A bright and frosty winter morning dawns over Ithron and adventurers gather themselves to embark upon deadly and dangerous missions. With the hunt for a Hag occupying the thoughts of some, and a trek into Willows Deep occupying the others, what will our heroes face this day?
Monster Mission – Prophecy
High Father Andre has a doom, as foretold by the spirit of the Elven City. That one must die for the others to live – be it him, be it his father, be it the Hag Pantalones. With his father freed from his slavery, Andre gathers together trusted allies to help him enter the Glade of Ages to hunt down the Hag and put an end to prophecy once and for all.
The adventurers who went to help him were:
- Pathfinder Wulfric Nolastname and Conchobar of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry; Ranger Finn of the Scouts Guild;
- Captain Christo Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium Infantry;
- Pestopheles of the Physicians Guild;
- Master Albrecht Crow of the School of Enchantment; Meror of the School of Necromancy; Fortescue Everbright of the Guild of Mages;
- Errant Thomas DePiercy, Feudal Vassal;
- High Father Andre of Rolbor;
They met Andre in the square along with a Cyclops and an elven sorcereress who had agreed to help with the plan. They hoped to find a “dead” doorway into fae which the sorceress would open for them and close behind them to prevent anything coming through, and the Cyclops would help them remove the Hag’s familiar and weaken him. Once they found the Hag they would kill him then escape the faeways using a sack the sorceress gave them to act as a doorway home – with both feet in the sack they would be able to will themselves home (wherever home might be). However, first they had to get past the Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood are a group of werewolves who patrol known fae doorways to keep the fae at bay and Berwickshire safe, and who take a dim view on people who choose to interfere with their work. After receiving a warning from a werewolf that it was a pack of younger ones guarding the gateway, who were not entirely in control of their nature given the full moon, and therefore unlikely to be able to reason with them, the adventurers came upon the gateway and were attacked. Once they had cleared the area the sorceress was able to pull the doorway into the fae open and they hurried through before the door was shut, and the adventurers found themselves in the “ways”. Beset by red caps, a brief encounter with the Hag Brigella and a trio of enchanted (singing) axes, they reached firmer ground where a letter and a “surprise” waited the party from Pantalones, overseen by the watchful eye of his crow familiar. The Cyclops was able to strip the protections from the bird as it tried to fly away and downed it with a wounded wing, which the adventurers bound up and roused the creature to see if they could get anything out of it. It was reasonably chatty, though more interested in watching their reactions to the “glitterbomb” letter Pantalones has left for Andre (literally and envelope of glitter and a letter) and the tempting trapped canister. They had been warned by Brigella (in exchange for a price of course) that the bird would need to be laid to rest for their plan to work, so they decided to carry the crow (unconscious) with them until they found the Hag. And all the while the magical woodland called to the mages in their company, whispering for them to come join the fairy tale creatures that dwelt there and let go of their human nature …
Pressing on they encountered a wall of ensorcelled swords that Albrecht shattered, before coming upon a dangerous circle. It seemed innocent enough but after a number of people walked through the circle or tried to get between their companions and the number of automata standing on the far side of the clearing a ward went up and trapped them inside. The voice of Pantalones mocked them and encouraged them to do some light reading, with the key to their escape hidden in the texts. Some were in Ronish, others in other tongues, some charged scrolls, some whimsical pieces or text from a diary. The adventurers scrambled to read the documents as they began to feel their life ebb away but eventually they found the phrase to utter and on bended knee begged “the great and mighty Pantalones” to free them from their predicament. The circle, that had been shimmering as they had read the phrase aloud crumbled and the companions who had been trapped outside the circle rushed to their aid.
The automata attacked though were undone as a stone one was instructed to fight its companions, before a flurry of fae tried to bar their way. Then Pantalones descended upon the company, seething and majestic and downright nasty. Flanked my ensorcelled blades he swept through the party seeking Andre, sending swords away to do his bidding and keep Andre’s allies at bay, or to chase the half-elf down. The company scattered, fighting their own battles and trying to rally to each others’ aid before eventually beating the Hag into the ground and laying the crow to rest as Andre lay beneath a rain of ensorcelled swords as Finn tried to keep him alive with the touch of her hand and the grace of Sidhe.
Victorious they gathered together to rejoice and learnt to their dismay that Errant Thomas had fallen in battle. Lamenting his loss they took his body with them as they each stepped into the sack and gathered together from the scattered corners of the land that they had been flung. A victory indeed against a dangerous enemy, but at a cost.
Player Mission – Into the Woods
Brigit wanted to venture into the area surrounding Willow’s Deep to look for her brother Colwyn and managed to convince the Law Guilds to hire a group to seek the missing alchemist Marseilles Tabanou, and for the Baron DePiercy to hire them to clear out some Scarahai from the Deep. The adventurers who answered the Baron’s call for aid were:
- Silas of the Scouts Guild;
- Jnr Forester Henryk;
- Dr Leofrick Llew Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
- High Mother Anne Turner, Novice Aoife Murphy and Novice Bartholomew Carver of Longstor; Mother Brigit Wooller and Father Leoric McColic of Crowa; Tungdil Stonehammer of Tralda; Novice Ismay Cramer of Vleybor;
The company left Deepwatch heading into the Deep, to meet with Mr Niels and company who claimed to be hunting Scarahai, but wanted to hire the group to rid the area of the rogue alchemist Tabanou. Distrustful Brigit once more made him sign a contract agreeing to this deal, and they continued on. They found the missing forester unconscious by a pool of stagnant water that had an alchemical smell to it, and learned that he had been on the trail of the alchemist before he’d been jumped on and knocked out. His tabard had also been stolen but he was able to woozily guide the scouts onto the trail he’d been following.
After taking a sample of the water they continued on to find a trio of Scarahi who attacked them, then a group of foulspawn sickening from drinking from more of the contaminated water. Aoife reasoned that the alchemist might have had an accident in her brewing or was deliberately poisoning the source of the water, and they pressed on to try and rectify the damage. They came upon a bleeding Scarahai that was weakened from loss of blood and a group of mercenaries who were roaming the woodland. When asked for permits by the Forester they got defensive and one of the mercenaries was wounded as Brigit and Leoric went after the lone mercenary who had slipped away from the company when the Forester started demanding permits. Carrying her back they were in time to witness the heated arguments almost turn into a blood path. A bottle of alchemy was confiscated and put in Brigit’s bag, and the lone mercenary eventually admitted to being under orders to report anyone looking for Tabanou back to her boss.
They continued on and met a Scarahai alpha who asked for aid for his people against the Alchemist who was hunting them and bleeding them. However the Longstorians were appalled by the unnatural nature of these abominations and kicked off, at which point the Alpha changed back into wolf form and leapt away to leave the company wretching as his pack attacked them.
They found more foulspawn sickening from drinking the contaminated water, fought off more Scarahai and found a pair of Kryganites dead on the road. They came upon a man in red fighting off two more heretics and Brigit came face to face with her brother. A surprised reunion and an angry telling off led the group to help “Woolly” find the High Priestess of Krygan in the area who was partly responsible for hunting Woolly in relation to some prophecy shared between the Kryganites and Abraxians. Horrified at the glee her brother took in finally killing the Kryganite Brigit was at a loss as to how she could pull her brother back from the path of bloody slaughter and Abraxis, but he agreed to come to Newcroft before continuing his pursuit of Blanche the Abraxian.
He directed them back towards a bridge where he’d seen Scarahai lurking and they encountered a group of men who seemed to possess inhuman abilities. One of them leapt into their midst like the Scarahai and it seemed the bleeding of the necromantic creatures was likely responsible for this feat. They came upon another of the runes that had been spotted before, as yet untouched by nefarious individuals, and found a dead man in possession of a letter scribed by a “N”. After cleansing the rune and attempting to remove corruption, the Longstorians learned that the sigil was not an unnatural part of the land, and the party stumbled upon a strange collection of string and a bottle. Picking their way around it lest it be a trap Tungdil wanted to have a look at the vial, only to accidentally break it and spreading a cloud of poison across those who had not retreated far enough back. Brigit pitched to the floor poisoned and the bottle in her bag smashed, spreading a toxin across the ground which killed all the grass and plants instantly.
After the company picked up their fallen friends they came upon a group of mercenaries who barred their path. After fighting through them they came upon a group accompanying Miss Tabanou. Struggling to bring her down the front line fell to the ensorcelled and poisoned blades of her men, but Tungdil was able to wound her before he was himself wounded. The surviving mercenaries spared the remaining adventurers standing in exchange for a bandage, and as they picked up their boss the remaining adventurers quickly set to patching up their own wounded so they could pursue at haste. Chasing down the alchemist and her men they were able to take her alive and returned to Deepwatch.
However upon their arrival they discovered that a prior group had claimed the bulk of their pay – that dastardly Mr Niels strikes again, and this time it hurt! Brigit was able to secure a repayment of the money they were owed, but it stretched the Baron’s funds thinly and has raised the ire of many of the adventurers against Mr Niels.