The Mountain Throne

Quest for the Crown, Part the Seventh
Or: Dwarf Out of Time

With the Crown of Might in their possession, the Brigade moved on to explore passages of the Temple they had bypassed, whereupon they came into a library of dwarven manufacture. Tomes made entirely of stone, with writing carved in the ancient dwarven dialect. Therein, they learned some details of ancient dwarven history, and of particular interest, a tale about something called the ‘Fire Seeds’, which were said to create vast amounts of deadly purple smoke once touched with flame.

Moving on from there, the Brigade explored a chamber near to the main altar of the temple which was evidently the source of the pervasive purple mist. Within they found a fire pit with three seeds from which the purple mist was emanating and the body of a dwarven priest. This priest who, thanks to the preserving nature of the mist, looked as if he had died mere seconds ago, also seemed to still be breathing! Further investigation found that he was not in fact breathing, just the air itself was rushing in and out of the dwarf’s lungs of it’s own accord, as if it was trying to keep the dwarf alive.

Seeing an opportunity not likely to be seen ever again, Phelan seized the moment and called upon his own deity to help bring this ancient priest back into the land of the living. Drawing breath of his own accord for the first time in 2500 years, this priest who calls himself Nâr-Krëm, sought immediately to know the condition of both the Tomb of Herond Simrak and the Fire Seeds.

Learning of the interactions with the spirit of the King, and of the Fire Seeds being thrown into the great whirlpool in the crane room, the priest led the Brigade in a trek back to the Tomb, where it was discovered that the body of the King had disappeared! From there, the priest led them back to the crane room and insisted that the Fire Seeds must be recovered from the Tomb of the Banes below. Reluctantly, the Brigade agreed to pursue the seeds down into the whirlpool.

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Quest for the Crown, Part the Sixth
Or: Crowned Victorious!

Finally attaining some more solid footing on the far side of the chasm, the Bucket Brigade found themselves faced with an intriguing sight: a large set of stone double doors, barred from the outside, and flanked by two large stone statues. In the ancient dwarven script on the doors was written “The Tomb of ”/wikis/herond-simrak" class=“wiki-page-link”> Herond Simrak". Set within the door were 12 oddly shaped rubies.

Seized with a bout of the Adventurer’s Grabbiness, Phelan immediately set to prising loose one of said rubies, which drew the ire of the two golems pretending to statues! Making short work of the golems, the Brigade then explored the nature of the bar on the door, which did not seem to be held in place by anything. Phelan, of course, finished removing all twelve rubies from the door.

Finding that the bar could be removed by simply pulling on it, the Brigade promptly ignored its special properties when they opened the doors and saw within the tomb of Herond Simrak.

The tomb housed a great central sarcophagus, presumably containing Herond Simrak, and twelve lesser sarcophagi about the periphery, presumably containing his commanders. Looming over the central sarcophagus, and dominating much of the room, was a massive stone statue wielding a warhammer, poised to smash the sarcophagus of the ancient King. Those of dwarven blood (including young Tapfor with his Belt of Dwarvenkind) or of magical sight were able to discern yet more transpiring within. Approximately 30’ above the floor was a swirling swarm of dwarven spirits all screaming and moaning “WHY?” down at the body of the King. A further 10’ above these spirits, and seemingly unnoticed by them, appeared to be the spirit of Herond Simrak himself wearing the Crown of Might.

Presuming, and rightly so, that the statue was yet another golem, the Brigade prepared themselves for combat and triggered the golem’s cold enmity by opening the sarcophagus of the King. It was at that moment that the twelve dwarven commanders did also rise from their resting places to do combat with the Brigade, and attempting to use the bar to seal the Brigade within the tomb!

Emerging victorious on all fronts, the Brigade set about looting the King’s body of its fine treasures, including one holy symbol of the Old Miner which rested on the King’s chest, the removal of which caused the spirit of the King to regain some kind of consciousness and attack! During the scuffle, the Brigade gained possession of the Crown of Might and defeated the spirit of the King.

Rewards

-Herond Simrak’s armor: Plate Armor 2 (subsequently found to be cursed)
-Herond Simrak’s shield: Shield +2 (subsequently found to be cursed)
-Ring of Water Walking (currently assumed to be cursed, unverified)
-The Hammer of Herond Simrak: +1 Greathammer (1d12 bludgeoning), Str 13
required to wield with proficiency, wielder has advantage on saves vs magical spells & effects, wielder’s strength bonus is doubled in combat, each round the Hammer is used in combat there is a 1-in-6 chance the hammer will be too heavy to hold aloft and the wielder will lose all actions for the round and all attacks vs wielder will gain advantage.
-12 oddly shaped rubies

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Quest for the Crown, Part the Fifth
Or: Temple Tantrums

Having spent some months collecting the necessary reagents and materials to complete the ritual to destroy the ancient dwarven blood-ward sealing the Temple of the Old Miner, the Bucket Brigade set off back to the Tindred Falls region to explore those ancient halls.

With the massive stone doors finally ajar, the Brigade faced an odd sight: billowing out from the temple’s interior was a steady flow of dense, vibrant purple mist. Even given time to air out, the mist continued to flow at approximately knee-height (to a human). Seeing no alternative but to brave the mist, the Brigade sent a request to the Water Company via pigeon that a number of mining canaries be brought to the hillside entrance. Thus emboldened, the Brigade delved into the mountain in search of the Crown of Might.

The first of many holy chambers encountered within this temple complex appeared to be a sort of coat check, with a goodly number of dwarven implements resting therein. A full accounting revealed the presence of 89 cloaks, 48 short swords, 22 shields, 83 daggers, and 12 coats of mail, all of dwarven size and make, all of master quality*. All items remain in such good condition that it becomes difficult to believe that they have lain unattended for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

The Brigade next encountered a massive 60’ by 120’ chamber with carved and painted murals, and a dark secret concealed beneath the billowing purple mist. Unseen until they very nearly fell into it, the floor of the massive room was completely covered in the aftermath of a massacre. Hundreds of dwarves in naught but small-clothes bearing fatal injuries lay intermingled with a couple dozen human bodies adorned in bronze plate armor and shields. All of the humans, and a small handful of dwarves appear to have no injuries, and instead have died with their hands at their throats and their eyes bulged from their sockets, as if they had been suffocated. To the last, all of the bodies give the appearance of having died no more than moments before the arrival of the Brigade.

On the far side of the site of this massacre, the Brigade found a pair of doors and an altar, which concealed a secret door of its own. Following their adventurer’s instincts, they explored the secret passage to find a bewildering sight: A small underground lake with three large cranes attached to odd steel tubes, evidently designed to be lowered down through the whirlpool in the center of the small lake. After some natatorial exploration by the resident druid determined that the ride down the whirlpool would be over four hundred feet straight down, the Brigade opted to explore other areas of the complex before making any hasty decisions about things.

This course of action led to the discovery of a memorial or perhaps records room dedicated to the chronicling of the life and times of Herond Simrak, the last dwarf to ever be King of the Mountain Throne. This section of the complex is constructed differently than the rest. The story of Herond Simrak is written into the very walls, in an ancient dwarven style known as Rune Walls. However, the story isn’t carved in runes upon the walls. Rather, the walls themselves are made out of carved and assembled runes, and layered, with about three inches between layers. Some of the rooms have in excess pf 7 layers!

Beyond this monument, the Brigade found a passage leading many hundreds of feet due north, until it breached out into an unfathomably massive underground chasm, crossed by a lonely little dwarven bridge. Braving the dark unknown, the Brigade set out across the bridge, finding it to be a most unnerving experience. For several hundred feet of gently rising bridge, all they could see was black, yet they could hear the sounds of a thriving ecosystem all about them. At the apex of the bridge, approximately four hundred feet out, Phelan had a notion, casting the Daylight spell upon a torch, he dropped it over the side of the bridge and watch it fall… and fall… and fall.. and fall… out of sight.

Feeling a sudden urge to not be on the bridge anymore, the Brigade made for the far side, finding it over nine hundred feet from the start of the bridge, and yet before they could attain the solid ground on the far side, they also found a creature of the dark that defended it’s ledge until the Brigade drove it off.

*these master quality items are so well made that they are able to withstand twice the amount of abuse or misadventure that other more common items could survive.

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Revolution Requited
Or: What's Up, Duke?

In the days and weeks following the events of the elven summit, the Bucket Brigade was busying themselves with stocking the supply train for their entourage and discussing options for future endeavors when a young woman named Anya Elstad entered the encampment seeking Phelan Steelfire. When brought unto his presence, Anya pleaded with him to run away and go into hiding, as her uncle, one Duke Kegan Elstad of Kebria, had not forgotten Phelan’s role in fomenting rebellion amongst his people and had hired many assassins. She also warned that the Duke had taken a modest force to try and breach the main gates of the Steelfire Clanhold, long since sealed by a blood-ward.

The Brigade made Anya welcome in their camp and gave her accommodations, but it was not to last, as the Duke’s assassins found and murdered her in their search for Phelan. Anya did not go unavenged for long, however, as the Brigade hunted down the assassins and returned the favor.

Sensing that this kind of thing might continue, the Brigade opted to deal with the Duke directly and set out for the Steelfire Clanhold. Some minor resistance was met along the way from the Duke’s forces, but the delay was minimal.

At the gates to the clanhold, battle was met with the Duke’s modest force, and the slightly-less-modest Duke himself. After some tense moments and a few surprises, the Brigade emerged (mostly) whole and (largely) victorious. The Duke has been captured, his lieutenants eliminated, and his goods liberated! Amongst the Duke’s possessions was found an ancient dwarven stone-tome detailing three rituals: 1. how to seal a portal with a magical ward that can only be opened by a blood member of the creator’s clan, 2. how to open a blood-warded portal in the presence of a blood member of the appropriate clan, and 3. how to destroy a blood ward without the presence of a blood member of the appropriate clan.

Rewards

-Pelagic Pearls: A small agglomeration of black and white pearls seemingly held together by some invisible force that gets stronger the further a pearl is removed from the other pearls. If placed upon a solid surface, a pearl will burrow itself into the material much like a clam burrowing in the sea floor. Any material other than armor is damaged or destroyed by this; armor gains the following properties: a + 1 bonus, the armor becomes neutrally buoyant in water, the wearer gains a swim speed equal to their walking speed, and whenever the wearer starts their turn underwater with 0 hit points, the armor causes them to rise 60 feet toward the surface.
-Flametongue Scimitar, DMG pg 170
-Belt of Dwarvenkind, DMG pg 155
-Ring of Free Action, DMG pg 191
-Potion of Greater Healing, 4d4+4
-A wizard’s spellbook, see spell list for Mage in the Monster Manual
-the Duke’s walking around money: 500pp, 200gp, small bag of gems worth 2800gp

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A bucket full of Lightning
Or: One crazy farmer's conspiracy theory

The bucket brigade was sleeping off the celebration, and Ahm was woken with the sounds of birds chirping. Ahm talked with local wildlife, and the birds and the bees were stoked. A nearby town had a Druid in it, and that Druid had the best bread, best treats, and best belly rubs that the local Flora had ever seen. It had to be seen to be believe.

In Siltsdale, the next town over, a DragonKin Druid was having a great time in a tavern. Drunk, immoral, and racously singing about the wilds, Zelthass was kind of making an ass of himself. Turns out that Zelthass and Ahm had been in the same druidic monastary just north. The monastary had been abandonded 5 years previously, and the local farmers hadn’t had any druidic visitors ever since. Ahm ended up debating the finer points of druiding with Zelthass, while the rest of the party alternatively berated and aggravated other tavern.

….

Moar Written Later.

Major events -

Crazy farmer.

Bullette Fight

Orc Camp

Goblin Entryway

FIght vs Team Evil

Wrapup with dragon

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The Legacy of Bumble's Rumblers
Or: When Good Beholders "Go Bad"

In the long celebrations following the defeat of the gnoll armies and their demonic patron, the Bucket Brigade found themselves enjoying a free beverage in a local tavern when a shaken traveler was overheard telling tales of an “undead giant” in an abandoned village a fortnight’s travel towards the mountains. Seeing opportunity for adventure, the Brigade wasted no time in setting off to explore this unknown locale.

Upon arrival, they found said abandoned village, which was later determined to be named Ashborne, replete with decayed, ruined buildings and long dead inhabitants. Investigation of the remains revealed that several had sustained massive blows and broken bones, and that some had become completely dessicated in a slightly less than natural manner.

Exploration of the village itself led to the discovery of the village commons, a patch of open ground int eh center of the village, roughly circular with a 30’ radius. In the center of the commons stood a 12’ tall obelisk with a plaque commemorating the deeds of a heroic adventuring party: Bumble’s Rumblers. The plaque described a time some 260 years passed when an evil wizard named Alkore Utzuar had been terrorizing the region, killing and/or kidnapping locals, and generally oppressing the people. Bumble Burrowbrew and his fellow adventurers brought battle unto Alkore and were successful in capturing him and subsequently dragging him back to Kingsport to face justice.

At this point, Tapfor Burrowbrew’s Adventuring Bucket proved its usefulness yet again by showing ripples in the water it contained, suggesting something large approaching the commons on foot. Using the tried and true scatter-and-hide-leaving-only-the-cleric-in-the-open tactic, the Brigade prepared for battle! The ensuing kerfuffle revealed that the “undead giant” was in fact a flesh golem, and that the source of the dessicated bodies was in fact a pair of phase spiders. Emerging victorious from the ordeal, the Brigade next explored the mysterious stone building perched on a spire several kilometers up the hills outside of the village.

The main thrust of the spire upon which the building perched was found to contain a cavern of some sort which had been filled in with with a stone wall bearing a weather-worn warning “DO NOT…”. Experimental Shatter probing lead to the discovery that the wall was extremely sturdy, while the surrounding natural stone was not. It also revealed something within that reacted to the loud noise by creating it’s own.

The entrance to the spire’s mini-fortress turned out to be a rope-and-plank suspension bridge 60’ above the pathway, accessed by a set of stone stairs. Once inside, the Brigade discovered some signage that bid visitors welcome to the Silent Spire Enclave, and would they please keep it down.

Exploring the first floor of the Enclave lead to the discovery, with all the grace expected of a cleric, of a potent fire trap within the fireplace, as well as some interesting books about exotic forms of undead creatures.

The second floor of the Enclave offered a much more lively discovery: the ghost of Alkore Utuzar and his helmed horror servants! A Burrowbrew once again brought battle unto this wizard’s domain. The helmed horrors were laid low, and the ghostly wizard once again pushed towards death’s welcoming door. Alkore escaped into the floor and was not seen for a time, during which additional rumblings were heard emanating from beneath the Enclave.

Within the wizard’s throne room, the Brigade found a palanquin bearing the body of a beautiful human maiden, clearly under the effects of some kind of gentle repose spell. During the heat of the battle, it was decided that prudence required the incineration of the unfortunate woman. The wizard’s own journal later revealed the woman to be Cordeliane Merrylowe, a bard and member of Bumble’s Rumblers, kept here in this state as bait to lure Bumble into a trap.

Not wanting to stick around and see what was causing the rumbling below, the Brigade escaped with the palanquin (at this point, still bearing the still-burning corpse of Cordeliane) back towards the suspension bridge, just in time to see the floor of the main hall behind them disintegrate and watch a beholder zombie rise from below!

Escaping this encounter relatively unscathed, thanks to good tactics and the liberal application of Harfling’s assassination arts, the Brigade finally found themselves with time to take stock of things and make a thorough accounting of the day’s efforts.

Rewards

-Bier of Quiescence: A finely crafted steel-framed palanquin with a richly stained ebon wood canopy carved with depictions of priests kneeling in prayer over the body contained within. When a body is placed within, and an offering placed over the body’s eyes, the body is placed under the effect of the gentle repose spell for the duration afforded by the offering. 2 cp, 10 days; 2 sp, 20 days; 2 ep, 2 months; 2 gp, 6 months; 2 pp, 2 years; 2 diamonds (100 gp ea), indefinite.
-Horrific Plate: A suit of embellished plate armor decorated with barbaric and demonic visages. +1 plate armor. When an attuned wearer makes an Intimidation check, or creates a fear-based Channel Divinity effect, an illusion within the armor makes the visages eyes glow with demonic fire, and their mouths gnash and scream silently. This illusion grants advantage on the Intimidation check, or grants a +1 bonus to the save DC of the fear-based Channel Divinity effect.
-4 eye stalks from the beholder zombie
-Coffer found in flue of fireplace: 120 gp in small gems and 11 pp
-Wizard’s treasures: 1400 gp in gems, +1 weapon, dust of dryness, potion of greater healing
-Tucked underneath the body of Cordeliane upon the palanquin: a well-made steel kite shield bearing the Burrowbrew family crest. The name Bumble Burrowbrew is engraved upon the inner rim.

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Desert Fangs

The gnolls are broken, their demonic leader has been destroyed and the land is safe once again. While the couatl guardian of this oasis may be dead, it left behind another caretaker. Sometime in the last few days a seed fell to the ground landing in moistened soil next to a magical pool of water. Whether by luck, or providence the seed sprouted and grew without notice from the vile creatures around it.

After the your victory a dryad, standing barely 6 inches in height appeared before you. The knowledge of the couatl had been passed down to it, and through this transference the dryad expressed knowledge of the deeds and hardships you undertook to help the land. The bucket brigade is granted two boons. First, all willing members of the bucket brigade shall receive the Blessing of the Land. And secondly, a cutting of the life giving tree shall be entrusted to their care.

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Quest for the Crown, Part the Fourth
Or: A Conspiracy of Giant Proportions!

During a short, but efficient, sojourn in the Kulesian capital of Orlea, the Bucket Brigade were finally able to catch up with and interrogate Lieutenant Daniel Higgale. Between this interrogation and the investigation, the Brigade was able to uncover enough compelling evidence to convince Kulesian authorities that the nation of Renia was not to blame for the attack on Parandor Keep.

With this development, the negotiations between the two nations were declared unnecessary and trade relations were set to resume as soon as possible.

This news was received well in the Renian capital of Corland, and the Brigade was celebrated as heroes. When the Brigade reported back to the Storm Giant Thiazzi, he upheld his part of the arrangement and gave them the knowledge of where to find the temple of he Old Miner wherein the Crown of Might is believed to rest.

Rewards

-Storm’s Ebb (Weapon (Mace), Uncommon) This ace is a magic weapon. When you use an action to speak the command word and slam the mace into the ground, it discahrges a burst of lightning. Each other creature within 10 feet of the mace must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 2d8 lightning damage and be stunned until the end of your next turn. On a successful save, a creature is not stunned and takes only half damage.
The mace’s property can’t be used again until the next dawn. In the meantime, the mace can still be used as a magic weapon.
-The Renian council rewarded the Brigade with coins and gems worth a total value of 115gp per character.
-The Renian council has also awarded the Brigade with tokens which will allow them access to rooms and supplies to keep a Comfortable lifestyle without paying the cost whenever they rest within Corland.

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Quest for the Crown, Part the Third
Or: CSI Kules.

Upon gaining the summit of their chosen peak, the Bucket Brigade discovered Thiazzi’s Caldera, home to the Storm Giant Thiazzi.

The giant listened to their petition for information regarding the Old Miner temple and decreed that he did not yet trust them and would put them to a test of their character. The form this test took, was a teleportation spell whisking them away to the private chambers of the ruling council of Renia, a nation on the western coast. The council was apparently expecting their arrival, and explained their task:

To negotiate a settlement to reinstate trade between Renia and Kules, their neighbor to the south, in the wake of a group of malcontent Renian farmers raiding an estate in Kules and in the process murdering a beloved Countess of the royal family.

With an agent of the council in tow, the Brigade set off southward to begin their own investigation en route to the negotiations with Kules. Thus far, their investigation seems to point to a much more organized and skilled attack than would be expected from a gaggle of angry farmers. Chasing down a lead, the Brigade is currently being escorted to Orlea, the capital of Kules, by Prince Petar of the Kules royal family.

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Quest for the Crown, Part the Second
Or: Since When Can Wolves Talk?

Having successfully broken the blockage of Gowem’s Pass, the Bucket Brigade turned their attentions to finding this giant, Thiazzi, spoken of by Kristryd Torunn. Suffering from a lack of options, the Brigade ventured to the hold of Clan Thundermaul to access the dwarven library’s collected works on giants. In the process brokering trade arrangements on behalf of Tindred Falls and the Burrowbrew family.

With the knowledge gained, as well as a bribe of assorted dwarven liquors, the Brigade headed of in a likely direction into the mountains. Along the way, an evening camp was interrupted by a brazen visit from a Cultural Ministry agent. This agent extended an offer to the Brigade: if they agree to share the location of the Old Miner temple, should they find it, with ONLY the Ministry, and if they also agree to never spread any information about the Old Miner, the Ministry would offer the Brigade aid in the form of support, services, and access to equipment. He mentioned that the offer remains open, for now, and that to accept the offer, they need only visit a dwarven clanhold’s Ministry representative and sign the relevant documents.

After a brief interlude of the agent mishandling an attempt to plant a runestone (for future divinations) within the Brigade’s possessions, they continued their journey into the peaks. Along the way, they found in their path white wolf near the size of a horse, calmly staring at them. Phelan, hoping to distract and/or bribe the wolf, tossed it some jerky, for which it was vocally (in the common tongue no less) thankful.

What followed was a short and unsuccessful negotiation for passage through it’s pack territory. The white wolf instead decreed that if they were strong enough to best his pack, they would be allowed to pass. In the melee that followed, the Brigade proved their strength and gained passage.

Rewards

XP rewards for this short session are 300xp per character, bringing the new total up to 2114, which is 586 shy of level 4.

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