Tuesday, November 7, 2017

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 6

Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf encounter no trouble on their way to Bergen, the town in which Lord Voldash's temple is located. Knowing that they're trying to take Lord Voldash alive, Eirik takes the time during this trip to craft saps for himself and Deirik. They finally reach the outskirts of Bergen after several days of travel, and see the large number of farms that surround the town itself. They note there is only one visible gate through the large palisade that surrounds it, and it appears to be well-manned by both Dornish mercenaries as well as orcs.

Eirik and Boldulf decide to scout the rest of the surrounding area, and determine if there are any more subtle entrances to the town, leaving Deirik and Ygvard to bide their time. Deirik and Ygvard decide to approach one of the nearby farms and see if they might talk their way into an escort into town. The find a man out in his fields and make their way to him. As they do so, the farmer looks their way and gives them a confused look. Once there, Deirik speaks with the farmer, trying to convince him that they are traveling merchants that are trying to enter Bergen but don't have the papers to officially do so. The farmer tells Deirik that he should simply go through the gates, get an escort to Lord Voldash, and announce himself there. Deirik offhandedly mentions a desire to not engage with the temple of Izrador, and the farmer responds with a look of shock, followed by one of scorn. Deirik and Ygvard share a look as they realize this farmer is far more devout than they expected, or wanted. Deirik senses that this farmer may be looking to report this conversation.

The farmer excuses himself, bids the men good day, and heads back towards his farm house. Deirik looks to Ygvard, shakes his head, then unsheathes his sword and runs the farmer through, killing him immediately. Ygvard stands there in shock at the entire sequence of events. He can't believe what Deirik has just done! While the farmer was certainly not helpful, to kill him for simply walking away from them was just wrong! Deirik explains that the farmer was going to report their presence and location to the Bergen authorities, and they need the element of surprise if they're going to take Lord Voldash alive.

Eirik and Boldulf rejoin Deirik and Ygvard after scouting the entire area and finding nothing but farmland outside, and only the one entrance to Bergen. Ygvard then relays what happened with the farmer, and Eirik and Boldulf look at Deirik who maintains that he did the right thing. Both Eirik and Boldulf reserve judgement since they were not there to witness, but express some concern privately for their brother and "nephew" respectively. They do relay to Deirik and Ygvard that the folk they encountered were also quite devoted to the Shadow Faith though, which they also found odd.

A little time passes before the farmer's wife comes out to find her husband, and discovers him murdered in the field. She races off to Bergen to alert the authorities! The Men of Mjarn hide in the nearby fields. The farmer's wife then returns with three large Dornish mercenaries and 2 orcs, all of whom take a look at the body of the farmer and decapitate it to prevent it from becoming Fell. With them all distracted by the scene, the Men of Mjarn attack the group! The group of mercs and orcs were on edge, but not ready for a surprise attack, and the men make short work of them, taking only a few hits themselves. The farmer's wife realizes these are her husband's murderers and picks up the lead mercenary's well-crafted bastard sword in a rage. She lands a solid blow on Eirik before he takes her down as well. Deirik claims the bastard sword as his own, since it seems to have a finer edge and better balance than the one he currently wields.

The Men of Mjarn, now surrounded by six more corpses, come up with a devious plan. They will leave the heads on these corpses and let them become Fell so that they can terrorize the town and draw out Lord Voldash and his men. However, they don't really know how long it takes to become Fell. They've heard rumors of men being killed and instantly becoming Fell such that they don't even know they're dead right away, but that obviously hasn't happened. So they back further away from the town and decide to wait it out.

The corpses don't make any movement that night, nor much of the next day. That next day's evening, Ygvard decides to have the men move a bit further away from town so he can try using his magic to heal up some of the wounds they took. The men move out past the farm and Ygvard begins casting. As he attempts to draw upon the weave to conjure his spell, he realizes it's much harder than usual. He expends the extra energy to heal Deirik, but worries that doing so may have created a bigger signal to Voldash's magic-hunting astirax than he intended. His fears are soon justified as the town's bell begins to ring and the men see all the farmers from the surrounding lands gathered with their families and heading into town. Once all farmers are in, the town's gates are closed and locked. Voldash now knows that a magic user is casting near his town, and is on alert.

That night, Deirik, Eirik, and Boldulf go to once again inspect the palisade for any hidden entrances, leaving Ygvard to keep watch outside the town with Boldulf's wolf companion, Sergei. While they find no other way in, they do find a spot on the palisade that may be more easily climbed than the rest. The three of them stealthily climb up and over, and enter the silent and alert town of Bergen. Not long afterwards, the three men encounter a patrol of two orcs. Before the orcs can sound any alarm, they dive into action and kill them. Looking around, there is no response from any other patrols or the nearby homes. However, now that they've begun, this is their best shot at Voldash. They then go about seeking the patrols as quickly as possible to take each out and clear the town.

Their next move is to attack the barracks for any sleeping guards that could cause problems later. Boldulf helps Ygvard get into the town while Deirik and Eirik assassinate the sleeping mercenaries and orcs expertly. Now, with no remaining obstacles, the men head for the black obsidian Temple of Izrador sitting in the center of town. Its ominous architecture is intimidating, but before they enter, they must first kill the three orcs stationed at its entrance. Bolting into action once again, the orcs call for help which will not come as they quickly lose the fight to the Men of Mjarn. The men then progress into the temple, seeking their target.

After looking around the main level and only seeing a large book sitting on the podium at the front of the sanctuary, they progress downstairs. As soon as they turn the corner, they're faced with a fully armored and armed Lord Voldash who immediately begins casting! Deirik, Eirik, and Boldulf charge him! Ygvard, concerned with using his spells right in front of Lord Voldash and confirming he is the source of magic, decides to use his spear to attack his grass cat astirax. Deirik feels his muscles start to tighten and seize, but shrugs off the effect as he makes it next to Voldash and bashes him with his sap! Eirik races in and does the same, while Boldulf's fists are pounding against the dark cleric! Ygvard makes quick work of the astirax and turns his attention towards Lord Voldash. Voldash steps back and begins casting again, as he completes his spell the men feel some reluctance when trying to swing their weapons towards him but once again are able to shrug it off. Solid hits from saps and fists once again prove too much for Lord Voldash, who is knocked unconscious!

The Men of Mjarn grab Voldash, loot anything worthwhile from his quarters, and go upstairs. While the others race out of the temple, Ygvard once again notices the book on the podium and retrieves it for later, since he is one of the rare few remaining in this world that is literate. With their target and their loot in hand, the men quietly leave the town of Bergen and start heading back North.

Players Commentary: This is where things really began going bad for the party, from a moral stand point. The killing of a Legate is one thing--they're dedicated servants of pure evil, after all. But a simple farmer? Deirik's action caused a lot of consternation among the party, but from a role-playing point of view, well, he has the most Charisma and all the social skills, so when he makes his case, well, not only is he family, but he's believable. Even still, it didn't sit well with any of us.

Later, Eirik's killing of the wife, while not as horrible, still caused problems. We began to see just how ingrained the Shadow worship was in the world, and what horrible things we might need to do just to survive.

On the plus side, Deirik got lucky as hell on his Will save against Voldash, because that fight could have been far nastier than we intended. Still, despite the "victory," none of us felt very heroic after our actions in Bergen.

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