The Village

Session 8
New lights in the darkness

As Edvin sat on his porch on a crisp spring morning, he decided he needed to build a pasture for the newly acquired animals. With the help of Flavius, he fenced an area next to his fields.

Back at his tavern, Eliasz decided it was time to brew his spring batch. Instead of the traditional brew, he decided to make a special batch that was more pungent than usual. Initial signs showed that the batch would be successful.

One evening Edvin, Flavius and Eliasz had a private meeting at the inn to discuss what to do about the rumored treasure. Edvin was as excited as the others but feigned no interest in the treasure and agreed to go along “because Flavius seems to be so eager”. They decided to acquire a boat and take it upstream to the waterfall. They told no-one about the plan, and decided to travel under guise of foraging for special berries for Eliasz’ beer.

Edvin went to see his friend Kurt, the travelling fisherman about borrowing his boat. Kurt told Edvin he needed to make one trip downstream but after that Edvin could borrow the boat. Flavius and Eliasz wanted to visit the River Queen before the trip, each for his own reason. Eliasz wanted to know more about the Religion, priests and Ignacio while Flavius felt drawn to the young fortune teller Aleksandra.

As Kurt was headed downstream and there was room on his boat, Eliasz and Flavius hitched a ride from him. Edvin didn’t want anything to do with the River Queen so he stayed home and mended some of Flavius’ broken gear. At the River Queen, Eliasz and Flavius noticed that the encampment by the riverside was much smaller than before, and also the River Queen’s corridors weren’t as crowded as before. Flavius went to see Bosco so he would take Flavius to Aleksandra, while Eliasz asked around and found a priest in a tavern. Over beers, the priest and Eliasz discussed matters related to the Religion. Up in the tower, Flavius was granted audience with Aleksandra. He wanted to pay up his favors to the girl, but as Aleksandra had said, she would call on him when it was time. Flavius felt Aleksandra was held prisoner, and while Aleksandra didn’t deny that was the case, she seemed reluctant to leave or escape. Flavius tried to court her, but she was merely amused by his efforts.

Flavius and Eliasz walked back to Moreny as night fell. A few days later, Kurt arrived at Edvin’s door to tell him that he could borrow the boat now. Edvin instructed his kids on what to do at the farm while he was gone. Eliasz left the inn in the hands of Shora and the three departed on their journey.

The trip upstream was hard work but uneventful. They travelled for three days – sleeping nights in the boat as they had no tent – before arriving at a waterfall on a cliff resembling a wolf’s head. They tied down their boat, built torches, took all the rope they could get from the boat and started to climb the cliff. The climb was long and arduous with Edvin falling behind, but they finally made it to the plateau where the cave entrance was. As the climb was exhausting and it was getting dark already, they decided to make camp before entering. They camped on the cliffside by the waterfall, and in the morning they entered the cave.

The cave was very damp and obviously a natural cave. After travelling downwards in the dark, narrow tunnels for quite a while, Edvin noticed that there were man-made wooden steps under the thick layer of mud on the ground. Soon after, they arrived at an opening where there was a fast-moving stream blocking their way. Luckily there was a crude bridge that helped them get across. Flavius went first and fastened a rope on the other side so the others could get across more easily.

They entered another tunnel. Flavius was still in front and while he was walking along the tunnel he heard something crack under his feet. A plank built over a hole broke and Flavius fell into the chasm along with the only lit torch in the party. Edvin and Eliasz heard Flavius scream while he fell and they were left in total darkness. Eliasz started to panic but Edvin calmed him down and lit another torch. Flavius fell along sloped walls and tunnels deep into the hole before landing in mud. His torch still lit and axe close by, he started to examine the mud-filled room, but not before calling out to Eliasz and Edvin. After hearing Flavius was ok, the two decided to proceed over the hole in which Flavius had fallen. Eliasz jumped across and with his help Edvin got across as well. The tunnel ended in a large room where there were signs of living: clothes, books, beds and furnitures, all rotten in the damp air. Eliasz found a sword that was in excellent shape despite its obviously old age and Edvin found two heavy chests.

Meanwhile, Flavius explored the room he was in and noticed there were man-made holes in the walls. As he peeked into one of them he saw something dart quickly inside the hole. Nervous, he continued to examine the room. He felt a sting on his neck and sweeped across the back of his head. A large, cat-sized ant fell in the mud and Flavius swatted it with his axe. As he looked around, he saw the walls were crawling with these huge ants. Flavius ran for the hole through which he fell with the ants on his tail. He climbed up the tunnels and slopes with the ants on his heels before arriving to another room. He saw a large wooden chair in a corner and also noticed there was a hole near the ceiling where he could hear Eliasz and Edvin and could see their torchlight. The ants right behind him, he went to the chair and noticed it was not a chair but a throne and there was an iron crown on it. He recognized the crown from his vision and took it with him before climbing up the hole to Edvin and Eliasz. The ants followed soon after Flavius, and the three men fought them with lit torches, boots, a sword and an axe. After a few minutes fighting they defeated the ants. A few of the ants managed to bite into Eliasz’ and Flavius’ flesh but the wounds were shallow and healed quickly.

After catching up on what had happened, Edvin showed the other two what he had found: two chests filled with golden coins, rings, goblets, jewellery, insence and other valuable items. They marvelled at the treasure that they had found and argued briefly on whether to just take a little bit of the treasure now and come back for more later to ensure the secrecy of their treasure or whether to take it all with them and hide it well. They decided to take all the treasure now and hide it closer to their village.

They took a few items each on their person and started to haul the chests back up. As they came to the hole in which Flavius had fallen, Edvin tried to build a bridge out of the old bookshelves found in the room but the wood was too wet and it broke instantly. They decided to toss the items one by one to Flavius, who jumped across first. They also tossed the chests across and Flavius helped Eliasz and Edvin to cross the chasm. Back at the room with the stream, they contemplated on how to get the items across. Again, they decided that Flavius would go first and the other two would fit the items in pouches, bags, socks and other clothing and throw them over the stream to Flavius before crossing with the aid of the rope they had fastened earlier. No items were lost during the operation, and after they were all on the other side, Flavius went across again to get their rope. After travelling up for some time, they arrived at the waterfall. They lowered the chests down with their rope and climbed down.

As they loaded the treasure on the boat, Eliasz raised a question on how to divide the treasure, and asked if he could keep the sword. No quick consensus was found and Edvin said they would discuss the matter on the way home.

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Session 7
Wolves and Sheep

Edvin and Flavius face down the wolves and Flavius defeats them both. Edvin manages to keep the animals calm and none are lost.

On the way back to the village they find one of the wolves dead on the ground. The wolf had been stricken by the same sickness that the farmers on the hill were.

Eliasz is approached by Eric the miller to drop his campaign for Starzy. Eric had been promised a position in starzy by Eliasz’ father, and was passed over by Tomas and thought that it was his time. Eliasz convinced Eric that his time would come, and persuaded Eric to help Eliasz become a member of the Starzy.

Returning to the village Flavius and Edvin saw a huge bonfire in the middle of Moreny. The new priest Ignacio was holding mass and had lit a bonfire to cleanse the village and offered the people of the village salvation and purification in the fire. Flavius told him to put the fire out and leave. Grudgingly Ignacio returned to the tavern.

Ignacio told Eliasz that Alek the Dienik had told him that Eliasz would be helpful to the priests needs and asked Eliasz to find him a temporary place for a temple for the time being. Eliasz agreed to pass the information along to the Starzy but would not do anything more.

The next morning Edvin and Flavius visited the helear Greco to tell him about the sick people and wolves found outside the village. Greco had already suspected something like that when he had examined the dead Stone Blooded men. Edvin convinced Greco to come with him and help to get rid of the new priest.

They confronted the priest behind the tavern, and found him bathing himself. The priest was filled with burn marks and scars. The priest was not easily convinced or threatened and demanded that he would be given the old house of Barabbas to serve as a temporary place of worship. The villagers had to obey.

That night Edvin, Flavius and Eliasz held a meeting in the tavern. Eliasz had been told by Aurelio that his holy book contained a map or instructions to a treasure near the village. Flavius had stolen the book back from the mercenary Marius. Using the wooden symbol that Eliasz had Flavius was able to decode the book and indeed found directions to a hidden treasure in the Grey Woods up the river.

“…. so the exiled prince and his loyal servants crossed the great sea to the land of frost and the Mud Blooded… the new emperor was furious and sent an army after them but the treasure was never found… the Prince hid that which was most important…. without it the Emperor would never be the true ruler of the Oceans…. so they travelled and faced many challenges defeating the …. then up the river, through the woods of grey, a waterfall, the shape of a wolf’s head, a hidden cave, tunnels so old they were dug by the first Mud Men, past the fountain, over the bridge… they found a hall…. the wounded prince fell…. and there he now lies, with the last hope of his land…”

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Session 6
Winter

As the first snow started to fall in the Grey Woods, Eliasz the brewer decided to at last take on the trip downriver to sell his beer to the River Blooded trader. He had already persuaded the twin fishermen Kasper and Kornel to ferry his brew downriver to the River Queen and decided to go with them this first time. Flavius also tagged along.

On the River Queen, Stanko told Eliasz that the priest Aurelio had left some things behind when he was arrested and thought that these objects should go to Eliasz. In addition to ragged clothing, within these possessions was a wooden disc with holes in it.

Eliasz was also approached by a dark skinned tattooed woman named Shora. Shora was a former slave who had worked in a tavern all her life, and was hoping to work in Eliasz´s tavern. The soft-hearted inn keeper was happy to take her in.

When they returned back to the village Shora immediately started her work, and proved her value to the tavern. A few days later Tomas arrived to tavern suggesting that in the spring Eliasz should sell his wine in addition to Eliasz´s beer down the river. Eliasz negotiated with Tomas over a few beers and agreed to the deal if Tomas would lower the selling price of his wine to Eliasz. To much dismay of his wife, the drunken Tomas agreed.

When the snow had already covered the forest around Moreny, Flavius decided that he would take up on the offer of Alek the Dienik, and go to train with the town guard of Hallow. He packed his bags and said farewells to his foster family and started the journey to Deer Hills and Hallow. On the first night of his journey he made a camp fire in the forest, and with a heated blade of his dagger he burned the skin off his chest until his tattoo of The Mark of the Legion was visible no more.

In hallow Flavius was greeted by the Dienik and the captain of the guard. He started his work immediately.

The winter went by in a rush, and as the snows started to melt, Flavius decided it was time to come back home and start his work as the guardian of Moreny.

In the spring Edvin was visited by his friend Vlad, who proposed that if he would get to marry Edvins daughter when she would become of age, then Vlad would help Edvin get a herd of animals from a weary farmer in the hills. Edvin agreed with the terms that Vlad would pay for the animals.

Edvins daughter was furious with the plan, as she was hoping to marry Stanko, and revealed in a fit of rage, that Stanko was the only one brave enough to kill the mountain man who injured her brother.

Flavius returned to the village escorting the newly appointed priest of the village Ignacio. It quickly became clear that Ignacio was a follower of the Old Creed. The stern hard looking man was covered with burn marks and carried a large sword almost as tall as the old man was.

Edvin ja Flavius decided to travel to the hills to get the herd of animals for Edvin. Two nights they travelled and encountered tracks of a band of men moving in the forest, but Flavius lost the tracks in the snow. As the men finally reached the hills the farm seemed empty, only the animals were in the yard.

Inside the farm they found a couple and their sons stricken by some sort of a disease. They all had died seemingly horrible deaths, but one of the sons still drew breath and could barely speak, all he could say was “the darkness is coming”. Flavius decided to end his misery, and with a quick blow to the head, the boy was at peace.

Edvin and Flavius then started their long way back to the village with the herd of animals.

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A Biannual Letter From Your Son Alek

Dear Mother and Father,

The short summer has ended here in the north. My duties as Dienik have been exhausting at times, but I have managed to make ends meet and hopefully rise my stature in the eyes of my Lord.

As I told you in my letter last spring, I aim to make a mark on these borderlands by showing these simple people what education and enlightenment can do for them. And now I have a plan. My first step will be the founding of a Temple in the hamlet of Moreny. I introduced the idea to the village elders — or Starzy as they call themselves — on my Spring rounds. They liked my thoughts and plans, seeing wisely that a House of Worship would bring many good things to them and to their children and to their children’s children.

Soon after, I spoke before Lord Drelius about my plans for the village and was granted permission to begin the preparations. Lord Drelius seemed slighty occupied or just plain uninterested as busy men often do with the daily trifles of their subordinates, but I hope the representatives of the Church at least took note of my efforts. After all, I am doing the Lord’s work in a way.

Most of the summer flew by quickly with the obligatory accounting and bureaucratic duties of upholding the law, but I did manage to find a suitable priest for my Church-to-be. He is an older man by the name of Ignacio. I think he has been pushed to the side among the Brothers here in Hallow and he’s looking for a change of scenery. We get along well and I’m sure he’ll make a good delegate for the Church — and me — in Moreny. Perhaps I will have the architects and builders all ready in spring to fulfill my grand plan.

Winter is near, I hope this letter reaches you in good health. I send this humble Guild Cheque to help you in your preparations for winter. You need not worry about me: As you probably can tell, I am very excited about my prospects.

Your loving son,

Alek, Dienik of Hallow

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Session 5
Summer

Edvin, Flavius wake up at the camp.

Edvin is given a proposal to fix the ship and sell some food to the river folk by the captain Drago.

Eliasz comes to the ship with stanko, and makes a deal with a local merchant to sell his beer down the river.

They search the ship for Duka, but do not find him. But they find Theo in a cell. They talk him out of the prison, and find out that Theo was arrested because he tried to see the fortune teller. Theo thinks that the fortune teller his being held captive on the ship.

The crew return to the village. At the boat Stanko makes a reference to Edvins daughter and angers him.

At the village Alek is leaving to get back to Hallow to start the preparations for the new Temple. He offers a guard post to Flavius if he comes to hallow to train with the town guards. Flavius declines. Edvin tells Flavius that there is a fugitive legionnaire in the village, and gives up the priest Aurelio.

Alek tells Edvin to watch over the unconcious priest till he can send some guards to pick him up.

With the help of the rare plant Flavius got from the fortune teller, Greco is able to revive Edvins son.

A starzy meeting is held concerning the trouble with Tomas´and Eliasz´taverns. And Eliasz with the help of Alek´s documents convinces the starzy that there is room only for one tavern in the village. Tomas sells his wine now on at Eliasz´tavern.

At the meeting Edvin uses the moment to convince the people of Moreny to be against the building of the temple and succeeds at changing the minds of the village.

Flavius tries to get Aurelio out of the village, but Eliasz stops him.

Angered Flavius goes back to the river queen, to find some news about his family. He finds a mercenary Marius, who after some heavy drinking reveals that Flavius´ younger brother has died, other brother is at the worlds end, and his younger sister is to be wed to lord Drelius of Hallow.

Flavius also finds out from Marius that the mercenary got the holy book from Duka, and that Duka is dead. Flavius then stole the book back from the passed out Marius and returned to the village.

Aurelio woke up in the tavern and convinced Eliasz to let him go, because he had done nothing wrong. He even promised Eliasz a share from a treasure that Aurelio was looking. Aurelio told that the way to the treasure was told in the holy book he was carrying.

Edvin tried to convince his daughter that Stanko was a bad man, and she should stay away from
him, but realized that Stanko had already got to her, and the girl had fallen for him.

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Session 4
The River Queen

As the night grew dark Flavius found himself in the middle of the woods, miles away from Moreny. Flavius decided to make a fire and wait until morning to start find his way back home. After the cold night Flavius tried to find his way home but instead ended up finding The River Queen docked downstream from Moreny.

Hungry and tired Flavius asked for food from the River Blooded camp, but instead got the attention of the camp guard Bosco. As Flavius tried to leave Bosco stopped him. Flavius attacked Bosco and a fist fight ensued that lasted a long time until ending with both men bloodied but Flavius as the winner.

Meanwhile back in the village Eliasz and Alek were investigating the poisoning of the priest and soon found out that the likeliest suspect is Duka, as he had stolen some property from Edvin and lef the village. They also found out that the stone blooded man had died in Edvins barn. Greco the healer told Alek hesitantly that the man had been strangled by someone with skill.

Edvin decided to go after Flavius and look for him. He recruited young Theo a village hunter to accompany him and help to track down Duka and Flavius. The tracked the men the whole day and into the night and found Flavius in the River Blooded camp.

The men were invited by the defeated Bosco to some food and beds for the night. Edvin found out from a River Blooded boss, that the fortune teller Aleksandra probably have the exotic plant that Edvin needed to heal his wounded son.
Edvin sent Flavius to meet the fortune teller. The fortune teller was willing to give Flavius the plant, if he would agree to her terms. Aleksandra said that she would ask sometime in the future she would ask three favors from Flavius and he could not deny her. Flavius agreed to the terms.

Then the fortune teller showed Flavius a vision from his future, where he was an old man in a battle field drenched in blood holding a heavy crown made of iron.

The men decided to stay the night in the River Blooded camp near the River Queen.

Back in the village of Moreny, Eliasz confronted Tomas in the “new tavern”. Eliasz wanted Tomas to stop selling his wine, and the both agreed that this is a matter that the Starzy would need to decide, and Eliasz should bring his arguments to them.

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Session 3
The Dienik

Flavius brought the wounded mountain man back to the village, and locked him in Edvin´s barn. As the Dienik from Hallow arrived into the village, Edvin demanded justice. Edvin even suggested to Flavius the he should kill the mountain man, for attacking Edvin´s children.

The Dienik Alek told the Starzy that he was going to hold a meeting in the tavern about some new ideas that he had. Flavius suggested that to protect the village from possible attacks in the future he should be made an official village guard.

Greco the healer told Edvin that he found a plant from one of his books, that could wake up Edvin´s son from his coma. The only problem that the plant only grew in the Distant Lands.

In the meeting the Dienik convinced (with the help of a delicious meal that Eliasz prepared) the village elders except Edvin, that the village would benefit from a place of worship, and that one should be built. As the well made dinner continued in the tavern, the priest Aurelio collapsed from the table, apparently poisoned.

Flavius and few others helped the priest to the healers cottage. After the healer had examined the priest´s condition, he noted to Flavius in secret, that the priest hold the same tattoo as Flavius, the mark of The Legion. Greco the healer told Flavius that he would keep this secret.

As Flavius returned back home, he learned from Edvin´s daughter that the butcher Duka had been to the house. Flavius soon found out that Duka had stole the priest´s holy book and some money. Flavius successfully tracked Duka to the hills outside of the village and chased him for a long time until losing him in a dark forest.

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Session 2
Unlikely visitors

Aurelio awakens in Edvin’s house after a few days recuperating. He is grateful for the villagers’ assistance and offers to help with the farm’s daily chores as well as teach the children as a form of payment. Edvin agrees so long as Aurelio promises not to impose his faith on their family.

Eliasz begins the spring by making a batch of spring-brew beer, while Edvin and Flavius collect their abundant early-spring harvest. As the first few weeks of spring pass, Eliasz notices that business has become very slow.

While bathing in the river on a mid-spring evening, Flavius sees a boat approaching from downstream. As the boat comes ashore, Flavius talks briefly with the boatman, a River Blooded man from the River Queen. The man is looking for the village tavern. Flavius points him in the right direction and runs to Edvin to tell him of the traveller.

The traveller, a musician and gambler named Stanko, enters Eliasz’s deserted inn. He strikes a deal with Eliasz to provide music and games in his tavern, with an option for Eliasz to start selling his beer on the River Queen. Edvin and Flavius enter the establishment shortly after. As they carry on their conversation on the porch, they notice a lot of villagers entering Tomas’s house. Edvin says he will investigate the matter while Flavius and Eliasz stay with Stanko.

As Edvin enters Tomas’s house, he is greeted with a inn-like atmosphere. He quickly finds many of the Starzy and suggests they ban the traveller from the village. His peers don’t share Edvin’s view, but instead become interested in the new traveller and his games. Most of the clients in Tomas’s newly-founded inn leave for their usual hangout in hopes of music and gambling.

As Edvin returns to Eliasz’s inn, he finds Flavius enthralled in games of chance. Frustrated with the situation and the Starzy, Edvin confronts Stanko on the tavern’s porch in the dark of the night. He intimidates the young River Blooded into leaving the village and never coming back, but his coercion falls to deaf ears. Instead, Stanko tells Edvin to leave him be or else.

Now furious, Edvin goes home to fetch his bow. At home, Aurelio sees the fury in Edvin’s eyes and tries to calm him down. Edvin pleads for the holy man to talk to Stanko and to make him leave. As they arrive at the inn, Edvin sees that Stanko shares Aurelio’s faith. Edvin casts Aurelio out of his home and finds Eliasz to have a private discussion about Stanko. A heated discussion between the two ensues, after which Eliasz agrees to end his cooperation with Stanko with regard to his tavern.

Meanwhile, Flavius returns home, to find that their storage has been robbed, Edvins daughter tells him that two large men broke in, and her brother scared them off and chased them into the forest. Flavius took his axe and shield that were hidden under the floorboards and ran after them into the forest.

In the snow he found Edvins son wounded and unconscious. The two men attacked Flavius trying to surprise him, but instead were defeated by the young Legionnaire. One of the men was knocked unconscious with a broken foot while the other ran away nursing a broken nose.

Flavius was cut with a knife in the skirmish, but did not even notice it. He quickly realized that the attackers were Stone Blooded mountain men, and he tied one up. After he carried Edvins son back to the house and retrieved the healer Greco to tend to the boys wounds, he returned to the forest to fetch the defeated mountain man.

Edvin returned home to find the healer taking care of his son, and bloodied axe and shield on the floor of his house.

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Session 1
The First Day of Spring

As the first snows start to melt in the Grey Woods, three men from the village of Moreny travelled to the woods to forage and hunt.

Edvin the farmer, his foster son Flavius and their friend Eliasz the brewer, walked along the southern path, until they heard screams. Eliasz was the first to find out where the screams were coming, and the men all ran towards the noice.

They found a young priest Aurelio stuck in a pit trap, with a wooden spike through his leg. Flavius helped the priest out from the pit. Edvin built a stretcher and the men hauled the wounded priest back to the village to the healer Greco.

The healer patched up the unconscious priest, and told the men that the spikes in the trap were poisoned.

Edvin decided to take the priest to his house to recover for now. As the day came to an end Eliasz opened his tavern to the villagers, and Flavius found a holy book from the priests backpack and started to study it.

Talking to the village Hunter Barabbas, Edvin found out that the poison and the trap were likely made by the Stone Blooded mountain men, although the nearest mountains were far away. Edvin also found out that Barabbas was leaving the village, because a River Blooded fortune teller had shown him a vision of fire and soldiers destroying the village.

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