Dark Shards

The Forge of Fury 1

Oakhurst, Wealsun 4.5, BCY 14500

Session 9

DM Our heroes have been in Oakhurst for a week now, where their heroic exploits have become the talk of the town. Sharwyn Hucrele remains catatonic, her protector Sir Braford the same. The sad fate of Talgen and his sister aside, their mother has at least closure on her missing children.

DM One upsetting aspect has been the offloading of treasure…very little can be offloaded in Oakhurst. The small town simply does not have the resources to do so. The party decides that Alsoor is the closest location they can travel to in order to divest themselves of their bulky gains.

Kryss Kryss has spent his time at the inn eating while reading his newly aquired Dragon Tome.

DM Our heroes have been in Oakhurst for a week now, where their heroic exploits have become the talk of the town. Sharwyn Hucrele remains catatonic, her protector Sir Braford the same. The sad fate of Talgen and his sister aside, their mother has at least closure on her missing children.

DM One upsetting aspect has been the offloading of treasure…very little can be offloaded in Oakhurst. The small town simply does not have the resources to do so. The party decides that Alsoor is the closest location they can travel to in order to divest themselves of their bulky gains.

Kryss Kryss wakes one morning and knocks at Julian’s door.

Julian “Come in!” Entering, Kryss finds that Julian’s room is spartan save for a small shrine with a lit candle.

Julian “What is it?”

Kryss “We should be leaving. The inn wont have more pork until friday.” Kryss says.

Julian The paladin nods. “I’ve been making arrangements. I have enough food for the journey for the three of us.”

Julian “I thought we’d walk. After all that time in a little cell, I can’t get enough of walking.”

Kryss “I havent seen my Protector in what feels like a week. He will show up when we need him. He always does.”

Kryss “I expect he is at the Hucrele house anyway.” Kryss hefts a few bags over his shoulder. “Nothing can happen to us on the King’s Highway anyway.”

DM “Old road,” one of the nameless old men corrects him.

Julian “Oh? Well, all right then… I’m going to go say my goodbyes.”

Kryss “Your what?”

Julian “My goodbyes? Like, bid farewell to people?”

Kryss “People die. Why bother trading words with someone you will never see again?”

Julian “Ah, hm. We should talk sometime, I think. I’ll meet you on the south road.”

Julian And indeed Julian does so. After saying his goodbyes.

Kryss “Today will be a good day for travelling.” Kryss says.

Kryss Once they meet up further down the road.

Julian “No more goblins to worry about, either.” The paladin is in a bright mood.

Kryss “There was a time I could snatch you up and with a single beat of my mighty wings carry you to Alsoor.” he replies.

Julian “Oh?” Julian glances at Kryss. “Well, I don’t think I’ve heard the tale of how you came to be here.”

Kryss “There is an air channel that follows the valley down the mountain. A dragon could sail for days on that current,” he scans the sky wistly.

Kryss “I fell victim to Wild Magic. I discovered an item in my horde that gave me this form.”

Julian “Why don’t you tell me your tale? It would be a welcome way to pass the time.”

Kryss “Mortality does not become me,” he pulls his great coat over his neck. “Thats about all there is to tell about it. I abandonded my horde to seek a wizard to change me back.”

Julian “Ah well. I will not pry. But what now, then? Are you still seeking a wizard, or do you have other goals?”

Kryss “I have made… arrangements. After a term of service someone will restore me.”

Julian “And then?”

Kryss “I will return to my horde, drive out any usurpers, and sleep I suppose.”

Julian “No further ambitions?”

Kryss “Such as?” Kryss seems confused.

Julian “Hm.”

Julian “Well, that aside. Where does the Protector come in?”

Kryss “I am assigned to him. His wishes are my wishes. I will follow him until my time is complete.”

Kryss “What are your… ambitions?” Kryss asks.

Julian Julian looks away. “I have something to prove.”

Kryss “You plan to spend your miniscule time here proving something? To whom must you prove yourself to?” Kryss asks bluntly.

Julian “To people, to the Church… it’s complicated. But I think I took a great step towards it down there.”

Kryss “But there was only us there. Your church did not see your deeds in the citadel.”

Julian Julian looks sidelong at his companion. “And what is minuscule to a… dragon? is long to a man, I think.”

Kryss “You will live, 25 years? 30 at most? Likely less given your choice of careers. What could you do in a mere 30 years to make any difference?” Kryss words come out harsh but he seems genuinely curious.

Kryss “If you were dragon, you would have all of time to accomplish your goals.”

Julian “I can show that a magician can be a paladin.”

Julian “You dragons are solitary creatures most of the time, are you not? Sleeping alone on your gold and such, as the stories say?”

Kryss “I am not taught by other dragons and so I do not know how they spend their time. I know that is how I spent my time. Unless i was disturbed.”

Kryss “It stands to reason that other dragons would feel the same.”

Julian Julian shrugs. “So you dragons have a long life, but when it does finally end, there will be not much left to say of it.”

Julian “In my wildest dreams, if I succeed in paving the way, there will be a hundred men walking my path even after I myself do not.”

Julian “I’m not really sure how to explain living in a society to someone who… doesn’t. But it is different.”

Kryss Kryss walks along in silence for a long while. At length he asks “How did you learn your… ambition?”

Julian “How did you learn to breathe fire?”

Kryss “What?” Kryss looks at him, “Its like flying, or walking, you just know.”

DM Our guys were headed to Alsoor via wagon, when suddenly lightning ruined everything. We pick up our story now.

Julian “The road goes ever on and on…” Julian hums.

Kryss “Did you say it would be 2 days and nights to get to Alsoor?” Kryss asks for perhaps the 300th time.

DM Four. Julian said four.

Kryss “I could swear you said two. We should stop to eat again soon.” Kryss complains.

Julian Four it is.

Julian “If we stop to eat often enough, maybe we can stretch it to five.”

DM It was a day and a half to get to the Sunless Citadel, which lies along the Old Road, not quite halfway to Alsoor.

Kryss “Lets keep marching then. Hopefully my Protector will arrive with the wagon soon, and then we can nap.”

Julian Julian marches on stoically, thinking about horses and how he should have bought one. Not that that little village had a serviceable beast for a soldier…

DM Perhaps in Alsoor.

Kryss “Is Alsoor a large town?” Kryss asks.

Kryss “Never mind. Ill just walk silently awhile.”

Julian Julian nods in agreement. His friend will find out soon enough.

DM They come up upon Alsoor late morning of the fourth day, having been passing by outlying farms throughout. It is a small city, bustling with people going about their business.

DM Two guards stand on duty, call them to halt and state their business.

Kryss Kryss looks to Julian. This is normally Shael’s area.

Julian “I’m here to buy a horse.”

Kryss Kryss is impressed by Julians master of diplomacy.

DM The guards look Julian up and down. “You one of the Primata’s men?”

DM Julian recognizes the title as a mid ranking priestess of Tal.

Julian “No, I’m a church man, though.” Julian shows his cavalry insignia from his service as a paladin’s squire. “Lost my horse in a goblin attack.”

DM The guards nod, put at ease by Julian’s simple and nonflamboyant manner.

DM Who would have known that it would be this easy to get into a town?

Julian Julian nods to the guards and the pair proceed.

Kryss Kryss trudges into town behind Julian, his newly aquired great coat adding to his already large size.

DM They are given a brief set of directions to guide them about the town, and the guards go back to watching the Old Road.

Kryss “Should we eat?” Kryss asks.

Julian “We ate half an hour ago…”

Kryss Kryss simply stares back.

Julian “Let’s do our work first. Work up an appetite.” Julian seeks out the mercantile districts to sell the group’s assorted goods, and asks around for the best stables.

Kryss Kryss stops at the first stall. “We are looking for Jan Hucrele. Please give us directions.” he says to the shopkeeper.

DM Directions to Hucrele’s shop are given in short order. Julian hears the names Ysayth and Malcan when it comes to stables. Competing individuals.

Julian Julian works perhaps slower than Kryss would like. He attends to their business first and also makes arrangements for a room and bath. “It is polite to wash off the dust of the road before calling on a leading citizen.” he insists to Kryss.

Julian He also visits the stables, calling on Ysayth first.

DM Ysayth is a large, loud man, whose booming voice does not change whether he is indoors or out. Julian finds his stock to be fairly run of the mill horses, draft and riding, as well as several ponies.

Julian Julian thanks him and calls on his competitor. It wouldn’t do to buy without seeing both options.

Kryss Kryss follows behind dutifully.

DM Malcan is an asshole. His horses have nicer coats than Ysayth’s, who tends to allow them to roll in the dirt. However, from the moment they set foot in his place of business, Malcan talks down to them, as though they were children, or worse, women.

Julian “Some of those beasts would be well suited to drawing the wagon. Shael was making pretty slow progress with just the village horse, a team of two would be better.” Julian mentions as they approach the second stable.

DM They know that it would be worse, because he mentions several things to that effect.

Julian “Hm.” Julian doesn’t hide his scowl, but he tries not to let it affect his judgment of the horses.

Julian Eventually he takes his leave, to sleep on the question.

Julian “Now,” he says after freshening up, “let’s go see master Hucrele.”

Kryss Kryss follows.

DM Hucrele’s Trade Emporium is a massive three story affair, full of trade goods and exotic delights.

Kryss “Jan Hucrele,” Kryss says to the worker at the door.

DM He shakes his head, pointing in. The lovely Laila greets the pair as they enter. “Looking for anything in particular, my lords?” she asks.

DM She introduces herself, managing to draw their attention to three different pieces of equipment in a casual manner as she does so.

Kryss “We have urgent news for the Hucrele family from their kin in the north,” Kryss answers flatly.

Julian Julian nods. “News from Kerowyn Hucrele of Oakhurst.” he clarifies.

DM “Is everything alright?” she asks, concern in her eyes. “I have not heard from my aunt in a few months.”

Kryss “Are you Jan Hucrele?” Kryss asks, unwilling to share private information.

DM “No, he is my father. As I said, I am Laila, Laila Hucrele. I run the Emporium.”

Julian “Ill news, I fear. Is he here?”

Kryss “There is an illness. Your cousin has taken sick.”

DM “No, he is north, in Blasingdell, making arrangements with our kin there. A shipment of dwarven steel.”

Kryss “Shaerwyn,” Kryss replies.

Julian “Ah. Well, in that case, I am sure you will pass our news on to him. Is there a place we can sit, Lady Hucrele?”

DM She breezes through the store, leading them around to an office, where she gestures that they have a seat on the luxurious fur covered couch within.

Kryss Kryss stands beside the door gestures for Julian to sit.

DM “My cousin is ill. Does she need medicine? That hamlet they live in likely lacks such accomodations.”

Julian Julian sits stiffly and shares the story of Talgen’s demise and Sharwyn’s affliction, or at least an overview. No need to go into the more indiscreet details of magecraft and the like.

DM “Oh!” Laila is far more upset about the death of Talgen than she is about Sharwyn’s condition.

Julian “I am very sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, Lady Hucrele.” Julian concludes.

Kryss “After we made certain Lady Hucrele was safe and secure we offered to deliver the message for them on our way to sell our goods in town.” Kryss says leadingly.

DM “That was…kind of you. Goods I assume you recovered from the goblins?”

Julian “Just so.”

Kryss “Gained justly as we rescued your cousin, ill as she is. We also recovered your other cousin’s body, so that he may be buried as your Gods dictate.”

DM “Tal is the one god worshipped here in Alsoor,” she replies. Laila takes stock of their loot, wanting to separate out any illegals like poison or drugs, although she offers to handle any such as well.

Julian The pair sell that which is to be sold. Julian also asks her if she recognizes the maker’s mark on Lightbringer.

DM “Oh! That’s a Durgablade, right? You should show Baron Althon! He collects them.”

DM A representative from the tax collectors’ guild bursts in. “Laila! I demand an accounting!”

Julian “Durgablade? The name is news to me. It is a fine weapon, though.”

Julian Julian steadfastly ignores any thoughts of taxes.

Kryss Kryss stuffs his big bag of gold in his coat and walks out, brushing roughly past the tax collector.

DM “Oh, I’m no good with dwarven names,” she frowns, waving the tax collector away for now. “You’ll get them, Henry, when I have them ready for you, and not a day before.”

Julian “Well perhaps I will call on the baron now, Lady Hucrele. Will I need a letter of introduction?”

DM She points to the blade. “That’s introduction enough, truthfully. I can’t really emphasize how much he loves those things.”

Julian “Then thank you. I am sure we will speak again. Until then, I am very glad to have met you, my lady, and I wish it were under better circumstances.” Julian takes his leave.

DM She thanks him and waves good bye.

Julian Julian seeks out the Baron’s household.

DM The baron lives in a modest yet defensible house…likely the second largest in town. Julian finds it in short order, and with a simple flourish of his fine blade, is shown directly in to meet with the Baron.

 photo rsz_baron_althon_1_zpswwtjbi3v.jpg

<julian> “I’m here to see the baron! And THIS is my letter of introduction!” Julian brandishes his blade to the doorguard.

<julian> “Ok, ok, just joking around.” he adds hurriedly. “I hear that the Baron is a collector of these blades.” He lets himself be ushered in.

DM The dark haired nobleman is enjoying a brandy and cigar, and excitedly greets Julian as he enters. “I understand you have an actual Durgeddin broadsword?” He offers both tobacco and drink to Julian.

Julian “Thank you, my lord.” Julian accepts the drink. “Durgeddin… Well, I have heard you are the greatest expert on them in these parts. I trust you can verify whether the blade is a true one.” He displays the maker’s mark.

DM The baron inspects the blade with undisguised glee, pointing out several features that indicate the pedigree. “This is indeed, a true Durgeddin blade,” he says, handing it back to Julian. “I would gladly pay you three times the market value for it, but it looks like you are the sort who puts it to a true use.”

Julian “I am indeed, my lord. How is it that you came to know of Durgeddin’s work?”

DM “I am a bit of a dwarven aficionado, and Durgeddin’s weapons are one of this region’s high points. His fortress was said to have been lost in the mountains far to the east of here, and a cache of his work, including enchanted metal, is but a small part of the plunder.”

Julian “His fortress… hm…” Julian pulls out the ancient dwarven note the party found. “I cannot read the script, but I was told this spoke of such a fortress.”

DM “Hmm.” The baron pours over it. “This is the Gliterhame! Amazing. Ah…there should be a map with this. Right here, this is newer writing. ‘Once you have Shatterspike, bring it and the map to me in Blasingdell. Untold riches await you in Durgeddin’s stony redoubt … and, I fear, the chance to be a hero. Your fall from grace will not be in vain’. Did you find a…shatterspike?”

Julian “Yes, indeed… an axe that we discovered in the depths of the fortress. My companion bears it now.” Hm. Fall from grace? “I’ll send a runner to fetch him.”

—————————————-

Meanwhile…

Kryss Kryss follows his ears to the sound of a ringing forge.

Kryss He watches from a distance as the smith pounds out the rough shape of a shortshord. The sparks, the smell, there is something about this profession.

Kryss Perhaps it is the cadence to the hammer hitting the metal. Perhaps it reminds him of his mothers heartbeat as she protected her eggs. That was a long time ago.

DM He finds himself near Coror’s Forge, the powerful blacksmith’s metalworking beating out the rythmn of quality.

Kryss At length the mighty dragon turned man approaches the weapon smith. “Rurik of Oak Hurst says fine things about your work.”

Kryss He continues, “Im in the market for a weapon. He claimed it to be beyond his skill. He sent me to you.”

DM “A weapon? What thort of weapon?” the man asks.

Kryss “A mighty claw that I might rend a dragon’s heart from its chest. It must be strong enough to crack steel and sharp enough to pierce plate mail.”

Kryss Kryss hands the man a scroll with a detailed drawing of a great sword on it.

Kryss "The blood channel should we this wide and this deep. Id like the handle done in this frog hide.

Kryss And the handle, full tang of course, must be half again as long as both my hands. Youll want to take some measurements."

Kryss “I would like to trade this battle axe for it as part of the cost if possible.”

Kryss “Could you craft the pommel in the shape of a dragon egg? About the size of my fist please.”

Kryss “Do you have any heavier armors in stock?” Kryss scans the shop. “I find chain catches my accursed short hairs.”

DM Coror looks at the battleaxe. “You want me to make…a greatsword from an axe?” He shakes his head at the armor question. “You want armor, you go to Faradur. I don’t truck with that.”

Kryss “I want you to make me a greatsword. I will pay you 200 gold and give you this ax in exchange. Either that or I will simply give you 25 gold.” Kryss replies matter of factly.

Kryss Kryss stares at the buffoon for a long time and finally realizes the man is dumb. “Perhaps Ill return another time.” He exits the store in frustration.

Kryss He gruffly asks for directions to Faradurs armory.

DM “I can make you a greatthword. With the handle and froghide. I’ll have thomeone else craft the dragon egg pommel…not really my forte. It will cost a hundred gold pieceth.” He looks at the notches on Kryss’s axe and tries not to look too puzzled. “You can keep your axth.”

DM “Faradur is that way.” Coror gives them.

Kryss “How long would it take to make?” Kryss asks.

Kryss Frustrated at the time it would take to have a proper greatsword crafted he thanks the man and leaves. He follows the directions to the armory before he is stopped by a messenger with news that he is wanted at the Barons house. “This is likely from Julian.” Kryss says and heads to the manor house.

Julian A messenger boy soon finds Kryss and directs him to the Baron’s dwellings. No doubt this happens after his business with the smith is done.

DM “Who did you take Shatterspike from?” the baron asks curiously. “If it is indeed this individual…”

Julian “A knight who had fallen under a curse. Sir Braford was his name.”

Julian Julian pores over the message as well while waiting for Kryss to arrive, wondering who “me” is and what this has to do with the town of Blasingdell. “I wonder, could Blasingdell be related to Durgeddin’s hidden redoubt? Odd to see them mentioned on the same page.”

Julian “I wish it were less cryptic.” he grins, “but it certainly sounds like it would bear investigating.”

DM “Well, this right here, with Blassingdell and falling from grace…that’s all written on the original script, but it’s much newer. The dwarven alphabet didn’t even use these particular figures until about a hundred and fifty years ago.”

DM “So basically someone vandalized a piece of dwarven history to write a note to someone on.”

Julian “Well, it is odd. Parchment is not quite so dear as that. Do you know of Blasingdell?”

DM “Yes, Miles Berrick is the knight protector of the city. It lies at the east end of the New Road.”

DM “…in the mountains…”

Julian Julian nods.

Julian “I think this lead is worth pursuing, Baron, don’t you?”

DM “I do. I tell you what, any Durgeddin weapons you find that you don’t want to keep, I’ll pay you a premium for, a thousand gold crowns above market value.”

Shael “I wonder, does this sword have any history? I’ve never seen one made quite like it…” Shael shows the Baron his katana.

Kryss Kryss is escorted into the room by one of the Baron’s attendees. “I received word you needed me?” he asks Julian.

DM The baron starts, but realizes Shael has been there quietly the entire time. “This seems like foreign work, honestly. I wouldn’t know the history, myself. You might need to track down a sage specialized in the study.”

Julian “If Blasingdell does lead to Durgeddin’s stronghold, I shall certainly give you first rights to any more blades of Durgeddin’s make that we turn up.”

Julian “Yes, Kryss. Or at least your axe. This is Shatterspike.”

Shael Shael smiles politely and quietly fades back into the background.

DM “May I see it?” the baron asks.

Kryss Kryss displays the axe to the baron. “I took it justly from one who no longer could carry it.” His eyes narrow at the Barons request.

Julian “Trying to solve a mystery.” Julian explains to Kryss.

Kryss Kryss offers up the ax at Julians suggestion.

Kryss His hand drops to his handaxe.

DM The baron takes the axe, and twists the handle along the bottom. It slides out, and a crumbling parchment falls onto the table. It is a map.

Julian Julian’s eyebrows rise.

Julian “The missing map.”

Julian He bends over it.

Kryss “It is good you found that. If it had come loose while I was slaying a foe I could have been inconvienienced.”

DM The baron frowns at the bloodstains all over the axe, and begins polishing its blade idly while observing what Julian finds with the map.

Kryss Kryss waits patiently to hear what Julian has learned.

Kryss Actually, he fidgets.

Julian Julian studies…

Kryss Kryss fidgets.

DM The map is that of a mountain range, with one, Stone Tooth, marked out clearly. The door to Khundrukar lies marked as well. It places the mount a few days travel north of Blasingdell.

Julian “Ha! I was right! Durgeddin’s hidden fortress!”

Julian “I wonder what is left there…”

DM “By Tal, you’ve done it, old chap! Marvelous!”

Julian Julian glances to Kryss and Shael. “What do you say? Are you willing to join me and explore the place?”

Kryss Kryss looks to Shael, loyal to a fault.

Shael “Yes, of course.”

Shael Shael asserts, “We have some matters to attend to first, I think… but, an expidition can certainly be planned at the same time.”

Kryss Kryss looks satisfied at the decision.

Kryss “Well need to find a sponsor to fund the expidition.” Kryss says.

Kryss “Perhaps the Hucreles.”

Kryss “Theyll likely ask for first choice of any spoils.” he thinks aloud.

DM If the baron gives him odd looks at his hyper suspicious behavior and then incredibly tactless awkward breakdown, no one notices.

DM No one notices the orcish assassins either.

Julian Julian’s mind is on something other than sponsors. He asks the Baron whether he will write a letter of introduction to Sir Berrick to ease the group’s way in Blassingdell, and also advises making a copy of the map to keep safe with the Baron.

Shael “Right then! We’ll get it sorted.” Shael says suddenly. “Expect to hear from us within the week, Lord, and we’ll have an estimate on when we will return with the spoils.”

DM “Thenmehtar, my best scribe, will copy the map.”

DM “And naturally I will write a letter of introduction to Sir Berrick.”

Julian “Thank you, my lord. And thank you for your help in this matter. We’d best see to our preparations, then. By your leave?”

DM The baron gives him an excited smile. “Absolutely, my new friends! May you have the best of luck!”

Julian The party takes their leave and makes preparations.

Kryss “Id like to buy some armor soon.” Kryss says to his friends.

Julian “By all means.”

Shael “Now that we’re in the city, I have a few matters to see to as well… should we find lodging first so we have somewhere to regroup?”

Julian “All right.”

Shael “What do we want: cheap, good, or great?”

Julian “Neither luxury nor squalor.”

Kryss “Somewhere with rare meet.” Kryss adds.

DM The party decides to stay at the Bitter Arrow. Insensitive Banburr runs a tight ship. They serve beef and pork.

DM As requested, it has neither luxury nor squalor, and is a middle of the road option.

Kryss Kryss is happy with beef and pork. He eats, informs Shael of the items he requires if available, and retires to his room.

Shael He winks at his friends and says, “As promised. I’ll return before full-dark.”

Shael The young wizard then sets out to inconspiciously gather several things he needs as well as to find out more about the local arms and armor market.

Shael While he’s about it, he asks occasionally about the sword on his back and whether there is anyone who might know how to use it well.

Julian “Okay…” Julian stays up for a while shooting the shit with the other patrons, then turns in himself.

DM Few people have seen a blade like Shael’s at all. One old veteran has, a man from distant Thorn, who fought in the goblin wars.

DM “They call it a katana, which is just goblin for sword.”

Shael “Huh, is there any combat style associated with it? Or just the same as any other blade of this size?”

DM “If you can ask a goblin, you might get an answer to that. We were too busy killing them to stop and find out.”

Shael Shael chuckles grimly, “Same…” he sheaths it, “…if it wasn’t obviously of fine make I’d have left it on his body.” he says, simplifying the truth.

Julian Julian spends the week making preparations. In between, he visits the Baron a few times to make sure he is filled in on any relevant Durgeddin lore, pays a courtesy visit to the temple of Tal, and keeps in touch with the Hucreles.

Kryss Kryss spends his time studying his new book and training.

Shael Shael spends some time tracking down Selcane, the artist, and talking to different wagon-makers in the city about their craft.

DM And so our heroes set about preparing for their next grand adventure, locating the dwarven fortress of Khundrukar, on Stone Tooth Mountain. When they are prepared, they set forth from Alsoor to Blasindell, where they hope to stage their expedition. What awaits them in the frigid mountains? Find out next week!

Comments

Kain_Darkwind

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.