The Scales of War

Through the portal
Recap to Nov 1 '09

After learning of the involvement of a dark creeper named Modra in the orc assault on the citadel of Bodrin’s Watch and the caverns beneath the Stonehome Mountains, Sideon’s Army investigated leads hinting at Modra’s involvement with the Lost Ones, Overlook’s thieves guild. Following a lead on Modra to a series of caverns beneath the city, the adventureres discovered a crackling dimensional portal guarded by strange shadow creatures. The party fought the creeper in a pitched battle before the strange portal as it grew more and more unstable. A tendril of shadowy darkness emanated from the portal and struck Modra, who disappeared from the room. Shortly thereafter, a burst of darkness emanating from the portal swept Sideon’s Army through the arcane doorway…

The unconscious party members first awoke to a familiar sight – the hall of the Court of Dreams. After a brief inquiry, the Court sent the party back to their bodies through the Dream, yielding more disturbing visions of horrors to come. The Army awoke to a strangely familiar, yet oddly reversed and gloomy portal chamber. Nearly identical yet reversed from the room the party just left, those of the companions with an arcane bent immediately recognized their surroundings – the Shadowfell.

Following signs of a struggle leading out of the portal chamber to the outdoors, the group found the vast expanse of shadowy plain, dominated by a huge volcano spewing reddish-black lava into a great rift and an immense tower atop a rocky crag. A short 1/4 mile to the north, situated between the mountain and the tower on the barren plains below, an immense army camp lay sprawled before the party. Glimpses from afar revealed that the camp was not uniform, but rather a collection of mercenaries of all races, and the party set out to see if they could blend in. Along the way, they were hailed by two dark creeper guards, who threatened them if they wandered too far from the camp.

Emboldened, the Army explored the camp and gathered what information it could. It learned that the master of Umbraforge tower (so named by the shadar-kai and mercenaries), Sarshan, was collecting mercenaries from both the mortal world and the Shadowfell for a war that would be waged in the mortal world. Sarshan seemed to be using a network of portals in the Shadowfell to move his armies into position, unseen. The party also discovered that their old nemesis, Modra, was at work with a clandestine plan to sabotage a magical foundry Sarshan was using to create beasts of war, mutated from their natural forms with shadow magic derived from the volcanic rift of Umbraforge. A shadar-kai witch associate of Sarshan approached the group with the details of Modra’s plot; she explained that while she had once worked side by side with Modra, she turned her back on him when he betrayed Sarshan and supplied a group of orcs with weapons to assault Overlook without the mercenary’s approval. However, she hoped the PCs would deal swiftly with the renegade creeper, as she did not wish to see her once-companion suffer the fate Sarshan would visit upon him. Leena drew a map of the dark foundry, indicating the location of a broken wall through which the companions could gain entry, as well as the secret tunnel used by Sarshan to move between the tower and the foundry. Modra’s assault on the foundry was to coincide with the departure of a large mercenary force, which would leave the foundry guards distracted and unprepared for an attack.

Shortly after arriving in the Shadowfell, the party also discovered that the camp and its environs was shaken by intermittent, violent tremors. As the friends explored the area surrounding the foundry, a particularly violent tremor knocked them from their feet, as a massive rent appeared before them. Beasts from the Elemental Chaos emerged from the rift and engaged the group in a brutal fight, extracting a heavy toll before falling. After defeating the creatures, horns alerted the companions to the departure of the mercenaries and the beginning of Modra’s assault. Arriving at the foundry, Sideon’s Army attempted to parley with the creeper and his forces, but the creeper had no love for the party and attacked on sight. After a brutal battle, Modra was defeated, but the party was also bloodied. Hearing a pounding at the foundry doors, the companions decided to flee to the tower through Sarshan’s secret tunnel, which very few knew of, where they might learn more of Sarshan’s plans for war in the mortal world…

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The story so far

Danger approaches the city of Bridol in the Elsir Vale. A group of adventurers meets for the first time at a small tavern to speak of the future. A daring raid launched at the very heart of the city, and an epic journey begins.

The newfound companions, bound by ties forged in battle, are tasked with recovering the citizens and stolen treasures of Brindol. Their search leads them to the ancient burial chamber of the Rivenroar family. Many were the perils that awaited them…and many were the perils they overcame. Sadly, two of the prisoners died before they were rescued. Kartenix, the guard captain, was killed by ettercaps in the employ of the Red Hand. Adronsius, the dwarven alchemist, was tortured to death only minutes before the companions could reach him. However, in the end, the Hand and its leader, a hobgoblin known as Sinruth, were defeated by the adventurers.

Soon, however, the clarion call of war carried the adventurers, now known as Sideon’s Army, off to the dwarven city of Overlook in the west. An orcish invasion threatened the city’s western mountain pass outpost of Bordrin’s Watch, an invasion far more organized than had been seen in centuries. Led by a warlord known as Tusk, the orcs marched on Bordrin’s Watch, and every able-bodied fighting man or woman was called to the city’s aid. Sideon’s Army was tasked with sealing the underground mountain passages through which Tusk and his orcs sought to take the city from behind. Despite the arrival of Tusk and the vanguard of his forces, the Army was able to defeat the orcs and seal the passages. Bereft of a leader, the orcish army melted back into the badlands beyond the mountains.

With the defeat of Tusk, Sideon’s Army was able to piece together links between Sinruth, the Red Hand and the orcish invasion. The puzzle led them to hunt down a dark creeper called Modra, who they were soon to discover was connected to even darker interests beyond the Elsir Vale and the mortal realm itself…

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