Hulgar’ Pass has apparently seen better days. Buildings have gone without maintenance and townsfolk shuffle along downtrodden. The Jolly Moose’s innkeeper, a stout old woman named Odelia Rit, confirms that it’s hard times up on the mountain. Goblins wolfriders are raiding further down-mountain than ever before, strange plumes of smoke foul the air, and most folks seem to have lost the fire in their belly. There is a rumor that the dormant volcano under the mountain is stirring. Chaska doesn’t believe this to be the case, as there are no accompanying tremors.
Our Heroes question if any strangers have been seen. Traffic through the town is common, and, through several lines of questioning, the existence of a volcanic research station at the peak is revealed. The station was built thirty years ago by the Haasenstadts and then abandoned. The PCs decide this is worth checking out.
GM’s note: I honestly can’t remember why they decided to head up the mountain, but that’s where the plot was, so it all worked out.
Odelia recommends a guide, an aged half-orc ranger named Old Sklar. He’s a gruff bastard, but no one knows these mountains better. The PCs meet Sklar and his badger companion. He is a gruff bastard, and they agree to set out in the morning.
Traveling up the mountain, the party notices they are being shadowed by the goblins and wolves. Sklar believes that they won’t attack since the PCs showed their strength earlier. Bill, at one point in the journey, sees Sklar off alone talking to a bird…
That night, Bill and Grimloc are on guard duty. Sklar vanishes and the party is attacked by skeletons. After defeating the undead, the group sets out to track Sklar. They run into the goblins, who wish to speak under a flag of truce. First, it’s clear that the worg are the brains of this partnership. The alpha worg tells the party that they’ve increased their raiding because of being pushed out of their normal hunting grounds by outlanders that have taken up at the old station. Noxious gases from the base has chased away game. The worgs and goblins agree to take the PCs to the research station if they help clear out the strangers.
Kothar chats up the pack leader, hoping to make an ally.
They reach the station, a squat stone structure mostly underground. Bill and Henry scout around, hoping to find a way to sneak in. The two city boys bumble through the woods and bump into two guards. There is a quick fight.
Hearing trouble, or just getting bored, the rest of the group storms the front door. They guards outside are killed and one in the entrance way is taken hostage. Henry and Bill return to the party, and sneaking around begins.
The guard, a young man with a strong sense of self preservation, is named Rulard. He tells them the base has about two dozen staff, most of them are not allowed on the two lower levels, are their boss is Tybalt Haasenstadt, a man that started creepy and only gotten worse.
Our Heroes hide out in the kitchen briefly, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boss. When this doesn’t pan out, Rulard leads them to Tybalt’s quarters, across the hall from the station’s chapel.
to be continued…