Spelljammer: Return to the Stars

Revelations

The lock was opened, revealing a sort of throne room. An epic battle unfolded as the cleric leader of the duergar band, his knight guardian, and a couple heavy crossbowmen battled the elf ranger, the warforged fighter, the warforged paladin, the gnome warlock, the goliath priest, and the halfling rogue. Thanks in large part to a devastating contagion cast by the warlock magically poisoning most of the duergar, the battle was won by the heroes.

Upon examining the strange devices in the room, the party became aware that the dungeon was actually an enormous spacecraft, a citadel carved from an asteroid and magically augmented. As shocking as this discovery was, the group acted quickly to discern the workings of the craft and its controls. The furnace was fueled by magically imbued items, which in turn powered the drive system of the vessel. A hasty search revealed a bag of holding, which was fed to the flames. With the vehicle under power, an array of catapults serving as the ship’s weapons were armed and a few shots fired as the craft was steered through and out of a chaotic asteroid field.

The party then set course for the nearest habitable body, a planet of unknown name. The craft scoured the surface until a small settlement was located, then landed nearby. Most of the party set out for this town, with Tosh the goliath remaining behind. After battling an orc beastmaster and his dozen wolves, the heroes reached the city. Rather than search for an entrance, the elf Zion elected to climb over the wall, hauling his wolf spirit companion up with him. The two warforged followed, however Iron was not stealthy enough and the guards were alerted. The gnome fell off the rope on the climb up.

Zion and his wolf raced into the town, Iron climbed back down and followed the gnome back into the woods, and Scrapheap…well, was confused as to what to do and was promptly captured. While Zion managed to elude capture by pretending to be a blind beggar, the other two were found by the guards and arrested. Eventually the guards became suspicious of the beggar with his seeing-eye wolf and arrested him as well. After being brought to the jail, an argument broke out between party members as Zion claimed not to know the others, Iron attempted to implicate him and set him up as the leader, and the gnome feigned ignorance of the whole ordeal. Everyone was placed in individual holding cells…again.

When Tosh realized that the rest of the group was probably in trouble, he flew the citadel to the town, landing almost on top of it. After talking his way past the town guards and being brought to see his compatriots in the jail, the entire group met with the town elders. The spokeswoman of the council had no love of strangers, no interest in trading, and in general seemed completely indifferent to the adventurers, wanting only for them to take their citadel away from the town. With no purpose in staying, the group returned to the craft and took to the stars. They discovered that the planet they had been on was actually a second moon of Eyrth! The nearer first moon had no atmosphere, so the party set down on the plains near the small city of Grygax.

While crossing a marshy area of the plains, the group encountered a pack of six winged drakes. During the subsequent battle, another foe emerged from the water: a giant sporeback frog. But despite their superior numbers, the creatures were dispatched in short order by the sword of Iron, the arrows of Zion, and the flail of Tosh. Scrapheap did his best to help, but couldn’t seem to connect with his blows. After the battle, the group continued on to the city, where they wisely went through the front gate and headed directly to the marketplace to sell their extra items, cash out the gems, and buy some cool magic stuff.

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Fortune Favors the Bold

The force of heroes continue to take control of their former prison room by room, leaving dead duergar and destroyed constructs in their wake. Another barracks was found, where a lovely female tiefling was being abused by a trio of duergar. They were dispatched in short order, and the tiefling joined the party. Next, a large industrial room with five duergar was found. This battle was short: one duergar was backstabbed and killed before combat really began, a second was dispatched by the warlock, the third beheaded by the warforged fighter, the fourth skewered with arrows by the ranger, and the fifth backstabbed by the same rogue that killed the first one. In a rubble pile, the first number of the combination lock was discovered.

Continued exploration yielded a trapdoor with a highly complex combination lock. Without any clues as to how to open it, the heroes continued to search the structure. A storage room was found, containing five unidentified reptilian humanoids carrying out manual labor and a duergar taskmaster. The reptiles proved easy to hit but quite resilient; nonetheless, the warforged fighter, the elf ranger, the elf rogue, the warforged paladin, and the gnome warlock were triumphant, claiming several vials of residuum among the spoils. Another number was found as well.

The five stalwart adventurers burst through the last remaining door to find themselves in the mess hall, and facing over a dozen duergar. Most were simple minions and were easily slain, but a highly skilled warrior and a pair of spellcasters were a greater threat. This was a grand and formidable battle, but in the end, all the foes were vanquished. The heroes were bloodied and badly beaten, but victorious. Among the fallen enemies were a +2 dynamic warpick, and the final number for the combination lock.

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Freedom!

As the battle progressed, fortune turned against the duergar captors. The warlock slew two of the stonefists, and the ranger, firing from safety behind a portcullis, defeated the guard captain construct. The goliath battered the third stonefist to rubble, and the warlock extinguished the fourth with a darkspiral. With the battle over, the ranger (Zion) and the goliath (Tosh) revived the two fallen warforged. The cleric (Zenvan) was finally freed from his cell, and the four prisoners retrieved their weapons and armor, as well as pocketing over 900 gold found in the storeroom.
Meanwhile, three other prisoners, two elves and a human, were being forced to clean the duergar barracks with toothbrushes—until one was caught trying to make his into a shiv. Then they were ordered to use their tongues. One elf tried faking a seizure while the other, pretending to follow instructions, ripped a large wooden splinter from a footlocker. After the first elf was crossbow butted in the gut (the duergar are brutal doctors), he had had enough and punched his captor in the face with a critical hit, breaking his nose. The other elf saw his opportunity, and stabbed another guard with his makeshift dagger. The human joined the fray, but three unarmed and unarmored prisoners stood little chance against five dark dwarves wearing armor and armed with crossbows and warhammers.
But then, the cavalry arrived.
Zion burst through the doors to the barracks and unleashed twin arrows on one guard, followed swiftly by Iron, who finished him off with a mighty slash. Next, Scrapheap entered the fray and smashed a second guard with his mace, knocking him back. In the commotion, the first elf, a rogue, stealthily swiped a dagger from a footlocker, and killed the second guard with a devastating backstab. Tosh then joined the battle, followed by the warlock. Zion dispatched a third guard with twin arrow strikes, one a crit, while Iron decapitated the fourth. The fifth and final guard had his head caved in by Tosh’s triple flail. With the battle over, the three new prisoners retrieved their armaments, the bodies of the dead were dragged out of the room, and with the area secured, the nine adventurers bedded down in the enemy barracks for an extended rest.

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A Neighboring Kingdom and Uncapturing

After separating from the party for quite some time, an old rock man and his little friend the gnome warlock eagerly sought passage on a slaver’s air dinghy up to what appeared to be another kingdom of the rock man’s people. The two duergar at the ship thought they had gained a strong looking if slightly mentally challenged new slave for their ship; a few well-placed eldritch blasts and swipes from the ancestral triple-headed flail changed their minds literally.

Almost all the captured in the next room over had managed to free themselves. The human holy man was quickly knocked out, unable to escape his cage. The elven acrobat helped the two warforged out of their chains. Since those chains were attached to the ceiling, they joined the battle head-first, falling hurt to the ground. The elf saw his best chance in a side room and temporarily escaped the combat. He found a crate full of his supplies and grabbed a bow. After he left the room, the battle was going south as the constructs charged with subduing the prisoners repeatedly crashed their fists into the faces of the shiny warforged and the warforged with the more crayon-esque design causing pain and unconsciousness.

Before falling, the colorful warforged inspired the holy man back to his feet. In thanks, the human was able to revive his friend with a divine word. The gnome and rock man then stepped in to add firepower and brought the shiny fighter back to his feet. The battle is far from over, but six against the constructs make becoming uncaptured look possible.

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Captured!

The elven ranger Zion, and the two warforged managed to escape their duergar pursuers, only to encounter a new ally: a human cleric named Cervan, who was himself being pursued by duergar slavers. A pack of four horned drakes attacked the party, followed closely by the duergar slaver, who turned out to be another cleric. This evil cleric used a dominate ability to turn the weak-willed FE26 (now nicknamed, perhaps ironically, Iron) against his party. Despite a valiant effort, the drakes and cleric managed to overcome the adventurers. Scrapheap was the first to fall, then Cervan. FE26 was knocked out next; and despite inflicting three consecutive critical hits (and a fourth later in the battle) and slaying two of the drakes, Zion was finally beaten down by the duergar’s mace. But what could have been a massacre instead became a second chance. The four adventurers were healed just enough to be kept alive, stripped of their weapons and armor, and taken prisoner.

Upon waking, they found themselves being held in a prison of sorts, guarded by four stonefist defenders and another, unidentified construct. Scrapheap and FE26 were wrapped in chains and hung upside down from the ceiling, while Zion and Cervan were locked in cells. Fortunately, an intelligent hamster formerly owned by Q was found by Zion before the battle, and escaped detection by the duergar. While Scrapheap and FE26 attempted to escape by brute force (with FE26 also verbally harassing the leader construct), Zion and Cervan attempted to distract the guards’ attention while the hamster stole the key to the cells. Cervan managed to attract three of the guards to his cell, while FE26 convinced the leader that his supervisor was approaching. The lead construct turned his attention back to Zion, who had also been verbally harassing him (it?), just as the elf burst from his cell.

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New Allies

As Zion and Hammurabi ventured out of the crypt, they encountered something unexpected. Two Warforged appeared in the antechamber, pursued by Duergar. One, called Scrapheap, was a heavily repaired, dinged and dented hulk of mismatched parts adorned with a child’s artistry. The smiling sun on the chest plate revealed him to be a cleric of Pelor. The other, FE26, showed only slight wear, and was in generally excellent condition, a dramatic contrast from Scrapheap.

The two Warforged almost immediately turned to battle a Duergar cleric, and four minions approaching from behind them, as a second group of Duergar, five minions and another cleric, spilled into the room from a second hallway. Hammurabi dispatched many of the minions, but was far less successful against the stronger clerics. Zion and Scrapheap steadily wittled away at their opponents, as FE26, armed with a massive fullblade, alternated between devastating hits and embarrassing misses.

The two dark clerics were formidable enemies, using a dominate ability to force Zion to throw his sword into FE26’s chest, and FE26 to land a mighty blow upon Zion from behind. Worse yet, Hammurabi was beaten down and killed by a skull-squishing blow from the mace of the second cleric. Scrapheap managed to hack the first cleric in half with a tremendous blow from his sword. FE26 valiantly battled Hammurabi’s killer with only a single hitpoint remaining, until Zion ended the battle with a decapitating blow to the evil Duergar. Zion and the two Warforged, after battling side by side for their lives, now continue on together through the ruined castle.

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Success and Failure

After defeating the duke and two of his ghostly brides with unexpected ease, the valiant party of Hammurabi, Zion, Severence II, and Q were able to decipher the clues and release the spirits of the duke’s other five wives. But as we prepared to leave the crypt, we were attacked by six Stonefists, constructs of wood and stone. The battle was going well, until a cowardly Duergar spellcaster appeared. After the Stonefists were destroyed, Zion bravely chased after the retreating Duergar for one final attack, despite having only a single hitpoint remaining. Fortunately, his final arrow felled the dark dwarf. Severence II and Q were grievously injured in the battle however, and sadly both succumbed to their wounds. The injured Hammurabi and the nearly dying Zion ponder their next move.

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"Rebirth without purpose?"
I Feel Misplaced...

(Will Begin when we have a session)

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"The Seven Wives of Duke Sentis"

After finding an old wedding dress, the adventuring party had made it to an abandoned castle, where a crazed duke once lived (allegedly). There, they met the ghost of Mardove Silverkin, one of Duke Sentis’ seven wives. Mardove explained that the Duke had sacrificed them all to favor his god, Vecna and their souls had been bound to his bidding. In order to free their souls, the adventurers must find their bodies and speak to each of them the name that Duke Sentis went by in order to deceive them. So far, they had found several clues as to their whereabouts.

The party is now exploring a dungeon underneath the castle, and have so far met several hideous undead, as well as devious traps that defied death and the laws of gravity…

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The Beginning: in a nutshell

It all started when Ku Nyx, along with several other adventurers, found themselves trapped in a prison cell, apparently of Lizardfolk and Duergar. As they made their escape, they had discovered (some for first time) had been on a large asteroid floating far above a planet that may (or may not) be much like their own. After disabling the forge used to power the monstrosity, the party made an attempt at escape, only to crash-land in a region called The Principality of Ulek. From then on, the heroes had been taking odd jobs. Some do so to survive, others to carve a name for themselves on this new world, and others like Ku are trying to find a way to their original world(s). What will the future hold for these brave adventurers?

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