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Lord A384 and I are, as you are all probably aware, members of a LARP system called Fools and Heroes. What you might not know is that we make our own kit. Well, some of it.

Here’s some of the kit we’ve made, of which we are quite proud. Also, the recent round up of plot and devious adventures.

Leather

Lord A384 is the master armourer in our house having taken up leather crafting. At times all we can hear (or feel) is the hammering of rivet kit and the smell of new leather. It started with customising some kit bought off a member of our branch and it led to the purchasing of scraps to play with. He’s made a drop sword scabbard (a copy of one he purchased), body armour and a pair of bracers for my monster kit/future character.

Fabric

I make the costume stuff for our characters, ranging from a fancy costume dress, cloak and over robe for my character along with a doublet for Lord A384. I’ve also knocked together some monster tabards and I’m working on some new dresses for myself to make more kit for Summerfest at the end of the month. I’ve also been asked to make a version of my robe in red for a potential future character of Lord A384’s in case of character death at Summerfest.

Accessories

We’ve both made bits of extra stuff for our characters. Lord A384 made some really sweet pouches out of leather as well as cutting the leather for my character notebook. I, on the other hand, made pouches and cut bandages, bound cord for character holy symbols and the bracers and purchased the different potion bottles and test tubes our characters now have. Food colouring is our friend when it comes to making some lurid blood reds and deep greens for healing mixes.


 

Adventuring

With Summerfest coming, lots of characters have been desperate to play to make advancement to senior ranks (particularly my character who wants to go before the head of my guild to ask to become a master rank physician). So, another Sunday day site was arranged after the other was called off due to the weather and a couple of Tuesdays have been filled with interesting plot related talk.

Llaminusians in Ithron

This follows on from a previous mission on the last daysite I attended, where a member of the party (Skarim) was traded with the Llaminusians for the return of the stolen weapons and gold and to hold the Ithronians to their promise of land for these people. Five weeks later, Skarim returns to our shores with plenty of tall tales and two villages of Llaminuasians and their Thralls.

Throughout the evening, various members of the society disappeared off to take part in this piece of plot, leading from Skarim’s return to the report of the occurrence to the Thane of Newcroft by Skarim and the local Sergeant of the King’s Own barracks at Maccamwell (Lord A384) which led to the journey of a group of adventurers to Maccamwell to visit the newcomers to Ithron. I was amongst those adventurers as a representative of the Vleyborian church. The High Mother of my church, probably assuming I’m a training priestess (which I’m not), told me to go (which I didn’t quite understand at the time). But I went, met one of the Jarls and discovered part of the life of the Llaminusian village in the form of weaving.

Mercy has since decided that she wants to learn that and has incorporated that into her downtime fluff (along with orphans and training at the barracks with one of the Masters of Medicine).

Its an excuse for me to research old methods of weaving (tablet weaving etc), spinning (which looks scary), natural dyes, runes, Viking life and stuff like that. More crafty-ness.-

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The Tax Man Commeth

Sunday Daysites take us to Chopwell Woods, a nearby forestry commission place. These usually consist of two missions where the team split into monster and player crews where one team crews whilst the other plays.

I was part of the monster crew and we went on a route which I was unfamiliar with, featuring some great wooden carvings.

The mission set was this: the King’s auditors are looking into the books of all guilds and all churches, investigating discrepancies and taking stuff in payment to the crown. The party (Crowan merc, priest of longstor, master physician, master enchanter and an apprentice mage) are tasked to clear the road for the auditor, find the Traldan shrine and make sure everything is in order.

If only it were that simple.

The party are harassed by foul spawn that have been displaced by the on going advance of undead westwards (national plotline heading towards Summerfest). Intermixed with displaced dark elves, the party continue on their path where they encounter a traldan priest with a plea – the shrine is fake and must be moved into the village. The party agree to help and continue on their way with more foul spawn encounters until they reach the “hands” at the cross roads. Here they find a very dodgy bunch of people scratching maps into the dirt and making plans *hint hint*. After a bit of “what are you doing here?” and “we’re doing nothing, honest”, the party realise something is up and it all kicks off. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to what happens next.

Further along they encounter a scout, bargain with an ithronian speaking dark elf lord and come across the village.

Which is empty.

The shrine is hidden in a smugglers cove (complete with boxes) where there is a very shifty character in black plying the attendant priest with drink. There are generally dodgy characters around who try and get in the way of moving the shrine, but the party sober up the drunken priest and convince him to move the shrine. He’s in the process of consecration when the auditor turns up, who asks lots of questions and is generally lied to by the “travellers” who pretend to be local folk. Honest.

A bit of shifty nonsense occurs when the auditor wishes to view the cove (still full of boxes) and one of the monster crew pegs it. He’s chased down by several members of the team (who I’ve never seen run as fast ever), whilst the dark clad figure is uncovered as a High Father of Sereklan (dun dun duh!!) and murder is attempted. Oh whoops.

All in all, the end of the mission results in bad news for the Traldan church across the county where bad things will happen to them.

And my shifty character walks off unquestioned/unopposed. Win win situation for me.

Mission of Peace

Later the same day, after a picnic lunch, Mercy gets a day out answering a call for peace from a Laird in the borderlands of Ithron and Lirron. She travels north with a Vleyborian necromancer, one of the local scouts and her Master Physician. When they arrive at the Laird’s lands its to discover that his cattle have been slaughtered along with one of his farm lads. The valley has four families which are at each others throats for generations (the Nixons, Rutherfords, Robsons and Laidlaws. Laird Nixon was out to call the “hot trod” or revenge attack on whoever did it, but he wasn’t sure who it was. Armed with this knowledge and a piece of heather from the corpse’s hand, the party set out to avoid unnecessary blood shed. The party encountered a Robson (wool) buying arms off a blacksmith (decidedly dodgy) who tries to sell us a shield (amongst other things) when a troll attacks. It turns out to be a baby one which is killed by the escaping Robson much to the Vleyborians’ dismay. On we go where we come across a women and a hanged man (which looked scarily real). After cutting him down and examining the body, it is declared that he is a member of the Guards and also has a piece of something stuffed in his hand. It turns out to be a piece of wool, indicating the Robsons. We also have little luck talking to the woman who runs off, though we find out later that she’s a watcher for Nixon.

But the plot thickens.

The necromancer casts a spell to ask a question of the corpse, who declares that he thought it was the Rutherfords who hung him (symbol being a noose), which complicates the pictures. When the scout runs off to block her way, we get attacked by foul spawn and Mercy gets skewered by a spear. Oh heck. After a sound patching up and general confusion, we pay a visit to the Laidlaws who startle us from out of the brush and get a sound subduing from the party. We rouse their leader and convince him we’re friends before rousing the rest of them – hah hah – and go to see their Laird. Guess who’s there – the Blacksmith, selling the last of his stock. Trouble was coming to the Laidlaws and they should be prepared. We travel onto the Rutherfords, encounter a very stranger man with a necromantic cup in his hand and a dodgy accent who we let go on his way and turn up at the Rutherford’s fortress to receive an unfriendly welcome and find the Blacksmith has got there before us. See a common theme here?

We then go and pay a visit to the Robsons, encountering more foul spawn equipped with a longstorian priest who gets great delight out of sending our werewolf master physician to sleep. But we see off the rest of his followers which sends him packing and we have no further trouble from them. The Robsons were even more unfriendly, with our friend the Blacksmith doing more deals with them. Except he’s not selling weapons. Overhearing odd snippets of story, the plot begins to fall into place, confirmed when one of the Laird Robson’s men begins tying a particular knot and declaring he leaves them everywhere – a knot we saw on Nixon’s farm earlier. After getting a little nasty with threats and warnings, we head off the road to discuss the next course of action. Except the Robsons begin to move to stop us returning to Nixon to report our findings and we enter battle with them where our master necromancer casts sleep like nobodies business and brings down most of the enemy. Mercy gets clobbered again and is patched up before we dash to Nixon’s farm.

The stranger is there from earlier, though he no longer speaks accented Ithronian and the lass begs us to go after the men who are walking down the road in a very strange way – carrying the necromantic cup. We get waylaid by the Laird’s man when we get too close and a scuffle ensues whilst the necromancer dashes off to test his suspicions as to the reason why the Laird is behaving strangely.

I’m not too sure what happens after this point, but suddenly, as Master Ambrose knocks the cup from the Laird’s hands, a dark shadow rises before him. I pull the Laird away to give Ambrose space to work and there is a hasty retreat where Ambrose, picking up the cup with his long sleeves, dashes down the road, drawing the shade along with him. It was very funny to watch.

With the Vleyborians shielding it, we return to the farm, retrieve our payment, deliver our judgement on the matter and prepare to take the cup to be cleansed and the shadow released. Unfortunately our information results in a hot trod being called on the Robsons and potential bloodshed to come to the valley, but we did not make that decision.

And thus ends the mission of peace – not very peacefully.

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Visions of Willow’s Deep

I was on the monster crew for this player led mission, not being one of those requested by one of our resident longstorian priests. The outline for the mission was for the longstorian priest to return and cleanse a pool that was despoiled during the alchemist mission mentioned in Random Wednesday #27. At the time, I was unaware that something had happened to this pool, to discover later on that bad things had happened.

I mentioned Willows Deep in the aforementioned night site, a place that filled our scout Ned (on the player party) with dread. It’s a little place filled with a dark unspoken fear which featured greatly in a plotline run 7 years ago. The plotline was resurrected along with the creatures and given to the players. It also gave me a chance to experience another part of Jesmond Dene, a place called Jesmond Vale that created the perfect setting for a little adventure into the weird and wonderful.

But first, a bit of backstory as given to me by our Ref of the night. Willows Deep, not named for trees or its depth, is a place of super scary monsters called Deep Foul Spawn, which are basically super creepy spiders who are dormant for hundreds of years. When they awaken they plague the surrounding area to feed of living flesh until they are sated, multiply and return to the depths to slumber. They speak in a series of clicks (useful at pinpointing other monster crew) and would scare me silly! 600 years ago (ish) they awoke and began their feeding. The then King of Berwickshire ordered the wizard Willow and the Griffin knights to fend off these beasties and kill them. The wizard had the men of the knightly order (of sorts) kill these creatures and bring him parts of the creatures, or living specimens or other nasty things for him to study to develop a spell. This pissed the men off something rotten. The wizard then does something and the men turn blood thirsty and do something they will eventually regret. Now – bear that in mind and all will be revealed.

The party (priest of longstor, crowan merc, Ned the scout and the elven enchanter) set off along the road where they are ambushed by a group of arrogant Elderkin (without makeup atm) who are about to attack when the ref calls a TIME FREEZE and confusion erupts in the party. A quick whisper in the mage’s ear tells him it feels like old magic aka a vision and the monster crew put on their creepy spider masks (the ref’s old t-shirts turned into spider masks) and put away their swords. Time in and the party see things they have no clue about. The spiders are quickly put down, kicked a few times and the party hurry on. More creatures on the road, chittering away to each other and at the bottom, a man being eaten alive from the feet up. The guy who played that is a long time member who does some great bits of acting – the screams were quick real and made my toes curl – he truly sounded like he was being eaten alive.

The party were supposed to save him, get information out of him and then bring him up the hill to be attacked by more spiders but instead they killed him. Oops. Quick adjustment and the ref steps into character of the Commander’s man, out on patrol to catch the party after the planned monster encounter (where the creatures’ language of clicks proved helpful in reuniting the monster crew – it was dark down there in the vale and the local street lights made adjusting to the dark very difficult, adding to the scary). The party encounter Lord Dylan of the Griffin knights tasked with assisting Willow, who leads them up to the mage’s tower with a few more spiders on route. Here, a fire is just burning out and the men are greeted like old friends, called different names and discussion begins about what the mage is up to this time. Then, the news that the Lord’s page has been taken into the tower and a body can be seen in the doorway. Recently a live spider has been caught for Willow to observe with the talk of “seeing its feeding habits in action”. The lord is furious and the players watch as these people call for Willow to come out and explain what he has done.

Willow stumbles out, trying to explain, but the men are furious, having lost friends in their excursions into the deep for his seemingly pointless requests. Tempers flare and then they attack Willow. As they begin to tear him limb from limb  (more terrible sounding screams here) the party cry out for them to stop and actively try to intervene. At which point, the shade of Willow cries aloud “STOP” and the monster crew freeze. Willow explains to the party that this must be allowed to happen, that this has already happened and will trigger the final part of his great spell. The party then allow it to continue, one member joining in, and the vision continues.

As the mage screams his last and falls still, the men stand back, taking in what they have done. And the page comes stumbling out of the tower, holding an orb in his hand. I played the page because the previous scene was not something I felt comfortable with, so I stumble across this scene and panic.

And the knightly Lord is struck by his goddess, Crowa, marked (shifty make up during the crew freeze) and casts himself out. The regret and remorse from those who killed Willow is the final ingredient to finish his spell – an orb that will seal the creatures in the deep and protect the land (until, 593 years later, a longstorian priest is chucked at it, breaking the spell and bringing about the plotline). The party – representing people in the past – are tasked with placing the orb in a shrine and go on their way.

More creatures attack and they continue on until another TIME FREEZE where the crew pull off the masks, grab swords and announce to the mage that time has returned to normal. The monster team member with them dons a beard and becomes a dwarf and more confusion ensues as the spiders become Elderkin (with funky makeup) who attack them. The party have been travelling in the company of this dwarf for some time but have only just realised it (freaky time thing oooOOOOOooo) and are on their way to save his fellow from an Elderkin sacrifice. In the vision, the orb continues on to be placed in the shrine as was expected. We hurry on ahead to get the shrine set up and wait for the party.

The Elderkin are stopped before sacrificing the dwarf to their goddess, trying to rouse the deep spawn’s ancient father from the deep. The dwarves then promise the adventurers a share in their hidden gold (they’re thieves, who after the rumbling of the dodgy traldan shrine described above are fleeing Newcroft with their goods) and thus ends the first part of the mission.

We then return to Jesmond Dene and await the arrival of the party who go and dig up a booby trapped box (actually buried!). The method of dealing with the trap? Get the scout to open the box with both fighters holding shields and blunt weapons at the ready, the mage primed with cloak ready to throw. Open the box. Throw cloak over without looking inside and beat box steadily until thing is dead. Tip out box contents. Claim gold. Don’t forget to pay attention to the Elderkin sneaking up on you.

After patching themselves up they encounter an Elderkin vs Dark elf match where they set upon both sides. The party enter dark elf territory and are told to leave. They ignore the warning and press on. It becomes an ambush session, with many myriad ways of hiding behind things to jump out and scare them as they progress along the normal adventure route. The crew then go and lounge on a bridge posing as alchemists, but the party are wary of this show of strength and go elsewhere. The crew dash on to meet them and pose as dead bodies with pockets to raid for alchemy before encountering a man who points them in the right direction. They near the pond which is being guarded by a group of dark elves that step from the shade and tell them to get lost (in dark elf of course). It is at this moment we realise that the darkest paint in the kit box was not black but red – and the party almost cry demon and peg it.

The dark elves tell them to get lost a bit more, one talking and the other two keeping an eye on the Elderkin skulking in the background (the guy who did this made me nervous, looking particularly sinister in his band of green paint around the eyes and the stance of a guy not to be messed with). Of course, a fight kicks off, the team rush to the aid of the dark elves and I held bring down the Elderkin (huzzah!). The priest of Longstor tries to convince the Dark elves to let him cleanse the waters – the original mission – and is allowed whilst more elderkin pop up and keep everyone busy. The mission ends with a successful cleansing rite and its time out for everyone.

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More adventures in Ithron soon and then the grand trip to Ethron for the High King’s funeral.

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