May 26, 2013
Old Friends, Unfamiliar Places
|Devil's Elbow at night|
The crew heads back from the ruined lighthouse on the western tip of the island after finding nothing interesting. The hike back was much more strenuous and difficult because of darkness falling before they got back. Several members of the group were able to see in the dark, but all the Humans were hampered by lack of daylight. Eventually they made it back to camp. The camp was as they had left it, though there were many booted tracks all around the place, as if a group of people had been there and at least examined the outer edge of the campsite. None of the tracks went into the mystic mist that Snargash had used to protect the camp.
The camp was large, though not many men were visible around the the place. Erix led them to a large tent at the far end of the camp and led them inside. There standing in the middle of the room, looking over a map of the island was their old nemesis Clegg Zincher. Just as surprised to see them as they him, he stands and greets them and then offers them a job hunting the strange creatures that are present on the island.
|The Drow are REAL!|
The next morning, the Crew decides it is time to head off to check out the campsite that Aethel had scouted out. Paal had refilled all the water and Snargash had healed Harik up to full health. As they prepared to leave, Bodi decides that it is time to share with their companions the true purpose for the Crew being on the island. He tells them that Drow are real and that they have tracked them to this island and that is what they are looking for. Samaritha and Paal take the news ok, though Harik seems considerably worried about this.
The group sets off to explore the camp, leaving Samaritha and Harik behind to watch over the camp. The hike up to Witchlight is difficult, but everyone makes it ok. They decide to forego lunch and a rest and head off down toward the camp, planning on stopping and resting a mile or so out.
Before they can stop for a rest though, Snargash and Aethel both spot folks hiding up ahead, behind a large rock. Paal and Bodi both sneak out through the woods to try to get a better vantage point while Aethel, in body of air form, flies up and over to approach from behind. As everyone is getting into position, Aragon calls out, "Hello! We saw you there behind the rock! Hello!" The men, four of them, come out with bows. They star talking, not being threatening at all, then one of them spots Bodi and calls to him to come out. Bodi tries to get smart, then stands up and the conversation continues. A large shirtless man appears on the path behind Aragon, Snargash and Guy. He introduces himself as Akron Erix and seems fairly friendly, though he carries with him a huge maul tossed easily across his shoulder.
The two groups parlay and eventually come to the agreement that Erix will lead them to his camp and introduce them to his boss under the pretenses that they will purchase supplies from the camp. Erix indicates that he knows that an Elf and a Northman are somewhere in the nearby forest watching them, but does not seem too concerned. When they arrived at the large camp, Erix then asked them if they would be willing to surrender their weapons. The request was met with an very definite no. He merely shrugged and asked that their weapons be kept sheathed while in the camp.
Continuing Story Summary
After the surprise introduction to none other than Clegg Zincher, the Crew’s former rival, if not enemy, Zincher gets down to business. Since the Crew wants to buy supplies from him, he offers them a job working for him, in exchange. He says he has supplies, but isn’t interested in cash for them. He wants Noqual and some of those strange tentacled beasts captured live to take back and fight in the arena.
He takes a sip of his drink and looks to see if anyone else is drinking, then tips his glass to them. He drops down into one of the four comfortable chairs in the middle of the area.
Finally taking a moment to look around, the Crew sees that Zincher likes to travel in style. His tent is easily 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide and 30 feet long, larger than some buildings in Riddleport! It is a bizarre place of opulence despite its isolation, the inside of this pavilion is divided by a curtain that runs from roof to floor. In the open front half, a massive, iron-banded wooden trunk rests along the north wall while a row of boxes lines the south wall. Four heavily cushioned leather chairs sit in the middle of the open space in pairs. A tall, wrought-iron candelabra stands in the center of the area, its twelve evenly spaced candles burning merrily and giving off a mixture of pleasant aromas.
Zincher goes on to explain to you that he will pay you 500 gold for each one of the live creatures you can catch for him. He will also pay you 60 gold per pound of skymetal, which he says is considerably more than the Gas Forges will pay. He also invites you to come stay in the camp if you like, though he will require you to pitch in with some of the work around the place, including guard duty and what not.
Bodi sits down and joins Zincher for the drink. He knows that if he doesn’t comply he will be offending their new host and if they were going to come out of this with any sort of deal, they were going to have to play nice.
“Okay Clegg......we are definitely here for a means to make some coin, and I think I speak for most of us by saying that it would benefit both of our groups to work together. Especially with the oddball creatures abound here, safety in numbers for sure. Clegg, we don’t expect you to totally trust us, because we won’t totally trust you either, but I know my word is good and we’re going to hold you to your word. Sounds like a viable deal. But, as with the others who tried to screw us over before, one way or another, we would find a way to get back at you if you tried to pull one over on us. Its bad enough you want us to capture one of these creatures for you, so maybe you’re figuring if we fail, you are rid of us, and if we succeed, well then maybe we have more worth and could prove useful to you in future plans.”
Bodi takes a draught from his glass in front of him and continues, “We’ are going to need food, water, supplies, and also a means of trying to store or capture the creature. If you don’t have a cage or the means to build one, than we need to find a way to either construct one or improvise a means to contain said beast.”
Bodi continues to drink and looks to his companions to see what they have to say.
Zincher nods as Bodi speaks. “Fair enough, fair enough. I may not like the lot of you, I may have sent swords against you in the past, but like I said, I’m a businessman, and anyway, it was NEVER personal toward you. I had a problem with Saul. I suppose it’s not really your fault he hoodwinked you. I’ll give it to him, he could talk his way out of a rabid Ghoul’s nest! Food and water is easy. Cages, well, I’ve got several of them already made up. How many are there in your group? I know there’s more of you than is here now, my scouts have kept tabs on you for a few days, since you knocked that tower down the cliff anyway. Some of them Cyphermages with ya? But anyway, yer all welcome to hike it up here and stay in our camp. I can send some of my boys to help you carry your gear up. Might be able to get it all up here by nightfall. You have any run-ins with them zombie things? What’s your take on them?”
Aragon also takes a drink and sits down. He listens to the negotiations and discussions. At the talk of the zombies, he perks up. “They go down if you hit them hard enough, we know that. Something weird about their tongues, too, if I recall.
“As for the lion-things, have you noticed their reaction to water? They attacked us down near the surf, and it seemed to destroy them in short order.” He turns to Bodi, “We may be able to use that as a way to trap them, since that is becoming a lucrative avenue.”
Bodi looks over to his friend, “Yeah, actually you have a point.....I have a plan for that...with some of our clever work, we could create some of those dead-fall pit traps, and using that flying trick again with water, maybe herd some of them over and drop them into the pits. Then a matter of some apportation or levitation work to plant them inside the cages.”
Bodi then frowns for a moment. “Hmm, that’s all well and good, but how the hell are we going to get them back?”
Cleeg nods absently at Bodi’s suggestions, “Yea, just gotta catch the critters. As for getting them off the island, I’ve got that taken care of. My ships will be back soon enough. I’d like to get working on this as soon as possible, say first thing tomorrow morning?” He leans back over and studies the map of the island. “So we have a deal? I can send some of my people to help you all get your gear and the rest of your crew up here to our camp. I think it’s getting dangerous out there. We’ve spotted several handfuls of those zombies in the area, no need to tangle with them if we don’t have to, right?” Zincher then motions to the large shirtless man. “My man, Erix there, will help you transport your stuff.” If there are no further questions, Zincher excuses himself and steps into the partitioned off back half of the tent.
Aragon nods and turns. “I’ll go and help get our gear. Snargash, Bodi, you coming?”
Akron Erix and a few of Zinchers other men go to help retrieve the supplies and gear from the base camp near the docks. Erix leads the way and shows the Crew a shorter route that does not require climbing up to the top of the island. “It’s a lot easier if we go this way, though we gotta watch out for those creatures. They seem to shy away from this path though, it leads much closer to the shoreline in many places.” Erix continues to be quite friendly and talkative, trying to chat everyone up in the group, though Zincher’s other men seem a bit more standoffish and quiet, more concerned with getting where they are going and doing what they are told than socializing.
Aragon watches the big fighter. Muscular, mostly melee, the reach on that maul the same as Zenith and Nadir, he would be a decent opponent. “So, Erix, I don’t think I saw you around the arena. Are you new to Zincher’s employ?”
“Ehh, yea, I haven’t done much in the Arena recently. I’m here and there, you know, move around some. When I’m in Riddleport, Zincher and I can usually come to some sort of agreement. I stay out of the arena, though, cause it just don’t really seem fair, you know. Not challenging enough,” he smiles wryly at Aragon. “I remember you though. Made a good showing in your first few rounds. Not bad. Keep it up, you might just yet best that lot of grog blossoms.” He laughs and produces another of his cigars, lights it and begins to take large puffs.
Aragon shrugs. “I’ve been getting enough of a workout just hanging with these guys. Anything that takes me further down the Steps.” He looks at Erix. “Have you encountered any foes besides the blue lions and tongue zombies? We had a small scrap with a manticore...”
|Inside Zincher's tent.|
Cast of Characters:Aethelarian "Aethel" Flitterseed (260 points) - Noble Elf wizard played by +Daniel White
Aragon Whisperwind (265 points) - Elven Bladedancer played by +Arne Jamtgaard
Bodil "Bodi" Jantzen (258 points) - suave and smooth swordsman played by +Mike Biancone
Guy Greystone (254 points) - Gnome telekinetic played by +Gren Drake
and +Jason Woollard as the DM