Edge of the Empire

The Fire that Burns

Session Date: 19Feb2012
Game Dates Covered: 23 of Field’s Moon- 1 of Leaf Turn

Three days have passed since Dain’s arrival. Orin wakes to check on Maritza to find her missing. There is a letter pinned to his door by a small crystal dagger. Somewhere in the hold dwarfen mothers cry out. Their children are gone.
Orin looks down at the note. In a writing that is shaking from the effort to make the letters large and slow the following note is scribbled.

Stupid Slow dwarfs,
If you ever want to see pretty little girls again, you will have to find the lair of the great Aurrastylax, destroyer of all that stands in his way. You killed my last master, but you will not be so lucky this time. Your legs will never be quick enough to avoid the fire that melts bones! Aurrastylax will feast on your marrow and take vengeance on you for the harm you caused his most loyal servant!
Your sooooo slow!
Nixryxus

The heroes of the hold meet in Ulrik’s war room to decide how to handle this heinous act against their home. In the common chamber below, the people of Kazad Ongvarad wait for the party to give them hope. Orin and Kardin glance over the map of the area as the others discuss plans to prepare for a dragon hunt. There is only one place within the area that a red dragon may choose as their lair. While Ulrik and Kardin head below to speak with the other dwarfs, Orin and Okai search for any tracks that may confirm the location the children were taken. Nothing. The children seem to have just vanished from their beds. The foul sprite’s tracks were found heading away from the mountain, but the adventurers are not fooled. The treacherous little creature is just trying to lead them astray.

Packing three carts with the tools that will give them an advantage against the beast they head off. Glorriyd, Garren, and Fredgar accompany the party to help with the transporting of the carts. The road is clear as they enter the badlands. The horrid scrub plains stretch out before them, the dwarfs shudder at the sheer openness of it all. Okai relishes the breeze as it cuts through the party. The freedom of the plains is easy to miss in the confines of the hold. This is the natural place of his people. Where threats can be seen from a distance and met head on. The normally boisterous barbarian is quiet as they travel; he thinks of his childhood, of family taken from him by the greenskins that even now threaten his new friends.

Valoria curses as the cart bounces yet again, how is she ever supposed to get any of these potions done if the drivers won’t keep the cart steady? Don’t they know that this could be the difference between life and death? Ancestors alone know how potent this dragon’s breath will be. She looks up; a whistling sound is heard outside, followed by a huge crash. The wagon lurches violently to one side. In the distance she hears the guttering war cries of greenskins. Loading her crossbow the alchemist prepares herself to defend her lab, and her friends.

Thorvarr has been riding in the back of the cart for what seemed like days. Sharpening his axe, meditating on his lessons, and planning every strike he is going to bring onto the foul beast that harmed the children of the hold. He is mid-stroke, the whetstone flush against his axe, when the cart flips into the air. The runecaster is tumbled beard over bollocks as he falls out of the cart and sees the orcs charging, mad grin lighting his face he charges into them. Slinging spells and shouting curses he slays greenskins left and right.

Spotting the ambush ahead Ulrik places himself between the charging orcs and the caravan. He strikes down the savages as they ride by. The gunslingers ride off guns blasting and dynamite in hand, ready to put an end to the flying grot menace. Nyxel acts as artillery battery magic flying through the air, striking the orcs as they slam into the second cart knocking it to the ground. The fight ends quickly as the party rounds up the orcs, it isn’t until they are all dead that anyone notices that Okai is locked in a death grip with one of the orcs. Each giant enraged strike each other violently, trying to choke the life light out of their hated foe. The orc gashes Okai with his tusks, Okai head butts him in response causing the greenskin to go cross-eyed. With a final battle cry to Tempus Okai shatters the orcs spine, lifts him over his head and tosses him over the edge of the small hill they had been fighting on. The rest of the party looking on unsure of what do to as the barbarian nearly collapses as the post rage fatigue sets in.

The dwarfs look away from their friend letting him recover from the fight alone. Kardin casts his healing spells throughout the party and the mounts so that everyone is ready to continue the journey as soon as the repairs are done on the cart. The repairs done the party manages to make a little bit more progress that evening, and catch up with Orin who had already spotted the mountain, while scouting ahead. That evening songs of grudges are sung around the fire. Grudges settled in blood, and grudges that still need to be paid. The somber tone of the dwarfen music prepares the party for the vengeance that they will bring down upon the craven monster that thought it could take the children of the hold, and not feel the bite of dwarfen axe on scaled flesh.

Morning comes, and the small mountain the dragon is using as a lair is clearly visible on the horizon. The party hides the carts, and leaves the other dwarfs behind to guard them. Proceeding on foot they begin to see signs of the dragon’s predation on the area, blast marks where unfortunate prey was slaughtered with its full might. In the distance the red form can barely be seen perched on his mountain, each hero feels the wyrm’s gaze fall upon them. The creature takes flight, off on some unknown purpose as the party continues its march towards its lair.

Several hours pass as the march continues, and in the distance three ogres become clearly visible. They are marching on intercept course with the party. Sharp eyes spot flanking parties of ogres two on each side. Flint notices that they appear to be carrying some sort of crude cannon. Without any word the party splits into attack positions, each member firing at the ogres trying to flank them to the left. Ulrik drinks a potion and brings himself to the same size as the enemies in front of him. The Thane vows to hold the front line while his companions deal with the flanking forces. Halfling courage takes control of Katja and she charges forward taking her role as a harassment force seriously she fires at the ogres ahead of her to get their attention. Flint races up taking his firing position and sending Lord Darian ahead to keep that doorknob of a Halfling safe from her own insanity.

Combat rages across the plains, the thunder of gunshots, the roar of battle cries, and screams of pain. Each combatant locked to the death as they dodge and weave through the chaos that has erupted. Kardin runs from ally to ally making sure Valaya’s watchful stare does not leave them. Ulrik places himself between three ogres and the priest so that he can function safely. Valoria is a flurry of magic and bombs as she and her walking chest lay waste, and bring healing in equal measures. Each member of the party acting as a team watching each other’s backs to make sure the monsters do not get the upper hand.

Far on the left flank, Katja continues her harassment while Lord Darian keeps the ogres distracted. The blows from the giants slam into the brave bears sides each one taking its toll upon him, roaring in pain and refusing to be moved from his defense. The Lord strikes out at one ogre gutting him with the razor sharp claws nature provided him. With bullets zinging into the ogre’s hide he manages to land a final blow before dying felling Lord Darian, the protector falls over as the final shot flies over him finishing off the threat to his ward. Flint cries out in grief rushing to his friend heedless of the danger around him. In that moment a roar is heard from above, at last Aurrastylax has shown himself, now the battle begins in earnest. Diving down the dragon unleashes the fires of creation, the party barely avoiding its full wrath. Only Nyxel appears unscathed. Flint stands chewing on his beard in rage, tears streaming down his face he fires round after round into the dragon.

Ulrik continues to hold the line, each parry and riposte shows him as the stronger foe. The ogres are unsure how to close the distance enough to make a solid blow. Orin fires dynamite arrows into the dragon and the beast howls in pain as his scales rain down from above. Thorvarr takes a strong blow from the ogre he is holding off and falls to the ground bleeding. Only quick action by Valoria keeps him from joining his ancestors before his time. Kardin begins to flag as his magic begins to run out. Nyxel draws her bow hoping to find a chink in the dragons armour.

A crashing drive brings the dragon behind Ulrik; he lashes out with a wicked bite, leaving the prince open to the attacks of the ogres. Battered and bruised he continues to fight killing two of the ogres. Thorvarr stands as the healing courses through him killing another of the ogres, only two ogres and the dragon remain. Aurrastylax notices the dwarf priest at last, and tears into him with the fury of a volcano rending his armour and leaving him broken and bloody on the floor. Again the alchemist appears she seems to be everywhere at once, healing both Ulrik and Kardin back into the fight. Her actions manage to keep everyone in the fight long enough for another desperate prayer to Valaya. Healing energy courses through everyone. The last of the ogres fall down dead, before the party can cheer in excitement they hear the sharp intake of breath. Within the dragons maw death begins to form. A battle cry from the distance, a single gunshot, a tiny bullet entering the inferno that is the dragon’s mouth, and down goes the beast. His final breath unfinished his evil deeds ended, and one more grudge against the Lone Wolf repaid.

The heroes do not even stop the moment to heal themselves fully the run to the dragon’s lair in hopes that the sprite will not cause harm to the children. They arrive just in time to hear the evil quickling enter before them. Rather than take the risk that they will kill him he simply taunts and flees down the mountain. The dwarfs run and free their children, loading the cart quickly they race home before anything else can catch them with their precious cargo.

The cheers of the dwarfs were almost heard in Littlefoot as they celebrate the death of a threat, and the return of their daughters. In that moment everything is perfect. They are triumphant, they are a clan, and anything that threatens the hold will have to fight through this fellowship before it hurts their citizens.
Session Ends: Feasting throughout the hold. Everyone is happy with what has happened. Next session will start two weeks later. Everyone hits level 5.

Player This session Total
Orin 3750 15890
Okai 3750 15625
Ulrik 4000 16060
Thorvar 3750 15230
Nyxel 3750 16190
Valoria 3750 15370
Katja 3750 15340
Kardin 3750 15375
Flint 3750 15140

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