Father Abraham Orr of Kharach calls on the aid of the adventurers, a vision from Kharach warning him of a great evil lurking at the edge of Kharach’s sight. A monstrous Liche roams the Utterdark beyond Kharach’s Halls, doing great evil and mischief that threatens the world of the living. Kharach calls the faithful to battle, and the faithful of the Seven and their allies answer.
Thank you to Guildford and Cardiff Branches and friends for organising, running, prop making, monster creating, thrill providing and all things to do with running Springfest ’17. You guys all deserve copious amounts of tea, rest and relaxation after all your hard work. Thank you for an enjoyable event!
I am unable to name all those who attended the event, or give the whole story, but I will give you a tale of the adventurers and their journey to the Utterdark and back.
Gathering at the Kharachian Cathedral in Fernham the company were met by Father Abraham and his brethren, who repeated the dreams and visions they had been granted. Time was of the essence, but how would the company reach the realms of the dead? A great lock had appeared upon the altar, made for a pair of keys in the keeping of the School of Necromancy. As the necromancers took up the lock and prepared to turn the keys within it, the priest cried out in pain and the company urged them to hurry. The keys turned. And the world simply stopped.
Time passed, the city beyond the gates faded out of view, and the company woke in the grey twilight world of Death. Some panicked, others wept, others recognised the scenery from their brief time in the realms of Kharach before. But there could be no doubt – the Cathedral and its grounds and all those within the bounds had been carried to the Utterdark. Were they dead? Would they be returning to life? Who knew.
That afternoon a pair of groups went out to secure a connection back to magic for the adventuring mages and to retrieve the books the Liche had stolen from the Mages Guild. Later that evening the Liche appeared with a show of his forces including a number of giant wraiths, seeking the book. He knew they were amongst the camp, but he could not look within the camp and find them himself. Undead plagued them throughout the night, seeking the books and trying to rid the adventurers from that place.
The next morning more adventurers left the relative safety of the camp to travel the realms of the dead and right the wrongs the Liche had done. The camp was threatened by undead and some dangerous form of constructs that drew power from the blood of their foes, before the enraged ‘landlord’ came to turf the ‘scum’ off his lands. He demanded a delegation come to his home to discuss their reasons for being on his lands, and made his allegiance to the Liche quite clear – leaving behind a little ‘pet’ to cause havoc. This would not be the last dead wyvern that the adventurers fought that weekend.
Lady Judith and Tungdil set out to aid a servant of Kharach known as a Ferryman (a guide for lost souls drawn from the penitent excommunicants or devout followers of the faith) who knew where one of the Liche’s lieutenants could be found. Walking out of the camp towards the river they fought off forces of the dead including Death Knights of the Black Order and the Bequifisian Knights of Pain. They found some souls that appeared to be living on the plains of the dead with no knowledge of the Gods (Judith estimating they were from the time of the 3rd Axirian Invasion) and no desire to continue on to Kharach’s Halls. For every moment they lingered outside the safety of the camp they were at risk of their own vital essence draining away, and so they reluctantly were forced to press on to the river. Their guide, Father Lucius of Kharach, offered them a choice – take the river or travel along its banks. The company chose the river and stepped into the boat.
The river ride was dangerous, undead lurching at them from the banks or from out of the river, the placid figure of the Ferryman unperturbed by the scene. The adventurers paddled their way along with the flow, fighting off the monsters and rousing their own companions when they were put to sleep. They bumped against the other dock and disembarked, fighting off more undead before an undead wyvern landed amongst the adventurers. Fighting off the monstrosity Dr Seax and members of the school of Necromancy took the advantage to examine the beastie. Once their work was done they pressed forward, Father Lucius urging them on towards their goal. From out of the mists came the great bulk of a wraith, taller and broader than the usual variant with glowing red eyes burning in the shadows of its cowl. Fighting off the undead allowed Sildar to freeze the wraith in place and for Father Ulfarr, Chaplain Sam and Father Cragen to attack the creature until it was beaten to the floor; and Dr Seax was able to cut out the phalactery in its chest and get to work. Through a team effort they were able to destroy the phalactery connected to the Liche, and the object transformed into a ferryman’s lantern that appeared to glow with magical light.
Returning to the camp they were forced to travel against the flow of the river, which they braved to speed their way home. After undead rose out of the water and attacked the boat it seemed hope was lost and as the company clamoured for a resolution Judith ordered Sildar to pay the Ferryman. Passed the silver coin found with the lantern the Ferryman blasted the undead spirits away as they loomed up out of the water. Returning to dry land the company returned to the camp, which was under attack by more undead seeking their removal from the area and hunting for the books. Another mission set out to destroy another wraith, further weakening the Liche as night fell. More undead harried the camp through the night, seeking to trick people and turning friends into foes, but the adventurers pulled together and defended themselves against the darkness, holding on until morning.
The next morning the adventurers split into two groups – one going after the power source of the Liche, another going after the Liche himself. A pool of souls had been bound into the land, and Kharach granted those of his Church a vision of the pool and where to find it. Setting out the first battle group fought through the ranks of the undead to break the connection to the Liche and fighting off more of his bloodied golems and undead wyverns. Whilst this group were dealing with the source of the Liche’s power the other group distracted the Liche. In the midst of their battle the Liche writhed in pain and roared, knowing suddenly that his downfall was near at hand. Using a scroll given to Lady Judith at the completion of her mission by Father Lucius, Father of Kharach invoked Kharach’s wrath upon the Liche and smote him. Smoking and screaming the Liche was undone and the adventurers were victorious. And then another wyvern landed upon the field of battle and engaged the nearest people with a shriek. The adventurers gave their all and won the day, but they did not leave the battle lines unscathed.
Returning to the camp the adventurers rejoiced and celebrated, but before the night drew in Father Abraham announced that Kharach was pleased with their work. The world under their feet heaved and they were returned to Fernham – the bustling city busy beyond the cathedral gate where shadow and mist had lingered the past few days. But not all the company returned alive, several people having chosen to remain behind in Kharach’s realm along with Father Abraham. Amidst joy there was sorrow, and the evening celebrations were marred by the painful agonising grief of Judge Talbot and company for their friend Fighting Jack.
But the evening grew boisterous as twilight fell. Defender Tungdil organised a dance competition to celebrate the upcoming feast of Tralda, which Lady Judith and the newly knighted Sir Eurya of the Grey Order won with a simple courtly dance; and the Guild of Physicians entered with an interpretive statement of Seax’s battle with the wyvern (!) along with the Traldans doing the Macarena and the Guild of Mages conducting guild business through the power of song. Tungdil also delighted members of the company with his own offering to claps and cheers and general wolf whistles from the dwarven contingent. The night became alive with fireside stories and singing, carousing and dwarven business that made Dr Seax an honourary dwarf – but before all that the Church of Crowa under the guidance of Acting Defender Ulfarr welcomed new members into the fold through the traditions of the duel; and Dr Max Greymane finally completed a choice made many months ago. Friends and the fallen were remembered, new friendships forged, pranks played and people teased, and hope restored to many far and wide.
As for what is to come? Only the Gods can know.