As summer’s heat begins to fade, the promises of cooler weather and glorious color are fall’s gifts to Fallthorne’s inhabitants. It’s the time of year where its citizens rejoice in the abundance of a good harvest and celebrate the new season with festivities. The greatest of these festivities is the Celestial Harvest which takes place in the Kingdom of Fallthorne every year on the beginning of third week of fall. Citizens from all of Meher come to enjoy vendor’s crafts, farmer’s harvests, a healthy bit of drinking and eating, feats of strength of athletics, and storytelling. The Festival is then concluded by pinning each kingdom’s event winners against each other in the crowd favorite Champions of Meher. This year’s festival features a very special and revered guest: Nyhm. He is a legendary soothsayer and storyteller of legends of old. He is rumored to lead the storytelling event – a spectacle not to be missed. In addition, this year’s prize money for the Champions of Meher has been increased to 500gp.
Our heroes, upon learning of the substantial prize money, began their journey from their respective towns (or woods in Merrin’s case) towards the Kingdom of Fallthorne each with their own motives.
Young “Crazy” Merrin Leaffoot, had been living in the wilderness, hunting and foraging for some time. He’d left the boundaries of Hillygalde for the adventure, freedom and….”experiences” of the woods and it’s plant life. While camping by Lake Tare, he noticed two humanoids across the lake with their own small make-shift campsite and decided to investigate it further. Upon sneaking up on the campers, he immediately recognized paraphernalia associated with engaging in alternative reality and made himself known to them. The two startled humans Calpa and Reoter recognized him as a cult hero of sorts and were immediately taken by his celebrity among people seeking alternative reality. They invited Merrin to accompany them to the Celestial Harvest, which he agreed to do. Merrin suggested they cut directly through the forest to the north in hopes of cutting time off their journey to the Kingdom of Fallthorne. Calpa and Reoter eager followed Merrin and they began their ascent into the wilderness, forgoing the road for the untamed wild.
Victor “Deadeye” Dundee had dreams of owning his own piece of the mine he’d been contracting for or perhaps running his own business with the prize money Lord Darious was offering. Taking the opportunity, Victor made plans to take some time away from work and make haste for the Kingdom of Fallthorne and participate in the Celestial Harvest events. Leaving alongside several citizens of the Barony of Harringwold, he began the two day journey to the kingdom with plans of resting for the night in the town of Goldwyn.
Denon, as he is known to the citizens of the small mountain town of Oin, had his heart set on competition and putting his father’s teachings of astrological observation and practice to use at the harvest’s events. The Teifling set out down the narrow mountain road towards Goldwyn to mingle among the many humans, elves, halflings and dwarves of the Kingdom of Fallthorne.
While Merrin and his new companions traveled with great ease north through the wilderness, Victor arrived in Goldwyn, rented a room at the Goldwyn Inn and briefly enjoyed the festivities at the pub before retiring for the night to rehearse his fighting techniques. Dressed in a hooded cloak and flowing robes, Denon entered Goldwyn and endured the initial suspicion from the town’s guards. After checking into the Inn and having a pint in the pub, Denon began to blend into the crowd of merry makers and enjoyed an evening of peace.
The next morning the heroes made their respective way closer to the Kingdom of Fallthorne. Desiring a more private walk, the Teifling left Goldwyn early and journeyed up the road in solitude. Victor, departing later that morning found his endurance eventually pushing him through the crowds as he found himself trailing only Denon up the path to the Kingdom. Merrin, not hampered by his company’s untrained legs, nimbly navigated his way to the path leading to the Kingdom of Fallthorne.
It was Merrin who first spotted a caravan halted in the road ahead only a few miles from the gates of the kingdom. The caravan was surrounded by many humanoids and two guard dogs. Whether for amusement or fear that his reality was not in tact, he sent his companions to investigate, while he rested safely in the woods from the caravan’s filed of view. Both Calpa and Reoter approached the scene only to be spotted and told to halt. Merrin quickly glided through the woods to observe for himself what the situation entailed. With great Stealth, he moved towards his companions and discovered that a group of bandits was holding up a caravan destined for the Celestial Harvest. The bandits recognizing that Calpa and Reoter posed little threat and judging by their ragged appearance, most likely had no possessions of value, disregarded their presence and pressed into the driver, Sillo. As the bandits drew near, the driver, Sillo was heard yelling, “No, ya damn brigands, stay away from me cart. I’m just tryin’ ta make an honest living on ma way to the Celestial Harvest…please, nooo!” During this time, Denon had approached the back of the Caravan from the east and attempted to enter into stealth in broad daylight in the middle of an unobstructed road. While he was undetected by the 3 bandits and their minions, one of the two guard dogs spotted him and began growling. As Denon slowly retreated, the two dogs made their way to him in defense of their master’s territory. Merrin flew into action, firing two arrows instantly killing of one the minion’s approaching the driver and injuring one of the guard dogs bent on attacking Denon. The bandit closest to the driver witnessed Denon’s presence and alerted the team. The second bandit wheeled around just in time to catch a blast of eldritch energy from Denon, before the warlock’s presence faded from his sight. As Denon moved away from the scene his presence became harder to identify as his shape appeared as shadows, which made the dog’s attack considerably harder to determine his space on the road.
Witnessing this, Victor positioned himself to the forest’s edge in effort to conceal his position. He whispered to the Teifling to come to his side for aide. But his efforts went unnoticed as Denon became entrentched in a battle with the two dogs as well as the approaching pair of bandits. Meanwhile Merrin shifted through the forest and unloaded more arrows into the fray. A third bandit came into his view. Merrin noticed her as a female with a scar across her right cheek and several potion like containers across her belt line. She locked gazes with Merrin for a brief second, before Merrin deftly made his way near his original position, losing him in the woods. The remaining minion jumped into the cart and held a blade to the driver’s neck, fearing the same fate of his companion. As the dogs and bandits closed in on Denon, Victor made his way into combat and produced a glaive that he immediately put to use on one of the attacking dogs, crippling it badly. Alerted to his presence, the bandits made their way towards Victor. meanwhile, Denon surprised even himself when, in a great act of acrobatics and athletics, he cut down a dog trying to flank him, with his staff and mortally wounded an encroaching bandit with magic.
In the interim, the female bandit had located Merrin in the woods and zeroed in on his position, firing three shots, all missing the halfing narrowly. Angry with herself, she shifted to the wagon and attempted to take cover while reloading her crossbow. Determining that she was a formidable opponent, Merrin wasted no time, removing himself from concealment long enough to focus his full attention on her position and loading a series of arrows directly into her, bringing her to her knees bleeding badly.
The surviving dog attempted to flank Victor and successfully engaged him, biting him across the leg, bringing Victor to his knee before deftly recovering. During this time the remaining bandit attempted to seize victor’s lack of temporary defense. As the bandit charged upon him, Victor began an attempt to parry the oncoming attack. As his glaive rose, Victor’s world suddenly replaced by a vision of a great field of battle, with thousands of men in the midst of combat at the foot of a field of volcanic activity, and dragon riders flying through the sky. As quick as the vision had come, it was replaced by reality and startled, he swung his glaive upwards in and incredible fashion that tore the attacking bandit to pieces. Amazed by this temporary feat of strength and coordination, he quickly prepared to dispatch of the remaining guard dog. With the length of the glaive on his side and Denon’s magic readied, they disposed of the remaining dog. Unknown to the others, Denon himself had experienced a vision. Earlier while defending himself from one of the bandits, he had a vision of a great open sea followed by an enormous, sea creature rising from it. It too had dismissed itself fro his memory as soon as it entered.
Witnessing the choas, the minion released his prisoner and made a break for the safety of the northern woods. Merrin quickly reacted, loading an arrow and firing a mortal shot into the fleeing minion. He then turned his attention to the remaining bandit lying near the wagon, injured, but reloading her crossbow. As Merrin prepared to fire, he experienced hi own vision. The sensation of flying high above a great city and countryside. The vision was concluded as a great talon entered his dream’s field of view. Snapping out of the experienced he focused another shot that killed the last bandit.
The heroes checked each other for injuries that required immediate attention and then focused on the caravan driver. Sillo remarked, “Thank ya, boys. Boy you really saved me and ma cart.” Recognizing their considerable skill he remarked, “Hmm, you boys could come in handy for a fella like me. Whaddya say I pay yer way into the Celestial Harvest and you, boys accompany me?” The adventurers agreed and briefly introduced themselves to each other. Merrin’s companions declined, noting that the adventurer’s lifestyle was way over their heads and parted ways to the festival on their own.
After the advanturer’s ascent through King’s pass, they arrived at the gates of Fallthorne’s Kingdom. It was a magnificent sight to behold. Enormous walls of finely crafted stone, from the Brandyback Mountains, gave protection to Fallthorne’s ruling kingdom. Soldiers were perched at the top of the gate’s entrance, two on each side, and merchants were already spilling out of the kingdom and into the road below waiting to relieve travelers of their coin in exchange for food, drink and merriment. An older gentlemen, Jarvek, welcomed the group. “Greetin’s travelers! Welcome to the Celestial Harvest. Come right inside and enjoy. If yer carryin’ any weapons, please check ‘em with the gates. We don’t aim fer any trouble this or any other year.” The heroes responded, preparing to surrender their weapons, when Sillo yelled to Jarvek how these boys saved his life and cart. Jarvek, eying their weapons aznd listening to Sillo’s tale said, “Oh, come to compete have ya? Well, you’ll be wantin’ to see Ulvik, the game master. He can help ya. Still you’ll have to check yer weapons at the gate. Can’t be havin’ people tryin to sneak ‘pointies’ in to settle ‘disputes’ after a fussin’ of drinks.” The adventurer’s surrendered their weapons to Ulvik inside the gate. Ulvik insisted on them looking around and remarked, “Well, there’s lots to do lads, lots. Just look fer the event signs and the large poster board in the middle of the square.” While Denon remained in the wagon, both Victor and Merrin walked towards the poster board and obtained a listing of the events and observed a map of the kingdom, before settling in to enjoy the Celestial Harvest’s many events and festivities.