Savric, Bodi, Vaki, Gleipnir, Reygar, Fisher
41st Penth – Calsar 4th
Again we set out to the fort at which we last met a sorry loss. This time we had slightly less gearand looked a little less conspicuous but only a little. For we still had with us two goliaths a minotoar and a ballista on a wagon. Not that it mattered as when we arrived in Sarek hail like I've never seen was falling from the sky. You'd have to be hardy or stupid to travel in such conditions for the force of it could kill a weaker man and that's on top of the fact that you could barely see what was in front of us.
Considering the companions we had with us we thought we'd take a gamble and push on in the storm, Fisher thought it would last about a day so if we could make quick progress to the fort we could use it as cover for our attack. They would not see nor hear our attack through the cacophony.
It was tough venturing through it and we got well and truly pummelled having to rely on Gleipnirs healing but thankfully our plan seemed to be working and we were able to wheel our ballista right up the gates without being seen or heard. We tried to take the ballista through but after a little fumbling with it decided it was best to leave it outside and make good for escape if things went bad.
We scouted out the doors on the buildings which took some time as it may as well have been dark with the hail blotting out the sky. As Gleipnir and Reygar and me approached one door, whilst Vaki and Bodi moved to the back of the building we must have given ourselves away. For the door swung open and two warriors peered out into the storm, weapons in hand. Into the fight we dove, Gleipnir reigning down blows upon them, I was able to let loose some arrows but to little effect.
A couple of warriors ran for the other door to get help but were flattened as Vaki flung the door open toppling one to the floor. Into the hut we pushed, as I continued to let loose arrows at melee range, close enough to see the determination in their faces and even hear them sing, even knowing their death was imminent. Within under a minute the house was clear and we made our way to the next.
We moved again to the next house and Vaki again threw the door from it's hinges as I fired a volley of arrows into another warrior waiting within. At this time we must have roused the rest of the camp, for from behind us a man with what looked like smouldering coals as eyes came towards us arm outstretched. He summoned forth magic as he strode at us and a great fire ball engulfed us, most of us managed to cover ourselves to avoid some of the burning but Fisher caught the full flame and was wounded. Gleipnir and Reygar rounded on the wizard and swiftly ended him and the tracker that was behind him loosed an arrow then dissapeared into the storm.
With the second hut all finished we moved North through the camp, noticing what seemed to be flashes of lightning dully illuminating through the hail accompanied by great rolls of thunder. We pushd for the next hut dissoriented a little and flanked by archers in the storm, the fight became confusing. I found myself turning to our rear, engaging some warriors and archers approaching our flank, Vaki and Gleipnir at my side. We became split from the others.
The warriors tried to put up resistance but had no chance with the might of Vaki and her terrifying strength. As we approached where the statue and shrine were, we could see the great statue moving, swinging its longsword and battleaxe and striding from the stone ring. I loosed an arrow which pinged off of it.
The figure turned to us and said that we are not foe and then stomped off into the storm.
We turned North again to regroup and assist our friends, I caught a couple of arrows in the side as we moved across the paddocks between the huts and I nearly lost sight of Vaki and Gliepnir. I headed towards what looked like the glow of fire in darkness, when I caught sight of them again. Loosing another arrow as I came towards them, felling an off guard warrior on the fence.
The next seconds of battle seemed a blur for I caught more than one arrow, taking me to an inch of my life. Looking around I could see Brian was down and unmoving and a wall of flame rose up to my left. We again had enemies closing in on us flanking me, which between us we felled where they stood. Feeling another blow would fell me, I took cover with Fisher, whilst taking pot shots at our assailants. Gleipnir soon rejoined us, having revived Brian and carrying a badly burnt Reygar, with charred skin though still just alive. He was somewhat monstrous to behold. In the distance we could hear other fighting, though all our party now seemed regrouped once more.
Soon the sounds of battle had died down and we could just hear the crashing of the hail stones around us. Gleipnir had gone off to investigate and soon came back and led us to a building to the West. We entered and the great stone statue stood in front of us, surrounded by dead, including what looked to be the leader of the fort.
He asked where the fourth chosen of bloodaxe was and Bodi and I looked confused, for there was Vaki, Bodi and myself but those others that had chosen to take the path such as Olgar had perished, he said there must be a fourth.
He none the less thanked us for waking him, so he could once more defend Varanor's shrine like it was intended. I interjected to say that the bloodaxe had sent us, to retrieve the quiver from the shrine.
He just said “Karrforged” and stormed out of the door towards the shrine, showing us the quiver upon the bowman's back. I climbed upon the rock and took the quiver, it looked dark like obsisian, not dissimilar to the axe of the bloodaxe itself, with similar arrows tipped and fletched in red, with lines of silvery red streaking upon the shafts. They looked beautiful to behold.
I climbed back down and thanked him and he again thanked us for awakening him, it must have been the blood and battle that did so. The men here had been draining upon him and he had only nearly woken once before but only enough to see what was happening.
Gleipnir had previously informed us that Varanor was an ancient name for Vondal. He had many questions for the warsculpted, for he was ancient and could enlighten us more. He told us he was sculpted in the time of Varanor, thousands of years past, even before the times of Remaron, Intina and Tamos. He told us he was made in Varkoran, Varanor's city and he was one of 999 warsculpted. Part of an army called the one thousand, who among them stood Kaz known as The storm of blades carrying a battle axe and longsword and Firr who we now know as the Blood axe. He also told us this army of warsculpted had mortals that then served them, a lesser part of Varanors army. These mortals were named Kaerls, though some of them in ritual proof of combat, after felling nine foes were able to exhort themselves to Einherjar, who would serve as honoured retinues of the warsculpted.
We asked him if we could gather the bodies and start a ritual fire but he forbade us and told us to leave his body garden, it would deter others from coming back though he did not truly wish to leave them in this way. We would stop back again and keep a close eye on Keiran this bandit king, he is an enemy of the bloodaxe and must be dealt with at some time.
The next day we gathered our things and left to visit bloodaxes thane, in a storm we happened upon a place Bodi had once been before. He told us that a member of their party had collapsed the cave two years ago and he sort of owed but didn't really to excavate it. I chose not to ask any more questions and our party seemed the sort to be able to carry out such work quickly, so we excavated it and moved on.
We again stopped at the dark stone door that we stumbled on before, the one we had linked to Hess. Gleipner confirmed it carved with glarnic inscriptions, from them he could tell the door was some kind of prison door and that it held something. We chose not to touch it and carried on for the thane of bloodaxe.
When we spoke with bloodaxe he appraised us knowingly and nodded at the karrforged arrows upon my back. “Did he awaken?” was all he said, I replied that he had despite us having no prior knowledge of what we were to have expected. He seemed pleased with us, though he is not an easy one to read. We mentioned the warforged or Varkaron had asked where the fourth chosen was. We also mentioned we had a candidate that had assisted us, who was strong though currently in bad shape. We brought forward Reygar to within his hall, his skin still charred and peeling. Bloodaxe eyed him and said he would need to prove himself and asked for us to suggest an appropriate challenge. We settled that Reygar should accompany Gleipnir to find Korsh, the stern mother in the halls of Karindoor. No easy task.