Quaerentes in Extremis

Spring 1225 - Mound of Crom Dubh

The Mound of Crom Dubh – 8 xp for Marcus and Feargus. 4 xp for Sealgir.

We made some adjustments to the story to better integrate it into the setting. I think it made it more concrete. For example, the Abbey visited was Melrose Abbey. (an interesting fact is that King Arthur is supposedly buried in the Eildon Hills, which overlook the village). The two feuding families were the more established Hume and The Scott. These borderland clan chiefs act as feudal nobles. The party did more research in the church archives of the abbey and interviewed Father Lachlann in more detail. Once they had enough information, they journeyed to the mound with the aid of The Hume’s son Thomas.

Once they found they mound using second sight they entered an opened cave entrance and journeyed through four different regios. Each one presented a different level of danger.

On the first level, there was nothing but a straight path that was clearly aligned with the son on St. Brigid’s day. This was the day the Mage Crispin ventured to the mound. On the second level, they found some of Crispin’s grogs dead. Around them more revenant bodies. Marcus attempted to summon the ghost of one of the grogs but made a rare botch and summoned a demon that possessed one of the corpses. It was a fearful start to their explorations. Demon’s Eternal Oblivion exercised the revenant and they learned more from the grog’s ghost. Each level could be passed through either by a sacrifice or by use of second sight.

On the third region, they encountered a carnal pit for blood sacrifices and a three headed vulture demon. It was fearsome, but it botched its effort to instill fear, and the overconfident Gille killed it with one bow shot. On the fourth level, they found gold and jewel offerings but left them undisturbed. Finding Crispin’s body the party retreated through the regios, and Fergus brought the stone ceiling of each passageway down behind them. Once outside they observed Hume and Scott horsemen skirmishing. However, the Hume were victorious and they took Thomas Hume with them and allowed the magi to leave un molested satisfied that there should be no more new revenants walking the bog between them and the Scotts.

Spring 1223 - Faerie Queen

Where we left off, Sophia has returned from her trip to visit the different Merinitae that have information about Lady Cecelia and the Galloway Fey. Fergus and Marcus have asked the Bishop of Whithorn (aka Candida Casa) to determine the validity of the marriage between The Faerie Queen and Thomas the Bastard of Galloway. In addition, they have mobilized Cruggleton Castle to host a Tournament. We will assume that it is set for late Spring after Lent and invitations have been sent out.

During this Time The Faerie Queen has been active, sending her faerie heralds and centaurs to the edges of Galloway informing the populace of the death of Alan and the marriage and ascension of his son Thomas. Most people seem pleased as she has waived all taxes for this year in memory of Alan.

However, many of the nobles have voiced concerns. This is especially true for the lords who are not long native of Galloway and come from other parts of Scotland, England, and France. While many have married into Galloway noble families, some have a more tenuous connection to the land and celtic traditions. They have voiced concerns about a bastard inheriting when there are three legitimate daughters, one of whom is married to the powerful Roger d’ Quincy 2nd Earl of Winchester and the other is betrothed to John Baliol of Barnard Castle in County Durham, England. De Quincy has only taken control of his deceased father’s lands in 1221 since he was away on the 5th Crusade.

Spring 1223
The Faerie Queen

While the game was short last week, it saw big changes to the political and magical landscape in Scotland. Alan FitzRoland, Lord of Galloway, Constable of Scotland, and the number 2 general of the realm, was killed by Lady Cecilia’s Faerie Knights. They were able to enter his castle grounds and caught him when he only had a couple of men at arms beside him. While one Faerie Knight kept the 2 guards occupied (without killing either I note), the second knight dueled with Alan. The Lord appeared evenly matched but a impressive move (a critical roll) left the Lord of Galloway incapacitated. Because one Faerie Knight had a moment of chivalry and could not kill the Lord as he lay bleeding, the other knight finished him off. (Aaron and Nick played the Faerie Knights against Adam S’s Alan).

During the time, the Marcus of Tremere and the party in the forest learned a bit more about the Faerie Queen Cecelia. They learned that she had once been married to another fey lord, who she appears to have “outlived”. They also met a faerie butler called Guma who claimed to have been the “cupbearer” of the old faerie lord. He seemed to know much of the goings on at the court.

Fearing that the Lord of Galloway was also in danger (after Cecelia let it slip that he was), sent Gille out of the forest to try to warn the man. But it was too late. Marcus then made his way from the remains of the wedding party and headed out of the forest with the rest of the group of companions and grogs.

Spring 1223
The Bastard of Galloway

While the Patriots were letting the air out of the Seahawks hopes for a National Championship, the magi at the covenant were called to assist their benefactor Lord Alan FitzRoland, Lord of Galloway and Constable to the King of Scotland. A tragic attack had occurred at his capital Cruggleton Castle, where 4 of his nights apparently killed his wife Margaret of Huntingdon and kidnapped his 1 year old bastard Thomas. It was not clear why someone would take the child, much less kill the women who was not his mother.

The Magus Marcus accepted the challenge and taking Visnja and Vichengo he invited the Maga Sophia Bonisagus to assist with the investigation. She took Anne to help interpret. Magus Feargus sent Sweet Gille, knowing that his knowledge of the area and wilderness skills may come in handy. Marcus wanted to make a good impression on the powerful noble as well as protect the vis site found at the old arch on the castle’s grounds.

The party interviewed the Lord, servants and collected gossip. Marcus summoned the shade of Margaret before she was buried and learned that there was a mystery surrounding the bastard Thomas’ origins. She said Alan brought him home about 4 months ago by ship. He never revealed Thomas’ mother’s name. He also took note of her concern for her daughters still at their estate at Buittle Castle. Marcus quickly wrote a note to Feargus and sent it my messenger back to Covenant. Feargus made plans to travel to Buittle Castle.

Posing the Silent Question cast on Alan revealed Thomas’ birthplace as the shores of an island most likely Arran and the name Neria.

During this time the bodies of the 4 missing knights were found in a wooded area at the bottom of a vale on the road to the Machers. This vale had an enduring fog that Gille knew was unnatural. Marcus’ second sight confirmed this as well. The knights had been dead for 2 months. So who had road out on the North Road with the child?

Using the child’s clothes collected by Sophia, Marcus was able to pinpoint the child to a forest. After a day and a half they arrived. Crossing a river through the middle of the forest, Marcus knew instantly they were in a faerie wood. Sophia confirmed it, noting an Aura of 4. Venturing into the faerie woods Sophia and Sweet Gille noticed they were being followed by horsemen. As they were about to enter a clearing in the forest bows were drawn behind them and the party was ordered to stop. Looking back they saw half a dozen Centaur archers.

Winter 1222
Council Meeting and Welcome Sophia Trianomae
Summer 1222 cont.
Monte Castillio and Fratta Todia

Monte Castillo de Vibio

In Monte Castillo de Vibio, Feargus, Francois Orlon, Bjorn, Hammish and Seamish found themselves in Tavern run by a stout broad shouldered woman by the name of Elada. With a no-nonsense demeanor, she explains through Orlon that it is bets not to go out at night, especially for strangers. Early that evening, Orlon and Bjorn returned the warehouse and see the Merchant Mistress Constance locking up. Later at the Inn, Constance shows up and speaks with Mistress Elada. Orlon overhears them discussing another woman “Temalia” who has found “the cur”. Tonight they plan on finishing their business with him. Temalia has some muscle. Elada, tells Constance that if Temalia fails then she will have to pay the price. Elada also tells M Constance that Temalia should keep her wrath in check and avoid playing her usual games. Constance smirks and says that it like telling a cat not to play with a mouse. Orlon relays this back to the rest of the PCs.

The PCs plan to go back to the warehouse later that night and when everyone in the common room starts to nod off, they slip out into the street. Watching the warehouse from an alley across the plaza they feel a chilling presence behind them.

Two angry distraught apparitions are floating down the alley toward the 5 men. The apparitions look like normal villagers contorted out of anquish and despair. Reaching out for Bjorn and Hammish, they icy touch chills Hammish to the bone, paralyzing his arm temporarily. Bjorn tries to swing an axe at one and it passes through it. Feargus casts frogs legs and grows to his normal size. He then grabs the mighty Hammish and leaps backwards to safety. The others follow quickly across the empty plaza under the full moon to the warehouse door where Bjorn breaks the lock with his axe and they flee inside the dark building. The apparitions loose interest and go their separate ways into the town’s dark narrow streets. A quick search reveals nothing of significance in the warehouse and their are no living quarters attached.

Fratta Todina

Meanwhile, Guido Masena the Benadanti or Nightwalker describes his spiritual traveling to Marcus. Marcus is very keen on the idea once he learns that Masena can take another with him. Marcus announces that this is the perfect way to spy on his uncle. Masena and Marcus retires to the mage’s room with Visnja who watches the barred door. Brother Padrig and Annie remain in the common room to see that no stranger goes up upstairs.

Dropping his parma, Marcus falls into a deep sleep. He is not sure whether this was something aided by Masean, but he soon sees himself laying on the bed, with eyes outside his body. Masena and Marcus are both in the shape of two wolves. Masena leaps from through the window and Marcus follows. Visnja’s second site provides only a quick glimpse of two shadows in the room that vanish through the window.

Once outside, Marcus’s wolf follows Masena’s, as the shaggy wolf takes great leaps westward toward Monte Castillo. Soon the two are running up the valley below the Malaspina castle. In the full moonlight, Marcus can see the tower and keep that were once his home. Soon they find themselves in in the woods that line the river running past the cliff home of the Malaspina’s. The woods grow darker as they get nearer their destination. As they drew deeper into the woods, Marcus felt nauseas, the same as when he confronted the revenant and Ft. Tomas two years ago in Scotland.

Marcus knew these woods from his childhood. He would sometimes come down here with his father or one of the servants. He was always watched as there were things that he was told were dangerous. He remembers a shaft that led from the keep down to the cliff base and a path t the river. He also remember a path that veered to east that led to some ruins, but he was told to never go there without his parents and neither took him.

(NOTE TO MARUCS: if you draw up a keep on your own or even imagine it, then this will be the Malaspina estate based on the child’s memory.)

Before they reach the cliff base, Marcus sees from the corner of his eye glimmer of blue to his right. This would be coming from the pool that he was told never to approach as a young man. His mother was afraid of it and his father always counseled that he could go once he was older and better prepared. But before he could turn, Masena stopped, ears alert to the forest sounds. Masena smelled it first. The wrongness. It has a slight sulfur smell once Marcu’s new keen wolf nose smelled it. Masena recognized the small as the two headed familiar of Baron Alfiolo. Coming out of the woods to the left, was a two headed dog, large and black. The two wolves tried to run before they turned and faced the beast as it charged them. Bites were exchanged. The two heads prevented wolves from attacking from different directions. After Masena was seriously bitten, he finally latched on to one the throat of one of the heads. Eventually, Marcus wolf was able to do the same. Soon they pulled the hell beast down and ripped at it until it lay bleeding on the forest floor. Marcus also realized that they had run out of the area that made his sick. It was time to get back to their bodies.

Back in Fratta Todina, Brother Padrig was awoken by the sound of three armed men entering the tavern. It was late and most of the light came form the fireplace and a lantern carried by one of the men. After they passed him and went up the stairs, he peaked out of the door. Annie also peaked out and saw another armed man standing next to a small framed woman. The man has his hand on the shoulder of a local man, still dressed in his night shirt. It appears that hey had woken the man and he was pointing toward the Inn. An informant?

Upstairs behind a barred door, Visnja heard the heavy steps of someone coming up the stairs. She readied her weapons and waited in the darkness, her fey eyes easily adjusting to the lack of light. Someone tried the door. Then there was a crash as they tried to burst in but failed. With this load noise, Anne came out of the Inn acting drunk. She stumbled and picked up a few rocks to throw up to the second floor. None hit the building, but she caught the attention of the woman standing across the street.

Eventually an axe was used upstairs to break through the door. When the first soldier came through and the two bodies did not waken, Visnja attacked, She furiously slashed with sword and knife, but the man’s shield was in the way. When he cut under the shield, his armor prevented further harm. Soon Padrig was at the top of the stairs. He threw a knife at the lantern, but the handle his the back of the guard closest to the stairs. He turned and the monk tried to defend himself with his staff. It has been a long time since the monk faced another man in combat. A long time. He wished he had his trusty sword with him, then he could have done some real damage. However, he was an old man now, a man of god, a staff would have to do. Padrig could hear fighting in the doorway beyond the two men in the hall. He could also hear common room wake up. While Visnja and the first tough traded blows, PAdrig tried to defend himself against the man’s axe. Once the attacked in the doorway lost his axe as it slipped from his hand, Visnja could press the attack into the hall. Padrig could do little then avoid falling backwards down the stairs.

Outside, Anne took off for the nearby gatehouse. She could see the porter’s office door ajar. The woman turned and said something about a Preview of the Fire’s of Perdition, and the flesh on Annies’ legs burst into flame as she ran. The pain was terrible. Anne suffered a medium wound before she could extinguish the flames by rolling on the ground. Inside the gatehouse, the porter was asleep and no amount of slapping would wake him. He has been bespelled.

About this time, Padrig fell backwards down the stairs, spraining his ankle, which was one of the few areas not bloodied by the madman at the top of the stairs. Visnja’s attacker was pushed back as a wolf flew from the bedroom into the hall wall. It appears that the nightwalkers had returned. It took Marcus a few seconds to fully wake and when he did he cast Ennobled Presence (ReMe) on Visnja’s attacker and told him to defend Marcus as his true master. The henchman turned to his comrade and tackled him as he was fighting Visnja. The wolf then lunged at the man at the top of the stairs knocking him down the steep stairs into the fourth henchman who had entered in the and gone up to aid his comrades as soon as the commotion was heard outside. The common room was now in an uproar. Some guest fled outside, others gabbed the men at the bottom of the stirs and lent a hand to help the bloodied monk.

Outside, Temalia walked toward the gatehouse and Anne. Marcus having subdued the two guards upstairs who were now fighting one another, ran to the front window to see what was happening outside. He cast Lift the Dangling Puppet (ReCo) and Temalia lifted off the ground into the air. As she reached the second floor, she muttered several dark phases about the leathery wings of the nightflyer and two batlike wings burst from her back. Concentrating, Marcus reversed the direction of his spell and pulled her down, even as her wings began to beat the air. By this time, the city guard had arrived and the people in street began throwing things at the witch. The PCs had killed at least two henchmen and captured two others and this witch.


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