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Two mission updates – a recent daysite and the last nightsite – things should hopefully return to a ‘usual’ schedule with a minimum of the wednesday updates (maybe friday too) as the new academic year kicks off with its weekly routine.

Also keep your eyes peeled for updates to the Summerfest entry …

Thanks to all those who travelled to our branch for the recent daysite. It was great to have so many keen people to adventure with/monster for and thanks to the plot writers and referees present! You guys come up with challenging stuff! If you’ve been misnamed or forgotten, either comment below or email wolfish dot written dot author at g mail dot com.

SEPT 2012 – The darkness falling on Berwickshire

Viscount Loric Ap Cadroc Berwick-Farron has a task for Forester Tait of Amblevale and sends her and a group of chosen adventurers off into the wilds of Berwickshire to conduct a ‘diplomatic’ mission and deliver a message. If only they had listened when told what the pay was going to be …

The adventurers who accompanied Rowan were as follows:

  • Captain Jonah of Tallmael and High Guildsman Christo Eadronhart of the Mercenaries Guild;
  • Guildsman Haydanus of the Scouts Guild;
  • Forester Rowan Tait of Amblevale;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Sister Madeline Blanchfleur of the Holy Rose Order;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor;

The adventurers left the Kings Road near Newcroft, Rowan and Haydanus leading the way and attempting to keep a vague skirmish line to protect the new Defender of the Faith of Vleybor who was acting as the diplomat for the mission. Trying to pass through a group of foul spawn, they triggered an ambush and fought clear – though Rowan gave instructions that they were not going to slaughter their way through their opponents. Several of the beasts ran off or were merely knocked unconscious and the party were faced with further skirmishes.

However, as they advanced, they came upon a group of Konnish who were trying to get home. Via Madeline, who spoke a little of the Konnish tongue, they tried to determine whether they would go peacefully, with Rowan instructing them to lay down their weapons. However, after Defender Lucius had inspected the men and found one painted in red markings, he whispered his suspicions to Rowan – that they had a demon in their midsts. As the Konnish came to realise that they were not going to pass easily, they charged and Rowan came toe to toe with the ‘beast’. As it brushed off her blows to the face and neck, Rowan drew her blessed blade and felled the creature, though not before her armour was ripped to shreds. After that, any standing Konnish fled and Madeline tried to convince them to stay, but to no avail and Rowan quietly gave thanks for Crowa’s blessing upon her honour sword that she carried to be drawn only in the direst of need.

They came upon a group of foul spawn that had fallen prey to the Konnish but were unable to save them, and they continued on their way. They ambushed by more foulspawn, Rowan having to step forward to avoid the retreat of her apprentice, and was brought down as she was surrounded. Madeline rushed to her side and instructed Jonah to keep the nearby Orc down, but he misinterpreted her instructions and attacked the body at her feet – before realising it was Rowan! (cue ooc laughter)

When Rowan was patched up and hunted for her knife, which had fallen out of its sheath during a fight (later recovered to be repaired due to an orc stepping on it and snapping the blade against a rock), they pressed on to the logging camp.

After speaking to the people sleeping outside the palisade, the adventurers learnt of the Axirian presence in this part of the Duchy – members of the Axirian Penal Legion setting about building the camp. They advanced into the camp that, even though darkness was falling, was still a hive of activity. A Legionnaire in the white and purple tabard of the empire stalked over at the arrival of strangers and ordered them not to disturb his workers. As he quizzed the Forester as to their purpose, the rest of the group spoke to the workers and soldiers of the Penal Legion, finding out about the ‘logging’ camp and its true purpose. But, after ordering one of his soldiers back to work, the Prefect executed him upon the spot. Rowan, outraged, challenged him on this until she learned the man’s identity and found she could not protect him under Law. Things became tense with the Axirian Prefect and they left with a little information about what was ahead, a notice and a warning for the residents of the Silverwood – that in six days they had to be gone or else suffer the consequences dealt by the Legion. The message was regarding a bounty on Konnish

The threat made Rowan sick to her stomach and the group went on their way, talking about the Axirian forces seeming to be making a base, their past attempts and hatred for the elves as well as the foulspawn encampment rumoured to exist. They came across more foul spawn (including those settling in for the night where Rowan was dropped again when the shield wall broke), then a group of merchants and their guard who had come from the Silverwood. They spoke of the place, of the elves and humans and half-elves that inhabited it and the current problems with trade imposed by the Viscount, as well as giving advice for the roads and the news that Dark Souls had made a residence in the woods.  With the warning of the Axirian intentions, the Blacksmith urged his companions on – concerned he was about to lose payment on an order.

The party, chose to take the path up to the rumoured encampment – having been asked to do a ‘favour’ for the Axirians at the ‘logging’ camp and clear out the foul spawn – but rather than a killing spree, Rowan and Defender Rhade urged the others to not wade in fighting, but try and speak with the Foulspawn chief. And so – they spoke with the Foulspawn chief through his shaman, and managed to convince him to lead his people to safety away from this corner of Berwickshire, giving him some alchemical potions as tribute to get him to go (we tried to blessings of Vleybor and the a shiny rock!). With them gone and Defender Rhade receiving a blessing from the Shaman, the party press on. Expecting trouble they ran across an elf and a man, who seemed to be expecting a similar amount of trouble. After a brief moment of confusion, Rowan greeted the elf who explained she was one of the travellers from the Rowanwood who had been sent to meet with the Longstorian priest currently deep in conversation with Dr O’Kyle and Defender Rhade. She learnt a little more about the elves of the Rowanwood, with their aversion of contact with humans and their views on other elven groups and half-elves, as well as receiving some worrying news – that soon the elves will be closing their gates to all outsiders with the Axirian presence on their doorstep.

When all business had been completed, the party left the elf and the Longstorian and pressed on towards the Silverwood. Here they were waylaid by a group of young elves who eventually decided they weren’t interesting enough to bother anymore, then they encountered part of the Axirian cordon around the Silverwood stopping its denizens from going north via the roads. Feeling like they were walking into a trap, the group continued into the realm of the Silverwood and encountered a group of its elven protectors. When they tried to pass to meet with Administrator Falco, the elves attacked them and the party became strung out as the shield wall broke and the physician went down. As Rowan tried to pull the party back together, Christo came limping back saying the elves had gotten the Defender, so binding his arm to allow him to tend to his other injuries, Rowan called Jonah to come with her and the pair ran off to save the priest. Seeing him lying on the ground, Rowan tried to rile the elves into showing themselves so they could be dealt with and managed to staunch the blood pouring from Lucius’s chest before engaging in an argument with the pair of guardians. It became apparent that they believed the whole party were allied with the Axirians, which Rowan firmly and angrily denied, and that they would kill them rather than submit. Unfortunately, she was unable to convince them of their intentions, so she pointedly turned her back on them – giving them a chance to kill her as a way of proving her convictions in their purpose. Mercifully they did not attack and she let them go, to return to the group with Jonah having sent Lucius away earlier. But when they returned, she was met with disaster – it seemed another elf had come at the party with a venomed blade and had wounded several members of the group, including Rowan’s training scout who lay dead in a bush. After determining there was nothing that could be done, the group stripped him of useful items such as bandages and pulled him off the path to collect upon their return.

Then they went on their way.

Administrator Falco was expecting them and Rowan was shown into an office inside an old mill house where she was given a set of notices by the Axirian Administrator. Reading them carefully, Rowan’s heart sank as she found proof of the Prefect’s threat – that in six days the residents of the Silverwood would have to be gone or would be dead as the Axirian forces claimed the land. Gritting her teeth, she left the presence of the servant of Viscount Lorik and went and had a quiet moment alone, wanting to scream and lash out as she took the first step towards serving the Axirians in whatever scheme they had for this place. After informing the party of the notices, Rowan was reluctant at first to continue – but decided that the best way to protect these people was to take the notice and deal with the consequences, so on they went.

A Cobbler Fae tried to seek the party’s aid, but Rowan refused to have anything to do with the fae creature – having had bad experiences when encountering their sort before, but Jonah after some debate, took the unction it was offering for some task, and applied it to his empty eye socket. I’m still not sure what became of that little act …

They met another force of elves who, after some posturing and Rowan trying to convey the urgency of their task, agreed to lead them to their Elders to hear the message and do with them as they saw fit. Escorted to the gathering of Elders, Rowan knelt before them and delivered the eviction notice – though only after expressing her regrets at being a bearer of bad news and asking that they do not take their anger out on the messenger. The rest of the group gathered around as Rowan slowly read the message and then the Elders discussed their options: stay and fight, flee but to where being unable to pass the cordon of stern faced Axirian Legionnaires or go to the ‘logging’ camp which would lead to the death of the non-humans. After listening to their debate go round and round the topic, Rowan offered an alternative – to go cross country and north into the borderlands and on into Lirron. Other members of the group raised their own thoughts on the problem – Jonah’s referral of Rowan as ‘his lady’ leading to some confusion as to their status, as the elven Elder assumed that the pair were married rather than one oathbound to the other.

The Elders decided to sleep on the idea and make a decision upon the morning and offered hospitality to the group who accepted, though only after they continued on a ways looking for the rogue outlaw Jack Thorne and the Waspnest gang. Rowan hoped to be able to speak to him to hear of his guilt or not in regards to the charge of treason against him, but alas things did not go according to plan …

The group found a collection of people around the area the Elders had described as the area he and his people inhabited – happy to take what little coin he gave them, but finding him to be unsavoury and difficult to deal with. When Defender Rhade queried where they could find Jack Thorne, the group tried to avoid the question by spinning lies and trying to get the party to clear off, but as Rowan stepped forward declaring her identity the group went very quiet. But, before anything further could be said, something fell from the sky and exploded, spraying angry wasps across them. They mainly hit the bandits and the first few of the party, but otherwise the rest were unharmed and they charged into the bandits and brought them down, though not before a couple of them escaped and another attacked the group from the rear. Rowan tended to a few of her companions then went to investigate the bodies as Jonah tried to get information from one of them – who turned out to be an innocent who he nearly tortured. The Crowan went and had a quiet word with some priests after that …

Kneeling over an unconscious bandit, Rowan roused her and managed to get her to assist in identifying Jack Thorne who’d already made his escape, then let her go – unwilling to kill her for no reason or having to drag her back to Newcroft for unknown crimes. Though she left with a warning – that if they met again, Rowan would be bringing her in. The blue-woaded Forester was going to be active in the region and bandits and outlaws should watch themselves!

That night they slept under a leafy canopy and the next day they returned to Newcroft to collect the body of the dead Scout to have a Kharachian tend to his soul. Then Rowan, in the customs of her Great Aunt, went and paid her respects to the fallen lad at the Longstorian Shrine – drinking a toast to his memory and then putting him from her mind.

But a cold distaste for poison has settled in her and whilst she will continue doing her duty, she fears for the future of the folk of Berwickshire – of halflings, dwarves, elves, half-elves and humans alike.

SEPT 2012 – Vampire hunting

The Church of Kharach in Newcroft has recently had reports of a Vampire terrorising the local population, with rumours of his past as a mage. As such, they wish to crush the undead fiend before his influence spreads and as such put out a hiring notice for brave heroes to go vampire hunting.

The adventurers who heeded the call were:

  • Ranger Brendan DePiercy and Hunter Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts;
  • Surgeon General Georgina Herald of the Physicians Guild;
  • High Guildsman Drake Darkwater and Guildsman Sorely Brewerson of the School of Demonology; High Guildsman Lucien Godfrey of the School of Necromancy;
  • Squire Leoric Drakensvald of the Knightly Black Order;
  • Mother Anne Turner and Father Finwe of Longstor; Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Novice Barnabus Locke of Sidhe;

The adventurers were warned that rumours of the fiend seem to indicate that in life he may have been a demonologist, though of course the church cannot be sure. The adventurers, armed with information as to its whereabouts, set out from the village off into the woods. They came across a group of foulspawn who did not seem pleased to see humans in their lands and had to fight their way through before coming across several dead villagers. They bore bite marks on their throats but appeared to have died naturally – falling out of trees, falling onto stumps etc. After a quick examination, the bodies were pulled into a circle and Mother Anne cleansed them of the vampiric taint before leaving them to be dealt with upon their return.

They approached a cave rumoured to be the vampire’s hidey hole, fought through some lingering undead but found the cave empty – until someone got too close to a magical rock which transported the entire party to Sharda – the Demon plane. All connections to deities vanished, all magical weapons went down and the party, after the demons recovered from the unexpected shock of a large group of adventurers who were clearly not the person they were expecting, asked for assistance in claiming the soul of one Raphael Beaumont – the vampire they were hunting. There was also a chance to do some deals with demons.

Once they had agreed to do whatever the demon asked them to help with and received the information on how to kill the vampire, the party were teleported back to Arda into the middle of a group of foulspawn who attacked once they’d recovered from their shock. They were furious to see a group of strangers on their holy ground between the three holy items! The party fended them off and set about looking for the three tasks – a test of intelligence, a test of nobility and a test of strength.

The test of intelligence involved drinking potions in the correct order detailed in a riddle whilst being harassed by the peeved foul spawn.

The test of nobility involved sacrificing one’s life to weaken a vampire’s protections – an” honour” which Father Benedict did willingly. However, he wasn’t permanently killed and assisted in the final test.

The test of strength involved grabbing a ring from under the watchful gaze of stone and wooden guardians who attacked any who passed into the rings. Several members of the party kept the automaton occupied whilst Sorely Brewerson scrambled into a gap and grabbed the ring to dart out again victorious.

Once the three items had been found the group were teleported back to the cave where the vampire, unsuspecting that the demons were out to get him, called upon his final aid as the adventurers appeared in his home. Setting the demons on the party he was willing to let them do his dirty work until he was rushed by Father Benedict whom he commanded to kill his friends, and eventually charged by Father Finwe and staked through the heart.

At this point the demon turned up and claimed what remained of his blackened soul from the dust, though the demon was subsequently destroyed, leaving behind scrolls and money which the party pounced upon …

Job done, they returned to the Kharachian church to report the events of the day and to swap the old money for current currency. Perhaps this is a good thing … as subsequent reading of one of the contracts has revealed many sinister things …

SEPT 2012 – The Steward of Hightower

Baron Hightower’s faithful steward has been snatched by some bandits and an extortionate ransom demanded for his safe return. Refusing to bow to such insolence from the peasant folk, he summons adventurers to his aid.

Those who answered the summons were:

  • High Guildsman Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry and Freesword Crag McFist of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Ned and Crow of Dragon Tribe and the Scouts;
  • Forester Rowan Tait of Amblevale;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • High Guildsman Ash Witherspoon of the School of  Enchantment; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order;
  • Castellan Robert Baratheon and Vassal Alaric Whitehart of the adventuring Feudal Knights;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor

The adventurers were informed that the man was known to visit someone in a local village and set out to see if they could trace his last movements and hopefully find him unharmed and alive. They were given warnings of dark elf activity in the region by the Baronial militia on the gates and off they went.

However as they came across a group of Konnish with a demon in tow, a number of dark elves ambushed them from the woods and Rowan ended up chasing one off to keep it away from Gaalen as he tended to a wound to his casting hand.

As she re-joined the party as the rear-guard, Ned, Defender Lucius and Dr Leo were tending to a body they had found in the woods, a local man who’d been attacked and left for dead. Escorting him back to his neighbours, the group learnt that the Steward had been seen in the past few days and that he usually visited a local woman named Polly Fairchild. Rowan also learnt that the villagers were suffering from encroaching foul spawn and dark elves who usually kept to their own territory. Concerned that something was forcing them out of their usual places, the adventurers went looking for the woman and the source of the problem.

They fought off several waves of foul spawn and came upon Polly Fairchild sitting on her front step. She knew the man they sought and had seen him only a few days previously, confirming his description and his identity. Defender Lucius also had a quiet word with her on a private matter and came back with a strange expression on his face.

The party were hounded by demons, harried back and forth by spells until they were able to get rid of the demons that were harassing them, though not before engaging further foul spawn.  As they reached the border between Baron Hightower and Baronet Errunadai’s lands, they were greeted frostily and begrudgingly given aid as the mages were struggling to pull together enough power to sharpen further blades against the demons. After some posturing between the guards and outright hostility against the Defender of the faith, the adventurers hurried off after a scream.

Up a rise, they came across a group of dark elves (though Rowan mistook them for Konnish as she crested the rise) and whilst they dealt with most of them, Crow decided to have a word with one of them … using his knife to help make it talk – much to Defender Rhade’s horror.

They came across a group of the Baronet’s men hunting dark elves, were bothered by a demon which Robert Baratheon – armed with an enchanted blade and bolstered with protections from magic – destroyed , then tracked for a long time by a group of dark elves – who generally wound Rowan up. She refused to be drawn away from the party, but Crow chased after one of them when he made off with his spear and after a long pause, Rowan called allies to come assist her in finding the Ice Tribesman. Expecting him dead, Gaalen and Rowan found him fighting off the dark elf before returning to the party to continue on.

A man crossed their path with some information for the group, then they came to the top of Beggar’s Bluff where they engaged with the source of their demon problem – a demonologist in the company of the dark elves.

Rowan saw little of this fight – having been obeyed and knocked out by her party – but most of the demons were destroyed but the demonologist and his allies got away. They found the steward (alive), tended to his wounds and escorted him home. Rowan has a feeling that’s not the last they’ll see of that particular demonological problem …

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