Friday 30 June 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 48


Then, before Lucien can ask a clarifying question, the door to the Tavern is shoved open and a veritable small army of Toragian’s march in. “Who here knows the fait of Adalgar and Brunhild?” demands their leader, a human Paladin named Moritz (see Session 22-23). 

Talmark whispers to Lucien "As you have The Mark open and visible, you being spokesman may incite them. Maybe I should just repeat what we told the others?"

“Well considered, Talmark. Unless they give unwarranted insult, I'll hold my tongue and observe,” responds Lucien. 

Talmark looks non-plussed and says "I know of their fate, but do not feel like talking about it at the moment, as your ill-mannered barging in has interrupted this man's story to which we are riveted. You may wait your turn."

He then turns to Sildar.

"Go on Sildar, continue. Tell us more about this dragon. Is he as horrible as they say? Why have the troglodytes split?"

Everyone in the bar turns back to Sildar and he continues his story. “The troglodytes are evil and chaotic. They are bestial, mostly only caring for the moment and their personal satisfaction…..”

“Hmpth” thinks Lucien to himself. Reflecting more on the ironic statement and the nature of the Irori religion he thinks “Personal satisfaction, all the Irorians care about it self-perfection, a form of personal satisfaction. So selfish and vain. To think that they’ve captured this mountain stronghold just to use it to train their minds and bodies in relative seclusion and that they haven’t bothered to gather the power that it gives them. Even the attempt to clear Bymbir is just a training exercise and not an exercise in increasing and maintaining their power. So wasteful. They are no real threat to us. In fact their Lawful Neutral nature will be of benefit to us as they are so tolerant of outsiders, as long the outsiders continue to obey the Irorian rules.”
“But these Torags, they are much more dangerous. They are so much more mission orientated. They crave the safety of their people and will aggressively conquer their perceived enemies to secure new lands for their people. Even when they explore, it is to achieve something. Whilst many of their followers are dwarves there are many humans too. This group however looks like it’s mostly from the old church.” 

Looking over the new arrivals in more detail and listening to their whispered conversation Lucien is able to establish their identities and role in their party. 

Moritz is a human paladin and clearly the group’s leader. 

Johannes is their spiritual leader, a dwarven cleric. 

Yannick appears to be their champion dwarven fighter. 

And they are followed by a small cohort of a dozen or so dwarven believers, some of which appear to be veterans and some which seem to have less experience. 

They are all well equipped. Better equipped than the Brothers of the Burg. Armed with warhammers, axes, swords, spears and crossbows, they represent quite a coordinated and well trained fighting force.” 

“At some stage,” Lucien reasons to himself, “we’ll have to deal with the Torags. Their Lawful Good nature makes them at direct odds to our own Asmodean beliefs and the two cannot exist together. They are only tolerating us and us them because of the local Irorian laws.”

Turning his attention back to the energetic Sildar he catches the rest of the story.

“Bymbir is said to be a massive, ferocious white dragon. Dwelling on the remote, frozen mountain top, he is rarely seen but is said to live in a cave full of glittering ice and snow. His cave is also home to his larder of frozen humanoids, who his followers continuously feed to him to keep his appetite satisfied.”

Turning to Talmark, Sildar directly answers his question, “No one knows why the troglodytes have split. All we do know is that the troglodytes at the Caves of Chaos have brought together an army of humanoids, such as orcs, bugbears, hobgoblins, goblins and gnolls, which we believe they are going to use to take over the mountains, including this Burg and the pass between the Menador Mountains which the Burg protects. They are the biggest threat to the Burg as the troglodytes in the mountains rarely venture out of them, save to occasionally raid for some food for Bymbir.” 


Thursday 29 June 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 47


As Sildar begins his story most of the patrons gather around. 

“When we left,” he begins, “there were 20 Brothers in Training, two Corporals and a Sergeant.”

Half closing his eyes Sildar remembers some of the details, “It was a cold morning and we were told to pack provisions for seven days. The sergeant, Knight Bannruod, told us that it would take us about three days to get to Bymbir’s lair, a day to clear it and three days to get back. But we never got there.”

“Bymbir’s lair, as it turns out, is almost due west of Burg Liechenstein, upon the top of one of the highest peaks in the Menador Mountains.”

The brothers story is interrupted by an “Ohhh” that emits from the crowd.

Un-phased he continues, “We trekked up the main northwest trade route towards Cettigne and then we turned off the path and started to head due west. We camped for the first night with no events or surprises. We were confident. 23 men armed with swords, spears, bows and crossbow and lead by three of the best Knight in the Burg. The next morning, when we awoke, we noticed an un-godly stench. As we travelled down an ever narrowing path we were attacked. Javelins were hurled at us from un-seen positions and then a giant lizard ran at us from some scrub. It bit down on one of the men hard and started to pull him away. We attacked and put down the beast with many bolts and spear thrusts but it was too late and Brother in Training Boell had been poisoned. It took a long time for him to die. We carried his body for days and he continued to just get worse until finally he was no more.”

Wiping his brow, Sildar looks around the room to see that everyone can still hear as he lowers his voice even further, “But he wasn’t the first nor the last to die. As we got closer to the mountain it started to get colder and we we’re attacked by all manner of creatures. After we lost Knight Bannruod and about a quarter of our number we turned around and started to come back. But the attacks kept coming. One afternoon we were attacked by troglodytes who threw vipers into our midst first and then followed up with an attack. But we beat them off and we captured one of them.”

Stamping his hand on the bar, Sildar emphasises the victory of capturing the troglodyte. He points back over his shoulder to the Inner Gate House, “We’re keeping him in the dungeon. Knight Valdemar, our Curate and holy leader, is interrogating him, using all types of magic to speak its foul language.”

Sildar scrunches up his nose as he remembers the foul stench of the troglodytes, but he continues his tale, “He has found out that there is a break away tribe of troglodytes and they have housed themselves in the Caves of Chaos. They are building their strength. There is some type of civil war and they are looking to enslave Bymbir and use him to take over the area.”

Lucien wishes to know everything possible about the dragon, but in Lucien's estimation, the Caves and the upcoming rescue should be the focus. He is open and willing to try and work a deal with the hobgoblins, and smiles inwardly at the potential for treachery. Asmodeus' himself committed the first act of treachery, killing his brother with a spear - making that the TRUE weapon of infernal worship in Lucien's eyes, not the heavy mace. Only he can hear his own inner maniacal laugh. 

Then, before Lucien can ask a clarifying question, the door to the Tavern is shoved open and a veritable small army of Toragian clerics and warriors march in. “Who here knows the fait of Adalgar and Brunhild?” they demand (see Session 22-23).