This journal serves to record the events in order to ensure all details are reported back to command.
Journal of Expeditionary Mission – Day One
The call to muster rang out, I moved out immediately to the call. The streets were quiet as I made my way to formation, more quiet than they should be, there should be the rustle of plates, the stomp of boots. Upon arrival I saw only one brother has made it before me, a scout, commendable, but as it should be. I nodded to him before taking my position. Two warriors show up together, swords and shields at the ready, but no armor to protect them, clearly still undergoing training. They must have been first or second year still. Shortly afterwards accountability was taken, and a small expedition it shall be apparently, the sergeant at arms called me forward.
“Report to Lord Valfryn immediately,” he said. I gave him a stiff nod and moved out to the command HQ. The guards at the door didn’t move an inch as I passed them to the door and swiftly knocked.
Lord Valfryn shouted “Enter.”
I walked into the room closing the door behind myself, walked to the large ebon desk, saluted and said “Disciple Belryn reporting.”
“You are to lead the expedition to the lands of the rings, you will receive your mission brief from the XO, do you have any questions for me?” Lord Valfryn asked, but his tone and stance showed he expected no questions.
“I am to lead, mission details from the XO, no questions sir.” I replied, still standing at attention.
“Dismissed,” he said, returning his attention to the papers on the desk.
I went looking for the XO, Saris Fey-Branche, and gathered the details and mission parameters, as well as found out that there may be more reinforcements to arrive after the start of the mission, but that the 3 in formation were all that is assigned currently.
In route to my quarters I realized what an honor has been bestowed upon me, primary field commander of the expedition, it may be small, but a command beyond the disciples. It was truly an honor. One that I couldn’t afford to mess up…
Journal of Expeditionary Mission – Day Two
We’ve arrived at the forward base; secured the location, setup the supply and arms areas. A human had the audacity to approach as soon as the security was in place, calling himself Thorn Underfoot. One of the warriors brings him to me.
“Why are you here?” I ask tersely.
“I want to give you some advice.” He replies with a smile.
“What sort of advice would you hope to give me and why?” I struggle to keep the frown from showing through.
“The forces supporting Odin have already made alliances and seek the rings with haste; If your party wishes to be successful you should seek the other forces supporting Thrym, and make allies of them. I give you this advice because I have been involved in the games past, and if there is to be a good competition, the forces of both sides must be able to compete.” again with that toothy, wretched smile.
“And which forces are those?” I ask.
“Seek your allies, Waaaggghh!! and Exilium.” He says.
“Ally with the exiles I can see, at least they fight well, but the stinking feral stupid orcs. You think I would stoop to ally with those filthy orcs!?” I can’t believe what I am hearing.
“If you want to succeed, seek your allies,” and with that he left. I seethed at the thought of the orcs working on the same side, but the more thought I put into it, the more I knew he was right. I would endeavor to get them to work for us, but call them allies….. never.
I was able to locate the scarred spell caster from Exilium quickly and we easily secured a truce in order to crush the forces of Odin. Having that in hand I knew what I had to do next, seek the leader of the orcs. I found the orks in the local tavern, I walked to the first I saw and told him to take me to his boss. It was then I came face to face with Gutzmangul. I could see the restrained violence lurking in his eyes, and feel the disdain in mine.
“I hear you are working in the forces of Thrym.” I throw my words at the hulking orc.
“We’z iz fightin for Thrym.” The gutteral sounds come from what one might call a face.
“Are we going to have a problem?” I ask.
“We wantz to fight wit youz, youz and da sillyuns.” He replies.
“Glad we are on the same page,” I say as I turn around and walk back to our base, already considering how to cleanse myself from the encounter. Well now the first piece is in place for the mission, its just up to the rest to fall into place.
Journal of Expeditionary Mission – Day Three
Reinforcements have arrived, a brother from the clergy and the XO himself. Saris has allowed me to continue field command at this time due to my report with the other Thrym forces.
The engagements have not been going well; the soldiers of Exilium were ready to muster right away and were quick to move out in pursuit of intelligence regarding items of importance. The orcs were not in the camp, or what could be called a camp anyway. We ran into a gargantuan creature, the scope of which I had never seen before. It had to be the creature known as Osarr, I had found a document which when translated mentioned that his bane was water. The exiled soldiers split their force and went in with water blessed by their deity, which was largely ignored by the creature. It broke them into pieces and flung them with seemingly no effort. I pondered more the document I had found, realizing there was a well near the entrance to this cave. I rushed back and grabbed two buckets full, I strode into the cave, confidence in my stride, the rest of the forces still at the edge, hesitant to see what I had planned. I had nearly reached the end of the cave when the creature emerged, I reeled back and threw the buckets upon it, it stumbled and roared with agony, then continued on. Blackness followed. It was later reported to me that the remainders of our forces were able to dispatch the creature, that my actions had allowed them to defeat it.
In route back to the forward base we finally spotted the orcs, just in time to see them attack the forces of Odin, I looked to my brothers, bruised and battered, and charged into the heart of the enemy forces, again with the blackness.
These attempts aren’t working, we need organization, the enemy forces are too large, we need all our resources, meagre as they are. Finally, I found the orcs without them charging off…
“Come to our camp now, we need to organize and coordinate our forces if there is any hope of success.” I didn’t bother to wait for a reply; I made haste to the exiled ones. Their soldiers were ragged, in need of a respite. I cursed inwardly, it seemed the odds continued to stack against me, this was my responsibility, I couldn’t let the mission fail, couldn’t fail my brothers. Exilium was able to give us three of their number, not much, but something. Upon arriving back at the forward base I was surprised to see all of the orcs still there, milling about and shouting. My brothers were silently waiting, ready to move out on command. I gave the marching order and we moved out.
We made it as far as the twin forks before it happened. I heard a soldier say contact and I looked to the rear, I could see men with the chaos star approaching from the rear.
“Behind!” I yelled and watched as the battle order shifted to meet the threat. I could see they only numbered 8, nothing compared to the 20 under my command. “Push! Push them now!” Yelling, trying to put the enemy on their back foot, take the advantage back. As I dispatched some gibbering cultist I heard the ring of steel behind me, I turned to see what was happening to see more enemies melting out of the forest, killing our men in the rear. “Behind!” I yelled again, but it seemed that our rearguard melted before them. I charged into the new threat, I could feel my brothers follow me into them. A strangely dress humanoid with a cruel glaive stood in my path, resolve in his eyes, as I rushed him I feinted with my longsword, parried his slash. My headlong rush carried me into him, close enough to feel his breath on my face, I could feel the grin split my face as my dagger slid into the flesh of his chest, over and over into he fell unmoving. I looked up, my brothers and I had crushed this attack, I turned back to the initial attack just in time to see a ball of fire incinerate some orcs. More enemies had filled in where the others had fell, my brothers and I rushed back to meet the foe.
An explosion nearly rocked me off my feet, an exile soldier reduced to ash, I looked to my left to see an enemy mage and archer trying to flank what remained of our forces. 2 of my brothers and I turned to meet the threat, their shields at the ready but hesitant. “PUSH!” I yelled, and yet they stayed still. Incredulous, I violently shoved the scout in front of me, “PUSH!” I yelled again. The scout acted as if struck by lightning, he ran in a full out sprint and barreled into the mage. The mage was dead before he hit the ground, my dagger jutting from his chest. The archer was wounded and fled before the onslaught. I turned again to survey the field, to see all that remained was myself and my brothers, spread thin, amongst another 7 of the enemy. “Disengage” I yelled, our only hope being to concentrate our efforts. We pulled together, preparing our defense, and I heard the thunder of boots and in the distance I could see more soldiers of Exilium rushing down to the fight, the clash of steel and screams of the dying must have signaled them. With the legio crashing into their backs the enemy was doomed; we advanced to finish them off. “Let none escape, and loot the dead!” I yelled, I couldn’t afford to let any intelligence or items of import to evade us further.
I could feel the ichor in my blood sing, burn in my veins, Selvatarm’s many legs rested upon my shoulders. This was the turn, this was the start of our victory.
Journal of Expeditionary Mission – Day Four
The man called the smuggler has approached us again, he hadn’t warranted noting right away, but he has items of import upon his person. Items he is willing to part with, for a price.
“I have here an aztec coin, something that will help your forces.” He says as he flips a massive gold coin end over end.
“Is that all that you have?” I ask.
“I have other items as well.” He replies, a half grin splits his face.
“I will take them all.” I say stoically.
His eyes grow large; confusion suffuses his face “Uhhhh…”
“Come to our base, I guarantee I have enough coin to purchase your wares.” I say. He follows next to me to our camp. “Please take a seat, yes that one will do. So, regale me with these wares while I count out my coin.” He goes into a detailed inventory on the items he has acquired and looks at me, disbelief in his eyes that we could possibly offer enough for the trove. I finish counting what I consider quite a generous amount and hand it to him. His eyes grow large again, “I take it the sum is enough?” I ask, my face a still mask.
“Y-yes indeed. Uhm, also I am willing to fight on the battlefield as well…” He stumbles through his words, greed taking hold in his face. I haggle for his mercenary fee and find an agree amount.
“I shall look forward to your sword on the battlefield friend.” I say, a grin finally showing upon my face. He grins back and counts his coin, slowly. I review the items purchased quickly, annotating their value towards the mission, nod and secure them.
And that is the moment the smuggler was bought and paid for….
Journal of Expeditionary Mission – Day Five
A missive arrived saying that there would be a battle to secure the “lost” ring, 7 bells at the crossroads. We must secure this ring, there is no other option. I tracked down the orcs leaving their camp, their boon from Thrym, the giant boulder, being carried by one of their number.
“What are you doing with the rock?” I quickly asked.
“We’z iz gunna squish somthin.” They answered
“If you use that rock, and gain nothing from it, you will have wasted it!” I stared angrily at the one carrying the boulder. That seemed to be sufficient, I watched as he carried it back to their camp. “We need to gather all of our forces for the crossroads battle, if we can bring all of our boulders to the crossroads together, we can’t fail. Bring your force to our camp, I will gather the exiled.” I did not wait for a reply, made haste to the Exilium camp.
I found the scarred caster of the legio and we talked with the members of their force who had deciphered the map of the region. We were unable to accurately discern which area was the crossroads, so the exile caster and I decided to recon the forest area in gaseous form in order to determine the site of the battle. We were able to circumvent many foes along the way due to our sorcery, during our recon I took note of a few items of interest on the way. We managed to overhear a conversation amongst those of the chaos forces discussing they stood at the crossroads. The location secured I made haste back to camp, making sure to secure the items in route. Just as I was within sight of our forward base, I could see my brothers leaving with the forces of the orcs, the XO of Chosen Blood, Saris Fey Branche at their head. I was too late!
I rushed back into the base to scoop up my weapons, realizing that the exiled legion was not in their camp, nor were they with our forces. I looked at our gift from Thrym and I knew this was the time, but I would have to carry it there on my own, with no support. Selvatarm had shown me earlier this day it was our time, I could feel the ichor still quietly sing in my veins. I tucked my dagger into my belt, hefted the boulder above my head, and set off into the woods alone.
I made my way through the woods, circumventing any threats I came across. I could see the yellow of the orcs ahead, the black of my brothers amongst them. As I approached the area of the crossroads a field prevented me from joining my brothers, they waved me onward and I could only push vainly against the barrier. Then suddenly it was gone, I stumbled through to join our forces, I grinned when I saw the orcs had brought their boulder as well. Thorn Underfoot numbered amongst our allies, and he took the time to make myself and the orc carrying their boulder into the size of giants. I edged to the side and rear of our formation, hoping to have ample time to use the gift of Thrym properly. I felt a tugging at the back of my mind, and a madness took root amongst all those present. I quickly set down the boulder to see a friendly glaive swinging at my leg; I took three steps backwards as I reached for my spell pouch. On the glaives backswing I jammed my hand into the pouch, pulling the fireball free I had place there earlier, I took another step back as I launched it into his chest. I watched as he disappeared into a pile of ash, quickly looked up at my surroundings, all hell had broken loose, friend fell upon friend, but in my immediate area most everyone was dead or dying. I looked to the boulder, and moved into the corner, directly next to a tree. An armored viking raged on the far side of the crossroad, laying waste to all before him. I watched as he looked around, victory on his face, then I picked up the boulder.
I marched steadily towards him, my giant feet rumbling the ground, he looked upon my and tried to get better spacing, seeing the huge boulder in my hands.
“By the power of Thrym I smite thee!” I cried as I threw the boulder in his direction and watched as he disappeared beneath it, never to be seen again. A ring began to materialize before me, as I reached for it I could feel an aura envelop me, a protective barrier. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t last, with the ring firmly in my grasp I took off at full speed. Enemies were in my path, but they couldn’t touch me, I ran with reckless abandon. I couldn’t let this fall into enemy hands. I saw our scout returning to duty from rest. I knew I had to hand off the ring, too many had seen my mad dash.
“Brother, come here, now.” I tersely commanded. I opened his pouch as I palmed the ring into it. “You are not to die or be captured, act normally and do not be seen near me. I will return with due haste.” He nodded his ascent and I walked briskly away, in order to not draw suspicion to him. I went and found the smuggler, Thrym’s agent for securing the rings. He instructed me he had a long way to take it, I told him he would be escorted. I brought my brother and the smuggler away from prying eyes, gave them a escort detail of two. Turned both the smuggler and my brother to gas, and sent them in route. Selvetarm would not allow my brother to fail.