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Category: Iron Oak Saga (Page 1 of 2)

The record of our saga, as told by men and women who lived it.

Up In the Air

IMG_0531constanta%20cazino_4ac528e41915e_hiresJustin IronOak and Neara BloodOak led our intrepid party through snowy mountain passes, through the worst of the MindSpire Mountains, before coming upon the Village of the BloodOaks.  A vital village, the party immediately saw the battle damage done to the town’s wooden palisade, where the Frost Giants and the Black dragon broke through on their raid.  Talking with the captain of the Guard, Taliera Barkskin, the party learned that the giants had been aided in the Chevauchee by Harren Fire Oak and the White Wizard.  The giants apparently broke through the palisade, and quickly made for the Blood Oak’s Arbrearum.  the party quickly suspected betrayal, and further learned that the Bloody Acorn had dropped just moments before the raid, and had been handled in the Arbrearum and delivered to the giants.  Only a member of the blood of the Blood Oak Clan could have entered the Arbrearum and handled the Bloody Acorn.

 

The party immediately visited the lord and his lady, who protested that no family member would have betrayed the family.  Soon the party left the court, and visited Neara’s sister Cantara in Cantara’s hut (emanating blue flickering eldritch light).  Immediately suspicious, Maldrin IronOak prepared a spell, and muttered that Cantara must be the traitor.  Alas, Cantara was merely a precocious 14 year old hanging out with her friends.

The party next visited Neara’s brother Fin.  Fin’s hut was deserted, with only a white robe and a suspiciously convenient note confessing to being the traitor on his end table.  The party wasn’t buying it.  The party crossed back to the lord and lady BloodOak, and while grilling them, the sound of artillery shook the Blood Oak palace.  The party rushed outside, to see a floating Ice Fort on a mound of earth high in the air.  Frost Giants were rolling huge snowballs off a landing, and destroying parts of Blood Oak village. The party quickly determined they must somehow get to the floating Ice Fort.  Conveniently, the Frost Giants, a year past, had tried to engage in trade with the Blood Oaks, and had left a small Air Boat that was fueled by human blood.  Neara quickly summoned four towns people, opened up wounds, and had them fuel the Air Boat.

The Airboat ascended to a landing, where the party confronted three Frost Giants.  The battle was touch and go, but soon the party had prevailed.  Leaving the exsanguinated townsfolk to recover in the docked boat, the party rushed into the Ice Fort.  They soon discovered a gruesome workshop, where a Storm giant was being “fitted” for an artificial heart, the size of the bloody acorn.  After another tough battle, with almost all of their healing spells used, the party left the strange laboratory to scale the fort and seek further danger.

Onwards and upwards, for there is no choice!

 

The Gathering

The Party continued their struggle against the mighty Hill Giant stedding, fighting both giant and fire.  The Rogue, having appeared to have fled the battle, instead came around to the front of the stedding, He first scaled the tower, and then lit it on fire. It went up like an Aradene candle, and turned night into day for miles around.  Assisting in the inferno were several casks of Hill Giant Ale. The party continued to fight their way into the fort, soon coming face to face with King Snaggi Irontooth of the Hill Giant Jarl. The battle ebbed and flowed, with several characters being struck down temporarily, until finally Snaggi was gutted, large giant entrails spilling unto the hot log floor, making a sizzling sound and reminding the party they hadn’t had breakfast.

In searching the main floor of the hold, the party discovered the two ever flowing Fonts of Mymirdion.  The water’s origin unknown, the water ever flowing, the party had discovered the Giant’s true wealth.  The two fonts gave the ancient healing aqua blue waters to whoever possessed the fonts.  One catch, the glass flasks that could hold the Healing waters of Mymidion had to contain human bone.  This gruesome catch gave the body pause.  But not enough to stop them from filling all twenty of the available flasks and distributing them throughout the party.

Soon the party made it through the rest of the first floor of the hold, and went downstairs into the dungeons of the stedding.  They quickly found the cells which held several prisoners, including Randolph FireOak.  Reunited with his loyal son Derrick, the two then joined the rest of the party in fighting off four elementals, summoned by the eveil white wizard, paired with the traitorous Harren Fire Oak.  Having occupied the party, Harren and the white wizard fled, leaving the party to battle the elementals.

The party emerged victorious from the partially destroyed stedding.  The cleric began to make plans to gather his brothers to occupy the powerful site, now partially burned.  In the meantime, the party crossed the small plains to the Town of Fire Oak, to find not only that the Fire Acorn had dropped, but that almost all of the Oak Clans had gathered, having seen the Stedding fire of the Hill Giants as  a beacon.  Randolph Fire Oak and  Justin IronOak found a table, and rolled out the ancient Oak Scrolls.  On the top, the two quickly read the Prophesy of the Oaks.

 

When Acorns drop and clans depart, all the Oaks will leave their home.

Abandon hearth, abandon glades, all of the clans will start to roam.

Through foaming waves, to distant shores, the twelve bound Oaks will sail the seas.

In search of Oak land, the promised land, away from hardship, rise from their knees.

Iron, Silver, Fire and Blood. Live, Ice, Water, and Black. Post, Pin, Heart and Golds

Abandon all their hard won holds.

To join so strong to leave the fall, to build anew, with gathered all.

 

And so, absent the Blood Oaks, 27,000 Oaks all stood ready for one last march through Westmarch, to relieve Silverthorne.  The party, led by Justin and Neara BloodOak, requested the party journey to Blood Oak, as a message had arrived that the Blood Oak had dropped, but been taken by a band of Frost Giants and a Black Dragon. IMG_0091[1]

The IronOak Family Saga

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Aelred’s Stand

Told through the eyes of Justin Ironoak, heir to the Iron Oaks

Justin withdrew his warpick from the twitching body of the orc he had just slain and surveyed the battle around him. He had broken through the line of orcs defending the tower, and was standing along the wall, beside the doorway into the tower that housed the strange, but powerful, weapon. He saw his brother standing atop a hill, deftly gesturing and firing bolts of pure heat to his foes. He loved his brother dearly, but never had felt quite as close as brothers ought to be. Maldrin spent more time pouring over his tomes, seeking the proper wording of some archaic spell, than he did outside. On a certain level, Justin felt this was wrong. The Ironoaks were men of the forest. They ventured out into the unknown wilds and tamed them. They didn’t hide behind their Oak Doors. But at the moment, he was grateful that Maldrin knew the ways of the elements, for it brought them great advantage in battle.

Sted and Sebastian were back to back, holding their own amongst the orcs bearing down upon them. Sted was more than competent as a combatant, and Sebastian, for all his talk of being a holy man of peace, swung his mighty Warhammer with the practiced ease of a man accustomed to violence. Kurst was charging towards another pair of orcs, roaring with rage. Kurst was not a man to be underestimated, his blades a flurry as he pierced the orc over and over.

Justin saw the dark form of the thief on the other side of the door, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible and avoid the notice of the orcs. Justin sneered unconsciously at his behavior. He had little love for the opportunistic thief, talented though he was. Justin was forced to constantly watch his belongings around the man, and knew his loyalty only extended as far as his convenience at the time.

At the far end of the battlefield, he saw Neara patiently and quietly biding her time amongst the trees. He was grateful she was not getting involved. The plane of forever had revealed his, their, future together. Justin did not know what fate truly had in store, but he knew that now was not the time to ponder such things.

As he scanned the field of battle, he realized he did not know where Aelred had gone. Concern welled in Justin’s chest as he considered his fellow hunter. Whereas Maldrin and himself stood across each other, separated by the canyon of the arcane, Aelred and Justin were true kindred spirits. They had hunted together and tracked together. While Justin was as savage a hunter at could be, taking down a full grown bear by himself in close combat, but Aelred was unmatched with his bow. Aelred said that he could pin the wings of a fly from a mile away, and Justin couldn’t help but wonder if he was truly exaggerating his prowess or not. Combined with his deep bond of friendship with his panther, Aelred was a hunter of the highest caliber. Reminded of his animal companion Justin instinctively reached down to pet the head of his wolf who was no longer there. Justin’s eyes burned as he felt the longing ache for that deep primal bon. But, again, there was no time to mourn. The strange weapon atop the tower must be stopped, or turned to their own purposes, or Silver Thorn would be lost.

Justin readjusted his grip on his weaponry, his war pick and war axe, and prepared to storm into the building, when he heard the hum of the strange weapon reach a crescendo. He was too late! The whine of the weapon peaked, but the blast was punctuated by a scream of pure agony. The destructive red light blasted forth, but shockingly had struck the ground not twenty yards away!

“Must’ve been Aelred. Crazy sonofabitch did it!” He muttered happily. He looked up at the parapet, and his joy died on his lips as he saw orcs manhandling a form.

“Aelred!” Justin shouted and ran into the tower, barreling up the stairs. He would not let Aelred be slain. His companions heard his shout and swiftly followed.

As he reached the top of the stairs, he saw there were two warrior orcs, and what appeared to be three technicians for the weapon. As his companions arrived behind him, he saw the orcs being to look less confident. Justin knew he had a chance to solve this without bloodshed.

“Surrender, and you will live. You are outmatched, outnumbered, and outgunned. But make one hostile move, and your lives will be forfeit. The dozen orcs below should tell you how serious I am.”

The orcs looked at each other, shrugged, and dropped their weapons. Justin mentally breathed a sigh of relief. Fortunately for him, Orcs are not very intelligent and they failed to realize the value of their potential hostage. Justin looked over Aelred. He was tied up, but he didn’t appear to be too injured aside from the blood that led to his….

“Holy shit your arm!” The thief exclaimed. Aelred’s entire right arm was missing, his shoulder a burning mess of charred skin and muscle. Agony rippled across his body with every movement.

“Out of the way, let me attend to his wounds.” Sebastien pushed every aside and knelt next to Aelred. Summoning the holy light of his god, Sebastian laid his hands over Aelred’s body, and Justin could see the flesh of his shoulder mending and the charred skin sloughing off, but no new arm grew. After a few moments, he stood and looked at Justin with a dark expression. “His arm has been completely destroyed. I have not enough power from my god to restore him. A grand priest of my order could, perhaps, do something but that is a power granted to only the holiest of men.”

The group broke into disarray for a few moments. The thief inquired after whether or not Aelred still needed his magical bow, Maldrin suggested if he was in too much pain to continue that perhaps a mercy killing might be necessary, and Neara merely looked shocked. Aelred had always been such a strong figure, but without his arm he looked surprisingly small. Justin saw the tortured look in Aelred’s eyes that went beyond the pain of losing his arm. He knew that he would never feel the power of a fully drawn bow again.

“Sebastian, attend to Aelred, do what you can for his pain. We’re not out of this yet. Maldrin, investigate this weapon, let’s see what we can do with it. Kurst, interrogate these orcs, find out what they know.” Justin barked to his companions.

Much was learned in a short time. The weapon would fire automatically every ten minutes, although they could adjust the time to up to a full week. The weapon was too large to remove and abscond with, and even then would still have to be fired at regular intervals. To make matters worse, one of the technicians pointed out a marching company of orcs coming their way. They would arrive before the cannon could be fired again.

This information set the group roaring with argument once again. Maldrin suggested we still try to take the weapon, Sebastian demanded we destroy the device, and the thief quietly recommended they flee and hide until this was all over…the craven, Kurst suggested forcing the orc captives to stall the army and let the gun fire, with no one agreeing to anything. Shouts and threats of violence began to reach a fever pitch until two quiet words were spoken.

“I’ll stay.” Aelred said, propped up against the parapet, his words almost a whisper, but somehow managed to silence everyone else.

“What?” Justin asked.

“I’ll stay. You flee to the secret entrance to Silver Thorn. I’ll hold off the orcs and blast a hole for you to enter SilverThorne. But you can’t trust the orcs to handle this themselves. Someone will have to stay.”

“But why you? We’ll get you to safety. The Silver Oak will be able to heal your arm! I’ll stay, I’ll defend the tower.” Justin said.

“No, my friend.” Aelred said with a sad smile. “You must go. You’re an Ironoak. It’s up to you to fulfill the prophecy. I’m no Ironoak, I can stay.” Justin knelt down and looked Aelred in the eye.

“Today my friend, you are braver than any Ironoak. In your veins runs the courage of ten men. Hold them off long enough to get a shot off the weapon, then set it to a week to recharge. We’ll be waiting for you at the entrance.” Justin said. Aelred smiled, shakily stood up, and pulled his bow off his back.

“Justin, take this. It’s not good to me now, and no filthy orc deserves to get a hold of Ironoak weapons if I should….”

“You’ll make it. You had damn well better! I’ll be waiting.” Justin interrupted, but he took the bow all the same. Justin clapped Aelred on the shoulder and turned to the thief.

“You. Give Aelred your ring.”

“What? But it’s mine!!!” The thief whined.

“You’ll give him your gods blasted ring or I’ll cut it off your hand this instant.” Justin warned darkly. Sullenly, the thief petulantly handed his ring over to Aelred.

“You better give that back, or swallow it if you’re gonna die so I can find it again.” The thief said. Justin bit back a reprimand, for at least the thief was cooperating somewhat.

“No time for delay. Let’s move out!” Justin ordered, and with one last look at his noble friend and companion, he turned and swiftly made his way out of the tower, his other companions following behind.

With a grunt, Aelred struggled to his feet, the holy power of Sebastian reducing the thundering pain in shoulder and missing arm to a dull and distant throb. Aelred spent a few minutes pushing the dead orc bodies into the doorway, then splashing the stairway with a flask of oil he had been saving. Once he was finished, he walked up to the top of the tower and place the ring of invisibility on his finger.

“Three hundred orcs, and I’m beat to hell and back, missing my good arm, have no bow, and have no defenses other than a pile of dead orcs in front of the door. I guess for once those orcs might have a fair fight on their hands.” Aelred mused as he pulled his rapier out of his belt and prepared for the coming onslaught.

Iron Oak Family Saga – Wardens of the West Wall

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Wardens of the West Wall

We are the Wardens of the West Wall.
We are the tip of the Spear.
We are the Boss of the Shield,
Protectors of the Realm.
Enemy of its Enemies.
Friend of its Friends.
Forsaking all comfort or thoughts of home.
Five years is our tour,
but our Oath is forever.
We are the Wardens of the West Wall.

Iron Oak Family Saga – The Plane of Forever

Westmarch

 

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The Iron Oak Family bravely entered the Forever Portal, and found themselves on the Plane of Forever. A windless, temperature-less gray landscape where the horizon blended with the twilight light of a sunless and moonless sky. A small path marked their way from portal to portal, but as they traversed, they came upon another party. The other party was themselves, three years later. Add Aristotle, their Lizardman friend, and subtract Neara, the Blood Mage. The two parties quickly broke bread and discussed the future as well as the path. The Future party was circumspect, sharing few details of the future so as to not disturb the future. However, they did hand the current party a concussive grenade, a specialty of Aristotle. When the party accepted this gift, and promised to use it as instructed, suddenly, in the future party, Neara appeared. And many wounds of the party instantly disappeared. It was obvious that the future party had changed history somehow, on purpose. The party and the future party went their two different ways with a few additional vague warnings, and the current party arrived in the woods of the portal, where they passed through a struggle between Draconic and Orcs. Finally, the party came to the Silver River Gorge bridge, where they fought of a Blue Dragon. Unfortunately, the dragon managed to hit the Alchemical satchell pack rigged to explode the bridge. The satchell had been partly disassembled, so only a portion of the bridge was destroyed instead of the entire bridge. And now the party journeys on to Silverthorne, their destination for the last ten gaming sessions.

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