Wednesday, May 7, 2014

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #3: In Search of Adventure... and a Name

Octdec, 1132 - Quaseton, Southwest Marakeikos

After the Nubian joined the group, it consisted of. 
  • Mutumbo:  Nubian warrior wandering around strange world where, if the gods weren't crazy, their believers were.   While not the most talented in the party, he obviously demonstrated the most experience, thus his continuing ability to take a pummeling and not complain about it made Zorin give his begrudging respect.
  • Zorin Redrock, Gnome Titan Fighter. Veteran of the Barbarian Wars against the Gnomish City-States, Zorin had retired and has honing his skills for future glory in Markakeikos. Unfortunately, his near bloodthirsty disdain for humans was putting a crimp in his plans.
  • Gwendylyn Lorax, Half-Elf Druid. Even a Druid of the native Rifflani Elves needed a moment or two in the dirty city for supplies and information.
  • Janus Redrock, Gnome Titan Priest of Pangrus. Zorin's cousin.  Looking for brawling and booty (both financial and otherwise), Janus made the killing machine of Zorin even more effective
  • Brother Thomas, Human Monk. It was never ascertained exactly which monastic order Thomas originated from, only that he could indeed kick ass.
  • Esmerelda, a quiet, unassuming human thief, possibly skilled in gold digging, and I'm quite certain she put no BPs into any mining skill.
  • Marek the Mage, some claim this bookish human magic-user acted like a prick when he was drunk, but his true friends knew the truth: unless you dealt with him in the matters of magic, he was a jerk regardless of sobriety.
The party did a bit more traveling, taking up odd caravan jobs up and down the main trade.  Sometimes they encountered some nuisance goblins or rescue the equivalent of a kitten up a tree, but things were relatively calm.    They even managed to make an ill-timed journey up to Frandor's Keep with no success of bigger things.    They did lose Esmerelda to some goblins, or a trap on a treasure chest.  Regardless, they found another thief:
  • Nina, a LOT like Esemerelda, except that she only had eyes for the black man.  And no, for the record, she never went back.
Things finally began to turn around when they cleaned out a troll-kin lair and discovered an old map detailing the construction specs for a stronghold named Quaseton.
Quaseton was the home of two native Traldar adventurers, Zelligor and Roghann.  They had built their massive compound in secret, deep within the woods, to maintain their privacy.   Rumors has pervaded the inns and taverns that the two met a horrible fate and that their home was ripe for the picking, yet every group claiming to travel there for fame and fortune never returned.  Zorin & Company decided to see if the rumors of Gods truly guarding this sanctuary were true, and off they went.

Travel to Quaseton was quiet, although there was one encounter with a low-flying dragon with all the colors of the rainbow that gave them pause.  Once they got into the complex, they quickly discovered five things.
  1. The other parties claiming to travel there did make it in, but were killed by Zelligor and Roghann's orc guards.
  2. The amount of traps and vermin (both traditional and extraordinary) resulted in a paltry amount of treasure.  Unless they were to set fire to everything they saw to kill everything hiding, this wasn't worth their time.
  3. They were trapped in the dungeon by a huge one-way door.
  4. The living quarters where they assumed great treasure netted them next to nothing, save a strange room with multiple pools of different liquids.   Mutumbo dipped his spear into one of them and it began to glow (turning into a Magic Spear +1)
  5. The orc guards had not left their posts, they had plenty of provisions, and, oh yeah, they were total badasses.  By the time the group waded through orcs and found a staircase leading down below, they were in pretty bad shape. 
The bottom level was again paltry with treasure, but the caverns were full of piercers and shriekers... and an entire tribe of troglodytes.  These humanoids blocked the only obvious exit from the caves, and thus a week long guerrilla battle was fought.  At some point during this battle, everyone of the party members was struck near death, only to be barely brought back alive by Janus, and probably a beaming Pangrus smiling down on the mayhem.  Finally with provisions low, the group managed to elude the few trog guards left posted while the rest of the survivors of the tribe went on an outside hunting party.    At this point their pack animals either had scattered or had been eaten by predators, and that was too much for Zorin to take.    After another dose of magical healing and sunshine, they waiting for the next trog hunting party to leave and they went back in.  No mercy was given to the remaining trogs, and some could claim that Zorin slowly tortured a few, rather than killing them outright.  They then took whatever oil or other flammable items they could find and set the camp ablaze, including the incapacitated but alive Trogs.    After that, they caused a cave in at the exit to the cave, and sat in hiding.  As the trog hunting party returned, the surprised them, and gave them a similar fate.  

This is why, when the stench rises off the Milosic plateau and enters the southwest corner of Marakeikos, commoners claim it's just the fires of the Burning Trogs, still burning away at the corpses of the foul creatures.

And thus, the Burning Trogs were born.

Outside of the collection of scars and lingering injuries, no one got much of note out of Quaseton, save Mutumbo.  While the group got little more than a potion or a scroll or two, Mutumbo netted two items that would serve him well for his remaining days:  the magic spear that had been enchanted by the odd pool, as well as a Cursed Tower Shield -1 that was part of the troglodytes' treasure.

Next:  Episode 4 - Keep Out of the Borderlands

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Forgot I was so bloodthirsty on that one! Love seeing these!