What is a summer without a tourney? After the misadventure of the one at Falconberg Lady Judith Tirel hoped a visit to Boston in Meadhampstead would lighten her mood and provide her with some sport. But as the old saying goes “When adventurers gather in number, trouble follows”…
Thank you Peterborough for an enjoyable day out and a nice change to the standard format.
Baron Fortescue Ashvale, Baron of Boston and host of the tourney, was awaiting a number of dignitaries to arrive ahead of the tourney to celebrate the work the adventurers have done in the area over the last year. However a close friend from his childhood has failed to arrive and his route takes him perilously close to the Enebric Hills. But who better to send after the absent nobleman? You guessed it – adventurers! Primate Austin of Vleybor, High Father Billy Burrowright of Longstor and Sir Gibson Hutchington and household were sent off on a seek and find mission, alongside General Kaelin Ring and Primate Tylara Stone of Kharach. What could possibly go wrong?
Heading out from Boston the party encountered a group of monster hunters heading out into the woods with an alchemist looking to harvest some herbs. Coming to the foot of the Enebric Hills they faced some undead but were surprised when from out of nowhere a group of fae rolled into them and made merry havoc. After scrapping with a Hanged Man they continued on their way, their quarry escaping them by retreating back into the portal from which he came.
In a small hamlet at the foot of the hills the adventurers were laughed at for their fears of the monsters in the hills – rumours apparently spread by the sheep farmers to keep the grazing for themselves. But with the Primate of Vleybor and High Father Billy convinced they’d encountered some fearsome undead up there, it seems something else has moved into the area and taken advantage of the horror stories told to the local children. They had seen a fine gentleman and a wagon with men come through the previous evening, but apart from that and the invasion of rats they had little else to say.
But for the rats? They knew where they were going – Mother was calling them.
On into the hills they travelled, ambushed by more undead, until they came to an unlikely group of travellers lounging about and barring the way. Their Lord was ahead and was not to be disturbed. Eventually things kicked off and a few of the number were found to be Fygolian heretics, raising suspicions at what the company would find beyond. They found the Lord speaking with a Gremlin priestess of Fygol, more men blocking the way. With discussions at an impasse, the priestess decided to spark some mischief by robbing off with the General’s steel shield. The fight kicked off, the Lord was caught and the priestess captured for questioning. One thing led to another and the Lord, who was very closed lipped about his business in the area, was rendered unconscious and dragged after them.
Heading back towards Boston led them to a grove where they found the bodies of the monster hunters strewn around with the alchemist being dragged into a tree. It seems they had angered some kind of protector of the forest and the forest was fighting back. Cue a long chat with a small talking hedgehog and a furious dryad, and a possible insight into the real beast of the Enebric Hills …
Returning to the tournament ground, the day’s spectacle could finally begin. The Barons Council of Meadhampstead were hosting the games as a thank you to the adventurers of the area for their efforts over the last year, and also to announce the elevation of a Baronet to their ranks and to discuss the matter of the absent Earl. By the years end adventurers would be permitted a say into who should become the new Earl of the area after the previous Earl was assassinated – and warned that there would likely be hirings to canvas opinions of the nobility and to test the mettle of possible candidates. With that business out of the way the games were opened – a ritual competition, archery competition, solo duels and a grand melee. Lady Judith, with the help of her future brother-in-law Sir Gibson Hutchington, demonstrated the offering of fealty for the ritual competition and came third in the solo duels against some stiff competition.
But as the Grand Melee reached it’s conclusion, a green light shimmered across the tourney field and a creature in black with a two handed sword stepped through. It greeted the adventurers and expressed its unhappiness at having not been included in their sport. And after challenging the adventurers to a single duel it challenged them all, and the adventurers mobbed it, but to no avail and it left via the portal through which it had come leaving the adventurers confused. It seemed that it had been fought by some of them before and was becoming a thorn in their sides, but they should not have been surprised that it had decided to come and gate crash their tournament.
But then terrible news was brought to them – the Baron Ashvale was missing! Suspected to have been snatched by the fae creature, one of its minions or someone taking advantage of the confusion, the adventurers quickly armoured up to go on the hunt with Lady Judith and Sir Sinjen eager to find the missing nobleman.
Leaving the tournament ground they were not surprised to find fae creatures making a mockery of the festivities, hanging strange bunting here and there and generally being cheeky. Some of the adventures stepped through the portal into fae, whilst others fought off a few fae that got a little too cheeky. But as the last of the fae troublemakers were felled the portal to fae closed suddenly, dragging the rest of the party through into a mockery of their own world. After a quick run down of the rules about fae from Lowlife (don’t eat anything, don’t drink anything, don’t make deals) the adventurers continued along the road seeking the Baron.
They were waylaid by a band of fae who seemed to contain mockeries of knights, and then perplexed by a barrier that cast a series of obeys when its puzzle was incorrectly solved. Hakim, Cyril, Rollin and Lady Elise played with the puzzle and after several rounds of playing ‘mirrors’ the adventurers were more determined to retrieve the Baron and the knights were itching to kick in the fae ‘lord’. Lady Judith was not happy at having been forced to ‘swear fealty’ to some faceless creature, and her temper was beginning to surface.
They came to a place where some people were being tormented by some wolf-like creatures and scarecrows, and then came at last to the mockery of a noble’s court where their quarry lounged on his great seat. He welcomed them and gave them his demands – to be included in their world for his sport, and to have ‘visitors’. Lady Judith would not hear of it, and between Sir Sinjen and her they had a discussion with the creature that picked holes in it’s argument until it dropped the pretence of being more ‘knightlier’ than them and it challenged them to a duel. When it opened the field to them all Lady Judith stepped up and accepted the challenge and checked the terms for the duel. She proceeded to take a solid beating from the creature with its longer enchanted and magical weapon, but she was defiant until the end and gave it a piece of her mind. When she was felled Sir Sinjen stepped in and put it to the floor, and Archie was able to make off with its fancy sword. Leading it a merry dance Lady Judith was able to drink another potion to protect her from the creature’s other abilities and proceed to fight it again until she put it to the floor and discussions were had about how to defeat the fae knight. It’s own sword did nothing, the wounds she was inflicting were doing nothing, and concerns were growing as to the Baron’s whereabouts.
Whilst Lady Elise conducted a ritual to put the creature into deathsleep, Rollin and Archie were able to locate the Baron and rescue him, before the fae realm around them began to crack and fade as the fae knight was locked in a death-like state. Getting everyone out seemed to be the best plan and people piled through the cracks back into their own world. Alas the fae and its sword could not be brought back for safe keeping, but for now it can be assumed the matter is resolved and no fae lordling with pretentions of nobility will be causing bother around Boston for the time being.
With the Baron escorted to his household and placed in their care, thoughts could turn to a more pleasant social gathering, and then enjoyment of an adventurer’s day of sport. And whilst trouble might follower adventurers when they gather in number, an entertaining day was had by all.