== STORY INFO ==
Far removed the current political maneuvering to the south, life goes on as winter begins to fade away to the spring thaw. With the post war resettlement of civilians from Clan Grimward, Clan Ironmound has decided to stand up several new packs. The newly formed Pack Stonesong has been sent to settle and rebuild Hazemane village which was occupied by Grimward forces during this recent conflict. Hazemane village is located in northern Ironmound territory, and has a history as a producer of forest products. The village was a hub for charcoal and timber production and produced a large crop of mushrooms annually. It was most likely due to the large stores of burnable materials that the Grimward forces set Hazemane Village as a staging area for corpses waiting to be burned on the weekly mass pyers. Due to the smell, the majority of the local Grimward forces avoided the area and the village escaped with mostly superficial damage (although the same cannot be said of its residents). With the cold weather of winter the corpse smell is expected to be unnoticeable at the time of your projected arrival.
Gustave Ironmound, Clanleader of Clan Ironmound, has put out a call for all able hands to assist in the reconstruction of Hazemane village. He has promised a boon of silver to any willing to assist, to be paid upon completion of reconstruction. Additional bonus payment may be available to skilled laborers, blacksmiths, and those able to deal with the possibility of lingering corruption from the concentration of Grimward corpses while the Daughters see to their final disposition. Primary focus is to be given to rebuilding the charcoal and timber exports, as the charcoal is needed to produce new steel and the timber for new buildings, and to assist the village leaders with any of their needs.
After coordinating with the local Chieftain and setting out with a wagon loaded with supplies, a large group of adventurers and members of various groups accompanied the Chieftain’s villagers to their new village. They arrived without incident and found the village to be largely intact and with plenty of room to expand. Work began immediately as the villagers, the Daughters of Gaia, and the Chieftain himself began to divide up some of the work that needed to be done. Buildings were cleared, metal was worked in a forge, wood was chopped (or blasted with magic) and brought to the furnaces that were cleaned and started, classes were being led by instructors on Divine magic and martial skills, improving the overall skill sets of the village. The village was well on schedule, perhaps ahead of schedule, to get reestablished.
This is when sightings of the mordok were brought to the Chieftain. First, only a few of them… then a few more. Soon the mordok were seen in fairly large numbers nearby and then word came in that a corruption site was found by some adventurers. The mordok were either avoided or repelled without much incident but as night began to settle in, the mordok arrived in force and it was quickly learned that this group of mordok was no ordinary hunting group. They were organized, they were communicating effectively with each other, they demonstrated sound tactics based on survival and even implemented group hit-and-run and shield-wall tactics. Their ferocity continued to increase and the entire village was on high alert to watch the defenses, protect the villagers, and repel the attacks. A daring group even went out to attempt to find and destroy the site of corruption, stumbling upon a mordok shaman conducting a ritual. Although the shaman was killed, it had alerted others nearby and any cleansing efforts to the site were in vain as the corruption itself spread to those who attempted to cleanse it. Barely retreating in time, news of this rare and new corruption was brought back to the village. The attacks lasted for what seemed like hours and then word reached the village that some of the adventurers had been captured, dragged to the sight of corruption, and ritualistically corrupted by their shamans and some even maimed and tortured. Any attempts to cleanse this corruption merely stalled its affects for a short time, and clerics who attempted to help by transmuting wounds from fallen warriors found themselves also tainted by the corruption.
The village Chieftain and the adventurers had to choose; stay and endure the attacks to protect the village or to leave under escort and try to reach safety. As the wounds and corruption began to pile up among those present, it was decided that the village would be defended… whether this was because there was more profit to be had in saving the village, the morality of the group helped sway the choice to help Hazemane Village, or there were enough wounds and rent armor to make traversing out of the area too dangerous is unknown. The attacks continued into the night and then suddenly ceased… the mordok completely gone from the area. Scouts went to the site of corruption… all idols were gone and the taint of lingering corruption was still present but no longer as strong. The mordok simply vanished.
Dawn finally arrived as the village of Hazemane was saved from destruction and the villagers were reinforced by the rest of the pack. Gustav’s contract was paid out to all those that assisted, but everyone involved in the previous nights event were left with a sense of dread… the mordok have returned in force and have brought with them a new type of corruption that resists any previous known cleansing. Whether a cleansing rite will be found that can cure this corruption before it drains the life essence from those afflicted and eventually kills them remains to be seen.