Mythodea / Festival of Life, With a little death...


Baron Dagger of East Blackwood, Sir Bødvar Tok and Marik Fulgrimson invited dignitaries, allies, friends and their friends to a Festival of Life hosted in North East Kahl'Hatra. The gathering was intended to be a moment where one could relax, drink, sing and remember what they fight for. In some ways it was. In other ways, such as the murder, crystal scars, would-be-assassin, Ice Witch vision and maybe even a demon, less so.

The Salty Stick Opens in Kahl'Hatra

Marik Fulgrimson opened The Salty Stick Tavern as planned welcoming in the honored guests as they arrived. East Blackwood gathered around opening time at their table within the tavern where a letter from the crow mastery warned of the coming of "someone" to "retrieve" Lady Anna-Katharina von Rabenau. This tiding did not serve to ruin the good humor of the hosts and their guests as drinks began to flow and dice began to roll.

First Crystals Appear

Almost as soon as Validar took the ruined Razash'Dai village from the Black Dynasty, whispers had been heard. At first they were not spoken of but over time the frequency in which they were being heard increased. By the time the festival was set to begin, they could no longer be ignored. Sometimes after Baron Dagger briefly spoke to the festival guests, the first Crystal appeared.

The first crystal appeared in the tavern on a table close to the bar. It was accompanied by a vision of those who tried to interact with it. Reportedly, the vision was of a group of people, somber in appearance, reluctantly accepting their lot. Not longer after the first crystal appeared, another appeared near the central bonfire. The crystals glowed either blue or red.

As the night wore on the crystal in the tavern began to flicker. Soon people began to believe that there was something missing in that area; an aspect of Ignis. So, the guests and warriors of Validar ordered more drinks until the festival supply stores near ran dry. The crystal stopped glowing and then disappeared. No further voices were heard save for the one in ones head telling one not to drink so much.

The Wirt says:  "There was not enough tipping going on!"

More Crystals and the Dark Effect of Healing Them

As day broke, more and more crystals appeared including one that flashed various colors perched right in front of the building the Archon of the South was staying in. Master Gideon Klaud had been tasked with finding the source of and reason for these strange appearances and, if needed, removing them. Throughout the day, Master Gideon worked with willing guests of the festival to learn what he could and find solutions. May reported seeing and even feeling visions when interacting with the glowing crystals. The visions were all negative in nature which led many to attempt to solve whatever circumstance they presented. These are excerpts from Master Gideon's report.

Report of the events in the "Salty Stick" tavern from 24-26.11.3NdK.
By Master Mage Gideon Klaud.

Before arriving at the village [where the Salty Stick] tavern [is currently located], I was told by messengers that the workers who were renovating the place heard strange voices talking to them. However, the words were unintelligible and no cause could be found for them.

When [Baron Dagger, Fennix and I] arrived there with a larger group [and festival guests], the voices [appeared to] began to manifest themselves in a kind of crystal.  On examining the crystals of different people, it was found that the crystals were directly connected to the land. There were six different ones. Each one had an imbalance of Ignis energy.  Since the area one was [once] a Razash'Dai village, we thought this was very likely.  It seemed like they were some kind of root of the land searching for a certain form of energy.

The first one appeared in the tavern itself. After some investigation, we found that the crystal lacked the Ignis aspect of intoxication. By producing this "emotion" it could be removed; or it disappeared by itself after a while.  The next one appeared at the [central bon fire].  Number three appeared in the lower part of the village.  It seemed to have an imbalance from the "destruction" aspect.  We could compensate for this after a few failures with the "creation" aspect.

The Fourth Crystal appeared in front of one of our guests' dwellings. The crystal seemed to have an excess of "rage". Through a self-experiment, one of the settlers was briefly possessed by a spirit of the Razash'Dai. After the rage and anger had been consumed by combat actions, this crystal also disappeared.  [Other reports collected by various Embassy Guards suggest that the aspect may not have been rage but rather revenge due to the nature of the vision it produced.  The vision was from the perspective of members of the Glut or Embers who had been cut down by the Razash'Dai in question for trying to flee the fight against the Black Ice.]

The next [crystal] was found outside another house in the village. It had a lack of "fellowship" and was removed by a "group hug?" [The Embassy Guard Gerhardt was present for this action and confirmed the method stating a collected group of guests welcomed a WayFaherer into their family and sealed it with a hug. The crystal promptly disappeared.]

[The Embassy Guard Gerhardt also reported having watched another group of festival guests heat up a crystal that had been making people cold and it too disappeared after. The description of the vision the crystal had produced was that of a Sharun who had frozen two people to death on that spot which lends to the idea that a lack of the aspect of warmth needed to be corrected.]

The last crystal was discovered in front of the shrine, a building adjacent to the tavern.
It contained "Betrayal". It was removed by an Honorable Duel [between Embassy Guard Captains Varn Delany and Lordas Palatinus].

The Dark Effects

When Crystals were removed it was reported that the scars in the fabric of the land were removed. Other examinations suggested that there was no corruption of Forsaken Power entering the region once the Crystals disappeared. Yet, after each time a Crystal was vanished, the East Blackwood's Company's master scribe, Mako Tock, would often vomit black liquid and or collapse. She was then speak as if from another voice with strange proclamations of doom.

Mako was examined by powerful mages but the details of their findings have yet to be made public. Mako appears to have lost her memory of who she was, what her name is and who her friends are. She now calls herself Snowflake. Mako has been escorted by to Nova Bretonia in the Western Seal by the Nova Bretonian Knight Sir Alsrik and by William Tock of the East Blackwood Company. There, she will undergo further examination.

Some guests whispered of a potential demon but "The Ambassador" can neither confirm nor deny these rumors.

Hag and Gifts

As the situation with the Crystals continued with the appearance of more and more, another festival guest arrived offering gifts. A little old lady gave out small pendants with the mark of a snowflake on them. The lady was kind and sweet. No one felt threatened by her presence and many took these gifts perhaps feeling as though it was part of the festival. This would later turn out to be a falsehood.

Inside the Shrine and Library room of the Salty Stick complex a poisonous smoke filled.  Coughing, the guests who had been in that room quickly fled to the main tavern.  The smoke confined itself to the shrine and library room.  One-by-one the candles that had illuminated that room went out leaving the room dark and smoky.  Soon, purple and blue lights appeared providing some illumination.  Most of those with tokens from the Hag were drawn to the room and were unaffected by the smoke there.

Viscount Gavriil Verontova and Lady Anna-Katharina von Rabenau

The Empire of Sycon, a nation outside of Mythodea, is home to a vast land of various fiefdoms and vassal states. Among these fiefdoms is the Lands of Rabenau which have been ruled by the von Rabenau family for hundreds of years or longer. Fifty years or so ago, the King of Syconia was usurped by his counselor, Bazavier. Bazavier crowned himself Emperor of Sycon and accepted The Gift from the Order of the Holy Blood becoming a version of a vampire only seen in Arkendrose. These "Gifted" are not undead as far as we are aware but take on many of their traits and strengths.

After Syconia became the Empire of Sycon under Bazavier, a new arristocracy began to rise and year after year they began to challenge the hegemony of old. Human noble houses such as von Rabenau were increasingly placed into a position of disadvantage and often conflict. Lord Robert and Lady Maria von Rabenau soon found threat on their northern border in the form of Viscount Gevrill Vorontova.

Lady Anna-Katharina von Rabenau left Syconia over five years ago at the behest of her parents to search for petential support and allies outside of Syconia and Arkendrose. Through the Forest of Voy she traveled with some friends and servants through the Gate to the Realms where she found a potential ally in Ambassador Dagger of Blackwood. Dagger, however, was living in Mythodea. Anna made her way across the great seas and was lucky enough to make it through the Fog and into the lands of Mythodea but soon the Viscount's intentions were made clear. He intended to marry Lady Anna and bring her back to Syconia.

Arrival of Syconian Soldiers and a Murder

During the second day of the Festival, four armed and armored soldiers of Syconia arrived in the village. They were rude but did not draw weapons on anyone. Captain Varn Delany of the Embassy Guard, the person responsible of village security that day, stopped the small troupe and questioned them. They claimed they were only there to prepare the way for their knight who would be arriving later. They intended no harm and simply wanted to get a drink, sit down and wait. As it was a festival, the soldiers made no attempt at aggression and were heavily outnumbered, Captain Varn granted them guest right until Baron Dagger of East Blackwood returned from checking on a late supply shipment. He Dagger returned, he could decide what to do with the soldiers.

The Syconians did as they said they would and sat down at the gambling table within the tavern. They played chess and sipped at ale as they waited. Not too long after they arrived, one of their number left the tavern for a brief walk and never returned. An Embassy Guard found the body of that Syconian while on patrol.  The body was immediately reported to Captain Varn Delany who launched an investigation.

The body of the deceased was searched revealing a letter which detailed orders to kill certain guests at the festival. Two witnesses stepped forward an claimed to have seen Sir Osmund leaving the area where the murder had taken place. The claim was that as he rounded the building he was cleaning his blade which had fresh blood on it. With a prime suspect, the investigation questioned Sir Osmund of Sagara and the Realm of Roses who confessed to killing the Syconian soldier.

It was not long before the three remaining Syconian soldiers began to worry for their missing comrade. Before they could react, the troupe was forcibly detained, disarmed and rendered unconscious. When the soldiers were woken, the investigation questioned them and their true intentions. With the help of Archon Eurestus of the Southern Seal, it was determined that they did not know that their comrade had had such letters and they did not suspect him of having been an assassination. Their story was that their knight, Sir Zardon Kosmakova, was arriving later and they were only there to make way for him. The soldiers were allowed to return to the festival but without weapons by order of Commander Anthem DeVigil of the Embassy Guard.

Lambert, Investigator of the Court of Roses and Thorns continued the investigation determining that the killing of the Syconian soldier was done in cold blood and without resistance from the Syconian. It was also determined that Sir Osmund could not have known about the assassination letter on the Syconian's person and therefor could not have known that the soldier he had killed was likely to have been an assassin. Thus, it was believed that Sir Osmund broke the Barony of East Blackwood's guest right. This, however, could only be decided by the baron of himself upon his return. For the time being, Captain Varn allowed Sir Osmund to also return to the festivities as he deemed him unlikely to flee judgement.

Visions of the Ice Witch

Once most of those who had pendants from the little old lady arrived in the room a life like vision reportedly replaced reality within the room. The details of this event have not been fully reported but there were claims that the Ice Witch Deyanira was present. Most who were part of this collective vision declined to speak anything of it. What was learned, however, was that the snowflake pendants were cursed and needed to be destroyed. Many guests worked tirelessly to do so with the hopes of freeing the cursed from their bonds.

Once the smoke cleared from the room, the normal candles re-lit themselves and the room returned to normal. Most of the pendants were hunted down and destroyed where possible but the exact intention of the Ice Witch is yet unknown. Further investigation and inquiry is needed to determine the true effects of the vision and pendants.

Sir Zardon Of Syconia and Satisfaction

Sometime after nightfall, Sir Zardon Kosmakova arrived with another Syconian soldier. Sir Zardon appeared to not be human, a vampire if he was to be believed. He did, however, claim that he was not undead. When Dagger finally did return to the village, he met with Lady Anna and Sir Osmund to talk about what happened to discuss a diplomatic solution that still maintained the honor of the host; in this case, Baron Dagger, Knight of Blackwood.

The general consensus was that Sir Osmund had broken Guest Right and should be punished harshly. Sir Osmund accepted whatever the decision of Dagger would be before a Sagaran witness. Féwaé Méllinar Vitèz the Master of Coin of the Münzquell approached Baron Dagger asking him to treat with Sir Zardon Kosmakova who had been patiently waiting for him within the Salty Stick Tavern. Baron Dagger sat down with Sir Zardon Kasmakova surrounded by dignitaries and knights including Archon Eurestus of the Southern Seal, Lady Anna-Katharina von Rabenau and Sir Osmund from Sagara.

Dagger agreed that Osmund had broken guest right and offered Sir Zardon Kosmakova the Right to Satisfaction but begged, on behalf of Lady Anna, that it not be to the death. To the Second Blood. At first Sir Osmund was hesitant to accept the duel but with some further discussion Sir Osmund agreed to the challenge as did Sir Zardon Kosmakova.  Osmund was given time to prepare and in less than an hour the duel commenced. During a heavy exchange of blows, Sir Osmund yielded to Sir Zardon Kosmakova.

Zardon and his soldiers agreed that they had received Satisfaction. Baron Dagger of East Blackwood promptly revoked their guest right and demanded they leave. The Syconians bowed and left. Sir Osmund's wounds were tended to immediately.

Validarian Motherstream Trade Hub

Djako Kaevh, Master Merchant of the East Blackwood Company, had a meeting with the Kahlifa of the Free Alliance, the Trade master of the Fortress of Diversity, a representative of the South, and Fevael of the Märkische Bund.  Together they discussed a future more economic and financially fulfilling use of the Mutterstrom river.  All Party's were in Agreement that a combined effort to increase its logistic potential was in everyone's best interest, especially to open up the Feste on the Southern continent and the remains of the Eastern lands to direct trading to the general Mytrasperan trade sphere.  No specific agreements were made but the party's involved enthusiastically agreed that a Collaboration would yield good results. The future of the new Validarian Motherstream Trade Hub was drunk to.  Negotiations concerning Thorgrimms supply of dwarven smithed armour and Rune strengthened weapons were also had. The concerned party needs time to explain to the majorly important Runefather the value of this transaction.  Dwarven worth was attested to Master Djako.