Spoilers (Scenario 01. The Black Barrow; Scenario 02. Barrow Lair; City Card #2; Road Card #16; Scenario 03. Inox Encampment)
A runt of a Savvas, Mürus always literally looked up to his brothers and sisters. Upon seeing Grimbul the Brute, it was no different. It was in the market streets where Mürus came across a small stall of wares with a gigantic Inox behind a makeshift and wobbly counter.
In a rich deep voice, the Inox motioned at his few and far-between wares, “I can give you a deal on anything you see here. Really, just make me an offer. Anything.”
Dumbfounded at the sheer size of the Inox, Mürus ignored the wares and made a different offer, “Look, I don’t know what someone the size of you is doing behind that merchant stall with those thick arms and gigantic horns of yours, but you’d make a good Brute for our squad.
The Inox gestured as if to brush off the idea, “No, no. I’ve got a business to build like my father before me and his father before him.”
“You don’t even have a business with that junk on the table,” Mürus retorted.
The Inox nodded, unable to disagree.
Mürus continued, “Look, you join the Gloomgärde as our Brute and you’ll make untold riches to buy whatever you want to build that shop of yours.”
“I’m not really sure what you mean by Brute, but if joining the Gloomgärde will make me some coin, I’m in!” the Inox agreed. “The name’s Grimbul.”
“Excellent, just leave all that garbage right there and follow me,” Mürus pointed beyond the city wall and started marching off. “I know just the place to test your skills.”
Grimbul shrugged and followed.
The Black Barrow
The hill is easy enough to find—a short journey past the New Market Gate and you see it jutting out on the edge of the Corpsewood, looking like a rat under a rug. Moving closer you see the mound is formed from a black earth. Its small, overgrown entrance presents a worn set of stone stairs leading down into the darkness.
As you descend, you gratefully notice light emanating from below. Unfortunately, the light is accompanied by the unmistakable stench of death. You contemplate what kind of thieves would make their camp in such a horrid place as you reach the bottom of the steps. Here you find your answer—a rough group of cutthroats who don’t seem to have taken very kindly to your sudden appearance.One in the back matches the description of your quarry.
“Take care of these unfortunates,” he says, backing out of the room. You can vaguely make out his silhouette as he retreats down a hallway and through a door to his left.
“Well, it’s not every day we get people stupid enough to hand-deliver their valuables to us,” grins one of the larger bandits, unsheathing a rusty blade. “We’ll be killing you now.”
Joke’s on them. If you had any valuables, you probably wouldn’t be down here in the first place.
Unsure what to do, Grimbul shrugs towards Mürus.
“Umm… go smash those archers,” Mürus gives Grimbul a thumbs up.
Soon enough Mürus & Grimbul defeat 5 archers
Kicking through the door, you find yourself face-to-face with the reason these bandits chose this particular hole to nest in: animate bones—unholy abominations of necromantic power.
Nothing more to do but lay them to rest along with the remainder of this troublesome rabble.
Grimbul’s eyes go wide at the sight of the Living Bones, “You didn’t say anything about the undead!”
Mürus crushes an archer under a column of rock and answers, “You don’t expect to gain riches by fighting puny bandits all the time, do you?”
Grimbul scans the room for treasure and spots a treasure chest!
“Yes, that’s it. You keep them at bay, I’m going to go around them to get them from the back,” Mürus makes a tactical gesture with two fingers above an eyebrow to which Grimbul has no idea what it means.
As Grimbul trades blows with the Living Bones, Mürus grabs the treasure.
“See, look what I found! A map to somewhere else where we might find some more treasure!” Mürus triumphantly holds up a map as Grimbul takes a rusty sword blow to the gut.
The two defeat their foes: 2 living bones and 2 archers.
With the last bandit dead, you take a moment to catch your breath and steel yourself against the visions of living remains ripping at your flesh. Your target is not among the dead, and you shudder to think what horrors still await you in the catacombs below.
Scenario Book p. 3
The stench of death and rotting flesh gets thicker as you kick past the corpses of your foes and head deeper into the underground burial site. Guided by the muffled sounds of conversation, you find your way through the maze of crypts and burst into a small room full of hard-faced bandits, all with bows at the ready.
They’re clearly guarding something. You must be in the right place.
We clearly didn’t belong and some ancient curse was beset upon us when we entered (add three CURSE cards to each character’s attack modifier deck).
Two archers were quickly dispatched and we walked right around the poorly placed traps and opened the door to the Barrow Lair. Idiots.
You open the door to a large crypt littered with coffins. At the back stands your quarry. He fits the description, but there is something previously unnoticed in his eyes—a dark otherworldly force.
“Who are you to think you can interrupt the work of the Gloom?” A dark energy engulfs his hands as he speaks. “I will show you what you are dealing with!”
The Bandit Commander then began running around frantically unlocking doors to let loose these foul, bloated living corpses. They moved slow, but they packed a punch if they caught up to you.
The frantic Bandit Commander and the corpses with which he kept company were no match for Mürus & Grimbul.
Sifting through the carnage left by the battle, you find a cache at the back of the room containing the scrolls you were hired to collect. You can’t help but rifle through them a bit, but find that the writing upon them is in some unknown archaic language. One thing that does jump out at you, however, is a map of the northern countryside. A bend in the Still River is clearly marked as a point of interest. Contemplating whether you want to find out more about this so-called “Gloom,” you decide that the spot could be a point of interest for you, as well.
But that can be forgotten for the moment. You pack up the papers and head back to Gloomhaven to collect your reward.
Meeting Jekserah once again at the Sleeping Lion, you hand over the papers and are paid the agreed-upon amount. Ten 10 gold each!
“You know,” she whispers to you softly under the bustle of the tavern. “If you’re interested, I may have another job for you. A tribe of Inox in the Dagger Forest has ransacked a couple of my caravans headed to the Capital.
“I told the militia, but they do nothing,” she spits. “I can point you in the direction of their encampment. If you can make an example of them, I will pay you even more.”
She places a crude map of the forest on the table and stands up, her jewelry clinking with the movement. “Come find me when it is done.”
Thrilled to have a new recruit, Mürus took Grimbul back to Gloomhaven to spend some of his hard earned coins on some equipment.
The daylight fades, you find yourselves wandering through a half-crowded market street, browsing wares.
“Hey! Over here!” You turn in the direction of the voice to see a filthy Vermling gesturing from a dark alley. “You, you grim-looking chaps. I have something you might be interested in.”
The Vermling holds out a piece of metal covered in sludge. “Found this in the sewer. Writing on it I don’t understand, but I know it’s valuable. You can have it for ten gold!”
Always excited for a great deal, Mürus hands over a few coins and motions for Grimbul to do the same. Grimbul grumbles and reluctantly hands over a few coins to make up the ten gold.
You hand over the gold and take hold of the piece of garbage. Amidst troubling brown smears you see a lot of meaningless scratches likely made by rats and bugs. Oh well. Sometimes the long shot doesn’t pay off.
City Card #2
Eager to get back on the road with his new buddy, Mürus takes Grimbul towards an Inox Encampment he knows Grimbul will enjoy.
The route to your destination is less direct than you had hoped, and you end up taking a shortcut through a small forest.
There you happen upon a family of deer. They are still a ways off in the distance and haven’t noticed you.
You approach cautiously.
…and just watch the deer for a little bit.
You are enjoying watching the animals graze when an arrow flies out and hits the larger of the deer in its center chest. It bolts away, but doesn’t make it very far before collapsing.
Then you see a large Inox emerge from the brush and turn toward you. “I thought you were going to do something stupid there for a second. Thanks for not scarping away my quarry. Allow me to share some of the spoils with you.”
(All start the scenario with BLESS).
So this merchant wants to make an example of some caravan raiders? Seems reasonable enough. For the right amount of money, almost anything can be made reasonable.
You enter the Dagger Forest and begin to track down the encampment using Jekserah’s crude map. It is well-hidden, but following the signs outlined on the parchment, you find a dense cluster of huts in a small clearing of the forest. All that’s left is to head in and make that requested example.
Mürus tells Grimbul the only way he’s going to rise in the ranks of the Gloomgärde is if he starts killing some of those “terrible Inox raiders.”
The two slay Inox after Inox before bashing in the door to the back cave.
You push your way into the back cave only to be faced with a half-dozen crying, screaming Inox children.
Grimbul gives Mürus a sharp glance at the sight of crying Inox children. Mürus shrugs and mutters, “oops.”
You have little opportunity to contemplate the implications of this development, however, as you find yourself also staring down the bows of several Inox archers. Your only option is to continue fighting.
Not wanting to be on the wrong end of an arrow and barely holding on to life with a thread, Grimbul charges in to attack. After dealing a blow or two to a few archers, only one remains.
Mürus finishes mopping up a few outside the cave and upon seeing that the new recruit is in danger, he charges their foe with a Rumbling Advance! Rocks kick up under his feet and pelt the archer as Mürus’ fists strike true. The dust settles, the foes are defeated, and Grimbul also lies there motionless on the ground upon also being pelted by the rocks. Children cry.
Mürus throws Grimbul over his shoulder and runs away.
Running through the forest, fleeing the smell of burning flesh, you now find more than enough opportunity to contemplate your actions.
How your actions sit with you must be visible on your face as you meet once more with Jekserah, this time in her manor. She hands you a sack of coins with a frown.
“They were thieves and murderers,” she says blankly. “They deserved what you gave them. And that is all I will say of the matter. I have one more task I would like you to perform. I require a diamond of considerable size for a customer, but I cannot find one anywhere in the city.
“There is a diamond mine, however, in the southern mountains long since lost to the wilderness. I’ve heard reports that it is now overrun with Vermlings, no doubt with some other more intelligent force behind them. If you can fight your way in and grab the biggest diamond you can find, I will give you a considerable reward.
“Now leave me in peace.” Jekserah’s two massive Inox bodyguards step forward, directing you to leave the manor.
Outside, contemplating your new task, you hear a small voice behind you. “She’s not looking for profit, you know.”
You turn around to see a female Quatryl step out of the alley beside Jekserah’s house. She’s clad in dark leather armor and holds a conspicuous contraption full of whirring gears and topped with a conical metal piece connected to a tube.
“Argeise, city guard,” she says, introducing herself. “I know, I don’t exactly look the part, but if anyone isn’t what they appear to be, it’s that Valrath you’ve been talking to. Sure, she’s a merchant, but she’s up to something far more sinister.
“She’s been trying to overthrow the military in Gloomhaven for as long as I’ve been here, and we’re all very curious about what her current machinations are.
“Look, you can go do her bidding like a good little puppy if you want, but if you’d rather actually help this town keep the peace and not get overrun by the wilds, I have a different idea. We’ll get to the bottom of Jekserah’s plans and expose her for who she really is.”
Mürus holds up a rocky finger to scold Grimbul, “You see, I always knew that Jekserah can’t be trusted. We shouldn’t have attacked those poor Inox. Don’t worry, we’ll make right. The Gloomgärde always does right.”