Prison in Mordheim can be a dark cruel and unforgiving place. It is not uncommon for citizens to be jailed for petty crimes, and forgotten to rot in their cells. Our heroes The Archer, Klang, Sanderson Shortleaf, Styg the Warlock, and Gulf the Dwarf Cleric, began as prisoners of Mordheim. Each of them, along with 20 other prisoners, were given an option; rot in prison, or attempt to run the annual Gauntlet of the Ghast Queen and attain freedom. They chose the latter.
Plunged into the dark crypts below the city’s arena, the group banded together. The goal being to find 5 gemstones shaped in the form of outstretched hands. Find the gems and you can escape the dungeon and receive a full pardon (and instant notoriety). Failure to do so would result in death. All the while, magical orbs floating around the dungeon serve as scrying eyes projected out into the arena for thousands to see.
The group navigated the labyrinth of the gauntlet contested by the hazards therein, various monsters, traps and hazards, and the other prisoners as well. Having successfully attained the gems, they were able to exit the crypt and return to the arena to the cheers of thousands. Instantly these forgotten criminals became heroes. But everything has a price.
After spending a few weeks under the guidance of one Balduran Winterborn, a noble charged with guiding the group (now known as the Champions of the Gauntlet), the group attended lavish feasts and parties rubbing elbows with some of the city’s elites in Skyhold. Their 15 minutes of fame was beginning to wind down, and the group was left to fend for themselves.
A Mission to Hells Gate
Having newfound notoriety, the group was approached by another noble. Halaster Hightower with a special mission. Offering 100 gold each to the party upon it’s completion, they jumped at the opportunity.
Halaster met with the Dwarf Cleric, Gulf, and presented him with a journal. The journal detailed his son’s slow plunge into madness at the hands of a snake cult. Halaster’s son had been seduced by a priestess of the cult, and left his wealthy life in Skyhold behind to follow his love, and joined the cult located in the most brutal slum in Downbottom; a neighborhood known as Hells Gate. The party accepted the mission and proceeded into the slum.
Adventures in Hells Gate
Having little information to go on aside from the journal, the Champions ventured forth into the slum, assisted by two allies from the Church of Astor; Zuit, the war cleric, and Fenghell, half-orc paladin.
Upon entering the slum they stopped into a tavern to gain information. Being strangers in the neighborhood and standing out from the other poor denizens, they were soon marked by a street gang known as The Black Blades. After a massive battle, which left the tavern nearly ruined, and several innocent bystanders dead, the party overcame the thugs.
Having attained information on possible cult activity near the ruined temple of Dorn the party decided to investigate further. Along the way they were attacked and nearly killed in an alley by more of these Black Blades, they managed to find their way to the ruined temple.
Upon investigation, they were ambushed by an adventuring group sent from the Order of the Steel Song, bent on punishing the party for infringing on their territory. After a short melee, the Champions managed to overpower and kill the mercenaries. After exploring the ruins of the temple they saw signs of cult activity including ritual markings, an altar, and blood indicative of a sacrifice. The Champions found a tunnel leading down into the undercity, also known as Undermord.
Descent into Undermord
The group descended below the temple into the dungeons of Undermord where they were assailed by a pack of Gnolls that had taken up residence in the ruin. After a series of brutal encounters, the group managed to take the Gnolls out, and having taken a beating themselves, including the death of Gulf the cleric at the hands of the Gnoll pack lord, they decided to leave the undercity until they could recruit some help. Gathering up their fallen comrade they attempted to leave Hells Gate.
Upon returning to the ruined temple of Dorn, they were ambushed yet again. This time would be by the Halfling rogue, Jorldren of the Crimson Daggers. Jorldren offered to assist the group resurrect their fallen ally in exchange for a favor or series of favors later on. Still trying to come to terms with the death of their friend, the group agreed.
Despite multiple attempts to do so, Jorldren and his group could not bring Gulf back to life. The group decided to return to Skyhold to lay their friend to rest and mourn his loss.
Back to Skyhold
The Champions returned to the Church of Astor and put their friend Gulf to rest. Upon hearing of their return to the district, Balduran requested an audience with them. The Champions met him at his lavish family home. The usual jovial and happy noble was furious at hearing of the party’s actions in the tavern in Hells Gate. After hearing the party’s side, Balduran offered to return the party to Undermord via magical means to get information on this cult and complete their job for Halaster Hightower. Balduran arranged for the group’s departure, giving them a contact at the temple who would help them in their search for the snake cult.
The Snake Men
Upon teleporting back to the ruined temple of Dorn in Hells Gate, the party was met by Balduran’s contact, the Goliath Barbarian, Bucky. With the goliath in tow, the group descended again into Undermord.
After further exploration, the group found a room full of surgical tools, body parts, and blood. Disturbing a monstrous flesh golem, the creature attacked the party, nearly killing them before finally taking a fatal blow from Klang’s magically imbued greatsword. Further investigation of the room revealed a cage with a skeleton bearing a ring. Styg the warlock took the ring and placed it in his pouch. Within moments, the skeleton appeared at his side, and would not leave.
In serious need of time to heal their wounds the group decided to fortify a room in the crypt. After a brief time resting, they heard the sounds of movement in a corridor and several went to investigate. While half the group fought the cultists in the corridor, the remaining party members were attacked by two Yuan-ti and a beautiful pureblood Yuan-ti (possibly the one mentioned in the journal) who entered the fortified room from another door. The Yuan-ti dispatched Styg leaving The Archer to fend for himself. After a moment, the rest of the group returned to the room, dispatching the remaining Yuan-ti, but unable to get to their friend Styg in time.
Styg had been turned into a skeleton immediately upon his death. The skeleton that had followed him was nothing more than dust on the floor. Sanderson, the Halfling took the ring from the skeletal fingers of Styg, causing Styg’s skeletal body to animate and follow the Halfling.
Now, the group has to decide to either press on further, or return to Balduran with the evidence they have obtained of the Yuan-ti presence.