Ashen Dreams

Session 4 - The Village of Munson

As the sun rose, Brecht addressed the survivors of the previous night’s battle and provided what encouragement he could while stressing the importance of the two missions at hand. He and his group of veterans would make haste to the nearest outpost to alert High Temple of the possible threat while the rest would go to the nearby town of Munson with the remaining Marked to fortify the village and protect the civilians there from possible attack.

En-route, tension began to build among the Numerian as some were reluctant to accept Brynn, their Flame Brother as their new, if temporary, leader. Flynn, the numerian that the party rescued from the Hollow encampment the previous night began o harass the Marked, viewing them as little better and as dangerous as what they were fighting. Dutifully, Brynn stepped up to protect the Marked and Marcus backed her up. Fearing the two, Flynn backed down, but began to speak in hushed tones with the other numerian, Tanner in particular.

Along the road, Erin and Liam discovered an abandoned merchant’s wagon that showed signs of struggle and bloodshed. Strangely, the cargo of alcohol was untouched.

That night, the group camped in the shelter of some ancient ruins near a quartet of statues to the ancient gods. The statue of Hoernier had been defaced and a small shrine had been set up at its feet. the base of the shrine had a black sun-burst drawn on it and the whole scene eerily resembled Erin’s dream from the previous night.

Aside from spotting a Hollow watching their camp in the distance, the group made it to the swamp town of Munson without further incident. There they were greeted by much fanfare by the population and by Mayor Tillman and a drunken Carcerian Monk. The Justicar was reported missing for three weeks and the Mayor showed little concern.

Brynn was invited to the Mayoral Manor to discuss the current situation. He was dismissive of a Hollow attack and asked to delay any sort of announcement to the populace to avoid any possible panic. As he determined that Brynn was not a Decanus in-fact, he was about to dismiss her, but Marcus pointed out that she would be the acting Justicar in the absence of Justicar Tillman. Obviously put off by this, Fenton dismissed the duo.

The group was to be housed at the local Inn, the Tangled Net. They were greeted warmly the proprietor, a Mr. Siglin and his sole waitress, a beautiful red-haired woman by the name of Lenora. Siglin invited Brynn and her men to have a feast with him that evening.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Erin went to the Justicar’s house/office and found his journal. His last entry stated that he had gone to a nearby town that was reporting to have a surplus of food while Munson and all other towns in the area had failing crops.

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Session 2

As the battle with the skags died down, the Erin realized that she had killed Jimison, the runaway Marked, without taking his head. As the party advanced on the small fishing settlement, they saw him, now risen as a Hollow running off into the woods. Quickly surveying their surroundings, they noticed a foul smell and a pile of rotting bodies near the fire in the center of the gathering of shacks. Erin, now caring for the 10 year old Liam, another marked who had been kidnapped by Jimison opted not to give chase nor did Brynn who was hesitant to split the group up, wanting to stay with the almost catatonic Tanner. Marcus, his young veins flowing with the adrenaline of battle blindly chased the Hollow into the dark woods. Noticing that Marcus was alone, it turned to attack. After a short fight, the Maltherian called on the power of his dark lineage and killed Jimison and this time, properly took his head. Back at the settlement, Erin and Brynn made the grisly discovery that the corpses and the skags they killed were once the lost Eagle’s Talon 3rd Patrol. They also heard the missing Numerian that Jimison had overcome screaming for help within one of the shacks. Marcus took a burning branch and lit the thatched roof on fire, much to the dismay of the others in the party. Brynn and Marcus burst into the shack to find the missing Numerian, Flynn tied up and an Undead on the verge of becoming a Hollow, trying to resist the urge to feed on the man. Marcus cut the Numerian free while Brynn engaged the Undead. Once wounded, the Undead lost it’s remaining scraps of sanity and went hollow, attacking her. His poisoned saliva paralyzed Brynn who was saved by Erin who burst into the burning building shooting the Hollow and dragging her comrade to safety.

As the party caught its breath following their first ever fight as soldiers in the Army of the New Dawn, they set about the grisly task of beheading the felled Skags and Hollows. While taking care of the Hollow from the burning building, Marcus found a partially burned note clutched in its hand ( Session 1 – Partially Burned Letter ). The note was from an unnamed person who was evidently part of an organization of Undead owing allegiance to “The Black Sun”. The note was pleading with the addressee to join the forces of the Black Sun which would remain in the area and mentioned an upcoming conflict.

Meanwhile, Erin was tending to the traumatized Liam, she noticed that the darkness around his eyes was streaking from his tears, like a stain or mud. Upon further questioning, he reluctantly admitted that he was not Marked. His mother was Marked and had been taken to the Asylum. It was his goal to fake the Mark so that he could go to be with her. Erin did not draw the rest of the part’s attention to this discovery.

Realizing that the number of bodies and other evidence in the village pointed to a larger force than the skags they had just killed, the party rushed to get back to the Dawn Patrol encampment. They were greeted by the sounds of battle. Marcus, calling on the power of his dark ancestry transformed into an owl and rushed ahead without consulting with Brynn, who was appointed the leader of the group by Brecht. Erin momentarily ran into the woods with Liam and told him to hide in a tree till the battle was over. The party arrived just in time to help turn the tide of the battle as the three encamped Dawn Patrols had been set upon by a large number of Hollows and Skags apparently under the control of a man in full plate armor (a rarity and sign of great wealth). After the battle ended, over half of the Dawn Patrol’s numbers had been killed.

Calling the survivors together, Brecht laid out plans to split into two groups. He and the other surviving Decanus would take half of the Numerian and rush towards High Temple to report and to seek reinforcements. Meanwhile, Brynn would take leadership of the remainder of the force and escort the remaining Marked to the nearby town of Munson. There they were to alert the population to the danger in the area and fortify the town as best as possible. Upon arrival Brynn was to give control of the men to Justicar Tillman, who lived in Munson and was a retired veteran Decanus.

As preparations were made to depart, Brecht called Brynn to his tent. There he made her promise to keep Animus Emilia alive and safe as it was a promise he had made to her dead mother. He felt that the greater risk lay with the group heading back to High Temple as whoever was behind the attacks would want to delay report of their presence as long as possible.

At the end of the session, the party was making preparations to leave the encampment for the town of Munson at first light…

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Session 1

Session 1: It all Starts with a Nightmare…

Erin Efari dreamed that she was on patrol hunting a deer through the woods. She rested at the foot of 4 statues of the Ancient Gods, however she noted that the face of Hoernir, the god of Knowledge had been intentionally destroyed. Her attention was drawn away from the statues as she heard a sound a little ways off. Following the noise, she saw a Hollow eating a small corpse. Instinctively, she drew her bow and shot the creature with little effect. As the Hollow raised its head and Erin realized that it was her mother and that the dream was of herself as a child. Erin’s hollow mother advanced on her saying “Come here child, I need to open your eyes!” and “I need to show you something, there is something you need to see!”. Upon reaching her, the Hollow drove its thumbs into Erin’s eyes, bursting them and causing her to wake up.

She was rescuded from falling from the crow’s nest she had been performing her watch duties in by Tanner, a Numerian also from the 13th Patrol. After some small talk, Erin and Tanner became aware that the aloof and intensely unpopular Animus, for the 13th Patroll Emilia Hynd was walking below them. Just as Tanner was about to spit on the unsuspecting Animus’ head below Erin tried to stop him…

Brynn (during the same time as above)
Called from the evening’s festivities by Emilia Hynd, Brynn stoically took being treated like a servant in stide. However, a request to be called “sister” by the aloof Animus crossed the line for Brynn who reminded Emilia that she had a real sister and that was not her. Obviously hurt by the exchange, Emilia finished putting on her armor and pulled on her mask to hide her tears started walking away. At that moment, Brynn saw Tanner preparing to spit on the Animus from the crows nest. Brynn whistled In an effort to warn Emilia, but instead drew the attention of the entire camp who saw the spit fall on the Animus’ head.

Seemingly omnicient, Brecht Gray Hart, the Decanus of the patrol immediatly called Brynn, Erin and Tanner into his tent. He continued to verbally berate the trio. He pointed out that they were Flame Brothers and as such would share in his punishment, if not the guilt. As the trio filled in the overfull camp latrines and began to dig new ones, they eavesdropped on a conversation between Brecht and Emilia where effectively berated the Animus to her to “quit acting like a princess” and act in a way that would earn the respect of the Numerian.

Marcus
Paying respect to the god Gwydian by watching the sunset, Marcus was intruded upon by a Marked child named Liam who had joined the patrol on his pilgrimage to the Asylum. Liam had become somewhat of the camp’s favorite with his childish antics and was given free reign of the camp. After a short conversation Liam departed and Marcus returned to camp.

After most of the camp had become unusually drunk on some wine gifted to the patrol by a local farmer they passed earlier, Marcus noticed that Liam was missing from his tent along with another Marked, a middle aged man from his same village by the name of Jimison. Fearing a false alarm and further beratement from Brecht, Erin (who was pulling double watch duty) was reluctant to notify the rest of the camp. After a failed attempt to scale the ladder to the crows nest by the clumsy Marcus, the general alarm was raised and it was realized that one of the Numerian that was on watch was also missing.

Using her tracking skills Erin deduced that the Numerain was physically overcome and hauled off by two adults (one assumed to be Jimison) accompanied by Liam. Fearing an ambush, Brecht readied the rest of camp and assigned Brynn, Erin, Marcus, Tanner and one other Numerian to follow the tracks and bring back the Marked if possible.

Along the way, they found the remains of the missing Eagle’s Tallon 3rd patrol caravan. Amongst the wreckage, they found the Decanus’ log (see Session 1 – Decanus Log which hinted at the cause of thier dissappearance.

Though the events occured several days previous, the tracks of the missing Dawn Patrol and those of the missing Marked, also going in the same direction were easy to follow. Venturing ahead of the Group Erin unwittingly set off a trap that rang bells in the trees overhead. Further investigation showed that there were several traps like these, but they had been largely neglected over some time. Finding a new hiding spot, Erin came upon several huts near a riverbank. Dead bodies were strewn about the little settlement. She could make out the forms of Jimison and Liam warming themselves by a fire in the middle of the camp. As the rest of the group tried to catch up with Erin, they were set upon by a pack of Skags. During the battle, the Numerian, Inala was struck down while the party killed 5 of the creatures. While saving Liam, Erin shot and killed Jimison and retreated to meet with the rest of the group. As they were about to return to the Dawn Patrol encampment and report, Liam reminded the party that the missing Numerian was still in ruins of the settlement.

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Prelude
Untested Mettle

Ashen Dreams Prelude

“Brecht’s Misfits”. “The Orphange”. “Misfortune’s Raiders”. These are some of the names others in High Temple have come to refer to your Patrol as behind your backs and in snickering whispers. Officially, you’re called Eagle’s Tallon, 13th patrol. The less than flattering names come from the fact that your Flame Brothers (term used regardless of gender) are comprised of more repentant criminals and social misfits than any other patrol in recent history. This combined with the fact that the number 13 is universally considered an unlucky number and the complete decimation of Brecht’s previous patrol, most do not hold hope that your patrol will last long in the field. These people seemingly neglect the fact they each of you were hand-picked by the legendary Decanus, Brecht Gray Hart. Each of you is unique in your skills and background. For the past year, you have been trained in your respective roles within the safety of the walls of High Temple. For the past three months, you have worked as a team and gotten to know eachother and how to function as a unit.

Commencement from the training fields of High Tower is an anxiously anticipated moment when many young, aspiring Dawn Patrols dream of glories to be won on the battlefield and Hope to be brought to the shivering masses of the world. Unfortunately, your commencement was diminished somewhat by your first assignment and a reassignment of the Animus you have been training with.

Your patrol has been assigned a new Animus: Emilia Hynd. Emilia is the youngest daugher of the famous Pretorian, Cedric Hynd who is credited with turning back a horde of savage barbarians that nearly breached the walls of High Temple itself a decade ago. Rumor has it that Emilia’s father spent a considerable amount of gold to ensure that his daughter safely remained a Soul Tender within High Temple for the remainder of her life. He was reportedly furious when Emilia was personnally selected to become an Animus by Marius, Avatar of Gwydion. It was then that Cedric Hynd called on his Flame Brother, Brecht to serve as the Decanus for Emilia. As such, she has become your Flame Brother.

Your first field patrol will only take you two weeks travel from the Walls of High Temple. Even at the the furthest point of the route, there has not been any reported Hollow, Skag, or Neverborn Cultist activities for nearly a decade. There is little doubt that this is a result of Cedric Hynd’s influence and desire to keep his daughter out of harm’s way.

Some of the Numerian in the Patrol are angered by this as they see her privelage and her father’s protection are keeping them from gaining glory and advancement. To make matters worse, she has lived a sheltered life and is ill prepared for the rigors of life on the road, let alone to act as the spiritual leader of a Dawn Patrol. Over the past week, her constant complaints about food and sleeping arrangement quality have begun to wear on everyone’s nerves. Be that as it may, no one dares complain about her around Brecht, who would be quick to repremand and punish them for doubtnig his decicion to bring her into the Patrol.

You have spent the past two weeks on the road, visiting several towns, collecting taxes and the souls of the dead from Carcerian Temples. Five Marked have even joined the Patrol and will be commence on their pilgrimage to the Undead Asylum under your protection.

A day ago you met up with the Eagle’s Tallon 4th and the 6th patrols. The plan is to await the arrival of the 3rd patrol and then move east as a group to the Coast and the Undead Asylum…

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