So. I was after a relaxing weekend. Hang out in the field, with some friends, maybe do some magic. Nice and relaxing.

I did not get relaxing. At all. Ignoring the fact that I had a bad piece of news from the family this weekend (not unexpected news, but that doesn’t make it any less bad), everything that happened at Empire definitely did nothing to calm my nerves down. In fact, they had the complete opposite effect.

 

Friday Evening

Turn up, pitch tent, time in. Standing (meeting of the Navarr nation) happens and I recommend a friend for the position of Coroner because she wasn’t there and I know her character would love that.

I then happen to be going past the Regio (powerful magic circle for casting rituals) when it exploded. Spent the next hour healing people who exploded in rituals. I’ve never seen labyrinth script engraved on someone’s organs before, so that was fun, and then there were a lot of venoms. So many venoms.

After that Conclave (meeting of the mages) and due to more than one person running off to do other things, I get to stand in a proxy grandmaster of the order and the rod and shield. This was pretty cool, but does mean organising and shouting at people. Luckily, these are things I am good at. There was then the silliest motion I have ever heard, that priests should be present for all Eternal/Herald (powerful MAGICAL beings) interactions. He was laughed out. There was also the narrow contest between Archmage’s for Spring, but Kallendar managed to hold onto it (I like that Orc a lot). There was also a contest for Warmage, but considering the challenger basically spent his entire time trash talking the current Warmage, and not listing why he was better, there really wasn’t a contest in that one.

That evening, we were then approached by a Night herald and offered a really nice new Night Ritual, which will allow us to look like vallorn to other vallorn (nature gone made and started growing, think big trees and bugs, but nasty). All we had to do was go into a vallorn infested area and retrieve an ever blooming weirwood tree for him. Not a problem. Not a problem at all (this may or may be sarcasm). But, I was really interested in this, since if we did it, and got this ritual, we would be able to walk trods (magical paths that counteract the vallorn infestations when you walk them) that we haven’t been able to in years. So I went to bed mulling over that possibility.

 

Saturday

Managed to get a bit of a lie in, which was nice. what wasn’t nice was the first thing I got told when I woke up was that the Archmage of Spring had been assassinated the previous night. That was a big shock, and really sad. He was a great Archmage. The Orcs of course, were also a little annoyed at this.

After that I ambled over to the Sentinel Gate (big portal used to go on away mission and battles) because the army that went out was coming back. I picked up one guy, who when told he had the neastest surgeon on the field working on him, asked to be left with a scar. Since I knew he was a big winter ritualist, I gave him a nice big W shaped scar, and put some little ice crystal round it. He then later became the new Archmage of Winter when the old one stepped down. Appropriate!

I then had lunch at Tykes. they were serving Dawn pig in a bun. So very very delicious.

After lunch we had a meeting to discuss the possibility of the vallorn mission. Mainly, did we want to do it or not. The Navarr, who ancestral home was torn down by the vallorn (maybe because we created them a little through tiny amounts of magical overuse) we obviously very interested in this. But we did have other nations coming along as well. We discussed it, and eventually agreed to try and rescue the tree, and more importantly, see if the ritual worked. I was quite nervous for the rest of the afternoon.

I then spent quite a lot of time sourcing potions, herbs, anti-venoms and a bond ring (magical item that allows you to get one person bonded to you up off the floor when they fall over), just so that we were super prepared for the mission tonight. I decided to wear armour and forgo magical healing, because although I was super excited to go on this mission, I wasn’t going to be stupid about it, and mages are really squishy! (You can’t cast magic in armour. So the choice was armour or magic. I choose armour.)

There was then a big fight between two Navarr. Sort of a grudge match, although the two are friends. They just wanted to know who was the better fighter out of the two of them. Carr won, and I got to patch him up, and that was my first encouter with these new types of traumatic wounds, where someone is infected by a realm of magic and starts turning into the lineage. This didn’t happen during the fight, it must have happened earlier, but it was still slightly alarming to learn that Carr had been turning into a Draughir (Winter lineage) for most of the day. Finding something perfect and beautiful to drive the winter out of him proved a bit of a challenge, but we got there in the end.

I myself then went to find a friend, and had the most terrifying encounter of the whole weekend, where I was tackled by a tiny monster, and defeated! She stood on top of me and proclaimed her victory to the whole world, continually hitting me when I got back up to tickle her. I love having children on the field, they are simply the best. Especially when they run to tackle you, over giving their parents a hug!

I tried to bid on some more Roseweald (the anti-venom herb) in the open auction, but was outbid. Also the Brass coast were having a holiday where they abandon all virtue and make a nuisance of themselves. The auctioneer was not impressed when they dragged their boat in and tried to auction it off. Thankfully, I didn’t need to stay for all of it, and got to escape the mad antics of the freeborn. Although they did chase Wisdom through our camp later that evening. But evening for me means Conclave.

Turning up to conclave in armour is fun, especially since I had to take it all off to cast the magic to travel to the Hall of Worlds (super secret mage club!) and then put it all back on again. But I was still acting Grandmaster since all the other people were off doing other things. It dragged on, there were loads of motions, one of which was for the elction of Archmage of Spring, since the last one had been murdered. However, the person who challenge him for it last night (and was his assistant when he was alive) had been cleared of any suspicion in his death and was voted in with popularity. Also, there was another really dumb motion, and I thought that we had run out of dumb. Someone put forward that we were using too much of our magic on battle magic, and that we should withhold all magical support from the Empire until they build us a College of Magic. Because that’s what we really need. Another College of Magic. Because we couldn’t just ask for one to be built. Needless to say, she was shouted at for a bit, rejected, and then laughed out of Conclave. Which then proceeded to run on, and on, and nearly into my mission time.

Practically running out of conclave when it finished, I thankfully had my armour on me, and could put it on as I join the rest of the party outside, and we had the Night ritual cast upon us in the Regio (which had thankfully stopped exploding) and then we left. Some Navarr had gathered outside the portal and the hospital had been prepared to deal with all of the poison, since that is what vallorn do. We didn’t stick around for very long, just enough to wait for a bumblebee (the refs where yellow and black tabards, so we call them bumblebees) and then we popped through the portal.

It was dark, and we had to go slow just in case we came upon Vallorn. Thankfully, the regio where the tree was growing was very well lit with the magics of spring, and acted like a beacon to draw us in. We started to shamble, and mumble and groan a bit, nervous that it wouldn’t work, but it did! The spell actually worked! Although it was still terrifying to be this close to vallorn, having them sniff at you, and having to remain calm and shamble on. The vallorn didn’t react to us, except in one instance where one member was bumped into, and growled at. When she didn’t growl back, she was attacked and dropped. But it wasn’t seeing through the disguise, it was just a vallorn hierarchy thing!  Then Cormac, blooming Cormac, picked the special bag to put the tree in off her body, shoved the tree in the bag, then dragged Meredith off the floor, healing her up as the vallorn twigged there was something wrong and they pegged it! Corageous to the point of idiocy! He then handed off the tree to someone else, and went back to make sure that everyone else got out. We all pegged it back, got through the portal, got checked over, and then I got to detect magic the tree. Turns out it wasn’t vallorn infected like we feared, it was just very spring attuned, to the magnitude of 20, which is why it’s ever blooming.

Best part? No one was posioned. Apart from Willa, who held the tree with bare hands. But she got cured. I went to sleep very very happy. And a little exhausted.

 

Sunday

Battle day! Woke up, got ready, was feeling rather confident after the events of Saturday. Boy was that a mistake.

The battle was a nightmare. A complete exercise in chaos where little groups were getting cut off, people kept retreating whilst others were fighting, stringing us out, and basically being absolutely terrible.

The first time I got cut down, there was a small group of us who were trying to attempt a fighting retreat, because we had been cut off from the main force (they were too busy moving away to fight the Orcs around us), and a few of us fell because we were a really small group of about five, and there were twenty Orcs. One of them teased us for a bit, saying he was taking us prisoner, how did we like that, and then my potion kicked in, I got back up, and stabbed him, then healed people up and we tried to move on.

The second time was about a minute after that because the main force had gone quite a distance, and there were a lot of Orcs in between them and us. We got dropped, and left for a bit. Then another Orc came up, took out weapons, patched us up, and then one by one took us to go and taunt the other fighters. (OOC he was lovely. He said that it was shit that we were dying there, so he was going to throw us back to the enemy.) I was patch up, dragged off, forced to my knees in front of the front line, at which point people kind of ignore it for a few moments, then an archer shot one of the orcs standing over me, I whipped out the dagger I had hidden up my skirt out, slashed the ankle of the other one and then desperately crawled to freedom. Skinned knees and bruised wrists totally worth it (and the roleplay was amazing, thank you to that Orc!).

The third time I got dropped was when I was in the middle of a scrum of people, and lots of the people in armour decided that the better fighting was to be had at the front, the direction we were pushing in, so left the back. I got pushed out the back, and directly into the line of Orcs that were there. Thanks people in armour. Thanks a lot. A slave of the Orcs then picked me up, healed me and persuaded her Orc master that I was valuable, and we should ransom me back rather than kill me. I was popped down by a tree, right behind the Orc front line, which was blockading the entrance to the forest, while the Empire army had been forced out into the field. I waited, and waited, tried to heal some other Empire citizen but they were sadly beyond help, and waited, and when the Orc line broke, made a run for it, and tumbled into the waiting arms of a friend who healed me up, because of course the Orcs stabbed me as I ran passed, and all I had was a little dagger.

Then we actually had some cohesion, found one of the bit we were supposed to, made a push back into the forest, found the stone head we had come here to collect, did a ritual thingy, then picked it up and got it out. How we managed all that when we were so fragmented at the beginning I have no idea, but I came back through the portal, shaking all over and couldn’t quite believe that I was still alive after all of that.

I did get another great bit of roleplay, as someone else brought through the slave girl that had saved me that third time, and there was lots of crying and hugs as I told ehr that she had saved my life, and that she was a good person, and she was not horrible for helping the Orcs whilst she was a slave. Excellent little bit of roleplay, and I got to cry, which after being afraid I was going to die two times (the first time I had the potion, so I knew I was okay that time) is what I kind of needed.

After spending twenty minutes shaking and having little bits of food and drink shoved at me, we had a standing. Unfortunately, eight people of Navarr did die in the battle, which didn’t surprise me as that was the worst example of battlefield tactics I have ever seen. We then elected our new general, and my good friend Merryn was elected. The look on her face as she saw how long the line of people backing her was was priceless. We also celebrated Cormac’s courage and he was officially given the title of ‘Illium-Balls’ (Illium being the most precious metal in the Empire).

We then went and delivered that tree to the Night Herald, who was very grateful, and promised to deliver that ritual to us on a scroll by the Spring (two games time), and in the meantime cast it upon us if we needed it again.

Then I actually managed to have a nice quiet hour to myself, and calmed down enough to pack up the tent so that when time out happened we were ready to pack up the car and go.

 

So all in all, this was not the quiet event that I had wanted. But you know what? It was the best event that I have ever had, and I wouldn’t change it (not even the nearly dying bits) for anything. Even if it does mean that I am completely exhausted now, both physically and emotionally.

Oh, and I can find a dragon anywhere. I picked up this cute little guy on the field, made of green and purple felt. I named him Regio :3

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