The Grand Convocation of Guilds of 1096 AF

Sir Huw de Grognard
In the company of a number of friends, I arrived at the Convocation of Guilds hosted by Master Violet at his Tower overlooking Loch Tay in Caledonia. With my early arrival I was able to take up a good place in the main hall for the Harts and in particular for Lady Elspeth Karlennon.
The Lion Stands Alone
Just outside the hall I met Jaddvor Erland, Lord General by default of the Lions. He was fully apparelled for war or as he put it to ward against the assassin’s blade. No other Lion was present to protect him. Morgannia of the Harts was hired by him as his bodyguard.
Floris and Schadel in Argument
The hall filled with many personages. Floris-Brand was orally harangued by Schadel over the invitation of Lady Katrina and her pet demons. This disturbance became very heated indeed with Lord Arcane putting in his pennies worth.
Lady Karlennon Attacked by Demons
Both Lady Ailish O’Donovan and I were concerned over the delayed arrival of Lady Karlennon accompanied by Earl Tarragon, her betrothed and Sir Hugo Charenten, her brother. Maroc, Luetharn, Lady McShinobi and Sir Jonathan were also in attendance. They had been attacked by demons at the Ritual Circle. All were alive if a little shaken by the experience.
Jaddvor Pleads for Help
Jaddvor Erland, Lord General of the Lions while in discussion for assistance against the Unliving around Bristol with Lady Karlennon, Earl Tarragon and myself, insulted the honourable intentions of Baron Lachlan to come and fight the Unliving.
Strange Disease at the Council
A disease spread quickly amongst those at the Council. This was apparently caused by the Chaos Knights. Strangely only when each victim had passed on the disease to number of victims were they able to be cured. I was instructed by Lady Karlennon to heal Luetharn and Maroc of the Karlennon Household as well as a Drow from Zommorod A’Tesh.
The Rift Stone
While we were attending the diseased sufferers, Baron Enoch and Pape of the Fellowship of the Full Moon approached Lady Karlennon. Baron Enoch said, “The Chaos Knight, Oblivion wears the Rift Stone that we [the Fellowship] think is the key to the Rift into which our Lord Generals [Wolf and Tigre] were pulled. We have chosen Oblivion’s side in an honour duel with his compatriot Reaper. He is looking for warriors. We have no intention to fight the Harts.” Lady Karlennon replied, “We have no intention to fight for the Chaos Knights. They covert our magic swords.” Pape replied, “My lady, you mean the Swords of Waylund.” She replied, “Yes. My Lord.”
Opening Address
Grand Master Floris Brand was called upon by Master Violet, the Host of this evening, to start the formal proceedings. “Welcome to you all from wherever you have travelled. Tonight there will be various ceremonies and announcement from the Guilds here gathered. Upon matters of the Mages Guild. I am pleased to announce the progression of various members of the Guild promoted. Our trusty Lieutenant is elevated to Captain. The Initiates Khaela and Tazael, the Green Haired Elves have served well. Let them be Apprentices.” At this he handed them the symbol for their rank. “This will allow you greater access to the sanctum of the Mages Guild.”
The Healers Guild
The Violet Mage called forth Tel Falcon of the Healers Guild. He spoke thus, “I am pleased to announce the election of the new Speaker of the Healer’s Guild, Hemlock of Norsca.” A slightly built bearded man strode forth and showed himself to the interested audience. Tel Falcon continued, “Friends, one year ago a demon accompanied by two wraiths upset the ritual circle. They left various clues behind….. With great toil I followed them…. In the Norhault Great Library, I found references that led me to travel to the Top of the World….. Here it was revealed to me….. Healers can perform rituals. These are similar to those performed now by the Incantors.”
The Militia
Sheridan Kirk of the Militia uniformed in a black tabard edged red with the scales of justice device asked, “There is very little to say. Just one matter. Are there any Bears present.” He seemed pleased when no-one replied.
The Alchemist Guild
The Violet Mage called upon Lady Rhiona to speak, “I am Lady Rhiona and have served you all as the head of my guild for the last 5 years. On Saturday of the Gathering I will be stepping aside for Galan de Lacy. He may be known to many of you for his large hat and for being completely mad. I am now free to be hired by any that have enough money.” This buxom lady with a winning and it seemed relieved smile retired to her seat at the High Table.
The Stewards Guild
Sir Gray Fairfax stood forth when bidden and with a strong voice stated, “Greeting Friends, I am Sir Gray Fairfax of the Stewards Guild. It is nice to see so many old clients among the audience and potential ones no doubt. For those who are not be aware of us. We abide by the laws of the lands and provide an exclusive service. Nothing is personal. Our services are completely confidential so fear not gentlemen. Those who apply for aspiranthood may do so at the Gathering. If they fail, they may try next year. We cultivating a more open image.”
He later handed me the aims of the Stewards Guild that he wished me to publish here. “The aim of the Stewards Guild is to promote peace and prevent unnecessary loss of life. The Guild provides arbitration, advice, protection and if necessary a speedy resolution of our clients’ dilemmas. Let us say that a person wishes another to be rendered non-valid. To do this himself would, in most societies, constitute murder and bring upon that person all the consequences. The only safe and valid course of action would be to employ the Guild, thereby removing him from the act. Only a fool parts with money without thinking carefully as to whether this money is wisely spent. He must consider if he truly wishes his problem resolved in that way. Now let us say he takes the pragmatic course of action and approaches the Guild. He gives us the name and a time scale. He is given a price. In light of this, he will, like as not, consider further. He then says YES or NO. If he says YES then his hands are clean and the problem solved. If NO, then he will have to live with it. Our very existence has thereby saved a life. Honesty, trustworthiness and client confidentiality are considered a priority in order to keep our services credible.”
The Incantor’s Guild
Wulfgar Stone Dreamer of the Wolves stood and addressed the throng, “Greetings dear friends. I have the great honour of being Speaker to the Sacred Council. This is a council of the nine faction High Incantors with Attila the Nun as the Scribe ….Who will certainly keep us in order….The three annually elected positions are Speaker, Scribe and Ritualist. In keeping with our moves away from a dictatorial form of management we have asked the Communist Party to draw up a five year plan that they have some experience in. This will be considered by the Sacred Council at the end of the Gathering. This year Lady Kathen Fairchild of the Harts is the Ritualist. There is also to be a Sibyl or Oracle this year, Thinks-too-Much of the Vipers. At the Gathering this year there is available allocations of time to any who wish to worship at the shrine. May the Ancestors protect you all.”
The Musicians and Entertainers Guild
“The Musicians and Entertainers’ Guild would invite all with a musical talent and other skills such as juggling to join. We intend to provide a service to our members and those patrons who wish to employ our delightful services. Anybody may join this Guild of Musicians.”
The Scouts Guild
Grand Master Snake stood forth and said, “I hereby announce the dissolution of the Scouts Guild and the formation of the Association of Scouts that will be trading under the name of the Scouts Guild. That is to say we are going to act as a job centre for scouts and the protection of our members interests is paramount.”
Weapon-Smith and Armourers Guild
A very swarthy gentleman with a moustache who obviously had spent many years at his forge stood up and stated his sales pitch, “I am Augustus. Come and see us. We have the skill. You have the money. Silver weapons are available at very reasonable prices to deal with that hideous creature [Lady Katrina’s playthings]. Master crafted are only available from us that may with good grace of the Mages Guild be enchanted. Come buy, come buy from us and we have enough for the most discerning warrior.”
Cartographers Guild
After some coaxing on my part the imposing figure of the Master Cartographer stood forth. He had been overlooked by Master Violet. “I am Calam McCulack and all I wish to inform you is that the Guild of Cartographers has been officially formed. The maps of the known world will soon be available. Those who wish to join can see me later. Thank you.”
Lady Katrina and her Wedding
Master Violet closed the Guilds part and announced, “Now for those who have other political announcements. Lady Katrina.” There was such an uproar in the hall from all and sundry. Schadel accusing the Mages Guild of duplicity at her invitation let alone letting her speak. Lady Katrina snarled, “I am here from an invitation from Violet. I have the right to be here. I bring to your attention that I will marry my Lord [Satûn] at the Gathering. All are invited.” From the back of the hall came the voice of Arcane, “You will never marry him, that I promise.” She replied with venom, “All are invited to my wedding with the ….. exception of that Arcane. Those are pitiful threats can he not do better. The Dragons do not function as well as they did. The groom will be there and the time will be made known.” Schadel interrupted, “So will I.” There were throughout this encounter shouts from the Weapon-smith, “Buy your weapons…,…buy your lovely weapons….” Another Gryphon Leader Loses His Head
Master Violet addressed the meeting and called for order. “Interestingly a parchment has come into my hands. It stated that the Blue Mage had her lands confiscated by Lord Holbon. I [Master Violet] withdrew my support to the ritual keeping the severed head of Lord Holbon upon his shoulders. He subsequently perished and the new Lord General of the Gryphons is Lord Timothy de Wilfsbane who I will call upon to speak.”
Lord General Timothy de Wilfsbane of the Gryphons took the stage and stated, “Greetings, as Master Violet stated Lord General Holbon is alas no more and has tragically died of his wounds. I am now in command of the forces of Estragales and Lyonesse by the grace of these two great Kings.”
Bristol and Three Lost Lions
Jaddvor Erland of the Lions then strode forth and addressed an interested audience as follows, “Some of you may be aware that Bristol is under siege by Unliving. The corrupted ritual circle in Bristol will be destroyed.” Katrina interrupted, “How dare you destroy MY circle.” Schadel retorted from the back of the room, “Katrina it is not yours. It is happening. You are losing control. Can you not feel it or are you powerful enough yet.”
Jaddvor continued, “Lord Corvus and Lady Roxanne left the Lions in the hands of Duke Edmund D’Addernoir or as many knew him Edmund Blackadder. He was in York when it was sacked and all seem to have been put to the sword. He has disappeared and I [Captain Jaddvor Erland] am now the faction leader of the Lions. The demon Golgamoth seems to have taken Edmund. Offers of help are welcome. That is all I have to say.”
Arcane and the Gathering Charter
Lord Magician Arcane of the Dragons walked forward as bidden by Master Violet. He said in his expansive manner, “People of the free world I beg your indulgence. I thank Jaddvor Erland for his speech and offer openly our assistance. There are tides upon us of political change. Many of the factions leaders are new and have not signed the Gathering Charter as yet. I [Lord Arcane] and Master Violet have not been able to find the original charter. Hence, we have drawn up a new charter and it is lodged with the Mages Guild. Join me, my Lords and sign the Gathering Charter..”
Many in the hall required him to read this Charter that was so worded in obscure legal terms. The sense of it was as follows [the writer has not as yet received a copy of it.]
1. All forms of war shall cease and if the disputes cannot be solved then by ritual combat these will be resolved by a token force taking to the field at the Gathering.
2. The Magicians Guild is neutral. The Ritual of Peace shall be respected by all those undersigned.3. This Charter shall be lodged with the Magicians Guild.4. The Factions camps at the Gathering will be considered as their territorial land.5. The Law of the Militia shall be accepted by all.6. Any Faction Leader or Master Mage may call the High Council of Faction Leaders for maintaining of law and order.7. The Neutrality of Guilds and those factions that are not involved in the dispute shall be acknowledged and respected.
There was much discussion about this and it was agreed that copies would be made available from Grand Master Snake of the Scouts Guild. The fine wording and one or two points of principle of this important document are still to be agreed. The other Guilds seemed to be displeased as they seemed to have been neglected in the Charter.
The Wolves Lose Lord General in Rift
After the discussion died down a bit, the Seer of the Fellowship of the Full Moon emotionally addressed the hall, “Lord Wolf and Lady Tigre were sucked into the Rift just in front of me…..The Wolves are now to be commanded by Thorvald of Orkneyjar, the cousin of Lord Wolf.”
Schadel Slays the Toys
Tamerlaine Khan of the Steppe Alliance at this stage had lost his temper over the proceeding. “I have listened enough to the ritual back-slapping, money making and such like. What are we going to do about those,” indicating Lady Katrina’s companions. “What are we going to do about Katrina. What are the Mages Guild Going to do.” Master Violet replied, “Things are being sorted out.” Tamerlaine Khan continued, “Why are they here? Who invited Katrina.” Katrina answered with a sneer, “I was invited. I am here to socialise.”
Schadel finally looses control and said, “It is not fitting to have these creatures here.” He advanced upon Katrina’s lesser demons with such speed that some were bowled over and I was struck upon the temple by his staff. The two creatures were each hit with a level 200 dismiss and shrivelled to dust. Katrina just sneered and was unusually silent for a few seconds. Schadel replies, “Well Katrina, the wedding cannot take place if there no groom. See how easily I killed your toys.” Grand Master Floris-Brand shouts his support, Schadel has shown the retribution, Katrina.” The formal part of the evening was closed by Master Violet.
Jelly Spiders
Lady Lysandra, Master of the Black then announced to the multitude, “I found a package in the Ritual Circle addressed to someone named Chazy-babes or is it Chaz.” There was a peal of laughter in the hall. When this abated, the grand lady imperiously continued, “This is HIGHLY IRREGULAR use of a Ritual Circle. We are not a messenger service… Is there a person named Chazy or Chazy-babes as I have a package for him.” A man with an imposing staff and Arabic garb boomed out the last sentence. Lady Lysandra then made strong representations as to the undesirability of using the Mages Guild as a messenger service.
A diminutive Drow sauntered forward compared to his bodyguard Finkhail. He had a feather masquerade mask that accentuated his very busy eyes and milk white teeth. The white close cut beard set this off a treat. He said, “I am Chazymyr.” Lady Lysandra with much ceremony handed him the package and said, “I do not know where it comes from. I assure you that it is not magical and I am certain that it will not do you any harm.” Chazymyr very tentatively opened it. Inside the gaudy raping paper was a Jelly Spider and a note. This was too much for him and the normal calm reserved exterior cracked a little. Audible mutterings of emanated from him, “What! What!! WHAT!!! THAT…THAT….LOW ELF!!! Why does she plague me so?”
He then read out aloud the letter, “My dear little boy, Chaz…. How goes it? Hope you’re looking after yourself…. Sorry I can’t be there in person to give you this pressy, but I’m teaching the Lios Alfalfa to speak Drowish. Shame they don’t have much jelly an’ ice cream – I’ll have to give them culture lessons. Don’t forget to wrap up warm if you go upstairs, coz you’re not used to the wind. Don’t forget to eat up all of your greens and make sure you don’t drink too much and get lots of sleep. Your new Mummy, Teespie XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.” Chazymyr was much flustered by the words. Lady Lysandra said consolatory, “Teaspoon, I should have guessed.”
“I am not her adopted son. NO NO NO!!!! She has caused so much trouble to the Underdark…… Why me?….. My NEW armour stinks of….lavender…LAVENDER….Pugh. Why me?…. My matron mother seems to like her, I do not know why….. She has told me to be nice to her.” I replied, “You certainly must have done something really bad against Matron Mother Xullrae.” He resignation to his fate was obvious, “I know but why me?!!… If ever I get that elf…. I will…I will show her that very deep chasm… with no bottom.” I replied, “I could not in any way countenance that…. She is with the Lios Alfar at present and will soon be cured of her ailments. My Lord Calin would certainly not like that. She means no harm and is showing her affection.”
Chazymyr retorted, “No HARM!!!! No Harm indeed.” The eyes flashed and that pained mischievous grim reappeared. “I will block all the Drow entrances within 200 miles of that…that….THAT CREATURE. She is not coming down to the Underdark to plague me.” With more control he asked Lysandra, “How is the research into the Frog Spell going on? Have you it yet?” Lady Lysandra with a smile replied, “Not yet, not yet but I am working on it.” At this moment Chazymyr decided to retire to lick his wounded pride.
Call for Presents
A little later Lady Attila commented to me, “Incantors should submit ideas for an appropriate wedding gift for Katrina and Satûn from the Guild to me [Attila the Nun]. This is to make the wedding night an unforgettable experience, should matters ever get that far. The Incantors should spare my [Attila the Nun’s] blushes with their suggestions.”
The Insult
Jaddvor attempted to talk to the Matron Mothers stationed on the balcony but the conscientious Drow bodyguards refused him audience. He refused to give up his Sword of Waylund. He was so affronted by their impertinence that he stormed off in a huff. A Drow was sent down to try to mediate but Jaddvor would have none if it and stated that, “You impugn my honour. Tell that b—– I will oppose upon the battlefield.” At this the Drow departed. Morgannia, his hired bodyguard, remarked to Jaddvor, “Sire, you realise that within a few minutes they will try to murder you.”
Assassination Attempt on Jaddvor
A solidly built Drow from House Zommorod A’Tesh with light blue house colour appeared less than five minutes later.. He attempted to cut Jaddvor’s throat who was sat behind a table with I am reliably informed a poisoned blade. With a flail of swords, he was already efficiently cut down by Morgannia before Jaddvor had time to draw his. The Drow being so battered was administered to by an Incantor and Tel Falcon of the Healers Guild.
This poor wretch sent to satisfy the honour of his masters was detained by the Militia. The Stewards Guild and the Militia were severely perturbed by such an incident that so violently disregarded the hospitality of the Violet Mage. A long conversation ensued between them and Zommorod A’Tesh supported by the other Drow Houses on the stairs to the balcony. The next day the Drow was handed into the custody of Sir Fairfax of the Stewards Guild, I believe.
Sun Looses out to the Moon
Some of Schadel’s old Sun-Worshipers dressed as Moors or Arabs were present. These had been searching for him since this year’s Gathering. The Fellowship of the Full Moon went outside to skirmish with the Sun Worshippers with whom they have many years argued over the differences in their gods. The fight did not occur, even so the Rift Stone was recovered and shall be used in an attempt to close the rift in Norsca. At the end of the combat, one of the Fellowship shouted to a Drow, “Slinking away as usual from honourable fights as usual.” The Drow replied, “How dare you accuse me of being involved in a honourable fight.” It came to light that the nephew of Schadel was Pape of the Fellowship of the Full Moon.
Sir Huw Flies
The rotund Drow, Jarek, formerly House Naxos D’Fey, or that is what he purports to be, pushed past me when I was talking to Wulfgar, High Incantor of the Wolves and Speaker for the Incantors Guild. He did seem to mutter, “Excuse me.” I replied sarcastically, “This is a little out of character.” This stemmed from his disrespectful manner and his attack upon a Drow from House Gereshen at the Moons Renewal. For this I was thrown across the room and later it was discovered that he was some form of Death Knight who could cause disease and other strange powers. Later Connall in his conspiratorial manner talked intimately with the Death Knight!!!
The Plant of Stolen Souls
The discovery of the powers by Tel Falcon for healers the power to do rituals came just in time. Late in the evening, a killer disease broke out. This did not respond to the any the administering of the Healers or the Incantor. The cause was the Vampiric Vine from another some unearthly plane sucking out their souls. These left strange seed pods that looked suspiciously like rotting cabbages or cannon balls. Three people had their souls stolen that had come into contact with the seed pods of the plant. Amongst these was Yargon McYokel, the High Incantor of the Bears, and the cousin of Sir Calagil, High Incantor of the Unicorns. Lady Kathen led the massed power of all the mages, Incantors and healers in a ritual revealed the name of the plant.
The senile old sage remembered that there was a passage in the Violet Mage’s library referring to the plant. The document was recovered. After consideration the solution it gave was attempted. The Healers healed the bodies of those afflicted, while the Incantors cast Sanctuary on them. Schadel blasted the Plants Main Nodules with ‘Dismissing’ power to remove the souls out of them. At about the same time two unearthly creatures appeared and tried to stop the procedure. I was able to strike at the creatures with my sword and was fortunate no to be paralysed. The Lady Warrior from the Unicorns was so struck down and fell at my feet. Alas without any more healing, all I could do was to protect from any more harm. After a short fight they suddenly collapsed. At this the Souls of the trapped were released.
The Final Score
With all that had happened, the weary participants retired home. The Score was Casualties 18 and fatalities 0. So far so good. We had been very lucky. I wonder what is next in store.