Dunstrand Rising - Gallants Ride Again

A Fire in the Darkness

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 18 >
Flowers has taken to the field against the Umbakains. After an initial victory, he was caught off guard and has been playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with a large contingent of their forces. The weather has worsened, and the small group sent to investigate a fallen star has not returned in 3 days. The Boy and Bandage are sent to try and return to the outskirts of the Brekinz village where the group is likely to return to. In a strange twist of fate, the camp of Bandage and The Boy is literally broken apart by Books who has fallen down an embankment. He got separated from the others and was stumbling around in the dark, cold, wet and miserable. As the reunited members are thanking the gods for their luck, fate conspires against a peaceful night. At the same time, Naked and the others catch up to the main force lead by Flowers. Flowers takes Naked and they set out to find the others, lost in the storm.

A Fire in the Night

Both groups witness a desperate action of 4 riders being pursued by shadow beasts. Its hard to make out the details, but the battle rages for a half hour before it is over. All 4 riders eventually fall, with the last in glinting armor selling his life expensively. During the fight, the shadow creatures are hewn by a flickering blade – and stay on fire! Small fires start randomly around the wielder of the magic blade, unextinguished in the rain. Finally, the last shadow beast is slain. The wails of dying horses and men fill the air. Bandage runs in to try and save what he can. The wounds are sorcerous – there is nothing he can do to save the valiant last defender. HE notices burning papers in the mans saddle bag and grabs them, extinguishing them in the mud to put the flames out. The man grabs Bandage and makes him swear to return the sword home. Bandage swears to do so (tying all the Gallants to his oath)… the last words of the dying man are that they should follow in the steps of goodness and the sword will see them through. Naked remembers something from his Ranger’s teachings about Umbak and recognizes the family sigil – it is Caverly of Umbak! The very foes they are fighting in the swamp a few days distant. Their house motto is “To Serve is Divine” and they are rare amongst the land of Ikribu and Balthazaar worhsipers – they follow the goddess and son – Aerna and Whelm (confirm by his holy symbol). He is also a member of the Silver Talents. Bandage connects the name to an ancient legend of a blade know as Dragon’s Ember. They manage to filling all the pieces – the blade must be the ancient blade of legend, and according to Books the papers are the ORIGINAL manuscript of the account of Whitfel Caverly. Copies have been made in the Chains of Greatness texts, but this is the original made by Whitfel’s cousin as Whitfel lay on his deathbed.

Etta and Kraus

Etta meets the party on the road. She plays her part well, seeming to be at the mercy of a demanding father, crop harvesting, and a drunken brother. The party gets the feeling she is not telling all and she confesses she was robbed and was hoping they could help her out. It turns out the fee is 20 silvers – pretty easy to pay.

Kraus is freed and turns on the party once outside of town. Etta and Kraus are moon-cats; true were-creatures. Kraus does some serious damage, but Bandage – the wielder of Dragon’s Ember, finally manages to kill him where other weapons were hardly harming him. Etta is set upon tearing Flower’s throat out and the struggle goes on for a while, ruining his armor and shredding him up. She is finally killed. They find a journal in her knapsack… they had plans to rob a merchant. Flowers believes they could get a big reward taking the plans to the intended target. In the rain they set out, and manage to stumble across a shrine to the Beast Lord. They bury one of the evil moon-cat’s heads on the holy ground and the weather lightens up. In the night, they are visited by the merchant’s ghost – Etta must have killed him before the party met her.

Ghost of the Merchant

Return his remains is all he asks. The party find them and returns them to his family – who have no money. Books spends his 100 silvers on a magnificent plot. The ghost is laid to rest… but it returns that night, telling them a family secret and a place to have his sister look for hidden wealth. The family is taken care of and an ancient leather pouch with 500 silvers in rubies is given to the party.

The ancient pouch has a long dead mage’s symbol on it. Between Bandage and Books, they discover that the sigil is that of a magus who vanished a long time ago near by. After consulting, they believe it would be worth looking into things – to see if anything of the wizards can be found. Bandage makes a good case for searching – it makes the Gallants more powerful. Books also points out that The Gallants may not always have the protection of powerful figures…

Bandage and Books pour through town records and discover the town is built around the shape of the sigil. This missing piece is the refuse dump! They have to dig through shit and refuse – using the excuse that a family heirloom was accidentally thrown out. They find the entrance and uncover it with a pair of horses pulling the stone slab back.

Lair of Teerlink the Lich’s

Falling apart – dangerous

Shadow spiders

Spirits of dead children

Naked is possessed and attacks Books; Books runs for The Kid once Naked is tackled. The Kid tries using his voice to sooth him, but only draws the attention of the Lich. Bandage falls in combat against the Lich – his will totally drained (which will forever haunt him in his looks). Flowers picks up the fallen Dragon’s Ember and fights. The battle is going poorly, Flowers uses divine intervention.

DIVINE INTERVENTION: The hold of the sword over bandage is broken, all the child spirits are laid to rest, The Lich is weakened. Flowers depserate battle against the lich is one of attrition. In its wounded state, it finally dies before Flower’s will is sapped. Flowers realizes its best to move the sword between party members rather than let the blade have a chance to control the wielder each time its used (getting more powerful each time).

Looting the lair

Seeing stone: The seeing stone begins to glitter and its surface clears. You can see a hearth in a hall of some sort through the stone. There is a figure seated in front of the fire and a large, ancient wooden chair – almost a throne like chair. His head slowly raises and he meets your gaze… suddenly the world around you tilts and rocks. You fall forward, into the seeing stone’s vision, unable to help yourself. You fall and fall, and fall for what seems like hours, towards the fire. You hear a sound like the shattering of a thousand panes of glass, and realize the seeing stone has slipped from the holder’s grasp – shattering on the floor. Finally you all tumble into a great hall from the vision.

The Keep of the Godling

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 21 >
A large figure, about 3m tall rises from the chair, wearing a massive helm. “Long have i watched you, urging you onward at every turn. I have drawn you here, and the weapon you carry will be mine by right of conquest. Ah, i see you make yourselves ready – fear not puny ones, all in good time.” With the last word he vanishes, and the wooden chair bursts into flame. Instantly a roaring blaze englufs it, you see the form of the wood burn away, replaced with a creature made of fire!

A Fallen Star

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 18 >
Bright flashes of colored lights in the sky precede a falling star which streaks overhead, raining metal debris and shaking the earth. Gimpy organizes a group with Nigel, Books, and Naked to go check out the fallen star while Flowers deals with the Umbakians.

Crash Site
> Mercenary group spotted

Three Rings of Psychic Disturbance
> Local group
> Mercenary Group
> Umbakians

Strange Animated Suit of Armor

Books Speaks of Strange Things

Pursuing the Animal’s Holding Stolen Memories

The Beaver
> Another local group at the crash site

The Mountain Lion

The Hawk
> Townsfolk from Breckinz – collect the three insane victims

The Three “Hunters”
- Pursuit/ambush at the cat lair
- Confrontation

Memories Retrieved and Nightmares Averted
“Books” tries to hold on to the memories – he does not want the bounty hunters to know he is an illegal alien life form using Books as a host. He successfully resists the worst, they only extract the memories they are looking for, though they are jumbled and confused. The mind of books reels with the knowledge during the time Krik is resisting. Books gains some interesting insights to ponder while the alien controls his body.

Nigel's Arrival

News reached the Baron’s headquarters of Raduk’s death. The Baron at once prepared a runner to return to Braddon Bog to inform Books – who was working on some project there. He suggested that he be the one to deliver the message, and that he was interested in joining The Gallants formally and felt he would start with the analyst. It would hopefully be the last time he just couriered messages or, escorted the baggage trains through the battles. He hoped that the time spent with the Gallants Seconds, his reputation and, a recommendation from the Baron would gain him favor enough to become one of the Gallants under Flowers command. He arrived in Braddon Bog and presented himself to Books, with his intent to join. Books asked him more about his background. He told him that many things drove men to leave all they had and join a band of mercenaries. Nigel reminded Books of their service to Dunstrand in the long civil war, but Books reminded him that it was done, The Gallants could just as easily move on. Nigel swore it was The Gallants he would be bound to, that his oath’s to the Baron were never let him act against him, but ultimately his future was in the comnpany.
< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 17 >
[Nigel] As one of the Baron’s men, I would welcome the opportunity to enlist in the trial to become a Gallant. My father is dead now, having served the Baron before me. My family was murdered by Berithor’s men and, any opportunity to remove him from power is a welcome one. I know these lowlands well having grew up in Osmail Mark. I would serve you well as a Gallant. Consider my request to join your ranks sir.

Books wrote a letter for him to carry to Flowers and said it was for him to decide. Nigel returned to the Baron, who sent him into Dogwood Flats with 2 of his elite scouts to find The Gallants and deliver several sealed documents with updates from the Baron to Flowers.

“Captain – Nigel has expressed a desire to join The Gallants, and he has recommendation from Grace and the Baron. Personally, i have nothing against this. However, I don’t favor anyone getting to join the Gallants without proving themselves any more. We’ve had a lot of people come through, and i think it cheapens the name if anyone can join. I feel we need to return control of recruits to us – and make it clear to Grace and the Baron that this is OUR group – not theirs. The Gallants once were the elite – this reflects your speech about a goal of ours to clean up our history and our get back our name and make it so people respect us when they hear it. Sure, let them serve along side us, as one of the Baron’s men… but not a Gallant yet until they really prove it – basically where they make a decision based on our code and oath’s that affects them significantly.. then they have proved they embraced the group. That’s just my 2 bits as analyst… i’m just saying I see a lot in the rolls of the dead that aint never did much for our name…”

The Baron also confirms the rumors about Umbak – its confirmed both from inside his court and through Dierdre’s forces in the Riverdans. They WILL be increasing their presence come summer. They have already started to bring materials to Berithor’s men under this pretense. The baron also says that Dierdre has sent a message that she needs The Gallants after they are done. There is a matter of a “final mission to help finance her rebellion” – she said the Gallants had committed to see this through and its urgently needed.

Books Catches up to the Gallants!

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 17 >
The Gallants army beds down for the night, and around midnight, scouts report that there is a messenger from the Baron and so Flowers is rousted. It is one of the Baron’s elite Pinetribe scouts… accompanying Books! Books is very subdued, but forthcoming. He says that his visit is two-fold: He comes with news of and in possession of one of the relics taken from Tarly Castle – the Horn of Lharken. Also, he says that there is at least 2 units of irregulars sneaking up on their position from the north – they will likely attack in the pre-dawn.

About the item, he tells this: It was found buried amidst the ruins of the fireplace in Tarly Castle and was Wendels famous Horn of Lharken (Lord from the fallen North) which hung at his side until he passed into cold darkness. Lord Lharken was a warlord in western Dundaria and a fervent protector of his people. He was a follower of Whelm, and his war horn was well known for its powers of protection stemming from that god – though he sometimes gave the horn to his subordinates who followed others but were able to use some of its minor powers themselves. The horn serves those who seek to defend others in a good cause. Books wants to try and test the horn in the field and see if anyone can trigger its effects. He thought their might surely be a follower of Whelm among the group that The Gallants had built up. Flowers pulls Bandage aside and asks him if he agrees with the approach. Given the basic good nature of the horn, Bandage agrees that its worth a try. Flowers takes some scouts and combat units and moves off under cover of darkness to ambush the ambushers.

The Battle for Dogwood Flats
Its Us or the Umbakians - someone has to go.

The Gallants discover they are to be let loose upon the Umbakians – the Baron is empowering them to raise a small army of their won, command it, and take to the field against the Umbakians. This is the opportunity that the group needs to help reclaim the name of The Gallants. What Flowers realizes in his talks in court is that The Gallants are to be used as fodder against the Umbakians. He hears rumors that The Gallants are referred to as “The Baron’s Bitches”… and that the opportunity is a way to soften the Umbakians before Baron Wheglin can take to the field with a full army. Flowers knows its just politics… but swears that he wont let it color his command or mission. There are apparently 2 camps – one which wishes to attack Umbak straight up and demolish their forces. The other seeks to disrupt their logistical support and essentially wage a war of attrition. Flowers has it explained to him that he must present one side. He chooses the later – and will seek out aid with those closest allied with his vision.

+2 Days Flowers goes to mingle in the baron’s court
+3 Days; Flowers continues to mingle, looking for support. He must not meet with everyone too closely, or he will look desperate.
+4 Days; contact is made with the smugglers operation in Dogwood Flats
> During this time, The Gallants are seeking volunteers.
The Gallants raise an army and take the field in an all-out slug-fest against the Umbakians occupying Bergen and Dogwood Flats.
+5 Days; Religious council meetings are attended
+6 Days; More seeking of volunteers and meetings; The Boy gives some rousing speeches
+7 Days; The army slowly comes together and gathers outside of Osmail Mark; alliances are made with merchants, religious leaders, and some merchants from Richfield (normally neutral!)
+8 Days; Flowers makes a serious gaffe in court, he decides to end his pursuits there and ride out.
+9 Dogwood Hamlet – possible Orrish connection – more of a needed map of Dogwood Flats is filled in. The army waits at Dogwood Hamlet and send scouts to far points. The Axe of Halas the Elf-Hater is retrieved from Braddon Bog – an Orrish item that can possibly be useful in connecting with and getting help from the Orrish.
+15 Days; the army marches. Unknowingly they have been seen by Umbakian spies.
+17 Days; Trip to Snail Island – sacred to the Orrish.

Death on Orrish Sacred Ground

Marbles and Sweeps are commanded by Flowers to go the the Orrish holy ground on Snail Island and make contact with them. They have no way to communicate and are stopped by a goblin demanding “give!”. Neither silver or the magical Axe of Hals-the-elf-hater are what they want. The goblins swarm them both. Sweeps goes down bleeding from many cuts, smashing a goblin’s skull into the rock and roaring his last act of defiance. Marbles manages to get free, tumbling down the rocky hillside and into the water. He’s hauled out barely alive, broken ribs, cracked hip, and a dozen other cuts and gashes. Sweeps body is flung to the rocks on the shore, and Marbles insists the smugglers go back for the body. Fortunately the Orrish have few missile weapons and they are able to get it back and into the boat for a respectable burial as a Gallant later. Marbles bails as the smugglers row back, cracking the hull on unseen rocks – a peril of Snail Island. Marbles collapses once they reach dry ground hours later.

+19 Days; Dobson’s Steading – the army marches and captures it without a fight.
+20 Days; The Cricket Jump bridge is taken without a fight – a key passage out of Dogwood Flats
+24 Days; The army arrives at Hale’s Knob – the smugglers there give them intelligence and tell them that the Umbakians have moved scouts through the area behind them… but have likely lost their trail.
+27 Days; The site of Camp April is scouted – its heavily fortified and a massive supply depot.
+30 Days; The first major fight is met on Hale’s Path – the Gallants defeat mostly logistics units. Prisoners are taken and supplies.
+31 Days; The army of the Gallants returns to the main road of Flat Top Passage. Umbakians have moved north of them. At Old Cat crossroads they engage the Umbakians, taking more prisoners. Flowers makes the decision to march a unit and all extra supplies into the White Fens (dangerous) to create a prisoner camp.
+32 Days; The village of Teening is taken without much fight – a small garrison is all that is left.
+33 Days; The amry waits to see if they can ambush Umbakian units but nothing turns up. They realize that there must be enemy units occupying the Cricket Jump bridge and looking for them to the north.
+34 Days; A quick march to Nendels Steading and the Umbakian garrison there is taken. Prisoners are sent north again, along with more supplies. The army is down to two units of scouts.
+36 Days; The army falls upon the fortified Umbakian position of the Al’Lyonce Inn – the power of the gods rages above and around… the position is sunken, men and animals scream. The carnhage of nature’s wrath is unforgettable. More prisoners are taken – Flowers must send them with his last spare scout unit to the prisoner of war camp.
+38 Days; The army marches into Breckinz Hamlet. A force led by mercenaries opposes them. The Gallants divine favor and superior units overcomes them. Some fresh recruits fills out their ranks. A blitz march down the length of Dogwood Passage has landed them deep in enemy territory! With not a single defeat, they have marched through the heart of Umbakian held territory. However, Flowers is aware the real battles are yet to come. There are many units at the two main supply depots, some marching from Bergen, and the main forces attacking the Orrish can just as easily be trained on his rag-tag army. The real challenge is bout to begin!

Winter Ending

< CY 9164, Month 3, Day 8 >
Intelligence comes in that the battle for Tarmysia has picked up. The Duke has asked Berithor for men, but the murder of his niece has allowed him to extract himself out of that responsibility. Sympathy now lies with the enemy – the Duke once again sends messengers that the civil war is distracting him and the Duchy from securing Tarmysia from Imperial Gwinn. Books has gotten melancholy and dour – a true dark spirit to be around. The good news is that Bandage’s personality is back to normal. And through it all, Flowers now leads the Gallants. With the situation in Bergen ( Spies and Pirates in Bergen) straightened out (Baron Whelgin asked no questions about your involvement – though you are sure its because he does not want to know the truth, which may force him to act), you are free of responsibility and rest for a few days. Grace Peregrine has tried to make sure you understand not to speak about it to anyone… she “did not want to contemplate the Gallants as a liability…”. Baron Wheglin has asked to meet with you directly. He has indicated that with the weather bad, and the druids tell him it will remain so for weeks yet, it is time to strike the Umbakians in Dwindor Swamp. They were recently resupplied, and he does not want that to happen again. You are to go and recruit what forces you can in the area and strike against them.

Spies and Pirates in Bergen
What starts as a simple intelligence gathering turns into piracy and dire news.

Burial for Batsu: Batsu’s bracelet of Aerna’s Gift allows him to be buried in Bergen in public – without the Lightbringers objections. The Gallants are not present as they would be attacked. However, the druids manage to make a contact out of the event, sympathetic to the Wyld Faith and that can get send intelligence on the guard rotations at Bergen.

Eventually, Chris/The Kid has his sanity return to normal. He remembers little of the attacks that killed Kurt and Batsu.

The Mission: Baron Robert Wheglin was caught a break. The weather has turned sour and the Umbakains are notoriously slow in such. He needs to sneak a small group into Bergen to understand better how the Umbakians have taken over the place, and if unrest is possible to ferment there to draw troops away. Plus, he wants to know more about the Umbakian war machine and its operations in the town. The contact made through Batsu’s funeral will provide the path into Bergen with the least amount of interference.

Ra-duk is Introduced: Grace Peregrine Has brought Ra-duk to the group – a distant relation to an ancient lineage of Hap N’ii – one of the “originals”, and father of Xar. A “civilised” Grollen, Ra-duk is familiar with the ways of men and war. He is massive, ugly, and simple – but his heart is big and he pledges loyal unto death. For the Baron, its a brilliant public relations stunt – a relative of the Hap and Xar N’ii sword unto his side and Dierdre’s may draw a few more of the old nobility to her cause. Flowers is forced to accept him into the group, but it seems like a good fit what with the recent death

Into Bergen: The baron asks a small group to infiltrate the town and return with intelligence. The goal is not to provoke or interfere, but to return with good information. He leaves it up to the group to strike IF they see an opportunity and cannot be caught – but only under such perfect terms. Chris, “The Kid” is to lead – as Marbles is too conspicuous. Everyone but Marbles dies their hair, gets grubby and dons a battered mercenary disguise to get into Bergen. Flowers and most of the band is needed elsewhere – to run secure messages back to Dierdre using the bad weather as cover. Flowers send Fry-Bread with the Bergen group of Ra-duk, The Kid, and Marbles as an extra hand. Flowers appoints the Kid in charge – because he’s less known to the enemy and wont antagonize easy. Bergen is relatively easy with the notes from the contact, to enter. Over the course of a couple days, they deduce that the Umbakians have levied most able modied males into cargo and escort duties for their war effort. Mercenaries are generally driven out of town, and the the only place they may find work in that role is the River Neck Flop House down by the wharves – nothing but common rooms and penny hangs; a real dive and a half of a place that smells like whiskey, urine, and sweat. Its being watched by Umbakian ‘spies’ – locals who take coin for the Umbakians to get intelligence. As mercenaries they get the word out and soon meet with Capt. Holstein of the Sea Dog. He tells them of some piracy activity he needs to be protected from. On pressing him , they learn 3 sail barges have been found adrift – no crew, no cargo. And a few boats of fishermen have gone missing! What at first seems simple theft turns into a tale of full scale murder and piracy. Apparently the Umbakians deal with the land side only and have taken all naval personnel to use for their efforts on land – now local trade is suffering and pirates have sprung up where only petty smuggling existed before. The group agrees to guard the load. The day after, they overhear 2 loud men at the bar saying how mercenaries are not welcome now in Bergen and the Umbakians have everything under control. They learn that this is a warning and the Umbakians will probably press them into service or drive them out of town. Just in time, they go aboard The Sea Dog for their journey.

Guard Duty on The Sea Dog

The Milk Run to Lily Rush: A 4 day trip to Lily Rush is uneventful. For 100 silvers, its a total milk run. They see another sail barge, some sloops, and local fishermen. When they get to Lily Rush – thoroughly in Berithors hands – they learn press gangs have put most into local militias. The group decides to take the reduced wages for a home trip and avoid the press gangs for militia in Lily Rush. Wether turns in favor of them and a good wind seems like it will make the journey 1 less day.
The Trip Home: On the second day they pick up a broken and battered sloop with a beaten man and his dead son. He says three boats were tied together at night, and rammed by a larger vessel. He got battered around and the mast broke – they were shot at with arrows and his son died. The other 2 boats he swears were taken by pirates. In talks alone with the captain, he urges them not to take the eastern route. On the western route, that night, they are attacked by what appears to be a giant fire breathing turtle and the pirates. The captain surrenders. The pirates say only half can join – and the fight is on. Sweeps make short work of his opponent, blowing his head all over a crowd in a spray of blood and brains. The Kid is wounded in his, while Fry Bread and Marbles (fighting the captain) take care of theirs. Murderers now, they join the pirates.

Life as a Pirate

The Gallants – now having committed murder and piracy, join the pirates and return to their hidden base. Moving at night, and with none able to navigate or get a sense of where they are in the Dwindor Swamp, they have no clue where the base is. The mast is stowed and the ship is rowed into a subterranean cave with barely any room to spare. The best guess is they are under one of the larger islands, about a day from the shore of bar-Innis. The group knows that they must have no witnesses (for the Honor of the Gallants to be preserved) of them turning pirate from the crew of the Sea Dog – they plot to murder them as well. They learn the person picked up by The Sea Dog (and who steered them into trouble) is not only a person of some importance among the pirates, but they call him “maygoose” – he is a Magus as well!
They are watched like a hawk as newcomers, except The Kid, recuperating in the infirmary. He pays the “doc” well to heal him and establishes a long term relationship with him through interaction, money, and the patient bond.
Lashes for the Kid: At one point, unwatched, The Kid sneaks out and tries to ambush one of the remaining Sea Dog crew. In a messy battle that spills into the common room, he manages to get caught and NOT kill his target. His is given 6 lashes and lectured to all pull together – no more personal or past squabbles will be tolerated.
Information: Sweeps manages to overhear a conversation that indicates the pirates were begun with outside financing, and that the Gwinnish were involved. The Mid confirms the first part in his own hunt for intel. This is bad news indeed – now the Gwinnish forces on the Tarmysian peninsula are disrupting things even more – taking advantage of Umbak’s presence to make things worse for the locals.
Kills of the gallants: Over the next few weeks, the remaining 2 members of the Sea Dog managed to be killed by the Gallants – with the use of bribes and persuasive ideas The Kid comes up with.
Repreive: By the end of the 6th week, the eyes watching them have lessened and on the 7th week, 2 of their number are allowed to go to town – but “never the grollen” they say – he’s too conspicuous. The Kid is reminded his 2 companions staying behind will be killed if they do not return.

Marbles Gets Word to the Baron

The Kid concocts a story MArbles is off on a whoring surge, while MArbles (the best rider) steals a horse and rides at breakneck speed through the town, and north through Dogwood Flats to get to Osmail MArk in a day. He ruins the horse and sustains some mild soreness himself. The Baron is very interested in the intelligence they have gathered, though he says the Gwinnish would never employ something with fire – that the swamp monster is likely to be a trick. He is ordered to return, with a fresh horse, and resume gathering info. He returns the new horse, taking 2 days back, to the person he stole from. To better cover his story, he buys whores for all the pirates in town, but picks one of the most flea-ridden brothels – everyone get crabs.

Grabbing “A Great Treasure”

After they return, Joness – the right hand man to the magus “Dek”, tells them they shoudl consider going on a special mission – that their particular skills are more suited and it could make them rich. Information on a “great treasure” coming from Mev to Bergen has reached the ears of the Magus and he intends to snatch it. The crew will get a split of the treasure. They set out in the 8th week, go inland and ambush a secure coach at 2am, with 4 black cloaked horsemen. The log pull causes the carriage to go flying, killing the men atop it. The 4 Riders are taken down with bows and spears, and a few are finished by Sweeps and some of the heavier sailors. They break into the carriage and find the two inside dead – a man and a young woman. No “treasure” other than their personal jewelry (very nice – must be nobles) is inside. They tear it apart looking for a strong box – but find nothing. The Kid and MArbles look themselves, and find only a torn writ – seal broken and cast aside. Their meager skills of literacy cannot comprehend its high prose style. They pocket it, and share in the passing of the jewelry – worth a lot of money indeed.

Thinning the Heard

On the 9th week, the group begins to realize the dozen or so crew on the treasure run are being split up. The Kid gets warning from the medic that they are slowly being rotated out and probably killed – for unknown reasons. Joness comes to them and says prepare for another mission – back to the swamps and another juicy sial barge that they can fully share in the profits of! His words are a bit off in meaning, and The Kid makes a snap decision that its a set up and attacks! Sweeps instantly follows suit, while Marbles – who had hoped for a more strategic approach – slowly follows suit. The Kid grabs the heavy crossbow and points it – the whole common room turns over tables and chairs diving for cover. Sweeps roars out and charges ahead, swinging his flail around – everyone dives for cover. The whole group heads for the exit to the surface – where the 4 guards in front of them run for the only boat. Marbles and Sweeps leverage their skill in running and get to the boat as 2 of the sailor guards are trying to get away, leaving the other 2 behind. Sweeps nearly capsizes it, and hits his head. Marbles kills one and the other jumps out. Under a hail of crossbows, Fry Bread and The Kid wade out and pull themselves in, MArbles organizes them to row hard, while the Kid grabs the rudder. They are soon out of eyesight and lost in the swamp – no provisions. The fog and rain soon start and they are ever more lost – though slake their thirst with rain water.

The Witch of Dwindor – Gerladine

Lost for days, they finally figure some bearing and know they have to pass through the pirate waters again to return east and home. Out of the night comes a death-white figure in the mist. Fearful but without provocation, they shout a warning. Soon they are enguaged in dialog with the Witch of Dwindor Swamp – and clearly she has a tattoo that marks her as “Guide’s Gallants”. She explains that she is Geraldine Aelishan, a relation of Berithor’s and one-time Gallant. She reveals that her mother is dead, and she has taken her place and knows of all that transpires in the swamp. She makes no attempt to hide what she is – a vampire now. She briefly explains that she was not the only survivor – but will tell no more. She forces them to swear as Gallants they will not reveal how they were helped. She cannot fight for them, but she can show them the way home.

The Return Home

Following the giant bat, the group pulls out in three days north of Bergen. Starved and with dysentery, they manage to buy some food from a man named Raef. He tells them of Orrish raids on the locals outside of Umbakian protection, and hints that all the locals are in peril. He also seems to look at them strangely, as if he knows who they might be. He gives generously, and the group walks back to Osmail Mark – avoiding Umbakian patrols. Another 3 days and they are presented immediately to the Baron – where they tell him everything except the part of the witch. They imply they just got lucky and made it home. They give the parchment from the coach. He reads it in front of them, and is clearly disturbed. He asks if they read it and they answer they were not able to. He keeps it and does not tell them its contents.

The Treasure?

Word reaches Osmail Mark that Berithor’s cause has been bolstered by the terrible news of his nieces’s MURDER. She was ambushed on the road and the story says she was raped and tortured. Berithor calls her “His Treasure”, and vows to take revenge on the rebels – who clearly did this – with renewed vigor. This will surely gain him funds and support from the Duke.

Return thru the Mirror

Triumphant Return to Braddon Bog! You return to a world no different than when you left.. in fact, almost no time seems to have past here. The Umbakians are still siegeing the goblins of the swamp, who are increasing reprisal raids against the folk of Dunstrand.

Baron Robert Wheglin still holds the lowlands in a desperate attempt to draw troops and resources away from the main conflict to the south. But there is something different… something odd about it all, unfamiliar even. Such potent magics as what you have experienced cannot help but leave their mark.

Attacks of the Darklings and Knight of Balthazaar!

It is strange to see a knight of Balthazaar in league with dark-spawn! The party will have to ponder that… Kurt and Batsu, perform admirably in an ambush north of Braddon Bog – where the party went to investigate the reports of something which fell from the sky – right into the old lands of Lord Wendel Tarly and the scene of the party’s last epic struggle. Kurt is buried with honors in the old cemetery of the library – without his family name lest someone expect something. Batsu is buried in Bergen, were he grew up, not far away. Chris is lost – his sanity fled along with him physically. Perhaps the time traveling and everything else was too much for him. Bandage is grievously wounded and in a comma.

Melancholia and New Comrades

The group once more mourns fallen comrades. A great sadness descends on the Gallants. Books is very despondent over the recent losses, he literally holds an “open house” for new Gallants. Only three turn up, all the very first day. One is a strange short man in a cowl, who has uncanny knowledge of the area – as in something only the original Band of Crows might know. The other 2 humans are strange, they claim to be from VERY far away, no place the group has ever heard of. They would join the group if the group would help them… one claims to have a weapon of power. The other is more odd, gregarious, friendly… but there’s something about him that makes it hard for the group to believe he genuine. Its obvious this man is struggling with some secret or some such – he is hesitant… and speaks funny, but learns the language quickly unlike Butch. Soon it is revealed that the short one is a Drunnad – thought to be extinct! He claims to have been drawn to the group to help them.

Flowers Assumes Leadership

Flowers grabs the reigns of power and declares himself leader. Grace Peregrine and the Baron Wheglin recognize his authority – and word is sent to Dierdre.

Butch’s Story

Butch claims to be from a land far away – beyond the skies. He confirms some of Trip’s story. Butch is strange and a bit obnoxious. The group can barely understand him his accent is thick and his command of the language is poor.

Xorgon’s Story

Trip’s Story – Bandage’s Possession

It turns out that some alien presence, a name that even the most skilled cannot pronounce, has inhabited the body of Bandage. Flowers is adamant about not talking about the affair once he discovers the alien presence. Books begins to cultivate a relationship. It seems Trip is a stow away of sorts on some sort of “ship”. It is hard for Books to fathom, be he says that Helca is one of billions of worlds just like it. Books accepts Trip for what he is, though Bandage may be released, Trip needs a host to live.. and the process is dangerous.

The “Space” Ship and Orks in the Sky

Book’s Reveals All

The Celestial

Tells the party to help her they must travel to the Lands of the Dead; yes it means dying.

Drunken Butch Offers Himself

Butch offers himself to the Celestial, not understanding what that means. The celestial takes the gift of life and butch’s soul is seared from his body. The body sweats and trembles, holding in the divine power. The celestial can more easily live now, the it looks as though she suffers more.

Artlow's Vision
Flowers has a vision that changes his life


Ethereal waves crash before flowers eyes as he sleeps, his face awash with a water like energy. The waves part, revealing a swamp. The muck is thick, causing Flowers footsteps to be slow and awkward, yet he is unable to stop. Before him is large spider, 2 meters in width, it reveals its 8 red eyes as it turns away. Flowers yells out to it, pleading for it to stop, yet it continues onward through the swamp. Flowers presses onwards, drudging through the muck as it gets deeper and deeper until soon he is swimming in a nigh mudlike substance. The spiders is far away now, but clear as day flowers sees the spiders back rip apart as a wolverine rips itself out of the arachnids back. Flowers sinks into the muck, only to fall further through the ethereal waves, landing upon a plain of wheat grass. The very same wolverine as before is before him, waddling away. Flowers begins to run, barely keeping up with the seemingly slow creature. With a sudden rush of adrenaline, Flowers Surges forward towards the animal, only to gape in awe as the Wolverine shifts and morphs, flowing into the shape of a mountain lion. The Lion runs further away, towards a collection of cliffs and large trees. The pursuit continues, wind rushing past flowers face as he runs faster than he knows to be possible, nearly catching the lion as it begins climbing a tree, quickly scaling up to the side of a cliff, and continuing its climb. Flowers pauses, looking down at his hands, the setting sun casts eerie shadows on them, all seeming to be in the form of some animal or another, with an unclear image in his mind he bear hugs the base of the tree, his resolve fortified with intent, and he throws himself upwards. his will carries him ever further up the trees and cliffs, chasing the lion. Atop the highest cliff of the area he stands with the lion, gasping for air as he struggles forward. The lion turns back to him, face becoming longer and seemingly equine, until its entire form changes to that of a stag. The deer jumps off the cliff, seemingly gone until Flowers sees it bounding from cliff to cliff at an impossible speed. Flowers nearly stops but with his increased resolve runs headlong off the cliff. Following in the stags footsteps he jumps from butte to butte, falling incredible distances, rolling and bouncing off impossible edges. As he finally catches the stagg, grasping it’s hind leg, he sees that they have both jumped off a cliff, and there are no more places to land upon, in a panic Flowers yells, until he notices that yet again the animal has changed shape. The stag had become a giant hawk, large enough to hold flowers aloft and carry him within the realms of the clouds. Upon recovering from his shock, Flowers notices another figure aloft before him, one outside of the norm of this odd world he’s fallen into. A woman seems to float before him, her skin had the color of an olive, yet maintained the texture of a cornstalks exterior. Her eyes reflected the hardness of an acorn and the palette of the sea, her dress flowed with the winds ever changing direction and the color of the seasons. Flowers gazed in wonder, immediately aware of his owns passions raging for this woman. She looks unto him, the face showing the softness of the earths soil, but betraying an experience known only to the ancient culture lost to time. “Let not your prejudices and societal views determine your path. Follow, Follow you passions with the determination of the ox, fight your enemies with the strength of the wolf, maneuver with the Stags grace, let your mind be free as the eagles wings. The spider fo your mind is just a beginning, let the whole of the earth be your way.” The woman comes close, kissing Flowers forhead. “Artlow, son of Dendrise, come to your mother, protect your home, lead with the freedom of nature.” The woman gestures behind Artlow and fades into the clouds. Flowers looks behind to see winged beasts of all sorts. Behind him he sees the badger, the wolverine, the serpent, the horse, the ape and many others of the earth, all winged and totally unaware that they should be unable to fly. Flowers trys t cry out to them unbtil he sees himself. he is no longer being carried but is flying himself, his body being that of the stagg but with the wings of the eagle. He sees his form and fliys on, the other beasts behind him.

Flowers awakes, the vision suddenly fading. he is within the temple of the dark god, his companions around him. There is a swarm around them, all more fearful for the darkness of this temple. He sees the restriction of theses other gods, sees the lack of mobility and freedom. Drawing Tulins blade he cries out to gaia swearing his soul and life to her, commiting himself to the freedom of movement, the strength of natures training, and to Gaias ever giving home. Striking out with the feriocity of blade, strength and nature he pulls on all Gaia will give and submits his life the the will of mother earth.

The Dark Mirror

Destination: Library at Portia

Stopping off at Finnis

Linnis’s Call for Aid

> It takes a moment for the barricaded doorway to be cleared and the door unbarred. Inside is an opulent bedroom, the most remarkable thing in which stands is a polished mirror on a lion pedestal, standing 2m tall. “That”, he says – pointing at the silver trimmed mirror – “Is a portal to some hell of Everdark’s making. It is this device which gave the Viscount over a hundred and twenty cultists to organize the riots and attacks upon the city.” You state at the mirror, waiting for some horrific vision while nothing happens, finally looking to him in bewilderment. “I can see you do not understand… come.” He takes you back down a level to a chanber also well guarded. “This is Ezmiralda, she will tell you what she saw.”

> “I’d been sent by the governess Etria to assist m’Lady in seeing to Lord Linnis’s proper quartering. I heard this shriek from the master suite and ran in to see Lady Ariadnae’s head enveloped by this black tendril – and it was coming from the mirror! her body was slowly walking towards the mirror – like this thing had made a puppet of her! The surface had turned the same inky blackness, and it rippled like water – and swallowed her up! I ran and got a guard, and the mirror would do nothing, i swore and soon i was being acused of murder and hiding the body. The Priests of Ikribu were brought and they found the evil alright – not in me, but in the damn mirror. I been locked here though ever since, just in case… oh please sirs… have done with this terrible thing so i can go home to my husband and children!”

> There you have it. This mirror, brought up from the depths, was the doom of family Culahey… and the death of hundrends of people in the city. It is a monstrous evil which must be stopped. The priests of Ikribu tell me to destroy the mirror would trap those inside forever… and while i am loathe to do that, i will do it, for the safety of these people and my peace of mind! You see, unless you can devise some means of gaining access, i will be forced to consign whatever hostages are in there to a hell of Everdark forever." You hear shouting outside in the corridor. “That is the husband, he will offer you all his wealth for his wife – a ransom of silver to open the shadowgate – but i forbid such a risk. If this cannot be done safely, it will not be done at all. The priests of Ikribu are searching the goods of the lairs of the cultists for any clue even as you and I speak. Think carefully… is there any way you can see to gain entry?”

Entering the Mirror- Ambush!

Of all of us, only Bandage has the power to open and close the mirror portal, it must be tied to his shadow bond. There seems to be no way of seeing through the gateway.

Books leads the charge through and is immediately set upon by goblins. The landscape is trapped with pungi pits and he is trapped. So are some of the others as they come thorough. It is a desperate fight with the immobile being defended by the mobile and a large ork leading a dozen trained goblins, but the Gallants finally prevail.

Gardens of Stone


Looking Around

The Main Vault

Obelisk and Altar

Books uses the gem of Oceanus Vitae and animates one of the cultists bodies.

Leaving the Mirror for Help

Hanging Dead

Entry Court


The Shadow Trap


Sacristy Vault

Shadow bound drapes

Exploring the Under-Vaults

Accumulated treasure, debris; at least 4 magic sources in the debris pile. Sensed the power of the void – dangerous!

Cavern under the Vaults

Cave-Mana Farm

Attack of the off-spawn; a horde of crawling hordlings brings a gloom and covers the gallants, pulling them down.

Rewards of Linnis Faer and Return to Bar-Innis

Priesthood of Ikribu Offers Aid

Books chooses access to the libraries at Portia; a sponsorship in order to help learn about the perils of finding their way home from the dream sending.

He is sure that they may be able to get Canine back if we ask, but after consulting with Bandage… a half orc body and may not be the ultimate answer for the return of Canine.

Armor of Dunstrand

Official armor (fitted leather with the golden eagle) is made; ceremonial so it can be worn in state and official gatherings without offending those gathered. Books makes a deal to trade in the 500sc Finnis tokens to make sure even the Gallants not present also get the armor made for them.
Other rewards:

  • 200 silver crowns
  • Healing potion (minor)
  • Conn’s Hammer (some of the group – who impressed Linnis in a personal audience)
  • Ring of Healing (for bandage)
  • Ring of Defense (to the group; given to Sweets)

Return to Bar-Innis

Nell kills herself on the way back

What’s to be done with the Shaman

The body of the shaman was rolled up in a rug from the temple and brought out of the Culahey chapel. Some major juju is still at work, his life force tied to the effect of the shaman and Canine killing him and his life force trapped.

Flowers can feel Canines soul reaching out…

Meeting with Anura

In secret, Books meets with Anura and tells her basically everything and to back off – that the Gallants are not here to stay and looking to leave and not competition. They ask her to tell one claw to back down and she says not to worry. Bandage is Book’s alternate contact in the group – and Books tells Bandage that he’s made a deal with Anura and that she knows about the dream sending. The Gallants of here have to set traps and poison in their own quarters in Bar-Innis as part of the deal, for when the Gallants native to this world return… but Books also sets warning in place so that he can fulfill his end of the deal without out-right killing them.

Books also inquires about the shaman body and if there’s any good will to be had in using it.

Anwin’s Status

The man we believe is the magus Anwin is actually a simulacrum! We cannot prove it.


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