Lady Miriam Celther, student of Berwickshire history, after spending many years in the closed cloisters of Tottenhill Abbey and amongst the brethren of the Templar Keep of Gatesheath, was called to the priesthood in the autumn of 1013. Supplicating, she proved her worth to her god and over the course of her journeys has furthered her devotion and service through her actions.
Below is the (rough) tale of her path from Supplicant to Mother of the faith, servant of the All Father and his oath sworn Knights and the joys and hardships that have come her way.
My thanks to all those who have organised, monstered and played at Newcastle, Leicester, Derby, Leeds and Tees Valley branches over the last six months. My apologies for taking so long to get this update (part 1) written, and for forgetting the details of all that occurred, but bear with me and we’ll have regular updates soon!
Axirians in the Marches – September 2013 (Monstering)
The Office of County affairs hired a group of adventurers to investigate the remaining stragglers of the Traditionalist Axirian force rumoured to be hiding deep in the Marches to the west of the County. A group of adventurers set out to investigate, and after picking their way through the marshes, things took a strange twisting turn.
As they passed in the “between” they came to the safe haven of Polyflamicas’s realm, a home away from home of fae, where they found some of the mercenaries allied with the Axirian forces stuck as trees and other fauna of this glade, where a denizen of fae challenged the apprentice mage to a battle of wits and riddles. They were chased by raggedy men, found the spirit and body of the last of the mercenaries and returned home to report that the last of the Traditionalist forces had vanished into the marshes.
A strange widget and a bottle of goo – September 2013 (Playing)
Miriam’s view on adventures took a hard knock on her first foray out as a supplicant priestess. For one thing, there were no bold or dashing knights – just members of the Berwickshire Medium (and Finn); and another thing people keep getting hurt on adventures! Tasked by Magistrate Jovian of Carlech to locate and return a number of artefacts that had been in the Mage’s Guild for safekeeping, the small group of seasoned adventurers and a nervous supplicant priestess set out on the road Carlech-Sintel road. At the tavern they discovered that the gentleman had been seen with his box, but had been assaulted and killed the next day and his precious cargo taken away.
Anxious to find the items and return to Carlech, the group continued on their way, were beset by foul spawn and other horrors, received a message from a denizen of Feracartha, and were able to recover the box with most of its contents intact. Alas, as Father Merry Sadron Tithdaeron tried to cleanse the area, great ape-like creatures attacked them and he fell face first into the box, smashing a jar of ominous green goo … Let’s just say things did not go well for the Father of Kharach after that little incident.
The Final Death of Koh’bara (Newcastle Not-a-fest) – October 2013 (Playing)
The Dragon Koh’bara has threatened Berwickshire for hundreds of years, his black blood seeping through the land and drawing life essence from those it infects. But, after a group of stalwart adventurers discovered a potential weapon to destroy him (an orb), and a glade that might hold the key to the monster’s return or final death, the dragon roused from its long slumber and commanded its minions to march. The Office of County affairs summoned a Militia Muster and summoned adventurers, led by the Primate of Crowa, to defend the glade and defeat the creature once and for all. Adventurers from far and wide answered the call to arms.
The Orb that had been found by the adventurers was Willow’s Orb, fashioned by the supposed long dead sorcerer Willow to kill off the Deepspawn that slumbered in the Deep to awaken every 1000 or so years with a ravenous hunger. After some discussion it was thought that the orb could be recalibrated to remove the source of Koh’bara’s power from his black blooded minions, weakening him so that his final death could be wrought. However, to recalibrate the orb, information had to be gathered on the dragon, and so the adventurers set upon their task.
Lady Miriam attended and over the course of the weekend event travelled back into the past to the time to the time of the dragon’s death blow struck by the hand of a Piercer and met the Necromancer who out of fear failed to lay the creature to rest; before being sent forward in time to the point where the dragon final rose from his deathly sleep to terrorise Berwickshire once more, meeting the last of the Piercer line in the form of a Griffin Knight whom they saved from death. He was most amazed to meet Benedict (his ancestor) and found the sword that would teach the orb the meaning of “when” they were in the dragon’s existence. Another group set out to teach the orb the meaning of “where” they were by collecting creatures of Arda, Sharda and Elysium that Willow had brought to the glade, before dinner was served under candlelight. The glade was tended by priestess of Githas and Vleybor, both working together to keep the peace of the place. There was a set of scales which tipped one way or the other depending on what occurred in the glade, empowering one whilst weakening the other. That night several members of the adventurers took to reading from the texts and scrolls in the library, or telling tales beside the fire, until they set upon another venture. Miriam visited the dreams of the Berwickshire dragons to teach the orb the “essence” of Koh’bara – slipping into dreams of the young dragon dreaming of revenge against the Dwarves who inhabit it’s mountain, into the dreams of the great dragon Barwyck who dreamt of the battle and met them in the guise of a Grey Knight standing with a sheathed blade. Miriam’s call to remind them all that it was the Knight’s choice spared them a fatal mistake, and Koh’bara’s dream was filled with lust for life and vitality. Another group sought to teach the orb the nature of the black blood to provide it a conduit to target and braved the darkness to capture an agonewei – a creature that is a vessel of black blood uncorrupted by the dragon’s will.
The next morning the priestesses of the grove had vanished, the Vleyborian running off with a shriek, and the party split – one to hunt down the dragon and stop his advance, the other to protect the grove should the beast try some underhand trick. Little did they know what would befall them.
The encampment came under attack by the dragon’s black blooded minions who sought entry to the holy site to corrupt the life that blossomed within. Alongside Errant Erik and Squire Tomas of the Templar Order, brother Christo and Ronan Eadronhart, Adam Fields the mage, Eamon Wright the blacksmith and a dwarven apprentice, Miriam did what she could to defend the site from the creature’s minions. However, they heard the Vleyborian priestess calling out in the woodlands and Miriam recalled what the priestess had told her – that she had been putting those black blooded she could not tend into death sleep and placing them in safety in the grove, and that she alone could awaken them when she found a cure for their sickness. Horrified, the group left the grove to try and help the Vleyborian priestess or stop her from corrupting the glade from the inside.
They found her after fighting through waves of black blooded, protected by a devotee of the faith who was unable to aid his priestess in her internal struggle against the dragon. Almost consumed by the black blood, she alternated between arguing with herself and lashing out at those who threatened the people she was trying to protect. However, after two attempts of cleansing with holy water, and a recitation of the prayer Sidhe had given to the DePiercy family when they retrieved their banner from the Deep, and the priestess was free of the taint. Healing their wounds she urged them to aid her opposite, and they dashed back to the grove hoping to find her there.
They were too late to stop her as she deconsecrated the sanctified glade with the black blood, but using one of the charged Githasian scrolls Adam was able to remind the priestess of her true calling, and her God took her away from the monster clawing at her soul.
His prize stolen away, weakened and now vulnerable, the dragon and his personification of will (in the form of a man made of black blood) was finally ended through the efforts of the second party led by the Primate of Crowa. The threat of Koh’bara was over.
The Faith-Eater in Tisa Valley – October 2013
There was a demon threatening Tisa Valley, collecting “bad” followers of the faiths. A number of disappearances in the Valley had caught the attention of the adventuring community and after investigations into missing members of the faithful, a final push was organised to face the demon and drive him out of the Valley. The Defender of Vleybor, priests of the churches of Longstor and Sidhe, a pair of mercenaries, with the Keeper of the Seven Secrets and the Schoolmaster Enchanter set out to face this monster.
After finding signs of this demon and being told of the shardan dangers the party faced, the faithful became angry at the Keeper’s dealings with a number of demons who crossed their path. It fell to Miriam to balance the arguments – reminding the faithful that the Keeper’s job was to deal with demons, before requesting that the Keeper not conduct deals on their behalf as each was responsible for accounting for their actions and their soul upon their judgement in death. Keeping the party together, they approached the final encounter with the faitheater, who had absorbed miracles from the priests he had captured and wore a necklace of thirteen holy symbols around his neck.
After an attempt at viewing the future went awry due to the miracles of Sereklan, the party pushed forward against the demon and his fellows. The mercenaries were brought down as they were turned on the party, and Defender Tullson and Father Burns were wounded as the remainder of the party were driven back. Panicked, they looked ready to break to leave their fellows behind, but as the remainder of the party provided a distraction, Miriam leapt the narrow ditch and hurried through the grass behind enemy lines to reach Defender Tullson. Binding his wounds she was about to wake the Defender when the Keeper’s summoned help snatched him away through magics, infuriating the demon his brother.
The Faitheater returned and was delighted to capture a priestess of Sidhe. Healing Father Burns the monster commanded its followers to keep an eye on the pair, but then the demon’s brother appeared at his side and snatched away his necklace. Taunting him, he vanished, enraging the demon which turned on the remaining party members and stormed off. Miriam roused Father Burns and they hurried to the aid of their fallen comrades, healing them up before assembling before a glowing portal to Sharda. It seems the Keeper had drawn the demons into their realm to save the party.
Defender Tullson and Father Burns kept watch that night, with Miriam returning to collect them the following morning with a cart and a member of the Black Order just in case some harm had befallen them in the night and they were dead. Luckily they were not, and the Keeper returned after a couple of days having done his job, and for now the Valley was saved from the plans of that fiend.
Diplomacy in Leeca – November 2013
Miriam and her second cousin Peter Sabloir-Flessan of the Griffin Order travelled south to Leeca on a pilgrimage, answering a hiring notice on their return journey issued by the Baron Hardcastle. His lands beyond the city, recently awarded to him, have been troubled for many years by lawlessness and feuds betwixt several warring factions. The Baron hoped to bring peace and prosperity back to these people, but needed help from adventurers to set up the initial meeting. Lady Miriam, her cousin and a crowan priest set out from Baron Hardcastle’s lands, heading for a watch tower that marked the main route into the lands. They were to find and invite representatives from the families Kendrick, Frey and Henderson to a meeting at a location to be determined at a later date.
On the way to the watchtower they met and were joined by two members of the “Wolves” – a group of Longstorian orientated wildmen who lived in those parts. Their pack shaman had sent them out to meet with the group having forseen the arrival of the Lady of Balanced Stone (Miriam) and after speaking to them they agreed to help. The party fought off undead, spoke with a ghost in an old slaver’s camp who told them about a necklace of black dust that had made its mother act strangely, and met the first of the groups – the notorious bandits, the Kendricks. Peter tried to duel with Kendrick’s best fighter, but had his combat stolen by Noesta’s attempt at helping – bludgeoning the man to death. By proving their “worth” Kendrick agreed to come to the meeting, which Miriam decided would be held on neutral ground at the Aurorum.
They fought more undead and came to the Aurorum, a placed blessed by Tralda as a speaking ground. Held by the Frey, the group had to prove their worth by delighting in joy and telling of tales, each telling a story to gain entry. Miriam and Peter told of the deeds of Berwickshire heroes, and were found pleasing to the Lady Tralda, they were blessed with a little of her luck. The meeting was agreed to by the Frey, though it seemed Frey and Kendrick had a longstanding hatred regarding a lady love who had died by Kendrick’s hand.
They fought off some blooded foulspawn, learned of a crowan creature being held prisoner, and stumbled upon a secret cave guarded by three ancient elves watching over a great evil. The Kharachian was accidently awoken and the story shared with them, with a promise given to return and free them from their watch. Beyond the cave stood the ancient Elven Watchtower where the Hendersons lived, and once again Miriam set to discussing why they should meet with the Baron’s representative. However, things went a little awry as the Wolves tried to see if any of the men worked with the undead and a scuffle kicked off whilst Miriam and Peter were viewing some murals in the tower that depicted events around the time of the three elves in the cave. Luckily, no real harm was done and Miriam had Henderson’s word he would at least listen to what the Baron had to say.
Another elf was spotted wandering the woods, chased by dark elves. He was the sorcerer who had locked away the great evil who was now looking to awaken his friends and leave the evil for others to sort out as he had done everything he could think of. Miriam traded a glove with him to allow others to find him in future and refused to tell him where his fellows were as she feared that by freeing them unprepared they would unleash a great monster upon the region.
They returned to the Baron’s representative and made their report. Miriam kept up to date on what occurred in the region via letter, giving all information she had to aid the next group who went to deal with the creature watched over by the elves and helping to arrange the meeting with the Baron’s representative – who was ambushed by Kendrick on his way to the meeting. However, the meeting went ahead and good things came of it, with the great evil slain and the elves freed and welcomed back into this world that was much changed from when they last walked under the sun.
Of slavers and missing mages – November 2013
A group of adventurers set out at the request of the Baron Warwick, a retired adventurer, who wanted them to investigate a group of Guidanese “traders” on his lands. As they set out they witnessed he execution of the Baron’s friend, a mage accused of many grave crimes. They fended off a number of crazed locals who proclaimed all manner of nonsense, before stumbling upon a pair of orcs “curing” a woman of her delusions. When she was conscious she spoke of being dragged into a marsh, but was terrified of the orcs who had now taken her into their protection.
After leaving the little group to vanish into the woodlands the adventurers came upon a group of traders including a “griffin” knight who was not as he seemed. The Guard demanded permits, and the “Griffin” got quite upset with the whole matter, eventually leading to him being knocked out by the group so the Guard could sort him out later. Sadly, he was able to escape, much to the Guard’s frustration. I seemed now that the Guidonese were now squatting on land that didn’t belong to them, and masquerading as nobles and Knights of the realm.
They encountered a Feudal knight and party travelling with a slave, who did not run off when she was liberated from her captors. With some guidance from herself the party came upon the slaver’s cages where they were attacked. In the cages was a familiar man who addressed the Templar Knight – it seems that this man was the real mage who had gone missing. Once his bonds were broken, he was able to unleash his magics on those around them, helping the adventurers return to make their report to the Baron.
The end of Von Raven – December 2013
The Vampire Lord Von Raven, an ancient enemy of the realm and ex-member of the Rangers of Dunstanborough had been gathering his forces in one final offensive against his ancient enemy the Demon House of Ordet. But he would throw away innocent lives in his great struggle, so the adventurers of Berwickshire made one final attempt against the monster, to end him once and for all.
After Rowan’s death, the skull she had uncovered had been taken from Mortimer Lowe by the late Father Merry Sadron Tithdaeron who dragged the soul inside back to Kharach’s Halls as he made his journey. With Von Raven’s ties to the land broken, he was now vulnerable to the sword that Rowan had taken from him in their final battle. Armed with the blade, Captain Christo Eadronhart, Gregor Fallon, Mortimer Lowe and Primate Benedict set off towards Ravensholme having called together a force of Rangers, Alshanti and DePiercy Militia to aid them in their fight against the undead.
Stepping into the “lost” Ranger Fortress in the old ways, they set up a basecamp and met with the commanders of the forces who had answered their call. Gathered around the map, they planned their strategy, assigned forces to key areas and planned the final battle in the war that had been raging since the book of Ordet had been read and the Rangers of Dunstaborough had come out of hiding.
The adventuring party went to close the gate Primate Benedict had accidently left open when Rowan and he had travelled to the Ranger Tower in their world, stopped denizens of the House from entering the realm, binding Christo to the Spirit before the final battle with Von Raven, once and for all.
The Errant of Spring and Dawn – December 2013
Trouble near Auklish – undead snatching away villagers by night, leaving homes empty and hearths untended. The Baronet of Auklish called for adventurers to lend their aid in getting to the bottom of this problem upon his lands. Miriam set out in the company of the Knight Commander, Sir Erik Hawkwinter of the Templar Order, Finn, Primate Benedict DePiercy, Dr Leofrick Kyle, Captain Christo Eadronhart and others. On the way into the outlying edge of the marsh they were attacked by undead and met two fae creatures who had “slipped” past the guards on the “gate” and were like naughty school children skipping lessons. Dr Kyle was furious that such creatures were being allowed to cause mischief, but they had no time to dwell on this as a pair of villagers were being horribly tortured up ahead. After fighting off the monsters and tending to the villagers’ wounds, the party learnt that whilst there was a regular amount of undead around, in past weeks there had been a greater number and more terrifying varieties that were taking people from their homes by force.
Another tortured spirit accosted the party, and whilst the knights dealt with more undead forces that mean them harm, Miriam tried to help the spectre to no avail. They then travelled into the fae realm using a “gate” made by a Cobbler, and once inside the realm of fae the party were warned again that they were to take nothing of fae lest they break the promises made by the Knights.
Unfortunately Miriam had some gems tucked into her hood by some grateful Elyons for her story and a trio of automata would not let her pass as a thief. Once past the automata they were led to the Errant of Spring and Dawn who had contacted several members of the adventuring community about travelling to his realm to allow him to demonstrate his worth to his Lord the Black Prince and become a member of his court. He questioned the Knights as to their code of Chivalry, then made those who followed the law pass judgement upon three people – one guilty, two innocent. They chose the guilty party correctly and the woman was passed into their care, though she tried to escape – even trying to cut off Miriam’s hand as she tried to hold her.
The party were expelled from fae at the request of Captain Christo, narrowly avoiding some unfortunate mishaps regarding ill-chosen words, and they reported back to the Baronet as to what was going on. But the shadow of the Black Prince was beginning to grow across the land …
Feracartha by nightfall – December 2013
The city of Feracartha, almost destroyed in the bombs placed upon the soulfire nodes that Eamon Wright tried to dismantle, was empty of people save the fabled “eye” that was yet to be dismantled. The adventurers set out to locate this artefact and stop whatever it was doing, though not before working their way through the defences set in place.
After fighting their way between the feuding denziens of the city and their mechanical creation, they stumbled upon an entry into the realm of fae and became trapped in the “tower” with a series of puzzles to solve to gain access to the Eye. Whilst they were there they met a young elf who travelled with them – a puzzling mix of innocence and knowledge – who appeared on each “floor” of the tower in a different form, aging up as they scaled the tower. Speaking with the “intelligence” of the tower they were able to go up and down the floors, eventually being granted access to the Eye.
They solved a puzzle that had robbed Father Telgast of Rolbor of his wits, who had entered the tower with the Entrald to discover the secret of the Eye. This puzzle required someone to describe a picture in a box whilst the other chose the identical one from a set of buttons on the floor. Another test had the party selecting the correct automata from a set of masked automata, with wrong choices leading to them being attacked. Members of the party were able to “turn off” a soulfire vent that was polluting the area with toxic gas and saved a phoenix egg from being destroyed when the node undid itself. The final test required skill with words and potions, determining the effect that a scroll might have and which is the correct one, or the correct potion that was safe to imbibe. Throughout this Peter Sabloir-Flessan and others held the front line of the defence, taking grievous wounds and looking like a big darn hero.
The tale of the girl unravelled as they neared the top, having grown darker and more authoritative as they scaled the tower and its puzzles. She was the avatar of the Eye, the physical embodiment of the sorcerer who had been put into the “machine” at the height of the war. When the walls fell her father, a powerful leader and sorcerer of the “high” elves, took her to the tower and put her into the machine, for her to turn the power of soulfire into a weapon. But the child was not ready to act as a conduit for such raw power and she lashed out, burning her people and the city in the process. She has since slumbered, trapped in her prison, unable to detach from the power within. And her father had returned to waken her and use her power to ascend into a different state of being.
The party worked to free her from her Father’s power as he conducted the rituals upon her and once freed they were able to open a portal out. Although weakened, the sorcerer was able to stop her father long enough to send the Griffin squire through the portal and wounding her father so he could not follow them. However, after being healed by Talon, she teleported herself away when Mortimer Lowe tried to convince her to come with him to be inspected by the Guild of Mages. So a rogue sorcerer from ages long past has slipped away, perhaps never to be seen again …