Unicorn Operations Pty Ltd

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 11
Old Kellar, The Dwarves & The Iron Keep

Making haste, the party heads for the city of Harken. No patrols other than that of the rebels are encountered along the way. On the outskirts they all stop and decide to send Graydon in by himself as he has a knack for staying out of sight. He agrees, but not eagerly.

Heading in alone seems to be pointless as the streets are empty of activity. No one stirs in the windows as the halfling makes his way through town.

Despite Dar Gremath‘s instruction on how to find Ol’ Kellar, Graydon gets lost. He finds himself at a temple, which he enters unseen to seek directions. Inside he finds a female priest or cleric, he is not sure, and reveals him presence to her. She starts on shock but is quickly says: “You should not be here. If they find you…”

Graydon assures her he means no harm and only seeks to find Old Keller. The woman directs him back down the road and left at the junction. “Quickly go, if they catch you it will be the end for me too.”

Thanking the lady, Graydon melds back into his surroundings and leaves hastily. Now quickly able to locate the house Graydon ensures it is the house he is looking for and returns to his companions. All attempting to move unseen through the town they make for Old Kellar’s.

Arriving without incident, they knock on the door.

“Who is it?” a distinct Dawrvish voice yells, “friends” reply the party. The door opens to reveal a dwarf bearing age lines as deep as crevices along his face. His eyes as white as snow. Old Kellar is blind and older than the keep sitting in Harken. “Get inside ya’ daft bastards. ’Afore they sees say.”

In his gruff manner, Kellar instructs the party, of a secret passageway within the keep that will lead directly to the living quarters on the top floor. The entrance for which is behind a tapestry in the dining hall. After much discussion on how to actually enter the keep the party decide on using their stolen cloaks to enter.

Old Kellar points out that of those in the employ of the Iron Circle there are no Dwarves or Halflings or Githzerai or Warforged. At a loss, the party are almost prepared to give up on that line of thought when Kellar offers some more information. A brewery regularly delivers supplies up to the keep. That itself is run by two brothers and one of their wives. Perhaps they will loan you barrels to hide in while the disguised female Tiefling drives the cart up?

Thinking this a good plan the party thank Kellar for his advice and stealthily make their way to the brewery. As the party draws near, yelling can be heard. Both a male and female voice join in arguing over something inconsequential. Most likely the tough times that have fallen upon them due to the occupation of Harkenwold.

One of the dwarves, supposedly the unmarried brother greets the party with a smile as they knock upon his door. He ushers them inside where the yelling is almost deafening. The couples voices die down when they realise they have company. Only the husband comes out as hate radiates after him. His wife’s gaze boring holes in the back of his head.

“Greetings” is all he offers up.

The party introduce themselves and their aim. Also letting be known that Old Kellar has suggested the group try the dwarves for aid. Which they are more than happy to offer if it means “they’ll be rid of the blasted circle.”

Having overheard the conversation, the female dwarf berates her husband as he walks past on his way to prepare the horse and cart. He threatens her, telling the woman to be quiet. The brother only smiles after the two. And explains that they actually love each other very much. Arguing is the only way they can show it.

Soon the horse and cart are ready. Lady Mondergreen donning her Iron Circle cloak. The other members of the party taking positions within the barrels to hide themselves. Wishing them good luck, the brewers send the party on their way. Sure enough, as soon as the party are down the road some, shouting erupts from the homestead once more.

From the brewery, the party trudges along the road down to the base of the hill that the keep sits upon. There the slow going takes the cart up towards the keeps main gate. There the cart is stopped. And Lady Mondergreen left to gain entrance to the keep by herself. As the rest of the party lay hidden in kegs in the cart…

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 10
Dar Gremath asks even more of the party.

Upon waking the next day the party are treated to a heroes breakfast. Though, they had not spent long eating until they are summoned by Dar Gremath. In the barn that serves as the makeshift command outpost is where the party find him. He is in what seems like grim discussions with several other rebel leaders. Upon seeing the heroes he brightens up and says:

“Ah! Our heroes have awakened! Your rest was well earned. Though I fear we must ask even more of you.”

He waits for this information to sink in before launching anew.

“Nazin, the dog, has retreated to Iron Keep with the rest of his army. We have many a man stationed around Harken itself to ensure he does not try and march on us again. Though I’m glad to say he does not have the man power enough to do so.”

Dar Gremath sighs.

“A siege, however, could leave him trussed up in there for a month or so. Long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Unless his supplies run out quicker than we anticipate.”

“What can we do?” asks Glaimes in his strange accent.

The rebel leader seems relieved as the party offers their help.

“We need to end it quick. The best way to do that is to find Redthorn, and end him.”

“Infiltrate the keep you mean?” asks Graydon.

“Yes” says Dar succinctly.

Puzzled by the proposition, Lady Mondergreen puts in “how are we supposed to do that? He has the rest of his army locked up in there. If we’re caught…”

She leaves her sentence open to allow everyone to draw their own conclusions.

“You are by far the most resourceful group of individuals I have ever met.” Dar says with an energetic rise in his voice. “I am certain that you will be able to pull this off.”

The party agrees a short time later to attempting to infiltrate the keep and then finding and killing Nazin Redthorn. Dar Gremath suggests they find an ancient dwarf that still resides in Harken. As this dwarf helped in the keep’s construction and may know a few secrets that could help the party with the infiltration. A dwarf by the name of ‘Old Keller’.

Before the sun has barely hit the midpoint of it’s journey, they party set out for Harken town.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 9
The lord and the devils.

The party, minus Graydon, are directed to one of the flanks by Dar Gremath. As a small contingent of Iron Circle troops attempts to make it’s way behind the rebel army. These are led by a woman with a metal whip which she uses with deadly effect. Though, the party quickly dispatch these troops.

At the same, Graydon is making his way back into town from his scouting mission. Hearing footsteps and the clanging of armour, he takes to the rooftops. Several Iron Circle soldiers have made it around the main force of the army, or secreted themselves within the town until the battle began, and are now covertly making their way towards the rebel headquarters. Having the advantage of the rooftop, Graydon notches an arrow to his bow and downs one of the soldiers. Not even realising they had lost a comrade, the soldiers keep moving. Another falls. This time it is noticed and the soldiers look for the source of the arrow.

Leaning over the edge of the roof, the halfling looses another shot. Downing a third. The remaining soldiers attempt to make their way up the side of the building to reach the halfling. Graydon removes his short sword and fights the first soldier to climb onto the roof. Blows are traded before Graydon takes advantage of an opening and kicks the soldier off the roof. He follows him down and lands on another soldier, knocking him down. He quickly ends him with a jab.

The last soldier, nearly on the roof, begins the climb back down. Graydon once again notches an arrow and takes aim. He looses the shaft and the soldier falls from the second floor with a thud.

The halfling continues on to meet up with his fellows.

The party regroup as another assault is launched. This time there are among the opposing force devils holding fiery black balls. They creatures resemble Tieflings in a manner but look more menacing. More fiendish. And they drip tar from their pores which they collect in their hands, light and hurl towards the party.

This battle is particularly bloody as the party are pushed to their limits. They finish the battle, exhausted.

Not much of a rest is had before a cry is heard. Looking down the road they see a large man riding a horse with several Iron Circle soldiers keeping pace.

He dismounts his horse and makes his way towards the group. Gish acts fast and jumps in the mans way. He strikes at the large man and misses. As the man dodges out of the way, he brings around his metallic whip and lashes Gish, who falls to the ground.

Flipping to his feet, Gish attempts to strike once again. The man skilfully dodges the blow and sweeps Gish off his feet again in a devastating blow. Lying on the floor, near death, Gish looks up at the man who is standing over him. The man chuckles.

“Is that the best you’ve got? Know that you now face Lord Nazin Redthorn. Lord of the Iron Circle armies. You face your doom.”

Redthorn steps over Gish towards the rest of the party as he swings his whip.

Graydon jumps up the closest tree pulling out his short bow in the process. Knocking an arrow, he starts picking off soldiers rushing the party’s position.

Lady Mondergreen and Glaimes move toward Redthorn while Gears hangs back and unleashes arcane missiles at oncoming soldiers.

Nazin Redthorn nearly kills the whole party. Yet, working together, they manage to wound him enough that he escapes and limps off. Mounting his horse, he yells back to the party, saying: “Damn you Unicorne Operations! You will rue this day!”

With that, he rides off. Leaving but a few soldiers and tar devils to clean up.

After the battle, the party find Dar Gremath by the rebel headquarters. He congratulates the group and offers them some food and a place to rest, recuperate and have their wounds tended to. It seems the rebels were victorious during the day. Having only sustained only minor losses compared to the crushing blow dealt to the Iron Circle.

Harkenwold is free of Iron Circle oppression now. Only Harken and Iron Keep remain under control of the coward Nazin Redthorn.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 8
Preparing for Battle

Packing up, the adventurer’s plan to return to Albridge to convey the good news. Before they can leave a horse & rider thunder into view. Soon the rider and horse are at the party. Dust cloud billowing out behind them. The rider, a young Halfling woman, speaks:

“Ah, I thought I would find you here somewhere. Dar Gremath sends word. Your actions have sparked the Iron Circle into action. He gathers his army to march on Albridge. Dar Gremath asks you return. We need your help!”

Agreeing, the adventurers finish their packing. The rider explains that she has many miles to travel today, gathering allies, and heads off. Kicking up dust in her wake.

Pushing on, the party leaves for Albridge and arrives mid afternoon passing several rebel pickets. Quickly identified, they are ushered to the makeshift headquarters of the alliance. This is setup in a barn. As the adventurer’s enter, they see community leaders from around Harkenwold. Some known, others not. Ilyana is already here, Adalbar from the bar fight also, Bran Torsson of Tor’s Hold, the druid Reithann, the Halflings boy’s father, a few other Halflings unknown, and lastly, Dar Gremath. Grim looks on their faces all.

Dar Gremath welcomes the party, grimly, and takes them aside to speak to them in private.

“This is proving more difficult than previously hoped. There are too many strong minded people in that room. And all want different things.”

He sighs.

“Our spies put the Circle’s army as arriving in the morning. They wait still for some troops to arrive back to Harkenwold. It seems they mean to attack us head on. There have been several small skirmishes already. But I fear we are not ready for what tomorrow brings.”

Looking each party member in the eyes, he continues:

“I need your help to rally these people behind me. If we are to succeed in this matter, there needs to be clear leadership. Can you help?”

The warforged says nothing. But places his hand on Dar’s shoulder as he moves past him and back into the barn. A commotion has erupted as the leading members of the resistance argue.

“Friends” says RP118, speaking with poise and respect. “I have studied many a book of war and know that the battles that were lost, were done so by bickering. There have been times before where different factions would argue and this would lead to disaster. Lady Ilyana, this is especially true in the case of humans working alongside elves. So, please, let us all put aside our differences and place our trust in Dar Gremath. He has thought much of the battle to come.”

All in the room are quiet. In shock almost as hearing the construct speak of history. But it is enough for the individuals to put aside their differences. For the moment. RP118 spends several more hours smoothing over differences. Even so much as talking down a few members of Dar Gremath’s rebels from trying to seize power on the eve of battle.

Lady Mondergreen instructs several of the troops in the matter of warfare. Belittling the Iron Circle all the while. This boosts the confidence and battle prowess of several platoons.

Glaimes Fireforge leads many troops in prayer. Though a priest of Moradin, he prays for his divine host to aid the troops in battle. Blessing several soldiers, imparting a little of Moradin’s justice and strength.

Taking to himself, Gish retreats to a quiet corner of the barn and meditates. Taking solace in his training.

Graydon heads south to scout out the enemies position and troop number. Using his shadow wielding techniques to elude the enemy host. He is away when the party settle down for the night to wait for the morning. They have little rest.

Just as the sun begins to rise, distant war drums wake the party. The Halfling’s cot still empty. Packing their things, the adventurers ready themselves for war.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 7
The Elves and the Necromancer.

The party are lead into a glade.

Many elves are here. They move aside and make way for the party. Looking at them with what could only be described as curiosity.

Through the throng the party are led to Eriyel who greets the adventurers warmly.

“Welcome,” she says. “I am Eriyel, and we are the Woodsinger elves. Tell me, what has brought you to me?”

The party look to one another, finally, they say “we have come on behalf of the rebels of Harkenwold. They oppose the Iron Circle and wish for your aid in the coming battle. Surely you can see the need for co-operation at this time?”

The elven lady looks troubled for a second, but regaining her composure says: “Yes, this evil affects us all. But this fight is not our fight. And we will not send any of our number to die needlessly.”

Disheartened by this the party pleads to the lady, saying “you could make a difference. The Circle will turn their attention to you once they are through with Harkenwold. You must see that you’re help is needed.”

Eriyel sighs, it seems she wants to help but maybe there are other factors weighing on her decision. “There is an alternative” she says, “not far from here there are the ruins of an Eladrin outpost. A necromancer has taken up residence there and we fear that he will surely use the ancient magicks recorded there for evil. If you remove this threat for us then we will be beholden to you to repay this debt.”

“What do you say?”

Standing speechless the party quickly regain themselves and confer with each other without speaking. Nods and gestures lead to an agreement and finally the party says:

“Where is this outpost?”

She does not respond, but rather produces a vial of blood and holds forward to the party.

“Take this, it is green dragon’s blood obtained at great cost. To the west is a circle of standing stones. While all of you are standing within the circle, tip just a little on a pedestal you will find in the middle of the ring the stones make.”

Taking the vial, the party says: “Thank you, m’lady. We will surely use this for great good. But now, I must ask, it is late. And we are tired, may we setup camp here for the night and embark upon this quest in the morn?”

“You may.” Responds the lady and the party are led away. They are left alone, within the limits of the elven encampment but away from the bulk of the elves. Camp is setup quietly and soon the party are asleep. Knowing that for tonight, the watchful eyes of the elves protect them.

Camp is packed up quickly, and breakfast eaten on the road, as the party make haste. They quickly arrive at the ruined standing stones but quickly discover they are not the first to arrive. A cart sits alone on the small dirt track leading past the site. There is no rider nor beast to pull the wagon in sight.

Moving in stealth, the adventurers move quietly up to the wagon. When they get within a few feet they begin hear the breathing and snoring of humanoids.

Gish alone moves in quietly, signalling for the party to wait. As he gets closer and peers in he sees three goblins, dead asleep. Using signs he communicates this to the party and urges them to come upto the wagon quietly.

Lady Mondergreen and Graydon take up position around the wagon and, in unison, strike the sleeping goblins true. Killing them in their sleep.

The party loots around the wagon for any evidence of where these goblins have come from. But find none. As they give up their search and turn attention to the standing stones they notice the trees around the site moving. Disturbed by the noise being made near the wagon.

Spiders spring from the limbs of the trees and rush upto the party. Attacking them quickly.

Two of the spiders are killed but two others are in the circle as blood is poured on the pedestal. Glowing runes appear that Gears quickly reads. He speaks, saying ‘Dal Nystiere.’

As the words leave his metallic mouth, a pulsing blue green light erupts around the rim of the standing stones. The forest surrounding the party disappears in a flash of light.

Disappearing as quickly as it came the world around them is replaced with what looks to be an underground dungeon. A searing pain strikes the party as they appear within runic circles etched upon the floor. Which brightly light up the area around them. Regaining themselves quickly they notice that, other than the spiders that transported with them, they are not alone.

Several Hobgoblins are in the area as well as two small drakes in cages by a large double door.

“WHAT? WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? GET THEM!” Yells a voice behind them that. They turn, finding the voice belonging to goblin holding a rod with a skull atop.

Many of the goblins fall easily. The one holding the skulled rod uses magic to force one of the party to do his bidding. Though, they resist and the psychic pain inflicted is great. The goblin retreats to the top of a set of stairs and throws down magic attacks as he does.

The drakes are enraged by the fighting and attempt to break free of their cages. Gish runs up the wall to the landing at the top of the stairs. As he reaches the top, he crosses over runic symbols that are written all the way around the platform. Magic from the runes damages him. But he shrugs it off spying scrolls on a desk that sits on the platform. Grabbing them, he steps onto the stairs and out of the area in which the runes have an effect.
Seeing that his way is now barred, the goblin jumps off the stairs and lands awkwardly. He tries to make it to the cages but is hit by arrows from Graydon and falls.

The spiders are given bodies of the fallen goblins and they become content, gorging themselves.

Though, the drakes keep up their effort and try to break out of their confines. The party attempt to sate them the same way that the spiders were. But the bodies are too big to fit between the bars of the cages. Two of the arms are lopped off and fed to each drake. This keeps them quiet.

Some treasure is found but the adventurers are distracted by two sets of double doors leading further into the complex.

Successfully listening through the door the party can hear the clacking of bones on the stone floor. Readying themselves, Gears uses his skills to unlock and open the door. Gish rushes in. The floor underneath him drops but luckily he grabs hold of the ledge.

At the bottom of the pit which had just opened are metal spikes. Some bones are still evident of the last victim to fall into the trap.

In the room are three skeletons. Two have swords and move closer to the party. The third wear a robe and shouts commands to the two other undead.

Graydon and Gears circle around to the other set of doors and spring the trap in there. The Halfling manages the leap over and makes his way for a lever in the corner of the room.

Having pulled himself out of the pit, Gish circles around a pillar that is somewhat cut off with spider webs. As he rounds the corner, a spider materialises in front of him. Biting down at him with it’s maw.

Lady Mondergreen and Glaimes jump over the pit successfully and begin to attack the skeletons directly. Knocking one into the pit.

Graydon pulls at the lever after dodging several of the wizard’s attacks. The false floors swing shut, with one of the skeletons still at the bottom of the pit. The other skeleton falls lifeless shortly after. Gish escapes from the spider’s attacks after having injured it greatly. He joins the fray against the wizard and the party soon end him in concentrated effort.

On his person they discover a key. They search the room and discover more arcane texts and more treasure. Along one of the walls is a table upon which rests the bones of a great dragon. Scattered around are the remains of a ritual interrupted.

Remembering the pain inflicted from the portal on the way in, the party take their chances with the door behind the spiders webs. Finishing off the giant insect before attempting to open it. They find it locked, but luckily the key they carry unlocks it.

They exit a long tunnel in the middle of the forest and make their way back to the elvish camp.

Eriyel promises the support of the Woodsingers. She asks the party to join them in celebration of ridding the ruins of the great evil. Soon after the party fall asleep. In the morning the adventurers awake to find the clearing empty. It’s as if the elves weren’t there at all.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 6
The two ambushes.

The ambush went well.

Ruins of ancient standing stones provided much cover as a cart pulled by a horse rolled past. In the lead was a dog made from clockwork. There most likely to protect the dark wizard sitting up front of the wagon. Three soldiers accompanied the cart. One, driving the horse & cart next to the wizard and the others at the rear walking along behind it.

The adventurers waited until Graydon loosed an arrow. Which struck it’s target, one of the guards in the rear. While the Halfling was not seen the others made their presence known. And the ruins were turned into a swirling melee. Gears made the mistake of loosing a powerful attack on the dark adept in the wagon. This drew the wrath of the clockwork canine and nearly ended the Warforged’s life.

Lady Mondergreen got herself up into the carriage to strike at the soldier and wizard in there. While Gish danced around landing powerful blows wherever he went.

Graydon remained in the dark striking as he does best. And Glaimes called forth the vengeance of his god to smite his foes and keep the party in health long enough to see the melee through.

Afterwards, there was much talk of sending a message to the Iron Circle. Piling the bodies up in the cart, and sending it into the next town aflame. Both Gish and Glaimes opposed this being of a weaker constitution than the Tiefling and Halfling.

Magic items and gold were discovered in the back of the wagon. Which the adventurers divvied up between themselves. Sure in their victory, they head back into town to seek out Dar Gremath once again.

On they’re way back; the sky, which had been threatening to do for some time, lets loose a torrent of water. Turning the ground into mud. Black clouds gather and roll into one another. Turning a bright day almost into night.

Passing through a small homestead, the adventurers spy a lantern. It sways as if being held by someone. Even though it is a good distance from them, it is obvious that it sits too high for someone of normal height.

A yell cries out from further down the road: “There they are! Get them!”

As the light from the lantern moves close to them they see that it is, in fact, held aloft by a human. Only, he sits atop a red drake. The drake roars violently moving closer to the party.

At the top of a muddy bank sits a small wall adjoining a house. Over the wall jump two soldiers that make their way down onto the road behind the group to cut off their retreat.

Among the enemy’s number is a dark adept. She calls out direction and encouragement to her underlings. Most of it in the form of intimidation and belittling. But it seemed to get the job done.

The mud makes it hard for all involved in the melee. Moving through the mud takes much effort. It’s dark enough that the magic cast from Gears and the dark adept light up the surrounding area as they are cast.

Glaimes kicks in the door to a house and narrowly misses a crossbow bolt. Through a window on the far side of the room, outside of the house, is a soldier in the process of reloading his crossbow. The dwarf, ducking behind the door, moves outside and out of view of the crossbows aim.

Felling the rider, Lady Mondergreen is shaken as the red drake roars with rage at the loss of its long time companion. It unleashes a terrible fury and lashes out every which way. Attacking the Tiefling in particular, but all that are near.

Several of the soldiers peppering the adventurers with crossbow bolts have fallen by this point. The drake becomes bloodied. And the battle enters a grinding melee with savage blows traded back and forth. Combined efforts from Gish and Mondergreen lead to felling the drake. It lands with a mighty crash that shakes the ground.

Looking battered and worn, the party turn their attentions to the adept. Having slain all but her and one of her footsman. She uses her dark powers to no avail and soon after falls herself. None are left alive.

They are quick to leave the area and find a place to hide. Returning to Dar Gremath he surmises that the group had been tracked by their recently slain enemies for their transgressions against the Iron Circle. Especially that of the Halfling. Dar suggests that they head into Harken forest.

“We need allies,” he says, “and the woodsinger elves there might be willing to lend us a hand. And it will get you out of the way for a time while we further prepare our defences here.”

“How will we find the elves?” asks Glaimes. Dar Gremath responds quickly, talking fast, “They’re elusive those elves. But, make enough ruckus in their forest and they will find you, can be sure. I’ll send a runner for you if we need you back at all. Now go while ye’ can. Albridge isn’t safe for you anymore now your faces are known.”

The party venture out of the town taking the long way to avoid Harken. They pass by the turn off for Marl, which is now empty. Having been burnt to the ground by the invading army as an example to those that would oppose them.

Gears suggests they take a detour on their way. But the party in general feel they aren’t ready to detour from their current objective. Lady Mondergreen comments that she is looking forward to resting, once they reach the forest.

It is beginning to get dark as the sun sets. The sky is pink and orange and grey. Plunging into the forest, the party find a clearing and begin to setup camp. Part way into this task a single elf steps into view, startling the adventurers. Several of the party reach for their weapons. But they relax upon seeing that the elf is unarmed.

He says, “Hold there, strangers! We would speak with you.”

Getting over the initial surprise, the party composes itself. Though, some still rest their hands on the hilts of their swords.
The Elf continues, “I am Israfen of the Woodsinger, I see that you are not Harkenwolders and you do not look like the Iron Circle mercanaries. Who are you, and what is your business in Harken forest?”.

Gish speaks: “We come to speak to you and ask your aid in ridding Harkenwold of the invading Iron Circle.”

The elf considers this for a moment, “ah, this is a matter for Eriyel. Please, follow me.” He gestures further into the forest as two elves step out from the dark behind him. Arrows notched but not taught.

Knowing that this isn’t actually a request, the party packs up their camp and follows the elves deeper into the forest.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 5
Meeting with Dar

You travel for half a day before making it to the outskirts of town. Making your way into Albridge without incident you first come across the stablery. This is where you were told that you would find the leader of the rebels. A man named Dar Gremath,

The smell of manure is what hits you first as you move into the yard. A large-shouldered grey haired man combs down a black horse. He notices you approaching and greets you:

“Haven’t seen you around before. Adventurer’s, eh? I’ve had an adventure or two myself, a long time ago, name’s Dar Gremath. What can I do for ye’?”

Gish steps forward , nods, and he speaks:

“Greetings, Dar Gremath, we have come from Tor’s Hold where Bran Torsson instructed us to seek you out.”

“Bran, aye?” Says Dar. “Last I heard he was having trouble with some toads down that way. They still troubling him?” He chuckles to himself.

“Not anymore,” chips in Glaimes, “we saw to that.”

“Yes we did.” Continues Gish. “And Bran sends word that now his town is free from the Bullywug menace, he will have warriors join you when battle approaches.”

Dar looks pleased with himself. He had stopped brushing the horse in front of him as the news was broken. Picking up where he left off with long controlled strokes, he begins speaking again:

“Resourceful ye’ are. Now, you still haven’t told me what I can do for you?” He leaves the question hanging as he continues on with his work.

Looking to his fellows, Gish thinks for a second. Almost abashedly, and quiet enough as not to let his voice travel, Gish says:

“Bran also said to seek you out if we wished to aid the rebels. That you were leading an underground resistance against these marauders. And that you may have work that is in need of doing.”

Dar doesn’t stop combing down the horse. If anything, he is even more intent on the task at hand as he moves around the front of the animal to begin on the other side. From here he has his back to the wall and can keep an eye on the adventurers.

“Word came yesterday that Ilyana were saved from these brigands by a group of adventurers. And Reithann has passed word of a group in the area seeking to aid our cause.”

He pauses, hangs the brush from a hook on the wall and calls out:

“Graydon, I’ve some folks I’d like you to meet.”

From one of the stalls, out steps a brogue Halfling. Bow in hand and arrow notched but no longer at the ready. You get the impression he has been listening to you the whole time. In his mouth is a single piece of straw.

He nods.

Bran gestures to the rogue. “This ‘ere be Graydon. Last night up in Easthill he managed to end the lives of ten of the raiders. Though, the way he tells it, I think he enjoyed it a little too much.”

Graydon shifts the straw to a corner of his mouth and let’s the other curve up into what might be recognized as a smile.

“The five of you, I have a plan if you are truly interested in aiding our little rebel alliance.” Says Dar Gremath ,looking from face to face to gauge the level of interest on each. Satisfied, he continues, “on the road east of here will be travelling a wagon out to Easthill. It will contain vital supplies for the soldiers out that way along with their pay for the month. You could rob it. It is guarded, but for a resourceful group as yourselves, well.” He let’s the last trail off into a smile gesturing, open palmed. He Shrugs.

“And roughly when will this wagon be heading past?” Asks RP118.

Dar replies: “The wagons will head out early tomorrow morning. A few miles east of here are some standing stones that will provide a decent amount of cover for an ambush. Do what you must and keep what you like.”

Gish says: “Alright, it shall be done.”

With that, the adventurers agree and introductions are made with Graydon along the way. They camp overnight and wake early, to setup their ambush.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 4
A party is re-united

Two figures trudge along the dirt path. One has an arm around the other, helping him to walk. The moon long risen casting a silvery white light over the pair. Gish coughs. The Warforged keeps moving with mechanical endurance.

The duo arrive at the doorway to the hold in the middle of the night, guards calling down at you.

“Who goes there?”

To which RP118 replies: “It is I, Gears, with Gish. He is badly injured.”

Soon after the door bursts open and out runs Glaimes, Lady Mondergreen and a rough looking middle aged man. Looking Gish over, he calls out back to the keep:

“Get the healers up and ready!”

In the morning, Gish looks visibly better. The Hold’s healers have worked through the night and managed a near miracle. Despite the dramatics of the night, all of you have somehow managed to have an extended rest.

At your morning meal, Bran Torsson sits down at your table.

He says “sorry to get you at breakfast. But I wish for you to convey the Dar Gremath that we of Tor’s Hold will aid in the freeing of Harkenwold from the Reavers. Please, head to Albridge and convey this as soon as you have taken the boy to his people. Take the road south rather than the King’s road. This will take you by the White River where his people dwell. And hopefully away from any Iron Circle patrols.”

The boy looks up from his meal at this, “aye, they travel up and down. Running supplies and weapons for the rebels. But I’m sure we’ll find them.”

You are given some more travelling rations by those of Tor’s Hold and led to the south gate. On your way, Bran says, “before you go, there is something I wish for you to see.”

A group of soldiers leads the captive Gloorpk up onto a wooden platform. The green skinned creature looks around wildly as if for a way to escape or some kind of miracle. A group of villagers has gathered and looks on with interest. You hear, ‘…deserves it..’ and ‘…filthy monster…’ as well as other unflattering things muttered amidst the crowd. One of the Hold’s mages moves in front of Gloorpk and begins casting a spel. A swirling purple mist envelops the creature as it’s body expands and contracts.

As the mist clears from the platform, simply disappearing, Gloorpk has disappeared. Where the creature’s feet would have been now sits a regular toad. It croaks and begins to frantically hop away but is scooped up by one of the soldiers and placed in a container.

“Fair ye well, travellers. You have done us here a great service.” Says Bran “and I hope to repay that debt soon.”

Bran waves as you walk off down the dusty road.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 4
The introduction of Graydon, the Halfling Rogue.

It’s just become nighttime as you enter the village of Easthill, in Harkenwold’s north. You have traveled far since you set out from Hammerfast and seek a soft bed for the night. As you move through town towards the Inn you see many soldier’s. More soldier’s than ought to be for such a sleepy little burgh.

You are a Halfling traveling the roads for whatever reason it is. A rogue by nature, and a cheeky one at that. Your name, is Graydon.

Pushing through the door to the tavern you are fronted by a group of soldier’s. Obviously not on watch tonight, they are getting settled in for a solid night of drinking. There are several other patrons in here, mostly townsfolk you wager as they keep their heads down, solemnly. Behind the bar is the taverner while the barmaid takes out the drinks. Standing by the fire is a many smoking a pipe cautiously watching the scene unfold.

You think that some of the soldier’s may have had a head start on their comrades. 2 of them harass the barmaid, saying some disgusting things and miming rude gestures.

“Oi! Who the devil do you think you are?!” Barks one of the soldiers, noticing you for the first time. “No one in this miserable little town’s allowed to carry arms! Set ‘em, down if you know what’s good for you!”

Taken aback at first, the Halfling doesn’t know what to say. Some of the guards stand up and ready themselves.

Finally realizing the gravity of the situation, you speak: “Listen, fellows” a cheeky smile springing across the Halflings face, “why don’t I buy you all a round of ale instead?”

The man holding you arm relaxes. You notice that the other guards do as well somewhat. They look to the man holding your arm.

“That would be good” he says, slurring his words somewhat.

“HUZZAH!” The other guards shout and your arm is released.
And so you buy the guards a round of ale and they seem to forget about you for the moment.

You polish off your first beer with a smacking of your lips and set the stein down on the bar with a thud. Drawing the bartender’s attention. As you are about to order another for yourself the door opens and in steps 3 guards. They all wear their full uniform and one carries a lantern.

They scan the room and quickly notice you sitting at the bar and look at the off duty guards. Who are all quite inebriated at this point of the night.

“What are you doing?” the guard with the lantern says in a deep, commanding voice. “Who is that?” he gestures to you sitting at the bar.

One of the more drunk guards lifts his mug and says, “oh, he’s alright. He’s a Halfling, and he’s bought us some beersh!”

Slapping the beer out of the man hand, the guard with lantern shouts to the room “get him! Get the Halfling!”

The Harkenwolders in the room know what is going to happen next. Several at the back fade into the shadows to escape detection. Behind the counter, the bartender disappears. Around the rooms, guards stand up and move towards you.

“Wait. Wait, wait wait wait. Can’t talk about this?” You ask, pleading almost.

“It’sh nothing personal you know” says the closest guard. “Just doing our jobs.”

“Oh” you say and leap over the bar top from a sitting position on a stool. Removing your short bow and notches an arrow, you fire at the closest guard before hitting the ground.

The arrow hits him square in the chest and he falls as the guards move in faster. Two more fall are they move up and swing at you over the counter. Ducking and weaving you avoid their attacks. You remove your sword and stab at them taking down two more just as a guard appears at the entrance behind the bar. Seeing him appear, you roll over the counter top. Swiping at an enemy on the other side and ending with your sword sticking through another’s chest.

They both fall.

The bartender climbs up onto the barrels of beer and escapes through the chute on the side of the building. All of the Harkenwolders move towards the door.

The guard who followed you around the bar attempts to jump over and follow you. But, being as drunk as he is, catches his foot on the counter and lands head first in a bar stool and lands prone.

One of the guards, previously too drunk to notice what’s happening now awakes to the noise of the room. He sees the Harkenwolders running out the door way and into the night.

3 guards advance on you. One being the drunken one, who has just noticed your handiwork of his fellows laying about the tavern floor. Seeking vengeance, he stands and stumbles towards your position removing his weapon.

He swipes at you as you jump up on a table. But he misses. Doing your tumbling trick once again, two more guards fall, leaving just the drunken guard and the guard at the bar who fell.

At this point, the man by the fire who has thus far simply watched the action moves behind the bar. The guard who fell stands up, but just as he does, his hair is grabbed from across the bar. His head pulled back, exposing his throat. The pipe smoking man reaches out over the bar and runs a dagger across the guards throat. Sending a spray of blood out as the blade cuts across.

Dodging another blow, your foot slips in a puddle of ale and landing prone on the table top you see the drunken guard lining up for another shot. As his mace reaches it’s peak in it’s backswing you thrust your sword forward into his chest.

His mace drops and he looks at you as he drops.

The pipe smoking man walks over to you, cleaning off his blade on a cloth. He extends a hand to you, which you take and you are pulled upright off the table and onto the ground.

He says: “Greetings, Halfling, I am Adalbar. As you can see, our Baronet of Harkenwold is currently subjugated by these cretins. I organise the resistance here in Easthill as our village Elder has been thoroughly cowed by the Iron Circle.”

“But, really, we should be quick. This ruckus will soon be reported. Head to Albridge, straight away. There, seek out a man named Dar Gremath. He will help you get through Harkenwold unnoticed. But knowing him, he’ll put you on the path to help the rebellion. Tell him that I sent you. He will understand. Now go. I will mislead the guards that come. Give you some time to hide at least.”

You thank Adalbar and quickly loot the guards finding little of value.

“You really should be going, the guards could arrive at any moment.”

You leave through the front door and head in the direction of Albridge.

The Reavers of Harkenwold - Part 4
Returning to Tor's Hold, with a prisoner.

Lady Mondergreen leads Groopk, the Frog monster, along the King’s Road. Hands tied behind his back, rope around his neck, and an intricate knot around the animal’s legs. This last attached to the knots at his neck to prevent the use of the incredible jump his species is known for. He whimpers and moans, occasionally saying something under his breath in the primordial language of his kind. Glaimes Fireforge moves with speed by the Tiefling’s side chatting to the Halfling boy who walks along at his. The boy whom they just rescued from the returning raiding party, the prize of Uggloor.

“It’s getting dark, will we find my parents tonight?” he asks the dwarf.

“Probably not.” Says Glaimes.

“Very well, maybe we can find them tomorrow” resigns the boy, “where are your friends?” he quickly chimes in. “They were there to help free me. Did they forget something?”

Glaimes doesn’t take his eyes off coming fork in the road. He says “Don’t worry about them. They stayed behind. But they’ll catch up in time.”

Turning off at the fork, the small party trudges along. The sun closing to the horizon and slowly starts becoming a half circle. It is nearly dark when they arrive at Tor’s Hold.

The dwarf moves forward with the boy while Lady Mondergreen hangs back in sight of the archers, leash in hand. The archers look down and mutter to one another. Groopk shifts uncomfortably, visibly worried. Glaimes steps towards and bangs on the large double door. It is large enough to admit a horse and cart twice across. A smaller door sits in one of them. At the eye level of a human, a rectangle shape slips back to reveal two eyes looking out.

“Who is it?” barks the voice.

“We’ve returned from the caves” shouts out Glaimes, “and we have brought one prisoner.” Glaimes looks to the boy, who looks back up to him. A smile spreads over the dwarf lips.

The small door swings open inward and the frame of a man in armour is silhouetted against a fire burning in a brazier.

Gruffly, he says “You actually did it? You cleared that hole of those filthy creatures? And you bring us one. Why not simply end him? It would have been merciful compared to what this town will do to him.”

The gruff man thinks this over for a minute. As if weighing his options. He moves out of the darkness and into the moonlight. His features becoming clear. Bran Torsson is a big man. Balding, grey but you muscles ripple under his clothing where you can see it. A two handed bastard sword sits at his side and a dagger at the other.

“Well” he says. “That I can’t promise, only that I will try to explain it to the people. And hopefully, they will understand.”

“But where are your two fellows? The metal man and the squishy green thing? Where are they? Have they fallen?”

This time Lady Mondergreen chimes in, she says: “They are idiots, they’d stay back to fight unnecessarily.”

He nods his head solemnly. Stepping back from the door, he gestures for you to enter. “Very well, get you inside. The Halfling lad can stay here the night as well. While we wait on your friends, tell us of your adventure…”


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