Fearless in Ferelden

The Brecilian Bann #3
  • Ukai, Avvarian warrior (played by John-Diego)
  • Zeke, Ferelden Freeman apostate (played by John)
  • Shyun Bleedingtree, Dalish elf warrior (played by Sean)
  • Landon the Red-Faced, Ferelden Freeman warrior (played by Adam)
  • Bewho, Avvarian rogue (played by Allie)
  • Gorim Kerdik, surface dwarf warrior (played by Karen)

Returning to Logerswold with Waldric, the companions encounter Bann Trumhall and a force of his men, who seek to take Waldric into their custody. Refusing to turn him over immediately, suggesting that they have evidence of his connection to Trumhall, the companions provoke the guards, and Trumhall’s Mabarian mastiff attacks Waldric, knocking him from horseback, killing him.

Sensing the scuffle, others approach from the village, and the town council intervenes, to consider the evidence, and to reconsider the election of Trumhall and the unseating of Krole. Looking for trouble — and Bron — Zeke walks around the village accompanied by Ukai. Finding Bron, Zeke challenges him to another duel, this time killing him with magic.

Villagers intervene too late, but capture Zeke, jailing him and putting him trial as an apostate mage. Sister Pliacinth find him guilty, despite Bron’s involvement in the wrongdoing, and banish him — along with the other companions — from Logerswold and the surrounding area.

The companions are escorted to the western edge of the area, but leave the road and circle back… to search for a way post in the forest that featured markings similar to a marking on the Mabarian war hound’s collar. They find the way post, deep in the forest past the bandit camp, and spend time trying to scry its markings. Eventually, the decipher the carvings and find their way to another way post, and another… and another… until they hear the sound of rushing water.

Approaching the source of the sound of rushing water, similar to that of a large waterfall, the companions come to a small clearing at the edge of a ridge falling down toward a river below. Before them is an enormous tree, ancient and old, growing from the edge of the embankment, a waterfall behind it. Looking down the ridge, they see a network of exposed roots, and the river far below. Looking up the tree, they see an opening about 30 feet up.

Next: Inside the tree

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The Brecilian Bann #2

The next morning, the companions go downstairs to meet with Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft — and to eat a quick breakfast before heading out to search for the bandit camp. Delia, the innkeeper’s daughter, is there, too — also eager to join the party on what could be her first adventure.

  • Zeke, Fereldan Freeman apostate (played by John)

tries to persuade Delia to remain behind and help her father run the inn, but

  • Ukhai, Avvarian warrior (played by John-Diego)
  • Vangquo, human rogue (played by Patrick)

welcome Delia’s joining the party.

  • Shyun Bleedingtree, Dalish elf warrior (played by Sean)

tries to stay out of it.

Regardless, as Delia takes off her apron to join the companions, her father Liwis approaches, confronting her. The two argue awhile, about her responsibility to the family, about how Liwis had told Delia she could try the life of an adventurer (but before her mother was killed) — and it’s not long before the argument includes the companions, as well.

Liwis tells the party that, while they are invited to avail themselves of his hospitality as long as they’re in the employ of Bann Trumhall, they shouldn’t take advantage of his opening his inn to them. Saddened by Delia’s decision and irritated by the companions encouragement of her adventurous streak, he returns to the kitchen. With no wait staff to serve the companions their breakfast now that Delia has loosed her apron strings, the party will have to be satisfied with trail rations. So they embark.

Upon exiting the inn, the companions are greeted by Ridyk, the stablehand who stabled their horses the previous night. While shoveling up horse apples, the former retainer of Valdur Krole wishes the companions luck — and sheds some skeptical light on Bann Trumhall’s attempts to rout the bandits since his election. While Krole was criticized for being too conservative in his efforts, Ridyk has seen no improvement in the situation, or any more aggressive tactics used by Trumhall. Under Krole’s watch, the town guard took a mostly defensive stance, protecting supply trains and logging operations. Trumhall doesn’t even do that — he just hires adventurers to seek out the bandits while he continues the construction of his stockade.

Once out of Logerswold, on horseback, the party makes good time, heading east along the main road into the forest and toward the logger’s camp. As they get deeper into the woods, trees arching over the road blocking the sun and quiet damp setting in, the companions become more mindful of the possible presence of bandits. They approach a stretch of road with a ridge above and a slope below and spy archers along the ridge, waiting in ambush.

The companions engage the archers with ranged combat, and Vangquo tries to ride his horse through the pinch point between ridge and scramble-down slope, only to encounter several bandits on foot, armed with swords. Combat ensues. Delia is almost slain and turns her horse right around to head home, leaving the adventurers. The companions are hard pressed to eliminate the archers, and more bandits come around the corner on foot to engage in hand to hand. Eventually, all but one bandit is killed. The party questions him about the bandits and their camp — without learning that much more.

Continuing along the road, the party smells the logger’s camp before they reach it. The clearing is full of dead bodies, many on the ground, a week dead, and several hanging or crucified on nearby trees. Zeke posits that this goes far beyond mere banditry and this is more of a reign of terror — but to what purpose? Did the loggers set up camp too close to something that wanted to remain hidden? Or is the disruption of the logging operation supposed to have an additional effect, as well?

The companions search the camp, learning that the slaughter took place about a week ago, that the loggers were vastly outnumbered, and that they were attacked on all sides. Vangquo and Shyun discover several trails, some wider and most likely leading to logging areas, and a fewer smaller and less traveled. Many peter out after 100 yards into the woods or so, but some do not.

It is while exploring one such path that Ukhai hears the distant bark of a dog of some kind and sets out in that general direction. About 100 yards deeper into the woods off the path he was exploring, he finds another trail, one that will accommodate horses, if the somewhat fresh mound of horse droppings is any indication.

Ukhai alerts his companions, and the seven — including Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft — follow this new trail on horseback. The trail leads to a stream, which it crosses, and the tracks disappear. Ukhai and Vangquo search for tracks up and down stream and discover that the horses entered the stream and headed down stream. Continuing along the stream, the companions eventually come to a slight rise and a wisp smoke, perhaps from a campfire at the bandit camp.

Scouting ahead, Vangquo spots a lookout in a tree at the top of the rise. The scout is sleeping, so Vangquo stealthily approaches and climbs the tree to quietly slit the lookout’s throat. Then, Vangquo, Ukhai, Shyun, and Shadow sneak up to the edge of the camp to assess the situation. They find about a dozen tents, eight horses in a pen, and four bandits playing dice in the dirt. No one else is in sight.

The four begin to pepper the bandits with arrows, eventually engaging in hand-to-hand combat. Two more bandits emerge from a large tent, one of them Waldric the Gore-Hand, the bandit leader, and the rest of the companions ride in once the element of surprise is gone. Their numbers greatly diminished because of the fight at the ambush earlier in the day, the bandits don’t last long, and the companions defeat the criminals, knocking Waldric unconscious rather than slaying him.

Searching the camp, the companions find 175 silver pieces per party member, a half dozen silver bracelets, a fine hat made of luxurious fabric, and a locked box — which contains additional spoils of banditry, as well as Waldric’s journal.

The journal includes records of the bandit gang’s crimes, including the murder of Liwis’s wife, schedules of upcoming supply train activity and logging operations, and signs that the bandits were working in concert with Bann Trumhall. As the companions finish searching the camp, Vangquo spots a Mabari war hound at the perimeter, just before it slinks back into the woods.

Given the evidence in the journal, the companions decide to take Waldric back to Logerswold with them — and to go see Valdur Krole with their news.

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The Brecilian Bann #1

After a night’s rest following the battle against Mythallen, the companions leave Vintiver with additional directions from Tarl Dale. He indicates that the bann seeking adventurers is the bann of the village of Logerswold, in the Ruswold Valley just west of the Brecilian Forest. The companions head along the main road east of Bannorn toward the valley. A couple of the party’s original adventurers have other business to attend to and make plans to meet up in the future. Remaining were:

  • Ukhai, Avvarian warrior (played by John-Diego)
  • Zeke, Fereldan Freeman apostate (played by John)

Upon entering the Ruswold Valley, the pair decide that they won’t make it to Logerswold by the end of the day. With the approach of night, the two leave the main road and head into the hills to make camp. They gather brush and make low-lying lean-to’s for shelter from the night winds. Little do they know that they are under the watchful gaze of Ukhai’s former companion

  • Shyun Bleedingtree, Dalish elf warrior (played by Sean)

who’s been tracking them since they left Vintiver, where he’d waited to see the party depart, not knowing for sure whether they were in town, or wanting to brave the largely human settlement himself — but knowing that a large-scale battle had ensued.

Not long into Ukhai’s watch, the first of the night, he becomes aware of several armed men approaching the camp. They seem to be aware of the two and approach the camp slowly, but not sneakily. Ukhai awakes Zeke, who calls out to the men. The three take offense at the suggestion that they are not wholly in the right to approach the camp as they are, and one — Bron — challenges Zeke to a duel. Ukhai offers Zeke his sword and shield, but not his sword arm as proxy, and the duel begins.

Bron dramatically draws first blood, humiliating Zeke according to the culture of the Ruswolds, but also casting some shame on himself given that his opponent is clearly outclassed. Zeke bites his lip, biding his time, and apologizes to Bron for the imagined slight. Satisfied, the three local ruffians continue on their way.

Ukhai takes a longer watch so Zeke can rest fully in order to heal somewhat, and the rest of the night passes without incident. The next morning, the two wake, break camp, and return to the main road, continuing toward Logerswold. After awhile, the two become aware of someone making their way toward them from off the main road, his path set to intercept theirs. Ukhai recognizes Shyun but doesn’t say anything to Zeke, who hasn’t met him before — until Shyun makes it to the road.

After a slightly awkward reunion — Shyun left the party to recover the horses when the darkspawn attacked the companions at the Dalish camp but was then unable to catch up with the group to join them in the battle against Mythallen — the now trio is appproached by a half dozen riders on horseback. Zeke and Shyun seek cover in the woods, but Ukhai sits on a rock by the side of the road, waiting for the riders to reach them.

Upon arrival, the riders, identifying themselves as loyal to Bann Trumhall and on patrol of the main road into the Ruswold, ask Ukhai to state his name and business. He tells them, admitting that his two companions are hiding in the woods. Zeke emerges, pretending that he’s returning from relieving himself in the foliage, but Shyun remains hidden. Not entirely sure how to proceed — the group is neither hiding nor entirely forthright — the men offer to take Ukhai and Zeke to Bann Trumhall so they can offer their services in response to his call for aid. The two join them, Shyun following them a safe distance behind, in the woods.

Nearing town, the patrol and two adventurers take a side road to the bann’s encampment, a stockade under construction. Just as they enter the compound, Shyun is spotted by two other men loyal to the bann, who approach him and take him to see Bann Trumhall, as well — although not as readily.

Ukhai and Zeke are ushered into a comfortably appointed canvas tent used by Trumhall as his center of operations while the stockade is being built. He introduces himself as the newly elected bann for the area — area residents recently voted to replace their former bann Valdur Krole, who was unable to defend the town adequately. Trumhall explains why he’s sent out the call for adventurers: Bandits from the Brecilian Forest are attacking the people of Logerswold, killing loggers, and otherwise disrupting the area’s life and industry. He offers no pay, but support, and the spoils of their adventure if the companions root out and defeat the bandits. As the group discusses the details of the situation, Trumhall is joined by a Mabari war hound — and Trumhall’s men bring Shyun into the tent.

Ukhai vouches for Shyun, who joins the discussion, which results in the companions agreeing to help Trumhall, and which wraps up just as three other adventurers are brought into the tent to meet with Trumhall. As the companions leave, to head into Logerswold with a scrip for use at the stables — Trumhall pledged them three horses — and basic equipment at the blacksmith’s, they overhear the start of Trumhall’s conversation with the new trio: almost exactly the same as his overtures to the party moments ago.

The trio head toward town and are soon approached by a man and a woman still in the employ of Krole. They ask the party to join them; Krole would like to meet with the party. Despite Shyun’s interest in heading to town to secure the equipment they need, the three decide to see what Krole has to say. They follow the two servants to Krole’s palisade, which surrounds a large manor house and watchtower high on a hill just outside of Logerswold.

Krole, a dour man with an artificial leg, asks if the companions are the adventurers accosted by a few of his former men at arms the night before. Zeke indicates that he was challenged by such ruffians, and Krole offers an apology, even though he says he does not need to. Zeke accepts the apology, and the companions depart, to head the rest of the way into Logerswold.

As they leave the manor house, a call for alarm rises, Krole’s men in the watchtower spying a bandit attack on several supply wagons approaching the palisades. The companions rush out to the main road and see the wagons, burning, overturned. As they approach, arrows whiz out from the woods and rocks along the road, hitting Ukhai and Zeke. The three attempt to fight the hiding bandits, most of whom remain unseen. Ukhai kills one, and the companions hear hoofbeats as others escape on horseback.

Shyun chases one bandit into the woods, embarking on an extended race, evading roots and branches, trying to loop around to the bandit’s front, and occasionally getting close enough to stop and fire an arrow at the bandit. Shyun does so several times, twice aiming to cause non-lethal damage, eventually felling the bandit, unconscious. Shyun hoists him over his shoulder and returns to his companions on the main road.

When the bandit regains consciousness, the party questions him. He informs them that the bandits are led by Waldric Gore-hand, that they are well-organized, and that about three dozen outlaws are camped out near a waterfall south of the logger’s camp. The companions secure rough directions to the encampment — Ukhai intimidating the captured bandit — tie him up securely, and lead him to Krole’s palisades.

Krole claims no authority over the Ruswolds, indicating that the bandits are now Trumhall’s concern. But he appreciates the audience with the bandit regardless. Approaching the outlaw, he punches him in the stomach. “That’s for one wagon.” Then he knees him in the chin. “That’s for the second.” And then he punches him again. “And that’s for the third.” Winded, Krole suggests the companions take the bandit to Trumhall.

The trio does, and Trumhall thanks them, two of his men taking the bandit into a nearby tent for questioning. Before leaving Trumhall, Ukhai asks whether Trumhall can spare any men to join them on the raid of the bandit camp. He suggests that the companions talk to other adventurers in town — specifically the trio they saw previously: Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft — perhaps at the inn, to enlarge the size of their party. Outside, as Zeke peeks into the prison tent to see what Trumhall’s men are doing to the captured bandit, Trumhall’s Mabari war hound stands outside his tent, as though watching the party.

Upon reaching town, the three go to the stables to procure horses, and the blacksmith’s to secure additional weapons and armor. Ukhai commissions a custom made helmet, which the blacksmith promises in three weeks time. Then, the companions go to the village inn, the Sign of the Spreading Tree.

Entering the inn, the companions meet the proprietor, a somewhat sad man named Liwis. He says that his hospitality will come at no cost as long as the party are working for Trumhall, and asks his daughter Dealia to set the three up with stew and ale or water. Ukhai spies the three adventurers from before — Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft — and approaches them about joining forces. The three suggest that they speak some later that night and see if the groups get along. Ukhai also approaches another two adventurers, who are not at all interested in joining forces. In fact, they scoff, claiming that they’ll defeat the bandits first, claiming all the spoils for their own! Clearly, not all of the adventurers in town are cooperative. The companions have competition to defeat the bandits.

As the night progresses, the companions are able to spend more time talking with Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft, and the six decide to throw in together. As Dealia cleans up once the inn is almost empty, she is obviously listening in, and Zeke challenges her. Dealia, too, offers her assistance, claiming that she has weapons and is strong. The companions discourage her, saying that her place is with her father, to protect the village of Logerswold.

With the sun set, the companions fed, and the deal with Shadow, Hocke, and Pryft made, the three retire, to sleep, and rest for the next day’s adventure.

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The Dalish Curse #2

After spending the night in the woods — and their battle with the darkspawn — the companions continued into the woods, following the lead of Eshara.

  • Edgarrin, Orlesian exile rogue (played by John)
  • Edlyn, Fereldan freeman rogue (played by Karen)
  • Ukai, Avvarian warrior (played by John-Diego)

The companions reach a fallen tree spanning a gorge in the forest, a river running over rocks far below. Edgarrin makes it across the makeshift bridge, almost losing his balance and falling to the rushing waters. As Ukai attempts to toss a rope to Edgarrin — to ease the passage of the remaining adventurers, the companions are beset upon by bloodcrows. A quartet of bloodcrows pesters that party, one dispatched relatively easily by Edgarrin, to plummet over the edge of the gorge. The others go for the adventurers’ eyes, latching onto their faces and hands when possible. Eventually, the vicious birds are defeated.

The rest of the companions make their way across the fallen tree, and four more bloodcrows attack. Those, too, are defeated.

Further into the forest, at the bottom of a hidden valley, Eshara shows the party the location of the abandoned keep, now in ruins. Stealthily and smartly exploring the area before proceeding into the ruins, the foursome finds an area of debris that’s been cleared to reveal a stairway leading down into the darkness.

Lighting a torch, the companions delve into the depths of the keep, quickly coming upon three skeleton guards, two with two-handed spears and one with a bow. Before long, the four defeat the skeletons. Beyond the doors they were guarding, there come the sounds of calls for help. Opening the doors, the party comes upon the darkspawn’s prison — and the remainder of Eshara’s people.

Eshara quickly reconnects with the elder Lorekeeper Orellis and hunter Lirresh. Orellis tells the companions that Mythallen is in fact a corrupted Dalish elf, and that his darkspawn are other elves, transformed. The darkspawn, led by Mythallen, left hours ago, to return to Vintiver, to exact their revenge on the village and its villagers. Lirresh offers to lead the companions back to Vintiver following a shortcut that should help them return before Mythallen and his darkspawn forces arrive. Encouraged by Vintiver resident Edlyn, a cousin of the slain farm family, the companions agree.

On the way back through the woods, following a long-abandoned cobblestone roadway that’s now little more than a hidden path, the companions stumble upon a giant spider, whose webs momentarily bind Edgarrin. Once the spider is dispatched, the group easily makes it back to Vintiver — but not before Mythallen and the darkspawn do.

The village is under siege. Mythallen leads the assault, engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Tarl Dale, the warden. Edlyn leaps right in to help a villager fight a darkspawn, but the other companions — including Eshara and Lirresh — focus their energy on Mythallen, who holds his own quite well. Ukai hears the cries of a frightened baby from inside a burning bakery and braves the smoke and fire to save it — then joins the fray.

The companions slay a couple of darkspawn fighting alongside Mythallen to winnow out the melee threats, but Mythallen’s claws prove most formidable, dropping Edgarrin. Eventually, Ukai, with his two-handed sword, nearly cleaves Mythallen in two.

At that point, ghostly screaming shapes emerge from the mouths of Mythallen and his darkspawn, who fall, transforming back into the Dalish elves they were. Mythallen himself returns to the form of Harralan, still cloven in twain. Sister Arda makes her way through the courtyard to aid the wounded but is unable to help Edgarrin, who is dead.

Tarl Dale thanks the companions for their help, indicates that Vintiver will be hard pressed to recover from the battle — especiially given the loss of their blacksmith — and encourages the party to continue on their way out of town as soon as they are able. An uneasy quiet descends on the village as its buildings burn and the wounded wail.

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The Dalish Curse #1

The party is composed of several adventurers, who joined forces while making their way to the Brecilian Forest in search of a bann rumored to be hiring adventurers. They joined together less thinking that they’d be hired as a group, and more because they thought it’d be safer in a larger group — safer if accosted by bandits, and safer if attacked by animals or darkspawn. The companions include:

  • Edgarrin, Orlesian exile rogue (played by John)
  • Hawkmage, city elf circle mage (played by Mike)
  • Shyanne Bleedingtree, Dalish elf warrior (played by Sean)
  • Ukai, Avvarian warrior (played by John-Diego)

As the companions crossed an open field, approaching one of the larger farms they’ve seen while making their way toward the Brecilian Forest, they noticed carrion crows circling overhead. Nearing the edge of the farm’s fields — approaching the outer perimeter fence — they discovered a dead body with four long gashes on its side… and noticed the shapes of prowling animals moving through the low grasses ahead. As two of the companions climbed the fence to look closer, the shapes became clear: blight wolves.

Defending themselves against the blight wolves, the companions emerged victorious, proceeding to search a nearby equipment shed, the stables — where they discover a female Dalish elf, wounded and then unconscious, hiding in the hayloft — and the farmhouse. Outside, the party finds a handful of dead bodies — all slain in the same fashion. Inside the house, they find more dead, as well the word “Mythal,” scrawled on the wall in blood.

Hawkmage healed the discovered Dalish, Ukai fashioned a litter from found fence cross pieces, and the companions continued to head toward the village — before anyone found them amidst all the carnage. Once in town, the villagers kept their distance — one obviously noticing them and going to tell someone. Ascertaining that the temple was a good place to seek additional healing for the Dalish, the companions go there.

Inside, they meet Sister Arda, who is taken aback by the unexpected presence of a Dalish woman — but is willing to help. She tells the companions of a recent market day during which some visiting Dalish got into a scuffle with some locals. The villagers ran the elves out of town, but since then livestock have gone missing, buildings have been vandalized, farm equipment has been damaged, and villagers are increasingly suspicious that the Dalish are exacting their revenge. Tempers are high, and the presence of the Dalish could be problematic.

Sure enough, a crowd gathered outside the temple, demanding the handing over of the unconscious elf. The party refused, and Edgarrin attempted to reason with the gathered force of about 30 strong. Interacting primarily with Coalan, a local blacksmith — and one of the villagers who got into the scuffle with the Dalish — he eventually encouraged the crowd to disperse, indicating that once the elf is conscious, the companions will meet with the village council to discuss what must be done. Sister Arda lent a hand to the cause, and the mob reluctantly dispersed, Coalan angrily studying Edgarrin’s face, claiming that he will be remembered.

Eshara gradually comes to, surprised to be back in Vintiver, and tells the companions her tale: the fight on market day, the disappearance of her fellow elf Harralan — who’d gotten into the scuffle with Coalan — the gradual disappearance of the bulk of her band, and then the attack by darkspawn led by a creature named Mythallen. Kidnapped and secreted in an abandoned keep in the forest, Eshara alone escaped from the elves’ prison, making her way to a farm at the edge of town before she was attacked by darkspawn. Wounded, she hid in the barn and heard the darkspawn attacking the farmers just before losing consciousness in the hayloft — which is where the companions found her.

The recovered Dalish asks for the companions aid — Eshara will take them to the abandoned keep, and with her aid, they can remove the threat of Mythallen and his darkspawn, returning peace to the village and Dalish clan alike. Just then, village Warden Tarl Dale, arrives, to confer with Sister Arda, and then the companions. He pledges whatever aid he can to the party, which repairs to the Arbor Inn for a meal and a restful sleep.

The next morning, the party rises, eats breakfast, and sets out on four borrowed horses, fully outfitted for the mission ahead. Shortly after they pass the outskirts of town, they are ambushed by Coalan and eight angry villagers, whom they recognize from the mob of the previous day. Coalan and the group try to bully and unhorse the companions, who stand firm and eventually — reluctantly — resort to combat. Edgarrin slays Coalan, and Hawkmage almost kills two other villagers, pulling his killing blow, before the companions are able to break away and ride on.

After almost a full day’s ride, Eshara leads the companions onto a side trail off the main road and shortly to the Dalish camp. The camp is a shambles: wagons overturned, horse dead — dined on by forest predators — and debris strewn about. The party searched the area, discovering the Dalish band’s money box, which they return to Eshara. And as the group debates whether to set up camp here or elsewhere, night falls.

The companions set up tents and the night’s watch. During the last watch, Hawkmage is surprised by four darkspawn, who kill him. The rest of the party awakes and sets into the darkspawn, eventually defeating them — and healing Hawkmage. One darkspawn runs away, following a trail — and tracks — to the south-southeast. The companions take a short rest and decide what to do next, perhaps to follow the trail to the south-southeast.

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