The dwarves of Clan Caskbound were asked to go on a dangerous mission for the clan! Who answered the call?
- Vecna Sorrenvaas: vanguard, diplomat, chef.
- Alexander Sorel: leader, brewer, athlete.
- Castlebar: support, adept, alchemist.
I used the delightful “Forge of Fury” map for the adventure, partly because I’ve played through the scenario in multiple systems with my group before. Some of the same members are in the playtest, and they have both mapped it and have memories of playing through. Therefore, I can say they remember when they’ve been there previously in their long lives. Of course, now things are overgrown and different, after the site was shuttered about 40 years previously.
Khundrukar was founded by Durgeddin 158 years ago. He was a smith for Clan Bastion (under the Thunderforge shield) and he wanted to become a forge master, something he could not do at another master’s forge. He took his family and allies and carved out a settlement in the mountains. He also sought to connect the dwarfroads of the mountains with the human lands, easing trade to the local human city state Rothveldt.
He chose a site at the far end of the Caskbound Pocket, the haunted twisted wilderness that spawned around the ancient disaster of the Armageddon Ale bomb in this area. Khundrukar is at the end of the Basilisk Road, 36 miles from Whiskey Forge (the clanhome of Clan Caskbound.)
About 40 years ago, a necromancer named Kryaldi led the Weeping Death into dwarven territory. He was barely stopped, but the dwarven clans called on all hands to fight the menace. Khundrukar was shuttered and left with only a few caretakers, and Durgeddin’s warband took such heavy losses in the fighting that they could not return to their new tributary forge.
Clan Bastion’s clanhome is Coldstream Falls, about 50 miles away. They are allies with Clan Caskbound. They are currently embroiled in their own troubles, including a new clan moving in on their territory. Clan Vaultcracker, under the Stonebreaker shield, is planning to move into the area and claim Khundrukar as a mercenary fort. From there they will hire out to the humans and whoever else can afford them, and that will bring down the tone of the neighborhood, as they are violent and very un-diplomatic. It seems certain their presence would damage trade agreements and local goodwill.
They cannot move into Khundrukar if others get to the master forge and claim it for their clan first. So, with a twenty day head start, the dwarves of Clan Caskbound set out to claim Khundrukar!
Three intrepid dwarves closed in on the main doors to the forge. Vecna remembered there was another way in, and did not want to use the front door. She remembered that in a spore-addled weeks-long celebration Durgeddin’s people proved they could dig a passage to human lands by digging a passage from the interior of the proto-clanhome to the chamber beyond. They could find that entrance and bypass the front door.
So they roamed the shroom-coated wilderness of the mountain flank, triggering spore clouds and by and large resisting their effects. However, the mule Alexander brought along was not so lucky, and struggled with paranoia. That was a real problem when they disturbed a massive (and high) caterpillar. They tethered the mule and left it to distract the caterpillar, pushing on with two massive casks on their own back instead. (They didn’t want to be caught without drink this expedition.)
They eventually found the vent into the lower halls of Khundrukar, and they cautiously followed the vent down. After a long hike, they entered a big chamber resonant with massive croaks. They found a broken gate, and beyond it, a frog as big as a horse, covered with psychotropic skin venom. They put it down after a fierce fight, but three more jumped them.
Using a combination of firebombs, steel, and magical bolts, they downed one and drove the others off. Unfortunately, in the battle Vecna was sprayed with the skin venom, and she thought she was a penguin for a while. (It wasn’t pretty.)
After she pulled herself together and everyone agreed to never speak of this again, they continued on, following Vecna’s memory into the deep. After a few twists and turns they came out in a massive chamber, the Glitterhame.
Vecna unerringly led them into the towering fungal forest full of psychadelic wildlife, ignoring blissed-out centipedes writhing across the path and groovy massive caterpillars that hung out on the mushroom caps.
As the path led them by a rocky cliffside, they were attacked by four spore-hounds–once human, these twisted creatures were transformed by fungal rot into something horrible. They attacked ruthlessly, but the dwarves put them down after a savage clash. Bruised and bloodied, the dwarves grimly pushed on to the impregnable door leading to the master forge.
They rested and got some strength back, also studying the door. It was covered with snippets of holy text, glyphs of the lineage of master smiths of the clan, and other decorations, surrounding a stylized face of Durgeddin himself. Enough of the door had interactive elements that they realized they might need clues for how to open it. The most decorated part of the clanhome, according to Vecna, was the burial ground at the other end of the chamber. The stone coffins had many markings and might bear a clue.
The Open Crypt
The coffins were in a peaceful balcony overlooking the Glitterhame. As the dwarves approached, they saw a massive frog-mount with a goblin champion mounted on it; she was high as a kite, and had two spiked chains implanted in her forearms and laid across the frog’s flank to pick up the hallucinogens. They tried to scare her off with a flashbang, but she hallucinated that they were a beholder, and she attacked savagely. They managed to balk her mount and knock her off, and the frog hallucinated that it could fly, leaping out over the Glitterhame (and not flying.)
They killed the champion properly, and Castlebar tore her spiked chains out of her arms (noting they were elven make.) Then he stood guard while Alexander and Vecna tirelessly worked on the caskets, using a keg of ale to help clear the frog excrement from the stone to look for clues.
Due to her extensive diplomatic background working with Clan Bastion, Vecna realized the order of the master smith glyphs were out of order.
They returned to the door and solved the riddle, opening the door to the Master Forge area. However, it was dank and dark, and they figured it might be best to return to the wilderness outside to camp before tackling it.
(They got 3 Ledger each, enough to get an upgrade!)