The Rise of Valiance

Tomb Raiders

"I hate the rat king so much."

Sim and Arkath Glognar are hired on as guards to a caravan of heavy crates and boxes, en route to the kingdom of Valiance.

As they near the city, their caravan is jumped by a wandering band of desperate elf-bandits. A mighty battle ensues, and Arkath Glognar is nearly killed. Still, they do their jobs well, and the man in charge of caravan security, Boric Bismaul takes notice.

Upon arriving in town, they are invited to dine with the King, King James. He extends an offer to the group: The Tomb of Former Kings below the castle is a major security risk, since its placement is blocking construction of a well, which makes the kingdom more vulnerable to a drawn-out siege. They are free to go down into the tomb, so long as they kill everything in it— and they can keep whatever riches they are sure to find.

They also meet King James’ chief science officer, Nathan Cort who seems a little out of place.

After acquiring some supplies, hiring a dwarf (Gorga Organnor) to help them out and getting a good night’s sleep, our heroes enter the tomb.

In the top level, they encounter several ghosts and a Cockatrice. The ghosts pick pockets and steal vital supplies as they fight, and they are believed lost, until a lucky find by Sim reveals a cache of goodies hidden inside a pile of rubble. Among these goodies is a strange, L-shaped piece of metal.

Descending a level, the group finds a young brown dragon and his lizard-men acolytes in a room full of traps. He agrees to let the group go free, if they can feed him extremely well. Discussions go poorly, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re skinning it and selling its teeth on the market.
Arkath Glognar makes its fire-resistant hide into a cloak at the local blacksmith. Sim harvests its bones and sells them to the local university— all but one, which he gives to his lady.

Before heading back down, our heroes stop in to see Nathan Cort and show him the L-shaped piece of metal. He offers to buy it from them for an amount of gold Sim believes to be unreasonable, considering how obviously valuable the man believes the item to be. He reluctantly identifies the item as a dangerous weapon, that he wants to keep safe. Eventually, everyone settles on a price and the group parts ways, grumbling.

Upon re-entry to the tomb, the group was told in no uncertain terms that they were to stay underground for as long as possible. Boric Bismaul was not thrilled with the prospect of constantly opening and closing a door in the palace that could lead to a cavern full of horrible monsters.

The fellows re-enter the tomb and descend to the next level, the last one to be partially lit by electricity. They encounter a group of desperate, starving goblin miners who had manged to burrow a tunnel into the wall. After some prolonged discussion, our heroes convince the goblins to an exchange— they will not fight, if the group gives them all of their food.

There is a drawn-out encounter in the far hallway of the room with an invisible gelatinous cube, which had kept the Goblins from descending any further down. The party is surprised to hear a large crowd coming through the tunnel: goblin reinforcements, one of whom is riding a young blue dragon!

The goblins to whom they had given their food urge them to escape downstairs, which they do. At the bottom they encounter a magically locked door, embedded with bejeweled, electrified skulls, which Arkath Glognar manages to very luckily pick open and close behind them just before they are overwhelmed by goblins.

This was the Tomb of Tharen Vale. They remove from his corpse a notorious sword, Durandal, a warlock’s dagger, and a strange jewel, embedded in the head of the surprisingly well-kept corpse.

The group is then attacked and overwhelmed by goblins, and other monsters that they were not aware were in the room— creatures with a penchant for strangling. Tharen Vale and Sim narrowly escape, abandoning a treasure chest overflowing with silver coins, but their companion, Gorga Organnor, is brutally murdered.

They escape down another floor, to find a seemingly peaceful room, with a pleasant stream of clean water flowing through it. They find a ratty chair set up like a throne, and recover some lockpicking tools from under the cushion. Sim sets up a magical alert to inform them if any creatures enter their vicinity, and they begin to sleep— only to be woken up by the alarm, over and over. Eventually, they find the source of the intrusion to be rats.

Rats, led by The Rat King.

The players are attacked by a Drow and his spider-pets. They do reasonably well in the fight, but as soon as they gain the upper hand, The Rat King joins the brawl, with his own backup.

The small kobold, through awkward speech and pantomime, indicates that he wants the jewel held by Arkath Glognar. Our heroes put up a brave fight, but are no match for the swarms of rats in their weakened state. Eventually, they are forced to concede, and The Rat King escapes with the jewel.

In exchange, the group is finally given the opportunity to rest. Waking up after a good night’s sleep, they move down to the next floor which they find full of cobwebs. Arkath Glognar fires some flaming arrows into the tangled mess, but only manages to burn up a small portion.

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