The 21st Mace of Summer’s Rising
- Having returned from their ride triumphant, the heroes of the resistance went their separate ways once reaching the headquarters, seeing to various tasks. Orden and Farius decided to make their way back up to the city above, where Izkrael was to be waiting. They found the ranger in the steeple of the fallen Church of Illyra. His mood was somber as he explained what happened. He and his men were attacked by gnolls while entering the Steppes of Ivoria. They were on their trek through the Valley of the Bahukbala (river) when they struck. The gnolls came out of the night, ravenous and mad with bloodlust. Though Iz and his men finally defeated the beasts, it didn’t come without heavy lost. The resistance lost ten brave fighters that day, and twice that many innocent lives were taken. Orden comforted his old friend, as he and Farius inquired more about the gnolls.
- Iz dragged his injured party for miles through the valley before finally arriving at the meeting-place, where Qupodo awaited. The tribal warrior reported the the gnolls seem to have risen across the steppes, as various (human) tribes had reported attacks from the hyena-like creatures. The Matemala elders believed there to be a connection between the gnolls and the savage horde, though the horde had yet to advance into the steppes. Still, it seemed likely that a connection between the savages had been made.
- Meanwhile, Edra prepared messages and riders to be sent out this night. Four riders would be dispatched, carrying two messages. Should they encounter colonists, the message spoke of Edra the lost heir, daughter to Ferron calling a meeting. If they encountered barbarians, it would be Edra daughter of Flukka who had called them. Either way, she summoned all those who would attend to the Rock of the Ancients, which was an old barbarian sacred site. They would meet at high-noon on the Day of Longest Light, the summer solstice, nine days away.
Edra also prepared to make her speech to the resistance about her origin, her identity as Ferron’s child, and as the lost heir to the kingdoms. When everyone had assembled in the common room, they stood shoulder to shoulder, packed in and awaiting the announcement. Edra and the officers of the resistance stood on cots looking on the brave faces of their two-hundred warriors.
- Edra spoke proudly, honestly, and with nobility, as she explained who she was. She explained the misunderstandings of Ferron’s intentions, Orden swore her words to be true “by Daetheleor”. Heir or not, she promised her sword, and indeed her life, to defeating the Gold Goblin. Even more, once she slew her nemesis, she also swore to reclaim the throne and unite the kingdoms once more! The room erupted in excitement, and as people quieted, those present began to kneel, taking knees and swearing allegiance to her, “their queen”.
The 22nd – 30th Sword of Summer’s Rising
- Over the next eight days, our heroes would train and prepare in a number of ways.
- Orden would help to train Edra in using her newfound Sunblade which they had looted from the Lost City of Gamor. He would also aid Hess in modifying Bronn’s dwarven longhammer to be even more effective. Besides these ways, Orden kept busy in the forge, making fair quality weapons, though more mass produced, for the soldiers of the resistance.
- Hess would seek out a mount. In the stables the gunslinger found Flashfire, a sleek charcoal grey light war horse with a fiery spirit and a blackened mane; indeed the steed appeared scorched from his own speed. For most of his time Galleon worked in the forge with Orden and his apprentice. Most notably Hess upgraded Bronn’s weapon, using the help of his allies, modifying the weapon to a thing of absolute beauty and destruction. Indeed, Hess had produced his most masterful work, the likes of which could not be bested without the aid of magic and metallurgy of creating Ringsteel.
- Farius had been alchemically testing several specimens the investigator had gathered on their travels so far. From the mushrooms looted from Dur’bag’s lair, he found them to be incredibly nutritious. If the mushrooms were dried out, they would loose half their size, and three-quarters of their weight. By simply adding water, they would plumpen-up and become edible again. They would provide perfect sustenance for a whole day, and got a total of eight servings from the specimens they had. More importantly, from the centipede’s blood the investigator worked wonders, somehow extracting the creatures mythic essence. (Mythic Surge Potion: Gain 1d6 temporary mythic points to be used with the mythic surge ability. [immediate action; add 1d6 to any check after the check has been made]). Farius also gathered information from the various NPC’s around the headquarters, taking particular interest in Thadeus and his explaining of “Words of Power”, and ancient form of spell-casting based solely on speaking the Old Tongue.
- Edra would spend her time training with her new Sunblade. At first the weapon was awkward to wield at first, its size being that of a bastard sword, but its weight being like a short sword. Orden was able to give pointers and after days of study was able to wield it as effectively as she had her longsword.
- Colya took most of her time in quiet contemplation. When Edra wasn’t training, Colya was often by her side; the archanist thought her interactions with resistance forces in these first days to be crucial, and she wanted to make sure nothing got out of hand. He continued to obsess over the fate of Archmage Eyzenore, all-powerful and all-wise.
- Bronn spent most of his time with his new acolyte of Calune, Nevara. She was a bright-eyed colonist who found truth and solace in the Calune’s wisdom. The dwarf spent time making an open-air sanctuary in the city above, where he and any followers could worship their goddess in view of her aegis. The temple was very simple, and intended to be overlooked if any horde-folk wandered through, but it’s location was perfect and it served admirably. Bronn spent the majority of his time dedicated to learning the language of the barbarians, and by the end of the tenday would gain enough control over the language to participate.
- On the sixth down-day, the heroes had an unexpected visitor arrive in the night. As Hess and Orden worked at the forge, the back-door to their base suddenly busted open, a crew of motley looking folks poured in. Orden immediately recognized one of them as Trade-Prince Nysm, the man who’s hidden-base the group had converted into a disaster shelter. The Trade-Prince was clearly peaved, yelling questions, asking who they hell they were, why they were here, and what they had done to his beautiful baths. Meanwhile Nysm held a resistance guard in front of him with a blade to his throat. Even though Nysm recognized Orden, the intensity of the situation still had to be diffused. Farius and Colya burst in the room in their night wear, and after a back-and-forth with the swarthy thief-prince, he put down his blade and released the guard.
- From there Nysm took the conversation to the war room, which used to be an opulent sitting room. Once again he was angered by how they had “destroyed” his space, but he was very pleased when he peeked in the vault to see that the stores had actually grown since last he was here. Bronn returned from his night patrol and Edra from setting bear traps in the woods, so they too came to join the conversation.
- Bronn, tired from the night’s duty nearly forgot to question these new men, a fact Farius quickly reminded him of. The dwarf took to questioning the men about Burgermiester, and one of the men’s eyes flashed with recognition of the name. Bronn didn’t miss the tell, and stormed across the room, grabbed the man by his collar, and screamed for any information about Burgermeister. Others tried to diffuse the situation, but Bronn pressed. The man revealed himself to be “Bray Buckler”. Farius recognized the name from a wanted poster he had seen… “Wild Bray” Buckler had been wanted for murder, rape, and theft, before being imprisoned at Shutter-Creek Penitentiary. In fear for his health, he explained that he met Burgermeister in prison, and “escaped” with him, though by that it was clear that they chose to serve the horde rather than die. He claimed to have escaped when the group was attacked by barbarians.
- Bronn took Wild Bray in for further questioning, gathering any and all information he could on the whereabouts of his man. Bronn could expect to find the slaver in a division of goblins assigned to the encampment surrounding Hope’s Return.
- Bronn was ready to go then and there, and it took a conversation with Farius to convince him to stay with the group. Edra’s mission, the summoning of any final survivors in the area, and turning them to the resistance’s cause was more important now. Farius swore to help Bronn as soon as their mission on the solstice was complete.
The 1st Sword of Summer’s Descent
*At midnight Bronn and Nevara held a ritual under Calune’s Full Guard, they had about a dozen resistance members in attendance including Edra. Bronn had a spiritual experience, feeling the moonlight wash over him and give him a sense of peace and relief he hasn’t felt since his daughter’s kidnapping.
- The next morning the party rode out early, wanting to arrive well before the intended meeting time to scope out the area. Their trip went smoothly, and they stepped foot onto The Rock of the Ancients with an hour to spare before Vehana reached her highest point in the sky. Edra and Colya stood in reverence of the place, for countless centuries barbarians had held meetings here. The rest of the group took to surveying the area and found it to be clear of any horde presence. They settled upon the rock and waited.
- Just as their shadows disappeared, a thundering sound came in the distance. Through the trees the group saw barbarian riders, one hundred strong. The rode into the glen and dismounted. Foremost came a woman, she spoke firm, proud, and clear. She introduced herself first as Zisk the Sixth, great-skald of the natives. Second, she introduced Jarl Ingmar the Blackskull, son of Ulferik son of Gorn, hero of the Battle of The Breach, Giant-slayer, bander of clans, breaker of lines, and enemy of the Gold Goblin. Though she delivered his accolades and titles well, a few in the party noticed a hint of something in her voice, perhaps sarcasm; as if she didn’t think much of this one who calls himself the Blackskull.
- Hess also recognized one of the barbarian riders as Konah son of Grima. Grima was the barbarian woman who saved Hess from exposure, and brought him to Flukka for her skilled healing. She also had helped the people of her tribe accept Hess as one of their own. Sadly she had died in the uprising, but Konah had clearly survived, and made his way into Blackskull’s clan. He signaled to the boy, and got a nod in response, but now was the time for negotiations.
- And so the officers fought the Blackskull, words as their weapons. Ingmar was stubborn, strong, and intimidating; clearly practiced at tribal disputes. Despite his advantages the Blackskull found many of the arguments hard to counter, and shook hands with Edra in the end, though he clearly stated he would not be staying in their “stinking city cave”. They would be on reserve, in effect.
- Just as the negotiations finished, a rider from the resistance appeared. He carried a dire message. Beliden had been lost, maybe slain, maybe captured. His last known whereabouts put him outside of Lassley, a day’s ride to the east. Meanwhile, Bronn had already begun preparing his horse for the ride west toward Hope’s Return, and thus the party decided to split up. Bronn, Hess, and Farius would ride west for Burgermiester and the goblin division he is attached to. Orden, Edra, and Colya would ride east down the Siger river to Lassley in hopes that they can save their friend before it’s too late!
|The Trade-Prince’s Arrival||8||4,800||1||4,800|
|A Tenday’s Work||4,800||4,800|
|Roleplay at The Rock||10||9,600||1||9,600|
|Subtotal||24,000 / 6|