Hellfrost: Tal Dagore Game Guild

Lair of the Vermin Lord Part 1
Hellfrost, Savage Worlds, Lair of the Vermin Lord

The Heros began the adventure as strangers to each other, lured together by a promise of work and material rewards.

Answering a flyer nailed in the market square of the city of Aslov, a major city in the Free Lands, calling for men and women of stout heart seeking adventure, each member answered with their presence at the Four Sheaves Tavern in a small village just outside of the city.

The party became aquainted while awaiting their potential employer who eventually arrived in the late morning hours. His name was Rodgar ap Annwn, a farmer from the village of Dalsetter.

Rodgar offered the party 50 gold scields apiece to take a wagon to the village of Dunross and collect a shipment of flour. From there, the four was to be taken to the village of Dalsetter. The adventure was expected to take three days travel between each village.

Rodgar explained that Dunross has a large mill, which serves the neighboring farming villages. Grain is transported to the village and stored in granaries before being ground into flour. This gives each of the smaller villages in the surrounding area access to a mill without the expense of having to build and maintain their own. The baker in Dalsetter has sent word to Rodgar in Aslov that he is out of flour after a poor harvest and with the cold winter approaching, they are going to need emergency supplies if they are to survive the winter.

The party headed north towards Dunross along the northern trail from Aslov. Shortly after the noon hour, as the party was heading into the lower hills at the feet of the Jagged Peaks Mountains, they were ambushed by a scouting party of orcs. This scout party used bows with cruel man killer arrows. The party took cover from the missile attack and returned fire of their own by way of spell and arrow. Soon, the orcish scouting party was slain. Not much of value was recovered from the corpses of the fallen orcs. A few gold scields, a dagger obviously taken from some previous human victim, and tall riding boots that had the toes cut out to fit the feet of the leader of the scout party.

As the sun began to set, the temperature dropped steadily and the sky cleared. The party came upon a travel tower, a refuge constructed and manned by the Roadwardens who protect the trade routes and byways of the land.

Two snow-covered wagons were standing outside of the tower but there was no sign of life. The tower’s main door was ajar and there was no smoke from the chimney.

The party found that the horses that had been hitched inside of a small manger at the base of the tower had broken free and had galloped away to the north east. The wagons had shredded canvas coverings. A crest showing two crossed barley stalks over a letter “D” was imprinted onto the shredded canvas but was badly torn and faded. Inside the wagons were the ramins of many barrels, all had been smashed or ripped open. A small amount of flower residue remained blown among the snow.

Inside the tower, the party found a scene of destruction. Dried blood stained the floor of the downstairs area. The fireplace was dead and cold, firewood scattered over the floor. All of the furnishings of the downstairs were smashed and scattered. The stacked crates of provisions provided by the roadwarden also smashed and their contents gone.

Hearing a moan coming from up the stairs to the second floor, the party rushed to investigate. There they found a similar scene. The Roadwardens that garrison the towers were found dead, their bodies stripped of flesh and clothing. Something had picked their bones clean. They had formed a sort of protective ring around another group of bodies also eaten to the bone and died in place. Their notched swords found at their sides. In the rafters of the tower they found a sole survivor that was badly wounded and near death, a warrior named Whigruff Runolfsunu who was a caravan guard for these wagons. Whiggruff told the party that they had stayed an extra day at the tower to make repairs on one of their wagons when a swarm of rats unlike anything he had ever seen attacked the tower and killed and destroyed everything in it. Whiggruff had lashed himself to one of the supports before losing consciousness beneath a sea of vermin. He did not know where they came from or where they had gone to. The party concluded that the rats attacked four days prior to their arrival.

The party provided what healing and aid they could, and prepared the bodies of the dead for burial in the morning. The horses and hay from the manger were moved inside of the tower. They talked through the night by the warmth of the fireplace in the tower as Whiggruff came and went from consciousness.

The next morning they were ready to travel on to Dunross. After several hours of travel, they passed through a small copse. Lying in the middle of the path was the body of a riding horse. It was riddled with arrows and a large chunk of flesh had been hacked from it’s hind quarter. Nearby, lying in the scrub, the body of the rider was found with a single, black, man killer arrow in his back. The rider carried a letter that party recovered. It read:

_My Lady,

A foul plague of rats has descended upon Dunross in a ceaseless tide! Ther vermin are devouring our flour stores, and I fear within a week we will have nothing left. Our soldiers are hard pressed to guard what provisions remain.

Disease is rife, and we have little hope of stemming the tide without aid. The village is now quarantined to prevent the pestilence from spreading.

We would save the supplies and abandon the village, but alas, we have few wagons. We had no idea the infestation would continue!

I beg you, for the love of our people, send soldiers, ratcatchers, and healers with all haste, lest we all be doomed to famine this winter!

Your loyal servant,

Mayor Umbold ap-Rutger_

The party buried the body of the rider and drug the horse off of the road for scavangers. They traveled for a few more hours before setting camp. Lean to shelters and tents were put up around a large camp fire pit and the group settled in for the nights watch and well deserved rest as the temperature plumetted below zero.

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Lair of the Vermin Lord Part 2
Hellfrost Savage Worlds

Part two of the adventure picked up with the characters camped after finding the corpse of the rider / messenger from Part 1.

Whigruff informs the party that he was a caravan heading towards the Citadel coming from Dunross, three days previous. The caravan had stopped at the Roadwarden tower to shelter for the night and stayed on an extra day to do some necessary repairs to one of the wagons. That second day, while repairing the wagon, the rats came. Hundreds of rats swarmed through the tower making short work of those in his party and the Roadwardens who tried to protect them. He had lashed himself to the supports in the rafters above the second floor trying to avoid the rats. He somehow survived but could not remember much of what happened.

Whigruff intended to head back to Aslov and convinced Swiftwind to accompany him as he is best able to make the trek in the shortest time and later catch up to the party. The two set off with the sunrise and left the party.

Somewhere before noon, Jarlbjorn caught up to the party on the road to Dunross. He traveled with a Frostborn companion named Jotun who appeared to be of Saxa descent.

The party arrived in Dunross a couple of hours before sunset and after explaining to the Senior Watchman their business in Dunross, they were allowed to speak with the towns Mayor. It turned out the town was under quarantine due to a rat infestation. Gavik offered assistance as a healer and it was under this assurance the party was allowed to enter. The presence of two Frostborn in the party made for an uneasy presentaiton of their cause, but the overwhelming need for practiced healers gained them enterance.

Gavik and Malac cared for as many injured as they were able to help while Jotun and Jarlbjorn discussed matters in the town with the locals. As word spread of the Priests arrival in town and ability to cure those recently afflicted with the pox, Malac and Gavik were overwhlemed with those looking for aid in the healers lodge of the town. A traveling Priestess of Eostre had also recently arrived and begrudgingly accepted the assistance of the Priest of Scaetha.

Malac left Gavik to continue his healing work and joined Jotun and Jarlbjorn as they sought out the Grainary Master.

Ulfwynn the Grainary Master accompanied the three to the area of town across the river where the gainaries were. Once there, Ulfwynn pointed out Grainary 1, who’s owner luckily emptied his grain stores only hours before the rat infestation hit Dunross. At least some would be able to eat this winter. Grainary 2, owned by the Party’s patron, was moderatly affected by the rats. A third of it’s stores had been rendered foul by the rats and so the party began to load the wagon.

During this time, Malac investigated Grainary 1 and found glyphs carved into the walls and above the doors of the grainary. Non-magical glyphs of protection from Eostre. The other grainaries had similar wards and glyphs but these had been scratched off of the walls and otherwise defaced.

As the party finished loading the wagon, a literal sea of rats swarmed the walls of the town from all directions. Several giant rats, the size of small ponies were among the swarms. The party spurred the horse team forward and raced for the main gate of the city.

Panic errupted in the city as those who could, made their way for the safety of any building that could offer refuge. The wagon rolled down the main street and over the bridge back across the river as swarm after swarm of rats rolled over the wagon. With Jotun at the reins the wagon thundered through the street, crushing countelss rats as Jarlsbjorn and Malac tried to clear the wagon of rats and survive. Malac was gravely injured in the process.

Gavik, seeing the swarm of rats fall over the city, made a run for the wagon and reached the party as they rolled across the bridge. Gavik tried to stabalize Malac as the wagon continued through the town as Jarlsbjorn attempted to pull citizens of Dunross aboard.

Reaching the towns main gates, the number of those rescued from the rat swarms only numbered four. In a last ditch effort, the watchman at the gate gave the final order to torch the oil barrels prepositioned throughout the city.

The wagon rolled through the gate and out of danger as Dunross burned.

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Lair of the Vermin Lord Part 3
Hellfrost Savage Worlds

February 3rd, 2011

The game began with the party traveling away from the village of Dunross as it burned behind us. Gavik continued to heal Malac Iceheart from his fearful wounds suffered in the escape. The party drove on till dark with the four survivors of the town and set up camp for the night.

There they were joined by two travelers. Mage Lord Emeric of the First Sphere and a Engro by the name of Tyr. The next morning three of the travelers were fatigued from their night without proper clothing even with the efforts of the party to use the grain in the wagon to create somewhat of a insulated shelter. At this point Jotun and Jarlborn and Tyr offered to escort the citizens to the main city of Aslov in their search for help and Malac, Gavik and Emeric proceeded on to Dalsetter to deliver their grain and grim news.

Their arrival in Dalsetter was anticlimatic as they were simply waved thru the gate with directions to the bakery. At the bakery after delivery and recipt of the 600 scields they informed the baker of the circumstances around the delivery of only 30 bags rather than the 50 anticipated and the destruction of Dunross. He insisted that the mayor be told immediately and went to get him telling the party he would meet them at the inn.

The party then headed for the estate of Rodgar Ap Anwynn who had hired them originally to procure the grain and deliver it to Dalsetter. Upon arrival at Rodgars estate however it became apparent that frostborn are not held in high regard here as well and the goodman insisted that the bakers apprentice escort Malac and Emeric to the Inn while Gavik concluded the business. Gavik insisted upon giving Malac his share before he left and set aside the shares for Jarlborn and Jotun. While the business concluded Malac and Emeric met the mayor at the inn and filled him in on the details of the business at Dunross and the resulting destruction. They also found out that the Apple tree and Wheat Sheaf design from the empty grainery at Dunross belonged to a local freeman farmer who the mayor insisted was the most honest man he had ever met. The meeting did not end well as Malac’s frost-born heritage again conflicted with the mayors common sense.

The next morning the three were on the road to the Free farmers hold and were welcomed in by him. Soon however upon being told of the atrocity at Dunross and with some intimidation by Malac and Gavik he soon confessed that he had been approached by a man in black with buck teeth who had told him he could be very rich or considered the savior of the area if he moved his grain early and the man in black would arrange to make sure that all the other grain was destroyed. The farmer felt terrible as he did not know that Dunross would be destroyed and the guilt of the death of all of the citizens weighed heavily upon him. Gavik played on that guilt to extract as much information as possible until a noise was heard from behind the building.

The group rushed out behind the building to investigate and the farmer rushed toward the center building but found the lock broken and the door barricaded. Mage Lord Emeric had begun casting as he exited the building and loosed a cloud of burning cinders at the stout oaken door. The door took little damage…. however a few cinders went under the door and exploded the flour dust in the air inside and BOOM the building exploded (Malac insists he missed the day they taught the armageddon spell Emric used) the roof flying into the air and the walls exploding outwards killing the farmer instantly as well as an Orc and three giant rats inside and wounding another Orc. Gavik engaged the orc with his mace and Malac fired an frostfire bolt at him at which time the orc surrendered. Emeric proceeded to interrogate the orc with little sucess until Malac lit a board on fire with frostfire and burned the orcs thigh which changed his attitude a great deal. The orc told us of his master who lived in ruins to the north of Dalsetter and of the poison they planned to place in the flour to cause the death of even more of the citizens of the area. Gavik found a vial of the poison on the dead orc. After the orc had told everything he knew Emeric then proceeded to let him go without facing justice gavik tried to catch up to him but his brawny physique prevented him from climbing the fence and Malac had left the area to go get the mayor.

Thus ended the third episode in the adventure. (posted by Mark Strahm)

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Lair of the Vermin Lord Part 3.1
a interlude adventure for two players

This session was scheduled for 2/21 then 2/22 and only Gavik and Emeric showed up.

The session began as the last session left off with the arrival of the Mayor and the town guards. The flour was secured and the players joined the mayor at his office to fill him in on all the details of what occurred. It was decided not to smear Pendas name but the town confiscated all the flour for the good of the region and his goodman was arrested to be judged by the clerics who handle such things. It was decided that the buck toothed individual was most likely a cleric of the vermin lord and in residence at a long abandoned tower to the north of town based on the information Lord Emeric was able to extract from the orc. Gavik and Emeric agreed with the mayor that this needed to be ended asap. Penda was given a proper burial overseen by Gavik and the crew including Malac(npc) and Emeric and two town guards headed north as the mayor send a rider to try and intercept our friends and send them our way to help out. As we neared the tower we were beset by orcs. The first rounds went well but as more orcs joined the fray the two guardmen soon fell with fatal wounds and Gavik was sorely beset while Emeric continued to cast a single spell for 5 rounds. (needed the bonus as the previous attempts had failed miserably.) Finally after Gavik has recieved 3 wounds and was stunned our Lord mage finally released his spell devastating the three orcs in a single round. Malac had run after the orcs to the west as we delt with the orcs to the east and north. After healing, Gavik blessed and buried the two guardsmen and they set off to thee west following the tracks Malac left behind in his pursuit of the orcs.

Thus ended the session. The final stage of the lair of the vermin lord is yet to come.
(Posted by Mark Strahm)

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