Tuesday, April 13th -– The day before the bulk of the group fully assembled, Dana and Varda were hired to investigate a kobold lair by Nimozaran the Green the Green, the High Septarch of Fallcrest (leader of a one-man wizards’ guild). He suspected the resurgence of kobold activity could be the result of a dragon’s ambition. The two of them met Poyin Dekstor along the way and they all slaughtered some kobolds (session report). Upon finding a black dragon in the Cloak Wood, they fled, but reported back to Nimozaran their findings. He recommended them to town councilman Eoffram Troyas for further work.
4/14 The group was hired by Troyas to hunt goblins in the area of the town. They ended up defending the Blue Moon Alehouse from an attack by goblins calling themselves the Red Hand, a reference to a goblin war ten years ago. They saved the inn (session report), gaining the undying gratitude of the owner, Par Winnomer, who gave them free room and board.
4/15 While turning in the heads from the attack on the inn, the group picked up another assignment (session report) : hunt down the leader of the goblins, a hobgoblin named Sinruth, in his lair beneath the abandoned Rivenroar estate south of town, and return some hostages and heirlooms that had been taken.
4/16 The group did this (three session reports, but was too late to save Guard Captain Kartenix, who had been sacrificed to a wight who claimed to be the Lord of Rivenroar. There were several items of note in Rivenroar. There had been a pair of shadow gnomes (gnomes from the Shadowfell, rather than the Feywild) who had disappeared when the group attacked them. There was a note from someone called “The Emissary” to Sinruth (session report), instructing him on how to attack Fallcrest. Sinruth had a store of weapons which seemed to have some shadow properties, as if perhaps they had been forged in the Shadowfell. Also, one of the stolen heirlooms proved particularly interesting. Harann had a dream about the platinum sword, which proved to be a relic of Bahamut called the Sword of Amyria.
4/17 The group headed back to Fallcrest and received their reward. Wilik took a liking to the Gauntlets of Ogre Power amongst the stolen heirlooms, and refused to return them to the town. Troyas offered to let him keep them on-loan as long as the group continued working for the town. He suggested that they could go to Hammerfast as the official delegation from Fallcrest to assist in the apparent coming orc invasion (session report). Troyas said he would send a message ahead, and asked the group what name he should call them by, and after some discussion, they decided on “The Blue Moon Bastards.” Harann was told she could keep The Sword of Amyria (which was on-loan to the town from the church of Bahamut) if she could secure permission from the primary Bahamut cleric in the region: Edgar Sommerfield, who had also gone to aid the defense of Hammerfast. Before leaving on their new assignment, there was some personal business to take care of for Drella, who went to check out her family, the powerful trading clan House Azaer. Their storefront was being run by a woman named Amara Azaer, who berated Drella and implied that her “kind” would be more welcome at Naerumar’s Imports, across town. However, Varda was along and was able to see through Amara’s glamour, which was hiding her own horns amongst her hair. Drella snuck into the back room and happened upon a belligerent discussion between an employee and some men identifying themselves as representatives of the “Lost Ones.”
4/19 The newly-christened Bastards arrived in Hammerfast, where they encountered some of Edgar Sommerfield’s adventuring group, The Farstriders, engaged with some orc raiders. The group’s ranger, Jen, had traveled with Dana previously and the two of them introduced the groups to one another. Edgar, however, was missing, and Jen explained that he was at the Pig and Bucket, a very popular inn for adventuring types. The groups traveled together to the inn, where they found the place packed, and Edgar Sommerfield holding court in a corner of the common room. Dana had also traveled with Edgar before, and she arranged for a private meeting with Edgar later that night so Harann could talk to him about the sword. During that meeting, Edgar revealed that Amyria is the name of a scion of Bahamut who continually re-appears at times of great need. Usually these times are turning points in the great war between Bahamut and Tiamat, the two dragon gods who fight over all creation ever since they were born from the death of the ancient dragon god Io, incarnating all of his good into Bahamut and all of his evil into Tiamat. He suggested that Amyria had chosen to use Harann as her agent and that Harann should pay attention to any signs of what the sword wants her to do, and he said he would send a message to the Fallcrest authorities, informing them that she could keep the sword. Meanwhile, Drella, Varda, and Erich, while traveling the streets of Hammerfast, encountered some doppelganger assassins in the process of finishing off another adventuring group. One of the doppelgangers had already taken the form of one of the dead. The group made quick work of the injured assassins, and found a list of adventurers on one of them. On this list were the Farstriders, Freeriders, Fearsome Five, Fury of Phlegethos, and the “Fallcrest Group,” with the names of Dana, Wilik, Drella, Varda, and Harann listed. The Fearsome Five had been crossed out in a reddish ink that may or may not have been blood. This list seemed to be in the same handwriting as the note the group had found on Sinruth. The Bastards showed the list to Edgar, and he said he would show it to the Hammerfast Council and put in a good word for the group to get one of the better assignments the next day during the War Council.
4/20 The next day, the Bastards were indeed assigned to the defense of the Monastery of the Sundered Chain, a dwarven monastery high in the mountains, under which lay tunnels to the orcs’ side of the mountains. The Farstriders were given the task of sealing the Nexus, where all the tunnels joined, so that the orcs could not exploit this weakness. The Freeriders were sent to seal the tunnels under the Bordrin’s Watch, the massive dwarf fortress which spanned the pass through the mountains. The groups traveled together for a while, with first the Freeriders and then the Farstriders breaking off to their individual assignments. Edgar suggested that the Bastards and the Farstriders should meet at the place where their trails diverged in twenty-four hours. If either group was late, the others would go to check on them. The Bastards found the monastery atop a high peak with a view of Orc Country, and already overrun by orcs who had come out of the tunnels. A single surviving dwarf had managed to collapse the tunnel by which they had come, trapping the orcs, but the party witnessed his death at the hands of an Eye of Gruumsh, an orc priest. The Bastards killed all the orcs and headed back to the rendezvous point.
4/21 When the Farstriders did not arrive, the Bastards followed their tracks into the steam vents under a mountain known as the Anvil. There, they found advance scouts of the orc army being advised by another shadow gnome, whom they killed, and they also found the bodies of the Farstriders. Jen had been decapitated while still clutching a sending stone. The others were in the process of being eaten by a troll. After defeating the troll, the Bastards found a huge chamber with many exits and a mechanism which appeared to be a giant screw. The group figured out that boiling-hot pipes they had discovered earlier needed to be opened and the screw opened in order to release hot water from the steam vents into the tunnels, blocking them. They fought and defeated an Orog leader named Tusk and his shadar-kai lover, but the orc army kept streaming through the tunnels. Poyin Dekstor figured out how to open the screw and Dana found the escape hatch at the top of the room, which featured a hatch that seemed to seal watertight. Unfortunately, they realized too late that the valves on the earlier pipes needed to be opened. Erich had been unable to be revived after the fight, so the group rested in the tiny escape-hatch room, waiting for him to come to. When he was told of the situation, Erich volunteered to disguise himself as a shadow gnome and try to sneak to the valves and open them, at which point he would have to make a mad dash out to the original entrance. Erich sneaked through the hundreds of orcs who had arrived, noting that they, too carried the shadow-forged weapons similar to those that Sinruth had. He managed to turn both valves before he was found out. He sprinted through the many orcs, benefiting greatly from his magical boots, which made him insubstantial during the run. However, the orcs still managed to beat him to within an inch of his life. Worn out and nearly dead, Erich began the exhausting trek on his own through the labyrinth of steam vents…