In the darkness, once again, we gathered. Characters were found, or remade. Sausages were grilled – to death. New sausages were re-grilled and then bathed in sauce. Corpses were looted on the battlefield of your former victory. Healing potions were counted and consumed. Swords were sharpened. Sausages, sauce, and noodles consumed. Belts were loosened – and you set off for Erramun, The Red Hill, to rescue your families, friends and fellow countrymen from the fortress of old rebuilt into a slaver’s hold.
Beneath dark skies you carefully crested the hill and looked down upon the activities of your enemy. The red walled fortress, in ancient memory known as Ainagash, or Iron Walls, was surrounded by dozens of small pits and mounds of excavated waste. Your people labor under the lash for small buckets of iron ore.
Hilgari thought to reconnoiter the top of the wall – in deep darkness he climbed the rope left by Alazne’s cousin, Edurne. At the top he heard the noises of a few stationary guards, and an occasional patrol of perhaps half a dozen – along with the snuffling of one of the long limbed, gray skinned, watch creatures. It started screaming holy hell when it neared Hilgari’s position. In haste, he tried to hurry down the rope, but fell. Luckily, he tumbled with the fall and was virtually unscathed in the 35′ fall. Alarms were sounded and at dawn, a patrol was sent out. You wound a torturous trail in the darkness and managed to confuse the followers enough to secure your escape.
After some searching, you found a sort of redoubt, a small box canyon with places of concealment along the walls. When some work parties issued from Ainagash later in the morning, you were in a good position for Gau to play at being a lost slave, and several slavers took off after him and into the ambush. At Gau’s hand, sleep took two before they got to the canyon, and the rest died before sword, arrow, and Degroat’s knife.
Quick work was made to take the lives of the two slavers who remained behind with the dozen or so starved waifs who comprised the work party. There was a moment of decision, wether or not to pursue another party, but cool heads prevailed and you fled with those you had rescued and one slaver prisoner – a dark skinned man of the Marghul.
His name is Unai and he was very glad you didn’t let the Mogadori women consume him for his meat and blood-liquor-of-life. He has told you much about the fort. That the slaves are kept in a single large room at the back of the fortress, and that they’re to be taken to The Pit, in the valley below, in a day or two. He also said that one of The Masters has arrived.
You saw this thing as it emerged from its great cart, pulled by four Margh Bulls to the gates of Erramun. It was as big as the largest Yeth hound you’ve seen, but eight legged and with a long serpent like head and neck – and it rode atop the shoulders of a great brute of a creature, taller than even the Margh Bulls, and much thicker – with great faceted eyes and huge swinging mandibles. The two went inside the fortress, like man on riding beast, only horror upon horror. Soon after, screams echoed out from inside the fortress – horrible dying screams.
A search party was sent out to find you and the escaped slaves – but again you lay in ambush and the battle went badly for the Margh Bulls and your pursuers. More meat and “liquor” for the shaman women of Mogadore.
It grew late and you all decided to strike while the iron was hot – and attack Erramun itself. Along with a few of the willing and able of the escaped slaves, you climbed the hind most wall of the fortress and began to hew and slay all that faced you. Many a Marghul soul died upon that wall – but so did the freed slaves who joined you. At one point, Degroat overheard and understood a shout from the far tower to clear the wall before a section was “obliterated” – Degroat and Hilgari sought cover from some pending and unknown threat. Margh Bulls approached and you all took to the ropes again, down and away. One feverish Bull leapt after, but was cut down in your midst at the bottom of the wally. You fled into darkness.
And that is where we left off. Will you be safe in the darkness? How far will you run, and what if they again send the lurkers after you? What to do about this fortress and your kith and kin within? What is that horror upon horror? What is the threat of “obliterate,” and how can it be stopped?