The Veiled Vanguard

The Eldritch Inferno: The City of Vulcan

As the party came to the end of the dark tunnel beneath the ruins, they stared at a breath taking city carved into the Cliffside. Seven stories of chiseled marble lay before them, carved in styles of the First Era. In the center of the city, a great obelisk hung inverted from the ceiling. But this city did not lay silent. Peering over the ledge, the party saw the lower levels of the city swarmed with Drow. On the first floor, slaves were put to work smithing weapons. Further into the city, the Drow had erected great barricades to completely seal the far side of the city. The upper floors were mostly deserted, with the occasional guard patrol making rounds. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Zuri, Clever Girl, Mentula, and Olisha decided to stay hidden in the tunnel while Angeilos, Aleysia, and Kilimar (the races that could be taken as normal in the Underdark) would scout the surrounding area.

Removing his mask, Angeilos lead the scouting trio up a flight of steps toward the keep of the outer castle. At the top of the steps a courtyard separated the group from the inner doors of the keep. Before the door sat a red headed drow girl, two armored duergar, and a worg. Choosing to not go that way, the trio headed down the set of steps on the other side of the courtyard and across one of the bridges that spanned the city. At the end of the bridge, they were confronted by a guard asking why they were on the upper levels of the city. Thinking quickly, Angeilos told the guard that he was a merchant here to pick up the smithed weapons from the matriarch of the city (since he originated from a royal merchant family before leaving the Underdark). When prompted how he entered the city, Angeilos stated the hole in the wall of the third floor. Shocked, the guard demanded to see where this hole was. He followed the trio back to the tunnel they entered from, where he was promptly murdered by six adventurers, and one very hungry raptor.

Heading back to the guards post, the trio found a door to the upper floor of the city’s lecture hall. As Kilimar looked inside, he was horrified to see that the drow had converted the room into a laboratory for fleshwarping. Two drow, one in robes and one armored, stood inside over a writhing mass of pale flesh. Unable to restrain herself, Aleysia barreled down the stairs to defeat the torturers, prompting a battle amid the shelves of alchemical agents. The trio slew the pair of drow, but not before the armored drow was able to call for reinforcements. Knowing their time was short, the trio attempted to retreat to the 4th floor door they had entered from. On the way, Kilimar thought to knock over the chemicals as he went. With the city’s guard rushing to the lower entrance, and the others out of the room, Kilimar lit a spark with magic, detonating the alchemical mixture in the room with an explosion great enough to blow out the walls of the lower levels and kill tens of drow. With the entire city’s population on high alert, the trio ran for the tunnel but were blocked at the courtyard. The young drow and her guards blocked the stairway. She stared at them with a smile only a devil could make.

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The Eldritch Inferno: The Ruins of Vulcan

Seeing the smoke trail, Octavian asked the party of adventurers to scout out the old ruins of Vulcan and make sure that there were no signs of travel through the city. Angeilos compelled the party to agree, as they may not have fulfilled the mission they were given. In the morning the party departed, traveling along the old trail to the city through the forest. On the way, they once again felt a presence following them, and upon reaching the forest’s edge, they discovered a pair of wolves had taken interest in them. They shoed away the creatures then traveled across the plains that separated the forest and the Falacian Mountain range.

Cresting the last hill, the party stood looking upon a once great city carved into the rock of the mountainside. The city gates wide open, the area had been thoroughly picked clean by plunderers. The castle itself was partially collapsed, with its core being sealed off. Realizing part of the imp’s map corresponded to the city, the party made their way to a spot on the western wall marked by the map. Here they found the wall collapsed, but some searching by Aleysia revealed a hidden tunnel below. Once inside they traced it to a secret door within one of the houses in the inner city. Leaving their horses and heavier gear behind, they headed deeper into the tunnel. At the end, they found a chamber with a great arched stone relief and some weapons. On the door, a mural of the story of how Pralto became God of the Blacksmiths. Inspecting the relief, Kilimar deduced that it was in fact a secret door, and that something about the legend would be used to open the door. Being the religious expert of the group, Aleysia discerned that the way to open the door was to burn the earth inside of the dwarven urn of the relief. The group forged ahead, as the door closed behind them.

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Call of the Duty Bound Heroes: Source of the Flames

Once healed, the debate began on how best to assail the goblin’s hold. To this, Whistler – the oak leshy with the party – revealed that the structure of the cave was known, and revealed a small entrance above the cave entrance. The larger members Kilimar, Angeilos, Aleysia, and Mentula would break in the front of the cave, while the smaller members Olisha and Zuri would sneak in the back entrance. However, once Kilimar cleared the trough and entered the main chamber, the goblins within downed him instantly with Alchemist’s Fire. Retreating, the party decided to use the goblin’s own weapon against them. They barricaded the entrances of the cave with wood, and lit the cave on fire. As the air in the cave filled with smoke, the lesser goblins attempted in a last ditch effort to escape the trap. They died bathed in flames, a somewhat fitting irony for the damage they had done.

Once the fire had died down, the group ventured once more into the cave, putting the remaining goblins out of their misery. At the back of the cave however, they encountered a barn door sealed with straw and mud. Listening on the other side, Olisha discovered one voice talking to something on the other side. Together, Aleysia and Kilimar burst through the door. Before them stood a large bugbear, covered in glowing red cracks. The warriors charged the creature, surrounding it in short order. But when the casters stood alone in the back, the bearer of the voice revealed himself. Zuri and Mentula watched as an Imp, an agent of Hell itself, materialized before them. But no sooner had he appeared then the entirety of the party came down on him.

The imp disintegrated and the bugbear dead, the party surveyed the room. The goblin’s hoard lay before them; alchemical tools, weapons, jewels, and gold. The heroes took their spoils, and headed back to The Keep. On the way out though, Angeilos spotted a scroll on the Imp’s ash pile. When the party returned to The Keep, Octavian payed them their bounty and asked the inn keeper to host a celebration. Retiring to their rooms, Angeilos brought up that they needed to inspect the scroll. Opening it, they discovered a crude map with an odd trail drawn on it. Unable to recognize any landmarks, they stowed the map away for later.
During the party that night, a loud crash was heard in the distance. Rushing outside, the party and Octavian look into the moonlit night. A faint smoke trail is seen before stopping. Its location: the Ruins of Vulcan.

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Call of the Duty Bound Heroes: The Scorched Forest

In the morning the adventuring party awoke, and followed Octavian to the edge of the forest. There, Octavian wished them luck, and instructed them to return before nightfall as the forest would come alive at night. As the party set out they were stalked by a leopard in the tree tops, but it was quickly defeated due to quick maneuvering from Angeilos, and a fatal strike from Aleysia.

As the party neared the site of the fire, they were stopped by the Leshy, spirits of the forest whose home had been destroyed by the fire. At this, Zuri perked up and introduced himself as the party’s druid, and that they were there to investigate the cause of the fire. The leshies broke their guard and escorted the party to the site of the fire.

Where their had once been blossoming trees, there now stood a barren landscape, scotched clean and smothered in ash. Finding the center of the fires, the Mentus’s raven discovered a shard of glass which Angeilos identified was used for an Alchemist’s Fire. Killian circled the edge of the fire’s path and found the tracks of goblins leading to the South. Inquiring with the leshies, the party discovered that the goblins had passed through the area shortly before the fires started. Following the tracks down a ravine, the group finally found four goblins at the entrance to a cave. Engaging them in combat, the goblins were outnumbered and fell swiftly. As two attempted to flee to to inside of the cave they were shot dead by Angeilos before they could escape the trough at the cave’s entrance. The group assembled to heal and plan their next move. But while the group sat and talked the cave began creaking with the sound of movement large and small.

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Call of the Duty Bound Heroes: Assembly

Ginendoa, at the Dawn’s Dew Inn. At shortly before noon, two travelers entered the inn’s bar, each looking strange for these parts. One appearing as a small werewolf, somehow taking the form without moonlight. But she had silky fur, and was garbed in the vestments of a foreign church. The other appeared as a large weasel (still dwarfed by her companion), wearing the armor of a dungeon scout. Asking the bar keeper a few questions the wolf placed something on the inn’s bulletin board and then sat down. The weasel somehow managed to turn invisible, but her companion didn’t worry much.

Shortly after, as the inn once again drew quiet, four more souls would enter the bar. First a man with a dark cloak and a smiling porcelain mask. Next, a man in light armor wielding a bastard sword. Third, a woman, gray and ragged, yet having skin of a much younger woman. Finally, a gnome with a smirk on his face, joined by something feathered yet not a bird.

At noon, a carriage pulled up outside. An elf wearing white and gold with purple hair entered the inn with 3 men looking to be her guards. Moving to the back, she inquired if the bartender had seen anyone looking to take the job at noon. The barkeep motioned to the lot sitting at the table. Sighing, the elf walked forward and addressed those in the room who were here for the job at The Fort should gather around the center table.

As the six adventurers gathered round the table, the elf repeated what the group had already heard: something was causing fires to the southeast of The Fort, and the job in question would be to either contain or kill whatever was behind it. The six accepted the job, and were ushered off to travel with a trading caravan down to the town.

Introducing themselves during the first day, the man with the porcelain mask introduced himself as Angeilos Oran, a drow runaway. He and Killian, a human turned Tiefling, had escaped the drow after years of abuse and now ran a small company of outcasts. Mentus, the woman among them, was a witch who was working with them. The gnome, Zuri, was a curious little fellow. He and his pet raptor Pretty Girl weren’t really among them, but always seemed to show up at the weirdest (and most inconvenient) times.

The werewolf looking creature introduced herself as Aleysia, one of the few Vargos in existence. She was a member of the Church of Libatany from Falatose, and had been sent here by the church to aid with a task sent from their sister sect the Church of Principism. Her companion Olisha was also from Falatose, and had been a good friend of hers for years.

As the party continued their travels, they decided to go ahead of the caravan, and arrived at The Fort 2 days early. They were greeted by the captain of the guard Octavian, who instructed them that they would be staying in the guards quarters, and to get a good nights rest as they would need it in the morning.

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Call of the Duty Bound Heroes: Prologue

The player characters have received instructions to meet at the Dawn’s Dew Inn at the central square in Ginendoa. If the character is associated with an organization, the organization was addressed, who then instructed the player to go. For characters who are not tied to an organization, a tradesman told them of the meeting, and that they were looking for strong able-bodied adventurers.

The instructions state that there has been damage in a widespread area to the countryside southeast of Haven. The damage seems to be moving toward the mountains, and the court advisor Vaarsuvius is worried that whatever is causing it could move up a mountain path toward the temple of Ingenum (Zayutan). If the temple is damaged, Gideon could lose its heavenly favor, and he would like to avoid that. Therefore, he has asked for members of the guilds to investigate what is causing the damage.

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