Eberron: Expeditionforged

11.08.2013: Brokerage

Characters

B-1 (Bone):
An adamantine-bodied Warforged with tribal past and a later conversion. He utilizes an iron chain to mow down the opposition and combines the pack tactics of the wolf with the ferocity of a lion. However, his social skills are not exactly top-notch.
Barbarian 2; Fighter 2; Crusader 1
- Lion Totem variant (Complete Champion)
- Wolf Totem variant (Unearthed Arcana)
- Whirling Frenzy variant (Unearthed Arcana)

Fix:
Cased in mithral, we have the team player and utility user of the party in the form of Fix, a very altruistic Warforged Artificer. He is to provide the party with everything they need and cannot buy so a very heavy burden lies on his shoulders.
Artificer 5

Jaeger:
Finally, we come to the adamantine-plated Psychic Warrior whose main ability is to boost himself beyond the capabilities of any mundane warrior. Thus far his past remains shrouded in mystery but maybe more will unfold over time.
Psychic Warrior 5

Setting

The Warforged have been sent to the Kapaerian Island to search for new ruins by Merrix d’Cannith. At the moment, they are being led by Jovi d’Cannith who is to act as the intermediary between Xen’Drik and Khorvaire. In addition to him and the three, there are 5 Guard Class Warforged and 10 Scout Class Warforged to help setting up base and exploring its surroundings. The party members are Executive Class and have authority over the rest but not each other. It has been a week since they first set foot on the Kapaerian Island.

Session

The party is traveling through a gorge between two ramparts in the jungle. This is your average terrain in the island as they have learned. A big black dragonfly starts monitoring them above their heads and Jovi identifies it as a Tirbana Eyewing and explains to the rest what this means. Bone attempts to reach it with the help of his chain and stretchable arms but misses the tiny bug. At this point, however, he notices that there are two more of them. Since Jovi underlined that they must not be allowed to report the party’s arrival to the hive and the rest cannot do anything about it, Jovi shoots down two of the three with his Magic Missiles. After the third one escaped, they choose to follow it rather than be tracked down by the Tirbana it will alert.

They reach the scouting party that is harassing Manethak and arrive at the scene of his mind finally giving up in exhaustion. Since the Tirbana were alerted to their approach, they are not surprised and fight ensues. Jovi’s Iron Guardians prove themselves to be a boon since their anti-mage teeth are activated by the Drowsers’ spell-like abilities. The party is facing two Eyewings, three Drowsers and a Slayer, and the Iron Guardians quickly dispatch of one Drowser with the help of a critical success.

Bone is enlarged by Fix and Jaeger expands himself. However, the two titanic Warforged are unable to reach the bugs due to the hampering undergrowth. The Eyewings begin harassing Jaeger who becomes affected by their disorientating touch. Jovi provides back-up information about the capabilities of the Tirbana while his Iron Guardians begin tearing at the rest of the Tirbana. Jaeger escapes from the Eyewings and swings at them but misses. Bone manages to reach the Slayer and trips it from afar. When it tries to get back up, the Iron Guardians, Jaeger and Bone shred it to pieces. One of the Eyewings is shot down by Jovi and the other succumbs to a sucker punch from Jaeger when it attempts to escape and alarm the rest of the hive. The remaining Drowsers are taken care of by the Iron Guardians and Jaeger. The Iron Guardians rip to shreds one tripped by Bone and Jaeger splits the last one in half with a swing of his greatsword.

They approach the Goliath who is still unconscious. Since they have no real way to restrain all his limbs, including the phantom Girallon arms, effectively, Bone is ready to finish him when Jovi awakens Manethak. It turns out that he barely speaks Common but they manage to convey to him the massacre of the Tirbana. Manethak insists that they follow him and the party agrees.

When they must climb a rampart to reach Manethak’s cave, Bone throws a silk rope to the Goliath so that they may climb up using it. Although the process should be simple, they are all hampered by their heavy plating and armor. Fix helps the Warforged with use of Bull’s Strength on their gear but Bone who attempts to bring one of Jovi’s Guardians with him still falls due to a critical failure. Jaeger successfully brings the first dog up, though. After Bone’s failure, they settle upon dragging the second Guardian up after tying it to the rope. Jovi fails to climb and falls, not once but twice to his utmost shame and is finally dragged up along with his Iron Guardian.

The Drowsers guarding Manethak’s cave are disposed of using the Iron Guardians. Once inside, Manethak begins praying for his family whose blood still stains the cave. Jovi begins interpreting the paintings on the walls, and he asks Manethak about the concealed being leading the insects. The Goliath answers him with the name “Nehushta” and gestures to ward evil. Fix ends up using a scroll of Comprehend Languages to communicate with the Goliath. With Bone’s help, the party successfully conveys their questions to Manethak who proceeds to answer them with the history of his clan. They agree to help him avenge the Goliaths and are puzzled by the week Manethak requires for rituals. However, Jovi reminds them that they will need a base of operations before taking on such a quest in any case. Manethak tells them of a good place to start construction and they leave.

They find the rocky outcrop and everyone agrees that this is probably as good of a place as they could hope for. The existence of archaeological finds is also a promising start. Fix uses another scroll to comprehend the Giant runes on the stone tablet and Jovi makes a copy of the runes and Fix’s translation to be researched in Sharn. The Warforged begin construction: Bone orders eight of the Scouts to start chopping the woods around the opening. Two of them are to search for a suitable place for a quarry as a pair. One of the Guards is to help him move the stones around the outcrop while the rest are to start smoothing it. Jovi, Jaeger and Fix relax and begin recharging their strength.

After some time, there is a brief whistle of the scouts’ signal whistle. It dies out abruptly and Bone, Jaeger and Fix rush to investigate. They find the handaxe of one of the Scouts and some tracks indicating humanoid enemies but nothing else. However, the Warforged are able to deduce with the help of Jovi that such an effective attack must have been orchestrated by the Drow about whom Manethak had warned them. They decide to adopt a defensive formation for the night.

After nightfall, the party is approached by someone in the dark, demanding parley. They agree and Sharroos introduces himself and the general situation of the Kent’tar clan. He informs the party of having secured their servants after killing a scouting party of traitors and sends some of his men to deliver their bodies. Since both Scouts are only offline and not dead, Fix is able to repair them with the help of his infusions. One had been taken out by bolts to its forehead and the other was charged by the Drow after making the alarm. It tells the party that whatever the assailants were, at least they were black people which confirms that the Scouts were taken down by Drow.

The negotiations with Sharroos continue. The party demands that he show himself but Sharroos wants one of their servants to be sent to his men as a hostage in return. Once one of the returned Scouts is sent to the Drow, Sharroos rides his scorpion to the edge of the light and reveals himself. When he is questioned for proof that they were not the assailants, he orders one of his men to throw the head of a traitor to light. Convinced of the truth of his words when Sharroos explains his need for help and how Irranna has forsaken Vulkoor for something called Nehushta, the agree to help the Drow since Sharroos promises to leave them be, unlike Irranna. He is to return the next night so that they may mount their mutual assault at Irranna’s followers. Sharroos knows his way around the traps surrounding Irranna’s camp and he agrees to have his men wear red war paint to distinguish them from the traitors.

Fix and Jaeger return to their meditation and the session ends.

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19.08.2013: Alliances

The day after Sharroos’s nightly visit was spent mostly in construction. Fix created a Scroll of Fireball to prepare for the night, and he was asked for the design of a winch. Since the artificer actually knows something about engineering but had no time to provide blueprints, he simply gave the party a list of parts they will need to provide at the very least.

Bone and Jaeger decided to continue the search for a suitable location for a quarry. A few paces from the camp they realized that it was right beside a very high rampart. Which would really be almost ideal for mining. Having realized this, they commissioned the winch from Fix because of the 100ft. climb from the bottom of the gorge. Since the parts Fix ordered them to provide included some which would need to be created in a forge, the Guard obligated to provide them asked for a source of water. He could probably provide enough heat to work on the metal bars he already had with minimal effort but there was nothing to cool and harden the metal. Bone began making a hole for storing rainwater since there would most definitely be rain sooner or later in the humid, tropical atmosphere of the island. His plan also included converting the hole to a pair of stairs because the barbarian envisioned them expanding underground sooner or later.

Sharroos finally arrived, and the characters were instructed to follow his voice. They complied and were guided by a pair of Sharroos’s warriors who emerged from the shadows. On the way, Sharroos explained his plan: the Warforged would charge straight at the big tent at the end of the cavern since he was convinced that Irranna had taken it over during his absence. His men would neutralize the guards and take on the rest of the enemies, distracting them from helping Irranna against the party. They saw no reason to question this tactic although it would most probably result in the biggest danger aimed at them.

When they arrived near the cavern, Sharroos and Fix began pumping spells to prepare for the battle. Fix used Bull’s Strength and Cat’s Grace on Bone’s equipment and finished with an Enlarge Person from his wand. Sharroos also used spells to increase his power.

The ambush they began the combat with failed because Sharroos’s men were spotted. However, they had managed to sneak close enough to pepper the guards with poisoned bolts which dropped half of them before they sounded the alarm despite having no real advantage of surprise. The camp was awakened and Sharroos ordered the Warforged to charge at the tent. Bone was the first to enter the camp, and when he sluggishly advanced further, the Drow had already prepared and peppered him with bolts and eldritch blasts. However, the onslaught barely scratched him apart from the magical energies. Fix was following him with a torch to provide illumination. Jaeger, on the other hand, stopped to chop up a caster and some warriors, abandoning the plan. Sharroos advanced on the other side of the camp and let his mount dispatch his enemies for the most part.

Bone was alarmed by the possibility of an ambush and warily used his great size to his advantage to avoid the readied attacks of the thralls by the flap door of Irranna’s tent. He then proceeded inside after the thralls had had a chance to withdraw and hide. Once inside, he fell for Irranna’s Charm. Fix followed him inside, revealing Irranna and a thrall by her side. He proceeded to launch a fireball at them, barely scathing the Drow. Irranna kept spouting sweet words at Bone as she advanced closer and stabbed him, snapping the Warforged out of its torpor. When the thralls attempted to attack him, he tripped two of them but a third one managed to sneak to his flank from behind a pillar. However, its attack missed miserably.

Bone entered a rage and began battering Irranna. He successfully tripped her and the thrall who had sneaked too close. The infiltrator was hurt badly, and on her turn, she activated the thralls’ fast healing and attempted to surprise Bone with a dart attack from her mouth. The Warforged was hit but the attack barely hurt him due to his adamantine plating. When the thralls began getting back on their feet, he swung his chain at each of them, his reflexes still boosted by Fix’s infusion. This dropped the thrall that had originally stayed by Irranna’s side but the rest managed to hurt him badly with their superhuman strength.

Jaeger had been on a killing spree against the Drow warriors on his side of the battlefield. Sharroos had also began attacking them with his magic, and he shredded the last caster with the help of his mount. Having heard the sound of battle from the tent, Jaeger switched places with Bone using his psionic powers. Sharroos was told that the enemy leader had been defeated – and he had just led the slaughter of all the defectors personally. Declaring Irranna dead, he dismounted and headed inside the tent to see her body for himself. However, Bone’s triumph had been premature for the Infiltrator had merely been reduced to a dying state and the parasite had managed to reconstruct enough of her body to use its power to dimension door away from the camp. Enraged, Sharroos ordered his men to search the perimeters for her. Before escaping, Sharroos ordered the last thrall to immolate. When she had lost consciousness, they had dropped their weapons and began to spout in panic due to knowing that they were doomed. Jaeger had used this opportunity to kill one of them, not understanding that they had already surrendered. He was hit badly by the immolating thrall that was right beside him.

The party searched Irranna’s tent only to conclude that she and her thralls had led an eerily unhuman life: nothing on the thralls’ person showed any personality, and the tent only had Irranna’s throne, the altar, and beds for the thralls. Nothing else. They did recognize the symbol of Nehushta on the throne, and they also salvaged the greatswords left behind by the thralls as well as Irranna’s magical spear which Fix identified on the spot.

Afterwards, the party followed their own trail back to their headquarters, led by Bone. Sharroos had spitefully promised to leave them be but reminded them that Irranna was not yet gone.

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08.09.2013: Into the Lair

The session begins with the party deciding how they will use the remaining 4 days before Manethak is finished with his prayers. Bone began building a forge using the stones from the Giant ruins around them. Jaeger started assembling the winches they would need to carry rock from their future quarry. However, he could not obtain the necessary metal parts at this point in time. Fix scribed a few combat scrolls, mostly Magic Missiles, and finished the blueprint for the winch. All of them were repaired during this downtime.

Manethak’s arrival was finally heralded by one of the Guards informing J├Ąger of the allied giantborn’s appearance near the perimeters of their headquarters. He was escorted in without trouble despite the limited understanding of what each side was saying. However, the Goliath’s simple message of “we must go now” was readily interpreted by the party, and they decided to follow him. With a proud bearing, Manethak began guiding the party to the hive’s entrance.

Manethak led the Warforged back into the gorge, and they used Bone’s rope to climb down. After some walking among the rubble of the Giants’ past and a tropical shower or two, the now clearly alert Goliath pointed to a hill and the ruins by it. There were two Tirbana Eyewings scouting the area, and Fix decided to bring them down with a shower of magic missiles. One went down with the first volley, and Jaeger attempted to finish the other with a javelin from a distance. However, he missed, and Fix was forced to use another one of his scrolls of magic missile.

They approached the entrance to the lair, and stopped to interpret the Goliath paintings on it. When they asked Manethak what the things depicted on the pillars were, the Goliath answered with a simple “enemies”. After Fix cast light on Bone’s chain, they entered and managed to surprise the Slayer as well as the Drowsers within. The Slayer was disposed of by Bone and Manethak, although it managed to bite the Goliath viciously before being tripped by the Warforged and then ripped apart by the avenging tribesman. The Drwosers hurried to warn the Spawner, and the closer one was splattered on the floor by Jaeger and Bone. The other managed to reach the Spawner, and when Manethak hurried after it, the Spawner successfully put him to sleep, allowing the Drowser to coup de grace him by biting his throat open. Manethak was rapidly avenged by Bone but the damage had already been done. He was hit with an acid orb, and Jaeger confronted the Spawner in melee. He managed to hurt it badly before Bone swooped in and killed it.

They began studying the loot available in this room. Fix detected for magic items and pointed out Manethak’s armor as well as the potions within the pile. They also took the axe the Spawner had been wielding as well as everything worth something (and most importantly – made of metal) among the items in the pile.

Next, they checked the room in which the Goliaths implanted with Tirbana eggs were being held. Jaeger realized that the adults were alive, but Fix failed to verify this. Also, they realized that there was probably nothing they could do to help them and merely squashed a few of the maggots that were squirming towards the still living Goliaths instead of doing anything at the rest. They even re-sealed the room for some reason when they left.

The feeding chambers for the Kythons were given minimal attention. The skittering and high-pitched growls of the hatchlings unnerved the party to some degree but they did not explore further. Instead, they went downstairs.

In the second floor, first Bone and then Jaeger was approached by the adult Kython which pleaded for help. They actually opened the door to its cell, causing it to unleash a prepared mind blast at them. However, the party shrugged it off successfully, and with more caution, Jaeger stepped inside. The adult Kython had received time to prepare due to winning initiative, and it attempted to Charm the psychic warrior as soon as he opened the door. This failed, however. The only mutant among the brood also blasted the party but its weak attempt was barely registered. The adult Kython managed to hurt Jaeger a bit with its tentacles due to his sword failing to penetrate its chitin plates. However, Bone soon joined the fight, successfully tripping and hurting the mutant Kython. It attempted to have him drop his chain with a suggestion but this was shrugged off, and Bone and Jaeger finished off the Kython. They also slaughtered the brood.

Left with the eggs, they attempted to crush one by throwing it at a wall to verify that they were indeed eggs instead of stones. After a few measly attempts, they managed to crack one open, revealing a basic Kython inside. The rest of the eggs were gathered and wrapped in mucus-soaked rags. Bone added them to his inventory for the time being, the idea being that Jovi would probably appreciate the samples.

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17.09.2013: Annihilation

The party began by exploring the second floor of the dungeon. They did search for traps due to the suspicious absence of further visible enemies. However, having failed at this, Fix suffered a few blows from falling rocks. Bone was able to weather it. Fix also triggered the second falling roof, by the fountain, and was hurt by it, prompting him to repair himself with an infusion. They examined the pillars and Fix realized that the fountain contained a trap, which kept the rest of the Warforged (mainly Bone) from looting it.

They went through the rest of the floor carefully. Fix located a the last brittle spot on the ceiling, avoiding any further injuries. Bone and Jaeger threw some stones in the water to see how deep it was and to see if something was lurking under the surface. By this time, Fix had already detected magic in the well, and he opted to cast read magic to understand the runes. Since they were not magical per se, he also used comprehend languages to understand their meaning. At first, the party refused to donate. However, they also understood not to attempt to take any of the coins.

Eventually they braced themselves and entered the water. They searched the room which had required them to do this, and Fix went through the runes on the walls to realize that they contained stories of some kind of a pantheon of gods. He also spotted how the altar was constructed, revealing the hidden compartment which was accessed when Bone lifted the slag tablet. Before reading Arim’s diery, they used detect magic on it to ascertain whether or not it was trapped and dangerous. Having found nothing, Fix opened it and read its contents using the remains of his earlier comprehension spell.

Finally, having rummaged through the second floor in its entirety, they decided to go downstairs. When Zsamsa’s blade thralls could be seen in the light of their everburning torch, the Zern began speaking to them in an androgynous, hoarse voice (very human but with a strange accent). He inquired whether or not they had been sent by Sharroos to intervene with his plans. Sensing trouble, Bone asked for Fix to cast Bull’s Strength on him. Having realized that the party was there ages ago, Zsamsa and his minions were ready for this, and he had readied an action to shoot at anyone attempting to cast anything. The warping energy interrupted Fix’s concentration, and combat thus began. At the same time that Fix was hit, Irranna had charmed Bone from hiding. When the Warforged atttempted to go on a killing spree, she ordered him not to hurt the blade thralls, disrupting him. The blade thralls kept up a total defense but began to block Jaeger’s and Bone’s access to Zsamsa. Bone was effectively left useless by Irranna’s commands of ceasing offensive at the passive blade thralls in his way as Zsamsa kept peppering Jaeger and Fix with his warping energy (he had assumed an aggressive form, having realized that he would hardly be hurt as things stood). Bone was enlarged and Jaeger entered his huge form using expansion but they could hardly hurt anyone. Eventually Zsamsa ordered the blade thralls on the offensive (when they could flank Bone with Irranna), and one disposed of Jaeger while the other began attacking Bone, causing him to break free of the charm spell.

Jaeger was brought to his senses by Fix’s repairing infusions but he was still very weak and refused to stand, instead defending himself on the ground. Fix applied more repairs to him before succumbing to a critical wound from Zsamsa’s warping energy. It twisted his head off with a loud crack. Jaeger managed to return to the fight, but Bone was already disposing of the blade thralls easily enough, managing to critically wound both of them. Irranna was attacking him from hiding but managing to stay unnoticed by miraculous inattentiveness on Bone’s part.

As the blade thralls went down, Bone even reached Zsamsa and managed to trip him. However, one of the blade thralls had healed back to its senses and intervened with him long enough to allow the Zern to change into a small gaseous form to escape between the cracks in the ruins. Irranna used Dimension Door to escape as she noticed the Zern retreating.

Bone and Jaeger went through the room only to find the nets left behind by the blade thralls as well as the gruesome remains of Zsamsa’s research: dissected Drow, Goliaths and Kythons. They eventually left the laboratory but were ambushed by Zsamsa who had escaped unnoticed due to his gaseous form. The Zern managed to wound the already abused Bone who used the last of his powers in an attempt to hit the fountain with a platinum coin. Due to extremely unlucky circumstances, he missed and fell comatose. As such, Jaeger was left alone to fight the now fully recovered Zern. He attempted to ambush it to no avail, and when he eventually gave up and concluded that it was gone, it reverted to its hit-and-run attacks. When Jaeger retreated in the room with the altar, havinh even left his light source behind not to be noticed, the Zern returned to sniff him out. Due to its tremorsense, this was effortless and it began closing in on Jaeger, taunting him to face it and basking in its superiority. Since the Warforged refused to budge, it was taken down in a flash of warping energy when the Zern finally within line of sight of him.

The party was killed in its entirety. We decided to continue in a similar vein but with one of the other parties sent to explore other parts of Xen’Drik.

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