The Last Age of Heroes

The Price of Freedom

Clapped in irons, and held by chains, even the very idea of being heroes was stripped from the party. A prison wagon carried them toward a towering building, and after being stripped of their gear, the members of the group were lead deep into the Marshal’s Prison.

Thrown in a cell to be forgotten, the party found the corners of their small cell, and seemed to lose any semblance of cohesion. Stuck in near complete darkness, the shadows and sleep deprivation played queer tricks on the minds of the party, or at least they hoped they were tricks.

After some hours, Broken Tooth had had enough. He pulled his body through the bars, injuring himself in the process, and went about getting the keys and helping his cell mates escape.

Perhaps a good plan to start with, fate was against the party. Broken Tooth snagging the keys woke the guards. Broken Tooth ran back to the party in the guise of a wolf to warn the other members and prepare them for the incoming guards. However, the party, never seeing Broken Tooth turn into a wolf before, were rightly surprised at finding a wolf deep in the underground prison.

Murdoc Sticknee once again enlarged Drogan, allowing him to grab one of the guards with his now monstrously large hands and crush him like a nut between his palm. The party then expected Mytharis to grab the other guard, who was easily in reach, but Mytharis merely stood there, watching the ensuing chaos. The poor guard was not a match even for an imprisoned party, and was soon crushed by Drogan as well.

Once the cell was open, the party, including Mytharis, sprung into action retrieving their possessions and gearing up, but not before hearing an unnerving child-like laugh coming from behind the walls, Mytharis swore he saw a pair of eyes and found a spot where the wall could easily be broken down. The party then barricaded the door and headed into the hole in the wall.

The party traveled underground and found themselves in some kind of tunnel system that belonged to what may have been the original settlement of Carpenden, before it was named as such.

Some of the party managed a quick sleep, under guard of Mytharis, and then began to move again. The party had not expected this, and while they were weary of traps, they also knew that behind them were the soldiers of Carpenden.

After some time, the party found an old sign, decayed and barely legible were the words “Odd’s Lane,” which Murdoc took as further proof of his thesis that this was the original settlement of Carpenden. This bizarre piece of knowledge seemed to bother some of the party, but there was no time to further pick at Murdoc’s mind.

At some point, the party found a mostly intact door of a large and mostly intact manor. The door was covered in scratches, and far more worryingly, bits of finger nails. Were there a third option, the party may have gone another way, but it was forward or back, and they could not go back.

Inside was even more terrible, scratches on the walls, the ceiling, and the floor, much like those on the door, but in every direction and every surface. The team carefully tread further into the manor, finding chests and bits of a doll. At one point, Drogan became filled with rage. The party watched as he slammed his ax into the wall, and every other member of the took a step back and not entirely due to Drogan’s rage. What should have released bugs, dirt, and bits of wood instead the walls bled. Blood poured out of the walls, pooling and coagulating.

This should have led to a conversation at the very least, but the party heard a child, they looked around and realized the child was inside the walls. The child told them that if they collected the doll parts, she would help them. The party members all had different feelings about the child and her honesty.

The party continued to pick up the pieces of the doll and faced monsters disguised as chests, and queer artifacts which filled the party with fear until they were destroyed.

With the pieces of the doll collected, the party headed past a threshold, where some nefarious magic twisted and bent the laws of the world. The party then found the girl, sucking on bones of a long dead corpse.

This was all Mytharis needed to condemn the “child” he shot an arrow at her, and saw her eyeless face as she melted into the walls. The party then began a mad rush, filling chests in their new reality with the doll pieces from their old one. The walls seemed to be pulsing as if a heart, and blood began to trickle and then flood the halls. The walls would shift as the pieces of the doll were put in their correct places, but the “house” seemed to become increasing demonic in the process.

During this mad dash, an artifact of fear forced Murdoc to run for his life, the party heard him scream and chased after him, but he was gone. Mytharis then redoubled his pace, ignoring everything except the chests which needed a piece of the doll. When the final piece was replaced, the wall exploded in spectacular fashion, blood, bone, and sinew bursting our and the floors were filled with blood covering the knees of the party. All of the previous walls began to reform into just four walls, the party finding themselves in a tower made of blood and muscle.

In the middle of the room formed a massive golem, constructed of the family that once resided in the house, towered above the members of the group, but Mytharis instead focused upon the “girl” crawling on her hands and knees across one of the walls. Mytharis pointed toward the golem and shouted to Drogan to deal with it, whilst he charged at “girl.”

The “girl” shot her barbed tongue toward him, knocking it to the side he stabbed at the monster. She clawed at him again and his blade once again deflected the attack and pierced the monster. She began to crawl away up the wall and by magic shimmed and then disappeared. Mytharis prayed to Heironeous and stabbed his blade at a patch of wall with all his might. For a moment, there was nothing. But then, the “girl” shimmered back into existence, Mytharis’ blade deep into her heart as she fell further down the sword and dropped into the pool of blood, never again to rise.

Drogan and Broken Tooth looked at the towering behemoth of blood and muscle, and knew they had their work cut out for them. Broken Tooth hammed the golem with a bolt of lightning. While mundane muscle would have tightened and froze, the creature of magic muscle seemed only empowered. Drogan then charged the creature, slashing it’s “legs,” its tendril-like arms, and its massively fleshy torso. Drogan was whipped several times by the monster but Broken Tooth took the brunt of the damage and was laid low. Broken Tooth had barely fallen when Drogan finally severed the bonds that kept the monster together.

Mytharis had just vanquished the “girl,” when he saw Drogan heroically rushing towards Broken Tooth’s body floating in the blood. Drogan slid into the pooled water and poured healing liquid down Broken Tooth’s throat, reviving him.

The blood walls began to crumble and the room they were in turned into an old manor, deep outside the city. The party was not underground at all, but topside, and through a large window they could see the town of Carpenden. They were out of the prison and far from immediate retribution from the soldiers.

The party was free of Carpenden, but as they searched the manor high and low with no sight of Murdoc, they began to wonder, at what cost?

View
Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Hearing the salamander so closer, the group was about to head out when they were stopped by a guard captain who had previously had a discussion with Drogan. The man wanted to know more about the group, but someone higher up in the military called down to the captain and began chewing him out. Seizing this opportunity, the group headed to Ash Hill, to a well where Mytharis had found an ash trail belonging to the beast.

With barely any notice, Mytharis jumped straight into the well, and began tracking, the rest of the group given little choice but to follow. Luckily, Murdoc Sticknee and Broken Tooth were around to create magical sources of light for the rest of the party to see.

Long minutes passed in the foul waters, bits a refuse pilled up slowly moving across the surface of the water… or was it refuse? The party reached the end of the trail when Drogan noticed one of these “piles” seemed to have an impetus of its own. Mytharis charged in, slashing the ooze into pieces, but the pieces each seemed to have their own will. Murdoc began to set the area ablaze, making short work of the smaller pieces, whilst Mytharis cut the larger pieces apart with Drogan and Broken Tooth stuck watching. As the flames slowly died down, the group found no trace of the sludge, it was vanquished.

With the momentary distraction defeated, Mytharis searched for a passage foward, and found one in the form of an odd crack in the wall. He climbed up and headed forward, forcing the group once again to follow his lead. A mix between shuffling and crawling was required to move through the tight space, there was a moment of certainty at the beast being just ahead, but the moment passed and the certainty failed.

The group found themselves surrounded by armed guards, in some kind of underground room. The captain they had previously met was there, and was still fuming at the group’s “escape.” However, the guards were stumped on how to find and deal with the beast, and Murdoc managed to convince them of their need for the heroes.

After some investigation, and some help from the guards, the group learned they were in the catacombs of a temple dedicated to Pelor, a fact which caused Mytharis to spit on the floor and almost ensued a fight. The party looked over an eviscerated monk, and followed an ash and blood trail to the higher levels, where the creature burst out of a stained glass window and seemed to have disappeared.

Without a clear trail, and with the sudden appearance of rain, Murdoc suggested that the creature jumped to the roof of a nearby house. This was enough to get Mytharis going and he began jumping from house to house, following what he believed was the beast’s trail. Only Murdoc’s queer magic could keep up with Mytharis, and Drogan and Broken Tooth were forced to give chase on the ground.

The trail ended deep in Oakmount at a rather large estate. The lights on the ground floor cued the group into the fact that a noble party was occurring, the the large presence of guardsmen indicated the importance. The group was given two choices, either sneak in or talk their way in.

Mytharis, through years of experience, was certain that there was no chance of him getting in even with the help of the most silver tongued of companions, and so he opted to sneak in.

The rest of the group, knowing that they lacked the abilities necessary to stay as quiet as Mytharis, decided to talk their way in.

Mytharis, like shadow itself, charged over the walls, flew up a trellis, and slid into the house slowly skirt around and finding himself, for a moment, stuck as he discovered the staircase to the top level was bathed in light and impossible to move across without being seen.

The party began to deal with guardsmen and servants, pressing their need to get into the house. The seneschal told them that this was the residence of the consul marshal but refused to let them in, even when told of the monster inside and danger the household was in. Refusing to be budged, the seneschal returned inside, leaving the group outside.

It had been but a few moments for the outside party when Mytharis, focusing on his innate demonic abilities, bathed the room in shadow, scampering up the stairs in the following darkness and panic. The guards outside, hearing the group’s warnings, let the rest of the party in, and they too chased up the stairs as best as they could.

In the only room at the top of the house, Mytharis kicked the door in and found himself staring at the creature, bowed in service to an old man. The creature howled as Mytharis charged, skewering the creature on his sword as if with a lance. The rest of the party joined in and this second beast was quickly put to rest.

The party then all turned and faced this old man, sitting in terror. They learned he was a nobleman, Cantus von Evreich. That the beast pledge itself to him and he knew not why. This was not in the least bit acceptable to Mytharis, however.

Putting his sword to the old man’s neck, MYtharis demanded that the man admit his crime, consorting with a demon. Cantus denied it, cried and begged for mercy, begged for Mytharis to believe his innocence. As Mytharis drew up his sword and slashed the man in two, Mytharis decreed, “Innocence proves nothing.”

The party was in shock, if they had not yet questioned their trust of Mytharis, they certainly were now. And as the sounds of dozens of guard’s boots marching up the stairs found purchase in the parties ears, they perhaps wished they had never walked a step with this half-demon.

View
A Moment's Rest, But No More

With Mytharis pushing the part at an uncomfortable speed, the party arrived at Carpenden in the evening two days later. Soldiers stood in formation around the town of hills, their blue and white heraldry visible even in the darkness.

The party found their way into the city, with Broken Tooth quickly slinking off towards what nature could be found in a city, and the rest headed into a nearby inn. The Huntsmen and the Heart was not at all prepared for the three party members. The innkeeper, assistant, and stable boy could barely keep up with the needs of the party, but everything smoothed out eventually and without much trouble.

Come morning, the party separated, searching for clues, gear, and conversation with those more to their liking. Drogan managed to speak to a watch captain and discovered that the monster was indeed in the city. Murdoc Sticknee found a drunkard who had actually been present at the attack, and Mytharis picked up a trail of ash, leading down into a well and beneath the town.

The party regathered at the inn and shared their new information with one another. They were about to check out the well but as they headed outside, they were stopped by a soldier. A military parade was passing through the area and the party was forced to stop and watch. They noticed in particular an exquisitely dress man guarded by a fair amount of armed cavalry.

The sense of protection the group might have gained from such a display of force was robbed of all effect, as a familiar haunting howl wailed as night fell.

View
Heresy and Horticulture

With Mytharis emboldened by Heironeous’ statue, and the rest of the group happy for the short reprieve, the team of adventures turned back around, heading further into the goblin lair.

The first stop for the adventures was the goblin “barracks.” Barracks by the loosest definition, the collection of beds were covered in mud, mold, and far less savory things. In almost complete darkness, the group was attacked by a few of the more stealthy goblins.

Murdoc Sticknee decided Drogan could uses a boost and then quickly dispatch the goblins. He used his arcane prowess to enlarge Drogan. Unfortunately the room was already too small for Drogan to stand up in at his normal height, grown to a dozen feet in height in the span of an instant, Drogan was crushed and all but stuck. With Drogan’s abilities hampered, the bulk of the fighting fell on Broken Tooth and Mytharis, though Murdoc eventually added a small being of pure fire to help the group out. Luckily the goblin proved little challenge, even with the group at less than full force.

With the goblins vanquished, the group headed further down into the depths of the cave. They discovered a room of discarded riches and chests of treasure. However, Drogan had barely entered the room when the group descended into chaos.

Murdoc found himself in the center of the room, being drawn down into the earth as if standing in quicksand.

Drogan was attack by a fleet of spiders, from all corners of the room the descended upon him and there seemed no end of them.

Mytharis, reaching back for his blade as he entered his room. Grabbed a vicious viper instead, Mytharis threw it to the ground and ran back up the path.

Broken Tooth stood there, watching his companions go crazy, there was no sinking sand, only a man stepping up and down on a level surface, no spiders, only an old man swinging his staff wildly, and no serpent, just a discarded sword. The rest of the group had barely began composing themselves when the culprit descended.

A basidirond. A plant like entity with a central stalk and an inverted bell cap of a flower filled with dangerous, mind-affecting spores. Four stalk leggings kept the creature up, and an array of tendril whips warned the party to keep their distance.

The party set itself upon the creature. It’s whip like appendages sending dangerous spores through the air, burning the skin and lungs should the attacks strike true. However, between Broken Tooth’s magical assistance, an flaming orb courtesy of Murdoc, and the savage strikes of Drogan, all that was left was a powerful finishing strike by Mytharis, sliding under the entity and bisecting it.

The party hunted deeper into the caverns, slicing goblins, goblin dogs, and anything else that stood in their way. At the of their journey, the party found the most deadly match yet. The first, an orc of untold physical strength. It mattered not however, Murdoc’s wand of laughter saw the orc brought down, and Drogan and Mytharis finished the butcher work. But, in the shadow of a shadow, the true might existed. A female orc with untold strength of spirit, all but hidden from sight, used its magic to cause the most powerful blow of all, a strike from Mytharis upon Drogan, almost laying him low.

Broken Tooth, with his queer type of knowledge, unleashed a burst as if from the sun itself into the room. For an instant, the orc’s invisibility shimmered, but an instant was all Broken Tooth needed, as he threw his lit spear into the flesh of the creature. And that too was all Murdoc needed. Once more his wand of laughter shot out into the void, and stuck true. And again, Drogan found himself in the occupation of the butcher.

The High Way Men arrived from the caverns exit, and was the massacre that had taken place. The High Way Men guided the party out of the caves and back into the light. They granted a boon as well, in the form of a signet ring “H.W.M.” that the eldest one bestowed on Murdoc.

The party picked out a spot to camp and began setting down for the night. Broken Tooth and Murdoc had clearly proven themselves this day, and Drogan’s blade was as deadly as even. Mytharis was filled with doubt for the first time since he could remember.

He was a knight of his order, the Sword of Heironeous, blessed by the high priest himself. He had passed his seven trials earlier than anyone, and had decades of fighting left in him. With the sight of Heironeous’ statue, Mytharis should have become an avatar of his deity, but heretic magic and foul plants bested him in his mind.

It was during this unfortunate period of self-loathing that Drogan walked away from the camp and pulled out figurines of his gods, and Mytharis was none the wiser.
View
A Statue of Light, A Cavern of Dark

With the salamander slain and a night of rest, Mytharis awoke early, eager to be off. However, Broken Tooth had awoken already, and was waiting just outside Mytharis’ tent. They discussed a potential alliance, hunting down the creature that had made such a terrifying sound late in the previous night. Mytharis agreed hesitantly, and Broken Tooth headed to the hamlet to grab the other two adventures.

Murdoc Sticknee had been awake for hours by the time Broken Tooth found him, studying his new found treasures from the salamander’s prison. As for Drogan, he was asleep. Very much asleep. It took quite a while and several spear pokes to wake him up. Broken Tooth gathered this new band and finally met up with a very impatient Mytharis, who set off on a path to the West almost instantly.

It only took an hour to find a well traveled road that would increase the parties speed to the town of Carpenden, roughly two days away. This was seen as the most likely place for the salamander to have headed, and upon finding the road, Mytharis redoubled the groups speed at a pace uncomfortable to most.

Before long, the party ran into an old man sitting by the road. Not only did he look like the kind of bandit Mytharis was expecting previously, his three companions (another man, an elf, and a dwarf) looked just as suspicious. They introduced themselves as “High Way Men,” and were loathed to be compared to highway men. These were supposedly watchers and protectors of the road, not villains and thieves. It seemed easier to throw a gold coin their way than to figure out the truth of the matter, so that is what Mytharis did. Drogan passed by giving some gold and Broken Tooth passed by looking far poorer than the High Way Men. Murdoc, however, decided to have a long debate with the leader of this new band, and was not interested at parting with any coin.

Mytharis and Drogan, at their quickened pace soon left Murdoc far behind. But, the second man of the High Way Men managed to catch up with them, and convinced them to have a short talk with the old man about a pressing issue on the road.

The old man told them of a nearby set of caves where goblins had been living and pestering travelers for sometime. The High Way Men asked for assistance in clearing the caves, offering everything inside the caverns as reward. Whether convinced by the plight of the High Way Men, interested in treasure, or simply wanting to stick together, the entire party joined this new band, and went goblin hunting.

The High Way Men took position at one of the larger cave entrances, and the band of adventures went in through the other. Much to their displeasure, a “large cave entrance” for a goblin, is not a large cave entrance for non -goblins. Murdoc and Broken Tooth were forced to hunch down through most of the caves, while Drogan and Mytharis were all but crawling.

The party traveled down and down, deeper and deeper, the cavern walls wet and muddy. Muck holes and stale water. And dark, very dark. Mytharis led the way, without need for light he was the perfect guide for this task. Eventually the caves grew in height and Drogan and Mytharis could stand tall. They found a large natural room and were beginning to search in went from a side and above four perched goblins unleashed a volley of arrows.

Mytharis climbed the wall at a speed unexpected, reaching the top and instantly cleaving a goblin in twain. Murdoc reacted quickly as well, forcing a goblin down with a wand that caused terrible laughter upon its victims. Broken tooth began firing from the ground with a sling. And Drogan tried to match Mytharis, making it to the top of the wall but without the speed necessary to also attack.

The battle was over before it began, the two standing goblins finished by Broken Tooth and Murdoc from below, and the final goblin executed by Mytharis’ merciless blade.

But, there were still sounds, and the group charged forward to meet them.

Chasing sounds, horrible smells, and flickering fire light, the group eventually found themselves in the largest room so far. Bathed in light by a large fire, it might have been a comfort, if not for the smell or burning leather, wood, and flesh.

The group head the next group of “ambushers” before they saw them, but battle was once again forced upon them. Four more goblins, this time led by a full blood orc. Mytharis picked the orc out as his target, to the exclusion of all others, leaving the 3 remaining adventures to deal with just four goblins.

Drogan had already begun dealing with the goblins when there was yet more noise. But this time, from behind. A ravenous pack of 12 goblin dogs beset themselves upon the adventures, with claw and tooth. Broken Tooth used his nature magic to pull roots from the ground, ensnaring the beasts. Murdoc unleashed a ball of pure flame, rolling through the creatures, setting them alight. And Drogan charged with mad fury, slicing large swaths of ground and everything else in his way.

Meanwhile, Mytharis fought his own battle. The orc was as strong and vicious as Mytharis, and by the distraction of a goblin sneak attack, Mytharis’ flank was left open to a critical strike from the orc. Reeling from the blow. Mytharis took a second wind, and returned the orcs critical with one of his own. The last goblin barely catching the orc’s severed head before Mytharis ended his life as well.

Refusing to quit, regardless of the severity of his injuries, Mytharis pushed the group forward to a “Y” intersection. One path was left untrodden, which peak the interest of everyone. Mytharis took a look first, and it was good that he did, for there was a pit trap almost immediately on this new path!

The group cleared the trap and headed forward for but a few minutes when Mytharis found a treasure he could not put a value on. A stature of Heironeous. Slightly damaged, but still together, the mere presence of the statue had kept the goblins away, and warmed Mytharis’ heart. He bowed down in prayer immediately. The rest of the group looked around. finding nothing and in a short time they found themselves waiting for Mytharis. He finished his prayers and rose, ready to clear the caves with a renewed sense of his deities protection.

View
A Strange Meeting for Strange Companions

Having traveled for several days already, Mytharis found himself surprised by the lack of encounters traveling through a known bandit area. On this particular evening, he found himself on a crossroads, the paths connecting to a signpost pillar of some kind. He was not alone.

On one path, a peculiar old man was fighting his bird, on another a large man was eating a leg of some animal. Uncertain of their intentions, Mytharis slipped into the forest, only a few moment before the ground itself began to shake and crack.

The ground split and sunk where the crossroads once was. The old man and the large figure began to sink into the growing abyss. Mytharis charged to help the figures, however, the old man turned out to wield some kind of magic Mytharis was unfamiliar with, and he slid from certain doom to a nearby tree… and then fell. Mytharis managed to reach the large man and help him up before he fell into the growing darkness.

With all the collapsing finished, Mytharis saw a container of metal, large enough to hold even his own self in. He slid down on a rope to investigate, as did the other two he hardly knew. It was a strange place he found himself in, sound of all kinds seemed amplified, and his new acquaintances were anything but quiet. He reached the container and began to investigate. It was made of cold iron, a material he was all too familiar with but was burned through with large amounts of fire. As he began pouring holy water onto the ashes inside the case, two things happened. The large man knocked on the container and then a terrifying scream came from somewhere inside the hole. It was almost enough to distract Mytharis from the holy water that was burning through the ashy residue. Almost.

Mytharis found the source of the sound, a shallow cavern, and rushed as fast as he could go, tracking the path of ash through the cavern to the outdoors and beyond into deep woods and finally a small hamlet. The individuals he had so recently met forgotten in his haste to chase his newest quarry.

Drogan and the old man took a different approach. They searched the cavern thoroughly. Finding old books and a tapestry possibly revealing the more about this beast freed from his metal cage. Drogan then pressed on, attempting to track the beast and the horned man that had darted after it. However, Drogan’s tracking skills were not up to par, especially in the dark and in no time he was lost… and under attack by three beasts he could barely see.

Luckily the old man Murdoc Sticknee had finished his search in the caverns and ran into another strange character, Broken Tooth. Broken Tooth led the old man towards Drogan where the three of them dispatched the three boars that were attacking Drogan. Afterwards Broken Tooth lead the two men to a nearby hamlet, his knowledge of the forest allowing them to catch up to Mytharis.

Still on the hunt, Mytharis made a brief note at the return of the two travelers, as well as this third new figure. But he had prey to catch and he moved swiftly but silently threw the houses in search of it. Silent enough to not be seen, but not so silent as to disturb nothing. The people of the hamlet came out in droves, finding not Mytharis, but instead Drogan, the old man, and Broken Tooth. The old man managed to convince the people that they were there to help. As the three, followed by the entire hamlet, searched the area, Mytharis had finally seen his quarry and chased it into a barn, but not before accidentally running into some glass and alerting the search party. Mytharis searched the low areas of the barn and then went up a ladder to search the high, but as his head crested the top floor of the barn, he found his prey, and it attacked.

Mytharis and the creature fell to the ground and Mytharis got his first good look at this creature: a salamander. Mytharis went on the attack knowing how difficult this fight would be for him alone. But he was not alone. The door to the barn burst open as Drogan charged forward in a mad dash of boiling rage, followed by Broken Tooth and his magic of nature. The old man decided to help as well, from a distance. He summoned a large spider and thankfully told the group the spider was an ally. With magical aid, the swift but sure strikes of Mytharis, and the wild but powerful swings of Drogan the beast’s fate was sealed. An hour long chase ended in under a half-minute of combat as Drogan split the beast in half, and the beast turned into ash. The villagers cheered this queer band but neither Broken Tooth nor Mytharis stayed long. The old man and Drogan stayed for food and even rested in the house of the hamlets unofficial mayor. All was well…

Until some of the party heard a loud shriek familiar to the one the beast they had slain made far into the distance. They had won this battle, but it would not be their last.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.