The Bilge Rat braces to battle a leviathan of the sea.
Following the defeat of the terrible black pudding, the crew of the Bilge Rat hastily worked to repair their damaged vessel. A storm was fast approaching.
Birdbelly, stoic as ever, steered the galley into the storm. As the gale hit, all on board knew their preparation to have been warranted, as the ship was rocked by massive waves, heavy winds, and blinding sheets of rain. Yet unknown to them, their greatest enemy lay bellow.
From the vast indigo depths rose a titan of the sea. Had Old Bonesy still been alive, he would have finally had his vindication, as the Lorash of the North proved its undeniable existence in terrifying fashion. The great creature grappled the with the Bilge Rat, its massive tentacles tearing through sails and ropes, splintering masts with ease. Arms with suction cups the size of shields grabbed at the crew, ripping men from the rigging and deck. Some were simply crushed by the constricting limbs, others were thrashed about, their bodies becoming like small clubs, the Lorash their wielder.
Izkrael and Beliden too grappled with the mighty leviathan, both being thrown into the cold sea with ease. Even Orden Ulfgar in his heavy plate mail was knocked overboard.
Rising from the surf, his focus singular, Izkrael drew his flaming bow and let fire an arrow. The shot would be one of legend, as it threaded between the beasts waving tentacles like a needle and blasted through its scaley exterior. Surely the Lorash had never known such pain!
On the deck of the ship, Nysm proved his nickname true, as he dodged about the Lorash’s swinging arms and began to cut free a life-boat for the armored paladin and elven archer. Just as he cut the boat free, a tentacle smashed into his back, sending him flying overboard into the sea, the prince lost in the great storm.
Beliden climbed his way up the side of the Bilge Rat, using his daggers as pitons.
Izkrael and Orden Ulfgar climbed aboard the life-boat and watched on as the rogue disappeared through a window into the captains quarters. Seconds passed, and the ship continued its course, pulling away from the stranded row-boat.
Diving from the window, his pockets filled with loot, Bel once again fell into the North Sea. With coordinated efforts, Beliden climbed aboard the dingy. The Bilge Rat, Birdbelly at her helm disappeared into the storm, the Lorash of the North never relenting its attack against against the maritime trespasser.
After being alerted of the orc attack, Merchant Prince Nysm lead the group to a tower to see the assault for themselves. The hillsides surrounding Ferron’s Reach burned with a thousand flames, as all living things and their possessions burned beneath the fury of the orcish tide.
Hurrying to the guild’s armory, Nysm offered each party member a magical item. To Beliden he gifted a perfect thieves tool, a scabbard that would turn itself and any blade within it invisible to onlookers. To Orden Ulfgar he gave a pair of leather boots. Though simple in appearance, the footwear would grant uncanny speed and jumping abilities to any who should don them. Finally, to Izkrael he offered the horn of a great huntsman. “Sound it’s call, and grant your allies the knowledge of the hunter”, he’d said.
Coming into the streets, the party faced a team of orcish swordsmen, goblin archers, and a crafty goblin warcaster, all of whom were bent on murder. Save for the wizard who’d fled in flight, all were slain beneath the vengeance of the adventurers, who’s bravery saved many a townfolk in the skirmish.
Again the party’s courage saved lives, as they defeated a group of orcs and ogres who’d taken to chopping down the masts of docked ships.
Looking back on the city, now in flames, they recognized the futility of their resistance, and fled to the’Bilge Rat’, galleon of the thieves guild. With them, many helpless civilians boarded the boat.
Finally free of the city, and after much deliberation, the party and crew decided to travel north toward World’s Edge through a storm that looked to be brewing on the horizon. On the way, they would hug the coast and learn the fate of the coastal city of Northview.
Old Bonsey, weathered crewman of the ‘Bilge Rat’ warned of “The Great Lorash of the North”, a massive sea monster that could crush a ship with it’s grasp, and who was often spotted in gales. Much to Bonsey’s chagrin, none of his crew-mates shared the sentiment.
Reaching a narrow strait, the ship suddenly came under siege. At first, only rocks flew their way, until a giant amorphous ooze hit the deck of the galleon, launched by a massive catapult manned by Hill Giants. Acid ate away at the ship, eventually falling through the top deck into the belly below. Finally our adventurers won the day, but not without loosing Bonesy and several other crewmen in the battle against the black blob.
All that’s left of a barbarian village, sacked by orcs.
Continuing on their hunt for orcs, Izkrael tracked through the day, but soon noticed the signs of a massive storm approaching. His years in these parts told him to hunker down, and thus the party found a shallow cave in which to wait out the storm.
In the morning, two figures approached the campsite and hailed our adventurers. The two introduced themselves as Cietel and Garld, a human and a dwarf on a mission to take down the thieves guild of which Bel is a ranking member.
Though Orden appealed with the dwarf, showing him his badge of honor representing the dwarven god, Garld pressed on with his questioning. With the aid of magic, Cietel was able to discern the paladin’s half-truths.
The Inquisitor’s gave an ultimatum, one which out party was unwilling to accomidate. Battle ensued and the human and dwarf fell.
Looting their bodies revealed a Holy Symbol of the North Church, a force of opposition against the thieves guild.
Continuing onward, our adventurers reached a barbarian settlement which lay in waste. Amongst the rubble, two massive vultures attacked the party.
Slaying the giant avians, the party found weapons of human make among the barbarian corpses. Suspicions grew of the orcs attempt to pit the humans and barbarians against eachother.
Pressing though the night in a forced march, our adventurers made Ferron’s Reach and quickly moved to the thieves guild to relay what they had learned.
“I seen their eyes, whatever they were ain’t no men” -Rynang Brawnbelt
Having dispatched the bandits on the south-side of town, the adventurers made their way into Tinser Point and to the inn, where they encountered a troupe of displaced dwarves, workers of Thunderlode Mine.
Orden struck up conversation with Laud and Rynang Brawnbelt cousins who worked in the mine, and victims of the underground assault. Rynang revealed an arrow that had been drawn from his side after the attack, one that was clearly of barbarian make. The dwarves also described the attack, that their assailants doused the torches of the mine, and seemed to focus their attacks on dwarves first, then humans.
When asked if anyone saw the attackers, the dwarves mentioned Ruun Horissy, a drunkard human, and pointed to his table across the room, on which he’d unceremoniously passed-out.
Taking lead of the investigation, Orden roughly woke the drunken human and drilled him with questions. Ruun seemed certain that what he’d seen weren’t humans. He described their eyes, similar to humans, but ravenous and terrifying.
Milana and Izkrael turned down the room and board offered to the travelers, and instead chose to sleep several minutes outside of town.
Retiring to his smithy, Orden worked through the night, while Bel snuck around town to see if he could glean any more pertinent information. The rogue overheard a conversation between locals, saying, " Farmer Jansen’s seen barbarians traveling across his fields, carrying supplies as if they were migrating." Jansen suspected that they were either moving to war, or away from it.
The next morning the four met up, and took off toward the mine. After several hours, Izkrael noticed a strange bird that had been following them. The bird was strange indeed for it then turned into a human, a savage female.
The woman, who called herself Aemu, seemed to be warning the travelers to flee over the mountains. She then led Milana and Izkrael to a grove not far from the road, in which stood an ancient stone carved with hieroglyphs. The images seemed to portray humanoids in their every day life, until another group of humanoids showed up and drove them beyond the mountains, much as Aemu seemed to be warning the party. The barbarian then shifted back into the form of a bird and flew away.
The party carried on to the mine, and after a struggle with the lift, they got down to the second floor of the mine.
Remnants of weapon and armor racks were found, clearly gone-through. Small bugs skittered about, and eventually led the party to a massive Cave Ravager picking at corpses strewn about the room. Though the ravager fought hard, the heroes persevered, and defeated the insect-beast.
Battle worn paladin Orden Ulfgar offers his help in this, also wishing to return to Tinser Point and his forge, where he might continue to craft weapons to help the locals.
Hired to help the rogue and paladin on their trip to the mine, Izkrael the ranger and Milana the horse-master are asked to play guide to the unlikely duo. They are given 500gp up front, and are promised another 500 for seeing the rogue through the mine, and back to Ferron’s Reach.
The four adventurers meet and head off through the hills toward Tinser Point.
After a half-day’s ride, our adventurers encounter two barbarian horsemen watching them from a distance. Their apparent reverence for Milana and her massive horse Arias’Tama keeps the savages at a distance, and the adventurers move on without conflict.
At the end of the second day, and nearing their destination, the group spots several men along the road south of Tinser Point.
Orden approaches and casts Detect Evil. Sensing their evil nature, the paladin draws his weapon and tells the men to step aside.
The highwaymen attack but are quickly dispatched by the battle tested adventurers.