Tales of the Northern March

The Road to Broadmire

Present: Una, Winori, Domari, Hilde

2 Hunger 91

They party leaves Fallsport a few hours after dawn with Lord Niall’s entourage. Una takes Blair aside to try and get something of the nobles for if she needs to do a tracking spell, but she won’t for fear of reprisal if caught. Domari discusses martial matters with Sir Alistair and the two begin to build a rapport. On their way out of the city, some lightfoots on a barge laden with wool bales ask about the results of the tournament. It comes up that Sir Murdoch left yesterday with Lord Duncan’s party to go to Trollwatch to hunt. During a rest stop, Domari and Alistair spar and they exchange sidearms (Alistair’s dagger for Domari’s handaxe).

They stop for a couple hours at Riverbend so the nobles can exchange horses and gather hunting supplies. Win plays in the great hall and tells stories about the tournament while Hilde avails herself of the herbary to make some healing potions. Shortly after getting back on the road, they arrive at Comfort Knoll where the farmers are deciding not to make hay because of the coming storm. They are greeted warmly by Ieuan and invited to stay for lunch. The village is busy with retting but pauses to tend to the nobles. The fare is rabbit stew (heavy on the parsnips and turnips, fragrant with rosemary), cheese, bread, and weak ale.

When they reach Trollwatch, they part ways with the nobles and Blair asks Una to be careful. Some stout fishermen sell them fresh trout and accompany them back to Edgemoor, but on arrival they hear the sounds of combat. Requisitioning the ferry, they go upriver past the earthenwork wall and see trolls battering at the gate after having waded through the moat. Una puts up a wall of fire to keep them off the gate and Hilde contributes a fireball. Win gets the attention of the trolls who have scaled the wall and draws them away from the village. The fight is relatively quick, with acid arrows and scorching rays keeping the trolls from regenerating as WIn and Domari fight them.

They are warmly greeted by Rhys and the other villagers. Hilde heals Roderick, Rhys’ nephew and head of the militia, and they go to The Heap for dinner. Rhys is a bit alarmed that Lady Una and Lady Hildegarde are not staying at Trollwatch. They enjoy dinner amidst a sea of children and Rhys’ sisters, one of whom (Rhosyn) tries to get Win into bed after his playing impresses them all. The fare is grilled trout stuffed with chestnuts, dried cranberries, and sage, bread with honey, and bilberry wine. Rhys tells them at the shepherds spotted Sir Murdoch leaving Trollwatch early this morning to hunt by himself. Una uses scrying to check on him and sees him fighting a flock of harpies, finally jumping into the river to escape them and being washed, half-drowned, down river.

The weather has worsened, turning into a summer downpour. Una turns Win into a pegasus and they fly east along the river, looking for Sir Murdoch. Domari’s keen eyes finally spot him tangled in brush along the far shore not far down river from the Singing Stone. They land and pull him out and find him nearly drowned and unconscious. They use magic to revive him enough to get him on Win but realize they can’t all fit. Domari borrows Win’s ring of invisibility and uses his ring of water walking to use the river as a road back to Edgemoor, meeting the rest of them there. They get dry and Una fusses over Sir Murdoch while Win plays soft music while people get to sleep.

3 Hunger 91

In the morning, Sir Murdoch tells them that he went out early to find the red deer herd before the rest of the nobles arrived and the harpies’ song strung him along to their nest, where he was attacked. He asks them to recover his sword and his bow, if they can. Sir Evan and some servants from Trollwatch come to collect him. Una tells him that they are going after the harpies, wary about Lord Duncan’s response, but Evan notes that he can hardly complain to the Earl after what happened to Sir Murdoch. The rain is still coming down hard but they opt to leave immediately, though the going is slow. They come across two stout shepherds, Cadoc and Glaw, and their cold miserable newly sheared sheep. They share some food with them to supplement their meager provisions and go on their way.

Before they can see the stones, they hear the harpy song. They are able to resist it but pretend to be under its sway in order to get close. Win uses the ring to remain invisible. They approach to find a ring of huge standing stones topped with nests where the harpies sit and sing. Hilde and Domari are able to make out worn carvings and dwarvish runes, but the words are in Giant, noting the great deeds of the dead. The center of the circle is strewn with bones and the grisly remains of Sir Murdoch’s horse. They walk into ring and the harpies attack all at once, but they are consumed by Una’s fireball. They collect Sir Murdoch’s thing and search the nests and the bones. They find a small pile of silver coins, rusted weapons, a shield of House Moor, and lot of pewter buckles and brooches. Win finds the Ollamh Lute carefully hidden in one of the nests. Una discovers a linen bag embroidered with the MacDuncan rose containing seven small rose quartz carved to look like rose buds. Hilde finds a leather pouch stamped with the symbol of dwarven House Moor with ten mithral marks. Domari finds a small wooden box containing a dozen brown-yellow garnets in a variety of sizes.

Noting that it is late and they have already traveled ten hours through the moor, they set up their tent a bit away from the stones and settle down until morning.

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Summersday Tournament

Present: Una, Winori, Domari, Hilde

Low Milk 91

Una is visited in her mirror by the Undying, who says that he will attend to the red dragon and confirms he’s keeping an eye on Ghost.

Lady Hildegarde is made ambassador of the dwarves and given the King’s mansion, property, and staff in Fallsport.

Jesse (who was sold by her parents to Lindsey to settle their debts) leaves the Red House to work for Hilde at the embassy. The rest of the prostitutes remain there with Una as a business partner.

Una and Hilde work to influence the form of government the Earl will impose on Fallsport through the new charter. Their plan is accepted with two revisions: purchased seats on the town council have no restriction in consecutive terms and the money collected from the auction will go half to charities and half to the town guard.

Domari takes Angus and Ghost to the High King’s court and trains them. Ghost becomes utterly devoted to him and asks him to rename her. He chooses the name Ostara, for its connotations of rebirth.

The dwarves return to their kingdom, depopulating Adders’ Bluff by two-thirds and leaving young craftsman running their families’ shops in Fallsport.

15 Milk 91 (Beltain)

Una’s wedding is attended by all of the nobles of the shire as well as Tallula (representing the high elven court) and Hilde (representing the dwarven king). Win performs. Tallula presents Una with an enchanted white gown made of giant spider silk.

High Milk 91

The wedding feast lasts for a week at the end of which Lord Aidan and Lady Una take possession of the completed keep of the Blackwall.

Wool 91

Winori performs for the new King as an honored guest at Stonehold. His songs about the defeat of Eitrdottir and reclaiming of Stonehold are very popular, being performed by others, and are even spreading to other shires. His name is humanized to Wynn the Bard.

Domari approaches the rulers of the three domains for permission for his order to pursue their mandate. The High King of Alfheim considers the mandate already in place. The King of Dvergarheim readily agrees to give him permission. The Earl is less eager and instead appoints him sheriff. He sends Angus out to recruit and he is able to get a number of widows, widowers, and orphans from Otter Creek and Fallsport to join.

Humans from other shires begin to come to Fallsport to take advantage of the absence of the dwarves. It starts as a slow trickle but increases as summer starts.

1 Hunger 91

The jousting tournament in Fallsport including all of the knights of the Glen. Domari is first challenged by Sir Evan of Trollwatch at the behest of his father. He is unseated in the first two passes but gets a good hit on the last and keeps his seat. He congratulates the elf and seems to have a good humor about it. Next he is matched against Sir Murdoch the Wolf who is increasingly angered with being unseated and is enraged after being revived when he’s knocked cold during the third pass. Lastly, Domari goes up against Lord Morgan. He unseats him on the first pass and accidentally injures him on the second. Morgan insists on finishing the joust after being healed and manages to best Domari on the last pass. Domari is declared the winner and given a 100 crown purse. The crowd seems generally very impressed with the high elf’s performance.

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The New King

Present: Una, Hilde, Domari, Winori

25 Seed 91

Hilde returns the crown to Berengar and tells him about Lindsey. He says the last goblin was caught and killed. Una goes to see Sir Murdoch after putting Blodwen in her quarters. He tells her to send Blodwen after Lindsey. At Win’s suggestion, he puts a 100 crown bounty on her and sends Una to pay the bellmen to spread the word. On waking, Blodwen tells Una that she hired a boat and left. She reports this to Sir Murdoch. Hilde discusses protective magic with Berengar. Domari gets permission to be armed during the ceremony.

The ceremony begins around noon in the Mead Hall and proceeds without incident. The new King proceeds outside with his Queen to greet his people. Hilde summons a divine guardian to watch over them and orders the town guards to move away, but one of them looks nervous and keeps looking to a rooftop. Una and Domari both see an archer appear there but Domari sees a hobgoblin and Una, who has true seeing on, recognizes it as a shape-changed Ghost. She fires three arrows at the King but the nervous guard gets in the way. Then she flees. Domari and Hilde heal the guard, who is swiftly dying from the poison on the arrows.

Una transforms a startled WIn into a pegasus and she and her brother mount to give chase. Thinking she will go to the nearest exit to the city, they fly towards Deadgate and see her riding fast on a horse in its direction. Una puts the horse to sleep under her and Domari teleports beside her and wounds her greviously, after which Una puts her to sleep as well. The guards act oddly and Win (still a pegasus) goes to look behind the gate and finds an identical hobgoblin tied up and gagged. When Una gets a look at him, she recognizes that he is a shape-changed human. One of the guards tries to flee but the pegasus grabs him and drags him back. Questioning the transformed man reveals him to be Alfie, the drunk that Win had questioned about the goblins in Beggars’ Tower. Una hires a cart the loads all of them into the back except Ghost, who is tied and thrown over Win’s back.

Meanwhile, Hilde and Berengar take the guard (fully healed by the King) into the temple and question him under a zone of truth. He reveals that the town guard captain, Broc, told him that the assassin would be there and ordered him to get in the way, saying they would all be heroes. He didn’t expect to be poisoned and is definitely rattled at nearly having died. When the others return, the prisoners are all brought to the zone. The other guards confirm that Broc orchestrated it. They were told that the hobgoblin would come to their gatehouse and they were to release the other hobgoblin and kill him, then present him as the fled assassin. They were told the assassin was a member of the thieves’ guild. Ghost refuses to answer any questions and swallows her ring when Una orders her stripped. A dispel magic returns her to her real form and she glares at Lord Morgan the entire interrogation.

Lord Morgan orders the town guard rounded up and puts castle guards in their place. Sir Murdoch himself goes to find Broc. Due to the delicate nature of Ghost’s parentage, Lord Morgan orders her taken back to the Prison Tower for further questioning under magical compulsion. WIn fetches a potion of mind reading from the Potion Shop. The potion and charm person do not work, Ghost’s will proves too strong. They feed her a purgative and are able to retrieve the ring of invisibility, but Una discovers it has an evil influence (which Domari can sense). She mocks Ghost, who spits at her and head-butts her when she gets close to revive her after Domari knocks her out. They decide to return to this the next day, when Una can avail herself of Lindsey’s enchantment spells, and set up a number of countermeasures to make sure she is not rescued.

A short ceremony in the hall sees them formally recognized by the new King for their efforts on his behalf and they are awarded jeweled badges of his device to identify them as heroes and allies of his House. The King asks them if they believe he should delay his return to Stonehold but they say they see no reason why, urging him to leave as soon as possible. He goes to make preparations.

26 Seed 91

Una is able to get Ghost talking with suggestion and she tells them that she was ordered by her patron, who she says she cannot name, to make a believable attempt at the King’s life, and confirms the roles of the guards. They learn the details of her past and upbringing and that her patron brought her to Fallsport to be the new head of the thieves’ guild. She also reveals to them that the tribute to the red dragon is to keep it sleeping. Win notes that Old Baldy has been rumbling for the last few years, as is its habit periodically, but says that tales of the dragon underneath are legend, even to the elves.

Concerned that the tribute won’t reach the dragon with Ghost in custody, Una goes to Lord Morgan and explains the situation (and fills in the details of Ghost’s origins for him), and suggests that they let her go. Morgan is very unhappy with this and tells her to get a lock of hair first so she can scry on her to try and learn the identity of her patron and reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Domari offers Ghost a choice: a quick death for her crimes or the chance to redeem herself and gain vengeance by swearing the oath of his order. He assures her that those who wronged her will be punished in due time and points out that she has gotten no closer to her goals with the help of her patron. She agrees.

Low Milk 91

The Earl declares Alpin Fitzwarren (Rory’s uncle and her housecarl) Lord Provost of Fallsport and changes the town council so that all guilds have representation on it. New town guards are hired and trained. Hilde returns to Stonehold with her people. Domari takes Ghost and Angus back to the high elf court to train her as a paladin. Once Angus is trained, he is set on recruiting, looking for orphans and the disaffected to join his new knightly order. Una sends word to the Blackwall to add a building for Domari’s growing knightly order. She then goes to Riverbend and finds the compromised midwife and has her send a message to the Undying that she wants to meet about the dragon.

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Down The Alley

Present: Una, Domari, Winori, Hilde

25 Seed 91

The party questions Blodwen, who tells them that she got her instructions from Lindsey, owner of the The Red House on Gropecunt Alley. They collect Padraig, Kirk, and a wagon from the castle and go to Market Square. Padraig tells them that rumor has it that the Red House has a back door through the haberdashery, so they leave the two guards watching the shop while they go down the alley to arrest the madame. Win enters the Red House to find that Lindsey is not there, and the woman who is there makes mention of a high elf adventurer named Malachy (who Win knows is dead) who Lindsey apparently knew. He also spots a gorgeous half-elf peeking at him from behind the screen. They are directed to the The Broken Blade across the alley.

Win checks and hears a woman’s voice in the pub, so Una generates a stinking cloud to clear the place out. A dozen mercenaries stagger out, retching, into the alley but their quarry is nowhere to be seen. Una commands the men (who recognize her) to leave so they can conduct their business in the tavern, but they angrily refuse. Domari beats the crap out of a big guy and a fight ensues. The quarters are tight and the party is surrounded (except for Win, who retreated towards the mouth of the alley as soon as trouble started and called for the guards). Una knocks the mercenaries down repeatedly with thunderwave and Domari fights with his usual aplomb, but Hilde is struggling to heal the massive amounts of damage they are taking. Una orders them to back down, threatening to resort to deadly force, and they fighting seems about to stop.

Unfortunately, Lindsey is stopped as she tries to flee the scene by Win (who puts faerie fire on her) and, in order to facilitate her escape uses mass suggestion to keep the bulk of the mercenaries fighting and then blinks away. Una lets loose a fireball which kills one of the mercenaries and wounds the rest, and setting the thatch roofs on fire. She and Hilde retreat into the Broken Blade and Domari sets himself up in the doorway. Those mercenaries not swayed by the enchantment flee the alley and surrender to the guards. The last few are disinclined to chase Una, who is now climbing out a window on to the roof to put out the fires with gust of wind, and leave the scene.

The fighting done, the party enters the Red House to find the residents in conference. They tell them that Lindsey fled with her daughter out the back door. Win goes after them, but they are long gone. Una is taken upstairs to Lindsey’s room where she gets hair brushes belonging to her and her daughter. She also takes her spell book. They rest for an hour and then Una arcane locks all of the doors and tells the women that they are now property of the Earl and she will be back for them. They are given money to pay for their expenses in the time being. The party goes home to get some sleep before the coronation.

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Shadows in the Night

Present: Una, Winori, Domari, Hilde

17 to 23 Seed 91

Hilde has been busy with preparations for the coronation and dwarves from throughout the glen have been flooding into Fallsport. Win has stayed close to town, documenting the events and collecting stories from the arriving dwarves. Una and Domari left town on the 18th and don’t get back until the 20th, then busy themselves with their own business.

24 Seed 91

The captain of the town guard, Broc, comes into the great hall at dinner time and speaks, first to Sir Murdoch, and then to Sir Aidan. Aidan gestures to Una and her brother and they accompany them outside where the captain tells them that one of his men saw several goblins climbing Beggars’ Tower to enter the town. They go to investigate, accompanied by Broc, but stop at crowded Fountain Square to get Hilde and Win, finding them in the Mead Hall among the throng of excited dwarves. They explain the situation and Win finds a talkative cutpurse in the square and asks about what is going down. The man doesn’t know the details but says somebody is definitely coming into the city and that the guild’s wizard was sent to smuggle them in. Hilde insists on going to the Temple to inform the Graf. She is denied audience as he is in meditation. She storms off and gets the crown, so she can make sure it isn’t stolen. Meanwhile, Una convinces Sir Gilbert to summon one of the older priests who can see through illusions. The elderly Berengar stands watch with the knight.

While the women are in the temple, Win and Domari accompany Broc to the South Tower and up onto the wall, where they meet Duff. The guard tells them that it is not uncommon for smugglers to come up Beggars’ Tower and that is who he thought he was seeing shortly after dusk, but on approach the silhouette was definitely goblin, not halfling. He was outnumbered by the half dozen figures, so he went back to his base tower to inform the captain. The four enter the tower and find faint signs of passage (some wet footprints), exiting into Beggars’ Alley. The two guards return to their posts as Win goes to the tavern to see who saw what with Domari waiting outside, if he needs assistance. A small bribe loosens the publican’s tongue and she points him at one of her patrons, a frightened looking man named Alfie, who she says ran from the tower a couple hours prior.

Win is able to learn from Alfie that he was in the tower waiting on a rendezvous with a “friend” when someone else entered. He hid and they went upstairs. A bit later, he heard them return with several companions and was spotted when he peered out. Suddenly, a drowned troll appeared next to him. He fled in fear and hid here in the tavern. He collects Domari and they delve into the rookery, following the most concealed path they can find towards Fountain Square and looking for places the intruders could be hiding. They come across a strange human in a loincloth crouching on a stoop who says he saw seven small individuals go by (the size of children but with mustaches) a couple of hours earlier.

Una and Hilde go to the Apothecary in search of Blodwen. She isn’t there but Anwen sends an animal messenger to ask her to come quickly, even though she seems crestfallen at the implication that her daughter may be on the wrong side of the law again. When she arrives, Una and Hilde confront her. Though she denies knowing anything about it and implies that the new guildmaster has probably acquired a new wizard, both of the women can tell that she is lying and see signs she may be under mental compulsion. Una uses her book to silently cast dispel magic and Blodwen looks startled. Hilde tries to put faerie fire on her so she can’t go invisible, but fails. Una asks her what was the last thing she remembers. She says she left them above the blacksmith shop. They go outside to ride as quickly as possible to Fountain Square but Blodwen falls back under the spell and disappears. Hilde is able to make her reappear by channeling divinity and Una knocks her down with a gust of wind as she tries to flee, but the illusionist uses a dimension door to escape anyway. They both get on Una’s horse, which she casts haste on and they tear through town to the dwarven enclave after dispatching a message to Domari.

The party reunites in front of the blacksmith shop, which is locked up for the evening. Domari detects no evil and Una detects no magic, so Win picks the lock and they enter. They note the back door at the far end of the workshop and ascend up the stairs to the blacksmith’s two story hall. They check the two lower solars and find nothing but Una’s detect magic senses magic at work in the upper back room. Win casts and illusion of ice over the window of that room and Domari ascends the stairs to the door, everyone else getting into position: Hilde at the bottom of the stairs and Una on the stairs leading up to the front rooms. A goblin silently opens the door behind her and steps out to stab her in the back with a poisoned blade, followed by two crossbow bolts fired at the dwarven priestess. Combat ensues, focused on the front room, but Win steals up the back stairs and opens the door to find himself face to face with an illusory sea hag and another volley of crossbow bolts. He slams the door and spikes it but finds the illusion now behind him and flees to the lower front room, hiding under the bed.

While Domari and Hilde fight the assassins from the front room while Una senses another spell in the room Win just ran into. She enters the room and concentrates, recognizing an arcane eye. Before she can obstruct its view, an arcane gate opens behind her and the three goblins from the room above step through and attack her, but she is able to avoid their poisoned blades, fleeing out the window and up the wall with the help of a potion of climbing. The goblins go back through the gate to try and attack her from above, but Blodwen comes down to the lower level with one of them just before Una casts a stinking cloud into the room. Win is unconscious under the bed, disabled by a burst of radiant energy from Hilde, whose attention has shifted to their combat since Domari closed the door behind him after entering the front room. Her companion slain and unable to do anything but retch, Blodwen (invisible again) stumbles out into the hall.

Domari pursues the last of his three assassins into the hall as well but the wily goblin is able to escape despite the evard’s black tentacles that Una summons into the front half of the room, entangling Blodwen to prevent her escape. Unfortunately, the remaining two goblins from upstairs have climbed down to the lower window and begin to fire their crossbows at the wizard again. When Blodwen uses dimension door to teleport to a building across the square, Una takes Domari and follows her with the same spell. Hilde revives Win with magic and the two of them fight and kill one of the remaining assassins while the second jumps out the window into the back garden. Across the square, Blodwen is quickly subdued by Domari. Una casts haste on him so he can get back to help Hilde and Win and uses dimension door to join them herself. Between the four of them, they catch and kill the remaining goblin.

They discover that Blodwen is wearing a Torc of Jörmungandr, explaining the control over her, so they take her to the Temple of the Vanir where elder cleric Aeron is able to break the enchantment so it can be safely removed.

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Balor's Tomb

Present: Una, Domari

19 Seed 91

The siblings form a fian with siblings Rian the Hunter and Alva the Priestess of Danu. Rian tells them that he has scouted out the fomorian cave and there are two armored guards on it as well as a new shepherd. They take a faerie ring to a spot close to the Ettin Heads and enter the pass to Cyclops Vale. Through the use of one of Rian’s spells, they sneak up on the cave and see the two guards and that the shepherd (the surviving cyclops from the previous day’s fight) is herding the sheep down the pass to the south. Rian and Una climb to above the cave and Domari and Alva wait for Una’s spell, Domari indicating that they should focus on the near guard.

Una’s casts blight on the guard, who falls to his knees rasping in pain. Rian hits him twice, but one of the arrows doesn’t get through his armor. Domari then runs up and guts him. The other guard charges, weakened temporarily by Una’s ray of enfeeblement, and engages Domari, knocking him to the ground with the force of his blow. He stands over him and curses him with his evil eye but is finished off by two arrows to the top of his head from Rian. Alva heals the paladin and helps him to his feet and they enter the cave, looking for the door to the tomb. Una realizes that the keyhole would be at giant height and, peering higher up the wall, is able to find it. They move a barrel over so they can reach it. Rian casts darkvision on himself and Una and they peer through the keyhole. The huge hall beyond has a giant sized table set for thirteen and bearing the skeletal corpse of Nuada and his sword. Balor sits brooding at the far end. In the wings are piles of rotting grave goods: food, clothes, furniture, weapons, armor, even whole longboats.

Una proposes casting darkness on one of Rian’s arrows and have him fire it (blind) at Balor in order to block the gaze of his evil eye. Alva casts a number of protective spells on the party members including a death ward on Domari to protect him from the eye. They open the door and Rian lets fly his arrow… and misses. Domari runs down the hall, followed closely by Alva, and Balor opens his eye to peer at Domari. They see the ray of death hit the paladin but the death ward save him, and is used up. The next beam will kill him. The enraged fomorian engages the paladin with his huge greatsword. Una casts darkness on another arrow and this time Rian strikes true. Domari and Balor trade blows with the paladin calling on all of the favor of his goddess to injured the undead abomination. Balor curses at being unable to use his eye and plucks the arrow out and throws it aside. His eye is open and blazing and just as he’s about to turn it on his foe, Domari runs him through with his holy sword and the giant falls, the beam from his eye destroying whatever grave goods it strikes.

At Domari’s suggestion, Rian cuts out the now harmless eye as a gift for the Dagda and bundles up the bones of former high king. Una buckles on the sword and suggests to her brother that they go to the halfling village of Applebottom to get a cart and pony to haul away all the silver. On the trip south, they come across the shepherd cyclops (which causes the diamond in the sword’s hilt to glow brightly) who flees once he sees the blade and the two he fled previous. They herd his sheep south to the village and trade them for a needed transportation. They return to the cave, load up the silver, and then make their way to Mapledell and the Blackwall, as Una needs to speak to her betrothed. En route, travelers and merchants are started by the huge load of silver they bear. On arrival in Mapledell, just past nightfall, they get rooms at the Pierced Dragon and put their treasure into the keeping of its publican, whom Una gives permission to hire more help as the inn is very busy. The dwarven workmen drinking their after the day’s labor are all talking about the liberation of Stonehold and the crowning of the new king.

The two make their way to the construction site and find Sir Aidan atop one of the completed towers. Una shows him the blade and tells of how they got it, then informs him that she’ll be giving him the blade when they marry. She informs him he needs to ask for her hand, again, from the Dagda (who she has discovered is her grandfather) and that he will marry no other. She also tells him he will father a child on another woman to establish his line. He’s taken aback, but readily agrees to all of her terms. They siblings return to their rooms in Mapledell to wait out the night.

20 Seed 91

In the morning, they take their treasure and return to Fallsport. They visit the Silversmith and Domari sells his half of the haul for coin while Una arranges to have half of hers melted down and recast into silverware for the Blackwall. She chats with the proprietor about the idea of a jewelers’ guild and learns of the tension between the silversmiths and the goldsmiths. She hits on the idea of throwing a party for all of the interested parties at the new Brewers’ Guildhall. She visits her sister afterward to broach the idea of her bearing a child for Sir Aidan and Beatrice counters that she should marry him instead, admitting resentment about all of the good things that Una gets and her playing second fiddle. Una tries to persuade her but the conversation goes nowhere.

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Otter Creek Aftermath

Present: Una, Domari

17 Seed 91

The party accompanies the Graf back to Fallsport to begin preparations for the coronation, with Hilde and Win remaining to participate. Una notices a family of refugees from Otter Creek camped out on Bloody Row and goes to her sister Elspeth’s house to look for lodging for them. She is told that Laird Sawney is planning on returning tomorrow, so she goes to talk to him with a stop to give advice to Sorley on how to manage a castle after he’s dressed down by Lord Roy. The Laird asks her to come with them, saying it will make the survivors feel safer, and she agrees, recruiting Domari, who has nothing to do until the coronation. They visit Beatrice where Una introduces Domari as their half-brother (to her and Angus’ confusion). He sobers Angus up with lay on hands, gives him a sword and shield, and sends him to the Temple of the Vanir to take the oath of vengeance. They return to Castle Rose to sleep.

18 Seed 91

The trip to Otter Creek is uneventful. Una and Domari enter first and see smoke from the chimney of Laird Sawney’s house. On entering, they find Talulla, who is mourning her son Ryan MacBean (Una’s grandfather) and she tells the story of his birth. Her mother, Danu, arrives and comforts her. Talulla also tells them of how Aengus slept with Una’s mother in the guise of her father after saving his life when he was badly injured hunting. She asks her mother if nothing can be done, and Danu says that her sister would have to intercede. As if summoned, with the sound of raven wings, the Morrigan arrives. She scoffs at bringing back Ryan, as he is already getting old, but asks Una what she would sacrifice to see others released. Una says anything and the Morrigan asks for her boon from Danu, which strikes Una barren. In exchange, she returns Evelyn’s sons Gunn and Kade, Una’s brother Colin, and a few other of the younger dead of the village. She then departs and Danu looks sad.

Danu takes a walk with Talulla, removing the taint of Eitrdottir from the village, and then departs. Una and Domari ask about the conflict between Danu and Morrigan and are told that the Morrigan is Aengus’ mother from when the Dagda slept with her to get battle plans for fighting the fomorians. Thus, Una is related to both of them and she chose the Morrigan. Talulla takes Una briefly to the Blackwall to tell Sir Aidan about what happened. He is obviously disappointed and when she asks if he still wants to marry her, he says he needs to think about it. After returning to Otter Creek, Talulla tells them the Dagda wants to speak with them and warns them to ‘mind the fomorians’ before leaving. They explain what happened to Lord Roy and Laird Sawney, and then depart for Elf Cap.

While going through the woods, they are confronted by two cyclopses who demand the key that the party had taken from the cyclops cave. Domari isn’t interested in talking and challenges them, putting himself between Una and them. They advance and pound him into the dirt. Una runs off, taunting them about the key. One follows her and the other fights Domari until being wounded so badly that he flees. The other traps Una under a thrown tree and then picks her up and tries to run off, but Domari intimidates him into standing still with his adjure enemy. They fight, with Domari landing crippling blows, and Una dimension doors away. He tries to pursue her, breaking off from Domari, but she fells him with a melf acid arrow. They rest for an hour and then proceed to the stone circle and enter the High King’s court.

The Dagda asks after the key and says they’ve found fomorians searching for it. Una confirms they have it and the High King tells them that it opens Balor’s Tomb, which is under the western Ettin Head Hill (called Balor’s Mound by the giants). He asks them to use the key and retrieve the Sword of Nuada.

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The Goblin Problem

Present: Winori, Domari, Hilde, Una

15 Seed 91

The party determines that the goblins came in through the mining office near the north end of the market. They discuss how to block the entrance into the mines and decide to put some undead and an illusion of more at the King’s Road end of the tunnel. Una raises a couple of zombies and the party goes to the palace to spend the night in the guest rooms.

16 Seed 91

The party heads through the southern gate and a mile down the King’s Road to find the breach. Domari notices that there’s been no activity here for decades. They decide not to proceed and just arcane lock the doors when they return and leave the stone golem guarding them. They proceed up the eerily silent Woden’s Walk and do the same to the doors at the other end. Checking above, they see nobody in the watch tower and proceed up. Domari pulls the fallen brazier on top of the trap door and they go to look out the arrow loops.

Hobgoblins appear behind the loops and on top of the tower and begin firing poisoned arrows in at the party. A wyvern drops in through the hole and lands on top of the door, attacking Domari, and a hobgoblin priest of Loki casts silence at them. Winori vaults over the wyvern’s back and tackles the priest off of the roof, the two falling back into the tower and landing hard, Winori springing back to his feet. Una uses her spellbook to cast wall of fire without speaking, preventing the archers behind the loops from firing at them. The priest mounts the wyvern and tries to take off but Domari kills it just as it gets off the ground and Hilde kills the priest with her new axe. With the silence spell ended, Una kills the rest of the hobgoblins with a fireball.

They opt to return to Fallsport as quickly as possible, now that the goblins are aware that they’ve entered the city. Domari is transformed into a pegasus and the rest of the party climbs aboard. A flight of griffons tries to follow them but Hilde’s scorching rays and Una’s magic missiles (as well as Domari’s superior flight speed) dissuade them. They get to Cloverfield before the spell expires and walk the remaining few miles to the city. On arrival in Fountain Square, the dwarves recognize Hilde’s axe and whispers and rumors start to spread, with dwarves from all around gathering to see. They are told at the Temple of Woden that the Graf has been called to the Blackwall to help deal with the goblin attacks, so Una transforms Domari again and they take off in front of the awed crowds.

On arrival at the construction site, they find the Graf, Sir Aidan, Sir Gregor, and Rory in conference. Hilde presents the crowns to her uncle, who tells her to give them to the high priest, that he can’t claim them until a proper coronation. Given that it is getting dark, the Graf is unwilling to risk a goblin ambush by returning to Fallsport, so says they will leave in the morning. The party sets up their yurt in anticipation of a goblin assault in the night. Una asks the Graf privately about the Queen’s ring and he says that she can consider it a gift from the royal family for her efforts to free them. He asks her to send him Hilde and lectures her on the meaning of carrying the Axe of the Dvergr. She says she will hold onto it and will either grow worthy of it or find someone else to wield it.

17 Seed 91

A thick fog rolls in at midnight and Winori uses his raven feather to scout into the pass, spotting a large force of goblins approaching. Sir Aidan and the Graf gather their forces and go out to meet them while the party guards the half-completed castle. Una mounts one tower and Winori sets himself atop the other. Domari and Hilde take their place front and center between them just as the goblin forces come into view. Una’s magic makes a great swath of the clouds foul, causing the goblins passing through it to retch, and she follows up with fireballs, though the enemy are too spread out to catch many of them. Winori creates an illusion of Tam to draw fire, but Una still takes heavy fire, as does Domari. A pack of worgs comes out of the forest behind them and descend on Hilde, dragging her to the ground. Behind them are a troop of bugbears and goblins, the latter of whom begin ascending the towers.

Domari is a whirl of motion, cutting down enemies left and right including a hill giant and an ogre. Hilde manages to get to her feet and strikes out with a blaze of divine radiance. Winori confronts the goblins who get to the top of his tower in the form of an angry ogre, causing most of them to flee. The one brave goblin who rushes him is blasted into bloody pieces over the heads of his comrades by the Gauntlet of the Ram. Those goblins who reach the top of Una’s tower are cut down to the one by magic missiles. Finally, the dust settles and the battle is won.

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Palace of the Dwarf King

Present: Winori, Domari, Hilde, Una

15 Seed 91
The party has a vision while they rest of the last moments of the Queen. They see her meet the King before the palace, who tells her “It is done” and then go to the palace chapel, finish her ritual to Freya, and spill her own blood on the altar, dying to power the spell. This allows them to see the layout of the palace and to note the two stone golems guarding the doors out of the audience chamber.

Hilde checks the maker’s mark of the golems in front of the temple and recognizes it as a legendary grandmaster of the Stein family. Una sends an arcane eye to their guild hall in order to view a portrait of him and then uses disguise self to look like him in order to command the golems. She also does reconnaissance on the palace and discovers there are wights with heavy crossbows in strategic positions to fire on them as they approach and once they enter the audience chamber, as well as dozens of hobgoblin zombies in concealed galleries.

She commands the golems to remove the temple doors and use them as massive tower shields as they advance. Then they batter down the doors of the palace and set up a defensible corner. The zombies immediately swarm them and half the wights descend from their gallery through hidden trap doors. The king emerges from a secret safe room and calls up an earth elemental to join the fray. Winori uses illusions to distract the wights and Una uses a fireball to destroy most of the zombies. When the death knight approaches Domari, he dispels his protection from evil and orders the two golems in the room to attack the ones they brought from the temple.

The remaining wights fall in with their king, who strikes down Domari and then attacks Hilde without breaking stride. She cowers before him but is able to heal Domari, who musters all of his magic and divine favor and is able to defeat him. They eventually defeat the rest of the undead while the golems batter each other near the door. The statue of Thor destroys his opponent and Domari finishes off its companion. They confirm that they are safe by searching the room while Una examines the possessions of the King, identifying the Axe of the Dvergr and Gauntlet of the Ram and taking the crown to return to the Graf Lothar von Dahl.

Cautiously, they make their way through the grand halls of the palace towards the royal chapel. WInori uses his knowledge of the palace layout to direct them to the armory so Domari can acquire a shield and some backup weapons. Finally, they are at the door to the chapel. Domari leads the charge in and immediately slays one of the mummy guardians, after which Una lobs a fireball in the room and incinerates the other three. This enrages the Queen, whose wraith manifests and immediately attacks Domari, dragging him to the ground and draining his life force. Hilde is able to get him back on his feet and he fights back using all of his divine power, but Una is the one who finishes her off with a melf’s acid arrow. They take her crown and Una takes her ring.

There is a shimmering rainbow light and Freya manifests, releasing dozens of her Valkyries, in the form of ravens, into Stonehold to finally collect the souls of the fallen and take them to Asgard. She commends the group on their efforts and gives each of them a magic feather from her raven cloak. After she departs, the party gathers themselves up, helping a greatly weakened Domari (whom Freya says will recover) and descend back into the city. They search through the looted shops, finding a suit of mithral plate for Domari and a magical rapier, before making their way back to Woden’s Watch.

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Descent to Stonehold

Present: Una, Domari, Winori, Hilde

14 Seed 91
The party begins their descent along Woden’s Walk, the three mile long passageway which connects the watch tower to the city. They find the door leading to it hard to open and find it has dwarf bodies piled against it. Examining them, it appears that they were commoners who tried to flee and found the door locked against them and were then cut down by arrows. Descending, they come across a pack of hobgoblin ghouls gnawing on the bones and make short work of them.

On arriving at the city, they find it lit with gas lights and magnificent but notice things lurking in the darkness and a massive stone golem noting their appearance. Hilde is able to bring it under her command and it defends their passage up to the highest level of the hall, where the noble houses, palace, and temple are. They approach the temple, where two more stone golems allow them passage, and enter it to find eight dead priestesses. They ignore Hilde but attack the others as they cross the threshold. Their cries call reinforcements: a hidden door opens to allow mummies from the crypts to enter. Several fireballs destroy them before Winori is able to close the door and disable it. When they are done, they lie the charred bodies in state, ready for interment, and close the outer doors to get an hour rest.

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