Or Purkish weddings throw you!
This PEL is more of an in game story of the event, and less a recounting for the event holders of what happened to the players. Although hopefully it for-fills both entertainment and practical purposes. This Post Event Letter was written for the Mythical Journeys event that took place in May 2017 in Pomfret Ct.
Upon returning to his home in the farming lands around Arkenstone, Gayland tells his family of his journey:
Gene you continue to impress me. Every time I come back to this farm it is more miraculous than the last time. Selling that extra food to Eldyrwood gains us more coin. So far the landlord hasn’t figured out where the extra food goes, nor where the extra coin comes from. Make sure he’s not noticing that there is a surplus. There’s a good lad. No, you’re right, you not a lad anymore. I’ve returned via Arkenstone with the new plowshare ordered some months past, and even more coin for arms and armor. Maybe even a book. These should help the farm grow even more. We should be careful though. Too much sudden wealth could bring the interest of nobles or worse their tax men.
The Thornsday journey to Eldyrwood revealed some surprising finds. I came across a giant patch of fresh loam torn up in violent heaps, with a light morning dew settled on everything. In the center a dead troll. The beast fought with some kind of limestone weapon, perhaps a smashed club, and some metal fragments near the corpse hinted at a fierce battle. The whole scene was bizarre. It’s frightening to know that such things roam the land, and if a few hours earlier I could be dead beneath the troll. But in the bank in Eldyrwood we now have the stone, the metal and the skin of the troll. So it was a good find in the end.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, Friarsday I arrived early and made myself comfortable in the usual cabin. Nothing much remarkable happened Friarsday evening. There was something, but my memory has lost it now. It would seem unimportant considering what happened the next day.
Saytersday morning in Eldyrwood. The problem with troll leather and metal is that they will not feed me before battle. They cannot heal me if I am injured. It takes time to turn them into weapons and armor. The past few gathers herbs and plants were plentiful. So it seemed likely there would be more.
Barely out of town, just up the road and I found a trail of blood. It lead to a basket of laundry but no body. And just after inspecting the basket two strangers showed up. A haughty arrogant, short tempered women claiming that her mother was supposed to be here. A man claiming to be her father recognized his wife’s laundry. Although they didn’t have diadems I remember soft black hats with feathers. The hats struck me as overly fancy.
They claim I killed his wife, her mother. Simply because I was standing near a trail of blood. They seemed the type to have an ill will and no compassion for a villeins life. Although they bore no diadem, nor mark of royalty they stunk of haughty arrogance. They would have no reason to come here, but keep an eye out if you’re in Arkenstone.
It hadn’t occurred to me till just now that when I said to them ‘it would be an unprofitable morning’ they thought I meant coin. The rich think of profit as excess. While we starve from unprofitable mornings. No berries brings the black gums. No herbs means no healing. No coin means no armor or weapons for the raiding season. Their mother may have been harmed, and then again may have survived, of either there was little evidence. If I don’t find metal for weapons one of you may die at the hands of raiders. If I find no food, I go hungry. It makes me all the more glad for the comfort of home and this lovely stew Marjorie, thank you.
But when has evidence ever been necessary for nobles to rob the common folk of their lives or livelihood? Never. The obvious course was; do as I was told. They had the air of power, and despite few or no weapons probably could bring no end of trouble if provoked. It took far too long for me to realize the situation was as dangerous as it was.
The fancy husband is better, slightly more restrained than the witch. More focused on finding his wife. But still bloody dangerous. Although less inclined to harm with no evidence or reason he was completely capable and comfortable with letting her do whatever she wants. His beastly daughter threatens death more frequently than a sheriff cracks a whip. Promising horrible torture. And she proves it no idle threat.
I treated her like any angered noble, and you all should do the same. Don’t look them in the eye. Don’t engage them. Tell the truth. If they kill you after all that, then you die, but you go to fate with no shame. You did your best. If you haven’t accepted that fate then you haven’t really been working the land. Those who raise their eyes to stare them that are in power down only make things worse. Until arriving at the tavern I thought it would be harsh imprisonment, or additional debt.
I did not imagine torture. She choked me with magic right in the tavern private room. Imagine your windpipe being crushed. Closed off by nothing but magic. No reason not to breath, but no ability to do so. But then the blessed miracle of Molly. She reads auras, and can feel the pain. She reads the truth through comforting magic and spells. Her touch brings relief from pain.
The cruel daughter tells me she was a small child raised in the realms of shadow. Some place dark cut off from this mother she seeks vengeance for. As though this knowledge would frighten me. This place is dark and terrible, children die here too. She claims compassion for her baby brother. But her story only makes me fear for him. He’ll not have an easy life with a sister like that. She used her upbringing to justify her threatening my death for no reason and to no good end. Playing on my compassion one minute, and threatens death the next. Don’t look them in the eye. Don’t engage them. Tell the truth. If they kill you after all that, then you visit the fates, but you face them proudly.
Others in the tavern vouched for me, and there were many witnesses, they were talked out of anything too rash. I was placed in the custody of Tor, in the town guard. Did as I was told longer than most would. Till I was sure there were no charges. You make sure you do the same. Don’t assume there won’t be charges, make sure. The constable seemed earnestly interested in what happened and behaved with compassion. Keeping him between me and her took the edge of fear off. If you have no authority use someone else’s. The constable didn’t strike me as the noble type, nor like a sheriff, but he as some say in the town… and a militia. With the morning lost, I was finally freed. I never did learn my accusers names, and have no intention of doing so.
It came to me that I should dress for my roll in Raven and Rudolph’s wedding before the town was gathered. That way if there were any charges or questions I could face them dressed as a crone. It tickled me to thumb my nose at the whole town. Although the two were present they never brought up the matter to the council.
At Town Council it was mentioned that farmers are needed. Farmer Bob of Eldyrwood knows more about growing things than even my father did. When asked after at the tavern no one knew Farmer Bob or how to find him. Town council was much the same as the previous two. Threats to the town, call for materials desperately needed… precious goods being spent on short sighted tasks instead of building something of use to the town. Like a mill. Lamp oil is apparently as rare as it is here. You know, you’re right Marjorie. Next time it’s mentioned in town council I will stand up and make it known. Thank you.
The wedding almost removed the bad taste of the morning from my mouth. Purk traditions are vastly more entertaining than ours. This was not a short ceremony then straight to the hay loft… No dear we’ll explain that when you’re older. Shush now I’ll continue the story… Purks hold a ceremony and a gathering. Even their enemies attended. Playing my part as the zeitmutter, or time crone, was quite enjoyable. Rudolph said I should wrestle him, which must be a purkish tradition. It seemed more like him pretending to beat me while I threw him around. He’s about half my height and weight if you can picture it. Purks have strange ideas about releasing ‘Doves’. Instead they release bags of bees.
After the wedding I was left on my own and ventured out into the woods a bit. Not for any reason, just to see what’s what. Heard howling and followed it, met Greenfoot. He needed a runner to find Sirisha and Daron. While waiting for a few others to answer the summons I learned of the Vilderkin and the Stonebrook tribe. Other clans attacked them. ‘Bloody faces’ and Night Blooms. They were in hiding and called for aid. Greenfoot suggested I come along and no one disagreed. The group tracked them to their hiding place, and found them healing supplies. Red flowers, and golden shadow fern. Things that maybe we can grow here some day.
Although I learned the names of the Stonebrook clan who were in hiding and told them mine, I’ve forgotten what their names are. I would welcome seeing them again, especially in safety. Apparently they can send messages in dreams. Any dream messages they send, I will answer their call.
Almost being killed made me a little braver than usual in the face of the Circus. The evil circus, living by day, but undead by night. I still remember seeing them for the first time. Hundreds of the undead pouring into town. A vast line of death coming for the town.
Stood watch for many hours, waiting for the first sign of the circus. Equal parts scared and waiting for them in anticipation. Undead can be scary. But in Eldyrwood directing pent up anger at undead is safer then directing it at the nobles.
I fought alongside Arc, although he’s from a different clan he’s a good man. He’s from Cragsmore, farther from here than Eldyrwood is, but North. Arc; The Steamin Demon. And we fought well. After a few waves the undead were hesitant to attack, although Arc and I were out matched by their magic, his shield and my spear made a compelling reason to search for easier targets. When backed up by someone with a magical attack, the dead rarely moved for much longer. After beating back four or five waves, and after releasing some of the circus members, the Ring Master gave a final performance before departing. It was surprisingly peaceful ending to what had been a terror.
Sunsday morning I started home. That’s why I’m back so early. And I am glad to see the lot of you!