Dunstrand Rising - Gallants Ride Again

Gallants Resurrected
Gallants Resurrected

A Brief History of the Lowland Rebellion
[Baron]
In the year 9163, Baron Robert Wheglin of Osmail Mark begins a rebellion of his own against Berithor Aelishan, in the Lowlands of Bar-Innis. He has the support of Dierdre Aelishan – pretender to the title of Earl of Bar-Innis. With the backing of the other lowland knights, Viscounts and Barons, and the Lowland Council, a seemingly hopeless set of battles is fought – with the aid of Gide’s Gallants sent by Dierdre’s camp. The Gallants help the Baron to a stunning set of victories against Umbakian troops sent to aid, soldiers of Berithor, mercenaries and the forces of faith hostile to the Wyld Faith of the lowlands. During this time the Gallants come and go, responsible to higher authorities and their general attitudes toward the cause of freedom and ultimately the safety of Dunstrand devolve into personal ambition and fortune seeking. In the previous year, seeing the direction of the civil war in Bar-Innis, the Baron instructed his most trusted aide and senior herald, Grace Peregrine, to put together a band of operatives loyal to Bar-Innis, the Baron, and Dunstrand – with roots in the community, its faith, and peoples.

The Final Battle For The Lowlands
Wheglin’s Irregulars are nearly wiped out. Over-bold and overwhelmed, they defend the left flank (by the baron orders – they are the bait!) against Umbakian regulars, along with 2 platoons of lowland infantry. Their position is overrun, but only right before the rest of Berithor’s army is soundly defeated. The Umbakians retreat orderly from the field and return to Bergen – leaving Berithor’s remaining mercenaries and regular troops to be butchered or captured by the Lowland Army. The Irregulars learn a valuable lesson in working together and terror.

The Evil in Braddon Bog (death of the Gallants)
When the Gallants nearly all perish, including their leader and namesake Gide, the remnants – camp followers and those who had not taken the formal oath, return from West River Run with the news of their demise. Stopping first at Braddon Bog, Taqwill receives their remains and buries them. The memory of the Gallants may have faded had it not been for Grace. Hearing the news of their demise, she is sent to deliver the Baron’s eulogy and best wishes. Learning how much remained of their amassed fortune and loot, Grace quickly formulates a plan to use the name, fame, and items to continue the fight under a reformed group – with total allegiance to the local authorities. Though Taqwill refuses to relinquish most of the Gallants equipment, he is eventually persuaded to collaborate in her scheme to resurrect them. Taqwill swears he will release the goods once a new group is formed, but he desires to have his say as well – he insists that his apprentice – Sustreynus Gim – become part of them.

A new issue of the Dunstrand Herald’s Quarterly

< CY 9163, Month 11, Day 21 >
Third Quarter, CY 9163

The Gallants Ride Again

Grace returns swiftly with news to the Baron, who sees an opportunity and begins the sing the praises of the Gallants, while at the same time grooming his own operatives to take their place. Within a week, the fame of the Gallants grows even more and they quickly take on heavy responsibility. Assembled now, a new Gallants must swiftly deal with the strange threat uncovered near Braddon Bog and get back into the fight against Berithor.

< CY 9163, Month 11, Day 24 >
> “Inauguration” – Assembling in Osmail Mark (to drive home the point of their lord, the Baron), the Gallants are given a speech and once again repeat their banner-man’s oath and are each inducted into the newly formed Gallants. In a ceremony held in secret, Griebbe is inducted first and then takes the oaths of loyalty from the others. In doing so, each man gives up his old identity (part of the new code) and takes on a new name – one he will be known as to the others. The group is given an official charter.

< CY 9163, Month 11, Day 25 >
> “Clandestine Meeting” – A note is given to Griebbe, passed on by one of the baggage train staff, asking for a meeting and signed “Dierdre Aelishan”! The Gallants leave their old ways and lands under the cover a morning mist. Griebbe asks the party to wait while he makes a last offering in the Beastwood. Under cover of mist and early morning darkness he meets with Brandon Gale who reveals a terrible secret – Dierdre is actually dead! “My mistress Christianna trusted the past leader of the Gallants – Gide; told 9163, Month 8, Day 17 – with this and only a few know of it. There is one potential heir, a daughter – the result of Berithor’s rape of his sister and the reason she was sent to Monaides in the first place. Her name is ”/campaigns/dunstrand-rising-gallants-continued/characters/cyseley-cy-aelishan" class=“wiki-content-link”>Cyseley (“Cy”) Aelishan – goes by last name of “Teclaud” to mask her identity. She is almost 7. She does not know who she really is, but was told that she is the daughter of a close friends of Dierdre who died in childbirth and whose father passed from illness when she was a child. Christianna is her closest friend – “auntie Christi”.

> “Words of Gide” – “Books” reads from the annals of the company as they start their march towards their new fate. [From the march in 9163, month 10; spoken by Gide.] “We are Gide’s Gallants. It’s each of us as individuals, working as a team, taking care of each other, that makes us a threat to our enemies not the trinkets and magical baubles that we find along the way.”

Reviewing the Commitments of the Gallants

< CY 9163, Month 11, Day 26 >
Books has read through the entire set of journals at the direct order of Grace and the Baron in order to find what oaths or promises or debts were incurred. Following the credo of “all debts fulfilled”, Books reads aloud the many travels and adventures which the new Gallants must face to repay the debts others have incurred:

  • The Duke of Dunstrand > Oust a local lord; politics
  • Defeat the Umbakian crusade > Porthias’s charge to Gide’s Gallants
  • Sir Gilhed, “hound” of Berithor > Geri’s rape
  • Baron Chervold G’marne of Westmere in county Faer > Possible job
  • The Bullaine family of Westwick Downs > Stood up for Taer, Geri and Xar; saved their lives
  • The people of Braddon Bog > Been through hell
  • The relatives of Xar in Bergen > At least a personal visit to explain Xar’s death
  • Christianna Vonelus and http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/dunstrand-rising/characters/dierdre-aelishan > Keeping Bar-Innis in the fold of the Duchy
  • The Thindle family of Monaides > Supported the Gallants and we failed the Lord and owe a debt of service
  • A being of power under the remains of the church in Braddon Bog (only shared with Griebbe) > It must be dealt with the make the area safe
  • The lich Aruna > A stain on the honor of the Gallants – who came from the tradition of the Band of Crows
  • Anwin – a magus hored by Twin River Council to keep the peace in Cerran’s Grant > No one, NO ONE, messes with the Gallants and gets away with it

On the Road with the Gallants

The Gallants, despite many of their more “civilized” backgrounds, have shed their trappings of what it means to be anything but a Gallant. They laugh, they joke, and fight with each other like family. Although many have ties outside the group, Books has made the company standard to heart and soul of the group. His nightly readings from the annals of the history of Band of Crows, Brave Companions, and Gide’s Gallants have formed a group beyond what Baron Wheglin anticipated. The Gallants see the,selves as part of a fine tradition of service stretching back 30 years.

View
Beginning in Braddon Bog
Returning to the small town to honor commitments

Investigating the New Mayor

A three day travel with full baggage train and the group arrives at Braddon Bog. For a week, the party decides to watch the events unfold in the town, hoping for something to rear its head they can strike at.

Finding Pilgrim’s Path

< CY 9163, Month 12, Day 7 >
After 8 days, Canine decides that a more proactive solution is needed and the main group sets out to find the Pilgrim’s Path, Lenore, and Tarly Castle.

Return to Lenore

Exploring Tarly Castle

Stable and Workshop:

The Great Tower:

The witch’s quarters…

Lightbringers Church:

Mustering Yard:

Barracks and Armory:

The wraith…

The group leaves before the sun sets to avoid the undead which may prowl the shadows.

Tarly Castle Inner Keep

< CY 9163, Month 12, Day 8 >

Reception Hall:

Cultists of Mog Creoch:

Pursuit and their demise… death of their leader and Canine’s demonstration of faith. He continues forward, protected by his strength of resistance and Bandage’s protective magics. The priest of the Worm continues to sacrifice his followers in an orgy of suicidal violence and exploding corpses but Canine presses forward.

Visitors Quarters: The group corners the priest; cornering him and at last sending in the warriors to destroy him once his powers are spent.

Great Hall: Glorianna Tarly – Wendel’s wife now a ghoul. She is frazzled and still believes she is playing host and Wendel is about. Some strange story is behind her presence. In a concerted attack, the group manages to pin and skewer her in a single round!

Main Hall: Crumbling ruins and magical horn in the fireplace.

Kitchens and Larder: Ruins -

Private Quarters: Body of one of Tulin’s band; left to die? Matches what is known of Tulin’s story…

Upstairs ruins and the library: 2 books and a scroll – history of Wendel’s troubles – including an explanation of what happened to cause the explosion of life and bounty in the middle of the swamp, and what cursed his wife and made her into a ghoul.

The return to Braddon Bog before Sundown

Nothing is amiss, the Mayor does not seem to have sabotaged the group (probably out of fear!). There has been no incidents during the day and everyone is subdued. The work on restoring the Inn proceeds apace – despite the Mayor’s continued objections. Books settles in with Wendel’s journal to see if he can discover anything new. There is an optimism here now, brought by your group. That night there is a bonfire and gathering and for once the townsfolk relax. Drink and conversation flow in the ruins of the Inn and neighbors are friendly again. Tomorrow is market day, when the farmers bring goods to market, and there’s even 2 peddlers who have some through with the Gallants wagon train.

The Annalists Quote of Inspiration


Sustreynus reminds the townsfolk and the Gallants alike that there are still difficult times ahead. And that for such times are brave men and women, men such as Paeltius who once said “Men there are who do not scatter. Who do not quail in the face of danger. Men who plant their feet, set their shoulders… and strike!”
- Paeltius, General of Rhyl

View
Morning of Terror
A tentacled nighmare descends on Braddon Bog early on market morning


< CY 9163, Month 12, Day 10 >
The morning mist is thick. You can smell the heavy air as you lay in your bed, awaiting the sun to burn off the cover. Suddenly a scream rends the air – a woman’s scream! You stagger out of bed to shouts of alarm and rally. Grabbing your weapons and running into the streets, you see the mist burning off enough to make out a strange floating form above the town center. An abomination of some sort, resembling a jellyfish but twisted – a mouth atop it – hangs tendrils into the market below where figures scurry for cover. A single tentacle raises a hapless woman to its mouth and devours her accompanied by her screams of agony. It hangs about 5m above the ground and seems unaffected by the stones, debris, knives and spears thrown at it. As you watch aghast, it entangles a watchman while remaining tentacles knock over market stalls, crates, and search for a third victim.

View
The Defeat of the Demon Tezre'al
The happens at Tarly Castle are finally put to rest

Rest and healing

Planning the Final Assualt


< CY 9163, Month 12, Day 24 >

Under the Great Tower

The First Maze and The Rock Serpent

A New Plan
< CY 9164, Month 1, Day 4 >

Under the Keep and The Second Maze

The Well and the Plug

< CY 9164, Month 1, Day 5 >

Trapped in the Brakken Caves

Finding Relb’s body…

In Search of Lord Wendel

The bet and Sweets – Pretty Boy is sucked into going. Books is pissed! Pretty Boy has to be knocked out by Naked. Marbles and Sweets – with the best athletics skills, quest to get Wendel to trigger the anger of lord Wendel to attack the demon lord.

Lord Wendel Angered

The Hell Caves

The Way Out

Cleaning Up

< CY 9164, Month 1, Day 7 >

Celebration

< CY 9164, Month 1, Day 9 >
Canine and Sweets get sick. Flowers has to take over.

View
Traitor's Cellar
Baron Wheglin introduces the Gallants back into the bigger game

Rest in Osmail Mark

< CY 9164, Month 1, Day 11 >
Flowers leads the band while Canine is sick. The Baron chooses Caril’s Heart as his only share – it will give him all the clout he needs with the Light Bringers and Umbakians in the upcoming struggles. He takes half the hard silver and the rest is the Gallants to do with as they see fit. The Tarly family sword is also his – he plans to create an ally in the Tarlwise family of Braddon Bog – perhaps creating some long lasting bad blood between Osmail MArk and Mev – but thats a story for later. Flowers negotiates with representatives of the sisterhood of Aerna from Bergen (in town at the Baron’s request) the return of the Golden Candelabra (Tulin’s Squad was looking for) for full healing of the party (shaving months off!) AND Pretty Boy uses his glib tongue to persuade them to pass on some powerful healing potions. Pretty Boy is also blessed.

Sent to Christianna

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 12 >
Monaides and Tower of the Stag. The group has Julianne Noore sent to work with them – she run the spies in the south.

Some days later, Julianne takes you aside and tells you the plan. She says that everything has been arranged. Benquen is in the SE area of Mev and you must travel there in disguise. Once you get there go to the Inn and that the password is ‘Saints Day’ – the Innkeeper will give you instructions. If you are challenged or have to fight on your way to the mission – scrub the rest, do not risk yourselves further. She gives you a wax sealed scroll to deliver to the innkeep.

Benquenn and Mission to ‘interrupt’ Spies

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 16 >
Meeting the Innkeep – In the alley behind the inn, the proprietor opens the heavy back door and motions to be quiet. He says that there’s 2 entrances to the cellar – one from the kitchen and the other from his private quarters – the kitchen will draw too much attention and that is probably locked and barred. He takes you to his quarters off the back and has you move the bed. He says to close the door, wait like 15 minutes while he gets the gang singing to cover the noise, and then go down in. They will arrive in the wine cellar and if they are quiet, they can attack the group in the large cellar through the turning wine cellar door.

Double Cross / Bandage Overhears the Real Meeting

Only Julianne, Dierdre and you know the exact details, and Dierdre’s probably safe. Someone set you up for sure, because they were ready for you while the real meeting went on in another place. Using Books ‘hear afar’ magics, he acertains its soldiers – not courtiers in the cellar. 5 Umbakian regular soldiers (carboulli + sword; leader in chain mail!). When Naked tries to scout the way out he runs into 10 ruffians (dagger and club)… its a fight for their life. Books uses magics and a smoke bomb to delay (and escape in the confusion) the regular soldiers while the rest fight their way through the ruffians. Unfortunately, no proof is taken.

Meanwhile, in the stable Bandage overhears 5 knights and their servants. Its bigger than we imagined; the forces of Twin Rivers and Umbak carve up Dunstrand and plot to Overthrow the Duke and squeeze Berithor out. What is overheard is the division of Dunstrand and offers to the Twin River council of support in leadership for seceding form the Duchy. They are pooling money to hire a speaker to begin to put word in the High King’s ear of the Duke’s poor handling of his Duchy. Bar-Innis will become a part of Umbak and Loamwold is divided between them. There’s even rumors of a new order of knights to ‘legitimize’ the new territories. Sir Gilhed for Bar-Innis (promised personal domain in return for selling out his lord Berithor!), ‘Mavros’ for West River Run (Count Badgericus), ‘Leeland’ for East River Run (Count Griswold), ‘Donald’ for Twin River Alliance/Cerran’s Grant, ‘Frederick’ of Umbak. Again, no proof is gained.

Narrow Escape / Return to Recover Books

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 17 >

Traitor in Christianna’s Camp

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 19 >

Julianne is violated, tortured, and admits to everything and more. Julianne says that Umbakian control is inevitable, and she was only trying to secure her family’s position in the coming changes. Dierdre says that she has shamed her family. They will be told that you died in an accident, but were buried on Riverdan soil – a loyal family member to the end. Burnt, battered, bruised and shorn Julianne is hauled up. She is given her rite of passage by a follower of Gaia, and her final kiss. Sobbing and asking for mercy, turning to you and begging forgiveness, Dierdre gives the signal. While one approaches from the east to distract her, the one on her right slides a blade into her skull – ending her life swiftly

Gallants Return to the Bigger Stage

Now they have been introduced to bigger players than the Baron and performed VERY well indeed. Although no proof was gathered, no one questioned their word. Things seem to be going very well – powerful gifts of the “Gentleman’s Sash” and “Witch’s Eye” were made.

The first a silk, crimson sash with a golden dragon embroidered on it. Legend has it that the members of the Dragonfire League had them constructed – a total of more than twenty – in their bid to take control of the city of Ados from the governing council there (of course they eventually failed and were all murdered). It would be something to be worn on occasions of dialog and social needs. It marks one of quality and worthy of trust. It is ideal for Pretty-Boy.

The later is a minor item to help those not well versed in magery; ideal for Bandage.

Rest at the Tower of the Stag

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 23 >
[Batsu] Naked, you’re smart. I wouldn’t of thought of that…it is kind of his job to do that sort of thing for us. Maybe I’ll bet him that he can’t get me a good deal on the custom fitted armor…hahaha! See if he can pull it off? That’s pretty harmless right? If he gets a good deal, he can keep the difference…he could always use it to grease the sticky palms when needed but, he might just bet it on the dawgz? Either way, I’m sick and, a half-orc… even if a Gallant, he’d have better luck than myself. Let him nigotiate thd deal, it’ll be fun to watch and, we might gain a good smithy/armorer to boute? He is a silver-tounged devil that one is… I’d like it if the armor could be a tribute to the Beastwoods, the Wyld Faith and, Darapet the Beastlord. Dyed green, black and, brown like the forrest of the Beastwoods themselves. With the hard cap shaped like that of a large wild cat and, with the symbol: an axe intertwining a rose, resting on a leaf and, shield on the breast plate. If that is to much detail work, I’ll take what I can get and, shut it…it’s just going to get beat all to shit anyhow. Also, nothing shiny. No glints in the light.

[Bandage] Wow Sweets didn’t know you cared so much. As a adventurer didn’t know being pretty was part of fighting. Might as well give you a title with something like that. Sweets your kind of crazy for a half orc. Pretty boy no offense but I don’t agree that you should get the difference on any deal you may weasel your way into. Besides all the money is from the party fund. If you want to pay him Sweets your more than welcome too. Although if you give all your money away how will you afford treats? We get paid by the job. Not by our profession.

[Books] What Bandage said. Look, its war time – stuff’s at a premium. You want armor, no problem. Does anyone have a problem with Sweets getting the armor he wants? Whats the budget? you are looking at about 2000 for the armor (Pretty Boy can work a deal too). Fancy armor is impressive against weak foes… but seems like its not worth it unless you’re just rich as hell. Thats gonna bust the budget for armor like what he wants… maybe we need to just get what protects.

[Flowers] I’m in the same boat as Batsu right now, after everything we’ve been through I just dont feel that safe in leather. Equipment for Sweets and Marbles takes priority in my mind, bu some fitted Courboulli would not go unappreciated.

[Pretty Boy] We all have a job. I’ll make it happen, the Baron’s reputation is good here i assume – if not, i’m sure i can square it between Christianna’s servants and make it so. No Drama. I take orders like the rest. If our missions calls for heavy armor then use it. Don’t make an issue where there is none brewing – lets just get the right tools for the job.

[Bandage] If those Umbakian “regular army” types were any indication of what we will be facing in our future, its time to start putting our money where it will do the most good.

[All] Agreed.

[Sweets] And, it ain’t about looking pretty, it’s about fighting with pride and, honoring those things that mean something to me. The Wyld Faith brought me up and, raised me and, taught me the ways of war, combat and, protecting the natural order of our realms Bandage. Under Darapet’s guidence I’ve been crafted to stand up and, fight against the odds and, as a member of the Gallants, I am your center…you fight or, heal in your case, behind me. That is the way of it and, as your center, I wish to present an intimidating figure against our enemies. The Beastwoods were my home and, I was sheltered from the worst of my kinds offenses but, still thought of as a monster as a half-breed. Not really accepted by either, isolated because I was different but, the things I wish to put on the armor were there for me even in the darkest of times. Axe and, shield. Darapet, Gaia, Aerna, the Wyld Faiths, the Beastwoods and, the priests who sheltered me and, taught me what I know…I know it’s different but, that is why I choose to represent them. The Umbakians and, Lightbringers have pushed and, pushed further into the Dutchy forcing their beliefs on others. The old Gallants didn’t believe that was right and, nor do I. We’re they model citizens? No but, they stood up and, fought for a side they could believe in so, I too wish to stand up and, fight against the threats to our Baron, our home, for the people of the Lowlands and, if I die for this cause, then I wish to do it with honor. But, if Canine wishes to keep us as non-descript and, easily able to blend in then that is the way of it…,but, if we wish to elevate ourselves from the rabble bands and, groups of this resistance to set us apart from any other troops under Wheglin’s control, then as your main offense and, defensive wall of in your face bullshit of this war, then let us set ourselves apart or, go home for as long as it still exists before the Umbakians and, lightbringers carve up the lands and, kill, destroy or, oppress every last person of our lands. Their Holy war against the the orrish is bullshit! Their offensive against Dwindor Swamp and, of the people of the Lowlands hits me on two fronts as, I share history with both side as the Half-Orc of Bergen and, the Beastwoods. I’ve been tutored by One-Claws people of Dwindor on the Orrish half and, the Wyld Faith of Bergen on the human half. I’m not like you Bandage, I didn’t come from money or, an important… well anything. Look at me! Barely able to walk down a street without scaring half of it’s populace and, having the other half wanting to kill me as a blight on it’s lands. You can go anywhere, do anything with little question or suspicion as to what you’re doing. Me, I walk into a tavern and, the music comes to a halt, people gasp and, gawk…I might as well fit the part of what we wish to accomplish by being Bannerman and, Gallants. I’m different, I
stick out so, why not go all the way and, give them something to look at? They will know without a doubt of what I stand for and, what I believe in and, fuck the Umbakians and, Lightbringers! Let them feel the edge of my axe and, shield! Let their blood run red in my hands as we fight to protect our homes. As I told Books, I can’t read but, I do understand symbols and, even the uneducated will know for what I stand for at a glance. Those that wish to oppose us will die under the strength of our faith, our bond and, our steel! If you think me pretty then you are mad. If you think this armor useless then you do not understand the power of my will and, my faith as I stand to fight against the darkness posing as the path the light. Break their Morale, break their strength and, their resolve to continue fighting disappears. That is the point of this armors design but, if we can not afford it? then give me what you deem right and, I will not complain. I am a soldier as we all are in this war and, any edge over our enemies is worth trying to secure a win for our Baron and, the Duke.

[Books] <yawn> What the hell? You lost me. But i get it. You had it rough, weep for me, citizens! whatever! Go Gallants! OOH-RAH!

Books, Bandage, Canine talk about ‘The Rash’

[Books] Boss, Bandage… Take a look at everyone who’s handled the “suffering shard” – that blade that cuts through stone… once a piece of the artifact blade called Stone Cutter. Their skin’s dry and flaking off… its dying. Not so bad now – i’m sure those who got it thinks its just a little rash or something. Yea, a Lich Lord has touched that blade. Geri wrote to be wary of that thing. By the shaggy nuts of the Beast Lord what are we gonna do!?
[Bandage] Well I assume its like nothing I have seen before right? At any rate I do not like the sound nor the looks of what is going on. Any way to gain additional information?
[Books] Observation. Intuition. We don’t have spells or ability suited to this. I only noticed something because Geri’s journals basically said she was afraid something would happen.. so I kept looking.
[Bandage] Well best we can do for right now is not let anyone who hasn’t touched it get near it. And possible get equipment necessary to cut limbs off i.e. bone saws, sedatives. Just in case it comes to the worst on the road. But for right now I’ll have to keep a eye one those infected and
track what is going on with them.
[Books] Ok, lets bury that damn thing at the edge of Braddon Bog and keep and eye on folks.
[Bandage] I agree lets get rid of it I would like to destroy it but if thats the best we can do.
Lets at least put it in a box and put a warning on it about the plauge it causes. In every language that our group can write in.
[Books] I’m good with that – i’m literate in many. I mean, its a piece of a legendary blade, an artifact for Aerna’s sake. It would be a shame to destroy such a priceless relic… but if its not usable, then perhaps finding someone immune to its touch , someone pure, like the White Sisters, would be good. Perhaps we could trade it for a future healing? We’ll stow it for now, in a box, buried with a warning and a “mt. yuk” symbol.
[Bandage] Well wait a minute depending on how serious this thing is couldn’t we trade the blade to the white sisters in order to heal our guys from this crap as far as i know right now it seems to be out of my league when it comes to my medical craft. And with our short supply of tricks im not sure our magic would be much help. But maybe I may be able to learn something if were really going sign me in to a guild.
[Books] When are we going to get the time to travel? Unless things get really bad, i say wait and watch… otherwise its weeks there and back. We should probably tell Canine too… i dont want someone else to come to him and him have us think we missed something.
[Bandage] Yeah true they seem to dislike our little shortcuts to keep members up and running so might as well be on his good side.

Canine and Flowers discuss ‘The Smell’

Flowers notices that his armor is starting to rot. He silently screams at the womans voice in his head but there is no answer from that side. By the time hes back to Osmail Mark to see Baron Wheglin, the group is starting to smell… to everyone else it just seems like a couple days on the road and trying to avoid Berithor’s patrols… but something strange is happening – faster than it should the organic equipment is rotting. He brings it to Canine’s attention who believes it may be connected to the ’other problem.

View
Triumphant Return to Osmail Mark
Returning to Baron Wheglin with the goodwill of Berithor's foes

Sweets and Canine, having caught up to the group at the Tower of the Stag, are now well again.

Resupply in Return

> Books and Bandage have their initial talk about Orecks Herbologists
> Pretty-Boy sees to the Gallants resupply and takes Flowers instructions to get the armor made for Sweets and Marbles. Christianna sees to resupplying the group with torches, rations and every other mundane need they have – honoring the Baron’s pledge in his stead. The Gallants check their mounts and pack their gear, preparing for a harrowing cross through enemy territory at night.
Cow Heads: Bandage and Books have to be hauled out of their tents at 2am passed out asleep and unprepared for the journey – no one asks for an explanation of the 6 cow heads they were working with.

At this point, only the northern supply route is dangerous, but the journal notes Geri left behind gives Books all the information he needs to communicate it to Naked who slips the group through patrols. Naked leads them through with his vision with almost no light out – at one point they can practically smell the cook-fires of a long range patrol in a dale not 30m distant as the ride by unchecked. The rest of the return trip to the Lowlands is uneventful.

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 25 >
Christianna’s letter makes the Baron overjoyed, and the group’s report of catching the division of the duchy in progress and Berithor’s seeming betrayal brings a smile to his face. “They’ve lost confidence in him! It won’t be long now… if we can just hold on until the end of the season, all these plan will be for naught! Theirs will be countered in court, the Umbakian presence ousted, Berithor defeated, the capital under siege and order restored completely by this time next year – all will be as it should be. I feel a corner has finally been turned.” The old man’s chest swells and you can see some of the tension leave his face. “I’m too old for this… war is a young mans game. Speaking of which, you must prepare to take the field my friends. Umbak has been stepping up the campaign in Dwindor Swamp. I’m getting reports that its spilling over into Richfield to the north now… You must deal with them – i am not sure how – the Army of the Lowlands is spread thin and fights a defensive battle to safeguard her peoples against Berithors troops already. Umbak has hundreds of men and materials involved in this expedition. I trust you to use the items you have won from Tarly castle well, and the legacy of mysterious items and knowledge you have inherited from your namesakes. Let Bull Swansen know if there is anything you need – he will see to it.”

Bandage and Books private conversation about the companions library

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 25 >
[Bandage] Do we have any time to use this or are we past that point already?
[Books] Way past, and technically we dont have much knowledge of whats in there but a little list that Sandovhal built and Geri annotated…. it would take months of sifting to familiarize ourselves with it. Theres more than whats listed too… according to what Geri noted.
[Bandage] When we get though this shit, and we got some time you want to head back to Bradon Bog and see what we can dig up?
[Books] tantalizing… isn’t it?
[Bandage] Yes, yes it is.. although at some point we will be able to climb those stacks and stacks of books.
[Books] Theres some frightening stuff in there according to Geri’s index… things buried under the library from thousands of years ago when it was a temple grey gods, hidden works, secret works that should be kept from the light of day. Sandovhal and Taqwill believed they had a sacred trust to make sure it never fell into the wrong hands… someone like Anwin would surely use it for ill. He’s already using demon magics (by Geri’s notes) to accomplish his desires…
[Bandage] Maybe we should take him out before we go looking through that library never know what the dark arts could do for following our movements.
[Books] Thats no easy task bro. Theres a lot of power he’s amassed in his position as enforcer of the Twin River Council’s will. He’s only gotten more powerful in the last few years and more wary i’ll hazard… though i bet he thinks “the Gallants” are no longer a threat or even interested in him. Surprise would be working for us, but we are considerably weaker. We would have to use everything we got, and call in all our debts and get the best weapons and armor we could before we tackle him. We would need something to take on that demon… maybe we gotta dig up Truevein or something. Theres some creature buried under Braddon Bog – maybe thats something that could be used to match his monster from the outer planes. I don’t know man, it all sounds risky to me… you know we’re just a couple of hacks compared to him.
[Bandage] I just don’t like having people who screwed “the Gallants” think that they got away with it. For right now ill push it way from my mind. You are right we are no match for him as we are.
[Books] The problem with success is that it makes you noticed. That means he might see us as as potential rivals or enemies… we gotta do something to hide the presence that we got mages at all if we can. We have to remember to find ways to explain stuff away to people so they dont report back that theres a pair of mages in the Gallants. You got a cover… i got to start carrying a weapon more.
[Bandage] You know it would be kinda cool if we could pass you off as a priest. It would allow you to do some of your magic and you could claim it divine.
[Books] Sounds like i should look into Ezrilus, goddess of magic – heck maybe we both should. I’m not really interested in the “beast lord” thing.
[Bandage] Ezrilus eh? Would we be able to practice magic without being hassled? If so I’m fine with that never hurt to have a goddess helping you out when it comes to something you already know how to do. I know well never have as much favor as our leader, but even if we get a one percent bump its still going to help. Plus if your going to do it I will do it too. We may receive more notice because of it (from the goddess).
[Books] Theres a temple in Dunstrand City, theres one south of Dusntrand Duchy in Fandelok as well… that may be better – avoid “local” entanglements and its only a little farther away. Well, its not gonna keep us safe from House Malor – we still have to at least join the Order of the Stone Hand (i’m still looking into that for you, as Canine asked)… but we’re safe following the goddess too – and maybe there’s some crossover with Canine’s beast god in her role as Mistress of the Moon, at the very least we can’t be opposed to him. Taqwill’s got some connections… my old mentor might be able to make some introductions for us in Port Towne along the Beyne River as well – the goddess has a strong presence there too in the libraries.
[Bandage] Books, sounds like were on the path to becoming followers of Ezrilus.
[Books] Amen brotha!

Final Thoughts About the Axe of Halas the Elf-Hater

[Books] Hey, i asked around at the Tower of the Stag (Lord Thindle’s got some decent heralds and books) and its a gamble on that thing. Giving it to Sweets would be the thing to do if we kept it – with his Orrish blood… i’m just worried about how its going to react towards Naked. Sweets got some iron will, but in the middle of some blood lust, the axe may just call to him and things may get a little crazy. Heading into Dwindor, that Axe would sure help us present ourselves to the Orrish – but it may backfire on us. It would take 2 hands for Sweets to wield, but give him reach. Its fast. really fast. It reduces the impact of mental and physical impairment like disease and confusion…. but it carries a compulsion to hurt faeries and powers against them. Sooooo… put the word out and start looking for a buyer, trade, or should we keep it guys?
[Bandage] My thoughts are to sell it for sure don’t want something to make us want to kill our own friends. Sorry sweets.
[Books] Well, that’s one vote to sell. Personally i say we keep it, at least through facing the Umbakians and dealing with the Orrish of Dwindor.
[Flowers] Sell it, use the money to give Sweets a better weapon.
[Books] It would give him reach – first attack, and he can still use a buckler (parry). Right now, its a question of $ and availability.
[Flowers] Depends on Sweets preference on weapons i guess, but he’s rarely in a one on one combat so reach doesn’t help him too much…. his style seems to be pretty close quartered.
[Sweets] Depends on the battlefield or type of terrain we’re fighting on…personally, I like options. Pick the best weapon for the job.
[Canine] Sweets, until we have more information on the axe it stays secured away. Not an every-day weapon. Just because you think of Naked as human does not mean the Elf-Hater’s axe feels the same way. If we find a need for the weapon we can discuss it. I’ll not have a weapon or other item in our midst that can be a threat to us without better reason. Books, if/when you and Bandages discover any new information I’ll expect that you let me know soonest. If we can can use the axe without the rest of Sweets going bat-shit crazy on us then I have not issues with him using it long-term.
[Sweets] I agree Canine. I don’t want to be a threat or, liability to us and, I won’t use it until you and Books give it the o.k. If it’s too dangerous? Then trade it, sell it or, let us put it in the trophy room in the library…I think from what Books has read to us about the Gide’s Gallants, the Brave Companions and, the Band of the Crows that we should continue to build up the knowledge, resources and, history at the library in Braddon Bog. So mount it, sell it or, put it to use is what I suggest.
[Canine] Glad you agree Sweets. Now let’s see if we can find you another weapon that fits you best.
[Sweets] I agree Canine. I don’t want to be a threat or, liability to us and, I won’t use it until you and Books give it the o.k. If it’s too dangerous? Then trade it, sell it or, let us put it in the trophy room in the library…I think from what Books has read to us about the Gide’s Gallants, the Brave Companions and, the Band of the Crows that we should continue to build up the knowledge, resources and, history at the library in Braddon Bog. So mount it, sell it or, put it to use is what I suggest. I just think that our predecessors did it for the next generation and, left a legacy behind that can not be denied. Sandohval started this thing here at Braddon Bog’s Library…with Taqwill’s help, Geri and, even Books here, he stored a massive resource of information and, objects of interest and/or, power. I say lets keep up the tradition in case we fail in our tasks/charge/commitments to the Baron Wheglin… Not that we will? but, we will age and, the likely possibility that we’ll all die/perish on the battlefield or, on a mission is high so, we should leave something behind as a safety measure and, a shrine of our deeds for the next generation as the previous groups that have protected these lands and, shaped the landscape of Braddon Bog. I believe it an integral part of what has happened here in these times of strife and, mayhem in this region and, we know far more because of their efforts to collect, record and, share this knowledge with us…it’s only right that we should do it as well. Dangerous items, works and, book of questionable nature can go into the secret library to keep them safe and, other objects and, reference materials can go in the Main Shrine that Sandohval started over 30 years ago. What do you think Books? May we pick up the Gallant and, the challenge to educate future generations of our charge. Canine, I won’t do it without your say so, Books and, Taqwill can decide what belongs where…I firmly believe in the importance of this effort to be made.
[Books] I’m in – You clean em, polish ‘em, and i’ll do the write-ups on ’em. Heck, no ones ever really made a concerted effort at this before – we may run out of space!

Canine, Flowers, Bandage, Books worry over some bad juju

Flowers points out that the groups organic gear seems to be rotting faster. In truth, things seems a bit off lately. Canine pulls the 4 of you together and asks if there’s any connection to the “rash” Books and Bandage brought to his attention. Rashes and itches come and go on the road – this ones on those that have handles the “Suffering Shard” blade (that cuts stone)… and folks are not getting much sleep. It all appears normal – life on the road and such… your life is not easy. But this is going way overboard. Your gear is rotting. Your skin is rotting (some of you – almost all at this point though have touched that blade), your sleep is disturbed – some of you feel as if someone is watching you in your sleep (at least Books says so).
[Flowers] That blade needs to be kept under wraps and not directly touched, maybe its too late for that, but perhaps we can slow this process.
[Books] Bandage and i are going to bury it in a box outside of Braddon Bog.
[Flowers] Good.
[Canine] If the sword shard gets buried as you suggest, can it be tracked by others because it’s magical? or are we willing to loose it in case someone can?
[Books] Leave it to the boss to bring that up. I suppose if they knew what they were looking for. However, no one but use really knows about it. Except maybe the Lich Lords. Or rather… “a” lich lord. I guess. Maybe. Probably. I hope. I think we’re pretty safe on this one boss… I’d bet Bandage’s first born if he weren’t gayer than naked king on a silver coin.
[Bandage] Lucky for that huh Books. mudders something under his breath.
[Books] Are you looking at my fine blackling ass?
andage- Naw thats old news besides sweets has already called dibs on it.
[Books] Way to look out for for your fellow Gallant. I guess once your ass felt like throwing a pork link down an empty hallway he had to move on to tighter pastures, eh? DOH!!!!!
[Bandage] You know what, Fuck you, Fuck you man…
[Canine] (in his best “proper” voice) Hmm, as a cleric of a Green church deity that espouses fertility should I be negatively concerned about this homosexual turn to our group? Convert heathens! Where are the wenches?
[All] hahahahahahaha
[Books] Shit. This aint Pretty. A couple of them guys might wig out. We got to fix this and fast. Bandage, this is what we’re gonna do. Boss, you and Flowers gotta convince the Baron to help us cover the cost of total re-provision. We gotta do it right. Bandage – the the Gallants the we picked up a case of the “Red Rickets” when we came through Gnedport. We must have got some contaminated supplies by Berithor’s saboteurs – its a… a bug that eats though leather and such and has a odor… its oils make your skin itch. I’ll say one other case got reported south of here. We’ll ditch our organic gear, turn in our silver crowns, let Griebbe and Artlow beg for additional funds and replace all our gear while the rest of us go buy new stuff. We’ll saddle up for Braddon Bog where we can pick up the gear Porthias left behind and then figure out how we are going t take on 20:1 odds and get the enemy out of Dwindor Swamp!

Scourge of Red Rickets

< CY 9164, Month 2, Day 26 >
The group has their itching and gear rotting explained as “red rickets”. Of course no one has heard of this dubious insect, and Canine has to do a lot of brow beating to keep everyone in order. All gear is stripped – nice clothes, noble clothes, all organic gear – wood, leather, etc. Spellbooks and books are to be given to Taqwill for a “spell treatment” while the group undergoes a couple days of decontamination on the edge of town. The Gallants endure a lot of jibes and strange looks but suffer through it. No one really knows how or who struck at them, only that its going to cost thousands to replace all their gear – and that Canine had to take a loan out from the Baron. This is going to destitute the GALLANTS TREASURE.
More Cow Heads: Especially odd are the dozen or so cow heads and dead dogs found amidst Bandage’s gear. The rumor mill goes full time on this one. All Bandage says is “I gotta practice some time”.

The Gallants Go to Mev for the Lowland Council

< CY 9164, Month 3, Day 2 >
After a few days, and wearing not much more than what they could get their hands on, the group is met by Baron Wheglin and Grace Peregrine, and Scott Paredd. They explain that Berithor has asked for a parley from the Lowland Council and demanded to know under what conditions they would cease hostilities. The Gallants, under a banner of truce, are to deliver their conditions. “Of course your presence IS part of our message.” Says Grace. She introduces Scott as a legal representative for the Lowland Council who has drafted thier formal terms. Scott delivers you a sealed scroll tube. “We do not want to provoke hostilities – be courteous and respectful when you present our requests. Enclosed in this are the Lowland Council’s official terms. These are non negotiable and so there is no reason for you to be familiar with them, argue their points or speak in any representative fashion for the group i legally represent which the Baron is part of. Berithor will likely not be happy with them, but you are under a banner of truce.” The Baron interrupts “That does not mean you will be safe – you have my permission to take whatever means you feel necessary to feel protected at all times.” As Scott opens his mouth, the Baron interrupts again, “Without provoking him, of course.”

You return to an army of servants re-packing your normal goods into new containers, new clothes, new gear. Everything is polished and like new, clean from rust, dirt and grime. New saddles – everything. Fires burn on the edge of camp where oily smoke roils off your piles of gear, including carts, wagons, etc.

The next day you pack for a trip to Mev, wearing your best. Books says “No way am i cooking on this trip – we’re taking Fry-Bread and going in style… as official messengers!” Fry-Bread packs his stuff, including a new suit of clothes, and looks decidedly happy to be singled out for a mission.

Those Aren’t Cow Heads!

The day before the group is to leave, Book and Bandage are busted by the local authorities and brought up on changes of theft and something else. they were caught trying to steal a dead body from Potters Field. Bandage insists he was only trying to get practice with more complex procedures in, and Books backs him up all the way, explaining their plan to eventually go to the White Sisters for training – but there’s now no money. Grace Peregrine is disgusted, and many figures are calling for the maximum penalty for desecration of the dead… but the Baron exorcizes his power, has them released immediately to complete his mission. This does not sit well at all with the deeply religious populous… but Danis the Druidess steps in and orders them to pay a visit to the White Sister in Dunstrand City to make appropriate amends to the dead – and sends them on their way with the Wyld Faith’s blessing.

Official Messengers

A leisurely pace to Mev is started on cared for horses. The banner of truce is honored, the army of Bar-Innis n the field has obviously seen enough fighting and is not looking forward to another season of it. Unable to divulge your mission their is a lot of gossip and hope. After 2 days of escort, you are turned over to mercenaries in the capital and things change. Your treatment is rough and its obvious this bunch relishes having the Gallants under their care for several days. Cold bunk quarters are your fate for the night and you are told you will not be able to see Lord Berithor until the ’morrow. You are placed off a busy corridor where sleep will be difficult to get, and the smell from the laundry continues to waft in. In the weak candle light, you decide watches – because as Books puts it, “no one trusts to a banner of truce or good fortune under the the roof of the enemy.”

View
Delivering the Goods
The weave is twisted, the Gallants ally to Berithor and world is turned upside down

Waking up in Mev

Books is addressed as “Captain Books” and it seems as if he is the one leading the Gallants.
Berithor embraces Books! Something is definitely not right! We seems to be right buddies…
We request better quarters and find out someone gets whipped for placing us next to the laundry. The Gallants seem to occupy a position of power in whatever branch of The Pattern we have found ourselves in.

Canine whips his dick out and makes sure Books knows who is still in charge… this should be fun trying to present the face people are expecting and the one Canine is.

Berithor’s Court and his Need for Barges

Porthias and Clues to our Fate

the adventures werent all the same. some very similar, others non exsistant. and looking back will reveal that these gallants were the first, Gides lot never existed

Anura’s Mission

The barges… and she hates our guts – its obvious.

The Marshall’s Request

Escorting the nobility… Lady Nell.

[Sweets] (to Books) Help me keep an eye out for anything that might go into the library? This may be a different time and place but, Sandohval did this mission before… we should find a token of some sort to add from this journey of ours too.
[Books] The reliquary is yours, the library is Taqwills… and Bandage and I are handling that side of it too… But i am sure we can find what i think you are looking for – mundane certificates, thats sort of thing. Done, and done – we’ll find something.

Ambush – Someone Sold the Gallants Out

The Drunken Priest of Merkaine

[as told by Sweets] The Church of Merkaine was huge here and, along our travels, it was just another odd note but, while on the road North along the river we came to one of the towns where we needed to resupply. While in town, The Lich Lady had lunch with a prominent Priest of Merkaine here in the city, some contact of hers? He got drunk and, belligerent to us and, everything was fine until he spilled my honey and, wanted to take me outside to fight. I don’t even know this ass-hole! I was minding my own business enjoying my honey treat. Look, I can take a lot of punishment, shit-talking, etc. but, he slapped the honey jar out of my hands. Now, I don’t know his position in town, nothing of this Priest of Merkaine, is he powerful? What did he have planned by this course of action? What was his point in doing all this? It doesn’t matter…I told the rest of the Gallants to stay out of it and, calmly went outside to teach him some manners. I told Canine I wouldn’t kill him and, would just try to subdue him if possible? As I approached, he started the workings of some Fire spell I would guess but, having dealt with Priests, Magus before and, having been trained by the Priests of the Wyld Faith in Bergen, I knew the best tactic would be to attack first, strike hard and, hope it disrupted his spell. Lucky for me, he was Right handed and, I was able to sneak through his defenses. Quicker then my size should normally be capable of or, if I were someone untrained I wouldn’t have gotten to him first and, his spell would’ve been able to be completed…that seemed like a bad idea to let him finish and, I had no desire to witness his connection to Merkaine first hand. In one swift motion, I came in with a rushing upper-cut to the Priests chin and, landed a lucky blow. I turned the lights out of his eyes as they rolled back into his head from the sheer strength and, power of the well placed upper-cut. It was more then enough to take him off his feet, threw the air and, leveling him with the one powerful strike as he landed on the flat of his back in the middle of the causeway. This left a strong impression on the minds of the people gathered in the street to watch the fight. ‘Don’t mess with the Gallants!’ was the crystal clear thought throughout the crowd. In my mind, it was over before it ever began once he spilled my honey but, he was to drunk and, rude to listen to reason…so, I did what comes natural to me, I knocked his ass out! After the one upper-cut to the jaw, I turned on my heels and, returned to our table, leaving him knocked out on the ground in a heap. He was alive as promised and, aside from the brutal headache he’ll have later, he’ll live. Naked went outside and, propped him up along side the tavern, took his Holy Symbol and, he just looked like he was sleeping one off…probably not the first time from my guess with his behavior. As I sat back down at our table, with their jaws hanging wide open from the looks of my companion’s faces. It was priceless! I demanded my payment of the honey jar from Naked and, began as though the whole event had never occurred with the Drunkard Priest of Merkaine…I don’t even remember his name, only that he was an arrogant ass-hole, who’s lucky to still be alive, for if we had met on the battlefield, I would’ve finished him off and, taken everything he possessed. I have a healthy respect for the church and, it’s elders but, this ass-wipes behavior wasn’t worthy of giving him any respect. That was one of the best upper-cuts I’ve ever given anyone and, few were more disserving of it at the time. Strangely, I don’t hold any grudges against him. I did my job and, did it well. No one else needed be involved or, at risk by his actions for his arrogant attitude at our table. I don’t know of the possible powers of Merkaine that may have been bestowed upon him by his faith, nor do I still? It was a stand out fight in my mind because I know nothing of the Priest but, he seemed capable enough to hold his own and, I don’t think anyone, including myself, thought that the fight was going to go that way or, be so quick to finish. There’s no in fighting amongst us Gallants but, I’d bet a large sum of silver that they all would think twice, three times even before messing with me, Sweets of Baron Wheglin’s Gallants after witnessing that fight…if you can call it that? A little intimidation goes a long way in this case as, that Priest did not show his face again while we finished our business and, stay in town.

Arrival in Strent

Find clues that indicate Anwin hired thugs for 20,000 silvers.

Fate of Lady Nell

Realization of Anura and her Mission

Anura the herald of Berithor, who was once Aruna Grath-Malor, is a lich. Books finally has the realization that she is with One-Claw, the Orrish shaman of Dwindor Swamp. Books also finally understands that Aruna’s state is NOT known to Berithor – her lich status and true identity. Books is… highly disturbed and no one is sure what to do with all these pieces of the puzzle.

Clues and Sending Anura on her Way

Three of the four shoe boxes full of cocaine are sold for 800 silver crowns by Pretty Boy to pay for 4 professional mercenaries to see Anura and her retinue home to Mev in Bar-Innis while the Gallants pursue the kidnapping of a noble of Berithor’s court. Anura, who has nothing but disdain for the Gallants, is thrilled. There is a lot of criticism with the Gallants of the the “hack-brothers” Books and Bandage not getting rid of all 4 boxes… later it will turn out to be quite fortuitous they did not.

Ambush the Greenhawk Hit-squad

Find the medicine bundle with the Culahey insignia. “Oh, i’m sorry – are we getting in your way?”

Return with Word of Culahey Betrayal

Pursuit on Horse and on Foot

Naekli Festival Times

Linnis Faer, count of county Faer, cousin of the Duke of himself and General of his army is in the town for the spring festival!

Representatives of Merkaine try and railroad the group into portraying them as having wronged them and getting the church of Balthazaar to side with them. Books deftly dissuades them and diffuses the situation.

Anwin’s Accusations

In walks Anwin just when the group thought they were getting things under control and accuses the Gallants of murder, theft, etc. Books commands to shoot and the group reacts – though Anwin’s protections are too great and they are subdued.

Chourl, The High King’s Ranger

The Sorcerous Item of Power

Bandage Invokes the Void

Trial and Anwin is slated to be Executed

Viscount Culahey Fled – Linnis Faer Forms and Army

‘By order of the Duke and Dunstrand, all able bodied men are hereby compelled into service for the purpose of the apprehension of Sir Culahey, Chevalier of the Trident Legion, Viscount of Dunstrand. His lordship is charged with treason to the king for the association and harboring or night spawn, kidnapping, theft, murder, and deceit of the highest order. All are to assemble at Naekli, in the south fair grounds, and be prepared to march at first light three days hence. This lawfully commissioned army will lay siege to Culahey Tower, home of said lord in the town of Finnis-On-The-Headwater, 40 miles down river from Naekli.’

Vaide Family Mercantile Proudly Helps Finance
The prosperous local family Vaide has given all its money to the cause of the Duke and Linnis Faer and pledged to pay for whatever immediate debts are incurred. Though small, the house is a rising player, and obviously ambitious as it puts all of its chips in a single game hoping that this bid for power will pan out.

Gallants Given a Role by Linnis Himself
Specifically, the group is given charge to help secure the eastern portion of town. The merchant Clavel Vaide has his family manse there and seeing as he is helping to sponsor the army and get it moving so quickly, he wants his family secured and safe. He asks for the Gallants specifically because the Vaide’s are known light worshipers – having built the new church and Clavel feels that his manse will be a natural target for the dark worshipers. Clavel will tell the Gallants that the manse has a fortified tower, and that his family will retreat to it and lock themselves in.

View
Seige of Culahey Tower at Finnis-on-the-Headwater

Books and Bandage talk about the whole Voices

Captain Books Leads A Vanguard

Sunset is close when the army finally arrives. Some of the town is already in flames – from a distance, the church of Ikribu is on fire. Finnis is an unwalled town, and its obvious that the townsfolk have mostly fled to the surrounding hills the party has seen Linnis asking refugees questions) and that the looting and burning is going on mostly unopposed.

Church of Ikribu Before Linnis can summon the group, Books uses his knowledge of the annals and sends the brothers Vynt ahead to the church of Ikribu to safeguard the three relics before the forces of the dark can destroy them.
> Books asks Pretty Boy to really make a show of things then see if the clergy would be willing to reward their hard effort with any incense of focus or candles of favor from the church of Ikribu as a result of the advance and hard work?

Rescue of Family Vaide

On our way to Finnis on the Headwater, during the march, Books and Bandage spends time with Clavel Vaide – patriarch of the Vaide family. In his branch of the pattern, they are a integral part of the support of the Earl – whoever it is, and supported Clavel supported Sandovhal directly… he gets a measure of the man during conversations, along with Bandage – using Bandage’s background as a noble to also sway his perception of the Earl of Bar-Innis, the gallants cause, and the opportunity in Bar-Innis in order to secure the connection to the story line. This will ensure he goes on to become one of the Earl’s biggest allies and fabulously wealthy as he is in our branch of The Pattern (even though there he seems to have backed Berithor – though he’s still the “lawful” ruler so we cannot fault him for it in some senses). Being the Earl’s right hand man and Bandage’s familial connections cement the relationship we need.

Once we arrive on site, Linnis Faer summons the Gallants to inform us we will have the special mission of rescuing the family… as Books knows from his readings in the Annals of the Band of Crows.
> [Books] Yeah, right, we get to rescue the Vaide family Villa! Politically motivated? Of course… but thats ok, because the Vaide family needs to become tied to the earl of Bar-Innis – thats a big part of the historical ties that needs to happen, so we need to do this, and do it well. Impress Clavel Vaide this last time and we’ve got him hooked. AND… it will also impress Linnis Faer and perhaps others in his entourage.

Clavel says he wants NO PRISONERS – kill everyone trying to violate his family’s honor.

compound
Captain Books leads a small assault team but their cover is blown. He takes over leading the main assualt force on the tower with the spearman and has Sweets and others break down a portion of the wall and storm the compound with the rest of the Gallants while he keeps the majority of the defenders busy.

Books uses magic to place the tower roof in mist then climbs the assault ladders and enters the foray – leading the spearmen and hoping to bolster their courage. Battle hardened medium infantry face them at the top – but to bowmen. They were trying to break into the tower themselves… its a desperate fight, but Books eventually uses the numbers of the spearmen to push the defenders off. All defenders are finally defeated… no prisoners are taken. In the main compound, all the defenders are killed – some were trying to burn some papers – evidence of something. What evidence would be in the Vaide manse is unknown, but it points to something sinister.

Some interesting papers are found in the Vaide personal quarters, but Canine gives them back over to Clavel.

Pretty-Boy Sent to Warn/Rescue to Priests of Ikribu+Relics

Books knows from the annals what happens next. He suggests sending someone immediately rather than even waiting for someone to be summoned by Linnis Faer, to get the relics out of the church before the arsonist strike and threaten to burn the church down. As the most adept in the city, Pretty Boy is sent ahead to warn them.

Pretty-Boy Does Not Return
Pretty-Boy does not return on time from warning the priests of Ikribu. Books and Naked sent to find him, along with some silver to ask for directions. The city is currently being looted by rioters and arsonists – very dangerous. Linnis Faer is taking stock of what is happening.

Books and Naked Find Pretty-Boy
Pretty-Boy is tracked by 4 goblins and 2 cultists and trapped in an alley. Books and NAked find them just as the fight is about to start. Naked starts by taking one out from ambush and the group divides. After a brutal and short fight, one slips past books and gets away, and the three limp back to the camp of the gallants.

Priests of Ikribu Again
The group of 3 stumble upon the priests of Ikribu which are being mobbed. Pretty Boy persuades the crowd from overwhelming the group.
> Chris Helprin starts following the group…

The Granary/Cultist Base
“Ahead you see a granary towering above the surrounding structures. Smoke drifts from distant fires, obscuring the lone figure who disappears in the shadows surrounding the buildings that make up the granary. Two towers, three stories tall, a coral out back, a office on the end you approach from can be seen in the dim light. As you draw near, the light sources that lit the area all go out at once.” – Naked shoots the sniper out of the first grain tower. Pretty-Boy is surprised trying to pick the lock on the shack and clubbed in the face. Books charges the door, embarrasses himself and finally breaks it down. He is repeatedly clubbed and finally the attacker is brought down. Pretty-Boy climbs the grain tower, sneaks around the edge and is ready above the office door. A light spell is cast on an arrow and shot into the office – it is soon put out. Books runs forward behind a shield to draw the group out. A heavy crossbow (holy crap!) fires and misses. Naked shoots the shooter with his bow and the groups clash in the steets – cultists and urchins. Pretty boy trips horribly and tears his face off on the edge of the office, breaking his neck when he lands – DEAD. Books is crazed and fights for revenge, Naked follows him. Books manages to use his sorcery to stun the leader of the cultists, who calls upon the power of Everdark – but still fails to resist. Unable to stop himself, Books slowly slides his blade between the ribs of his opponent, blood flowing over his hands.
> The DEATH OF PRETTY-BOY
> Chris Helprin presents himself to Naked and Books and says he was impressed with how they handled themselves and how he wants to follow them and better his own place. The two think he’s just a kid and take to calling him “kid” all the time, but make him an honorary member of the Gallants. He picks up the heavy crossbow.

Books thinks there is something strange about the office – dimensions are off, its weird. Turns out there is a shadow – a creature of darkness. He uses his light spell and Kid nails it with a heavy bolt of light, obliterating it and revealing a concealed door. Kid chows hes got even more skills when he find a hidden trap and removes it. Inside is a room full of supplies to wage a war – weapons, food, jerkins… and Naked finds another concealed door! Once again, Kid finds a trapped handle and deals with it – more poison! Inside is secret room in the first grain tower.
> HIDDEN SHRINE TO EVERDARK: The bodies of a sacrificed child, and animals are everywhere. Documents and message parcels litter the area, along with graffiti in blood. Books tries to put together a piece of whats going on from the documents.. When Culahey realized he could not escape directly, he let loose his cultist upon the city – papers found which indicate hundreds of cultists in the city are leading the rioters and causing chaos, violence and death – such was his plan… and to escape in the confusion. “Praise be to Everdark and his siblings… the Lords of Night will revel in the flames of this city, which i give unto them in sacrifice!” – Lord Culahey. There is a meeting point marked n the map. If they send the location of the meeting up point back to Linnis Faer, he can stop Culahey from escaping… there are too few Gallants for such a mission, but there are three points marked on the crude city map marked as “1”, “2” and “3”. They make their way back to the camp of Linnis Faer.

Stopping The Viscount From Escaping/Spoiling Plans

Sira Larson the Money Trader
The group gets there just in time to see him killed. Kid knows that the trader was partial to the church of Ikribu and did not like the Culahey family – probably why he was targeted. This time, Sweets is with Naked, Books and Kid and they face cultists, criminals and rioters. Its a blood bath. Books uses ugly looking lights to augment Kid’s ventriloquism which makes the corpses seem to talk. In a nasty fight, Books and Naked are both wounded.

Datling Family Estate
Kid explains that the family was political rivals of the Culahey family – therefore they must have been targeted for that reason. The group is able to ambush the guards at the doorway, as well as take out 2 of the looters. As they circle around the house, the rest of the hostage takers try and leave with hostages. While Sweets, Books and Kid take on more cultists and criminals, Naked moves into the dark. Sweets shoots a horse connected to a carriage and the looters ride runs away, and Books creates a sickly yellowish fog and prevents easy retreat. In a desperate fight, the enemies finally play the hostage card. Naked makes a calculated move and tries to take out the made who is holding the eldest hostage and who seems to be calling the shots. It works, he takes him out in one shot! The rest flee into the night, and Books convinces everyone to let it go. Kid uses his soothing voice to try and break the trauma the youngest boy witnessed and bring him back to sanity. The mother gather some loot in a sheet, gathers whats left of her family in a carriage and leaves the group.

White Sister Orphanage
> “Ahead is the unmistakable white flag of the White Sisterhood of Aerna flying above a 2 story tenement building. Even from this distance, above the cries from a nearby building on fire, you can hear the screams from inside. As you draw near, the sign post shows a golden curly haired baby in a crib and the white gloved hands of the sisterage – a girls orphanage. Judging by the cries from inside, the worst imaginable fate is transpiring”

Kid can come up with no explanation for this target. His meager religious lore simply puts this as nothing more than an evil act for evil’s sake – pure and simple. The group entered without much thought to stealth or hiding themselves… there was obviously a line that had been crossed and everyone knew it.

> “As you enter the foyer, a seen of brutal carnage awaits you. Several girls of ages four to ten have been tied, gagged, brutally raped and murdered. Most of them probably had to watch the fate of the others. Sinister laughs echo from down the side halls, wails and screams follow in their wake. Just then, three men open the door to a side office and laughing, enter the foyer only to stop in their tracks – surprised by your presence.”

At this point, the group just killed everything they met. They found the rest of the girls in the second floor laundry room, one was lit on fire just as they entered. It was a bloodlust driven fight with no mercy. By the end, a fire had started. The group got every body the could out – not knowing who was comatose and who was dead… when it was all over, they received a vision from Aerna which commanded them to burn the bodies of the dead in the flames of the orphanage, but cut a lock of hair from each of them for each character, and tie it into a bracelet. As the last flames consumed the altar of Aerna, place the hair in the flames and she will bestow a gift. She also expressed pity on the group, who would never know peace and love – but her thanks were manifest for what the men who had been killed even she believed could not be brought back from the place they had gone – irredeemable. A bright bronze bracelet is around each man’s left wrist now which can never be removed and marks them as having aided the White Sisters.

Stopping the Viscount From Escaping
Lord Linnis Faer is sending a contingent of 40 men, backed by 2 knights and squad of archers to the meeting point the the papers found by Books, Naked and Kid indicate. Word is eventually brought back that the escape tunnel back to Culahey Tower was collapsed by the minions of Culahey themselves… and Lord Faer lost a dozen men in the fight with the same amount wounded. In the meantime, a few of the Gallants are sent to some of the meeting spots to thwart whatever plans the cultists of Everdark had…

End of the First Night
Linnis has the city encircled and has begun the siege.
More Dreams which Books and Bandage cope with

Marbles Loses his Marbles – Another Twin is Discovered

With the death of his brother, Marbles becomes totally disoriented and grief stricken. Books and Canine consult and agree he’s a danger to the group – he paces, he’s angry, he wails. Sweets and Flowers jump him and he has to be beaten into unconsciousness and tied up. Its a severe blow given the mission thats coming up, but it has to be done – he’s too much of a liability with the mental strain the death of his twin has caused. However, in his ramblings the Gallants discover there is a third twin, a sister named Sileria. Nothing to hold over him, just an interesting point of fact.

Tactics/Ideas from Books

  • To start with, we need to recognize someone is trying to kill us or remove us… both in our strand of The Pattern, AND this one. Going to all that trouble to try and set us up, well, they are not going to stop… so we need to watch behind us AND in front of us at ALL times. So, i say we designate someone right now to watch behind us always. > Bandage is elected.
  • 15 holy symbols of Everdark to offer for blessings… we follow Canine and Wyld faith close here, so they all go to him in this world we are in. Should be able to get the offering in single 5 synergy ritual. > Canine gets them.
  • We should consider all dressing exactly the same = harder to pick out targets; blacks and browns pants; we need uniforms after this, we’re too easy to pick out. > Cannot be done in time.
  • Flowers gets Marbles broadsword (since he is out with dysentery). > Done
  • We enter into the cave complex with a couple extras to bear equipment and torch bearers – they will be the object of goblin attacks to dose light sources. Armor them up to ENC penalty and tell them once they take enough damage to douse their light and play dead. Anyone who survives is a Gallant (what do we care in this world!?) > Done
  • We use moonstone dust to switch out Books with someone else. > Pretty Boy’s form is taken.
  • Assign tactics ahead of time; Bandage and Books to mark targets with green lights above them for Naked = primary spell/ritual killer: anyone got arrows w/bonus – they go to him!
  • Assign tactics ahead: Canine to fight! Bandage keep a close eye on him… bulk himself up with ritual and blast away with Porthias’s lion headed mace!
  • Book to use wormtooth if hurt, but stick to watching their back and war darts and spells creatively + light.
  • Bandage protection and medic abilities – always looking out for enemy spells and rituals. Locate the weave since it costs less! Use the eyes (track them – Books got 10, Bandage has 10)
  • Sweets, Flowers = shock troops should wade in with ‘all out attacks’ as much as possible – fast, hard, no mercy and each should have a PAIR (Canine, NPC, Zombie) should attack left and be second wave to stop anyone getting through to our weaker characters and mop up wounded.
  • 20 pt healing > Bandage (recorded), Sweets, Canine
  • I’m thinking with Marbles gone though, Canine can fill in by using blessings and just targeting himself with rituals and using the lion headed mace. While its not as much damage, its close… and the chance to hit goes up and he becomes a powerhouse. Stack some leather armor and protective spells on there and he can easily serve as a mainline fighter for a few combats if he plays it right – with a shit ton of blessings he can actually be a TERRIFYING spectacle for a few rounds here and there.
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Assault Under Culahey Tower

The gallants arrange for torch-bearers and get 2 men from Book’s spear levy squad.
BILL > A veteran from a previous campaign, he knows how to handle himself. He’s not happy to be selected, but he knows how to handle himself and is capable of fighting if need be.

Hal the Miner

Information on the City Tunnels

First Goblin Encounter

The Long Dark Trail Filled with Traps

Goblin Ambush

Blink the Store-Owner

> We find out the ‘long dark’ was trapped by them to keep the goblins out.
> We find out its been 10 years since anyone’s been down here really – declared off limits by Viscount and city officials because its unstable (we have not seen in instability!)

Goblin Bait Refused

> Goblin children

Deep Warrens – Goblins get Hard to Reach

False Door and Cave-In

Another False Door

The Goblin Shaman and Everdark’s Revenge

A well laid trap using poisons with statues of goblins and a sanctified area, a powerful goblin shaman staves off the party’s attack, taking control of Flowers and using him against the party. Canine eventually kills him but his conviction fails to warn and protect him against Everdarks wrath. His body becomes a writhing mass of beetles, worms, maggots and black bile causing a fog of miasma to overwhelm the group. While Bandage and Books try and pull companions out, Naked puts a shaft through Canines head and stops the effect – ending his life for sure.

> Flowers sanity is reduced forever by the loss of his mentor and his own attack and near death of his friend Sweets.

The party is mauled and mangled.

The Arrival of Kurt Morwest d’Faer

Kurt Morwest d’Faer and Thom Vynt finally catch up to the group, following the trail of carnage.

Busting the Door and Taking Prisoners

Navigating the Maze

The Battle in the Jail

Taking the Stairs

Uphill battle in the stairs where the party gets the ass handed to them and much time is lost.

The Culahey Family’s Hidden Altar

Holding the Stairs

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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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