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Once again we enter the world of Ithron where sinister things lurk in the dark and heroes answer the call for aid *strikes heroic pose*.

This was a player mission for me, so I got to stock up on bandages and medicines, read my knowledge book, check my new scroll (prayer of healing don’t you know) and turned up to a hiring.

The mission was a Physician’s one (shock horror!) and I was going along to a: be able to confirm is said potion was the potion we were looking for (it was) and b: act as vague spokesperson with the Llaminusians.

I’d give you a brief overview of the mission, but I thought I’d let you have a sneaky peek at my report I had to write for Dr Herald. The report can be found below.

I hope to make Master come November, so I have to find two Masters who can vouch for me. Also, the night site counted as my assessment with our sneaky scout giving a report to Surgeon General Herald (that’s Doctor Herald) on my conduct. Oo err …

Doctor Herald,

Contained herein is my report of the events of XII Summereve MXI, relating to the investigation and retrieval of the missing Physician’s drugs from Dunholme.

The party included the following, though I regretfully cannot recall the names of the two newcomers from the Guild of Mercenaries – Ned the Scout, Brother Johnny Slayback and Mother Ann of the Longstorian Church, Oliver, a priest from the Crowan Church, myself and two Mercenaries.

The party travelled south from Newcroft to Maccamwell where on route we encountered a number of dark elves. They seemed to be more a feared of us then we of them and, unless aggressed, left us alone. The mercenaries suffered wounds to a leg each though the party seemed unharmed by one group of particularly aggressive dark elves.

We came upon several Llaminusians attacking a dark elf female, but we were too late to stop them from killing her and conducting what loosely translates as “blood eagle” upon the corpse. Upon further enquiry with the Jarl of the Llaminusian village, this practise is invoked upon oath breakers and is part of the Llaminusian custom. The Llaminusian people appear to believe dark elves to be oath breakers by nature and presently are killing any dark elf they come across whilst scaring the others off the land.

Upon investigation of a later corpse, the circumstances of which will be detailed below, I have drawn the following conclusions on how the “blood eagle” is performed. An axe or sharp knife cuts down the victim’s spine with the ribs broken to allow the bone, muscle and flesh to be pulled aside to expose the internal organs. The lungs are then removed as a form of prize.

As we approached the Ithronian village outside Maccamwell, we encountered what I can only describe as a grisly scene. A young woman, claimed to be the Thatcher’s daughter, appeared to have been the victim of the “blood eagle” and from closer inspection I was able to determine how the act had occurred. This victim also appeared to have been alive when this was conducted upon her, judging by her posture, the clawed earth about her hands and the scuffed earth beneath her boots. Speaking with those who had found the body revealed they believed the Llaminusians had murdered her. They had noticed the antics of the dark elves and had found dark elf bodies killed in the same fashion, leading to them believing the Llaminusians to be the culprits. It much distressed me that these people showed much prejudice to the Llaminusians, but I believe I did not let it show.

There was little I could do for the body but advise that they cover the corpse to hide the grisly nature of her death from her parents when they returned the body for burial or however the family would wish to conduct the rituals of death and grieving. We have also requested a Kharachian priest be sent to lay the soul to rest.

We entered the village to find a gentleman in the act of stirring the people to bear arms against the Llaminusians. We had been informed that he was a newcomer to the area and had arrived after the time of the dark elf corpses being discovered but prior to the girl’s death. He went by the name of “Smith” but we could get no confirmation of his true name from those we spoke to. Whilst listening to what he had to say and the Crowan priest beginning a debate to the legalities of his actions, I spoke with a local trapper and the Carpenter. The trapper had seen no unusual activity in recent weeks apart from a decrease in rabbits, but appeared to have no concerns over the Llaminusian presence. However, the carpenter and other locals seemed to be concerned with the purity of Ithronian blood and were wholeheartedly agreeing with what “Smith” was telling them.

One of the mercenaries was informed that there was someone who could provide information that would assist in our search for the missing Physician’s drugs in a field by the river and we were directed down towards the pasture by one of those on watch. Ned seemed to have a feeling about this and we followed the directions given to us. However, on the road we encountered several Ithronians attacking a Llaminusian couple, wounding the woman.

I treated the woman for a wound across her stomach. Upon examination I realised that she was the herbwife Olga from the village. Perhaps you met her when you travelled down with the Thane when the Llaminusians arrived on our shore? She was most concerned about her brother Eric, who was travelling with her, though he appeared unharmed. I also patched up the Ithronian who had been felled but did not rouse him when my actions appeared to anger the Llaminusian. After trying to understand what had occurred, it became clear that his gentleman and his female partner had attacked the siblings and that the siblings would have been glad to see them both dead, though I think we managed to convince them that the Law should handle this. Throughout this, the other Ithronian kept stalking the Llaminusians and to keep the peace the party managed to place themselves between her and the siblings.

I enquired to Olga if she had seen the Physician’s Guild symbol on anything recently, a symbol I thought best to show the others in the party so that if they saw it they would bring it to me. She had not and during this exchange, the Ithronian woman was attacked by something. I later learned that this had been a dark elf which had escaped, but due to my lack of attention, the woman died of her wounds, much to my regret. Her compatriot was taken off to the village to be put in irons for the Law to deal with.

We encountered a number of people practising Troll Ball upon the water pasture – people who I believe were the Maccamwell Troll Ball team. They agreed to speak with us after we gave them a game, which we obliged. After the match (a draw of 2-2), Oliver took the other healer aside and spoke with her as I roused the party and counted bruises. He reported to me that the healer had heard of a group of bandits, named the Wolves, who peddled cheap Physicians drugs and other assorted activities. She gave us a vague location and said that she had stopped her dealings with them after they appeared to be being given poor advice by some unknown person. On our way back towards the village we encountered a group of villagers and a Guard, waiting on a warrant to bring the Jarl to justice. They let us by but only after we explained we were not sent with a warrant and that someone else must be on their way.

Nearing the Llaminusian settlement, we encountered some dark elves who managed to injure several members of the party. One mercenary was wounded on both legs and another had a chest wound. I myself was struck across the arm and had to bandage myself before attending to the other cuts. The Crowan declined by assistance though he was covered in many cuts. I do not know if I did something wrong but he did not appear to be affected and continued to fight on with little apparent injury. As we drew closer to the settlement we met a group of Llaminusians who seemed enraged and before we could introduce ourselves, attacked. I was struck across the chest and was rendered unconscious. Upon being awoken it appeared that the Llaminusians had ceased their attack and were almost apologetic for having attacked us, though I cannot tell if it was that they mistook us for dark elves or that they had not recognised me. Whichever the cause, they escorted us to their village and took us before their Jarl.

Through his translator I was able to explain the reason we had come, enquired as to whether he had seen the physician’s symbol and told him of the trouble a stirring amongst the Ithronians. I felt it my duty, as their friend, to inform him of anything that might bring violence to his people. Oliver, the Crowan Priest, explained to him the nature of what was likely to happen after we managed to convince them that they must not attack those that would come bearing a warrant and the Jarl agreed to hear out them. I believe he was also going to send Olga’s brother to accuse the man in Maccamwell’s jail of unprovoked assault upon himself and his sister. I will enquire as to how this progresses in future.

We then crossed the river to the King’s Own Heavy Skirmishers of Foot’s barracks at Maccamwell, where Captain Jameson informed us about some strange business happening upstream and that the Wolves were known to them as outlaws with bounties upon their heads. The men and women of the barracks also appear to be suffering from an infestation of fleas and I advised the Captain and his Sergeant to change the bedding straw and bathe in hot water and soap to rid themselves of the pests.

The party scouted the area and encountered several members of the Wolves in possession of a box. I was far behind the main party due to the path they had taken and when I arrived the bandits had been felled and the box retrieved. I have since been informed by several members of the party that they had challenged the people as to their business and had been attacked and the wounds done were in self-defence. I did my best to stem the bleeding but as I examined the contents of the box a member of the party removed their heads for the bounty. I am sorrowed that this came to pass, but what was done is done.

Our scout determined that the five we had found had been joined by another who had been long gone before we had arrived. Alas, the trail of this one had grown cold and he or she could have been anywhere. Thus, with none of the Wolves alive and this other gone, we were unable to determine who had been given them bad advice or convinced them to steal the physicians drugs. Upon further examination of the surroundings we found the boat and its crew, though no other drugs and no evidence of any more stored in the area. We have advised that the Kharachian Priest travelling towards Maccamwell tend to these souls also.

Returning to Maccamwell we encountered a Guard in council with the Jarl, who agreed to face his accusers in Maccamwell for trial by combat in regards to the murder of the girl. We have since been informed that he has been found innocent of the charge.

In short, we retrieved the Physician’s drugs and removed several members of a rogue group selling Physician’s drugs illegally, though we do not know who encouraged them in this practise or who really killed the unfortunate girl from the village near Maccamwell.

My hopes are that we managed to retrieve the majority of the Deathsman they had gotten their hands on and that no trouble will come of Smith and his call to bear arms against the Llaminusians, though all we can do is wait and see.

Written in the faith of Vleybor,

Mercy Blackstaff

XIV Summereve MXI