Wednesday, May 24, 2017


The Heroes:

Ecna Lubma; Dwarf priest grudgebearer
Gruntbelly: Dwarf magician sorcerer
Kane: Human warrior fighter
Mathias: Jotun jotun juggernaut

The group spends a week in Crossings, which is still in high alert due to the rumblings of orc warbands causing trouble with settlements along the Shield Mountains.  The Browncloaks train militia in the streets and extra guards are stationed at the gates, keeping watch for trouble.  Security at the gates are increased and a general feeling of unease is heavy in town.  The heroes spend their down time going through the treasure chest taken from Guccione’s chambers and find a number of strange enchanted items along with a wealth of treasure.  No longer struggling to earn a living, the heroes find themselves able to purchase better equipment, keeping an ear open for any news that may lead them to their next quest.

Towards the end of the week, while enjoying drinks at the Honored Dead Shrine and Brewery, the heroes are approached by an ogre known to both Mathias and the proprietor of the brewery, Stohk Ironbrow.  The ogre, named Rech, had given the joten his armor and weaponry in exchange for a favor, which he was now calling to claim.  The ogre explains that his employer, Grundren the Ironmonger, a well-known and powerful dwarf businessman in Crossings and other towns across the Northern Reach, has a job for them.  He explains that Grundren has a mine in the Black Hills to the southwest of Crossings that they have lost contact with and that has stopped shipping ore.  This is causing problems for Grundren, who has many factories needing the ore to produce the materials they manufacture.  The dwarf has sent one group already to investigate and they have not been heard from, so there may be trouble.  He needs the heroes to go investigate, find out why the mine has stopped production, resolve any issues and get the mine operation again.  Mathias, bound by his promise, agrees to take the job and his companions agree as well. 

The heroes spend the rest of the day preparing for their journey.  Mathias and Ecna take the crazed Lara to Mercy Hill asylum to be cared for while they are gone, and to hopefully get cured of her mania.  Dr Feldman agrees to treat her.  Ecna notices that the asylum is strangely calmer than the last time they were here and when they ask an orderly, he tells them that Dr Feldman has been using a new treatment with the patients that has been doing wonders.  Suspicious of what may be going on, but short on time, Ecna and Mathias leave the matter to ponder for another time and return to the manor to finish their preparations and to rest for the journey in the morning.

Early the following day, the heroes head to the Tankards district and go to the pier that Rech told them to go to for their ride across the Dark Waters, provided by Grundren.  They find a steam boat waiting for them and their guide; a well-groomed, well-dressed dwarf named Bruk, who works for Grundren.  Bruk seems nice enough, but a bit of a control freak and his undwarf-like grooming and  cleanliness leave Gruntbelly and Ecna wondering if he is truly a dwarf at all.  The group meet the captain of the boat, Feara, who shows them their cabins and tells them they will be underway shortly.  Bruk supervises the placement of several crates into the hold of the ship, which Mathias notices later inclues two boxes of explosives and crates with mining supplies.  When Bruk is asked later, he says that the mine was expected to increase production due to a big order that Grundren had receive and so he is taking these supplies to save the time and expense of a second trip.  Bruk seems to be very concerned with budgets and time lines. 

The boat gets underway and for a couple of hours the ride is smooth and a bit dull.  The heroes divvy out their enchanted items, one of which is a strange humanoid doll that seems to radiate a feeling of menace.  For some reason, Mathias is drawn to the doll and takes it.  Then the boat is rocked by an impact and when the heroes go topside to see what is happening, they find the ship is under attack by some manner of lake creature with flailing tentacles that takes one of the ship’s crew overboard.  The heroes spring into action, fighting the tentacles with weapons and spells.  Eventually, they damage it enough that it lets the boat go and sinks back into the lake.  The captain takes the boat to a nearby island to repair damage and Bruk berates her for the delay.  She, in turn, blames the attack on the fact that Bruk insisted they take a direct route, through monster-infested waters, to save time against her better judgment. 

After repairs are made, the ship continues on its journey and by nightfall they reach a dock at the edge of the Old Wood.  The druid guide hired by Bruk, Fiona, awaits the group along with her animal companion, a great cat named Mr. Purrbody, and a cart drawn by two horses and manned by two dwarves.  The heroes are reluctant to go into the Old Wood at night, so against Bruk’s desire, they sleep on the shore and are led into the Old Wood at dawn by Fiona.  The first two days of travel are uneventful other than Mathias talking to his weird doll, who he starts calling “Annabelle”, and the group learns a little about Fiona, who seems to have fey in her bloodline, but is human; raised in the woods and has had her great cat companion since she was a child.  She worships the Old Faith, the Horned King in particular and discussed the matter at length with Kane, as she knew of his father and had worked with him before, suggesting she was older than she looked.  At night, Fiona would keep watch while the group slept, and at times they would hear sounds in the woods as though there were some kind of tussle, but Fiona never called for them and would come again for them in the morning to renew their journey.  On the final day, the trek takes a dark turn as Fiona sees signs of trouble, goes to investigate, and a beastmen warg warband attacks!  The heroes take on the group of wargs that confront them and the battle is brutal and bloody.  Mathias takes out Annabelle to unnerve the wargs, Ecna and Gruntbelly use their magic and axes to fend off the slavering wargs and Kane fires on them using his bow.  The group manage to kill or drive off all of the wargs and are rejoined by Fiona, who says the should make haste from this area to avoid further trouble with the beastmen.  A while later, the group break through the Old Wood and see the Black Hills before them.  Bruk secures Fiona’s services for their return trip and she departs leaving the group to begin their trek across the hills to the mine camp.

End of session.


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