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Subject: Darkest Night under full canvas rss

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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany,

playing DARKEST NIGHT makes it very easy to switch from a pure gaming/playing mode to the narrative mode. Although I found it impossible for me to cover all the actions and activities that happen during a game session. DARKEST NIGHT provides endless options and always new surprises as the story develops.

Here is such a story.

“Perilous quests, blights on the move, forbidden treasures, mysterious artifacts, cursed seals, humble keys, holy relics, and the deadly struggle against darkness”

From the chronicles of friar Timotheus


Situation at start

The heroes (all located at the Monastery): Princess Sarah, Fanthagira the Fire Witch, Silandra the Nymph, and Rasmusson the Ranger.

Mountains (Cristal Roc): holy relic blocked by 4 seals, shades.
Castle (Falconcrest): lich.
Village (Cottondale): Ill Weather quest, curse.
Swamp (Doomsfield): holy relic blocked by 4 seals, desecration.
Forest (Lymlil): holy relic blocked by 4 seals, evil presence.
Ruins (Arqat): holy relic blocked by 4 seals, Necromancer, taint.

Darkness: 0.



First week.

In the 8th year of our good king Cornelius II’s reign, rumors turned into fact, menace into perils. The forces of darkness, led by a most cruel necromancer, Prutax knocked at the kingdom’s backdoor. “There’s not much I can do”, the ruler admitted, “my army is occupied elsewhere. And I still have some doubts that this situation in that province of mine is so desperate. There is a well garrisoned fortress, castle Falconcrest, and enough levies could be drafted from the countryside to form an effective defense.”
This opinion found confirmation by the king’s secret advisor, the wealthy trader Morbidius Egglethorpe, nicknamed M. Rich. “I’d rather send all my red boxes to that place than moving the king’s army there. But we should provide some help to the good people in Calindria. What about a team of experts to check the situation, gather some intelligence and come back with some advice?”
And so it happened.
The team did not need much time to discover that the situation was much worse than anticipated. Countless minions had already invaded Calindria, the people were on the brink of panicking. This would open the gates to conquer and occupy.
The team assembled within the walls of the monastery of Our Lady Grace one more time.
“Let’s stop him.” “And crush him!” “But how?”
Our abbot knew the way. “Break the seals, find the Keys of Fate, retrieve the holy relics, and then attack and kill the lord of the undead and darkness.”
“Doesn’t sound too much of a problem”, Sarah uttered, turning her eyes to the ceiling. The team made its final preparations.
“Do not forget our best card we have in this game!” “Where is she?”
“Last heard that she is still solving some trouble in that town west of Calindria.”
“Ahhh! Forget Farmingdale. The true danger is here!” Herman, a delegate from the village of Cottondale barked.

Rasmusson left for Cottondale, providing Pathfinding for the princess.
“Ranger, you could take care of this awful weather. This must be one of the necromancer’s black magic toys. I’ll check the village.” The people of Cottondale were most delighted to have the princess in their humble dwelling.
“What have we here?” A large treasure chest was found in one the long ago deserted huts at the outskirts of the village.
The necromancer must have recognized the team’s activities as he moved to Cottondale. He brought no minions with him but established one of his hellish gates.
Good news from the mountains: the fire witch managed to destroy a seal there. That also made the shades perish.
Startling News! The Ill Weather would intensify much faster than first thought. Must have been the presence of the necromancer so close-by.
Rasmusson, as cool as ever, did not really care about the near threat, but kept his sharp eyes and … found the first key!
Reading the magic symbols engraved in it, he also destroyed another seal and the desecration disappeared.
Glory!
The storm intensified all over the land.


Situation after turn 02.

Mountains: Fire Witch, holy relic blocked by 3 seals, Necromancer, evil presence.
Castle: Princess, lich.
Monastery: empty.
Village: Ranger (1 key), large treasure chest, curse, gate, Ill Weather quest, support level 1.
Swamp: holy relic blocked by 3 seals, shades.
Forest: Nymph, holy relic blocked by 4 seals, evil presence.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 4 seals, taint.

Darkness: 3.


Second week.

Checking the treasure chest, the ranger found his second key!
Finally the Ill Weather hit the land. It was catastrophic. Everybody suffered. Then it was over. The sun was back.
Prutax came to Falconcrest and unleashed his terror there.
Silandra detected a Dark Seed in Lymlil. “That is really hurting me”, she thought. “It must be stopped!” The delicate girl looked around to find the roots. Nothing.
Rasmusson joined the nymph to help her racing from Cottondale to Lymlil along a secret Track.
And he was successful. Destroying this root of evil, darkness was pushed back. A bit.
The necromancer retaliated instantly. Revenants swarmed the forest. A small gang that found the ranger was cut to pieces.
At Falconcrest, the Fire Witch suffered a Mind Blast attack of the necromancer. “That hurts!”
“Take this, you creature from hell!” She burned the place. All blights were engulfed in fire and were no more.
The garrison was not that happy watching some of its buildings going up in flames, too.
Prutax stayed in place and fabricated an eerie atmosphere of doom.
“We got it, we got it.” Some of the monks at Our Lady Grace happily reported our abbot that they found some clues for an artifact hidden within the walls of the monastery. “Good work! But let the brave team find and use it.”
The magic storm not only brought destruction but also renewed seals at the holy relic places.
“You have no idea what is in my powers, mortals!”
A stroke of white magic hit the land. Darkness was forced back violently.
“Prutax! Do not underestimate the power of light!”
This magic came from the west, from that town called …


Situation after turn 04.

Mountains: holy relic blocked by 3 seals, evil presence.
Castle: Fire Witch, (bottled magic), Necromancer (1 magic shield), omen, support level 2, threat level 6.
Monastery: hint for 1 artifact.
Village: Princess, large treasure chest, curse, gate, support level 2, threat level 3.
Swamp: holy relic blocked by 3 seals, shades.
Forest: Nymph, Ranger, holy relic blocked by 5 seals, evil presence, revenants, support level 3, threat level 5.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 5 seals, taint.

Darkness: 1.


Third week.

Key #3 was found by Silandra. She went back to the monastery. “Getting an artifact might be helpful.”
As the Curse was banished from Cottondale, two blights lay siege to the monastery.
Dark Fog was nothing but a show of darkness, but Decay really hampered the team.
With great effort, the necromancer brought forward darkness.
The princess counter-attacked by returning to the monastery and destroying all blights there.
The ranger recovered but never neglected to watch the surroundings. “Yes, another treasure vault.”
“As I am here anyway, let’s look for one of those artifacts.” Her highness was successful. A Blessed Ankh was added to her necklace.
Was it a trap? Prutax magically conjured a treasure chest right at the center of the castle yard.
As the necromancer left the castle area in order to hunt the Fire Witch, he left even another treasure chest in place.
A second wave of blights appeared at Our Lady Grace.
Daylight was gone. The necromancer must have been enraged.
A couple of counter attacks saw the end of the spies at the monastery, and some burning huts at Cottondale as Fanthagira destroyed the necromancer’s gate.


Situation after turn 05.

Mountains: holy relic blocked by 2 seals, evil presence.
Castle: 2 large treasure chests, omen, support level 3, threat level 6.
Monastery: Princess (1 artifact), Nymph (1 key), hint for 1 artifact, corruption.
Village: Fire Witch (1 bottled magic), large treasure chest, support level 1, threat level 3.
Swamp: holy relic blocked by 2 seals, Necromancer (1 magic shield), corruption, webs.
Forest: Ranger (2 keys), holy relic blocked by 5 seals, revenants, support level 4, threat level 5.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 5 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 12.



A long-range magic attack shattered the revenants in the forest. The whole area was fully illuminated. “That will weaken any minions of Prutax here.”
Applying his superior Pathfinding skill, Rasmusson brought Fanthagira to the Doomsfield swamp.
“There’s but one seal left here.” “We need Silandra’s key though.”
Grim Tidings: a new threat popped up. Collaborators in the Cristal Roc mountains.
The Fire Witch left for Falconcrest. “I’ll be back. With a few keys. Promise.”
The princess did not take long to convince the would-be minions to stay on the right side.
This triggered an ambush by a horde of zombies. But her highness could elude this force. Her Blessed Ankh helped her to get out of a second ambush unscathed.
Prutax instantly moved into the mountains to stabilize the situation. This finally triggered some brave people to stand up and fight darkness themselves. “Feel my revenge!” The leader of darkness went off for Falconcrest and unleashed a whole group of blights there.

The industrious monks found more clues for artifacts. “Keep up the good work.”


Situation after turn 07.

Mountains: Princess (1 artifact), holy relic blocked by 2 seals, evil presence, shroud, zombies, support level 2.
Castle: Fire Witch (2 bottled magic), 2 large treasure chests, Necromancer (1 magic shield), crows, gate, omen, unholy aura, support level 3, threat level 6.
Monastery: hints for 3 artifacts, corruption.
Village: large treasure chest, support level 3, threat level 3.
Swamp: Ranger (2 keys), holy relic blocked by 1 seal, corruption, threat level 2.
Forest: Nymph (1 key), holy relic blocked by 5 seals, magic sun, support level 4, threat level 5.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 5 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 19.



Fourth week.

Facing the imminent threat of the overwhelming forces of evil, some fanatics tried to sacrifice the Fire Witch in a Ritual. She escaped after a hard fight, which saw all fanatics dead.
Using ancient, very ancient magic, Fanthagira transformed one of the necromancer’s treasure chests into two Keys of Fate.
Hidden well deep within Lymlil, Silandra found two more keys.
Sarah was not just a beautiful princess but also a very skilled warrior. She led an all-out attack in the mountains and the area was free of blights.
“Something will be here again, soon”, she warned her combat staff and troops.
Well protected by his hordes near the castle, Prutax sent a unit of shades to the monastery.
“We are under siege again.”
The abbot in person led a sally at the monastery. The shades ceased to exist.
Unfriendly Eyes at the castle made darkness crawl forward again.
Fanthagira did not hesitate for a second, and released her mighty Firepower again.
Right after that, the witch raced to the Doomsfield swamp and handed the ranger one of her keys.
It must have been one of the minions that reported his master that ‘we could no longer hold off that huntress. She is on the move east now.’
Prutax felt a strange sensation … fear.


Situation after turn 09.

Mountains: Princess (1 key, 1 artifact), holy relic blocked by 2 seals, support level 2, threat level 6.
Castle: 1 large treasure chest, support level 1.
Monastery: Nymph (5 keys), hints for 2 artifacts, corruption.
Village: large treasure chest, support level 3, threat level 3.
Swamp: Fire Witch (1 key, 2 bottled magic), Ranger (3 keys), holy relic blocked by 1 seal, Necromancer (1 magic shield), corruption, threat level 5.
Forest: holy relic blocked by 4 seals, magic sun, support level 4, threat level 8.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 5 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 26.


Fifth week.

The princess found her second key and crushed a seal “That leaves just one in place here.”
Twilight at Doomsfield swamp. “I’ll lure the necromancer away from you.” The witch marched to Cottondale.
But this time the necromancer kept track of the ranger and stayed in the area.
The Nymph and the Princess finally made it! They destroyed the last seal. The holy relic was in range now.
Nightmares at the castle! Too many bad prophesies to be ignored.
Great progress in the Cristal Roc mountains: a full support by all people there removed any current threat, and Silandra applied three lost keys to get the first holy relic.
The team finally got the tool to effectively fight the necromancer.
It took Sarah some effort to get rid of a group of phantoms Haunting her.
“I’ll take care of that little girl in the castle.”
And so she did. The most surprised and thankful parents provided the princess a small charm, which was accepted with great delight.
“I think, the ranger could now make good use of that bottled magic.” The Fire Witch returned to the Doomsfield swamp.
Rasmusson took the magic items and both moved back to Falconcrest, again using the ranger’s Pathfinding skill.
Would the castle be the place of the final battle?
Putrax did not follow them.


Situation after turn 11.

Mountains: Nymph (holy relic, 2 keys), specters, support level 2, threat level 3.
Castle: Princess (2 keys, 1 artifact, 1 charm), Fire Witch (1 key), Ranger (4 keys, 3 bottled magic), shades, 1 large treasure chest, support level 1.
Monastery: hints for 2 artifacts, corruption.
Village: taint, spies, large treasure chest, support level 3, threat level 7.
Swamp: holy relic blocked by 1 seal, Necromancer (1 magic shield), corruption, corruption, corruption, threat level 10.
Forest: holy relic blocked by 2 seals, magic sun, large treasure chest, webs, support level 4, threat level 8.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 5 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 27.



Sixth week.

Silandra joined the others at the castle. She was greeted first by a group of shades. She pushed them back easily applying Bent Bough.
A Desperate Bargain was offered to the princess. “Can I deny it?” A rhetoric question. She left for the monastery, At the Double. But before she left to guard Our Lady Grace, she handed over the Blessed Ankh to Rasmusson. “Might be of some help destroying that creature.”
The captain of the castle garrison reported that they would fully support the team when it comes to battle the leader of the undead.
Grim Tidings … again. Apparently a group of ignorant idiots, or Opportunists, attempted an uprising in the Lymlil forest.
Putrax decided to pay a visit to Falconcrest again. He summoned flocks of crows. What was his plan?
Excellent news! The Huntress had arrived at the monastery.
Darkness seemed to withdraw considerably. But the necromancer reacted also aggressively and sent spies to the monastery to shadow the new arrival.
Prutax’ sinister plan became obvious: he lowered the darkness threat but increased his own power.
“Common trick amongst those creatures”, the Huntress confirmed. “We know need to have a second holy relic in our hands in order to break his defenses” “Or accept a higher darkness again”, our wise abbot pointed out.
“We need that holy relic locked in the swamp”, Fanthagira said and left the castle.
To everybody’s surprise, the necromancer reacted immediately and followed her into the Doomsfield. Within moments it was overrun by blights.
Rasmusson exploited the recent developments and moved towards Cottondale.
The Huntress marched into Lymlil. The opportunists there went silent. Forever.
Putrax summoned desecration at the monastery!


Situation after turn 13.

Mountains: magic sun, support level 2, threat level 8.
Castle: magic sun, 1 large treasure chest, support level 4, threat level 3.
Monastery: Princess (2 keys), hints for 5 artifacts, corruption, desecration.
Village: Nymph (holy relic, 2 keys), Ranger (4 keys, 3 bottled magic), omen, large treasure chest, magic sun, support level 3, threat level 7.
Swamp: Fire Witch (1 key), holy relic blocked by 1 seal, Necromancer (1 magic shield), corruption, corruption, crows, support level 2, threat level 10.
Forest: Huntress (3 keys), holy relic blocked by 1 seal, magic sun, 2 large treasure chests, skeletons, support level 4, threat level 8.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 4 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 19.



Seventh week.

The Fire Witch burned the swamp. “No protection for you here anymore.”
The Ranger got the holy relic. The people of Cottondale were awed as they recognized this mysterious object. It was a great moment, lifting the spirits of all.
Then, the necromancer entered the village.
Right after that, a whole unit of skeletons showed up. They had moved away from the forest.
The magic sun at the village’s plaza turned into a hellish dark green.
Here at the monastery we felt the presence of bad Omen.
The Princess and her knights swept the monastery free of enemies.
The Huntress went deep into the forest, desperately trying to find a way to break the final seal of the holy relic located there. In vain.
But there was hope! The last seal in the Doomsfield swamp dissolved!
Fanthagira instantly raced to the swamp. “Just one more key!”
“Here we go”, Silandra had joined her friend in the Doomsfield swamp. “I got plenty of them.”
Prutax decided to evade and moved off into the mountains. Two more magic suns disappeared.
On the other hand, our cause was significantly supported as also the holy relic within Lymlil was finally freed.
“The final chapter has started”, uttered the Huntress and cast one of her deadly spells. Four specters appeared. “My personal bodyguard”, she explained to the Princess with a smile.


Situation after turn 15.

Mountains: Necromancer (1 magic shield), shades, 2 magic moons, support level 1, threat level 8.
Castle: Crows, magic sun, 1 large treasure chest, support level 4, threat level 3.
Monastery: hints for 6 artifacts.
Village: Ranger (holy relic, 4 keys, 3 bottled magic), crows, skeletons, webs, large treasure chest, magic moon, support level 2, threat level 4.
Swamp: Fire Witch (3 keys), Nymph (5 keys), unblocked holy relic, vampires, support level 3, threat level 10.
Forest: Huntress (4 specters, 4 keys, vanishing dust), Princess (3 keys), unblocked holy relic, magic sun, 2 large treasure chests, support level 5.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 4 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 23.



Eighth week.

The Huntress retrieved the second holy relic. “Prepare for battle!”
Webs engulfed the monastery. The Huntress moved to Cottondale.
Rasmusson and the people of Cottondale cheered as the fifth hero showed up. The Ranger acted quickly and destroyed the magic moon. “One protection gone.”
Sarah showed up next. “I do not want to miss this.”
The Fire Witch was also back in town. Some inhabitants grew a little bit nervous …
Prutax finally decided to seek a decision. “Come here, mortals, fight me. And die.”
More crows appeared at the village, shades at the monastery.
“Rotten bastard!”
Prutax laughed. “Prepare to die.”
The Princess started the first battle against the necromancer. He instantly countered with having dead servants attack her. The princess cunningly eluded this enemy. This encouraged the people of Cottondale to attack and kill all but the crows. “We want our village clean of that filthy crab. That left the Princess’ men to force the black birds away.
“Well done! Another protection gone.”
“Rasmusson! Attack!”
That order was not really necessary as the foul creature tried to kill the ranger anyway.
The brave guy fired a couple of Poisoned Arrows. The necromancer was hit several times, got close to the archer and wounded him. Then his magic shield dissolved.
The Huntress stepped forward.
“Time for you to leave this land.” She wielded her fabulous magic sword, cut through the necromancer’s desperate parrying, the blade found the evil leader’s neck, cut through skin, flesh and bones.
Prutax’ head fell off.
The days of threatening eternal darkness were over.


Final situation (after 17 game turns):

Mountains: 2 magic moons, support level 1, threat level 8.
Castle: Crows, magic sun, 1 large treasure chest, support level 4, threat level 3.
Monastery: hints for 6 artifacts, shades, webs.
Village: Huntress (4 specters, holy relic, 2 keys, vanishing dust), Princess (2 keys), Fire Witch (3 keys), Ranger (holy relic, 4 keys, 3 bottled magic), slain Necromancer, large treasure chest, support level 1.
Swamp: Nymph (5 keys), unblocked holy relic, magic sun, support level 3.
Forest: Magic sun, 2 large treasure chests, support level 6, threat level 3.
Ruins: holy relic blocked by 4 seals, shades, taint.

Darkness: 21.



My thanks to VPG and all the game wizards there for providing so many games inspiring their players' imagination.


Cheers
U.L.H.



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Bob
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Be sure to taste your words, before you spit them out.
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If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.
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