The Hyborian Age

Session 4

Fortress

This session saw our intrepid heroes prepare for a siege. The front gates were barricaded and weapons were stacked along the wall in preparation for the attack. Kurgan took one wall, Thorsten another and Sameer took up a sniping position from one of the towers.

As night was falling the first wave attacked. Two groups of men charged from the trees carrying ladders, undercover of crossbowmen at the tree line. They quickly retreated after taking only a few casualties, the ‘bandits’ dragging their wounded back into the safety of the treeline. Camlin could be seen just in the treeline, counting the defenders no doubt….

After a restless nights sleep waiting for another attack the second wave came just after dawn. This time a large number of men, covered again by crossbowmen, charged out from the woods carrying four ladders. Upon gaining the walls, after coming under a hail of missiles, they began to press Thorsten and Kurgan back against the stairs. this proved their undoing as the two adventurers used their opponents numbers against them. Kurgan crippled anything that came near, his powerful axe strokes maiming arms and legs, while Thorsten used swift and well practiced thrusts of his spear to quickly take down his opponents. The two mercenaries also had the bonus of Sameer, with an arrow to the back for anyone who flanked too far round to their right side. One bandit rushed past Kurgan and up into the tower, although Sameer is almost as deadly in close combat as he is at range…almost…

Eventually the enemy withdrew to regroup for a final attack. At this point fully a third of their number lay dead. Any wounded were quickly finished off by the bloodthirsty Sameer.

After only a short while a large group charged again out of the woods, carrying a number of ladders and a roughly hewn battering ram. Shield-bearing men protected those carrying siege equipment as they moved forwards. Large numbers gained the walls and pushed Thorsten and Kurgan back, while crossbowmen took pot shots at Sameer on the tower. Meanwhile the battering ram pounded at the gates. Unfortunately for the bandits just as they managed to breach the gates Kurgan and Thorsten finished off their opponents on the walls. As the bandits charged into the fort they were met by the two deadly mercenaries, who descended the stairs from opposite sides and began to deal the same fate to those on the ground as they had given to those on the walls. After only a short scuffle in the gateway the bandits retreated, swiftly, back into the woods to lick their wounds. Kurgan, Thorsten and Sameer watched as Camlin stood forth and congratulated them on their victory. They would meet again he said, and next time he would not underestimate their prowess. With that he moved back into the woods and was gone, heckled as he left by Kurgan. With that the Kurgan and Thorsten began to dress their many wounds…….

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Session 3

The character rested for a while in the Wolverines lair before journeying on.

Ice cathedralBefore long they entered a large cavern of amazingly complex ice formations. Looking up Sameer urged caution as he spied hundreds of icy stalactites hanging from the ceiling, however Thorsten and Kurgen simply raised their shields over their heads and walked into the cavern. Before they had reached halfway stalactites began to drop from above, disturbed by the sound of heavy boots. The two warriors were safe under their shields and armour but Sameer was pelted by numerous small projectiles. Spying a passageway off to the felt the group made for that as the icy missiles continued to fall.

The side passage twisted and turned through the glacier, eventually opening out into a large oval cavern. As the group entered two green luminescent orbs stared at them from the far end. Peering into the gloom revealed a large ice worm, a Remora! Its body was curled up in the hollow and as they watched it began to uncoil, its entire boneless form covered in a silken coat of thick white fur. RemoraIts mouth opened to reveal a jawless circular opening filled with teeth and a purple tongue flickered out. Above the jaw the two eyes gleamed out of a smooth rounded, featureless eel-like head. It uncoiled fully and rears up. It was easily 40’ long. As the three adventurers spread out and readied weapons it slithered forward to attack!

Two two warriors stood side by side, shields raised, as they hacked and prodded chunks out of the creature, while Sameer moved to the side and tried to pop its eyes with well placed arrows. The creature was creature seemed to be almost frozen and weapons met a great resistance as they went in. Eventually Kurgan managed to hack his way into the side of the creature and chop its head clean off! As a prize Kurgan took one of the creatures frozen eyeballs and Sameer collected as many teeth as he could.

As they turned to leave the cave Thorsten and Sameer noticed a hole 6ft up in the cave wall, through which blew a draft of fresh air. The adventurers clambered up into this and found them selves in a rock cave which continued on for miles, eventually exiting on the southern side of the mountains in Cimmeria. Luckily Sameer knew exactly where they were and the three struck off in the direction of Ilgas village, 3 days travel to the southeast.

After an uneventful 2 days they met a party of Cimmerian hunters, who gave them more accurate directions and told them that Ilgas father, Barak, was a well known blacksmith in the village of Algar’s valley. The PCs continued on until they reached the village.

Algars valley lay in a bend in the river and consisted of a dozen houses, communal hut, food storage silo and blacksmiths. There was also a mine entrance in the valley side. They met Barak and gave him the pendant, which he had made for Ilga when she was a small girl. Distraught he asked them to return the next day and he arranged for them to stay in the communal hut at the center of the village.

Returning to Barak the next day he told the party that, as thanks for bringing news of his daughters death, they could take a weapon each from his smithy. As the players searched he called over Sameer and offered a proposition. If the party agreed to head into the foothills 2 days to the northeast and deal with some bandits that had been raiding local caravans then Barak would make them a superior weapon each. For Sameer he would make 40 arrowheads. The party agreed and Barak called the village bowyer to make the arrows for Sameer. First the PCs would have to travel a few hours to the east and collect some appropriate yew branches for the arrows. Travelling to the forest they had an uneventful few hours looking for the right kind of tree, although Thorsten and Sameer swore they saw yellow eyes peering at them from the darkness.

When they returned to Algar’s Valley Barak told them that it would take 5-6 days to make their weapons. The bandits were using an old Hyperborean fortress as their base in the foothills and that there were about a dozen of them. They had taken many of Baraks goods from caravans and he wanted them back. The foothills were an area that the Cimmerian tribesmen didn’t like to go as the tall tower in the next valley was supposed to be haunted with ‘things’ living there.

The party traveled to the fort, arriving early in the day to find it deserted. It consisted of a curtain wall and central keep set against a cliff.Some of the wooden elements, such as the gates, had recently been repaired and the stonework was still in good condition. They entered and found a prisoner in the basement, Herod. He was a merchant that had been captured by the bandits. Any other prisoners had been taken away, he didn’t know where to but the bandits were most likely taking slaves. As the party explored the keep they found a wagon in need of repair (the wheel was off), Baraks goods along with goods from other caravans, a letter with the words ‘the baron’, ‘Camlin’, ‘shipments’, and ‘reinforcements’. They also found a letter from someone in Algar’s valley giving details of caravans leaving for the north and east. On the roof they found a pigeon coop. When they opened one of the doors a pigeon escaped and flew off to the east.

In the basement the party discovered a trapdoor with a bronze ladder leading down. Kurgan, being impulsive, jumped down and the others were forced to follow, leaving Herod to fix the wagon and start loading it. After following a tunnel for a while they came up in to the tower. Ascending to the top they met Allanon, a White Hand wizard, deposed by his rivals and apprentice. He gave the party means to enter his old tower in the Hyperborean town of Pelenar and asked that they retrieve a hairbrush from his old quarters. A simple task he said.

The Party returned to the fort to find the bandits returning up the slope. Rushing forwards they shut the gates.

The banditsAs the bandits began to move out of the trees the party were horrified they now numbered nearly 50 men, who formed up into orderly ranks. These weren’t mere bandits! The leader, who introduced himself as Camlin strode forward and asked the party to vacate his home, he had new friends to entertain! If they left his goods he would let them live. They refused.

Camlin recognized Kurgan, who fought as a gladiator in Hyperborea and challenged him to single combat. As the Kurgan left the fort Camlin ordered his archers to open fire, laughing at Kurgans naivety.

At this point Camlin and his men turned and entered the woods surrounding the forest. minutes later the party heard the sound of trees being felled…..

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Session 2

Without hesitating Thorsten and Kurgan charged the nine hill-men surrounding the mysterious girl. Beautiful women are rare enough in the mountains without letting hill-men take off with them!

As the two mercenaries charged through the snow Sameer moved to the side to adopt better a firing position.

CavemenKurgan threw an javelin at the nearest of the hill-men, who were still oblivious to their oncoming foes. It glanced off his thick skull and at that point the hill-men, armed with a variety of stone weapons, began to recover from their surprise and turn to face their assailants. The girl would keep for later…

As they closed Kurgan began to chop at his enemies, brutally hacking into a number of them in a few short seconds. Their mountain furs no protection against his axe. Meanwhile Thorsten guarded his back, spearing more as they closed and Sameer loosed arrows into their flanks. Soon a heap of the dead and dying lay around the two warriors.

The final two hill-men turned to run, but Thorsten closed rapidly with one and speared him in the back, whilst Sameer finished the other off with a long range shot to the neck, before walking forward to finish off the wounded..

As Kurgan moved towards the girl she flung herself upon him, her eyes wide with wonder.

“You were like a hero of legend” she exclaimed “like Ymir come to save me”. The reference was lost on Kurgan, who just put his arm around the girl for comfort.

Miss mosh girl sexy face cute angel beautiful blonde amazing women pretty largeShe explained that her name was Ilga and she lives in northern Cimmeria with her father, Barak, in the small village of Algar’s Valley 3 days southeast of the mountains. Her father is the blacksmith and she had come north with her Uncle and a few tribesmen to trade with the Aesir before winter closed. On the way back south they had come under attack by the wild hill-men, hairy cannibals that dwell in the mountain caves. She fled on her horse, until it tripped and broke a leg, and then ran for what seemed like hours. She had finally been cornered and had given up hope when she saw the three warriors move around the glacier into view.

Looking around Thorsten realized that they would never make it off the mountain before nightfall. It was already getting dark, the wind was rising and snow was beginning to fall. The three friends would need to find shelter.

Moving down the side of the glacier they spotted an overhand of rock against a cliff face with collapsed boulders scattered around it. This would help protect them from the biting wind and falling snow at least. Moving into the boulders the Kurgan lit a small fire whilst Thorsten secured the horses and took the first watch. The giant glacier loomed in front of their small shelter. Thorsten tried to concentrate on the the whistling wind as the sound of Kurgan and Ilga’s lovemaking grew louder. Luckily Sameer was already fast asleep.

Sameer was woken later by Thorsten and took the second watch. As the night passed he began to hear a strange piping sound, but assumed this was the wind howling through the cracks in the ice.

Kurgan slowly began to wake up, sluggish and sleepy due to the cold. Opening his eyes he saw that it was nearly morning and that the sky was beginning to lighten in the east. Nobody had woken him for third watch, he realized, jerking awake. Looking around he saw that Sameer was slumped against the surrounding boulders, fast asleep, and Ilga was gone. He strode over and kicked Sameer awake. An argument quickly erupted between the two.

Thorsten strode about the campsite looking to see which way the girl had gone. With surprise he came across the frayed remains of rope. Whatever had happened had frightened their horses enough for them to break free and scatter. Looking about he saw strange markings in the snow. Something huge, soft and sinuous had emerged from a crevasse in the ice in front of their shelter. The marks were easy to see, and calling to his companions they gathered their gear and followed the strange track.

The trail moved down the valley and then turned up-slope moving around hillocks of snow and jutting ledges of rock, up the hillside toward the windswept peaks and away from the glacier. As the companions continued they came upon one of their horses, frozen solid. Its eyes were wide with terror and froth, frozen as it hit the air, was thick around its mouth. As they passed over a low ridge the three adventurers saw a smaller glacier stretching out across a valley in front of them. This glacier continued down-slope until it met with the main glacier below. The trail led straight into a small cave like entrance in the glaciers side. Hoisting their gear and readying their weapons the party entered. The morning sun glanced and flashed from the ice walls on either side. It seemed as though the companions were walking through a colossal gem.

As the adventurers moved into the cave they stumbled across Ilgas body, or what was left of it. Her head was gone, and with it most of the flesh from her upper body, so that the bones gleam white in the dim light of the cave. The protruding bones had been cleaned, as if the flesh was sucked from the very bones or licked clean by a giant rough tongue. There was a finely worked steel pendant covered in saliva alongside the body, which Kurgan collected, vowing to kill whatever had done this to the girl under his protection.

Now intent on destroying whatever had done this to Ilga the three resolute companions continued forward until they came to a fork in the tunnel. Kurgan, as always, suggested left and Sameer led the way through the tunnel. Soon snow began to crunch underfoot. Looking up they saw that they were now in a crevasse in the glacier, open to the sky. Continuing on they came to another fork in the ice. Moving left again the corridor in which they were travelling became wide and level, unlike the narrow cracks elsewhere in the glacier. Once, months or centuries ago, water poured in a torrent through this passageway, smoothing the corridor and leaving milky white ice everywhere. Moving on they find out what had happened to the waters. The passage opened into an echoing gloomy cavern whose floor sloped away to a dark and unseen end. Peering ahead Sameer could see an exit on the far side. There was a narrow ledge around the side of the hole and the three friends roped themselves together.

Sameer crossed the icy ledge without incident. Thorsten moved across. Suddenly his feet slipped on the ice and he plunged into the hole, unable to prevent himself he let out a loud scream of terror! First Sameer and then Kurgan were pulled off their feet, unable to find purchase on the slippery surface. The three fell into the hole….only to land much sooner than expected a mere 10ft down. Luckily the hole had frozen over and this prevented the adventurers from plummeting to a nasty death, although it was badly cracked. Sameer had managed to land lightly on his feet, but Kurgan and Thorsten were not so fortunate in their heavy armour.

Managing to climb out of the hole the battered companions moved out of the icy chamber, Kurgan leading the way. The tunnel soon opened up into a wider space and as Kurgan moved into the middle something large, clawed, incredibly vicious and furry jumped from above and slammed into his chest, almost knocking him down. Despite repeated blows the Wolverine kept lunging at Kurgan, clawing and biting at his armored legs until finally the three companions managed to put it down. Looking around they decided that this small area was a good place to rest up and get their breath back…….

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Session 1

Our story begins with the players being members of a small Aquilonian mercenary company known as the Red Knightmare. The 3 party members have been in the company for over a year and have become firm friends, despite being assigned to different sections of the mercenary company. The Red Knightmare has been slowly working its way north, taking various contracts. Currently it is in the employ of the Vanir in raiding settlements in Asgard with a contingent of Vanir warriors. This is going well so far and the next morning the mercenaries are going to raid one last settlement before the mountain passes back to Vanaheim close for the deep winter. Kulgas, the company commander, plans to winter in Vanaheim and then travel back to the south the following year, hopefully to find a good profitable war to join…..

The three players are sitting around a campfire in Asgard. They meet a Vanir guide Heimdul and introduce themselves before sharing a skin of mead with Kulgas himself, who arrives and shares their fire for a brief time.

In the early morning, just before dawn the PCs form up as the band prepares to assault its final target. The PCs have been assigned to a reserve infantry unit, designed to plug gaps in the battle line if necessary. As the mercenary band and a contingent of Vanir close on the settlement the players notice something is wrong, but before they can shout a warning the village huts begin to disgorge large numbers of warriors and more ambush them from the sides through the trees and snow. Horribly outnumbered The Red Knightmare begins a fighting retreat but it is unlikely many will escape the tide of northern warriors. It seems the Aesir grew tired of being attacked and several settlements banded together to punish these ‘soft’ southern raiders.

Ambush 2

The PCs, realizing they need to avoid death or capture, fall back to the baggage train to find horses and salvage equipment that they will need to survive the cold climate. They have a small scuffle (introduction to combat system for the PCs) with Aesir warriors already raiding the baggage and manage to escape with winter clothing, food and much needed provisions.

The Aesir warriors are likely to hound any surviving mercenaries and Vanir tribesmen back to the western mountain range with Vanaheim and so the party decide to set for the south towards Cimmeria. On horseback they swiftly outdistance their on foot pursuers and head into the mountains.

The party travels into the mountains through one of the few passes that remain open. They maintain a swift pace as they have to get clear of the mountains before nightfall as the temperature will drop rapidly and its already late afternoon! As they continue on they come to a giant glacier over which the path crosses. Taking care they barely manage to avoid falling into a snow covered crevasse and eventually cross to the other side where the path turns and goes between the steep mountainside and glacier.

They continue on for a half hour or so. As they come to a curve in the glacier they hear a scream off to the left. Through the falling snow they manage to make out a beautiful woman in white furs surrounded by 9 wild hillmen….

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