MIRANDA

The Journey Onwards

Pahl (Wissenland)
September 3rd, 2500

Miranda started her day like every other day, taking care of the young daughter of Trubald von Kabl, Bellana. While the little, whimsical girl was having her usual breakfast, Miranda was summoned by Ehrl, another servant of the manor.

She was handed an odd shopping list and was told to hurry and buy every single item on it. She promptly ran to Gorby‘s emporium, the only one in the little town of Pahl. The dwarf lent her a hand, the only one he had left, and in the meantime, he told her about the legendary “orico” a slighlty less than mythological animal, in the dwarf’s words. Miranda got utterly fascinated by this story, but didn’t have the time to learn more. So she went back to the manor to discover what purpose did the odds items of the list served.

A mysterious man, dressed in a muddy trenchcoat, was waiting for her, along with Trubald himself, in the lord’s room. The orders of Trubald were clear: follow the mysterious man in a long ride to Kroppenleben, in order to deliver mandrake root to his cousin Johann. The life of the Baron was strictly tied to that delivery.

A horse, that Miranda immediately named Orico, was provided and the two travellers started their journey.

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The Long, Wet Road to Kroppenleben

September 4th, Road from Pahl to Kolbhugel.

Miranda and the mysterious man ride for the whole day and camp for the night in a field next to the road.

As soon as they fall asleep, a pack of hungry wolves, attracted by the leftovers of their dinner, attacks the two. Miranda has barely the time to wake up and warn her mate before the combat starts.

They manage to fend off the beasts, but the man gets a serious wound to his abdomen, while Miranda has just a few scratches.

The two discover that half the food the they were carrying has been taken away by the wolves, so they decide to sleep a little more and then try to hunt for something the following morning.

September 5th

The hunt goes well and the meal is quite proper, but the man’s wounds aren’t getting any better. In order to make the best use of the daylight, the two get to sleep very early and wake up at dawn.

September 6th

The following day, weather gest worse: rain is pouring abundantly and the two are forced to lead the horses by hand, slowing their pace considerably.

In the middle of the day, while the rain is still going strong, the slippery paved dwarven road that runs from Pahl to Kolbhugel, plays a nasty trick on Orico. The horse slips on the muddy floor and falls into the flooded fields nearby, dragging Miranda with him. After the mysterious man rescued them both, saving them from drawning, he decides to reveal his name: Hagen. Miranda seems to recall his name from the von Kalb lineage, but she’s not sure.

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Rufus and Ilda

September 7th, Kolbhugel

Miranda and Hagen enter the town of Kolbhugel. Hagen is still wounded, but he’s able to ride to the tavern, eat his meal and hit on the landlady.

While the two are having lunch, a weird man enters the tavern and strides to their table. After a brief introduction, Miranda learns that the man’s name is Rufus and that he’s an herbalist, able to tend to the wounds of her companion.

Seeking to chase the oportunity, Miranda and Hagen follow Rufus to his house. The herbalist quickly patches Hagen up, but right after that starts to ask weird questions about their journeys and adventures and when Miranda gets really suspicious, he tells her that he has drugged both of them. Apparently, the only way out they have is an antidote. Rufus is willing to give them some if they take him along with them, out of town. While Rufus is talking nonsense about an marvellous wheat extract called “Faririum”, Miranda and Hagen fall in a herb induced sleep.

Upon their sudden waking up, they feel regenerated, but at the same time, they’re shook by Rufus’ frantic entrance. The herbalist had left the house for a few hours, and now he’s back, whispering them they have to leave immediately. He had just stolen a horse to join their travels and leave Kolbhugel once and for all. Outside the house, a maddened mob is chasing after him with torches and pitchforks.

The three manage to escape the crowd and ride into the night, hiding along path into the forest between Kolbhugel and Hornfurt. The rain starts to fall again and the riders are forced to slow down and eventually enter an abandoned house in the forest to seek shelter for the night. The house is partially crumbled to the ground, but it’s enough the make the three fall asleep.

Semptember 8th

When the three wake up, the house has changed. Everything inside it is suddenly new and comfy; fine objects decorate shelves that weren’t there the night before and Miranda sees a woman. Miranda instantly realises the woman is a ghost. With a brooding voice, the spirit asks Miranda for help, telling her name, Ilda Naherb, and that she needs them to find her remains and bury them.

Miranda is the only one to have seen the ghost, but Rufus and Hagen both experienced the transformation of the house, so they don’t doubt the words of the girl. Scared by the threat of a haunting spirit, they set out to follow the directions Miranda received during her vision, and soon find what once was a goblin encampment. The few huts left are still inhabited.

A fight erupts: Hagen charges into the goblins, while Rufus and Miranda try to do the same without much luck. The man strikes down a couple creatures, but he’s suddenly enveloped in a stream of greenish flames. One of the last surviving goblin is a dangerous shaman.

Miranda tries to get into close combat with the shaman, but the goblin is clearly chanting a spell aimed at her. All of a sudden, a white, blinding light shines from the general direction of Rufus, dazzling the shaman an allowing Miranda to reach him and strike him down.

Thanks to some kind of intervention by Rufus, Hagen is healed and the three start to search for Ilda’s remains. Along with a leather jerkin and a couple Gold Crowns, the three find a staff with a skull on its tip. Rufus gets instantly crazy and asks Miranda for the staff, but as soon as the girl puts her hand on the skull, she falls into a vision filled trance.

In her vision, Miranda witnesses the night Ilda and the whole Naherb family got killed by the raiding goblins. The foul creatures are setting the house on fire at the end of their raid and Ilda is trying to escape the slaughter, but she’s quickly reached by a group of goblins that eventually behead her on the bank of the nearby small river. When Miranda regains consciousness, she leaves the staff to Rufus. Tired from the fight, they decide to spend the night at the goblin encampment.

September 9th

When they finally get back, they agree to bury the skull into the earth in front of the old, crumbled Naherb farmhouse at sunset. Rufus gives the staff back and the ritual is performed.

September 10th – 11th

The three get back on the main road that leads from Kolbhugel to Hornfurt and spend the second day travelling without any significant event.

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Grim Revelations

September 12th

After two days of travelling and camping in uncomfortable places, Miranda, Hagen and Rufus get to a toll house. Trusting that a few coins can buy them a shelter for the night and maybe even a warm meal, the three dismount their horses and proceed inside the courtyard. The lights inside the building are lit, but there is no sign of the guards. Miranda knocks on the door, just to find it open. No response comes from the inside, so Rufus follows her into the toll house, while Hagen is leading the horses inside the small stable outside.

As soon as the main room is entered, out of the shadows cast by the dim light of the fireplace, two dark figures attack the travellers. They are tall, wrapped in black cloaks that hide all of their features and wield swords. Caught by surprise, Miranda and Rufus try to divert the attack, and they are quickly cut out from the exit. Dancing around the big, wooden table, the two manage to defend themselves, but one of the dark figures, while swinging his sword, reveals his hands: to the horror of the travellers, there is no flash to be seen, just old, white bones. Miranda, in a fit of courage, throws one of the lanterns hanging on the walls at the undead creature, setting his cloak on fire, and then tries to reach the the stairs that lead to the tower. Meanwhile, Hagen faces the same threat: hidden in the stables, a third attacker was waiting for him and as soon as the man enters, the cloaked figure strikes him.

The fight rages on; Miranda and Rufus keep fending off the attacks and are pushed to the last floor of the tower, out on the roof. The lower floor of the toll house is completely on fire and the flames are reaching out for the second floor.

Just when they have no place to run to, and the undead are closing in on them, an arrow coming from the courtyard pierces one of the creatures’ skull. A group of five archers is shooting arrows to cover the travellers’ escape.

Without asking questions, Miranda and Rufus climb down the tower and jump on their horses, brought there by Hagen, and together with their new allies, ride away to their safety.

September 13th

After a night of rest, the archers’ leader introduces himself. His name is Klaus Jaeger, son of Hans Jaeger, Elder of Kroppenleben. Hagen knows him well, because Hagen is really Hagen von Kalb, as Miranda seemed to remember. Klaus was one of Hagen’s closest childhood friends, because he spent his youth escaping from the noble court of Castle von Kalb and spending time with the lowborn kids of the city.

Klaus tells Hagen a grim story: Johann von kalb is dead and the city is now ruled by the full Council of Elders. And what’s even more terrible, at least one of the Elders can not be really alive, because Klaus witnessed his father Hans being cruelly murdered the same night Johann died. As a result of all this violence, Hagen’s little sister Frieda is now lying in a cthatonic state.

Hagen is shocked and needs a whole day to make up his mind. Rufus is even more shocked and spends the day crying.

At the end of the day, Klaus explains that Hagen is more than probably the next target on the list, being the rightful heir to the Barony of Kroppenleben. So he has set up a plan: he unearthed a dead body, disguised it as Hagen and had it sent to Kroppenleben. If the plan worked out, the city is mourning the young man’s death, so they have the advantage of surprise.

In order to retrieve informations regarding the situation in Kroppenleben, Miranda and Rufus travel to Hornfurt, pretending to be husband and wife.

They visit the Eastern Gold and the Blue Merchant emporiums, where Miranda buys him a staff, out of gratitude for having given up the goblin staff some days before. Then they get into the Lead Dwarf (“The rudest bed on the road from Steingart to Karak Hirn”) and have a friendly chat with Morga, the dwarven mistress of the place.

Morga tells the two that Kroppenleben isn’t having commercial interactions with other cities since the 20th of August, two days after Hagen started his journey to Pahl. Morga adds that both Johann von kalb and his firstborn son Hagen died just a couple days one from the other. The dead body of Hagen von Kalb is said to have been found outside the city.

Rufus asks for a private chat with Morga and the two disappear for a brief time. As soon as the man gets back to Miranda, the two set out to reach Klaus’ encampent back again.

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