Eberron Adventures

Episode 5: Blood Meridian
In which our heroes enact a plan to seize their freedom.

Rizzenil and the prisoner known only as ”#37” had been lurking around the Deep Ward for a few days now. How #37 could get in and out of his cell Rizzenil would never understand – it was enough that he could. The drow was free and the only way he’d let himself be locked up again was if he were dead. Life in a cage is no life at all. Stalking around the Deep Ward, trying to get a sense of their surroundings in the pitch black darkness, they were bound to run into guards eventually. The pair were even holding their own… until the slaughterstone eviscerator showed up and ruined everything. Then it was time to retreat and hide again. And how did #37 manage to stay invisible?! Rizzenil was determined to learn that trick if at all possible.

Gareth stood before Warden Zaxxon d’Kundarak, bound in chains and pleading, but this time for someone other than himself. Herself. Whatever. Gender was flexible. It all depends on the needs of the situation. Why be so narrow-minded? At any rate, Gareth found himself explaining that Aurann really was just under a lot of pressure, you see? It wasn’t really his fault. It’s not like it wasn’t without good cause… And there was the whole conspiracy.

That did it. Now the Warden was interested. He had heard the “innocent prisoner” bit a thousand times in the century he’d held the keys to Dreadhold, but a conspiracy within the walls of the Kundarak prison? That was something else entirely. Names are what he required. Details. Places. Identifying marks. Specifics. And Gareth was more than happy to give up Durok the Masher as the mastermind behind the conspiracy to kill General Verdgrin. Now if only he could figure out what was nagging him in the back of his mind… Did he really believe that Durok was in charge? Certainly not, but he’d do for a scapegoat. At least for now. It would certainly get the bugbear out of his hair, and more importantly, the hell away from Kallen. How did a gnome manage to find THAT much trouble? Was it a size thing? The Artificer certainly had a knack for causing a disproportionate amount of aggravation.

The Warden would do something, he promised.

Coming out of his paralysis, Aurann ached everywhere. The healing process continued when transmuted into stone, so he couldn’t have been under for that long. It was dark and somewhere in his peripheral vision he could see a slithering… the medusa. He was in the Stone Ward… Boots nearby. Looking up, Aurann realized he must be on the floor, and the dwarf towering over him was none other than the Warden himself. For half a second, the eladrin considered attacking him then and there – fighting through the Mark of Justice again MIGHT be possible… But no, the Warden was talking to him. About a transfer? It was hard to make out in the fog that seemed to surround his head. But yes, the dwarf was talking about transfer to the Deep Ward. Still, there would be the Mark of Justice, he reasoned, but he was simply too dangerous to keep near the other prisoners. He would be isolated, but that could be turned to Aurann’s advantage – more time to work out the ritual that might remove the hated Mark of Justice.

It was easy to agree to the dwarf’s demands. Of course he’d cease and desist any escape attempts. Of course, he’d be on his best behavior. Of course, this was what the dwarf wanted to hear.

Kallen, Gareth and Armus had decided to bite the bullet and make temporary allies with Ragna the Oathbreaker. This was a gamble, to be sure, but as they saw it, they had little choice. Armus would be the man “inside” the General’s trusted inner circle, Kallen would be the distraction, and Gareth would be the hand that sealed the General’s doom. Or at least, that’s how it had to look. Even to the General, who couldn’t be counted on to go with their escape plan. It got too complicated. Too many people knew. Too many variables. Too many mouths that might talk and too many ears that would sell a secret to the Warden.

Deciding that their window of opportunity was quickly approaching, the team worked to beg, borrow, and steal enough cloth to craft a makeshift rope. There was no getting out of the front door of Dreadhold. Aurann’s aborted escape attempt had shown the obviousness of that. They’d never get out of the Red Ward, let alone through the halls, past the invisible death wards to find a way past the upper walls. And even if they could get out of their cell and out of the prison itself, they’d still have to deal with the manticore patrols and… it was too much to the consider. It wasn’t going to happen that way. But perhaps, just perhaps, there was a chance to go through Khyber. Down the center of the prison was a huge elevator shaft that took guards and the doomed to the Deep Ward. How deep the shaft was, no one really knew, but it was substantial, and they’d need a LOT of rope to lower them down to the Deep Ward when the time comes to escape.

The team had decided that the time was right. All the signs pointed to today. The plane of Lammania was at the weakest it would be for another century or more. All the pieces were in place… and then Armus was called to the Warden’s office. The news he received in that office was for his ears alone, but now as the chance to escape appears, his excitement seems dimmed somehow—lessened.

Armus was back in the Red Ward rec room. Gareth, Kallen, Ragna and his minions had as much makeshift rope as their clothes could hide. They had decided that today would be the day. Everyone knew their role, and Kallen was instrumental in the opening stages.

As Kallen moves to cause a distraction, violence unplanned by the team breaks out suddenly in the recreation area of the Red Ward. Guards turn their backs for a moment and two human thugs grab the gnome off his feet and shove him into a corner unobservable by the guards. They savagely beat him for a few seconds, and then violence erupts all over the room! Tables are overturned, guards cast stun spells haphazardly about the large area, hitting instigators and innocent bystanders alike. This chaos was just what the team had hoped for. Now was their chance!

Through the chaos and confusion of what followed, Kallen proved his usefulness when he managed to get his hands on the guards’ keys! Combined with the key he had already secreted away in his shoe, the team was able to make their way out of the rec area and into the halls of Dreadhold. With Ragna leading them and the General in tow, they barely made it into the central tower—but they made it. Quickly combining their makeshift rope and lowering themselves down, they realize too late that the shaft is longer than their rope. Not able to see the bottom in the dark, Kallen (who had insisted on going first) decided to make the ultimate gamble, and let go at the bottom.

Falling in the dark is unsettling, but without knowing how long he’d fall… he was barely able to divert some of the impact and rolled as he hit the floor. A good twenty feet. Calling up to the others to let them know, the rest quickly followed suit and were soon collected near the bottom of the shaft.

Having heard the ruckus, Rizzenil and #37 decided to investigate. Since when did the dwarves make this much noise coming down? The elevator must’ve slipped a magical gear… But wait. Those weren’t dwarves. One was too short. The others too tall. And human? An elf? What the hell was all this? Who were these madmen? Dressed in prison issue, the pair soon reasoned that these were escaping prisoners. With these temporary compatriots, they stood a chance against the horrors of Khyber!

They all came to the same conclusion: band together and live, or die alone.

As the team started down the hall towards Khyber, Rizzenil stopped them.

“Wouldn’t you rather have all your gear?”

And then the team was faced with a choice: make a break for freedom immediately through Khyber – or try to retrieve their equipment. The alarms were echoing even down here in the Deep Ward. They’ll need to act quickly, whatever they decide.

If you’ve read this whole post, bring the 12th level version of your character to play in the game. Tell no one else.

Episode 4: Midnight's Children
In which secrets are revealed and mysteries deepen.

Aurann could take it no longer. The injustice being heaped upon him was too much to bear, and now he would do something about it. With a tremendous force of willpower, the eladrin forced his mind past the House Kundarak’s Mark of Justice, and managed to lash out with his magical force. Unfortunately, he didn’t expect his plan to work that well and had nowhere to go once he breached the magical seal. Alerted to his attempt to escape, House Kundarak responded swiftly and viciously, sending a full guard patrol and putting two more on stand-by. The dwarf guards attempted to take him into custody, but the eladrin wasn’t going without a fight. The Wall of Fire kept the dwarves at bay, but failed to stop the slaughterstone eviscerator.

Bound and gagged after being knocked unconscious, the Kundarak wardens enacted a ritual to turn Aurann from flesh to stone, and sequestered him in the Stone Ward.

Meanwhile, exploring the world outside his own cell for the first time in years, Rizzenil wwas confronted by the horrors of Khyber for the second time in as many weeks. A terrifying half-drow/half-spider creature that seemed to command two other huge spiders came dangerously close to the entrance to the Deep Ward, only to be turned away by the slaughterstone eviscerator on patrol. Rizz nearly made a clean escape, but the spider’s tremorsense made hiding a moot point. With effective use of his improvised weapon, the former prisoner managed to do enough damage to make the spider rethink his intentions of making Rizzenil into a quick meal.

Though he took a face full of poison, Rizz managed to shake off the lingering effects and elude the spiders before making good his escape.

Episode 3: Red Harvest
In which a temporary freedom is gained at great cost.

It had been a mistake to let the drow out, that was clear now. Filgrim warned the night guards, but Filgrim said a lot of things and not all of them were true. Now three guards were dead, three more were wounded, and prisoners were damaged. None of this looked good on an official report.

Dammit! Damn that thrice-cursed drow to his bones and let the daelkyr take him!

...Breathe. Just breathe.

The injuries could be covered up. The prisoners were attacked by aberrations from Khyber. Things happen. Accidents can’t be helped.

And it’s about high time that bastard drow had a very lethal accident. Now all we have to do is find him.

Episode 2: Animal Farm
In which lines of battle are drawn and enemies are revealed.

Two years.

24 months.

104 weeks.

730 days behind bars. Trapped. Unlawfully incarcerated. Kept against their will.

Call it whatever you want, but the time in captivity passes slower than any other. The Lord Warden has been fair, if not lenient or understanding, and the crew has managed to pass the last two years relatively unmolested. Still with no real idea of how long they’re to be held, the team is rapidly coming to the conclusion that the only way they’re going to get out is if they liberate themselves.

But the heroes have not been idle while in Dreadhold. Armus’ reputation as a bodyguard of House Deneith has preceded him, and the infamous Brelish General Kolas Verdgrin has presented him with an offer of employment. Aurann has been poring over the library’s (limited) historical texts, trying to learn as much as he can about the world in which he is still a relative stranger. Gareth has been “friendly” with a great many inmates (and guards, too), but now he wants to investigate the attack on General Verdgrin’s life, hoping to be recruited into the organization that wanted the General dead. Kallen has been spending his time aggravating both guards and the other inmates.

As for the others…

Episode 1: All The King's Men
In which no good deed goes unpunished.

The convicts had managed to board the lightning rail train bound for Wroat after their escape in Sharn, and the group knew they had to move fast to avoid a drawn out chase. They had to take them now, before they split up and scattered, and before they started taking hostages. While Armus, Gareth, Kallen and Aurann stood on the main deck, roaring through the skies above Sharn in the airship Red Leaf, Captain Jessaria d’Lyrandar had a steady hand in an altogether unsteady situation.

A prisoner retrieval was not outside their capabilities, and the group had certainly been in worse situations before, despite none of them coming easily to mind. Forcing the train to stop was technically feasible, but it would alert the prisoners. So, boarding a moving lightning rail from a House Lyrandar airship while trying to match speed and staying undetected? Certainly not the craziest idea that Gareth had ever come up with, but without other options, Armus was forced to agree it was the only way to take the escaped prisoners by surprise.

Lashing himself into the makeshift harness was one thing, actually lowering himself over the side and launching himself at the roof of the lightning rail car below was quite another. Dammit, why did these things always involve heights?

Kallen and Aurann quickly followed suit and as Gareth landed and quickly released the harness, the Red Leaf soared skyward and away from the rocketing train. Now all they had to do was get inside, find the prisoners, avoid hurting any civilians, recapture the convicts and save the day. What could possibly go wrong? Armus cursed quietly under his breath. What did this have to do with saving Shae Joridal? Why did that Eladrin have to make things so bloody complicated all the time? Armus knew that Aurann’s only desire was to help the world, but they couldn’t save everyone, could they?


At the end of a long path stands a massive fortress shrouded in shadow. This shadow has the effect of a permanent Mordenkainen’s private sanctum; people within can see out, but even darkvision cannot penetrate it. This effect also makes it difficult to scry into Dreadhold.
Dreadhold only has one gate. A few barred windows and narrow slits break the smooth surface of the upper towers. People who pass through the front gate must walk down a hallway to the inner gate, where three elite and six regular guards keep the area under constant observation. A permanent antimagic field covers the central 20 feet of the hallway. This field serves to reveal the presence of invisible intruders or disrupt magical disguises, resulting in immediate action on the part of the guards.
The interior of Dreadhold is as desolate as the island itself. It is built using the smooth dark stone of the cliffs, and the design is grim and functional. The only decorations are the seals of House Kundarak and the (now defunct) Kingdom of Galifar. The upper levels are illuminated by everbright lanterns, but there are no lights beneath the surface. The guards rely on darkvision, and the prisoners in the deep cells are left in the darkness.
All of the walls, floors, ceilings, and doors of Dreadhold are strengthened by the effects of the manifest zone (see below). In most cases, the doors are simply strong wood, and an arcane seal enhances those of any consequence. Truly important doors, such as those in the Deep Ward and those separating the prison wards are instead made of adamantine.
Exterior Stone Walls: 3 ft. thick; hp 1,000; Climb DC 25; Break DC 50.
Interior Stone Walls and Gate: 1 ft. thick; hp x; Climb DC 25; Break DC 43.
Strong Wood Doors: 2 in. thick; hp 40; Open Lock Level 30 Skill Challenge (if locked); Break Strength Check DC 22 (due to arcane seal).
Adamantine Doors: 2 in. thick; hp 100; Open Lock Level 30 Skill Challenge (if locked); Break Strength Check DC 32 (due to arcane seal).


Dreadhold is divided into a number of wards for the incarceration of prisoners with differing security levels and social status.

The Red Ward: As the primary prison complex, this is where most prisoners are held. The Red Ward is designed to hold up to three hundred prisoners, and currently averages two hundred. Prisoners are kept two to a cell. They spend most of their time there but are usually brought out in 4-hour shifts for work duty and recreation. Work typically involves small groups, chained together, mining below Dreadhold, from where Khyber dragonshards are erratically produced. Depending on their talents, prisoners might perform other forms of menial or even skilled labor. A workshop in the ward allows trusted prisoners to practice their trades. Any large work detail is accompanied by a wand guard, an elite guard, two guards, a scout, and a slaughterstone eviscerator.

The Golden Ward: The Golden ward is designed for the comfort of its inmates. This is the usual destination for exiled nobles or powerful people imprisoned for political reasons as opposed to criminal actions. It is designed to hold eighty prisoners, and currently holds forty-three. Cells are designed for single occupancy and include well-appointed furnishings, such as feather beds, finished tables, and comfortable chairs. Trusted prisoners are allowed to spend up to 12 hours per day out of their cells, and can take advantage of a library, luxurious bath house, and other assorted recreational facilities. Security, however, remains tight. Dwarf guards and slaughterstone eviscerators patrols the ward. Disruptions are dealt with swiftly, and troublesome prisoners might lose their privileges or be reassigned to another ward.

The Stone Ward: Some prisoners are too dangerous to allow any sort of freedom—yet for some reason, execution is not an option. These prisoners are kept in the Stone Ward. Flesh to stone transforms the malefactor into a statue, after which he is taken to one of the seventeen vaults of the ward.

In addition to criminals, there are a few people who have voluntarily chosen to become inmates of the Stone Ward. Some are afflicted with strange curses that cannot be cured in the present age. Others merely want to outlive certain problems. Most notably, a number of people went into “stone sleep” during the Last War, with orders that they be resuscitated once the conflict came to an end (the warden is still deciding whether or not it has ended or merely taken a pause). While this could be done anywhere, by engaging the services of Kundarak a client knows her body is safe during her “sleep”. A petrified character receives all of the benefits the manifest zone provides to stone objects; the effects of the zone do not block stone to flesh.

Currently, one hundred and seventy-five prisoners and thirty-two voluntary sleepers reside in the Stone Ward. A single slaughterstone eviscerator patrols the area, along with a minimal force of guards.

The Deep Ward: The most dangerous convicts in Dreadhold are held in the cells that lie beneath the prison. There is only one path to this lower level: a shaft that extends 100 feet into the earth. Its smooth walls are coated with grease, but a levitating metal cage allows travelers to move between the two levels. The controls for the cage reside in the observation post at the top of the shaft, and the magewright on duty does not allow the cage to return to the surface if there are any signs of trouble in the lower staging area.

No light sources exist in the Deep Ward, and inhabitants without darkvision are forced to wander blindly. There are one hundred cells, and prisoners are generally held one to a cell. Over the centuries, a number of the cells have been imbued with magic to counter abilities prisoners might possess. Spellcasters might be bound in heavy hand manacles and placed in silent cells, chambers bathed in magical silence. Creatures with dangerous innate magical abilities can be incarcerated in one of the dead cells, which lie within the radius of an antimagic field. There are only six dead cells, and currently no artificers or wizards in House Kundarak can reproduce this effect. These special cells are reserved for magical beings that cannot be bound any other way.

There is no recreation or work for those in the Deep Ward. They remain in their cells for the duration of their sentences. Food and water are passed into the chambers through narrow passages with two locked doors so the prisoner never has direct access to the outside. Even if an inmate does escape from his cell, a number of physical doors and walls of force divide the halls.

Currently, forty living prisoners reside in the Deep Ward. There are also six petrified prisoners—people too dangerous to be trusted even to the Stone Ward.

Episode 0: Rabbit, Run
In which a hard-won freedom is finally earned and an important discovery is made.


The deva had been in the dark so long that even he had forgotten what sunlight felt like. A being of unearthly beauty, now in squalor and filth, dressed in rotting rags and forgotten even by time. There in the darkness of the same cell that he had occupied for centuries, his immortality was now his curse, for it bound him to a cell in the depths of the Deep Ward of Dreadhold.

He had felt the tinge of something growing in his mind—more a potential than an actual idea, but it was there just the same. And when the guard shuffled by to roust the Deep Ward prisoners and serve them their daily portion of what could barely be called gruel, the deva decided that he would bear this imprisonment no longer. He would act. He did not know his name or his supposed crime for which he was here, or even when he would die. But the will to act was enough.

The deva phased through the wall and broke the guard’s neck faster than even he thought possbile—no, he realized, it was at the speed of thought. No sooner had he imagined it than his body made it real. A feat that he had long since thought impossible, he now stood on the other side of the prison door.

He was free. He was still inside Dreadhold. Still hundreds of feet below massive rock and magical wards and arcane seals and walls of force and guards… But here he stood, outside the four walls that had bound him for more than four centuries. It was enough.

He wasted no time, and the instant he saw the shaft of light from one end of the tunnel, he broke into a run in the opposite direction. The drive to escape was so primal, he could almost feel it roar in his veins. He ran for what felt like miles, until his blood turned to battery acid and his legs burned and still he ran.

Finally the tunnel opened into a huge chamber and the space nearly staggered him. The deva had been cramped up in a ten-foot square box for so long that it was almost overwhelming. He started to make a break for the other side of the chamber, but he froze as he realized was not alone.

The hook horror was vicious and merciless… and easy to trick. It was blind and went towards sound. Any sound. But eventually, the beast tracked the deva’s footsteps in the echoing chamber and attacked.

In less time than it takes to tell, the fight was over, but at a terrible cost. The deva was bloody and scratched, torn from head to toe—but he survived. The hook horror lay dead at his feet, and he had dispatched it with his bare hands. But the fight had cost him too much, for now he was staggered and out of breath, and had no chance when the guard patrol came upon him.

Attracted by the noise, the patrol, led by Filgamn ir’Kundarak, block captain of the Deep Ward, rushed to finish off any aberration that wandered too closely to the entrance to the prison. Seeing the deva beaten and bloody was as much of a shock as seeing him out of his cell—no one working at Dreadhold had ever seen the deva move in more than a hundred years! Even with their slave labor force in tow, the guard patrol overwhelmed the deva, and Filgamn made sure that the escaped deva was thrown back in a cell.

The official report filed later that day would acknowledge the cuts and abrasion suffered by the guard patrol assigned to Deep Ward as the result of a rock slide. No mention of the unnamed deva prisoner was recorded, and the infirmary healer was advised to agree with the official version if he wanted to continue breathing.

Welcome to the Eberron Adventure Log!
A blog for the 4e Eberron campaign

The Story So Far…

The world of Eberron is a dark place. Though the heroes remember their adventures to the astral plane fighting Vlaakith CLVII the githyanki Lich Queen, they do so only as one remembers a fond dream or a distant memory. Their actions to save Eberron resulted in a radical reformation, and their subsequent traveling through the timestream, back to prevent the cataclysm that would consume the entirety of the material plane was a success—though contained as it was to the physical location of what was once Cyre. Ultimately responsible for the Day of Mourning and the horrible transformation of the Mournland, the heroes know that without their efforts, the results would have been much, much worse.

Now they have been reborn in time, able to avoid the fate that made them pawns of the mad Nymmbrixion, and perhaps now they will be able to stop the destruction of their world once more.



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