Princes of the Apocalypse

On the next episode of Assholes vs Wild…

Warforged, Reaver attacks…and revelations that could potentially cost us our lives!

Join me, Sandro Latarnia, and friends as we journey to the most treacherous environments of Eberron; from scenic ogre-infested roads, to deplorable holes in the ground. Today, we tackle the pedestrian struggles of Rivergard Keep.
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The toll of the bell indicates the start of the work day, as we all hate, and so the team disperses to look around the keep or maybe reflect on their thoughts. This day has been about as exciting as watching paint dry. Kilkax notices one of the watchmen has been eyeballing us all morning, so he goes to confront the man. Turns out it wasn’t just him—-everyone else has been staring at us since we look like an odd bunch of mercenaries. He tells him to watch out for this ”Jolli” in a rather aloof tone. …’Jolli’ being Jolliver Grimjaw, the boss of this dreary outpost.

On the other side of the keep, Ryo goes for a relaxing walk up the battlements and sees what he thinks are the unassuming neighbours. He is then promptly flung to the ground as a loud explosion hits one of the walls. The peace is broken as Rhysh announces that a Reaver attack is taking place so we’d better make ourselves useful and fight. If this isn’t a good start to your morning, then I feel sorry for you son. I got 99 problems but a raid ain’t one.

We rush to aid Ryo while Tinuviel runs to where the explosion was, just in time to see grappling hooks spring up. With her trusty dagger, she tries to foil the interloper’s plan but only gets halfway through the rope before the wretch rears his ugly head. These intruders seem to be dressed in strange black leather and carry strange weapons on them. I help sever the rest of the rope, sending the fool down. Unfortunately, more men climb up the other ones and some slip through the front gates. They really are raiding the keep, I applaud them for getting up at some ungodly hour for this. We engage the newcomers while Ryo, recovering from his fall, seeks revenge and joins us. He performs what looks like a WWE maneuver, flies off the wall and lands on the raider’s chest, caving it in and killing him. Rhysh and a half-ogre warrior join the scuffle and while I’m busy running my sword through people, Tinuviel the Burninator goes trigger-happy on an unfortunate raider, literally burning him to a crisp, nothing but ash and charred bones left, thankfully she only does minimal damage to the stables nearby.

Back at ground-level, Kilkax gets a nasty arrow to the back; it seems a few more Reavers have snuck up from behind. Anora eldritch blasts one of them into the 9th Circle of Hell for grievously injuring her buddy and continues the assault while Kilkax runs into cover to heal himself. As we fight, we notice that their swords seem to be made of strange opalescent material, bits of it coming off when scraping against armour. The entire keep suddenly erupts into a mélange of violent ringing thanks to the combined efforts of Team Nice Ass Such Sass casting Shatter, which reduced a lot of the combatants. Shit gets even stranger as Grimjaw appears out of nowhere and slams into one of the raiders like a true savage. At some point, some guy turns into a damn water snake and gets a face full of lightning from Kilkax. Eventually, we beat back or rather..annihilate the intruders. The damn snake escaped into the water but no matter, they won’t be back for a while. We heal our injured and the workers start cleaning up the mess; Grimjaw approaches us and in a rare show of relief, thanks us for our role in this. We’re now welcome to stay but his demeanour sours as he grumbles about a certain sailor not lifting a finger to help. He marches past me and into Shoalar’s boat. I’m a little worried for the Genasi, but that’s none of my business.

Now that calm has returned, I examine one of the odd swords. Tinuviel managed to glean information about them; they’re lined with shark teeth. That is gnarly as fuck, so I keep one for myself. Kilkax heads the looting operation and gets a good amount of gold from these Reavers. He also spies a piece of metal in a crevice, he takes it and figures out that it’s part of a Warforged’s armour…? Grimjaw emerges from the boat, seemingly pissed and heads into the great hall. Ryo follows suit, probably with a boatload of questions. He comes back informing us about the frequency of these attacks and that Jolli told him to talk some sense into his ol’ friend, Captain Planet. So he does that, that brave little toaster, and well…things don’t go so well. He proved his points but Shoalar just wouldn’t budge from his stance of basically ‘I’m leaving tomorrow, why bother.’ Ryo mentions there’s something fishy going on below deck. Anyways, Pike emerges and heads straight to the stables. I follow, question and bribe the little bastard about having any prisoners but that failed. Bah, didn’t need that 5 gold anyways. I enter the stables to see what he was up to and damn, does it smell like aged piss in here. There’s something sticking out of the hay so I pull it out. Turns out to be a damn coffin, I don’t sense 10 Million Zombies™ so I pry it open. It’s full of metal…similar to the one Kilkax has? I run back to try to snatch it off him but the guy has better reflexes. I tell him to come with me and we figure it definitely belongs as a set. We call everyone over and Tinuviel releases our little dragon friends. She then lectures us on how Warforged work and we’re doing it wrong. We hear giggling from the back. Garienna and Elvira polymorphed themselves into little turds…how charming. LO AND BEHOLD, they found another crate-coffin. We bust it open and this…big humanoid hunk of metal is just sitting there. Ryo pokes it and it tells us to please stop doing that. At this point, we’re stewing in a mixture of awe, amazement, and the scent of Pike’s dirty deeds in the air.

We get to know our new…cohort, and find out that they’ve been here since the War, that they only want to be at war, that they know nothing else. They refer to themselves as Nameless. They’re a little off; that’s understandable since they’ve been powered off for years and as of the moment, are pretty much stark naked. They demand their armour back, Anora and the others give it accordingly. After collecting the dragon sisters,Tinuviel and Anora decide to pay Shoalar a little visit. Ryo and Kilkax head to Grimjaw to find out more regarding this keep’s history and its past denizens. That leaves me with Nameless. They end up walking to the weapon storage and bashing the door open nonchalantly. Not sure what they’re doing, but they pick up a mace and a battle axe. Very impressive. Definitely a machine of war.

Back at Shoalar’s party boat, Tinuviel doesn’t let it slide that something odd is going down below deck, despite the Genasi captain insisting it’s just his other crew members. He leaves and Tinuviel summons a rat familiar to spy downstairs. Well, he wasn’t lying about the crew members but there’s barrels full of…parts. Machine parts, it seems there’s more Warforged to be had here. Is Shoalar smuggling shit? They leave and as they pass a certain area, Anora suddenly gets stage one Tingles again. This does not bode well.

At the Great Hall, which is rather nicely adorned in nautical fashion on the inside, Ryo and Kilkax find vines and dug-up dirt. Must have been the work of that boar from earlier. Strange. They question Jolliver about this keep and Warforged, to which he answers casually, but when they ask about Shoalar being suspicious, it puts him in a bad mood and he leaves to the back of the building. Well now they know that Nameless is a free citizen of their own right and can do whatever they want. The two rifle through letters like the meddling kids they are and find…incriminating things. Letters to and from certain figures but most importantly, one sealed with blue wax. Upon closer inspection, it reveals to have the symbol of the Cult of the Crushing Wave. The handwriting is elegant, but the message inside isn’t so. Something about initiating a plan and that they’re searching for the ones who meddled in Red Larch. Us. Kilkax pockets the letter and they return to divulge the information. I asked to see the letter…but now I wish I hadn’t. Sure, a plot to eliminate us isn’t very dandy, but I saw something I did not want to see. Plunging into a state of shock, I fail to notice that everyone has left to check on the other two, so I follow and observe from a distance.

Tinuviel seems to be channeling through a fish familiar and exploring something underneath the keep. She sees dim lights, meaning something is down there which is causing Anora to feel strange. They were about to practically keelhaul someone to send them down but halt as Ryo notices that Shoalar has been watching us for a while now. He probably thinks we’re idiots.

With all things considered, Ryo decides that this isn’t worth the trouble and does some sick flips and shit over the wall, and out of the keep. Kilkax follows with his own tumbling display to join his Tumble Buddy™ The rest leave via the front gates, because we don’t have a flair for dramatic exits. Summoning my beautiful steed, “Johnny Four-Hooves”, I search the area for a good spot to set up camp. As we gather by the fire, Kilkax regales us with the tale of how he was conned into trading his treasured bagpipes for a bogus ring. He swears vengeance on that. Maybe we could just surprise him on his nameday with a new set instead?

In the end, we managed to leave Rivergard Keep unscathe…but where do we go from here?

That’s it for Assholes vs Wild. New episodes, Sar @ 7pm bst

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