Anaflux

Northfen

Rest and recuperation?

Northfen, at the northern end of Dogger Fen, is the 4th largest city in the country of Anaflux. A stonewalled city with narrow winding streets. One great gate opens from the busy River Road and one gate open to the docks in the warehouse district. All of the trade to and from the north goes through Northfen. The Flux River at this point is below all the rapids and falls that make travel by boat nearly impossible to the north. There are barges, cargo rafts, and some small ships that brave the fens between Northfen and Anachor.
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For the three days that they were in Northfen, our troupe of misfits went about their own personal business while Adjett sought out a healer that he knew of. He was going to require a lot of rest to continue on his trip to Anachor. As promised, he paid each of his hires that came with him from Two Rivers one Gold Sovereign each and paid Hensel 5 Silver coins for his help. Not much was seen of Adjett for the remainder of the three days.

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Luppolt had been working on the suit of mail on the ride to Northfen, but he required working it on a proper forge to get the fitting done properly. When they reached the walled city – Luppolt was pleased to note that the residents were mostly humans. As Adjett needed rest to recover from his injury, Luppolt went into the market district and found a blacksmith’s shop. Alexar’s shop was more than adequate and he was happy to employ Luppolt to work the bellows and assist him with the smithing, in exchange for some pay and the use of the forge. Alexar was a decent smith and showed Luppolt how to fold and temper steel using a coke forge – it was quite different from using wood. It was faster, much hotter and used techniques that Luppolt was initially unfamiliar with. He spent most of the time at the bellows getting the coal up to temperature. Luppolt was covered in black soot by the end of the day. Part of his responsibilities were to clean up the shop and the dust from the coke that covered everything. Luppolt began wearing a damp handkerchief about his face as he spent the first night choking up black phlegm. By the third day Luppolt was pleased to note he had reinstated some calluses on the palms of his hands, his coin purse was a bit fuller and he had a form fitting suit of chainmail. It was quite heavy and slowed him down a bit. On the way out of town, he decided that he could not maneuver with all of his equipment so he left his crossbow on Adjett’s wagon and only employed his spear on his patrols. The other demis didn’t seem to use the time wisely – they were still wounded and smelled of booze… he would have to make up their slack most likely – typical thieves and wastrels. There was a choice of roads to take – the long route around the swamp or the route that was a few days shorter through the fen. Since they got paid daily – Luppolt was inclined to travel the long route, but the gnome was anxious to get to Anachor so in the end they took the more precarious route. Oh and who’s responsibility was it to scout ahead – yup you guessed it the human who worked harder than everyone else!

Northfen
 

On the second day they ran into the smell of the fen; rotting plant matter, fungus and stagnant water. The buzz of mosquitoes and the sucking sound of boots and the cart filled the otherwise silent swamp. Midday they came upon a dilapidated farm – or something of the sort. Rotten boards from walkways, shanties and docks were being encased with green moss and vines. Without warning arrows peppered the ground in front of them. Seeing a bandit duck back into an old shed the team advanced on him rapidly. Only to be surprised by more of the ruffians coming from behind other outbuildings. There was no talking to the thieves – they demanded money and were willing to exchange that for blood. Oh, and blood there was – the dwarf took an arrow in his side and was soon surrounded. Luppolt and the highwayman took cover in the shed and beat down the first assailant mercilessly until he stopped moving. Others advanced on the cart and the gnome surprised them all when he discharged a cannon hidden in the side of the wagon. The melee was over quickly, but with some serious wounds to the company. As they dragged the corpses of the bandits into the swamp the after thought of that action came to culmination – fresh meat in the swamp…

It wasn’t long before the blood in the air brought about the feeding frenzy. It was as if the swamp were alive – an evil and sentient being. The gators were well over 10 feet long – never had any of them seen animals attack with such aggression. Again Adjett fired another barrage from his cannon – but that did little to deter the beasts. Snapping and biting they tried to drag them down into the swamp. Again luck was on the side of the caravan guards and with spears, swords and pistols they belayed the hungry swamp creatures. Luppolt – knowing a bit about gators – tasty and good skin – asked the group to help him save the hides – which they hung on the side of the wagon to dry and butchered up enough meat to feed them for a couple days. When they finally emerged from the swamp – covered in bug bites, sore and tired the capital looked even more inviting. The high stonewalls and battlements, even the Flux river widened and looked cleaner and more pleasing. They needed rest and recovery – what will Anacor bring to this bedraggled crew?

Northfen
 

“Adjett what is this cannon you have in the wagon? Can you show me how it works? I could possibly help you load and fire it..”

Northfen
 

“Oh … THAT?”, Adjett said, patting the oversized blunderbuss mounted on the seat rail. “Just a portable blunder-cannon my brother made for me. The frame just sticks in one o those mountin’ holes on the side of the seat and yer ready for bear … or gator in this case. I had to use it once before in these swamps. Notice the engraved gator on the side? I just fill its mouth with cannon shot, then powder its behind. And when I set the powder off … the gator lost its mind.”

“An, if yer practicin’ yer memoirs, ya might wanna tell about the swamp walkers we ran inta. First time I ever saw one. As long as I been comin’ through these swamps I always thought them folklore.”

Northfen
 

Well again – seein’ the state of your arm I could help you load the thing, if you show me the basics of how it all works. In the militia we had training on cannons – very basic, Sintok didn’t have any of their own, but the captains thought it a good idea for us to know a thing or two and brought one around to acquaint us.

What do you know about Anachor? Did you need help in the city? Did you still need us or is our employ complete once we reach the gates?

Northfen
 

Adjett directed Hensel to drive the wagon across the bridge and through the gates of Anachor. He waved at the posted guards and exchanged some friendly words as they passed. It was obvious that he had been here many times before.

“I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little. I know when not to stick a nose too far out and I know that not all stone walls are around a city.” He laughed and continued, “I need to go further into the city to meet someone, but I’ll pay ya fer yer services and drop you at the Cock and Bull. There’ll be a couple days room and food paid for ya. I might need some guards on the way back north … or west. If I don’t show up by the third, it’s been … interrestin’ workin’ with you all.”
“By the way, not all us DEMI’S are bad as you believe. Ya might not want ta be hired by one again.”

Northfen
 

As the wagon’s wheels clacked on the cobblestone roads of the capital city, they approached a newly built Inn with a carved cock on top of its signage. The noise of the wagon clambered off the buildings flanking the street. Warm inviting light streamed out of the crown glass windows and the sounds of clinking glasses and merriment could be heard within. “We’ll hopefully see you in three days then.” Luppolt replied. “These demis… em err fellows could use the rest, I on the other hand wouldn’t mind exploring this fair city. Do you have any suggestions for brief employ or sights we shouldn’t miss while here? Perhaps you want me to fix up your pistol that misfired, or that cannon? You know me to be a capable trustworthy sort.”

Northfen
 

Walking into the Cock and Bull the smell of the food emanating from the kitchen created an audible rumble from Luppolt’s belly. Approaching the bar he elected a toothless grim from the proprietor as he sized up his new client. “Welcome to the Cock and Bull , I dare say you look and sound hungry my fine lad! What will it be? I have a Beef y-Stywyd and a Brawn en Peuerade tonight?” Luppolt licked his lips in hungry anticipation and replied: “Yes, that sounds good – I’ll take the lot.” This made the bald barkeep chuckle and he gave Luppolt a wink and set a scullery maid in motion to tell the cook. As Luppolt enjoyed a frothy ale and his first course of stewed beef ribs, he dug in con gusto! Through his slurps he attempted to elicit information from his new friend. “Tell me friend, where would one seek employ in this town? Seems I will be around for a few days. I am part of the militia from Sintok come down from Two Rivers – I’m a trained Smith as well, what is the news in these parts?”

Northfen
Gianca1

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