Iron Kingdoms - 500 Fights

Trouble At The Dig

Trouble At The Dig
With professor Addlesmith and his team safely returned to The Dig, Stacks decided he would head back to Bloodstone as his work there required his immediate attention. Jack, on the other hand thought it prudent to stay behind. He had no reason to be anywhere else but where he was. Curiosity was getting the better of him and he wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Also, the long days he spent forced to listen to Addlesmith drone on and on about the importance of this place, called The Dig. All that talk almost forced him to take a look for himself.

The next morning, Jack woke up, took a look around and felt a bit apprehensive. He felt a little out of place; the Dig was surprisingly full of University folk doing what he thought was playing in the dirt. Worse, they seemed to be teaching people how to dig in the dirt. Such a waste of time he kept thinking to himself. Addlesmith of course found him and spent the better part of an afternoon and early evening walking the rather large site with Jack telling him his theories of Orgoth civilization and some of the political problems his University is up against. Jack was mainly lost in thought and he was positive he made the wrong choice in staying. Then Addlesmith’s show and tell session finally ended at a large tent in the middle of the camp. Where, at night, everyone gathered for readings, some drinking and food, but more importantly the occasional card game. This part of the day made Jack’s decision to stay a little more tolerable.

Later that evening:

Marco Deft walked quietly next to the caravan as the sun settled over the Ditches. He was told by Hank, the Gobbo caravan leader, that they were close to a place called The Dig and they would be settling down for the evening there. According to Hank it was an archeological site discovered a couple of months back. It had water and safety, as it was home to about 40-60 archeologists and treasure hunters. Before long they rounded a large boulder and the lights from the treasure hunter’s tents became visible. Marco pointed out the tents to Nolan, his traveling companion and squire, for lack of a better title. They were close and he should ready his armor as they never took anything too lightly. The war in Lael taught them that even the best laid plans can go a rye.
As the caravan settled in, Marco and Nolan were quick to recognize a larger tent in the middle that seemed to be the hub of the camp with several people gathered around. They unpacked their gear and decided to head to the center and see if this place had food. As they entered the weathered, dusty tent they were taken aback when they noticed more students and professors than mercenaries, fighters and treasure hunters. After all, they were in the Ditches, home to all sorts of nastiness. This place was hardly a place for these folks.

As Jack played cards with other mercenaries hired by the universities, he noticed two more of his elk enter the tent. Paying no real attention, he returned to his game as a female voice cried out, rather rudely he thought, saying something about “they are all dead!” Jack couldn’t help but make a comment under his breath about his current hand being “all dead”. But the poor girl ran in the tent and declared “they’re all dead” and had a look of dread on her face. Perhaps something was wrong, he thought to himself. Jack turned his attention to the man dressed in what Jack couldn’t help but notice was a Stormblade, a soldier of Cygnar. To see if he was ready to do his soldier duty – gave a shit. Seems he was going to care as he ran to the girl backed up by what Jack couldn’t help notice was some kind of Dwarven Micahanikal mercenary. As Jack pondered that notion the dwarf become even more intriguing as rune circles formed around the dwarf’s hands and glowed in ways Jack never saw as a spell was released. Just then all hell broke out. Everyone ran out the front of the tent. The do-good soldier disappeared out the back of the tent with a war cry and the dwarf was readying another spell. With the card game over, and good to that Jack thought, he decided to see what all the fuss was about.
Jack’s inquiry was greeted by Bane Thralls. He heard of then but never saw one. As confusing as it was to think about how they got there he decided he would be better off seeing how they reacted to bullets. His quick assessment of the situation had the Stormblade engaged with 2 to 3 of them and another was flanking him. Jack put 3 holes the one flanking and it fell as the Dwarf took care of another on the right flank. Jack smiled, cards and a fight, this place was picking up he was impressed with these new guys but was saddened to thing that he was using his skills for not pay. He would have to remedy that and soon. The solder was living up to the talk of Stormblades as he released the stored energy in his sword and lit up another Thrall. Jack fired another and the Dwarf cast what Jack thought was a protective spell but could make out these new runes. Before long, five Thralls lay on the cold ground as a cold breeze passed over the area. All eyes were looking at them to have answers but the three heroes were at loss.

Jack found what he was after shortly after that nasty Thrall incident when Nolan, the dwarf, offered Jack a job working for his boss Marco the Stormeblade. Seems Marco did not take lightly the thought of Thralls and needed answers. To get answers it seemed Jack would have to go with the two heroes and poke around in the dark looking for more injured students. Jack hated the idea of conducting this would be rescue mission in the dark but couldn’t help going as the price was just right. For all their efforts they found nothing, good or bad. Jack, in good faith, told the others 3 gold would keep him employed for another day or two to conduct further investigations if they would have it. Marco agreed and thanked Jack. But Marco was troubled as he couldn’t figure why 6 students were out in the Dig at night alone with no Mercenary support. Before they settled down for the night Marco couldn’t help the nagging feeling there was more to this story. He spoke with Addlesmith and inquired why students would be out there at night. Addlesmith had his suspicions but thought it would be better to talk to the survivor; the hysterical girl. Addlesmith took Marco and his two companions to camp site of the University of Mercir lead by Professor Harusworth. There they met and questioned the girl and it was discovered that the unfortunate students were directed by Professor Harusworth to work the Dig at night. From what the girl could recall the thralls were in that area in the ground and were “woken” for lack of a better word by the students as they worked near them. Marco decided the 5 deaths lay at Harusworth feet. He felt the loss of the students could have been prevented if not for Harusworth’s bad decision. And as Marco confronted the man he was not surprised to discover Harusworth was a contemptuous ass who didn’t care for anything but his own well-being. Harusworth and Marco exchanged words and Marco decided cooler heads would prevail in the morning.


The next day the three conducted a minor investigation of the events the night before and watched the team lead by Harusworth. Much to Marco’s dismay the day was uneventful as a storm quickly settled on the site. The heroes decided to wait out the storm in the main tent. As they spoke of the past 24 hours and played cards a harpoon smashed through the front of the tent and was even more suddenly retracted with great force ripping the front of the tent off revealing a small raiding party of Satyxis and Black Ogrun. Recognizing the this serious threat to lives of everyone in The Dig the three wasted no time taking the fight to these would be murders. They quickly engaged the attackers with Marco taking the lead. He engaged three Satyxis and nimbly deflected another harpoon shot. Nolan was quick to recognize his friend’s precarious situation and cast protective spells over him as he engaged another Satyxis with a spell. Jack let go with a barrage of bullets ripping the chest cavity of a Satyxis apart. As Marco served as a front line defender trading blows with the Saytxis Jack decided to make a move on one of the Black Ogrun before he could reload his harpoon gun. He quickly moved past the front Satyxis dodging blows and slid past by the two Ogrun taking advantage of the slippery terrain from the rainy weather. With the Black Orguns confused and off balance Jack blasted the Ogrun nearest him from behind and dropped him much to his comrade’s dismay. Taking advantage of the insane move by the gunfighter Marco and Nolan began to press the two Satryxis noticing Jack’s heroics put him in a bad way. The second Ogrun, recovered and enraged at the sight of his fallen brother in harms charged Jack with a fierce set of blows from a large cutlass. Jack was able to dodge and parry the main blow but was overcome by the raw fighting prowess of the orgrun and was cut across the arm. He was hurt but lived. As the Ogrun prepared to finish Jack, Nolan released a spell with a crack and flash of light as magic was released and the Ogrun dropped. Jack simply smiled; he was really starting to like these two, they paid well. Marco took out the last Satyxis as the scene ends with our heroes standing in the rain; cold, hurt and angry.



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