Campaign: Dominion of Adventure 12/05/22

Game Master:
Dungeons & Dragons 5e Homebrew Campaign
12th May 2022
Characters:Fayd – Half Orc Barbarian
Gunnar Orcsson – Half Orc Barbarian
Jaraziah Grimm – Human Cleric
Iivan – Drow Rogue
Balasar Aurumingis – Dragonborn Sorcerer
Luther – Half Elf Bard
Navarro – Half Elf Paladin
Tad Hemlock – Halfling Bard (Retired)
Tianzi – Half Elf Sorlock (Retired)

Having barely fought off the strange creatures that had materialised in the old Nearith outpost the party took a few moments to patch their wounds and gather themselves. Navarro drawing on his years of military experience, realised the danger they still faced was trying to gather his companions together into some semblance of a military unit. Sadly, the noble paladin wasn’t used to working with people whose first thoughts weren’t of unit cohesion but of treasure. He gritted his teeth and tried to ignore Balasar and Iivan dashing off to explore the ruins for more secret doors.

Gunnar was slightly more inclined to listen to the knight and began investigating the walls in the main chamber. The reward for his patience was revealed when the wall panel he was prodding aimlessly with his axe slid aside to reveal a new passageway. Turning silently to Navarro he gestured towards the Paladin in what he thought might be close to the military signals he’d seen Navarro trying to drum into his reluctant squire over the last few days. Clearly the half orc’s grasp of this battle language was shaky at best as despite thinking he’d made it abundantly clear that stealth was the order of the day the strident blast of Navarro’s horn was soon echoing around the outpost again.

“TO ME, TO ME!” bellowed the one-man rock concert as he ambled over to the passage entrance.

They waited for the others to join them before Gunnar began creeping down the strangely lit corridor, wincing visibly as he heard the loud clanging footsteps of Navarro following just behind him and cajoling the others into a rough marching order to protect their most injured companions. They followed the passageway round to the right and into a small ante chamber. Some of the strange light panels seemed to have been damaged but otherwise there was nothing but another collapsed passageway leading further into the mountain.

Beginning to understand how the Nearith built their structures a little Gunnar, Iivan and Balasar spread out and began tapping experimentally at the walls again. Luther and Iivan were visibly drained by the strange purple energy waves, the normally taciturn drow constantly calling out “Are we there yet?” in a weary tone, his earlier excitement at the prospect of treasure seemingly sucked away by strange magics radiating from deeper within the complex. Luther and Grimm were helping each other drag themselves along behind Gunnar and Navarro, Fayd keeping a careful eye on his friends and ensuring there were no threats trying to creep up behind them.

Up ahead Navarro was in lecturing mode again and trying to drain the last of Luther’s waning energy, or so it seemed to Gunnar based on the young elf’s reactions… .

“Don’t’ loose heart squire, for unless I’m wrong…”

Gunnar felt a soft click under his questing fingers and again another section of wall slid silently aside, turning to let the others know he was brushed aside by Navarro striding forward

“…and I’m never wrong” he finished seamlessly “this must be the way forward” moving past the surprised orc and into another chamber littered with crumbling books and the remains of decaying furniture. Behind him Iivan was staring at the cave in, noting the strange scorch marks on some of the rocks

“I think this was done deliberately” he murmured.

Moving across the chamber they passed through another doorway and into a passageway that was blocked by rockfalls at both ends. Balasar and Navarro began inspecting the area, seeing what seemed to be a trail of footprints in the dust leading from the left.

“Our goal must be behind this rock” declared Navarro “squire, we need some shovels and picks for digging”

“…because you’re talking more shit than usual?” grumbled Iivan as Luther rolled his eyes at the idea of manual labour.

Seeing no alternative Gunnar eyed up the fallen rocks and began trying to pry rubble away with his crowbar alongside Fayd while Balasar was held back by the others after claiming he could probably blast the rock clear with his magic.

The two orcs great strength made up for their lack of experience and they began to make some progress, while Balasar helped brace the ceiling above them with the remains of the furnishings from the next chamber. Eventually they broke through the rubble and revealed another seemingly untouched corridor leading to a shadowed chamber. Moving down this new passage they emerged into a chamber, sat pulsing malevolently within it loomed another monolith.

While Iivan and the other spellcasters busied themselves with arcane casting in an effort to activate the monoliths runes and hopefully connect it to the teleporting network they’d already uncovered, the others searched the chamber swiftly finding piles of gold and gems which they quickly stuffed into pockets and Gunnar’s dwindling supply of sacks.

“We need more powerful magic for this one I think” announced Balasar thoughtfully

“Will this do?” replied Iivan handing the sorcerer a wand

Balasar nodded, but then hesitated “When I use this, we’ll need to be ready to leave – I don’t know how long we can hold the portal open”

“Then we need to get Betsy and the other horse, Squire, stay here with Grimm and await my return” declared Navarro as he began marching back to the entrance way.

“He’ll only get lost if we don’t go with him” complained Iivan to the two orcs before slinking after the paladin. Fayd and Gunnar looked at each other, shrugged and then followed.

They followed the passageways back to the main chamber encountering nothing of any note, passing the large statue Iivan paused, head cocked as he stared up at the looming masonry

“Wasn’t that thing facing the other way before?” he asked his companions nervously.

Before any of the others replied though the huge statue hummed into motion, previously dull crystals on it’s back and limbs now pulsing with a purple light. The group scattered, Navarro pressed forward to meet the thing head on while Fayd and Gunnar split up and tried to work their way round to outflank it. Iivan darted into the shadows frantically readying his gun. To the watching Balasar the ensuing fight appeared as a series of frozen vignettes outlined by the flashes of spells blasting at the statue and flaring purple energy as Gunnar grimly tried smashing the strange crystals that must be powering this guardian.

In the carnage that followed Balasar realised they were outmatched and cried for Luther and Grimm to join them before being bludgeoned to the ground by a massive blow. Thorough the ringing in his ears and spinning vision he thought he saw Navarro fall to the ground immobile, Fayd forcing himself between the statue and the fallen knight to shield him. Senses reeling Balasar felt rather than heard the crushing blow that knocked the young half orc to the floor, looking up he saw the hulking shape turn towards him, arms raised. Resigned he sagged waiting for the final blow to come, but instead he saw Gunnar’s axe slashing in wicked arcs as the barbarian smashed the last of the crystals and the huge creation slowly toppled over to crash into the stone floor beside him.

A deep throbbing pulse echoed through the chamber, rising quickly in intensity and volume. Grimm and Luther staggered through the archway. The cleric quickly dashed to Navarro’s side and began chanting over the dying paladin’s body.

“The statue….” Balasar gasped “I think it’s going to blow”

A large hand dragged him upright “firedrake, we are leaving!” bellowed Gunnar pushing him roughly towards the passage to the monolith before moving past the dazed sorcerer. Grimm barrelled past Balasar as Navarro limped towards the daylight showing at entranceway. Gunnar hauled Fayd up and was half dragging him after the paladin.

“We need to go, NOW” panted Iivan, dashing out of the shadows after them.

Coming to his senses Balasar sprinted after Grimm and Luther, the corridors a blur as he bounced off walls in his haste to put as much solid rock between himself and the overloading statue.

Navarro grinned with relief as he burst out of the tunnels and into the light, Gunnar and Fayd piling out of the passageway close behind him. Steadying the two orcs reckless dash Navarro pushed them towards the horses before turning back to see if anyone else needed help.

“Shitoshitoshitoshit!” Back in the outpost Iivan was sprinting down the corridor towards the distant opening, a massive roaring blast from behind told him he wasn’t going to make it. Legs pumping, he gritted his teeth and stretching every sinew he tried to coerce a final effort from his already screaming muscles and leapt for the entrance.

Navarro watched as purple energy exploded from the outpost’s entranceway, instinctively flinching away from the debris he did not see the lithe shape of a terrified drow sailing through the air at the crest of the blast wave. But even the usually oblivious Paladin couldn’t fail to notice the loud thump as he hit a tree and was unceremoniously dumped on the floor bloodied and reeling.

As the echoes of the blast faded they gathered themselves and carefully moved back to see if the blast had caused more cave ins. Thankfully though they found the structure had held and were able to lead the Betsy and the saddle horse back into the smoking ruins. Reunited with their companions the group gathered by the monolith.

Raising his wand Balasar turned to the others “Ready?”, they clasped hands and grabbed the animals, bracing themselves for the strange magic that would hopefully carry them back to Yocan.

Summoning the wands power Balasar aimed at the monolith and unleashed a firestorm, but just as before the monolith absorbed the magical onslaught entirely, runes lighting up across it’s face. Reaching out a clawed hand the dragonborn touched the rune for Yocan “Let’s get the fuck out of here” and they vanished, leaving the Nearith outpost once again empty and forgotten.

The party flashed back into existence by the monolith in Yocan’s main square, it was near midnight and a light rain was keeping people off the streets, so no one saw them arrive. Exhausted and elated in equal measure they wordlessly headed back to their rented house in silence.

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