Iron Gods - Mike Korupp

Out of the ship into the fire.

What day is it again?

We came out of the ship to find numerous footprints leaving the lake and heading into town. Between Arim and I we figured out there were several booted footprints and more than a few that looked like Ratfolk footprints. We followed them into town but lost them in the hubbub of the Marketplace. Arim asked around and found some one who had seen a large group come from the direction of the lake and head toward the southern part of town. One of the group was very unusual in the it was female and had purple hair. We decided to check in with Khonnir to see if he could help us create the fitting we needed. The purple haired woman will have to wait.

Once we got to Khonnir’s Foundry the inside was rather busy. In one of the corners at a table by herself and surrounded by her Half-Orc and Ratfolk guards was the purple haired woman. Khonnir told us her name was Meyanda and all she had done was ask for food and drink. Arim and Harkness decided to go over to talk to her. I trailed along with Waraxe in hand just in case.

It was indeed Meyanda. She greeted Harkness and called him Brother. She claimed to not understand “organics”. I think she meant us. She asked about the relay and why it was turned off. Her understanding of “organic” physiology is very lacking. Harkness tried to explain what happens after a prolonged time of having headaches and how it affects our psyche. She mention her “Lord” needed the relay turned on again. Harkness and Arim asked her about her “Lord”. She claimed his name was “Hellion” and he would convert all of us soon. After several attempts to gather more info she gave an ultimatum, either turn the relay back on by tomorrow night or else. Then she left with her group. It was about time too. I was getting ready for some head bashing time.

Harkness, Khonnir, and Susie decided to try modifying the relay to limit the number of people that would be affected by headaches. Harkness had wanted to try creating something he called a revolver. I have no idea what that would be. The 3 of them worked through the rest of the afternoon and evening then as night fell Harkness took over.

About 4 am,Harkness came banging on everyone’s door waking us up. When we gathered we found out that one of the girls from the Merry Maid had come knocking on the Foundry door with a note for us. She was covered in blood and looked as if she had been beaten. Mal took her aside and cleaned her up and healed her. Come to find out none of the blood was hers. It was Wrennie’s. The note was from Helma of the Red Armband slavers. She gave instructions to bring the relay and meet her contact a few miles south of town and we would be led to where she had Wrennie. She would exchange Wrennie for the relay. We were to be at the rendezvous by 9 am. We had no choice. we loaded the relay onto a cart and went to the rendezvous. Our contacts name was Mongoose. What is with this use of animal names? Doesn’t anyone have a regular name?

We met the contact. He wouldn’t let us get too close but we had to show him the relay. He led us a long way south along the road then he turned onto a barely recognized trail that led through the forest. When we rounded a bend in the trial before us was a rather solidly built fort that could not have been found without knowledge of where to look. No wonder the town militia couldn’t find them.

We entered the fort. A rather large man came out of one of the buildings nodded to Mongoose and entered a smaller building. The rest of the bandits gathered around our cart. I really didn’t like our chances at this point. We were sadly out numbered. Big man came out of the buuilding he had entered pulling Wrennie behind him. She was nude, and bloody and couldn’t talk much. Next out of the building was another woman. She had a light mace, a hand crossbow, and several pouches spaced around the belt. She wasn’t wearing any visible armor so that suggested she was a spell slinger. She greeted Harkness, Arim, and Susie. She told Mal she was upset that Mal hadn’t stayed long enough so Helma could get to know her better. Then she turned on me and her whole demeanor changed. She had wanted to meet the one who had killed her husband. That’s me all right. She mentioned that Wrennie couldn’t talk as her jaw was broken, and that her men had used her for the skill she was best known in town for. She asked us to clear away from the cart so her men could inspect the cargo then she would let Wrennie and us go on our way. Arim tried to get Wrennie released to us first but failed. We moved away and one of the men went to the cart, lifted the tarp and nodded to Helma. Then Helma said of course she could not let us go as we knew where her hideout was.

That’s when everything went haywire. I don’t remember how everything went but I do recall Flynn ran over to stand over Wrennie to protect her. I charged on of the bandits in front of me and took him down. Arim, Mal, and Susie started firing arrows and spells. Of course the bandits were trying to get to us too. I looked toward where Big man, Wrennie, and Helma were standing and then noticed Trett behind them sitting at a table. He didn’t look too comfortable. Now is my chance to rid this place of him. After we take care of everyone else.Flynn attacked Big man and hurt him which set me up for another charge and decapitated him.

The one that took the longest time to take down was Helma. Turns out she was a spell caster. She kept making copies of herself so our hits sometimes made of of the copies go POOF and sometimes it hurt her. One time she took out a scroll and before I could reach her she was floating on air. I tried to enrage her by telling her that her husband was crying out another woman’s name as he died. I tried using the Light Hammers and my Shortbow to hit her. Sometimes I did but mostly I didn’t. She found me with some of those shinning missiles. That hurt. I took a lot of damage but Mal made sure I didn’t fall unconscious. Susie made he sparkle like a star and it turned out she was blind as a bat. So no more shining missiles. Good thing too. I don’t know what Mal did but one of the bandits on the walls started shooting at Helma. I think he was the one that finally took her down. Then Mal went to see to Wrennie. We gathered all of the equipment and put it in the cart. One thing I found that brought back why I came here in the first place was a crate of Dwarven made Masterwork weapons. I had gotten so caught up in the finding of Khonnir and then trying to determine why the torch went out that I had forgotten that I was looking for my brother.

We also discovered some slaves that were here when one of the guards threw a flask of Alchemists Fire onto one of the roofs and we heard screams come from inside. Harkness managed to remove the lock and free the slaves. I want to ask if any of them have seen a dwarf. Also, I need to talk to Khonnir when we get back. Flynn took care of the fire thrower, and the final guard by using him as a cushion to land on.

We have a long trip back with people that are in no shape to travel. The worst of the lot we will put in the wagon. So we head back to town.

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