In 3637 AR, Karamoss, the “Machine Mage”, assaulted Absalom, constructing a huge metal citadel in a single night. The citadel rose from the rocky ground like a red metallic growth. Within hours, hordes of hobgoblins emerged from the citadel and laid siege to the city. The city repulsed the attack for three weeks, but then the gates of the Red Redoubt of Karamoss opened to disgorge legions of metal warriors equipped with deadly weapons and guided by malign intelligence.
The city was saved when its druidic order, Druids of the Shaded, repulsed the metal men with powerful magic. For two years the city was under siege until a final counterattack brought Absalom’s army to the walls of Red Redoubt. In the slaughter that followed, the upper floors of the citadel were destroyed along thousands of his automatons, but the mysterious wizard-artificer was never found.
15 Neth, 4715.
The Heroes of the Everflame had spent the last few weeks recovering from their dramatic encounters during a rather hectic month of Lamashan. Ug the Invincible was approached by two new lodgers inside West House Five of the Grand Lodge of Absalom. Kyra the Cleric and Merisiel the Rogue approached to speak with him. Kyra had not seen Ug since his journey to the Crypt of the Everflame just one year earlier when she helped him over part of his trek.
Kyra revealed that she was to undergo her own confirmation into the Pathfinder Society and needed help in order to proceed. The Heroes agreed to accompany Kyra into the infamous dungeon of Kortos – the Red Redoubt of Karamoss the Machine Mage. Kyra had received orders to complete a Pathfinder obstacle course through the upper level of the Red Redoubt and the party set off to help her.
After traveling north from the city, the adventurers reached the entrance to the obstacle course. They discovered bloody graffiti on the walls of the ruins of the surface level of the Red Redoubt. Their research had revealed that a gang called the “Blood-Red Raiders” had claimed some of the ruins above the dungeon as their own. It was then that they were surprised by an half-orc brawler that leaped from the bushes to ambush the elven ranger Morgolar.
The half-orc known only as “the Orphan”, the strong-arm lieutenant of the Blood-Red Raiders gang, attacked the Pathfinders to protect his territory. After a fierce battle that saw the brawler testing the mettle of the entire group, the Orphan was laid low in a pool of his own blood – a Blood-Red Raider to the end.
Kyra opened the hatch portal to the upper levels and led the Heroes down the rope ladder to the rooms below. Kyra had instructions to avoid any area marked off-limits by the triangle symbol placed their by the Pathfinders. She led the party through the empty tunnels for quite some time before they came to an intersection marked with a giant white chalk mark in the middle of the corridor.
Ylderic the Arcanist decided to ignore the off-limits sign marking the eastern corridor and walked face first into a Pathfinder trap when two wicker walls smashed him flat in the hallway and stained him from head to toe in pink dye. Luna, the Cleric of Erastil, took a moment to try to clean the dye from Ylderic but the stain remained much to the delight of some of the party members. From here on out, they decided it would be best for their pride if they remained on the path as directed.
Kyra led the group around the bend and down through another section of endless corridors when they spotted a dead body just around the corner ahead. Loki and Ele approached with caution to find the body of an half-orc that had run face first into one of the Pathfinder traps – a padded mallet suspended from the ceiling on a tripwire. The impact apparently took the half-orc off his feet but his body and chest had been cut and slashed savagely by “something”.
The party decided to continue on, leaving the gang member laying in his blood. They trekked up the hall until they came into a great open room that was splashed with blood. Three bodies decorated the floor of the room, with a strange metal statue standing motionless over them. As the party entered the room,. they were surprised to see the statue spring to life as two more moving metal statues like it came running from the corridor to the north.
The Heroes settled in for a tough battle as their weapons began bouncing off the tough metal encasing the constructs. The elven ranger watched helpless as his arrows splintered on the construct’s armor. Ylderic tried his luck with a lightning bolt and discovered that the constructs seemed vulnerable to electricity. Armed with this knowledge, Eletheo the Magus powered his blade with shocking grasp.
Just then, the walls began buzzing like a hive of bees when a spinning blade rolled out of the wall and across the floor of the room striking Ylderic, Morgolar and Merlinchen as they tried in vain to get out of its way. They were struck by the blade and then shocked by a powerful electrical field covering the blade.
The Heroes eventually managed to beat the constructs down and get to the safety of the hallway – leaving the rolling blades of death behind. They room contained the marker and note declaring the end of the obstacle course – but the prize amulet was missing. They decided to follow a trail of bloody footprints up the northern hall into areas of the dungeon that seemed long untraveled until just recently.
They followed the trail until it ran dry. Continuing on, they discovered a vast metal chamber containing multiple constructs in varying states of disrepair. This room seemed untouched in the millennia that had passed since the fall of the Machine Mage. Loki spotted someone hiding at the bottom of the steps. As he approached, he heard a voice inside his head asking “Who are you? Why are you following us?”
Loki answered the voice out loud by declaring that they were Pathfinders and would not hurt them. The couple revealed themselves to be Meleren, the Peace-Keeper of the Blood-Red Raiders, and Shechera, the War-Chief of the Blood-Red Raiders. They fled the attack by the constructs in the lower chambers and ran here to hide.
As the party spoke with the two surviving gang members, the doors to the next chamber slid open and four flaming armored hobgoblin skeletons rushed out to attack the assembled group. The two clerics, Luna and Kyra, stepped forward with a barrage of channel energy and reduced the undead to ashes.
The Pathfinders continued into the next chamber to find a strange row of buttons with lights, crystals and levers. As the party searched the room, they heard a loud grinding noise, like metal, banging and clanging outside. They tried to open the door to return to the corridor to the upper levels but it would not open.
The Heroes discovered a magical floating image of the rooms they were in – accompanied by a magical message:
They continued searching through the rooms when they discovered a small room inside the column at the northern end of the chamber. Loki volunteered to enter the room alone and the doors closed on him. He felt the sensation of movement as though the tiny room were traveling when it stopped and a warning blared out in goblin, “Warning. Negligible Atmosphere detected. Press the open button twice to proceed.”
Loki elected not to proceed and was returned to the chamber where the rest of the party waited. Luna, the aasimar, stated she was not concerned about the lack of air and volunteered to enter the connected room alone. She entered the moving room and was taken to another smaller room above. Magical windows showed images of the party waiting in the chamber below – as well as several other rooms that the party had already passed through.
She discovered another armored hobgoblin skeleton seated on a strange throne in front of the magic windows. She decided to move the lever that was clutched tightly by the dead hobgoblin’s grip – and the room was filled with air once more. Luna grabbed the hobgoblin and carried his body into the moving room and returned to the party below.
As Luna shared her discovery, the party was surprised by a strange ooze that seeped out of the doors of the moving room and began attacking the party with electrical shocks. The rogue capacitor ooze had been living near the depressurized chambers above and was awakened when Luna reactivated the atmospheric controls. The Heroes struggled with the ooze because it unleashed powerful shocks every time they struck it with a weapon. Eventually, a combination of spells and ranged attacks dissipated the ooze to a harmless puddle.
The adventurers returned to trying to figure out the puzzle of how to exit this section of the lower dungeons and turned their attention back to the magical images of the dungeon. Meleren and Ele hypothesized that they could manipulate the magic image with one of the special gauntlets from the armor of the Redoubt hobgoblins. Ele used one of the gauntlets to move the image and they were rewarded with the sound of grinding metal and gears once more. They tested the exit door once more to find that it opened as they approached, revealing a set of powerful constructs waiting for them on the other side.
Meleren, the Peace-Keeper, offered to help Loki if he trusted him. Loki took his hand and was pulled into the mental collective with Meleren and Shecheren. Loki was able to see through the eyes of his comrades and was able to perceive his own movements from the outside, giving him an advantage in combat. The warriors worked together to batter the constructs but not before Ug was affected by a wave of supernatural fear emanating from one of them.
Just as they were gaining the upper hand, Ug found himself under attack by an invisible opponent that had been hiding in the hallway back to the upper level. Their unseen assailant threw a series of powerful grenades at the barbarian. Eletheo and Ug were able to detect a shimmering image in the air when the hidden man attacked. He shouted out a warning that the heroes would be “crushed beneath the heel of the Technic League.” The man was wearing strange armor and wielded a strange glowing sword and a uniquely shaped wand in the other hand. Ele and Ug surrounded him, but he was able to disappear and slip away.
The Heroes of the Everflame helped Kyra recover the rewards from the obstacle course and returned to the Grand Lodge in Absalom. Kyra was received warmly and rewarded for completing her confirmation phase. Loki, Luna, Ylderic and Morgolar were rewarded for assisting Kyra and each was given his first ioun stone as a symbol of their advancement into the Pathfinder Society.