The Blade of the Raven Queen

Recess

Having encountered a well defended foe, Jurgen allows himself to be convinced by the others to abandon his quest for vengeance against the Minotaur Banter. With frustrations high and moral low, The Iron Ravens pack up and head back to Trunau with intent to return to Cauldron as soon as possible.

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The Red Lake Fort.
or Crap. That's not going to be Easy.
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A Fallen Spear.
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Grenseldek II
Or how I learned to love a good Fireball.
  • The fight moves into the cave
  • Jurgen attempts to keep control of the situation but Lucius opens it up with a fireball.
  • Old and infirm Orcs charge the group
  • They are joined by hideously corrupted and bloated Orcs that have barely survived the previous blast.
  • These new orcs, when struck down, rupture into poisonous and corrupted spores.
  • Deeper in the cave, a Giant weeps.
  • When the chaos subsides and many of the remnants of the Twisted Nails lay dead, a Female giant appears. Her face twists with rage and sorrow and she wades into the fight swinging.
  • Despite some calls to keep her alive for questioning she is cut down by a massive barrage of magic missiles from Lucius’ wand.

Within they find a Map to Minderhal Valley, a soiled wedding dress studded with gems (Of which they loot the gems), a couple healing potions. They also find a couple of letters and with the aid of a comprehend languages spell, are able to read them.

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Deciding that Minderhal valley is where their quarry (Banter) may have gone to ground after gathering weapons for the Twisted Hearts (The Combined forces of Giants and Orcs that Banter seems to be in control of now), they set off with Sascha in the lead.

On the late afternoon of the second day they come across a siege tower in the plains, surrounded by an earthen redoubt and guarded by what seems to be a lone watch dog. Exploring the area they scare off the puppy and enter the tower.

  • Jurgen begins to destroy the ramp door with Siege Breaker.
  • Eevi and Lucius fly to the top and enter through a trap door.
  • The rest keep a careful eye open for danger.
  • Within Eevi and Lucius find that someone seems to have turned the place into a home. A bloody Athenian Amulet is found, several animal carcasses are hung and the appearance of two people living here.
  • The resident returns. It is an Ettin and with it are 6 Dire Wolves. With minimal back and forth they grow frustrated in their attempts to communicate with the seemingly dull creature even as it argues with itself about what to do with them having burgled it’s home.
  • Still Flying, Lucius lays into it with a barrage of Fireballs and Firebolts.
    *Unable to retaliate effectively the giant commands it’s wolves to flee and tries to outrun the flying wizard but is cut down with relatively little trouble.

Closing shop within the tower, it’s ramp door destroyed by Jurgen, The Ravens decide to take a long rest to regain spells and to fully loot the structure.

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Grenseldek
Or "I want to go home!"

The following day finds The Iron Ravens resting and helping the cleaning up projects that have popped up around Trunau.

Manto Sotirelis helps with the rebuilding of the broken bits of Palisade.
Jurgen Frostbeard helps Sara at the forge.
Aldonis “the Grey” looks for potions, finding some in Agrit’s little shop.
Eevi Ptolomy and Sascha Øksdóttir find out that Kurst’s brother Rodrik is organizing a play for the upcoming evening and pitch in lucius finds himself sucked into it and begins calculating how best to use his cantrips for special effects.

The council has briefly spoken with the group, asking them to stay for a day or two while they interrogate the prisoners that were captured over last nights raid.

The dead are gathered and mourned, the enemy are heaped along the road coming in and are burned in great piles but despite this recent outbreak of violence Life has quickly gone back to normal for the town. The villagers are resilient and each is simply thankful that the attack was weathered successfully.

That evening Jurgen paces his drinking to simply match the Human’s around him while sitting in the amphitheater seats with Aldonis, watching the play being put on. It’s rough, with practical special effects having been cannibalized from other productions, but the magical effects brought in by the Ravens and Rodrik’s clever writing ensure that it brings laughter and good times.

The following day they are witness to a “Hope Knife” Ceremony where Halgra’s daughter is given her knife and inducted into young adulthood.

Called in to council the Ravens meet with Agrit, Sara, Halgra, Kurst, Lessie and Rodrik.

  • The town of Trunau thanks them for the help they lent them
  • The interrogations of the captured orcs have revealed that the ‘Twisted Hearts’ (Orcs and Giants) were being led by a Hill Giantess named Grenseldek.
  • There is no further information on Banter.
  • The group is directed towards the Twisted Nails (The Orc Half of the Twisted Hearts) territory that they had already been to before the attack on Trunau was revealed to them by the old Orc that Kurst and Lucius interrogated days ago.
  • Halgra offers a further reward if the group can strike another blow against the tribe. Rodrik Grath assures the Ravens that the Twisted Nails are not a well liked tribe, even among their own kind.
  • A Boat is chartered. Horatio Bloodtusk takes them east along the river Belkzen. Crocodiles are seen, a burning outpost is passed with orcs coming to see the boat sail by. Aldonis kills a couple with his accurate arrows.

At the drop off point, Horatio wishes them good luck and keeps his boat heading east. Heading south Sascha leads them to the junction that Kurst had brought them to not long ago. They waste no time and boldly approach.

  • Seen by the posted guards a warning goes out and the gates begin to shut
  • Jurgen rushes in on his mount and holds the line, preventing them from closing the gate on the others outside.
  • Eevi turns invisible and spreading her wings takes to the skies.
  • Arrows strike with killing force from both Sascha and Aldonis
  • The gates are cleared quickly.
  • A Hill GIant emerges from the darkness of the caves. Eevi targets it with her Vicious Mockeries
  • Eevi is solidly hit by a return boulder and nearly knocked from the air. Seeking cover she lands on a hut roof and keeps herself hidden.
  • The giant wades into battle with it’s club. Sascha takes the brunt of it. Aldonis is struck a crushing blow.
  • Sascha Rages.
  • From the caves two more Giants appear, they look starved and manic, chains hanging from their wrists. They wade into combat, striking out at everything around them, including the original GIant.
  • The first Giant retreats from combat and begins to heft boulders.
  • Jurgen, Using the power of Agrimosh, grows to large size. His ram scatters to the back lines.
  • Lucius paralyses one of the frothing mad giants.
  • Jurgen knocks the other down with his shield, even as Lucius yells at him to strike the Defenseless Giant.
  • The paralyzed Giant, Unable to defend itself, is quickly killed.
  • Lucius is struck by a Boulder, Sascha suffers critical hits.
  • The prone Giant stands but it is a fleeting thing as it’s legs are cut out from beneath it and it falls screaming into the central fire.
  • The boulder slinging Giant is charged and despite bone crushing blows from his great tree club he is brought down by Spell, Weapon and Arrow.
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Wrecked em? Damn Near Rex'd Them!

… the group immediately changes it’s mind and decides to head into the hole smashed into the Hope Spring Cliff.

Forging their way across the shallow waters of the spring The Iron Ravens take a peak inside. Immediately within there is a rough tunnel leading down at a gentle slope. Broken Webs drift lazily in the moving air currents. Jurgen Frostbeard is able to discern that the inside is of much older construction. A tunnel that has been hidden within the spring for potential centuries.

Taking the lead the Paladin enters, followed by his companions. The tunnel extends deep within and under the upper section of Trunau before coming to a much larger tool hewn cavern. There is a natural stone bridge heading to the left, a sloping path to the right and darkness beyond their torch light and Darkvison ahead of them. They can hear and smell the damp waters of an underground pool just beyond their sight.

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In the dim light before them, a seething mass of darkness shifts and pulses. Numerous points of light begin to show themselves, eyes reflecting redly, revealing that the pile is in fact several swarms of inky black rats. Breaking formation the swarm separates into 4 distinct groups, and rush the adventurers.

  • During the fight it is revealed that the rats are undead and drain the strength of those they hit.
  • Sascha, Jurgen and Manto are drained significantly even as the rats are destroyed bit by bit.

Taking a quick minute to gather themselves Aldonis notices yellow eyes glinting beyond in the darkness, disappearing just as quickly. Whatever it was, it doesn’t seem to want to engage.

Looking around the Ravens pick the path heading deeper in ahead of them, bypassing the stone bridge to the left and the narrow ledge that sneaks past the pit and water to the right.

Before them is a ledge, 10ft high, and on that ledge are poles that have Huge Skeletal remains tied to them. To the right a path leads around and up a ramp. As they make their way up and amongst those funerary totems a voice from the darkness hisses in Set’s Stygian language, commanding one of the dead skeletons of ancient Hill giant heroes to rise and attack. “Kill them!”

  • A huge Skeleton snaps free of it’s restraints and staggers into the party, smashing with a long bone club.
  • From the darkness more words of power and a earth shaking roar
  • Thudding footsteps announces the arrival of a huge creature even as the adventurers continue to battle the giant bones. A T-Rex bursts into the radius of the various light spells.
  • It sizes up the smaller foes around it and it focuses on Aldonis, nostrils flaring.
  • The undead giant hero is destroyed even as the T-Rex drops down from the ledge to the lower section hunting for the softer party members.
  • As Jurgen calls for the hidden caster’s head, Lucius casts fly on himself and follows the dwarf, Manto and Sascha into the darkness beyond. Paradoxically leaving the softer party members behind.
  • Deep in the Tyrant Lizard’s breast a rumbling clicking sound emerges, rising in intensity as it’s eyes see Aldonis. A murderous narrowing of its eyes and it roars striding forward mouth agape.
  • Aldonis runs as the beast steps down a 10ft ledge to the lower section near the bridge and barely avoids being crushed by the snapping jaws crashing closed behind him.
  • Eevi Viciously Mocks the beast even as it chases Aldonis around and back up the ramp leading to Eevi and the Large Skeletons tied to their funerary posts.
  • As Eevi dodges Aldonis rushing past her, she stumbles slightly and attracts the Rex’s passing attention. It’s great maw still tries to crush Aldonis but the tail whips around hard and flattens her.
  • Sascha returns from the darkness and steps between Aldonis and the beast attempting to shield him.
  • Lucius, Jurgen and Manto continue to pursue the fleeing enemy caster.
  • Eevi tries to play dead after having been hit hard but is unsuccessful taking another slap that renders her unconscious.
  • While it’s distracted Aldonis wounds the Rex deeply with a well placed arrow and continues to back away.
  • Heeding some unknown signal, the great lizard stomps off into the darkness but is lit up from below by a well placed flask of alchemical fire thrown at it’s feet.
  • A great whoosh of fire is heard somewhere in the tunnels, echoing weirdly.
  • Left alone in the dark Aldonis pulls a torch from his pack and begins to prep it for lighting.
  • Sascha, enraged, charges after the retreating Dino. Her blade, Vakar allowing her to see in the dark.
  • Unseen in the darkness the sounds of battle continue, only now it’s the sound of spear on blade with Sascha letting out a gasp and the sound of a body hitting the floor.
  • Lucius, having decided that following the mage was a fool’s errand, has returned with the others and thanks to his flight is in the lead. He passes over the suddenly flaring light of Aldonis’ torch and arrives to see a bulky spear wielding fighter bearing the gear of The Priestess of Ares standing over a downed Sascha.

“I offer you terms wretch” begins Lucius “Leave now or be destroyed.” Tahlia briefly considers his proposal, eyes flicking to the left to see her ally Rahotep nodding, she makes a false bow before the flying Lucius and is once again transformed by Stygian magic into the great Tyrannosaurus before forcing her way out of the tunnel to the night beyond. Rahotep merely fades from view.

Eevi and Sascha are stabilized, Sascha telling her friends that the priestess they fought was and yet wasn’t the one they knew from before. Whatever magics their enemies had used to bring her back had left her changed. She was no longer human, but an Orc.

Fade to black.

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The Roof, The Roof
The Roof is on Fire.

Calming Kurst down they convince the young pathfinder that rushing off now could be a mistake. Lucius suggests moving off to camp and come the following day will prepare a charm person spell to get more answers from the unconscious elder orc.

The group moves off and with Kurst as their guide find a secluded, out of the way spot. The day is spent doing maintenance on arms and armour.

As morning light begins to break the darkness, Jurgen notices a line of shadowy figures traveling in the distance. Safe in the Hut he thinks nothing of it but quickly reconsiders when his mount attracts unwanted attention. Sending it off into the low hills he wakes a few of the Ravens and they watch the approaching figures, revealed to be orcs with a few ogres and a chained giant. Having lost the scent and not approaching close enough to the hut the orcs move off.

Packing up the group watches as Kurst and Lucius take the Orc into the hills away from the others. Successfully charming him, Lucius finds that his attitude becomes friendlier but is still confrontational and … Orcish.

“Why is that Human here!?” it demands. Lucius calmly explains to it that he cannot speak the orc tongue so he has his minion translate for him. Kurst frowns slightly but says nothing. Lucius reveals to the orc that he is here to help them. He wishes to join in the sacking of Trunau so that he can be placed there as the ruler after the orcs have finished with it. The Orc nods and questions Lucius in regards to his allies and why he is interested in helping. Lucius convinces him of his sincerity, dodging the orcs demands to kill Kurst as sign of trust, and gains the following information.

  • Banter has taken the tribe down to the Foundry which is in Steel Eater orc territory. Lucius probes and finds that the Steel Eaters are a tribe that make arms and armour for the surrounding Orc Tribes.
  • A force of Twisted Nail orcs have been sent to Trunau, they are to take the city.
  • They left two days ago. It is a four day trip.
  • Only the dregs of the Tribe have been left behind. The Horned one is gathering orcs to his Banner.
  • Lucius politely thanks the orc and then Magic Missiles him in the chest. Killing him.

Kurst wants to head back immediately. No one argues the point when Kurst suggests a straight path in. Instead of taking the better part of three days it will take them only two. They should arrive either at the same time or shortly after the orcs do.

Luck is on their side as both day and night go by with little interference. Perhaps the large force of Orcs that had gone through previously scared off any predators.

Getting to the hills beneath Trunau as evening begins to descend the Ravens see that Trunau burns fitfully. The gates are open and siege weapons are lined beneath the palisade walls, manned by orcs and a Giant.

Wasting no time the group rushes into combat.

  • Lucius banishes a Flind war leader wielding a triple headed flail of skulls.
  • Fireballs from both Eevi and Lucius rain down on the Gnoll Pack that has arrived to reinforce the orcs.
  • The Giant is stopped in its tracks as Sascha engages it.
  • The battle goes quickly and even with a fresh wave of gnolls coming to join the fray the Ravens prove their might.
  • The Flind reappears slavering madly from its time spent trapped in the Astral Plane.
  • It is quickly and brutally put down. It’s return attacks missing or proving ineffective.

Kurst breaks off as the fight ends. He makes a straight line for the town gates where only a couple of orcs can be seen. Invisible Eevi follows him watching over Kurst even as he dispatches orcs with his arrows.

The Iron Ravens take the time to search the bodies as Jurgen puts Siege Breaker to use smashing the Mangonels.

Entering town behind Kurst Eevi sees that the main gates are slightly battered, the lower area is abandoned and empty and that a few of the homes here and there have catapult damage. She sees Kurst sneak his way past orcs he can’t handle alone and watches as he kills orcs that are alone or in pairs. Making his way to the middle ground they pass the Hopespring seeing that the cliff wall there has been smashed revealing a dark entrance within.

Flying up to the top of the fortified gate Eevi lands there a moment.

The Ravens enter, trailing by a few minutes. They find the place empty and abandoned. Aldonis rushes to where Bridge would be stabled and sees that the animals are no longer there. He can only assume that they have all been taken up into the higher sections of Trunau. Breathing a sigh of relief he imparts onto the group his higher understanding of Trunau’s tactics. “They must have opened the gates to funnel the orcs into the center killing ground”. Jurgen shoots back that “Gates are Expensive to repair!”

As they dispatch a couple of looting orcs they see coming from the Hopespring a Giant chained at both wrists and ankles. Goaded it follows its handlers and rushes into the group.

  • The giant pounds into the group and the orcs. Killing two of its handlers.
  • The giant fights ferociously but without much hope. It’s remaining handlers are killed and it too is eventually felled, though not before an Orc caster falls into the waters, his invisibility canceled by his sudden death.

The decision is made to head into middle Trunau to help the residents fight back the invading orcs.

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Tears of the Dragon
Yes, yes they ARE going to attack you.

Elrik is still pointing upwards when the first Wyvern swoops down and attempts to knock Jurgen off his Mount. Wounded the Ram rears and Jurgen is thrown from the saddle.

  • A second Wyvern descends in a fly-by attack slashing the Ram but missing with it’s venomous stinger.
  • A small Red Wyrmling lands and unleashes its flame breath searing Lucius and Elrik.
  • Cute as a button the little dragon roars excitedly, hopping about and singing those in it’s path.
  • Lucius Earthbinds a Wyvern, forcing it down to the ground where it continues to press the attack.
  • Severely hampered by it’s inability to fly, it finds a Raging Barbarian and a cruel blade tearing into it’s leathery hide.
  • Kurst fires his arrows, missing more often than not.
  • Aldonis holds his shots, taking the time to let the monsters get into melee range with his companions before unleashing devastating arrows into their distracted hides.
  • Manto engages a Wyvern but finds herself on the receiving end of a poisoned stinger. Grimacing she collapses.
  • Eevi and Elrik revive her with quick Healing Words.
  • Jurgen casts Bless and targets Himself, Sascha and Aldonis.
  • The Earthbound Wyvern falls as Sascha plunges her sword deep into it’s guts, tearing her blade free she sprints towards the next, slashing it viciously even as Aldonis lines up a shot, waiting for the creature to react to his allies attack.
  • The bouncing, energetic baby Dragon roars a little roar and moves to catch Aldonis and Elrik in it’s flaming breath.
  • Jurgen slams his shield into the dragon’s side sending it sliding prone into the dirt.
  • The remaining Wyvern gives off a piecing call and the dragon begins to fly away but Hammer, Arrow and spell bring it crashing to the ground.
  • Seeing that it won’t be able to get the still living ram, the wyvern flies to the dragons body and snatches it away, intending to fill its belly with it.
  • That proves to be it’s downfall as concentrated fire brings it down.

Checking for wounds the Ravens find that they have weathered the attack well. Eevi and Lucius both pop a Leomund’s Tiny Hut with the intent to rest in one while the Red Wyrmling is skinned in the other.

The smells of blood and the bodies of the dead wyverns have attracted attention. The morning finds the group waking to the sight of Orcs camped a hundred feet off. The Hut, coloured to blend into the surroundings, seems to have kept them undetected. The orcs are tending to their camp, a large cauldron steams atop a fire.

  • Engaging from the Hut, the Ravens surprise the Orcs.
  • Jurgen steps out boldly and with Kurst translating behind him he tells them to move along or face his wrath.
  • The orcs blink surprised and then start to laugh. Axes are hefted and Javelins are cocked.
  • “On your fool heads be it” Mutters the dwarf as Sascha tears out of the Hut, her ground eating sprint taking her to the back ranks of the Orcs and before they have a chance to react she’s gutted one and moved on to the next wounding it deeply.
  • Undaunted the orcs rush forwards aggressively. Greataxes chopping and Javelins flying. Jurgen bears the brunt of the first charge as Sascha distracts the back ranks.
  • Aldonis picks off targets that are engaged with his allies while Elrik moves to form a shield wall of sorts with Jurgen.
  • Eevi casts Greater Invisibility on herself and bolsters her allies with Inspired Words while using cutting words against the orcs. She offers to do the same for Kurst but he shakes his head no and begins to fire arrows into the orcs.
  • Lucius unleashes a fireball. Many orcs are killed in the flash of flame.
  • Aldonis moves to engage the Orcs in melee, his Fast Hands equipping his shield as he puts his bow away.
  • Sascha continues to hack into the orcs at the back, her return blows fell two more orcs.
  • An Orc caster slaps a warrior on the shoulder, casting a spell on the Orc Blade even as he advances into the front line, engaging Jurgen.
  • Another caster kneels by the burnt bodies and with a handful of dirt and ash, Animates them back to life as Zombies.
  • Aldonis’ rapier finds each opening with deadly precision his quick reflexes and shield minimizing the incoming damage.
  • Jurgen and Elrik stand side by side, shields up and weapons raining blows. Jurgen knocks the Orc Blade off his feet.
  • Another fireball goes off, more orcs drop.
  • Sascha chases down one of the Orc casters and kills him.
  • The back ranks broken and the front line failing, the orcs nonetheless continue their assault.
  • Elrik breaks off from the melee and holding the golden falcon symbol of Freya high, obliterates two of the zombies before engaging the last one as it shambles into the path of his mace.
  • The last few remaining enemies are downed. The bodies are searched and everyone packs up their gear.

The afternoon finds the party up the mountain trail. Kurst has led them up to a small dip in the road before the Twisted Nails home. Aldonis is sent to scout.

  • He sees that the Orcs in the camp are the old and the infirm.
  • There are several rough mud and thatch huts and a large bonfire in the center of the clearing.
  • In the very back is a cave, and within he sees the dark shape of something Huge moving about.

Returning to the group he brings them up to speed. A plan is hatched. Aldonis and Sascha will enter into the camp and kidnap one of the Orcs.

  • Aldonis and Sascha make it into the camp without difficulty, they scout out one or two of the huts finding that they are large enough to hold 40-50 orcs each but only hold a half-dozen old or infirm orcs doing maintenance work on gear or structure.
  • Aldonis targets a wandering Elderly orc and attempts to knock it out with a pommel strike. He misses as some unknown instinct causes the orc to duck as it drops its load of wood.
  • Grimacing, Aldonis curses under his breath as he watches the Orc draw breath to call an alarm.
  • Sascha KO’s the Orc with a well placed punch to the jaw and picks up the slack body before beckoning Aldonis back towards the group.

Setting up camp an hour away in a well hidden nook at the base of the mountain, Kurst begins to translate for the heroes as they interrogate their prisoner. The Orc spits and growls but perks up when they talk about Banter, who he calls the "Horned One’. He gives them only that the tribe has mobilized, that the old and Infirm have been left behind, that all they are good for is to die for the tribe. His gaze chances upon Kursts Trunauian emblem. A wicked smile creases his face and guttural laugh begins deep in his gut.

“Trunau will burn boy …”

He lunges for Jurgen, intent on biting him. The dwarf slams his shield into the orcs face knocking him out.

Aldonis looks troubled even as Kurst goes pale.

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The Horns of Obsession
Much ado about Not much.

Having slept the night away at the Ramblehouse The Iron Ravens gather their gear, make sure the mounts and wagon are going to be well taken care of and make for the gates at first light.

At the gates they stop a merchant coming in. He is accompanied by three fairly well armed individuals who give the Ravens the once over. Speaking to him reveals that the roads are quiet and the only activity seen lately are the gnolls on the hills.

  • A Plan is made to go ‘Speak’ to those gnolls.
  • Several hours of travel north, towards the covered bridge crossing the river Belkzen leads them to the spot where they noticed they were being watched from the hills. Once again, in the distance are watchers, squatting as shadows in the afternoon sun.
  • Jurgen approaches them on his Summoned Steed but they keep their distance. It is clear that they do not want to tangle with a well armed group of travelers.
  • There is much whingeing and fired accusations about the intelligence of this plan.
  • The Ravens return to Trunau and take the day to figure out what they want to do. It is quickly determined that traveling without a guide through Orc controlled territory would be akin to suicide.
  • During the day Eevi and Manto play some music and entertain Cham and the guess at the Ramblehouse. They also pump patrons for information learning that the lands around are within Orc territory and that there are several qualified guides that could be hired. Word is put out that they are seeking such a guide.
  • Jurgen spends more time with Sara and Agrit, bringing more libations.
  • Elrik and Sascha spend a quiet day.
  • Aldonis and Lucius secure both rooms and stabling for the next ten-day.
  • The following morning Kurst Grath is at their usual table. He offers his services to guide them around some of the hot spots towards the Mindspin mountains and to where the Twisted Nails tribe make their home. An agreement of Ten gold pieces up front and ten more on completion of the trek is made.
  • There is mention of being able to buy an Orc token that would provide ‘safe’ passage through Orc controlled territory. But the price could be anywhere from several hundred gold to thousands. The closest tribe that could conceivably provide such a token are ‘The Broken Spine’s but Kurst suggest they may not be the best to buy from as their tribe has recently become southern Belkzen’s laughingstock.
  • Freetown is brought up, a non-Orc town that buys it’s independence through ‘taxes’. It’s a den of scum and villainy and closely watched by the Cleft Head Tribe.
  • They learn of the Black Sun, Bloodied Gauntlet and Empty Hand tribes.
  • Kurst only asks for time to get his gear and meets the party at the gates. He leads them north up the road past the Gnoll Hill and then at the river Belkzen he turns east to follow it. During the trip he stays well ahead of the group as both trail blazer and scout. Sascha joins him and he shows her the trail marks. Due to his pathfinding skills it takes half the time it would normally. (Two Days)
  • At the mid point of the second day Kurst stops the group and reports that there is a group of Ogres making camp just beyond a crest in the hills. He marks four and a tent large enough to hold four more.
  • Engaging the monstrous humanoids Manto is felled quickly by well thrown Ogre Spears.
  • From the tent a huge humanoid emerges, ripping the cloth off it’s too large body. The ogres have a Hill Giant.
  • Kurst stays back, he helps Manto to her feet and then provides covering fire with his bow.
  • Sascha and Jurgen close the distance quickly. Sascha Rages.
  • Despite a size and strength advantage, the Ogres and Giant are quickly taken down.

Amongst their belongings they find coins and a filthy pair of supple leather bracers.

Taking a quick rest, they push on and Kurst leads them to the trail that leads into the Mindspin mountains, up towards the Twisted Nail Tribe.

Elrik pipes up at this point and says “Hey, are those things up there going to attack us”?

tbc

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The Horns of Rage.
or "Banter must DIE!"

Gathering their gear The Iron Ravens make good on Jurgen Frostbeard’s plan to head south and find the Minotaur known as Banter Cull.

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Travel is easy and light with Sascha leading the way along Ophir’s well maintained main roads. Their first day of travel is uneventful and the evening’s rest around the (watched) campfire proves to be quiet and peaceful. The second day goes by with the same idyllic scenery and as the sun begins to set they come to a crossroads with a sign. It reads Rosso Torre. On the wind Elrik, Aldonis and Sascha hear faint music, lyrical words that can’t quite be understood. Aldonis is faintly unnerved as the dagger at his hip seems to vibrate faintly in conjunction to the music.

As the group stops to ponder the meaning of this, Jurgen pushes to continue south, saying “It will be there when we get back, mark my words … laddie.” lucius finds himself agreeing with him, while Elrik and Sascha remain neutral. At Eevi’s insistence, she and Sascha head in the direction of the music while the rest of the group continue down the road towards a known travelers shelter.

  • Eevi and Sascha find the source of the singing. It comes from a ruined tower about thirty minutes down the path. The song is Elvish, and is a warning, stating that the individual being held is being kept captive against her will, that the tower should be avoided. The song also sings about large captors, one with two heads. Eevi and Sascha give each other a look and then double back to meet up with the rest of the group.

Once together again, the Ravens follow Jurgen’s plan to continue down to Trunau. Making a note to come back to the tower on their way back to Cauldron.

On the third evening, when camp has been made and Jurgen takes his turn keeping the watch a wanderer comes to the campfire, announcing his intentions as peaceful and just seeking a warm fire and people to share the night with. Accepted he comes into the firelight accompanied by a large fierce looking dog. Introducing himself as Thomas of Littlegarden he sits and shares the fire. During the time he spends awake with Jurgen he relates some of what he knows in regards to Trunau and the surrounding Orc Tribes. The following day he travels with the group and splits off when they get to the bridge that crosses the River Belkzen.

On the final day, as they begin to make the last leg of their journey the keen eyes of the group make out humanoid figures trailing alongside them at a good distance. The figures simply watch, squatting on a hill.

Arriving at Trunau, the Ravens are stopped at the gates and asked their business. They are passed through when it becomes plain that they are merely travelers.

  • The group go the Ramblehouse, an Inn run by a female halfling named Cham Larringfass. Lucius buys out her two comfortable rooms and rents a third common room. Money is spent freely and a favourable impression is made on their hostess.
  • Aldonis stables the mounts and impresses upon the stable boy the importance of taking care of his horse, Bridge.
  • Jurgen crosses the road outside of the Inn with a jug of Cider and visits ’Clamour" the local Smith. Within he meets Sara Morninghawk, a half-orc of impressive stature working the forge. He makes small talk and shares drink with her. He then gets to meet her wife Agrit Staginsdar and promptly has his mind blown by the fact that Agrit is both married to Sara and a practitioner of the Arcane arts.
  • Eevi, Sascha, Manto and Elrik drink and eat, resting themselves after their 4 day trip.
  • They find out that there is a local Temple to Nike Goddess of Victory and to Tyche, goddess of good fortune.

The following day they speak before Trunau’s Council. Jurgen is surprised to see Sara is one of the Council members. The Council leader, Halgra repeats much of what they know in regards to the new threat. They confirm that Banter has been in the area and has taken command or has been hired by the Twisted Nail Tribe. Information is shared, a map is promised and rewards hinted at before the adventurers are dismissed.

They pass a large Cauldron just outside of the longhall where they met the council. The stone it rests on is called The Siegestone

On the walk back they are accompanied by Jagrin Grath, chief ranger of Trunau. He bids them to be careful and to not follow the foolish behaviour exhibited by the Tirades of the Raven mercenary group that was destroyed in the foothills of the mindspin mountains not too long ago.

  • Graffiti is seen on several rock outcrops and hillock within town.

The Ravens decide to rest the night, and make fresh on their journey come the dawn.

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