Spring comes to Ithron, but in the north bright spring flowers often give way to bitter wintery showers. On a wet and blustery spring day Tungdil and Judith joined others upon a hiring that took them on a path down to wreckers bay and crossing paths with ‘heroes’ of the people.
Player Mission: Of wreckers and maidens
Lord Lumley has spent the winter seeking a wife for his son, looking far and wide and across the sea for a suitable bride. Leaving his vassal to arrange the marriage contract and dowry with a Guidonese noble family, he returned to Ithron to make preparations for their arrival. Word has come of their crossing of the channel, but no news since they left their first port in Ithron heading up the coast to Berwickshire. Concerned, his Lordship has called for people to seek news of his trusted servant and the Lady Gwenevieve.
The adventurers who answered the hiring and reports of bandits were:
- Pathfinder Wulfric Treewalker, Head of the Scouts Guild; Ranger Finn and Ranger Godman of the Scouts Guild;
- Guardscaptain Nexi Wrath and Red Kent of the Guards;
- Pirran Lanistly of the School of Thaumaturgy;
- Sir Hardouin De Vymont and Errant Eurya Vanellen of the Knightly Grey Order; Lady Judith Tirel of Prudha’s Ridge, Feudal Vassal; Sister Gimris of the Holy Rose Order;
- Defender Tungdil Stonehammer of Tralda; High Father Robert Eddlemann and Father Thomas de Vymont of Sidhe; Father of Kharach;
Travelling north from Newcroft they crossed into Lord Lumley’s lands and met a pair of his militia. Warned about bandits in the area the adventurers were not surprised to meet a large group looking to waylay some unfortunates. Several of the party had words with the people to determine the cause for their unrest, though one of the bandits tried his luck with the Pathfinder’s aim and learnt a valuable lesson – if the Pathfinder tells you to put your weapons down, he means it.
They were met by a scout who told them that there was a large group of bandits gathered around a wreck and a village not far from the beach. Pressing on they came to the wreck and the bandits. Those who would not put down their weapons and recant their troublesome ways were slaughtered, with the knights forming a protective shield for a pair of women who had been coerced into joining the brigands. The harvest had been poor, winter had been harsh, and there had been many who had urged them to take up arms and ‘earn’ some coin to feed their starving families. Further scout reports directed the company to a village, the sight of which clutched at Judith’s heart. It sickened her to see so many struggling villagers and her heart began to harden towards the Lord of the lands as she heard of his lack of care – but it wasn’t until she sat and spoke with the Elder that things began to become clearer. The Lord cared for his people, known to be generous and gracious when times had been troubled before. But that winter his usual aid was absent and with starving bellies the villagers turned from their Lord and their Elder towards the charismatic figure of Roger. After the rest of the adventurers left the village Judith was told a startling piece of news – that three days ago this Roger had left the village in a hurry, and that evening the ship wrecked upon the rocks. But there was no storm that night, the sea had been as calm as glass. At the question of wreckers the Elder was evasive but adamant that there was no real reason that the ship should have come to its ill fate and its sailors meeting their deaths in the icy sea. Two fellows came out of the woods laughing and joking and tried to convince their Elder to take an interest in the pearls and necklace they had ‘found’, but the Elder wanted none of it.
Returning to her companions Judith gave a report to the Guardscaptain and voiced her suspicions, which were confirmed by a pair of women who had had a hand in luring the ship ashore. They told of a young woman dragged from the sea and spirited away, and of sailors dying on the beach, having meant no harm to those aboard. A local scout and a pair of sailors furthered the tale of mutiny and murder on deck, and of a red haired young woman being taken away as they were rescued from the sea, and a grim picture began to form.
Returning to the main road they met a man taking a wagon of grain to the market and bought the lot off him, before advancing on to a massed group of bandits. After cutting through the group, one of them was patched up and coerced to talk. His boss Roger was further up the hill, the young foreigner with him after he’d saved her life. He’d met a fellow who’d told him that his Lord was a baddun, keeping all the food to himself whilst the villagers starved, and convincing him to take from the rich to feed his men and his neighbours. Everyone likes to be a hero and soon Roger was bringing food to the villagers and bringing people over to his side. Did he ask himself why the carts bore the Baronet’s insignia and were out and about? Of course not, he’s a hero, right?
Warned, the adventurers climbed the hill, fighting and talking their way through more clusters of bandits until they reached Roger’s hideaway and tried to give him what for. Succumbing to sleep Roger was carried away by a couple of his men, whilst the adventurers found the young woman and a man wearing the sash of the Crystal Hand who assured them that she was safer with him than with anyone else. The girl was eventually convinced to come with them, the dowry recovered, but the man with the sash gave them the slip as most of the adventurers went to deal with Roger and his minions. Having been woken by his men Roger was attempting to convince the adventurers that he was a hero of the people, doing good deeds and undermining the ‘bad’ Baronet. By his own words he confessed his theft of the Baronet’s wagons and supplies, and he was arrested and declared outlawed at his resistance to arrest. Father Thomas and Judith wanted him to face trial rather than die in a ditch and between the pair of them they patched him up and left him lying in the dirt. When he awoke he tried to convince them he was a good guy, leaving Judith to remind him how he’d ended up on the floor and Pirran eventually muting him – his incessant whining getting on all of their nerves.
The girl and dowry and criminal were taken back to Newcroft, whilst Judith, Godman and Pirran took the grain to the villagers to see them fed. Delighted at the outcome and the safe return of his future daughter-in-law and dowry the Baronet invited all of them to the wedding. Job well done it seems!
Monster Mission: They call it a mine
The dwarves of a small mining consortium want help to investigate the disappearance of some of their own, who had gone to scout out a possible opportunity in an old mine.
The adventurers who answered the request for aid were:
- Nancy Ivers and Athryn Vinyár of the Guild of Mercenaries;
- Master Richter Kless and Mara Brack-on-Hill of the School of Demonology; Erulisse Saerwen of the School of Thaumaturgy; Fortescue Everbright of the School of Enchantment; Maximillian Thorpe of the Guild of Mages;
- Dame Ellen Ivers of the Knightly Templar Order;
- High Mother Anne Turner and Father Finwe of Longstor; Sister Kate of Vleybor; Eluriel Vinyár of Kharach;
On the way to the minehead they were met by an elf who spoke briefly with Finwe before taking her leave, leaving the adventurers to clash with Roden and undead near the old rockface. Down into the pit face they found a dwarf matching the description of their hirer’s brother, whose foot had been chewed off by a particular Roden. He told how the Roden had poured out of the mine after they’d broken through the rockfall that had blocked the entrance of the cave, joined by their Dverge minions. Asking for their help to sort this ratty problem, he directed them towards an explosives cache he knew off whilst some of the adventurers tried to venture into the mine. But the warren of tunnels and the limited light soon dissuaded them and they set off after the gambolling Roden and their ‘pets’.
They were beset by a Necromancer and his brethren and undead followers, butchered a cluster of Roden who were trying to remake their lives in the wonderful bright world of ‘up’ and came to a farmhouse that had been overrun by the rodents. Everything edible had been stripped, including the people, and a trail of scuffles and undead led the party onwards.
They found the explosives cache and retrieved a working bomb (cue Fortescue carrying it, cackling and declaring “I have a bomb” several times). They had a run in with the local rat-catcher who was being overrun by Roden led by their necromancer, but with the mage dead the Roden were happy to stop and dance to the ‘music’ coming from the rat-catcher’s pipe. Eluriel was able to obtain two of his smaller rats from his belt, laid them to rest, and had a little snack as the rat-catcher began to lead the company back to a mine entrance.
They had a vague plan of luring the Roden back into the mine and sealing them in – not exactly solving the problem so that the dwarves could work the mine but at least removing the threat of marauding Roden from the local populace! However things did not go according to plan. The Roden and the undead rolled the party and Fortescue was struck down, dropping the bomb. Hissing and spitting the black box bubbled away merrily to itself as adventurers scattered, and Fortescue was patched up by his friends. Seeing the bomb upside down, seeing his friends under threat by the waves of creatures issuing from the mine, Fortescue did the heroic Traldan thing – he said “Tralda” and did something foolish to save everyone.
Running through the scattering adventurers with the bomb, muttering Tralda, he scrambled up the hillside to stand over the mine entrance, loudly cried “Tralda!” and slammed the bomb upside down onto the wide keystone over the mine entrance. His arm was blown away, the ground gave way under him, and he was tumbled into the mine with the collapse of the stones at the mine entrance. Inside the mine the Roden was blocked in with their undead and Dverges. Outside the adventurers realised Fortescue was missing, the realisation that he was likely trapped behind the rubble hitting them hard.
Inside Fortescue lay a crumpled heap of bloody flesh. Outside the mages began frantically digging for their guildmate, Erulisse directing them to prop the tunnel they dug before they get trapped in a rockfall. Clawing a hole in the last of the rock Erulisse was able to teleport Fortescue back into the sunlight before they beat a hasty retreat, collapsing the rest of the tunnel behind them atop the Roden that flooded out.
But for all their efforts Fortescue lay cold upon the ground, the bleeding slowing to a trickle until it stopped. Ivers and Maximillian carried his corpse back to town as many of the party entered an angry debate about his resurrection / laying to rest, which was not fully resolved even when they met their hirer and made their report. The dwarves were not pleased to be denied the mine, but were glad to know of the fate of their brethren and the return of their maimed brother who gleefully waved the hat of the Roden who’d chewed off his foot (and who the adventurers had killed).
Fortescue will live again (to the disgust of Longstorians and Kharachians alike I am sure), but his adventuring life is over. Tralda bless the heroes of Ithron!