Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sakkarot and the Tail of Loose Ends

11:30 P.M - Day 111, Rova  11, 3042 AP (After Peace)

We arrived at last. 
After days of trying to get this ship though ice river waters to the south we make it to Lake Tarik. With only a few hundred more feet to go, Maldrake reminded all of us through his telepathy friend that we would be attempting to take out Kargeld very soon, possibly prior to delivering the shipment if possible. We pull into the dock and could see an immense number of bugbears gathering around campfires making loud and cheerful noises. However, waiting for us at the docks were four very angry looking bugbears ready to start some trouble.

Confused Bugbear
Drunk Bugbear
We didn't know if this was planned or if they were drunk or just what was going on but we thought it best not to murder the kin of the leader we are trying to deliver weaponry to. That of course didn't stop Kargeld and his crew. "Men! Take these ugly mugs out! They want a fight, we'll give them a fight!"

So as the crew offloaded onto the dock and began to scuff it out, we decided to use this as a chance to take out Kargeld. At first when Stryder nailed one of the crew, he was able to pawn it off as a miss and Kargeld kept on swinging, dropping down the one bugbear with an axe. Grumblejack meanwhile was not sure this was the right move to start attacking the bugbears so he grappled one and threw the hairy mongrel into the river.

Arrogant Bugbear
Pointless Bugbear
From there we could see a pack of six more bugbears starting to advance at the upper most part of the bank leading down to the place on the dock where we were scrapping. The rest of us starting to go ahead and waylay on the crew and Kargeld. Kargeld lost it, and began to rage. He cut down another bugbear. Kargeld took a shot from Stryder as Maldrake, Urgeon, and Kallista dispatched three of the crew with ease. Just as Kargeld was about to cut down Maldrake, a booming voice bellowed from the top of the docks.

“Who sent you?” Sakkarot demanded of us in unaccented common.

Kargeld was extremely quick to respond, "Thorn sent us you fool! Now help me kill these traitors, they are trying to kill my men and take your steel!"

"That is a lie" Maldrake bellowed. "The ship is extremely rocky and you were fighting on the dock. Next time have better tactical awareness!"

For once Kargeld didn't.
Maldrake lies yet again.
Sakkarot pondered on our stories, "You each seem to be telling the truth as far as I can tell. Right now, that is not important to me. “If it is Thorn who sends you, then you are welcome here.” He turned to the somewhat stunned throng of bugbears who were getting ready to storm the boat and eat us for dinner. “These humans are my guests. I will deal with anyone who harms them. They are our allies!”

He then turned to Kargeld and to Maldrake, "And so you are aware what is important to me, it is those weapons. If you disagree I can see what a few hundred of my men decide."

Stixx in a hurried nervous yell, "Grumblejack, you heard the man, help me unload some of these.  Before they could get to it, Sakkarot breaks up the hatch and grabs a crate for himself and opens it “Behold, they bring us steel!”.  

Sakkarot Fire-Axe demands order!

1:30 A.M - Day 112, Rova  12, 3042 AP (After Peace)

A Private Audience

We drank. We ate. We laughed. These hairy mongrels weren't so bad after all. Hell Kargeld wasn't so bad after all when you got a few ales into him. But soon enough Kargeld passed out and it was time to discuss the bugbears future. Now that most of the camp is down and out we could discuss things around the fire. 

Sakkarot spoke up, “You are traitors to your own kind. You must know that. When Balentyne falls and my horde pours through its shattered gates, we will slaughter the Talireans by the thousands. Yet I see no regret in your eyes. Tell me, how can this be?”

No one spoke. We were not expecting to be challenged. Urgeon stands and lifts his sleeve showing his forsaken brand. We ask him what business he has working with Thorn. He tells us that he too is part of the Knot– the Avernian Knot. “I am the only true member of the knot. The rest are only fools.”

We ask, if that is how you feel, why do you betray your kind in your heart? Sakkarot pulled aside his great breast-plate and revealed the holy symbol of Asmodeus burned into his chest. “We all have our scars. Interesting fact, Thorn used to be a Cardinal of Mitra."

We drank and ate a bit more, but it was clear that it was time to go on. Sakkarot has one last thing to say: “Tomorrow you must depart this camp. It will never be truly safe for you here. Over the next week, more tribes will rally to my banner. I will promise them blood and give them steel. Then at last I will be ready to march. A week after that – I will be poised to strike. I will move my horde to the valley just north of Balentyne. There we will wait for your signal. Fire this rocket into the air. Within the hour, we will attack. Make sure that the way is ready."

He paced over to a stew pot and took a spoonful and ripped off leg of a near by roasted boar. He drank the stew emptied the meat and took a large bite out of the boar.  After swallowing, he went on. “After we gather, my horde will be idle and start to grow
anxious. I can hold them together for another two weeks. After that, I expect desertions and squabbling. Get your work done before then. You have one month to infiltrate and destroy Balentyne.” Sakkarot then stared right into our eyes with cold calculation and handed us a carefully wrapped signal rocket. “Can you do this? In one month can you break the Watch Wall?”

We solemnly nodded and agreed that we could.  He grunted and nodded “Thorn has faith in you. If you weren’t his best, he wouldn’t have sent you. Do this and your names will be legend. Now go. Hail Asmodeus!”

Balentyne is soon, but first we must deal with Kargeld.

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