Mordheim - Towered City of Shadows

The Justicars Awaken

Having recently returned from eliminating the Yuan-ti threat, the party is commended for their heroism. Bucky (the Goliath Barbarian) and Archer (the elven Ranger) are approached by a mysterious figure after their encounter with the mysterious female necromancer. He is an old elf who introduces himself as Vertar. He tells the two that he had been tracking the necromancer until she encountered them and lost her trail.

Vertar reveals himself to be a member of the once proud Justicars, defenders of Mordheim who used a combination of powerful arcane abilities with martial prowess to protect the city. He proceeds to tell them that the necromancer he was tracking was a dark elf wizard named D’Mise, a servant of the Archons of the Obsidian. Their goal is to raise the undead tyrant Nagash, a powerful lich who once ruled the city, and give him control of Mordheim once more. He enlists the aid of Bucky and Archer in the task of finding D’mise and stopping her from collecting a group of artifacts that, when combined, form a key to unlock Nagash’s phylactery, once again bringing him into the material plane. He tells the party to seek out another ancient elf named Eltural, now a professor of ancient history and lore at Mordheim University, and one of the last remaining alive who remembers the horror of Nagash’s reign as ruler of Mordheim.

Bucky and Archer accept this quest and seek out Eltural to gain more info on the Justicars and the Archons of the Obsidian. After approaching Eltural in his tower at the university they soon discover that during his reign, Nagash had all of the Justicars killed deeming them traitors to the city. To Eltural’s knowledge, none had survived. He revealed to the party that a particular tome might unlock the secret to the next piece of Nagash’s key. The tome was recently stolen from the university and through powerful magic he had tracked its location to the home of a noblewoman named Naleria Ducard, a dealer in ancient and valuable texts and historical artifacts. The party agrees to enter Ducard’s home and attempt to retrieve the lost tome.

Sandy (the halfling bard), Klang (the warforged fighter), and Zuit (the Aarocockra cleric) attempted to scout out the home of Ducard by presenting themselves as merchants interested in purchasing the book. Ducard denied knowledge of the tome, and a melee soon ensued. Ducard managed to escape leaving her Necrophidius golems to deal with the intruders. The golems managed to kill all three of the party members, leaving the rest of the group in shock.

Bucky, Tyrell, Archer, and Fenghell don’t spend long mourning the loss of their friends before taking action, feeling their time frame might be limited on getting the book before Ducard decided to relocate it from her home. During this time, they were visited by a Dwarven war cleric of Crom, named Osyean who revealed himself to be the estranged father to their deceased friend, Gulf. Osyean agreed to aid the party in their efforts in retaining the book fearing the outcome of Nagash should he return to his position of power as Mordheim’s ruler.

With that, Bucky, Archer, Tyrell, and Osyean set off to investigate the home themselves. Tyrell used a magical spell to disguise his appearance as a city watch while Archer disguised himself as a servant. Once gaining access to her residence, however Ducard was not fooled and another encounter ensued. Osyean and Bucky, waiting outside for nearly half an hour for Tyrell to return decided to spring into action. During the fight, Bucky fell to the combined might of the Necrophidius golems and Ducard, who revealed herself to be a Dark Naga.

With the party now having lost four of their friends to Naleria Ducard and her construct servants, the party must regroup and decide how to handle this deadly threat.

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The Party Splits

After taking down the Yuan-ti and their pureblood the party was at a crossroads as to their next move. They had managed to obtain the evidence they needed to return to Balduran but their lack of stealth in obtaining it could have dire consequences.

Archer and Bucky agreed to leave and return to Skyhold carrying part of the Yuan-ti creature as proof of the cult’s existence. The rest of the party, concerned that the cult might simply relocate, decided to press on into Undermord to wipe them out. Fenghell and Zuit attempted to convince Archer and Bucky to stay and help them eliminate the cult, but the Archer had other plans. With that the group split.

As Klang, Fenghell, Zuit, and Sandy (along with his new skeleton companion) continued their delve into the underground dungeon. Along the way, they encountered two cultists carrying what looked to be a prisoner in tattered rags. The party engaged the cultists, killing them, and freeing the prisoner who revealed himself to be a man named Tyrell. Tyrell convinces the party to let him join them on their quest to wipe out the cult.

The group continues on finding another chamber full of cultists and proceeds to wipe them out leaving none standing. Meanwhile on the surface, Archer and Bucky encounter a mysterious stranger.

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Upon returning to the surface into the ruined temple of Dorn, Archer and Bucky are immediately set upon by a woman wearing a mask. Her skin black as ebony and cracking she is accompanied by a group of undead servants of skeletons and zombies. She demands the goliath Bucky hand over the amulet, which he is presently wearing as a bracelet. The same amulet carried by the Yuan-ti Pureblood woman the group had slain earlier. Without any resistance, Bucky removes the amulet and tosses it to her. She commands her undead servants to kill them both and vanishes in the blink of an eye.

Archer and Bucky, sensing they are about to be overwhelmed, begin to run away. Making their way to the Crimson Daggers holdout, a tavern in Hells Gate, they seek out the Halfling Jorldren with whom they had previously made a deal to resurrect the dwarf, Gulf.

Jorldren agrees to see the characters where Archer makes an interesting proposition to the guild.

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The Story So Far

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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