The heroes approached the longhouse; at Rurick’s suggestion initially planning to set the building on fire to flush out the occupants. After shouting out a warning, a voice inside replied (a prisoner of the thugs who identified himself as Guk) and so the plan was abandoned and Rurick kicked in the wooden door. Inside the fairly normal longhouse was another band of thugs on the ground floor, who were alerted to the arrival of the heroes by the shouting (they had apparently been getting dinner ready in the cooking pit). Battle was joined and it was intense but no more difficult than any other battle with the gangmembers that the heroes had encountered. After slaying the goons and freeing the prisoner – who by this time, by the calling upon of Torm and a few spells here and there it became clear the Dwarf was a cleric of Torm – and without waiting even for the chance to catch their breath, Rurick went upstairs.
He was shot in the head by upstairs crossbowmen for his trouble and tumbled back down the staircase. The apparently Shadar-Kai leaders of this gang attacked! This battle was very much more difficult than any others the group had fought before. Since Rurick didn’t wait for the remainder of the group to recover via a short rest – or wait for the cleric to don armor – most of the advantage for many, many long seconds rested with the Shadar-Kai. Luck stayed with the heroes and though both Alain and Dot were rendered unconscious during the battle – the heroes lived. Which of the Shadar-Kai or thugs was Nightshade… was never discovered.
After searching the longhouse, a shrine and ritual circle to Shar, as well a strange alchemical lab was discovered upstairs. The lab was the place where the Remorhaz’s Breath was produced; they also found nearly 200 lbs of the purple powder. Though it would have been extremely useful evidence for Lord Huntcrown or even the War Wizards to help discover how it was produced; Alainn destroyed the lab with his Halberd scattering the dust everywhere and inhaling it himself (as did Dot who was too close) and they were affected by the noxious chemical. But that wasn’t sufficient warning of the dangers of this Netherese alchemical substance for the heroes; having never bothered to discover how Remorhaz’s Breath was actually consumed by its addicts (it is generally added to pipe tobacco and smoked – hence the name) they set fire to all the barrels of it. This produced a gigantic cloud of the noxious, oily purple smoke, that drifted like a cloud of toxin over the surrounding farms and fields. The villagers and heroes fled the scene.
Ultimately the thorpe of Corhen’s Crossing was abandoned later that year as the forest groves and barley fields most directly hit by the cloud produced by 200 lbs of fired powder had to be burned and salted. Purple Dragon and War Wizard investigators would later do this to prevent the growth of Netherese alchemy tainted crops. Having never been a large village to begin with, the loss of almost of third of their crop production was a hit from which they never recovered. Many villagers left for other towns and villages – those affected having to abandon farms they had lived in for generations. The final “human cost” of the heroes “victory” was high indeed and the secret of the production of Remorhaz’s Breath remains a mystery.
- Game: 3/28/09 via OpenRPG
- Submitted as RPGA Home Campaign Sanctioning # 09-03-1874232
- XP: 350 each (no end of story bonus)
- Gold and Treasure
- Coin: 480gp
- Items: Bashing Heavy Shield