Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ruins of Brinewall

The Brinewall Legacy 
Ruins of Brinewall

Arrival and exploration of Brinewall Village was a sombre affair, the original excitement and curiosity tempered both by the collapse of Ameiko into magical slumber and by the abandoned, ruined corpse of a village, left shattered and without life.

The valiant Tsumi and courageous Kankai carefully scouted ahead, ghosting through deserted long halls, collapsed and ruined buildings, all devoid of the warmth or family life that once flourished within, long ago. Exploring the village, nested beneath the ancient stone keep, they both felt oddly ill at ease. More than the eerie environment, both felt wary, both felt they were being watched.

They found the cemetery to be unusually well maintained, clearly tended by someone devoting time and care. It was Kankai's keen eyes that spied the goodly lyrakien flitting cautiously through the graveyard, warily weighing up the party and judging their intent. After animated discussion, with Avarizia's skills of diplomacy, the graceful lyrakien was persuaded to visit Koya and discuss aid they may be able to offer Ameiko. Unfortunately despite the two wise Clerics of Desna discussing causes and magics to aid Ameiko, sharing ideas and collaboration, casting various magics, the Clerics sadly still failed to rouse her. Fearing the cause must lie within the Brinewall Keep, as Sandru, Koya and Shalelu also suspected, the lyrakien agreed to keep vigil with the others whilst Tsumi, Kankai, Avarizia and Morvius explored the mysteries of the keep, seeking both the lost lore or wisdom within, but also the cause and remedy of Ameiko's unnatural slumber.

Kankai discerned the secret passages into the brooding keep, guiding the party deep within the bowels of the castle, skulking into the chill gloom of harsh stone dungeons where troglodytes and the hulking birdlike dire corbies raged 'pon them. The wise and powerful Avarizia wielded her magics and commanded her skeletal ogre, with the enthusiastic Morvius' mighty jolts of crackling electricity, thwarted most assailants 'til a fearsome ogre joined the melee, terrifyingly wieling a massive club, bashing and bruising bones, almost shattering Avarizia with one swipe. It was bold Kankai's flashing wakizashi blades, with Tsumi tenaciously battling with her twin katanas, that found purchase through his defenses and dropped the dread brute, to then tend Avarizia before cautiously exploring the dungeon the ogre so vigorously defended.

Caged within was a wary young woman, Kankai spoke kindly with her in Skald, then Avarizia spoke with her calmly and warmly, enticing her to share her name, Kelda Oxgutter.

Returning her arms and armour to her, healing her from the numerous wounds inflicted through her cruel torment, the party battled with her 'gainst more troglodytes and dire corbies before reaching Brinewall Village and then, outside, Sandru's bright caravan.

Kelda's gratitude extended to offering her blade to guard the caravan, brightening immeasurably when later she learnt of intentions to journey further North . . .

Returning to Brinewall Keep, the party advanced through the dungeons, facing many adversaries before encountering a hideous other worldly fiend that effortlessly shrugged off every spell Morvius cast at it, furiously tearing in to the party without mercy, until Kankai and Tsumi's blades finally slew the monstrosity.

It was Kankai, learned in local lore, who recognised one of the restless dead. A wraith, brooding with potent menace, had risen up before them. She recalled seeing the portrait of this person, Rokuro Kaijitsu, Ameiko's grandfather, within Ameiko's house. Speaking words of gentle kindness to him he recognised the words and name Kankai voiced, understanding and peace passing through him before he disappeared into naught but dust and silence.

Deep within the keep were lost treasures amounting to both crude coin and items ensorcelled with powerful magics, but the stone dragon statuette changed everything, once found. Incredible, unbelievable magics raged with urgency from the Amatatsu Seal artifact, washing over the four friends and gifting them potent visions of the past and of the future, or of a future, that may come to be whilst binding the four of them to Ameiko and her destiny, through awaking within them an affinity with Ameiko's royal lineage and claim to the royal House. Truly, they were now bound to Ameiko and her fate.

Returning to find Ameiko awake and well, the news was shared around warmth and wine, musing over what this means and what next to do. Knowledge was shared from the Amatatsu Seal that Ameiko's family's sword Suishen was lost, when sold within the viking city of Kalsgard, and a guide from there must be found to guide them over the arctic wastes if Ameiko is to venture to Minkai. Knowing this, after a night's rest and comfort and shared company, Sandru's caravan took stock and left Brinewall, and Varisia, heading North the next morn towards the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, and Kalsgard.

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