Nekromanti Engelsmän tacklar Sylfens Vrede


24 Mar 2014
Min spelgrupp har börjat tackla Sylfens Vrede-kampanjen och tänkte jag skulle föra en liten kampanjkrönika här på forumet både för min egen del och för er som är nyfikna av någon outgrundlig anledning.

Resten av krönikan kommer nu följa på Engelska, då mitt tangentbord är engelskt och det därmed är enklare att skriva på engelska + att spelspråket i gruppen är engelska, så ifall det ska citeras blir det inte random och/eller översatt av 0 anledning.

Introducing, the Letalis family!

The players are taking on the roles of a noble family from Consaber that were forced to flee their homeland due to a combination of personal vendettas and feuds, as well as a growing discontent against the nobility in general.

Lord Marak Letalis is the father and head of the house. He is a shallow and largely incompetent man who is probably lucky he managed to hold on to his title and land for as long as he did. If it wasn't for his wife, his children, and his right-hand man sir Jarvis DeCannary smoothing over his mistakes, ensuring the treasuries were kept full, and maintaining a manageable relationship with other families, he'd probably have been rushed out of the country long ago. Of course, he is oblivious to all of this, and believes the many years of successful rule was all down to him. It is questionable if he has any real plan for how to get his family back on its feet, or launch a counterattack on his homeland to regain his former glory - he is more concerned with drinking and chasing Westmarkian skirt. (Played by: Rachel)

Lady Ellenor is his "loving" wife, she married Marak for love in her youth - while he was still handsome enough to blind her to his incompetence as an impending ruler. She deeply regrets not following her father's advice many years ago to marry the man he had selected for her, instead insisting that she was to marry for love. Things were wonderful for a little while, but then the facade started to fall apart. She noticed how Marak didn't know quite how to handle himself at the dinner parties she held, that he didn't have any real concept of the family's treasury, nor the opinions of the people or the other families. She did all that she could to keep the family together, ensuring her relationship with the women of other families were good enough to excuse her husband's embarrassing behaviour - and that her secret poison business kept the treasury full. Her love is now fully reserved for her children, and if it wasn't for them, the sense of duty she feels to the institution of marriage itself, and the fact that her husband seems to be completely immune to poison - she would have left or killed her dear husband long ago. (Played by: Samantha)

Lady Hellas is the couple's firstborn child, the heiress to their family. She refuses to acknowledge that this title holds no meaning any more, as her entire life was spent preparing for the day that she could finally succeed her incompetent father and ensure the name of Letalis once more invoked respect and perhaps a smidgen of fear in people. Her focus on her life's one true purpose often makes her come across as cold and calculating, and she was often called Lady Helas the Heartless... behind her back of course. She doesn't consider herself to be cold, she cares very much, she'd kill for her family... in fact, she once did. That said, she does sometimes fear her own coldness, she was relieved when her brother turned out unfit for lordship as she feared the lengths she could have gone to in order to eliminate him and reclaim the title. (Played by: Greg)

Lady Melony Letalis was the second addition to the family. As tradition holds, the secondborn is to be promised to the sword and groomed for knighthood. Marak's advisors urged him to see sense, as this custom needn't apply to a girl - but he couldn't be convinced. As it happens, this is one of the few instances where his wife was in agreement. She could sense early on that dances, banquettes, and strolls in the gardens was not in her second daughter's nature - she was a warrior! Melony proved all those who doubted her wrong, and managed to outperform most of the young men at the academy - even embarrassingly destroying a young man from another family in a duel after she grew tired of his comments of her not belonging. Her "ability" to win this fight got misconstrued somehow and she attracted some unwanted attention from a number of women who held her up as a saint, Melony of the Sword, protector of women, vanquisher of men. She was never comfortable with this title and hopes that their escape from the country has also allowed her to lose the maniacal women that stalked and worshipped her. That said, the move to Westmark has been difficult for her, as she doesn't speak the language and which makes her feel weak and vulnerable, something that is as foreign to her as the country they have moved to. (Pleyed by: Graham)

Finally, the family's youngest child - young Lord Rannulf Letalis. For a short while, he was the family's heir - but he quickly proved to lack the natural charisma required of a leader to draw attention and command others. He was meek and socially incompetent. Marak decided to keep with tradition, and send the boy to be schooled by Legio Colonan - so that he may one day function as an advisor to his dear sister, that he reluctantly maintained as the family's heiress. Rannulf was all the happier for it, the books held wonderful stories, unlimited knowledge, and intriguing answers - or at least plausible theories to the many mysteries of the world... and they never judged him. He has studied many different subjects in addition to his arcane training teaching him how to wield the power of the stars and the written word. He has also studied the fine art of divination, and his ability to see things that were yet to come was instrumental to ensuring the family had enough time to get away from the certain death that would otherwise have befallen them. He is desperate for his family's approval but is quite naive and often has to rely on them to help him - especially when it comes to finances. Being spoilt as a child, rarely ever having bought things for himself, combined with his general naivete - he is useless with money and rarely has any of his own. He especially struggles to ensure he's given a fair deal if the shopkeep happens to be a handsome young man... (Played by: Neil)

Lord Marak's right-hand man sir Jarvis DeCannary and their stableboy, now Marak's private servant, Wyatt also escaped alongside the family. Wyatt believes he was asked to accompany the family to function as Marak's personal servant, as his father would be staying in Consaber to help drum up enough support for the Letalis family to return to the country. The truth is that Wyatt's family had been killed due to their allegiance to the family, and Marak could not send the boy to face the same fate. Jarvis was brought along both due to necessity, to help Marak, and as a means of saving his own skin. He knew his family's close allegiance to the Letalis family would spell their demise, and he had no intention of dying when there was a perfectly good boat that could carry him to safety. (NPCs)


24 Mar 2014
Session 1 - One Good Turn Deserves Another

The session started with the family getting a visit from Marak's old uncle Calvin. Him and his "associates" helped ensure that the family could make their escape, as well as ensuring all records of the family ever leaving the country were lost, and that immigration papers were in order on their arrival to Rampor. Calvin had hoped to speak with Marak, but it turned out the Lord was out on more important business (drinking and whoring most likely) and he was surprised to find Rannulf opening the door for him at the family's residence.

After some pleasantries and food, Calvin urged Rannulf to fetch his cloak, as he wanted to show the family something. He explained giddily that one of his associates in Quilla, Master Kandari, had sent him something they believe hail from an ancient culture. Rannulf, being curious immediately looked through his great uncle's cloak pockets, finding both a letter and a strange golden rod. He studied the rod but couldn't make sense of it. He debated opening the letter, but as it was addressed to his father he didn't want to get in trouble. In his rush to get back to the room, he forgot entirely to put the items back into the cloak before bringing it to Calvin, who did not look impressed with the boy's snooping. Calvin explained that the item hailed from the old Ramora and proudly showed it to the others in the family. Lady Hellas perked up seeing the gold, trying to calculate how much it would fetch her if sold, while Ellenor blushed slightly realising that what was being displayed at her table was an item used in fertility rituals - she had seen paintings of such 'rods' being used to bless the earth.

Calvin commented again that it was a shame his dear nephew was not present, as Kandari had also provided a letter addressed to him - but he presumed that it would be ok for his dear wife to accept it on his behalf. He looked slightly uncomfortable saying he had an idea of what it might be regarding, but urged Ellenor to read for herself, in case he had misinterpreted something. The letter urged Marak and his family to come to Quilla to meet with Kandari, as he needed their help. It was clear from the letter that this 'help' was expected as a form of repayment for the help Calvin, Kandari, and their 'associates' provided the Letalis family to ensure they could gain refuge in Westmark. The letter annoyed Hellas, but her mother quickly reprimanded her. She had expected some form of repayment to be demanded, it is how the world works, and given all that Calvin and his friends had done for them it was only fair they at least honour Kandari's request to meet him at the Untipped Scales in Quilla.

As Calvin had excused himself for the evening, Ellenor asked Rannulf to head to the docks and find a ship that could take them to Quilla - preferably the next morning. Melony was asked to accompany him to ensure his safety, because she suspected he could be in danger if going alone to the docks at night. Rannulf found the nightlife scary, as there was plenty of rowdy and aggressive people about, and he even caught the flash of a knife in the dim light of the moon and stars. He didn't want to say it, but he was happy his sister was there to protect him. After some searching along the docks they found the custom's office, where they bribed their way inside. They found out a ship owned by a Captain Alex of Rampor would go to Quilla the next morning, though the tired woman stated the suggested price was 20 silver per person. 20 silver seemed a fair deal to Rannulf, and Melony had no idea what was being said, so Rannulf returned home happily, thinking he'd done an excellent job.

As soon as they returned and he informed his dear mother and oldest sister of the fine deal he'd made, he was met with surprised gasps. Hellas scolded her brother, it was a short trip and such a price would suggest they'd be carried by the most extravagant vessel known to man. Her brother was ashamed for his incompetence but suggested the woman might have been wrong, and that Alex may accept a different price if they spoke with him in the morning. Ellenor calmed her children, stating Rannulf had tried his best and that no money had changed hands yet - they would speak with the good captain in the morning and sort everything out. In her mind, Ellenor was praying Captain Alex was a man and thanking her lucky stars that 1) her husband was otherwise indisposed somewhere else, 2) she had aged very gracefully, and 3) that, her cold demeanour aside, her eldest daughter had inherited her looks.

Ellenor's prayers seemed to have been answered, as Captain Alex very much turned out to be a man - an attractive young man at that - which left young Rannulf mostly tongue-tied. Ellenor quickly adopted the role of a widowed woman looking to travel to her family in Quilla in hopes of finding suitable husbands for her two daughters, which caught the captains interest and sympathies - and granted them passage at a reduced price. Hellas was less pleased with her mother's act, as it also resulted in Captain Alex sticking to her like a scab throughout their journey - much to the amusement of Melony. Rannulf on the other hand, spent the entire journey at the railing of the ship, chucking up his breakfast. After arriving to Quilla, the family quickly made their way to The Untipped Scales, having been advised by Alex that, while more expensive and further away from the inns att he docks, it would be safer and more appropriate for the ladies. They were lucky to get in just before the doors were locked for the night and made sure to get settled for the night - being advised that the innkeeper would send somoeone out in the morning to fetch Kandari.

The next morning, the family enjoyed a quick breakfast and decided to go explore Quilla a bit. Kandari would surely not turn up for several hours, and they had not had time to get their bearings of this new place yet. They were disappointed to find the lack of culture in this city, though they were all quite impressed with the black-ore square and the sheer amount of product that seemed to be stocked and moved from Quilla. Ellenor managed to get lost on her way back, and as a result her children were the only ones present when Kandari turned up to the inn. Hellas and Melony greeted him as appropriate, while Rannulf, engulfed in a book on navigation, failed to follow protocol. Hellas helped the man with his coat and apologies for her parents absence, but assured him that as the Heiress she was more than qualified to speak on their behalf. Kandari quizzed the children a bit to ensure they were actually who they claimed to be, and after deciding they were 'safe' he took them to a booth where they could speak more privately. Ellenor joined them shortly after he had started going over the details of the treasure he had come into through the hunter Whitebrook of Walmington, being very flustered about her embarrassing tardiness. Kandari explained he needed the family to locate a temple and return with some more of the old Ramoran items found there for him, and his associates, to study. He added that the temple was likely the resting place of a legendary artefact of Ramora, called the Diamond Apple - which was the highest priority. In addition to this task being a means to return the favour he extended to the Letalis family, he also noted that they would be in need of allies and a means of income - as they could no longer live on the taxes of their subjects. If they do a good job, he may be able to find them other work in the future. Kandari provided them with some money to help cover provisions and asked them to come see him in his home before they set off, as he had an associate, Master Vorsel, that he wanted to accompany them. Hellas was apprehensive about this, but was swayed after he explained Vorsel would be there to confirm the temple was the one from the legends, draw any maps that Kandari and the others may have use for, and determine what items were of immediate interest to them.

After the meeting, Ellenor set out to buy herself some clothes that would be more appropriate for travelling through the Westmarkian swamps, while her two daughters went to secure some other essentials like food, tents, and torches. Rannulf, on the other hand, stayed behind at the inn, determining that the way he could help prepare was to consult the fates to see if anything dangerous awaited them in the temple. He found the answer to be a resounding "yes". While scrying however, as often is the case for a diviner, he accidentally caught glimpses of events that were never meant for his, or any mortal being's eyes, the trauma of what he witnessed subsequently caused him to make a mess of his clothes. Ashamed and panicked, fearing his siblings would walk in and find he had regressed from his toilet training, he threw the clothes out of the window, arranged a bath for himself, and got changed. Ellenor found the clothes on the street, and got worried as she recognised them as her sons. Luckily, her boys innocence swayed her to believe he had simply thrown them out because of a horrid wine stain and that the smelly mess must have been the doings of a lowly peasant. She did scold him for treating his clothes so poorly, as there was a perfectly good washing service provided at the inn, which would have saved them from being soiled by jealous peasants.

In the meantime, Hellas and Melony decided to go looking for the hunter Kandari had spoken of, hoping to find out more information. or possibly hire him as a guide, to aid them in their search for the temple. They were disappointed to find that the hunter was an alcoholic, refusing to share any information without being treated to more drinks, yelling "ONe Dreynnnnk, one infermaaaay-shon!". They were concerned about the apparent danger lurking in the temple, but questioned if it held any truth considering the man's state. The man also claimed to have left the temple open, so it's possible that whatever was in there had escaped - possibly hunting for the man as he had some form of pendant he claimed was lucky. They decided to return to their shopping instead, questioning if any of the information received had actually been helpful, before returning to the inn - hoping their incompetent oaf of a father would have caught up with them by now. It was getting embarrassing to continuously having to apologise for his absence.


24 Mar 2014
Session 2 - The Worst Situation Imaginable

Marak was busy scolding his only son for having wasted his money on books rather than drink and women when Helas and Melony returned. The scolding was cut short as Jarvis cleared his throat and notified the good sir that his daughters had returned. Marak instead turned his attention to them, questioning them about Kandari and what this was all about. The children filled their father in over some dinner, during which Marak made every effort to flirt with the serving girls – both on behalf of himself and his bookish son. He also made a point to force the boy to drink some Black Dragon, which resulted in him vomiting into Wyatt’s lap and later be carried off by his older sister to avoid further embarrassment.

After paying an insane amount of money for the food and drink bought the night before, Marak and his children, accompanied by Jarvis set off to visit Kandari in his home. Wyatt was left behind as he had been asked to fetch Marak’s horse, which Marak then changed his mind about and left without telling the boy.

At Kandari’s home the group were welcomed by one of his maids who informed them that the master was in a meeting with some of his guests. However, they were welcome to wait in the dining room where they could enjoy some bread, salt, cheese, and wine until Kandari was ready to receive them. There was another man seated in the dining room as well, an old man who the maid explained was Ferenc the writer, a historian from Damaria. She added in a whisper that the poor man was mute, so she asked the family to not take offence if the good man did not make an effort to speak with them.

Rannulf cursed his hangover, as he would otherwise have wanted to at least try to communicate with the man in writing – hoping to learn more about Damaria and perhaps of the man’s relationship to Kandari and his knowledge of the mission. However, as he was nursing a terrible headache, everything other than resting his head on the cool wooden table felt like a mission all on its own.

About half an hour passed before the door to Kandari’s office across the hall opened, and two elderly fellows exited. Giving slight bows to the group before heading upstairs. Jarvis jabbed Marak in the side to indicate he should stand up, and quickly informed him of the etiquette. “Go up to Kandari and introduce yourself, be pleasant,” he hurriedly whispered through a forced smile.

Kandari and Marak exchanged some pleasantries before they were brought into the man’s office – where someone was already waiting. The man quickly shook Marak, Jarvis and Rannulf’s hands – and kissed the hands of the young ladies, introducing himself as Master Vorsel of Rampor. Kandari explained this was the man he wanted to accompany them on their journey, so he could take notes, draw a few maps of the temple, and instruct them of which items they should make a priority to bring back.

Kandari and Vorsel shared some notes with the group containing the research they had conducted to pinpoint the temple’s believed location, and the map that the hunter had drawn for them. Vorsel also explained the route he believed would be the quickest and safest route to it. Helas asked a few questions about the deities, questioning why the people of old Ramora worshipped ailments of the world. Kandari laughed and agreed it may seem odd, but reminded her that gods worshipped today are also responsible for such ailments of the world – such as Pelias or Dibuk. It doesn’t mean you revere the ailments themselves and believe them to be desirable, but rather that they are a part of the world and that praying to those that control them you may avoid such misfortune being brought to your own doorstep. Rannulf, remembering his vision of danger in the temple, asked if Kandari didn’t think it could be dangerous to enter sacred ground for such deities. Kandari reassured him that the gods had no followers and therefore no power, for a god without believers is hardly a god at all. Rannulf wasn’t sure about it, noting they may only be resting and still have power to punish those they believed to be endangering their last vestiges of power.

After finishing their discussions, the group agreed to meet Vorsel at the northern exit and then head to Salmocenti together. They needed to return to the Untipped Scales to collect Ellenor and Wyatt who’d stayed behind at the inn. Marak also needed to bring his horse to Kandari so he could stable it for him until their return.

The trip to Salmocenti was quick, though Vorsel’s incessant talking about the history of Quilla and the nearby area made it seem as if it was twice as long. Well there, Vorsel found them the vessel they had prepared to take them northward towards the coaler’s camp – the Mergirl. The first day on the water was pleasant, the weather was nice and they could make good time. Thanks to some help from Melony, they also managed to find a good place to lay anchor and set up a camp ashore for the night. Hellas started to grow concerned that they had not brought nearly enough food, having realised her incompetent father had not made any effort to actually buy provisions for the road – meaning they were already running low. Wyatt mentioned they should probably keep watch during the night, as they were outside – which was interpreted by all others as him volunteering to handle it himself. Rannulf, taking pity on the boy, made sure to cast a spell on him so he would require less sleep – under some protest by Wyatt as he was frightened by the prospect of magic being used on him. He noted that Wyatt would probably still need to sleep at some point, and that they should probably have a second watch – which Helas reluctantly agreed to volunteer herself for.

The next morning, Melony woke up to find Wyatt asleep, and that some of their food had been stolen through the night by animals and vermin. She decided to let the boy sleep and then have a talk with him later about his irresponsible behaviour. Hellas, on the other hand, was not as forgiving – kicking the boy awake and staring daggers into him as she scolded him for his incompetence. Wyatt would not repeat this mistake, for he knew Helas reputation all too well, and she was not one to make empty threats.

On top of the lost rations, the weather was terrible this day – raining consistently throughout. The only semblance of luck was the encounter with some river-merchants on the way. Their prices were extortionate for the wares held, but Helas managed to get them to lower it slightly allowing Wyatt to buy some rations for his good lord to make up for his mistake the night before.

The rain grew harsher and as Rannulf retreated indoors to save himself and his books from the deluge, he walked in on Wyatt scolding himself for his incompetence. He tried his best to comfort the boy and trying to distract him with the offer of teaching him the language so he’d be better able to serve Marak in this new country.

They arrived to the Coaler’s Camp, being welcomed by the foreman Sooty and a number of his men. The welcome however, was strange and devoid of etiquette, but the family shrugged it off as some kind of peasant thing. They were happy to see Vorsel jumping in to speak with the peons and organising for them to stay the night – even ensuring that they were welcomed to eat and drink with the coalers.

The night was pleasant, with Rannulf managing to win the group some more money by playing dice and Marak getting to enjoy a moment of the old days – getting to drink ale and talk about himself to people who had no choice but to listen. The Coalers also warned the group to make sure they stay on the road as they travelled through the woods, as the terrain outside of it is treacherous and the forest filled with humongous spiders and other monstrosities.

Again Wyatt was asked to keep watch during the night, but only until the early hours. They were inside an actually house of sorts now and if anyone dared to steal from them they suspects would be very limited anyway. The night passed without incident, but they were in for a rude awakening in the morning –as Grim, one of the largest, strongest, and ugliest coalers doused water on Rannulf accusing him of stealing his coin purse the night before while they were gambling. The situation looked like it would escalate into a violent altercation, with the other Letalis children drawing weapons and pointing them at Grim and the men he’d brought with him. However, with some quick incantations and a tap on Grim’s shoulder, Rannulf made him docile and they could talk everything over calmly. The other men turned fearful and accused Rannulf of witchcraft, but he again was quick on the ball and managed to dupe them into believing what they had witnessed was a miracle on behalf of the goddess Aurias. They were convinced of Rannulf and the others’ innocence, and they were able to leave the camp without any blood being spilled over a simple misunderstanding. Though some of the group were visibly shaken by the whole event.

The group set out towards the forest, preparing to take on what Vorsel had explained would likely be the most difficult leg of their journey. Vorsel had expected that it would take no more than two days to trod through it, but this quickly proved to be a gross overestimation of how easy the woods would be to traverse. They had been told there was a path, but this was a very generous statement. Sure, there was some ground that was more solid and well-trodden than the rest of the undergrowth, but to call it a path was not a fair description - especially as it continuously vanished from their view. It was difficult to walk through the woods and most had developed terrible blisters and sores after the first day - with Vorsel handling it especially poorly. Helas was also growing concerned of their food supplies, as they were already running low - cursing her idiot father for wasting his money... no, HER money - for it the wealth he was squandering would one day be hers, on whores and drink in Quilla rather than taking measures to ensure he had sufficient food supplies. He was truly helpless, a fool, but she couldn't tell him that - unlike him, she knew better than to say every word that passed through his mind.

Melony found a good place for the group to set up camp, appropriately shielded from the weather which had been turning worse and worse by each passing day, hidden away but with good enough view to allow them to see any potential threats before it was too late. There was even a stream and some edible berries and mushrooms nearby, helping them add some variation to their meals. The group agreed they definitely needed to keep watch throughout the nights now, deciding against letting Wyatt to handle the entire watch on his own - they couldn't afford to risk him falling asleep on them again. Rannulf, wishing to be helpful in the best way he could, sat Melony down wanting to weave the same spell he'd placed on Wyatt a few days earlier - reducing her need to sleep. It was imperative for them that she was the most alert after all, considering she was best placed to protect the others. Melony reluctantly agreed, Wyatt had endured it after all and he hadn't transformed into a toad as a result, so it couldn't be dangerous. Rannulf started the incantation and made various flighty hand movements, but the filaments were coming at him too fast and his index finger slipped as he was finalising the weave, causing it all to fall apart in front of him. Melony saw her brother's eyes widen for a second and look stressed as he was waving his hand about more quickly than before - it was different than when he'd been doing this to Wyatt. She opened her mouth to ask if he was okay, when it happened. A massive thread of silver and gold sarted forming from thin air, coiling itself around her dear little brother like a vicious viper, making him freeze in place. Rannulf started screaming in fear, while Melony found herself frozen in place, unable to will a single muscle to move.

Rannulf's screams attracted the attention of the others who quickly rushed into the tent, witnessing a faceless serpentine thread coiling itself tighter and tighter around Rannulf. Wyatt and Jarvis yelled in terror, while Vorsel and Marak was shaking in fear of the sight - only Helas was unphased, walking up to her brother and trying to rip the thread apart - finding it was slipping through her fingers as if it wasn't truly there at all. She swore and tried again, but to no avail, so she slapped her brother lightly in the face, making him snap out of it. He focused and felt the filaments starting to disperse once more, "I'm fine" he mumbled, though that was only partially true - for he wasn't fine, he was terrified. Only a few days ago Vorsel had spoken to him of the dangers of magic, and he had dissmissed his warnings as the ramblings of a man that clearly didn't have the guts to go through with the process to allow his being to tap into the magical fields around them. He had experienced disspations before as part of his training, but never alone, and never like this - and he'd utterly failed to protect himself. He was terrified to think of what could have happened if it had happened in a less controlled situation - perhaps Vorsel's knew more of the dangers of magic than he had anticipated...

After Rannulf's scare, the family was relieved to have a quiet but wet night.

The second day was worse than the first, they found themselves getting utterly lost in the woods and Vorsel experienced a nasty fall - causing him to fracture his foot very badly. They'd failed to find a water source and much of their food had spoiled throughout the night and day - the swamp air must have been causing it all to deteriorate even faster. Tired, cold, and hungry the group set up camp near a crossroads, unsure of which road to follow. Hellas fears had now fully become reality, they were without food and they had no water, nor any idea of exactly where they were or how far they still had to go before they'd reach their destination - if they even could hope to reach it with no provisions left. The mood was low and the continuous rainfall even prevented them from getting a fire going, this would truly be a miserable night.

Rannulf, worried about their lack of food decided to head out into the woods, hoping to find some edible berries, nuts, mushrooms or roots that they could use to at least keep starvation mostly at bay. Wyatt left to do the same, not wanting to risk his good lord getting angry with him for not having anything to eat the next day. Rannulf returned after a few hours, having managed to collect enough to at least keep one of them fed. Wyatt took longer, and they started to worry that the boy had met his end in the woods, but instead he returned with a proud look on his face, throwing a filled waterskin to his lord. "I found water!" he exclaimed happily, and for once he could enjoy genuine praise from the family he'd sworn to serve. He'd been helpful, truly, truly helpful!

Melony asked the boy to show her to the source, and the two collected all waterskins and bottles so they could be filled and prepared for the journey they had ahead of them the next day. She was relieved to find that the water was running, which should mean it was safe to drink. They filled their shares and started to head back. Wyatt suddenly came to a stop, hushing Melony and signing for her to crouch down, pointing to the distance. "Lights" he whispered. Melony squinted and then nodded, she could see them too. "Maybe they could help?" Wyatt suggested, but he sounded unconvinced by his own proposal. Melony shook her head, "No, we can't count on anyone running around in a place like this being friendly" She said "we better get back and warn the others". Wyatt noded, and together they started running, making every effort they could to keep as low and quiet as they could.

At the camp Rannulf had summoned a number small stars that were floating around him, having them knock into a pile of wood on the ground in hopes of getting a fire going after all. He made a small yelp of surprise and joy as an ember suddenly took hold, and together with his sister they took turns shielding it from the rain and blowing on it to help it take hold. Just as they had gotten a rythm going, Melony charged in stomping the fire out - to the loud protesting from Rannulf and Helas, thinking their sister had gone mad on her short venture into the woods. Melony explained what her and Wyatt had seen on their journey to get water, stating they had to be careful. Helas and Rannulf agreed, though Helas also saw a potential opportunity here. They were out of food, whoever was running about in the woods might have some - which they may be able to buy, steal, or take by force if necessary. After all, only the strongest survive in the wilds. After some quiet contemplation she told her siblings of her plan, Melony and Rannulf saw her point, but felt it was a stupid risk to take - especially if heading out at night. "Besides" she added, "If both you and I leave, we'll leave our own camp extremely vulnerable to attack". "Then only one of us goes" Helas responded, standing up and adjusting her sword. Marak, who'd kept quiet but listening in on his children decided this had gone far enough. "You are not going anywhere young lady" he protested "you are far too important to go run into the mouth of a spider, or drown in a pile of shit". Helas glared at her father and picked up her bag. "I am also not planning to die from starvation father" she said, just managing to keep herself from adding that this particular fate could have been avoided if he'd had his priorities in order. "Besides" she added, before her father could protest once more "I'm not going alone". She turned and looked at Wyatt, "Wyatt, you're coming with me". Wyatt, not daring to protest, stood up and then hesitated, looking at Marak. Marak was his lord, but Helas was far more terrifying - he was in a difficult position. Marak scowled and then let out a sigh, there would be no keeping her. "Fine" he said "Wyatt keep her safe, that's an order" he added as he sat back down. Wyatt nodded giving a slight salute, feeling it was appropriate, and then quickly went to pack up his things.

The pair set out again, Wyatt taking the lead so they could find their way back to where he and Melony had seen the lights. "I'm pretty sure it was here" he said, looking around a bit and making sure that it felt right. "I think we saw them over there, moving in that direction" he added, pointing to the distance. Helas nodded, and motioned for him to follow her. Neither Helas or Wyatt were confident woodsmen, and tracking someone was a concept very foreign to them - but Helas was determined to make it work, her family depended on her succeeding. They walked around for several hours but everything was looking the same and Wyatt, against his better judgment, suggested that they make a stop and rest for the night. Helas clenched her fist, they were close, she knew it and she would not have this whining boy stand in the way of her success. "One more hour" she said, coldly and shortly - Wyatt didn't dare protest. They couldn't have been walking for more than fifteen minutes before it happened, Helas took a step, and the ground under her foot was giving way - causing her to quickly start sinking. Wyatt, froze, seeing the lady struggle to get out - only causing her to sink even faster. He was panicking, he couldn't risk getting closer to her or he too would start sinking, but if he did nothing she'd die and then rest of the Letalis family would surely kill him for letting her die. "Hold on Lady Helas, I'll get a branch!" He exclaimed, rushing off in a panic, pulling on a branch, swearing under his breath as he saw Helas sinking further and further down - as if the earth itself was devouring her. Helas felt something she hadn't in a long time, a sense of panic and fear of death. She gasped and held her breath, feeling herself going under - focusing on keeping her arms above her head and praying Wyatt would find a branch to hand her. She took in muddy water in her mouth, feeling it enter her lungs, and then she felt the branch using all her might to pull herself out. She was getting close, and then she felt it more than anything else, the snap of the branch as her weight couldn't keep it intact. She cursed the frailty of the shallow dealine trees of this place and struggled to try to get out - but it was no use. She felt more of the muck enter her lungs and then the scraping cut of another branch reached her hand. She grasped for it like it was life itself, and pulled, hoping that Wyatt had the good sense to keep hold of it properly or preferably pulling on it - and then she breached through, coughing wildly and feeling the muck being pushed back out of her body. Wyatt was crying, she wasn't sure if it was from fear or happiness - she didn't care...

Back at the camp Marak woke up with a scream, he'd had a terrible dream of a terrible beast chasing him through a stinking old tomb - a man in red trying to speak to him, and then the beast was before him. It was a terrifying sight to behold, and it demanded to know if he was worthy to serve it. Serve, him? Malgoarh'd sooner swear loyalty to Daak! And that's when it happened, the beast mutilated him with a glowing blue sword and he'd felt it - every cut, every slash, the heat of his own blood, and the feeling of his own intestines falling out of his own body...


24 Mar 2014
Long time no update, have not had time for a detailed chronicle so let's just do a brief update of what has happened since.
  • Helas and Wyatt managed to find their way back to camp, but it took them most of the day to do so due to the environment being very difficult to navigate.
  • The characters realised they were in a very bad position, their food was almost out and several of them were wounded to some degree. Luckily, Ellenor and Rannulf managed to brew up some healing solution for the injured and put them on strict bed rest to allow it to take effect.
  • Ellenor and Melony, who had managed to remain unscathed throughout their escapades in the swamp, decided to gather what valuables they had and return to the coalers' camp to trade for food and some medicine.
  • While Ellenor and Melony were away, the camp was attacked by a gigantic spider. Marak and his two children managed to slay the beast, providing them with some food. However, Jarvis was killed in the assault. It dawned on them how dangerous this swamp truly was, and how out of their depth they were.
  • After successfully securing some food and medicine to help Vorsel's fractured foot, Ellenor and Melony returned to the camp. Finding it very sombre following the events that took place just a few nights earlier.
  • The party remained in their makeshift camp for another night, during which they were approached by armed women demanding to know why they were staking the area out. They noticed the carcass of the spider and made it clear the party was to leave at first light or they would be forced to take action. They had disgraced this place by killing the goddess' children in their own home!
  • The message was received loud and clear, and the party set off the following day. With sufficient food, clean water, and some medicine to help their ailing bodies, they were making good time (for once!) and managed to finally escape the horrid swamp. They imagined this must be what it would be like to be released into the world after spending months or years captive in a dungeon.
  • The group made their way towards the chasm, finding a small camp already set up nearby. They found two people sitting there, waving happily to them. A missla who introduced herself as Nightrose, and her strong burly Kragg friend, Krole.
  • Nightrose explained that she was a folklorist looking for new stories to add to her collection, and hearing about a lost temple in a swamp had peaked her interest. (all lies of course).
  • The party got to know the odd pair and was pleased to find that they were happy to share some food and even provide some medical assistance for the injured. The pair also revealed that they had gone down to the temple already, but found its doors impassable. "Not even Krole could force them open, and he's at least 10 me-s strong!"
  • The party wanted to have a look at the temple for themselves the next day, having Krole accompany them as a guide. Vorsel decided to rest in the camp, as did Marak, as they were both "very injured and tired". A lie in Marak's case, he just had a few blisters. Vorsel's excuse was valid, it's difficult to climb with a broken foot after all.
  • The party found the doors locked, just as Krole and Nightrose had said. They could see a few dents in the doors, Krole smiling a little and revealing it was his doing. Unable to find a way in, the party realised Nightrose had been right - it seemed like a key was needed to get inside.
  • Rannulf used his divination talent to ask for guidance, hoping to get a clue about where the key might be located. He had a sense it was not too far away, but also not nearby, and that it was deep below ground somehow.
  • The group was at a loss, they couldn't dig through the entire swamp! Ellenor revealed that she knew of an oracle that happened to live in the mountains just a few days walk away. Maybe she could provide further guidance to help narrow their search? The group agreed and Nightrose elected to come with them, as meeting an Oracle sounded like a very good story to collect. Krole was left to tend to and protect Marak and Vorsel - who were not fit for a journey like that in their current states. Well, at least Vorsel wasn't.
  • After travelling for a few days, and running into a few dwarves that warned the group not to travel on the river because of pirates, they arrived at a small hovel on the mountain. They were greeted by the oracle servants Mortis and Mortimer who invited them inside for some "tea".
  • Mortis and Mortimer revealed the oracle was unable to divinate, as "MORTIMER is a stupid irresponsible boy who destoyed the white mirror!". Ellenor managed to soothe and clam the two children, drawing upon her experience in nipping the many fights sibling rivalries her children had had throughout the years to nip this one in the bud. The group agreed to fetch a new mirror for the children, but only after the two runts managed to offend Rannulf by stating his own divination mirror was wrong and useless. Rannulf swallowed his pride and agreed in a huff to help the two rude children, realising they didn't have many other options.
  • After another couple of days on foot, they reached the icicle mountains and the cave where the Mirrorer lived. Mortimer agreed to wait in the treeline not too far away, but he was far too frightened to enter alongside them. "He will kill me if he sees me, he will!"
  • It took many attempts for the group to finally get the mirrorer to agree to make a white mirror for the pretty ladies to admire themselves in. They had realised the big troll's memory wasn't very good, so to avoid having to explain everything once more, Nightrose agreed to stay with the big oaf while the rest fetched material, just to ensure he didn't forget he had agreed to make them a white mirror.
  • After being pestered by many swarms of bats, and having Melanie dive through a flooded passage way, the stone could be secured and the mirror was shortly in the group's hands. Mortimer was thrilled to say the least.
  • The group received a divination for free from the oracle, deciding to ask for the location of the key. Both Rannulf and Nightrose were outraged that they had done all of the work to receive a riddle in return. But as they travelled back towards their camp near the chasm they managed to figure out that the key was likely held with the ladies they'd run into before. The ones that ordered them to leave, claiming they'd killed their goddess children.
  • Upon returning to the camp they found that Marak was now fully recovered, and even Vorsel was starting to move about a little - trying to put weight on his foot. They explained the situation and agreed that everyone except for Krole and Vorsel would set out to try to find the "spider women" the next day. In the meantime, Krole would help Vorsel down into the chasm so he could start studying the outside of the temple, saving them some time when they finally returned with the key.
  • The group set up early in the morning, finding themselves at an abandoned plantation of sorts. They searched the area, concluding that it must not have been habitated for years - meaning the spider women were probably not there. They decided to stay the night in the area, even though it filled with a ghostly mist at night, as sleeping in a house (though rickety) was a welcomed luxury.
  • A few hours before sunrise, Rannulf spotted the lights of a few torches in the distance. He decided to stay clear of them but made note of the direction they went. Three through the fields and into the woods beyond, one other moving into the woods in the other direction.
  • The group checked the tracks from the mystery visitors the next day. They saw shoe imprints but noted the feet were larger than what they would expect for human women. Especially one set among the larger group that had moved beyond the plantation and towards the woods on the other side.
  • The group followed the smaller group of prints, thinking that whoever these could belong to might be able to provide some insight regarding the spider women. As the owner of the prints was a mystery, they decided to be cautious.
  • They could see a small, crude camp through the trees and Marak decided that he would approach it and try to talk to whoever was there. The rest of the group decided this was a terrible idea, but knew that trying to get him to back down would be useless. As such, they spread out throughout the woods and hid, just as a horn was blown in an alarm when Marak exited the woodworks near the camp.
  • Failing to charm the tiraks, who did not respond well to his smarmy approach, Marak was taken captive and a search through the woods was initiated, as "they could smell more intruders nearby". A few of the others had managed to hear this and had the good sense to cover themselves in mud. Rannulf, thought he had covered himself in mud, but later realised it was excrement.
  • The group avoided capture, only narrowly however and Melony was forced to run away from a small group of them.
  • Helas and Rannulf kept watch for a little while over the camp, but realised it would be difficult to make any attempt to save their father while it was still light out. They returned to the plantation and made a plan together with the rest of the group to return after nightfall, hoping they'd face less resistance as the tiraks would be sleeping.
  • The group found that the camp was mostly quiet, though a single tirak was watching the prisoners closely. Rannulf decided to draw his attention, hoping it would provide enough time for the others to run in and cut their father loose. However, the tirak went to get help to ensure the prisoners stayed watched while he went to check out the noise in the woods.
  • Rannulf, knowing he'd be in trouble, quickly casted a spell to create a warding circle against Tiraks. Knowing it may buy him time if nothing else. In the meantime, Helas threw her stiletto close to her father, hoping he'd be able to cut himself loose and make a run for it.
  • The tirak found Rannulf, but was unable to get close due to the circle. Melony, seeing her brother in danger, decided to act, and took a shot at the tirak. The alarm was officially raised.
  • Rannulf, Helas, Nightrose and Ellenor quickly ran away from the scene - knowing the alarm would create a situation they could not deal with. Melony, seeing her father was trying to cut himself loose, decided to remain, wanting to create as big of a diversion as possible to allow her father and the rest of her family to get away.
  • Marak managed to cut himself loose, and waited for the ideal moment to make a run for it. He managed to wake the other prisoner, but had no intention to wait around for him. If the man was fast enough to get away, brilliant, if he was too slow, even better.
  • Melony ended up locked in combat with the camp's leader and their shaman - desperately trying to get away, but finding herself snared by shadows that were coming alive all around her. She couldn't keep up, how was one to fight a shadow in addition to another opponent. Her body grew weaker and weaker, and soon she couldn't tear herself away from the shadowy tendrils summoned by the shaman any longer and she was enveloped - never to be seen in the Mundanasphere again.
  • As the rest of the family returned to their makeshift camp at the plantation, they grew worried. Especially as Marak returned without Melony in tow. Helas quickly dashed out, hoping to get back to help her sister - not knowing it was too late. Rannulf quickly ran after, followed by Nightrose.
  • They got back to the scene, finding it was much quieter. Looking around for a while, they finally found Melony's shield on the ground - but no other traces. They searched the area as much as they could, and scouted the camp, but there was no sign of her. Nightrose whispered that she couldn't smell her any more, and Rannulf sensing the area felt slight residue of something dark and divine in the area where the shield was found. He shivered, it could not be a good sign.
  • The group returned back to the plantation once more, looking sombre. Rannulf was begged by Helas to 'look for Melony' in the way only he could. Through divination. Rannulf resisted, fearing what he would see if he asked the questions requested. But Helas and Ellenor insisted, they needed to know where she was.
  • Performing the ritual, Rannulf asked a question he did not want to ask. "Is Melony dead?" with a resounding 'no' as an answer. He swallowed, asking a second question that may have scared him even more "Is Melony in this world?" again, the answer was no and he was flooded with glimpses of Melony being enveloped in shadow, seeing her skin grow paler, stiffer, colder, and dead. He broke down, giving the answer to the rest of his family. Ellenor sat down, emotionless, expressionless, a husk. Helas, who was otherwise known as the stone princess, left the room - breaking down in tears. The others entering a state of denial, Melony was fine.. she was fine.... she was just, going back to Rampor to fetch her horse! She had been drafted of course, of course, she was going back to Consaber to rally troops in their support. That's what she did, of course, yes, she was fine...