Svart’s Internal Dialogue Late Autumn LA 608- Runeheim Forum 4

((Svart’s internal dialogue as he thinks over the events of the late autumn forum for LA 608 and tries to make sense of it all.))

I was robbed.

Miss V. had made me a pair of fine boots. I had them. Shanahan had given them to me, but when I looked for them later, they were gone. I looked all around, but I could not find them. They must have been taken by the bandits in the forest. That must have happened, because I do not lose things. The Witch Queen that they serve must have sent them to steal my boots. The bandits must have taken them.

They did not know that Svart can make his own fine boots. Svart is hard working and dependable and has all the materials he has gathered as his father taught him to do. He is quick and can work a needle as his mother taught him to do. Svart began work on his princely mantle. I made my own boots. Then I made small clothes. These are the things he did after Svart returned to Runeheim after staying with the Dunnick army in the South who said they would aid him in his cause if he helped free the Dunns from slavery.

Then the Witch Queen attacked. There were fire ghouls and bears at the beginning of forum.

Wolf-Rick was there and Svart kept away from him. When I first met him, I could tell he was a good person. I am never wrong with my impression of people. Just as I could tell that Tongue Splitter hated me when she slammed the door in my face. Then there was Xavier who made fun of me and told everybody not to use any of my crafting. It was no surprise to see him plotting the black dogs that stand on hind legs and talk. He is obviously in league with the bandits in the woods and taking orders from the Witch Queen. Yet, Wolf-Rick was a good person but revealed he was a wyrd spell caster with the story of how the magic tortures and corrupts his soul. It is sad to see a good man enchanted and corrupted by such foul wyrdness. I can tell he yearns to be free.

I, Svart, swear and oath that I will find a way to strip Wolf-Rick of his magic, and free his soul from its torment! Then, he can be a good person again.

The Hollow Song attacked Runeheim. They were in the woods attacking other villagers and when the defenders of Runeheim came out, they engaged. I had been out in the woods patrolling and protecting the other villagers from attacks when I heard the battle back by the bridge. I rushed back and saw that the group of Runeheim defenders had been split up. Most had been driven back across the bridge, while Quill was being attacked by another group. Svart attacked across the bridge, clearing the way and led the charge back to save Quill. Svart was the first one back to help Quill. We arrived in time to save his life, but not his finger. I think one of the Hollow Song ate it.

I did better in that battle. Rolf had been teaching Svart how to fight and advising him. Svart misses Rolf. We were good friends, and he helped train Svart in fighting. We’d go into the forest and fight together. We’d fight giants and trolls to protect the town. Nobody was as good a friend to Svart as Rolf.

Then there was the attack on Runeheim by the crows. They must be servants of the Witch Queen as they grabbed me and tried to drag me out to the menhir like they did others. I had escaped once through a tough battle. Seeing that they couldn’t get me, they kidnapped Solace and dragged her out to the menhir knowing that I would follow to rescue her. The Friar was leading the way with his lantern, but then an assassin snuck up behind me and stabbed me in the back. Luckily, Bjorn fought it off and saved my life.

The Witch Queen in the forest that controls the black dogs. The black dogs have always tormented Svart. Mother said that the black dogs don’t like me because my head is full of cats. Dogs don’t like cats. The Witch Queen did the same to kill the bear king, and now she does the same against me.

My mother also told me the truth after other children were making fun of Svart. That the Bear King used to visit Runeheim. Back when my mother was the most beautiful woman in Runeheim, he was one of my mother’s special friends. He is my real father, and I am the prince of the Bear Throne. But she warned me, I have to keep quiet and not tell anybody, or they’ll come after me. Then after my mother died, the Witch Queen started sending her dogs and bandits more and more often, because they know I am the real heir to the Bear Throne. They seek to break my spirit and stop me from uniting all of the Njordr.

The only person who knew was Rolf. I told Rolf who I really was. He told me that he has been sent to guide me in a vision he had. He recognised me as heir to the bear throne, and I branded him, Rolf the Unbreakable.

Eventually, I will make my fortune, destroy the Witch Queen and her servants, claim my throne, marry a princess, unite the Njord clans, and free the Dunns.

The Oncoming Winter

Severin limped across the floor of his hut. He looked into the room the children were sleeping in. They laid there with the dog with little child-like snores in their single bed. The medicine for their family member made by Dr. Alphonse had worked and all were comfortably asleep. He let go of the drape and let it cover up the door to their room once again. The steps back to his chair were painful from the sprained ankle he had suffered.

He thought about how he needs to get bedding for his children as well as new clothes. It seems so hard to get such items these days. All the needleworkers were busy making more bandages which are forever getting used. He had all the raw materials, but lacked the skills to make such items himself. In calmer times he might have looked at doing it himself, but these days, he needed to put all his efforts into just gathering more food from the forests to keep the village fed, his children included.

The attacks from outside the village just seem to be increasing. First cannibals and next came the forest creatures. The Lord and Lady being killed followed by the son being charged with things that haven’t been announced publicly. All very strange, and he did not like it. Never mind Little Hugo’s devil babies and other ghosts and creatures that keep appearing. Such issues have always been present in Luisant, but they seem to be getting worse and all seem to tie to the NoWhere King and Red Stag to which nobody really has any knowledge of why.

Not sure about the hunting around the village. It’s been getting more dangerous to go out into the woods. The creatures there complain about using all the resources. Some more attention probably does need to be spent into preserving the forest’s resources. Severin had never exploited unless there was a need too, usually for food. Usually, just a bit of more hard work would do just as well. He will have to pay more attention to the hunting and game in the area in the future.

At least the most recent dinner he had made for the village had come off successfully. There was plenty of lamb stew for everybody and the other odds and ends served up seemed to work well for the villagers. It seemed like there would be enough food for everybody still, but vegetables had been harder to find than usual this fall. Not a good sign for the coming winter.

Severin Journal – Game 2

Lamb Stew With Fresh Vegetables

Severin Jovienne looked over the ingredients he had collected for tonight’s stew:

2-3 pounds of lamb shoulder with bone
A bit of olive oil
A medium shallot
Not enough cloves of garlic (as far as he was concerned)
Two salted anchovies
Some white flour
A cup of white wine
Four cups of chicken broth
Two bay leaves
1 pound potatoes
Unsalted butter
A couple of medium carrots
Some honey
A fennel bulb
Fresh peas
Some tarragon
Salt and pepper

He took the large pot and put it on the fire with some oil. Once the oil was shimmering, he put in some of the lamb and fipped till brown. He then removed that portion of lamb to a plate and began the next, while thinking about the last market day.

So, Little Hugo had yet another zombie baby. This seems to be a re-occuring thing. Perhaps he just really likes zombie babies. I suppose if there are adult zombies, there must be zombie babies. Otherwise, where would zombies come from?

They’re probably just created like the ghouls that keep attacking. Those are created by ghouls carrying people off and burying them in the dirt. Of course, then, where did the first ghouls come from? Hrrm.

Both they and the babies could be malefic. Some form of ghoul creating night malefic was made and causes the same action to create more malefics just like itself perhaps. Does that mean there is perhaps a King Zombie and if you resolve it, the other zombies will go away? But then who makes night malefic babies? Sure, horrible things happen to babies too, but sort of surprising that one would have enough understanding about what is happening to it. Perhaps, it is actually an adult malefic that just takes the form of a baby because that is what is feels like. Still, crawling around after some sort of adult type person is something that a malefic baby would do, so so would an adult malefic who felt like it was a baby malefic.

Getting back to the fire, the meat had now finished so he added a bit more oil, the shallots and a bit of salt. Once the shallots had begun to soften and turn brown, he added the garlic, and the anchovies. The anchovies had to be mashed into a paste. They were the secret ingredient to add the extra bit of flavor. He stirred it all together, and once the garlic really started to smell nice, added in some flour and stirred some more.

Then there was that Husher malefic that hushed everybody. What’s with the hushing? Hush hush; hush. Just so it could sing that No-Where King song. That just keeps coming up too. I wonder if it’s related to Little Hugo’s zombie baby?

The flour paste wasn’t going to do any more, so it was time to add the wine. He poured it in and stirred it, taking care to scrape the bottom for any bits of meat still stuck there. Once the browned bits were all integrated, it was time to add the broth, meat, potatoes, and bay leaves. Cover, return to fire, and let simmer.

Time to rest and finish off the rest off that bottle of wine while waiting for the stew to cook.

Then besides zombies and ghouls we apparently have bandits too.

At least we have a possible marriage for the young Lord now. His mother seems like a right fie type. No problem with me skinning my rabbits at the table with her, unlike Teles. What’s with that guy? So uptight! Not like the Lady. She didn’t even mind all the spiders crawling through the forest. Didn’t even mind when they started to crawl on her. Still, Telese seems really caught up in things. So busy that he never even tells anybody what’s going on. Good thing he suggested that I spend more time around him, listening to everything he talks about. I’m sure he can use somebody there to give him some good advice.

Advice like, ‘don’t go to a fairy party in the woods late at night’. I can’t believe that people went to that. After all, last time there was a fairy party in the woods, everybody came back as cannibals.

Almost two bells later, he checked again. The potatoes were now easy to pierce with a fork and the meat falling apart. Also, people were beginning to grumble about dinner. He added in the carrots and fennel, and salt to taste.

Finally, he added the peas, honey, and tarragon. Made some final adjustments to the salt and pepper, and served it forth.

Tales of Dark Folkwise

Eloi had traveled through most of the lands occupied by man, and every place he had been had their own local folkwise. Most of these ventured into dark territory, often literally.There was always that one hill that people didn’t go up after dark. There was always some place that was colder than the lands around it. There was always something that lived in the woods that there were customs on how to avoid. These were tales on the dangers that existed and how to avoid or at least mitigate them.

In Capacionne, there was no exception. Travellers hurried past crossroads at night and knew that if you were addressed by somebody familiar that called you to wait in the middle, it was not them. The traveller would apologise and continue forward and wait till what was considered a safe distance away to see if they were still being addressed. Above all, when experiencing something unknown or possibly supernatural, it was important to be polite and pretend nothing was out of the normal. Then, never to speak of it again to anybody except perhaps you priest. To talk about such things publically was ….unwise. Similarly, farmers, gardners, and even woodsmen would address the plants they were to cut or disturb, either to apologize or thank them. A lack of respect never gained any friends and a kind or flattering word might put an enemy off just long enough to escape.

Rogalia was a nation that still had respect for the night. The vampire lords were gone, but many of their servants still exist. Never go into the woods at night to investigate the strange lights. If you live away from a town or village, you don’t look out of the windows into the dark. Just don’t. Even if there are strange noises, you might think it is animals, but it’s not. If you have to investigate, go to the door and open it boldly with a lantern and weapon in hand. Whatever it is seems not too keen on being confronted. They flee, …usually. People know that there are packs of wolves that will hunt lone travelers which not only are able to speak but will know the traveller’s name. Do not run or they will sense weakness and tear you apart. Do not listen, because their words are more dangerous than their claws. Sometimes eyes will peer out of the woods. Not the eyes of an animal reflecting a lantern’s light, but those that glow like hot coals of a dying fire. It is best that you make it to a spot with light and other people, as if you keep watching for them, they will be moving closer to you when you are not looking at them.

Dunland is no different. As it gets late in the pubs, and the Rogalians are gone and it is nothing but locals, you can hear things only spoken in whispers. There’s a road through the woods that you do not take, even in the day. There is that cold feeling you get in that one place. There is a deep understanding that something exists out in the moors that is older than man, that doesn’t care about us particularly, but is more than willing to kick us in the slats as let us pass unmolested. Those that are more drunk will tell of things that stand like a man but run on all fours, at least till they figure they have spoken too much and will refuse to talk any more. Every pub has their own methods of avoiding trouble if one must venture into the moors at night. Most involve some form of tribute or distractions such as beer poured into a hole dug in the ground or an offering of small cakes left on a rock, but these are all closely guarded secrets. Many Rennets disappear in Dunland and not as many are due to the Dunns as the Rogalians think.

The Shariqyn have their own stable of tales of monsters that inhabit the desert and the night. Witches with tangled hair that will steal children that wander away from a caravan or perhaps cause a man to wander away from his camp and deeper into the desert. Ghosts that demand hospitality. Birds that will mimic the whistling of a nightguard, and even other sounds including speech. Caves filled with treasure that will curse anyone that takes some. So many there could be books filled with such tales. Most of these seem like the standard assortment of cautionary and morality tales told to children. Then you see the fear of a mother who can’t find their child at night, or how the old men will grow quiet and alert when they hear and owl far from any trees.

Gotha, the seat of the Throne, has their own tales and customs. The woods are dark and ancient and filled with things that are also dark and ancient. When traveling through deep woods, make sure to keep track of everybody in the group and know them all by face. It’s a game to them and they like to insert themselves into the group and just observe before they strike. It’s said that the dower demeanor of the Gothic is because there are Things that laughter summons best not met. Even in Holy Lethia, there are cellar doors that are always locked from sundown to sunrise, rooms that shouldn’t be entered, and alleys to be avoided. These are always done on the orders of a priest, or so people say.

The Hestrali have their own collection of wisdom that seems to deal mostly with lovers or eating and drinking. If you have been pursuing a person who has rebuffed your advances, yet you meet them alone at night by the sea wanting to swim, just don’t. It’s not them. When serving meals at a table, never have an empty seat. Invite somebody, put something in it, or just move the chair. An empty seat is an invitation. So is a full glass nobody has claimed.

The Njords know that no matter which god you worship, you do not bother the large stone in the middle of the field or that old tree. If you do, bad things will happen as the fea and elves still have their places of power. There is always some idiot that will decide to chop down THAT tree, and you will see the bravest warrior decide they should not be a part of what is going on. Older njords will just say “Those poor fuckers. They’re doomed.” In some of the farming villages built recently, an important person will have some rock that was cleared away dug back up from the rubbish pile and put back in place. The most impossible things have been happening to sabotage the village production, and only replacing the rock makes things return to normal.

Folkwise

Eloi had traveled through most of the lands occupied by man, and every place he had been had their own local folkwise. Most of these ventured into dark territory, often literally.There was always that one hill that people didn’t go up after dark. There was always some place that was colder than the lands around it. There was always something that lived in the woods that there were customs on how to avoid. These were tales on the dangers that existed and how to avoid or at least mitigate them.

In Capacionne, there was no exception. Travellers hurried past crossroads at night and knew that if you were addressed by somebody familiar that called you to wait in the middle, it was not them. The traveller would apologise and continue forward and wait till what was considered a safe distance away to see if they were still being addressed. Above all, when experiencing something unknown or possibly supernatural, it was important to be polite and pretend nothing was out of the normal. Then, never to speak of it again to anybody except perhaps you priest. To talk about such things publically was ….unwise. Similarly, farmers, gardners, and even woodsmen would address the plants they were to cut or disturb, either to apologize or thank them. A lack of respect never gained any friends and a kind or flattering word might put an enemy off just long enough to escape.

Rogalia was a nation that still had respect for the night. The vampire lords were gone, but many of their servants still exist. Never go into the woods at night to investigate the strange lights. If you live away from a town or village, you don’t look out of the windows into the dark. Just don’t. Even if there are strange noises, you might think it is animals, but it’s not. If you have to investigate, go to the door and open it boldly with a lantern and weapon in hand. Whatever it is seems not too keen on being confronted. They flee, …usually. People know that there are packs of wolves that will hunt lone travelers which not only are able to speak but will know the traveller’s name. Do not run or they will sense weakness and tear you apart. Do not listen, because their words are more dangerous than their claws. Sometimes eyes will peer out of the woods. Not the eyes of an animal reflecting a lantern’s light, but those that glow like hot coals of a dying fire. It is best that you make it to a spot with light and other people, as if you keep watching for them, they will be moving closer to you when you are not looking at them.

Dunland is no different. As it gets late in the pubs, and the Rogalians are gone and it is nothing but locals, you can hear things only spoken in whispers. There’s a road through the woods that you do not take, even in the day. There is that cold feeling you get in that one place. There is a deep understanding that something exists out in the moors that is older than man, that doesn’t care about us particularly, but is more than willing to kick us in the slats as let us pass unmolested. Those that are more drunk will tell of things that stand like a man but run on all fours, at least till they figure they have spoken too much and will refuse to talk any more. Every pub has their own methods of avoiding trouble if one must venture into the moors at night. Most involve some form of tribute or distractions such as beer poured into a hole dug in the ground or an offering of small cakes left on a rock, but these are all closely guarded secrets. Many Rennets disappear in Dunland and not as many are due to the Dunns as the Rogalians think.

The Shariqyn have their own stable of tales of monsters that inhabit the desert and the night. Witches with tangled hair that will steal children that wander away from a caravan or perhaps cause a man to wander away from his camp and deeper into the desert. Ghosts that demand hospitality. Birds that will mimic the whistling of a nightguard, and even other sounds including speech. Caves filled with treasure that will curse anyone that takes some. So many there could be books filled with such tales. Most of these seem like the standard assortment of cautionary and morality tales told to children. Then you see the fear of a mother who can’t find their child at night, or how the old men will grow quiet and alert when they hear and owl far from any trees.

Gotha, the seat of the Throne, has their own tales and customs. The woods are dark and ancient and filled with things that are also dark and ancient. When traveling through deep woods, make sure to keep track of everybody in the group and know them all by face. It’s a game to them and they like to insert themselves into the group and just observe before they strike. It’s said that the dower demeanor of the Gothic is because there are Things that laughter summons best not met. Even in Holy Lethia, there are cellar doors that are always locked from sundown to sunrise, rooms that shouldn’t be entered, and alleys to be avoided. These are always done on the orders of a priest, or so people say.

The Hestrali have their own collection of wisdom that seems to deal mostly with lovers or eating and drinking. If you have been pursuing a person who has rebuffed your advances, yet you meet them alone at night by the sea wanting to swim, just don’t. It’s not them. When serving meals at a table, never have an empty seat. Invite somebody, put something in it, or just move the chair. An empty seat is an invitation. So is a full glass nobody has claimed.

The Njords know that no matter which god you worship, you do not bother the large stone in the middle of the field or that old tree. If you do, bad things will happen as the fea and elves still have their places of power. There is always some idiot that will decide to chop down THAT tree, and you will see the bravest warrior decide they should not be a part of what is going on. Older njords will just say “Those poor fuckers. They’re doomed.” In some of the farming villages built recently, an important person will have some rock that was cleared away dug back up from the rubbish pile and put back in place. The most impossible things have been happening to sabotage the village production, and only replacing the rock makes things return to normal.

Notes from Monster Hunter Meeting

Monster Hunter Meeting
Winter 405
Father Ansel presiding

Discussions

Reasons for Meeting
-gathering knowledge on monsters
-storing knowledge
-teaching knowledge
-using knowledge
-not everybody will do all of these

Karsa
-Family was monster hunters in the past and is supposed to have a hidden library full of knowledge and weapons that could be found
-Would require a distant trip by those willing to try and retereive them

Rogalian Family
-There is a Rogalian family that is dedicated to using mechanisms for fighting monsters

Sha’Ra
-Those with contacts in the Shariqyn Empire or with the Carvansarai should check to see if they can bring in books with lore on monsters to Stragosa

Aid with gathering lore
-seeking people willing to draw monsters
-seeking people to aid in direction and study of corpses

Monster Types

Werewolves
-Cursed by Vecatran
-can only be kept down with silver
-using a silver coin inserted into a wound on a downed werewolf will keep it from raising
-curse can be cured

Vampires
-there are true vampires and vampire spawn
-true vampires cannot be killed

Ghouls

Specific Monsters

Banshee
-tall as a house
-screams, rarely talks
-left over from the time of the witch kings
-Shariqyn origin, or at least referenced in Shariqyn legends
*Malific of a witch called R_____ N_____ (name should not be spoken lightly)
*Stragosa is her death place
*killed the Lazarine that was controlling her in Stragosa

Butcher
-Night Malific
-has horns like a ram
-Woman that was caught in the Church district who ran butcher shop but in time of starvation fed her children human flesh, but was thrown on a fire by her neighbors who also survived and killed when district was freed
-wants food, but do not give it to her
-named Selena
-will threaten but if not threatened back or run from, she will not attack
-if you threaten or run, she will see you as a threat or prey to attack
-if downed in combat, she will disappear and reappear later
-talk to her as if she was human

Bear Spirit
-Vacatran
-has sword
*Can be lulled to pacivity with lullabies
*once passive, food can be thrown down and it will deal with food while you can flee
*it has been pacified and is no longer a threat

Twins
-girls giving flowers in the day
-will come at night and want to play, but games will be dangerous, possibly include stabbing you
-if downed, they will turn to ash and reform later

Meri Lyw
-not heritical to deal with
-Tall ghostly figure with horse skull for a head
-appears in winter
-will laugh and sing
-sing or rhyme to it
-if you win, it will bless you
-if you offend it, it will enter your abode and drink all your liquor and eat all your food

This City Reaps More Than It Sows

The Reaper Festival is over. It certainly feels like things have been reaped. This city of Stragosa reaps more than it sows. More have died this forum. Some tales of those hunting herbs in the forest to a bear spirit wielding a sword, and the personal troubles of the air mage Balthazar which claimed his wife and later himself. Some of the deceased were brought back on the Miracle, perhaps the most important of the reasons this city draws people into its maw, but not all. It never brings back all of the people that venture here and die. This city reaps more than it sows.

Even getting here had reaped the group I started out as part of in Capacione. Having just come from my adventures in Sha’ra, it seemed natural to return to my home country and investigate the court. The trade goods I brought back from the Shariqyn Empire were sold for the money for the proper clothes and proper introductions and my contacts and the spices they provided made me useful in hosting feasts. I gravitated into the entourage of Lady Gale of Rogalia. Lady gale’s entourage was was abit more intellectual than the others, or at least she was, and I was drawn into it. Then, she was called back to Rogalia by her father. She lost many of her entourage then. Locals who had no interest of investiture in following her to Rogalia. It made sense enough for me to venture along as I was as well acquainted with Rogalia as with my home, Capacionne. There, when it became evident that her next destination would be Stragosa, even the Rogalians left. Our party consisted of Just her, her governess, Ramsey, myself, and a few servants. Now, Ramsey and our servants have hopefully left us without saying goodbye. The other option is that they have disappeared like so many others in Stragosa, never to be seen again. This city reaps more than it sows.

Upon arrival to Stragosa, I was reunited with my old childhood friend, Jean-Duquesne. He and I had grown up together and followed similar paths even to the point of arriving here in this city. We had always been interested in the same things and even took up the same vocations. His family was poor enough that we met due to him stealing sausages so he could eat while mine was a merchant family well off enough to send their youngest son to the Rogalian university. Now I find him in Stragosa and he was the Master of our profession, a Master of a guild, and in possibly even better fortunes than myself. It was good to see him as such. It has been almost a year since I had said goodbye to him when an ill storm moved into the Stragosa valley. The valley filled with the snow and ice that I traveled through a week later to his house. I found the dogs near starved but still alive in the kennels. In his abode, I found his possessions still there, a table set with the food he spoke of cooking after we parted that was never eaten, a fireplace with nothing but cold ash, yet no Jean-Duquesne and no tracks through the snow coming or going or even signs the doors or windows had been opened. It has been a year, and there has been no sighting of him still. This city reaps more than it sows.

So far, both Alexandra’s fortunes and my own seem to have prospered. She is a District Magistrate and I am a Master of my trade and member of the city government. Things seem to be looking up for both of us. However, if Alexandra were to disappear from Stragosa one day, what would I do? Would I flee this wretched city, finally free of it anything that would hold me here. Would I search the Throne to find her and make sure she is still safe and not the victim of some Rogalian plot? Or would I stay till I or it disappears, trying to convince myself that she deserted me here without a word and that this city does not reap more than it sows?