The season has turned and mist often hangs like ghostly bunting between the trees early in the morning. The woodlands are beginning to burn with green turning to amber and gold, but the woes of the world have not slowed with the changing season.
The White Star have gone quiet, which is alarming – and a trader seeks the aid of adventurers to retrieve an artefact of ancient Barwyckshire. But not all is what it seems …
Player Mission: White Star in the mountains
The previous week diplomatic talks with the White Star were uncovered to be a ruse, and a strange sickness has begun to spread amidst the foulspawn. Some scouts had gone out to investigate where the White Star had gone, and rumours of a growing settlement, but have not returned. The Church of Kharach, growing alarmed that a number of heretics had been recently slain and left untended to, bid two members of the faith to head out with this group to deal with the fallen.
The adventurers who went with them were:
- Aoife Murphy and Wren of the Alchemists Guild;
- Sir Vincent Savage, Feudal Vassal of Thane Luyton; Esquire Thomas DePiercy, Feudal Vassal of the DePiercy family;
- High Father Andre of Rolbor; Father Ezekiel Wheeler of Vleybor; Sister Brigit Wooller of Crowa; Supplicant Kai of Kharach;
The group set out retracing the route that Kai and others had taken the previous week, looking for the heretics that they had killed. Foulspawn blocked their path and ignored Father Ezke’s attempts to reason with them, causing the party to cut through them. With the help of the gifted charged scrolls from the Church Wren was able to lay the soul of a Githasian and Fygolian to rest.
They were ambushed by foulspawn, tricked and waylaid, and came upon a scout who had been sent out ahead of them. Wounded he told them how he and his fellows had been attacked, but he knew not their fate. Fighting up the slope and across the bridge the adventurers were beset by one of their own, as foul magics played havoc with Sir Savage’s mind and turned him against them. Patching themselves up they continued on, located the other dead heretics, laid them to rest, then headed for the thick oily smoke they could see through the tree line and smell the stench of occupation.
They come upon a foulspawn camp and saw out across the valley the clear signs of a settlement being established. Locating the missing scouts, who were mercifully still alive, they made their escape from the area after Brigit and Aoife decided to set fire to the heap of mouldering blankets in the stash of supplies – if dirty blankets were a source of sickness, perhaps these were the source of the contagion? Either way, the scouts had been rescued and could return with their report on the White Star.
Monster Mission: Completely the wrong idea
A merchant has uncovered a cup that seems to date back to the time of the old kingdom of Barwyckshire. This prized item was to be sold as a collectors piece to the Thane’s household with the intention of adding it to her collection, but alas some ruffian has stolen it from him. With no hope of getting it back alone he seeks adventurers and offers them what little coin he has to retrieve the item.
The adventurers who answer his plea for aid were:
- Conchobar of the Berwickshire Medium;
- Don of the Mercenaries;
- Guardsman James;
- Dr Krom Goodfellow and Pestopheles;
- Albrecht Crowe of the School of Enchantment;
- Crag McFist of Vleybor;
Heading out from Newcroft the group were waylaid by a member of the scouting militia who had been sent into the area to investigate a plea for aid by a village beset by bandits. With the amount of undead in the area there was no chance of getting close alone and to her embarrassment the “great” Sam Vines, “Best Scout Ever” according to her little ones, had dropped her sword in her haste to escape a grisly end. She wanted her sword back – particularly the wrap tied to it that had been made by her children – and was grateful a group of armoured adventurers were heading that way. Had she seen a man in black with a scar on his face? Yeah, sure – he headed through a while ago and didn’t heed her warning …
The adventurers encountered undead and stumbled upon a grisly scene of a pair of men picking over the corpses of some villagers. Scaring them off they were able to recover a pouch of belongings. It seems they had been interrupted looting as well as killing undead. On the path towards the village they startled a pair of blokes who were manning a trap and found a villager cut in two, more undead and the village itself. One of the villagers asked them if they’d seen their partner, describing a necklace identical to found in the recovered pouch. When they were told where the necklace had been found the woman was inconsolable. The villagers told the adventurers of bandits but were confused as to their reports of undead – undead you say? But we’ve never seen any … But people have been going missing and it’s all very strange.
Directed on a path away from the village the adventurers were forced to navigate a second wire trap and recovered some alchemy from a body hung in the “spider’s web” of wire, before fighting more undead and coming upon a group of mercenaries and scouts. These individuals seemed to be hunting undead in the area and spoke of a High Father of Kharach who had hired them, but expressed a distaste at his rules – do not interfere with the villagers, do not loot the bodies unless they had been laid to rest, do not come back if you get the rot. The adventurers were also able to trade for Sam Vines’ sword from one of the mercenaries, and were told that there had been a man in a black cloak with a scar who had gone to talk to the High Father.
They caught up with the “thief” who tried to evade them, but told them he’d won the cup from the trader in a game of dice and he’d already traded it on. Not entirely convinced the party took him with them, and he seemed glad of the company for someone was out to get him. Up the hill they came to the “bandits'” camp where a priest of Kharach was preparing to consecrate a shrine – with the cup providing a suitable offering to his Lord. Then all became clear.
The priest had hired a group of mercenaries and scouts to put down the undead that were coming out of the Akenwode before they overwhelmed the village. But, being a devout Kharachian, he would not permit them to interfere in the way of the villagers – not even to save them from a direct attack or letting them heal up wounded villagers. Once the shrine was consecrated the undead would be warded away from the village and he would take his men elsewhere to continue the task set to him by the Church out of Firebridge. But his men were beginning to rebel against him and the priest, the adventurers and the mercenaries came to a deadlock. A fight eventually kicked off, the cup recovered and the priest and the cup were brought back to be examined and the truth determined near Carlech.
The merchant was overjoyed to see his artefact of history returned for sale, Sam Vines was glad to have her sword back with her lucky rag intact. The scarred man was eventually recovered but it seems he had befallen an accident in their absence and been maimed in the process.