Iron Kingdoms Redux

The Longest Night (Acts I and II)
A young girl's plot for vengeance is uncovered
Acts; The First & The Second

(Voice of Father Samud) The last week has been a veritable nightmare! It started with these reports of grave robberies – what foul act! I had Snoddy keep a list of names and places as reported by my congregation, I tried to keep the stories from reaching the children, I tried not to look at the list.

Three nights ago, Gunner Wadock arrived with a small group of able hands, numbering 4. Fortuitously I was able to enlist them to help me investigate the grave robbery business, handy since the watch wouldn’t take it seriously, and I felt unable. They proved very capable; quickly coming back to me with evidence that the whole thing is be related to the transgressions of my troubled sister-in-law, Lexaria Ciannor, almost a decade ago.

The news was heartbreaking – I denied that I knew, the truth – maybe deep down I suspected… but now it was only important to keep Alexia from learning what’s been going on. She has seemed distant as of late, and now I can’t ever find her when I seek her out.

The adventuring band that I’ve taken into the church continues to pull back the veil on what seems a terrible dark secret that refuses to stay hidden.

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The Longest Night (Act III)
The Disappearance of Julian Helstrom
Act III; Part the First

(Voice of Julian Helstrom, Caption of the Watch, North-station, Corvis) I write these words on the back of a false confession in a cell of the secret police. I will not sign their confession – instead I shall recount the activity as of late, and hope that some sane judge that is not part of our civic conspiracy will hear me out.

Two afternoons past, as I visited the grave of my dear wife, I chanced across a small group of variably skilled freelances working for the good prelate of the Church of Morrow, Father Pandor Samud. I was able to determine that they were following up on leads I had specifically been instructed to ignore. I put a watch citizen on them immediately.

Through them, I was able to uncover a potential threat – a young witch bent on destruction of the city for some unknown purpose. Their group was a mixed bunch… but extremely effective, and I asked them to continue to follow leads. Separately I had learned that there was activity of a foul sort afoot at Fort Rhyker. I located the group last thing in the evening, and by morning they had set out to assess any possible threat to the city.

When they returned, it was with ghastly tales of an undead army preparing to march into the city! Who is responsible for this? A girl, a pretty slip of a thing, named Alexia… some niece of the prelate’s no less! And why were my sincere efforts to thwart such an attack on the city being met with such resistance? Why had preparations for the Festival of the Longest Night proceeded without caution? With this knowledge of a credible threat, and the identity of the girl responsible known, it was time to demand action from the mayor.

And lo, what a terrible mistake was the decision to enter the halls of government and make our case. Present in those halls was the vazir to the mayor, a dangerous man I had previously avoided. Our story fell deaf upon the ears of all present, and that vazir called for us to be seized. SEIZED! In the halls of the city I had sworn to protect with my life!

There was little could be done. Two of that able bodied group who accompanied me to the city chambers were taken away to be locked away, while I have been dragged to this foul place with a hood over my head. I know where this place is, this is the barracks of the vazir’s secret police, a secretive organizations who’s true purpose I am beginning to learn.

But, what is that sound I hear outside now!? How terrible is the nightmare that threatens our city? Is it finally upon us?

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The Longest Night (Act III)
Chaos in the streets of Corvis
Act III; Part the Second

(Voice of a reveler) Oyi! What the blimey hell is goin’ on? A bit of drinkin and dink and dunkin goin on and now a riot! Bloody hell all over the streets, streets and canals, canals and people meets undead all along the waterfronts.

To the Church! A safer place none can be found, Father Samud as the power o-the-holy in ‘em he has, and will save us. Across the last bloody covered bridge and a bang sets the stone of it into the water.

(Voice of Tracy, a ward of the Church) The festival started t’nite and i’z expecting people to be silly and dressin up weird, but from my windows I can see more than just that! Looks like those terrible tales of the dark times that the Father is always preaching about out there…

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The Longest Night (Act III)
The final battle at the Church of Morrow

(DM Narrative) ...

Hundreds of undead beset Corvis and stormed through the streets and canals trying to reach the Church of Morrow. Great seals, in place for years were sundered under the fire of arcane cannon shot. Through the longest nights sky, Alexia and her most powerful undead companions streaked toward their goal: the resting place of Lexaria Ciannor.

Once the first volley of shots had crumbled the decade old seal of Lexaria’s crypt, Alexia dove into the rubble to claim her prize. To her surprise, not only was Lexaria there, but so too was the weapon used to slay her a decade ago. When Alexia gripped the hilt, it had a strange and exhilarating vibration to it that she immediately recognized as eldritch and dangerous.

But what was this? Was this truly what she wanted? Hadn’t the city suffered enough? Yes, yes it had, and having her revenge was not as sweet as she thought – the sword almost caused her pain as she considered abandoning her goal. The sensation was suddenly driven to the back of her mind by an arcane lightning blast of considerable force. Her mind flashed back to the present and all thoughts of gentle acquiescence disappeared – who DARED to strike her while she contemplated her victory? A foul wizard!

The shadowy figure stood opposite her and spoke: “give me the sword witch, take your mother and leave this place.” Ah, the sword… yes, Alexia knew now that it was important, but why? Her hands pulsed with power she had not previously known and when she lashed out at the wizard her hordes of undead responded immediately as if they were directly controlled by her every thought. As the wizard fought off the clawing creatures, he caught a glimpse of Dobber approaching. He called to the gobber: “do not let her escape with the sword! She will go to the Temple of Cyriss!” Through his shouts, the fight raged on variously, and the throng easily overpowered the him. Behind him Alexia could see other interlopers entering the fray, an insipid Elf cleric she recognized and some Dwarf woman.

She must escape, and there was no way she planned to turn this sword over to some wizard and his mercenaries. As the undead continued to claw at the Wizard, he suddenly vanished in a small plume of soot and ash; while his mercenaries, particularly one Gobber Artificer, harassed her further. “Stop,” she called out, “and I shall end this nightmare that has beset Corvis!” With a wave of her hand most of the horde fell to pieces, and Alexia called her remaining Shadow-Witch to her side and fled the scene just as she had come through the darkest night.

Fires continued to burn in areas of the city, but the undead army was no more. The few remaining creatures that Alexia did not dismiss were easily put down by the remaining guards and unlucky adventurers who happened to be in town to celebrate. Thankfully, casualties had been fairly light due to some clever thinking to destroy some of the horde outside the city gates. Thankfully the Mayor survived, and it would be up to him to get the situation in the city righted quickly.

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Below the Church of Morrow
Ghosts of the ancient church are appeased

(from the mind of the ghosts)

For so long we have waited in darkness, forlorn and robbed of what is truly ours. Thieves and plunderers took that once brilliant beacon of light from the hand of Morrow. Now we dwell in this pitch black place and wait for a chance to take revenge!

If we can put the beacon back in it’s rightful place, there are many other items less valuable that should be taken back to the world so the light of Morrow can shine across the lands. A terrible time of darkness is dangerously close to being realized and Morrow’s light is needed now more than ever…

DM’s Narrative

Dobber, Devis and Castas head to the docks to negotiate passage on a ship.

Squints Travel Estimates:
  • 2 days to the delta, maxing out the Fortune
  • would like to spend 3 days to get up
  • bring 30 GP of trade for the Gatormen
  • the Fortune will cost 2GP per day, plus fuel costs (a base of 20 GP)
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Misgivings
Fear of my own good nature.

(from the mind of Ariana as she awaits the return of her companions from the docks)

I don’t know what I expected to happen since joining these beings. Being a mixed lot it is hard at times to tell who believes what and who I can trust. Overall, everyone seems to want to do what appears to be “the right thing”. This heartens and concerns me.

To be among those few in this time that truly believe they should protect others above themselves is an honor and a joy that I did not expect to find so far from Ios. To see beings of other races willing to risk their lives for a human city has changed my initial impressions of a few of them. Also the skill and grace in which they have handles these incredible situations has humbled me greatly, though I dare not appear so in their presence. Even the half-elf has impressed me, despite how I feel about every being of that particular disgusting breed.

I worry because with the desire to do good, comes the raised chance of distraction. Those who wish to help others may wish to do too many things that do not take me towards my goal. I do not know the haste that my task requires but I do know that every foe we vanquish takes from me and my people a vital sliver of time. Time we may not have. The fate of my entire race may depend on me keeping this group of ‘saviors’ on the path forward.

What worries me the most is that I find myself believing in the value of these distractions at times. Mostly because of the trust and respect I have developed for this rather odd group of fools, fiends and friends. I pray to my living gods that I have made the right choice by staying with them.

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The Preparations

(The internal monologue of Castas Korr)

The city seems quieter now, even though it should be reveling in the Festival of the Longest Night; the trauma of an attack killed the merriment for the moment. The citizens of Corvis however are a resilient people; and I expect them to be in full party swing by the evening bells.

We’ve secured passage for ourselves on the boat the Fortune captained by a man named Squint. He will stay in the city for a day more, on our behest. Our plan is as such to go and try to find something to barter the Gatormen with. Hopefully our friend Julian Helstrom will have recovered some arms from the attack.

Now on towards a days’ journey to the ‘Black Tree’ a supposedly haunted tree that is a danger to all. We hope we can shed some light on this mystery.

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Fireblade Lt's Camp
I Hold A Barrel of Wine to my Face...

The group journeyed north to find an attack camp of the fireblade assassins.

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Into the Bayou
Up The Bayou With Just A Steamship

The Swampie Village

A dreaded swamp shambler and several grave diggers attacked the swampie village, setting two buildings ablaze – but why those two buildings?. After a deadly combat with the monsterous creature and the zombies, Vistra and Kastas helped the village while Devis douche-nozzled it out (along with Arianna) on the steam ship.

With the fires put out, Vistra and Kastas got some well deserved sleep and by mid-morning the party was heading off deeper into the delta.

Steaming Further…

With day 2 drawing to a close, the good ship Fortune came across a felled tree that blocked a 40’ wide bayou passage leading to more open waters. Swamp Gobbers laid the wood to block the path in hopes to catch some prey given that they had seen a ship come by previously.

As Devis and Castas put in action their plan to wrap rope around the tree and pull it out of the way using the steam engines on the Fortune, the Gobbers let loose their crossbow ambush. Minor wounds were sustained, but the ship was able to navigate past the block and back into deeper free waters.

“It’s deeper here, and we’re a good distance from any shoreline,” Squint declared. “I say we stop here and wait till dawn to make the final leg.” As the chain dropped over the side, the group arranged watches. “I hope your eyes are good, so we can keep anything from comin’ aboard while we sleep.”

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