Friday, November 30, 2012

Premature attack? You must be a stupid!

Never in all his thirty years, has anyone had the audacity to strike at him. Other than squabbles with his brother and sister, he’s never been so much as pushed!
Flapping his mighty wings, Narcissus holds himself aloft in the upper area of his domed throne room.
It was difficult to tell at first but it appears to be just the five mercenaries that entered with the orc criminal: Morten’s head.
No support from the human vermin in the hall.
Despite his generous reward, the idiot half-orc attacked him!
Not just attacked him but hurt him. Really hurt him.
In front of his mother!
Down below, he can see his Dragon-born soldiers, his Black-cloaks and even his Devils being beaten.
Without support, they won’t last much longer.
His mother’s magic mirror is currently pointing directly upward and therefore mostly useless…
Still, whenever he blasts the treacherous orc, he seems to receive some sort of backlash.
The tiefling also seems somehow immune to his lightning.
Looking down, Narcissus assesses his current predicament…
The orc warrior is impressive but relies on swords.
The tiefling paladin… Another melee fighter.
The wannabe black cloak monk is irritating but mostly unarmed.
The tall, thin shaman seems lost and confused. Probably the first that will fall.
Finally the tiny Halfling…
What is he doing by his throne?
And could they be connected to the advancing orc horde?
Of course they are…
Powerful and skilled as they are, they must be the leaders!
But why attack before the horde arrived?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Battle insight

The Black cloak Scylus, stands at his post atop the twenty-third tower and surveys the land ahead of him.
Unwelcoming but not so barren as to be unfarmable. Lucky for the wretched humans really. Most of them were originally miners but they’re now forced to work the mean fields to provide food for Narcissus, the Dragon-born troops, his fellow Black cloaks and, of course, the annoying kobolds.
It's hard for him to believe that these creatures are his kin.
His shift will last twelve hours.
Long but hardly taxing. All he has to do is maintain the barrier spell that protects this section of Khajag.
For company, he has one of the Dragon-borns. Although stupid, they are useful.
Looking to his left and right, Scylus can see two of his fellows atop their towers.
He doesn’t smile.
Black cloaks mustn’t give in to their human urges. Their unemotional dragon-blood must rule.
Although he knows the distance between the centre of the towers is precisely one hundred feet, he’s never tested it.
Perhaps he’ll never need to…

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Surfeit of Treasures

I've just taken a look back at the incredible amount of high-level treasure Kirk has given out in just the last couple of sessions.
It is truly staggering in scale. Although the most staggering is in fact the Layered Plate :P

Dokan sees that and claims it as his own, immediately.
He'd like the rest of Durden's stuff too, but realises he is not at all proficient in the use of a Bastard Sword, and that he rather likes the helm he already has.  If he could carry the shield as a spare, he'd happily take it, but he is burdened as it is and likes his Deflection Shield.

From Mags, he picks up the Orc's Eye Amulet and happily puts it around his neck. (Not claimed yet!!)

So a lot of stuff to claim yet (just look at all the posts marked "Treasure"!).

If no one wants Clayton's stuff, Dokan would happily taken the bow, and bracers and improve his ranged attacks. :)  Although, he feels it ought to belong to an true Archer - and he can only think of one ...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cheap ale and a bad (w)omen

Orestes and his generals talk late into the evening. Ale is flowing freely but the mood within the large, animal skin tent is upbeat and unified.
It’s Aurelius who again causes the conversation to alter course.
‘My leader, none of us has the experience to know what is to be done. Our people have been fractured for so long. Too long. Our traditions are all but lost.’
The middle-aged orc looks into the younger faces of all those around him before continuing.
‘Many orcs answered the gnomish call. Mostly male warriors but the very young and old also. Women looking to help also came. Some of them warriors and a few who’d kept safe the old ways...’
Momentarily locking eyes with Orestes and finding support there, Aurelius dares to continue.
‘There are only a few. Wise women all but the wisest one amongst them can foresee the future.’
Bodan grimaces ‘I distrust magic. Steel is all I put my faith in’.
Orestes though, understands what Aurelius is alluding to. ‘Send for her. If we’re to rebuild this clan, then we need to rebuild the old ways’.
A messenger is sent and after a short while, the tent flap is pushed back. An ancient looking orcess edges in. Her grey hair is matted, her back bent and through a toothless mouth she introduces herself.
‘I am Klok Gumma. Keeper of the ancient secrets.’
She shuffles forward and peers at Orestes, ‘Let me see this would-be-chief.’
Her eyes are wide but surprisingly clear.
Snorting derisively, she squats down in the middle of everyone and noisily retrieves objects from her sack…
A large wooden bowl, a silver knife, some dried leaves, a live chicken and some finger bones inscribed with orcish runes.
The wizened old orcess, sets fire to the dried leaves and wafts the smoke around the tent. The smell is acrid and makes everyone’s eyes burn.
Then she cuts the head off the chicken and pours some of its blood into the bowl. Muttering half-formed words, Klok Gumma takes the inscribed bones and tosses them into the bloody bowl.
Agitiating the small bones with her fingers, the wise women begains to relate what she can see...
'Your reign will begin with fire. Many of our people will die in a terrible battle but they will die willingly. They will die by the sword and so be delivered direct to Gruumsh. More fights will follow but eventually the dawning of a new sun will signal the end of our struggles… Adversity is what we must suffer under your stewardship but we will survive. We will remain a unified tribe.’
Orestes looks disturbed but surprisingly the others don’t.
‘Don’t look so concerned’ says Aurelius reassuringly. ‘Did you imagine everything would be plain sailing?’
Bodan laughs out loud at this.
‘Did you actually WANT it to be easy? What kind of orc are you?’

Thursday, November 15, 2012

(T)orc of war

Dokan finds himself in a strange situation. Surrounded by friendly orcs and a trusted ally of their new chief.
Orestes: Chief of the Broken lance tribe.
Aurelius and Orestes are starting to discuss their immediate future when the entrance to the tent opens up and the hulking Bodan strides in.
‘I am here to pay homage to my new chief!’
Bodan was named after his father: Konan, a great, savage warrior and Bodush: The evil human sorcerer that infamously killed hundreds of orcs in the battle that destroyed the Broken lance clan. Scores of children were killed that day. Children that would never be avenged.
As the mighty Bodan bows, a diminutive gnome is revealed behind him.
Gauss smiles nervously as they’re both ushered to sit with the others.
Ale flows and soon the conversation turns to war.
War against Thereanthor and war against the Blue prince.
Orestes speaks of the possibility of leading his new army against the Blue prince…
‘Outrageous!’ squeaks the gnome.
‘This was never part of our plan. You would alert Thereanthor of our machinations and bring ruin to us all!’
The gnome looks to the others for support but finds none.
Bodan is already smiling at the prospect of battle. 
‘For so long, I have battled alone. Killing Dragon-borns and Black-cloaks wherever I could. But always small scale for I lacked any support. Now though, perhaps I can cause the accursed Thereanthor more trouble…’
Votton and Elige nod in agreement and Gauss looks horrified.
‘No! I forbid it!’
At this, Aurelius looks annoyed.
‘You ‘forbid’ it do you? Although I appreciate what you’ve done for us, never forget who and what we are. We are the Broken lance clan. We are warriors born. We are reunited at last and we have a strong leader. We are your friends but we are not your servants.’
Gauss cowers under Aurelius’ gaze before the grizzled orc continues.
‘The Blue prince now knows for certain that there is a gathering of the orcs. A large gathering. If we all flee, he or his bitch mother will hunt us down… If a large number of us fight though…’
Aurelius stops as he considers the situation but Gauss interrupts.
‘What you’re offering is a distraction while we evacuate the camp? This actually isn’t a bad proposition. Let me broker it with my superiors.’
And with that, Gauss leaves the tent.
Bodan laughs. ‘I like the little fellow but surely the Gnomes opinion has no baring on what we’re going to do.’
‘No’ agrees Aurelius, ‘But it doesn’t hurt to keep our friends contented’.
Orestes looks at his two generals, his human and tiefling friends and the orcs in his tent.
His orcs.
All told, he’s got over four hundred orcs willing to fight for him.
Willing to die for him!
Should he risk them in a battle against the Blue prince or should he lead them to the safety of Mount Sneafang?
He hasn’t even been officially crowned yet but responsibility already feels heavy on his brow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Born to rule

After a few minutes, the still battered Aurelius enters Orestes’ tent. He is supported by two of his most trusted commanders but shrugs them off as they pass the threshold and kneels at Orestes’ feet.
Without looking up, he speaks clearly in the hushed silence.
‘You summoned me, my leader?’
Orestes bids him rise and then directs him to the rug and cushions spread on the floor.
‘Sit Aurelius. We have much to discuss’.
Four orcs and one tiefling settle down on the soft flooring: Orestes, Aurelius, Votton, Elige and Dokan.
Drinks and food are ordered and as they get comfortable, Orestes considers these four.
Dokan he has known for over a year. An odd mix of corruption and nobility…
Still, he has proved his loyalty and bravery time and time again.
Votton and Elige are unknown to him but they are Aurelius’ most trusted aids. This makes them trustworthy.
Trustworthy because Aurelius trusts them.
Trustworthy because Aurelius radiates wisdom and nobility.
Aurelius an intelligent and experienced orc who willingly gave up his advantage in their initial bout so he could help defend their people.

They came, they saw, they tried to take your stuff.

Turnaround’s fair so here’s the stuff of the mercenaries who tried to kill you...

Clayton the Ranger

Gambit ‘Drowmesh’ leather armour +4 Lvl:18   AV2  85,000gp
Point blank longbow +4 Lvl:18   AV1  85,000gp
Bracers of archery +4 Lvl:16   AV1  45,000gp
Potion of Vitality Lvl:15   PHB1  1,000gp

Durden the knight

Champions ‘layered’ plate armour +4 Lvl:19   AV1  105,000gp
Bastard sword of flanking +4 Lvl:18   AV1  85,000gp
Heavy shield of flaring Lvl:14   AV1  21,000gp
Dread helm Lvl:13   AV1  17,000gp

Morgan the Hexer

Staff of the War mage +3 Lvl:13   PHB1  17,000gp
Robe of contingency +3 Lvl:14   AV1   21,000gp
Ring of Shadow travel Lvl:15  AV1  25,000gp

Sad Bart the knife-man

Counterstrike leather armour +3 Lvl:15   AV2  25,000gp
Assasin’s cloak +3 Lvl:14   AV2  21,000gp
Assassin’s blade dagger +3 Lvl:13   AV1  17,000gp
Assassin’s slippers Lvl:11   AV1  9,000gp

Dinklage the Dwarf

Avalanch hammer +3 Lvl:14   AV2 21,000gp
Delver’s platemail +3 Lvl:13   PHB1  17,000gp
Heavy Mountain shield Lvl:14   AV1  21,000gp



Thursday, November 8, 2012

It’s my party and I’ll scry if I want to

The young, blue dragon Narcissus raises his majestic head at the approach of the serious looking Black cloak.
As he drags his attention away from the servants, his irritation is obvious. They were in the middle of  presenting the seating arrangements for the first of the feasts.
‘Sire, I’m sorry to interrupt your festival planning but we’ve had word back from one of the mercenary groups you sent out.’
The dragon’s sinuous neck stretches out.
‘And?’ he hisses.
The Black cloak licks his thin lips.
‘And they appear to have found the orc camp you’ve been searching for.’
The blue dragon grinds his pointed teeth, sending sparks arcing around them.
Looking around at his four guardian demons, he signals them to bring forth his mirror.
Originally this mirror was meant as a way to converse with his mother but it has other uses.
The four, barely dressed, demons, carry the large mirror by its wrought-iron frame before their master.
‘Show me Fasssel wood.’
An image appears in the silvered glass. It’s the wood from above and everything looks, as it should do.
Narcissus peers closer. ‘Sshow me…’
He stops and turns back to the Black cloak. ‘What iss the name of this mercenary?’
The Black cloak looks down at a piece of parchment he has in his hand.
‘The message if from a Ranger, named ‘Clayton’ your mightifulness.’
The polished scaled head of Narcissus returns to the massive mirror.
‘Sshow me where the Ranger Clayton is hidden in Fasssel wood!’
The image in the magical mirror shifts until it refocuses on a small band of unaware adventurers.
‘Rissse up and show me the forest from above…’ commands the dragon and sure enough the scene changes again to that of the woodland canopy.
The Black cloak can’t help himself and leans forward for a better look. His magic is better than most of his contemporaries but even he gasps as he realises what he’s seeing.
The canopy of the trees is slightly translucent…
‘Sscroll down’ commands the, suddenly interested, dragon prince.
As the unseen eye floats down through the illusionary leaves though, the image distorts and then fades to black.
There is definitely something there but whatever it is, there are enchantments in place to prevent scrying.
‘Send reinforcements to Clayton’s position. Do it now!’
The Black cloak scurries away confused. How is it that a group of orcs, regardless of how large, can organise magics powerful enough to obstruct Thereanthor’s will?