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Tairn » Defenders of Tairn and the Malverin Woods

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December 2023
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Defenders of Tairn and the Malverin Woods

Play date: July 14th, 2009 

Adrone returns shortly after having disappeared with Jack. Each of the remaining five of you are brought one a time to the center of the room where a triangle of silvery metal is inscribed into the floor. You stand within the triangle while the Arch Magister, High Priest and King stand at the points of the triangle. The person within the triangle can feel the air pulsing with power. The remaining Defenders have moved to take seats ringing the room. Right Hand Andre leads you one at a time to the triangle.
High Magister Adrone addresses you, followed by Calum and then King William intoning the oath:
Swear by mouth and mind,
Fealty and service to Lady Andreja, the Crown and the Defenders of Tairn.
To speak and to be silent,
To do and to let be,
To come and to go,
To serve and teach,
In such matters that concern this realm;
In need or in plenty,
In peace or in war,
In living or in dying,
Until death takes you,
Or the world ends.
Swear by your name.

As you swear, you can see a triangle appear on the forehead of each of the foreheads of the three that surround you.
After the swearing, people around the room clap.
Adrone addresses you all again:
Your friend Jack will remember nothing of coming here or the Defenders of Tairn. You must not mention the Defenders outside of this room. You will know defenders by their mark as they will know you. You can expect them to help you as they can expect you to help them.
If you will permit, Right Hand Andre will remove the index finger of your right hand and High Priest Calum will restore the finger to you. It is painful, but with your finger, it is possible to revive you from death even if your body is gone. When you are ready, come to let Calum know a day in advance, and he will pray for the healing you will need.
Also, there is a teleportation circle within the Temple of Andreja that will bring you here. To pass it, you must focus on a specific thought when you activate the circle. This circle (pointing) at the triangle, will take you back there. Visit Master Jasper (pointing to a gaudily dressed man who bows briefly) at the Corrlayan College. He will insert the memory of this thought within you.
Enough of this. Let us welcome our new brothers with a feast! Calum, if you will.
Calum casts Heroes’ Feast twice and another priestess once. Keddick recognizes the members of the mage guild. Banic recognizes Marena from his work at the Temple in Thistledown. Andre and three other Hands are present, Aglandar and Etania (druids), and four bards.
Eventually, everyone disperses.

1533.2.9 to 1533.2.12
In the following days, people train, visit the bardic college for the memory implant, and visit the Temple to have a finger removed.

Keddick mentions that he has nightmares about being crushed by a leering giant each night. Each night a beautiful woman calls him back to life. This nightmare is so startling that it causes him to cry out in his sleep in terror.
Jack buys a boat and tells everyone where it is docked in Thistledown on the lake. He is sleeping there.
On the 11th ragged bands of men start trickling into the city late in the day with stories of the army sent to Caertan meeting the giants, ogres, and orcs outside of Caertan. The party gathers to share stories and collectively has learned that only about 300 men of the 1000 sent survived. The army of giant-kin fell on them and obliterated them until the ranks broke. Some giants were killed as were many orcs, but the day was won by the giants.
The dwarves and Serk decide to try to meet with someone at the palace grounds the next day to find out what is going on with the giants. They learn that the wooden walls erected here are nothing compared to the stone walls of Caertan. The King is waiting for the fight to come to Lake Catherine, or not.
Varende, Jack and Keddick go to The Market Inn in Malverin and spend a fruitless night trying to gather information “on the wood outside Malverin.” They talk to all the wrong people and hear mostly about the men returning from fighting giants. They get a room for the night with the exception of Keddick who makes his way back to The Lucky Silver. He returns in the morning of the 12th and they try to question the breakfast patrons with similar results.
The dwarves and Serk show up near lunch time, and after eating, they decide to go check the woods themselves. They speak to farmsteads along the way and discover that one man says to beware the hollow tree. Spirits will wreak their vengeance on us all! Another farmer says his father told a story of castle ruins in the wood, but he doesn’t know where. He says that the castle was ancient and only some of the foundation stones still existed, and even those were overgrown.
The entire afternoon is spent combing through the northeast portion of the woods. Keddick even polymorphs into a bird but sees nothing from the air. Nearing dusk, Banic spots a small stone building mostly hidden by trees and overgrowth. Approaching it, other people notice the remnants of foundation stones underfoot. The small 5 x 10 stone building has a new iron gate on it with a lock. Varende easily opens it and proceeds down stairs to a landing where he hears voices below. He continues down the next flight and is greeted by four men wearing the King’s tabard. They ask who he is and why is there. Others have followed. The four guards are in a large room with a door opposite the stairs and one on the left wall and right. Varende is wary even though the men show no outward sign of lying. He suggests they go outside to talk. As they head back up the stairs, the apparent leader relocks the gate after them and tells them to leave. The group stands around talking and after a couple of minutes, the man comes back and says “My captain says he will see you. Please come with me.”
Everyone goes back downstairs. An ambush ensues in which the guards come out poorly. Jack disarms several, two try to escape up the stairs, and Keddick and Serk head them off with a dimension door. Banic burns many of them with a column of fire. At the end, all are dead save three that were knocked unconscious. They are bound. The door on the left is opened to reveal storerooms. Other storerooms are found through doors at the back of a barracks room with bunk beds in it. A final door is locked and Varende easily opens it. Regardless it won’t open. Eventually Serk decides to put his shoulder into it and breaks the door inward…

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