Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
As he made his way through the dark wilderness, Tormach was careful to move silently. He would stop ever so often, listening for the sound of patrolling scouts. This night is silent, almost eerily so. As the forest gives way to rock, he knows that he is approaching a place that he has been preparing to enter since he was a boy. For as long as he can remember, Tormach has heard tales about the riches horded by dwarfs inside of the complex network of tunnels and caves the various clans call home. A trusted friend told him over a pitcher of ale about this dwarf outpost. As he moves towards the opening of the cave he sees the faint glow of a torch. Entering the chamber, the pale light proves that he is in the right place. He sees intricate carvings line the walls and expert stone work supporting the roof of the cave. He removes the torch from its place on the wall and follows the tunnel to the end.
He walks for what feels like an hour, carefully looking for traps and hiding guards. Much to his surprise, he finds neither awaiting. As the continues towards the end of the tunnel, the air is damp and hot. It is a welcome change from the near freezing temperatures he endured during his journey to the caves. Finally, he reaches the end of the tunnel. Before him is a single stone door. He carefully tries to open it with no success. A lock? Tormach has encountered hundreds of locks. This one shouldn’t take him more than a few minutes to defeat. He removes his thieves tools from his cloak, and goes to work. The pick is inserted into the locks mechanism, and he immediately finds that this lock doesn’t feel quite like the others he has encountered before. He spends a few minutes in the flickering torch light, finally twisting the mechanism. A click is heard, that echoes throughout the chamber. Thinking it is unlocked he removes his hand from the door. A small poison dart erupts from the lock, barely misses his palm and punching a small hole into his cloak. Tormach stands, realizing that he has been discovered. The door swings violently open. He turns to run, but is struck in the back of the head.
When Tormach comes to, he is sitting before what looks to be the chief of this clan of dwarfs. His hands are bound and guards stand at his side. The chief talks with the guards, and Tormach wishes he spoke their language. Certain he is going to be executed, he starts asking for forgiveness. “Please, I meant no harm. Let me live, and I will never come here again”, he pleads. Hearing his words, an odd expression comes across the old dwarfs face. He looks at Tormach for what feels like an eternity. Once more he talks to the guard, but this time in a much different tone. Tormach says “please, I do not understand what you say”, hoping to find out what his fate will be. One of the guards looks to him, and says “thief, you now belong to our great chief. You will make a fine gift to the Dwarf King upon his next visit.” Tormach quickly begins to scan the room, hoping to find a way to escape. He hears a door behind him open, as another guard enters from the outside. Realizing this is his only chance to escape, he springs to his feet and leaps out of the grasp of the two guards beside him. He runs towards the guard entering the door, and with a tumbling strike he knocks the dwarf onto his back. A guard raises his crossbow, but the dwarf leader orders him to not kill his ‘gift’. Tormach rushes out of the door and sees an opening just yards away. He runs towards it harder than he has ever run before until he has no breath left. Finding himself once again in the forest, he hides amongst the trees.
Anna sat shackled with her back against the stone wall. She has been there for days forced to play her lyre for the entertainment of the dwarfs. Suddenly, loud noise of exciting merriment that is too jumbled to make out erupts into the hall. The scout troop has dragged someone else in. A young man, with long black hair tousled over his face. She hears the dwarfs discuss this man’s fate. She picks up bits and pieces of their conversation. Apparently this man is meant to be a gift to the Dwarf King.
The young thief stirs awake and begs for his life. They will not kill a gift, but he doesn’t seem to understand their speech. Anna watches as he scans the room looking for an opening. The door opens; Anna sees that he is going to run for it. He is going to need help if he plans on making it out of here alive. In the excitement no one would hear her, she starts to sing softly. The song she sings gives the thief a quicker step, just the boost that he needs to make it out.
A Guard raises his crossbow, the chief yells for him to stop. Furious that his gift has gotten away yells at the dwarf who opened the door and let the present escape. Storming around angrily, the head dwarf orders his meal be prepared and a song play during his meal. Anna is unshackled and handed her lyre. A soft slow melody fills the room calming the dwarf chief and bringing the evening to rest.
Belgae sat in the woods observing the entrance to a Dwarven lair. 3 days ago he had been hired to find a bard and he tracked her trail to here. Several hours earlier, Belgae note a shadowy figure cautiously move from the cover of the woods and into the cave. As of yet, that figure has not returned.
Belgae moved closer to the cave and stopped at the ridge line to the woods. He stared at the cave as he considered his options. This particular clan did not appear to be very large but caves were not Belgae’s speciality. He was considering heading to the nearby town and obtaining some help when there was a commotion at the cave mouth. A person was running out of the cave at a rate that did not seem natural. He made a beeline for the trees and entered the woods a few yards to Belgae’s right.
Belgae watched as the thief took up shelter behind a tree and check to see of he was being chased. A couple of dwarves came from the cave and one takes aim with a crossbow but he never fires. Instead the dwarf reluctantly lowers his crossbow and heads back into the cave. Belgae waits another couple of moments to be sure there is no further pursuit and then approaches the mystery person.
“Greetings, I am Belgae.” He says, “You are safe for now.” Belgae adds with a grin “Although I see that you have made great friends with these dwarves. Can you tell me if you saw a female bard in there?” “I have been hired to find this bard and return her to town and I believe she is in there. If she is, and you help me, I will pay you half of what they paid me.”