The Dawn of the Blackwatch

Game 6: Defenders of Blackwater
Hold the Greenbridge

XP: 465

As the party looked upon the three prong assault they realized that the “Scutter Chain” was the most immediate need as well as the one they could most effect. Turning their backs to the long ships assaulting the Blackrock Bight and the demon assaulting the The Greenbridge, they moved to the entrance of the lighthouse. As usual Gloin was the first through the door and he was immediately attacked. Due to Gloin’s imposing presence the raider could barely keep hold of his huge axe, never mind score a hit upon the dwarf. As the rest of the party moved in another enemy moved to strike and despite the knife wielding raider’s ability to move unimpeded through the heroes he suffered far greater wounds then he inflicted. The skirmish was brief and the party was successful in raising the Scutter Chain and securing Blessing Bay from the majority of the pirates’ vessels.

Emerging from the lighthouse, the heroes watched as dozens of pirate ships were lost to the Scutter Chain or the surrounding cliffs. Below them Brother Grendel Darkmoor and The Fish Mongers with the aid of enormous water elementals were easily defending Blackrock Bight from the smaller long ships and the pirates that manned them. As the thunder continued to boom lightening crashed all around Blackwater and appeared to be drawn to the battle on the Greenbridge. Drawn to the form of Amon Trask who channeled it towards the demon he battled. As the lightening struck the demon the illumination was bright enough to reveal the Greenbridge, itself, crackling with the power of Melora’s storm as it also channeled the magics at the demon. The party watched the demon’s flames diminish as it staggered back to the edge of the bridge. Just as it appeared to regain it’s balance, the Knight of The Greenbridge leapt at the demon and drove both of his blades into the evil creatures chest. With another scream from the abyss it toppled over the side of the Greenbridge but, to the heroes horror, the demon’s enormous claws grabbed hold of Amon Trask and dragged him over the edge as well. It was as if a brief calm, perhaps the eye of the storm, passed through Blackwater. It only lasted a moment and then the humanoids on the Downbridge side began to move forward onto the Greenbridge and into “The Proper”.

The party immediately set off to aid in the defense of the town. As they passed through the Proper they witnessed several small skirmishes as the people of Blackwater defended their homes. They watched as Bertram Hale and Jeremy “Brokensong” finished off a large troll outside of Vain Robert’s Gibbet. As they approached the The Godspring in the center of the Proper they witnessed the legendary strength of Kaleb Brighthammer as he all but snapped a hobgoblin warrior of his knee while his daughter, Cassandra Brighthammer cleaved through goblins with her axe.

When the heroes arrived at the bridge, much to their surprise, Amon Trask appeared from below the bridge being carried by what appeared to be an air elemental. As he set foot on the bridge a slight calm came over the area. Amon Trask addressed the party and asked them to take up the mantle of Knights of the Greenbridge and swear to defend the bridge. The party also pledged that once they set foot on the Greenbridge after dusk they would not leave until dawn. The heroes agreed to the responsibility and took a knee on the bridge as Amon told them, “If the need is great, kneel and take from the Greenbridge. If the need is dire kneel and give to the Greenbridge. The need is great.” With that the party members felt energy surge through them from the bridge, the Godstream, and the plants growing upon the bridge. They were aware of the many different forces all entwined together all serving the Greenbridge. The storm raging around them was no longer a hindrance. Instead it was part of the bridge. Those attacking Blackwater would be harried by the storm but those protecting the town would not. Even though the force included a goblin hexer, 2 Acolytes of Maglubiyet, a troll, as well as several warriors the heroes charged and their sudden onslaught swept the goblins off the bridge with minimal effort. Amon informed the party that he needed to perform a ritual and that the defense of the bridge was now their responsibility. He then sat in the middle of the Godspring and began to chant.

Moments later a force of Hobgoblins began their assault on the bridge. The group once again handled the threat before them with brutal efficiency and even though Amon received a wound to his head, the ritual was not disturbed.

The party stands on the Greenbridge trying to catch their breath even as more humanoid shapes begin making their way to the opposite side. As they begin to prepare for the next onslaught, Thorfin strides onto the bridge, “There are still small skirmishes taking place throughout Blackwater but the townspeople are truly an impressive lot. I felt that defending the Greenbridge is where I should be. What is Amon…..”

Thorfin’s words are cut off by the howls of beasts, obviously approaching the bridge. Avrenniath immediately transforms into a wolf and answers with his own howl. The fur on his back stands straight despite the weight of the rain upon it. Amon continues to chant and suddenly a huge wolf surrounded by flames leaps onto the bridge and howls, flames spewing forth from it’s jaws. As if it were a personal challenge Avrennieth bounds forward and crashes into the wolf, jaws snapping at the larger creature’s neck. The two fight viciously as they roll around the bridge, a mass of fur, claws, teeth, blood, and flames. Even as the rest of the party moves to help, the ferocious duel moves to the edge of the bridge. It is obvious that Avrennieth is outmatched by the hellish beast but his keen ears have picked up on the sounds of more beasts approaching. He realizes that the creature must be neutralized. The wolf pounces at Avrennieth and to the surprise and shock of all but the elf, Avrennieth leaps backwards clamping onto his attacker’s throat and, using it’s momentum, sends them both plummeting off the side of the Greenbridge.

The party stands staring, trying to see any sign of Avrennieth through the storm. But they have little time to hope. The rest of the beasts arrive at the bridge and the Knights of the Greenbridge move to stand against an evil that they know threatens more than just their lives. An evil that is committed to some greater, unknown purpose.Wolffight

Game 5: The Pilgrims Strike
Finally some rest ... what was that?

337 XP

After searching the tower and finding nothing noteworthy the party returned to Newblessing. Upon their arrival they were greeted by Thorfin and the townspeople. Although it had only been a couple of days since the ogre’s attack, the people of Newblessing, except for a higher level of vigilance, were back to the regular routines of life in a small village. The party was able to witness the curative powers of Godspring first hand as the townspeople had almost completely recovered from all but the most grievous wounds they might have received. The party was treated well and the people of Newblessing thanked them for helping. Having spent time rebuilding morale, defenses, and wounds Thorfin was looked to for his leadership and compassion by all of the townspeople. The love-fest came to an end with Trellen Howe reminding the heroes of their lowly status in the real world and the need to complete their journey to Blackwater. He also informed them that Master Shell was arranging a dinner for them the following night to show his appreciation.

The party climbed aboard the wagons and started on the last leg of their journey to Blackwater. As they followed the Godspring the party observed the lush flora and fauna that flourished all around the stream and began to see for themselves why Hargath’s Wood had become a popular destination for nobles interested in hunting. En route, the wagons passed a large group of about 40 of pilgrims making their way to Blackwater. Despite Wil’s constant tactical assessments, none of the Pilgrims appeared to be unusual or maybe it would be better to say that they were all unusual so it would be difficult to pick out someone who might be out of place. It seemed obvious from the differences that, although they were traveling in a group now, they had not begun their journeys together. As the party completed their QUEST and entered Blackwater, Trellen Howe informed them that this section was known as Downbridge and had only come into existence over the last 30 or 40 years due to the Pilgrims of the Tide. The real Blackwater was now often referred to as “the Proper” and had existed within the boundaries of “the Scratch” for as long as anyone could remember. In the center of Downbridge was a marketplace that consisted of stalls set up around a man-made pool of the Godspring. Several vendors made a living selling to the Pilgrims and others; including the Fishmongers who, as well as selling the highly valued delicacies of Blackfish, Black Crab, and Blackweed, were also the disciples of Brother Grendel Darkmoor. Brother Grendel Darkmoore, cleric of Melora, was the reason the Pilgrims of the Tide came to Blackwater. As the pilgrims began the tradition of removing their shoes and walking barefoot through the Godspring and across the Greenbridge, Vox couldn’t shake the feeling that something was familiar about the pilgrims but he could not place it. As the party looked at Blackwater, they understood what Trellen Howe had meant when he said that even an extraordinary group of heroes like themselves could go unnoticed here. Even Downbridge was remarkable with the Black Church of Pelor and the Godstones, both made of shining obsidian. The wonders of Greenbridge, the the Blackwater Watch, and The Scratch, were just the beginning. As the party began to cross the Greenbridge, all were aware of the undercurrent of Primal, Divine, Arcane, and Psionic energy that seemed to come from the bridge and even the ground they walked on. It was as if an invisible fog of energy drifted about their feet and those more attuned to these things were aware of the fact that it would be difficult to identify magics and other energies while in The Proper. Trellen, still driving the wagon, led the group to Vain Robert’s Gibbet, where they were to stay, courtesy of Mathew Shell. They were also reminded that Mathew Shell would be hosting a small dinner for the group to show his appreciation for their actions in Newblessing. The party spent the rest of the day meeting the townspeople and restocking supplies.
The following morning the heroes were able to witness the ordeal of the tides as they watched dozens of pilgrims step into the turmoil at the bottom of the falls only to be thrown against the rocks. Some emerged barely alive but others came out healed of their ailments. The rest of the day was spent QUESTING about Blackwater and meeting the residents. Gloin spent his day observing Kaleb and Cassandra Brighthammer in the Broken Ogre Arms while Melandra Brighthammer provided a hearty lunch eaten, mostly in silence. Avrennieth and Thorfin went to the Gathering Tree where they met Raiyn and it was revealed that she was Avrennieth’s sister. Several members of the group went to Goodey and Gwendolyn Smythe’s shop, Thimbles and Threads, to procure more appropriate clothing for the evening. Vox spent some time quietly contemplating the black depths of The Blackwater Mines . That night they had dinner in the private room of Vain Robert’s Gibbet with Mathew Shell, Bertram Hale, Fargo Hale, and the Knight of the Greenbridge, Amon Trask, who turned out to be quite different from what the party had expected. At the finish of the meal Matthew Shell presented the heroes with gifts of magical items to show his appreciation.
The end of the day found the party sitting around a table in Vain Robert’s discussing their plans for the future. As a storm from the Elder Sea battered Blackwatch with lightening, thunder, and sheets of rain the party realized that there was something wrong and no one else was around them in the inn. With an enormous crash of thunder they awoke in their beds with the premonition that something was wrong and realized they had all been dreaming the same dream about sitting in the inn. Vox immediately informed the party that the feeling he had watching the pilgrims was actually his finely attuned subconscious noting that one of the pilgrims was a red leg raider. As they equipped themselves, everyone came to the conclusion that pirates would be able to get into Blessing Bay if the “Scutter Chain” was lowered and they immediately headed towards the Blackwater Watch.

Outside the storm was raging as the group came upon a force of pirates who had established a rope ladder up the cliffs and were helping others ascend. Avrennieth, using his incredible speed, engaged the raiders as the rest of the group were still moving into position. Vox protected Avrennieth with blankets of fire and pillars of lightening while he moved through the pirates and attempted to destroy the rope ladder. Shawna’s magics, again blanketed the party with protection. As the rest of the party joined the melee they realized that these raiders shared the disturbing connection that the others they had fought did. Whenever a raider fell the party would be assaulted by psychic screams and the slayer was forced into a battle of wills with the fleeing spirit. But the party did overcome the pirates and were able to cut the rope ladder sending dozens of pirates to their deaths and preventing hundreds from ascending. During the battle, Vox continued to attack the enemy while he made his way into the Blackhall and discovered the bodies of two of the Blackguard within. With the immediate threat over the party decided to move on to the lighthouse…

As you emerge from the back door of the Blackhall the wind and rain pummels you from either direction. You can barely make out the tall shape of the Blackwater Watch and even the magical light that forever shines out to sea is dimmed by the wrath of the storm. Suddenly an enormous flash of lightening freezes time as a terrifying picture is revealed. You stand in the middle of the Northwest tip of Blackwater. Only 20 feet on either side, the obsidian cliffs plummet over 100 feet into the raging sea. On your right you see the entrance to Blessing Bay clogged with scores of ships and it is obvious that the Scutter Chain has been lowered, for several of the ships are already into the Bay. To your left, a dozen more longships are moving into the Blackrock Bight in an obvious attempt to beach on the black sands below. It is obvious that this is no small attack but a full scale assault on Blessing Bay. As the darkness returns, Thorfin looks to the group and yells over the wind and thunder, “You go on to the lighthouse. I will alert the rest of the town to the danger! May Ioun guide your choices!” and runs off. Before you the black tower awaits. As you approach the entrance a bone chilling wail cuts through the storm from far off behind you. The sound of the scream is inhuman and your thoughts quickly turn to trying to identify what kind of creature could make that noise. But just as quickly you realize that the real danger lies, not so much in what the creature might be called, but in where that creature is. As you look over your shoulders, once again, Melora grants you the mixed blessing of the storm as lightening flashes and reveals the answers to both your queries. From the elevation of the cliffs you look down upon Blackwater. The advance of hundreds of humanoids is stalled in Downbridge by the battle taking place in front of them. The battle between an enormous demon and Amon Trask, Knight of the Greenbridge.

Game 4: The Broken Tower
Hesitation is for wimps.

600 XP

The party awoke to bright sunshine and decided to continue tracking the goblin and his wolves. Thorfin, being concerned for the safety of Newblessing thought it best to return. The remaining heroes followed the tracks to an old, ruined tower. The tower appeared to have been abandoned for at least 50 years and the woods were slowly creeping in on what was once a clearing. Some of the group recalled stories of bandits led by a religious man that dwelled in Hargath’s wood long ago. The top 2 or 3 floors of the tower had fallen and the stone that comprised them was scattered around the ground and the remaining 3 floors. The old wooden doors to the tower appeared to be propped up to allow entrance to the tower but obscured vision into it.
As the party quietly approached the tower they could hear the guttural arguing of several humanoids and see the flicker of torch light from within. Vox sent his arcane companion to scout the tower and although the falcon found no other entrance it did get the attention of something on the top floor. With a silent nod Wil motioned to Gloin and the party jumped into action. Gloin cleared the doorway as Wil quickly assessed the room and guided Gloin into establishing a tactical foothold and followed him in. Vox and Bullet moved to the door and provided support in the form of flying steel and an arcane orb of deadly flame. Shawna called upon the healing waters of Melora and provided the party with her divine protection. Averrenieth watched the woods in case any goblins were waiting outside to strike from the rear. The room was filled with goblins under the command of a Hobgoblin warrior. Despite the Hobgoblin’s leadership and the goblin’s numbers the heroes battle prowess proved to be too great. Before all the goblins were slain one managed to strike a gong, apparently to signal an attack upon the tower.
Fearing they might lose their tactical advantage the group charged up the tower stairs with Vox’s flames and Shawna’s protection giving them great courage. When they reached the 2nd floor it was obvious that the goblins had prepared this floor to prevent intruders from going any farther. As Gloin entered the room, piles of bones immediately began to form into skeletons of dead goblins. Even as Gloin threw himself at the vile undead, Vox attacked with his flames and the two of them destroyed the 5 skeletons. The next threat to arise was in the form of goblin archers who had concealed themselves at strategic points in the shadows of the room. Despite the danger Wil attempted to cross the sagging floor only to plummet 20’ to the 1st floor, still shouting orders to Gloin as the floor collapsed beneath him. Suddenly the room was filled with a black shadow that weighed heavy on the heroes hearts even as they continued forward. The goblin hexer that cast the spell was atop a 10’ platform along with several archers. But the magic of Avrennieth’s necklace was still inside the tower with the group even though he remained outside. With this magic several of the party were able to teleport themselves up to the platform and, true to the day, end the threat quickly. The thrill of battle and victory still coursing through their veins the heroes rushed blindly upward to the top floor.
As they reached the, now, top floor of the tower the heroes were once again bathed in the light of Pelor. The brief relief provided by the sun was quickly tempered by the realization that the southern half if the room was, basically, open to the 40’ fall to the ground below. The rest of the room was occupied by the goblin and wolves they were tracking plus 2 rather large bugbears. Sticking to the bold, bordering on reckless, strategies that had gotten them this far the party set to work. Once again Vox’s fire, still burning, crashed into the midst of the enemy while Wil guided Gloin, almost wielding him like a 250 lb ball of death, into the fray. Luckily Vox’s keen eyesight noticed a deadly trap in the middle of the room so none of the heroes fell victim to the pitfall. Bullet also moved to the front line and engaged the enemy with his sword and Shawna continued to harry the enemy while aiding her allies. At one point a goblin lept from the shadows to strike at Vox but did little to harm him. True to the day the enemies fell and the heroes stood. Although many wounds had been dealt the healing of Shawna and the inspiration of Wil were more than enough to keep everyone battle ready.
As the sun shines down through the open roof, the party finally stops to catch their breath and survey their surroundings.

Game 3: More Than Just an Ogre's Lair

460 XP

Having discovered where the ogres had come from the party quickly dispatched the goblin force occupying the caves. With the battle over, the heroes set to questioning the two enemy survivors in hope of getting some insight as to who or what actually killed the ogres. The goblin, Glack, babbled fearfully about, “the shadow killer” and how it could be anywhere. As Glack’s fear began building it became obvious that he was about to do something desperate and he was dispatched. The party next turned to the bugbear, Mobesh. Mobesh told them that he didn’t know where the “shadow killer” was Although he seemed to be telling the truth, the party sensed he was withholding information. He also told them how the Goblin Hexer named Tellek talked of treasure on the other side of the rockslide. The party was unsure of what to do with Mobesh but Avrennieth brought him to the cave entrance and released him with the warning that their next meeting would most likely end differently. The party then explored the rest of the cavern complex. Clearing the rockslide revealed part of an ancient underground complex where the river continued down a giant pit located before a huge double door. Vox quickly dispatched a horde of slimes when his magic was greatly intensified by the many glyphs in the room. Gloin ventured down the pit and found the river continued deeper into the ground through a thin but wide crevice. He also found a powerful magic necklace and a simple wooden door bearing a set of symbols.
As Gloin made this discovery below, the rest of the party witnessed the corpse of the goblin float down the river to the top of the pit where it animated. In a woman’s voice it spoke to the party.

“When you find what you have sought.
What you seek you have not.
Then you must return to me.
The heart will serve to be your key.”

The group realized that there was no apparent way to pass through either the simple wooden door or the ornate double doors and continued to search the caverns. They found a secret door, which led to the burial chamber of some humanoid. After, once again, relying on the subtle skills of the party’s rogue, Gloin, to ‘disarm’ the trap the party found several magic items. Here too, was a door that could not be opened. Despite the unanswered questions of the ancient complex the group decided it was time to leave. Throughout all of this, several of the party members felt the urge to make decisions and move forward to more heroic deeds. Many of the party thought that the magic necklace was actually speaking to them but upon reflection EVERYONE agreed that there was no actual speaking but rather a feeling of guidance urging the party to take action. The party started to return to Newblessing but was ambushed on the way by a group of Red-Leg raiders, a goblin, and the bugbear, Mobesh. Mobesh acknowledged Avrennieth and then left the battle without aiding his allies. Despite the human slaves unusual psychic connections the partty quickly defeated the ambushers and ONLY THE GOBLIN AND HIS TWO WOLVES MANAGED TO ESCAPE. The party began tracking the group but soon was unable to continue and decided to rest for the evening. After an uneventful night the heroes pack up and resume the hunt.

Game 2: The Ogre's Lair
Who or what killed the ogres?

430 XP

The party continued to follow the tracks of ogres, goblins,and wolves deeper into Hargath’s wood. At one point another print was found. Just the single footprint of a large unidentified humanoid. The tracks led to a cave entrance located behind a waterfall. Outside the entrance the party encountered a goblin guard which they defeated after a brief combat. Upon entering the cave, Gloin quickly disarmed a crude pitfall trap with his body and somehow avoided alerting the sentry. Inside the cave the party encountered a group of goblins led by a goblin hexer in some sort of discussion with an orcish Red Leg Raider. The party struck first and quickly took the orc and several goblins out of the fight. The goblin hexer withdrew deeper into the caves casting his Vexing Cloud. The party pursued and the commotion disturbed swarms of rats which attacked them. The hexer continued it’s withdrawal and was joined by a bugbear strangler which came out of hiding prematurely thanks to Vox’s flaming sphere. The hexer was killed and the bugbear grabbed Gloin and tried to save himself with the promise of treasure but was demolished by Avrennieth who struck, not one but two, vital areas on the creature. As the sound of combat dies down the heroes find themselves next to a rushing underground stream in a room that was used as a latrine for the ogres. One goblin lies unconscious.

Game 1: The Road to Blackwater
Sometimes killing is just about the fun.

375 XP

The party arrived at The Crossroads on Kor the 15th after traveling for three days from the Middle Kingdoms. After a fine meal, some drinks,& a bath they all retired to their rooms at The Simple Man Inn. The party’s new found canine friend curled up outside Shawna’s door for the night. During the night, the party experienced the horror of a family being butchered by four men. Even though the party realized they had the ability to effect the outcome they only managed to save two of the children from being killed.

The next day the party traveled to the town of Newblessing where they were guests at the wedding of William Goodhope and Gwendolyn Shell. After the ceremony the wedding festivities were interrupted by the arrival of an ogre being pursued by a pack of grey wolves. After defeating the ogre and the wolves the party rescued several towns folk including Gwendolyn Shell from a burning barn. Upon investigation, the party realized the ogre had been severely wounded by something other than the wolves. They also realized the wolves all had collars and were not wild.

The party followed the tracks of the ogre and wolves back towards Hargath’s Wood where they found the remains of 4 other ogres being eaten by 6 fire beetles. After killing the beetles the party found that these ogres had also been slain by some other, unknown creature.

The tracks continued into Hargath Wood where the party encountered a Goblin patrol. In the ensuing fight the party fought well together to easily defeat their foe despite the Goblin Skullcleaver’s dealing tremendous damage with their axes. The party made camp for the night and were shortly joined by Shawna and the dog.

Troll vs wild goblin dogs by targete d3c030g


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