As the year turns towards summer, and the time of planting comes to the time for buds and blossoms and all green things, the adventurers of Ithron gather together to face great threats and tackle challenges in defence of the land they love.
First up, the Thane of Newcroft’s tournament, then across the seas to Oluthen to help Baron Hardwick earn the hand of the delightful Lady Erika. And amongst it all, the start of the Elven Blacksmith known as Wren.
Thank you to those who were involved in planning, organising, running, crewing, making props, and turned up to play at the Newcastle branch nightsite and Springfest – you all made the events below fantastic. If you turned up to these events and have not been named below (or named incorrectly), please let me know at wolfish dot written dot author at g mail dot com.
Tournament for the Thane of Newcroft – Player night site/IC party
After the death of Thane Diera Berwick at the hands (or teeth) of the vampire Lord Von Raven, the earldom of Newcroft has been overseen by her widower Viscount Lorik Ap Cadrac Berwick-Farron. However, the political cogs of the duchy have been turning and it has become time for a new Thane to be appointed. A grand tourney has been arranged at which the identity of the new Thane would be announced to the people, and adventurers from far and wide gathered together to show strength of arms, speed and cunning, their skills with the divine or arcane arts, and swiftness of foot.
The adventurers who went to the tourney were:
- Captain Christo Eadronhart, Wulfric Nolastname of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
- Ranger Finn of the Scouts Guild;
- Junior Forester Jasper Crane;
- Wren of the Guild of Blacksmiths;
- Master Ash of Stocktown and Ember of the Guild of Alchemists;
- Dr Leofrick Llew Kyle and Phileas Renshaw of the Physicians Guild;
- Master Mortimer Lowe of the School of Necromancy; Talon of the School of Thaumaturgy; Guildsman Albrecht Crow of the School of Enchantment;
- Knight Commander Sir Dalon Berwick of the Knightly Grey Order; Sir Stewart DePiercy, Head of the Knightly Griffin Order, and Thomas, Man-at-Arms of the Knightly Griffin Order; Sir Tomas Garrax of the Knightly Templar Order; Holy Mother Rose Madeline Blanchefleur of the Holy Rose Order; Sir Sergei of Queen’ s Mount and Sergeant Jaren Reid of the Queen’s Mount Militia;
- Primate Lord Benedict DePiercy of Crowa; High Father Andre and Father Jeremiah T. Bristleback of Rolbor; High Mother Anne Turner of Longstor; Supplicant Chicken of Vleybor;
As the adventurers arrived the Holy Mother Rose opened the gathering with a brief sermon on the hero St Aelfred and her own experiences as an adventurer in light of the holy feast day of her patron Goddess. After blessing the tournament, Sir Stewart DePiercy knighted his squire Sir Peter Sabloir-Flessan before the gathered company and duelled him after the traditions of the Order. With other duties to attend to, the newly knighted Griffin left the gathering before the tournament got underway.
A grand melee (where competitors fight to be the last one standing), a ritual contest and a footrace led the way for the Duels for the privilege of being named Thane’s Champion and Freeman of Newcroft (the honour won by the victor of the grand melee master alchemist Ash of Stocktown). In amongst this several adventurers investigated the surroundings and found what appeared to be a cryptic note relating to the malign influence of the Shadowmaster in Thanemouth – with clues to ingredients for a cure. This scavenger hunt nearly ended badly when Thomas accidently killed the frog they found, but a living creature did not seem to form a crucial component for the elixir.
The Lady Joan Luyten, newly appointed Thane of Newcroft and daughter of the Baronet Luyten, was brought before the gathering, with several newcomers eager to meet her ladyship. So eager in fact that one man tried to kill her, but swift action by her body guards and the adventurers stopped him in his tracks, with Wren the blacksmith spotting and confiscating a set of daggers the man dropped as he tried to kill the Lady for a second time, as she came to see the face of the one who would dare to do such a thing. There was also concerns that he might be a special type of assassin – particularly when the Primate of Crowa announced that he’d felt something crawl down his leg as he knelt to check the villain’s pockets. That scorpion never was found …
After the tournament was wrapped up, the adventurers heard that the priest of Tralda in Thanemouth under attack and sent a number of priests to his aid. As they left the gathering a number of men attacked the group, leading Sir Stewart and a company off into the darkness to go and “deal” with a group of Mithamese ne’er do wells. Wren and Thomas were left behind to defend the camp just in case anyone had any bright ideas, and to inform the other group as to what had happened.
The other group returned with Brother Homero in tow, and as the adventurers tried to piece together what he knew of the Shadows and the cure, and what had happened, a hole appeared in the middle of the camp. A portal to the realm of the shadows, that dragged Brother Homero away, the creatures inside the portal were incorporeal and things outside the portal were not – and vice versa once one crossed the veil at the edge of the rift. Undead came shambling out and a wraith taunted the party with his master’s plans, and a stunted black shrub grew under the sunless sky. This shrub seemed to be part of the cure, but someone had to get to it. In the end Wren dashed across the circle and grabbed the plant when the undead were too busy attacking her companions, running as fast as she could as the glove holding the plant rotted away.
Mother Anne then proceeded to try and close the portal, with Wren acting as protection from the wraith who kept interrupting her ritual with its ability to stop a man from breathing. And when the other party returned Mr Lowe set about causing havoc by commanding the wraith to recover the shadowy form of the Traldan. Once this was recovered the portal closed and Brother Homero was restored to his former self.
With the matter concluded, the adventurers went their separate ways, though it was surely an eventful night for the new Thane of Newcroft. The bearer of such a title cannot sleep easily …
Across the sea to the Other Shore – Springfest 2014
The lands of Ashbourne in Derwentshire is a land torn by injustice and chaos, having lacked a strong hand in the long years of recent times. One family has a chance, through an alliance of marriage with the Von Krieg family of Oluthen. Baron Vernon Hardwick III calls adventurers to his banner as he travels across the sea to the lands of Krieg in Oluthen to prove his worth in his betrothal suit to the Lady Erika Von Krieg, daughter of the powerful Reichgravine Claudia Von Krieg.
Those who answered his call were:
- Snorri Gotrekson, Palug and Flynn of the Mercenaries Guild;
- Pathfinder Richard Black, Lord Mayor of Norham; Jack and Ranger Thatcher of the Scouts Guild;
- Forester Mordecai;
- Guildmistress Candy Floss, Guild Protector Daniel Matthews, Dain Rocksplitter, and Ember of the Alchemist’s Guild;
- Forgemaster Gendry Smith, Runelord Rubbovah Longhammer, Journeyman Kalieth Fenrisian, Journeyman Wren and Lord Albie Thynne of the Guild of Blacksmiths;
- Guildprotector Tubby Gendril, Doctor Leofrick Llew Kyle and Doctor Evandar Salamanderiel, Dr Tim, Ellen Glidnow and Viv of the Physican’s Guild;
- Lady Mercedes Pilkington, Master Mortimer Lowe, Master Baelfire Blanchard, Master Thomas Ward-Mouldheel and Guild Senior Sid of School of Necromancy; Malabayn Bogaert and Janus of the School of Demonology; Adam Fields of the School of Thaumaturgy; Ridcully of the School of Enchantment;
- Lord Sir Stewart DePiercy, Head of the Knightly Griffin Order, Sir Edward Wentworth and Sir Stewart DePiercy of the Knightly Griffin Order; Sir Gregor Mallifar, Head of the Knightly Black Order, and Sir Haydon Dé Bastonne of the Knightly Black Order; Marcus Drake and Sir Tomas Garrax of the Knightly Templar Order; Father Sir Oliver Mormont of the Knightly Grey Order; Sister Enjah of the Holy Rose Order; Feudal Knights Sir Deacon Warwick and Marcas McGowan;
- Primate Lord Benedict DePiercy, Defender Soren, Chaplain Jacob Bowen of the Holy Rose Order, Father Brandt Whiteraven, Brother Alexander and Saffron of Crowa; High Mother Anne Turner, High Father Thek, High Mother Fang, Sister Kes Hunter, Devoted Father Finwe of Longstor and Noesta of Twisted Fang; Chaplain Patience Warwick of the Knightly Grey Order and Brother Elrin Stillsong of Sidhe; Defender Elenor McGrath and Mother Elandowyn “Ellen” McCrae of Tralda; High Father Eldoran of Vleybor and ; High Father Andre of Rolbor; Spiritstrider of Twisted Fang, servant of Kharach;
- Joshua the Archer; Wigeon Goodbread;
- And others …
Krieg borders the Schwartzwald, a dark forest in Oluthen full of many dangers. A place known as a place of war in the Oluthen tongue, a place regularly beset by dangers, has bred a fierce people that would take much to impress. The adventurers travelled by ship and were regaled by tales, mystery, good food and wine or many troubles, before arriving in Krieg to meet with the Baron Hardwick and his party. Wren was met by a trader who was so impressed with an up and coming adventurer that he gave her a longsword from his stock – this blade would prove useful over the course of the weekend.
Because we arrived late we missed the introduction to the event, but as we arrived we found that Lord Hardwick had been poisoned by a poison that ravaged his body and mind. The Physicians were able to slow the damage done to him, but without the poison they would be unable to make an antidote to save him.
The Reichgravine was also taken by a local noblewoman to her castle not far from the Krieg. The camp came under attack from creatures out of the darkness, and after the Longstorian shrine was consecrated, Wren was invited on a “hunt” by the shaman of the Twisted Fang tribe. Joined by Sir Stewart, Sir Peter, the Spiritstrider of the Twisted Fang tribe and a novice priest of Longstor, they set off into the darkness to hunt down the missing Reichgravine.
First they followed the trail, fighting off undead, until they came to a great castle that loomed out of the darkness and rained arrows on their heads. Wren took an arrow to the chest and went down, to be dragged back by her companions. But rather than going back, they continued on their way after they patched up their wounds, looking for another way in.
And hey found it – a metal grate set in a stone wall in an outlet of blood and gore. First the Shaman tried to work his way in, then Sir Stewart followed but couldn’t get close to the metal grate as his armour dragged him down into the gore. Wren tried then, wading forward to feel the metal grate to get a feeling of how to break through. She was (un)lucky enough to discover that the vertical bars had sharp tips to stop people from pushing it up, and was able to warn the adventurers the next morning. However, she fell sick from whatever was in the gore, and stumbled back into the camp sick to her stomach and needing a physician’s aid.
The Necromancers were able to lay the tormented spirits of the graveyard to rest, but only after spirits came into our world and fought amongst the adventurers. This place of war, it seemed, was drenched in blood, and with the help of the priests of the Seven the Kharachians were finally able to help lay the souls to rest.
The next morning, two adventures set out to tackle the monsters in that land – one to the castle and the secret way in, the other to stop undead terrorising local villages. Wren gave her warning about the grate to the dwarven blacksmith on that party, but he fell in that place to the sorrow of his brethren and friends.
As Wren’s party left the settlement they were accosted by peddlars selling “protections” from the forest, before being attacked by barbarian tribesmen of the Schwartzwald. After piecing themselves back together and making repairs, they came to a twisted tree attended by dryads that fed on blood. Attacked by wolf creatures and threatened by the charms of these corrupted dryads, the adventurers tried to free the bodies bound to the tree and to purify the corruption that had taken hold. Wren helped pull back the entranced men from stopping High Mother Anne in her ritual – typically by knocking them out by fist or cudgel.
Facing undead, the adventurers fought to free a pair of priests, saving the Longstorian, before stumbling upon one of the greatest dangers of that place – the spiders. As it burst from the undergrowth, the adventurers scattered and were able to bring it down eventually, before Dain and Ember were able to harvest some venom from it’s corpse.
They then faced an undead lord, who summoned a champion to fight him. Ranger Thatcher held his own against the creature, who used magic to wound him and “win”, though the adventurers then kicked off and cut short his victory. From there they went into the barrow and faced one of the Barrowlords. Victorious after a hard struggle, they returned to the camp with information on a second barrow, though not before Wren lost her arm due to blood loss. Dr Kyle was able to save it for surgery later that day, but she was unable to use her right arm (her bow arm and her sword arm) for the rest of the weekend.
That afternoon, Space-wolf took a turn as one of the monsters for the second round of missions. One group went to hold a bridge against demon attack, whilst the other sought out a local apothecary to learn more of the poison used against the Baron. On the way they fought undead, met a pack of werewolves enjoying Rolbor’s plenteous generosity, and came to the hamlet where the Apothecary could be found in the company of the local nobility (who turned out to be some strange form of vampires. With directions given to the location of a spider’s nest, the adventurers set out to go and deal with the monsters. They were expecting tiny spiders – they did not expect the mother …
After fighting off spider cultists who fought alongside their “gods”, and fighting through 4 foretell futures, the adventurers were able to meet, fight, and eventually kill the great spider from which the alchemists were able to collect samples of poison to attempt to brew an antidote. The best quote from the fest came from the “boss” encounter of this fight – “it moves!” “of course it moves it’s got 8 legs!”
Fighting off the grieving followers of the spider cult, the adventurers were able to return to camp, and set to work. However, their return in triumph was dampened by the news of the death of a priestess of Kharach, Sir Gregor Mallifar of the Knightly Black Order and the Primate of Crowa, who final battled to save his party. Their deaths’ were marked with solemn ceremony and mourned in their own way.
Wren, arm newly reattached but in a sling, handed her sword into the care of Father Brandt Whiteraven for their mission into the second barrow – for it carried a Deathsbane blessing upon it courtesy of Mr Lowe earlier that day. Those who went out on that endeavour returned as heroes immortalised in Evander’s song “Fight Fire with Baelfire” which was recounted at the banquet. Another group went out to entice heretics out of the woods, and another went to stop some demon summoning at a tower out in the darkness.
The Steelfist Orcs paid the camp a visit – seemingly invading the area once a year looking for a scrap, and after a lot of posturing on both sides they left in “peace” ahead of the next day’s attack. A group went out that evening too and stopped them from stealing the Von Kreig banner, bringing the orc standard back in triumph.
The next morning Wren was invited out on a Werewolf hunt – apparently seeking the one which had slain Erika’s father – but they left the wolf and its pup in peace when it became clear that none of the knights wanted to kill something defending it’s young.
The battle lines were drawn – one group going to rescue the Reichgravine from the clutches of the Vampire Lady, the other going to face the Steelfist Orcs. Wren went out with those heading to the castle, arm still in a sling but armed with her repair kit and under instruction from Finwe to protect Doctor Kyle and the physicians from harm.
They fought their way to a stone circle, where things went badly wrong for the mages – one of their number becoming soulfire itself before being dragged back to Arda – fighting off orcs and demons, before slogging up the hill to face the undead horde of Lady Ilena. They faced the castle and its defences, with Lady Erika in their company, and demanded to see the Reichgravine. As they spoke with one of the commanders of the castle, Wren and High Father Andre were able to get a better look at the chains holding up the drawbridge, advising a way to bring the drawbridge down. With the help of Ridcully and two archers, they were able to break the chains and keep the drawbridge down, allowing the fighters a breach to storm the castle and rescue the Reichgravine. In the fight the Reichgravine was badly wounded and the Defender of Tralda nearly lost her life, but through some mage magic the Reichgravine was teleported back into the care of the physicians (which saved her life) and the Vampire Queen was staked through the heart and destroyed. Through some swift surgery on the field, and the physicians, alchemists and blacksmiths pulling together, the Reichgravine was returned home. Wren helped by making a stretcher.
That afternoon the adventurers went out to fight against the Steelfist Orcs and give them the scrap they were looking for, satisfying them for another year.
That evening the adventurers were witnesses to the union of Lady Erika Von Krieg and Baron Vernon Hardwick III, blessed by the Reichgravine Claudia and in a service conducted by a member of the Knights Teutonic. They enjoyed a good meal, varied entertainment and a chance to relax, though members of the Mages Guild were brought to trial for their actions in Oluthen.
And so ended the adventurers’ “holiday” in Oluthen, with the hope that stability and prosperity will return to Ashbourne under the newly appointed Viscount Hardwick and his lovely new wife.