Iron Gods

Summary 06: A Journey North

Chapter Two: Lords of Rust-Aldronard’s Grave

Rumors, stories, and relief were spreading through Torch like wildfire once the light atop Torch Hill had ignited again. The citizens were overwhelmed with joy. Not long after, The Council issued a city-wide announcement that Expedition Six had clearly completed their task and that the city would have a week-long celebration to remember this joyous occasion and to acknowledge their part in the lights restoration.

Expedition Six decided to partake in the festivities for a day, allowing the blacksmiths to finish customizing their weapons for the road ahead. On the morrow, they headed out with Joram's Holy symbol and note for Dinvaya Lanalei, and with their escortee, Acolyte Sosiel Vaenic. North, Northeast was their travel destination and it would take roughly five days before they reached the outpost known as Aldronard's Grave. Days passed and all were thankful that they were approaching their destination where proper food and bed was awaiting their weary bodies. Suddenly on the horizon, thick black smoke could be seen in the general direction of the outpost. Expedition Six hastened their travel to investigate and help if needed. As they approached, it was clear that the smoke had come from Aldronard's Grave as residual smoke was present and visual damage was noticeable. Nearing one of the guard posts, a guard on duty held up his weapon signaling them to halt and yelled out in a muffled voice that for their health and safety they should turn away as the outpost was stricken with the plague. The guard's posture and demeanor puzzled the group and they insisted that they could help. Eve pointed out that they had a cleric amongst them and she herself was immune to illnesses. Despite his best efforts, the guard signaled for Expedition Six to enter via the front gate where they would raise the portcullis. Mithreal was first to enter, Eve and Vicky were next and walked side by side just as the portcullis suddenly descended upon them. With quick reflexes, they both dodge aside entering the courtyard alongside Mithreal, leaving Sosiel trapped on the outside. Immediately several guards approached ready for battle, all lead by a much larger man in the background wielding two axes, his lips visible removed from his face. As the battle ensued Eve was able to pick up a distant cry for help. With Mithreal and Vicky handing the attacking guards, and Sosiel occasionally sending forth a healing wave (which also aided their foes), Eve left to investigate, finding and rescuing the true inhabitants of the outpost. Relived to be found and unbound, the brave , weaponless, long-john wearing knights were ready to aid Expedition Six in battle. Eve imparted her weapon to the Captain of the knights as he rushed out to battle to avenge his fallen comrades. Victory was guarantee with explosive bombs, gunpowder and pellet, weapon thrusts and weapon bashes ending the lives of the intruders.

Captain Andalen Kraklos and his remaining men, Rezouln, Tanea and Sindre all gave their thanks to their rescuers as they began gearing up. Shamed, Captain Kraklos explained that it was just the night before they had allowed a group of travelers seeking shelter within their walls who then revealed themselves to be from Scrapwall. Caught off-guard, the knights could not stand their ground as they were brutally attacked. Many of his men were lost as the Smiler's hung most of them from the stables and burned them and their horses alive. The Smiler's were one of the many factions within Scrapwall, for Scrapwall was a place where murders, rapists, and the unwelcome go to live. Wishing to hear more of Scrapwall since that was their destination, Kraklos continued, explaining that Scrapwall was a city of trash, housing vile beings most of which deserved to be removed from the lands. The Smiler's were one of these factions, lead by a vile necromancer by the name of Marrow and her subjects upon recruitment remove their own lips as a pledge of loyalty. Kraklos made a request of Expedition Six as he and his men could not leave their post… to bring Marrow to justice and end her life. They agreed. Despite several factions within the walls of Scrapwall, they all bowed down to the Lords of Rust, the ones truly in charge. Rumor had it that they followed the wishes of their God Hellion who dwells within, but surely that was impossible for no God roamed the land, and no God would live in Scrapwall. With little else to provide, Kraklos began preparing their cotts for rest. Questioning why they could not sleep within the temple, Kraklos explained the tragic tale of Aldronard's Grave… for centuries ago Aldronard, a Paladin of Sarenrae who helped man the outpost had one day received a letter stating that his fiance, Justinia, had perished in a brutal rape attack of her home. Cursing his Goddess Sarenrae for his loss, he jumped off the temple's balcony, impaling his body upon the Goddess' statue forever cursing the temple. Ever since that day, his spirit haunts the area, none have been able to put his soul at rest. Believing they could with the help of Sosiel (although he stated he was an expert in demons, not spirits) they requested Kraklos to unlock the front doors. Despite his attempts at persuading them otherwise, Expedition Six had made up their minds and entered the Temple. Calling out to Aldronard, they could hear his dreary response. 'Go Away".  Noticing the Statue of Sarenrae, its weapon coating in fresh dripping blood, Mithreal used her magic to dose the weapon in water cleansing it, only for the blood to re-appear a second later. Although feeling uncomfortable, Mithreal told her party to stand back as she walked into the temple. Aldronard made his presence known as he wailed once more, 'Go Away'. Unaffected by his haunt and seen as an assault, Expedition Six began attacking the spirit. It wasn't until Vicky attacked that Aldronard noticed her… her beauty… his love… his Justinia. The resemblance was uncanny and crying out in pain, he asked her for forgiveness. Telling Vicky to lead the spirit on, the ghost approached arms open trying to embrace his Justinia, luckily for Vicky she quickly moved aside. Giving her forgiveness and her desire for him to rest his soul, Aldronard went in for one last kiss, again Vicky dodged aside. His spirit floated up to the skies, Aldronard yelled out to his Goddess for forgiveness. Seconds later, a blinding flash and the temple reconstructed itself before their very eyes, as it time itself went backwards. Everything was cleansed, including the statue and each could hear in their minds the thanks from Sarenarae herself. As a token of her thanks, she bestowed upon them each a gift of healing which unbeknownst to Mithreal cured her of her leprosy. Returning to the astonished Kraklos, he gave his thanks once more and they all rested for the eve within the newly restored Temple of Sarenrae.

Bidding farewell to Sosiel, Expedition Six made their way Eastwards towards Scrapwall. As they entered the main gate, the Steel Hawk guard on duty had bid them welcome and requested the reason for their stay. The answer they provided was enough to get them escorted to the office of Sevroth Slaid. Within the confines of her office, Expedition Six had hinted at something to Sevroth that made her very much interested in them. She acknowledged that the Steel Hawks were under control of an ex-Smiler known as Birdfood. If they could do away with him, she would be next in line and could bring the Steel Hawks back to their former glory, for it was the Lords of Rust who had killed all the previous hawk leaders and assigned Birdfood his role, allowing more and more ruffians into the city. In return for their help, they would become honorary Steel Hawkians and have access to their palace for rest and refreshments, and of course her thanks. Expedition Six accepted Slaid's proposal and an alliance was made.

Venturing out into the vast city, they ran into a gang of orcs that were trying to make a name for themselves and get the attention of the Lords of Rust. Taunting Expedition Six and with three times the force, the Orcs advanced, but it was only seconds before their numbers were cut in half, followed by a third. Showing mercy, three of the orcs lived, although they survived without any of their gear. Soon afterward Eve decided to grab a few of the Orc bodies and gear and construct a crude sign signaling for Dinvaya.

Dinvaya was sitting comfortably on her makeshift bed pondering her many notes and couldn't figure out what improvements she could make to her construct. Then, one of her spy construct birds flew into the crack of her tower providing some interesting news. There was a group of individuals new to the city, causing a ruckus and held a sign with her name on it. One of two things she pondered to herself… these people were either as crazy as she was, or the Technique League had finally found her. There was no better way to test her construct so she gave her spy bird specific instructions.

Walking in the general direction of the Hawk Palace, a small metallic bird flew up to Eve with what appeared to be a note in its mouth. Thanking the bird, she read the note. It was a message from Dinvaya requesting them at her clockwork tower. The bird then began flying off at a slow pace, clearing wishing for Expedition Six to follow. Getting to the front door, its huge massive gears made an unusual sound when knocked upon. With no response, they entered. Before them, a set of two stairs leading upwards, a metallic machine standing before them. Raising its arms, it began attacking them. Retaliating, it wasn't long before the large construct broke into tiny versions of itself swarming most of the expedition members. Slowly but surely they put an end to the mechanical mayhem and heard the applause of one Dinvaya Lanalei from above.

Questioning who they were, she was relieved to hear that it was Father Joram who had sent them. Reading his note and understanding the urgency, she pledged her loyalty and friendship in helping them to rid the lands of the Lords of Rust. However, it wasn't going to be an easy task…

CHALLENGE
XP
5 Smilers; Human Gunslingers
600
Ewhar "hatchet-Hand" Vress; Human Fighter
200
Bonus: Rescued 4 Paladins of Sarenrae
300
Aldronard; Human Ghost Ex-Paladin
600
Bonus: Put Aldronard's tortured soul to rest 600
Bonus: Forged an alliance with the Steel Hawk Clan 800
9 Orc Scrapwall Thugs
400
Junk Golem 400
Dinvaya Lanalei; Half-Elf Cleric of Brigh; befriended 800-Lv5
Bonus: Acquired Scrap Worth Rank 2 267
Session total 4967
Campaign total
15544

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