Rise of the Mordri

"I Love When A Plan Comes Together." - Part 1

GM Overview

The culmination of detailed planning efforts by the various members of the Brightblade Brigade and 1st Nightstalkers to free their commander and ally, Darius Brightblade, High Fist Nevar Fallenhammer, and two fellow unit members Jhale and Kal’Reegar, was finally put into motion. With the aid of a new ally Lyle Shadowfoot, a past associate of Captain Tannis Racheson of the 1st Nightstalkers, people and supplies were gathered to make the daring attempt. They would head through the sewers to a sealed off access that had previously served as a bolt-hole for the pre-Imperial rulers of the Citadel that was located at the bottom of the well. Once within the Citadel grounds they would steal in through the kitchen servant access in the back of the building, and then split up once leaving the common room with the majority of the force heading down into the secure depths to free the prisoners and get necessary supplies while the smaller force would sneak up and notify any other sympathizers to their cause of their escape and allow them to join with them. They would then meet back up in the common room and head back out through the well into a different branch of the sewers that would take them close to the city walls on the outskirts where they hoped to escape to freedom.

But before the plan can be launched as expected things take a surprise turn as The Inquisitors and their elite squad of Death Seekers begin to close in on the White Goose Tavern where they are holed up. Warren DeMontegue rushes in to warn them that while patrolling Gherig Diamante had spotted a large force headed their way and so they had but a short few minutes lead to leave if they had any hope of putting their plans into action. Warren leaves to notify Gherig while the rest quickly gather their gear and head out. Lyle and KRAK deploy some tactically placed caltrops in the roadway and the rush is on to the nearest sewer entrance. Upon arriving Tannis has everyone enter while he stays back to make sure that Warren and Gherig make it safely.

Lyle leads the way to the sealed off section, and after Magnus knocks a small hole in the wall Krak is able to put more of his alchemical deviousness into action as he drops a “bomb” behind it to make way for the group. They quickly clear the debris and scale the well to gain access to what just hours before had been their quarters. With no sign of Tannis, Warren, and Gherig catching up to them, Jackovich is left to stand guard at the well in case they do arrive or if the Inquisitors happen to make an unexpected appearance.

Once gaining entrance to the kitchen area they find the common room has occupants: Liara and 2 scullery maids. Lyle and Krak stealthily advance, intentions unknown. Krak whispers to Liara to signal if she is with them, and upon the confirmation asks her to distract the maids. Liara complies by leading them away to her quarters to show them something special. At this point Nimue and Garan split-off to go contact others who might be willing to join with the group while everyone else heads into the basement entrance to free their allies.

A quick engagement with a unit of Imperial guards defending the entrance ensues with the small group of Lyle, Krak, Magnus, and Loki making short work of the 6 guards. After retrieving some keys from the guards, they unlock the giant steel doors and begin exploring to find the way to the prison proper. At the next intersection a trap is triggered as Krak tries to open the next steel door, making it apparently impassable. Lyle finds a side door leading to what appears to be a servant access, as well as a room filled with equipment and a mysterious wheel mounted to a rod going into a wall. Quick experimenting makes it apparent it is what is used to reset the trap at the steel door, and once it is safely reset the group is able to advance. While Loki and Magnus secure the main doors they entered and listen for pursuit, Lyle and Krak advance down the new hallway. At the end of the hallway they find yet another steel door barring the way, and after accidentally tripping a double-trap, they nearly find themselves sealed in the hallway, fortune shining upon them that they’d left the prior door open which successfully “blocks” the stone slab that would seal the door from the inside.

After resetting the trap again, they find the next door is able to open and descends deeper into the depths of the Citadel. Moving quietly, they can hear the voices of guards talking about the noise they are hearing from above as they await either foes or a relief of guards notifying them of it being secure. Meanwhile, down the passageway behind the guards in theirs cells, Jhale and Kal’Reegar hear the anxiety and confusion and begin to try and antagonize the guards, hoping to distract them. Lyle puts a quick crossbow bolt into one of the guards and then ducks back around the corner, hoping to draw the guards to the group.

Will they group make the plan fall into place and free their friends and escape? Only time will tell.

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"Really?" - Inspirational Thoughts by Kal'Reegar
Kal'Reegar shares intimate thoughts on his situation...

As I sit here, in this pit, I think back on the events that led me here. They’re a little fuzzy thanks to my accidental rage and the subsequent beating I received. The plan, as I remember it, was sound. Apparently I still have much to learn about controlling my blood lust. I will have to work on it not only for my sake, but for the sake of my companions. Poor Jhale.

Well, what’s done is done. Now I concentrate all my inconsiderable diplomacy skills escape, and on our guard(this is barbaric sarcasm, if you didn’t know). Despite my attempts at polite conversation (something I really have to work at sometimes), he wont’ say more than a few words. I look forward to crushing his windpipe. Unfortunately for them, I haven’t made an effort to tell any of them apart. So I guess this encounter ends with all of them having crushed windpipes.

Oops. I must control my bloodlust… Be as the calm before the storm.

I pray that this time through, I will have enough of my head about me to follow the plan, and direct the Fearg in a direction that is, if not helpful, at least not detrimental to escaping. Whatever that plan may be… Jhale has been unnaturally silent, and I am not a planner. I am a beat stick, and proud of it. Hopefully he’s thinking up the best possible way to beat people with me, so that we can get out of here.

Optionally I could try slashing my way out, mix things up a little.

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Can I Get An Order Of Death To Go?
6th Session - GM Overview

6th Session

...more to come…

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Out of the Fire...
5th Session - GM Overview

5th Session

...more to come…

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Failure.. or Opportunity?
Fall of Stirhan, by Magnus

Milady must be watching over me.. It feels as if weeks have passed since I last sat down to write in here, but alas it was only this morning when the last opportunity was found. So much has happened in that short time. So much. We had a fight break out between some of the already present Soldiers assigned to Stirhan and one whom traveled in with us today – the small Halfling. The hastily thrown together interrogations of those involved followed once the primary participants in the fight regained consciousness.. and I feel as if all these small events ultimately led Stirhan to it’s current smoldering state. Yes, smoldering. Before any of us even had a chance to outfit ourselves to even remotely appear as competent Soldiers the Outpost came under enemy attack, and fell shortly thereafter.

The Army that came was comprised of several different species – some Lizardfolk (and several distinctions among them,) some of what I have come to hear called “Gnolls” – large man-sized and dog-like creatures. Between the sheer numbering of their forces, and several (who knows how many, truly.. ?) powerful magic casters within their midst (or leading them.. ?) our small garrison was no match. I feel terrible for having had to leave my first assigned station. So many lives were lost, and while I did my best to seek out direct orders from my Captain I feel as if I let all those who perished down. As if I could have done so much more. I fear I will not sleep well tonight, nor for the next few days as I shake off this feeling. I know the opportunity will present itself to redeem what I may unfairly judge as a “failure.” I feel it. The Sword-Lady would not allow me to be sent somewhere that my abilities would not be used. There is a reason I am here, there is a reason she humbled me into accepting this enlistment, and I have Faith in the manifestation of these things.

As I finish this passage I have one final thought – remembering those who have gone on before me this day. To those who were innocent in combat that lived in Stirhan, I shall remember thee. To those who were brothers-in-arms who perished trying to meet the enemy’s attack, I shall remember thee. And to Elembor, a simple Elf who shared the travel to Stirhan with I, and to whom fought most valiantly of us all during our stand against the oncoming army .. I can only assume you did not make it out alive as I have not seen thee since the blast of fire that destroyed that gate we guarded. To thee .. if I am given the chance as we change our focus now, I will send in thy direction those who caused your last breath.

May Iomedae watch over us all.

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Hasty Retreat anyone?
by Rike

We’ve been overrun. The outpost is lost. The battle had been going alright, but the waves of Trogledytes and Gnolls simply kept coming. Also, there was a shadowy figure at the rear of the horde who had a very imposing presence. Once all four of the gates had been breached, and we knew that we would not receive reinforcements in time, we decided to make a break for the forest. Sadly, Elimbor, our eccentric elf most likely perished during the assault.

The rest of our group was able to make it to the forest and we were able to hinder our pursuers long enough to disappear into the woods. I was also finally able to reunite with my companion, Rose. As we traveled deeper into the woods, we met up with a group of our scouts and followed them back to their small encampment. Heres to hoping we will have a bit of rest before some new enemy attacks us.

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The Fall Of Stirhan...? (Part 2)
4th Session - GM Overview

As the battle reaches a momentary lull, the chaos continues to unfold, the outpost is literally going up in flames, and most of the troops haven’t even gotten to jump into the fray, yet.

GM Overview – 4th Session

Upon the brief respite garnered by Elembor’s brave actions, the members of the Brightblade Brigade struggle to replace the supports protecting the North gate. As they finish they hear a voice cry out a command to the Mordri forces in Infernal that sends the Mordri siege troops fleeing from the gate. Not knowing what was coming, Magnus and Elembor get caught too close as a large fireball engulfs the gate and they are injured. Elembor quickly takes cover under some of the wreckage, avoiding the eyes of friend and foe alike.

Meanwhile they all stand and watch as rank upon rank of Troglodytes first form up just outside the walls, followed by ranks of Gnolls. A stand-off occurs, the Mordri forces not pushing their advantage and rushing in, holding in formation. With the majority of the brigades members grossly unarmed there is little that they can do to take advantage of the break, until once again the voice speaking Infernal cries out some command that sends the Mordri troops at the north gate into cheers of joy and followed shortly after by the sounds of another of the outposts 4 gates being breached. One by one this occurs, tensions mounting among the troops not knowing if the reinforcements will arrive in time to save them or if they are doomed.

Barak is the first to break ranks, apparently, fleeing towards the east side of the fort and its gate. The female elf receives word finally from the “relay-line” and it isn’t good news, the reinforcements will not arrive in time. Darius weighs the options and ultimately decides that they need to retreat, especially since it sounds like with the other gates breached they may quickly be surrounded and slaughtered. Fleeing in the footsteps of Barak, they make haste towards the eastern gate, leaving Elembor hiding literally at the feet of their foes.

The find the way open, with troops beginning to fully approach through the South and West gate breaches. They decide to split into groups of 2 to 3 and make a break eastward across the road and plains towards the lush forest several hundred yards away. Several groups get away cleanly, only to be noticed and the alarm raised by troops to the north of the outpost of Stirhan. A full on mad dash begins, several hundred yards between the brigade and the cover of the forest as well as from the troops to the north. Elembor chooses this moment, unbeknownst to the rest of the brigade, to leap from his concealment and strike down yet another Troglodyte soldier, only to be taken down by the rest of them.

Gnoll hunters lead the charge across the plains to try and cut them off, but are slowed due to a strategic Entanglement spell to slow them down and allow the slower and smaller members of the brigade to reach the forest safely. Loki, Rike, and his animal companion, Rose stay at the treeline with the female elf sorceror to hold off the one approaching Gnoll. The elf receives one last message via the “relay-line” that there is an Imperial scouting party encamped deep within that forest that is closer to them and should be able to give them safety, so the party begins to head in that direction, deeper within the darkening light of the thick forest.

Upon several hours of travels they encounter an approaching welcoming party from the 1st Nightstalkers scouting party, led by their Lieutenant, Nimue, as well as several other members, Jackovich the hearty dwarven fighter, Kyran the sorceror, and Jhale (Strongarm) the half-elf ranger. They begin the quick trek back towards their encampment, the members of the brigade quiet and sullen after their harrowing day, but still open to engaging in light conversation with the escort party. It is during this trek that the enigmatic V’Rael once again returns, much to the behest and unease of both brigade members and scouts alike. They safely reach the encampment and are allowed to take the time to arm themselves with whatever spare gear is available, giving many of them the opportunity to fully arm themselves for the first time. They are given leave to seek rest as they await the return of the rest of the scouts the next day.

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Huzzah for never being prepared!
by Rike

Well, we’re still in our first day and nothing seems to be going right. We reported to the barracks and met our commanding officer, a Captain Darrius. He’s a Tiefling, but seems noble enough at heart. He treats us all with respect, but asserts authority when its needed. Our group is an interesting mix. With several half-outsiders in the group, all the way to a hobgoblin! I stick out quite a bit as well. While most of the empire knows of Tengus, since we’ve lived among them albeit separately for so long, most have never seen one of my kind. Still, aside from a couple of standoffish or even unruly characters in our group, there seems to be a feeling of almost immediate trust among a large portion of the group.

But I’ve allowed myself to be distracted. As I was saying, nothing seems to be going right. After reporting, we were told to go out and purchase supplies. That never happened. As we left to go to the market, a brawl broke out between one of the new recruits and several guards. Most of us recruits tried to help restore order with varying effectiveness. I cast an entangle spell on the group in order to subdue some of the combatants. This turned out to be a double edged sword, so to speak. While it did work as far as keeping some of the guards out of the fight, it hindered many of my wood be allies as well. Someone, who remains to be found, took advantage of the chaos and even lethally attacked several of us. Now that the fight has ended, we are attempting to sort out the madness.

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The Fall of Stirhan...? (Part 1)
3rd Session - GM Overview

3rd Session

After the chaos of the brawl, everyone gathers within the barracks to try and sort out what happened and uncover what they can behind the attacks that came from within, apparently, someone in the brigade. Capt. Darius begins piecing together the battle by questioning everyone that was involved, to try and gain perspective of who was at fault and who wasn’t.

GM Overview – 3rd Session

Darius begins by asking what everyone witnessed before the brawl broke out. KRAK, Kal’Reegar, Rike, and Loki share what they had seen with the Unknown Male Halfling Monk being surrounded and the guard taking a punch/push at him from behind and getting thrown into Darius. They then relate their own actions in trying to stop the fight from escalating. Elembor voices concerns over what was going on within the barracks, as do several others, so those who were inside are asked to share what was going on. It is revealed that most of them were just watching and placing bets on who they felt would get the better of the fight. Concerns are raised that V’Rael doesn’t have a solid alibi of where he was, and tensions continue to raise between him and several others because of his responses.

Darius suggests that they question the Halfling and Barak to get their perspectives. The Halfling admits he doesn’t enjoy having a “half-breed” as a commanding officer, hence his actions and attitude during muster. He also claims that he knows nothing of who might have attacked Kal’Reegar and Loki. Barak states that he remembers placing bets on the fight, and lost a bet with V’Rael about the Unknown Female Elf being the first one to get taken down. He left the group to go get his coins and claims it was then that he noticed a bloody dagger on the ground over by the weapons racks, and that as he picked it up to inspect it was when Darius entered the barracks and he was struck in the head.

Elembor and several others again raise accusations that V’Rael’s alibi and attitude don’t seem to fit with the events as reported by the others stories, leading to further tensions surrounding him. Darius steps in and urges cooler heads to prevail, when all chaos breaks out. First the entire barracks is engulfed in a globe of darkness, and is quickly followed by screams of terror and agony coming from locations outside the barracks, but within the outpost of Stirhan.

Unable to see what is going on, the members of the Brightblade Brigade struggle to find their way out in the magical darkness, smells of fire filter into the barracks, and the sounds of what is assumed to be burning arrows strike the roof and begin to set it ablaze as well. Magnus Solrain is the first to make it safely outside to find that most of the outpost is going up in flames and cries of the dying and terrified come from all corners. He calls into the barracks and bangs his sword against the doorframe, hoping to help guide those still trapped within out. Several members manage to find an odd assortment of weapons on the racks, but most make it to safety when Magnus summons light within the barracks enough to help those get out before the roof collapses and everything within is lost to the raging fire. In a quick head count it is noticed that everyone is accounted for, except for V’Rael.

The north gate of the outpost begins to come under siege from the outside, the sounds and cries in foreign tongues making it appear that a battering ram is being used to gain entrance. Darius is amazed at his members ingenuity as they rush over take the practice dummies used in training out of the ground and use them to brace the gate, hoping to help it hold. Meanwhile, Krak takes the halfling monk and Kal’Reegar with him to the city square, hoping to check the other gates and see if any survivors can be found. Instead they find that the eastern gate has been breached and a large group of Lizardfolk come charging at the small party.

Outnumbered 7 to 3, the intrepid group stands their ground. Kal’Reegar strikes first, felling a scaled foe with a single thrust of his spear, only to be struck in return by another and then bitten as he falls into unconsciousness. Unable to immediately aid him due to the remaining threat of 6 on 2, Krak and the halfling take the fight back to them. With amazing dexterity and cunning tactics, the halfling acts as a target while Krak flanks them, taking down most of them with sneak attacks to vital areas, and the halfling pummels a few with lethal unarmed strikes and kicks. With Kal stabilized, the halfling stands guard over him as Krak rushes back to the north gate where the remained of the brigade stands watch.

Showing incredible bravery, the elf Elembor races up one of the braces in hopes of getting a peek at the size and composition of the force attacking. Another globe of darkness engulfs the gate area, giving Elembor the opportunity to turn it to his favor as he rather acrobatically attempts to leap over the gate, but catches his foot and plummets to the ground on the other side taking minor injuries. He quickly takes advantage of the darkness and eliminates several Troglodytes using siege ladders to gain entrance, striking them down from behind as he climbs up behind them. He then again leaps back into the fray as he jumps off the ladder and lands safely behind those using the rudimentary battering ram, taking out another troglodyte in the process before fleeing back up the ladder and leaping back to safety within the outposts walls.

During this time Loki and Rike work together using druidic magic to dazzle others climbing in on another ladder, causing one to fall and break its own neck. Another jumps in after it and is taken down by Darius with the aid of the female elf and Barak’s magical attacks. Elembor quickly relates his discovery of the size of the force they are facing at this gate, stating that even more troops are arriving to replace those he killed.

In the momentary lull, the female elf goes into a trance and uses the magical “relay-line” to find that V’Rael had established contact with a large force of troops from the Western Imperial Army that had dispatched reinforcements, but that it was unsure if they would arrive in time to actually help flank the presumed Mordri military force and save the outpost. Several quietly voice concerns that perhaps V’Rael is not getting help but is actually working with the Mordri, but it is quickly dismissed. Krak arrives and takes Hammar with him to help Kal’Reegar get healed enough that he can walk and jump back into the fray.

Will they be able to hold out for reinforcements? Will they be overrun by the numerically superior Mordri troops? Only time will tell.

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Who Wants To Haze A Monk...?
2nd Session - GM Overview

2nd Session

Having officially turned in their missives as new recruits into the Imperial army, they are dismissed by the Captain to get outfitted in preparation for a mission that night. While most take the moment to settle into the barracks and stow their travel gear, a few set out into the outpost to by better gear and provisions for the mission to come, but find something else entirely….

GM Overview – 2nd Session

As Kal’Reegar, Rike, Krak, and Loki exit the barracks to head into town and get outfitted they come upon the situation unfolding on the sparring grounds where Capt. Darius, the female Elf, and several other soldiers have the male Halfling surrounded and appear to be trying to get him to respond to his actions during muster. When one of the soldiers tries to “coerce” the little monk by pushing him from behind a full on brawl breaks out as he is thrown directly into Capt. Darius.

Within moments the Halfling monk shows his martial prowess by knocking-out the female Elf in a flurry of blows, while Rike casts an Entangle spell upon the group to try and help defuse the situation. Krak jumps into the fray after seeing the Elf woman go down and manages to help one of the soldiers subdue the monk, meanwhile most of the others in the AOE of the Entangle spell battle just to remain on their feet. A few of the soldiers appear to want to continue the battle and attack the unconscious monk. Magnus arrives on the grounds and sets into the fray to try and help those who are entangled, getting trapped within it himself.

Meanwhile, Loki runs back into the barracks in search of a weapon, but before even getting his hands on anything is attacked from behind by an unknown assailant and flees back outside announcing that he has been wounded. He heads across the sparring grounds towards the market stalls. Krak steps back from the spell area and manages to witness Kal’Reegar get shot by a crossbow bolt that flies from an open window of the barracks. Krak and Loki then run to the other side of the market stalls, in search of weapons or other aid.

Magnus, and the late arriving Elembor, manage to free Darius and subdue one of the belligerent soldiers. Darius orders everyone to aid eachother and rushes into the barracks to see who attacked the recruits, and he finds Barak holding a bloodied dagger and knocks him unconscious. Elembor dives through an open window into the barracks and finds Barak out on the floor and Darius standing back in the doorway. Darius orders the wounded to be tended to, and Elembor declares Krak and Loki AWOL as they can’t be found on the sparring grounds. Krak is found in the market, and Loki is finally found severely wounded in the stables. Hammar and Harad heal some of the wounds that Loki and Kal’Reegar received, and the Halfling & Barak are put onto bunks and tended to until they can be interrogated once they are stable.

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