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(TFT) Thorsz adventure
In The Thorsz' Service
A Road, A Swamp, A Killing Ground (C) 1997 By Rick Smith
It is with some nervousness that you and your companions move into the hall. The Thorsz has been in a terrible mood for weeks and rumor is that some thing is about to happen. Captain Ayoch marches up to the podium and the mutters in the hall briefly increased in volume before subsiding. You barely hear a "... damned Ork" from somewhere as the Captain turns to the century.
"Men, as you know, we have been experiencing unusual losses at the borders to bandits." His heavily accented voice carries easily thru the large room. "Trade has virtually ceased especially thru the hills around Distaeff. It is the job of this century to reopen the road!" He points to a large wall map.
"Two thousand men would have trouble patrolling the area, so we have came up with a new plan. Dimholt, the palace architect has suggested putting a dam here, at the outlet of the swamp." His voice shows grudging respect. "With the majority of the valley flooded any hostiles in the area will have to stick to the high ground here, or escape thru Dannen pass into this plain which will serve as a killing ground." A faint smile. Then, "A fort and barracks will be built near the dam, which is a good central location for the century to be posted. We will maintain strong patrols in these areas which will control access to this half of the pass. If a large war party makes an appearance, then any of the patrols can retreat thru the woods above the road until supported by the 7th."
"The 350 men already in the region will stop escorting merchants until the dam is built and we have the region cleaned out. There is much work to be done. In several areas the road must be rebuilt on higher ground. And in THESE areas, it must be improved because it is too easy to ambush the road from the hills." He gestures on the map.
He stopped speaking and slowly looked over the room. "The century will be under the command of the local satrap, the Warlord Ahram t'Topeck. However. . .", a cruel smile touches his face, "Zennorre has requested Our Lord grant him the personal command of the 7th Century. This was approved and your Hundred Leader will act as an adjunct." There is an immediate stir and you are bumped from behind as people surge forward.
"What do' the Black Sneak wa' wi' us?" a burly fighter shouts. As an outraged Logent wades thru the crowd to the shouter, you strain to hear Ayoch's reply, "He didn't say... DIS-MISSED!"
The next two days are frantically spent as the Century prepares to move. You have no trouble getting permission from your Leader to spend a couple hours buying a little extra equipment and rations. You may buy anything that you can afford and are able to get on short notice.
Then you are marching. As you pass thru the productive land you feel pride over the strong rule of the Thorsz. No where else are the taxes so high per hectare. There are mutters that the 7th has not been given at least a decathon of wizards. But you have hear rumors of magic being unpredictable at the wilds. 'And in any case', you tell yourself, 'the sections are well leavened with our own martial wizards.'
As you move farther from the city, you see a few looking resentfully at the red robes leading the column. But none dare disturb the peace of the Thorsz. Others when they hear that the 7th is moving to clear a route thru to Distaeff, are far friendlier. Young men ( and shapely girls! ) especially, look up to the troops.
You stop in a little town for a day while logistics for the century are arranged. For the first time you see Zennorre. He's moving around in civilian clothing, going into bars, homes, and avoiding the troops he is supposed to be commanding. The w' Tallom brothers joke to all that will listen that: 'Zennorre doesn't work very hard for his pay!'. You do your best to avoid that pair of fools.
At last you reach the pass. The gloomy hills rise on all sides of you and already the workers are being assembled for the big earth dam. A self important Dwarf boasts that it will be completely stone lined with some new tricks for flood control.
Insect poison pastilles are selling for $250, while most make do with more standard smudges.
At last come orders. Your 'thon will go to the far side of the valley. You will guard a number of workers and help them build a palisade and small fort. When this base is constructed, you will provide protection while they rebuild the road and build two stone bridges across creeks running into the swamp from farther up the pass.
The 'thon moves out. Soon you are sloshing thru mud that freely runs over the 'road'. You fight the omni present Thorn Ferns, which try to rip the clothes from your body, the flesh from your skin. Twice the 'thon stops to rescue people that have found patches of sucking mud. Then you arrive...
This is the introduction to an article I wrote some time ago
for a now defunct TFT magazine. I was planning on turning it into
a programmed adventure 'to end programmed adventures', but I
should have learned to walk before trying to run. I never finished
writing and scrambling up all the paragraphs.
How ever I know the story well enough to GM the
adventure for you! Any one who would like to run a character
in the story I've sketched out above please write me privately
and I will discuss setting up a character for you. I will run the
combats here at home and simply summarize them in text paragraphs
in the regular email.
Talk to you all later, Rick
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