Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Seekers of the Ashen Crown, Part 8

Waterday, Reaping 5, 552 CY (50 AN)

The fifth day is uneventful, and since the group is now accustomed to the peculiarities of the road through the Hoarfrost Ridge, they find the trip to be simple.

On the sixth day, the group finally sees the towering figures of Six Kings in the distance. As they travel, Peren notes a disturbance in the nearby foliage — the passage of six or more humanoids, probably weighted with armor or gear. They keep to the road, but track the disturbance to a group of eight heavily-armed humans, hiding in ambush along the road. They bear the symbol of the Broken Chain. As Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn approach, the humanoid in black plate armor shouts, “Leave none alive! For the glory of the Broken Chain, their deaths shall serve our cause.”

Both sides approach cautiously, cutting through the boulder-strewn woodland. Bezaldooz hides in a thicket and steps off his dog; he starts by flinging a silvery bolt at the robed humanoid bearing a quarterstaff of bone. As the Broken Chain cultist in scale armor approaches a rather large boulder and hides behind it, the others begin to move toward him. Soon, battle is joined — Peren and Torinn move to the man in scale and try to take him down swiftly. Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, and Emma throw their magics at the advancing cultists, trying to defeat them while forcing them to stay under cover. Two die in this onslaught, while the warrior in scale is finally felled by Bosabrieln, Peren, and Torinn. The robed figure — a wizard, if his spellcasting abilities are any indication — manages to catch the three with a blast of necromantic energy, but they are able to press the attack. Peren rushes into melee with the two surviving bowmen, hoping to catch the necromancer if Bezaldooz does not finish the job, and Torinn engages the leader in black plate. Peren is flanked by the swift archers who switch to their short swords, while Torinn is flanked by the halberd-wielding man in black plate and one of the surviving warriors. The warrior and the necromancer are both killed by the spellcasters, and though Peren manages to inflict grievous injury on the scouts, they manage to bring him low. Torinn, however, manages to stay with the armored man despite his power. As the healers return Peren to his feet, he manages to dispatch the bowmen, though one fells him again with his dying blow. As for the man in black, it is only through the use of healing potions that the man in black stays in the fight as long as he does, and he is eventually killed through the group’s concerted effort.

After stabilizing Peren, the group searches the cultists and finds some gold and assorted gems. After some fussing and refitting, Torinn manages to get the armor to fit decently enough, so he takes it for his own. Peren indicates that, before he fell, he saw some goblinoids through the trees, evidently watching the battle. After some discussion, the group decides to follow the tracks, if they find any.

Following the tracks through the woods, the group comes upon a group of six hobgoblin warriors and two goblin archers. Having heard the group, they are prepared to meet them. Their leader, a hobgoblin in leather armor with two notched scimitars who introduces himself as Chib Naersaar, demands the group’s notes on the Arkantaash and threaten to kill them if they do not return to civilization. Peren merely replies, “Kill them.”

The battle is quick and decisive. The hobgoblins form a knot around Torinn, giving Torinn and Peren an opportunity to engage the fighters. The snipers keep firing upon Peren and Torinn, though they are quick enough to avoid the worst of the arrows. Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, and Emma throw spells at the distracted warriors. The leader falls quickly, and the warriors follow. With one of the snipers falling beneath the brunt of magic, the last goblin sniper falls as Peren and Torinn move to engage him.

Finding nothing of value among the corpses, Peren and Torinn torch the bodies and the group makes camp nearby to rest the night.