Campaign of the Month: October 2007

Beldorn's Reflection

PROLOG
Beginning a new campaign
The dust whipped across the dusty field, making pennants and flags making audible snaps as they whip about. The chill breeze from the ocean, a direct contrast to the shimmering desert heat that radiated from the ground. On an elevated rock, a group of humans, Saurigs and dwarves all well tanned by the desert sun looked down on the prisoners. In front of the rock, arrayed in straight lines and holding spears are additional Saurigs and humans who also glance across the field to the prisoners. The prisoners were a dirty, dusty lot, many with wounds, some coughing and others who needed to be held up by their comrades. Most were wearing their Mercenary Company colors, perhaps the only thing clean on them, with pride. There were also who were of the Vemany military and many were in fear.
One of the humans stood up, resplendent in his turban and light chain spoke to the prisoners. To the side of him was another human dressed in the heavy desert garb of his people. He spoke in a loud resounding voice, “You, whom have led badly by the now deceased King Assuary, fought bravely in a bad situation and for that, I will grant you your lives. However, you all will be put on ships and banished from these lands forever. If you are found in these lands again you will be put to death. For those whom fought with their King, I will grant you amnesty and the ability to be part of our army again provided you swear fealty to this council. If you wish to proclaim your allegiance to your former King, then you will be killed, your family killed, and all existence of your miserable lives will be expunged.” Some of the prisoners translated the words to those who did not understand the tongue but all understood the tenor of the message.
There was a moment of silence, and then one shouted out, “Assuay was the rightful king. You and your kind are vultures, which shall be like carrion and destroy what is left of our kingdom.” The man stepped forth and spit on the dust. The man in the turban motioned and two of the Saurigs moved forward, their tails making a trail in the desert floor, their lizard like bodies moving sinuously to the defiant man. They grabbed the man and dragged him to the turbaned man.
The turbaned man just looked at the defiant man before him and smiled. He put his hands on the man’s’ face as if centering the head before speaking to him. The struggling man screamed, and there was a cracking sound, the man’s head exploded in a spray of blood and brains as it was crushed between the turbaned man hands. The turbaned man, covered in blood and brains quietly ripped the dead man’s shirt and wiped his face slowly clean and his hands. The silence seemed to go on forever. Finally the Turban man turned away and walked back to the rock.
He spoke again after mounting the rock, “These ships will take you away to various lands. May you fair well in other places. If you come back you will be dead.” With that he turned away and left the rock. The Saurigs and others pushed you to the ships. The native troops who decided to return to the army were led away. There were no others.

The rain was falling lightly about the grounds. The day was grey and dour.

The crowd stood with their heads bowed as the body of Emmanuel the second was pulled by carriage behind a group of six Clydesdale horses. The Household cavalry of the order of the Lion was resplendent in their plate and barded horses followed in double ranks, followed by the elite infantry in their dress blues.

The Queen Wanda dressed in completely in black sat in the royal throne with her handkerchief in her hand. It was rumored that she had wanted the king brought back, but the king’s final wish was that his death be permanent as he was some 80 years of age and in great pain from the ravages of time and his penchant for fighting as a youth.

The queens’ retinue stood at attention behind her. Many in the crowd noted that one of the retinue was the ambassador from the Dallian Confederacy Ivo Gunduli was standing next to the Queen whispering words to her instead of standing at attention.

The smoke was curling from the Ritaris house. The tribesmen were in a ribald mood and there had been much horseplay among the younger barbarians. The winter had been long and brutal, there were invasions by the creatures of the wild lands on the east coast and savagely put down but at a loss greater than many of the leaders wanted to acknowledge.

Ritari(king) Egil Stenmark awaited the word of the Oracle Astrid. The wizened old hag would show up and make her proclamations by gutting a sheep and performing writing for a period of time with the blood of said sheep. Egil was getting sleepy but was willing to perform his kingly duties on a couple of young wenches when a wind came up opening the doors and putting out the torches. The noise went to only the sound of the wind blowing.

He could make an outline of somebody advancing into the great house. It was Astrid. She was said to be old when Egil was still nursing at his mothers breast. She had the look of being emaciated but moved with a lithe grace. The smell from her was overpowering from at least feet away. Her hair was matted and her teeth rotted but her eyes shined brightly. “Ritari Egil, I have a vision. The Lion of Hebrean has fallen and the wolves surround the carcass, this I have seen. There can be much feasting upon the lands of Hebrean. “

Ritari Egil stood up at the news and shouted out. “Men, we have a reading from Astrid. We have a place to go and raid. Call out the chieftains, its time we make war again.”
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Welcome to Quego

Aria 15, 16 501 4th age

The ship slide quietly into port bearing the group who are members of the Falcon Raiders as well as other mercs from other companies who were also kicked out of Vemany. The group checked through the port authority and met with the moneychangers before heading along the port. They were told to report back to the port authority in a couple of hours as Helio Porto might have a job for them.

The group ended up at the Dancing Beggar Tavern where they ended up in a skirmish with members of a different merc company, the Red Crusaders. Darrius Dragovic and the elvish rogue with them made the fight go from a basic bar brawl to something more deadly. One of the companions, a priest of WOGNAR namedCarlo Renzo ended up healing the opposing members to keep the carnage down. The group prevailed in the fight.

The group went back to Helio who introduced them to two gentlemen from the village of Aruedas who had a problem that needed to be solved. Every twenty years, a series of murders would occur within this community. It was to be twenty years in several days. The group did accept the position and left with the two gentlemen. The two gentlemen provided the group with information about the history that led up the the current situation.

As the group passed through the town of Nosinos, the group was told that bandits had been seen in the area. The group prepared and when the attack came they were ready. In a drawn out fight, the group caused the bandits to retreat and although several of the group were down, it was decided that the group would press on and finish the bandits. Healing was done quickly and the group tracked the surviving bandits, where another brutal fight took place, with several of the group going down before the lone survivor surrendered.

The group took the prisoners back, most of the bandits were still alive but down for the count to where the local authorities took control of the prisoners and paid the group the bounty that was due. The group went on to Aruedas.

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Red Mist of Aruedas

Aria 16-19 501 4th Age

The group reached the village of Aruedas where they noticed that many of the folks there had similar facial features and were met by mostly silence. The first thing that was upbeat was the greeting from the priest of Sorte Miguel. The group was taken to the great meeting house where they started a discussion of what had gone by in the past. They were introduced to Lenice, who turned out to be the wife of Fernando,one of the gentlemen that had hired the group. Lenice was a striking beauty and out of place in this provincial town.

The group went out to Anna’s place. They were told of the story that Anna was the cause of the 20 year annual killing spree and searched about the house. Kethaliael suffered some problems with not being able to find and disable traps and was was incapacitated for the night. The group found a small doll in the image of Lord Ribero and took it back to the authority house.

The group split into three groups to patrol the edges of the village as a start. The creature showed up and attacked both Carlo Renzo and Miguel. The others scrambled to try to save the two priests. In the end the creature with its life draining ability nearly did in some of the heroes before dissipating as it attempted to fly out. the group suspected Lenice of knowing more and when confronted spilled the information. The creature was hidden under the temple that was being cleaned and getting back into use.

The group went over to the temple and began to speak with Miguel. Lenice tossed her cat at Carlo and attempted to cast a spell. Miguel attacked the group which suprised the group a little. Kethaliel earlier had been charmed to assist Lenice which one of the group had dispelled.

Lenice had confided earlier that she was a descendent of Annas and that the descentants had kept the creature alive to renew the vow to kill people.

Lenice was killed although she was pregnant and the child was Fernando’s. The group got their money and left the village.

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backstory
The blue green water splashed over the hull of the Veristani ship, drenching the crew. The crew shivered under the cold but continued their rowing. They were fired up with hopes of looting the people that they were to invade but this weather was working against them.
Egil, drenched with water and having his beard showing signs of salt decided to call on his shaman Olaf to calm down the seas about his fleet. He decided that he should have done it before but wanted to test the mettle of his men and women. However the seas were being extremely nasty.
Olaf, with his long hair waving in the high winds, braced himself and began the chant. Eventually the spell took effect and the seas were much calmer but the winds were still brisk. Egil smiled. This would be a good raid.

Emeric looked down the hill. The enemy had made three charges up the hill and had failed. The wizards on both sides had apparently exhausted their allotment of spells so it was just now just the butchers bill of hand to hand combat. He looked at the remanents of his unit. He mentally counted how few would be receiving their pay for this yet worthless skirmish. He yelled encouragement to his men and women as the next wave came up the hill. Arrows rained down on his position as Emeric drew his sword
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women

Aria 19-30 501 4th age

the group left Aruedas and spent the night at Castelo Araujo where they were attacked by a cockatrice. The group survived the attack and when near the village of Nosinos, they met a young woman with torn white clothing and a knife. Her name was Angie and she had escaped from Nosinos where her father had arranged a marriage to a merchant named Miguel whom she despised. She had refused and her father had hit her. She asked to be taken with the group to wherever they were going. The group debated for awhile and took a vote. The vote was 4-2 for taking the girl with them.

As they were passing around Nosinos, they encountered the jilted merchant whom tried to bribe them and then threaten them but eventually backed off. The group made it to QUEGO where the girl was taken in at the Albert to work as a laundry maid. The group went down to the docks to meet with Helio Porto to find new jobs, there were several offers but the group decided to go to Hebrean to help ward off potential invaders. the ship would leave in four days, while meeting with Helio they met some folks from two other merc companies, the White Company and Caines Raiders. The group headed out to see if they could sell off their goods which they captured from the bandits and increased their funds.

While waiting at the Albert, an attractive woman sat with the group. Her name was Vera Gimenez and she wanted protection from her husband who was drunk. She tossed money to the group and the group agreed. Kethaliael spotted somebody acting suspiciously who had left so the group decided to go to another tavern, the Tres Brujas(three witches) a watering hole for locales.

Apparently the husband found out and wandered into the tavern. A fight ensued with most of the group going down unconcious before the husband, a priest of SMERC. The group wanted to loot the priest but the lady said no and the group agreed

After resting up the group made their way to the Gallant Griffin the ship they were taking. They found that the mercs that they had met were also going along. The trip was uneventful, the captain told the group that their commander was in the Dallian Confederacy organizing things

The group made it to the north coast of Hebrean where they met one of the subcommanders from their mercenary company a man named Erich who assigned the group to the far eastern area. the group left.

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A retreat
two comrades die

Swit 1-7 501 4th age

The group was set down along the coastline some 40 miles from Miri Noche and some 10 miles from one of the large defense towers along the Rista River. The temperature was hot and humid. The group had a a small two level tower to live in and a beach that had three levels to it. Erich, their temporary leader gave them some instructions, mostly not to die as they were not getting paid well for this job and if things went bad, regroup at a place called the lost tower.

In addition to the group, a member of the White Company, Edu Appledoon was with the group. Edu made friends with the group and pitched in digging choke points for the exits from the beach. The work was tiring and hot. If the person wasn’t working they were in the ocean trying to keep cool as the temperatures went well above 100 degrees while they were there.

Finally, a sail appeared. As the group observed, they noticed that there was a second ship being towed by the long ship. The second ship detached from the larger one and made directly for the shores while the larger ship would make a later landing. The group engaged in arrow fight with the second ship, the group also noticed that the crew of the second ship were not Veristani in nature but mercs from the Red Crusaders.

The ramps came down as the ship grounded itself to the shore, and coming down the ramps were Kobolds. The group fought but were almost overwhelmed by the Kobolds. In the meantime, KELTAIN got separated from the group and went after the human invaders. He was overrun by the humans as the main group scrambled and beat the kobolds, and the Red Crusaders and saw that things were turning bad. Wolfram Trogar noticed that Keltain was down and went to save him and two to buy time for the group to take the smaller boat and get away. Wolfram presented a challenge to the band attacking him but failed completely in taking out any of the invaders but the group got away.

They sailed to the west and re-landed some 15 miles to the west where they made their way to the lost tower. There they found about a dozen dead mercs, all killed by something. The group searched around the tower. Eventually they found that a ooze like creature that was responsible for the deaths. After dispatching the creature, other survivors showed up and the group recognized the two of them as folks they met at sea. Their story was similar to what happened to the group. It was decided to head to Taba to warn the folks there. They reached there after nightfall and found the gates closed to them but the guards said that the invaders were at the river.

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death comes in twos

Swit 8,9 501 4th age

The group awoke outside of the city of Taba, watching troops move out to engage the enemy. The group waited patiently for the troops to leave before entering the city. As they entered the city they noticed that it was set in concentric circles with the lower class and temples being in the outer ring. The group noticed a speech was going on near the temple of HELME which was across the way from the temple of SMERC. The priestess of Helme was telling the populace not to resist the invaders. Carlo Renzo although he doesn’t speak Hebrean, got the translation from another of the group and began to yell back at the priestess. He persisted until the guards for the priestess came forth to silence him. A scuffle ensued. As the fight was going on, the group noted a priest, wearing a gold mask from the temple of Smerc smiling at the goings on.

The group eventually seperated from the guards and went to find something to eat. They found it at the Silver Fish and ate a hearty breakfast while discussing their options. They finally decided to head to the front to see if they could find Erich.

They left Taba and was on their way when they spied a group of veristani warriors running through a wooded area. They decided to attack the group. They also spotted a dwarf warrior and a half orc on the other side also attacking. The group got trashed by the warriors except for Khalid ibn Farouq and the half orc named Ugnak.

When the rest of the group woke up they were tied up. A priestess of Wognar offered each a choice. Their equipment and money were taken away. She said option one as to join the Veristani in their fight against the Hebreans, second option was to walk away and not join the fight anymore. The second time they would fight against her, their lives would be forfeit. The group chose to walk, with the dwarf deciding that he would remain only if he would get his ancestorial weapons back. His name was Yoshei.

grumbling the group nearly wandered into a retreating unit of the Hebrean army and followed it back to a base camp. There they met again with Erich and were given replacement weapons and armor. They got to know Ugnak. Erich then sent the group off to harass the Veristani supply lines. After traveling for awhile, khalid and Kethaliel who were scouting ahead spotted a group of Saurigs(Lizardfolk) which were unusual for the area. They were in a encampement and were led by two of the Red Crusaders(mercenary group).

An attack plan was formulated and excecuted. Although successful, Khalid and Kethaliel went down under the ravening teeth of the Saurigs.

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UGNUT goes down

Swit 10,11 501 4th age

the group buried their dead and spent the night resting. The next morning while moving out they spied a group of three barbarians escorting a single warrior. They proceeded to rescue him and found that he was a Firenzian named Forge. He had been with another scouting party which was ambushed and he was captured. He was also part of the Falcon Raiders merc group which was stationed in another part of the coast.

They ran into a supply convoy and ambushed it and were successful in defeating the guards. They took the wagons back to the base camp of the army. They spotted the Home Guard Cavalry at the base, resplendent in their plate and armored horses. Their commander,Javier Penalosa, according to rumor had disobeyed the orders of Gilberto Avalos, the prefect of the province and came forward. He was in arguement with the ruler of Taba, Pio. Pio wanted the cavalry to protect the outside edges of the city while Javier wanted to swing north and attack the staging area of the longships.

The group stayed away from the argument and met with Erich whom suggested that they continue their guerrilla war against the back lines. The group went out and found a group led by the lady cleric whom had stripped them of their goods before. Ugnut’s friend, a dwarf named Yoshei had joined with her the last time to keep his swords and was there also.

The group ambushed the group and was successful except for the loss of Ugnut. Yoshei turned on the clerics group when he saw Ugnut go down.

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Pedro and Miguel

Swit 11, 12 501 4th age

Both Pedro and Miguel were awoken by a loud sound at their prison door. Both were in a sound sleep dreaming of being home eating good food and being back with their wives and children. They had been captured by the Veristani and were being ransomed back to their families. While the two of them were not in the lap of luxury in their prison, they were much better off then some of the others that were there. They tried not to mingle too much with the others.

After awakening, they heard a voice yelling at them to get out and tossed two swords their way on the ground. Since neither of them used a large sword, they decided to stay put. They watched the stranger and a second stranger carrying the great swords and drop them off after opening the doors. Many of the men were still very sleepy and not sure what was going on. From their vantage point, Pedro and Miguel watched the other prisoners begin to move out. They could see that some of the men had no idea of how to swing such a weapon while others were sizing up the weapon.

A flash of fire frightened the two men and both were horrified to see several of the men burnt to a crisp. They decided to move back further into their dorm. It was fortunate as a second blast killed others and singed those who came barging in to “rescue” them. They looked at each other and peered through the holes in the structure. All they could see was lots of their captors in brutal hand to hand combat with the intruders. They saw the sorcerer get killed as well as his body guard by a dwarf. The fight seemed to go on forever and a horn was blown in the distance and the two men looked at each other and both said at the same time, now what?

They watched the small group drag away the sorcerer and his body guard and peered outside. They saw death all over the place. The two of them spoke to each other and began to argue about whether or not they should flee or go back to their cell. The arguement stemmed from the the fact that neither of them knew whether or not their ransoms had been paid. They heard the horns blowing and that the small group had left. There were not many of the guards left and the Red Crusaders were pretty worthless, the entire group had drunk and whored last night and none of them came out of their tents.

The two of them decided to leave but would wander by the sorcerers tent before leaving to see if they could find some money, perhaps more than their ransom which would be good. They scurried around and noted that horns blew again and could see cavalry in the distance. They looked at each other and decided that they needed to get away without looking at the tent.

As they ran away towards the river, two cavalry men came from behind and since it was still dark, they mistook the two for soldiers and rode them down.

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Prisoners, yah we got em.

Swit 13,14 501 4th age

When the group returned to the base, rumors that the Queen had been kidnapped were rampant all around the base camp. Morale was mixed. Queen Wanda’s standing had been challenged by many, including the Naval Commander Dolores Marquez. Wandas’ bodyguard and the Ambassador to the Dallian Confederacy had also been killed but had been raised and recounted the event. Ivo Gunduli, the Ambassador stated that the queen had been kidnapped by masked men with Firenzian accents. (Firenz Nobility wear masks)

The group found their commander Erich near the command tent. There was a loud exchange from the command tent. Erich explained that Pio, the ruler of Taba was in “discussion” with Javier about his unauthorized mission to the loading docks of the Veristani. Javier had disobeyed orders about protecting the city and had conducted the raid.

Erich spoke to the group about rumors that Egil the invading chieftain, was satisfied with his victories thus far and wanted to pull out. The rumors also included a shaman named Astrid wanted the campaign to continue to make his mark as a great leader.

Erich ordered the group to find prisoners and bring them back for interrogation. The group complied and found a man and a woman whom were having a romantic liaison. The group guarding the amorous couple were not very good and soon they were prisoners.

After dropping off their prisoners the group went out again on the same mission. They ran into a trio,Two of them being cavaliers and the other a wizard of some sort. The sorcerer was captured.

The torches glare barely cut through the darkness of the chamber. Seven men dressed in blue and gold robes sat around a circular table which has a symbol of a sword through a gold coin. The man, older than most of the others with a black goatee with flecks of white in it stood up and spoke.
“Thank you for your report Anton. Gentlemen, our plans for fomenting war in both the Dallian Confederacy and in Hebrean are succeeding well. We anticipate adding considerable wealth from this”
He sat down and the seven men raised gold cups and toasted to their success.

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