Mount and Burn

Shipwrecked!

Our heroes were travelling by ship when a seasonable storm took the vessel and dashed it against the rocks of the coast. The party survived with most of their gear intact, and through their efforts and a miracle of the smokeless flame managed to save some thirty sailors. They found themselves stranded in a small village of the Serene Republics, within the domain of Lady Castiglione.

Having recovered from the shock of the event, the party spent the next day in and around the town. Arrangements were made to repay the kindness and hospitality of the locals, with shipments of enough high quality food to feed the entire village for over a month.

That night, the village was beset by horrible spectres. The shades created havoc in the village, but also swarmed over the olive groves, stealing their produce. This did not escape the notice of Sir Hammarström, Lord Ymir, nor Lady Miadh, who gave chase. Unfortunately, their eyes weakened by some treacherous foul magic of the spirits they sought (and certainly not do to the backfiring of failed attempts to call upon their ancestral magic), the party did not notice a hole in the ground until they blundered into it.

The hole itself contained stocks and stolen goods, as well as the entirely honest and trustworthy hard-working loveable old hermit Jacobo. The party set itself for battle with the presumed summoner.

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[S] Strife!

As the party readied for battle against the blackguard Jacobo, two spectres flew from the walls, their eyes filled with rage, springing to his defence. Lady Miadh, borrowing Sir Hammarström’s sword, barely managed to fend off the bandit as the two faithful swiftly dealt with the imps, sending them back to the netherworld from which they had crawled. His minions banished, Jacobo surrendered. The party stripped him of his sword and bow, and tied him to prevent his escape.

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Sell-swords!

The party interrogated Jacobo of No House, and learned that he was possessed by demons (plural intentional). They removed all the stolen goods from his cave, and set fire to his summoning circle. Following this, they returned to Piran with their captive to rest for a day before going to find Lady Castiglione.

The Lady, it turned out, was hospitable and extremely wealthy. The party told her of recent events plaguing Piran and spoke of the town’s welcome to the shipwrecked. Lady Castiglione explained that though large, her resources were stretched. She asked the party for their assistance in cleansing the hills of bandits, demons, and demon bandits, in exchange for future considerations. The party accepted.

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Sailors, Surgeons, & Skirmishes

The party spent two days preparing to confront the Demon Bandits of Piran. Lord Ymir borrowed a workshop from the Lady Castiglione, and set about refining powder and building a large explosive. Lady Miadh recruited the sailors to come to the aid of Piran by promising them a share of any loot recovered from the bandits. She also sought medical supplies from the town doctor, who bravely offered to ride with the makeshift army to the rescue of Piran. Lord Igelström consulted the stars to find clues as to the bandit’s whereabouts.

The party set off first to Piran, and then struck eastward to the rolling hills beyond the village. Through good fortune, they happened upon a camp of rough looking men who were idling away the afternoon, weapons and loot close at hand. Unsure of whether these men were bandits or merely honest travellers (perhaps guards of some merchant caravan who had been instructed to stay with the wares as the merchant rode ahead to Piran seven months ago, only to be at a loss for what to do when the merchant failed to return), the party eventually decided to capture and interrogate them.

It turned out that though they were criminals, they had not had any dealings with demons nor Jacobo of No House. Lord Ymir preached to them of the importance of faith and honesty, while the others examined the bandits’ map. There had been no sign of other bandits, but when Lord Igelström divined the ley lines in the surrounding areas, they showed a great and terrible disturbance in the hills west of Piran, near the hideout of Jacobo of No House. The party decided to return to Lady Castiglione’s castle to rest from their exertions and decide what to do next.

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Nexus Reconnaissance

- Lord Igelström, Haytham Siyah, four sailors, and self investigating magical nexus near Piran
- Igelström reports magical “pull” emanating from nexus
- Siyah, three sailors succumb to magical effects; rushing towards nexus
- Arrived somewhat later, more cautiously. Magic sigil has killed one who touched it. Presumed source of compulsion.
- Igelström explains sigil is gathering power to be directed with unknown purpose, continues to be very dangerous; does not seem troubled by recent death.
- Discussion cut short when corpse reanimates and attacks; fled to safety.
- Siyah carries unconscious Igelström from cave (redeeming self from foolish rush toward sigil earlier); latter has somehow linked soul with circle. Caution.
- Siyah left supervising sailors in dealing with zombie, warding off villagers from nexus. Returning unconscious noble for priests to examine.
- Sailors content to return with skins and without share of non-existent profits.

Notes
- Concur with Igelström; sigil constructed with some purpose in mind. Should watch for signs of original mage. Potentially very dangerous.
- Nexus will need to be dispersed or cleansed as soon as possible. Worst case scenario, entirety of Piran corrupted; recommend preparations in case of urgent flight.
- Igelström potentially useful as ally; likely dangerous regardless.
- Siyah of unknown mettle; possible good source of information on Lord Ymir.

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Salvation!

With the grave report of the events in the Cave near Piran, the party felt it would be prudent to do what they could to deal with the evil confluence of ley lines and the symbol gathering power. Toward that end, Lord Ymir prepared a copy of Lady Castiglione’s maps of the region, to allow surveying of major nearby landmarks.

The group also searched the possessions of Jacobo of No House for any copies of the symbol carved in the cave. While they found none, they discovered markings on his amulet of similar nature. Lord Ymir attempted to pull the amulet from him for further study, but Jacobo recoiled; Sir Hammarström attempted to subdue him, but the bandit unleashed a burst of demonic energy and began cowering in the corner of his cell. Lord Ymir and Lady Miadh the burned blessed incense and other soothing plants about his cell, lulling him to sleep despite his arcane efforts to clear the air. As Sir Hammarström retrieved the amulet, the hermit’s eyes sprung open and he spoke in some foreign tongue, of freedom and life.

Lady Miadh suggested bargaining with the demon to coax it from Jacobo’s body, if the cost it demanded were not too great, but this plan was quickly discarded. Lord Ymir then suggested that perhaps the amulet could be tested to learn of the spirit within it, since it seemed to have been holding the demon within Jacobo in check. Lady Miadh was tied to a chair in the chapel, and after steeling herself and calling upon the power of her blood for incorruptibility, the amulet was placed over her neck.

No foul spirit assailed her, nor any other grim fate. Instead, in a flash of insight, she recognised the demon for what it was: an elder demon tied to the Blood of Smokeless Fire. She learned that it could be controlled by one of that Blood, or banished by being submerged in water. She realised also the basics of a plan to alter the nature of the converging ley lines, and found herself possessing the knowledge of how to cast simple arcane spells. The amulet was removed, and though for a moment she felt an urge to keep it, the combination of her will and Blood overcame it.

The exorcism was performed as planned: a trench was dug near a nearby stream, and Jacobo was chained to a plank and submerged as soon as he was conscious enough to hold his breath. After a tense minute of waiting, the water began to boil and gouts of flame erupted into the air in a fearsome display of unholy power, before the demon rose howling into the air and disappeared in a blinding flash of fire. Jacobo survived the ordeal, and was returned to prison to await trial for banditry, a grim sort of salvation.

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Something

Party got in a argument with Lady Castiglione. Things blew up. Left town/region, warning citizens of impending doom. Castiglione has amulet. Went to find elves.

Game on (probably permanent) hiatus.

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