Our mission was to convince a noble lad, Oswald, that it was time to go home to his family. This adventure was reported in the Seagate Times, and some details are recorded in the planning for A Toothy Extraction.
Following the guild meeting we head to a more private room to talk some more about our job, and to sign the guild adventuring agreements. Various members of the party have a competition about who is the best leader, with Sir Christopher winning the day. Starflower gets to take over in a fight however, while Arwen gets to do all the talking to nobles if needed.
The party employer, Earl Edric arrives a bit drunk and we sober him, then Mehb & the Earl tell us a little about the area and some information on Hormikilton (In Waterford to the NE quite a ways), where there had been some issues with undead previously, and that Lord Oswald his son is currently building a fort to control the area, however it is desired that he return home to his mother presently. We get some information about likely enemies being ghouls & vampires, then some letters of introduction a couple of towns in the area & to Martin, one of the Earls friends, who is also at the Fort, then we wrap up the meeting and head off to prepare.
Some dramas result after a wiccan manages to backfire themselves to death, however between some contrary efforts we eventually preserve the body and plan to head up the sweet water after dealing with Oswald to resurrect the wiccan.
As sky is darkened and light is grey Light of heart Heart felt matters wilt and fade Dark of heart Matters in time Intervention has forged the key of change Should that note ring forever?
That evening the party gets wings and heads through a portal, then taking flight at the other end.
Around dawn we find ourselves outside Mikleton, and head in finding ourselves space at the Swans Wing as various members of the party feel the need for class. Lord Harold meets us there shortly after we arrive, and discusses the matter of Lord Oswald & the fort with us, offering to escort us there himself. Further discussion also indicates that he isn't keen on the fort being built, as well as some interesting information about underground watercourses below the town which indicates further tunnel possibilities. Riding horses are provided for those of us who didn't bring them, and we end up at Lord Harold's compound shortly, staying in his guest house.
Sir Christopher spends some time conversing with Harold's son, while Starflower gets quietly invited out by the daughter to a sacrificial ceremony with Emeralda in a nearby woodland shrine. The rest of us sleep a few hours with magical help, and awaken by midday ready to head to the fort.
As we arrive at the fort we assess the fortification, a wooden mott & bailey so far with a large watch tower currently in construction. The people there seem fairly friendly with Harold, though some salute him indicating a more military presence or background, but as we are shown to Lord Oswald, who visibly outranks Harold, the guards there seem a bit worried about something.
Discussing things we move into a war room with a map of the area, looking over the information they provide us they do have a current undead threat, with the undead not confined, and doing raids in the area. Some of the soldiers who fall in battle also come back as undead, as well as sightings of large furry creatures, troll sized. Meeting with the watch commanders we discuss things further with them and decide on doing a patrol into the forest, stopping to talk with some barn owls to see what they know on the way.
Riding to the edge of the forest, some DA's are attempted with Baslic & Arwen being struck unconscious, while Kit manages to stay awake and establishes that the whole area is doomed. Starflower works on reviving them while Jhiselle sees something in the trees move oddly, or perhaps the trees themselves. Arwen reports that they perhaps went to the Ethereal rather than unconscious, and that they saw the standing stones in the area, but not at the same physical location. Investigating what Jhiselle saw we find a single wolf print, and an ESP spots an inquisitive mind, then Jhiselle chats to a hawk who tells us about wolves being more active since winter, and that there is a wolf legged human armed flying creature around, as well as something invisible. Kit demonstrates he has too many swords by running Baslic through a few times trying to get the right combination after Baslic falls unconscious again, before Ice finally brings him around. More investigation is done with an illusionary bear turning up no results, then Kit, Arwen & Jhiselle all head to the ethereal again, where the forest looks thinner, but some of the trees are more real, as well as spotting a significant ley line, where the standing stones should be is a ley pool, and signs that another line used to cross here. Jhiselle spots ethereal people where some of the tree images where, one of which seems to be looking back with animal eyes, before it then fades to a darker afterimage. Arwen interacts with the ley line and grows, then Kit counters the spell, Arwen taking more time than the others to return, and returning enlarged. A bit of discussion occurs, then we go to head back to the fort and discover Arwen & Starflower don't want to leave, with Starflower turning into a Drake and going to sleep. Eventually we all manage to get out of the forest and back to the fort.
We get a hearty dinner and head to sleep with Arwen doing some dream walking. Half way to midnight we wake again to perform some animal sacrifices and Arwen shares some information that there are some undead digging holes somewhere that are part of the overall problem. The local bandits greet us politely on the road and we tip our hats to them as we pass by leaving them to their nights work on the way to the Manor, before most of us observe the ritual, Starflower participating, with 3 women singing, and some antlered men blended beside the altar. From what we can tell the ritual is about creating a guardian spirit. Kit decides to consecrate an area and gets politely blocked, so leaves his card with the man who got in his way before backing off. Then the Wolf, Stag & Arwen step into the fire, Wolf & Stag get burnt, while Arwen steps back, only to have one of the women try and stab them. Confusion reigns for a bit as Kit disarms them then some more fighting occurs. We manage to sort it out before anyone dies, then Jhiselle works on the remnant bound fire from the ritual with an Anvil, doing something with a sword, one of the guardians also seems to assist with their life force, ultimately creating a Guardian sword tied to the land to defend against corruption. With Hormikilton being a place of death & undeath currently and the land dying this seems a good thing.
Lady Emeralda invites us to a post dawn breakfast and we rest & discuss with the forest spirits from the ritual some things in the pre dawn morning. Wolves in Hormikilton are werewolves for 4 or more generations. There used to be some humans that guarded the forest, however they have changed recently. The humans who used to guard the forest did a ritual at the standing stones 100 years ago. The forest spirits felt that the intent of the ritual was wrong and the ritual corrupt. The ritual changed the forest to semi sentience. Undead are unconnected to the ritual. Broken stone in Hormikilton direct result of ritual, as is the attraction to the forest. The forest spirit, Searcher, gives us a raven that understands speech that we can use as a messenger if we need to contact them, while Mebh grants them the sword under an oath it not be used for sacrifices.
After dawn comes breakfast gets organised in a hurry by the servants who seem a little overworked at the short notice, and Sir Harold & Lady Emeralda arrive and discuss matters. Emeralda is the local head priestess of sorts, and tends Harolds forests but otherwise isn't very informed in areas we are interested in. However a good breakfast is had which is a bit of a welcome sight after a couple of very disrupted days, then we head off towards the fort.
Arriving at the fort after a ride spent telling jokes about imps we discuss the situation as we know it with Lord Oswald and gain his permission to be more active and engage some undead. We make some preparations with magic all around, as well as getting the raven to discuss some things with the forest, then we head off towards the ruined village to engage undead.
Reaching the village we detect undead down the well, and use some water-breathing hairnets to descend into the well, which turns out to tie into a cavern about 75' down, with the bottom a further 40' below. Discovering a ghost causes some of the party to panic for a bit, however the party rallies after a little while and chats to the ghost, Thimble, who tells us a bit about weird effects at the standing stone. Looking around the underwater cavern we discover a cover-stone which we establish is blocking a dry tunnel on the other side, so an Earth elemental is used to get us there without flooding the tunnel. Putting a tunnel up to the surface a bit along the side branch of the cavern we check where we are to discover a young girl in the area, who when caught by Kit turns into a werewolf, provoking yet more fear in some of the party. We proceed to negotiate with them and get a meeting with their pack, so head into the forest putting our silver weapons away, where a clan of about 20 werewolves are about the meeting area where we talk to their Matriarch, Pen. They tell us a bit about the undead, informing us that they have access to Celestial, Mind, Earth, E&E & Necromantic magic for sure, some living followers, and additionally Gargoyles are working with them. We organise to hunt the undead with the wolves. Stefan & Eric, werewolves, lead us in our hunt, and curving around the village to the road we encounter some men & gargoyles only to be ambushed. Baslic appears to get controlled, Kit takes a lot of endurance damage, Arwen skewers a few people in the groin, before Jhiselle gets dragged off by a flying entity, Starflower & Arwen giving chase. We ride after though the trail gets slightly lost before a wolf assists us, and we find the Vampire in a tree, we call him Bert, Mind mage, Mil Sci. We get most the party back together then head back to the wolf camp, nearly having a fatal misunderstanding about Baslic when we arrive, then we build a small fort before Jhiselle walks into the camp. We end up sending them back to the Vampires to organise a negotiation with the 5 vampires.
Come dawn we head back to the Fort, Arwen having trouble leaving the forest due to the doom before we eventually get out. Mid afternoon a Cherub arrives in disguise, and over a formal afternoon tea tells us to get on with the job. That evening we head back into the forest to help guard the pack, and set up wards for them.
The night passes uneventfully for a change, and we head to the stone circle in the morning. Testing the mana I manage to create an ice tree that surrounds me, Starflower having seen a Fae appear and be sucked into the spell causing the tree to form. It's a bit suffocating for a little bit before Kit manages to make the tree go away. We repair the stone circle where stones have falled down, then use a wind whistle to send a breeze weaving through them. After a while the wind asks what Mebh wants and we request a vampire, getting one shortly afterwards. Discussions with them tell us that they are not dark circle troops, and are opposed to the dark circle, originating from Tursk county, the dark circle kidnapped them at one stage but they escaped. The soldiers with them are not vampires. Simon seems amicable to meeting with the 'Land lord' Harold, and it turns out Bert is really Geagor. Some of Mebh's lost gear earlier has apparently been taken south to buy a kingdom somewhere. Leaving the vampire we head back to the wolves and negotiate a three day truce in order to get time to sort things out some more. After which we leave the forest and head to find someone senior in charge.
We meet with Lord Oswald in the morning, Mehb, Kit & Lord Oswald heading off to fly to court, where they meet with Lady Matild, his mother, and the Earl and talk about the situation, before the Earl, Henry the earth-mage, Oswald, & a full plate honour guard return for negotiations, where we build a fortification as secure as we can make it magically for them to safely talk from. The vampires arrive and negotiate for about an hour before Pen & 3 more wolves arrive, and a hail of bone arrows happens, Pen collapsing dying at the Earls feet. Something attacks the Vampires. Starflower goes to help them. We end up fighting 4 huge earth elementals. Baslic forgets he's an earth mage and wants to burn down the forest to bedrock. Kit gets into problems with an errant log. And a piece of ice gets thrown into the sky and explodes sending deadly shards everywhere. Baslic & Arwen head to negotiate with the forest, Starflower gets roused and heals herself, and somehow no-one else is to be seen at the moment someone needs to serve little sandwiches so I take that job on. We find out information about some fae factions & dryads, offering to look for the dryads before withdrawing from the forest.
We are served breakfast by Lord Oswald, and issued an invitation to meet with the Earl, and talk things over. We make some plans to try talking to the vampires in the village at midnight, and a day trip to try and find the dryads. Investigating around we eventually find a stone slab deep underground, with a large building on it and some trees. Tunnelling & Earth Elementals are used to get the party down there where we discover the building is an old chapel subsumed into the ground, and the Dryads are there singing as part of the doom, as well as a girl in some kind of stasis. Things get very confusing and hard to remember as a result of being so close to the room, however Kit did some stuff with the harp to disrupt the dryads song, and the Fae & Vampires proceed to show up. The party acts as mediators for them bringing the Earl into the mix also after things are started. The vampires gain permission to stay in the village to hide from the dark circle but must maintain the enchanted area and change the ritual a bit, tend the dryads, and care for the rescued girl from the chapel. We also negotiate a fairly permanent truce between the Vampires & the Wolves, and Kit has a date with the Fae on the next full moon for a duel and to settle some matters to do with his Harp and the playing of it. We then head off with the negotiations all settled to take the long route back to the guild.