Iron Kingdoms

Conclusion
The Skorne Army is stopped but at a terrible price.

The sun is blackened over where leaders clashed. Alexia; still alive has now completely lost her mind. She remembers nothing of the Witchfire being destroyed by Duteous in Bruce’s hand, nor of the death of Vahn Oberen at the point of her blade.

The explosion of arcane death from the Witchfire also caused a great necromantic disaster. Not only has the ground in Corvis become fouled by it’s magik, but the dead as far as the eye can see have risen up and now plague the countryside; attacking anything they see with disordered bloodlust.

Bruce, Derrik and Renee are called heroes in some light, and doombringers in others. For defeating the Skorne – which were poised to move on to the capital, they are hailed as the saviors of Cygnar. For bringing about an undead plague across the land, they are loathed. After audience with the current King Leto, they are met with mixed blessings. Currently the heroes scour the country side in an attempt to bring a second rest to the walking dead. The king has assured them though of a tract of land and a small area as a reward for halting the ursurpers.

But that story is left for another day.

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A New Book
As one book ends, another is opened.

Five strangers set foot in the decimated town of Corvis. An evil chill fills the gaps in the cobblestone streets, and much of the town looks as though it has seen a machine of war at it’s doorsteps.

Shortly after the 5 strangers meet, they come upon two things: an advertisement for recruiting of Privateer Marshals within the Cygnaran Kingdom, and several armed watchmen surrounding a clock tower.

The lead marshall, Severo, explains that a war did indeed take place several days ago. The attackers were stopped and their kind fled; some fled into the ravaged city to avoid death. It just so happens a few of them got together, and are bargaining for their lives by threatening the lives of others. Several from the opposing army, of a race called the Skorne, are holding a few members of the town hostage. Were the strangers to help with the skorne leftovers, they could eaily find endorsements for the work they each set out to be a part of.

Together the strangers set out to the clocktower… and they learned about the other people that they stood shoulder to shoulder with:
- A Brute of a trollkin; wielding a greatsword.
- A robot sporting a lasso & large sap.
- A masked rogue with a dark secret.
- A short, gruff dwarf with tremendous hand-to-hand tactics.
- A quiet loner who goes against the grain of the crowd.

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Page 2: Stow-aways
A new day, a new meal, and a new mission

The individuals are each propositioned by the Captain of the Watch, Julian Helstrom to help ferret out some of the skorne hiding out throughout the city. With the reward being letters of Character and a signed contract of service to the Cygaran Watchmen, they were each of the mind that it was too good of an offer to miss.

The individuals rest for the evening at the Buccaneer Bass inn; not far from theCorvis docks. Amongst the nautical themed inn the group shares drink and surprisingly well-cooked food. The entire menu are crab & potato cakes, fish stew, picked riverfish with pickled okra, and broiled riverfish… each dish sampled by the stout dwarf. The men each begin to learn a little more of the others they will be working with.

With the dawn comes coffee, breakfast (in many forms), and a commotion not far from the docks. A greasy gobber retreats to the Buccaneer Bass clutching a stump where his arm used to be. He barely has wits enough to hide from his unseen foe. The new acquaintances each begin to head towards the docks.

…when the smoke clears, a large ship drifts back and forth in the waterway; its wheel damaged by a catapult. A steamjack lay at the bottom of the riverbed next to the concrete docks, and near a dozen dead skorne litter one stretch of the docks. More well-armored ones lat strewn about, the most noteworthy hangs from a rope at the side of the docks; his head blown off at close range. The men who were beginning breakfast not 20 minutes ago are seen here as well, battered to a poor state, some barely standing.

The Captain of the watch manages to catch up to the mercenaries, quite pleased that they were able to handle such a large number of hideouts. He lets the group in on some news. His scouts in town inform him that the majority of the remaining Skorne in town are nominal, and are hardly organized. The majority of the skorne officers have been either captured, or killed; with a good bit of the credit going to the characters. Captain Hellstrom thankfully endorses letters of character, and auxilliary Contracts of Service to the Cygnaran Watchmen.

The men have each fulfilled their requirements to apply to the Cygnaran Marshals.

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Page 3 To the Capitol
The party travels to Caspia to clean up, eat up, and learn more of the job they plan to undertake.

Shortly after receiving the written forms necessary to apply to the Marshal position, the group then sees a local administrator to the Marshals, and all quicky receive approval to meet with the high guard in Caspia about the position.

They decide the best course of action to present themselves in the capitol would be to arrive by horse, and also by carriage coach. The group met some opposition from Ms. Tamerlane, but they eventually proved resourceful in locating a sturdy tanned oak coach.

With several days of travel to the capitol, they arrive at Kings Vine about a day, and a half out of Caspia. There they met with fine wine, spirits, good food, and a hole in their pockets large enough to take several casques, barrels and bottles of the finest wine, and spirits available. Also along the way – mainly for sport – Herder manages to wrange several undead and take them for a drag down the Kings Highway for many miles.

Once arriving in Caspia, the group sets eyes on the largest city any of them have seen in a good while. Large buildings of shimmering carved stone, are paled in comparison to the grand sight of the marble and ivory-laden king’s castle. The worn but sturdy streets are surprisingly wide; with room enough for a carriage to travel on both sides of the street with ease. The man known as Marshal (M) sends word to the Captain that they can meet tomorrow, and quickly suggests the group have a clean disposition before meeting with the Captain of the Marshals. Everyone took the suggestion to heart:

- The trollkin brute sees to a barber, a bath, and a modern mariner-style courtiers outfit, complete with brass buckles and a golden accented frock coat.

- The lasso swinging robot polishes up nicely, and sees to a southern gentleman styled suit, with a dark jewel and tassles for a tie.

- The masked rogue sees to a bath, a tailor, and comes to terms with his appearance… fetching a more “human” painted tin mask, and white hair prosthetics.

- The short, gruff dwarf manages a bath, and finds a cream colored modern courtiers suit… one flexible enough to allow for his talents/

- The loner self-described detective meets with a bath, and a courtiers outfit for a modern man of industry; complete with [instripe vest, and derby hat.

After meeting back up, the party shares a decadent dinner, served by the well spoken, well knowledged, and well endowed Ms. Tucker at the homely Glittering Swan. Among the meals are broiled codfish with butter and bread crumbs, brick oven fire grilled swordfish, and baked shark fillets with a spicy fig glaze on top… all of which are most flavorful. The young Ms. Tucker sees to the drink as well; scotch, whisky, wine, and even a glass of mead for the dwarf to compliment the shark fillet. The dwarf sees to make note of how knowledged Ms. Tucker is about her job. The party eats like kings, along with an impromptu harmonica song courtesy of the robot cowboy.

The party also makes plans for the next day, including room service… which is also a work of art from the kitchen, and presented by Ms Tucker. After morning’s meal, the group bids the Glittering Swan adieu, and theyset off for the High Guards’ station.

Once there; they see a main entrance, and side entrance attached to the bulk of the castle. Outside the grand entrance, and all about the front promenade are several statues with the visage of the King’s father. A keen eye in passing reveals that they are all steamjacks with concealed boilers, and very real; considerably huge sized great swords… no doubt one of the hidden defense systems at the castle. The group is met with a guard outside the side entrance; who sees to their writs of application, and are shown inside. The party is brought into an open hall filled with banners, well made rugs, tapestries, hanging crested shields, ornamental swords, and many full suits of armor along the adjacent walls. Inside they are met by a man in polished and sturdy full plate armor, bearing a gold and silver accented swan crest on the pauldron. To his one side is a full sword, to his other a jewel-adorned pistol. Across his cape-laden back rest a remarkably clean greatsword as well. The man neutrally greets the group, and eyes them over for weaponry. With only glances from the armored man the party shows their single accompanying weapon – standard for nobility to wear – and are shown down a hallway, with a suit of armor loudly in tow… appearing from a side wall. Down a hallway, up a flight of stairs, and through another short hallway, they enter a door into a large war room with a solid marble table in the middle embossed into the stone the Swan of Cygnar. There they hear very important pieces of information regarding their new occupations:

- They are to take the place of the Marshals now riding to Corvis to suppliment the watchmen until reenforcements can be withdrawn from the battle lines of war to serve locally.

- They are to keep a low profile. Part of their jobs as Marshals will be to not interfere with local law, or things that apply to local jurisdiction. This will likely mean looking the other way in prescence of petty crimes.

- They are to first seek accomodatinos at their destination, and come up with some kind of legitimate front or cover story. What that may be is unimportant. When they find suitable accomodations for a front, they are to give the proprietor a letter; which will take care of any fees or cost of the location. Should that not suffice, they are to send notice via post to the Captain… and the issue will be dealt with immediately.

- The group is to keep in communication with the High Guard only. No communication to or from the Lord Marshall are to go through 3rd parties… this includes other guards, officials, or anyone claiming they are from the Lord Marshall. All correspondence are to be delivered, and received at the post parcel office where they will be heading. Look to the second floor for official mail delivery. and release.

- They will receive a weeky stipend of 150gp each for the job, and working the cases they are given. If a case is closed, a bonus will be discussed at that time.

- The money is in accordance to the level of conduct befitting a Marshal. In many cases the criminal will need to be apprehended alive. A high body count will not be met with praise.

- The party is issued Leather folds with badges inside. Should they find that they meet opposition, or their quarry, they may find that the badge they carry proves to be an invaluable tool.

- Should a Marshal fall, the group is to return to see the High Guard as soon as possible… not only with the body, but also with the badge. In many ways the group is now responsible for each others welfare.

- Information can be requisitioned via post parcel. This information may provide clues, or at least an extra piece of information regarding whatever the auxilliary marshals may need. Equipment can also be requesitioned in this manner.

- Accepting the contract means promised assurance that the standards, and terms of the contract will be satisfied and abided for by both parties.

After each inductee agrees to the trems individually Garret Ambrose – The Lord Marshal, Captain, and High Guard to the King – endorses each contract. He hands M a wax sealed letter to give as “payment” to a property owner for their base of operations, and then shows them out. After the doors close to the war room, everyone begins to breathe comfortably again; as the Lord Marshal’s daunting personality could give anyone a high level of anxiety. The group is shown back downstairs, and outside of the building by the suit of armor… only to see the Lord Marshal conducting himself with a scribe at the illustrious main entrance 80 feet away. After a sideways glance from the Lord Marshal, the group then sells anything they can’t carry on their person, and set off for the train station.

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