After crowning a true king for Karak Izril, the Ancestor Gods allowed us to ask for one demand each, everyone chose some skills that would profit to them or help them, but a Northern ranger, me, asked the obvious question, something that had been on his mind for 80 years. "How are the northern dwarfs doing?"
The Ancestor Gods answered Skalli Kandoom's question, but it was not the answer he'd wished for. The north was in ruins, There were only about 70 survivors in a small outpost he was familiar with. An undead army was marching on their position, and they seemed to be preparing a ship to flee southwards through the northern sea. In all of the 70 survivors, he saw 2 dwarfs of specific importance to him, one was a very old dwarf that seemed to have gathered many riches, his father. The other was a noble, the last noble of the northern lands, this made him king by default, even if the northern dwarfs did not care for titles considering their situation. Skalli would have to meet with him to accomplish his mission, one that started 80 years ago, when he left the north to explore the world.
Emotionally devastated, Skalli, when his turn to speak with the new king in private came, tears in his eyes, reported the sight the Ancestors had given him. The goblin king slain, and a good part of Karak Izril secured, Lothos thought he'd attempt to kill two birds with one stone, our group of heroes would be to go to the mausoleum, the room which was only linked to the throne room, and attempt to find an exit in the north to save the northern dwarfs. The mausoleum was a single room with a huge magical stone and many tombs of ancient and great heroes of Karak Izril, upon touching the magical stone, which was a wall in itself, you would be teleported to another place underground in the world, almost always another room with more tombs, there were also levers you could switch up or down, which would change where you would end up after touching the stone. The journey through the mausoleum was a long and dangerous one, with multiple party members almost dying, and one even becoming cursed by a creature from another realm. There were no losses in the end however, but no room lead to the north, multiple however, lead to the places in the great plain, one lead next to the forest of the wood elves, another lead to a room which appeared to be gone, in the middle of the Rift, a huge vertical hole which went from the north to the south of the eastern great plain, separating it from the demon-filled moutains, stopping the demons from coming as well conveniently enough. The last one lead to a secret exit in the demonic mountains.
The last room the group decided to search, having left it for last, lead to another place outside, they soon understood they were in the Baron lands, a place west of the forest of the wood elves, one without greenskins or demons, only humans and very few other races or creatures, the place they were at was dwarfen ruins, except something seemed wrong, the ruins seemed to have originally been made by dwarfs for humans to live in. The portals that lead to the great plain also had ruins, although those were purely dwarf ruins, no doubt very old markets and trading posts.
After many discoveries as well as fixing a few problems, such as a waterfall caused by a river that had gotten stuck. they stayed for the night in some ruins, and the next day, two human mercenaries arrived, seemingly from a nearby village, which could be seen from this outpost, which was very high up on the mountainside.
The two mercenaries had come to investigate the waterfall's disappearance, which was quite noticeable. It was then that we learned there were dwarfs, the dwarfs of Karak Urdar (something like that, don't remember the exact name), they had apparently sealed their hold 150 years ago and ceased all contact with the outside world. They were also the ones who had built this outpost. But the most important information Skalli Kandoom gathered from the Umgis, is that dwarfs fairly frequently visited the cities of the Baron lands, two of which we could see from the outpost. After having understood that Karak Izril was without a doubt not the lost expedition, one that left the northern lands 500 years before Skalli's trip begun, so now almost 600 years, Skalli imagined that either the dwarfs of Karak Urbar, if they were still alive, or the dwarfs who visited the Baron lands, could be the lost expedition. Skalli had two objectives during his long trip in the world, the main one was to learn knowledge from all around the world and bring it back to his king, the optional one was finding out what happened to the lost expedition. And neither was done quite yet. Renewed resolve in his heart, Skalli Kandoom continued with the rest of his team, as they later explored the other exit of this room, one which lead downwards instead of upwards.
Going down into the tunnels, we noticed they were mostly out of granite, very hard for a pickaxe to go through. They were mostly barren with only a few lizards or bugs crawling around, at the end of the tunnel we came upon a 15 meter drop, into a large circular cave, an area which was a forest of giant mushrooms along with a river in the middle. Some of us descended into the forest, while others like me stayed higher up with a bird's eye view of the area, soon after, a huge creature with the body of a lizard and the face of a frog attacked one of our miners, we fought the beast and shot it numerous times, with it dying after having nearly killed said miner. The area cleared we explored it but found nothing of particular interest, expect that the cave's floor itself seemed to be the head of a gigantic mushroom that grew below. We also saw multiple ways out of the cave, all of which seemed too difficult to reach, except for one, which was a cone-like opening in the wall, we made a short human ladder, no pun intended, so that our rock sorcerer could see what was on the other side, after taking a few steps in, he noticed the cobweb-like floor, and suddenly slipped, unable to stop, he slipped downwards on a slope, we could not hear him soon after, next up our craftsman went ahead slower, using his pickaxe to stay anchored on the ground in case he slipped, and after one strike, one which did not penetrate the ground on the slippery cobweb-like surface, he slipped down as well, shouting at us what seemed to be the problem, after that, our sergeant decided to follow, enthusiastically jumping right onto the slope looking to enjoy the ride down, next was our Noble, who used a 15 meter long rope which we anchored a bit higher up to see if we could see or get anywhere, unfortunately it didn't help, so he decided to let go and started counting from that, he kept counting until 61, at this point we didn't hear him anymore. We then told the NPC following us (the players who weren't here) we were going to jump down as well, so they could return to Karak Izril and didn't need to wait for us.
One long slide later, one that lasted 167 seconds, we came down into an enormous cave, it was a Drow city (idk how the drow is written but that's how it's pronounced), basically a city of magical spiders and such. Soon noticing they were all turned off, we understood we weren't in an immediate danger, we figured out what had happened, the dwarfs of Karak Urbar had been at war with the Drow, they had built a small outpost for the humans, the same we were at earlier, which the Drow would attack. When they did, the dwarfs Ambushed and killed their priestess, turning off all of the Drow and no doubt winning the war. This didn't explain why they had kept their hold sealed however.
Now we were kilometers deep underground without knowing how to get back, and this is where we left off, next time we'll play should be in about a month, I am very excited to continue.
Finally we played Stormbringer again, both the afternoon and evening.
first off, the southern dwarfs :
Still lost in the Drow city with no real idea of where to go to escape, we started wandering around, avoiding touching any of the dormant spiders. After a few minutes of marching, what looked like a bat landed on our craftsman's shoulder, with utmost accuracy, the northern ranger and one of the miners, who were both at the back, shot the bat, but the bolt went through it, ethereal, turned out to be a small demon too. After draining a toughness point from our craftsman, it stayed there, calm and not doing much. We decided to keep going since we couldn't do anything about it as we were. Suddenly as we neared a house, it started flapping it's wings violently as if it didn't want to go inside that house, we decided that perhaps if we headed inside it'd fly off. As we entered, we saw a shadowy figure going around in said house, suddenly, our craftsman kneeled and started speaking in what appeared to be a demonic language, we shot at the shadowy figure, only to receive a blackfire spell, hurting us all badly enough, our craftsman then turned back and told us to cease fire and kneel or we were doomed. Turns out we had fired at a dark elf, more specifically, an avatar of loth, a demigod.
Realising we were in an amount of shit that was considerably deep, we listenened to what she had to say, we had awakened all of the drow, and we would be to serve as food for them. Our rock sorcerer tried to reason with her by saying that we were pretty much heroes of Karak Urdar and the rest of our people were weak, if she killed us here and now, there wouldn't be any war nor interest in killing us all.
He then tried to call upon the gods, as our rune priestess had done many times, but failed, so he hadn't managed to convince her to let us go. The northern ranger Skalli Kandoom, seeing as there were no options left, spoke up, and said he was on a mission to save his people further up north, as there was an army of undead marching south, which would destroy the world if not stopped, interested, the avatar told me she accepted to let us go, on one condition, I had to bring back the dwarfs here, (no doubt so that they would serve as food), she then dropped a hand on my shoulder, and a small spider crawled all the way to my neck, implanting itself there and turning into a magical tattoo, the avatar then said "Bring them here within 3 months, else my little friend will kill you".
Having sacrificed his life with only 3 months left to live, the group of heroes were then teleported into darkness, a human mine, we walked a bit to reach the surface, discovering we were a bit above the island of the diamond (in the middle of which Karak Izril is located). We decided to set up camp as it was getting late, but 2 of our friends decided to make a campfire, which promptly attracted 3 horsemen, we then found out they were part of the legion of damnation, a human empire in the great plain. They asked what dwarfs were doing here, we said we were only passing by having gotten lost, they then mentioned they had dwarfs at their capital, we quickly understood they were keeping them as smith-slaves. They had also asked if any of us had talents in smithing, which Skalli did and said.
They then said they'd be leaving, but they were taking the ranger with them. Our rock sorcerer immediately spoke up and refused, then tried to intimidate them by creating sparks of lightning in his hands.
"A witch! Kill them all!"
After a short fight, the horsemen were dead, but a horse has escaped, running after it, Skalli saw it was headed straight for a warcamp not far away, he also saw an army suddenly coming out and charging towards them. After running back to the rest of the group, they had found out the horsemen's sword had an alarm enchantment, which i'm sure you can guess the effect by now. We hurriedly picked up two of the swords and ran away, soon seeing a fort up on a hill, but we then found out that wouldn't be usable as a hiding place, as it was filled with greenskins, we decided to run around it, while our rock sorcerer disguised as a goblin using some of his magical items, he ran to the open gates, and simply shouted "Humans incoming! WAAAGH!", he then hit the swords against each other, dropped them and fleed to join up with the others. While that was happening, the rest of the group saw a goblin ahead, guessing it was the rock sorcerer waiting for them, they kept running ahead but only too late did they learn it wasn't, and they were ambushed, after a volley of arrows that nearly killed the ranger, they kept running, while our miner attacked the goblin while passing by him. With a critical hit, the goblin was chopped in half, the other goblins decided to flee seeing that, we then arrived upon the beach leading to the island of the diamond, but it was high sea, we couldn't get to the island right away, our rock sorcerer who had joined up soon after, made a platform out of dirt and we used it to levitate across. We then started going towards the northern entrance of karak izril, which had not been seen in over a century and a half.
After a short night's sleep and a short day of walking, the heroes arrived at the northern gate, much larger and impressive than the side gates. After a quick "reveal runes" spell, the gate lit up all over, hundreds of defensive runes of all kind and one secret entrance rune, after activating said rune, the gates slowly opened and we entered. We quickly noticed right in front of us a cart full of incredible items, Mythril weapons and other priceless items. Half of the group rushed for it, while the rest of us stayed wary, keeping our distance. Soon after, the ones who had rushed to the cart started being lifted up into the air by seemingly nothing, after our sergeant struck what seemed to be grabbing him with his electrical sword, A huge demon appeared, a mouth with tentacles around, which were holding onto our friends. We then started firing and attacking, the first to get into the demon's belly was our rock sorcerer, but thanks to his magical items, especially his elemental adaptation cape, which lets him adapt to whatever liquid he enters, for instance in water he can breathe and neither he or his equipment would get wet, digestive acid as well. Next our merchant started getting chewed on, but his extremely powerful armor only broke the monster's teeth. After a short fight where our rock sorcerer killed the monster from the inside, we realised all the loot was fake, only worthless items were there.
We spent a few hours opening the northern fortress's door, and behind said door our sergeant found the runic mythril hammer he had found in the cart earlier, but this time it was real. This meant that the daemon made fake replicas of nearby items as bait. This also meant that said items all existed.
We left off there, next step will be to reach the main hall and join up with the dwarfs of Karak Izril.
Will write the summary of the northern dwarfs soon
No summary of the northern dwarfs yet, i really got too lazy to do it, i'll make it eventually, but here's a map of Karak Izril (the southern dwarf city, located in the middle of the island of the diamond in the mountain)
(not 100% sure about the secret passages, shit was long ago, and that's only the secret passages we rediscovered, there should be some to almost everywhere)
Well sorry for the wait, been quite a while since i was supposed to write the summary of the northern dwarfs, here goes :
Having arrived at the Northlander village, the dwarfs settled down to wait a few weeks until completion of the ship.
Unfortunately, news came one day, that a recon force was coming towards the village, it was composed of around a thousand undead warhounds along with golems of every kind.
The ship should be done just before the recon force arrived. So everyone decided to prepare to leave, except for some of the northlanders, who stayed here to fight and cover the retreat of the ones who needed more time. Mostly berserkers and the Chieftain of the village. They were ready to go to Valhalla.
When the horde arrived, the warhounds were first to charge, the battle lasted a while, but the berserkers ultimately succumbed, only one stood strong, The village's chieftain, standing atop a pile of dead warhounds he kept killing any and all warhounds that came his way. With only 2 dwarfs holding the line with him, when they noticed an ice golem coming, the first of many, the dwarfs decided it was time for them to retreat to their ship and flee, saying goodbye to him. they then got to the ship and set sail southward. the village behind them was lost, the ones who didn't flee died.
The trip took much longer than expected, and their reserves of food and water were near null at the end. However when the situation started looking particularly desperate, they saw land ahead, unfortunately, they felt the ship was starting to turn, they soon noticed a maelstrom was pulling them towards it. Barely escaping it, the dwarfs heaved a sigh of relief, but too soon, as suddenly their ship came to a complete halt.
Then, a single, but enormous tentacle, appeared from the waters below, a kraken. Every fighter jumped in, trying to save the ship before it'd get crushed under the creature's tentacle, they managed to cut off one's of it's five tentacles, but too late to save the ship, the kraken retreated, not wanting to risk losing more than it already did, the old dwarf they had rescued at the start of the adventure, however, planned ahead, and he'd set up enough barrels for everyone to get into, every barrel could hold a dwarf, as well as part of his treasure. The dwarfs, having lost a few more of their kin in this encounter, bitterly floated towards the beach, still eager to set foot on dry land once more.
Upon arrival, the weakest started setting up camp while the others went forth into the light jungle ahead, in search of food and water. Later, returning to where they started making camp, the dwarfs found the beggining of what seemed to be a camp, but without any dwarfs, seconds later, they noticed ships just ahead on the sea, pirates, the dwarfs waved and shouted to signal their presence to the pirates, which they noticed and they came to pick them up as well.
Soon after, they met the Captain of this pirate fleet, Brownbeard, a dwarf with a brown beard who has had a curse which prevents him from stepping foot on land since hundreds of years ago, speaking to him they learned he was not even aware of the fall of the northern lands. He also asked if they were the ones who cut off one of fifi's tentacles, which made for an awkward moment, Brownbeard had a magical item which made him able to tame a kraken. after parting them with only half of the dwarfs' treasure, he let them free, though they did stay a bit for diverse reasons at his homebase, Tortuga, a hidden cave somewhere on the southern coast which he did not let them see how to reach. After spending time with Brownbeard and drinking fair amounts of ale, to dwarf standards, a few decided to stay, while all the other dwarfs were to be dropped on a nearby shore. They had learned one precious information before being dropped off, the presence of dwarfs held as slaves in the empire in the great plain.
Pre-adventure intro for a part of the group for the new Northlanders campaign i'll be GMing (soon maybe)(still the same world, stormbringer)
The title of the campaign is "The Prophecy of the Northlanders"
You can refer to the map in the post above as well as it's text to understand where and how this will start.
Having received word from one of his contacts of a transport of riches from the human empire below about to cross the sea of the star from east to west, they were apparently alone, trying to cross silently without word of their voyage about to happen. Unfortunately for them, word got around, so the northlander pirate captain Ragnar and his crew, as well as a few mercenaries including a berserker, a bear tamer and his cave bear.
After departing aboard his ship "Niddhog", they sailed for a bit over a week to a location where they should be able to intercept this transport of riches. And they were right on time, ahead Ragnar could see,through his spyglass the ship, with a crew that seemed poorly equipped for combat, unlike his.
Coming up with a simple, yet efficient idea, Ragnar took a bag of fresh fish and waved it around so that the merchant captain could see that Ragnar is looking to perhaps sell some fish. It worked well, the other captain let the Niddhog approach, but not before saying something to his second, who promptly went inside the ship. After both ships docked against each other, Ragnar went on the other ship to meet with their captain, after a short discussion, they agreed on a price for a little haul of fish, Ragnar asked to check one of the gold coins, it was a real coin, but Ragnar threw it in the other captain's face, pretending it was false, he took out his axe and shouted to attack, trying to take advantage of the confusion.
Right afterwards, all of the warriors and mercenaries Ragnar had ordered to hide inside the ship ran out to board the merchant's ship, but soon after some of their warriors also came out, the merchant captain had seemingly ordered the warriors to get ready beforehand, just in case. As the two sides collided, the northlanders quickly took the advantage, being stronger and more experienced than the merchant's warriors. After a short battle where the human warriors put up a fair fight for unexperienced sailors and after the northlander bear bear-hugged a knight in full plate armor to death, effectively making soup of him, they obtained victory with a dozen humans surrendering, being the only survivors of the merchant's crew.
After a not-so-hard won battle, Ragnar decided to enslave the survivors, so that none could spread word about him, and to let them live a little longer. He also kept their ship as well as it's enormous haul of riches. He then decided to head back home and celebrate this great success.
After a good week of sailing back, they arrived home, expect something was off, the village was entirely dark, not one light shone and not one shadow seemed to move. Ragnar decided they would investigate, after docking the ship, a small group, including our 4 main characters, headed into the village. They soon found out the horrible events that seemed to have happened the day before. Dry blood covered the ground at many places, there were dead bodies of hundreds of undead warhounds, as well as what seemed to be quickly set-up defenses, near the main gate they found a dead Ice golem, and clear signs of a battle. Not a single Northlander body laid on the ground, however signs that such bodies fell on the ground still lingered in the snow. Something strange they soon noticed was a single trail leaving the village, apparently at a running pace, running towards the exterior, but those steps disappeared cleanly 30 meters further, no trace of a body falling on the ground, no signs of a fight, no dry blood. It was like a northlander ran and disappeared suddenly.
Mourning the loss of friends and, for some, family, they decided to spend the evening and night taking their gear and their belongings before they would depart to the nearest village, hoping that this one would be alright.
However, during said night, and after many failed perception rolls, they were woken up by screams coming from the village (they had decided that those who wouid rest for the night would sleep in the ship). Quickly gearing up and sprinting outside, they saw a few northlanders run towards the ship, behind them was about 25 orks as well as a troll, the now woken up northlanders took up a defensive position on the docks, with a quick but well made shield wall. They waited for the greenskins to charge, at least that was the plan until the berserker and the cave bear charged them, the northlanders then charged as well, just as inspired by that as they were worried for them.
The battle took some time, but the northlanders eventually triumphed finishing off the fleeing orks, the troll had been hugged to death by a bear slightly smaller than him (on his backfeets), which is quite a considerable size for a bear indeed.
Easily figuring out this must've been a group of orks that probably had been following the undead which killed the northlanders who stayed, planning on looting the village afterwards. They then decided to be more wary, but go back to sleeping and reclaiming their belongings.
The next day, the set sail for a day, following the coast without seeing anything else out of the ordinary. They then arrived at the village, which seemed to be just fine with no sign of a recent battle, on the docks was the Great shaman, the religious and spiritual leader of the northlanders, who was apparently waiting for them to arrive. Upon docking the ship, the Great shaman greeted the 4 main characters with a simple sentence :
"And finally, the last of the chosen ones have arrived. The prophecy may begin, should Thor will it."
So, time for the beginning of the Prophecy of the Northlanders.
One morning, with nothing unusual expected to happen, the northlander's Great shaman (the equivalent of the pope, for example) woke up, having seen visions from Thor himself for the beginning of a prophecy, the first step would be to reunite the chosen ones, which he saw in said visions. The first of the chosen ones he managed to gather was his own daughter, an apprentice shaman, which he hurried to wake up, afterwards they quickly went to the Shaman's hut, to begin the reunification of the shamans, who had all also seen the prophecy, the great shaman spent the first half of the day teleporting the 14 of them from their villages through simple rituals (simple compared to his super OP abilities).
Meanwhile, the great shaman's daughter, went and gathered some of the chosen ones currently in the village, including the village's blacksmith, two valkyries, a highlander woman (said highlanders are northlanders that live in the lands of the northern dwarfs as travelling hermits, occasionally coming back to the northlander villages for repairs on their equipment and such. How timely.) The remaining chosen ones would come soon, except for one. After gathering them, the apprentice shaman brought them to a mansion in which the chosen ones would stay while they would wait for their next steps in the prophecy. She then proceeded to join back up with the shamans.
The 14 shamans reunited with the Great shaman, they then begun a teleportation ritual, this time not to summon another shaman, but to summon a warchief, the one from the neighboring village, which had just been evacuated while he and his berserkers stayed behind to fight the undead and the chaotic dwarfs to cover the retreat of both the other northlanders and the northern dwarfs.
(for this next part, you should read up on what happened last in the northern dwarfs if you haven't already)
As the ships left the shore and the last of his berserkers fell dead to the ground, the warchief, standing on a great pile of dead zombified warhounds, had accomplished his duty of protecting his people, and was now ready to join his brethren in Valhalla, he saw the golems finally arriving to the village, the first one was an ice golem, slightly ahead of the others, he charged and defeated it, with no moment of respite to enjoy his victory, he saw five more, and dozens behind said five. Seeing his last fight approach, he couldn't wait any longer and charged towards them for a glorious end. But after a short sprint of about 30 meters, he suddenly found himself in a tent with all of the shamans. His village, being one of the few without a shaman, didn't know about the prophecy beginning. And so he was given an explanation of the situation, and invited to join the others in the mansion, being one of the chosen ones.
(for this next part, you should read the previous summary if you haven't already)
The next day, Two ships arrived in the village, the Great shaman was waiting for them on the docks, and as they docked, he saw the last of the chosen ones arriving. He greeted them and explained the situation to them as well, the chosen ones were now united, the prophecy could now continue.
The next day, the shamans received the visions of the next step of the prophecy, which was theirs to accomplish. The shamans assembled just outside the village in a ritual site, and performed an extremely powerful ritual (to northlander shaman standards, so extremely freaking powerful) which temporarily forbid the undead from leaving the northern dwarfs' territory, keeping the northlanders' villages safe. The enchantment should last until the end of the prophecy. Unfortunately, this ritual required so much energy, that 13 of the shamans lost their lives, only a single shaman along with the great shaman were left, as well as all of their apprentices, which were in different villages, not powerful enough to be involved in the prophecy yet.
This task accomplished, the second part of the prophecy was done. They would have to wait for the next visions to guide the chosen ones to their quests.
Once more, the next day, the great shaman received visions of the next step of the prophecy. They would have to retrieve a northlander artifact, a small statue representing Thor, which was aboard a huge ship, in a fleet of 8 ships travelling from east to west of the sea of the star. Their cargo seemed to be as much riches as it was religious relics of the Empire below, in the great plain. The defenses were very heavy, and news had been spread everywhere about this fleet, so that no one would dare try to attack it. The pirate captain Ragnar, for instance, had heard about it but didn't plan on attacking it, as it was suicidal for him alone to attack it. They had no choice now however, so they would have to, they did however have 3 ships at their disposal, including the Niddhog, captain Ragnar's ship, as well as an apprentice shaman. Every single one of the greatest warriors in the village joined them for the battle. As it would most likely be a close call.
They then set sail for the middle of the sea for a voyage of a bit over one week, to intercept them where no one could help them. But along the way, during the weekly round of rum and beer, the Northlanders chanted a song that deeply encouraged them, they felt ready for the fight, as the gods were no doubt with them during the prophecy. Another day or so later, during quiet sailing, Ragnar felt a tap on his shoulder, as he turned around he only saw his second, after asking what was up, his second answered nothing was wrong and Ragnar continued holding the wheel, then he felt another tap on his shoulder, he turned around again only to still see nothing, except his second giggling. Ignoring it, he felt a tap on his shoulder a third time, but this time, he turned around to see a huge tentacle waving at him, the most welcome surprise he could've hoped for. That was fifi, the dwarf pirate captain Brownbeard's Kraken. Being a friend of Brownbeard, Ragnar was also a friend with fifi, who accompanied him for the voyage, having nothing else to do.
Arriving in sight of the fleet some days later, the northlanders put in action the plan they had prepared back on land, as the two other ships attacked from the front, the Niddhog flanked the fleet and headed straight for the main ship, larger than the others, it contained the artifact, according to the great shaman. A large battle ensued where the apprentice shaman stopped a ship by freezing the water around it and summoned a great storm which made two of the human ships sink. Meanwhile fifi the kraken had sunk three ships. The main battle happened on the large human ship, as the Niddhog boarded it, over twenty knights in full plate armor came out of the lower levels and held near the ship's inside entrance, the battle lasted a while, but was eventually fairly easily won by the northlanders, after the Warchief grabbed one of the knights, lifted him above his head and let him fall on his knee, breaking the knight's spine, as well as the morale of the remaining fighters who promptly threw down their weapons and surrendered.
Having obtained the artifact and enslaved the humans which they didn't execute, They took the 3 remaining human boats along and set sail to return home. This part of the prophecy was done, and they would have to meet with the great shaman to know what would be next. So Ragnar waved goodbye to fifi the kraken, who helped them greatly, after which they departed.
However, on their way back home, a storm suddenly appeared, and soon after they heard the lookout shout "CAP'N! GHOST SHIP AHEAD!" , It turned out the storm wasn't natural, and so they ordered the other ships to go on ahead, while they would take care of the ghost ship. As captain Ragnar looked through his spyglass, he saw the other ship was populated by undead of all kind, and their ship seemed to float on the ocean like if they were one with each other, moving at a speed the niddhog could never come close to achieving.
However, as both ships rushed towards each other, the undead seemed unsure, and as they came side to side, Ragnar ordered the grappling launchers to fire, to which the Undead looked downright surprised. Unsure of themselves at what just happened, the undead held position, and as Ragnar ordered his troops to hold the side of the ship with a finely made shield wall, the chosen ones boarded the undead's ships, after a few dozens of seconds of the chosen ones doing well enough while in inferior numbers, the remaining northlanders charged and boarded the ship as well, which scared the undead, making them all turn to dust, and so did their ship. Barely getting back on the Niddhog in time, just then the storm quickly cleared. The northlanders celebrated their triumph with a well deserved round of alcohol.
Turns out being immune to fear because of an earlier sea shanty makes undead pirates not so fearsome. Scaring undead pirates to death sure will look good on the resume.
And so, the Niddhog caught back up with the rest of the fleet, as they made their way home, amused by this unexpected encounter.
The adventure continues, and this time many truths will be revealed.
Having returned to the village, pirate captain Ragnar met with the great shaman and handed him the artifact, to which the shaman responded he could keep it, as their next objective would be to go to Karak KazadAldrhun (Mountain-Fortress of ancient runes), and, according to his visions, find a dead end in a corridor, the wall of said dead end seems to have a hole in the same shape as the artifact they just recovered. Of course they would have to be very wary of the undead and demonic dwarfs roaming inside. Their objective would obviously be linked to putting the artifact where it belongs, the next part would be up to them to find out. Fortunately, the shaman also had a vision of a secret entrance to the side of the main door, which would make our chosen ones able to enter safely.
After being briefed, patching up their few wounds and resting, they were given horses to lower the time it would take to get there, from around a month and a half to a fair two weeks. They then set off to dwarf territory, but not before the great shaman warned her daughter to keep the others from engaging in a needless and reckless fight, as there were no doubt some very powerful demonic dwarf sorcerers.
The trip to Karak KazadAldrhun was surprisingly completely uneventful. with the only obstacle met being a snowy ravine which they could avoid by going around it. (yup, totally changing stuff in my random encounter spreadsheet for later on)
Having finished their seriously boring 2 week long trip, they finally arrived at their destination. They finally had the great doors of Karak KazadAldrhun in sight, the young shaman then proceeded to cast a rune reveal, which had unexpected consequences, as the whole group was seriously blinded. A couple of dozens of seconds later, regaining their vision, they saw the door was covered in extremely powerful defensive runes, some of which being major runes of brightness. Then looking meticulously to the side, they saw a lonely rune on the side of the mountain, the secret passage they were looking for.
After reaching the secret entrance, they figured out the that they had to place their hand on what seemed to be a normal, natural stone wall, which they could see wasn't the case thanks to the rune.
After doing so they were teleported right on the other side of said door, after lighting a torch and noticing that this secret passage has likely not been used for thousands of years, (keep in mind the northern dwarfs were attacked by the demonic entities around 70 years before then) they advanced forward in this long tunnel, they soon came upon a choice of routes, and decided to head right, leaving the forward route for later.
Reaching the end of the corridor, they saw a small stone pedestal, on top of which was a round stone, taking a correct guess, the shaman placed her hand on the stone, which let her see like if she was in the middle of the corridor behind the secret door in front of them. However what she saw was not quite a nice sight, while the corridor was devoid of any life, the ground was covered by numerous random goods, as well as many shields, axes, hammers, crossbows and helmets, but no armors. Clear signs of a slaughter, and said slaughtered raised back up as undead beings. With yet another rune detection, the shaman saw that there was another door on the other side of the corridor. The heroes decided to go and investigate towards what seemed to be the great hall, considering the size of the room. Once there, they noticed an Undead dwarf escorted by two undead trolls, seemingly patrolling the area, considering the distance between them, the northlanders weren't too worried (the shaman did however need to calm down her allies, as they were itching for a fight), so they quickly and not so stealthily sneaked towards the entrance of what was obviously the temple, judging by the 7 dwarf heads sculpted in the stone above the corridor entrance, the heads of the ancestor gods. (from left to right above the door, Thungni, Smednir, Grungni, Valaya, Grimnir, Morgrim and Gazul)
However, after turning and looking inside the corridor, they noticed another dwarf guarded by another two trolls, and also managed to see the temple in complete ruin. They decided to head back and explore where the secret passage could lead them.
I'll just post this map to let you know what they discovered/noticed along their way, having followed the secret passages without going around to explore anymore.
Also just a detail, the storage room (forge&mines) has a bridge that goes through it, above the room, letting the dwarfs' armies easily and orderly pass through to go to war outside. There is some staircases leading down into the room from the bridge.
Arrived at the Throne room, they decided to investigate the corridor to their right, which was closer to them. (to the left on the map) They soon noticed the absurd amount of gear lying in it, they advanced through, seeing as the corridor was a dead end and had what seemed to be a hole in it. But upon arrival, they were met with a hole in a shape not corresponding to the artifact's, however, the highlander had seen some impressive gear with another artifact, which was shaped like an Iron golem.
Picking it up, seeing as it seemed to correspond to the hole they had just discovered, they inserted it into the wall, and two doors opened on each of their sides, a few seconds later, after hearing numerous things turn on, around twenty runic golems measuring at least 4 meters in height and 3 in width rushed out of the room, running towards different parts of the Karak, they also felt an earthquake happening, like if a nearby mountain was suddenly moving, a mere minute later, sounds of combat and extremely powerful spells being launched echoed through the halls and were heard by our group of heroes, they had freed the guardians of Karak KazadAldrhun, which were no doubt clearing the whole Karak of anything that isn't alive, norse or a normal dwarf.
The shaman quickly realised everything that had happened here, some of the first demonic dwarfs must have taken position here (which no doubt included what used to be a high ranking member of the dwarf society), and slaughtered anything that came their way, the King, being in the throne room at that moment, rushed with his bodyguard with the golem artifact (which probably only he and few high ranking members of the Karak knew about), then tried to reach the door, but ultimately failed and were slain, leaving the rest of the Karak to eventually fall, as their bodies were resurected with ill intent.
With the main city lost, the rest soon followed.
The group's warchief picked up the King's hammer, keeping it in case need arose, as the shaman could sense the amazing power eminating from it.
They then headed toward the other corridor, finding out it also had another corridor branching out in it, they noticed said new corridor was also dead end, but unlike the other one in front of them, it did have a hole in it, this was the right one. They inserted the artifact, and the room of the prophecy opened.
Once inside, they witnessed the room's walls had numerous paintings, representing many scenes of both Northern Dwarf and Northlander history, including both together, the largest painting which seemed to be dated back many hundred years earlier, represented dwarfs and northlanders fighting a Waaagh of greenskins, the allied ones had shield walls just as finely made as each other's, lines of berserkers jumping over those shieldwalls, while slayers did the same on the dwarf's side. And other such correlations, showing each race both close in mentality, as well as in alliance.
On another wall, they could see portraits of, once again, both races being shown, all were indicated with their time of birth and death, except for one, the northlander Warchief, currently in this very room.
Our group of heroes soon noticed the runes in the room, the shaman sensed magical power very far beyond what she had ever imagined could be contained in a single room, sensing it to come from said runes.
Trying to figure out the situation, an ethereal figure started appearing near them. Once said figure had finished appearing, they were all in awe, Thor himself.
Thor greeted them, and soon explained that this room was one of the only place a God can appear, albeit in an ethereal form and speak directly to mortals, all thanks to the runes in this room.
Said runes also made portraits and paintings appear, once worthy deeds were done, be it by an army or a single person. He also pointed out that touching a painting made everyone in the room see the battle/worthy deed of a person like if they were there themselves.
(The heroes, curious of the Warchief's deeds, touched his portrait, and saw him, organising the defenses of his village for a sacrificial battle only to give the northern dwarfs time to escape southwards, the battle itself is also a painting, but he truly shone when he stood atop a large pile of undead warhounds, continuing to fight until Valhalla called for him when his warriors had already fallen, he soon saw the golems finally arriving, he charged the first one closest to him, and after a swift fight, defeated it with considerable effort and difficulty. He then saw the rest of them arriving, way too many for him to defeat alone, his eyes filling with the fury of a hundred berkserkers, he shouted "VALHALLA!" one last time and charged towards what he thought would be his final fight. You know what happened after.)
He also explained to them one of the reasons he wanted the northlanders to come here was to relearn their lost past, how close their civilisation was to the dwarf's, and for them to reignite said alliance, even if the northern dwarfs were now nearing extinction. He also told them about how the dwarfs taught many things to the northlanders, and how the northlanders also taught some things to the dwarfs in return, Thor's axe-hammer was made by the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri, the apprentices of Thungni, ancestor god of runesmithing and Smednir, ancestor god of smithing, forging one the greatest weapons ever forged, as well as forging an alliance that would last forever, at least in the God's heart.
He told his heroes about how he and Grimnir set out to defeat the demonic dwarfs' god as soon as he found out they were stirring up serious trouble, which would have rendered the demons near powerless, except, they soon found out, they had no god. So Thor and the Ancestors had no way to help the dwarfs.
After taking a few moments to take in his own helplessness, he continued, and with a single hand gesture, he made multiple pedestals rise from the ground, each had extremely powerful relics, no doubt prepared ages ago for when this day would come. The heroes were quite grateful and happy with their new, shiny gear.
With 4 other pedestals having risen, he gestures towards them, and explains their purpose :
The first holds a map, he explains how this map points out the maelstroms in each sea of the world, and how they are actually secret passages from one sea to another.
The second holds another map, showing the location of a greenskin Waaagh currently developing in the fortress of Karak AgrilBarag (Mountain of the Silver War-machine). The northlanders would no doubt be able to make good use of this information.
The third holds a small, strange device, which would serve to repair the temple, destroyed by the demonic dwarfs. It would however not reactivate the temple, that would be the duty of a dwarf.
The fourth item seemed familiar, it was yet another artifact, Thor pointed to a rune near the entrance of the room, interacting with it would reveal a map of Karak KazadAldrhun, on said map they would find the location of the rooms linked to the market, the upper one was the brewery, in which a dwarf still lives. That did surprise the heroes, Thor asked them to go find him, explain that the Karak is now secure, then bring him the King's hammer, he'd know what to do with it. (No, that does not insinuate Thor wants the brewmaster crowned) What the Brewmaster would do next, would be his to decide.
Next is the room below, which would be an interesting discovery for the northlanders, to access it, they'd need to use this artifact.
Once his chosen ones would be done, he asked them to return to this room to finish the briefing for what will happen next.
The purple unpenetrable rooms do not appear on the map except for the mausoleum and the Brewery.
On the way towards their first destination, which would be the brewery, the northlanders saw massacred bodies of undead greenskins as well as the demonic dwarfs they were guarding, not a single runic golem seemed to have a single scratch on themselves. They were all standing in what supposedly is their assigned rooms, carefully eyeing it.
Upon arrival at the Brewery, they did not see any way in, there were runes on the wall, but touching them did nothing, unlike with the previous ones. They also did notice the obvious metallic tube on their side, and upon closer inspection, heard a dwarf chanting on the other side of said tube, upon calling out for him through the tube, they heard him jump in surprise and run towards the tube, after asking the heroes a few questions, he told them he was going to unlock the runes at the entrance, which then let northlanders teleport in the room.
He then explained how the brewery was supposed to be a safe room for if the Karak were to ever fall (unthinkable! The fortresses would never fall from an outer attack, and that does remain true to this day), unfortunately, it seems no one made it, the same thing that happened in the throne room most likely also happened here. The room was protected, like the others, by an unbreakable material no one knows the origin of. The rooms are also protected by spells forbidding anyone from teleporting inside through spells, the rune on the entrance wall was the only way in. After letting them taste the beer he has been perfecting for what is most likely a hundred years, considering the dwarf does not seem particularly old, around 180 years old, the northlanders feel tougher, as if that made them less sensible to pain and injuries. The warchief hands the King's hammer to the Brewmaster, who at this sight, breathes a sigh of sadness to what he hoped was only a dark thought for so long. They then leave the brewery to continue their duty.
Arrived at the other room linked to the market, the chosen ones and their new dwarf friend insert the artifact in the wall, opening a entrance in the unpenetrable wall, behind they see what seems to be abandoned northlander trading posts, similar to the ones they use when they occasionally travel to the Empire below to trade. They also notice a large, strangely circular stone in the wall, not knowing what it does, they leave, knowing that once upon a time, trade was common between dwarf and northmen in this city.
Next, the Brewmaster asks his new friends to accompany him to the Mausoleum, where he will lay to rest the King's hammer, his body most likely unrecoverable, and his hammer not having any descendant to be passed to anymore. Once having reached the Mausoleum, he looks at the hammer's shaft, recites some word which the northlanders hadn't noticed were written on it. Which then opens the entrance to the mausoleum, upon reaching the tomb which was prepared for the King most likely since his birth or before, he deposits the hammer, makes a ceremonial prayer to Gazul, then closes the coffin. He then asks if he can accompany his saviors to wherever they're headed, so long as he isn't alone, which they promptly accept.
Returning to Thor having accomplished their short work, he thanks them, and tells them their next objective will be to head back home, travel to the southern maelstrom in the sea, which will get them near a diamond-shaped island, they would then have to travel southwards, where the shaman will cast a spell, which should reveal a hidden island, on said island, their mission will be to reactivate the tribute-shrine to Odin, which would let Thor communicate with the ancestor gods once again, as he feels their influence has recently resurfaced in the southern parts of the world, that is another mystery Thor wants them to solve.
Thor greeted them, and soon explained that this room was one of the only place a God can appear, albeit in an ethereal form and speak directly to mortals, all thanks to the runes in this room.
Said runes also made portraits and paintings appear, once worthy deeds were done, be it by an army or a single person. He also pointed out that touching a painting made everyone in the room see the battle/worthy deed of a person like if they were there themselves.
After all the mystery and hidden stuff, it was good for thor to pop by and have paintings, everyone loves paintings what if you could paint something and it came alive like the story of the magic paint brush hmm. I guess that would be too much power and thor would paint too many hammers perhaps.
Here's the next part of the northlanders, there might not be another for a little while, so enjoy! ^^
Having finished their holy duty, they started heading out, but as they entered the throne room once again, they noticed the Great book of grudges sitting on the pedestal in front of the throne, the northlanders decided to take a look.
Opening the book, they quickly looked through the beginning, one of the things they were looking for is if there had ever been any grudge towards their kind, which they did not manage to find, a great thing to know, as it meant both races never wronged each other, no doubt to their and Thor's delight. After many dozens, if not hundreds of large pages filled with struck-out grudges, all of which were settled in one way or another, The heroes came upon the last dozen pages, the grudges on said pages were not struck out however.
The first Grudge they laid their eyes upon, which was one dating back from a few years before the downfall of the Northern dwarfs, was directed towards a dwarf ranger, apparently the only ranger to have gotten his name in the book, according to the Brewmaster, who then explained this story, the ranger's wrong deed was failing to escort and safeguard a group of dwarf from one city to another, they were ambushed, no doubt because of his carelessness, and all of them were no doubt either killed or enslaved, except for said ranger, who managed to escape from this situation, also thanks to his carelessness.
It seemed that upon returning to the great city of Karak Kazadaldrhun, he brought himself to the king, after which, instead of making him take the slayer oath as the traditions would, the king chose to speak to the ancients and priests. After a long and difficult conversation, which took into consideration that it was the first ever ranger to receive a grudge, they chose to grant a chance for the ranger to redeem himself in another way, he would be sent away, and his objective would be to find the lost expedition from hundreds of years ago, or in the worst case, what happened to them, and then report back, either with great or grim news. The ranger's death during his journey would settle the grudge just as well, should it end this way.
The northlanders could then deduce that this ranger still lives, around 80 years later, after reading the following grudges.
All of the following grudges until the end of the book were directed towards the Undead dwarfs and their puppets. Those would not doubt only be settled with their extermination. Reading those grudges made our heroes realise that this book was magical, and no doubt wrote/struck out the grudges by itself, as well as summoned new pages when needed. It would have been impossible for the King to write them himself, as the Undead dwarfs first showed themselves next to throne room and massacred the entire population inside the fortress, with the king himself being one of the first casualties.
Having finished reading and discovering some more of the past, the chosen ones then headed towards the Karak's entrance, on their way there they gathered some of the runic gear lying around, as the dwarfs wouldn't need it anymore, and it could help their kin in any fight coming in the future.
The shaman apprentice told her father of all that had happened, using a telepathic link she earned thanks to Thor's kindness, which linked her to her father. The great shaman then started the preparations in advance for the next part of the prophecy while the heroes made their way home once more.
Right after leaving Karak Kazadaldrhun, the shaman used one of her spells called "The eye of Fenrir", which summons a baby ethereal wolf, unable to control or use any of her senses with her own body during usage of this spell, she lied down on their chariot and stood watch, running around as a wolf in the surrounding hills, as to not be ambushed by anything during their travel. Perhaps she had learned of the dwarf ranger's mistakes.
Nearing the end of their first week of travelling, as the evening came closer, they what appeared to be a wooden hatch in the distance, which was considerably strange as it was in the middle of a snowy plain, and visible at that with no snow covering it. As they carefully came closer, they noticed footsteps that headed towards the hatch but none that exited it. Someone was in there. Destroying the hatch with one strong axe strike, the Warchief entered by knocking, but not quite in the polite way.
Coming down the ladder, he found himself in a small room, no doubt designed for dwarfs, and in there was a lone northlander, sitting in a corner with a meal cooking in the center of the room. He seemed fairly normal, with a fine beard, except for the fact that the rest of his head was hidden by a large hood, this was nothing too unusual or surprising as Highlanders, like one of the women in their group, live alone in the dwarf's lands, seldom returning to their kin's villages except for repairs or other needs they cannot deal with themselves.
Inviting the northlanders to join him, they happily agreed, gladly surprised by encountering one of the kin in the wild. The stranger explained to them that this was a dwarf ranger cache, like many others around those lands. Said caches were used by the rangers to rest for the night, take a break in a slightly warmer place, or to simply have a meal without being disturbed by the cold wind of the north, like this highlander was. However, the heroes soon asked about the Stranger's hood, and why he would not show his face, the highlander felt particularly uneasy and told them that he had a curse, which if anyone saw his face, he would disappear. Sensing his words did not convince his kin, he decided to take his leave, but before doing so, he left them a few strange words :
"Do not forget this : Tell him to read the formula in reverse, and the effect will be much greater."
Left with a meal cooking and many questions in their heads, the northlanders did not give chase, and when slightly later the shaman dispelled her wolf and returned to her senses, they gave her the story of what happened, she seemingly understood what had happened and who this person was, but she did not say anything about it, keeping the secrets to herself.
Later, a few days before reaching the village, they spotted a figure lying in the snow, upon coming closer they realised it was a dwarf, one that was very much alive and not so well, he had lost consciousness, perhaps due to fatigue or starvation. Upon the shaman casting Thor's encouragement on the dwarf, which surprisingly worked on him, she healed his wounds, but it was not enough to wake him up, however after throwing some of the brewmaster's ale in his face, which they had thankfully and unsurprisingly brought with them, he promptly woke up. Taking a few moments to get back in shape to speak, he soon explained his situation to the chosen ones. He was a dwarf miner, he was captured around 80 years ago during an ambush by greenskins, as well as most of the other dwarfs which travelled with him. He did not know if any had managed to escape during the ambush, but he knew that he was the first to escape Karak Agrilbarag, having mined a secret tunnel while the greenskins were not watching, and finally having finished it a few weeks ago. However he was the only one who knew about it, so no other dwarf had escaped yet. Before finishing his story, he spoke to our heroes about a very strange thing, the greenskins hadn't slain the children and women, and they had treated the dwarfs with only a small amount of violence and abuse.
With this extremely strange claim said, they continued together towards the village, in which they arrived soon enough, a few days later.
Upon arrival, they immediately noticed the presence of 5 drakkars as well as a serious increase in the amount of their kin in the village, however that was all normal as the Great shaman, thanks to his daughter's new telepathic ability, had prepared and called for reinforcements from other villages, overall 300 or so vikings were ready to set sail southwards with plenty of ressources, tools, and much more gear which they would use to colonise their ancestral lands once more.
Setting sail southwards the next day, the Chosen ones escorted the 5 drakkars while on board of the Niddhog with an estimated travel time of three or more weeks to reach the south.
At the end of the first week however, the northlanders heard chanting coming from the sea below them, soon realising what was happening, the shaman approached the edge of the water and cast an extremely powerfull "polar cold" spell, which instantly froze the water in a large area below them, with an amazingly lucky dice roll, she caught all but one of the mermaids which were coming in a solid sphere of ice. She then dispelled the spell slowly, bit by bit, so that they could slaughter said mermaids one by one, they then cut them in half to use the fish part as food, leaving the upper part to the ocean, the northlanders aren't cannibals after all. They then continued on their way.
With perfect conditions for sailing, the fleet arrived to the southern maelstrom a few days sooner than expected, captain Ragnar decided to pass through it first, and the drakkars would then follow. Entering the maelstrom and letting it suck them in, upon reaching the bottom, the sea opened in front of them, sucking the Niddhog into a tunnel, they were surrounded by water on all sides, above as well! A magical air bubble was protecting the ship, and after 10 minutes of sailing in complete darkness, except for the few torches lit up by deckhands, they surfaced from the water, with a vast continent behind them, to the east, they could see a diamond shaped island separated from the continent by some water, what the northlanders noticed right away however, was the unbearable heat compared to the cold north. It was quite a shock in temperature.
Sailing east towards the island of the diamond, they took a few hours to arrive, and upon reaching it, they sailed south for a few more hours once more, the shaman then sensed a magical aura, she cast a spell Thor taught her, and the island appear, the fleet proceeded and arrived at their destination, soon noticing a thick layer of fog surrounding the island, which was not there before. Taking plenty of warriors with them, the northlanders started exploring the island, which was clearly a divine gift when it comes to farming potential. Upon reaching the center of the island, they soon noticed it's unnatural shape.
The island is called Fornheim according to Thor, Fornheim means "Home of Ancestors" in old norse. I'll let you imagine what this can imply.
Upon noticing the island is shaped like Thor's Hamaxe Mjolnir, the northlanders cracked a smile, and then proceeded towards what stood out, a small hill, on the side of which was the shrine dedicated to Odin and the circular stone next to it, located on the island's "shaft". Upon arrival, they immediately noticed that this round stone obviously hid something, perhaps a secret passage! Upon a fair effort to push it to the side, The chosen ones found out that what was behind was another circular stone, however this one was made of a different type of stone, and was on the same depth as the stone wall on the side of the hill, upon touching this stone, the shaman, being the first one to touch it, disappeared, and the others soon followed her lead.
The place they found themselves in seemed awfully familiar, until they realised they had been here a mere month ago.
This stone teleported them back all the way to Karak Kazadaldrhun, in the abandoned northlander market, in which they had forgotten was a circular stone much like the one they touched. However it hadn't worked the first time they were here as the stone covering the other side stopped it from properly teleporting them. This answered more mysteries from not so long ago. The heroes then returned to Fornheim, touching the stone behind them once more, and upon return, they headed towards the shrine of Odin to reactivate it.
Yup, that's a cliffhanger, now you'll have to wait for what happens next, as will everyone else including myself ^^.
If anyone is interested in spectating or making a character to have some fun playing a
"... part in the Stormbringer Northlander tabletop RPG I'm doing? you'd be playing on another side, not the same adventure as the others and doing other deeds, [it will] happen on discord, on another server i'll be setting up..."
To paraphrase from Terib's explanation in Em-8ER #unrelated:
Terib has set up a discord server for himself and the players. There's a bot to make dice rolls, each player has his personal room to act/ask questions, and there's a common room for the characters to discuss and make decisions, as well as a few extra rooms for other relevant needs. Perhaps a live game could happen every now and then but that'll most likely not happen in all honesty. So basically at worst it's something player can get into daily kinda, more often if time allows.
Terib has created a "Spectator" role for those who want to read/listen rather than actively participate.
Here is a link to the Discord the game will take place in: