Savages

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke Comment

After leaving Caldeum, the Dawn Treaders part ways with Gachev, Altorin, and the Iron Wolves in Lut Gholein. The heroes then sail aboard the Entropy Tide to Kingsport. Here they are intercepted by Big Red the Bard, who informs them that during their travel, Altorin has been called to a town called Stulpe. The lord of the town has heard of the groups feats from Altorin and has sent the bard to request an audience with them. They oblige and follow Big Red to Stulpe.

The Army Appears

Upon arrival the party meets with the ruler of the town, Lord Herre. He informs the group that savage humanoids in the surrounding mountains are aggregating in unusually large numbers. His fears they were gathering an army were actualized when the hordes started converging on Stulpe. After some pressing by the group, he reveals that the army may be seeking a sacred treasure protected by the city. The city had previously been protected by Corros and since his death the wards had not been renewed. Lord Herre asks the Dawn Treaders to help protect the city from the advancing army. No sooner do they agree than a scout appears, out of breath. He informs the lord that the army has arrived, and several days sooner than planned. Altorin rushes to action, calling his Iron Wolves to the North Gate. The Dawn Treaders decide to help seal the south gate first.

The South Gate

The south gate is beseiged by an army of goblins led by a hill goblin warlord and hobgoblins led by an Imperator. When they arrive at the gate, several goblins have already entered. Cas has some difficulty with the Hill Goblin Alchemist’s potions, but the war shamans are easily dispatched by Alodel. Digoria runs through the gate and unleashes an Ice Storm upon the horde, killing or maiming several goblins and a few hobgoblins in the process. As they converge on her, she dashes back through the gate just as Cas regains his composure and Alodel finishes off the Alchemist. The group annihilates the pursuers and a group of hobgoblin warriors that appeared as reinforcements. Their momentum continues as they slay a group of sneaky forest goblins here were attempting a surprise attack on the group while their allies set traps at the gate.Our heroes finally pushed back the assault after a victory over a Hobgoblin Devastator protected by pair of Hobgoblin Centurions. The gate slams shut and the goblinoids withdrawal, leaving the party free to move to defend the west gate.

The West Gate

They arrive at the west gate to find it nearly besieged by the invading armies. The foes are bigger here, comprised of bugbears led by Bugbear Headman and gnolls lead by a Flind. The group gets immediately to work, quickly dispatching a Bugbear Assassin that tries to sneak up on them. A contingent of Plains Gnoll Spearmen fall next. Digoria wreaks havoc with another ice storm, taking out a group of plains and gutter gnolls. Meanwhile, Cas and Alodel handle a group of Bubgear Ambushes and Hunters. The bugbears begin to loose heart, but the gnolls are in revel as their strongest members cut a swath through the militia. A trio of specialized gnoll devouts called Fangs of Yeenoghu emerges to square off with our heroes. However, this was merely a distraction to allow the gnolls most powerful duo, a Plains Gnoll Clanmother and a Flind, to demolish the west gate’s resistance. Luckily the Dawn Treaders defeat the Fangs in haste and head off the gnoll leaders, defeating them and allowing the West Gate to be sealed. They then rush to the aid of the Iron Wolves at the North Gate.

The North Gate

Awe strikes our heroes when they see the army amassed at the North Gate. Masses of orcs and trolls are led by a Tanarukk to the west and giants and ogres led by an Ogre Collector to the east. They marvel that the gate has held this long. Luckily, the battle-seasoned Iron Wolves have held their own under Altorin’s legendary leadership, but they are worn and too engaged in combat to help the Dawn Treaders. With muscles exhausted and bleeding, and minds afire with repeated bursts of magical energy, the group charges in to face the impossible odds.Their swings gain a second wind after obliterating a trio of ogres and follow up on their streak to bring down a mad hill giant known as a Mouth of Grolantor. A Blade of Ilneval and his Orc Captain guards try to charge our heroes next. Fortunately their tactics are impeccable and they repel the assault. Trouble strikes when a Frost Troll and Swamp Troll become the next immediate threats. Though potent weapons, Digoria’s ice magic and Cas’s devastating swing cannot cull these monsters permanently. Alodel discovers his Fire Bolts seem to stop the monsters regeneration and is able to keep them down. The Wolves and the Dawn Treaders converge against the leaders of both armies. The Wolves gang up on a trio of Orogs and an Orc Berserker while Altorin defeats the Tanarukk. Our heroes challenge the Ogre Collector, an Ogre the size of the Giants. It is by far the biggest, nastiest, man-eatingnest ogre any of them have ever seen. It swings a giant stone pillar like a greatclub with devastating force. After several close encounters with death by stone pillar, the group manages to bring the monstrosity down and at last, the final gate seals. The town is safe, for now.

Resolution

The battle-weary group returns to the hall of Lord Herre with Altorin to give news of the victory and claim their reward. The group presses for the ruler for everything he knows about the army, its leaders, and their objective. He is withdrawn as before, until a convincing speech by Alodel encourages him to open up. He explains that a coalition of giants may be to blame and that the only one of their leaders he knows of is a hill giant that runs a Steading in the nearby foothills. He explains that he knows not the treasure of the town is, only that his bloodline as well as Corros’s has been sworn to protect it. Entities far more powerful than mortals may be seeking it and Lord Herre fears for his life if he digs deeper into the identity and history of the treasure. He suggests researching in Corros’s library to discover its secrets, but to do so at their own risk. The heroes remain a few days to help the town return to its feet before departing with mounds of reward treasure.

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