Author Topic: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword - A Norbayne Campaign Log  (Read 4132 times)

Phoenixguard09

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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2020, 02:35:11 AM »
Session 7.4: We Bid You All a Very Fond Farewell

“I saw danger and I passed,
Along the enchanted way,
And I said, ‘Let grief be a falling leaf,’
At the dawning of the day.”

- An old Leathe rhyme, often recited at funerals.

Welcome to the final session of Three Coins. For real this time.

“Don’t worry, the next final session will be in about two months time.” – Sins.
“Are you telling me that this is the final session of, The Game?” – Dev.
“I hate you.”
“That was pretty good actually. Rather clever.” – Ladyhawk.
“Yeah, it was integrated.” – LD.


Darkness. That is all Xander can perceive around him. Absolute darkness. Weightless and silent, Xander floats through the void. Freed from the troubles and pain of what he has just experienced, the Feartarbh relaxes, embracing the nothingness. Whether he closes his eyes or not, he does not know. Not that it matters…

“I’m sorry that this is the first time we have met my lad. I’m afraid I just never seemed to find the time.” – The reedy voice of an old man.

Xander looks, and suddenly instead of the void, he seems to be in a wooded clearing. Overhead, the sun shines pleasantly and a cool breeze touches the bristly fur upon his face. The air is filled with the gentle sounds of birds, singing in the morning sun. Before him, on a tree-stump, sits an old man with a long grey beard, by the look of him, a Midlander, in grey robes. He has a small wooden board in one hand, several sheaves of parchment upon it. In the other hand he holds a long quill, like an eagle feather.

“That’s okay.” – Xander, somewhat puzzled, sitting on a tree-stump of his own.

The old man reaches out and puts a gentle, comforting hand on Xander’s shoulder.

“I fear your time has come.” – The old man, sadly.

Xander shrugs and gives a sad smile in return.

“If my time has come, then so be it.” – Xander, feeling a weight start to lift from him.

“A noble sentiment, and one that speaks volumes of your character. However, I come to you with a choice. There is one last task for you to fulfil, one last role you can play in shaping the future of the world. I can send you back, for a short time only, but enough for you to see this through.” – The old man. This close, Xander can see the whirling of stars in the man’s eyes, an eternity of celestial movements bound up in this entity.

“What are you?” – Xander, in a whisper.

“Will you do it?” – The Grey Scribe, ignoring Xander’s question, his tone just a little sharper.

“Yes. If I can help, I will.” – Xander, solemnly.

The Grey Scribe’s hand glows with a shining silver light as he presses it to Xander’s chest. Everything starts to fade away into darkness once more, the clearing, the blue sky, the flitting birds. Everything, save for the blinding silvery light, almost like the face of the moon.

“Be strong my boy. It will be over soon.” – The voice of the Grey Scribe, faintly, as Xander’s vision turns black once more.

* * *

Xander heaves a shuddering breath and he opens his eyes to nothing but red. He dashes the blood away, and painfully, slowly starts to regain control of his body, turning over onto his back. Over him, the face of Kel’Serrar, for once not obscured by some illusory spell, and, perhaps even more unusually, smiling, the Danann’s fangs gleaming in the moonlight streaming through the shattered window as he tucks a needle and spool of thread back into a pouch at his belt. The others are nearby, save for Maebh, who he sees is standing at the end of the chamber, looking out over the ocean, her slender form silhouetted against the night sky.

Overhead, the Harvest Moon has receded somewhat, and the pale golden glow it gave off is now a comforting silvery sheen, obscured a little by the dark clouds which scud across the night-sky.

“We need to leave.” – Harold, ears pricked as his gaze turns towards the doorway they came through, and the stairway which leads down to the greater palace.

As the Invarrian speaks, they can hear the distant sound of marching feet on stone, the clatter of armour and shouted instructions. Queensguard, and they are approaching swiftly.

“Maebh, how much do you have left in you?” – Kel, looking back towards the mage standing at the great window overlooking the cliffs.

“Not much I am afraid.” – Maebh, quiet, yet calm, her amber cat-like eyes glinting slightly with the reflected moonlight.

“How much rope have we got? Can we rappel down the cliffs?” – Harold, looking to the rest of the group.

“Even between us, there’s no way we have enough rope to get to the bottom of the cliffs, and when these soldiers reach this room, they’ll just cut the rope and we’ll fall anyway.” – Kel, shaking his head.

“If you take the head off the snake, the snake dies. We’ve taken the head off, they just don’t know it yet.” – Xander, groaning as he sits up.

“So we just need to show them the head, or rather, the body, because the head’s been completely destroyed.” – Breanna, inspecting her knives.

“Whatever we’re going to do, let’s do it quickly, they’re nearly here and there’s a lot of them.” – Harold, having moved to the doorway to hear the approaching soldiers more easily.

“Well, we can at least lay the groundwork.” – Xander, standing with great effort and moving to join Harold at the door.

“Find the body Bree, we’ll give them what they’re after.” – Maebh, herself striding closer to the doorway, her hands glimmering once more with amber flame.

“Your queen has fallen! Stand down!” – Xander’s roaring voice does not belie his badly wounded state as it echoes down the stairway.

“For the queen! Kill the invaders!” -  The answering cry from the onrushing Queensguard. There is a guttural roar and a few howls, betraying the presence of at least one Feartarbh and a few Invarrians amidst the soldiery.

Breanna hauls the corpse of Queen Esmerelda to the doorway and heaves it partway down the staircase, standing back to allow Xander to close the heavy doors.

“That didn’t work. Harold, take this, we might as well try rappelling down to a safe point on the cliff-side. There’s a chance we survive that way, but if we stay up here we certainly die.” – Xander, taking his grappling hook from his belt and handing both the hook and his length of rope to the Invarrian.

Harold nods and takes the tool from the Feartarbh, carrying it to the window at the rear of the room and begins to set it in place.

The Queensguard reach the door and start to pound upon it, the thick wood braced against Xander’s shields, the Feartarbh’s strength still formidable despite his wounds.

“They’ve barricaded it! Bring up Morius, quick!” – An accented voice, possibly an Invarrian.

“Quickly Bree, go down, see if you can find something helpful.” – Harold, urgent, ushering the Leathe over to the grappling hook he has fixed in place.

Swiftly, Breanna slides down the length of the rope, her descent a scarcely controlled fall until she suddenly comes to a stop, clinging to the very end of the wildly swinging rope. A little way below, she can see signs of a narrow ledge jutting out from the rock wall of the cliff-face. It might hold two, maybe three of them, and she doubted Xander would find purchase, but it was better than nothing. She takes a piton from her belt and smashes it once, twice, a third time, into the rock wall, until it holds firmly enough for her to trust it with her weight. She keeps going, planting more of the thick iron spikes into the rock, all the while trying to ignore the dark water crashing over the rocks below…

Above, in the shattered window, Harold sees her progress and follows more cautiously, using the rope to rappel down slowly.

“Don’t tell me I took 90-odd damage just for you ****s to die falling down a cliff.” – Yohan.

* * *

Meanwhile, at the door, a heavy impact slams into the wood and Xander slowly, inexorably, begins to give ground. From what little he can see between the doors from behind his shields, it looks like at least a score of guards are packed on the stairway, most clad in the heavy armour and veiled helms of the Queensguard. A massive chestnut-furred Feartarbh takes a step back and then slams into the doors once more, and Xander is forced back another inch. Caught between the titanic strength of the two warriors, the wood of the doors starts to splinter and crack. They will not hold for long.

Seeing this, Xander roars in rage and frustration and redoubles his efforts, putting every ounce of his being into the task of holding the doorway. His vision turns red as blood continues to stream steadily from his many wounds, the once-white bandages turning a sodden red as Kel’s hasty sutures are ripped by the Feartarbh’s exertions. On the stairway, several of the Queensguard are overborne by the force of Xander’s charge, and fall down the stairs, tripping others on their own way up.

“YOU WILL NOT PASS!” – Xander, all his focus on this one task, to hold the door at any cost.

I feel the need to note down for posterity that the impact of Xander’s blow outright killed a handful of the Queensguard, as two were pulverised by the impact and another three died in the fall down the stairs. At this point, as likely mentioned before, with Frenzy activated, Xander’s Strength is 115.

Kel’Serrar runs to the shattered window and sees Harold slowly making his way down. Cursing, he nocks an arrow to his bow and sets his sights on the doorway, ready to loose at the first one to break through Xander’s defence.

“Maebh, go, I’ll cover the door.” – Kel’Serrar, calling to his fellow Danann.

The mage, herself preparing to cast, stops and turns back to Kel’Serrar. She looks around the room, noting both Breanna and Harold are gone and makes her way closer to Kel’Serrar, but stops halfway, a few paces from the slowly draining pool on the eastern side of the room. The water level has dropped enough to reveal the mangled corpse of one of the Beasts Under the Waves.

“Have they reached the bottom?” – Maebh, to Kel, her eyes locked on the swirling waters of the pool as they drain away.

“Not yet, Breanna’s planting spikes beyond the end of the rope, but there’s still a fair distance to go.” – Kel, taking a swift look back outside to confirm that.

“And what is the plan once we’re all down there? Is there any kind of path up, or do we throw ourselves upon the ocean’s mercy?” – Maebh, intent upon the draining water of the pool.

“I do not know. There’s a dock to the east, with at least a small fleet. We may be able to stay on the rocks at the base of the cliffs and make our way round, or perhaps swim if we have to, then steal a ship. Hard to say, but whatever we do, we must move quickly.” – Kel, starting to get impatient, the stress of the situation clearly fraying even the ranger’s steely nerves.

“This pool is draining. The tunnel leads down, through the palace. It must be the way the Beasts were able to move through the structure. It might be safer.” – Maebh, thoughtful.

Kel is about to respond but another bone-rattling impacts smashes into the doors and Xander roars in agony as he desperately holds his ground.

* * *
Below, clinging to the cliff-face and gripping an iron spike with grim determination, Breanna looks down at the crashing waves beneath her. She sighs, and tucks the piton back into her belt. With only two left, she knows it is pointless to go any further. Even if she reaches the relative safety of the ledge, it will not hold all her companions, nor would they be likely to survive the dive into the treacherous waters below.

“Harold, this is pointless!” – Bree, calling up to the Invarrian, still rappelling down above her.

“What do you mean!?” – Harold, calling back.

“I’m running out of spikes for handholds! I’m going to come back up, there must be a better way!” – Breanna, who starts her ascent.

Groaning with pain, Harold does the same, and the two companions make their way back up the rope, Breanna eventually deigning to overtake the Invarrian, scampering over him with ease.

Kel looks back out the shattered window and his keen eyes perceive both Breanna and Harold climbing back up. Dropping his bow to the floor, he takes the rope in both hands and starts to pull the rope up to assist their climb, careful not to jolt it as best he can.

* * *

Another impact rocks Xander. The doors cannot take too much more of this abuse, and the Queensguard outside know it. A chorus of ragged cheers go up as the chestnut Feartarbh slams into the wood once more. Xander knows he cannot hold much longer, and grits his teeth, his frenzied strength ebbing as his blood flows in deep crimson rivulets down to the floor.

“GO!” – Xander, exhorting his companions.

“Quick, down here!” – Maebh, calling to her companions as Breanna and Harold reach the top of the ledge and Kel’Serrar throws the rope down, to appear as if the companions did in fact go down the cliff themselves.

Kel’Serrar picks up his bow and slings it over his shoulder, joining Harold and Breanna in heading towards the tunnel entrance. The ranger stops however, when he sees a golden gleam on the ground, the Carhold Blade, lying abandoned where Xander had fallen before. The ranger picks it up, and then runs to the tunnel to join his companions.

Another impact hits the doors, and they finally shatter, the chestnut-furred Feartarbh’s charge carrying him through into the shields of Xander behind them. The Queensguard surge forward, and Xander takes a few steps back, to disengage from them. Silence descends over the chamber, as the Elspeth soldiery prepares to finally engage the hulking guardian properly.

Xander looks back, and sees the faces of his companions, his vision red at the edges and dimming rapidly, and notes that the four of them are within the tunnel, the tunnel far too small to allow him access. He nods, his golden eyes gleaming in the darkness against his jet black fur, and gently tosses his shields down, over the tunnel entrance.

“It’s been a pleasure fighting with you all.” – Xander, quietly, only just loud enough for the others to hear.

The Feartarbh turns back to the Queensguard and starts to gather the last of his power. Golden light flashes through the chamber as energy gathers in and around the form of Xander. The scent of ozone permeate the area, the air fills with a nascent hum.
 
“Tu certē pedicabere iste.” – Xander, to the other Feartarbh in the ancestral language of their people. Whether he understood Xander, no one will ever know.

* * *

Back shortly.
* * *

Even in the tunnel, protected by the heavy steel shields, the companions must shield their eyes from the blinding light which erupts as the guardian releases his spell. The entirety of the chamber begins to crumble, as stone is cracked and shattered by the titanic power Xander has unleashed. Not a few screams can be heard in amidst the sounds of crumbling masonry, and heavy chunks of rock fall from the ceiling upon the shields he placed to protect them one last time.

“No, Xander!” – Breanna, her fingers scrabbling desperately at the shields to try and go back to him.

“Bree, come, we need to move.” – Harold, grabbing the Leathe around the waist with one arm and pulling her along with him.

“We need to follow his last wishes. Down, further. We must find a way out now.” – Kel, quietly, carefully picking his way through the pitch-black, water-slicked tunnel.

Maebh is silent, but after a few moments, lights their way with a softly glinting amber light in her hand.

The way is treacherous, the rock wet and slippery underfoot, and several times, members of the party find themselves sliding a few feet before they right themselves, but eventually, after what may have been an hour or a year as much as they can tell, they find themselves in a cavern at sea-level, overlooking the bay. They take a moment to reassess, and rest, relatively safe here, though they keep a watchful eye on the water’s edge in case a Beast appears. They hardly speak however, each silently dealing with the heartache of losing their friend.

Only a short distance away, the glimmer of lantern-light can be seen, betraying the location of both the docks and the small fleet moored there. Above, the sounds of panic can still be heard in and around the city, screams carrying on the wind.

“That is where we must go. Steal a smallboat and I can pilot it somewhere safe, away from the conflict.” – Harold, gesturing to the docks.

As they watch, bands of figures start to make vessels ready to depart. In the moonlight, the silhouettes betray the ships’ identities, the distinct shapes of Invarrian longships. Harold considers announcing his presence to them and claiming their loyalty, but decides against it for now, and instead the companions continue to rest, warily watching the ships move out into the bay.

Within the hour, the docks are deserted, save for two smallboats. There appears to be no guard presence on the pier. Above, most of the sounds of panic have died down. The companions can hear no sign of conflict either, the regular explosions of the Naillish artillery crashing down in the city having stopped some time ago, and the clash of weapons now faded.

“During that hour, Harold has to piss.” – Dev, who leaves the table to go to the bathroom.
“Harold just walks to the edge of the ocean and unzips. ‘I am the Stormlord.” – Yohan.
“I am the Stormlord, guardian of the sand.” – Ladyhawk.
“Poseidon quivers before him.” – LD.
“**** OFF!” – LD and Ladyhawk together.


Abandoning their original plan to steal a boat, the companions make their way to the docks and then up the road, to come to the cliff-top. To the west, the high walls of Elspeth City jut into the sky, a tall and imposing presence. The great central spire, denoting the location of the queen’s palace, is now gone, presumably brought down by Xander’s sacrifice. Golden fires still burn fitfully across the city.

On the field before the city, the companions can see the Naillish forces taking prisoners amongst what remains of the Elspeth hosts. Both armies are bloodied and battered and seem relatively even in numbers, but the Elspeth forces are clearly demoralised by the night’s events. Some few pockets of resistance hold out across the battlefield, but these are a rarity, and most of the Elspeth legionnaires display a grim fatalism as they are almost herded away in groups by the Naillish soldiery, having thrown down their weapons.

Slowly, painfully, wearily, the four make their way towards the Naillish camp, seeking an audience with the king. They are stopped by a mounted patrol after only a few minutes, and are recognised by none other than Captain Matthias, who brought them to the Naillish camp, only hours ago.

Taking in their state and appearance, the captain doesn’t question them, but merely nods, a solemn greeting, a nod which Harold returns, with but the merest tilt of his head.

“Well met friends. We shall take you to the king. I imagine that there will be many questions for you there.” – Matthias, whose company closes ranks around the companions.

Safe, at last, though the cost was so very dear.

* * *

At first it appears as if the patrol is leading them to the king’s pavilion, but then they take a turn to the right and pass further through the camp, coming eventually to the medical tents on the south-side of the camp. The pained groans of the injured and the dying fill the air and the scent of blood and mass death fills Harold’s keen nose.

Ushered inside, the companions pick their way through the rows of cots, upon which lie many bloodied soldiers, bearing a variety of injuries, though most are grievous. They are brought to a compartment, curtained off and separate from the rest of the patients, and inside lies the king, pale and wan upon a simple cot. He bears a serious cut, from his temple, down the right-side of his face and down his neck too. His eyes are open and clear however, though the young man is clearly in some pain. Beside him, the hilt still clutched in one white fist, lies Xander’s claymore.

His eyes flicker over the party, and there is a slight glimmer of excitement and recognition as they pass over each of the companions in turn, and then they continue to search for a moment for one last large shape in the doorway, but it is in vain. He turns back to Harold, who shakes his head sadly.

“He sacrificed his life for all of us. Without him, we would have surely failed.” – Harold, quietly. Behind him, Kel’Serrar nods, and Breanna dashes tears from her eyes.

“We will ensure his name is remembered. He will be a hero of the kingdom of Naille.” – The young king.

“He will be a hero of many kingdoms, but he will never come home.” – Harold, his head bowed.

“I cannot give you what you so deserve right now, but I would see you all rewarded properly for your efforts and sacrifice-“ – The king, who holds a handkerchief to his mouth and gives a wet, wracking series of coughs.

The young man gives the cloth a distasteful look, seeing the clumps of blood upon it, and looks back to the companions.

“My apologies, but I must rest. I will have my guard escort you away. Reports suggest there have been Elspeth detachments which fled the battlefield and took to the woods.” – The young king.

“My lord, that scar is going to look badass when it heals.” – Breanna, quietly, before turning to take her leave.

“Rest would do us all good.” – Harold, who allows himself, along with the rest of the party, to be lead away by the king’s guard.

“An escort? Normally we only get these when we’ve done something wrong.” – Kel’Serrar, sarcastically under his breath.

* * *

The companions are brought to their small encampment on edge of the forest, where they are enthusiastically greeted by the marcwolves. Toirneach trots over to Maebh and nuzzles her with his snout.

”See, told you I’d look after them.” – Toirneach, mentally communicating with Maebh.

The campsite is a quiet affair, as they settle themselves in to rest. Dawn is not far off now, but the night has taken a heavy toll. As bedrolls are laid out, Harold stands and raises his flask, containing maybe only a mouthful of whiskey.

“To a life well lived. May you rest in piece.” – Harold, tipping the liquor out on the forest-floor.

Kel’Serrar takes a small keg of wine out of his pack, taken from the cultist gathering on Varr and portions it out to each of the four.

“To Xander.” – Kel, Harold and Maebh together, knocking back their portion.

“To my friend.” – Breanna, quietly to herself, joining the toast. Beside her sits the shoulder-saddle Xander left behind at the encampment, and her little furred hand rests upon the well-worn leather. 

“Kel, how old is this?” – Harold, grimacing with distaste after downing his wine.

“I took it from that cultist gathering we crashed back on Varr. The first time we saw one of the Beasts Under the Waves.” – Kel’Serrar, tipping out the rest of the keg.

“Kel, that was almost a year ago.” – Harold, disgusted.

“It’s ****ing awful.” – Breanna, spitting it out.

* * *

Wan, pale sunlight streams through the canopy overhead in the morning. Birds sing in the branches, unaware of how close their world came to ending mere hours before, drowned under the power of the Greyflood.

The companions awaken in the later hours of the morning and start to break camp. Not long after, the campsite is approached by a small company of Naillish horsemen, at their head, the familiar, exhausted form of Captain Matthias, and trailing behind, a handful of rider-less horses.

“Friends, I have come to extend warm invitation to you to come with us back Naille for a celebratory parade to be held in your honour through the streets of the city. The king wishes to reward you for your efforts and allow our people to pay respect to your courage and your losses.” – Matthias, dismounting and clasping Harold’s hand firmly.

The companions look around at each other and slowly nod.

“We will come.” – Maebh, quietly, mounting Toirneach.

Matthias offers horses to the rest of the party, which Kel’Serrar and Harold accept. Breanna rides Wolfgang alongside them.

Several hours pass on the ride, and the pale light of morning, by noon, turns into a grey and overcast sky. The companions travel in relative silence, following Captain Matthias’ company. Less than a mile north, the main body of the Naillish army marches back home. Come afternoon, the grey clouds have dissipated somewhat, and the sunset bathes the rolling green hills of eastern Elspeth in warm reddish light. Suddenly, Kel’Serrar fades from view, both horse and rider disappearing. The other companions do not halt.

“Goodbye Kel.” – Maebh, in a quiet whisper. There is no response, the ranger of course, left their company hours ago.

* * *

Many days later, the three remaining companions arrive in Haven, the capital of Naille. The stone-walled city stretches before them in the bright midday sun, the gates open to receive the home-coming army. Citizens line the streets, throwing flowers down upon the cobblestones as the vanguard of the army enters the city, behind their king. The young man is somewhat recovered, and while close-to, still appears a little weak and pale, he puts on a strong façade, and rides along at the head of the column, clad in the armour he wore on the battlefield.

The companions are granted a place of honour in the vanguard, behind the king’s personal guard, and while their deeds are not common knowledge yet, they receive the cheers and adulation of the crowd. While Harold is somewhat used to events such as these, Maebh is rather more uncomfortable with so much attention focused on her and Breanna, while naturally extroverted, finds herself trying to hide away a little.

Some hours later, the three find themselves in a quiet tavern. Outside, the crack of fireworks can be heard rhythmically as the celebrations continue through the afternoon and into the night. Sitting together in a booth, they reflect on where they’ve come from, what they have done and where they will go now. On the wooden floor at the end of the table, Wolfgang and Bach huddle together in sleep, and while the tavern-owner was at first hesitant to allow the two wolves inside, pony-sized as they are, Harold’s offer to pay for any damages was well received.

“What will you do Bree?” – Maebh, quietly sipping on a mug of water and feeding strips of meat to Crithtaluin, who lies sprawled across her slender shoulders.

“I guess I’ll go back to Greenstone and pay off my bounty. I have more than enough now. I’ll find my brothers, probably set up a little shop in the village I guess. What about you Harold?” – Breanna, eating a peach.

“There were Invarrians all through these lands, working as mercenaries, and not a few of them are probably out of employment now. I might go looking for them, offer to provide them safe passage back to Varr. Better that than trying to scratch out a living as deserters in the wilds. Deserters don’t last long. Then, once back on Varr, I’ll go see my sister, make sure she’s safe and help the election of the new Stormlord go smoothly, whoever that might be. Maebh?” – Harold, downing an ale.

“East. To the Wardenfells.” – Maebh, quietly.

“Home? You’ve never really spoken about your home before.” – Breanna, curious.

“I don’t have a home anymore, but I do have a goal, and it lies to the east.” – Maebh, finishing her water and standing. She takes her spear from where it had been rested next to their booth. She looks at it, taking in the intricate engravings on the ancient steel head and the magically preserved feathers attached to the haft, remembering the day Aeva had gifted it to her.

The Danann grasps the weapon tightly.

“I must go now. We will meet again I feel, but not for some time. Farewell.” – Maebh, who turns and stalks out of the establishment, leaving Breanna and Harold behind.

“This is it then?” – Breanna, offering her own mug of water out to the grizzled Invarrian in a toast.

“It is. Farewell Bree.” Harold, who clinks his own mug to hers.

* * *

Two mounted figures, hooded and cloaked, ride at a slow, even pace through the heavy undergrowth. To the east, the high peaks of the Wardenfells loom overhead, ominous and imposing. The canopy is thick overhead, allowing only a little light to pierce through.

Reaching a clearing, alike to almost any other, one figure dismounts and pushes their hood back, revealing a shock of white hair and the pointed ears of a Danann.

“Now, where is it… So long ago, I don’t even know how I did it…” – The male Danann, under his breath as he moves from tree to tree on the edge of the clearing, his slender fingers gently running over the bark.

His search stops, and his fingers trace over a sigil carved into the tree. He closes his black eyes and recites an incantation, almost silently. The wind changes, and brings with it just the faintest scent of smoke. He opens his eyes, and there before the two figures, rather than the green clearing, lies a small village, or rather, the burnt-out ruin which remains.

“I told you I had something to show you. This is it. Welcome home, sister.” – Kel’Serrar Naya to Chirya.

* * *

Epilogue

- Tremor Ironfist: The Ironfist family’s legacy continued apace in the northern lands of Nordtarnet, long after Tremor’s death in 1648. Tremor’s half-brother, Bain, was successful in expanding Nordtarnet into Southreach, making the dwarven kingdom the most powerful realm in its immediate area. Eventually Bain himself was assassinated in 1686, but Nordtarnet remains a constant trouble to the north for the people of Southreach.  The whereabouts of Tremor’s sister, Marya, after the events of 1648 are unknown. (Tremor Godriksson Ironfist was 50 years old when he met the party in mid-1647 and died in battle at the hands of Ragnak the Butcher, at the age of 51 in late 1648, mere days before his 52nd birthday)

- Aeva Aett’kviss Nordur-Vatn: After fare-welling the companions in the early months of 1650 in the town of Urik’s Landing on the southern coast of Unterguardt, Aeva spent some time with her family, wracked with guilt. Unable to allow her friends to finish this journey without her, she took a smallboat and sailed south, alone and arrived off the coast of Elspeth during the final battle against the Grey Devourer in the middle of 1650. During that final conflict, she lent her own might to the struggle, entreating the spirits in the area to provide aid as best they could. Unfortunately, it seems as if she perished in the struggle, and, if she did indeed fall, her vessel and remains were never recovered. (Aeva Aett’kviss Nordur-Vatn was 22 years old when she met the party in mid-1648 and supposedly died, whether by drowning or at the talons of the Beasts Under the Waves, at the age of 24 in the conflict of mid-1650)

- Xander Rothgar: Brought down by the great powers unleashed by Queen Esmerelda’s minions in the final battle, Xander hovered on the threshold between life and death, and was given an opportunity by an unknown, powerful entity, to return and complete his task. He sacrificed himself, bringing down most of the palace to ensure the escape of his companions. After his death, the young king of Naille, Manden II, has the great claymore gifted to him by Xander, re-forged, keeping the cross-guard with the bull’s head motif engraving upon it intact. Manden II became known as the Bull King over the course of his long reign, and was considered a just and temperate ruler, a fitting legacy to the noble guardian who gifted him his sword. (Xander Rothgar was 50 years old when he met the companions in late 1649 and, though he did not know it, had turned 51 only a few weeks before his death in the conflict of mid-1650)

- Harold Oakenshield: Leaving the Midlands of Norbayne with over a hundred Invarrian soldiers, gathered mainly from those who fought as allies of the armies of Elspeth, Harold went back to Varr. While he found Ravnsalm largely intact, and his sister Helga, safe, he was dismayed to learn that Helga had sent her litter, Sherbald, Bakli and Skye, away to keep them safe. Sadly, the caravan they had been sent with had been lost in the civil war, and despite their best efforts, the three children could not be found. After a brief period of internecine struggle on the island, Harold himself took up the mantle of Stormlord on the island in the year 1651, whereupon he married and had a litter of nine pups. Harold subsequently ruled for twenty-two years, eventually abdicating in 1673 and was succeeded as Stormlord by his daughter, Godiva. In the year 1679, Harold is visited in Ravnsalm by none other than Maebh. It is rumoured on Varr that Harold had Maebh summoned, but those with knowledge of the mage know well that she cannot be summoned, and goes when and where she wills. What they spoke of during her visit, none know. It is rumoured that Harold requested the working of some great magic from her, but whether she agreed or no, not even the rumours say. (Harold Oakenshield was 53 years old when he met the party in mid-1647 and eventually died peacefully at the age of 86 in the year 1680)

- Breanna Blackrose: The Leathe returned to Greenstone and paid off her bounty with the substantial fortune she had collected from her travels. Most of her money went to her brothers, but she retained enough to start a little apothecary in Greenstone, Easy Peasy Pots With Breezy. She never saw Harold or Kel’Serrar again, but over forty years later, when the Leathe was nearing the end of her days, her black fur now almost entirely a dark silver-grey, she was visited in her shop by Maebh. They spent several days together, recounting the stories of their youth. Three days after Maebh’s departure, Breanna herself died. While she had no children of her own, she often looked after her brothers’ children, and was well-loved by all in Greenstone. (Breanna Blackrose was 20 years old when she met the party in mid-1647 and died peacefully in Greenstone, at the age of 65 in 1692)

- Therressa Bannimagen: Therressa spent considerable time as a reaver, journeying far afield. She was successful, and built up significant wealth. It is unknown whether or not Theressa ever sought to reconcile with her estranged son. (Therressa Bannimagen was 22 years old when she met the party in early 1648 and passed sometime after 1700)

- Kel’Serrar Naya: Next to nothing is known of Kel’Serrar’s whereabouts following the banishment of the Grey Devourer. It is worth noting that Chirya also vanishes from the record at approximately the same time.  (Kel’Serrar Naya was 27 years old when he met the rest of the party in mid-1647. His fate is unknown)

- Maebh Preachain-Eite: Upon leaving Elspeth, news of Maebh was few and far between. Rumours told of her fascination and obsession with the Formoraigh, and most suspected that her future plans would involve them in some way. Reports told of a Danann mage, accompanied by a mantikor, heading to the Dragain’s Tail and entering the depths of the Merigund there. From that underground realm, she swiftly passed into legend.  (Maebh Preachain-Eite was 28 years old when she met the party in mid-1647 and disappeared from the record sometime after 1650. She did resurface twice since then, to visit both Breanna and Harold before their respective deaths)

The Wrap-Up:
And there we have it, Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword finally completed. Once again, I must thank everyone who came on this journey with us, from my players who put up with everything from the start, to those intrepid readers who kept up with this cluster-**** of a tale over the years. We’ve been through a lot together, so if you have read any of this at all, thank you so much.

If you’re interested, please go check out The Norbayne Campaign on Instagram.
The Norbayne Campaign There’s constantly new photographs and artwork being uploaded to it, so give that a cheeky follow if you’d like to get that stuff. There’s a bunch of photographs from this very session on there, complete with reflective comments from each of the players, which is well worth reading.

One final announcement, we do actually have a new campaign, which I will be running, set in Norbayne, approximately 80 years after the events of this game. Seven Stones and a Pale Shadow is the name, so keep your eyes out for that one. We have eight players, some very interesting characters and the return of some fan-favourites. I for one, can’t wait to start sharing those new adventures with you.

Anyway, that’s it for now I guess. Once again, thank you, dear reader, and goodbye.

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