Earthwound

Interlude 1 - "Outrage on the River!"

Front page of The Clarion:

Outrage on the River as the King’s guards are most foully mishandl’d by riotous prisoners, and bloody mayhem done. As the historic ancient facility Scarwater Gaol is destroy’d, and its fell crop of murderers and degenerates escap’d who had been lawfully interr’d within, calls have been made to the Court for harsh’st possible penalties to the anarchists responsible, and to call the King back from his inspection of the colonies. The Red Chapel has pledg’d support to the Watch in apprehension of the criminals. The Court has appeal’d to public mind’d citizens to turn in any which are found, and stern reproof is offer’d to those which harbour them. In extremis, the Court declar’d Limit’d State of Emergency in the King’s absence, and bestow’d powers extraordinary to the appoint’d judiciary, preferring summary execution or colonial deportation for offenders in order to manage the flood of sin. In other news, an large and frantic flock of verminous urd has caus’d mischief and property damage about the riverside, and a bounty is declared on urd ears of thrippence a pair.

The Cormorant, posted in secret through lower quarters of Akrea:

Daring escape and resounding victory against the decadent nobility and the liberation of countless political prisoners. A warning to the Fighters: already the Cormorant has heard of increas’d Tower Guard activity, with a series of brutal raids on likely Havens for the Liberat’d carried out in cover of gloom, with many summ’ry arrests and other brutal Suppressions. As we have all seen the Corruption of the Church, Court and Ministry knows no limit and in their hunger for further power they have increas’d usual inducements for Informants. Ware, Brothers, of who you trust! Remember only by standing together as one in firm resolve can we achieve our Noble Goals. Dissolution of the Temple! Surrender of the monarchy! And the construction of a New Goverment under principles of Liberty and Equality.

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Chapter 1, Part 4 - "Prison Break"

Stokefoot recalls a secondary key to the keep in the Scarwater Armoury, and the party sneaks through the Barracks and breaks in. Here they find better equipment, and uncover a secret cache of explosives – large enough to destroy the gaol and rigged with a remote detonator – a Final Solution option of the High Bailiff. Stokefoot quickly disables the remote, and the party reroutes it to a different control signal. Using some of the explosives to blast a way back through to the prison blocks, the general population gleefully follow their lead in gathering weapons from the armoury. When the High Bailiff announces the immediate hanging of an outspoken prisoner, the war hero Cawdle Loamsley, the party leads the prisoners in foiling the execution. With Loamsley to unite the other prisoners, the party abandons its brief allegiance to Mother Toad and instead mounts an all-out assault on the warders, seizing the docks from them. As the prisoners escape from the island on a captured prison barge, they activate Stokefoot’s second control signal, and watch gleefully as Scarwater Gaol is consumed in a massive blast of flame and dust.

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Chapter 1, Part 3 - "Dead End"

The party uses the sewers to bring Mother Toad back two guards as prisoners. While there, they realise her stealthy attempt to dose them with a highly addictive narcotic, but avoid an unnecessary confrontation. Mother Toad introduces them to another of her pawns, a service technician at the Gaol called Milton Stokefoot, and sets them the task of stealing the warder’s payroll from the High Bailiff’s strongroom. Stokefoot guides the party through a service tunnel to the base of the Bailiff’s Keep, only to find the entrance trapped. The party fends off deadly elyctric automatons and manages to disable the trap, but their way up into the keep is blocked.

(For more detail click here)

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Chapter 1, Part 2 - "Devil's bargain"

Wandering the stinking tunnels after their victory against the Goremule, the party stumbles upon a secret entrance into the cell of the grotesque and enormous dragonborn crime boss Mother Toad, who secretly operates her vicious cartel from here. She offers them a way out of the Gaol in return for service, and sends them to remove the minions of her enemy the High Bailiff. With no other options visible the party agrees, and engineers a prison riot on their return to the surface, using it as cover for a brutal surprise attack on loyalist guards.

(For more detail click here)

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Chapter 1, Part 1 - "Punishment detail"

After an initial attempt at escape fails, the party is set a punishment duty by the High Bailiff Mercyworth. They are sent into the sewers below the prison, supposedly to clear an infestation of vermin. As they explore, they instead find a gruesome aberrant beast has taken residence below the prison, a man-eating Goremule ogrefish. They fight the beast and, by cooperating, manage to bring the monster down.

(For more detail click here)

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Chapter 1 - Crucible

Souls of varied temperament, derivation and presumed transgression are interred in the infamous Scarwater Gaol of Akrea, which broods on a rocky crag in the middle of a waterfall, the perilous rapids themselves a surer confinement than the walls. Four are drawn together, seeking to resist the maniacal High Bailiff of the prison, their complementary abilities giving them strength as a group that no one of them could summon alone. Narrowly avoiding entanglement with a dangerous underworld figure operating in secret from the bowels of the Gaol, the group instigates a mass prison break by saving a war hero from execution. They find their way to freedom, and leave the ruined Gaol ablaze behind them.

(For more detail click here)

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Prologue

A small squad of Bukaran soldiers are sent to clear an infestation of vermin from a cave system near the settlement of Piarin. As they explore, the squad discovers not the vermin the expected, but a swarm of ashen zombies. A desperate fight begins in the caves – grasping grey hands met by blades and blazing fire.

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