Dwarves of Vesuvious

On Honor's Ground
With great shows of courage... the last spark of civilization is preserved.

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With Connal emerging leading naught but a sacrificial band of armored criminals from the gates of Balesmeet, he and the best of the Dwarven heroes made a hard fought battle to the heart of the Orc, Goblin, and Giant army – brashly slaying it’s command, and inspiring the guard and rag-tag militia from the Human town to sound the charge.

Though the sacrifice was great, many Dwarven heroes were recovered, and kept in one of the few safe havens left in Balesmeet after the town was taken by betrayal from within, and force from outside. These heroes rose up, leading what would be the final evacuation of the town. Though most survivors chose to take their chances making the weeks of travel to the city of Saint Sinclaire, our heroes instead sought out the last bastion of strength against the greenskins – named camp Solidarity.

In the weeks before their arrival, the houses of the Dwarves have come up with a plan of desperation against their foes. Placing hope in the Legend of the mythical hammer Vek’Huros, parties sponsored by each of the noble houses are set to attempt to recover this artifact, carry it to the heart of Mount Vesuvious, the Firstforge, and smite the very mountain from Enchiridion. Although this horrible act is not agreed upon by all, most notably the group calling themselves Reclamation, each major house agrees to commit to the plan – weather a fool’s errand or a final act of retribution, camp Solidarity cannot hope to stand until reinforcements arrive… if they come at all.

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Tracking Corruption
The root of betrayal in Balesmeet begins to show...

The defenses of Balesmeet have been evaluated and recommendations for improvement given. The word has begun to spread on the streets that a war is coming, and any able bodies are needed to stand in the city’s defense. Still, many common people of Balesmeet are overshadowed by fear and hatred. Rumors fly of the murdered noblewomen, Faula Goldfield – and the Dwarves that were involved. It has also become suspected that a Doppelganger is active within the city, and may be related to the domestic troubles of late. Such a being could easily sabotage many defenses of the city, and would also be nearly impossible to track.

From Goldfield’s estate, and the demonic servants kept in her basement, our heroes are given the location of where a cult has been operating. It is believed that this cult may be supplying clan Phanobis with an extremely dangerous, tar-like reagent they call Morosi Gel. Largandis Phanobis wishes to know the source of this gel and how it has been coming to Shatterspear Down.

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Balesmeet Must Be Warned
Hostile roads lead to an unwelcome reception

After returning to Shatterspear Down, Connal Ironarm, Alice, and Thorvok reported immediately to the guard captain Cadik Tenton, as well as met hastily with the Thane Gelil Greyhem. Their successes were rewarded by Tenton, who was infuriated when he received a bag full of the beards of his fallen men. The head of the bugbear responsible was swiftly mounted to a great pike in front of the guard bunker. The three heroes were advised of a large amount of Orcish activity that had arisen in the East, toward Balesmeet, and that a warning must make it to the Human town.

After a night in the comforts of the Thane’s hall, and a hearty breakfast, the three set out to make Balesmeet in the best time they could. Breaking only for the shortest time to sleep, they pushed all the way to the Ambersea Outpost in just over 2 days. After taking out a passing Orcish scouting party, and taking an Ogre mercenary prisoner, the outpost was found abandoned, save for the Dragonborn Verkar. Verkar explained that the post had been abandoned some time ago by Lieutenant Ritrim and her allegedly corrupt guard. Choosing to rest well before making the final approach to Balesmeet, sounds within the outpost were traced to a secret cellar, which hid a cache of weapons, likely of goblin make. The weapons were destroyed that night, and the following morning, after questioning the Ogre, he was set free, under oath not to return. Verkar agreed to accompany the party to Balesmeet.

Upon arriving to Balesmeet, Connall and Alice were placed under arrest for numerous petty crimes. The two willingly spent the day in jail. Meanwhile, while reconnoitering the city’s defenses, Thorvok discovered a hidden passage leading under the city wall, apparently to somewhere in the noble district of town. While jailed, Connall and Alice were met with a familiar face, that of the guard who had been killed the last time they had left the town, Daniel Burmeister.

The group came together again to meet with the mayor, who reviewed and dropped the charges against the two, provided they would both swear to defend the city, should a threat fall upon it. Unfortunately, an Orcish mercenary company was also given leave to do the same. Their leader, Grek Bloodtounge, made no attempt to hide his treachery as he left with a knowing sneer.

Given leave to pursue their leads of corruption from within the city, the heroes must decide where to begin. Could Ritrim and her corrupt guard be tracked down? Or one of the citizens which were to be warned by the goblins to leave town? And what of the hidden tunnel beneath the city wall?

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Expelling the Filth

Having discovered the center of the goblin’s digging operations in the foothills, the heroes set out to deal a devastating blow to the diggers, starting at the top. Guided by grit-chewing Olithorpe Grimheim, they re-enter the ancient Gaerian tunnels through the spider cave. The spider rider marshal, Lubrid, attempted to halt this assault but was dispatched when trapped in a narrow hall of the tunnels. His possessions proved of immediate value, allowing the cunning Frederick to breach the fortifications of the goblin overseer, as well as indicating a number of individuals in Balesmeet as having been in cahoots with the impending goblin attack.

Catching the Overseer’s enforcement arm unprepared, the tactics of Connal Ironarm “of the Mountain” and the shamanic wisdom of Thorvok were able to easily dispatch his outer guard, interrupting the Overseer’s discussion with an orc liaison. Though hobgoblins emerged to protect their leader, and goblins flooded in and around the tiny Dwarven party, the explosive power of Volonzo’s arcane wit allowed bravery and determination to overcome overwhelming odds. With Alice the Executioner vaulting to his perch, he Overseer was felled, and the party escaped – grievously wounded, but without casualties!

Having crushed the Goblin overseer and narrowly escaped with their lives, the Heroes of Shatterspear Down make their way back to that last Dwarven holdout. Though great celebration would be called for, plans are already in motion to go to the aid of the human farming community of Balesmeet, which will soon fall under siege. Festivities must await a brighter day, but for the first time in decades, the Dwarves of Shatterspear can again see a path to that glory. Through victory or death, honor is again within reach. But amidst distrust and bad, old, blood, will history repeat itself, and turn honor into vengeance?

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