Lights in the Darkness
The following are rumours and other tidbits of information gathered in the course of the company’s travels:
- Heresy and pagan cults gnaw at the foundations of the kingdom of Dwimores.
- Pagan religion has returned in the village of Ferndon.
- The Cult of the Frog God is strong in the village of Taygle’s End.
- Unfortunately, Yric can offer little save his thanks and favor. If Osric will agree to help, however, he offers a scroll with the following divine spells: Dispel Magic; Divine Grace; and Protection from Evil, Sustained. He also suggests you speak to the local Magonine friary.
- The so-called “Hounds of Magon,” tireless foes of heresy known throughout the Mornlands, have a small friary in Hewflore. Bede, their “elder,” is still young, though the characteristic fervor of his order is tempered by a large dose of wariness. “We too have heard things, Brother Osric.” His eyes narrow. “Long were these lands peopled by the enemies of the Maker. The stink of the Marish is the stink of evil. To live so near the temples of lost Tarchoony is to court peril.” His eyes seek those of Osric. “You might know that better than most.”
- Helmward, the reeve of Froxhall and a mage of some repute, is disengaged from the affairs of his fief.
- The marsh pirates are massing for another upstream raid on the River Hellfor.
- Red Wencing’s Reavers are the most powerful of the marsh pirate bands.
- Bandit attacks are on the rise in northern Dwimores. Lord Drogo seems ambivalent.
- “By order of Lord Drogo, Marcher Lord of Hewflore and All the West, Defender of the Faith, Hammer of Reavers, the Ebon Staff, the villain known as “Red Wencing,” formerly of Ferndon, is wanted dead or alive for myriad offenses against the Maker and Men.” A healthy list of crimes follows including murder, rapine, oath-breaking, bread-scorn, and slavery. His bounty is 50 Marcher pounds (500gp).
- There are bounties on a few other pirate captains as well, though none is more than 100 Marcher pounds (1000gp).
- In the course of your enquiries, you gather that other lords likely offer bounties for particular bandits and pirates, though it is impossible to gain details of any veracity. You conclude that you will have to travel further afield for details, though several folk point you toward the Harding Chapmen and Marchands League (merchants’ guilds).
- The advice is not bad, and you learn that additional bounties for Red Wencing available just in Hewflore amount to over 100 Marcher pounds between merchants and the Alfarn mission. This phenomena is repeated for several pirates and bandits throughout the Ghost Marches. If the bounties are any indication, Red Wencing is by no means the most pernicious of pirates operating in the Great Marish.
- In no case is someone willing to fund an expedition.
- Success against pirates would certainly be a factor in guild membership.
- The Dead Heath is growing. The Dead Heath is hilly region along the southeast frontier of Dwimores where life seems to wither unnaturally. At the center of the Dead Heath are the Deadlhaws, a range of hills throughout which are scattered the many cairns and barrows of long-ancient dead.
- “We reckon it was the dark-walkers that got my dad. Night’s just not safe in the shadows of the Deadlhaws, you know, least not these days…” He pauses. “After the blight came, well, just seemed no sense in staying on. How’s a farmer to support three sisters and a mother on land as barren as an old crone?”
- Lord Drogo is courting his neighbour, the Lady of Orellfor.
- Lord Drogo is unpopular with the Makerite hierarchy in Dwimores because he ignores the clergy’s wishes in regard to appointing teachers. Also, his tithing favors certain monasteries instead of the central hierarchy.
- Two officers: “What’s Lord Drogo’s game, eh? The northern thanes will revolt if something’s not done soon about those bandits, and it’ll be us that have to make things right.” “If you ask me, he’s too keen to sire an heir. He needs to spend less time wooing the Lady of Orellfor and more ruling the March.”
- Some merchants in a tavern: “I’d steer clear of shipping by the Taygle, Thierry, if I were you. Walter’s the third merchant I can think of in a pinch to disappear there just this year. Go by road or don’t go at all.”
- Some sellswords: “There’s opportunity to be had in Gewiss, least-wise fer men wi’ strong hearts an’ good iron.” “Fie! Jus’ reavers an’ worse off the Weanoms Way.” “Fie yersel’, Eddy! Drogo broke the reavers two years ago.”
- Yric the Elder to Osric: “Brother Osric, shall you return to Taygle’s End soon? I despatched two clerics there not long after I saw you last. Now a month has passed, and I have had no word of Brother Guy and Brother Tostig for good or ill. I grow anxious.”
- Metropolitan Warren of Speers only barely survived the recent collapse of a study in Hewflore.
- Agapetos: “Who will save my village? Who will drive off the Green Men if not you?”
- Agapetos explained that the females and children of his village are separated from the males, visitation only possible infrequently and in small numbers. In total, the Green Men number over twenty and have powerful magic in addition to great strength of arms.
- Agapetos advised that his village is on an island south and east of the Temple of Turana. He could lead the company there.
- Fraegr reported the existence of a great ruined temple in the Sunken City some miles to the south and west of the Temple of Turana. He and Mauger attempted to infiltrate the death cult that worship there, but that they ultimately had to flee when their deception was uncovered. In addition to their priests, several mages also seemed to enjoy positions of authority within the cult.
Note that players are encouraged to add rumours to this wiki page and discuss the rumours found here in this site’s forums.
Hewflore, Harvest End rumours:
- Two merchants overheard in the market:
“There’s been trouble in the Taygle. Best stay clear until Lord Drogo’s men see to it. It’s the road for Carlton or not at all.”
“Oh, that’s rich. As if Lord Drogo can be bothered with anything but getting his hands on Orellfor.”
- A man overheard at the Axe and Swan:
“They assassinated the Baron of Weanomps? Sounds like the War of the Wands all over again.”
- On visiting Saint Tibba’s Study, Teacher Ralf d’Arcy:
“Osric, I am worried. In the weeks after the floor collapsed, I wondered if perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. After all, no one died, and while the damage to Saint Tibba’s was not unsubstantial, there was real attention to the study for the first time in years. You were one of many donors who appeared to give us assistance. Finally, we might have the money to do more than the minimum maintenance needed to keep it from falling apart.”
Ralf pauses and frowns.
“Not all of the attention has been welcome, though. Hervé [Ralf’s assistant teacher] has now caught strange folk poking around the wreckage several times. That might not be too strange by itself, but we’ve heard things — scraping, thumping, even a scream, perhaps — underneath the floor. Elder Yric tells me that I’m just getting old and excitable. Maybe… but I don’t like it the same.”