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Before I write up the mission that went out on 17/03/12, I would like to draw your attention to a little fnh fluff I’m toying with as part of my attempt at the 750 word challenge. Winter Rose can be found here, off the “Projects” page or by following the link in the menu on the right hand side of the screen –>

Anyway on to the mission!

This mission was a monster mission for me; therefore I haven’t managed to get the whole picture of what went on with the party or the rest of the monster crew. So, bear with me if certain things don’t quite make sense.

The Surgeon General’s Cloak

The Surgeon General is a Position of Power (PoP) within Ithron as head of the Physician’s Guild. From what I can tell, each position of power has a special item to do with their guild. The Surgeon General is currently Doctor Georgina Herald of Newcroft and after a suitable “trial” period, the Physician’s undercouncil sent the Surgeon General’s cloak of deathsleep (or so it is rumoured to be) to Newcroft. It has travelled the country, paraded before the common peoples and for the final leg of the journey the Newcroft adventurers are called upon to bring it through the city gates in triumph!

At least that is the plan …

Those who volunteered to bring the cloak “home” were: Ranger Neville the scout; Mother Ann Turner, Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle the Physician, Father Finwe the Defender of the Faith and Father Johnny Slayback of Longstor, Father Ulysses Cornway of Tralda, Brother Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor, Thomas Charnock the Alchemist, Master Lirrion the Mage and Junior Guildsman Drake Darkwater and Apprentice Ash Witherspoon from the Tisa Valley Mages Guild.

Intending to meet the bearers on a back route from Carlech to Firebridge, Ranger Neville led the party along seldom used routes until they came upon a message post where they met a number of surprised militia. They had never seen so many people on the path in so few days! There had been a number of people who had arrived late in the evening to then leave early in the morning, perhaps to arrive in Firebridge by midday that day. They’d passed a pigeon onto their colleagues at Firebridge with the information, but apart from that they’d seen no one else. The party agreed that they must be lost and the Ranger hauled the party along having received some directions.

At a fork in the path, Ranger Neville noted the direction of the footprints, barely a day old, and directed the party onwards – right into a Kryganite ambush. Father Finwe and Father Slayback beat them into submission and turned on an Elderkin lurking in the bushes. They pressed on, entering another attack and came across the bodies of those who had been carrying the cloak and their cart. They had been stabbed and clubbed to death and the cloak was not in their possessions. More footprints led Neville away from the bodies and the decision was made – they had to get that cloak back!

Another kryganite ambush, spoiled by Neville’s eagle eyes spotting another Elderkin in the bushes then the party came across waiting Kryganites who goaded the Longstorians into action.

They came upon a sickening dryad and attendant Longstorian who were under attack from the Kryganites. There was a plant that might save her from her sickness, but her priest daren’t leave her alone. This was an emergency and the party volunteered to hunt for this plant. As the party left the clearing the dryad and her tree came under attack, the night air splitting with the shrieks of the woodland spirit. Her priest was killed and Father Slayback volunteered to guard her as the others hunted for her cure.

The party came upon a group of foul spawn who did not want them to pass. Brother Rhade attempted to talk them into letting them past (having his staff taken away by an inquisitive half-orc) but things dissolved into another bloody battle. The party went after the plant (and the monster crew went after the Longstorian).

– Our brief was to give the dryad’s guard some kryganites to keep him busy with a suggestion to have some coming out of the woodland. I couldn’t pass up the chance to practise sneaking or travelling off the path (something I’m a little nervous about doing as a scout), so I carefully picked my way down the slope via the trees and waited for the others to gather. I swear, Slayback looked straight at me but didn’t notice me!

Kryganites attempted to recapture the dryad’s tree, but Father Slayback had no intention of letting them win. Several groups picked at him as one Kryganite stood with a hand on the dryad’s tree, watching as Slayback slew her fellows. Only when he noticed her did she engage in the fight. But Father Slayback made them regret their arrogance and returned to guard the tree, awaiting the player’s return.

– The monster crew then ran after the party and found they had gone too far!

Looking for the plant, the party found themselves at the bottom of a set of steps, debating whether they had gone too far, when a group of foul spawn found them. A half-orc plucked at Brother Rhade’s robes and ended up tugging him back up the steps, drawing the party back the way they had come. However, when they approached the plant, they were pushed on, the vaguely friendly foul spawn suddenly getting very antsy. Finwe made his way down the slope unnoticed and uncovered the plant whilst a peddlar came along the way, selling lucky trinkets. She happened to have some information on the plant and warned the party that they shouldn’t look at the plant. As the foul spawn realised the plant had been dug up, they began to get aggressive until Mother Ann turned the plant on them, causing them to writhe in pain. They hurried on, to heal the dryad and retrieve Father Slayback.

More Kryganites tried to stop them, but to no avail. As they continued hunting for the Surgeon General’s cloak, more Kryganites with a priestess in tow attacked the party, but did little damage. Ahead the party overheard a disturbing sound – the words of prophecy, of a child that was to be born that the Kryganites would follow. They slew the heretics spouting such filth and pushed on.

They were nearing an old Vleyborian insane asylum, waylaid by Kryganites, but they found the asylum unaffected by the terrorising heretics. A physician seemed to be attending to the deathslept inmates, four of whom lay asleep in the outer courtyard. As various members of the party knelt at the Vleyborian shrine, others poked the slumbering inmates and asked questions of the physician who evaded answers and led them through the building, heading for a chapel.

– There was several encounters at the “chapel” that I have no idea what happened in, the party being split by events and as one of the slumbering inmates, I only knew what occurred to one adventuring group. The people assigned to the asylum were dangerous people, murderers and heretics put under deathsleep by a prior priest of Vleybor.

As the party was separated the physician, having warned the adventurers not to disturb a complicated looking device connecting all the inmates together, lit the flash paper and awoke the inmates. Armed, he directed them towards the few remaining players and they gleefully leapt into battle. They were put down, but the physician came under attack and he ran down the hill to escape the angry Finwe, straight into his waiting Kryganite followers. They proceeded to help with his escape by providing a distraction, as the physician leapt into the river, swam across and escaped.

Things escalated from here, it becoming clear that this physician was not entirely trustworthy and he had likely taken the cloak for himself. As the party regrouped, they decided they had to report this to the undercouncil waiting for them in Newcroft.

A second group of Kryganites waited for them across the bridge, their priestess giving them a message – Georgina Herald was challenged for rule of the guild and for the cloak and she had to come and fight for her right to being Surgeon General. But Finwe was having none of that, slaying her followers before locking swords with the priestess. Drawing his special sword, he cut her down and proceeded to hack his way through the following waves of Kryganites (who were added to give him something to do).

Time out and the players returned to Newcroft where they sent Doctor O’Kyle ahead to have a word with the undercouncil. With their agreement, they proceeded to parade the “cloak” through Newcroft, greeted by cheering crowds to return the cloak to one of the Tisa Valley mages who had let them borrow it for their deception. But the Surgeon General’s cloak is still out there, waiting for someone to claim it.