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The adventurers of Berwickshire set out one thundery summer’s day to investigate a pair of “odd” occurrences within their county’s borders. 

Player mission: The Weird Wood

In a meeting held by the Crescent Moon Trading Company, the adventurers heard tell of a trio of missing Amnorian Mercenaries who had been patrolling the trade routes as part of the Axirian Aid the county has been receiving. But missing men is bad news for their Captain who, with the help of a representative of the trading company, hired the adventurers to go and find his missing men. The adventurers who set out upon this task were:

  • Freesword Mercenary;
  • Huntsmaster Lucy Ashworth and Huntsman Rowan Tait-of-Amblevale of the Foresters;
  • Aemon of the Guild of Blacksmiths;
  • Doctor Leofrick Llew Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Arthur Lightfoot of the Mages Guild;
  • Sir Stewart DePiercy, Battle Knight of the Knightly Griffin Order;
  • High Father Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; Brother Merry Sadron Tithdaeron of Kharach; Novice Jeremiah T Bristleback of Rolbor;

After organising directions from the merchant, the party set out to towards the town of Ridgeley, a key market hub in the region and travelled the road to Meham and on. They met a man looking for his goat on the road, then came upon a pair of men gambling with dice who spoke of items going missing – a goat, a child’s doll, a cup, a longstorian priest (!) and about how the wood was … odd. After a bit of probing it became clear that things regularly went missing around this weird wood, but it was only recently that things seemed to have been getting worse.

After disturbing a woodsman at work (and nearly scaring him half to death) the adventurers heard more of this weird wood, the disappearances, and escorted the man back to town. However, they came upon a marked circle in the ground with incense and lit candles, and detected a watcher in the woods. There was some discussion as to whether the circle was a completed ritual or not (Rowan arguing that it was not based on the tracks around the area), and they hurried on when they found that their watcher kept vanishing into the trees.

They came to Meham without further incident and began enquiries into the missing items. After some evasive answers that roused Rowan’s interest, she was able to get the truth from the villagers as to the disappearance of the trio of mercenaries – directed to three shallow graves. Seems there had been a disagreement with another of their sort, a foreigner who lived nearby and was “sweet” on one of the local women. There had been an argument, then a series of duels, then the mercenaries were dead and the man went off into the woods.

 They also heard of a hermit who lived in the woods and who came to town for treatment for some ailment or other.

 

Along the road they came across the unconscious form of the Longstorian priest who had been jumped from behind and his bag and sword stolen, who gave a better description of what was going on – it seemed less supernatural and more thievery the more information Rowan got. They set off down the road towards Ridgeley where they were jumped by Dark Elves who cut a path through the party as they made their way along the road.

Heading into the woods, the group spotted a figure walking a circle and chased him down where Benedict retrieved the child’s doll from the fae who had been making a fairy circle. At this point Rowan spotted footprints that could be from the hermit, and set off with Benedict and the Huntsmaster to see if they could learn more about the usual goings on in the woods. They found the man and after hunting for a herbal ingredient (and getting him cured by Leo), informed Rowan of the usual habits of the Dark Elves – how they usually kept to themselves but had started attacking folk and crossing their arms in the manner of a secret greeting between people. He also recalled a pair of men who’d come crashing through the woods (very odd!) in possession of a blue bag. Recognising the Longstorian’s description, Rowan had identified their thieves.

Following on from the directions given, Merry got in a scrap with a Dark Elf, the party cut through another line of the creatures and nearly put a stranger to the sword before he hailed them – challenging them. They had found Vasco, the Amnorian duellist they had been seeking from the village. After hearing his side of the tale Rowan came to the conclusion that he had been acting in self-defence, as he was a deserter from that mercenary group and people don’t look too kindly on those who break contracts regardless of the reasons. He was determined to protect the village and intended to put the leader of this little group of dark elves to the sword, but the more the group heard the more certain they were that they had to get involved in this fight.

 

And so they approached the grove he was in and set upon him, their blades seeming to do no damage but annoy him (as he made them vanish), claiming to be able to see all. After several attempts to undo whatever protections he had upon him – laying the bones to rest, breaking them, trying to strike him from behind, Merry covered the fae’s face with his hood and ran him through – literally blinding his sight of the future.

But Rowan has a feeling this will not be the last they hear of this strange group who mark their followers with the sign of a cross …

———

Monster mission: Flanagan’s boys

Christo Eadronhart had been contacted by someone looking to hire adventurers for a quiet job, and summoned a group of adventurers to help in the endeavour – the plan? To retrieve something precious from the borderlands from some unscrupulous characters …

  • Captain Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry; Ronan Eadronhart of the Mercenaries;
  • Jonathon Goodfellow of the Scouts;
  • Miss Susan Wolstenholme of the Physicians Guild;
  • Witchfinder Lirrion of the School of Enchantment; Talondandrathaniel Kyreathelliesyslyrithian of the Mages Guild;
  • Andre of Rolbor;
  • Elias and Bluey;

The adventurers set out north along a quieter trading route where they met a group of Guidanese mercenaries travelling back to town in the company of a stonemason looking for work on the new improvements that were coming through the county – something about rebuilding farms and a traldan cathedral you say?

A group of foul spawn tried to obtain food, coin or weapons from the adventurers, who gave them a wide berth and continued on. At the next village they learnt that the usual traders who came through hadn’t been seen for a while, and whilst the Mercenaries were doing their job, they were dismissive of the things the villagers had to offer. A member of the Office of County Affairs was also present, seeking information on abandoned farms or prime farmland as part of increasing the amount of food that could be produced to feed the region.

 

After being attacked by several groups of dark elves, the adventurers came upon an upturned cart that the dark elves protected, before startling a merchant and his company on the road. They warned of a group of foul spawn up ahead who were after weapons and food, managed to sell a cloak (literally off their back) and continued on their way.

After a skirmish with some more aggressive foul spawn who demanded food or weapons to let people pass through unharmed, they came to a bridge where a young woman greeted them from atop the parapet. After a brief conversation it became clear they were in the borderlands, not far from Lirron and they were not welcome there. But, alas, it was a trap and the adventurers defended themselves from the bandits. However, the young lass got away before they could catch her for more information. They fought off another group of bandits waiting to ambush a caravan, traded blows with another group then outfoxed another group claiming to be members of Lord Carlech’s militia. After a struggle where Miss Susan became a hostage (and an interesting use of Deathsman by the quick thinking physician), they killed off another group claiming to be Flanagan’s men.

 

Up the hill they came upon an encampment where their leader, Alistair Flanagan in his blue woad and with his Claymore, traded insults and comments before attacking the party. A woman’s scream drew the attention of the bold heroes, who put down Flanagan and his cronies, saved the “treasure” they had been sent to find, fought off a group of returning bandits and brought the outlaw’s head back to claim a bounty. All in all, a profitable day.

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