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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (in case you missed our “we’re taking a break” post. Before Christmas we ran a pair of missions written by non-referees aka “guests” for a bit of fun prior to everyone heading away to celebrate the festive season with family and friends.

I ran a mission. The last mission I ran was in 2011 … but people seemed to have fun and running a few encounters from the perspective of looking inwards onto a story that is just happening was fun for me. Thank you to the hero ref who ran both missions (yup, the guy ran both mission with the help of his guests) and thank you to all those who came along to the day site to play and monster!

 

Player Mission: The Carnival of Heresy

A note was left requesting discrete aid for the village of South Shielding. The adventurers who went to their aid were:

  • Ranger Wulfric of the Berwickshire Medium; Ranger Finn of the Scouts Guild;
  • Don of the Mercenaries Guild;
  • Wren of the Alchemists Guild;
  • Dr Krom Goodfellow of the Physicians Guild;
  • Fortescue Everbright of the Guild of Mages;
  • Brigit Wooller of Crowa;

The Elder of the village was blunt and to the point. A carnival had arrived near the village and whilst he was all for good times and merry making, he had noticed some odd behavior from some of the villagers who had gone to the fair. He didn’t want to draw attention to it if it was nothing, but thought that a group of adventurers, folk who faced this sort of nonsense, might notice things he wouldn’t see. So he urged them to make some inquiries and return. His nephew, a simple lad, had also got into his head to go and join the circus, and he was concerned the lad meant it. He hoped they would be able to find him and bring him home or at least see him safe.

Setting out from the village, Finn chattered about how excited she was to be going to the fair. They met a pair of villagers who seemed to be a little worse for wear. Krom examined one complaining of a stomach upset and advised him to seek the help of a healer if it got worse, but apart from that they could tell them little about what was at the fair. They encountered a group of Bequifisians who were hunting Kharachians, then arrived at the fair and were greeted by the ticket tote mid-speech to a group of locals. He spoke of the wonders they would behold, the delights that would entice them and how marvelous it would all be.

He guided the adventurers through the key sights – testing their strength against their strongest man (Krom beat him in the tug of war but lost the duel, Brigit bested him through Crowa’s graces), the culinary delights of “Fat” Harry’s (apples and cake which did something funny to the people who ate them, which ended in Krom conducting emergency surgery to heal Finn’s internal bleeding and Brigit giving thanks for her Lady’s protections), the Hall of Mirrors, the “funny” man who made fun of people rather than being funny, and the beautiful seductive Merchia.

The Hall of Mirrors messed with the party considerably – one of the mirrors being a blessed relic of Bequifis that delighted in showing each person their most painful and worst fear. Brigit gave comfort to Don and got Wren to her feet when they were stuck by the horrors they saw. She also slapped Wulfric for good measure and knocked him out when he was certain something was crawling under his skin when there was nothing at all. But as she attempted to cleanse the mirror she was caught in her own horrors – unable to aid her family as the family house burned to the ground with everyone she cared about inside, hearing the screams of her parents calling for her help. She writhed in pain, screaming for her mother, caught in the pain the vision brought her. So Krom took matters into his own hands – and smashed the mirror. He was struck down twitching to the floor and his companions rushed to try and save his life. But nothing they did seemed to rouse him, so Brigit and Don knelt in prayer and Lady Vleybor whispered in Don’s ear. Seemingly Krom was still poisoned and Brigit laid her hands upon him and willed the poison from his body and Krom lived.

It was at this point they began to get a feeling that heretics were at work in the carnival, and were unsurprised when there were Abraxians laughing at the funny man’s jokes. Unwilling to let them leave, the party leapt upon them and a fight followed, and the party then made preparations for the worst to come.

They came upon Merchia, a corrupted Dryad turned to worshipping Githas, with her entourage of men including the Elder’s nephew. They tried to stop their own men getting entranced by her, but Fortescue was too curious or genuinely interested and vanished, to the frustration of Wren, Brigit and Finn. A group of the heretical stall holders of the fair appeared to stop the adventurers but they were unwilling to let their heresy continue – only the Githasian escaped as the others were killed and Brigit hunted the backstabbing Sereklanite ticket tote and the Fygolian “Fat” Harry to prevent their escape.

It fell to the ladies to undo the enchantment upon their companions – Finn and Wren setting to cutting down the tree, with Brigit infuriating the Githasian Dryad with taunts and jibes – “Is this all Githasians can do? Throw pretty little tantrums? That’s right, stamp that delicate little foot of yours, go on. Oh yes, that’s a lovely little scowl you have … maybe it needs some work” etc. Alas Wulfric, who had escaped enchantment at this point, got caught and bid to stop Brigit from getting near the Dryad or the tree. Brigit coldly put him down (to patch him up later).

Eventually they were able to fell the tree and intend to return in the spring to see what the new growth would be like – still Githasian or just a normal dryad? They returned the nephew to the village Elder and filled him in on what they had found, before heading home, exhausted after all the “fun” of the fair.

 

Monster Mission: The (wannabe) Knight of the Bell

The adventurers were met by a representative of Lord Edward Montigue, Baronet of Endsreach and Knight of the Boar, who told them that were requested to meet her Lord upon the road to Boxley-on-Tye. The hiring? All would be revealed …

The adventurers who answered the request were:

  • Master Aoife Murphy of the Alchemists Guild;
  • Roger the Blacksmith;
  • Pestopheles and Henryk of the Physicians Guild;
  • Albrecht Crowe of the School of Enchantment;
  • Sir Stewart DePiercy, Head of the Knightly Griffin Order; Errant Thomas DePiercy, Feudal Vassal;

As they walked the road to Boxley-on-Tye they came upon a group of “good” fae fleeing “bad” fae and went to the rescue of the “good” fae. They came upon a Cobbler who was leaving the area without his Knight’s behest. Vassal himself of the Knight of Green Lillies he knew his Knight was looking for new vassals for a young knight recently come to his service. He offered them some advice on where to find his knight, but he was getting out before more bad fae came his way.

The adventurers then caught the group of bad fae hunting the Cobbler and destroyed them.

They met Sir Montigue with his retinue of scouts who was out looking for his missing squire – young Ferdinand Bellway – who was his responsibility due to promises made to the boy’s father. He didn’t think it would be too hard to find the lad, and decided the adventurers would search one area whilst he looked in another. He belittled the problems of the fae they had already faced, certain it was a mere trifle, and that they’d all be home in their hunting lodges, or wherever peasants go after a long day, for supper.

Continuing on the adventurers came upon the Fae Knight of Green Lillies – bedecked in green with a mask of leaves – with his elyion servant and a trio of human “vassals” for the Knight of the Bell, his new knight. The humans (a blacksmith, an architect and an alchemy merchant) were adamant they were not this “knight”s vassals and had been apprehended on the road by the fae. The adventurers learnt more of the Knight of the Bell, helped the three men escape with promises of future aid or by lightening their loads of trade goods, and were given a bag of indeterminable weight full of fairy gold for their help in checking up on the Knight of the Bell.

Scouted by Red Caps and other “winter” fae they made their way down the hill where they came upon a portal into fae with a young lad in green defending it. He was relieved to see the support of the adventurers, telling them he’d made a promise to the Knight of Green Lillies to keep the portal protected until all his people were safely through, and that keeping promises was the mark of a proper knight according to his noble Lord Sir Montigue. Here was young Ferdinand Bellway, or the Knight of the Bell, aspiring to being a great knight of tales but with a tricky problem. To close the portal they had to destroy the key holding it open on the other side of the portal, but to do that he would have to leave his assigned post. It was decided that the adventurers would see to that matter, all the while fighting off “bad” fae that came pouring through the portal.

Sir Stewart stepped forward to accept the challenge of a fae knight in a helm-like mask, and promptly vanished, and his companions patched themselves up, fought some more fae and questioned what was to happen before leaping in after him. Meanwhile Sir Stewart found himself facing the Knight of Ravens and his entourage alone, as the light began to fail. Caught by a Red Cap’s spear he fell and his companions dashed to his aid as soon as they appeared in the portal, fighting off more fae to heal him up and get him back on his feet. They hunted for the key and Albrecht tried to decide the best way to deal with that little problem when Aoife raised her staff and smashed the delicate crystal. The world around them flickered with jagged beams of light and the portal began to crackle and close, ebbing in and out of focus – vanishing and reappearing weakly.

Pestopheles decided she wanted to go home and willed herself away, returning to Berwickshire in the dark alone. The rest of her company contemplated their lot and were eventually able to temporarily fix the key long enough to get them all home as Albrecht drew on the tattered threads of his magic. They returned to the Knight of the Boar who paid them for the return of his errant squire, and the little bag of fae gold yielded a few pretty pennies in thanks from the Knight of Green Lillies.

And as they say in all good faerie stories? The End.

 

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