Shadows of Esteren: The Gaes of Tulg

Omens, Part V

Shadows over Dearg, chapter 2

The characters gather Adso from the temple in Dearg, and return to the mine. On the trip out, everybody shares what they know about a Twrch trwyth, and now all are aware of its rapid healing, that can be countered by using a blade forged of meteoric iron. In the mine, a five foot diameter iron ring (later determined to be meteoric iron) is found inlaid in the floor, with a Soustraine sigil carved in the stone floor within it, as well as an altar that looks like it was designed and used for blood sacrifices. And all of it suggests that there was no Twrch trwyth, but instead something else going on.

When the characters return to town, they find that Jearon had found the nest of Cnaigh, caged them, and brought them back to town. Airgead, Adeliane, and Kavan Mac Dougal made the cure for the poisonous bites, and saw to it that it was distributed.

That night, as the characters sleep, they have prophetic (?) dreams. Crone Mab is awoken by a visit from Sir Maedoc, who explains that the Hilderen Knights have been drinking blood from a Chalice, a relic that gives them strength and luck in battle. And now, he reveals that Sir Argan Mac Darag intends to kill somebody rather than just sacrifice animals. They intend to kill a boy from Faeril for even greater powers, and Sir Maedoc could not stand by to let that happen.

Mab and Sorcha went to gather the other characters, without being discovered being out in the village. Before the whole of the party gets together – the alarm horn is sounded. Sir Maedoc had been killed, and the blame fell on Mina. Though she did not commit the crime, Sir Drustan claims that he had seen her shoot the arrows that killed Sir Maedoc. While some of the characters rush to Sir Maedoc, as Adso claims to have the miracle of resurrection, Mina takes refuge in the village temple. Adso is unable to return Sir Maedoc to life, but while there, Ælfric discovers evidence of Mina’s innocence – the arrows used are not hers, and the archer’s footprint is too large. When this evidence is brought to the Hilderen command tent, Sir Argan does not react well, but he does call off the hunt for Mina.

The characters decide to return to the mine, to destroy the temple there before the ritual can be performed. En route, they see a raptor overhead, flying in the direction they are heading, seeming with a purpose. Mina hits it with an arrow, and it falls. But, before it strikes the ground, it transforms into Dame Gwyn. She challenges the characters, and tempts Sir Alsandair with the benefits of the upcoming sacrifice. Resolute, Alsandair engages her in battle, followed by the rest of the party, save for Ælfric and Mab, who make for the mine – hoping to still succeed there, even if their companions can’t stop Gwyn. In the fight, Alsandair falls, but he is raised from the dead by Brother Adso! This undeniable miracle draws Gwyn’s full attention, but before she can strike down Adso, the returned Alsandair finishes her – she cries out for her master as she dissolves into ribbons of flesh, that in short order turn to dust.

At the mine, Ælfric and Mab pry the meteoric iron ring from the floor, and it is broken into three unequal parts. The rest of the characters arrive, and the Soustraine sigil and altar are destroyed as well. A massive thunderstorm has suddenly rolled in, that rages for the entire trip back to Daerg. Sir Drustan is manning the gates, and lets the characters back in. Alsandair is filled with righteousness, perhaps even fury, but Mab convinces him to give her an hour before he goes to challenge Sir Argan.

It is worth noting that the characters believe that there must be a third party involved in this Hilderen knights conspiracy, a sorcerer capable of summoning the demon that became Gwyn, as they do not think that it was Sir Argan.

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