There was to be a wedding, with invitations sent to some members of the adventuring community. But at the last moment a decree appeared on behalf of the Thane which stated the wedding was not to take place. What is going on in the hills around Sigmundside?
Gathering at the hiring square Father Caudicus of Sidhe informed the adventurers that the Thane’s decree had to be delivered to Master Drah Roarie in his halls north of the village of Sigmundside, home of Lord Oliver Sigmund and his daughter Lucrezia. But Defender Tungdil has another, more pressing concern and he needed the help of adventurers!
The adventurers who travelled with him were:
- Finn of the Scouts Guild;
- Pirran Lanistly of the School of Thaumaturgy;
- Dame Ellen Ivers of the Knightly Templar Order; Sister Gimris of the Holy Crowan Roses; Lady-Knight Judith Tirel, Feudal Vassal;
- Defender Tungdil Stonehammer of Tralda; Mother Kate of Vleybor;
Accepting the scroll the company headed for Sigmundside and the mire beyond. Here they were met by a dwarf who insisted that those wishing to travel to Drah Roarie’s Hall had to be blindfolded so they would not learn the way. Judith obeyed, bound by her oaths, but it did not take long for the smell of rot and the purring squelch of their ‘ferryman’ to tell her they were being guided by marshkin. Her hand holding onto Tungdil’s axe haft or shoulder, she walked blindly through the darkness, biting back the fear that threatened to choke her in the silence. Some of her companions sang or talked to each other, drawing comfort from hearing the others around them.
Eventually they came to the end of their journey and removed their blindfolds. Demanding to speak with Drah Roarie they were led to his hall and into a chamber at the back – Judith, Kate and Pirran going ahead as Tundgil was stopped in his tracks at the sight of a Bequifisian shrine. As Tungdil puzzled over the dark shrine, Judith was confused as a dwarf gestured at a husk of flesh and bones lying as if dead in the corner of the room. He was in the dreaming, the dwarf told them, and the only way to meet him was to enter the dreaming too – or so he said as he offered them a goblet filled with a strange brew. Before Judith took the cup Pirran looked it over and advised that it contained alchemy but he was not at all sure. Taking the cup before he could stop her, Judith drank the brew and fell to the ground as her dreaming self walked on to meet the mysterious Drah Roarie. Kate and Pirran tried to rouse her, but Judith met with the dwarf and gave him the decree informing him that his marriage was off. At this news the dwarf threatened them with trapping them in the area unless the marriage went ahead, which only made Judith dig in her heels and demand to speak with the bride. How did she know that this dreaming shape was what the young woman had met? How did she know if the noblewoman knew the truth of the situation, or was even in her own frame of mind free from entrancement or enchantment? But before she could get the answers she sought she was dragged back into her waking body. But at least the message had been relayed.
Meanwhile Tungdil had been looking the Dark Shrine over which was a remnant apparently of a group of Bequifisians who the dwarves had culled from the area some time before. On it lay a page – the page he sought? It required closer examination but it was on the shrine and he did not want to invoke the wrath of a vengeful Goddess. But with the help of most of the company and a good dose of divine luck they were able to destroy the automata guarding the shrine, deconsecrate the shrine and grab the page. But the shrill voice of the angry Goddess rang in their ears with promises of future vengeance and Tungil has Tralda laughing at him after they came to an agreement for her help.
With the page located, the company headed out towards the mire, keen to return to Sigmundside with their prize. But the dwarves guarding the entrance to the Hall merely laughed at them – no one could leave the mire without the ‘ferryman’ and they were at the far side. Refusing to be trapped in the murk the adventurers probed their way through the marshy ground, Finn and Kate and Pirran calling out soggy patches as they found them.
A drunken blacksmith patched their armour and told them a little of the area, and they found a strange group of people who barred their way looking for fresh meat for the mother. After they attacked Kate who was trying to heal their hurts the party fought back and expressed a concern that they were perhaps dealing with Kryganites now. But Kate awoke from her unconscious state with an alarming message – something had spoken to her, telling her that it could help them leave the mire if they only said a certain word 3 times. Anything speaking to people who wasn’t a God usually was a bad thing and the company agreed to not say the name unless they absolutely had too.
They were ambushed by more of the sickening people, who seemed to see them only a meat rather than people. Forming a defensive point the party advanced slowly until a strange figure appeared out of thin air and greeted them, and Pirran pointed out that the figure was a fae. It introduced itself as Sigmund who could help them out of the marsh. Once he had been a brewer in the old days of the Kingdom. He had made a deal with Drah Roarie for his help and had become a masterful brewer who’s ale had so impressed the King of Barwyck’s Shire that he had been made a Lord. But, alas, all was not well; for he had promised his daughter to Drah Roarie in marriage. Keeping his beloved child from the creature had cursed him and his family and so things had gone awry. Lucrezia, daughter of his bloodline, was promised now to the creature – but in a surprising twist of fate it appears that the dreaming dwarf genuinely cares for the girl, who in return knows his true nature and loves him none the less. Perhaps love will win the day, but the Thane has forbidden it. Judith agreed to take this story to the Thane in return for the fae’s aid, but only if he tells her the full tale and permits her to express her own opinions on the matter.
The way out of the mire is to follow the guidance of the marshkin that dwell in its murky pools, their home greatly improved since a drainage ditch was made to direct water into the marshy region. But they only guide people who they are told too and to ask them requires them to be awake. If they can get the glowing stick from the Mother, a local banshee, then they could rouse a marshkin and follow it out to safety. Sharing what they knew about banshee’s Judith tucked Pirran’s silver dagger into her belt and pocketed some protective alchemy, tasked as she was to cut the creature down if needs be. Climbing the hill they came to the home of the Mother, with more of the sick people encircling them. After asking them why they were there the banshee screamed and the company writhed and its children pounced – but soon the adventurers were up and fighting. Judith chased down the banshee and slew it before finishing off the other wretches attacking her companions. After they patched themselves up they trekked back to the edge of the mire and set out looking for marshkin. When Judith’s boots sunk into the ground she urged them all back and Tungdil set out making a racket to waken the marshkin from their slumbers. Waving the glowing stick he was able to coerce the muddy creature to lead them out and they returned to the town in high spirits.
The matter of the wedding is still to be debated before the Thane’s Council, but all parties have been informed of the Thane’s decision thus far and Tungdil has secured another piece of the stolen dwarven heritage!