The below information is strictly Out of Character and relatively little of it will be publicly known, except (in most cases) by the characters involved. Please do not assume that, just because it's written here, your character might know about it. Also, much of the below information has been written from memory, some of it over a year and a half after the original events mentioned, so there are likely to be any number of errors and omissions.
If you can help correct any mistakes or fill in any gaps, then please email the webmaster to let us know.
Run by Dan on 5th January 2003 (a Sunday in the Xmas vacation)
Players: Anna De Almedia (Natalie), Julia van der Meer (Laura), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan), The Ashen Scholar (Jen)
Mission Brief: The De Almedia merchant caravans to the Port of Glass are being attacked by bandits. The Family sends two of its junior members, one of their bodyguards and a member of the Velasquez Family who owes them a favour to put a stop to the attacks.
Adventure Summary: The party travel South, encountering small groups of bandits and others along the way, and eventually find the camp of the person proclaiming himself the "Bandit King of the South". The party attack the camp and defeat the bandits, despite the Glass magic used against them by the so-called Bandit King, who is revealed to be the crystal vessel of a sorcerer from the Port of Glass. Deciding to put a stop to this sorcerer's machinations, the party travel to the Port of Glass and wander around for a bit, visiting shrines and taverns, making enquiries and witnessing an apparent military buildup. They eventually make contact with an undercover agent of the White City, but then the windows of the house in which they're meeting transform into splinter-men and attack and the agent succumbs to vitrification after having told them only a little of the plots he has uncovered. The party find the residence of the Glass sorcerer behind the bandit attacks, bluff and bluster their way past the guards on the door and are granted an audience, at which they fight past the sorcerer's bodyguards and magics and manage to kill him. They then escape from the Port with surprising ease, returning to the White City and the gratitude of the Duke De Almedia.
Where Have All The Dreamers Gone?
Run by Jen on 25th January 2003 (Saturday 0th week, Hilary term)
Mission Brief: The Earl de Borres is afflicted by a strange sleeping sickness, and some adventurers are hired to seek out the cause and find a cure.
Adventure Summary: The adventurers discover a lake to the North which traps the souls of those who drown there, cure the Earl and reveal his son to be a spineless snivelling honourless toad.
Bound to the East
Run by Xan on 8th February 2003 (Saturday 3rd week, Hilary term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Fitz (Neil), Julia van der Meer (Laura), The Ashen Scholar (Jen)
Mission Brief: Oliviero Cristofori hires some adventurers to take a small package East to the City of Crossroads. Fitz is given a message to deliver by the Low Guard while he's there.
Adventure Summary: The party encounter several groups of bandits who seem to be waiting for them and after their package. They leave a group of beleaguered hunters to be slaughtered by some Trapped Men wolves, then run into a deserter from the army of the Red Gryphon and hand him over to his pursuers for beheading. They find themselves passing through territory claimed by the Tattered Hats tribe of troglodytes, who are angry at the trespass and attack in great numbers. Finally reaching the City of Crossroads, they deliver the package and are given a bonus for their service. Fitz sneaks off alone to deliver his message, is mugged and has his Low Guard badge stolen! On their way back to the White City, the ragged remnants of the Tattered Hats tribe come cap-in-hand to beg for help against their enemies, the Shattered Stones tribe, who took advantage of the Tattered Hats' earlier decimation at the hands of the party to assert their dominance and steal the Tattered Hats' women and supplies - Bartholomew agrees to help, enters the tunnels of the Shattered Stones tribe, slaughters them and takes the crown from their chieftain, as a result of which the Tattered Hats tribe acclaim him as their king. After leaving the troglodytes, the party find the bodies of a Cristofori messenger and his bodyguard and come upon a village razed to the ground, the sole survivor babbling about a horrifying apparition. They find the camp of the bandits responsible, the same group which was giving them trouble on the way to the City of Crossroads, and discover that the bandits appear to be working for a Chain-Wraith going by the name of Czachafa. Bartholomew is briefly possessed by the Chain-Wraith, which leaves him with a glass chain around his neck, but the rest of the party manage to kill the bandits and drive Czachafa off before staggering back to the White City and returning the gear of the dead Cristofori agents to Oliviero.
The Black Widow
Run by Jen on 22nd February 2003 (Saturday 5th week, Hilary term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Claret (Frances), Julia van der Meer (Laura), Duke Renaldo De Mallarde (Arthur), Sir Robert Cristofori of the Shining Order (Paul)
Mission Brief: The Exalted Church of the Light, the Temple of Ashes, the Port of Glass Embassy and the White City's shrine to the Old Powers all ask some of their affiliates to investigate the pious settlement of Dragontown, as they have all recently lost contact with their associates there.
Adventure Summary: Various encounters include a battle between a Blood sorcerer in the form of a bear and an insubstantial Light sorcerer and others, the people of Dragontown apparently going mad and becoming debauched (particularly priests and sorcerers), a group of Ash sorcerers building a pyre on which to burn themselves alive, a group of Children of the Vine intent on sacrificing people and draining their blood into the river, a blindfolded boy named Steven, a gang of undead bandits who demand the party's mule, many dead babies, Sir Robert exorcising a ghost, three large mechanical iron men with keys in their backs guarding the gates into a temple (who explode when destroyed, and one of whom is lured away with a large stick), a pair of priestesses named Scarlet and Sheba whipping a pair of prisoners, the party invading an outer sanctum full of robed cultists and all but Sir Robert ending up subdued and unconscious, fighting an immense spider worshipped as a god by its cultists, the party washing the spider's venom off in the river, and Claret giving of her blood to heal the people of Dragontown who had been poisoned by the venom coming downstream in the riverwater.
Run by Natalie & Laura on 8th March 2003 (Saturday 7th week, Hilary term)
Players: Claret (Frances), Sir Robert Cristofori of the Shining Order (Paul), Sirius (Rich), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan)
Mission Brief: The Temple of Ashes finds out that a necromancer is attempting to get hold of the bones of the First Returned - the first people to come back from the Burned Realm - and sends a party of adventurers to try and get there first and retrieve them before the necromancer's minions can.
Adventure Summary: The party journey North in search of a young Ash priest who can tell them of his researches into the likely location of the Tomb of the First Returned. They cross the River of Shadows at a narrow ford where bandits refuse to let them cross until they have paid a toll, and are beset by Snow-Riders and Shadows as they travel. They arrive at the Whistful City and spend some time talking to the inhabitants and being confused by riddles before finally working out who the man they seek is, and he gives them a map to five potential locations where the Tomb might be. As they leave the Whistful City, a mysterious woman gives Vincenzi a note and asks him to pass it on to a being named Dreams-of-Avarice.
Travelling onwards up the River of Whispers, they are stopped by a group of masked warriors calling themselves Harlequinistes. The Harlequinistes demand the note Vincenzi is carrying, couching their motives in riddles, and an impasse and attempted bluff ends in a battle - the Harlequinistes are slain, and their masks and medallions taken. Shortly afterwards the party meet a crowned man calling himself Dreams-of-Avarice, Vincenzi delivers the note and Dreams-of-Avarice agrees to speed the party on their way in return for a song from each of them, which they sing and then promptly forget the words and tunes to. The world around them blurs, and they find themselves further North - where they are surrounded by a group of soldiers who claim to be serving an entity named Hope and seeking Her release and demand the party's surrender. The party refuse, and after a long battle they are subdued and captured, tied up and put in a tent for later sacrifice, Vincenzi being fed all of his potions in an attempt to prevent him dying from his wounds. Claret is able to turn into a snake and slither out of her bounds, after which she resumes human form and frees the rest of the party, they sneak back out and regain their weapons and then slaughter the surviving soldiers before camping for the night in their tents and having some strange dreams.
Journeying further up towards the Peak of Hope, the party encounter a clan of bear-worshipping tribesmen. Claret transforms herself into a giant bear and the tribesmen bow down in worship - then the tribe's own totem bear turns up, engages in some rough courting with Claret and takes her off to his cave. After some hot bear-on-bear action, the tribesmen take this as a good omen and offer to guide the party up the river to the waterfall which is marked on their map as one likely location of the Tomb.
The waterfall, where the River of Whispers cascades down the lower slopes of the Peak of Hope, proves devoid of tombs but infested with Fears-of-Falling - with Sir Robert's help they are all destroyed, but not before Sirius throws himself over the edge of the waterfall and Claret turns herself into an eagle to fly down and rescue him. At the next potential location, a huge stone cairn, the party find that the necromancer's minions have gotten there first and opened the cairn, awakening and releasing a slumbering fire-drake which drives them away with blasts of flame. Moving on to a third potential location, a valley guarded by great white wolves sacred to the Wind Power known as the Princess of Stories, they find the wolves slain by the necromancer's minions and the Tomb of the First Returned in the process of being looted. As Claret and Vincenzi perform Last Rites for the wolves Sirius and Sir Robert begin attacking the minions, a group of heavily armed zombies led by the necromancer's undead lieutenant. A long pitched battle ensues, but the minions' immunity to Blood magic and refusal to stay down after being hacked to the ground means that the party are eventually beaten back and forced to flee, barely escaping with their lives. After the minions have left with the legs of the First Returned, the party regroup in the valley and respectfully recover the upper halves of the bodies from the Tomb, taking the remains back to the Temple of Ashes in the White City and reporting the failure of their mission.
Looking for Luciano
Run by Xan on 3rd May 2003 (Saturday 1st week, Hilary term)
Players: Anna De Almedia (Natalie), ? (Callum), ? (Chris ?), ? (Steve ?)
Mission Brief: Luciano De Almedia and his bodyguard go missing, following which a ransom note is sent by a group of bandits from the Western Forest. The Duke and Duchess De Almedia offer a very generous reward for Luciano's recovery and the head of the bandit leader, so Anna De Almedia takes a tracker and a couple of High Guard soldiers and sets out to claim it.
Adventure Summary: The party meet some cultists of the Lord of the Blood-Fury who challenge them to a duel, a bridge-guarding troll demanding tolls and snacking on Luciano's pony, some cryptic members of the Swarm, some giant spiders in a cave, and some more trolls. They meet another adventuring party which is also after the reward, led by a minor noble of the Velasquez Family, and Anna negotiates to let the Velasquez group go first. After giving the Velasquez group a headstart and fighting their way through some animated trees, the party evade some traps and kill the surviving bandit sentries which the now-dead Velasquez-led group have softened up for them. Upon reaching the bandit camp most of the party mounts a distraction at the gate while the ranger sneaks around to rescue Luciano, and in the ensuing battle the party manages to kill or capture all the bandits, Anna killing the bandit leader with a Blood-curse. They also find Luciano's bodyguard Bill held captive in one of the tents, and Bill's sister Brenda apparently in league with the bandits. In a locked chest in the bandit leader's tent they find an ornate mirror in which lurks a looking-glass hunter, which one of the High Guardsmen manages to defeat. The party then head back to the White City with Luciano, Bill and their prisoners to collect their reward.
Journey to the Burned Realm
Part one of the "Necromancer At Three Rivers" campaign, a sequel to Dem Bones.
Run by Natalie & Dan on 10th May 2003 (Saturday 2nd week, Trinity term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Sirius (Rich), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan)
Mission Brief: People have started returning from the Burned Realm. The Temple of Ashes hires some adventurers to question them, find out why, then go to the Burned Realm and put a stop to it.
Adventure Summary: While going about their business in the White City, Bartholomew, Sirius and Vincenzi meet various people who they thought to be dead. Vincenzi has a conversation with the late Duke Chrecenzo Velasquez, who claims to have returned from the Burned Realm after having been poisoned by Duchess Chiara and wants Vincenzi's help in regaining control of the Velasquez Family. Vincenzi agrees, and is given a token by the late Duke. The three adventurers are called to the Temple of Ashes and asked to investigate what's going on, as there are reports of many of the dead coming back. While travelling through the streets of the White City they meet a girl who was sacrificed to the Old Powers and has now returned, carrying a wicker basket full of blood which continually drains out onto the ground and flows away to the west. They are attacked by people who they killed as bandits on their previous adventures and who still bear the death-marks of those wounds, then intervene in a fracas involving a dead soldier who has returned to his family to find his widow remarried and is threatening to kill her new husband. Meeting up with the priests of the Temple of Ashes again, they are told of five particularly powerful people who have returned to the White City and may be able to provide more information. They talk to one of these powerful returnees, a man in a park who tells them something of his former existence. They find the second powerful returnee drinking in a tavern, and after Vincenzi buys her a drink she speaks of having wandered through some woods in the Burned Realm and passed through a fire to return to the realm of the living. Meanwhile, Bartholomew has an encounter with the vessel of a Vitriarch in a nearby alley - apples are involved. The party return to the park and try to capture the man they spoke to there but he runs off faster than they can follow, pursued by large unnatural hounds belonging to one of the Burned Lords. After requisitioning a small group of High Guard to assist them, the party find the third powerful returnee in another tavern and speak to her at length - she says she was a hero of the armies of the Light in the Binding War, and that there is someone in the Burned Realm stirring up trouble. They find the fourth powerful returnee in the streets stirring up trouble and trying to gather men to his cause - as he talks of having been a great general, Sirius sneaks up behind him and knocks him out and the party take him to the Temple of Ashes.
The priests of the Temple of Ashes ask the party to enter the Burned Realm to get to the bottom of the problem. The party rest overnight, are given a map of the Burned Realm and an enchanted hourglass to let them know how much time remains until sunset, and the priests of the Temple open a portal into the Burned Realm. The party have not been there long when they are attacked by a group of the corporeal dead, and Vincenzi discovers that Blood magic is weaker in the Burned Realm than it is in the realm of the living. Then the party are attacked by a group of incorporeal spirits of the dead, Vincenzi manages to fight them off but not before one of them is able to possess Bartholomew's body and pretends to be him - Vincenzi exorcises and destroys it. The party reaches the Tower of Heroes, but the Ashen Guardians at its gates deny them entrance. Vincenzi persuades the others to try journeying westwards, where they find the Woods of the Lost - Bartholomew and Sirius stay at the edge while Vincenzi enters and becomes lost, only managing to find his way out again after calling on the assistance of the Lady of Blood and Wine. The party then heads eastwards to Silverfall, one of the dead cities destroyed in the Binding War, where they find that the residents are on guard against an "imminent attack" by "them". It eventually becomes apparent that the dead of the city are being taken over by a hivemind entity calling itself "The Soldier", the party work out who the entity is and concoct a plan to try and destroy it - they succeed, and it shatters into shards of glass which Bartholomew collects. They discover that anyone cut by one of these shards becomes infected with the mind of The Soldier. The party return to the Tower of Heroes and this time manage to gain entry and speak with some of those who reside there. They see a mural depicting the history of the world, and while conversing with the inhabitants of the Tower an argument starts and a fight results. The party move on to the Rose Gardens, where they speak to more of the dead, pick some roses, take some vials of flowing ash from the River of Follies and meet another deceased member of the Velasquez Family amidst the scarlet roses of the Perfidious Garden. During all these conversations, the party discover that it is faithful Ash sorcerer agents of the necromancer from the Palace at Three Rivers who are inciting the dead of the Burned Realm to rebellion against the Burned Lords. The party realise that they are running short of time and hurry back to the portal, fighting a flock of harpies in service to the Lord of the Field of Battle who try to stop them from leaving. Passing back through the portal before it closes, they tell the Temple of Ashes about their experiences.
Binding the Light
Run by Ben on 17th May 2003 (Saturday 3rd week, Trinity term)
Players: Anna De Almedia (Natalie), Tanner (James W), Toquell Velasquez (Joe W), other(s) ?
Mission Brief: The White City has been disturbed by reports of a strange and growing darkness hanging over one of the great Battlefields to the East. Merchant caravans coming from the City of Crossroads have reported seeing a looming cloud upon the horizon, like a black mist that doesn't move in the wind. More worryingly, a pedlar has been heard in the taverns saying that the path to the small village of Imbar's Dyke has been swallowed up by the darkness. As these rumours spread, a quiet word is put out to the noble Families and reliable adventurers of the White City; a request from the Exalted Church of the Light for a powerful Blood sorcerer and some reliable associates for a confidential mission.
Adventure Summary: After various encounters including a run in with a group of corrupted cultists of the 'Dark' that leaves Toquell's eyes burnt out of his head and replaced with pools of inky blackness, the party arrives at one of the Battlefields where they discover their quarry, a powerful Ordained Light and Chain sorcerer who has gone mad and started trying to bind all light and Light in the area. Anna resolutely puts out one of her own eyes to restore the madman's sight, thus removing the blessing of the Light from him, but the now half-blind party is unable to slay the sorcerer and his minions in time to prevent the sundering of the great chains that loom over the Battlefield, thus allowing the escape of one of the Bound Ones. Toquell's eyes are mysteriously restored, though they now possess a vibrant purple hue. Their mission completed, the party hurry back to the White City to report; they are set upon by a scouting patrol from the Army of the Red Gryphon, but Toquell's eyes appear to command the respect of the soldiery and allow him to dismiss the unit back to the East. Arriving back in the City the group's news is cause for some concern. The representative of the Temple of Light is most impressed by Anna's sacrifice and offers to Ordain her as a member of the priesthood; she politely declines, citing religious differences.
The Black Wind
Part two of the "Necromancer At Three Rivers" campaign, a sequel to Journey to the Burned Realm and Binding the Light.
Run by Natalie & Dan on 24th May 2003 (Saturday 4th week, Trinity term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Sirius (Rich), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan)
Mission Brief: The necromancer at the Palace at Three Rivers has raised a great Black Wind, which is travelling across the land towards one of the Battlefields in the East and raising the dead wherever it passes. The party must outrun the wind and those it raises in order to ward the Battlefield with the consecrated ash given to them by the Temple of Ashes before the ancient armies of the Binding War can arise once more.
Adventure Summary: The party head eastwards in a hurry. They fight off some bandits who have returned from the Burned Realm for revenge after being killed by them before, and are then assailed by a mixed horde of zombies and incorporeal spirits - Sirius is possessed, and attempts to knock Vincenzi unconscious when Vincenzi exorcises him. The party meet a detachment of Velasquez Family militia who claim to be acting under orders from the late Duke Chrecenzo - Vincenzi shows them the Duke's token and talks his way past. The party talk, intimidate or fight their way past several other groups, both independent and in the service of various factions, including a horde of strange unnatural creatures the likes of which have never been seen before. Then they meet a Crystal Vessel of the Vitriarch known as the Faceless Lord, which is wearing the guise of Duke Chrecenzo Velasquez - it becomes apparent that Duke Chrecenzo is in allegiance with the Faceless Lord and that Bartholomew has angered this Vitriarch. The Faceless Lord tries to convince the party to serve him, but they refuse. There then follows a confused battle in which the Faceless Lord sends simulacra of the party against them, some complicated Glass magic happens involving Bartholomew cutting himself in half, Vincenzi slays Bartholomew's double with a Blood-curse, and then once all the other simulacra have been slain people watch the prolonged struggle between Sirius and his simulacrum, trying to work out which is which. Eventually they do so, at which point the surviving simulacrum is swiftly despatched.
Finally the party reach the Battlefield and notice that the titanic chains which formerly arched into the sky over it have been shattered - they hurriedly scatter the consecrated ash about the Battlefield while being addressed by an imposing angelic figure with white wings and glowing purple eyes who introduces himself as He Who Walks Wilderness. This Bound One creates a gryphon for Sirius and offers a boon to each of the adventurers - Sirius asks to become a noble, Bartholomew is given "everything and nothing" in the form of a crystal sphere full of strange images (which he later discovers he can put things into and remove things from) and Vincenzi tries to refuse a gift but is nonetheless given a small squirming bag. The party leave the Battlefield and encounter a group of strange people with names like "Happiness", "Severance" and "Remaking" - Vincenzi is sliced in half by one blow from Severance, at which point Bartholomew and Sirius flee leaving Vincenzi to be healed by Remaking and made blissfully happy by Happiness while being repeatedly chopped into pieces and put back together again. He eventually catches up with Bartholomew and Sirius again and the three of them make their weary way back to the White City, fighting some undead and dealing with a patrol of Red Gryphon soldiers on the way. After returning to the White City Vincenzi gives his squirming bag to the Cloistered Brethren of Chains and Sirius is discovered to be the long-forgotten heir of the noble Panastra Family, which was thought extinct.
Run by James on 1st June 2003 (Sunday 6th week, Trinity term)
Players: Sir Gustav Oberon of the Shining Order (Hanbury), Toquell Velasquez (Joe W)
Mission Brief: A vast forest has suddenly appeared in the lands to the East of the White City. Following rumours of treasure to be found at the woodland's heart, two adventurers go to investigate.
Adventure Summary: Sir Gustav and Toquell Velasquez venture deep into the forest. The pair forge their way into the woods cutting through bandits and a troll; here they notice that Toquell's Chain magic appears to work very oddly, sturdy vines constricting around his foes instead of the usual iron chains. They encounter the spirits of ancient soldiers from before the Binding War, and a Cloistered Brother of Chains bound in vines who warns of grave danger ahead. Finally reaching a clearing at the centre of the forest, Gustav unravels a cocoon of vegetation to reveal none other than Toquell Velasquez! Gustav helps Toquell pull free of his bindings and together the two slay the simulacrum plant that had led the Knight of the Shining Order here. At the plant-clone's death the ground of the clearing subsides to reveal the terrible Mahogadon plant-beast itself. After a long battle the pair finally cut down the monstrosity, and then flee as a surge of growth rushes outwards rendering the woods impenetrable.
Saving the Great River
Part three of the "Necromancer At Three Rivers" campaign, a sequel to The Black Wind.
Run by Natalie on 7th June 2003 (Saturday 6th week, Trinity term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Sirius Panastra (Rich), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan)
Mission Brief: The Great River that provides the White City's water supply is being poisoned. Rebecca De Courci commands some adventurers to travel North along the river's course, find out why and put a stop to it.
Adventure Summary: The party travel northwards along the course of the Great River, fighting and defeating several large groups of zombies and skeletons interspersed with a few ethereal undead spirits. Among those they destroy is the necromancer's powerful undead lieutenant, whom Sirius and Vincenzi first met at the Tomb of the First Returned. They then arrive at a village where they are offered hospitality and wine - the wine is poisoned, and sends Bartholomew and Sirius into a deep slumber. Vincenzi notices the onset of the poison in time and takes a purification potion to purge his system, fighting against the villagers with sword and Blood-curses until they overwhelm and subdue him. The party wake some hours later, stripped of most of their equipment and belongings, to find the village abandoned and the bandits long since fled. Their mission too important to spend time tracking the bandits down, they continue along the banks of the Great River until they meet the manifest spirits of the other three rivers - the River of Whispers, the River of Shadows and the River of Echoes. These spirits prevent their progress, as all three are greedy for power and want the necromancer to destroy the Great River so that they may take its place. There is a protracted debate and several Rites are performed, eventually the River of Shadows and the River of Echoes are persuaded to let the adventurers past. The River of Whispers remains adamant that the Great River be slain, however, so the party fights him and his manifestation is destroyed. They continue, and are confronted by a powerful warrior who challenges Sirius to a duel, claiming to have been hunting down the members of the Panastra Family for hundreds of years in vengeance for their crimes. Sirius has no idea what he is talking about but accepts the duel, Vincenzi hinting darkly that he knows something of the Panastra Family history, and after a prolonged contest Sirius slays the warrior. The party finally arrive at the point where the Three Rivers meet and merge into the Great River, whereat the necromancer has bound the Great River's spirit to an altar and is torturing it in a lengthy ritual sacrifice to take its power for his own purposes. On seeing the party's approach the necromancer flees, so the party free the grateful spirit of the Great River and turn their attention to tracking down the bandits who stole their stuff - they find them all dead, recover their belongings and return home to the gratitude of Rebecca De Courci and the White City. Now that the necromancer's ritual has been disrupted the Great River runs clean and pure again.
The Palace at Three Rivers
Part four of the "Necromancer At Three Rivers" campaign, a sequel to Saving the Great River.
Run by Natalie & Laura on 21st June 2003 (Saturday 8th week, Trinity term)
Players: Bartholomew D'Artois (Ben), Sirius Panastra (Rich), Vincenzi Velasquez (Xan)
Mission Brief: The Temple of Ashes sends some adventurers to infiltrate the Palace at Three Rivers while the necromancer is away, in order to recover his wife and son and bring them back to the White City.
Adventure Summary: The Temple of Ashes has discovered that the necromancer intends to enact a lengthy ritual involving the leg bones of the First Returned and the sacrifice of his own son in order to forge the bones into weapons of great power. They also admit that the necromancer was once a high ranking member of the Temple of Ashes, and only turned to necromancy after his beloved wife died in order to recover her from the Burned Realm. They have discovered that the necromancer has left his Palace in search of the final ingredients needed for the ritual, and wish the party to enter his Palace while he is away to rescue his captive wife and son before the ritual can take place. So the party travel northwards along the course of the Great River once again, and on their way meet an Old Power in a glade filled with vicious swarms of dragonflies - she protects them from the insects in return for their each accepting a drink from her goblet. The party reach the palace and find that the fire-drake released from a cairn by the necromancer's minions during the hunt for the Tomb of the First Returned has been chained near the Palace's gates as a guardian - the party creep up on it while it sleeps, it awakens and Bartholomew blasts its mind into oblivion with Glass magic, following which the party butcher it and drain some of its blood into waterskins. They then fight their way through the corridors of the Palace, dispatching dozens of undead warriors, to a place where four gryphons, brought back from the Burned Realm to act as the necromancer's guardians, are chained to a large post. Believing the gryphons to be held there under duress, the party smash a large window nearby and then one of the party distracts the gryphons by acting as bait while another of them undoes the restraining bolt from the gryphons' chains. The freed gryphons immediately fly off through the broken window and are later reported to have flown to the Temple of Ashes and dutifully entered the pyres to return to the Burned Realm. Meanwhile, Vincenzi solves a riddle to work out the password to the chambers in which the necromancer's wife and son are being kept, the pair are rescued and everyone flees out of the broken window and hurries back towards the White City, fighting various minor necromancers and undead on the way back. The necromancer's wife and son are handed over to the Temple of Ashes and the party are congratulated on their success.
Mahogadon II: Evolution
Run by Xan on 2nd August 2003 (a Saturday in the summer vacation)
A sequel to Mahogadon.
Players: Fishknife (Arthur), Sir Gustav Oberon of the Shining Order (Hanbury), Julia van der Meer (Laura)
Mission Brief: The Cloistered Brethren of Chains and the College of the Thousand Arts hire some adventurers to travel East and bring them a chunk of heartwood from the now-dead Mahogadon, giving them a supply of alchemical blade-herbicide to help with their mission.
Adventure Summary: After a few encounters with farmers, soldiers of the Red Gryphon, troglodytes and crab-grass, the party start cutting their way into the Mahogadon's now-dead forest and meet hostile incorporeal vine-creatures and green-eyed troglodytes. At the centre of the forest, where the Mahogadon was once rooted, is a large pit descending into the earth. The party climb down into the pit, Gustav is possessed by an echo of his former self, and they fight their way through animated roots, more possessed troglodytes, killer fungi and more incorporeal vine-creatures. Fishknife succumbs to the vine-wraiths, and starts to develop green eyes, a penchant for eating soil and paddling in water and a great love of plantlife. Eventually the party come to the chamber wherein now lies the trunk of the Mahogadon, its spirit being worshipped by a large group of possessed troglodytes. The party kill the troglodytes and fight the spirit-Mahogadon, Gustav and Julia falling to it before Fishknife finally manages to defeat it. Everyone recovers, and the party use the last of their blade-herbicide to cut out a chunk of Mahogadon heartwood before fleeing through the now-collapsing tunnels. They evade some Red Gryphon patrols and return to the White City with their prize, where Fishknife is purified of his floraphilic tendencies by the Temple of Light.
Run Rabbit Run
Run by Natalie on 18th October 2003 (Saturday 1st week, Michaelmas term)
Players: Brick (Jen), Kit Fisable (Helen W), Captain Matteus De Almedia (Xan), Ryn Coth (Ellie)
Mission Brief: An assassin attempts to assassinate Anna de Almedia and frame the Port of Glass. Anna is slowly dying of poison, so Captain Matteus and an entourage are sent to catch the assassin and persuade him to tell the Family what the antidote is.
Adventure Summary: The party pursue the assassin into the Western Forest. They find a bandit camp where attempts at negotiation lead to the bandits attacking, the assassin at this point hiding in a nearby tree but fleeing during the fight. He lays a trail leading into a cave full of extremely cute bearcubs, as the mother bear comes home the party first hide in some smaller dead-end tunnels near the back of the cave then Ryn blinds the bear with a Blood-curse and the party escape. Picking up the trail again, the party encounter and escape a group of hostile Swarm in strange shapes and come to a stone fountain of blood where Brick and Ryn give some of their own blood while Matteus tosses in a coin. There is a meeting with a group of centaurs, who are friendly towards Brick and Ryn but less welcoming to Kit and disdainful towards Matteus, one centaur poses for Kit's sketchbook while Brick and Ryn go off into the bushes and become rather intimate with others. The party meet two ogres blocking the path and demanding a toll so they trick one by convincing him to turn into a mouse, which they stamp on, then surround and slaughter his comrade. There is another camp full of bandits who attack the party, then a gang of hungry ghouls and a small village who cower in fear as the heavily-armed adventurers pass through. Eventually the party lose the trail, but the assassin comes out of the bushes and gives himself up, handing over his weapons and asking to be taken back to the city to talk to the De Almedia Family - apparently he was hired by one of the De Courcis to stage the assassination, but his employers have since tried to doublecross him and so his loyalties are now for hire. The party take him back to the White City, keeping him cloaked and hooded so nobody recognises him and claiming that he is a hermit chirurgeon from the Western Forest whom they've fetched to tend to Anna. He is taken to see the Duke and Duchess De Almedia, gives them the antidote to the poison and negotiates to enter their employ. The Ambassador from the Port of Glass, who had been arrested, has his name cleared of all responsibility but - for tact's sake - must be returned to the Port.
Run by Natalie, date uncertain
A sequel to Run Rabbit Run.
This was an unofficial LARP occurring out of the usual schedule, on an occasion when several players and a GM happened to find themselves in the same place as a plot and a bunch of swords on a free weekend. Because it was not officially announced beforehand, no XP was given, no levels were made available, and the characters gained no tangible IC benefits. Nevertheless, the events occurring within this LARP are considered to be canon, and their repercussions on the lives of the characters concerned are considered to be as IC as those of any other LARP.
Players: Kit Fisable (Helen W), Sebastian (Joff)
Mission Brief: Following the scandalous assassination attempt on Anna de Almedia, the ambassador from the Port of Glass to the White City is cleared of all responsibility, but - for tact's sake - must be returned to the Port. A pair of bored adventurers, one of whom has previously proved herself useful to the City by helping to track down the would-be assassin, are persuaded to act as an escort.
Adventure Summary: Barnabas, the outgoing Ambassador, is insane. He seems to have acquired the nickname of "Partridge", though no explanation for this is forthcoming despite gentle prodding on his escorts' part. The journey goes well - though tensely - for the first half, with highlights including many savage wild creatures and the event, now famed in several pieces of tavern doggerel and song, of Barnabas singlehandedly taking down a massive forest troll while armed only with a spoon. The adventurers and their charge decide to take an Eastern route to the Port for the purposes of speed and discretion. Events take a turn for the worse when a small raiding party bearing the sign of the Red Gryphon, who seem to have been sent with the express purpose of capturing Barnabas, attack the party. Through arcane Glass magic, Barnabas switches his appearance with that of Sebastian without Kit's knowledge - Kit and the false Sebastian leave the real Sebastian (now looking like Barnabas) to be taken off by the soldiers, while they themselves scarper in the direction of the Port. Kit does not realise the deception until it is too late, and, reaching the Port in good order, finds herself the object of Lemuel D'Artois' interest and promptly leaves it in some disarray - but not before Bartholomew D'Artois convinces her to owe him a favour in exchange for safe passage out of the Port. Meanwhile, Sebastian is interviewed by the mysterious leader of the Army of the Red Gryphon, who quickly discovers his true identity. Deciding to use the ex-pirate as an agent in his plans for Barnabas, the purple-eyed general Names Sebastian both Loyal and Believable, and sends him on his way. The two adventurers meet each other in the Port - the one on her way out, the other on his way in - and drag themselves back to the White City, where they promptly set about blithely embellishing their adventures in exchange for fame and free drinks. Among those who indulge in such gossip, it is generally supposed that it was at about this point that Kit first developed her peculiar horror of mirrors.
Run by Ben - date uncertain, either 1st November 2003 (Saturday 3rd week, Michaelmas term)
or 22nd November 2003 (Saturday 6th week, Michaelmas term)
Players: "Ripper" Bill McKenzie (James), La Colpa (Caz), Serafine D'Artois (Laura), Tibs (Joe W)
Mission Brief: The great Western Forest has always been a dangerous place, but the wise foresters and silk gatherers of the City of Silk knew its ways and its creatures and walked at least its outskirts in safety. Now they dare not enter save in large groups, for those that hunt alone do not return. Something has awoken in the depths of the Forest, the streams are running deeper and the calling of the frogs seems to carry hidden messages. Queen Marianna Mor, ruler of the City of Silk, is looking for scouts to search the Forest and find out what is going on.
Adventure Summary: In the depths of the great Western Forest is an ancient tomb where Chain sorcerers at the time of the Binding War had bound in deathlike sleep a weapon created by powerful servants of the Bound Ones - the unquenchable Waterfire. The freed Bound One, or one of its servants, has gone into the Forest and awoken this weapon, as a result of which it has begun to burn again. This has caused the waters for miles around to rise and flood the Forest by flowing uphill and forming a dome of pseudo-water over the tomb. Within this dome is the domain of the firewater, a place where water partakes of the nature of fire and where only reflections can travel. The source of the Waterfire is a silver bowl which ceaselessly pours forth firewater, causing the drowning of the lands around. The party discovers the location of the tomb and travels to it. On the way they are forced to seek advice from a peculiar blind seer who demands a strange price from each of them - from Serafine three uses of a skill she hasn't yet learnt, from Bill McKenzie a share of his moonlit nights, from Tibs his name when he no longer wants it and from La Colpa a friend that she hasn't yet made.
When the party reaches the dome of pseudo-water, they have to pass the boundary and are confronted by their reflections from the firewater realm; three of them became one with their reflections and partake of the nature of the new realm, while La Colpa shatters her own reflection and continues onwards as herself, protected from the effects of the realm by the magic of her shattered reflection. At the tomb they find the bowl of Waterfire and escape with it. Back at the edge of the firewater realm, they discover that the three who have become their reflections can only take out a reflection of the bowl, so Serafine destroys her reflection in order to take the actual bowl out. They bring the bowl to the City of Silk, where Queen Marianna Mor and her court begin debating how to destroy it or return it to its slumber.
Both their considerable exposure to a weapon of the Bound Ones, which alters the nature of reality around itself, and the unwitting use of Glass magic to defend themselves against such alteration have a number of consequences for the adventurers. Tibs and Bill both partake of the nature of the Waterfire, their eyes become liquefied and trickle inexhaustibly down their faces - this does not interfere with their vision, but is exceedingly disconcerting. La Colpa has shattered a part of her reflection, thus in any pool of still water her reflection appears cracked and broken. Serafine partook of the firewater and then shattered herself in order break free of its influence, as a result of which her eyes first liquefied then became crystalline and fragmented. In conjunction with her Glass magic, this now enables her to leave fragments of her eyes behind through which she can observe what is going on in several places at once, at some cost to her state of mind.
After Party Emergency
Run by Rich on 29th November 2003 (Saturday 7th week, Michaelmas term)
Players: Captain Matteus De Almedia (Xan), Winsel (Ben)
Mission Brief: The morning after Rosie Cristofori's latest party, she discovers that a gang of guests has made off with her silverware. Captain Matteus, also a guest at the party, volunteers to track them down and recover it, taking along the criminal he currently has under probationary supervision to help.
Adventure Summary: It is soon discovered that the scoundrels have stolen not only Lady Rosie's silverware but also Matteus' High Guard badge, and as Matteus and Winsel attempt to leave the city in pursuit they find a pair of crashed carts blocking the gate. Matteus fetches a replacement badge and has the carts moved, then he and Winsel set off northwards in pursuit of the thieves. The two of them dispatch a small group of bandits waylaying travellers on the road, fight their way through a swamp filled with clouds of biting insects, meet some traders from whom Winsel buys some snuff while Matteus makes some business arrangements for his return to the White City, run away from some trolls and find an old man dying by the roadside. The old man tells them that he was injured and crippled by the trolls, and to leave him to die but tell his daughter in the next village that his cider press is buried under one of the trees in his orchard. The trolls have nearly caught up with the two adventurers by this point, so they leave the dying man and beat a hasty retreat to the next village where Matteus breaks the bad news to the old man's daughter. She is upset, and Matteus cannot clearly remember which tree the old man said the press was buried under, so Winsel assures everyone it was a different tree and makes plans to return some other time and dig up the cider press himself.
Continuing northwards, they are assailed by some ethereal spirits. Matteus drives off the one which attacks him, but Winsel succumbs to their influence and becomes eeevill. They find a large bear sleeping by the side of the road and while Matteus tries to creep past Winsel throws stones at it behind his back. The bear wakes up in a bad mood and both the adventurers scarper. They then find themselves passing through the territory of the Black Hand Gang, who tell Matteus that they keep the local lands safe for travellers in return for a reasonable fee. After some discussion, the Black Hand Gang agree to guarantee Matteus and Winsel safe passage through their territory at no cost if Matteus can win a contest - he is blindfolded and given a stick, while three members of the gang gather round him with their own sticks, and is told that he will win the contest if he can hit one of the gangers before they can bludgeon him into unconsciousness. Matteus wins, and after a brief and goodnatured celebration he and Winsel move on and eventually find the camp of the thieves they're after. They deal with the sentries, Winsel incapacitates the guard dogs with snuff and then they take on the bandit leader, a huge man with bulging muscles and a large quarterstaff. He and his minions are eventually defeated, but as Matteus stands there battered and exhausted from the battle he feels a heavy blow to the back of his head...
After knocking Matteus unconscious and dragging him into the bushes, Winsel takes off and buries all of Lady Rosie Cristofori's stolen silverware, the pick of the loot from the bandit camp and Matteus' superior quality sword, then wakes Matteus up and spins a yarn about the rest of the gang sneaking back and knocking him unconscious, at which point Winsel claims to have dragged Matteus to safety into the bushes while the bandits concentrated on grabbing the stolen silverware and scarpering. Winsel and a dejected Matteus make their way back to the White City, where despite their failure to recover her stuff Lady Rosie Cristofori is grateful for their efforts and gives Matteus a replacement sword.
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