Jönköpings Finest

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

... 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

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.

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.

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.

The Fight in the Earth Node
...in which Eddard turns to stone and Stor taps into earth magic

1. Richfest 996 AF
Kharamon scouts deeper into the cave. After a short walk, he enters a large cavern. The boss of the bandits has made camp between the remants of old structures which once might have been a dwarven city. At the end of the cave is a large menhir which seems to be the source of the magical transmutations in this place. The menhir pulsates in a deep orange light, sending waves of power throug the cavern and rippling through the earht where they are discharged in tremors and cracks that sudden open.

The boss of the bandits – a small and burly creature – has one hand on the menhir, while the other touches the forehead of a young boy who lies unconsciouly on the ground. Two other children are lying beside the boy. Orange energy streams from the menhir into the bandit and then into the child.

After a while, the bandit turns to the next child. As the moves, Kharamon can see some of his features. He must have been once an Old Blood, but his features are distorted. He now looks more like a dwarf, with rough features, clay-coloured skin, and marble-white eyes.

Fight in Earth Node
3 kids in a ritual with a transformed Old Blood

A tough battle ensues. The abomination taps into the power of the node, draining its power to fight off the magical attacks of Eddard and Stor. When the heroes move into melee, the gaze of the abomination falls upon them and Eddard turns to stone.

Rurik searches the place and finds three gems, which seemed to have been grown due to the influence of the node (3 Gems a 250 GP).

2. Richfest 996 AF
Magic ritual, Eddard is restored.

Collapsing Entrance
Back to Inn
Convincing two kids (orphans) to go to the priest of Beory

3. Richfest 996 AF
The heroes start their journey after a simple but rich meal. Th journey is quite uneventlful, as only small groups of travellers make their way to Brightstone provice – mostly new settlers.
At the evening of the day, the party arrives in Alsyenna. Outside of the side borders is a small hamlet of tents – this must be the place where the Richfest Fair is happening. The heroes find an inn and take a room for the night.

4. Richfest 996 AF
The party starts shopping

Into the Cave

1. Richfest 996 AF

Kharamon scouts the passage that leads into the mound. The tunnel was created recently, as some force create the passage. Gems are scattered in the tunnel surface and pulsate in a slow beat. Kharamon can feel a strange, earthen magic circling through the mound, resulting in cracks suddenly opening up, or sparks of light emanating from glowing veins that run through the stone.

After 20 minutes, he reaches a cavern. Several of the bandits have taken shelter here. Kharamon memorizes that outline of the cave and heads back to his friends. They chose the frontal assault approach and a heavy battle follows that eats away all of the powers of the heroes.

The heroes interrogate the two survivors of the bandits. They learn that only some of them have awakened, while the others waited to be initiated by they leader, who is currently deeper in the mound. It seems that they were all Old Blood, poor inhabitants of Alsyenna, who followed a call to gain power and rise in status and wealth.

The heroes take a short rest and head down further into the cave…

Cleaning the Roads
... in which a child gets abducted

28. Wealsun 996 AF

Stor conjures an unseen servant that collects coins that have fallen down from the tables. Rurik follows an Oldblood who sneaked away into the corridor to the sleeping quarter, and drives him away as he wanted to break in into a room – the room of the Halfling. The Halfling – it appears that he is a scribe of House Sivillian, one of the blessed houses – is on his way to Brightstone to write contracts about land. The Halfling thanks and rewards the heroes and goes to sleep.

Rurik and Eddard talk with the Priest of Thyr – Jaffron – and gather some news. Jaffron is travelling the lands in search for a fellow cleric named Aidan. Aidan is the designated successor of the Highpriest of Thyr in Alsyenna, Bandalon. Both Aidan and Bandalon have a progressive understanding of the Faith, embracing diversity, and preaching peace and co-existence rather than orthodox purity. However, Lord Dunstan brought another cleric into town, a high-ranking priest of Thyr named Duncan, who aims to take over the leadership of the church. Unfortunately, Aidan vanished without a trace about a week ago. It would shape the character of the Church considerably when Duncan takes over the leadership. Bandalon is quite old, and the succession can take place any day. Jaffron set out to search for Aidan, but has no real plan than trusting Thyr. He asks the heroes if they have any information, but they can’t help the priest.

Next, the heroes talk with the two Children of Light. They look quite tired. It appears that Lord Dunstan has not enough soldiers under arms to keep the roads clean of robbers or other intruders, to the Children stepped in. However, there are more and more threats in the countryside, taxing their resources. In order to cover more ground, they had to split their patrols, resulting in very small groups. The Children heard about a group of bandits that prey on travelling settlers in a bridge down the road to Brightstone. The heroes offer their help and the group decides to travel together tomorrow at the first light.

1. Richfest 996 AF
After an early breakfast, the heroes join the Children of Light in their patrol. They head into the direction of Brightstone. The streets are mostly clear, only now and then facing some travelers on route to Alsyenna. And after two hours of uneventful travel, they meat a bloodied and beaten person – it’s the Innkeeper!
The group stops and interrogates the beaten-up Oldblood. He admits that he was attacked by a band of robbers at the bridge, but instead of just taking his money, they also took his son!
The Children move forward, but the heroes stay a bit longer as they realize that this was not the whole story.
“It was terrible”, sobs the innkeeper.
“They realized that my son is cursed, and they said that he will now join them. I tried to fight them, but I had no chance! Please help to free my son, we can’t let him fall into the hands of these abominations!”
The heroes agree and send him back to the inn.

After two more hours, the group arrives at the bridge. Kharamon investigates the site and finds signs of a recent fight. A trail of footprints lead south. After a while, the group arrives at a well that leads to a larger mound. A two-by-two meter opening yawns at the side of the mound and leads into its depths. A small bonfire burns in front of the entrance and provides heat for a simple roast. Four of the robbers – the same that the heroes encountered a day ago – sit around the campfire, enjoying some wine, and waiting for the roast to finish.

The heroes move in and attack. However, the robbers are tougher opponents than expected. Although clad in simple and worn gowns, and only equipped with simple armor and crude weapons, they give the heroes a hard time. They are also Awakened, and Earth Magic is infusing their body, making the strikes hard as stone and their skin resilient to blows. It takes the heroes a considerable amount of their power to bring them down.

Unfortunately, one Child of Light lost his life in Battle. Rurik prays for the sould of the fallen Soldier. The surviving Child is also in bad condition and takes his comrade back to Alsyenna.
The heroes take short rest and decide to explore the mound.

On the road to Alsyenna

26. Wealsun 996 AF

The heroes have barely escaped the collapsing castle. The Children of Light take a short rest and then march to Alsyenna. Captain Martell

The heroes take the surviving servants to Brighstone whose loyal inhabitants take them in. Berryn, the Elder of Brighstone, shares some of the later developments. Varris Brighstone is a wanted person, being accused of killing two Children of Light during the battle at Brightstone’s market square where Bertrand Dunstan held court.

Recently, a few new settlers arrived at Brighstone and started building their home outside Brighstone. According to Berry, Lord Dunstan in Alsyenna hat called for a pilgrimage to Brighstone and given the promise of land to whomever makes the journey.

27. Wealsun 996 AF

The heroes start their journey to Alsyenna. Once in a while, they encounter small groups of poor people on their way to Brighstone. At nightfall, the heroes camp in the countryside

28. Wealsun 996 AF

Around midday, the heroes arrive at a bridge. A group of five people of the Old Blood have established a small toll point and demand a fare from a group of settlers that are on their way to Brightstone. The heroes quickly discover that the ruffians are taking advantage of the settlers, but convince them to let everyone pass. The ruffians point out that “it’s their time now”, and Kharamon and Stor also realize that the spark of magic has awoken in all of them. As the heroes and the settlers go their own ways, Eddard takes a last look over his shoulder and sees the ruffians abandon their post and follow the settlers.

At nightfall, the heroes arrive at an old inn. They manage to secure a sleeping place, and for the first time in a long while can relax. Rurik takes a relaxing bath, Eddard cleans his armor, Kharamon enterains the crowd with some of his songs and learns some new from a group of Vistani, and Stor earns some money in a game of dice.

The singing of the Kharamon and the travelling Sczarni light the mood in the inn an a lively evening ensues. Stor keeps a low profile and plays some games, while Rurik enjoys a good mug of ale. Kharamon realizes that a group of Oldblood tries to scam a travelling Halfling. Althoug they pretend to be independent travelers, they belong to the same group, getting the halfling drunk, but drinking only themselves only moderately.

Kharamon decides to interfere. He starts a lively tune and encourages the guests to form a line. moving through the inn to his tune. Kharamon leads the line to the gambling table and interrupts the game. The Oldblood are not amused and try to push back, but Kharamon loads his flute with a dose of the sneezing powder he captured in Brightstone Keep. He blasts the powder out of his flute and a chaos of laughter and sneezing follows.

Eddard realized that a travelling cleric of Thyr was observing the young son of the inn keeper. Apparently, the spark of magic has awoken in the young boy, and the cleric has realized it. Eddard takes the innkeeper outside and urges him to hide the boy and bring him to Bran, to train the boy’s mind to control the awaking magic.

The battle at the oathstones

Full Rest

14. Wealsun 996 AF; Brighstone Castle

Stor, Kharamon, Rurik and Eddard headed to the central stairwell. Going upstairs, each step was getting harder, meeting increasing resistance with each flight of stairs. Finally, they can’t proceed anymore.

The heroes tapped into their magical powers, weaving them together and pressing through the boundary. They penetrated the barrier and were suddenly sucked into it. For a heartbeat there was nothing, then they felt like falling down and being shot to the top at the same time, and finally, as if they were diviing into water, they shot down into a flight of stairs, and reality was closing up again.

The heroes were in a large cave. A flight of stairs wound down to a large platform. Three Children of Light, forming a triangle, faced a large dragon. The leader of them – probably the Captain – pointed his longsword to the dragon. A glowing storm of light was emanating from his weapon, extending half-way to the dragon, and meeting a dark wave of energy that the dragon hurled at them. Midway, both energies met and the engergy-streams splattered like broken glass. A cleric and a war-mage formed the other points of the triangle, each in deep concentration, a hand laid on the shoulder of the captain. However, an eery silence embraced the whole scene, as none of them were moving – as if they where frozen in time.

The three Children were standing between two oath stones of a huge stone circle. The large stones shimmered in deep green. Stor recognized the material, as the older and deeper parts of the keep, which dated back to ancient times, were made from the same material.

Another circle, filled with dark-green ooze, edged around the oath stones. Three pools, each at the point of an isosceles triangle, filled the circle with further substance.

The heroes moved down the stairs and entered the platform. They felt a short resistence while leaving the stairs, and suddenly the whole scene started moving. The blast from the dragon vanished, and the three Children stumbled backwards.

A long battle ensued in which the dragon summoned several dragon wyrmlings. The heroes battled them back. However, the group suffered some casualties as the mage was slain by the breath attack of the dragon wyrmling.

As the dragon was getting hit over and over again by magic force and craftfully wielded blades, it was finally brought down to its needs. To the surprise of the heroes the dragon transformed into a heavely distorted elf whose shrill shreak nearly brought Eddard down. A banshee, an undead abberation driven by the will for revenge.

And finally, also the banshee was brought down. Taking a heavy strike from Kharamon, the banshee fell to the ground, transforming once more into. Stor realized with terror that it was now his mother who was laying on the ground. “Nooo”, he yelled, but it was too late. The Captain’s blade was already in motion, and the longsword impaled the frail body of Lady Brighstone. Stor rushed to his mother. She was barely breathing, the heavily wounded
body torn to shreds in many places.

“Don’t let…him… come back…my prince…ahhhhhhhh”, whispered the Lady, blood spurting out of her mouth. “Mother!”, cried Stor, as her head fell limp to the side and his mother exhaled her life with a last, long, rasping breath.

Stor continued to hold her head with his hands, tears bliding his view.

A rumble shook the platform.

“We better get going”, said the Captain, carefully watching the surrounding. “This whole place is unstable now.”

A new rumble shook the ground, first stones tumbled down from the ceiling.

mage dies

escaping, rurik unconscious

talk with Captain Martel


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