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What do you get when the weather turns frosty and you decide to do a night site?

Awesome excuse for a “non-fighty” mission finalising in good Dwarven hospitality!

War is coming to Ithron, a war with undead in Llaminusu, undead coming out of Tholon. Men are gathering over the winter in three staging areas according to a national plot call-to-arms having been issued by the Knight Commander. Berwickshire is answering that call but the numbers they are to gather are vast. And thus they turn to their allies – the Elves of the Rowan Wood, the Dwarves of Dun Mhurdo’s halls.

A party were gathered by the Thane to escort a diplomat to Dun Mhurdo, the Dwarven Kindom in North West Berwickshire – including Knight Errant Stewart DePiercy of the Griffin Order, Captain Nathan Jameson of the King’s Own Heavy Skirmishers of Foot, Master Finwe of the Scouts Guild, Ned the Scout, Father Enacus the priest of Kharach (who adventured with us on the last day site), Ethan Fairbrass the Alchemist, Brendan DePiercy (the fifth DePiercy son) and two mercenaries from out of branch. The diplomat, a Doctor Annabelle Fairweather, arrived at the meeting place with three copies of a document containing information on amounts of produce the Thane of Newcroft was willing to use to pay for the hiring of fighting dwarves, the reason for the diplomatic mission.

Travelling out, the party were beset by hungry foul spawn as they trod the path further towards Dun Mhurdo until they came to a clearing where a number of men were loitering. They were most interested into why the party was there, but the party could not be bribed (though they tried) and they hurried on.

They were met on the road by a dwarf who had been sent to look for them, and another dwarf challenged the Crowan members to an honourable duel – to the death. Stewart accepted the duel and after swearing to duel to the death and not be  healed, was felled by an enchanted blade. Captain Jameson would not let that lie and after agreeing on not duelling to the death was rendered unconcious by the same blade as the knight.

It was at this point I got to see one of the players come to the fore.

Up to this point, I had been with the party as Doctor Fairweather, getting to guide the party through some of the route and provide wisdom and advice on what they would face at the end. I have also never had the chance to adventure with Finwe, an elven scout who growled at me at my second game event at the first IC Halloween party a year ago. He has since OOC growled at me for having black bandages but that’s a different point. Finwe, it turns out, is one of the branches hard-core characters, the character you would not like to monster against alone on a dark night. He is also a character who has been around awhile and has lots of really cool backstory to share. On this mission, I got to see some of this in action.

Furious at the party’s incompetence, Finwe tosses the blade aside and growling angrily, advances on the lone dwarf, holding his blade before him yelling “Behold the blade of the Rowan Wood!” The monster cowered before it and soon the dwarf was dead (stabbed many times with a venomed stabbing weapon) and Finwe was victorious. Turns out he’s the Prince of the Rowan Wood!

The party hurry on to find some dwarven houses (where they encountered outcasts and a spriggun – a type of bad creature) and where the Ambassador gets assassinated.

Yep – my npc was going to get assassinated all along. A swift-deathed knife to the throat and a potion of invisibility forced down her, she vanishes before her guardians can rush to her aid and Captain Jameson goes pounding after the dwarf, intent on revenge. I admit I made a small mistake on what an invisibility potion does – but the party could not save her and then waited for her body to reappear before taking the scroll from her person after laying her to rest (and when no one was looking, the Longstorians chucked the body in the river – cycle of life and all that).

Bereft of their ambassador, the two appointed “seconds” of the three man party hurriedly took shelter to examine the documents to find out what was what before hurrying on to Dun Mhurdo.

And then they got a taste of Dwarven hospitality. The night itself was cold, so OOC we had prepared a fire and some refreshements for the final encounter, but IC the players were led into the great hall deep within the mountain to await three lords of the Dwarves to barter for good fighting men … err … Dwarves. The bartering was using the documents the Thane had provided and eventually after much thought, bartering, calling names, insulting blood lines, quick talks off the the side and other dealings, the two sides came to an agreement and the game was called time out.

We polished off the rat-on-a-stick (chicken satay), goats cheese and Dwarven oat cakes and tea, put out the fire and carried everything back to the car.

200 Elves have already entered Newcroft’s Norcastle for the war effort.

200 Dwarves and 100 craftsmen are soon to follow.

Ithron is going to war.

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