Monday, October 30, 2017

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 2

Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf all grab some well-deserved rest in the safety of the ogre's large tent. When they awake, they recall they're on a relatively short timeline. Voldash and his army should be arriving at Halderton in less than two months, and they still need to get there, connect with the rebellion, and empower them to win the impending fight!

The Men of Mjarn take some time to discuss Krogan's orders to them. He told them that he wanted to recruit these hobgoblins to *his* forces, not that they were to be used against Voldash. Do they take even more time and take the hobgoblins to him now? Or do they press forward with the hobgoblins to Halderton? After much consideration, they choose the latter plan and give the command for the hobgoblins to pack camp and prepare to march.

The group decides to split to make the best use of their time. Deirik and Ygvard will race ahead to Halderton and attempt to make contact while Eirik and Boldulf will march the hobgoblins there.

Shortly after Deirik and Ygvard leave the Forest of Randencs behind, they spot something ahead on a crossroad. As they get closer, they recognize it as the body of a young boy. They approach slowly, concerned that the boy's killer may still be nearby. Once next to the boy, they see for certain that he is dead. However, as soon as they relax, the boy jumps up, and four other Fell spring out from the nearby bushes and attack! Luckily, both Deirik and Ygvard react fast enough to take the first shots. Deirik quickly takes out the closest enemy, the Fell boy who trapped them. Ygvard calls upon his ancestors, and his Faith in them, and channels it towards the remaining Fell, obliterating them in the blink of an eye. The Fell dealt with, both men continue their journey.

Later down the road, Deirik and Ygvard spot something down the road they're walking that is headed in their direction. As it approaches, they determine it to be a group of 18 goblin slavers herding 8 Dornish women, young and old, likely to either a life of slavery or to their death. Ygvard feels compelled to save them. Deirik wants to as well, but the mental scars of enslavement as well as the physical scars of the taskmaster's whip still burn too fresh for him to risk his newfound freedom. Deirik disappears into the nearby underbrush and tells Ygvard to do the same. The goblins and their doomed slaves pass by.

After the two come out of hiding and meet up, they talk it over and decide they really can't live with themselves if they don't do something. So they follow the slavers path and decide to make a move when they stop for the night. That evening, they spot the slavers camped off the side of the road. As they begin their approach, a scream pierces the night, and is suddenly silenced, coming from the direction of the camp... for at least one Dornish woman, they were too late.

The goblins leave four on watch when they bed down for the night. Deirik sneaks in and expertly assassinates each guard in turn until the last one, who gets out a loud yelp as he dies. The remaining goblins awake and quickly arm themselves. Deirik enters the combat swinging. Ygvard, leery of using his spells in a world where magic is hunted, brings his spear to bear. During the combat, both Deirik and Ygvard take some hits, but with the Dornish women doing what they can to obstruct and distract the goblins, they win the day! After a night's rest in a better hidden location, Deirik and Ygvard escort the women back to their nearby town and continue on their way to Halderton.

Meanwhile, Eirik and Boldulf oversee the hobgoblins as they finish packing camp and form up into their four companies under the command of the four sergeants and begin their march. Each hobgoblin is well armed with a bow and arrows as well as a sword. With such a combat ready mass, nothing will stand in their way so they march in confidence and safety. Boldulf, being capable of speaking the goblin tongue relatively well (but not wanting to tip his hand in previous encounters), uses this time to listen in on troop chatter. Eirik spends his time discussing the status and morale of his troops with his sergeants.

During their conversations, Eirik learns that these hobgoblins used to report to Lord Voldash himself, some of them still have the torn tabard of Voldash on their armor. However, one day as they were marching with Lord Voldash and his small fist of Orcish guards, they were ambushed by a large ogre. Before combat even began, Voldash abandoned the hobgoblins, ordering his orcs to escort him to safety! The hobgoblins decided to renounce their oaths of loyalty to Voldash and followed the the ogre into the woods to become his enforcers. Through this story, Eirik infers that Voldash is truly a coward and will run away if he encounters sufficient opposition.

Boldulf learns over time from his eavesdropping that company 4 doesn't care for company 3 and believes them to be mismanaged, disorganized, and relatively useless. When he reports this to Eirik, Eirik does not care for this type of insubordination and decides that company 4 should be the "tip of the spear" if they should encounter any combat.

Back to Deirik and Ygvard, they finally arrive in Halderton. Halderton, being a leatherworking town, was not hard to find once they got close, as the stench of meat, hides, lye, and other processing materials pervades the surrounding area. They meet up with the town elder, Seamus, who chides them for even suggesting that there's an active resistance in place. Seamus informs them that he means to bring forth the townspeople to bend the knee and ask for mercy when Lord Voldash returns.

Player Commentary: This was a fun session, even if I, as Eirik, didn't have much to do. I felt a little bad for Boldulf as well--he was a new player to our group, and so we wanted to include him in as much as possible. But, well, his was the only character who could speak to the goblins, so he got stuck with the army while the other PC's got to go have some fun.

For Eirik, though, this was the beginning of a fairly major change in his character, and he become more accustomed to making decisions and giving orders. This would end up causing some conflict in the party, particularly when he would put the needs of his "men" over the needs of other humans. But that's a story for later...

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