The Rise of Felskein [Completed]

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 9, Part 1

-I'm off my regular job for the next two weeks, so I'll see if I can get a few extra updates in. 23 sessions is really alot when you only get through 1 a month or so and we're still pretty much in the prologue to the real stuff...-

Terrak smiled and stepped into the faint light of the single streetlamp that guttered in front of a nearby fisherman's shop. He pointed at the one the Master had fought before, a proud looking human with a bow. "You're too late, but the Master doesn't want you interfering anyway."

"No!" the human shouted, an arrow nocked and loosed in a blur. Terrak grinned wider and sidestepped it, but staggered back as a second slammed into his shoulder. He snarled and snapped it off, the others converging like a pack of wolves.

The archer loosed half-a-dozen arrows and then was through the fray and riding full-tilt up the dock. We'll get him when he comes back, Terrak thought, turning to the plate-armored hobgoblin. He launched forward, throwing a wild swing at the hobgoblin's head, but the hobgoblin ducked and Terrak felt a jarring impact as a longsword sliced him almost in half. He doubled over, spitting blood and snarling.

The hobgoblin pulled his sword out and turned away.

"Watch out Grok'nar, they aren't human!" The elf called, gesturing to the blackened and smoking spot where Rogun's arrow-riddled body was burning away.

The one called Grok'nar spun, shield rising, but Terrak was faster. His kick connected with the hobgoblin's side, breastplate crunching as the hobgoblin flew through the net-covered wall of the nearby shop. Terrak grinned and turned to take the elf, meeting the wizard's eyes just as the elf finished a long incantation, slender fingers uncurling in Terrak's direction.

Terrak tried to leap aside, but he felt something snap inside where the hobgoblin had slashed him and his leap turned into a stagger. Something crackled as it buried into his chest. He snarled at the wizard and lunged, but there was a flare of heat deep inside Terrak's torso, exploding through him from the inside.

The world swirled into a mass of churning shadows as Terrak's spirit fled its ruined body. He drifted over the battle, shadows congealing into rough forms. He seethed with impotent rage as he watched as another of the pack was taken down by blade and blast. Swearing vengeance, Terrak's tattered soul fled through the otherworld.


"Out of the way!" Harold shouted, charging through the crowd fleeing the dock and the flaming barge that was on a collision course with it. He thrust his spurs into the warhorse's flanks as it reached the end of the dock and it leapt, hooves leaving dock and hitting deck with a clatter. Harold sprung from his horse, took two steps, and nearly fell as the barge slammed into the dock, planks and splintered railings flying in all directions.

The deck was a chaos of flame and panic and corpses. He scanned the crowd, looking for the Ambassador, roughly pushing away the terrified courtiers that mobbed him. Then, through the madness, he saw the glint of a medal.

Honor Guard Jerald's body lay by the stairs leading below decks, drenched in blood, his weapons sheathed. Harold swore and ran below, ignoring the heat and smoke that billowed up at him. Coughing, he ran through the smoke, stepping over fallen chairs and tables and ducking to check the bodies that lay sprawled here and there in the barge's hold.

He stumbled into a hallway lined with doors, all closed but the one at the end. Several bodies in the livery of Northmand and the Crystal Towers were leaned against the walls or lay in pools of blood, swords buried in each other's guts or loose on the deck. He rushed into the room and saw the Ambassador's body sitting with the gaping red grin of a slit throat, the body of Northmand's High Priest sagging against the wall next to him like a rag-doll.

With an inarticulate cry, Harold grabbed the Ambassador's body and ran blindly from the burning barge. He slung the body across his wild-eyed warhorse's saddle and sent his horse flying through the mob that churned on the dock. People cried out and swore and hurled themselves aside, but Harold was beyond caring.

Suniel and the hobgoblin and the Greywarden still battled the assassins, grim figures squaring off against the feral, hunched forms of their assailants. Harold rode by them at a full gallop. A ragged figure threw itself at him from the roof of a building as he passed and, on instinct, he ducked, bow in hand and arrow loosed before the figure hit ground. His arrow took the assassin in the forehead and hurled it backwards.

He didn't wait to see if his first shot had finished it, putting arrows into it as he rode away until its body collapsed in a heap. A turn put the fallen assassin, his companions, and the docks behind him as he rode hard for Northmand.


Suniel took a deep breath and felt the tension slowly drain from him. The fight was over.

Kezzek had already gone up the dock to help escort people from the barge and Grok'nar had wandered off somewhere not long after the last of the assassins had died, a speculative look on his face as he had watched the barge burn.

Slowly, Suniel approached where the last of their attackers had fallen. No body, no blood; only ash drifting in the faint, cool breeze blowing in off the lake. Curiosity soon overcame Suniel's weariness and caution, but yielded little fruit as he searched the area. Nothing left but ash.

He was about to give up and go help the Greywarden at the barge when he noticed a few scraps of paper smoldering near the spot where he had blasted the "leader" apart. The first few bits he gingerly picked up were blank or already too burnt to be legible, but one still contained writing.

He read it twice and then again. A second later he was sprinting up the dock. They're going to want to see this...


Kezzek growled as he looked at the few sparse notes he had scribbled in his journal. Need more, he thought, looking up at the end of the dock where a small army of Northmand guards had gathered in a tight knot around the notables from the barge. I suppose I'll need to get the cooperation of the locals to keep them from interfering with my investigation. Always tedious how protective... His thoughts were interrupted by a very breathless Suniel pushing his way through the crowd, what looked like a scrap of burnt parchment raised in his hand.

"I... this... its... I know..." Suniel said between gasps as he slid to a stop in front of Kezzek, waving the scrap about like a prize ribbon.

"Slow down Suniel," Kezzek said, raising his hands. "Take a breath before you collapse."

"Find Grok'nar... I know... where they are!" Suniel said, handing Kezzek the piece of parchment. Kezzek read it, tugged on a tusk, and growled.

"Find the hobgoblin. I'm going to make sure no one disturbs my investigation while we're gone," he said, scanning the length of the dock for any high-ranking officer.

Suniel nodded, turned away, and paused. "Looks like Harold was right about what they were," he said with a glance at the scrap in Kezzek's hand before he disappeared into the crowds.

"...receipt of delivery, at one 'Annandor's' behest and payment. Detail: 5 chests, medium, full, contents unknown; 2 chests, small, full, contents unknown; 7 coffins, full, contents unknown..."
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 9, Part 2

-Notes: I'm going to update Wednesdays instead of Mondays. Not sure why I picked Mondays since they tend to be my busiest days. Extra updates didn't happen due to second job taking up ridiculously more time than I thought it would. So, next update Wednesday, maybe one extra one in there if I can finish up this job.-

The small warehouse was, from all appearances, abandoned. The roof was partially collapsed and the wind blowing in off Mirror Lake whistled through chinks in the boards. They might have never found it amidst its equally rundown companions if Suniel hadn't noticed that the door was heavy and new.

"All right, get ready," Kezzek said, quor'rel in hand. He slammed his shoulder into the door hard and sent it flying open. Grok'nar and Suniel followed in quickly.

Inside it was quiet, mostly empty, and dark aside from the faint moonlight that came in from the collapsed corner of the building. Broken crates and other debris littered the floor, except at the corner opposite the door where it had been swept clean, stacked with a few chests and half-a-dozen or so long, narrow boxes.

Kezzek held his finger to his lips and crept towards the coffins. The others followed and gathered around one, exchanging quick glances before Kezzek and Grok'nar grabbed the lid. On a nod from Grok'nar, they threw the lid off and stepped back, weapons ready.

Nothing happened.

Suniel murmured and a light flared on the tip of his finger as they approached the now-open coffin. Inside lay the body of one of the assassins, his wounds gaping, but not bleeding. They repeated the procedure for the other coffins, finding one empty and the other six occupied by the assassins they had dispatched earlier, all seemingly lifeless.

"What did Harold say about finishing these things off?" Grok'nar said, prodding one of the bodies with his sword.

Kezzek walked out into the main part of the warehouse, kicking the debris with his feet. Then he stopped, bent down, and there was a cracking sound. He came back with a sharp wood fragment as long as his arm. Suniel and Grok'nar stood back as he slowly positioned it over the assassin's heart and, with a grunt and a heavy shove, drove it in. The corpse's eyes flew open, it thrashed once, and then went limp. Kezzek nodded and looked up. "Find five more of those."

They went through the warehouse gathering makeshift stakes and repeating the procedure with the other five corpses. Afterward, they stood looking over their grim handiwork.

"Ok, now what?" Grok'nar said. "These things going to wake up if someone pulls those stakes out?"

"They might," Suniel said. "Probably best if we drag them outside and burn them. I don't think they'll survive that."

Kezzek grunted in acknowledgment and they set to it. When they had five thrown together in a pile and Kezzek had gone in to get the sixth, Suniel dug around in one of his robe's many hidden pockets, procuring a wand after a short search. He pointed it at the coffins, spoke a sharp word of command, and they went up in flames. Grok'nar stood beside him and watched them start to burn.

Then there was a thud from inside the warehouse and Kezzek shouted in alarm. A second later Suniel and Grok'nar were through the door.


Kezzek stood half-crouched, quor'rel in hand as he stared at the shadowy form that had suddenly appeared in the corner. Grok'nar and Suniel came up on either side of them, both alert and ready.

"It's no use," the figure said, pulling the cowl of his dark cloak back. "It's all futile."

"Come along peaceably Annandor or we'll have to take you down," Kezzek said.

Annandor didn't even look at them as he took a step towards them and then stopped, picking up a small chest in one hand. "I do his dark work and this is what he gives me, this! Worthless!" He threw the chest to the floor, shattering it and sending silver, gold, and platinum coins flying in all directions.

Kezzek saw Suniel and Grok'nar exchange questioning glances out of the corner of his eye. He stepped forwards. "You killed seven Greywardens in cold blood. Do you deny it?"

Annandor met his gaze for the first time, his eyes a pale blue that almost seemed to glow. "Them? In cold blood? Tell me, what would your Greywardens have done if they had come across my coffin and found me alone and unarmed resting there? Tell me, if your Greywardens had come across me in that abandoned barn, would they have just left me to rest?"

"If they knew your true nature, yes," Kezzek said.

"Really? So, if you knew someone was going to murder you in your sleep, would you not take the steps to insure your survival?" Annandor looked down at the coins that littered the floor, shaking his head. "Not murder, self defense."

"You know, he has a point there," Grok'nar said with a glance at Kezzek.

Kezzek growled and pointed one of his quor'rel blades at Annandor's chest. "You are an abomination! Do you deny causing the destruction at the docks, of murdering all those people?"

Annandor laughed, a cold, empty sound devoid of any real mirth. "Abomination? The half-breed vigilante calls me an abomination? An no, I don't deny boarding that barge with the intent to kill. I went to kill the Ambassador, to fulfill my side of the agreement. I should have known better."

"Agreement with who?" Suniel said, taking a few careful steps closer.

"Who do you think?" Annandor said, hurling something at Suniel. Grok'nar snatched it out of the air a foot from Suniel's face and looked at it.

"What does this carving mean?" the hobgoblin said, shrugging and handing it to Suniel.

The elf looked at it for a long moment. "It means the Ashen Tower. It means Thessalock," Suniel said, without looking up.

Kezzek looked back to Annandor, growling. "Explain, assassin."

"It was a lie, all a lie. One death in exchange for one life, that was the agreement. But now I have more blood on my hands and nothing to show for it but these useless trinkets." He kicked a pile of coins, sending them clinking and rattling through the warehouse.

"You needn't have any more blood on your hands," Kezzek said, lowering his blade and extending an open hand. "Come with us peacefully and I promise you fair justice."

"Ha, you are blind if you believe your words, Greywarden," Annandor said, fingers curling. "There is no justice in this world, except what you can seize with your own hands."

"So you will not come peacefully?" Kezzek said, readying his weapon again.

"I will not come at all," Annandor said quietly. He gestured at the stacked chests and scattered coins. "It is yours if you want it. It is useless to me."

Annandor shifted and Kezzek immediately charged with a roar. The vampire grabbed his cloak hem, thrust it away from him, and vanished. Kezzek swung at where he had been, hitting nothing but a faint cold mist. "He's turned to vapors!" Kezzek said, watching as the mist slipped out through a crack in the roof. "Suniel, outside, you might still be able to hit him with your magics."

Kezzek ran to Suniel and grabbed his shoulder but the elf still stared at the chest fragment in his hands. Grok'nar was picking coins out of the detritus on the dirt floor. "He's getting away!" Kezzek shouted in frustration.

Suniel looked up and shook his head, as if shaking off a bad memory. "There's nothing we can do about that now. Besides, I have the feeling we'll be seeing him again."

"Well, then we'd better spend this fast, in case he wants it back," Grok'nar said, cradling an armload of coins with a grin.


When Harold found Suniel's carriage in the small park beside the Garden Inn the next morning, the others were already there. Kezzek looked half-asleep, head drooping as he leaned against the carriage and listened to Grok'nar talk about the "feast he bought last night with the treasure..." Suniel sat on a hay bale watching Keeper, who stood staring at a bottle set upon a fencepost.

As he rode up, Keeper's eyes flared and a beam of energy blasted the bottle apart, stopping Grok'nar's story in mid-sentence and sending him scrambling for his sword.

"Oh, it was just your construct," Grok'nar said with a sheepish grin. He sheathed his sword and nodded to Harold. "Hello archer-boy, how's your Diplomat doing."

Suniel winced, but Harold just shook his head. "He's fine."

"Fine?" Kezzek said, voice even more gravelly than usual, as if he'd just woken up. "Isn't he, well..."

"Dead? Crispy? Corpsified? Murdered? Mangled? Massacred-" Grok'nar supplied.

"No, I had him resurrected last night." Harold said, climbing down from his horse and pulling out the writ Stevens had given him.

Grok'nar whistled. "Got him resurrected? Where did you dredge up the reagents for something for that? It cost a small fortune for me to just get back that piece of my soul one of those assassins knocked off of me. What's that?"

"This? The Ambassador was grateful enough to give me a writ for 500 acres of his Stevens family land for when we get back to the Crystal Towers. As for the assassins, they are-"

"We know what they are," Suniel said. "You were right about them. We found their hideout and dealt with them appropriately."

"Including their leader?" Harold said, taking a seat on a hay bale next to Suniel wearily.

Kezzek shook his head and growled. "No, he escaped us. Did the Ambassador give you any information about what happened on the barge? I was up all night gathering testimony and writing reports on it."

Harold nodded. "Apparently, he was having a talk with the High Priest - who has also been raised by the way - and there was a commotion outside. They investigated and saw Northmand guards and Crystal Tower honor guards fighting each other. Then one of the Northmand guards turned on Stevens. He said the guard's eyes were blank, like he was staring into the distance, oblivious everything around him and what he was doing. So the High Priest and Stevens closed themselves in until it quieted down. They were about to investigate when the door opened, our assassin opened the door, slammed his hand into the center of the Priest's chest and the Priest died, gasping. Then Stevens, well..."

There was a long silence. Finally, Kezzek said, "go on."

With a long sigh, Harold continued. "Stevens knew what the assassin was when he saw him and... killed himself to avoid rising after he was killed."

Grok'nar laughed and they all stared at him. "The Crystal Towers is in good hands, good hands," the hobgoblin said, walking away from Harold's glare still chuckling.

"If you see something too scary, archer, let me know and I'll kill you for you," he called back over his shoulder.

"So, he murdered the Priest?" Kezzek said, rubbing his eyes, pulling out his journal, and jotting some things down. "How did he get aboard the ship? I have down that of the 80 people onboard, 34 died - of which 5 were raised - and 45 survived. That leaves one unaccounted for."

"Well, I ran into Captain Donnolan on the way over here, with the barge captain," Harold said. "The man said he was somehow given official papers with the wrong dock information - which is why he was at our dock and not the correct one. Also said he overheard complaints about the musicians not playing especially well, I think he said something about their flutist."

"Hm... so maybe Annandor disguised himself as this flutist to get on board? They said after they floated the barge and dredged the area, the corpses were all taken to the cemetery church and that 3 were too badly burnt to be identified." Kezzek tapped the tip of one of his tusks for a moment, staring at his journal. "Maybe we should investigate the corpses and see what we can find."

Grok'nar came strolling back, a frothing mug of something in hand. Kezzek stared at him for a moment before he continued. "Also, this may not be related, but they said most of the valuables of those who were on the barge when it sank were missing. Including some of those who were raised this morning."

Grok'nar tripped, spilled his drink, cursed, and turned. "Damn. Guess I need to go get another one now."

Harold put his hand on the hobgoblin's shoulder. "Not so fast."

Kezzek stood and joined them. "Yes, we're going to the cemetery and I think it'd be best if you came along with us. You were there at the barge that night when it sank and might have noticed something we didn't when you were... doing whatever you were doing."


Grok'nar eyed the small stone chapel warily. "Never had much use for religion myself," he said.

"Just come along, we'll get this over quickly. Remember, she was short, slender, long brown braid," Kezzek said. The five of them - Keeper had joined them this time, drawing many looks as he followed them through the town - walked up the stairs to the chapel. "Hm... you'd think they'd have a guard or someone here."

"Probably left 'cause of the smell," Grok'nar said, wrinkling his nose as they entered the chapel and the charnel smell of charred flesh assailed them.

They examined the corpses quickly. When they were done, they met up again at the entrance. "Anyone find someone that looked matched the description?" Kezzek said.

Everyone shook their heads except for Keeper, who said, "Confirmation: negative."

They all shot him a look and turned to walk down the steps. "I guess we know how he got on board then. Maybe we should be searching the city for the body of a flutist..."

He stopped and the others followed suit. "You said Stevens killed himself to avoid being raised?" Suniel said to Harold.'

Grok'nar snorted and stifled a grin. Harold seemed to be ignoring him. "Yes, why?"

"It was hard to tell, dark when we staked them but..."

One of Kezzek's eyebrows shot up. "You know, I think you could be right. One of them could have been her."

Grok'nar sighed, wondering why they'd skipped breakfast to come look at corpses and ramble on about missing flutists. He stretched and started to arch his back, but stopped, squinting at the sky.

The others were in the midst of some deep discussion when he cut them off. "Look, sorry to spoil your little mystery here, but I think we have a problem."

They all stared at him as he walked over to Keeper and casually put a hand on his iron shoulder. "So, Keeper, you expecting friends to drop in?"

There was a chorus of curses and all gazes shot skyward.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 9 Crunch

Not sure really what to put in these anymore. I think I'll just stick to writing the story entries and if anyone has questions about what happened, they can ask.

Unless someone was really attatched to these "Crunch" entries?

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 10, Part 1

"That's one of the big shrouded ones, but what the hell is that other one?" Harold said, squinting up at the two plummeting figures.

"Just looks like a giant jagged lump of metal," Grok'nar said. "Maybe they didn't finish that one before they dropped it or fired it or whatever they do."

"Deal with the other one first them," Harold said, nocking an arrow. "Suniel, can you-"

Suniel gestured and one of the falling forms disappeared in a detonation of flame. It reappeared a moment later, robe blasted off, falling in a jagged cloud of rapidly disintegrating metal and burning bits of cloth.

Harold began loosing arrows into it as it fell while Kezzek shifted closer towards where the giant lump of metal was falling, Grok'nar a step behind him. It slammed into the ground, impact sending dust billowing in all directions, blinding Kezzek momentarily. He heard a detonation above him, somewhere outside the swirling dust, and grunted. Won't have to worry about the big one while we figure out what this other thing is, Kezzek thought. Who knows what the-

An explosion of dirt sent him flying backwards out of the dust cloud. He landed hard and rolled to his feet, staring at the hulking metal monstrosity that came out of the fog. It was roughly humanoid shaped, but too wide and thick. Its construction was crude and rough edged, like its creators had taken random hunks of metal and bolted them together. One arm ended in a massive jagged blade and its eyes glowed with the white energy that Kezzek had come to associate with Iron Sky's constructs.

"It doesn't look so tough," Grok'nar said with a shrug, taking a step towards it with his shield raised. It stood in silence as the dust settled around it, its only movement the flicker of its eyes. Grok'nar glanced back at them, shrugged, and tapped its leg with his sword. It didn't move.

Grok'nar grinned back at them. "Maybe it broke in the-" He managed to get his shield up just in time to block the sudden explosive movement of its ragged blade-arm. The shield shattered and the hobgoblin flew back through the wall of a mausoleum.

Kezzek roared, a rapid flight of arrows clanging off the thing and magic tearing into it as he charged. Its blank, flickering gaze followed Kezzek as he closed and Kezzek half-expected the eyes to flare and a blast of energy to lance out. So intent was he on the eyes, that he barely avoided the huge blade as it came down.

He ducked again as its fist swung at his head and he swung his quor'rel at a leg joint, gritting his teeth at the impact and leaping out of the way as the massive construct's fist slammed down behind him, sending a shudder through the ground. He rolled to his feet and spun, ready to face the thing again, but saw it charging towards Suniel and Harold, shattering stone tombstones and monuments like a bull charging through pottery as it went.

Harold leapt onto his warhorse and rode quickly away, firing arrows as he went while Suniel backpedaled, chanting as Keeper blasted at the thing with energy blasts of his own.

Kezzek sprinted after it, but it reached Suniel first. The elf finished his chant and threw up his arms, a shimmering wall of force solidifying right before the thing's blade arm connected. A booming shock wave rippled out, staggering Kezzek and sending the wizard flying twenty feet; headlong into a large stone monument. The elf hit hard and lay crumpled at its base, unmoving.

Kezzek's vision went red and time seemed to slow as he neared the construct, feeling every hard breath, every sprinting step, seeing every broken arrow sticking from the thing's joints and seams, every pit and slag and scar where Suniel had unleashed his magics on it. I have to end this now, Kezzek thought. What if this thing were loose in the city?

The juggernaut's blade came down and he spun to the side, just barely avoiding it as it dug deep into the earth. He leapt onto its massive arm and ran up it, clicking the release that split his quor'rel into two blades, ready to jam them through its eyes. It wrenched its blade arm from the earth and shifted to throw him off, but it was too late. Kezzek took a final step off its arm and leapt, quor'rel blade in each hand, roaring as he flew at its head. Now you die! he thought, his thoughts shifting to orcish in the heat of his bloodlust.

One second he was flying through the air, the next he was slamming hard into the ground, pain exploding through him as bones shattered on impact. He lay on his back, gasping and writhing, the thing looming over him and staring down with its soulless eyes. Its broad foot slammed into his chest and he felt his ribs creak, the air driving from his lungs. It leaned its full weight onto him, his bones cracking and popping at the weight, then it turned away, holding its massive hand out like a shield to block the arrows that still came down like rain. Kezzek felt like it was still on him and struggled for a breath as the world began to tunnel.

As if from a great distance, he felt himself rise to his feet, a quor'rel blade somehow in hand. He spat blood into the trampled grass and raised the point of his blade at the thing. It turned, its blank gaze seeming to study him for a moment. Then there was a lurch and he felt himself rising into the air, his quor'rel falling from limp fingers.

With numb curiosity, he looked down at where the juggernaut's blade arm was buried a foot deep into his chest, watching with strange fascination as his blood pattered down into the grass ten feet below. Its eyes met his one last time, then it flicked its arm and sent him flying through the air, tumbling in the sudden darkness for what seemed an eternity...
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 10, Part 2

"Suniel... Suniel, you ok?"

Suniel came to in a daze, head pounding. Harold knelt over him, with a battered Grok'nar limping towards them as well.

Sitting up almost made him vomit, but after a few minutes of holding his head, he was able to stagger to his feet and look around. The chapel seemed to be undamaged, but the graveyard around it was torn apart. Statues, tombstones, and mausoleums were shattered, the grass was torn up in clumps, and there was a large, shallow crater not too far from where Suniel was standing.

"What happened?" Suniel said. He had the weird feeling that someone was missing, but with the intense pounding in his head he couldn't focus. Keeper walked over and gave him a slow nod, but the feeling didn't go away.

"I destroyed it," Harold said, nodding to where his lathered warhorse nibbled at the grass. "Fortunately my horse could outrun it and I finally must have hit a weak spot with one of those three quivers of arrows I shot into it." He paused. "The Greywarden's dead."

Suniel's gaze followed Harold's towards where a blood-splattered form lay broken in the trampled grass. A moment later, he and Grok'nar were kneeling next to Kezzek's body. The half-orc's wounds were brutal and gaping and here and there white bone jutted out from his skin. Suniel slowly picked up the Greywarden's strange sword that lay in the grass near by, then looked about.

"Did it break his sword in half?"

"No," Harold said, looking over from where he stood at the edge of the crater. "He did something to it and it split in his hands. The other half is probably around there somewhere."

"So, does anyone have any idea where these things are coming from and, more importantly, why they keep coming?" Harold said, tapping an arrow against his shoulder as he looked about the cemetery.

"They were seeking amulets," Keeper said, drawing looks from all of them. "More specifically, Seeking Stones."

"More specifically, what was that thing I just took out?" Harold said, walking over to Keeper with new-found interest.

Keeper pointed towards the Kezzek and then the crater. "That one was called an Iron Juggernaut. The others... I do not know."

"How do you know the name of that one and not the others?" Harold said. "No, wait, let me guess. You don't know."

"Correct, I do not know."

"So, do you know how many of these they will send?"

Keeper looked up to the sky and Suniel looked up sharply as well, a sinking feeling in his stomach, but the sky was empty of all but a few wisps of cloud far above. "They will keep sending them until they have the Stones."

"And they can locate the Stones somehow?"


"Wait," Suniel said. "So, why did they only start coming after the Sky Monk gave Harold that one and not come after Ming all that time?"

Keeper looked between Harold and Suniel. "Perhaps they can only track the one that came from their domain." He pointed at the sky.

"And there's nothing we can do to keep them from locating us?" Harold said.

"Getting rid of the Stone they are tracking being out of the question of course," Grok'nar said dryly.

Harold didn't even look at the hobgoblin. "Is there any way they can be shielded?"

Keeper nodded and tapped on his forehead. "One already is."

There was a long pause. Finally, Harold pulled his necklace off and held it in his hand. "If I give this to you, it still belongs to the Crystal Towers. Should the Crystal Towers ask for it back, will you return it?"

Keeper looked to Suniel. "He has to follow my commands. If I ask him to return it he will."

"Is that true Keeper?" Harold said.

"If he asks me to, I will return the Stone," Keeper said.

Harold extended his hand slowly, looked at it for a long moment, then sighed and opened his tightly clenched fist, the crystal sparkling and glinting with an inner light. Suniel took it carefully, removed the Stone from the amulet, and handed it to Keeper. "Place it in one of the sockets whose effects I haven't documented yet," Suniel said.

Keeper nodded and pressed it into the shallow grove in his palm. There was a click and Suniel moved to a new position, probably to get a better view of whatever internal mechanism took and stored the Stone. As before, it was too quick, seeming almost to vanish into his hand.

For a moment, Keeper glowed with a faint white light and when it faded he seemed... larger, smoother, more finely sculpted in some way that Suniel couldn't put his finger on. A moment later Keeper lifted his arm and a thin glowing shield of energy hummed into existence on his arm.

"Well, that light shield is neat and all, but what are we going to do with his dead orcness here?" Grok'nar said. "And what are we going to tell the guards when they ask what happened. I'm not particularly keen on disobeying a golden glowing being that can stop time, so... any ideas?"


"More of the assassin's agents, five of them," Harold said.

The guards looked about the carnage and at the three Greywardens that were collecting Kezzek's body. "Five men did all this?" the Sergeant said.

"They weren't exactly men," Grok'nar said, with a wry grin. "Made of tougher stuff you might say."

"I was using powerful spells to fight them," Suniel said quickly. "Some of this was my doing."

"Do you have any of their bodies? We didn't see any bodies..." The Sergeant paused and glanced at the chapel and cemetery. "Well, didn't see any more bodies around."

"They escaped," Grok'nar said, thinking quickly. "They were fast, moved like a blur. That's what tore up all the grass."

"They killed one of you, seriously injured two others, then ran?" another guard said, exchanging a quizzical glance with his companions.

"They were scared of me," Harold said. Grok'nar snorted and he saw Suniel roll his eyes. The guards all looked at Harold, who shifted slightly, straightened his back, turned his head in slight profile and grinned.

Grok'nar guffawed and leaned against what he thought of as Suniel's monument, since there was a slight imprint of the elf's head in it.

"Well, if you say so," the Sergeant said, nodded to them, and began to walk towards where the Greywardens stood in somber discussion over Kezzek's body. He paused and glanced back. "Oh, we have a detailed listing of all the items that are missing from the barge. I'm guessing it was the Greywarden that asked for it, so if you don't want it-"

"No, we'll take it," Suniel said, skimming the list as soon as the Sergeant handed it to him.

Grok'nar turned and pretended sudden, intense interest in the inscription on Suniel's monument.

"Those writs in the back are for you and your companions, the Captain talked to the local temples and they agreed to tend whatever wounds you have as a favor to the Council - in thanks for all you've done for Northmand. Oh, and of particular note on the list of missing items are the High Priest's mace and even the symbol of his faith. The Captain was wondering if maybe the assassins were somehow responsible?"

Grok'nar could almost feel Suniel and Harold staring at his back.

"Yes... maybe that's it," Suniel said. "If we find any proof either way, we'll let you know."

Grok'nar pulled out some rations and sat down to munch on them, wincing when his sore arm bumped Suniel's monument, and ate slowly. He waited until Suniel and Harold wandered off - Suniel to talk with the Greywardens and Harold to see to his horse - before quietly packing up his things and slipping off.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 10, Part 3

"You're in love?" Suniel said. "That's uh... with who?"

Guntl grinned, turned, and called out. "Shruka, over here. Come meet the boss!"

A moment later, the ugliest orc Suniel had ever seen came around the corner of the carriage. She was smiling in what he thought might be a bashful manner, but he couldn't really tell. It was such an extreme ugliness that his instinct to recoil in disgust shifted to an analytical curiosity about what exactly it was that made her appearance so repellent.

He extended his hand. "Nice to meet you," he said.

She shook it firmly. He noticed the warts and long black-hair on the back of her hand with detachment. "So, Guntl says you'd like to come with us. What are your skills?"

"I used to work at the Harvest temple. I was an acolyte but they said I scared the people who come in," she said, her voice deep and gravelly. "But I have some small useful magics."

"Indeed? Well then, uh, welcome to the Black Carriage, Shruka," Suniel said. He turned, saw someone approaching out of the corner of his eye, and did a double take. "You?" he said, taking half a step back. "How?"


They all gathered around the campfire Guntl had made outside Suniel's carriage, half-watching the flames and half-listening to Kezzek.

"The restitution I have collected in the course of perusing my casework covered most of the expense," he said. "My share of what we took from Annandor's ill-gotten gains paid for the rest."

"What was it like?" Grok'nar said, glancing up from prodding the fire with a long stick.

"Being dead?" Kezzek said. He took a deep breath and leaned back, looking up at the stars. "I don't remember very well, it is vague, almost dreamlike. I do remember an army of figures passing in the fog, wielding quor'rels. I knew they were going into battle, against some foe they could never hope to defeat. I couldn't speak, couldn't breathe as they passed. I felt drawn to them but couldn't move to catch their attention and I desperately wanted them to notice me. Then one stopped and took several steps towards me, holding his quor'rel out."

He paused and the only sounds were the faint bustle of the city as it settled down for the night and the snap and pop of the fire. "'Take this to fight them when they return, to find victory where we found defeat,' the figure said, standing still and tall like a statue as he held it out to me. I began to reach for it, but then I heard a voice calling to me from a great distance. I turned towards the sound and saw a silvery light shining in the fog. When I turned back, the figure with the quor'rel was gone as if he had never been and I awoke."

They all stared at the fire for several more minutes in silence until No Tongue came into sight, leaping and giggling and singing "maaaster" as he tried to catch the huge summer moths that were drawn to a nearby street lamp. Suniel smiled at the goblin and saw several of the others doing so as well.

"Do you suppose he was talking about Iron Sky?" Harold said from where he stood apart at the dim, flickering edge of the firelight.

"Who?" Grok'nar said. "No Tongue? I think he was talking about Suniel."

"No, the figure in the death-dream."

Kezzek frowned and tugged on one of his tusks with a glance at where Keeper stood watching No Tongue's antics. "I'm not sure. I don't think so though, somehow."

"Speaking of, what are we going to do about them?" Suniel said. "Keeper says they aren't going to be tracking the Stones anymore, but if Felskein is truly as important to them as he says, they may be back."

"I should have destroyed that Gem Eye that escaped us," Harold muttered. "I had a feeling it would come back to us if we let it go after telling it so much."

Grok'nar nodded. "For once you might be right, archer."

"Well, I'm not one to give into others demands, especially made through threats," Kezzek said. "Our mysterious golden figure didn't even show us her face before making her demands."

"It's still strange to me how none of us got a good look at her, yet all agree it was a she," Suniel said. "I wonder why that is?"

"I don't have enough information to submit to the Greywarden Council on these Iron Sky matters though," Kezzek said, seeming to not have even heard Suniel. "I will wait until we have more information on their terrorist activities to report it. Golden threats be damned."

"Thanks for doing that for us," Grok'nar said dryly. He turned to Suniel. "What do you suppose is in it for her? Why shouldn't we tell everyone about Iron Sky?"

The elf shrugged. "I have no idea."

There was another long silence.

"Well," Grok'nar said, standing and stretching. "I'm going to go visit the outpost and see how our buddy Chief Shro'kar is doing. Maybe gather some more information for Northmand."

Harold quirked an eyebrow. "Really? I didn't realize you had such an interest in Northmand's well-being."

Grok'nar pressed his hand to his chest melodramatically. "Why, my dear friend Harold, I'm hurt. You know nothing is more important to me than the welfare of my human allies."

"More like your welfare if you don't keep the humans as allies," Kezzek said with a grunt.

"Sharp. I see why they made you a Greywarden. Those keen powers of perception," Grok'nar said with a wink. "Anyway, I should be back in a week or so. Don't do anything rash without me!"

They waved as the hobgoblin sauntered off into the night.

"Well, I heard the Investigators talking about an Agony ring not long after I... woke up," Kezzek said, standing as well. "My other cases seem to be on hold for a while, so I thought I'd see what I could dig up."

"Agony, the drug?" Suniel said. "Nasty stuff. Be careful, I've heard some things about the people who distribute it."

"Well, good luck with that," Harold said. "Since everyone else seems to have other engagements, I guess I'll report back to duty for the Ambassador."

Suniel stood as well and nodded to them both. "Well, I need to get my growing band of merry misfits organized and I'm way behind on my research. Shall we all meet up here in a week's time?"

The archer and the Greywarden nodded. "A week's time then," Suniel said, waving to the others as they walked out of the ring of firelight. He turned to Keeper.

"All right, now that we have some time, let's see what all you can do with these stones..."


Harold stood straight, head held high as the Northmand Council as Marshal Spartus pinned two new medals onto his uniform. The others stood next to him; the Greywarden clean, shaven, gauntlet shining, Suniel in his usual nondescript robes, the hobgoblin still covered in dust from the road.

"We present these medals as thanks for your actions against the Iron Tribes and the Assassins that have disrupted our peace this last month," the Marshal said. He turned and collected a long, narrow polished box from the crescent table that the rest of the Council sat behind. When he opened it, Harold saw four sealed scrolls, carefully placed in red velvet. "As further signs of our gratitude, take these writs and visit the armory and the treasury, to take what rewards they entitle you to."

Harold saluted smartly when he was presented his writ and was pleased when the Marshal returned his salute. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ambassador Stevens smile slightly and nod.

"It was the pleasure of the Crystal Towers that we could serve our new allies," Harold said, ignoring Grok'nar's mock-sighing and eye-rolling. "I only hope that in the future that our ties of loyalty grow even stronger."

The Marshal returned to his seat and nodded. "Yes, about that. There is a Gnomish Steamship leaving for the Crystal Towers by way of Steamport. Our own ambassador, Roderic, would like to visit our new allies to make the alliance official. His protection is of much importance to our new-fledged pact and so we will gladly pay the way of any who wish to accompany Honor Guard Harold and the two Ambassadors on their journey."

The others exchanged a few glances and Suniel nodded. "Thank you. We will speak on it."

"Very well," the Marshal said. "Now, if you will excuse us, we have many urgent matters to attend to."

"Yes, of course," Harold said, saluting a final time before turning and marching crisply out of the Council Chamber. He glanced back at the others and saw them mulling the Marshal's offer over as they followed him out.

None of these three have any real roots here, it will not be hard to convince them to come along, he thought. One short journey south and we will complete my mission, we will bring the Crystal Towers hope.

His thoughts turned to the Ashen Tower and his mood darkened. Hope. How sorely we need it.


Here ends Act I of the Rise of Felskein. The party readies to set forth from now-familiar Northmand and take the journey south into the larger and more treacherous world: down the Greenpath to the Crystal Deep, to the wondrous Gnomish capital of Steamport, to the Landspear - the mountain that pierces the sky - and across the ever-feuding Freeholds to the ancient Span that connects the Crystal Towers to the mainland, and hopefully, to finally reach the gleaming spires of the Crystal Towers.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 11, Part 1

"How was the visit to your tribe?" Suniel said, glancing up as Grok'nar rode up on his shaggy horse. Kezzek looked up from where he sat sharpening his quor'rel and squinted up at the hobgoblin as he dismounted.

"Well, I would have visited my tribe, it had still existed when I got there," Grok'nar said, pulling a wineskin off his horse before walking over.

"Still existed? Explain Grok'nar," Kezzek said, brows furrowed as he watched the hobgoblin take a drink.

"The High King got word of Shro'kar's deal with us and sent a small army of Iron Ring thugs to kill everything breathing in the place. I only got away from them with my life by giving them lies, misdirection, and false promises. Needless to say, I'm not in any hurry to go back there." The hobgoblin looked uncomfortable and hid it quickly with a long drink from his wineskin.

"Are you sure that's all you gave them?" Kezzek said dryly. "The things that disappeared when the barge sank all seem to still be missing. The High Priest especially has been searching for some of his things..."

"Gosh, that sure is interesting. If I hear anything I'll be sure to let you know right away," Grok'nar said. "Anyway, I'd expect the war will be on for real here before long."

"I'd agree with that," Harold said, riding up on his warhorse. "We destroyed another raft camp this past week, skirmished with hobgoblins up and down the west coast of Mirror Lake."

"You kept yourself busy then I take it?" Suniel said as Harold dismounted and joined them.

Harold nodded and brushed his hand against the dozens of new iron ring necklaces that hung from his belt.

"Anyway Kezzek, you were saying before Grok'nar and Harold arrived?" Suniel said, turning to the Greywarden.

"Hm? Oh yes," Kezzek said. "Not much more to tell really, the Kellins, of course, abandoned the ones I found were involved in the Agony Ring to justice, turning over a few of their own for good measure. I'm not convinced that there aren't more of them involved, but there's enough Kellins that I could spend a decade here rooting them out of Northmand's underworld. They breed like goblins."

"Master?" No Tongue said. Suniel patted the little goblin on the head.

"Instead of spending a decade in one little city, you could take the Steamship south with us and bring justice to the untamed, uncivilized expanses between here and the Crystal Towers," Harold said. "The steamship leaves tomorrow."

"South... that passage will take us by the Landspear, won't it?" Kezzek said. Something in Kezzek's tone was almost... wistful? Suniel glanced at the Greywarden curiously.

Harold nodded. "There are two routes around the mountain: the east path through the broken hills that lie between it and the cliff-edge of Felskein, or west, through Port. We'll be taking the Port road since the Ashen Tower controls all the passes through the eastern hills. Then on through the Freeholds and home."

"Are there ruins in the hills at the Landspear's base?" Kezzek said, staring at his quor'rel. Suniel's curiosity grew.

Harold shrugged. "I've heard of them, but I've never had much interest."

"Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather not be on either side of the war that seems to be about to start here," Grok'nar said. "So sign me up on your steamship."

"You Suniel?" Harold said, turning to him.

He turned from Kezzek and looked in the archer's hard eyes. Back south, Suniel thought. How long have I been fleeing from there? Perhaps my past has forgotten me by now.

"I'm in," Kezzek said.

Harold nodded to the half-orc and turned back to Suniel. "Well?"

"This steamship, it has room for the Black Carriage?"

"Yes, whether your talking about the carriage itself or your followers."

"Then I'm in as well," Suniel said. I've run long enough.


The iron steamship was small, small enough that Grok'nar wondered where they were going to put the wizard's carriage.

"It doesn't look like much from up top, but there's actually more below the water than above it," Harold said as they rode up the dock towards it.

"Wouldn't that be a problem for river travel? Rapids and shallows and the like?" Suniel said from where he sat on the bench of his carriage next to Guntl.

"Maaaaster," No Tongue said, gaping and pointing at all the boats, barges, and ships filling the dock.

"No, you'll see why in a minute," Harold said as they came to a stop before the strange looking little craft. Two gnomes walked across the metal gangplank to meet them.

They all dismounted and stood facing the two gnomes. One had a white dress shirt and red vest, a tricorne cap sitting at a jaunty angle on his head. The other wore greasy leather coveralls and had soot smeared on his face and through his thinning hair.

"Welcome! I'm Captain Rumple Shingleclank, master of this fine vessel," the one in the vest said with a bow and a wave to the Steamship. "This is my brother, Machinamentalist Bingor Shingleclank."

"Machina-what?" Grok'nar said as the others shook the captain's hand.

"Machinamentalist. He handles the machines and the slave-elementals that power them. One of the best Machinamentalists Steamport has ever produced, if I say so myself."

"He's exaggerating," Bingor said. "But just a little bit," he added with a grin.

"So, where do we fit the horses and the carriage?" Suniel said as he looked the steamship over.

"Bingor?" Captain Shingleclank said, glancing at his brother. The machinamentalist was already running across the gang plank. It retracted into the ship a moment later and a minute later, black soot was billowing from the steamship's smokestack and Grok'nar could hear grinding and clanking noises from somewhere inside it. Then with a blast of soot and a wave of water that splashed onto the dock at their feet, the ship shot straight up six feet, revealing a door inset into the side of the hull.

A moment later, the door fell open to the dock with a clang, revealing a surprisingly spacious cargo hold. "Load your things up in the middle. Guest quarters are in the rear and our other passenger's things are up in the front. And trust me - you definitely don't want to get too close to his things," the Captain said with a wave to the hold.

"What other passenger?" Grok'nar said, trying to shift to where he could see into the hold better.

"Will it stay up long enough for us to load?" Suniel said dubiously as the ship shook, the grind and clang of metal echoing from inside.

"Oh sure, we can keep it up for a couple hours without wearing out the elementals. As long as we don't do it all the time anyway. Not that you should take your time of course," Captain Shingleclank said. No one moved. "Go on, it's perfectly safe."

Grok'nar sighed. "If I'm supposed to die someday, I doubt it's aboard some gnomish contraption." He led his shaggy horse into the ship, nose wrinkling at the strange smells - oil, grease, char, and something else that he couldn't place. The others followed him in.

An hour later they stood at the rail of the steamship, watching as Northmand's docks and, farther away, the fainest outline of the Ragged Hills, dwindled in the west. Grok'nar had the feeling he'd never see those hills again. Well, good riddance, he thought. Nothing left for me there anyway.

He turned and walked to the bow, pulling out his wineskin as he looked forward, at the first stretch of the long journey.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 11, Part 2

Kezzek glanced up from his journal to his fellow passengers. The two Ambassadors, Stevens from the Crystal Towers and Roderic from Northmand, stood at the rail in the fading light, discussing future war with the Iron Tribes. Harold stood near, hand on his bow and eyes wary as if something might attack the Ambassadors at any second. A few paces away, Guntl and Shruka were trying to teach No Tongue how to tie a knot, while Stabber looked on, rolling his eyes and doing coin tricks.

Suniel sat near the aft castle, watching and taking notes as Keeper produced a sword of lightning out of thin air and swung it about. Grok'nar sat near the small stair that led down into the hold, sipping from his wineskin and sniffing at the air that flowed up from down below, a curious expression on his face. A moment later, Lunt came up from below, carrying yet another loaf of bread. They still hadn't met the mysterious "other passenger."

"Suniel, if your goblin keeps eating, we're going to run out of food before we reach the Crystal Deep, much less Steamport," Kezzek said. Suniel glanced up in time to see Lunt hunch down and cram the whole loaf into his mouth and nearly choke as he tried to chew it.

"Lunt, that's enough. If you eat anymore, you won't get any food tomorrow," Suniel said. Keeper walked over, picked the stout goblin up with one arm, and stared at him with his unblinking electric gaze as Lunt chewed like a cross between a squirrel and a cow.

Captain Shingleclank came out from the strange aft castle - it was sided in iron like the rest of the ship and had a glass window across the front so he could steer from inside - and nodded to Kezzek. "We're making good time. Bingor said the elementals are in good shape so he's working them hard."

"I'm not in any particular hurry," Kezzek said.

"Well, Two-Peg is, he said his cargo is 'perishable'," the Captain said, squinting at where Grok'nar was leaning his upper body down into the hold stairwell. "Hobgoblin, looking for something?"

Grok'nar almost fell into hold before he caught himself and sat up, a feigned innocence on his face. "Just wondering if the other passenger was going to show up at some point."

"He's... private. Doesn't come out..." there was a thump from the stairs and Captain Shingleclank trailed off, as did most of the activity on the deck as everyone glanced towards the source of the sound. A few moments later, a small figure thumped up from below-decks and stood looking back at everyone with his one eye.

He was a gnome, rough skinned and scarred, one eye covered with an eye patch, one arm ending in a wooden fitting, one leg ending in a peg below the knee.

"Uh, everyone, meet Two-Peg. Two Peg, meet everyone," the Captain said.

Two Peg turned to Captain Shingleclank. "No one is to disturb my things."

"What things would those be?" Harold said. "I think we have a right to know if we're going to travel together."

Two Peg gave Harold a flat glare and turned to the Captain again. "No one." He turned and thumped back down into the hold.

"Friendly fellow," Grok'nar said. "What do you suppose he's got down there?"

Captain Shingleclank shrugged. "They were covered with canvas tarps when he loaded them. He checks on them every night, but I've never seen what's inside."

"You let him bring unknown cargo onto your ship?" Suniel said. He gestured and Keeper set Lunt down.

Captain Shingleclank shrugged. "He paid extra for discretion."

"Well, none of our business then," Kezzek said. Most of the others nodded and went back to what they had been doing. Kezzek turned to the hobgoblin. "Right Grok'nar?"

"Of course," Grok'nar said with another glance toward the hold. "Totally off limits."


He was pretty sure everyone was asleep. The horses nickered faintly as he made his way past them towards the front of the hold and where Two Peg's mysterious cargo sat. He inched towards it, pausing now and then to be sure no one had heard or spotted him.

In the near silence - broken only by the strange methodical chugging sound of the ship - he thought he heard a strange wheezing sound from within the largest of the canvas-draped containers. He crept forward, looking around one last time before sliding a metal weight off of the canvas and pulling up one corner to peek in. He jumped back as something shot towards him, but too late.


Harold's first instinct on hearing commotion was to be sure the Ambassadors were safe. They were, sitting up in their bunks with questioning expressions on their faces. "Stay here, I'll see what it is," Harold said, grabbing his bow and quiver and stepping out into the narrow hall.

There was a roar and a hobgoblin curse from the front of the hold and Harold moved quickly, weaving through the confines of the cramped hold. When he reached Two Peg's cargo, the canvas was gone from the cage it had been draped over and the creature inside had the hobgoblin in a crushing bear hug.

As Harold nocked an arrow, Kezzek appeared beside him, quor'rel in hand. "Owlbear," the Greywarden said and cursed in what Kezzek assumed was orcish. "Can you hit it without hitting Grok'nar?"

"I think so," Harold said. In quick succession, he fired three arrows and the owlbear released Grok'nar with a roar.

"Back, beast, down," Two Peg said, uncoiling and snapping a long whip the moment he reached them. The beast let out a strange hooting roar and slammed into its cage.

Kezzek jumped forwards and pulled Grok'nar's crumpled form clear of the owlbear's reach. "Stop shooting, that's my livelihood you're killing!" Two Peg shouted, pushing in between himself and Harold.

The beast had two arrows protruding from its massive shoulders. Harold looked down and saw the third arrow protruding from the back of Grok'nar's skull. Kezzek looked up at Harold. "He's dead."

"Because he is a fool who disobeyed my request and got himself killed for it!" Two Peg shouted as the beast roared and threw itself against its cage. "Lower your bow archer!"

Harold still stood with an arrow drawn to his cheek, glancing between the beast and the dead hobgoblin. Finally he lowered his bow and stared at Grok'nar's body. Kezzek knelt and closed Grok'nar's eyes, glancing up as Suniel arrived. The elf's eyes widened as he saw the hobgoblin.

"What happened here?" he said, looking from the beast to Grok'nar to the arrow to Harold.

Kezzek opened his mouth, but then there was a clang and horrific scraping and the ship lurched and and the ship came to a sudden stop.

"We've hit something, something big," Two Peg said softly and even the owlbear went still.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 12, Part 1

-Note: You'd think I'd learn... I figured I'd just type up this week's story, post it, and be done. Instead, I typed up most of it and then accidentally hit the "back" button on my mouse. *Sigh* So, I did the smart thing and typed it up in Open Office.

Got most of the way done(typing quick since I'd already typed it once) and the computer locks up. Lost about 1/3 of it. Otherwise it would be longer. I liked the first version a bit more, but don't remember exactly what I typed. Lesson learned now... I hope.-

The strange metal craft came to rest against the huge tree the tribe had felled. Boneclub snarled and motioned the others forward with the huge club that was his namesake. As they moved out onto the wide tree trunk, he saw Longtooth and the rest of the warriors moving climbing onto the fallen tree from the other bank.

As they ran across the fallen tree, he saw several figures move out onto the deck of the strange metal smoke ship. Boneclub raised his club higher and bared his teeth so the boat dwellers could see. He glanced back and saw the rest of his tribe-mates were doing the same. Then they vanished in a blast of fire.

Boneclub almost fell into the water, but caught himself on a branch, staring in shock as arrows tore into Longtooth and the rest of the warriors. These aren't like the other boat-dwellers, he thought. These ones fight, not surrender!

His warriors were falling to arrows and flame, the ones that actually reached the craft being cut down by what looked like an orc with a huge gauntlet and a strange two-bladed sword. Then the Spirit Totem lunged up out of the water, scales glinting in the moonlight. His massive jaws clamped onto the orc and dragged him into the water. On the craft, the archer, the boat-dweller shaman in a plain robe, and a rusty metal man moved to the rail, but then the Shaman called out behind Boneclaw.

A vertical blast of lightning hit the metal smoke ship as Boneclub pulled himself back to the tree trunk. Immediately the archer began sending a rain of shafts into the woods behind Boneclub and, with a gesture, the robed one caused another detonation in the trees. Boneclub ducked low and snuck forward using the still-leafy limbs of the fallen tree for cover. The Shaman and the boat-dwellers exchanged arrows, fire, and lightning while the orc thrashed in the water, battling the Spirit Totem.

As Boneclub reached the prow, he saw that the rest of his warriors were dead; some lay scorched on the smoldering tree-trunk, while others floated down the river sprouting arrows or lay slashed open and sprawled on the deck. Boneclub crouched out of sight, waiting for the right moment.

There was a hooting cry as the Shaman flew out of the trees, calling another bolt of lightning that threw the archer and boat-dweller Shaman to the deck. Seeing his moment, Boneclub let out a roar and charged, heavy club raised over his head as he rushed the archer. The human shook his head, got to his feet, and glanced in Boneclub's direction. I will avenge my tribe-mates! he thought as he crossed the deck.

In a blur, a bow appeared in the human's hand and an arrow slammed into each of Boneclub's shoulders, sending his club clattering to the deck and almost knocking Boneclub off his feet. With a snarl, Boneclub broke the arrows shafts, raised his head to the moon, and roared.

When he looked back, the boat-dweller's Shaman - close enough now that Boneclub could see that it was an elf - stood with a finger pointed at him. The metal man stood, eyes flickering, behind him. Boneclub roared again and charged, ready to wring the elf's neck with his bare hands. The wizard muttered something and there was a flash of light.

Boneclub crumpled to the deck with a final dying thought: I failed the tribe...


Harold reached his hand down and the Greywarden clasped his wrist. Kezzek fell to the deck dripping water and blood. “That was a big damn alligator,” the half-orc gasped.

“There were about a dozen of them in all I'd say,” Harold said, glancing about at the bodies that littered the area.

“Confirmed, plus the water creature and the flying one,” Keeper said.

“Yes, what about that flying one?” Suniel said, still scanning the woods.

“The giant owl that was calling lightning on us?” Harold said as he walked towards one of the bodies. “It's been a few minutes, I think he's gone.”

Harold knelt next to one of the lizardfolk for a moment then stood. “I'm going to go check the banks. I'll be back.”

Suniel glanced up from where he was doing his best to tend the Greywarden's wounds, but didn't ask as the archer made his way onto the fallen tree. A few minutes later the archer returned.

“I found some tracks. Looks like they came from somewhere downstream on the west bank,” Harold said. “Shall we check it out?”

Kezzek stood, winced, and followed Harold as he headed back to the fallen tree. “They were river bandits as far as I'm concerned. Maybe there's more evidence at their lair.”

Suniel glanced at the sprawled bodies. Such pointless waste of life, he thought and sighed. “I guess they're right. Keeper, let's go.”
Last edited:

An Advertisement