The Æcyr Gréne Campaign 

Campaign Logs

Session Date: 3rd October, 2005
Keeping a Low Profile ...

Discussions, Plans and Preparations

Tasked now with the difficult mission of returning to the Western Duchies with news of the imminent declaration of intent by the Duke of Norðumbeðel that he will be championing the cause of his nephew - the rightful crown prince to the throne of Coryn; the companions agree among themselves that the best course of action is to keep a relatively low profile.

After much discussion, they decide that retracing their path back to the Western Duchies would be most unwise - given the trail of destruction and mayhem that they had left in their wake. After examining some maps that the Duke’s brother was able to provide them with, they decide that a better course of action would be to head west into the Duchy of Cymbreðel, and then south into Fyrgeneðel.

Among other peices of advice provided by the Duke’s men, they are advised that they should probably avoid certain areas, as the Dukes men were already starting to do reconnaisance and perform certain essential actions to ensure that when his support for the True Heir to the throne is announced, there would be very little strong oppoinsition to his forces in the Northern Duchies. The companions are warned that this may lead to a certain level of lawlessness in certain areas, as the Pretender’s supporters are either persuaded to change sides, or meet with accidents in the run-up to the Duke’s declaration.

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Setting Out

After ensuring that they had sufficient provisions and supplies, Cedric, still overjoyed by his new Knighthood, leads his comrades up into the foothils to the west, slowly climbing out of the concealed valley where they had spent the last week.

Over then next two days, they move through the broken chapperal of southern Galeðel, along the route plotted for them by the Knight Commander of the Norðumbingas Rangers. At times, the companions suspect that their route is perhaps not the most direct, but it does successfully steer them away from many of the villages that they would otherwise have encountered.

Approaching Mid-day on the third day, Cedric and Æðelred - scouting ahead as the often do, to ensure they avoid contact with people that could give away their passage - see in the distance four riders, apparently hunting some sort of quarry. The two reign in their mounts, and observe for a time, hoping to pass unobserved by these strangers. After a couple of moments, Cedric suggests that Æðelred should drop back to the others and warn them to approach with care, which he proceeds to do.

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The best laid plans of mice and men ...

Not long after Æðelred has departed, Cedric spots the quarry the four riders are hunting - a young girl, probably only eight of nine years old, desperately stumbling up the slope towards the men - all of whom have spears or swords drawn. Sickened by this apparent hunt, Cedric strings and draws his bow, before loosing an arrow at the pursuers.

His first arrow hits the lead rider square in the forearm, causing him to drop is sword, and tumble from his horse in shock and pain. the other riders reign in their pursuit to assess the situation, and quickly dismount and take shelter behind their horses.

The Silence of the scene is only broken by the desperate scrambling noises coming from lower down the slope where the girl was still valiently trying to flee her pursuers. As Cedric watches, the three unhurt riders carefully ready their bows, and prepare to fire upon the girl - something that Cedric is determined he will not allow to happen. His next shot takes one of the would-be assassins through the shoulder, lodging between the poor fool’s collar bone and his clavicle. The other two archers fire at the girl, but with their aim distracted by their companion’s cries of pain, they both miss.

Cedric carefully loads up again, and looses his arrow at the third archer. Both archers loose at him, but his shot proves more accurate than theirs - neither of their shots come close to him, but he manages to clip on of them. The erstwhile hunters drop from sight at this point, and - with the most fatefull of timings, Æðelred and Cardhu round the bend to overlook the scene of battle, with the others right behind them. A little below them, they can see Cedric, crouched behind a low bush, obviously hiding from a group of dismounted riders below. It doesn't take the companions long to realise that Cedric has started yet another fight with the locals ...

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Cleaning Up

Dietr quickly darts down to Cedric’s side, and quietly asks him what’s going on. As Cedric answers, Dietr signals to the others to attack the riders below (without waiting for the OK from Cedric). From their new vantage points, Cardhu, Edyð and Æðelred loose their deadly arrows at the enemies below, felling two, and winging one. Dietr and Æðelred then quickly make their way down the hill, followed by Cardhu and Cedric, while Edyð and Dægal move down to the girl to find out what’s been going on.

After a confused few minutes, the companions have captured four new horses, and taken one prisoner, whom Cedric indicates Dietr should "question". Dietr’s idea’s of a gentlemanly questioning being what they are, he promptly carves off one of his fingers, before asking any questions. The smell of the gore spooks the new horses, so Æðelred leads them away from the scene of battle and settles them down.

The others soon finish interrogating the girl and her erstwhile pursuers. Her story is that she is the daughter of the local Wise Woman, whose village had been attacked a couple of days ago by some ruffians. The ruffians had proceeded to kill or drive off the able bodied men, and then had started to take their pleasures by eating the food, drinking the ales, and having their way with the women of the village. The girl had fled when one of the men had come after her, but had raised their ire by using some of the meager magics she had at her disposal to curse her attacker’s manhood - shrivelling it to a fraction of its former dimensions.

After a heated debate, and much against the better instincts and counsel of Edyð, Dægal and Cardhu, Dietr and Cedric persuade the others to help them liberate the village from this oppression by ruffians who were "obviously minions of the Cabal" according to Cedric. After a few more minutes, they start to make their way down towards the village, led by the girl. Throughout these proceedings, the companions did not notice that Æðelred had not returned from settling the horses ...

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In for a penny, in for a pound

The companions approach the village, and then Dietr and Cardu ride down into the village dressed as two of the ruffians they had previously encoundered, while the others observe from hiding. Cedric has finally noticed that Æðelred appears to be missing, but they decide to press ahead anyway. Initially, the ruffians in the village - drunk on the alcohol and more interested in pestering the women of the villaye than challenging their companions - ignore their approach, but finally it dawns upon them that these individuals bear little resemblence to their former companions. Yelling a warning, the two "guards" drunkenly draw their weapons.

As agreed, Dægal invokes the powers of his order to evoke sleep in the two guards. One of them manages - barely -to shake off the effects of the spell, but the other collapses. Dietr is the first across the distance, running his blade through the other ruffian’s chest. Meanwhile, Cardhu charges towards the door of the building they had seen some of the ruffians drag some of the women into.

A confused battle errupts, as partially clad ruffians spill out into the sunshine, only to be cut down by Cardhu’s blade and the archery of Edyð and Cedric.

Dægal fearfully points out the approach of three ruffians from the northern side of the village, but even as Edyð and Cedric prepare their bows to take them on, some sort of large dog bursts from behind on of the buildings on the edge of the village, felling one of the ruffians. One of the two remaining brigands flees in terror from this huge wolf, but the second drives his spear into its side. Even before they recover, the Wolf has fallen on its side, but as it rols and tries to recover, it appears to change its very form, becomming some form of bipedal half-wolf/half-humanoid being. Cedric recognises it as being similar to the Wildblood they had fought months earlier, while Deargal immediately recognises it from the terrifying vision he had recieved when he had tried to examin the body of the Cabal Messenger they had seen two week sago.

This Wildblood proceeded to obliterate the brigand who had injured it, before pursuing and pouncing on and killing the fleeing brigand - Cedric would swear that he heard the brigand’s spine snap as the Wildblood pounced upon him. Obviously badly wounded, the Wildblood fled north, away from the site of battle.

Meanwhile, Cardhu and Dietr enter the building where the ruffians were based and eliminate the last of the resistance. Herding the injured brigands into the house, they liberate the people of the village, and witness as the womenfolk take their revenge upon the captured brigands, after briefly questioning some of the brigands. They determine that these brigands were one of several bands of Outlaws who are apparently moving though this region of Galethel, pillaging an draping as they go - without any apprent interference by the local nobles. Cedric suggests that the villagers should try to flee into the hills, but the villagers just laugh at him - the village is the only home they know.

As night falls, the villagers share what food and ale they have left with their liberators. A few hours after sunset, Æðelred stumbes into camp, looking rather the worse for wear, tired and weak, but with no obvious injuries. He mutters some sort of rediculous story about going hunting, before slumping before the fire, and drifing into a deep sleep from which none of the others can wake him.

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Æðelred’s Story

Æðelred, having carefully settled the horses, found himself greatly disturbed by the smell of blood that he could still smell wafting on the air. He could feel within himself an animalistic urge to hunt, to kill, to feed. He recognised the rapidly strengthening feelings of restlessness as being the influence of his new nature, and decided that he needed to put some distance between his comrades and himself before allowing himself to transform. After ensuring thatthe horses were secure, and depositing much of his equipment in a neat bundle beside the ruffian’s horses, he moved north for a couple of minutes, before finding a secluded overhang where he could attempt the transformation - the first time since that stranger had shown him the way.

He remembered the words of the stranger - how to relax and embrace the change, allow it it to slowly envelop his mind and body. In almost a trance-like state, he first removed much of this outer clothing - leaving only his ancestral armour which he hoped would survive the transformation. Then he sat, and then lay down under the small overhang, ans the transformation overtook his body, his form slowly changing into that of a large and powerful timber wolf. As his trance and transformation completed, his awareness of the outside world changed. No longer was he so reliant upon his sight, but now he became aware of the varied sounds and smells of the surronding area.

The most pungent smell was that of blood - and it set his heart racing. Moving back towards the source of the smell, he could see the bodies of several creatures, their life blood still seeping into the soil. It was only as he fed that the realisation came to him that these were the riders they had fought earlier. A wave of nausea overcame him, and he backed away. then he picked up a fainted smell - one he recognised as his pack - his friends. he began following the scent, eventually seeing a village in the distance.

He fought an inner battle - the smell of his pack continued down towards the village, but he also felt fear, a wariness of this outpost of civilisation. As he watched, he saw humans moving around, one of the younger females running from a building. the smell of fear hit him from where he crouched, concealed. A man burst from the building, and dragged her back into the village. As he watched this scene, his gaze was drawn to a couple of figures - humans, yet their forms appeared familiar. Confused, he continued watching. two of their number split off, and entered the village. At first, the men in the village seemed to greet them in friendship, then their attitude changed. Æðelred could sense their growing hostility. As one of the villagers went for a weapon, the two familiar figured went for their weapons, and the whole scene became confused.

Æðelred felt he should act, but was still unsure. The he saw more of the strangers, on the other side of the village, draw spears and swords and head for the familiar figures - his friends. Now Æðelred knew what to do ...

Quickly, silently he crossed the distance to the northern side of the village. He leapt at one of the armed strangers, felling him, and rending his throat. One of the strangers, screaming, fled, but on of the others attacked, driving a spear deep into Æðelred’s ribs. The pain tore through Æðelred, and a deep seated rage enveloped him. he could feel some sort of change overcome him, and as he rolled away from this pain, a terrible fire engulfed every fibre of his being. Suddenly he was standing. All he could feel was the pain of his wound, and anger at these puny creatures carrying weapons. The one who had pricked him was backing off. He smelt of fear, of blood, of fresh urine. Æðelred attacked, knocking the man’s weapon from his hands, before slamming him to the ground, and biting down on his wind-pipe, worrying him like a rag doll.

He was feeling strange, weak, dizzy. The anger that fueled him was not layered with pain, and an instinct to flee these beings that caused so much pain. He looked north, where the land looked somewhat familiar. One of his tormentors was fleeing up the hill. With his gait, it was only a few strides to catch the feeble human. He slammed into the puny human. The crunch as he landed on the human’s back was satisfying, and the human soon stopped struggling. But the pain in his chest grew more pronounced. He could not breath. He felt blood in his throat. Blood running down his chest. He had to flee. Without looking around, he fled up the hill and away from the sounds of screaming and fighting.

He finds his way to a secluded spot, where he feels it safe to crouch, out of the sight of any who would seek to harm him. There, he collapses, and quickly drifts into unconciousness.

Hours later, he rouses from his sleep, feeling drained, dizzy, sick. His confusion is compounded by the fact that his clothes are nowhere to be found. It takes him a good 5 minutes before he is able to orient himself enough to find his way to where a bundle of clothes lie. His clothes. Slowly, fragmented memories of that day’s events come back to him. His revulsion at the thought of feeding upon human flesh is compounded by his immediate sense of guilt at leaving his companions at a time when he should have been helping them. Slowly, he makes his way towards the village, finding his way to the building where the companions are seated, talking with the remaining villagers.

Through a fog of exhaustion, pain and nausea, Æðelred vaugely mutters something about hunting - before slumping to the ground beside the fire and drifing back asleep.

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