Dragon Age: The Blades of Andraste

Session 1

(Written by Amasa)

The four adventurers gather: Knight Sergeant Shavok Kinnon, Knight Initiate
Tygra of Lothering, Sister Helle of Gwaren, and Maximus Amell of the Circle of
Magi. Hand-selected by the Grand Cleric of Ferelden, they are brought to the
upper floor of the Denerim Chantry to wait the Reverend Mother’s pleasure.

After brief small talk, they are summoned to Grand Cleric Altrynne’s office.
She explains that they are the beginning of a great experiment, one that
might change the very nature of the Templars in Ferelden. Just like the
Orlesian chevaliers, the Fereldan Templars, all trained solely to arms, travel
the land in teams of five, announcing their presence and their mission.
Though this is effective at killing mages, it isn’t as effective at finding them.

This group has been selected, she continues to explain, because they have the
potential to be finer instruments, better capable of investigating and rooting out
maleficarum and apostates. Though there is some controversy in the concept of
having non-Templar servants of the Chantry on traditionally Templar missions,
the Grand Cleric is putting her hopes in this exemplary group of individuals to
prove her thesis correct.

She grants them the authority to do whatever they deem reasonable to hunt
down, capture, or kill apostates, in addition to maintaining peace in Ferelden in
ways that the Crown and other civilian and secular authorities might not be able
to do. She tells them to begin by going to the town of Vevinter, near the Brecilian
Forest. The Chantry at Vevinter reports trouble, possibly magical in nature, that
requires investigation.

After she hands Ser Kinnan some maps and a Templar signet, they leave the
room, and Max retires to pray before the journey. While he is gone, Tygra thanks
Kinnon for expressing worry about the presence of a mage in this party, though
Helle is confident and unconcerned. Tygra explains that she lost a loved one to
an abomination, which is what prompted her to seek service with the Templars.
In the chapel, Max feels that he hears a soft, feminine voice, but he ignores it.

After a few days’ march, the party decides to stop at a nearby farmhouse just
east of Vevinter, held by the Fuldor family. But everything is quiet, and the
holding is rank with the smell of rotting flesh. Carrion crows are circling over
claw-ravaged bodies, mangled by some unnatural creature. Just as Shavok
examines the bodies, they are attacked by blight wolves.

They manage to drive off the persistent beasts with great difficulty, but they
hear a moan from a nearby barn and go to investigate. Hidden under the hay is a
young elf woman, grievously wounded and febrile, who faints even as she tries to
back away. Max, a healer, manages to stabilize her.

Examination of the young woman reveals fairly little except that she is Dalish
and that her wound is similar to the claw gashes found on the bodies outside. It
seems the same creatures attacked her. She carries no means of identification or
anything of value save for a small leather pouch at her waist that holds a heavy
link, forged out of silver, about the size of a man’s hand. It has been broken and
twisted by some great force.

The party debates whether or not to wait until the young woman wakes up.
They decide to find a beast of burden and take the young woman to the Vevinter
Chantry for the urgent care she needs. Near the Chantry, a Sister Arda meets
them. She takes the young woman off their hands for healing. Later, they explain
what befell the farm they ran across.

Sister Arda is clearly troubled by this and after some prodding, she admits that
two weeks ago, the village held its annual harvest festival. The nearby Dalish
came from the woods to trade and participate in the festival diversions. The
blacksmith and some other drunkards started trouble with some of the Dalish
over a trifle, but the village sheriff, Tarl Dale, intervened before any blood was
shed. She worries whether or not the Dalish have returned in arms.

Sister Helle points out that the Dalish prefer bows and arrows, while the bodies at
the farm were mauled by beasts with claws. The party must wait until the young
woman awakes and is recovered enough to speak before they can learn more
information about what attacked the farm.

Late that night, a mob gathers at the Chantry, furious that the Chantry is
harboring one of the Dalish. Though Shavok manages to talk them down,
their show of violence at the Chantry door offends Max enough to provoke
him to shout at them. Shavok chastises him firmly for speaking out of turn at
such a dangerous and inopportune moment, and the tense moment passes.

Within a few days, the young elf woman, Eshara, has recovered enough to speak
with the party. She is a Dalish of the Sallowfoot Tribe. She explains about the
scuffle at the festival, adding that one of their hunters, Harralan, was the one
who attacked the blacksmith. After the scuffle was resolved, the elders gave him
scouting duty as the clan made its way through the Brecilian Forest, but he was
the first to disappear. Other scouts and hunters began to go missing as well,
including those sent after him.

Three days after Harralan’s disappearance, demons attacked the camp in the
dead of night, taking the entire clan. Those who fought were beaten or killed,
and Eshara was taken along with the rest to an ancient ruin in a rift valley deep
in the forest, off the trails. The master of the demons was an abomination called
Mythallen, which is elven for ‘child of vengeance.’ But Eshara escaped, and she
took with her the broken link of silver she found there laid out as if on a shrine.

The demons pursued her, accompanied by beasts. Eshara was wounded, but
managed to avoid them until finally she stumbled on the farm and managed to
conceal herself in the hayloft as the demons attacked. She begs them to help her
people and stop Mythallen.

After hearing the story, the party is incensed with fervor. There is no question
they must hunt this monster down. Max asks to see the silver link, which is
clearly magical in nature and seems to glow a dull blue from the inside. The blue
glow spells runes of binding, but the runes are broken or twisted. Whatever the
link had bound, it no longer holds.

Shavok asks about repairing the link, and Max reluctantly states that it is
possible to do so, though he agrees with Tygra and Sister Helle that the
creature should be killed, not bound. Completing the glyph would require that
whoever struck the final blow held the link while a spell was simultaneously cast.

It seems that the servants of Mythallen might be searching for this link, so the
party agrees that they should take the link away from this village. They debate
whether or not to return Eshara to what remains of her people, but because her
people has been so decimated and she is still weak, and they don’t know how
to contact any other Dalish clans, they decide it best for Eshara to remain in the
village, with guards posted by the sheriff.

Max doesn’t want to be stuck holding the link if demons are coming after it, so he
gives it to Shavok, and the party decides to head into the forest without further
ado, following Eshara’s map.

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