Assembled by Cardinal Adrastus Thorn, the Nessian Knot was given their first mission. They were to take the ship, the Frosthamar, and bring a shipment of weapons to the north and deliver them to the bugbear camp lead by Sakkarot Fire-Axe. After delivering the weapons they were to deal with Captain Kargeld Odenkirk as he had proven too greedy and a liability.
Once Captain Odenkirk has been dispatched it would be time for their second task. Head east to the town of Aldencross only a few miles away from the keystone of the watch wall, the tower of Balentyne. They were instructed to kill its commander and open the gates for the bugbear horde.
While everyone was heading to the Frosthamar, Teufulhunden ran upstairs to get Grumblejack to accompany them on this journey. Things got off to a rocky start with Tom Riddle aggravating Captain Odenkirk while boarding the ship. The situation was quickly defused and the ship was ready to set sail. The last delay was Grumblejack. He was afraid of getting on the ship, but as it turns out, not as afraid of staying at the manor with Tiadora and missing out on the merry murder ahead.
After several days of uneventful travel. A ship was spotted in the distance. As the ship drew closer, the captain became concerned. He knew there was no way the Frosthamar could outrun the ship. The Frosthamar slowed and allowed the Blade of St. Martius to approach. Captain Edward Sambryl and four of his men boarded the Frosthamar demanding to know what the ship was doing in this area. Graven tried to convince the captain that nothing was amiss and there was no need to search the boat. The captain didn’t agree and shortly after, blades were drawn. The remaining 8 archers from the Blade of St. Martius let loose a volley of arrows that did little more than fly past the Frosthamar.
Tom Riddle greased the boarding plank causing several sailors to fall into the ocean. After the boarding party had been killed, the party’s attention turned to the other ship. Teufulhunden made a leap for the Blade of St. Martius. Not used to the limits of full plate armor, he fell into the ocean between the ships. Luckily for him, Tom was able to drop down a rope secured by a grappling hook. As the battle raged on, Teufulhunden tossed a rope to the other ship to try and pull it closer. Several fire spells later and the Blade of St Marius was being burnt to the bits. Grumblejack and Teufulhunden jumped over to the ship and helped finish off the remaining archers.
The Frosthamar continued on its journey north. They came to a stop in the evening and watch shifts were divided up. During Raxuhs’ watch the ship was attacked by a Triton oracle and several Triton warriors. They summoned water elementals that started pushing the sailors off the edge of the ship. Raxuhs quickly engaged the Triton oracle with his bow while the others woke up and grabbed their weapons. Graven, Tom Riddle, and Grumblejack made quick work of the water elementals. Teufulhunden took a leap off the front of the Frosthamar to attack the Tritons in the water. While in the water he continually swung his great sword with all his might, but he did relatively little to drive off the Triton warriors. When the Triton oracle had been slain with his dying breath he said “The shining sun has seen the wickedness you hide in your hearts. And thus it will be the son who brings your doom.” Once the oracle had been killed the warriors quickly retreated.
Several uneventful days of sailing later and the Frosthamar was getting closer to its destination. Captain Odenkirk declared that the ship would be making a stop at Seal Isle to replenish the ship’s dwindling supply of fresh water.Thinking that this sounded a bit odd, Graven confronted Kargeld about this. At first he was defensive saying that he’s the captain and the ship goes where he wants it to. Continuing to push, Graven found out the real reason for the detour. The captain wanted to go hunting for seal pelts. Realizing that this could be profitable, the group agreed to go along with the captain. A bet was made that whoever caught the most seals would keep the lot of them. Captain Odenkirk and two of his best men set off in their boat while Raxuhs, Graven, and Tom set off in theirs. After 3 days of hunting, the captain had been put to shame. His boat was only able to catch two seals, while Raxuhs, Graven, and Tom came up with six seals. Ignoring his crushing defeat, the captain set back for the ship and got it back on course.
As the ship neared the northern end of Talingarde several canoes were spotted in the distance. They appeared to be Yutak hunters. One of their members hailed the Frosthamar in broken common. Though the group was reluctant to stop at first, their minds were quickly changed after learning that the Yutak typically head to the south to trade. Meeting with the Yutak shaman the party discovered that the Yutak were looking to trade a giant ivory horn they had found along with other pieces of ivory. They were able to negotiate a trade of 10 pounds of Mithril for the giant ivory horn and some additional ivory for a few masterwork longswords. Before parting ways, the shaman mentioned that they were also looking for noble clothes for their leader. It was at this moment that inspiration struck Teufulhunden. He ran to underneath the ship where he took some common clothing and decorated them with trinkets to make them appear a bit more valuable than they actually were. Upon showing the clothes to the Yutak’s leader, he immediately grabbed them and put them on, impressed with his new “noble clothes.” The group was able to secure the rest of the ivory by trading their “finest clothing” to the Yutak. After the trading had been completed, both groups headed their separate ways.
A cold snap hit at night and the ship was stopped in its tracks. The sailors lit torches around the ship to try and stay warm and provide some light. There was an unearthly piercing shriek that howled from above the ship. A blast of cold energy hit Teufulhunden chilling his armor. Moments later the sailors screamed, “Ice demons!” and fled in a panic. Ice elementals had attacked the ship and an ice mephit was above the ship hanging off the sail. A battle quickly followed where the Nessian Knot cut down the ice elementals with relative ease and Teufulhunden climbed up the sail of the ship and slew the ice mephit. After killing the ice demons, the cold snap passed and the Frosthamar was able to carry on with its journey in the morning.
After several hours of navigating the ice-choked entrance to the River Taiga, Kargeld was able to get the ship through to Lake Tarik. As the ship drew closer to the dock along the north shore of Lake Tarik, thousands of bugbear savages were visible along the shore. The Ninth Knot knew that this was their chance to deal with the captain and his crew. Teulfhunden attacked Captain Kargeld and at that moment Raxuhs let an arrow fly towards the captain. Tom Riddle greased the captain’s greataxe making it impossible for him to hold on to it as Graven called upon the blessing of Asmodeus to help his followers kill the captain and his sailors. The bugbears watched from the shore in confusion as they saw humans cutting down humans. Before long, the remaining sailors on the Frosthamar had surrendered, but there was no mercy to be found.
Four bugbears attacked the party as they got off of the ship, but the bugbears were no match for them. Moments before more bugbears jumped into the fray, a larger bugbear wielding a giant flaming axe came out from his tent and demanded to know who had sent the party here. When they replied that Cardinal Thorn was the one who had sent them, the giant bugbear, Sakkarot Fire-Axe, informed his followers that these humans were their guests and were not to be harmed. He had his lieutenants distribute the weapons from the ship to the camp and the bugbears were transformed from savages to warriors. Before abandoning the Frosthamar the party searched it. They were able to locate and reclaim the gold that Cardinal Thorn had paid to Captain Kargeld Odenkirk.
That night, the bugbears held a feast to celebrate the new weapons they were brought. It was a brutal and savage banquet where the Ninth Knot were the guests of honor. They had a front row seat to violent spectacular that was a bugbear celebration. After the festivities started to die down, Sakkarot requested to speak with the party alone in his tent.
Sakkarot was confused why these humans would betray their own kind. All was quickly made clear when Raxuhs revealed his forsaken brand. Sakkarot pulled his breastplate aside and revealed his own scar. The unholy symbol of Asmodeus had been carved into his chest. “We all have our scars,” he said. After talking with Sakkarot for a few minutes he revealed that he is the one true member of the First Knot, the Avernian Knot, and that the rest are only fools who will be sacrificed for the glory of Asmodeus. It was time to get to business. Sakkarot Fire-Axe asked if they would be able to infiltrate Balentyne and throw open the gates within one month. That was how long he could keep the bugbear hoards organized before they would grow anxious and start deserting. After they agreed that Balentyne could be broken in a month, Sakkarot gave them a signal rocket. Within a hour of the rocket being fired, the hoard will attack.
To wrap up the evening, Grumblejack and Sakkarot decided to have a drinking contest. Not one to be left out from the festivities, Teufulhunden joined the competition as well. After cases of wine had been downed, it looked like Grumblejack was going to be the winner, but the ogre couldn’t hold it together and it was Teufulhunden that drank both Grumblejack and Sakkarot under the table.
Early in the morning, the party took the hunting ships from the Frosthamar and prepared to leave for Aldencross. Before leaving, they were sure to burn down the Frosthamar so there was no trace of them left behind. They arrived in Aldencross with no trouble. Tefulhunden headed to the inn, The Lord’s Dalliance, to investigate rumors while the others sold the spoils of war. By the evening, Teufulhunden had found out quite a bit of information that he relayed to the rest of the group when they returned from the shops. While investigating rumors, Teufulhunden had discovered that the innkeeper, Bellam Barhold, has an interest in quality liquor. In the evening, after the inn had been locked up, Teufulhunden and Bellam had a friendly drinking competition with some of the “emergency rations” whiskey that was found on the Frosthamar. Eventually, Bellam admitted defeat and called it a night. At that point, the Ninth Knot retired to their rooms for the evening. The sleepy town of Aldencross had no idea what was in store for them…
Time passed this session: 15 days
Total time passed: 3 months 20 days