Heartland Games 1099
A report on the Heartland Games
Having been invited to participate in the Games in the Scratched and Battered team of misfits, Felines and Ellen, I was quite intrigued as to what I could expect.
It appeared that a team of between 16 and 24 people could be entered, each team participating in Ten games. Not every team played the same ten games – there was a selection of games available, each team having to choose two games from three similar ones, like Jugga, Troll Ball and the like.
These games were not the only things going on, however, for there were several other, less polite occurrences.
There were reports of an ‘Evil Carnival’ and ‘Killer clowns’ that were plaguing the event. These were believed responsible for at least one death, that of Gideon of the Tuatha. There were plague cultists in attendance as well. There was also a being that went by the name of Ares seeking champions to fight for a prize – by killing the other contestants.
This latter is probably the most disturbing for each ‘volunteer’ was marked with a red lightning strike on the left cheek. They then became able to regenerate all wounds rapidly – save for those inflicted against the head. Removing the head killed the person instantly. Each person so marked also gained a power or ability that seems to be unique, such as the ability to strike the opponent down, resist crushing blows, abilities like that. By killing another competitor in this perverse challenge, however, gained the contestant the defeated one’s power. In this way, those that killed the most opponents will become more powerful until only one of them survives.
There were reports of people so marked ambushing the others, hunting them down with friends to back them up, and of course using magics to render the opponent immobile while the head was removed.
Back to the games and there were reports of cheating, of bribes and one team trying to gain the greatest NEGATIVE score possible! For my own part, I participated in a few of the combat orientated events, including the great felines v canines bash where the canines had a few rats to back them up. There were only two of us cats there – with a few friends to make the numbers more even, but the dogs were well trained and so obeyed the commands – ‘Sit’, ‘Roll over’, ‘Play dead’, ‘Die!’.
Also, the Dungeon crawl was quite entertaining – complete with strange noises, traps (which were all too obvious and simple to avoid…) and a few heads to bash. Pity we got split up and only some of the team got out in time.
Back in the real world, two of the Tomorrow Court had appeared with Troll escort. They were petitioning for aid from the other Factions against the Harts. They refused to identify themselves to the Harts who approached them, though their markings were all too familiar. They took refuge in the Bears camp as large groups of Harts and Wolves mustered in order to speak with them, but they refused to leave the shelter of the Bears camp until they persuaded those bear present to escort them away. The trolls stayed back in order to slow the Harts, but the two fey then ran into other problems and we never seen again.
Later on the Sunday night, a large body of Tomorrow Court fey approached the Harts camp making demands and accusations. They were obviously spoiling for a fight, and were massed into a quite impressive force. Unfortunately, they also attracted the attention of the other factions, some of whom were eager for revenge for those killed at the Gloucester Moot in 1098. The fight started while I was wandering amongst the Tomorrow Court ranks, so I had the opportunity to speak with a few of them before they fell over. They all seemed to view the Harts as an evil force that opposed the goodwill of Katherine, and they were present to extract payment for the loss of two of their numbers. They were a little disturbed when I corrected their views as to what had happened to their missing comrades, but the fight was engaged and their fellows were being slaughtered, so I felt it necessary to subdue a few for their own safety. Unfortunately an exploding troll knocked me out and prevented my ensuring those I had rendered unconscious were secured for re-education.
On the issue of Thorin, my adopted daughter, there is much that needs be done. Thorin’s amulet, which turns out not to be cold iron, but meteoric iron, does drive some fey into a rage. That Thorin is a werewolf and is subject to frenzy herself resulted in numerous violent clashes between her and those she just wanted to say hello to. It is my hope that this problem can be properly addressed soon and that a solution can be found to prevent further outbreaks of violence.
On the issue of the Healers’ checkup of Lasha, Hagar issued instructions that he wished to be assisted by Martaine in order to distract the Guild guards during the examination so that Hagar could view the pattern of Lasha. This went fine until Lasha decided to punish Hagar for his impertinence. This was accomplished by Lasha ritually summoning Hagar and magebolting him. Lasha seemed somewhat happier after that.
On the Army of Light : Most, if not all of those who call themselves the Army of Light have joined the Militia. This is to their credit as they can now work in a formal capacity to lead people along the path of light and goodness while serving the people well and protecting them. There were several prophets wandering around as well that preached doom and gloom if the Army of Light were not to receive more support. That some argued that we should all give up our weapons just went to show that even a prophet can be a little simple minded at times. This does, however, raise the issue as to what is happening in the world and warns of the dangers that are mustering just out of sight.
Threats to the Association of Scouts were made by the Dragons faction representatives. These threats seemed to stem from a misunderstanding between Gideon of the Tuatha (deceased) and Thorin over her amulet. That several beastkin got involved to politely point out to Gideon that leaving Thorin alone would be a good move was seen to be provocation for a fight and/or the complaints to Silk that he should keep him people in order. The insult to the Guild was compounded both by the manner of the delivery of this complaint and the attempted theft of one of Silk’s daggers. That the Dragons faction have from time to time flexed its muscles with regard to the guilds, insulting them and provoking them resulted in a delegation of representatives from all the guilds attending the Dragons camp to voice a concern over the attitudes and actions of the Dragons representatives.
Again, it was concluded that events had occurred that were due to a lack of forethought as opposed to malice or agenda. As Silk had been quite careful not to simply respond to the perceived threat to the guild, but rather to wait until matters could be settled in a more calm and collected manner, it is hoped that those who find they have issue with a guild or a faction also delay in acting until they have collected their thoughts and relaxed any hostility they may feel.
The games ended, the scores announced and the claims of cheating and moans started. Scratched and battered came fourth, with the W&A/Mages team coming third, the Ravens second and the Lions Pryde first. The Wolves team, lead by Tarl Halavanta, claimed to have really come second after they claimed that the scores hadn’t been worked out correctly, but that is after the event and an issue for Orcus and Spittle to settle. All too many may make such claims, like those of the bribing and cheating, but in the end, it was just an amusing interlude in the reality around us.
Sir Hunter Stryker