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Sunday found several Newcroft adventurers wandering a long way from home – wandering the highways and byways of Derwentshire and it’s city of Darian. Being adventurers, they bravely answered the call for aid from the local Longstorians and after slogging through unknown territory … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Thank you Derby Branch and guests for an awesome day out. If you know you took part in one or other of the missions but are misnamed or unnamed, please contact me on wolfish dot written dot author at g mail dot com or comment below.

Author’s warning – contained herein might be dodgy information about anything that could be related to Springfest plot.

Trust nothing!

Particularly anything a branch ref or LO tells you …

Monster Mission: Breaking a treaty and other bother

In recent history Jeramiah Fitzalvin, Huntsmaster of Norham made a treaty with a local group of “organised” orcs, detailing an agreement that no man would pass into their territory and none of their kind would terrorise Derwentshire again. A large area of woodland, named Ravenswood stands on the border, infested with dark elves and other assorted monstrosities …

However, there have been reports that the orcs are marshalling arms and the fragile treaty may have already been broken, leading Huntsmaster Jeremiah Fitzalvin and his Junior Forester Lucy Ashworth to investigate. Accompanying the Foresters were:

  • a pair of elven Kharachians known as the Mormagil – a High Mother Priestess and a Devotee of the faith
  • High Father Neil Nolastname of Tralda
  • Master Lahsaa Nethir of the School of Thaumaturgy
  • Junior Guildsman Andrew Fox of the Mages Guild
  • Dame Emilia Brooke of the Grey Order
  • a Lirronese (?) Vleyborian Mercenary
  • Guildsman Richard, Mercenary of the Raptor Unit
  • a Gypsy
  • a human Scout
  • an elven physician

They left the town by the gate guarded by the town militia, who inspected permits and asked odd questions of certain members of the party. Perhaps they spoke nonsense, perhaps they were not quite all there, but they confirmed the rumours the Foresters had heard – orcs behaving badly. On they went, coming across a body to then face an inexperienced necromancer struggling to keep control on her numerous undead minions. As her (rather expensive) animates and skeletons were dealt with, the Mages and Huntsmaster approached the sheepish Guildsman and towered over her, arms folded with disapproving frowns upon their faces (the three blokes can be fairly imposing when they choose to be). It appeared that Guildsman Sarah Penniston was following, what she believed to be, guild instructions to gather some of the local undead to deal with a “vermin” problem aka dark elves in Ravenswood. However the letter she carried on her person instructing her actions was falsely signed and the name of the man who had hired her via the local mages guild run a bell with many who were present – Sabre. Thoroughly scolded, under arrest and to expect a lecture by the Kharachian High Mother upon their return, the mage was ordered back to town to hand herself in.

The party then attempted to enter the wood, to be attacked by a band of dark elves who were understandably annoyed at the invasion of their realm. From what I can tell a brief scuffle happened, some of the creatures being slain, whilst others knocked out to be questioned later. One, when roused, slit his own throat than talk, but several others were more forthcoming with information of what had awoken their anger.

Further in, the party encountered a group of hung over Lirronese recruits to the Moray Militia, looking decidedly sorry for themselves as their drill sergeant ordered them into line. They seemed to have no clue where they were (so much so that it couldn’t be explained away by the amount of drink they’d probably consumed the previous night) and when faced by another wearing their colours, the militia seemed to lower their guard. However a strange compulsion came upon them when the Huntsmaster introduced himself and all of the militia attempted to attack the Law Official, to be knocked out or wounded for the party to hold together until they could be sure all was well. Their captain was pinned to the ground and woken to see if the compulsion was still upon him, but whatever had guided his actions was gone and the party set to bandaging the militia and getting them back onto their hung over feet. Here is a lesson to be learnt – never ever ever touch Morag Whiskey!

Travelling on they found a strange patch of cold, with a frozen rock in the middle of a sunlit glade. One of the mages touched the rock with his staff, for it to break. They encountered more dark elves and then as they left the wood, they came face to face with a troop of organised orcs. Their leader declared that the humans were breaching the treaty and demanded that they surrender their weapons. Thus began a long discussion between the adventurers and the orcs, with threats of reinforcements and refusals to lower arms passed back and forth until an uneasy compromise was reached. It appeared a third party was manipulating the two sides, with humans crossing into orc territory and annoying the dark elves leading to the orcs gathering arms. A battle was soon to commence where the humans would be crushed and a secret camp where two humans wearing the symbol of the foresters had been seen by orc scouts. The troop’s signal master was sent to try and delay the battle after another orc was sent to bring up reinforcements and the adventurers were allowed to pass to try and solve the matter peacefully, with warnings of the ones who call down the crows ringing in their ears. Something very strange was happening here and the Huntsmaster seemed determined to discover what it was.

They encountered the command of another unit and were directed away from the battle toward the secret camp. Upon climbing the hill, they encountered a group of strange “painted peoples” – men and women, some in armour, some without, with blue spirals and marks painted on their skin, who seemed delighted to encounter more foes and thirsty for battle. Two women with blue lines across their faces goaded them into battle to the cry of “Heads for the Harvest”. They seemed unharmed by normal weapons and were ordered to leave them to die slowly as the two women did their work. Armed with spells of fear and freeze and drop, the creatures split the party, allowing their priestesses to choose their targets. The Huntsmaster was frozen several times before being allowed to close to fighting range, where he was wounded and brought to his knees. As he tried to heal himself, he was frozen again and the alchemy taken by a priestess, who was brought to the ground by a desperate attack by one of the adventurers. As she dropped to the floor, the ground erupted around her, knocking those around her back and then the ground sealed itself and she was gone – taking the alchemy with her. The party tended to the wounded and then pressed on.

Spotted by two guards, the party came upon the encampment where two men in Forester’s tabards and a group of mercenaries hailed the adventurers. However, as their leader introduced himself as Sabre, the High Father of Tralda and a number of the Mages recognised a demonic aura and alerted the party. Sabre explained away the aura from his battles in the Konn, but the party weren’t having it and when Sabre refused to be arrested, the mercenaries were ordered to engage. A long drawn out battle, with many of the mercenaries and adventurers begin dropped by lethal wounds or poison, allowed Sabre to escape but his deputy, a human, rushed to the aid of the adventurers and managed to save all but one of the party. Richard, a member of the Raptors, died before anyone could attend to his wounds and Dame Emilia was left with useless arms due to the wounds bleeding out.

And whilst Sabre is still at large, the Foresters have issued a warning to the folk of Derwentshire that here is a man who cannot be trusted and it seems the matter of the angry orcs has been resolved for now.

Player Mission: Save the Priestess

As our valiant heroes of Newcroft stumbled into Darian one bright spring morning, a gathering of adventurers in what looked like a hiring square caught their attention. With mutterings of a missing Longstorian Priestess and the muffled conversation of concerned locals, Father Cornway took one look at the situation and decided to locate the nearest pub. Unfortunately his companions hauled him back and added their skills to the rescue attempt. Two weeks previous, a Longstorian Priestess disappeared in the night and whilst a call for help had been sent, the heroes had been busy tussling with other problems. And so, the trail gone cold, but recently a piece of the priestess had been returned to them – a finger in a small box. The locals had also sent out search parties and whilst they couldn’t find her, they could advice on a possible direction.

“North, Northwest-ish” they said.

Not particularly useful for a scout unfamiliar with the area. It’s also a big county, so lets’ get to it.

Those than answered the call were as follows:

  • Brother Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor
  • Father Ulysses Cornway of Tralda
  • Father Sebastian of Sidthe
  • Father Vau, the half-Urkh Crown
  • Kavat, Devotee of Tralda
  • Supplicant Longstorian Priest
  • Senior Guildsman Erin Stillsong of the School of Demonology
  • Doctor Rosie Baker, the Halfling physician
  • Astrid Reynar, Doctor Baker’s apprentice
  • Guild Senior Breaca nic Graine of the Mercenaries Guild
  • Guild Senior Erurainon en Laurina-Taurë of the Mercenaries Guild
  • Guildsman Anette Bezault of the Mercenaries Guild
  • Tracker Lucia of the Scouts Guild
  • Woodsman Rowan Tait of Amblevale, Scouts Guild

After introducing themselves and preparing a number of enchanted weapons, the adventurers set out to the Northwest of the city, having their permits checked by those on the gate, the Longstorian supplicant taking the lead. However, entering an open glade where a woodsman was hard at work, the party encountered three creatures daubed in woad with the battle cry of “Heads for the harvest”. Enchanted blades seemed the only way to put them down and Rowan had a feeling she’d encountered these things before (and whilst I did monster the previous mission, this “feeling” will come from stories told as a child). Bypassing a group of bandits demanding a toll, the party encountered an exhausted scout who turned out to have been one of the Priestess’s guardians. Tired beyond words, he eventually told us that he had been separated from the others and had checked the south of the city with no sign of his charge.

Leaving the Physicians to tend to him, the party rounded a corner to find more bandits, heavily armed demanding we turn back. The party eventually managed to break through and Rowan followed three who escaped, to hear a bloodcurdling scream as they vanished from view. Running ahead, she found the three bandits writhing on the floor in agony, poisoned. Inspecting the area she could see no sign of what might have attacked them and she ordered the party to stay where they were so she could properly investigate. No footprints led her away from the wounded and the party were perplexed until the physicians tended to the three men and roused them. “It came from the trees” was the general gist of their panic and suddenly all eyes were on the surrounding bushes, looking for anything hiding in their shadowy depths. As she and the Longstorian forged ahead, looking for traps or anything unusual, they came to a clearing where another of the Priestess’s guardians was scanning the ground, looking for some sign of his charge. Whilst he was taken aside and questioned, the mage began to renew a used enchanted blade, but halfway through his ritual, he turned with a cry, declaring something was in the bushes. The guardian had warned of attacks from the bushes and something that had followed him, which only added to the unease of the party. Further along their path they encountered a number of undead creatures which burst from the ground in a series of waves before crossing paths with two young women selling apples. As Rowan stood on watch, the others ignored the Vleyborian’s pleas not to do harm and attacked the women when their stories began to contradict the other. Doctor Baker took the apples to pass them to an alchemist in case they were harmful and the party continued on their way.

Unfortunately, Rowan came across a group of Kryganites who taunted her and Vau to no effect before proceeding to attack the party. These were dealt with, along with another wave of heretics and the creature in the bushes finally made an appearance – an elderkin. Chasing after the creature, the Longstorian and Rowan lost it in the trees and would have let it go had Rowan not spotted it leaving the dappled shade and launched herself up the slope after it. She came within striking range but was frozen before the creature inspected her closely and knocked her out. As the party licked their wounds and planned their next course of action, more of the Priestess’s guardians approached the party. Information was passed between the two groups and a Fygolian was put to the sword when asked his true faith by the Sidethean. Following his tracks to see where the alchemy he’d been carrying had come from, Rowan found more Kryganites in the trees and the party engaged in battle once more, much to the Vleyborian’s distress.

The party were then engaged by several groups of Kryganites and picked at by another Elderkin, knocking many to the ground having been poisoned by venom. As the physicians battled to keep the adventurers alive, the priests decided it was time to attempt to locate the priestess, using a dagger as a pointer. Given a direction, Rowan paced out to get a feel for where they were headed – amusing some of the adventurers by getting tangled in a low lying tree branch as she attempted to get a clear line of sight. But more Kryganites blocked their way and were dealt with by the adventurers.

It was at this time that Lucius Aquarius Rhade finally got on the nerves of Vau, who after punching a tree to avoid breaking the priest, stormed off in the direction the knife had pointed. Another of the Priestess’s guardians appeared, having been told to watch a particular spot until convinced by Doctor Baker to come with them, and the party exited the woodlands onto an open grassy area.

There stood a large tree with spreading branches, under which a figure in green could be seen bound to the trunk, surrounding by Kryganite heretics. The party engaged in battle with the heretics, chased some off and were chased by others, trying to rescue the Priestess and one scout generally lying on her back writhing in pain from the venom coursing through her blood. They managed to rescue the Priestess through not before killing off a number of high ranking Kryganites to place another of their rank in a position of power (for which they were thanked when the battle was over) and after the physicians inspected the Priestess, the three priests offered to perform a cleansing to attempt to heal the corruption of the Longstorian.

Three priests conducted the cleansing as the others stood on watch for the return of the Kryganites (and possible dinner for Vau in the form of inquisitive rabbits who should know better), and the Priestess was returned to the care of her guardians. The adventurers returned to the city to collect their pay and find a decent tavern that served hot food and the Newcroft adventurers prepared to return home in the morning.

———

A fantastic day out in gorgeous sunshine and lots of interesting potential plot hints for Springfest. Though now I have to dig through the IC legends for reference for Formorian Fae …

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