Episode 9 : Kendermore
 

Day 58. The party walk to Kendermore, arriving in the late afternoon. Seeing the ruined city, Pecan turns eaglish and flies out for a recon. She returns in a hurry after spotting a dragon circling the nearby volcano of Malystryx, they decide to retreat back down the path and camp some distance away.

Day 59. The party enter the city. Kendermore is devastated jumble of ruined buildings, however the one straight road (Tornado Alley) is still navigable straight through the centre. Some buildings are still relatively intact, a precariously teetering water tower and then the City Hall in the centre of the ruins.

They carefully move past an enormous trash heap outside the front door of City Hall. Elijayess climbs to the roof to find that it is intact but treacherous, the upper floors of the building appear to be burnt out and destroyed. The party enter the building and are confronted by a tribe of gully dwarves, lead by High Grup II. They make friends, Shiloh in particular makes a deep impression and eventually High Grup II renames his first born to Jolli Grup I after Shiloh. High Grup II reveals (after a fashion....) that they city has been systematically looted by hobgoblins and worse, anything of value has been taken to the peak of Malys.

In the afternoon the party move outside and again Pecan takes wing to scout the city. She immediately draws the attention of the nearby dragon and the party are forced to retreat and hide in the City Hall until it gives up the hunt. The gully dwarves are quite upset and feel that this was a silly thing to do.

The party move out and further up Tornado Alley. They come to the old library, now determinedly sinking into the ground. Entering a second floor window the party are met by a swarm of cockatrices, Hildegard is turned to stone before the party decide to retreat back to the City Hall. The gully dwarves feel that entering the library was a silly thing to do, but they do like their new statue and decorate it in lifelike hues.... The party camp with the gully dwarves.

Day 60. The party rise for the day, Pecan plays the music box for the gully dwarves - they are enchanted by its song but know little about it. They debate their course of action. Pecan tests the roof of the City Hall as a lookout and manages to fall through, damaging herself quite severely.

The party rest and heal with the High Grup II clan. Elijayess suggests that searching for an unknown item in the city ruins is pointless and the party should concentrate on Malystryx.

Day 61. Moon casts an augury regarding travelling to a city park and gets no result. The party leave for Malystryx, abandoning Hildegard to the tender care of Gully Dwarves. Around noon (still in the city) they encounter a group of Ogre slavers with a party of captured Kender. After a fierce battle the party free the kender and meet the Kender leader, Parrick Whistlewalk. Parrick reveals that he is also part of the resistance working for Kronn Thistleknot and is dedicated to freeing the city of Kendermore. Unfortunately his sister, Kerra, has been taken by slavers to the peak of Malystyx - but his duties require him to remain in Kendermore.

Parrick pleads with the party to rescue Kerra in Malystryx and offers knowledge of a secret entrance to the peak. After some debate the party agree and are told the location of the plume entrance to the peak. In parting, Parrick offers the party some items he picked up in his travels - Eijayess takes the amulet of natural armour +2. The party return to High Grup II to rest and heal.

Day 62. The party sped the day at leisure.

Day 63. In the morning Elijayess declares his intention to stay with the Kender in the city, he feels that he will be more effective to the cause if he fights alongside them in the city. In desperation the party manage to identify one of the potions given to them as stone to flesh, Hildegard is summarily returned to life - albeit covered in rouge and lipstick form the admiring female Gully Dwarves. The party walk out of the city and camp the night at the base of the peak.

Day 64. The party climb the mountain, dodging lava flows and explosions with varying degrees of success - or not. In the early afternoon they reach a slender rock plume with a narrow entrance at the top. The party climb slowly to the top, Pecan climbs much faster by changing herself to a baboon. They descend into the mountain through tunnels until emerging at a large cavern.

The cavern has a network of numerous tunnels and caves, all linked by ladders and bridges. On closer inspection it is noticed that all of the artificial structures are built from large living ants linked together, with thousands more scurrying over them in an unfathomable daily routine. The party are noticed and are summoned to the Queen, she is larger than a horse and able to perform a strange, unknown magic. Fortunately the party are polite towards her and she agrees to help them on their quest, revealing that the Ogre Grigolthan has been abducting Kender for obscure experiments. She details a worker to lead them to Grigolthan's lair.

Intrigued by the fate of Grog, she agrees to keep his body and return it to life if she is able. She is unsure of the result but will send word if she is able to achieve anything.

The party camp in the safety of the Queens tunnels.

Day 65. The party bid farewell to the Queen, Moon seems to be romantically inclined towards her. They are guided by a worker ant through a labyrinth of tunnels, many hours pass. Eventually the worker indicates a spot on a tunnel wall (just like every other spot that they have passed) and indicates that they should dig through at this point. The worker leaves, sealing off the tunnel behind the party so that enemies may not find their way to the Queen.

The party hack into the tunnel wall and break through into a prison chamber, it holds the Kender captives (21 of them). They battle a dragonspawn to free them. Kera Whistlewalk introduces herself (sister of Parrick), thanks the party, and leads the surviving Kender through the ant tunnels to safety.

The party leave the prison chamber, a short distance away they find a grisly room containing a pentagram, pool of blood, bone alter, bloodied shackles and a cranky Ogre. The Ogre is Grigolthan and after some tense negotiation agrees to receive the message carried by Hildegard from the Oracles. The contents send Grigolthan into a rage and he attacks the party. He is eventually beaten and tumbles to disappear into the pool of blood. The party destroy the alter and the dragon skull pentagram.

As they do so they are confronted with a very irate woman - covered with scales she is a powerful dragonspawn in league with Grigolthan to perform experiments on the Kender. She is not happy that her experiments have been ruined. In a fierce battle she manages to nearly wipe out the party, with her last breaths she says "I can see it, I can see the hand pulling your strings...for me death is the end, but for you...you will find that death offers no peace".

After that the blade known as the Shard of Light begins to glow, it leads the party down a nearby corridor to a locked door. Behind the door the party finds a lance, the haft of which has been worked to resemble a roaring dragons head. The lance glows in response to the Shard of Light, the glows join and take the shape of an elven woman, she speaks: "Finally you have overcome great hardships to release us from the darkness! Come...take up the lance and embrace your destinies!"

The party accept the lance and go to seventh level.

The party fall into a deep slumber after their efforts.

Day 66. The party rest and heal.

Day 67. Rumblings in the mountain wake the party. Magikal energies have disturbed the volcano and it is decided to vacate the premises. The empty tunnels eventually lead to the outside, from there the trail is clear to Kendermore. By evening they reach the ruined town hall and are reacquainted with the rescued kender and the gully dwarves.

High Grup II is ecstatic to see the party returned safely, particularly Hildegard - who is quickly ushered to the corner of honour where he may be decorated by the High Grup women. Elijayess is present and he is greatly impressed by the return of the dragonlance, however he is at a loss as to what use it may be put.

An ant arrives carrying a large egg. After some hesitation the party release the egg and the ant returns to the mountain. A crudely written note is found explaining that within the egg is Grog restored to life, however due to time constraints and lack of adequate stock, some shortcuts were necessary in the rebuilding process. When the egg is cut open it is revealed that Grog has been rebuilt from ant parts, he now has 6 limbs and 2 antennae - but no horns and no hands, just pincers.

Luckily Grog comes complete with refashioned armour and a modified weapon that he can wield (his beloved Ralph whom he talks to more than ever now). The kender are overjoyed at the appearance of their general, however the gully dwarves are completely entranced by the appearance of what they call the Ant God and prostrate themselves with gusto.

High Grup II demands that treasure be brought for the Ant God and eventually retrieves it himself. Although the treasure is mostly broken and worthless junk, some weapons and armour are found to fit most of the party. The Ant God, i.e. Grog rests on top of the junk mound as the party spend the night.

Shiloh manages to borrow some 14 pearls from the Kender and identifies some items, including Huma's Lance - the first ever forged dragonlance.

Day 68. It is decided that the party can not remain in Kendermore as the dark forces in Malystryx are reforming and will soon be looking for revenge. Returning to Port Balifor is not an option due to the trouble the party has stirred up there with the Dark Knights. Elijayess suggests travelling to the port town of Darkhaven where the party may be able to catch up with the Kender resistance or travel on. He instructs Pecan on the path to use through the Desolation, he will stay here and fight with the kender.

The party leave Kendermore and are able to make camp at the edge of the Desolation.

 

 
(c) 2007 Dragonlance Roleplaying Campaign Journal by Chris Burton  
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