Kamilata has been left behind to look after the province while Tûd goes to assembly school, Thranduil is up a mountain finding himself and popping back occasionally to see Seldrann (F's handmaiden) and pretend to check everything is going alright. Forgileill has gone to school to be a licensed magic user - a bit ahead of the other people in the class.
Forgileill’s ilin are reduced; an NPC in the hunting lodge; Tûd was effectively dismissed and is now ilin to the Grandmaster of Flowers; Thranduil has dismissed himself and Kamilata has no where better to go just now and is thinking of retiring. He's going to get a pub. And drink it dry.
Kamilata is sending some reps to Turvin as there's been some trouble there. His resources are heavily stretched in this relatively new administration.
Oruro (Martin) has been sent by his Nhi family to serve Forgileill as part of their bind to the Gwathló. The extremely ugly Oruro Nhi and extremely good looking (Chris) golden-curly-hair-tossing Voytchek CurlyChick arrived in time to see the end of the Succubus Incident, but have not been claimed by Forgileill before she left to school. Chita (Mark) is from the South West and has been fighting bandits and orcs and scavaging merchants. Shailbah (Angela) has been sent by Forgileill’s eldest brother. Everyone else (Bog) is ... everyone else.
Kamilata rounds up some monging troops (as above) and puts Chita in charge of a party (as above) to go down to Turvin and see what kind of trouble it is (we don't).
Eddin reckons he's seen some Turvin folks around the funduq. We get him to find them for us. Avern, broken and destitute, unshaven and drunk. We buy him a drink and cajole, wheedle and threaten him: horrible monsters. We take him and dump him in the local jail; and introduce ourselves to local headman, Raven Wossname.
Avern sobers up. While we're waiting we go and talk to the local priesthood to see what they know. "We're on a mission from the gods". Any ideas? Interesting that you should ask. In the last handful of days, a large shipment of iron that normally gets exchanged here was recently bought by a Halfling with very, very grey pallor (but not undead) he flashed a Symbol of Nerull to intimidate the merchants; he left with a very large man with flame tattoos and left through Turvin. Unusual. Chita tracks down the merchant selling it on but he's not got anything useful to add.
We swap horse riding tips, and discuss the implications of the Perran legal system categories. Mostly down to ilin on the ground to enforce. Oruro reckons property/contract/ownership law is not properly sorted, but he's too ugly to have a worthwhile opinion. We discuss sheep breeds and docking and more horse riding. And Eddie Izzard.
We pass through the Damned Oriol Word.
The hamlet of Turvin is in a clearing in the dalmorrin woods. Mostly joiners/craftsmen using the local wood. pop 625 in winter. People are robust appearance but worn out and tired dark under the eyes. They turn out to see us in - Voytchek takes his helmet off and waves his hair in the wind, prancing stylishly up to the Hetman's house "We have travelled many weary miles to save your village..." etc to the hetman and chief hobbit. Oruso hides under his hood.
Generally dodgy stuff going on. Previous Carnc had better relations with the fey of the forest, but since the war for some reason the fey are coming out of the deep forest and squeezing the village's. A local woodsman Turnsvaal hasn't come back last night. The children were out once and followed a cloud of colourful butterflies - one child got scared and dragged the others back. So they're all worried and not sleeping much.
We talk about the fey; and Shaibah asks about the hobbit. He turned up yesterday, and headed off into the woods with a handcart of pig iron. Stayed and paid.
We leave the horses behind - the woodland is too close.
Oruro goes up to the handcart to see if it still has stuff in it. A little brambly fellow jumps out and the big bush grows a big branch that leaps at Oruro; he dodges without drawing a sword but is struck and stunned. Chita draws his sword. Up front Oruro dodges the next thrust while shouting "wait!" He gets thrashed at - he backs up, calling out "we're reps of the state", etc which is true and "we come in peace, and mean you no harm", which isn't really. Wee bramble creature bares his thorny bum and jumps back in cart. Chita is keen to withdraw - this is not the problem - but Shaiba comes forward to look. Oruro makes some comments about younger folks running away. Shaibah is clobbered ouch.
Sh and Oruro attack. Sh misses, Oruro (17 + E crit, +5 and stunned). Sh goes for the wee bramble creature. Oruro slices up the bramble attacking bush/tree thing. Sh grabs hold of one foot high bramble thing in a handcart and does some judo kung-fu shoitie (6 hits), crushing him back - struck in the berry. We step back to let Chita in to talk to it. Brambly doesn't respond; he climbs to the edge of the cart; Oruro readies obviously to strike him - behind a branch raises up - Shaiba flicks her eyes at it - Oruro spins, splits branch, returns to see brambly running off into the undergrowth.
In the handcart is the Halfling flayed by brambles. Searchy search. On the Halfling is 62 coins plus a sigil of Nerull. 60' silk rope. Masterwork fletching materials. 100 man days rations. 100lbs iron still there.
We carry on down the trail, 'discussing' whether or not it is our fault that we ended up fighting a forest spirit. Come across a clearing. Tree in the middle. Beehive, dimly glowing, dead wineskins and festive tatters around. "Do beehives normally glow?" asks golden curled Voytchek, and suddenly (180+ish) thinks "those beehives are naturally here but are channelled magically to glow during festive occasions" then blinks. "what? I know this club, ok?"
Oruro goes up to the magic tree (he's young and invincible), at the base is a bloke who feels a bit woozy - "whatta party" - fingernail scratches. It's Turnsvaal, the missing woodcutter. It must have been a very good party. He looks a bit red and inflamed around the various uglies. It must have been a very very good party - with fairies.
We set up camp near the party point and send Turnsvaal home. Noisy neighbours (fey out partying). Cheesy quavers. We are here to remove the undemocratic fey (seelie?) courts and replace them with... well anything.
The trail ends abruptly, revealing an opening in the trees. A fast-flowing river (tributary to the bigger river....) 5mall rocks. A sturdy bridge of gossamer (?!) webbing hangs across the river. We've walked into leg end.
Oruro the brave fantastic but not so charming one (in fact with a bag over his head he might be acceptable) steps out onto the bridge, rope tied to him and the other end with Voytchek in case he falls off. He gets the feeling he's being watched (and it's not the ilin behind him). He talks out "we represent Hedgelord etc". Ahead a giant winged humanoid appears, multifaceted eyes regard Orur's words. Hail and well met etc. He sticks his bum out and shoots a web. Oruro says "hold on, we're police", he gets shot at again. Oruro draws sword again. Back in the rear the liberal armchair boss is going on about how we're invading their space and we shouldn't be attacking them. On the bridge Oruro protests "but I didn't start it! Twice! And with the bramble bloke too!".
Shalbai shoots it; hits. The two remaining blokes give up and decide to shoot it. Chita creases it. Oruro realises the creature is flying off the bridge not within sword reach and switches weapon.
Vote lets go of the rope - he knows where to find it again, it's attached to Oruro. Chita misses. Shaiba scratches it. Wonderboy curleyhair prangs it. Oruro prangs it badly (10 + 5/round etc). It crashes and blubs.
Voytchek gives Oruro the other end of the rope, both are very pleased to find both ends. In the meantime we drift off the ends to goths and emos and vampires etc.
We continue on.
The forest clears and there's a river flowing in, an island, a broken bundle of logs (perhaps an ex raft) lie tied up on the opposite bank.
Must be a fairy ferry - or a bundle of logs. We work our way around the lake but it takes some time.
We think we might have to check out the island.
Anar takes his armour off (why are you averting your eyes Ch? We're all men together here, even those with lumpy breastplates). We attach a rope to his ankle and leave it with a relatively responsible adult - the ugly one. Voytchek washes his hair with just the right amount of flashing water droplets.
On the island Anar finds a scattered humanoid campsite scattered humanoid waste (this is 3 week old Orc-shit, they've been eating mostly prunes).
Behind him a huge thing emerges from the lake. Shelbei fails to spot it, as does almost everyone else.
Oruro drops the rope and shoots; 243 (150+93) - 26 + 5 + unbalance. Anar glances back at the noise, sees big nasty thing and leaps off to run away - and the creature topples over. He pauses mid swastika and takes a deep breath.
Looks around. Hobnail boots. Voytchek "Iron nails, good for stamping on fairies with".
We all cross to the island. Most of us take our armour off but of course Voytchek, in leather, just strides across looking cool.
Reassemble the raft; all across to the other side.
We look for a track, but we're not very good: Voytchek "I can see the trees!" "Is there a wood?" "I can't see - there's too many trees!"
We head on, very thick, getting darker, quieter. No floor plant life. 'shrooms.
We continue on, looking for the thickest, darkest, quietest parts of the forest..
All of a sudden, we're ambushed (which is better than being ambushed slowly).
Lots of pixies. A huge blood-soaked troll comes screaming in; Sh collapses, Oruro faces (uglily) the troll ("I'll take it on, you think about what it's doing here") Voytchek assumes the thinking pose. Anar looks for any pixies that look like they're in charge. Sh has hair get braided. He gets spronged by lots of very small pixie arrows. He stamps and slices about eight. Oruro is slapped around the head by the troll and drops all deady. Anar goes down with little arrows in him. Voytchek dodges the troll now after him; he looks at the pixies and their fun and starts to giggle. The troll turns into a little pixie.
(squeaky voice) "You're our prisoner! Would you mind giving us a hand with carrying the other prisoners?". We're all dragged off. Oruro only thinks he's dead; when he wakes up dead in a five star desolate restaurant he'll be surprised.
Taken to a swamp with an (5mall) island in the middle; a big plant in the middle (a 5talk) or leak. Or rhododendron. Large white flower at top. Fey central, lots of glowing. Pixies etc gather on the lily pads and shout insults. Voytchek laughs - he 'gets' fairy humour, as it's fairly simple. Custard pie variety.
Voytchek wakes us up. Standing on the platform is a satyr. With him is a tattooed humanoid with angular costume.
Hello. Hello. etc. I'm so sorry you've been subjected to so much trouble.
You did invade us.
Well we came to visit and you attacked us.
Whatever. We have a problem perhaps you could help
Well that's why we're here.
A woodsman with a pathological hatred of the fey. (this guy is very fey) I'm sure you could deal with him. He's
Where is he?
In the swamp to the north. You see after the war - it would never have happened in the old days - the orcs came in. This guy - who we're now calling Wingclipper because that's what he does.
You tell us where he is and we'll go and have a chat with him - because We Are The Law. Either Judge Dredd or pink panther style
We all pause to discuss the pink panthers that may or may not be stalking us through the forest.
We go to find the bod. With some salt for what the fey have said.
In the distance we glimpse through the thinning forest across a blasted swamp a frog - the size of a horse. A pixie has been cold-iron-nailed alive to a post. "Deceiver" written in flan. Or Flanne. Usual giggling. 5 wamp. Too soggy to run, visibility reduced by the 5-mog to 100ish feet. Which is not very far.
Sh shouts out "Hello?!" Nothing happens. Then hear something loud and noisy and fast approaching. Fast.
Oruro talks to the incoming rider but he shouts abuse and charges; Oruro shoots him and knocks the rider off. Anar shoots and misses. The beast continues - Oruro moves out the way but it adjusts - he shoots the beast and it staggers. It thrashes at Oruro who talks to it severely but it dies.
We go to look at the fallen rider, but another is charging in at Sh. Sh shoots the incoming target, it stops suddenly and the rider falls off. Another attacks and Anar misses, Oruro hits the mount which goes down face-first and sinks into the swamp. Voytchek has been tossing his hair - the last of the chargers attacks him ("last of the what?") he shoots it anyway and kills it after a few rounds of intense agony (ie lots of cinematic special effects). The mount continues.
The mount near Oruro rises out of the swamp; he has no time to draw the sword without dropping his bow in the swamp so he shoots it. It drops again and expires, twitching.
Sh watches the rider from her target stagger up and away from where it fell in the swamp. She shoots it and knocks it forward; Anar kills it very deady. No containers are damaged.
Still not entirely happy with what the fairy king (or rather Mr Tumnel high on drugs and alcohol) told us about here, but he has attacked us with rocs.
We work our way onward - ahead is a fire. We creep closer - we can see sorcs (is that 5 orcs? No, that's four orcs - is that forks? on an island?).
We creep up. No sign of big cheese. Sh shoots an Orc - dropping it to bubbles and die to death. Oruro shoots another, through the neck, stunned and spurting. Anar kills another. Voytchek, with style and panache, wings one. No containers are damaged.
Oruro goes up to one surviving Orc and kicks it "Where is your boss?" the Orc dies from the kick. Sh stabs the last remaining one to death.
Footprints on the island head off to the (east?) .... left. or straight ahead. We follow the rough direction. Ahead is an island, with camping site, tents, backpacks bedrolls. "Come out with your hands up!" got you for loitering within tents. We could burn them and they would be past tents. We jump on them but there's no-one there - we pass through. At the far end is a big tent with lots of stuff. strewn with stuff. iron-bound chest.
We want to open the chest but there's someone in front of it. It shoots at Oruro, who dodges it; Sh and Voi and Anar shoot it and kill it.
The toad-mount attacks/leaps and misses despite Oruro's best efforts at dodging it (overshoot?) Anar shoots it and kills it.
From the edge of the island we can see a ruined keep rising out of the greasy (why greasy? vats of margarine?) smoke. (Monty python building castle in the swamp).
Some discussion about using toads as mounts (hoppity hop - covered in flecks of Orc vomit)
We search the tents
cold iron longswords, five suits studded leather (AT7), chest (1000 mixed coins), little bag with small odds and ends and a ring with unreadable label and three leathery flasks with potiony stuff or booze.
Castle description - swampy ruin pool of water. Stepping stones out front with dire toad and rider. Anar opens his mouth to talk and Sh shoots the rider; it pitches off the toad into the swamp. We close; the toad goes all threatening; Voy shoots and misses, Anar shoots and breaks its arm, it limps off. Oruro applauds. Voy checks his reflection in the swamp. He's looking good. He strides forward to peer, heroically, through a big gap/hole in the wall. Through the hole is mostly water.
We go for the door on the right; some kind of ex-stable. All very damp. Opposite are rotten shut doors that contain big dire (or rubbish) toads. The building wanders off (erm...) we follow a corridor/path. Mostly worthless stuff. Very ugly (no that's me!) half-Orc. Oruro opens his mouth to speak ("hey good looking!") and Sh shoots him. Was he armed? I wasn't going to wait to find out. "Stop or I shoot!" says Anar. This sounds vaguely familiar. We pause from killing him. "Who are you?" "I'm balial, the stable guard" "who's in charge?" "Wingclipper is upstairs" spurt spurt we see if we can patch him up but no skills "Who are you anyway?" "We are the lew". Oruro tries to patch him up to tie him up but he's not very good (should I use this brick to bash the bleeding to the stop?).
So what's this Wingclipper like? Well he's a wronged man. He killed my familiar (points to the hawk nailed to the wall) we suggest he takes the toads and leaves. What a good idea.
His room contains stuff for making saddles. We realise he's quite skilled; we offer him a job - our first henchman.
We head up to what's left of the second floor. In the front Oruro sets his bow to automatic. At the back curly-golden-haired is grabbed from behind by a big planty thing. Sh turns, her bow still in hand, and rather than drop her sword shoots the plant. Misses. Anar switches to sword and charges forward to cut through the plant. Oruro is told to stay on watch. He rolls one up.
Come to a door down the corridor. Open - steam rises from earth floor. Incense and rotting meat. Fletching materials and workbench. Altar and small statue/icon. Otherwise empty.
Up final stairs to open sky. Door across 'roof', surrounded by rotting wood and plants and fungi. Anar walks up to log and pokes cautiously - a centipede leaps out and Anar slices it in two.
Remove log and kick open door; dead fey stapled to walls and floating in bottles of brine. In the far wall is a ladder to the roof. "I need some volunteers" we all look at the floor. Anar climbs up first - sticks his sword out and a crossbow bolt thuds in next to him. "Who are you?" Calls out Anar -"Agrio! who are you?" we're the police, come out with your hands up, slap him with an asbo (Nailing fairies to trees again? - you set foot in this swamp again and you're in real trouble). Oruro goes to look for another way up. Anar negotiates (what's it all for this nailing fairies? It's for revenge - my sister was killed by some satyr) apparently he's from Turvin. He hates the fey for kidnapping and murdering people and getting away with it.
Oruro peers over the wall having climbed up. Agrio is all tooled up - tall and thin - rasping cough from living in a swamp, one brown eye and one white. Oruro preps for a run in - charges across, but has to dive to the floor to evade a crossbow bolt, Anar leaps up through the trapdoor but slowly in his armour, being poked in the bum by Sh's hat up his bum. Voytchek tosses his hair.
Oruro leaps to his feet (00+97+76) with such style and panache that he outflanks Agrio, thwacking him with the flat of the sword. Anar is stuck in the trapdoor and stands on Sh's hands. Voytchek joins the queue. "You should have let me up there first, I'm much more popular than you", toss toss.
Up at the top Oruro gets panicky as he realises he's one on one so batters Agrio as fast as possible, managing a very palpable flat-sword hit causing bleeding and everything to the ground rupturing all kinds of things and bleeding and broken. Oruro starts to breath more easily. Anar takes a deep breath and climbs out. Sh follows.
Voy hears something coming up the stairs behind us. Bamber the Satyr and two bramblemen saunter in. Voy: "we are apprehending the suspect". Bambi: "He should be tried at the fey court". Anar offers a swap; they get Agrio and we would get Bambi in for a human court judgement. There is some discussion about parties and things. We mention the chaps sister - oh that was just a party that got a bit out of hand. Oruro finds a horn on the bound bloke. It belongs to the satyr. More threats follow - we know where you live. The satyr starts to back away. Anar shouts down "Stop him!" Voy interprets this as "There's no need to leave!" . Whatever happened to "stop or I shoot!" Oruro comes to the edge and obliges. "You'll never take me alive" oh alright but Oruro is so surprised he drops the arrow. He leaps out gracelessly onto a brambly man missing the satyr's horn. thank goodness.
Voy shoots and strikes. Sh leaps off the ladder and rushems but trips into Voy on the way. Voy: "What's going on? why isn't everyone under arrest?". The satyr disappears into the woods. We drag the bound Agrio out of the castle along with some loot - lots of fletching stuff etc - and the half Orc saddler. Sh throws the altar and idol in the swamp. There are some cold-wrought iron arrowheads and we make some up for ourselves. We search the castle and find a hoard of goldeny silver coins. We leave the dire toads alive to keep the dire caterpillar population down. It's the enchanted woods.
We backtrack, which because it's enchanted is a different route. We drop in at Hedgelord CobDuuurg. And explain story - he's quite impressed we're still alive. Agrio claims Bamber pushed his sister off a cliff when he got tired of her. She grabbed his horn as she fell and Agrio found it and set on his course of revenge. At which he did very well; finding orcs and a Halfling fellow worshipper, etc. Hedgelord will keep Wingclipper here, and let FG know she needs to deal with the gossamer court; could we let him know when it's been resolved (Just look out for the mushroom cloud).
Report back to Kamilata who adds it to FG's list on the fridge. No regime was changed... our idiom has changed.
The money, of course, is not needed by the ilin. Most of it is handed over to the admin; some gets kept by Voy for hair products and some sent to his previous Lyio, and some kept as souvenirs.
Some Greyrobes turn up, looking very smug.
Kam writes to FG: "the list on the fridge is getting too long. You need to come back."