, , ,

Late one night the city of Newcroft was awoken to the sound of alarm bells as a fierce red glow lit up the night. Fire swept through the Blacksmiths’ Forge and the Alchemists’ Guildhouse and through some miracle was put out before it could spread. Most thought this was a simple accident, the dangerous works of these two guilds getting out of hand. But as the guild members picked through the debris it soon became clear this was more than an accident. This was a cover up!

The adventurers were gathered to help track down the culprits and retrieve the missing items – especially the ledgers, books and recipes stolen from the guilds – and ideally bring those responsible to justice (or a swift death).

This day site was a departure from our “usual” days, being run as two connected missions that players had the option to play on both, with the outcome determining the pay for all. Therefore I give you the list of heroes who set out upon Council Day, the feast of Sidhe, and I will tell the tale of the troubles they faced.

  • Pathfinder Wulfric Nolastname and Ranger Conchobar of the Berwickshire Medium; Ranger Finn of the Scouts Guild;
  • Tucker, Brorgar, Seamus O’Malley, Sean Base-Born, Red Kent and Nancy of the Mercenaries Guild;
  • Dr Leofrick Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
  • Guild Protector Roger of the Guild of Blacksmiths;
  • Master Albrecht Crowe and Fortescue Everbright of the School of Enchantment; Master Meror of the School of Necromancy; Carmine “Red” Salvadore, Mara Brack-on-Hill and Tenzo Ray of the Guild of Mages;
  • Sir Blaise de Neville and Adamar de Howard, feudal vassals;
  • High Mother Anne Turner, Brother Bartholemew Carver and Father Finwe of Longstor; Mother Brigit Wooller and Father Leoric McColic of Crowa; Brother Robert Eddlemann  of Sidhe; Supplicant Valtr of Kharach; Tungdil Stonehammer of Tralda;

The adventurers gathered near the town of Bamburgh, and were hired to seek out those responsible for the crimes and recover what they could of the stolen guild secrets. The Pathfinder led a group after the tracks left by the cart that had been spotted by the scouts already hired by Lord Pince and Sir Osbourne, to try and locate the group’s base of operations. They encountered foulspawn before coming upon a group of mercenaries hired to keep the locals from wandering down the road. Their employer, a man named Robert Brack-on-Hill, had been adamant that no one was to pass through. To resolve this without bloodshed, Wulfric pulled rank and dissolved their contract on the spot, citing the fact their employer was being investigated for serious crimes and instructed them to report back to their guild houses. Disgruntled the group demanded a representative of their number would go with the adventurers to make sure their mercenary company was going to be paid their dues and Red Kent joined the party.

A fight with a good number of undead, and a fight with foulspawn led some of the adventurers to believe that someone had been attacking the foulspawn and generally causing mischief – as they were accused of butchery (though that could have been the earlier encounter with the foulspawn). They came upon a Crowan shrine under attack by undead and after lifting the corpse of the priest from where it had fallen upon the shrine table, the gathered church knelt in prayer. The dying shrine flickered briefly, but Brigit was unable to bless the shrine as her power was all dedicated or gone. After Dr Kyle had examined the body, Meror laid the soul to rest and Brigit read prayers for the dead and sang a brief section of the lament she had sung at Greyson’s funeral. Promising to come back to do what she could for the shrine, Brigit rejoined the group and they hurried on.

They came upon another blockade of mercenaries who were unwilling to let them past, a pair of “ne’er-do-wells” who were attempting to make off with blacksmith supplies, and were able to retrieve some guild ledgers and gain information as to the likely whereabouts of the group they sought. More undead hounded their way (one wraith being particularly persistent) and some empty alchemy vials were found – they were on the right track! More undead, another round of paid swords blocking the road, and the adventurers came upon the camp of the Brack-on-Hill brothers and their men. But they were not alone …

Robert Brack-on-Hill, in the company of a mummy, rounded on the adventurers and set his combined forces against them. Brigit found herself fighting back the mummy only to turn and find the ghostly pale face of the merchant leering down at her as he ran her through. She lay twitching in the grass until Dr Kyle and others were able to patch her up, rousing her just as the mummy came plodding towards them. Taking up Leoric’s sword in her left hand Brigit launched herself into battle with her right arm bleeding freely, no time to seek a bandage, no power to invoke a miracle. She was able to strike a number of blows on the beast, joined by others as the fight wheeled and moved across the ground, but she was stabbed from behind by the merchant and she dropped. The wound to her arm stopped bleeding and once more Brigit found herself looking to breath her last.

But with a curse Dr Kyle was back kneeling beside her, dosing her body with a physician’s drug to save her life as he hurried on to his next patient. The vampire was casting magics upon people, commanding the fearsome McColic to attack his own party with beserker fury (to have it lifted by a quick thinking apprentice mage) before being feared away. Caught by Wulfric, dosed with a potion and turned around, the adventurers rounded on the vampire as Tucker got to Brigit. Shaking her awake her wound began to flow freely before the mercenary was able to clamp his hands to stem the flow, and Dr Kyle patched her up with a long practised exasperated sigh. Brigit came round to see Leoric stabbing the merchant (actually a vampire) repeatedly until Wulfric and others were able to work the chainmail shirt free to drive a stake through the monster’s heart. For good measure Brigit cleansed the ash, opening her vial of holy water with her teeth, before looking over the state of her companions. At this point Dr Kyle noticed her limp arm and firmly took her aside to prep the damaged limb for future surgery, and strict instructions to withdraw from the field. Brigit and Tungdil returned to the site of the Crowan shrine to bolster it with prayer, as others returned to their base camp to share what they had found amongst the vampire’s belongings – more ledgers and a map.

It seems that the stolen alchemy and books had been stashed separately by Robert’s brother William, another individual looking for eternal life through becoming a vampire. Gathering up what remained of their supplies and reinforcements the adventurers set out after this stockpile to retrieve the missing books and liberate the supplies from the hands of this would-be undead overlord. They came upon his undead minons in waves – some shambling, some shuffling, some bare bones or nightmarish faces or shadows that struck fear into the hearts of those who got in their way. Another mummy came upon them as they sought the body of a particularly nasty creature to send the soul on, and all the while a pair of scouts were watching and counting, preparing their report for their master.

Up ahead the adventurers came upon a traveling inn – run by a fellow who was more than willing for them to try his ale. But something didn’t seem right and the scouts found signs of someone being dragged off and blood smeared down a steep hillside. They found a pair of people tied up – the true owners of the inn – who were terrified out of their wits. They had been set upon by some fellows who had tried to avoid paying their tab, but who had then commandeered the tavern to lay a trap for would-be adventurers after lacing a tankard or two with a drug. Returning the tavern to its true owners and checking their wares were not going to poison their customers, the adventurers continued on. They came upon a series of traps designed to alert a group of mercenaries camped beyond. Conchobar tried to safely bypass one of these but the line snapped and a gout of flame engulfed him. The noise the company made trying to put him out roused the mercenaries, who sent two of their number out to take a look. After mocking the adventurers, a fight broke out. They fought more of this crew until coming upon a couple who seemed to have been bitten by a vampire, one of whom was desperate to undo the damage they had caused. Defecting, he gave them a copy of a list of pass phrases he had stolen from his master after witnessing his unusual behaviour (growing pale, consorting with undead, feeding off his mercenaries … the usual unusual behaviour …) which turned out to be a series of riddles that had to be solved.

They came to a break in the woods where a pair of elves approached the company, telling them to turn away and come no closer to the Rowanwood. Finwe had a word with them and learned of a number of rumours considering his person, but more importantly that a group of men had gathered some distance away. With a direction to follow the adventurers regrouped and set off away from the elven borders, until some of their number became distracted by a small track off in the woods.

This track led them down to a hollow where an old stump was, around the area marked on the map indicating the stash … A number of adventurers set about solving the riddles, in the hope that the magicked stump might release its prize, whilst the rest of the group were left to hold their own against clumps of undead. Zombies, skeletons, a wraith, and some skittering fayunds came upon them until eventually William Brack-on-Hill arrived on the scene – deathly pale, seething at the death of his brother, and accompanied by his necromancer. The adventurers fell upon him and his “pets” and were eventually victorious, though not before William had fed upon two of their number (including his cousin Mara who was among the adventuring mages). Capturing the necromancer they retrieved the items from the stump and returned to deliver the mage into the hands of the law, and the loot into the hands of the adventurers.

Another possible threat to the county has been stopped, and guild property has been returned to the guilds. Another victorious day for fools and heroes.