Spine of the Dragon: Session 14 — “Foul Sorceries”

corona

SESSION 14
“FOUL SORCERIES”

DRAGONS

2-3 Ostara

The Bordermen, standing over the corpses of Thornskull assassins, faced off against their prey: a mysterious archer, a beautiful woman (in a noblewoman’s attire), and an unknown merchant (with delusions of grandeur) holding Duke Uthric Hawkmoor hostage.

Duke Uthric HawkmoorAs the Bordermen pressed their intent, the merchant sent the woman scurrying away. Our heroes moved into position, dropping the merchant as the archer laid down covering fire and escaped deeper into the sewers, dragging the Duke with him.

A robed figure appeared from those same depths and seemingly raised up the merchant from the grave, but the Bordermen fell upon them swiftly, assuring both were well and truly dead. Giving chase, they marked the Duke far ahead as Fisher Men-at-Arms joined the fray and more combat ensued as the Duke was drug even further from their grasp.

paavo

Fighting their way into a secreted hall, the true masterminds behind the Duke’s kidnapping was revealed to the Bordermen. They finished off the archer, two House Paice Men-at-Arms, and one from Fisher, then set their sights on these mysterious figures. Their pursuit was hampered by a menacing, but lumbering assailant, seemingly resistant to all attacks. The fiend snatched up Arthur, but he was able to fight free and press forward.

Another hindrance slowed their pursuit, as twin glyphs left at the entrance and exit through an escape tunnel sent chilling wind gusts to slow their movements. Pressing on, they found themselves in an underground dock, where prey and captive hoped to make their escape. The awaiting craft, however, only had room for three, and the kidnappers fell on one another, as the merchant’s woman fled across the underground stream and the other woman was killed. This left two nobles, a mage, and their captive.

TogoBut the Bordermen were dogged in their chase to rescue their Duke. They cut down the mage and one of the nobles. The remaining nobleman stabbed the Duke and pushed him aside, hoping to once more slow the Bordermen, but Togo leapt forward and tore out the patrician’s throat.

They quickly came to the Duke’s aid, discovering only a superficial cut. He thanked them for their service and the four of them began collecting evidence and piecing together the intricate plot.

On the surface you had the Thornskull Collective — hired assassins — working under the orders of Inigo Highmoor, a wealthy wine merchant from the Earldom of Stewart who feared the ensuing Civil War would bankrupt him. He believed that by removing the Duke, the war drums would cease and his business pursuits would continue.

But, as the Bordermen were discovering, there were other forces pulling the strings, most likely whispering such treasons into the merchant’s ear.

The two fallen noblemen were foreigners — from the Kalibyrne Province of the Quintorum Empire, but they had bannermen from House Forrest and House Whitemane in their employ.

chaos

The mage was Mortainne by birth, but his religious accoutrements marked him as a cultist from the Caves of Chaos in the Borderlands. And his lumbering flesh golem? The Duke recognized him as young Paavo Ljunberg, one of four brothers who had set out for the Borderlands to seek fortune and glory a few months earlier.

But also among the mage’s belongings was one of the mysterious moonstones, strongly pursued by the Thornskull Collective. Two had been in the possession of Sir Galen Stewart, “liberated” from the legendary Lair of the White Wyrm, Vyrmagoth. Now, with a third of twelve, the legend of them being the key to unlocking the mystery of the fabled Reliquary of Crowhaven was beginning to plant the seeds of an epic quest in the minds of the Bordermen, but first, the Civil War remained a more present and grim reality.

Returning to the surface, the Bordermen joined Duke Uthric in a nearby inn for a much needed respite.

to be continued

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