The Shield of Heaven

The Secret of Sawtooth Part II

Deeper into the Duuskën Mines the heroes traveled, finding a complex system of caves below. Tuggy scouted ahead and discovered another group of troglodytes lying in wait, prepared to finish the job that their previous clan members could not.

After an intense battle, the heroes emerged triumphant but required another eight hours of rest, putting their overall time in the Duuskën Mines well over two days.

As they explored the caves, they stumbled upon the weakened sorcerer Davward Soren, a member of the Double-Blooded Crusade who was left behind when afflicted with ghoul rot. The heroes decided to take him with them and fashioned a litter to carry him. Davward warned them that a certain Sir Roderick of the Cross was on their tail, accompanied by a squad of fierce-looking paladins. When asked whence he came, Davward revealed that he was from the long-lost land of Shieldus, the Duchy of Styria, and that their king, Dietrich von Freiburg, now challenged the ownership of the land.

After surviving multiple traps (which were then reset by Kazmuk Perrington, the dwarven artisan who haunted the halls in the service of Reaper) and successfully sneaking past the paladins, they came to the dragon’s hoard and found it being excavated by the Double Blooded Crusade. Their leader, Reaver, expressed distaste in being forced to leave Davward behind, but the human summoner Anya Carpenter said they were for the better of it. Calathes Silvertail, the half-elf rogue, remained silent, apparently satisfied to watch them bicker.

Remaining behind the shadows, the heroes watched as Sir Roderick and his companions approached the Double-Blooded Crusade and demanded their surrender in the name of Lady Renault, Duchess of Winterhaven. When the Double-Blooded Crusade refused, they attacked.

The battle did not last long; the ghost of Reaper appeared and threatened to devour the souls of the fighting men, forcing them to flee, then turned on the heroes and asked why they had come. After some discussion, the heroes learned that Reaper was a good silver dragon who had fallen in battle against Goladin, the crazed wizard whose life energy now bound him to the material plane. Reaper told them that he could be freed by either Goladin’s death or by burning his remains. In thanks for respecting his sanctity, he granted the heroes one item from his hoard, but warned that taking any more would result in a curse (and hinted that such fate would befall the Double-Blooded Crusade).

Through Kazmuk’s journal, the heroes found the secret entrance to Goladin’s lair. The slipped down further into the caverns and found a large room with a brazier puzzle — easily solved by the minds of Gimli and Uncru. The door to Goladin’s cavern opened.

An octagonal platform with seven bridges stretching to the walls of the cavern was raised above an abyss. The heroes were required to undergo separate trials and find gemstones of a certain color. Gimli was burned by a trap; Tuggy killed by disembodied eyes that cast burning hands; and Konrad was wounded by a Necrophidius, a serpent-like skeleton that served as a guardian to one of them gems.

When the correct gems were placed in the center of the octagon, a hydra, a giant scorpion, and four cave scorpions filled the room. Uncru fell multiple times, but managed to rise and take down a few cave scorpions; Korgoth and Emerald wiped out a few cave scorpions as well; and Konrad took on the hydra with his mount, Thunder.

After a prolonged battle, the heroes managed to defeat the guardians of Goladin’s chambers. Inside, they found experimental rooms and, most importantly, a prototype Heaven’s Shield. Several bedchambers belonged to Cain Silverkin, Ivae’ess, Obed Ovechkin, and Pelethor, but journals inside were dated 100 BI (the current year is 546 AI, or “After Invasion”), suggesting that the Heroes of Shieldus were transported back in time with Goladin.

In Goladin’s suite, they found a wall that would transform the platinum coins back to the people they represented. In this way, Sheriff Porter was returned to her normal state.

The heroes took a stairwell that led to the Horror of Sawtooth and, on its roof, saw the citadel perched over Sawtooth and the barbarians of the north amassing at the edge of the town, preparing for battle.

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