It’s an 10 day voyage to the landing sight.
Langbay itself is a population of about 7000. There are some 8 major settlements in its immediate vicinity, and outside of those more hamlets, villages and such that it controls. Outside of those, technically it claims the land but patrols are few and far between. We know they lost a lot of quality men during the invasion of our lands.
It lies on the coast in a valley, surrounded by mountainous lands. A ring of rough hills lies lies tween the mts and Langbay, w/in which are the towns.
The city has an outer AND inner wall.
The kingdom is called Camden, the capital is on the peninsula south of Langbay, at its tip.
Bjorn wants to send about half of our force east and half west of the city, hitting major settlement to each side of Langbay nearest the coast and if necessary work our way up to the northern most 2, in order to pin the city in; leaving a couple or so to the pin down the harbor from any escapes.
Once we secure the towns, by attack or them fleeing for Langbay, the dwarves will get to work from the secured zone of the town to Langbay’s immediate north.
We sail by our initial raid that started off the campaign, it is basically abandoned. Hugging the coast.
Finnric “Do we want to stay so near the coast now, do you care if we get spotted.”
Bjorn an uncaring “No” shaking his head.
After, we hear a distant horn blowing; mercantile vessels flee at our approach, making a wide berth and making for open sea behind us. 1 of Sven’s, 1 of Kolfrosta’s and 1 allied Jarl ship are to blockade the city. W/ our 3 ships are Sven’s other, the last of Kolfrosta’s, and the 2 remaining of the allied Jarl.
Wulfgar will take his 6 west plus we send 1 of Kolfrosta’s w/ him.
We land south of the village, east of the hills, to attack from the opposite side of the city. Lance and Black J say thanks for the ride and are leaving for home. More than likely, augments here are 2nd class citizens and will not fight you if you do not fight them. There are a couple of hamlets that are nothing but augments, actually. They say to the NE of the city, at edge of the hills, is one of them that will likely be cool with us. He gives us his mark to give them as a show of friendship with Lance. They will also stop there on the way out to tell them we may be coming.
The acoustics of the area are amazing, we can hear sounds from the village as we start over land. They are already screaming for their lives. By the time we get there, its all but empty. We make our way to the 2nd village up and stop.
The town was hastily left. Much is to be had, especially from the church. The heaviest, and so best, of the gold was often left behind. We load as much onto the many mules, wagons and carts and such still remaining, and take it with us from town to town as it grows.
Very fine Tower Shield (30)
High Quality Great Axe
10 exceptional alch. fire (burn twice as long)
Potion prot. arrows
mst silver spiked chain (505)
lvl 3 mst longsword
lvl 1 mst battle axe
platinum Return holy symbol w/ jewels (300)
Gems and Jewels totalling 3158
Copper is up the the taking from who finds it and what they can carry.
The next town has had more time, only maybe 800 pop., still flying Bluto’s flag. There is still a presence in town.
The gate is shut, tips of spears carried by men can be seen on the crenelations. 10 or 12’ high wall; we estimate 50 to 100 men remain from high ground vantage points.
There is a smaller gate at the far side of the town.
Bjorn sends an offer first: throw down all weapons, surrender, give up the town, we will not kill all of you. If we have to attack this town, no one will be allowed to live.
“If we open the gates and let you in, what do you mean when you say "not all of us won’t be killed’? "
Bjorn “Whoever was foolish enough to order this resistance, the rest will live.”
They discuss, we think there is an argument going on inside about what to do.
A short time later, guards come to the wall and say they will hand over the commander if we let the soldiery walk.
Bjorn accepts so long as they leave unarmed.
They are apprehensive about leaving unarmed.
We say if they throw the commander out the door bound, we will step back a distance and let them flee either to Langbay, where you may die anyway, or away from the area.
They will go to Lanbgay. We understand duty.
Bjorn warns them of Bluto, that they risk death by showing up w/o their commander. We try to tell them not to make for Langbay.
They discuss, deciding to go NE away from the conflict. But, they are worried about their many women and kids who are at Langbay or will be.
Bjorn insists this is a very personal mission, we are not here to rape and murder commoners and general mayhem. This is not our typical wanton destruction.
They accept fully. We get not only the knight commander, but also 6 of his household guard, and they soldiery leave.
Finnric rips his armor and clothes apart to check for cult evidence, and he does have the teardrop amulet. His men do not. They seem to know nothing.
Bjorn has Koku quickly and mercifully behead the house guard in front of the knight.
Bjorn “Bring forth the shield maidens to question.”
Sigrid and Kolfrosta, skilled in intimidate, come forward to start the torture/interrogation. He has been beaten up by the soldiers already.
What he tells us:
115 man garrison at next town. It’s the jewel in Bluto’s crown. The lord in charge likely won’t leave, he’ll fight us. If anyone evacuated it would be the women and children. Otherwise he’ll draft the citizenry.
In Langbay, Bluto has remaing after invation, 25 hvy (w/ breastplate), 75 lt cavalry. Also another 100 quality infantry (chain and kite sh). About 100 archers, all shortbows. 300 grunt infantry. A lot of conscripts in the city also for certain. But, these are all his 2nd string men, basically. His best were taken and mostly lost at the invastion.
By this time has has many cuts via Sigrid and a broken ankle via Kolfrosta’s hammer.
Bjorn “Can we expect the king to send troops anytime soon?”
“Bluto is a peer of the realm, so the king is oathbound” Even if Bluto can get no men out of town, Bluto’s mage has a direct way to communicate w/ the king’s arcanist."
Hopefully the king will figure Bluto can hold out for a while, and wait to gather a larger force, longer than Bluto will really have thanks to our dwarves.
Last question is all he knows about Bjorn’s brother: far as he knows, nothing has happened to him. He’s in Bluto’s tower in Langbay.
Finnric “Can I blood eagle him now?”
Bjorn says since he talked, a lot, he’ll get his head crushed in quickly by Kolfrosta. Finnric’s disappointed. Blood Eagle is not to be done lightly, but this blood cult is a horse of a very different color. They are savagely evil.
Bjorn “She might miss the first time, a bit.”
She does, it takes 2 swings to do the trick.
We find a Return monk robe, but inside out it is a blood cult robe. The knight ID’s him by name and description (older gentleman about 60 yrs).
Again, we leave a looting crew back while the army marches to the next town.
fine hvy steel shield (150)
lvl 1 mst chain shirt
monk’s outfit Return (inside its the blood cult robe mentioned above)
Nobles outfit (75)
bag of 3 thunderstones
arcane scroll: flare
spear (boar spear, big leaf head blade): Finnric claims this with authority
1000 in gems/jewels
The day is starting to wind down. We keep on.
Village 3, biggest thus far. Pop maybe 1200.
Another walled town. Hanging from the stone walls are augment women and children, and the old!! Torches are lit along the walls. There are many more than 50 goons actively yelling curses at us.
Walls are bigger and better than the last, about 15’ high.
Sigrid “All the more loot that may remain.”
We surround the town deliberately. There is a main entrance on each side of the town. 2 masses at the side of each gate.
Bjorn sets the dwarves constructing 2 battering rams. They say they can make siege engines faster than mortal man.
We attack both doors at once, archers providing covering fire at the walls above the gates.
Bjorn leads the front door w/ Kolfrosta, Harald, Ingvarr, SIgrid, Ragnar, Toru.
Finnric the rear w/ his 5 Ulfhednar.
Finnric “Every spear along these walls is mine!”
We get only a few injuries from bowfire on both sides. About 10 minutes of battering for the door and portcullis to go down. Sigrid is primed, barely able to contain herself, pacing with anticipation at her first action, and first kill.
In the rear, Finnric leads the Ulfhednar in a wedge (Koku to his left; Modar/Brokkr next; Ylva/Thorhamma next), archers firing behind them; the rest flood in behind and flank outwards after the entrance is cleared enough.
At the front a more mass wave attack let by Bjorn.
Bjorn has ordered no quarter. Everyone w/in the walls dies.
First, attacks through murder holes do little to us. Waiting for Finnric is a line of soldiers with a leader; 4 cavalry and a line of infantry meet Bjorn.
Sigrid starts her career off with a critical 17, unhorsing the rider but the horse goes with him in a startle and pins the rider! As he clears himself and stand, she beheads him with a crit!
Finnric collects 2 spears from the first line, both d6 shortspears.
Troops have been filing past the Ulfhednar in force, the line falls in a bloodily in a couple rounds, Thorhamma finishing off the last man. They flood in with the men, killing, ravishing, and looting. Finnric orders Koku to guard the exit “None leave alive”; The front is held better by the front guard with 2 commanders and the few cavalry but it falls eventually, Ragnar dropping the final commander.
Ragnar starts hitting on Sigrid “Sexy Legs”.
Sigrid gets the head of her first kill. Bjorn says he should fire Ingvar, Ragnar and Harald for their poor showing.
Turns out about 400 people are still here, crowded into the area of the central walled tower. Including the Lord hiding amongst them. He does not seem to be a blood cultist.
Toru “Are we still killing everyone?”
Bjorn “I’ve got a better use for them.” We pack them into buildings that are easily closed up and barred/secured. They will be for later “to show Langbay what happens to those who resist.”
Finnric “Just like Bluto did to Rymskyld.”
We loot in full:
Hvy Crossbow of quality materials (400)
Alchemical solutions: keen edge; neutralize poison
scroll: blood gate
1200 in gems/jewels
Also, 3 mobile siege engines; trebuchet and 2 catapults.
Next town up is burned out. Wooden palisade battered, piles of burned bodies in the square. No corpses that have not been burned.
To the NE is the augment town, couple hundred. There is trouble there, cavalry riding through the town attacking as we look on via spyglass.
Last town, just north of Langbay, has been completely abandoned. Wulfgar meets us on the way there.
It’s late by now. We start getting ready for the siege tomorrow, the dwarves begin scouting for their dig sight. A unit of 20 Allied Jarl men will guard and assist them.
We have kept them out of sight from the locals so as not to warn Bluto of the presence of trixey dwarves.
Finnric hears of his sisters action, and congratulates her.
We settle our camps on the ourskirts of the city, defensive positions, etc.
Get look into town w/ spyglass. No gates from our direction.
Lance, Black J, and a group of augments show up early. Say Bluto has cavalry that has been riding around hitting the augment places. The burned out town we entered yesterday had openly said they were going to deal w/ us because they had a good relationship with the augments. So, Bluto turned on the town. These augments, Lance et al saved from the small village we saw being attacked. He is here w/ his 20 men as well. They are looking for blood and join.
About 40 lightly armed men approach under flag of truce. Head man demands to speak to the leaders. He meets w/ Bjorn and Wulfgar. Says he leads an irregular militia in the area, they wander the region. As of now, Bluto is actually on the outs with them. He has moved to true evil actions. He and his band are looking to overthrow him. With the same enemy, perhaps we can work together for now. He introduces himself as the Sgt.Major Thomas Darkhelm.
He has 50 men.
The 2 rams the dwarves built have also been brought up.
We dig in, piked trenches around the town; forage for supplies and siege ammunition. The augments and rangers know how to work the siege engines, so they are stationed there.
The Ulfhednar sleep most of the days, and are up all night doing Odinic rituals and being on night watch.
The 3 shadow and the greenborn and the infravision augments are used as outer scouts as well.
We bring up the captives from the previous town, older men, about 50 of them. Sarge asks us not to do whatever we are planning, but Bjorn rejects him.
The Lord is beheaded, after another rebuff of Bjorn’s request to surender. His body is piked across from the main gate on the west side, his head launched over the gate.
The older men are lined up, each with a soldier with them. The Ulfhednar are among them.
Bjorn says this is what happens then, and tells them to cry for help of their friends and family. About half do so. He then orders all killed. None die quickly. They are also piked, lining them up to either side of the lord.
A few token catapult shots at us fall short.
Still nothing from the roving cavalry.
A ram is placed at a gate on east and west; tower at other gate to east, plus north gate. Last tower with other siege equipment.
Bjorn leads a force on west side w/ ram; another force just north of him covers the other gate on that side with the ram. To east is Sven’s men, Ingvarr leading a group of Bjorn’s men, and Wulgar’s Jarlsleifia force.
Wulfgar is to north gate; Finnborg’s neighbor with the siege engines.
Ragnar is with a force of Bjorn’s at the siege engines as well.
Our old women captives are brought forth. Bjorn lines them up, and tells them to beg for rescue to their overlord like he told the old men. This is the first they have seen of what happened to the old men. They are uncontrollably distraught.
Bjorn makes sure to point out that this is the town that did NOT surrender, that the town that did peacefully all got to run away.
Some useless arrow shots are fired at us to no effect. The women are killed and added to the line.
The cavalry is spotted by Koku and a shadow augment, coming up from the east behind our men. All 100 of them! They tell Ingvarr it will be here in about 10 minutes.
We start waking up more than just the 20 night guards, who get ready to be attacked. 40 men we keep watching the city side in reserve, just in case. 100 men ready to engage the cavalry along with the shadow augment and Koku.
The cavalry keep their distance, riding around, up and back. They are just trying to harass us, not attack.
The shadow augment leaves, reporting to Lance who reports to Bjorn. Bjorn sends word to Sarge to send rangers out to look for the cavalry’s camp first light, assuming that since they were up all night, they must be resting much of the day.
Before daybreak the cavalry vanish into the dark in the direction they came. Sarge sends rangers out to look for them. Likely, they shouldn’t be difficult to track. The winged augment is sent along to speedily report back the position.
Finnric volunteers to lead his Ulfhednar and followers on the raid, wanting Finnbogi and his berserks to join him.
He goes to personally ask Finnbogi who says he certainly will so long as Wulfgar ok’s it. Finnnbogi rushes to ask Wulfgar who agrees.
We prepare to go at a moment’s notice.
Bjorn gathers the rest of the adult males from the captured town. Sarge asks for quarter again for these men.
He tells them we really want to hear it from them.
“Being men, you might want to act like men for the first time in your lives. But, I have a way to fix that. If you scream like the little girls you are though…”
They are dragged out to see the line of staked bodies.
“If you’re willing to surrender the city now…” another chance to surrender. The men at the SW corner tower are obviously shaken, trying to leave their post. The men on the walls are forcing them not to.
Bjorn tells the men to scream for you lives. Most of them refuse. The men standing behind each all have a knife at the ready. All are immediately hamstringed while standing. They fall.
Bjorn “You can still save your lives, open the gates!”
The conscripts along the west wall are all beginning to call for the gates to be open.
The soldiers are keeping them in line though.
Starting with the first in line, he is knifed in the privates.
Toru “When you begin to beg and wail like women, this will stop.”
All the conscripts on that wall are freaking out. Their morale is finished. Men inside the city are switched in for mostof them. Those routing are rounded up by professional troops and whisked away.
The line of men soon starts to wail and beg for the city to give.
No response from Bluto.
BJorn “Apparently your lord does not care about you. SInce Lord Bluto has no regard for the life of his men, neither shall I.”
They are each killed by the man behind them, as each man wishes. They are added to the like of staked bodies.
in the afternoon the flyer reports the camp has been found, about 5 miles NE. About a third are awake right now. He leads Finnric and Finnbogi, they move out fast.
Bjorn gives a directive, he wants all of their heads. On their way out, Black and Lance’s 3 shadow augments and the greenborn meet Finnric and insist to join him as well.
From the enemy’s Beacon Hill over the last few days, we have seen much of what we will face inside the city. The soldiery we see at the keep are well armed and armored. Likely more than we were told. Perhaps 1000 conscripts throughout the defenses; 200 conscript archers on the walls; 80 or so light cavalry in the 2 plazas; 300 infantry.; 80 to 100 heavy infantra. Probably a couple hundred in the castle including 40 hvy cavalry and a group of knights. They have a catapult there.
We assume Bluto and his Malenko are in the castle. A strange winged man is seen once on the grounds, as well as the winged demon looking thing that saved Bluto from our clutches. What appears to be a wyvern penned up on the castle grounds. Also, a handful of giants!!! A fire, a hill, a frost, and a mountain. This gets Finnric interestes. A troll and an Ogre are also seen.
vs The Cavalry
The campsite is triangle shaped, a group of cavalry at each point. Each has 2/3 sleeping and 1/3 awake! Only about 33 awake!! No patrol in the daytime apparently, few men on watch out away from each point.
Finnric and Ulfhednar and followers take one tip, the berserks another, the rangers the third. At their point, the outlying 3 guards are engaged by the augments here but the augments fail miserably so an alarm goes up via horn. All sides immediately attack.
The berserks and Finnric’s men flood into the camp.
Finnbogi hits the outlying 3 guards.
Finnric’s followers make for the tents of the just waking, while the Ulfhednar take out the men who were already up; Ylva and Modar jumping the outlying 3 guards.
The rangers form 2 lines at the edge of the camp on their side, opposite each other. They are to pepper their tip with bowfire during the assault, hit everything awake or running out of a tent.
The augments have to finish off the guards they didn’t ambush.
Once the men are in the tents, the men awake being eliminated fairly quickly, the rangers and augments find that in the tents are women and kids dressed as cavalry! The berserks barely take notice and do not stop.
The rangers/augments take all captive at this point. Finnric does the same on his side and actively has to stop Finnbogi from continuing past his part of the camp; for the rangers/augments say they are willing to forcibly stop the berserks otherwise.
The 11 awake on each tip were actually soldiers. Only those in the tents were women and children. The berserks did lay waste to most on their attack point.
Black J is beside himself, not what he was expecting.
He gets a wounded enemy and begins roughly asking where the other cavalry are. The man will not comply.
Ylva arrives and begins biting fingers off of the man while Finnric holds him down demanding the information. 3 fingers in he says these are peasants from a nearby village told they were being brought here for security. Lies. A ruse to lure the best of the Vikings here so as not to be there for an attack at the main force. He knows not where the attack will be, on what force. They will attack on foot since all their horses are here to pull off the ruse.
The winged augment is sent back to report the ruse.
The captive says the leader of the cav is one of Bluto’s inner circle (so likely a cultist!). His spear is an artifact from the time of the Masters, he calls it Blood Drinker, a foul weapon indeed.
We mount up on their horses and ride fast as we can, hoping to make it back to at least help if the attack has already started. The rangers are left to watch over the captives. Finnric figures they will attack either Wulfgar’s position, Ingvarr’s, or both. SInce the former has lost his berserks and the latter were up much of the night being harassed. Luckily, we’re on that side.
Dwarves, about halfway to the finish, break into an ancient catacomb and face some skeletons and weak such undead. They clear it out with no problem. They find a tunnel leading up and out of the catacombs, likely toward the temple are but they have been caved in.
They do run into a tougher creature down there as well; and some loot including ancient armor and weapons.
A dwarf Ethelbert was interred here as a guardian for the Elf buried in a sarcophagus in the middle of the room. In the wall all around are grave niches.He wears a great helm, massive shield on his back, maul, and plate armor covering his whole body.
It’s an inauspicious start, as Fliggol and Raggid almost fumble, Ottr and Egin miss, and the thief hides. Raggid insists to the Prince to stay back for now, for he is the sole remaining royalty of the clan.
The thing smacks Raggid with its 2 handed maul then the dwarves surround it completely, only the thief, archer, and prince hanging back. It emanates negetivity, slightly weakening a couple. The battle is not easy, many of their blows glance off the thick armor of the monster. Finally, between 3 massive shots from Fliggol, Eggin and Ragged bring it down.
From it, they gather engraved full plate armor; Beorn’s Maul (vs Giants = negate armor as magic and 1d6 bonus damage); great helm (vs any head based damage = 25% to resist); hvy steel shield (of only half the weight).
Also, 1000gp of gems and jewelry. They keep all of this treasure.
Back to digging.
Winged Augment gets back before any attack has happened. He warns Ingvarr’s side, then Wulfgar, then Bjorn himself. He passed near the cav on the way, who seem to be headed more toward Ingvarr. With only about 60 men even against tired men, he is outnumbered 3:1 so Ragnar says he suspects a sorte from w/in the city to hit them from the other side as well.
Wings says tells them that Finnric’s force is on the way, mounted so travelling faster than the attacking cav (now on foot) did.
Bjorn says Ingvarr is warned, and has “full confidence in him.”
120 conscripts sortie our from the city, plus 20 cavalry and 40 trained but not heavy infantry. They then form up: Cav unit in the center, 2 units of inf to their left and conscripts forming wings 3 to a side.
The 60 cav on foot move in from the east and line up.
A Sven and a Jarlsleifia unit separates to block the unmounted cav attack. The rest form a line vs the city sortie w/ Ingvarr in the center, the ditch in front of them.
The city cav prepares lances for a charge. The inf mostly wield axes, conscripts mostly wield spears.
All our men with bows face the city side and fire and massacre a conscript unit on each flank, taking 2 units out of the battle. Volleys fire from their walls, but fall basically useless. A catapult fires as well, damaging a unit of Sven’s men.
They move up to the trench and begin to cross, breaking their charge as a 2nd catapult shot misses short.
The footed cav in the rear charges. The battle joins.
It’s a blood fight terribly bloody, many down or dead when Finnric’s force arrives, raging warcries screaming! At this point, only 2 conscript units remain.
As the ragers hit, 2 units with Wulfgar move in on our right flank, 40 men.
The conscripts on our right route and flee for the city. Their front line is pushed back!! Our Sven left wing men however break under the onslaught and flees!!
Sven’s men in the rear pull back toward our front line, folowed by Jarlsleifia.
Unfortunately for their footed cavalry, as they push our line back is when they hear the fury of the Ulfhednar howls and Berserk roars at their backs.
Each Ulfhednar plus Finnric follower unit immediately destroys a footed cavalry to the man. The last of them is teamed up on by the 2 Berserk units.
Bjorn reallocates some of the force after the losses. The ‘Harald’ contingent is disbanded, mostly folded into the Olaf and Sven to get them back up to 20. The remaining 6 men are spread into the Wulfgar Jarlsleifia that took losses. Their own 3rd contingent is taken down to 13 men to keep 2 units full at 20. However, that 13 man unit hs a 5th, a 4th, and two 3rd lvl men, w/ 8x 2nd and a single first. So a small but strong reserve force.
All heads of the cavalry and the previous days battles, all beheaded. A wall of staked bodies is put up on the Ingvarr’s side now with half their bodies, the other half is lined at Wulfgar’s side. Bjorn has the catapults and trebuchet loaded with heads, launching them over the wall in bunches from the corner they are stationed.
Bjorn yells at the gate to speak to Bluto the Fat and Pathetic as the launching begins. It rains heads in the city.
Bluto does not come to the walls.
A few of the bodies are hung from the tops of the siege towers so that is the first thing they will see once we assault, plus one at the front top of each battering ram.
Sarge implores Bjorn to not progress to the women and children from the towns. Bjorn says they are fine today. Tomorrow is the really big show.
Throughout the night, we hear some sort of fracas from within the city, flare ups of lights. The wizard’s tower is definitely active.
The castle is also well lit all night, buzz of activity.
about 1am a small paddle boat comes up to the shoreline south of Bjorn’s position. They desire parlay with Bjorn; seem to be commoners.
Bjorn and Finnric go out to meet them.
The 6 of them are sick over the loss of the peasants in the conscript units yesterday.
Though they do not doubt our siege will ultimately fail, their losses will be huge. They do not want that to happen, nor the fear tactics to continue. Many conscripts are either refusing to fight, or if it comes to it will simply run away and hide from us. Bluto has made sure none can get out of the gates. They are trapped tween him and us.
So, we need not worry about a vast majority of the commoners inside the city.
The flashes of light and activity was a small rebellion of peasants inside. The soldiers did not take the losses they had hoped to inflict, and it was put down relatively quickly.
Bjorn says what he really needs is to kill Bluto and rescue his brother. He tells them to let the militia know to leave us alone once we are in the city. Let us get to Bluto in particular. Any of them who leaves us alone, we will leave alone. If they can spread such a word to the militia units to do so it would go a long way to their city not being pillaged and destroyed. We aren’t really hear for that, in particular.
They talk among themselves for a few moments. Bjorn offers to create a diversion if it would assist them in getting back in.
They say 2 of them have volunteered to reenter the city. They sneaked out via the docks. If we distract them at Bjorn’s side it may help them get back inside.
They do warn us, many more murders especially the women and children we have, may turn the attitude against us.
Bjorn says his next step was not to kill them, but a scene of debauchery. They say probably not a good idea.
They say one of Bluto’s allies, Duke of Normanchester named, is dead. Bluto was challenging the throne and a contingent of Bluto’s men were there with this ally marshaling vs the king of Camden, Luthor Tralham. Normanchester was killed recently in this action. The wizard had recently tried to communicate to get them to help here and found this out. News was passed around that the Duke and the last of his Bluto forces were recently beaten vs the King.
This is good news for us: the king is not coming up here any time soon, at least not to aid Bluto; and no reinforcements otherwise.
The rangers say they sent the surviving commoners from the cavalry camp attack to a safer village in the vicinity.
We make a distraction, the 2 commoners get back in.
Thrand’s force arrives!!
Tomorrow, the dwarves will be finished with the tunnel!
Thand, Brand and Thrand’s followers are stationed on Ingvarr’s side, as are the 2 units of Sven men that arrived with him.
Bjorn puts Vortigurn’s 3 units with the siege equipment.
The triplets are put with the siege equipment. The Tosten family with Bjorn; Ulf and Hakon with Kolfrosta
We begin wondering where Toru, he is found in the closest routed village eating his own banquet. We can barely move him to the battlefield.
An arrow is shot out of the city from the wall, nonchalantly, landing near the camp. It has a note written on it. Sarge translates: well over half the conscripts will ignore us; maybe 20% are still loyal to Bluto; another group are looking still to rebel. They may be willing to take a soldier down here and there themselves, we can know them by the red sashes they will wear.
One of the rangers had been telling Ragnar and Toru of the Crimson Banner the previous night around the campfire. An Troll in a cave not too far from here killed the hero that previously owned it. Probably the troll we saw inside the town days ago. So either his cave in unguarded, or the Ogre has a way inside the town as well. Lots of local folktale here. It’s enough to get them interested. They have enlisted Harald, as well as a ranger of Sarge’s and 2 augments (natural wpn: clawed hands, and multi limbed; 3rd arm so uses 2 wpns and a shield).
The rangers have seen it outside the walls once since we have been here, only at a distance.
The ranger telling the story leads the way into the wilderness.
Bjorn wishes him luck, says to have fun on their own and wishes them good luck. Finnric offers to follow them, but Thrand say “they have to be their own men too. We all die when our time comes and not before”.
Robert the Red, the ranger who told the tale, leads the way through the wilderness. We get to a long cave, the deeper in, the more it stinks; bones strewn about here and there.
Then, we hear the foul monster call out he smells us coming!
His eyes glimmer ahead at the edge of our torchlight. A javelin he throws. Rob, in the front, is struck and falls to the ground hurt, but still draws his bow. The battle joins. The troll has straggly hair, bushy beard, and 2 horns protruding from his forehead; wears tattered chain hauberk, javelins on his back, greatsword, 2 small useless batlike wings at his shoulderblades.
The group reacts faster than the ogre realized, all going before it in the first round, Toru and Robert firing bows and the others engage in melee. Unfortunately their damage is not up to par with their reaction time. It counterattacks, slashing one of the augments and headbutting with its horns!! Ragnar succeeds in browbeating the Troll! Harald runs for the banner. The troll then realizes what is happening and snaps out of it. Our readied actions hit him bad, so he goes for “Ragnar the liar, the false!” but misses.
Ragnar yells for Harald to beat it with the banner, so he races toward the entrance.
He refuses to surrender. Toru finishes him off. Ragnar beheads it to bring it back as proof to Bjorn.
Toru “I wonder if the troll was eating when we got here.” Sigh
Searching the lair: in a dark niche of the cave, littered with his excrement, is an archway of bone nailed into the wall. No tunnel though. The 3 limb augment investigates, it shimmers and his hands go into it “feels like water”. He puts his head in to see, and a couple of arms come through, grabbing him and pulling him through.
Ragnar steps through to save him, finding himself inside of a worked stone building overlooking a port. It’s the wizard’s tower. Bjorn’s position is outside to the right. 2 guards stand at a bone arch on his side now. They are manhandling the augment.\
Ragnar “Back off scum! I am Ragnar Trollslayer!” going for a quick browbeat just to get out of here with the augment alive.
Harald is still on the rush back to the camp. They back off in a surprise at the sight of a hero.
Ragnar “Get out of here!”
Ragnar follows him out.
Toru recommends destroying the bone archway on this side.
He saw no blood teardrops on the guards, as a note.
Back to camp, leaving the gate as is, and reports to Bjorn with the troll head.
Bjorn discusses sending a hit squad in when we enter the city.
The dwarves finish the tunnel into the park, only a bit left just to break through.
The attack will begin at first light, with the siege equipment and such, to draw more defenses to the walls. At the right time, through the tunnel to the park, will come the Ulfhednar, berserks, rangers, Finnric’s followers. They will get to and help open gate or gates from the inside. Finnbogi will make for Wulfgar’s gate; Ulfhednar to Ingvarr and the rangers to Kolfrosta.
Into the wizard’s tunnel through the portal, if it is open, will be Gunnar and his men plus Kyy. They will have mounts so that they can race back to the siege if it has been closed by the wizard.
The troops move from their position to the dwarves and into the tunnel, the Ulfhednar setting up their usual night time revelry camp on the way to make everything seem normal.
The dwarves are willing to enter as well. The group that was guarding them, from Vortigurn, will also enter with Finnric.
The rubble strewn tunnel is cleared, it comes out onto Prefect St., the law office quarter, very likely to be abandoned right now. The Ulfhednar will come out of this one.
Sigrid goes into battle wearing the rotting head of her first kill on her belt.
Kyy is fed the full blood of a wild boar so he is fully ready.
A man will be ready on Thrand/Ingvarr’s side, on high ground behind the line. When he sees our inside men crossing the field to that gate he can signal Thrand to begin to move at the walls to draw the full attention outside, if he has not begun already.
Winged augments will act as eyes in the sky, careful not to get in easy bow range, and carry orders quickly from one place to another.
Just before the sun breeches the horizon, the siege engines begin to bombard. Archers move in and begin to fire from long distance at the walls. We are trying to draw attention to the walls and keep heads down. All of our troops are at the ready to charge in, ladders prepared, men at the rams and towers to push them in at a moment’s notice.
Men begin to bolster the walls for our coming attack, just as we had hoped.
Signal goes for the inner assault to enter the caves, but Bjorn’s message gives a change of plans at the dwarf tunnels. Finnric and Finnbogi will come from the woods, spotters have seen that the response force there has not moved. It will be their decision whether to attack them or make straight for the gate.
Vortigurn’s men, with rangers and dwarves, will enter Prefect St..
The wizard gate is open, they rush through.
Only the 2 guards in the room, as before. Kyy crits, slaying one of them; Gunnar hits 11.
The other guard limps his way up the stair, issuing orders to men there to kill us. An argument begins, they are obviously militia who are not willing to fight.
Kyyf follows him up, and the 20 militia archers give way as he is still yelling at them. Kyy walks up behind and kills him.
The men there just wave to Kyy and he leaves. Downward we go through the tower to the bottom, no wizard. There is an empty cage, some sort of pet may be gone.
Up through the 2 tunnels we go.
The rangers et al move directly for Kolfrostr/Bjorn side.
The crazies are now adjacent to a response group of 2 cavalry and 3 conscript units, shielded by the foliage. Finnbogi and Finnric decide to ambush them. Big surprise.
As they approach, a soldier says “no sense in us sitting on our horses all day long, when not one is even in the city yet.”
3 units of conscripts there: 2 flee the scene immediately, the last sees our attacks, and attacks their own cav. unit.
None of the cavalry are mounted yet.
The unit of cav caught tween Finnric and the turncoat conscripts break, as they take more casualties down to 4 men. They flee at top speed.
Finnbogi’s withdraw, but can only go tween Finnric and the turncoats, taken down to half dead.
vs Koku routes completely, fleeing past Finnbogi and down any nearest getaway.
We’re pretty sure those that ran away will be hiding for the remainder of the war.
The last half unit of cavalry then run away down the street toward the other response force.
We rush back into the woodland. The rebels quickly gather some better equipment and join us.
Finnbogi heads for Wulfgar; the rest for Thrand.
Finnric “Odin be with you, Finnbogi!”
A winged man leaves the palace in the air, flying about the city. The Blood Demon that saved Bluto does the same. A knight mounts the wyvern, unchains it, and flies into the air circling as well. He has a lance; also 2 men behind him strapped down, with bows.
Finnric force reaches the edge of the field, still unseen by the eastern wall force and the fortress. Finnric stops to take a dump on the side of the road, Koku finds an unfinished flagon of ale and swigs it down. Our watchman signals Thrand and Ingvarr.
The rangers continue the hustle to the west wall; all 3 units of conscripts with the other response force, hunkered down and expecting an attack from Finnric, take off and abandon the field into hiding, leaving only the 3 cav and 1 infantry.
Finnbogi north to Wulfgar.
The wyvern is heading for Bjorn. The demon seems to have seen no one, but is flying toward Ragnar. Finnbogi, it seems, has been spotted by the other flyer.
Finnric swears he hears crows cawing in the distance “Victory will be ours today.”
Our engines begin firing for true effect, rather than distraction and terror.
Thrand charges in with the ram, archers covering, as does Bjorn. Thrand’s ram breaches on the single powerful smash!!! Splinters away from breaking it in with one shot.
The trebuchet hits a defending catapult at the wall, exploding in a fireball thanks to a rune applied by Gudrun the day before, killing a couple of the crew. The conscript unit with it breaks, no longer manning the catapult.
The 2 catapults hit a unit on the wall to their left.
Wulfgar’s siege tower moves for the wall, archers covering, as does Kolfrosta.
Finnric rushes across the field like lightning, reaching the rear of the enemy.
Finnbogi hits a unit of Teardrop Cult Warriors.
The conscripts at their engine vs Bjorn abandon. The archers and 2 other units there rebel! More conscripts at Bjorn abandon, but not all.
vs Ragnar, they all abandon but for 1 unit.
vs Wulfgar: an archer unit on the wall rebels; the others abandon but for 2 loyalists and another rebel unit.
vs Thrand: only 2 conscript units stay, the other few abandon.
Several units around the walls not under direct attack also abandon.
When the rebels turn and the others abandon, no conscript archers are even firing at us effectively, only to keep the ruse up until they feel safe enough to rebel. We fire back at the real units left in sight at each front.
Sarge reaches the gate. Vortigurn’s men begin to open the gate. The rangers fire at the soldiers on the wall, dropping many and the unit routes down the wall for the nearest escape into the city.
The dwarves are a block and a half from the gate, lagging behind. They hear cavalry, from the response unit, coming up behind them fast.
2 units at our engine corner move to ready to defend vs the siege tower.
The unit on the burning catapult on the wall begins to put it out.
A unit of enemy archers to Thrand’s left rebels, charges across the field and fires at a unit on the harborside wall. 1 of the rebel units on the ground hits their rear, w/ Koku and the rebels from in the city that followed us over. The other rebel unit hits in the rear the unit Finnric charges.
A unit of Sven’s leads the way through the splintered gate and begins to cut through the defense, who drops back a space. The enemy unit triple teamed is wiped out to a man, as does that flanked by Finnric’s men and the other rebels. The last enemy unit attacks the rebel peasants who charged in with us.
Our archers hit their unit on the wall to Thrand’s right again.
A rebel unit runs for the harbor wall to try to convince them to surrender.
Wulfgar’s gate is opened by the rebels at the lever. He begins entering the city led by his other unit of berserks who immediately wipe out a conscript unit. Finnbogi flanks the Blood Drop unit in the street with a rebel conscript unit.
About half the Blood unit is taken down, with damage to Finnbogi. Then the flying augment swoops in upon them. His unit is a bit less then half down now as well. The rebel unit helping him is attacked by the loyal conscript unit, they are almost massacred and the remaining few flee.
First out of the tower at the Engine Corner is Ragnar w/Bjorn followers (inc. all his mantrolls), Dulk and Osmo. They destroy the badly damaged (from bowfire) unit there immediately. The demon, who flew Bluto away from Rymslyld, swoops down on Ragnar’s unit breathing fire, oozing blood from everywhere sickeningly. 7 men drop, and all 3 heroes are wounded!
Ragnar’s sword suddenly glows. Gudrun has activated a rune upon it. Toru draws an arrow that has been made Bane vs blood cult worshipers and creatures.
Kolfrosta’s men begin flooding into the city. A unit of Jarlsleifia men rush along the wall to meet an enemy unit there. The Vortigurns who opened the gate head back down the street, turning left to meet the other part of the reserve cavalry. Kolfrosta’s personal unit wrap around a large building, hitting that group in the rear.
The rangers run back and meet the dwarves, who now halt and turn to face the other half of the reserve cavalry bearing down upon them. The rangers volley over the top and Sarge joins the line. The cavalry are wiped out to a man. There is an infantry unit behind them however.
Now at Bjorn.
His gate is burst. Bjorn leads his men through, including Harald and the 3 Tostens. There are 4 conscript units here, one on the wall. An infantry blocks his entry. Another is behind an adjacent conscript unit forward. Behind them, a Blood Unit.
The group at the harbor wall comes down to meet the rebel unit. They do not know they are rebels.
Kyy urges Gunnar to follow him down the wall and attack a unit halfway tween them and BJorn’s entry. Gunnar agrees somewhat begrudgingly, as long as Kyy leads. They rush out.
2 conscripts rebel on the ground as Bjorn comes in, attacking infantry blocking Bjorn’s way in.
The first infantry, surprised by 2 rebels, are finished off by Bjorn’s followers and Harald. BJorn and the 3 Tostens then turn on the adjacent loyal conscripts. BJorn has nothing to do but dictate orders as Haki and Papa slaughter the conscripts. Hala stands next to him Bjorn.
Gunnar’s and his men hurl, 15 remain as Kyy hits them. 5 of them rush around him toward Gunnar.
The last infantry unit, in front of the Bloods, hits a rebel unit from behind, crushing them to bits, the last 1 or 2 racing for his life.
The Wyvern riding knight swoops down on Bjorn. The 2 archers fire at Hala all the way in. 10 arrows fly at him, his armor saves the day, 15 total after dr. The knight lances at Bjorn but misses; wyvern lands. It accosts BJorn with all it’s attacks 12/7/17. Bjorn 20/20 ,and Hala 16 strike at the wyvern.
Hovering over the field, Finnric sees a circle of crows!! An omen from the Allfather!!! All in his vicinity gain a +2 bonus to his warsong morale bonuses! It is now raining as the clouds have darkened. Bowfire is much less useful now, especially at range. A storm is rolling in from the coast.
Finnric “Thor has arrived, to personally view the battle!! Odin has sent raves as well! Victory is ours! The enemy shall fall!”
A unit of conscripts have followed the inf. from the wall, they all now head back for Thrand’s entry fight, coming to Koku. Finnric’s unit engages it with Koku and the remaining loyalist adjacent. 1 man makes it out, retreating badly wounded.
Another inf unit is doubled by 2 Sven units who push them back, the last met by another Sven unit who routes them..
The rebels here original rebels with us withdraw back for the city, as more units flood in with Thrand, not wanting to get caught in the bloodletting.
1 Sven unit goes onto the ramparts to assault the unit hiding from our archers. A bolt of electric energy leaps from the castle to their ranks, frying 10 of them! They engage the archer wounded unit anyway, both units severely down in men by the end.
Rebels vs loyalist next to Koku. Both route the other, 1 loyalist and 4 rebels left.
Finnric’s Odin Spear glows bright and vibrates as it senses the Frost Giant who just left the castle heading for the fight. Finnric screams mightily!! Brokkr brings him the Odin Spear. He, Brokkr, Sigrid, and Koku head for the Frost Giant.
Loyalist unit at Wulfgar’s entry simply breaks and disappears into the city. Infantry on the walls make their way to the fight. The berserks flank the Bloods with Finnbogi.
An inf unit down a street to the right is met by a Finnborg unit.
Another inf makes it almost to the gate, met by Wulfgar and another Finborg unit.
Fight to the left at the wall continues.
A Mountain Giant turns the corner behind Finnbogi as his unit finishes off the Bloods.
Finnbogi and the flying man battle it out, slaying him. Finnbogi is wounded however.
More inf. heading for the Engine corner, plus a conscript and Blood unit. A Jarlsleifia under Kolfrosta unit moves up the street and engages them.
Ragnar’s unit opens the gate while the heroes engage the demon. The other unit that just came out of the tower continue vs the infantry on the wall.
Toru hits the demon with the bane arrow 17. Dulk and Osmo hit 5/10. Ragnar with the runed blade 20. It retaliates upon Osmo with 2 touch attacks, hitting once and sucking blood from his orifices taking 5 con. Osmo is now in poor shape. Osmo bows out vs demon.
Dulk hits 10, Ragnar crits 16. Toru hits 12. It now attacks Dulk, taking 3 con.
Toru hits 5, Dulk misses, Rags hits 11; It goes for Dulk again hitting twice, down to a 6 con. He bows out.
Toru misses; Rags hits 7 DEAD, but not before it hits Rags once for 4 con. Dulk and Osmo insist on staying vs infantry.
Our archers, with the rain, pull out of range.
The infantry behind the crushed cavalry run away from the dwarves/rangrs around the first corner. Sarge leads the rangers down the street to his right, seeing an inf. unit going Bjorn’s way.
The cavalry pinned in by Kolfrosta beg for mercy. She accepts their surrender. They disarm themselves and dismount. A Blood Unit arrives to engage Kolfrost from behind her. She is aided by a Vortigurn unit.
Battle on the wall continues.
The dwarves stay to watch the intersection.
A Jarlsleifia unit enters and starts to make its way to the Engine corner a block behind the other.
Rebels come down the wall toward Kyy, insisting the soldier give up and save their own lives. They give in and surrender, backing out of the conflict. The 3 on Gunnar continue to fight. Gunnar and his men finish them off.
Kyy “Let’s make for Bjorn!”
Down at Bjorn:
Last unit is coming through the gate.
The rangers fire at the inf approaching Bjorn’s position, taking almost half of them out of the action.
Bjorn’s unit vs infantry.
The archers miss Haki completely. Bjorn is hit with the lance 8. The other 2 Tostens join Bjorn now. Haki misses the wyvern, Hala hits it, as does Papa Tosten 16. The wyvern misses Bjorn with the bite; but stings Tosten 11 (makes the poison save). Bjorn finishes it off and it topples lifeless at their feet. He then strikes the knight now on low enough for crit 26.
The knight dismounts.
The archers fire, hitting Haki once. Hala attacks one of the archere DEAD. Haki hits the other DEAD.
The knight pulls out a bastard sword vs Bjorn 10/10; Bjorn hits once 12; Tosten aids Bjorn but misses.
The knight is surrounded now. Haki and Hala miss; Papa hits 18; Bjorn 12/miss.
Knight reaches out to touch Bjorn but misses with his hand glowing an eerie purple. He wings his blade and hits Bjorn 14; Haki and Hala both hit, 18 and 12. Papa hits 13; Bjorn misses twice; the knight tries to feint Bjorn out, but fails. He still hit w/ the touch 16 pts of unholy power.
He laughs maniacally, feeling his end coming. Bjorn hits 7 which staggers him, his second ends his miserable life. He hits Bjorn 13/12 before going down though. Bjorn staggers away a few steps and falls over KO’d.
Papa administers first aid and the sons stand guard.
The last infantry vs Finnric who backed away now flee.
Our last 7 on the wall, victims of the lighting, are in trouble, missing. They break and run for camp. Another unit, however, reinforces. It’s a Wulfgar Jarlsleifia.
A flash of light from the tower, the wizard is gone.
Finnric pops a green life saver, telling the others to hold back for now, and engages the Frost alone. HIs initial overwhelming charge trips him as he yells “No, not Gungnir! Noo!” Finnric lashes into him for over 40. The Giant then crits and hits Finnric from prone, who then hits back twice again 33/23.
Finnric sees a bronze amulet on him just like the Peldan ones we saw back home, big red teardrop in the middle.
The Frost Giant hits 15/miss. Finnric hits 31 DEAD.
Finnric “Koku, lop his head of.”
Thorhamma “If the other giants see this, it’s going to make them very angry.”
Koku “They’ll see for themselves soon enough” as he hacks the head free from the shoulders.
The rest of the force heads for the city, Ulfhednar turning north for the citadel.
The circling crows swoop in, begin pecking at the giants flesh.
The Mt. Giant reaches Finnbogi’s berserks.
Wulfgar moves to behind Finnbogi “Uncle Finnbogi! No!!” He leaves his unit and joins Finnbogi’s side. The now half strength berserks and Giant engage. They get 7 hits on the giant. He kills 4.
On the right street continues.
On the wall continues, and the inf. breaks, rushing away down the wall.
Jarlsleifia unit engages Bloods.
Wall fight to right of Ragnar continues and the infantry breaks!
Another unit at Ragnar exits the tower and also the gate now. Battle in the street there begins.
Kolfrosta and Vortigurn hurting their Bloods badly.
The unit behind those hit by the rangers stops before entering the intersection, debating. The unit hit moves forward but slowly.
The rangers hold position, and a unit of Vortigurn arrives from behind them.
Kyy and Gunnar are now off the wall, joining Bjorn’s unit, which steps back allowing the Vortigurn unit to engage. Other Vortigurn units move around the block to our right. 1 hits the inf. to the Bloods left.
Bjorn sucks on a Life Saver to restore his health completely.
The 2 conscripts on the wall to Bjorn’s right takes off for safety.
A flash of light from Ragnar’s position. Ares Malenko appears! Our rebels there flee.
Flame bursts in the middle of a Vortigurn unit there. All the 2nd level men die in flames, the 3rd and 4th’s are badly damaged and flee for the camp.
From behind him on the wall is Black J!! As if out of no where!! Fears hows in Malenko’s eyes.
Black J “I shall now pay you back for what happened to the augments, and my family.”
Hjalrek’s unit destroys what’s left of the unit on the wall to Thrand’s right; the Sven unit that was fighting them had to withdraw, and they merge with the Jarlsleifia unit that is at about 2/3 str. making a good 19 man unit.
Finnric et al rejoin his followers near the castle. A few other units begin dispersing into the temple district mostly to begin looting. Thrand will keep heading for Bjorn/Kolfrosta side to see how things are doing.
Now at Wulfgar,
On the right side street, Wulfgar’s unit continues fighting an inf., the last 2 enemy men then route The unit who was fighting at the wall begins to loot, as does a unit just through the gate. As does another unit of Finnborg men.
The remaining handfull of berserks battle the Mt. Giant and make a good show but it kills 2 more.
Unit fighting continues all around. We get the better of them mostly.
Black J accosts the Malenko, who conjures a disgusting worm blade, with razor edges, and fights back. He then touch attacks J. J grabs him by the throat and throttles him twice. Malenko breaks free, opens a blood portal and vanishes through. J then follows him through before it closes!!! Malenko was obviously not feeling good after the exchange.
Unit that was fighting at the wall starts to loot.
2 of her Jarlsleifia units are at Ragnar fighting a Blood unit.
The Hill Giant is coming down the main street toward the dwarves and the 2 Jarlsleifia units with them. Our men in front are shaken at the sight of it, but the dwarves hold firm, and the unit between the 2 do as well. That unit steps forward to the front. The shaken unit fires a volley from behind them.
As the Hill reaches them, a Fire Giant rounds the corner to their left!! Great Odin’s Raven!!
Our first attacks do nothing. They kill a number of our men, who then break and flee. The archers follow, leaving the dwarves.
Last 3 Blood Unit men fight to the death vs Kolfrosta and her unit and die. Our other Vortigurn unit stays with her.
Rangers move up to attack the if. at the forward intersection who were staying out of their line of fire. 20 to one side where they leave 1 man alive who flees, 10 to the other whose enemy also route and flee. The rangers let them go. Behind Sarge’s men waiting for room to help is still the unit of Vortigurn with them.\
Only the Blood Cult unit remains her, surrounded.
2 Vortigurn and a damaged Jarlsleifia units on this side of the city begin to loot.
Back to Thrand/Finnric:
Units start to full on loot the temple district. Returnist pavilion and many vestments/instruments and non special items get set alight/destroyed by order of Thrand.
Finnric and his 2 units, followed by the equipped rebels, make for Finnbogi and see the Giant there.
Thrand and a couple more units making for Bjorn/Kolfrosta.
Unit on the wall starts to try to catch up.
Wulfgar and his unit jumps in with Finnbogi aside the dying berserks vs the Mt. Giant, who finishes off the berserks. He then turns to Wulfgar’s men.
Looting by other 4 units continues.
Other unit of berserks waiting to have room to get to Finnbogi.
Kolfrosta and unit with her head deeper into city.
Dwarves withdraw from giants toward Kolfrosta’s entry point.
Blood Unit attacked by multiple Vortigurn units. They kill 12 of the 20 cultists.
The unit behind the rangers saw the units fleeing (from Giants) and move back to investigate with the Sarge’s rangers. As they run up, they see Giants pass the intersection ahead chasing the dwarves. The rangers get to the Giants’ rear, flanking with the dwarves.
A Vortigurn unit from Bjorn moves deeper into city, and turning see ahead the inf. that withdrew hid a few round earlier from the rangers/dwarves. That inf. unit flees into the city, dispersing in random directions. They are gone.
Bjorn’s remaining followers hang back with Gunnar’s; Bjorn and the heroes with him turn right, meet the dwarves and are surprised to see 2 giants. Every dwarf is damaged by the end. Ottr and Uhto are down, the Prince is staggered.
At Ragnar’s corner:
Unit battle continues. Two enemy inf. units is wiped out. The Blood Unit is down to 6 men after this round. Finally, there is a path for units still outside to flow into the city.
Back at Ragnar to start the next round:
Rangers enter and fight a fresh inf. unit. Our units begin moving in behind them. Other inf. unit that has been fighting are damaged badly this turn and route into the city.
The Blood cult here is still fighting the 2 Jarlsleifia units. They are wiped out to a man!!
The unit that confronted the rangers now breaks and runs, as the last unit left in the area.
At Bjorn’s entry, the last Blood Cult: they take it down to 1 Blood Cultist remaining.
The Mt. Giant at Wulgar hits Finnric bad. Finnric’s men shine and Finnric with 2 massive blows with the Odin Spear bring the huge behemoth down DEAD. It falls into a building, smashing the wall in.
“Koku, behead him.”
Brokkr has dragged the Frost Giant’s head all the way.
More looting continues.
At Bjorn’s Giant fight with the dwarves:
The dwarves back off.
Bjorn, the Tosten family, Kyy, and Gunnar confront the Giants. On the Hill, goes Kyy and the Tostensons; Gunnar, Bjorn and Papa take the Fire Giant along with Sarge.
On the second round, Hala’s mighty critical brings the Hill Giant down, hacking his leg off at the shin. It bleeds out fast. Haki has been hit twice, Hala once.
The fight with the Fire continues, Bjorn taking the brunt of the damage from it, Papa now gets grazed for 20.
Then, Bjorn is hit for min. damage 18, Sarge is struck; Bjorn replies with 2 hits DEAD!!
The Fire Giant is also wearing the Peldan Amulet with the Blood Drop.
That essentially clears the city proper of enemies, it is under our control but for the citadel.
Finnric meets with Bjorn, Brokkr dragging the Frost Giant head; Koku the Mt. Giant head.
“Bjorn, my gifts to you.”
Looting starts in earnest now. The 2 major temples are both Returnist.
Thrand takes his followers and a couple unit, goes to secure the area the citizens are hiding in; just to be safe.
When Bjorn arrives near the citadel, Wulfgar and his men are already calling Bluto out, to fight or negotiate. He demands the return of the Gustav Son, wrongly kidnapped.
Wulfgar “You have half an hour to send the boy out before we begin to siege your citadel.”
It is here we walk up to him.
Iring is backing Wulfgar’s demands with tales of his exaggerated exploits today, which weren’t really many.
We have 2 dead giants and a dead Wyvern, so…..
Bjorn demands his brother, and Bluto’s surrender. He even says all others will live if they send the 2 out.
The men, however, are stauch. Probably ready at the portcullis with bearning oil and such.
Tales begin to circulate of Bjorn appearing as a humanoid bear like man during his fight vs the wyvern. Finnric hears this first from men, and relates it to Bjorn.
We begin to bring siege equipment in toward the citadel. Citadel is watched at all times by guards on all sides. Always Heroes in charge.
Take stock of the day and Bjorn and Thrand organize treasure looting and packing onto boats at the docks.
We lost about 1/3 of our follower casualties in all, dead and permanently wounded and out of action for life.
Later in night, Thrand and some rangers search the Malenko’s tower in detail.
Rangers and appropriate augments continue scouting outside of town. By sundown, they report the army of Luther Trolham is approaching and has encamped. They will arrive tomorrow morning for certain. Estimates are 500 horse and 3500 infantry (maybe half conscripts).
Men remove the psychological warfare bodies outside the city and burn them overnight.
Overnight, sporadic sounds of metal on metal from the citadel, like a small fight or a handful trying to get out, something like that. Lasted only minutes.
Bjorn takes Thrand, some troops, and Kolfrosta riding out to meet Luther for parley. Leaving Wulfgar the prestigious (and easy; keeping him away from us) duty of watching the enemy.
A party of them meets us, also riding to us for talks; with him is a mage type, several knights, and a yeoman ranger of sorts. They recognize the banner of Jarlsleifia. Luther himself is here and greets us respectfully. He implores Bjorn to speak first.
He tells him the city, but for the citadel, has fallen; we have no desire to occupy, nor burn it to the ground. But, Bluto has Bjorn’s brother and we can not leave until he is rescued, for vengeance for his death has been served; we do not want to fight Luther or have any dispute with them though; we wish for him to stand off and wait until this situation is over, unless you wish to assist in taking the citadel.
Luther, king of Camden, says he has arrived from a battle outside of Normanchester, the Duke was a close ally of Bluto in Grand Fenwik. Luther succeeded in much diplomacy with its king to enter and attack Normanchester who they defeated.
On their return, they were coming here to do what we just did, so we saved them the time and effort really. Since we are not here as occupiers they have no issue as long as no more civilians are killed and looting must stop now. He acknowledges our blood feud vs Bluto, so the keep of Bluto is ours to loot if we take it.
Bjorn agrees to those terms, even saying he can post some of his men in the city, since they are more known to the citizens, to spread more of a feeling of safety, and help them re establish themselves in their homes other than near the citadel.
Luther agrees that’s a good idea.
During the morning, troops of his enter and cut off the sector we are in from the rest of the town. He says Bluto will not surrender.
The walls are super quality. It would take too long to break in via catapult and such. Our attack must be through the deathtrap of the main gate or over the walls with ladders and ropes.
We first bash through the portcullis then the door behind it into the gatehouse area.
Oddly, no boiling oil greets our men. Instead the area is empty. Hmm.
We hear chaos of combat deeper within.
Suddenly we hear the door opening for us. A group of 20 knights had formed a semicircle defending the door; in the courtyard they are fighting against Blood Drop soldiers, who are coming toward the door. We poor in to join the fight. Archers firing into the Bloods from the wall, cavalry hit the blood drops from the rear. In short order the battle is over
The loyalists conscrips riddle the field, downed by these revolting knights before we entered the fight.
An ogre is also dead on the field.
The Bloods had outnumbered the knights, who outclassed them for sure. Our entry turns the tide completely in favor of the knights.
The leader knight asks for our leader, Thrand calls to Bjorn.
The man is imposing, very tall, in full plate armor; surrounded by 5 other men in dark mail and orange tunics. Their standard is a horse with flaming hooves.
A 5th man with him is shorter, though impressive nonetheless, a crescent symbol on his tunic.
He introduces himself as Brace II, though his father is no more, constable of Camden, Duke of Dunham, Chancellor of the Knights of the Realm and Captain of the Hell Riders. As of this morning, he has had enough of Bluto’s cowardly acts and treachery, sans Piti un Merci. A truce between us now.
His squire is Sir Jurgen, the shorter man. Seems a bit old to be a squire.
Bjorn introduces himself appropriately, going back 3 generations, conqueror of Langbay, the Hammer of the Skyldings. Here to rescue his brother from Blutos dungeons.
Brace is impressed by the variety of Bjorn’s immediate men (the 3 PC’s) and having dwarves working with him, and taking the city in a single day of attacking. Though he says it would have been different if he’d been out there.
He looks down on our execution of peasants, but he did hear of Rymslyld, so….
Also of our killing the Piper.
He sees Bjorn’s broken blade on his belt "you carry the sword of Half grim, also called Starvaggi. He knows the blade, and the man it was made for. He was the progenitor of BJorn’s bloodline!
Brace I knew Halfgrim once. The blade’s story is legendary.
Bjorn, Wulfgar, and Finnric are all ultimately descended from this same ancestor. He respects us for that.
Brace is a First.
Brace has an oath of fealty toward Bluto. He and Bluto had words over Brace not being sent into battle to fight us; Bluto kept his heroes hidden here. Yet, he did what he did.
But then, the noise began from the dungeon. They were mishandling the noble boy and he could not deal with theat. He slapped Bluto around first chance he got, demanded the hostage be released. Bluto ordered his arrest, which led to an attempt at arrest.
That failed, and he cought them sacrificing the boy, summoning an abomination I will not describe. It is too much for me alone.
That led to the battle during which we arrived. He had not idea Bluto was in league with such evil.
Bluto has locked himself in his room with this thing.
“It is no longer my business to solve this issue.”
He never saw Black J. Ares appeared through a gate and fell over dead from a grievous wound already received.
Strange he never say Black J.
He says the creature is a demon or devil, but has no idea of any specifics of it. He thinks the blood cult may have infiltrated many religions here and in the continent to the south. Probably more organized there.
He leaves to join Luther, but gives us the key to the room: golden with blood shaped ruby. Offers condolences and leaves.
Bjorn insists only the PC’s will battle the demon.
If we should fall, orders are given to Ragnar and Lance to attack until it is dead, no matter how many fall.
Finnric has Gungnir, Bjorn the broken blade, Thrand a cold iron broadsword.
Gudrun has a rune neklace for Gunnar: it has 12 runes upon it. Any weapon you use, for 12 attacks, bypasses DR/magic as if it were magic, then it is a dead item.
Bjorn only insists that Bluto is his to take. But, he will suffer greatly on the trip home. Then, Finnric can blood eagle him. This makes Finnric very happy.
Brace warns that Bluto carries a vicious blade called Black Razor that is said to swallow souls.
Gudrun throws the bones to see what we may be up against: “what you seek is not here, and what you’ll find is a lesser part of a greater whole. Blood, lots and lots of blood. A feast of it. Victory is from steel with the taste of life, it will ring true, and weapons with the power of the Masters (aka magic).”
We coat our weapons in blood.
Sigrid has finally ceased wearing the head of her first kill on her belt (she’s been given a wide berth from the men because of the smell and all the flies). She has Gudrun boil it down and make it into a drinking mug.
Finnric tells Gudrun to make sure Odin gets Gungnir if he should fall.
We open the door. A table is about 12’ ahead. 10’ beyond the altar lies Bjorn’s brother, split open longways, entrails played with, blood completely gone and settled all around the alter. Behind that, a torture rack. The body sits up and speaks in the voice of Bjorn’s brother.
“You’ve come to rescue me. Take me home to father.:”
We don’t believe it.
Finnric enters and leaps upon the table, peering around.
“My brother, please, take me home to father.”
Bjorn goes left of the table.
Thrand and Gunnar enter.
We look around.
We hear the Ulfhednar chanting in an adjacent room, aiding Finnric’s warsong.
The body looks at Bjorn, and pleads as if crying.
Bjorn is not enchanted. It stands, mouth falling agape and a blood tendril fires out of it hitting Bjorn 14.
The blood around the altar dances and crawls, flows of it ooze back up the altar like every drop is its own entity. It wails horrifically in tongues.
Bjorn attacks with a blood covered huge bastard sword 14.
Finnric leaps from table to altar, bringing Gungnir down upon it crit 55. The body falls lifeless on the altar.
Bjorn “This certainly is not finished.”
Thrand “No” as he moves past Bjorn, ready to engage.
The blood still moves to the top of the altar.
The blood truly screeches, though we can’t tell if it is aloud or in our head.
Tendrils shoot out, 2 each to Bjorn, Finnric and Thrand. Thrand and Bjorn are grasped, pulled to the pool of blood around the altar. Bjorn’s legs suddenly sink up to his knees like it is a shallow portal in the floor.
Bjorn hits 14, cutting the tendrils off in a single swing.
Gunnar hits it twice, and is screeches again; we think its only in our own heads.
Finnric hits 20/18.
Thrand hacks his tendril off 17.
It raises up in a mass of blood, almost engulfing Finnric who hops off the altar.. The body of Bjorn’s brother disappears in the swirling morass. It swings massive bloody arms at Bjorn but misses twice.
Finnric hits 20; Gunnar misses; Thrand strikes him 14.
It hits Bjorn twice again, losing a 2nd str. and a 2nd con. ; and Finnric is hit twice as well but he resists the blood suck.
Bjorn swings 23,and it splashes into a pool of blood. It pulls into the circle, churning and bubbling.
All that remains of the brother are the bones and clothes.
Bjorn pulls out the magic blade and cleaves through it, hoping it will do something.
A tear shaped ruby is set into the altar top. Finnric gathers the bones and takes them to the table by the door.
Bjorn pries the gem from the stone and picks it up. The blood starts to ooze closer, wherever he moves the ruby it is drawn there. He puts it down on the altar and cleaves the ruby with it. It does not break, but it distresses the ooze. He strikes it again and it shatters into bits. The pool jolts as if in pain, and stops. It quickly crusts over and soaks into the stone, drying into a crusty old circle of dried blood.
Information from wizards tower:
Reference Ares makes of the 13 forms of Malenko, who he gathers was a lesser master. To preserve himself he separated his power into 13 personas. 12 zodiac signs, one a double/twins. They don’t seem to be alive at one time, necessarily, but go through birth and rebirth. He knows he is one (Ares), and at least 5 more alive now: Gemini twins, Libra, Scorpio, Cancer. Apparently, when he did this splitting, if a Malenko kills another the dead one will never be reborn. The killer absorbs the others aspect of Malenko. Eventually, they could form into 1, rebirthing the Master.
Thrand “If the church of the return got ahold of that info….”
It also relates that Malenko had a rival Master known as Karaptis, who also devised his own means of escaping the downfall unknown to Ares. Though it may have involved some form of spliting his self as well.
The blood cult seeks a number of artifacts that belonged to Karaptis to try to stop him from ever coming back.
In Bluto’s area:
A map on a wall showing a large area of the southern continent. It’s western most edge starts south of Jarlsleifia, where Jarlsleif is campaigning, going east past the Meander River and the mts to its east; and south to the reaches of The Masters’ Sea.
He has several marks: a stiletto stuck unto a spot dubbed “WPM” at the southern edge of the Dragon Spine Mts SE of Bessel; 3 others "The Steading (same regionof WPM); The Rift (Far NE of that in the Mts.); The Hall (South of the Western side of the Masters’ Sea in the mts. there).
Many towns marked. “Spiders Are Here” marked on Meanderwood, as well as “Last Known Spot of Imbrun and Peldan north up the river from there.”
Bluto’s journal: Refrences to Blood Cult and Spider Cult not getting along; a Ravnios, aka Rudnios in an ancient tongue, imperial governor of this area under the Celestine Empire centuries ago who was deposed and lives a begger, round new power and prominence later, he was a first but Bluto says he is still alive and powerful, a shadow augment as well and prominent among blood cult; Bluto and him are quasi adversaries only cause Bluto wants to be big in the cult; no one has knowingly seen Ravnios, travels under other names, made pact with a demon to give him greater power. He mentions he sent letters out to allies to keep and eye out for Ravnios. Gives a very detailed description of the man.
Gunnar “That sounds like Black J!”
Thrand “Lance, know anything about this?”
He does not. Has known J for 60 plus years.
The blood cult have no racial issues against any people. Bluto, of course, hated augments. He mentions he has blackrazor and seeks Wave and Whelm to gain favor with his cult by destroying Karaptis a Master. Also seeks the 3 crowns of the Saxon Kings, the Iron Crown of the Dwarf King; Gauntlet, girdle, and hammer that are the earthly forms of Thor’s; and others. Once they are collected, he wanted to kill all outcasts at The Isle of the Outcasts in the Masters’ Sea. Nothing but augments there!
Lance has been there decades ago.
Bluto also wanted to kill a town of dwarves past the Meanderwood. Where Haarkon and his dwarves want to go: Falling Rock!!!! Then he wants to get to the Crystal Wood of the elves south of there, for they have one of the artifacts they want.
He was told to keep and eye on Skyldings, as there is dangerous blood circulating there that could threaten the cult. Hence, why he attacked et al.
Thrand suggests, once home, we throw a feast specifically to honor the dwarves for their important role in our taking the city, sitting them alone at the head table with Bjorn.
Next several days
Finish packing loot and all, getting shipment of loot/troops/wounded organized and sail away for home with the remains of Bjorn’s brother.
Luther sees us off.
We say goodbye to Lance, Sgt. and Brace.
Thrand and Gudrun look forwars to marriage.
At sea our forces split to our different home ports.
Haarkon: the youngest and new king of these Dwerro. His father has been killed. His piece has the gold inlaid axe.
Alfreg: black beard and white horned helm
Ottr: expert archer
Fjalar: wings and hammer; and Galar: no wings and axe
Brokkr: wields a mace, berserker
Sturn: axe in hand, xbow on back, forkbearded
Egin and Raggid: brothers, the old Hornbrin figures
Uhtto (thief) and Otto (warrior, long face): brothers