Merry and Rowan found themselves on the road heading south to Middval and the area around Chennet. Here, in the warm sunlight of late spring, they would stumble upon trouble and danger as their paths crossed with the local adventurers.
Thank you Black Country Branch for a fantastic pair of days. Best way to spend a Bank Holiday in my opinion.
If you know you took part in one of the missions detailed below but are misnamed or unnamed, please contact me on wolfish dot written dot author at g mail dot com or comment below.
Player Daysite: The Ancestral Path
Hired in Chennet, the adventurers were tasked to travel on behalf of the Earl to retrieve an offering of money from the elves to help with the current tax/food situation in the region. The adventurers that set out were:
- Jack of the Racston Militia;
- Captain Rac of the Racston Militia; Kurtis Snow;
- Huntsman Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale, Huntsman of the North;
- Sir Oliver Mormont, Warden of Chennet and member of the Knightly Grey Order; Squire Erik Hawkwinter of the Knightly Templar Order;
- High Mother Fang of Longstor; Mother Patience Mormont-Warwick of Sidhe; Novice Merry Sadron Tithdaeron and Novice Devoted Ellenestrial of Kharach;
Travelling from Chennet, the adventurers were informed of a rogue demonologist operating in the area, with a 30 Crown bounty on his head. Heading towards Riverwell, they met a Knight of Serruma who had a surprisingly large amount of knowledge of the party. He informed them of the Embassy in Chennet, now flying the flag of Serruma, and of the Ambassador before asking the adventurers where they stood. Several members of the party made arrangements to speak with the Ambassador at a later date and the party moved on.
Riverwell saw a confrontation between two friends – one trying to stop the other from leaving due to the lack of food, and Patience Warwick set to arranging food and supplies be sent to the settlement before the party continued on. Jack triggered a trap and the party were jumped by a number of undead. After fighting off their ranks and ending a number of zombies, the party fought through further waves of fayunds, zombies and death knights to emerge on the other side. A trio of “Crowan” militia men greeted them warily, which concerned Patience and Rowan as they listened to their list of recent “foes”. Luckily, upon returning to Chennet, they were informed of the existence of this militia group known for their efficiency and had been right to trust them.
They entered the edge of the forest where a group of elves met them. As Patience spoke with them, speaking on behalf of the Earl, one of the elves walked through the party, looking at faces. When he approached Rowan he flinched away, muttering about the cold and Ice. This led to several hushed conversations with his fellows and High Mother Fang, whilst Rowan watched and tried to stay calm. Clearly her presence was causing them some concern. And all the while certain members of the party heard voices whispering about the Unification …
The elves eventually let the party through to their Ancestral grounds where they would be able to find what they sought. They themselves did not venture there as it was sacred and they did not carry weapons near it, but the adventurers were free to walk those ways. Some members of party volunteered to disarm out of respect, but others voiced their concerns and kept their weapons stubbornly – the Crowans in particular.
After walking further into the woodland and having a short conversation with a hungry Troll, the party came to a tunnel guarded by a pair of stone and wooden automata, which Rowan addressed politely as she stepped through. She passed unharmed and the party shuffled by under the glow of the alchemical light Rowan had activated upon entering the cave, but inevitably the automata were triggered and a fight broke out. It became the pattern of their long walk through the tunnel – pass the automata, have a fight, move on.
In the darkness they fought off “rust monsters” that ate some of their weapons, navigated concealed traps and fought with the dark elves that dwelt there. Rowan found a poorly concealed bear trap with a scream as the rusting teeth clamped down on her leg, saved from a broken leg by the plate greave on her shin, and it took Sir Oliver and Squire Hawkwinter’s efforts to free her.
Coming to a levelling of the path they fought off more undead summoned by a dark elf necromancer before stumbling over the treasure horde the elves had promised. More looters than heroes, the adventurers grabbed what they could before unbalancing the pedestal to the disconcerting grinding of stone. Eventually, after some thought and argument, they managed to balance the pedestal with the body of the dead dark elf after Merry sent his soul on to Kharach, and made off with the treasure – Rowan pointedly reminding them all that the loot was going to the Earl and not into their own pockets.
Their escape proved tricky – first a large stone door blocked their passage that several of the men broke down to the tinkling of glass as whatever mechanism or trap was destroyed, blood pooling darkly in the yellowing light of the alchemical potion Rowan was carrying. Then there were the boulders that came rolling down the slope. These were eventually avoided after several attempts of climbing the slope before the mechanism reset, then on up towards the surface where they all breathed great sighs of relief and fresh air.
But all was not well, not when they stumbled across the ritual circle and the torn body of a sidhean. As High Mother Fang cleansed the area and Patience scrubbed out the circle, Snow seemed to be struggling against some aspect of his mind. Merry proceeded to attempt to lay the girl’s soul to rest whilst Rowan began to scout the area, trying to determine what had happened there. Her findings were concerning and she talked Jack through what she could see as they tracked the footprints that led away into the brush – someone had walked the circle several times and several things had come from the circle and ripped into the body, before the ritualist left the area and headed back towards Roxborough, obscuring his tracks as they went. The scouts informed Patience and Oliver before they headed back towards Chennet and the Earl, their mission accomplished.
Unfortunately we were not around for the afternoon mission, so there will be no write up of the monster crews’ shenanigans, though I heard rumours of Dwarves and gold …
Monster Daysite: The Heart of the Land
Several days later, the adventurers left Chennet to check on the village of Riverwell and to investigate the trail leading towards Roxborough. The grouped that joined Patience and Sir Oliver were:
- Jack of the Racston Militia;
- An apprentice of the Scouts Guild;
- Evander of the Physicians Guild;
- Apprentice Erin Stillsong of the Mages Guild;
- Sir Oliver Mormont, Warden of Chennet and member of the Knightly Grey Order;
- High Mother Tabitha Waye, Novice Merry Sadron Tithdaeron and Novice Devoted Ellenestrial of Kharach; High Father Eldoran of Vleybor; High Mother Fang of Longstor; Mother Patience Mormont-Warwick of Sidhe;
Before leaving Chennet the party went to the Serruman embassy to speak with the Ambassador in the company of his armed guard, as well as submitting to permit checks at the gate. Here they were reminded of the wanted demonologist Jackson and the bounty on his head. Outside the city they fought off undead that made their way unerringly towards Sir Oliver, a wraith appearing to fear him from the field until dismissed by the faithful and a Vampire stalked the group for a time. They came upon a pair of merchants with their wagon of food heading to Riverwell beset by foulspawn as they tried to fix a broken wheel, and then onto the village. Grateful for the food, the villagers told them how members of the community had gone – to Sortho or other settlements – with the recent problems and how the blacksmith was in the employ of the army after the death of their Lord in a fire around a year prior.
After Patience agreed to try and get a steward appointed to guide the villagers, the company pressed on through more waves of undead and a set of ghosts of the Unified, lost without their bodies. The adventurers tried to help them, but when pressed for details of their life they were unable to recall, and when pressed for details of their death they denied it. Vowing to free them from their plight, the adventurers tried to continue on their way, where upon they came to the village of Overlook with its attendant Forester on duty. Here, at the shrine to Vleybor, High Father Eldoran set about healing the sick with a ritual around the villagers pleading for aid at the Shrine, and the Kharachians amongst the company had a disturbing vision which seemed to focus on the Unification and the role of the Warden of Chennet – now Sir Oliver Mormont following his actions to free the previous Warden from his duties after death.
As they discussed what they had seen they saved a Mithimese trader from the dead (and managed to convince her to trade mage scrolls with Elrin) before continuing on to the settlement of Roxborough, where they found members of the Royal Guard demanding to know what they were doing there. Here, at the shrine to Longstor, was the place where the King had been bound to the land, protected by the Royal Guard even after a number of Axirians came through looking to “assist”. This new revelation was disturbing to the party, and after paying their respects, they set out to return to Chennet to dig further into Axir’s actions in that place.
It was then they encountered the followers of Jackson – villagers who believed he was going to save them from the “god botherers” and the adventurers who were selling them out to Axir. The party scattered, each fighting their own battles or seeking Jackson (who was caught, killed, cleansed and sent on by the trio of Kharachians on the party), whilst the ex-Keeper learnt of Jackson’s plan from a captured villager. It seemed the demonologist had been attempting to use the connection of the King at Roxborough for some terrible end, though his plans were thwarted by the quick actions of the adventurers.
They returned to Chennet, before travelling on to Warwick for the funeral of an adventurer.
Kurtis Snow’s Funeral
In Derwentshire the previous day, Kurtis Snow met his final death at the hands of a possessed dwarf. Having already been resurrected and having lived his second life to the fullest, his body was brought to the town of Warwick to be laid beside the bodies of the Warwick family in their graveyard. Those of his friends who were there came to witness his funeral. Sir Deacon spoke of his friend and of the honour he wished to show him by laying him in the Warwick family graveyard, whilst his sister read a prayer from her brother’s prayerbook, a passage penned by the pair’s elder brother Alexander for funerals. Rowan spoke of honouring the dead and sang a verse of a lament she carried in her own prayerbook, before Kurtis’s friend Ellenestrial spoke of how he fell. He presented Rowan with Kurtis’s sword and prayerbook with instructions on what Kurtis would have wished for, then those gathered there spoke their farewells and fond memories, with Merry quietly stating his respect for the man, before leaving Rosie kneeling at his graveside for her own private last words.
And so another adventurer passes over, the long winter followed by a bitter spring.
Player Daysite: The Princess and the Goblin Queen
Leaving Warwick, a number of adventurers travelled to Netherthong for a hiring by Earl Equinox. A young woman, a princess of Tholon (once bride-to-be of the Earl), had not been seen for many days and the Earl tasked the adventurers with finding her and returning her to the safety of the city. The adventurers that set out on that task were:
- Roger Barrowfield of the Warwick Militia; Grogg of the Edgeminers; an Apprentice of the Scouts;
- Captain Rac of the Racston Militia; an Apprentice of the Mercenaries;
- Huntsman Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale, Huntsman of the North;
- Rosie Gendril (nee’ Baker) and Apprentice Tim of the Physicians Guild;
- Sir Deacon Warwick, Lord of Warwick; and Sir Charles of Warwick of the Feudal Knights of Ithron;
- High Father Neil Nolastname of Tralda;
The adventurers set out upon the Old Mercia road, leading between Netherthong and the old city of Mercia, abandoned the past few years after a Kryganite invasion. Before leaving the town, they met a guard asleep on watch and listened to Deacon who, as Earl Equinox’s Champion, made him and his comrades regret their actions. They dealt with a group of bandits lurking on the road whilst Rowan tended to the Law – arresting one for murder and another for interfering with the Law after a brief chase through the woods.
Continuing on they skirted around a banshee, came upon a brothel which was decidedly suspicious, tangled with a group of foul spawn and some kind of wolf creature that cut through the party, with Sir Charles behaving like an animal after having a spell cast upon him. A group of people on the edge of Mercia were peddling “holy” symbols saying they could get through the mists with them, though only one of them was “active” and the rest were just distasteful to the religious members of the party. Rowan warned them off picking up the Kryganite symbol and pointedly ignored the question asked by one of the peddlers as to whether Krygan had given her the scales on her face and hands.
As they continued on into Mercia, they soon came to understand why the peddlers had been insisting that symbols would get them through the mists, as ghosts came at them. Some seemed trapped in the habits of their old lives – in the middle of the attack, going about their daily lives, some drowning. They became aggressive to High Father Neil who had accidently caused the Militia to drown when trying to save the city and who was still wracked with grief at his actions. The leaders of the party urged them on and Rowan attempted to come up to speed with the region’s history before encouraging the High Father to continue on, to come back with a Kharachian to bring these people peace once they had completed their task. Fighting off some more undead and some foul spawn, the group entered the city, though not before Rowan lost her temper with one of the apprentices travelling with them.
They came to the old Earl’s dwelling place, where upon Deacon kicked in the door and sparked a fight between the foul spawn inside and the adventurers. A shrill voice squeaked up, demanding to know who they were and what they were doing invading her court – a goblin Queen sitting upon her throne.
What followed was a bizarre series of events – where Rowan and Deacon searched the house looking for clues as to where the Princess could be and finding a tidy pile of jewels in the process, to a group going off troll hunting at the Queen’s request, to the Queen being deposed and it becoming clear that the throne made people think they were a goblin queen, through to uncovering the Princess hidden beneath the throne. Trying to wake her, the adventurers turned to tales of brave knights waking princesses with a kiss, to putting her on the throne, until Grogg – in his gold lust – smashed the throne and broke the spell. Rough garments were fashioned from whatever cloth the adventurers could find and then began the long journey back to Chennet whilst foulspawn attacked all the way.
The Earl was understandably surprised by the attire of his once-intended, who seemed quite enamoured with Sir Charles, and the adventurers split the jewels between them as a small bonus for a job well done. But the grief in Mercia must be mended for all involved to heal.
But this is a matter for another day.