World of Greyhawk
Chapter One - An Unlikely Alliance
The adventure began in a small town called Blasingdell, where an alliance began. While adventuring in the Kron Hills, near the Lortmil Mountains the (soon to be) party learned of a mountain called the Stone Tooth; a rugged, forested hill crowned by a bare rocky crag. For reasons only known to them, a stout dwarf, a psionically gifted gnome, an irritating Kender halfling, a young half-orc, a half-dragon and a half-elf decided to band together and investigate the mysterious mountain.
Approximately two centuries earlier, the Stone Tooth was home to Durgeddin the Black, a great dwarven smith who discovered the great cavern system below Stone Tooth. There Durgeddin and his followers founded the stronghold Khundrakar—the Glitterhame.
About one hundred years ago, one of Durgeddin’s clansmen was captured by orcs during a raid and learned of the stronghold Khundrukar. The orcish chieftains raised a great army and marched on Khundrakar. In a hard fought siege lasting months, the orcs stormed the place, putting all within to the sword. They then abandoned the scene, carrying off wagonloads of booty.
In the years since the great battle, various goblin or orc bands occupied Glitterhame and used the dwarfhold as a base for their raids. Legends of Durgeddin’s Vengeance, the Smith’s War, and the extraordinary blades he forged in anger still surface from time to time in the lands near the Stone Tooth.
The party began in the nearest town of Blasingdell, about 30 miles south of the Stone Tooth, a journey of three days on foot or two days on horseback, due to the surrounding rugged terrain and dense forests. On their first excursion of the Stone Tooth the adventurers found the old stronghold inhabited by a number of dangerous monsters.
The entrance to the Glitterhame, and the uppermost level of the cavern complex was inhabited by a fierce tribe of orcs lead by an Ogre King named the Great Ulfe. The party quickly dispensed of this threat and moved on to the largest level of Khundrukar, the Glitterhame, a broad expanse of beautiful natural caverns. Here they were met by troglodytes and cave-dwelling monsters and even made friends with a giant subterranean lizard, thanks to the half-elf druid.
Above the Glitterhame they found the Foundry and a small band of duergar working to uncover the secret of the smith’s ancient forge. After returning the duergar to whatever dark gods they worshipped, they found a deep chasm leading by ladder to the darkest and most remote corner of the Glitterhame’s cavern system: the Black Lake.
The dwarves of Khundrakar never settled these caverns, although Durgeddin had his followers begin work on an escape route through its depths. What remained of this “escape route” was a chain ladder leading down to a great cavern dominated by a great lake. It is here that the party found Nightscale, a young black dragon keeping her treasure on a small island in the middle of the lake. During the insuing melee both the half-elf druid and Kender halfling died.
Having escaped with their lives, the party found prisoners from the town of Blasingdell held within the stronghold and decided to return them to the town. On their return trip to Blasingdell they witnessed the town destroyed and two drow elves walking on the outskirts. With no one in town to assist them but the drow elves, they decided to return to Stone Tooth.
This second inspection of the caverns of Khundrakar led to the discovery of an ancient door, much more ancient than the surrounding dwarfhold. With help from the two drow elves, the door was opened which led to a teleportation device. The party soon found that the door had been sealed for good reason. It was at about this time that the party seemed to shift to true evil.
The teleportation device sent them to an isolated complex called the Well of Demons. This complex was located within a greater cavern which used to be a monastery dedicated to Baphomet, demon lord of berserkers, destruction and mindless fury. The Well of Demons was used by Baphomet’s priests to test those who wished to gain the demon lord’s greatest blessings.
Once, this place consisted of a series of chambers designed to challenge a petitioner’s abilities. Those who survived the tests were inducted into Baphomet’s inner mysteries. Many of Baphomet’s high priests dwelled here, and many of the cult’s greatest treasures were gathered and sealed within the area’s inner sanctum.
When the party arrived, Maldrick Scarmaker, a gnoll follower of Yeenoghu, (Demon Lord of Gnolls and arch enemy of Baphomet) and his Blackfang gnolls occupied the Well of Demons, searching for artifacts and items on behalf of Paldemar (a wizard the party would soon wish they hadn’t met). A few gnolls had managed to overcome the tests of Baphomet and gain access to the inner sanctum.
Maldrick, whom the party mercilessly killed, carried a series of letters from Paldemar. In these letters, the half-dragon, Zel learned that Paldemar promised Maldrick an alliance. The party destroyed this possibility, but collected some items, one of which was a book which Paldemar held to be of great importance, the Book of Wrath Unveiled. With this book, Paldemar’s attention was completely absorbed, except when he was draining life force from demons and humanoids to use in his diabolic schemes.
Crossing Paldemar quickly proved a major miscalculation by the party. Paldemar soon found a way to bend the evil party to his will and use them as resources for his own ends. As if this wasn’t demeaning enough, he later placed nipple rings on each party member allowing him to magically track their every move.
The evil party soon found themselves on a quest to find the stronghold and library of the ancient Mages of Suel who escaped Paldemar. Knowing very little about these mages or why Paldemar sought them, it became apparent that Paldemar regarded the party as his personal punching bags; mere fodder to throw in front of his enemies for his own sport.
Though he was a crude and deprecating tyrant, secretly, Paldemar’s respect grew for the increasingly able party that was exponentially fueling his own power and influence.