Wheel of Time|
From the journal of Henri, Comte de Fontain d'Argent, Holder of the San Ferano order of Purity and Honor, Third Class
It is whilst I was attending to some personal matters with a lady of some importance (and more importantly comeliness)in the fair city of Caemlyn, it so happened that I arrived just before the fake Dragon was about to be paraded through the city before being "Gentled" by the witches of the Aes Sedai, for this reason the Muffled Ferret my usual chambers whilst "servicing" the nobel lady were full so I was forced into one of the more brutish inns outside the city walls.
Whilst seated amongst the wretched scum of society in the courtyard expecting the slops that passed for food for the peons, a fight was about to break out between the bully boys of two differing political factions within the city who happened to drinking here as well. JUst as it was looking to be a good fight the "bouncers" if the inn moved to break it up, in the scrum one of the fighters was thrown through the door of a shed in the yard, within we espied, who would have thought it, a Trollock, with 3 of his companions, struggling to put a struggling child into a sack.
Whilst my fellow dinners either strode around stunned or started running around like headless chickens, a rough tramp type moved like lightening shot one through the neck and killed it stone dead whilst a fellow arms man from Floran bravely pulled his bow out missed a second utterly, meanwhile I attacked it with gusto dealing considered able damage, during the fight with the assistance of another wilderness type and the arms man who eventually felt the need to join the melee we killed the second, however after passing into the shed it was seen that they had already left through a hole in the back wall.
Whilst I mounted up the other fellows talked to the inn keeper, who's daughter had been the child placed in the sack, a drunken tramp approached and said he saw where they went. My fellows decide to leave without their equipment and mounts for reason best left to themselves, when I caught them up in the fields surrounding the city where the Trollock tracks lead (I now glad that I wasn't forced to tramp through through the mud like some kind of peasant farmer). As before the arms men lead a group of the others away from the likely combat in order "flank it", whilst I proceed to the follow the tracks of the beasts, whilst protecting the two buxom young women who, presumably their appetite whetted by seeing me in combat and liking what they saw, decided to come along, given the state of their dresses I offered a ride (on my horse th other offer was planned for later) to the more attractive of the young dollymops. Meanwhile the wandere on acouting mission could see a group of the trolocks surrounding the young girl ready it would seem to eat her (or carry out some even more beastial act!) and in effort to stop them and draw them away shot a warning arrow at them whilst shouting to get their attention. The trollocks charged us and attacked myself and Elan for little effect. Elan and Yerrt (the wildman) fired at the trollock who remained behind with the girl, unfortunatly because I was the only compentant fighter left instead of rescueing the lttle girl I was forced to protect the two women and pale faced manboy who had also folowed us. The almost child started screaming something at them presumably about his mother or somesuh whilst the two women cowered/admired me, there was still nothing seen of the Armsman, presumably he had been "held up" by something, hopefully he might turn up near thend of the combat in order to share in the glory.
From the journal of Henri
I am hit by a Trolloc weilding a scythe sword and I slump in the saddle. Elan is also hit by a Trolloc and falls unconscious. Meg is the next to fall. Irret charges the troloc who has hold of the girl. Pyrel runs towards her companions. Vesdram shouts at the Trollocs and retreats. Vesdram attracts the Trolocs attention and they run after him. He is hacked down. Guillem hits one of the Trollocs. We bleed a bit. The Trollocs carry Vesdram back. Henri's horse runs off away from the Trollocs, but he stays in his saddle. Pyrel lays her hands onto Irret to heal him. Irret is hit and falls to the ground. Henri falls out of the saddle and is hurt in the process but stabalises. Guillem finishes off the Trolloc. Pyrel attemps to stabalise Irret. Irret and Pyrel run off. The kid and Guillem climb a tree. Guillem shoots a Trolloc. Henri is unconscious alone in a field. His horse has run off.
Meanwhile the Trollocs decide to climb the tree. Guillem shoots one. The trollocs fail to climb the tree so decide to cut it down instead. Chop, chop chop. There is no sign of the Queens guards. Elan bleeds to death meanwhile.
Irret and Pyrel feel guilty and head back. Irret notices that two of the people are stil alive. Pyrel uses a balm on Meg. She doesn't stir. The fool Irret draws atention to himself by shooting a Trolloc. Guillem jumps out of the tree. Pyrel, the meddling witch, lays her hands on Meg. A hairy Trolloc chops Irret down. Meg, another meddling witch, fails to cast a spell on a Trolloc. Pyrel casts a spell which stops a Trolloc from breathing.
The Queen's guard meanwhile are drinking beer in the Inn.
Irret expires on the ground. Guillem is bleeding to death. The witches run off. Meg and Pyrel run into the City Guard.
THE LITTLE GIRL ESCAPES
Vesdram is rescued by the city guard.
Back at the Inn they are given heroes welcome. The beggar demands a cloak from Meg and is given a two blankets by the Innkeeper and 2 marks by the beggar. Next morning they awake to a hot breakfast and a friendly greeting. Logain the false dragon is to be paraded through the streets.
Some of us head out to see the false dragon. It's busy. There is a disturbance, men in gleaming armour and white cloaks. They shout out and head towards us. One of our group melts into the crowd. Meg, Jacques and Guillem chat to the Whitecloaks who move on to pester someone else.
The crowd roars and musicians play. The army of Andor rides past in glittering armour, followed by a wagon carrying the false dragon. There are Aes Sedai and men with shimering cloaks. All eyes are on Logain who is a charasmatic figure. Logains eyes fall on us for a second and we are cowed. There have been three false dragons in the last year. A weasel faced man is 60' down the street. He heads off down an alleyway. We return to the Inn.
Sometime later the beggar returns. A maid calls to us. There is a message from a leutenant in the Queen's guard. He points out the direction we should go. The hunch form of the beggar heads off. We follow follow him to a plain building. There is an Andorean guard inside. He says the captain wants to see us he's in the back. He knock on the door and heads in. We head in and the door slams behind us. There are thugs inside. They attack. Wesdram, Pyrel and Meg are stabbed and falls to the floor. Jacque hacks at one who falls to the floor. The melee continues. Guillem fells one. Jacques yells as he is stabed in the chest and slumps to the floor. Guillem finishes off another. Gildorn kills another. We head back to the inn for healing. We ask around about the beggar but don't see him.
From the journal of Vesdram
In the night Meg, myself, Pyrel and Gildon. I grab my dagger and crossbow and head downstairs while Pyral wakes everyone up. Meg finds she has been robbed - her cloak is missing, she is coming down with me. One of the servants points to the door "he went that way." and points outside. Outside is the stablemaster, he has a cut arm te begger injured him but he slashed him back, there is a trial of blood. We have to wait while the heavier warriors get into their armour, i take the time to grab my backpack. Pyrel heals the stablemaster, he looks very nervous around someone with the power.
We go after the begger, Gil tracking the blood trial. The trial is leading us long the wall of the city. We head into an alley, there is a corpse infront of an opening into a cellar. There is a shout from the alleyway just as Pyrel casts a light spell. "Halt, in the name of the Children of the Light". Ahh shit, discussion ends and we dive into the cellar.
There is a lot of dust in the cellar, it has been unused. There are tracks all round, some of them are made by animals. 3 walls are made of wood, one is of stone with intricate carvings like a tree, the stone wall is swung open like double doors. Pryel and I recognise an entrance to the ways. We have a choice - Ways or whitecloaks.
So ways it is. Pyrel knows the way to close it afterwards. We enter and she closes it. The ground is featureless stone, there is only one way to go, to either side is darkness, we can hear faint footsteps. I talk with Pyrel about the ways - they were made by men with the power so carried their taint - bad things happen to those that stay here. Meg is supicious that I know about the ancient mode of travel. I tell her that not all fighters think with their biceps and Pyral tells her to go back to talking to her noble "fop"
The path leads to a platform made of the same stone - floating in the darkness. That is the entire world - interconntected platforms in darkness. There are some signs, but they are in ogier and none of us can translate. We follow the sounds of footsteps. It is a mad run to follow the steps, we nearly lose it a few times. Then there is dim light ahead and we can see the beggar and at least 2 trollics. The beggar is not stooped - he is tall and proud and dressed like a merchant. There is a bundle with megs cloak at his feet. He spots us and orders the trollics, "kill them."
Gil moves to attack, I fire but miss. The trollics hack him down. Hardened air stops one of them from moving as they charge. Jacques attacks another. The begger shouts, "hurry we must stop Althor!" Gwillum slices at one with his sword. The begger runs off but I am unable to hit them with my crossbow. Gwillum slices one down then hacks the second apart, leaving only the one bound by air. Gwillum is nervous about the power. The Aies Sedai heal Gil, but in an hour the power will wear off and he will be dropped again. Gwillum gives me some tips about how to shoot with my crossbow.
We continue chasing Fain but we reach a platform where we don't know which way he's gone. We can't pick up the trial, and decide to find an exit. Gil collapsed from his injuries. Gwillum and Jacques hear the fain sound of a breeze, we run, the wind getting louder. There is some shuffling of weight and we pick up the pace, the sound stays at constant volume. After a time it dies down, we come to a pedistal with a white line on it - WAY OUT.
We open the door, into ruin which overlooks a plain. Gwillum and I scout the area while the rest camp infront of the door. Gwillum and I spot thin smoke trials in the distance. Several days away. We rest for the night then head towards the smoke. After 2 days travel we come to a village. I have a chat with the villages and find out we are in Altara, close to the Illian border. We are offered some lodging in a stable. Meg flashes her tower ring and makes it known who she is expecting a room in a house.
A farmer has a problem - fell beasts - trollics by the sound, but the rest of the farmers mock him. A large blacksmith puts an end to the mocking - something is stealing lifestock. 4 different farms have suffered attacks from wolf packs and more sober farmers put the pack at about half a dozen. The attacks take place a few days apart - the wolves attack kill and eat a few then leave. The wolves haven't been hunting near the village for years - their normal hunting ground is miles away. Most of the farmers have moved their animalsto the town, only farmer G'iles is holding out.
We head to G'iles farm, he is an old stubbon man. during the day we come up with a plan - most of the sheep are being taken inside to the barn some bieng left out as bait. the 2 Aes-sedai are in the barn with Gil and gwillum. Jacques and I are up trees waiting for the wolves to come so set alight to small fires on the outskirts.
All goes quiet in the night and we spy a pack of wolves cautiously approaching, there are many of them, the lead wolf stops and looks around, then they all run off. Jacques raises the alarm and fires. I fire my crossbow but I'm not aiming. I use the power to set fire to one and claim it was the oil soaked bolts I was preparing. Gwillian uses the fire to pinpoint his aim and shoots with his longbow.
The one I am burning dies, at least 2 others were wounded but we find the next day that they had looped round and attacked the sheep in the village - something must be making them very despirate. We decide to head to the wolves hunting ground to see what is driving the wolves out. Gil finds bear tracks, he thinks it is from a pair of cave bears. Cave bears BAD!
From the journal of Vesdram
We follow the bear tracks, Prel thinks its a bad idea and we should deal with the wolves, I am agreeing with her. The tracks lead to a cave.
Gildorn (our ranger) asks if the bears are humanoid. The rest of us dispair.
Gwyllum is going to throw a stone at the cave to see if there are any bears in. The rest of us are hiding up a tree, but Meg and Pyrel make so much noise getting up the tree the bears notice. One comes out and roars, then charges at Gwyllum who runs away past us. Gildorn shoots it with his bow, Meg catches it in a harden air, imprisoning it. It's stuck now! We fill it with arrows.
The girls have a debate about using the one power to imprison or kill the bears, apparently it's bad. The debate is loud enough to bring out another bear and we repeat the plan. The men amung us take careful note not to annoy the women until late in the day.
We skin the bear carcusses for pelts and meat and rest of the night in the cave then head back to the village. We trade the pelts for 6 chickens and some grain so we have something to eat for the journy. When the wolves do not return the villagers thank us and give us the horse and cart and give us other related supplies. We begin our journy back to Andor.
On our journy we stop at several inns on the journy. In one of them Lord Oswalt extols his virtues and that he has a map for where the horn might have been hidden. He offers for people to join his quest. We go over and chat, over the course of the discussion he rejects everyone bar Gildorn. I manage not to burst out laughing at the antics of the Aes Sedai when they are rejected. Gildorn goes and drinks with the noble, the rest of us are on our own table
A thin woman approaches us, we can see throwing knives under her cloak. Keb'Freehan. She has a proposition for us outside. Despite a little incident getting out we have a discussion about how to get the horn - she slipped into the nobles room and made a copy of the map. After some negotating she agrees to a 70:30 split on the treasure. We quietly get Gildorn - we will need his skills.
Gwillum contemplates how many ways he can "handle" a horse.
Early in the morning we aquire new horses and set of to the hills of Kintara, near Far Madding. The first 3 days pass uneventfully but Meg catches glimpses of another party half a day behind. On the 4th day we come to a wide frothing river that we need to cross. The girls settle down and work out that they can bridge it using harden air, we blindfold the horses and lead them across. We can see the tower in the distance, however there is a marshy fen between us and it. We rope outselves together and lead the horses through with us. We head safely through the marsh, led by Gildorn.
It is a narrow fissure filled with water gysers. The map had numbering on them and the word countthemin. We conclude that the numbers are minutes that they erupt is. After a while our theory breaks down and we go through a gyser at a time. After a while past them we reach the foot of a hill - the passage is narrow with sheer drops. We come to a ricky bridge over a chasm, clearly nobody has used it for a while. We decide to use a magically hardend bridge instead. We dicuss sabotaging the bridge but decide against it. We head up to the tower, which is just rubble.
There is some puzzling around with the clues but we follow them to the remains of a well, I am lowered down with a lantern, at the bottom is a strongbox. We rope the strongbox and hawl it up, then bid a hasty retreat with Gildorn hiding our tracks. We cut the bridge as we go past.
Retreating quickly we rest up and open the chest: a load of artur hawkwing gold coins, 8 silver goblets and 2 stone statues. While diving up and negotating is happening I examine the statues whilst embracing the source, I don't feel anything. I chat with the girls and I think from their discussions that they know its some form of power created tool.
We split the loot with the woman and head back, spotting galloping horses behind us. Gwyllum uses caltrops to slow them down and Pyrel rejunivates our horses so we make it back to town well ahead of them. We trade in our horses for fresh ones and part ways with Keb.
We leave Jacques and sir henry with the cart to bimble as they never went into town, we on our horses head to far madding and think we manage to lose the noble chasing us. We all have a laugh at the 2 nobles travelling in a cart with chickens.
From the journal of Vesdram
We head to Far Madding, its the largest nearby city where we can sell our stuff. Meg and Pyrel go report in to an Aes Sedai in the town and are promptly conscripted into dilivering a message to Naderia Sedai (Blue ) in Aturio's orchard in the Toman Head region.
I spend some time talking with people and find someone who can restore our silver goblets and a collector who will buy the ancient gold coins. I also find a stablemaster with warhorses for Gwillum. The girls spend some time with Naderia learning new weaves.
We head down to Illan to charter a ship to Toman Head. Pyrel gits everyone with a scarf and Meg gives us a wristband - they will help us stay together. We have a safe and uneventful journy. The gossip in Illan is that the King has dissappeared but the newly rising Lord Brent is keeping things together.
I find us a suitable ship that is heading towards Toman Head and we pay for passage - it's a seafolk vessel and will make amasing time. There is a stop in Ebu Dari on the way. There is some debate in the party as to getting off given the culture of dueling but we have been cooped up on the boat for a week, we head into town and take up rooms. We have an uneventful stay.
The ship eventually arrives in Tanchico, capital of Tarabon. There are a lot of rumours about invaders in the north around Toman Head - where we are heading. We pick up a covered wagon and Gwillum aquires some goats and chickens so we can have milk and eggs.
We come across a pair of bodies, Pyrel and I check them and we conclude that while they have injuries they are nowhere near serious enough to kill them. Around the camp we find some dead rats and the body of a man in a tree - he looks like he was dropped into the tree and that the impact killed him. We find rat prints all around the area, lots of prints. In the distance we see a watchtower. The girls link up and conclude that its definitely something supernatural in the deaths. We give the bodies a buriel and approach the tower.
The tower is old and run down, the trees near it seem clear of foliage, there are a flock of ravens in the trees and rats running around the walls. We dismount and slowly approach, the ravens begin to shrek, as we approach they shriek louder then take to the air and swarm us. Gwillum and Jacques swing their swords, The ravens suddenly start to catch fire - excelent the women know how to create fire! I can add to it! I release an arrow to pretend to be fighting and increase their fire. Gwillum manages to hack apart one swarm of ravens as a swarm of rats steams forth and attacks him. My increased power turns the rest of the ravens to ash, the girls seem amazed by the power of their fire. They set one of the rat swarms alight as Gwillum and Jacques attack and I up the flame again. With the increase in intensity the rat swarm is toast. The girls set alight to the last rat swarm and Gwillum ducks and slices straight through the remainder.
Gwillum is badly injured and Pyrel heals him, in a few hours his wounds will return. We approach the tower, shining the light in the doorway we guess it is 2 simple rooms, one above the other. The stench of rotten flesh is overpowering. Gwillum and Jacques head upstairs - there are 3 decomposing bodies up there. We use some lamp oil to make a fire and set the tower on fire.
We leave and make camp a distance away. On first watch Meg hears something. Gwillum doesn't hear anything and is less than impressed. On my watch I hear a voice and go following it, something kisses me and I feel drained. Pyrel notices me missing and wakes everyone up. She can sense me and they hurry to my position to find me being grabbed and embraced by some wings monster. Gwillum charges and hacks at it with his sword and it tries to fly off but he strikes it down.
We continue travelling, our journy for the next few weeks is uneventful.
Towards the end of a day we hear voices. "Allum! Alumm! Allum!" A crowd of peasants appears on the road, they are looking for a boy who has been missing for 3 days. They ask us if we'll help. Gwillum is at first skeptical as to the boys chances but they explain that he spends a lot of time in the forest. We agree and help but we don't find anything, dissapointed at the failure the leader of the search invites us to stop at the village for the night.
We hear from news from the village, apparently there is fighting further up the country. A people called the Seanchean - invaders riding terrible monsters who have conquered the part of Toman Head.
The next day we agree to help search and are lead to some new locations. We find the crude remains of a campsite. And we notice tracks that Gwillum recongises as Trollocs. We follow the tracks, after a few hours we hear a loud roar followed by the clang of metal. Ahead in an open field there is a massive beast, 10 feet tall, rearing on its hind legs. Its hide is scratched and bleeding, next to it fights a young boy with a spear, they are surrounded by trollocs.
From the journal of Jacques de Montagne
The creature has a squarish head with beady eyes. The creature claws a trolloc to death. Nasty! We loose arrows at the trollocs. Gwillem hits one which goes down. Three trollocs do a runner. The creature swipes at one. One trolloc attacks the boy, who is hurt but is still standing. Pyrel hardens air around the remaining trolloc. The creature finishes off the trolloc. We loose arrows at the retreating trollocs. Gildorn calms the creature down. The trollocs escape into the woods. Jacques tells Allan that his village have been out looking for him. He says that he has been looking after Paddington. Vesdram uses a balm to heal the kid.
Allan says that there was a skirmish a few days back. The creature was part of the invaders. Pyrel heals the kid. Gwillem gives the kid some advice. We think the creature is a carnivore. Gwillem shouts at the kid who starts crying. The creature starts growling. Gildorn tries to calm it but fails. Gwillem keeps talking while getting ready. Meg tries to hold the creature with a spell. Gwillem runs a girl. "he says he's going back to get his dad." Vesdram gets the feeling that Gwillem is up to something.
Allan thinks he should return to the village. Gwillem heads off to find the father. We head towards the village. We meet up. Dad is glad to see his son but less pleased to see the creature. He gets Allan to go back to the village while Paddington stays in the woods. We go back to the village and persuade the villagers to let the creature be. They are glad to get Allan back.
We carry on our journey across Almoth Plain. On route we pass through the town of Ostin Falls. We get rooms for the night in the local tavern. Gwillem tries chatting up a barmaid and fails. A man in well cut plain clothes comes to us. Lorwin is looking to hire a group to protect him to do a tour of the local villages. We are suspicious. He offers us 10 gold each. We accept half payment in advance.
Lorwin and Meg seem to hit it off. Towards evening we see some activity ahead. Ahead we see Taraboners soldiers attacking some merchants in caravans. We haven't been spotted yet. Lorwin is hesitant. We get ready but we don't get involved. There have been rumours of fighting between Arad Doman and Tarabon. The soldiers are winning. They kill everyon and burn the caravan. They ride off but not towards Tarabon. The guy that was giving out orders didn't seem to have a Taraboner accent.
One of the guards is stil alive. Pyrel tends to him. Jacques searches the bodies. We take the guard with us in our cart to the next village. Later we hear the sound of hooves. We think they are Domani soldiers. Pyrel hails them. The leader asks for Lorwin. He says that his wife-to-be is waiting for him. The soldiers are determined to take him back. We let him get taken off.
We are getting close to our destination. The weather is starting to get bitterly cold for this time of year. A bolt of lightning reveals smoke rising up from some buildings up ahead. We see a farm ahead. A large barn is alight. The farm looks prosperous but we don't see anyone about. Some of hear a muffled sound from the stables. We smell horse smells. There is rustling noise. A young girl is crying. Vesdram calms her down. Her name is Issa. "Soldiers came and took my family. The leader had mean eyes wiskers. It had happened just this evening. They had Taraboner colours."
Gildorn sees horse tracks. The girl stays at the farm with Maric and Henri. We try to track the soldiers. The track leads NE for several miles. After about an hour we hear a man's voice crying out from behind trees. Gwillem charges in with his lance. He skewers the mountain lion. The men finish off the other mountain lion. The two men are called Hurin and Vanir. They are on the trail of some criminals.
We follow the trail to a low treeless hill. Gwillem creeps up to the hill with Gildorn. They make out a large camp on the hill. The pen is 8 foot high with sharpened spikes. There are two guards who seem to have heard something. They are peering in his direction. We make some plans and decide we won't be able to release the people and escape.
Gildorn sneaks up to the pen to have a look. We think there are dozen prisoners and 16 guards. The prisoners seem to be peasants and villagers. Later on we notice one of the men heading off from the camp. We head after him. The soldier has stopped on the road about a mile from the camp. He is talking to a shadowy form. It has orders from their master. "Silence, on your knees worm. Your efforts to sow civil war have been sucessful. The men are to continue their raids. You are to go to Tanchico." The soldier says a vow to the dark. We have to wait for the shadowy creature to leave for us to move again. We think it might have been a fade.
In the morning a patrol of eight men leave the camp in a southerly direction. Gildorn and Meg stay. The rest of us head back to the farm and on towards Arturo's Orchard. We head for the Inn. It's two stories high. Inside it looks as if the whole village is gathered for a meeting. Issa goes to meet her uncle. We tell them about the soldiers. They ask us to rescue the villagers. They think we might be able to bargain with them. The Aes Sedai we are to meet is away for a couple of days.
From the journal of Vesdram
We come up with a plan, I am go crawling into a corpse of trees near to the camp where I can see the horses, everyone else hides in the woods below. Gwillum and Gildorn both take a shot at the exposed guard, as soon as I see the shots I am going to fire a "flaming bolt" into the horses to spook them, when people go to tend the horses the others will fill them full of arrows. We have a pair of peasants with slings with us.
Gwillum and Gildorn both fire and both arrows strike the guard but he doesn't drop. I set one of the horses on fire with the power, pretending that it was by arrows while Gwillum and Gildon let rip with more arrows. The horses are panicing and the camp goes on alert.
My fire on the horses brews up, the horse is screaming and causes a panic, one of the manages to break free. Pyrel puts a shield of air infront of the rest of the party as the soldiers start firing crossbows at them, the arrows plink off the shield of air. Gwillum and Gildron are firing above the shield and I set 2 men on fire. The soldiers withdraw back from the brow of the hill so the party can't hit them. I can still see them - they are regrouping and trying to put the burning men out.
I set one of the regrouping men on fire, those that are not on fire are heading towards the compound. Cowardly swine going to execute the hostages! The other members of the party are heading up now, unfortunately I cannot see the compound to use my power - the hill blocks my view. I start running for the compound.
Pyrel uses the voice of power, her voice is massively loud, it echos across the hill. "HALT YOU ARE SURROUNDED. If you surrender you won't be harmed." Gwillum rides down to the pen as I run around it sword drawn.
Inside the 5 remaining soldiers have been masacring the peasants. Gwillum and I get in and attack the soldiers the others are right outside. Gwillum kills an injured one but my strike misses. The soldiers fight back and I am wounded badly. Gildon rushes up to my side and strikes one and I follow it up. The peasants are here with their spears.
On seeing Pyrel the soldiers yell at her and charge her, blaming her for setting them on fire. We strike them as they charge past but 2 are able to get to Pyrel and one of them drives his sword deep into her chest.
On seeing her fall I call upon a huge quantity of the source in an attempt to turn him to ash. The source scorches through my body and I am unable to control it, losing the weave. I pile into them with my sword hacking at them wildly. One of them swings and catches me and I fall to the ground.
Gildon and Gwillum hack the remaining soldiers to itty bitty pieces. A single peasant survives. Gwillum and Gildorn put me and Pyrels remains on a horse and search the tents. They find white cloaks in the camp. They set fire to the camp and head back to the village.
A slender woman in a dark blue dress followed by a large man in a warders cloak. He heads over and has a chat with us, thanking us for our efforts. She asks us to go looking for Megda Sedai who was in a small village Tobins Hollow. She holds out a jewled lockbox, "the white tower can be generous in its gratitude. Megda was investigating rumours that there were women that could channel where attacking and terrorising the surrounding area."
Megda was communicating with the white tower using a slate tablet and sent them information every day. 3 weeks ago she stopped sending information. Nederia Sedai has learned that there is indeed an invasion and the invaders have both channelers and strange beasts. She fears that Megda has been killed or captured, we are to bring back incontrovertable proof of this.
There is an Ogre with her carrying a large axe. Korran had been wandering and wants to join us. Seeing the size of the axe we say yes.
I build a pyre for pyrel.
From the journal of Vesdram the Mad
We head off down the road to tobins hollow, it's about 5 days journey.
The 1st 4 days are uneventful. Then midmorning on the 5th day we hear a shrek. It comes form the air - a huge winged beast is flying in the air circling something. I see that it has a rider and stuff on its back as it descends behind some tress off to the side of the road.
We continue down the road when we hear the sound of a fight through the trees. We head in to investigate. In a clearing there are a line of men wearing strange bright armour that makes them look like insects. Behind them is an officer. Fighting them are some peasants and woodsman, the peasants are not doing too well. .
We fire arrows at them but fail to do much daage, most of the peasants get killed. The soldiers advance in an ordered line. Gwillum moonwalks backwards and fires his arrow. Korran swings his mighty axe and cleaves one of the soldiers in 2. I release one of my patented firey arrows at the commander, burn in hell asshole.
The soldiers fight back badly injuring jacques. Korran swings twice with his axe, killing 2 more of them. The commander doesn't seem to be burning as well as I would like. He issues a withdraw order and the men fall back in good order, but Korran still cuts down one of them. Gwilum charges after them and kills another one. In the end the soldiers are killed but the commander runs off. Good luck to him, my fire will never stop burning.
The woman is middle aged and uite upset by the death of all the villagers. The attackers invaded tobins hollow in the night while the village slept. They ride terrible beasts and have many powerful soldiers and women who could channel. Megda Sedai fought them but the women wieldd ower more terrible than hers. This woman doesn't know what happened to her.
She offers us healing as the village wisdom and will guide us to close to the village where we can hide. Gildorn and Gwillum sneak close. The village shows obvious signs of battle - burnt homes and destroyed buildings with soldiers on patrol. Headquarters are in the centre, a building with large banners. They estimate there are at least 30 soldiers with patrols of 6 men. During the day a woman leads another woman out on a leash, walks with her for a bit then goes back in.
During the night the guards change, Gwillum and Gildorn sneak in the back while the rest of slip around to the other side to create a distraction if things go badly. The guards at the back of the inn spot Gwillum and Gildorn, Gwillum attempts to bluff and surrender to them, Gildorn shots his bow but misses. The guards sound the alarm and charge Gwillum, but both miss him entirely. Gwillum and Gildorn run away.
We come up with a plan to take a man alive. As we do, we hear a merchants wagon going in. We watch it go in, then ride round to catch up with the merchant when he leaves. He was taken in to talk to their noble, questioned about where he had been and where he was going then left to continue after he had sworn some oaths to support the returning founders. Next to the noble was a woman holding another woman by a leash. Neither woman fits the description of the Aes Sedai. The invaders are looking for the woman that we found - the vilage wisdom.
We need to capture a guard. During the night we ambush a patrol and kill them quickly, but not before the alarm can be raised. One of them is subdued and we run off with him to interogate.
We discuss ways to interogate him. He is playing hardball, name rank and serial number. Korran suggests breaking his feet then slams his axe down next to the mans head. I suggest they leave him tied down with me for a little while - my lord had us taught how to interogate, but it gets a bit messy, especially for someone like Meg to watch. Meg hardens air around his head and keeps it there so he can't breath for a while. He continues giving name rank and serial number. Hardball time.
Myself and Koram torture him. Meg advises us occasionally. Despite our efforts he gives us nothing more than name, rank and serial number. We break his neck and dispose of the body.
Gildorn observes the village from secret the following day - there is a heightened state of alert and guards out. There is also a man studying the tracks.
From the journal of Vesdram the Mad
We speak to the wise woman to find out some information about a village beyond that we could be going back to and a market we could ahve come from. We are going to pretend to be merchants. Meg will be the merchant, myself Gildorn and Jacques are guards.
A patrol intercepts us, asks if we have taken the oaths. On hearing no we are escorted to the inn. There is a tall man with the sides of his head shaved looking at us. The is a slender woman off to the side, and another woman kneeling on the floor bound by a thin silver chain. He is the Lord Timac and he asks us a few questions about who we are, he seems satisfied with the answers and is prepared to move onto the testing and the oaths.
The Sul'dam comes forward and tries to put a silver colar round meg. Meg backs up and protests, lord Timaric orders the guards to restain her. Meg ducks away from the guard and narrowly escapes being collared. The others guards draw swords and are ready if we kick up - we are outnumbered nearly 2 to 1. We are not going to win a fight. Jacques steps next to Meg and draws his sword.
Lord Timaric stands "stop. There is no need for violence. She must be tested, then you can take the oaths and leave." When asked he explains that it doesn;t matter what she knows, the test will happen and if she passes she will be free to leave with us, otherwise the collar and leash will remain and she will stay with them. Meg pronounces "I am an Aes Sedai in waiting, I will not be collared like a dog!"
The damme encases Meg in a hardened air, freezing her body. Meg retaliates by hardening the air around the dammes head. The Sul-dam screams "kill her." The guards move in. I hold my hands up as does Goldorn, Jaques drops his sword. Meg has 2 swords against her throat. "release her or die." Meg releases the weave as the guards disarm us. The suldam snaps the chain around her neck and says "kneel." Meg almost immidately ends up writhing on the floor in agony.
After a bit Meg gets up, "what have you done with Megda sedai?"
"She has be taken to Falme like you will be. Now kneel." Meg collapses again. The process repeats a final time before Meg passes out from the pain.
We are asked how we knew her, which we bluff our way out of. We are to take the 3 oaths. We all agree! They return us our weapons and let us leave. We meet up with Korran and come up with a bold rescue mission that involves me setting fire to the stables. We sneak towards the back of the inn.
Gwillum and Korram sneak up with me, as soon as I am within a hundred feet I start the smallest fire on the roof of the stables. Thatch is going to burn quickly. As they sneak further forwards I up the heat.
The guards hear Korram and one moves forward to investigate. Korram waits until he is outside the light of the torches and then cuts him down. Gwillum shoots the remaining guard with an arrow, but it doesn't drop him. The guard calls alarm then ducks inside the inn.
Korram smashes the door with one blow of his axe and he and Gwillum chase the man in, Gildorn, Jacques and me follow. Gwillum hears people screaming from the stables.
The guard falls back inside the inn to an inner door, there are other guards within that try to defend. Korram cuts down 2 guards and gwillum kills another.
Guards pile out of another door and attack me and Jacques, injuring me. Korram damages one and Gwillum finishes him off. Jacques attacks his opponent and I start a fire in the newly open doorway to stop the other guards coming through.
The guards injure Korram and he is looking badly injured, thankfully they miss me. We slay some more guards but Korram is felled. Gwillum and gildorn are looking injured. I stick my sword through the guts of the one attacking me and kill him. I actually killed something with my sword! I set fire to another guard as Gwillum dodges and blocks the attacks coming at him.
I fail to hit the guard with a sword as does Jacques, the guard slices a painful blow on jacques. Gildorn polishes off the last opponent for him and Jacques stabs the man we are fighting and he dies.
That leaves us alone briefly, we can hear the sounds of armoured boots on the ceiling. We check Korram - he's dead. Everyone else is badly injured, I start another fire in the doorway to block it and we make a tactical retreat. As we flee into the night I start a fire in the thatch of the inn. The fires keep them busy and we flee into the night, there are more screams from the barn, perhaps it wasn't horses and soldiers there.
We hop on our horses and ride off to recover. The following day we see a large Toraken come and pick up people and fly them to Falme - we think Meg is amung them. We slip quietly towards Falme, everything seems pretty normal. Occasionally we get stopped by patrols and made to repeat the 3 oaths.
In Falme everything seems completely normal. There are the soldiers and ships in the harbour, but other than that it is business as usual, the invaders have secured the city and now are content to let everything continue.
From the journal of Vesdram the Completely Sane
We get stopped by a patrol who make us recite the oaths. We find an inn - the Wind Song inn, located in the trade district. It takes me a while to find an inn with rooms. Even so its a common room, there is one other person oin the room, reading a book in a corner, he looks particulally thin and weedy, even compared to me. He's called Dervol, we sit and have a chat, he's been here a while and explains about the invasion.
We ask around:
- Every woman is made to wear a collar when she arrives, some are let lose, some are never seen again.
- Captive woman are regulally shipped off in heavily armed vessels, they seem to be wearing silver collars, the ships leave every few days.
- The women are kept in a building close to Lord Terics headquarters.
- One of the Suldam spent a while severely punishing a woman who tried to escape. The woman was reported to have red hair and according to the soldier we spoke to is due to be shipped out soon to the 'mainland' for more training.
The headquarters are well guarded: entire patrol standing watch. The place is a hub of activity with people coming in an out at all times.
The suldam are kept in a 3 story building next to the headquarters that is also heavily guarded. There are gardens where we see women being led around. We stake it out and after a few hours I catch a glimpse of Meg.
We plan for the evening the
We are woken by shouts from the streets "the high lord Torak has been slain" there are soldiers running everywhere. We grab gear and run out as fireballs are being thrown left right and centre. One of them hits the building and sets fire to the roof.
As people run around in panic a woman runs up to us crying. She points to the upper floor window - there is a small girl out the window, flames and smoke billowing.
Gwillum strikes a noble pose "I'll save her!" and rushes into the building. He dashes in. We grab some bales of hay and put them under the window as Gwillum kicks down the door to the girls room. Dodging flaming blocks and falling masonry he grabs her and lowers her out the window before leaping to safety.
We head towards the town centre. On the way we run smack bang into a patrol being led by a steely woman with a red-haired woman in a collar. There is one of their giant beasts at the back. The red-head is almost certainly Magda. Duervol runs into a building as I embrace the source and set the steely looking woman on fire before falling back into a building myself.
I can feel another man channeling! Then there is an explosion in the middle of the patrol as Dervol flings a rock at them.
The guards charge and Gwillum and Jacques who engage them.
I increase the fire on the Suldam. Dervol creates a ball of fire that explodes in the middle of the attacking soldiers as the beast lumbers up. Gwillum hacks down a soldier.
My fire torches the Suldam as Dervol fireballs the rest of the group. Some of the soldiers fall as I set fire to the beast. It advances and thwacks Gwillum. Gwillum and Jacques retreat into the house so the beast can't get them as 2 remaining guards grab the damme and run, I set one on fire.
The handler realsies that his beast is burning and rushes with it to find water - fat chance, my flame will never stop burning. There are no more soldiers left so we rush out of the building to chase the guards. One has fallen from my fire, the other drops her and legs it.
I am able to wake the woman up, but touching the colar burns my fingers. Marrick seems to have no pain issues and after a bit of jimmying is able to open it. It is indeed Magda Sedai. We get her into different clothes and head towards the headquarters.
The headquarters is almsot deserted - all the soldiers are out fighting, we push through the servants to a room where there are many woman attached by collars. Meg is amung them. Marrick does quick work of the collars and we break the women out. We flee out of Falme, we are out onto the plain when we have a problem:
Infront of us are ranks of whitecloaks, forming up and trotting towards the town to attack. Crap. We are in the way.
The Seenchean form up behind us. Oh crap. The 2 armies charge on either side of us as we try to ride out the way. We hear a horn blowing and fog begins to billow onto the battlefield, enshrouding the 2 armies. We keep riding, hearing the sounds of battle around us.
A creature leaps out from behind and knocks Dervol off his horse. Meg encases it in hardened air and we keep going. We can see through the fog another army charging down at the 2. At first it seems rag-tag but each man carries himself with the grace of a master warrior.