The Soft Underbelly

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DM Spartacus
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The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Spartacus » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:03 am

With defences shored up to the north of Baldur's Gate and a strong showing of the Flaming Fist, and various mercenary Guilds actively providing patrols and some sort of citizens defence and building programme there is another danger.

Reports of Devil led or inspired raids west of Boareskyr bridge and a fear they are looking for a way south. Herein a selection of recent observations.
And from the northern lands, where this straggler of a lost battle may first have been seen stumbling close to the Coast Way road, all the way south to the Eastern District of the Gate where this knight finally enters the care of others trained in healing and hospice, a rumor may very well generate, radiate back outward:

A scouting mission within the Troll Claw Hills led to marks and wounds bearing devilish claws tore through armor, flesh and bone. And if it is true what the knight said to his caretakers upon his return, the Hells have opened up from within Caves once held by only Trolls...and Faith appears to be not enough to hold fast against their coming....
Trade further afield in the Trollclaws grinds to a halt with increased Devil activity. Even powerfully equipped adventurers have met with some setbacks.
A more distant rumour puts the Ebon blade as unlikely heroes in this tale, while others claim they are in the midst of launching an expedition to recover old and perhaps foul artefacts. But of course rumour does not always travel well.
Trade further afield in the Trollclaws grinds to a halt with increased Devil activity. Even powerfully equipped adventurers have met with some setbacks. Indeed elements of a Krinkrak patrol clashed with scouts from the Yhogovolish Devil group, and the dwarven clan made off with gathered intelligence.
Dwarves of Clan Krinkrak, said to be on the Coast seeking their ancestral home, are rumoured to have called at the Flaming Fist outpost to the north of Baldur's Gate to warn that they have seen Devil scouts, and heard they are on the march and are intent upon taking to the offensive, using Goblins and other races to drive their attacks. These rumours are countered by the continued build up of the Flaming Fist forces. An official attempted, with mixed success, to reassure Bards hot on the trail of truth that all was well.
As preparations are underway for other areas of operation and strange goings on around Boareskyr Bridge are being reported any sightings or movements south and east are of great concern to the City.

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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Spartacus » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:15 am

A single Imp skitters to a halt at the imposing entrance to Kraak Helzak, a parlay stick waving in the breeze. A squawking voice callas across the divide. "Now is your chance. Surrender now...and you can join in service with the army of Yogi the Devil, or die, what'll be?. There is a brief disbelieving silence from within. Then another Dwarven voice replies "The Imp is right we should yield and share the treasure, ale and profit for it is better than dying and I should know. Open the gates to them!"

There is another brief but outraged silence this time. Before a sturdy rebuff of the offer, Dwarven boots manning the walls and chasing down the traitor who dares. Magic and foul play is suspected. Two Dwarves are found and dragged before the Guard. The Imp flutters off "Better prepare your foolish Dwarven hides then , we will bury you in there!"

"Well Dwarf "cried the red faced Guard captain. "Who in the long beard are you two?" "Aye we are grave diggers." replies the one likely tainted with some ill but they are taken away nonetheless.

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DM Golem
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Golem » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:48 am

Meanwhile, away to the West on the Winding Water, General Scar is seen in discussions with a Michael Dunn of the Ebon Blade and Mach Fryar of the Wardens of Glimmerwood regarding a multi-group scouting mission into the Troll Claws.

When the scouts return, General Scar orders the fort cleared of all non essential personnel to hear their report. Whatever they found up in the mountains is top secret for now.

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Steve
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by Steve » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:27 am

At the surface gate, the stonesinger Simsae of clan Orcslayer, prepares an excursion, checking his belt for the security of equipment that he has procured for the travel, and within his hand, he light bounces his Clanaxe, a wicked looking axe that though is nicked and battleworn, seems eternally capable of slashing through flesh and bone without hindrance.

Simsae looks outward from the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak, into the Troll Claws, and were one standing close by, they would perceive that Stout's ears to be nearly dancing on the side of Simsae's head, as they opened up to far-sounds and the wish-silent. Simsae vocalizes and soft bass hum in his chest, as if clearing the chest-pipes for near-future use.

Standing just at the bridge to the Kingdom, Simsae turns his eyes back and upward, to outlook towers manned by the King's Guard, and entices the warrior stationed there to give to once again, give the sing, a long-fingered point, to the direction that the Imp did vanish away.

Satisfied with the certification of the visual guide in direction, Simsae turns to that point in the hills westward, and grunts. He speaks now:
"The Kingdom is a home, and the roads to it are ours to own, little Imp. Ye may have found ease of passage and the right to grow your family of outsiders til now...but when ye poke a sleeping Stout, ye had better stay yer ground and face da consequences then and there...for now, ye have given us the time to open bright eyes and clear our fat noses, of some slumber. Have ye heard of the Dragonmoot, little beastie? Der be a new hunt on the word of the deep winds, naughty little fellow...dad be the Devilmoot! And ye best have a good, deep chest of treasure, else...we Stouts gonna chase ye all the ways back to ye fiery pit of birth, and piss on it!"

With a bit of verbal motivation behind him, Simsae, bold or foolish, sets out from the bridge, through the outer wood gate, and into the Troll Claws just beyond sight of the Kingdom—word would be passed by any coming and going from the Kingdom, Stout or Friend-of-Stout, that a new hunt is on, the Devilmoot, and if they be bold or foolish just as Simsae be, they cannot miss his trail westward, known to likely be littered with troll and ettin carcasses by the hundreds, or...the sounds of the DeepMountain, as chanted in rumbling hymn by the Stonesinger as he moves over the ridges and through the crevasses.
Last edited by Steve on Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Storybuilding

|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm
|> Henryk UrdeSword of Justice, the New Church of Tyr

gotesu
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by gotesu » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:59 am

A human looking mage had been frequenting Kraak Helzak and its immediate area of late, approaching its defenders and asking whether there is something that can be done to help them against the devilish threat, inquiring also how are they holding and if there is any shortage of supplies. He visits both the city itself as its tunnel outpost.

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Steve
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by Steve » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:49 am

gotesu wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:59 am
A human looking mage had been frequenting Kraak Helzak and its immediate area of late, approaching its defenders and asking whether there is something that can be done to help them against the devilish threat, inquiring also how are they holding and if there is any shortage of supplies. He visits both the city itself as its tunnel outpost.
Subject: The Soft Underbelly
Steve wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:27 am
A...word would be passed by any coming and going from the Kingdom, Stout or Friend-of-Stout, that a new hunt is on, the Devilmoot, and if they be bold or foolish just as Simsae be, they cannot miss his trail westward, known to likely be littered with troll and ettin carcasses by the hundreds, or...the sounds of the DeepMountain, as chanted in rumbling hymn by the Stonesinger as he moves over the ridges and through the crevasses.
Storybuilding

|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm
|> Henryk UrdeSword of Justice, the New Church of Tyr

gotesu
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by gotesu » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:20 am

Steve wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:27 am
word would be passed by any coming and going from the Kingdom, Stout or Friend-of-Stout, that a new hunt is on, the Devilmoot, and if they be bold or foolish just as Simsae be, they cannot miss his trail westward, known to likely be littered with troll and ettin carcasses by the hundreds, or...the sounds of the DeepMountain, as chanted in rumbling hymn by the Stonesinger as he moves over the ridges and through the crevasses.
While not as bold and hopefully not so foolish, he realized that longleg mages must prove their worth for their help to be considered
And so he went concealed from sight following the trail of dead trolls and ettins, to join the battalion of one dwarf on a mission to protect his people.
But before he left he did leave behind a strange cat of auburn color , so that contact can be made in case his offer meet willing ears.

DM Spartacus
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Spartacus » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:04 am

The mood within the Fortress conveyed at all levels is one of defensive isolation. Hold firm trust to the Dwarf. They may have taken our bridge but they will not take our freedom. Things are just fine thank you.

But the single drum that beats to another tune tampers with tradition, scratches around the tables at long beards, and leaves ales unfinished if only for a moment.

They say it was the King himself who uttered it. Maybes aye or maybes no, but it was said in fact it was shouted.

"Send for that..the.. stonesinger Simsae of clan Orcslayer, him and that mage that lurks..we have work for them!"

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YourMoveHolyMan
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by YourMoveHolyMan » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:21 am

Couriers seek out and deliver two letters, to each of the addressed dwarven clans mentioned below. One by delivery straight to the known hold of Kraak Helzaak, and the other taken to a dwarf of the Krinkrak Clan as they are found.
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The Honorable and Respected Dwarven Clans of Kraak Helzaak and Krinkrak

To whom it may concern,

We write to you in order to secure your aid in the days ahead. To the north of your hold, and the west of Kheldriver, a silver mine has been infested with the fiendish devil armies, and from this region, they have been attacking your peoples, and ours, within Soubar. The attacks have increased in both length and severity, and we as a fighting force dedicated to Soubar's aid and defense have had enough of sitting in reaction to when they assault the Boareskyr Bridge.

In the coming days, we are determined to wrench this silver mine away from them, by force, and to put the blade to as many devils as we come across. Their numbers are many, and they have had time to prepare defenses. The purpose of this missive is to ensure you are aware of our intentions and the maneuvers of our forces mentioned above, but also in hopes that we can garner your support to the cause. This is too difficult a battle for anyone to wage alone.

We intend to reach out to other factions of this war, including the Gate and its Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, to enlist and encourage cooperation and coordination of efforts.

When the time and preparations are there, we will notify your leadership with as much ample time as possible to allow you the same courtesy and notice so that we may fight, shoulder to shoulder, against these invaders.

Fate Favors the Strong and May the Roads Rise to Meet Your Peoples,

Commander El & Lieutenant Michael Dunn of the Ebon Blade

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Michael Dunn

gotesu
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by gotesu » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:06 pm

DM Spartacus wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:04 am
They say it was the King himself who uttered it. Maybes aye or maybes no, but it was said in fact it was shouted.

"Send for that..the.. stonesinger Simsae of clan Orcslayer, him and that mage that lurks..we have work for them!"
Upon hearing that, and calling the stonesinger to come too, the mage would head back and present himself again at their door to hear what aid can he lend.

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Steve
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by Steve » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:46 pm

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As was rumored, the Stonesinger named Simsae of clan Orcslayer, looked beyond the gates of the Kingdom...and took to the proclaimed task, of "the Hunt."

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Looking within valleys and from upon ridges, the Stonesinger kept chant and hymn in Deepsound, sounding far and wide...but at first, there was nothing.

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Then, as is custom to agitation, the Troll reared its ugly, green head...and for many of this Kind, it was the last time it would do so, as the Clan axe of Simsae cleaved and hacked until in would burn away any life within the green, crawling flesh of said beast.

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Soon enough, as was also rumored, a Human mage managed to locate the Stout being Simsae, and the two camped to learn of the need, call and mission of "the Hunt," and why it was shared by both a Stout and a Longlegged...and more so, to what additional end.

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The two, this odd couple, made way to return to the Kingdom, from where a call had been given. Their path, blocked, brought them into conflict, but not with the Imp, that was the immediate objective.

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The Human, a mage, found form that proved to Simsae that he was capable to engage in "the Hunt" with great power and purpose. Nothing impresses a Stout like prowess on the battlefield!

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Returning finally to the Kingdom, though "empty handed" without that Imp, the pair would seek shelter for the time being in the safety of the fortified Kingdom of the Dwarves...waiting their moment to be summoned directly before the King or his Administration...for it would seem factions seek out the Kingdom to align and act...yet what the King will demand os the citizens of Kraak Helzak, is still mystery even to such as the Telormar Gultor.
Storybuilding

|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm
|> Henryk UrdeSword of Justice, the New Church of Tyr

DM Spartacus
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Spartacus » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:16 am

A neutral and perhaps tepid response is sent to the Ebon Blade on behalf of the King at Kraak Helzak indicating that word will be sent where it may be of value to the forces defending Soubar concerning Devils and their associates.

Ont he same day the Dwarf Simsae of clan Orcslayer and his human wizard that impressed him so are brought before the King's council where the king himself is reported to have asked them to travel on a diplomatic mission to Baldur's gate and beyond without undue delay. The details were not released there but Court rumour soon added speculation.

Rumour has it the pair are to present themselves to the recently appointed anti Pirate Admiral and obtain pre arranged transport aboard one of his planned trips.

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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by DM Spartacus » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:42 am

The war has moved elsewhere and this forgotten front grown momentarily quiet. There is however confirmation that more and more Undead have been brought into the Devil camp as necromancers and other cults operate at their bidding growing a terrible force to augment the Devil hordes and their more mundane servants mustered by Yhogovolish the Invincible.

There are two growing questions without answers. Which direction will the Devil drive, Baldur's Gate or Soubar. Also, given the recent rise of Undead, is the horde led by Yhogovolish or is he masking another claw at work. Either way raids at the edge of their interest have increased and refugees flee ahead of any predicted routes and beyond.

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Steve
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by Steve » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:06 am

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Admiral Yondall recruits sailors along with receiving the diplomatic missionaries from the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak.

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The missionaries deploy diplomacy among the islanders of the Moonshae.

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The missionaries deploy diplomacy among the clan Silverspear and Silveraxe.

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The missionaries deploy a certain "diplomacy" against the Minotaur Pirate King.

Rumor spreads that ship laden with military cargo arrives to Baldur's Gate...though use and final destination is either not known or simply not spoken much of....
Storybuilding

|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm
|> Henryk UrdeSword of Justice, the New Church of Tyr

gotesu
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Re: The Soft Underbelly

Unread post by gotesu » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:39 am

Delivering said cargo and reporting to the admiral and then to the dwarven kindgom, the mage would ask (and nudge his companions to join) :

"So now that we're done with a warm-up mission , how can we be of further service to the war effort?"

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