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Mike (DM Mykkal)

A Gate in the Mountain

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A brief summary of the Horselords time in Annakol.

 

The Horselords have assumed a watchful presence in the Bane Mountains. "The Gate" as it has come to be known refers to the enchanted doors serving as a barrier between this world and the evil of Hell.

 

New Horselords begin to join the Harras in Annakolia. The younger generation is unaware of the land and of the preceeding adventure. Everyone has much to learn these days.

 

A brutal battle against goblin forces ensues as the Horselords close the gate that was accidently left open by a band of adventuring dwarves. Patrols of the mountains are increased as a result.

 

Patrol 1: Giants climbed into the mountains and nested near The Gate. The Horselords removed the beasts before any lasting harm could be done.

 

Notes: Young riders are integrated into the Harras as they ride in formation into the Bane Mountains. A moody Aruncus has found a new horse by the name of Amaranth. [see March 1, 2008, log]

 

Patrol 1.2: The Horselords find themselves the featured performer in a Tharbad Jousting Event. What a performance!!! [August 31, 2008]

 

Patrol 1.4: A Ranger of the Bane Mountains stumbles upon Daglar and Gus along the north road. The Ranger is injured, but carries word of a mounting attack by Mordor Orcs. This Ranger, Asparukh, fears there are not enough of the Annakolian Guard available due to the ongoing war, so he is trying to muster every farmer and bowman to form a resistance. Instead, he finds a band of the Horselords ready to help.

 

The orcs show much power, but their numbers are pushed back to the citdadel in the Durin mountains. [september 28, 2008]

 

Patrol 2: Tracks found in the snow were the first sign of trouble as the Horselords approached the Gates. Odd beast of man-animal waited on the cliffs above and surrounding the Gates of Hell. When asked if the Gates were open and demons were spilling out, Safia responded 'it seems more like something is wanting to get in.' The Trollocs were disposed of and no harm came to the gate.

 

Notes: The Paladin of Tyr, Tempest, rode along with the Harras on the journey. The Horselords held formation in battle, acting as one and easily grinding through the foe. A few of the riders noticed an onlooker at the end of the battle. The Horselords questioned if it is the return of Vedka Dark. [March 15, 2008]

 

Patrol 3: Safia, Bjorn and Aruncus conduct a routine patrol. Safia discusses that Vedka's sword survived the funeral pyre and she hid it in her gear. The three discuss the need to keep the sword a secrect, especially from the young riders who have joined them as not to tempt them with its power. They are torn on how to discuss their adventure with the young members of the Harras. Kazhada soon joins them, and they quickly change conversation. It is soon revealed they all shared a dream-- and the mysterious rider visiting them was Harkstra.

 

The gates were tightly sealed upon inspection. [April 10, 2008 Impromptu game]

 

Patrol 4: A group conducts a routine patrol with Safia opting to stay at the camp. The patrol quickly becomes anything but routine as the Harras encounter resistance from giants. After a brutal fight to the cave, the Harras find the giants attempting to bust down the gate! Their attempts prove futile as the Horselords grind thru the giants. But the sounds of battle and the smell of blood bring attention to them from the other side of the gate as fire vermin swarm like a moth to a flame.

 

Later on, as the group reflects by the fire in camp, Aruncus tells Kazhada of the Unity of the Harras and that the riders of the past are still present, acting as spiritual guides. [April 13, 2008, Guest DM Feather]

 

Impromptu Ride: Needing to stretch the horses' legs, the Harras ride northward. Before leaving camp, a half-orc by the name of Burk joins the camp, along with his infant son. Aruncus is infatuated with the babe. Emotions run high, however, as Burk demonstrates his (lack of) parenting skills.

 

The ride was a pleasant one for the Horselords. The new, young riders were strong and cohesive as a team. Spirits were high and jovial until the the black unicorn crossed their path-- perceived as a dark omen by Aruncus, who's last viewing of one resulted in the death of her first horse. Tragedy follows, as Burk and son are found missing and tracked to a nearby cave. Inside, Burk is found but quickly lost in the sweeping currents of the underground river. The baby (knicknamed Twoey) was saved and carried off by Aruncus. May 3, 2008 Impromptu Game

 

Patrol 5: With urging from the Harras, Aruncus agrees that "Tobin" is more appropriate name for the newfound child. She has grown immediatly attached to Tobin, to the apparent concern of the other riders. As Aruncus and Tobin take time for a nap, the others prepare for their patrol of the mountains.

 

Approaching the foothils, the earth shakes violently and a frigid gust shoots down from the mountains. As the Horselords press on, the dragon hunters in the Bane's warn the Harras of a "feeling" of something wrong ahead. As the Horselords approach the mountain, it appears an avalanche has occurred blocking the path to the gate. The Horselords begin to clear the path, but must fight the elements. Upon reaching the summit of the mountains, the Horselords secure the Gates and begin to descend the mountain-- but a quick investigation of the peak reveals several Balrogs!!! On the highest peak in the Bane mountains, the horselords smite the demons. [June 8, 2008]

 

Patrol 6: The rain falls as the Horselords sit around camp. Aruncus, with Tobin in her arms, goes to meet wtih Lady Sidonia and hurries off without a word more. The Harras mill about the fire but their attention quickly centers on a ghostly figure moving among the horses. Causing no fright to the steeds, the figure comes and goes from view. Appearing to one of the riders, the figure gives the command "Mount Up" and is gone from view-- from his helm and horse, it appears to be the ghostaly visage of a rider from the past. Following the orders with little debate, the Harras mount their horses and make for the castle's gate. Met by the rider again, "Hurry"... they assume the direction is towards the Bane Mountains. Finding the rider again in the foothills, he warns, "Know your true enemy" before disappearing from view again. The Harras continue up into the mountains.

 

A Northern Annakol soldier is found dead in the snow. Following his tracks back to his origin, they discover a garrison being constructed in what appeared to be an advancement of the Northern Soldiers into the Southern territory. But what befell them is unknown-- the soldiers' bodies lay strewn across the ground, dead. One is found, barely live, and he is nursed back to health. Frightened and confused, he screams in terror and runs off "before it comes back". Unsure of what caused the death, the Harras find a blood trail leading to the Gates of Hell and the cause of the horrible deaths below. Evil Phantoms came down from the mountains and claimed the Northern Soldiers as zombies! In an epic battle, the Horselords nearly suffered the same fate but the ghostly rider came to their aid.

 

Upon return to the camp, a stranger identifying himself as Harry, a cook in Sidonia's kitchens, began to discuss the Horselords with a bit too much detail for their own comfort. When they attempt to press him for more information, he moves around the corner and disappears.

 

Notes: Gus and Safia experience an out of body experience during the battle in which they materialize in the sky surrounded by horses. The mysterious rider is there and tells them to rest. "I'll be keeping an eye on you" were his parting words as they returned to the battle. The conflict between the North and the South became a debate as the Harras is at the cusp of being pulled into the war. June 14, 2008

 

Around the fire: Aruncus summons the Horselords to her aid as she is confronted by the Baron in Sidonia's study. The Baron wants the Horselords to join the war effort as the South's calvary, but Aruncus feels it would take away from their duties guarding the gates of Hell. A tired Sidonia lets the riders make the decision for themselves-- with little debate, the Riders not join the war effort and will guard the gates of Hell. Relieved, Sidonia dismisses the Harras.

 

But all is not well in the walls of the Amberflame castle. Safia's secret can no longer be kept. Her personal chest attracts large black flies and begins to ooze from the crevices. Nature begins to turn against the camp. A prodding Sunny pushes Safia to reveal the contents-- under all the fabric Safia reveals Vedka's Sword, hidden away for many long months. With shock and panic, the Horselords who knew Vedka rise to their feet-- the young riders look on, clueless. Safia resists turning the sword over. She claims she will protect anyone from touching its corrupted steel. Safia grows frantic and her voice tight as she grips the blade through protective cloth. The senior riders decide the blade must be destroyed-- but where? And can it be done before it corrupts another rider? [June 29, 2008]

 

Around the fire II: The Harras decide to seek audience with Lady Sidonia and make their way into the Amberflame Castle. Unable to get immediate access to Sidonia, the Horselords are directed to the lounge in the lower level where they find their old travel companion, Karsk, and several harem girls. As they share what has happened and is now going on-- patrols, the evil sword, the need to destroy it-- the fireplace crackles and pops unleashing firey vermin. The attack is quickly thwarted by the Horselords.

 

At this time the mysterious cook appears again. Kaz follows the stranger through the corridors where again the stranger vanishes. This time, however, it seems Kaz has been lead to a storage room containing old statues, one being that of a Horselord and a horse with a missing eye. It seemed the stone rider was staring at you.

 

Lady Sidonia summons the Horselords and listens to their plight. She leads them into the tower and explains the cosmos-- the Horselords are to find Lord Krago and hide the sword away on another plane!!! But their duties at home cannot be shirked-- a select group of Paladins of Tyr will be put in charge of the Gate while they are away. [July 27, 2008]

 

Around the Fire III: As the Harras gather supplies, a few of the riders clean up camp before their journey. In the midst of chores, the mysterious "cook" appears and beckons them to follow. "The Lone Rider Falls" he gives as prophecy before vanishing along the North Road. Investigating further, the Horselords find an ongoing sale by the Southern Annakol Historic Preservation Society. But the mere presence of Safia and the corrupted swords brings havoc down upong them! Again, divine intervention leads the Horselords to something they need-- as part of the sale is a Scabbard of Blessing, a perfect fit for the greatsword Safia must carry. On their return to camp, the spirit of Harkstra appears and gives more prophecy, "Sidonia, Shorembo, Zamboni, then Krago... The blind horseman must see again". Shortly thereafter, a tearful Aruncus is found. She reveals she cannot travel with them for fear of injury to her child-- not Tobin! Blushing, Aruncus turns to Guth and reveals she is pregnant with his child.

 

With much excitment, it seems there will be a celebration before the Horselords set out on their journey!

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