rooftops have lots of activity — 2nd city exists up there
vibrant, very diverse — we blend in
we go straight to Earl
middle-aged man w/ quick intelligent eyes walks into chamber,
introduces himself as Earl Alovar vas Rethem
Brood tells him we have treaty, we’re trying to recruit armies
Earl: treaty only applies to people outside Kaldor
spy ring can’t find proof that Kamesh are behind the devils scare
Earl remains unconvinced; we tell him about Kuza but he’s never
heard of her; he’s happy we killed Ezren; cautions us against
family who will certainly retaliate for killing him.
Skeptical that Halbarad is on board; Kalkinash Insights to figure
out Earl is being political
He thinks Halbarad & Lilith plotting to usurp crown; Halbarad
believes Itheus is using devils as blind for Kamesh invasion, may
not want to be puppet ruler, always been suspicion that Kaldor
royal line would betray kingdom to Kamesh.
Page tells him no record of Lydia vas Rethem (Kalkinash fairly
certain he’s being honest). We’ve been had, guys!
Our army is only 3000; without help, we can’t do anything about
the Hellmarch. We tell him that we’ve got Amiri’s 3000. He
doesn’t think Halbarad will tolerate 3000 Rethenians marching
across Kaldor. We still think he’s working an angle: price of his
influence is valuable to both parties (us or Halbarad’s potential
takeover of kingdom).
Earl Istarel vas Koor is 100% loyal to Halbarad; wants tangible
proof of devil invasion (e.g. a head). Ports of Rethem rich in
culture — maybe we can find mages. Says he’ll tune some of his
hawks to us so he can contact us with news.
Streetwise to find out more info
Ezren’s death not reported too much. (people don’t generally know
who their nobles are)
Some know about slaver being killed (Ezren)
No one knows who Lydia is.
Voronwe buys Horned Helm (1800 GP from communal pot).
Journey to Hammerheim
following path up to Hammerheim
arrive at landing in front of door, lined with market stalls
we learn the King of Hammerheim is dead (within last month)
We enter huge room with pulley system and hole; faraway sound of
metal picking into stone. Single guard there; he notices us. He
says it’s a bad time for us because king is dead. Kalki asks how
king died. Guard says some suspect murder; others say Logrim is
usurper (member of ruling council, challenging Norin’s son’s
We go down into pit. Glowy pit opens into hundreds of dwarves
going about business. We’ve arrived in Hammerheim. Group of
dwarves talking animatedly. Crowd steadily increasing in size.
Crowd gathers around two specific dwarves: one blond, young by
dwarfish standards (Gwydis); other much older, dressed in noble
dwarven guard (Logrim). Two begin to quarrel.
Crowd gets violent, guards disperse crowd. Guard-captain remains.
Doesn’t want fighting commons. Calls us topsiders. Brood tells
him we’ve come from Valina, bearing pledge to recruit army. Asks
who we can speak to. Captain says only king can command army (but
king is dead, duh). He says we’re welcome to go to the council
chamber, where the council is arguing about succession. Captain
just wants to defend land against Underdark hordes. Hammerheim
has been civ in retreat for several hundred years. Points to
another city below pit (Brand, where casteless dwarves live) and
endless sprawl of cities.
Gwydis on good terms w/ merchant and trade castes; Logrim accuses
Gwydis of arranging death of his older brother Dorn on
battlefield (died fighting in Lost Kingdom against giants).
Logrim respected among higher castes; claims dying king doesn’t
want his son to succeed him. Eldest son Dorn died during last
year. Dain Deepaxe.
We’re denied access to Council chamber
Streetwise checks reveal merchants with Gwydis, who would allow
casteless to serve in army and open up trade to outsiders,
whereas Logrim supports Council who believes he protects their
freedoms. Gwydis may be in league with casteless criminal gangs,
says Logrim camp. Dregol Copperthumb, associate of Gwydis,
merchant, works w/ miner caste; Nerul Grayrune, office in Noble
District one of Logrim’s associates.
Dregol — beardless dwarf approaches us w/ deal. takes us to
local tavern. We mention treaty and he gets excited. Gwydis has
always advocated relationships with topsiders. Might be able to
get 1000-2000 casteless dwarves to join us. Wants us to expose
proof of Logrim’s supposed malfeasance in the council. Review of
caste: miner caste should be higher on echelon than brewing
caste, being disputed by Olaf Kegbreaker. Logrim has promised
both sides their votes via letters.
Nerul: Says it’s a disgrace that Hammerheim isn’t in position to
help us with Hellmarch problem. Says Logrim will only do things
by the book and observe traditions. Says Gwydis is sowing discord
using criminal gangs in Brand, ruled by overlord named Herag
Burntbeard: despicable but keeps violence off Hammerheim. But
Gwydis is supporting rivals to Herag, spreading violence as
cover. Herag has contacted Logrim and offered us deal, wants
goods in exchange for pacifying Gwydis. We have to deliver goods.
Worried that this will be front to carry out political
assassinations. 2000-3000 if successful.
We decide to pick up goods first
we go to Brand: crumpled ruins of ancient dwarven city. looks
exposed if gates should be breached. lack of light compared to
Hammerheim. Everyone has facial tattoo given at birth to
casteless. No one wants to approach you.
Crippled female dwarf approaches us. She works for Ajda
Mintsilver. Tries to get us to leave chests with her.
We reach Herag’s headquarters. Used to be armoury, now
rough-looking dwarves outside. Led inside. Fierce-looking dwarf
w/ huge black beard — Herag. We give him the goods.
Now favor for Gwydis (Skill challenge)
we pass SC, convince people that letters are genuine
Back to Nerul
He hopes it will prevent more bloodshed. Takes us to Logrim.
Sense of sadness about him. Succession battle is taking its toll.
Wants the last living paragon to come back and vote for him to
heal wounds and unite council: Aesdir Redbeard. Leading an
endless campaign in Lost Kingdom. Promises to send 3000 troops.
Needs us to go find Aesdir Redbeard who promised to seal up
Kesham Inod passage, took 200 dwarves, and hasn’t been heard
from. He also says the old King thought Gwydis had murdered his
Back to Dregol
We tell him we delivered the letters. Young dwarf enters chamber
(we recognize from brawl when we came in). Introduces himself as
Gwydis. Wants us to deliver Aesdir to Gwydis instead of to Logrim.
Finding the Paragon (Skill Challenge)
at the maze, farther from Hammerheim
Aesdir headed to Glanrel, houses relic Hammer of Moradin
We fail horribly at this skill challenge, accumulating 9 failures. As a result, we have to lose 1 healing surge each for every failure beyond the normal three (we have option to lose a daily attack power to get two surges back).
we encounter duergar and combat starts. Break for the session.