1227, Spring Massacre

It is still spring, 1227 in our Ars Magica saga of Druids’ Dale. In the previous session, we had made preparations to deal with the faerie knight Sr Aidan and his Redcap cronies. Our plan was not honourable, but we hoped it would be effective.

1227, Spring – Jack

We are waiting in the stone circle to see if Sir Aidan and the Redcaps fall for our trap. Maedbh suddenly announces that she has had a cunning idea, and starts going on about changing someone’s memories about what has happened. At least, that’s what I remember assuming that she hasn’t re-written my memory.

After dusk, a couple of Redcaps come out of the woods. They spot the cooked food, but seem a bit suspicious of it. Eventually though their stomach wins out over their caution, and they head over to the camp to take a bite. Several more Redcaps join them.

Shortly thereafter Sir Aidan rides out of the forest on the unicorn. He comes to a halt and watches the others as they begin to test the food. Three of them suddenly break out into a brawl, whilst the others begin quaffing at the beer and shouting encouragement at their colleagues. Sir Aidan tries to order them to stop fighting.

Several more Redcaps come out of the woods, as the knight tries to organise them to take the food and drink back to the camp. Some of them begin to obey, whilst also trying to take a swig from the barrel of beer.

There are now twelve Redcaps. The second group are settling down at the edge of the wood, having been ordered to Sir Aidan to stay put. Though they are currently obeying, they seem to be somewhat jealous. Eventually Sir Aidan get a few of them to actually start carrying a barrel and the big back into the forest. Once they have been herded back into the forest, the other six make a dash for what remains of the food and drink, and begin to consume it.

After about ten minutes, Sir Aidan comes back with a couple of the Redcaps. On spotting the other Redcaps digging into the provisions, he gets angry and starts yelling at them and using a whip.

After about twenty minutes, many of the Redcaps are laying around drunk and content.

Maedbh starts to cast Call to Slumber on Sir Aidan, but in the high magic of the stone circle loses control of her spell.

When I wake up, Maedbh explains that she accidentally put myself and the two grogs asleep.

The Redcaps are highly inebriated, and Sir Aidan, who failed to notice the spell, is now very angry.

Maedbh tries another Call to Slumber, on a Redcap this time. She selects one that has his head in a barrel of beer. He falls to sleep, and almost drowns. Sir Aidan notices something this time, and starts riding his unicorn towards us.

Allistor steps out and shouts some Latin. The earth in front of him heaves, and suddenly acts as if a wave passed under the ground. The Knight spots it before it reaches him, and he tries to spur his unicorn to leap over it. Several of the Redcaps are taken out as the ground hurls itself at the, and one is on fire from having been thrown into the fire.

The unicorn fails to jump, and gets thrown to the ground. Sir Aidan though is hurled forward and crashes into the ground.

I run towards the knight who is still on the ground and defenceless, thrusting my sword through the mail in his armour. He collapses back to the ground as I pull my now bloody sword out of his body.

There is the sound of Latin chanting from Maedbh, but nothing seems to happen. Callen runs up to one of the Redcaps, and removes the Redcap’s head with his axe. At this point, the Redcaps begin to react, but none are able to do much more than stagger or crawl at this point.

There is more chanting, this time from Allistor, and bolts of fire shoot past me and hitting the unicorn, incinerating it. Finally realising that he was meant to be doing some, Blane runs up and kills one of the other Redcaps.

I try to rescue the horn from the burning corpse of the unicorn, but blinded by the smoke I’m unable to do anything before a large jet of water hits the unicorn putting it out. As the grogs proceed to finish off the Recaps, I stagger down the road to detach the unicorn’s horn. I take it back to Allistor and hand it over to him, since he had shown an interest in obtaining one for his magical rituals.

There are nine dead Redcaps. Maedbh goes from body to body, casting a spell over each one and then pulling off a bit of their body. I’ve seen magi do this before – it seems to be some ritualistic trophy grabbing that they do with faeries.

She does the same with the knight, and pulls out his tongue. Though I’m not interested in his body parts, his great sword is actually quite good quality. Before I grab it though, Maedbh suggests that it might be enchanted to mess with your head, so I leave it alone.

We head into the woods, and quickly come across the three remaining Redcaps. One is vomiting heavily, so I put him out of his misery. Shortly, there are three more dead Redcaps, and Maedbh does her ritual thing over the bodies.

We have a discussion about whether to go after the spider thing. Going after it is very probably dangerous, but leaving it alone might be more dangerous in the future. It is ultimately decided to try to avoid dealing with the spider any further.

I try to find the way back to the camp, but get lost in the process. Alistor takes over, and eventually we find are way back, and then to the knight’s camp. We grab some of the stuff, including a barrel of fish,  then head out to look for the exit. When we eventually reach the outside, it is bright daylight.

We pick up the sword and armour and head back to the village. They are pleased to see us, because they hadn’t been attacked. It has been two nights since we went into the woods. Maedbh gives a suitably sanitised version of events to the villagers. They invite us to stay for a feast. Though there isn’t much beer to be had, since it had been used in the trap, the young women here are more than grateful for us having rescued them.

The following morning we head back to the covenant.

Samuel Penn

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