Last Legends of Irth

Act One, Session Four
In which the group have three fights and a discovery...

The Skeletons proved difficult work but once the Wizard, Madran had been revived from his trance-like state, the tide turned and they were eventually vanquished. The curious chamber began to warp and dissipate, leaving the group standing on the grassy cairn, next to the ruins of the old tower.

With the group back together, they took breakfast in the village and then struck out west again towards Gdwyr.

On the road, Gerhart suddenly got a sense of something approaching and the party – all except Madran the wizard – left the road to hide in the surrounding trees. Sure enough, along the road came a black-cloaked rider who stopped to confront Madran, demanding that he produce, ‘the boy’. Whilst doing so, Custler hurled his warhammer at the creature wounding it whilst Madran used his ‘spectral hand’ to unfasten the creature’s saddle, causing it to drop to the ground. A fight ensued in which the creature was vanquished before it could make a single attack. After the confrontation, thoughts turned immediately to whom, exactly the boy was and why he was being sought. Convinced that it must be Gerhart, he confessed to having taken a book from his temple and it must be him that their pursuers wanted. Dissatisfied but not wanting to detract from the greater mission, the group opted to proceed, one eye now firmly fixed on Gerhart.

After several more days travel, the group were finally approaching Gdwyr when from the forest on the side of the road broke, what appeared to be an Orc scouting party accompanied by wolves. A savage battle ensued and upon defeating the scouts, the sound of marching was heard from over the rise…

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Act One, Session Three
In which the players discover that Goblin Hexers are sneaky (and dangerous) little sods.

With the Imps dead, silence descends on the village green. The party rest for the night in the inn. The rooms provided free of charge by the delighted Inn-keeper. Gerhart makes his excuses and sets off down the road. He must spend the night giving worshipful thanks to his deity. During the night, he sits in an open field and spies an old, ruined tower silhouetted against the cloudless, starry sky. He senses a faint aura of evil from it but it is too far distant to be of any concern so he puts it out of his mind. In the morning, he returns to the inn and discovers his friends searching for the Wizard, Madran who has disappeared during the night. Gerhart believes the tower may be connected somehow and sure enough, a quick search reveals the Wizard’s footprints heading away from the inn, north towards the tower. Before the party head off, the Innkeeper and the grateful villagers gather together to thank the heroes for ridding their village of the dreadful Imps and offer them several items that they have accrued over the years. The group take the items gratefully and set off to rescue their friends, despite the villagers’ warnings of goblins and great evil at the tower.

The tower sits atop a small hill, ringed at it’s foot by a small but dense forest. At the edge of the forest, the heroes spy small, crude Goblin fetishes hanging from branches. Tiny clusters of sticks and rodent and bird skulls, feet and feathers. Possibly some sort of ward or alarm system to alert the goblins of the forest. Sure enough, once they are deep enough into the woods, thanks to Gerhart tripping over and making a dreadful racket, they are ambushed by a small party of goblins. It’s a tough fight with the goblins quickly gaining the upper hand but before long the tide is turned and the goblins put to the sword – all bar one sniper that manages to flee.

After a short rest, the group continue on their way to the tower, clearing the woods, and scaling the steep slope up to the top of the hill and the foot of the tower. It is a three storey ruin, with only two storeys remaining. Overgrown and covered in weeds and creepers, it has but one entrance, an archway that has a perfectly black dimensional portal covering it.

After some initial testing with sticks and stones, Custler boldly steps in and the other heroes follow quickly behind. They find themselves transported to a circular room, bedecked in charter marks and sigils. Three small, circular alcoves are arranged tri-axially and the walls glow with an eerie blue-green light. In the centre, hangs Madran the Impatient, frozen, in a trance-like state.

Without warning, the three alcoves come alive with energy and from the arcs of light step half a dozen animated skeletons, armed and armoured…

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Act one, Session two
In which the group discover that Imps are immune to fire.

The party arrive on the caravan at St Malo to the sight of town watch checking all the incoming traffic for, it appears, a party that attacked a band of Church regulators on the road in from Riemme. As the encampments for all the folks visiting for the races are outside of the town walls, the party leave the caravan and head across country round the town to lose themselves in the crowds. Unfortunately Nil the Tiefling and Madran the wizard are feeling somewhat ill after their encounter with the rats and later on decide to sneak in to the town to seek an apothecary. They enter the city via the northeast gate where the guards are not so alert (the main attention is on the southeast gate) and despite being pulled aside by the watch, convince them that they aren’t the people they’re looking for. They head first to procure a potion against what is prescribed as Filth Fever. The potion will take a while to make so the chemist bids them return tomorrow. After this they head to the library where Nil finds vital information for his and Custler’s quest. Meanwhile in the stadium Custler, Genero and Gerhart discover the word, ‘NEXT’ scrawled in blood on a wall in a side corridor. Despite their best efforts, they find nothing to connect this with either them or the incident in the Bothy the night before and reluctantly head into town and rejoin the others. Unable to find room inside an inn, they are allowed to stay in the corner of a stables. They awake the next morning to find the body of a stable boy dead against the outer wall of the stable next to where they were sleeping, his face contorted in agony, his skin pulled in such a way that it seems almost as if the wall were sucking him in. Discovered by a serving maid from the inn, they run for it before her screams can alert the watch. Nil and Madran both feel worse and hurry to get their cure, which duly works. At this point, the inn they were staying in is consumed by an explosion that rocks the whole town, sending smoke and debris high into the atmosphere. Convinced that the explosion was meant for them and deciding that they have what they came for, they opt to leave town, hiding on another goods caravan before the watch can lock the city down and trap them or worse. Having nothing better to do and fearing blame for the death of the stable boy, the rest of the party decide to join Custler and Nil on their journey west.

After a day of travelling, the group enter a small hamlet which is devoid of all signs of life. All the windows are shuttered and the doors locked fast. They knock on the door to the coaching inn. A terrified inn-keeper lets them in quickly and then locks and bolts the door. He provides them with beer and food and explains that the hamlet has been under siege these past weeks from tiny winged creatures. Two of the group recognise his description as imps and suddenly the night air is rent by the screams of a woman from across the street. Looking through the gaps in the shutters the group see the imps in question raking at the windows of a house opposite. They pour out into the street to face the hellspawn and duly defeat them, learning in the process that such creatures are immune to fire. Nil is nearly killed save for the quick ministrations of Madran and Gerhart.

With the imps defeated, the group retire to the inn for a well-earned rest.

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Act one, Session one
A tentative joining of forces.

It was a cold, Autumn day. Thick, grey clouds lay heavily over the thinning, rust coloured canopy. Dead leaves rained gracefully and continuously to the forest floor either side of the wheel-worn dirt road. In the fields, farmers toiled to bring in the last of the harvest. Winter was coming. Wandering swordsman, Custler and his unwanted Tiefling companion, Nil had been travelling for nine days from the city of AdenSchloss to the northeast and were only a couple of days walk from St Malo. There is chariot racing there at harvest time and the entertainment would be unmissable. More than that though, they sought information in the great library. They were preparing for a short rest when, ahead on the road they spied a curious sight.

A horse-drawn goods train of some twenty or so carts, apparently westward bound had been stopped on the road by a rag-tag band of militia men. Scruffy, disorganised and ill-mannered. They were lightly armed and armoured. They wore red armbands – a sign that they worked for the Church, though they were little more than profiteers with scant regard for clerical matters. They had with them a horse-drawn carriage surmounted with a cage. In the cage sat a small, dishevelled figure, a Hobbit with a coffee-coloured complexion – clearly a recently captured prisoner.

The men were challenging the train’s leader, a weathered looking Gnomish merchant with a long, white beard and fine silk, ermine and velvet robes in bright, impressive colours. He stood on his cart, fists on hips in indignation. “Who do you all think you are, eh? What’s the meaning of stopping us?” he demanded. One of the militia – apparently the leader – drew his horse forward. “We have reason to believe that you are transporting a wanted criminal.” The Gnome gestured to the Caravan, red-faced with anger. “We are but simple merchants transporting our wares to St Malo! There are no Warlocks here. By Garl! the Sheriff shall hear of this!” “It’s not a Warlock we seek,” spat the leader, “but a petty thief. Hand him over and you can be on your way.” Then, ignoring the Gnome, he turned his attention to the train in general. “Hear me? Hand over the boy and you can go on your way!” When nobody responds, he continues, “I know you’re here, boy! You’ve taken something that belongs to the church! We won’t leave until we’ve taken you into custody! Give yourself up and nobody has to get…”, he paused, sliding his gaze along the length of the train, ”...hurt!”

At this point, Arpad, a Dwarven Paladin of Morodin who had been recruited as a bodyguard for the wagon train approached the leader and requested proof of his authority. If they were who they claimed to be, and they were genuinely searching for a wanted criminal then they could go about their business and be on their way. At the same time, Madran, a young wizard recently graduated from school, a passenger on the Caravan created a magical, ghostly hand that, unseen by the militia, lifted the keys to the cage and carried them to the imprisoned Hobbit.

Whilst all of this went on, Custler and Nil approached the conversing group consisting of Arpad the Dwarf paladin, the militia leader and his second in command. Much to the Dwarf’s consternation, they outright challenged the militia to leave the caravan or be killed. The leader enraged by their audacity ordered them arrested. At this point Custler unleashed his hammer and Nil his sword and battle was joined.

Arpad, having no regard for these wandering nuisances and seeing it as his duty to protect the caravan, ordered the train to start moving.

The rest of the militia ran towards the fray, shouting for the caravan to stop. by the time they got there, their leaders were dead and after being ordered to surrender by the paladin, dropped their weapons and fled into the woods.

Grateful for their assistance, the Gnome caravan leader, wary of further confrontations with clearly corrupt profiteers, asked Custler and Nil to join the caravan as extra bodyguards for the journey to St Malo.

The caravan trundled on. The sky darkened and the caravan began to think that it would soon be time to make camp. As these thoughts crossed their minds they felt the first spots of rain that quickly increased in number until it was a torrent and then heavy driving rain. In the distance thunder rolled and moments later a flash of lightning silhouetted the surrounding hills. Up ahead, just off the road, outlined against the sky was a small bothy. A rudimentary stone and slate structure. It’s lack of lighting suggested that it was empty and it looked like it’d make an ideal shelter for people and horses alike.

The caravan tie up the horses and make shelter in the bothy for the night. The now freed Hobbit makes the most delicious stew for all and conversation turns to who they all are and where they are from.

Later, they sleep and the three bodyguards, Arpad, Custler and Nil take turns to keep watch.

Whilst on his watch, Nil hears a feint scuttling under the floor. He alerts Custler and Arpad and they follow the sound as it moves about for a few seconds before erupting out of a hole – A rat swarm accompanied by a couple of Dire rats. The whole company are aroused and begin to tackle the rats, Nil and Madran being bitten in the process. During this panic, the door bursts open and the hideous form of rat in the shape of a man steps into the fray attacking Genero the Hobbit.

The battle is short but bloody with almost nobody escaping unbitten. Eventually the swarm dissipate and scuttle back under the floor. The dire rats are dispatched and the humanoid rat defeated. Before the band’s very eyes he distorted and transformed into a dirty and dishevelled human man.

The party settled down again but uneasily.

The next morning, the storm had broken and the sky was blue. It was a frosty Autumn morning and the dew lay heavily on the grass. Their breath clouded in front of their faces as they prepared the horses for departure. It was then that they noticed that something has been scrawled on the door to the bothy. It appeared to be written in blood and it read simply ‘NEXT’.

Upon waking, both Nil the Tiefling and Madran the wizard felt feverish and sickly and needed to be helped onto their carts.

Their journey was thankfully uneventful and by late afternoon, They passed over a ridge and found themselves gazing down into a shallow valley. At the base of a hill at one end of the valley lay a small, walled town overlooked by an old stone castle. Smoke and steam rose into the air from the rooftops. They had reached St Malo. Around the town were pitched hundreds and hundreds of tents of all shapes, sizes, materials, quality and colours. The masses had arrived from all over the Empire for the famous St Malo chariot races.

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Prologue

It is several months since the Necromancer was defeated by a band of bold adventurers and despite small pockets of resistance, peace and prosperity has started to return to the Empire.

All is not well, however. Since the victory, his most Radiant and Divine Majesty, Emperor Gallus Selenia has become withdrawn and reclusive. Seemingly paranoid and wary of any return route the Necromancer may have to this plane of reality, he has forbidden the dark arts and outlawed Warlocks across the Empire.

Practitioners of eldritch law are hunted down and imprisoned pending interrogation and judgement. Apprentices are captured by mobs and Imperial soldiers, now garbed in red and silver to denote their allegiance to the Church. The masters of the art are hunted down by Church Inquisitors, powerful vessels of divine energies. Already there are stories from the capitol and other towns of mass burnings in the streets.

Practitioners of other arcane arts are tolerated under license and close scrutiny. The church now monitors all matters of magic and it is their word on the subject that is law

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