Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Report to: Lieutenant-General Olivia Mansfield, Shadyvale Keep. EYES ONLY.
Please supply redacted information as possible to the Order of Divine Light, due to the undead nature of enemies encountered.
En route to the Burnt Oak Inn, we encountered very hostile local wildlife, and a group of “Tollkeepers” who may well have been working for Ernie’s minion. Both were dispatched.
The Inn included several locals and the Innkeeper, who was worried that his daughter and others had gone missing in the area. Of the locals, the three most memorable were a thuggish individual with long hair and a large sword, a better dressed individual with a black diamond patterned doublet (Aaron I seem to remember), and an Iron League merchant. Another skulked in the corner and mentioned being able to obtain items for us, but as I had no cash I took no further interest.
We were also attacked semi-regularly by groups of imps, some more “usually” chaotic, others who seemed very hungry…
The main trouble that evening was caused by our own party member Kuranes. Last I remember him, he had just dark bolted and stabbed a member of our own group, and been cut down by Vanek Bloodsword – possibly the only time I have ever agreed with that barely controlled psychopath. I therefore have no idea why he was still allowed out on a sanctioned mission (or indeed, let out of the Asylum at all..). He was ranting about the planets being aligned and a blood moon – the moon was rather red. He then stomped off into the countryside claiming he had a ritual to perform. Several locals followed intrigued by the potential entertainment, while I followed to try and ensure he didn’t do them or himself any injury.
We reached a ritual circle of stones, where there was a local woman bound and dumped at the side of the stones. Kuranes exulted that a sacrifice had been provided. (It later turned out he had hired the thuggish chap from the Inn to kidnap a victim – we may want to get the next patrol to the area to arrest him). I made it immediately clear that no-one was getting sacrificed, and with aid of a strength spell from Big Ears I assisted the kidnapped goodwife to leave the area and return to safety, in spite of Kuranes complaints and threats. Just in case, I invoked on the way back, in case he really was up to something.
Upon my return, Kuranes had decided to use himself as the sacrifice –some witchery was at work, as his weaponskills and strength were certainly not sufficient to penetrate his own mage armour, and yet the blade plunged straight through into his flesh. Within a few seconds, all of us who were observing fell into a dark slumber. When we awoke shortly afterwards (I know because my invoke was still barely halfway through its duration) he was exulting and ranting that he had summoned a minion of the yellow king, a creature of fang mouthed tentacles and glowing bubbles. I would have dismissed it as gibberings of an insane loon had I not been driven to sleep with the others. Certainly Something happened.
Returning to the Inn, Kuranes remained elated. I checked him for spiritual influence, but could detect nothing…of substance…rather a nagging feeling. So as a precaution, I dropped an Exorcism on him with my Invoke.
In my mind’s eye, I was transported to a dark, dusty plain. Beyond the pain there was a mountain, upon which a hunched figure all in yellow sat upon a throne of bones and gold. As I approached closer, his head rose, and I saw that his face was a dark pit swirling with stars. A great fear came upon me and I fled. Returning to my body, Kuranes just laughed.
Later that evening after I had gone to bed, Kuranes had an argument with Neville and the Innkeeper, which resulted in him darkbolting the innkeeper.
Next morning, Kuranes had left to hide in a cave. The Innkeeper was going to gather his mates and “deal with it”, but I persuaded him that to administer mob justice was a slippery slope, and that we were here to civilise the lands, not help them degenerate into anarchy. He listened to reason, as long as we “dealt with it”.
I was not there, but Sweetpea and Zzazzi went to negotiate with Kuranes, who summoned a winged beast of yellow, and was taken away by it after ridding himself of all his worldly possessions. Where he has gone or if he will ever return I do not know. I do know he attacked a protectorate citizen and arranged the kidnapping of another, and should be tried for that if he does return.
Returning to the mission – Neville had received injury to his leg that had obviously had some severe curse upon it, so that none of us could cure him. He remained at the Inn while the remainder of us headed out to ask a local druid about the artefact that Ernie’s minion was using.
We fought through more imps, before coming upon a small Oakwoods patrol…in our lands. They were acting very suspiciously as if they knew they were doing something wrong. Apparently they were in pursuit of a suspected kidnapping – a young blonde elven maiden accompanied by another elf. We offered to assist in their search, and even to give them a writ stating that we were aware of their specific mission, but after a hurried discussion they turned, said it was “nothing personal”, and attacked. Sadly we had to put them down, scattering the bodies and recovering the heads for later resurrection and questioning.
A great bear attacked us shortly afterwards, while the druid watched – stating that the wildlife in the area was being stirred up by an artefact of winter that had been activated out of its time. After questioning our reasons for wanting to defend our lands and people, he agreed to help by talking to the land at a local wellspring. While he communed, we were attacked by wave after wave of feral spirits, after which he was possessed by the artefact itself – which raged that we would never find it. The others kept him occupied while I ran off to invoke and was able to reach him with an Exorcism – although the spirit retaliated with a wave of debilitating sickness before departing.
When the druid had recovered, he stated it was indeed of winter – an aspect of decay and putrefaction, which was triggered out of its time. He needed to meditate on the link he now had, and would send a message via his friend Aaron (from the Inn) when he had a location for us. Thanking him, we returned to the Inn.
After a brief recovery at the Inn, one of the Innkeepers mates staggered in badly wounded. They had gone to recover the kidnapped daughter, but the opposition had been far tougher than realised. Grabbing out kit, we headed out immediately. Fighting through several waves of Ernie’s minions we eventually recovered the girl and another local unharmed, although we used most of our remaining elixirs in the process. On the way we also met a necromancer from Malice with a spirit of wounding, zombie warrior and skeletal warrior. We had also found notes throughout the day that suggested Ernie had requested aid from Maliconia (?), and that her undead minions would be ideal to guard the artefact, and also that the Minion’s leader would be around next morning if the artefact was not fully active.
After recovering and meditating, we were attacked by a mighty hepath of hunger…a giant Heporkath, that had been responsible for the imps presence. Luckily it was more hungry than dangerous, although I advised the locals that a pig roast using the remains might not be wisest.
With Aaron giving us the location of the artefact, we headed out, but almost immediately ran into another group of Oakwoods. The leader identified himself as Ardent, and although he didn’t give us much information, he essentially stated that the other unit under his command had been given orders but had overstepped them when they crossed the border in pursuit of the elven maiden. He requested the heads back, which we provided, and gave a short but humble apology before turning back immediately for the border. In the interest of not creating a worse diplomatic incident than the Oakwood had already, we chose to let him go.
Invoking we headed towards the artefact. A couple of waves of Rank 5 undead warriors were dispatched, as were a few smaller undead, before the final defending group became visible. The primary foe was clearly a powerful Rank 7 Mummy. In the interests of protecting the others I cast my protection from disease and attacked it head on, with Narp and Sweetpea healing me against its powerful attacks. The remainder of the group performed admirably in keeping the other undead away while I dealt with it, although Sweetpea did catch a fatal disease and required substantial healing. The final guardians standing beyond were 2 skeletal warriors. The group were very low on blunt unempowered weapons, but Zzazzi and Sweetpea bravely took up the attack, although our healing was very low, and the artefact was blasting out waves of damaging energy at a regular rate. As things got more desperate and our healing diminished, I dropped my holy weapon and fought with my staff as well, relying on my good spirit from Narp to heal me. Eventually they fell.
The artefact was a huge, dark rock and lying on it was a rotting corpse. I knocked the corpse away with my staff, which it appeared stopped the ritual powering the rock as there were no more waves of energy. But seconds later, a rank 7 forest fetch approached – a foe we had nowhere near the resources to fight. We retreated all the way back to the Inn – it would not enter due to the “artificial nature” of the building, but lurked the whole night disturbing our dreams…hissing that we should all just join Malice…
Next morning, Ernie’s minions attacked us trying desperately to get a new corpse. The waves of attacks were regular, but eventually the lead minion turned up…you could tell from the monologue…and he was eventually brought down. Special acknowledgement should go to Mia Starfire and Big Ears for their co-ordinated dispels and bolt volleys on the enemy warriors, and to Neville for his excellent realisation that the final wave of warriors had little protection on their weapons, and shattering many of them…casting bravely from the doorway of the Inn in spite of not being able to get out of his chair…