Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
Bryn Mawr's Story
Bryn knew that going out into the world and recovering artifacts and lore from ages past wouldn’t be easy, but things were never easy for the heroes in those stories and songs he spent years collecting, either. It was no secret that the Dwarf King had a mandate on recovering “dwarven” artifacts (whether they were truly dwarven in origin or not) and the Lorekeepers couldn’t argue with the opportunity to expand their knowledge. And so Bryn Mawr set out into the wider world to discover whatever he could, and bring back items of historical importance to the dwarves, or ones that might help shape their future.
His early efforts focused on some of the smaller, outlying dwarven settlements or former kingdoms, particularly those in lands which saw frequent strife, such as the lands under constant threat by the Orc Lord’s hordes. Sometimes he travelled alone, and other times he would convince another traveller to share the road with him, or entice an adventurer or two to join him with tales of the deeds of heroes and the prospect of poking around old ruins. Not that any good dwarf isn’t perfectly capable of handling the world by himself, but an extra pair of hands and another sword could prove valuable at times.
Among his kin outside of Forge, Bryn had hoped to find storytellers and elders—and maybe even written records—from whom and which he could plumb lore and knowledge of all manner of things. And sometimes he did. But in many cases he would find at best only simple communities with no records of their past, and at worst abandoned ruins of settlements sacked by orcs and plundered by brigands.
It disheartened him to find such places. He stood among the ruins of a dwarven town long ago destroyed by the Orc Lord, leaving nothing but scattered bones, ash, and dust. No record was left of who they were, or how they lived, or even how they died. No words recorded the deeds of their heroes, no songs sung of their victories. Not even their names survived, to be spoken in memory in prayer or in a solemn toast. And this filled Bryn’s heart with sadness. He hoped that this would not be the ultimate fate of his people.
Presently, Bryn Mawr, Lorekeeper of Forge, finds himself bound for the city of Osis. Its dungeons hold the promise of buried secrets, forgotten lore, and ties to when the world was younger. Who knows what the streets and cellars of the City of Dungeons might hold for this dwarf far from home?
Anna’s travels took her to many places meeting tons of people. She was fortunate enough to have passed through this town prior to it’s ruin. While playing in the king’s court she was privy to stories and lore.
She was returning hoping to find a warm bed and a full stomach but all she found was the rubble where this once prosperous town sat. Saddened, she did what she does best and wrote a tale so that the town would not be forgotten.
As she ended the last stanza she looked up to see a dwarf, looking just a disheartened as herself, studying the aftermath with sorrowful eyes.
Anna walked up to the morose dwarf and shared the story.
There once was a town,
Not so far away.
Where the Dwarves were mighty
And worked all day
They forged their weapons,
Powerful and strong,
That told their story,
Which isn’t very long.
On three axes
Was a story to tell;
Of an epic battle
Which wouldn’t end well.
Foretold of by clerics,
Now sung of by chord,
The destruction of this town
By the fierce Orc Lord.
While the children slept
In the quiet Dwarf town,
The Orc Lord paid visit
And this is what went down.
The Lord of the Orcs
To his men yelled, “Fire!”
Hundreds of flaming arrows
To swift for the town crier.
Those saved from the flames
Met a quick end.
There was worse to come.
You’ll need an ear to lend.
The Orc Lord so despised
The strong and mighty race
That he wanted everything gone.
To remove every trace.
All buildings demolished.
All history destroyed.
Every story they ever had,
Can no longer be enjoyed.
But fear not my friends.
Do not stop to bawl.
For other stories foretell
Of the fierce Orc Lord’s fall.
Anna left her sole listener to ponder her story and continued on her way to the next town, Osis, to find that warm bed. When she looked behind her, she saw the dwarf following along behind, with a thoughtful look on his face. She paused, thinking to herself, maybe they should share the journey together.
“I’m Anna Lynn, by the way.”
His reply, gruff yet softened, “Bryn Mawr.”
“Shall we travel together?”
Motioning to the lyre, “As long as you promise not to play that thing the whole time.”
Tormach sits against a tree, watching the sun rise over the distant hills. He stands and kicks dirt onto his small fire that kept him warm throughout the night. He has barely slept in the days following his escape from his dwarven captors. He ran though the forest, evading those that were ordered to bring him back. He followed the first road he come to, hoping it will take him back to his hometown of Osis. At first light, he begins his travels along the road once more.
After hours of walking, Tormach hears a voice in the distance. He disappears into the trees lining the road, and moves silently towards the voice. Leaned against a tree before him is a single dwarf. “Is he a scout sent to find me?”, Tormach wonders? He watches for a while, and it becomes clear that this dwarf has a human traveling companion and is not on a mission to find an escaped prisoner. The persons before him seem filled with sadness and despair. His instincts tell him to stay away from the dwarf and continue on the road. Against his better judgement, however, Tormach approaches the two.
“Greetings, fellow travelers. My name is Tormach Treharne. How are you on this fine day?”
The man grumbles, then looks up at Tormach and says “I am Bryn Mawr, Lorekeeper of Forge.”
“And I am Anna Lynn. We are following this road to Osis.”
Tormach is delighted that he is almost home and away from any dwarfs that may do him harm.
“I am traveling to Osis myself. Shall we travel together? This road can be quite dangerous.”
As soon as those words leave Tormach’s mouth, a thrown dagger strikes the tree above Bryn’s head. Two men appear before them.
One man says “This road belongs to the Winter’s Knives. You will pay us, or die.”
Bryn looks at Tormach, and gives him a subtle nod. Tormach sees Bryn preparing to swing his hammer. Tormach quickly pulls a dagger from his sleeve and lunges at one of the men. The man falls backwards to the ground, Tormach driving the dagger into the mans throat. He hears a loud crack as Bryn smashes his hammer into the other thief’s head.
Bryn looks at the two men on the ground and says “We work well together.”
Just then a bolt is loosed and shoots between the two hitting an archer behind the tree who had taken aim at Tormach. Ann Lynn lowers her short bow and smiles.
“We do indeed”, Tormach replies.
Having survived the attack, the three agree to journey together to Osis.
As they walk, they discuss their past and what caused them to be on this road. Bryn tells Tormach how he is attempting to recover knowledge and artifacts from past dwarfs and their clans, but is having little luck. Tormach admits to Bryn that he ventured too close to a dwarven clan, and was captured. This seems to cheer Bryn up, as he laughs at Tormach for his misfortune. Anna shares her tale and from the battlefield years ago when she singlehandedly saved a barbarian from a foul smelling ogre, once again winning approval from the men. The three instantly become friends, and find a companionship that none had felt in quite some time.