Touch of Fey

"Assault on Hargulka’s Stronghold"

Game 024 (9/1/13)

Hargulka

Scion 14 (Afternoon) Myhm arrives in the area with the gnome Jubilost and his expedition and finds the other Lords held up in the ruins of the Ferrytown along the northern shore of Lake Candlemere. With the threat of trolls still in the area, Bronin invites Jubilost to join them for mutual protection and the Ferrytown is set with torches and lights and the party rests the night without trouble finding them.

Scion 15 Jubilost departs, headed south again until the trolls have been dealt with. With a plan to lure out the trolls to a battleground of their choosing, the Lords approach Hargulka’s Stronghold and leave a note in the form of an arrow into a troll on the ramparts. As they make to withdraw to the ferrytown they become aware of trolls emerging from the Stronghold and a few giving chase. Choosing a favorable section of the old Empire Road, the Lords prepare themselves with magic and easily defeat a pair of trolls and trollhounds. Up near the Stronghold one of the trolls displays a capability for tactics and holds the other trolls back in order to observe the fight. The professor also notices that one of the trolls is larger than the others, and seemingly has two heads.

When the last of the trolls below fall, the ones above begin to advance down the path and the Lords decide to meet them in battle, hoping to use the narrow chokepoint to limit the troll’s strength. Another fight ensues, this time with a disciplined warrior leading the trolls, taking fire as the groups close, then withdrawing to let a terrible two-headed troll loose at the last moment against Myhm and Akiros. Though Myhm is badly wounded and Akiros is knocked senseless the group soon defeats the monster and begins tearing through the troll ranks. In a surprising move, the troll commander and one remaining troll leap from the path and tumble down the mountain. In a move thought rash by the rest of the party, Bronin leaps after, using the magic of his featherfalling ring to aid his descent. However, he soon comes to his senses and abandons the chase, climbing back to the path and joining the others.

Agreeing not to pursue the fleeing trolls, the Lords ascend and find the Stronghold nearly deserted. Inside they find a large horde of treasure and resources stolen from both the Greenbelt and the Wildlands to the north. Passing through storage chambers, barracks, and abandoned meeting halls, the Lords eventually come to a chamber where King Hargulka awaits in darkness. Calling out to Bronin, he gives the Lords a chance to talk before doing combat. The professor drinks one of his extracts and is able to see through the darkness to see that Hargulka is not a normal troll, but instead bears rocklike growths on his skin. He is also not alone – another troll stands at his side and a trollhound at his feet. Hargulka challenges Bronin and engages in debate over the rights of rulership. The conversation continues for some time, but is interrupted by the sounds of screaming horses. Chuckling darkly, Hargulka reveals he was stalling until his commander could return and surround his enemies!

An epic battle begins, fought on two fronts. As Gregory, Akiros, and the Professor race back through the Stronghold to save their mounts, Bronin, Simon, and Myhm ready themselves to fight the King and his companions. Hargulka releases the trollhound, sending it as fodder into the three Lords. They quickly dispatch it, but the way has been cleared for Hargulka himself to charge forth and land a powerful blow against Bronin himself.

Above, Gregory, Akiros, and the Professor encounter the troll commander and the last troll survivor of the earlier battle on the path. The commander charges and Gregory quickly sets Davik’s spear against him while Akiros readies his sword and the Professor hurls bombs from behind the battle line.

Below, Myhm and Bronin stand toe to toe with Hargulka, trading blows with the giant as Simon backs away to better use his Holy magic. Bronin tries to stop Hargulka’s advance and prevent the other troll from joining the fight, but Hargulka knocks him unconscious and merely steps over his prone form. Myhm swings his woodsman’s axe, cleaving great wounds in the troll, but Hargulka quickly bashes him senseless as well. Suddenly finding himself alone against two trolls, Simon makes one final prayer to Heironeous and dashes from the room. But before Hargulka can pursue, he suddenly finds Myhm’s woodsman’s axe buried in his groin, Simon’s prayer having brought him and Bronin back into the fight. Hargulka falls and Myhm cleaves into his head for good measure. The last troll turns to find Bronin standing, mirrorblade in hand. The last troll flees, nearly knocking Simon over in its haste to escape.

Above, Gregory, Akiros, and the Professor have just vanquished the commander and his minion when the last troll arrives from the fight below. It attempts to overrun them and escape. It fails.

Reuniting outside Hargulka’s throne room, the group makes a couple strange discoveries. One, Hargulka does not share the same vulnerability to fire that normal trolls do. Second, he wears an amulet of similar make to an amulet found on the Stag Lord.

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