As the group managed their way back to the Fort they noticed in the trails that they followed there was a large amount of paw prints of various sizes in the trails that had originally only been made out of Elf foot prints. They continued on for a full day’s march back to the Fort. All the while Kai was constantly making his way off trail to pick berries, and Roland was struggling with the wolf pup that he had captured. By the time they arrived back at the Fort it was dusk.
The guards didn’t give much objection to them coming in since they had plenty of fish, wolf meat, and berries. Kai decided to help the head chef, Levi made his way to the command post, Roland was fighting off several soldiers who wanted to kill the wolf pup, and finally the Gunslinger made his way to the barracks to rest for another day’s march in the morning. The chef didn’t take too kindly to Kai’s constant nagging on how the chef should cook the meat, and showed obvious signs of being a stubborn and terrible cook.
Levi reported in to the drunken Talric who was brooding over the terrible situation the colony seemed to be in. Talric decided to send Levi, and the rest of the party back to Julio’s Landing to report back to their Marshal. The only thing special about their mission was to take a Crusader with who had lost his entire squad from wolves on his way to the Fort from Julio’s Landing. Levi agreed and decided to get some food, and sleep before leaving in the morning. While the wolf meat was terrible every soldier appeared extremely grateful to taste seared flesh once more.
The night was filled with various wolves across the lands around the Fort calling out. While the party was informed that there was a wolf attack previously the wolves somehow knew to take the bodies of their dead away from the Human Fort. While the news of intelligent wolves seemed odd Roland believed a theory he had made that the Wolf God Okash was able to control other wolves was what was happening in the regions around the Fort. After meeting the Crusader who didn’t appear in too rough condition the group made their way to bed.
With morning came drill. Everyone save for Roland participated. The wolf pup Roland had captured had begun another day without Roland being able to control it. After drill the group ate breakfast, and got some stale bread as trail rations, and finally departed Fort Langston. On the way to Julio’s Landing they were ambushed by several wolves. The fight was fierce, but the group managed to walk away without taking too much damage.
The remainder of the trip they kept hearing the unnaturally loud howl of Okash, but he was in the direction of Julio’s Landing. After several more hours of marching it was midafternoon when the group had finally arrived outside of town. There was a large gap in the walls, and plenty of wolves flooding into the city. Quickly the party ran into the fray. The fighting was fairly intense, but due to how injured the wolves were in previous fights the group was able to dispose of them with ease. Finally they had made it to the large gap in the walls. While it appeared that some of the stones were scorched the smell of gunpowder did not emanate from the walls.
As they passed through the walls they saw a large brawl occurring between man and beast near the castle walls of Julio’s Landing. The group quickly scurried there after Kai detached a large segment from a nearby fountain. Once they arrived they joined in the large melee. They noticed Deviticus Salrin was present in the battle, and with the help of their commanding marshal, and several other soldiers they began slaughtering the wolves. The battle wasn’t completely one sided as several grievous bites were given to some of the group members, and many soldiers in the surrounding area were defeated by the beasts.
After a long fight the group came out victorious. The clerics from the town’s infirmary managed to arrive just in time to lend some quick support healing to the group before making their way into the castle gates. Then the extremely loud howl of Okash sounded. The group turned their attention to the North of town and saw a wolf as large as a building move to the walls. Another loud howl and a bolt of lightning came from the sky, and demolished another segment of the town walls. Okash entered into the city and began to feast on the guards that were atop the ramparts who continued to take shots at him. After only a short while of watching the Wolf God get a quick meal the group began to see him approach their location.
While Okash made his way into the castle almost the entire group retreated into the gates to man the bombards on the walls of the castle. One man however refused to back down. That man was Kai Hanabo who had the genius idea of climbing Okash to attack from on top of the massive beasty. Unfortunately for Okash, Kai succeeded in climbing atop the gargantuan wolf. The group loaded up the cannonballs into the bombards and prepared to fire at the monstrosity before them. Salrin also helped man a bombard, and before too long they began firing on the massive beast just nearly missing Kai. While this was occurring Kai had taken his mathematical compass, and began stabbing into Okash’s back. Amazingly he sliced in far enough to reach the spine of the Wolf God, and caused a massive amount of damage with one of the smallest of instruments.
The battle continued with Okash finally rolling and managing to get Kai to loosen his grip enough to jump to the ground. With this another round of cannonballs flew from the castle ramparts causing a good amount of damage on the massive wolf. Kai was now safely out of the way of the cannon fire, and struck the wolf as it reared its head in to bite him with a head-butt. This caused little damage to Okash, but regardless Kai couldn’t avoid the Wolf God’s massive maw completely as it bit into him causing a decent amount of damage, but Kai managed to escape from being swallowed whole.
The cannons continued to fire from the group, and with massive hatred towards their barrage Okash let out one of his monstrous howls putting Salrin, Roland, and the Crusader into a fear paralysis. A final barrage of cannon fire, and the great beast smashed against the ground letting out one final breath before passing on. At this point all of the remaining wolves began scampering away in a full retreat. Without their god to lead them they were broken, and lost.
The remaining soldiers began to make their way outside of the castle walls and from various sects of the city to view the great corpse. Kai recited a prayer in the language of the gods, and echoing in his head he heard the voice of Okash vowing revenge. Kai decided this knowledge should remain secret from everyone else which was a fairly good idea knowing how dangerous it would be to claim he was “bewitched” in a part of the Lanian Empire. Roland, and the Crusader recited a Final Church prayer, but heard no such voice.
After a brief argument between Roland, and the Crusader going up against the Marshals of Julio’s Landing it was decided that Okash’s body would be disposed of inside of the forests surrounding Julio’s Landing rather than being burned. Upon this being concluded it took the remainder of the day for the soldiers of the Empire to move the corpse to the woods. Before this happened Kai made sure to claim his prize from the gargantuan beast by placing one of its massive fangs atop his bamboo staff.
Several days later the group was told by a recruit ranked inquisitor that the Paladin Amilio Devaughny wished to speak with them all. After seeing all of the gaudy things that Amilio uses to furnish his room in the top floor of the command tower in the castle of Julio’s Landing, and being greeted by his pompous assistant Charles the group met the infamous Paladin. He lived up to every ill word spoken of him, and decided that the proper way to reward everyone from the party who helped in slaying Okash was to give them his personal commendations which had no value other than to show that he approved of an action they had done in the past. With that he stated that he had come up with their next assignment and sent them down stairs to Salrin who would brief them on it.
The commendations were quickly disposed of, and the party insulted the assistant Charles several times before getting briefed on their mission. Salrin told them that their next mission was to make their way to Charleston, a town named after Devaughny’s assistant Charles, and help defend it from an event that they believed was related to Okash. The Crusader was quick to identify what Salrin described in the report as an attack by Gnolls. There is a tribe of Gnolls who were ruled by Okash, and the Crusader believed that they were possibly going on a rampage from losing their lord.
After gathering supplies which consisted of several trained war horses, and a large cart filled with various camping supplies, and rations the group began their long journey. Four days of travel took them out of the Conqueror’s Forest, and put them inside of the Orsal Mountain Range. The path before them appeared to be carved out of the stone that would otherwise have made the mountain range rather difficult to travel through. After traveling within the mountains for several hours they were ambushed by a squad of bandits with matchlock guns.
This fight turned out to be very difficult as the bandits had several of these guns each, and all were fully loaded. Levi quickly began to climb up the twenty foot ledge that these bandits were shooting from. Kai threw his compass, but unfortunately missed. Roland shot out a bullet with his steam powered rifle, and slew one of the four bandits. Unfortunately the remaining ones seemed spiteful of this, and one managed a lucky shot into Roland’s throat. This quickly sent Roland to the floor as he passed out from immense blood loss within seconds.
As the battle continued Levi got to the top of the ledge, and was attacked by one bandit using the butt end of his gun as a club. Kai began to climb up the cliff face as well, and the Crusader continued taking shots from the ground with the Gunslinger who was hiding underneath the cart; all were thankful that the horses were battle trained so they didn’t sprint off from the sound of gunfire.
The fight raged on as Levi had slain the bandit that continued to attack him with his gun being an improvised club, but then getting shot in the lung by another bandit. This unfortunately sent Levi to the ground, and also caused him to be on the verge of death along with Roland. Kai knocked out his bandit, and the Crusader climbed to the top of the ledge and charged the remaining bandit. Finally they disposed of the final standing bandit, and threw the remaining bandit off of the ledge and killed him later on after they had finished patching up their friends that were on the verge of death.
While badly wounded Roland and Levi lived to see another day. The remainder of the group ravaged through the bandits’ possessions revealing some various journals. The journals depicted how they arrived on Julio’s Landing, and made contact with some out of town merchants who sold them the guns. While the guns weren’t very good they would work for them. It took twenty minutes of reading through very poor Lanian in order for them to find out virtually nothing aside from these bandits had been out here for a few months slaying unsuspecting merchants, and officials as they passed and then looting them.
With this group of bandits quelled the group made their ways back to the cart and continued onward toward Charleston. Unfortunately while Roland and Levi weren’t dead they were both extremely wounded. Roland quickly used his skills in medical treatment to shave their recovery time in half, but that would still put them down to several weeks of being bedridden before they could finally participate in military activity again. They made camp one final time just after they had exited the mountains, and enjoyed another night of peace with no midnight ambushes.
The next morning they began their march once more and it only took three hours before they had finally arrived in Charleston. The town appeared to be on its last leg as they hadn’t even picked up the rotting corpses of the Gnolls they had slain several days beforehand. A makeshift barricade was seen right outside of town, and the group noticed guard towers were posted throughout the village. They were greeted by a man named John who had taken them to his commander Marshal Gerald Sommers.
Sommers was inside of the infirmary recovering from wounds he had suffered nights before from a Gnoll attack. Roland noticed that he was already intoxicated even though it was only late morning. Quickly the group took the bottle away from him, and he told John to brief everyone on their assignment even though John was a mere conscript. John took Kai, the Crusader, and the Gunslinger to their post on the Eastern side of town where they had a nice view of the Orsal Mountains from the guard tower there. The only concern is how they will manage to fight off a possible Gnoll attack with only half of the party in battle ready health…