Harvest Of Vengeance
As the newly formed party travelled towards their goal they found themselves at a farmstead on the outskirts of the village of Vintiver, near the Brecillian Forest. They expected to stop off in the village as it was en route but were unaware their visit would be far more eventful than possibly imagined.
20th of Harvestmere (Day 1)
Morning: The Farm
Walking through a tall field of wheat, the group was beset by hounds visibly changed by some form of dark magic. The blighted wolves snarled with twisted faces and leapt upon the team violently. Through sheer determination, the dogs were fought off, a yelping survivor fleeing into the woods.
Searching the nearby area, the party found the ravaged remains of men who had worked the fields. Whilst examining the victim’s wounds they heard muffled cries emanating from a barn. On entering, they discovered a badly injured and terrified Elven woman who promptly passed out. They healed her wounds, which visibly relieved her but still she remained unconscious. Searching her belongings, they found a strange and very large silver chain link. Worried for her safety if they were to investigate further, the group tied shut the doors of the barn before looking around.
The door to the farmhouse had been forced open, by forces other than the encountered hounds. Entering, they made the grim discovery of the mutilated bodies of women and children. On the wall above the bodies was painted in blood, the Elven word “Mythal” meaning “Revenge”.
Deciding they should move on, the group took a wagon, hoisted the unconscious elf on it and walked the rest of the way to Vintiver, with Menguy pulling it along.
Entering the village of Vintiver, the group found themselves faced with much questioning from the uneasy locals. On being told about the massacre at the outlying farmstead, a man named [[:old ned | Old Ned]] informed them that there had been strange disappearances of livestock lately but that this was the first murders that had occurred. Old Ned also warned the party that elvish folk would find nothing but a cool reception. A fortnight ago, at the yearly harvest festival, a fight had almost broken out between the local blacksmith named Coalan and some visiting Dalish. Coalan used racial slurs against one of the elves whom he’d accused of eyeing up the town’s women. Before it came to blows the Dalish clan elder called for peace but the young Elf did not leave amicably, shouting violent curses upon the villagers.
Mythrandir on the other hand went into the local tavern (The Arbor Inn) and chatted with the owners, Haran and Kesla Mullin, a quaint yet friendly bickering couple. A group of men (including the aforementioned Coalan) gave Mythrandir dark looks as he ordered a drink and was told that the local Marshall, Tarl Dale, would not be back from patrol until the evening. The other party members soon entered and booked a room where they could lay down the injured elf and wait till nightfall.
Night: The Arbor Inn
When night came, trouble came with it. An angry mob, armed with torches and led by Coalan besieged the inn and demanded that the elf girl be handed over to them for “interrogation” or that they’d take her by force. Instead of kowtowing to this request or letting the situation become a bloodbath, the party instilled fear into the mob with some well made threats of violence. The louts quickly dispersed. Menguy attempted to talk to Coalan about the silver link but was met with nothing but disdain.
At this point,the Elf maiden finally awoke, stating her name as Eshara Yonwyn. She confirmed to the group that hers was indeed the clan that had recently been in Vintiver. Eshara told the story of how after the events of the harvest festival, Harralan, the elf who had been been the centre of the disturbance was ordered on scout duty to cool off. However he supposedly never returned, nor did the party sent out to find him. More and more of the clan disappeared until one night, hordes of creatures descended on the remaining members. Some resisted and died but the rest were taken by the beasts to the bowels of an old ruin deep in the Brecillian Forest. There they met the leader, a powerful monstrosity called Mythallen (Child of vengeance in Elven) who ranted constantly of destroying their human enemies on behalf of Elves everywhere.
Eshara said she’d escaped her captors but only after taking a silver chain link that had seemed important to Mythallen, since it rested on a shrine in his personal chamber. She was wounded by mutated hounds as she ran away and was eventually forced to take shelter in the barn where the party found her.
Once Eshara finished telling her story a knock came at the door as Tarl Dale, the local marshal, arrived back from patrol. He apologised for the poor reception the party had received, stating that the villagers were just scared simple folk. He implored that the party track down the source of evil before anything worse occurred. Tarl could not go himself as the town needed him to protect it. They agreed on the provision that they receive basic supplies to aid them. Eshara drew a map and directions to the ruin she spoke of.
As everyone went to bed for the evening, Eshara asked Menguy to stay up and talk to her. Passion took the both of them and they woke up the next morning entwined in eachother’s arms…blurgh.
21st of Harvestmere (Day 2)
Daytime: The Road out of Vintiver
The party (without Eshara who was still in a delicate condition) headed out early on the road, ready for action. But action came sooner than expected as a group of villagers led by Coanlan jumped from the bushes with the express purpose of beating the party senseless and sending them packing. Though care was taken to make sure Coanlan was only knocked unconscious in the brawl, 3 villagers were killed by the use of Marionne and Mythrandir’s magic. The surviving peasants ran. Coalan was sent home in shame, his hammer taken from him.
As they marched onwards into the afternoon, they came across the remains of an abandoned Dalish camp site. It looked like whatever had happened to its inhabitants happened quickly and violently. There were pools of blood but strangely enough, no bodies. The group decided that they would set up camp there for the evening.
Night: Abandoned Dalish Camp Site
It came from the woods. Maniacal laughter. The party were roused from their slumber as it got louder and closer. Chilling cackles echoed off the trees, surrounding them in a maddening cacophony of howling glee. It sent shivers down the spine off every last one of the group, even Tyene who had spent her life in the woods but had never heard a sound like this.
The source of the noises was made clear as four beasts, horrific in nature with rictus grins of sharp fangs and claws as long as daggers descended on the clearing from all sides. They did not stop their unnerving noisemaking as they proceeded to attack.
Even though he was filled with abject terror, Menguy charged straight out into the darkness to meet his attackers head on. The battle was fierce for all as the beasts were not easily harmed (attacks that would have killed a man were shrugged off) yet inflicted horrific cuts with every connect they made. On his own and presenting a juicy target, Menguy was soon surrounded and brought down by a collective torrent of slashing. It could very well have been the end but the group stood firm and killed every one of the howling freaks.
As they tended to their wounded comrade, bringing him back from the edge of death, the group came to a horrifying realisation. The remains of the quartet they had only just hacked and blasted to death had changed. They no longer resembled hideous beasts, they now most definitely looked like the corpses of elves…