Blood, Sweat, and Soil

The Burning of Gustave

Every story has a beginning. This one begins in a bar; go figure, right? A young boy of House Aegis is looking for some able help. Y’see, one of the border towns along the Wall ain’t payin’ her taxes. Probably nothing, but the boy is told to bring backup, just in case things get hairy. A few foreigners catch his eye.

A noble boy from the far South. Spent so long studyin’ dead cultures and tongues he’s a bit out of touch with the living ones, but his magic will come in more than handy.

An orphan of Greylok, he grew up with the Southerners. Good at cards, but best with blades.

A preacher of the Lord. Most men think of the gods when they’re dying, but the Aegis boy knows a real preacher keeps you standing where others can only catch you as you fall.

The four agree to split the reward promised by the Lord of the keep and head out on the road at daybreak. Traveling is tough, and with so few men everyone has to do their part to keep watch. Good policy; woods aren’t free of threats, but it ain’t nothing the four can’t handle in a fair fight. They head on, following the Wall toward their destination.

She’s seen better days, this Wall, and it ain’t greenskins doin’ the damage, it’s men. Most nations only send their tired and weak, and even then not as many as they ought. And once they’re on the Wall, they don’t all last. Some just disappear in the night, others have accidents, a few even lose their minds and start doin’ harm. To themselves, or to their brothers. When it happens, they just send whatever men they can, usually from nearby posts, stretching the line thinner. Bodies have to be sent back to the capital; not so much for burial, but to get their armor and arms for some other, well, let’s call them volunteers. Like I said, Wall’s seen better days.

The four get close to the town, Gustave, and they see smoke on the horizon. Ain’t no need for a pyre this time of day, so they reckon its trouble ahead. Sure enough, the trouble finds them. Greenskins in the trees, ready to ambush anyone crashing their party. They were expecting travelers or merchants; what they weren’t expecting was a real fight. Greenskins aren’t any match for them, and none are left alive. Their kind hasn’t been seen south of the Wall for hundreds of years, even in her shabby state. What’s worse, their weapons are new, well-made, in the Dwarven style. The mountain folk haven’t been seen for even longer than the greenskins, as the boy from the South could tell you. One mystery turns into two. But it’s not worth thinking about now. People might still be breathin’ farther down the road.

They want to ride fast, but wouldn’t know what they’d be riding into, so they show discretion getting close to the fire. They see 6 of ‘em, plus a mighty large pet. They’ve dealt with Wargs before, so they ain’t too worried about him. It’s their leader, big one he is, with an axe to match. They start by volleying their rounds into the group; most miss, and it isn’t long before the dog is at them. The rest aren’t far behind, but they hold the line. The Aegis boy sets them up, and the orphan has no problem knocking them down. They don’t hold nothin’ back, none of them, and it ain’t long before the last greenskin stops movin’.

Surivivors are seen to and the fire is put out. Better come with us, the Aegis boy says; it echoes everyone’s thoughts. It ain’t safe here no more. Better get back to Shield Hold, find out what there is to do about this. Greenskin raids are a new problem now, but it weren’t always that way. Men dealt with far worse twice before; ain’t nothing they can’t handle. Right?


-Luther given assignment by Torren to discover why taxes were not payed by Gustave’s holding
-Luther meets Ahmed, Karim, and Ask
-Party heads to Gustave’s holding, fought Warg
-Party discovers wall unattended and investigation shows tower empty
-Smoke spotted coming from Gustave’s holding prompt haste
-Party is ambushed by Orcs, which are defeated with finely crafted equipment
-Party finds Orcs at Gustave’s holding and proceeds to defeat them
-Survivors brought to tower
-Ahmed tells party that the weapons are of dwarven craftsmenship
-Session 1 ends

Others may elaborate or add to this.

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