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The Adventures of ThornGo to the Latest Update
There are 5 player characters in my current campaign, Elonan the mage, Roland Knight of the Horn, Noctem Priestess of Arawan, and the warriors Rhiannon and Adara. As a group they call themselves 'Thorn', the unique title they have selected for their Black Legion 'squad' name. The players have completed their Initiate training and are now Novices within the Legion (see structure). In addition to their personal goals (see player roster for history and motivations), they have a common one; to decide if they want to pay off their Legion training debt and leave it forever or consider a lifetime commitment. Should they wish to become Journeymen and full voting members of the Legion, squad Thorn will have to prove themselves to their Captains and the existing Journeymen.
Thorn has just completed its 'graduation' mission, and is expected to volunteer for a Legion mission or find their own contracts. The group informed Captain Kane that they wished to be assigned a mission by the Legion. Within a week word came to Captain Kane that the Knights of the Horn were in need of a few Legionnaires, and they specifically requested Roland as one of them. After the party was interviewed briefly by Knight Phalan, they were hired.
During the weeks in Medrius prior to the mission, Elonan began seriously researching the mysterious inscription found on the ring given him by his deceased master Menua (see Elonan's history on the Roster of Player Characters page). His researches led him to several tomes located at the local Temple of Lore, and he discovered that one of the books he sought, The Book of Dimma actually had belonged to Menua and was on loan to the Temple. Upon further inquiry, Elonan found that The Book of Dimma was out on loan (for a 2,000gp deposit) to another member of The Black Legion, a mage named Tamman. In order for Elonan to gain permanent ownership of The Book of Dimma, he would have to obtain verification from a lord or priest in the village of Orlane that he was Menua's heir. Until that time, Elonan has sent a message to Tamman, who is currently out on a mission at an unknown location...
My name is Elonan De'Dannan, also of The Black Legion. During some recent personal research, I was guided by Adrazan, a sage in Medrius, to seek answers in The Book of Dimma. this book is currently in your possession according to the Temple of Lore clerks, on loan from my uncle and master, the late Menua De'Dannan. I need to confirm if you are still in possession of the tome, and I also would like to continue my research as soon as it is possible.
Respectfully, Elonan De'Dannan.
Elonan now eagerly awaits a response from Tamman so he can continue to research his legacy.
The basis of the new mission is to aid the Knights escort a Danrae religious delegation into Southern Eradain, an area mostly dominated by the Angharad religion. The purpose of the delegation was to approach Angharad factions in the south to open up negotiations for a possible bride to young King Elcadan. A marriage between an Angharad of the old noble blood and the King might help reduce some of the long standing tensions between the Danrae and Angharad people of Eradain. The Delegation was to be composed of a High Priest of Odin named Nibradas, his wife Nimribeth a High Priestess of Frigga (both elderly), Abaran a Tyr Justicar (Paladin) and their retinue. On the appointed day the Delegation arrived escorted by Phalan, his second in command Nithur and five other Knights of the Horn. The High Priests and the Justicar rode in a four horse carriage, followed by a Knight of the Horn squire leading pack horses, and two wagons carrying baggage and the remaining retinue. Roland knew all the other Knights and would have welcomed their presence, except for Nithur. Nithur has always despised Roland's 'peasant' background and resented the fact that he was 'given' entrance to the Knights of the Horn (see Roland's history on the Roster of Player Characters page).
Wealsun (June) 25th
Their first goal was the closest village south of Medrius, called Buckhorn. Buckhorn was to be a stopping off point for the Delegation to ferry across the Sinann River and visit the Temple of Silvanus during the midsummer holy week of Litha. The party was to ride in advance of the delegation, look for potential trouble, and bear official notice that the delegation was due to arrive. On the way to Buckhorn, the party encountered some peasant farmers who had their wagon forcibly moved from the road and overturned by one of Duke Abromo's war bands. The farmers were fearful of yet another armed group descending upon them, but were reassured when Thorn assisted them to right their wagon. When the party arrived in Buckhorn, they came upon the very same war band being refused entrance into Lord Gwaddry's fortress. After Abromo's war band left to go occupy the only open Inn in town, the party discovered that Lord Gwaddry was away fighting goblins. Rather than deliver the notices about the delegation to a gate guard, Thorn decided to await Lord Gwaddry's return. Without being granted permission to stay in the ward or stables of the fortress, the party also went to the village's only inn for food and lodgings. Abromo's war band, dressed in their lords colors of silver and black, occupied most of the space available in the tavern, and left no room in the inn. At first they were a little rude, and a few made comments about the female warriors Adara and Rhiannon, but a sharp word from their sergeant quickly ended that and the night passed in peace. The war band was on its way to Tilith to deliver dispatches to the ongoing Council of Southern Lords. They were passing through Duke Eldrick's territory because the feud between Duke Abromo and Duke Argan had flared up again and they could not use the Eastern Road. The next day Thorn delivered its messages to the returned Lord Gwaddry, and helped make ready for the delegations arrival. The day after the delegation arrived the party escorted them across the Sinann River to the edges of the Temple of Silvanus' territory. Noctem, being a Priestess of Arawan, was invited to come to the Temple to celebrate Litha with her brethren. Before the party departed back to Buckhorn, Phalan ordered them to assist Lord Gwaddry with his goblin problem. They were to be sure there was no danger to the delegation and that the upcoming festival went smoothly in Buckhorn.
After discussing the goblins with Lord Gwaddry, the party headed to the farms just north of Buckhorn, near the Bronze Hills and the Shambler Fens. According to Lord Gwaddry, the goblins had only been a nuisance so far and there had been no deaths. He said that the fens were the normal haunt of the goblins, but for some reason they had began raiding his farms and livestock. Upon arrival at the farms the party found help and information with the very same farmers they had assisted on the road before.
"Don't really know why those thieving' little goblins are plaguing us now, but if there is something goin on in the fens or the hills then old man Amze would know bout it..."
The party was given a vague description of how to find the old hermits home, and set out looking for it the next day. The directions turned out to be accurate and they located the old man. After giving him some assistance with a wounded foot and chopping some wood, the slightly senile old man gave Thorn directions to where the goblins of Shambler Fen usually were to be found. Upon arriving at the place Amze indicated Thorn found the goblins camp had been raided and all the goblins killed or driven off by sword, axe, spear and bow. Probably looted by the raiders, and later by the surviving goblins, nothing much remained within the camp.
Curious as to who had slain the goblins, the party decided to track the raiders. Adara, a skilled tracker, led the way north through the fens. They discovered a small wooden stockade being built by workers and fighters that did not act like bandits but also wore no lords colors. Even more curious as to who these fighters were the party decided to find out more. Elonan cast a spell of invisibility upon Rhiannon, the best scout the party had with Noctem gone, and she set out to infiltrate the stockade. Carefully avoiding the busy workers, Rhiannon searched through several of the tents and found a shield. The shields leather covering had been slashed in battle, and underneath was the twin silver sword symbol of Duke Abromo. When Rhiannon returned, the party decided not to take further action and quickly carry word back to Lord Gwaddry.
Richfest, 5th day of Litha Festival
The party returned to Buckhorn without incident, having missed most of festival, but in time to meet the delegation the next day. Lord Gwaddry was gratified to hear that the goblins would no longer be much of a problem, but was somewhat alarmed to hear about an armed camp within his demise. He immediately sent a messenger to Duke Eldrick, thanked the party for their assistance and offered to let them feast in his hall that night.
While the delegation prepared to travel to Tilith, Phalan ordered the party to ride out a day ahead, once again to scout out any possible danger. After camping for the night, they were to return to meet the delegation on the road, cover the back trail and rejoin them that night. Roland, fell in with his brother Knights on guard duty, and early that evening during his watch he heard horses galloping up the road from the south. After sending warning to the camp he remained on the road to see who was approaching. It turned out to be three Green Riders (messengers traditionally granted neutral passage), who upon discovering the nature of the camp ahead, asked leave to stay the night.
Richfest, last day of Litha Festival
The news the Green Riders carried north was war. Forces of Haradan had advanced north from Hurloon in a surprise attack. Lord Velruz of The Keep was besieged and Greensward had been overwhelmed with little resistance. Haradan regulars and slave raiders had moved as far north as the Ann River before the Eradain lords had rallied. After hearing this disturbing news it was announced that the delegation would set out early on the morrow to make Tilith in one day instead of two. Nibradas, Nimribeth, Abaran, and Phalan held a discussion long into the night, while Roland relieved nightmares from his past and worried about his family at the village Gealand, a half a days ride from Greensward...
Haradan was the empire south of Eradain. It is a theocracy, ruled over by a high priest rumored to be the actual Avatar of Kakatal the Fire Lord. Haradan is a hard land of slavery where Kakatal's fire priests are sanctioned to find heretics and sacrifice them to the flames of the one true god. Because of the poor and overworked soil of Haradan, the two countries have warred for centuries over the rich farmlands south of the Ann River. When not openly at war, slavers from Haradan will often raid into Eradain, thus even peacetime are often not safe. Ironically because of the warfare and other troubles, much of those rich lands lay fallow and most of its produce is used to support the war bands. Lord Velruz of The Keep is the first line of defense for Eradain, and several times in the past The keep was the only reason Eradain had managed to maintain control of the region.
No one in the camp managed much sleep that night and the wake up call came well before first light. Even so, the dedicated Green Riders were in the saddle and gone before the first tent was struck or the fires stoked for a hasty breakfast. Once one the move, Phalan dropped back to Roland and the two of them began to discuss Roland's family. Phalan had remembered where Roland was from, and pledged he would find a way for Roland to get aid to them. The ride was a long one, lasting well into the second hour after dark. When the delegation arrived at Tilith, the gates were shut but well lit by torches and Duke Tor's soldiers could be seen patrolling the battlements. Phalan rode forth and after establishing his identity, impressed upon the gate guard how much better his head looked upon his body, rather than upon whatever pike Duke Tor would put it on if the gates were not opened. Soon the delegation was led inside, and the chastised guard informed Phalan that martial law had been declared in the city. The streets were to remain clear until dawn and the gates barred, if it hadn't been known Knights of the Horn seeking entry they would have remained outside till the morn. Several guards escorted the delegation to the compound of the Knights so the city watch would not deter them. After a little confusion in the courtyard, Phalan came over to the party.
"I'm sorry Roland, with the delegation here and all the Knights that had been recalled, there no room for your comrades here." Then he said with a slight wink, "If I remember correctly the Inn of the Raven is nearby. Just be here at first light tomorrow."
The Inn of the Raven was known to be owned by The Black Legion and Thorn headed to it eager to see an end to the long day. After arriving at the inn and making sure their horses were taken care of they met the inn keeper, Thorvas. Thorvas greeted Thorn warmly as a retired Journeyman of the Legion. The inn was fairly busy and Thorvas joked with the party about having to evict someone to make room for them. After having them served a round of ale on the house, Thorvas said he had to take care of some business, but would return to speak with them later. In the meantime their meals would be prepared. A short time later, Thorvas could be seen escorting a grumpy and rumpled peddler down the stair and into the common sleeping area off the tavern proper. Thorvas later shared a chuckle with the group over the way the peddler's sleepy complaints turned into nods of agreement when Thorvas offered him free meal and lodging for the night. Thorvas reminded Thorn that should they need to send or receive messages or make any deposits to their Legion accounts they could do so here. Over another round of ale the group exchanged information about the current conflict. The only new information Thorvas had was that Haradan was definitely using Greensward as a staging area for their advance north. Roland told Thorvas of his brother Kantlon and his two sisters in Gealand, but Thorvas had no information about any refugees from behind the lines. Roland then gave Thorvas some gold and asked him to take care of any of his family that came to the Inn of the Raven and asked for him. Thorvas nodded solemnly, then showed them to their rooms upstairs. The next dawn found Thorn at the gates of the Knights compound. Soon Phalan appeared and told them that today preparations would be made for the main body of Knights to set out. Elonan had skill in leather working and so was sent to assist the armorers, the rest of the party helped with weapons duty and packing. That evening before they left for the day Phalan had a meeting with Thorn.
"All right here's the plan for now. Nithur and the delegation will remain here. Tomorrow we will take a two day trip to the Order of Sif to bring word that the supplies we prepared today are on the way. We will stay there outside the walls as is their tradition, that is, except for you ladies," he said with a slight bow in the direction of Rhiannon, Adara and Noctem. "The next morning ten Warriors of the Order will travel with us to Sagamon, where I will make arrangements for the Knights arrival with Lords Benegris and Sorenson. Roland, after I have met with them, I'll have a better idea of what we can do to help your family."
At hearing they were to go to Sagamon, Noctem turned ashen and asked in a strained voice if any Fire Mages were involved in the offensive. With a slightly puzzled look, Phalan told her that there was likely to be both Fire Priests and Mages with the Haradan forces....