D&D: The Doom of Ardross

The Memoirs of Azaroth Storme

My life has been anything but ordinary, but the last months have been by far the most unique. As I look in the mirror, the pale, gaunt face staring back at me is a weak, pitiful reflection of what I once was. This red blight, this plague that torments me, is beginning to take a toll on my strength and will. The most frustrating part is that the cure is always just out of reach. Even now, as my comrades and I defeat the most powerful beings we have ever faced, we remain stricken by this deadly disease.

The only positive to come of all this is I have been refining my combat skills. I feel as though my abilities are being honed, and I am becoming more deadly by the day. My ability to escape attacks, break into even the most guarded rooms, and evade my enemies unnoticed is reaching an unparalleled level. I am becoming a force to be reckoned with, and I can see that even my allies are beginning to fear the swiftness of my blade. The scary part is that I have only just begun to reach my true potential. Once I shed the burden of this red poison that haunts me I will truly be an elite thief, respected enough to enter the brotherhood that has for so long eluded me. I suppose I owe the king a thanks for sending me on that quest, despite where it has taken me.

The only thing left to do is maintain my sanity while this sickness drains away my strength. As long as I can fight, can move like the wind across a room, silently striking before my enemy even realizes I am there, then I can push forward. However, I fear for my mind once this blight consumes my body. Once I lose my vitality I do not know whether I will be able to go on. For now, I fight. For now, I remain immortal.

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The Journal of Sir Morgan Redwall 5

DATE, 300 ADW

Examine dwarven forge
There is red mould
Find an alchemist room with dragonborn (Arakar) and a woman wearing heraldry of the house of salbad
Abster Tharid Dominus of Margrel Lord of the Fallen Forge Compeer of the Necrotyr

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The Journal of Sir Morgan Redwall 4

20 Tarsakh, 300 ADW

We arrived at the Great Forge of Rokterre after an uneventful journey. We sought an audience with King Rurke, Lord of Rok’Terre to beseech his permission to enter the Old Forge. He assented if we would seek out Baronet Erendal Hawkenthorne, who had stolen an ancient artifact from the Dwarves. We agreed that we would seek him out and return the weapon if we were at first allowed to enter the ruins.

While exploring the city of Great Forge, rumours

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The Journal of Sir Morgan Redwall 3
Runes in the dark...

18 Ches, 300 ADW

A hallway…the sound of clashing swords…shouts of battle. My head was ringing. What was going on? The whisky had apparently done its job. I charged through the doorway and saw a group of the living dead led by a wight. Despite the blurriness in my eyes, I engaged. We defeated the fiends handily. Searching the room we found various menacing and silvered weapons alongside the old remains of a dwarf.

Exploring further, we found another black door similar to the one we found earlier. In front of the door stood a pedestal covered in the red fungus. Clearing it off we saw a round indentation. Placing the red orb we found in the well beyond the first black door, it sank down into the pedestal and the doors swung slowly open. Beyond we could hear the moans of the undead.

Preparing ourselves, we entered into a cavern lined with pillars and saw the spectre of the dwarf we found earlier standing on a staircase that ascended, seemingly, to nothing. It was Morhigan, the alchemist whose journal we found. His spirit must have become trapped in this place when he was abandoned by his master A’rakar. He raised a fist, summoned more spirits, and attacked. The spirits were troublesome and it took the combined might of our party to banish them once and for all.

When the spirit of Morhigan vanished, luminous runes appeared on the pillars. On a tapestry dedicated to the Gods, the constellation of the Warden of Moss began to glow. A portal formed at the top of the staircase. According to the Professor, there are ten portals. Nine are said to exist in the great cities, with no one knowing where the tenth would come out.

All the information we have points to Old Forge in Tir’Run. So that is where we must go.

24 Ches, 300 ADW

We advised Lord Commander Craiger of our intentions to head to Old Forge. He sent us with his blessing. We decided to head through the Deep Sage Woods to the Black Road which will lead us across the Dragonscale Mountains. The Deep Sage Wood is an old and overrun forest with many dark recesses. Supposedly this wood is haunted.

On the second day we came to a flooded ravine. Grog spoke to a chipmunk, who he somehow understood, who told us that the way around is fast, but warned us of a dangerous wizard living in the area. We decided, rather foolishly, to continue through the woods.

After four days of travel, we came upon a clearing. There was a well made stone house with smooth sides. In the basement there was a door, locked from the outside. Inside we found cages filled with tortured animals. At the back of the basement there were animals turned to stone, as well as creatures mutated by some dark power. The back wall was made of stone arms, legs and faces. They were crying out to be killed or freed. I could do nothing for them…

The wizard came home while we were investigating and locked us into the basement. His name is Grettle Oplan and he and the professor parlayed. He agreed to let us go if we would take an object to the Grey Tower in Thade before the end of the year. As we were completely within the clutches of this powerful being, we agreed. He handed us a small box to take to The Grey Witch at The Grey Tower. He placed a curse on us to ensure we carry out his task.

14 Tarsakh, 300 ADW

It took three-and-a-half weeks until we made the first Old Forge encampment. The travel was faster after we made it out of the accursed woods and onto the Black Road.

From what we know, Old Forge fell some time ago to the denizens of the Underdark, who now inhabit it. Outside the Forge is a high wall and there are dwarven sentries preventing anyone from going in. We were uncomfortable breaking into the Old Forge so we decided to head on to the Great Forge of Rokterre to seek permission from King Rurke, Lord of Rok’Terre. We rented horses and cart and headed on our way.

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The Journal of Sir Morgan Redwall 2
The secret passage

17 Ches, 300 ADW

Our party was invited to stay in Steelwind keep, the home of Lord Commander Craiger, where we were able to rest and bathe and let the enormity of our current situation sink in. We also had the misfortune of meeting Mag, Head Magistrate and Seneschal for Steelwind Keep, who was given the task of showing us to our chambers. Mag is a slimy, self important little man, who clearly thought it beneath him to deal with my friends and me. He advised us that we were “invited” to dine with the court that evening. When we were bathed and dressed, we were given a tour of the castle. It is a magnificent place, overlooking both the city and the Sage Wood. It is a working military keep though so although finely dressed, most in the house wore their armour and weapons as well. As if the keep is ready for a fight at any time. It is a good thing too.

When we arrived back in our rooms we were attacked by cultists and an assassin looking for the journal we had found in the ruins below the city. They put up a mighty fight, but were unable to make off with the journal, and were all killed. We discovered that they had entered our rooms through a secret door that led to a series of secret passages throughout the castle. It was clear these passages were meant, at least in part, to spy on occupants of the keep. Reading the journal we discovered the key to opening the obsidian door down in the ruins. That night we dined with the court and were asked back to Commander Craiger’s chambers to chat in private. He let us know of his son’s rapidly failing health. He also offered us what aid he could for our quest into the ruins beneath the keep.

We headed back into the ruins and made our way to the room where we found the journal and the statues. We managed to open the strange obsidian door in the ruins under Dragonscales. The door opened with an ominous sound and we could hear the screech of a beast as it did so. The first room we entered had the remains of old corpses and four fresher ones being fed on by purple Alderian Soul Maggots.

The professor advised us that eating the maggots would allow us to gain the memories of the men they were feeding on. We took turns eating the maggots which, in addition to tasting horrible, gave us memories of 5 men being told to meet Mag in disguise, and at his command, preparing to enter the dungeon from one of the secret tunnels hidden behind the walls of Steelwind keep. in This room there was also a glowing, murky well. Hawkenthorne dove down through the murky water and pulled up a glowing red orb. The glow faded when removed from the water, and we decided to hold onto it, not knowing yet it’s significance.

From here we began to explore this strange new set of ruins, when the tunnels collapsed. We were separated, with Grog, the professor and myself finding each other rapidly. We found Alathor the Lost when he inadvertently awoke some skeletal warriors who had before just been a pile of bones. We dispatched the skeletons just as Hawkenthorne finally found his way back to us. We argued on whether to continue on into the caverns or to go back to the castle. Some thought we should head back to warn the castle that the beast rumoured to be held down here may have escaped, wile myself and others were determined to go on. When things did not go his way, Hawkenthorne became angry and transformed into monster, a shapeshifter! We battled it and, despite a hard fight, the creature fell. We managed to locate the real Hawkenthorne buried under rubble in an old throne room. It is here that we are resting, preparing for whatever lies next.

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The Journal of Sir Morgan Redwall
The celebration begins

14 Ches, 300 ADW

The Professor, Grog and myself arrived in Dragon Breath this evening. The city has a grand air of celebration. There are vendors and performers of all kinds throughout the city. I met a young boy who recognized me as a knight. I lied to the boy and told him I was one no longer. It has been sometime since I conducted myself as such and I did not feel it right to have the boy look up to me as a role model. His father introduced himself as Raleigh son of Raithe. He was a kind man who looked to have seen many years of hard work. His grip was strong and he gave the impression that he was a man of character. He invited me to stay with him at his cottage outside the city at any time. I plan to take him up on his generous offer if ever I am in the area.

We made camp outside the walls and it was there that we met Emerson Hawkenthorne, Ritter of Black Hall, and his retinue. His companions are not of the highest quality, but the young noble seems to be of good heart. He is on a quest to learn the ways of combat. An honourable task.

15 Ches, 300 ADW

The celebration proper began today. The city is even more abuzz than yesterday. There is good food and games of all kinds. Grog and myself took part in a competition of strength in which I am proud to say I bested him. Once the fanfare proper began, Prince Castor of Moss took to the stage to address the crowd. He spoke of the work done to overthrow the forces of evil during the Dark War. As he spoke tragedy struck.

The ground began to rumble and the stage the prince stood on collapsed. He landed not 20 feet from us. The shaking was enough to knock bricks free from the building surrounding the city square. An even greater tremor struck next. The earth opened and swallowed the prince and my new companions. We slid about 100 feet down below the earth until we reached what appeared to be the ruins of an old complex. The place was damp and unused, covered everywhere with a Red Fungus. The prince was nowhere to be seen.

Exploring the complex we discovered the old ruins of a former keep. There was no way to get out the way wee had come so we pressed on, hoping to find the prince on our way. As we explored we ran into all manner of creatures including giant centipedes, several skeletons commanded by a ghoul and a few breeds of giant spider. The most disturbing discovery was a large double door made of obsidian. This door was inlaid with humanoid bones and would not open despite our best efforts. There also appeared to be no key hole to speak of.

Further investigation led us to find several alchemy labs again covered in the red fungus including what we believe to be the source as it had spores still floating in the air. We took precautions as best we could. Connected to this lab was a room containing 4 statues all facing the centre and all carved from black rock. One held a gem up in it’s right hand. To it’s left another held a carved torch upright in it’s left hand. Next came one holding a silver star with both hands. The last held two torches crossed. We also found a journal indicating that the red fungus appeared to be some sort of disease once developed by the Necrotyr. The author expressed concern releasing it as a cure had yet to be developed.

We identified the statues as representing Kardis, Pharalis, Marfa and Myrii. The statues could turn completely around and we tried manipulating them thinking that perhaps we could cause the great obsidian door to open. It was to no avail and we abandoned the statues for now.

vintage-halloween-clip-art-vintage-illustration-of-a-tarantula-spider-toADPB-clipart.png We managed to find a way into a natural cave that Emerson believes may have been an escape route for the hidden keep. These tunnels were covered in spider webs and it was here that we discovered the prince, bound in webs and waiting to become the meal of a few giant spiders. We defeated the spiders and rescued the prince, he however did not look to be well.

We made haste through the tunnels and eventually emerged in the Sage Wood. We made hast back to the Freehold of Dragon Breath, but were waylaid by bandits of the Sons of Fenris. We defeated them and their wolf with much speed and then hastened back to the castle.

Upon our return we brought the prince back to the city where he was rushed off by the palace guard. We were summoned in front of Lord Commander Craiger. He thanked us and told us that his son had been afflicted with some sort of strange disease. We were tested and found to also be infected. Commander Craiger has asked that we return to the keep below to see if we can discover a cure as we have proven capable and sending down more souls to become infected would be a poor choice. We gladly accepted. We now wait to begin our expedition. I did not plan to be swept up in these sort of events, but my sense of duty now compels me to soldier forward. I truely hope the Commander can be spared the loss of his son…

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Hope Lies Ahead
Sir Redwall's Journey to the Freehold of Dragon Breath

30th of Tarsakh, 299 ADW

I set out tomorrow from Storm Port, where I have been making my home, on my journey towards the Freehold of Dragon Breath. I chose the holiday of Greengrass to make my start not without forethought. The day is a celebration of the return of life to the world, and I hope it will be the start of my return to a life in this world. The journey will be long, but I hope enlightening. I have packed my supplies onto my trusty horse Urko and said my goodbyes. I know not whether I will return here one day.

3rd of Mirtul, 299 ADW

I arrived in Raiden late last night. The journey was uneventful. It has been some time since I set out on a ride like this, and my body feels it. Nothing that wine does not fix. I plan to gather supplies today and head out at first light for Dalyn.

6th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

I arrived in Dalyn this evening. The trip through the Greybarrow Forrest was more difficult than anticipated due to a sudden sleet storm. This is not uncommon this time of year, but it makes for a cold and miserable journey.

20th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

I have arrived at the western bank of the Rhil River. I have decided not to make the crossing here to Karith as the melting snow from the Dragon Fire Mountains has swelled the waters and has made crossing treacherous. I ran into a caravan camped here and will journey with them down towards Erdun where hopefully the crossing will be easier. It is good to have company.

24th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

I travelled with the caravan to the river crossing 12 miles north of Erdun. There we parted ways as they headed back north to Karith. I arrived in Erdun without incident. It is good to rest and prepare for the arduous journey that lies ahead. I plan to make my way along the River of Embers to Blade. I will be following the water, but The Burning Lands are not to be trifled with.

26th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

I have been following the river for 2 days now. I expect to reach Blade in another 3, but I can see a sandstorm blowing in the distance. I hope it stays out of my path until I reach the city, otherwise things could get ugly.

27th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

The wind changed suddenly last night and the sandstorm hit with ferocity. The sands swallowed me up. I managed to wander my way to a small cave to wait out the storm.

29th of Mirtul, 299 ADW

It is the end of the third day is this cursed cave. The storm has not stopped. The world outside my shelter is a brown and dusty haze. Lightning flashes in the brown mass as the wind howls and blows the sand.

2nd of Kythorn, 299 ADW

The storm has abated somewhat, I managed to find my way to the river for fresh water. My food is running short though. I have some memory of the fierceness of the Burning Winds from crossing the sands as a youth, but I could not have imagined this. It has been raging for 5 days now. I fear if it keeps up, I may not make it.

6th of Kythorn, 299 ADW

My world is this cave. Outside the storm rages on. The sands scour the surface of the rock…grit everywhere. I ran out of food days ago. Last night the lightning strikes were stronger and closer than ever. Urko bolted…I am completely alone…

…Kythorn…

Sand…everywhere is sand…rending my flesh…filling my clothes, my mouth. I fear the world is gone and sand is all that is left…What mad gods made this desert? What evil drives these winds…perhaps this is my final penance…my final curse. tumblr_mquav3DABE1qimp33o1_500.png

…Kythorn…

The cave has partially collapsed…tunnels lead off into the dark…I dare not follow them. A skeletal figure leers out of the darkness…dead…this cave is a tomb already. It may be one again. I found strange pieces of parchment with odd writing…a lightning flash reveals a map, but not of this cave, and a letter. I cannot read it… Water…I need water. This storm will be my doom.

10th of Kythorn, 299 ADW

The storm ended some time last night. I managed to dig my way out of the cave and when I emerged I saw a very different landscape. The sands have vastly changed, reshaped by the howling winds. There are batches of black glass where the lightning struck. I found Urko not far off. He must have fallen and broken his leg. He did not survive the exposure to the sands. I must continue on by foot. At least now my food shortage is no longer a problem…

15th of Kythorn, 299 ADW

I have finally arrived at the city of Blade. I will be staying a few days to recuperate. The city is large and busy. Many of the winding streets are clogged with vendor stalls and the noise of commerce. The Siod Bazzar is awash with colour. Spices, fabrics, trade goods from all over the nine kingdoms. It is truly a wonder.

29th of Kythorn, 299 ADW

After a period of recuperation, and after working odd jobs to resupply myself, I have set out for Banishaan. I am hoping this leg of the journey goes better than the last.

6th of Flamerule, 299 ADW

I have arrived in Banishaan unscathed. The city is a marvel in it’s simplicity. Not as large as the capital city of Blade, Banishaan is still a hub of trade. The buildings are all low and made of a white stone that helps keep the oppressive heat of the desert at bay. I remember travelling through here as a boy and marvelling at the exotic culture of the place. The language spoken in Thade is quick and sharp and is punctuated by harsh noises made in the back of the throat. It always fascinated me as a boy.

16th of Flamerule, 299 ADW

I have managed to make my way west to Tinath. It is a dirty city in Cantrev Maddoc. The slave trade reigns supreme here. It is a filthy practice, the trading of men and women as if they were goods. It is not my place to put a stop to it. People are a valid commodity in Thade.

27th of Flamerule, 299 ADW

I have made my way out of the desert just in time. The heat of Highsun approaches just as I have reached the Goldcrest Mountains. I am glad to have the taste of sand out of my mouth. Arlom is a humble mining village. It’s people are of a good nature, and have welcomed me in. Apparently the Brotherhood has not been entirely forgotten.

29th of Flamerule, 299 ADW

I have been told by several people in Arlom that the orcs of the Prydell Forrest have been becoming more brazen. They have started attacking the mining camps nearby and the townsfolk fear that their small village will be next. I have agreed to stay on to help build up the town’s defences and to train it’s citizens in basic defence. Hopefully it will be enough to keep them safe until the High King of Valis can send troops to deal with the orc hordes for good.

Midsummer, 299 ADW

I have joined the townsfolk of Arlom in their celebration of the festival of Midsummer. It is good to be among such pleasant people. The town has decorated in the traditional way with garlands of flowers and a maypole in the town centre. It will be a merry time!

2nd Elesias, 299 ADW

The merriment of the midsummer holiday has subsided and been cut short by a horrible discovery. A mining camp made up of men of Arlom has been slaughtered by the orcs. When the miners did not return for the festival a search party was sent out. The miners were found slaughtered, their corpses tied to trees in the Blood Eagle. It is a gruesome way to die. I feel I must help these people else they be driven off by the orcs.

5th Elesias, 299 ADW

I have the miners working hard to shore up their defences. Crude weapons have been manufactured and the townsfolk are practising in their use. I fear what will happen if the orcs attack. It feels good to be of use again, but I am saddened that it is for such a dark purpose.

12th Elesias, 299 ADW

The Orcs struck the town last night…

TEST

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Professor Slade's Route to the Freehold of Dragon Breath
  • Started in the city of Allan with a caravan heading to Fraya.
  • Head South West to Eloran
  • Took the south west path through the Orbarrow Forest to the Opal Mountains
  • Crossed the mountains to the Orches Pass
  • Headed west to Verithe, where I parted ways with the Caravan
  • I travelled west to the Grand Port of Lemoa
  • Booked passage on a ship to the Port City of Temril (Where I stayed at the Portly Dragon Pub and started to travel with Sir Morgan Redwall)
  • South to Dragonscales
  • East through the [[The Gap of Mycen to Valflure
  • East through the Dragonskale Pass and then north along the coast to the Port of Seahammer
  • North along the The River Kale to the Freehold of Dragon Breath
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