Played 10/24/20 IRL, 4/20/2122 IG.
Clan Rumbleseed Dwarves (Last adventure 1/19/2122 IG)
- Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer, Delver. (Apprentice, Tella)
- Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Berserker, Chef, Healer.
- Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Vanguard, Adept, Jeweler. (Fleshpacter, Fishel)
Clan Caskbound Dwarves (Last adventure 9/10/2121 IG)
- Devron Leveller (Mark) Berserker. Chosen, Mason.
- Korvask Wyrt (Michael) Vanguard. Enchanter, Scholar.
Control the Meat Mine!
The Seathresher, a mythic sea monster, washed up on the shore of a distant island. The dwarves wanted to secure control of the beach grave to harvest as many of the rare and wonderful materials from the corpse as possible, but there was sure to be competition.
Torala Dunn (Clan Rumbleseed, House Dunn patriarch) sent Ivo to lead Rumbleseed agents, including Thoreson and Vanmil. The group had to be small, as they could only reach the site quickly if they traveled by airship. Dunn sent Master Delter, a human wizard who could take on the form of a crow, to find a nearby Clan Caskbound airship that was searching the coast for something. Delter returned with word the Caskbound dwarves agreed to a joint venture.
The dwarves were in the Shallows, away from the Various Garden expedition, because some of the expedition leaders were worried about Thoreson’s increasing irritability and morose disengagement, and the fights he picked with locals (friends, foes, and concerned healers) were becoming a problem. Vanmil agreed to go with them, haunted by memories of the sky (which she had not seen before she went out into the winter snow.)
Yaru, the dragon wizard, reached out to Korvask almost 3 months ago. She was worried because the sea witches used her life force and Crossroads magic to open a portal big enough to drag an epic monster into this world’s seas, and they sent it against the elves, who slew it with their navy.
Five weeks ago Yaru hired them to look for where the monster corpse washed up on the beach, to make sure it died. While the Sea Scout airship (piloted by Nymeer, a Caskbound topsider who captained the craft) was scouting remote island beaches, they were intercepted by Master Delter, a human wizard who could crowshape. Keen to confirm the monster was dead, the dwarves agreed.
The Sea Scout airship would meet the Rumbleseed dwarves at a local mountain peak, distinctive from a distance. Ivo, Thoreson, and Vanmil packed up plenty of containers to harvest magical and culinary material from the corpse, and Ivo brought his granddad’s trusty long rifle as well as a big load of explosives. Ivo’s apprentice Tella brought porters along to help carry the gear, and took responsibility for getting them home safe; she wouldn’t go along. Vanmil didn’t bring Fishel, who was not keen to visit the surface in violation of treaty (and common sense.)
The airship couldn’t easily land at the meeting site, so the dwarves struggled to manage getting the gear up to the ship (especially the explosives, that swung wildly in the wind at one point). There were also some embarrassing falls, but no one toppled too far down the mountain, and everyone made it up into the airship.
Thoreson shared out some exquisite nibbles, specialties of his style and his clan, and the Caskbound dwarves shared The Dan’s award-winning Beetle Back brew. With proper gifts and etiquette out of the way, they headed for the Grave Beach.
They closed in on the site, seeing the smoke from several campfires rising into the afternoon sky. Nymeer let Korvask peer at the site through her spyglass, and Korvask persuaded her to let Ivo use the treasured device too.
The dwarves spotted a mass of human warriors who apparently dismantled a couple ships and built scaffolding to support efforts to harvest materials without touching the toxic corpse any more than was needful. Cannons from the ships were mounted on platforms and towers, guarding the site. The bloody waters around the corpse were thick with poisoned and crazed sharks.
There were also two ships from the Desell Glade’s elven navy standing off a ways. Boarding parties took a couple of the platforms, pushing the humans back, and the situation looked tense.
The dwarves agreed to pursue a closer look, so the Sea Scout buzzed the site as fast as possible, evading the cannonfire from the platforms and the magical and ballista attacks from the elven ships. Even from a good height, the stench was nearly unbearable.
As they zoomed closer, Ivo spotted his target. Torala warned him the elven assassin Lady Sann was expected to be supporting Lady Litiska, and instructed him to kill Sann if possible for the honor of the clan. The elves had wraith-like shadow warriors, led by Lady Sann! Before the elves could reposition, the keen-eyed dwarf swapped the spyglass for his rifle scope, and used his granddad’s monster hunting rifle to pull off an exquisite shot from the swaying airship that exploded the elf’s head before she knew she was in danger–Lady Sann was no more.
Vanmil picked up elemental conjuration magic of an unfamiliar type from the central platform, strange flaming constructs haunting the site. Also, the humans seemed to be ensorcerelled somehow. Korvask recognized the amplified work of the wizard Iskavol, member of the secretive Keyin Protectorate, a loose and secretive network of mages (and sometime-partner of the wizard Yaru, who was also a member.)
The Sea Scout circled around to drop off the Fellowship for a ground approach. Nymeer stayed with the ship.
Under the Influence
The Fellowship approached the head of the mighty beast with caution. Ramps and platforms had been placed there, and tough-looking pirates guarded the entry. They were led by Darveen, previously a bandit who clashed with Rumbleseed and was driven out of a lair. His partner was a wizard, Carroway, that the dwarves though they slew, but he looked healthy enough now. Darveen met them at the platform.
He was not himself. Vanmil could see the nimbus of influence that saturated him and his pirates. The Fellowship name-dropped Iskavol, and Darveen took them to her. On the way they passed mounds of harvested flesh, and big barrels full of explosively flammable bile and secretions.
The horned wizard Iskavol had a powerful enchanted gem she was using to control the pirates, and a brazier to summon and control the flame constructs (flamejekts) she was using to keep the elves back and root around in the monster corpse.
Her ability to maintain control of the situation would apparently last until sundown, as the shadow-jumping elves would easily dispatch the pirates in darkness. Still, the dwarves negotiated with Iskavol, who granted them access to the top half of the monster if they helped her maintain control.
During negotiations, a handful of shadowbounder elven skirmishers attacked the humans. The dwarves knocked them down ruthlessly, but didn’t score any kills on the retreating attackers.
Iskavol pulled back into the ship cabin lodged in the corpsemeat, and the Fellowship geared up to approach the elf-posessed platform connected by walkways.
Vanmil humbly apologized to Thoreson, who still resented the interference that tore the Conqueror Worm from him in the Gilded Tower. Thoreson was not ready to accept an apology.
The Fellowship approached the shadowbounders, and a confident shadow-stepping commander agreed to speak with them. Captain Demros was confident in his position and unimpressed by the interlopers; he would claim the Grave Beach for his glade. The Fellowship contested his claim, but he did not recognize they had any rights in this situation.
Talks deteriorated to the Fellowship attacking, but the uncanny elves were nimble and evasive. A counter-attack pounced at them from the shadows, but the Fellowship fended the elves off.
Captain Demros pushed off in a boat, headed back to the ship with a handful of his people and some meat treasure from the platforms. Ivo knew the tense captain could dodge a bullet–so he took aim at a barrel of explosive bile. His aim was true, blasting the elves at point blank range and scattering their boat to kindling, so they could only fall into the waters boiling with enraged sharks.
The pirates were groggy, coming out from under the influence, and the suspicious dwarves returned to Iskavol’s throne area. After there was no response to knocking, they opened the door to find she had a burned escape route into and through the corpse. She took the things she wanted the most from the find, and retreated, leaving the pirates and dwarves on their own. The flamejekts started to wane and flicker, soon to extinguish.
Chasing her energies, the Fellowship headed to the beach, where there were traces of a big teleportation spell. The wizard had likely escaped some distance, enough to be out of reach for now.
Not Over Yet!
As the sun sank towards elven domination, the Fellowship had to act fast.
Vanmil and Thoreson got to work checking the eyes for Everlamp, a mystical substance generating an eternal shine. Iskavol had drained the big eye, but there were other smaller eyes–Vanmil found one that had enough Everlamp for her purposes, and she harvested it successfully.
Devron was quietly looking for something specific. He prayed to his mysterious god, trying to sense whether there were any traces of recognizable energy in the corpse. If there were, the impressions were too faint to be detected in a quick look. He wanted to stay for a deeper dive.
The Fellowship wiped out Lady Sann (for sure) and Captain Demros (probably) but they also “chased off” Iskavol and “liberated” the pirates led by Darveen and Carroway. If they were going to get more treasure out of the site, they would have to deal with murderous humans and elves, knowing more treasure-hunting factions could arrive at any moment.
The Fellowship banked Ledger they could redeem when they tell the tale.
Thoreson and Devron banked 3. Ivo, Vanmil, and Korvask banked 4. (They succeeded in additional objectives in service of the clan.)