Jönköpings Finest

Battle on the River Argent
... in which the heroes fight the River Pirates and reach Truneau

2. Reaping 996 AF; On the River Argent

The ship leaves at the first sign of light. The crew prepares for the upcoming battle. In contrast to the joking and singing that the halfling sailors showed during the first day of travel, now there is a concerned silence. T

Stor uses the time to analyze the shark-tooth dagger. It is clearly magical, its aim improved and its blade sharpened. What’s more, there is also a transference from the animal it was harvested from, allowing the wearer to swim like a fish, and to breath under water for a certain period of time. The transference was crafted a bit scruffy, as there is the risk that the blood-lust of the shark takes over.

Battle
- Galaron frozen
- Misty Step, electric eels
- Rurik frozen
- Rurik in River
- Wave shakes boat
- Elemental threatens to break free
- 3 crew fall, 2 dead in the end, one saves by Rurik
- Stor swallowed by elemental
- Stor on land, elemental follows, controlled by Waterweaver
- baddies D E D dead

Rurik examines the fallen and can save one with a short prayer to Thyr, but two have passed away. The crew is in shock, and nothing remains of the happy attitude that the halflings are known for. Stor and Galaron search the riverside, but can’t find traces that would point them to the camp of the bandits. The River Queen lifts its anchor and continues its journey stream upwards.

3. Reaping 996 AF; On the River Argent

At mid day, the River Queen arrives at the first milestone of their journey. The river Argent flows strongly in north-south direction, and the smaller river XXX enters the Argent. Captain XXX anchors the ship and lets the heroes disembark. The heroes express their sympathy for the killed sailors one more time and offer 60 GP for their family, to ease the distress of the surviving relatives. Captain XXX is grateful and offers some words of warning about the people of Truneau.

“Truneau is rarely visited by any traveler or merchant, they are quite reclusive. We never to upstream – and those merchant that do are of dubious reputation. They mostly trade jewelry, of ancient design, but very beautiful and expensive. Many people like it, and they are highly coveted.

Some say that the people of Truneau are not really craftsmen, though. Instead, they are grave robbers, and their reclusiveness is a ploy to keep their secret hidden. Other simply mistrust them for they refuse to go with the times, and keep to their ancient traditions. So if you want to hear my advice: Trust no-one!"

He heroes follow the smaller stream in an uneventful journey. Rurik finds a got resting place and Lanefel prepares camp. He is quite worried about the last fight and asks Galaron to train him in combat. From now on, they sneak in weapon exercizes in the morning and evening.

4. Reaping 996 AF; Sidearm/Forest

Around lunch time, the heroes arrive at the rock formation that Harsk described. A trail leads from the small river into the forest, and the heores march on. On their way, they find some traps and discover a misshaped humanoid who seems to get pleasure from torturing an injured boar. However, the heroes don’t intervene and turn back to the trail.

4. Reaping 996 AF; Truneau

Early afternoon, they arrive at the border of the forest, and see the small hamlet of Truneau, in the middle of a wide valley, and surrounded by several fields where farmers are engaged in work.

The farmers acknowledge the presence of the heroes casually, but follow their chores rather unimpressed. A lazy, slightly drunken guard stands – better sits – post at the main gate of Trunau, which is a rahter heavily fortified hamlet. Old stone towers and walls guard the hamlet, rather in a state of decay, but newer wooden palisades show that the walls are not just for decoration.

The guard brings the heroes to the Elder of Truneau, who is the speaker of the hamlet and has a large house where travelling merchants often stay overnight and prepare for trade.

The Elder is very surprised to see the heroes – usually, the only visitors are the travelling merchants who come at predictable times. He is very curious what brings the heroes into this part of the Realm. The heroes indicate that the Church wants to establish relationships, and that they are also interested in trade.

Rurik heads out to the temple of Truneau. In front of the temple are two ancient stone statues of a man and a woman, one facing the temple, the other one turnings its back. The statues have very blurred features, as if centures of weather, birds and people touching the statues have taken their toll.
Rurik enter the temple. Ancient reliefs show stories of the pantheon of Thyr, however, the main altar bears no sign of Thyr. The priesst XXX engages in a short conversation with Rurik, asking about their journey (establish relationships with the Church of Thyr), and indicating that they haven’t had visitors from the church for a very long time.
Priest no other priest of Thyr came along


XP: 2.500
Loot: none
Information:

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On the River Argent
... in which the heroes meet a river pirate

7. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

Visit at Tartia, cleric of Thyr, follower of Yiviel: Tartia was on business in the eastern fields where some farmers had trouble with a group of criminals. The criminals planted Purple Lily, a hallucinogenic plant, in the fields of the farmers and intimidated them to accept it. After Ruriks story, she suspects another group of Wererats – the River Rats – to be behind the crimes. She wants to get the help of the Children of Light, but is concerned that the resources of the city and of the church are quite stretched. Rurik gives the promise to help her when they are back. After seeing the sapling, she insists on destroying the plant so it does not spread the curse further.

Visit at Master Glunri Durnak: Stor fetches the items from him and gets the promise that Master Durnak informs him when he is aware of magical items of interest.

Galaron hires his cousin Lefell Lestarti and buys the equipment for the journey. He then visits the docks to find a ship that goes upstream. There are two options:
- A barge, operated by Randeyr Aemys, costs 2 GP per person. He mentions that they might need protection as rumors have it that pirates roam the river Argent.
- A ship operated by House Ghalland – the River Queen – , costs 4 GP per person, but with superior level of comfort. The fastest ship on the Argent. The heroes go for the River Queen.

1. Reaping 996 AF; Alsyenna/River Argent
The ship and crew
Uneventful journey

1. Reaping 996 AF; Travel Post on the River Argent
Early afternoon, the River Queen reaches a travel post – a simple inn where travellers can buy food, have a simple bed, and exchange information.

Incident at the Travel Post

XP: 1.500
Loot:
Information

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The Source of the Moon Curse
... in which the Heroes buy a tavern

6. Richfest 996 AF; Forest outside of Alsyenna

Rurik, Stor and Harsk slowly approach the tree which seems to be at the center of the corruption. The tree sits on a small hill, and Rurik spots a small opening into a case below the tree. Yet the tree – a twisted giant with bulgy tumors and scarred bark – turns around with a screeching sound. It is actually a treant, who unroots his thick roots and stalks towards the heroes. The treant – ususally good-hearted creatures of the forest – seems to have mutated and is infused with dark magic. He conjures a circle of death that sucks the life out of the three heroes. Rurik calls Thyr for help and banishes the treant to Hel, the infernal plane. They bought themselves some time before the Treant will return.

The heroes heal up and quickly explore the cave. They find the source of the corruption: In the middel of the cave lies the rotting corpse of a unicorn, its throat slit. Three rat corpses lie around the unicorn, aligned in a triangle, their heads apparently bitten off. A closer investigation reveals cloven hooves and the smell of sulfur. The heroes conclude that the Old Curse of the Moon was invoked here, transforming three of the Old Blood into Wererats, and a fourth “person” assisted or led them through the ritual.

Stor burns the cave and Rurik blesses it with the divine might of Thyr. Now they set up the battle with the Treant – divine weapons, faithfull hounds, and all spellpower they have. As soon as the Treant returns, the heroes unleash their power and destroy the creature.

Harsk explains the secret behind “Habe’s Fall”. The name refers to a Mage who lived a long time ago in the Province of Alsyenna close to a water fall. His name of elven origin was quite difficult to pronounce, so the farmers and ordinary people shortened it to “Habe”. Harsk recommends to travel the river Argent upstream by boat – many merchant boats use the river as trading route, as well as the trading ships of the Blessed House Ghalland. The herose should disembark where the river Mentis flows into the Argent and follow the river Mentis upstream. Reaching a unique rock formation, they should head east until they arrive at a small hamlet named Trunau. The people there should be able to point them to the water fall.

Harsk wants to further pursue the mother spider and asks the heroes to inform Tartia, a cleric of Thyr who follows Yiviel, the Saint of Nature, or Vesrin, the cleric of Beory, about the corruption in the forest. Then they make sure that there are no additional spider eggs or saplings, and root out what they find. Rurik preserves one sapling of the Treant, though, as evidence. Harsk brings the heroes back to the woodcutter path and dives back into the forest. The heroes head back to the city.

6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna
Rurik wants to inform Tartia first. Arriving at the Temple of Thyr, they find the craft work at the alcoves of the saints continuing. An acolyte is tending the flowers at the altar of Yiviel, and Rurik inquires about Tartia. The acolyte informs him that she is out, working with some farmers in the east. She should be easily found heading out Puffing bridge and then going to the farmer Oryn. However, the heroes don’t want to wait and head to the Grove of Beory instead. The grove is an oasis of calm and nature in the city, sourrounded by carefully tended hedges. Small ponds amidst flowery meadows, the occasional fruit tree in between, makes a beautiful place. It seems that several trees have grown together and formed a huge dome in which the temple is placed.

Grove of Beory
Rurik and Stor meet with Vesrin and inform him about the corruption in the forest, the sapling, and the Ratpeople. Vesrin is very concerned that the Old Curse has been cast, and provides the information he has (kill it with silver). He will gather the council of his people and discuss the matter. He shares that all the recent developments – the Awakened, the Ratpeople, etc. – have created a fractioning in the Alsyenna society and weakining of the genius loci of the city. Assuming that these developments occur in other parts of the Realm points to a weaking of the genius loci of the Realm itself, leaving it weak and vulnerable. He urges the Heroes to root out Ratpeople so their curse can’t spread.

Alsyenna City
Stor and Rurik decide to go shopping next – Rurik gets a silver neclace and orders silvered manacles, Stor orders silvered crossbow bolts and a silver plating for his staff at the only dwarven smith of Alsyenna, Dwirlun.

Brightstone Townhouse
Meanwhile, the night has fallen and Rurik and Stor visit the Brightstone townhouse. Sam and Tilda are happy to see the young lord again. Tilda prepares a nice dinner meal with fresh stew and newly baked bread. She informs Stor that she inquired all over town about news from Lord Dunstans Keep. Lord Dunstan has fired many servants of the Old Blood, amongst other the cook of the keep. As the cook prepares all food – also the food for the prisoners of the keep – he might know if Lord Brightstone, or a new prisoner, was brought into the keep. The cook Sontar now work in the Wheatsheaf Tavern, which is owned and operated by his sister, Lixiss, in Lower Alsyenna. Stor and Rurik finish their meal and head on to the tavern.

Lower Alsyenna
Being the last customers, Stor involves Lixiss and Sontar in a conversation and proposes even to buy the tavern. Lixiss agress without even blinking for a second. Insisting that Sontar has to stay as a cook, she starts sobbing and reveals the truth: She (and others) are extorted for “protection” money by a gang of Awakened thugs. Rurik and Stor promise to take care of this thread and they shake hands on the sale (2.500 GP; employment for Lixiss and Sontar). The heroes ask Sontar to bring everyone who is affected by the thugs into their tavern.

About half an hour later, 12 business owners and craftspeople have assembledin the tavern. Lixiss closes the window shutters and locks the door. Stor and Rurik show their symbols of the Magic Circle and Thyr, and declare that they are here to help. The business owners are relieved that help is here and share their knowledge about the criminals. The boss of the gang – Oenel- has his headquarter close to the river and the border to the slum. He and his three lieutenants recently awakened and developed magical powers, fighting back their competition, and now running in extortion scheme in lower Alysenna. His first lieutenant is Glaral (male), a huge hulking brute, who’se magic is fed by his rage. The second lieutenant is Faylen (female), a petite, unremarkable Old Blood, who taps into her fear to intimidate the people. The third is Lusha (female), an Old Blood of astonishing beauty, who uses her attractiveness to ensnare other people.

Stor and Rurik commit to root these brutes out and make Lower Alsyenna a safe space again.


XP: 2500
Loot: none
Other: Tilda is now a contact of Stor.

[this takes up the Aidan Storyline, runs in parallel with Ratpeople-raid, with some creative editing concerning the participating players]

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In the Rat's Lair
... in which the Party kills the Rat King and gets rich

6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

Deep hole
Walking down stone stairs
Eddard falls down; Rurik and Stor are not very elegant
Fight with crabs in murky water
Stairs and floating to a balcony
Rest, discovered, shots fired
Back and forth game
Scouting with familiar, discovery of trap
Sewer Rats go to back
Fight in Corridor
Rurik triggers fire trap
Room with prisoners
Discussion with Rat King
Loot
Altar


XP: 2.000
Loot: A metric shitload of Art
Information:

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The Brothel
... in which scouting turns bad

6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

Sir Ellion realizes that he is trapped and gets agitated
Servant demands that the heroes find a new permanent home for him tomorrow
Heroes get Daria to calm Sir Ellion down

Heroes scout out the brothel – nothing suspicious (16, 17, 18h)
Heroes enter the brothel – hand in weapons
Heroes pay group of sailors for a distraction (swing on the chandelier)
Galaron scouts out door, Sewer Rat sitting there and couting money, both reach for the dagger in the table. Galaron attacks the SR but the dagger doesn’t hurt him. SR turns into hybrid

The SR in the tavern room try to calm down the sailors, a little brawl erupts.
Galaron flees, alarms the heroes, another SR turns
Fight erupts, several visitors injured
Rurik tries to heal two remaining sailors
Two SR flee
Follow boss into cellar… to be continued


XP: 800 (XP for Boss not given yet)
Loot: none
Comment:

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Old man's despair
... in which Death strikes the Underworld

6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

[this happens in parallel with the quest for Aidan]

Eddard and Rurik head off to the main Temple of Thyr. While strolling to the congregation, Eddard catches up on the talk of the town. It appears that Duncan has opened a new Temple of Thyr in the poor district. He is supposed to get funding from the main church, but has started the work already to help the poor and needy.

Eddard and Rurik meet Wynono. He indicates that there is no Priest of Thyr that matches the description of the young woman. The heroes move on to the new temple. Many volunteers renovate an old wooden building, repairing roof and rotten planks. The people are torn about the new temple, happy about the support – a small food cart provides food for the hungry -, but also a bit concernced about the pure, dogmatic approach of Duncan.

A group of the Children of Light comes to the temple. The commanding officer – apparently Martell, although he seems to be demoted to Lieutenant – calls two of the workers, who are apparently soldiers who spend their time working at the temple. The soldiers don their armor and the group heads into the dock district. Rurik and Eddard follow.

The soldiers march quickly towards the Blackened Fish Tavern. The closer they get, the more the atmosphere changes from the excited and happy chatter of a vital city, to the concerned whisper of concern and fear.


Galaron’s gaze strives over the crowd. He heard the news early in the morning – people were talking about a brutal murder that has taken place in the Blackened Fish. While murders happens to occur in the the Docks, the location where the murder occured made the occurence special. The Blackened Fish belongs to the Sewer Rats, a rising group of low-life Old Blood thugs. Being formed about two months ago, they steeply rose throug the ranks of Alsyenna’s underworld. Their reputation was bad – no style, no honor, but brutal ruthlessness. Now the Blackened Fish, another inn, and a gambling parlor belonged to them. Not bad for a group that didn’t even exist nine weeks ago!

People have been gossiping about some supernatural influence – like they usually would when they couldn’t explain events. But Galaron was suspicious. Some mentioned the Curse of the Old Blood – a curse that awakened a beast in elves, and as such afflicted the Old Blood. The new, ruthless power of the group, and the timing – it was a full moon when the group was supposedly formed two months ago – cought is interest. What’s more, the Sewer Rats threatened the influence of Galaron’s affiliated family, and were bad for business. Anything that shook the balance of power – and power equals profit – even more was worth investigating.

Galaron goes to the back entrance of the Inn. The back alley is empty, except for an old guy sleeping in the dirt. Galaron picks the lock of the back door and enter the inn. He finds one set of footprints (blood) that leads from the inside to the back alley. A couple of guests are still in the inn, mostly in shock. Seven people are dead – cut down in a precise and merciless eruption of violence. One intruder – a humanoid in a hood, but his eyes glowing and his face deformed – seemed to have entered the Inn in the night, mumbled menacingly about redemption and cleanse, attacked the first person to move and then cut his way to the Sewer Rat in charge, killing anyone in his way, and then leaving throug the back entrance. Along his way, he threw a knife into the neck of the bartender (Galaron managed to retrieve the item).

Rurik spots their “stalker” in the crowd around the Blackened Fish. Rurik and Eddar pursue and catch the person – a young woman, not older than 16 or 17 summer. She makes sure that Eddard is really the (former) Paladin of Thyr and shares her story. She is – or was – the squire of Sir Ellion Clarke, Eddards former mentor. When Sir Ellion came back from a campaign in the north, he was changed. Altough the squire – Daria – was newly assigned to him, he only reluctantly trained her. After a few weeks he left Warmund and went to Alsyenna. Daria followed him, which he grudgingly accepted. In Alsyenna, be investigated a “plot” and a curse, and snuk away more and more, until he vanished about a month ago. Since then, Daria tried to find him, and when she saw Sir Eddard, she was hopeful that he might be able to help. However, the didn’t look like a Paladin of Thyr, so she had to investigate further.

Eddard and Rurik send her to the Temple of Light and go into the tarvern to investigate themselves. They meet with Galaron and share information. Eddard recognizes the knife fromt he bartender’s neck belonging to Sir Ellion. The most promising lead are the tracks that lead outside – to the place where the old man slept. However, he is now gone and his tracks are soon swallowed by the countless footsteps of the Dock District.

Eddard searches his memory for typical behavioral patterns of Sir Ellion that he might have continued in Alsyenna. Sir Ellion – being an old soldier – enjoyed physical exercize a lot, in particular wrestling. Wrestling is a popular sport in Alsyenna, and the heroes start their search in the Dock District Wrestling school. Being lucky, a man that fits the description of Sir Ellion has trained there regularly, and the heroes get an adress: The Moon and Owl Tavern.

The heroes find the room of Sir Ellion; and Galaron picks the lock. Ellion is snooring on his bed, still wearing coat and boots. The heroes wake him and he shares his story with Eddard.

… story …

The heroes escort Ellion to an estate of the Lestarti family, where a warm bath is waiting in the cellar. As Sir Ellion undresses to take the bath, the heroes grant him privancy – and lock the door.


Loot: Knife of Sir Ellion
XP: 2.000
Comments: Galaron owes one to his crime family due to the use of the cellar

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Spiders!
... in which the Party clears an infested forest

5. Richfest 996 AF; City of AlsyennaFULL MOON
The heroes head back to their inn. The innkeeper has a short conversation with Eddard and tells him that a yound lady inquired into him, his name, if he was a Paladin of Thyr, etc. The innkeeper provided his name, but denied that he was a Paladine. He also became suspicious and stopped providing more information as he asked about the name of the women.

6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

After a good breakfast, the Kharamon, Rurik and Stor head to the library to follow up on the “Habe’s Fall” lead. Eddard however leaves the group to inquiry more in the mysterious person that seems to be very interested in him.

First the group heads to the library. Ostantis is happy to see them and inquires into their progress. The heroes ask about “Habe’s Fall”. The expression is not know to Ostantis. He promises to dig into the library for historical references. However, if Habe’s Fall refers to a place, he recommends to go and see Harsk, a ranger living in the forest about half an hour walk in the south of Alsyenna.

6. Richfest 996 AF; Forest outside of Alsyenna

Harsk welcomes the travellers and acknowledges that he knows the location of Habe’s Fall. It refers to a waterfall one or two days of travel in the northeast. Not many know the place or even visiti it. He can’t lead the heroes there, however, as he is occupied in the forest.

The heroes inquire further and Harsk tells his story. About a month ago, something must have happened in the forest. Since then, a nest of giant spiders have infested the heart of the forest. He tries to keep it contained, but fears that things might go out of hand if he leaves for too long. The heroes offer their helpt to exterminate the vermin if he gives them directions. Harsk agrees to the deal.
- Spider infestation
- Intense battle but WIN

XP: 2.000 Loot: none

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Outbreak of incivility
... in which the Party meets Gneb

5. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna

After a good breakfast, Kharamon and Stor head out to intercept the message from John, the messenger of House Sivillian, who is supposed to bring a message to Priest Duncan.

They follow John, a man in his 50s, while he delivers several messages through the city. Soon he approaches Crown Square, which is already busy with many passer-bys.

Gneb has led a group of refugees from the Wilderlands to Alsyenna, Crown Square. Tired and hungry, they see themselves confronted by a group of drunken, young men. They seem to be of higher status, and carry openly the symbol of Thyr. The group takes a strong stance against the refugees, demands them to leave the city. A small brawl erupts.

John nears the large crowd and might just vanish into the mass of citizens. Kharamon speds up and bumps into him, and while John stumbles, Stor casts a sleep spell. John and a passerby fall to sleep.

Meanwhile, Gneb is pushed to the ground. He tried to charm the masses, invoking his fey heritage. However, the mob is too drunk to be charmed.

Stor sees that the refugee-group – all of Old Blood – are threatened and casts a second sleep spell to calm the brawl down. As soon as the mob falls to the ground, the crowd becomes panicky and flees, shouts of “Magic!” in the air. Kharamon envokes a magical shield around him and covers the sleeping John, quickly searching through his pouch. He finds the letter to Dunstan, takes some more, and spills the other on the ground.

Gneb also flees the scene, not wanting to be connected with the use of arcane power. He runs by Kharamon, they recognize each other, and run into the smaller alleys close to the slum district, followed by Stor.

In an dark tavern, Stor, Gneb and Kharamon exchange information. Kharamon opens the letter to Duncan. It is from the High Priest in Aleeth who announces that the request for funds have been granted and will be send to House Kundarak – a blessed house that deals with banking, among others.

Kharamon meets with Thom Merillin and conveys the message. Thom is not interested in the funds, but more of the implications this funding of Duncan has for the political balance of the city, and the upcoming election in particular. He agrees to introduce Kharamon to the elven bard Adramanteriel in the upcoming evening.

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Night Exkursion
... in which Eddard is being followed

4. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna
Visit at the Brightstone Townhouse
Rurik knocks at the door of the Brightstone Townhouse and inquires about Lord Brightstone, but the servant – who was woken up through the knocks – only has to say that he is not present, and that he doesn’t gossip about his master. Stor then moves in and reveals his identity. The old servant – Master Sam, how Stor called him as a child – hushes them in and calls his wife. Both are very happy to see young Master Stor – he has grown so much and is a real man now. Both worry about that he is wanted for crime against the Realm, being accused of having killed Children of Light. Stor denies the accusations. The housekeeper’s wife – Anne – prepares some quick meal and ale, and they talk about the latest developments. The servants only heard rumors of the demise of Brightstone Keep. Nothing about Lord Brightstone, no rumors that he was brought to Alsyenna. After Stor ensures their confidentiality, and declares that Rurik should be treated as a friend, they leave the townhouse.

Eddard observes the stream of passerbys, and realizes from the edge of his vision that someone was moving into his direction, abruptly stopped, and stared at him. Eddard moves in his direction, but the figure – a small humanoid, but its face veiled from a travelling hood – backs off. Eddard pursuits further, but the figure vanishes an a dark alley. Eddard heads back to the Townhouse, but observes it from a different position. He misses Stor and Rurik, who head to the Temple of Thyr, which is a meeting point.

At the Temple of Thyr
The temple is still illuminated and people are celebrating the midnight mass. Stor stays in the back, and Rurik and Eddard join the flock of the faithful.
Rurik falls into a deep trance, paying for guidance and understanding how the church was meant to be. The different interpretations and understandings, best exemplified by the faith in Alsyenna, versus the faith as understood in the center of the Realm seem to be too different, and the implicit racism and aversion against magic and those of Old Blood, as well as the stance towards other faiths, hurts Ruriks soul.

Rurik then feels drawn to the little altar of Isamir, the Saint of Light. He moves to the altar and continues his prayer. The calms down more and more, his mind becoming quite. The calmer he becomes, the more he is able to get in resonance with the Isamir. Finally, his call is answered. Visions fill his mind. “This is not how it was meant to be … it began in war, fighting for the light and against the Darkness. It began as union of friends” Images of Halflings, Humans, Old Blood, even Hobgoblins fill his mind. Rurik realizes that the priciple of Light, that Isamir embodies, might be same, as emobodied by other gods. But the way it is expressed might be different. Sometimes even cruel and dark, as Light and lighten the Darkness, and also seer the eyes and burn the skin. Nature can nature and grow, but destroy in the next turn.
Rurik slowly comes back to his senses. The rune of Isamir on his mace glows.

Eddard ponders many questions – if Yiviel had a last name – was she a human once? Were all of the Saints once mortals? And what does it mean about Thyr? Was he even mortal? But that’s heresy!
Eddard moves to the altar of Yiviel and sinks deep in prayer. At a certain point, many vision of nature transforming itself – a cocoon becoming a caterpillar, the smalles pollen becoming a giant tree – fill his mind. But in the end, the essence stays the same, is just transformed.

Stor enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the temple, but doesn’t join the flock. While he is sitting in the back of the temple, he recognizes a hooded figure coming in and observing. It leaves shortly before the end of the prayer and vanishes into the darkness again.

At the Fair
The group decides that it is too dangerous to sleep in their own beds and heads to the fair. The citygates are still open to let citizens move to the fair and back, but are also strongly guarded. Stor, Eddard and Rurik join the small group of people of still celebrate life with song, drink, dance and laughter.

Rurik manages to have some deeper conversations with some fair visitors. He inquires about the events in the east. There are many stories – what is true and what is rumor is not clear, but it seems that the Realm is troubled. There are stories of marauding bandits outside of the realm, who plundered many small homlets and villages. Sometimes they also venture inside the Realm, and Lord Calamere – Brightstones nothern neighbour – seems not capable of handling the situation. Rurik is reminded of the reasons he – a member of Calamere’s guard then – went rogue, but this part of his life seems very far away.

There are stories of bandits in the countryside, refugees from the east, streaming to Alsyenna, to seek protection. Magic awakes in the Old Blood, leading to trouble with abominations and the Children of Light. However, Lord Dunstan promises and provides protection. He is hiring new member for his guard to protect his people. On the other hand, he also favors members of the Church of Thyr, and gave many contracts to the faithful, thereby strengthening the Faith.

As the group finally goes to sleep, Eddard spots a dark figure at the edge of the fire glow. He closes is eyes, leaving only a peeking slit. After a while, the figure vanishes in the dark.

5. Richfest 996 AF
After a hearty breakfast, the group unites with Kharamon at the inn.

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Exploring Alsyenna
... in which the Party gathers information

4. Richfest 996 AF

The party decides to get new clothes suitable for the city.

Kharamon visits the Instrument Maker Lannon. He indicates that the instrument is very old, and the wood is form a a special tree, that has been magically shaped. During the fair, there is probably an elven bard named Adramanteriel, who is know to be also a craftsman. The human bard Thoma Merillin can maybe help to get in touch with him, as the elven bards now tend to avoid new contacts and are very reclusive – especially with Lord Dunstan being around.

Rurik and Eddard visit the main church of Thyr. The church unites beautifully carved wood and stone into a typical blend of this region. The church appears to be renovated, as each of the Saints either has its own alcove, or it is under construction. This gives the a new meaning to Thyr and his saints. While the orthodoxy puts Thyr on top of the hierarchy, and the Saints are under his command, here the impression emerges that it is more a union of friends with their own unique responsibilities, and Thyr is more first among equals than the one and only god. Definetively a more liberal and open interpretation of the Faith.

A priest named Wynono runs the mass, while Bandalon, the High Priest, gives the sermon and blessing. He is a powerful Cleric of Thyr, and his blessing elevates everyone, but he is visibly frail and needs help moving.

Rurik realizes a group of priests or clerics who participate in the mass in the first row, but are visible unhappy. They appear to be Duncan and his disciples, who favor a more “pure” interpretation of the faith.

After the mass, Rurik and Eddard hang around and wander through the alcoves of the Saints. Being last of the visitors, they have a conversation with Wynono. He indicates that Aidan is responsible for the renovation of the church, and that he has a huge influence on the more liberal take on the faith. He vanished without a trace about a week ago. His friend Ostantis, the librarian of the Arcane College, might have more information about his last actions.

All four adventures meet and visit the Arcane College togehter. The guards accept the seal of Stor, who goes under the name of XXX. They visit the Headmaster of Arcane College, Magister Bartomeo Teko, to catch up on the news and get permission to visit the library. He is happy to exchange news, but also seems to be occupied. The awakenings of several people troubles him, and he indicates that they are happy to train newly awakened, their resources are limited. What’s more, he needs to fill a position in Divination, and offers Stor to teach, but he refuses. He recommends that they bring the artifacts (the stones from the Earh Geode) to the College so they can be safely stored. It appears that he learned under the same Magister as Stor in Aleeth, Magister Arnao de Pulgar, and asked for information. He might catch up with his old teacher.

The heroes head on the library of the college. Ostantis (of old blood) is very desparate about the disappearce of Aidan. He indicates that Aidan hung out with a visiting scholar from Enearel, named Mobilore Wyras. Wyras is a historian who used the archive of the library extensively, especially old maps, geneological trees, old histories and sagas. He vanished also about a week ago. The heroes ask for the same material, and Eddard and Stor start studying them.

It takes them some hours just to flip through the material, but it seems that Wyras was searching a certain family line that dates back more then 800 years. The origin was an Elven Mage named Lalever Halabedar who used to live in this region. His name is still recognized in some spells and old treatises that Stor stumbled over when exploring “forbidden” lore, but it does not appear that he is a recognized as an honored member of the Circle of Mages.

In the meanwhile, Kharamon and Rurik search for the room of Wyras. Kharamon examines the lock of his door and finds that it is locked, both by key and magic. They head to the caretaker of the College, Rurik distracts him by claiming that there is a broken toilet, and Kharamon invisible steals a key. Kharamon dispels the magical trap and they enter the room. They find arcane ingredients that are used in spells, which hint at the fact that Wyras is more than just a scholar of history, but a Mage. They only find clothes that are suitable for the city, but not the travelling clothes one can expect. Among the paperwork that is left in the room, they find notes win which “Habe’s fall” is surrounded a couple of times. Another facts that catches their attention is the name “Yiviel”, who is the saint of nature. He seems obsessed with searching for a temple devoted to Yiviel. What is odd that sometimes he seems to write about a person named Yiviel Inalar, and connects this person to the temple. Maybe an ancient high priest, as Inalar is an old family name of the Old Blood.

Thom Merillin is momentarily in the XXX. Kharamon observers what is going and and realizes that beyond the coming and going, old friends catching up, there appears also an informal network of people exchanging information. This might be related to the Harpers, a group that deals in knowledge and information, and is known to have an informal political influence by shaping public opinion. They mostly work where is injustice, as an intelligence network, and stand up for the small man. To protect justice, liberty, and the small man is actually part of their main mission.

Kharamon gets on stage and has a huge success. He is invited by Thom to sing again.

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