The Warhorn's Call

Prologue: Perfect Timing

The tale begins in Laedry in late 604 AR. The PCs are the most recent hires of the mercenary company called Rachssen’s Pikes, led by Davin Rachssen. Their first job with the company is to escort a wagon on the road to Corvis. Koren D’Avangelo is the man who hired the company; he says little except to bark orders, and is in a rush to get going.

A few hours after leaving Laedry, smoke rises from the city. After cresting a hill, a vast force from the Khadoran army could be seen attacking the city. Farther down the road, the Khadorans have established a checkpoint blocking the way south. Unable to talk their way past it, the Pikes fight through the Winterguard conscripts. Not before a rider gallops away, however.

Further down the road, a Ternion of Greylords accompanied by a Berserker Warjack accost the Pikes. The leader demands the company hand over D’Avangelo and his wagon. When Davin Rachssen flatly refuses, another battle breaks out. The Pikes succeed in bringing down the warjack, but when Davin examines a scroll tube the Greylord carried he is hit by some sort of protective spell. Half frozen and comatose, Rokaran tends to him. The Pikes somberly make their way to Corvis. D’Avangelo deserts them as soon as they make it inside the city walls, and without the rest of their pay or their leader, the company falls apart and effectively disbands.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 1

In 608 AR, the group each receive letters from Davin Rachssen, asking them to come to Corvis. Meeting up, they find Davin is scarred but quite alive. He has been keeping tabs on the former members of his company, but lately they have been disappearing. Rokaran has recently vanished as well, pursuing a lead on Kasilla Tandross. So he is free to pursue the ogrun, he hires the group to continue hunting down Larslov Zenardi in Corvis.

Davin points to them to Watch Lieutenant Calen Helvadere. He knows of Larsov, but asks for some help first. A Rowdy trencher sergeant named Hal Whitkirk is causing trouble for the watch. He is found at the Prancing Weasel, along with crowd of other drunk trenchers. Although their first plan goes awry the group are able to slip some somnolence elixir made by Razzit into the trencher’s drinks, enabling them to bring them all back to Calen.

He points them towards Lowrie’s Run; a dark, crime infested section of the city. It’s the territory of a crime boss called Daltan Helter, a vicious man who tolerates no opposition or interference in his criminal enterprises. In the Run they first encounter Stob and Gott, a pair of argumentative Gobber scrap dealers. After getting little from the two, they go further down and encounter Rosline outside the King’s Ransom, a decrepit watering hole. Walder, a blind shoe-shiner, is watching the group as they talk. Sloane notices him and talks him up. Mouse checks out the King’s Ransom while the rest are pointed towards the Dockside Hotel, a local brothel, as where Larslov was living.

There is no sign of Larslov, despite Sebastian and his shouting. Mouse does however notice Walder walking up the Run to a nearby building, knocking, and being admitted through a door. Soon after, 7 masked and armed men emerge and head towards the brothel. Mouse follows them and attempts to ambush them as they enter the brothel. Although he is heard approaching and his shot misses, it serves as a warning that trouble is a foot.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 2

The group manages to take down their ambushers at the Dockside Hotel. Rosline comes down to see their handiwork, and remarks that Daltan Helter must be after them. Mouse slips a note to Helter, offering a meeting, under the door the thugs emerged from. Meanwhile, the rest of the group searched through some rooms upstairs, but to little avail. A reply eventually is offered via crossbow bolt, asking for a midnight meeting at the King’s Ransom.

At the appointed hour, the barkeep unlocks the back room and leads them to a staircase carved into rock that leads downward from a still room. Once down in the rocky tunnel, a trapdoor is shut over the stairs up. Forced ahead, they discover a gambling den. Crossbow wielding men use its table to stage an ambush, pushed on by a hulking Trollkin named Mutdrack. They are eventually deafeated. Shouting comes from the next room and two more thugs investigate, only to surrender once they see what has happened.

Pressing on, the group finds an Ogrun guarding Helter. After dispatching his bodyguard, Helter starts shaking and gives up, groveling for his life. He reveals that he was working with the Khadorans, helping them smuggle things in and out of the city. He was commanded by the Khadorans through a courier named Karkov to lure Larslov North with promises of work and money. He was brought to “the monument to the Southerner’s Hubris”: the ruins of Northguard. Armed with this knowledge, the group made plans to head up North by going east of the Black river.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 3

After acquiring a wagon, coal, and other supplies, the group heads out of Corvis and North into the Glimmerwood. Not long after they encountered a group of pygmy trollkin digging along side the road. They were apparently following the wagon, looking for their Kriel and someone called Rathgar. The rest of the day goes uneventfully.

The next day a Thrullg rushes through the woods and bursts out to attack the group, particularly attracted towards Sloane. It is dispatched after giving Sebastian a good once over. Later in the day a trio of highwaymen try to rob the group, but they are “convinced” to go elsewhere. As they look for a good place to camp, a Skorne patrol marches down the road. They are evntually defeated, but not before putting up a tough fight. Once camped down, everything goes well until towards dawn when Zarael wakes everyone up with a shout. A pack of wolves are stalking the group! With some luck and a few gun shots, Mouse and Sebastian manage to scare them off.

The next day is, fortunately, a quiet one.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 4

Continuing on through the Glimmerwood, the group encounters a party of surly Trollkin hunters, who fancy themselves Toll collectors. Razzit, with the aid of everyone else, is able to put some fear into them, and they back off. They continue on their way unopposed.

The next day, during the afternoon, the sound of a trampling beast comes from the woods. A giant Satyr bursts out from the trees, looking at the group angrily. From the forest comes a cry of “Umbuto, fetch my Satyr gun!” While the Satyr charges at the group, Lord Archibald Willem Landers III emerges from the woods and shoots the Satyr. Once it is defeated (after knocking Sloane around), Landers introduces himself. Umbuto removes the skull for Lander’s mantle, and offers the Satyr’s hide to the group.

The next night, the group butchers a Thrullg just before dawn. It makes for some good morning exercise. Later that day, a group of savage Tharn Ravagers stalk the group and attack, looking for something to eat. Sloane easily eliminates one, but the others charge in. Eventually Sebastian is take down by the last survivor, and is bad injured. The group stops and rests for the next day, and our visited by a passing merchant caravan.

Once Sebastian is recovered, they head out again, eventually sighting a Khadoran patrol….

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 5

Continuing through the Glimmerwood, the group encountered a Khadoran patrol. Some quick thinking on the part of Mouse and an appeal to the noble blood of Sebastian allowed them to pass.

The next day they encountered an overturned wagon by the side of the road. The horses had been killed and whoever was riding in it was gone. Some quick detective work by Sloane tracked the attackers through a winding path in the heart of the forest. In a clearing they came upon a group of Tharn witches performing a bloodletting ceremony. They were killing the men from the wagon and tossing their bleeding bodies into a ritual circle surrounded by standing stones.

After a tough fight, where Razzit almost joined the sacrifice, the group frees two of the men and leaves the site. Continuing on their way, another group of highwaymen led by the brother of the first bunch fight the group. They prove to be no match, falling as much to their own mounts as the blades and bullets of those they attack.

Almost clear of the Glimmerwood, the group camps for the night. In the morning, they are awoken by the sound of horn calls in the distance. A ragged and wounded Trollkin stumbles towards them. He dies with a warning on his lips: “The Skorne are coming.”

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 6

The group encounters the scene of a battle: dead Trollkin are everywhere, corpses piled up with more human bodies. A Skorne fighting force is just up the road, near a half-constructed fortification. A Skorne tyrant orders the charge of his praetorians, while a lumbering beast hovers nearby. Worn down from prior battle, the Praetorians fall quickly. The Tyrant however strikes forward, emboldened by a mortitheurge, and cuts down Sebastian. Eventually him and the beast are felled, but only after a grueling fight.

Afterwards, the group travels on and finally breaks through and out of the Glimmerwood. Something lurks in the waters in the marshes beyond at night, but nothing comes of it.

Continuing on, they encounter a gatorman and a large alligator on the road ahead. Wrongeye and Snapjaw greet them silent, Wrongeye motioning to the water. Bog Trog ambushers rise out of the murky waters and attack both. Once dispatched, Wrongeye introduces himself. He says he say the group in a vision, and can see many threads of destiny tied to them. Finally, he leaves them with the advice: “Don’t be trusting anyone.”

A little further ahead, a fallen marker denotes the border of Llael…

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 7

In Llaelese territory now, the group is passed by a Khadoran caravan transporting prisoners. Not far up the road, the Llaelese resistance has laid an ambush for them. A buried explosive charge detonates under the gun carriage leading the caravan, wrecking it. Riflemen and gunmages emerge from the tree line and engage the winter guard, while Ashlynn D’Elyse and her battlegroup charge into battle.

After thinning out the winter guard and dancing with the Juggernaut, Ashlynn and the Llaelese gunmage Cyeric Fochier introduce themselves and free the prisoners. One of them was using her status as a prisoner as cover; Anastasia Di Bray reveals herself. She shares the location of Khador’s main munitions dump in the city of Merywyn. Ashlynn plans to raid it, but it will be impossible without someone keeping the winterguard off their backs.

The group agrees to fulfill that role, in exchange for help with their goals.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 8

Tasked with distracting the Khadoran military forces occupying Merywyn, the group starts by freeing the son a merchant, Alayn, by some skilled palm-greasing on the part of Sebastian. Alayn then supplied the alchemy necessary to great a bomb. Razzit and Sebastian’s attempts to sneak a bomb into a warjack foundry go awry, forcing them to arm the bomb and run. Barely able to escape, the bomb at least goes off and attracts the wanted attention.

Next they plan a jail break. Finding a rundown keep now used as a jail, Sebastian distracted the front guards with his inane and witless banter while Razzit sneaked in the back. Finding the armory and dispatching some guards, he then set about freeing the prisoners. They quickly stormed the prison, attracting even more of the Khadoran’s attention.

As the group was attempting to fake a bank robbery, the munition dump detonated. Regrouping at the secret passage they took into the city, they make their leave. With the help of Cyeric the group makes their way into Khadoran territory. Successfully sneaking through, they finally arrive at their destination. Northguard.

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Chapter 1: Fall of the Mighty, Part 9

The group begin their infiltration of Northguard. Crossing the vast trenchworks surrounding the fortress by dashing from warjack wreck to wreck, they make their way to a breach in the wall. Razzit manages to make his way up to it and uses some alchemical acid to weaken the barricade. Timing it with a thunderclap, he successfully breaks through. The others follow through the gap, but Sloane trips as climbs through, taking down the barricade with her! The guards on the ramparts are alerted to the group’s presence. Quickly scampering up the broken wall, Razzit shanks one of the Winter Guard while the rest of the group makes a break for it.

Regrouping in the dark interior of the fortress, the group manages to evade the Khadorans looking for them and makes their way to one of only two lights inside the fortress. A windowless building, freshly constructed of rough planks sits alone amongst the wreckage of the fortress interior. Two Winter Guard stand watch, and with luck manage to notice the incoming intruders. The group is forced to fight them in the open; one of the Winter Guard is passed a signal flare from inside the building and launches it. The guards are quickly dispatched and they charge inside.

In the building, in the front room, is a large amount of papers, all in Khadoran military ciphers. Maps hang on the walls as well. In the back, the group finds the body of Larslov, tied to a chair and cut apart. He obviously suffered greatly at the hands of horrific torture. An old man carrying more papers comes in from a side room, threatening the group with a barbed scapel and pain-inducing magic, but obviously fearful of the group and no match for them in combat. He says “It’s you” with recognition and terror in his voice.

Deciding time was running short, Sebastian grabs the bundle of papers from the old man while Razzit sets the building ablaze, with the old man inside it. Outside, another patrol of Winter Guard stumble upon the group and the burning building, but they quickly scatter when a gibbering shriek fills the air. It’s not the sound of a beast, but man beyond the edge of madness. And it is a sound Sebastian is familiar with…

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