The Open Grand Council of 1096 AF

Sir Huw de Grognard
The Speeches at the Grand Council of 1096 AF
Master Violet again hosted the now annual Open Grand Council in his Tower by Loch Tay in Caledonia on the 26th October 1096 AF. The lack of Harts gave the Council an unusual feel, and there was for a change a strongly Caledonian atmosphere.
I represented Lord Calin of the Hunters. I arrived a little late in the company of Morgan Dragonslayer, Caleb Alarabead and Ishmail whom I had met earlier at the small tavern close by Loch Tay. I was able to conclude the business of procuring five Arab stallions to improve the bloodstock in the Huntshire. Certainly a great gift that is beyond monetary value.

Master Violet’s opened proceedings at 4 O’clock by addressing the hall. “This is the centenary of the ending of the Caledonian Great Goblin Wars. On this day 100 years ago the Caledonian people ended their 5 year war to reclaim their lands from the Goblins. In honour of this a number of conundrums have been set for your entertainment. One set by Sordelan of the Scouts Guild with the prize of a bag of gold. The Grandmaster himself [Floris-Brand] has a quiz upon the last five Gatherings. He will enchant the item of your choice. Mine is a puzzle in six parts and I will bestow the favour upon the winner.”


Finally at half past 9, Master Violet at started the formal part of the evening. Lord Timothy de Wilfsbane of the Gryphons was the first to speak, “We had an excellent Gathering.” A McYokel shouted, “BOTH OF YOU THEN.” The Lord General continued, “I have the honour to announce that the Gathering of 1097 AF will be held on Gryphon lands…. Ever since the cowardly assassination of my good friend…, Lord Holbon… at the hands of the DRAGONS…., there has been war between us [the Gryphons and the Dragons]…. This war is pointless and futile….. They are twisted by the lust for power…. What do I need to fight the Dragons?…. I have enough land to feed and cloth my people well.”
Lord Arcane of the Dragons interrupted with such pain in his voice, “YOU LET PEOPLE DIE WHEN WE [the Dragons] FOUGHT THE UNLIVING.” After Master Violet quietened the incensed Arcane, Lord Gryphon continued, “Give up this war, Arcane for you cannot win….. Give me Lord Arcane’s head….. as I wish it to be an ornament….. THESE ARE MY TERMS FOR PEACE and peace … there will be……”


Lord Arcane of the Dragons stood forth with such a swagger of a renowned orator. He said in gathering tones, “I am not here to bandy words…. I am pleased to announce the birth of Iodo Wilomere on the 19th of this month….. We [the Dragons] fought with honour…. Lady Tarragon allowed us with honour to leave the field to her. Is there a looser as the Gathering Charter was upheld? …… The Gryphons raid our coasts….. We will PERSECUTE THE WAR TO THE FULL EXTENT until they decide to come and talk to us….. The Wolves fought the our allies the Vipers. I give honour to the Harts…. Despite this, we ask, YEA DEMAND, THE SWORD OF ALLIANCE from you [the Harts.] This sword binds the Celtic nations together…….. Do we have the right to choose our own dwellings?…. The coming of the Pendragon is imminent…. Two mighty powers will soon be among us…. asking to fight their battles…. The factions will quake at their names. Are we going to fight their wars?…. People of all factions……, we all have the right for self determination…. I give this even to the Gryphons….. Back to the Drinking dear friends.”


Lord Seduraed said very little, “Good people….., next weekend is the Unicorns Parliament….. Lady Elena has an auction that may interest you all…… We do not follow the great power…. We will stay unfettered.”


Before Matron Mother Saravay of House Gereshen stood forth, Master Violet asked, “Do you need one of your Drow males to shout for you?” The Matron Mother scoffed at his comment. “The faction leader of the Tarantulas speaks… The Gryphons may well find in due course another head missing… The Harts do fine to follow Lady Karragon [Karlennon]…. I hear the Unicorns bickering over trade routes as ever…. The Bears do so well to have the sense to follow the Queenies after all they are female. We [the Tarantulas] have good binding trade agreements… The Wolves; it is good to see you are learning as you have a woman to speak for you… The Lions; such a shame their passing….. The Vipers, King Gustav, we find, is such an agreeable person. We [the Tarantulas] will wait. We will listen and we WILL SEE..”


Aleda of the Wolves represented Lord Thorvald who was detained on matters of state. She stated clearly, “Hopefully the Vipers have learnt their lessen…. I thank our allies [Gryphons, Harts, Lions and Unicorns]….. I hope…. and pray for peace. I am pleased to announce that the rift [in Norsca.] is now closed…. There are no more Unliving upon our lands…. We want peace…. There is no more need for war…… Vipers and Bears willing.”


Sir Hugo of the Harts said, “My sister, Lady Tarragon sends her apologies as she is detained on many matters pertaining the rebuilding of Albion. The problem between the Lions and the Harts has been resolved… by the Honour Battle on the Saturday. MIGHT has been proven RIGHT…. The Lions appeared easily beaten,….. before they came to the field…. The Lions have begun to leave Albion. . Any Lions found upon our [Albion] soil past the turn of the year shall be under the sentence of death. If they have not sworn to the Pendragon Throne. THEY ARE OUTLAW… We will listen to each case and decide upon its merits…. The Harts like my friends in the Wolves want peace…. We [the Harts] uphold the Gathering treaty…. We regret…. that we bore arms against the Bears, Dragons, Tarantulas and Vipers…. We are pleased that we assisted the Wolves in protecting their territory. We look to the rebuilding of my shattered land.”


Lord Ordos of the Legion spoke for the Vipers. “My King [Gustav] is regretfully detained otherwise he would certainly have been here to greet you and perhaps share a pint of your fine ale…… This has been a time of trouble…. From this I am pleased to announce the marriage of Emloth of the Legion and ? De Lacy of the Dragons. I thank my noble allies for taking the field with King Gustav.


Queen Morrigan of the Bears was next to speak and the hall erupted in cheers from all the Bears present. She said, “Welcome to you all. We had a wonderful Gathering. During which we struck up tentative alliances with the Wolves and confirmed the one with the Dragons. During the battle of 1095 AF, Thorfin my husband was taken by the Valkaris. I have mourned long enough. My mourning is over and I await suitors for my hand. I ask for peace to reign in the land.” At this point she was interrupted by a Chaos minion of Mordred attacking the Drow on the balcony. All in the room expected a few mage bolts to fly but the situation was soon calmed.


As Lord Wraith stood to speak the hall reverberated with shouts of “WRAITH, WRAITH, WRAITH.” He then spoke, “My thanks to the Vipers for hosting the Gathering. My congratulations to the Vipers and the Dragons that sided with us. We might…., WE WILL…… TURN DEFEAT INTO VICTORY NEXT YEAR….. Perhaps we would have done if the Drow had crawled out of their holes sooner….. We would welcome the return of the Sword of Alliance. So we will not BUTCHER those that have lost it [the Dragons] if it is not returned……. Have you looked at your pockets recently and thought why there was not enough money for more beer?……. Then look at that Silver Sword you bought and there you find your answer. The WEAPONSMITH charges far too much for these weapons…… The Guild MUST serve the faction and not line their pockets. If they do not then they will suffer for it!……. In support of this I call [Joseph Marston] the Bears Representatives to the Guilds to Speak. I will not intrude any longer upon your drinking time.”


Joseph Marston fought his way to the front of the hall to speak. “Good dealing is all we ask… BUT THE GUILD EXPLOITS US….. It is time not to accept this…. We require of them good practice… and not the CHARLATANS they are.” In response to this the Violet mage brought forth Agnus of the Weaponsmiths Guild who pointed out, “Silver does not grow on trees… We have to make money to live and research.” From the hall came shouts, “YOU VALUE MONEY MORE THAN YOUR FRIENDS, AGNUS.”


Tel Falcon of the Healers Guild spoke, “I will be brief…. I came here to support the factions but I see decent and confusion. We must reconcile our differences. We need things resolved.”


Lady Civet of the Lions said, “I feel very alone here being among many enemies. We were justly defeated by the Harts. We welcome our return to the lands of Avalon.”


Lord Arcane stood to address the hall as Lady Katrina du Venoir was ushered towards him. He shook her hand as they embraced. He said, “We grant her the freedom of Cymrija and Erin. We will cherish her as the elder statement of our lands. I send congratulations from Lord Ash to you [Lady Ailish O’Donovan] for the healthy birth of you child.” At this Lady Katrina thundered, “THAT CHILD IS NOT LACHLAN. I knew him well. When I returned I knew him not.” She was quickly led away. Lady Ailish was consoled by Silkin ap Palarran.


Master Violet reminded the hall of the prizes for the various puzzles and quizzes. This was the end of the formal part of the evening that due to the attacks of the Goblins were delayed by a few hours.
Other Events at the Grand Council of 1096 AF


Master Violet has been experimenting with potions recently and the unlabeled results had been left on various tables.


The United Federation of the Goblin States of Caledonia took the opportunity of the Open Grand Council to send a Goblin as a delegate. This guest attacked one of Lord Blundell’s Guards with a poisoned blade. This was followed by further attacks throughout the night. Some of the Goblins wore strange amulet created by their Shamen that caused the dead bodies of the slain to rise once more and continue their fight. One wave of a few that came into the tower early on and actually got to the top of the stairs where this scroll was found.


Under Goblin Article 2.4 of the Federation of Caledonia Legislation Act 1096AF.
As the lawfully appointed Goblin Ambassador to Caledonia, we demand that all here present immediately retract all rights of ownership and forthwith abandon this tower and these lands so that hey may be returned to rightful Goblin occupancy.
Failure to adhere to these demands will result in the loss of life of all who remain and the complete destruction of your human dwellings.
Tribe of the Green Wolf Clan, Ruling Tribe of the United Federation of the Goblin States of Caledonia.


This ritual was allowed upheld the Mage’s guild guarantees to each faction an equal number ritual each year according to the Treaty. This year the Guild had broken this guarantee when unforeseen circumstances had forced the cancellation of one of the Wolves rituals so they were offered this chance to perform the ritual.
Lord Enoch of the Wolves performed a ritual in the Tower itself. Master Violet produced the Tome Of Earth and invoked its powers to allow the ritual group to channel powers from the nearby ritual circle. Lord Enoch announced, “This ritual is to take a book destroyed by fire and write the contents of into a new book.” The ritual produced a newly written copy of the Book Of Power. When the ritual circle was opened, Floris-Brand instructed Master Violet to hold out the Tome Of Earth for Lord Enoch to touch. Although this is a great honour, Enoch was naturally wary and was momentarily struck down by the power of the Tome. Floris seemed satisfied with the situation. We hear that his comment was something to the effect; “Well, he is still alive is he not.”


Several people, including Lord Seduraed were attacked by Unliving.


The Priestesses of Poseidon wore blue with a sea-horse insignia. They asked questions concerning a flute that had belonged to them and believed to have been split into a number of parts and then lost.


Pressure was exerted by Conor, Orenda, Sir Huw, Managarel and Rill to make Sordelan see sense upon the structure of the Houseman’s responsibility. Sir Huw lectured them upon the legal aspects that Sordelan has never been very conscious of. I advised Sordelan, “My Lord Calin should be approached before your presumption to hold the Conclave of the Scouts Guild in the precincts of the Greenwood. I have talked long with my Lord Calin. He might consider the Conclave being held on the lands of Emerald Company near to the Greenwood and various paths opened to them. Scouts. Any scouts found outside this may be eaten. I have proposed that Aspen be made Ranger and he has the authority of the law invested in him for the duration of the Conclave.”


Lady Ailish O’Donovan is in mourning for her husband Baron Lachlan for the rest of her life. Her forthcoming birth and the bereavement has in the short term in her words, “left me much bothered with the job of High Ambassador.” It was good to see that she was well looked after by the Karlennon Household.


Sir Huw was unaware of the significance of the sword that he had hanging in the hall in Huntingdon Castle. Hence, he was bemused at being greeted by a storm of abuse from that ever so mild mannered fellow countryman, Lord Arcane. He was unable to explain the significance other than threaten me and my faction. I tried to explain to him that he should negotiate in a reasonable manner with Lord Calin. Using words like those he used to me would be foolish in front of a very proud High Elf.


I was approached by an irate White Mage, “You [Sir Huw] are responsible for the death of Zoist Kyan [the former Black Mage].” I replied, “When last I saw he was alive. I know nothing of his death and so cannot comment any further.” He pushed his point by threats. So I then explained at length the circumstances of his detention and the support we received from highly placed Tarantulas who were insulted by his rude manner to Lady Karlennon. His threats to Lady Lysandra are well known. I expressed my objections to Grand Floris-Brand who dismissed my objections. Master Violet was almost violent towards me when he approached me. It later transpired that Master Violet talked to the Drow and wanted to see if he could resurrect the previous Black Mage (Zoist Kyan) to replace Lady Lysandra. I later received an apology by playing the four squares of chocolate gambit upon Master White. He finally got the last one.


A chaos lieutenant turned up and tried to annoy some people, before turning into a bell. Several Chaos stars were activated. One was placed upon the forehead of Sir Hugo Charenten.


The Chaos Knight after his swift exit earlier picked what seemed to be the entire Enchanted Weapons Owners Club and was shredded. Some enterprising individuals sold the remains to the Weaponsmith Guild despite having no apparent intrinsic value. They are buying almost any known Chaos related substance in order to manufacture some anti-chaos weapons.


One of the mage guild guards turned into a werewolf and ran off chased by most of the rest so that they could bring him back on a charge of dereliction of duty.


Some goblins emerged from an inside door to the main hall of the Tower, attacked a few people and kidnapped Thomas Finn. They then closed and locked the door behind them. Master Violet quickly concluded that the goblins had somehow got hold of a key to his Tower. Clan McYokel decided that if they could not get through the locked door they would run outside and call out in their traditionally subtle manner. Thomas Finn was recovered intact.


The bodies of the goblins yielded the key to the Tower that had stolen from the Guard Captain earlier. Also a set of written orders that said “The Green Wolf Tribe wants our tower back, get them all to come out and be slain by our army”. This seemed to suggest that the Violet Mage did not build this Tower himself but that it was raised by a Goblin King hundreds of years ago. When he was vanquished, Master McTay merely moved in and redecorated.

PRIMARY BATTLE ORDERS 26th day of the 10th Moon 1096

The envoys will proceed into the tower and deliver our ultimatum to Violet and the so called Celtic Queens.
Being merely human, they will probably form an orderly queue and leave the tower. Wait for enough people to leave the tower to gauge their fighting strength. If they seem weak and Violet Mage ain’t around, send in the Archers first (unless it is too dark). After our resounding victory, throw them into the Loch for the monster to feed on. Don’t forget to loot them first.
Once dealt with, ransack the tower for magical stuff like wot we did ages ago with that Drow cottage over the hill. If you suspect nasty traps don’t send the Green Wolf Clan members in first. Instead use those weaker other clan members.
If that nasty Mage is still cowering within then set the tower alight. Return in the morning and repeat this until there’s nuffink left.
In case this doesn’t work refer to Sgt Obbs or Flanges contingency Battle Orders. Tribe of the Green Wolf Clan, Ruling Tribe of the United Federation of the Goblin States of Caledonia.”


Lord Timothy de Wilfsbane struck out at a running figure who crumpled at his feet. It was only then that he discovered his mistake [or was it.] It was me, Sir Huw de Grognard. The explanation from Lord Timothy was, “I thought you were a Goblin.” We had just been attacked by Goblins and I was lending my assistance. The only faction that did not strike out at Sir Huw as he was chased by a Werewolf of the Fellowship was the Dragons and the Harts. Lord Arcane stated, “Well Sir Huw we could not find you” and Sir Hugo said, “The Harts were too much in their cups.” Tel Falcon in his wisdom said, “You should not run around so much, Sir Huw. If they are still screaming then it is not urgent for your services.”


Vlad, one of these werewolves, Vlad, met a third werewolf inside the tower. They circled each other for a while and sniffed at each other. Later, Vlad was seen in the middle of a furious combat with a fourth Were-creature. Neither were able to harm each other. This creature departed after the impasse was plain. The scruffy werewolf joined in the main battle on the goblins’ side. He was slain by magic weapons and on later examination was found to have green skin under his fur. He was pronounced to have been a Goblin Werewolf.


Some of the goblins struck down the defenders with great magical harm. Some used scrolls and these were recovered. Once analysed these gave the wielder the power to cause Fatal Wounds with Incantor Magic. Tel Falcon declared that these were “Dark Incantations” and took charge of all the scrolls.


Connall has finally agreed with the wiser heads that he should return to what he does best. This was shown by his dexterity in a number of the quizzes.


The Bears serenading team where in full voice singing, “We’re the boys from the West Country.”


By Midnight those who were not staying in the hall began to leave, and by 3 o’clock only those too drunk to realise it was bedtime or too sober to collapse were left.