Monday, 19 March 2012

The Seige of Mount Bloodhorn - Act I – Bitterstone Mine

Here's a bit of background for the first part of the end of season game for the Blood in the Badlands campaign - The Battle of Bitterstone Mine. We join Kravyn after he marched south following Karniforex's defeat to the Ogres. 

Kravyn rested fitfully in his makeshift tent, unable to sleep for any reasonable length of time. His mind was unable to let him sleep, like it knew something was amiss.
Kravyn’s armies had marched south, past the Imperial fortress which now was held in bestial hands. His own troops could hear the laughter of drunken Gors and the screams of human women folk as they made their way through the badlands, even several leagues away. He sensed the Gors under his command becoming restless, itching to partake in the debaucheries their brethren were performing behind those walls.
They now set camp up over one hundred miles from Barak Varr, within eyeshot of the infamous Hanging Rock. Skullcrown had been able to peer upon the events there over the last few weeks, the Imperial’s repelling the fell legions of chaos and the steam assisted ogres with the help of a the bizarre death spirits of the rock. Kravyn had noticed the beast mage seemed to spend most his time in the body of another recently.
Kravyn left his tent to find Skullcrown. His council may help take his mind off the hidden disruption to his thoughts.  He walked through the living litter and breathing detritus of the night before’s festivities, his feet treating on Gors and ungors whose heads would feel several sizes too big in the coming hours when they woke. Grunts and yelps of pain came with every other step until he reached Skullcrown’s abode, a particular tatty skin tent made from Orcskin. It may once have been rather intimidating, but it had seen several campaigns and was looking much worse for wear.
Kravyn stepped into the tent, and found the mage sat bow legged at a long fizzled out fire. Bodywearing again, no doubt., something was different. His eyes weren’t their milky white hue when he was out of his body, but a bright, firey yellow. He was breathing differently. Not out of breath, but...
“Craaaaay Veeeeen?” Skullcrown hissed, not with his own voice.
“Daemon.” Kravyn said, instantly.
“No....noo nooo noo noooooo nooooooooo!” Skulcrown giggled. His voice was almost childlike, mischievously. “Me Hoggle!”
“Hoggle.” Kravyn said, unsure of what exactly was going on.
“Hoggle Hoggle Hoggle!” The mage laughed, “Me know what you white furs did to red skins! Very big beating! Very gooooood!”
“Orc.” Kravyn realised,the redskin reference being enough for his sharpened, if sleep deprived, mind to work out. “What do you want with my Shamen’s body? I could enter that shell and destroy you, burn your very essence. Then follow you to your body, and use it to wipe out your kin. You play a dangerous game doing this act.”
“Gobbo!” The possessed shamen screetched, “Me Hoggle Gobbo. Me try to talk to you in your head, but you sooooo strong! Couldn’t get in, bonce well ‘ard to my wyrd. Me come to offer...a deal!”
Kravyn looked away and thought, then back at the Goblin’s temporary body. He realised why he couldn’t sleep now, his latent magic ability had been fighting off this intruders clumsy attempts to force himself into his mind. Skullcrown must have been bodychanging when this Hoggle had happened upon another wizard’s mind to possess.
. “Deal?” Kravyn asked. “What do you offer me for your life?”
“Lots! Lots and lots and lots! Help Goblins and we help you! Hoo mons and dead hoo mons come to our mine, want to take our stuffs! No! No no! Need help to stop dem!”
“Mine? Where?”
“Bitterstone, less than day away on your hoofy hoofs! Old stunty mine, lots of gold, lots of magic choppas! Lots for you!”
Kravyn thought on this. “I’ll consider it.”
The Gobbo infested shamen laughed. “Hurry! One more thi - ”
Skullcrown took a huge gasp for air, his eyes returned to their albino pink once more. “Kravyn, my lord. What are you doing here?” His voice was his own once again.
“Talking to you, Skullcrown. A long conversation. Most sence you’ve spoken in a long time.” Kravyn smiled, “Where have you been?”
Skullcrown looked confused, obviously oblivious to his mind being home to another. “I ran as a mule, south from here. Ekrund. The forces of light aim to take this fort as their own. The legions of bones and the weak humans have a truce, both aim to undermine the tower. They march for –“
“Bitterstone mine.” Kravyn finished, and Skullcrown nodded.
“You told me.” Kravyn turned away. “Get a force together, we march south at daybreak.”

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