Savage Archanic

Fishing with the Jeddick, or something stinks and that ain't cod.
Cecily

… and back to Fort Whayan we go. Our arrival is uneventful, our first meeting with The Jeddick is scheduled… it doesn’t go too poorly, but Icharus is flaming mad. The Jeddick destroyed the spear he acquired and used to kill the two trulla we encountered on the way back. He claimed it used dark life magic and would drain Icharus dry before too long and with an almost casual act he broke the haft, breaking the magic with a brilliant show of sparks. I was sure Icharus was going to go for his throat, but he settled for a very dark, very quiet fury… which scared me, truth be told, more than an outright attack would have.

Invited back to dine, we left, cleaned up, and returned to be treated to a very good meal eaten in near silence and treated to an invitation to go fishing. Fishing. Which really was simply a cover for getting us out where no one could over hear. It seems that the reasons for our leaving so quickly still exist, as a matter of fact have even gotten a little worse, believe it or not, and The Jeddick is not happy we returned. He is not happy of the news we brought either, but is happy to have the information. He wants us to leave, preferably the kingdom, but leave he wants us to do. He has given us some information on an orcish clan leader that destroyed one of his troops a few years ago in the hopes that we might be able to go there and follow through, exacting a vengeance he cannot do himself.

Taking the hint, and a portion of the fish we actually caught, we beat feet, gathered our things, and left town in a round about way… but… not before Icharus got into a tiff with one of the army officers here. Seems a challenge has been issued and Icharus is due to fight a duel at dawn. Not likely. Niki and I have him good and gone by dawn.

So we are headed south now, back to Hawthorne Town where we can catch the train south to Hullifer. I am not thrilled at the thought of going home so soon, but it seems it cannot be avoided. It looks as if we made a clean get-away. Two days out and we see no evidence of a tail, and no one has caught us up. Perhaps our luck will continue to turn.

I wonder if I will have time to take the steam car out for a short spin before we catch our train. I know I am looking forward to being reunited with my trunk and some clothes that do not stand up on their own once they are no longer occupied.

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More To Do

We’ve been back for a two days and I think someone tried to poison us. Also, as a rule, don’t test anything on stray dogs, they tend to follow you. So, having managed to keep Icarus from starting any fights, or get himself killed, we head back to the Barracks. We were summoned up by one of the Jeddick’s men and asked to join the Jeddick for dinner. It was good food, but a silent affair. Afterwards, we were taken out to his boat and sailing out a bit. I still don’t feel comfortable on a boat. We managed to not capsize and the Jeddick gave us a job. He told us of a clan called, roughly translated, Hellscream. They had raided a Dwarven mine called Stonegate. In order to cut them off, the Mines were collapsed. Bartail and some of his scouts were sent to investigate and the leader of the clan thwarted him, killing three of his men. As a request, bartail has asked us to go see the condition of the Hellscream and perhaps disrupt them a bit. He advises us that we are still not much liked by many of the troops. This information lead to our decision to go quietly that night, as opposed to leaving with a unit of thirty in the morning. This means heading to Hulafir. We even managed to haul in a few pounds of fish in all this.

We may have made it out without much incident, except for Icarus and what I can guess was either a failed prank or a genuinly unusual kindness. Seems Icarus decided to “give the Quartermaster a fish” and was assaulted for it. Having “defended himself” until the guards were called by the Elf. Having split up the fight, I heard words exchanged insinuaing that the Quartermaster was a liar, to which the Elf challenged Icarus to a duel at dawn. Having told Cecily, she proceeded to try to talk reason to the man. Which may have worked to some end. We had left the port, and were shortly joined by our impulsive companion. We did learn that the Quartermaster did indeed recieve his fish, however it was across the face as a rather crude weapon. I must say, the image of that pompus, pointy eared Squiddy definitly made for a hell of a laugh. I think even Ox may have joined in the laughter a bit.

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Gone Fishin...
*GM Update*

Our players were invited on a fishing trip with the Jeddick…who laid out a request for them to travel to Hulafir City and check on some business of his. He also warned them of some troubles regarding them. Then Icharusdoes some fishing of his own with the Ohn Quarters Master…they leave Whayn Port that night for thier trip to Hulafir City.

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Reporting In

We rested at the cave we had found for a bit. The only problem we ran into was a small group of very unhappy tribals came to visit. They weren’t violent, but they were not happy at the intrusion. Apparently we had disturbed something called the Serpent. When asked, we told them point blank we had no idea what they were talking about, but when they asked us to go into the Cave, we moved from their path and allowed them to do whatever their beliefs may have required of them. We slept outside that night, and when I woke the next day, they had gone. According to Icarus they had simply vanished, but one can never tell with him, he’s a crafty one.

We moved out after a short time, avoiding the Trapper things (Hmm, I still can’t remember what the heck they’re called). A short time out from the Port, we encountered something I still have a bit of trouble believing I saw. Trullah. A pair of them with a dog thing (later identified as an venom hound by The Jeddick). We, well Icarus and Cecily at least, took them out. Damn shoulder wound kept me from getting a good aim. Ox, the dog, took out the venom hound rather handily on his own. That’s one dangerous dog.

Reminds me of a small bear Uncle Zudok had managed to tame as a guard to his home and shop out a ways from the town. Think he named if Gilgamesh or some such, though the Spark knows where he got a name like that from. Anyhow, a trio of Orcs had stumbled upon the cabin, thinking it an easy target to attack for food or some such. Uncle had been out in his cave shop working on some project or another and was astonished to find his pet sitting on one, a second laying in a heap by the door about a head too short, and the third up a tree.

So, we finally made it to Port Whayn. Reporting in to the Fort was a bit of a nuisance. We did manage to get both an appointment with the Jeddick that evening and rooms to rest in. The Quarters Master, a Sea Service type was less than thrilled with us being there and even less so with Ox being with us. I’ve never been so happy to get into a bath, though, after all that time in the field. As well as getting to a proper healer to look at my shoulder. Much like last time, the best he could do is advise mt to keep it clean and keep going.

The meeting with the Jeddick was stressed. We explained to him what we had seen, and to say he was stunned would be like saying the Transav Mine shaft is a deep hole. We also learned a bit as well. Turns out the Risto weapons drain the life from their owners. Bartail shattered the spear Icarus had claimed, which left Icarus rather unhappy. When it had been broken, it bled. He explained that their weapons are some strange kind of blend of technology and magic that we have yet to understand. All I know is it’s not natural.

We told him of the Trullah which impressed him. He also was concerned with the Serpent the tribals, which we think were possibly weres. He did mention that not all the were people were the ravening wild men protrayed in the stories.

After a bit more conversation, we were dismissed to do as we pleased.

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a sullen plunge in a sullen swell

How did an arrogant ass like bartail become Jeddic anyway!? He ruined a chance we had to understand risto weaponry before I even got the chance to understand it! It can’t be too hard can it? I mean, I killed two bull truhlla and one of their dog things… the jeddic called it a venom hound, but the one that Ox took down looks more like a dead hound to me. He told me that it would kill me, that it would eventually drain the life from me, that he had see his men killed by them! Well, he also said it took more than eight of his men to kill a single bull truhlla, and I managed to kill two single handedly with my spear. That, may I remind you the jeddic broke!
I guess this travel wasn’t all hard work and disappointment. We had a few moments upon the high ground, and in those few moments the wind was blowing quite heavily. I couldn’t help but smell the sea breeze and be reminded of the life I wanted. The life that was taken from me. Life on the fatal renaissance was always hard work, but never disappointment. We worked hard and drank harder that night. Which I figure is why the morning pains don’t come around as much anymore. I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like if My father had just accepted his loss of the title of captain, and let me command the crew.
Ox has been very warm recently. I don’t mean like affectionate, or emotionally, but he’s been quick to protect, and after he killed the venom hound he seemed… different. his skin is warm to the touch and his breath steams when its not cold. I don’t know what to think, but I think there was something in the blood of that thing…
well, I think we’re gonna take our sword and teeth to the ristopians, they have nicer stuff than the stuffy empire.

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Airships, Frogthings, Ristos and Caves

So, we took the offer to become Scouts. I think that this may have been the better idea. At least for us. Jeddick Bartail seems to have had the better answer for the situation. Though Cecily did manage to upset the coal cart on the way out by reveling the individual that had told us of his involvement with his Sergeant’s death. How that plays out is going to be a very interesting mess. So, provisioned and “uniformed”, we were sent out on the airship Striker to our drop off location. The Captain of the ship, a boorish man who found no love for us as not only were we “bug eaters” but also Technologists on “His” magic airship. What I wouldn’t give for a decently built ship of power. I guess beggers cannot be choosers. I must say, though, flying aboard one is a unique experience. One I will also say I am in no rush to repeat. If The Powers had meant for Dwarves to fly, we wouldn’t have been born in the Earth, by the Spark and Cog.

So, after a few hours aboard the Striker we were dropped near the coast about half way between the Port and Fort EverReach. Miss Cicily’s unfourtunate luck seemed to lead to her twisting her ankle a bit while disembarking. That blasted Captain and his rudeness. I’d have been severely tempred to introduce his head to his hindquarters if I weren’t certain they weren’t firmly planted there already. I’m sure he could have brought his blasted ship in lower, had he not been a complete boor. We started off in our treck toward the Fort a few minutes after Cecily got her ankle under wraps. She is quite a stalwart human when she wishes to be. Perhaps there is dwarven blood in her line somewhere. Ehh, either way.

Late afternoon brought us upon a cart driven by a goblin merchant named “Ro Bear” and his workers. He was certainly happy to see us. We managed a rather decent barter, gathering some spare bolts for my crossbow, though a few had to be scrapped for the heads. But some various valuable bits of furs, metal scraps, and some form of canister that the goblin seemed to indicate has possible explosive potential. Plus some freshish Coneys for dinner that evening. Icarus picked himself up an Obsidian wand of some kind, but I’ve yet to see it function. We also got a bit of warning of possible creatures in the area to be wary of.

The next day’s travel, that warning proved useful. About mid to late morning, we stumbled upon the things he had described. More appropriately, Cecily stumbled uopn one of their traps as I was about to warn her. I suppose it is partly my fault, as I’d gotten her thinking on how to put together a self powered mechanical carrier when she quite literally stepped in it. It being a puddle of waxy goo that had been laid out much like a fisherman lays out a bait line. Three six legged, tailed froglike things hopped from concealment and attacked us by spitting this goo at us. We managed to dispatch the first three and what I would guess were four more of their young in reletively short order. Among the holes we had found a Silver dagger, a sachel filled with goo, and a partly digested goblin. I did a quick sketch of these creatures and their rather intersting hunting techniques. May be worth briefing the Jeddick on when we get back. It also did help us to avout the three or four other fields of these creatures. Never thought I’d say this, but that little goblin helped us. Not too bright, but very nice critter.

The big shock of the day came later, however. We had finally got to within view of the Fort when we noticed a ship of some form beached next to it. After a minute or two of examining this, we saw riders coming toward us. They seemed to be making a charge, for which we prepared as well as possible to meet, but they broke to the right of us as they closed. I could scarce believe my eyes. Risto! They had this shiny black carapace armor and what looked to be rifles with large stocks. When one of them leveled one at us, I fired. The battle was quick, but in the provess, I got shot and clonked on the head by one of their rifle butts. But we managed to deal with them. Stripping them of their gear quickly, but upon trying to remove the armor from one I got a rather disgusting insight into Risto armor. It’s grafted to their skin. When I peeled the breastplate loose, it flaked away and was left seeing his exposed muscles. Gyagh.

Our contemplation of this however was cut short by an approching larger force. I managed to pack up my wounds as well as possible and we made a quick retreat from the scene. Icarus managed to find us an underground cavern to hide in. He covered it and them made to distract them leading them on what I can only assume was a merry chase for a bit until whaterver end it came to. I got an idea of the scale of the cave, being overly curious of where we may have gotten ourselves, but Cecily made a good point of us needing rest, especially me. She is a hardy woman. Very practical.

Icarus did manage to find his way back to us the next day, having managed to fend off the Risto persuit. How, I am unsure, but that man has some skill both at fighting and persuasion, so lord only knows. With the light now, I managed to find a bit more out about our hidey hole. Most of my darkness exploration had managed to get it pretty well mapped out, but I did miss a small side tunnel of sone kind. Also, ther was a plaster covered tunnel that had been hidden behind some rubble, but marked with skulls of possibly goblins. The tunnel lead to a small room with what looked to be a bone alter and a copper plate with a dried brown-red substance in it. Blood would be my guess. We moved out of it, and there was some kind of traplike setup in the tunnel. I saw the switches for one, but the magical one we must have triggered from the paintings on the floor wasn’t avoided. It did nothing to myself that I can tell, and if it had any impact on the others, I’m unsure. Never did trust magics. We’ve decided to rest in the cave for now until we are better able to get out of here. This must be reported back to Jeddick Bartail. Risto in the Savage Lands is important news.

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Skulls in the dark
Cecily

…and a long night it was. But. Nikoli went exploring in the dark and the stones, as dwarves do, and found the lay of the land as it were, and, while he was exploring Icharus returned, removing the blanket and flooding part of the cavern with light, giving Niki enough light to see, and what he saw was skulls at the base of a wall, and a patch that looked to be sealing a hole. All it took was one swipe of his hammer to destroy the plaster work and allow us entry into a low roofed corridor that turned sharply to the right. The floor was painted with sigils and then it turned sharply left. Just beyond that left hand turn it opened into a cavern… in the middle of which stood a table of sorts made of stacked bones. On the table was a beaten copper bowl. Neither I nor Niki, nor Ox liked the look of the place, and I even had to distract Ox from the pile of bones with jerky as I was deathly afraid of disturbing them. With chills running up and down my spine we beat a hasty retreat, but on our way out, one of the markings on the floor shot up in a black, cold sheet giving me even more heebie jeebies and hurting both Ox and Icharus.

Back out in the main chamber the men talk about what they have found, pondering its use and who made it, but all I can think about is how did Icharus escape the Ristos, and how quickly could we get back to Port Whayan to inform Bartail about the occupation of a royal fort. I suppose it is time to step up and insert the voice of reason or the two of them will ponder and hypothesis themselves into going back through and trying experiments to discover who is correct.

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'Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead,

Oy’ what a night… I am constantly reminded why I am still alive. I may be a heartless pirate on the sea’s but apparently in the savage lands I’m nothing more than a bloody self-proclaimed saint who will risk his life to help two injured gear heads who I haven’t even known for more than a moon or two. What the hell is wrong with you Icharus? Were you still on The Fatal Renaissance you would have left them there to die in the desert while you put sand between you and the Risto. I must be getting soft.

I bet you’re wondering what I’m talking about, huh? how we got from the spectral cabin, to being forced into a hole in the ground by Risto forces. Well, The day after we met Ox we ran into several encounters. The first was a rather intriguing creature called a tanglor, Frog-like beasts that hunt with trip wires and burning spit. Well, they waited for us in deep holes, filled with a mucus that I ended up placing my arm into to acquire a few items of little to no value. Well, all but the blue gem that particularly caught my eye. But what do I know about gems? Don’t they come from Hulafir? Maybe I’ll ask nikki about it, later… Maybe.

Anyway, as we progressed through the Litter of hunting grounds for the Flat faced toads, we were once again graced with a view of structural beauty of a fort made of nothing more than brown. But there was something different about this one, there was a boat tied in next to it. This is particularly odd seeing as we are in the middle of the dessert! Well, as we approached we were so kindly greeted by several of their Ristopian inhabitants. What justifies shooting at people who are walking close to a fort for no reason anyway? Well, I really would have no clue. But after inspecting our greeting parties attire and weaponry I can tell, a lot of the stranger stories of the Risto may be true, Armored skin, Magical guns… well we gathered what we wanted from our dispatched friends and promptly began to leg it. I would have been much more satisfied with our first choice in pace, slow and easy going with a horse for me to ride… but when it is apparent you are not wanted any where near the fort you just have to pick up the pace.

I ask again, Icharus, what has gotten into you. Both Cecily and Nikki were injured and would have served as a perfect buffer for you to escape. But no… You had to sacrifice you own safe haven And your New dog so that they could rest up and get away, while you spend the evening running non stop… Damn the divine you’re not walking on those feet for a few days. well, as was expected, the mounted forces caught up to me and were quick to question me. But oh icharus you devilishly-charming sly chap, got out with nothing more than a lead slug in your arse and a magical spear through your hand. Well at least they left right? I guess that would be enough for any other Captain Icharus P. Wylde but not you. Oh no! you had to spend the night retracing your steps to try and find those jammy tossers you call friends! But you didn’t you spent the night alone, with no watch, no protection, just a small fire and booze. What a night. In the morning however I found the blanket I so selflessly sacrificed, and thankfully the two I sacrificed it for, more or less in one piece.

Get a hold of yourself Boy, You just need to get your bearings.

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Fort Ever Reach-ed...
Cecily

Well… in a way. We spent some time examining these toad’s lairs and there were easily a dozen in various sizes living in holes that were connected by sticky “rope” and puddles of sticky wax, almost like a spider web or trip line, Icharus even found some things down in the bottoms of the holes, but, nothing of real interest so we moved on, and now that we knew what we were looking for, we managed to skirt several fields of these nests easily enough. Well, actually, Nicki and Icharus spotted them and steered me clear, which I greatly appreciate. Towards late afternoon we came within sight of the fort. Yet another brown building in the distance, only this one had a boat moored near at it, and mounted out riders that bore down on us with speed. I thought we were going to die, but somehow, we unhorsed them all, killed some, gathered their weapons and made off before reinforcements could arrive. But barely. Both Nicki and I are hurt, Nickoli very badly, there is a lot of blood, I just got pole axed up side the head and had two of everything, along with two very giant sized head aches. Slow, but helping each other we ran, stumbled and crawled, Icharus went ahead looking for someplace to hide since there is no way we can outrun the ten other horseman coming our way, or even the thirty or so we can see on foot… and found a cave of all things. Icharus ushered us into the darkness, then using a blanket covered the hole and camouflaged it… but that has left him outside. Whispers in the dark tell me where Nicki is, and that Icharus plans to draw them off and hide himself, but that leaves me here in the dark with a large drooling dog and a small bleeding dwarf. I think it is going to be a long night.

Did I mention the occupants of the fort are Ristopians?

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What the...
*GM Update*

An exciting couple of days…Following the encounter with the goblin trader, the encounter a ghost shack and gained a one eyed mutt. They encountered a region filled with Tanglor and even had a fight with a small group. Then they came upon what may be Ever Reach, but there was a boat pulled up to it. As they cautiously approached, a small group of horseman began riding down on them. After a telling fight, all of them were slain. They appear to be Ristopian. The armor they were wearing looked like a beetle carapace, but when they died, the shine faded.

While nursing their wounds, another force began to form and they fled. Icarus stashed the wounded folk in a limestone cave, and led them away. He was injured, but turned the force away. Those in the cave waited, being found by Icharus about mid morning. Before leaving, they discovered a hidden passage in this cave, and explored it…

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