I just today discovered this neat little website. Here’s some background:
Philo’s Crossing was introduced as a small city-state high in the (as yet unnamed) mountains, strategically located between a high cliff face, a small river, and next to a deep lake that drains into a natural portal to the elemental plane of water several hundred feet below the surface. The city was founded by Philo Gnomehands, whom the lake is named after, after he discovered a rich adamantium deposit easily accessed through a short natural cave. In the two-hundred years since, the city has slowly built-up, and mining operations have been taken over by the “Glittergold Mining Company”, a large gnomish-operated mining organization. The city has remained relatively small, due to the hostility of the local terrain, which is difficult even by airship, especially in the winter months.
Party was introduced (at 3rd level) as militia members/recent graduates of the military, arcane or divine academies. The city has been under siege by a combined force of goblins and kobolds for a number of weeks. The siege was timed perfectly to begin in the days after the last supply ship for the fall left; another is not expected until the spring, due to dangerous winter wind currents at this altitude. Communications to the outside world have been inexplicably cut-off, rendering calls for help to allies, or the ‘Glittergold Mining Company’, who’s headquarters are located several hundred miles away, useless. The city is not large enough for an airport, and thus has no airships at its disposal. Incoming airships anchor in the large open plateau across the river from the main gates, where now sits the large siege force, outnumbering the city’s defenders by several orders of magnitude. What has primarily held them back thus far, is the deep lake, the narrow bridge across the river, and most importantly, the solid adamantium wall that stretches from the cliff face, around the city, and extends some way into Gnomehands lake.
Party joins defense of the city, and is recruited by one of the (as yet unnamed) lieutenants for a number of covert outside-the-walls missions:
Scout Towers: Several towers were built on the banks of the lake and river, limiting the mentioned “outside the walls” activities. —>Party determined this to be their first goal; they requisitioned a small boat, and took it out across the lake under cover of night. They then traveled along the shore, and destroyed the towers, one by one, until all four were down. In the last, they discovered a (magical) thin crystal rod on the corpse of a goblin. This rod, after some investigation, was found to be connected to the loss of communications detailed below.
Foul Water: The city’s main water source, Gnomehands Lake, and the river feeding it, were found to be tainted. Sickness was quickly spreading through the city, and a sense of panic was beginning to rise. —>Party solved problem by traveling upriver and discovering/removing/burning various corpses that were being dumped by the siege-force to foul the river. Party also began collecting snow as it fell, and encouraged townsfolk to do the same.
Communications: Among the myriad mundane magic items in this magic-rich environment, are crystals used in a way analogous to radio communications. Since the beginning of the siege, no incoming, or outgoing communications seemed to work. The party’s first clue to solving this problem was the discovery of the crystal rod discovered in the ‘scout-tower’ mission mentioned above. this rod, after some investigation was found to dampen divination within a certain range equal to double the distance between it and its sister-rod, this effect persisting for several hours, even if the rods are brought closer together for a time. As these items draw closer together, both will resonate and glow with increasing strength. They can be destroyed by smashing the two together, releasing a large explosion. —>Party split into a diversionary force, and the single stealthy character. The diversionary force joined with the militia in a strike against the siege-force while the stealthy character infiltrated the main camp, carrying the first, and searching for the second rod. While the army and the defenders skirmished, the stealthy character located a ring of tents where the second rod appeared to be kept, snuck in and fought with a group of Blues (goblins), and managed to strike his rod against the other, held in the hand of one of the Blues. A quick escape via ‘Fly’ scroll brought him to safety, as the skirmishers withdrew within the city walls.
Generators: On a ledge high above the city lie several windmills that power the forges in the city below. without these windmills, the forges cannot attain the high temperatures necessary to work the adamantium from the nearby mines. The forges have been unpowered since the beginning of the siege, and since the path to them involves a steep switchback along a path outside the walls, nobody has been able to check on them. —>Party again snuck outside the walls, under cover of darkness, through a tunnel long ago dug for flooding relief, and up the switchback. After dealing with high winds, and cold hazards, they came upon the windmills, eliminated a number of goblin and white-painted kobold guards, and discovered that the windmill machinery was heavily iced-over. Party repaired all but one mill, and returned to town to find that the forges were up and running again.
Supply Depot: As the party was climbing down the above switchback, they saw the enemy’s heavily guarded supply depot. Destroying/raiding this was named as one of their prime objectives. —>One party member was contacted by the thief’s guild with an offer from a team of gray dwarves passing through the area. The dwarves happened to be proficient in demolitions, and were willing to assist, so long as they were allowed the fun of blowing up some goblins and kobolds. The party took this offer, and again snuck out through the tunnel into the enemy’s camp. After some scouting, the party attacked the depot, while the dwarves snuck around and set explosive charges. These charges were detonated as the party retreated back to the city.
Supply Depot: As the party was climbing down the above switchback, they saw the enemy’s heavily guarded supply depot. Destroying/raiding this was named as one of their prime objectives.
—>*One party member was contacted by the thief’s guild with an offer from a team of gray dwarves passing through the area.* The dwarves happened to be proficient in demolitions, and were willing to assist, so long as they were allowed the fun of blowing up some goblins and kobolds. The party took this offer, and again snuck out through the tunnel into the enemy’s camp. After some scouting, the party attacked the depot, while the dwarves snuck around and set explosive charges. These charges were detonated as the party retreated back to the city.
These Grey Dwarves were actually scouting-out the adamantium mine, and checking its defenses. They happened to notice the army, and decided to take part in the fun of the slaughter.