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And so the continuation of the missing adventures of the Forester from the North and the heroes of Ithron, from November and December 2012.

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.

November night site – Things astirring in the Acenwode
November day site – The Clockmaker’s Doom
November day site – A walk in the park
November day site (Derby) – Lady Wilsby’s Last Stand
November day site (Derby) – Into the dark
December night site – Treasure Hunting
December IC party – An evening at the Chronicle
December day site (Tees Valley) – We have a (small) problem
December day site (Tees Valley) – The Scarlet Witch
December day site – The trouble of Farron’s Crest
December day site – The missing weapons shipment

Nov 2012: Things astirring in the Acenwode

Approached by a mysterious stranger in black, several members of the adventuring community were asked to meet with his master on the edge of Acenwode to complete a little task. The adventurers who gathered together to answer the intriguing summons were:

  • Ranger Ned and Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts Guild;
  • Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Surgeon-General Georgina Gris, Lady Mayoress of Norham and of the Physicians Guild;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; High Father Cornway of Tralda; Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Brother Barnabus Locke of Sidhe; Supplicant Thomas Charnock of Longstor

Entering the Acenwode the adventurers met a pair of Axirian Legionaries watching over a group of stone masons examining a road and the surrounding woodlands, looking to cut back the trees and build something new – they waves aside the warning of the Longstorian about the woods fighting back, and the Axirians moved the group along telling them to stop distracting the workers.

Further into the Wode the party met with a group of “protectors” – a number of Alshanti known as the Brotherhood who questioned them as to their business and made a request of the party.

Led a little way by a shadowy figure who came out of the trees, the adventurers came into the court of a mysterious King, surrounded by guardians and champions clothed in shadows and winter and fallen leaves, who draw them close around their King. He is the King of the Unseelie Fae, suffering from the unseasonal warmth as the Summer Court clings to the fading season – not to mention people just aren’t scared of the Acenwode any more. The Unseelie feed on fear, on terror, on the darker emotions of the world, but without fear they weaken and are unbalanced.

And so, to the task – to go into the Acenwode under the protections of the Unseelie Fae, to scare and bring terror to the Axirians and the masons, to feed the Unseelie Fae in return for tokens or a favour. An illusions was cast upon the adventurers, some given items that made them invisible save to other fae or their bewitched companions, and the shadowy figure was instructed to accompany them through the wood to act as guide and to make sure they kept to their agreement.

And what fun they had – rustling undergrowth, frightening the masons with visions and visitations, making the Axirians break and run, and generally have a good laugh at turning the tables on the monster crew. Seelie Fae were confused when they encountered them – an Aelion was scared witless at the appearance of the black shadowy figure – and when encountering the party the fae were confused at their appearance.

But as the adventurers come to the end of their hijinks in the dark, they come across another logging camp guarded by penal legionnaires, and a Crowan Rose in command. As Ranger Ned terrorises the soldiers masquerading as the Lord of the Hunt, Gaalen and Defender Rhade have a quiet word with the Rose, trying to convince her to leave the Acenwode and return to the Rose Priory.

More Seelie Fae crossed their path as they entered the territory of the Summer Court and soon they came face to face with the Prince of Summer – a merry fellow with his companions who invited the others to join in his celebration of his victory over the Unseelie Court. And, as Defender Rhade seeks to stop the conflict, he is invited in to join the dance. A duel is fought between the the Prince of Summer and Father Benedict and after a few rounds of honourable combat broke into fae tricks and cheating until the adventurers decided to intervene. And so the adventurers chased away the Summer Court, rescuing Defender Rhade from a fate worse than death – partying away in the realm of fae.

And with fear firmly lodged in the hearts of all those they had encountered, the Winter King was strengthened yet again and a debt was owed between him and each of the party – what would they ask for in return for their services?

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Nov 2012: The Clockmaker’s Doom

The Acenwode, saved from the meddlings of the mysterious masked man, was not the only place that had fallen within his grasp. More of his minions – intelligent golems made of flesh and stone – have stretched out their hands and the lands have been threatened. And so, it is time to end the Clockmaker’s wicked ways. Those who gathered to see this deed done were:

  • Crag McFist of the Mercenaries;
  • Ranger Ned, Ranger Brendan DePiercy and Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts;
  • Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Father Finwe of Longstor; Brother Barnabus Locke of Sidhe;

Setting out from Newcroft the adventurers encountered more of the automata – of wood and stone that displayed more of the uncanny intelligence of the Clockwork Man’s craft. They witnessed their creator fighting with a demon, who threatened to unlock all the secrets he hid to truly bring about his destruction. And so the adventurers became caught in his web of lies, reliving over and over pieces of his past.

A group of mercenaries had also been caught in this time loop, driven mad by the unchanging events – attacked over and over without end. So a change to the rhythm of their new life was unsettling, and in their madness they attacked the group. On they journeyed, fighting through memories and fragments of the Clockmaker’s past – the breaking of an ancient seal on a powerful artefact and the de-consecration of a Sidhean shrine, the death of his wife and child, and at the centre of the time-loop his home, long abandoned with a clue to his undoing. They fought his creations – of wood and stone, metal and straw, all fighting with an intelligence not commonly seen in constructs. And then they met one they had never seen before – a half finished white-masked porcelain doll wielding a sword – a prototype though the adventurers did not know it. Eventually they managed to fight their way past it by shattering it’s legs from under it, but they were unprepared to meet the creature the prototype was for. A pair of porcelain automata – one with a shield and one with twin swords who fought as if with one mind. They took a time to destroy, fighting with almost human intelligence for they were the twin sons of the Clockmaker, their souls “saved” from death through his creation.

Eventually,  the adventurers were able to bring the Clockmaker down and the nuisance of the Clockmaker was ended for good. And the strange gem in his chest? It was taken some place safe and entrusted into the guardianship of those who guard man secrets, to hopefully cleanse it of its demonic taint when they have time to make it their top priority.

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Nov 2012: A walk in the park

With the recent escape of the patients of the Vleyborian Sanatorium, attempts have been made by the militia to capture and retrieve the patients. But they are too few to make a difference, so the Office of the Countess turns to the adventurers for aid. Calling on all those who owe militia duty, or who have a vested interest in seeing the capture and return of the patients to the Sanatorium, the adventurers are asked to help check the local park. A walk in the park, they said. It’ll be easy, they said. They lied.

The adventurers who went were summoned to militia duty were:

  • Captain-General Catherine Brack-on-Hill, Christo Eadronhart and Ronan Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth and Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot and Sorely Brewerson of the School of Demonology; Master Lirrion of the School of Enchantment;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Sister Madeline Blanchefleur of the Holy Rose Order;

On the way out of the main city of Newcroft, the adventurers crossed paths with trouble makers and some of the Sanatorium’s patients, as well as a reporter from the Chronicle (who took great offence at having been knocked unconscious by the Huntsmaster of Norham). More patients from the Sanatorium knocked out to be collected by the Militia travelling behind the party, and then a couple of citizens talking about a group of people listening to someone with a book speaking about the prophet Ordet.

At this Rowan began to run, fearing the worst.

As they got closer they began to hear the familiar exaltations from the book and whilst they tried to get hold of the book from the “prophet”, they had to face the demon inside him who intended to kill the host. But, with quick thinking from Doctor O’Kyle (who had been called “puppy” earlier on), the man was saved and Rowan, Christo and Ronan went running after a villager who was running away. As they knocked him out they were attacked by a group of patients who were praising the name of Ordet as if he were a god and they proved tougher to fight than usual, leading to concerns as to what they might be facing.

In the bushes they heard a man cry out in pain as he was tortured, leading to a number of the party to rush to his aid. But, from out of a bush stepped a demon who taunted them, and another demon who commanded Arthur to do his bidding and kill all around him. As Rowan tried to fight off this new threat she was wounded and collapsed to the ground as Sorely Brewerson came to her aid. Eventually they were patched up and the man they went to save was healed, though Doctor O’Kyle had to stitch up his wounded legs so that he could make his way home.

But Arthur was drawn to killing these men, and nothing could dissuade him from this task – not even knocking him and carrying him away could break the hold of this command. As they went rushing into another combat situation with followers of Ordet, Arthur was called back to the tiny glade where the man and the demons had been. And when their back was turned, he slipped away and the Huntsmaster and Sister Madeline had to go and bring him back.

And out in the gathering darkness, a voice cried out for help.

Waiting on the others Rowan, Ronan and Christo went to see who was calling out for help, only to see a man being dragged off the road with a scream. They were forced to fight through more of the followers of Ordet and in a clearing they saw candles and someone conducting a ritual. And as the rest of the group came running, there was an unearthly scream and something ripped the fabric of the world.

And there stood Newcroft’s threat – with his quill and an interested look on his face.

The adventurers fought to get through to him, they were picked apart by the strength of his “believers” but eventually they came face to face with the puppet master. He only seemed to be interested in asking questions about the rings, and as the mages sought to dispel whatever had been done, the others threw themselves against the demon, looking to keep him occupied. And as Lirrion and Sorely sought to complete their ritual of dispel, Arthur threw himself at the demon as the portal closed and the scroll was torn. In horror the rest of the party looked on until the silence was broken by the Huntsmaster’s shout as she tried to follow after Arthur. Rowan, refusing to let her Guild Mistress throw her life away, stopped her and as the mages stayed behind to check that the tear was closing, Rowan and Sister Madeline kept watch should anything else come through.

But Arthur was gone and as some members of the adventuring community looked for ways to bring him back, others became resigned to the fact that they would never see Arthur Lightfoot again.

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Nov 2012: Lady Wilsby’s Last Stand (Derby)

The Huntsmaster requested assistance in bringing down a dangerous outlaw. Her husband, Lord Wilsby, had been destroyed by members of the adventuring community the previous month when the tower he was in was collapsed upon him. But since then, Lady Wilsby had been hunting for the adventurers who had done this to her – the list of those hired having been found in the local court house that had since been torched. And so various members of the adventurers decided that enough was enough – and it was time that Lady Wilsby’s reign of terror to come to an end.

And so, Chivalry Warwick and Huntsmaster Ashworth called together a group of companions to aid them in their hunt for the renegade demonologist and her “merry” band. These adventurers were:

  • Kurtis Snow, Mr Knox and Rhett of the Mercenaries Guild;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth and Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Miss Harriet Potter of the Alchemists Guild;
  • Apprentice Victor Reynolds of the Blacksmiths Guild;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology; Master Lahsaa Nethir of the School of Thaumaturgy; Chivalry Warwick of the Mages Guild;
  • Rosie Baker and Miss Evelyn Warwick of the Physicians Guild;
  • Dame Isabella Swift of the Knightly Black Order; Sir Oliver Mormont of the Knightly Grey Order;

Rowan travelled down from Newcroft, missing the Banquet in Mercia the night before to present herself in Darian early the next morning to await Chivalry and the Huntsmaster’s plan. But what she had not expected was the appearance of the Demonologist she had given up for lost – Arthur, wilder and more savage than before, who Lucy explained was a little out of sorts having believed he had spent years struggling to survive in Sharda. And, with Chivalry’s cunning plan of going to a “party”, whom Rowan had provided forged documents for – the Huntsmaster was going to travel incognito to avoid raising suspicions. However, the armed Northern Forester, recently arrived from Berwickshire with her blue paint was not one for hiding her identity and she would be acting as Forester amongst the party, proudly wearing her sash should they have any trouble with guards or with the wanted outlaw and her troublemakers known as “The Scar”.

Gathering together in Darian, Rowan took in the sights of the city as she caught up with the happenings of the previous evening. The city’s Champion regailed the listening peasantry and wandering heroes with tales of his bravery and prowess in the Pit, the place of execution and Rowan listened in, but showed no encouragement of the man’s gruesome task of dealing out punishment for those who requested Trial by Combat under Ithron’s laws. And so, as the adventurers arrived, they caught the beginning of such a trial as a Llaminusian man was brought before them for his trial. But, as the fight turned against him, he decided to even the odds and turned from man to wolf with a snarl. Luckily for Rowan she had turned away and only heard the tearing of skin and the snapping of bones and saw the horrified expressions of her companions as their stomach’s betrayed them. Turning around she saw the werewolf ripping into the town guard and drawing her enchanted blade she dived into the fight, driving the creature back. But, as they sought to slay it it leapt up, knocking them back with a swipe of it’s claws. Mr Knox took up Rowan’s sword as she dropped it to clamp a hand over a gushing wound to her shield arm, and went after the creature, eventually able to corner the beast as Lahsaa and Chivalry began to work on a way to remove the soul fire that was healing the beast so quickly. Taking back her sword, Rowan worked on  keeping the creature down as Lahsaa walked a circle around them both, but as the creature began to rise up Chivalry cried aloud and pulled some of the soul fire welling up before him out of the beast and cast it high into the air – just as Rowan lifted her sword into the air.

The enchanted blade acted like a lightning rod, calling down the soul fire through the sword and into her body where it connected with the awakened mana in her veins with a snarl. Shrieking in pain, Rowan dropped to the floor and writhed as the mana and soul fire streamed through her, weeping and howling as Lahsaa hurried to finish the ritual to draw the soul fire away. Luckily he was able to dispel it before it killed them both, but not before Rowan and the creature exploded in showers of blood. The physicians tending to Rowan were able to save her before she bled out and as she was brought shakily she demanded, in lay man’s terms, what had happened. And so she learnt the reason why soul fire and mana should never mix – a painful lesson that has opened her eyes to what Mages endure early in their training when their own soul fire is awakened.

Leaving the town square behind, the adventurers pass into the weather quarter of the town and after passing through the permit checks on the gate, the party slowly gathered together and the plan was put into action. After a tense encounter with an Axirian diplomat’s bodyguards – who took offence to the armed individuals, the “tainted” demonologist and the lack of reasonable explanation for the presence of such a group (along with Harriet attempting to ask for a cup of tea) – and a drunken nobleman trying to convince the Head of the Black Order to accompany him back to his quarters, the party met with a group of “the Scar” whom Chivalry convinced to go another way and bought the adventurers some time. But, with the clock ticking, they encountered a group of militia men out looking for “troublemakers” who turned out to be a witch whom the adventurers had encountered moments before. When the girl tried to run, the militia went after her and Rowan chased them down to bring her into custody before they killed her. Chivalry however managed to beat her to the girl, claimed her under the protection of the mages guild and Rowan then arrested her before the Guard could get his breath back and she agreed to take the girl back to the Foresters post to see Justice done once they had concluded their business within the city – much to the Guard’s anger, but Rowan managed to argue her point. And so, on the adventurers hurried to the home of Lady Wilsby.

They carefully made their way into the building, triggering traps as they went before they learnt to avoid them, but found the building empty. As they hunted for a secret passage or some way she might have slipped their grasp, some of the adventurers found a passageway behind a wall. Down it went, Dwarven tunnels beautifully carven into the rock, with footprints in the dust. Many folk had walked down this path, but not so many had come back up it. Fighting their way past two possessed men, they came to a door. As they prepared to open it, someone came to the door and the adventurers managed to push their way inside as a woman shrieked at her followers to deal with them. As some of the adventurers went after the woman, others fought off her followers and her summoned demons. After arresting her, the adventurers began their return to the surface. But when they found Lady Wilsby, they uncovered a strange box with “voices” inside, and when they were taken from her she woke up. After knocking her out and binding her hands, the adventurers decided to put her in deathsleep. AS the knights and Rowan cleared a way up to the surface and stood guard, Lahsaa took the box out through the front door of the house.

And something crept from the box and touched the minds of all those around it. Rowan pushed it away, but then Dame Isabella, Sir Oliver and Harriet went back into the house and back into the tunnel. As Lahsaa and Rowan tried to see what was going on they heard cries from the tunnels as the knights and Harriet went and attacked the party carrying Lady Wilsby as the “voices” in the box possessed them and went to save their mistress.

But the trio were saved, Lady Wilsby was brought to trial and once again the adventurers of Ithron saved the day!

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Nov 2012: Into the dark (Derby)

Elsewhere in Derwentshire, the McRory’s of Eastreach were looking out to rescue the missing children of their clan, who had been snatched in the night. Calling all local adventurers, they set out to bring these children home. They ventured out with:

  • Colonel Frederick Arnold of the Raptor Legion;
  • Heather McRory of the McRory Militia; Charald Badgerous of the Scouts;
  • Holly-Lynn Icechanter of the School of Enchantment; Charles Summervil of the Mages Guild; Raine Campbell of the McRory Militia;
  • Katherine Amber of the Physicians Guild;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; Father Vau of Crowa;

As they left East Reach they heard that some Konnish had been seen in the area, and they caught part of a lecture on the “proper” place of non-humans by the Claw as they continued on their way. They stumbled on a ritual of blood being conducted by foul spawn calling for blood and bone and after fighting their way through them they encountered a group of konnish with slaves. After realising they had taken these girls from an ithronian village, Defender Rhade offered himself for their lives. As the Konnish took him away the adventurers were confused what to do, but not until they pinned him to a tree to use his soul as a portal back to the Konn did they intervene and saved him from the a fate worse than death.

They were attacked by elderkin and then followed tracks down into a dell where the ghosts of dead Axirians guided the party into a hidden tunnel with a warning about some creature in the deep.

Down in the dark they were attacked by decaying undead, encountered some creatures in cages down in the dark and stopped a ritual to some creature in a pit. But in stopping the ritual, a dark red fire grows from deep in the pit and the ground shakes and the cavern rumbles around them. As they run for the safety of the tunnel, they couldn’t help but think that perhaps they had awoken something they shouldn’t have.

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Dec 2012: Treasure Hunting

Sir Wilhelm Osbourne, editor of the Newcroft Chronicle and newly appointed Baronet of Berwickshire, seeks a group of adventures to do a spot of treasure hunting and undead clearing from his lands. And so, he calls together a group of seasoned pros, who included:

  • Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Militia;
  • Ranger Ned of the Scouts;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth;
  • Surgeon-General Georgina Gris, Lady Mayoress of Norham and of the Physicians Guild;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Father Enacus of Kharach; Novice Thomas Charnock of Longstor;

Travelling to a village on the Baronet’s lands the adventurers heard how he was improving the local area with the improved roads forming a new trade route through the area, but also how people go missing locally in the “forbidden” forest – snatched by things in the dark.

Setting out they encounter waves of undead, and a scout lurking in the shadow of a controlling shade, the ghost of the previous Lady of the lands who hints at a darker past. More undead to wade through, then an Abraxian fighting a skeletal death knight. He ran off when he realised he was outnumbered, but not before mocking the adventurers. Down to the bridge they went, only to find it guarded by a member of the previous Lord’s household guard, turned to undeath by his master. As they defeated him and banished his spectral followers, they ventured across an open patch of ground filled with undead. But as they ventured across the ground the attention of the undead seems to be drawn else where, allowing them a chance to sneak around. But they were being watched by another Abraxian and as they climbed the hill, they saw the glimmer of light down by the river. They faced a shrine of Abraxians but passed on by, witnessing the power of the shrine as it held back the undead.

Travelling on they encountered another group of treasure hunters who told of a death knight up ahead and more of the treasures rumoured to be inside. Forewarned they fought off the another of the previous Lord’s death knights and crept into the tunnel into the tomb. But, waiting for them in the shadows were the shadows, who took control of a number of the party and brought them to the vampire waiting for them at the other side. As the party tried to rouse their wounded comrades, the vampire laughed at them until she met her end.

But, in the candle-lit tomb beyond, the adventurers came face to face with the previous Lord of the lands, turned to undeath by the twisting of a vampire in his life time and in the company of a Mummy. As the ghost of his wife watched on, the adventurers faced down the vampire – felled by an obey gone wrong. Commanding Thomas Charnock to love him, the Longstorian couldn’t bear to see his Lord in such a state of undeath and so killed him – saving his own soul in turn.

Taking the treasure trove to find the magical pen later, the adventurers hurried back to Sir Wilhelm, their mission complete, leaving the baronet an Abraxian shrine to deal with at a future date …

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Dec 2012: An evening at the Chronicle (IC party)

The adventurers of Newcroft were invited to the offices of the Newcroft Chronicle for a grand announcement from the Office of the Countess. Many adventurers came for the evening, but as any gathering of heroes of Ithron seems to attract the wrong sorts of attention and ill things come their way.

Those who attended (at some point in the evening) were:

  • Captain-General Catherine Brack-on-Hill and Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Militia;
  • Ranger Ned of the Scouts;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth and Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Surgeon-General Georgina Gris, Lady Mayoress of Norham, and Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot of the School of Demonology; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order; Sir Stewart DePiercy of the Knightly Griffin Order;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; High Father Cornway of Tralda; Father Enacus of Kharach; Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Father Barnabus Locke of Sidhe; Novice Thomas Charnock of Longstor;

As the adventurers gathered out of the mist and rain, they were met with by the Axirian Battlemage Talemicus Achenar of the Second Imperial Legion, who brought them a message and a command from their Countess – introducing new permits to the county and the cities for non-humans and for members of the Schools of Demonology and Necromancy. And Catherine had a bombshell dropped on her with the return of her first husband – thought dead these five years past. As she broke the news of their children’s deaths and her remarriage and all the troubles that had come to her. And as the details of the new permits slowly begins to sink in, Rowan sits with the Huntsmaster and hears what the Battlemage has to say to the Foresters in regards with what is to come.

When they returned to the gathering the evening began to gather pace – heretics arrived in the party. But they didn’t seem to be really there, or playing by the rules, and tempers began to rise as things didn’t seem to work. Rowan even went so far as to bless her sword and unbind it to use a blade on a Kyrganite because he was pissing her off and no one seemed to be “doing their jobs”. And when it got too much she went to sit on guard on the steps overlooking the front door just to get away from the others. And in her darkest moments, a true friend came to pull her out of her despair.

And she did the same as his world crumbled.

A servant of the DePiercy family arrived at the party bearing a message of sorrow – that Baron DePiercy had suddenly died and he had named his heir: Brendan DePiercy. This, understandably threw the elder brother into anger and despair.

And then the party discovered a set of dying shrines to the Dark Six – with the Bequifisian shrine drawing on the charged emotions of the party by projecting illusions into their minds. With all the rages, all the anger, all the pain, the shrine was growing in power. And so Benedict did what he had to do – and with the help of Gaalen he worked on draining the shrine by making people give of their anger, remove it, forgive whatever caused their anger and move on.

At some point “Sol” appeared and people had a go at him, for he was not quite how he was or was behaving strangely.

By the end of the evening the shrine was deconsecrated, certain folk were cursed or blessed by Bequifis for what they had done, and people had to face the things that made them angry – or not face them.

And the world has changed. Perhaps not for the better.

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Dec 2012: We have a (small) problem … (Tees Valley)

Dame Raquel du Neville-Lully of the Knightly Grey Order requested the aid of the adventurers to investigate the sudden unseasonal migration of people in Richmontshire and the Rolborian Abbey at Easby.

The adventurers who travelled to answer the knight’s request:

  • Mr Colt Garrison of the Mercenaries;
  • Tiberius Spark of the Alchemists Guild;
  • Drake Darkwater of the School of Demonology; Ash Witherspoon of the School of Enchantment;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade and High Mother Olivia de Havilland of Vleybor; High Father William Klider, Chaplin of the Knightly Grey Order;

After hearing about the unusual numbers of people arriving in the region, the adventurers were led out of the city by a member of the local Guards to a local camp of people. Displaced from their homes, the people of East Cowden and Fox Colvert seemed reasonably friendly and eager to talk until questioned as to why they had left their homes. Skirting the questions, giving vague excuses whilst looking decidedly uncomfortable it soon became clear that they had some personal secrets that had come to light, rumours had been spread about them, or generally life had become quite unpleasant after certain people had learnt the truth about them. With neighbours turning against them, leaving had seemed the best thing to do. Promising to see if they could change their neighbours’ minds so that the villagers could go home, the adventurers travelled on to the Rolborian abbey to see if the Abbess knew more of what was going on. After being informed that one of the Devotees had recently gone missing (and getting a piece of the Abbess’s mind), the adventurers travelled on towards the villages. But, on the road they met a group of “Konnish” with demons in tow. Apparently looking to make their way past the adventurers they appeared peaceable at first, but it was all a ruse as they looked over the party and tried to make off with one of the priests. After a short battle the demons were destroyed, the adventurers were victorious, and on they went.

They came upon a group of villagers clearing ditches and hedging in preparation for the spring at East Cowden, with a Crowan kindred offering guidance and instructions. Greeting the adventurers all seemed well, but something didn’t seem quite right with it all … not right at all. Some of the things he said, some of the things he did and that long chat he had with the guard in hushed voices. Eventually the pair of them were unmasked as Sereklanites and dealt with, before the adventurers continued on their way. But, just as things seemed to be settling down, they crossed paths with a group of “Axirians” with hired help from the village. Apparently looking to open negotiations for the return of the old Axirian fort at Catreath, they seemed a little shifty … barely speaking any Axirian. Defender Rhade addressed the pair in his native language, but they simply grinned like idiots … definitely something not quite right there. The party were about to let them on their way (reluctantly) until Tiberius shot at one of them and one of the party’s mages commanded one of the villagers to attack his party.

Scattering, the Axirians and villagers began to run off until the spell was lifted and High Father William was able to speak with one of the white tabarded pair – but it was a trick and their true faith was identified – Serklanite! Discovered, the pair of “Axirians” tried to make a run for it, but were caught and arrested and tied up. Supposedly looking for their friend, they had found the tabards and sashes and thought it the perfect disguise to avoid trouble … but alas they had been found out and the Defender made sure they were secured to be collected on their return journey to the town.

On they went to the village of Fox Colvert, where a man was explaining the many safe uses of demons for labour which immediately caught the attention of Drake Darkwater. The party questioned a pair of charcoal burners about the rumours that had caused members of their village to leave, but they weren’t keen to talk about such nasty rumours, which had turned out to be true. People don’t want those sorts of people living next to them – just not right … and there was little the High Mother Olivia could do to change their minds. When asked about the Rolborian the villagers seemed to recall seeing him a few weeks before, but hadn’t seen him come back through on his return to the Abbey. Pointing on the usual route he took, the villagers got back to work and the adventurers continued on their way.

But they stumbled upon their goal a little way along the path, as a group of cultists tortured the Rolborian Devotee in preparation for some sacrifice as a Demon looked on. Seeing the adventurers the demon sought to make her escape, but with some quick thinking from the adventurers they managed to catch up with it and sent it back to Sharda before fighting off more of its summoned minions.

But there seems to be something going on in Richmontshire … but only time will tell.

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Dec 2012: The Scarlet Witch (Tees Valley)

Many years ago a prison holding a number of dangerous prisoners and a dangerous witch mysteriously burned to the ground. But amongst the dead the Scarlet Witch could not be found – and the man was known to have pyromaniac tendencies.

Lucien Godfrey requested the help of the adventuring community in looking for some missing documents that might contain the mage’s spell book, that it might be hunting for. The adventurers that journeyed to assist in his search were:

  • Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Miss Barnaby and Senior Guildsman Lucien Godfrey of the School of Necromancy; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy; Erulissë Saerwen of the Mages Guild; Elias;
  • Sir Ranulf de Brus of the Knightly Black Order;
  • Supplicant Johann Tullson of Vleybor;

Leaving the city to look for the document cart along an old flooded road, the adventurers fought off a number of undead who were shambling after a pair of men who appeared to have been bitten by a vampire. As they continued on they met with a group of people lingering on the edge of the marsh – clearly bandits but far from any road and with the light failing Rowan decided that she would let them slip away without a fight, to alert the local Foresters posts as to possible bandits preying on travellers.

They found the coach off the road where a tribe of foul spawn were living, and after some negotiation, Miss Barnaby was able to secure the contents of a box from within the coach and thus obtained the missing documents relating to the original arrest of the Scarlet Witch.

Continuing on their way, the adventurers fought through more undead – and a marshkin – before noticing smoke on the wind. Rushing towards it the adventurers came upon a village on fire and joining the bucket chain they helped put out the blaze. Talking to the villagers it seemed a number of undead had appeared, with a man in their company who set some of the buildings aflame before they disappeared. Rowan and Lucien tracked them down the road. The tracks turned off the road after a few meters, crossed a stream and then stopped – six zombies standing in the undergrowth as if on guard or awaiting instruction, but no man and no tracks leading away. After Lucien dealt with the remaining zombies, Rowan checked the undergrowth for any tracks she might have missed – but he’d gone. The Scarlet Witch had slipped their grasp.

But they will catch him one day!

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Dec 2012: The trouble of Farron’s Crest

Viscount Lorik Farron, husband of Newcroft’s beloved Countess Diera Berwick-Farron, sought adventurers to assist in the clearing of undead from his ancestral home of Farron’s Crest.  Workmen had been sent to prepare the residence for habitation, but they had run into an undead problem from the vault which required the expertise for the adventurers.

Those who answered his summons were:

  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth;
  • Master Arthur Lightfoot, Sorely Brewerson, Drake Darkwater and Chivalry Warwick of the School of Demonology; Guildsman Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
  • Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order; Sister Madeline Blanchefleur of the Holy Rose Order;
  • High Father Cornway of Tralda; Sister Sorcha Gravesong of Kharach;

With the new permits in place, the adventurers passed an Axirian patrol looking for unregistered mages and other trouble makers. As the adventurers were speaking with them they were attacked by shambling undead. After dealing with them, they came across part of a work group cleaning up some of their finds and cataloguing them (yes, we brought time team into the game …). They spoke of a group of masons who’d gone further into the catacombs looking for a better “find” in the vaults. A group of Axirians returned from patrol to check on the workers and the adventurers continued on their way.

More undead on the road, and a couple of workers intrigued to see so many adventurers out and about, before shambling undead coming after a man who clutched something to his chest. He was one of the masons who had been working in the Vault and had found something of interest, only to rouse the wrath of the undead.

As they pressed on to investigate the Vault, they faced a wall of undead with two knights in the household and a “maiden” lurking behind them. After the adventurers fought off the guard, Chivalry Warwick tried to find the cause for the woman’s strange companions – until they realised she was a ghost and an excommunicant – a Kharachian Hant. Challenging her they discovered she was a Farron, tasked with guarding the “collection” which she was obsessed with. Whilst Sister Sorcha, Sister Madeline and High Father Cornway tried to deal with the ghost, the demonologists’ attention was taken up by a possessed snake that talked and generally sassed them until one of them agreed to take it with them.

At this point, the Hant pointed out that her ritual was complete – which caught their attention, as well as the heart beside the snake. Thinking it was hers, Sister Sorcha laid the heart to rest and was shocked that the ghost remained. More undead came from further into the collection and eventually the adventurers uncovered the ritual the Hant had spoken of – a necromantic rift through which powers crept to awaken the dead.

The mages set to closing the rift, with Gaalen forced to channel power at the centre of the circle as the Hant circled and taunted the adventurers (I admit I enjoyed picking on a certain Traldan … just a little bit) – successfully dispelling most of the power until Sorcha cleansed the circle and laid the bones at the heart of the ritual to rest. At this all the dead exploded, the Hant vanished … but something else rose from the circle.

But the adventurers returned victorious to Newcroft and reported their findings to the Viscount.

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Dec 2012: The missing weapons shipment

The Crowan Church in Newcroft receive shipments of weapons from Dun Mhurdo to help in the training of the Church and the defence of the faithful. However a weapon shipment has gone missing and there have been reports of Lirronese bandits. On behalf of the church, adventurers were hired to investigate the disappearance of the shipment in the hope of recovering the missing swords.

The adventurers who answered the call for aid:

  • Christo and Ronan Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
  • Ranger Ned and Ranger Brendan DePiercy of the Scouts;
  • Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Ash Witherspoon of the School of Enchantment;
  • Defender Lucius Aquarius Rhade of Vleybor; Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Father Barnabus Locke of Sidhe;

The adventurers travelled towards Carlech then north along the edge of the Dwarven territory, heading to a dwarven settlement and the forge where the weapons were to be made.

But on the way they crossed paths with a group of Lirronese and borderlanders – MacGregors and Nixons – looking for wood for spears and firewood. After a brief scuffle with the agitated Nixons, the groups parted reasonably peaceably, though Rowan felt a little unnerved by the calls of cowardice from one of the MacGregors … and the name made her uneasy.

They met a wandering scholar looking for a swift road to Mount Ithilden to witness an unusual conjunction of planets and stars – a conjunction last seen around 300 years ago when the Axirians crushed the last resistance in Ithron. An ominous omen perhaps?

As the adventurers spoke with the Scholar, Rowan kept watch over Ash as he sat on a tree stump and rested. But their attentions were caught by someone moving through the trees and when others of the party came to see what they were up to, Rowan reported that they were being scouted and watched. And soon, from out of the trees, they were attacked by people praising the name of Abraxis. Fighting many waves of the heretical worshippers of the God of War, the adventurers eventually came to the Dwarven settlement to find it ransacked and empty.

A dwarf, swinging his sword at them and cursing them colourfully, eventually calmed down enough to tell them what had happened – that a group of abraxians had taken the weapons and his labourers and their families and dragged the entire settlement off into the woods, saying horrible things about what they would be doing to them. They were nearly jumped by a pair of Abraxians but for the watchful eyes of the Eadronhart brothers and Rowan, and the party agreed that they had to go after the dwarves and deal with these heretics once and for all. After making suitable preparations such as blessing blades and checking provisions, they set out after the three priests and their companions.

They soon came face to face with the first of the priests and almost fell to her followers and their weapons were it not for the bravery and skill of the Defender of Vleybor, Father Barnabus and Doctor O’Kyle, who managed to draw off the Abraxians, rouse the party and heal their wounds to allow them to fight back and emerge battered and bruised but alive from that brush with the enemy. What was concerning though was the heretics praising the Seven (usually a trait of the light churches) and the reverence that they placed on the Sidhean priest.

Pressing on the adventurers came to the aid of what appeared to be a young woman, who was then revealed to be a dryad once rescued by Brendan vanished into her tree that an Abraxian was attempting to chop down – taking the scout with her. He reappeared after a momentary absence looking dishevelled along with the dryad who couldn’t thank the party enough for what they had done. Managing to draw Brendan away from his latest conquest, the adventurers continued on the track of the dwarves and abraxians. They encountered another group of heretics who tried to get a pair of dwarves to fight the party – but the adventurers fought them off. Rowan and Benedict squared off against another priest of Abraxis in black gauntlets, who taunted them and seemed able to cast magics. Again, it was the bravery of the lesser sung heroes of the party, like Doctor O’Kyle, who saved their necks and the adventurers survived to avoid several poorly concealed ambushes, flankers and more waves of heretics until they came across a grisly scene.

The woodlands had gone unusually quiet in the gathering twilight and at the mouth of what looked like to be an abandoned Dwarven strong hold hung two dwarven women with papers pinned to their chests or forced between their teeth. The papers crackled with religious light and the mage urged caution before they could determine what was on the parchment. A shrine under the gatehouse caught the attention of the priests as the rest of the party fought off an scouting group, licked their wounds and eventually looked at getting the bodies down from the wall. As Christo broke the chains holding one of the dwarves up, Rowan levered the other off the nails driven through the hands using her hatchet – but she felt a sense of pride at what she had accomplished that day, the strength she had shown in battle … and she was tempted to take something of the dwarf as a trophy to show her skill, or to hang it back on the wall as a warning to the heretics who might still be around …

The little voice in her head kept whispering and suddenly she felt a little sick at the thoughts she was having. Father Barnabus did something to the Shrine and began spouting ideas of getting revenge and spilling blood – very uncharacteristic of the gentle Sidhean priest – and Rowan tried to distract him as Fathers Lucius and Benedict worked on cleansing him from the heretical taint that was clearly affecting him. The cleansing appeared to work – Barnabus admitted to still feeling angry, but less inclined to act in such a blood thirsty way. They had seen this before with the recent problems with the Bequifisian Shrine, and as Rowan’s mind brought up some of her darker urges that played on her anger, she spoke up and Father Benedict conducted another cleansing on her. Still angry, still proud of her skills, she felt less inclined to mutilate the corpse of the dwarf, though she intended to make the Abraxians pay for what they had done …

There came a shout from up above where Brendan and Ned lurked on the look out for trouble, and the cries of the enemy calling their forces together, and the adventurers rushed on to battle. More abraxians were fought, more dwarves being forced to be sword fodder, and more bloodshed as the party drew what enchanted and blessed blades they had to hand and rescued the dwarves from their captors before liberating further dwarves from their cages and uncovering the missing weapon shipment (which seemed to have been arming the Abraxians).

And as Rowan, Benedict and Ned cut through the ropes holding the cages together and helped the dwarves on their way, they saw a group of Abraxians running off into the sunset. Tempted to follow them, but knowing that they already had a good head start, Rowan could only roar a threat after them, curse in lirronese and help the dwarves back to Dun Mhurdo for medical attention by their “physicians”.

And so more trouble comes to the borders, and Rowan recalls the words her father had once said when she was a child – never cross paths with a MacGregor, for they are dangerous men. Sounds words of advice for a young girl, but something tells her that she will be crossing paths with that Clan again …

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