Iron Kingdoms: Flight from the North
BOOK TWO: In Which Wanderers Of The Coast Make Strange Bedfellows
Gorim 5th, Cinten:
Acorsi’s party works their way along the northeast coast, their travel slowed by the endlessly winding trail along the cliffs and rocky fjords. After hearing cries for help, they are attacked by a saqu. The giant bird is shot in the eye by Mearra, and flies away, leaving Bryyr and Jostan to explore its nest. There, they encounter Phesron Kenneck, an odd Cygnaran who claimed to have sailed there in a tiny rowboat with his exotic snake. The man claims the bird was his property, and the group owes him a replacement. Inexplicably, Nicalo Acorsi agrees, and invites the dark-skinned kook to accompany them.
Gorim 6th, Cinten:
The party encounters Tassar Bragdborn, a wandering trollkin fell caller, while following the coast towards their destination. While sharing lunch with the new friend, the party is surprised by a hungry winter troll and two whelps emerging from the woods. The creature kills Jostan in its feeding frenzy, and though Phesron incapacitates it with a display of sorcery, the party awakens the troll to fight it to the death. In the chaos of the battle, Bryyr disappears into the woods, urging Asyazoya to flee back to civilization. The mechanik returns to the group, choosing not to leave her friends behind. Phesron and his snake depart once they’ve harvested their gory treasure from the troll’s guts, and the party is left to bury Jostan in the cold, frozen earth.
That night, they are set upon by a pair of barbarian travellers. Koloz Lukyza and Bodgor Strongarm make a deal to lead the party to the tribal village to seek permission to explore these lands.
Gorim 7th, Cinten:
The trail leads into a forest of birch and pine trees, and the party is forced to rely on their new guides to bring them through safely. In the afternoon, a party of bogrin raiders ambush the travellers, wounding them with expertly thrown javelins. With the help of their new allies, the expedition members are victorious, sending all but a few of the small attackers swiftly to Urcaen.
Vendarl 2nd, Rowen:
Leaving the forests behind, the explorers cross the rocky tundra to the banks of the mighty Uldenstream river. They make camp, and are disturbed in the night by a grizzly bear fishing. Tassar provokes the beast, and a bloody battle for survival is engaged. By the time Mearra and Asyazoya bring down the huge bear, the freezing river is red with blood. Tassar, Bodgor, and Koloz are all near-fatally wounded, but are nursed back from the brink after the bear is defeated.
Malleus 1st, Rowen:
Once the warriors have been nursed back to health, the group marches their way upstream, following the trail which will lead them to Koloz’s tribal home. After a few day’s march, they come upon a grand stone bridge over the river. Crossing high over the water, Asyazoya looks down at a hole in the bridge, and is attacked by a giant snake-creature! It plummets with her lifeless corpse down to the water below. Tassar bravely dives over fifty feet down into the freezing water to attack the creature, but finds himself drowning in the frigid stream. Mearra and the barbarians attempt to rescue Tassar, while Scyri and Acorsi flee for their lives. The giant beast seems poised to make a meal of the party, when Koloz distracts it by throwing his spears. While Koloz provides a distraction, the others retreat and regroup to mourn Asyazoya’s loss. That night, they arrive at the barbarian village, and are permitted to set up camp.
Malleus 2nd, Rowen:
The adventurers are awakened early by a summons to meet with a tribal elder. As they approach the gathering of tents, they see crude menofixes standing guard around the barbarian settlement. Before they reach the elder’s tent, though, they come upon a great commotion. Phesron Kenneck, the strange Sinari wizard, stood in the center of the village with a one-eyed saqu obeying his commands. The bone grinder had Koloz as his prisoner, along with an unconscious Rhulic man. The tribe’s shaman emerges to barter for the prisoners’ freedom, as Tassar prepares to fight the huge raptor. The wizard is pleased by the contents of a pouch he receives as payment, and flies off on the bird’s back.
The party is ushered into the largest tent in the clearing for an audience with Uzkova Kyrn, the acting leader of the Thardic Skretnya tribe. She explains that they have all been brought there to save the tribe from its curse, the details of which she refuses to reveal. Bodgor takes over and explains that the past year has been hard for the tribe, with kidnappings and bogrin raids only the tip of the iceberg of woes.
Before too much detail can be given, Nicalo Acorsi declares that these problems are those of the barbarians, not the Corvis Expedition, and decides they should all return to Uldenfrost to confer with the expedition’s administration before committing to any foolish heroism.
Bodgor stays behind, but Uzkova Kyrn commands Koloz to join the southerners on their trek back, in the hopes he will yet find someone to be their saviour. Thorn Wroughthammer, the dwarf, decides he likes his chances better with the southerners too, fearing what might become of him if left on his own in the Thardic settlement.