The group thought it best to have Lord Valis and Orrin escort the surviving villagers to Irongate. Once the two had departed with the villagers the remaining group members discussed which location they should strike first. Castle Korg seemed like their closest and best option. It lay on the outskirts of Olegtown isolated from any watchful eyes.
They approached the Castle from a distance and stopped briefly to scout out the surroundings. It appeared that the castle itself was unfinished and the owners were utilizing slave labor to build the castle. People were shackled together as two headed giants with fiery whips struck them repeatedly. The castle was surrounded by a moat and the only passage across was a small makeshift bridge in the front. A patrol circled the outside of the castle at varying distances, it consisted of a number of Gnolls armed with various weaponry.
The group planned to let the patrol come close as they hid behind the CREST of the horizon. Once close, Willow would step out and garner their attention, and lure them over the crest for an ambush…. It didn’t exactly go that way. Willow stepped over the hill and waved at the gnolls. The gnolls immediately responded with three arrows, but before Willow could fall back behind the hill the Steel Vanguard began charging over the hill at the beasts. Glorious combat ensued that lasted quite some time. The Steel Vanguard strategically dispatched the gnolls one-by-one; however, the combat had not gone unnoticed from the castle and off in the distance the group could see large black hounds with green eyes charging their location. It wasn’t long before the Shadow Mastiffs joined the fight and all hell broke loose. The hounds very presence stirred fear in the hearts of a few group members. So much so, that Arahntu panicked, dropped her weapons, and began running off into the distance. Many would call that retreating like a coward, but I’m sure if you ask the alcoholic cavalier she’ll tell you that it was a “Strategic Withdrawal”.
Willow was shaken by the presence of the evil beasts, but somehow managed to keep her composure and begin destroying the creatures with her UBER HOLY BOW! Then something tragic (and sorta funny) happened. One of the evil creatures lunged at Rikimaru and bit off one of his arms at the elbow. No one knew a ninja could scream like that, but he was definitely feeling the loss of limb. Just then a fiery dog appeared that looked like he had come from the depths of hell! Although that creatures presence was intimidating as well, his presence was also short lived. The group instantly focused on the beast and slayed him. After they had destroyed the rest of the foul beasts, they gathered their strength and decided to make a full on charge of the castle.
Prince Brylynn was anxious to get to the castle and yelled “Shadow Powers Activate”. With that, a shadow casted over his figure and charged toward the castle with tremendous speed. The rest of the group tried to follow as fast as they could and even Arahntu had returned from her brief “Strategic Withdrawal” to join the charge. Rikimaru seperated from the group and decided to take an alternate route into the castle. He cast invisible and silence on himself and leapt across the moat in front of the castle. As he jumped across he felt as though he was breaching a barrier of negative energy and having his life force stripped away. When he made it to the otherside, he was almost completely drained and had felt as weak as he had the day he started being a ninja. The group was unaware of his situation but noticed a small ripple of light in front of the castle and the outline of a one-armed man for a brief moment. They knew that couldn’t be good.
The Prince was the first to cross the bridge into the castle. He was greeted by two large stone golems who delivered healthy blows to the resilient prince. Prince Brylynn stood his ground until the other vanguard members arrived. Durzo stepped into the castle, but before he could deliver any real damage, he fumbled and stunned himself. The group battled the golems as the rest of the enemies watched from a short distance. The enemies waiting to strike were two giant slave drivers, a group of gnolls, a man in a dark cloak, and another very intimidating man in a breast plate who seemed to call out orders. The Vanguard was uncertain why the group of enemies just waited and watched, perhaps because they thought the golems would be enough. Either way the golems were eventually destroyed and the bold Prince Brylynn charge the group of gnolls surrounding the man in the breastplate. It was at that moment the group realized why the enemies had not moved, because the Prince immediately fell into a hidden pit-trap full of poison tipped pikes. Prince Brylynn was shaken, but not stirred! He immediately knew what to do. Prince Brylynn pulled out a small obsidian figurine and said a small chant. The figurine grew into a large obsidian steed that he mounted and magically flew out of the pit trap.
Both group watched in awe, because no one had seen this magical horse before. The man in dark robes didn’t hesitate and tried to dispel the magical steed. At first the steed trembled a bit, but the steed brushed it off and continued to fly. The Prince laughed at the robed man’s futile attempts, gave him the middle finger of Torm, and then did an aerial charge at the man. Though when the Prince got in close, the robed man struck out at the horse with his staff. When he did, he critically wounded the magical steed and it disappeared. The Prince then fell prone in front of the Robed man and one of the slave driving two-headed giants. Just then Rikimaru, THE AMAZING ONE-ARMED NINJA, popped out of the shadows behind the man in robe and struck a blow from behind. Unfortunately, the strike wasn’t enough and Riki ended up getting struck down by the two enemies. Now the Prince laid prone and Riki laid prone and dying in front of the two enemies. Things did not look good and the remaining Vanguard members had to act fast. Willow planted her feet and aimed her bow at the one calling the shots, the man in the breast plate. She let loose the righteous power of Chauntea and struck the man down before he even had time to draw his sword. Meanwhile, Illyn and Arahntu fended of the small group of gnolls now charging at them. Illyn did his best to keep Riki and Brylynn alive with heals from a distance but it became difficult with the giant and robed man striking at the two. Willow turned the sights of Chauntea’s will over to the two evil beings standing over her Prince. She struck both of them down with her mighty bow! The remaining foes were easy and the group destroyed them with no problem.
They then began to search a few of the inner rooms of the castle. Many just seemed to be the living quarters of the enemies that we’re outside. They did, however, find a magical Lyre of Building which would explain how the castle was erected so quickly, before anyone could really take notice of the work. The group continued deeper into Castle Korg, no knowing what kind of evil awaits them next.