A Rising Tide

Of Stone Tablets and Burning Bushes

The party has grown desperate, trying to discover the secret of Mary’s Ford.

The Blacksmith, the Scholar, and the Con Artist recruit a few townsfolk to help them dig further into the ruins in the swamp. Here they discover a tablet of stone, glowing strangely, buried beneath the fallen ruins. The Scholar is forced to wear the cursed ring once more, but shares little of his insights once he recovers.

The Merchant remains steadfastly at camp, attempting to ignore the goings on and pretending that all is normal.

The Blacksmith, and the Con Artist take the cursed ring, and the tablet, into the Cob Hill and succeed in unleashing a terrible energy that knocks them like rag dolls and shakes the earth.

Upon awakening, they find the village abandoned. The fields sprout with weeds and long grasses. No one has been here in some time. The Merchant’s cousin, a caravan master, has lucked to stumbled upon them, and promises to return them to the safety of Marinburgh.

The mysteries of Mary’s Ford remain undiscovered.

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A ring of confusion

Following the surgery on the poor guard, The Historian, Con-Artist and Blacksmith head back to the swamp to poke around the stones. The Merchant stays behind with their bodyguard, only to witness the poor guard dissolve into feathers and ash and brittle bones.

At the swamp, the Blacksmith begins an excavation showing the standing stones are really the tops of buried pillars. Much work needs to be done, more than a single man can do. On the way back they chat with the witch, Dania, who feeds them stew, and sends them on their way.

In the village, the three find their companion drunk on moonshine so they go off to find the priest. A heartfelt discussion later, the Con Artist feels like they are no further ahead. So back into Cob Hill they go. Forcing the Historian to wear the gold ring opens the secret door, but leaves the Historian in progressively worse state.

He reads the frescoes, and tells them about an ancient war behind a Queen and her consort. Where her consort rebelled, summoned demons and tore about the kingdom. She captured him, but could not bring herself to slay the madman. Instead, locking him up for all eternity in a magic prison.

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Dangly bits and other horrors

Following the discoveries beneath Cob Hill, the party regrouped outside. The Merchant decided he wanted to go home. The others were adamant to stay, particularly the Con Artist at least to continue her charade a little longer. Eventually they resolved to stay for a day or two more.

The Con Artist and the Blacksmith decided to go visit the witch, Dania. Wisely, the Merchant and the Historian stayed behind at camp. The Historian caught some mice for lunch, then naps. A nap filled with nightmares.

The witch turned out to be surprisingly reasonable. She fed the two cake. She fed them bacon & potato soup. She told them some history, pointed out some other local ruins, and may have accidentally implicated Father Matthew in the deaths of the children.

The Con Artist and the Blacksmith went to investigate the ruins, but resolved little. The Merchant became worried, and headed off to find them. They met on the road, and cake was shared.

Later that evening a man was found running naked and raving through the village. He was concussed by the Merchant and may never awaken. The party recognized him as one the Merchant’s guards, sent off to find supplies. This was concerning, for where were the others?

The Historian awoke, and performed surgery on the guard. From the incision, ravens flew free. Eyeless ravens, with too many wings and beaks. They escaped into the sky, despite the Blacksmith’s best attempts.

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Birds of Feather

Something was clearly not right in this village, and the team was suspicious.

Struggling to piece the clues together, they gathered at the site of Cob Hill to investigate. Here they found that the landslide had revealed a passageway inside the mound. Opening into a large buried temple of some sort, they poked around amidst the detritus of a long gone era.

The historian put on a found ring and immediately collapsed, though a door opened at the same time. The party investigated deeper, carrying their unconscious comrade with them. The historian dreamt dreams of eyeless ravens, torment and torture. His friends found an abandoned, looted crypt, and evidence that they were not the only recent visitors.

A secret door was found. The Historian struggled against the Bride. The others descended further, to find a hall of frescoes and odd glowing corals growing from the walls. Coral which burnt flesh and drank the blood of those who stumbled into them. The party smashed a lot of coral.

The Historian awoke when the party found a room of glowing crystal imprisoning an old man. They found touching the crystal to be quite unpleasant.

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A Village of Fears

Having not consulted maps, the wayward party travels unprepared to the village of Mary’s Ford. Surviving on potatoes, and foraged mushrooms, morale falls and bitter arguments ensue. But the trial lasts only three days, and afternoon sunlight washes away anger as the village comes into view over the crest of a hill.

But not all is tranquil here. The deeply religious locals have found a savior in the Con Artist, for she has been sent by Safaya. Nightmares plague the town, and children have been drowning themselves in the river. A witch, Dania, is said to be the cause.

The Historian/Survivalist, and the Merchant go out into the woods to hunt but turn up nothing but sharp words. The Merchant sends all but two of his guards east, to Handorf, to get supplies and perhaps aid.

The Blacksmith uproots a stump, while the Con Artist investigates Farmer Patrick and the mystery of Cob Hill.

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A road less travelled

And the plucky team of Blacksmith, Con Artist, Historian(?) and merchant head south to the village of Mary’s Ford, chasing rumors of wealth in farmer’s fields.

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Town Criers Update

The Criers Guild, High Sung Notes of Red Glory, has been busy spreading news through the streets of Marinburgh.

The Green Mountain Guild has shared good spring tidings: the roads to Handorf are once again free of avalanche. Foot traffic can once again proceed to the southern lands. Messengers are travelling swiftly to bring delayed letters to their destinations.

Word out of Ancarnia is that unrest continues. Baroness Avril, of no particular house, has marshalled enough arms to take a large section of the countryside including the old capital of Vonitsa. Travellers are warned that she takes a dim view of visitors. In other Ancarnan news, House Evreux is reportedly beginning a migration to Marinburgh. This wealthy house is likely to cause much upset in the marble halls of the Red Duke’s palace.

As everyone will remember, the Countessa went into seclusion in late fall. The Royal Midwife is excited to announce that the Countessa is with child. The Red Duke’s heir is expected for early summer. Countessa Dashelle is expected to return to her public appearances. The ladies of the Mosaic of Summer guild have already begun preparations for a spring festival in honour of the Countessa and her child.

Captains from the Blue Sunset guild, returning from the far off Isles of Khem, report that a Khemreni Trade Fleet is building with intent to sail south to Marinburgh. Such a spectacle hasn’t been seen since before the fall of Louria, and it promises to be a once in a lifetime event.

House Baudissin is planning a joust, at their estate west of Port Neresheim

If one were inclined to such things, there is word that the arena beneath the Cathedral of the Saviour is once again hosting the Ruby Fist championships. No holds barred, no rules, and a very large pot of money to the winner — or should we say, survivor?

Rebuilding efforts are under way, in Low Town, following the riots and fires of last fall. The Silent Order of Safayah, however, are forbidding any work to one particular area near the harbour. Notable amongst the Silent Order, Father Isadore has finally recovered from the Night of Madness and has been seen in the streets once again. The Countessa’s Regent was severely injured during the riots, and remains reliant on a crutch.

As it is again Spring, citizens are warned that there are Hags about in the eastern fens. Travel with care.

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Adventure Log
A summary, with extras

Next Session: Feb 2nd 2013


Intermission

Boots hit the pier and for the first time in months she was thankful. If she never set out on the waves again, it would be too soon. Her first words on land a prayer to Safayah for shielding her, and another to Chaladni for not calling her to the night queen’s watery depths. The dockhands paid her no mind as they continued unloading the ship.

Long in the north, amongst the Isles of Khem, now she had come South. Her adventures were taxing, and hope sprung for an interlude from the excitement. The city of Marinburgh sprawled out, and yet she was struck by how tiny it was in comparison to the metropolises of the north. The Towered Isle of Heth-mari made this place seem like a village of hovels. To be fair, Heth-mari was founded centuries before Marinburgh and had never been sacked. Quite unlike this land of war.

The harbour was small with space for few vessels. Most remained at anchor in shelter of the sea wall, while only a dozen were at the docks. With cliffs rising to one side, and unworkable swamp to the other, there was little space to expand the harbour.

This reverie was cut short by a metallic ping, and with it all hope for relaxation. Her compass was alive again now that she was back on land and it had found something. A construct purchased from the caretakers of the Agkani observatory in Thulunedun, it ferreted out otherwordly emanations. It had been her unwavering guide, and unspeaking companion, this past decade. Unhooking it from its belt holster she frowned as the red gem studs pulsed slowly. Thehe needle tracked slowly in circles; some force was interfering.

She flicked a catch on her sword’s hilt, unspooling some charge from the aether spindle into a dock rat. The smell of ozone, and cooked meat satisfied that everything was in order.

With that, the stranger set out into the city to hunt.


Episode 3

In today’s episode, the Canstatter festival arrived bringing with it revelry, music and merchants from across the land. A drunken bar fight was avoided, the freakshow was avoided, and the wrestling ring was avoided. Alonso’s grandmother received a cryptic letter. Alonso received a curious gift. Zeke received an ultimatum, while Brazen and Ashen discussed some papers.


Summary of Episodes 1 and 2

Last time we heard from our stalewart adventurers: A woman was robbed of her odd amulet, and was grateful when the PCs stepped in to return it to her. Oddly, she refused their further aid and retreats to her apartment at the Ivory Swan. Later, Alonso hears that there are brigands striking the Gold River guild’s barges. He writes a letter of condolence, but later learns that the brigands are striking other groups as well. There was a curious run-in with a street person, and then Zeke was given a strange gift by a passing acquaintance.

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