War of the Book

A Difficult Trail
The Book of Wisdom is almost lost

The party – by what name will they be known? – pushed deeper and deeper into the wood, heading northwest in pursuit of the Book of Wisdom. Following signs of the wild, Eoghan pointed them along a path that eventually opened upon Brogan’s Farm, where they found Brogan berating his wife for having becoming trapped under a large stone in the middle of a field. The stone removed and the wife’s foot healed, we learned that Maevan the Druid and his accomplice Tomaltach had appeared there. The Druid had cast a few nasty spells (one dropping the rock on the poor wife who had come out to investigate) then headed off to the East. Under the stone was found one piece of parchment from the book itself, a sheet with magical writing, later deciphered as “I go to the Mare’s Bath.”

While muddling over all this, the group was attacked by a scarecrow brought to life by Maevan’s magic. Fighting the thing off yielded them the gratitude of the Brogans, who gave them provisions for their further journeys. Before leaving, though, the group had to deal with one last bit of Maevan’s work: Brogan’s brother Kyalarn’s spirit had been swapped with that of the farm dog Happy. Kyalarn yapped “Hey! Hey! Hey!” while the (un)Happy dog looked on mournfully. This sideshow was gleefully orchestrated by Dermit the scamp, who had followed along hoping to find the treasure first. The group impressed on Dermit the importance of his taking the man and the dog back to town forthwith, for a cure.

With that, the party headed East in pursuit of Maevan. They attempted to track him for almost 36 hours but the crafty old man had covered his tracks magically. It was hopeless, and dangerous; during the nights, the group was attacked by wolves and bandits. Fortunately, Aislan’s skill with a longsword came into play and these foes were dispatched. Nonetheless, on the third morning the group realized that the only clue was the page left by the book – “I go to the Mare’s Bath.” Was the book speaking to them? What is the Mare’s Bath? In Nola’s recollection, it had something to do with a mad Druidic ritual; only Druids or perhaps the Fey would know.

The party made contact with some of Eoghan and Aislan’s people deep in the wood, but they knew nothing. They did however recommend checking with Nyalin, the captured Druid acolyte back in Durry, or old Sconief, wife of Durry’s reeve Fergus, known to be ‘the wisest woman within 100 miles.’ There was also a Leprechaun known to inhabit Long Rock.

With a heavy heart, the group chose to head back to Durry. It had been two full days of tramping in the woods, for nothing. It was a quiet march back. Nola took the occasion to pressure Thorros about his dealings with Roarc her beloved and Shlavin, the disgusting old farmer, but learned nothing – “Talk to Shlavin” she was told.

Upon returning to Durry, the party spoke first to the Druid, who cursed them and all their kind, for spawning people all over the land and destroying nature. But she was proud to tell them all she knew of the Mare’s Bath. This is the sacred ritual of coronation performed by the man chosen to be High King of all Erin. The man was to mate with a white mare. Then the mare was slaughtered, and the man ate the raw flesh while bathing in a broth of the mare’s blood. The group gave Nyalin over to her handlers and left without reporting what was said to Burnim the Abbot.

The tale of Mare’s Bath was confirmed by Sconief. She suggested that the book was indeed telling them to head to Tara, site of the ritual. Though there had been no news of a King’s death, perhaps it had happened and a new King was about to be chosen. The local tribe, the Fannians, would probably be told to send representatives.

The party prepared for a journey of a week or more to Tara. Before leaving, though, the heart-broken Nola insisted that they stop and have a word with Shlavin. The old fellow accosted her and demanded to set a date for marriage, but a slight beating by Maeve the monk opened his heart: He had had Thorros cast a spell that entombed Roarc in a small garnet. The garnet was donated to the Abbey. And Thorros had seen that same garnet mounted on the rich leather cover of the Book of Wisdom, had in fact gotten the sense the Roarc was calling to him from that stone as it flew away! This of course only heightened Nola’s desire to find the book and bring her lover back. As they exit Shlavin’s lodge, the party hears a man shouting Hey Hey Hey – apparently Dermit has returned but not faithfully executed his charge.

Thus the party set themselves on a journey to the East, deep into the heart of Erin, to Tara, seat of the High Kings. A long journey for those who had not traveled much beyond the little town of Durry. The group feels more than capable, and yet, their powers were also quite surprising. None of them really knew that they were capable of defeating the dangers they had seen quite so easily. Well, perhaps one of them felt it. What they may not have been conscious of, but was surely true, was that word about them had begun to spread. How many can strike a bird in flight with an arrow fired from 100 feet away? How many can cause a foot to become healed in an instant? How many can cause burning fire to erupt from their hands? These things have all been seen by ordinary folk, and rumors have begun to spread.

Experience: 2000
Treasure: From the bandits: Sheets of Pergamon, Copper, Lead, Vinegar.

On the Hunt
The party pursues the book.

Five young people race through the woods in pursuit of the lost Book of Wisdom. Each has their own motive! They run in the book’s last known direction, northeast. They have run off in a hurry and may not have all the gear they need.

Book Thieves

On a troubling morning, the forest-people Eoghan and Aislan made their way from the woods into the town of Durry. When they arrived, they heard the bell of the nearby Abbey ringing the alarm. Brother Ninnian had sounded the alarm when he went into the Script House in the morning and found that the Book of Wisdom was missing. The Book is perhaps the most valuable item in all Erin. It transpired that Abbot Burnim had had the book spirited away from the richer monastery in the south, its normal home, so he could make a quick copy. Ninnian gave the task to the scribe Thorros, who was so distracted by the riches on the cover that he took his time with it, napping and doodling as much as writing. And this morning, the book was gone.

When Ninnian rang the bell, it alerted Nola and Maeve, acolytes in different ways, who were making their way across the grounds. They had just bumped into Thorros – who did not have the book – on the advice of Dermit the Unloved, scamp of the Abbey. A frantic search began. Abbot Burnim was beside himself.

The townspeople came out of their homes and headed to the Abbey to see what was happening. Eoghan and Aislan followed. They noticed, however, one villager behaving strangely. It was Tomaltach, a logger, running against the stream with something bundled under his tunic. Eoghan grabbed one of the villagers – Ronan the farmer – and pointed him out. Ronan told them to watch the man, and went to tell the Abbot.

The forest people watched Tom as he made his way to his lodge, near the trees. Ronan alerted the folks in the Abbey, who broke off their search and scrambled down into the village. There they found Tomaltach trying to climb to the roof of his house and hios wife, Mornye, clutching him desperately, trying to keep him from leaving. At this point, Thorros and the forest-folk noticed two Druids in the forest, the elder, Maevan, atop a large oak and the younger, Nyavin, in the underbrush. Both were casting spells.

Mornye tried to stop Tomaltach from reaching the roof, pulling at his leg and begging him to stay. He dislodged a stone from the house and struck her with it. She crumpled, head broken, he right in front of her three terrified children. At this, Nola, Maeve, and Ronan leapt onto the house walls, trying to get to the top.

Just as Maeve climbed up, however, the Druid’s spells went off. Tomaltach rose in the air and was carried off on a gust of wind. As he sailed away, he held up the book in triumph, revealing among other things a doodle on the end piece, a leaf with a water drop labeled “Children of Gozreh.”

Eoghan drew his bow, which brought gasps from the villagers, and fired an arrow at Tomaltach as he sailed away. The arrow struck home and the man fell, yet the book did not fall. Instead, the wounded man and the book floated off, over the trees, and out of sight.

Maevan turned into a hawk and flew away. Eoghan and Maeve cornered the hapless acolyte Nyavin in the forest eaves and quickly brought her to surrender. Burnim and Ninnian arrived and, in full panic at the loss of the book, offered rewards of the entire monastic order to anyone who could return the book. This attracted the attention of Thorros, who immediately volunteered to find it. Eoghan and Aislan were similarly interested, immediately, in searching for it, for unknown reasons. Maeve had a look of righteous dedication in her eyes and followed. Nola did as well.

While the villagers consoled the abandoned children of Tomaltach and took custody of the the vile acolyte Nyavin – embers likely to be her fate – these five companions leapt into the woods at Eoghan’s lead and sprinted off in the direction the book had last flown.

But before they left, the rich old farmer Shlavin came to Nola and warned her that she should give up all hope for her lover Roarc. “He is gone for good,” he said, winking at Thorros. Shlavin then told her to marry him, if she knew what was good for her. After stern looks from Maeve, the nasty old fellow shambled back to his lodge. Nola is left wondering – where is Roarc?

A Day Like Any Other
How a book can ruin your life

A windy, dull day it is, in the early springtime.

Aislan has woken up this day, deep in the woods outside Durry, with another vision, this one quite powerful. When the vision passes, she tells Eoghan about it and asks him to go with her to market in Durry.

Eoghan agrees.

Nola awakes in Durry Abbey today. She is very sad today. Her lover, Roarc, is missing for the third straight day. Meanwhile, Shlavain the old farmer wants to see her again.

Maeve awakes and is immediately bothered by Dermit the scamp of Durry Abbey. He has heard of some mischief done by Matt the wizard.

Thorros awakes and heads over the to Script House for another day of writing under the stern watch of Brother Ninnian. He’s happy because he just got a very large, very real piece of gold.


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