Bloodmoor

To the North!

After waking from a night spent with the Nomads, the party decided to follow their only lead concerning the attempted reclamation of the Northern Plains. They followed directions received from some hungover Nomads at breakfast and found themselves marching towards the edge of camp. As they walked the tents became older and more tattered, soon they were more patches than anything else. past the last of the tents, a quarter mile down the trail was a single tent.

Sun-bleached from years without maintenance and barely held together by course thread and scraps of fabric, the tent was hardly considered livable. The breeze ruffled the tent flap open allowing anyone to see into the unorganized hovel. Inside was a single man sprawled face down on the cot with several large empty bottles strewn around him on the floor. There was no color left in his skin and did not seem to be breathing.

The Cleric and the paladin worked feverishly to save the pathetic fellow. A few well cast healing spells left him revived from the brink of death. After his recovery he answered some questions about the Reclamation.

They had left in a group 200 strong. For the first few days the plains seemed as peaceful as the golden years. The herds stretched for miles across the horizon and the brisk air was countered by the bright sunshine. About a week into the mission the group faced attacked from fierce twisted beasts. They fed into caves in the mountains only to face starvation. In a last ditch effort to save their lives and return home the group rode at breakneck pace for the boarder. Soon a shadow enveloped them from overhead. When the man reached the other side of the boarder he finally turned around to see that none of his comrades had crossed with him. only three horses, one of them dragging a disembodied leg caught in the stirrups.

With that the group left to go North. Because nothing is more inviting than the slaughter of 199 men by an unknown enemy.

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A New Friend

The Mayor’s Mansion was now fully sanctified and it was time to inform the owner of the progress. The Cleric went to visit the noble and reassure him that the house was no longer dangerous.

Though the Cleric was tactful in his negotiations the Nobleman was not interested in returning to the house. His family was horrified after their ordeal and his daughter was horribly maimed. He let the Cleric know that he would return the deed and would rather wash his hands of the whole situation. The Cleric understood and offered his assistance to bless the daughter and treat her wounds the best that he could.

Meanwhile, the Wizard and the Ninja were off to Draughbelor in search of more drugs. The Wizard teleported them outside the city gates into the raging lightning storm, surprisingly they were struck by lightning. They entered the loading docks and searched for the crates of Magic Dust. They found the crates, but the crate they opened had a note which read, “I’m borrowing this.” It appeared they were not alone in the city.

The Wizard left to make noise with some wolves, however the ninja found that he was trapped when the loading docks door was closed remotely. After an unnecessarily long time fumbling around trying to open a door they both knew how to open. A Dwarf announced his presence from on top of the roof.

After some arguing and a dick measuring contest the Wizard teleported the party back to the safe-house in Ransburg. The dwarf was confused and erratic being outside the city for the first time in centuries. The Paladin upon seeing the newcomer, lifted him in the air and asked who he was. The Ninja, on the other hand, stole a bottle of wine from the Cleric’s room and brought it to calm the Dwarf down.

It was at that moment that the Cleric, who was returning to Fenniksburg to heal the Noble’s daughter felt his liquor sense tingling. He turned around immediately and returned with haste.

There were shenanigans and drinking liquor and making piss taste like liquor and then some digging. And then the Cleric woke up two days later with the hangover of his life.

After everything settled down the group decided to venture forth to the Nomadic Enclave in the North. They discovered there that some Nomads lost a fight to reclaim the homeland, and that is where we left our heroes.

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The Basement

The adventurers now came to the Basement door. It was slightly ajar and the magical runes on the surface glowed brightly. The walls of the hallway pulsed with dark energy that snaked across them like vines. The house seemed to be alive with unholy energy.

The Paladin entered first, opening the door to find a miasmic fog coating the staircase. the fog rolled out of the opened door and across the Paladin’s feet. The staircase was dark, unnaturally so. A bit of summoned light caused the clouds of miasma to part and the group found a locked door at the bottom of the basement stair. When the handle was turned a spike shot out from the adjacent wall. The Paladin was quick an pulled her hand away in time.

But the door above was now locked. Hot sand began to pour in from the ceiling above and fill the stairwell. The Paladin attacked the door again and again as the sand rose higher. After the third blow the door broke and the Paladin tumbled forward. The rest of the party followed and found themselves alive inside the basement.

It was dark in the basement, the summoned light would disappear into the blackness around them. The Cleric raised his symbol high in the air and it was as day in a small area around them. They then saw the horror that filled the room. In front of them were a series of tables that were coated in dried blood and sharpened tools. A few of the tables had chains attached to act as a rack. The group then ventured forth to the right side of the room. There they found a small group of feral undead children hunched in the corner. The group was turned to ash by the cleric as positive energy pulse around them.

Along the side wall were hanging cages barley large enough for one person. A few of them were forced open from the inside, most still contained the corpse of their resident. The Cleric approached one of the corpses and communed with his spirit. The spirit told a story of how the Mayor kidnapped him from the town and would come down every few nights and torture him. He would be careful to make shallow cuts so that the victim would survive. Them one day the Mayor stopped coming down and the spirit slowly died of dehydration.

It was at that point that the group noticed a large number of glowing eyes surrounding the light emanating from the cleric. The cleric dropped his light for a moment and then summoned it once again. A mob of undead creatures had charged forward, the creature reeled back in the light but attacked the party members within reach.

Another blast of positive energy flooded the room and the undead mob was turned to dust. The party continued forward with the light of the cleric guiding them. They followed the side wall to the back corner of the basement. On the back wall were racks with the corpses of tortured victims still hanging from the shackles. The smell of death loomed more intensely and a mass of glowing eyes was at the threshold of the light.

The cleric cut the light once again to invite the undead to charge, but this time the enemy was a little more resilient. When he summoned daylight once again a two-story behemoth stood in front of the group and savagely attack the party members. An amalgamation of fused corpses created a massive humanoid shape with immense strength.

It roared and tossed the cleric like a rag-doll thirty feet backwards. The wizards summoned a wall of stone to stop the abomination and the paladin charged forth valiantly to defeat it. As they exchanged blows the creature lifted the Paladin from her horse, crushing her in it’s hand and breaking the wall of stone with her body.

The paladin struggled to get free eventually severing the arm from the rest of the body. The cleric then rejoined the fray with a powerful blast of sunlight. The explosive force of the sunlight caused the monster to screech in pain and piles of corpses that composed it’s outer shell were instantly turned to dust.

Freed from the grip of the monster the Paladin smited the creature and struck back hard with repeated blows. The force of her attacks cut deep into the monster and the second layer burned away under the strain of her holy fury. Underneath was a single corpse with the fragile form of a young women wearing a tattered dress. She screamed and lashed out at the party members around her. A few more pulses of positive energy were all that was needed to put her to rest and a final burst of spiritual energy flowed from the corpse before it too turned to dust.

After the battle the Cleric cleared the rest of the basement and the party spent the next few days cleaning and sanctifying the space.

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Rest in Peace Thomas

The adventurers had a plan, they were not in the Great Forges as mere explorers. The Master Forge in front of them was their final destination, thy had come to remove a threat from the group.

The adventurers attempted to fool the Overseer (the giant face in the ceiling) with an illusion and moving in a group. When they reached the center of the factory the Wizard summoned a dire crocodile. The beast immediately captured the ninja in his jaws and held him tight. After the crocodile was summoned the Overseer’s eyes turned red and the adventurers found themselves flanked by an endless stream of awakening automaton soldiers.

The crocodile marched towards the Master Forge, prepared to sacrifice the ninja and destroy his good friend Thomas. The soldiers around them closed in fast and in front of the forge were two large labor automatons now ready to defend the forge from the intruders. The Wizard had another idea. Long conveyor belts fed the Master Forge from above, if the crocodile could not make it to the forge then the sword might be thrown in from above. He teleported the ninja to the conveyor and bolstered the ninja’s mind against Thomas.

They ran across the metal parts lining the belt and the ninja tossed the sword at the Master Forge. unfortunately it was a terrible throw. At the same time the other party member found themselves facing a massive army of metal soldiers. It seemed hopeless until an old ally arrived. The ice druid in fire elemental form came to their aid and created a thick wall of ice to slow the advance of the soldiers.

Back on the conveyor the wizard summoned a fire elemental of his own to finish the destruction of Thomas. The ninja watched with tears in his eyes as Thomas was taken by the elemental into the Master Forge. Once the sword entered the forge it began to shake violently. The Overseer fire beam of light at the wizard and the ninja and the building began to break down.

The rest of the party member ran for the door, and the paladin roped the cleric to help him escape. Her aim was terrible and the cleric found the rope snugly around his neck as she dragged him along the floor. The Ranger had to be quick as he fired an arrow at the rope to save the cleric. His aim was also awful and the arrow ricocheted at struck the wizard in the back. A second arrow did strike true and the cleric was freed near the door. All but the ranger now stood at the gate ready to flee, the wizard gripped the group and they teleported to safety.

The ranger was now left alone to face an endless army of unfeeling metal soldier. He fired arrow after arrow into the horde until their spears hit their mark and he collapsed to the ground. He fired one last arrow as the soldiers surrounded him, it pierced the chest of the soldier above him and it erupted into flames.

Outside the building the party realized the Ranger’s sacrifice. It was now up to the druid to re-enter the forge and secure the body to be revived. In fire elemental form she moved with haste and found the Ranger’s body being reassembled with metal parts. She grabbed his remaining limb and left as fast as she could. After escaping the Great Forge the Master Forge ruptured and the entire building exploded. The druid found herself launched far from the site and through the roof of a house three miles away.

Thomas was now gone, and the party returned to Ransburg to rest and recover.

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The Great Forge

After a week spent in the capital it was time to return to Draughbelor. Their new destination was the Great Forge. A short walk led to the long silver metal doors of the forge. A flip of the switch outside the building opened the rolling doors causing a wave of high temperature air to be expelled from inside the building. The forge seemed to be alive and well.

The ranger was the first to enter finding the heat to be be barely tolerable. He saw a line of huge smelters extending further than the eye could see. Each smelter was the size of a three story building and the heat they generated was intense. A small shack could be seen be the long rolling door (now closed to protect the other party members.) The shack was made from the same silver metal as the door, so the Ranger ran towards it. It confirmed the insulation abilities of the metal and inside were several silver suits and a few metal cards with a humanoid’s picture on them.

The ranger brought the extra suits to the group and the Paladin used her abilities to modify the suits to fit the group members, and made one for the horse with the extra material.

The adventurers then entered the forge and explored the space. As with the Armory and the Dock it seemed to be automated. Large buckets moved overhead to dump ore and fuel into the smelters and automaton labors serviced them from the ground. After walking between the line of smelters they found even larger smelters lined the wall. Getting any closer to the larger smelters began to exceed even the limits of the suits they wore. Walking the center of the long path between the sets of smelters the group found a surprise waiting for them half way to the back of the building.

A hue automaton’s arm was fired at the group from one of the access hallways between the small smelters. Though the adventurers won the fight, many of them were gravely wounded. The ninja had even been felled by the machine and without the cleric’s intervention would have been lost.

Though they had been stuck hard by the guard, they explored deeper into the forge finding a door at the back. The door led to a large factory where the parts created in the rest of the Great Forge were assembled and stored. A massive automated face was even mounted on the ceiling to watch and control the room. Across from that face was the largest Single Forge in the building. A Master Forge where the parts were finished to be assembled by the machines along the wall.

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Warn the Capital

The adventurers had just freed The Great Mage. They were unaware of where he was, what his goals were, or really anything at all. All they knew is that he was free, he was powerful, and he was pissed. Oh, and he had an army of ancient mages that also have a two millennia old grudge. In summery, they done fucked up.

After careful contemplation they knew they needed to get to the Capital and warn the palace of the events that had transpired. Lucky for them they had a wizard with a love of teleportation. A little forgery and they even had the documentation to enter the city. In the blink of an eye the wizard and the ninja were at the gates of the capital.

At the palace a little disguise and persuasion gave them a meeting with one of the advisers to the Royal Court. They told their tale to the nobleman and he listened carefully. Yet he was not convinced that they spoke the truth. The city had been dead long before written history. It was simple unbelievable that there was life in the city, let alone prisoners that were thousands of years old.

It seemed that the wizard and ninja had reached the end of the road. But there was a third member of the team in the room. A voice whispered to the ninja, “I can assist you. Just let me have control for a moment and your message will be delivered.” The ninja agreed and Thomas took control.

In an instant the wizard watched the ninja take a mighty swing and behead the noble in front of him. The corpse turned to a brilliant red quartz. It actually looked quite peaceful. At that moment the Wizard turned his magic upon himself and erased his own memory before teleporting away.

The ninja awoke in an empty hallway in the palace wearing a disguise of the nobleman. Her heard within his mind Thomas’s voice, “The court has been warned of the impending danger. I’d suggest you return to you friends now.”

The week after warning the Royal Court was sent in the Capital City. The wizard had a small house on the outskirts of the city where the adventurers laid low and helped the Rangers through Magic Dust withdrawal.

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What Lies Beneath

The adventurers now had some shiny new weapons and a vault filled with living statues of death. The ninja had regained his senses and named his knew sword pal Thomas. The sword identified himself as the “Sword of Greed”, a powerful “ally” who can walk talk and make delicious baguettes. Oh, and he can also turn enemies he crits into quartz. So there’s that.

With the new weapons in tow they ventured into the depths of the prison. The Sheriff’s key opened the lock on the door to the high security sub-floors. The party went deeper and deeper until they reached the very last floor. A locked gate at least twenty feet high barred entry from the stairwell into the hallway beyond. The pressure of the floor was immense and the paladin could feel a suffocating aura of evil from behind the massive door the stood before them.

The gate was made of Black Metal, and clearly very sturdy. The construction of this door was rivaled only by the door to the vault. Two of the adventurers placed the pair of keys they had found into the locks on opposite sides of the gate. The slab of metal rose slowly before resting in the wall above them, a gust of wind dust and heat surged from the hallway that stretched in front of them.

The hallway extended fifty feet before it was blocked by another door. This second door was as strong as the first and also required two keys to open. The keys were placed into the lock and turned. When they were turned the door behind them sealed and the door before them raised.

The room that filled their view was quite spacious. The circular design was at least one hundred feet in diameter. The floor was split into three sections, the first ring was solid black metal, the second a ten foot wide trench of molten lava and the third was a twenty five foot diameter platform in the center of the trench. Torches of blue fire, matching the cells previously encountered surrounded the room and hung from the ceiling.

However, the most prominent feature of the the room was in the very center of the platform. A single Allusian prisoner was suspended from the ceiling by thick chains made from a glowing silver metal. A chain was attached to each of his four arms and runes were carved around the shackles at the wrist.

The prisoner locked up at the adventurers and spoke with his unexpected guests. The party learned that he was the leader of a mages coup years after the Mage’s Rebellion. He had been the personal adviser to the Emperor and described himself as a true patriot of the Allusian Empire. He had even created the blue fire torches in order to ease the pain and suffering of the prisoners held within the Armory. The adventurers listened to his story and asked a few questions of their own, but it was clear that they did not trust the The Great Mage bound before them.

When the party turned to leave the wizard found himself hearing the vice of the prisoner in his head, he fought hard and resisted but fell unconscious from the strain. The paladin then found herself willed to approach the prisoner. She crossed the bridge and with a few mighty blow from her sword the chains that bound the mage were broken. Freed from his magically imbued bondage the mage placed his hand atop the paladin’s head and she collapsed. The remaining party member collapsed one by one, but not before the ninja was compelled to open the door and release the prisoner into the armory.

Thomas willed the ninja back into consciousness and allowed him to reopen now sealed cell. Hours went by, but the group seemed to have avoided permanent mental damage. They walked the long staircase up to the main floor only to notice that the cells doors were now all forced open and any remnants of their automated guards were fused to the walls. After exiting the Armory the group found the wicket within the main city gate open and the tracks of hundreds of people leading towards it. A powerful storm was raging outside the city. And the Wizard knew at that moment that a massive dimensional rift had been created. The prisoners were now gone.

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Back to the Armory

The Loading Dock was behind them and their entire lives, no matter how short, were in front of them. So they decided to go back into the Armory, the place where dreams come true.

Inside the armory they started by exploring deeper into the prison system in the lower levels. The ninja mapped the halls finding that by the fifth level the doors became sturdier. Going even lower there were s series of them. The Captains personal keys opened the locked doors and he had a chance to meet a few of the inmates. One was still coherent and rather aggressive. attacking the Ninja the moment the door was opened. But outside the effects of the lamp, he quickly crumbled to dust.

His neighbor was less aggressive, the Ninja’s lack of language skills left the conversation ending with mutual confusion. There was one thing that was clear though he was grateful to be released and embrace his freedom. All ten seconds of it before he too turned to dust.

The Ninja was not deterred by the deaths he witnessed, he continued down the staircase finding a door blocking his way with a rather intimidating sign. Some paper and charcoal solved his language issue and he returned to the Wizard for interpretation. It appears as though they had found a restricted section, with warnings galore.

Before going any further the group decided to take a peek into the vault. They placed the keys into the door and it opened to the spacious, well-lit storage facility that it was. Massive shelves held thousands of boxes. And at the front of each set of shelves was a large golden statue of a humanoid figure, on bended knee. The walls were lined with weapon racks, filled with black metal weapons of all shapes and sizes.

The shelves were filled with case files and evidence. They were organized well even if the adventurers could not determine the method. But the real power lied at the back of room. A wall of powerful items were locked away against the back wall, with clear glass sealing their potent abilities. One of the golden sentinels also stood guard between each case.

The wizard was immediately drawn to one case in particular, a set of colored staves arranged neatly in a case. The adventurers found the keys to the case, the pair of which was placed in a cabinet at the front of the vault. Once the staff case was opened the pair of statues bordering it stood. The wizard quickly took a staff and places them in the bag of holding. The statues leaned in poised to attack. The wizard summoned all his courage and replaced the staff, then backed away slowly. The statue then returned to its resting position.

The staves still called to the Wizard, with a set of immovable rods the statues were pinned into place. The five staves were taken and the case was locked once again. Crisis averted.

But something else called to the group. A large and menacing case in the center of the arrangement seemed to hold some very powerful tools. The ninja approached the case and was instantly drawn to one of the swords that rested inside. A solid gold scimitar that seemed to call out to him. The immovable rods were placed on the statues and the sword was removed from the case.

When the sword was taken all the statues awoke and the adventurers knew it was time to run like bitches. Before they could escape through the vault door the ninja faced a statue near the exit. A mighty blow forced him through the vault door and falling unconscious as he struck the wall opposite the door. However the adventurers now found they had a new friend as the gap in consciousness was filled by a fully awakened scimitar.

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Let's Stay out of the Armory for a Bit

The Adventurers had successfully escaped the Armory, there were still places to explore and things to see, but for now fuck that place.

They decided that the ext place to visit would be the first place they saw, the Loading Dock. I was as extensive and empty as they had left it. Filled with vacant shelves that stretched for miles before them. Then suddenly, half a mile into the building they found a set of shelves filled with heavy metal crates. The crates were sturdy, with the sides attached using large bolts. But that did not stop our daring adventurers, they shattered the bolts then tossed it from the top shelf. Brute Force wins in the End.

The contents of the box were sprawled across the warehouse floor, hundreds of kilos of grade A, ultra purified Magic Dust. The Wizard decided it needed to be tested, and in the most scientific way possible. He quickly summoned an anklyosaurus, who’s mighty lungs inhaled multiple pounds of the substance. The dinosaur’s eyes dilated so wide he might have gained the capacity to see through walls. It only enjoyed a instant of euphoria before he was promptly dismissed.

The group walked further down the warehouse, stumbling upon a large building within the larger warehouse. It was about a mile from the entrance and appeared to be a four story office of some sort. As the old adage goes, ’screw stairs the loot is on the top floor." So the wizard teleported to the roof of the offices. A handy rope was useful for the transdimentionally impaired, as they went analog up the side of the building.

A convenient trapdoor took the party down into an, drum-roll please, office. They were in the back corner near a large wooden desk with a complex panel of switches built into the wall behind it. Other desks and various pieces of office furniture filled the room, but they were all heavily damaged. Beyond the degradation of age, the furniture looked as if it had be purposefully smashed. Bookcases were lying on the ground and desk were broken into two pieces. A chair was even lodged into the wall.

At the far end of the office was a wooden door, cracked but closed. With little effort the door opened to show a stairwell leading down and streaks of blood coating the walls. The blood was clearly old, but the violence of it’s placement was obvious. The stairs were broken in parts, but usable. They led to a large common room filled with chairs and tables, with a small kitchen in the far side corner. The tables were all in pieces, and the chairs were just as bad. The furniture and walls had blood splatter nearly everywhere.

The second floor looked to be sleeping quarters, with cots stacked two high on either side of the room. On the far side of the room near the stairs to the first floor was several charging stations each with a dormant android. A few bloodstains coated the floor, more could be seen on the cots. Holes pierced through the center of the cots, and blood stains pooled around them.

The ground floor told a similar story to the previous stories. This floor had several stations, each with a panel and a series of lights and switches. The chair in front of the panel was broken and blood stains splashed behind the chairs. The doors to the warehouse were on the far side of the room, one on either side of the building. Although, the south facing door was less a door and more of a door sized hole in the wall, with debris filling the room behind the hole.

The group rested to give the cleric time to pray for a blood biography spell. The spell allowed the cleric to see into the events of the tragedy. He saw that they were Allusian workers, manning their stations at the time of the incident. Many were killed by the warehouse labor automatons, they attacked suddenly and without warning. The ones in bed were killed quickly with a single piercing blow to the heart. Though several other were swallowed by a great mechanical serpent that flew through the air.

The adventurers left the offices and heard the sounds of footsteps. Coming from the south were a small contingent of patrolling automaton guards. The Wizards stood bravely to face them, summoning a massive Crocodile and a few pits. The rest of the team ran like cowards. The crocodile was overwhelmed as a dozen mechanical soldiers began to stab it repeatedly. It was then that the wizard knew what he had to do, he wished the crocodile all the best and left him to his fate.

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Onward to Draughbelor

Following some much needed rest and a little shopping, the adventurers set out for a new challenge. They looked North, to the ancient city of Draughbelor.

The road was long, but not entirely difficult. Days passed by without incident, until they got closer to the site of the great city. Fifty miles outside the city the vegetation started to turn black and the ground around them was barren. By about 30 miles it was a void of life. The mountains to the North served as the only guide, until two towering statues came into view. The statues stood 250 ft tall tall, depicting armored guards standing at attention. The scale of the four-armed humanoid statues was impressive, until the city walls came into view. The walls were 150 ft high around the entire perimeter of the city. And it took a few hours of traveling for the full city to come into view.

Other than a large crack down the front of the Western Wall, they seemed to be in good condition for the age of the city. Despite the overcast skies above, the city still seemed to glisten as if struck by bright sunlight. The Western Wall housed the front gate and stretched for 14 Miles with the Main Gate Standing at the center. The doors of the Main gate stretch for half a mile across, the dizzying scale of them left the mechanics of their operation a complete mystery. Entrance seemed impossible if it wasn’t for a smaller wicket built into the side of one of the colossal doors.

The adventurers approached the smaller gates and they were still facing two doors twenty feet across and thirty feet high. A quick knock spell took care of the gate lock with the sound of heavy gears turning. The Paladin stepped forward, rubbed her hands together and failed miserably. Several attempts later pointed to the fact that the gate may not have been meant to be opened with human might. It was now time for a step up, dinosaur might. A team of Ankylosaurus was summoned and tied together. The combined pulling power of the dinosaurs saw the gate slowly open, revealing the ancient city behind the walls.

Behind the gates the brightness of the city was disorienting. Outside the city the consistent overcast weather only added to the feeling of desolation. Within the walls the skies were clear and blue with sunlight streaming down, one could even feel the warmth of the sunlight and a light cooling breeze. The temperature was almost too perfect, remaining a constant 70-75 degrees. In front of the party a huge multi-layer fountain stood in the middle of wide plaza. It’s waters seemed to maintain a comfortable level of humidity for the surrounding area. Behind the plaza main street stretched farther than the eye could see. It was a street half a mile wide, and the carefully laid brickwork was paved with solid gold.

The wizard took some time to survey the city, he summoned a Roc and took the ranger along with him. As the Roc rose it found that seemingly open air above them only extended to the top of the city walls, a force field of some sort stood in their way. The rest of the flight served to outline the city, allowing the wizard to highlight a few buildings from lore about the city. He scrawled his findings on a map, Draughbelor Map.

The scouting trip brought to light a few facts. The trip lasted a few hours, but the weather never changed, the sun remained at the same point in the sky. The buildings looked to be in good condition despite their advanced age. There were no signs of life, no people, nothing. And around the Grand Palace seemed to be a barrier of some sort. When the Roc would draw near it had the sudden compulsion to turn around.

After scouting the group decided to visit the Loading Docks first. They entered to find a massive warehouse with several large shelves extending into the building parallel to each other. There were no boxes on the shelves near the door so the Ranger decided to climb up the shelves for a better vantage point. He stood on top of the highest shelf and found himself immediately gripped by a large metal claw. A metal door was opened on the side of the building and he was deposited into a small cart. The cart sealed and began to drive deeper into the city. Luckily the wizard decided to teleport the Ranger out of the cart before he was deposited into a small chute within the Forge.

A minor crisis averted the group went to the Draughbelor Armory next. Its imposing black exterior was sealed tightly. Only a small guardhouse stood open outside the gate. The ranger stepped forward and entered the guardhouse, only to find himself underground with a combination lock to solve. After the second failed attempt the air was removed from the chamber. If it was not for some fast work on an air bubble spell, he would have died then and there. It took two more tries, but the ranger successfully opened the main gate and was returned to the surface.

The adventurers faced a new guardhouse inside the structure, but a brief poem left by an unsuccessful pioneer allowed entrance to the building, and closed the gate behind them. They face a dark lobby with a few scatter clusters of chairs and a hallway behind metal bars. There was a door built into the bars that was controlled by a desk on the other side. A flip of a switch and the adventurers were able to continue exploring down the hallway.

The first floor had two sections of particular note, a large mysterious door leading to the vault, and a massive generator and workshop. The workshop was filled with spare parts and broken robotic limbs. The mesh of gears and wires was extremely precise and far more complex than anything the adventurers had seen before. And the generator still looked fully functional, a device that was already far beyond their understanding, had maintained functionality for several thousand years.

The adventurers decided to delve down into the basement, there they found a long dark hallway with rows off doors on either side. A pale blue glow emanated from beneath the doors, and a plain plaque written in Ancient was placed on the side. The lock was quite difficult but picking it became rather unnecessary when the combined efforts of the tiger and the paladin smashed the door into the room beyond.

The room was lit by a blue flame, other wise it was a simple 10×10 room. At the back corner was an extremely frail old man in fetal position staring at the wall. He had a rough tunic with characters matching the door plaque sewn onto the back. He did not move, he did not blink, only a keen observer could see the shallow breathes confirming life. The Ninja took a step towards the man and used a potion to read his thoughts. A flood of garbled information filled his mind, and he barely escaped losing his sanity completely. Loneliness depression and bitterness began to consume his thoughts after the brief mind meld, and the light seemed to emanate a sense of apathy and hopelessness.

The door was replaced and repaired, but something had been awoken. Coming down the hall was thundering footsteps, with a sharp metal sound. The adventurers began to run at speed back up the stairs, while the ninja waited to look into the face of the enemy. The hulking figure eventually came into view and the ninja looked into the emotionless face of a large mechanical golem. The ninja used the best of his abilities and ran like the wind (literally) eventually catching up to and surpassing the group. They stood at the top of the stairs only to see a blur yelling, “This is so bad!”

There was some time though, the adventurers built up their defenses in the lobby behind the safety of the black metal bars. It wasn’t long before these defenses were tested, as the golem struck the cage with force and his spinning gears left a blinding flash of sparks. Spells flew with holes and grease abound until the golem slipped through the bars, transforming into a walls of dangerous gears. The paladin attacked the golem head on, charging bravely. She was met with equal enthusiasm as the golem gave her a bear hug to remember. dozens of finely crafted gears spun at amazing speeds, and served to turn a warm embrace into a mess of blood and trauma for years to come. Eventually the golem fell, only to give one final fuck you to the adventurers as he exploded in a cloud of deadly shrapnel.

The adventurers licked their wounds and rested, even taking some time to learn to cast a lore spell and learn the history of the Draughbelor Armory. The rest of their time was spent trying to escape the fortress. They found the captains office on the second floor, and despite the difficulties of the ranger, (there’s a reason he lived in the woods and did not become a thief) the group was able to steal some weapons a set of keys and a few extras from the Captain’s safe. All under the currently angry eyes of an ancient automaton.

Let’s see, highlights: Ranger almost exploded after setting off a tripwire (don’t trust angry looking graffiti), The wizard tried to get away with stealing under the “you can’t see me” principle, the ninja’s prized afghan was melted by a lava elemental, and a small robotic bird almost lead to waking an army of golem’s and certainly lead to a lance stuck in a wall and an arrow ricocheting into the Ranger’s shoulder. They also now have a necromantic amulet that placed a death hex on the wizard and the cleric, and a kilo of magical powder.

After several rounds of elemental summoning and continued running between floors, the group ended up finding the code to the door in a chest, and collapsed outside relieved.

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