Fascination Or Horror

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This is a GM storyline that took place in the Platinum Instance during 2009. The official title is "Fascination? Or Horror?".

Fascination? Or Horror?

Reports are coming in from all over Wehnimer's Landing of mysterious happenings surrounding the ribbon just outside the town's walls.

"My son Davey went out hunting wild roltons," a tearful woman told us, "He never came back. I just know that ribbon got him!" According to her account, the ten year old boy frequently wandered Lower Dragonsclaw and would occasionally bring home a small rolton to feed the family. He has aspirations of being a great adventurer according to his friends.

Others, including a cleric serving in the Landing's temple, are skeptical. "It makes absolutely no sense that a ribbon is kidnapping men, women, and children. That ribbon has stood there for years without bothering anyone. The boy probably ran away." Many remark on the semi-frequent kidnappings and lost children that often occur and assume that these new incidents are just more of the same.

Officials are still unclear, but they are investigating all alleged happenings, including the sudden rash of missing persons. The ribbon has not responded to attempts to question or study it. As of yet, no official has witnessed unusual ribbon activity, however.

The ribbon mysteriously appeared several years ago for no apparent rhyme or reason. Roltons and other indigenous fauna tend to give it wide berth, but until now, no reports of anything other than benign, albeit slightly bizarre, silken behavior have cropped up. 

~GM Xynwen
The closer you look at it, the more threads twist and twine away from the ribbon, turning into bold script suspended momentarily in the air in front of you:

THE FASCINATION AND THE HORROR BECAME NONE.

Lormesta:

The ribbon outside Wehnimer's Landing began to act up, and weird noises were heard throughout the realm. Some of the townspeople were overheard discussing odd events such as missing children last seen near the ribbon, sudden healing of injuries by people walking by the ribbon, etc.


29th Lormesta:

Town Councilman Urgoi arrived and spoke with Mithogras, Vyrshkana, Jaired, Tanderick, Laeto, Ephelysse, Faelln, Saska, Knack, Isin, Lord Kiel, Smallstick, and Oublie, among others, during his time there. He reassured the people that these were just odd rumors and that everything was fine, then invited them to have a drink at Helga's some day with him.


31 Lormesta:

a mysterious woman arrived in the Landing, calling herself Myrcenne. Myrcenne spent the next few hours telling her story to Oublie, Artz, Eulogia, Lord Maqkensey, Lord Delieta, Lady Myriamie, Taeghan, Saska, Lyradie, and Kashir, among others. In essence, Myrcenne claimed to be from a small, superstitious town, where she was raised by a kindly old man that dabbled in alchemy. She fell in love with a local boy when she was a young woman, and he, and the town, betrayed her. They killed the old man and left her tied in the woods, calling her evil. She claimed to have escaped and found some unusual artifacts and potions left in her father's laboratory which she took with her when she fled.

Myrcenne said it took her years of study but she found what animated the ribbons, and also discovered that animating three in places of power created a "Blessing" for that area, such as coin, healing for the sick and wounded, or other beneficial things. The dark side to this was that an old scholar hounded him mercilessly, seeking to destroy the blessings she brought to towns. She came to Wehnimer's Landing ten years earlier and placed a ribbon outside town where she felt strong stirrings of unknown power, but before she could meet with the Town Council and get their approval for the other two ribbons to be placed, the scholar found her and chased her away. Now, several years later, she was here to finish the blessings for the Landing and needed to meet with the Council. Several people were skeptical, but they were kind enough to show her an inn room and await her meeting with the Council.


4 Fashanos:

Myrcenne toured the town with many people, including Jaired, Oublie, Lyradie, Smallstick, Taeghan, Tanderick, Mikoguchi, and Solvayn. She claimed to have met with the Town Council and that they were favorable but deliberating still. Meanwhile, she wished to seek out other places of power that drew her. Myrcenne was incredibly fascinated by the portal area, much to the consternation of some. Eventually, however, she liked best the center of the town square and outside of Lorminstra's Temple.


5 Fashanos:

Artz, Ephelysse, Valmos, Lyradie, Syyre, and Tanderick (and probably others) spoke with a woman named Souna. Souna's husband, Reose, was lost, having disappeared on their wedding day, and she was holding to the belief that the ribbon might help her find him. Nita had accompanied Souna, but her outlook was less positive. Sounta tried to convince Nita to see if the ribbon would heal her, but Nita remained skeptical.

Around this time, other cities began to hear about the goings on in Wehnimer's Landing, and some, like the bonny tutor, made sure to share what they'd heard. Then came 8 Fashanos 5109 Edit

Myrcenne, angry with the Town Council's arguments, set the ribbons out without their consent. The ribbon outside of town was casting uncontrollable nightmares at people who dared look at it, and the one situated at Town Square Central webbed any who looked and often injured any who touched it. Myrcenne came to try to calm the ribbons down, telling everyone that they were acting badly because of the Council's delay in setting them. The ribbons did calm in her presence, and Glena volunteered to help keep them calm while Myrcenne retired to her quarters to brew the potions needed to complete the "Blessing."

Soon thereafter, an old man named Brang was found in a state of distress by Solvayn. Brang is agitated over the ribbons being placed, but has suffered an ogre attack and is quite out of sorts, and he has lost an important tome at the hands of the beasts. Brang requests that Solvayn and others pass on the word to stay clear of the ribbons and that all is not well. Several days pass Edit

Neither hide nor hair of Brang or Myrcenne is seen. Suddenly, silken screams shatter the quiet of a normal Restday, and adventurers discover the ribbon outside Lorminstra's Temple in tiny bits, covered in black gunk. The other two ribbons react badly, and once again, they take to nightmaring, webbing, and injuring the population. Town Council people rush past adventurers, barring themselves in Moot Hall before escaping down hidden tunnels. People are able to overhear, however, that Myrcenne is missing, and her room has been ransacked, and Brang too is gone.

The two remaining ribbons continued behaving badly, including permanently burning people on occasion, until the 28th day of Fashanos when Myrcenne suddenly returned. She removed the remnants of the destroyed ribbon and placed a new one before anyone realized she was there. She then calmed the other two ribbons. Myrcenne said the scholar, Brang, destroyed all of her work and almost killed her, but she escaped and he chased her for days. Finally, she eluded him and found a hiding place where she began to make anew her potions to bring about the Blessing. She promised Glena, Cristah, Myriamie, and Raevel that the next day all would be well as she poured the potions on her ribbons and the Blessing came. The next day Edit

Myrcenne showed up as promised the next day, and she spent a great deal of time with the ribbon in Town Square Center, talking to it, and anyone who happened by. Once she felt the potion had "rested" enough in its decanter, she poured them on the two ribbons inside the town gates, and that's when it all changed...

Myrcenne's whole demeanor as a void ripped the fabric at North Gate and creatures began pouring in. The creatures included red-striped spinners, enormous red-striped deathworms, diseased silver lace vines, shriveled orange ripple creepers, two-headed brown asps, necrotic snakes, fanged anacondas, polluted holly bushes, decaying duckfoot tumbleweeds, scaled mountain worms and rotting ribbon weeds. Taeghan, Dhask, Jaired, Glena, Myriamie, Cristah, Sadan, Arlee, Rostel, Artz, Selizabeth, Dyan, Mourdekai, Sorak, and countless others banded together for the good of the town.

Taeghan stuck to Myrcenne like glue, even when Myriamie fell to the invading host. Myrcenne proudly said her gods protected her and taunted Taeghan's inability to even so much as trip her. The battle raged and Myrcenne's delusional rants of her blessing and her gods continued. Souna and Nita were slain in the battle, but as they were triaged, they shared that they had found Scholar Brang, dying in the woods a few days' walk away. Brang told them more of Myrcenne's evil nature and gave them a potion to pour on the ribbons and on Myrcenne. It took some doing, but eventually they were able to destroy the ribbon at Town Square Central. With clever maneuvering, the group of adventurers protected Souna and Nita and got them to the ribbon at Erebor Square where it was destroyed as well.

They threw the last of the potion on Myrcenne, and the ribbons that comprised her clothing shriveled right along with Myrcenne's glee and confidence. Glancing at the angry faces around her, Myrcenne tried to flee, but the creatures and Dhask awaited her, and Myrcenne died. She lingered, as adventurers are wont to do, and it appeared she might be raised and charged for her crimes, but before that could happen, ribbons writhed from the earth and pulled her corpse away.

Now, the ribbon outside town remains, but with a different message than before. Souna and Nita say that the scholar only mentioned needing to destroy the two in town, so it is assumed that this one is neutralized and safe. Meanwhile, bits of exploded ribbon still drift in on errant winds from time to time, a reminder of the horror that almost was.

Credits

NPCs: Souna (Izzea), Nita (Galene), Brang (Kaikala), Urgoi (Schascle).
Bazar for tons of NPCing in the form of taking over town characters, doing lots of messaging to help drive the storyline, and being an all around awesome guy.
Bazar for the critters and running the invasion. OMG, you're evil, and we love you.
Kaikala who didn't laugh at the storyline and instead encouraged Xynwen all the way and listened to her whine as she got too freaked out about how to run an event.

~GM Xynwen