Monthly Wessex

Adventurers Most Generous

(As penned by player Noah Young.)

Reverend Thomias,
Shepard of Hillcrest Commons
The 850th year of Our Holy Luminous Matriarch’s First Grace

Bishop of Umbridge, counted most gracious among all Our Holy Luminous Matriarch's servants to all who hear of your works, it is my pleasure to send you this letter of good news.

I hope the Matriarch's light shines upon you even greater than it has our humble province, for we all hear tales of your saintly works and miracles. Surely you will someday be anointed High Priest of the Land, Our lady willing. 

I write to you to dutifully report on our diocese's finances, which you will find enclosed. Please note ever so briefly that donations have increased markedly from my last letter, it is my pleasure to include the heralding tale behind this outpouring of faith.

It was writ to my our Father Saban, priest of our Wessex parish, an uncouth town in the furthest, most impoverished corner of the diocese, that his flock had unexpectedly produced a very small but no less generous donation of 25 gold pieces by a small group of believers.

He recounts that ragtag a band of citizens took it upon themselves to cleanse a local farmers well of unmentionable magic and unbelievers. As he tells the tale, the farmer saw tainted light erupt from his dry well during the night. A captain, doctor, alchemist, and a fisherman ventured below, finding evidence of a vacated hobgoblin dwelling they came across an unholy band of miscreants,  whom they dispatched. After their confrontation they encountered an ancient chest, and within it, a hoard of gold. Sadly, the fisherman died to a trap in the cavern. His fellows, instead of wasting their newfound coin on drink as is common here, gave nigh all of their earnings to the church and town in act of grace in accordance with Brightest Blossom's teachings. 

I took Father Saban's tale, and after much prayer to She Who Shines Eternal, blessed be her light, decided to tell it to my flock, save some alterations. I of course spared mention of such unholy creatures. Instead I praised the charity and righteous motivation of these citizens who venture into the well and unselfishly gave. As you can see, after my sermon was disseminated to the other parish priests we saw offerings increase in a proportion of two and a half hundredths of the whole across the diocese.

I hope this news finds you well and mayhap you can even use this tale from the farthest town in the empire to show the uncoverable power and grace of Our Holy Luminous Matriarch’s ever shining light.

Your brother in her grace,
Reverend Thomias

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Mission Log 001
Submitted by Sgt. Lieutenant

 Mission Log 001

Sgt. Lieutenant

 

Over my many years helping the militia faithfully protect our Wessex, I got to know the citizens we serve quite well. In particular, I found a like-mindedness in five others: Mr. Caruthers, an astute scholar; Bear Grills, a hunter with a notable brother; Rock, a headstrong mason; a smuggler whom I immediately did not trust and elected to not learn his name; and Jack Perch, an honorable fisherman with a face no man could lie to. Like me, the five of them had a passion for adventure and a thirst for gold, inspiring us to ask around town for rumors about where we could seek our fortunes.

 

The day after we created our little band of treasure seekers, we paired off to investigate various leads. Rock and the smuggler interrogated the local drunk, learning that the man had narrowly escaped a spider cave with his life. Bear and Jack talked to Bear’s brother, a young man I’d gotten to know quite well over the years. His brother told a tale about his encounter with goblins hiding out in some ruins a few years back, which I was hesitant to believe but I knew no one would ever lie to a fisherman. Mr. Caruthers and I went to the Church of the Light Bringer, hearing from the priest that there were suspicious payments for a “secret door” in the ledger books from many years ago.

 

Armed with our various rumors, we all met up again in The Tavern to compare them. After much discussion and weighing of pros and cons, we decided that the priest’s mission was both the least dangerous and the closest to us, which made it easy to investigate first.

 

First thing in the morning, we went up to the cemetery where the ledger claimed the secret door was built. Upon finding the proper crypt, we were discouraged to discover that the door was locked quite securely. Securely, that is, unless you’re a headstrong dwarf. Before we could do much to stop him, Rock had kicked down the crypt door, managing to injure himself a bit in the process. After my compulsory lecture about being careful with and respectful of the final resting place of strangers, we investigated inside.

 

After looking around the first floor, we headed down into the basement – an odd thing to have in a crypt – which seemed to hold the remains of the less-well-liked members of the family. After a couple hours of investigating, I discovered a pressure-plate type mechanism that allowed us to push deeper into the crypt. That part of the crypt was more cave-like, and we elected to follow one of the winding paths south.

 

In a larger cave room, we discovered hundreds of body-shaped sacks stored in crevices along the walls. Ever the optimist, Rock ripped them open hoping for treasure. Instead, he found old bones dressed in ancient Light Bringer regalia, leading us to believe that this area was some kind of convent or church many years ago. I, as a devout follower of the Light Bringer, was of course delighted to find this promising piece of history and made note to tell the priest about it upon our return.

 

As we continued deeper into the cave, we found a room with decorative swords, a chest, and a large suit of armor. As soon as we started exploring the room, the armor suddenly became animated – and we found ourselves in combat. I valiantly took command, as any good sergeant would, and directed my companions to begin attacking the armor. The smuggler attempted to throw his bedroll on the armor in hopes of blinding it, but to no avail. I’m not sure what sort of military tactician taught him that, but then again I’m not exactly versed in how things are run on smuggler ships. Our hunter, Bear, finally managed to knock the head off the armor with an arrow, but sadly not before our good fisherman friend Jack Perch lost his life to the monster.

 

While my companions looted the passage for gems and other valuables, I gathered Jack’s belongings and attempted to give him his last rites in the name of the Light Bringer. I got it mostly right, but you know how that last part is… who remembers that part anyway? It’s not that important. What matters is that you tried. The Light Bringer understands.

 

Unfortunately, I also had the delightful task of explaining to Rock what death is. It was rough, but it’s an important part of life he needed to understand.

 

Once my companions had secured all the items from the room that they wanted, I carried Jack’s body and belongings out of the crypt for a proper burial back in town.

 

Upon returning to town, we informed the priest of what we found in the crypt and asked him to give Jack his (full) last rites. The priest was very distraught to learn that someone had died during our investigation, and encouraged us to rest. While my companions rested, I took Jack’s belongings to his next of kin and delivered the bad news. It’s something I’ve done countless times in the militia, but it never gets easier. His family took it well, but it was clear they were in shock. Hopefully they’ll take Jack out to be buried at sea, as he would have wanted.

 

After a good rest, we picked up another adventurer in the tavern – a man named Jack Danger. I had a great feeling about this guy, he seemed like he really meant business.

 

With our new Jack in tow, we returned to the crypt that evening to explore more. After a few respectful moments of silence with Jack Perch’s bloodstain, we continued investigating the area. We found an odd altar room with carvings that had been scraped off with some force, a large library with books about the Light Bringer religion, and a strange warding glyph that was clearly some kind of trap.

 

Hoping to avoid the trap, we explored another passage, only to find that it was full of mushrooms and strange mushroom creatures. The creatures seemed pretty harmless, but my companions were intent on fighting them. I refused to loan the others my flask of oil to set flame to the mushrooms, so they had to be content with shooting them from afar. After crossing to the other side of the room, it became clear that the passage just looped around to the entrance we had already explored.

 

Still wanting to avoid the trap, we explored the library more. In one of the books, we found the symbol on the warding glyph, but couldn’t decipher what it meant or how we could disengage it. Ever practical, we decided to just start doing things that might activate the glyph. We tried a few methods from afar, not wanting to be caught by any effect it would activate, but nothing seemed to happen. Eventually, we felt we were pushing our luck and shouldn’t mess with the glyph anymore, so we gathered some of the books and headed back to town. We returned late in the evening and slept the night.

 

In the morning, we talked to the priest about what we’d seen and he was very excited about the books in the library. Always happy to help out the church of the Light Bringer and return any important artifacts to those that can protect them, I volunteered to carry back all the books myself. Inspired by my resolve, my companions purchased sacks from the priest and all five of us spent some time carrying books back and forth from the crypt. With all of us working together, the task was finished quite quickly. I’m intrigued about what the library and altar were for, but until we find a way to deactivate the warding glyph we won’t be able to investigate further.

 

End mission report.

 

 

 

 

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Here in Wessex
Officially the Middle of Nowhere

Wessex is a tiny little town at the very edge of the Empire.  There is absolutely nothing to do around here except watch the grass grow.  The most exciting events are bad weather and the occasional news of goblins causing havoc on some farmer who dared to homestead too close to the Flowering Hills.

This is a good (if hard-working) life for a couple hundred citizens of the Empire.  Farming is the main occupation.  A few fishermen pull a decent haul out of the nearby lake.  A paltry, but lode-bearing mine employs a couple dozen workers.  The town itself is a cluster of support services and the families that staff them.  A single tavern—literally just called "The Tavern"—sits in the middle of all of this.

You are bored to tears, and fed up with the daily grind of rural poverty.  You've heard stories of ancient ruins out there in the wilderness just brimming with treasure.  Sure, those stories also involve monsters, but that sounds way more interesting than having to feed the chickens one more day.

As they say:  Get rich, or die trying.

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