COAXERA

War Journal #1
the story so far #1

After helping defend the town of Brindol from a devastating raid by a vicious band of hobgoblins, an unlikely group of adventurers found themselves on a dangerous quest. Shrump Battlefury, Semster Palterjoy, Auge von Sturm, and Dong Tuna agreed to help Councilman Troyas by locating the hobgoblin’s lair and retrieving the prisoners and valuable artifacts which the raiders had taken. After interrogating a prisoner of their own, the group set off across the wilderness of Elsir Vale in the direction of Castle RIvenroar, an ruined castle in the nearby mountains which the prisoner had identified as the hobgoblin hideout.

But no one was prepared for the long trek in unfamiliar mountains, and after a few hours, the group got lost in the foothills. Ambushed by vicious kruthiks, the the party fought bravely but all hope seemed lost until a massive avian warrior plummeted out of the sky and joined the fray. Alia, the newcomer, fought bravely and helped turn the tide, and battle was won, but not before the wizard Dong Tuna was pulled deep underground into the kruthiks’ lair, and lost from sight. The party thanked Alia, and convinced him to stay on and aid them in their quest, though Semster and Shrump were uncertain about his motives, which made them uneasy…

Arriving at the ruins of Castle Rivenroar late in the day, the party descended into the catacombs deep under the castle, clashing with the hobgoblins there. The battles were fierce, but their courage prevailed. However, they quickly discovered that hobgoblins were not the only inhabitants of the Rivenroar catacombs: unbeknownst to the group, the ancient dead in the castle had stirred upon the hobgoblins’ intrusion, and they did not take kindly to the adventurers. In one room, Alia discovered a tapestry enchanted with some sort of portal, allowing two phantom warriors from the Second Ring of Hell to enter the catacombs, which the party defeated—but not before they had some sort of mysterious communication with Alia in a tongue that no one else understood.

In one of the crypts, the party discovered a dwarf chained to a wall, and freed him. Though suspicious at first, he later gained confidence and introduced himself as Andronsius, the town alchemist. Deeper in the catacombs, the adventurers found Sertainian, the castellan at the Hall of Valor, in a cell. With their help, the party defeated a wight and his accomplices and discovered the body of Kartenix, the Brindol Captain of the Guard.

After deceiving two goblins with a clever ploy, the party was able to interrogate them and determine that most of the prisoners were downstairs, on the next level of the catacombs—but so was Sinruth, the terrifying hobgoblin war-chief responsible for the Brindol attacks. Upon examining their weapons, wicked-looking black blades, the party noticed the swords were marked with a black arrowhead, a symbol none of them had ever seen before…

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War Journal #2
the story so far #2

After a night’s sleep on the surface, the party re-entered the dungeon, but quickly discovered they were not alone. Another group of adventurers, calling themselves the “Freeriders”, had been employed by Councilman Troyas to help clear out the dungeon and save the prisoners. Their leader, a young noble’s son named Ragnum Dourstone, insisted that the party leave the adventuring up the the Freeriders, but they refused. Downstairs, a large group of hobgoblin soldiers were waiting for the party, and when the Freeriders came to help, all of the them but Dourstone and Madrick, their grizzled and taciturn guardian, were fatally wounded. The Freeriders retreated from the catacombs, but not before Madrick made it clear that he blamed the party for the death of the young ranger Loris, and he would not forgive them.

On the second level of the catacombs, the party encountered growing numbers of undead and several more prisoners. Jalissa, an acolyte of Ioun, was bound to a sarcophagus and showed signs of torture, and even after being freed, she showed symptoms of serious mental trauma. Having learned of Sinruth’s location from the hobgoblin prisoner, the adventurers avoided his chambers and instead explored the rest of the catacombs.

Happening upon a massive blood-red devil trapped in a cage, the party decided to slaughter the creature while it was still imprisoned, and though it tried to escape, all its attempts proved futile. In a nearby chamber housing a chapel, they found some sort of priest attempting a summoning, and Auge von Sturm managed to catch him unawares so the group could interrogate him.

They discovered that Sinruth had hired Bairwin the necromancer to help perform a ritual for the undead inhabitants of the castle catacombs. Apparently, when the hobgoblins had claimed the dungeon, the ancient Lord Rivenroar had woken from his undead slumber, but far weaker than he had been before. In order to reattain his power, he needed fresh sacrifices, and a dark ritual to feed on their life-force. Bairwin admitted to helping set up the ritual and revealed that Thurann, the guard Captain’s son, was slated to be the first sacrifice. The party quickly imprisoned him in the same cage where he had kept his summoned devil and rushed off to rescue Thurann.

When they honor guard crypt, they found Alys, a messenger from Brindol, chained to a fountain. After freeing her, she told them that Thurann had just been taken and was somewhere ahead in the darkness. They surged ahead to find a throne room, where Thurann was trapped in a magic circle and a wight wearing a stone-and-iron crown was feeding off his life-force. The party quickly attacked, defeating the wight in a brave battle. While the magic circle seemed at first impenetrable, Auge managed to drop the barrier by reciting the inscription on the wall of the honor guard crypt, and the party stabilized Thurann before he was lost.

After a night’s rest in the crypt where they found Jalissa, the party gave Alys one of the mysterious blackblades and asked her to keep watch over the prisoners on the surface, at their old campsite. She assented, and they scoured the rest of the dungeon for the remaining prisoners. They found Mirtala the baker chained to an altar, sick with filth fever from the rats that had been locked in with her. They found Zerriska downstairs in another magic cirlce, defended by a fearsome snake-like beast comprised of the rotting trash in the hobgoblin garbage-pit. Finally, they turned their attention to Sinruth.

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War Journal #3
the story so far #3

Behind the door that the party believed led to Sinruth, they found a dark hallway lined with ominously humming metal columns. On the other side was a cozy room that reeked of hobgoblin, containing nothing but a desk, a chair, a chest, and a sarcophagus. In this room, the party found many of the relics that were stolen from the Hall of Valor—all except the dragoncrest helm, the iron gauntlets, and the platinum longsword. They also found a note to Sinruth that praised him for his recent raid on Brindol and urged him to attack again, while the town was still reeling. The note was signed with the same black arrowhead symbol that marked the blackblades, and the sender promised that a “new shipment of weapons” would soon arrive, but also cautioned that the ceremonial platinum longsword stolen from Brindol be given to them as soon as possible.

The party rushed back to Brindol with the prisoners in tow to find that the town was once again under attack, and Sinruth was at the front of the charge. In the main square, the hulking hobgoblin commanded the attack, clad in the dragoncrest helm and iron gauntlets from the Hall of Valor, and wearing the ceremonial platinum longsword slung over his back. With the help of Alys and their old friend B’tak, the blacksmith’s apprentice, the party was able to defeat Sinruth and stave off the attack.

In the aftermath, Semster Palterjoy noticed that the black spiked chain that the hobgoblin wielded was marked with the same black arrowhead as the blackblades, the mark of the mysterious “Emissary”. The party agreed to keep the chain, but returned all the artifacts to the Hall of Valor, and made sure the freed captives got the care they needed. They were given a heroes’ congratulations by the City Council, though the Freeriders were nowhere to be found. While the town suffered greatly, Brindol was ultimately saved.

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