Tuesday, July 8, 2014

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #4: Keep Out of the Borderlands

Nondec 1132,  Frandor's Keep, the Frontier of the Kingdom of Marakeikos

Our cast:
•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).

•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.

•Brother Thomas, Human Monk. It was never ascertained exactly which monastic order Thomas originated from, only that he could indeed kick ass.

•Nina, a quiet, unassuming human thief with a bigger passion for the Nubian than for adventuring.

After some rest in Celsior, the Trogs had the itch to adventure... and Nina discovered that she was pregnant... with Mutumbo's child. The party travelled north past Califon, where Nina was set up in a small cottage for her own safety, and the group travelled to Frandor's Keep. 

Perched upon a precarious waterfall, Frandor's Keep was the first and last line of defense against the roaming orc hordes of Milosic, as well as any other ne'er do wells that lived there.  It was also a major caravan stop for those willing to take such risks and travel overland to Ispatlia or southern Ras-Prythax.  Pay was good, and risk was random every trip, but the Trogs were seasoned enough to deal with either. 

Unfortunately, heavy snows hit the plateau early, essentially ending the caravan season right when they arrived.  Zorin ran afoul of some of the civilians business owners, and the group trudged back grumbling to Califon through spitting snow and freezing drizzle.  And all the while their frozen iron rations churned in their stomach like a wrench thrown into gears.  If they were going to be miserable, at least the food was going to be good.  It became Gwen's mission to find a cook. 

They entered the rented cottage and were met with a welcome heat of the hearth, smells of delicious food, and a number of the village women doting over Nina, under the careful "eye" of a strange blonde half-elf woman with an eye-patch. 

Cecelia Darkspruce had returned.

GM Notes:  The Trogs decided to take the lead to head up to Frandor's Keep and play B2: Little Keep on the Borderlands.  However, the time of year, some bad weather rolls, and the party leader's (i.e. Zorin's) inability to deal with humans created a ruckus in the fortified town.  If other party members had stepped forward and diffused the situation, they could have easily waited out the weather over a 12-day Georic week, and by then they would have either picked up some minor caravan work, or hear rumors of the Caves of Chaos.  Everything as it was,  they had a horrible trip back, but in Califon they found the missing piece of their adventuring troupe, as well as greatest sidekick in the history: "Whitey."

Next Up:  #5 - Sorority Elf "Confidential"

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