Iron Kingdoms Rugult's Iron Kingdoms Anthology (Updated 9/23/2008)

Rugult

On Call GM
This story hour details the story of my ongoing Iron Kingdoms campaigns. Since I have run various other campaigns in the Iron Kingdoms, all with shared continuity, this story hour details both ongoing games and the events of inactive parties.

Core Rules

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Players-Handbook-Rulebook-Dungeons-Dragons/dp/0786928867/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206637&sr=8-1"]D&D 3.5[/ame] – The cause and solution to; all of life’s problems. We’ve been using D&D 3.5 as the basis for campaigns since starting with the Witchfire Trilogy back in 2006.

Pathfinder Beta – Used in the latest campaign of the Iron Kingdoms series, this ruleset has basically replaced our use of 3.5. Conversion for the Iron Kingdoms to Pathfinder are ongoing, done on a PC/NPC by PC/NPC basis.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Kingdoms-Character-Guide-Fantasy/dp/0970697066/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206753&sr=8-3"]Iron Kingdoms Character Guide[/ame] – Everything from guns to the brokenness of Greatcloaks, the IK Character guide has seen as much use around our tables as any PHB (maybe even more).

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Mechanika-Dungeons-Dragons-Roleplaying-Kingdoms/dp/1933362014/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206784&sr=1-1"]Liber Mechanika[/ame] – On the oft chance someone decides to brave the wilds of the arcane mechanik, Privateer Press’ Liber Mechanika gets pulled out. Some gear is also pulled out of this book from time to time, mainly for purposes of DM >> PC Torture.

Setting Books

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Kingdoms-World-Guide-Roleplaying/dp/097069704X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206807&sr=1-1"]Iron Kingdoms World Guide[/ame] – I personally consider this the greatest worldbook of all times, just for the great detail it gives every nation. When it comes to 95% of what is canon in the campaign, this book is right.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Monsternomicon-V3-5-Kingdoms-Fantasy-Roleplaying/dp/1933362006/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206830&sr=1-2"]Monsternomicon I[/ame] [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Monsternomicon-Vol-II-Kingdoms-Beyond/dp/9781933364/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206830&sr=1-1"]& II[/ame] – What campaign would be complete without a wide array of baddies for the heroes to fight. Drawing on everything from Undead, to Mechanikal Constructs, to Grymkin (Iron Kingdoms Fey), these books form the foundation of several encountered creatures.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Five-Fingers-Port-Deceit-Kingdoms/dp/1933362073/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206862&sr=1-1"]Five Fingers[/ame] – During the Mercenary campaign, the party was based out of Five Fingers, so this book got quite a bit of use. Essentially Five Fingers is the dark Mos Eisley of the Iron Kingdoms, and will sometimes show up.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Witchfire-Collected-Dungeons-Roleplaying-Kingdoms/dp/1933362049/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222206879&sr=1-1"]The Witchfire Trilogy: Collected Edition [/ame]– Considered ‘in the past’ when it comes to this story hour, the Witchfire Trilogy is still used for information on the city of Corvis, and the historic events of the adventure series.

The Campaigns
Currently five campaigns encompass the entirety of this story hours Iron Kingdom lexicon. For readers benefits some cliff notes are given below though they are not essential for reading this story hour.

Witchfire Campaign (Finished) – The original Witchfire Trilogy, ran right up until a premature ‘party explosion’ at the Tomb of Lost Souls. Considered to be ‘in the past’ for this story hour.

Mercenary Campaign (Finished) – Details the survivors of the original Witchfire Trilogy and new companions. Coming together and forming a mercenary company of their own, they now fight for pride and coin.

Radio Free Llael (Finished) – This campaign tells the story of resistance fighters in occupied Llael. In this series, a group of survivors made their way from bombed out Riversmet to the free city of Rhydden.

Menoth Campaign (Finished) – Starting off in the streets of Ancient Icthier and ending with a bleak character death in the Bloodstone Marches, this campaign detailed the journeys of an all Menite party as they went in search of lost holy artifacts.

The Bronze Brotherhood (In Progress) – A group of four Rhulic clansmen (3 men, 1 woman), the Bronze Brotherhood details their search for secrets and mysteries long buried.

Cast of Characters

This will be updated in order of character appearance, or whenever I feel like adding a new character.

Mercenaries Campaign

Dmitri Amarov (Khardic Gunmage) played by Nick
Helgrind (Trollkin Fighter/Fellcaller) played by Mike
Renard Calsworth (Ryn Arcane Mechanik) played by Alex
Regan Calsworth (Ryn War Bard) played by Lauralee
Mira Kain (Midlunder Rogue) played by Krista


Thanks to Talien for having such a nice pre-amble for his Story Hour, I just had to steal the layout!

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Rugult

On Call GM
Chapter 0 - Introduction

Introduction
I reserve this space for future annotation.


Essentially this story hour starts one year after the events detailed in Privateer Press’ Witchfire Trilogy. For those unfamiliar with the adventure, no worries, it is written with all of you in mind.

This marks the start of the Mercenary campaign, and my first time DMing the Iron Kingdoms since the faithful day my Witchfire campaign ‘exploded’. The result of the adventure path was a pre-mature ending that had 3 of the players lose their characters in what can only be described as one of the greatest inter-player battles in a long time.

If you like what you see(read), please drop me a line by PM or even comment here. Who knows, I might write more!

So without further delay, I present my story hour.
 
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Rugult

On Call GM
Prologue - A dusty tomb

Look to Menoth for salvation.
Look to Morrow for mercy.
Look to Thamar for truth.

-Thamarite Proverb
The kiss of steel embraced him. It was a sudden and disconcerting feeling all said, certainly something he could have done well without. The sudden darkness of the room engulfed his vision, and the man fumbled his hands out, hoping to pinpoint the location where the blade had struck.

It didn’t take him long.

Straight through the center of his chest did the man feel the cold steel enter its way into his body, and based off the closeness of the hilt; out the other side as well. Shaking his head, the defiant man didn’t even cough up blood as his last words escaped from his mouth.

“You killed me. You weren’t supposed to kill me…”

The blade exited as straight as it had entered, the blood from the impact smearing itself across the hands of the man who still vainly gripped the edge of the sword. The scent of dust crept up on him, and the man tried to speak again only to have his knees buckle and his body tumble onto the cold stone floor.

Heavy footfalls boomed in his ears, followed by more, until the sound became one homogeneous rhythm. Like some macabre nursery rhyme, the sounds of marching footsteps sent the blood soaked man to sleep.



1 Year Later…
Gorim 6th, Glaceus, 604 AR

The embrace of steel was gone now, instead replaced by the most decrepit of odors. Feeling came back to the man who had spent a year alone and dead on the cold stone floor of this tomb. Memories soon followed the resurgence of senses, and the man began to remember important things like his name, his homeland, his companions, and most of all; his distaste for death.

Once his mind cleared, and he was sure he could move normally, Dmitri Amarov made his first move; drawing his pistols. Within a second the young Khardic man’s hands had shot down to his holsters and back up into the air, but it took another second for Dmitri’s mind to compute the simple fact the there were no pistols in them. So there he sat for some time; in the dark holding imaginary pistols into the darkness. He might have even thought it comical, if he could see exactly how he looked.

Time passed slowly in Amarov’s mind, as he waited for something to happen. As nothing did happen, he began to reflect on his current predicament and what might have happened. Perhaps he was dead, and this was Urcaen. If this was Urcaen it did not match any stories he had heard as a child from his Morrowan and Menite priests. It was a lot more quiet then any Morrowan afterlife, and certainly did not have enough fire to be proper for any Menite.

As his internal theological battle continued, Dmitri tried to remember the specific circumstances that had brought him to this point. He remembered that he traveled to a tomb in search of a lost legion of soldiers to fight forces that had been occupying the Cygnaran city of Corvis. Then he remembered the numerous incompetent attempts at betrayal that occurred within the tomb that lead to the death of two of his companions; only one by his own hand. Finally the image of the raven haired sorceress impaling him with a cursed black blade flooded back into his mind.

The shock of remembering being stabbed forced one of Dmitri’s arms back, while the other remained poised up holding his imaginary gun. The free arm frantically unbuckled the top buttons of his thick greatcloak. As the extra armor slid off, Dmitri’s arm felt around his chest, trying to find the mark of the wound. A patch of imperfect flesh greeted his touch, and Dmitri’s traced it as best he could to no avail.

Shifting his eyes from side to side, Dmitri finally lowered his second arm. Guiding it across the stone floor, he tried and tried to find something to pick up. Eventually a small pebble found itself in the palm of his hand. A pebble would be all Dmitri needed for his next step.

Reciting quick incantations he had learned as a youth, Dmitri clenched the stone tight in his hand. Dull yellow light engulfed his right hand as it made quick motions directed to the clenched pebble in his left hand. The light came off a series of free floating glyphs that circled his right arm as he quietly spoke. The words were still engraved in his mind, like a tablet that had been inscribed on ages ago, but as Dmitri spoke the tablet began to empty.

As the glyphs disappeared in miniature flash explosions of intangible arcane dust, Dmitri’s left hand opened to a ball of pure light. The pebble, now acting as a conduit of arcane power, gave off clear illumination to the whole of the area, and also forced Dmitri to briefly shield his eyes.

The room was obviously stonework, the floor and walls well worked, though bearing slight signs of age as evidenced by chips and crumbling. Though everything was tinted in yellow, Dmitri could see the entirety of the cramped room, stone walls all around save for a single out of place block of stone that sealed his entry to this place. The block was clearly more then he could ever move, but Dmitri neglected that small fact for the moment and instead worried about his more immediate problem of being stabbed.

Shifting his clothing back with his right arm, and holding the pebble in his left aloft so he could clearly see the wound, Dmitri gained the courage and gazed down. The marking on his chest had clearly marked him for life, something so repulsive that he would have to be sure it was never seen by anyone he would ever meet, if he left the place. Centered on his chest at the exact point of the blades entry was a scar of the Ternion Brand; the symbol of the dark goddess Thamar.

Dmitri laughed. The thunderous roar of an amused Khardic man filled the small chamber, and as he continued laughing, Dmitri threw the small pebble to the ground directly in front of the stone that barred his exit.

“Oh you have to be kidding me!”

In his younger years prior to joining the Winter Guard, as was mandatory for all Khardic youth, Dmitri had a falling out with his spiritual advisors. His brief displays of sorcery all but expelled him from the teachings of the northern Menite clergy, and his rash impulsive nature often lead him into conflicts with Morrowan authorities. It was a culmination of these events that kindled his interest in the goddess Thamar, twin sister of Morrow.

By no means was Dmitri a bloodthirsty killer, or a man who went out and made deals with Infernal powers on a whim. Instead, Dmitri Amarov appreciated his freedom, and honesty. If Thamar offered one thing that the other gods of Western Immoren did not, it was honesty and the ability for her subjects to choose their own fates. Just as Morrow and Thamar had ascended to divinity, so to could any who followed in their footsteps.

The branding of Thamar would be viewed as a black curse on Dmitri’s flesh, but to him it was now a source of continual amusement. Even the blade that had pierced him was believed to have been involved in the ascension of at least one of Thamar’s scions; those who followed her into divinity. If anything, this new brand was a mark of honor; it signified that he was important, or at least amusing enough to keep alive.

Cutting short the spurts of laughter was the sudden movement of stone. From the corner of his eyes, Dmitri spotted the stone that blocked his exit budging under some extreme force. Taking a moment to re-button up his greatcloak, Dmitri waited as the stone slowly moved out of the way.

Standing in the doorway was a short and thin man, likely of Midlunder descent based on the subtle skin inflections. He was garbed in a dusty white and blue robe and across his neck was a necklace that bore on it the sunburst of Morrow. This obvious acolyte of the clergy of Morrow ducked his head in briefly and paused at the sight of Dmitri. Others who had assisted in moving the block also peered in.

“We… ummm… we heard laughter. How long have you been trapped in there?”

Briskly walking past the stupefied group, Dmitri strode out into one of the main chambers of the Tomb of Lost Souls. All around him, construction workers bristled about trying to repair the monument. Ogrun, trollkin and the mechanical laborjacks performed heavy lifting while various Morrowan and Cygnaran officials scurried about overseeing things.

“Oh, I would say a long time now… What’s the date anyways?”

Turning around and fidgeting slightly, the novice priest looked at the extreme blood red attire of Dmitri; a direct clash to the various blue uniforms that flooded the tombs.

“It is Gorim 6th, Glaceus, 604 A.R.”

Without hesitation Dmitri let out another laugh, this time catching the attention of all those present in the tomb. As workers turned to look at the strange newcomer, Dmitri had to stifle the amusement of his one year incarceration here. Instead he just smiled and nodded briefly.

“One year it seems.”

The acolyte seemed more unnerved by his happiness, and now the ludicrous statement that came from him.

“Ummm… how did you survive in there?”

Letting out a smaller, more personal laugh, Dmitri turned and slapped the acolyte of Morrow on the shoulder.

“Clearly you’ve never been in a northern community Winter Guard barracks my friend!”

Giving him one final pat, Dmitri turned and began to walk right out of the old tomb.
 
“You killed me. You weren’t supposed to kill me…”


Spoken like a true BBEG who should have lasted severla more sessions. :lol:

I really enjoyed this and hope you write some more.
 

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