Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 12

Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf finally return to Alucard after raiding the East coast of the Sea of Pelluria with loot and casks of Fugue in hand. They bring the loot to Lord Krogan who picks and chooses the items that he wants as his share, and leaves a good amount for the Men of Mjarn and their crew. Krogan also gives his blessing to trading the Fugue in his territory as long as he gets a cut of that as well.

Eirik realizes that to really get the gears turning on the Fugue trade, it's a lot of legwork. He also realizes that there are 12 other crewmen expecting their cut of the loot and 12 casks of Fugue to be distributed. Putting the two together, Eirik and Deirik convince the crew that they can take a cut of the items that they brought back *or* they can each take their own cask of Fugue and earn much more as they establish a customer base and a distribution network of their own. Each of the crew, not afraid of a little extra work, takes a cask and heads off to seek their fortune.

With that solved, the Men of Mjarn take the remaining loot back to their warehouse and appraise it. In doing so, they realize that it's not a lot for the amount of work they did, but the real wealth will come once they've become true drug traders and generate a network of all the neighboring towns and cities. Patience is a virtue, yes, but it's difficult when you could really use the money right now.

However, before the men decide to try another venture, Boldulf realizes that the full moon is once again coming and he cannot just go out into the woods of Alucard since he has no control over his werewolf-self. He decides he must tell his kin, and gathers them together in their warehouse to inform them that he is, indeed, losing the battle for control of himself and he could use their help in ensuring that he does not hurt anyone in this coming full moon. Deirik, Eirik, and Ygvard are all shocked to hear of this affliction, but then put two and two together regarding the last full moon during which Boldulf disappeared and also the news of the "Devil Dog of White Cliff" that Rowdy told them about.

They then decide to inform Lord Krogan in case he has any remedy for the affliction and immediately head for the temple. When they arrive, Lord Krogan is just finishing a conversation with one of his subordinate Legates who heads out the door as the Men enter. Deirik then begins the conversation and goes straight to the point, informing Krogan that Boldulf is a werewolf and asking for a cure. Unfortunately, Krogan does not have a cure for him. Hearing that, and before Krogan can make any decisions on Boldulf's fate, the Men then tell Krogan that they will take Boldulf across the river into the Forest of Randencs during this full moon and protect the Alucardian people from him. Krogan asks the men, in front of Boldulf, if they truly want to take this on since werewolves can be very dangerous and they may be better simply taking Boldulf's life. The others assure Krogan that they can handle it and take their leave.

The men briefly return to the warehouse to gather their weapons and armor, and then head over to the ferryman to take them across the river. Once there, they enter the Forest of Randencs and seek out a spot that they believe will allow them to corner the werewolf and prevent it from threatening Alucard.

Night comes and the moon rises, and Boldulf begins to shake and shout as he attempts to stave off the transformation. He is unsuccessful. His bones pop and crack, his skin warps, and his hair grows into fur right before the others' eyes. Before them now stands a wolf with white and gray fur, and next to him his large wolf companion, Sergei. Both wolves bare their fangs and growl at Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Kiro. Sergei charges forward, using his larger size to block the Men and make a path for the werewolf. With a momentary gap exposed, the werewolf charges through and escapes into the forest! Sergei then bounds off after him, leaving the others behind!

Eirik immediately starts tracking the werewolf. However, that proves to be a difficult task because the werewolf isn't running in straight lines, but rather seems to be curving around to... get behind them! Eirik, Deirik, and Ygvard look around and spot the two wolves prowling towards them. As soon as they're spotted, both wolves break off in different directions once again leaving the men with nothing but tracks to follow. Eirik once again follows those tracks and twice more finds the werewolf and his wolf companion trying to ambush them. Finally, after the third ambush attempt, it seems the wolves have given up and take off to the North. Following that trail, it's not long before the men hear a commotion, as if a fight has broken out!

They race forward and find the werewolf and Sergei attacking a group of 5 Dorns who are wielding swords and a 6th with a bow and arrow. As soon as they arrive, the Dorns look and start to call for help from the men, but then the bowman spots Ygvard and shouts, "A Legate!" and immediately fires an arrow that barely misses Ygvard's neck! Eirik, Deirik, Ygvard, and Kiro don't think twice and enter the combat against the Dorns to protect themselves as well as Boldulf who is trapped inside the werewolf's body.

Against Eirik's powerful greatsword, Deirik's speedy bastard sword, Kiro's arrows, and Ygvard's spells, the Dorns would already be overmatched; adding in the attacks of a werewolf and another wolf the size of a horse simply makes it end that much sooner. The Dorns are cut down to a man. Right before the combat ends, the werewolf and Sergei bound off into the woods and aren't seen again until morning. Eirik, as he beheads the bodies of the Dorns to prevent them from coming back as Fell, considers for a moment that these Dorns could've easily been himself and his family. However, they did attack first and brought this fate upon themselves, so he allows those thoughts to slip away from his mind.

All the Men of Mjarn are reunited in the morning and discuss the previous night's events. Obviously, another solution is needed since the werewolf both escaped, tried to attack the others, and then found some Dorns to attack later. The idea dawns on them that the brigands they'd routed from the caves to the south had installed barred doors in the caves that contained the loot they were taking. Perhaps they could use those doors to lock Boldulf inside for the next two nights. It can't be any worse than trying to contain him in the forest. With that decided, they all race back to Alucard, take a boat and race downriver.

They arrive at the cave complex with less than two hours to spare. Luckily, no one else has taken up residence in the caves so they choose the one with the strongest door and both Boldulf and Sergei step inside. Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Kiro find ways to brace the door from the outside and wait. As soon as the moon rises, the men hear Boldulf's voice roar from behind the door. The roar dies down after a couple minutes, at which point Boldulf's human voice is heard from behind the door saying "I've resisted it this evening." The men, however, are unsure of the details of Boldulf's affliction and decide they're safer leaving him in the locked cave until morning.

The third night, they all once again brace for the change and upon moonrise they once again hear Boldulf's roar followed by silence. After several minutes, the door rattles and shakes as if something, two somethigns, are slamming against it trying to break it down. The men hear the sounds of scratching and more slamming, followed by the splintering of wood. The men outside race around gathering more materials and Eirik pulls them together to craft a stronger brace for the door. With the new brace in place, the splintering sound ceases and after some time has passed the slamming stops. The rest of the night passes quietly.

With the full moon behind them, Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf all return to Alucard to continue their quest to establish a network for the Fugue trade and amass more wealth.

Player Commentary. This is probably the furthest that the PC's fall, or at least Eirik. Setting up a drug distribution network for no reason other than "I want money" and killing a ragtag team of young Dornish raiders--the very people he would have been a few years prior.  In fact, by this point, his priorities have become completely inverted--he once sought trade to help his clan and his people, and now he's dealing drugs to be able to afford silk rope (don't laugh, it's worth it just for the reduced encumbrance). He once sought a way a to end the ceaseless war, and now his killing men who should be his allies on behalf of not only an evil cleric, but a freaking werewolf.

This is why my characters should never be in charge--we end up setting up murderous criminal enterprises. Crap, probably shouldn't have put that on my annual self-assessment for work. 

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