The Blistonia Conflict

Grisly Encounter in the Abandoned Miner's Office

“…there are things, beyond this mortal plane – objects of great power, and loathesome beings of such terrible visage as to strike an ordinary man or dwarf dead merely to behold them… I will venture to these places and conquer them all, tapping their power to increase my own, until no barrier remains to me in this universe – I will be like unto a god!”
Kiithugn Jeffar – Scrap of a partially destroyed letter bearing his seal, thought to be addressed to the Magi Council

Once fully recovered from their battle with the commandoes, squad 16 took stock of their situation: there was at least a day before reinforcements from the city could arrive, even at a forced march, and yet the townsfolk were mostly still unaccounted for – and according to one hysterical miner, possibly trapped underground in the mines, in grave danger. The next course of action for the squad seemed clear; to scout the mines, trying to find the townsfolk and provide succor if needed, whilst assessing whatever potential threats to the town and its people might stil remain.

With this in mind, the Squad commander ordered an advance to the main mine-entrance (where the main ejection of debris had come from, but now had stopped), and preparations be made to descend. During this brief interlude, Kuri’s finely tuned psionic senses alerted him to the presence of something powerful in Grokduul’s backpack, and felt whatever it was tugging at his mind – clearly a powerful artifact of some kind. Somewhat alarmed at this unexpected turn of events, Kuri all but demands that Grokduul turn out his pack to reveal what lies hidden inside. With some chagrin, Grokduul reveals the items he looted (and hid from his companions) after the skirmish with the goblins the previous day – two elongated diamond-shaped pylons of earthy-coloured stone or perhaps crystal, with tiny spikes protruding from them, and vibrating slightly.

His curiosity piqued, Kuri took the pylons from the dwarf – and immediately, his mind was flooded with a sea of knowledge, the entire memories of an ancient race (as it turns out, HIS race which had been a secret even to him until this very moment) spanning a collective racial memory of millenia. Kuri collapsed into a dead faint, and becoming hysterical with terror the halfling rogue also fell into a gibbering heap. After some minutes of tending to their comrades, the squad commander & Grokduul managed to revive and calm them both – however Kuri had clearly been transformed by his experience. He demonstrated his new found identity and mysterious power by transforming his body completely into the natural form of his race: that of a perfectly-proportioned humanoid, made completely of crystal. Although the commander was initially wary f this change in the squad specialist, Kuri was able to re-assure him of his continued benevolent intentions & loyalty – the commander was satisfied, for now. It may well take Grokduul somewhat longer to win back the trust of his companions after his deception, however.

As the squad made final preparations and discussed strategy for advancing down the Mine tunnel, suddenly the body of a Townsperson smashed through one of the windows of the nearby Mine Office building – a large building raised on stilts, used for administrative purposes of marshaling and tracking the activities or this large mine. The person fell badly, appearing to suffer a broken neck, and lying slumped and motionless on the ground. The squad was immediately on alert, and quickly entered the office, moving cautiously to sweep the structure for enemies or other townsfolk.

What they found was highly unsettling – the floor was virtually covered with a slurry of blood, bones & viscera. Clearly something awful had happened to several townsfolk, judging by the sheer amount of body-parts and gore spread throughout the structure. As the squad approached the rear of the office, advancing cautiously around piled desks, chairs and other debris, they found a hunched figure seemingly cowering in the shadows. Seeing its ghastly blood-stained visage, the squad struck without hesitation, knowing they had found the culprit for this horrifying scene. A brief but brutal combat ensued, the crouching beast unfolding itself to reveal a mutated monstrosity, spawned of some hellish other dimension. Despite lashing out with apalling and unnatural strength the creature could not withstand the combined might and military precision of the squad’s attacks and was quickly dispatched with, whereupon it disintegrated rapidly into a mess of blood & bone indisinguishable from the rest of the gore covering the floor.

Acting quickly, Kuri searched the crumbling filth in the hope of shedding some light on the origin and nature of the horrific monster, and was rewarded with the discovery inside the remains of a tiny golden artifact – a tainted golden star which revealed the source of both the corruption and of the monster itself – evidently one of the poor townfolk mutated into a beast from another dimension. Sickened and shaken by the horror they had witnessed, the Squad re-grouped outside.

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In the Ashes - Desperate Battle

The ash & smoke billowed and gusted, hanging ominously over all of Mining Town like an omen of impending doom. The roar of the flames and rushing wind was thunderous, as though the gods themselves were shouting with a battle fury to match that of the combatants who struggled mightily in the drifts of ash gathering below…
Donis the Bard – “Tales of adventure in Blistonia- 1st Ed.”

Beneath the roiling clouds of smoke and drifting ash, the Party was set upon by a squad of hardened Goblin commandoes – trained stone-cold killers. They emerged from the murk near-silently, gliding forward with deadly grace and efficiency.

Although initially caught unawares by this assault (and 1 man down, with Seven trapped in the damaged shack) The squad rallied and with firm resolve managed to face down their attackers. Grave wounds were sustained on both sides, with Grokduul nearly falling to a veritable rain of blows – but with valiant effort and no small amount of luck all but one of the attacking commandoes were vanquished, leaving the remaining warrior to flee into the murky shadows.

With no further attacks forthcoming, the squad took time to recover: resting, bandaging wounds and regaining their strength for whatever they would need to face next, until the expected reinforcements could arrive. In this brief interlude Seven finally managed to free himself from the damaged shack and make it to the rendezvous.

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Mining Town

“…Tommy you OK? He sure slapped you praddy hard. You can tail green soldyars when you see ‘em, behayvin’ all rash and bawsy like that. Ah guess they were praddy shook up too – even I never seen a shaft go up like that before. It was a close call, eh buddy? Here, drink this, it’ll makea ya feel beddah. Gee, I sure hope those guards get us some help. Wait – didchoo hear somethin’? Tommy ol’ pal, shoosh now, I think someone’s coming.” – Derek and Tommy, in Mining town at their final moments

Our adventurers pushed on at sunrise. Kuri lead them to a rise where they could see Mining Town only a few kilometers away, on this clear hot day. The industrial smoke from the ore smelters and refineries clearly pinpointed their intermediate destination before resupplying and moving on to the river, where they would relieve the squad stationed there at the mill.

A few kilometers further on, the squad become increasingly alarmed at the persistence and sheer volume of the smoke over the settlement. Whilst none of them have been out so far as this from the capital, none have ever seen so much pollution and the stories that reach bars and ears never tell of how the sky becomes so obscured.

When they make the next rise only minutes from the first buildings that make up the settlement known as Mining Town, they realise that they can hear the thrum of the industrial fires, far too loud for the distance they are at. They break into a double time march and arrive to a deserted town center. The trading post in the center of town is shut up and locked tight – the silos have no activity, and the supply stocks are unmanned. Where is everyone in town? Kuri decides to split the squad – Seven and Tevach to head north in search of citizens, Kuri and Grokduul to make their way south with the same objective. The plan is to hook around and rendezvous at the West entry to town.

Grokduul and Kuri weave between the hovels and shacks, until they heard voices – and make a line straight for them. They come to a clearing where they have site to a mine entrance, and two miners having a heated one sided argument outside. As the guards head towards them, the miners break into a run, clearly away from the mine entrance itself. The guards move to engage but then an earshattering blast fills the air and the mine entrance spews forth fire, smoke and debris in a jet over their heads, littering the town with projectiles and desmembered miners.

Grokduul and Kuri reach the two miners, who are in a state of shock. After ascertaining that the town is under attack, the guards leave them to recuperate in the shelter, and head to the rendezvous point.

Seven and Tevach encounter an injured Human – shot in the chest with an arrow. Before Seven can get much more out of him than a few deluded sentences, rocks, shovels and other tools, and high-speed detritus preceeded by an immense explosion begin to rain down upon them. Seven hefts the man in his arms, and vaults towards a small house. As he enters the building a great slab of rock cannon balls into the building, trapping him inside. Tevach , seeing the warforged run into a house which promptly got demolished by a tonne of stone, intelligently hides beneath the sturdiest construct he can and waits for the worst to be over.

Squad 16 meet at the rendezvous west of town and, after dispatching all but one of a group of elite commandos operating in the area, recommune with Seven to discuss their latest attempt to communicate with headquarters. Kuri was interrupted in his telepathic ritual, and the message from HQ was cut short. With no more ingredients on hand and a desperate situation unfolding – 280 citizens of the town missing, as well as at least 5 of Blistonia’s finest, how will they proceed?

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The West Road

“…They say all kinds of things when you head out west. Mostly it’s just sand and more sand. Occasionally you get the odd stone or two, but as long as you stick to the road it’s alright. What no-one talks about is the mosquitoes. Those buggers will keep you up all night unless you cover yourself up right. Take him for instance, he’s too green to get it right on the first night; he’ll be flagging on the march by noon, don’t you just see if I’m right…” - Veteran guard, on the march out on the West Road

Squad 16 set out straight from the barracks that morning and passed through the gates of Blistonia Capital to the West road. The wastes stretched out beyond them for miles, and they knew the 4 day walk ahead would be anything but interesting.

On the morning of the second day they encountered a strange party in the fog – creatures that did not identify themselves and scampered from sight at the sound of the approaching guards. Keeping in mind their mission, they pressed on without searching for any nearby camp or settlement; nothing could live this far out in the wastes anyway. That night Kuri and Fiona sparred for a mild claim to close combat prowess (Both of them knew that the claim was only of intellectual value – Fiona’s strength laid in aiding others, and Kuri was a specialist in psychic combat, so the true titles belonged to the Drawves). A host of green skinned creatures ambushed them as all eyes turned towards the two sparring guards.

Despite being tired out from the hand to hand combat, once the ambushing host identified themselves as aggressive (the battle cries and frenzied charge did much to clarify that) Squad 16 effectively dispatched the greenskin crew in it’s entirety. Kuri performed a detailed surgical dissection and reported back to command via telepathy that there had been an unexpected encounter on the West Road, 5 hours march from Mining Town.

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Basic Training

“…she slayed them all, her hammer was the deadly projection of power itself. Aye, I was there! The last one didn’t even have time to blink before she smashed him into a rain of blood. You’ve never seen anything like it! 150 pounds of man, turned into a puddle, aye! And I swear, not a drop so much as touched her…” - Drunkard, regaling the tavern on the execution

Fiona the Cleric, Grokduul the Paladin, Tevach the Rogue, and [Tess’s Char] were conscripted in to the Blistonian military by annual draft. They are all initiates of Squad 16. They were assigned the Psyker Kuri as communications and intelligence adviser.

Their staff sergeant took them to the initiation grounds where the 5 soldiers ruthlessly executed the state’s prisoners as a test of mettle. After cleanup the humans and dwarves went to the tavern looking to relax. Grokduul demonstrated his drinking problem, Tevach his insecurities, Fiona her brawlish nature, and [Tess’s Barbarian] her right hook.

The next morning Squad 16 were up at dawn. They were formally introduced to their Utility attachment, Seven, a recommissioned Warforged left over from the war. The mission was to replace a regiment of troops stationed at the lumber mill, just over 4 days hard march from Blistonia Capital.

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