Baricus

Artifacts, Temples, White Dragon
A seven month summary

Note: We played on and off for 7 months, skipping lots of weeks because people couldn’t make it

After obtaining the Red Dragon mask, the party learned the locations of the remaining dragons from Mantis. They also learned that they were too weak to fight them, and they would need the power of several artifacts on another continent to help them. Over several months, the party obtained 4 artifact weapons while fighting Owlbears, Giant Spiders, constructs, Corrupted Ogres and Mogor, who ended up joining the party.

With their new power, they traveled back to war-torn Winterhaven, which just finished its successful coup at the cost of many lives and heavy damage to the infrastructure of the city. Perhaps if the adventurers stayed to assist this coup, it would have saved these lives and buildings, including the last remnant of Fargrim’s order – the Temple of Midas.

With all of their stored possessions gone, they paid for transport north to the Orcish mountains. The party secured the Red Dragon Mask at a temple atop a mountain belonging to Order of the Gauntlet. Then, they traveled to the White Dragon Cyrathall, who was imprisoned by tendrils protruding from the earth. The adventurers killed Cyrathall’s captors and freed him, and he returned the favor by not trying to kill them and giving them White Dragon Mask.

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The Fledgling Red Dragon

The party left the Red Claw hideout and returned to Forger’s Hold to find that they are reviled for provoking a local druid by not compensating him for his service. The druid had been killing the residents of Forger’s Hold over the last 18 hours, in a different animal form every time. They make the short journey to the druid and manage to calm him down, giving him Malek’s Horn as payment for his service.

After a rest in the mercenary camp, Balasaar puts on the Dragon Mask and is knocked unconscious briefly. When he awakes, he can hear the thoughts of 4 other beings, all wearing similar Dragon Masks. The mask also shows a pale red glow towards some nearby hills, which the party pursues.

They party heads out into the wilderness toward the red glow, and run into a travelling gambler and his bodyguard. They gamble some, then murder the gambler but his guard escapes back to Forger’s Hold, spreading the news.

After reaching the glow, they find a Wizard raising a very young red dragon. Zanos skillfully convinces the Dragon that his owner is weak and the dragon pounces on him, killing him.

The dragon was still hostile to the intruders, and they eventually killed him. Zanos and Balasaar were considering attempting to tame the dragon, but Fargrim and Valerious felt compelled to slay it instead. The party finds a sizable hoard of treasure for such a young dragon.

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The Red Claw cont'd

Delving deeper into the caverns, the party finds their captured companion Zanos in a crude cage and sets him free. They continue on and find the leader of the Red Claw sitting on his throne in a chamber, and try to sneak up on him. In the ensuing fight, Zanos was downed but the adventurers prevailed over the bandit leader and his many summoned fire elementals. The party gained several magic items from this fight: a scroll that permanently enchants a weapon to return when thrown, a +1 mace and an eyeless Dragon Mask with unknown properties.

Instead of returning to Forger’s Hold, the party rests inside the caverns and then decides to explore beyond the other two stone doors in the first room. The middle door contained the demon Arturis, imprisoned a weakened state as a trap to intruders. He was defeated by the party, and they took his sword and shield.

The third door contained a room with a treasure chest across a pit of lava. Four small moving pillars moved laterally across the pit, spaced out in 10 foot increments. Valarious tied a rope to an arrow, shoots it into the chest across the pit and hands the loose end to Fargrim, who holds it firmly. Using this rope, Valarious jumps between the pillars – falling onto his belly on the third and knocking over the fourth, nearly falling into the lava and dying. He tried to open the chest but was (semi) surprised to find that it was a mimic. With the help of the party across the pit, the mimic was dispatched and Valarious recovered a magical javelin then returned to safety on the other side of the lava using the now tightly secured rope.

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The Red Claw
A brief introduction to the caverns

The party returned from the Cult of Malek’s settlement and were spotted by a scout from the bandit group the Red Claw. They interrogated him and ended up killing him and desecrating his body. After his death, they used the Horn of Malek on him and he said “Red Dawn rises, friend”.

After returning to Forger’s Hold, the party found out about a sage that could potentially tell them the location of the Red Claw leader. They seek out the sage, persuade him to reveal the location, and venture to the hideout.

Upon arrival at the cavern entrance they quickly slaughter the 6 guards on the surface and proceed inside, killing several more guards.

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Slaying Titus
Efficiency trumps morality

Fargrim, Valarious, and Balasaar talked to Galiendor and accepted a contract to kill Titus, the leader of a cult to Malek. The cult is devoted to causing misery and pain in their patron’s name, and Titus has accelerated their efforts by kidnapping people from nearby towns. Irien, a more senior mercenary, escorts the party to the cult’s location and they start their infiltration.

Within 1 minute of coming into contact with the blue-robed civilians, Valarious shoots a woman in the neck with an arrow, killing her. Her family and friends try to run up the dirt road to the marketplace, but one is captured and bound.

The party decides to take the dead woman’s body up the road and lie to the guards to try and gain entrance to the village. The guards believe their story so they don’t attack, but it is standard procedure for newcomers to live outside of the main village until they prove loyal. Enraged by this, Balasaar hurls the corpse at the guard, missing entirely and initiating combat.

The party dispatches all of the guards and loots them, finding Malek’s Horn. They then disguise themselves in the guards’ robes and infiltrate the town hall to enter the shrine to Malek, where Titus’s throne is. They approach him (which is an obvious transgression in this society) and are attacked by Titus and a living statue of Malek. The party kills Titus, and use his casting focus to disintegrate the statue.

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Winterhaven and Forger's Hold
An introduction to Baricus

The party attended a public execution of one of the members of Forger’s Hold, the mercenary camp. The execution was interrupted by Atherian, but his attempt was thwarted by Zanos, Fargrim, Valarius and Mantis.

The party was commended for not running away, but then sent on a suicide mission because Arthund Hammerfall is trying to keep the populace weak and unable to revolt. Umul, son of Arul intercepts them on the mission and warns them, and they are able to overcome the ambush by hiding a cursed map in a passing cart. Umul, son of Arul then leads them to Forger’s Hold, where they meet Galiendor, the leader of the mercenaries.

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