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Autumn, 1226

At the beginning of the season the magi and some companions head to Hibernia. Taking a boat from Lancaster (after resolving some issues with fitting women, priests and giants onto a ship), they sail towards Dublin. During the night, the ship becomes becalmed as a thick fog envelopes them. The sky is then lit up by a red fiery glow, and a loud rumbling noise is heard, as if a great mountain up ahead is belching fire. The sailors report that the sea depth has dropped dramatically, and that they appear to be close to land. Columbanus tries to dispel the fog, but it appears to be magical and resists the attempt. As Umbriel summons up a wind to get them on their way, the fiery glow fades and the fog lifts, leaving no sign of any land or mountains. The rest of the journey to Dublin is uneventful.

In Dublin they discover that there are no Nordic ships here, and that trade with Norway and Iceland has dropped to almost nothing in the last couple of years.

Whilst seeking information in the market, Umbriel is suddenly attacked by a cloaked figure that screams “Traitor!” at her as it tries to stab her. Fortunately, she is alert enough to dodge and casts Charge of the Angry Winds, preventing it from attacking again. Wee Angus leaps at it with his axe, and both he and the attacker are swept along the street by the winds, ending in a pile of shoppers, broken stalls and signs. His axe however is buried in the now dead attacker's chest. Without it's cloak, it is seen to have horns and large teeth, and looks demonic in appearance. Both Angus and Umbriel flee the scene before the city guard can turn up.

Whilst exploring the city, Friar Luke Walding is propositioned by a gorgeous young prostitute. He ignores her advances, but notices an unnatural darkness in her eyes. Friar Luke intervenes in her negotiations with another client, who tells him to “fuck off”. When he refuses to do so, the woman suggests that her client “prove himself”. He draws a knife and threatens Friar Luke more forcibly, so he decides to back off. It's then that he realises that she seemed to be speaking to him in English, but her client spoke Gaelic and still seemed to understand her without a problem.

Columbanus investigates, and tries a subtle Demon's Eternal Oblivion on her. She screams and drops to the floor, and wounds open in her body. Still alive, she points him out to the crowd, accusing him of witchcraft. More spells seem to destroy more of her body, in a way very different to how the spell normally works. As the crowd move away from him and the 'demon', Shale finishes her off with a projectile dart.

The magi decide to leave Dublin quickly before rumours of witches and summoned demons brings trouble on their heads.

On the road to Ashenrise, they come across an undead man eating a recently dead (not yet risen) man. They kill the attacker, though again their anti-Demon magics don't work in the way they expect. The attacker seems to have been dead for many weeks, and there are chewed bits of meat from the victim laying about. They destroy both the bodies.

Some days later, they pass through a village which boards itself up as soon as they approach, and refuses to have anything to do with them. In the distance is a column of smoke. Umbriel flies towards it to investigate, and finds a village completely burnt to the ground. Most of the villagers are dead, tied to posts and screaming in agony. It looks like they have been tortured, raped and killed in most horrific ways, and many of them are begging for a death they can no longer achieve by themselves.

Finding one who can still talk, Umbriel learns that they were attacked by man-like creatures from a nearby lake, that came out of the night and burnt down their village, torturing all those that they could. As far as he knows, they went back to the lake after they'd strung everyone up to suffer in agony.

It is decided to kill all the villagers, by destroying their spirits and burning their bodies. One is left un-burnt, to see if it rises again the following morning after being killed a second time. Following the tracks down towards the lack, the magi catch sight of an island shrouded in mist. Before they can investigate further, they run into two creatures - larger than man size, with thick leathery skin, horns, claws and bat-like wings. The creatures carry large halberds, and on sighting the magi they head straight for them. The magi quickly manage to take them down, though have difficulty actually killing them. Zephon probes one of their minds, and reports that they serve Hazgarth, a demon that lives in a castle on the island. The castle exists within a regio, which can be reached by crossing the lake at night.

The demons were out to check on the villagers, who they referred to as their 'recruits'. The demons are killed, though one body is kept intact and taken back to the village to see if it rises from the dead in the morning.

Deciding to stay at the village overnight, the magi make camp. Concerned that the demons may be trying to build up an army, Vladimir volunteers to quickly head on to Ashenrise to try and obtain aid - or at least warn them.

A short while later, a flight of demons descend upon the village, nine of them similar to those they saw earlier, plus a larger one that seems to lead them. There is a fight, in which both Wee Angus and Father Luke are critically injured. The demons seem to be able to regenerate, though Columbanus is able to prevent this by destroying their Might with Perdo Vim. Destroying their Might also seems to reduce their resistance to damage, and make it harder for them to fly. However, it does not immediately destroy the demons in the way that it used to.

With the help of Zephon, who seems capable of utterly destroying the demons with his angelic powers, the demons are defeated, and their bodies destroyed.

Vladimir returns with two magi from Ashenrise covenant - Julia ex Tytalus and Jacob ex Flambeau. They offer aid to the magi from Stonehenge, being more than willing to combat demons on their doorstep. After a brief skirt of the lake, they decide to investigate further during the day, and get the injured back to Ashenrise.

Zephon mentions to Uriel that slaying the Demons used up some of his own magical reserves, and that it no longer seems to be regenerating. This is the first time he has used it since the Rain of Blood, and he fears that the closing of Heaven means that he will not be able to regenerate his powers again.

At dawn, neither the undead villager or the demon rise from the dead.

There is a long discussion about demon behaviour, the nature of changes since the Rain of Blood and how best to kill demons with Julia ex Tytalus, who has had a lot of experience in the latter. During the day, they investigate the island and find the ruins of a desecrated church. An animal sacrifice has been made recently on the altar, and there are the long dead bones of humans here, though it looks like they've been brought here very recently.

Waiting until after nightfall, the magi hope that some of the demons come out to investigate, but all is quiet, so after midnight they venture into the regio. Julia casts a ritual which she claims will protect them from some of the bad effects of the infernal regio, which the magi of Cruentis Petram offer to contribute some vis towards.

Crossing the mist shrouded lake at night, they reach landfall at a run down pier next to few ramshackle cottages. Several miles away, across a blasted, boggy landscape can be seen some rocky crags. Everything here is quiet and unearthly.

Within the Infernal regio and presented with ramshackle cottages which may contain something dangerous, Shale casts Crest of the Earth Wave to flatten them. The result is some short screams and mud covered ruins. Digging through the ruins Uriel finds the body of a woman, recently dead (still warm). She looks half starved, beaten and is missing her tongue. She is also pregnant. Cutting her open, they determine that the baby is normal, but now dead.

Heading towards the distant crags, they take down a lone flying demon that seemed to be a scout. It was a winged female demon of some kind. Further on, they come across two crucifixes, to which are tied two more woman. One is pregnant, both are badly beaten and in a bad shape. They kill them quickly, deciding they are either dangerous or need putting out of their suffering.

Reaching the crags, they see a black castle seemingly growing out of the rock. As they climb up towards it, flights of demons swoop over the walls and down towards them. They are a mix of female demons, horned scaly demons and a larger demon that seems to lead them. With the help of the Ashenrise magi they are able to dispatch them without too much problem, and Vladimir finds that paralysing flying targets is very effective. Their only casualty is Columbanus, who falls into a brief Twilight when he miscasts a spell.

They begin their assault on the castle itself, but Shale has difficulty taking down its walls in the way he had hoped for it seems to resist his spells. Eventually they tear it down though, and defeat the larger demon lord that resides inside it. As the regio begins to fall apart, they flee back to the lake and manage to make their way back to safety.

The magi travel to Ashenrise Covenant, and rest up for a few days. Meeting with the magi of there, they discuss what has happened over the previous years, seeking advice about the undead and demons, and sharing what knowledge they have.

They mention that they think one of the magi of Blackthorn covenant may be the demon mother of King Henry, and the Ashenrise magi are very interested. Quaesitor Abercio guesses that they are probably talking about Ingrat. They explain that Ashenrise was founded by a group of young magi who had been betrayed by the magi of Blackthorn many years ago, and though none of them now live, the magi here still hold a grudge against that covenant. They are more than willing to lend support to Cruentis Petram if they ever have problems with Blackthorn.

Julia ex Tytalus is willing to share a copy of her spell to protect from some of the effects of infernal regios, as thanks for their aid, and as a token of future goodwill.

Leaving their injured grogs behind at Ashenrise, the magi head south towards the World's End covenant. On the way, they encounter a pitched battle between a group of mercenaries and some undead. Aiding the mercenaries, they discover that they are led by William the Bear, a shapechanger. They realise that they could potentially help each other, and come to an agreement that William and his mercenaries will help defend their covenant in return for accommodation and magical protections.

The magi reach World's End covenant, where they are greeted with some caution given that they now have a small army of mercenaries with them. They discuss the fallen star with Agustin ex Bonisagus, and they tell him the full story of the artefact of elemental Fire that was discovered within it. He is interested in finding out more, and mentions that the magi of Rellantali covenant may have come across a similar object, though it may be aligned to Earth. There is discussion about the possibility of determining where the others (assuming that there are two more) may have fallen using astrology, but that would require precise knowledge of where and when the two known stars fell.

Their last destination is Cliffheart covenant, which was attacked earlier in the year by Northerners. Two of the magi, Nicea ex Miscellanea and Florianus ex Tytalus were both killed in the attack, and they are willing to recount what happened and the tactics used. Both are a bit scarred, but 'alive', in an undead sort of way. They claim to have not noted any changes to their use of magic, but do not wish to discuss it in any great detail.

Eventually, the magi return to Yorkshire and their covenant, and start sorting out accommodation for their new mercenaries, and how to provide enough supplies for them all.

midnight/history/1226/5.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/02 21:14 by sam