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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Tomb Raiders 2
In which Andy decides to be a dragon.

Awakening spontaneously, from a coma of indeterminate length, Vallo Izuzzen finds himself in the den of spiders. All he can remember is being sent out by his liege, Eril Hagar “The Horrible” into the tombs for some now-forgotten reason. He has been in stasis for decades. He stumbles out, and up the stairs where he meets Arkath Glognar and Sim. The three men form a cautious alliance, and decide to try their hand at an escape.

They sneak back up to the fourth level of The Tomb of Former Kings, the burial room of Tharen Vale, where they find a small group of goblins sleeping around a fire. Vallo Izuzzen telekenetically lifts Sim into the middle of the group, where he unleashes a burst of horrible magic, killing most of them instantly. Reinforcements arrive quickly, and are somewhat easily dispatched.

All this commotion has the unfortunate side-effect of drawing the attention of the goblin’s dragon, which begins its descent.

Our heroes, caught between a swarm of dragon-owning goblins and a creepy spider-room, opt to make an attempt at diplomacy. Descending to the spider room below, they make peace with the residents: a Lolth-worshipping Drow and his pet phase-spider. They agree to join forces in order to defeat the goblin hordes.

They take some time to prepare in the Drow’s domain, and in doing so learn that he was ordered to protect this room by his superiors, for some reason. He was strongly against allowing the party to pass further down.

After a brutal fight against the dragon and its swarm of Goblin cronies, our heroes are victorious. Ever practical, they quickly turn on their spidery-allies, and kill them.

A quick scan of the door shows a strange trap. Rather than risk it, our heroes decide to enjoy the freedom of a freshly dragonless tomb, and head up to the top floor to leave and gather up supplies.

Upon reaching the top floor, they are frustrated to find the door locked, and its assigned guard absent. Sounds of a struggle are heard on the other side, as well as some distant shouting in the Giant language, which both Arkath Glognar and Sim happened to speak. It sounds like there are orcs in the castle.

Our heroes insist that the orcs open the door. The orcs insist that our heroes open the door. It would appear that nobody on either side is going to have much luck opening the door.

So the group, unable to make it any further up, decide to go further down. They descend down through The Tomb of Former Kings to the seventh level: the tomb of Eril Hagar “The Horrible”. Within, they meet a large red dragon (apparently dragons are super into this tomb for some reason) who haggles with them for a while. His tomb has been regularly invaded by some minotaurs, and the group agrees to pay him a and fight the minotaurs together, rather than try to fight both.

They fight the minotaurs and do quite well for a while— until The Rat King shows up, and insists upon being given the treasures in Hagar’s tomb. The weakened dragon flees,

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