The Empty Keg

Session 8

Recap

The Empty Keg bid found farewell to their beloved sorceror, Sinks. May the moon, stars, sun, moon-stars, sun-moons, comets, spaceships, alien faces, monoliths, and blazing starfalls keep him safe on his way to the 13th moon.

After Yeraa made her offer of formal alliance clear, the Keg left the catacombs beneath Six Kings only to see that their path was barred by the reanimated husks of their Bladebearer foes. Yeraa gave their leader a clean death — they were foes in life, but no one deserved to be raised as a twisted mockery of what they were while living! The company leaped into action and made short work of the remaining zombies before pausing to take stock of the situation. Yeraa’s seekers were nowhere to be found. A quick check of the sending stone revealed that they were under attack at the airship, the Kordanga!

Rushing up the mountainside, the company arrived after Tikulti and Govaan had beat back their attackers — men wearing the insignia of the Emerald Claw. Injuries were few, but the struts that supported the captive fire elemental on the Kordanga were damaged. The ship’s captain, Delan, informs the party that repairs will take just over a day. Some quick investigation reveals that the attack was meant to damage and delay the ship, not destroy it.

The company gets to know Delan and his crew better and engages in some drinking and mischief — notable Barnaby gets Govaan in trouble with Akitani, while Krumroc learns that Yeraa and Tikulti share a room, and that Govaan harbors feelings for his liege-lady and seething jealousy for Tikulti. Morose over love lost, or in Govaan’s case, love never attempted, the party retires for the evening. Within a day, repairs have been made and the ship is airworthy again and the Keg takes to the skies to travel towards the great monstrous city of Greywall!

The Kordanga touches down outside the city proper, and Joshua uses some well forged slave traded credentials to get the company inside the city itself. On the streets of the city, heading towards the Golden Dragon, a pair of minotaurs take exception to Barnaby wearing a minotaur skull and try to teach him some manners, only to be beaten back, dumped down wells, and into sewers. The Keg is compassionate enough to let Chombley, the dim-witted troll, take his friends and go once it’s clear that the troll just can’t die and continue on their way.

At the Golden Dragon, the characters get a well cooked meal, a fine suite of rooms, and all the amenities of home to refresh and rejuvenate them. The innkeep tells Barnaby that he’s seen Emerald Claw soldiers walking the streets the past few weeks, but none in the last few days, and that a woman matching Demise’s description arranged portal transit out of the city two days ago. The company gets it’s ducks in a row, making purchases and bank withdrawals, and then meets up with Yeraa and her seekers to search the city for the last piece of the Crown. It takes all day, but they determine that the shard lays beneath the goblin marketplace.

The Keg appropriates a pot merchant’s stall and goes to work distracting passers-by while the seekers do the heavy lifting. Acting as union members building shelves, Joshua and Krumroc talk their way past nosy Tharashk “peace officers” and nosy old hobgoblins to maintain their cover while Lan and Barnaby seek out a gnoll druid to soften the earth and convince Yeraa to foot the bill. When a harpy magistrate is brought back by the merchant with accusations of wrong doing, the Keg manages to convince her to delay any legal summons until the merchant can produce some actual proof that they didn’t rent the stall. Then Barnaby threatens to cook the orc merchant’s children.

Finally, the goblins break through and discover the ruins of an ancient tower, covered with goblin runes of warding. Barnaby tries to scale the tower only to be pushed back by several layers of wards that don’t seem to affect the goblins. The company stays behind while the seekers descend to search for the last orb. In a few hours, Tikulti calls to say that they’ve located their prize and are on their way up! It is then that Lan notices Demise staring him down from the other side of the marketplace.

Demise sends her wraiths and gnolls at the party, but Barnaby rushes forward and puts her to a quick and brutal end only to discover it was a foul disguised undead creature! One of the wraiths succeeds in filching Ashurta’s Blade from Joshua’s hand, but no force on earth can keep a Swordmage from his weapon. Krumroc wreaks havoc with his axe, chopping off gnoll heads and discorporating wraiths, while Lan causes as much property damage as possibly by shoving gnolls into stalls.

When the last wraith falls, the company hears Yeraa calling to them, laughing. Barnaby sees through the terrifying disguise — Yeraa is but a twisted memory, raised from her untimely grave. The rest of the company hesitates uncertainly. Neither Tikulti nor Govaan is anywhere to be seen as Yeraa and her seekers throw themselves, howling, at the party. (Aaaaand SCENE!)

Treasure
220 gp
250 gp necklace

XP
800 each

View
Session 7

Recap
Pressing forward, the Keg found itself in a chamber lit by purple light radiating from the rare byeshk ore that laced the room’s stalagmites (each of which reflected the horror struck visage of a hobgoblin)! As Barnaby moved to investigate, goblin phantoms struck, phasing through the walls and rocks, while terrifying abberations of flesh-crafted goblinoids who had been raised from the dead sprung out from behind corners. The party was briefly overwhelmed by these new deathgaunts and terrified by the brutal power of the goblins, but fought their way to a costly victory.

The party cleared rubble out of a few tunnels, only to hear the clash of steel against stone and low battle cries. Lan crept forward and watched ghostly goblinoids do battle with several fleshcrafted goblins, and prevail, then leave the area. Sneaking down, the party cleared the room and pried open a door crammed with a ghastly hairless undead bugbear monstrocity, pinned in place with a spear of goblin make which turned out to be quite potent. The ghosts didn’t return, but further along the resulting tunnel the Keg heard the harsh sounds of Deep Speech and saw the flicker of torchlight, which was quickly doused. Moving closer, the company took the high ground and defended themselves against all sorts of dolgrims, dolgaunts, and one enormous dolgarr who seemed to delight in plucking up the much smaller adventurers and throwing them at their foes (though admittedly, Joshua’s temporal magic made that quite difficult on one particular occasion).

Exploring past the new chamber, a darkly malevolent ghostly goblin beckoned the company closer, but Barnaby wasn’t fooled and charged to attack! Sadly, the trap had been sprung, and an insidious flame haunt burned it’s way into the halfling’s mind and threw him headlong towards a bubbling chasm of lava which spewed forth blasts of fire! Flaming goblin phantoms and bats made of lava assaulted the party while the lava boiled on and the haunt jumped from Barnaby’s mind to Joshua’s, but a brutal attack from Barnaby ended the haunt’s reign of terror and the phantoms didn’t last much longer. Blockading the area, the Keg settled in for the day, trusting to the boiling lava to keep one approach secured.

The next day, the company ventured west down an enormous flight of stairs and came into contact with a tribe of cave goblins. Using the sending stone to have Govaan translate, they struck a deal with the clan leader who agreed to safe passage if the characters would assault their enemies to the north — foulspawn! — and leave the tribe their territory, which had been theirs for generation after generation, since the fall of the goblin empire. The Keg agreed and advanced towards the source of the danger!

There they encountered a strange pool, lit by moonlight, around which a horde of undead fleshcrafted goblinoids known as deathgaunts were collected, listening to the blasphemous sermon of an terrifying priest as he stared into the depths of the enormous gem he wore around his neck — the Solitaire! The battle was brutal, with the Keg nearly losing several of it’s members and ending the day exhausted and licking their wounds — but none of the foul creatures remained and the Solitaire was theirs!

Contacting the Wordbearers, the party realized that they had finally come full circle and encountered their allies in the flesh. Regrouping, Yeraa sent her forces, depleted by the lost of their elderly warcaster, ahead to scout to have a private word with the company. Yeraa expressed her gratitude at the company’s continued help, and offered a treaty of allegiance, and then sketched out the remainder of her plan. The Cord, which her goblins had recovered, was the most important piece of the Crown — it had the ability to locate other parts of the Crown within several hundred feet. Lore told her that the last piece of the Crown was buried in the lost goblin fortress upon which the monstrous city of Greywall had been built. Not far from where the party is now, she proposed that the company go with her to Greywall and help her recover the last piece of the Crown. It would not be without dangers however, as humanoids were unlikely to be welcome in the city. Still, without her men much depleted, she needs the Keg’s help!

XP
1230 xp each

Treasure
+2 goblin totem spear
3 potions of healing
840 gp gems
150 gp art objects (golden horn, platinum necklace)
Zaarani’s Solitaire (artifact!)

View
Session 6

Recap
Krumroc, Lan and Joshua send a Claw archer to his fate after having determined that a rogue Emerald Claw captain had broken off from the “main group” and had been hunting them of his own initiative. “No mercy for the Claw,” grunted Krumroc as he finished the man off with his axe. It was cold comfort that the captain the archer spoke of lay dead not twenty feet away — there could be more Claw out there still and the Keg would have no idea where they were.

The next morning the company advanced past the tree line up into the mountains themselves, following an old goblin road. The hobgoblin empire must have been vast at one point to be able to erect such huge monuments, but the Keg didn’t have much time to admire them before they found their way barred by Naersaar and his Bladebearers. Politely, the hobgoblin lord asked the party to hand over the Blade of Ashurta and, just as politely, the party responded that they didn’t have it. The Keg was even nice enough to aloow Naersaar’s men to search them and, finding nothing, the Bladebearers allowed the party to go back the way they had come.

The company hatched a cunning plan to return at night and run their horses down the center of the canyon as a distraction while the party approached under cover (with a FALSE BARNABY riding on the lead horse!). The ploy worked well enough, distracting and separating the goblinoids and allowing the Keg to systematically cut them down with blade, fire, axe, and spear. Naersaar was suspiciously absent. However, the company reunited with Govaan the katar wielding goblin assassin who had been sent to bring them to Lady Yeraa, the master of his house. The reunion was strained, but the company agreed to follow Govaan to the Wordbearer camp.

There they found Yeraa, a hobgoblin noble, and her retainers. She offered to purchase the Blade from the Keg, which was of course impossible, and the two groups settled into an uneasy negotiation to determine how to proceed which was furthered by the Citadel’s double agent — the doppleganger Tikulti. The party used veiled threats, an analysis of the tactical situation and some impassioned speeches to convince Yeraa at long last that, at the very least, it should be up to the spirits of her ancestors to decide whether the Keg’s intentions were pure or not. The party had but one way forward — to face the testing Amalkar, an arena battle in the midst of sacred smoke and carried out with the greatest of ritual precision. While the Wordbearers performed an intricate tea ceremony, Tikulti briefed the Keg on the rules of the engagement and wished them good luck.

First Barnaby bested the lady Yeraa herself by the slimmest of margins. Lan then scornfully showed these degenerates how a true warrior fights, even in a sporting contest, beating the barbarian Akitani with thinly disguised contempt. Joshua faced off against Govaan who proved how deadly Yeraa’s Master of Assassins really was. Sinks bested a stout hobgoblin warrior with magic and trickery, but Krumroc was undone by powerful goblin sorcery and then Barnaby was knocked unconscious by Akitani who was hungry for revenge. Lan stepped into the ring and faced off against Govaan, who was forwarned of the dangers of elven trickery, but it was not enough — Lan had more tricks up his sleeve than Govaan was prepared for, and the goblin soon found himself in the dust. The last battle squared off caster against caster, with Murdaak the warcaster pushing Sinks to the brink of defeat only to suffer a savage turnaround with a well placed blast of acid. The Amalkar complete, Yeraa welcomed the party into her ranks.

Inside her pavillion, she related her plan — the parties would split up but keep in contact via sending stone, and search under different ancient kings for two more pieces of the Crown, then rendezvous after the fact outside and move on from there to collect more pieces that Yeraa was unwilling to disclose. The party took a day to rest and recuperate from their long days of travel, then entered the underground fortress beneath the Six Kings. Quickly they learned that while it had once been a goblinoid holy site, it had been overrun by undead. Skeletons, wraiths and spectres all rose from their graves only to be met with steel and the might of the Silver Flame.

Undaunted, the Keg presses further on, searching for the Solitaire of Zaarani, rumored to have to drive one’s enemies into the ground …

Treasure
83gp
Winged Dagger +1 (sorry, I messed up the stats — it’s clearly a sorceror dagger. Once per day it can do the “use a close attack from 10 squares away” thing but only with sorceror powers, also as an at-will you can cause 5 damage to someone who hits you with an opportunity attack that they made for you casting a spell in melee)

XP
700

View
Session 5

When they sing the song of the Empty Keg Adventuring Company as it made it’s way towards the goblinoid monument of Six Kings, there will be a verse about Lan the Shadow. Lan the Legend. Lan the Hidden. But mostly, that verse will be about Lan the Elf. Because clearly, Lan has shown his comrades that every elf on the face of Eberron is an expert at hiding, sneaking, and tracking — born scouts, every one of them.

Surely it wasn’t his fault that a gnoll archer had sharp eyes. It was probably already on guard because Lan’s non-elf companions weren’t quiet enough. Regardless, Lan’s cunning ploy pulled the enemy out of position — and right into his trap. By feigning to be injured Lan was able to do what he does best — direct the flow of battle. When Joshua drove his sword through the half-ogre’s chest as the enemy’s huge greatsword nearly took his head off, who’s plan do you think that was? That’s right — Lan’s. So what if Lan got a few bruised ribs? So what if Barnaby will bear that vicious flesh-melted scar for years to come? So what if Joshua will be cleaning frozen ogre guts and dried orc blood out of his best suit for weeks? At the end of the day, the Keg was the side still standing, and helping themselves to the spoils.

After the Keg made short work of the roadblock and disposed of the gnoll, orc and half-ogre bandit bodies, you might think that Lan had demonstrated enough the awesome superiority of an elven scout. You would think wrong, because Lan wasn’t done yet. He had to track an entire troop of heavily armed troops who were completely unskilled at woodscraft through mud and heavy brush, and by his ancestors, that’s exactly what he did.

This time when the party saw an ambush of Emerald Claw they didn’t hesitate. The man in robes barely had a time to mutter a spell before he was slaughtered with ruthless efficiency, and this time when Barnaby let loose his inner beast, it was the Claw and not his friends that suffered from the constant frenzied strikes of his spear. The Keg acquitted itself well, quickly cutting off the leader from support and surrounding him — and playing right into his hands, though the constant attacking made the Claw Captain subject to even more of Joshua’s mastery over cold. At the end of the skirmish the party was much richer, and had a single prisoner who claimed to be an “expert Claw sniper” though his performance would hold otherwise.

Now the Keg can feel how close they are to Six Kings and their goal. But was that broad goblinoid face Lan thinks he saw peering down from the trees at the party as they finished off the Claw Captain a figment of his imagination, or a sign of things to come?

TREASURE
203gp
Dragon Skull Box (125 gp)
Jet gems (150gp)

Horned Helm (+1d6 on a charge) > Barnaby
Hedge Gauntlets of Arcane Poteny (homebrew item -
+2 damage to target you have marked, mage hand at-will) → Joshua
Bloodiron Scale +2 (when you hit a target you gain +2 AC against them until end of your next turn) → Lan
Ritual Book (Deathly Shroud, Delay Affliction, “Cause Disease” and “Unholy Water” which are homebrew rituals that are the opposite of their counterparts in the PHB) → Krumroc

XP
400 (combat) + 100 (skill challenge) = 500 each

View
Session 4

Recap
The Empty Keg valiantly sets forth to rendezvous at Six Kings. After some minor problems settling in aboard the Eminence, the company has a relatively uneventful journey by air to the trade city of Ardev, which has seen better days. Catching wind of a party of goblins that passed through a week ago, the adventurers set forth along the old trade road. The terrain is harsh and there are a few setbacks, but all in all there is relatively little trouble making steady progress towards the mountains.

At least, that is, until Lan detects harsh shouts ahead on the road one afternoon and returns to warn the others. While the party debates their best course of action, Barnaby creeps forward and sees armed men threatening a lone goblin. The company, finally noticing Barnaby’s absence (hint: there wasn’t enough chaos for him to be there) rushes forward attempting to portrait themselves as simple itinerant friars. Sadly, the men on the road were devotees of the Blood of Vol, and not too kindly disposed to preachers of the Silver Flame. As Krumroc rounds the bend and comes into view, he is peppered with arrows. The Empty Keg springs into action and makes short work of the Emerald Claw and frees their prisoner, Govaan, who they then procede to threaten, insult, and harass. The party does learn that the Emerald Claw ambushed Govaan’s company and slaughtered many of them, trying to determine the location of “the others”. Govaan claims to be nothing more than a simple mercenary on his way back to Ardev who only wants to bury his comrades and leave this horrible scene behind him. Satisfied, the party leaves him to his fate and continues on.

Two days later, Lan comes across a crude toll and an encampment of savages …

XP
300 (encounter, skill challenge, role playing) each

Treasure
Giantkind Gloves
Goblin Necklace (100gp)

View
Session 3

Recap

The Empty Keg completed their task and got paid by Molric, the dwarven foreman, and by Olakki, the hobgoblin priest. There they had the journal translated and found that a group of hobgoblins from the Wordbearer faction had been in the tomb of Ashurta seeking his blade as part of a larger artifact known as the Ashen Crown. Olakki told the company to contact Prof. Nephret at Morgrave University, an expert in ancient goblin history, and to have the blade examined. He then offered to look into any recent outsider goblin activity in Sharn.

The company moved on and met with Prof. Sconce to deliver the kruthik eggs and collect their additional reward. After interrupting his class and demonstrating a little knowledge of physics and biology, the crew sought out the goblin history professor in her office. Then all hell broke loose as a misinterpreted keyword sent Barnaby into a frenzy where he demanded that Nephret tell him everything she knew about goblins while the rest of the company (save Joshua) tried to subdue him. Security was called and the officers confronted the company, who acquiesed and went along with the officers for questioning. Or so it seemed, because instead of making it to the security office, Barnaby pushed the guards off a walkway, trusting to their safe fall tokens to keep them alive. Desperately, the company split up, most rushing back to their office to send Jarvis (the gnomish secretary) to bribe Prof. Sconce so that he would not reveal who they were. Jarvis was successful, but at the cost of the reward the company was owed for the flying kruthik eggs.

Meanwhile, Joshua, displaying an uncanny amount of debonair charm (and having not been seen during the initial scuffle), worked his way back into Prof. Nephret’s office and engaged her on an intellectual level, getting her to focus on examining Ashurta’s Blade and the journal. There he learned that Ashurta’s Blade was one of five goblin artifacts that could be combined into the Ashen Crown, which had powers over life and death and learned some lore about the various goblin factions who might be interested. Agreeing to let Nephret do further research, Joshua returned to headquarters.

While arguing over what to do next, the company was summoned to meet with representatives of Breland’s King’s Citadel, their intelligence service, and offered a mission to take the blade to a faction of goblins, the Wordbearers, and help them recover the rest of the crown. Breland, it seems, wants the Wordbearers in control of Darguun. Breland needs the company to help them set up one faction of goblins as the rulers of Darguun, by travelling to a place called Six Kings in Droaam and assisting the goblins there in finding more ancient artifacts. The company agreed for various favors. Joshua returned to learn what Nephret had learned, only to find a pair of elven guests in her presence who offered him 3000gp for the blade which he politely declined to do. Nephret intimated that the Crown was actually an ancient elven artifact taken by the goblins in battle, and detailed more of it’s abilities as well as a ritual for reforging it’s components together.

Many characters received visitors or messages (and I leave it to them to share anything). The company decided to store the blade in a Dragonmarked bank vault, but on the way were ambushed by a group of Bladebearer goblinoids. After a fierce battle, the characters stashed Ashurta’s Blade. Later they received a note from Nephret claiming that the elven visitors were not what they seemed and that the leader, Dannae, was actually a Skullborn elf named Demise. Rushing to Nephret’s home, the characters encountered a wight (magically disguised as Dannae/Demise) and a horde of zombies. The fighting was touch and go, but the company endured. A search of the apartment revealed a note claiming that Demise was linked with the Emerald Claw (fanatical cultists of the Blood of Vol) and all of Nephret’s research notes and a description of the Crown, but no sign of the professor.

After informing Breland intelligence of the developments, the company finally boards an airship to meet up with the Wordbearers seeking the rest of the Ashen Crown.

* * *

Had a lot of fun with this one guys. Feel free to add anything I forgot for the benefit of our absent player. Hope you all enjoyed it, even when it went off the rails and I was clearly just making shit up as I went along. Also, I hope the extra plot hooks and flavor I’ve thrown in work for everyone! If there’s some background I’m neglecting that you think I ought to bring up, let me know. If there’s anything you want to ask about a faction or any investigation anyone wants to do, email away.

XP
450

Treasure
5 Healing Potions
53gp
Getting paid

View
Session 2

After a frightening incident with Ashurta’s Royal Guard, the company met up with Barnaby and his helpful dinosaur outside the ruins. Aluyah wandered off to make his report, and the party made camp before venturing back into the tomb. Undead were killed. Kruthiks were squished. Warforged were chewed on by an enormous stone dragon’s mouth. But in the end, the party emerged bedraggled (and minus one poor dinosaur) back into the depths of the cogs, confident that the kruthik hive had been stamped out (and with a live specimin).

Now the question is, where do they go? Back to Molric and Olakki to collect their pay? What about the journal from the first room? What about this artifact sword, long buried beneath Sharn? Should be a fun time.

I am free next weekend if people want me to run. If 4/5 players can, and want to, make it then I think we can play. Hope everyone had a good time. I know it was a little dungeon-crawly, but still fun. The trap amused me, so did that brutal alpha strike from the hobgoblin spectre.

XP (each)
770

Bentley, you should have received the same XP for the first session that everyone else did, which I think was 550? It doesn’t make sense to keep one character behind, so when I DMPC someone they get full credit for being there. If this takes you guys to 3rd level, please pick your encounter power and gain your hit points (which is, I believe, all that happens from going from 2-3) and email them to me

Treasure
3gp
2 Potions of Healing
Amulet of Protection +2
Demon Statuette (100gp)

View
Session 1

RECAP

The Empty Keg met up in Krumroc’s favorite bar and made their way down to Molric, the foreman of the Tain Foundry. There they were hired (for 100gp, payable on completion) to resolve an infestation of kruthiks that had claimed two of the foundry’s workers. A hobgoblin priest named Olaaki stressed the urgency and offered another 50 gold if the party acted with haste, and warned them of the goblin ruins in the area.

The company made its way to the ruins and found a man-made tunnel, which they explored and found a break in to some sort of ancient tomb. There was signs of a battle between goblins and kruthiks, but no goblinoid bodies. While inspecting the room, the company was attacked by a swarm of kruthik which they made short work of. Searching the room they found goblin coins and a potion of healing as well as a journal in goblin, then explored some of the kruthik made tunnels before deciding to head further into the tomb.

Finding a fiendish room flanked with statutes and containing a strange floor carved with cryptic words, the company hesitated, and initially made for the next room, before pushing down a particular floor carving and causing one of the statutes to reveal a secret passage. Unfortunately, it also summoned up creatures from the abyss made of living fire, which were absolutely no match for the frost weapons of the party. The demon’s eyes made a nice reward for their efforts, 300gp in garnets.

Deciding to head down the secret passage, the company found themselves in a huge room dominated by an enormous statute of a hobgoblin prince and containing a long undisturbed sarcophagus. Moving to investigate, the room was plunged into darkness and foul creatures from beyond the grave attacked. The battle was heated and frenzied, with several of the company severely wounded, but the tide turned when the goblin lord Ashurta met his end, dashed against his own enormous rotating statute.

TREASURE
65gp
300gp garnet gems
160gp amber gems

Potion of Healing

Battle Standard of Might
Power (Encounter • Zone): Standard Action. When you plant the battle standard in your space or an adjacent square, it creates a zone in a close burst 5. While within the zone, you and your allies gain a +1 power bonus on damage rolls. This effect lasts until the end of the encounter or until the battle standard is removed from the ground. Any character in or adjacent to a battle standard’s square can remove it from the ground as a standard action.

Skull Mask
Property: Enemies who can see you take a –2 penalty to saving throws against fear effects.
Property: Gain resist 5 necrotic, and a +1 item bonus to Intimidate checks.

Belt of the Brawler
Property: Make improvised attacks (included unarmed attacks) as if you were armed with a club.

Ashurta’s Blade
Enhancement: +2 to attack and damage rolls
Critical: +2d6, +2d10 against aberrant creatures
Property: +1 item bonus to defenses against aberrant creatures
Power (At-Will): Takes the shape of a broadsword, dagger, longsword, or short sword
Power (Daily): When you hit the target of an attack with this weapon, you can daze it until the end of your next turn. Aberrant creatures are also restrained and cannot teleport until the end of your next turn as well.

EXPERIENCE
530 xp each

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.