Iron Kingdoms

XXIIX: Dome of the Rock
"Lincoln and Co. take over a new outpost" (or) "Capt. Pontiac meets his doom"

The Llaelese privateers headed by the daring (if not altogether sane) Capt. Manuel Rivero Pardal had been a thorn in Irkusska’s side for the better part of a year and a half now. They had sunk over a dozen Irkusskan merchant ships, and even raided a few towns along the coast. All this despite the fact that Capt. Lincoln and Co (Ben and Steve) had destroyed three of Pardal’s ships and took a pair of prisoners late last spring.

Lincoln, Ben, and Steve had just returned from hunting dragonspawn with the giants, and after hearing reports that the privateers were still very much active, the party decided to go put an end to them.

They sailed out with 4 of the 6 Irkusskan Frigates: The Grit, the Barnacle, Diversity, and Queen Amelia’s Revenge along with Capt. Lincoln’s personal ship – The Super Sloop – as the flagship. Steve and Ben hung the prisoners off the sides of the ship until they gave up the location of the privateer’s base (this took about 5 min). Lincoln was then able to guide the small fleet through the an ever present fog bank/barrier reef that surrounded a place called the “Dome of the Rock”.

Lincoln put the Grit in the lead (due to its darkened hull), and they carefully sailed in at about 1 knot in single file formation. After about 8 hrs the Grit signaled that it had come to the end of the fog, and that they had spotted the “Rock” 40 cannon and 4 ships, including a Llaelese Galley, defended the island, but they did not know about the Irkusskans.

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XXVII: Kingdom of the Giants

The party of Steve, Ben, and Lincoln had tracked the Iosan Mage Hunters across the frozen tundra of Irkusska to a temple hidden on the plains.

Previously they had defeated a party of Iosan Mage Hunters and were searching the temple for any more information they could find out about the strange place and why the Retribution was using it as a base of operations.

What they found was the temple had been occupied by an reconnaissance force headed by a pair from the 13 members of the colorless pool. The group had been spying on Irkusska for quite some time…

Unexpectedly, they were attacked again from a pair of the surviving mage hunters. They fended off their attackers, although Ben was gravely wounded, and then tracked their foes North and West to the foothills of the Shardspire Mountains.

Evading Tharn foot patrols, and keeping a watchful eye out for dragons, the party discovered a city of giants nestled in the nearest mountain. The Giants extended their hospitality to the party and they even met with King Hexerses.

Hexerses was very happy to meet with emissaries from his neighbor Irkusska. As it turned out, his country had been fighting the dragons for even longer than Queen Amelia’s had. The dragons Ashnephos and Charsaug were paying weekly visits to the Giant’s city, and Hexerses had issued an order where only a select few of the Giants were allowed outside the city walls for fear of the dragons.

Hexerses was also meeting with an emissary from the Retribution of Scyrah. The nature of these meetings remains unknown however, as the Retribution members left soon after the PCs arrived.

That night, the dragons attacked. Ashnephos and Charsaug swept down from the mountains, raining fire from above and with a host of Dragonspawn swarming about they set to destroy the city.

The PCs rushed out of their quarters and fought their way to the King’s chambers. They arrived just in time, blasting their way through a crowd of Carneveans before meeting Charsaug in the streets.

I believe it was Steve and Ben who concocted a plan of teleporting a bag of grenades into the belly of the wyrm, which pretty much did him in right away. Ashnephos fled right after.

Hexerses rewarded the PCs greatly, giving each the opportunity to have one of his Hunters assigned as a personal companion for each. The PCs returned to Ameliagrad with a peace treaty and a trade agreement in hand(Hexerses desired Irkusskan grain to feed his people in exchange for his iron).

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XXVI: iVVI's Quest part ii

The party consisting of Anton, Vladimir, Hope and Charles had infiltrated the Cryxian empire, locating a hidden and ancient Iosan temple in the shadow of Toruk’s home base.

The party had previously fought several Retribution Mage Hunters and located an elevator that lead down into a hidden passageway beneath the temple. This passageway was of a curious nature, being a catwalk next to a large metal tube with a diameter greater than a man’s height. The tube and catwalk stretched for an unknown length beneath the earth.

The party briefly battled Lianne, the mad Iosan Queen, on the catwalk, killing her dire wolf and wounding the queen herself. They were also aware they were being tracked by a Mage Hunter of Scyrah.

Down the tunnel, the party found a doorway that lead to the rest of the installation. It was clear now they were looking at an Orgoth creation, as the technology was millenia beyond the steam powered machines of Immorren.

Toruk had become aware of their presence, and had sent his dragon servant Pellangir to deal with them. Pellangir met them on a bridge that crossed a chasm between the catwalk and the rest of the station.

The party was able to hold off the dragon and enter the station. Therein Hope located a cryogenically frozen Orgoth that they unfroze by furiously mashing the control panel. As the Orgoth recovered from being frozen for 400 years, it attempted to speak with Hope. She did not understand the strange creature and decided to lop its head off with her sword instead.

The party was now relying on iVVI to guide them through the Orgoth station, and she did not disappoint.

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XXV: iVVI's quest, part i
Finally ...

The party of Hope, Vladimir, Anton, Charles, and Treadle finally took iVVI’s advice and headed to the Cryx isles in search of Orgoth station #99-Y6. Charles and Anton teleported them directly to Toruk’s main island where they discovered a temple in the Cryxian jungle.

The party sneaked up on a group of 4th Coil Druids and Iosan Mage Hunters. They fought their way into the temple. Inside, Hope triggered the generator matrix and two giant fans at either end of the temple began spinning. After a few seconds, debris was flying about the temple as though caught in a tornado. Charles alertly stuck a wall of force in between each fan, destroying them and stopping the wind.

The PCs defeated all enemies except for Zo Tanna and Lianne, Iosan Queen.

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XXIV: Shim assaults Evenport

The great blue wyrm Shim attacked Shere Kahn’s mansion the next day. She ripped the roof off, ate his chief bodyguard and torched a passel of his bodyguards with lightning. Then she noticed Vladimir, who was attempting to open dialogue with her. She immediately abandoned Kahn and attacked the PCs.

The party of Charles, Treadle, Jill, Hope, and Vladimir went two rounds with Shim. The dragon knocked the top off Charles’ lighthouse (something the chimney-sweep took uncomfortably well) and fought the group up and down the shoreline, retreating several times into the water and jungle to heal and regenerate. The party stood their ground, bravely defending the city of Evenport from the dragon.

Finally, after Shim had retreated yet again to the water, a second dragon, Ashnephos arrived and the Blue Wyrm disappeared.

Ashnephos admitted to arriving in Evenport for the sole purpose of allying with the PCs. Word of their success fighting dragons had intrigued him. He sought there aid in the dragon wars and asked only that they call him if ever they are attacked again by another dragon.

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XXIII: Evenport Dialogue
Shere Kahn's Auction

Shere Kahn sent secret invites to each ruler in Western Immorren. Each nation was to send an envoy to bargain/debate for the Island of Evenport. Rulers were also asked to provide a “donation” of something valuable the Kahn could use in retirement.

Queen Amelia asked Hope Illyria, Vladimir and Anton to represent her at the Dialogue. Irkusska’s donation was the Diamond Mine in the town of Luvmaya.

Prince Reese asked Treadle and Charles to represent him. The Prince of Cygnar offered a donation of access to the Arcane Laboratory in Cygnar and a full contingent of Cygnaran Warjacks to protect him in his retirement.

Each party arrived separately, were greeted by the Kahn’s Sentinels, and brought to his mansion. The other factions invited were: The Church of Menoth, the Nation of Llael, the Nation of Ord, the Nation of Rhul, the Khador Empire, and the Cryxian Empire.

Everyone arrived by the Dwarves from Rhul. When it was discovered the Rhulic delegation was sunk at sea with no survivors, rumors of foul play began to circulate.

The first night was a lavish dinner and a Ballroom Galla. The PCs were mingling and having a good time. The Khadorans were boasting to anyone in earshot about the glory of their empire and their certainty of victory in the debates. The Menites were lounging by the punch bowl. Isabella Mateau of Ord was attempting to pump Vladimir and Anton for inside information on Irkusska and Khador. Iron Lich Asphyxious was sulking in his room.

Enter Ivana Lobovsky, stage left.

Ivana, a diplomat for Khador, intimated a previous relationship with Anton, danced with Vladimir, flirted with the Duke of Anjou (Llael), conversated with half the room and proved herself a savvy card player.

The first round of debates was the next day. Khador was under suspicion for sinking the Rhulic delegation and so the matches were redrawn. As it went: the Menites got a pass by drawing Rhul; while Irkusska and Cygnar debated their way to victory; and the Duke of Anjou withdrew Llael’s claim when Mikhol Horscz of Khador revealed the Duke had improper relations with Ivana.

Tea and crumpets were served that night. Anton invited everyone to a sexy swimsuit party in the garden. The next day at 4 pm, the remaining delegates convened for the 2nd round.

VindictusThe first match was Treadle vs. Scrutator Vindictus of Menoth. Although Treadle gave it a good go, the cleric’s logic was too much. Cygnar was defeated.

The second match was Khador vs. Irkusska. Mikhol vs. Hope. After Mikhol made his opening statements, Hope took the stage and mysteriously conceded the match to the Khadorans. Whispers of intrigue began circulating the debate hall.

Debate
The final night saw an assassination attempt on Charles. The chimney sweep captured his assailant, Arcturian Marsk, and the killer was revealed to be with the Menite delegation. However, because of the heavy air of intrigue, the Kahn did not want to rush to judgement. The Dialogues continued while a formal investigation was launched.

The final debate between Vindictus and Mikhol was brief and revealing. Mikhol confidently took the podium and made a thundering opening statement about the glory of the Khadoran Empire. Vindictus was more subdued. Calmly taking the stage, the cleric cast a spell image displaying Kayazy Assassins attaching charges to the base of the Rhulic ship. The Khadorans had sabotaged the Rhulic delegation! The Kahn eliminated the Khadorans, and awarded the island to the Menites.

As a postlude, Wine and cheese were served in the gallery.

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XXII: Hunting the Mage Hunters of Ios

After their naval victory, Lincoln, Ben and Steve took some time to track down the Mage Hunters who have been spying on the Irkusskan mansion for over a year. Steve has some experience tracking Iosans over long distances, so he took the lead.

After 8 days of tracking, they located the enemy’s hideout. It was an Iosan Temple tucked away next to “Winterborn Lake”. The Party spotted at two druids, their pets and three mage hunters moving about the premises. The PCs drew up their attack.

Elven temple

Things started off well. Steve head-shot a druid. Ben drove the mage hunters off with “Cloud Kill”. Lincoln drove off the other druid.

Then Myme (pronounced Mim), one of the 13 hunters of the colorless pool, appeared from a shadow. Steve got a half dozen bullets in her but she dropped him with her dagger. Ben didn’t know what hit him, he fell in two stabs. This left Lincoln, who was still unaware of what was going on (and Mark was asleep to boot).

Myme snuck up behind Capt. Lincoln, her dagger dripping with the blood of his allies, she was a foot away from his back, ready to stab …

… then she tripped into a sinkhole of quicksand and Lincoln woke up just in time to shoot her in the head.

The party pursued the remaining enemy into the temple. When we left off, they had made short work of the remaining druid and mage hunters and were getting ready to begin searching the place …

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XXI: Pirates and Privateers

The Party had returned to Ameliagrad (Irkusska’s capitol) from sacking Orion’s lair. Steve, Lincoln and Ben were relaxing and refueling in town. Steve went snipe hunting. Ben went drinking. Lincoln, minister of Irkusska’s Merchant Navy, checked in with his office. They reported their iron shipments to Khador have been harassed by Pirates. Three ships had been hit, only one survived. It was moored along the northern dry-dock, being repaired.

The next night, Ben was drinking at the Queen’s Bollard, when the “Krazy Poppy” floated into port like no one was driving and beached itself on a reef. Only one man crewed the ship, and he was fast asleep at the wheel. In his pocket was a note.

Lincoln & Co. loaded up the Super Sloop, gathered some info, hired a wind mage and went out to hunt the guy. Reports said Pardal had three ships, and although Lincoln had only one ship with eight cannon, they party had a plan. Nothing is more dangerous than PCs thinking up a plan.

They reached where the “Poppy” was attacked in two days. After a few hours of waiting, the crow’s nest spotted a steamship on the horizon. The Super Sloop pursued.

The steam ship (The Monitor) soon spotted the Sloop approaching and turned about. The Sloop responded by raising the white flag. The two ships met, under a flag of surrender, and when Lord Rockbottom met Lincoln, the Irkusskan captain requested a parlay. Rockbottom responded by taking Lincoln prisoner. Ben responded by blasting the Monitor with the Sloop’s cannon.

A brief naval battle ensued …

Naval battle

Lincoln responded by dropping a Daren’s Instant Fortress in the belly of Rockbottom’s ship. Two wooden galleons came out of a nearby fog bank to support the Monitor but it was too late. The steamship was sinking faster than her crew could jump out. The Super Sloop dropped a few ship mines and turned tail. Unfortunately for the Pirates, this too was a ruse …

Ben took two ship mines, some grenades and a sailor; teleported to the other ships, lit the mines on short fuses, dropped grenades and teleported back to the Sloop. One of the mines exploded next to a stack of gunpowder, that galleon sunk. The other was saved when an alert warcaster put out the mine’s fuse.

Steve got the last ship by turning invisible, running a pair of mines to its bow and lighting them off.

All three ships sank. Dragon Eels ate the survivors. Steve and Lincoln took a couple prisoners. After a little torture, it came to light that the pirates were actually Llaelese Privateers.

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XX: Orion's Lair
Searching for treasure ...

The party finally decided to raid Orion’s lair.

Flashback: In death, Orion took the form of a male druid. The party divvied up the loot and Lincoln had the presence of mind to “search the body”. He found a still-green sapling branch hidden in Orion’s boot. With a gather info roll, Lincoln networked to find a monster hunter who hunted near where the sapling came from.

Part One: Landing

Anton, Hope, Vlad, Steve, Charles and Lincoln sailed East along Irkusska’s northern coastline. Lincoln’s Super Sloop dropped them off at an inlet, then snuck back out to safer waters. The party began investigating the valley.

Apparently Toruk or Voodoo had gotten wind of Orion’s death, as a Cryxian raiding party was already searching the valley. The PCs snuck up on a search party of mechani-thralls and pistol wraiths. Anton cast move earth and dropped them down into a pit of acid. Unfortunately, the Iron Lich leading the search survived by casting levitate and teleport.

In related news, the party discovered a Terraph dragon-spawn was tailing them and a Nyss hunting party was watching everything from behind a waterfall on a far cliff. However, everything was cool because Charles had the party covered with Improved Invisibility.

Part Two: Throwing Down

The PCs snuck up on the Cryxian camp. There they discovered the dark elf Hayake torturing a Nyss woman. The party threw down, with Anton leading the ambush. Steve, Anton, Hope, Vlad and Lincoln blasted away at the Mechani-thralls, pistol wraiths and Iron Lich. Jill singled out Hayake and they dueled atop a mountain cliff. Charles took the Nyss woman to the Super Sloop, calmed her down and eventually evacuated her to the Irkusskan Mansion. The PCs were victorious all around.

Part Three: Dragon and Lair

The party searched for the lair entrance before reinforcements could arrive. Steve decided to walk across the surface of the lake (his boots had “water walking”). Steve did not know there was no lake and no water to walk on. It was all a powerful illusion and he had failed the save. He was actually in the middle of catwalk in the middle of a crater, surrounded on all sides by 200 Dragon-spawn.

Steve ducked for cover as a cloud of arrows came down on his head. Then he jumped up and made a mad dash for the exit. Arrows, axes, swords, teeth all assaulted him as he dodged, ducked and shoved his way past 50 dragonspawn to reach the door. Before him stood the biggest Carnivean he had ever seen. So he turned around and ran back.

Fortunately for Steve, there were two things working to his advantage.

1. He had a lot of hit points.

2. Anton had come to rescue him.

Anton flew down the crater, dropped Handsy (mechanikal arm) down and picked up Steve.

Up top, the Vlad, Hope and Lincoln had spotted Cryxian reinforcements rushing across the valley. The party was loading their guns and getting ready to roll initiative when a Cryxian sail barge was dropped from the sky on top of the offending undead. Orion’s mate, Halfaug, had come to play.

Jill came in just the nick of time. She summoned a Sirrush
to fend off the Blue Dragon while they searched for her lair, which they found, in the forest, with her lone surviving baby there for them to take hostage, which they did. Lincoln and Vlad used the baby dragon as leverage to get Halfaug to surrender the horde and fly away.

The End

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XIX: Death and Resurrection of Steve
Lvl. 1 can crit too!

Steve assaulted the death cultist temple on Evenport, killing two guards and wounding a third. The cultists barricaded to door, so Steve slipped around to the north wall where found a secret entrance. He tried and failed a lock pick check, then tried to kick the door in and was duly spotted by the cultists manning the walls. They threw down a torch, and demanded he identify himself. Steve attempted a bluff, “Madame Voodoo sent me.” But they did not believe him. Then a cultist (lvl. 1) shot him in the aorta with a natural 20. Steve bled out and died on the spot.

Steve woke up in a forest. A rabbit was sitting on his chest. Steve and the rabbit studied each other. Then a crazy woman began to talk. “Ioma, is he alive? Did we bring him back from UrCaen?”

The Druid Via had raised him by the light of a full moon. The Iosan Princess was fresh off her first victory against her father’s usurpers and she had a job for the rifleman. Steve’s first assignment was to kill a shadow dragon she suspected was sent to kill her.

Steve had little choice in the matter, due to the Resurrection he was bound to Via. He searched the remains of the battle and picked up its trail. He tracked it into the forest and the dragon few out to meet him. After introductions and a few pleasantries, they fought. Steve was defeated handily. The dragon told Steve his background. Negotiations ensued. Pellangir struck up a deal for Steve to kill him in front of Via. This would allow Pellangir to renew himself and come back to get the Elf later, with her unawares.

Steve told Via he had taken control of the dragon (bluff check). Steve could see she believed him and summoned his partner. Pell landed in front of them, leaned his head toward the pistol, and Steve pulled the trigger. The dragon fell dead. Via was in awe. She gave Steve his next assignment: To capture Amelia (w/ Poe near Mookraken temple) and bring her rival harbinger to her.

Steve met up with Poe. The druid was perplexed by Via’s change in character. The two men traveled back to the madwoman. Words were exchanged, Via commanded Steve to kill Poe. The gunfighter shot Poe right in the chest, doing 100 million damage on a critical shot. Poe grunted, spat out a little blood and responded with an epic storm/earthquake spell. Via’s Eldrich army was destroyed, Steve was knocked cold and Via was blasted into the darkness.

Poe then did Steve a solid by breaking Via’s enchantment on him. Steve rejoined the party and regailed them with this tale.

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