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It’s been a (long) while since we had one of these – so I apologise in advance if details/characters/missions are forgotten in the process of getting this write up done. With moving house, settling into the job and waiting to be reconnected to the internet, finding time to sit down and write up all the adventures has been tricky. But, as you see below, life in Ithron hasn’t stopped because some pesky real-world issues got in the way.

Below are the missing adventures of Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale and the heroes of Ithron from September and October 2012. Part 2 to continue next week …

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.

September day site (Tees Valley) – Of Stone Maidens and Fire
September day site (Tees Valley) – Dark Elves in the woods
September day site – The continued misadventures of a prayer scarf
September day site – A tale of revenge
October night site – Things are not as they seem
October down time – Fire in Newcroft
October day site – We’re going on a Vampire hunt
October day site – The Acenwode

SEPT 2012: Of Stone Maidens and Fire

Rowan travelled down to Tisa Vale for a change of pace and to assist with dealing with a heretical group of dark dwarves who worship their “red lady”, a creature of nature twisted by fire. Recently having pledged herself in service to Crowa, she was keen to prove herself in her supplication to become a Devotee of the Goddess.

The adventurers who gathered in Whitebay at the request of Defender Eliza Day of the Holy Rose Order:

  • Ranger Brendan DePiercy;
  • Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Miss Susan Wolstenholme and an Ethronian Physicians of the Physicians Guild;
  • High Guildsman Lucien Godfrey of the School of Necromancy; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Obadiah Hakeswill, Lord of Wyldtown;
  • Defender Mother Rose Eliza Day and Sister Madeline Blanchfleur of the Holy Rose Order;
  • Chaplain High Father William Klider of Sidhe

At the hiring Defender Day made all gathered swear never to reveal the location of a Naiad (a water elemental) who was going to assist the group in rescuing an oread that had been twisted by her blending with a fire elemental. Defender Day’s assistance had been requested previously by a trio of Oreads (see the last mission of this escapade in May 2012) to help save their sister.

The adventurers set off up the coast on the guidance of a follower of Longstor, looking for a place where spring water flowed into the bay and where the Naiad dwelt. As they progressed along the path they came upon a strange sight – a storm boiling out at sea, with lightning striking the surface. This made the mages greatly concerned, for there was a reek of magic about the whole thing and as the party paused to watch, there was a great flash of light and a ghostly rotting wreck came to the surface, festooned with debris from the deeps and swarming with undead sailors. The ship with its tattered sails set off across the water, heading away from Ithron’s shores and some of the party queried whether this was a remnant of an llaminusian fleet which had plagued the region’s coastline in the past.

Progressing on they encountered a group of foul spawn foraging for the winter, which led to a small disagreement on whether they should have permits for the weapons on their persons between the Necromancer and the Forester, who slowly lost her temper. But soon they arrived at a rock wall with no apparent way in save for some words scratched into the stone and a lichen patch that looked like a crude handprint. Brendan reached out and touched the stone for the door to slide away to reveal a dark opening.

In the adventurers went, cracking potions of light to illuminate their way. On they went, avoiding drips from the ceiling and traps along the tunnel. A painting caught their attention – a crude drawing of the god and goddess Longstor and Krygan birthed from the original Old God Logan, daubed in a strange wet paint that repainted itself when disturbed – leaving Sir Obadiah with a copy of Longstor’s face on his palm where he touched the painting.

Then they came to a pool where a woman draped in blue cloth greeted them warmly, encouraging the whole party closer as she eyed up the men. This was the Naiad the party had sought and Miss Susan, Defender Day and Sister Madeline stepped up to ask for her help. Rowan stayed back, letting the ladies do most of the talking and keeping an eye on the men who were reluctant to approach. The Naiad agreed to assist, by providing them with a weapon to down the tainted oread and a spell to undo the damage done by the fire elemental. But who was to wield this weapon? And what would the party pay for this aid?

She requested the company of one of the men from the party for a month. The ladies were horrified, but Rowan grinned and pointed to Brendan, who was already rising to his feet and volunteering. Now that they had reached an agreement, the men approached, with Sir Obadiah enquiring after the silent men flanking the Naiad – who turned out to be Abraxian sailors she had saved from drowning because they had taken her fancy. At this, Sir Obadiah killed them, and the Naiad commanded him to drown himself. Rowan, seeing him kneeling at the pool and ducking his head in, tried to pull him out – succeeding only to be knocked out as he punched her and continued to drown himself. It was the pleading of the party that saved him and Rowan shrugged off her black eye with a smile.

The weapon, a bow with an arrow made of water was given to Rowan who was not bound by strictures on ranged weapons, and a small box was given to the mages with instructions on how to do the ritual. Then, with only a step, the Naiad transported the travellers through her pool into the cave where the Oread was being held. But soon, the cooling water was gone as the temperature rose and the party were fighting through tunnels filled with dark dwarves to reach the central chamber where, lit by a pool of lava, the red lady waited.

Rowan wasted three arrows trying to pin the maiden, unused to wielding a bow in combat, but eventually she struck the tainted oread who fell to the floor. So pinned, the mages began their ritual as the party turned to defend them from the angry dwarves who came pouring out of the tunnels. But, as the ritual came to a completion, the full weight of what they were doing came to light as the fire elemental, furious at being robbed from his body, struck out at the mages – knocking them back and setting them alight. As their firey master rose from the stone body, the dwarves attacked in force and many of the adventurers found themselves stepping over the fallen bodies of their comrades as they were driven back towards the Lava.

But somehow the tide was turned and Rowan was roused by one of the physicians who then turned in horror to the mages, whose clothes were now ash and their skin was bubbling under the heat of the flames. Frantically patting them down, the adventurers saved them from death, but not without casualties.

And so, to save the eyes of Miss Susan and the dignity of Lucien Godfrey, Rowan sacrificed her new prayer scarf to cover his nakedness.

Glad to see the adventurers successful, and her prize still in one piece, the Naiad offered to transport the adventurers anywhere they chose – with Lucien demanding to be taken home to Middlebourne (with Rowan’s scarf), and the rest happy to appear in Whitebay – though Sir Obadiah choosing to appear out of the sea ready for action.

And as for Brendan … well … that’s a story for another time.

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SEPT 2012: Dark Elves in the woods

And so, the tables turned and a bold group of adventurers set out to walk the ways of Ithron and fight another day.

Miss Barnaby had received a letter from a local ogre-mage, requesting help as he was being hunted by some dark elves. Anxious to assist, Miss Barnaby called together a group of adventurers to help her. These adventurers were:

  • Mr Colt Garrison of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Al of the South Escans;
  • Elias and Blue;
  • Doctor Tess Farrier of the Physicians Guild;
  • Miss Barnaby of the School of Necromancy; Drake Darkwater of the School of Demonology; Ash Witherspoon of the School of Enchantment;
  • Sir Ranulf de Brus of the Knightly Black Order
  • Defender Father Lucius Aquarius of Vleybor;

As the adventurers set out they were watched by a number of dark elves who eventually chose to pick a fight with the group, then a small goblin with a message came running towards them, chased by a pair of dark elves that, upon seeing the group, decided it was best to make themselves scarce. However, certain members of the party had other ideas and chased them down. The message the goblin brought was for Miss Barnaby, another message from the Ogre-mage begging for aid.

So, on the heroes hurried, hoping they were not too late to save the mage from whatever terror was haunting him. But, as they came around a corner they saw a terrible sight – a hooded figure walking a circle to stand and bow. With a flash a hideous shape appeared in the circle as the ritualist’s protectors came towards the adventurers – a creature with a long wolfish snout that sniffed the ground then sped off with a howl, leaving the hooded mage to stand and watch the adventurers approach. After they had cut through the dark elves the figure cowered before them as the mages examined the circle and tried to speak to their evil counterpart. But she refused to speak and it wasn’t until the Defender of the faith and the Knight convinced her they meant her no harm that Elias managed to get her to explain what was going on.

And, after a time, his questions changed from being nice and pleasant to threatening and serious.

It seemed that, using a small vial of blood, the dark elf had been instructed to summon a hellish bloodhound to hunt down the ogre-mage at the command of her master, one side of a pair of dark elf tribes in the area – one working to push the other one out and rule. She knew nothing of what the creature was, only that it hunted blood and it was what her master had wanted.

On a little way the adventurers came upon a group of unarmed dark elves who gave them some of political troubles of the area and pointed them on up the hill where, after a fight with the toughened warriors of the other tribe, they came face to face with the leader and his ‘witch’ preparing to sacrifice the ogre-mage to gain his strength. After rescuing the ogre, the group were harried by some demon minions and other dark elves until they emerged victorious in the fading light.

Thank you Tees Valley for a grand day out!

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Sept 2012: The continued misadventures of a prayer scarf

There was disturbing news on the wind – mercenaries not returning from what should have been routine duties and Captain-General Catherine Brack-on-Hill was getting concerned. Upon recieving a letter saying that a group of people were under attack, she called together a group of adventurers to come help defend this group or find out what was going on.

But there was another reason, a reason that required Rowan at her side in the fight – the men being hunted were the Rangers of Dunstaburgh, and the one who’d sent the note was the outlaw Evan Farmer, one of Catherine’s oldest friends. Prior to this Catherine had brought Rowan into the world of the Rangers and whilst she was yet to swear into their merry band, she had promised to help where she could. And now they were in danger, Rowan agreed to lend her aid. And all of this under the watchful gaze of the newly appointed Huntsmaster of Ithron …

The adventurers who joined them were:

  • Captain-General Catherine Brack-on-Hill and Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry; Crag McFist of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Ned of the Scouts;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth and Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology;
  • Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa;

Before they left Newcroft, Catherine reminded Rowan of the symbol – a tiny star – which proved useful when they encountered a group of wounded men claiming to have been caravan guards. Rowan encouraged them to get new permits sorted, but listened as they spoke of trouble up the road – indicating a rough area they had fled from. They also spoke of demons which made Rowan and Catherine share a concerned look, but on they went.

They found bodies of men bearing the insignia of the Rangers, and a demon which nearly tore through the party, then more bodies and a man stuck in a ritual circle around which a demon walked. But, as the party ran towards it, the spell was completed and the man fell to his knees to rise and sneer at them, and in the voice of a demon, asked to speak to the party.

It was asking for information, trading information for theirs, warning the party that the way ahead was lost and any allies of the fallen would be hunted down. Unfortunately, it’s threat aimed at Father Benedict was cut short as Christo Eadronheart stabbed it with an enchanted blade and drove the demon from the man’s body.

Further up the road were gathered a group of Newcroft militia, making plans to storm a fortress up the road and put outlaws to the sword. As Rowan and the Huntsmaster spoke with a forester who was out of uniform and seemed in the know, the party conversed with the militia and discovered they were after the Dunstaburgh Rangers. After suggesting that perhaps they could assist in the work of the adventurers, the party pressed on, with Rowan keeping an eye on the men gathered there. But, alas, they would find only sorrow waiting for them.

On the adventurers went until they reached a blacked ruin with bodies strewn around gate as if defending from something – all horribly burned and contorted as if they had died making one final stand against some horror. There were some papers amongst the bodies, and whilst the party examined the damage, Rowan went looking for the man who had begged for their aid. She hoped she would not find him. Alas she did.

Lying under a tree, knocked out, Rowan found the old Captain of the Newcroft Militia with a member of the current militia standing over him. Upon seeing the Forester he claimed the bounty, which Rowan sort of agreed to give him whilst avoiding actually agreeing to do so – telling him to report to the Foresters Tower and they’d sort it all out once they’d brought him in. But first she had to arrest him herself, and so she knelt at his side to wake him up. When he roused, she quietly greeted him, showing him the small star she had taken from one of the bodies earlier just in case, and explaining that Catherine was nearby. But first she had to arrest him. Which she did so loudly as the Huntsmaster arrived. Unfortunately Evan decided to punch the man who’d knocked him out, and Ned knocked him out as he was a nuisance. So, Rowan rousing him a second time, took him aside with Catherine and talked the situation over.

The situation wasn’t good – there was little way that they could allow Evan to “escape” with the Huntsmaster present, and taking him back to Newcroft would not see Justice done – not with the Guard’s “dodgy step” or the other threats to his life. No, he would have to die, and so Rowan agreed to do it to save Catherine bearing that weight. But Evan had other plans. As he began to walk off, Rowan called out to him and he challenged her to a duel – by name and rank of a supplicant devotee of Crowa – a duel she could not refuse lest she break her sins and be forever a Kindred in the Lady’s sight. So, she agreed, though the party tried to intervene. But, as Rowan turned aside to ready herself, Evan attacked and in a panic, Rowan drew the only weapon readily to hand – her enchanted longsword. As she drove it through his breast he dropped his weapon and forgave her, mortally wounded. Horrified at what she had done, Rowan could only kneel and gawp as Catherine grieved her old friend.

But that was not the end of the matter. An idea came to Rowan and quickly, whilst Catherine knelt sobbing over his corpse, Rowan tipped a heal body down his throat and palmed the bottle. Urging the party to take Catherine to one side and asking for Benedict’s help, she declared she was going to give the man Lirronese Rights, as was her right as his victor – burial by fire. And whilst the Crowan priest tried to convince Rowan she’d done the right thing, the party left them alone. Quickly Rowan gathered a pyre of wood, but before striking a match and setting the thing ablaze, she apologised to Benedict and woke Evan up.

Recently returned from the dead, he was understandably confused, but Rowan told him to leave whilst he could. Evan Farmer had died that day and he was a new man. And she was a Ranger of Dunstaburgh and would do all she could to see the end of the demons hunting them. And with that, he left them, fading into the brush.

However, as they stood there, the party came under attack by demons and their little ruse almost came undone as the party came charging after a fleeing demon. Then, as Arthur and Rowan and Ned pored over a document they had found, Benedict set himself on fire by triggering a trap.

And so continued the misadventures of Rowan’s prayer scarf –  saving the dignity of yet another man.

But, on the first day of the following month, her heart came alive with the light of her Goddess, having passed her supplication and finally becoming a Devoted follower of her Lady.

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Sept 2012: A tale of revenge

In the borderlands are several families whom you shall hear a lot about over the course of the next year or so. One of these families have been causing trouble and so a group of adventurers ventured out – hot on the heels of one particularly nasty Kryganite outlaw.

The adventurers on the mission were as follows:

  • Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Sorely Brewerson of the School of Demonology; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick and a Squire of the Knightly Grey Order; Sir Stewart DePiercy of the Knightly Griffin Order;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; Brother Barnabus of Sidhe

The adventurers headed into the borderlands to investigate some rumours of a sickness and to meet with Baronet Robson. As they travelled on their way, they came across a trio of dying Nixons infected with a queer disease who, after the Doctor and the Defender of Vleybor had cured them, told the adventurers that a strange man had come to their lord and had started making the men and women sick.

Up ahead the adventurers saw a woman they mistook to be a crowan or mage at first, until they got closer and realised she was a bequifisian priestess who taunted the party as a thin young lad escaped down the hill. Torn between running after him and dealing with the renegade physician in her company. But, realising the identity of the Nixon lad, Sir Dalon and Jonathon ran after him.

Reaching him before he crosses into Robson land and starts a war, Sir Dalon uses all his strength to try and stop the young son of the old Borderland Baronet, who’s mind has been twisted by Krygan and Bequifis to become consumed with the need for revenge. They eventually manage to stop the lad and cure him before he dies, though when Baronet Robson is summoned to see what the adventurers have done, he turns to the grey knights to name the boy’s punishment, before killing the Nixon boy.

Rumour has it he then put the Nixon family to the sword, to destroy the taint that had taken root in their hearts …

As for this strange sickness … the cure is yet to be seen …

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Oct 2012: Things are not as they seem

The church of Longstor was tasked with clearing a number of heretical foulspawn from a major trading route. However, all is not what it seems when the mages arrive …

The adventurers that answered the call for aid were:

  • Crag McFist of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Ned of the Scouts;
  • Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Surgeon General Doctor Georgina Gris, Lady Mayoress of Norham and the Physicians Guild;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology; Johnny Test of the School of Enchantment; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • High Father Cornway of Tralda; Mother Anne Turner of Longstor;

The mission began successfully, a simple task of clearing foulspawn. However, near an old abandoned watchtower the tracks changed and the adventurers were faced with a warband. Fighting on an open patch of ground with the moonlight in their eyes, the adventurers lines broke as swift hobgoblins surprised them from behind. But the adventurers prevailed and as they licked their wounds and gathered themselves for another assault, Rowan noticed a worrying set of tracks. Dragging, stumbling footsteps with blood from a deep wound splattered in amongst, Rowan called the Surgeon General to her and dashed off into the dark, concerned someone was bleeding to death within feet of them.

She came across a pair of men – one in the tabard of the forester and one recently dead, and planted her hands on the man who lay dying. As Georgina did her work, Rowan searched his pockets and found a Foresters permit, which concerned her.

Upon rousing the dying man, he appeared to have lost him memory, though he seemed to recognise the name on the Forester’s permit. And so, Rowan convinced him to accompany them – perhaps to regain his memory or to uncover the things that had occurred. Travelling on they fought off more organised foul spawn and reached a point that the mages bid them defend, arranging certain people at points around Arthur who proceeded to conduct a ritual. Unable to move from where she stood, Rowan had to try and protect the party by keeping watch for attackers, who came upon the merry band and tried to disrupt what the mages were about.

When Arthur returned to them, a little shaken, answers were demanded and it became clear that they were no longer on a “simple” foul spawn mission. It seemed the mages had accompanied them on their own agenda, seeking out points of powerful magical energy to try and track the rogue ogre-mage Red Fang who had been twisted to the will of Ordet and was calling forth dangerous demons drawing power from the land. Using some magical device (a spinning do-hickey on a stuck which would turn when the powers … I’m not even going to try and explain how this worked …) they could determine where the energy was being drawn and potentially stop Red Fang before he wrecked more havoc.

At this point there was an option to not continue on, to turn back, but Rowan wanted to see the end of the flow of demons so she promised Arthur she would do what she could. As the others of the party bought into this new task, they prepared to set out with Georgina taking Rowan to one side. She expressed a concern that the stranger seemed a little too timid to be a Forester, and his hands were unscarred from weapons practise or hard work. Bearing this in mind, Rowan asked him to hand over his permit and cover up his Forester garb just because he was unable to complete his duty in his current situation, but also to stop him from impersonating a Forester if that was what he was doing.

They continued on up the hill where they found a group of dead foul spawn, who rose from their graves – sending the “forester” into hysterics and wailing about something he didn’t do, and the adventurers to cursing and swearing as they dealt with the zombie rot that was spreading amongst them. Rowan, concerned at this show of frailty, tried to comfort him, but was distracted by more foul spawn which they fought off before continuing on down a dark path. They startled a group of villagers who begged their aid at removing the foul spawn that had invaded their homes – calming a little when Rowan appeared and took on their concerns, promising to do what she could.  And, as promised, they dealt with the foul spawn.

Beyond the village they found a shaman praying to the mother of monsters, though Cornway managed to befriend him and convinced him to leave the party alone – but as the moon vanished behind a cloud, a greater danger came to the party. From the bushes sprang a creature of teeth and fur and fangs, that tumbled Georgina down the hill and tore into her as her screams were silenced. Unable to see what it was, Rowan stood looking down at her as Cornway threw himself at the beast and Gaalen chastised the “armour” of the party for not going after the creature. But as it came stalking towards them, Rowan drew her blessed sword, brought it to her lips in a silent prayer to Crowa, then charged the beast to drive it away from the party.

She drove it back several paces, fighting it off and wounding it only to spark its rage as it charged her, shining claws flashing in the night which brought her to her knees for the second time that evening. As she lay bleeding in the dark the party dealt with it, Ned retrieving her sword to wound it further. But it was almost too late for Rowan when Georgina reached her to fling the Surgeon-General’s cloak over her to bring her into the sleep of the dead whilst she mixed her potions and dealt with the others.

Luckily Rowan survived to fight another day, pressing on once everyone was back on their feet.

The mages directed them down to the river and the party pressed on, heeding their concerns that they were running out of time, with more undead crossing their paths. A pair of newly turned vampires pounced on the foul spawn they were fighting and drank them before the adventurers dealt with them – but concerns were growing that they weren’t dealing with the expected mage but something else. Splashing undead with holy water, warding off creatures and using her sharpened knife, Rowan and the others dealt with the waves of undeath that came shambling towards them, running on towards a large field where the mages were sure the nexus would be.

And they came face to face with a vampire.

Rowan became pacted with the fiend, unable to resist nor harm him which angered her as she tried to protect the party from his shambling minions. But, as the party were brought to their feet, Rowan was forced to choose whom to save, and the creature knelt to drink from two of their number. But, as Rowan’s pact was lifted and she was able to bring Mother Anne’s blessed blade to bear on the creature, one of the mages slashed at it with a silver blade causing the vampire to writhe in pain and turn to smoke. Angry, Rowan and Ned went after it trying to destroy it before it went to ground as the mages set about dealing with the knot of power flowing through the land that the Vampire had been using to raise his minions for Von Raven. But, as they closed off the flow of power, all the party were struck with a hideous image of a creature stuck between, seeking to break through from between worlds. An ominous omen of what was to come perhaps?

But, talking to the “forester” and having listened to the Vampire as he taunted the party, Rowan had come to the suspicions that he was not a Forester, was probably not even a Physician (even though he exhibited skills of the guild) and he had done something to try and save his wife from the “sickness” the vampire had brought to the villages. And so, as his words became more hysterical and grim, Rowan arrested him and knocked him out, noting the puncture marks in his neck. Both he and Crag McFist had been bitten, and with the Vampire still at large their fate was sealed – unless the adventurers could destroy the monster before their time ran out.

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Oct 2012: Fire in Newcroft

One evening in Newcroft, as the Defender of the Faith of Vleybor chose to visit the Sanatorium in the city to tend to the mentally ill and those who had been touched by the book of Ordet – a book written by a demon which spreads itself through the minds of those who read it – they gain all the knowledge of the book with all its previous versions, add to its knowledge then are forced to make copies to spread its knowledge. The book, now awoken, is spreading through the region like wildfire and the adventures are trying to contain it.

But it’s awake, hungry and preparing to take over the world. And Rowan intends to stop it … but that’s a tale to tell in the future.

One night in Newcroft, Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade goes to the Sanatorium, but whilst he’s there something happens and the patients break out – saying that the Surgeon General had been regularly visiting them, taking the newcomers upstairs for a private consultation. Rowan is called, along with Sherriff Turnwise of the Newcroft Guard who arrives as Rowan is getting to grips with the situation. As she rounds on him, she orders the foresters and guards to all gates, along with militia and scouts should any of the patients have managed to sneak away, along with a couple of the apprentices to help pass along messages. Then she goes through the sanatorium with Arthur looking for the cause of their service to Ordet. They find a small book hidden in the upstairs room, learn that the Surgeon-General hasn’t been to the sanatorium in months which leads them to believe that a shape shifter had stolen Georgina’s face and was stalking the city.

Then a fire broke out, the Bigg Juggs singed and the city saved from the flames, but not all the patients were recovered and Rowan was faced with a frightening revelation from her goddess – that this was just the beginning and that she is on a path walking into the darkness.
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Oct 2012: We’re going on a Vampire hunt

After facing the vampire and failing to hunt it down, the Adventurers seek to save the lives of the pair bitten earlier that month. With reports of a vampire lurking near the Acenwode, they set out to put it to rest.

The adventurers who came to help Defender Rhade save the life of his future Vleyborian kindred:

  • Crag McFist of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Ned and Ranger Brendan DePiercy of the Scouts; Fletcher, Alaric’s man;
  • Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Master Lirrion of the School of Enchantment; Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology; Guildsman Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sister Madeline Blanchefleur of the Holy Rose Order;
  • Vassal Alaric Whitehart of the adventuring Feudal Knights;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarious Rhade of Vleybor;

As they reached the edge of the Acenwode they stumbled across a weeping woman, whose son had gone along with a group of farmers who were taking arms against the Vampire whilst they complained that the adventurers weren’t doing anything to deal with the blood sucker. They promised to return her son to her and, concerned that there were a group of simple farmers in the wode, they decided to look for them too.

Fighting through the waves of undead they arrived at the fringes of the Acenwode where a “familiar” presence awaited them – another of Ordet’s demons looking to talk. Before it could begin Rowan threw herself at it, only to be wounded and cast aside. Eventually, after placing itself out of harms way (with several people keen to speak to it and not allow the two Crowans to have their way), it gave its demands – the twin rings that it was searching for. After a discussion with Ned, with Master Lirrion pointing out flaws in its dealings and Arthur overseeing the “deal”, the demon gave some information about what they might find in the Wode with an agreement with Ned that he would hunt down the rings and bring information on them to the demon. And then, when the agreement was made, the demon killed himself. And the party ventured into the Wode.

At first they just fought with off the undead called to the vampire’s army from the woods, but as they got further into the Wode the undergrowth began fighting back and the denizens of the Wode came to investigate the intruders. After a few close calls, an ally appeared out of a pool – Brendan DePiercy, returned from his month in the company of the Naiad.  And whilst Rowan was glad to see her friend, it was back to the fight.

They found some of the farmers dead from puncture wounds, and another couple recently fed upon lying in a clearing. As the party kept Crag McFist off the bodies (the hunger for blood – a side effect of having been bitten and unable to be cured) and kept a watch for the agonwei they knew to be lurking in the undergrowth, Defender Rhade tended to the unconscious men and sent them back to Newcroft. But they still had a young boy to find and a vampire to deal with, not to mention a rumoured lesser mummy which had come to its army.

They were cornered by the Mummy as they exited the wood as the Vampire stood waiting from them. As he sent his minions against them, the faithful turned to deal with the Mummy. Knowing it required power of the gods if a necromancer was unavailable, Defender Rhade, Sister Madeline and Rowan poured all the power they had into banishing the corrupted soul lingering in the rotting flesh. And then, when this was done, they turned on the Vampire. But he had other plans.

Calling Defender Rhade to him, he drew the Vleyborian priest into his clutches and sank his teeth into his bare throat as the others watched on horrified. Discarding his prize he withdrew into the woods, with Ned, Rowan, Arthur and Crag hot on his heels. As the thorns of the Wode began to tangle around their clothes and ankles, they managed to bring the Vampire to his knees and after hunting for a stake, they dusted him. With the vampire dead, Crag and Lucius would be saved and any the creature had bitten along with them.

And from out of the bushes stumbled the lad they had been hunting for. After hacking him out from the tangled thorns, the adventurers turned to the wandering DePiercy and looked to find a way home, their duty done and another ally of Von Raven snatched from his army.

But he has had time to gather an army to him, enough time to concoct his devious plans and outwit the adventuring community. And with Ordet after his ring, the connected web of trouble seems to be growing every day …

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Oct 2012: The Acenwode

The Acenwode is dying back from the encircling shrines that mark the outer edge of the magics that make the woods shift and move as they do. The Kharachian priestess tending one of the shrines seeks the aid of the adventurers to find out the cause for the die back. The adventurers she hired were:

  • Captain-General Brack-on-Hill of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
  • Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Sorley Brewerson of the School of Demonology;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order; Squire Leoric Drakensvald of the Knightly Black Order;
  • Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Brother Barnabus Locke of Sidhe;

After expressing her concerns to the adventurers, the priestess set them out to visit her shrine to get further information about what was happening in the Wode. They ventured into the Wode, met a pair of devotees who were taking supplies to the shrine, then arrived at the shrine. A collection of tenders met them – outlaws, excommunicants, the unwanted of the faith sent to there to keep out of the way. The adventurers heard how the Wode was dying back, how the usual creatures of the Acenwode had vanished and how strange it all was. Directing them onto the next shrine of the chain, the adventurers set off into the dying woodland, fighting through undead. But something was strange – wherever the undead congregating, the Wode was being drained of whatever made it the Wode, leaving behind only trees and empty bushes. And there was a strange number of constructs – straw men and flesh golems picking through the emptying land that exhibiting a strange intelligence for the usual type of crafted figures.

The bigger picture slowly came together as they fought their way through the Wode – that something was draining the Wode of the ancient magic that wrapped around its heart. And then the source of the mischief came to light – a hooded and masked figure with a glowing gem inset into his chest. He faced the adventurers, declaring his hand in all they saw, making the world a safer place by removing the magic behind the dangerous wood. They should be pleased – he said – that he was doing such a great thing for them. But the adventurers recalled the story that a greater evil was buried in the wood, the reason behind the magic and they decided that the work of this mad man had to stop.

So Father Benedict chased him down to strike at him, but he seemed to dodge his blades with unnatural speed and skill and soon he vanished, leaving the adventurers to wonder whether they could stop him …

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Part 2 including the demise of the Clockwork Man, further travels afield and a disturbing turns of event coming next week!