Iron Kingdoms

Episode VII: The Evenport Shuffle
Welcoming Madame Voodoo to the mantle of Villainhood

GM Note: To this point in the campaign, Madame Voodoo’s participation was limited to when Charles and Treadle (Kyle & Becker) grew bored. She would sell them out to Shere Khan, the criminal mastermind of Evenport who had a bounty on them. Everyone would roll initiative, there would be a spectacular gun fight, and Voodoo collected a fat stack cash. Everybody was happy.

Then Hope and the Paladin tried to shake her down and things got real.

I do not clearly remember the disagreement’s origin. It may have been Voodoo’s strict “no-return” policy. It could have been Voodoo accused someone of having sticky fingers. Or it may have been a pair of Paladins negotiating with a practitioner of the dark arts. But I do remember how it ended. Initiative was rolled, Voodoo cast “Gate” and brought in a half dozen Dragonspawn, everybody got down, and Vladimir rudely woke up a mercenary company when he tried to pillage their closet. The PCs took their lumps and put a hurting on the Dragonspawn. Voodoo teleported away and the campaign hasn’t been the same since.

This short battle marked a turning point from “Madame Voodoo, Double-Crossing-Curio-Shop-Owner” to “Madame Voodoo, Major Villain”.
Dark queen  battletoads

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Episode VIII: Restoring the Romanov Line
The Irkusskan Crown is given to Anya Romanov.

In this episode, the PCs overthrew “The Collective”, and placed the young Anastasia on the throne as Queen of Irkusska. The PCs immediately went about forming a government around the young Queen. Each party member was given a different cabinet post to fill the void left by the Collective.

Handjob met with Denisov’s ghost (Denisov being the desceased leader of “The Collective”). Denisov informed Handjob of a Dragon Shard that had fallen into the Collective’s possession.

They were then assaulted by a Wurm that Walks and a Crystal Dragon. There was a spectacular battle where the Wurm and Dragon attempted to steal the Shards and fought up and down the hill of the capitol mansion. In the end, the Dragon was destroyed when it flew too into range of the guns of Hanjob and Lincoln’s fleet, and the Wurm dissapeared.

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Episode VI: Rescue and Escape from the Isle of Herone

Charles tracked the Dark Elves deep into the jungle and back to a subterranean city. He watched them put Treadle and the other prisoners in bamboo cages. Not knowing how else to garner his partner’s escape, he turned himself over to the Dark Elves and their Queen, Delake’ (Del-a-key). He managed to charm Delake’ into keeping him under house arrest rather than a cage. Then he went about bargianing with her for his friend’s release. Delake eventually agreed to release Treadle in exchange for an errand: “Go out into the jungle and kill the Monster that plagues my people.” Giving the gun mage no further instruction, she kicked him out into the bush.

As Charles explored the island, he discovered brownie-folk, fought lava spiders and evaded jungle trolls. However, the Monster did not appear, and after three days Charles quit and returned to the subterranean city. As it turned out, he was sneaking in as Treadle was busting out. The two met up in a room where Hayake, the Queen’s younger sister was torturing a Lamia named Jill

Meanwhile, the rest of the party had landed on the island’s Northern shore (Anton, Vladimir, Tok, Hope, Via, and Steve). They began searching for traces of Cygnar’s Prince. Hope used her superior woodland knowledge and soon picked up his trail. Traipsing through the jungle, they came into conflict with Tatzylwyrms, illusions, brownies & a huge but invisible Monster.

With the help of the Brownie-Folk, they met up with Charles, Treadle and Jill. Together, this super-party encountered a strange metal tower. Charles turned ethreal and flew “into” the tower to invistigate the inside. There were four towers on the island and they were all connected – via a huge machine – to a sea of lava contained deep beneath the island. The party took note and pressed on, still searching for the Prince.

The trail of clues led them all the way around the island and finally to the Western shoreline. There, Prince Raelthorne and a small band were hidden in a cave on the cliffs, where they had survived hand to mouth these past months.

Now united, with prince in tow, the party made for the north shore. Hopefully Capt. Oreo would still be waiting.

Linnorm – Before they could escape, the party ran afoul the Invisible Monster that plagued the island. The Brownie who had helped them escape turned out to be a two headed Linnorm, named Larry, who could turn invisible at will. The ancient serpent had spent his centuries on Herone hunting the Dark Elves and the local wildlife. As master of the island, he was not keen on anyone leaving. It was a fearsome battle, but thanks to Steve’s sharp shooting and a pair of trolls Anton had summoned the Linnorm was defeated.

The party survived a running gunfight as the Dark Elves harried them in their flight through the jungle. Steve and Vladimir led the Prince’s escort to the north shore where they signaled Oreo.

A group of Slavers/Pirates had come to the Island to capture prisoners and sell them as slaves. Tok had snuck aboard their fleet of ships and succeeded at jury-rigging the largest one to run itself against the island’s northern cliffs.

And last but not least … Charles sunk the island by pressing the red button, forever earning himself the enmity of the Dark Elves of Herone (who are now allies of one Madame Voodoo).

The party sailed north at great speed while the island became consumed in an explosion of fire and lava while it sank beneath the sea.

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Episode V: Journey to the Isle of Herone

Part One: Rumble in Evenport, and an Investigation
Charles and Treadle had an arrangement with Madame Voodoo: The Evil Shopkeeper would collect a reward by turning them over to their enemy Shere Khan, ruler of Evenport – Charles and Treadle would be ambushed in a spectacular gunfight – allowing the two gunfighters would eliminate some of their enemies – or at least some of their henchmen. Then they would ask Voodoo to start it all over again.

By this time, the above events had run their course several times. Shere Khan was growing impatient as to why his men were unable to capture their quarry.

Which leads us to …

Tok and Bob were investigating Prince Reese’s disappearance (and advancing the plot, thank you very much). The goblin and ranger had tracked the conspirator’s to a riverboat party parked at a dock next to Lady Vue’s mansion. They infiltrated the party in disguise, rolled gather information, then snuck into Lady Vue’s backyard garden.

Not far away, Charles and Treadle were managing an ambush that had quickly become too much to handle. The Khan had sent more, and better armed and trained, henchmen this time. To make matters worse, they were cornered at the end of a pier. The Elf and Chimney Sweep were making a good show of it, blasting away at Khan’s henchmen, when Thump appeared, tumbling past their bullets, and rushing down the dock toward them. Reaching their end of the dock, he sprung at them and, with a flurry of blows, TKO’d both adventurers in one round. They were captured and brought before Khan, who interrogated them, gained nothing, then tortured them and stripped them of their possessions. After being beated into a bloody coma, Charles and Treadle awoke chained to the belly of a prison ship.

Back at Lady Vue’s mansion, Tok and Bob had discovered a Crypt. Which was dug into her backyard, and locked, and guarded by displacer beasts, and full of traps. A few sneak rolls got them past the displacer beasts. A key pilfered from the house got them into the Crypt. Down the stairs they went. Every fifth step they heard a “click”. Investigating the first “click” found them nothing. They decided to push on. After a second “click”, they investigated again. Nothing. Then a third “click”. This time they stopped for good and looked REALLY hard (Bob took 20). They found it, they were setting the traps as they went down INTO the crypt. If they continued as they were, it would be almost impossible to get out.

Tok whipped out his tool kit and began dissembling the traps and the pressure plates that were triggering them. The descent was meticulous. However, at the crypt’s bottom they were rewarded with the information they sought: Prince Reese had been abducted. He was being held on the infamous Isle of Herone. An island that was tucked away between the Scharde and Cryx. Its exact location was known by only a few (the people with the power to send prisoners there). Fortunately, the Margrave of Vilmaer knew a Cygnaran-exile-turned-privateer named Cassinni St. Oreo, who knew exactly where Herone was. Not only that, but she was also crazy enough to take them.

Part II: The Journey South into the Scharde

Sailing south aboard the “Darkmaiden”, the PCs discovered the reason for St. Oreo’s bravado – her ship was incredibly fast. The “Darkmaiden” was powered by a crystal the size of a dragon egg. Kept in a secret hold beneath the stern, the crystal crackled with untamed arcane energy and magically propelled the ship at great speed.

However, this did not prevent Oreo from running aground against a reef. A band of Revenant Pirates were using the reef as a point of ambush. There was a breif fracas, and the undead were dispatched. It was here that Steve pulled a certain pair of boots off an undead pirate. Stever really hasn’t been the same ever since. This was also the first time anyone had run into the forces of Toruk, the Dragon-lich-deity and ruler of Cryx.
Isle of herone

The Darkmaiden sailed further south, deep into the Scharde. Capt. Oreo and her crew deftly avoided any more entaglements. After several more days of sailing, the party awoke one morning to a thick fog. The Darkmaiden had located Herone’s coastline. The captain got as close as she dared, then hid her small cutter in the fog bank. A pair of rowboats dropped the PCs on shore. Oreo would stay hidden in the fog and await their signal.

Two days earlier a prison ship had stopped short of that same fog bank. The chimneysweep had weaseled his way free of his chains (while lighting another prisoner, a lizardman named K’Selsiss, on fire) and managed to jump ship and swim ashore. As Treadle and the other prisoners were brought ashore via longboat. Charles watched from the shadows of the jungle.

Treadle and his fellow prisoners had barely reached the beach and made a fire when they were ambushed, captured, and carried into the jungle by the native Dark Elf tribe. Charles calmly cast invisibility on himself and followed, waiting for a chance to free his friend.

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Episode IV: The Raven and the Duchess

Captains Lincoln and Handjob and the rest of the party were sailing to Evenport. During their voyage, Charles and Amelia did a little catching up which devolved into an argument from which they had to be separated. At Evenport, Lincoln and Handjob made hefty profits from selling their cargo of Irkusskan ore. After they checked in on their local racket, they collected even more profit from their counterfeiting. Both the Menites and the smugglers had made good on the bargains Hanjob had set. Counterfeit coin was now flowing into Cygnar from Evenport, all thanks to Handjob and Lincoln.

One evening later that week, Lincoln was sitting and smoking his pipe on the porch when he noticed a raven sitting on a nearby fence post. Oddly, the raven seemed to be watching him as much as Lincoln was watching it. After a few moments of staring, the raven flew away. The ship captain thought the incident odd and stored it away until later.

The next evening, a whirlwind hit Evenport. Tornadoes are unheard of near the ocean so the PCs investigated the strange weather. The vortex had engulfed the Menite Chapel (which supported their counterfeiting) and a group of homeless were gathering around, worshiping the storm. These homeless turned out to be cultists, poorly dressed in dirty cloaks. None gave a straight answer to their actions.

The windstorm subsided, and the PCs entered the chapel. Debris was strewn about the sanctuary, all the stained glass windows were shattered, and the shattered temple had an odd stillness to it. Handjob spotted that a man and a young girl were chained to the central pillar. The man was beaten unconscious and it appeared he had chained the two of them there. The girl was still aware and alert and had only a few scratches. Hope asked the girl what happened but she did not speak.

Anton and his warjack Gustav were guarding the front door when they heard a desperate howl come from the courtyard. The cultists were attacking. Gustav was the first to charge their attackers, using his patented move of grabbing one man, crushing the life out of him, and then flinging the body at the others. Lincoln and Hanjob backed up the Khadoran and his ’Jack with their shortbow and pistols. The party deafeated a dozen culstists in two rounds.

The party searched the Chapel and found a hidden store room full of gold and wine. They loaded it all on Gustav and made off like bandits.

That night, the PCs conviened at the “Hanging Maiden”. The man had recovered and he revealed the girl was a Duchess of Irkusska, Anastasya Romanov, the sole surviving member of that country’s Royal family.

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Episode III: The Midnight Express

Charles, Treadle, Via, Tok, Bob and Anton were hired by the Margrave of Vilmaer to escort him from Evenport to his keep in northern Cygnar. Vilmaer’s bodyguards were involved in a plot to see him “accidentally” killed so he fled. Disguising himself, he made his way to Evenport where he met Tok at the “Hanging Maiden”. The gobber agreed to help the nobleman and recruited the rest of the party to join the journey.
The midnight express
Vilmaer bought them tickets aboard the “Midnight Express” – an undersea train travelling from Evenport to Ord. A young debutant was murdered during the journey. A young Cygnaran noblewman named Tiona had been a dupe in" a conspiracy":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/quickness/wikis/the-cygnar-conspiracy against Cygnar’s Crown Prince Reese Leto Ralethrone. Tiona had uncovered the plot on accident, stumbling upon a conspirator’s note carelessly left on a desk. She immediatly realized her danger and was fleeing for the capitol to warn the Prince. Now she was lying dead in her room on the train. The party investigated.

It was a closed door murder. The body was found inside the room and the door was locked from the inside. Treadle found the murder weapon caught in the undercarriage of the train. It had been thrown from the room immediately after the murder. Tok investigated the body and discovered the murderer had left the room via the window. They soon found Tiona’s journal hidden in the closet. This led them to Tiona’s Stepbrother’s room where they found a collaborating note that tied her stepbrother Liam to the conspiracy. Meanwhile, a local investigator and the guards on the train were busy messing up the investigation. Anton had been drinking heavily and became inspired to run interference. He cast the spell “disguise” on himself and impersonated the investigator. This caused the guards to attempt his arrest. Anton fled and was able to stall the guards while the rest of the party solved the murder.

Now on the mainland, the party escorted the Margrave to his estate. Once there, Vilmaer treated his new friends to a weekend of feasting and hunting.

The Party was having drinks, recounting their adventures together with the Margrave when Treadle noticed a Giant Raven was parked outside the living room window. Then a man appeared in the room. He was dressed in animal skins adorned with feathers and a patch covered his right eye. He announced himself as Poe, a Druid of the 7th Coil of Orboros. The one eyed man had pegged the PCs as persons of interest and wanted a brief meeting. He made clear his intentions were not hostile, asked them of their current and future plans, then vanished.

The Margrave enlisted the party to investigate Prince Reese’s disappearance.

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Episode II: The Accidental Princess
Lincoln, Capt. Handjob, Charles and crew sailed north to Irkusska. They carried a cargo of oil, spices, and coal on which they made a hefty profit. Handjob and Lincoln then negotiated a meeting with the ruling family to strike a deal for return trips.

The royal family was in the midst of celebrating the recent marriage of their oldest son, Prince Yaskar, to a young countess from Cygnar. The party and royal family were sitting down for a dinner banquet when the young princess entered the room. Charles was caught a bit off guard. It was Amelia, Charles’ long lost daughter from his failed marriage.

Delilah, Charles ex-wife, had heard the Crown Prince of Irkusska was available and looking. So, she cashed in all her influence to risk an arranged marriage with her daughter. The gamble had worked, a massive dowry was paid, and Delilah was a made woman. After a lavish wedding, Amelia soon found herself in a country covered in ice with no one she knew.

Charles’ and Amelia’s relationship was obviously strained and everyone’s conversation that night was strained and terse (although Handjob and Yaskar were able to strike a deal and Anton spent the dinner rolling “lady’s man” on a maid named Olga).

And that’s where things took a turn …

As it turned out, Olga was romantically involved with Denisov, the royal gardner, who was also leader of “The Collective” – a local resistance movement. In fact, the Collective had planned a coup d’état for that night. Olga revealed to Anton that she was terrified of Denisov and begged Anton to help her escape. *(Note: This woman currently runs Anton’s shop in Evenport.)

Anton quietly passed this along to the other PCs after dinner and the party politely excused themselves shortly thereafter. As the PCs, Amelia, and a few serving girls slipped out the back garden, the peasant horde raged up the hillside. At the docks, a group of soldiers had turned traitor and were confiscating Lincoln’s ship but the party made quick work of them. Anton’s laborjack Gustav came in handy by barreling through the villains while Lincoln and Handjob picked the rest off with their pistolas. As the PCs sailed away, they watched tyhe Irkusskan capitol burning behind them.

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Episode I: Evenport
Never shake down a chimney sweep.

Episode I: Evenport

Part 1 – A Thing Inherited, A Few Others Stolen

Irkusska ii
Capt. Handjob had inherited property on Evenport Isle and he decided to sail there with his old friend Capt. Lincoln. Upon arriving, the party discovered that a counterfeiting ring had set up shop in Handjob’s new house. Handjob, Lincoln and their Trollkin first mate made quick work of the criminals, taking one hostage and killing the rest. Via torture, they coerced the survivor to give up his contacts: Smugglers from the Scharde Isles were bringing the gold to a Menite Priest named Kreoss who was converting the gold into Cygnaran crowns in an effort to destabilize the Cygnar economy.

Handjob and Lincoln took this as a business opportunity. After a few bribes and some shrewd negotiations with local officials, they quickly assumed the counterfeiters’ cog in the criminal machine. This operation has made the PCs money ever since.

Part 2 – The Docks
That evening, the party travelled to the docks to drum up some shipping business …

Charles was a simple chimney sweep who lived in a lighthouse on Evenport’s shore. One night, a pair of gangsters (Brom, a trollkin monk and Spek, a gobber pistoleer) knocked, intent to extort “protection” money from him. Charles was stubborn and refused to give up his hard earned cash. They fought. The monk chased Charles up into the lighthouse but the chimney-sweep was too clever. Charles gave Brom the slip by jumping out the window. On the way down, Charles caught Spek off guard with a grease spell and then shot the gobber’s face off. Charles fled toward the docks. Brom calmly called for backup, checked on his partner, and followed the chimney-sweep toward the shoreline.

Now at the docks, Charles ran past Handjob and Lincoln, escaping down the shore. The sailors wound up dealing with the goons – and after a brief firefight – a parlay was worked out.

Later, Charles fell in with Lincoln’s crew, Handjob solidified his counterfeiting operation, and Lincoln found a job to ferry a shipment to a small but troubled nation up north named Irkusska.

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