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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The Long Walk North

Weapons of a Dwarven make came with the greenskins, but their head came with them, back to Shield Hold. They waste no time in getting the Lord of the keep’s attention, wondering what their next move is going to be. Go North of the Wall, he says, to the Nest. Find out about the Greenskins, their weapons, and this newfound aggression. Some men went missing that way recently, he says. They don’t spend much time wondering why.

They saddle up. Couple days of riding and they haven’t found the missing men yet, but they found their horses. Butchered, stripped for meat, and piled up; two dozen of them if there was one. Problem is, a boar found these horses too, and he wasn’t in a mood to share. Boars come bigger north of the Wall, but lucky for them, a ranger had found that pig in turn. Ugly thing goars the Aegis boy; takes the wind outa him, but its nothing he can’t handle. Afterwards, the ranger introduces himself. Cadwch, of the Nest, he says. Offers to guide them there, taking a shortcut through the woods. They are much obliged. They start in on making a fire, roasting that pig, but its not long before a pair of wolves show up. Wolves come bigger North of the Wall, too, in case you thought the pig was a special case. Unlike the pig, they’re willing to share, long as they get their fill. Ranger strikes the deal, then they leave on well enough terms.

South of the Wall, it’s dangerous to travel at night. Different story up North, as some passing Orcs are more than willing to teach. Greenskins don’t last long, but the lesson is taken to heart, and the five start sleeping in the day. Good thing the ranger came along; without his pappy’s orc eyes, that might not have been an option. He’s just proving himself useful time and again, isn’t he? Then they hear the sound of feet. Lots of feet. The horses are quickly hidden; too valuable a thing to risk in the fight. Using some rope, they climb the biggest tree nearby, and wait.

There the feet come, with twenty bodies attached, making a march toward the Nest. That don’t sit right with those in the tree; they wait for them to get real close, then start letting loose their volleys. They take out the ones with bows quick enough, but a couple of nasty lookin’ ones start to climb up to meet them. Boy from the far South lets some magic fly, sees to it they don’t get far. Greenskins answer that by throwing javelins up into the branches; most miss, and the preacher has an answer for the ones that hit. Aegis boy has that glaive, and puts it to good use; anyone who gets close to him learns to regret it. The orphan and the ranger keep it up with daggers and arrows respectively, not giving the greenskins time to breathe. When its all over, one gets away, but they ain’t regretting it. They’re just hoping the Nest is kinder to them than the woods have been. They’re gonna find out soon enough.


(Kellin’s notes, embellished by Martin)
-Party returned to shield hold
-Party gets a new assignment from Torren
-Party heads North of the Wall
-Party finds evidence of a fight
-Boar finds evidence of the party
-Ranger joins the party post boar fight
-Ranger convinces Dire wolves not to attack
-Orcs attack camp
-Party attacks orc scouting party from the trees
-party reaches outskirts of the nest

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In Defense of the Nest

The ranger’s in for a shock when the five finally do get into the Nest. Place should be bustlin’ with all kinds of folks, at any time of day or night. But children don’t run in the streets, and the craftsmen and farmers have stopped the neighbors. They get told of the evacuation; greenskins are gettin’ more aggressive north of the Wall, and a lot of folks are made nervous by this. Some aren’t: the Nest has stood for hundreds of years, they say. Madness is trying the same thing and expecting different results, it’s said. Guess that wpuld mean any greenskin’d have to be mad to try to take the Nest. Course, I’d have something to say about any plan that relied on the sanity of the Orcs. One of them, sure, but they get dumber and crazier in groups, and the bigger the group, the crazier they get. We’ve got more in common with the greenskins then we sometimes like to admit.

Even then, with only a skeleton crew of soldiers and a handful of stragglers, the five don’t have issue finding a tavern. Food’s not the best, but anything is a welcome change after 4 days of dry boar and cold rations. There’s a large table of soliders, ten of ‘em, having what might be their last meal. Scouts came back, and they’ve spied 60 greenskins at least comin’ for the Nest. Now these 10 ain’t green when it – pardon, they ain’t new when it comes to fightin’ off the local threats, but they recon 6-to-1 is still a tall order. Well, this don’t sit right with any of the five at the table, especially the one who’s be calling the Nest home all this time. They handled themselves well against those odds coming here, after all.

Next day they set out, with the ranger and orphan taking point out ahead. They’re the first to see their targets marching out in the open of the plains. Must be mighty sure of themselves to move so openly at daytime. The five set up at the edge of the forest, high up in a sturdy oak. Second verse, same as the first. These greenskins are a bit more prepared for a siege, however, and they got one ugly brute with them. Ogres, smaller kin to Giants but still impressive, this one was wearing metal from head to toe, and was being lead by chains. Fight starts, and the leader of this bunch shows himself to be talented with the bow. Him and the ranger trade hits, shot for shot. Ranger might have lost that day, if not for the preacher’s devotions. Aegis boy is worried ‘bout the big ugly; if he hits you, heaviest armor in the world won’t be a help. If he hits, thinks the boy from the South. Sets out to blind the thing with his conjurations; takes some work, but he gets it done. The front line breathes a sigh of relief. Ain’t long before their forces are scattered.

They head back to the Nest; looks fine. So none of the greenskins broke through, but that don’t mean the Nest’s soldiers won their fights neither. Soldiers broke into two groups, but they only have time to look for one. Ain’t too long they find them; not enough green left for a siege, but plenty to carry the two living guards back to be slaves in their work camp, deep in the Ashen Scar. The five hardly feel that’s right, and they let their feelings be known. Orphan can’t hold himself back, and charges in recklessly. Takes some hits, sure, but it works out in the end. They revive the captives they’ve freed, and within an hour they’re back at the bar, celebrating with the other survivors.

In the bar, the boy from the South shows the others a scroll he picked off the body of the greenskin’s leader. Seems he wasn’t the real leader after all, but was just takin’ orders from some authority in the Ashen Scar, likely a Giant from the writing. Locals say there’s near on a hundred thousand in there, warriors most of them. Boy reckons if the House Guard is still alive, they’re far behind enemy lines. The folk from South of the Wall agree to head back, get word back of the goings-on in these parts. Ranger offers to guide them back through the woods. Seems he grew fond of the other four; you bond quickly when you travel. Sitting around a fire, arguing fondly over who saved whose life when, with the smell of wood and Southern weed mixing in the air.

Where was I? Oh yes, well they wouldn’t get their chance to tell the Count what had happened. Y’see, what had happened had already found everyone else: same time as the Nest was hit, the Ashen Scar was rising up. That Wall came crashing down faster than anyone had ever imagined; it was made to stand up to a lot of things, but not this. By the time the five had left the forest, fires were starting all over the Shield Lands. The Third War had begun.


-Rangers took party to the nest
-Party spends some time in the inn eating, drinking, and resting
-Party is informed of orcs heading to the nest and agree to help
-Party finds near 20 orcs and an ogre
-Party pulls the old tree trick
-Party defeats orcs and takes spoils
-Party follows ranger tracks to other battles
-Party finds and defeats leftovers from other group saving two
-Party returns to the nest
-Upon hearing orc numbers heads south
-Party discovers the wall’s gate broken and smoke rising in the south

Session 3 ends

Others may elaborate or add to this.

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Shield Hold Falls

Upon seeing his homeland under attack Luther lost his better judgement and rode off ignoring the warning of his ally. Ahmed and Kareem followed Luther, but in their haste they missed the orcs and wargs waiting in ambush validating Askalaad’s concerns. The battle ended quickly with Ask and Cadwch arriving near the end of the battle. Shortly after the party saw Shield Hold under siege. Luther knew of a nearby copse of trees hiding a secret passage into and more importantly out of the keep. A few survivors including Torren’s son Eric escaped and headed to Urtuk’s Bane. Luther was given command of two House Guard and decided to make for Aren’s Landing to warn them and hire a ship to take them south. The party marched hard with support from Kareem’s blessings and fought off a group of orcs approaching a holding near the Duke’s Wood. After defeating the orcs and passing word to the residents of the holding they set off again towards Aren’s Landing.

- Shield Hold is under siege, Luther rides recklessly.
- Luther, Kareem, and Ahmed get ambushed, fight’s out.
- The group move around the city to the exit of a secret passage
- The Lord is going down with the ship, his heir is being evacuated
- We were left with no horses and two house guards, set out for Arin’s Landing
- Fought a group of orcs to protect an outpost, told them to haul butts outa there.

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Fallen Comrades

-Were stopped on the road to Aren’s Landing
-Arrived at Aren’s landing too late
-Headed south through ogre territory
-BOAR FIGHT!!!
-Went to ogre village
-Accepted ogre quest
-Fought 4 Ankhegs
-Fought 4 more Ankhegs with Hag back-up, Karim and Ahmed perished

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Eulogy For The Fallen

We believed ourselves invincible. While not the strongest, we always overcame. And now, our proof of immortality has come to an end.

We are mortal. We have no divine fate. And without caution, even insects can hold dominance over us.

Your fate has taught me a lesson that will not soon be forgotten friends. We will remember your story.

-Askalaad

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