The Shackled City Redux

Welcome to the Jungle - The Aftermath

As events in the temple unfolded it became clear that the ruins were occupied by a malevolent force. This was confirmed as the adventurer’s confronted a demonic ape – an aspect of some jungle demon. As the killing blow was landed a pulse of energy emanated through the ruins infusing the three companions with some sort of divine energy – grabbing the treasures that were found in the lair of the ape demon the three fled the temple as it tumbled down behind them .. fleeing towards the river and there escape the jungle seemed more vibrant .. and alive … vines writhing and the sounds of creatures erupting all about them. As they got into the canoe they paddled furiously .. a feeling of dread lifting from them as they got further from the area.

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Welcome to the Jungle

After the events beneath Cauldron things seemed quiet in the city, all the talk was of the upcoming Flood Festival and the Demonscar Ball. Running low on funds the group were looking for opportunities when they heard traveller’s tales of an abandoned temple in the jungles to the east of Cauldron.
Travelling to the village of Gorbal, they found the rumours to be true. There was indeed a temple in the rain forest. Finding a local hunter, Hender, the group headed into the jungle searching for the temple.

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A Short Interlude

After the defeat of Drakthar the three adventurer’s emerged from the tunnels to be met by an apologetic and grateful Orak. He pledged his service To Barrack and requested that Barrack undertake the reconsecration of the Temple.
Taking on this new role with enthusiasm Barrack took to the streets preaching to the dwarven community, meeting with dignitaries of the gnome and halfling communities and mixing in some of the higher class areas of Cauldron.
Gallad, whilst plying his trade as a gambler began hearing tales of the three companions who drove the goblin menace from Cauldron. At the same time Barrack began promoting himself as a hero of Cauldron assisted by his left and right hands, a newsteller, a halfling called Felix took up this theme and began putting about tales of the trio’s heroic acts – though not all were quite true.
Meanwhile whilst browsing in Skie’s Treasury Fllar found a cloak which enhanced his abilities somewhat, whilst Skie told him of the cloak’s former owner – a beautiful newcomer to the town – Celeste.
After the clearing of the goblin menace the town of Cauldron seemed relatively peaceful and the most exciting thing appeared to be the upcoming Flood Festival and the following Demonskar Ball, a celebration of the founding of Cauldron by Sundabar Spellmason.
All this was doing nothing for the groups finances though so following up the rumours of a hidden shrine to some Olman god, which surely must have valuable treasures, the trio decided to have a go at treasure hunting – heading for the village of Gorbalin on the banks of the Harshil River, there to continue their trek into the jungle.

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Drakthar's Way

The party continued their descent into the depths of Cauldron – fighting more goblins then finally confronting the bugbear vampire – Drakthar – who it seemed had been smuggling contraband into Cauldron via a system of lava tubes that eventually exited onto a wooded area on the slopes below Cauldron’s walls. It seemed that Drakthar had been employed by an ogre mage known only as the Blue Duke, who had in his turn been employed by persons unknown to smuggle mercenaries into the city. It was said that the mercenaries were half-orcs but the party found no evidence of this. Now the tunnels are under the control of Orak, who’s domination ended on Drakthar’s death.
However, alone he cannot guarantee the security of the tunnels and he cannot reconsecrate the Temple of Moradin defiled by the goblin tribesmen that served Drakthar. He now looks to Barek to guide him in this, touched as he is by Moradin’s favour following the driving out of the darkness from his temple.

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A Plague of Goblins

Not long after the trial of Keygan Ghelve the city of Cauldron gained another nuisance. Goblins had been spotted on the streets late at night and where the goblins went, mayhem followed. Citizens were robbed at sword point, property was defaced with foul goblin graffiti and finally citizens of Cauldron were once again disappearing from the streets. Bareck felt that it was his responsibility to approach the town watch offering his services once again. The guard captain jumped at the chance, as his watchmen were stretched thinly trying to deal with their normal duties and recently had been sent on extended patrols dealing with incursions of gnoll raiders on the peripheries of Cauldron’s territory.
After a short time of patrolling the streets Galarad struck lucky stumbling on a group of goblins which he managed to follow to their base – Orak’s bath house – the goblins were working for a dwarf?

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Further Events in Cauldron

It is the 7th Goodmonth and the day is muggy but relatively cool without a cloud in the sky, with only a light breeze providing any relief. As you go about your normal business the talk of the streets is the arrest of Keygan Ghelve, for, as Felix the Newsteller shouts it across Cauldron, “Conspiracy and the handling of stolen goods and other contraband”. His trial is to be held on the 10th of Coldeven, four days hence in the Town Hall before the Mayor.
Without intervention from anyone the trial of Keygan proceeds rapidly and he is swiftly found guilty. He is sentenced to death but after a last minute appeal from Lord Vhalantru he is given over to the custody of Vhalntru who puts him to work changing all the locks within the city so a repeat of Kazmojen’s atrocities is not possible.
After this time the Autumnal weather sets in and it rains most evenings until around midnight when a damp all prevading fog shrouds the streets.

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2nd - 5th Coldeven

On your first day out of the Malachite Fortress you rest and recuperate. All back to full hit points after a nights rest and ready to take stock of your experiences. On the 4th Galarad searches out a spell book and continues his studies into magic, gaining his first level in wizard. Fflar finds himself able to cast more spells and develops his powers over the next 2 days, gaining a greater understanding of his magic. After a thorough study of his spell book – taking a further day Galarad wandered the streets of Cauldron – picking up the cant on recent events, accompanied on his wanderings by Maple, the halfling rescued by them from the Malachite Hold.
After contemplation Berreck found his skill with arms had increased as he became a warrior priest of Clangeddin. Donning the black armour of Kazmojen seemed a natural thing to do. Visiting the orphanage later on Berreck was surprised to learn that Terrem, the boy they thought lost, had been returned – unharmed and with a bag of platinum coins with a note written in the same hand as the note they received in a matching bag in the Fortress – this note said “For the future” whilst theirs’ said “Thank you for your aid”

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The Malachite Fortress - The Final Conflict

The group spent a tense time fighting a running battle with minions of the slaver. They finally confronted the slaver at the gates to his evil market where he attempted to betray his customer, Pyllrak. A three way battle erupted between the groups which was suddenly interrupted by the intervention of a beholder – a beholder that knew Kazmojen – for that was the slavers name – the fearful creature took Terrem with him leaving the group to face Kazmojen once again. Once again battle was joined and after a tough fight the slaver was finally defeated, leaving the adventurers chance to release his remaining captives. Amongst these captives were 2 people of more than a passing interest. One a tough warrior, Krllscar Endercott, offered his services as a mercenary – the offer was gladly picked up by the party paying 100 silvers as a retainer for his services – the gruff fighter accepted the payment gladly and soon turned up at the house rented by Berreck offering his services as a guard.

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The Malachite Fortress - The Entrance

Descending into the former Dwarven Fortress the three adventurers moved out of the lift into an echoing hallway, dark and forbidding. Moving down the hallway the three felt the weight of the rock above on their shoulders it seemed and their footsteps echoed eerily about them. Moving into the hallway they were attacked by a creature of elemental earth, a stone spike. Dispatching it swiftly the three surveyed their surroundings, 2 metal cages caught their attention. Berreck recognized them as cages used to house fire beetles, providing a source of light that did not rely upon magic or fuel, only that the beetles were kept fed – usually a duty reserved for young dwarven priests or clan guards. The empty cages swinging above their heads however provoked a different reaction from Ffar, where Berreck viewed them with comfortable familiarity, Fflar viewed them with pure terror. Berreck noticing this was about to ask Fflar what was so horrifying when a door on the eastern wall burst open, and a gangling ogre burst through the door, accompanied by a stench of the sewers, wielding his Khopesh he rounded on the three, grunting ..

Ah fresh meat … never mind soon enough rotten ….

and with that he charged directly towards Galarad, his sharp edged weapon dripping with noisome slime

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Jzadirune

Swiftly gathering their equipment from their lodgings the three companions descended into the darkness of the abandoned gnome academy. Below they found a dwarven crafted complex, but embellished with gnomish art and protected by gnome-crafted traps. Also they encountered more of the skulks like those they had found in Ghelve’s Locks. Attacking from the shadows, they managed to inflict some injuries on the three, but none lethal. They found them to be cowardly, one capturing them immediately telling what it knew, but also treacherous. The same Skulk, cured by Berreck, led them into a shadowed hallway where they were attacked by several of it’s weaker companions. After this interlude the lift leading down to the Malachite Fortress was found. After defeating two hobgoblin mercenaries standing watch over the shaft the three adventurers, after a short rest to catch their breath, pressed onward passing down deeper into the ground to the Malachite Fortress.

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