Edge of the Empire

Small Graves, Large Hearts

Session Date: 08Jan2012
Game Days Covered: 21-22 Summerstart

Progress continues to be made on the wall. The Hold begins to fall into a routine; it starts to feel like a home. With the day of rest each of the heroes spend their time preparing for the war above and the war below. Ulrik continues work on his bardiche. Valoria spends the day with Kathryn practicing the alchemical arts. Orin is teaching his daughter the skills needed to be a ranger. Looking over the scene you would think nothing can shatter this peace.

Two dwarfs approach the keep, their eyes glinting with the desire to find glory. Arren, and Garren Ironhelm heard tell that a Dwarfen force had taken Blackmoor, and claimed it in the name of the eldest race. As is only proper they came to offer their services, for the right price. After some quick negotiations the Ironhelms are hired as the beginning of the hold’s militia.

With the keeps defenses in place, after finding out that the dark dwarfs had tracked them back to their home, the heroes decided to track the duergar to their lair. Approaching slowly the party hears the sounds of picks falling on ore. Ulrik’s beard bristles at the thought of the dark ones stealing what belongs to him. Scouts forward, Orin, Rosco, and Nyxel, after counting their foes they prepare their ambush. Rosco pops out of hiding killing one of the guards with a well placed dagger. Nyxel curses under her breath knowing that she was singing out loud again. Her doom song is just so catchy. Orin fires and misses his arrows clattering against the ore. The rest of the party runs to catch up. All of the duergar miners call their powers and fade from sight.

With the miners invisible the party focuses on the soldiers trying to form a solid defense so none of the evil kin escape. Rosco and Nyxel hold the left flank, while Orin and an enlarge Ulrik hold the right. Guards die as Rosco, and Ulrik lash out. Suddenly the miners reappear from the darkness. Valoria thinking quickly calls on nature, two of the miners find themselves tangled and roots. The duergar had focused their attacks on the weak left flank. Nyxel manages to dodge one blow but is laid out by the other. Rosco fares even worse. He parries one of the blows with all his strength but his other attacker catches him with upswing in the rib cage. The brave Halfling was dead before he hit the ground. In a rage the party surges forward, Ulrik killing 3 of the remaining duergar with a flurry of blows from his spear, Thorvar gets vengeance for the Halfling, that less than 5 days ago saved him from a fate worse than death, by casting a cone of fire and killing 3 more of the duergar. Orin finally gets used to the light and places shots into the leader of the mining party killing him.

A stunned shock drifts over the party as the stare at the fallen Halfling, All thoughts of his larcenous ways gone. While Nyxel gathers the supplies off the duergar, Thorvar picks up Rosco’s mangled body and places it ever so gently onto one of the mining carts. No one gets left behind. The party trudges through the darkness carrying the corpse of the Halfling that had so much with them already.

The next morning a small pyre was made in the center of the courtyard. In the very spot that Orin first saw Rosco as he fought against the hyena beast. While the sounds of work were still in the background Kardin speaks the ancient prayers for fallen heroes. Honouring the dead for his sacrifice he calls mead from his horn sprinkling across the pyre. Each of the heroes says their piece. Thorvar knew the Halfling the least, but his words were the most heartfelt. Without Rosco he would be a frog man, with no free will. Ulrik speaks last:

“Tonight we send into the afterlife a warrior. Regardless of size, Rosco fought with everything in him. He did his best to make these lands better for those who followed him. His dying breaths were holding the line against an evil from below. This fight on two fronts has taken its first of our defenders. We know that Rosco was here to stay. How could we do anything less?”

“From the moment I first saw him leaping through the common room killing goblins that had held me, and mine prisoner I knew that he would be an asset, a hero, a shieldmate.”

“We may not have always seen eye to eye, but we always fought side by side.”

Ulrik places the chalice that Rosco took from the Minotaur at the top of the pyre, in it was some of the finest spirits in the keep. With that Kardin calls on the gods for fire, the pyre catches and through the flames you can clearly see the purple flames from the chalice.

XP Gained: 200



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