WoW Adventures...Gold Box Style

The Gauntlet - Part Two

During the pit crossing, as only Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem  and Gozer had managed to pass over the pit, and as if to add insult to injury, four more of the miniature cavemen appeared from the eastern area of the cave. Laughing, while also making whistling and rasping noises similar to those made by rats, the diminutive creatures launched small, hair and wooden hybrid spears in the party's direction – a couple landed home, skewering Gozer with the small needle-like javelins.

Angered by their audacity Gozer pursued his tiny tormentors, reaching them all in but a few steps. Dodging the initial attacks of the hairy creatures, Gozer was able to slaughter one of the little critters in a single blow. The little hairballs then made a quick withdrawal; one of them however was too slow and fell to Gozer's battleaxe. The party gave chase, Gozer in the lead as he tried to stay within sight of the hairy little cretins. The passageway opened out before Gozer – out into a large cavern with a huge gash across its centre wall to wall. The chase continued with the little humanoids leaping over the ledge in the centre of the cave feet first – one at a time the small creatures leapt into the chasm, their small, shepherd-like crooks held out before them. Gozer ploughed forward, anger raised by the little monsters and their twice fold attacks on the party. However, the booming voice of Magnus Khelidan and his command to "Gozer – Stop Now!" was sufficient to halt the orc in his tracks – fortunately so as Magnus Khelidan had spotted a trap of setup at the entry to the chamber. A series of fish hooks had been strung up across the cavern entrance in such a way as to catch any humanoid figure that was over three feet in height.

Taking the time to cut away the snare, the characters moved hesitantly into the cavern. They found a twenty foot wide chasm cutting across the dungeon corridor, the sound of splashing water emanated from the chasm floor which was lost in the darkness. On the stone floor across the expanse, a visored helmet sat on the ground. A similar situation was present on the party's side of the chasm – a lone, visored helm, rusted with age and exposure to salty air, lay on the ground.

Ziplines stretched across the breadth of the cavern, leading to a small hole found in the chasm ledge. The scent of the little hairy men lingered throughout the cavern as their rat-like laughter echoed throughout the cavern's entirety.

Sure enough the party found themselves under attack sooner rather than later – the minute cave-goblins started to hurl darts from out under the strategically located helmet houses. Sick of being their porcupine, Gozer ran over to the helmet closest to him, lifting it up to find one of the annoying creatures underneath. The little critter skittered away before he was able to do anything about it. Not so the hairball in the helmet across the chasm – Magnus Khelidan summoned an arcane bolt that splattered the little critter into naught but tiny pieces.

Crossing the chasm proved to be more of a challenge for the intrepid adventurers – while Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem and Gozer made the crossing with ease unfortunately Magnus Khelidan and Gorax were nowhere near as graceful and plummeted down the chasm's depth – only an unimpressive 20 feet or so. The two characters were able to escape the bitterly cold water via a rope lift supplied by Gozer and Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem. The party gathered itself, lit another torch and decided to continue plumbing the depths of the dungeon…

After the joy of being attacked by living hairballs and being dunked in freezing cold water, the party was quite happy to see the other side of the chasm recede from their torchlight. The cavern, having diminished to a five foot wide tunnel yet again, widened out again into an area around twenty five feet or so wide. At the chamber's widest point there was a low wall of mortared stones – the mortar appeared to be both smelly and slimy while also giving off a putrid smell (similar to the company of two orcs and a tauren?). The wall dividing the room was around eight feet tall and the height of the cavern a total of fifteen feet.

After much prodding, pulling, pushing and attempted breaking of the wall Gozer and Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem made their way (eventually) to the top of the wall, finding that the wall itself was only a foot thick with a wide wooden shelf running parallel to the ground behind it. They could also make out a door in the chamber wall opposite – words looked to be carved into it but were not clearly visible from the top of the ledge due to bad light and the tauren STD that Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem had caught when he was but a calf (made him partly blind!).

Rust Monster - Courtesy of http://www.wizards.com

Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem strained his ears as he picked up a kind of shuffling under the ledge just as tentacles reached from under the shelf and attacked Gozer. His pack was ripped open, pots and pans crashing to the floor as the orc-come-chef scrambled along the ledge. Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem launched himself off the precipice, confronting the creatures to give the others a chance to escape through the door on the other side of the chamber. The now identified pair of rust monsters were both busy eating their newfound metal as Gorax and Magnus Khelidan also made their way across the chamber. Gozer, concerned with the safety of his weapons, retreated off the platform as cradled his blades, concerned the rust monsters voracious appetite for metal.

Nearing the door on the other side of the chamber it was but child's play to Magnus Khelidan to decipher the riddle, written on the door, and hence unlock the wooden portal. The characters took little time to make their way through the doorway, stopping only to see the whereabouts of Gozer. Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem, convinced his valiant attempts to battle the creatures were doing very little, also sought refuge through the open portal across the length of the chamber.

Still concerned for his axes, Gozer threw several pitons (spikes) as well as several handfuls of gold away from his position on the ledge – hopeful that the availability of an easy meal would dissuade the rust monsters from attacking his precious equipment. Luckily for orc the rust monsters were distracted by the meal – he was able to follow his comrades and exit the chamber – door closed securely behind them.

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The Gauntlet - Part One

Having decided to find out exactly what The Gauntlet was, the party made their way from the previous night's campsite up the back face of the cliff, following the crudely drawn markers left on the map that could be seen along the cliff. The hour long journey put each character through their paces as the steady pace and slowly increasing incline causing the athletic party members breathing a little heavier in the slightly thinner air.

Spotting the final landmark, a large flat rock only a score of metres away from the cliff's edge, the party of newfound friends found themselves looking out over the bay that leads into the continents of Lordaeran and Khaz Modan, the city of Phlan and the yellow-green tinged Stojanow river easily visible.

A light sea breeze blew across the Gorax, Gozer, Magnus Khelidan and Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem's faces as they all looked across the ocean, the waves crashing against the cliff base approximately sixty feet below. Having followed the less than subtle hints left for them all, it turned out that reaching the cliff top was the easy part. With each of the characters peering over the edge of the cliff it took only a few minutes to spy the cave entrance that was mentioned on the map.

A metal piton hammered into the stone near the edge of the cliff indicated that others have been this way before. Rust had accumulated around the top and base of the steel spike and, even if encouraged by the salty air, it indicated that the piton had been here some time.

Not trusting the piton already present, the Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem and Gozer hammered in their own metal spike, attaching the rope securely and abseiling down the cliff face with ease. Following suite, Gorax joined his brother at the now crowded cave entrance, leaving Magnus Khelidan waiting atop the cliff.

Lighting a torch and entering single file into the narrow, upright slit in the cliff wall, Gorax moved in first, followed by Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem and then the orc shaman Gorax who was providing the light source. Rage felt most uncomfortable as he struggled to move his broad frame through the cave entrance. 

The narrow passageway soon widened out into a cavern approximately twenty feet wide and the same in length. The roof looked to also be at most twenty feet high – the radius of their light skittered around the edges of the cavern, leaving small pockets in shadow. Having only walked a few steps into the cavern Gozer was the first to notice a hairy, multi-legged form which dropped down on them from the shadows above!

Wasting no time, the (relatively) slim framed fighter hefted his battleaxe and brought it down into the spidery form. However rather than the strange coloured ichor he expected to seep from the wounded creature a fine, black stained dust hurtled from the hairy arachnoid, filling the first part of the chamber with a choking, eye-watering dust. The giant spider husk itself collapsed under the combination of the blow and expelling of powder, hanging loosely from a set of hair-woven string.

Both Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem and Gozer were quick enough to hold their breath, preventing the dust from fully invading their lungs and respiratory systems. However Gorax was not so lucky – it took mere moments for the orc to fall to his knees, coughing and sneezing from the eye watering material.

Taking advantage of the sprung trap, two small, shaggy humanoids about 1 feet tall appeared the edge of the chamber opposite, coming from the tunnel in that side of the chamber. Their naked bodies were covered (thankfully) head to toe in hair of varying length, with both of them communicating to eachother in a rat-like squeal. Each one carried a half-spear…until they both launch them in the direction of the party!

The small, and relatively ineffective projectiles skittered into the wall around Gozer who, in response to the hostile act, charged the diminuitive creatures. Battleaxe at the ready, the skilled warrior cleaved the man-furball in half, it's head completely separated from the creature's body. Startled by it's compatriot's quick demise, the second creature turned and ran. However Gozer, temper raised by the brazen act of hostility he had witnessed, took the opportunity to dispatch the tiny creature as it attempted to flee.

Deciding that there may be more to the Gauntlet than just a room or two, the party members hailed Magnus Khelidan from the cave entrance and told him to climb down the rope to the cave. In the meantime Gorax's coughing subsided and he began to breathe normally, however he ached head to toe from the effort he had expended as part of the spider trap. Needless to say, everyone was well and truly careful when they progressed through the now dusty floor of the cave. Once they were all together again they resumed their progress through the cave – Gozer leading the pack, followed by Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem, then Gorax who wielded the torch and then finally Magnus Khelidan.

Once again, the passageway narrowed, forcing the party to walk in single file. Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem again found it difficult as he worked at squeezing his large frame through the five foot wide passageway. The smell of sea air came from both in front and behind the adventurers - the draft from further within the cavern smelt salty but stale.

Thirty feet into the tunnel the torchlight illuminated a peculiar sight – dangling from the cavern ceiling was a thin rope, ending in a loose lasso made from what looks like hair. The lasso sat on the floor of the tunnel, encompassing a message scrawled in chalk in Common tongue – it read simply "PUT FUT HEER".

Made supsicious from their previous encounter, the party eyed the lasso and its surrounds warily. Deciding that "the furballs are smarter than they seem", the Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem and Gozer examined the area around the lasso a little closer, hoping they would be able to spot something untoward. Their caution was rewarded – just beyond the lasso they noticed the square outline of a pit on the floor. Deciding to avoid trouble altogether the party simply climbed the wall or just jumped over the pit. 

 

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Travel To Phlan...Almost!

The characters arrive in Westfall and are smuggled out to an awaiting ship. 

The characters' travel to Phlan is interrupted by the poisonous Stojanow river.

They are set ashore where they find, after a nights sleep, multiple copies of a map placed all around their campsite.

They decide to investigate.

TO BE COMPLETED

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The Adventure Begins

With each character assembled in the inn the day progressed, none of them wise to the fact that they would be fighting together in but a few hours. Keeping their spirits high was a mandolin playing bard, his tunes echo loudly throughout the width and breadth of the inn.

As time ticked by and darkness began to fall the innkeeper, a portly man with clothes that don't look to have been washed for weeks, made his way around the taproom lighting the various lanterns scattered acrosh the establishment. As he did so he whispered to (probably) every patron, trying unsuccessfully to hide that he was doing so:

"If yuir' here for NeMoren and have a key follow me upstairs, Raphael's a waitin' for ya."

The barkeep, puffing and panting as he goes, walked up the bar's rickety stairs to the second floor. Following closely were the player characters – the two orcs, the tauren and one of the (more respectable) humans…

Walking up the stairs to the first floor landing, the characters find themselves in an old wooden landing with a single corridor running from the stairwell to the eastern wall of the building. Standing at the end of this, opposite a wooden door that probably leads from the corridor to a bedroom, is a man dressed in leathers wielding a large, ornate wooden bow. His long, raven black hair, matching his relatively shorter beard, sits wildly around his narrow shoulders. Athletic in stature, the beige-coloured clothes he's wearing are all soiled slightly – from soil clinging to his leather boots to the dirty blotches on his over the shoulder backpack. 

The innkeeper, ruddy faced with the exertion of climbing the stairs, muttered to everyone as he walked back down the stairs, "This here's Raphael".

Raphael then wasted no time in addressing the characters in a calm, but hurried voice:

"Before we begin I'll need to confirm you are who you say you are – can I see the four keys?"

All four of the characters brought out their silver keys. In response to them doing so, Raphael dug around in his 'man-bag' and pulled out a plain, silver-metallic rod. He pointed it in the direction of the keys and each one glowed with a light green aura.

Raphael's composure did not seem to change much as he continued to speak, having placed the rod he just used away:

"Thanks for being so forthcoming with the keys in your possession. My name is Raphael and my services have been obtained to guide you to hear the last will and testament of Baron Paytro NeMoren, the last descendent of the NeMoren clan. Those wielding the silver keys of NeMoren, as you all are, are his named beneficiaries."

"Being so, I have been asked to return you all to the city of Phlan to begin proceedings. I hope that…"

Whatever Raphael was going to say was interrupted as a sound from the main taproom, like that which comed from the wind in a small but powerful tornado, ripped up the empty stairwell and reached across the first floor landing. Lasting only seconds, the whine finished with a deafening silence that was then broken by several quick thumps coming up the stairs. Raphael quickly drew his bow, aiming towards the stairway entrance.

The innkeeper came into view, his normally crimson face an ashen grey. As hastily as his larger physique allowed, he turned towards the key bearers and Raphael, visibly shaken, and spoke to them all in a hesitant and panicked stutter:

"R-r-r-u-n-n-n! It's not human…the Bur…"

Bits of flesh flew in all directions as a blast of eldritch energy, the colour of blood, slammed into the innkeeper, scattering his body and bones across the upper landing. Following this horrific display, a single masculine voice could be heard coming from the taproom of the inn – the voice was calm, with an air of control and an almost unearthly tone to it:

"Find me the wielders of the keys of NeMoren – in pieces if need be. Destroy the inn and the remaining inhabitants. The prophecies of Medivh will not come to pass."

An obviously stunned Raphael quickly glanced at everyone before simply stating:

"We need to get out of here….now!"

With blistering speed, Raphael had stowed his bow in favour of the silver metallic rod that he had held earlier. Stepping back and pointing the device towards the doorway opposite him, he uttered a strange phrase that could only assumed to be some kind of magical trigger. Nothing happened…

Attention was torn away from Raphael's actions as footfalls could be heard coming from the stairwell that leads from the bar up to the first floor landing.

Rage, unsure if what Raphael was trying to do, opened the door in the doorway that Raphael was pointing the rod at. The doorway led to a plain, simply furnished bedroom with a window letting in the small sliver of moonlight available in the twilight. Asking Raphael what he is trying to do, he replied with "Trying to use this damn piece of junk to get us out of here…but it's not working!"

The large Tauren used his agility and technique gained from his monkish training to smash through the window, tumbling safely to the ground as he landed surely on his feat. Following suit, Magnus Khelidan thought discretion was the better part of valour and launched himself out through the inn's second storey window, tumbling gracefully to a safe landing below.

Gorax, not wanting to leave their guide behind, grabbed Raphael as he fumbled with his magical rod and threw him out the same window that the others had used, sending their newfound compatriot flying face-down into the ground. Raphael moaned slightly as he began to raise himself off the ground, bruised with blood pouring from his nose.

Seeing his brother saving their new friend, Gozer used the time available to him to shut the door to the inn's small bedroom, locking it with the small door lock. The twin Orc brothers were left in the inn's small bedroom, door barred against the unknown menace.

Soon whatever was coming up the stairs had reached the landing, stopping momentarily (Gozer judged this from the footsteps) before heading straight to the door behind which were both Gorax and Gozer. Banging could be heard from beyond the door as the creatures tried unsuccessfully to enter – however the wooden door and its less than adequate lock was definitely not going to hold whatever was trying to gain entry for long. Hissing and snarling similar to wild beasts could be heard coming from Gozer's would be attackers…

Taking the next available opportunity, Gorax also jumped out the window. The Orc, large in stature, was not particularly graceful and ended up landing awkwardly on the street below, knocking himself out in the process. Gozar quickly followed his brother, landing no less gracefully but his hardy constitution and a bit of good luck saw him walking away with little injury from the surprise descent.

Meanwhile, Raphael having recovered from his impromptu flight, dusted himself off all the while muttering about not getting paid enough, refocused his efforts on activating the rod he had managed to keep hold off through the whole fiasco. Unlike his previous attempt, the magic of the rod worked as a swirling mass of multicoloured energy appeared in the alley between the inn and another building. His timing was impeccable as the flickering of flames were glimpsed coming from the inn, along with the smell of smoke.

Raphael, a small smile creeping across his face with the successful use of the rod, turned to the group assembled on the ground around him:

"It's working now…we need to get out of here before whatever is after us actually catches up with us!"

Not needing a second prompt, Magnus Khelidan and Mistlilly ‘Rage’ Ragetotem walked gingerly through the magic portal, closely followed by Raphael himself. Stopping to scoop up his now unconscious brother, Gozer was about to step through the portal himself as he managed to glimpse what had been chasing them – appearing at the now smashed inn window were four voluptuous and scantily clad women, their curvacious bodies framed with shoulder length, raven black hair. Supple blue-tinged skin gave the women an otherworldly look, as did the gaping maw rimmed with jagged, shark-like teeth that replaced their faces in their entirety. It was these orifices that were drooling, snapping and hissing as the characters all disappeared from view.

Gozer simply grunted, weighing up the merits of these "women" over those of his own Orc clan, and walked slowly but surely into the magical opening…

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A Gathering Of Heroes

The characters start at different points of Kalimdor, engaged in their own lives with one cord joining them together – an identical silver key that each one of them possess.

MISTILLY 'RAGE' RAGETOTEMTAUREN MONK:

Mistilly 'Rage' RageTotem, a Tauren monk, outcast from the RageTotem tribe, was communing spiritually with the aspects of nature when the silver key activated, delivering this message from a mystical ord of light:

"Ye who carries the key to NeMoren's vault is rightful heir to his bounty. Almost a decade has passed since his demise and, in accordance with his last will, the bearers of the keys to the vault are his rightful beneficiaries. In seven days meet in Ratchet, capital city of the Barrens. Ask for Raphael at the Harlot's Heart. Honour the last wishes of a good man and set his spirit to rest."

So Rage answered the call, starting his lone trek across Kalimdor to the city of Rachet.

GORAXORC SHAMAN:

Summoned to one of the elder shaman's of Thrall's new Horde, Gorax was given a silver key and told to follow it to meet his destiny and honour his ancestors. As a service to the new Horde, the elder shaman (Drog) asks that Gorax try and convince any 'wild' orcs to rejoin the tribe – failing that, honour Thrall and send the others to see their forbearers in the spirit world.

Days later the silver key delivered its message, and Gorax started to prepare to leave. Not an hour after hearing the message, his brother Gozer rushed into his tent, explaining that he'd been given a quest by the gods from his silver key!

GOZERORC BARBARIAN:

The silver key that Gozer had 'obtained' from a Warlock called pasty, led his brother and him to the independent city of Rachet. Honouring the gods of Azeroth, the will of his ancestors, and the responsibility of looking after his twin brother, Gozer and Gorax joined a caravan that was heading to Rachet. Safety in numbers they say…

MAGNUS KHELIDAN - HUMAN SORCEROR:

Travelling to Rachet, more specifically the Harlot's Heart, as the key mentioned was a big change for Magnus when compared to the humanity of Kalimdor. However, the lure of adventure as well as honouring a dead man's last wishes is too much to refuse and he soon found himself outside the decrepit inn…after he laid a few silver across the palm of a goblin or two for directions.

Gripping the silver key of NeMoren tightly, he entered the inn and found few patrons in the worn down building – a couple of bar flies, two orcs that look to already have drunk more than their fair share and a tauren, taking up two seats, more concerned with meditating than drinking the strong-smelling brew sat before him. Not wanting to seem out of place, Magnus took a seat in one of the spare booths and ordered a tasty beverage from the barmaid as he waited for the mysterious man called 'Raphael"...

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I'm a plannin'
Will he finish in time???
Still in the planning stages and am frantically trying to get the adventure 
and 3.5Ed rules around my head - first time GMing and pretty much first 
time playing.
Hopefully it will all work out - I have to say that knowing really only the 
Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms settings the WoW world is, at least to 
me, quite a bit different.
Does not help that I actually do not play the game!
BACK TO WORK!!!
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