The Æcyr Gréne Campaign 

Campaign Logs

Session Date: 17th October, 2005
Moving On

The morning after the night before ...

As the assorted sounds of the early morning activities of a small village penetrate the darkness of our companion’s slumbers, the six of them gradually awaken to face a new day. Unanswered questions remain unasked, at least while Æðelred and Cardu try to arrange a meal for the others, although Dietr make no effort to hide his sideways observation of their companion who had disappeared at such a crucial time.

It was a quiet meal, taken from their own rations to prevent any further deprecation of the village’s supplies. Once Cedric and Cardhu were finished their repast, they left the small home which they had used for shelter, and went out to speak to some of the shell-shocked villagers. The dearth of menfolk in the village was sorely obvious in the early morning light, as the women desperately struggled to enforce some semblence of order on the ruined village. Cedric is soon spotted by Eadignes - the child he had rescued the evening before - and she leads the two of them over to her mother Ædre.

With Cedric deep in discussion with Ædre, Cardhu returns to the small cottage where the others are waiting, and helps Æðelred tidy up after the other companions. The awkward silence between Æðelred and Cardhu is made all the more palpable by the not-so-distant sounds of a growing number of people gathering outside. As the companions venture out into the morning air, they see Cedric standing beside the old woman as she begins to address the survivors of the ruined village. She explains that she has called them together to help her decide what they should do next ...

“These strangers who rescued us from those brigands suggest that we should abandon our homes and flee to our families in the neighbouring villages, but I feel that we should rebuild the homes and lives where we have dwelled these many years. Many of you were born here - indeed, I assisted at many of the births myself. I cannot bring myself to insist that you heed the advise of these gallant folk, but we need to choose now, while it is still possible to choose. Those of you who wish to abandon our homes to the vultures, I call upon you to speak now“

The muttering that greets her words is perhaps unsurprising, but those who know Cedric’s moods could see his irritation at the decision. Stepping forward, he clears his voice and - with a nod to Ædre - he says a few words ...

“My companions and I happened upon this village by chance, and it was only through good fortune that the brigands now lie dead in the midden pit. Surely with so many of your families slain or poorly, now is not the time to cling to this land? Go now to your relatives in the neighbouring villages. Tell them of the brigandage and raids that you experienced, and dispatch riders to the Sherrif’s seat for assistance. My companions and I must now move on, but I beseach you not to leave yourselves vulnerable to another band of ruffians such as those we drove off yesterday - if there is one thing that is certain, it is that this is not the last you will see of them.”

Cedric’s words tail off as he sees that the villagers will have none of it. Nodding, he steps down, and walks over to the other companions. “I had to try, but the fools won’t leave.” Looking over towards Æðelred, his eyes linger for a moment - an air of uncertainty, betrayal. Then he nods. “Get the horses ready, there is nothing more we can do here.” Wordlessly, Æðelred turns and heads to where the horse are hobbled, followed soon after by Cardhu and Dietr. By noon, the companions have left the ruined village far behind.

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Confronting the Hillsmen

The warm summer sun, combined with a gentle breeze, encourages the companions to make good time, but as they pass through this region of sparcely populated land, it is hard for them not to occasionally imagine that the flickering shadows in the distant trees are not some scion of the Cabal, observing them, planning some sort of ambush or attack. The following day passes in much the same way, hours of travel through lands for which they had only seen crude maps, ones which often failed to show ravines or hills which had to be traversed or detoured around. As time went on, Æðelred approached both Cedric and Cardhu with his fears that the party was being followed, but that he had been thus-far unable to identify who was following them.

With the assistance of Edyð’s preternatural connection with nature, they located their pursuers, and quickly decided to find out whether they would pose a danger to the companions. Making camp, Dietr quickly slipped into the lengthening shadows and sneaked towards the area Edyð had indicated they might be hiding. Indeed, he was soon in a position to overhear them planning to confront the companions. Fearful that he would not manage to overpower both, he returned to the companions and reported to Cedric that there was but two individuals behind them, but that they were definitely spying upon them.

With considerable pressure from Edyð, and a surprising level of support for her arguments coming from Dietr, the companions finally resolved to try and confront these strangers without necessarily resorting to violence, but unfortunately as the party’s ‘delegation’ - Cedric, Edyð and Cardhu - set out to meet the foresters, they must have also decided to approach the party, and in the deepening shadows, the two groups passed each other unnoticed.

Cedric and his two companions entered the forester’s makeshift camp, to find a couple of hastily stuffed maniquins and little else. Unfortunately, the two foresters - approaching the party’s camp - were observed as they approached. When they did not respond immediately to a hail from Æðelred, he quickly readied his bow while Dietr quickly ran towards their postion. In the confusion that followed, Dietr and Æðelred felled the two foresters, and although neither suffered any life-threatening injuries, Æðelred’s deadly marksmanship had left one of the men with a severly injured leg.

Meanwhile, the other three had proceeded to search for the foresters, and although they had failed to located them, with Eduth’s assistance they had located some mounts and a third forester minding them. Their reaction when they actually encountered him was somewhat confused - the many was evidently simple, and obviously had little understanding as to what was going on. Realising that the foresters must have approached their camp, the three companions returned to the camp to find Dietr, Æðelred and Dægal binding the tethers on the other two captured foresters.

In the hopes of reducing the level of hostility between the two parties, Edyð endeavoured to administer healing to any who required it, but as is their wont, the companions were eager to ‘question’ the apparent leader of the foresters as soon as he was in a position to answer. After some investigation, they realised that this man was merely trying to watch the party, to ensure that they had no intentions of attacking any of the local settlements ... but after providing some further assurances to the contrary, the two parties agreed to take their leave of one another the following morning. By noon the following day, the companions were many miles closer to their destination - a small fishing village called Eacðonofer of the shores of Glæsmere, where Cedric had been assured that they would be able to meet a trader who might transport them across the Glæsmere for a reasonable sum. In fact, by evening of the following day, they first set eyes on the glistening waters of the great lake Glæsmere. It took them until almost an hour after nightfall before they arrived at the gates of the village, but they were invited to stay in the small cott beside the church of Þunor, which served as the centre of worship for this village.

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A meal, some drinks, and the foolish game of Romance

While Cardhu and Æðelred settle the horses in the yard behind the guest quarters, Cedric and the others make their way to the local ale-house, where they arrange for a a caraff of wine, a couple of tankards of ale and a hearty meal. When Cardhu and Æðelred arrive, the ale begins to flow, and Cardhu, Dietr and Æðelred are soon in their cups, the heat and travel leaving them more open to the influence of the ale than they would typically be. As is typical of young men that may have imbibed more than their limit, their words turned bawdy, and they began to encourage Dietr to go and ‘speak to Edyð’ - for by now all had noted his infatuation. Unfortunately, this ended up being far more entertaining for his two drinking buddies, as Edyð was quick to rebuff him with a few quiet words that left him dejected and morose. Never one to pass up an opportunity for a laugh, Cardhu encouraged Dietr to "Drink up and forget his woes".

Meanwhile, Dægal sat in the alehouse, wondering what sort of uncouth barbarians his master had saddled him with, and through a combination of tiredness, a caraff of red wine, and a shot or two of whiskey that Cardhu spiked his drink with during the evening, the companions ended the night more than a little worse for wear. By the end of the night, Cardhu, Æðelred and Cedric - who was free by virtue of having ‘chosen not to pursue anyone that night’, mainly as none of the girls present had shown any interest in a dusty stranger - were in the position of having to carry Dietr and Dægal back to the guest house. Still feeling more than a little "silly", Cardhu and Æðelred ensured that Dægal and Dietr were in an embarassing state of undress, and then arranged them in an even more embarrassing embrace on one of the beds, before stumbling off to their various beds themselves.

The following morning, Dægal awoke, bereft of clothes, and uncomfortably close to the ‘most psychopathic’ of the companions. Through a massive excertion of will, he bit back a blood-curdling scream, and carefully sneaked out of the bed and over to his own cot. Still more than a little hung over, he soon drifted off to sleep again, much to the amusement of the other companions, who had been wakened by his muffled cursing ... Still, Dægal was not the only member of the party to fail to rise before noon the following day.

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Edyð’s Account

Why can’t we avoid all of this needless Confrontation?

Leaving the forsaken village to continue our journey towards the village of Eacðonofer of the shores of Glæsmere, where we were to meet a friendly trader during the first days of Ðrimilche, we attempted to stay out of harms way by sticking to the less populated high ground. As the days passed, Æðelred noticed that we were being tracked. Praying to Nerþe for guidance, I allowed her to guide my senses out beyond my body. As I communed with the flows of life, each sentient being became known to me, and I was able to pinpoint the location of our pursuers: two men on foot keeping about half a league behind us.

It was decided to send Deitr to investigate our pursuers more closely, and I begged Nerþe to shield him from their eyes as he proceeded. He soon found them, having camped little more than a mile away from our resting place, and apparently heard them debate whether or not to ‘confront’ us. Wishing to avoid potential bloodshed, Sir Cedric and I decided to attempt a diplomatic resolution of the problem. We walked towards their camp only to find a scarecrow mocking us in the half-light of dusk. As I prayed to Nerþe to reveal their location to me, Deitr had already sighted them and begun to track them as they made their way towards our camp, guarded only by Æðelred, and the scribe we met in De Lacey’s lands.

I know little of what happened there, but in an attempt to diffuse the problem Cedric and I continued on to where the spirit of Nerþe had revealed to me the location of our pursuer’s mounts, guarded by a single man. The man turned out to be an imbecile and our pursuer’s brother, and told us that they were scouts for a master known only as ‘the Lady.’

We returned to our camp to find that the other two brothers unconscious, having made the mistake of attempting to enter our camp by stealth. Deitr had had the sense to use only his fists in subduing one of the men, but in panic, Æðelred had loosed an arrow at the other man, striking him grieviously in the leg. I did what I could to save the man’s knee, but I fear he will never walk again.

After a discussion with the two intruders we agreed that neither party would interfere any further with the actions of the other - these men were merely trying to protect their homesteads from the violence that has soaked the nourishing earth with blood in recent months.

I feel ashamed to travel with men who only add to that bloodshed so readily. Unfortunately I have no choice in the matter. There will be no place for my order in this land if the Cabal succeed in their demented plans.

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A Rebuttal for one who should know better

It was in the guest-house in Eacðonofer that drama of another sort unfolded. I really should have seen it coming sooner. Deitr, the poor misguided soul, has harboured a secret lust for me for some time, and I fear the way I rebuffed him may have been somewhat hurtful. He scares me with his violence and lack of morality. Like all men he is a brute, and I simply could not take his hungry stares for one more moment.

I told him I am celebate. A half truth in fairness. I would only ever bed a man in the sacred rites of Spring, or if the Order bade me marry. Motherhood is the sacred source of our power, and yet to be a mother to all beings and a true channell of Nertha’s grace I must sacrifice my own earthly gratification.

More than that, the thought of intimacy with men has never truly appealed to me. Some would think it unnatural that my closest bonds have been with women, but it is not forbidden to us. After the rites of Spring, when sun penetrated the sacred womb of Earth with his empowering spirit I used to recreate the sacred act with Gretta, my closest friend within the convent. Those were the most joyful and spiritual moments of my cloistered life. I do not think I could love any wight, man or woman the same way, since I saw Gretta’s face, her eyes wide in the mask of death, her promethian flame extinguished by the cold steel of a brigand’s sword. Truely, that is why I have associated myself with these uncouth bretheren - while there methods may be offensive to my sensibilities, it is clear that their hearts lie in the right place. Perhaps with my cousel, they will learn to act in a more enlightened manner.

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