Crag Mountain

Bad Company

Wherein the characters learn the constraints of Crag society and the corruption therein

Celebration

WHG were invited to Port Cormaa to join in on celebrations with Spud. It seemed that, with Randalls help, Cracker an artificer had managed to bond replacement limbs onto Spuds stumps! Everyone was in the mood for a party and entertainment was laid on in the form of a travelling dancing troupe under the supervision of a Madame Byraggan.

Rangrim persuaded one of the dancing girls to wriggle around on Randall, which sent the bashful wizard crimson with embarrassment. This practical joke ensured Randall had the night of his life, something neither he or his book had any recollection of. It also had far reaching implications that would unfold later….

Also at the celebration was Lord Bram Ironfell who requested a private audience with WHG as he had a job for them, intrigued by his request they agreed.

An interview

Suspicious with Ironfells intentions they looked into his recent activity, the clan Ironfell had been in dire financial straights for many years since the loss of the Karak Lode. Ironfell commissioned the WHG in the past to rediscover the lode as there was wraith activity in the area. WHG found the mine though it was ruled by a twisted naga who brooded over a wraith egg. The place was entirely corrupted and was destroyed. Ironfell was back in the black suggesting he’d suddenly found a source of income.

Initially WHG found it difficult to trust Ironfell during the interview, however when they realised that he was asking them to find the whereabouts of his kidnapped son they realised he was to be taken seriously. It seemed that someone was using Borland Ironfell, Bram’s son, to sway and undermine the council of Crag through his distraught father. Young Ironfell wasn’t innocent himself, he had fallen in with the wrong crowd and his indiscretions were becoming unmanageable. The whole situation was at least potentially embarrassing for Ironfell and at worst lethal for the young Ironfell. Bram begged WHG to be discrete.

Ironfell gave WHG the blackmail note, he had been prepared to pay off the blackmailer though when he didn’t turn up to collect the money in a pub deep in heart of the Slags, he was scared for his safety and called in WHG

Tracking Borland

The first thing WHG did was to visit Borlands residence in the bustling markets of the Windtops. They discovered that there had been some sinister visitors prior to Borlands disappearance and the inside of his home showed the wreckage of the encounter. Blood spattered across broken furniture revealed that Borland had not been killed but had been abducted. Amongst the scene they also found hidden away a threatening letter from an agent only known as “S”

They found that Borlands abduction had been witnessed by his neighbour, the nervous Borelli panicked when he saw the tall pale men take away Borland, a feeling of dread took him as he realised what was going on. He snuck into the wreckage and discovered a sinister clue, a black bag containing evidence of grotesque practices of some new dark art known as science. The bag belonged to a [[:Doctor Salt]]; the sinister “S” and a clue to his whereabouts, the pawnbroker Jakeswill.

Upon leaving the house Fargrim was shocked when a bolt struck him in the chest! Everyone was shocked when nobody reacted to it. The crowd were acting in a very mysterious way; caught in a loop of activity repeating phrases and actions over and over. Another volley of bolts left the crowd and the villains were revealed!

Grim wooden constructs stalked the crowd, a twisted parody of scarecrows these Straw Men had a natural aura that effected the weak willed who chose to ignore the aberrance they represented and simply loop their behaviour until they moved away. The crowd unwittingly provided cover for the straw men allowing them to snipe and pick off the party. Eventually WHG turned the tide and the Straw Men evaporated into the crowd who simply recovered and went about their business.

Tracking Salt

With evidence leading to Jakeswill down in the Slags, the seedy pawnbroker was resistant to questioning at first but Durn, impatient to get answers, soon persuaded him otherwise. Finding his shop laden with many illicit goods Jakeswill was probably open to persuasion anyway however Durn took a particularly hard line with him.

Salt was to be found skulking in a squalid tenement in the winding depths of the Slags, unfortunately Borland was not there. It seemed Salt had initially intended to extort money from the Ironfell clan to cover up Borlands excesses. However when Salt realised Borland had become involved with Madame Byraggan and uncovered her the secrets behind her power Salt changed his plans.

Salts lust for power and money were to become his undoing. Byraggan became aware of his plots and sent her dark agents the Straw Men against him. Salt abandoned everything to save his life and fled to ground in the depths of the Slags.

Seeing an opportunity to escape Salt convinced WHG that if they could get him out of Crag and away from the reach of Byraggan he would tell them where Borland was to found. Uncertain of Salt but with little option but to help him they agreed to help

The Flight to Lordsdown

Salts plan was to go to {{Lordsdown}}, a town far away from the reach of the Crag gates. Unfortunately the Straw Men who had been tracking the party since the encounter at Borlands house closed in on Salt and his new found guards. They harried them down through the maze of the Slags until eventually WHG managed to escape comandeering the gem coach bound for Lordsdown.

All was going well until the driver spied a lone horseman in the road, fearing a highwayman the driver stopped and told the heroes in the coach. As soon as the coach slowed the Straw Men rode into action on wooden steeds created by the same dark enchantments as them.

Wave after wave the Straw men and their diabolical steeds assaulted the coach forcing the Hunters to hang out of the windows to return the attack. They cleverly took the wooden horses out but not before the Straw Men leapt on the coaches to close in on Salt.

Rangrim clambered onto the coach roof and wrestled with the atrocities the horseman threw at the occupants of the coach; animated skins flayed off the bodies of Byraggans unfortunate consorts. These skinners had wrapped around the face of the coachman who was slowly suffocating, Rangrim took the controls and averted a lethal coach crash. Unfortunately he found himself alone on the roof of the coach and was killed by the merciless riders.

One by one the heroes fled the slowing coach leaving the mage alone to face the Straw Men, Fargrim even held onto Salt and leapt to safety. The Stonefather looked down with mercy and when faced with three of the fearsome Straw Men the mage managed to survive and the party were victorious.

A bitter parting of ways

Salt was eager to get away and gave Durn some very sketchy information as to where Borland might be, in the grips of Byraggan somewhere in Port Cormaa. Durn allowed Salt to leave though the prospect of allowing this dark practitioner of science to ply his trade left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. WHG then headed back into Crag mourning the loss of Rangrim

Home to roost

The journey to Crag was subdued though the party were intrigued when they were waylaid by Randall leading a troop of guards outside the gates of Crag. Randall informed them they were in violation of several laws and as such were obliged to submit themselves to the guards, uncharacteristically Randall did not have the paperwork to back this up!

Then Snorri smelt a rat when he noticed a pool of fetid liquor collecting at the feet of one of the guards, the smell of rotting flesh had been covered by the stink rising from the river Crag. Randall ordered the guards to attack and loosed a number of fireballs into the centre of the party. Fortunately for Randall the party’s fighter edged around to flank the enemy and saw that Randalls book was busy scribbling, as usual, though instead of form filling the text read “Help I can’t stop this!”

The party subdued Randall and destroyed his “guard” and quickly realised that he had been beguiled. Looking through his book it seemed that on the evening of Spuds celebration when Rangrim had persuaded the dancers to accost Randall, he had been enchanted by Byraggan. Although the details were sketchy Byraggan’s location was discovered.

To be continued….

Next

On Byraggans trail
Stone tile texture   copy

Comments

tls56 tls56

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.