Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk

Session I
2/29/2012

The PCs are amongst a group of strangers accompanying a caravan toward the Free City of Greyhawk. They have no official business with the caravan, but travel with it simply because they are making the same pace down the long road. Searos, Blaiz and Rothgar have recently lost the rest of their party to a dragon lair raid gone terribly wrong. Nyet and Vincent departed Banedale in search of more level minded adventure, apart from the undead and insane halflings. Vincent and (Steve’s character) find old traveling companions on the road, relaying to Nyet that they will catch up with her once they have had a few drinks with their old friends.

As they approach within a few miles of the great city they come across Zagig Bridge. There they find the unfortunate caravan that came before them, under siege by orcs led by a wyvern -riding sorcerer. The small hamlet east of the bridge is being terrorized by the orc raiders, screams echoing from the small huts. The PCs have no choice but to fight as the orcs turn their attention to the new caravan. Nyet and Searos manage to save what remains of the village as Rothgar grapples the wyvern in an attempt to keep it from taking to the sky. After several of the orcs fall Acton Kathenor emerges from his hiding spot to heal the PCs. They finish off the orcs as Rothgar makes minced meat of their leader with his barbarian rage.

Bridge

Upon finishing the battle the PCs find a man breathing heavily and bleeding badly underneath an overturned cart on the bridge. Nyet quickly deciphers the man has been poisoned by the wyvern’s stinger. After neutralizing the venom the man introduces himself as Ricard Damaris, owner of the Green Dragon Inn in the Free City of Greyhawk. He tell the PCs that his caravan was attacked by a force twice the size of what they encountered, and that he was getting the better of their leader before he was stung by the wyvern. The raiders leader then made of with Damaris’s Blade of Chaos, a sword that he would offer, “free drinks for life,” for if he could get back. The leader retreated west with half of his force toward Castle Greyhawk before the PCs arrived. Damaris thanks the PCs for their timely arrival and invites the PCs to stay at the Green Dragon for a month free of charge.

At that time Acton Kanethor urges everyone to make pace toward the city. He tells the PCs he is expecting the body of Riggby to arrive soon. As a follower of Boccob, Kathenor is anxious to see the body of the hero priest and meet with his clergy. Damaris adds that Greyhawk is overrun with clerics of both Boccob and St. Cuthbert, and that the PCs will have a difficult time finding a place to stay if they refuse his offer. They agree and arrive in the Free City before nightfall.

Dragon

That evening the PCs join Ricard Damaris at the Lord’s Table on the stage of the Green Dragon Inn. Shortly into the night a large armored man joins them at the table, introducing himself as Captain Gallancz. Damaris tells the PCs the Captain was his commanding officer at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. He is eager to hear of the PCs exploits.

After drinking and carrying on for some time, four clerics of St. Cuthbert enter the Green Dragon. They rant about the coming final battle, a confrontation with Iuz the Evil. They tell the patrons that Iuz is irate that Riggby has escaped his vengeance by dying a natural death, and that the demigod will take his anger out on the Free City. The patrons pay little attention to their rantings and eventually they are asked to leave by Damaris.

In the morning the PCs decide to follow the trail of the force that left Damaris for dead. After traveling about six miles west of Zagig’s Bridge they see the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. The tail left by the orcs leads directly to the door of the Tower of War. Outside the tower is newer, well-kept stone building. A dawrf stands up as the PCs approach and tells the PCs they must speak with Stillguar, leader of the Wartower Wardens, if they wish to enter.

Stillguar initially tells the PCs there is a charge of one quarter treasure looted for entering to tower. When the PCs mention the orcs Stillguar becomes nervous, telling the PCs he will reduce the cost to one-tenth the treasure. Continued persistence makes Stillguar agree to allow the PCs to enter the tower for free, granted the PCs take care of the orc raiders with no loose ends and agree not to tell the city watch. Rothgar readily agrees to both terms. Several of the wardens lay down planks over the pit trap blocking the tower entrance as the party prepares to enter Castle Greyhawk…

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Session II
3/7/2012

The PCs wait as the Wartower Wardens lay down a makeshift bridge to cross the pit into the Tower of War. Ungar, tired of the poor commission he is making with the Wardens, asks the PCs to join their party. He tells them he is an accomplished rogue and handy in a dungeon. They readily agree. Vincent catches up as well, mentioning that the people that were victims of the raids are burying their dead. Introductions are made in haste as they force open the massive door.

WraithThe party is greeted by a three swordwraiths, one of which barrels over them in a wagon pulled by a pair of skeletal steeds. After laying the lead horse low the driver is forced to rejoin the battle by cutting the second horse free of the wagon. A fierce battle is fought, seriously injuring Searos. When the dust clears it is obvious at least half a dozen orcs came this way, their muddy boot prints marking a trail down into the levels below the tower.

The trail suddenly stops a dozen flights down the dark stairwell. A poorly concealed secret door gives way to another staircase on which the muddy footprints continue. The staircase ends in a room with several small dens littered with humanoid bones. It wreaks of troll.

Outside of the dens are several casks and crates bearing the markings of trading companies within the Free City. The party begins to hear the rumblings of orcs feasting a few rooms over. They begin to advance quietly until Rothgar overhears a reference made about fathering half-orc children. The barbarian looses his cool and charges into the dining area to be met by many orcs and their ogre captain.

After a solid blow from Rothgar, Vincent is able to run the ogre through and end the fighting. Pressing on the party finds another poorly concealed secret door, this one near a crack in the stonework leaking water into the dungeon. Inside the room they find an elevator and some more stolen goods. This is likely how the orcs transported all of their loot into this level of the tower.

GiantsThe PCs open the double doors to the next room to find a broken temple. Columns have collapsed and seismic activity has reduced much of the temple to rubble. Two hill giants begin hurling boulders at the PCs from the north end of the room as several goblins send volleys of arrows at the party. The giants quickly close in as the PCs establish a choke point in the hallway to kill the creatures. A rogue fireball from Blaiz destroys much of the safety net that covers the fissure running through the middle of the temple. The grell living in the fissure joins the combat, but teamwork and strategy leave the PCs victorious as the monsters fall beneath sword and spell.

Closer inspection reveal that the temple was once an unholy site for the followers of Nerull, but it has been defiled. The statue in the fissure holding up the walls is broken, its head lying at the bottom of the giant crack. The goblins and giants bear the insignias of Iuz.

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Session III
4/4/2012

The PCs spend a few moments healing after the battle in the defiled temple of Nerull. They move east to find the living quarters of the orcs they had killed in the feasting area at the beginning of the Shatterstone level of the tower. Before entering the next double door Rothgar decides to investigate the single door exiting the temple. After passing the door they find that part of the tunnel has collapsed and that the side passage leads to a golden statue of a beautiful woman. They notice a corpse at the statue’s base. Pulling the body aside, they find it is a human several years old. He was obviously killed by a stabbing wound. The PCs also find a plain silver ring on the man bearing an unknown mark. They decide to take it.

After tampering with the statue a scythe blade shoots from it. There is no doubt now how the man died.

The party continues onward to find an office. Inside the desk there is documentation of the stolen goods, including the dates acquired, the companies the goods belonged to, and what the goods will be used for. The documentation is far too detailed to be the work of orcs. All a sudden a tiefling man becomes visible as he tries to run Blaiz through with his poisoned rapier. The two sets of armor decorating the room become animate. The ensuing fight is quick as the party demolishes the tiefling and his constructs.

The party ascends a small flight of stairs and opens the door to the next room. Inside a massive half-orc blackguard stands from behind a table and shouts, drawing his swords. A seemingly helpless woman lies on the bed in the room, pleading for help. She looks as though she has been, “used.” Searos moves to attack and barely evades a 10’ by 10’ spiked pit trap that opens in the floor. The woman quickly reveals herself as a succubus and joins the fray. The blackguard fights to the death as the succubus uses ethereal jaunt to sink into the levels below, though the PCs can find no entrance to go any further down.

Past the blackguard’s chambers the party finds a few small cells. All are empty except one, which is occupied by a catatonic man and a skeleton with a bucket of gruel. The man is wearing a strange robe and his clerical equipment is heaped outside the cell. Rothgar destroys the skeleton in an effort to restrain it as the party removes the robe from the man. Fearing that the succubus may be seeking reinforcements, the party takes the catatonic cleric back to the temple of Boccob in the Free City. The clerics there tell the party his name is Altamaic, and that he has been missing for weeks. They tell the PCs to return in the morning for more information and a reward for their courage.

The party returns to the Green Dragon Inn for a drink and some well deserved rest. When the PCs tell Ricard Damaris about the corpse they found, he mentions there is a widow at the River Quarter Mission that lost her husband years ago in the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk. A quick walk to the mission allows the PCs to meet the Widow Retha. She confirms that the ring was indeed her husband’s. She thanks the party for the closure they have provided but can offer no compensation.

The PCs return to the Green Dragon Inn once more to finally get some sleep. Before they return to their rooms Damaris sweetens the deal for returning the Blade of Chaos by throwing in a good luck stone. A city watch member named Elton Andrus also introduces himself, telling the PCs he is in charge of tracking down the stolen goods. Any leads may lead to some form of compensation…

In the morning the PCs return to the temple of Boccob to speak to Altamaic. The cleric thanks them for freeing him. All he recalls is being kidnapped by orcs and taken to a level below via hidden elevators (the location of which he details to the PCs) to speak to a human the orcs referred to as, “the General,” in a level they called, “the Arena.” He remembers little else, but gives each of the PCs a token they can redeem at the temple for a free spell cast upon them of 5th level or below.

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Session IV
4/11/2012

Once Altamaic reveals the location of the hidden elevator the PCs waste no time reentering the Tower of War. They speak the Wartower Wardens briefly, assuring Stillguar that they will take care of the orcs as they promised.

Upon entering the secret elevator chamber a giant flesh golem attacks the party. It is promptly defeated. The PCs find a man-sized statue in the room with a stain around its ring finger. The PCs slide the ring they bought from Nulligan’s Trove on the statue and it descends into the wall, revealing a ladder leading 20 feet down into another secret chamber. The PCs find an collection of books and scripture pertaining to the arcane. They take a few items that may be immediately useful.

The PCs climb back up the ladder and take the secret elevator down several levels to a heavily guarded room. Hobgoblin archers rain arrows down on the party from a balcony. Blaiz rectifies the situation with a few fireballs as the PCs begin to make their way toward the, “Arena.”

Side Quests

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Session V
7/18/2012

The PCs press on through the arena level, looting the armory that once supplied the hobgoblins. They come across a room with a clear pool of water and an unfinished statue of a man holding a sword aloft with a giant serpent wrapped around his legs. Opening the door on the south end of the room the PCs are surprised by a lightning bolt that bursts from seemingly nowhere. A dark naga becomes visible and attempts in vain to devour the PCs, who overwhelm and slay the monster quickly. They loot the chest in its lair and take the key from around its neck to unlock the door on the north end of the room.

The PCs find a narrow bridge crossing a massive chasm. After Rothgar begins to cross a pair of gargoyles flies from the shadows to attack the party. Within seconds several clerics of Iuz and their summoned dretches join the fray from a nearby room. A hard-fought battle follows, leaving several of the party injured and the minions of Iuz lifeless on the dungeon floor.

The party moves on to find the main attraction of the dungeon level, the arena. Inside man briefly introduces himself as General At-Ur Rehmat before leaping down to engage the PCs. His fiendish companion, the blue dragon Tyraniss, attacks the party viciously. Several of the PCs are injured by Rehmat’s swordsmanship with Damaris’s Blade of Chaos, but Iuz’s general falls before the fury of the PCs, along with Tyraniss. The party recovers the blade and loots Tyraniss’s lair.

VrockIn the cells the PCs find a thief who introduces himself as Fidd Dulamin. He begs they release him and promises to stay out of their way. His only interest is safe passage back to the City of Greyhawk.

When the PCs reach Rehmat’s quarters they find a goblin speaking to a glowing skull. The goblin is petrified when the PCs appear, referring to the voice in the skull as, “master,” and begging it to save him from the PCs wrath. The voice in the skull tells the PCs that they will pay for meddling in its affairs. After revealing that this, “master,” is somewhere in the dungeons of the castle the skull explodes. A vrock appears suddenly, releasing a cloud of demonic spores. The PCs kill the demon, but not before the goblin succumbs to the burrowing spores. The level clear and without any evident exits, the PCs begin to make their way back to the free city.

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Session VI
7/25/2012

The PCs arise from the depths of the Tower of War victorious. They arrive back at the Green Dragon Inn to a very excited Ricard Damaris, pleased that they have returned with his coveted Blade of Chaos. As promised Damaris gives the party his good luck stone and assures them they shall never pay for another drink in the Green Dragon. Captain Gallancz congratulates them as well, impressed with their resourcefulness and skill. The Captain mentions that while the PCs were in the dungeon the long awaited body of Riggby arrived in the Free City. Thousands are now visiting the cleric’s memorial at the Temple of Boccob in Garden Quarter.

After a night of celebration the PCs decide to pay the temple a visit themselves. As they behold Riggby’s body they find several clerics repairing the casket. A priestess approaches them, introducing herself as Rhiann. She tells the party that someone tried to desecrate Riggby’s corpse by throwing a flask of acid at it. The criminal screamed something about, “the Old One’s revenge.” She shows them the broken flask. When pieced together it bears the mark of Hauld the Apothecary.

When confronted Hauld is obviously saddened by the news of his wares being to such ends. He tells the PCs he usually bottles acid in green bottles, but the blue bottle the party was given were only sold to three customers since Hauld had run out of green bottles. Only Gulfor Leeds at the Lore of the Lake, the Pomarjer, and one of the barge people named Vokos had purchased a blue vial of acid.

Gulfor Leeds tells the PCs he is a regular customer of Hauld and uses the acid for his taxidermy business. He is hardly the type to try to attack Riggby’s corpse.

The PCs are directed to the Low Seas Tavern where Vokos is said to requent. They cannot Mohrgidentify which of the Rhennee sailors Vokos is, but are quickly met by Janos Mezaros. Janos asks why they are looking for Vokos and tells the them that he is protected. It is apparent after a moment that Janos does not like Vokos, but is obligated to protect him because he supports two young wives. Rothgar hands Janos a large pouch of gold and the PCs begin to question Vokos. The find on Vokos a symbol of Iuz. The Rhennee quickly tells the threatening PCs about an Iuzite cell down the street from the Green Dragon, and they know the PCs have been interfering.

In dramatic fashion the PCs scale the attached buildings of River Quarter, making there way across the giant structure. They smash through the windows and into the seemingly abandoned structure. The Iuzites are caught unaware and barely able to fight as the PCs slash through them. The party find its way to the basement to find a foul sanctum occupied by several priests and a hungry mohrg. The Iuzites fall the fury of the PCs, yet there are still questions and no answers…

Side Quests

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Session VII
8/1/2012

The PCs have nowhere to go and no leads. The eerie skull’s voice, presumably the leader of the cult of Iuz, suggested he was somewhere in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk. However, with the Tower of War cleared, the Tower of Zagig inaccessible due to an endless staircase, and the Tower of Magic warded by the powerful and insane Grandfather Magic, the PCs are at something of a dead end. They do not know the command words to overcome the staircase’s spell, and they do not have Zagig’s Key, the only item that would convince Grandfather Magic to remove his wards…

After several days of inactivity and frustration the PCs are approached in the Green Dragon Inn by Tirra, leader if the thieves’ guild in the Free City of Greyhawk. She does not hide her affiliation, leading the PCs to a safsehouse to explain her plan. Tirra tells the PCs that she knows where they can find Zagig’s Key, and she will tell them if they promise to recover a bronze monkey statue valued by a collector from the same location. When the PCs agree Tirra tells them the key is located in Zagig’s Study, a secret room in the Tower of Wizardry.

She goes on to explain that the PCs will enter a magical bottle that one of the guild members will smuggle into the tower. Once inside, the PCs will emerge and find a book in the library entitled, “the Yragerne Accord of 393,” which will reveal the means to enter Zagig’s Study and retrieve the items.

The next day the PCs enter the bottle and wait the instructed twelve hours before exiting. They find themselves in private quarters in the Tower of Wizardry. Donning purple robes provided by Tirra, they exit the room and begin their search. They immediately come upon a group of wizards surrounding a summoning circle, one of which is struggling to contain a summoned hezrou. The wizards pay the PCs no mind, who move into the vast library. Upon searching for the book they are ambushed by an invisible beholder. Before they are able to slay the aberration it kills Nyet with its finger of death eye ray. Blaiz stuffs Nyet’s body into Heward’s Handy Haversack. The PCs quickly find the Yragerne Accord of 393, telling them that by speaking the name of Zagyg in the Chamber of Seven Secrets will open the indigo pillar and grant them access to Zagig’s Study.

Upon reaching the chamber the PCs attempt to solve the riddle of the seven. Upon failing several shield guardians animate and attack. Deciding to waist no time the PCs speak Zagyg’s name and escape up a ladder that appears inside the now open indigo pillar.

The top of the ladder opens into a study of ancient texts and candlelight. The PCs find several books and scrolls of great value before moving past the first shelves to find the great Mordenkainen.

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The great wizard questions the PCs only to see their trivial, nervous responses. He pulls Zagig’s Key from his desk drawer and tells the PCs the tale of Rary betrayal of the Circle of Eight. He tells them of the betrayal of Lord Robilar as well, but says that Robilar’s betrayal was unwarranted and made no sense. Mondenkainen says that Robilar must have touched the Orb of Opposition, forcing him to change places with an evil extradimensional doppelganger named Bilarro. Mordenkainen would have the PCs recover the Orb and force Bilarro to return to his home plane, freeing his old friend Robilar. With that the great wizard gives the PCs Zagig’s Key and wishes them luck.

The PCs return the bronze monkey to Tirra, who in returns gifts Rothgar Norebo’s Hand. She purchases the Yragerne Accord of 393 for 3000gp and wishes the PCs luck in their next venture into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.

Side Quests

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Session VIII
8/8/12

The return to Grandfather Magic with Zagig’s Key. When the eccentric old man sees the item he is overwhelmed with excitement and begins jumping. He claims the PCs are, “the chosen,” and promptly removes the magical wards that prevent entry to the Tower of Magic. The party enters and makes its way through four levels of the dungeons quickly, finding only minor resistance from petty undead and goblinoids.

Upon reaching the fifth level, the Vaults of Creation, the PCs find and enormous black pudding held at bay by a pit of hot coals. Though it tried to devour the PCs they destroy the monster without any real hassle. Moving on the party finds that the dungeon level is infested with verbeegs. Though the creatures are powerful and in great numbers the party sustains only minimal damage. After slaying several verbeegs in a guard room, the PCs find a secret door in the eastern wall. Immediately upon opening it they find a gauth prepares for their entry, having freshly fed on one of the verbeegs. After a hard-fought battle the PCs find another secret door hiding the creatures small treasury, obviously leftovers from its many victims.

DusThe party continues through the dungeon until they find a massive table with many seats. This war room looks like it has seen use in recent months. Pulling a large curtain aside the PCs find a chalk drawing of the three towers of Castle Greyhawk. There is a crudely painted cutaway view of the dungeon levels below Castle Greyhawk, with several areas labeled. Included on these labels are some key points of interest to the PCs, including a large tunnel leading into the lower reaches of the Tower of War from the Underdark and a tunnel connecting the Vaults of Creation to the Tower of War dungeons. Other notes of interest include troop placements, some dangers the troops have encountered so far, and regions as yet unexplored. Finally, a route from the lower levels to the surface world is mapped out and labeled “Army’s Path.”

Pressing on the PCs come across a golem forge, complete with half a dozen verbeeg smiths. The efreeti driving their production in the room orders them to attack. As the battle begins an armored human steps out onto the balcony above them and begins raining arrows down on the PCs’ heads. The fight is brutal, but at the end the efreeti, giants, and human marshal lie dead. As the PCs investigate the human’s room they find several plans about the army’s intended siege of the Free City. There are several trinkets as well…

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Session VIV
11/28/12

After clearing the room of the marshal that had been overseeing the forge party takes the only other exit to the chamber. It opens into a large mining chamber complete with carts filled with rocks and old mining equipment. Before they can react they are ambushed by a volley of hurled boulders. A massive fomorian deactivates his ring of invisibility to continue hurling heavy carts and rocks at the party. Though damage is sustained, the PCs heal and press on.

The party continues down a steady slope back toward the lower chambers of the Tower of War as was indicated on the chalk drawing. The slope ends in a towering chamber that houses a broken pyramid and a toppled statue of Nerull. The chamber has obviously been damaged by an earthquake as water floods in from the northern wall. Much to their surprise the statue comes to life, hurling a giant skull at the PCs before attacking with its enormous scythe. The already injured party manages to best the statue before exploring the eastern part of the chamber.

A purple worm erupts from the ground as the party approaches one of the crumbled structures. Though tired and beaten the PCs make short work of the creature through desperation and frustration. They are injured, tired, short on spells and nowhere near civilization.

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Session X
12/5/12

The interior of the broken pyramid is the only section of the chamber unexplored for the party. Doubting their condition but having no clear choice, the PCs enter through the giant crack that separates the structure. Waiting for them are four well-hidden arrow demons and a powerful cleric of Iuz. Arrows fill the PCs as combat erupts, the cleric lashing out with powerful spells. Barely equipped to fight, the party tries to protect their spellcasters against the onslaught.

ShyBlaiz falls and the rest of the PCs are bloody and arrow filled before the four arrow demons drop. Searos tackles the cleric onto the winding staircase in the middle of the room, toppling them both several feet down the walkway. After restraining her and stripping her of her gear the cleric reveals herself as Shyrath of Iuz. She promises the PCs a terrible and painful death courtesy of her dark lord. Gagging her, Ungar enters her bedchamber to loot it. A symbol of weakness triggers, sapping the rogue’s strength and leaving him helpless. Thankfully the threats seem to be at an end. Atop Shyrath’s nightstand the PCs find her journal.

The journal details a number of operations undertaken by the forces of Iuz occupying the towers of Castle Greyhawk. Shyrath seems to be taking orders from a man called, “Vayne,” whom she despises. Vayne is blamed in the journal for several bungled missions. Shyrath goes on to complain that the teleporter hidden in the marshal’s room (which the PCs had not uncovered) has not been discovered by the marshal. When she or General At-Ur Rehmat need to access it they are forced to distract the fool. Lastly she complains of this assignment Vayne has given her to guard the staircase so that armies can march up from the depths to serve Iuz. The journal is filled with fantasies of torturing and killing her superior.

Having read enough and heard enough threats from Shyrath the PCs lock her in the trunk that housed her clothing and personal belongings. Rothgar shoves the truck down the staircase. She screams as it rolls, coming to a stop somewhere dozens of feet below the chamber’s surface. With that Rothgar and Searos destroy the supports, dropping tons upon tons of broken rock upon Shyrath and sealing the Underdark entrance.

The party them uses Shyrath’s lavish chamber to their advantage, taking some much needed rest and recovering their spells.

New life in them, the PCs march back to the room of the marshal next to the forge. They slide a panel in the wall aside to find a circular metal disc. Stepping on it, the PCs are whisked away to the Halls of Beckoning.

Upon arrival the PCs find another teleportation disc, this one cracked and useless. Moving on with urgency they find an even more lavish chamber than Shyrath’s, adorned with tapestries and silk. Further they find a library. While searching a beholder materialized out of thin air, questioning the party’s motives in the dungeon. When it does not attack the PCs become suspicious, and a barbed devil dressed in robes appears from a secret door in the shelves. As the PCs strike it they take damage from its barbs, forcing them to change tactics. A final killing blow from Searos lies the devil low, the contents of the rooms ripe for the picking.

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