Rise of the Mordri

The Fall Of Stirhan...? (Part 2)
4th Session - GM Overview

As the battle reaches a momentary lull, the chaos continues to unfold, the outpost is literally going up in flames, and most of the troops haven’t even gotten to jump into the fray, yet.

GM Overview – 4th Session

Upon the brief respite garnered by Elembor’s brave actions, the members of the Brightblade Brigade struggle to replace the supports protecting the North gate. As they finish they hear a voice cry out a command to the Mordri forces in Infernal that sends the Mordri siege troops fleeing from the gate. Not knowing what was coming, Magnus and Elembor get caught too close as a large fireball engulfs the gate and they are injured. Elembor quickly takes cover under some of the wreckage, avoiding the eyes of friend and foe alike.

Meanwhile they all stand and watch as rank upon rank of Troglodytes first form up just outside the walls, followed by ranks of Gnolls. A stand-off occurs, the Mordri forces not pushing their advantage and rushing in, holding in formation. With the majority of the brigades members grossly unarmed there is little that they can do to take advantage of the break, until once again the voice speaking Infernal cries out some command that sends the Mordri troops at the north gate into cheers of joy and followed shortly after by the sounds of another of the outposts 4 gates being breached. One by one this occurs, tensions mounting among the troops not knowing if the reinforcements will arrive in time to save them or if they are doomed.

Barak is the first to break ranks, apparently, fleeing towards the east side of the fort and its gate. The female elf receives word finally from the “relay-line” and it isn’t good news, the reinforcements will not arrive in time. Darius weighs the options and ultimately decides that they need to retreat, especially since it sounds like with the other gates breached they may quickly be surrounded and slaughtered. Fleeing in the footsteps of Barak, they make haste towards the eastern gate, leaving Elembor hiding literally at the feet of their foes.

The find the way open, with troops beginning to fully approach through the South and West gate breaches. They decide to split into groups of 2 to 3 and make a break eastward across the road and plains towards the lush forest several hundred yards away. Several groups get away cleanly, only to be noticed and the alarm raised by troops to the north of the outpost of Stirhan. A full on mad dash begins, several hundred yards between the brigade and the cover of the forest as well as from the troops to the north. Elembor chooses this moment, unbeknownst to the rest of the brigade, to leap from his concealment and strike down yet another Troglodyte soldier, only to be taken down by the rest of them.

Gnoll hunters lead the charge across the plains to try and cut them off, but are slowed due to a strategic Entanglement spell to slow them down and allow the slower and smaller members of the brigade to reach the forest safely. Loki, Rike, and his animal companion, Rose stay at the treeline with the female elf sorceror to hold off the one approaching Gnoll. The elf receives one last message via the “relay-line” that there is an Imperial scouting party encamped deep within that forest that is closer to them and should be able to give them safety, so the party begins to head in that direction, deeper within the darkening light of the thick forest.

Upon several hours of travels they encounter an approaching welcoming party from the 1st Nightstalkers scouting party, led by their Lieutenant, Nimue, as well as several other members, Jackovich the hearty dwarven fighter, Kyran the sorceror, and Jhale (Strongarm) the half-elf ranger. They begin the quick trek back towards their encampment, the members of the brigade quiet and sullen after their harrowing day, but still open to engaging in light conversation with the escort party. It is during this trek that the enigmatic V’Rael once again returns, much to the behest and unease of both brigade members and scouts alike. They safely reach the encampment and are allowed to take the time to arm themselves with whatever spare gear is available, giving many of them the opportunity to fully arm themselves for the first time. They are given leave to seek rest as they await the return of the rest of the scouts the next day.

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Huzzah for never being prepared!
by Rike

Well, we’re still in our first day and nothing seems to be going right. We reported to the barracks and met our commanding officer, a Captain Darrius. He’s a Tiefling, but seems noble enough at heart. He treats us all with respect, but asserts authority when its needed. Our group is an interesting mix. With several half-outsiders in the group, all the way to a hobgoblin! I stick out quite a bit as well. While most of the empire knows of Tengus, since we’ve lived among them albeit separately for so long, most have never seen one of my kind. Still, aside from a couple of standoffish or even unruly characters in our group, there seems to be a feeling of almost immediate trust among a large portion of the group.

But I’ve allowed myself to be distracted. As I was saying, nothing seems to be going right. After reporting, we were told to go out and purchase supplies. That never happened. As we left to go to the market, a brawl broke out between one of the new recruits and several guards. Most of us recruits tried to help restore order with varying effectiveness. I cast an entangle spell on the group in order to subdue some of the combatants. This turned out to be a double edged sword, so to speak. While it did work as far as keeping some of the guards out of the fight, it hindered many of my wood be allies as well. Someone, who remains to be found, took advantage of the chaos and even lethally attacked several of us. Now that the fight has ended, we are attempting to sort out the madness.

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The Fall of Stirhan...? (Part 1)
3rd Session - GM Overview

3rd Session

After the chaos of the brawl, everyone gathers within the barracks to try and sort out what happened and uncover what they can behind the attacks that came from within, apparently, someone in the brigade. Capt. Darius begins piecing together the battle by questioning everyone that was involved, to try and gain perspective of who was at fault and who wasn’t.

GM Overview – 3rd Session

Darius begins by asking what everyone witnessed before the brawl broke out. KRAK, Kal’Reegar, Rike, and Loki share what they had seen with the Unknown Male Halfling Monk being surrounded and the guard taking a punch/push at him from behind and getting thrown into Darius. They then relate their own actions in trying to stop the fight from escalating. Elembor voices concerns over what was going on within the barracks, as do several others, so those who were inside are asked to share what was going on. It is revealed that most of them were just watching and placing bets on who they felt would get the better of the fight. Concerns are raised that V’Rael doesn’t have a solid alibi of where he was, and tensions continue to raise between him and several others because of his responses.

Darius suggests that they question the Halfling and Barak to get their perspectives. The Halfling admits he doesn’t enjoy having a “half-breed” as a commanding officer, hence his actions and attitude during muster. He also claims that he knows nothing of who might have attacked Kal’Reegar and Loki. Barak states that he remembers placing bets on the fight, and lost a bet with V’Rael about the Unknown Female Elf being the first one to get taken down. He left the group to go get his coins and claims it was then that he noticed a bloody dagger on the ground over by the weapons racks, and that as he picked it up to inspect it was when Darius entered the barracks and he was struck in the head.

Elembor and several others again raise accusations that V’Rael’s alibi and attitude don’t seem to fit with the events as reported by the others stories, leading to further tensions surrounding him. Darius steps in and urges cooler heads to prevail, when all chaos breaks out. First the entire barracks is engulfed in a globe of darkness, and is quickly followed by screams of terror and agony coming from locations outside the barracks, but within the outpost of Stirhan.

Unable to see what is going on, the members of the Brightblade Brigade struggle to find their way out in the magical darkness, smells of fire filter into the barracks, and the sounds of what is assumed to be burning arrows strike the roof and begin to set it ablaze as well. Magnus Solrain is the first to make it safely outside to find that most of the outpost is going up in flames and cries of the dying and terrified come from all corners. He calls into the barracks and bangs his sword against the doorframe, hoping to help guide those still trapped within out. Several members manage to find an odd assortment of weapons on the racks, but most make it to safety when Magnus summons light within the barracks enough to help those get out before the roof collapses and everything within is lost to the raging fire. In a quick head count it is noticed that everyone is accounted for, except for V’Rael.

The north gate of the outpost begins to come under siege from the outside, the sounds and cries in foreign tongues making it appear that a battering ram is being used to gain entrance. Darius is amazed at his members ingenuity as they rush over take the practice dummies used in training out of the ground and use them to brace the gate, hoping to help it hold. Meanwhile, Krak takes the halfling monk and Kal’Reegar with him to the city square, hoping to check the other gates and see if any survivors can be found. Instead they find that the eastern gate has been breached and a large group of Lizardfolk come charging at the small party.

Outnumbered 7 to 3, the intrepid group stands their ground. Kal’Reegar strikes first, felling a scaled foe with a single thrust of his spear, only to be struck in return by another and then bitten as he falls into unconsciousness. Unable to immediately aid him due to the remaining threat of 6 on 2, Krak and the halfling take the fight back to them. With amazing dexterity and cunning tactics, the halfling acts as a target while Krak flanks them, taking down most of them with sneak attacks to vital areas, and the halfling pummels a few with lethal unarmed strikes and kicks. With Kal stabilized, the halfling stands guard over him as Krak rushes back to the north gate where the remained of the brigade stands watch.

Showing incredible bravery, the elf Elembor races up one of the braces in hopes of getting a peek at the size and composition of the force attacking. Another globe of darkness engulfs the gate area, giving Elembor the opportunity to turn it to his favor as he rather acrobatically attempts to leap over the gate, but catches his foot and plummets to the ground on the other side taking minor injuries. He quickly takes advantage of the darkness and eliminates several Troglodytes using siege ladders to gain entrance, striking them down from behind as he climbs up behind them. He then again leaps back into the fray as he jumps off the ladder and lands safely behind those using the rudimentary battering ram, taking out another troglodyte in the process before fleeing back up the ladder and leaping back to safety within the outposts walls.

During this time Loki and Rike work together using druidic magic to dazzle others climbing in on another ladder, causing one to fall and break its own neck. Another jumps in after it and is taken down by Darius with the aid of the female elf and Barak’s magical attacks. Elembor quickly relates his discovery of the size of the force they are facing at this gate, stating that even more troops are arriving to replace those he killed.

In the momentary lull, the female elf goes into a trance and uses the magical “relay-line” to find that V’Rael had established contact with a large force of troops from the Western Imperial Army that had dispatched reinforcements, but that it was unsure if they would arrive in time to actually help flank the presumed Mordri military force and save the outpost. Several quietly voice concerns that perhaps V’Rael is not getting help but is actually working with the Mordri, but it is quickly dismissed. Krak arrives and takes Hammar with him to help Kal’Reegar get healed enough that he can walk and jump back into the fray.

Will they be able to hold out for reinforcements? Will they be overrun by the numerically superior Mordri troops? Only time will tell.

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Who Wants To Haze A Monk...?
2nd Session - GM Overview

2nd Session

Having officially turned in their missives as new recruits into the Imperial army, they are dismissed by the Captain to get outfitted in preparation for a mission that night. While most take the moment to settle into the barracks and stow their travel gear, a few set out into the outpost to by better gear and provisions for the mission to come, but find something else entirely….

GM Overview – 2nd Session

As Kal’Reegar, Rike, Krak, and Loki exit the barracks to head into town and get outfitted they come upon the situation unfolding on the sparring grounds where Capt. Darius, the female Elf, and several other soldiers have the male Halfling surrounded and appear to be trying to get him to respond to his actions during muster. When one of the soldiers tries to “coerce” the little monk by pushing him from behind a full on brawl breaks out as he is thrown directly into Capt. Darius.

Within moments the Halfling monk shows his martial prowess by knocking-out the female Elf in a flurry of blows, while Rike casts an Entangle spell upon the group to try and help defuse the situation. Krak jumps into the fray after seeing the Elf woman go down and manages to help one of the soldiers subdue the monk, meanwhile most of the others in the AOE of the Entangle spell battle just to remain on their feet. A few of the soldiers appear to want to continue the battle and attack the unconscious monk. Magnus arrives on the grounds and sets into the fray to try and help those who are entangled, getting trapped within it himself.

Meanwhile, Loki runs back into the barracks in search of a weapon, but before even getting his hands on anything is attacked from behind by an unknown assailant and flees back outside announcing that he has been wounded. He heads across the sparring grounds towards the market stalls. Krak steps back from the spell area and manages to witness Kal’Reegar get shot by a crossbow bolt that flies from an open window of the barracks. Krak and Loki then run to the other side of the market stalls, in search of weapons or other aid.

Magnus, and the late arriving Elembor, manage to free Darius and subdue one of the belligerent soldiers. Darius orders everyone to aid eachother and rushes into the barracks to see who attacked the recruits, and he finds Barak holding a bloodied dagger and knocks him unconscious. Elembor dives through an open window into the barracks and finds Barak out on the floor and Darius standing back in the doorway. Darius orders the wounded to be tended to, and Elembor declares Krak and Loki AWOL as they can’t be found on the sparring grounds. Krak is found in the market, and Loki is finally found severely wounded in the stables. Hammar and Harad heal some of the wounds that Loki and Kal’Reegar received, and the Halfling & Barak are put onto bunks and tended to until they can be interrogated once they are stable.

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Rough Times Come Quick
Day one doesn't go as planned..

Conflict and Resolution – Magnus

Well, the gathering of supplies certainly wasn’t the mundane task I thought it would be – nor did it occur at all. Before I could even make it 30 feet from the barracks a fight had broken out amongst some of the other soldiers. Thankfully it last only a moment or so, but there are going to be many “scars” that come from this event – some seen, some festering until they make themselves known. Once we are able to get the full story of what transpired.. I can already sense there are those that will need to be watched. I am not as strongly in a position to make decisions on who is in the right as I had in the past, but that does not free me from my oath. Justice cannot take a back seat and allow traitors, or those that would bring destruction upon us with their in-fighting to freely do so. I cannot allow that…

Hah. After what I wrote only but an hour or so before now seems dated already. All that uncertainty has fled to the back of my mind as I now concern myself more with the individuals I am assigned to make War alongside of. I believe myself to have been short-sighted and more concerned with the exterior of this place, than with those who would make their temporary homes within it. I must remember what I have been taught and ensure I do not make hasty judgments upon them though – Milady does not wish that, and I will not bring dishonor to her Holy name.

I will begin to keep my impressions down in these entries, though. If I can establish a clear line of thought, and a continuing trend of action then I can be sure to be ready if anything should ever come of it.

  • Captain Darius—He too appears to have similar bloodlines to my own. He also appears to be a fair man as of now, and relatively even-minded so long as his post is respected.
  • Unknown Elf, Darius’ 2nd—She is a little more.. rough around the edges than he is, and I can see the prejudice in her eyes as she looks over those of us here. I do not sense ill-intent within her, though. But if a seed is planted, will it grow?
  • Elembor—Another Elf, this one is a bit more.. open with his emotions. I sense that he has no darkness within him now, and his actions leave little to believe that will come without some great occurrence causing it.
  • Kal’Reeger—A Human, he is both quiet and confident. He shows respect where it is needed, and does not allow himself to be pushed around by those that seek to do so. He was one who was targeted and injured in today’s melee though, so I must be diligent in making sure his head is not sought after already.
  • Krak—A Hobgoblin, he moves back and forth from being very open and readable – in both action and in expression – to being masked in both. He, as should come as no surprise, has shown disdain towards both of the Elvenfolk already. I do not see him acting upon it in a physically harmful way, though. His desires and motivations do not seem to be driven by blood-feuds.
  • Loki—A Half-Orc, he has been hard to read as of yet. He too was targeted and injured this day, though how I have heard the story so far does not lead me to believe he specifically was meant to be hurt. I will need more time to decide about him.
  • Ry’kashi—This.. I am not sure how to describe. He is one who looks like he could be normal man – if that man came from bloodlines shared with the avian. He is quiet and reserved, but well-spoken and respectful. I feel peace from him, though I know there is more to him than has been displayed at all.
  • Barak—Gnome, though his tone of skin and manner of action does not ring to those of more common Gnomekind. Something about him has me wary already – I sense something is not right. As of now it appears he may have been a.. active party to the escalation of today’s events. He is currently being tended to as well though, so we shall have to wait and see.
  • V’Rael—Another with blood not of this plane, he is the opposite of Darius. As with Barak there is something within him that causes me concern, though I believe he may have more selfish intents for any actions he makes. Another to observe more, though he was curiously not accounted for during the trouble. Also seems to be known already by the Captain.
  • Unknown Halfling—I believe I can safely assume he is a Monk within his own people as his skills demonstrated today. He was a primary participant in the scuffle, though I was not around to see whether or not he was the cause. His lack of communication with Darius in the barracks earlier would normally be a mark against him, but I have yet to sense bad intent coming from his choice. As I have said though, perhaps it would only take a seed for his heart to grow more black.
  • Harad—Dwarf, very quiet and reserved as of yet. Unfortunately has not caught my eye enough to dictate feelings one way or the other, which as of this moment leads me to feel he is not going to be a problem. I cannot say for sure, though.
  • Falgrad—A Dark Dwarf, more towards the lines set by Barak than Harad. Other than a slight feeling of unease I get from him, he is also yet to cause a reaction in either direction. I’d have thought both Dwarves would show more aggressive personalities. I guess there are quiet-kind in all races.
  • Unknown Human—Another than appeared to have a slightly more connected response from Darius, though I failed to catch his name. More ragged looking than the others. Not unclean or one to give off an air of negative attributes tied to his appearance, though. As with the others he will receive the benefit of missing knowledge for now. Keep an eye on his sash, though. I do not like not knowing what he continually seeks at his waist.

I believe that is all of those I have personally met, for now. I will end this entry now simply due to my hand feeling great discomfort at all the writing. I must have fallen out of practice with all this travel. I am believing that is going to change if this day is any indication. I pray Milady Iomedae watch over me.

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Enlistment at Stirhan
The new "recruits" arrive

Arrival – Magnus

Stirhan isn’t as I expected it to be. That is to say I had hoped it would not be like this. The walls are a very basic timber layout, fairly new in construction. They are not necessarily what gives me worry, but I have seen fire tear through similar in the past. I hope that is not repeated here. With the watchful eye of her Lady Iomedae watching over me, I pray it will not.

As I sit here writing this down I can’t help but notice I don’t remember much of what is on the inside of those walls I speak of. The barracks here is fairly open and unorganized, to a degree. I don’t have much experience to know whether or not that is common for military living structures of it’s kind, but it too is a difference I was not expecting. There are just so few other people here with us.. I suppose I’m just going to have to change my thinking from my old life and adjust to what exactly these “Outposts” and whatever else they may move us to will be like. It will be worth it though…

Sadly this day has not made many other impressions upon me that I can scribe at this time. Those of us who arrived with official letters of our enlistment today have finished checking in, and have just been dismissed to begin outfitting ourselves for our first assignment later today. I am one of only a few others still currently waiting here, and with thoughts (and worries…) of the potentially limited supplies here being picked over before I get there is motivating me to follow those who have already left. I cannot serve as I have been called to if I do not prepare myself properly. Failing now when things have just begun is not an option – there is still much to do, Magnus. Much to do indeed.

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In The Beginning...
1st Session - GM Overview

In the year 255 KR (Kings Reckoning) the Valdarian Empire has been at a time of relative peace, at least compared to the days of its infancy. Still surrounded by many nations who do not approve of their current expansionist ways, yet none dare challenge their power due to the power of the God-King Tyrdantris Valdari II and the empires mighty army. Or do they…?

After several outposts on the furthest reaches of the empire are nearly razed with almost no survivors the God-King musters even more new troops to be sent to try and identify the new threat while more veteran troops can be called from their campaigns in the frozen wastelands to the north and scorching desert sands to the south. Who is behind this new threat, only time and investigation can tell for sure. As of now only rumors persist and whispers of this vicious foe can be heard in taverns and cities abroad, beware the power of the Mordri.

GM Overview – 1st Session

Two small units of green recruits are dispatched to the distant eastern borders of the empire to a tiny little outpost called Stirhan. From the east a small squad arrives to the outpost with a rag-tag group of varied soldiers: a male Aasamir, male Elf, male Human, male Dwarf, male Halfling, male Gnome, and male Tiefling. From the south approaches an even more diverse group: a male Tiefling, male Hobgoblin, male Tengu, male Half-Orc, female Elf, male Human, and male Duergar.

Each little squad notices that there are very few troops or citizens in the outpost as they head to the barracks to report in with their new unit. The male Tiefling and female Elf from the 2nd squad take position behind the command desk as they enter and begin to evaluate the new recruits as they turn in their muster missives. Tensions seem to mount as some recruits are treated with wariness, others with familiarity, and others with open disdain, while others report in ready to serve, or show their reluctance to formally enter the ranks of the empires army.

The male Tiefling is revealed to be their new commanding officer, Capt. Darius Brightblade. The Captain dismisses the new recruits to outfit themselves at the market and tells them to prepare for their first field action that night. As a few of the soldiers leave the barracks to do just that, they follow behind the Captain and his apparent second-in-command, the female Elf, they see that they join a few other veteran soldiers and surround the small Halfling on the sparring grounds.

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