The DePiercy family summoned adventurers to the Deepwatch Keep to assist in a dangerous mission into Willow’s Deep – an ancient place of dangerous creatures and strange magic – and the home of the undead dragon Koh’bara. For a long time his vessels, stripped of their souls by the black blood, seemed harmless enough – just another strange thing to come from the Deep. But their numbers continued to grow and word came of information as to how these things came to be. And so the adventuring DePiercy brothers, with their allies and friends, set off into the deep looking for the Archive of the Cracked Claw clan of Dark Souls and the long lost Piercer banner.
The adventurers were:
- Captain-General Catherine Brack-on-Hill of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
- Ranger Brendan DePiercy of the Scouts;
- Forester Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale;
- Doctor Leofrick Llew O’Kyle of the Physicians;
- Master Johnny Test and Gaalen Iskarschrynn of the School of Thaumaturgy;
- Sir Dalon Berwick, Head of the Knightly Grey Order; Sir Stewart DePiercy, Battle Knight of the Knightly Griffin Order; Squire Revan Aetius Tiberius Korrell of the Knightly Black Order;
- High Mother Ann Turner of Longstor; High Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Father Barnabus Locke of Sidhe;
The party set out from Deepwatch with a warning from the scouts – that there seemed to be levels to Koh’bara’s forces – some which were totally under his sway, those with some autonomy and some which seemed barely aware and were simply eyes and ears for the beast. There were some foul spawn acting as ‘guards’ which the scouts had managed to slip past, and it was hoped that the party might be able to get further into the Deep before Koh’bara noticed they were there. The DePiercy family had cleared a path to the edge of the Deep a few weeks prior, and from this foothold the adventurers made their advance.
They managed to slip by a small line of Koh’bara’s foul spawn (henceforth known as minions), but the party became separated and a fight broke out after Father Barnabus answered honestly that they were in fact not allies of the Dragon. In the confusion, Johnny Test slipped away and unfortunately met his end from a goblin in a bush.
More of Koh’bara’s minions crossed the adventurers path and were fought off as they made for an entrance into a tunnel system beneath the Deep. Dark Souls had fled their dragon-possessed kin through these tunnels many months prior when they had taken Deepwatch as a defensible location. A member of the Cracked Claw had offered information to Brendan as how to find the archive and how to pass through the territories in the tunnels, along with advice on traps and what certain clans were capable of. After a dwarf joined the party, having arrived late to the hiring, the adventurers set off into the darkness – Rowan and Brendan scouting ahead, the knights and the general forming a front rank behind.
They reached a branch in the tunnels where they fought with the werewolf nobleman Benedict, Rowan and Brendan had encountered mere weeks before, freeing him from his curse in death. They rescued a pair of maidens who seemed to be choice prey for the dragon, then continued on Brendan’s chosen path – into more of the minions chasing down a ‘mirror-man’ who was apparently some form of projection by a Githasian.
As a number of the party spoke with it, Brendan and Rowan scouted forward where they encountered a dragonkin looking for a Sidhean. After a quiet word with the knights and Father Barnabus, he led the Father of Sidhe off the main path and up to a cavern where a ghost waited to speak with them. As the rest of the party stood guard, the knights learnt more of the effects of the black blood and how to free the trapped souls from Koh’bara’s influence so that each had a chance to fight for their freedom. Armed with this knowledge, they pressed on, fought more of the dark souls, and freed those they could.
Brendan and Rowan scouted for the traps supposedly left behind by one of the Clans, asking for Gaalen’s assistance in clearing their path, before they came upon a group of dark souls who warned them of the dragon and of their fate.
But nothing would deter the adventurers – not even a Griffin Knight under Koh’bara’s influence.
He challenged Sir Stewart to a duel, who of course accepted, and they fought. Back and forth they went, the clash of weapons against armour, the ring of blade against blade. Stewart unfortunately was brought to the ground, but refused to yield, calling upon the gift of his Order to come to his feet and fight back. But as he turned, he was stabbed by one of the dark soul minions watching from the other side of the rough duelling circle that had formed – having been instructed by the dragon to kill the adventurers once Stewart had been defeated. The party pressed forward to meet the enemy and to get Stewart back on his feet.
Once they had picked up their fallen leader and the other wounded, Benedict began trying to find a way into the circle of protection around a minion bearing the Piercer banner. After a bit of posturing from both sides, it was revealed that the dark soul was nothing more than Crowa testing the brothers’ resolve and that of their party, veiled in the form of their enemy. They reclaimed the banner and the Goddess swept through the party, protecting them against some of the magics they might face in the Deep. The Crowans knelt in prayer to their Lady, then preparations were made for their push further into enemy territory.
Now, there are things that dwell in the Deep which are killers – creatures of the darkness with razor sharp claws and reaching jaws. The party were aware of these beasts and blessed weapons were distributed around the party to try and fight off these creatures and the tactic was this – shove a shield in their face and hit them until they go down. It was hoped that they would not appear, but the more experienced members of the party knew that they had been lucky to have come this far unhunted.
They fought through more ranks of minions, keeping as packed tight as they could to avoid being rushed and cut to ribbons from within the party, but they came to a widening of the tunnel over a chasm filled with water. A shield line was formed and the party advanced as best they could as they were picked at by the dragon’s minions. Another duel – between Sir Dalon and a dragonkin, and then they came to a moss filled cavern where the agonwei were waiting. They tore through the party, who fell but got back on their feet time and again as they advanced towards the archive. They were forced away from their goal by a group of dark souls, but after finding defensible ground the adventurers destroyed them one by one before crossing over the rift in the tunnels and into the archive, where the Thaurgeon’s notes were reclaimed and then they sought the surface.
They returned to Deepwatch triumphant, marred only by the loss of Johnny Test, and for a time they rejoiced and gave thanks for their safe return.
But, alas, an adventurer’s duty is never done and soon they will be going back, perhaps to put an end to Koh’bara once and for all …