Crusader Days and Knights

Neighbors, Part 5

The seasons slowly change towards fall, close to harvest.

The heroes of Glastonbury lied about their previous encounter with the Crow Clan, told everyone that the people in the tent were “rescued”, instead of giving willingly. Laurent gives a beautiful speech about it, and the rumors spread to Pembroke.

Anlyth comes down to Glastonbury and congratulates everyone on killing a bunch of orcs. He then goes to visit Soren, who he had heard that he is making a sword. Anlyth observes his work, and is troubled by it – he says, to Soren. Soren says that orcs simply need to die, and he needs a weapon to work with. Anlyth asks what happened to his old sword, Soren simply huffs and hints about his enslavement, emphasizing again that Orcs simply needed to die.

Anlyth is amazed that he’s able to make such a sword due to his state. Soren said gently, it’s a matter of faith and growth. Anlyth is even more troubled, wondering if the Christian God has visited him with this power (one of them,Fin quipped!). Soren tells Anlyth that he’ll do something quite unusual for their kind – he says that he forgives Anlyth for abandoning him to the Orcs. Anlyth is flabbergasted, if this is truly forgiveness, the Christian god is mightier than thought. Soren said that the Christian god is more powerful than all elven deities and emperors and that’s why he’s able to still stand and craft with full strength.

Anlyth is concerned about this sort of power – the Elven Queen gets her strength through unity and anger, if there was another power there is reason to believe that it will drain her own strength and cause her trouble if other Elves were to find out about it.

Speaking of, Anlyth remembers, all major power figures are to come to him so that he can make an announcement. Once everyone is gathered, he tells them that Queen Ikesha has heard of the leadership problems that the Human Realm is having, and is offering vassalage. The Earl is shocked, and wants to hold a council on this with political and religious leaders.

After the elves have left, the Earl said that he doesn’t favor this at all. We do not need the elves, there is no reason why the Elf queen should be allowed to exert her influence. He will listen to their council, and then he will make his decision. The nobility of Pembroke fall immediately in line.

Lady Alice, who invited herself, asks the simple question “What will the elves do if we refuse?” The earl asks, what can they do? Charles De Mowbray says, they can’t do anything in the face of our mounted lances. Heinrich says that he doesn’t think that going into battle would be very helpful. Deveroux says that we have been lucky so far. De Mowbray says that no, we have won with skill and will. The Abbot says that he does not believe war is the right decision, but he doesn’t want elves taking over. The idea of a political marriage comes up, the Earl thinks about it and offers his young son for the job.

The earl calls for everyone to leave but Pompus Maximus, Charles De Mowbray, Lord Deveroux, the Abbot and the heroes of Glastonbury. He turns to the heroes of Glastonbury and chastises them for continuing to do things, despite not asking for permission. He says that, if the serve the Earl, they would live comfortably at the castle. Luc brings up the possibility of land, the Earl considers it. He proposes they build a third village. Before dismissing them he invites Gideon to their private quarters.

The earl speaks to Gideon, saying that he knows that Gideon is not interested in taking his father’s place. Though Gideon has earned a lot of respect, and he has earned the right to his own holding. The Earl believes that by having your own land, as well as the others, you will be all a little more predictable – which he needs especially for Fin and ‘the Scamp’, as he calls Sebastian. The Earl wishes Gideon the best and will assist him in whatever he wishes, as long as Gideon swears fealty.

Since Sebastian was in the room, after Gideon left, the Earl turned to a shadowy figure in the room that he recognized as Allen Tewdor from Glastonbury. The Earl says that he hopes that Gideon will take the offer, otherwise he will need to “silence him”. Tewdor says that he is hard to take down, he is too good with the sword. Sebastian tells the others what he had heard, and they decide to play it by ear for now.

While they are gathered, Heinrich tells the group about the holy relic that the Abbot showed him earlier. Fin believes that the relic is the finger of St. John the Direct. The theory is that the finger has the ability to turn someone into a believer on the spot. The abbot and Deveroux come with as they return to Glastonbury. The Earl, as they leave, decide to stall for time by deploying negotiations for marriage, which seems to work out in the human’s favor – it will last several years, it seems, which matters all to the humans.

Heinrich meets with Robert and the Abbot about the artifact. They express concern about the artifact and how his body may not be able to handle the holy power contained. Heinrich wants to try anyway, so he picks it up. The power begins coursing through his veins, and causes him to scream in pain in Greek. After a couple minutes, the pain is gone, and an angel shows itself to Heinrich. The Angel speaks in German, saying that he has been summoned, and what is he being asked of. Heinrich asks for God’s direction in this new place, the angel says that he will learn in his own time. Though he does grant Heinrich some power to aid him in spreading the word of God. He does ask not to be summoned again though, unless in time of dire need. As he leaves, he blinds Heinrich though he was so determined to test his power that he went out to give a spectacular sermon in the middle of the town that moved everyone as he told the tale.

Heinrich was sharing the story of the sword that the angel told him. He suggests that his plan is to Christianize the realm, gain the sword. They speak to Soren about the sword, he says that Queen Ikeshia has it. The group decide to go to Penbroke on the way to let the Earl know what they’re going. The Earl is all for converting the elves, since he believes the bond will be stronger if they all share the same religion. He gives them gifts and gold to be distributed among the elves.

When they get there, Heinrich tells them immediately that they’re there to share the story of God. Fin interjects immediately before they’re cut off that they should share stories. The elves tell the story of the Wild Hunt, while Heinrich uses his skills to convert them. Fin takes the converted and begins baptizing the ones that converted. Heinrich asks if they can be directed to the court, while the guards then say that they will be taken directly to the city.

At the next castle, they are given a “special reception” by the residents. They are told that the queen herself and the high minister is here to listen to him speak, though they must be kept in quarters and guarded for awhile. Due to not feeling comfortable with being held against will, Sebastian finds his way out. Heinrich converts one of the guards and as they were baptizing him, the delegation finds them. Heinrich was thrown into the dungeon while the others were escorted back.

The next day, Queen Ikeshia arrives and presents herself in front of Heinrich. She spoke of being displeased with his preaching towards her people, and ask if he was to stop – its a life or death question. He answers honestly that he would never, she said she will have to think about sparing his life or not, though she appreciates his honesty. As she leaves, he asks if she has time to speak about Jesus Christ, she says no and leaves.

Ikeshia meets with the other three and lets them know that Heinrich has been infected with a holy energy. It is a very severe infection, and while she is impressed with his honesty, she cannot afford him. She asks that he is taken away and is never brought back. If Heinrich does try to come back, even by himself, he will die. She plans to ban him from Elvendom, and Humandom if everything goes her way. The group warn her that she should not listen to the Earl, he is not trustworthy and is selfish. She said that she never intended to. She hands a scroll to the group, and asks to deliver it to Anlyth. If he doesn’t receive it in the next couple days, she will know where their loyalties lie. They also give her the gifts, she looks a little offended, though Fin quips that it’s what the Earl thought she was worth. She then says that they can have the gifts.

Sebastian tries to go and take the sword, though on his way there, he is hit with a sleeping spell and was thrown in a dungeon next to Heinrich. The rest of the group meet up with them at the courtyard. Sebastian tries to remove Heinrich’s gag so that he can speak to them with his preacher voice, though the rathhorn stopped him from speaking. Sebastian is tied down to a packhorse as they travel back to the border. He tries to filch a dagger from one of the elf guards, but is caught and is lucky not to lose his fingers.

Once they got to the border, they let their rathhorns scream at them. Most of them withstood the screams except for Fin who fainted, and Sebastian who lost his lunch. The elven guards were surprised to learn that the group faced rathhorns before, especially when they learned it was the wraith’s, and actually bowed to them. They said that they wished to face the group in battle someday, Laurent says that Gideon alone could take them on right now. Three elves come down and want to fight one on one with him, especially since they learned it was the man who took down one of Ikeshia’s personal riders earlier. Gideon does battle with them – though his weapon arm was bruised extremely badly in solo battle. Heinrich tags in and fights in a two-on-two. Heinrich was able to disarm one of the two, so the battle goes back down to one-on-one. Gideon becomes too exhausted and falls over after a tough battle.

A rathhorn comes up to Heinrich and tells him that he looks forward to meeting him in battle someday, that he was worthy. Heinrich asks him if he had a moment to talk about Jesus Christ, and it took the rider all of his strength to stop the rathhorn from plunging his horn into his chest. As Fin and Heinrich help heal, Laurent gives the elves music to give back to their people.

As they get back to their people in Pembroke, they heard that there goblin merchant was in town. They heard from the elven rumor mill that there were new traders in town, so they brought their hobgoblins this way to check it out. One of the things they have which may be useful is a “Power Stone”, which can draw magic out. Fin was able to bargain with him down to 12 gold for each 3 point power stone, and picked up two of them. They also traded the linens for information.

He tells him that his village is 70 miles to the east. In the good old days, with the goblins, hobgoblins and the reptileman living together, all of the sudden they were caught in a massive storm that transported them all the way over here. They encountered orcs which hobgoblins love to beat up, and elves which seem to be different than the kind met before. The goblin also believes why they are here – the elves and orcs have been fighting for ever and have split the elves up, one elf group must have been fed up enough to summon a force that would assist them to destroy the orcs. They had several hundred elf mages work on a ritual for 26 years to do this, they all died once they pulled it off, and the land they were working on turned into desert. They initially thought it was a failure, but then the storms happened bringing populations to this world. The goblins are awed by the human’s ability to kill orcs, especially since they have met them at every settlement. It’s good to have neighbors, isn’t it? He grins.

He tells them that he will be staying for a week. Laurent invites him to carouse, the goblin seems very taken to the idea and shows off his magic item that plays music.

The next day, they met up with Anlyth, which they immediately give the scroll. He opens the document, takes a quick look over, and then blanches. He looks up and tells the group in a serious tone – Ikeshia has handled an ultimatium to the humans: either join, or die.

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