.... Divided we Fall ....

Episode IX

"Betrayal, a bloodbath, a burning farm & End of Act II"

After three days of rest, recovery and collecting their of 50 silver pennies by the Golden Ball for Wilard Jarvis’s successful release and seeking the Golden Ball’s assistance to heal Solomon, on the evening of 9th of Birth/Bereth (2st month/Spring) 1766, the Bold-Stahl met with a recently made contact of Deego’s.
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This individual, a Kent Wassem, another scholar working at the Archives of Keth which Deego met a few days ago. Kent Wassen showed the party an ancient looking cover of a book which he says is written in Acân, and he claims he can show the rest of the book, which includes describing the location of the “Pale Hand of God”, a location mentioned in foreword in the scroll by Saccuss of Herminda) …. but requested the party to undertake a favour for him.

Wassen went on to ask the party if they " … have had any experience in dealing with the undead?” It transpires that the Wassem family home, a modest farmhouse, 9 – 10 miles east, out from HighGround into the Hinterland around Tryern, has been haunted for 30 years … with strange lights, smells, sounds and screams.
Despite numerous attempts by priests, wizards and soul searchers over the last 30 years no solution has been found. Wassen, the last of his line has the papers ready to sell the property, which has been in his family for several hundred years but requested the party to assist, one last time, to see if they can solve the riddle.

In return he will provide them access to the fragments of the book in Acân which he claimed that held the location of the “Pale Hand of God”. The Bold-Stahl agreed to assist and that they would meet Kent Wassen to travel to the family home in two days time.
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The next day, 10th of Birth/Bereth (2st month/Spring) 1766, the Bold-Stahl meet again with Wilard Jarvis who has had a chance not only to recover from the trauma of his kidnapping but also had time to translate the remainder of the Acân scroll.
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The text appears to be a list of authors and their works the subjects of which seem to range from poetry, philosophy, science, to history, to magic and everything in between. During the meeting with, as the Bold-Stahl group are flicking through the translated text from the scroll Crovus, causally enquired if there happened to be mentioned any works by “ATHENAGORAS” to which Wilard Jarvis replied there was.

Jarvis in particualary draws the group’s attention to one unusual phrase by “ATHENAGORAS” namely:

- El Batharturum – The Ritual of One Mind and Peace of the World
Of the mighty works of circle magic of the Hive mind of unfailing truth.
Of the creation of the Confederation of Nations and Brothers in Peace.
Of the drafting of the incantations treatise of peace; to begin with the sacred Elven words “United we stand”*
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The translation of the elven text in that line, “(unreadable by players)” can be roughly compared to the phrase “United we Stand” according to Wilard Jarvis. In addition to providing the Bold-Stahl with the translated text Jarvis, by way of thanks for saving him from his captors, provided the group with three items, which had been given to his family previously but that they had no use for. These included a “handkerchief tent” and a two “bedrolls of comfort” (see below).
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After leaving Wilard Jarvis, with again his profound thanks for his rescued, the Bold-Stahl encountered on their way back to the Bronze Mace they had a brief encounter with a several Marken, creatures which live high up in the stonework of the towering city buildings.
The next day, 11th of Birth/Bereth (2st month/Spring) 1766 the Bold-Stahl, accompanied by Deego and leaving the majority of their travelling equipment back at either of their two lodgings, meet with Kent Wassen and begin the walk out of the city, east, towards the Wassen family home.
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After several hours of walking, and leaving the main highway east for some time, around mid afternoon the Bold-Stahl, Deego and Kent Wassen found themselves deep into rural, farmland and at the bottom of a steep hill, with an inn on top of it they reached the ramshackle two story house which Wassen claimed was his family home.
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Soon after entering however, the party was ambushed by a large group of bounty hunters and hire swords who appear both from behind a curtain in the main room, the back and front doors, where they had been lurking in the woods nearby and from upstairs.
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This group of cutthroats, armed with nets and man catchers, as well as serious weapons, is lead by a young man, who introduces himself as Associate Professor Marl Ryson of the Academy of the Researchers of the Wisdom of the Ancients of Kulmar University of Bansheba.
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This man addresses the party by their real names and claims, “You are lucky we found you. “The lady” of the Landervelt Straight is also seeking you and she is not as forgiving as we are”. With that statement, and thanking both Deego and Kent Wassen for their assistance, the young man then demanded that the group thrown down their weapons “_and hand over the stones and the map”.
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Enraged at yet again being told to drop their weapons Torlin then launched a fire bolt Marl Ryson, which with an amazing shot blasts Ryson’s left arm and shoulder, severely injuring the young scholar and leaving him in a state of extreme shock and massive pain. As a result of this aggression several of the archers and crossbow men who have been covering the party shoot at Torlin and one of the arrows finds its mark. Torlin is badly injured and incapacitated.
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An all out melee broke out with the Bold-Stahl significantly outnumbered by about three to one.

The fight is a bloody one lastly about 50 seconds in total and although none of the others of the Bold-Stahl suffer serious injury Sangar falls and hits the ground attempting to dodge a blow, knocks his sword from his hand and suffers a serious kicking on ground.
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Also during the confusing both Deego and Kent Wassen make their escape from the scene. Ill luck, generally, plagues the other party members in the skirmish and despite a few of the cutthroats, being taken out of combat things appeared to be boding ill for the party.
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Then suddenly, almost without warning, a large wagon, filled with burning oil barrels smashes through the front wall of the house and changes the direction fortunes of the fight.
Solomon manages to execute an amazing maneuver to avoid the wagon, timber and oil barrel flaming mayhem which demolishes much of the internal staircase and the south eastern part of the house. Many of the hires words however are not so fortunate and a good number are crushed, burnt, impaled or otherwise maimed in the impact of the wagon on the house.
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In the aftermath of the destruction created by the wagon Marl Ryson, still dazed and barely standing due to the horrific burns still smoldering on his arm and left side, was captured by the functioning members of the Bold-Stahl, all of whom manage to safety abandon the now fiercely burning farmhouse. With a Bold-Stahl knife to his throat the barely conscious Marl Ryson orders the hire swords and cut throats to back off and once they depart the scene, with both Ryson and Torlin somewhat more stabilized the Bold-Stahl flee across country.
Later, early evening that day after the Bold-Stahl put some numbers of miles between themselves and the scene of the fight, they rest up and begin to interrogate the terrified Marl Ryson, who is still in extreme pain from his twisted and withered left arm and badly burnt side.

Ryson needs little in the way of persuasion and imparts, through pain-gritted teeth the following information:
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“_The word Yelfon from the master of Yelfon’s legend proved so enduring in the consciousness that the word for “wisdom” in Shea. That gives you an idea of how valuable the library, if anything of it still exists, is ….
In 4rd Age 1391 the 8th catalogue and Saccuss of Herminda’s foreword is discovered by a member of the “Academy”. After years of study the Academy sent an expedition to attempt to find the library in Harvest/Nular (10th Month/Autumn) 1764, two years ago.
We learnt midway through last year that ultimately, the expedition was a failure and the survivors made as far as Shebibi before they were killed in the earthquake last year and the key items they were carrying … went …er … missing. The Academy wants those items back. Yes of course to hopefully successfully make it to the ruins of the Master of Yelfon’s Library … but … also …
There have been strange rumors. It’s whispered in select diplomatic circles that In Moons/Bambakh (winter) 1667, next year, somewhere, there will be a third secret discussions on the forming some kind of “League of Nations” amongst the Great Powers of the world and this group is likely to vote yes to form such an international body.
The Academy has learnt that the Kingdom of Thrace has got wind of something rumored to be hidden in the Library and somehow it’s connected with the forming of this League of Nations. Its possible my superiors know what this thing is but I don’t …..
So too has some sinister organization known only as the White Pipes. Someone called “The Lady” in the Landervelt Straight is making investigations …. Whatever this organization is they are serious and they are dangerous.
My job was to come and attempt to reason with you … and if required take the stones from you ….
…. Please let me live …._"

That night the Bold-Stahl sleep rough in the fields of the hinterlands to the east of Tryvern, and fortunately are not located by the various groups of soldiers searching the area over the course of that night.
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The next morning, 12th of Birth/Bereth (2st month/Spring) 1766, the party, with their burnt prisoner, locate one of the main roads heading back toward Tryvern and begin, along with other travellers around them to walk back towards the city some eight miles or so away to the west … AND THAT IS WHERE THE GAME WAS PAUSED FOR THE END OF ACT II.

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