Although some miles apart from one another, two men decided that their current positions were no longer suitable to continuing their goals. Reduke Ironaxe, champion of Krazzak’Modan, and the Elders of the stronghold were growing increasingly worried that the civil war in Tyvarre and the sudden siege of Fort August by a clan of trolls would bring further strife down upon them. Still short on gold to supply its militia, and with the Champion unsure of his ability to defend the Hold single handedly, Reduke requested permission to venture out in order to try and find some means of strengthening Krazzak’Modan. Although wary at the proposition of sending their strongest fighter away, the Elders agreed that simply waiting could cost them a far more dear price in the future. With that, Reduke struck out towards Halkirk in hopes of finding something that could help his people.
About the same time as the noble dwarf was setting out from Krazzak’Modan, a mage apprentice became convinced that his tenure under Mangister Quintis was coming to an end of its usefulness. Informing the Magister and the other apprentices in the tower of his departure, he struck out in the early morning hours to Halkirk with the intention of purchasing a few supplies. A staunch critic of what he saw as a “Fool’s war between even more foolish nobles” was, he first unsure of what step to take next. However, on his journey he recalled that some of his readings on the local history of the area hinted at the presence of an elven ruin somewhere along the banks of the Northwood river. Looking to test out some of his magical abilities, and hoping to find some sort of magical items that could enhance his power, the cunning mage hurried to Halkirk to gather what supplies he could.
Both arriving in Halkirk around the same time, Reduke and the mage encountered one another whilst purchasing supplies at one of the local taverns. Overhearing from a coverstation taking place between the mage and a courier that there might be elven ruins about, Reduke approached the mage in the hopes of a join expedition. Not altogether terribly keen on diving into a ruin alone, the mage accepted the proposal and they group left early the next morning.
The journey to the Northwood river didn’t take very long, but along the way some of the first signs of the mage’s “unique” nature began to reveal itself to the dwarven Champion. Attempting to avoid a clever ambush established by some local bandits, Reduke and the mage found themselves teaching the brigands a lesson in combat. During the engagement most of the bandits were slain, but the mage did manage to charm a few of the thieves and convince them to lead him to their hideout. Expecting something simple, the group found a more extensive fortification that previously believed and decided to seek out the bandits as mercenaries. Promising good coin to be made, the bandit leader, Moren, decided to overlook the deaths of a few of his men and send a squad of bandits along with the mage and Reduke. Although not overjoyed at the prospect of working with bandits, Reduke held his tongue.
Working their way to the Northwood river from that point was fairly easy. A few days travel and the small band found itself entering the outskirts of the Forgotten Wood where it ran along the banks of the mountain river. Alas, the adventurers would find no ruins during their search, and during the second day of exploration where ambushed by a group of marauding orcs from the nearby Gurbash fortress. The combat that ensued was as intense as it was strange. Seeking to make contact with the orcs, the mage surrendered, laying down his arms. Unwilling to lay down his hammer to a group of “dirty green skins,” Reduke fought the raiders tooth and nail. Unfortunately for the dwarf, and a few of the bandits who had tagged along, the arrow fire from the orcs across the banks was withering. Reduke was forced to retreat, and the mage was left to be captured.
Taken by the orcs to fortress Gurbash, the focal point of a gathering humanoid army composed of orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, and even a few trolls, the mage was thrown before the throne of Warchief Killgut, a half orc-half ogre of immeanse power and strength. A few clever words and the flick of a silver tongue spared the mage from the cooking pot. Pledging his loyalty to the Warchief, paying tribute, and agreeing to eliminate a problem with a innsolent group of ogres and rogue hill giants, and the mage was released. During this time, Reduke managed to sneak his away around the fortress, gleefully ambushing wandering patrols with surprising effectiveness. Who would have expected such of a dwarf?
With mission in mind and his freedom restored, although limited, the mage set out to deal with the ogres, meeting Reduke along the way. At this point the mage explained his true intentions to the dwarf, how he had pledged loyalty, and how he intended to help the humanoids attack the human armies and possibly aide them in assasinating the human nobles. Disgusted, Reduke left his comrade, setting off to warn the humans and return to his home, thoroughly discouraged with his second excursion from Krazzak’Modan.
Adventurers: Reduke Ironaxe