The Canticle of Ordrass

Transition
What the hell is going on?

So the first Canticle of Odrass game disintegrated as so many campaigns do.  It was reborn in 2009, and reset again in late 2010.

As I float between trying to be a freelance writer, working "real" jobs, acting, and everything else I've been doing, focus shifts.  But I would like very much to keep this thing going and developing. 

I've got a few very good players just at the moment, and big hopes for the current campaign.  What I must do now is summarize the previous campaign and the early bit of the current one into a prologue before getting this site running again.

I look forward to that.

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Into the Underway
The Journey Begins

   Only days after the Heroes' Feast, the party began the long trek to the dwarven capital at Everhold. 

   Their first stop is the location of the kobold lair, where the group had previously vanquished an entire clan of the humanoid troublemakers with the careful application of fire.  They had at that time been unable to open a set of valuable-looking metal boxes.  More luck was had this time around, and two of the boxes were opened, revealing a shirt of chainmail made from some unusual, dark metal and a great many silver coins.

   Unfortunately, the characters who had gone ahead to the treasure while the others waited by a swift-flowing underground river found themselves so enraptured by this windfall that they failed to notice the lair's new denizen until it was too late.  The carrion crawler who had for weeks fed upon the charred remains of the kobold clan surprised the contingent and nearly killed them all before help arrived.  The rest of the group had heard the echoing sounds of the combat and come to the rescue, barely defeating the ten foot long worm-like beast in time.

   After a rest, the party continued, managed to cross the broken bridge with some effort and continued for a time, passing a rift from which poured icy cold air, before finally settling into a way house to rest.  The way houses, small, walled enclosures built into the side of the Underway itself are rarely roofed as weather is little concern in the Gundarthain, or underworld. 

   Unfortunately, this resulted in a total lack of protection from the piercers that crashed from the Underway's high ceiling.  The strange underworld snails were unsuccesful in their attack, and found death rather than meat. 

   Later that same night, came the Baruuk.  No less than eight of the brutal humanoid beasts approached, but the wariness of the adventurers prevented their sneak attack.  Nonetheless, combat ensued, the Baruuk charging when they realized they'd been detected.  The fierce battle proved the value of Iorick Stonebrow's hard training and Orimir the Faithful's service to Helm, the Watching God.  The Baruuk were vanquished, slain almost to a man, and silence again settled on the party.

 

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A Hero's Feast
And so it begins

    After their respite following the disovery of the necromancer's lair, the characters awake to begin another day.  Expecting more labor and duty, each is surprised to recieve a fromal invitation to dine with the town elder, Morgrym Alabaster

     The evening found them at the Alabaster clanhold in their best finery.  Lord Alabaster met with them in his audience chamber and informed them that one of the villagers, in fact, priest Orimir the Faithful's father, was prepared to make the journey to Everhold, where he intended to join the Guild of Chanters.  As the dwarf had been blinded in a recent accident, he would need a substantial guard.

    Morgrym suggested that Kendrick Teague, Opal Gemquest, Orimir the Faithful and Iorick Stonebrow be those guards.  He further informed them that he intended to prepare for them a letter of recomendation for the Heroes' Guild. 

    The lord of Underhome had seen their progress and judged their mettle.  While he fully expected some failures in their future, he held out hope that they would be a vital element in the war against the dragons and the return of the free peoples to the sunlit world.

    He then led them to his feasthall, where their families and the town elders waited.  A great cheer went up as the group entered, and a fine meal was shared to commemorate the beginning of their journey. 

    Within a few days, the group had gathered reinforcements and supplies and set out on their journey through the Underway. 

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A Lost Troupe
7/11/08

    In our last adventure, the characters heard news of a missing troupe of entertainers.  The Elder of Underhome, Morgrym Alabaster, had hired the troupe as the main entertainment for a festival he had planned to celebrate the village's newly re-established connection to the Underway, and thus society at large. 

    The people of Underhome had been sealed off in their local cavern system for twenty-seven years, cut off from contact with the surviving Free Peoples of Imperial Ravenna.

    But with the festival only days away, no sign of the entertainers had been seen.  The only visitors to Underhome in the last few days had been a trio of crones sent by the Sanguine Sisterhood to discover the fate of their local representative. 

    The (PC) Acolyte of Helm the Watching God was visited by his power as he slept.  His mind, made feverish by severe injuries suffered at the claws of an umber hulk, saw the sign of his god.  As the all-seeing eye shone upon him, a rumbling accompanied sliding stone, revealing a passage into the darkness.  A pair of cold, skeletal reached out to drag young Orimir into the depths, but instead he woke, crying out and dripping with icy sweat.

    As he hurried to his temple with the aid of (PC) Opal Gemquest, a young gnome, (PC) Kendrick Teague decided to consult his own god, Ilmater, for portents, and in his holy trance was granted a vision a girl-child stretched on an altar, ready for sacrifice.

    Kendrick at once gathered his friends, Orimir, Opal, and the (PC) drunken warrior Yorick, and sought information about the girl's identity.  It became obvious that she was one of the entertainers.  The group at once gathered their supplies and set off toward the Watersdown Inn, the closest habitation in the direction from which the troupe was expected.

    Finding no sign of them there, the party rested uneasily before striking off along the Underway to save the girl.

    After only a few hours, the group came to a Way House, situated against the side of the cavernous Underway.  The area was shrouded in darkness, as the light-giving moss, glowleaf, had been stripped away by some unkown agent.

    Outside the Way House was a colorful wagon, the stout rams that pulled it still hitched, but lying dead in place.  Upon entering the structure, the party found a man laying dead in his blankets, and after some searching, found a hidden portal.  As the group worked to discover the mechanism, Kendrick found a toy horse in another blanket.  This he took and wrapped carefully before stowing it away.

    Upon opening the portal, three pair of skeletal hands groped out, clawing at the party, but Kendrick was able to call upon his god, and Ilmater sent a chilling wind to drive the undead away.

    The party followed, moving with care in the flickering light of their torch and lantern, and after surviving a trapped stairway, came into a wide hall with a single cell on either side. To the right, terrified and starving, were four of the entertainers.  Opposite was a terrible sight.  The rest of the troupe had been slain cleanly, throats cut in their sleep.  But they now roamed their cell, moaning with lifeless voices.  They had been raised as zombies.

    After some time, the group was able to calm the survivors and free them, sending them to the safety of Watersdown before burning the abominations that remained.

    At the end of the hall they discovered a pair of beautiful doors, carved in the dwarven style, but now covered in gore.  Upon opening these, a small army of skeletons confronted the heroes.  They could see te altar beyond, and valiantly tried to reach it.  The fifteen skeletal warriors that barred their passage were too much for the group, however, and they fell back to decide upon a better plan.

    As the rage of injustice filled him, Kendrick stepped forth and incanted the words of a scroll he had recieved some time back.  A blazing bolt of lightning pierced  the darkness, and the terrible heat and deafening crack shattered all but a handful of the skeletons that barred their way.  The warrior priest of Helm, courageous gnomish rogue and drunken warrior dispatched those that remained as Kendrick rushed to free the child.

    The group returned unmolested to the Watersdown Inn, where they rested overnight to regain their composure.  Those they had saved awaited them, and Kendrick saw them reunited with the girl, who remained in shock.  In the morning, The entertainers returned with care to the Way House to reclaim their possessions while the heroes went on to Underhome.

    After informing Morgrym that the survivors would be along shortly, the party dispersed to see to the business of their daily lives.  Heroes though they are, responsibilities remain. 

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