Fort Mutska 0104

More of a trading outpost than a redoubt, the wooden palisades of Fort Mutska peek furtively above the waterline on a hundred hectare island at the fork where the Zamok feeds into the Alavil River. Fort Mutsa is the headquarters for a frontier trade company headed by two Riverfolk gentlemen, Fishbone & Opivy. Fort Mutska’s defensible island and the reputed gregariousness of Riverfolk make it a popular location for adventurers and myriad other outcasts for both repose and rumor-mongering.

Riverfolk or otherwise, all of the furriers, trappers and scouts of the Mutska Fork Collective (MFC) are equal partners, with Fishbone and Opivy calling all committee meetings. The MFC maintains Fort Muska as a demilitarized neutral ground for all kinds and have sought to make their frontier outpost indispensable as a way of forestalling otherwise disreputable trappers from taking Riverfolk pelts.

Nate Marcel ,  Otter , 2019

Nate Marcel, Otter, 2019

Kak Dela? (1d6)

1) Fishbone and Opivy are getting married! The fort is full of drunken well-wishers, both crashers and the invited. If any of the PCs are friends of F&O they are in the wedding party. Last-minute plans will be made as their invitations were lost in transit! F&O’s wedding guest gifts are generous and in some cases, miraculous. (If F&O are already married this result is an anniversary party or semi-regular romp).

2) Dozens of Alavil River-roaming traders have filled Fort Mutska to the brim. Rumors abound but are particularly prevalent and truthful with respect to 1) War 2) A rumored Peace 3) The Shadowlands 4) Faerie 5) A dungeon the PCs have delved. 6) A dungeon the PCs have not delved.

3) The faerie knight Laurel Snowthistle and their noble pig Blacksnout are present and are provisioning themselves for an expedition into The Gardens of Ynn. Laurel claims there’s a way through there to Faerie even for a Scáthsidhe like themselves. Fishbone is begging Laurel to stay or, failing that, to send scouts ahead to Ynn to help ensure their safe passage.

4) The “Crab-Men” upriver from here have declared some kind of holy war upon Fort Muska & it’s all anyone is talking about. Fishbone and Opivy are divided on whether to sue for peace, find allies against them or to send someone to take the fight to them. One of them would likely pay for any of these services.

5) A longship from Solneya and beyond has disgorged its wayfarers at Fort Mutska. The passengers are mostly 1) Utlanner mercenaries 2) Solneyan reinforcements bound for the Bone Campaign 3) The Vadim Caravan, trying their hand at river trade 4) A far-ranging Anadolan Empire [future link] expedition 5) war profiteers from Tolsk 6) Re-roll or other.

6) “The Three Brothers,” Lech, Chek & Rus, famed scouts and hunters, are at the fort. They are bored and are potentially available for hire. Lech is a uniquely unerring scout for all points north for many leagues, Chek similarly for the west & the youngest, Rus, for the locales east of here. Each are expensive but unusually willing to serve for less experienced adventurers.

Kyrgorod Keep - 0102

On a bluff overlooking an idle river, the ruined remnant of the Shadowland warlord who built this castle an age ago has been re-purposed by a company of Scáthsidhe (shadow fey) soldiers who call themselves the Raven Guard.

John Martin,  Moonlight - Chepstow Castle  (watercolour), 1815

John Martin, Moonlight - Chepstow Castle (watercolour), 1815

Kyrgorod Keep (Pop. 150) is badly dilapidated, most of its wooden interiors long since rotted away excepting the refurbished keep at the interior of the fortifications. Gaps in the crumbling battlements are filled perpetually by an undulant inky “smoke” which only the Scáthsidhe seem able to see through.

What’s Going On In Kyrgorod? (1d6)

1) The Shadowlands portal in the yard behind the keep has somehow changed and travel from here to there has become uncertain. The Raven Guard have tasked themselves as guardians to prevent umbral incursions but now find they are oft prevented from scouting those dark lands or joining their kin there.

2) 3d6+5 deserters from the Bone Campaign have drifted here from the camps at Ostrog. Captain Eithne (AE nyuh); Sca6, permits them to squat in the outer yard and has allowed some to escape punishment by emigrating to the Shadowlands - for a difficult fee or favor. Some have become desperate and are possibly for hire.

3) The faerie knight Laurel Snowthistle, and their noble pig Blacksnout have returned from the Shadowlands & have struck a great blow against Baron Krulak and his ghul regiments. Three nights of merry feasting by Cpt. Eithne (EN-yeh) and the Raven Guard are in progress.

4) The Vadim Caravan [future link] have ventured a detour from their usual circuit to provision the Scáthsidhe of Krygorod. The caravan leaders are in good spirits and have thrice their usual chance to have rare goods at hand. A re-roll is allowed for any fortunes told by their mediums.

5) Lt. Lohd Preben and 2d6+3 bear soldiers are quartering here until one of their 1d3+1 giant bee drones (stinger-less; produce memory honey) are recovered from injury. The billeting was agreed to and compensated, but there is a 1-in-3 chance of false pretense with Lieutenant Preben doing reconnaissance on behalf of another.

6) The Scáthsidhe tattoo artist Ciaran (KEE ur ahn) Nightshade is in camp. For a price, he can ink magical tattoos. Most are temporary, but he also knows The Final Sunset marking (Infravision but normal sight forever limited to 60’). Ciaran is prone to flattery.

Mimir's Head - 0101

A sylvan valley hides a shallow brook. Half-buried in the muck of the runnel lies the colossal form of Mimir’s Head.

Mimir’s Head nears nine feet ‘cross and weighs a thousand stone.

Odin left him ages past for some sin to atone.

His pallid skin and lolling tongue toll forgotten dread.

His haunted eyes weep anon and stain the waters red.

John Bauer,  Odin Speaks With Mimir’s Head For The Last Time  (illus.), 1911

John Bauer, Odin Speaks With Mimir’s Head For The Last Time (illus.), 1911

What’s on Mimir’s mind? (1d6)

“Stay awhile and listen.”

1) Gibbering madness. Mimir cast Contact Higher Plane and it went… poorly last time out. He’ll be himself in 1d6 weeks.

2) The 2d4 giant centipedes painfully feasting on his ever-regenerating flesh & the fey Branch Sisters not three leagues away who left them here to feed and grow plump with wisdom until they come to collect them. Or perhaps it was Baba Yaga who did this?

3) The faerie knight Laurel Snowthistle and their noble pig Blacksnout have not returned from the quest which Mimir bade them. Mimir senses they have run into trouble 1d6 chambers into a fell place 1d6 hexes from here in a random (1d6) direction.

4) The dreams of the dragon Vaithrax to which Mimir has unhappily become attuned. Mimir knows where Vaithrax is when the wurm sleeps and for how long they are likely to slumber. Mimir is vexed with bouts of useless greed until this bond is somehow broken.

5) The latest scheme of either a lich or Khoschei the Undying. Present company excluded, there are few who know of Mimir’s location. Mimir knows the hiding place of the lich’s/Koschei’s phylactery. If the latter, Khoschei’s goat Peony is nearby to ensure Khoschei knows when and whether this information is relayed, but it’s possible (2-in-6) Peony has wandered off for a bit.

6) Little to put into words for those whose lives are but a candle’s length. Mimir is thirsty for knowledge of the lands where he’s been abandoned & is predisposed (+ 2 reaction) towards those who might provide such.

Mimir cannot likely be slain nor moved, however much he might wish. He can cast Contact Higher Plane, Geas, and its reverse as a 14th level caster. If well-disposed, he might act as a sage with nine specialties including Ancient History, Dragons, & Northern Lands. Mimir knows the properties of most magical items created on this plane. If ill-disposed and/or poorly-treated, expect a Geas involving collecting some intelligence or artifact for him.

Inspiration for Mimir’s Head comes from John M. Stater’s NOD #6 (p35)