There was much more to the isolated dwarven camp than the party anticipated. Vape Naesh tells the story. –GM
9th day of Gozran, 4716 AR
Dwarves are strong, noble, and proud to a fault. This band that we met proved no different from the rest.
“We search for the bones of our clan’s last true leader, King Kroma,” said Thane Fenris. “He perished here during the battle of Tsar.”
We agreed to protect them and stay with them for a while, as long as we got some share of any profits found. They of course agreed, glad to make battle brethren of people like ourselves. We asked them how long this might take, but they simply said, “Completion date? Ha! We’ll finish when we finish.”
Feeling that every day brought us closer to the Holy Vape, I explored their camp and prepared. We found a pile of bones from foes they had vanquished as well as graves for fallen comrades. However, while peering at the bones, creatures emerged from them. Ghouls of some sort, they died quickly to our combined might. The Dwarves were dumbfounded as to how they had gotten there, but night was approaching fast and we needed to prepare for a nightly assault. They said that they were attacked on some nights, and tonight might bring monsters from the gloom. The first wave surprised, skeletons in ranks and ranks, as far as I could see.
For once, I snapped out of my vape-induced haze and realized this might really be the end of my life. However, Aeorbeck proved me wrong.
“Stand behind me! I will protect you!” he shouted. Holy light shot down around him, burning the skeletons to ash in moments. Soon none remained, and we all blinked at the miracle that we witnessed. However, it was not over.
A few hordes later the finale approached. The bones of the fallen king were standing before us, powerful and ancient, beyond all comprehension. The Dwarves would not start the fight with their former lord, only defend themselves. Then it screeched in the tongue of pain, and around us our allies froze solid. We were dazed as the creature advanced towards its clan-mates. It struck out at one, killing him instantly. We were quick to react, firing upon it with all we had, but it was so strong. I could barely hit it, and my allies weren’t faring much better.
However, our brave hero Aeorbeck was not afraid. He stood before the fiend, striking at it as it strode forward. As it reached out to extinguish his life, it fell to a knee, then further, slowly crumbling to pieces. We rejoiced, but we were not quick enough. The lich had killed Thane Fenris and many other Dwarves had also fallen. The war was won, but the battle felt like a loss.
However, Aeorbeck made one final call upon his goddess Iomedae. He spent hours praying feverishly, waiting for the perfect moment to call upon divine intervention. Then, light fell from the heavens above upon the leader’s corpse. All was still. Waiting.
Suddenly, Thane Fenris sat up, alive once again. He welcomed us to his clan with open arms, for he had witnessed all sorts of miracles on this night. He took the bones and the crown of Kroma to bury with his clan and granted us the rest of the treasure, and we went back to the Camp, all of us feeling completed.
– Vape Naesh (Zack B.)
Aeorbeck Wolfsbane – human cleric of Iomedae 8
Nostog Honderfjom – human (ulfen) armored-hulk barbarian 7
Ralph – goblin fighter 7
Spicy Salsa – human monk 7
Vape Naesh – elven wizard 5 / fighter 1 / eldritch knight 2