Seekers of the Ashen Crown week 23: New foes, old friends

As the party found Yeraa a short way down the path, Kayde – the only one among them who doesn’t speak goblin – decided to tell the tale of their exploits with a pantomime.  Acting it out with Aruget’s help, Yeraa seemed impressed and told Aruget that the party had done great honour to themselves, and that she wanted them to accompany her to Graywall to finish what they had started, traveling there in the airship she had hired.  Kayde noticed that she seemed easier in his company, and more respectful than before.

As they continued down the mountain path, a thunderous voice boomed out, calling Yeraa’s name, and the party came face to face with a large hobgoblin with a shield wall of nine more hobgoblins and bugbears behind him.  Bearing the crossed sword tattoos of the rival Kech Sharaat the Citadel had warned about, he demanded that Yeraa give him her pieces of the Ashen Crown.  Aruget had a counter-offer: he and the enemy chib (“boss”) would fight in single combat to prove their honour.  The challenge was accepted.  As Aruget and the larger hobgoblin made their way to the spot they would fight in, Kayde attempted to persuade Yeraa to give him the pieces of the crown for safekeeping.  She responded – in the Common tongue for the first time – that they should wait to see how the fight played out.  

As Aruget and his foe circled each other, Aruget called on Dol Arrah and began his gladiator’s shield dance, but his opponent got one up on him, kicking sand in his face and temporarily blinding him.  Instead of pressing his advantage, he took that opportunity to taunt Aruget, telling him that he was worse than a chat’oor, a disgrace to his kind, with no muut or atcha.  As Aruget recovered, he attempted to disarm his opponent, but was disarmed himself in the process.  Calling the magical Tiger’s Blade back to his hand, he lashed out, staggering the Bladebearer.  The blow was quickly returned, but absorbed by Aruget’s shield.  Watching anxiously from a distance away, Quentin decided to try to tip the scales in Aruget’s favour.  Calling on the power of his dragonmark, he summoned a gust of wind to push the enemy hobgoblin back towards a ledge.  Aruget, not realizing the wind was unnatural, followed up with a shove from his shield, pushing his foe further and further until he was backed up to the edge.  Dropping down low, Aruget stuck out a leg and swept the hobgoblin’s legs right out from under him, sending him plummeting off the cliff.  

As a few more Bladebearers rushed forward to see what had happened to their leader, Aruget took his own look, seeing some small signs of life, but the fellow wasn’t getting up any time soon.  A well-armed artificer approached Aruget and declared that the party could pass.  As the shield wall parted, they and Yeraa’s people continued down the trail.  Aruget dropped behind a little to confide in Quentin that all this time spent amongst goblinoid history and people was causing him to start feeling a deeper connection to his kin and his heritage.  As the sun was setting, they came into a small valley, and found a modest airship with a name inscribed on the side – the Kordenga.  Jak spotted a small crew of humans, Khorovar, and goblinoids working on it, recognizing some of Yeraa’s party amongst them.  They seemed to be paying particular attention to one of the struts that held up the elemental ring.  As the party came aboard, Jak hailed the captain, who introduced himself as Delan.  Seeing Lestok make a beeline to “help” with the repairs, Jak suggested the captain help keep Lestok’s curiosity in check.  Delan agreed, and invited the gnome to tinker with something he didn’t think Lestok could damage.  

With Lestok occupied, the undercover changeling Dark Lantern Tikulti approached Yeraa and congratulated her for her victory under the Six Kings, but also told her that the ship had been attacked by a group led by a dwarf.  They had fired arrows laced with alchemical acid at the ship, which was what had damaged the struts, but Yeraa’s people had been able to drive them off.  Jak’s thoughts immediately turned to the Emerald Claw group that had taken Yeraa’s scout captive on the road, and he transformed into Lt. Sesko’s face, asking if that was the same dwarf.  Tikulti confirmed that it was, and reacted visibly to Jak’s revelation that he was also a changeling, though Jak couldn’t get a sense of what was going through his mind.  He noted that the attackers had taken their wounded with them, and that all this had taken place about two hours earlier.  Remembering what he’d said to the Emerald Claw scout Jeffin, Quentin set about looking for a small bird he could use to send the young man a message, when all of a sudden, someone shouted out his name – his real name.  Startled, he spun around as someone caught him in a huge bear hug: his long-lost cousin Othello, whom Quentin had presumed dead in the Mourning.  As Kayde and Jak watched in stunned silence, Quentin quickly ushered Othello over to a quiet spot on the deck where they could talk.  

Arguet decided it was time for a drink.  Finding some grog in the ship’s stores, he joined Jak at the rail, offering him a glass.  Jak called Lestok over to join them, though it took some convincing to drag Lestok away from his “repairs.”  As the three drank to their friendship and exploits and looked ahead to Graywall, Kayde went belowdecks to get cleaned up…and Quentin came face to face with his past. 

Behind the Scenes

  • Question of the week: What do your siblings do?
  • The GM and Aruget each burnt all their bennies on that duel…and no joker! Savage Worlds handles initiative by drawing playing cards, and drawing a joker gives the player (or enemy) +2 on all their rolls for the turn, and a bennie for all Wild Cards on their side.
  • When Aruget was blinded by a face full of sand, I took the opportunity to play one of my favourite adventure cards: Villainous Verbosity! Which is why his opponent monologued at that point instead of pressing his advantage (Aruget’s parry was at a -2 due to a successful test). The advantage was gone at the end of the round, so that was a good win.
  • Did you see that thing with Quentin coming? I did not see that thing with Quentin coming. I don’t know how he can handle the suspense, I’m just a bystander and it’s killing me!

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