Author Topic: Adventure #69: Into the Fell  (Read 1678 times)

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Offline X-Tornilen/SM (Alexander)

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Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« on: January 12, 2011, 10:30:02 pm »
Ghieste, Rhumannen, 4th of Talienir HC 1537

Two leagues north of border between Rhumannen and the Northern Fell a small army has assembled. About 800 armed men, along with supplies and pack animals, stand waiting.
It is still early spring, a little bit of winter's bite remains in the air, but almost all of the ice is melted and the trees are mostly clothed in leaves again. Even so, it is early morning and it is chilly.

The troops bear the colours and oaths of three different masters. The majority are from Tornilen - scouts, archers and armsmen. A company of Ghiestian scouts and a small group of templars from the Militant Order are also there. The assembled soldiers are surprinsingly quiet, their attention drawn to the scaffolding in the center of the camp.

Duke Ghorien Hirile of Ghieste stands to one side of the scaffolding, along with a few members of his court and the leader of the MOC templars. On the platform kneels three ritual assistants, in grey and white silken gowns, in a triangle around the figure of the Swordmage. She is dressed in her cloak of blades, a few of which are glowing with sigils. Her head is leaned back, her black hair cascading from her shoulders and apparantly tangling with the gleaming blades of her attire. Her arms spread out to the sides, her mouth moving silently, she seems to be lost in a trance. The air throbs silently with arcane power, the air above the platform simmering as if above a bonfire.

In the Swordmage's mind, she is in the epicenter of a web of arcane energies. Power pulses into her from her sources to the east, tearing through her, through her arms and out through her fingers, towards the men and women around her. Each man and woman in the camp, along with every mule, every horse and every crate or barrel, is wearing a single glyph in draconic; "Korat-Nikhaul", meaning "unseen" in that ancient tongue. In her mind's eye, those glyphs are burning. That is not all she sees, she sees the bands of ley lines and mebhaighl, like rivers clashing and flowing around her. Beyond the hills she sees the roaring font of power that is the Spiderfell. The power there, so wild and hard to control, calls to her. She smiles.

Then, with a final word, the spell is completed. There is no roar, no detonation or spectacle. Every glyph glows blue for a few seconds, then they fade from view. They become invisible. Though they cannot sense it, every person in the army has been instructed that as long as the glyph remains invisible, then so are they. If the glyph should become visible, then the spell is broken and they can be seen, heard and scented. Until then, they should remain undetectable.

The Swordmage staggers for a moment, then rightens herself and steps down from the platform, smiling to Duke Ghorien.

"Well, shall we get on with it?"

With that, the signal to march is given and the men begin to move.

The evening before; in the command tent.

The commander of the army are present: Duke Ghorien Hirele, the templar commander, Duchess Marya Tanar, Commander Gaine Alward and Commander Gaerik Bellerran. The latter is speaking, one hand stroking his grey-stroked beard while pointing at a map with the other.

"The plan is simple. As simple as can be, to minimize risks and mistakes. The two scouting companies will march from here and into the North Fell. The company from Tornilen will dissipate into the North Fell and begin scouting. The company from Ghieste will go toward the East Fell and then the West Fell, crossing the river here." He points to the map.

"Meanwhile, the archer and the armsmen will hold position here, at the border to the North Fell." Again, he points. "They will remain there until all the scouts are back, hopefully for at most three weeks. They will dig in and prepare to hold their position against the goblins, though it hopefully will not be necessary."

He withdraws his hand from the map.

"The main challenges we will be facing are communication and supplies. The troops cannot properly forage without risking to break the spell, so everything must come trough the forward camp. Pack animals will bring it from here to the border of the fell, from there it will be taken by foot. As for communication... runners will do the work, but if the spell is broken, signaling horns will also be used to direct the retreat."

"I will remind you all the we are to avoid combat by all means. We are here to scout and to map the Spiderfell. The scouting company lead by her grace." He nods to Duchess Marya Tanar. "Will be looking for this... manifestation."

"The archers and the armsmen will be commanded by me, Commander Gaine Alward will be going with her grace and her scouting company." Gaine is dour and silent, as always, barely reacting when his name is spoken.

Gaerik waits for a minute, then nods, again stroking his beard. "That should be the long and the short of it. Any questions?"

[OOC: If there are none, we can proceed to crossing into the fell. Otherwise, we can rp a bit here and then move on.]

Marya Tanar, The Sword Mage
Duchess and Mage of Tornilen

Offline X-Ghieste & HOT/GH (Matt)

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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 03:21:36 pm »
The evening before.

The Duke of Ghieste stands to speak in response to the question, a well tailored figure, in elegant black and silver leathers, slit here and there to show crimson silks beneath, the very latest of wear for stylish gentlemen in the Heartlands, while not wishing to be ostentatious.

"Your Grace, the men of Ghieste who shall be part of this mission, the honourable and esteemed company of the Fell Reavers, shall be led into the Fell by Captain Paulis Donavier, a man of significant experience and skill. We believe that the Captain shall be more than suitable for the task at hand."

In the morning, before the casting.

In his open fronted pavilion Ghorien sits behind a large and heavy table, sipping on a goblet of wine and answering correspondence. Around him the flurry of messages, organisation and gossip is a heady, disorientating blend, confusing to those not skilled in the elegant and deadly dance of court. Various figures hurry in and out of the tent, all under the watchful eye of the ghost gray cloaked figures who stand in the midst of the crowds, scattered through them, seemingly at random. Knights, mercenaries, penitents and petitioners, soliders, scouts, Ladies and Gentlemen, even the odd discreet but well figured whore, all swirl around in the cauldron of power that lurks here. An intoxicating brew though none is foolish enough to approach the seated figure without a gesture from him directly.

As he puts his goblet down and moves to stand the tent stands stock still and voices drop to silence within. He leans forward, fists on the polished oak and speaks in a carefully moderated tone.

"Herald. You will be good enough to bring Captain Paulis Donavier for receive his honour from ourselves."

Two figures run from the wide tent entrance and both return within fifteen seconds with a battle hardened looking man between them who bows to the Duke as he enters. He waits to be allowed to speak and only starts once the Duke nods at him.

"As requested, Your Grace, the Company of Scouts named the Fell Reavers, stands ready. They await your orders."

"Captain. We hereby grant you the honour of the command of the honourable and esteemed Company of the Fell Reavers. You have the rest of your orders."

And with that he strides from the tent into the crisp morning air.
His Grace Ghorien Hiriele,
Duke of Ghieste,
Grand-Maester of the Highland/Overland Traders,
Viscount of Whyrthe.
Down Right Evil Bastard!

Offline DM B

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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 12:44:56 pm »
The men are very anxious about the whole affair. The Fell has a deservedly evil reputation. Those men who venture inside are almost invariably never seen again. Oh, there is a little activity along the edges of the forest to be sure, but you don't go inside. And so no-one goes there. A few expeditions, primarily Dieman, have entered the Fell, and perished nearly to a man. A few brave adventures have also set out, but few there are that can claim even to have seen the Spider, let alone slain it. Well, there was this hero who claimed to have done it, several hundred years ago. Killed the Spider that is. After the deed was done the Archduke of Diemed led his armies into the Fell, and with some success drove away the goblins from the southern part of the Fell. The first and only time that has happened. But one day the Archduke was killed by a goblin sorcerer who sneaked into his tent and stabbed him in the heart - for the Archduke was well protected from spiders and venom, but not against cold steel in the sleep. Shortly thereafter the forest again became malicious and spiders of all kinds started attacking the Dieman warriors and settlers. That's the kind of stories being told around the campfires - stories well crafted to scare superstitious smallfolk and soldiers!

Mixed wooded hills stretch for many miles beyond the borders of the Fell. It is an area well patrolled but little lived in. But when you finally cross into the real Spiderfell things change. Change into a different world. A world filled with dark and twisted trees that nearly block out the light, creating a twilight zone of grayish green. And still, even in this poor light, does many things grow. Pale ferns and brambles with blood-red leaves and sharp thorns. Things craw and move around in the dark, things that grow in the imagination of the men, to become great monsters of fangs and lethal venom. And truly - there ARE many more spiders here than you would think. But they too seem affected by the magic of the Sword Mage, for they ignore you and continue on with their wretched little lives.

The ground is rugged an utterly bereft of any path or trail. Along with the lack of light and the atrocious vegetation it becomes quite impossible to move in an orderly formation. So the armsmen and archers set up defensive positions while the scouts continue on. Soon the forest has swallowed them completely, leaving the soldiers in the oppressive dark silence of the Spiderfell. They can feel it in their bones...they should not have come here...they are not wanted...they will not leave alive...
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 02:14:50 am »
Marya relies on her usual style of leadership, though her visage is a little more human than usually. She is not wearing her mask, nor her robe, they are bundled up in her own pack. Her clothes are pratical and suited for the forest, though of better quality and cut than most of the soldiers'. Only thing that stands out a little are her boots: Old, stained and worn. Still good, but the joke around the campfires is that these were the boots that carried her all the way from Vos lands.

Even though she does not give rousing speeches or clap her men on their backs, she moves at the forefront, showing scant fear or hestitation. The oppressive and sinister atmosphere of the forest weighs on her, but she shows little. The undergrowth even has a sort of beauty to it, once one gets used to it... which she hopes she will never have the chance to. She gives clear commands, she does not hestitate and she seems in control. As the scouting bands split up and go their seperate ways, her hope is that they carry with them a sense that someone is in control. Soon she will be left with only a score of men...

As they go on, her magical senses are constantly active. Her eyes glow dimly as she attunes herself to arcane energies, trying to sense the ebb and flow of them. She strains to listen, to the call of ancient blood within her, if it has some clues to offer. So far, there is little. The energies of the Spiderfell are flowing strongly, no doubt about that, but right now it is hard to get a good sense of them. She needs to find some kind of mystical vantage point. Somewhere to get an overview.


Marya Tanar, The Sword Mage
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 02:25:46 pm »
The Sword Mage has some knowledge of the Spiderfell - she does, after all, control some of the sources here. But they are both located on the outskirts of the forest - never has she braved the dark green and gone so deep before.

Soon the Sword Mage and her little group of scouts are all alone. There is no sign of any of the others. Clearly it will be impossible to keep in touch with the other groups, let alone coordinate anything. Within hours you are essentially lost all of you.

Lost, except that the Sword Mage can feel the ebb and flow of magic in the forest. Feel it and direct her men to follow it (and back-track if need be). Not an easy task, for magic does not flow along straight lines, nor does it roads make. But on you go.

By nightfall you are deep within the forest, pursuing the elusive lines of magic that criss-cross the place.

Oh, and you've yet to see a single goblin.
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 02:37:45 pm »
From the encampment, away from the edge of the forest, the Duke of Ghieste watches his men and those of his ally venture forth, the cautions and concerns plain on almost all the faces he looks upon. With a sigh he turns slowly once they have disappeared into the dark and twisted foliage and returns to his paperwork to await the news of their probable demises.
His Grace Ghorien Hiriele,
Duke of Ghieste,
Grand-Maester of the Highland/Overland Traders,
Viscount of Whyrthe.
Down Right Evil Bastard!

Offline X-Tornilen/SM (Alexander)

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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 09:22:59 pm »
A campsite is found, a small cave by a slowly moving stream. The men are mostly silent, as they make camp and catch a few fish. Preparing to eat the raw fish together with the provisions, as they cannot risk an open flame. They are somewhat surprised when Marya orders one of them to bring out a pot, even more surprised when she boils the water in it by simply grasping the pot and whispering a few words. Being soldiers, however, they have already learned that small comforts are usually then only ones in the field, so they accept it gratefully.

Marya spends most of the night gazing at what stars can glimpsed and consulting a few unrolled charts and leafing though an aging book. For her, magic is mostly a question of intuition, instinct and art, but even she employs some scientific methods... though translating the stilted scholarly language of the College into her understanding takes some time. A few hours sleep are had, but nothing substantial.

The next day the journey continues, following the ebb and flow of magic. Often they make halt or take what appears to be meaningless detours, because the Duchess needs to "get a sense of something". The soldiers trudge on, mapping their path as well they can, simultaneously pleased and worried at the absence of goblins.

Finally they make a longer halt before a hill, perhaps an ancient barrow, though no one can say whom built it. Marya tells them they will be resting here for a while as she examines a "possible convergence... perhaps a confluence..."



Marya Tanar, The Sword Mage
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 01:57:07 pm »
OOC: Sorry this fizzled. Entirely my fault.
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 10:41:48 am »
OOC: Eh, real life happens. I am assuming some kind of closure will be in DO - you know the plan, you know the challenges involved and so on. No problem. Otherwise just shoot me a mail and we'll figure it out. It was a small adventure anyway :)
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Re: Adventure #69: Into the Fell
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 02:59:17 pm »
A week later a few men, injured and half-mad with fear and poison, stumble out of the Fell. The mumble incoherently about spiders, white goblins and all manner of ill things.

The Sword Mage is not one of those that make it out alive. One of the survivors claims that he saw THE Spider (big as a ship it was!) take her down and eat her.
DM Bjørn