Welcome to the New Age

Pursuit part 1

Into the Upside Down

July 3, 25NA

The decision is made to pursue Black Mantle.  When the trail under the Homely Sheep leads only to the strange calendar stone, and signs point to a ritual.  Reactivating the ritual leaves the party in a strange, dark, and seemingly empty copy of Grayson. 

But not empty enough…

Strange spider-like creatures pour out of the river, attacking the party in the streets of a darkened town…


After we left the tunnels we made our way to find the King, and in a new turn of events we were forced to give up our weapons (even our spell focii, after Grumbar glowered at me and Declan until we turned them over as well.)

Grunr sat in the living room, examining his wound. I asked if he was alright, and he asked me the same after giving me a solid clap on the shoulder. He looked at my scar, a white line marring the scales at my throat, and said “That’s new. Doesn’t look new.” To which I could only answer “Nor does yours.”

His solidness, his gentle (in this moment) down-to-earth concern was a comfort, and I was grateful that at least one person was going to be able to acknowledge it without going into histrionics. The exchange buoyed my strength, just enough to be able to face Bruce and Mother.

I didn’t have long to enjoy the moment of calm though, because King Courdy himself entered the room. He asked how it went, and I could only say “We failed, my Lord.”

We told the tale, the others filling in the parts I didn’t know, finishing with me describing my own resurrection. Bruce then, blessedly, opted not to question us too much further and sent us to go rest. “Yes my King.” I responded, but I knew that I had at least one more stop before I could find my bed.

Declan and I made our way to Mother’s room, and I’ll admit I was crestfallen to see that she was surrounded by a room full of other women, not all of whom I was familiar with. Before I could get too sad, though, Susanna Cleareye-Stormborn pulled me into a fierce hug. I was only there for a moment, though, before she realized she hadn’t yet let me greet Mother and she shoved me in her direction. I unsteadily made my way to greet my new Queen, and (given the strangers in the room) gave an edited version of our previous report.

I’m fairly certain that both she as Susanna could tell I was leaving out large chunks of the narrative, but neither of them called me out on it. The Dwarf excused herself, saying she had a few “suggestions” for Bruce.

The rest of the Heralds had kindly waited for the two of us to meet with Mother, so when we were finally dismissed we returned home together to find a contingent of six Dwarves in the armor of the Hammerhold Knights. Dame Susanna, they explained, had set them to guard us.

The next morning we traipsed back to the Royal Estates, to meet with Bruce and a few others. He asked us, pointedly, what we wanted from the situation. The others answered things along the lines of “to kill her” or “to solve this problem”, but I really couldn’t weigh in. Even after a night of sleep, I felt just… drained.

Gareth thought that he might be able to track Black Mantle down, through her rapier (though Bruce offered his old wedding band as well).

Grumbar accompanied us back to the underground ritual space, where we discovered that her wedding band had been installed directly above the stone circle. We had to assume, then, that the ritual might be intended to do something to Bruce, using that link between her ring and his.

We discovered that there were erased runes circling the room, but we were able to redraw them. The instant we connected our work, though, there was a blinding burst of light. When we could see again, Grumbar was gone, as were the runes, the handprints, and the ring.

Emerging from the cellar, we could see that the sky was a swirling dark grey vortex, and leaves somewhere between grey and dark amber rustled along the ground. The back of the inn was overgrown with ivy, and in the distance we could see the town wall was likewise covered.

The only living things we saw, unfortunately, were these monstrous spider-like creatures. They were sort of like spiders, but had way too many legs, and their faces were oddly person-like…

Pursuit part 1

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