Lords of the North

The Shadow Draws In

Session 5

The Green Flame

Before finally retiring for the night, the guests of Lady Rena oddly found the colour of their candle flame changed to green. Concerned by this they quickly suited up ready for battle. In that time the flame leaped from the candle and split into two. Then as it got to the floor is changed shape, resembling that of a little person, like a sprite. Before any shenanigans could happen, Berwin threw water over the sprites, evaporating them instantly.

Else where in the town people had not been so lucky and the sprites had been let loose, swiftly starting a number of fires. Thorondir who was sleeping at the inn, awoke to find now a fire, but that a strange magical sigil had carved itself into his room like a waist height banner. He quickly grabbed his gear and went in search of Daeron.

All meeting outside of Lady Rena’s manor, they also encounter Jarl, who asks what the hell is going on in his town, or more specifically if they know what actually caused the fires. Unhappy to hear it was sorcery, he takes them all with him to put out the fires, save for Daeron and Thorondir who break away to the inn to see the writing on the wall.

When they all finally are together putting the fire out, one of the Honey Badgers from the hills comes on over. They pester Jarl while he tries to co-ordinate the fire fighting effort. Brushing them off, they walk away dejected, only to be approached by the party. The Honey Badger explained that something is wrong in the graveyard, people are moving through it and no one should be in the graveyard at this time. Making a hard choice, the players decide to go investigate, having got Jarls blessing, resolving that this could be the people who did this and that’s important.

They get to the cemetery to find the graveyard attendant in presence, though stood on top of one of the larger tombs, battling off the undead. It would seem unnatural fires were the least of the sorcery for the night. They leap forward in defense of him, cutting down the six recently risen corpses. As they fight though, Daeron notices another group of the undead, much larger coming towards them. Holding them back though was a large cloaked figure with a spear.

They soon dispatched the first undead that were trying to claim the life of the grave keeper, only to look and see that the unknown figure was now gone and that the undead were once more shambling towards them. Fearing for the town if all these got to it, they stand and fight. Though they are joined in battle by Ramwulf and Miraldinir, who heard the horn call that the Dwarf made.

Though it was a hard fought battle, and Thorondir was wounded, they eventually managed to lay to test the dead once more. Though their respite was short lived as a most horrific call was made else where within the grave yard. They quickly race on over, coming to the slightly hidden part of the grave that was known as the pit. The mass grave for all the towns murderers and other fiends. Nothing was to be found at the sight, save to see that the ground had been disturbed in four different places. Thorondir looked shaken, he feared he knew what created had risen from the pit.

But the nights ills were not yet over. The grave keeper shook his head in horror as he looked on over to the largest hill in the cemetery. The royal mausoleum that belonged to the Kings of Framsburg lay open, a wreath of green fire around it. Reluctantly to let whatever had left the pit get away, they go up the hill to see what had happened at the mausoleum. Inside they found one of the crypts broken open, putting together the fragments they find out that the name of that particular King had been chiseled out.

With no tracks of the floor of the mausoleum, they know whatever left did not walk. Beaten and tired, they informed Jarl what had occurred and then got what rest they could.

The Firekeeper comes

The firekeeper visited both groups of the players. He came and gave a tall glass of honey to Thorondir and then did the same at the manor, dropping off a larger pot to be shared between the three of them. Very quickly, he is then gone.

The morning was actually then left to the party to do as they wished. Durin got moving on replacing the stone door of the royal mausoleum. Berwin went to go meet her apprentice and get started on the backlog of work for the blacksmith, and found the young lad to be competent, though slow. Thorondir met with lady Dalla to agree to take the trading post, and then went in search of the Firekeeper, though went a long way up a mountain to find him not there.

Lastly, Daeron went to the library and found out very much. His predecessor was actually looking into the King of Fram before he died. His diary would suggest he was researching into the possability that Fram’s line didn’t end with Hauladin. But what was more it did give Daeron an idea of whose spirit was awoken last night. It would seem Hauladin’s father, had his name stricken from the annuals. The only reference ever made to him was ‘The Bloody King’.

The only other noticed things in the library, was two mirrors in the chamber, one of which was cracked and a silver ring with the head of a lion on it. It was then time for the council meeting.

A short meeting

Aldritch referenced talking to an authority of the dead and revealed what Thorondir already knew, that what had risen up from the pit was a Morhg. A creature that has risen from the remains of a person who let the shadow into their life, who had truly fallen to Souron in life. Before they could get much further, it was noticed that the firekeeper was in the room… though when he had come in no one could say.

He took the party away, seeing he had need of them and when they left showed his distaste for council meetings and all the chuntering that goes on. Going up to his tower, he seemed satisfied that there they would not be listened in on. He revealed he had much knowledge of what was going on, or at least thought that he did.

He told the story of the Bloody King, that he was the next to last King of Framsburg and that like many powerful men do he got obsessed with his mortality. His last act was to tie each of his six daughters to trees, in the area known as Maidens Grove. There he left them, till they rotted and were gone. For that his name was removed from all the annuals and he would only be known as the Bloody King.

He also admitted that the Firekeepers had since that time been keeping secret the whereabouts of the Kings Crown. He worries that with it, the Bloody King could become manifest again. Revealing that it was hidden within Castle Grunhold, he always thought it safer away from the town, but not why that was the case. Either way he asked them to go recover the crowd for fear the phantom of the King would go and claim it.

For such a perilous adventure, he gives them a few warnings. Do not be in the castle after the sun goes down, or your soul is lost. Do not go into the dungeon or the spire, for another dark phantom haunts that place. Lastly… do not piss off the woses.

To the castle

Choosing to follow the river to go through as little of the ruins as possible, they have a remarkably uneventful journey on down. Save for stumbling across the tracks of something they would rather not. They found that the Morgh had gone into the ruins and later that it had crossed the river, looking like it was heading towards Mirkwood.

Leaving that for now, they headed to the castle. All around there was the sound of the inhabitants of the ruins, but nothing had caught onto them. They found that the castle had a trench around it and a drawbridge that was the only way across. Taking their time to study their surroundings they identified a few ways to get in. Ultimately though, they resolved to make a fake campfire to lure the nomads away, while they got across the drawbridge.

The plan almost went perfectly, had it not been the premature creation of the smoke before Thorondir was away. Managing to run for his life, the four of them got across the drawbridge while the nomads were distracted. Finally they were inside the castle.

Castle Grunhold

While the town had rotted and decayed, the castle remain an unnatural splendor, though one they choose not to explore too much. Following the directions given, they went upstairs and through the coat room to get to the music hall. There was the great organ where the crown was hidden.

Sadly retreiving it was not so easy. One failed climb up the pipe leg to the elf hitting the floor rather hard, awakening some of the castles residents. A clacking sound could be heard in several of the rooms. When finally Thorodin managed to get it out, they came to realise that there was no light in the hall anymore.

Turning to where the light had been, there was now a grim specter of the King. Hovering off the floor, he wore all the splendor of one of the great Kings, though where there should be flesh there was only bone, save for on his chin were came a long curled goatee beard.

“Too long has this land been without a ruler, one who has inherited the right to wear the crown. Give now what you have taken and be the first to kneel before the new rulers of this land”

Berwin called out to him, declaring him kinslayer who deserves the title of bloody King. When he protested she asked what they should call him. At that the specter came much more gloomly, admitting he could not remember his name anymore, and that it was such a shame they wouldn’t serve him. He vanished before then undead soldiers clad in the Armour of soldiers came walking on in.

Choosing not to fight, Durin grabbed the curtain of the balcony window and pulled it and the rail down. While Berwin shot an arrow into one of the glass windows shattering it. Letting the rail get trapped on the door frame, they threw the curtain of the side and then used it to get down from the balcony.

Running around the other side, they found a group of the undead walking out of the castle, scarring away the Nomads. Alas Durin was the only one to make it to the drawbridge before the undead got in the way of them all. It came down to a fight, one which was won but not before Thorodir, who already suffering from a wound, take another grievous blow and fell.

It was a close call, however with the healing arts of Daeron and getting him back to town, his life was spared. The rest made there way up to the Tower of Cinder to see the firekeeper.

Handing over the crowd he put it in a small chest and locked it away, thanking them for recovering the item before the Bloody King got a hold of it and corrupted it’s use. He also admitted that the other specter of the Castle was Hauladin the last King of Framsburg. Father and son now reunited, it was these two that led to the great cities destruction, two catastrophic and evil men.

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