The Streets Ran with Blood

Fjensir led the dazed Haerak and K’larsh back to Bannertown, along with the comatose Grestmaul, and with the Blessed of Breyes as prisoner. Fjensir hoped that the return of the Blessed would be enough for house Hussard, as he had promised to return to the prison after healing his companions, offering to take Lyle, as well as Ferenetti, Tyriam and Nis away from the perils they faced in Bannertown. Fjensir told Rook to take his friend and begone, and to consider himself lucky for escaping with his life, telling him that quarter would not be granted should they meet again.

The estate he returned to Oban Relks, who offered what reward he could put together, far less than what Rook offered, but a vastly more honourable option than murdering the merchant Rolphus, and robbing the estate of its goods.

The warden of House Hussard was ill pleased with only half of his prize, but, he accepted Fjensir’s explanation without question, and provided much of his offered reward.

After delivering the Blessed, Fjensir made for a small temple of Kharzoul called Hersa’s Forge. It was a good choice, as luck had it, Hersa was a good friend of Grestmaul, and healed much of the parties mental trauma at no charge.

Grestmaul was grateful for the rescue, and more grateful still for the news of his fathers death and last words, sad though the news was. The dwarf was still enraged at the betrayal and ill treatment he had suffered however. Despite Haerak and Hersa’s pleading, he was bent on revenging himself upon the dwarf who betrayed him. Unable to dissuade him from the course, Haerak agreed to help, saying that it would be ill service to the debt he owed Kernoc if he freed his son, only to let him die in an rashly conceived attack.

Haerak and Fjensir investigated the once prosperous Starhammer plate, now nearly derelict, it’s mighty furnaces now cold. They spent some hours gathering what rumours they could of the comings and goings of the few occupants. Learning little beyond that only the office seemed to yet be inhabited.

As they left the area, Haerak was assaulted by the magic of a black cloaked man, who tried to paralyse the barbarian. Haerak shrugged off the magical attack, as it was far less potent than the power of the Githyanki. When he realized his spell had failed, the priest commanded his thugs to attack. Haerak was quickly surrounded by the scum, though to their horror they quickly came to learn that Haerak was no easy meat. He cut the men down with terrible blows, sparing only one, and the priest, who fled under the cover of magical darkness.

The survivor informed the two that Haerak had simply been swept up in a plan to capture fighters for a local pit, a role which, if pressed, Haerak could hardly deny he seemed well suited to. Haerak hoped to be gone from Bannertown before another press gang could be mustered, but all the same, he left the man bruised and bloodied, hopefully as a message to the thugs boss to find easier prey.

The neighbourhood of Starhammer plate was even worse in the evening, as the workers tried to drown their sorrows at local pubs, or in the tired embrace of the local whores. The armed company of Haerak, Grestmaul, K’larsh and Fjensir had little to fear from local thugs, but they still kept to the back streets, as the fighting in the lower quarters was still sporadic, and was close enough to spill onto these streets at any time, particularly if the warring factions found themselves contesting for the same pleasures.

The sounds of a terrible scream drew the warrior to investigate. They found a robed figure crouched over the quivering corpse of a local working girl. The figure fled into the darkness before the could react, and moments later another blood curdling scream let out. Haerak ignored Grestmauls pleading and investigated.

Kyton_by_grimdiskord

The killer proved to be a far more terrible opponent that Haerak imagined possible. A powerful, cunningly evil creature called a Kyton, a resident of the Nine Hells, the thing was a mockery of a man, covered in chains, with the power to command any nearby chains. Even with four seasoned warriors, it took nearly all they had to bring the creature down. After the battle, as Fjensir tended to the half dozen deep cuts with the healing wand, Haerak felt like a fool for playing hero and chasing the creature down, but, what choice did he have, it seemed to murder with impunity, and if he did not stop it, who would?

At Starhammer plate, they found the factory even less occupied than they expected, in fact they found none but their target, Grestmaul’s former assistant and betrayer.

Grestmaul raised his axe to put the pitiful creature out of his misery, and take his revenge, but, when Haerak argued that giving the pitiful, broken dwarf a warriors death was more than he deserved, Grestmaul relented and granted mercy.

Grestmaul was not satisfied with this however, he wished to recover his personal equipment, even upon learning that they belonged to a member of house Hussard, kept under lock and key in his manor. Again he offered to go alone, but again Haerak explained, he did not save the dwarf only to see him throw his life away, so with that, they set out for the manor.

The house was guarded inside and out, but the guardsmen working the grounds were laughably incompetent. Haerak and his companions were easily able to silence the lot of them without taking their lives, even given their heavy armour and lack of skill at the subtler arts.

The guards in the study were a different matter however, the pair were skilled and dangerous fighters of house Hussard, one human, the other, hobgoblin scum. They covered the retreat of their lord, who rushed up the stairs at the appearance of the very familiar and angry armoured dwarf.

Haerak attacked the goblinoid ferociously, all of those months of terror and torment rushing back as blind fury. His assault was more than the creature could match, and it was cut down in moments, though not before landing several telling blows.

The human was an able combatant, but was outmatched and outnumbered by Haerak’s companions, he quickly fell as well. As he went down, Haerak attempted to quickly bind his wounds, and Grestmaul made for his armour, kept as a trophy of the lordling. Moments later, a flash of magic summoned a strange noxious cloud. As it started to spread, Grestmaul shouted for Haerak to grab his shield, mounted to a nearby wall.

Their prize in hand, Haerak and his companions fled the manor, not planning on stopping until they were well outside the walls of the merchant city of Bannertown, and as far from the reach of House Hussard as they could manage.

 

 

 

 

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