Anthera: Secrets of Shara

The Battle at Ram
Session 3

Brightspring 21

  • Lt Elwrit’s orders arrive at Summerhill Outpost. Macwin is left in charge of the outpost with a skeleton crew and Falkenrath takes the 15 remaining soldiers south towards Abermad.

Brightspring 23
• Sgt Horst’s group arrives at the staging area set up by Caderyn.

• Late that night, Adela arrives and reports to Sgt Falkenrath. She reports evidence that the draken attacked the fae camps on the Northwest side of the island and are marching south.

Brightspring 24
• Horst commands his unit to march south to try to intercept the draken raiders.

• Adela sent north to warn Macwin and continue her surveillance.

• A camp guard hears moaning in the dark and Horst, Rar, Ralf, and Murial find a well in a copse of trees with a lantern hanging above it. Ralf convinces the scouting party that something cult related is happening and it should be left alone for the time being.

Brightspring 26th
• Horst’s unit reaches the hills near Ram and learn from scouts that the draken are getting closer. The soldier hide in a low point.

• Horst’s unit catches the draken between themselves and Elwrits troops. They draken are defeated with moderate casualties for the Sharans.

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Lestibournes
Adela's Narrative

Adela watched Lestibournes leave her table and she exhaled slowly. He was nothing like Therius, whose quiet arrogance put her at ease. This Astreli was too astute, and the way he spoke to her, with casual familiarity like they were close acquaintances, made her uncomfortable. She stiffened as he turned back, but he wasn’t coming back to her table. Instead, Lestibournes turned towards the ale casks. Adela noticed his eyes flick upwards and saw his lips move silently. She following his gaze to where a sleek martin clung to the rafters.

Adela began chewing on a strand of knotted hair. She hadn’t seen the creature when she had entered the pavilion and she hadn’t seen it climb up to its perch. She assumed it was unnatural, clearly it was connected to Lestibournes in some way. That didn’t bother her, but the fact that she hadn’t noticed its arrival made her heartbeat rise. She spat out her hair and quickly began eating her stew, glancing behind her at the cool comfort of the darkness outside the pavilion.

Lestibournes walked with several pitchers towards a table where the Blackshod, Grath, and seven of his cohorts sat. Adela paused, curious. Had the Astreli befriended the brutish blackshod? Grath and his buddies were some of the most volatile soldiers at Summerhill Outpost. Adela watched Grath. He stood up, his body language tense, his face stiff with animosity. No, Lestibournes hadn’t won over the soldier, but he was foolishly trying. Grath and Lestibournes exchanged some words that Adela couldn’t hear across the pavilion. Grath cocked back his arm and swung wildly at Lestibournes. The Astreli clearly saw it coming, casually stepping back to avoid the punch.

“Get outta here, scarecrow,” Grath shouted, “we’re not looking for new friends.”

Lestibournes shrugged and turned to leave. Grath pushed Lestibournes from behind, causing the Astreli to stumble. Lestibournes turned back slowly. He snapped open a book and said something incomprehensible. There was a noise like a hollow crack and oily smoke billowed from Lestibournes’ outstretched hands. Adela saw a flash of fear in his expression, briefly replacing his confident smirk. She realized that something had gone wrong with his magic.

Grath recoiled from the smoke, then pulled a knife and lunged at Lestibournes. In an instant, Grath’s companions were there as well, surrounding the Astreli. Lestibournes continued chanting in a quick, staccato language. Oily smoke began to seep from the air around him, coalescing into of several duplicates of the Astreli. The soldiers mobbed Lestibournes, the duplicates sowing confusion amongst them. When the duplicates were struck, they dissolved, smoke billowing from them. A soldier grabbed Lestibournes from behind, who continued his chant. Grath stabbed low but his blade turned aside at the last moment, a burst of smoke rushing away from Lestibournes. One of Grath’s companions grabbed a halberd from an on-duty blackshod and began harassing Lestibournes from atop a table. Smoke grew into more duplicates, and as Lestibournes’ chant rose to a shout, a blast of flame erupted from him. Grath and the soldiers in front of Lestibournes were engulfed. Adela saw their overcoats incinerate and they staggered away, giving Lestibournes a moment of space.

The soldier holding Lestibournes shoved him to the ground and the soldiers piled around, crowding in, kicking and stabbing. Adela couldn’t see Lestibournes but she heard his muffled chanting. The soldiers surrounded a tangle of smoky shapes. Another blast of flame hurled Grath into a table. His face was charred. He didn’t move. The other soldiers continued to batter Lestibournes and Adela couldn’t hear the chant anymore.

Bells were ringing. Blackshods on duty were being called to arms.

“Rogue magician in the pavilion! Get Sergeant Macwin!”

Adela tasted blood and started. She realized she was standing on her table and had chewed into her cuticle during the fight. Sergeant Macwin rushed into the pavilion and called off the soldiers beating Lestibournes’ body. Adela briefly met eyes with Sergeant Falkenrath as he entered, only a moment behind Macwin. Falkenrath quickly began talking to the soldiers and once his attention was diverted, Adela slipped off her table and into the darkness.

Kingsward Therius was expecting Lestibournes. Adela bit her lip. She knew she wasn’t obligated to do so, but realized she was already planning to make her way back to Therius’ camp to inform him. Why did she care? She didn’t usually like people and she found that she liked Therius. It made her anxious. She didn’t even really like Sergeant Falkenrath, and he was one of the only respectable men at the outpost. Had Therius done something to her mind to make her serve him? She didn’t remember anything strange during their meetings. She didn’t even know if he was capable of such a thing.

After only a few minutes, Adela had packed her scouting rucksack and was climbing to the roof of her barracks. Because of her report of the draken shipwreck earlier that day, the gates of the outpost were closed and barred. They wouldn’t open until the next day. Adela quickly hauled herself over the wall, quietly dropping down on the outside. She breathed the night air and let the tension ease from her neck and shoulders. The moon shone from behind Mount Tregeron, silhouetting the mountain’s peaks, making navigation simple. Adela tighten her sack over her shoulder and jogged into the darkness.

As Adela made her way into the darkness, a weasel-shaped shadow flickered along the wall where Adela had crossed, then slowly oozed back inside the outpost.

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Lestibournes
Session 2

Brightspring 17, 276ce
Sgt. Falkenrath brings his traveling companions to Summerhill Outpost and gets them settled in.

Ralf notices Rar and gets in Horst’s good graces, offering to help with the scaphling threats.

Lightboot Adela Mardock reports a draken shipwreck on the Island. Sergeant Holcomb Macwin sends scouts to monitor the draken and to recall Lt Elwrit.

Muriel is courted by Sgt Macwin.

Lestibournes meets Adela. She passes a message along from Therius, telling Lestibournes he is expected and agrees to map instructions for him.

Lestibournes is taunted into conflict with Grath, a blackshod. The brawl escalates, three blackshod footmen and Lestibournes are killed.

Muriel and Ralf go through Lestibournes’ belongings. They discover Kingsward Therius’ note, which Ralf reads but Muriel keeps.

Brightspring 18
Sgt Macwin makes it clear to Horst that he doesn’t intend to take major action until the Lieutenant returns.

Rar meets with Sgt Macwin, expressing his interest in fighting the draken and insisting he be allowed to do so.

*The protagonists spend time sharing (some) information.

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Meetings
Session 1

Brightspring 15 -16, 276ce

  • Muriel introduced herself to her overseer, Lt. Elwrit. Elwrit encouraged her to leave him alone and suggested she ask Sgt. Falkenrath if she needed any assistance.
  • On the second night after leaving Abermad, a band of scaphlings prodded a tortured aurochs into attacking the group’s campsite.
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Arrival
Introduction

Brightspring 15, 276ce

[To Muriel and Lestibournes] Your ship should have docked last night. Shortly after leaving Anvora, a storm blew up. It’s a miracle you have made it to Tergryn Island at all, with the winds it was easy to imagine your ship sinking. That’s what you assume happened to the sorry piece of human flotsam the crew fished out of the strait just before dawn. [gesture to Rar] The man is as broad as any human you’ve ever seen, naked, aside from the blankets one of the seamen put over him. He hasn’t said anything all morning, and still clutches the chunk of jagged wood that saved his life – a broken mast or maybe a large oar. Strangest of all, the man is pale. Not albino-white, but a pinkish flesh color, just like an Astreli.

Now, your ship has finally made it to the “port” of Abermad, home to a handful of small fishing boats and little else. A handful of stone buildings are clustered around the dock. Behind them, a dirt path leads up the hillside, weaving through a single line of shanties. At the top of the hill, you can make out the red-shingled roof of what must be the fabled “Red Lion:” the only inn on all of Tegryn Island.

A small cluster of Blackshod soldiers stand at the base of the dock, a dark patch of red and black against the dreary gray of the port buildings. Captain Rotheart is the first off the ship, striding towards the soldiers purposefully. He swiftly salutes the officer who advances to meet him, a lieutenant by the plume on the helm he holds under one arm.

“Lt. Elwrit, sir, I’m glad you’re here today,” the ship captain says.

“Make it quick, Rotheart,” the lieutenant replies, “I’ve got to meet an ethrotten Kingsward.”

“Er, yessir, she’s on board. But, er, anyways, I picked up a castaway. I’d like to leave him with you”

The lieutenant snorts, “heh, I’m not dealing with some refugee you picked up in the storm, Rotheart.”

“Well,” Rotheart replies, “this one you’ll want.” He leans in and whispers something to the lieutenant, then finishes loudly, “and if all that is some hoax, the kid is a draken slave, probably worth a fortune. I’m heading across the sea to Cornvald next or I’d take him back to Anvora myself.”

The lieutenant nods slowly, “that’s quite a claim, captain… you’re giving him up willingly?”

Rotheart laughs, “well, how about we call it even for last time…”

“Heh, sure. This just might cover it.” [To Horst] “Sergeant, get the draken slave from the ship and take him up to the Red Lion. [quietly] the captain says he’s got Astreli-skin. If it’s true, try to keep him out of sight as best you can.”

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The Storm
Prologue

Brightspring 14, 276ce

Mac huddled under the log that once supported his lean-to. It had been cozy, moments earlier, his thatching just enough to keep the drizzle out and allow a fire. Then the storm blew in. The first gusts took away his roughly built wall and roof, leaving him only the thick log he used as a support beam. Huddled underneath the log, Mac was able to keep dry for a short minute before water began pooling around him.

“Maybe the storm will push in some bigger critters,” Mac said to himself hopefully, thinking of the crab traps he sunk earlier that day, " ’n make all this worth it."

Mac grinned at the idea. Whenever he brought in an impressive haul, his master gave him a gold piece and skipped the whippings for a whole day.

A wrenching crash woke Mac up from his daydream. For a moment, Mac thought it was a close peal of thunder. But no, it seemed to come from below him, from the beach. He squinted into the storm, looking down towards the surf. Lightning flickered and Mac gasped. He crawled out from under his log and ran down the sand. In that instant of light, he had seen a ship raked into the beach.

Mac’s mind raced with excitement. Maybe he could save someone important. Or maybe everyone was dead and he could claim a treasure no one knew about. He wouldn’t even have to tell his master about that…

Lightning flashed again. Mac froze. He was close to the surf. He could hear it despite the storm. But there was someone standing between him and the wreck.

“Are you..” Mac stammered.

Something about the figure terrified him. It was too big and it had been too still in the storm. Alert. Watching him.

He started again, louder, “are you hurt? I can help!”

Mac shuffled ahead slowly.

“Hello?” he yelled into the wind.

Lightning flashed. The thing strode towards Mac with purpose. It made eye-contact with Mac, yellow eyes peering from a flat, gray-scaled face. Mac started running back up the beach. He knew what the thing was. He knew there was nothing for him on that particular ship.

Mac died before the lightning flashed again.

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