Banecroft Barony

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972:The Fall of Banecroft 991:Refounding 992:The Road to Independance
993:Lean Year 994:Baronial Golden Age 995:Growth in Influence
996:Upping the Ante 997:A Gathering Storm 998:Taking the Field
999:Laurels 1000:Renaissance 1001:Learning
1002:A Brighter Future 1003:Allies 1004:Many Voices
1005:Old Threats 1006:Coming of Age 1007:Return to Roots
1008:Portents 1009:Change of Focus 1010:Steady On

Return to Monk's Keep
Diamond Banecroft
I joined the merchant Cyrus and many other adventurers to explore the ruins of Monk's keep. I was particularly interested because I had been at the original battle of Monk's keep, fighting the nobles posessed by the demon Nemesis. Because Nemesis-wraiths have been seen reccently, I was determined to help find any clues to the resumption of Nemesis's activity. I was also concerned because Iacob of the Ivory City was with us, and he had one of the Nemesis-marks, indicating he was posessed.

We fought our way steadily down the levels beneath the keep. First we beat a band of bandits, then the undead that their necromancer leader had in reserve. Then we had to detour through some natural caverns, in which we had to descend a sheer cliff. Our climb was complicated by cliff-spiders scuttling along the surface, attacking climbers or gnawing at our ropes. Finally, we reached a golem workshop back in the keep itself.

The golem workshop had a strong gate protecting the lower levels, and we deciphered runes instructing us that in order to continue, we had to go two separate ways and lift a level in each room to open the strong gate. We did so, but the expedition I was on was overwhelmed by undead and had to be rescued by the other party.

The gate led us to an undisturbed area, where golems continued their programming since the early days of the keep. There was an impressive map of the Monk's Keep area, a potions workshop, but most importantly there was an extensive library. This was the jackpot, but it was all in runes and protected by invulnerable golem guards. Other adventurers solved the trickiest problems, and we escaped the dungeon with the library contents. I am sure the library contents will be of interest, but have heard nothing of them since.

Trip-ing The Gates
Diamond Banecroft
Grindin, Adara, Mordac, Temorse, Garric, and I travelled to a small village in Blackwood to help protect them from monster attacks which had grown beyond their ability to handle. A gnoll smith was providing the monsters with improved weapons and armor. We were joined there by Slice and Croythar. We protected the town from the monsters attack, then when Slice's scouting found more in the woods, we took the attack to them. We were successfull in saving the town. Teddy of Creathorne very nicely gifted us with a broken, temporary magic sword, and the Falcons quickly pooled their gold to pay the smith to fix it.

On our way home, after a wrong turn, we ended up encountering a gathering of adventurers near Dragonsend. Rell of the Obsidian order was meeting with the powerful undead that the Obsidian Order follows. This skeleton-creature glowed with magical power and seemed impervious to the blows that the valiant undead-slayers of Grimlock rained on it. For convenience, let me referr to this being as "Oblitch". Oblitch offered to open a passage to a Death Knight's crypt, allowing us to destroy this infestation of undead. We would get to destroy undead, and he would get a rival eliminated.

Rell, Grimlock and others were good with this plan; Vawn, Machta, and ourselves were less happy helping Oblitch's plans. Griff had a clever plan to turn the tables, so we eventually agreed, but not before Oblitch threatened the Chimeroneans, and did several other manipulative things to convince us to enter the fray. But of course threats and manipulation only made us less confident we were doing the right thing.

Thus we entered the dungeons, helping in the endless corridor-forcing battle. In addition to the endless hordes of undead we fought through, we encountered a ghost and a blood elemental. The ghost could not effect us or speak, but she communicated to us through sign. In the dark and under fire from the enemy, it was difficult to understand her, but after a time we concluded that she was controlled by Oblitch, but was finding clever ways around her geas to try and help us. We believed that she was telling us indirectly that this dungeon was a trap which would help Oblitch by turning us into undead controlled by him.

We were not sure what to do. We didn't like helping Oblitch, but we also were not sure to believe the ghost. Then we heard Rell's companion report to Rell his conclusions on the ghost, which matched our own guesses. Since he had reached them independantly, I became more confident we were right, so I delivered a warning to the other adventurers. Griff and Grimlock were on the verge of opening the casket of the Death Knight. After delivering our warning, we elected to depart the dungeon.

Fortunately, I have recieved reports that we were perhaps overcautious. Vawn was able to deal with the turning-us-into-undead trap by raising everyone as they left the dungeon. Thanks to the ghost's warning and Vawn's determination and healing, that trap was dodged. Griff was apparently right and played a big hand in dealing with the Death knight.

Feast of Chimeron XIII
Diamond Banecroft
Grindin, Temorse, Mordak, XT, Chapin, Grot, and Diamond attended. On the day of the feast, following information provided by the Chimeroneans, we attempted to secure ritual items from Oberonn's vault. Among the items aquired were the words to a song of occult significance. The final item of the ritual recovered was an enormous altar stone, which was found by Griff's sharp eyes.

During the feast, there was a delivery of a body of Bouquet, the fae who perished last Queen of Hearts. Also in the feast, Chapin the bard played the guitar as part of the bardic rendition of "The Queen of Argyle" song which had been gathered that day. After the feast, that song was put to it's intended purpose: to wake the queen of Argyle, whose history was described in the song. Mcail sung, Lilia played flute, Ashada spoke the bridge. Unfortunately rainy weather precluded Chapin from bringing the guitar to the field.

With the queen of Argyle awake, she her smile could cause dawn to come early for us. This was necessary because the Blood Banner, our objective, could only be aquired at dawn. The other ritual items would be used to open the gate, and while a plan was in place for the army to distract the defenders while a picked sneaky squad aquired the banner, negotiations prevailed and the banner put in our camp peacefully.

Nemesis wraiths were abroad that night, and sometime during that night Lord Da'oud of Rhiassa aquired a nemesis mark. All reports agree that he defeated a wraith in honorable combat, so this confirms the theory that beating the wraiths is what gets you posessed by Nemesis. All Baronials are ordered to not engage the wraiths in this honorable combat. In the borders of Banecroft, it is now against the law to do so, for in the eyes of the law this will be considered aiding the enemy.


The next day was May Day. According to the Chimeronean source, we knew we had to spill lots of blood in order to wake Cucullain's Storm: Tybault, one of the Dukes Cucullain left sleeping. But first, we learned of a quest to slay a giant, a quest made critical by Nero's knowledge that we needed this to help Bouquet, as well as having a broader impact. After Grot, XT, Grindin and Temorese fell in this task, Mordac sucessfully slew the giant, and a full account can be found here.

With the giant slain, we helped fight the goblin skirmishers in order to furfill the conditions to wake Tybault. When we had done enough, his crypt opened and we forced our way into the pitch darkness and eldritch vapours to wake him.

North/South War '05
Diamond Banecroft
This event was extremely well attended by the Barony, there were 22 people fighting in our squad, 18 of which were official members. During the day's battles the Barony proved a key component of the Southern line, particularly so in limited battles. A high proportion of archers allowed us to add a great deal of firepower.

During dinner break, the Falcons had their annual meeting when, as usual, they worked out their system of govenment for the next year. Adara won the vote and gained the title of Lady, leader of the Falcons.

At Baronial court, I granted Grindin the squirely belt so people could see his status as my squire. Mordac Giantslayer was honored both by the Barony and by Chimeron: for his slaying of the Giant, he gained a boon from Sir Owen and the Hrothgar Award for courage from me. I accepted the fealty of Slice, giving him his tabard and welcoming him as a direct follower in the Barony proper. Doing so ended my 2-year self-imposed ban on accepting new direct followers. I also declared that the leader of each subgroup in the Barony (like the Blue Falcons) will be recognised as a member of the "Royal House", with the right to wear the Blue Tabard and accumulate senority like my other direct followers. Sir Vawn granted me a prize for valorous tourneying in the tourney he ran this winter.

That night Chapin and I (Guarded by Ceril) played music in Panther's in. Adara led the rest of the Barony into what turned out to be an encounter with Illinar. Most notably, they helped restore Dagger of White Coast, our fellow Commonwealth member, from being scalped at the hands of the Illinarians. This effort took them late into the morning.

As usual, Sunday was occupied by squad battles. After a long, close-fought day, the South emerged victorious.

Queen of Hearts XII
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Adara, Slice, Temorse, Yroark, Keldar and Warric attended in support of Team Faelinn. Croythar won the archery tourney and Nazir of the Tinkerers won the running tourney.

Folkestone Questing
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Adara, Grinden, Yroark, Temorse, Mordak, Alexander, Sam, Grot, Garric, XT, and Mink attended, accompanied by Dhula, Oryhara, and Kerin.

While some adventurers built up defences at Qua Terath Neuna, Jerimiah (an apprentice timemage) took us on a quest back in time to prevent the destuction of the Mace of Rhomer the year before. Unfortunately, he decieved us (apparently for the travel fee): he instead sent us on what he hoped was a one-way trip back 2 years back to Kel-Aura and her sliding machine. There he trapped us in a time loop. We were able to escape the time loop, breaking us back to our home time. We reappropriated our toll just before he dissapeared, presumably into another time.

We marched to Qua Tereth Neuna to re-enforce the defenders. A large undead army attacked the castle. We had trouble getting in, and the enemy battered down the gate. Scaling ladders threatened the walls. An artillery deul developed between Chimeron's catapult and the attacker's ballista. The attackers consisted of countless zombies, led by a few Zermarks cultists, each accompanied by a wraith. Malcom was among their number, and he saved adventurers when he could (including Baron Diamond). Grinden's healing circle was a cornerstone of the defense, matched by Pthoron and Tarnishia's mystic forges.

It was necessary to supply the castle during the long, long seige. Several parties made sorties through secret tunnels. Banecroft was among them, and we brought back bread from a bakery at a nearby Chimeronean village. Then, during the height of the seige and when morale was starting to slip, the late Lord McKrie showed up when the hour was darkest to rally the defenders and lead the defence of his homeland. No explanation has been found for this providential appearance, save the power of Chimeronean ledgend. He also brought the mace of Rhomer, which he still had back when he was alive.

The climax of the seige was the attack of an enormous undead bone dragon. Able to reach up to the top of the castle walls, it swept away the defenders of the gate with power stronger than that of a falling boulder. Our wepons couldn't bite into the nonexistant flesh, and the animated dragon's bones forced brushed aside the defenders and forced their way into the castle. In the courtyard, the dragon sweapt with it's head, tail and claws forcing the surviviors to seek shelter in the corners or under a stairway. Only the mace of Rhomer, miraculously brought to us by McKrie, was able to slay the undead horror.

The only way to end the seige was to cut off the cultist's access to negative material plane energy. Groups quested through a gauntlet to activate the positve energy, and Banecroft was the seond of 7 or 8 successful parties, ending the seige.

The next day the adventurers set out to crush the cultist's enclaves. But first the Blue Falcons had to set right another wrong: during the seige, a baby had been scalped by being fired over the walls of the castle on a ballista bolt. We quested to restore the baby, a quest chich soon became complicated. Brenda, goddess of the Northern Wildes, has a destiny for this baby and we were charged with restoring the baby, Toby, to his "true mother". We were aided by many, but Jede and Metron were key to the successful resolution of that quest.

We joined the others in crushing increasingly strong forces at the various Zermarks cultist headquarters. In this we were assisted by Lucius, the red mage, a follower of the original paladin Zermarks and contemporary of Girmantusz. At each battle, we obtained a piece of the destroyed mace of Rhomer. By the end of the day, we had greatly depleted the strength of the cultists.

We gained intelligence allowing us to know how the cultists were planning to escape by sea with the last piece of the mace of Rhomer. We marched to their rendez-vous and obtained the piece after a sharp night battle.

Before we could turn in, we rescued Metron from posession. Sir Guilliam's championship of that cause was key.

The final day we tried to gather components with which we could obtain one of the many daggers needed to slay the new Zermarks (formerly Malcom). The Falcons expeneded great energy and rescourcefulness, but we were unsucessful.

Dark Harvest
Diamond Banecroft
Several Falcons attended. They quested to subdue an out-of-control and agressive plant infestation. Also chiefly remembered by being woken from their beds to participate in an early-morning quest.

Hunters Moon: Elemirrian Harvest Festival
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Adara, Grinden, Yroark, Tark, Grot, Axeblade, Sam, and a few other Falcons attended. They quested to rescue Kye and Temorse, lost the week before in Fey. This was made possible by Sir Aelias's skills, and our forces were combined with Grimlock's. The questing group succeeded in reaching the point where Kye and Temorse fell in Fey, but only Kye was there. Aelias checked with magic and determined definitively that Temorse was not in the vicinity, so we had to return with Kye alone.

A solid feast later, many quested against Drow, dampened by tremendous rainfall.

First Annual Black Rose Hold’em Tournament
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Auric, Mitchel, Grinden, Yroark, Tark, Grot attended. Diamond first out; Grinden, Tark and Auric play well and are in until the latter half of the game. Mitchell proves his advanced poker skills and wins the tournament!

Tournaments of Chiron '05
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond attended. Conferred with Nazir and Salem (Tinkerers) regarding Queen of Hearts plans. Met Teg. Those four combined with Avendar used a novel ranged-weapon tactic to give Grimlock some interesting fights in the 5-man (limited).

Black & White Masquerade Ball, 2005
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Savyne, Adara, Grindin, Tark, Grot, Mordak, Sam, Dreshk attended. Alexander, Keiren, Phox, Nathaniel, Nosj, Teg, and one other new adventurer of our aquaintance also attended.

Torunaments, carnaval games, good food and the masked ball competed for our attention, but our first duty was to secure Temorse's rescue. We learned from fae representatives the good news that Temorse was alive and well in Fae, and they agreed to send word that we desired Temorse's return. All our divinatory magic seemed to indicate that this was the best we could do for now, so now we wait with optomistic expectations. Adara pledged to help Sir Owen fight for Cugellain.

Bouquet was restored to life. We learned from the Fae and Chimeroneans the background to the Fae conflict which made the fae political situation much clearer.

Banecroft and Chimeron re-forged the Stone Shield Alliance. Tark and Dreshk swore their fealty to the Blue Falcons. Diamond named knight commander of the Sable Dragon.

Carnage 2005
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond and Savne help a group of younger adventurers penetrate into a hotly defended dungeon. Some of these adventurers were: Silvertounge, Edward, Topaz, Nene, Jusin, Guttertounge, and many more.

Cornucopia 2: Feast of Bacon
Diamond Banecroft
Diamond, Axeblade, Grot, and Joth attend. Bacon is eaten, songs are sung, tournies are held. Unexpectedly, Diamond wins a Crown coin from the King's challenge!