the Fifth Age of Ert

The Sacking of Kansas City
2014 Campaign in the New World

It begins immediately after the sacking of Kansas City. An important frontier town in the Wild East. For the last two hundred years, thanks to divide and conquer tactics, plus the Musket; the New World is being taken from the Orcs.

Orcs are powerful fighters, hunters and warriors… but they are tribal. They war against each other. And Man has been using this against them.

But now there is an Orcish Hero uniting the clans. And the Party is a misfit irregular unit drafted into the Missouri Civil Defense Force given the task of investigating this Hero. Who is he? Where did he come from? Can he be defeated? What is his plans? What dark powers are behind him?

The Party must adventure deep behind enemy lines to unravel this mystery…

We've Enlisted, Sir!

Let’s take a quick look at our Heroes.

First off we have a highly education British Arm’s Master, recently recruited from the British Army to the Eastern Americas to help with training. But when the attack happen, he was the solo survivor of a brutal massacre. He enlisted in the cause.

Another military man is the Longbowman. He was serving on the Frontier and his Company was ambushed before the Sacking of Kansas City. With most of his Company destroyed, he barely survived and was resigned into Andersen’s Company.

There is the traveling Gunfighter, who died in the attack. But when they went to bury him, they found that he was barely ticking. He had lost everything and began the running in the infirmary near death.

Then there was the noble Confederate Duelist. His rich and powerful family urged him to flee justice when he killed another man in a duel. Escaping to the frontier only to arrive on the day of the War. He too enlisted.

This is the party…. There are also a Bandit and a Mystic reserved by players we hope will make it next week.

Recap 1

The Adventure begins days after two-thirds of the city was destroyed in the assault. A makeshift military camp was created. Men of military age and constitutions were signing up. Those not enlisting were being drafted on the spot.

Each Hero was resigned from the general army into Major Andersen division. Andersen is a career supply officer with no field experience, who has been given the important task of investigating the recent events.

Orcs are tribal. What is uniting them? Orcs value treaties. What is causing them to break them? Orcs don’t traditionally attack major fortresses. Why attack Kansas? Finding the answers to this and many other questions is their mission.

Their first assignment was to travel to the small frontier town of Junction City, Kansas. There lives a Magician who broker the deal with the Shawee Orcs that created the Kansas Territories. He is considered an expert on the Orcs and should have answers to many questions.

But for the party, who were all newly enlisted Privates, it just meant a lot of marching and following orders. So they marched. They followed orders…

After getting out of the immediate war zone, much of their travel was easy. The Company then discovered some Orc Dogs and later an encampment of Shawee Orcs. Scouting showed the encampment to be of at least fifty Orcs strong. And they were in warpaint. The threat of annihilation by the Orcs prevented the Company from continuing down the road.

This is when the Heroes learned that Major Andersen was not a decisive leader. They approached Anderson with their own plans. After rejecting a few, they decided to try to sneak pass the Orcs. If things went bad they would retreat into a nearby Forest.

With the Heroes in the Vanguard, things didn’t go quite as planned. They did manage to sneak pass the Orcs but some of their Dogs did detect them. The Heroes fought the Dogs and were victorious. But one of the Dogs escaped with an arrow in his back.

They are pursued for a bit by the Orcs. But nothing came of it.

They also came across a small camp of Nearmen Gypsies. The Gypsies wanted to trade good and services to the Company. After talking to them for a bit, the Heroes got a bad vibe from the little thieves. The Gypsies tried to surround them and pick their pockets. The Heroes got out with only a few minor items stolen.

They then reached Junction City, which had been destroyed. And the Magician was killed by the Orcs weeks ago. Searching the ruins of the Magican’s Manor, they discovered a Magical Fortified door to his study. After getting permission to use the Companies dynamite they succeeded in getting though the door.

In the underground study, they found some valuables along with the Magician’s personal journals. They hoped these tombs would give some insight into the Orcs.

Then the Longbowman found a cell with a mysterious Stickman creature. It was strong and tossed the Heroes around for a bit, even breaking the Duelist nose. The Monster tried to escape, but the combine might of the party brought it down.

This was the ending point for the night… with the party wondering if they would find any answers in the Magician’s journals.

Deciphering the Journals

These Journals are a total mess. In fact, it will take some rolls to make any sense of it. But since I want you guys to have this information during the week, we’ll make rolls next time. They are full of incomplete ideas, tangents, bad grammar and spelling. Plus he has terrible handwriting.

There are five books: One focus on his time with the Orcs as a child, the second and third on Magic study, the Fourth on the Treaty of Kansas and he last is new, incomplete and focuses on current events.

The last book is the first one that you are focusing on at the moment. It is frustratingly slow read. Here is what you can gather from reading it. The ideas in the book are all over the place.

The Characters….

Alex Himmer is the Magician that wrote the Journals and brokered the Treaty of Kansas.

Black Kettle is one of the True Orcs. You are not sure what this is but it seems like there is a level of respected Orc Champions above the Tribes. Black Kettle is the Orc that Alex negotiated the Treaty of Kansas with and convinces Screaming Horse to agree upon.

Screaming Horse is the Chieftain of the Shawee. He did not want peace.

Angry Cricket is the daughter of Black Kettle.

Destro is a local criminal arms dealer. He is a Human that makes his living selling contrabands to Orcs and other Monsters. Alex suspects that he gets many of his arms from Doctor Morrison.

Doctor Morrison is a respected Nashville Politician, Businessman and Mage. Alex has for a long time suspected him as being a Sorcerer and behind a lot of evil in the region. He felt that Morrison did just about everything possible to hinder the signing of the Treaty of Kansas and profits from the Wars against the Orcs.

James Livingstone is the apprentice of Alex Himmer. He is less known and lives in Brooklin.

The Treaty of Kansas opened up the Kansas Territory to the humans. One of the largest and sweeping Peace Treaties with the Orcs.

SkinWalkers are a Monster from the State of Vermont. They are large insect Monster that wear the skin of others. They were the bane of Vermont in the early days but now have been pushed back into the deeper Forest.

The Story as you can put together.

Destro sells Screaming Horse a shipment of Rifles. In the shipment was a SkinWalker of unusual size. It tried but fails to kill Screaming Horse. Angry Cricket convinces Destro to give the SkinWalker to her.

She brings it to Alex to investigate. He finds that it had several “modification” to it and therefore “smelt” of Warlock Magic (Warlocks being the Mages of Monsters). But it also had several mental controls, which is the Magic of Sorcerers. Warlocks and Sorcerers are ancient enemies.

He suspects that Doctor Morrison somehow was behind it. However, it seems that Alex think the Doctor is behind a lot of things…

Alex telegraphs James Livingstone sending him to the Vermont area to gather more information about the SkinWalkers. And look for any evidence of Sorcery or Walock Magic.

Meanwhile, for reasons not clear, Black Kettle was afraid of The Others and retreated to Canada. This section is very messy but seems to be of great concern to Alex. It has something to do with The Others.

Angry Cricket asks Alex to go to Canada and free Black Kettle. Angry Cricket tells him that if he could talk to Black Kettle all would be explained. Alex agrees to help his old friend. He asked Angry Cricket to give him a few days. She agrees to give him a week.

Alex readies to go when there is a report of a large Warparty of Orcs were moving in from the South East.

July 16th, 1867 is the last post. Alex decided to ride out to Screaming Horse to find out what is happening.

New Players: 4 + 3 = 7

Welcome our three new players as our story continues.

The party add an Artificer to the group. This is a Hero that trained to become a Mage but failed to reach her goals. She does know the most basic of Magic, known as Low Magic (or Common Magic). Otherwise, she has train in combat and has made her profession in the buying and selling of magic items.

She is an Amazon, a woman that has taken an oath of honor. Because of this she has gain all rights of citizenship. The Amazon was deathly ill when the attack happen and missed most of the sacking, while in the hospital. Some of her family survived, but her business was destroyed and many of her extended family died.

Then there is the likable Cowboy, a true frontiersman. He makes his living on the plains herding cattle. Trained with both sword and musket, he fights best in the open plains where he knows the territory and can use it as a weapon.

He happen to be in town and was in the mix of things. He stopped looters and then found himself in the middle of the Battle of the Docks. Although the defense fell, he was a Hero of that fight. Because of this he is already 2nd level at the start of the running.

Lastly, there is the Spanish Friar. A self taught catholic cleric. He is an old fashion Axe and Shield man who knows some of the secrets of the Angelic Order. Including the power of Healing.

He was doing business in the States from the Spanish Missions of California when the attack happened. He was drafted into the Army and now is one of the most trusted men with the fate of the Eastern States.

These new Heroes were welcomed in to the Party by the Arms Master, Duelist, Longbowman and Gunslinger.

Recap 2

The Heroes are still Privates in the Missouri Defense Force and have made their way to Junction City, Kansas. This small town is in ruins after a recent Orc attack.

After dealing with the Major, the party turns over the journals and show him Alex’s study. The Company proceeds to inventory the study.

The next day, the party learns of Orcs nearby at the nearby Orcish Sacred Grounds. They travel there feeling protected by the Orc’s custom of peace at these grounds. The Friar immediately points out that the Orcs themselves have violated the peace when they discover the tortured remains of Alex Himmer. This was the Mage the party came out here to interview.

They meet Angry Cricket, an Orc “princess”. They try to get information from here but she is a broke record. Only her father, Black Kettle could give them the information they want. She tells them that Black Kettle is an “Honored” guess of Red Cloud of the Mohawk Orcs in Western Canada. And that the party should bring their questions to Black Kettle.

The big problem is that he is at least 2-3 months away.

Some of the Heroes then take part of a Vision Quest and camp over night. In the morning, they are awoken by Red Horse, son of Screaming Horse the leader of the Shawee Orcs. Red Horse tells the Heroes that they are all his prisoners and that they must spend the rest of the war at Junction City or die. He then leave, but not before Red Horse noticed the Artificer had taken his Axe from the body of Mr. Himmer. A personal insult to the proud Orc leader.

They returned to the town and reported the threat. While readying for the upcoming battle, the Friar gave an passionate speech that motivated the town to attack the Orcs. The Party takes point in the attack as ordered. The 140 humans march at the 80 Orc in their encampment. They hope that this attack can break the Orcs and free the township.

But the battle was bad and bloody from the start. The Orcs hit the party fast and hard. The Heroes barely escaped with their lives, some bleeding bad. A few more moments of combat would have been annihilation. The reserves protect their retreat but it is soon realized that a direct assault was out of the question.

After several days of skirmishes, the war of attrition was taking its tole. Orcs were starting to cross the river and get into their camp. Meanwhile, the leaders of city and army were openly arguing between each other further lowering morale. Things looked hopeless.

The Major then called in the Arms Master and Friar (plus the Cowboy) and ordered them to continue the mission on their own. He told them that in his opinion the mission, their true secret mission, was more important than anything else. Perhaps the most important role in saving the whole Free American States.

He promoted the Arm’s Master to Captain (a rank he held before in the British Army) and intrusted the Friar with all his information about the enemy. Including a secret letter that explains their true mission. He was told to share this with his inner circle and the two of them (plus the Cowboy who was there as witness) were to complete their mission.

They were also warned about the Duelist, who is a Confederate American. The Major long worried he was a spy of the enemy. An extra eye should be kept on him.

These three Heroes then including the rest of the party in the escape. The Longbowman had found a possible weakness in the Orcs patrols days before. They crossed the river at the dead of night and made their way into the forest.

They were discovered by some Orc Dogs. They killed the Dogs, but a half dozen Orcs chased them for days though the Forest. When they got out of the Forest, the knew they had to fight the Orcs.

When they found some high ground, they decided to make an ambush. And while it didn’t go perfectly, they did kill all the Orcs and Dogs without too much trouble.

We then wrapped for the night, with the party lost in the wilderness trying to make their way to Montreal Canada to find, talk to and possible free the only Orc that has the answers they need, Black Kettle.

Lets not forget we are all in the Military

Just a reminder and clarity in the party as it is right now. It is up to you guys to decide (or maybe just to the higher ranks) if you guys are going to be a more traditional Military unit. But in the eyes of the Missouri Civil Defense Force, this is the ranks of the Party.

Arm’s Master

People of the Angelic Faith are given a special rank. They are all to be treated as officers but they often do not have field command. So basically out of combat they are Officers but in combat situation they are just another Private (to a degree). They are in an advisory and support position.

Needs to be appointed ASAP. This should be decided soon by the Arm’s Master. He can either promote the Cowboy or someone else.

Cowboy (This is a rank he got coming in as the Hero of the Battle of the Docks)

Duelist, Longbowman, Artificer

Now it is really up to the party how they want to take this. They can all hold hands and be a democracy. I’m just telling you what is on paper and how the world sees you guys. After all you are all on records (including a photograph) before you set out.

All you enlistee signed up for six years (or the duration of the War) whichever comes first.
Draftee are for two years, but are often redrafted again and again.

It cost 30 gold to muster out of the Army.

Congrads to the new level two characters...

Not as much was done as I expected. But that is the nature of the larger group (and a lot of new players). We are now capped and I am not allowing any more to join us. So hopefully we will pick up some speed.

I updated the experience.

It sounds like we lost the Cowboy but he still has the most experience. He will still get a little each week just in case he returns. But it is not a lot of experience.

The Arms Master and Longbowman are both 2nd level. The Duelist had to “borrow” to make it to second level after buying a skill (he was short 5 experience points of 300 needed). Welcome all of you to your new place in the world.

The Friar and Artificer should level next session. The Gunslinger might depending if he has a good session. The Half-Breed and Squire are just too new to level next time.

New Players 7 - 1 = 6 + 2 = 8!

Joining the party was the Squire. Trained to be the fighting second to a Knight, he is one of the largest Rogues in the party. To the untrained eye he looks like a warrior.

As the Orcs overran the defenses of Junction City, he decided not to die in this lost cause. He ran into the woods and made his escape from certain death with the “help” of the Half-Breed Orc Scout.

The Squire was drafted into the Army after losing EVERYTHING in the sacking of Kansas City. Not only did he lose his newly acquired wealth and pregnant fiance but also nearly his life.

The other Hero that joined the party was the Half-Breed. This troubled being is a child of two different world and has been rejected by both. A skilled Ranger, the first person to trust him and give him respect was Major Anderson. But he is dead now. And his last order was for the Half-Orc to help the Arms Master complete his mission.

He made his escape though the Forest and tracked the party down. He brought with him the Squire.

Lastly, we learned that the Cowboy may not be a regular due to increase school pressure from the Real World. So he will be hangout in the background for a while. If things change he will be able to return but for now, his Hero will be left behind when the party finds town.

But these two new characters join our Military Operation that includes: the Arms Master, the Friar, the Duelist, the Gunslinger, the Longbowman and the Artificer.

Recap 3

The party made excellent time though the grasslands south, even though they didn’t not know where they were going. They were lost looking for Canada and the city of Montreal. They were still on the mission to find Black Kettle and question him with the hope that he could provide answers about the Orc’s aggression.

They reached a massive forest and then the Mississippi, so they knew they were on the right direction. Then they encountered a Foxwoman: a humanoid Fox. She offered to tell them the way to Montreal in exchange for an undefined favor. The Party passed on the offer and continued on their march south.

But after a few more day of travel though the wilderness and the first snows coming, they tracked back to the Foxwoman and took up her up on her offer. Her favors were simple chores of hunting, gathering and moving heavy object. After a few days of doing her deeds, she brought them to a hidden Orc cache. There they found Orcish supplies and several canoes.

With directions to the city with a name that made the Foxwoman laugh each time she said it, the party poled and paddle upstream in their canoes. They made excellent time.

As the reached the first of the great lakes, they discovered a family of Emerald Wymns. The Longbowman and Artificer both knew the value of their leather as it was often used in crafting magical armor. They convinced the party to attack, since the Longbowman is an excellent skinner. They killed the beast and made the leather they desired. But the Squire nearly died in the battle. If it wasn’t the the Faith Power of the Friar, he would surely have died.

While allowing the Squire to heal from the fight, the party is caught off guard by a Canadian Mountie patrol. Outnumbered, they were forced to yield to the Mounties becoming their “prisoners”. OK the modern concept of prisoners is too harsh of a word but in the Victorian Age of Honor, it was what they were. They were honor bound to come with the Mounties peacefully.

But after talking to the Mounties, they discovered they were on similar missions. The Mounties were trying to capture some criminal Mohawk Orcs in the same area the party was trying to free Black Kettle. The Mounties brought them to a group of Orcs they planed to Interrogate about the criminals (and Black Kettle).

While the Mounties entered the Mohawk Camp to find the Orc Prince, Big Fish, the Party was given the charge not letting any Orcs escape out the back. So they setup an ambush there and waited.

It wasn’t long for things to turn bad as the Party heard fighting in the camp. They discovered Big Fish being dragged off by an Orc Warlock they would learn was Fighting Pig. The party jumped them and killed the Orc guards. But Fighting Pig used his magic to put the hurt on the Longbowman. He was then facing too many and taking serious damage. He escape into the woods and used Magic to evade his pursuers.

The Duelist tied up Big Fish despite his protest and threats of war. The Mounties came along and interrogated Big Fish by getting him drunk. They learned the location of Black Kettle, who is being held in the Temple of Itzumna (the Mayan Sky-God). The Mayans were the dominate force on this continent during the Second Age before the Orcs were created by Grumin and killed them all.

Anyhow, the Mounties were after their Orcs so the party split from them with the promise to reuniting after the mission. Also they promised to interrogate Black Kettle with them so the two camps can share information.

Armed with a Map of the major encampments of the Orcs (there are hundreds here) the Party made their way to the Temple. The front door had 50 Orcs camping outside, but there was an obvious way around then. The Arms Master scaled a wall to a balcony and lowered a rope the the party to climb.

Inside the temple, they found themselves in a Trophy room filled with valuable weapons and armor. The Party was grabbing items (with the Artificer finding the greatest item in the place) when they heard a noise…

We ended the night there and will pick up next week…. In the Halls of an Ancient Mayan Temple that is surround by Orcs as they search to free the Prisoner Orc, Black Kettle.


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