Rumours of High Hold...
[As I can't be there all the time, if PC's go to High Hold and adventure at all I would like to hear any IC things about your trip!]
Blackbridge's blue and silverclad scout, Eve Tanner, returns with haste from one of her outings, alerting the town's defenders to demons being sighted nearby! Having issued the alarm, she leaves in search of able-bodied adventurers...
Rumor has it, the bleak man with sullen golden eyes frequents the Djinn once more. It might even be said that one of the few things that still bring him any joy at all are the new items on the menu. The rich, hearty, meaty food perhaps feeding more than just his belly - but feeding, and giving stability to his deteriorating soul.
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Rika exits her yurt and sits on the edge of the hill, watching Cormac with great amusement.
Cormac Randolph notably storms out of the gates shortly after sunrise, he sneers and snarls at everyone he passes regardless of their station, rank, or status. By many accounts he may have bellowed a savage roar at a small group of children in his apparent rage. His vile utterings can be heard echoing through the still snow of the mountains long after he's left through the gates.
A long time passes, many hours - and it's after noon by the time he returns. At first, some hulking snow-covered troll on the horizon. As he draws closer a wild, horned yeti or wendigo. Ah, no, just Cormac dragging and carrying, wrestling with the entire body of a slain reindeer. He enters the gates and sets about dressing the kill right there in the snow.
"If I have to wake up to that piss-mixed 'gruel', or suffer another evening meal of 'half a melon' stuffed with damned 'squirrel shit', I swear -- I 'swear' I will go back to Peltarch. I'll burn this town to the gods-be-damned ground before I go, but I'll go. Now someone cook this beast and have another roasting and ready for the next dawn".
His demand for meat seems largely serious - over-serious for anyone hearing first hand. It seems the barbarian is more than displeased by the local menu. And who can blame him? Green cheese, yogurt, oily oniony fish ... passable at least... fried 'eggplant', stuffed melon!? He mutters all manner of obscenities to himself and digs out the best cut for himself, leaving the rest of the carcass splayed out in front of the Djinni as a final threat/demand.
Looking worn and gaunt after his long absence, Lieutenant Eric has been seen more and more wandering around Blackbridge. Always close at hand are Captain Thane and Arahar, the Temposan priestess. Despite his apparent fragile state, Eric spends time each day speaking with the people of Blackbridge. The people seem genuinely happy to see the well liked Lieutenant back, but whispers are heard in his passing about if he will be able to lead High Hold in his fragile state.
As the days pass, a familiar red sight is seen in the sky high above High Hold. The general feeling around the town of Blackbridge is uneasy, as the dragons presence reminds them of the troubles they may soon face. Always on the lips of the people are the impending Tribute Day - a day which is said to bring with it a war against their ancient adversary, the fire giants. For now, the town and Hold seem quiet. Despite the people seeming unsure of the future, the tensions in Blackbridge have lessened some since the riots.
Eric lets it be known that a council will be called within the next ten day to discuss the leadership and future of High Hold.
Occasionally seen around High Hold, the bare-chested barbarian; his blackened lips framing a broad and savage grin contrasted grimly by the whirling snowdrifts through which he wanders. A brightly painted huscarl's roundshield slung upon his shoulder, a warblade by his side - and often clenched in his powerful fist of late the Chieftain's Waraxe of Clan Rannúlfr; the blade and iron counterweight of which are heavily and elaborately decorated - both in magic runewords, and the screaming raven crest of Cormac's folk. Snow and wind from the mountains powder his black hair and dust his heavy cloak, the savagery of the land reflected in his iron-gray eyes. The bitter biting wind does not take away from his mood. And he often hums to himself a song that carried on the wind from somewhere, once upon a when...
Hero or monster, citizen or outsider, Makoto makes it openly known that she will use her strength to crush the giants that would dare invade. Her boasts are far from bravado; the woman seeming completely confident in her skills to deal with the threat. The woman seems to train day in and day out, offering a chance to other high hold protectors to practice along with her. Her training style is relentless, stern, and would drive all but the toughest present to complete exhaustion.
Lastly, she pledges 100,000 coin to help High Hold for now fortify against oncoming threats, purchase supplies, and food as needed; the blue-scaled woman meticulously making sure that every coin she would give would be spent properly and be accounted for. Her generosity though seems to be provisional though, with rumors that she may be using whatever she donates as clout to eventually open up a large shop within Blackbridge at some point.
...a bare chested and darkly-painted warrior has apparently settled in the area. He approaches the smithy and speaks with Hala by the forge, his face grim and pale - set with storm gray eyes. He looks at her evenly and without disrespect; he is after all practically a stranger in the town of Blackbridge...
"...my shields been ruined. Cracked and battered by the clubs of many giants and axe-wielding reavers in the pass. Can you re-plank it? I have coin..."
As he speaks he lays out shield made from wood that had been stained the colour of dried blood. A brass boss shaped like a coiling dragon seemed to be the only thing that hadn't been rent, hewn or splintered. Arrowheads and at least one crossbow bolt were embedded without pattern into the hard and treated wood planks. The rim of the shield looked almost comically worn, large 'V' shaped cuts in parts, splintered breaks in others. At least one curious long hole that looked like the wood had melted and smoldered.
"...the boss is magical, the rest can be replaced. Fashion it in the likeness of your folk here, large and round. Paint it red so that it might be seen -- and tell your people that Cormac Randolph has come to slay your giants..."
Following a riot turned into a massacre with a multitude of commoners reportedly exploding into disgusting, bulbous monstrosities, Lt Eric Destal was declared dead. The demise of the much beloved young officer appears to have all of Blackbridge in mourning and his fresh grave is littered with countless flowers.
Long after the green skies disappear over Blackbridge, the people still look cautiously to High Hold. The gates are open and the soldiers are tense. The word going around town is that Lord Ewan Sent, Maeve, General Devon Ackerman and even Lieutenant Eric are all incapacitated. Are there truth to the rumours? No loyal soldier will speak on the matter. The self-proclaimed 'noble' families of High Hold and the Guilds of Blackbridge seem to be meeting more and more.
DrDreadLock last edited by DrDreadLock
Over the past few days, some may have noticed that the gates along the Black Bridge to High Hold have been locked. A storm has rolled in above the town, bringing with it a greenish hue to the clouds and a steady snow fall. Security seems to be increased and other than the ordinary soldiers of the mountain fortress, none seem able to pass the locked gates. Any attempt to move beyond the gates is met by a beady-eyed scribe who promises to give Lord Sent your message.
Many in town whisper that Lord Sent has locked himself away and that an attack from Peltarch in imminent. Others say the devil Maeve has taken control of the fortress and is building her infernal army. If that were not enough, word spreads that several soldiers seem to have slipped from the cliffs or walls surrounding High Hold and it is being blamed on the increased snow fall and slippery grounds.
Late one night in the Dreaming Djinni. Several soldiers gather to toast to one comrade in particular, who is said to have slipped and fallen into the darkness of the mountains below. A Private Erth - a man that was well liked by all his fellow soldiers and will be greatly missed.
DrDreadLock last edited by DrDreadLock
Many wild rumours begin to spread around High Hold and Blackbridge.
As the sun shines..
A group has assaulted the Neogi stronghold. The captured Neogi Spelljammer was seen lifting off into the sky early one morning with a large group of adventurers. Word is, the group actually went to the Neogi fortress on one of the Tears of Selune - those shining lights that trail behind the goddess in the night sky. As unreal as it may seem, the rumours are causing a stir of Selunite activity in the region, as they speak of the grace the Moonmaiden had given the group to find their target and bring so many safely back.
Even if the rumours are fanciful tales, they seem popular in the taverns. The flood of refugees inhabiting the town are lending proof to the success of a mission to bring the people back. Coupled with the rumours of Lord Sent offering land and titles to the adventurers who dared the void above, not all appear pleased by the outcome. Some speak of adventurers getting more pay, and more opportunity than the regular soldiers of High Hold. Though some grumblings can be heard, they are mostly kept to a few people deep into their drink at the Dreaming Djinni.
As night closes in...
The town begins to settle down for the night, people remember the ones lost - those not brought home from the Neogi lair. The people begin to relax after months of being on edge, no longer watching the skies for the dreaded lights. Music fills the town as some celebrate. The quiet night is suddenly torn apart by the screams of soldiers at the front gate. Wounded soldiers are dragged into town just as Captain Navarra leads a sizable force of soldiers and adventurers out to combat whatever threat has arrived.
Mere moments later, the sound of battle erupts outside town and then a low rumbling sound begins to build. The sky lights up as an explosion sets off on the hills outside town and sends debris crashing down all over town. Screams of soldiers are heard.. 'The True North attacks!', 'The Spelljammer is lost!', 'Demons! Demons are attacking!'. Captain Navarra is brought into town and rushed off to the Hold, battered, bloody and unconscious on a stretcher. The Seplljammer is in ruins, the Captain may be dead, and the wards around the demonic tower outside town temporarily went down it was said, allowing demons to flood out and attack.
A new dawn...
Weary and worn, the group who defeated the demonic threat make their way back into town, just as Lord Ewan Sent and Lieutenant Eric are heading out to survey the damage. It is said a confrontation took place between Lord Ewan Sent and Reyhenna, Princess of Peltarch. A large group of citizens, adventurers and soldiers gathered to watch. As tensions began to rise, many wondered if the two would come to blows.
In the end, the Princess left town with her friends and the Lord continued on his way. All present seemed exhausted and unwilling to yield to the others words. The day is filled with discussions of a possible war between High Hold and Peltarch. The commoners are quick to comment...
We should strike now while they are weak. They have no army left..
Don't be a fool! The Lord wants peace and we should abide by that. War ain' gonna help no one..
The old oaths have been forsaken and a curse be upon those who disregard them so easily! spits on the ground
The old oaths? We ain't never given them oaths! This be our home, made by our hands! I won't be held to oaths given by long dead fools!
Their young King can't be that bad. Would bending the knee really be that bad?
Whatever the days ahead may bring, tensions are beginning to rise again and the threats to High Hold are building up. The time soon comes when the fire giants will march, seeking their tribute. Will High Hold have enough strength to repel their forces? Will the True North seek this moment to strike? Will the factions of Peltarch find a common ground and turn their attention to High Hold?
So many questions are asked and the future awaits for those brave enough to face it..
Caoimh last edited by Caoimh
The excitable sorceress J.T. Firefly has been seen a little less around Blackbridge of late, and when she has been seen it has invariably been when coming or going from High Hold itself. The ecclectic arcanist has heretofore been a relatively ambivilent resident of the area, mainly acting as a spellcaster for hire, so naturally her seemingly close involvement with the rulers of the land is an oddity to say the least.
Could her residency at the keep be at all linked with the rumours that a Spelljammer was not only captured by Lord Sent's forces, but actually landed atop the keep's pinnacle?
Rumours fly about Korvir, a Blackbridge lad who perished under grim circumstances in the south. Despite his body being reclaimed and sufficient donations made towards his raise, the priests seemed to struggle to return the boy to life. Now, though Korvir is back amongst the living, the previously adventurous young man looks pale, gaunt and frightened of his own shadow.
New construction seems to be beginning at the entrance to Blackbridge from the mountain pass, engineers and workers are seen clearing the area to make way for what appears to be the beginning of proper walls and a gate. Three dwarves, Ylva, Dalton and Bunus were seen with the local paladin Frederick entering the town with large Ironwood trees being hauled behind them. After a large of sum of coin is paid to the dwarves the trees are hauled off to the woodworkers who begin to immediately begin shaping them into the future gates of Blackbridge.
Spirits seem high in the days following the arrival of the trees due to the much needed protection they will bring for the town against their fire giant foes. Any dwarf in town over the next few days seems to find themselves with extra ale at the Dreaming Djinni as the population shows their gratitude for the effort of their kin.
Katharina last edited by Katharina
Rumours flourish about a new resident in the High Hold, a young-looking woman of curious hair pigmentation, who has already been about spending time with some of the most recent batch of adventurers. She carries what seems to be mild symbolism of the strategy game known as Lanceboard printed in her blade, shield, and lute. Strange combination, some would say, but such are these times of turmoil, that even the most avid of traveling minstrels might need to keep a sword at hand. Or it could be the other way around, a battlefield expert that enjoys playing the lute as a hobby. However it may be, she seems to have settled in, and not going anywhere for now.
Rumours and speculation run wild over the current, controversial guests of High Hold: a fiery red dragon and a half-dragon, in the company of a sizable number of Creel tribesmen from the mountain reaches.
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The soil of the fruitgarden has been wriggling with lively helpful worms as of late. A badger is seen placing the worms there.
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A large boisterous man was having words with Eve and Rika at a table at the inn. Both Rika and Eve were rather bloodied at the time, obviously fresh from combat. Loud words of "Righteousness" and "Silver Host", and "Torm" were bandied about. The unfamiliar man seemed jovial and hearty, but at one point Rika stood and seemed rather perturbed. But there was much hand waving and boisterous apologies, where the three resumed their drinks. The large girthed man left after about an hour.