Game Location: Oct. 23, 2015, at Ron W.’s house (Wheat Field Circle in Bluffton, SC).
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan from the Barony of Brun, Logres [New Character]
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Present via video connection from hospital room:
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian from the City of Lindum (a.k.a, Lincoln), Logres
Robbie W: Riorden O’Fergus – Irish Pagan
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew
Because the presence of Donecus was crucial to this particular adventure, Eric the Cleric ran him an a N.P.C., with John H. assisting with some of his dice rolls.
David C. explained his plan to trap the highly skilled and elusive thief (or thieves) who has been plaguing the County of Huntington over the past few years. With the assistance of Earl Dafydd, they purchased a chest and commissioned the blacksmiths of Beale Valet to construct a study chain to encase it. Moreover, it was locked and placed within the earl’s treasury. The group allowed rumors to leak that the chest was filled with diamonds from the fairy realm. This idea harkens back to the rescue mission of Sir Kendrick which included exploring the rumor of a stash of diamonds (see the recap of Huntington Campaign Session 10). In reality, the chest had a bunch of worthless rocks, and a magic potion concocted by Solei. The whole thing was rigged to cause the potion to billow out in a gaseous form when opened. The gas is designed to render anyone in the area unconscious.
The chest remained in the earl’s treasury untouched throughout the game session.
It was also during this game session that Damahaut’s birthmark mysteriously vanished, and that he had improved in his overall appearance. He told the others that Joanette had a mystically vision of an angel who gave her a rose, instructing her to use its petals to brew tea for her husband. She did as she was instructed, and Damahaut drank the tea. This is the means by which Damahaut received the mystical power that benefits whomever Joanette married. As a physical manifestation of the holy power the tea conveyed, it also improved his appearance.
Alex S. created Thelsadar, a Cymric Pagan from the Barony of Brun. He now lives in the Town of Beale Valet (Huntington County) and joined the Company of the Crimson Hawk. He is also being squired under Sir Damahaut.
Rumor & Background to the Adventure
(Sylvia D., her Imperial Highness, assisted Eric the Cleric in formulating this)
Not far away, in the Barony of Brun, is the Estate of Cinder Hall. The lord of the Estate was a banneret knight, a Cymric named Sir Accovar. His wife was a beautiful French woman named Lady Katia. Sir Accovar had 5 vassal knights in his service. Two years ago, Regmar the Brigand King, demanded that Accovar sever ties with the Baron of Brun and instead serve him. Moreover, it is said that there was something about the Estate of Cinder Hall that Regmar was greatly interested in.
Sir Accovar refused! Therefore, Regmar sent his dreaded Black Shields to kidnap the Lady Katia. But Accovar and his knights were vigilant and intercepted the Black Shields. An intense battle arose! We’re talking VI – O – LENCE! But, alas, Accovar and his men were overcome and slain. Accovar, in particular, was decapitated. Overwhelmed with grief over the death of her husband, Katia committed suicide by drowning herself in the well next to their manor house.
Accovar and Katia had no heir, and so the land went back into the demesne of the baron. But the estate seemed to be under a curse most foul. Twisted trees and shrubs overgrew the area, and the fields ceased producing nothing but thistles and the merest scraps of grain and vegetables. The peasants were relocated to other farms, and gladly did they go! The Estate of Cinder Hall, including its large manor house, was abandoned.
Moreover, on more than one occasion, terrified travelers have reported seeing a bone-chilling, macabre sight in the moonlit woods of Cinder Hall. A headless, armored rider upon a black steed, accompanied by a mounted band of five spectral knights! They roam throughout the mist-laden forest, bringing mutilation and death to all who dare venture therein.
The Mournful Mirror
The players whose characters are knights engaged in a game of High Card, with Ron being the winner. As a result, the following event happened on his estate, Rook’s Watch.
In the spring of A.D. 506, a wandering French friar named Milo visited Rook’s Watch, asking for hospitality. He left early the next day, never mentioning where he is heading. A silver hand mirror was discovered in the guest room he used. Joanette decided to keep it, to return it to the friar if he ever passed by again, and overtime she seemed to become captivated with it.
Sometimes when picked up, the mirror seemed to cast no reflection, only darkness. But then it would start displaying a reflection, as any mirror should. Was the strange darkness it just a trick of the light?
One day Damahaut heard Joanette screaming and found her in a room with the mirror. After picking up the mirror to use it, she did not see her own image, but instead the face of another woman. This other woman appeared ghostly, white and transparent. The female phantom was crying, although she made no sound. The image quickly faded, and the mirror once more acted as normal.
Joanette then started having nightmares where she was visited by this ghost woman. In these dreams, the ghost was able to talk to her, identifying herself as Lady Katia of Cinder Hall. Here is the story that Katia related in the dreams. After Regmar killed her husband Accovar and his knights, he cursed their corpses. Accovar’s head was thrown into the well next to the manor house of Cinder Hall. The rest of his body rises up each night, bound to the service of Regmar, guarding the estate. The five knights who served Accovar were transformed into wraiths, assisting their lord in his vicious task of murdering any trespassers.
The Lady Katia did not actually commit suicide. She believed that if the head of Accovar is reunited with his body, the curse would be lifted. Unfortunately, she injured herself in the well while trying to retrieve his head and drown. Now her spirit roams the land and can find no rest until her husband is free, and Regmar receives justice.
The Headless Rider
The group decided to put the theory of Lady Katia to the test, and venture to the Estate of Cinder Hall and confront the Sir Accovar, the Headless Rider, and his spectral knights. Based on the advice of Theondre the Sage, the knights had spears crafted with silver spear tips. They were also told that their best chance was to combat this undead menace at dusk, in the hour before nightfall.
While it was still daylight, they were able to retrieve the skull of Accovar from the well. Later, while it was dusk, Accovar and his wraith companions did, indeed, arrive and do battle with the party. Things were not looking well for the stalwart heroes, and Thelsadar was even struck dead. But Damahaut managed to get the skull close enough to Accovar to dispel the curse! The wraiths vanished, as did the skull. The visage of Accovar transformed into a phantom, complete with head, and able to converse. At his side appeared the ghost of Lady Katia. Moreover, all the damage the characters had sustained vanished due to the fact that it was spectral in nature and as the curse was undone, so were the wounds. This meant that Thesadar was not actually killed!
They thanked the party for lifting the curse, and revealed that the reason why Regmar was so interested in his estate was because it contained an entrance into his realm. As has been long suspected, Regmar has customarily used an enchantment to relocate his lair in another dimension, possibly part of the farie realm. This, after all, explained how he could continually use Landoine Forest as his base of operations without his stronghold ever being discovered (despite Earl Dafydd repeatedly sending in troops to find it).
Regmar the Brigand King – The Final Battle
Accovar explained that he and his wife only had a short time to remain in the company of the party, but they would do them a last service to assist in defeating Regmar. They led the group to a river, and upon submerging in it, they were transported to a long, stone-lined hall within some kind of vast structure. The hall opened into a great hall where Regmar, fully armored and clad in a closed helm, had gathered his elite warriors, the Black Shields. There were also several brigands of the more common variety.
The ghosts of Accovar and Katia rushed into the room, terrifying all those therein. The common brigands fled through some doorways, but Regmar and the Black Shields summoned enough courage to resist the frightful effects. Accovar and Katia then dissipated, their time in the mortal realm having run out.
Battle between the brigands and the party erupted. Donecus managed to strike Regmar with his magic sword, which was enchanted with a slaying power directed against Regmar. Regmar screamed, but managed to resist the blade’s deadly magic (in game terms, he made his CON check, even though it was at a penalty). Hence, he was wounded, but not killed, and managed to knock Donecus out with a blow from his own weapon, the Mace Malevolence. Damahaut picked up the sword of Donecus with the hope that it would work in his hand. He struck Regmar, and this time the slaying power did its job. It sucked the life force out of Regmar, and therefore ending his long and terrible reign as the Brigand King. The surviving Black Shields surrendered. Upon removing the helmet of Regmar, it was discovered that he was Sir Taurinus, the father of Donecus!
The party recalled when Taurinus was held captive in the prison of Octa the Saxon King, he complained to his fellow prisoner, Sir Emeric, that the life of a mercenary knight was the life of a fool. He lamented constantly risking his life for a handful of silver coins and ultimately wasting away in a dungeon. He escaped from the prison and was never heard from again. Sir Emeric was freed in A.D. 506 whereupon he related this information to the player-characters (see the recap for Huntington Campaign Session 6). Now it is clear that after he escaped, Taurinus decided to forsake the life of a knight and reinvent himself as Regmar the Brigand King. After he discovered the spell book of Minerva, he grew in both power and evil.
The defeat of Regmar has also clarified two things. First of all, unlike what was hinted at earlier, anyone can use Donecus’ magic sword. Secondly, because Donecus elected to have the slaying power of the blade extended to anyone of Regmar’s bloodline, he, himself, is susceptible to it! Did Minerva know that Regmar was Donecus’ father all along? Only Minerva knows for certain, but this could explain why she chose Donecus to be her champion in the first place. It also sheds light of her statements to Donecus, emphasizing that it was not her goal to make him a great and dangerous knight, but to correct the imbalance in nature Regmar had created by perverting her magic. She routinely identified herself as an agent of nature who always seeks to maintain the balance of powers. The fact that the son was chosen to kill the father, and that Donecus has a powerful slaying sword that could also be his own doom, could be seen as an example of this kind of balance.
Shortly after Regmar was killed, the whole building started to shake. Now that Regmar was dead, the magic he used to sustain his stronghold in this alternate dimension commenced to dispel. Galien wrapped the Mace Malevolence in a cloth to bring back to Beale Valet (after all, such a powerful weapon of evil should not be left lying around). The party and their captives managed to rush down the hall and back into the Estate of Cinder Hall.