The 9th Knot were instructed to travel Ghastenhall and deliver the Tears of Achlys to Barnabus Thrain, an Asmodean priest mascaraing as a Mitran, at the Library of Ghaster. After a month in Ghastenhall to recuperate they would gather the core of an army from Sakkarot Fire-axe and then wipe out the Vale of Valtaerna - the holiest site of Mitra.
The villains made their way by boat to the great port of Ghastenhall on Cambrian Bay in the Heartlands. Finding Thrain was not so difficult. They talked briefly and then agreed to meet the following night. The Tears were handed over to Thrain (the 5th Knot) and in exchange he handed them a jewel that would enhance their Iron Circlets. He also arranged for a manor for them to use a base for the month that they would be in the city.
The villains spent the month upgrading equipment and working off a bit of steam after having been isolated in remote Farhold for most of the year. At the end of the month Tiadora appeared and provided the party a means of teleporting to Sakkarot Fire-Axe's current encampment.
Tiadora accompanied the party but oddly had the appearance of a white bugbear while walking through Sakkarot's encampment. Sakkarot greeted the 9th Knot warmly and invited them to his council chamber. The Fire-axe had taken Castle Westkirk and was using it as winter quarters before resuming the campaign in the spring. He reluctantly agree to hand over to the party 2 units of Bugbears that would compose the Core of the PC's army. Both Sakkarot and Tiadora both made suggestions where further allies might be found.
An Oni was recruited, the hidden Duergar city was located but the PCs failed to recruit them and they decided not to engage the Medusa. The bugbear forces began marching towards the Vale while the 9th Knot returned to Ghastenhall. it was there they were visited by a Contract Devil named Dessiter. He offered a bit of information and had an agreement that stipulated that in return for the use of 3 Nessian Hell Hounds, the party agree to either kill or drive from this plane of existence the angelic being that is running the show inside the Vale whose name I can't find right now. Since the PCs figured they were going to kill him anyway they all signed up.
The villains approached the vale under disguise and buffed with Undetectable Alignment. They made it past the wall that defends the valley and explored the Vale a little. It seemed to be a sleepy farming village with churches and shrines everywhere. There were no rowdy bars and even the inns were free. How boring. There were a few soldiers and priests about but overall the place seemed ripe for the pickings!
Dessiter had told them that their first concern was to take the valley with their army. After that they would have to snuff out the three flames to Mitra. The first the PCs spotted easily on a mountain top that was sticking out of the lake. The location of the other two is still unknown.
The PCs instructed the Bugbears to attack at 5am(dawn) - a curious move since the bugbears all have night vision and their human opponents do not. The PCs assaulted the guard tower before the bugbears were scheduled to arrive to ensure that the wall would provide no resistance. They landed on the roof and dispatched the Watchers. The gong was disabled to prevent any warnings from going out. Then the tower was cleared from top to bottom with the Clay Golem guardians in the tunnel the last to fall.
The bugbear army arrived and the entrance to the valley lay open.
As the bugbear army begins to pass through the wall, horns begin to sound from the town of Sanctum. Something or someone has spotted the approaching army and has called the valley's defenders to arms. A battle will be fought but it will take place on the open ground rather a siege of the wall. The defenders will be rushing into position and will have little to no defensive works nor defensive siege engines. The bugbears are not fresh having marched hundreds of miles but are still numerous and are bigger, stronger and meaner than their opponents. The battle will be epic!
Another awesome Guardians poster design
3 days ago