Lure Of The Past
Reports concerning the recovery of the Banner Of Kings and the wedding of Thomas Farenden.
Please find enclosed a report about what happened in the dream at Trell. I are have tried to explain what I understand and can remember but a lot of it am seem very confused to me even now.
It began on the second day when the local fey said they am would help us go into a Dark Dream and find out what am happened to the Kings Banner if we am could win some tournaments. They could not enter themselves as no fey had ever returned who had entered the Dream. Tyto took part in the hunting tournie and am was doing quite well until it am was called off due to dodgy dealings from persons unknown who am beat up one of the local fey in the woods and stole his favour.
Each person what am won an event also won a favour what am help link them to this world so they am could go into the dream but am still be tethered to this realm. Straif led the first team into the dream along with Marius who am was her bodyguard. Due to the shenanigans at the hunt there was no favour for Marius to wear. They were all given a sleeping draft and went into the dream. At that point we am all get quite alarmed as in the past when people have entered dream states their bodies remain here in the physical world. That was not the case here and all of the party vanished. We am keep watch on their candles as the fey guide from Trell explain that whilst the candle flame am still burn the peoples am alive. Suddenly the party returned as quickly as they am had left but Marius am was not among them.
Straif and party immediately re-entered the dream to try to find him but had to be pulled out by the untying of the favours from the circle as their candles went out abruptly and we feared for their lives. Straif (who was big angry dryad and that am quite a sight let me tell you) reported that those in the dream am seemed to think the Harts were fey killers and that is why they had been thrown from the dream. There had been no sign of Marius but his candle still burned. Although warned against entering the Dream I are went in anyway with the next party for two reasons. Firstly because it seemed we am needed to prove we are were not anti fey and me being there would am prove that, and secondly, because Marius was trapped in the Dream and I am would not leave him behind.
I are also not really understanding what am was supposed to happen in the dream as I are saw so little of it but when I get in there I realised my favour am had come with me and wasn’t back in the waking world anymore. I was pretty sure that was a bad thing. I are met a man who said things about being beguiled by the fey and lets kill them all. We did not wish to harm him so I are subdued him. Then we saw the fey king and he was murdered by his body guard. I are gave chase after the fleeing killer and then there was a sudden moment of darkness and I was falling to the ground. When I are looked around I saw Marius was there and as we am climbed to our feet before us was a woman. The place was nasty, even the trees felt strange. It didn’t feel right at all and Tyto’s tummy am was turning over. The woman told us that this was the third time that Harts am have trespassed in her realm and so she would have to take a toll from us. The price – two hands.
She said she would take them from us alive or dead but she would have her payment. She am stood there alone but I are know a bluff when I are see one and she wasn’t. The woman radiated power and malevolence. I are did ask her name and I are think it am was Vorax or something similar (but it wasn’t Sycorax cause I am was there when we destroyed her). Marius stepped forward and offered up his left hand. I didn’t know what to do. Then Marius was on the floor screaming and I really didn’t think I am could defeat her alone and get Marius and I out of there. I are couldn’t let her take both his hands so I offered up my left hand too. Then there was lots of pain and I are being on the floor too. I am heard her shouting about her child the Lord Caliban being complete and then this huge skeleton faced monster appeared. It stank of rotting flesh and of so many different beings and with horror I realised one of the hands was shedding feathers as it began to decay.
There was another moment of darkness and I am was screaming at the bastard to give me back my hand and suddenly we am were amongst the ruins in Trell and Torvell was holding me. I tried to kill it but it struck me down and I don’t know anymore until I came round with Torvell and Renroc standing over me. Torvell had healed my arm and I are could see the newly formed tissue of the stump. The creature had disappeared having struck down many a Hart including Sagramor who was near death.
There am appear to be large gaps of time that I are cannot account for. When I entered the Dream the sun was only about 3 or 4 candle marks past its zenith. The events in which I are was involved in took only a few minutes yet when I was reunited with the Harts at the ruins it am was well past dark and they said we am had been missing for hours.
You will am have to read the other reports or ask Lady Madelaine Falcon or Glycell what occurred during that time as I have only heard bits and pieces. All I are do know is that Glycell and Cordelia of House Fisher am enter the dream after our group and Glycell was successful in her quest to gain the whereabouts of the banner and it was retrieved. Although our candles still burned, Sagramor took the difficult decision to leave the dream glade to get the others to safety. We am were 2 and he had 60 others to think of. It are was the right thing to do.
Marius am got a new hand due to the honour and kindness of House Charenten. Tyto am still stumpy although offers of aid in obtaining or fixing a new hand am have been forthcoming from friends in and out of faction and also several guilds alike.
I are doing drawings of Vorax, or the “body parts witch” as Aisla refers to her, and of the Caliban Lord. I are hope this am helpful to you, I are not so good at writing reports (this am my first one) so if you have any questions you am had better contact me.
Report to the Privvy Council by Tyto, Alton 1105
Our Company arrived near the ruins of the Temple of the Architect late in the evening on a Friday night, having been somewhat misled by a local guide, to hear what sounded like a ritual being performed amongst the trees near the temple. Knowing nothing of the current situation, we immediately sent scouts into the trees to establish what the situation was and made with all speed to talk with Lord Sagramor and his companions, who had already established themselves in the temple ruins. On learning that they’d lost a companion, we sallied forth into the woods to discover only the dead corpse of a man of Three Penny Bridges (Ignor Ramus?); our scouts had seen a tall man fleeing the scene, who had called upon Calligar and the Green Man, dedicating the fallen Hart to that ancestor.
We returned to the temple so that our Captain could assess the current situation. No guards had been set, so I established a loose perimeter about the camp. It quickly became apparent that the ruins were under constant attack by creatures of the marshlands called ‘Spriggans’, that could change their form, size and nature, and so could creep through small gaps in the surrounding walls and appear almost at will. They were more of an irritant than anything else, and were, as the night went on, dealt with fairly easily.
Lord Julian Charenten held military command of the expedition, and Lady Madeleine Falcon civil command, as Lord Sagramor believed that he may be considered to suffer a conflict of interest given his relationship to Sir Galahad; it seems Sir Galahad is his father.
Sir Galahad, the Wraiths, Fay and the Banner
The locals believed that the Temple was haunted, which indeed it was. The Harts had already faced a number of wraiths upon first entering the ruins of the temple, but had managed to dispatch them. They had also encountered the unliving shade of Galahad, dressed in quartered colours of blue and black (akin to Lord Sagramor’s). He had seemed reasonable to all; claimed to know nothing of what year it was or what had transpired over the centuries, only that he had taken an oath to keep the banner defended until it could be handed to the True King, and that the banner was now missing. He was a devout follower of the Architect, now, and had given up all fighting and arms – so he claimed, but it was later proved untrue. He woke only at night, so had no knowledge of activities in the temple during the day – but also had no knowledge of how long he had slept between nights; as far as he knew months could have passed. He was keen that no desecration or looting should happen, but gave myself and Eclipse of the Blackened Staff his permission to study within the chambers in the temple complex. Martin Karlennon spent much time in discussion with Galahad; it would be worthwhile seeking report from him.
It had already been established – before our Company’s arrival – that the banner was now held by a group of lizard folk. There were two groups in the area – the Sandcombers and the Siltwalkers, the Sandcombers ruled by a King, the Siltwalkers ruled by a Queen. From memory, I believe that the Siltwalkers had previously worked with Sycorax. The two tribes were opposed, and one – the Sandcombers – had gained Arthur’s banner, but had it stolen by the Siltwalkers. Galahad claimed that he could ‘hear’ the lizardmen from his place in the temple, so it was clear that the banner was somewhere within reach. No attempt to retrieve the banner was made that night.
At some point on the Friday night, Corvus Hroc gave an oath to Galahad that he would regain the banner and return it to Galahad so that Galahad’s oath could be fulfilled.
One of the rooms in the temple was a sealed storage room. It had some enchantment upon it that manifested as a voice; if someone should touch it, it asked a series of questions of the toucher. That person was compelled to speak the truth; and if they answered in a fashion that was displeasing to the voice (or more likely that did not fit the conditions the voice had been set to permit) the person was forced away from the door by an invisible force. These were questions such as ‘what is your name?’, ‘who do you follow?’, ‘who is your lord?’, ‘is murder ever acceptable?’ and so on. Many tried to gain entry, and failed. Corvus Hroc gained entry (I do not know his questions and answers) sometime on the Friday evening, and Galahad started shouting about looting and attacked some of the Harts. He was cut down and then laid to rest by the sword that we bore; but it seems that even the ancestral power of a Sword of Sun’s Dawning was not enough to truly put him at rest, for he returned the next night.
During the daytime on Saturday, the Harts were invited to a Tourney; held amongst the trees in the marsh by fay who (I was told) were called “Fay of the Dark Dreaming”. They were led by a princess, who, it transpired, was Galahad’s daughter and therefore Sagramor’s sister; although he did not acknowledge the kinship. A number of tournament challenges were held, from combat to storytelling to insulting; and favours (indicated by coloured ribbon tokens) given to the winning folks; four out of the five favours were won by those of the Harts, the fifth was stolen – the princess’s huntmaster was assaulted and the favour stolen by a fay named Gregory. In some manner unclear to me, it seemed the fay had gained Arthur’s banner in the deep past and it was now within the dreaming. How this links to the claim that the Siltwalkers had the banner I really do not know. I am given to understand that Lady Glycell knows more.
In any event, five folk attempted, through the auspices of the fay, to enter the dark dreaming. One bore no favour. And about a half hour later, only four came back. From reports given to me by Harry of our Company (who was one of those who had entered the dreaming) the participants had found themselves playing through a story which had happened in the far past; they were part of a group of ‘fay hunters’ who saw a fay lord (Lord Florentine) with the banner, and then saw him betrayed by his squire (the selfsame Gregory who had, in the ‘real world’, stolen the favour) and the banner stolen. The fay told us that this was an echo of something which had happened a few years ago.
Attempts were made to re-enter the Dark Dreaming, and eventually the missing dreamers were recovered; our Company was out attempting to achieve a different objective at the time so I am not aware of the conclusions, but I do know that Lady Glycell entered the dreaming and found her way to where, in the dream, the banner was abandoned. Upon re-entering the real world the bulk of the Harts proceeded to that spot, where our Company met them, amidst a pile of mangled corpses; a dozen heavily armoured warriors bearing sword a shield, with no colours, that had died within the week. No explanation was ever forthcoming as to why they had been there. I believe that Julian Charenten used ancestral powers to question them and that led to the discovery of the banner concealed in a bush (I believe Acathenni and Eclipse recovered it).
By this time it was dark. While most of the group foraged for food, Lady Glycell and Lord Sagramor were attacked by (what people seem to think were) Caliban – and Lord Sagramor nearly bled to death.
Upon regathering within the temple grounds, we discovered that the wraiths that had been despatched the previous night had returned (we were told by Cuthbert that these were Revenants). They spoke with us; there were five, all bearing the red cross of the Architect. They had been Knights of the Temple of the Architect, most from Estragalean descent (names included Gaspard and their chaplain, Philippe). They served a ‘Lord Henri’, and had been bound by their oaths to aid Galahad in keeping _his_ oath not to harm others (therefore if he tried to attack others they must attack them _first_ to save him from doing so – twisted logic but logic nonetheless). Through questioning they revealed that the Banner had been corrupted and was corrupting Galahad from his oath, so that the attacks were becoming more and more frequent – and if a rite was not carried out to uncorrupt the banner, Galahad would continually return and the area would have no peace.
And then Galahad did return, and very quickly attacked the Harts. He took the banner, and we were forced to chase him; using High Magics my Company froze him, and using silver blades and the Sword of Sun’s Dawning and with the aid of many we cut him apart and retrieved the banner. But we knew that unless this rite was performed he would not be at rest. But we had no idea what the rite might be.
Corvus was in some way beguiled by the banner and had to be restrained.
Shortly thereafter Philippe, the chaplain of the wraiths, reappeared with one guard (we had destroyed the form of the others). He told me that he had books which would remind him of the details of the rite; that they were somewhere nearby. Eclipse had previously found papers which mentioned Philippe – so myself, Acathenni, Eclipse, Torvell and later Lady Madelaine spent some time studying the papers, but we learned little about the rite. Believing them not to be the papers Philippe spoke of, we showed them to him; and after a time, he did begin to recall details of the rite, but half-way through our conversation Galahad reappeared and we were forced to destroy him.
Philippe returned a little time later, but had no memory of the conversation; we were forced to go through the process again, and eventually extracted this from him:
There were two ways to uncorrupt the banner. One was to crown a true king of Albion using the Hallows; but that was clearly impossible at the present time. The other was to perform this rite. Firstly, the three ancestors followed by the Church of the Architect must be called upon. These were the Architect himself, then Oghma (the Seeker – ancestor of knowledge and inventor of the Ogham script), then Wayland the Smith. Secondly, representatives of the seven (or possibly nine – Philippe thought nine but both my and Lady Madeleine’s information only listed seven) original tribes/houses of Albion must stand witness. These did not need to be blood descendants but should stand for the spirit of each house (Philippe was very clear on this point). Thirdly, the old banner, corrupted, must be put aside, and a new banner invested. Each banner, old and new, must be sprinkled with the blood of three generations of Galahad’s line.
This, then, presented us problems. I already had a list of the seven houses, as did Lady Madeleine; I do not know who finally represented each house in the rite, for I was trying to stop a force of Lizardmen breaking through a wall and could not spare the time for the rite (I knew Eclipse and Lady Madeleine had all the information in hand). The second issue was clearly the blood. Galahad was easy – Eclipse and Acathenni had found a diary sprinkled with his blood. Sagramor was clearly the next – Galahad’s son. Sagramor’s own child(ren?) were far away. But the fay who claimed to be his sister, this princess of the Dark Dreaming, was nearby. She was with child – but Sagramor would not condone the removal of that blood, unsurprisingly. I speculated that she might have an older child; so Sagramor, with a small group, set off to visit her. I do not know what transpired – only that he returned later with sufficient blood, and that the rite was performed successfully (whilst we held the gate). And so, I surmise, Galahad and the Knights of the Architect went to their rest. And so we hold a new banner, and the old will be retired.
The Sleeping Sickness
Local villagers were suffering from the effects of a sleeping sickness that infected some of our number, including Julian Charenten and Hrothgar and Lucien of our Company. This sickness afflicted those who exerted themselves too heavily; if they did so, they would fall asleep, but could then be awakened again. Rather than lay this out chronologically, I will simply say that it was established that a locally-found herb, mustard seed, could be used to cure this sickness (it was some form of fever; normal healing would do no good). This herb in combination with a raised body temperature effected a cure. Some small supplies of this herb were found and applied to some of our ill by Lady Straif; we built a ‘sweat lodge’ to raise their body temperature. This worked for a few; but we needed more of the herb. A lizardman led us to some, but not enough. Lady Madeleine proposed that a ritual be performed, since we had Ackbar, the Pattern of Magic, with us, and he could act as a circle. Unfortunately she could not find enough contributors (under our standing orders, our Company will not enter a circle with another ritualist). However, Hrothgar suggested that Ackbar simply teleport to Winchester Market and buy some mustard seed – which he promptly did, thus solving the problem.
By all accounts a couple of ‘heavies’ within the village had persuaded all and sundry that the local trolls (who occasionally attacked folk in the village) could be appeased by staking out the dying as a sacrifice. To the best of my knowledge this practice was not corrected and still continues. We never did see any trolls.
A Severed Head
Eclipse, myself, and Khasim, having gained permission to enter some of the temple’s buildings on Friday night, entered what had been the refectory and then into what had been living quarters. This room was heavily trapped – paranoiacally trapped. Someone had clearly been living there – I examined the bed, and it had been slept in within the last week. Lanterns and candles were trapped, as were boxes, knives and forks, doors… we managed to set only one off and Eclipse disarmed most of the others. We recovered three boxes. Inside the first was a severed human head in a cloth – reasonably fresh, from my experience of such things. He had startlingly blue eyes. We could find no-one who could identify it. Beneath this was a set of playing cards, some of which were enchanted – a trickster’s deck, from what Lady Glycell later told us, capable of making cards disappear and re-appear at will. Another of the boxes contained a fine set of goblets; the third, a collection of gems. It was clear to me that someone was using the ‘haunted’ reputation of the temple as a cover for their own activites – perhaps only during the day while Galahad was not present.
No further progress was made on this line of enquiry, although Eclipse does believe that it is a possibility that one of the fugitives from the anti-magic cells might be the culprit.
The villagers had been attacked by a great beast on Friday evening, that they said caused grievous (by their description, pattern-rending) damage to them so that most had fled. Examining the tracks, I was astounded to learn that they had not exaggerated; the beast was at least twice the height of our tallest warrior, Hrothgar; and had great taloned feet. We never did find out any more on that matter, and saw no sign of it.
After the recovery of the banner, lizardmen (calling on their ‘Skyfather’ ancestor) began to attack the temple, with no word of explanation. We were forced to defend time and time again, for some hours, our healing depleting more and more until we were without any. This, for the most part, is where two serious errors were made:
A matter of the succession to the throne came up; more on which later. Julian Charenten decided to call a meeting to discuss this information with the heads of the houses _at the point that the largest lizard-men attack started_. This left a force consisting of the House of Glass and a small handful of others to defend the gate. Whilst all who stood at the gate played their part most heroically (including Lady Aisla, who refused to attend the meeting and time and time again repelled the attacks of the lizardmen) most of the nobles in attendance sat and talked about the succession; a matter which was, indeed, important, but not so important as to risk the deaths of all those in the temple whilst the matter was discussed at length. When, some considerable time later, Lord Sagramor returned (he had been acquiring blood for the rite from the fay) and was informed, he immediately broke up the meeting and strengthened the defending force. Formal complaint was made by our Captain the following day to Lord Sagramor – she does not take kindly to her men being placed in mortal danger for matters of bureaucracy. The matter was adjourned to be dealt with later. Mention of those who were particularly stalwart in defense of the gate must be made; a handful of House Charenten led by Aisla; members of House Fisher; Alexis of the Vipers, Rath of the Vipers, members of the Bank, Thomas Constantine. For the most part, the others who formed the defense were those of our own Company.
During the time in which we struggled to hold the gate, Jared(?) of House Fisher, a very keen and able man, sadly exemplified the foolishness of a true hero and led several quite unnecessary sallies outside the gate, exposing himself and those who followed to danger. Two people fell behind the lizardmen’s lines – one of House Charenten (Thomas?) and one of House Fisher (I believe). We did not have enough forces to recover them; each time the gate was cleared of lizardmen a new force would engage us. Their corpses were later found, sacrified to the ancestor of the lizardmen. However, for our part, there must have been nigh on a hundred lizardman corpses, if not more, so we gave fair reply. Alexis of the Vipers also fell behind those lines but in some manner managed to break free and return to us.
When the lizardmen finally gave up, the healers amongst the Harts were exhausted. A little while previous, during the thickest of the fighting, Kayleen had suggested that I perform a ritual to refresh the healing; but once again under standing orders the House of Glass will not perform rituals without time to plan and practice; and it is as well we did not, for if I had taken my contributors to do so there would have been no camp defense to speak of and more would have fallen.
The Blood of Kings
Captain Robyn was put in control of Camp Security during Julian Charenten’s absence on Saturday evening. In that time, an unknown member of House Charenten entered the compound and started to speak to others. We detained him, and took him to be questioned; Captain Eclipse believed that he was a wanted criminal. He was held until the Charentens returned from their foraging. It transpired that he “had been” a wanted criminal, but had been given his freedom, and he bore news about the succession of Albion (hence the aforementioned meeting).
Members of House Charenten and House Karlennon were closeted for a long time that evening; what the rest of us were told the following morning was as follows. Note that this is what the ex-criminal believed, and a number of the nobles present seemed to accept the possibility; something which Sagramor felt nearly bordered on treason:
A (few years ago?) a great rite had been performed to “alter the Enchantment of Albion” so that everyone’s memories of what was true about the succession of Albion had been changed. Those within the anti-magic cells in Winchester had been immune from that rite, and still had the old memories of what the ‘true’ succession had been.
As far as I understand it, the claim comes from the offspring of one Jasper, the bodyguard to Queen Elspeth. Apparently Queen Elspeth had given right of succession to his offspring. This child, a daughter (I do not know her name) was on the Sunday morn to be wed to a member of House Farendon at Hythe on the coast; the purpose of the wedding purely political, to grant this member of House Farendon claim (under their beliefs) to the throne of Albion.
Based on this information, once the banner was retrieved and the curse lifted Sagramor declared that we would disrupt this treasonous wedding. We force-marched to Hythe on the Sunday morning, and broke up the wedding; Zahran of my Company used High Magic to disable the Priest, and Oberyn, our Djinni, immediately teleported the bride away. Unfortunately both myself and Lady Glycell had miscalculated – we believed that the nearest circle was at Winchester, but it was in fact at Londinium (the march to Hythe took us further than we had believed). We have yet to hear from the djinni.
Several captives were taken, including the groom, and the Harts have these in custody.
The Pendragon Throne was recovered – it had been stolen by the pretender’s faction to use in the wedding ceremony as an attempt to legitimise the wedding.
A number of other guests were present. As we cleared up the mess, another guest arrived, claiming to have been invited – a Necromancer, dressed in rich red robes; a man of medium build with brown-blonde hair and a slight beard. We spent some time fighting off his unliving troops (indeed, it nearly came to grief). Again, we used High Magics to freeze the necromancer, but in the ensuing chaos our opportunity to destroy him was missed. Rath of the Vipers and Kayleen managed to catch up with him later, but had no means to tackle him and had to return. It has been surmised that he may be connected with the recent business at the York circle.
I believe that covers it; or at least, the bulk of the matter. The banner is retrieved, the Throne retrieved; Jasper’s offspring and the Djinni missing; the necromancer escaped; three Harts lie dead; the village still sacrifices to Trolls; a Beast still haunts the marshes; a cure has been found for the sickness; the severed head in the box lies unexplained, as does the pile of dead that surrounded the banner.
Meat for more investigation, perhaps.
|Report to the Privvy Council by Jacob, scribe to The House Of Glass
What was known about Trell before we went
Inhabitants: Previous trips to Trell identified that the area was inhabited by two lizardmen tribes,1 led by a king and one (the siltwalkers) led by a queen. The queens tribe was previously allied with Sygorax (witch possessing high majics), creater of things called Caliban (– note – hybrid of unliving pattern inside living person. Body is eaten from the inside out unless satisfied with a diet of flesh.)
There was also another tribe called the Trell that were few in number and so wanted to increase by Albiones joining a ‘breeding’ program. There majics were drawn from the earth.
Beastmen were involved in Trell breeding programs. r’Annt, v’Ar, (l’Ume, m’Okh, t’Keen – note – deceased) and u’Sage ( -note- last seen in Trell)
Architect worship: Imperial Ancestor of order and civillisation and change?
2 priests had approached the Harts neither knowing about the others interaction.
1 from Glastonbury (Anthony)
1 from Winchester
They said that the Order had been asked to protect Arthur’s banner but it had been lost. To find we could start looking near Galahad’s resting place.
New Grallochs (– note – flayed daemon men that kill very quickly by ripping your pattern to shreds, originally made in Summerlands) made by head priest of Architect in Cornwall. Need further information on this link.
It is believed items of note would have been kept safe in his grave where they would be guarded beyond death.
After a walk through the marshes
Encountered a village surrounded by ghost fence, were lead around and welcomed into villagers company. They seemed to be divided into sects over goings on. Lady of village had bred with u’Sage producing many cubs, now about 3 years so there were small pack of inexperienced Beastmen.
1) Against them and their secret rituals in woods
2) Village leader seem not to care about them, they are part of people.
3) Mother, they her cubs, children, concerned for safety.
4) Cubs view, want to become adult and see Syberia.
Try to talk to all villagers and make them see that cubs are really quite big and not bad things just different. Should all respect each others ways. Told Lady Madeleine about problems and try to get things sorted out so cubs will be ok but Harts seem not to care or listen. All too wrapped up in finding banner.
Trolls in the woods:
The villagers were being attacked by trolls that were in the woods not far away. To prevent this they were feeding their weakest to the trolls to keep them out of the village, one body every 2/3 weeks. This may be why (apart from good breeding) the humans are dwindling and strong Beastmen increase. I tell Harts of this but again they not seem concerned with dealing with Trolls.
A lost son:
One of the villagers claims that his son had wondered off into the woods with a beautiful woman. Can understand sons motivation but he have not returned. Maybe trap to feed Harts to trolls but I tell them but again no interest.
It seems that whilst in woods cubs find whereabouts of tomb. Whist I ask mother for permission to take cubs hunting, scouts went out with them and find tomb. They come back however without cubs, they say not know where but have found tomb. Now we move out of village
A walk to the tomb: Whist going to tomb we find TPB member Ignor ramus staked out in middle of clearing as sacrifice to trolls. We free him but Harts not want to do anything about this.
We go to tomb that is guarded by wraiths, these are destroyed and Harts meet with Galahad (he could only walk at night)
Here we find dead body of cubs and his brother. Cub was apparently killed by wraiths when Harts retreated from tomb because of wraiths. His brother say the Harts just run off and leave them to die. I try to get Harts to return cub’s body to mother but they all too busy. Finally after much badgering they say to dark to go out tonight and take body back tomorrow. When they go they not tell me so I not go and offer condolences to mother and teach then about Beastman ways.
Corvus Hroc swears to the banner to return it to the true and rightful king (or something like that as the humans do). Shortly after he seemed to be acting strange due to beguilement from the banner. I put the saucepan on his head and got him fixed and he behaved a lot better after this.
Within tomb area there was a shrine to the Architect with a locked door. It was necessary to answer the questions asked to gain entry. Was truthful answers, no lies told. Galahad ask not to open. Covus opened the door, which started the slow draining of power from the banner, was now vital that we find it quickly.
There was also disused bar that someone, apparently from Winchester, had been sleeping in. There were several boxes in here and everything was trapped, like the person was increadibly paranoid or just mad. One box contained a severed head, other majical cards (note – man obviously bad cheat). There was also a wolfs head that had been flayed on one side.
Whilst in tomb we were attacked by number of things:
1) Strange slug-like creatures that paralysed victims then seemed to start to eat them
2) Spriggins, things from woods that call mayhem. Can grow out of ground and shrink away. Have very annoying spellcasting abilities.
3) Lizardmen, poisonous.
From lizardmen we learn that their King has the banner. Harts look to wait until light to go and retrieve.
There seemed to be a strange sleeping sickness that caused people to fall asleep form exhaustion whenever they over exerted themselves. Curing the disease had no effect. The local priest had apparently tried and whist they could make people better for a day or two it came back shortly after. The disease had apparently worsened in the last 3 years, with animals also being affected. This is also the time that the swamp has been expanding, and when Nethras worship came here. The villagers however had seen the disease as incurable and had been sacrificing people to the troll gods (well at least it stopped them attacking).
This was successfully purged by the use of mustard seeds to raise the internal body temperature to burn the sickness out. There was a limited supply so was debated whether to treat our people or the villagers. There was some research done but I am unsure of the outcome.
The lizard Queen has mustard growing on her land. She wouls allow us access if the Harts peformed a rite to Mannanan to find out what had happened to the disappearing members of her tribe.
Information at muster (a bit poor)
Julian rasied complainmt against the villagers about the staking of Ignor for the trolls to eat. Eclipse was the local sheriff, complaint was raised to Madeleine.
One of house of glass see dark dedication in the name of caligar.
Taken by lizardmen, Galahad was guardian. He is now revenant. It is one of 7 items required to unite the Pendragon, the throne may be involved as the 8th?
Within was sword, horn and a black and blue quartered tabard (like Sagramors colours)
Harts has to reconsecrate shrine once have the banner which would prevent undead templars returning (note – red cross on white background are colours of the tempars of the architect). We would be aided by collateing the stories ad memories of Galahad. The door was resealed to prevent against corruption from the fores o0f the Greenman.
Report to the Privvy Council by r’Argh of the Beastmen
On the approach to Trell, almost all our escorting soldiers could talk about was Caliban. Their hasty departure upon arrival suggested a genuine level of fear, however fortified by our supplies of salt, our band continued towards the Trell village.
One encounter with the Trell protections (ghost fences which cause fear and can, we believe be circumvented by dancing and singing, or possibly favours from the Trell) later, we were allowed in through a back route, and entered the village.
It became quickly apparent that despite the deaths of the original volunteers for breeding with Trell (Chi’ Nyan, Corrigan Grimmir and Lysander Constantine), the beastmen had taken on the challenge. A fair proportion of the villagers were beastmen and some conflict was occurring as the baby beastmen were now grown in their own eyes, but in the eyes of the villagers had another 10 years before they could come of age. Further conflict was springing from the presence of a priest of the Architect who was attempting to ‘civilise’ the Trell – a plan which seemed to include the rather foolish idea of building in a marsh…
The Trell appeared fairly resentful of his attempts to change their traditions. However he seemed to have more of a point when it came to wanting them to stop staking people out for trolls to eat.
Confusing points by this stage were:
- the mention of Trolls, which had apparently been around for ages, but earlier expeditions had never discovered. Indeed we did not see any this time either, although their tracks were noted.
The Trell tribes have 3 groups, (spelling may not be accurate)
Cha – warriors
Cha-Ka (?) – Leaders/druids
Chu – gatherers
There was also disease within the village, a sleeping sickness which rendered people remarkably weak and prone to collapsing into sleep with the slightest exertion. Will-o-wisps were also attracted by the activity and several people had to be stopped from wandering into the woods.
After lengthy discussion and some precautionary laying of salt lines, we moved out towards the nearby ruins – rumoured to be haunted.
Ignar Ramus was found staked out and rescued. Troll tracks were found, in the area, along with the footprints of 2 people who had dragged him out there and then left. Although rescued from that, he was later that evening found sacrificed, details of which are uncertain
Upon reaching the ruins, we found it inhabited by a large number of wraiths. A fight occurred with said wraiths prior to our mass entry. There we discovered that Galahad stalked those ruins. He appeared quite civil for all the rumours and tales we had heard, on that first night at least.
It is worth noting that in life, Galahad had been a Dream Fae. He was identified in this state as a revenant. He spoke of times when the Seven were bound to the crown of Albion, he spoke of his mistress and her way, he spoke of how he had sworn two oaths (believed to be one to his king, one to his faith) and in the end how the two had come into conflict and he had not been able to keep both of them. The breaking of oath seemed to tear at him, perhaps it was something he just could not forgive within himself. He carried out noble deeds that evening but still seemed wracked with guilt over them.
When Eclipse and Thenni were being paralysed and feasted on by some slime creatures, he pulled Thenni backwards out of the way and attacked the creature to try and get it off them. When that did not work, he went to find people to help. However in attacking the creature that was killing Eclipse, he was filled with guilt for breaking his oath to never take a life.
It is worth pointing out that he was using the darker incantations when attacking people the next night. Thenni said that up to this point she had not known of dream fae with incantation.
The ruins contained 2 buildings, one with several rooms that seemed to be slept in, and another we could not initially enter. Outside in the compound a wolf’s head hung from a chain. The larger building was entered first, investigated and found to be trapped. Those inside were asked to leave as it was said that disturbing them strengthened the protections. This was later found to be untrue, but permission was gained by Jacob from Galahad so that we could investigate with out been seen as tomb robbers.
Several boxes were discovered there containing a variety of items.
The first box contained a head, and a pack of cards, a number of which turned out to be magical, these were given to Glycell to examine. The other boxes contained gems and goblets. The owner of these items was never actually found, although it was suggested that they had been sleeping in the ruins during the day while it was safe.
A group went out to find the local lizard tribe who reportedly had the banner we were there to seek. The lizard tribe denied all knowledge and said the other tribe (Siltwalkers, previously associated with Sygorax and Caliban) had it. Due to the darkness and the apparently due to the fact that there were scary things out there, we did not mount any expedition that night.
Galahad claimed he had given warning to not open the final shrine as it would de-power the banner, however if so, our information networks were not sufficiently in place at that stage for the information to be widely distributed, and the final shrine (located in the smaller building) was opened. This appeared to be a major cause of Galahad’s growing anger against us.
That said, given Galahad’s actions the next night it is unsure how far we can trust what he said then. Whilst he seemed noble, mannered and capable of emotion, his longing for the banner was obviously intense and wildly out of proportion, furthermore he did on several occasions suggest to Thenni that he could turn out to be the villain.
Rising after dawn and then discussing things for a while, it seemed fairly certain we had missed Galahad’s suggested deadline of ‘first light’ for the banner’s retrieval. A trip went back out to the nearby Trell village to find herbs for those inflicted by the sleeping sickness. Torvell had discovered it was more a fever than a disease, one cured by feeding the patient mustardseed, which hugely elevated their temperature and burnt the fever from them. Another suggestion tried was to wrap the patient in warm blankets and place them in a steamed room. Messages were also sent out to the lizard tribes within the marshes, and several attacks were withstood from exploding venom creatures.
Word came in that a fae party was being set just around the corner, brought by the Court of the Dream, complete with bunting. After a brief foraging expedition, we set out to investigate. It became apparent that the lady’s champion had been killed previously, and so she sought a new one through 5 competitions. Combat, story, wit (in the form of insults), hunting and we are now unsure on the fifth although charm is suggested.
Several attacks came from creatures that when they fell, exuded something causing decay to those around. After dealing with that, competitions resumed. The story competition however suffered some delay and confusion when one of the players, Julian Charenten, disappeared.
The game was hurriedly concluded (with a surprise and quite good twist ending by Theodore Charenten involving a ghost that had become separated from the boat he haunted), and a group came together to go and find him. We were guided by an incorporeal Erin man who was seeking the rescue of his mistress.
On our path we encountered bandits (squirrels and badgers), things that went meep, women offering food (more squirrels), an immensely strong warrior (a boar) and quite a lot of quicksand. The House of Glass had accompanied and were extremely helpful in all areas. Eventually we arrived and a loud lizardman demanded to know who sought to fight for the honour of the lady, the incorporeal man’s mistress.
The lady being said Charenten, covered with enchantment of a female.
Aisla Chareten fought for the honour of her wife. Sadly she was defeated in the field of battle, and so the rest of the party was forced to turn on the fae attempting to forcibly marry off the lady. The priest especially displayed a surprising turn of speed in escaping from the area when attacked by Eclipse and Thenni. We returned the Charentens to the rest of the party, where the enchantment over Julian was lifted by the production of his story-competition ending “and all was restored to its original state” by a helpful dream fae.
It is worth noting that despite the statements by an angry Aisla Charenten, fae were involved in all stages of rescuing her husband. Furthermore there is no actual evidence whatsoever to suggest that they were involved in his disappearance.
The Lord Sagramor was introduced to his sister, the Princess Helene, the lady for whom the competitions were being held.
Those champions that won the various competitions were given a favour that would help them on the trip into the dark dream to retrieve Arthurs banner.
One favour had been lost (the fae that had been wearing it had been knocked over the back of the head and the favour stolen while running the hunting competition).
5 candles stood in a circle and were lit when a person entered the dreaming. They were bound back to the real world by the favour being tied around the candle. Four Harts ventured into the dream and found themselves in a drama, those that did not act in character were killed and returned to the real world.
When Tyto when into the dream the favour went with her meaning she had no link
(we believe that this was due to the fact she was fae). The 5 th that went in went after Tyto, knowing that he did not have a link back to the real world but chose to go anyway.
After some trial and error, Glycell was able to complete the dream and returned with a rough idea of the location of the banner, although still no sign of those without favours.
Leading us there, a fight broke out with other inhabitants of the glade which was by the end of the fight covered in bodies. It was just drawing to darkness so with a cautious eye to what might come out of the trees, we began searching for the banner. Eventually Eclipse found it beneath a tree, hidden within some brambles.
This allowed the party to return to the ruins. Many people went out to go foraging, in a display of atrocious bad luck. As they were gone, creatures appeared from the Nightmare Realm with Tyto and Marius of the Winchester Battalion. Sagramor in attempting to aid Tyto flee from the three surrounding her, himself became trapped and fell. Those who could escape from the compound fled into the woods to gain aid from their companions, which did indeed come in time enough to save their lives.
The creatures which appeared from the Nightmare Realm were rumoured to be Caliban. However they stepped over salt lines, they sang no sea shanties and they did not apparently look like sailors. The largest of them, a creature referred to as Lord Caliban had taken a hand from each of the two returned from the Nightmare Realm and had them attached to himself. Tyto reported that ‘the witch’ used the two hands to complete and raise her ‘son’. It was also reported that Lord Caliban summoned ‘creatures of darkness’ to do his bidding, these may be the creatures that crossed the salt lines. It was reported that he simply left the compound and so should be considered to be at large in Albion
Some suggestion was raised in discussion that the fascination in removal of body parts might relate to one of Albion’s old enemies – Vorax, one of the trinity of witches which also included Sygorax and Sharlee. She was primarily known for her presence in the WitchKing’s garden and her then demand for eyes from those questing. This would also relate to the witch referred to by Tyto.
We then sat and waited for people to come back from foraging and Eclipse discovered the significant paperwork by one of Galahad’s guardians, relating to his destruction.
We began to realise that the banner was exerting some mind effects upon its bearer, Corvus Hroc. Corvus was at that point issued a guard.
Four guardians of Galahad appeared while Eclipse and others were reading through the rather long diary in bad light, (Phillipe, and 3 others) to warn that Galahad was approaching, and to add the rather ominous phrase “If any of your people put themselves in a position to allow Galahad to break his oath [to not kill] then we will not allow him to do so”.
It was a point of curiosity as why they were so concerned as the night before Galahad had been entirely civil, excluding one utter rage about our inability to regain the banner. Thenni had hoped to speak to him on the second night and find out more in an attempt to give him a happier ending.
Eclipse and Jacob of the House of Glass talked to Philippe about the rite to take down Galahad and what was needed. Blood of 3 generations of Galahads line, declarations of representatives of the 7 houses/tribes, old banner and new banner.
A long and arduous attack from (not the Siltwalker) tribe began at that stage. They may have considered that we had killed their King – and in fairness we thought we had, but it turned out to be a minion. Despite our insults to the lizards which claimed otherwise, our lines were sorely pressed and our healing was beginning to run fully dry. Julian Charenten then decided it was necessary to take assorted people to have a meeting with regards to secret matters. Some considerable anger (and incredulity from guests) was felt at this decision, as it was the same situation which had occurred at Dunwich Vale, leading to many many deaths. Complaint was raised and upheld the next day against this decision.
Thomas Charenten was at that point dragged behind the lizards lines (by the lizards!) and murdered.
Sagramor kicked every one out of the meeting and the rite was finally started as the attacks continued at the gate
The attack continued, and then in the midst of the rite, Galahad appeared in the middle of the ruins. Of those not at a gate fighting lizards or within a rite there were a few who were floating, due to roving assassins coming in over the walls, guarding the healers and repairing armour including the Company of the Blackened Staff, Martin Karlennon and Rath’enn D’Abo of the Viper nation. We did our best against a raging knight of great power and dark incantations, but it is quite possible that had those at the gate not finally heard what was happening and sent reinforcements that we would have been murdered within sight of everyone. Solstice is to be commended for his bravery at distracting Galahad from the injured, while seriously wounded himself.
The rite was finally finished and Galahad was despatched, hopefully for good.
With the next day, came the decision to leave Trell as we had done what we had gone for. However we were told we were marching to Hythe Keep where a wedding was to take place between Alisha Karlennon and Lord Farendon (first name unknown) According to a report that had come in, some people were trying to declare her queen as she was actually the heir and not Edward. This caused much confusion, as no one had any idea why this was the case. It seems that some of those held in the anti magic cells in Winchester believed that history/the enchantment had been changed by the Harts at least 5 years ago, resulting in a change of heir to the current King, Edward.
After a 15 mile march, we reached the Keep which was guarded by Malahut’s men. After demanding entrance we eventually fought our way in. The bride was taken to safety by the House of Glass genie. One man lay beheaded behind the throne.
Minutes later a band of undead attacked, having turned up with a liche, why he was there was uncertain, although someone suggested that he was there for the wedding.
As various heads of households touched the Pendragon throne they received conflicting images of who should sit upon it. Whether significant or not, it is noted here that Julian Charenten received some message of pain when he touched the throne. As we fought off the undead, it was decided by Lady Madeleine Falcon that the Queen of Hearts card found in the Trell ruins should be invoked – not least because it would not have been present if we were not meant to use it.
The card summoned a Fortune elemental which granted the invoker (in this case Thenni) a large amount of protection from everything, with some limits, largely the speed of the elemental itself. In essence she became incredibly lucky, and was able to hit the liche himself a number of times, largely without fatal wounds. We were unable to rally the fighters to supply the support required to kill it although it did retreat from the area. It is worth noting that the card is now no longer magical.
Problems and outstanding issues from the expedition
- There seems to be a growing reluctance to do hazardous things. I can understand it as I cherish my life as much, maybe more, than the rest, but if we are to be heroes of Albion then we must be that. We must risk, we must challenge, we must do our all to rescue our companions. Their not being our own friends is not a reason to not do so (Thenni)
- Who was the liche who appeared after the wedding was broken up? Why did he appear? There is some inference that he was in fact invited to the wedding, suggesting he was an Albione noble of some sort.
- Why are random stories floating around and latching on to people? The events are perhaps a matter for their own story, suffice to say that I am somewhat concerned. If stories are randomly latching onto things – such as squirrels and woodland creatures– then this is not normal. Whilst it is funny enough now it could rapidly become un-funny. I do also wonder if there was some link between this and the enchanted animals we discovered so frequently in Cornwall in the Spring. So I feel this is an area for investigation – or at least initially consideration.
- Why do some people think we have the wrong monarch?
- Is Vorax still a problem? Furthermore, where has this Lord Caliban gone?