Episode 20: Fortress Graystone.

Into the wilds

In Fallcrest, The Physician commissioned a quest: Locate Fortress Graystone in the Giant’s Shield mountains and use Arcane Energy Pebbles and the Seal Portal ritual to close a conduit opened to Elemental Chaos and siphon away some of its energy. The conduit has, apparently, been created by Wicked Fang gnolls to access the power of their demon lord Yeenoghu. The leader of those gnolls is Fangren, twin of Maldrick Scarmaker whose ritual antics killed Thoran (Grim’s identical twin) in Thunderspire.

Grim chose to spend some time with Gorthak, his father, in Fallcrest before following on and The Physician suggested a female ranger, Vintera, might join the group.

A True Portal took the four to the village of Elsir Cross, on a bright morning in late Spring. The only two in the Pig’s Arms Tavern were Old Peter the barman and Halfling Tom. Both seemed somewhat the worse for wear but after a ‘tonic’ Tom sketched out a rough map to Graystone.

The five day journey was free from encounters but full of incidents. An unsteady stepping stone, a tree fall, tainted drinking water and a landslip. Was it kobolds? A man sized heel print Vintera found on the edge of the river seemed to suggest otherwise…

Dusk on Freeday brought the team to the end of their climb and they edged along the precarious mountain path to the hidden Fortress entrance. Mordan noticed the gnoll scouts and sentries lurking behind the githzerai statues on the stairs. One sentry charged Vintera who sidestepped and saw the gnoll fly off the cliff to his doom. The scouts with their cowardly shots caused problems. Vintera climbed part way up the cliff towards a balcony and dislodged a boulder down upon them both. Just as the adventurers were getting the upper hand a githzerai statue thundered into action only to be slowed by Felix. The Stonewalker Spirit possessing the statue was forced to flee into a second granite form and then touched Felix before entering a third. Felix was first slowed, then immobilised and final avoided being petrified only by the narrowest of margins. The Stonewalker did not reappear and since the climb to the balcony seemed overly treacherous, the team turned to the door…

Having carefully prised two beautiful emeralds from the door handles the team entered the fortress and met with more gnoll resistance. The octagonal room had five frosted glass portals and an arcane circle. More gnolls arrived and the lashers’ barbed whips drew Gronek further into the thick of things. Mordan was on top killing form and the last gnoll, the demonic scourge, was forced to flee. The team were enjoying the striking power of Felix and Vintera but certainly missing Grim and Durak.

Killing blows… (a possibly inaccurate list) Gronek: Gnoll Mauler Vintera: Gnoll Sentry, Gnoll Lasher Felix: Gnoll Mauler Mordan: 2 Gnoll Scouts, Gnoll Sentry, Gnoll Lasher



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