Saturday, 28 November 2015

Prologue To Chapter Eighteen...

Betty Entwhistle Blamed The Death Of Her Husband On His Former Student, Marigold Weaver

Peter Entwhistle's funeral was a beautiful, traditional Mnorean affair, conducted by Father Caleb, ending with the congregation chanting "your name will live on" as Peter's coffin was lowered into the ground, dappled by beams of midsummer sun lancing through the trees that dotted the graveyard of the Temple Of The Lady Of Healing.

It gave Marigold a degree of peace knowing that Peter's reputation as a great wizard had earned him his room in Ündain.

The past week had not been an easy one. Unsurprisingly when Marigold, Kirchin, Holly, and Harry had gone to Betty Entwhistle to break the news of her husband's death, she had not taken it well... and had to be restrained from attacking Marigold who she blamed for, well, pretty much everything.

This further compounded Marigold's growing doubt about her calling.

"It's going to be hard finding another mentor in this backwater," she had confided in Holly, "But if I cannot I may have to quit magic entirely as practicing without hope of progress would break my heart."

Except for a message from Tarik, telling Kirchin that he was heading to Dranning to alert the Duke to the coming of "the world-breaker", and the increased sightings of forest wights in the woods around the village, a strange solemnity had fallen over Bendwyn in the wake of Peter Entwhistle's death.

Davian locked himself away in virtual seclusion, working on some "project" in his forge, only appearing - with his trademark gruffness - when customers needed new horseshoes, tool repairs etc

Marigold working at Kirchin's
House Of Healing
Harry went back to entertaining the patrons of The Golden Axe, although few were in the mood for his usual raucous fare, and Kirchin and Holly took Marigold under their wing as they joined Kahl back at The Temple Of Healing.

They made every effort of keep Marigold out of the main village as whenever Betty Entwhistle - or her two children - saw Marigold they would pull out their Mnorean World Tree symbols and thrust them at her violently, as though driving out The Great God T'Ao himself.

After a few weeks, Holly started to notice something was a bit different about Marigold, who had become increasing introspective since the death of her mentor, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.

One afternoon, with Kahl out running errands, just when it looked as though Marigold had plucked up the courage to confide in Kirchin whatever it was that was still bothering her, Harry came racing in to the house of healing.

"Kirchin, come quick, there's a man at The Golden Axe asking for you by name!" the halfling blurted out.

Interest piqued, Kirchin and the two women joined Harry, heading back towards the tavern.

Harry pushed open the doors to the tavern as his comrades strode in. Kirchin saw the back of a blonde-haired archer (his bow and quiver were on the table in front of him), dressed in green leathers, sat chatting with Kahl - who should have been fetching honey from Gwendolyn the wise woman.

Kahl jumped up, beaming from ear-to-ear, as the man turned to face Kirchin and the others.

"Look," blurted out Kahl. "It's Uncle Dirkin! Your brother, father!"

"It's so good to see you again, Kirchin," the man that Kahl had called Dirkin (why did that name seem so familiar to Kirchin?) proclaimed. "I have need of your sword-arm and bravery to help me loot the treasure-house of the gods..."

Kirchin's Brother Dirkin - Can You See The Family Resemblance?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Chapter Seventeen Epilogue...

Heart-Broken Marigold Blames Herself For Peter's Death..

After a night of consoling Marigold, Cobblethwaite's Companions sat in silence in the main room of The Merry Riot as Darly, Dayla, and Dayl mopped the blood-stained floor around them.

Kirchin took control of the situation, realising that 'busy work' might help to keep the mind of traumatised Marigold off the gruesome death of her mentor.

Davian and Harry he tasked with the job of moving Peter's body as best they could into the back of the wagon, then covering it, for the journey back to Bendwyn.

As he trudged off, Davian muttered something about a bucket, but luckily Marigold didn't hear anything over her sobbing.

"I'm going to see if I can follow any of these trails," Kirchin said, gesturing at the blood, "Holly, why don't you take Marigold and..."

"See what I can find out about these creatures," the enthusiastic young scholar finished.

After a quick word with Bothwell, and learning that this was not the scheduled time for a visit from the druid, Holly knew exactly where she wanted to go first.

She guided Marigold south of the village and across the dried riverbed towards a hut on the outskirts of the village. Outside the hut she could see the fearsome, one-armed and ancient, warrior Tarik chopping wood.

They exchanged pleasantries and Tarik invited the young women into his hut for a drink. Holly immediately noticed a rack of a old books over the old soldier's bed and knew she had come to the right place.

As she explained, as tactfully as she could with Marigold by her side, what had occurred, she could read in the lines of Tarik's face that the adventurer had an idea of what these creatures were.

He reached up to his shelf and pulled down a couple of books, silently thumbing through them until he found what he was looking for in a large tome that Marigold recognised as the Monstrous Monstorum. "Peter has that book..." she started to say and dissolved into tears.

Tarik set the volume down on his crude table, open to a page dominated by a large etching...

The World-Breaker In The Monstrous Monstorum

"What you describe," he growled, "is the larval stage of a tarrasque... a world-breaker... a god-slayer. The most fearsome beast on all of Cidri. They are spoken of only in legend; one has not been seen in 500 years."

He ran his finger down the text that accompanied the picture and quoted: "The larvae are believed to combine into an entity known as an alitnil, a terrifying warrior in its own right, which then grows into its ultimate manifestation: the tarrasque. These beasts cannot be killed by the hand of mortal man."

Slamming the book shut dramatically, he shook his head: "I cannot believe that fool Jerol was keeping a tarrasque egg. What was he thinking? He has brought doom to Elyntia!"

Marigold was rocking to and fro, muttering something about "don't disturb the snark" as Holly decided it was probably time for them to leave.

Back in the forecourt of The Merry Riot, Harry and Davian stood by the cart, which had been secured to Kirchin's mule, Charles. In the back of the cart, covered by an unfortunately bloody sheet, lay the roughly human shape of Peter's remains.

Kirchin came back, shaking his head, and explaining that the blood trails had thinned out and become impossible to follow.

Bothwell, his sons, and the barmaids of The Merry Riot gathered for a somber farewell as the party set out towards Bendwyn like a funeral cortege, transporting Peter to his final resting place in the graveyard beside the Temple Of The Lady Of Healing.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Chapter Seventeen: Manse Raiders Of The Lost Art...

Part of the vandalised artwork, a portrait of Jerol  of Jirrey, retrieved from the 'haunted' manse

After resting in the crypt of Jerol of Jirrey, our heroes opted to pry open his tomb - and those of his four favourite hounds that had been placed around him to guard him in the afterlife. They found little of any interest (just a ring and an amulet on Jerol's rotten corpse).

After that they continued their methodical exploration of the rundown, near derelict manse and its subterranean servants' quarters.

Lots of packing crates, ruined food, and odd bits of equipment were discovered.

In one room they disturbed a nest of giant rats and Kirchin got quite badly bitten, and now suspects he may have the shaking disease known as 'filth fever' (which he has heard about, but lacks the knowledge to treat).

Back on the ground floor, the party discovered the skeletons they had destroyed previously had reformed and were waiting in ambush for them.

Marigold employed her magical tentacled wand which destroyed one most spectacularly, by pulling it apart, and consulting with Holly afterwards, the young scholar recalled hearing an old legend of a wand in the possession of an evil necromancer with similar abilities. It was known as the Wand Of The Marrow Squid.

The fight with the skeletons also saw Davian taking what might possibly be his first (albeit minor) wound in his recent career as an adventurer.

After that the main item of interest they found was a giant communal hall with a portrait of Jerol's adventuring party (The Most Excellent Brethren) and a couple of vandalised portraits of just Jerol.

Marigold was keen to remove the main picture from its frame and take it back to Peter Entwhistle, her mentor, as his father, Oblidah, was one of Jerol's team.

Eventually, the group suspected that they had cleared out the location of anything worth their attention, loaded the giant book of poetry, the painting, and the suit of plate armour from the treasure room onto their cart and headed back towards Dundraville.

As they near the village they hear screams from The Merry Riot. Bothwell meets them outside in a state of dismay and shows them in. There are trails of blood everywhere, leading back to Peter's room.

The wizard appears to have exploded when a half-a-dozen worms erupted from inside him. The worms had rapidly raced up walls, out the window, and out through the tavern, and away into the darkness.

One of the half-dozen worms that burst out of Peter Entwhistle (killing him)


  • Davian (Kevin)
  • Harry (Simon)
  • Holly (played by committee)
  • Kirchin (Pete)
  • Marigold (Clare)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...