"YOU DID WHAT?!" Lord Krogan's voice resounds through the Shadow Temple as he reacts to the news Deirik relays that he has murdered his cousin Lianna, sister of Torvald the Betrayer.
Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf all stand back from the discussion; they're there to support and watch over Deirik, but are not involving themselves otherwise since it's his news to break.
Lord Krogan continues, "I'm sorry, should I have explicitly said not to attack Torvald's family in addition to telling you not to attack Torvald himself? Is that a clarification I should've made?"
Deirik begins to respond, "I just..."
Lord Krogan explodes once again "THAT WAS RHETORICAL!" He then brandishes his symbol of Izrador, "I CALL UPON THE MIGHT OF IZRADOR TO COW THIS BEING INTO SUBMISSION!"
Deirik shrinks back from the symbol in abject fear, falling to his knees, unable to control himself. The other Men move forward to stand just behind him, but otherwise allow this interaction to take place.
Lord Krogan takes a few deep breaths, then puts his symbol back into his robes, and calmly continues, "While it's not the end of the world, you have forced my hand in this. I have to cut ties with you until you resolve this situation. You will gather your things and leave Alucard until this situation is no longer an issue. I will not hunt you even though that's what I'll be saying I'm doing. However, if you should return to my territory before you've resolved things, I will be forced to apprehend you and turn you over. Now, let's get you out of my temple and town, go get your things and leave."
The Men all look at each other, then turn and head out of the temple complex with Krogan right behind them. As they exit the complex and there are both orcish guards and townspeople in earshot, Krogan calls out, "I will have to think this situation over before deciding how best to deal with you, you may return to your warehouse but do not leave town! I expect you to report to me in the morning!"
Eirik, realizing that Lord Krogan is setting them up to be fugitives, salutes and simply responds, "Yes, sir!"
The Men return to their warehouse, await the cover of night, and then sneak over to the docks, steal a ferry, and make their way across the Be'neeya river and into the Forest of Randencs. That night, the men talk over what "resolving the situation" means.
Deirik, singularly focused on revenge, speaks first, "I think our best option is to go after Torvald. He may be powerful, but with all of us together, we should be able to take him down."
Eirik grimaces, "Yes, but wouldn't he be expecting us at this point? You just attacked his family, and now want to go after him when he's on high alert?"
Ygvard agrees, "I agree, if what Krogan says is true and Torvald is indeed more powerful than he is, then Torvald might not just rebuke you, but CONTROL you if he brandishes his holy symbol."
Deirik shakes his head, "There's no reason for him to suspect that that would work, I'm not fully undead."
Boldulf interjects, "... but if he figures it out, Ygvard's right, he could destroy you outright."
Deirik rolls his eyes, "So, then, what's our other option? Run and Hide and wait for this to blow over? How long will that take? Torvald will not forgive or forget this anytime soon."
Eirik responds, "Thanks to you! But you're right, our family certainly knows how to hold a grudge," staring daggers at Deirik.
Boldulf adds, "What about joining a rebel group? I've had dealings with Roland's Raiders, and you've mentioned The Pirate Princes before."
Ygvard quickly jumps in, "Yeah, I'm sure they'd love to have a Legate 'join' them."
Boldulf sighs, "Ah, right."
"So, it's decided, we go after Torvald. Good. Let's get some sleep," Deirik announces, putting an end to the conversation while the others sigh and shake their heads.
With their course of action more-or-less decided, the men head Southwest toward Torvald's territory the next day. The plan is to try to find Torvald's other sister, Kari, and use her as bait. Since Lianna was in Vorhold, Kari is likely in Kardan or Svenor, the other two of the three towns that once made up what the Men once called home. Kardan being the closest, the Men head directly there.
Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf, along with their allies Kiro the hobgoblin and Sergei the horse-sized wolf arrive without incident to the outskirts of Kardan. Kardan is not as welcome a sight as the men recall it from years back; the gates are closed and patrols are out even during the day. The Men decide to wait until night to infiltrate it and discern whether anyone of importance, mainly Kari or Torvald, are inside.
As night falls, Deirik and Eirik go forth while Ygvard, Boldulf, Kiro, and Sergei wait outside the palisade to provide backup if needed. The two scale the palisade without issue and make their way through the town. When they arrive at the manor house, they look through the windows and see it ransacked as if its inhabitants swiftly departed. The two stealthily break in, take a look around and find it was a man and woman living here, but they've taken a good portion of their belongings and don't seem like they'll be returning anytime soon. Figuring there's no point in staying here, the two decide to set fire to the manor house to stick it to Torvald and aid in their escape of the town.
The blaze quickly takes hold, and Deirik and Eirik make their way to the palisade wall. They dodge everyone reacting to the fire on their way. However, just as they reached the top of the palisade, a pair of orcish guards inside the town spot them and shout out an alarm. The two Men dive over the palisade, meet up with the others, and race back out to the outskirts to watch the town's reaction.
It sounds like the entire town has awoken as shouts are heard from within. The blaze in the middle of the town reaches a peak before it begins to die down, but more importantly a large contingent of orcs spills out from the gate and separates into three groups. They then begin spiraling out from the town searching for the Men.
The Men hold their ground and wait until the first group of orcs gets close before setting upon them with a fury. A few bumps and bruises, but little worse for wear, the Men take down this group of orcs. Unfortunately, the noise attracted the other two groups!
Before they've really had time to catch their breath, the two remaining groups of orcs attack at once. Vardatches cut and slice into the Men! Deirik and Eirik pair up to cut the orcs down as quickly as possible! Kiro adeptly fires arrows to keep anyone from becoming overwhelmed! Boldulf shapeshifts into a wolf and works with Sergei to bite and tear the orcs apart! Ygvard uses his Legate magic to bolster them all and keep their wounds from becoming more than they can bear! By the end of this knock-down-drag-out fight, the Men emerge victorious but have taken some serious injuries and will need time to rest and recover.
They all decide, for now, to remain in the outskirts of Kardan and heal up as quickly as possible.
Players Comment: And it was all going so well...
I (Eirik) had such a good plan. It was a solid plan. Work with Krogan, help him establish some sort of order in the Northlands, and allow the land and the people time to rebuild and heal.
Now, as anyone who knows the Midnight setting knows, this was a terrible plan. But Eirik hasn't read the setting book, ok?
And, in one brief moment of confusion (according to the guy who plays Deirik), it all comes crumbling apart. We're on the run, we're burning down houses, we're killing guys, we're taking on groups of Orcs that frankly we have no business being near, let alone fighting. It's just...it was all going so well!
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