After the Scouring – Alex’s Journal

So, the final installment of Alex Hardings account of the opening adventure from my RQIII campaign – After the Scouring – which charts the aftermath of the defeat of the Warlock of Blandford Forum…

As it happens raiding the tower yielded a few useful things, namely a pop gun in a box (which I think makes me look very intimidating, although I’m not sure Jasper and Brian are convinced. Possibly that’s because they’re in on the secret that I have no idea how to make it work…) and a pile of the Warlock’s journals which piqued Jasper’s monetary interest. Depressingly however, it also yielded some bizarre skull thing with feet that kept running off every time we tried to catch it. According to Hold-On the fact that the irritating little bugger existed at all meant that the Warlock wasn’t actually dead, despite his amazing nosedive acrobatics earlier. I was headed downstairs to break that irksome piece of news to Jasper and Brian when I realised they weren’t alone. While I’d been distracted by reprovisioning, a whole band of Bournemouth polymoffs had arrived at the tower and, despite Marcus’ best attempts to distract them, their leader hadn’t been fooled in the slightest and had sniffed our two out (and I do literally mean sniffed!). I’m not entirely sure what they said to him, but it must have been convincing because he apparently decided not to kill them (or even tell the rest of the polymoffs we were there) and took the whole band off for some serious celebratory drinking! You know, I’m suddenly starting to see the appeal of polymoff life!

Jasper and Brian were distinctly unimpressed that the warlock wasn’t actually dead, although the news didn’t actually come as a huge surprise to them – they’d already discovered his body was lacking a few minor essentials (a heart for instance). It was at this point we figured we had two choices: we could cut our losses and get the hell out of there, given that we had retrieved what we came for, or we could do some significant damage in an attempt to seriously irritate the Warlock (or rather, irritate him more than we already had so far. I mean, I know I’d be pretty irked at any folks who disrupted my master plan for world domination, made me lose a battle with gravity and stole all my decent stuff…Hey, we are good!). The latter seemed far more fun, so Brian and I went firewood collecting, while Jasper went to fetch Brother Aldwyn’s body from where it was stashed. It wasn’t long before we’d emptied our bottle of spirits back to where it belonged, and lit a celebratory bonfire all of our own. The Warlock may not be dead, but I reckon the distinct lack of home, belongings and body he’s going to find when he gets back is going to put a serious crimp in his style!

Hold-On and his stalking one friend decided this was about the right time to leave us, which I thought was damn crafty on their part given that we’d finished with all the interesting stuff and were now facing a hard slog to Maiden’s Castle, with a semi conscious Brother Aldwyn quite literally in tow. We dragged him back to Durweston and then figured it was about time to get a good night’s sleep. After all, everybody feels better after a good night’s sleep, right?

Apparently, not. I don’t remember too much about the next few days. It turns out swallowing zombie brains isn’t particularly good for you and all I really remember about the rest of the trip is being very focused on putting one foot in front of the other and throwing up in ditches. A lot. According to Jasper and Brian though, it wasn’t a particularly exciting journey. I put that down to the fact that I was pretty out of it. Obviously I’m a lot more interesting to be around than even I thought!

The Maiden’s Castle folks took one look at us and hustled us straight off to their hospital, at which point a variety of people spent a great deal of time asking the same questions over and again about what had happened to us. Next place we get to, I figure I might make a public announcement. It’d save a lot of time in the long run. Suffice to say, the most important thing to come out of those discussions was that the temple at Maiden’s Castle has an ample supply of apple cake and, given that we managed to deliver Brother Aldwyn in mostly one piece, they weren’t going to be ungenerous with it. Thank the spirits for small mercies I say because, given Brother Aldwyn’s state of health we didn’t really have much choice but to settle in and wait out the winter. On the plus side, it gives me plenty of time to work out how the hell my pop gun is supposed to work…

So there we leave Alex, Brian, Jasper and Brother Aldwyn, in the People’s Republic of Maiden Castle and set to spend the whole winter there, as they arrived at the end of Spetember and since Aldwyn won’t be fit to travel for at least three weeks that puts them in to late October – not a good time to be wandering the Northlands… But some how I don’t think Alex’s winter is going to be that quiet, especially give the howling of wolves that dogged their journey from Blandford to Maiden Castle…