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The Turquoise Tree

1622

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The year 1622 started well for The Company. They spent a few weeks training and dealing with personal business, then some time exploring in the Rubble and fighting Chaos beasts that they encountered.

 

 

The Coders/The Great Split 

 

     Early in Fire season, The Company went to meet Krogar at the Orlanth temple, intending to discuss recent events in Pavis with him and see if he had any work for them, then attend the rituals being held that evening. They met up with him but were interrupted by the arrival of the Coders and a body of troops (from the Marble Phalanx and Silver Shields). They called upon all in the temple to surrender at which point Krogar and The Company decided to make a break for it.

     A furious fight developed and The Company rapidly found themselves on the losing side. Krogar teleported out at the beginning of the fight, a fact not forgotten by The Company.

     Serenity fought with Count Julan, wounding him badly with a lucky blow, but was slain by a Sever Spirit spell, most of the others were heavily wounded or incapacitated. The Company was split up during the course of the fight.

Lucifer, Taka, Garak, and Miko were captured, the rest fled, taking Serenity’s body with them.

     The free members of The Company hid up for a while at the Arm of Pavis. Serenity was resurrected (by a healer priestess that the group had rescued from the Rubble the year before) and the group healed up, trying to find out what had happened to the others. Haradda left after this defeat, returning to Sartar to help the Lismelder to fight undead.

     Lucifer, Garak, Miko, and Taka were initially sentenced to crucifixion but then Andrieda spoke up on their behalf. The Governor exiled them to Dorastor, instead and within two days they were headed north under a large escort, eventually arriving at Frog River Valley.

These events became known as The Great Split.

     The adventures and misdeeds of those Company members sent to Dorastor are not included in this account, interested readers can consult the Journal of Lucifer for details on this period.

 

     The Company members left in Pavis spent most of the next two seasons at the Arm of Pavis, hiding from the Coders and planning for the future. Much of their time was spent refining combat tactics and introducing a far more professional approach to their expeditions.

 During this time The Company gained three new recruits. Lucifer recruited Kenwyn, a Humakti, at the temple in Pavis. Serenity persuaded a Babeester Gori friend of hers, Dana, to join the group. The Company met Grunth the Uroxi through Alaric the Fat, having asked him to help them recruit a chaos-killing specialist.

 

 

 

The Chaos Gaggle

 

     This relatively quiet period ended when Krogar Wolfhelm appeared once more. He wanted the Company with him as bodyguards at a meeting he was going to. It was only after they arrived that they discovered that Krogar was meeting with the Lunar Coders. The Company reluctantly went with him, following much begging.

     Andrieda addressed the group, explaining that they needed their assistance. A group of Chaos monstrosities called the Chaos Gaggle had been spotted upriver of Pavis, and appeared to be making their way towards the city. The Coders wished to travel north and deal with the monsters before they reached Pavis or could inflict much devastation in the farmlands surrounding the city. They expected a tough fight and were short of men, recent incursions by broo to the south had drawn off patrols from the garrison. Andrieda believed that a small group of specialists would be more effective in any case. Attracted by the pleading of important Lunar functionaries, the promise of a pardon and reward, and filled with a burning desire to smite chaos, The Company agreed to assist them.

     An hour or so later, The Company had equipped, acquired their mounts, and set out to meet the Coders at the Griffin Gate. They then travelled north together, towards the gaggles last reported location. Once there, Eslas was able to acquire a trail quite easily and the group followed it at some pace. They soon found a stead devastated by the beasts, killed a few broo that they found there and continued on. Late in the afternoon, as darkness began to cover the land, The Company and their Lunar assistants finally found their quarry. The party arrived at the top of a long, low slope that formed one side of a small valley. At the bottom of the slope the beasts were busy eating the remains of some bison riders that they had slain.

     The Gaggle reacted almost immediately; the group had arrived in a less than stealthy fashion. The Chaos goats charged upslope towards them and were counter attacked by Grunth and Count Julan (the members of the party most adept at mounted combat). Eslas started to fill the beasts with arrows, Andrieda and Maculus began spells, and the rest of the group charged the remaining members of the Gaggle.

Fost and Serenity were attacked by/attacked a gigantic snake, Kragle, Dana, and Kenwyn were then engaged by a party of broo, leaving Nosering to fight Zeech the Slithering Whale on his own.

     Count Julan managed to deal with one of the goats quite quickly, but a third party of broo had appeared and he was forced to go to the aid of Andrieda and Maculus. Grunth was left to fight one of the goats on his own.    

Meanwhile, Nosering had been killed, squashed by Zeech, and suddenly the Company was in danger of being flanked by a carnivorous land whale. Serenity quickly disengaged from the fight with the snake, which Fost then finished off, and charged Zeech. The sight of a ninety-pound Vingan charging a thirty-ton whale was later described as disturbing by Kenwyn. That she killed it in one blow was apparently even more disturbing, leaping high into the air, she became in effect a ninety odd pound ‘ Vingan Arrow’, and she and her sword punched straight through armour and into the foul beasts heart. It took two of The Company to pull her out afterwards. 

    The Company and their temporary allies returned to Pavis, the remains of Nosering carried in a bag thoughtfully provided by Serenity. Soldiers were sent to burn the bodies and search for any remaining broo in the area.

     The Company noted that the Coders had seemed disturbed at their combat skills, but being young, were pleased that they had intimidated their Lunar allies. It was not until later on that The Company realised that this was a mistake. It put The Company right towards the top of the Coders hit list and from then on the Lunar authorities watched them much more closely

 

     Life carried on largely as usual for the rest of Darkness Season. Kragle became an acolyte of Kygor Litor and Fost finally qualified as a priest of Orlanth. Serenity spent most of the time arguing with Burrasca the White, who seemed to feel that she was somehow failing to achieve the status of priestess deliberately. The rest of the group spent most of their time training or carrying out cult duties.

 

The Puzzle Canal

 

     It was not until Storm Season that they adventured again, an expedition to the Puzzle Canal that was to have tragic consequences.

     The Company entered the Canal area and soon found itself under heavy assault. They fought strange water creatures, some chaos beasts, and a small pack of wraiths in fairly quick succession, their new tactics working well.

     As they progressed deeper into the canals they encountered more wraiths, ghosts, and evidence that Thanatari were present. They carried on, determined to find and destroy the cultists. Their next encounter was with a group of Yelmalio cultists led by a Light Son called Barrius. A brief conversation later, it was established that the both groups were hunting down the Thanatari, and they decided to join forces.

     The allies continued onwards and soon became involved in hard fighting with wraiths, zombies and ghosts in the close confines of a narrow and complex tunnel system. Attacked from all sides, the group began to suffer casualties. Several of the Yelmalians were killed, members of The Company heavily wounded, and things looked desperate for a while. Then the tide turned and they started to push back their foes.

It was at this point that Kragle was killed. A ghost possessed him and he attacked Barrius and one of his men. They slew him before any of The Company could get there and try to incapacitate him, quite happy to kill a troll given any excuse.

     The fight finished soon afterwards and an argument developed between The Company and Kragle’s killers. The groups decided to search for the Thanatari separately and the Yelmalian group soon headed off into the tunnels. The Company took Kragle’s body back to their boat and then returned to the hunt. An hour or so later they discovered a hidden temple to Thanatar. This time the fight went well and The Company dealt with the priest and his allies quite easily.     

     They searched more of the complex before returning home. They passed Kragle’s body and possessions on to his temple so that the appropriate funerary rituals could be carried out.

 

 

    

Lucifer and the Sword of Death

Lucifer travelled away for some time to serve his god. He doesn't talk about it.

The remainder of the year was spent largely at the Arm.    At the end of Storm Season Serenity finally qualified as a priestess and was almost immediately placed in charge of the Pavis Vinga temple, serving as cover for Aelflaed who had other duties to perform.

     The other event of the year happened during Mobility Week of Storm Season. Burrasca arrived at the Arm accompanied by a lean and handsome Orlanthi warrior called Garrath Sharpsword. He was introduced to The Company as a powerful priest and important member of the Rebellion, friend to Kallyr Starbrow, and noted heroquestor.

     Garrath stayed at the Arm for the better part of a season, mainly attending to his own business but also providing the group with training and advice. He and Serenity became lovers for a while despite her distrust of him, as she put it

 

“Just because he’s cute, energetic and entertaining, does not mean that he’s trustworthy, after all, look at me. He has his own agenda, the capacity to carry it out, and we must remember that we are no more important to him than his zebra is. He is however terribly, terribly cute”.

 

     The year ended quietly by and large, a respite for which The Company was grateful.

 

 

(+ Dana, Grunth, Kenwyn: - Kragle [killed]: -Garak, Lucifer, Miko, Taka [all exiled to Dorastor], Haradda [left]).