D&D Next: Driven Campaign

The Beginning

The start of our adventure, from Serash’s perspective.
August 28, 2013 07:06
Upon arrival to the village of Hatchet me and the other Driven were surprised to see the state it was in. The gates appear to be on their last hinge, the tower is leaning towards the top and the people seem to be starving. There was no signs of guards or any other officials working for the town in sight.

We were quickly greeted by Gil, a villager in Hatchet at the main gates. He was old and outspoken, quick to voice his opinions such as his distaste of the Caste systems, opinions on Red Darmont and his advisor Bronze Sorsoo, the Republic of Amperia and several other odds and ends. He advised us to visit Red Darmont at the tower as he requires all visitors to see him upon arrival unless they wish to seek his wrath.

We heeded his advice and left on good terms as we headed up to the tower. As we passed through town it was noticeably in a poor state, and still lacking any form of law enforcement. The tower itself looks much worse up close. The top of it was indeed about to fall over if the slightest bit of breeze hit it, the door was ajar and nobody was seen inside.

Had knocked on the door as we passed through it and was quickly welcomed by the dust falling off the door and onto him. We heard yelling throughout the keep about visitors and not breaking the door. We were miss identified as carpenters by Bronze Sorsoo who insisted that the door need not be fixed, whose idea of “fixing” it was hitting it repeatedly.

After explaining who we were his eyes quickly lit up and he guided us back to the dining area where Red Darmont was enjoying his lunch. He was a fat man who clearly lived off far more than he required as his people starved for his sake. He was loud and spouted much profanity until he realized who we were. He offered us some alcohol that Bronze Sorsoo was trying to keep stashed for himself, it was served in grimy looking glasses.

Red Darmont explained the situation and how he doesn’t understand why the Grex would want us dead, which was explained earlier by Gil who said the Republic of Amperia would constantly raid them, scalp them, and all around bully them for years before their demise. Bronze Sorsoo suggested we venture out to Gentleman’s Ferry a village recently razed by the Grex and current meeting place for two warbands that have been sacking the outer villages near Hatchet. They said there was possibly an artifact that could help us buried in a temple far outside of town but didn’t go into much more details.

We ventured out to this temple in hopes of finding something to help us deal with this Grex problem. Had insisted he buy a horse since he refused to walk the whole way, Gil suggested we pay a visit to a farmer outside of town who owned 3 mules and advised us not to buy the white one unless we wanted our heads kicked in. After buying a strong yet stubborn mule we set out with the aid of a poorly drawn and inaccurate map from Red Darmont and the use of my Druidcraft to detect our direction we set forth through the desert.

We came upon a temple that has long since been abandoned that we used as a shelter for the night. Upon finding wood for a fire and starting one with my Druidcraft the flames came alive and foretold of a prophecy of priests returning to this land. After waking up and setting back out across the desert we ran across a odd placement of rocks that had a mysterious half metal half flesh machine laying dead inside of it. The object was blasphemous and I wasn’t about to tolerate it any longer until Had pointed out some scribbles the object scratched into a rock, using magic Had was able to read it and told us of the Earth Shaker west of the desert, an artifact that can turn desert into jungle. This instantly grabbed my attention since it was my quest to retrieve such an artifact, I was almost ready to give up our current quest until the party urged us on.

We came across a small group of Grex who told Had in Draconic that this was their tribes land and to leave at once. Using mine and Had’s knowledge of the Grex tribe we were speaking to we decided it was best to go around them since they are known to be a very violent tribe. I heard them following us a couple hours later as their numbers grew and they ambushed us. We easily defeated them as a couple of them retreated so we set back out to our destination.

We ran across a small group of more Grex but Had noticed they were of a more “friendly” tribe that consisted mostly of traders. We waved each other down, weary of each other. They spoke broken common we soon realized as I asked them if they had a map of the area I could purchase. They said for 8 gold they can show us a shortcut to the temple which we happily accepted. I inquired about Grex villages and a larger map of the area but they refused unless I shared information on the human settlements nearby, the others discouraged me from taking that deal. They told us if we wanted to see them again to venture in this area or north of it where his tribe usually resides.

We arrived at the temple but it had a Grex warband that set up base near it. We sneaked into the temple but the others got caught by the Warchief and a few guards who told us this was a sacred place and all humans will soon serve the Grex and be eaten by them. I wasn’t spotted and made my way around the temple wall sticking to the shadows as I used Thunderwave to explode 2 Grex impressing the Warchief.

We fought on and defeated them. As the others searched the temple and found a few odds and ends along with a painting of the temple and the giant demon statue that we have towering before us as it eats humans depicted in it. My greed got the better of me as I used a grappling hook and some rope to climb the 60ft demon statue to pull out the diamonds in its eyes.

Much to my surprise its face opened up to reveal a room inside it once I tried to remove the large gems. I shouted down to the others to follow as I explored the hidden room. It had levers and a table inside it along with floating lights but nothing else of interest. I descended down a ladder to a lower level in it’s chest to find a room filled with cogs and other machinery. I set down again another level with the aide of rope to find a furnace and some Star Metal that I pocketed since it glowed in the dark and I’ve never seen such a thing before.

There was another level below that, that led to a dug out cavern which had a human sized scorpion living in it along with several apparitions that seem hostile towards us and possibly even the Grex, I believe these my be the twisted souls I heard about in legend that spoke of this machine we now stand in. That this is in fact a super weapon made by the Grex with the aid of Demons. The Grex being powerful and united back then swiftly turned to infighting as they fell apart.

We set up camp for the night in the demons head, I made sure I removed the rope and closed the face so no guards would find us. We were ambushed by more apparitions in our sleep, luckily they can’t take much punishment but I’m not really sure they stay dead anymore. I woke up the next day and ventured down into the cave and attempted to use magic to make the giant scorpion my friend but failed, luckily we made quick work of the beast and moved on.

We found a large room with 3 sets of doors, I found a wooden one with a lock on it and chose to burn it down rather than picking it. The group seemed surprised a druid would do such a thing, I think they’ve been misinformed or met different sects than mine, that wood was no longer planted into the land itself and is no longer a living and growing thing so I had no qualm with torching it to further my goal. After all that’s the rule of nature, especially the desert, only the strong survive and the weak will die. Kill or be killed.

We were greeted by several tiny rock creatures Had informed us were earth elementals from another plane. They were harmless and actually asked us to help them rid this place of evil and in return would fix up the machine and show us how to use it. We happily accepted since it was a fair deal. The evil they spoke of was in a room next to us with double doors.

A portal to the plane of eternal torment was open and 2 demons stood guard. In my rashness I ran forth and shot a couple fire seeds at them only to anger them more. They moved at an incredible speed and swiftly chopped me up til I was on the brink of death. To make matters worse a giant demon emerged from the portal and started spitting fire at the rest of the party.

Danny shot one of the demons off me as I chugged a potion I discovered earlier while Frank kept the large demon busy as he unleashed his rage upon him while Had tried to freeze the fiend. I got up and made swift work of the remaining demon while the others slowly worked down the larger demon, finally slaying it.

Fiery tendrils emerged from the portal that pulled the souls of both demons into it, one studied me as if to remember my face for later. When the large demon was destroyed the portal started collapsing as the tendrils emerged once more and started to pull me and Frank into it. Embarrassingly with the aid of Had I was able to break free, as did Frank who also almost died during that fight. We were praised by the Earth elementals who kept up their end of the bargain and started working on getting the machine up and running again.

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