Classic DCC

Travel to Goldenshaw (12/18/2012)
Campaign Journal

Your band is finally winding it’s way downward along the rocky trade route descending into the Iri Valley flanked on either side by the tall Eoral Mountain peaks of your home.

It should take 3 or 4 days to reach the small town of Goldenshaw of which you’ve heard is a trade crossroads low in the valley but have never visited, in fact, in two days you will have travelled further than you’ve ever been in your adult life.

On your first day you make careful progress down the steep and treacherous mountain trails but by the end of that day you’ve arrived at a green valley lush with long-leaf pine and before you descend into the tree-line you see it continues for as far as the eye can see. You did not encounter any other travellers.

Day two, your progress is slowed by having to push the pull-carts through several soft and mushy sections especially down the center of the valley where a shallow blue ribbon winds it’s way down the center of the Iri Valley. By the end of the day you reach the eastern side of the valley and proceed through the pines. You notice clouds begin to cover the evening sky and spot shelter near a set of tall boulders which would provide an awning in case of rain. Just before you reach the boulders…

You’re startled as a large snowy-white stag silently leaps onto the road and regards you from a few yards away, it’s as if time stands still for a moment and then it disappears on the other side of the trail.

You all recall there’s an old saying back in Wildhood about a white stag, but sadly you none of you paid enough attention to the elders to remember.

Day three, travel resumes along the piney trail. It is uneventful but the light descends into gray as the sky fills with low hanging clouds. By the late evening the heavens open up with a crack of lightning and a barrage of large cool drops drumming on your heads and push-carts.

You realize you’ll be drenched in a few seconds and then you spot a hearty fire through the trees on the east side of the trail.

Within a magical protective ‘bubble’ you meet Burkhart Ackerman the Mystical. Once he hears about the Sinous Tunnels he proposes a ‘deal’. He is compiling a tome called Florilegium Abominabile a catalog of particularly horrendous creatures containing a complete description of their origin, habits, powers, etc. He asks the group to explore the underground tunnels, reporting on any strange monsters. He provides equipment necessary for them to catalogue the aberrations. Base payment is 250gp per aberration properly described; bodies or significant portions thereof presented to Burkhart are worth twice this amount, and captured living will award 1000gp. He also explains he was moving towards the Great Ravine pursuing rumors that there was a fabled tentacled creature within. He provides a means for communication (Vial of Dust to throw up in the air.)

Fourth day, they begin to see a thinning of the trees and some isolated farm-lands until you encounter the sobbing mother and child on the road…

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Travel to Goldenshaw (1/2/2013)

The group hurried through the thicket and brush until they uncovered a small stone pyramid with a square top. The symbols of a compass, hammer and chisel arranged in a triangle. They quickly deployed a couple of ropes and Balan followed by Glover dropped down the 65ft+ shaft until they dropped into the main tunnel. They were about to proceed down the tunnel when a great heavy gray mossy carpet landed on top of Balan plunging the hallway into muffled darkness. More help came later and ultimately the creature was incinerated. Balan wiped the acid from his skin with oil but it burned just enough to bring him down. He required a dose of the healing salve to make it back to life (barely.) They quickly found Ada who was hiding in a metal car a few feet down the tunnel. She’s scuffed up but otherwise unharmed thanks to the soft ground directly below the tunnel opening. The group noticed the uncanny workmanship of the surrounding stone tunnel and parallel tracks but decided that they should return the child to its mother and rest up for the night and perhaps come back later.

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Goldenshaw (1/9/2013)

A rich and sonorous rooster crow awakens the crew. The smell of eggs and bacon is overwhelming and the sizzling of the cooking is music to your ears. You find [Mother’s name] busy at work. She is ordering Ada to set the table and Arik to fetch some fresh goat’s milk for the breakfast. [Mother’s name] shares with the group her gratitude and attempts to give them a couple of chickens and a quilt as a reward for their efforts. She confides that since her husband died it’s all she can do to fend for herself and keep the farmstead. She knows little about Goldenshaw and generally keeps out of the town. She knows of a good Inn where one of her cousin “Leanaya” works “The Winders Way”, mention her name and they may get a rate reduction.
[Mother’s name] knows little about the surrounding area except that she knows there’s a port city to the south called New Pippenmount. She has never seen and only slightly heard about the King of Adwellia but knows there are soldiers who are stationed in Goldenshaw. She lives on the land of Lord Jex, who has a manor to the west and contributes a portion of her produce in exchange for the use and protection, she warns the group to not ‘stand out’ so much so as to not draw out the Lord’s militia.

As the group approaches Goldenshaw

…Faint scents of moist earth and horse manure harken your arrival to Goldenshaw. Cresting a low hill the trail winds it’s way through shallow streams towards the town. It is encircled by a 15ft tall palisade and has an obvious large open entrance. There is an armored foot soldier near the entrance, he wears a gleaming white tunic with cerulean markings, one in shape of a diamond. When you approach he explains this is the King’s land and that “Men at arms” are to register officially, which can allow for paid services as the King tames the surrounding lands. Everyone signed in with their ‘real’ names. The guard’s name is Fronan. Above on the palisade, armed with a cross-bow is “Drit” another guard.

Once in town the group proceeds to the temple of Gorhan and meet Calindonadrius. They ask him to please prepare everything they can for their upcoming mission for Gorhan and the Golden Disks.

Later on at the tavern, the group finds out that New Pippenmont, a town on the coast a day or so to the south has seen many more soldiers and that there is talk of a fleet arriving any day now. They both come from a land several weeks to the south overseas called Adweilla. They get the sense that the King of this land is not hostile and in fact there is a sense of understanding and collaboration in this ‘frontier’ land.

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Tunnels (1/17/2013)
Back to the tunnels!

You spent the night with Ada’s mother “Lina” at the small farmstead. You set out early, shortly after dawn to attract the least attention leaving your pack-mule and two oxen in Lina’s care and dove into the tall weeds towards the tunnel shaft. Quickly before the morning sun was too bright you set up a (single?) rope system to descend into the darkness. By the quivering eerie light of your torches you investigated an ancient ‘cart’ which once upon the tracks made a perfect connection.

Everyone packed into the 9 passenger cart and you rumbled forth at a full walking pace. It was then when the keen-eyed Cersie LaFontaine spotted the blot on the ceiling ahead and shouted the warning for Glover to heed. Several of the company deserted the rolling cart and lit up pre-prepared oil flasks hurling them in flaming arcs towards the creature. Only Fryx’s aim was true enough to catch part of the enormous gray carpet with some flames. The remaining passengers braced for the eventual drop by setting their javelins while the cart was pushed forth to maximum speed. The creature crawled along the ceiling towards the cart and timed a perfect hunting drop covering the cart but suffering greatly from the prickly landing (It is a miracle the cart did not continue forth at maximum speed and instead began to stop.) The trapped occupants began to burn instantly from the digestive juices and struggled to escape the dank, wet and heavy blanket of death. True to form, their minecart carried their lucky hafling charm and Fryx was able to pop his hand through a tear in the blanket and douse the creature with a swath of flaming oil which consumed a large hole in the center of the creature by which all escaped. As they watched, the cart rolled to a stop near the dessicated corpse of an old demi-human. By the light of the burning growth, the party examined the body finding a platinum ring with intricate geometric designs. After some healing and the pronouncement of Lady Malessandra’s test of Humility, the group ponders its next move…

The group proceeded down the tunnel for 1000’ additional feet (dessicated corpse along for the ride) and came upon another tunnel which branched off to the left and a small alcove to the right. They slowed the cart down and disembarked. The alcove revealed a slightly smudged possibly ancient chalk drawing of a Hammer on stone wall, it was touched and searched but did not reveal any secrets.

The group made it’s way down the hallway with Lady Malessandra leading, her eyes aflare with ‘magic sensing’… There were two rooms on the left which were explored, one empty and another replete with ancient rusting stone tools and wheelbarrows. A small hallway branched to the right which ended in a sturdy iron-bound door which was locked and in good condition. It was checked but not forced. Next the group proceeded to the end of the corridor where their light could barely reach. Malessandra had nearly reached the threshold of the open double doors which gave entrance to a workshop of sorts characterized by a cart in the center, various tools seemingly discarded on the floor and chains with hooks hanging from the ceiling, when she was set upon by a group of unearthly dwarves with glowing red eyes. The dwarves moved quickly yet in a twitchy fashion. Their hands were shaped like hammers and they used these to bash the group. A frantic breech fight ensued. These dwarves were silent and resilient and once hit with a weapon would let out a frightening wail and their hands would turn into sledge hammers! After a over a minute of intense fighting and powerful Gorham magic from Romak and Malessandra, the battle was won and all the dwarves lay about on the ground along with Cercie LaFontaine, struck down by a powerful hammer-hand. Glover leaned against a wall, his eyes blinded by the dwarve’s red glow. The clerics brought Cercie back from the brink of death and Glover’s eyes recuperated shortly thereafter.

Continued exploration led to large ‘hall’ with an imposing somewhat dark and transparent crystal column dominating the room. Ancient script circled its way along the bottom of the column. Here (pardon my briefness) the group encountered two more strange red-eye glowing dwarves which they dispatched with little trouble. Then in an adjoining column-filled room with a balcony they explored the remains of what appeared to be a great collapse of the continuation of the tunnel and perhaps combat from years bygone… upstairs they discovered an impossibly preserved body of a beautiful dwarven (priestess?) but the group was attacked by strange and deadly shadows… Glover barely escaped with his life as the shadows were kept at bay and then destroyed by a collective effort…

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Upanesh Tunnels (1/23/2013)
Out again...

The group was mesmerized by the priestess and lovingly took her medallion (Cersie) and metal-bound book of accounts (Romak) from it. McGuinness would not depart without her entire body as well. So the dead and beautifully preserved priestess displaced the body of the ancient dwarven miner in the mine-cart.

Before leaving they realized that only a small area further down the tunnel needed to be explored. An area of rising debris with what appeared to be a crater below and above a certain area. The group searched around and found coins and even an old ear to which they found a gem-bearing earring attached. They knew they were onto something and began to dig with more fervor…

Then as they reached what appeared to be the handle of a weapon… a new group of shadowy spirit shapes coalesced and begun a new attack. After a pitched battle a fortunate “turn un-holy” (the beginning of a wonderful relationship between halfling luck and clerics of Gorhan) was able to repel the shapes for long enough so that the weapon could be retrieved.

Balan held the beautiful warhammer first and witnessed a vision:

A barrel-chested dwarf stands in a tunnel identical to the one you are in now, except that there is no wall of rubble. His chainmail, warhammer, and long, braided beard are coated with blood and other foul substances. Pale light emanates from his warhammer as he swings it in mighty arcs, felling one man, then another, and finally a wavering creature of wispy fog. Now his enemies surround him, pressing close, and you sense that his end is near.

The dwarf’s foes are a shadowy mass ready to overwhelm him. Then he raises the warhammer above his head and his enemies shrink back, granting him a little space. He shouts in a booming voice that echoes from the tunnel walls, “As I shall never leave this place, neither shall you! You will rot in here forever! Upan, aid your servant!” Jagged lightning arcs from the hammer to the ceiling, shattering the rock and burying the combatants.

Balan stowed the warhammer and the party, tired and spent rode the mine cart back to the original entrance.

On their way up the ropes they met Rannok the leader and Oberon the thief (along with 4 other militiamen from Jex’s manor.) After some tense negotiations, Fronan from Goldenshaw spoke on behalf of the group (as registered men-at-arms) and negotiated a safe passage back to Goldenshaw.

On the way the group promised to help Fronan by investigating tales of a cursed village a day’s travel from Goldenshaw.

That evening Glover spoke with Ada’s mother and offered her a safe-haven in the mountains if she wanted to leave Jex’s lands. She said she would await Glover’s return before she made a decision.

Then the group went to Goldenshaw to gather up the provisions promised by Calindonadrius.

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