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"Something Wicked This Way Comes"





Week Eleven

November 13th, 1997
Avg. Rating: 4.1

Mooncarn, Aproth 30th, Year of the Shield

The next morning, as Erik, Juliet, and Kelly were enjoying some breakfast, Cynthea's father arrived to claim her body and return it to his farm for burial. Shortly after that Gino arrived, from the sewer entrance in the cellar. He was curious as to the identity of the woman he saw entering Einor's second floor window, but no one in the party knew what he was talking about. A few moments later Einor emerged from his room with a woman, whom he introduced as Icithri. Icithri said that she had heard of the Bjornson's death, and that she and her wolf Faillon had come to pay their respects. After a short conversation Einor returned to his room and Icithri (and her wolf) left.

As the morning passed, the party split up to get more accomplished. Gino was instructed to start a rumor on the streets that the Wardogs were responsible for the deaths of the Shieldbreakers on the docks. Kelly and Gino then went to see Filiare at the Inn of the Dripping Dagger, who assured them that he would keep his eyes and ears open for others who might be willing to help fight the Shieldbreakers. Erik, meanwhile, spent the day drinking with two Shieldbreakers named Brun and Granyen, convincing them that he wished to join their mercenary group. At a later meeting Erik, Brun and Granyen were joined by a man named Colinn Jax, the same man in a bright red tunic that Erik had been arrested for assaulting. Jax apparently didn't recognize Erik (whose hair had been dyed darker as a precaution), and offered him a job as a Shieldbreaker for 2 pieces of silver a day plus the occasional gold bonus. Erik was told to return early the next morning, to "check in" for the day.

By late afternoon the party had mostly regathered back at the Stone Hearth. Shreesha stopped in, obviously extremely drunk, and asked when the funeral rites for Olaf and Minya would be (she was told tomorrow morning, at sunrise). She eventually passed out at one of the tables, not waking up until she smelled something burning. It was Piergeiron's palace, set alight by dozens of flaming arrows.

Juliet and Kelly quickly ran down into the sewers, through the entrance in the cellar. By some great luck they managed to find a way into the palace's dungeons, and then made their way up into the building itself. But it was too late...everything was burning, and there was just no way to extinguish all the flames. Though caught inside by palace guards, Kelly and Juliet were allowed to leave (mostly due to the sergeant-at-arms not having sufficient time to arrest and imprison them), and the palace unfortunately burned to the ground.

Festival of Greengrass, Year of the Shield

Early this morning, after spending the night sleeping in an alley, Erik set off for the Dirty Sailor, to "report in" for the day's orders. He was told he wasn't needed for anything that morning, so he hurried over to the City of the Dead for the Bjornson's funeral.

The funeral was well attended, especially for that of a tavern owner and his wife. Just outside the door to a large and ornate crypt (reportedly paid for by someone besides Olaf) lay two wooden coffins; both had a small carved elk's head on one end, and Olaf's also had a wooden bowl nestled in amongst the elk's horns. The bowl bore the sigil of the Harpers, a loosely knit band of those in the northern Realms who aren't afraid to fight against evil, wherever it is found. Next to the coffins were Einor and three other large Uthgardts. Surrounding them, in a rough circle, were all the party members, Talyth, Icithri and Faillon, Lord Piergeiron, a robed man with a long beard, a middle-aged and portly man, a large male warrior, and a fetching young woman in the garb of a tavern wench. Shreesha was here also, though sitting in a tree and watching from a distance. Outside of this "inner circle" stood dozens of nameless others, all come to pay their last respects to Olaf and Minya.

Einor said a few words of prayer over Minya, then he and the three other Uthgardts carried her into the crypt. They returned a few moments later, and Einor did the same for Olaf. After the prayers he and his kinsmen cut their arms and drew the blood into the wooden bowl on Olaf's coffin. The bowl was sealed, but the ceremony was ferociously interrupted before Olaf could be laid to rest.

A large creature burst from the ground right next to Einor, causing Olaf's coffin to tumble and the blood to spill free. The creature was eight feet tall, with four eyes, and covered with some sort of black exoskeleton. Just as it began reaching for Einor the sky was filled with dozens of arrows- the entire funeral had been surrounded by 30 or so Shieldbreaker archers, accompanied by close to 50 foot soldiers.

The battle began...

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I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
-- First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918