Belicht

session19
Headless Cove

Year 438, the 28th of Resplendent Water – Storm Season

Preparations for war

  • The Doctor, Vlad, Aujaq, and Mal return to Vendig by boat
  • The Doctor is brought up to speed on the events in Siegsdorf
  • Vlad brings the others to meet Ulfbert the Smith for fine equipment.
  • The Doctor scours his books for information in Wichtel
    • And concocts essence of fish (which they avoid)
  • They hire a boat to Siegsdorf.

Raising the Troops

  • They confront the Mayor with the Royal writ
  • Eventually convince him to release 20 troops and the guard captian Johannes.
  • Mal listens around for bars for a captain down on his luck.
  • They offer Cpt Heinrich of the ‘Yellow Minnow’ an offer he cant refuse.
  • Aujaq leads an offering to the God of the Bay for a safe and fast trip to Headless Cove.

The Headless Statue.

  • Headless cove is a bay around a partially collapsed statue of a sitting man, without its head.
  • The statue is leaning its shoulder into the nearby cliff. There is a wooden fort build on its shoulders
  • The only way across is a small rope bridge into a forested headland.
  • Cpt Heinrich drops off the troops and company in a nearby hidden inlet.
  • They make plans to start a diversion to draw away the defenses and allow the troops to approach
  • Mal, Aujaq and the Doctor rob a boat over to the base of the statue.
  • After some trouble, they climb up and find a leve carved into the shoulders of the statue.
  • They enter, dispose of some guarding Wichtel, and set aflame the wooden buildings.
  • A sleeping wood-troll is awakened by their clatter, and chases them.
  • After some dangerous rapelling, they leave in a leaking rowboat.
  • When the fire is spotted, Vlad and Johannes lead the troops to the fortress.
  • They kill many Wichtel, and watch the rest cook in the flames.
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session18
Return to Vendig

Year 438, the 22nd of Descending Water – Storm Season

A formal affair

  • Laima and Hailong pay a visit to Ragara Syn.
  • Very formal affair, with bodyguards, a speaker and Realm sensibilities.
  • Lady Ragara Syn is a Air aspected dragon-blood, relatively young though.
  • Everyone is very nervous. Guards on edge in Vendig.
  • Long discussions about the trade problems and who might be involved.
  • Lady Syn doesn’t care about local laws or customs – she is here to restore trade.
  • Hailong and Laima offer to restore trade – Lady Syn gives them a month before she acts herself.
  • Ragara “bodyguards” are currently on a ship to Vendig

Mysterious Requests

  • Demi is back from Kerker, after having learnt much from the sorceror-ghost Margarethe
  • Metzalar Ricardo is unhappy and tense – not amused by Demi’s afectations.
  • Demi reports on the Doctor’s activities, and the success in Kerker
  • Ricardo is unimpressed “dont care for value to others, I care about value for me!”
  • Demi is given a new problem – allow people to travel without the protection of the Church Wardens.
  • Demi knows how to make some enchanted mobile warding devices – but expensive.
  • Ricardo hands over silver and orders 10.

Plans at the Blue Lady.

  • The Companion Neishin is making herself at home in the Blue Lady.
  • Hailong and Laima deep in discussions about possibilities…
  • Demi comes to ask for some exotic supplies from Hailong, which will need to be smuggled in.
  • Laima interested in Ricardo’s requests.
  • Hailong and Laima have been investigating – Ricardo owns 8 trade ships.
  • They need 4 ships and crews to make weekly deliveries
  • Ships are a sellers market right now, and they need some ships fast…

Bait and Switch

  • Laima starts flaunting her wealth and telling stories about a trade trip to Chanos.
  • Hailong makes sure Captain Raddim and his crew get word of the “trip”
  • Hailong also hires a bunch of local thugs and pit-fighters as ‘meat shields’
  • They invite Lady Syn for a private meeting onboard.
  • She considers request for help – a deniable loan of 20 men is acceptable to her.
  • They are arriving in a week, they will meet the ship offshore outside of town.

Demon Pirates?

  • Things go as planned, and they are accosted by the “Nymphy’s Fancy” a few days outside Vendig.
  • The pirates are… Different. Show signs of deformities/mutations.
  • In a close battle, half the crew and all the meat shields are killed – Ragara forces are decisive.
  • A watcher is in the rigging, it is attacked by a shadowy demon…
  • Captain Raddim and a few pirate flee by taking to the water – swim rapidly away.
  • The ship is searched – ’Mother’s Blood’ and a small altar to demons is found.
  • Hailong’s two ships limp back to Vendig with a skeletal crew.
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session17
Royal Appointments

Resplendant water 19

Where Decisions are made at the Blue Lady

  • Aujak has been getting more used to ‘civilized’ life – spending time with the companions of the Blue Lady
  • The Doctor is getting sick of working with the “companion” health issues…
  • Mal and Vlad convince all to head to Reinerheim for a change of scenery.

City on the Lake

  • Reinerheim is a glorious walled city, around 3 times the size of Vendig.
  • The Castle, Cathederal and University dominate the cityscape.
  • After a troubling trip they settle into ‘The Iron Gauntlet’ – a more expensive, but very secure public house/hostel.
  • They go to the Cathederal looking for Regina Waarches – but she’s become the queen’s bodyguard.
  • Meet Lord Ulrich, head of the Scarlet Order.
  • Vlad asks to join, a Conclave will be held.
  • Aujaq gets into an argument about the ‘history’ of the settlers driving out his people.
  • Mal and Vlad push him outside before the argument gets violent.

Royal Visit

  • Royal Castle built on old buried structures – tribal stories tell of holy rituals..
  • They talk to Regina – who is excited by their stories and offers to arrange a meeting with the queen.
  • Queen Malene is a young girl (late teens, early 20’s) – very beautiful and charismatic.
  • She’s looking for “people of action” to work for her – offers a trial reqest.
  • Gives ‘royal warant’ to get help in Siegsdorf to hunt dow Hilde.
  • All are swayed by her offer – looking forward to working with her.

Scouring the Library

  • The Doctor researches the Cult and Necromancy – some books mysteriously missing…
  • Vlad goes before the Church Conclave – they refuse to give title of Inquisitor, but offer teaching as an acolyte.
  • Vlad refuses.
  • Aujaq wanders the city, uncovering hints of tribal history from 500 years ago…
  • Mal listens in for gossip – Traditionalist vs Progressive (red v blue) political tension.
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session16
Outside Help

Year 438, the 15th of Resplendant Water – Storm Season

Where the Ancient Temple gets crowded

  • Mal, Vlad and Hailong have been in Siegsdorf, trying to get the business running.
  • Frustrated at lack of progress, they discuss on how to destroy the temple.
  • Laima and her entourage sneak back into the Temple during the night
  • Vlad hears and investigates.
  • The guards take out pickaxes and set to work wrecking the doorway.
  • Laima, Vilkata and Babette visit the Demon Nctosa
  • It offers knowledge, if a sacrifice is given for the Mother of the Deeps.
  • Laima tries to get Vilkata to do the sacrifice – Nctosa gets furious.
  • They leave.
  • Vlad is discovered listening – the guards tell him they were trying to close the temple.

A night of discussions.

  • Hailong is trying to convince the others to make a visit to the Blessed Isle.
  • Interrupted by Vilkata – warning of “fish demon temple”, and complimenting Vlad’s past work.
  • Hailong realises that what he fell in love with was a demon -horrified.
  • Gives the “Black Blood” for examination – it corrupts whoever drinks it – Burn in fire!
  • Rimbaux and Laima come for a visit. He wants to buy the workshop…
  • Laima offers his services in return for assistance with Demon. (Rimbaux flummoxed!)
  • Spend the evening talking about Demons and their history.

Wolves of Fire.

  • The next day they do down to finish destroying the temple – plans to collapse and burn * out.
  • When they arrive with tools in hand – something else beat them.
  • Temple is ruined – claw marks and blood everywhere.
  • In the final chamber, find parts of a giant wolf scattered around – and Water pool bubbling..
  • No Nctosa – but some tentacle tips and blood found.
  • They examine the strange pool – runes of channeling? Collecting power?
  • Its all destroyed and burnt with oil The entrances are collapsed to make the passage impassable.

Trip to Chanos.

  • Hailong and Laima seek help on the Blessed Isle.
  • Hire more crew for a trip, and pack the ship with glass and ceramics.
  • Stormy trip takes weeks. Some fall ill.
  • Met off the coast by a Customs ship – a sleek warship, heavily armed.
  • The Customs officer demands entrance papers and threatens to send them away.
  • Hailong and Laima manage to bribe him into giving a 3 day visiting pass.

The Blessed City.

  • All are overawed by the rich and advanced city of Chanos.
  • Laima, realizing the situation, send a polite message and gift to the local House Ragara.
  • Polite message returned from Raga Hao – “thanks for gift, too busy to meet”.
  • Hailong goes searching for a ‘trainer’ for his girls, and spreads the word around old haunts.
  • On the last day a Courtesan comes looking to apply – with a great resume and references!
  • Jiandie convinces Hailong to make her an equal partner – and she will mold the Blue Lady.
  • On the trip back, both Laima and Hailong spend time learning the Realm languages.

Hunting Wichtel

  • Vlad and Mal spend time in Siegsdorf asking questions.
  • Local farmers and hunters give rumours on Wichtel movements.
  • Local “tribes” have gone missing – everyone happy at this.
  • Word of wichtel riders seen at Headless Cove – some days sail west of Siegsdorf.
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session15
Rumours Spread

Year 438, the 10th of Resplendant Water – Storm Season

Months have passed since the events at Kerker Hall, and life seems to be returning to normal… maybe.

Mal and Vlad realise their weakness in the face of unnatural aggression, and through Vlad’s contacts with the Church of the Silver Heron, are allowed to spar with the acolytes of the Order of the Crimson Cloak – the warriors devoted to the Silver Heron. Over the winter they slowly become less embarrased to draw steel in their presence.

Pyotr meanwhile has taken refuge in the snow filled forests, but even here he is not at ease. More of the foresters and hunters are finding excuses to spend less time in the deep Bosewald forests, and stories of strange creatures lurking keeps people on edge.

Troubled times

  • Mal’s contacts talk about rising courier prices – the roads are becoming less safe
  • Remote hamlets found burnt, more bandits and other worse things in the forests.
  • Vlad pays attention to signs, more people are praying to the Gods, and the wards are wearing out sooner.
  • Vlad buys a sword from the famed swordsmith Ulfbert of Vendig. Pays a small fortune!
  • Mal and Vlad train with the devotees of the Order of the Scarlet Cloak (thans to Vlad’s church connections)
  • On meeting Pyotr they share news – Wichtel a growing problem in the forests around Siegsdorf.

A new superstition

  • Siegsdorf has renewed vigour after the attack – better fortified, more town guard. Scarlet Cloak acolytes at the temple.
  • The weekly trips of the ‘Crouching Tiger’ have continued, with the sailors bonding into a crew.
  • Mal and Vlad notice the crew casting signs of protection wheneverthey pass the Broken Tooth tower in Siegsdorf.
  • They investigate why – a place of “demonic influence” the locals say… Ruins from before the Wyld Wars.
  • The superstition only started recently – from the crew of the Crouching Tiger!
  • The round up the crew – two sailors admit to having gone in.
  • After threats of dismissal, they reveal they entered for loot with Hailong, the Icewalker and the Lady Waarches.

Forgotten Temples.

  • The three make their way under Teufel’s workshop to the (now open) doorway.
  • Find the rotting carcass of a Blood Ape.
  • Vlad tries to translate the inscriptions.
    • “The Domain of the God-Queen of Wrath, in reverence to the Mother of Waters”
    • Faded murals show scenes of conquest and massacre.
    • Vlad is drawn by a image of six glowing people and their sign.
  • They explore the catacombs – and discover this was once an exposed tower…
  • Following dusty prints into the depths – locked beast, shrine to the “Mother”.
  • Find the deep Temple. Meet the demon guardian – Vlad tries to understand its strange dialect.
    • Nctosa the daughter of moving waters – is pleased to meet new people
  • Vlad is uneasy, but lowers his sword
  • Pyotr rushes in to ‘rescue’ Vlad. Mal is entranced by the disturbing beauty…
  • They all flee – Vlad vows to find a final solution to this new demon problem.
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Storming the Gates
Descent into the Underworld

Where final preparations are made.

  • The townsfolk have congregated at the Townhall, Temple and Inn.
    * Everyone is on edge for “strange behavior”
    * Laima and Demi go to the temple and interrupt the gathering.
    * Laima makes a deal for more medallions – will send aid to town.
    * Pyotr, Vlad, Laima, Demi and the Doctor pack horses and equipment.

Descent into the underworld.

* Pyotr and the horses are uneasy on the trip – walking into a shadowland…
* Kerker Hall is a huge fortress in the Underworld
* Laima has to verbally whip Pyotr into shape – terrified at “unnatural” place.
* The ghosts of the Kerker Guardsmen are fighting a loosing battle against the hungry ghosts.
* They convince the ghosts they are there to help
** - get permission to search the storage for personal items of prisoners.
* Find the fetters of the dangerous ghosts – Whistle, Axe, Holy Symbols, Journal, Hammer.

Rituals of binding.

* Make their way to the prison courtyard – withness ongoing battle.
* Margarethe and remaining guards are fighting ghosts attempting to escape.
* No time to do anything else…
* Convince them to allow the Doctor to erect some wards
* Effect everything in underword – visible “bubble” around the well.
* The ghosts inside start to wear away at the ward.
* In the meantime, Margarethe does a ritual to bind the troublemakers securely
* Requires lots of blood and assistance from the still living…
* The Doctor makes another ward in preparation of the 1st collapsing.
* Margarethe holds a bloody bag binding the ringleaders
*
needs regular upkeep with fresh blood…
* She is thankful for the help, and agrees to teach more occult to the Doctor.

Inventing the term “blood drive”.

* They return to the Kerker and explain the situation.
* Inspired speech makes the town thankful, providing free board and food to the Heroes.
* The town organises a roster to go up and help Margarethe and the ghosts.
* Laima sees business opportunities :)

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Kerker Rescue?

Where old inhabitants reclaim their lands.

* The city father of Vendig passes a message – help Doctor and co in Kerker against evil threat

  • Vlad, Laima, Aujak, Mal, Hailong take the week long trip north.
  • Winter makes the journey even harder…
  • Last Wayhouse before Kerker – inhabitants killed – evidence of attack by ‘heated’ weapons
  • They build a byre and give respects to the dead….
  • Ghosts of Charred Soldiers appear at night – “Leave our Land!”
  • Vlad asks why – “We have orders from the Headman”.
  • Laima starts offers of bribes.. Guards get caught up in technicalities of their orders.
  • Hailong leads the "Hailong variety show!… Entertains the ghosts until daybreak!
  • Long ride during the day trying to make it to Kerker.

The extent of their danger becomes apparent.

  • Doctor and Pyotr warmy greet their friends.
  • Town is in shambles – outlying farms sacked, nightly raids by ghosts.
  • Karl blames himself – sought refuge in the bottle – Demi keeping him company.
  • Pyotr is worried as the wild game has dissappeared – food running out at the start of winter!
  • Laima and Mal organise the town council – convince to institute curfews and ‘buddy system’.
  • Aujak tries to learn from the City-Father: It’s swapped side to become death-aspected
    • “abandon hope, release your last breath and join the dead”
  • Vlad and Pyotr go into the forest and call the Forest King…
    • “You humans are useless and responsible for unleashing horrors. Leave!”
  • Doctor calls Prof Gruff’s ghost
    • He warns that the ghosts are ‘immortal’ until their anchors are cleansed.

Where they make a desperate plan

* The occultists gather and weight their options…

  • Only the weaker ghosts are apparently on the loose – Margarethe is holding the big ones still.
  • Need to keep the living protected in one warded place.
  • Plan to get into Kerker hall to find the big anchors and destroy them.
  • If Kerker Hall is cleansed and no longer a prison, it should release the rest of the ghosts.
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Through the Wall

What they did while noone was watching.

  • Aujaq, Laima and Hai-Long decide to investigate the bricked up doorway.
  • Bring along two brave sailors to break down the wall.
  • They find the buries underlevels of the shattered tower.
  • Disturb a demon guardian – Blood Ape.
  • After a long struggle, Koda, Hailong and Aujaq manage to overpower the demon.
  • Find a giant doorway – temple doors – “The Ruler’s Domain”
  • Inside the temple they find ruined and blocked staircase, and a ramp downwards.
  • Find a shrine – covered with eerie symbols – tentacles, fins, wings, humanoid figures
    • Black liquid in refilling bowl – Hai long carefully takes some.
    • Aujaq recognizes some imagery – “The Mother of Monsters/ The Sea Mother”
  • The shine leads into a large temple – feels alive… Softly glowing pool in the center.
  • A massive mural surrounds them – strange writing and images of creatures making offerings
  • One “statue” is alive and come to them – Koda is scared/disgusted.
    • Elegant and expressive, hypnotic creature. Tentacles and gills, black eyes.
  • Hailong and Laima try talking – Laima is Gifted/Marked by the creature/demon.
  • Aujaq intervenes to protect companions from “influence”.
  • Almost falls to bloodshed – Laima calms everyone and is able to withdraw from the Demon’s influence.
  • They run for the surface – all promising not to come back without protection.
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The Ghosts of Kerker Hall

The people of Kerken share thoughts on Karl Falke

  • Pyotr and Doctor have a meal with Agatha Gruft
  • Bring conversation around to the Falke family – Frederik, Margarethe and their son Karl.
  • Karl is a popular “malcontentant” in town – him and his lazy cronies.
  • He doesn’t talk about his lost hand, story changes depending on who you ask about it.
  • Ex soldier who returned to town some 10 years ago.
  • Demi approaches the gossiper Mrs Shultz at the bakery.
  • Karl is not pitied – always drunk/bad hygene.
  • Lives at his run-down farm plot.

Demi makes a new friend.

  • The three decide that they need to find the ghost of Margarethe at Kerken Hall.
  • Best chance is with a blood relation – Karl…
  • Demi buys a bribe of strong alcohol and goes to talk to Karl.
  • The pair spend the afternoon sharing gripes about the younger generation
  • Learns Karl’s bitterness because the he blames the townfolk for his parents death.
  • The town constalntly compares him to his parents – and found lacking.
  • Demi promises to bring him recognition in the eyes of the town.
  • They return to Agatha’s house to meet the others.

Where we meet the inmates of Kerker Hall.

  • The four of them ride up mountain to Kerker Hall
  • The castle is falling apart after 30 years of neglect and harsh weather.
  • Ominously quiet. Flitting shadows seem to be watching them. Shadowland…
  • They spot strange new runes inscribed on the castle foundation in the last months
  • Blood, fallen rocks and drag marks show where Prof. Gruft died.
  • Carefully make their way through decaying halls – face the ghost of the local Judge.
  • In the burnt courtyard, the burning ghost of a prisoner faces them
  • Pyotr kills it with one of the silver arrows taken from the crypt.
  • They see the chared remains of soldiers lying around – shadows gathering..
  • They return to the entry hall, and the Doctor uses Karl’s blood to call out for Margarethe.
  • The call rouses many more ghosts – Margarethe speaks
  • The ghost of Frederik was taken – she is only barely containing the worst ones
    • The Nephwrack ‘Letterman’
  • She warns – the wards have been broken – and you just woke the dead…
  • The four flee – chased by the hungry ghosts of the burnt guards.
  • The doctor risks life and limb to give one-hand Karl time to get on his horse…

Where they seek the intercession of the Silver Heron.

  • Shaken, the four realise they need help before the nephwrack kills Margarethe.
  • They prepare a lavish feast with the last of their money.
  • They offer the feast to the local god of the Silver Heron – begging for help
  • The moon shines through the clouds, and they see the shadow of a flying heron…
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The Missing Girl

Where we see how Siegsdorf picks itself up

  • Aujaq, Vlad, Mal and Hailong head into town to survey the damage.
  • Locals are working together to clean up
  • Stories are spreading of “Mal, the Demon killer”
  • They return to the Temple, and talk to Father Alte.
    • Demon book had been moved to his private locked study
    • Search through the burnt remains of the library
    • Fire was started in the private study – locked desk was broken up.
    • Cant identify remains – which books were stolen/remained…
  • Father Alte is broken up at the loss of his young daughter – Hilde.
    • Her hand was found near thetemple altar…

Where we learn the identiy of the mysterious woman.

  • Laima return to visit with Trader J.Rimbaux
  • Social visit, talking about the Wichtel attack.
  • Laima describes the mysterious woman – Rimbaux identifies as Hilde
  • Hilde is famous in town as a pious and dutiful daughter of the priest.
  • Some nasty gossip about her unladylike pursuit of Teufel when he arrived in town.
  • Pointed towards the “Black Sail” tavern for more salacious gossip.

Where Aujaq dispairs of civilised life

  • Explores the coastline near Siegsdorf.
  • Notes the ‘threats’ that the townfolk are afraid of – avoids easily.
  • Gathers beautiful and precious items from the sea for spirit-gifts

Where we sample the less cultured taverns

  • Mal and Hailong go to the ‘Black Sail’
  • Listening infor gossip and socializing
  • Fail to learn anything, and Mal is distracted telling tales of his ‘demon killing’

Where we discover where the Wichtel hid.

  • Vlad, Laima and a maid visit Teufel’s workshop/home for dinner.
  • Building is open, sounds of movement insode.
  • House has been thoroughly and methodically trashed
  • The four workers have been killed in their beds
  • 6 Wichtel are manning the furnace bellows and trying to coat bodyparts in glass.
  • Dead body seated – covered in glass.
  • Maid sent to get help, Vlad and Laima frighten away the Wichtel
  • Mal chips at glass body – remains of tortured Teufel.
  • Aujaq calls up an upset workshop-spirit
  • Vlad and Laima search the building – ‘cooked’ accounting books and too much money.
  • Hailong examines the bloodstains
    • a woman was in here doing the torturing…
    • Wichtel fled into basement.
  • Learn that a woman and wichtel came and tortured Teufel and left.
  • Teufel’s diary gives history of affair with Hilde – detailed research needed.
  • Uncover secret passages to smuggler’s cave.
  • Bricked up doorway to ancient ruins.

A grieving mother’s story.

  • Laima returns to town to comfort mother Alte.
  • Learns more of Hilde and Teufel’s story
  • Alte family grieving over severed hand of Hilde… Blame the wichtel
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