The Rise of Felskein [Completed]

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 4 Crunch

As I said in the Session 3 Crunch post, Suniel wasn't actually there for most of Session 3. The events with the land pirates, Black Rangers, and the dark figure all happened as he reached the outpost at the beginning of this session.

As for the elves on raptors, I already had robot ninja assassins with laser-beam eyes in the campaign, so I figured that elves on dinosaurs wouldn't be much of a stretch. My players didn't even blink at it. You can tell they are long time DnD veterans. Takes alot to faze them. I figured, hell, this is DnD, it's supposed to be fantastic.

As long as it's not super-fantastic all the time, then it's just silly. At least that's my take. YMMV.

Throughout the campaign, Suniel has been a stray-catcher. He just accrues this ever-growing collection of varied misfits. I had no idea what they were going to do with Guntl, but, seeing how Suniel's player was content to let "background NPCs" stay "background" and not throw them in as fodder in every battle until they die catching arrows, I had no problem having him join the Black Carriage.

The Battle with Durgon Kellin was about as brutal as written. Took something like 8 tense rounds. I think Ming had 1 hp left at the end of the fight. I may not remember correctly, but I think she critted on her final blow.

I decided when I was planning and running this game that I was going to let things grow in scale at their own pace. I also decided that I was going to drop (sometimes litterally) various snippets of the larger world on the PCs, so that it wouldn't feel like "well, we're level 10 now and hey, look, epic plot stuff we've never heard about just showed up!" I wanted hints and rumors of the larger world to trickle in so that when they finally decided to go to Gantry or the Crystal Towers or the One Tree, or wherever, it wouldn't feel like they had just "levelled up and zoned" or whatnot.

I've been pretty pleased with it. It has the added benefit of making places that are mysterious seem mysterious, since they've heard of most of the places they go quite some time before they actually go there most of the time. If they haven't heard of some place, it actually helps give the place a sense of mystery and wonder. At least I think so - hard to tell for sure from the other side of the table.

I have in my notes that Ming's horse died in the elf-rescue mission, but I don't remember where or when or who had horses, so I just ignored it. When writing after-session notes, it's hard to tell what will be important later. Especially when you start writing a narrative of it 25 sessions later on a whim. Wonder how many little details I've forgotten, reimagined, or changed for the flow of narrative. The meat is there, but the rest of the meal is made up.

If this was non-fiction, it'd be historical fiction rather than history. Well, and we'd be dealing with robot ninja assassins with laser beam eyes and elven dinosaur riders. Though I'll bet alot of our history is like this anyway. "History is written by the victors" and all that.

This was a pretty RP heavy session - only two short fights(though one was pretty plot significant). What that usually means in my group is the next session, it's time to go find something to kill.

As such, the body count in Session 5 was, well, you'll see. Steep.
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First Post
Iron Sky said:
I have in my notes that Ming's horse died in the elf-rescue mission, but I don't remember where or when or who had horses, so I just ignored it.

I think most of our horses got killed by ankhegs. They used their frigging bite attack and dragged them into their holes. And when I think about it... I think Ming and Ilsa got dragged into ankheg holes a once or twice.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Negative on the horse thing for this fight, that's in the later ankheg adventures. I have that horse bit written down at least. So, spoiler alert for anyone reading this, the party fights more ankhegs later. :)

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 5, Part 1

-Note: Played session 30 last night. I can sum up a large piece of the session with these tiny exerpts:

Excerpt 1:
*Pre-established attack word if diplomacy goes wrong = "banana."
Player 1: "We brought you this banana."
Bad guy: "What's a banana?"
Bad guy dies horribly.
Player 2(Sanzuo ^^): "What's a banana?"

Excerpt 2:
Player 3: "My stuff got ganked."
Player 2: "No, your stuff got kyped. You got ganked."

Sub-note: How do you do the Show/Hide thingies? I thought it was via [/spoiler] but I guess not.-

"All right, Mister Secretive, don't tell us what you spent the last two days doing out in the Hills with the elves," Ming said with an exaggerated shrug and leaned back against the table. "I don't actually care, I was trying to be polite."

"You? Polite?" Ilsa said, with a mock expression of shock. "Suniel, quick, pinch me. Am I awake?"

Ming elbowed Ilsa, but smiled. Harold didn't answer Ming, as expected. Instead, he said, "we have another mission."

"This one straight from the King of the Crystal Towers?" Ming said with a crude attempt at a curtsy that made Ilsa burst out in guffaws. "You know I'm at the Crystal Towers' service, always."

"Crystal Towers is a republic, we have no king - not that I'd expect you to understand something like that," Harold said flatly. "No, when I was out with the elves, we spotted fires. Many fires. If we leave tomorrow, I think I can lead us to the camp where the Iron Tribes are making their rafts."

"More accurately, lead us to an ambush where the Iron Tribes are making their rafts," Ming said.

Harold ignored her, speaking to Suniel. "We could do much good for the people of Northmand." His gaze turned to Ilsa. "I'm sure the Council prefer allies who prove themselves worthy." To Ming. "And there's probably a lot of them. That means a lot of ears which means-"

"I know what it means, archer-boy. You sure know how to sweet talk a lady," she stood up and one hand moved towards Harolds crotch. He stepped out of reach quickly.

Ming laughed and walked to the bar for another tankard. If they were going to head out tomorrow, she was going to get good and drunk tonight.


It was getting dark and Ilsa could tell Ming was getting crotchety. Well, more crotchety. Hiking with a companion that complained for the first half of the day about how early it was and about her hang over and the other half about how late it was getting and that there wasn't any alcohol was rapidly ceasing to be entertaining.

"Quiet," Harold said, dropping to one knee and nocking an arrow.

Ming rolled her eyes and spoke loudly. "Oh, the great scout has finally shown us the way to our foes, praise the-"

"Shhh," Suniel said, dropping to a crouch as well.

Ming looked as mollified as Ilsa had ever seen her and dropped to a crouch as well, her greatsword scraping from its ring on her back.

Ilsa readied her shield and drew her sword. In the light of the rapidly setting sun, she saw faint smoke trails drifting up from over the next hill, smelled a faint hint of tar on the wind, and heard distant voices shouting and cursing.

In goblin.


Suvok snorted and backhanded the chief poleman. "I said the raft should hold thirty or forty, like the last one. This one barely floats with ten on it."

He pointed to the raft that sat half-submerged in the alcove. The greasy tar-splotched hobgoblin that had replaced the last poleman cringed. "I'll do better Suvok, just give me another week."

Suvok kicked him in the chest, drew his sword, and stood over the fallen hobgoblin. "I should gut you like that sniveling runt you replaced. You have until Sub-chief Thoslar gets back."

The poleman's eyes grew huge. "But, but, Thoslar is supposed to be back-"

Suvok kicked him again and buried his sword in a log a foot from his head. "You heard me."

"Wait," the polemain said, half sitting, "I thought I heard-"

Suvok snarled, buried his sword in the hobgoblin's throat, wrenched it free, and watched the poleman writhe and thrash. Then he heard a horn from the lookouts on the top of the hill.

He glanced up to see one of his scouts tumbling down the hill, two arrows buried in his chest, then glanced back at the dying poleman. He turned to Sergeant Shodfeet and shrugged.

"You heard him, I guess he thought he heard something. Take the archers up, I'll send the rest up shortly, along with the beasts."

Shodfeet nodded and set off at a jog through the raft camp, shouting orders and pointing up the hill with his sword. Suvok stepped into his dug-out dwelling and grabbed his bow and quiver. A little battle is just what I need, he thought with a grin and headed quickly towards the pens.


When he got to the top of the hill, two-thirds of the workers and half his troops were already dead and there were sounds of fighting from the outcropping they'd named The Outlook. He stepped into the shelter of another rusty outcropping and found Shodfeet slumped against it, his leg and lower torso blackened, smoking, and smelling like cooked meat, an arrow sprouting from his shoulder.

"Situation, Sergeant!" he said, leaning slightly out from the outcropping, looking for the enemy.

Shodfoot gasped and wheezed. "Mage... to the left... swarms of bats. Archers... no, just one archer... right. Dwarf... berserk woman... Outlook. Killing everyone..."

Shodfoot took another rasping breath and slumped down for good.

Suvok watched two of his archers at another outcropping thirty feet away. They leaned out and fired their arrows down the hill, ducked back behind the outcropping, and leaned out again. One took an arrow in to forehead and flew backwards. The other cursed and fired wildly before ducking back again.

Suvok traced the direction the arrow had come from and aimed at a likely outcropping. He didn't have to wait long. A figure in dusty blue leaned out to take a shot and Suvok loosed. He wasn't sure where he hit, but the figure below disappeared from sight behind its outcropping. Suvok smiled.

His smile widened to a ferocious grin when he heard a bellowing roar, quickly followed by the Dire Apes he'd loosed thundering over the hill, the lashes he'd given them having driven them into a rage. As soon as they crested the hill, no more than fifteen feet from his hiding place, one of them was thrown backwards in a sudden explosion, filling the air with cries of rage and pain and the stink of burning fur.

It staggered to its feet and charged after the other, arrow after arrow thudding into them as they ran. Suvok glanced down the hill and saw that the enemy archer was firing as he ran towards a small clump of trees at the base of the hill where Suvok thought he saw a horse. Suvok fired another arrow, but then the beasts were between him and the archer, blocking his shot.

He shifted position to the other side of the outcropping, with a view of the Outlook. The fighting seemed to have died down and all was silent there. A brief surge of unaccustomed fear surged through him as he scanned the hill ridge and the camp, accompaniment to the realization that he was probably the only one still alive.

Then a huge woman covered in dust, blood, and armor stepped out around the outcropping and buried her sword in his head.


Thoslar roared at the oarsman again as he watched the battle. "Faster, faster you fools!"

From his spot on the raised platform at the back of the giant, walled raft, he saw the blue figure on horseback bring down the other Ape as well, trotting circles around it and putting a few extra arrows into it to be sure. Atop the hill, he saw two armored figures throw the body of a huge hobgoblin that had to be Suvok down the hill.

"Faster, ready the ballistas! Pole to the shore. Ballistas, take out that horseman. Everyone else, up the hill. Send the beasts up to tear them apart. Kill them all!"

Thoslar jumped down from the platform and pushed his way to the front of the raft, next to the drop-wall held loosely in place by ropes. The ballista crews loaded their weapons and checked them.

It seemed to take forever until the raft scraped across gravel.

"Now!" he shouted.

Two hobgoblins chopped the ropes and the drop-wall fell. Thoslar leapt into the water with a roar, a war chant surging from the throats of thirty hobgoblins behind him as they followed. He saw a ballista shot fly, far over the horseman's head. Arrows thudded into the hobgoblins behind him and one of the beasts roared in pain.

He had just reached land and glanced back when the other ballista creaked like a tree falling and exploded, wooden splinters flying in all directions, mutilating its crew and dropping half-a-dozen around it. Shoddy human craftsmanship, Thoslar thought. After we kill these invaders, I'm going to find those human traders and have them tortured to death.

He waited for the main body of his hobgoblins to form up around him and they double-timed up the hill, the beast-keepers struggling to keep the Apes from pulling loose and going after the horse-archer that had shifted his focus to them. Two of the Apes already had half-a-dozen arrows protruding from their leather barding and were bleeding heavily.

Dust kicked up as they stormed up the hill. One of the beasts took an arrow in the neck and went down, his troops leaping clear of its death-throes. They reached the Outlook and he sent half around one side, half around the other. He took the ones going left and barely ducked in time to avoid being decapitated by a huge sword blade that buried in the hobgoblin next to him.

"Kill her!" he roared as she stepped back into the cover of the outcropping. He glanced back as his troops surged after her, saw another Ape go down, dead before it hit the dirt, a dozen arrows sticking from it. Half-a-dozen of his troops were dead when he got around the Outlook, their bodies heaped about the feet of the woman and a dwarf with a huge battered and pitted wooden shield.

With a roar, the woman cut another down and suddenly an elf in dirty brown robes appeared next to her. An arrow flew past Tholsar from behind and dropped one of his sergeants instantly. The dwarf hacked and stabbed, grunting as a mace came down on her shoulder.

The elf chanted something and a rope dropped from nowhere. Thoslar's troops backed away superstitiously and the woman took the opportunity to run another through.

"Kill them, kill them, kill them!" Thoslar roared, lunging forward through a gap in the press of troops surrounding the human, dwarf, and elf. His sword caught the woman in the side as she tried to pull her sword free from the trooper she had run through and she went down.

The elf scrambled up the rope and disappeared, calling something down to the dwarf, but a moment later the dwarf went down in a swarm of hobgoblins. Thoslar ran to the rope and looked up, to see the elf kneeling in a shimmering silver space visible through a hole in the air. Thoslar grabbed the rope, but with a jerk the elf pulled it from his hands and vanished utterly.

Arrows continued to fly and Thoslar's priorities shifted. "Keep these two alive! Get behind the rocks, away from the archer. Now!"


Suniel looked down from the cramped pocket of something in the nothing, watching as the hobgoblins quickly stripped Ilsa and Ming down, crudely bandaged their wounds, and took cover behind the rocks. There was one that seemed to be giving orders - the one that had dropped Ming.

There has to be something I can do, Suniel thought as he watched, helpless. His hands shook with exhaustion and his breathing was ragged. The desire to drop the rope and go down there was almost overwhelming, but he knew all he would do was die with his companions.

The leader was shouting something down the hill, strangely mute since no sound could reach Suniel in this non-space. There was a commotion below and the remaining seven or eight hobgoblins dragged Ilsa and Ming's bodies out into the open, one hobgoblin kneeling on Ming's back with a dagger at her throat, another with a sword leveled at the base of Ilsa's neck.

Peering intently, Suniel had a surge of hope. Ilsa and Ming were still breathing!

The leader was shouting down the hill and Suniel shifted to get a better view. He saw Harold walking up the hill, hands up but still holding his bow. The leader shouted again and pointed at Ilsa and Ming and Harold dropped his bow. He shouted something else and Harold began walking slowly towards them, arms still raised.

They'll all be captured, but their are only eight or so hobgoblins left, Suniel thought, the strain of maintaining even this tiny space making even thinking an effort. Perhaps they'll forget about me and I can find a place to rest. I can follow them and tomorrow I'll catch the hobgoblins by surprise, set them free and-.

Suniel watched in shock at what happened next.

Harold, about twenty feet from Ilsa and Ming, reached back to his quiver and pulled another whole bow out, loosing two arrows before the hobgoblins could react. Suniel grabbed his rope as he saw the two hobgoblins on Ilsa and Ming fly back. Harold fired two more arrows, killing two others that rushed towards Ming and Ilsa's bodies and Suniel began to make the series of gestures that would allow him to open the space and drop down to help...

The world seemed to slow as Suniel stared at the scene below. The hobgoblin leader turned back to the last few of his hobgoblins, motioned them forward, and buried his sword in Ming's back. Suniel let out a cry and saw Harold put two arrows in the leader, staggering him back, but the huge hobgoblin managed to reach Ilsa's body. He sneered at Harold, beheaded Ilsa, and died in a second later as an arrow slammed in the center of his chest.


Harold loaded the last of the gold, maps, and documents from the raft camp into his saddlebags and grabbed a torch. His arms ached and his wounds throbbed as he lit the camp afire and walked his horse to the top of the hill where Suniel sat next to Ilsa and Ming's graves, staring at the last of the setting sun's light.

"It's done," Harold said, gesturing towards the quickly-burning camp below. "We should move on in case there are more nearby."

"Ilsa and Ming are dead," Suniel said, without looking up.

Harold paused for a long moment as he looked at the raised dirt of the graves. "I know, I was there. I had a choice to make and I made it."

Suniel turned to him and Harold saw tear-channels washed in the dust of his face. "Why?"

"They would have killed me and them as soon as they knew I was defenseless. I did what I could to save them. You did no better."

"That at least is true," Suniel said, bitterness in his voice. "All my magic and there was nothing that I could do to save them."

He looked up at Harold again. "You didn't know they would kill you. They probably would have taken you prisoner. If you had just surrendered and-"

Harold shook his head. "I doubt it." He looked down at the graves again, thinking back on all the funeral pyres he had lit in the battles against the Ashen Tower, thought back to digging through the ash and breaking the bones of the fallen so the Ashen Towers couldn't dig them up...

"Soldiers die, here and everywhere. There's not more that can be done. Decisions made in battle are best left in battle," he said.

Suniel turned back to the setting sun and together they watched it set.

"Come, we must go now," Harold said, leading his horse away. He glanced back to see Suneil take a handful of Ming and Ilsa's grave dirt, tuck it into his robe. A chill went down Harold's spine.

Never trust a wizard.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 5 Crunch

My notes say 46 hobgoblins(a couple with levels) and 8 Dire Apes. In exchange for two PCs.

The session was pretty much one big fight and the narrative summarizes it pretty handily. Harold dished out serious damage with his bow(as to be expected) while Suniel quickly burned through his spells and Ming and Ilsa fought hand-to-hand.

After the first ones(about 16 hobgoblins and 2 dire apes) were dead and the raft with 6 more apes and 30 more hobgoblins showed up, Ilsa and Ming were at about 1/2 health(they'd been lower but Ilsa's aura healed them back up), Suniel was out of all his spells but cantrips and Rope Trick while Harold was pretty much unhurt.

As for the ballista, I rolled a super-critical-fumble: 1 then 1 to confirm, then another 1, then a 2. I think the ballista exploding killed 6 hobgoblins outright.

So, anyway, first two player deaths. I wish I could say they'd be the last.

On the plus side, two new characters enter the story next session: Kezzek the Half-orc Greywarden(Ming's replacement) and Grok'Nar, the Iron Tribe hobgoblin defector(Ilsa's replacement).


First Post

I'm pouring one out for my homies Ming and Ilsa. :cool:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 6, Part 1

-Notes: We played session 31 last night, ending the campaign in a suitably epic fashion. So, this story has an end, 25 sessions from now...-

Harold walked into the barracks and dropped the satchel full of documents he had salvaged from the raft camp on Lieutenant Laris's desk. Laris looked at them for a moment, then to Harold's grim, dusty, form, clothing slashed and crusted here and there with dried blood.

"We destroyed the camp where they were making the rafts. I counted forty-six dead, plus eight of their war-beasts. Twelve of them had these iron-ring necklaces," he said, setting them on the desk with a metallic clink.

Laris blinked and ruffled through the satchel for a moment, then stopped and stared at Harold with his mouth agape. "The four of you killed forty-six hobgoblin raiders and eight war beasts?"

Harold nodded wearily. "Yes, though two of our companions died, the woman and the dwarf. I hope the information there is worth it."

Harold turned to leave, grabbing the iron-ring necklaces off the table as he turned, but Laris stood quickly and grabbed his arm. "Wait! You.. you all have the thanks of Northmand, of course. I'm sorry for your companions. We will hold a public burial for them in the morning. Recognize them as heroes."

"Their bodies lie in the Ragged Hills. You may hold a funeral for them, but not a burial." Harold turned to leave again but Laris stopped him again.

"I know you must be exhausted from the battle and your travels, but there is someone you should meet," Laris said, gesturing towards a figure asleep in one of the bunks nearby.

Laris walked over and nudged the figure with his boot. There was some indistinct grumbling and the figure pulled the blanket away and stood up.

Harold instinctively took a step back and reached for his bow, nocking and leveling an arrow in the span of a heartbeat.


Guntl and Stabber sat beside the Carriage, playing cards on an overturned bucket in the fading light. They paused when Suniel approached and Guntl stood.

"Hey Boss, how'd it go?" Guntl said, shaking Suniel's hand.

Suniel sighed and shook his head. "We were victorious, but at a steep price. Ming and Ilsa are dead. If you'll excuse me, I need some time alone."

Without waiting for reply, Suniel stepped over the card-strewn bucket, pulled open the carriage door, and climbed inside.


Kezzek Stone entered the long, low building that he assumed was the local tavern. Thunder rumbled outside and he glanced back at the dark clouds skudding across the moon.

"Greywarden, huh?" An old dwarf that Kezzek took to be the tavernkeep said, walking over with a serving tray in one hand and glancing at the huge gray metal gauntlet that covered Kezzek's whole arm and shoulder. "Don't see many of your type around here."

Kezzek grunted and scanned the room quickly. Three figures wrapped in dark cloaks sat in one corner, outsiders from the way the dozen-or-so locals avoided them. He took a seat at the bar where he could keep an eye on them and turned to the dwarf.

"I'm looking for a woman."

The tavernkeep chuckled as he set the tray down on the bar and wiped his hands with a rag. "If you're looking for orc women here, you're out of luck friend."

Kezzek looked at him sharply and growled. "I am a half-orc, not an orc."

The dwarf raised his hands and took a step back. "I meant no offense, Greywarden, just making light is all."

Kezzek grunted again and set down a coin on the bar. "I'll have whatever you have available for dinner."

He glanced back at the far table where the cloaked figures were leaning together in close, hushed conversation, then turned to looked out the door as the rain began to patter down.

The dwarf brought him a crust of bread, a steaming bowl of stew and a tin mug full of some frothy drink. Kezzek took bite of bread and gulped some stew. He followed the dwarf's gaze back to the figures in back. "Who are they?" Kezzek said with a nod in their direction.

"Not sure, they showed up a bit after dark. Give me a bad feeling," the tavernkeep said, fidgeting and not looking directly at them.

Kezzek grunted and took a sip of his drink. "I'll keep an eye on them. Anyway, I was asking about a woman earlier, big, long silver hair, murderer."

"Murderer?" The dwarf shook his head. "No no, we had a trial by combat here a couple days ago and she proved herself innocent."

"Trail by combat? So she's here then?" Kezzek said, suddenly intent on the dwarf.

The tavernkeep looked down at the bar. "No, more's the pity. She was a good customer and fought hard for the town, for Northmand. She died fighting hobgoblins in the Ragged Hills not a day past."

Kezzek growled to himself and picked at one of his tusks for a moment before reaching into his travel sack and pulling out his journal. He slid his meal aside, set his journal on the bar and dug around until he found his ink bottle and quill. When he had it all set out on the bar he turned to the dwarf again and cleared his throat. "Tell me everything you know about the events surrounding Ming's death."


Harold had put his bow away but still didn't trust the hobgoblin.

"How do you know he isn't just a spy?" he said, looking the hobgoblin up and down again. The hobgoblin wore heavy armor and had a longsword of obvious hobgoblin make strapped to his side as he lounged in Laris's chair.

"It's a risk we're willing to take. Look, he says he'll lead us to Chieftain Neergrog." Laris nodded as Harold's gaze shot to him. "Yeah, that one, the one all the reports are made out to. Grok'nar here says he's one of Neergrog's cousins or something."

Harold snorted. "Neergrog's cousin? Doesn't that in itself make you a bit suspicious?"

Grok'nar yawned and spoke in rough Common. "Neergrog saw me as a threat and tried to have me killed. I didn't like the idea much or the idea of dying for the High King in some war against the humans." He shrugged. "Maybe this way, Neergrog dies and we stop the war Neergrog and his Iron-ring cronies are pushing for before it starts and I have to get killed in it."

"Iron-ring?" Harold and Laris at the same time. Harold pulled the bundle of necklaces from his belt and held them out to Grok'nar.

Grok'nar looked at them and then cooly at Harold. "Been killing some hobgoblins have we?" he said. "At least you killed some of the right ones. The Iron-rings are the High-King's underlings, sends them to keep an eye on the other tribes, make sure we're all doing what he wants. Keep us in line you see."

Harold stood, weariness suddenly overtaking him. "We can talk about this all later. I'm going to go get something warm to eat and sleep in a soft bed."

He nodded to Laris and walked out. When he reached the inn, he glanced back to see the hobgoblin following him.


Kezzek finished jotting the tavernkeep's statement and closed his book. "I'll need to talk with this Suniel Au and Harold Trisden of course. You know where I might find them?"

"The wizard's probably in that big black carriage of his," the dwarf said and pointed across the room. "Harold is that one over there by the fire, he walked a few minutes ago while we were here talking - along with that one that cleared out half my commons. No matter what Laris says, I can't bring myself to trust a hobgoblin."

Kezzek nodded and glanced up, his gaze pausing at the corner table. One of the figures there had pulled his hood back, his skin sickly pale in the flickering firelight of the fireplace and the lanterns. Their eyes met, the other smiled faintly, and Kezzek felt a knot of fear in the human half of him that clashed with a blaze of rage from his orc side.

"Get out of here," Kezzek said to the dwarf as he walked quickly to the door. It was all he could do to not run.

Once he was outside he turned the corner of the inn - soaked to the bone before he had taken ten steps - and ran full-tilt towards the barracks he had noticed when he arrived in town.

He hurled the door open, startling a young blond man in a Northmand officer's uniform sitting at a table strewn with papers. The young officer stood up as sleeping guardsmen tumbled from their bunks, reaching for weapons.

"There's an assassin in the inn. Extremely dangerous," he said to the officer, ignoring the others. "He killed four high-ranking Greywardens a few months ago when we tried to apprehend him. You must send a rider to the Greywarden outpost in Northmand, immediately."

The young officer gulped, nodded, and stood, turning to a lean soldier in a nearby bunk. "Tuck, dress quickly and get your horse ready."

Kezzek already had a sheet of parchment out, a hasty message scribbled, and the Greywarden seal set into a dollop of red wax by the time the soldier was dressed. He stuffed the dispatch in a leather scroll case and handed it over. "Make haste. Don't stop for anyone. This assassin could kill anyone - everyone - here on a whim."

The rider gulped as he took the dispatch, glanced at the officer for reassurance, took a deep breath and walked quickly out into the rain.

Kezzek turned to the officer again. "We need to get the people out of the inn. As long as he's here in town he's a threat to-"

He stopped at the sound of a grunt and a splash outside. In one motion he had his double-bladed quor'rel off his back and was out the door.

The second he was out the door a pale-faced shadow was at his side. He felt the press of a blade against his leather armor and froze as the shadow leaned close to whisper in his ear. "Play dead, Greywarden, and we'll let you live."

Instead, Kezzek shifted and slammed one of his quor'rel blades deep into the man's gut and twisted, staggering the man back a few steps.

The man jerked once, staring down at the blade, then looked up. He grinned, blood running between his teeth.

"Wrong move."

The rest happened in a blur, so fast Kezzek didn't even have time to think. One second his blade was six inches into the man's gut, the next the man held him by the neck with one hand, Kezzek's toes dangling in the mud. The man spat blood in Kezzek's face and slammed a dagger into his side.

The pain tore through Kezzek like lightning and the world began to fade into the sudden roar of the rain. He only half-felt himself flying through the air, discarded like a doll. Then he slammed into the wall of the barracks and landed hard, his side blazing where his blood poured out into the water and mud.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 6, Part 2

Harold froze, a steaming spoonful of stew half-way to his mouth. He thought he'd heard something outside over the rain and thunder.

A quick glance around the room told him no one else had noticed, but his eyes stopped and the back table. There was only one man there, cowl hiding his face but seeming to be looking in Harold's direction.

There were three of them when I came in, Harold thought, a tingle running down his spine. He hadn't seen anyone leave since he'd come in - and he sat right next to the door.

Harold stood and walked slowly to the doorway, still staring at the figure at the back table. The cowl moved slightly, as if the figure was shaking its head at him.

A moment later he was out in the rain, squinting towards half-a-dozen torches that flickered outside the barracks and a dozen figures that clashed there. His bow flew to his hands and he stared hard, singling out one of the two dark figures that fought the Laketide guardsman.

Arrows flew from his bow in rapid succession, slamming into one of the dark figures. After two arrows it had turned towards him, ignoring the guards around it. After four it was rushing towards him in spite of the force of his arrows' impact. After six it collapsed backwards into the mud.

The guards closed in it, but another dark figure leapt over their heads, grabbed the one Harold had dropped, and looked up at Harold, eyes reflecting light like a wolf. And then both were gone.

A voice whispered in Harold's ear. "Turn around and walk back inside. I have no desire to fight you."

The hair rose on Harold's neck and he spun, sword singing from its sheath on his back.


Suniel stepped out of the carriage into the downpour, squinting through the sheets of rain, and saw that his suspicions were not unfounded. Nearby Harold stood face to face with a dark figure, his sword drawn, while guardsmen ran about near the barracks in what seemed to be near-panic.

Suniel cast a shrouding spell and moved to help Harold, but it was over before he could take ten steps.

Harold swung his sword, but the figure sidestepped it like Harold was a child swinging a too-heavy stick and slammed his hand into Harold's face. Harold staggered back but the figure grabbed his wrist and twisted sharply, dropping Harold to one knee and sending his sword splashing into the mud.

Harold tried to pull free, but the figure turn and sent Harold sailing through the air. As he flew, the figure... shifted... one moment perfectly still, the next five feet away, leg straight out to the side, foot slamming into Harold's chest. Harold flew another ten feet, slid fifteen in the mud, and lay unmoving.

The figure turned to where Suniel - still shrouded by his magics - had come to a stop, nodded to him, and was gone.


Grok'nar picked his teeth as he walked out of the inn and wandered over to see what the commotion was.

A few corpses lay sprawled in the mud by the barracks and Grok'nar had to rein in an instinct to search them as guards rushed about him every direction with drawn weapons, staying in tight, anxious-looking groups.

Lieutenant Laris looked grim as he knelt by the half-orc Grok'nar had seen in the inn, his hand on the half-orc's chest. Grok'nar knelt as well, looking the half-orc over for a moment before he spotted the knife sticking from his ribs.

Laris shot a look at him as Grok'nar reached for the knife. "Wait! If we remove it he might die. Wait for the village healer."

Grok'nar made a dismissive gesture and slid it free. "I think he'll be fine," he said as he wiped the knife down on his pant leg, examined it for a moment, and tucked it into his boot. He concentrated for a moment on the Greywarden then stood.

Laris stood as well, eyes still on the fallen figure. "How do you know he'll be ok? The wound looks fatal."

"Not even close," Grok'nar said, nudging the fallen half-orc with his boot. "Hey, ugly, wake up."

A group of mud-splattered soldiers ran up, delivering some sort of quick report. Grok'nar was barely listening, but caught "four dead," "bare hands," and "leapt over the barracks in a single jump."

So this isn't just some sort of human dispute-resolution, Grok'nar thought, curiosity suddenly aroused. He was about to ask Laris a question when the half-orc sat up with a gasp.

"Where is he?" the half-orc said, using the barracks wall to pull himself to his feet. "And where is my weapon?"

Laris handed the Graywarden a strange, curved two-bladed sword. "It's here Greywarden. What were they?"

The half-orc stared out at almost-indistinct torchlit groups searching the village, growling. "I told you, he's an assassin. He killed four senior Greywardens and three others when we caught up to him in the middle of the night. Killed them with his bare hands and gave me this when he threw me through a tree." The half-orc gestured to the paralyzed left side of his face where the skin hung, mottled gray. "Only reason I'm alive is he probably thought I was dead. Nearly was."

"I thought you were dead just now," Laris said. "I don't know how you are even standing."

"I don't know either," the half-orc said, putting a hand to his side. A look of puzzlement, then wonder came over his face. "My wound is almost sealed."

Grok'nar smiled faintly and put his hand in his pocket on the green dragonscale he had found, the one that gave him his power.


Kezzek looked up as he finished writing an entry in his book. Lieutenant Laris, the elven wizard, and the hobgoblin looked back at him. Well, the Lieutenant and the elf did; the hobgoblin seemed half-asleep as he lounged in his chair.

Shouts drifted in from the open door as the one the elf had told him was Honor Guard Harold Trisden raced around outside with the soldiers, hunting for the assassins.

He rubbed at the ache in his neck where the assassin's "man" had grabbed him. Where he had been gripped it was strangely cold, almost like ice, and throbbed constantly.

"They are gone by now," Kezzek said. "He's always on the move. I will go to the Greywarden Enclave in Northmand in the morning to report it."

"Prehaps Suniel and Harold will escort you there, they are most capable," Laris said, gesturing to the elf and making a vague gesture towards the torches moving about outside. He turned to Grok'nar. "The Captain wants to meet Grok'nar for himself anyways, so the trip could achieve many purposes."

The elf nodded. "I would like to purchase some things in town; I will go. When Harold gives up on his revenge I imagine he'll come as well. Maybe I should have waited longer before feeding him one of his healing potions..."

Kezzek nodded and closed his book. "It's settled then, we leave in the morning."
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