Wyrms and Worms

Red blasts light out from his flaming sword, and it makes the shadows made. A bunch of shadows, four shadowy dogs, and even a shadowing dragon all come out of the dark to attack us. Well, mostly Red. The dragon is really mad, and it kills all the dogs to try and get Red. But it got the Big Guy instead. We killed it, though, the awful thing.

Nevi and Mary Mouse start cutting it up and Sam starts to pray, or meditate, or something. She mutters to herself, and I swear she’s talking to her Daddy. When she gets back up again, she confirms that. Says her Daddy can fix the Big Guy, for a price. We have to dedicate the Mummy Lord’s death to her Daddy and give him some of its treasure. Her Daddy is some sort of worm that will destroy everything, which seems bad, but Red says that’s a long time from now. I don’t understand if we have to kill the Mummy first, or after he fixes him, but everybody agrees we will. Sam starts praying again, and snakes show up all over the Big Guy’s body and it’s all weird, but eventually, he gets up again. He seems alright, so we move on. Maybe we should have asked for Orange back, too.

There are lots more doors and traps and hallways. One room has a treasure in the middle that makes Red try to kill Nevi, but Sam fixes him before I have to knock him out. Eventually, we run out of places to go and it takes a little bit to find the hidden door.

This room smells awful and is full of corpses. We slip in, and try to find a door, but seven of the corpses stand up and attack us. They spit worms at us! Zombie worms! They are so gross, we spend as much time smashing the worms as we do the zombies, but we get rid of both. Of course we then run into a Pink Toad that turns into a deathly dog when we shoot it, so we have to put that down, too. More rooms and locked doors. Will we ever get out of here?

A Dragon and a Necromancer


Did you know there’s a dragon in the bay?! He’s Bronze and his name is Zelapharn and I gave him some of the flat shinies because he said he was hungry. He has a stomach just for shiny things! He said that sailors drop things in the water and he collects them if Umberlee doesn’t get them first. Did you know she’s the Queen of the Sea? He’s going to go hibernate soon, but he was really fun.

The City of the Dead is not fun. It’s creepy and scary and the dead things walk around sometimes. There was a big necromancer guy in the House of the Homeless trying to raise a bunch of mommies and their unborn children. Candlekeep called them zombies, and said it would have been really bad. We smashed him, but Ambrose said it was okay because he was really bad.

There was also a big scary vampire up in the Deep Winter vault. He left though. Let us leave, too, because Red convinced him we were too much trouble to bother with. Red’s real smart.


Gunshots, Surgery, and Strange Invitations

We head south, with Durance, his minions, and fifty men in tow. It is fairly easy travel for several days, until we enter the forest. It is dark in there, darker than it should be. Everyone is on high alert, but that doesn’t stop the ambush.

Shots ring out one afternoon that is nearly as dim as night. A fireball from Dalish and some lightning from myself light up the forest, and more fires spring up as the others join the fray. The Lt. is hit right off, and he goes down hard. I have to drag him into the brush and pump all my healing magic into him. He’s alive but he doesn’t wake up. Nat starts shouting that they’re intelligent undead, and points Klyce, who’s turned into an elephant at them. The fight didn’t last long, but the repercussions were huge.

Remy and Gerhardt spend the eight hours doing surgeries on the road side to save the Lt’s life, Remy’s eye, and Klyce’s guts. I pump what little healing I have left into our injured men, and it does them more good than it did the Lt. at least. Remy asks me to keep an eye on Klyce, as he will need my magics, and may not ask. The Lt is in a coma, so we’ll have to wait here for a day at least before we move him.

The next day is a big discussion about what to do. Marybeth wants to send the Lt back to the army. Strang and Providance argue that he will be very upset when he wakes if we try that. Klyce asks for the trees he downed and a few more, so he can make a wagon and a defensible wall here to protect us for one more day of rest. He’s got a new spell that doesn’t require him to move to create things. We dig in for the night, as I pray to the Dawnmother for my injured friends and the Lt.

The next day, the Lt is looking better, so with the help of a waggoneer’s son, we get the wagon rolling. With a spell for a floating platform, and another for ghostly horses, we move on. The forest continues to darken. HeyHey returns that day, though most of us had hardly noticed him gone. He saw loads of dead things around the house ahead of us.

We rest that night and then next morning, the Lt is in and out of consciousness. We move on and late afternoon, Durance wakes up and asks for a report. We fill him in, and he gives us orders to find a secure position in view of the house and then wake him up again.

We get to the mansion, with its wrought iron gates, and look ahead to se the lawn choked with hundreds of zombies. We step back to a good vantage point and let Nat send HeyHey and her invisible eye forward. Through the eye she notes royalist uniforms and notices some of the creatures have red eyes and aren’t behaving like the rest. It also sees the front door open and a zombie come out. When she tries to send her eye through the door it winks out.

The zombie that came out of the house is heading right for our position, so Nat heads out to meet it with Remy insistant on keep guard on her. When they return, Nat tells us a rather disgusting tale of it’s head splitting open and her brother’s voice coming out. We, Nat and her friends, are invited to dinner and parlay. Anyone else or any tricks will result in annihilation.

We wake Durance to fill him in, and he projects outside his body to talk to us. We all defend Stephen, and say we’ll be safe, and he’s killed 200 Royalists, afterall. Durance isn’t keen on giving us into his hands, thinks we’d make good hostages. He asks Nat to see what the fates have to say. It says bad things if she goes with only one escort, but good things if we all go in together.

Durance then gives Major Dalish a list of questions he wants answered: Why is he here? What are his ties to the Royalists? What was here before? What are his intentions toward the magocracy? Will he take citizenship in exchange for leniency? When Klyce quiestions this last, Durance reminds us all that other mages have come here and none have returned, punishment must be had.

We all clean up for dinner. I don’t have any of my fancy dressed, but I do have one that’s not my official uniform at least. We walk slowly through the zombie throng, with none of them moving towards us. A massive ghoul opens the door for us, and a line of undead servants await. Stephen comes down the stairs to grett us, calling the servants prototypes when someone notes the runes on their necks.

He leads us to the dining room where we all sit down for a sumptuous dinner. Klyce asks if his food can be blended, his guts are still a bit tetchy, and it is done. It is a fabulous dinner and Nat talks with him about their family. After dessert drinks, he allows it’s time for business.

Nat tears into him about the last time we met and how could he not tell her. He fires back that he woke up desperately hungry, and nearly killed their mother, so he had to get away from them all. They go back and forth a bit until Nat runs out of steam.

Dalish picks up the conversation and starts asking Durance’s questions. He’s here to get away from his family and the magocracy. This place was interesting and because we were starting to go after the Royalists, most of the folk had already abandoned it. The mages had left the rest of the troops poorly defended, so he was able to easily overtake the place. They had escaped with their research, which he won’t tell us about just yet. Stephen claims no Royalist ties and wishes to just stay free of the magocracy, too. He did kill the other mages who came here, and used them to make his prototype servants.

Then our talk turns to citizenship, punishment, and service. He has no interest in serving as we do, but thinks he might have valuable information instead. We explain a bit about running off to Italy and our service as punishment. Klyce points out that any information Stephen might have about the Royalists in the area could help his case. Marybeth suggests any new arcane research he has done. Remy asks for information on forces in New Calay.

Stephen asks us to send a message out to Durance, because a mind palace just won’t do. He offers information on the magic of this place and Royalist movements in the area. Klyce asks about his necromatic research, and he says it’s negotiable. So, I send out to Strang, since Durance was asleep last time I saw him.

He accepts citizenship, not service. He offers info on Longwood mages studies. Info on Royalist positions. Info on Royalist troop movements. Cessation of magocracy hostilities.

Strang sends back to me: That may be enough. Depending on the nature of the information.

Stephen accepts this and leads us from the hall to see what he offers.

Military Service: Genocide or Treason

We sink into the mire of military service. Ten hours of marching a day, under spells that make us go further than we should and longer than we ought. We are instructed to use as much mana as possible to stress test the device. Our first goal is Gainswood, and then on to the south. Dalish takes a turn on the machine, while Remy heads off to find Aranea.

When Remy gets back, he gathers us all up to talk. We have to destroy the machine, he insists. We have to do it in a way that doesn’t seem like sabotage, so they think the design is faulty. We discuss various transmutation options with Klyce. Using various spells to mask what he’s doing, so he can weaken the machine and then we can quickly destroy it. We decide to start in the morning.

Nat looks into our futures the next morning, just to see. She stop the plan in its tracks. Our plan is a Bad Idea. Simply blowing it up with fireballs, as suspected, is also a Bad Idea. Remy decides to try and have a chat with Lt. Colonel Durance. I really don’t understand why he thinks this will work, but it’s Remy. He goes to try.

He returns and gives the expected answer — do your job, and also, Durance has been spying on us, and heard the entire conversation last night. We’ll have to be more careful. Then it devolves into a political discussion about systems of oppression, and one being just like the others. Someone suggests turning everyone into mages, for equality and Dalish pipes up. He says he’s been feeding bits of flesh that used to be Garion to people and it gives them magic for a short while. What the hell, Dalish??? I don’t want to hear any more about this, and engage Nat in conversation about where her Grandmother’s caravan travels, and if Canada is nice this time of year. She brings up the darkness and the six stars, and we try to remember the names of all six gods from the cave so many months ago.

Nat decides to scry on her brother, but similar to my messaging, nothing goes through. She tries her parents, but quickly drops the spell, and doesn’t try anymore for a while. Then she tries a new spell, pulling us all inside her head for a chat. It’s super strange. Remy and Klyce do not have good time, but it could be useful later. Nat and Marybeth decide to dream together, so I sit up and keep watch for them. Marybeth does not seem to be having good dreams, but at least no one goes wandering off, and they both wake up in the morning.

Once we’ve been traveling for a while. Durance lets us know that the Mage Corp will be splitting off from the main force, and splitting up. He and the other three will be going after one target while the rest of us go aver Gainswood Plantation. Our orders are to assess their strength and determine if there are any mages. If there are, execute them. If there aren’t, just leave the troops and civilians alone. We are mage hunting, nothing more. In two weeks, we will meet up on the other side. The Majors will be in charge, and are expected to handle any disputes like well-reasoned adults. The mana tanker will be traveling with the main force while we’re on assignment. We will have forty soldiers in our detachment. We are to keep them safe.

We gather up and head out. Sargeant Clem is in charge of our soliders, and he seems reasonable enough. We march through hot, sticky, wet swamplands. It is awful, but I do my best to keep the wind moving for us. The first night, while on my watch, I hear things all around us. I shout for everyone to get up as zombies charge in. We keep them men out of the fight, the zombies are focused on us, and we don’t fancy getting shot, or losing any of the men. Marybeth falls in the fight, and before we can help her, darkness gathers round.

“Who dis who has trespassed in my swamp”? the darkness asks.

Washed Out to Sea

Remy didn’t wake up when Gerhardt poured potion down his throat, but we have to get out of here. Klyce and Maribeth circle the island, looking for another way off. The rest of us stand guard over Remy, until we hear a splash in the water. Then we start hearing crunching sounds. Zombies crawl out of the water and are heading straight for us. I stand over Remy with Nat’s staff as she takes Remy’s daggers to attack the zombies.

When they finally fall dead… re-dead… dead again… There is a louder rumbling, and the sound of rushing water. I grab up Remy and run back towards the rope, several of the others start casting alteration magics as they run. A wall of water rushes at us and sweeps us all away. It all goes black and water covers us. In desperation, clutching to Remy, I start sending Messages with the last of my breath in all sorts of directions until the better swimmers found us.

Getting up to the surface, the water is still rising. Klyce manages to get the water out of Remy’s lungs and he starts breathing again. Nat says those zombies were the ones protecting Nathaniel’s skull, and he’s lost control, so we can’t go back up to the hole. We head over to the edge where the water came from, and the group decides to swim out to the ocean. This seems like a horrible idea to me, but all the good swimmers grab the rest of us and drag us through the darkness.

It feels like hours later, but couldn’t have been more than a couple minutes, lungs burning, when we finally break the surface outside the caves. Nat says we’re at the Mourner’s Cliffs, and leads us down to the fishing village. Remy’s in rough shape, so we ask after a doctor and they send us to the Crab Wife. Nat, Klyce, and I run back to the castle, worried about the rest of the castle if the zombies have taken over.

Nat’s dad say that the mines have closed themselves, or rather, some zombies came up and sealed the entrance. Nat tells him what happened, and that Nathaniel is probably gone. Kendrick, in a panic says we have to go back, we have to find him, we have to get him out of there. We ask for his help and he gives us more weapons and a scrolls of Invisibility to Undead. I have to ask the guys how to use it, I don’t cast spells from paper, and it seems inefficient to me. Nat and Klyce are worried that the seeds have taken control of Nathaniel. Nat tells us that she’s dreamed of the mines, and we encourage her to take control of her dreams and see if she can find out more about what’s going on.

The group, frustrated with me, insist I have to learn to fight. I’ve never fought anything in my life before coming to school. That’s not what I’m supposed to be learning. Magic is supposed to be fun, I never imagined it was so violent! Remy and Dalish take me out to the courtyard and teach me how to use a crossbow that we borrowed from Kendrick.

We gather up again and head down to the mine entrance. There aren’t any zombies guarding it, so we head in. The scrolls are limited, so we wait for a short while before using our scrolls. Fortunately, the zombies we pass don’t see us. Nat leads us down to a huge chamber full of zombies lying down with vines and seedpods all over them. Some of the zombies are twitching, but they don’t seem to be responding to anything.

We creep around the edge until we can see the far end. Nathaniel’s skull is sitting with Brokeback as usual, but there is a creature or someting inside it with a lot of legs sticking out. It skitters all over the zombie.

“I can feel you out there. Shouldn’t have come. Not in control. Not safe. Turn back.” Voice whispers from the skull.

Klyce goes forward to grab Nathaniel, hoping we can get out quick and end this. The others start attacking Brokeback and the other zombies start twitching. The seedpods start popping and some plant things skitter towards us, some skitter out of the chamber. Everything is crazy, and people keep falling down. I go up and keep shooting my crossbow. Once we get the skull free of Brokeback, we all run. Once we’re clear, the other start breaking the pillars and collapse the chamber, or least the part we can see. I have to come down and lift up Dalish who had been knocked out by the plant things.

We hightail it out of the mine, but nothing accosts us on the way out. The zombies aren’t moving and the plant monsters are all keeping away from us. There’s nothing more we can do now, so we close and barricade the doors. Heading up to the castle, Nat goes to speak to Kendrick. When she comes back, she says Nathaniel isn’t completely gone, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get him back. We still have Harvest End ahead of us.


Any Magic Users with one year of school are now legal adults.

A wartime draft has been instituted, for all legal adults.