Krovas - The Cold isn't the only thing to worry about.

The Adventures Codex
Stories told by those that survive.

The trek through the forest

The low hanging branches contently were a nuisance, but the goal will be worth it. The old crone didn’t have the gall to lie about the shrine. But finding your way in proved to be easier said than done. Though sometimes the front door is the only way in.

While Andy covered from the tree line, Alex, Gary, and Julian waded into the outer ring of the desolate ruins. Unknowingly they stubbed onto several scavenging wolves, hungry for a meal. The wolves hoped for a quick meal but didn’t expect such fierce resistance from a group of travelers. Through the back and for of the fight the wolves were dispatched, but not without the costs. Our motley band of adventurers took the brunt of tooth and claw and came away bloodied and battered. But the promise of wealth can take a man to new heights and to take risks a saner and more sober mind wouldn’t.

With the steam still rising from the wolves corpses, the adventurers take a deep breath, gather their wits, and steel their resolve and decide to push forward.

Getting Hammered at the Hammer

As the sun set on the town of Krovas, a slight chill set in as a friendly reminder of what to expect in the coming months. While news of the Riekland took its’ time traveling this far north, the winds of winter are always swift on the tail end of the harvest season; a portent of sorts given the slim yield on crops from the summer. With the ominous fear of empty bellies looming, the harvest festival lacked its usual jubilance and the denizens of the lower wards sought desperately for opportunity while the bureaucrats and nobles would no doubt dine well on a nightly basis in the coming cold months. Few things spread panic like a lack of sustenance…

And while the quality of rations may be degrading and supply dwindling, the quantity of ale and spirits at Shamley’s Hammer is never in short supply. Raucous as usual, at the end of a work day during the autumn harvest, Hadrian deftly navigated his way through the dinner rush crowd seeking eye contact with the proprietor, Gunther Shamley. Establishing one’s self as a regular at a tavern is never a bad thing and the attraction to the ‘Hammer’ was instant for Hadrian. Loud and large, with a variety of patrons and travelers, a mark was never more than a pint’s swill away.

Catching Gunther’s eye, he gave a curt nod and broke left through the rank and file in the direction of their table. He eyed Laura (how could you miss her) mingling with the locals; her gruff voice carrying above the most surly of patrons. Without stopping, he arrived at the table to discover it was already occupied…by Harry Canyon staring intently at the lone pint on the table. Giving one of the table legs a kick, Hadrian disrupted the moment as he seated himself gesturing to one of the barmaids, hand outstretched, fingers splayed indicating the number ‘5’.

Never one to miss ‘a round’, Horst seemingly appeared from thin air, first pointing to Hadrian’s ‘5-hand’ and then to himself. The mug he was carrying was already empty and he slammed it on the table. Judging from the size of the grin on his face, he may not have worked a full day, libations perhaps occupying the bulk of his afternoon. Hail, Sigmar. The barmaid returned with five pints, each of the seated men grabbing a glass and clanking them together before quaffing the foamy top.

As the dwarf arrived, he looked even more cantankerous than usual, reaching out for the two remaining pints downing the first in seconds. The mug rattled randomly as Kordan released it from his hand a few inches above the table top while abruptly pointing over his left shoulder. As the group followed his thumb, their gazes fixed upon a dwarf wider (and louder) than he was. Performers don’t really like their thunder stolen, especially performers whose tools of trade are sharp weapons they implant in others. Kordan Bad-Axe had been used to being stared at and hushing tables simply by entering the ‘Hammer’. However tonight, being the second dwarf on the scene, didn’t really carry the usual impact. Before the night was over, he planned on meeting the newcomer.

Laura, at last, arrived at the table wearing a grin which quickly changed to a frown upon realizing there was not a full mug for her. While giving the dwarf a crusty eyed glance, Hadrian motioned to the barmaid, outstretched his hand, and splayed his fingers to make the number ‘5’.

A Little Drinking Game...

(This adventure was Monday, 10/11/10)

A roughneck group of adventurers has been laying low in Korvas, looking for work and scheming for the next big score. These lowlifes, er, heroes, have taken up in a place called Shamley’s Hammer.

Always on the lookout for strangers, action, or an easy score, the heroes spot a new Dwarf in town. After striking up a conversation with him, he challenges four of them to a drinking game—of the party:

The Dwarven pitfighter Kordan Bad-Axe
Hadrian the Smuggler
Harry Canyon, forger extraordinaire
Horst Ratzinger, Acolyte of Sigmar

Meanwhile, the strangely alluring but gravel-voiced Laura the Roadwarden is circulating with some other new strangers she has spotted — clothing merchants just arrived from a caravan. Hearing that they are looking to hire some protection for a journey into the nearby countryside to deliver their goods, Laura offers to meet them at Noon in the town square tomorrow to hire on as caravan guards.

Meanwhile, the drinking game is not going as planned. Greylix the Dwarf, covered with tattoos and giving us the story of a possible troll-slayer, challenges his companions to drink after drink. All of us, including Laura, watching from afar, try to bribe the barmaids to help knock the guy out — with no success. Gunther runs too strict a shop.

Finally, the challengers are all quite drunk. Flaming drinks, girlie drinks, tequila, grain alcohol, Greylix has downed it all, pays his wager, but Laura observes that he walks away more or less sober, as Laura can see. Apparently, the whole thing has been a hoax.

Stumbling back to our rooms, supporting the inebriated Hadrian and Horst, we come upon an unusual cart accident. This leads to a discussion of how to hoax the cloth merchants in order to get the best price for our services on the morrow.

Just as we are having this discussion, a net comes down, catching Horst & Kordan – and Greylix appears with thugs — having debilitated most of us with strong drink, he has us at a severe disadvantage; his goals are unclear but they can’t be good!

Alley fight!

As Greylix the dwarf and three different groups of thugs step out of the darkness, it is clear that the odds are stacked against this bunch of riff- er, heroes. Horst and Kordan are stuck in the net. Hadrian has passed out, perhaps from the excitement, or his extreme inebriation. Only Laura is stone-cold sober.

Greylix tells us to throw down our weapons and come peaceably to talk to “his employer”. Laura considers but is unwilling to throw down his (her?) weapon under any circumstances so finally Laura and Harry opt to attack Greylix, while Horst and Kordan begin to cut themselves out of the net.

Thus begins the combat. Kordan frees himself from the net and then frees Horst. They make short work of the thugs, but are attacked by a fire-sheathed mage who attacks from the shadows. Meanwhile, Laura is overpowered by thugs while Greylix concentrates on beating Harry. Greylix finally starts dragging Harry away.

Kordan and Horst finally manage to slay the mage with a daring charge, after Kordan barely withstands a withering flame assault. Laura fires her crossbow at the retreating Greylix who carries Harry away, and then starts a hot pursuit of him, ignoring all else. Eventually, the wounded dwarf, greatly fearing the revengeful Roadwarden, drops Harry and runs away like the coward he is.

Licking their wounds, the heroes retrieve some trinkets from the mage and stumble back to Harry’s flat over a little jeweler’s shop. They have no idea who Greylix’s employer was. The only thing that they know is that the thugs and Greylix shared a penchant for odd, half-hidden tattoos that none of the heroes recognized. For now, they rest and are fairly certain of trying to hire on with the clothing merchants at Noon, if they are well rested, healed and presentable enough.

The Next Morning

There was a time when waking up was something to look forward to. But this is not one of those mornings. The bruised and battered frames that each person heaved, into what ever surface was available for the night, was barely rested and ready to embark on another adventure.

The first person up, was the non drinking Laura. But instead of a shining new day, a grey dismal storm has rolled in. Looking out the window she realized that she would have to hurry herself to make the meeting with the merchants, let alone wake the others and hope that Harry Canyon and Horst Ratzinger where anywhere near sober.

With a streak of lightning and a crash of thunder Loren is a decision point.

Harry's hangover/meeting with Jarvis

Harry Canyon was awoken by the raking claws of the pet black cat ’Sno White darting from his body as a clap of thunder rumbled shaking the building. He took a look out the closest window unable to gauge the time due the thick cloud cover and pouring rain. Grabbing a glass he hoped was filled with water, he took a swig and rose patting at the fresh rising scratches on his chest. He felt as if he was bludgeoned with a sack of bricks and as the events of last evening flowed into his consciousness, he seemed to remember being knocked unconscious at the fists of a rather stout dwarf.

Stumbling around the shop, he came to find if any of the crew had spent the night, they had already left. He heard snoring erupting from Hadrian’s room; cracking the door and peering in, he made note Hadrian was in there alone and opted to let him be.

Head pounding, he sat down at the desk in the front room of the shop, opening a drawer looking for his pipe and pipeweed. What he found was a charm bracelet, a ring, and an earring along with a note which read “You may not even be aware there was a mage involved in last night’s bar time skirmish. These trinkets were retrieved off of what was left of his body when Horst and Kordan were done with him. If you’re up early enough, take ‘em by Jarvis and see if he’s got any info on these pieces. Be back at the shop around 12:30 after meeting the merchants. Be ready, we may leave today despite the unfavorable conditions. —L”

Taking note the pipe was missing (he would have to ask Laura about that), Harry felt the next best thing to clear his head would be to make himself miserable by trudging through a downpour. Strapping on some shoes and a leather coat, he pocketed the pieces eschewing a hat opting to be battered by the rain…

It was really raining; leaving by caravan today would be awful as the road east of Krovas must be flooded. The streets were mostly devoid of people and he made good time as the driving rain helped clear his head. It was only after he was but 50 paces from Jarvis’, he realized how aggravated his right thigh was and had no recollection of how he conceived the wound.

The door to Jarvis’ opened quietly; Harry looked up to see if there was something wrong with the bell or jingling system only to find there wasn’t one. He stood in place letting the door close, took a look around wondering if anyone was present. Resigned no one was around and not wanting to be accused of burglary, he turned to open the door when he heard a faint “hello” from where he could not discern and a few seconds later Jarvis himself was at the counter.

Not a stranger but unsure if Jarvis remembered him, he re-introduced himself which Jarvis dismissed with a wave of his hand. “Harry Canyon, how are things over at Fitzlov’s Fineries? Are you going to change the name? Is the family willing to let you?”

“Not sure. Hadn’t thought much about it. Business has been good as the locals drop by to pay their respects. Would almost seem insulting at this point to change the name. And the shop’s got a great sign.”

“True enough,” replied Jarvis. “I imagine something must be on your mind to have you out walking in this storm. With the chill in the air, we’re lucky this isn’t the first snow.”

“Indeed. Say, I’ve come across some pieces and I was wondering if you could take a look and maybe assess them? They’re of particular interest as the former possessor of them tried to make off with my skull last night.”

Rubbing his index finger and thumb together Jarvis inclined he’d take a look. Harry laid the three pieces on the counter along with three silver pieces. Jarvis donned a contraption on his head with an assortment of different lenses. Making use of the various opticals, he came to the conclusion the earring was nothing more than a fashionable piece of jewelry but of some value. The bracelet was full of charms and commonly used by the Alsayshuns (spelling) as a key to an object. The puzzle is figuring out which charms of the many serve as keys and then which order they need to be used. The ring gave off warmth and may possess magical properties. Jarvis mentioned further analysis would require the fresh marrow of a beastman horn along with some other reagants he could more easily procure, for a cost.

Harry dropped four more silver on the counter which Jarvis said was accurate and told him he’d return when he next ran into a beastman. He made his way back out into the rain to double time it back to Fitzlov’s Fineries and meet Laura on the prospects of playing escort to an outgoing caravan.

Caravan Journey, Part 1

Following the late-night alley fight, our intrepid adventurers, needed a day to recover. Laura was dispatched to bargain with the cloth merchants she had spoken with the night before, and they contracted Laura & co. to serve as caravan guards on their journey to Sconzi.

We did a little shopping and left the following morning with the caravan. The roads were muddy and hard to pass, and we spent some gametime digging carts out. Over the next couple days, as we journeyed through the woods, we detected something odd about the wagon cargo. Also the merchants’ bodyguards had a foreign military air, and they were perhaps more aloof than was typical for mercenaries. Toward the end of this session, we forded a river.

Caravan Journey, Part 2

(Session from Weds, 11/10)

Picking up on the road, Harry discened a strange sickly sweet, death-y smell coming from one of the wagons. Not long after this, fording a second river, we encountered a pack of wolves, while the front three wagons were on the Sconzi side of the river, and the rear wagon was on the Krovas side.

Laura, Harry & Hadrian decided to fight the wolves with the help of Kordan and the mercenaries. The fight went pretty well, though Hadrian was mauled seriously, and one teamster was hauled away to be eaten in the thick forest.

Around this time, something crashed through the forest and the caravan wanted to leave immediately. Laura and co., didn’t want to be separated from the other wagon, and feared for their safety, particularly Kordan who was in the river at the time. Finally, a huge wolf emerged and engaged the party in devastating combat, immediately inflicting big hits on us, while we were seemingly unable to affect it— the wounds inflicted failed to slow it down, and the wolf exhibited no signs of pain or even blood.

Finally, the exhausted party ran to the far side of the river and boarded the last caravan wagon which immediately departed for Krovas. After fleeing for several hours, a discussion was had with the teamster and the ferrier (William) about the approach— should we kill the horses to return to Krovas. Hoping to salvage something, i.e, the wagons and horses, to re-sell in Krovas, the party opposed the idea of riding the horses till death. Finally, the teamsters agreed to the plan of going slower and preserving the horses as long as they were entitled to 50% of the total take. (The wagon and horses were branded by the merchants, but we were confident we might sell them through a fence on the black market, thanks to Harry & Hadrian’s career choices.) Sensing that Laura was willing to kill them to increase her share, as well as to leave no witnesses for the resale of the merchants’ property, the teamster attacked and was quickly killed.

Then a wheel came off the wagon and it was left off the side of the road with the teamster corpse. William was allowed to live (Laura argued against this) and returned to Krovas with us where he promptly disappeared.

To Kenby and Back
Horst runs an errand

Horst was tasked with an errand by Father Maksimilian Laris. His errand was to travel to the nearby farming community of Kenby and retrieve some documents from the temple of Sigmar there. Kordan and Harry decided to tag along just for the hell of it.

The journey to Kenby was fairly uneventful. About 50 miles outside of town, a group of ruffians attempted to extract a toll from Horst, Harry, and Kordan. The three of them simply rode around the roadblock. The ruffians did not follow and attack them because, well, they were really lazy ruffians.

About 25 miles from Kenby, they spotted a large group of birds circling, flying out of, and flying into a small forested area. They dismounted and walked towards the wooded area. As they neared the wooded area, the birds (a motley collection of crows, ravens, and other birds) flew away. A close inspection of the woods revealed that someone (or something) had been there and had departed immediately before Harry, Horst, and Kordan arrived. They left the wooded area, mounted up on their horses, and proceeded to Kenby.

When they arrived at Kenby, they noticed that the streets were deserted and that all the homesteads had their windows boarded up, their doors fortified, and their entry ways barricaded. Harry, Horst, and Kordan rode down the town’s main (and only) street to the Temple of Sigmar.

Once they had arrived at the temple, Horst knocked on its locked doors. Eventually, someone let Harry, Horst, and Kordan in. Inside were a lot of refugees in the temple plus a lot of armed men. Horst looked for the temple’s priest, Sister Sonja Clemons.

Sonja was easy to find as she was the only young woman wearing battle-worn armor and carrying a war hammer. Horst introduced his companions to her, explained the purpose of his visit, and asked why the northern part of the town was burning and the rest of it was prepared for battle. Sonja explained that the northern part of the town had been ransacked by marauders. The marauders had struck several parts of town. In each attack, they killed the inhabitants of the domicile, ransacked it, and then left it burning. Sonja and the remaining townspeople had been trying to engage the marauders in battle, but had never been able to catch up to the raiders before they left.

Sonja gave Horst the papers that Father Maksimilian had sent him to bring back. Kordan offered to fight alongside Sonja and the townspeople; Horst quickly did too. Harry reluctantly agreed to as well after it became clear that if he chose to leave that night, he would be traveling back to Krovas alone.

The lookouts on the top of the temple spotted a flock of birds flying towards a compound on the southern part of town. Sonja, Horst, Kordan, Harry, and the armed townspeople marched out to battle the marauders.

By the time they arrived, the marauders had descended on the homestead and set one of its buildings on fire. Kordan and Sonja charged into the main body of the marauders. Horst took five townspeople with him and attacked the marauders in the right-hand side of the homestead. Harry took all of the town’s archers and started scaling the tallest building in the homestead.

Once Harry and his archers had reached the top of the building, they started raining arrows down on the marauders below. Harry requested that Kordan, Sonja, or Horst position themselves in front of the building to keep the marauders from setting it on fire. Horst spotted some marauders dragging away some women and children. Horst and his five townspeople ran off to save the women and children being dragged off; Sonja and Kordan started smashing their way through marauders to get to the front of the building Harry was on top of.

Sonja and Kordan were crushing skulls left and right. Horst started fighting with the marauders dragging off the homestead’s women and children. Horst quickly discovered that the marauders he was fighting were bigger, tougher, and more skilled with their weapons than the other marauders. Harry started shooting at the marauders fighting Horst, and Sonja ran over to help Horst. Kordan continued to keep marauders from getting near the building Harry was on top of.

Between Harry’s arrows, Horst’s hammer blows, and Sonja’s hammer blows, the marauders were slain and the homestead’s women and children saved. Then, a giant, vaguely humanoid being started striding towards the homestead.

Horst collapsed due to his exertions from fighting the marauders. Sonja charged at the giant and engaged him in battle. Kordan and Harry dispatched the remaining marauders.

Sonja and the giant exchanged blows. Eventually, the giant’s superior reach and strength proved too much for Sonja. She fell after being struck by a particularly vicious blow by the giant. After Sonja collapsed in a heap on the ground, Kordan hit the giant with a troll-feller strike.

The giant did not go down despite taking a big hit. Kordan got nervous as he is used to things being killed by that strike. The giant and Kordan exchanged some blows. Kordan noticed that the giant did not have hands, and that there were feathers poking out of the giant’s armor. Instead of hands, the giant had claws ending in talons.

With most of the marauders dead and himself being wounded, the giant abruptly turned and fled the battlefield.

Horst, Kordan, and Harry marshalled the remaining townspeople and examined the corpses of the marauders. They noticed that the marauders were men, wearing armor festooned with birdfeathers, and covered in crude tattoos depicting various birds. Kordan discovered one marauder left alive. Kordan glared at the marauder, raised his hammer, and said, “Your end is near. Who are you dying for?” The marauder snickered and said, “The time will come when the Raven Host descend with fury. There is no stopping Sle’zuz. He will embrace you though if you turn yourself over to the power of the Host.”

Harry and Kordan each took a small piece of the marauders’ feather-covered armor. Then, Harry, Horst, and Kordan rode back to Krovas to give Father Maks the documents he wanted brought back.

Into the Sewers
Looking for Lev

After much debate, Kordan, Horst, and Harry decided to look for Lev Marik. Lev can setup a pit fight with a Beastman, and the horn of a beastman is critical to understanding the ring we took off of the Greylax’s mage. Also, Petagrin, a halfling importer of goods of dubious legality, offered us a cut of the proceeds from the sale of Lev’s goods if we can find him dead or alive. Due to that, it was decided that finding him is crucial to finding out if Greylax is behind the burning of the grain storehouses in the Warrens.

Kordan received a tip that Lev had last been seen searching for buried treasure in the sewers near Krovas’s riverfront. Kordan, Horst, and Harry headed to the cisterns near the waterfront.

On the way to the waterfront, we were stopped by some city guards near the Warrens. They told us we needed to check out with them when we left the Warrens. We agreed and proceeded to the nearest of the cisterns that Lev was seen at.

The cistern had a lot of grafitti on it, but one mark in chalk on it stood out from the rest. The mark was a circle with an arrow in it. The entire thing had been X’ed out. Proceeding into the sewer, we came to a T-junction. Each direction in the junction had a circle with an arrow in it that had been X’ed out. Kordan went down each direction of the junction. Both ended in an impassable caved-in section.

We proceeded to the next cistern. We spotted 3 thugs arguing over a freshly-killed corpse. The dead man appeared to be a wealthy merchant. We attacked and killed 2 of the thugs. The third we severely wounded. Questioning the thug revealed nothing. He followed the merchant from the warrens, and then he and his comrades attacked the merchant in order to rob him. Kordan knocked him unconscious, and we left.

We entered the next cistern, but it ended in another impassable caved-in section. The same X’ed out symbol was in this cistern too.

We arrived at the last cistern. This one had the circle with an arrow in it symbol, but it had not been X’ed out. We entered the cistern and travelled down it until we reached a chamber. The far end of the chamber ended in a shut door. We entered the chamber and attempted to open the door. It was held firmly shut.

A horde of rats poured into the chamber so we ran out. We made it out of the cistern while scraping rats off of ourselves.


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