Mini Mission: Bitter Cold 2
Nothing stings more than the bitter wind of the Draftlands.

In the far northern stretch of the Draftlands – farms were steadily losing their workers and fathers to an unknown predator. No signs of struggle, no fights – they simply vanished.

Read more here: Bitter Cold

Mini-Mission: Children of Lir

Into the night they went, heeding the call of the Wicce. On their horses, they rode to the town of Eberystwyth. Cruvan, Drover and Normilan were greeted by the friendly face of Davian who would lead them through the dark forest in the late autumn night.

Read more here: Children of Lir

Normilan's Adventures: Shiels
Sexy Orks and Fancy Things

After learning that Shiels may be able to provide additional support for the Draftlands defense efforts against Levashen’s Horde – Cruvan Chorster sent Normilan Serpenthelm and the healer Kimberleigh to vie for support.

Read more here: Politics In Shiels

The Story Thus Far

1. The story began two weeks before actual gameplay. Theon Chorster was sent into the Draftlands by Baroness Alvina. His objective was to bend Bakshra’s ear into a more agreeable alliance between Arlay and the Draftlands. Whilst on the road, Theon met the healer, Kimberleigh and they were both captured by Bakshra’s Bloodhounds on the charge of being healers. They were thrown into the dungeons of Fort Palad. Davian Loyalar, watched from a distant treeline as the two were captured.

2. Cruvan Chorster and Jamkul, hearing from a friend of Theon’s (Atilan Lagash) that he was missing, decided to leave the comfort of the plains and head into the Draftlands to find him. Walken Deadeyes was left bewildered when he found his master had up and vanished with only a note saying he would be back within the week.

In Thornn, Bloodhounds were becoming more and more of a nuisance as they beat and tortured innocent civilians. They raped women as they ‘witch-hunted’ for healers. The mayor of Thornn, Cormag Carter, was bound by an agreement he made with Bakshra many years earlier. Cruvan and Jamkul arrive and meet Bellamin Carter who agrees to guide them through Thornwood to the Old Healer’s Temple. He tries to ply coin from the two plainsman but knows nothing of the woods, Davian Loyalar steps in and agrees to lead them through free of charge, and ‘safely’ he added.

At the Old Healer’s Temple, the group encountered the undead Ashen. After scouring the temple, Cruvan found a silver sword belonging to the Knights of Hera. Nothing of Theon was discovered. When they returned to town, they found that the Bloodhounds had taken Bellamin’s sister Kayal and were leaving town to Fort Palad where Bakshra would marry the young girl. The group intervened, Davian was badly wounded on the road trying to rescue the girl but he succeeded. In the ensuing fight, Bellamin’s father was killed and Bakshra himself fought toe-to-toe with Cruvan. The young blacksmith being bested easily.

3. After Kayal was rescued and the Bloodhounds fled the town as the villagers revolted, the group reconvened at the Belching Boar to consider their plan of action. Jamkul took Kayal in his charge and returned to Arlay with her. Meanwhile, Walken Deadeyes was already on his way to the Draftlands. Soon after Walken made his appearance, Lady Tildress, a patrolling knight came upon the town and attempted to take Cruvan into custody for ‘kidnapping’ Walken.

She understood that kidnapping was not the truth of Walken’s disappearance. Before she departed, a half-elf spy (Parnel) of Bakshra was captured by Davian and questioned. He refused to give any information as to Bakshra’s plans and Lady Tildress stationed her men decided to take matters into their own hands. They went to negotiate terms with the unsettled Bakshra. Meanwhile, Cruvan knew the town should prepare and he, along with Bellamin, readied the townsfolk for Bakshra’s inevitable retaliation.

That same day, a group of Bloodhounds came to town and were stricken down by the people. A young squire of Bakshra was kept alive for questioning, that next morning he was found murdered and the townsfolk accused the Arlayn’s of the merciless crime. In truth, Parnel had escaped that evening and killed the squire to keep him quiet.

A great battle took place and much of Thornn was burned. Bakshra’s right-hand, Roland, came to town with a large contingent of men. He slaughtered townsfolk and even Lady Tildress was gravely injured. Parnel was decapitated in the fighting, by Davian. Eventually, the Bloodhounds were forced back to Fort Palad to lick their wounds. Cruvan discovered his ability to heal wounds with his own spiritual essence. More troops arrived from Arlay, not to help fight Bakshra, but to arrest Cruvan for the misunderstanding.

4. Cruvan, Walken, Davian and Bellamin fled in the night. They headed north for Fort Palad, determined to free the Draftlands of Bakshra’s control as well as to keep out of Arlayn custody. Davian led the group to an ancient dwarven ruin that would lead beneath Fort Palad. In the deep recesses of the ruins, Bellamin was almost killed when a deadly rocktopus attacked the party.

Bellamin was escorted back out of the dungeon where he could recover from his wounds. Cruvan, Walken and Davian pressed on. They finally found the passage beneath the fort and much to their chagrin had to climb through a nasty sewer pipe. Once inside the fort, they proceeded to find Theon who was still alive. He helped them navigate the fort – killing and assassinating Bloodhounds as they went.

Roland was killed in his nightgown as the group came upon him sodomizing a young squire. Once they had scoured the entire fort they came across a secret cellar space and after following a lengthy passage they came upon an altar room. Bakshra had been sacrificing healers to an unnamed deity and he was surprised by the group’s infiltration. A short battle ended with Cruvan cleaving the head off the fanatic with his silver sword.

5. Three months afterwards, the Draftlands saw rough times. Bandits who were now free to run amok in the un-policed region, razed Thornn to the ground. Their overwhelming numbers forced the townsfolk to seek refuge farther south in the plains of Arlay.

Cruvan Chorster was freed of the accusations once he returned to St. Hera with Walken. Lady Tildress, who’s life had been in Cruvan’s hands, saw him expunged of all charges. He was made a Ser of the region and the Deadeyes apologetically gifted him a small dwelling and warhorse for all the trouble they had caused.
Meanwhile, Walken was sent away with Theon to study magic in Lannion. Jamkul assisted Bellamin in his new responsibilities as Mayor of the People of Thornn. The people had erected tents and small shanties in the quarry around St. Hera. Davian Loyalar continued to live a life of peace, hunting and exploring the new plains region.

6. Theon sent a letter to his brother, asking him to escort a friend (Atilan Lagash) to the Skylden Aviary. Walken returned to St. Hera at Theon’s behest, at his side was a new Magefriend, Normilan Serpenthelm. Cruvan took on the expedition and convinced Bellamin to come along as well. In hopes that the treasure they would uncover could help rebuild Thornn.

Their travels took them almost to the coastal city of Irontown but Atilan Lagash and his bodyguard met them at the Irongate a few miles out. Jamkul sensed something was amiss and he had terrible dreams of their expedition once he met Atilan Lagash. The reason for the expedition was for Atilan to learn more of the elven ruins but Jamkul felt their was more to it than that.

In the mountain pass, Walken was lured in the night by the harpies. He was brutally attacked and maimed by the time his friends rescued him. Even Normilan almost met his demise in the maw of large, hungry wolves. The dangerous wilderness gave them all caution. Once they arrived in the Skylden Aviary they contended with a vast assortment of creatures from reptilian skillthid to watergeists. A cyclops proved most difficult and if not for their combined teamwork, they surely would have perished.

In the eve before their departure from the aviary, something went awry. The group awoke to find Atilan missing. They scoured the ruin and came upon a previously sealed door. They followed the signs of passage and in doing so, Cruvan was attacked by a skeletal wall. It attempted to consume the healer-knight but he resisted. His arm was cursed thereafter.

Atilan’s bodyguard was found dead at the hands of undead warriors. Pressing onward, to find Atilan, they came upon the body of a dead Mage. Normilan identified the Mage’s amulor as one of the eleven renegade Mages – an Astral Mage. He went into few detail before they continued into a cavernous room fit with a platform upon which a summoning apparatus was being activated by four robed Mages. Atilan Lagash was unconscious – Normilan could sense that they had used his elven-blood to activate their ritual.

A great battle commenced where Jamkul was separated from his companions. He faced off against three of the mages with his magical elven greatsword, Tamring. As the last Mage fell, the summoning was complete and the platform exploded. A great golden griffon emerged from the swirling energy and began attacking everything in sight. Walken was almost killed by the great griffon’s breath weapon and as they escaped, Normilan saw that the summoning apparatus was in fact a portal to another realm.

7. As the party escaped the Skylden Aviary they witnessed the griffon, Levashen, flying through the sky and harpies gathering in its wake. Shortly after, the region of Arlay began experiencing many great troubles as fields were raised, livestock slaughtered and homes burned. Eventually, villages began to fall to the airborne brigade of harpies led by the golden griffon.

A month later at Fort Palad, now Fort Thornn, Cruvan has gathered the people of the Draftlands to unite them. Bellamin Carter has overseen the first structures being built outside the Fort’s walls, New Thornn’s people are hoping to build a better, more unified settlement.

Walken has taken up the management of the Fort staff while Jamkul works hard with the carpenters and masons to rebuild Fort’s less sound edifices.

8. Theon Chorster and Normilan Serpenthelm traveled to Ivystairs where they uncovered the hideout of the Astral Mages. In their infiltration, the uncovered the Astral Mage’s plans behind the Skylden Aviary. They have yet to divulge their findings to Fort Thornn.

9. Davian Loyalar has been traveling the countryside between the Draftlands and Arlay. Recently he has traveled farther south than he normally would. On a rise overlooking the great fields leading to the Institute of Teslev and the city of St. Hera he witnessed destruction unlike any other. He watched as St. Hera fell beneath a sky blackened by beating wings and the golden fire of Levashen.

The cry of the harpies echoing through the plains as he stirred his horse north – Davian couldn’t help but look back. He had hunted animals of all kind, wolves, elk, fowl…but Levashen was not to be hunted.

Davian shuddered to think of what Levashen would do to the newly established grounds of Fort Thornn and the budding village of New Thornn.

As he cursed into the wind, Davian knew the Draftlands were next.


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