Crusader Days and Knights

Neighbors, Part 2

Not long after the group returned from their last adventure, Laurent was on a walk when he noticed a certain crazy old woman approach a certain old elf‘s hut. She notices him and instead makes a beeline towards him, asking Laurent seemingly out of the blue if he’s ever felt pain before. Laurent, remembering the battle that he had participated in, tells her that he knows quite well, and doesn’t want to experience any more. Agnes tells him that if he doesn’t want to experience true pain, he is not to tell anybody about what he has seen here, before letting him go and hobbles back towards the elf’s hut.

Naturally, Laurent goes back and tells everyone about what happened.

Fin goes to visit Soren at the blacksmith’s to see if he can help get the ore and other materials from the orc camps. Through their conversation, Soren becomes converted to Christianity. He then tells Fin about the history of Orcs and Elves and how things came to be. Orcs and Dwarves are natives to the world, the Elves are not. The Elves came thousands of years ago and tried to reconcile the difference between Orcs and Dwarves, but got drawn into the argument that Orcs are by nature destructive, Dwarves are by nature creators. Elves and Dwarves are more similar to each other so they are natural allies, but due to a falling out they part ways. The dwarves went up north and fend only for themselves.

Soren also says that he is cursed according to the elves and needs to be burned as soon as he dies or else his ghost will kill everyone.

Anlyth then shows up and gets into an argument with Soren over what he can and cannot say to the humans. Soren says that he is no longer an elf and the diplomat holds no sway. Fin pipes up and says that Soren is a Christian now, and the diplomat gets disgusted and leave. Fin tells Soren about baptism and how he will be reborn, and the elf cries a little.

Soren wants to tell Fin about Queen Ikeshia and why she hates orcs, though they couldn’t say it in front of everyone. He then tells Fin to stop by later sometime, and he’ll have many things to share.

Later, Agnes stops Fin and talks to him., mentioning that she hates religious practitioners. Fin’s personal religion has one thing she likes though – it seems to works for people. Fin has showed Soren kindness and he can continue tell Soren about religion as long as he doesn’t screw him up. Fin describes his preaching as spiritual healing as she is surprised, believing that its exactly what he needs. She then warns him that the elf queen is crazy, before taking her leave.

Curious on Laurent’s story from earlier, Sebastian sneaks on the roof to listen to Crazy Agnes and Soren. While he doesn’t get much, he does hear the both of them talk about their rage and how hard it is to quell. Agnes also talks about her shoulder and doesn’t want it to be healed, though she doesn’t mention why. They also mentioned the queen’s scars but to Sebastian’s disappointment, they didn’t go into further detail.

Fin stopped by Soren’s hut and learned more history from him the next day. It seems that they ignored the Orcs for so long that the Orcs quickly grew too strong, went on the attack and drove the elves from their homes. Ikeshia’s husband died on the battlefield, driving her so mad that she went after his body. She was captured and was made queen of the orcs for awhile. The king of the orcs married her and forcibly took her as his wife, tortured her as they made love, and put scars in her flesh. Luckily for her, she was able to kill him one night when he became too careless. Ikeshia made her way back, and immediately went into battle. She never let the scars be healed, and will not take a new husband or lover. Soren describes her as a rathhorn, dangerous and deadly. Thanking Fin for his time, he then gives him a good map of the area with where the ore deposits were.

A large storm hit the village the following evening, where it caused the river to dry up. An expedition to find out what happened is launched the following morning. Twelve miles up the river, it is clear to see how that could have happened – a castle had suddenly appeared, and the river water is being streamed into the moat that came with it.

In the castle, a templar by the name of Heinrich is being blamed for the missing mountains by a man simply known as “Pompous Maximus” by his fellow guardsmen. The templar shrugs it off completely, instead taking in his surroundings. After thinking about it, he then tells the panicking Earl in the room that they must have been brought to the Garden of Eden. The earl wonders how, and Heinrich says that they must have been chosen – rapture, if they will. If they had angered the Almighty, they surely would have been in a worse situation than they are already.

This seems to calm the Earl down a little bit. He still wants to send out an expedition though. Heinrich is to take some men to go to the south, and the other captain must go to the north, to check things out. Heinrich delivers the news to the guards, who seemed to refuse the orders. After all, since this is a new world, the old order doesn’t have to apply. While Heinrich made a rousing speech, the words failed to reach the ears of his fellow guards. Heinrich drawing steel immediately changes their minds though, and they accompany him on the journey south.

The Glastonbury group see Heinrich’s group from a distance. Deciding it is better to be safe than sorry, they send Laurent forward as a diplomat while the others hide. When everything seemingly is safe, the rest of the group join him. Laurent tells Heinrich’s group where they are from, which alarms the templar – he has heard of Glastonbury Village, and the reason why that they had disappeared is because they are demon worshipers. He says that the group must immediately come back to the castle so that they can be interrogated further.

The earl and Pompus Maximus meet them at the door, hesitant to let them in until they hear that they are from Glastonbury, then they immediately brings them in. The Earl asks the group if there is a way to return, Laurent let them know that they’re still working on it. In the meanwhile, the villagers from Glastonbury have been working on keeping alive, planting crops and converting others to Christianity. Laurent also tells them know the story of the demon possession, as well as the orcs and how dangerous they are. As they were talking they heard that the expedition from the north is coming back, except that there’s only one out of the ten, and he is running.

The group of ten found the burrow with the sealed door. The nine of them went inside to check it out, while the one guard kept watch. Shortly after, he heard screams, telling him to run. He never stayed around to find out and ran away immediately. Heinrich asks the Earl what they should do, he says that they should investigate.

The group has to go to Glastonbury to update the village on what has happened. Heinrich is really impressed with the cathedral and is thinking that it’s a much better defensible position than the castle. Analteith hears about the burrow door opening and immediately puts his head between his knees and heave, while Soren is simply surprised about it. There is no precedent on what to do, at least no record of it, due to the elves being very careful and burning their bones.

Soren tells them that the wraiths are very hungry for a body and will suck the warmth out of body with touch. They are buried with armor and weapons, and will be equipped with them. Physical force won’t have much of a chance, but magic will. Unfortunately, there are no spellcasters in the group that could bind the soul into the burial mound, but Soren suggests that maybe Anlyth could help. The problem is that he is a coward, so they need to find a way to make him willing to serve that role.

The group decides to hold the information on the queen against Anlyth and blackmail him into helping the group. He becomes immediately distressed over the information, asking who knows about this. Laurent tells him that the village heroes know it only, so he goes to find Fin and asks him what can he do, if anything, to help keep a secret. Fin suggests helping seal the body back, and Anlyth tells on how he helped the Orcs seal it the first time, though another problem is that he was sealed with his Rathorn.

Anlyth believes that they need to act quickly before the queen finds out – she might find that the wraith is an advantage for the elves against the orcs and the humans. Anlyth thinks that she wanted to open the door herself just to see what happens, which is worrying. He asks Fin to help him up, and then takes up his offer to pray with Brother Robert.

The group heads back to Castle Penbroke, and they immediately hear that the wraith was around, floating several feet in the air the previous night. Pompous Maximus demanded that the templar knights stay with him, Heinrich allows it. The group asks if Heinrich himself is willing to help though, since the more the merrier, and he agrees.

Anlyth needs to set up to perform some ritual, and asks assistance – he needed a small rabbit due to the shamanistic actions of the ritual, then also needed Fin at hand during the middle of it. That night, he begins the ritual closed off in the room, though he weakly stumbles out in the middle of it, borrowing Fin’s strength to finish it off. The screams of a small rabbit is heard shortly after he closes the door again, which continues into the early morning.

Anlyth emerges, tired, with a small pouch. He gives Sebastian the pouch and tells him to try and get into the burrow as far as he can to drop it off, and hopefully the magic resonating from it will be enough to draw the wraith back into the burrow. The group begin planning for their attack, in which they need to finish as quickly as possible before things get out of hand…

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