ISLE OF ASGARN, LANDS OF THE ANCIENT PATH
SUMMARY: Many tribes of the Ancient Path were ready for war. They wanted to swoop down and drive the Asgarns into the sea, to reclaim their island.
But they saw the nations of Shoria and Kell landing troops on the coast of Asgarn. They also heard that Holt did not hold up their end of the bargain in destroying the Asgarn army on the continent. Further, Ancient Path Guildsmen from Evermoore came to the Island of Asgarn and spoke out against the attack (see player prologue). Additionally, there is a potential for a reunification of the Northern Confederation and shifting political alliances in the Five Kingdoms. The Ancient Path were also told of valuable gold deposits on their lands. The shiny metal is very important to outsiders.
Together this was enough to stop the planned attack for the foreseeable future (The decision to attack or not was determined by a dice roll with assigned percentages giving weight to the above and other considerations based directly on the actions and inactions of players.).
The ancient path army is melting away leaving Vynira, the priestess and her son, Vicaryl, a great war leader, bitter, angry, and seeking revenge.
Vynira says, “We shall go to Evermoore and deal with these Guildmasters and others who have prevented our rise to greatness, but only after visiting Holt and dealing with King Justin's betrayal.”
DRAMATIZATION: This dramatization will be completed after 2018 rules update.
Player Epilogue. Sir Ademar. Christopher Diehl
Groenspeer Castle, 10 Miles northeast of Evermoore, a few days after the Market Day
Sir Adhemar had a map set on his desk. It was a detailed map of the area east of Evermoore, including Cross Tower Keep and the Ringfort. Being a detailed map, it included illustrations of terrain, such as woods, hills, farmland, creeks and ponds. It also included the locations of a few dozen villages too small to include on the larger map of the Valley of Rainbows. On the desk were also pens of various colors and measuring tools such as a ruler, a compass and protractor. The map now had several newly-added locations.
For the first few days since returning to Groenspeer, Adhemar received a steady stream of soldiers from his order. People of many different cultures, but all lightly equipped and wearing spurs, these were his scouts, bringing reports of villages their units had located. Each note contained a precise description of the location, allowing him to mark it on the map. Those that had names were noted, but many were simply assigned a number. Before they left, he wrote out orders directing the scouts on which direction to travel next. Nearly all of the villages they located were inhabited by Shorians. He had moved a few hundred troops, known as Preservers, to Fort Berangar, sitting near the center of the map, between Cross Tower Keep and the Ringfort. Their assignment was to hold off the Eldinites harassing the Shorians while looking for assassins. While the regular troops defended the villages, Adhemar would go to each village with some of his guards, and make each an offer. He would share the cost of providing them with arms, and would train their people to defend their village. His order would help, but they would learn to protect themselves, so they would no longer be a target for others.
From time to time, his mana mirror would vibrate and make noise, and Adhemar would pick up. In nearly every case, it was an officer of his order reporting the arrival of his troops at an assigned location. He would then direct the officers either to send Teams of five Preservers to particular villages, or to put Teams on patrol between villages to watch for the Eldinites and try to delay or dissuade them. Suddenly, the usual sounds of the castle compound changed. Troops from Fort Waleran, near the Elven Protectorate, had stopped on the way to Berangar, and they brought news. Adhemar knew what they were telling people. Officers from Waleran had called him over the mana mirror a few days before to inform him of Alexander, the former Toy Maker's death. They had left after he gave orders to keep the matter quiet, and now it was too late.
Servants, crowds of soldiers, visitors from various places, all heard the word of how Alexander was murdered by yet another evil cult, one devoted to ruining Yule. Grown men and women, Preservers who fought in the Eastern Pass against Gunther, the Elven Protectorate against Sven, in so many places against so many foes, were either crying like children or screaming. A crowd formed under his window, and another formed at his front steps. Guards had to hold back the growing throng. The scouts leaving to deliver the next set of orders turned to Sir Adhemar, Before they could ask the question, he told them. "It is true. Alexander Smith is dead, killed by Misfit, whatever they may be. He is dead, but there are still Shorians who may join him soon if you do not go and do your duty. Get moving." At the sacred word, Duty, the scouts shook off their feelings, dashed down to the front door, and jumped over the porch railings to get around the crowd and head for the stable.
Adhemar went out the front door of his home. The guards parted and the crowds quieted down. Everyone except those guarding the wall and gates gathered. He touched his mana mirror to call up all the other forts, to send them what he was about to say.
"You have all heard that Alexander Smith has been murdered. He was killed in his own home, in his bed, by a gang of insane cultists who despise Yule. They want to make Yule, a holiday we have celebrated since the Crystal City was built, into a day of pain and fear. They want to take our joy from us because they feel none. We will never let them do it. We can defeat them without a sword or an arrow. First, I am sending all the remaining scouting parties at Forts Amalwin and Waleran north to search the area near Toyland for Misfit. Second, I am sending troops to defend the roads into Toyland, from a distance. Let us not make the Toy Maker or her people scared. Finally, all of you will go out for the next few days, visit all the villages and towns we can reach, and tell them that Yule is a day of happiness for the Realm, and nobody will take that happiness away. The funeral of Alexander is to take place in Toyland on this Sunday, and I want all of you who are not on duty that day to come with me to it."
After a few minutes of applause, the crowd got back to their work. Adhemar walked back inside, and soon after, the people at all the other forts around the Valley of Rainbows heard the same message.
Outside Toyland, Sunday the 24th
About half a mile from the southern entrance to Toyland, the scouts and soldiers of the Preservers of the Chalice were taking down the temporary camp they had made. As they worked, sentries heard a noise approaching them, coming up the road they had defended. It quickly turned out that the noise was a small crowd of people. It was their families, rushing down the ridge and into the remains of the camp. All of them were carrying toys that belonged to each soldier, as well as their own.
A little while later, Sir Adhemar rode his crow to the entrance of Toyland, flanked by standard bearers carrying the blue and red banner of his order, and the black and green banner of his army. The Preservers marched or rode behind him, divided into companies, and each followed by a small crowd of Commoner civilians. They were the Preservers' families, as well as Adhemar's servants and the workers in his businesses, and their families. Several wagons rolled with them. Some were empty and some filled with barrels and boxes. The engineers brought exactly five catapults along, with five bursting stones apiece.
At the gate, the entire throng stopped. The empty wagons rolled next to the troops, who put the larger weapons and their shields onto them. Then, they all got out toys. The horse and crow riders all dismounted and led their mounts. Every soldier and civilian, man, woman and child, carried toys made by Alexander into Toyland. A large Asgarn carried a bear with a red Kringle hat, that when hugged, would say "Merry Yule Everybody!" A small Weetle carried a snowglobe with a Yule tree and a raccoon in it, with a music box in its base. A Low Elf carried a different bear, one that, when squeezed, would close its arms around him. Sir Adhemar carried a toy catapult with a stone attached to the arm by a string. As they walked through the gate, they all began to sing. The song they sang was very simple and many words were nonsensical, but two passages stood out.
"Yule day is in our grasp, as long as we have hands to clasp."
"Yule day will always be, just as long as we have we."
They sang that song all the way to the spot where Alexander's funeral would occur. Once the funeral was over, all of them began to cheer. Half the people cheered to cover that they were in tears. At that moment, the engineers loaded and fired all twenty-five bursting stones into the air as a salute. Afterward, they took the boxes and barrels from the wagons. These were the food and drink they brought, because nobody expected so many of them to arrive. For hours, they ate, drank, danced together, played with the toys they brought, and sang every Yule song they could think of to sing. After it was all over, and time to return home, they reloaded what was left onto the wagons. The Preservers gathered up their weapons and shields, and all marched away, happy that they would end the year with one more victory.
PLAYER EPILOGUE Master Eric Trayce and Master Pandora Trayce, Played by Dominic Ciarrocchi and Jennifer Gershkowitz
Pandora was wrapping the last of the goods in the kitchen as Eric was outside making sure the rest of the packages were secured to the several large carts. The past few weeks they had been securing supplies from the manor to bring to the Protectorate. Pandora had been preparing a traditional Elven Yule feast as Eric gathered building supplies as well as food goods. The empowered beasts all pitched in gathering and supplying what they could.
The youngest Trayce played outside with a young pup as Eric kept a watchful glance here and there. Out from the hen house came Rotfoot the goblin, the only other being who lived at the estate. Pandora had met him on the battlefield one market day. He didn't want to fight and was being forced to by the Orcs there. She had pulled him from the field and offered him a life of safety and peace in exchange for his service. Rotfoot was happy to take the offer and stayed at Trayce manor since. Earning pay as he helped everything run smoothly around the manor.
Rotfoot approached Eric. “One more batch of Master Trayce” he said as he handed the crate to Eric. “Thank you Rotfoot. The Protectorate can really use all we can give.”
Pandora came out from the main house with her large basket in tow. Eric made her way to her and took the basket from her “This is the last of the meal.” She told him as he smelled the baked goods. “ Smells great.” He replied. Pandora tapped her satchel. “I made extra for us to eat one the way there.” Eric smiled and kissed her cheek. “Thank you.”
Pandora turned to Rotfoot “Please make sure all the creatures are fed and cores are completed. Also have the guards do extra rounds while we're gone.”
“Yes Mistress. Have safe travels.” Replied Rotfoot.
Eric lifted Hunter into the head cart with Pandora. He took the reins as they headed to the Protectorate. Pandora waved goodbye. Hunter settled into his mothers lap to nap. Pandora bundled him up as she stared lovingly at him. Her smile slowly faded as she thought. She then turned to Eric.
“It’s Yule and so many there have such great loss, how can there be joy in such time of grief?”
Eric took a moment then spoke “There is joy with the grief. Keeping traditions and our memories of those gone, warms as well as pains our hearts. We will come together as a community, as a people, and carry on with love and caring. That is the joy and warmth we will share this Yule.”
Pandora stared at him and placed her head on his shoulder as he placed his arm around her. The small family quietly huddled together continued on to the Protectorate.
ISLE OF ASGARN
SUMMARY: The troops of Shoria and Kell land on the Isle of Asgarn bolstering the Asgarn civilian militia that had been hastily formed from people desperate to defend their homes from the impending Ancient Path attack.
DRAMATIZATION: The dramatization will be completed after 2018 rules update.
AIDEN SKALGI LEADS THE ASGARNS OUT OF THE MOUNTAINS
SUMMARY: King Skalgi leads his Asgarn raiders out of the mountains and the armies of the Five Kingdoms move aside to let him pass. They begin travelling through the Dale, rushing toward the coast in order to bring their army home in time to defend the Asgarn Civilians from the impending Ancient Path attack. The Holt army is shadowing their movement. All the other Five Kingdoms armies have withdrawn save for the Dale which has fortified towns along the route of march, just in case there is trouble.
DRAMATIZATION: The dramatization will be completed after 2018 rules update.