For a Few GP More

The Blades of Dawn: Of Ankhegs and Boarmen

Overheard in the taverns of Opportunity:

Friends, in these troubled times we stand divided. Beastmen raid our homes and terrifying beasts stalk the land. The rulers are content to stay in their cities while those outside fall to starvation and predation. But there is hope! A new band of heroes has emerged, ready to make the land safe again! A group dedicated to the destruction of Evil and bringing the light of civilization to all the Shieldlands! A group known as…

The Blades of Dawn!

Corinth the Bold, Slayer of Merlocs, Wielder of Iana’s Aegis, and the bravest warrior known to mankind!

Goradohi the Loyal, Rider of Ankhegs, Eater of Snakes, a Crocodileman who would never leave a teammate behind!

Jarol the Just, Vested in the Righteousness of Thoth, he brings the light of knowledge to this world and death to his enemies!

Guilleme the Sly, Master of Diplomacy, Holder of the Eagle’s Eyes, a man forging the path towards the future!

McCrane the Mystical, Giver of Life, but at the same time capable of felling a hundred beastmen without a thought, he means to plumb the depths of the mysteries of this world!

Together, these brave men, women, and crocodiles seek to rid the land of evil, and they are not alone. They march with a host of brave warriors, mystical savants, and cunning tricksters, and are aided by none other than our own Baroness Tualla!

Now have another drink and listen to the tale of the Blades of Dawn and the Ankhegs of Dread. For too long, this fair city has been plagued by an ankheg menace, killing livestock and murdering innocent people. The Blades of Dawn would not stand for this! Guilleme fashioned an ingenious trap near the ankheg lair, but the beast burst from it before it was complete! It attacked Jarol’s friend and companion Boscar, and though he fought valiantly, he was dragged into the lair of the beast. Goradohi refused to leave the dwarf behind, and came up with a cunning plan to lure the beast out using a cow as bait and fire to block its retreat. The beast came forth once again, and with its retreat blocked, was handily slain by the Blades. Using more caution, fire, and bait, the ankheg lairs were all cunningly trapped, and within a few days, all laid slain. Within their lairs was the treasure of kings, but also the eggs of the foul beasts. Goradohi, showing mercy and restraint, decreed that these unborn creatures had done no harm, and should instead be trained to serve as deadly mounts to strike fear into the forces of evil.

The Blades are also paving a road through the wilderness, with an old Zaharran fort as a midway point between Opportunity and Ironbridge. In an effort to keep the road safe for travelers, they entered into an ancient Zaharran shrine to the Saint "" the Unspeakable. Inside the shrine was but a single chest on a raised dais, and an ancient skeleton with his hand on the lid. Cautiously the Blades surrounded the chest, weapons out and spells readied against any horrors the chest might contain. The spiritually mighty Perrin approached the chest, and slowly opened the lid, only to have spirits spring forth and attack her, draining her life! Quickly, before anyone else could react, she raised forth her holy golden apple and called upon the awesome power of Eris, goddess of cunning and trickery. Eris didn’t just grant her the power to destroy these vile spirits, but gave her full control over them, destroying their will entirely! But Perrin, knowing this to be a test from her goddess, proved her virtuous spirit and ordered them all into the sunlight, where they were instantly destroyed!

In securing the fort and the area around it, the Blades of Dawn encountered not one, but two boarmen tribes, one brutal but cunning tribe called the Greensnouts, and one cunning but brutal tribe known as the Blackfeet. Both were too much for even the mighty host commanded by the Blades to attack head on, so they decided upon a cunning plan. Both tribes were engaged in a ritualistic war, so the Greensnouts were made an offer: take some gold and head north, away from the fort. The Blackfeet would be made the same offer, and the Greensnouts would be able to ambush them as they prepared to move. Then the Blades went to the Blackfeet tribe and made them a different offer: after telling them about the impending ambush from the Greensnouts, the Blades offered them the chance to set up a counter-ambush, and after crushing the Greensnouts, they would leave to the uncivilized north. Both tribes thus charged with the death of the other, the Blades of Dawn watched and waited. The day of the battle came, and the Blackfeet and Greensnouts shattered into warbands, chasing each other around the fort and harried by the Blades of Dawn wherever they could. Eventually, the Greensnouts were decimated and chased to the north, and the Blackfeet settled back into their village. Exhausted and at low strength, the Blackfeet never stood a chance against the surprise attack by the Blades of Dawn, raining fire from the sky with their catapults and chasing down the survivors with their cavalry!

Now they are at peace, but who knows what threats lie just over the horizon? In the end, it doesn’t really matter, because any forces of darkness will be annihilated by…

The Blades of Dawn!

William’s notes:

Well, if things have changed a bit from the actual events, that’s hardly my fault. I’m a bard, you can’t expect me to be constrained by silly things like “Facts” or “Timelines”. That said, these things happened this month and I should remember them in case they make for good stories later:

-A scout came back from a hex next to Opportunity shouting about dragons and trolls and who all knows what. We’ll see what happens. A dragon fight would be a good opening story…
-Boscar was technically killed and resurrected, and there might be complications from that? I’m not really up on my divine magic.
-Goradohi had nothing to do with most of that but I think it would be amusing if he came to be loved by the populace as a kind and caring individual. Heh.
-If the group continues relations with Kroner I should write him into their story, but I don’t want people to get the two groups confused.
-There’s something about a missing spear? Magic item quests can be pretty good story fodder, I suppose.
-The fight against those rust monsters wasn’t really significant enough to put into a story. I mean, what do I say about that? That the brave heroes in the Blades of Dawn ran away from monsters which are, quite frankly, kind of cute? And then Goradohi ate one of them? They may come back later, but I’ll need a punchier way to introduce them.
-The ‘Unspeakable Saint ""’ bit was a hit with the party but I’m afraid it might go over the average working man’s head. I may need to edit that, we’ll see how the initial reception goes.