The Shadowforged

Beginnings

Has to start somewhere!

As the unlikely companions fled from the town of Stormhold, they stumbled into the dense brush of the surrounding forests. Garren, knowing the wilderness like family, was able to lead Jaqk to a nearby stream. Near the coursing water the two rested for a few hours as the sun slowly died overhead. Heading deeper into the brush the two bar-forged compatriots ran across something unexpected, two dark ivory towers broken by time and the elements. Thick green vines and foliage rose up to engulf the twin spires. Jaqk knew from his teachings that this was the ancient fortress of Stormreaver. The barbarian orcs had razed it in centuries past and now it lay forgotten, rotting away. The two peeked inside and seeing nothing of note, entered the leftmost tower. Searching and finding a nearby trapdoor, the two cautiously ventured into the dark forbidden corridors of the under-dungeons.

Making their way past skeleton infested jail cells, the adventurous duo wondered what treasures and troubles lay ahead. As they traveled further into the bowels of the fortress, Garren noticed a campfire up ahead. As the two approached they saw that indeed the jail tunnel was overrun with a goblin troupe. Running into the room stout-heartedly, Jaqk bellowed forth in his native Orcish tongue “Halt goblins! You are my slaves!” So forceful was Jaqk and with such frightening appearance, the goblins were almost swayed to give up. Unfortunately the goblin’s leader entered and upon beating a few heads, order was restored. A battle ensued with our adventurers easily dispatching the local goblins, however the leader was able to spear Garren clean through the shoulder and managing to shout for more goblins before his head was sliced off. Jaqk’s missed Acid Orb attack splashed on the ground and the goblin reinforcements were melted in the pool of green as they came to assist. The two rested and Garren removed the broken spear from his body. Ahead of them lay a dark foreboding hall, and more cells. Pulling the keys that he looted off the chieftains corpse, Jaqk prepared to open the first cell. Quickly pulling him aside, Garren paused to listen at the door and managed to catch snippets of a foreign tongue. Jaqk recognized this language as an arcane dialect but was unable to pin down what kind of magic was being used. Jaqk bellowed forth a challenge and was responded with a quiet voice with harsh undertones. Apparently the creature in the cell was a monk being held captive by the goblins. Deciding that he could be trusted, the door was unlocked and the two stepped into the frigid dungeon cell. Shackled to the wall was a withered man with pale skin and paler hair. Vor’thoth was the name he gave the adventurers and Jaqk and Garren decided to free him if he promised to lead them to a treasure room deeper under the lair. Deep underground in a secret room, the three found a statue that contained jewels, after noticing their pale blue glow, Garren was quick to realize they were a sort of Detect Magic gems that glowed in the presence of magic, and inside a chest they found a deed to a nearby manor that glowed faintly with the hue of magics. Promising them a quick way back, Vor’thoth hurried the three past the sight of their first battle with goblins. Pausing as they neared the exit to the large room, Vor’thoth found the broken spear shaft that had been hastily broken off. Muttering excitedly to himself about an implement, he hurried to catch up. Garren though had caught this brief outspoken dialogue and realized that monks don’t use implements, only arcane users do… he slowed behind the group to keep his eye on this enigma. Soon they had come back to the first cells in the dungeon and it was here that Vor’thoth revealed that he was not at all a monk but rather a lich who had tricked the adventurers into releasing him. Having been bound in the shackles and denied presence of his phylactery for centuries, the aged lich had grown terribly weak. Upon summoning of the shackled skeletons he launched forth a mighty assault against the heroes.

Vor’thoth struck a sound blow with his lich magic and Jaqk was severely hurt in the chest as the ice froze against his flesh. Remembering what he knew of liches Jaqk requested that Garren distract the lich while he searched their bags for the phylactery. Not knowing what item it would be he ran the gem over the different objects till at last the gem shone with a brilliant blue light. It was the cell key that had bound the lich in the first place! Had this been planned by the lich? In the meanwhile Garren had sufficiently weakened the lich with a notched arrow in the knee. Seeing an opportunity to finish their foe, Jaqk cast an Acid Orb that landed and disintegrated the entire leg of the lich, as it lay smoldering on the ground the lich was quick to point out that it would never die! Turning back to the newly discovered phylactery, Jaqk prepared an arcane spell that would be sure to finish this lich off. Chaos bolts bounced off the key changing the physical and magical properties of the key to that of a gold coin. The lich vanished in a flash of smoke and the smell of sulfur. As Jaqk brought the coin closer to his face he noticed a skull emblem on the coin, obviously the phylactery’s magic had been great enough to influence the outcome of even chaotic magic, leaving this small imprint behind. Garren noticed his gem glowing faintly in the darkness but said nothing of this to Jaqk. The two quietly looked at the deed that now lay before them…

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