Hammer and Anvil

Bandits, Betrayal and Wolves - Oh my!
Part 3: The Road to Fellig; Tempen, 606 AR

The party met up with Bryce Weyland soon after leaving Armandor, and soon after met another person on the road to Fellig. Kaelynn was sat at the side of the road looking rather worse for wear after having been robbed and beaten by bandits. Offering her protection as she was heading in the same direction Kaelynn joined the group but surrendered her inherited weapons.

The day passed without event but the group employed Mortlock as a pretend drunken decoy as a ploy to lure the bandits that attacked Kaelynn. Reaching a way inn with nothing to show for their efforts it was decided to push on during the last few hours of daylight and abandon the decoy plan and set up a better guard pattern.

After camping at the roadside for the night the party was ambushed in the middle of the night by a vicious pack of wolves. Stump and Mortlock were on duty and with Stump’s ‘True Sight’ they were able to despatch the wolves without anyone else having to lift a finger. One wolf had landed a bite on Stump but the injury was quite minor. Whilst Bryce harvested some alchemical ingredients from the wolf corpses the rest settled back to sleep for the remainder of the night.

Another day’s travel passed on the road without incident and at twilight the party again pulled off the road to camp for the night. The party all sat round the campfire enjoying a tasty meal when suddenly they all, bar Gabe, began to notice that something was not right. Everyone felt their minds cloud over and a great fog weigh heavy on their minds. Poison! That thought was punctuated by a volley of arrows that soundly hit Stump and Tobias. The retaliation was muted due to most of party being barely able to function but Mortlock ran for cover and fired upon the attackers, landing a solid thunder rune that permanently disabled an enemy. Mortlock took servere return fire from the attackers and Tobias and Stump both charged into the trees to back Mortlock up. During his charge the Stump landed a solid shot from his repeating rifle before taking cover behind a tree. Bryce too charged into the trees leaving the wagon guards behind.

It was at this point that Mortlock noticed a fracas taking place near the wagon, and he charged back over to investigate. Tobias, frustrated that he could not see anyone to fight charged deeper into the trees firing as he went a shot that ultimately missed. Stump fired again with his rifle felling an attacker, before both he and Tobias turned to return to the wagon.

As Mortlock reached the wagon he observed Bronah locked in combat with none other than the damsel in distress Kaelynn. Needing time to asses the situation, he fired off two perfectly aimed shots disarming both Bronah and Kaelynn. Having also used a silence rune to mask his attack his presence went unnoticed but Kaelynn used the shocked state of Bronah to pull a knife from her boot and slip it between Bronah’s ribs. Bronah collapsed in a heap seconds before Mortlock vaporised Kaelynn with a devastating shot, but it was too late the damage had been done.

Hollering for a medic Mortlock moved to secure the perimeter as the Stump rushed to Bronah’s side to administer aid. There was so much blood and in the darkness and panic of the situation even Stump’s true sight could not help him staunch Bronah’s bleeding. Tobias came charging in shouting orders to Mortlock to fetch his surgeon’s kit from the wagon and coming to a stop next to Stump to provide assistance. Time blurred and eventually with the equipment and bandages from the surgeon’s kit and with Tobias’ cool headed advice the Stump eventually managed to stabilise Bronah’s condition. Looking at her ashen face and significant amount of blood covering the area it appeared that luck was on Bronah’s side that night.

Bryce meanwhile waited in the trees, well hidden, to provide instant response should a further attack be forthcoming. Shortly after, Gabe and Gunnar returned to the camp with Gunnar saying that he had finished off the last bandit with his dagger. Mortlock requested he lead him to the body and help him drag it back to camp so they could search it for any intel or information. None was found.

In a sombre mood, their heads still foggy from the poison and nursing their wounds from the ambush, the party proceeded to get what little rest they could from the rest of the night, leaving a minimal sentry guard to allow those wounded to rest up. The early morning passes quietly and the party await the new day with their confidence knocked after a bitter betrayal. Arrival at Fellig cannot come soon enough for they all wish to see the back of this accursed wagon.

The group gets 'jacked!
Part 2: Road to Armandor; Tempen, 606 AR

After the encounter on the paddle steamer, the journey for the rest of the day passed uneventfully. Mortlock was on edge though, consumed with a sense of foreboding after having had a most disconcerting dream. The tug steamed ever onwards, until Mortlock spotted something in the undergrowth on the river bank.

Convincing the tug captain to stop the boat so he could investigate, but not convincing Tobias who stayed behind on the boat, Mortlock and Stump headed out in the dingy to towards the river bank, and the two ominous black shapes concealed therein. Whilst Tobias observed through the captain’s binoculars from the tug, the Stump stopped the dingy short of the bank and Mortlock cried out for the shapes to identify themselves. No answer was received and so Mortlock sent a warning shot close to one of the shapes. Their only response was to emanate black smoke and to start moving within the brush.

Erring on the side of caution and discretion, Mortlock and the Stump made speedy progress back to the tug and the captain steamed immediately away. The captain also took this opportunity to make a snide remark about the foolishness of their little foray. Like a red rag to a bull the Stump was on his feet and took two steps towards the captain with the sound intention of knocking his impertinent arse off the boat. Whilst everyone collectively held their breath, Mortlock jumped in front of the Stump and quickly defused the situation and escorting the Stump away from the captain. The captain however felt haughtily smug, further reinforcing his opinion that his mercenary passengers were a total bunch of pricks.

The tug journey concluded without incident and the wagon and horses were unloaded quickly, with all present keen to commence the next leg of the delivery and very glad to be back on dry land.

With not long left until twilight, the wagon and crew sent scouts ahead to watch for danger and to find a suitable location to camp for the night.

The ruins of an old border keep presented themselves as the perfect campsite and all were relieved to be able to bed down and get some rest.

Towards the end of the first night watch, Bronah spied something approaching the camp and Mortlock quietly roused the rest of the group to make ready and prepare for a potential attack.

As the shapes approached the camp it became clear that they were the very same ones that they had encountered on the river earlier and at a range of 75 yards the group opened fire.

It became clear that the two things were bone jacks as they charged and closed the distance in the blink of an eye. The group focused their fire on the left jack, and Tobias felled it with a shot from ‘Thunder’ after waiting for the perfect time to shoot as it entered close range.
The team then switched target to the right jack with Mortlock’s arcane pistol wreaking havoc upon the bone jack’s armour. Then suddenly the left jack took a swipe at one of the wagon guards, Gabe. It wasn’t dead! Tobias then switched to ‘Lightening’ and put the left jack down for good this time with an almost point blank shot. The right jack was just about to launch its attack on the group when Mortlock got off another quick two shots and caused massive damage destroying it completely.

The group made all haste to clear the camp leaving just enough time for Tobias to tend to Gabe’s injuries sustained from the left jack’s attack. Having caused quite a commotion at the abandoned for but still in desperate need of rest the group resolved to travel up the road for a while then pitch camp again. Sentries were again posted and the rest of the night passed without incident. They set off later than usual and made the outskirts of Armandor by nightfall, where they booked into an inn and secured food and lodgings for the night. Setting a rotating guard on the wagon overnight whilst the others took advantage of warm food, good ale, hot baths and a comfortable bed.

The plan in the morning was to wait for Bronah to secure fresh horses for the wagon and to use those few hours to do some quick shopping in the nearer parts of the city.

The final leg of the delivery loomed ahead, and there was apprehension in the group as to what other attempts would be made to attack the party as they moved along at what felt like a snail’s pace.

Out of the frying pan & into the Golden Crucible
Part 1: Tempen, 606 AR

After deciding to fold the remainder of the Paulson Street Rovers into ‘Hammer & Anvil’ and appointing Brogan as interim leader of the newly renamed & redecorated ‘Forge’, a new arrival joined the company; Cygnaran Army Captiain Tobias Flint. Previously known to Mortlock after crossing paths many years ago in the military, Tobias offers his services in return for an equal share in the future endeavours of the company.

Soon after, a contact from the Golden Crucible contacted the company with an offer to transport a sizeable wagon-ful of blasting powder to the Cygnaran Military in Fellig. They ask that the delivery be made with all haste and to such end had chartered a steam tug to transport the cargo and accompanying guards up the river for the first leg of the journey. Progress afterwards would be made on horseback, with a short stop at Armandor to rest and obtain fresh horses before continuing on to Fellig.

The company accepted the escort mission and set out immediately on their delivery.

Progress up the river was swift but uneventful until mooring at nightfall. During the night watch, ‘The Stump’ saw the approach of a paddle steamer down the river, and he sensed that something was not right.
As the steamer drifted closer it became apparent that something was definitely ‘not right’ as the whole craft was shrouded in darkness and a deathly quiet hung over it.

It was then that shit really got whack, when a woman’s haunting singing could be heard emanating from somewhere on board. The trio of Mortlock, ‘The Stump’ and Tobias, all three having momentarily taken leave of their senses, decided that it would be a top idea to board the craft and investigate.

A quick scout by Mortlock turned up nothing but an empty ship, and the fact that the woman’s voice sounded oddly familiar, and that curiously, the singing seemed to be coming from the cabin they occupied when they were last on board. In another moment of lunacy it was decided to check the room. The three intrepid fools stood gaping in the doorway to the cabin stunned by the sight before them.

In the centre of their old cabin stood a tin bath, in which, sat, a witch. Who bore significant resemblance to the ‘white woman’ whom the party had encountered when last on the steamer. Oh and who Mortlock had made a pass at. Not good. To make matters worse the room was tastefully decorated with blood, gore and the severed limbs of the steamer’s passengers.

The woman looked at the three intruders, and invited them in. Regaining his senses Tobias drew his #1 slug gun ‘Thunder’ and unloaded a round into the woman from close range. Mortlock then drew, fired and missed. In that order. The woman retaliated with a attack that stunned both Tobias and ‘The Stump’ for a whole round of combat, leaving Mortlock an opportunity to show his quality.
Breaking with his previous trend of missing, Mortlock actually landed two fabulous freeze rune shots, on the white woman, in a row. This left Tobias and ‘The stump’ free to engage freely with #2 slug gun ‘Lightening’ and ‘The Stump’s great axe. The white woman stood no chance and Mortlock’s second freeze rune landed the killing blow.

After inspecting the scene and finding a eerily magic knife finely crafted from a passenger’s bones, the decision was made to leave it all and search the rest of the steamer. The trio found eight thousand gold crowns in total aboard, and after pocketing a thousand each they proceeded to hide the remaining loot under the floorboards of the ship. A not inconsiderable amount of time was also devoted to wrangling with the tug captain to somehow come to an agreement about getting the derelict steamer back to the gang in Five Fingers. But it was to no avail, as the captain was devoted to his mission and would not be swayed.

With heavy hearts Tobias, Mortlock and ‘The Stump’ sadly watched the steamer fade from view, curious to know what the next leg of their journey would hold.

Smoke on the Water
Tempen, 606 AR

The party were contracted by Gram, owner of the Regency Saloon and purveyor of Tarna’s finest hooga, to guard a crate of Regency Gold (the Saloon’s premium brand) as it was transported by river boat to Five Fingers. The buyer, the office of the Lord Governer in Five Fingers, wanted the delivery made in three days, and although Gram had no idea what could make delivery of a crate of cigars so urgent, he’s not one to turn down an offer of money.

The party and the package were booked passage on the Gambler’s Bride, a high-class floating casino captained by Odran Reno. The Bride was to make its way down the Dragon’s Tongue river, stopping overnight at Splintermill and Briv and arriving in Five Fingers on the third day.

Shortly after the Bride left Tarna, the party was approached by Lugo Vayne and four unarmed, but thuggish, companions. Lugo represented certain interested parties in Five Fingers and had a counter proposal for the party; deliver HIS parcel in place of the original one. The party refused, and Lugo left his companions with instructions to throw the party overboard. They failed, and the Bride’s cleaning staff will be scrubbing the evidence out of the decking for months to come, much to the annoyance of Captain Reno…

Berthing overnight at Splintermill, the Bride took on a gaggle of lumberjacks for drinking and gambling. The party noticed Lugo moving among the crowd, buying drinks and making suggestions, and so were ready for the inevitable rush on the Bride’s vault. As well as protecting their own cargo, the party’s performance redeemed them a little in the eyes of Captain Reno.

Shortly after leaving Splintermill the following day, Stern spotted a woman in white floating face-down in the water, and the Bride stopped to rescue her. It turned out that she had been left at the alter, and had tried to take her own life as a cosnequence. Mortlock gallantly gave up his cabin, and the woman stayed on board until the Bride reached Five Fingers.

The remainder of the day was largely taken up with Mortlock trying to find someone who would duel him. He was, eventually, successful, finding a Laellese duellist named Alain de Vassily. When the Bride docked at Briv, the two found a secluded clearing and fought: Mortlock shot first but narrowly missed; Alain’s shot found its mark.

Unfortunately, the duel had been for 150 crowns or Mortlock’s magelock pistol; he was not prepared to part with the latter, and did not have the former. Having until midnight to complete the deal, the party returned to Lugo and grudgingly took him up on his offer.

The following day, the party was called to defend the vessel when, as it was weighing anchor, a group of trollkin appeared on dock demanding the Bride pay an exhorbitant toll. Captain Reno wasn’t prepared to accede to their demands, but the party made short work of the trollkin, with Bryce’s grenades rendering most of them unconscious, allowing the Bride to depart unhindered.

The Bride arrived at Chaser’s Isle in good time on the third day, and upon disembarking the party were met by Darrick Rylo, one of the Lord Governer’s functionaries. Darrick spotted that the package had been switched in short order, and knew his master would not be pleased. The party took advantage of this, suggesting that they stage a heist, so that Darrick could tell the Lord Governer that the package had in fact arrived but had been stolen, and allowing Darrick and the party to split the fee for the package.

It was while the details of the heist were being finalised that the party was attacked byt the Paulson Street Rovers. The party dealt with the Rovers’ leader and his right hand ogrun in a spectacular and brutal fashion, and the danger (combined with the blood and brain fluid) sent Darrick into catatonic shock. This was only exceasserbated by finding the package missing after the fight, it having been moved by Bryce.

Nevertheless, the party was able to persuade Darrick that the plan still had merit – the crate had, after all, now been stolen for real – and shepherded him to his offices on Captain’s Island, where he presented them with their cut of the proceeds; 1,000 crowns.

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