What you missed: Blackwood tournaments
by Ethan (Jean Baptise) Goldman
Good old Blackwood, the land of the… I don’t know, there are so many provinces to keep track of. I know bacon and gambling are involved but… whatever it was tournaments.
Anyway the first night we get there we find out someone has been taken away! Oh no! So naturally its up to us to go find him.
We shrug, say okay, mainly cause the hordes of undead are attacking us whether or not we agree, and promptly got lost. Like, we went the opposite direction… about 5 times? Eventually we manage to find a coded piece of paper the kidnapped guy left that lead clues to the next one, which were also searched out by a Lycan.
These lead to a diary where we found out the guy was already murdered by the Pack for something. So that settled the matter because they probably deserved it. For some reason every seer spell resulted in the whispers of begging stars, pleading for freedom as they drop from the sky like flies.
Everyone then went to get drunk until the next day.
The next day we were greeted by Blackwood… and strangely the New Verai guys. You know the people from the north south war? They came to watch.
So the tournaments began, starting with a grand melee to pick choices.
The first winner was Damian who then handed the job off Caliban, this sort of hobbit, the next winner was almost Rillan, but in a tragic and stunning betrayal Zatara killed him and took the job.
Next Duke Syruss of the great and wonderful land of Neden, got chosen, finally leaving Drike on the last team to avenge his father.
The teams were then decided by Recess rules and after everyone got drafted, we fought!
Some of the players went to compete in non-combative board games, while war events included bridge battles and a murder wheel.
Then we had bardics and Garharz regaled us on the wonders of Ashenmark day. Did you know Ashenmark managed to help found a entire village? It’s true, and all it took was an entirely different village.
During the bardics two people were cruelly assassinated. The first was Sir Kai, king of blackwood, who was almost finaled by a pissed off farmer named Brad.
The other was me, who Cinnabar killed because Arioch demands better songs and he was ‘noballed’. Which is considered a perfectly legitimate legal defense in Neden, so fair was fair. Plus once my head stopped rolling down the hill it was easy to attach.
So we saw fireworks, had a night quest, Bedlam came back and left, and the next day almost half the contestants mysteriously disappeared, including all of Team Drike and General Syruss.
Not willing to let the loss of his son and his general get him down, Rillan carried on and won the rest of the tournaments, which included a obstacle course, lock-picking, and a game of capture the flag.
Then we all got fireworks and cups and after announcing Team Syruss the winners (if only the duke was alive to see this day)we went on our way.
So that was the event, oh wait you want to know more about that Bedlam thing? Well okay.
As soon as the last firework came off Freyalise a rift tore open (We should probably use less dimension ripping explosions? Idk just a suggestion) and Freyalise came stumbling off, wild eyes and scared, carrying weird pillars.
She pleaded with us to flee, did we not know that Bedlam was coming? We stared at her, wasn’t Mad Tom dead?
Freyalise was equally confused, from the other side of the rift Bedlam never lost, and before we could argue more the bedlam boys stumbled out.
With little time left to waste the party went with Freyalise to save the day while I went to assemble the poles.
I don’t entirely know what happened while me and Syruss assembled a safe space but I was told that the forces of darkness surrounded Freyalise and dragged her away as Rillan almost was scalped trying to stop them.
So now we had a problem to solve. But Bedlam is not a simple foe, its Boys had all sorts of powers, and leading them were the damned souls of Sir K, Temorse (looks like they didn’t shave him in that reality), and a freshly Boy’d Freyalise.
Fortunately a lot of people kept their swords of light around and with them these boys could be held back but a more proactive method was needed.
The ground was littered with star bits, and for some strange reason gypsies nearby knew exactly what to do with them.
In that timeline Bedlam was more a creature of darkness then madness, and madness hated the stars. So much so that with the stars we could assemble a force to bade bedlam back.
After prying stars from the boys cold damned hands we managed to enter the darkness itself, bounding us to others as we had to fight attached to one another in a three handed fighting.
Once we escaped the darkness more of the picture was pieced together. Bedlam, fearful of light, had damned the stars themselves, and if these constellations could be reassembled this Bedlam would be weakened.
We proceeded to do so, grabbing stars and piecing them back into constellations as I did a ritual. Throughout this whole fight the corrupted adventurers bedlam used continued to hinder us. Plus it was a life of a almost unimaginable torment I was told. So using the power of the stars, I asked them to free these alternate Freyalise, Sir K, and Temorse from their damned fates. In return their fate was made partially my own and my arms and a leg blackened with bedlam’s evil (Still got my lucky left though). And once the constellations were freed they did as they were asked and Bedlams three champions vanished. When asked I was informed by the stars that the deal was finished, our friends were free from bedlam, safe in the peaceful oblivion of nothingness.
So… net gain I guess. Point is I helped.
With bedlam’s champions gone the boys had a much harder time facing us and soon we, armed with the power of stars gifted to us by the gypsies, went through the rift itself. We were going to strike bedlam where it hurt and close the rift behind us, but before that, we had the time for one last precog.
In the world where the darkness wins and corrupts everything, what is the worst corruption of light, a voice whispered in my ear.
A few minutes later, Aurora, bound in Bedlams fell glow, rose behind us, sending her armies of darkness to smite us.
So that answered that question. Fortunately Aurora boy did not fight us herself, unable to leave bedlam itself and not the into the rift midspace we were fighting. However gods, even weakened and damned, do not die simply and in order to free her we needed to play by her own (well own before being Boy’d) rules, casting our wishes into her pool to light the way for those pure in heart to drag pieces of her broken heart back from bedlam’s black sea.
I think at least, with the divine the metaphorical bleeds into the literal. Eventually Aurora held enough of her own power to shrug off the Titan of madness, and with one word, all of Bedlam’s forces were cast back in the damned corners all fell things cower in.
We did well, and with Aurora freed she was more then happy to close the rift, after all Bedlam was no bereft four of its greatest champions. But first Rillan, who lead us to stop the rift, deserved a reward, a single Tear.
And then we left, and, without a word, the rift shut.