Champions of Bloodaxe
Chieftain Garok Bloodclaw had gathered the champions of the Bloodaxe tribes to his tent for a mission of great urgency. Humans had once again entered the Kash’aral region, their scouts were easily dispatched by the tribe’s mighty warriors. But humans are a persistent folk and this wasn’t the last we’d see of them. The champions gathered were:
- I, Bornakk Stoneshackle, mighty shaman and voice of the earth.
- Goretusk Stormhoof, powerful minotaur warrior.
- Rothrag Facesmasher, brutal bugbear bandit.
- Shael’keth Ma’lovish, swordsman from parts unknown.
We had all proven our bravery dealing with the human scouts earlier and were therefore chosen for the dangerous and challenging mission the chieftain had for us.
We are to enter the sealed dwarven fortress Baal Vo’grol and permanently seal the southern gates shut, thus preventing the humans from entering the region through the long-abandoned dwarven tunnels when winter comes. When the gates are shut we are to climb to the top of the mountain and light the fires on the great lookout post to signal our victory to the rest of the tribe.
I accepted the task knowing that this was the great challenge the spirit’s had told me about. My fate was decided long before I entered this world, who am I to question the will of the spirits? The rest of my companions accepted, their reasons for facing certain death are unknown to me, but I appreciate their willingness, when they die the spirit’s will remember their sacrifice.
The dead town of Ashwood.
We gathered up our (few) belongings and headed toward the ghost-town of Ashwood, the supposed location of the entrance to Baal Vo’grol. The journey was largely uneventful and we arrived in the ruins of Ashwood in the evening. The spirit’s of the land screamed in pain over blood spilled here long ago, this place was forever cursed.
Since we didn’t know exactly where the entrance to the dwarven tunnels was located we started searching through the ruins and not long thereafter the sundown was upon us and the town once again came to (un)life.
We were ambushed by the still walking corpses of the slaughtered townsfolk in the town-square, the battle proved to be tougher than anyone of us had anticipated with more and more restless dead rising from the rubble as the battle raged on. But in the end we managed to stop the tide of undeath that was upon us and got a short rest before investigating further.
We stumbled upon a manor house on the town’s outskirts watched over by armed guards (!), our stealthy bandit and swordsman dispatched the sentries and we charged through the doors of the manor house.
Inside we found more humans, and by the look of things they had been here for a while (!). They didn’t take kindly to us barging into their encampment and a battle started. The foolish swordsman charged into the fray early on and nearly dying as the rest of us were under the effects of insidious sorcery from the enemy leader. We managed to turn the tide of battle against the humans and won, but afterwards we were spent and decided to take a rest in the warded hall of the manor house.
While pillaging the corpses of our adversaries we found a map depicting the entryway into the dwarven stronghold. Clearly the spirits were guiding us on our way.
The halls of (un)death
The following morning we entered the tunnels leading into the mountain. I laughed at my companions need to light torches to find their way, they were obviously not suited for life beneath the earth’s crust.
Shortly after passing through the first set of doors we were beset by more restless dead, the tunnels were cursed just like the town on the surface. The battle that ensued was tough but we managed to destroy the wretched corpses before moving on.
With every step I took into the tunnels i felt the strong presence of the mountain’s spirit, I was home.
In the next hall we faced a powerful undead sorcerer and his guardian servants. We realized that this wouldn’t be easy but pressed onward. My mysterious swordsman companion proved to be quite adept at dispatching of these restless spirits. The spirit accompanying me proved to be useful for keeping the enemy onslaught at bay and strengthening my companions when they were in need.
After the battle we rested up and found the next set of doors were closed, our roguish companion Rothrag managed to figure out the mechanism behind the doors function and opened them just to discover even more guardians waiting for us in the dark.
My companions rushed on ahead of me before I could react to face the enemy in the narrow corridor leading downwards. While battling a skeleton Shael’keth managed to trigger a trap which caused a giant boulder to come crashing down directly on top of the rest of the party. We were all smashed to the ground as the boulder started to roll down the stairs. Rothrag was knocked unconscious but me and Goretusk arose to continue the fight.
As the last of the adversaries were laid to rest once again I could feel the spirit’s coursing through me, they were ready to impart me their power. We backtracked into a secure hall and set up camp to recover from our wounds and prepare for our next challenge.
We awoke rested and I could feel the spirit’s strength within me, and I could see that my companions had picked up a few of my pointers as well. The spirit’s had clearly infused us with the power to face whatever lay before us.
It is now time to get moving again, I will continue writing this journal at another time.