Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 332 posts
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 22:30
Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
The next morning dawns bitterly cold, with an icy wind that cuts right through layers of clothing, and chills metal armor until it seems likely to burn the skin. Snow collects in the alleys and roads of the city, easily outpacing the efforts to clear it away.

The party assembles in one of the training salles of the Deepdelve Guard. One of the most respected guard captains, Defender Wendt is there to meet you. He is a noted hero from a few wars, and after defending a position by himself for several minutes in one of the more important battles, has been awarded the rare honor of being named an official Dwarven Defender by the crown. As he speaks, it seems like there is a great deal of activity going on in the guard's barracks, but his attention never wavers, he seems to be concentrating on you alone.

"Good Morning. First off, I'd like to offer you my condolences for the loss of Theoseg. I met him briefly during his service, and he seemed like a good man, making good showing of himself despite the hand he was dealt. His loss hurts us all. Prince Khaz, I know your father says 'we're going to need every axe' like it's the most original proverb ever thought of, but I think it's Torag's own truth. From what's happened already, and what you've learned, I don't think we've seen the worst of this thing yet."

"But the sad truth is, the deepdelve guard isn't ready yet for this kind of engagement. In the initial days, we failed to realize exactly what was happening, and several of our officers and commanders were lost attempting to plumb the mine and find out what was wrong. They can't be easily replaced, and they were our best dwarves, not our worst. That's my problem, but I means I have to rely on you to keep doing what you've been doing for the foreseeable future. Which brings me to my first concern."

"You're not in the guard. And while the Prince-governor technically has the authority to place you under my command, that doesn't mean all of you are are cut out for the army life. That means two things as far as I'm concerned. First, I'm not asking you to assume or pretend any sort of military polish. I'll even tolerate a certain amount of disrespect, just so long as it doesn't amount to outright insubordination. Second, I'm not going to expect you to get things done exactly my way. I'm going to tell you what needs doing, but it'll be up to you to determine how it gets done. You've all got specialized skills, and I want you to use them for maximum effectiveness, and since you don't have time to teach me what that entails; you know better than I how to do that."


He looks you over to see if you have any major objections, then continues.

"First objective is the removal of this duergar Lord Thorne who has taken over Copperton. The settlement itself is of little strategic value, but the five hundred or so dwarves that live there are of paramount importance."

"You can't go back in the way you came out. They know they've lost a scouting party, and they'll find the carcass of that beast you described on the Deepdelve-Copperton road. Unless this Lord Thorne is an idiot, that way will be heavily fortified, possibly even blocked completely. I've no intention of throwing your lives away so foolishly."

"No, you'll need to go in a different way. As I see it, you have two other options. The first is to leave the city and cross the mountains to one of the surface entrances to Copperton. We discarded that option earlier because of the blizzard, but now that actually might be safer than a direct assault. You will know better than I if you can handle that, but I'm told that visibility today is under 20 feet, and the wind will suck the heat away from your body in about the time it takes to list the king's titles."

"The second option is the minecart tunnels. That's apparently how this Thorne bastard entered Copperton in the first place. We know that when the copper refinery was still in operation, there was a mine tunnel that ran from the main storage level of the mine to Copperton. There was another line that ran from the deeper reaches of the mine, where the raw copper ore was mined until the vein played out about a hundred and twenty years ago. We're betting that's how Thorne came up, which means he may not know as much about the storage line. You've already laid some of the groundwork for that by clearing out some of the administration level. The storage level is the next level down. If you can find the right line, it ought to take you right there."

He considers a moment, then adds "Oh! One last thing. With your permission, I'd like to turn over the gnomish gizmo you captured to the wizards of the Redflame Academy for further study. If anyone can make sense of whatever deviltry they're building, it's them."

"Any Questions?"

Khaz
 player, 175 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 23:08
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Khaz listened to the captain's words; some he liked, and some he did not.  This was neither the time nor the place for an argument, though, and so he remained silent at first, as the captain continued.  When the captain was through speaking, Khaz replied, "Defender Wendt, you have led a distinguished career, gloriously fighting in a number of wars, and earning the distinction of Dwarven Defender.  You have earned the respect and admiration of our people."

What disturbed Khaz, was that this was a captain of the guard, admitting he had not kept and trained the guard to be in readiness for the next war; this war.  "Of the two routes to Copperton, I would suggest the underground route through the minecart tunnels.  Abandoning the tunnels to venture into bad weather seems unwise.  If the enemy masses to come forth, there will be no one between here and there to intervene and report back.  No, going down seems to be the way to go."

They had gone down and risked their lives in this endeavor, with rewards promised, and able to acquire loot and treasure found within.  "I have no problem with the Academy borrowing the device to discern its capabilities."

"Questions?"
  He thought for the briefest moment before inquiring, "Defender, how long would you estimate it will take to bring the guard into readiness for this coming war?"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 333 posts
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 23:45
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Defender Wendt nods at the distinction Khaz draws about the gnomish device. "I'll make it clear to the Redflame Academy that you'll be wanting the device back in good condition."

He spends longer considering Khaz's second question. "We've two problems really. One is the loss of officers. We've promoted new officers from within, and brought some back out of retirement, but up and down through the ranks, everyone is now operating at above their experience level. They can fight now, but command response is sluggish, and inter-unit coordination is terrible. Until they've had a chance to shake out the kinks, I wouldn't want to go into battle with less than 3-to-1 odds, which it now sounds like we won't get."

"The second problem is lack of veterans and size. The few veterans we had were mostly transferred from the capital for training purposes. Since the mine played out, Deepdelve has been of much less strategic importance and the king has been slowly tapering down the forces stationed here for almost 200 years. Since the mountain makes a natural defense, and we no longer have stockpiles of gold, gems, and mithral here, a smaller force was deemed sufficient. The High Captain has been conscripting dwarves from the city as fast as we can absorb them into a training regimen, but..."

He shrugs.

"Bottom line, a week before the officers feel comfortable in their new position. Four weeks before the first batch of new recruits are trained to an acceptable standard. With the forces we have, we'll be able to mount a credible defense if there's an attack. But force projection will be a lot more difficult for the foreseeable future."
Klack Copperwise
 player, 314 posts
 Wizard/Druid
 HP 13/13
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 23:55
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Klack knew the value of silence and let Khaz speak. The man was in his environment, so why stop him. He was a bit concerned about the device, but not in the way Khaz was. After all, did they not bring it here for the Redflame Academy to examine and use for defense in the first place?
Abaxtar Quartermotte
 player, 139 posts
 Got a problem?
 I've got a musket.
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 02:34
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Abaxtar was glad that Khaz had expressed his preference for the underground route.  As much as the gnome missed open skies, he could do without snow drifts that could likely swallow him whole and blowing winds that could freeze him to the bone.  Of course, surviving the trip merely to deal with a settlement taken over by evil dwarves didn't exactly sound like the easiest thing in the world, but the gnome was confident that the dwarves wouldn't sent their prince to a certain doom.  Maybe risk doom, but certainly not certain doom.  Right?  The gunslinger gripped Bianca tighter, trying to project a feeling of certainty that he didn't quite feel.
Khaz
 player, 177 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 22:07
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
He had listened to the Defender politely and respectfully.  "A month before we are even close to trying to defend our home.  I do not know if we even have that much time, or whether what we will have in a month will be enough to be successful."

Khaz looked to the others, "We will need to do what we can to stall the plans of those below for a month, or more.  If everyone agrees, the minecart tunnels will be our route."

"Defender Wendt, do you know if any requests were sent to the capital for more reinforcements?  And if the king agreed to it, how long would it take for those reinforcements to get here?"

Esko Vladikov
 player, 139 posts
 Rogue
 HP: 7/10
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 22:28
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Esko almost smiled at the suggestion of using the mine cart tunnels. He nodded his approval of the plan and let the prince and the commander continue their discussion.
Abaxtar Quartermotte
 player, 141 posts
 Got a problem?
 I've got a musket.
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 14:14
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Following Esko's lead, Abaxtar nodded silently in response to Khaz, signaling his approval for the mine-cart route.
Barli Grandforge
 player, 117 posts
 Channels Left : 4
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 14:40
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Barli waited in silence Khaz seemed to have this well in hand.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 336 posts
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 17:40
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
Wendt looked troubled. "Messages have been sent. Magically, by bird, and by messenger. I have no doubt that the king would send reinforcements. What worries me is that there has been no reply. We do not even know if the messages are getting through."
Klack Copperwise
 player, 315 posts
 Wizard/Druid
 HP 13/13
Tue 7 Jul 2015
at 01:32
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
"That is bad news indeed. We must carry on as though no reinforcements are coming soon, and pray for the best. Let us go. The sooner we get going the sooner the more people we are likely to save."
Khaz
 player, 178 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Tue 7 Jul 2015
at 01:46
Re: Mission 2: The Salvation of Copperton
"Thank you, Defender Wendt."

"We should leave post haste."


If the others did not have reasons to wait, Khaz moved to return to the halls they had so recently evacuated.