The Nine and Six and One

The Wordbearer Fortress

(collecting war assets)

Session Date: 3/20/2012

Last time we collected 6 Blademark tattoos and Neils pries some scales off the wyvvern.

We have arrived at the fortress stronghold of the Wordbearers. While imposing at first sight, a second look shows it is not kept well. Probably due to lack of manpower.

The goblin archers posted on the walls see us approach, but they don’t bother us. We are obviously not Bladebearers.

A goblin guard hails us. Balgrim pushes to the front. Says he’s there to trade. Kind of insults them. Zel tries to smooth things over.

We show the signet ring and tattoos. They let us in to speak with Thunder Sparkstone, the war chief hobgoblin. We walk down into a natural cavern.

The song of the Wordbearer dirge echos in the cavern. We are the only people in sight who are not covered in tattoos. There are even some humans and dwarves there. They do not appear to be slaves. Some of them even have tattoos.

We see militia training. Go there. They are training for battle, but not doing well. Not enough veterans to put a spine in the force.

We are recognized as definitely made of sterner stuff.

Thunder Sparkstone is grizzled veteran, with an eyepatch. He is shouting commands down from his office as we enter.

He turns and looks at us. Asks what we are here for.

We learn that Oldskin is their foremost scholar. In the library.

The library is more of a giant warehouse. Boxes of books scrolls and relics stacked high. Not the original storehouse for these works. We see robed goblins and hobgoblins scurrying around.

We see the oldest hobgoblin we’ve ever seen.

Neils talks to him. Oldskin keeps reading.

Has to raise his voice to get his attention. Shows him the book. He grabs it and scans it. Fascinating….but can’t read it. Looks like a holy book, ancient text. He can translate it for us…about six weeks.

We agree for him to keep the book in exchange for the translation.

It looks like they are packing things up to ship. He says the city isn’t what it once was. With the threat of the bladebearers…….they have to be ready to leave again. So packing the most important things. Expect us to be under siege in four weeks.

Oldskin doesn’t intend to leave…. Will die there.

What happened to the rest of the city? There was a collapse of the cavern wall and khyber horrors emerged. Had to collapse the ceiling to cut them off.

As he understands it the bladebearers decided it was time to unite the empires. Submit or die.

With some hasty repairs, the walls can be made sound again.

Ok, so we will have week long projects to work on. To help with the siege. Easy, medium, and hard. And quests. These can delay the siege or speed translation.

42 days to translate, siege in 28 days.

Week one: Train militia with shield — easy
Assist Oldskin — Medium
Build siege — medium
Scout nearby mountains — hard
Prepare safe refuges in mountains — medium

Hogar, Aldric helps with walls
Neils, Zel assists Oldksin.
Bulwak trains troops

Bulwark trains the militia = pushes back siege by 1 day.
Neils and Zel — run around fetching stuff on a list. Wasted some time yelling at scribes, but find some of the material. Push siege back by one day.

Hogar and Aldric do Walls — Hauling stone. Also build siege engines.

After one week. Siege in 23 days, and translation 34 days.

Oldskin has translated a portion of the book.

Talks about the goblins god as the Gatherer unaligned and responsible for gathering the dead into into the next stage of realm. Much maligned, worship of this god is frowned upon. Worshipers don’t worship death but rather the continuing journey.

Zel shows his hammer. Oldskin calls over a scribe. He has a tattoo like in the temple. That is Zoriat’s Bane. Forged to help fight the invasion of Zoriat that brought down the temple. Wielded by one of the greatest warriors.

Zoriat is another plane of existence. Mercurial changing chaotic plane alien to our existence.

Week Two

Easy — train goblins in archery.
Medium — Scout for hidden Khyber entrance and secure them.
Medium — Convince Balgrim to go back to the city and supply the citadel.
Medium — help alchemists collect ingredients.
Hard — Raid slave caravan and recruit the freed slaves to their cause.

Neils and Hogar scout for Kyber entrance
Zel talks to Balgrim
Bulwark helps alchemists
Aldric trains archers.

Training archery — Kills one goblin on accident, but serves as a motivation for others.
Searching for khyber entrance — Hunt and find a section of the city there is an opening in a cellar that leads down and down and down. They collapse it.
Convincing Balgrim to supply the city — Zel does well with economic theory. But Zel has to go with Balgrim to open the trade route.
Alchemy — Bulwark collects and brews potions. Going well. Got poisoned a bit when he tries some of their brew.

Slave caravan didn’t go well. The warriors sent out didn’t come back.

After that week +4 siege. Siege in 20 days, translation in 27 days.

More translation: The gods only speak through heavenly intermediaries who pass it on to the worshipers. The chief intermediary…the speaker of the dead is gone, but his position is unfilled.

This is heresy!

Oldksin…hm…maybe this is why we don’t worship the gods anymore. After what happened to the empire. Makes sense.

After two weeks Neils picks up passable goblin…

The dirge sings of their history, the loss of the empire and how it will be great once again. Terem Dkhan…fated to lead the empire to greatness…….greatest dirge singer. No mention of gods.

Week Three

Group quest. Oldskin wants us to retrieve a tome to help. It is in the sealed section of the city. Probably in the hands of the khyber monstrosities. Will probably be facing dholgants and dolgrims. This is in the old library.

Easy — construct traps and place around citadel.
Medium — Supply caravan escort and bring in the farmers
Hard — convince another clan to help them.

The tome is known as the Emerald Tome of the Devourer.

We decide to all go together to get the tome.

We slip into the ruined half of the city through a large boulder-sealed tunnel.

We stealth our way to the old library. See carrion crawlers, hook horrors, slimes, stuff like that.

As we enter the old library. We see robed creatures but the bookshelves are filled with burned books. At a desk, we see a dolgant behind it. It is looking through a pile of books. As it touches a book, it catches the fire…but the dolgant keeps reading.

Behind it is an emerald tome that is untouched.

They ignore us at first.

We try to speak with them, but they accuse us of being ….bookworms? Combat begins

Hogar recognizes the librarian is a monk..

Aldric tumbles to the book (thrown by the librarian) and picks it up.

As Hogar kills the library his tattoo swarms up Hogar’s arm and settles into a fire snake and goes dark.

We win. We get the book. Reach milestone…..get action point , We get surges = CON + 1

Noise in the combat stirs up the creatures in the street, so we hide out a bit. We can heal up.

Neils gets the book (it grants him powers).

Hogar gets an odd tattoo. He thinks if he dipped his arm with tattoo into the blood of the creature it resembles (fire snake) it may grant some power.

When we get back to the city…….have to sing that dirge as the passphrase to get back through. Neils does good enough. We get back in again.

We get back to the storehouse. Oldskin wants the book. Will give it back after a week.

How did other things go?

They lose the clan allies (couldn’t convince them to stand with them). But we got 5 days on translation.

Translation snippet.

Because the speaker of the dead is gone, they can’t talk to god directly. The souls of the dead are not being sent on the journey but kept in holding until a new speak is found so the gathers will will be known once more. The worshippers have tried to create a new speaker of the dead.

Week Four

Group quest — to protect outlaying fortification from attack.
Easy — lead the militia in mountain drills.
Medium — rig bridges in mountains to fall.
Hard — Poison wyverns in caves so they can’t be used.
Hard — Search kyber for dragon shards for use with rituals to commune with dead scholars for insight into book.

Aldric and Hogar poison wyverns
Zel and Neils do bridges
Bulwark trains the militia.

We all succeed and also the fort holds.

11 book days for translation, 9 for siege.

Heading into week 5.


To create a new speaker, the worshipers need an exemplar of a species. A natural born creature. The leaders figure they need to channel the power of the unformed plane Zoriat into an unborn child. This creates chaotic mutability and allows the individual to take the position of the speaker of the dead so they can hear the words of the gatherer.

Week Five

Group quest — Balgrim found something while speaking with these goblins and learned they have treasures of power and riches…in a spot in khyber.

Easy — repair arms and armour
Medium — assist in dirge singing.
Medium — Block certain passes with rock slides.
Hard — raid a bladebearer supply camp and raze it

Aldric picks up passable goblin language skills.

Zel’s business when she gets back….things have gone well.

Hogar and Aldric will do the raid.
Neils and Zel will sing dirges.
Bulwark will help with rock slides.


The exact text from the translation is provided in a separate post by the GM.

The Wordbearer Fortress

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