Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thursday 5 July 1280, Approaching Midnight (Asking Eric about Maggie and Marching North)

Once Maggie is gone and the wind has died, Varros says: "Odd, I don't feel that she means harm to any of us." Varros looks to Gaven, "Some things in this world reside beyond even beyond the reach of light or chaos."

Gaven is both surprised and confused by Maggie's comments and her 'gift'. He picks up the ribbon and examines it closely. It is a simple ribbon made of black silk, with no markings. Gaven notes, however, that it has a certain unattributable warmth to it, an almost pleasant feeling in his hand. Gaven then shows it to Oloc for examination.

"What do you think she meant by her speech and by leaving the ribbon?"

Oloc stares off in to the distance as he considers Maggie's words. He barely manages to fight back the tears at hearing her words. "How did she know," he asks in a whisper.

He silently examines the ribbon but can offer no clue as to its meaning or purpose. "I would offer to hold on to it," he says to Gaven. "If you don't mind."

As he says this, Oloc has a sudden feeling of revulsion, mounting almost to nausea, toward the ribbon in his hand.

Once he and Oloc are back with the others, Gaven discusses Maggie and the ribbon with Eric - "What do you know of her? Why do you fear her and feel she deals with evil magic?"

Eric wipes the cold sweat from his brow. "Long ago, before I was even born, there was a tiny hamlet north of the ruins of Blackwell Keep. A merchant went there one day and found everyone dead – horribly mangled and torn, some half-eaten, as if slaughtered by some horde of savage beasts. When the locals examined the remains, everyone was accounted for except for one young woman – an elf-woman named Maggie."

"At first they thought she was a victim, abducted, carried off. So they sent out search parties. One party did not come back. Eventually the search party was found, just as mangled and torn as the folk of the hamlet. But there was no sign of Maggie."

"Everyone assumed she was dead, and that the beasts were still out there. From time to time, dead bodies showed up, in the same state as the others. Eventually people noticed that the appearance of the bodies coincided with the full moon."

"After some years, the killings became less frequent. Folks found the courage to travel at night once again. And that's when some came back saying they had seen Maggie. Some had lived near the destroyed hamlet and knew her. Others had been members of the search parties and recognized her by her description. All of them said she filled them with an uncontrollable fear. As if death itself hung about her like a cloak."

The locals – many of our fathers and uncles – decided that Maggie must be a witch, or possessed by a demon. They tried to exorcise the hamlet where it all occurred, burning it to the ground. But I doubt if that accomplished anything. Those who traveled at night still saw her on occasion, staring at the moon. That's why we call her the "moon-witch."

"There hasn't been a body discovered in years now, and Maggie is seen so infrequently that we sometimes almost forget she's out there. But when we do come across her, she fills us with terror, as you can see."

"Is there any meaning to the ribbon?" Gaven asks. He nods for Oloc to hand the ribbon to Eric. "Perhaps the gesture is elfish?"

"I couldn't say," states Eric. "It doesn't bring to mind any gesture or symbolism of my people. It could have just blown off in the wind and landed at your feet. Or perhaps she wanted you to have it for some reason. Who can say with a mad witch?" He hands the ribbon back.*

With the feeling of uneasiness leaving Duran speaks to the others. "We should get our friends here into a good defensive position and move along quickly to scout for the goblins."

The group of farmers has clearly settled down a bit now, and though they still peer uneasily into the night, they seem none the worse for wear. Duran has little trouble getting them up and ready to march.


A half-hour's uneventful march brings the group roughly to the stopping point suggested by Belloc's plan. After another quarter-hour's march you find a low hillock with the ruined foundations of a house at it's top. This seems like the most defensible possition you are likely to find in the open ground that dominates the area. From the hilltop, the fires to the north and northeast appear much brighter.


Leaving the farmers to hold their fortified hilltop position, another hour's march north brings you to what must be the Bruce farm.

The farm is, as you suspected, burning, its buildings completely engulfed in flame, along with a field of grain to the east of the buildings. The heat, light and smoke are all extremely intense. Though it is impossible to get close enough to the buildings to examine them, you notice a definite trampling of the earth all around. In the area of the farm proper, the trampling is thoroughly chaotic. But farther away from the burning buildings, there is a definite pattern to the trampling that runs from the light in the southeast, which you guess to be Timm's farm, off northwestward into the dark, silhouetted distance.

Looking around, you see no living thing. However, neither do you see corpses. If there are any, they must be nearer the buildings, or even in them. But the heat and smoke prevent you from getting close enough to check. So it is quite impossible to tell what happened to the inhabitants of the farm.


OOC: Actions?

*Please let me know whether Gaven or Oloc takes the ribbon back from Eric.

Time update: it is roughly 11:30 pm


  1. ooc: does Gaven know that Oloc became nauseous when he held the ribbon.

    Regardless, Gaven will take the ribbon, saying, "It was left at my feet, Maggie must want me to have it for some reason."

  2. Copy/Pasted from email from Professor P:

    ooc: does Gaven know that Oloc became nauseous when he held the ribbon.

    Regardless, Gaven will take the ribbon, saying, "It was left at my feet, Maggie must want me to have it for some reason."

    1. OOC: I'd say Gaven could see some sort of reaction on Oloc's face, indicating a sense of revulsion.

  3. Gaven - cleric

    Gaven notices the revulsion on Oloc's face and says, "What did you feel when you felt the ribbon. I felt a ... gentle caress... Do you think the ribbon is magical?"

    Gaven stares at the moon a moment and then says, "From Eric's description of the murders and Maggie's staring at the moon, it would seem her being a werewolf is a possibility. I think we should be careful if we are out in these woods next week."

    Gaven says to Oloc, "Since it seems the ribbon makes you sick, but not me, and Maggie left it at my feet, I will hold on to the ribbon for now. Perhaps Abbot Cuthbert will have some insight once we get back to Fairbrook."

    Gaven places the ribbon in his backpack.

    After examining the farm and the tracks, Gaven says to the others, "Light, it seems Belloc was wrong about the goblins march and now he is completely out of position. Should we risk splitting the group to inform Belloc or perhaps go back to the farmers and have them inform Belloc?"

    OOC: Can we assume that we saw no tracks heading west? If not, Gaven will check around to determine if the tracks heading southeast is a decoy.

    1. OOC: I think I may have misunderstood the tracks observed.

      Are there two sets of tracks? One heading northwest and one heading southeast?

    2. OOC: Based on the "directionality" of the tracks, there appears to be a continuous path coming from the southeast to your current location, with signs of frenzied activity in and around your current location, then moving on from your current location to the northwest. In other words, there seems to be a path/progression from Timm's farm (according to the map Harlon had drawn for you), where you first saw smoke and still see fire (to the SE), to the Bruce farm (your current position), where it appears much chaotic running about went on, then back to a more "orderly" march to the northwest.

    3. OOC: I forgot to mention the most important bit in answer to your question. It all appears to be one single set of tracks (interrupted by a pillaging frenzy at your present location).

      And I should add it's clearly a "mass" trampling, not just a scout or two. Likely made by a host the size of the one Dirtbag mentioned.

  4. Oloc - Mage

    Oloc fights off the strange feeling of revulsion. " Yes, it is best that you keep the ribbon. I felt she knew me, but now I don't know what to think." he shakes off the last effects and the turns his attention to the scene in front of him.

    "It is doubtful there are survivors here, but we should search the ruins."

    ooc: sent from phone

  5. Duran - Fighter

    "It seems there is nothing we can do here until these flames die down" says Duran "We should follow the path NW until we can locate the main Goblin body."

  6. Varros - Fighter

    OOC: sorry guys, been out of town on business. I will agree with whatever the party consensus is until I return Monday.

    1. OOC: Not a problem -- real life, alas, must trump our fantasy lives. :)