Shadows of Esteren

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Must Begin with a Single Step

Game 1

Gearran 15th – 28th, 907

The game opens in the town of Baile Den-Tur in the barony of Dunn. It is late winter.

Each of the characters find out that they are to report to Baron Mac Brannain for some errand he wants done.

Theodosia is approached by Jennifer Walsh, the accountant of Lorcan Quigg (the richest citizen in town). Quigg has managed to secure a spot in the group so that he can send someone up to the Northface Mine with offers to buy it. He and Jennifer decided to use someone outside their sphere to try to throw others off the trail of what they are up to. The lone Tarish merchant seems the perfect choice.
Colleen is told that baroness Elbeth Mac Brannain, a fellow Temple follower, has managed to get her a spot as a guard for the group.
Arlan sees his mentor, Demorthen Graenne, return from town only to be told he must himself get to town immediately. Graenne wants Arlan to head up to the Northface Mining Camp to see if the men there need any spiritual services. While she wished to wait for the upcoming festival (and make a better presentation of it) Graenne decides to give Arlan his first Oghamic Stones.
Creedon is approached by Sheriff Gorman Lannon who informs him he will be leading a group up to the Northface Mine. He also tells him that he knows Quigg is up to something and that Theodosia is the person doing the something. He offers Creedon an extra bit of money if he thwarts what she is up to.
Balwain of the Woods is told by the butcher Tamryn that some of the baron’s men were looking for him and that he is to report to the castle in the morning.

Theodosia, Colleen, Balwain, and Creedon go to the castle the next morning. They are told that the baron wants his “Ramblers” back. He sent them up to the Northface Mine Camp a week ago and told them to be back by the new year festival (Earrach Feis). He has since changed his mind and wants them back immediately. He chose this group because they have the skills to survive the trip. Creedon in charge, Colleen to protect, and Balwain to guide (Theodosia not mentioned). As this is going on Arlan is escorted in, tired and weary, and explains that Demorthen Graenne wishes him to go as well. The baroness looks unimpressed but the baron agrees and the group is sent on their way.

On the way out Colleen stops at the temple to receive a blessing for the trip. Rector Luciard does so, but he is not happy about Arlan being a part of the group. He tells Colleen that since Arlan was simply tagging along with the group and not a part of it, as such she was not responsible for protecting him.

On the way out of town the presence of Arlan causes quite a stir. Townsfolk with medical, personal, or spiritual issues come out of the woodwork and ask him for assistance. He helps a few folk (including a sick little boy) but says he must be on his way. Colleen uses the opportunity to tell people that the Temple also provides such services, and that they are always here in town.

The group is on its way. Balwain masterfully guides them through the forests he has hunted all his life. Along the way they begin seeing strange things. Groups of dead birds (of various local species). Starved, ratty, injured, lost feathers, etc. They are always found in a clump. A single ratty old magpie begins following them, cawing incessantly. When they try to approach it it attacks then flies off. They eventually kill and study the bird.

Later they see signs of a battle and more dead birds. A day later still they hear the oncoming rush of a flock of birds. They are attacked by it! The birds continue fighting to the last one.

As they get closer to the mining camp they notice a disturbing lack of local birds. The forest is silent.

The camp itself is surrounded by a 8’ high wooden wall. The approach the gate (locked) and knock. Someone comes from the nearby bunkhouse to let them in. His name is William and he is acting very strange. He is licking his lips and gripping his pick, repeatedly saying “I found them, I found them.” It quickly becomes clear he has completely lost his mind. They find out from William that there are others in the storage barn, as they approach they hear disgusting sounds of chopping and ripping flesh.

Three miners, including the owner Teague Lloyd, come out of the barn when William yells out to them. They as well seem mad. The interior of the barn is horrific. The old and new butchered remains of humans (and some animals) lie all over. Among the fresh ones are a number of miners and the baron’s Ramblers.

Teague pulls a stone from his pocket and studies the group with a hungry eye. He unleashes a devastating magical attack on Theodosia, her left side withers. The fight is on and the group quickly dispatch the remaining insane miners. Theodosia is left grievously injured.

The group explores the area and the mine. Inside they discover that the miners had uncovered an old cave. Inside the skeletal remains of a single person. On the wall, painted in blood, is the picture of a demonic looking Feonda with the body of a snake dropping stones into the hands of a prostrate man.

The Oghamic stones Teague was carrying are discovered to be cursed. They bestow maddening dreams to all in the area each night. It is a safe assumption Teague got these out of the cave. The stones are returned to the cave. The group closes the gates and puts a “stay out” symbol on the gates. Arlan wishes to speak with Graenne on what to do next.

The group sets out.



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