Campaign of the Month: April 2019

First Blight

03.04.841–05.04.841 TE – Raven’s Roost
Revas, Rhea, Sargis, Valeria

Wutherford Map

RAVEN’S ROOST

Tearsday, 03.04.841 TE
Night

The night passes by uneventfully.


RAVEN’S ROOST

Windsday, 04.04.841 TE
Morning

When morning comes, the keep of Raven’s Roost is abuzz with life. People are transporting things back and forth, carrying supplies, repairing houses and structures, and talking in the bailey.

The heroes all meet in the main hall for breakfast. Arna has handed little Erik to Bert so he can take care of him, and she makes sure that the group has the great hall for themselves before she speaks.

“We’ve had word from Lady Affraic. She will be here later today. It was a short note, and it didn’t say why, but I’m assuming it’s because of the attack. Maybe she will bring some help.”

Lachtna steps up and also wants to have a word. “She will indeed bring some help. Also I’m here to inform you that we have finally figured out where all the eluvians are leading. Some are safe to traverse through, others are not. I’m sure Lady Affraic will give you more detailed notes on the matter. For now I at least wanted to tell you that we finally know which eluvian leads where. In Ferelden, there are quite a few eluvians, and the ones going to Vigil’s Keep and Killarney are likely not safe.”


After breakfast, Faustus pulls Rhea aside. “Are you doing alright? I know it all came as a shock, so I just thought I’d check in with you. If you need to talk, I’m here. If you need company, I’m here. If you need me in any way, I’m here. Just know that, alright?”

Rhea is grateful, and tells Faustus that she will see her later, and that Faustus better bring a bottle. She then hands Liam to the wet nurse, and also puts the Elvhen Stone in Liam’s bed. Rhea also asks Bert to look after Liam when the wet nurse needs to rest.


Down in Raven’s Glen, preparations are already made for the cremation of the fallen. Velenna is in charge, and the heroes know that she has cleansed the bodies and dressed them in white linen. After that, the bodies are placed on boats which have been filled with wood. Soon, these will be set alight.

The fallen include:

  • Braedon
  • Engar
  • 4 knights
  • 5 chevaliers

The ceremony is prepared, and a lot of people are gathering at the small docks of Raven’s Glen. Velenna walks up to Rhea and hands her a small amulet. It’s a simple whale’s tooth depicting a ship weathering a storm.

The boat containing Braedon’s body is then slowly pushed out to sea. Rhea steps up to give her eulogy.

“In truth, Braedon and I have not known each other very long. Ours was a short courtship—we knew almost instantly that we were meant for one another. A perfectly matched pair.

With Braedon, I experienced the truest partnership and happiest marriage imaginable. He understood me, supported me, and completely and utterly loved me. He gave me a wonderful son, Liam, to whom he proved a devoted father. I will carry all the memories we made with me for the rest of my days.

Those who were with Braedon at the end told me that he died with regrets. He regretted leaving me so soon, and not being able to raise our son together. As he died with his, I must live with my own. That I could not protect him from his fate, that I was not here with him in his final days, that our last conversation was so quick and impersonal for the sake of matters that I can hardly recall in the face of his loss.

As we put the love of my life to rest today, I pray a part of him lives on. In the stories of his deeds, in the hearts of our family and friends, in the character of our son. Things will never be the same – but I know the world is better for the years my husband lived.

Goodbye, my beloved. Until we meet again."

After her speech, an archer steps up and shoots Braedon’s boat with a flaming arrow. It takes fire right away.

More people step up to say a few words. A former Baranti guard steps up and clears his throat.

“Today we say goodbye to the only child of Teyrna Alannah and Liam Burdock. Ferelden will long remember their son Braedon as the heir to a weighty legacy.

His mother was a powerful political figure, and his father was a loving man whose brother raised Braedon for the first decade of his life. He raised goats, worked the fields, and all the while trained swordsmanship with his uncle.

And so I’ve found that Captain Braedon was a very humble man, always aware of where he came from, and what the people around him had to endure to get to where they were. I struggled in the beginning, but Captain Braedon was compassionate and kind, and helped me get through the rigorous training, until I finally was able to please him.

His heart was a big one, and he always took care of those under his protection: whether he made sure that we had all eaten, or whether he made sure that our beds in the barracks were of acceptable quality, he always stood up for us.

I will always remember him as a gentle man, who spent more time with us than he needed, and who always loved a good joke.

May the Lady protect him.”

After him, a young woman takes his place.

“Captain Braedon was a good man. He helped us out wherever he could, was understanding when things didn’t go according to plan, and led us with a dedication that was admirable.

He would always preach to us that we will never be entirely comfortable. That this is the truth behind the champion–he is always fighting something. To do otherwise is to settle.

And so he died fighting. He died trying to keep his friends and family safe. I think that means he did what he preached, always fighting, until the last moment.

May Korth be with him.”

Faustus finds Rhea in the crowd, and puts her hand on her shoulder. “I’m here.”

Finally, Bert makes his way to the front, heavily leaning on his cane.

“I’m not a man of many words, so I will make this short.

I only recently started spending more time with Braedon, who I’m sure everyone knows, was a lovely man with a big heart.

He came to me in a time of need. He missed his wife, and so did his son. It wasn’t an easy time for him, and accepting my help went against everything he believed he stood for. But he accepted it anyway.

I feel honoured to have known him, and especially honoured that he chose to trust me with his son.

Braedon dedicated his life to making other people’s lives better. He always put others first. Always made sure they were okay before he took care of himself.

I admired him, and I hope that we all can live better lives because we have known him.”

The ceremony is tearfilled, difficult, and silent, but as it ends Revas goes to find Valeria about her plans to head to Wutherford. The two also find Sargis and speak just loud enough for Rhea to hear. Rhea listens for a bit and then goes off to hunt down Bela’s assistants in the alchemy lab. There she asks about some ingredients and also buys some.

The group then sends Hildr into the forest to try and track the enemy forces that fled. She’s taking 15 knights with her.

Then, around noon, the group leaves Raven’s Roost behind.


WUTHERFORD

Late Afternoon

The heroes pass the last bridge before entering Wutherford, and they think back to the time when a bunch of poor people set up here to collect money from travelers. Things aren’t too different now. At the end of the bridge, just in front of Wutherford’s walls, stand four guards, all of them alert and with their hands on their weapons. When they spot the gang, they spread out, and one of them steps forward, calling over. He has a distinct Tevinter accent.

“Hello there. Welcome to Wutherford. We are the Seventh Battalion. If you have business here, we ask for a small fee of 5 silver per person to keep the roads and buildings maintained. Now that Wutherford is under our control, we want to make sure that it goes back to its former glory, and for that we need your coin.”

The guard waits for the group to get closer, and then adds: “We can also provide directions to the most important buildings in town, if you need them. And Matteus over there has maps of the city for sale, if you’re interested.”

The Heartbreaker Gang immediately calls the soporati on the high price, and starts arguing with the man. But when they figure out that he only cares about the wellbeing of the city, they agree to pay, if they get a map for free. The guard agrees and so the heroes are allowed to enter the city.

Inside the city, the gang soon notices the stark difference to before. There are no lone children on the streets, or deserted animals. The streets are clean and well repaired, and the buildings spanning them look much the same.

When looking around, the heroes see several soporati patrolling the area, keeping an eye on everyone they don’t know. A few suspicious looks are thrown their way, but as the members of the gang behave, the soporati don’t waste a second glance on them.

While travelling through the town of Wutherford and looking for the Black Tar, the group overhears some people talking in Tevene. There are several knights talking loudly in an alley. They’re talking about a female mage, someone they want to capture alive, if at all possible.

“I’ve seen her somewhere around here.”

“You said that earlier. And she was nowhere to be seen.”

“Well, it’s not my fault the fucking Bitter Barrel lady threw us out. What if she was in there?”

“Psh. If She had been in there, we would have found out.”

“Right. Sure. Whatever.”

“Don’t fucking whatever me. Just fucking lead us to the Black Tar so we can get this over with. That bitch’s gotta be somewhere around here.”

The gang tries to fast walk past them, but as they pass the knights, one of them seems to recognize them. He yells after them, and, when they don’t react, shoots a crossbow bolt at Valeria. The group call for the guard before getting into a scrap.

Combat breaks out, with several knights laying into Sargis, who defends himself skillfully. Valeria in the meantime is taking heavy damage from two frost mages, while Revas has climbed up on a roof and is lobbing arrows at whoever isn’t paying attention to him. Rhea helps out Sargis, and strikes at the heavily armoured knights.

After some fighting, and the scales tipping in the group’s favour, six Tevinter soporati appear, wearing the colours of the former Jader Battalion. They fight with the mages for a while, but soon manage to subdue the angry people, and thank the group for their help. They also apologize for the group getting in trouble, and promise them that they can come to the headquarters to make official complaints and file charges.


After the fight, a familiar face leans out of a window nearby. Neladrie, the Black Tar’s owner. She is curious as to what happened, and invites the group in.

The building called the Black Tar has certainly seen better days. Its facade is crumbling, and the few windows that can be seen are rather dirty. It looks like Great Bear Lake sometimes floods this area, and that is likely why the building is sitting on rough looking stilts.

The interior is far from clean and neat, and it’s rather common for old drinks to still be sitting at deserted tables. In one corner, there is an odd table surrounded by quite a few people. It looks like two of them are playing a game which involves trying to shoot a small puck into the enemy’s goal.

The group orders drinks and food, and speaks to Neladrie for a while, during which they learn about some rumours.

  • Bravik the jeweler sells stolen items, especially jewellery. The group better watch their belongings when they visit him.
  • Anyone hiding anything always stays in the Black Tar. That’s just how it is.
  • Trina has had an affair with Rorden, and since then his prices have gone up significantly.
  • There’s definitely someone who won Olenna’s attention. There’s a guest at the Bitter Barrel who’s stayed there for a while now. For free.
  • The priestesses at Sigfrost’s Shrine have now added someone to their roster who will read books to those who can’t read themselves.
  • There’s a thief roaming the Highdocks. They keep stealing stuff that is designated for the Seventh Battalion.
  • Yes, “the Lady” stayed in the Black Tar for a few nights, but about a week ago she didn’t come back.
  • Neladrie doesn’t know where “the Lady” is, but suspects that she is still hiding within the city. After all, she is a smart woman, and Neladrie can’t imagine her having been caught by the no-good soporati.
  • If Neladrie were to hide, she would go to a place no one suspects. Someplace innocuous. A place that would be the last place anyone would look.

The heroes decide that Leonara is most likely at Sigfrost’s Shrine, and so they make their way there. Once arrived, they speak to Wilca, and convince her that they need someone who reads a book on herbs to them. At the same time, Revas and Sargis spot a familiar looking figure among the priestesses. The group goes up to her and they soon find themselves face to face with Leonara. Wilca called her “Lena”, and so the group continues the charade, calling Leonara by that name until they are in a separate room. There they question Leonara about Sathurian and Augustus.

Leonara Intel:

  • Augustus doesn’t usually kidnap people. He kills them outright. And Sathurian is instructed to do the same.
  • Taking Ardis might have been a tactical decision. Sathurian might have simply done it to keep the group from attacking Augustus, since he essentially has a way to keep them under control. If they attack, he’ll likely kill Ardis.
  • The group might be able to trade Ardis for something or someone else.
  • Augustus uses elves to power his spells and experiments. Many magisters do.
  • Augustus spends most of his time in Fort Drakon when he’s in Denerim. This might have changed, now that Cato is no more. Someone’s definitely taken over Drakon Tower, Augustus would never leave that unattended, not with the control crystal at its top.
  • Ardis might not be mind controlled anymore but he might be being tortured if Sathurian finds out he’s a half elf.

During their conversation, the group manages to convince Leonara to go with them to Raven’s Roost. Valeria hands her a dragon that she specifically made for her.

Then they buy the book on herbs, and offer to help Wilca and the shrine by taking care of orphans and providing the shrine with blank books.

They stop at the Sapphire Scythe and stay for the night. They enjoy the good food, comfortable and spacious rooms, and a bath at the end of the hall.

They talk in the mirror shard with Arna, get an update on Lady Affraic showing up and drinking, as well as the news that Hildr and the knights managed to capture 5 mages alive.

Valeria and Leonara stay in the same room, Sargis keeping watch outside the door in a chair before switching shifts with Valeria.

Rhea and Revas however seem to not be getting much sleep as they talk about Ardis and Augustus, and Rhea studies her mother’s journal.


TO GREAT BEAR LAKE

Thunderday, 05.04.841 TE
Morning

After breakfast, the gang makes a temporary trek to go find the plants Rhea needs for her ritual. There is no road leading to the coast of Great Bear Lake, and trees and thickets cover almost the entire coastline. Who knows what or who might be in there.

Stumbling through the thicket, the group hacks their way through branches and twigs, leaving a visible trail behind. Doing this is exhausting, and it takes all of their effort not to succumb to the encroaching fatigue.

Deep in the forest, the heroes spot a possibly ancient statue, easily five yards tall. It is covered in moss and overgrown with ivy in some places, but it is still magnificent. It depicts a naked man holding up a trident in a threatening pose, almost as if he’s mid-strike. His muscles are clearly visible, and the veins are bulging on his imposing arms. Part of the trident is lying on the forest floor, broken off and useless. The statue is Björn Reed-Beard, and likely several hundred years old, built during a time when the forest hadn’t moved so far inland yet.

Rhea climbes up onto the statue and reattaches the fallen down trident part with a piece of rope.

Then the group continues on. While making their way through the forest, the gang does their best to stay positive. Every tree they pass looks the same, and every branch they strike down seems to return to its previous place.

A raven sits on a branch nearby, seemingly watching the group. As they move, it follows them at a distance, always watching. Whenever they look back, there is one more raven sitting on a branch up in the trees.

Sargis throws some food onto the ground for them, and the ravens gather around it and start fighting over it.


Finally the group arrives at the coastline of Great Bear Lake.

As the heroes look around, they spot a mother bear teaching her young how to fish in the shallow water. They seem to have noticed the group, and the mother bear is throwing looks at them from time to time, but doesn’t seem interested in attacking them. After a while, the two of them tire of fishing and slowly make their way along the coast, away from the heroes.

It seems that the bears had a good reason to leave.

The heroes hear the loud flapping of wings. As they turn around, they see a majestic blue dragon fly over the surface of Great Bear Lake. She’s flying low, seemingly looking for something just below the surface.

Suddenly, she dives down into the water, submerging herself fully. For a moment, the only thing visible are the waves and ripples on the water’s surface. Then, a few yards over, a massive dragon head emerges, and she takes flight again. Her blue, almost turquoise scales reflect the sunlight and throw shimmering lights onto the grass in front of the group. The dragon is close now, but hopefully it is busy with the prey in its mouth. For a moment, the high dragon hovers in the air, looking down at the group…

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