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Return to Argyre
From the third round of island explorations.
18 November, 24 CLE—Braum, Anivia, and Lissandra led an expedition last week to Argyre, a mountainous and snowy island inhabited by several tribes of yordles organized in a loose confederation. The coasts of Argyre were packed with rather unhappy-looking yordles, who explained that they had been forced away by the terrible aggression of the rogue Nuubahk tribe. It seemed that these yordles built their civilization around a Mothership-like object known as “Lanpoa”, with the various tribes engaging in play-wrestling and vigorous but generally nonlethal combat to determine territorial control, with the land closest to Lanpoa being deemed most valuable. These Nuubahks had become greedy and arrogant after unprecedented years of dominance, the exiled yordles said, and recently (around the time of the Valoranians’ arrival) had been mutated into enormous monstrous form. The yordles attributed this to a curse placed on them by Lanpoa, as punishment for their great naughtiness.
Winning these yordles over by the provision of tasty snacks and Braum’s general Braumishness, the Freljord’s party went to investigate. They found huge “mega-yordles”, similar in appearance to Gnar’s “Mega Gnar” form, rampaging around what looked to be a smaller version of the Mothership. Their offer of snacks and their attempts at communication were rebuffed, and the situation soon turned violent.
In the resulting battle, the Champion of the mega-yordles, Thwok-Thwok, managed to smash the Monsku automata like cheap toys. They will require repair, but their sacrifice allowed the Freljordians to hold their formation. Thwock-Thwock’s charge, which surely would have ended in death and dismemberment, was intercepted by Braum. The titan-yordle was soon tied up at the hands of this Freljordian muscle-man, and the smaller yordles enforced the most dire penalty known to yordlekind: the dreaded Time-Out (With Juicebox), a punishment so great the yordles do not even dare speak of it in jest to their children. (“What about Time-Out Without Juicebox?” Anivia had asked. The yordles were perplexed and horrified at what is apparently a thought so shocking as to be ungrammatical.)
Although the Freljord managed to drive away the mega-yordles and reclaim Lanpoa, they were unable to make “ears or tails” (to borrow a yordlish expression) of the device. They have decided to send a second expedition.
As the Freljordians reveled in a feast amongst the yordles to celebrate the success of their last expedition on Argyre, their scouts quietly returned, bringing new information regarding the True Ice they had sensed at the far side of the island. They also carried the bodies of several fallen comrades, casualties of the expedition. A somber mood quickly fell over the feast.
Braum gingerly worked his way out from under a dogpile of several dozen yordles, who had been trying to re-create the one-on-one duel with Thwock-Thwock as part of the festivities.
“What happened, my friends?”
These Avarosan scouts were elites, and accustomed from birth to this type of icy terrain. Others might have perished in mere accidents, but these scouts could only have met their ends in combat with deadly foes.
“Th-they came from out of the ground.” The leader of the scouts reported, barely able to stand. His right arm had been badly gouged, bound to his side in a blood-caked sling. Scratches covered his body, one eye swollen shut from a cut that had nearly taken his vision. “H-hundreds of them! H-hundreds!”
The man was obviously in shock. Calling for warm food for all the scouts, Braum signaled for healers to begin treating the survivors. The bodies of the fallen scouts were gathered at the shore upon ice barges forged by Anivia and Lissandra, the celebratory feast turning into a somber send-off as every Freljordian gathered to witness the barges drift out upon the waves, the funeral pyres bright upon the dark ocean.
The next morning, Braum, Anivia, and Lissandra met with the scouts again. Though their sleep had been fitful, the healers’ attentions had done much to mend their wounds.
The Avarosan scout from the day before, his bloody wounds reduced to thin scars, spoke once more.
“I spoke foolishly in my weakness, and in grief forgot my duty. May our Queen forgive me, when I have through battle atoned.”
He gave his report. They had already made an initial survey of the region, and after a brief rest struck out for the caves themselves, making note of any dangers or points of interest encountered along the way, for the benefit of the main force that would follow.
At first, they discovered little within the frozen wasteland that surrounded the caves. The air grew colder the closer they drew to the cave-mouth; the lone Summoner within the party, Tanadon, took this as confirmation that the caves held large quantities of True Ice, which he theorized might generate such a chill in conjunction with Nyroth’s peculiar arcane foundations.
They were only a mile or so from the caves when disaster struck. The snow shook beneath their feet, and before they knew what was happening a swarm of white-furred yordle-like creatures burst out from below. Their weapons proved of little use against foes so numerous, so small, and so agile; each time they struck out with their blades, their return swings brought several of the fierce creatures clinging to their arms, biting and clawing. Thinking quickly, Summoner Tanadon struck several of the creatures dead with a fiery Smite spell. Startled by the brilliant flash and the wave of intense heat, the others shrank back. The scouts were able to use this momentary respite to escape from the furry melee, carrying their wounded over their shoulders and running as fast as they could. By the time they returned to camp, five warriors had succumbed to injury, their skin shredded by a hundred razor claws.
“The Summoner’s skill was all that saved us. We made no attempt at a second approach; our duty demanded that we return with news of what we had found.”
Lissandra seemed puzzled. “Did you say they were…yordles?”
“They were yordles, milady. Clearly, they were.” The scout leader replied, a dark look flashing across his eyes as he recalled their appearance. “Yet, they were unlike any yordles I had seen. Their fur was white, their eyes red, and they had long ears, like those of a rabbit. And tails. Little tails, fluffy like pulled cotton.”
“Anything else, my friend?” Braum asked.
“They were screaming something the whole time.” The scout leader said. “It sounded like ‘crystor’, repeated over and over.”
“I see. Have a good rest and a glass of goat’s milk. Make it a tall one.”
When the scout leader had gone, the three Champions stood alone, and spoke in hushed tones. There was more to this island than they had realized.
The Freljord has the following relevant traits and assets.
- Military: 32 (strong)
- Research: 50 (average)
- Espionage: 30 (weak)
The Freljord may choose to leave this one to its Summoners, or send Champions to lead the expedition. Each Champion sent on such an adventure has about a 10% chance of “going MIA” and being unavailable in matches for one week. (This may represent injury, or the Champion becoming fixated on an important quest, or something else.) However, deploying Champions in this way significantly increases odds of success.
The Freljord can decide to send another expedition to the caves, or take another try at ascertaining what’s going on with Lanpoa. The former would likely be more of a Military challenge, while the latter would be more about Research. Both would be of Major difficulty. The yordles certainly seem happy with the present situation, but the Freljord’s Summoners wonder if whatever mutated the Nuubahk into aggressive mega-yordles might also affect these yordles in time. On the other hand, the True Ice would be valuable to the Freljord.
The Freljord could also ask for help from Ionia: perhaps Kennen would be able to shed some light on the Lanpoa situation. Of course, there’s a chance that Ionia will choose to betray(ordle) the Freljord.
Meanwhile, Bilgewater seems to be exploring an island of dinosaurs and dragons. The Freljord could offer some assistance there, perhaps helping to tame the dinosaurs, or providing some protective ice magic to ward off the flames.
You can discuss this event on the forum. You probably want to keep it to the (“members only”) Freljord subforum. You’ll need to get registered on the forum for that.
- They will explore the caves in search of the True Ice, braving the tiny fuzzy yordles.
- They will send Anivia, Braum, and Lissandra.
- They refuse Ionia’s help.
- They will offer help to Bilgewater.
Armed with the knowledge of the white-furred yordles’ location, the main Freljordian force was able to avoid an ambush. They used some of Braum’s snacks to distract the murderous little fluffballs, and snuck past to the cave. Another swarm attacked just outside, but the wary Freljordians were on guard, and dispatched them with ease. The Frostguard discovered an immense store of True Ice within, apparently accumulated around a very small Lanpoa-like artifact. At Lissandra’s command, the Summoners gathered samples into enchanted chests for transport back to the mainland.
As for the artifact itself, it bore fragmented sigils that seemed to resonate with faded remnants of linguistic meaning. The Summoners’ magic yielded the echoes of a word: “Cry-Stor”. Though Lissandra wished to take it back to the Freljord for study, it seemed to be anchored in place by an extraordinarily strong energy field.
Next Update: Neritum