The longest winter

A Misty Malaise

Season 2 Finale

The party:

Elden Spirefield, Half-Elf fighter (played by Matt)
Frank Wyvernstooth, Half-Orc Barbarian (played by Steve)
Loraella Ironcore, Half-Elf Rogue (played by Leanne)
Marellian Ironcore, Half-Elf Cleric/Wizard (played by Dave)
Rayne, Tiefling Rogue/Sorcerer (player absent; played as N.P.C.)

Fuddlemore, Gnome Monk/Sorcerer (N.P.C.)
Algrammar, Human captain of the ‘Merry Rose’ (N.P.C.)
Cilarelis, Captain’s wife (N.P.C.)
Jodrel, rescued sailor (N.P.C.)

After seven days more at sea, the ‘Merry Rose’ pulls up at the single dock that serves the hamlet of Rayside. Captain Algrammar thanks the party for all their help, and wishes them good luck in their travels, for here the ship will stay while he makes repairs. fuddlemore explains that the rest of their journey will be afoot anyway, and that this is the closest the captain could have brought them anyway. Jodrel is tearful at going ashore, as it marks the end of his sea-faring days. Marellian tells him if he journeys to Flint-Harrow, he’ll be able to have a good life, and Fuddlemore suggests that maybe he could become a riverman instead.

After so long at sea, the party are a bit unkempt and smelly, so decide to find a place where they can rest up and make themselves more presentable. Marellian stops an old washerwoman, and asks her where they can find a good inn or lodgings. She tells them that they would be best to go to the ‘Blue Bonnet’, where they will be able to use the steam room. She even suggests that if they want their clothes cleaned, that she will do their laundry for them. Marellian thanks her, and asks for directions to the Blue Bonnet. She points it out to them, and they head for it.

Upon setting foot inside the Blue Bonnet, Marellian receives a shock, as the proprietor shouts at him; “You! you’ve got a nerve coming back here after the damage you and your friends made last time.”

Marellian protests that he has never set foot in the place before, but the man calls him ‘Ironcore’, and that he’s heard all his excuses before. When Marellian still protests his innocence, The man sends his pot boy out to fetch the magistrate and the town guards. The party are still trying to protest the innocence of their friend when the guards turn up.

The Magistrate is fairly level headed, and explains that in order to sort things out he will hear both sides of the argument before he hauls anyone off to jail. The proprietor of the Blue Bonnet repeats his tale, that this ‘Ironcore’ and some of his friends (including a half-giant bard of all things) were previously lodged in his inn, where they caused such a ruckus one night that the amount of damaged caused was nearly enough to close down the place. This Ironcore and friends then ran off in the night without paying, leaving him with a hefty bill.

The Magistrate next turns to the party, who explain that they are from Flint-Harrow, and have never set foot here before today. They explain their recent missions, and that the captain of the Merry rose would surely vouch that he picked them up some time ago far to the east.

The Magistrate then asks the Proprietor if he can in fact prove without a doubt that ‘Ironcore’ is the same person he believes was there previously. With a grin, the Proprietor replies that he can indeed: for Ironcore got his serving girl pregnant, and that if anyone could prove it, she can.

The girl is sent for, and her face lights up when she sees Marellian, believing that he has come back for her. Marellian again explains that he has never met her before, and she bursts into tears at his supposed betrayal.

The Magistrate asks her if she is sure he is the same man, and she says that she has a way to tell. She takes him off (with Loraella as his safeguard) to see for sure. The rest of the party hear her say; “Oh, What a letdown.” and she returns shaking her head, explaining to the magistrate that this is not the same man at all. Marellian is somewhat relieved, if a little embarrassed.

The Proprietor is crestfallen, and laments such a cruel trick of fate. He will never see the money to pay for the repairs, and will go out of business. The party take pity on him and , as this Ironcore must be an as yet unknown family member, Marellian and Loraella give him enough money to help him repay his debts. In gratitude, he insists they stay for free in his best rooms.

Loraella and Rayne make use of the lavish bathing room while Frank and Marellian loosen up in the lounge bar. Elden stays in his room ‘sharpening his weapon’. Marellian strikes up a conversation with the old woman who is doing the cooking and tries to get her secret recipe, but she is too wily for him, and ends up making him feel embarrassed. Believing the old woman is making a pass at him, he quickly gives his excuses and heads off to his room.

The next morning they set off for the Frozen Forest in search of the Elves. Marellian and Rayne use their familiars to fly ahead and warn them of any danger, and this saves them several encounters with hostile monstrous wildlife. After half a day of trudging, they reach an area of the forest which has managed to hold back the advance of the ice. Here; in a clearing, they find the Elven dwellings. The only problem is, the dwellings all seem deserted. As they begin to search, they all feel uneasy, and are unnerved by ghostly touches.

Hunting through the settlement, the party come across a rather unkempt half-elf. He seems a little ‘touched’, claiming that the other Elves disappeared and left him alone, and that as such he is the king of the forest, and the half-elves in the party are his subjects. He declares Elden to be the captain of his guard, Marellian his chancellor and Loraella his herald. Upon seeing Frank, however, he screams that the enemy is within the settlement, and demands Elden kill the invaders. The party try to explain that Frank is not an enemy, but the mad half-elf points at Frank and demands he begone. With a flash of light, Frank vanishes. (Rayne quickly hides, in case she’s next…)

While the half-elf party members try to placate the mad half-elf, Frank finds himself drifting in a misty plane. His surroundings are vaguely similar to the ‘real world’, and he seems to be unable to touch or manipulate anything. Through the mist ahead, he can see glowing forms wandering aimlessly. One of these comes close, and he recognizes her as Elven.
She introduces herself as Queen Fealinnar, the mother of Feannar (the mad half-elf the party found). She apologizes to Frank for her son’s actions; explaining that, in a way, it is all her fault.
Fealinnar explains that the Elves had been slowly dwindling, and as they grew less and less, the parts of the forest they were able to keep alive dwindled with them. In the end, it was decided to use the Heartwood gem to open a Gateway to the Elven Havens, and leave the world as did their teachers, the ancient race known as Wen, before them. Unfortunately, her son thought (wrongly) that as he was only half Elven, that he would not be able to travel through the Gateway. In the middle of the ritual to open the Gateway, he wrested the Heartwood gem from his mother, causing the ritual to go awry, and leaving the Elves caught in between planes. Fealinnar tells Frank that although they are unable to free themselves, as Frank is not of Elven blood she can banish him from the ritual, causing him to return to the prime material plane close to where he was. She tells Frank that the party must somehow get the Heartwood gem away from Feannar, as his madness is feeding the spell, which in turn is feeding his madness. Only if he is freed from it’s hold will the spell be broken and the Elves returned.

Fealinnar banishes Frank back to where he came from. True to her word, he reappears just outside the hall where the party met Feannar. Elden is outside ‘doing the rounds’ as ordered by Feannar, and soon gathers the others. Frank explains what he has found out, and the party decide to bring Feannar out into the open to try and get him to give up the gem. Loraella sneaks back into the hall, hiding in shadows, and listens to Feannar as he moans about everyone leaving him. Using a soft voice, she is able to coax him outside, but he insists on holding her hand. As they pass through the doorway, the others group up on him, and tell him to give up the gem. He refuses, believing they are all out to get him, and wrestles with Loraella over the gem. He says;“If I can’t have it, none can!” and destroys the Heartwood gem.
There is an almighty explosion, vaporizing him and Loraella in a magical conflagration. Fuddlemore, caught unawares, is hit by the blast, and sails backwards through the trees, and the rest of the party are all rendered unconscious…..

To Be Continued…

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