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Melee at Minehead

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 4 months ago

back to the Index, or to Chapter 61:  A Tear for Imshael 

 

Chapter 62

Melee at Minehead


9:30 Dragon, 5th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

     Our Heroes had defeated Imshael and Iveani this day. Our group was currently:

 

  • Bran, a strapping young warrior

  • Eornan, an elven scout and guide

  • Alpheus, a Warden and Circle mage

  • Landon, a Warden and apostate mage

  • Leliana, an Orlesian bard and skilled fighter

  • Aine, a Dalish elf, Bran's mother

  • Adeline, a young, untrained apostate mage from Orlais

  • Rogasha, a young laidir, rescued from public display in Orlais

  • Grey, an elven Shepherd, son of Iveani. Very skilled and well-equipped. 

  • Monkey, Bran's dog.

 

     Bran suggested that perhaps emptying the "secret cache" near Chateau Fantome, and even carrying back the cache contents, and even the eluvians at Owl's Rest, back to Edgehall. Ambitious! And, if done, best done immediately.

     Gray suggested, "... we should probably destroy the eluvian at Celatus - ugh! I can't believe I just suggested that! - it is an easy one to use to get to us now. Maybe we take the Crossroads to go through to it? Your Mythalvhenan is not far from it, if I understand correctly." That would get the group scouting Port Celatus to the area more quickly, and bypassing the hordes of darkspawn.

     However, since our departure from the deep levels of Celatus had included travel by a small rowboat and rickety raft, and some sort of speaking Darkspawn had been seen there (the Architect?), hauling the heavy eluvian there was probably unwise.  

     In the evening, after gazing at the lovely silver quill, Landon asked Leliana, "Can you please write, in your best Orlesian ducal handwriting, something like the words 'We have finally recovered some of the items stolen from the palace on Summerday - be on the lookout for the thieves attempting to fence the remainder!' on this sheet of paper? I am wondering if the quill is part of some communication system. We do have the ledger in the Duke's handwriting, if you want to see some examples."

 

9:30 Dragon, 6th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

     At Edgehall, we constructed the special frame and wagon to carry the eluvian.

 

horse fodder, travel supplies, and water barrel carried on either side of the eluvian

 

     We then went through the eluvian, boxed up the eluvian, transported the eluvian to Chateau Fantome, turned off the eluvian and placed it face-down in the central pool at the chateau, and moved the framed eluvian to the secret cache.

 

Michael is confused by all the references to "the eluvian" ...

 

     In the evening, Landon looked at his sheet of paper with the message "via quill"; it now said, "Do tell." He asked Leliana for some examples of nice-looking Orlesian script (since his primer is probably the equivalent of block letters), and possibly looked through a couple of books in the library.

 

some sort of Orlesian pangram

 

     That night, Alpheus made a dream-sending to Sextus.

 

a dream for Sextus

     Nathan needs to compose this. Topics that probably should be covered:

 

  • Imshael has been defeated, but probably not forever. The book on Wards and Sigils needs to be studied.

  • We used eluvians to get to Montsimmard and back; the elf we have been working with (Gray) didn't want us to speak of this, but the situation has changed ... we can tell you, but please don't spread the word around too much. Gray is a Shepherd, born centuries ago, and a skilled arcane warrior and blood mage.

  • We're bringing an eluvian ...

 

9:30 Dragon, 7th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

     Bran and Gray went into the countryside near Montsimmard to buy some items: they haggled with a farmer for three pregnant goats, a dozen chickens, and a large salted ham, and borrowed a cart to carry it all in. 

     Meanwhile, Eornan, Landon, Alpheus, Leliana and Aine sorted through the items in the secret cache, and moved a few of them to Edgehall, along with the animals and our traveling gear.

     Once Bran and Gray returned, we sealed Chateau Fantome as best as we could (mostly wardings on the gates and doors), and entered the secret cache. The door of the cache was closed and also warded. With our collection of goats, chickens, ham, etc. we passed through the "local" eluvian to Edgehall, and crated up that eluvian for transport the next day. A horse was purchased from Endon or some local farmer -- the "usual" (price list) cost is 50 silver for a draft horse.

     At Edgehall, Bran got Endon to pay for all the livestock.

 

9:30 Dragon, 8th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      With the dawn, we set out for the Imperial Highway. Getting the wagon up the steep ramp onto the highway was quite difficult. Once the wagon was up on the ramp, we bid farewell to Bran, Leliana and Aine -- they headed north, while we traveled south and east towards Redcliffe.

     That night we camped on the highway; the party was now:  Gray, Eornan, Landon, Alpheus, Adeline, Rogasha, and Monkey.

 

9:30 Dragon, 9th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      After several miles of travel, we left the horse and wagon, along with Gray, Adeline, and Rogasha, on the highway; Alpheus, Eornan and Landon descended the Redcliffe "off-ramp" and approached the town.

     Nobody was spending the nights in the town -- regular attacks by darkspawn had driven everyone into the castle at night. We crossed the bridge and were allowed into the castle.

     Arl Eamon was still unwell, unlikely to last more than a couple of weeks. We asked the Arlessa for permission to bring in an expert -- she was eager for any hope, and quickly agreed. Landon went out to the highway, and sent Gray to the castle; he and Eornan conducted an ancient elvish ritual which would prolong the Arl's life for another week or two.

     Both of our Wardens could sense darkspawn underground, both outside of the castle and deep under the lowest dungeons. The enemy were slowly tunneling up towards the castle.

     That night, groaning and howling packs of darkspawn attacked the castle; while there was little immediate threat of the darkspawn getting in, the effect on the inhabitants morale was all too obvious.

 

9:30 Dragon, 10th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      We set out at dawn, and by the end of the day were about 20 miles east of Redcliffe along the highway. There were burned-out farms and villages, blighted creatures, unhealthy vegetation, and a smoky haze hanging over the world.

 

9:30 Dragon, 11th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      During this day, Our Heroes had three encounters with darkspawn (probably a couple at night and one during the day). A few mild injuries were sustained by our party (especially Gray), and the darkspawn were destroyed in each case.

 

loot from 11th Bloomingtide attack

 

10 longbow arrows, each adds +1 to attack and damage

2 to Eornan, 8 to Landon

crossbow, gives +1 to attack

to be sold or given

spear, no apparent advantages

to be sold or given

wooden crow figurine

mysterious!

prayer stones ("from chart A")

mysterious!

battle axe with one empty rune slot

to be sold or given

4 silver coins

1 each to 4 PCs

 

9:30 Dragon, 12th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      Another group of darkspawn rushed over the fields, rocks and the sides of the highway and attacked us before dawn. Again, Gray was seriously injured and required chirurgical treatment. By now, a couple of minor injury kits had been exhausted.

 

loot from 12th Bloomingtide attack

a suit of light leather armor to be worn by a human female; it's "Tier 2", made from the hide of a bear (including the face and claws), and incorporates a a journeyman defense rune.

do we know any deserving ladies who need some barbaric armor?

a light leather helm, made from August Ram leather (blue and gold), with an empty rune slot

9 silver coins

4 to Gray, 1 each to every other person

"Gray, take this money and buy an injury kit when you get a chance."

 

9:30 Dragon, 13th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      We proceeded along the highway this day with no encounters with living darkspawn (or humans). We were still a few days from Lothering.

 

9:30 Dragon, 14th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      Suddenly in the night another swarm of darkspawn came racing along the highway, out of the darkness! Magic and weapons kept them away from the wagon, but Alpheus had a leg savagely mauled -- this took a while to fix.

 

loot from 14th Bloomingtide attack

 

a dose of Incense of Awareness

?

a small nug totem ("weeble sized")

to be sold or given

8 silver coins

2 each for Adeline and Rogasha,

1 each for Eornan, Gray, Alpheus and Landon

 

     That night, Alpheus received two dreams -- one from Sextus, and one from Bran (via Wynne).

 

a dream from Sextus

     Note that this is just what the rest of the group was told by Alpheus.

     Sextus and his group were heading north from Gwaren. They were having trouble traveling in the forest due to sylvans guarding Mythalvhenan. He claimed to have a plan for dealing with the Architect, and wished us good luck with setting up Port Celatus.

 

a dream from Bran

     Note that this is just what the rest of the group was told by Alpheus.

 

: In a great hall full of people Bran hoists a tankard of ale in a toast :

 

     Hail from afar!  I am here at Knavesmire with my family and many new friends.  We have heard from Sextus to join him.  Alistair and I will travel with Anwen's brother, Fergus, to Highever.  There we shall take their family's ship, the Mistral, and head to the secret port on the coast. We'll need you to set a bonfire so we can find it!  We'll bring food, fear not, and the parts for a decent crane. Alpheus, be sure to come to the coast so you can get to know Fergus.  

      My math tells me you are near Lothering.  Good news! There is a mining keep nearby that is besieged by darkspawn. Bann Decker of Minehead sent Ser Taelvin to us here at Knavesmire to seek aid. They have but a dozen fighting men and half of them are injured badly. There another three score and ten people within the keep. It has been half a month since Ser Taelvin left so surely their position is dire.  

     Make haste to Minehead. From Lothering, take the Imperial Highway south towards Ostagar.  Ser Taelvin says to go past the ramps for Applewood, the two ramps for Briarlake, the ramp for Wolf Hall, and Woodlea, then exit the highway at the sixth ramp at Greenfield.  There are three different roads that head east from Greenfield.  Have Eornan find the one with the heaviest traffic and take that six or eight miles to Minehead. 

     Destroy the darkspawn, heal the wounded, and send them all on their way to Knavesmire.   How I wish I was with you!  Remember - south to the sixth ramp at Greenfield, east to the darkspawn camp outside Minehead.

 

9:30 Dragon, 15th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      In the middle of the day, some darkspawn leaped down from hiding! Gray was badly sliced up while fighting them -- we needed to bind up his wounds promptly.

 

loot from 14th Bloomingtide attack

a piece of malachite

to be sold or given

ceremonial Tevinter dagger

?

a morning star flail, with a novice fire run

to be sold or given

a two-handed sword, with no apparent special properties

to be sold or given

4 gold pieces

1 each to Gray, Eornan, Alpheus and Landon

 

9:30 Dragon, 16th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      This day the wagon bearing the eluvian arrived in the vicinity of Lothering. The town had been obliterated by the darkspawn -- the highway, and the foundations of a few buildings, were the only recognizable structures. Stinking corpses and burned-down buildings gave the site a repulsive scent.

     Since the highway was broken here, and we didn't want to be hauling the eluvian and wagon further south, we found a spider-cave just north of the town, destroyed the spiders, and hid the wagon in the cave. We pressed on southwards, slightly faster and definitely less obvious to the darkspawn.

 

9:30 Dragon, 17th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      We trudged along the highway this day, and found the "off ramp" Bran had described; once off the highway we headed east.

     All through this day we saw the corpses of persons slain by the Blight while fleeing (or not fleeing) northwards after the disaster at Ostagar (less than two months ago).  Fortunately, no darkspawn noticed us.

 

9:30 Dragon, 18th day of Bloomingtide - Summer

 

      Following the directions Bran had given Alpheus, we came to the hamlet/crossroads of Greenfield, where three separate roads led roughly east. One of them had old wagon ruts, and we decided that was the likeliest road to a mine.

     The road led through the countryside, around some low hills, through some woods, past boulders and thickets. Eornan kept us from coming unexpectedly upon any darkspawn -- until we arrived at Minehead, at about 2 p.m..

 

the citadel at Minehead

 

     The castle had once been two hundred yards across, with a curtain wall surrounding an outer bailey with gardens, stables, storehouses, barracks, furnaces, etc.; the inner citadel was about fifty yards across. In recent decades the curtain wall had been allowed to crumble, or even carried off to build other structures; and the darkspawn had wrecked what remained of the contents of the outer bailey.

     A few humans were visible atop the walls of the citadel, and a flag was bravely flying. Around the citadel were a collection of tattered, makeshift tents and shelters -- hovels that would make Denerim's worst neighborhoods seem like palaces. These tents etc. were all relatively new, thrown up in the last two months by the darkspawn, to keep the sun off of their skin during the day.

 

part of the darkspawn camp

 

     The citadel was battered and scorched; the darkspawn had been attacking it for days or weeks. Arrows, rocks and random objects lay on the ground all around the citadel, showing where the defenders had used every available kind of ammunition.

     As we stood on the ruins of the outer curtain wall, the people atop the citadel wall began yelling and waving their hands: "Go away! Run away! There are darkspawn!" And sure enough, their helpful cries disturbed the residents of the lean-to shacks and tents -- various darkspawn began to stir and come out!

     We told Adeline, Rogasha and Monkey to stay out of sight behind the ruins of the curtain wall -- and to ride the horse quickly away if they had to.

     As we rushed towards the citadel, nearly three dozen darkspawn snarled and glared! Some (including the ogres) came out from behind the citadel; within a half-minute were were facing 7 genlocks, 8 hurlocks, 6 shrieks, 2 ogres, an emissary, and 6 strange darkspawn of a type we hadn't seen before -- "werelocks" we called them, since they seemed to be born from a werewolf broodmother.

     For five minutes the castle defenders watched a Fereldan grand-guignol -- lighting bolts, shock spells, mind blasts, and arcane bolts were cast every few seconds (along with less-obvious spells); while blades flashed, arrows flew, teeth and claws tore and ... clawed, and clubs slammed down on Our Heroes' armor. Arcane shields, force fields, fade shields, and immense skill protected us.

     At the end, the emissary tried to flee into the woods behind the citadel; Gray and Eornan chased him down and killed him. Not a single one of the darkspawn survived; amazingly, we received no crippling injuries during the battle.

 

Eornan did get a raking slice on his scalp; Alpheus got bitten on the arm by a werelock; and Gray had his arm lightly mangled.

 

     Perhaps more importantly, none of us were infected by the were-curse, or tainted by the Blight. We were, however, low on mana points.

     Inside the citadel, we were welcomed by the defenders; they had been 70 persons two months ago, but now only 50 remained, of whom 40 were non-combatants (including several badly-wounded persons). Among the wounded was Bann Decker, who had however observed our battle from a window.

 

On to Episode 63:  Peyton Pounces

Comments (1)

Kirk said

at 12:03 pm on Jun 24, 2018

sequence, best I can recall, is 1. Build cart at Edgehall, recover from battle (1 day) 2. Transfer far eluvian to cache at Chateau Fantome; also secure Chateau's eluvian (time uncertain) 3. Grey & Bran get goats, chickens, ham and borrow a cart; take stuff to Fantome, return cart. Meanwhile, Eornan, Alpheus, and Landon take inventory of the cache. (probably one-half day). 4. Transfer animals and selected gear to Edgehall. (less than one hour). 5. Crate up the Edgehall eluvian, secure a wagon and draft horse. 6. Set out on the road ...

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