Pathfinder Off the Beaten Path

The Battle of Ancestor Hill

(Season 1, Episode 5) The Iron Consortium has come at last.

Huhotach.jpg

The Battle of Ancestor Hill..

Throughout the history of Varisia, many details about important events can get rather difficult to confirm for obvious reasons. The first intermediary period was a time where the country was wild and untamed, and many key figures took on the roles of local heros, and eventually legends who’s fantastic stories were repeated through the ages. There was no centralized government, and the local populace consisted of Native Shoanti to the North, and scattered caravans of wandering Varisi everywhere else. Several figures however play an interesting role in what would become the foundation folklore of the eventual city of Brinewall. This place had originally been established as an outpost by fleeing nobility from the far east, but almost all of the family had been wiped out by a concerted attack by the Oni, and for many years the keep was laid to ruin.

This ruin was later rebuilt and became a hub for trade that was headed North into Kalsgard and the lands of the Linnorm Kings. It was at this time, a tribe of Shoanti called the Huho’tach Maudi began to make their presence known. This distressed tribe had spent many generations isolated both from the outside world and the other shoanti tribes, but now was under attack by a shadow arm of the Chelaxian government called “the Iron Consortium,” Thier people had begun the long slow decline into cultural dissolution, when they sent one of their young braves to Brinewall in search of a solution. Unfortunately for them however, the Iron Consortium had been busy, and was preparing a logging expedition to move up into the hills and make a direct assault on the sacred ancestor grove.

Sa’hetna had been using this time to establish himself in Brinewall, when he returned home just in time to find his tribe under attack. There was no time for tactics or long thought out strategems, the situation was critical because the consortium were already well under way with their assault and soon it would be too late. In later writings, Sa’hetna had long had misgivings about the slow decline of his people, and when he returned to the tribe, there was already a heated debate in progress about how to best deal with the invaders.

A tribesman named “Haargev” had formed a degenerate cult of worship for those creatures which dwell beyond the dark tapestry. This dark cult had already wormed its way into the hearts of several tribesman as their fear and desperation grew to a fever pitch, and now, “Haargev” knew that the time was ripe to make his move. The hunt master Nath’rek had taken issue with the use of “summoned spirits” and wanted to gather for a direct assault. Meanwhile, “Haargev” had insisted that the help of the spirits would break the backs of the invaders.

At this council meeting, “Haargev” invited the fellowship to participate in a summoning ritual that would call forth the spirits that would liberate the tribe. Sa’hetna and the others, agreed to attend, but as the greenwalker would recount years later…

“Something felt profoundly wrong about this. I had felt the influence of the spirits and the dire warning I had received from Rancher Fauster did nothing to put my fears at ease. This was something terrible, it was the reason our ancestors had warned us about influence from the outsiders. It was not the lure of money, or the working of iron which had filled their hearts with horror and kept them looking up into the endless sky with dread. The source of their fear, was the profane knowledge that somewhere out in world, these abominable rites and rituals existed, and could be used to call up such evils that no sane man should ever be exposed to.”

When the fellowship had arrived, the ritual began, and suddenly reality itself twisted as something foul and otherworldly was summoned into being. The fellowship only marginally helped as Threndil assisted the ritual by giving his voice to the cult leader, meanwhile Sahetna and the others prepared to deal with the aftermath of what was happening. Shocked and frozen in horror, Sahetna could only stare as the cult leader lost control when the offering mysteriously died just before the creature could consume it. The beast, thus denied its feast, lashed out and nearly took the cultleader before he fled. Fortunately, Olli used his power over the mind to force the cultleader to flee back towards the beast. When he did so, the creature took him in its tentacles and started to drain his life essence. Partly in punishment, and partly in mercy, Sahetna along with the others targeted his attack on the cultleader to finish him off and kill the fool before his soul was consumed by the strange creature from beyond time and space.

It was a close thing for the huho’tach maudi, because if the beast had escaped the confining circle it would have inflicted untold death and injury before it could have been stopped.. if it could have been stopped at all. The circle held however, as the magic of the Harrow revealed itself through Zuristoi and saved the lives of the fellowship and the village. After that disasterous turn of events, the council and the tribe realized its folley in turning the to dark spirits from beyond and decided that now was the time to fight. The fellowship agreed to fight by their side and gathered with Nath’rek in the morning for the attack.

As the Consortium continued up the hill, the Huho’tach moved to attack the other two elements while the fellowship crept forward to attack the third. Each element consisted of 2 clockwork soldiers alongside a clockwork harvester and attended by gaurds and an overseer. The fellowship planned to attack the overseer, and disable the harvester until all the others had been dealt with. The attack proceeded as both Olli and Zuristoi used their magic to occupy the overseer while Sa’hetna and Threndil used claw and summoned creature to attack the gaurds. The clockwork soldiers were very strong, and could inflict terrible wounds upon anyone who got close. Fortunately however, one was led off by Threndil while the other was attacked and dismantled by Sa’hetna and A’hoot. The fight did not last long as the gaurds were cut down and the overseer was forced into a magical slumber from which he would awake only briefly. His gaurds did their best to protect and revive him, but by the time they realized what was happening, they were being overrun by the fellowship and the tide was turning against them. As the battle was nearly finished, Zuristoi led the harvester on a merry chase while the others tried to use the keys to take control of the clockworks to no avail. The other groups of Huho’tach were successful in their attack, having brought down the clockworks with huge mallets that smashed joints and caved in armor. After leading his harvestor on a chase through the field.. Zuristoi led the device towards the warriors, who knocked its knees out from under it and proceeded to smash it into metal bits.

Nath’rek had decided to press the attack, kill the next shift and burn their camp in a wave of destruction that would chase the consortium all the way back to the shore. Sa’hetna and the others followed and wrecked terrible damage upon the consortium until chelish troops began to deploy from the boats to call a halt to their assault. Meanwhile the tribe’s advance had left a path of destruction in its wake, and the consortium would have no choice but to retreat.

The warriors of the Huho’tach and the fellowship returned to the village victorious, and a great feast was gathered in honor of those who fought, and those who had died to make victory happen. Sa’hetna was given a sacred ancestor sapling to place in his grove, and after making a quick stop by the sawmill to say goodbye to Breanna, he guided the fellowship back home. Threndil had been busy collecting salvage, and so he traded his horse for a wagon that would carry the metal back to Brinewall for his forge. This meant the trip home would be longer, but with the metal and spoils from the battle, it would well be worth it.

None of the fellowship had any illusions about the eventual return of the Iron consortium. They had been beaten once, but now was the time to prepare. They would come back eventually, stronger then before and ready to fight and destroy the Huho’tach maudi forever.

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