Skull Pile llustration by Alex Damaceno @gnarledmonster "The World of Weirth is a setting much like a Hyborian Age, with danger at every turn, Swords & Sorcery magic, demons and mad prophets. Check the world of Weirth tab above for more info, including a draft of the Player’s Guide.

This episode is loosely based on the LFG Adventure Framework Dead Tree Grove, from the Midlands Low Magic Sandbox Setting.

Episode 6: The Returners

For the three characters who helped to free the faun from the brambles:

Green Lady Dream – During the night, you have a dream of an old, gnarled tree. Its leaves are dark, dark green, and the bark is almost black. There is a face in the bark, a somewhat feminine face, with sad, sad eyes. The “mouth” of the face opens wide, releasing a cloud of brown and orange butterflies. As the butterflies flutter around you, a rich, musical, sonorous voice surrounds you and vibrates inside you:
The Crimson Maiden has come, the Beekeepers have been routed, the Returner reaches for the key! You must put the pieces back together!
You awaken from your sleep fully healed (All of your wounds are healed, but the places where you were stuck/cut with the brambles have a coin-sized, shiny, puckered scar), clutching a long, antler-handled knife to your breast. Yes you can conceal it before anyone sees it. The carved-antler handle is warm to the touch and fits your hand perfectly, as though made especially for you.

Someone looks across the water, back at the Witch’s Island. They see a figure on the shore, wearing a yellow scarf tied around their head.
Get closer, they are standing on the dry part of the shore, holding a spear in their right hand. It’s the Man-at-Arms! Shavaligan cries out, “Spakos! We thought you were dead! We are coming to get you!”

She and her canoe row across the water, sliding up onto the muddy shoreline. Shavaligan clambers out of the canoe, and while she is struggling through the mud, gets closer, and…

Spakos stabs her with his spear! Right in the throat!
A spurt of blood splashes in his face, yet he seems not to notice. She makes a gurgling sound and topples backward, splashing into the muddy water.

Baxagos and the remaining henchman back-paddle like crazy!

In their panic to get away, they crash into Roinseach’s canoe, which nearly topples. They get entangled.

The other canoes approach the shore and the three Hunters fire a volley of arrows at the Returner. It takes two rounds of shooting to put him down! He topples to the side.

Shadoravan and Roinsach go ashore, wary of the bodies, while the others pull Shavaligan’s body from the mud. She is truly dead, as is the man-at-arms.
Arnbjorg pulls a scroll from her poke and, after the party digs a shallow grave, erects a small memorium and performs the Hex of Departure, sealing it with her blood.

This is the first time she has done it by herself, she cut herself rather badly, more than she expected. She does not feel very confident about the procedure, though she followed the scroll exactly.

NOTES: the Bloodroot trees have turned to mush, and smell awful. This keeps away other mundane creatures. The Party had no interest in looking at them, rather, they went to look at the body that had drawn their attention, but it was gone! Shadoravan mentioned that this island is cursed and gives her the creeps.

They followed the tracks toward the top of the hill, the ruins of the witch’s hut, and found two “People” in armor standing there. The Returners seemed to be just staring at the cairn the party had reassembled the previous day.

By chance they looked around and spotted the others, two more returners, in shredded leather armor, armed with halberds, coming up the hill toward them. The Hunters took aim and began to volley arrows. The other spread out, some hiding behind trees. Shavanoxil bent down to grab some stones and spotted the first two returners coming their way from the hut!

While the rest of the party engaged the halberdiers, Shava ran toward the others, in an attempt to draw them away. She threw her handful of stones and ran between the Returners, they attempted to strike back but were too slow.

Shava moved a bit further back and threw her knife, missing.

By now the party had managed to dispatch the halberd-bearing Returners, with only a wound to the Man-at-arms, when Shadoravan happened to turn and notice what was going on behind them. She shouted and they took the battle to the Returners.

There was a savage bit of spear-work and sword-slashing. Gulovil, Baxagos and the Man-at-arms took Fatal Wounds, collapsing into unconsciousness. After a flurry of strikes the two Returners were struck down. The party turned their attention to the wounded. The Man-at-arms was dead, the other two were able to be stabilized. Shadoravan was able to get a 7UP Feat for First Aid.

The hunters kept their bows ready while the party checked out these undead. The halberds were rusty but could be cleaned and sharpened. Shazoruval took one for herself.
The other two were wearing fine suits of armor, one brass with gold chasing. The party took the armor, narrowly avoiding bites from centipedes!

They were able to recover two gemstones, two High Quality Daggers (one in a scabbard engraved in elaborate calligraphy “Shamiruxin”; a High Quality Longsword with a Silvered blade (known to be potent against Fae creatures and Demons), a shagreen hilt and nn elaborate bronze flower on the pommel. Also two Amulets of Protection that caused a shiver, and two suits of armor one High Quality Iron Chainmail, the other High Quality Bronze Chain-and-breastplate with gold chasing. Both are tarnished and damaged.

The party performed another Ritual of Departure, creating the memorium for the four dead returners and the dead Man-at-arms.

Afterward, Shadoravan revealed that she’d had a strange dream the night before.

Collecting their wounded, the party returned to the boats and prepared to load up and head back to town.

We are not done yet…stay tuned!

LFG Playtest Campaign 1The Shadow of Evil Chaos is an experiment with a new (to me) game system, Low Fantasy Gaming, and a new magic hack designed to bring the atmosphere of danger from the pulp novels of Swords & Sorcery. We are playing fully online over a Discord Voice server, using some home-brew maps, art and characters designed on the HeroForge 3D printing site.
Follow all of the posts here: LFG Playtest Campaign 1.

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