Wednesday 27 November 2013

WB1, Session 2: Steps into the North

Session 2: "Steps into the North"
Friday 27th, February 1001 AC

And so the party was at the inn, discussing what they had learned recently. After some time, Danik decided to go and report for duty at the militia barracks and Serrin went into the streets to see if he could find more information regarding Njall Thrinnsson, the wanted son of the old Governor. Meanwhile, Urist, having learned about the delay in the arrival of the dwarven caravan from Cold Heart Mines, decided to pray for their safe travels and asked Grom to participate.

At the barracks, Danik found Knight Banneret Mandred Kriburg, apparently acting as the commander of the place. Mandred seem to welcome any aid the mage and his companions could bring and soon set the mage onto the task to investigate the Cold Heart Mines caravan that should have arrived a couple days ago. Danik then agreed to come back with his companions to sign some official papers and went back to the inn, having learned that:
  • The militia in the village is lacking men to patrol the region properly. 
  • Ott LongReach is apparently conducting some research. 
  • A "warden" reported that the Spring caravan from the Cold Heart Mines should have arrived three days ago. 
  • Hrodik, a freeholder on the way to Cold Heart Mines, hasn't come into town for some time and his son is worried. 
  • The assignment to find what happened to the Cold Heart Mines caravan is 10 gold up front and up to 50 gold once the task is done. 

Meanwhile, Serrin walked the streets around the Inn and the Marketplace for some time, inquiring about Njall. After various encounters with commoners, he learned that:
  • A lot of people don't really support either the new or the old governor. Most want to just live their lives in safety and peace and don't care much who receives the taxes they pay. 
  • Njall Thrinnsson has not taken any known actions against Ott Longreach yet. Some people knew him to be a proud man, hoping to be named governor after his father, and believe that this is why Ott Longreach branded him a rebel and now offers a reward to whoever brings him back. 

At the Inn, Grom decided to have a little chat with two wood elves who were having a drink. They talked but the two elves were bodyguards off-duty and after a while, they asked to be left alone to enjoy their evening. Grom learned that:
  • Reyyani and Intevar are two wood elves bodyguards of Dondeth Lonndil, a high elf. They all hail from the Wendar League, a vast elven confederation to the West. 
  • Dondeth Lonndil is here to seek trade opportunities and apparently they'll be staying in the region for some time. 
  • While they had vaguely heard about the Stone Paw Orc tribe, they believe them to be far North in the Mengul Mountains and haven't seen them. 
  • They haven't seen any "volcano" nor any "rock god" that spits. 

Soon after, Danik rejoined Grom and Urist and shared what he had learned. Urist, hearing that his brothers might be in dire trouble, immediately grabbed his gear and went into the street, decided to reach the mines as soon as possible. His companions tried to calm him down so that they would have time to prepare for the journey ahead but Urist could not be reasoned with and went out of Pflenzen, and onto the eastern trail.

With evening coming soon, Grom and Danik decided to find Serrin before doing anything else. After some time, the three of them were discussing what had happened. It was soon decided that such journey should not be taken lightly and that they should buy provisions then get a good night rest, hoping that Urist would stay safe meanwhile. Serrin and Grom also took the time to see Knight Mandred to get their official papers and the up-front gold while Danik tried to arrange some deal for their last companion. Mandred could not provide anything official for now but agreed to do his best once the party returned if they were successful.

Here is the map Mandred provided:

Meanwhile, Urist pushed himself as hard as he could, his mind and body bent on walking at a fast pace toward the mines.

Early morning on the next day, Danik, Grom and Serrin, freshly rested, set out at a fast pace on the eastern trail, looking for signs of Urist. It wasn't until mid afternoon that they saw it, a body lying face down on the lightly snowed trail: Urist! The poor dwarf had passed out of exhaustion.

The party decided to rest alongside the trail for the night, keeping Urist warm by the fire. Early evening, the dwarf finally woke up but his body would still be in shock for a day or so. He sat and rested by the fire while the others scolded him on the dangers of running off alone in this region.

Next morning, the companions resumed their march east then north as they reached the fork in the eastern trail. By mid-day, they reached a freehold that belonged to Hrodik, the man Danik was asked to check on. He was a pig farmer and decided to remain in the safety of his home after hearing some goblin horns blasted further north.

After a long day, the party finally spent another the night in the hills along the trail, with still no sign of the caravan. Dark clouds were gathering to the west and the night was chilly, though uneventful. During the next few days however, they would notice signs of a lone wolf, apparently following them somewhat though keeping his distance and staying quite elusive.

On morning, the sun was just a dim light in the sky and it had snowed a little. Under dark clouds, the companions kept pushing North, hoping to reach the mines on this day.

A couple hours later, Grom noticed part of a wooden frame slightly sticking out of the recent snow along the trail and soon they discovered other wood fragments, clearly from a cart. They could not see any tracks to follow however.

While investigating, a brief opening in the clouds allowed a sun ray to pass and Danik noticed something to the side of the road, near a small wood patch. There, the party found a dwarf, lying in the snow, horribly mutilated and dead for at least a day. Urist, raging, gave the dwarf his last rite. After a short time, the party learned that:

  • (Urist) The dwarf had died from a stab in the back, hitting the spine. Most likely some kind of arrow. 
  • The potion that Danik noticed half buried in the snow was labelled "Healing Oil" in Dwarven. The poor dwarf didn't have time to drink it apparently. 

Suddenly, Kiled flew past Danik and Serrin senses buzzed. He barely had the time to say something when three goblins walked out of the wood right in front of the party. Apart from Serrin, both sides were completely surprised but soon, battle erupted!

The fight was brutal and the three goblins were easily dispatched but about 30' past them, sitting near a small campfire, were another three of them! Serrin, noticing that one was reaching for a small horn, tried to kill it but missed. Danik made his sling sing while Urist enacted Radiant vengeance on his enemies. Grom charged the goblin with the horn but could not kill it before a short blast and then suddenly, with all goblins dead and the party mostly unscathed, the forest was silent...

The party stayed for some time on the battlefield, checking the corpses and that might provide information about the caravan, but to no avail. Serrin secured the goblin fangs while Urist searched the bodies:
  • 12 goblin fangs were secured. 
  • Urist found 1 gold and 12 silvers on the bodies and a dwarven the fireplace. 
  • The party noticed that the goblins did not have any travelling supplies, any bags and the like. 

Finally, the party returned onto the road and resumed their march North, Serrin keeping low a bit ahead of the party. By mid-day, atop a hill, they finally saw it: The Cold Heart Mines, about 2 miles ahead of them!

As the group regrouped and breathed in the most welcomed sight of the mines, Danik noticed two wolves far to their east. Grom soon realized what they were: Goblin worg riders! Almost at the same time, the riders seem to see the party and one of them immediately blew into a horn, giving a low "Hooooooo", echoing in the hills.

As Urist immediately decided to charge ahead, despite the distance, more horns were blasted in the woods to their east and more riders arrived. Seeing dozens upon dozens of small goblins rushing toward them in the distance, Grom and Danik tried to stop the dwarf from going to certain death but Urist did not want to hear it. Finally, seeing that there dwarf could not be reasoned with, Grom jumped onto his back, restrained him then dumped him over his shoulder and started running with Danik and Serrin toward the mines!

Having recovered his mind, Urist was finally let down and as soon as he hit the ground, started running faster than everyone. With the riders hot on their tail, the party kept pushing forward, hoping to cover as much ground as possible before getting caught up.

Serrin had a slow start but soon, it was Grom who fell behind with the riders catching up fast. Finally, Urist reached the outer house of the mine and as he turned to check on his companions, he saw the four worg riders almost on-top of Grom and further in the distance, a sea of raging goblins rushing toward them!

Dun dun dun!...

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