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.

View
Neighbors, Part 4
Short notes

the Earl and people of pembroke want a wall around their village.
They want to take the stone from Glastonbury Abbey to build it.
Mid day…Mid SEPTEMBER.

Devaroe is bowing to the rank of Earl of Pembroke. The people of Glastonbury are feeling quiet upset at the situation.
knight will stay with Glastonbury to help defend it.
Bison going to elves is being kept by Pemroke.
Iron is also kept at pembroke.
The earl and every one have agreed to supply chain and protection and movement of stone. Food supplies will suffice for winter.
Lady alice. “We are never going home.” “We need to plan for our future…arranged marriages etc…”
………
Meeting with Heinrich and Laurant and the abbot: do we have someone that has royal lineage whom through divine decree the abbot might crown them king…
conversation with the party…Heinrich’s objective: A NEW KING!, AND MAYBE A NEW POPE…a new divine artifact…tunnels under Pembroke Castle?
A NEW CHURCH OF CHRIST?
HEINRICH KNEELS BEFORE THE HEINRICH AND PROFESSES HIS DEVOTION.
LAURENT IS BUSY SCRIBBLING NOTES AND HUMMING SONG IDEAS.
>>>>
FIRST BARGE DOWN RIVER TO DISMANTLE WALL

A LETTER “THE HEROES OF GLASTONBURY SHALL ASSIST.”

SOREN THE ELF AND FIN’S CONVERSATION.
FIN
RESERECTION OF OUR NEW CHRISTIANOTY
RELICS IS IN ABBOT’S QUARTERS. IN HIS CUPBOARD ABBOT….
PARTY ASSEMBLESGIDEON, SEBASTIEN, LAURENT, HEINRICH, FIN, + 4 TEMPLARS. ON FOOT.
LUC TENDS TO KITCHENS…
ON THEIR WAY, THE PARTY IS IN THE PLAINS, AND COME ACROSS A PATROL OF WOLF RIDERS (3) APPEAR TO BE RIDING TO PEMBROKE.
DISMOUNTS WALKS OVERINJURED IN BATTLE? LAURENT AND FIN APPROACH HIM
SOMETHING IS UP! LITTLE SMALL POCKmarks ALL OVER HIM….Three RAVEN CLAN
WHAT IS LEFT of them. OF 120 ORCS. THEY HAVE SMALLPOX.
DIRECTIONS TO THE “ONE HORN TRIBE”.
ON BLOODY FANG TERRITORY TO GET TO ONE HORN. NO ENCOUNTERS. IT SEEMS EVERYONE IS GONE. ALL TO WHAT? MAYBE POx?
VILLAGE IS EMPTY though there are signs that many may have been eaten…
EVENTUALLY GET TO ONE HORN TRIBE
ALL QUIET
BURNED VILLAGES. Total DEVASTATION.
PERSUEDd GUARDS TO LET IS IN.

IMMEDIATELY TAKEN TO TAKEN TO TRIBAL ELDERS.
BURGUNDIANS PASSED ON THE DISEASE. ONE HORnS WEREN’T PART OF the SACK OF BURGUNDIANS. BUT ORKS ENSLAVED THE BURGUNDIANS and traded them.
“URUKS DESERVE THIS DISEASE AND SUFFER PAIN AND COME BACK STRONGER AND SMARTER”
discussion of elves not liking agreement of trade of iron for weapons.
Elves don’t have to know. Our spiritual leaders have been slighted and have a major disagreement with political leaders. Agreement drink.
fermented greatwolf drink. heinrich, vomits, Laurent chokes it down, fin vomited it back up.
the trade agreement basis is reached.
Arranged for a caravan of iron and coal. A very southern route…skipping pembroke. in exchange…. terrible negotiation. ½ of weapons go to the orks.
Tribal elder handed over …ork weapon…from damascus. saracen sword…scimitar, would we fight them or embrace them.
Has become national weapon of the orks. their imitations have been very poor until recently… several days of negotiation…

we will trade all weapons for humans to be returned in first trade.

argument over trading or capturing new humans or slaves.

about a month later we get three burgundian women. all are pregnant.

very traumatized.
agnes, lady alice. and several trusted men to protect them.
keep them out of town. advanced pregnancy.
while back in glastonbury. Pembroke has been hit by a flu of unknown origin,

About two weeks the women come out of their shocked state. Of them only one wants to keep the child.
sorren approaches Fin…work iron into steel.
working into the night have some swords…a magic blade?!
Sorren asks of fin. “Please learn the spell to grow my leg back. I want to hunt orks again. I need two legs”
eventually the mayor… they can’t work all night. Starts working on a bow. Requisition the best wood. sings to bow.
laurent asks. Sorrern is giving birth to a weapon.

let’s luc know.

plants are growing arrow strait around his hut.

PLANT MAGICK!!!!
5 more pregnant women and one badly battered man..bruised. bad slave.
man wants to go to pub
elves sent delegation to pembroke…. “deeply broken people”
do you want them?
yes.
½ lings.
elves brought them to us. in the middle of an orc forrest.
Zone of death..don’t know why?
we don’t know? all male
vow of silence and accept food and water…send em to humans
offer them beer…they like it!!!
laurent offers..
elves don’t think beer is good.
disease comes from burgundy…fin is sharing this.
Elves? live longer than anyone with the disease.
less with orks faster metabolism.
……
now a traumatized set of halflings.

View
Neighbors, Part 3
A storm cometh.

An overcast morn, windy and damp. During the day the villagers go about daily chores in and around the village and castle. As the day passes more and more villagers leave the shire and head to the castle to take shelter from an evil that lurks at night.

The Heroes of Glastonbury inquire with Anlyth when the Wraith might be at its weakest. Anlyth explains in short that elf lords are very powerful magically. They gain power through circles of influence, not heredity. He diverges onto a tangent explaining …”that though intelligence is related to magical prowess there is no direct link.” He further expounds that “After death, if the elven ritual of internment is not performed, an insatiable revenant returns. They are described to have more power in darkness and in fact will not walk in the light.” He suggests to leave when the sun has the highest potential of daylight. Anlyth also explains in further detail the elf lord’s inability to track them outside of his hovel, but warns that his soul-bound Rathorn was entombed with him, and can track very well. It all depends on how deep their conjugation and who holds the dominance; elf lord or Rathorn.

Anlyth conveys his gratitude, wishes them prosperity and takes his uncomfortable leave.

Later in the day the weather remains uncooperative, rain with the expectation of heavy storms into the eve. Laurent comes to a decision to stay behind and entertain the shire, telling stories to the people of Pembroke of various events in their new world and performing songs of the deeds of the Heroes of Glastonbury.

In private the Earl of Pembroke meets with Gideon after dinner and expresses his interest in this new land. “In this new land, the strong could seize much.” The earl exhorts that he knows who Gideon is, asking if he like is father before him is a usurper. The Earl presents a roll of parchment to Gid and suggests that Gideon is a “troublemaker” and further cautions that he, THE Earl, is better fit to rule than some upstart like himself. Gideon responds assuring the earl that he “doesn’t know what he heard” venting it to rumor. Gideon crumpled up the note, and threw it in the fire, repeating that he “doesn’t know what the earl heard”. The earl said that he “considers the matter currently closed.” Gideon leaves brooding, and decides to keep first and third watch.

Dark and dreary into the night the guards stood fixed upon the walls of Castle Pembroke. The night was quiet. Sounds of Laurent’s music and voice mixed with the occasional cheer carried up into the breezy night. The familiar sounds helped to ease the tension and fear that hung upon the somber faces gazing into the gloom. Upon second watch there came a ghastly wail washing over the land from the north. The alarm bells were raised. And the castle stirred into action.

Sebastian whisked to the watchtower, and spied a mounted figure atop of Harlow Hill to the north. Lightning flashed and boomed over Pembroke and flashed again. Overhead bolts of blue lashed out crashing into the mounted silhouette in the distance. Its sword raised high reaching to the heavens drawing the lightning into it.

When the torrential fulmination subsided, a high pitched keening sound emanating from the figure followed, increasing in volume. It was the sound of something self-confident and angry. Something filled with hate and violence. The sound caused a multitude of reactions behind the walls of the castle. Most dropped their weapons to cover their ears and cower. The truly brave stood firmly against the blaring cry. Fin standing on the ramparts was able to hear through the wail to discern a challenging voice rising up from the figure. The voice vexed him filling him with fury. Fin beheld that Stefan next to him on the wall, was enthralled with this acrimony, yelling and chanting as well. Anlyth joined them armed with rapier, sweat dripping from his face and said “this bodes ill for all, that which you hear is a Rathhorn war cry, ready to do battle against what it deems an enemy."

The Rathhorn and its death-like rider galloped resolute through the shire, sword still in hand riding to the castle wall. The mount appeared a spectral white with hardened natural armor covering its body. A hefty single horn jutting from its forehead. Its rider shouts at the castle, bellowing that he will be back on the morrows eve proclaiming “The gates of the castle must be opened for my return. All must depart or suffer my cleansing fire.”

An unsteady calm returns to the night and the castle occupants return; some to their posts, others to bed in attempt at rest and sleep.

The Heroes gather early the next morn after breaking fast and morning prayers. Heinrich musters a small group of Templars to join them. They set off when all are prepared. The quiet grim shire looks upon them with both awe and fear, drawing crosses from head to chest and shoulder to shoulder. Anlyth gifted Content Not Found: null and Gideon potions to take before they get to the burrow.

When getting close to the burrow, they came across a small group of orcs, 5 wolf riders and 6 shaman, all looking, gesturing heatedly at the tomb entrance, and speaking frantically in Orcish. As the heroes drew closer, one of the orcs made a sign suggesting parlay. Fin stepped forward to speak to him; the Orcs make fun of the elves’ magic and say that Orc spirit magic is superior and must be used to bind the apparition to the burrow, though they admit it takes time. Fin explains that they have a plan to do it, and shows the Elven bag to the shaman. The shaman guffaws and says that it’ll be good only for a week! But hesitates that it should give them enough time for his shamans to bind the creature again to its ill-fated home.

Fin asks if he can come with the shaman after he’s done. The orc held up his hand indicating the number three: he must impress, he must accomplish the mission, and walk out of the burrow alive. Finn says that he’s not afraid, the orc shaman says that he fails – spirit magic is driven by true suffering. Finn explains that “the priests of man are whipping themselves, praying to give strength to us.” The orcs are impressed after all, and ask Fin if he wants to partake in the cleansing of the elves after this, since he has proof that the humans have souls of steel. While he translates to the heroes Fin says that they will think about it.

The orc pulls out a bottle and hands it to Luc who smells it and declines with a skeptical smile. Heinrich is intrigued by it and takes a swig of the strong drink. It proves too powerful for him; he gags and retches its foul contents, though feels somewhat strengthened. Fin, feeling proud also takes a pull from the rank bottle and manages to keep it down, the muscles in his neck and arms ripple, bulge, and harden.

The group together with the orcs approach the borrow entrance in a half moon. Nine grotesque rotting men, foul to the smell burst from the entrance and charge at the assembled heroes. The team takes a couple hits and Stefan ends up with a broken arm, the rest of the group do valiantly and defeat the enemy of nine.

As the skirmish had ended and the final foe has fallen, Stefan dropped his shield, picked up his sword, turned to Gideon and swung with hatred. He let out a guttural growl that seemed all too unlike him. The group rallied to subdue Stefan as Heinrich knocked him off his feet. Heinrich ordered the Templars to sit on him as a means of restraint.

The group made a large fire, and Heinrich lit a torch. One of the orcs joining the group slugged down a potion, belching loudly before lining up to head in. Heinrich lead the way with the party right behind. He faced something at the moment of entry, a large armored warrior standing mightily masked with a great horned helm. Heinrich took a blow on the side before backing out, staring at his icy frostbitten gash.

The group changed tactics and Gideon charged into the burrow with Fin pushing him from behind. Followed immediately by Luc and Sebastian, and two orcs. The darkness swallowed them. Gid slammed into the creature as the others tossed torches deeper into the tomb. The apparition vanished immediately upon the impact. Gideon and Fin were affected by some hexing sorcery weakening them, but they pushed on. As they pressed forth towards the inner door they heard baying out, the abhorrent war cry of the undead Rathorn. The creature postured heavily toward them and attacked thrashing out with hoof and maw.

As Gideon and Fin engaged the beast in battle, Sebastian made for what he judged to be the most sensible of three doorways the wraith may have fled. Sebastian bolted through the esoteric door frame with Luc scrambling to catch up.

In the next chamber the two discovered the wraith as it rose from a cold forgotten funeral pyre. It swung its massive helmed head toward the two and focused its cold gaze upon Sebastian. That very moment Sebastian, bag in hand, tossed Anlyth’s packet at the phantom. It let out a malicious shriek and chaos erupted in the dark hovel. Sebastian was beguiled by this wraith, along with Gideon and one of the barbaric Orcs.

Finn invoked the Almighty praying to bond with the Rathhorn to control it. His lack of divine favor failed, and he too bent to its malignant will. Fin turned upon his friends and lashing out launched his spear at Heinrich. Heinrich was able to dodge, then kill the bewitched orc companion. In his bewitched state Gideon turned directly to Heinrich and attacked, Heinrich parried with a flourish of his blade.

The wraith struggled to move but found it was fixed in place. Sebastian, under the wraiths command, tried to grab the enchanted packet and run. Luc intercepted him grabbing Sebastian from behind. Sebastian found the muscular arms and skilled grapple impossible to reprieve. Luc hauled Sebastian out of the chamber kicking and screaming. Sebastian breaking free of the wraiths will, continued to argue with Luc trying to convince him to go and grab some of the treasure. Luc almost swayed, decided that Sebastian’s safety was more important than foreign trinkets coveted by the undead. He carried him on, retreating out of the hovel to safety.

While Heinrich and Fin were still engaged in battle, Gideon snapped out of his enthrallment and turned his attention toward Fin. Gid tried to save Fin, subduing him rather than allowing Heinrich to kill him. Heinrich kneed him in the groin and took Fin down, knocking him unconscious. Grasping Fin by the arms, the group continued its calculated retreat out, and returned to the Orc shaman.

The shaman used a spell to wake Fin. Seeing that his eyes were still red, one promptly knocked him out returning him to a stupefied state. The heroes took their leave of the barbarian witchmen and returned to Glastonbury to perform an exorcism on Fin.

The combined skills of Brother Robert and Anlyth along with the waning will of Fin, were able to salvage what they could of his mind. They freed Fin of the will of the Rathorn and with rest, proper food, and prayer he was on the road to recovery.

A message came to Glastonbury. The earl of Pembroke had come to a decision – he is going to tear down the wall around the abbey and ship the stone up to the village of Pembroke so they can have a wall around the shire. Laying claim also to his royal status in this new world.

View
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…

View
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.
In the service of the lord... wherever

My situation seems to have changed. No longer will be overseeing the transfer of wealth from one lordship to anther, instead the divine has seen fit to bring me, my client, and the castle itself to new lands.
There are some Christians here, brought for the same unknown purpose. But for each friend I am told we have 10 enemies, heathens who do not know gods laws.

My task has not changed, to defend the worshipers of the one true god. There is no temple here but with these Christians and with the land beset by sin I see a need for a new temple.

This is not the holy land, my senses seem fit to call it the unholy land, but even such is reachable for gods power.
I have work to do.

View
Neighbors, Part 1

The village continues to knit itself back together after the previous events with the demons. Lord Deveroux feels ashamed over what had happened, and he begins to consider quitting, reconciling what he had ordered during that time with his basic nature. Brother Robert offers counseling and listens to confessions from the townsfolk during the day, though its common knowledge among the monks that there is crying from his room at night. Brother Robert eventually confides in Finn his sorrows – he had a higher image of human nature that was lost over the course of events, and needs time to reestablish trust levels.

The group goes to meet with the elves in order to relay what had happened in their village and solidify an alliance with them. Many of the elven folk are impressed with what they had heard, except for the Queen who kept a cool facade.

The group asked about a one legged elf that they had seen on their way to the elven kingdom, who seemingly was working with the Orcs. She nods and says that they know him well. His name is Soren, who is a tragic case. The tower that he was spotted by was one of theirs, Tower Kithorn, which fell to the Orcs many years ago, with Soren being the only one who survived due to being away during the event. He was determined to find the remains of his sister, though eventually became enslaved to the Orcs and have been for 75 years. He tends to run away every time the elves try to help him though, back to the Orcs. The elves say that the group can try to help him, though they believe that he is a lost cause.

The group agrees that they can at least give it a shot, and the elves tell them a little more – Soren belongs to the Bloody Fang tribe, and gives their general location. The only assistance they are willing to give though for this endeavor is rations – they don’t believe that elven bodies are worth the risk anymore.

Before leaving, the group discusses trading goods with the elves. The two groups settled on receiving hardwood, iron and coal in exchange for bison meat.

The group begins heading in the direction in which Soren is believed to be. Along the way, they find abandoned encampments with some leftover coal and bronze, marking it on a map to come back to these locations later. As they get closer to the camp, the group encounters seven warrior orcs and engage in combat. The group seemingly had an off day though, and one by one, they fell to their opponents, except for Sebastian who escaped up a tree early in the fight.

Instead of killing each party member outright though, the orcs instead tie them up and drag them to their encampment. Once there, each one of them were slapped awake, as the Orc Chieftain watched on. Once they were all conscious, the chief smirked at them and asked, in poor Elvish, if they were “white meat or dark?” Finn, being how he is, corrects him on his pronunciation and immediately is kicked in the ribs. Becoming more serious, the Chief asks outright why they are there if they are not warriors. Laurent says that they are looking for hardwood and coal, Finn honestly states that they’re also looking for Soren.

The Chief calls for Soren, and tells him that they group came for him. Soren simply says, “their loss”. Finn mentioned his previous encounter with his sister, and how he and Luc helped her to rest by burning her bones. Hearing that put some fire in his soul as Soren begins to act up and attack the Orcs before being subdued. The Chief turns his attention to Finn, saying he doesn’t know whether to thank or hurt him – for awhile, Soren has been useless with no spirit, though Finn’s words revived some of that. The Chief tells him that he needs that spirit to make magic weapons to help the Orcs in battle. If Finn and the group help break Soren, they will trade all of the wood and coal that they have.

Gideon unties each person while Finn and Laurent were talking about what to do. The Chief notices that Gideon’s weapon was not peacebound, and Gideon instinctively draws his weapon out. Laurent quickly says that Gideon is one of the best fighters that they have. The chief laughs and says that he will let them go if Gideon is able to beat the Chieftain’s bodyguard. For now, if they promise to give up their weapons, he will let the group heal and rest.

The group agree to these terms, and spend the next couple days in the encampment. While they were allowed to walk around, they were always accompanied by a pair of Orc bodyguards, which especially irritated Gideon. He was extremely uneasy without his weapon, and was finally allowed to have it under supervision the night before the fight, so that he can prep it for the upcoming battle.

Laurent and Finn entertain the Orcs that night with stories of humankind and how great they are. Andre demonstrates the might of humans by swinging his sword against the tree. The Orcs were in an uproar over it, with one of them grabbing their weapons, swinging it against the tree, and watching it shatter. The Orcs then turn to the Chief and ask why they even keep Soren around if he makes such poor weapons. The Chief simply takes out his own weapon and slides it nicely against the tree. Putting it back in its sheath, he says that this kind of weaponry is what he wants for his whole tribe. The Chief states again to the group if they help break Soren, the Orcs will forever be in debt to them.

Laurent at one point mentions Skagg, which immediately caught the Chief’s interest since that was actually his son. He hears the story on him, and once he learns of his son’s death to the elves, he beats on Soren. Gideon helps Soren up, then the elf asks in perfect French if Gideon can win the fight after all. Gideon tells him that he’s quite confident about it, and Soren tells him that there is a way that he can make Gideon stronger. He then asks Finn what happened to his sister, and then he got the full story on the encounter that Finn had with her. Soren says that he has their thanks, and he will aid them for treating his sister so well.

After everyone had went to bed, Sebastian finally comes out of his hiding spot with one mission in mind – to take the Chieftain’s shiny sword. He did so well that not only was he able to switch Andre’s sword with the Chief’s, but he managed to take everybody else’s weapons as well before sneaking right back out. Sebastian noticed that the magic sword sung a sweet song of battle as he held it to admire, though didn’t think too much of it as he put it in back in the sheath.

Gideon and the Orc Bodyguard go at it the next morning, with a little magic help from Soren on Gideon’s side. The young knight takes a groin shot early on in the battle, receiving many a wince from the audience members, yet he kept on going. After some impressive feinting on Gideon’s end, he took his sword and was able to cut the bodyguard’s head clean off. This caused a huge uproar in the encampment, and Gideon immediately took to limping off to meet with everyone else. Andre rushes to his side to help him move faster, while Luc and Finn grab Soren and make a break for it.

Sebastian saw this as his chance to take an aimed shot right to the Chieftain’s face. The arrow struck him square in the eye, only furthering his anger. He pulls out his sword to yell, “kill them all”, then noticed that his magic sword was missing. The chief then let out a battle cry and led the charge to chase the party down.

It didn’t take long for Sebastian to catch up with the rest of the group. With a wink, he gives the party back their weapons, saying that they owe him one. What he forgot though, was that the magic blade was in Andre’s sheath, and when the old knight drew it he was immediately entranced by the battle song. He turns around to fight as the others were able to run. They had received word that Andre was able to kill many of the orcs with the sword but does eventually fall victim due to the sheer number of them. His sacrifice did mean that the rest of the party managed to get to the river safely and ride it down to the village.

When they returned to Town Square, they saw one of the Elven diplomats speaking to the townspeople. Soren, recognizing him instantly, grabs the diplomat and begins punching him out. Gideon pulls Soren off of the other elf and holds him back. The diplomat, Analieth, tells them that they lost three good elves trying to rescue Soren, and he’s surprised that they have him at all. Soren tells him that he was on a mission, the humans completed it for him and now he is in debt to him. Analeith gets up, saying that Soren is beneath him, and walks away. Soren lets the group know that Analeith was the one that persuaded the Queen to stop sending people to help him. Either way, he says, he is unable to go back, and is willing to settle down with the humans for at least a year to pay off his debt before he returns to the wild.

That night, a huge storm comes rolling in, passing the village to the north by several miles. The lightning violently strikes the ground multiple times before ending the storm.

The end of the storm meant bad news for the village though, as they quickly find out – the unfortunately side effect is that the river completely dried up.

View
In The Beginning, Part 5

The party manages to safely return to the outskirts of Glastonbury with little fanfare, and begin to prepare a plan for one of the biggest fights of their lives. They discuss what the best plan would be, and settle on splitting into two groups. Gideon, Content Not Found: null and Brother Portier will be the ones sneaking into the castle, while Luc, Finn and Andre will be the ones creating the distraction outside. After hearing the commotion from the latter group, the former will take their chances and break for it.

Before they leave to enact their plan, Finn speaks to Crazy Agnes who ominously tells him to find Baroness Alice. He keeps it in mind as his group leaves to create some commotion.

The group makes their way to a barn with some horses inside, when they heard a woman’s scream inside. Andre comes up to the two guards at the entrance, who tells him to move along so that he doesn’t get hurt. Due to his previous leadership skills, he managed to convince the guards that they’re better off standing down, so they let him inside.

He was surprised to see the condition of the horses, which looked worse for the wear. As he began to release the horses, he gets hit in the back with a dagger. He turns around to see an infantryman holding the blade, who states that he needs the bounty that’s on Andre’s head, and that he cannot let him free the horses. Andre manages to gain the upper hand in a quarrel and knock him off of his feet, injuring him. As the man tries to escape, a naked woman descends from the ceiling and kills him outright in a rage, seemingly for the events that happened before they entered the barn. Andre, Luc and Finn manage to free the rest of the horses and they begin to make their way to the town proper.

Hearing the commotion a few miles away, Sebastian took the initiative to lead the priest and Gideon through the abbey wall with no difficulties at all. It wasn’t until they were crossing the grounds where a monk stops Sebastian, believing him to be someone who lives on grounds, and asks him for water. Sebastian goes to get some and slips some sleeping potion into the water as he tries to give it back to him. Unfortunately the monk got a good look at his face and realized who he was, though Gideon managed to hit the monk over the head before he was able to cast any magic. Gideon managed to hogtie him and pull him out of the way.

Sebastian and the group notice a large hole in the ground in front of one of the buildings, but felt that the need to get into the abbey proper was too important to investigate, so they move forward.

Once Finn gets into the town, he dons a monk’s cloak to go and find Alice on his own. He found it suspicious that the peasants are trying to avoid him for some reason. Once he gets to her home, he finds it completely destroyed, which was highly unusual. He takes one of the spears that was hanging from the walls, and then goes to the gates of the abbey. The two guards are blocking the way, and tell him that they are not allowed to let anybody in or out until breakfast. They do get a glimpse of his face though, and once they recognize who he is, Finn breaks into a sprint and chase after him, yelling that he is here.

As they run through the village, the peasants seemingly try to defend Finn by attacking the guards with cooking utensils and whatever else was on hand. Prester Peter looks outside of his window at the commotion and recognizes Finn as the chase takes him into the fields. Thinking this would be a great chance to get rid of him, Peter shoots a fireball at Finn’s direction. Unfortunately his aim was a little off the mark and only caught his back. Finn doesn’t even take notice until the fire burns a little too hot against his skin, so he takes the time to drop and roll. Peter throws another fireball though due to the distance, his aim was off even further and hit a nearby roof instead. To try and put the fire out, Finn runs to the nearest well and was shocked in horror to find that there was a man crucified there. Finding that his well-being was important, Finn began to tend to him instead.

Sebastian definitely knew his way around the castle very well, and only ran into one encounter – he was able to mimic Deveroux’s voice well enough though to distract them, which allowed them to get all the way to the demon child’s room. The three of them bust down the door. Gideon goes for the secretary immediately, while both the priest and Sebastian bum rush the baby as soon as they spot it. Once the crucifix was plunged into the baby, the resulting screech knocks Sebastian out immediately, while the Secretary had enough composure to shoot fire in both Gideon and the priests’ direction.

Gideon was steady enough to be able to grab the baby and run out of there. Due to the commotion, Peter made his way towards the door and blocked Gideon’s escape. The two of them begin grappling, but it wasn’t until the priest slammed himself into Peter so that Gideon can escape completely. Peter hit Gideon with an acid spell on his way out. Weakened, Gideon attempts to take the health potion he received from Agnes earlier out, but the secretary at that point was able to cast a spell that left both him and the priest stunned.

The baby’s mortal form at this point was dying due to being hit with the fire spell from earlier. The demon inside begins to attempt to jump into Gideon’s body. Peter suddenly finds himself losing control of his own body to the demon inside of him, which goes over to Gideon and asks, “Who is the boss now?” The secretary looks confused and stunned at the whole scene.

Luc comes into town on a horse with Agnes and runs through the guards on the path to the abbey. Behind him is Brother Robert, who is seemingly glowing, and the peasants go down on one knee as he passes. After attending to the man at the well earlier, Finn tries to clear the way as well against three spearmen – two give up rather easily, while the third engages in combat. Finn manages to jab the spear into the man’s side and watches him fall over. Stefan runs into Finn and asks where Gideon is. Finn lets him know that he’s taking care of business in the abbey. Stefan goes straight there, while Finn lets him know that he will be right behind him.

Meanwhile, Sebastian comes into consciousness and assesses the current situation in the abbey. Believing that Peter is the most dangerous one, Sebastian stabs him in the leg with another crucifix. Peter’s body lets out a demonic scream as the demon is blocked. Peter pulls out the stake, but manages to have enough power to cast a willpower spell on Gideon before he passes out. The demon tells Gideon that he needs to submit.

Luc’s horse runs through the abbey doors and up the stairs. He sees Gideon at the end of the hallway, but was shocked to hear a different voice coming from the body, saying that he needed to “prepare to die”. The horse was hit with a burst of flames from Gideon’s hands, throwing the beast out of control. Agnes gets off rather gracefully, Luc less so and ends up injuring himself. As he tries to dodge the horse bucking around, the creature suddenly vanishes due to what seemingly was divine intervention.

Agnes reaches into her bag and throws powder over Gideon. He manages to avoid inhaling it before throwing another fireball at Agnes’ direction. She dodges the fireball, and Gideon passes out from sheer exhaustion.

Stefan shows up just as Agnes stabs Gideon’s body with a cross. Stefan knocks her out of the way due to the fear of her injuring his friend. Finn finally catches up to him, saying that the person in front of him isn’t really Gideon at the moment, which stops Stefan in his tracks. The secretary begins to summon some magic, but Brother Robert shows up in time to stop him.

Brother Robert begins the exorcism, successfully pulled out the demon’s souls and trapped them into a rock. The rock was then promptly thrown into the river, hopefully never to be seen again. The group explains to Lord Deveroux what had happened, who was simply overwhelmed with the information. He was shocked that even the abbot was involved with the demons, and needed some time to completely understand the impact that the events had on the sins and sinners of Glastonbury. They then explored the basement of the Abbey and found some artifacts of seemingly extreme importance, though for what exactly, they need to take some time to find out.

Finn, Gideon and Luc decide to travel back to the Elves to deliver the news. On their way there, they see that mummified corpse near the tower was removed. It wasn’t until they reached the Elven Kingdom that they learn the tower really does belong to the Elves after all.

Queen Ikeshia met with them to learn of the fate of their town. As she passed each one, she noticed on Gideon’s soul that his had been damaged by some sort of entity. Finn and Luc describe their previous heroic adventure as well, on how they saved the remains of the elven girl and performed the correct rites for her burial. The elves were quite appreciative of the gesture. They gave the group some truth potions for their time, and also a bit of information that may interest them. They recently heard of a group of men far to the west, calling themselves Burgundians. The men were so strong that despite the odds against them, they managed to beat the Orcs so badly that they actually came crawling to the Elves for help. Ikeshia had the Orc emissaries killed, for better or worse she decided to side with the humans.

With that in mind, the group returned to the village to share that information, as well as to use the truth potion on the remanding key players in the Abbot’s circle. Peter especially was found guilty of his many lies and was sent to the elves to live out the rest of his “life” – apparently, the Elves had been quite curious on the inner biology of humans for quite some time.

The people of Glastonbury resumed what they could of their new normal life, and continued to plan and prepare for what could possibly happen next for them.

View
In the Beginning, Part 4
Attacked from within and without

The party, along with the small group of elves, returned to Glastonbury with the news regarding the Orcs and the Elves.

The elves stopped dead in their tracks once they entered the village, their eyes settling on Skag in front of them. Prester Peter asks them if there’s actually anything special about this guy, since he did claim that he was a prince. The elves tell him that they’ll decide that after the orc is dead, and drew their bows and killed him. Afterward they decided that he was an ordinary Orc.

Peter then calls a council on the immediate leadership, relaying the news. The leaders are a little freaked out, especially since they weren’t quite done with questioning Skag yet. Peter reminds them that the elves’ assistance in the upcoming fight will be worth it, and it’s better to be on their side.

The leadership began to devise a plan. Scouts will be sent out to learn more about the enemy, so that they can better prepare themselves. Sebastian, due to his innate talents, was given a position on the scouts and was called to assist, along with Luc. Giuseppe was ordered to work with the elves on marksmanship, while Gideon is to be a part of the Knight’s line. De Mowbray plans to constantly work the knights in various formations to prepare them.

Prester Peter then brings up the elf spirit that is bound under the barrow, and if it is more likely to attack orcs than elves. The elves let the group know that it’s an unknown factor and its most likely that the elf spirit will act indiscriminately. They put it off as a possible nuclear option instead.

Alice St. George puts her two cents on the table, wondering what will happen to the women while the men are off to war? She believes that there needs to be a plan B, since the women who will be left behind will be defenseless in case there was a separate attack on them. Baroness St. George calls for spears for the women, and eventually the blacksmith starts working on them. It seems that the blacksmith was conspiring with Addy Raimbeaucourt on something as well, since the latter continues to leave the forge with a smile and snicker on his face.

After the meeting, Abbot William asks to see Prester Peter alone. Once nobody else is around, the abbot tells Peter about a document that was found in the scriptorium that will allow them to gain God’s favor, in exchange for a sacrifice. Peter says that he would be interested, and William found himself a little disturbed by how readily he said that. He goes on further, saying that the document speaks of dark things, but the response would be good – the sacrifice would better protect the troops on the field.

Peter says that they are the only Christians in the land, if they no longer exist, then nobody would be around to spread the word of God. The abbot relents, thinking that he is speaking wisdom. The general population is not to know about what it is to be done though – they need to find a young child, the more innocent and beloved, the better, in a holy place. They make plans to prepare for it and look into possible children if the Scouts come back with bad news.

Rosalind St. George comes up to Stefan in the field, and wishes to speak to him about “pointy things” and if he can teach her and her friends about them. He deflates a little when realizing that they’re actually talking about spears, and that they’re interested in learning to defend themselves. She is beet red when she tells him all of this, saying that they’re a danger to themselves if they don’t receive the help. Stefan eventually relents, and tells her that both him and Gideon will help. The two of them end up staying back from the scouting mission to teach them.

Sebastian and Luc go out with the scouts and they both managed to safely make their way into the encampment. They estimate that more than 700 orcs have gathered to the camp, though out of that, only a small portion are wolf riders, and the archers that are there are very poor at it. The orcs also seemed very disorganized, and prone to infighting. However, they did manage to recruit a new type of orc that they had never seen before – ones over seven feet tall, extremely angry, yet they looked none too bright. The two of them, along with the rest of the group, managed to make their way out of the forest again with no troubles and then relayed the information back to the town.

A war council was immediately called. While the orcs have over 700 in their ranks, the village has just a little over 300. Giuseppe makes his move at this point, saying that it’s clear given the numbers and behavior that the scouts observed, that they should stay on the defensive and let the orcs fight themselves until they have thinned themselves out a little. De Mowbray stands forward, saying that their Knights have two impressive advantages – discipline and lances – and the enemy has nothing like that. Giuseppe disagrees, saying that it won’t make up for their disadvantages.

Addy comes forward with his newest invention, and throws some caltrops on the table. He states that if they use the caltrops, it will help break the orcs’ formation as they come through, and can assist with them taking out the leaders. Giuseppe states that taking out the leaders will not break them much, since it seems that they’re much less disorganized in general, and that they should be on the defensive. De Moubray points out that they do need to protect the crops, and with a siege you need to worry about sickness, which is not something they can really afford. Since they have better leaders and equipment, they need to be mobile. Stubborn, Giuseppe states that at least they can set the grass on fire beforehand to make it more difficult for the orcs as they come through. The elf leader chips in, stating that they do need to meet them as far away from anything that they love as they can, since the Orcs have a tendency to poison the well and salt the earth of their enemies, ruining everything that they hold dear.

A young woman approaches Gideon as he prepares to ride off, giving him a reason to live for – a short experience, if he may. Turning beet red, he passes his code of chivalry and tells them that he is to be somewhere else. Sebastian and Luc finish their own preparations and head out first as a part of the scouts, to set fires and put the caltrops down, managing to throw off the opposing scouts’ scents the whole time.

Brother Jean-Pierre was going to retire to his room for the evening, and encounters Brother Robert with a dagger in his back. He applies first aid to Robert’s wounds, and Robert let him know to protect the children – twelve children went missing, and the women who were watching them were dead. Jean-Pierre put him in a room to rest, then went to look for the Dutchess. He lets her know what happens, and the women of the village went cold.

Groups of them split up to look for the missing children, and then discover the Abbot and Prester Peter beginning a ritual in the basement. Peter, due to his immense amounts of charm, was able to persuade them to let them have at least one of the children, in order to protect the warriors on the field. The Dutchess and her group leave the room afteward, to leave them to the act. As the ritual went forward, Peter realized at the last moment that the Abbot was performing a demon ritual, and Peter attempted to bind the demon to himself. The situation went awry, and the demon ended up inhabiting the body of the child instead.

The battle begins, though the Orcs found that they were having difficulties rather early due to the traps and the marksmen. Robert begins to send the calvary after them, and they blast a hole right through the opposing calvary. Due to heavy losses, some Orcs have already begun to retreat. The elves were laughing since they had never seen Orcs run with their tails between their legs before, Gisuppe shot a dirty look at them and yelled at them to no effect. Once the orcs were out of the way, Gisuppe goes over there to talk to them – when you beat an enemy, you continue killing them, instead of letting them run away.

A separate battle happened in the village, though the women found that they were able to handle themselves readily against the attacking orcs. They definitely had assistance from the demon child, who was pointing at Orcs and having fun watching them blow up. It didn’t take long for the Orcs to retreat from there as well. Jean-Pierre took one glance at the child as he was being held by the Abbot and immediately began to make plans to perform an exorcism.

After the warriors came back from the battle, the Abbot announces that the “lord and savior” of the town has come forth, and was responsible for their easy victories that night. People with the “sight” were easily able to see that there was nothing good about the child at all, and instantly felt uneasy. The elves noticed this too, and told Giuseppe that they were leaving immediately.

Jean-Pierre and Laurent come across Brother Robert who was attempting to make an escape from his room, though wasn’t going very far due to his injury. He let the two men know that he needs to be taken to Crazy Agnes as soon as possible. The two of them carried him to the cornfield, where it seems that all of the other people with magic in town are gathering as well – besides Agnes, Finn and Elena made their way to the field as well.

The demon child tells the Abbot and Peter that Brother Robert is a danger to them, and commands Peter to go and get him. Peter asks the secretary where Robert was, and the secretary was surprised that he was gone – the hemlock coated dagger that he stabbed Robert with should have taken care of him. Peter asks around and eventually noted that certain members of the community has gone missing. Peter goes back to the Abbot and says that these members should be announced enemies of the community and send the peasants to do the work of looking for them instead. The abbot agrees with the plan and tells Peter to relay the information to the child. The baby is overall pleased with it, and tells him not to fail him, otherwise Peter is his next target. Prester Peter then announces to the town that these people are enemies of the “town savior” and that if anybody sees them, they should be reported.

Sebastian is taken to the room to meet the demon child directly. The demon seems pleased by his presence, and the Abbot told Sebastian that the child requires something from him, and that Sebastian should hand his personal items over to him. Sebastian manages to pull out an astonishing number of items from his person, though tried his best to keep his prized potions on him. Unfortunately that seems to be what the child was looking for, and due to feeling a knife against his back, Sebastian reluctantly hands them forward. The baby claps and then immediately consumes them. Angry about the ordeal, Sebastian left the room, thinking of various ways to plot his revenge.

Meanwhile in the cornfield, Jean-Pierre and the others discuss what is to be done about the child, who is an abomination. He tells the others that he is practiced in performing exorcisms, but Robert receives a vision from God that the required bible that is needed had been burned already. They decide that their best bet is to maybe see if the elves have any assistance against the baby. However, they don’t have any sense of direction, so they need a scout to assist them. Since Elena is the least likely to be noticed missing, and Laurent could come up with a good excuse to his disappearance, the two of them went back to town to fetch someone.

Due to their history, Laurent relays it to Luc, who believes they need some protection in case they run into some trouble on the road. He and Elena go to meet with Gideon. While Gideon was tough to convince, due to him wanting to go to De Maubrey first, Elena managed to convince him that it was important to leave that night, along with Elena’s brothers. The group meets up with Jean-Paul and Finn back in the field, and set off – Brother Robert is too injured still to come with, though Agnes promises to take care of him. Prester Peter makes a pact with the child that night as well, and was bestowed special powers by him.

The next day, Prester Peter hears no news on the missing persons, and it seems that they are out of the demon childs’ reach as well. Peter goes to Deveroux about these people, calling them witches who need to be punished. Deveroux calls for the likes of Luc and Gideon for the party to hunt them down, but immediately finds them missing. He manages to put a scouting party together regardless, with Sebastian as a part of it. Luc successfully hides their tracks from the scouts, and Sebastian comes back with a negative report. The demon child lashes out at him, using magic to burn his back, telling him to do better next time. Miffed, Sebastian tries to take something on his way out but manages to get caught and gets a lash on his hand as well.

The group fleeing to the Elves has some problems when a wolf rider team tracks them down. They fought valiantly against the wolf rider and guards and do take them down, though Elena’s brothers end up disabled. Eventually five more wolf riders catch the sent of their blood, and come ever closer to them. Fortunately elves were in the area and shot a volley of arrows against the orcs. The elves then take them back to their encampment, and the travelers speak of their situation. Unfortunately, the Elves do not know anything that would help due to the fact that their belief systems are different.

Jean-Pierre’s intuition went off that they need to meet back up with Brother Robert, so after spending some time at the encampment, they set off again. The two of them are drawn together due to their faith, and Robert is doing much better. He also managed to get his hands on a bible that they can convert over to something that can work. The two of them pray over it and it eventually became workable. The group then began planning on what to do next…..

View
In the Beginning Part 3
In search of allies

By dawn, after escaping the burning man and his hell hounds, the survivors are exhausted, stumbling along barely able to walk. After losing our pursuers, the group tried to get some much needed rest. Gideon and Laurent were on watch, but as they were also exhausted and they fell asleep on watch. Charles de Mowbray kicks the young knight awake, muttering that there is something in the woods watching. Gideon, while trying to maintain watch, falls asleep again and is kicked awake by Laurent.

Scouts are sent out in an attempt to gain information on who the watchers are, how many of them there are, and what their intentions toward us are. The scouts return, some injured, reporting that the watchers are more like the captured Skag, and that they’re preparing to attack. Charles de Mowbray has a plan however, to defend the party against that attackers. The scouts on the forefront of the group, the Mercs just behind them, and the knights prepared to charge once the Mercs have taken their shots, focusing on the wolf riders, and anyone who seems to be a leader. The group is slowly retreating, the squires using the extra horses to trample the grass, preventing any of the attackers to sneak up on us, though the thick tall grass.

When the natives attack and the Mercs use their crossbows, taking down many of the attackers, but there are many more of them than of us, and they just keep coming, almost as if they’re determined to throw their lives away. When the knights make their attack, Gideon charges for the one he believes is the leader, hoping to take him out and protect his friends. He strikes his opponent in the head, but incredibly it manages to stay on it’s feet. After the charge, seven of the ten knights have come through and stay standing. After losing his lance, Gideon charges into the fray, fighting with his sword like a man possessed in defense of the scouts, who were in danger of being overrun.

Laurent also charged into the fray, throwing knives trying to take down the wolves being ridden by the creatures. He is badly hurt by the wolf he’d targeted. Charles de Mowbray went into a frenzy, and attacks, killing the leader’s wolf, and beheads the leader in single combat. Gideon ends up getting unhorsed, and is slightly wounded. Stefan attacks in his friend’s defense, just before he too is knocked from his horse by a wolf. He ends up unconscious, Gideon leapt in to try and rescue his friend. In a short, brutal fight, Gideon killed the wolf, saving Stefan.

Scouts are sent out again, and they quickly return with the news that there are two more large groups of these creatures headed this way. The party leaves immediately, making our way back to the Abbey. The sun has just started to set by the time we arrive safely back home, after a long day for forced marching.

Skag reveals that his people are called Orcs and that they are fighting a war against invaders, whom he names Elves from the hills to the north. He also reveals that storms have brought other strangers, people that are like us, in their wake. If the Orcs have no use for these people, they are killed.

Luc and Fin have also returned, bearing tales about the Elves, who can do magic, but who have been all but wiped out by the Orcs.. Luc also tells of a strange place, filled with booby traps. He also mentions an Elf who managed to sneak up on one of the Orcs and slit the creature’s throat, before indicating that the two men should depart. Upon his return, Fin begins to spend more time with the village midwife, an elderly woman known as Crazy Agnes, rumored to be a witch. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Agnes gives young Content Not Found: null small wine skins filled with a strange liquid.

Prester Peter suggests that a small group be sent to seek out the Elves in hopes of forming an alliance with them. Much to his dismay, Prester Peter is selected to accompany Gideon, Sebastian, Fin and Luc. The small force sets out the following morning Luc leads them back to the strange booby trapped building Closer examination reveals that the traps do not seem to be set up to keep people out, but rather to keep something in.

Luc leads the group on, taking care to avoid the village he’d seen earlier. As the journey continues, we begin to encounter more and more groups of Orcs, and we’re hard pressed to avoid them. We find the remains of a 6’6" body at what we believe to be the border between the Orc held lands and that of these Elves.

Luc and Sebastian are on a scouting mission when they are captured by an Elven patrol. Bound and blindfolded, the two young men are carried to the Elven encampment. The others have started to worry when Luc and Sebastian do not return on time. Shortly afterwards, the Elves come and take the rest of us to their encampment. After some discussion, we are taken to another fortress in the hills. We end up being taken before Ikeshia Queen of the Elves, an incredibly beautiful woman despite the scars on her face and body.

All elves wield magic to some degree and their fortresses and cities are overflowing with beautiful and ornate building and items. The elves test the humans, finding them wanting in the realm of magic but are surprised to discover that the humans, through constant practice and greater physical strength, can match the elves in combat. Gideon even dueled with an elven swordsman and beat him although the opponents were evenly matched. Prester Peter did his best to negotiate with the queen but she was contemptuous of the humans, feeling they would be outmatched and overwhelmed by the Orc numbers. Prester Peter also discovered that the Elves have their own religion but that did not seem to bother him very much.

Elves ride Rathorns in combat and are contemptuous of horses. Ikeshia eventually gathered the humans to her and explained what she had decided to do. She had ordered an Orc to be captured and told that the Elves have a new ally, the humans of Glastonbury. The Orcs will predictably create an army to wipe out the humans. If the humans survive the attack the Elves will consider them worthy of becoming Elven allies.

A few Elves joined the humans as they returned to Glastonbury, apparently against the will of their Queen. The battle will be soon and many preparations need to be made before then.

View
The exploits of Luc and Finean

Luc found Fin scrabbling up from a hole in the earth and rubble. Reaching down to offer young Finean a forearm, he helps the ginger haired boy from the darkness. Fin has a dangerous looking head wound which Luc treats immediately with bandages and clean water.

After rummaging about Fin managed to recover what remained of his spear; a charred blackened speartip. His shield was in better shape, minor scuffs, scrapes, and nicks. Nothing a bit of planing couldn’t take care of.

Resolving to retreat the area Finean hears the low rumbling snarl of a large canine. He silently warns Fin and the two hesitate holding breath to surmise where the growl came from. Through the trees they can make out the very same stout and heavily muscled aboriginals that they have encountered before. They appear yet a bit smaller than Skag and others that were described to them.

Luc leads Finean downwind of the pack of beast riders. They move well through the thick brush quickly to escape the unwanted attention of the marauding hostiles. The Great Wolves have undoubtedly picked up the scent of Luc and Fin, but by the Grace of the Creator the riders seem to be focused on something else, driving the wolves up the hill toward the tower and more importantly away from the elusive pair.

Luc and Fin make a weighty agreement to quickly and quietly traverse the gelid river. When they break from the cover of the treeline they notice almost directly across from them stands on the riverbanks a troubling sight. Two persons, one tethered by chain. The latter holding tight his bonds.Luc hunkers down to observe the situation. The one stout and far heavier in build holds in one hand thick iron chains which are affixed to an iron collar clamped about the others long neck. He keeps an deliberate distance from the prisoner. The subjugated man towers over his captor. He is of dark features, and thin, and shys timidly along the riverbank. He walks with one peg leg, though seems well adjusted to his false appendage as walking across the rocky riverbank causes no impediment. The bright red tunic he is wearing is tattered and draped loosely over his gaunt frame.

The pack of beast mounted aboriginals breaks out of the tree line up river behind Luc and Finean. The two make a break for it rushing into the river chancing their encounter with the odd pair opposite them rather than standing ground against multiple mounted foes. Luc loses his balance as he dashes into the icy flow, diving into the strong current. He strongarms the water bearing down every stroke to catch up with Fin, who is already half way across. Luc fearing for Finean’s safety crashes on through the current.

The wild mounted inhuman brutes launched several volleys of crude arrows hissing by Luc while several arrows sprouted from Fin’s wooden shield. The boorish look upon the faces of the barbaric beast-men appeared aghast that they did not strike either target.

Finnean trudges icy and sopping from the swift current drawing his weapon. He finds himself facing a savage snarling beast who already has set upon him savagely gripping his curved blade. His off hand clutching tightly the chains of the restrained lanky red garbed man. Fin springs at the brute lunging with all he has but misses as it dodges aside. The bulky armed brute hefted it’s curved blade and slashed wildly at Fin tearing through his leather it’s edge finding flesh.

Luc came measuredly at the two engaged in their skirmish. He drew his hefty cleaver in a flash and advances on the beast-man to make his attack. Just then the gaunt captive drops his facade of timidity and wraps an arm around the beast and drags something very sharp across the beasties throat. To the monster’s horror his blood came showering out splattering both Fin and Luc. A confused look was upon his cloddish face as he dropped his blade and chains grasping at his wound attempting to hold in his sanguine fluid. Luc and Fin were taken aback by the sight and looked to their grim ally. The tall man urged them to make flight. Without hesitating the two broke for the bush of the new growth forest. Luc leading the way lead their pursuers astray and the two made their escape.

It was apparent to Luc that the 14 year old Finean needed to rest. The signs of exhaustion palpable. Luc doubled back to check on their pursuers and found that their tracks lead away turning toward new pray, the hoof tracks and footprints of the knights and their party.

After their brief respite Luc and Fin hiked their way through the underbrush southward toward Glastonbury. The two happened upon what might be a beast-men village.

Doubting the outcome of what could happen the two they try to quit the area as they heard “voices” rather close.

As they follow a trail away from the noise a beast-man steps in front of Luc but behind Fin. Fin rushes back to place himself in front of Luc naively thinking to protect the older more experienced fighter.
they dispatch it quickly and run again but Fin takes another wound. Things are looking bleak for the youth. A quick flight returning to the river jumping in they float away from any further dangers.

It is now late afternoon. Fin is in bad shape. Luc forces them to rest again.

Fin opens up to Luc and tells him of his visions and of a spirit he saw. He shows him the bag of bones and charges Luc to swear upon yeshua’s name to bury it if he doesn’t make it.

Back at it Luc discovers the trail of patrol….something about a termite mound?

A battle had been fought in the area…large group of beast-men did not fare well against the mounted knights and crossbowmen.

Heading back to Glastonbury and kept to riverbanks. Constantly pushing them, Luc again realizes Fin needs to rest. His injuries are taxing upon his stamina. They make camp for the night. Luc camouflages the camp and covers fin making him near impossible to discern and then he leaves Fin to run a quick patrol of the immediate area. He notices in the moonlight a small stone building near by. He stealthily observes it. After he is comfortable Luc moves in for closer inspection….

After his examination of the “building” Luc returns to Fin and dozes off waking before dawn. The two rise and make ther way back to the Fields surrounding Glastonbury.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.