Way of the Wicked
06 - Sakkorat Fire-Axe
Chapter 6: Sakkorat Fire-Axe
The next morning after the ceremony we continued north and Captain Odenkirk seemed distracted although I chalked it up to anger at the loss of his crewman. Several days later he suggested stopping at Seal Island to resupply with water and take advantage of the time to hunt some of the apparently abundant sea creatures.
Dunn led the hunt and after several hours we managed to kill two of the great beasts. On our way back a pair of sea predators attacked our little ship but we beat them off without too much trouble.
Another couple of days later we spotted a small group of boats heading south and we took the opportunity to speak with them. They were Linnorm Tribesman heading south to trade ivory and whale fat. They had an impressive Narwhale Horn but refused to part with it even for all the extra iron we carried, mostly weapons and armor from the Cheliaxian Patrol Boat we defeated last week.
The leader of the Linnorm was an ambitious young chieftain named White Tusk and he appears eager to expand the influence of his tribe.
We continued north and the weather grew extremely sharp in the open boat. Happily The Master anticipated such an event and supplied us with excellent cold-weather gear. It was on a particularly frosty evening that strange ice creatures attacked the boat. The crewmen were paralyzed with fear but Frohike’s fire bombs proved extremely effective against the beasts and we defeated them without too much difficulty.
The fear exhibited by the sailors lasted until well after the attack as there seems to be a number of legends of malevolent ice creatures amongst the people of Linnorm. That proved to be useful information later when we had to kill Captain Odenkirk and his crew.
After this last incident we continued north to Conqueror’s Bay and then upriver to the encampment of the bugbears.
At our arrival a group of bugbears proved unexpectedly belligerent and refused to allow us to dock our boat. After an aborted negotiations the things simply attacked and we were forced to slay them.
I remember quite clearly, even today, immediately after the little battle the entire encampment came at us and I felt my bowels tighten for it was clearly death that was coming for us. Just as the creatures approached our boat a bugbear wielding an axe that burned with fire stopped their attack with a command. This proved to be Sakkarot Fire-Axe and when we told him Cardinal Thrune sent us he immediately called off his army. When we showed him our steel cargo he was most pleased and invited us into his war-cabin for a feast.
We spent a raucous evening with the great chieftain and his candor and thoughtful questions impressed me at the time but were only a hint of the greatness that lay within. A greatness that was eventually proven over time.
Sakkarot suggested we leave the encampment in the morning as his troops are unreliable and filled with violence. He told us that we had one month to sabotage Tower Jeggare and gave us rockets to send up when the damage was done.
I remember a feeling of elation as we left the Fire-Axe camp knowing that we had such an ally as Sakkarot. Even then I knew the task ahead was difficult. Tower Jeggare was home to a hundred well-trained soldiers and weakening it to the point where an invading army could sack it would require great skill and tenacity.