H1: The Mark’s Crystal Edit
On a summer day in Ashbenford Loki Lesovik and Kronk Strakeln shared a glass of ale in the Kobold run pub, the Goblin Kobold. During the middle of their drink they were verbally assaulted by a sailor who believed Loki and robbed his brother months ago. The two heroes tired to talk to man down but they failed and as soon as the conflict was about to come to blows the bar was raided by the town guard, led by a half-elf named Tauren Gainsborogh and a human named Dilandau. Tauren told the heroes Baron Gallagher sought an audience with them. The Heroes agreed to go with Tauren.
They met Baron Gallagher in his office in town hall. The Baron told them that town of Hunter’s Mark, in the nearby hills, was in trouble. Goblins had suddenly began raids on the caravans that came through the village. The village’s economy is completely based upon the trade it provides. Without that it will wither away. The Baron does not know why the attacks have begun but he promised to pay the Heroes 200 GP for their help.
The hereos agreed and went off the next day. After two days of travel they were ambushed by Goblins on a bridge crossing. They defeated the Goblins and continued to Hunter’s Mark. At the village they met Longshanks, the bartender. He asked the PCs to retrieve a brooch for him from a raided caravan to the south of the village. They also met a halfling named Gindel, who claimed he saw a Tiefling in the woods to the north. No one knows why the Goblins began their attacks.
After speaking with those men, the PCs spoke with Grel, a halfling who runs the town. He told them of the mines of Kalad-Nal that lie to the west. 100 years ago the mines were abandoned because they had been depleted of all the mithril in the area. The Heroes decided to check out the mines. ON the way they met Spark Dietrich. The rogue agreed to help them attack a orc campsite. The Heroes attacked the campsite and defeated the Orcs.
The Heroes interrogated the capture Orc. He revealed that the Goblins in fact were under the control of the Orcs, who had occupied the mine. The Orcs are led by Kugnar, and the Goblins are led by Lord Gnasher. The Orc said he did not know the Tiefling, although he has seen him within in the halls of the mine. After they finished their interrogation, the Heroes slew the Orc as he stood there.
The Heroes then went to the Goblin encampment. They found two Goblins watching over the entrance. The Heroes sneaked up to them but before they could slay their enemies, the Goblins surrendered. The Goblins claimed they meant no harm and they seemed afraid of the Orcs. Spark tied the both to a tree and Loki knocked them out.
Descending down into the encampment, the Heroes were attacked in the main hall by Goblins and a Drake. They slew their enemy and continued through. They entered the barracks of the Goblins where they fought with Goblins and a leader named Skull Crusher. Both Loki and Kronk fell during the battle, however Spark managed to slay Skull Crusher in the 11th hour while the surviving Goblins fled. Here the Heroes found a flaming magical rapier and a shocking magical greataxe.
Then the Heroes went to a small chamber down a hall, the entrance to which had a sign which read “Do not enter. We mean it.” The Heroes did not heed this warning and went anyway. At the end of the hall they found a pool. Spark and Kronk stayed back while Loki went forward to investigate. As he did a giant Crocodile emerged from the murky waters and ensnared the unsuspecting ranger in his massive jaw. Kronk, Spark, and Loki fought off the crocodile and then retreated down the hall.
Finally, the Heroes went into what was a nursery. Negotiations failed with the Goblin women who were protecting the children and the Heroes slew them all, not before threatening to kill the Goblin younglings in front of their mothers. Loki argued with Spark about his actions with the younglings. Kronk and Spark were of the opinion that they were no better than rats. At the end of the session, the Heroes were not sure what they would do with the children.
Memorable Moment: During the battle with Skull Crusher, Loki had fallen. Kronk and Spark fought against a group of Goblins and Skull Crusher with the cramped hallway between the barracks halls. Spark, hoping to lure Skull Crusher away and get him out into the open, fled down the hall leaving Kronk behind. Spark called out profanity, hoping Skull Crusher would follow. Instead, the Goblin warrior cried to his men, “Kill the Dwarf [Kronk]!” The Goblins turned on Kronk and Spark came rushing back after cursing the Goblin leader.
Honorable Mention: After the battle with the Orcs, Spark turned to Loki and Kronk and gave a long winded explanation as to why they should attack the Goblin encampment or check out the caravan that Longshanks had talked about. Loki began to argue with the rogue, when he suddenly remember that Spark had simply emerged from the wood without any explanation as to why he was there, and was now giving order to Loki and Kronk. The Ranger interrupted his own argument and said, “Wait… who the fuck are you?!”
The Heroes left the nursery and traveled south through the passageway where they encountered Lord Gnasher and his thugs. After a showdown, the Heroes convinced Gnasher to let them deal with the Orcs and free them of their enslavement. The Heroes rushed off to the mines of Kalad-nal.
After meeting with Gnasher the Heroes traveled to Kalad-nal where they would force the Orcs to free the enslaved Goblins. Loki was interested in meeting with the Tiefling. The Heroes descended down into the mines and were amazed by the Dwarven architecture. They travelled into a corridor where they found a room of sleeping orcs. On the far well in a cage were four goblins. Spark sneaked across the room and freed the goblins. He then told them to arm themselves. Meanwhile, Loki and Kronk also had sneaked around the room and positioned themselves near the sleeping orcs. Simultaneously all the goblins and Heroes attacked the sleeping orcs, killing them all before they had a chance to react. The Heroes then told the goblins to flee the facility.
Next the PCs walked into what was once a great hall for the dwarves to eat, drink, and be merry. However, as they entered a near-sighted ogre poked his head around the corner. The ogre mistook the PCs for his friend, Tulga. He asked Spark, whom he believed to be Tulga, if he would be willing to help him cook dinner. Spark went into the kitchen and cooked dinner with the Ogre, pretending to be his friend Tulga. Meanwhile, Loki sneaked around the dining area and discovered an ornamental sword. After dinner was served, Loki, Spark, and Kronk took off without the Ogre ever being privy to the fact that he just made dinner for the Heroes.
The Heroes then encountered a group of orcs in a temple to Groomsh. The heroes battled the orcs there, barely surviving after Loki smoted each one of the brutes with his uncanny sword play. The Heroes found an ornamental Axe in that room.
After that fight, the Heroes found a great statute of three dwarves. The magnificent statue was accompanied by a riddle. The riddle told the story of three dwarven princes, each who had slain a monster with a certain weapon. The riddle was to discover who killed what monster with what item. Spark was the first to solve the puzzle. The Heroes then realized they probably could put the ornamental items on the statue, however they were missing a rod, so they pressed on.
From there, the Heroes entered a training facility. They fought with a group of Orcs and managed to slay them without too much of an effort. After the battle, the Heroes found some magic gauntlets of ogre strength. Spark originally took the item, claiming it was his. Later he rescinded his claim, stating that he was merely holding onto it until the next treasure trove. By this time, Loki had found a Lifedrinking Longsword. The Heroes also found an ornamental rod. The Heroes returned the room with the statue and inserted the items. A secret door in the floor was revealed. In the chamber they found an amulet of protection +2. Spark argued that the amulet should go to him, however Kronk and Loki were opposed to it. In the end, Spark submitted to their argument, begrudgingly, and threw the gauntlets in disgust at Loki and told him to keep them. The Larandian obliged.
The Heroes then travelled down a corridor where they fought with the orc captain, Kugnar, and his Wolf pet. Loki led the animal out into the hallway, where it was surrounded by the Heroes and they easily hacked it to bits. They then focused on Kugnar and slew him with ease. In the room, the Heroes found a letter addressed to Lord Manticore from Sarkus. The letter noted that Sarkus was working toward achieving his goal, and that he hated working with the orcs. He noted that he believed the Heroes were members of a cult to Orcus.
The Heroes then travelled to the mines where they encountered the tiefling, Sarkus, and his orcs companions. Sarkus told the Heroes that he had got what he came for, although the Heroes were never told what this item was or what is was for. Sarkus revealed that he indeed was a member of the organization called the Returners. The Returners are an organization that wishes to travel back to the Shadow to fight Orcus and slay him before he can return to the material plane. The Heroes tried to plead with the obviously insane Sarkus, however he would have no of it. After being attacked my Spark the tiefling retreated and escaped the mine.
The Heroes then returned to the Goblins lair. Spark threatened Gnasher to give him Longshanks’s brooch. The Goblins refused and a fight ensued. The heroes ended the adventure running from the Goblin lair.