For backgrounds on the characters played in this campaign, look here~
Nestled deep among the twisted alleyways and tangled side-streets of the Maze, the party found themselves surrounded by a dense population of foes around near to every turn; far out of their element, the adventurers began to construe a path deeper into the reaches of the city-center–managing to re-unite with Meryk, finding the ranger heavily disguised as they ventured further into the upper reaches of Tsar. Far ahead and over the ascending hills and steppes of the Maze–the party spied a great black temple with a statue situated at its very peak. One of the nine disciples!
Eager to recover another of the nine, the party discussed and approach–but to simply fly to the statue would be more treacherous, for the party had long been advised that flight over the Maze would spell certain doom. As the encounters with adversaries had already proven quite frequently even maneuvering among the alleys and thoroughfares of the city, the group would need to make headway by foot. Not long after they had begun taking to a brisker pace towards the center of the Maze, however, the party became waylaid by four sizable ogre thugs.
At first the adventurers were somewhat perplexed by the approach of what they felt to be relatively ‘tame’ opponents–and Pandora stated that they were prepared to accept the ogre’s surrender. Seemingly disinterested in a parlay or the drow’s offer, the ogres swiftly engaged in melee–and it was soon discovered that they were far stronger and more potent than their appearances suggested.
It was when Leone pounced upon one of the ogres that their true nature was revealed: as skin split and tore away, beneath the ogre’s exterior was an ecorche–a hugely muscular undead monstrosity which donned the skins of others and served as assassins! The ecorche ripped Leone’s pelt off with a rending assault–and quickly a panic spread through the party. The four foes weathered potent assaults by the party, able to match the adventurers blow for deadly blow while attempting to relieve them of their skins; each of the four seemed endlessly stout in the face of grievous injuries and before long the group began to consider retreat–a decision reinforced as Emma was slain.
As had been the case with prior encounters in the Maze, soon the sounds of battle began to attract the attentions of other denizens–and as other monsters began to near the scene to join the fray, though the party had managed to at last fell two of their foes withdraw was decided unanimously. Utilizing Brother Vang’s Word of Recall, the party made exodus from the Maze–determined to revisit the reaches of the city once they had grown more powerful and better equipped to deal with its denizens.
A few days were spent within the Camp to recover and regroup the party, with fresh supplies and equipment sought as Emma was resurrected again–returned from her sojourn to the afterlife. Re-bolstered and emboldened again, the party turned their attention towards the Foundry as their next destination: to eliminate whatever threat may lay within would doubtless be useful for concluding the Harrow Lanes of Tsar. Once readied, Emma, Anselme, Pandora, Brother Vang, Meryk and Cassandra set out to see to the second steppe of the temple-city once more–soon making headway to the bunker-like location of the Foundry on the second level.
Once the site was within sight, the group found themselves faced with an enormous black-stone structure from which protruding billowing smokestacks belched miasma into the pall above; great bands of dark iron and machined rivets covered the expanse, making the location a veritable fortress against the potential threat of siege weaponry. Most startling however was the super-weapon the party had been alluded to: a colossal cannon whose barrel boasted a sixty foot diameter!
Nearing the site cautiously, Pandora was surprised to find the heavy iron doors otherwise unlocked and not trapped–but as the party ventured within, they were soon faced with what seemed an autonomous work force of golems in great number. Flesh golems–accompanied by clay and brass–were quick to mob the intruders as they entered, while a duo of cannon golems loosed cannonade from suspended platforms aloft. Meryk and Cassandra retaliated with their most potent barrages in kind–though focusing on the breadth of flesh, clay and brass which all but walled off the party’s progress deeper into the site.
Not only were their plentiful foes within the Foundry–but the very nature of the facility brought its environs to a staggering hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit–making for a grueling battle. The group was able to destroy a great many of the flesh golem fodder–but the demise of the brass golem loosed a terrible explosion as the cannon golems continued their near ceaseless barrage.
From deeper within the Foundry lumbered a towering furnace golem, an impossibly durable and powerful construct seemingly eager to stow a hapless adventurer into the inferno of its innards; as Emma fought the great monstrous construct, a critically landed cannonball slew the barbarian where she stood–and with Leone slain in turn, Anselme hastened into the fray in the form of an immense earth elemental to recover the bodies before Cassandra and Brother Vang secured a retreat with magic once more.
Though the party had been rebuked on both fronts for their ventures into Tsar, they had nevertheless managed to thin the bulk of the forces within the Foundry–and were thus determined to revisit the site upon their next foray to finish what had been started. Upon further resurrection, Emma contemplated deeper upon the mortal coil and the tattoos she had embarked upon to tally her demises–considering further that her system of numerals would perhaps prove untenable should her fate continue its current course.
Regrouped in the safety of the Camp, the party mended their wounds and began to plan their next assault on the Foundry–but little did they know, an entirely unforeseen threat was making preparations of their own…