Scales of War

Scales of War - Session 9

The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge (continued)

Modra was very forthcoming in providing any information he possibly could in an attempt to save his own skin. He pointed you to a warehouse full of goodies (a sword, some armor, a pair of boots) and then told you about the portal to the Shadowfell under the Temple of Zehir. Morda was apparently too trusting, however, as you ended up slicing his throat in exchange for his cooperation, and thus fulfilling Mal’s contract and allowing him to become “fully armed.” (Crumley said he’d find a use for Modra’s body, even sans head). You were much kinder to his witch adviser, and handed her over to the dwarves for a ‘fair’ trial…or to be left to rot in a small dungeon cave somewhere. It turns out, Sarshan has good security protocols in place, however, since he changed his password to the Temple Portal once he found out his network had been compromised. The Venomers were warned about you… Warned, but not ready as you made short work of their slithery tails.

Upon passing through the portal, and Brandis’s staff flashing a brilliant white, you found yourselves in a desperate land – The Shadowfell – its gloominess immediately palpable . Stepping out of the portal room, you saw before you Umbraforge, the domain of Sarshan and his vast mercenary army. You blended in with the motley groups around the camps easily enough, even defeating the nasty Bonecrusher ogre clan without so much as breaking a sweat (there were also some elemental beasts that popped out of a smaller rift, but they are hardly even worth mentioning!). You learned a great deal about Sarshan and his operation after gaining the respect of the rest of the camp – specifically how he is using the Foundry to transform slaves and beasts into living, grotesque war machines. You learned even more from an unexpected … ally?…. The Kacer – a mysterious shade who took an immediate liking to Malferro and seemed eager to leave Sarshan’s army. Together, you hatched a plan to destroy the Foundry and infiltrate the tower of Sarshan. As a group of mercenaries moved out of the camp, you made your move – stealthily attacking the Foundry guards through the secret passage that The Kacer directed you to. Now you must eliminate the elite swordfighter, Eluron Bladewhisper, and contend with a giant mutant boar she released before you can storm the dark tower… at present, the outcome is still in doubt.

Sarshan’s Secrets:
1. This is Umbraforge, dominion of Sarshan, a trader of great reputation and even greater wealth. The tower, foundry, and forges are his. The camps are those of the mercenaries and slaves whose services he sells across the Shadowfell and the world.

2. Sarshan is shadar-kai, an outcast who made a name for himself as the leader of a legendary mercenary band known as the Black Arrow. At their height, the Arrow put so much fear in generals and kings alike that Sarshan would take payment to fight for one group, then take a bigger payment from their foe to stand down.

3. Modra is known well in Umbraforge, but for all the wrong reasons now. He was one of Sarshan’s trusted lieutenants before she tried to a broker a weapons deal that Sarshan had already turned down.

4. The job that Sarshan refused was some orc king’s raid on a dwarven citadel. Sarshan never makes a sale if it has a chance of coming back to him, and for good reason. This job went bad, they say, and people know that Modra sold the orc his weapons.

5. Modra is long gone from Umbraforge and the Shadowfell, believe me. Sarshan’s got a long arm and a longer memory. He will never be seen in the Shadowfell again.

6. The foundry is the new jewel of Sarshan’s operations. Its power comes from the fire and shadow driving its furnaces. Sarshan’s sages create beasts of battle there, born killers with magic in their blood.

7. It used to be that Sarshan brokered mercenaries mostly within the Shadowfell, but that’s changing. Dark ones and shadar-kai are still his elite troops, but more and more, he brings creatures from the world to Umbraforge for training, then marches them off to places unknown.

8. The Shadowfell is only a stopping-off place for Sarshan’s mercenaries. A force of archons from the Elemental Chaos was here not six ago. I saw githzerai from the Astral Sea in Umbraforge once. I don’t know what job they took for Sarshan, but woe be to whoever got in their way.

9. Sarshan’s slave bazaar is about more than just servants and soldiers. His experiments in the foundry only begin with dumb beasts. He’s building new soldier races there, born from the slaves he traffics.

10. Sarshan’s mercenary operations have tripled in size in months past, but it’s not the Shadowfell they’re fighting in. When his forces are bought and sent on the march, they’re bound for portals to the world. Shadar-kai, dark ones, undead, giants, ogres, trolls, gnolls, orcs— Sarshan has the armies of two planes on the march. War is brewing in the world, but the forces that will fight it are moving into position in the Shadowfell, unseen.

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