“The Congress of Haints” – First Plot Arc
The characters all arrived in Jamestown, and met while drinking in the Swamp Cat’s Jug (a bar), on June 16th 1666. There they discovered that “Old Bill” had been kidnapped by Gatorlings.
The party journeyed into the swamp to retrieve him. They became lost, were ambushed by haints, survived, and had encounters with a bear, a panther (that nearly killed Angus), and eventually more Haints. In the swamp, Madeline revealed herself as a WITCH! The last batch of haints was driven off by Gatorlings and the party lay basically defeated, and they were captured. The gatorlings turned out to be somewhat friendly, and trying to learn English. Old Bill was unharmed. The gatorlings warned of a huge army of haints massing at a secret location deep in the swamp, which seemed very unlike the normal behavior of Haints (also known as Goons, and Bogeymen).
The party returned to Jamestown with the warning, only to be disbelieved and told to deal with it themselves. They went with gatorling guides many days travel into the heart of the swamp. they had problems with quicksand, Haints, will-o-the-wisps (which they cowered from), swamp fever, giant stag beetles (they backed away slowly), and more Haints. One Gatorling distinguished himself in combat and healing, saving the lives of several party members and was re-named “Arty.”
The lair of the haints turned out to be a deserted Albion colony village named Elizabethtown, with a nearby fortress named Fort Valor. Both had mouldered in the swamp with no apparent contact for 50 years. The village was infected with undead, skeletons and zombies who seemed to to bother the Haints, that were also using the village. The undead showed some strange signs of partial intelligence. The party defeated several undead, and a small group of Haints including those in the little stone church (who begged to be slain, but fought anyway). Then the party discovered the “Congress of Haints” a small gathering of 20 or so Haint leaders with pompous titles the “The Representative of Mireside” or “The Right Honorable Congressgoon from Under-the-Bed” etc. This Haint congress was debating where to strike next with their army of Haints. The party discretely blocked the doors and windows and lit the town hall on fire. The goons didn’t notice until too late, and then most tried unsuccessfully to batter their way out of a door or window. A few got onto the roof and leaped off and fled, including the Chairgoon, with his big funny hat, who was the only goon to escape. That night the party retreated to the stone church and fought off another small wave of Haint attackers, but without the Congress the haints just didn’t seem able to coordinate, or agree on anything. From tracks, most of the Haint army dispersed the during that night, although a few remained at Fort Valor. The party spent several days looting Elizabethtown, and cleansing its ruins of undead and the few haint stragglers. Several undead dug themselves back up after being slain and buried. But eventually the party tried to return to Jamestown.
During the trip back, the party encountered a giant porcupine, another batch of Will-o-the-wisps (one of these talked and the party survived by a combination of bootlicking and being terrified), and two encounters with whole colonies of gators. The party barely survived the first ambush by 8 or 9 gators, several gatorlings died, including Arty, Eudaemonia lost a leg, and Angus was nearly eaten but wrestled his way out. The second encounter involved killing the mule and fleeing. Back in Jamestown the people were thankful, but somewhat skeptical of the wild stories told by the party.
The Party is planning to return to Fort Valor with plenty of explosives …