the party … yet


name Dailies used surges left
Lusherina Flame sphere, orb of fiery might 0 used ?
Keth lucky charm, aspect of ferocity 4 used
Tor boiling cloud 2 used
Steve false life amulet, ice javelins? ?

current treasure
(Spent 3000 to enchant Lusherina’s armor)
Gold: 956
Jeweled bracelet (250 gp)
Potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+10 hp)
Total: 1206

Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

Session 15
Minotaur ruins - Collapsed watchtower

Our heroes continue their search for a lost relic of great power. As the sun rises they get the first good look at their objective – an ancient keep built into a steep hillside. The backside of the hill is a sheer cliff, punctuated by a cave opening nearly 200 feet up. The more accessible front side is divided by walls into multiple tiers.

The lowest tier is made up mostly of collapsed, overgrown buildings. The wall here are partially collapsed and easily passable. The party catches glimpses of wild dogs(?) fighting over scraps amidst the rubble.

A steep overgrown road leads to the front gate of the middle tier. Behind an intact wall and functioning gatehouse, tens of dozens of serpent people have made a semi-permanent camp in what was once a village. A tall tower rises from the center.

At the top of the hill sits what remains of a great walled keep. Several stone buildings remain standing inside the walls. Getting to the keep will require making your way through either the lower or middle tiers (or both).

kenku.jpgAs the last light of the day fades, the party climbs over the ruined wall and into the rubble-filled lower section of the fort. Their attention is drawn by birdmen talking loudly in squawking voices. Their group was hunting for treasure among the ruins when one of their companions fell down a hole into a nest of giant insects. They are too afraid to go after him, and our heroes agree to try and retrieve the missing birdman.

Kruthik_small.jpg Down into the hole our heroes go! At the bottom they have to battle a nest of giant insects, and then navigate a maze of small tunnels on their hands and knees while fending off the attacks of juvenile insects. (Keth does not like me bugs to begin with – this probably gave him a permanent phobia!)

The tunnels lead to the basement of the collapsed tower where they find a black ooze creature hiding at the bottom of a well. It’s a tough fight as their weapon attacks only slice off a smaller version of the whole!

mold_zombie.jpg The main floor of the watchtower is inhabited by several minotaur “zombies” animated by a sentient mold colony.

After defeating the zombies, the party finds a moldy chest holding treasure (see below) and the watch captain’s journal. It describes their arrivals at this keep, and how the relic they seek is locked away in a special vault, with multiple layers of protection. The keys for which have been distributed among the watch captain, the keep’s wizard, and the lord of the keep. They also found unusual gem tipped rod, which controls a type of construct (presumably one of the keys).

Returning to the surface the party is betrayed by the birdme. There is no injured companion. They demand the party leave their treasure and flee. That doesn’t end well for the birdmen, however. In the combat that follows most of them are pushed back into the pit where they are eaten alive by hungry juvenile bugs.

+2 quick blade
1950 gold

Level up to 7!!

Current Treasure

gold: 2,606
Jeweled crown 50 gp
2 gem studded collars (50 gp ea)
18 topaz (50 gp ea)
2 rubies (100 go ea)
Necklace 100 gp
Total: 3,656

Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

Session 14

After leaving the mountains, the party came across an inn where they purchased food, ale, and a good night rest. The barkeep and minstrel also provided them with valuable information about their destination: the thornwastes. Legend tells that centuries ago, a minotaur warlord tried to conquer the wastelands. Unfortunately, the spirits of the land did not take kindly to his scorched earth policy of conquering the natives and ended his reign in a rain of fiery meteors.

The next day, our heroes began searching the wastes for the ruined tower. The very terrain radiated primal energy, and Tor was able to follow the energy to it’s source. Along the way they encountered several of the wastelands more formidable beasts: a giant scorpion, and a pack of hungry sand drakes.

The source of the primal energies was an ancient ring of standing stones carved in the likeness of human faces. Whispered voices challenged their right to retrieve the weapon of light, but ultimately were convinced of their worthiness and guided them towards the ruined Minotaur keep.

On the journey to the tower, the party encountered a pair of thunderhawks hunting for prey. After killing one and scaring the other off, they traversed a narrow path up the side of a cliff. At the top of the cliff they spotted a ruined structure surrounded by half buried stones – the ruins of the warlord’s tower!

They rested the night and set off for the ruins in the morning.

current treasure
gold: 656
Jeweled crown 50 gp
2 gem studded collars (50 gp ea)
18 topaz (50 gp ea)
2 rubies (100 go ea)
Necklace 100 gp
Total: 1706

Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

Session 13
Lower Caverns

The ghost of the Minotaur high priest tells them the secret to opening the sealed door: speak the name of the Minotaur god, baphomet. He also reveals that the minotaurs once possessed a weapon forged of pure sunlight but renegade minotaurs stole it and fled into the wastelands centuries ago.

One beyond the door they find a chamber filled with explosive steam vents (ouch) and a pair of iron cobras.

After that they come to the chamber where kurzag keeps his slaves. A pair of magiical beasts called cloakers keep the prisoners docile. Seeing them triggers a repressed memory in lusherina. This creatures were used by her captors!

Finally. they reached the ritual chamber where kurzag is getting ready to animate the bronze golem with the souls of the prisoners. He is conversing with a projected image of the queen. They make plans to use the warders to crush some rebellious villagers outside tarrelton.

Kurzag nearly kills the entire party, but somehow they emerge victorious. They burn the only copy of the ritual to animate the golems

Now they have a choice to make:

  • search the wastelands for lost Minotaurs in hopes of recovering their weapon
  • go to the aid of the rebels outside tarrelton
  • delve further into the underdark and find the duergar who are breeding cloakers and selling them to the queens forces

level up to 6!

500 gold
18 topaz (50 gold)
2 rubies (100 gold)
+2 staff of withering
+2 amulet of false life
(Free enchant item: +1 to +2)
wrathful spirit (blessing from Minotaur ghost)

Session 12
Proving Grounds

The party continues searching a long abandoned shrine to a Minotaur god in hopes of finding out why Kurzag was so interested in the place.

They find a room filled with large flaming braziers, a magic circle, and an altar. The book they need is sitting on the altar, but protected by a orb of force. Each round, a rage demon is summoned through one of the braziers. Eventually they figure out to use the magic circle to deactivate the braziers and orb, claiming the book.

The next room contains a vast, mist-filled chasm punctuated by floating islands of rock. The final item (the mask) rests on the ledge on the far side. While they party debates what to do, Tor leaps from island to island, crossing the chasm and claiming the mask. As soon as she does so, flying spined demons rise from the mist and attack!

Having claimed all four items, the party moves on to a chamber that has four magic circles inscribed on the floor. They place each of the four items in one of the circles. The items disappear – replaced by the ghosts of dead minotaur warriors and a skeletal dragon! The front line characters take quite a beating (especially Steve the Barbarian), but ultimately prevail.

As the monster falls a secret door opens revealing an antechamber and another ghostly minotaur …

Resources used

player daily powers used surges remaining
Sergei stalker’s mist; excruciating shot
Steve ice javelin;
Dave flaming sphere, web, orb
Chris G mountain form, blood mist
Chris C. paladin’s judgement; ice axe;

none :-(

Session 11
Proving Grounds

Here ’s what the party has learned so far

  • Kurzag’s minions held Valdar Stoneheart (a scholar on Minotaur ruins) captive for months. They seemed particular interested in tales of ancient golems, and a shrine called the proving grounds
  • His captors paid duergar miners to unearth a sealed door (They also recovered a map to the door)
  • The duergar also sold slaves to (dark creepers) beyond the door, and another group is scheduled for delivery in 5 days.

After resting for the night, the party is ambushed by several dark creepers and a bronze golem in the form of a Minotaur. They recover amulet the leader used to control the golem and discover that the golems must be infused with the life force stolen from another being. Now they know why kurzag is buying slaves!

Lacking other ideas, the party heads some ruins known as the proving grounds, where they overcome a number of obstacles

  • The entry chamber has become home to a pair of cavern chokers and a grell feeding of those foolish enough to explore the ruins. One of the items they need (the bell) is hidden in a hollow pillar.
  • The sword they need rests on the far side of the enormous room filled wasit deep with blood. A walkway and two large statues of flail wielding minitaurs also sit on platforms above the surface.
    • The statues are traps that swing barbed flails, striking anything in the room
    • the blood is poisonous to the touch
    • a pair of demons were hiding beneath the surface of the blood

After surviving all that and retrieving the sword, the party barricaded the doors and rested for the night.

55 gp (from dark creepers)

Session 10
Duergar Fortress

Surina comes looking for you with a message. Guards are watching the temple, so she took the rescued prisoners to the inn (through the back door). Rennik is with them.

Pushing on into the fortress of the dark dwarves you encountered an ogre, wolf and gnoll archers guarding the bridges connecting the towers. Two of the guards met their doom by being shoved off the bridge into the chasm below

Finally out heroes won an fierce battle with the duergar leader, his guards and their pet hell hounds. The leader kept assaulting you with clouds of poisonous fumes and hailing brimstone, but (Steve) answered back by repeatedly using thundering blasts to push the hounds into the pits.

After the fight, while searching the fort, you found a map leading to the site where the dwarves were excavating. Under interrogation the leader confirmed that the dwarves were hired to mine out a passageway that ended in a sealed door of solid bronze – no handle, lock or even a seam.

Leaving the fortess they took rest in a secluded side passage. (Fully rested)

Level up to 5!!!

600 gold
2 gem studded collars worth 50 gp ea.
+2 cloak of elemental warding

Session 9
Bloodreaver hideout, duergar keep

Our heroes engage in an bloody battle with the remaining goblinoids. They emerge victorious, but not before Lusherina was incapacitated by vicious blow from the leader and has to be saved by Keth.

They free the captives: Valdar and two human explorers. Valdar tells them that he has been captive for over two months. They kidnapped him from his home, and stole several of his notes. While he’s been here he was interrogated about the location of some minotaur ruins known as “the proving grounds”, and the history of the bronze warders – indestructable living statues created by the ancient minotaurs to safeguard their halls. Valdar believes the warders are just legend.

Hidden under a loose stone in the leaders chambers, the party finds a chest full of gold, and a handwritten note: “When the duergar have finished their digging, deliver the gold to them. Not before – Kurzag”.

They also find Valdar’s notes on a secret cult of death that ended up causing a civil war amont the minotaurs.

The heroes send the rescued prisoners back to the temple with Surina , then briefly consider exploring the proving grounds, but quickly decide to raid the duergar hold. The hold consists of three tall stone towers, connected by two stone bridges spanning a deep chasm. Inside the hold they encounter

  • 2 duergars and their orc servants. To their surprise, one of the duergar turns invisible, the other used forge magic (ignite metal, weapon storm, etc.)
  • A duergar champion that grew to enormous size when wounded.

1050 gold
+2 chain mail of fire reststance
+1 brooch of shielding
acrobat boots
+2 dwarven chain mail
dwarven greaves

who powers used surges used
Dave sleep 1
Chris C paladin’s judgement, frost axe 3
Chris G form of mountain’s thunder 3
Steve resounding hammer 6
Session 8
Thunderspire Mountan, bloodreaver hideout

The party arrives at the mining outpost with the following unresolved business:

  • Retch needs help finding his missing uncle (while he was away at training, his aunt sent word about his uncle)
  • an escaped slave they rescued with no memories except evil dwarves, and golden statues, and an underground lake
  • a cryptic note about lost secrets at some place called the proving grounds

The town has a bar, an inn (with bar), a temple, a jail/guard hall, and a trading post. Five or six adjacent caverns each hold a dozen or so houses made of stone block, but no merchants

The party decides to stay at Retch’s uncle’s house but when they arrive, the place is being ransacked by a half-orc wizard named Kurzag and several hobgoblin guards. They exchange words, but the orc leaves before it escalates.

Asking around town, they uncover several interesting facts

  • the duergar trading post discretely deals in slave trading
  • a one-legged kobold beggar says he can lead them to the duergar hideout for a small price (1 gold)
  • Brugg, the ogre is the official red hand leader in town, but Kurzag arrive recently with his rentinue of loyal guards, the Bloodreavers.
  • there is a minotaur by the name of Tarlann who frequently hangs out at the tavern. He is an explorer and guide
  • they meet a rebellious dragonborn local who hates the hobgoblins and wants to drive them out of town. She’s been following the bloodreavers and knows where there hideout is. She offers to lead the party there.

Eventually, they decide to follow Surina to the Bloodreavers.

  • the entrance cave is guarded by a goblin and his trained dire rats
  • they sneek in through a balcony door, quickly disable two bugbears and interrogate one about the rest of the hideout
  • they fight several of the remaining goblins, their leader and a dire wolf in tight quarters. The leader flees.
  • Retch’s uncle and two other prisoners are shackled to the wall

Just as the last goblin guard falls, their leader returns from another part of the hideout with reinforcements …



35 gold

Resources used
who daily powers used surges used
Dave none -
Chris G (Tor) form of mountain thunder (10 left)
Chris C (Keth) 1 lay on hands 3
Steve None 3
Sesssion 7
Shadow Rift
  • spoke with rescued prisoners. all three had connections to a dwarven colony mining called the seven-pillared hall. Two were miners from there, and the other (a dwarf nickname “Retch” had an uncle from there that was kidnapped by hobgoblins. Retch got captured while looking for his uncle.
  • descending into the shaft, the emerge into a terrifying scene. – a vast temple to Orcus, demon lord of the undead. A necromancer is performing a ritual in front of a shadowy gate of blackness., guarded by his undead minions. an epic battle follows, and they succeed in closing the gate.
  • after the battle, they find a letter on the minotaur zombie and they decide to escort the freed prisoners back to their home.
  • en route they hear screams from a side cavern. They rescue a confused elf woman from a nest of giant hungry insects. She doesn’t remember how she got here, or anything about her life – only nightmarish glimpses of her capitivy – an underground lake, evil dark skinned dwarves, and golden minotaur statues
  • A short while later they reach the mining colony,

  • +2 resounding maul, +2 plate mail of durability, +1 shimmering armor
  • 981 gp, 300 gold in jeweled religious items, ,
  • ritual scroll: raise dead
Level up! (4th)

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