Dunstrand Rising - Gallants Ride Again

Aftermath of Civil War

< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 4 >
The party is “secured” to quarters for their protection. Immediately the court splits in 2 and those factions loyal to Dierdre’s cause protect the party. Hostilities erupt instantly – there are just brawls and minor fights… but everyone knows that until Dierdre claims the seat of the Earl, things remain in doubt. There are riots in Mev when the news of Berithor’s death spread. By midnight, the allies of Dierdre can barely find any food they are certain will not be poisoned. Word is that Dierdre and her allies will arrive in 2 days time. Rumors abound as well. Rumors of Hareen reach the ears of the party – nothing more than he is present on the fringes of Bar-Innis. Those in court demand for ducal representation – which will also arrive in the next few days. The Gallants are accused of treason by their enemies. The bounty on The Gallants is withdrawn by proxy – with Berithor not able to pay. While the quarters are nice, it feels like a prison.

The Duke’s Herald, Tanner Holmraf

Tanner is an agent of the Duke, and word has it he is on his way to the court of Bar-Innis from county Faer. The group owes a debt unfulfilled to his (and supposedly the Duke’s interests).

Books and Flowers Decide on the Red Sky pins:
[Books] What say we trade these cloak pins for something… like money or goods to trade? Taking an oath to yet another cause just seems like a foolhardy notion. Taqwill always said they were powerful, and when Bull and I figured out the ancient oath it sure makes them a much more valuable “gift” or barter item for the powers of Dunstrand.
[Flowers] I’m all for that. In fact I think a trip to…. Karolak was it? is in order. We’ve not much time to take care of what we need. SO after we see what spin can accomplish with the powers around us, I think that many of our items should be identified so as to be used or sold/traded. Just the opportunity to take full advantage of that heap would be highly profitable.
[Books] And I can now use the spells to help with that effort. We need Spin to create some contacts – in both the black market and normal circles of trade. Someone will need to talk to House Malor as well – i’m sure they would much rather see items come to them instead
of their rivals nearby.
[Flowers] I’d say let Bandage contact to contact Tanner and House Malor… but I don’t think he’s going to live through whatever disease has him in it’s clutches.
[Books] He’s actually making progress – he’s just very distant. I think his mind is elsewhere boss. Use his history and family connections to put hooks in the Dunstrand forces. I say lets send Terril Darcy personally to Karolak and the Order of the Stone Hand with a message listing a few items of what we got. The pins i’d use for leverage with Dunstrand persona’s – like Tanner- but we got a lot of stuff that i may not be able to identify and that we need to offload and keep the nosy mages of House Malor out of our business. Plus, he can prepare a possible refuge if we need to flee Dunstrand fast for any reason.

The Copper Scroll

- Books has been carrying it in the Satchel of Mog since the return to Braddon Bog where he ‘stole’ it from Taqwuill -
[Books] Flowers – Now that we have someone fluently literate in Dukat, i’d like them to take a look at the cooper scroll that was found under the library in the secret catacombs by the Band of Crows; Taqwill did not want to turn this over – we had to insist on it. Szandor is fully proficient, having his diplomat’s upbringing. Of course, i’ll use my own meager skills to verify what he believes it translates to – but his will be more precise.
[Flowers] Use the resources we have, while have them. Or at least while were alive to use them
[books] Well… Szandor… the scroll does not detect as magical. None of the past possessors could translate it, but its possession has not directly lead towards any particular effect that i can see.
[Szandor] I immediately recognize the scroll as the type sacred to Ducateon. Sacred in the way that they would send hundreds of warriors to get it if they knew of it. This is one of the records of official history of the Ducateon – there may not be another copy if this was stolen from a holt or lost somehow. The story is long and slow in the telling, being over 12m in length. It leads up by the story of its creation, citing characters from the past and deeds unknown. (I recognize a few from thousands of years ago – the ancient holts in the Tolkisson range) It tells of the pact made by ‘Him’ with the church of Malek to hide the Ducateon’s ambition to achieve dominance over the other races. How Malek showed the Ducateon how to hide their out-holts and keep hidden all their activities from the humans. Also of a place of truce in 5670 between the Orrish and Ducateon – Ag’rata – a place of shadows (brokered by the priests of Malek) where words can be exchanged in the dark where both races dwell. It was a result of the Second Nakrian War in the south – where unknown to most, the Nakrians also pressed into the darklands and southern reaches of the Tolkisson range.
[Szandor] Fuck the Ducateons! My Uncle was the only one who gave a shit about me and he died in the Southern Tunnel Wars! The Holt of this area is in some ancient pact with Malek and maybe even Gloombringer, it speaks of gods of chaos! There are hints that they may have aligned themselves with the Orrish and the other evil races of the deep. It speaks of areas where they conferred with races of such evil lineages. Once the Holt hears word that we have this a Claw wing be sent to retreave such an ancient and valuable peice of history… We could take notes from it then sell it, once we sell we could inform the holt that it was found to draw them out and slaughter them… But that’s not my area of expertise… Malek, Gloombringer… how in the world? (Muttering about his uncle and setting fallen Ducateans on fire… His visage is one of stern concentration.)
Books talks to Flowers: There you have it Flowers… The Ducateon says we’re holding
onto a ticking bomb basically. What shall we do?
[Flowers] …… shit……..we can’t let him actually sell these off, and the ducateon might go crazy if we take it from him….. so I want spin to get himself disguised, hire a couple thugs to accompany him, knock the ducateon out, take the scroll and copys, then leave behind a symbol of malek.
[Books] Jeezeus. I’ll just take it from him. I’ve been watching him the whole time. Do you want me to kill him?
[Flowers] I just don’t want that crazy bastard throwing that uncle crap OUR direction. No I don’t want him dead…. well, I don’t want his death on my conscience. And I don’t really want to see what you’d have to do to get through that helmet. If you think you can take it, do so. See how he reacts. Don’t do it alone.
Books talks to Szandor: Transcribe it carefully and leave any personal feelings out. I will check it over. I may not be as adept as you, but i’ll find out if you deviate from the truth! This is for The Gallants – you gave up any vendettas, ill feelings or bad wishes on the situation or persons of your past when you joined.
[Szandor] The reason I sound so feverish about this or hesitant is the very reason I’m informing you of this scrolls content go ahead and translate it again after I’m done, you’ll find what I have written to be truth. This is indeed troubling because I did not know my race was one of domination… I do not know how to take this other then the fact that I have pledged life and honor to the Gallants and find this information Damning beyond redemption, but if I didn’t know it before my exile it maybe something only the eldest of our race truly know. There may be plots that are older then time itself. If my ancestors were in a pact with Malek what other Gods had an influence upon them? How much can I trust things I was brought up to believe in…? The very foundation of my being is in question…! But please believe me when I say this is startling indeed. I don’t know how deep this may effect the surface world, if indeed nefarious intensions are at play here. Without the blatant slaughter of my surface dwelling kindred how can we truly know the extent of Maleks influence on my people?
[Books] hmmmm… (Books looks like he’s contemplating ‘eradicating’ the evidence of this knowledge for a moment) this is very, very bad. Others will kill for this knowledge. Keep translating… [it takes about 8 hours using Book’s writing kit and it is done; the translation is taken by books and placed in the Satchel of Mog]

The Updated Code

[Flowers] Flicker and i had a quick discussion. I tried to get him to back down, and for the first time since the helmet he BLATANTLY said no to me. He insists that people need to know of this, and honestly seems to believe it. I’m seeing nothing good for the land coming from this. So I have a proposal: What kind of justice system have the gallants used on thier own in the past? Books, help me create a court marshal system for the gallants. With all thats happening and likely to change, i want some clear protections and authority to make the decisions i need to make if The Gallants are to survive. I have some radical changes to what we’ve done that I intend to introduce the group to, they will help us as a whole and i want to create an impact while i can. This dicattorship leadership is effective and by god I will use it. I trust you to keep my confidence as Captain in this regard.
[Books] Of course. Authority has its privelages. I will make the updates. If we really want to ensure The Gallants continue, we should get ourselves a Merchant Cities bonded mercenary contract and a tontine agreement.
[Flowers] That means NO ONE who has been hit by chaos, shadow, mind altering books etc etc, could be aware of this. It would encourage any greedy type to start slaughtering off fellow gallants.
[Books] Thats gonna disqualify a lot of people! We can put a clause of “if by design, consent or willful action” any of the other Gallants harms members of the tontine…"
[Flowers] Speaking of that sort of thing…. How sick are you books? Are you going to object to going to the white sisters?
[Books] What!? What the fuck… i mean, shit. I’m not “sick” – fuck you man. Those bitches might object to coming near me – i’m one bad muther-fucking merc now! [holds his hands up in the hopes for a “high five”] {Flowers gives it} smack <smiles> [Books] Yea… fuck them. Nothing wrong with me boss, i’m a-ok. Bring it on – let them take a look in my head and see what happens… hehe….

The Tontine > We can pay into it, to ensure The Gallants always have enough to rise
from the ashes.

Terril Darcy Goes to the Stone Hand Order in Karolak

< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 5 >
Seeing that Paul Dorn and the Stone Hand has a distant relationship already with the group, and that “past members” (in a sense) have trusted them, Books thinks it may be good to seek them out.

Draug Fenc

< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 4 >The night of the first day, the wizened druid Draug Fenc visits the group. Draug has been a fixture in Dunstrand for over 60 years – he is well know to all – truly a wild and untamed member of The Wyld. Even other druids bow to his wisdom – though he speaks little to those outside the brotherhood. He appears quite unexpectedly from the middle of nowhere – a trick of light, a shadow, and there he is. The whole group is still awake at midnight when he shows himself – debating on what to do next. Draug Fenc says that he brings words. “So many generations ago things were set in motion… things which are causing this to happen now. The normal passage of events has been interrupted – corrupted by the presence of The Worm. There is one who waits in the earth, stretching forth the tendrils of rot and decay, causing the old to fall and corrupting even the birth and passage of the young. The ancient curse speeds the disintegration of Dunstrand. Petty squabbles and jealousies have turned fractious and violent across Dunstrand…
like cracks from the smashed hole of bar-Innis. Ancient oaths wait to be fulfilled. Retrace the line, put the natural course of things back on track. Blessings of The Wyld will be yours if you do this… the party which has wrought so much undone, it is fitting that they be the ones to sew the wound shut.” As everyone intakes breath to start asking questions his form grows faint. The fire in the hearth dims as his figure shrinks and seems to collapse in on it, eventually vanishing as the fire hisses and pops, coming back to life.
[Spider] Shit! The old fart can’t even give us a little time to rest before putting to work? Man the Universe is so out to get us.
[Books] then dont go! simple. Though we did make an oath – not these characters, but past ones. We are talking in all likelyhood about the lich Aruna here.
[Singe] No, I’ll go dammit! I’m a gallant too. I took the oaths and Singe meant it. Ive already faced a godling, what could one little pissed off bitch of a lich do to us? Don’t mind me, you know how I get…damn, it would have to be a lich.
[Spider] maybe if we have sufficient time to train and research all crap we have stashed away we might have a better chance against Aruna…. Just sayin’.
[Books] that would help.
[Singe] Look, we have to deal with her crazy ass sometime and, this seems like a time were going to get some assistance with it. It has been a long time coming and, the previous Gallants made an oath. Man, we’re obligated to handle this shit. This is the shit we signed on for as Gallants! Let’s be smart about this and, research what we can, for as long we can before launching an attack. I’m not going to pretend like I know how to deal with this shit? Perhaps we can train at some tactics as a group to help our chances? Any chance we can learn up on some undead and, get some weapons that might help us…nothing to hinder our suicide mission. Seriously, this blows but something is not happy with the fact that we exist at all and, will likely hunt us forever? Let’s do the unexpected and, keep this thing guessing as we work at getting closer to destroying it! Just my opinion but, I differ to you guys that know this stuff better then myself because something in the past happened and, it’s dogging us with every step we take now. Let’s figure out a plan and, make it happen! Whatever this thing is, it’s starting to really piss me off!
[Books] We could just change the code and say fuck it.
[Singe] You can do that??? What the shit? I don’t think this thing gives two shit’s about some code man? Do any of the dark loving ass-wipes we run into give a crap what we stand for? If it ain’t with them, then it’s against them and, damn it all to Helca goes with it! Something is out there and, it wants our heads on a pike or, worse…I’d rather not think to long on that because these people do some freaky shit to corpses and, if we could stay away from becoming some undead’s playthings, that would be a wiser course of action. I ain’t the leader here, Flowers, this shit’s on you so, whatever you want? If it means we run, then fuck it! Just know I’ll back you, Gallants unto Death!
[Books] Lord and Ladies change their “codes” all the time – why can’t we? All i am saying is maybe we can fuck off and choose our own fate instead of it being written in the pages of a moldy page written by someone else.
[Spin] hmm… Bad stuff has a way of coming back when you least want it. Do we want to choose the time when we strike instead of buggering off and waiting for this disease to spread? Just asking the question…
[Singe] Man Books, I’m a Gallant first. I go by whatever code comes down the chain of command. I’m new with you guys but, I took an oath to stand by your guys side no matter what and, that hasn’t changed for me. Last I checked since starting out with you guys, we’ve wielded a sword that only a handful of people will ever hold and, it happened to save your fuckin’ asses against a Godling of fire and, pure destruction. We were saved by another god, Flowers brought down the wrath of the gods, we’ve fought ghouls, dark spawn, assassins, armies, undead, an Earl, now some lich wants to shit on us and, we’re all still here…shit, any other sane person should be getting as far away as possible. I go and, do as instructed by you guys as my senior Gallants, I’m here to serve our interests as a group, as a family, a brother in arms, as a man doing what must be done along with kindred spirits. You want the Gallants name back? You want it to mean something? You want to command and, champion our own interests, instead of lords, ladies, the church or, any other mother fucker who wants a piece? Then do it…seems to me that some people got us by the balls, stuck in this room, heads of state and, church on their way to sway our next actions…? Too make demands and, maybe more oaths to settle there nerves about us and, rope us into doing more of their dirty work? You guys are our commanders, you guys make up the code we live or, die by so, write it well…It’s taken us this far, I follow your lead!

The Future of The Gallants

Side Conversation with Flowers, Books, Spin, and Gimpy
< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 4 > @ night
Books if you can make sure no ones listening, or at least check for eavesdroppers. First off: Spin – Welcome to the inner circle. Get used to being responsible because the gallants need your sound mind and diplomatic nature. I want a vote now from you 3. I know yours books, and i know your reasoning. Break code and leave alltogether starting over somewhere else, or follow this through? Before I hear your votes hear me out. As an individual I despise the idea of abandoning what is my home and failing to complete the oaths i took in the presence of Gaia, However…. I am not an individual but Captain of the Gallants. Speaking from that perspective I say this: if we as the gallants want to ensure that we live through the next month, we leave. If we want any chance of being something more than another mercenary band lost to some random fate, we stick this through. Just this morning we were forced to make a similar decision, and by sticking through it we have slain Berithor. and I do mean WE. (nods to books) This is a path we have followed for years, and through our bullshit and tenacity the name of the gallants has survived. So where do you stand? To the south and the unknown? Or remain for the name of our predecessors?
[Spin] I vote we stay and at least try and take down the Lich. If we can’t do it we regroup and make alternate plans. Nothing is preventing us from leaving yet.
[Gimpy] I am still recovering from the shits I had during our last adventure that had me squatting for at least a week on end, and trying to catch up in all that I missed – and now all this talk of ditching our oaths and turning tail and stuff… I am still trying to wrap my head around the great accomplishment of Flowers of defeating Berithor in single combat – may that bastard Berithor rot in all hells for time eternal. But I am confused by the talk of this Lich (of Aruna?) and The Worm that the great wizened Druid Draug Fenc talked about – are they the same thing? Regardless, I have always seen The Gallants as much more than a mercenary band out for hire to the highest bidder and for the fast quick silver and gold – when I took my oath to be part of the Gallants, I felt I was joining part of a legacy which will continue on with me and my brothers (nodding to you all) – The Gallants have a long noble history of being involved in things greater than ourselves, we follow through with our oaths, and we go where adventure will take us – and while destiny will move us on to to different adventures and challenges, as long as there is danger and darkness threatening the lands of our birth, and the lands of Baron Wheglin who is like a second father to me, we should not turn away and run. And Draug Fenc himself came to us saying we still have a role to play in undoing the corruption in Dunstrand and Bar-Innis, and even my fellow Elon respect his wisdom. I vote that we go after this Lich and this Worm and whatever faces us to clear this part of the world and leaving no loose ends undone in ridding Dunstrand and Bar-Innis of darkness and corruption, so that the Gallants can move on with clear conscious in fulfilling our oaths and with growing fame to our furthering destiny that awaits.
So says your fellow Gallant, Brother in Arms – Thom Vynt, of West River Run and Osmail Mark.
[Books] Ok, i’m in for keeping our name. But we got to find a way for The Gallants to make something out of this. Cleaning up our past will be a pricey proposition – vengeance is costly. With no sponsor any more, we need cold hard money. We dont have a lot of time to make money in the mean time. We dont have anything in our arsenal to beat a Lich anymore. We did once, with the Dragon Ember blade. And here’s what i do know – that witch Aruna has a connection to the Celestial under Braddon Bog. There is no way she was powerful enough alone to become a Lich (the annals speak of her as a minor talent at best) – it had to be that power that gave her the ability. The only way i see us taking her out is to sever that connection… and i think that means promising the Celestial something. In the mean time, we make a big hoopla with the Wyld Faith, the politicos, and the White Sisters about this Lich and the threat the druid spoke of. Lets turn this into our advantage… intelligence and healing for the battle from the Wyld ones, money and transport from the ducal authorities, and a healing of the major wounds many of us have, from the White Sisters. We have to get smart and we’re going to need Spin’s glibness and wit to barter for our cause.
[Gimpy] I am still recovering from my sickness and am still out of the loop – we lost our “sponsor”? Did Baron Wheglin ditch us? Or did we ditch him? Or we lost other sponsors? And I knew that the Celestial would factor somehow in our lives, for good or ill…
[Books We did not lose our sponsors so much as the tale is ending and they wont need to sponsor us anymore to get stuff done. Grace Peregrine has never really liked us. We got no one working political connections for us, no one working ANY real connections… our fate is totally uncertain. I say we get involved with Danis the Druidess – she was noticeably absent in the circle Flowers tried to raise support in… so she’s got no past allegiances we need to contend with. PErhaps Flowers can work that, while Spin tries a hand at Scott Paredd – we’re virtually untouchable in the lowlands so what can we do to maximize a power base there? Perhaps an endorsement of their allies from us with the inevitable turn over that follows a change in power at the top.

< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 7 >
The party is sequestered for 2.5 days.

Events

Christianna will surely ask The Gallants to throw in support for the daughter of Berithor and Dierdre (incest!) as the legitimate heir. Despite unusual circumstances, there is nothing illegal about it – just odd. The Duke is sending his heralds to help with the disputed inheritance of title.

The Baron of Osmail Mark asks them to return for a celebration in their honor.

The Duke requests that they come to Dunstrand City when their “affairs” are in order in Bar-Innis.

House Malor sits in judgement of The Gallants and demands tribute and acceptance of their meddling if The Gallants are to stay in Dunstrand. They finally learn of the sacrilege commented in Triumphant Return to Osmail Mark and demand some sort of explanation.

The White Sisters request an audience (a Dame Mother is coming from Dunstand City)

They get a letter from a man named Raef – who helped them when they were trying to infiltrate the “pirates” of Dwindor… he needs their help… and he lays claim to be ‘related’ to the Nii family! Books compares it to a folded letter in the annals that was delivered to Xar – it is the same person:

Dear Xarharan,

Greetings from you nephew Raef. It must come as a shock after all these years to find you have relatives in these parts. Obviously we are not blood relatives… though my mother Melanie, was a ward of your father. Though we may not be bound by blood, we are bound by fate. I write this not to impose upon you, but only to let you know that you have family. My own family lives just north of Bergen. I do hope that you may come see us when this dreadful war is over. The Umbakians take nearly all of what we make and leave almost nothing. I do not expect your aid, i do not even know when this may find you. I sent this to Braddon Bog in the hopes that one day you would return to one place that your own father called home, and that welcomed him openly. I hope this finds you well and i hope that we all live through these terrible times to know each other, and be part of a larger family. Like your father, i hear rumors of a band of adventurous souls who travel with you. I would indeed be honored if you might seek us out in a better time, when i can provide the fare you are used to.

[Flowers] Do we know anything about this guy?
[Books] Actually met him once and although he did not know who we were… we was mighty helpful getting us past Umbakian patrols. You might say we owe him. My impression was fallen on hard times. He definitely looked like he was well off once… but the Civil War killed his dreams. And something else… you know, how you just know that something aint right… something bothered me about him. But it could also draw us back to our past – help the fellas n the company connect with their past. I can read some of the annals from around then.
[Flowers] When we get around to it we’ll see whats up with him. At the moment we have slightly more pressing issues i think. So if we’re heading that direction or if things wrap up.
[Books] i figure when we deal with Braddon Bog, there will be forces around Bergen to clean up and his place is perfect as a camp for that… we can get acquainted then.

Numerous other petitioners desire to see them.

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Attack on Berithor

< CY 9164, Month 6, Day 4 >
Sacrificed the Tamragen Exile’s tapestry that The Gallants had found during the strange events around Castle Tarly

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The Last Haul for Dierdre

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 27 >
Christianna told the party the Dierdre was busy raising money and could not be with us. Leading to the topic of the day, she said her Ladyship believed one more infusion of funds would help win the war. The gallants were to go in disguise to the town of Naekli, were their predecessors once saved the place from the local ruling family of Culahey who had turned dark-lovers. House Vaide was Viscount now of the lands, and we were supposed to rob some ancient Merchant Cities (the family was originally from there) mystical banners of Balthazaar from the Vaide family crypts.

< CY 9164, Month 5, Day 16 >
It took 3 weeks of travel, and the party was all healed along the way. In Naekli they ended up in The Roadhouse, and information turned up a Perry Wrightson – an information broker. Spin got the names of three women the local son of Clavel (who passed away last year!) was fond of in the House of Green Stockings (a high end brothel). Apparently Thomas was not as clear headed as his father, or as competent with the funds. The group found out through local knowledge where the crypt public entrance was in the surrounding hills. They were thinking of going under the cover paying the family respects to scope it out.

< CY 9164, Month 5, Day 18 >
Entered the crypts and discovered the ghoul of Clavel Vaide the the attempt to steal the treasure the Gallants were seeking.

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Gallants - In the face of Umbak
Fighting defensively, The Gallants take the field once again against Umbak.

The Officers of The Gallants Return

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 25 >
Flowers once again takes control of the army. He discovers they are on the run from a large force which has defeated them in the field once – a new force, that came from the north. It is commanded by Sir Oshaine of Umbak – one of the three front line commanders from the fortress at the ruins of Boreant. This means that the Umbakians have pulled men (a full third probably) from the front line to deal with the interruption The Gallants has caused. These forces are ALL veterans though, seasoned and capable – nothing like the rear echelon forces they have faced. The spring rains are turning everything muddy still. Flowers takes the army to the southern bandit lair at Gaia’s Round. There he decides to ferry his men north to Hale’s Knob. It takes 6 days. Books is using the birds as scouts since all the skirmishes in The Gallants army have been killed. He spies Umbakaisn moving through Deepwade drop. Flowers sends Naked and some troops out to create a diversion camp – something for the Umbakians to focus on to give The Gallants enough time to escape. It works, all the Gallants are gone before the main Umbakian force can arrive, after sacking the fake camp.

< CY 9164, Month 4, Day 29 >
Naked, speaking Orrish, is sent to barter with the Orrish. Books has to control the birds to provide some scouting. Naked manages to bring a few gifts, and gives the chieftains of each steading a dragon tooth from those he picked up. He tells them that a full 1/3 of the front line Umbakians are away and asks them to strike while the time is ripe. He participates in some goblin challenges while the chieftains debate. After failing against the goblins, he is chided and they pity him. The chieftains agree and will strike the Umbakains – not any other human settlement – for now.

< CY 9164, Month 5, Day 2 >
The army of The Gallants goes east, over Flat Top Passage and through to the POW camp to reclaim to logistics units they need to operate.

< CY 9164, Month 5, Day 3 >
Naked rejoins the group at the POW camp.

Gimpy: 16 hard damage, @25
Singe: 12 hard damage, -14 fatigue, -12 normal
Naked: @12
Spider: 2 hard damage, -6 fatigue, -2 normal + 1 malaise
Books: @35
Flowers: @12
Bandage:
The Boy:

End of the War In Dwindor with Umbak

The war with Umbak ended. The goblins had a champion with the axe of Halas in their hands, they raided many settlements – many innocents died because of The Gallants – but the Umbakians were finally able to smash their army. The Gallants encountered the “hero” in the night, putting together the remnants of their Orrish army, and single combat was done. Szandor went down (not dead) fighting him. Books was even secretly trying to aid him using magic, but the champion was REALLY difficult and Szandor seemed exceedingly unlucky. The rest of the party goaded the champion (untouched) into another fight. Spider fought him and used the poisoned dagger of Gloom Bringer he had found and was able to defeat him after getting soundly trounced. The Gallants got the axe back! The Gallants retreated from the field after deciding they could no longer deal with the forces in the field against them. They laid traps all the way back to the bridge. Flowers had dreams and nightmares in his sleep, Books said it was a sign from Gaia. Once across the bridge, Flowers used the last measure of divine regard to damage the bridge – delaying the Umbakian forces long enough for Baron Wheglin to take to the field in defense with a bigger force. The Umbkians did NOT retreat to Bergen as planned… but Baron Wheglin has engaged them in a defensive battle on his lands – who knows what will happen once campaign season begins in earnest. The Baron sent the party on a “war bond” tour of the Lowlands to raise support and money. The Gallants started in Braddon Bog, where Books grabbed a lot of items and started trying to identify them as best he could during the week. Kid used his charisma and abilities to recover and improve on a few items of equipment for The Gallants. Kid earned his new Gallants name through it all – “Spin”; after his masterful “spin job” he was able to put on nearly every story. After that, the Baron released The Gallants from their oaths of services and sent them back to Dierdre.

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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!

View
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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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