Weir-with-Awl

Day 321-337
In the Foyer of the Mountain King

The PC’s and their entourage lift their sights to the hills and begin the arduous trek into the Mountains-over-Maugrimm. Their large numbers force them to march slowly and to stick to winding valleys and goat paths, in some cases marching single file for many miles. Though this leaves them wide open to attack, they encounter no threat along the way.

The march takes a lengthy pause when the company is greeted by Iron Dwarf sentinels. They demand to know the travelers’ business and seem anxious about large troop movement over their kingdom. Aurélien and Sapphire give their credentials and are escorted, without their party, into the kingdom of mines.

The guards lead the PC’s into Maugrimm via a hidden cave entrance. As they move deeper and deeper into the earth, the hewn stone passages give way to wider corridors of polished granite and marble. Elevators manned by sturdy dwarfmen and controlled by counterweights rise and fall higher and lower than any the PC’s have ever seen. From the throng of the crowd picking up around them, they guess that they are making their way to the hub of Maugrimm.

Sure enough, the guards lead the players to the throne room of King Rinrikk Eisengaz. Majordomos hustle to greet the noble man and woman. The room is a long, vaulted-hall. Facing the main entrance is the king’s dais, where he sits with his queen, Rhunki Eisengaz. On the main floor, seven long tables fan out from the royal family.

Official introductions are made at once. Sapphire remembers having met the king of Maugrimm as a young girl, but he has met so many human noblewoman that he can’t seem to place her. They are made to feel most welcome at court, though they are also encouraged to announce their arrival beforehand should they wish to make a second visit.

Aurélien asks after his family heirloom, Ammandine. The king sends agents of the treasury to look into the matter while he explains to the Elf lord that nothing can be removed from the treasury without the agreement of four of the seven great clans. With this understood, the PC’s set to work winning hearts and minds to their cause.

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Day 310-320
The Rimefolk

The party’s scouts report strange tracks in the army’s wake. It appears as though they’re being followed by a small group of caribou, by heavy-heeled men, or by weirs who can take either form.

The hoofprints and footprints lead back to an enormous deerpath. This leads the PC’s and their lieutenants to an enormous caravan of Rimefolk. Their herds of caribou are penned in by wood and bone, guarded by patrolmen riding atop enormous mastodons.

A party rides out to meet them. A quick glance suggests that these are the leaders of the Rimefolk, though some are quite young. The youngest, a fair redhead, speaks Commyn perfectly. She introduces herself as Noaidi Golá Álgen. She was born to a ruling clan of the Tunga, the northern borderlands populated by Rimefolk who’ve sworn allegiance to the Commynwealth. She was wed to a man north of the border and now lives out her days in the free lands of the Rime.

Golá is accompanied by three other ‘Noaidi’ – a Rimish word for a holy person, synonymous with weir. They are led by a ‘gonaga’ – the leader of a caravan. The current gonaga is Isak Ole Hætta, an aged warrior of great renown.

The meeting is polite and productive. It provides a welcome relief from the hard-nosed politicking of the Commynwealth. The PC’s learn that the Rime does not have the resources to support a new population. The gonaga can make promises of peace in the near future, but he can make no guarantees that would outlive him. Furthermore, there are dozens of other ‘herds’ of Rimefolk over which he has little say and no control. All present agree that the best hope for a weirfolk homeland lies in the Mountains-over-Maugrimm to the west.

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Day 308
A Royal Visit

The marching army is surprised by two figures tracking them through the sky. What first appears to be a pair of raptors proves too large to be normal birds. Aurélien and the other elves are the first to make out riders. The Knights of the Gale land close to the party.

Riding a beautiful griffin hen is Sir Paun Barbossa, commander of the knights and (at a staggering four-foot-five) the largest halfling in living memory. Accompanying him is none other than Queen Jocelyn Drake atop a brindle hippogriff mare.

Aurélien briefs the queen on the events in Bellmetal Castle and the march to the Rime. Her Majesty is shocked to hear of Krisilla’s desertion. She assures Aurélien that she will see to it that Krisilla pays for her betrayal. She is also surprised, this time pleasantly, to learn of Sapphire Havencrest’s support in the weirfolk exodus. The possibility of settlement in the Sapphire Mountains in Balta is discussed, and the queen gives assent so long as the weirs can be safely and secretly transported across the Krakyn’s.

The queen of the Commynwealth and the Weirqueen meet face-to-face for the first time. Far from a tense meeting, it is almost dull. Pleasantries are exchanged, promises of cooperation made, and regrets of past injustice expressed. Most importantly, the two formidable women get their first chance to size each other up. The onlookers wait with baited breath, but the meeting ends cordially. The Dragon and the Bear, at peace at last.

Jocelyn and Aurélien speak privately for a while, and the queen confesses her worries to her friend. There are rumors in the Commynwealth that her husband’s affair causes her grief. She assures him that King Auryn Senneschyl‘s mistress is a dear and loyal friend. In a world of arranged marriages and carefully controlled bloodlines, she never came to expect true love in matrimony. Though she has been unable to conceive with her viceroy, she is content to keep her brother, Lord Milo Drake, the heir to the throne. Her heart is heavy because of the holy sea. Who can know what evils stir in the ocean’s dark abyss?

The queen and her knight take to the sky, flying south as the army marches ever northward.

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Day 276
The House of Peale

The PC’s present their credentials to Lord Meriwethyr Peale, including a letter of admission for his son to attend the Watyrdoun Mages College. They are greeted warmly and gratefully, and introduced to the important members of court. Patryn Cyril Fox sits near to the dais and appears to be the tutor of the young Lord Trystan.

There are other guests in Bellmetal Castle. The first contingent is a group of Iron dwarves on their way back to Maugrimm from Havynhallow. They are all members of the Knut Clan and seem to be merchants of some kind. The second contingent is Edyth Pram and her servant Mikhail who are introduced as representatives of the Smiths Guild.

The PC’s learn that Samar was once rich in ore, but the network of mines below have been drained and now lie untended. The Peales used their fortune to hire some of the greatest smiths in the world. These smiths developed the alloy ‘bellmetal’ and made Samar the greatest bellmakers in the known world. The eleven bells in the castle’s turrets are enchanted and cast a peacebond spell as long as they ring each hour on the hour.

Aurélien and Krisilla befriend the dwarves. The leader, Hanza Knut, admits to Aurélien that much Ironhart treasure was recovered by Maugrimm and deposited in their treasury. If Ammandine, the legacy sword of House DuGarde is not still in the possession of the Ironharts, then it most likely lies in the Iron Dwarves sacred hoard.

The PC’s also learn that the Patryn’s young son is the most likely candidate for the ‘weirdling.’ Born with strange features, the child unnerves the other children and the parents have taken to hiding him during the day, letting him play outside only under cover night. When questioning the servants, Aurélien gathers that Lady Peale seemed quite healthy after the birth and that her death came as a surprise to the midwives.

Aurélien confronts the Patryn in secret. He is invited to visit the Fox family’s chambers in secret at midnight. When he arrives, he meets Holly Fox, a young mother of low birth but noble disposition. Aurélien sees the child, Gesher Fox, and recognizes an unusual power in the boy. His eyes are black and glassy like orbs of coal, his hair white and thin, and his skin a pallid shade of grey. The parents tell Aurélien that they expect at least some of the Peale’s guests are there under false pretenses with the intention of kidnapping their son. They tell him that if he can win their trust and demonstrate how he can keep the family safe, they will flee the castle with him.

Aurélien falls asleep with much on his mind. Krisilla, however, sleeps fitfully with a heavy heart. Once more she dreams that she fights herself, once more she loses. She wakes in a cold sweat with a sense of foreboding and the uncanny feeling that a third loss would change her life forever.

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Day 266-275
The Weirdling of Samar

Aurélien and Krisilla receive word from the queen that they are to continue marching north, but that they must make a pit stop in the Grand Duchy of Samar. They are to visit the court of Lord Meriwethyr Peale and deliver a message from the Watyrdoun Mages College.

The Grand Duke’s wife, the late Lady Amelia Peale, died unexpectedly after giving birth to their heir. The young Lord Trystan Peale has grown into a brawny young man who enjoys wrestling and hunting far more than studies in history, statesmanship, or magic. His father, however, has grown protective to the point of paranoia ever since the death of his wife. Believing the Mages College to be the best chance that his son will have for a protected and peaceful reign, he has repeatedly implored the deans to admit his son despite the little arcane promise he shows.

The Peale’s residence and the seat of Samar, Bellmetal Castle, has drawn the attention of the Marshalls. There has been a prophecy from the Sacristy. The Grandmatryn has reported that a ‘weirdling’ has been born in Samar, most likely near the castle. Weirdlings, the PC’s learn, are aberrations in the lineage of man, unexpected births of great import. The PC’s are to investigate this matter before proceeding with the weirfolk on the road to Maugrimm.

The PC’s are ordered to deliver an acceptance letter from the college to Lord Peale in order to earn his trust. They will stay as his guests until they can identify the weirdling and ensure that its power does not fall into the wrong hands (tentacles).

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Day 263-265
Exodus

The PCs and their armies join with the Werefolk in the woods. Final preparations to march are made, and there is a small feast to celebrate the move and to finish off the perishables.

Shortly after marching from Flourentia, they come across three contingents of Knights of the Eclypse ready for battle. It would seem as though they were operating on far more than a hunch. Most likely, they were tipped off by Archprelate Angelo Herald.

The leaders of the two armies meet on the battlefield to set terms. Representing the Umbral Knights are Chaplyn Agnes Silvermane and her attendants, Sir Wallys Balding and Sir Brandyn Goodlyffe.

The mounted knights are no match for the ferocious lycanthropes. Sir Goodlyffe’s contingent manages to escape, while Sir Balding and Chaplyn Silvermane fall to Krisilla and Aurélien, respectively.

The knights’ caravans are used to transport prisoners back to the capitol under the protection of the Shadowhand. The other supplies are added to the army’s supplies.

Aurélien sends a letter to the Archprelate, sealed with the signet ring of the Chaplyn. Using his own signet ring, he sends another letter to Queen Jocelyn Drake.

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Day 235
Pit-Stop

The PCs make a quick stop in Watyrdoun to drop off the head of the Jaqyl at the Halimion Estate. Drucilla is home and rejoices to hear that the Misery will no longer plague the Commynwealth.

She seems at a loss in regards to the Jaqyl’s head. Because his true form was a jackal, mounting the head of a wild dog would not proves satisfactory to the country.

While in Watyrdoun, the PCs meet with the Grandmatryn, who asks that they investigate genealogical irregularities in Samar. The party agreed to stop in Samar on the way to the Rime.

The PCs gather their troops and march to Flourentia to meet with the Werequeen.

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Day 230
The Jaqyl's Den

The PCs capture and kill a Gnoll sentinel near the cabin where the Jaqyl makes his residence. While they try to sneak around to the back, the Gnolls’ hyenas sniff them out and the PCs begin combat. They make easy work of the hyenas and hyena-men, but the Jaqyl proves a more difficult foe.

After the enemies are defeated, the PCs find a strange magic book hidden behind a false bookshelf. The PCs are able to make out the title, The Necrommoire, and are able to recognize the symbol on the front as a noble sigil, but they are not able to read its contents. They take the book along with the Jaqyl’s head and possessions and head back to Watyrdoun.

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Day 204
Return to the Werecourt

The PCs set out from Kataña into the forest of Flourentia. The first people they meet on the road are the two Knights of the Eclypse they had dueled before. They are accompanied by the head of their order, Chaplyn Agnes Silvermane. The younger knight is introduced as Sir Brandyn Goodlyffe. The elder is The knights seem intent on finding and attacking the Werefolk. When they glean that the lycanthropes will be marching out of the Commynwealth, they wish the PCs well and take their leave.

The PCs are found in the woods by the Ebonmaws, accompanied by the Wererats Peter Quince and Belle Silver. They take the PCs to the camp under the condition that they will not try to leave without Queen Ursula‘s permission. When they arrive at camp with Queen Jocelyn Drake’s positive response, they stir much excitement among the various tribes of Werefolk. The PCs duel the Ebonmaws to prove themselves in the eyes of the Weres. The Ebonmaws are defeated, but just barely.

The queen sends heralds to call the other lycanthropes of the Commynwealth to Flourentia. The PCs and the Ebonmaws ride to Pierland to apprehend the Jaqyl and his Gnoll minions.

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Day 182
Council of the Wise

Upon arrival in Watyrdoun, the PCs check in with their lieutenants and managers. They then head to the Halimion Estate where they find Elebor in his study. They tell him all that happened, and he calls a secret meeting of the Marshalls in the city to be held that evening in his manor.

The PCs take up the guise of house guards again and greet the Marshalls as they arrive. They see old friends including Grandmatryn Claudia West, Drucilla Halimion, and Archmage Percival Praxis. They make two new acquaintances: Archprelate Angelo Herald, the head of the Deaconate Church, and Sir Donovan “Timberwings”, a retired member of the Knights of the Gale. The last to arrive is Queen Jocelyn Drake, and the PCs follow her to the study where everyone is properly introduced before the meeting begins.

The PCs give accounts of all that has passed since the Misery struck. Everyone listens attentively, except for the Archprelate who seems disturbed by the possibility of cooperating with lycanthropes and is openly rude to the PCs. Furthermore, he seems to have received reports that implicate Aurélien in the escape of Matteo Widdershins.

After lengthy discussion, the final decision on the course of action falls to Queen Jocelyn. Not wanting to threaten mining in the shadow of looming war, she eliminates the Quicksilver possibility. Uncertain whether the valleys above Maugrimm or some territory in the Rime would be better, she orders Krisilla and Aurélien to march in secret with the Werefolk to the border of Maugrimm and the Rime and to aid them in acquiring territory. The QUeen also adds the condition that the Werefolk sign a treaty of everlasting peace with the entire Commynwealth. Sir Donovan offers some Commynwealth troops, but he and Aurélien decide that the possibility of conflict between Commyn soldiers and the Werefolk would be too great. Instead, the PCs decide to take their own warriors.

The Halimions regret to inform the PCs that there is too much trouble for the gatehouse to remain an option. Aurélien assures them that he will be quite comfortable in his dojo/secret headquarters/magic shop/wal-mart one-stop-shop.

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