An Act of Vengeance

The Story of the Once and Reborn King

Book One: From Ashes of Empire

Part I: The Horn of Ancient Valor

Adventure Three: The Proving of the Warlord

Act II: An Act of Vengeance

Chapter One: Soulstealer

July 6-14
The journey home begins. It is a longer trip back because the wagons and animals are so heavily burdened. The caravan is untroubled by further Headhunter attacks and reaches the Red Claw territories.

During the trip home, the mages pour over the old tomes and artifacts recovered from the caern. The most important, and the one the daughter of Azar'rak'kar'uss, the ancient wizard of the Ghost Tower, was carrying to "The Necromancer" seems to be an ancient journal which tells of a Horror called Bone Crown, the Usurper. It would seem that this Horror was largely responsible for the second civil war that ravaged Atlantis. This comes as a suprise to the few historians in the party, as the second civil war as detailed in the journal is the only one known to current scholars, and hints that ancient Atlantis may be older then anyone knows, and that it may have sufferend more than one Scourge before collapsing. It also hints at Bone Crown's weakness: being shown his reflection. The party also finds the copy of the Prophesy of the Phoenix from the Ghost Tower in Grimgroth's belongings.

Word reaches the party that a large army of orcs under the banners of Azog Headpulper and Baron Montrose is moving towards the pass to Haven. Thunderkeep outriders tell the party that Lord Enak believes they mean to cut off communication with Haven then siege the keep while attempting a surprise attack on Haven. The army is some two or three days ride north of the party's current position, and they once again enlist the aid of the Red Claws (for suitable bribes) for an attack on the army.

July 15-16
Additional forces from the keep join the party and the orcs as they move to engage the forces of Azog.

During the trip back from the caern, Elricson has been anxious to continue his journey of self-exploration. He is impatient with these delays and decides to strike out on his own and travel to the Blood Wood where he hopes to find clues to the location of his armor. He attempts to convince Ander and some of the others to abandon the attack and join him, but they all refuse. Elricson rides off.

July 17
An attack is planned and put into action. A pitched battle ensues. Chief Grakk is rescued by Ander and Tristin during some heavy fighting. The party fights its way to Montrose and an epic battle begins. Montrose seems unstoppable, his wounds heal as he takes them and he shrugs off blows that would cripple an ordinary man.

Elricson returns to join the party after having traveled up into the pass to Haven where he has discovered that it is infested with enemy orcs. He slips unnoticed into the combat with Montrose. He enters Montrose's tent and discovers a dark secret. Within the tent is the Horror Soulstealer, an animate blob of rotting flesh with spiny tentacles and many gaping maws. It is this Horror that is granting Montrose his unlife and inhuman powers.

Attacking and destroying the Horror, the party finds Montrose an easier target, and defeat and burn him and the Horror's remains. The rest of the battle has gone well. The humans and Red Claws have routed the forces of Azog and hold the field.

Chapter Two: An Act of Vengeance

July 18-20
The party returns to the Red Claw camp to rest and recuperate. After three days, they are summoned by Chief Grakk who makes gifts to them for their bravery in battle. They take their leave and head towards Haven.

July 21-23
The party travels catiously into the pass. Elricson and Wulfgar act as advance scouts, traveling ahead of the main caravan. Several times the party has close encounters with orc raiding parties, but combat and discovery are avoided.

July 24
Elricson and Wulfgar run into trouble. They spot a large caravan lead by Salim traveling down from the city, escorted by a large orc patrol. Trying to spy on the camp, they are discovered. Wulfgar is captured, but Elricson escapes and returns to tell the party what has happened.

July 25
In Salim's camp, Wulfgar is totured for information about the party's whereabouts and plans. Salim is concerned about Montrose's defeat, but still seems confident that once Azog appears all will be well. He also tells Wulfgar that he has been busy since last he saw them, and that he has a little suprise for them when next they meet. A little insurance he says laughingly.

Meanwhile, the party has not been idle. They sneak into the camp, free Wulfgar and make a break for it. Salim laughs at them as they ride for freedom, the orcs in hot pursuit. An ambush and a deadfall gives the party some breathing room, and they set out as fast as they can towards Haven, as burdened as they are by the wagons and treasures.

July 26
Still being pursued by the orcs, who are growing larger in numbers.

July 27
The party has run as far as it can without abandoning the wagons and goods. The decide to stand and fight along the shores of a lake. As the attack commences, the party is relieved to hear the sounds of reinforcments. A patrol from Haven has found them! Quickly, the human cavalry and dwarven infantry pin the orcs against the lake shore and crush those that do not drown themselves trying to get away.

July 28-29
The party continues its trip under escort. They arrive in Haven late on the 29th. They are welcomed as heroes and take up their rooms at their old inn. They warn the city of the orcs, but are told that the raids are an annual occurence and nothing to be too concerned with, although they seem more organized and better armed then usual. Still the city steps up their patrols and defenses just in case.

July 30
The party settles in to the "good life". Hot baths, clean linens, and well-stuffed mattresses contribute to a sense of well-being and security. A locked box arrives for Tristin. He has a locksmith summoned to open the box. The locksmith is killed when a poison needle sticks him. Such poison is unusual and does not travel well. The party figures that the poison must be from a local source. Tristin has his men begin to look into matters. A local apothecary is rumored to be a good contact for illegal activities and poisons. While Ander takes point outside, looking about as obvious as a bull in a china shop, Tristin heads into the shop to get some info. Things go badly as Tristin attacks the man in an attempt to intimidate him and in turn is almost stabbed with a venomous blade. The apothecary runs into his back room where a couple shifty men are hanging out, part of a press gang. An all-out brawl erupts as Ander and the other lookouts charge in. Ander hacks a man in half with a single blow, an impressive feat. The apothecary vows revenge on Tristin.

Questioning the remaining man, the party learns of a local brothel, a place by the name of Mamalita's. After getting past the troll bouncer and talking to the gargantuan Mamalita herself, Tristin treats everyone to a good time. The party learns from Mamalita and the other girls that the men in the shop, and about six others, have been frequenting the brothel in shifts, and some have bragged that they will soon be rich on ransom money. Mamalita has sold them some supplies but knows nothing else.

On the way back to the inn, the party is ambushed by Salim's men. Marik is almost killed.

The party decides they better open the box. Elricson gives it a crack and turns out to have a decent hand at lockpicking. The box contains a human finger with a ring on it. Ander's ring on Britta's finger!

August 1
It is now after midnight and a message arrives telling the party where to meet Salim later in the morning to discuss ransom for Vonda, Britta, and Aniki.

The party attends the meeting with Salim, who gloats over the party's predicament. The party agrees to Salim's demands and leaves the meeting to collect the ransom. The party decides to attempt to rescue the girls if possible. Marik begins a spell of location from his bed which fails. Tristin re-visits Mamalita's to see if he can get any solid clues as to the location of the kidnappers. He is able to narrow the search radius to a certain section of town and within this smaller area, Marik is able to affect a spell of location that can overcome the wards guarding the girls location.

The party assaults the kidnappers's flat, which is a third floor apartment in a tenament building. The battle is bloody and brief and no mercy is shown to any of the men inside. The girls are safe, and aside from Britta's finger, unwounded. Salim is no where to be found.

On to Act III: Bone Crown

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