Prelude: Harvest's End

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Tribe of One
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Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Tribe of One » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:32 pm

The long days are past, long nights yet to come. A fey wind blows at the crossroads of seasons, as autumnal lords hold back winter's power ...

The absence of the local lord and the shuttering of his keep have cast an uncharacteristic silence over the lands south of the Weald, but empty seats at the high table cannot slow the march of the seasons. As the long days of summer gave way to autumn's haze, the people of Hirstwall and neighboring villages worked their fields and orchards as they always have, harvesting the fruits of their labor and storing them away for the coming winter, which has been known to turn from mild to monstrous overnight.

The reaping done, the villages gather at the festival downs as they have for generations. Honoring the autumn equinox, the celebration provides a chance to mingle and trade before cold weather makes travel more difficult. The village youth, the festival offers games and competitions, as well as an opportunity to socialize with a larger network of potential friends, suitors and rivals ...

You and your friends were among the contingent from Hirstwall who attended the festival. Walking home under the harvest moon, you regale your fellows with the tales of your exploits as fireflies light your path ...

[Write a short interlude describing something your character did when the villages gathered for the harvest festival. If you need inspiration, feel free to draw a card to determine a theme (see p. 130 of SWADE). When done you can either a) gain a Benny or b) spend a Benny and gain a prize acquired at the festival -- perhaps your character came in first in the festival games and was awarded the Harvest Spear, purchased a strange book from a merchant, or won an over-sized gold coin in a dice game.]

GM Bennies: 1/8

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Vespernys du Lac
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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Vespernys du Lac » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:21 am

1d4: 4

Road from Hirstwall
Round 0

Lady Vespernys du Lac -- or simply Vesper, as she was known her her friends -- was quiet as the party walked back from the harvest festival in Hirstwall. She had been excited to go. It had taken a month to convince her mother to let her. Most everyone in the village who could had gone. When permission had been gotten, Vesper had packed a bag with what she called her secret, a surprisingly light chain shirt, a hooded green cloak, her dagger and longbow and a quiver of arrows. Once they were in Hirstwall, Lady Vesper disappeared into the woods, and a hooded young lad had joined the festivities of the harvest festival.

Vesper did well in the archery competitions, but when the local lord called for the general melee, her mood had darkened, and she had withdrawn from the competitions. It was too soon. Too soon since she had accidentally killed a man in a tourney. She changed back into her dress and acted the proper young lady for the rest of the festival.

Now she was back in her woodsman garb. It was more practicable for travel, especially at night. As the rest of those around her chatted and laughed, Vesper just looked up at the harvest moon and stars.


Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (3)
Bennies: 4/3
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Gamil » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:09 pm

Gamil walked behind the others on the road home. He had recorded many of the events of the festival and would be setting them in proper relief when he was no longer on the road.

He had been asked by John Smiles to serve the locally made beer to the festival goers. So he had served beer and traded stories with the visitors to the festival. A festival favorite was the hazelnut and oat stout. Gamil was grateful that John had packed several barrels of it.

It was during a particular rousing tale that Gamil had recieved an odd payment. Hands full of beer mugs, he had not seen the individual who had slipped him a runestone as payment for a mug of homemade brew.

So it was he found himself rubbing the runestone that was in his pocket as the friends walked their way back home.

SPEND a Benny to earn a prize. ACQUIRED a Runestone.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Kaya » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:15 pm

The harvest festival was one of the few highlights of the year and drew in folk from the neighbouring villages. Not one for competitions, Kaya bided her friends good luck and instead took to doing what she loved best: dancing.

She twirled and whirled through the crowds, her body moving to the tune of the instruments present and encouraged the few musicians present to play up. As well as the Hirstwall lads, there were young men from the other villages who were captivated by her performance and were soon baying for her attention. She teased them, played hard to get even though she had no real interest in them other than letting them ply her with drink so she could sit with them and listen as they boasted about themselves and their village. She had learned that no matter how embellished it is, there is always a gleam of truth and she could always compare to the rumours that did the rounds in order to determine the actual truth of things.

When nighttime fell and the moon climbed into the sky, Kaya took to dancing once more in front of the bonfire. As the festival was drawing to a close she danced the prastonata, the Vistanni traditional evening dance, as her last performance before heading home with her friends. She half-listened as they regaled everyone with their exploits at the festival, her attention was focused on a curious gold coin she'd received at some point for her performance. It was unlike anything she'd seen before and she wondered where it had come from.

SPEND a Benny; ACQUIRED an Oversized Gold Coin.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Jaenelle » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:19 am

Jaenelle, normally so reserved and quiet (so as to not force others to acknowledge her presence), was actually humming lightly to herself as the group walked home.

While everyone else had been involved in the normal festivities, Jaenelle had participated in her first Festival of Shadows. Everyone knew that the selection of the host village for the Harvest Festival (and, indeed, other events of a similar nature) was a matter of negotiation among the leaders. What few knew is the role the Tenders played in that process.

The village chosen was always one that had seen an upsurge in minor Disquiets--those unsettling sounds and sights that foretold some sort of potential trouble later down the line. The Tenders in each village would assess their current state, and if the situation was serious enough, make a comment to the village leadership (whether lord, mayor or council) to advocate more strongly to be chosen. (Jaenelle wondered to herself, now, if Lord du Lac had ever yet conveyed to Vespernys these customs.)

This year's host village had been plagued by lesser omens of ill fortune--always a serious issue when winter is coming. So the Tender there had made an especially strong appeal, not only to the village's selectmen, but also via direct correspondence with the other Tenders, who then advised their own lords and leaders to go with this choice.

And thus, the Festival of Shadows--while the rest of the populace played games and danced and celebrated, the Tenders would, for one night, act in concert, dashing about and using both mundane and, if they had the gift, magical abilities to help correct the settlement's issues. To the rest of the attendees, it would look (by design) as if the Tenders were being stand-offish or playing macabre games among themselves, which meant they were avoided--which was good, as it meant there would less likely be some sort of alarm that might actually worsen the situation.

Jaenelle had performed her own tasks admirably, in particular driving off a will-o-the-wisp that had been luring the local sheep flocks into the nearby moor to drown. As one of the more magically gifted Tenders in the region (contrary to folklore, many Tenders had little or no magical talent, at all--most of their duties had no need for such), Jaenelle was able to provide services that few could match.

The eldest Tender present traditionally would bestow small tokens to those who had done well, and this year was no exception. Hanging from a leather thong about her neck, Jaenelle now wore an amulet in the shape of a circular disc with a hole in the center, made of cold iron. Etched into the surface of one side was the constellation of Celebran, the Protector; the elder Tender, a man named Cestus van Horn, had told Jaenelle that it was supposed to provide some protection against fey magics. Even if it did no actual warding, just bearing it would mark her as standing out among her peers.
OOC Comments
Spend a benny to get a prize. As for what the amulet does, who knows? Maybe a boost or reroll on resisting Powers used by fey, maybe just a social benefit when dealing with other Tenders.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Neil » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:37 pm

Neil decided to put on two performances for the festival, and he arrived earlier than most to prepare. It would be a test of his prowess with illusion magic, as he would craft each scene himself before the audience. It would be difficult, but Neil was confidant it could be done.

He had bartered with the innkeeper for seating, and set about arranging his space. Neil chose to set up near the food and drink stalls so that the children, and later adults, could get food and drink easily during his shows. This was part of his deal with the innkeeper, and after Neil's preparations were complete, he helped prepare food for the festival (the other part of his deal).

For the children, Neil's first performance was a retelling of one of Hirstwall's heroes who braved the woods to save a young woman from a band of goblins. They stole her away to their den in the woods. After thwarting and ambush, the hero was able to track the goblins to the den. He fought through to find the young woman.

She was restrained beside an elderly goblin. In his hands was a gnarled staff, and he was clearly a shaman for this tribe. He used his magics to subdue the hero, but a pendant the hero wore glowed brightly just as the magic took hold of the hero, shattering the effect.

Delivered safely from what surely would have been his death, the hero struck the surprised shaman down and made short work of the remaining goblins. Returning home triumphantly with, the hero and the young woman were met with a celebratory feast. Later, the two would be happily wed, but their ultimate fate was lost to time...

The performance was a resounding success, but even as the children cheered and clapped for him, Neil collapsed. The effort was more than he had anticipated, and Neil had drawn on more magic than ever before. He was taken to the healer's tent to recover.

Fortunately, rest and a watchful eye were all he needed to recover. He awoke much too late and far too drained for his second show. To his surprise, a pendant lay on the beside table on top of a note.

'That was amazing! My mother told me this same story, and she said it was the tale of how my great grandparents met. This was his pendant, but it just seems like nothing more than a goblin tooth tied to a leather strap. Maybe someone like you with magic can make it work like my great grandfather did. I have left it with the healer for you. Take it and my thanks to you for bringing our family's legend to life!'
Neil Smith
Neil Smith, Self-Taught Mage
Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 5(1); Toughness: 5(1)
Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities
  • Sense Magic: Gain the detect/conceal arcana power. The detect arcana function (only) may be used at-will, with no PP cost, as an action. (Note: If the character has Sense Magic but lacks Spell Casting, only the detect arcana function is available, and is activated with a Spirit roll.)
Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 0/2; PPE: 10/10
Bennies: 2/3; Conviction: 1/1
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