Fall of Osdann
The mark of the Goddess manifests itself on FG, TL and Kam as a small strawberry shape on the forehead [?].
In the aftermath of the battle outside Gorias, anticlimactic as it was without Osdann to kill, the Fir Domain chiefs get together to discuss their next move. As fairly important players in the recent politics, and indeed commanders of our own mini army, we get to attend. We speak about Carnun [The horned god?], Granny Weather-witch, the Goddess and what else we know of stones, invulnerable chiefs and curses. We forgot about the Ragnarök Book, despite being given it only the day before a few months ago. [I think there was a few of us involved here - I seem to remember Forg started, with the highest Presence, but I took over and Kamilata spoke about encounters with gods and things. I certainly don't think we can blame Kam alone for forgetting the Ragnarök book, even if he was carrying it under his arm at the time]. The council invite the PC humans to join the Fir Domain tribe; we accept.
Most of the discussion revolves around whether to travel north to battle Osdann at Yboras, or whether to face the encroaching Drunes moving up from the south. Some of the higher politics also revolves around who possesses the singing stones, and, when it finally comes to light [? or was that out of the council], the Ragnarök Book. Findach retains the right to deal with Osdann. We petition to take a small army up with Granny to deal with Osdann by subterfuge, while the main army takes on the Drune. Some very persuasive arguments and very poor Persuasion rolls later, the more enthusiastic council members (particularly General Hauth) carry the day - they organise an immediate attack on the hated and vilified Osdann rather than a delayed defence against the dull Drune.
We need to get the Ragnarök Book translated, and we still want to get to Yboras with granny to deal with Osdann before the main army gets there, otherwise we're looking at a tremendous battle, and lots of dead Fir Doven who won't be able to handle the incoming Drune army as well as live ones.
Luckily Durrington has a Druid school that could translate the book, is sort of on the way to Yboras, and we are mounted.
We organise the remnants of our army - the Crazy Eighteen from our adventures in the sourlands, Brakki the Mad Viking, Tweet the Sensible Viking and Anya the Sky Pilot. They've had some rudimentary line-formation training, and a one-off flying wedge organised by Kamilata during the battle. We offer them as the vanguard/recce of the main army so that they get to the city ahead of the main force, where hopefully we will be able to aid each other. Or they can rescue us if it's all gone horribly wrong.
[Spiral of the Spoken Oak – what's that?] We mount up and pelt hell for leather to Durrington, hand over the Ragnarök Book and have a word with the druids, then on to Yboras, incidentally out-pacing the assassins sent by Osdann to slay Findach, the thieves he sent to steal the harp and the heavies he sent out specifically to deal with the PCs.
[The Spiral of the White Rose - what's that?] The armies of Gorias march on Yboras to depose Osdann and create a new King.
[Are they the two sides of the debate?]
The diversion to Durrington cost us time; we arrive scant hours before the army. Incredibly, we successfully use guile to enter the city disguised as various refugees. There is a close call as Tûd is stopped by a guard who wants to buy his firewood, including some very bowlike staves and lots of straight fletched pointy bits of kindling, but some fast talking gets him away.
We find where Osdann is and hatch, after a lot of plotting and planning, another uncharacteristically subtle plan. Torendra distracts the guards using her feminine wiles (and magic) allowing the rest of us the element of surprise. The guards are all either dead or dying within twelve seconds. Osdann is rendered vulnerable by his grandmother, who drags him by the ear up to the walls to declare his abdication to the arriving army and so avoid a massed pitch battle.
He delivers his soliloquy, about his plan to find all the Moon Sow’s Teeth and use them to gain the Silver Sword of the Moon (their goddess-given legendary hereditary mythical treasure) for the Fir Domain. He plays on the honour of the ilin and they agree to quest for the Silver Sword of the Moon as they haven’t actually got enough to do yet. He also uses the fact they all appear to be working for Carnun, towards that god’s reconciliation with Danu. This means re-uniting all of the teeth of the Moon Sow. Gran drags him away, and they are not seen again...
Tûd finds and apprehends Fachdannan who will be the surrogate sacrifice... From him, FG regains Imreal’s ring and Torendra Jadhrim’s cloak. There is no purple invisible cloak or quick boots. Huath is elected the new King.
Spiral of the Sow’s Teeth
Continuing the quest for the Moon Sow’s Teeth, as promised to Osdann (and the other Fir Domain)
FG follows the dreams from the harp.
We form up into a larger party now to include our mini army - the crazy eighteen. As we travel we swap fighting skills and Kamilata continues to train them up in the best line fighting manoeuvres the Empire has taught him.
Some days later we walk into an obvious ambush by a party of Drunes sent by Slough Nalg (revenge on an intensely personal level). FG sneaks off around a nearby hill to counter ambush. Before she reaches them, the ambush is sprung - slingers leap from the trees and Tûd and his rocca in the vanguard are pelted with cobbles, knocking Tûd unconscious to the ground. Spearmen from up the path run in as Torendra and Kamilata rush to his aid, being wounded themselves in the process. The noble and faithful Martinoh stands over his ilin, guarding his body and taking four nasty spear thrusts for his trouble.
FG briefly engages the slingers but has to flee. TL practices manoeuvre warfare, scattering the slingers lured away from the battle by FG - ilin based warfare at its finest. Torendra heals Tûd and plasters Kamilata and Martinoh in healing paste. From the other side of the road a squad of skull swords emerge, but are immediately faced by our Cron Trodai Crazy 18 who have finally got themselves into line and are working out whether they should be in wedge. The skull swords retreat, and are chased down by TL until he falls off his rocca, which is recovered by FG. (who then tries to get Looey to follow her when TL gets close enough to re-mount, tee hee).
A few slow days follow while we heal up. Later we reach the shores of the Inland Sea. The next stone is (rumoured to be) on a part of a large Island called Emania, on one end of which sits the city Falias. The local population, particularly that of the city, is hostile and are armed with the Black Fleet of flying ships (the Cublach Dubh - "Sky Blades"). Much discussion about taking the tame Vikings and/or Cron Trodai. In the end, we pay [I think that's the term rather than 'bribe' stew...] a fisherman to take the PCs only to Emania, avoiding the fleet and the city of Falias itself.
FG tunes to the Harp [insert dream here Stew? I seem to remember it being a long one...]
On the island we meet the Avanc and find our way to the Bright Salmon Lodge, who in turn leads us to Happy Valley - not the one in Kenya unfortunately. Big ceremony, full moon. Airmed, the ancient high priestess, is served by a mute Fionala. [?]
FG again uses the Harp [to do what?]. We manage not to kill anyone, nor do we offend the ancient Airmed. TL tries to figure out if she is a witch (Danu) or a female druid (Lugh). Use Harp [to do what?]. They also managed to elicit from the Avanc that they might know where the rest of the Moon Sow’s Teeth are - partly because it seems they were the ones who split them up in the first place. [were they also responsible for losing the various tribes' treasures?].
The Night of the Questing Doom.
As part of the ceremony [which had what purpose for us? or did we just walk in?] to the goddess, we were asked to give up our most precious items. And we did. DM is officially gobsmacked. TL strips naked to gain Sky Clad blessing.
The moon grows, a great darkening cloud spreads over it. The Moon Hunt arrives, tearing apart Airmed and most of the congregation as we hoof it at speed. Tûd, being a bit slow, gets a chewed backside, TL turns back to help, Torendra casts another useful spell. FG searches for a spell that might be some use. Oh well. We eventually dive under the water to escape the hounds.
The Island and the Temple
We swiftly deduce that we are in some kind of alternate reality. We find (with prompting from Fionula, who can speak in this reality) the cross roads, the first of the twenty eight Houses of the Mansion of the Moon.
We also, having examined the pros and cons, decide that we might as well bin the complex mathematics involved in the shortcuts, and simply work through the houses one at a time in order – thereby avoiding all the mucking about and lots of possible mistakes. We leave Alnath – The Cross Roads
The Second House – Albotain, The Belly Eaters
We find themselves in an Iron Age pub. Having paid, we eat and rest. TL is sexually assaulted by one of Shona Mac Bann’s oversized daughters. FG hides in the shadows, Kamilata punches the fat daughter who tries it on with him. FG sneaks over to the door to the back room. TL flips his over amorous bother-er on her head, breaking her neck. Tûd and Torendra sleep through (drugged). FG begins casting firebolts for all she’s worth into the were-pigs at point blank range. FG is eventually reinforced by the naked but still dangerous TL, who begins getting physical with the naked female were-pigs, but not in the way they’d like. Eventually even Shona Mac Bann is consigned to the bacon counter of history. Tûd and Torendra awaken as the last of the were-pigs is slain and their sleep spells wear off/cancel.
A silver crescent is found in the fire pit. This is the entrance to the Third House – Azoraya – The Many Little Ones. We dig down, the soft earth closing around us as we find themselves on the carapace of a truly gargantuan crab. All its offspring are waiting below, blocking the way out. There is a lot of prevarication. Spells and six arrows are wasted. FG bravely tries to find a way out, which she does, slipping and falling on the way back to inform her comrades.
The crab-riding FG and the sharp-shooting Tûd engineer a situation where one crab is attacked by the others and the PCs rush to the exit. Tûd narrowly escapes becoming crab’s salad. Moving along, the seaside ambience is replaced by a more earthy, arboreal feel. The roof and walls of the tunnel are now riven with tree roots. FG finds a silver crescent in the soft earth of the wall of the tunnel. We can now find the next House...