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Campaign Notes from September 20, 2017 Edit
Down in the dungeon of the Hall of Blades in Jumala, our heroes and a number of elves interrogated their two hobgoblin prisoners, Marine Sgt. Helmut Grosskreutz, and Navy Petty Officer Reinhard Hartbrod. Both hobgoblins seemed like capable veteran warriors, but neither was any sort of a mental powerhouse.
Both had originally been stationed on Schmiedeecke Insel, the island where the Dawnforge rests. The Sonnenstar fleet of the Zyklon Protektorat's navy is based there, and both wore the black sunrise over black water symbol of the fleet on the shoulder of their gambesons.
Maggey cast a Zone of Truth spell on the prisoners cells, and a little bit out of range, Darius presented himself as the prisoners' very earnest and helpful lawyer. A few additional spells were surreptitiously cast and the hobgoblins failed to resist the magical influence in spectacular fashion.
Info Dump Edit
Working together, you learned quite a lot from the helpful and compliant prisoners:
The Sonnenstar fleet operates as a special branch of the Zyklon Protektorat's navy, and enjoys a number of additional resources beyond what is afforded to the rest of the navy.
It seems like the Sonnenstar fleet has allied with demons, or at least has high level leadership who have made bargains with demons. (This seems incredibly stupid to those of you who understand that demons are not disposed toward keeping bargains.)
Sgt. Grosskreutz and Petty Officer Hartbrod were part of separate squads or cells that came to Kotime to prepare the continent for invasion. There are at least 8 separate cells of operatives. You know at least two that have been destroyed. By you.
Demon-com May Be Unreliable Edit
The hobgoblin cells' only contact with one another comes through a demon that is assigned to each unit. These demons supposedly communicate with fleet command, or with demons embedded in the other cells so that efforts can be coordinated.
The primary hobgoblin naval leader who forged the pact with the demons is a powerful spellcaster named Walpurga, who lives on Schmiedeecke Insel,
Spellcasters are extremely rare among the hobgoblin military, and your group has begun to suspect that knowledge of magic and the supernatural is even more rare.
There's also a major hobgoblin base that's been established in the ruins of Stenberin, a major castle to the west of Jumala.
After thanking the hobgoblins for their help, their lawyer, Darius, assures them that he'll push for their release.
The group then heads to the Temple of Ukko so that Dave can use the scrying artifact, the Orb of Palantha-Kawon, to do some long-range spying.
Through the Orb, you confirm that there is a hobgoblin base at Stenberin. The ruined castle is still strong and imposing. It consists of a double keep surrounded by a wide curtain wall, and sits nestled between the peaks of some low mountains.
At Stenberin, you see:
- 50 hobgoblins
- 4 young adult green dragons (disguised as red dragons)
- 1 adult blue dragon (disguised as a black dragon)
- 3 succubi demons
- 2 incubi demons
- 8 vrock demons
- 2 hezrou demons
From your observations, you can tell that one of the succubi is in charge of all the demons. This is pretty unusual, because in the pecking order of the abyss, hezrou demons typically severely outclass all of the other demon types present.
Additionally, you see a marine master sergeant in charge of the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins also seem to have 3 spellcasters among them.
There is a picket of hobgoblin scouts pulled in close to the edge of the castle curtain wall, and Dave used the orb to brush aside a magical veil errected over the castle ruins intended to protect against scrying.
Finding an Old Friend Edit
Paul hits on the idea to use the Orb to look for his Flower of Frustration that he sent to his demon pain in the neck, Howler. The Flower is not present on this place of existence.
You do, however, find Howler. He's decked out in ridiculous rhinestone-speckled white robes and is training a group of hobgoblin warrior monks at Ostenturm, a Zyklon Protektorat training facility halfway around the world. Eventually, Howler seems to notice that he's being scryed upon and you move the sensor away before he can try anything.
Scrying for Heaven's Compass Edit
You also hit on the idea to use the Orb of Palantha-Kawon to search for the remaining artifacts. The astrolabe called Heaven's Compass is somewhere in the scary red-streaked black mountain in the middle of Waritu. Something prevents the scrying spell from penetrating further into the mountain.
Finding the Heart of Gold Edit
Scrying for the Heart of Gold takes much, much longer. The magical sensor races around the world to the blasted and ruined subcontinent of Sarvoda. The Orb's perception zooms through a cave opening and down a twisting tunnel system. Deep, deep under the earth, the sensor emerges into a vast cave system that must be the upper tier of the Underdark. Eventually the magical sensor passes through a strangely lit dark elf metropolis that teems with drow and their servants.
The orb's sensor moves through the humongous chamber and delves into a deeper, older tunnel system, finally arriving in what looks like an abandoned city with naga-influenced architecture. There, between a destroyed snake cult temple and a shattered sculpture lies the remains of a dwarven knight. Her armor is cracked and torn. Her helm is split almost in half and only a few of her bones remain. Still, through the holes in her armor and the remains of her ribs the glow of a strong, beating golden heart is clearly visible through the orb.
Continue on to Game Notes from September 27!