The Journey North
Sir Dorian, right-hand man of Lord Roland’s now-deceased father, was sent on a mission to recruit a group of capable and trustworthy men to investigate a newly-discovered castle in the Northland mountains, just a day’s travel from Eoh. Count Ernar Fostrin, through his contacts, is able to secure a position as the expedition’s lead, and everyone else is tasked with his protection. Corgan, an old acquaintance of Sir Dorian, is brought in, along with Corgan’s most recent traveling companion, Octavian. In addition, two dwarves, Tolth and Glirn, are brought in, as well as a Lowland elf that nobody seems to like.
The group sets off, and on their way to Eoh, they come across a group of dwarves sent by Lord Rogrim. an opposing noble who seems set on stopping the group from reaching the castle. After the battle, Octavian learns that Tolth has a secret.
Finally making it to Eoh, they recruit Erg, an Open-sky Orc that was part of the group of miners that discovered the castle. They travel to the castle where Fostrin quietly disposes of Erg and they begin their exploration, running into a lost farmer/fighter by the name of Aleksei. Having been separated from his friends and being hopelessly lost, he joins the group in the hopes to make it back home.
The Castle And Its Bowels
A giant is encountered, but left to its own devices. Apparently, these devices involve eating a rope bridge. The group is effectively stuck in the castle.
In the lower levels of the castle, they meet Ceracia, a prisoner of a group of Orcs. They dispatch the goblinoids with little difficulty (though Tolth falls in battle) and Ceracia reluctantly joins the group, trust being a big issue at this point.
The goblinoids had been blasting their way to the lower levels of the castle, so the group finishes what they started. Beyond the collapsed walls, they make a discovery: an ancient chamber, containing carvings and symbols that suggest that Aedon was no greater a deity than any of the smaller ones being worshipped in the land. In the carvings, all of the deities, Aedon included, are prostrating themselves before the avatar of an ancient elvish lord.
Not only that, but the sealed chamber contained an elvish skeleton in ancient armor, a magical ring on its finger and an ornate dagger where its guts would have been. At this point, Ernar attempts to ditch the group, recruiting Ceracia and Glirn with the promise of bringing back Tolth. Their attempts to leave the castle end up making things worse as several towers collapse, ending the narrative of Tolth and Glirn.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group has ventured deeper. They discover an ancient rune on the floor of the castle from which salt water appears to be pouring. They delve further and find a circular room containing the names of ancient heroes etched into the walls. Some undead then crawl from the pool in the room’s center and encourage the PC’s to move on.
Eventually, the lower levels of the castle lead to a river which in turn leads to caverns. Count Ernar Fostrin is lost to the group when a rope bridge fails to support his weight.
As they rest, Ceracia hires the group in the name of Lady Korax to which they agree with little fuss.
Traveling onwards into the caves, the group discovers an advancing column of Deep-dweller Orcs. Corgan scouts ahead from the group and is not seen again. His last words to the group are: “I’ll be right back.”
Suddenly and without warning, Valcina and Bohees appear out of nowhere in a flash of fireworks and confetti. Moments later, the elf vanishes in a puff of equally jovial smoke, only to have Rexar standing in his place. Before anyone can actually figure out what is happening, the Orcish column sends out strike teams against which the party defends.
As moving forward is no longer an option and going back is a dead-end, the group decides to go up and finds a crevice among the stalagtites that leads to the surface. They climb through to an abandoned village where they spend an evening, then almost die in a fire.
The Deep-dweller Orcs appear to be moving through the mountains as well as beneath them, and so the party decides it must make a quick escape. Aleks finds a carriage being pulled by Owl Bears, so this becomes the vehicle of escape. A Wyvern is loosed on the characters and an epic fight ensues down the mountainside.
Almost losing Rexar, the Wyvern is felled just as the carriage careens across an ancient, broken stone bridge. Reasonably far from the advancing Orcs, the party rests, nearly getting wiped out during the night by harpies nesting underneath the bridge.
The Journey South
Climbing down and heading south, they encounter a “heroic” hobgoblin who is reputed for having slaughtered many innocent people. Oddly, no one seems to have a problem with this and happily sit with him by the fire. Rexar promptly poisons the shit out of him and Valcina takes possession of his black scimitar.
Moving on, the party discovers that there are several columns of advancing Orcs, and they are all heading south. A side-effect of Valcina picking up the black scimitar seems to be that everyone now knows heroic tales about her, and the advancing column of Orcs stops to admire her. During this very bizarre encounter, they meet Stag, a mercenary who was staying in a village the Orcs burned on their way south. Having been hit by a poisoned arrow, he awakens to find himself surrounded by Orcs and a small rag-tag group of adventurers. He joins the rag-tag group. Whether or not this was the wisest choice will never be known.
The Orcs find themselves entranced with Valcina and she manages to convince a few to take their own lives. Before things turn into a bloodbath, a figure in white armor rides up and orders the Orcs to kill the party. The Orcs awaken from the reverie and squads are dispatched to hunt the now-fleeing group.
A scuffle in the woods has the party emerging victorious, but trapped between to advancing columns of Orcs. They travel south, wondering how they might outrun the golinoid army and warn the land, when they reach the south mountain wall. An ancient tower leads up to a ruined stone city where they also discover a docked airship just as the Orcish army finds them.
The Flight Home
The party launches the airship despite not knowing how to operate it. As they plummet through the sky, they manage to get it airborne just as a young black dragon catches up to them. The ship’s lower levels house a canon which Valcina attempts to load with the black scimitar, to no avail. Octavian recovers it.
With Rexar at the helm of the ship, they race towards Sulosia as the dragon tears apart the ship. With a well-timed maneuver, they fire the canon into the dragon’s neck after it rears its head.
Now free of both the threat of the dragon and the comfort of control, the ship soars out-of-control towards Lake Sulosia. Farewells are said, spells are cast, and the party braces for impact.