- [REPORT] The Fool's Crown
The Fool’s Crown
The Lab’s findings pointed to the location of a powerful energy signature near Aldcroft in Glenumbra. The founders of the Inquest Compendium immediately started researching the phenomenon and discovered the source of this power. The eternal resting place of an ancient Breton king had been disturbed and a relic had been taken from his tomb. The relic was called the Fool’s Crown and possessed the power to control the minds of the people, enslaving them to the wielder of the artifact.
The so called “Crown” had been found by worshippers of Hircine, the “Huntsman of The Princes”, the “Father of Manbeasts”. These cultists were attempting to enslave the population of rural Glenumbra and turn them all into Werewolves to then turn Glenumbra into a perfect image of the Hunting Grounds, Hircine’s realm in Oblivion. The breton army were trying to stop them, but they needed help, help that would come not from another army but from a group of adventurers who needed to lock the Crown away, the Inquest Compendium.
The Inquesters assembled at the Lab for the briefing. Azaber Kogom explained the details of the expedition to everyone as they were getting ready to move out to Glenumbra to put an end to this foolish use of such a powerful artifact. The calm Zan’shavir, the enlivened adventurer Roran Austoire, the stoic Antonius Maximilian, the lethal shadow Shara Ardent and the mad albatrosses Amiileii and Silgorn were all ready and made their way to Glenumbra with Azaber to retrieve the Crown.
Once they arrived at the Aldcroft Wayshrine, they all started moving out to the caves nearby where the cultists were performing their rituals. But the group quickly came to a halt when they reached the village’s gate as the guards locked it and made their way to meet the Compendium members. They informed the group that the gates were closed due to the dangers outside, many soldiers walked out through these gates and only a handful came back, the rest were either dead or turned into enslaved beasts.
As the group tried to negotiate with the captain of the guard to get them to open the door to retrieve the Crown and put an end to the threat, Antonius stepped forward and convinced the captain that with his military experience in the imperial legion would allow him to keep the group safe and lead them to victory. Thanks to Antonius, the gates were open and the expedition was still a go.
After an hour’s walk, the group reached a bridge which led to the cave they were seeking. A breton soldier was trying to tend to the wounds of his partner, but the wounds weren’t physical. The man was laying on the stone floor, unresponsive to his partner’s words. The soldier explained to the group that they were patrolling, trying to rescue villagers to take them back to Aldcroft when they heard a voice in their heads. He managed to push the voice out, but his partner wasn’t so lucky, he screamed in pain before becoming… mindless, following his partner around without purpose. It was when they reached the bridge that his partner finally fell, he didn’t know what was happening, but he knew he had to take his partner to safety.
While the group was deciding whether to free him from an inevitable curse from the Crown or attempt to heal him, the unconscious soldier quickly turned into a Manbeast covered in fur. He grabbed his worried partner and immediately tore through his face with his large teeth, eating at his former friend before throwing the body over the bridge. The beast then stood up, towering over Zan’shavir and Roran before attacking the Khajiit warden. From the North came Shrikke Kayvaan, late to the call but ready for a good fight. He came charging at the werewolf who turned at his direction and threw the Nord off of his horse. The battle that ensued was fierce but the group managed to defeat the beast. With only a few scratches, the group walked over the bridge and made their way to the cave where the cultists were located.
As they arrived at the entrance of the cave, all the inquesters felt pain in their heads as they heard a voice in their heads. The cultist was using the Crown on them and there was nothing they could do to stop it. They all fell to the ground, feeling the call of the Crown, ordering its new slaves to go deeper in the cave where the cultist would be waiting for them to turn them into beasts like the one they fought on the bridge. Unable to resist the call of the relic, the group mindlessly made their way into the cave to meet their doom.
Once they finally arrived at the large underground shrine, they saw it. A tall Reachman holding the Crown, but it was no crown, it was the skull of the Breton king that was the so-called Crown. In the other hand, the cultist held a large fang he would use to grant the gift of Hircine to the inquesters. He ordered them to come closer, but most members of the Compendium resisted the call, all except Amiilei who could only follow the commands of the Crown. But as the mad Amii made her way to the cultist, one by one the inquesters used their willpower to break the Crown’s control over their mind. A fierce battle ensued and Shara managed to flank the cultist to take him by surprise and put a blade to his throat, giving the opportunity for the rest of the group to finish the cultist.
In the heat of battle, Roran moved forward and attempted to attack the cultist, but Antonius and Shrikke both lost their footing as they charged at the enemy, instead impaling the poor Roran’s shoulders with axes and swords. Zan’shavir, completely discouraged by the poor display of discipline decided to finish the job and shot at arrow through the Reachman’s head, ending the threat of the Fool’s Crown.
The group then quickly grabbed the artifact and went back to the Lab, Antonius holding Roran over his shoulder to get him medical attention as fast as possible. The young templar was put in a chemically induced sleep as Zan’shavir started the healing process while Azaber locked the artifact away for future study. Even if the objective had been completed, the founder knew he would have to train the interns, not only in the scholastic arts, but also in martial and mystical combat.