- 1 Mission:
- 2 The Party:
- 3 Preparatory Investigations
- 4 Scribe Notes
- 4.1 Lugnasad 806, Midday - Seagate Guild HQ, Carzala
- 4.2 1st Fruit 806, Midday - Seagate Guild HQ, Carzala
- 4.3 2nd Fruit 806, 7-10am - Old Seagate, Carzala
- 4.4 2nd Fruit 806, late afternoon - Newcastle, Newcourt
- 4.5 3rd Fruit 806, morning - Newcastle, Newcourt
- 4.6 3rd Fruit 806, afternoon
- 4.7 4th Fruit
- 4.8 5th Fruit
- 4.9 6th Fruit
- 4.10 7th Fruit, The morning is spent in Newcourt, The afternoon in Kinlu
- 5 Places of Interest encountered in our travels far and wide
- 6 Dramatis Personae
- 7 Calendar
- 8 Party Organisation Notes
Scribe Notes: Session – Autumn 806
To aid the lovely but distraught Lady Justine D'Amberville, daughter and heir of the Baron of Newcourt, to finally get married... oh, and to investigate some musty old White tower in Newcastle, and perhaps even explore it, even though the wedding is far more important and she's been waiting since Beltane to get married and Daddy's put the wedding date back three times now and if he puts if back again from Harvest Home (the Autumnal Equinox), then it'll be Samhain and no good could possibly come from a wedding on Samhain, and what if Henri finds someone else to marry, and Cook's going to lose his mind because he can't plan the feast if he doesn't know the season and the wedding dress has to be completely done over because cousin Florymonde Firebrass has had one just like made for the Royal Lammas court ...
All in all, a mission of the utmost import requiring great delicacy and discretion.
- Father Broc - An Elven Rune Mage played by Chris C
- GJ (Gerald Jnr) - A "young" male Human Illusionist played by Struan
- Haann Uberreich - A Satyr Mind mage played by Ben Taberner
- Axis - An E&E of great repute played by Greg Graydon
- WordSmith - A Dwarven Namer played by Errol Cavit
- Pent - A Halfling Ice Mage played by Phil Judd
Dramus and Father Broc have spent time making comprehensive philosophic investigations into the White Tower and some of the odd and notable areas and artifacts around Newcastle. Their investigation has been largely two-pronged: tracing the history of the White Tower itself through both human and elven records, and looking into the unusual mana zone effects apparent at the top of Newcastle hill.
Lugnasad 806, Midday - Seagate Guild HQ, Carzala
We all attended the pre guild meeting gatherings in the various inns and locales in and around Seagate for the stories and to see old friends. I ( after consulting with Dramus) went off and found the three familiar adventurers I sought and invited them to join us on the morrow in guild meeting room (2nd floor, third on left) at midday.
1st Fruit 806, Midday - Seagate Guild HQ, Carzala
Midday came around and Dramus and I waited in the arranged meeting room for our invited friends who turned up on time. WordSmith (along with his personal trouser ferret named 'Kinky' and his accompanying luggage chest named 'Chester'), and Haann looked the worse for wear but Axis, Pent and GJ (Gerald Junior) looked particularly crisp. Once all were here Dramus and I outlined the reasons for our meeting which are.
1. Lady Justine was due to have been married last Beltane to her true love Henri de Malvallet who was the man she chose in Winter 804. The wedding was then postponed to Mid Summer 806 last season and has since been postponed again. Justine is incredibly distraught and has sought my help in ensuring she gets married soon. The next wedding date is currently planned for Mid Autumn (15th Harvest) and I’d like to officiate at her wedding on that day.
2. Additionally, both Dramus and I have been researching and investigating ‘the white tower’ and consider it most unusual (as are a few things in Newcourt!) and have sought some guild assistance in investigating and possibly entering the tower.
1. Dramus and I sharing co-leadership and in the instances where we vehemently disagree the responsibility falls to the Military Scientist. a. In regards to the wedding issues I will take lead in organising the party and detailing actions b. And In regards to investigating the tower Dramus will take the lead in organising the investigation (it is after all his official residence).
2. WordSmith the ranked Military Scientist will be party Military Scientist
3. I (Father Broc) will be scribe again in order to maintain consistent records and capture pertinent details.
2nd Fruit 806, 7-10am - Old Seagate, Carzala
At various times between 7 and 10 the party turns up at Dramus’s townhouse (which has a number of workmen building doors, walls and other structural additions to his house) and we adjourn to his tower’s taproom for some quite ales and some discussion which includes a few ground rules, such as that everyone with legs must wear pants and we should act with appropriate decourm here in Newcastle.
We exit the tower into Dramus’s rooms in Newcastle and send one of his servants to inform Jubert that we have arrived and seek an audience. Jubert arrives and we illuminate him of our arrival, intentions and a few requests. He goes away perhaps happier, perhaps not but he will do inform those who need to know that we are here.
We cross the courtyard to my chambers where my daughter Casmira von Hecklyn has already lit a fire to warm the chambers in this colder climate than Seagate.
Soon a beautiful, but sobbing Justine arrives, escorted by her delightful sister Alys. Justine pours out her troubles regarding the wedding for several minutes in between sobs but reveals little of use before she has to leave but not before Alys indicates to me that she has much to talk of when possible and I have introduced my august companions.
They take their leave and soon thereafter master Francoise and his large dog Leroy come bounding in to see us. He has changed over the past 18 months and shows signs of the young gentleman he will become. We pass the time and invite him to join us after dinner before he takes his leave which leaves the party alone for the time being.
Dramus and I briefly relate what (and who) has just happened before we set out some guidelines for conduct and discuss overt magic use being less than desirable here amongst some of the less erudite people who are far from Seagate.
We then have a tour of the castle and its grounds. The party sees the tower up close and looks over the other castles, towers, walls and other sundry fortifications on Newcastle hill.
After the tour we change and attend dinner where I talk with the family some while Dramus has discussions with various master artisans and the rest of the party takes it all in. Also present at the dinner (largely informal) are a large number of other artisans and guards as well as the ubiquitous merchants such as Gilbert and Renier.
During dinner I arrange for us to meet with the Baron after the dinner and also have a quick chat with Alys, away from Justine. We quickly pass information and arrange to perhaps meet later but she imparts some vital information regarding Justine’s urgent desire (and need) for a wedding in the near future.
After dinner I spent some time in the hall talking and socialising and catching up with those at dinner, before retiring to my quarters to speak with Alys. Gerald and Pent accompanied me, while the others headed off to start the Baronial investigation.
Once the results of WordSmiths divinations were known Father Broc settled in to sleep and see what the Baron's dream were about but to little avail. The Baron was dreaming he was on the seashore building a castle in the sand with the water threatening to arrive and undo all his good work, work that he alone was responsible for.
After the Divinations and Visitations we slept the rest of the uneventful night away.
Breakfast was bought to our chambers and enjoyed by all with the exception of Dramus who took some interest in the pipe which carries water to the rooms. Once breakfast was finished he asked Axis to follow the pipes back to where they originated and we discovered (via Wizards eye) that there is a large cistern at the top of the main tower (with an unusual hemisphere at the bottom of the 'tank') and another perhaps older cistern in the kitchen area which goes down some 100 feet (@50ft of water once you go down a number of flights of stairs in the base of the tower) which is still some 1-200 ft above the river level!
We decide to investigate the mines and ask Jubert who directs us to Gilbert (the manager of the amber mines) who gives us permission after explaining some safety issues (such as exploding rock and its instability near magic) and the changing layout of the mines.
We head down to the Amber mines (to see Vesh the foreman) and on route Dramus detects the undead creatures again and enables Axis to follow a path which leads to a disused and disguised part of the castle under the chapel area in which the 4 creatures are 'closeted' behind a snuggly fitted door. Axis also discovers that there is a way to pass between the old ossuary and the hidden area which we will investigate later.
We continue down towards the Amber mines with the idea that those to 'magical' would stay outside while those of us not as inately magical would investigate.
Dramus, Haann and Gerald stayed outside to mind the mound of equipment that Pent, Axis, WordSmith and I divest ourselves of and to keep Dramus company while he has a discussion with some long past locals.
Inside the dangerous mines the group find dark depths, close and claustrophobic spaces and once in the older portions of the mines signs and sounds of scuttling and slurping from one (or more) denizens in the old mines which may or may not be Utter dark elementals, a very large centipede type creature and other nasties. The mine group find little but more questions and exit once they have a DA on the approaching creature into the light and fresh air of the Autumnal mid-day.
Meanwhile the dead discussion group finds some interesting details as well which require party cogitation on its meanings etc. The ritual went well, but there was a notable delay before a spirit appears. The spirit was attenuated and nearly transparent, but seemed to be that of an elven male of some age. The figure wore translucent robes of an old-fashioned cut (not truly archaic, but at least a couple of millenia out of date). When the figure spoke there was a strange delay between its lips moving and the sound (a quiet rustling as of dead leaves), as though the voice was coming from far away.
3rd Fruit 806, afternoon
After returning to the advisors rooms and discussion, Axis, Dramus and I go off to convince the Baron not to postpone the wedding with some success in that he gives us to next Duesday before he 'makes the call' to postpone or continue.
We relate this news and then decide we need more information. Pent and I will head to see some local inquisitors I know of in the area of D'arbres which are of little help but provide us with some 'deep historical background' information. Axis and Gerald head off in search of knowledge which goes to Elfenburg (where they meet up with Aubrey), Borovia (to no avail) and all the way to Kinlu where they meet up with Lord Yo. Meanwhile Dramus, Haann and WordSmith rest and play dice.
Gerald and Axis spend some time with Lord Yo discussing our current situation and during which time Gerald gives Lord Yo and example of the Amber from the mines which he takes and ‘samples’ by way of taste. The result of this test is that after a short time several butterflies emerge from Lord Yo’s mouth followed by a large fly.
Lord Yo states that the source of the mana in the Amber is 'a higher world' (in contrast to the Alternate Alusias suggested, calling those 'worlds of man’). Nothing much else is forthcoming apart from more discussion about dragons and clarifications of which has gone where.
Axis and Gerald take their leave and travel back via portal to Borovia which they find in darkness and they ask a boon of Countess Anestasia to stay the night which is readily granted; Axis being a friend of old.
Meanwhile back at the Castle, Father Broc and Pent have returned from their sojourn (by way of a special portal of Father Broc’s which he has created 1 mile north of the Inquisitors dwelling in D’arbres. They find that Haann is off seducing a number of servant wenches and WordSmith is off attempting the less personal but similar approach with the tradesmen around the castle. Father Broc goes off and has a few hours sleep for the afternoon in his chambers and Pent wanders off to find some excitement.
Dramus has promoted a small tourney for Pent versus the castle guards which is widely attended by a number of guards in the vain hope of beating the super scything snowball of skill and speed. Giles, the head of the Baron's guard watches from the shadows as man after man is shown the error of assumption, over confidence and arrogance at the hands and feet of Pent, the pint sized powerhouse of position, poise and pugnacity.
With no sign of Gerald and Axis before dinner we assume they are indisposed and not returning today so we have dinner in the great hall and then retire to our rooms to dice, discuss and sleep with single watches. Dramus through secretive means makes a prediction for a storm in the next day or so which confounds some while few agree. Haann is still off ‘interrogating’ the serving staff and no doubt hard at work so we undertake watches without him just using myself on 1st Watch, Pent on Second Watch and WordSmith on 3rd Watch.
- Haann – Finds himself in the woods on a trail leading up a hill. He hears distant sounds of bells in the distance and is then grabbed from behind and pulled down so as to be hidden from the trail. His 'rescuer' seems to be a grey-eyed man/elf dressed in forest green named Tomas Lowe who warns him of the bells, that they seek mortals for the teind, and that he should 'run home to his master and not walk in the greenwoods'. Haann hears bells closer and flees through the woods before awakening tangled in a blanket. He heads back to bed in our chambers rather than Agnes’s.
- Dramus – dreams and finds himself walking in the Baron's gardens on a path that becomes a fairy path leading towards where the ‘White Tower’ would be (though it is not present). After walking the path for some time he comes to his own realm of Asheth which looks much restored.
- WordSmith – Dreams he is in a wrong-feeling mine (bad feel like Amber Mine), and is chased by dark and *slurrpy* creatures of evil/dark aspect that seem to be chasing him through narrow, dark, dank underground shafts. He runs as fast as his little legs can move and is almost caught but he awakes safe in his room during the first watch and can’t get back to sleep. He feels something cold and slimy on his neck and wipes with his hand and finds some ichor type substance rapidly dissolving which he identifies as magical in nature. He decides that he’ll take 2nd Watch and not Pent so he informs me at the change of watch and I pass off to sleep.
- Father Broc – I dream and discover myself on a path to the east of the 'White Tower' which as I walk towards it become the ‘Black Tower’. Between me and the tower is a winged female figure, dressed in blue with a large sword and a trumpet blocking the path. I get a good feeling from her but a feeling of some danger from the tower. The figure whom I will call Gabriel says “Lugnasad has passed, the leaves are turning, and soon it will be Samhain”. I awake soon after and am left with a disturbed sleep full of portents.
A new day dawns with Pent, Haann, WordSmith and I discussing the dreams and wondering where Dramus went off to so early this morning. Pent wants something crafted in silver so asks for a journeyman to attend him from the town when possible. WordSmith performs an ancient Div on himself to look for a magical source of the dreams.
When Haann discusses his dream I am drawn back to an encounter I has some years ago in the Seelie court on ‘Earth’ where I met Titania in her court as well as a human named Tom but also known as Tam Lynn or Thomas the Rhymer who is a mortal who chose to stay with the Seelie court. I consider further and think of the meaning of ‘Lowe’ which in La’lange could be translated to L’eau (‘Water’) or De L’eau (of ‘Water’). This could mean his name was Tomas (or Thomas, Tom etc) Waters (Water etc) or some derivative. More to ponder.
I am disturbed about the dreams we all had and so is WordSmith, so much so that he is undertaking a curse removal on himself and asks some of us to protect him while doing so. Gerald and I do so in the rooms and while there we talk with one particular spirit named Gaston (a 12 year old page boy inn archaic dress who died some 400 years ago) who had/has a low opinion of the Michaeline sect that were here at the time (the Order of the Dragon of St Michael) and they apparently got what they deserved for what they were doing. We discuss the White Tower and he says it has been getting more turbulent since we were here and there feels to be a stronger current now which pulls in spirits that come close to the Tower and they never come back.
I think about sleeping and using my Spirit form to investigate the Tower in that ‘form / state’ but decide to await the rest of the party before doing so. Once WordSmith has completed his Curse removal, Axis and Gerald return from their sojourn and we proceed outside in search of Dramus. The weather appears to be closing in and the prediction from Dramus of a storm seems more likely. We find Dramus in a section of old gardens which he says is similar to where he was in his dreams. We all discuss ideas, news and dreams and decide then to see if we can find anything out in the fae or fairy realm but we will have to wait till dusk which is a more auspicious time.
The remainder of the day passes without ado but a goodly amount of rest and reflection. Dusk arrives and we return to the garden and Dramus creates his fae circle through which he can see a chalk path leading through the mists. The storm arrives just as Dramus investigates his path. He returns to get us all and instructs that we are bound together by silk handkerchiefs for our own safety in the volatile fae realm. As the heavy rain begins we proceed into the mists inside the fae circle and follow Dramus’s lead along the unseen path.
Sometime later we stumble out of the mists and into a large 'henge' type area with three concentric cirlces of standing stones. We are in the middle ring when we exit the mists.
We investigate, DA and divinate the stones who appear to be very old and here since the start and end of time. After getting bored waiting for rituals to end Dramus touches one of the stones and gets a good feeling. Trying to get an improved feeling for the rock Dramus hugs it and gets a slightly more informative sensation and is soon hugging all the stones he can with varying results. The stones are perhaps linked to seasons and each have an aura or 'personality' to them. There is an ancient 'awareness' here which we lightly touch. I endeavour to communicate with 'it' in the spirit world which is slightly removed from the dimension the rest of the party are in but to little effect.
Dramus and I both try to communicate with the by translating ourselves to a 'higher' spirit plane where we float slightly off the ground but the stones appear to be hundreds of feet high and have 'voice' to communicate to us. Little is gained form here but Dramus is told he is 'tainted' and should return when the 'taint' has gone.
We attempt to leave the plane but Dramus finds his Fairie ring path blocked by a nasty and dangerous looking fae who bars his path and causes him to lose faith in his ability to use the paths. Turning to me we start the banishment process. I banish Dramus (stating "Begone, foul spawn of Seir") only to find Axis says he is still here on this plane, but some 10 miles away. We fly that way and intercept Dramus flying back our way. We regroup and head back to the circle to discuss. Some minutes later and I find that I and others are again on a pocket portal somewhere, created by who knows. On a whim (prompt from Dramus) I use Dramus's 'talking tube' to speak with Dr Dominani who enlightens us further in that he cannot access the plane we are on and doesn't known anything about it. He agrees to perhaps meet us in MMHS at the insane Asylum when we get there. I put down the tube and have to 'spiritually clean' myself after talking with the man as he disturbs me.
So we can't use the paths to leave or banish out and we consider what to do. Axis on hearing of Dramus's need to 'cleanse' suggests getting rid of it mentally by travelling off this plane to rid him of the taint. Dramus and Axis go into the dreamlands via some herbs and return later after Dramus has a meeting with his patron who takes back what is his for now with a reckoning later on.
With the Taint removed Dramus again tries the paths and finds we can travel safely. We travel and return to Newcourt.
We return to the castle after our experiences in the Stone Circle and other plane just before Dawn. We find our rooms and set normal watches after despatching a servant to arrange a very late breakfast some 2 hours before noon. Dramus leaves the group to attend to some personal buisness with Haann along to ensure that a message will return if Dramus is unavoidably detained.
The morning is spent with Pent, Gerald, Wordsmith and Axis sleeping for 4 hours each while Broc keeps watch until one awakes when he gets some well earned sleep. Early afternoon comes around with the Return of Dramus and Haann who seem none the worse for wear really! We decide on what needs to be done on the morrow and so Gerald and I depart to MMHS via established portals between Newcourt and Gracht and then onto MMHS to create a new terminus for future use.
In the late afternoon visitors come and visit the group. Florestan and Floremond Fortbrass who are cousins of Justine arrive and pass the time before going off to decide what to do about dinner.
Wordsmith investigates the White Tower roof and Divinates a Gargoyle which brings up information that they are creations of Dark binding with resident spirits which await activation by someone/something.
Dinner passes with suitable introductions made and Dramus and I assuming our positions at the head table for the formal seating with the enlarged family members present. Night passes and sleep is gained.
We rouse early, purify, and partake of a quick breakfast before utilising my new portals to take us to a portal spot in a small copse of trees, next to a crossroads about 1 mile away from MMHS.
We enter MMHS and move towards the MMHS Asylum/Sanatorium in the less salubrious old quarter of the city. We meet there a Brother Bernard who at our request finds some information on Gervais from old records that have survived since the fire of 737. Once we have a short chat regarding these less than complete records we go off and visit Gervais in the ‘Private wing’ of the Sanatorium. Gervais is found concentrating intently on painting his walls in minute detail with interlinked mechanical patterns. Brother Bernard will wait outside the door while we ‘talk’ with Gervais.
Haann hypnotises Gervais and talks to him some while I speak with Dr Dominani regarding our problem and he ‘will see what he can do’. Soon afterwards the brother opens the door and explains that a Doktor – Herr Doktor Dietrich has arrived to look into the case. Once the brother leaves the room again Herr Doktor explains we have a mutual friend in common and then allows to continue while he watches and listens intently.
Haann gets some information from Gervais such as he was in the ‘Fortress of Steel’,
- “How do you enter the tower?”
- The walls are of blades
- “Something he wished he had taken?”
- Another way out
- “Why were you spared?”
- He has a particular interest in rulers
- “Who is ‘he’”
- He is the Marshall of Vekheron and the Prince of Puppets.
Herr Doktor advises that he and his associates have heard of Vekheron and that it located in one of the lower levels. We decide to take our patient somewhere more conducive to finding information and so we move to leave the room with the patient.
Gervais is difficult to move so coercion is attempted with little effect until Gerald ‘blanks all the walls’ of Gervais’s carefully constructed paranoid protection symbology.
Next Gervais attacks Dramus almost killing him before we find ourselves attempting to restrain him by way of magic and physical attack. Our attacks seem to have little effect and our magic is similarly ineffective.
The Melee continued until a number of the party leapt on Gervais to pin him down whereby he stopped moving and we thought resisting us but alas not! Gervais managed to cast a Telekinetic Rage which had little effect upon us but a significant effect on others in the near vicinity in the Sanatorium and the nearby buildings. Wordsmith now DA’d him and found that he was possessed by a being named ‘Garresh’.
We then netted Gervais in WordSmith's net and moved quickly to follow Dr Deitrich to his ‘new office’ in the sanatorium. We arrived there along with a befuddled Brother Bernardo whom I suggested stay in the sanatorium to rest but was overruled by Dramus who said that he must accompany us to avoid spreading whatever he was exposed too. So with significant trepidation on my part, Brother Bernardo accompanied us into the doctors room where we placed Gervais on the central table with it’s built in restraints, Brother Bernardo Sat down and we then waited.
Axis noted that the door we entered through momentarily disappeared and then returned. We looked at Doctor Deitrich who said that someone would be along momentarily and we should accompany him while he ‘worked with’ Gervais and looked after Brother Bernardo.
The Speaking tube vibrates, I ‘answer’ it and it is Dr Dominani inviting us for ‘tea’ and that he has sent his servant for us. Soon thereafter the door opens and Otto is there and motions for us to follow which we do through the house to a laid out tea with scones. We partake of the sustenance and then Dr Dominani arrives to ask what our reasons for being there and what we wish done. We inform him that we’d like to speak with Victor if possible and seek his help getting information from Gervais. He agrees to both, saying the Dr Deitrich is already working closely with Gervais and Otto will take us to see Victor. He then takes his leave from us.
Otto leads us down to the depths of the building and into a room with a large glass like cylinder full of milky liquid and in between two ‘Tesla coils’ that spark with electrikery in a similar manner to Dr Dipple’s equipment in our previous Sanatorium visit in Winter 805. Otto points at the cylinder and pulls a lever. I ask ‘Victor’ into the space around the cylinder and a disembodied voice responds with ‘Ah, good father’. We quickly figure that Victor (or rather his body, soul etc) is contained in the cylinder and he can speak with us through a unique coil and precious gem device wrapped around the cylinder.
We proceed to ask a number of questions of Victor some of which were:
- How did you access the power to make your plane?
- ”I had to make certain bargains”
- With whom did you make the bargains?
- “With the powers of the lands below, Lords of the Shadowlands”
- How did you get access to these powers below?
- “Gained introductions through Aunt Justine”
- What broke to create the plane?
- “the secret path was opened and the sister was the key”
- How can we close the path?
- “The path can’t be sealed but the door can be partially closed”
He indicated that the ‘door’ to the path was in a place Dramus, Gerald and I would know of (which we surmise to be the Chapel)
I asked did he leave anything behind and he said yes. Left behind were things such as his body, equipment, the tutor’s spirit trapped in a container of some sort etc.
I asked who trained him in the arts of Dark Binding and he replied with Marlo Udet in Drakenburg who also trained his own son (Udo Udet) in the same arts. This information was familiar to Gerald who remembered it from a previous undertaking involving a golem-like ‘Roadbuilder’.
In regards to the Amber he considers it to be leakage from the path and what was done to it. The tower was built to take advantage of the power leaking as well as being a doorway to other planes, places which was tampered with by fools who didn’t understand what they were doing.
The Black stair is the remains of a fortress from Eons ago and all of the building that "remains above ground".
Victor was allied with (and perhaps pacted to) the Prince of Puppets named Garesh of Vekheron.
We take our leave of Victor and return to Gervais and Dr Deitrich who we find alone with Brother Bernardo gone. When asked about Brother Bernardo, Dr Deitrich states that he has decided to help out here with the other mentally insane patients.
We ask what information he has gained from Gervais and he recounts: “the tower is made of bones, it goes into other lands which are parts of the Shadowlands (Falkovnia the land of Impalers – amongst others) which he and his companions couldn’t leave via banishment. A second attempt at banishment (made in the mists between two of the Shadowland realms) threw them into some deeper Under-realm where they were captured by Garresh. Gervais somehow managed to escape from the mountains of knives, castle of blades, drachens (dragons) of steel. He still has a connection to that plane and Garesh (as evidenced by Garesh’s possession of him recently)”.
We get no further information from him and we take our leave to depart for Newcastle (via a nearby Hospice in Newcourt City) leaving Gervais in the care of the good Doktor. Once outside the Hospice we consider the situation of Brother Bernardo and decide to give Dr Dominani warning of our unease regarding the matter.
We have a discussion regarding the disappearance of Brother Bernardo and Axis borrows the speaking tube and raises the issue with Dr Dominani. Herr Doktor is aghast at such rude behaviour by Dr Deitrich and says he will correct the situation expeditiously and set things to right, which he does along with explaining the problem at the MMHS sanatorium has been taken care of with a small fire in the records room caused apparently by Brother Bernardo.
We take a carriage up the hill away from the Hospice and we return to our chambers to take a few hours to rest before we undertake our next task – the investigation of the chambers below the castle where the remaining golems lurk!
Around 7pm after our sleep breaks we head down into the ossuary, locate the secret door which leads to a priests hole, which has another secret door which leads into a rough hewn tunnel and then to a wall. We use a counter-spell to open the door and proceed down corridors before coming into a large space with a high ceiling and a number of doors and passages. The area looks to have been used for some sort of rituals as evidenced by the chalk and wax marks on the floor in vaguely triangular and pentacular shapes so we proceed with caution. We discover a lot of badly maintained metal shapes, devices, chains, workbenches and other such equipment but notice that a lot of it seems to be missing. There are chains and other metal devices we anticipate were used to flay skin off beings in order to make the golems.
We fail to find the body of Victor or the container holding the spirit of Brother Bernard the tutor whose body Victor possessed 18 months ago to further his evil machinations.
We find the two rooms with the remaining ‘thin golems’ (GTN Flayed) and with the aid of transparency, Phantasm, Nightmare and Spectral warrior we kill 3 and then Dramus manages to control the remaining one.
Other rooms are a store room with some reasonably fresh apples and a bedroom with a bed that looks to have been slept in not too long ago (estimated last use of 2 weeks ago – Approximately the last week of Breeze). In the bedroom was a ward of hellfire which Wordsmith suppresses so that I may divinate it to find something about its caster. At the end of the ritual I discover that it was a Rank 19 Wicca Hellfire, cast by an MA 30 individual about 3 weeks ago (Mid breeze 806) and has non triggering conditions on up to 5 individuals. This means we have between 2 to 5 conspirators in the area of Newcastle who are dangerous and playing a deep game.
WordSmith gets down to divinate the golem and I divinate the area of the pentacle & triangle. I discover after the hour that the area was used to summon a Demonic Marquis around 7 weeks ago (around mid Summer 806). WordSmith discovers that the golem was made nearly 5 weeks ago (Approximately the first week of Breeze) by an MA 30 individual using a non-standard from of Animate/Raise dead spell/ritual (pseudo-Necro in flavour) which has in indefinite duration, and it was controlled for its first few hours..
We return to our rooms whence we came and settle in for a full nights sleep. Thankfully uneventful.
7th Fruit, The morning is spent in Newcourt, The afternoon in Kinlu
We have breakfast and make some enquiries about recent events with Alys and Jubert whilst Wordsmith goes around DA’ing a number of people and asks for “College” getting some interesting replies, especially from the 'Bowcourt women'.
We then partake in a little more breakfast when a messenger arrives and requests that the ‘Advisors’ attend the Baron at their convenience. So Dramus and I head off to see the baron while the rest eat their breakfast (and Pent eats mine and Dramus’s) and pass the time in idle chatter.
Dramus and I attend the Baron who asks the progress of our investigations and we let on some but allude to a lot more. He reiterates his position and orders a report from us by Dinner this evening so that cancellations (or not) can be organised. Dramus and I leave promising to do so.
On our way back to our rooms we notice an 8 ft high, rock troll being ‘corralled’ by a number of guards. Dramus goes over and takes ‘possession’ of the Rock troll and sees the guards off. The troll has been sent to find Dramus by his major-domo and ask him to return to his Tower of Magic. We do so and discover that the tower was attacked last night and entry attempted but they did not gain the tower.
We decide we must act fast and I suggest a way to track the ‘visitors from down below’ using dogs. We travel past our rooms, get ready for anything and had down to the bedroom of the unknown being. We enter the room and Gerald creates a dog to do the tracking. While in there we notice that things have moved since we were her last night and look around some. A booby trapped pillow reveals a ‘Hellfire bomb’ which explodes causing fire damage but little lasting physical damage to Axis, pent and I in the room at the time. Now we’re mad!
We get the dog to track and he does so but to little avail, revealing tracks that lead outside (through a shallow cave) and then end abrubtly; suggesting flight.
We decide to head down the tunnel to the north and do so. The travel along the tunnel sees the level of magic rise past high (est 20) to extreme (est 30) to crazy (est40) and rising. It gets darker and darker and stretches for some 300 ft or so when it ends in a wall which looks to be an inactivated portal to somewhere.
I look it over when the dog discovers some scent of the bad-guy some 20 ft back where we find a secret alcove and an 8 slot set of tumblers with inscriptions of a language (probably Eldar Drow) I have seen recently but not studied. Failing to know the combination of the tumblers I take a (magically good) guess and the tumblers unlock a steep stairway heading down into the depths of the hill. The tumblers and its surrounding rock are the type like the black stair above and I feel they are all connected.
We descend the large steps, which end between two powerfully magical black pillars that absorb some random spell magics -- the pillars appear to be mana storage devices, filled to overflowing, and there is an almost static chage of loose magic in the air. We find ourselves in a large 30 ft circular room with 8 pillars, a stairway curving down and and occasional scurrying, probably from the dinner-plate sized black crystalline spider-like entities. Dramus's sword Sting glows and he prepares to blast the spider...
Gerald and Axis make comments about maintenance spiders and elven crystal-minds of long ago but .....
Dramus reacted as he does to all spiders and fired off a stream of corruption followed by a rather substantial looking spectral warrior to deal with it. Unfortunately he succeeded in hurting the spiders leg and then cracking its structure before he was subdued by physical attack and Haann’s mental attack. Wordsmith managed to hurt himself by backfiring his counter-spell which looked worse than it was but a secondary priority to getting Dramus trussed up and hypnotised while Axis healed the target (whom we will now refer to as Crystal Golem or CG) so as to avoid ruining it.
Once Axis had healed the break he spoke with it and got some information about it and the place. It is a Crystal Spider, (a semi-sentient, semi-autonomous golem designed for maintenance work, and normally under the control of a sentient but immobile golem / spirit called a Crystal Mind). We are are in the ‘power storage room’, above us is the ‘machine room’ and below us is the ‘power room’. All contact with the Crystal Mind was lost long ago, and the area is running at less than optimal, and maintenance standards have fallen below safe levels, due to the fact that there are only 3 of necessary 6 maintenance ‘units’ currently operational, and no technicians have visited for many years.
Apparently the area here has existed for what appears to be ‘aeons’ and hasn’t worked well (if at all), also for aeons (though a smaller number than the first), when it lost connection with its ‘command and control room’ and Crystal Mind which was behind a portal that appears to no longer function. The working portal from this room leads to the ‘machine room’ while the stairs lead down to the ‘power room’.
The CG’s have been requesting a ‘technician’ to help repair the problems but one has never came to remedy the problems presently affecting the power system. The damage / emergency Alarm was triggered automatically and cannot be turned off, but the intensity of the alarm has increased in recent times due to recent disturbances and excess power build up which is being ‘slushed off’ via a mana sink and is at its maximum capacity.
We hypothesise that this ‘alarm’ has been somehow ‘picked up’ by the baron and its this that is providing the impetous to ‘fix’ the castle and not allow other things to occur. We need to 'sever' this link or repair the problem (using a 'technician') or insulate the Baron from the Signal or another solution to enable the wedding to continue to our plans!
We go down the stairs (led by the CG) to the ‘Power room’ which has 8 (3 ft tall and wide) stones in a circle around the center of the room. In the center is what appears to be a portal channelling mana from Mag Mell to be used here. However the northern stone appears to be ‘corrupted’ through some vile ritual and is surrounded inside a pentagram with encircling lines containing writhing lines of some dark substance and ‘dead’ daggers. This corruption is affecting the power coming in here and has unbalanced the system.
We retrieve a de-powered CG that had got too near the corrupted area and set it to power up again. We then move to the ‘machine room’ and leave Dramus who will be doing a talk with the dead ritual to see what can be gained from ‘dead in the ‘power room’ and Haann who will be guarding him.
In the “machine room’ we see another CG and discover more information in the octagonal room with a conical roof which has strange shaped stalagtites coming down which we are informed are power, control and distribution mechanisms. The magical power from the portal downstairs used to be stored in the middle room and then distributed throughout the complex that used to occupy this site in the distant past. At some point (War of Tears?) the complex was destroyed (as testified by the melted Black Staircase remaining above ground), but the mana channeling system remained operational. The sump / sink for excess mana that is part of this ancient system appears to be the cause of the Amber in Newcastle hill, but recently (Victor's ritual 18 months ago?) the system was damaged and now the incoming mana is straining the system beyond its limits.
11am: We decide that the machine needs fixing and that we cannot do this ourselves and then proceed back to the ‘power room’ to discuss with Dramus and Haann.
We share the knowledge and get a bit more information and decide to take a CG with us when we head to Kinlu to meet Lord Yo.
We head upstairs to my portal which I start to activate and Justine passes by saying many guests are arriving, Dramus jokingly says "and Justine?" to whcih she replies yes, my aunt is here too. I momentarily lose concentration with this news and then continue as time is pressing.
We take my portals to MMHS, flight to Borovia and then walk through the portal where we encounter a House Taijin patrol who will take us to the castle (even though it is 1am in Kinlu) to meet with Lord Yo.
1am (Kinlu), 1pm (Newcourt)
We are left in a waiting room in Taijin castle for some time while Lord Yo is informed of our presence. Dramus is heard to say “low tables are height'ist” when it’s suggested we sit and have some ‘lunch’. Around 2am Lord Yo arrives and we discuss our problems with him. Lord Yo appears to be an elder Elven Mage on the large, well built side (though still quite slender) with long white hair and a long ‘Fu Man Chu’ wispy beard, long, sharp fingernails, bright green eyes and is dressed in Dark Green robes with a high collar and voluminous sleeves.
We explain what we have been doing over the last few days and he passes on some information. The true ‘Mag Mell’ is also known as the ‘Plain of Joy’ to some of the Elven peoples and is similarly associated with areas like Valhalla, the Elysium fields and other places of undying, and is linked in some fashion with the home of the elves in ancient days. The plane that we visited with the three concentric circles of monoliths (also named Mag Mell) is mostly likely a shadow cast by that plane.
Lord Yo agrees to accompany us to Newcourt and we explain our travel needs such as a nearby High Mana zone.
Back to Newcastle
Lord Yo obliges and creates a temporary one for Dramus who uses it to take us directly into the rooms beneath the castle and start our investigations with him at around 345pm local time.
Lord Yo accompanies us through the rooms, starting with the ‘Machine room’ which he knows something about but not much, he is impressed and concerned with the state of the ‘power storage room’ which is literally overflowing to him with excess Mana to dangerous levels. He accompanies us down to the ‘power room’ and is stopped by a brief revulsion at the sight of the ritual desecration there. He explains that the ‘ink’ is actually blood of a dead god, perhaps one of the original ones concerned with death/unbeing. Lord Yo says it’s unfortunate that his cousin Dumuzi isn’t here as this is his area of specialty but he’ll think what we need to do.
He suggests he drain some of the excess power away to provide a ‘safety’ margin and so he does a ritual in the ‘power storage room’ for an hour which drains away a significant quantity of power that leaves him somewhat drained, but in possession of a jade sphere containing a horrendous quantity of mana (which he seals and gingerly stores up a sleeve).
Once he returns we decide to try and get one of the daggers out of the ritual area using ideas we have been considering the past hour and I try using a chain lasso with a cold iron hook on the end. I manage to miss but avoid catastrophe by embedding the hook in my stomach causing great damage. I tell the others that “I’ll sit down a while I think” and then fall down and am ministered to by Wordsmith.
Meanwhile many cunning plans are attempted but foiled by the aging/death/draining effect surrounding the ritual which destroys metals, woods etc, aging them instantly to oblivion. Pent finally thinks he has a way, he tries it through some esoteric hobbit time manipulation and succeeds in pulling one dagger out in a flash. Once this dagger is out the ritual ‘disperses’ and the ‘ink’ flows into the dagger hilts and stays there. We pick up the evil daggers and put them in protective cases to carry them about and reduce their evil influences
Once we have done this it is 545pm and dinner is about to start so we walk up to our rooms and quickly change. I invited lord Yo to stay for dinner and he seems amiable to this and joins us in the dining room.
We find a full head table with what looks to be ‘Aunt Justine’ beside her nephew – the Baron and accompanied by 2 very tall, stern looking bald men who stand close behind her, and a pretty maidservant. We are happily surprised to see that the Baron has no drawings or the like of the castle in front of him and is looking considerably more relaxed than of recent days.
We take seats away from the head table and enjoy a well-earned dinner and pleasant conversation with those on our table. Once the formal dinner is over and food cleared away the drinking starts and we move more freely around the room.
Dramus, Lord Yo and I leave the party and head to the head table where we pay our respects to those present and introduce our guest to the Baron, his sister et al. The introductions go well until Aunt Justine is introduced to Lord Yo when the temperature drops in the brief moment of evaluation but then picks up quickly when manners and courtesy returned to the fore. Aunt Justine appear to have turned up this morning (while we were busy elsewhere) for the first time and some time (since the church burnt down) and all are most happy to see her here.
We enquire as to the Barons wedding decision and he confirms it is all on and thanks us for our assistance in whatever we did. Lady Justine beams a smile our way and then come down to give us a big hug and her thanks for what we have done. Lady Justine’s, Lady-in-waiting Colette, gives us the merest hint of a smile and a wink at what we assume a job well done and we then finish the introductions and public discussion and return to our table to discuss developments.
Lord Yo says “that was interesting” and “I’ve not met someone like her before!” in the way of those wary of power and other worldly forces. We have identified the maid as a succubi and the two bodyguards are lower order demons of some sort with the soul residing in Aunt Justine’s body being some 500 + years old
We discuss her a little more when she, her 2 bodyguards and her maidservant come to talk with us more privately. We come to an accommodation the 3 of us (‘Aunt Justine, Dramus and I) which is an extension of the agreement Dramus and I have which is the neutrality of this are we have chosen to abide in for the moment and a few other details which promise to make this winter a long and perhaps interesting one.
Lord Yo wishes to take his leave after dinner and we escort him back to our rooms where we bid him thanks for his endeavours and gratitude for his indulgence and time here in Newcourt. He departs via teacup and we then rest for the evening.
This end the task we were appointed for although some of us stay on for the wedding celebratuons and entertainment, while others for the sport and discussions!
Places of Interest encountered in our travels far and wide
The Standing stones on the plane of 'Meg Mell' are arrayed in three circles each with a chalk path on the inside of the circle. Four chalk paths head in cardinal directions from the centre circle to the outside.
The whole leveled area is over 300 yards across, and surrounded by a ditch some 20 yards across and over 10 yards deep. Earth is mounded up on the external side, the land then dropping away down heavily wooded slopes until the hill vanishes into the mists making the hilltop seem an island in the fog.
One one of the paths a black shimmering liquid-like substance has covered the path and expanded out to encompass the grass and stones on the edges of the path. Grass and stones in contact with the oild substance appear to be melted although the substance is extremely cold.
Due to the lack of a definable north we arbitrarily assigned north to the path with the black substance. This was later shown to be reasonable as it became lighter in the east a bit later on.
Investigation (hugging) the stones of the outer rings showed that some sensations could be gained from the stones. Continuing this investigation into the 16 inner stones found the sensations were strong enough to determine sex and affiliation of the stones (or presumably the entities that either formed the stones or became them.
We assigned letters to the stones based on the first two we checked which bounded the path 90 degree's sunwise to the path consumed by the black substance. From there we went deiseil round the stones.
The information below has been garnered from Pent, Haann and Dramus hugging rocks. Repeated test found that Pent had strong feelings but they were erratic, Haann had weak sensations but they were consistant, and Dramus had very strong feelings that were reasonably consistant.
The Possible Seasons and aspects are figments of Dramus' imagination and may or may not be accurate in any way.
|E||Male||Death/Passing of Life||Winter||Unknown|
|I||Male||Energetic/Of the beasts/Wild Animal||Spring||Fire|
|M||Male||High Breeze/Call of Birds||Summer||Air|
|O||Male||Masculine/Raw Energy/ Courage/Bravery/Chivalric||Summer||Earth|
|P||Female||Elegant/Knowledgable/Graceful/Poetic/a Bard in the sense of an entertainer and loremaster||Autumn||Fire|
Other possible seasonal matches are
- A B C D
- E F G H
- I J K L
- M N O P
however this doesn't match the path alignments.
Notes on Black substance
My scribbles from the Ancient Div are in my character folder, 2nd or 3rd leaf.
- It is beginning and end, creation and destruction, etc
- Is timeless, but has been here ~18 months
- Can't remember other stuff at the mo
--Errol 22:45, 12 Apr 2006 (NZST)
(in approximate order of meeting; See also People in Newcastle)
- Jubert, Chancellor of Newcourt. A veteran bureaucrat of superior skill at manipulating the baron’s court and supporting the baron in his decisions. An older gentleman possessing a plethora of knowledge, plots and intrigue.
- Lady Justine De’Amberville, a beautiful young lady in dire need of being married before she gets too old (perhaps even as old as 20) and she has fears that her intended Henri might find another younger woman. Justine is named for the Barons late Sister. As of Fruit 806 aged 19.
- Lady Alys, Justine’s younger sister. A woman of great intellect destined to be a woman feared and worshipped by many. An upcoming Mind Mage to be aware of who has been being trained in these arts away in Bowcourt. As of Fruit 806 aged 17.
- Lord Francois, Alys’s younger brother. A young boy with seemingly boundless energy. As of Fruit 806 aged 14. Recently esquired (as of 806) to Gerard de Mauvoison who is a knight of Newcourt.
- Leroy, Master François’s loyal canine companion (a wolfhound around 4 ft in height)
- Baron Hugh De’Amberville. The Baron of Newcourt, a man from the old school of ruling and he has a number of skeletons in his closet. Fond of his children, a good father and fair ruler.
- Baroness Margaret De’Amberville, the Baroness and her family are related to the Marquessa of Bowcourt who is the Liege Lord of the Baron (following the exile of his previous liege: Count Richard of Foxcourt). She is reputed to be a witch of some skill, a skilled manipulator of people (all ranks) and good mother to her children. She is likely to be a mind mage.
- Jean Rossignol, Troubadour and Bardic Mage. An erudite man with a secret as well as a well skilled musical artist. Jean has a 'close' relationship with Lady Alys
- Gobert le Gros, the cook at the castle
- Godfrey, the Barons valet and squire
- The Venerable Thibaut, Barons personal physician of advancing age.
- Giles de la Hay, the captain of the baron’s guards and a veteran ex-Michaeline Knight.
- Gerard de Mauvoisin, a knight of Newcourt
- Gilbert, a merchant of Newcourt. The Baroness’s lover and a subtle power in the court. Gilbert 'manages' the Amber mines which are a major source of income for the Barony.
- Renier, a merchant of Newcourt
- Aunt Oudine, a "great lady" of Bowcourt, likely to be a Mind Mage.
- Vesh, A domari and the foreman of the Amber Mines
- Dr Deitrich, A mental health 'specialist' and an associate of Dr Dominani. A Mind Mage Vampire!
- Dr Dominani, A renowned Mental health physician with extra planar interests. A Mind Mage Vampire(ish) of great power.
- Brother Bernardo, A Raphealite brother working in the MMHS Sanitorium; now reportedly insane.
- Gervais De'Amberville, An extremely long lived previous Baron of Newcourt. He was at the MMHS Sanitorium for the last 400 years and was recently placed into the 'care' of Dr Dominani.
- Aunt Justine, a renowned women previously encountered and killed twice by a guild party. A worthy adversary presumed dead, but reported alive as of the 7th of Fruit.
|Autumn: Fruit (4)|
|2||Tower to Newcastle
Intros, Talk to nobs
Scatter for info
|6||MMHS loony bin|
Party Organisation Notes
DA questions, power-ups, other Party Notes