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Quest Chronicle


Introduction

The rumour of treasure generally draws greedy or ambitious warriors to the east, to the great warrens, ruins and halls of the World’s Edge Mountains. Yet those with the patience and contacts to search Dwarven Archives, answer the riddles of the Elf Loremasters, or consult Imperial scholars, can focus their efforts… once such group now arrives in the village of Damniskobern.
The Dwarven Goldhunter Draton guides them. He is young, for a dwarf, and seeks recognition among his people. To that end, he has been tracking a lost treasure trove, which went missing in the sack of the dwarf settlement Kedrin Ikthinstal a century before. Chief in this is a goblet of silver, sacred to Valaya. It was crafted by the Dwarf King Ternabor Olagsson, and crowned with a circle of magical runes. It is said that these runes keep the cup full of a potion that can heal any wound.
The halfling Thyrael doesn’t care much for this artefact. He seeks the gold that was stolen with it. Since running away from his responsibilities, he took up a life of crime, and his thieving skills recommended him to Draton when they met in Nuln.
The Witch Gizelle, once a healer, now an outlaw, seeks to escape the attention of the Witch Hunters that drove her away. She fled to the region because of its isolation from the Empire, and met the others by chance. Now she travels with them.
Scrag ‘the Merciless’ is a third runaway. After his bloody escape from the Fighting Pits, he went on the run. Wandering alone in the wilderness, he came across a similarly starving halfling, and the two banded together to rob a merchant. Now they have joined Draton in his search.
Following the directions left by the Amethyst Mage Derros Imalkin, who researched the tale before his disappearance five years ago, the warriors arrive at this village, in the province of Ostermark near the boarder with Kislev.

The group’s enquiries found them lodging easily enough. The inn was empty, and indeed the village itself seemed quite bare. Most of the women seemed to stay indoors as much as possible, and there were few men around. Perhaps they were all out hunting? The old men at the bar were as garrulous as they are all across the Empire, especially after a few drinks. They would be a fine source of information.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


After much discussion with the locals, the warriors came to understand that all was not well in Damniskobern. The old men huddled around the fire spoke of beastmen in hushed tones, as though telling stories to children. These, though, were not stories. As well as the constant threat of the beastmen, there had been sightings of a greater beast, wild and angry. The sightings had led swiftly to deaths...
Seeking to cull the beastmen and discover the truth about the mysterious attacks, the local Priest, a Taal worshipper named Milakuweh had gathered the men of the village into a hunt, and gone into the forest. Little had been heard of them. With their hunters and their priest gone, the villagers were besieged by their own fears.
There was to be no appeals to the Empire, either. The village was nominally under Imperial protection, but the villagers had no desire to invite Imperial Troops into their lives. Memories of Witch Hunters and soldiers trying to impose Sigmarite worship on the Taalites ensure that the villagers avoid Imperial entanglements like the plague.
This suited the warriors fine- with Gizelle, Thyrael and Scrag all escaping the shadow of the law.

There was little doubt that the warriors would become embroiled in this conflict. The next day, word came of the priest and his party- all in danger.
The warriors gathered their weapons and set off, resolved to deliver these people- or at least give them a time of hope.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


The warriors arrived to find a battlefield. Bodies lay strewn everywhere, human and beastmen. there are others, too... bodies that are nearly human, but not quite: furred or distorted. There are creatures that walked on four legs, but had human faces. These were mutants- outcasts of every society but their own. Cursed by chaos and cut off from their families, it was no surprise that these wretched individuals offered their miserable lives to beastmen in servitude.

Not everything in the clearing was dead. The hulking minotaur on the far side, for example, and the four Gors with it, were certainly alive. The monsters faced three men, seeming mere children cowering before the might of the beasts.

One of the beastmen saw the sculking warriors, and brayed a harsh cry. From out of the woods shuffled things... mutants... non-humans. They were all different, all hideous hybrids of man and beast. Most clutched clubs or bones, some sported claws and teeth. They formed a barrier between the warriors and the hunters on the far side. Battle was joined!

The warriors moved to attack.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 2
Draton declared that he was going to stay near Gizelle, as the healer and magic user, and so allowed her to move first.

Gizelle decided against using her small store of mana so early, but instead hefted her staff and swung it at one of the nearby mutants, missing it.

Behind them, Thyrael whipped out his bow and got off a shot at the minotaur. His hands betrayed him, too, and the arrow went wide.

Seeing Gizelle's valient attack, Draton moved to reinforce her, hitting and wounding her target.

Scrag, observing his comrade's tactics, moved against a second cluster of mutants, slaying one and wounding another with his swift fist spike.

Enraged, the monsters leaped to the attack. Two of the beastmen and the great minotaur stay focused on the defending hunters. Blows are traded, but both forces escape damage.

The other two beastmen charge forward and attack Draton and Thyrael. Both recieve blows, one glancing off the halfling's shoulder and the other absorbed partly by the dwarven armour. Then the mutants attack. One howls as it attacks the towering Pit Fighter, smashing a claw into his side. Gizelle's dark cloak fails to conceal her from her assailant, who strikes a true blow. However, Draton's armour does him proud and deflects the force of the club the mutant swings his way. As for Thyrael, the lucky halfling escapes a second attack as the mutant eyeing him for his next meal cannot reach him... yet!

Suddenly one of the hunters howls. The warriors fear that he has been wounded, but instead they see him reach his arms in the air and gesture, now chanting some rhyme. They feel themselves strengthened and revitalised- each regains some wounds, healing some of the damage done. This must be Milakuweh, the Priest of Taal!
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 3
Draton swings his pick, but the nimble mutant avoids it, returning to a defensive crouch with club ready.

Gizelle repeats her attack, and manages to hit the beast with her staff, compounding damage done by Draton with his first swing. It swayed, but remained upright despite the two gaping wounds.

Thyrael, confronted with the terrifying visage of the beastman, draws and thrusts his small sword. Although he hits the beastman directly in the chest, the blow fails to penetrate the matted hair and thick hide that armour it.

Scrag wields his Fist Spike, but his frenzied swipes fail to connect with the monsters threatening him.

Despite the warrior’s poor showing, the monsters seem spooked, perhaps by the fact that the warriors are neither running nor dying- a change from farmers and peasants. All of the beastmen miss their attacks, except for the ram-headed brute attacking Thyrael, who scores a painful hit.

On the other side of the clearing, one of the beastmen falls, gutted by the spear of a hunter, but his companion swiftly gets revenge, stabbing the hunter in the side, killing him instantly. The priest makes a desperate swing with his stout spear, knocking aside the minotaur's club, and scoring a red line across the beast's torso. As it recoils, Milakuweh draws back, holds out his arms and proclaims something like a blessing. Gizelle feels her body being bolstered, pushing itself to greater limits under the strange blessing, and she strikes with renewed strength.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 4
Draton led the renewed assault, striking to his left at the mutant attacking Gizelle. His trusty pickaxe buried itself right in the beast’s chest, killing it.

Spurred by the power of the Priest’s incantation, and in order to assist Draton, Gizelle struck the mutant menacing the dwarf with a powerful blow, her staff breaking a significant number of bones. The monster fell to the ground, dead.

Still threatened, Thyrael submitted to his natural urges and ate a handful of food snatched from his lunch box as he slashed with his short blade. Again, the weapon hit the beastman, but skidded off the tough flesh. Still, with an audible gulp, he at least managed to keep his meal down.

Scrag, to his left, fared little better. Striking at the nearby mutants, he was thwarted. Swinging his Fist Spike around to the beastman beside him, the monster attacking the halfling, he stabbed right into the guts of the beast, and severely wounded it. The monster’s extraordinary stamina served to keep it alive, however, though not coherent. It lashed out at Thyrael, missing by a mile.

The other beastman attacked Draton, scoring some wounds, and the remaining mutants attacked Scrag and Thyrael. The halfling suffered a severe blow to the head and only just managed to regain consciousness.

Again, the Priest of Taal looked away from his own struggle to bless the warriors. Each was healed of their most grievous wounds, rescuing the halfling from the brink of death. At this repeated miracle, the remaining mutants seemed to shrink away, glancing around at the corpses of their fellows. Scrag saw that Thyrael, though safer, was by no means healed, and threw him the Heal-Itt potion he carried. The halfling took a swig, and immediately coughed and spluttered. The liquid was foul and stripped a layer of tastebuds from his tongue, leaving a bitter taste, but he forced himself to swallow with a grimace and felt better for it. Gizelle began to incant a spell, focusing her mind on the vulnerable thief, but something must have disturbed her, as the magic fizzled away and failed.

The mutant creatures, by this point, had decided that enough was enough, and they turned tail and ran into the forest!

Last edited by thecustodian, 28/Jun/2005, 1:52 am
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 5
Draton swung his pick at the nearest foe, and struck a solid blow to the beastman’s ribcage.
Gizelle's attack also hits, but she does no damage, now that the Priest's blessing has faded.
Thyrael manages a solid blow to the beastman in front of him, finally running the beast through with his slender sword. He shouts to the Pit Fighter: "Thanks for the potion Scrag, I feel stronger already".
Scrag attacks, smashing his mailed fist into the beastman and crushing its skull.
The Priest casts an armour spell on himself just in time to soften a massive blow by the minotaur.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 6
The warriors, having finished off their attackers, now move to rescue the beleaguered priest. Draton charges down, swinging his pick as he does so, but missing the great monster. Gizelle stays where she is, out of danger, and focuses her pain on the minotaur, levitating one of the strange stones she carries. It arcs through the air and smashes into a tree near the minotaur in a shower of sparks. The nearby priest winces. Thyrael lets loose an arrow at the minotaur but is way off target. In frustration he pulls a small cake from his lunch box and gulps it down. Scrag charges across the battlefield and unleashes a flurry of blows, seriously wounding the minotaur who flinches under the assault. Using this distraction, the priest shouts his thanks and ducks away, limping to safety as he chants a blessing that casts a defence around the Pit Fighter. It is a wasted casting. The minotaur, enraged and stinking of fear, strikes two crippling blows at Scrag, smashing his body aside, apparently lifeless…
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 7
Gizelle acts quickly and extends her hands as she chants a spell. Scrag's body seems to freeze in the act of collapsing, and after a long second of motionlessness, he jerks and staggers back to a standing position. Blood streams from a wound on his head, but he shakes it out of his eyes and takes up a combat position. Draton, meanwhile, has prepared some bandages. Scrag takes a swig of his potion and the fiery liquid reinforces him. Seeing this, Draton takes a swing at the minotaur, but it dodges his attack. Gizelle uses another stone, but misses again. Thyrael sends an arrow thudding into the minotaur but amazingly it remains standing. He pulls another cake from his lunch box and remarks: "This minotaur is more than lucky: some Dark God must be watching over it". Finally, Scrag manages to deliver a killing blow to the minotaur, slicing up its stomach with his trusty spiked fist. Now, the only foe remaining is the Gor.
The priest gestures at Scrag as he stands, bathed in the blood of his foe. The warrior feels strength rushing into his muscles as he looks towards the last monster.
The Hunter and Gor exchange weary blows. The beastman takes a hit, but the hunter staggers back, severely wounded.
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Re: Quest Chronicle


Turn 8
Draton does his best to decapitate the remaining beastman, but misses his wild swing. Gizelle and Thyrael follow suit, launching attacks that go amiss. Thyrael commiserates with a delicious cookie. With what little strength he has left, supported by the Priest’s blessing, Scrag attacks the Gor, and manages to deliver the final killing blow to this long, long battle.
In the watchful silence after the Gor crashed down dead, the Priest of Taal waves his arms in the air and silently chants. The warriors feel themselves strengthened. They walk among the dead and dying and help several Hunters to their feet, as the Priest tends their wounds. Any still living mutant or beastman is killed instantly.
When there is a moment, the Priest addresses them. "I am Milakuweh, Priest of Taal and guardian of these Villagers. Who might you be?"
Draton gives his thanks to the Priest for his healing powers, then turns to examine the corpses for clues… or perhaps loot? Scrag wipes the blood from his spiked fist before he walks over to the dead minotaur and removes one of its teeth as a token. Then he turns to the priest: "I am Scrag."
The Priest nods a welcome, then seems to remember where he is. "On second thoughts, we can wait for introductions. My Hunters scattered when we were attacked, and we must return to the village and see who reached it." He turns to the warriors. "I took note of the monsters you killed. Our local Imperial council, though no great friend to us, offers a bounty for dead beastmen. I will ensure you are rewarded, and have your share of the loot.”
Draton and Thyrael both search the corpses, Draton finding a few jewels and useful weapons that the others missed. Then, as they leave the clearing, the Priest turns back, extends his arms and begins to chant. The trees began to shed leaves, and vines grew from the ground, covering the corpses of the beastmen and mutants. Within moments, no trace of the battle can be seen. The Priest explains: “This act removes the foul corruption of these beasts from the wilderness, and is also a useful tool in instilling fear in our foe. They will see that a large party has just disappeared. Those escaped mutants will tell of your intervention, though.”

Back at Damniskobern, the warriors are heroes, treated to ale and food and cheers. They also receive their portion of the loot, and the bounty for the dead monsters. A great sword was found strapped to the back of the minotaur, which is solemnly presented to the party. Once the warriors have shared their tale with the Priest, there is a long moment of silence.
“Yes” he says after a while, “Yes I can help you in your quest. I remember this wizard you speak of. Some time ago he and his apprentices came to this area, asking questions. They left, and we learned that they had inhabited an old watchtower built near here, long derelict. We used to trade with them for food, but then they disappeared again. We haven't heard from them since. They never spoke much- but then Amethyst Mages are often quiet.”
The Priest looks at the warriors, fixing them with his steely gaze, and lays out their options. “You can travel to this tower now, to see if the mage has returned. If he has, perhaps he will help us against our enemies. But you could delay that for a time. My men and I never reached the beastmen's lair. Perhaps there were too many of us. Perhaps you might be able to investigate. In any case, the beasts won't expect another move against them so soon.” As he finished speaking, there was a scream from outside. A great crash- another scream, now a second crash- the warriors, Priest and hunters rush out of the tavern.
Before the warriors stands a monstrous beast, a mass of fur and muscle that crouches on the shattered corpse of a villager. Draton thinks back to the tales of his uncle, who would boast of fighting such creatures- Rat-Ogres, he called them. This one is bigger than even those exaggerated claims. For a moment there is silence as the Great Rat Ogre surveys the new arrivals. Then it lifts a clawed arm in the air and roars, bringing it down and bisecting a cow. To their credit, the village hunters do not break, but grab spears and form ranks. Then the horrified but acutely aware halfling spots the smaller forms partly hidden by the Great Rat Ogre. Almost man-sized, these are gross parodies of rats. The warriors recognise them as skaven, always found commanding Rat Ogres in Draton’s uncle’s tales. These two are holding chains that attach to a collar on the beast's neck.
“Attack!” cries Milakuweh, and spears fly. Most bounce off the Great Rat Ogre's thick hide. One impales a skaven handler. As it dies, the chain it holds falls to the ground. The other skaven squeaks a command, and suddenly the ground is alive with rats, grossly large and distorted, boiling out of holes that have appeared in the ground, racing for the line of village men. Everyone sets to killing with clubs, spears and staves, trying to stop the horde. Then a great roar blasts out, as an arrow pierces the Great Rat Ogre’s hide. It staggers back, crushing a small wagon, and then pulls free of its surviving handler and runs for the forest, smashing a hut like matchsticks. The handler squeals commands after it, which are apparently ignored, then runs for the trees- in a different direction to the Great Rat Ogre.
Before long, the vermin were all slain, and their bodies piled for burning, the Skaven's atop the pyre. Perplexed, the warriors discuss this. This beast must be the one threatening the village- but how are the Skaven linked to the beastmen? Why did the Rat Ogre run off to the West, where the Beastman Lair is, if it is indeed a Skaven creature? And what should the warriors do now?
Scrag is in favour of hunting the Rat Ogre, in the direction of the reputed Beastman’s Lair. Gizelle, feeling pity for the villagers, also votes this way. Draton agrees, and sets off to arrange supplies. This snaps Thyrael from his trance as he daydreams about food.
After buying what supplies the village could offer, the warriors split the rest of the money between them. Draton bought himself a cask of ale and a shield, wood braced with bars of iron and a heavy boss. Gizelle purchased one of the village’s fine hunting bows and twenty-four arrows, along with an emergency rope.

Last edited by thecustodian, 23/Jul/2005, 2:05 am
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