Weapons of the Last War

The Forgotten Forge
A Quest Complete

8th of Dravago, 998YK, 0130 hours
Sharn, Beland

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Having delved the depths of Dorasharn tower and discovered the lost House Cannith forge in the ruins of an ancient city, our intrepid adventurers – Drow, Run, and Sevren – have just dispatched the Iron Defenders guarding the schema they were employed to find.

Run picks up the second rod that sprang from the head of the felled defender. Drow is rummaging through the shelves and bins of the workshop looking for anything of value. Sevren takes several minutes to dislodge the head of the third, crushed Iron Defender and pry the rod from its skull. He looks appraisingly at the metal head of the beast and shoves it in a sack to take as a souvenir.

He then joins Run who has spent the last few minutes examining the two rods and the forge itself, which he discovers has three depressions along its top. The depressions and the rods have matching shapes; one is triangular, the next is square, and the last hexagonal. But there is no indication of the order with which the rods should be placed into the holes. The sound of metal pegs spilling onto the wooden workbench cause Run and Sevren to glance over at Drow as he rifles through draws and pulls objects wrapped in ancient oilcloth from the shelves. They go back to examining the forge.

The kiln takes up the majority of the back wall, with a small anvil wedged into the right-hand corner of the room. There is metal grating on the floor extending about 10 feet out into the studio-space. Sevren, anxious to return to the surface of Sharn, walks toward the forge. “Fuck this,” he mutters, as he shoves the triangular rod into the matching depression. The air turns sharp and acrid as a bolt of blue energy erupts from the metal floor with a crack, sending Sevren flying through the air. He lands on a small crate, crushing it under his weight. He sits up, rubbing his head, and gives Run an embarrassed grin.

By this point, Drow is done with his search and joins his companions. He helps Sevren to his feet and they return to the warforged’s side. Unexpectedly, Run has a spark of recognition and inspiration. It’s the rods, their number of sides that catches his attention. Triangle, square, hex; three, four, five. He looks down at his forearm and sees it, something that’s been there since his day of inception. He came out of the forge with it, and that’s why he’s now convinced it’s relevant. There, etched into the armor on his left forearm is the number ‘534’. He lifts it up and shows it to his friends. “This must be it,” he says.

Drow and Sevren look at him dubiously, but before anyone can disagree, Run walks up to the forge and drops the five-sided rod into the hole. Nothing happens. He gives a quick glance over his shoulder before continuing. Sevren takes a step back, gently pulling Drow with him.

Run pushes the triangular rod into the corresponding slot. Still nothing happens. He takes one last deep breadth before sliding the last rod in place, his shoulders bunched in anticipatory tension, awaiting his fate. Nothing. He turns to the others and says, “Hey! It wor…” He was going to say ‘it worked’ but before he could finish the word, a surge of energy, even bigger than the one that zapped Sevren engulfs Run, sending his massive bulk soaring into the air and landing on his back at least 10 feet away.

Drow and Sevren run to where he landed. Run seems uninjured, but he’s out cold. As Drow kneels beside him, he thinks he can hear a small humming sound coming from inside Run’s body, but he’s not sure. Suddenly, the sound of rock grating on metal startles the two men. They look up and see the forge swinging out into the room revealing a hidden vault beyond. It a small space, just a few shelves, but this must be where the schema is hidden. Drow begins to stand, just then Run’s eyes flutter open. “What I miss?” he asks.

He stands to join his friends and that’s when they notice it. On Run’s forehead is a small, glowing symbol of House Cannith. It matches the symbol on the front of Professor Geldem’s journal. They point it out to him, but no one really understands the implication of all this. Anxious to be on their way, they turn their attention to the contents of the vault. Inside they find a couple of sacks of ancient coins, a few vials of liquid, several gold ingots, a folded up map, and an adamantine plate shaped into seven-pointed star – the schema! They quickly seize up these treasures and take a moment to unfold the map. Its delicate and antiquated. It seems to show a portion of southern Khorvaire but the group doesn’t want to stop to study it just yet. Sevren snatches is up and says he’ll keep it safe, as he tucks into his waistcoat.

Drow shows them the other valuable gear he’s found scattered around the workshop and they fill their sacks with the booty. “Let’s get out of here,” Drow declares and heads for the door. They remove the heavy bar that sealed the door from the inside and push it open. In all the jostling, Run can’t be sure, but he thinks he sees Drow stuffing something into one of his pouches. “Was that the map?” he wonders to himself.

Finally able to leave this underground ruin, the party steps out from the building happy with themselves for having accomplished their task. They only have a moment to react as a flame bolt streaks toward them from the area of the rubble surrounding the large column. Sevren and Drow are able to jump back to the protection of the doorway, but the bolt buries itself in the ground at Run’s feet and explodes. Sevren is able to pull him to safety as they try to figure out what’s going on.

“Weak flesh!” a powerful voice calls out. “Now you face Saber, greatest of the devoted followers of the Lord of Blades. Throw down the schema and walk away. This day does not have to end with your blood on my hands.” Inside the workshop the two conscious members evaluate their situation.

First, they need to get their teammate back into the action. Drow exclaims, “The repair rod!” and begins to rummage through Run’s backpack. Kneeling beside him, Drow raises the rod above his head and drives the plunger with two exposes leads into the armor plating of Run’s chest. He bolts upright, lets out a ferocious yawp, and immediately hurls the ax he had gripped in this hand out into the darkness. “I’m gonna kill them!” he shouts.

After a quick, heated discussion Sevren helps Drow back up through the hole in the ceiling, to get a better vantage on the situation from the roof. Run moves to the doorway to keep a lookout. “Wait, did I just see Sevren stuff that map back in his coat!?” Run wonders, but them shakes off the notion and turns his attention back to the rubble surrounding them.

From off in the distance more taunting reaches their ears. “The Lord of Blades keeps a special place in hell for Flesh Lovers amongst us! You will pay for your treachery to our kind, warforged!” Once Run knows Drow is providing top cover he calls out, “I’m going for it. Watch for the direction of the arrows.” Sevren lights a piece of rubble and throws it out into the ruins to provide some illumination. Run hefts his trident and starts running toward the sound of the last voice he heard. After a few seconds, another flaming bolt comes speeding at him. At the last second he executes a combat roll, coming back up on his feet. Now that the shooter has exposed himself, both Run and Drow attack; Run hurling his trident, and Drow with a flaming arrow. Both find their mark and the warforged, Saber, lets out a scream but keeps his footing. He yanks the trident buried in his arm out and drops it to the ground, then steps toward Run. Run pulls a flail from his belt and prepares to engage in melee.

Sevren also starts to move across the open space to engage the warforged. Drow levels another arrow at the warforged’s chest. He looses it, and again it finds its mark. Saber stumbles backward, clutching at his waist. Run is about to deliver the killing blow when the agent of the Lord of Blades raises his arm above his head and throws something to the ground.

A loud bang and bright flash blind Run and Sevren momentarily, but it gives Saber the opportunity he needed. He turns and stumbles back into the darkness near the column. Drow, unaffected by flash, jumps down from the roof and begins sprinting across the open space to his friends.

After a few seconds Sevren and Run are able to regain their wits and they all fan out to find their target. They move through the rubble and around the column trying to corner Saber. But when they get to the back side of the column, they realize there was a tunnel opening there they had not seen earlier. He must have gone that way. Run sprints up the tunnel a short way, but quickly realizes they’ve lost their quarry. They take some time to search for tracks, but are unsuccessful. Eventually they give up their search for Saber and begin their ascent back to the surface of Sharn.

Several hours later, they emerge from the ruins, back in the Blackbones section of the Cogs. They continue on to the Broken Anvil and realize it is early morning as they board the people-mover that will carry them up out of the lower city and back to the towers.

Upon entering the inn, they are greeted by the same Halfling matron and told to wait while she awakens the lady. Shortly, the party is directed to the same meeting room as the previous day. Lady Elaydren is pleased to the see them, doubly so when she is presented with the schema. “You have my thanks,” she tells them, “and the thanks of my house. Periodically, check in with the House Sivis message station at the Barmin Tower. I will leave a message for you if more work becomes available.” She presents the team with 300 gold coins apiece and hands Sevren a sealed envelope. She stands to leave, her bodyguard moving toward the door to open it for her, but stops when she notices the House Cannith symbol emblazoned on Run’s forehead.

“Where did that come from?” she asks, suspiciously.

Run explains what happened at the vault. She stands unmoving, dumbfounded.

“The journal. Let me see it!” She barks. Run takes a step back, his hand going to the journal protectively, instinctively. She notes his hesitation and adds, “Please.” As he draws it from his armor, he sees the blue glow of the symbol on the cover of the journal. He flips it open and the pages Professor Geldem wrote about the Ruins of Dorasharn are now plainly visible. Run can see that Lady Elaydren is trying to process this turn of events.

“I…I will reach out to you soon,” and with that she is gone.

After returning the schema, the party decides to take a few days to themselves, take care of personal business, and spend the spoils of their exploits. They wind up congregating at the Red Hammer, a local pub down in the Blackbones section of the Cogs, near where Run lives. The bar is owned by two warforged, Blue and Crucible; veterans of the Last War, just like Run.

Run spent the week working out his anger over the death of his friend by participating in an underground cage fighting league, making a little extra money for his trouble. Drow uses his contacts in the Cogs to sell off the loot the group found down in the ruins. One night, mid-week, he sees an opportunity to boost some goods from a small shop that left a side window cracked open, but his plan is foiled when a couple of guardsmen come along on patrol, causing him to slink back into the shadows. Sevren enjoys his downtime at the Hammer, drinking and carousing with the locals. One night a couple of woman come up to him to ask if his tattoos hurt to get and he struck up a conversation with them. Their names are Skinny Tina and Penelope, local barflies that are good for some gossip from the Towers.

On Zor (Thursday), as Drow is headed home after drinking late into the night with his newfound friends, he’s stopped by a figure that steps out of the shadows; it’s Sgt. Dolom of the Watch. The tells Drow he remembers how he knows him, he was an acquaintance of Drow’s father, Krow, and his father (and by extension, Drow himself) owes him a favor. Drow says there is no way his father would owe anything to the Dwarf, to which Dolom tells Drow he doesn’t know his father as well as he thinks he does. The policeman asks Drow if he read The Inquisitive news article about the problems around that new excavation site in The Cogs. He needs him to check it out, and he thinks he should bring along his new warforged friend, and the crazy elf with the skull face tattoo. Then he leaves, telling Drow to let him know when it’s done.

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The Ruins of Dorasharn
The Descent Continues

7th of Dravago, 998YK, 1800 hours
Sharn, Beland

Ruins_of_Dorasharn.jpg

After resting and laying out their climbing gear, the newly formed party – Sevren, Run, and Drow – prepare to lower themselves into the vertical shaft they discovered beyond Valve Cluster E-213. Before descending, Sevren picks up a loose brick from the floor of the grimy sewer, and whispering an appeal to a long departed ancestor, causes the stone to shine with the light of the Undying Court. He tosses the brick down the shaft and begins to count, attempting to determine how deep the passage goes.

The group realizes after about 60 feet or so, the shaft begins to angle and eventually levels out, becoming a horizontal tunnel. Sevren and Drow are able to lower themselves without trouble, but Run decides it would be fun to attempt to slide down the chute, and earns a bruised back for his trouble.

After following the tunnel for about a quarter mile, the party realizes they have entered a vast chamber and the tunnel ends at a five foot drop to the floor below. They cautiously drop down and attempt to gauge the enormity of the cavern before them. At the edge of their light they make out rubble rising from the stone floor and can hear water dripping from some far off corner of the chamber. They suddenly become aware of a clicking, chattering sound from the darkness off to their left. Run takes a few steps into the cavern struggling to identity the noise before realizing the danger, but by then it’s too late.

The floor appears to boil around him as the sound increases and a swarm of fist-sized beetles erupt at his feet. He is quickly swamped by their magnitude and immediately begins to bat the insects away, calling for help from his newfound companions. Sevren lets loose with a bolt from his crossbow with little affect, as Drow recedes into the shadows and is lost from sight. The group spends a frantic few seconds contemplating how to combat these pests before they realize that fire would be the best bet. Sevren tosses a vial of oil into the fray and calls to Drow to do the same, but there is no reply.

By this point Run is about to succumb to the dozens of tiny wounds inflicted by the hungry beetles at they try to burrow past his armor plating. He calls out, “Light it up!” Sevren complies and shoots a flaming bolt at the oil-soaked ground surrounding Run and the beetle swarm. Run is blown clear of the fray as the remaining beetles writhe in pain and quickly disperse back into the darkness. Run is injured, but musters strength from his years of proficiency in battle. Drow returns from the shadow and earns a hard stare from the warforged; The half-elf sheepishly mumbles something about conserving ammunition.

After recovering themselves, the party moves deeper into the cavern continuing their search for the House Cannith forge they were tasked to find, passing ruined building and chest-high piles of rubble and decay. They move quickly yet cautiously. By this point, Sevren has cast his light spell on Run’s head causing it to glow with enough illumination to make them feel safe.

This false sense of security betrays the party as a pair of large rats leap from the rubble and land at Drow’s feet. But these rats are not normal, their bodies are encased in tiny plates and they are much paler that their brown, fur-covered cousins. No, these are Horrid Rats; products of unhinged Druids intent on punishing civilization. Luckily, they are no match for the group and are quickly dispatched although Drow does suffer a nasty bite from one the crazed creatures.

At this point, the party can make out a large structure off to their left. Sevren calls a halt and draws his dual scimitars to trace a circle around himself before kneeling in prayer. He calls out for guidance from his ancestors but his plea goes unanswered. Unsure of which way to go, they decided to make their way toward to the building. As they approach they can make out a symbol hung above the door. Run is the first to recognize it, followed quickly by Drow. It is an ancient symbol of Onatar, The Sovereign of Forge and Flame, and they realize this must be an ancient temple to the god.

They enter the dilapidated edifice and are instantly struck by a sense of peace and tranquility. The interior is in fairly good shape, and it’s obvious the creatures residing in these ruins have avoided this place. The group takes a moment to rest and Sevren casts a ritual to see if any magic auras radiate in this place. They are rewarded with a dull glow at the back of the temple and discover a small pool containing a holy, restorative liquid which they bottle and take with them.

After leaving the temple, they press on and approach the back of the cavern. A huge column of rock extends from floor to ceiling and the back of the cave begins to rise as them note a narrow passage winding its way into the rock beyond and the unknown. The column has several large piles of rubble surrounding it, but the area directly in front of them is relatively clear. That’s when they see it. A small, squat, windowless building still completely intact tucking into the back right corner of this vast cavern.

This must be the forge they were sent to find and the party immediately begins to head for it. Within minutes they are standing in front of a pair of large, metal double-doors with a massive intricate lock on its front. They decide to circle the building, in hopes of finding a way in and locate a ladder leading to the roof at the back.

Run scrambles up the ladder and rolls onto the roof, expecting a sentry of some kind. But the roof is bare except for a large hole in the front corner where the ceiling has caved in, apparently due to years of water damage. He calls down to his companion and makes his way to the opening. He’s still kneeling there peering into the darkness of the workshop below as Drow and Sevren join him.

Unable to see anything from this angle, Run decides to drop down into the room. Drow notches an arrow to give him some cover. Once Run determines the immediate surrounds are safe he is joined first by Sevren, and then Drow. Their eyes are still adjusting to the dusty gloom when two pairs of glowing eyes appear from the far corner of the shop. Two creatures, the size and shape of large dogs, appear but they are mechanical in nature, completely made of metal. Just then Sevren notices a third creature buried under the rubble of the ceiling, crushed decades ago under the weight of plaster, wood, and stone.

The defenders pause just a moment before crouching and leaping at the party. They are fast, but not fast enough. Drow fells one before it can even cross the room, while the other bounds toward Sevren. As the first defender falls, a small rod pops from its forehead and drops to the ground. The group quickly dispatches the second defender, and another, similar rod is emitted.

As they catch their breath after the quick battle they look to the back of the studio and spy their prize, the forgotten forge of House Cannith. The schema must be within!

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Murder in the City of Towers
The Adventure Begins!

6th of Dravago, 998YK, 1900 hours
Sharn, Beland

Morgrave_University.jpg

As night falls on the City of Towers rain cascades down, creating waterfalls at the bridges and overhangs. Three men approach Morgrave University from separate directions, each intent on encountering Professor Bonal Geldem, Provost of the Pre-Galifar Antiquities department. Each has their own reason for visiting the professor; one for his knowledge, another for his possessions, and the last for his camaraderie. But none of them expect the bloodied body at the bridge to the professor’s office.

The first to notice the body is Sevren, priest of The Undying Court, recently dismissed of his duties and stripped of his noble rank by the Sibling Kings for a traitorous act committed by his brother. Sevren’s skeletal tattoos covering his face and hands draw gasps from the wealthy patron staying at the inn with him, but he cares little for the concerns of these younger races of Khorvaire; he is on a mission. He has reason to believe Prof. Geldem has information which could help Sevren regain his place amongst the Aerenai and wash away the sins of his house.

The next man has been gaining notoriety (or perhaps, infamy) in Sharn, as of late. He is Drow-gun, son of Krow Cyrussbow. His unique skin tone, and shock of red hair attest to his origins. His father, known for his skill with the bow and questionable morality when it comes to his employers, is rumored to have gone missing along with the rest of the Cyrussbow clan. Drow has been tearing a swath through Sharn’s underworld, presumable searching for his family, but has drawn the attention of local police and the thief’s guild.

The last man to see the body is not a man at all, but a machine. He was created in the name of Breland’s national interests during the Last War. He was built to deal death to those that opposed his king. He is Run-Recon of the 7th Turning; he is Warforged. Since the war’s end two years ago, Run has been attempting to integrate with society. But as a living construct, it has been hard. He keeps odds jobs as a bouncer, mostly. Run struck up a friendship with the professor over their shared interest in ancient warrior cultures, and received a note earlier today asking him to come visit his friend.

As the three converge on bridge, Sevren spies a figure in the shadows, but the rain makes it difficult to be sure. Once he draws nearer, Run recognizes the professor’s satchel lying next to the body, blood pooling around it. Overcome with grief, Run rushes to his friend and calls out in anger. His outburst catches Drow and Sevren off guard and the two take a step back. Apparently, it also catches the attention of nearby students and faculty of the university.

Suddenly, several things happen at one. As Run kneels beside the professor, someone rushes past Sevren, greataxe gleaming overhead, as a whistle blows and calls of “Murder!” and “Get the police” ring out.

A female warforged, a disciple of The Lord of Blades, lets out a battlecry as she rushes at Run. Calling him a “Flesh lover,” she makes it known she is looking for something belonging to the professor. But when she is denied and mortally wounded by Run, she extols the power of The Lord of Blades one last time before throwing herself from the bridge. A Final Messenger detaches itself from her metal body as she falls and flies off, presumably to inform her superiors of her failure.

The three men barely have time to regain their bearings when a dozen police officers descend, cutting off their escape at each end of the bridge, demanding to know what happened. The lead Officer on scene, Sgt Dolom, decides it would be better to talk down-tower and demands the three submit. Sevren refuses and receives the butt of a spear shaft for his trouble. Somehow, in all the confusion, Run is able to snatch up the professor’s satchel, realizing it must be important. As the three are led away, Dolom keeps eying Drow, trying to place him.

About an hour later, Sevren regain consciousness in a holding cell looking up at Drow and Run. He quickly straightens himself and the three take some time to get to know each other. After a while, Dolom comes in and tell them they are free to go; “you must have friends in high places,” he says. Once again, he takes a long look at Drow attempting to recall where he knows him from.

As the three exit the police station, a House Cannith runner approaches them and tells them if they wish to learn the truth about what happened to the professor, they should come to the Broken Anvil the next day at noon. The man disappears into the crowd before they can ask anything more of him.

Run, still upset from the death of his friend, wants to return to the professor’s office to look for clues, and the two others agree to tag along. After a quick skycoach ride, and they are back up-tower at the university. They make their way to Professor Geldem’s office and let themselves in using the key Run knew was hidden in a nearby potted bush.

As expected, the office is ransacked, but the three search the room looking for evidence or hints about what happened to the professor. They spy a wrapped package carelessly thrown to the floor while dumping the contents of the satchel on the desk. The most interesting thing in the satchel is an old journal with a strange marking on the cover, and empty pages within. Run opens the package and discovers a ‘birthday gift’ from his friend; several vials of Alchemist Fire and a Warforged Repair Rod, along with a note that read:

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It turns out the professor had been searching for information about Run’s inception date, and discover that it was today. It’s a sad thing that Run’s birthday will share the anniversary of his friend’s death from now on.

The three decide to sleep in the office in case someone else tries to return and in the morning they make their way to the Broken Anvil. There, they are greeted by a Halfling matron of House Ghallanda and while they wait, order a round of drinks. Sevren notices the local newspaper, The Inquisitive, sitting on the bar and takes a few minutes to read the headlines.

Eventually, the matron returns and invites the trio into a side room. She introduces them to Lady Elaydren d’Vown of House Cannith. The lady explains that Professor Geldem has been working with her and the Western branch of House Cannith to uncover an ancient schema. He was about to reveal its location when he was killed by The Lord of Blades agent. Luckily, Run, Drow, and Sevren stopped the warforged agent and recovered the journal. Lady Elaydren asks for the journal and when Run hands it over it begins to glow as it comes in contact with her House Cannith signet ring. The pages come to life and fill with diagrams, maps, and text. Lady Elaydren quickly finds the section she is looking for. After glances the page, she looks up at the party happily.

She tells them she’s discovered the location of the schema and that its right here in Sharn. Well, deep below Sharn in an ancient ruin. She offers the three men a reward if they will return the schema to her. The must travel deep below Dorasharn Tower, find a Valve Cluster numbered E-213, and find the entrance to the ruins beyond. They accept and she tell them House Cannith will be in their debt if they can accomplish this task for her. Sevren takes this time to inquire on another lead he has regarding his mission, and Lady Elaydren promises to look into it.

With that, they take their leave and begin their mission. Lucky for them, Drow grew up in Sharn, and knows The Cogs well. In fact, he thinks he know just the goblin that can help them.

They travel to Dorasharn Tower, and board one of the huge People Movers, massive magical platform that travels vertically up and down the side of the towers. They take the mover down to The Cogs, and then walk to the [[Rat’s Market]] in its lowest levels. There they find Skakan, a smarmy goblin who loves coin more than life itself. They begin to haggle with him for the price of his help, and hit a road bump when he remembers that Drow never called on Skakan’s cousin after taking her out a few weeks back. They wind up paying a little extra to smooth things over with the goblin, but eventually get him to agree to show them to the valve cluster. The wander around the market and pick up some gear they think will be helpful on their descent into the ruins, as well.

While stopped at a stall, Run notices a Shifter eyeballing them but quickly loses him in the crowd. Once provisioned, and Skakan’s palm is sufficiently greased, he leads the party through the maze of tunnels that make up The Cogs, ultimately stopping at a set of steep stairs set between two doorways on either side. Skakan tells them the way to the E-213 Valve Cluster is down the stairs, following the flow of the water, and then to take the right fork at the end of the passageway. The three men go down the stairs and find themselves standing knee-deep in dirty sewer water. As their eyes adjust to the darkness, they see their path down the tunnel is blocked by a human and two shifters. Run immediately recognizes one is the shifter from the Rat Market. As Sevren and Run rush forward to engage, Drow is attacked from the shadows by another warforged. The fight is quick and brutal and as the warforged falls another Final Messenger pops up and attempts to fly away. But Drow’s quick thinking and reflexes allow him to shoot the tiny robot out of the air before it can get away.

After searching the bodies for clues, they make their way deeper into the sewer system, finally coming to the valve cluster, just as Skakan said they would. After a quick investigation, they realize the cluster is permeated by magic and decide they should press the journal to the valve handle. They smile with satisfaction as the circular hatch opens of its own accord. But their joy is short lived as they look down into a vertical shaft descending into darkness. Air rushes up from the depths to find release somewhere higher up in the tower, demonstrating that fresh air continues to circulate even in the most desolate regions of Sharn. The trio take a moment to catch their breath and take out their climbing gear as they prepare to descend into the darkness…

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