Vengeance of the Winter Court

first day of campaign

1st day of the month of the Steed
Year 322 after the reign of the great khan 3399cy
Waking up in the inn: “The Blackbear’s Board” and gathering our belongings we find ourselves on our way to the Galeridge tournament in the honour of sir Peter Ballards name day. An unlikely alliance of four forged in our cups. Revion and I teamed up with Bard: “Rosalie” and Genasi: “Virdan".
The human bard Rosalie is very charismatic and had no problem entertaining the people in the inn last night. It is apparent that she flatters and flirts left and right to get her ways and doesn’t hesitate to swindle and cheat for personal gain as well, I even saw the innkeep Barret Fordelt stealing glances at her. She makes her own plan and is not a type to swear healthy to someone and obey orders. Rosalie the Bard seems unpredictable and not extremely bothered by morals. I’d say she makes for a good friend and a dangerous enemy.
Rosalie’s main weapons are her lute and her silver tongue but she has showed some great skill with rapier and throwing knives as well.
The wizard Virdan does draw some attention in these parts. He is a genasi so far he has been quiet about his past but a traveller once told me Genasi come from a different plane of existence via some advanced magic. There is an aura of greatness about him and although he does not indulge in smalltalk often, it is apparent from his sparse remarks that this is a very intelligent being though not extremely knowledgeable about our ways in this world. Virdan looks neat with his blue appearance and the shining orb he uses to channel his spells but also carries a crossbow in case some physical damage is required.
I was curious how my old friend the wood elf Revion would fare in a company bigger than the two of us. I have described Revion as naive, emotional and socially awkward. This druid knows how to enjoy his drink though and matched me cup for cup last night. Nobody seems to care if you speak your mind or show your emotions while in your cups so the others seemed to take after him well enough. Revion seems ill at ease in the middle of this crowd as he much prefers to be in the wild, I do my best comfort my dear and wise friend. I tend to be protective of him and his well-being is important for me. I won’t dwell on why as some doors better remain closed even in writing.
Revion feels best with his wooden staff in hand casting spells or using his druidcraft. He is also a fair shot with the bow.
Which leaves me, half-elf Æthelred Scardsdale, Red Wargsbane. as a barbarian not a stranger to a life in the wild but on my best in the company of people. I don’t like violence and try to be an amiable fellow to whoever I meet, I am not scared to intimidate people to prevent a fight though.
There are some battles that one can only win with pen and parchment but when I face an enemy in battle I have no use for spells or bows. I’d much rather have some fine steel in hand, preferable my great axe or some simple throwaxes.
Walking through Galeridge the town is bustling and alive with participants and spectators of the tournament. Market salesman trying to make a penny off the crowd and undoubtedly also cutpurses and other scum trying to take advantage of many a fat purse. Walking towards the tourney ground to subscribe ourselves to the various elements of the tourney I am surprised to see her Peter Ballard to take the names down himself, is he in need of a scribe? Rosalie and me both subscribe for the bard’s contest and the mêlée, Virdan is content wait for the wizarding contest to come to action and Revion (probably still drawing courage from the ale of last night) doesn’t hesitate to subscribe to every single element of the tourney. See Ballers looks at region reserved and inquires after his steed and lance. Revion admits he doesn’t have any and withdraws from the jousting but insists he wants to join in the archery competition.
Killing a few spare hours we drift off towards the market stalls to browse. Revion walks confident towards a halfling selling bows. and asks for a longbow, even from a distance I can observe it’s a good bow and Revion will not be able to afford it. I see Rosalie who has stayed close to Revion bend over the stall while adjusting her dress to show a little more of her bosom, a few words later and the halfling seems to have a nosebleed and Revion walks from the stall with the bow. I think back of some women from my past who behaved in similar ways to further themselves in the social order of the community. Those women would seldom succeed with a few words and a suggestive smile alone for where I came from, a strong man had the right to take as he pleased. Still the strategy seemed to work well enough for Rosalie and I noted the advantages of enticing the opposite sex. I turned away from Revion and Rosalie for a second in search of a salesman of books and scrolls. One of the leather tomes was on the history of monastic orders in the north. The salesman drove a hard bargain but I managed to leave with the book in my possession and the intention to study it shortly.
After loitering around for a little longer and preparing for the afternoon the start of the tournament was upon us. The archery competition is the first test and we cheered on Revion as he stands in the pitch with his newly acquired longbow. His opponents are Allera, Martin, Bengar, Tholo, and Heria. Each round means the end of one contestant until the grand finale. Revion ties for last place twice but manages keep himself in the game. Some loud cheers at strategic times and a little commotion around the scoreboard supplied by the rest of us works in his favour and Revion ultimately comes forth champion of the archery contest!
Next on the programme is the Brawl or Mêlée. Rosalie, Revion and I appear on the field to work our way to victory together. Competing alongside us are: Holden, Terrenus, Carolinn, Nyrani, Mirus, Maria, Trent and Bolus. We start in a corner of the field and see Carolinn run towards us as soon as the starting signal is given. I engage her and manage to take her out with the flat of my greataxe while taking some damage to my shoulder myself. Rosalie meanwhile catches the attention of Holden and knocks him flat out with one blow using her rapier.
Near us Maria and Bolus are hacking at each other with their clubs while on the opposite side of the field the other contestants are locked in a carnage. As Revion heals my shoulder Rosalie makes her way to the very centre of the pitch and did something very unexpected. She took out her lute and started a rhythmic song! As I make my way towards Bolus and Maria I hear several people in the audience clapping on the beat of the song. Bolus goes down quickly beneath my greataxe, he had his back to me facing Maria. Maria however has her guard up. Luckily Rosalie had caressed my hindquarters in an encouraging way and I am intend on Impressing her. Maria goes down with a sickening crunch and in my haste to turn towards the others I might have broken her leg as well.
Revion meanwhile tries to join in on Rosalie’s song with his flute but can’t quite catch on. As I am running up they decide to leave the music for what it is and make their way towards the last remaining survivors of the carnage up north. Terrenus and Mirus are the only ones left standing and between us we make short work of them. We are crowned victors of the mêlée.
We sit back and relax during the tournament in which we don’t partake. Tall slim youths and older portly knights clad in steel and silk with colourful emblems upon their shields crash into each other repeatedly. In the end a broad shouldered youth with blonde locks unhorses his opponent and wins the prize. I note that the youth has a shield with three brownish red small birds on a field of green and hear people talking about this sir Winston, son and heir of Lord Chaffinch.
Next on the programme is the Bard’s contest. It’s Revion, Rosalie and me in the lists again but now we are rivals. Rosalie seems to have an endless repertoire of songs. As she plays it is apparent however that not everything about her performance is faultless. She even breaks a string off her lute. Revion tries to woo the audience with his flute-play. He manages to keep attention for one round but fails to entice the crowd the second round. I start off myself with an old origin song from the tribe, go on with a fire song that is also from the tribe but sadly strike out with a bawdy drinking song that fails to take grasp among the crowds. In an exciting standoff Rosalie and a bard named Syndiron the Green go round after round until Syndiron can’t take the pressure anymore and in beaten by Rosalie. Victory on the bard’s contest!
Finally, the hour on which Virdan has waited is upon us. The magic competition! The crowd starts to whisper when he enters the lists and gasps are hears here and there. The crowd goes completely silent however as he starts to hover mid-air using his with the Wind. He casts magic missiles that scatter all around and finally makes the image of a boar appear using some form of find familiar. The boar gallops over the head of the crowds. The boar inspires a lot of reaction as it is the sigil of this town and several people turn around and smile at sir Peter Ballard. The boar disappears quickly as Virdan’s time is up.
Next it’s Revion’s turn and he uses his druidcraft to make flowers appear in his hands and I see how he gives them to girls in the audience. I am surprised to see Revion behave so social and chivalrous. Next he makes a raincloud appear. The applause is decent but it is apparent that he did not beat Virdan.
Last up is a wizard named Boris the Sorcerer. He tries to use some kind of fire magic but quickly sets his own robe on fire mucking up his show. Virdan is victorious!
At this hour something weird and unexplainable happens. The sky darkens and some kind of bats appear out of nowhere and start wreaking havoc spitting a burning substance out of their mouths. Chaos ensues while commons and nobles alike try to find a safe haven. Before we can organize a defense against these bats they take their distance again while a giant lumbering bear is walking up the other side of the lists. It is instantly apparent that this is no ordinary bear. It’s not quite on fire but it seems that his skin is hot as any fire and his pelt is smouldering. Revion quickly casts a spell that make vines grow out of the ground to entangle the bears feet. It works and the bear can’t move. Rosalie throws a knife at the bear while I get a little closer and throw an axe. Virdan cocks his crossbow but has difficulty to aim and sends a crossbow bolt in my back. I stumble but regain my balance. Everybody continues to perform ranged attacks on the bear while I get in close to use my greataxe on it. Ultimately it is Revion’s arrow that takes the bear down in a swirl of embers.
With the bear down the Bats seem to go in full flight. A short investigation leads us to find out that the bear came from the northern hills and I make a crude map of the trail. Going back into town Sir Peter Ballard invites us over for dinner. We discuss the beast and the tournament over dinner and receive our pouches of gold. We furthermore agree that Sir Peter grants us a room in his keep, freedom of his library and 4 good horse. He also promises us 400 gold if we can trace the origin of the bear and 400 more if we make sure this was the last time a thing like this happened.
As of now, I sit in said library to pen down the adventures of the day. I’ll end this epilogue of the 1st day of the month of the steed now to give myself some time to read the book I bought and flip through some interesting books Sir Peter keeps in his library.

Æthelred Scardsdale

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