Behind the Shadows

Back in Kraatsch
Day 19
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A Crown and a Portal

Our heroes managed to locate a portal in the shadow world and are on the step to go back into their home town. Many clues have been collected, not all of them make sense to them until now. One of them discovered to be the son of the current dwarven king and their Paladin has been crowned by the first dwarven king to be their next leader.

They know that the Mother of Monsters, Metroca tries to enter their world and that her minions are eager to fight for her goal. Only the shadow world is separating her from the homeworld of our heros.

Will anybody back home trust them and their story? A story about dwarfs, forgotten kings and a god thought to have died long ago?

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Betrayal above the Lower Colon

During the encounter with the hydras, Bastion was bitten by the Ancient Hydra, and was poisoned by its bite. Even with their best efforts, no one was able to neutralize the poison within him, leaving him weak and unable to continue on. As they were preparing to leave, the group found an enchanted belt and a pair of gloves, as well as 3000 gold pieces in the hydra’s horde. After much work, they were able to skin the beast and bring its hide back with them to use as armor, as well as sell it for gold.

Upon their return, they met with the king as well as the younger prince. With a few days of rest and crafting, they followed up with a lead from the chief sage of the kingdom, and made their way to an old copper mine. However, after travelling for some time, it became apparent that the lead was a trap for them, as they were sealed into the cave by an unknown party collapsing the tunnel behind them, leaving them with no way to go but forward. After a harrowing encounter with a roper monster hidden underneath a bridge, they found a crack that led them to an area affectionately known as the “Lower Colon” by Davvis, that took them to another underground complex that seemed to be an ancient dwarven cemetary.

The heroes made their way through the complex, avoiding patrols of mechanical golems and beasts, and find themselves in front of a huge double-door…

As an Out of Game sidenote, the party is currently sitting on top of approximately 5000 GP, a dozen rubies, as well as a pair of rubies shaped like eyes that may or not be traceable to the clockwork golem we wrecked in the later part of the night.

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Traces of treason

Our heros learned about the situation and the politics in the dwarven kingdom. Their welcome feast was suddenly disrupted by a call to the arms as orcs were able to open the front gate and flood the middle hallways. Our heros took up their weapons and joined the dwarfs in an epic battle against the hordes.

After the fight they searched the bodies of the fallen orcs and found a note written in orcish runes. Written on quite nice paper. Paper that potentially was from superior quality showing some watermarks and might have originated from the dwarfs themself. Also they discovered that it is unusal that the dwarfs had been able to oben the doors, since they would have needed a dwarf for that.

They began to ask question among the dwarfs without rising suspisions among them and learned that also in the past the orcs had been tactically very well informed, but never a spies had been found. They further learned that there had been some tunnels which the dwarfs collapsed when they lost their battles there. Tunnels that let to a district they called “the lower halls”. Our heros approached the dwarfen general and informed him about their suspsion.

They finally tracked down the paper to a merchant that was originally located in the lower halls and they left the city to explore the lost halls. They found footprints coming from the collapsed tunnels and it looked like that this person meet some other persons in this hall. but before they could investigated further they got attacked by a group of hydras which lurked in the dark. A epic scale fight evolved and after half of our heros were already knock out the remaining were able to get the final blow on these beast. They were kind of lucky that this new person apperead in the middle of the combat and joined their fight. Who knows what might have happend if he haven’t been there.

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Dwarven relicts in the Shadows
Infested by orcs

Our brave heros followed the path through the Shadowlands following the magic map they found back in the Lyceum of Magic. It shows their surrondings in the shadows and far ahead at the edge of the map they can make out several named sites. Some of them sound like names. Others seems to describes pillars or a town.

As they move on, the magic map is following and highlithing the path they should take in this labyrinth of different path that seem to alter themself.

After some time they came to a type of chamber. The walls of the dark fog vanish and allow to get get a sight at a cave and enclosing a set of pillars. Their artifical light flickers on the surface of the pillars and bring old runes to live. Runes that remebers our heros of dwarven runes, even if they have slight variations.

They follow the path through the cave which turns into a stronghold, which might once have been build by dwarves. Dead dwarven warriors of ancient times ly around in the tunnels. They fought once a tough fight against an unknown intruder.

An intruder. Which type of intruder? Not long after they pass into the stronghold they can hear drums. Wardrums. Orcish wardrums and they hear approaching orcs together with a unbearable stench. A stench coming from beast that come together with the orcs and surronding our heros. A brutal fight takes place, where our heros open a path to the side to breack the surrond and manage to draw back the orcs. They decide to leave the main corridor, sealing it behind them, since they can hear more orcs coming along the corridors.

Only hundreds of feets along the side corridor they stumble about a small hideout of orc beastmasters, but the beast still looked up in a cage. And a pitch black creature in the other corner. As our paladin enters the rooms he feels the black creature in that second cage. Raising his sword he shatters the look and frees the nightmare that was looked up there. With a kick of the legs the gate got pushed open and the dark horse stepped out of the cage.

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Into the Shadow Boarder

After rescuing the prisioners and granting them a save return to the city the heros took on the fight in the room from which they heard the magical chanting.

But they were already awaited by a huge number of orcs and ogers standing in front of a open portal. One of the orcs spoke a short command and shortly there after they saw fog arising behind them. Sceletons, a huge monster with four arms and the beholder they saw in the cave of the rats before emerged out of the fog and cut away the only route for a retreat.

They decided to stand their fight and used their magic powers to eliminate all of orcs and entered the room before the portal only to recognize another beholder, much bigger than the first one in one alcove waiting for them. He laughed at them and instantly attacked them, but it seemed that he only played with them, driving them out of the room. In a rush decision they choosed the way through the portal…

The appeared in an almost dark cave like structure where the floor and ceiling consistst out of dark fog. A path made out of this dark fog lead away and fearing a pursuit they head along the path. It turned out, that only a small portion of the path is solid fog. To the left and to the right the fog didn’t support and all things felt through.

They followed the path for some time until the reached a bisection. And soon it turns out that a whole labyrinth evolved in this shadowy world. After some time they found a plattform with a dead human on it, whcih seemed to have camped here. A logbook told them that he strived these ways for some months before he passed away. He called this region the “boarder” but a quick reading didn’t turned out any further information. The put up camp on the plattform and put up watches. During the night a six leged creature witch tentacles appeared and began to fight them and accused them to be “intruders” and asked them to leave or they will die. They finally drove it off and it just jumped through the dark fog.

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The Old Castle
Orcs and Dungeons

The heros fighted through the whole castle and took out the orcs one by one until they were discovered by one of the war trolls. After an epic battle in the middle of the old watchtower they discovered a dungeon below the destroyed north tower of the castle.

After a swift discussion they decided to enter the tunnel and seek out any remaining orks in these old tunnels. Quite soon it become obvious that the stonework of these tunnels is different than that of the old castle.

A group of orc guards tried to ambush them, but their wizard shortend the fight by burning them and as the hot winds from his fireball left the room, nothing than ashes remained.

They followed the corridors to the east and passed by some quarters that now seem abandon, but was used by huge humanoids.
Following the corridor they reached a looked iron door they managed to open and discovered a type of prison. The guards there didn’t hesitate and began to slaughter the prisonors. Sneaking around the guards they managed to stop the executioner after slaying only one of the prisonors and just before the unexpected present of a goblin warlock brought them all down.

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Revelations - Behind the Shadows
On the way to the old castle

The heros returned from the Lyceum of Magic and began to carefully study the Dark book. They studied the runes on the book cover and translated it as

The World behind the Shadows

As they read through it, It revealed a story of an ancient war:
The Gods of Good fought a battle against the Gods of Evil. After centuries of devestation they were at the edge of their victory and planning for destroying all evil for now and ever on. They forced METROCA, The Goddess Of Monster and Orozas, The Father of Horrors back into the shadows from where they evolved and sealed the shadows until the end of days.

But they were betrayed. One of their own kind revealed himself to be a trickster. He, who they named from then on CHAAH, The God of False and Trickery, fabricated the Ghost Moon. Spending it’s false light in the world behind the shadows and in the world of the mortals, providing a bridge between both.

Also they found instructions to construct a gate that would lead through the shadows. The rarest elements on the list they would need might be the umbra stones and the true piece of a god.

After they decided that no one should get this book, they headed to the old castle to investigate the rumors about strange sounds in the night.

They discovered that the castle was patroled by orcs. They sneaked their way into one of the towers and took out half a dozen guards without anybody noticing so far…

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