I regret that my busy schedule means that this report is now somewhat old, but nevertheless I submit to you this brief account of the events of a few nights past that I will shortly be adding to the Wispwood Sky Scrolls news. I regret that our illustrators cannot provide any images of the battle. Yet again, a Story Night road trip descended into blood and violence on Tuesday as the evil vampire hoards one again tried to impose their twisted dominion upon the virtuous of our land. This time, they chose an even bolder strategy. Shortly before the event was scheduled to start, a group of four of the loathsome undead arrived in Auraglade and headed toward Wispwood Tower. One even dared the powerful magics protecting our hallowed halls and entered within. Fortunately, though, he was not strong enough to break the seals of the restock room in which I stood. By now, the call to arms had gone out and the Citizens began arriving for the defence of The Shire. Coming as they did though, in ones and twos, some fell prey to the bloodsucker's deathly touch. By the time a full militia had been readied, the vampires had cast a magic portal and returned to that ghostly town they presume to call 'home'. Yet The Shire had not seen the last of them, and not long after they returned to terrorize the inhabitants. Farmer Harold Turnip was sitting in The Golden Unicorn drinking a jug of cider when the phantoms came back. “I could smell 'em all the way from Knight's Retreat,” he told me afterwards, “The stench of the grave they 'ad. They came 'ere causing an almighty racket and stopped outside the tavern. So I went an' 'id under one of the tables real quick like and pulled one of the rugs over me. Duck 'n cover we call it. One of 'em came in and was sniffing around, thinking he was one of those bloody ringwraiths no doubt. Fortunately for him, he left soon after, or I'd have 'ad to 'ave given 'im a darn good 'iding.” Indeed, the vampires left empty-handed as most of the Citizens were on their way to Ilshenar for Story Night. The venue was to be the gypsy mining camp near Compassion gate where the stories were to be told around a blazing campfire. As I arrived, I was met by many Citizens of Wispwood including Elija Spickens, Grot and Kush along with Initiates Lilly and Mini Minor. With them were two of our close friends Aeric Horne and Kaisa. There was little time for greetings, however, as the word came through from our lead scout Felinious that several vampires were heading our way. We barely had time to take up defensive positions in the centre of the camp when the evil ones burst onto the scene upon their monstrous steeds, led by none less than the loathsome Wyrm and his twisted sidekick Krystal. I began casting poison fields and energy vortices, while the others began engaging the enemy directly. Before long, the initial assault was thwarted and the creatures fled back whence they had come or west into the dark tunnels beneath the mountains. Twice more did they advance upon us, and each time we managed to repulse them, Kaisa and Lilly using their own dark spells against them. But on the fourth attack, they broke through our lines into the main encampment among the gypsies. There they began slaughtering the innocent and those guarding the caravans. Then, from out of nowhere, we were beset by a new evil – creatures from the pits of hell. There were huge insects as tall as houses, each casting noxious spells. And dogs of pure malice with teeth like knives. Against this assault, we were broken apart and many of us fell to the dirt. The vampires plucked our corpses of all their dignity, as is their way, and the cries of 'Insolent Humans' echoed off the valley walls. I lay bleeding beneath one of the caravans, my reagents gone. With our forces now fragmented, all hope of victory was lost. Yet the resistance continued and many brave acts followed and I witnessed Grot, slowed as he was by an injured arm, take down one of the giant beetles single-handed, and I saw Kush continuing to fight despite the punishment he was receiving. Eventually, the main fighting switched to Compassion moongate and the vampires around the camp left to find their brethren or to hunt for easy targets in the wilderness. Never has a Story Night been held without at least some tale being told, but it seemed as though this night may be the exception. Then, out of nowhere, a familiar, white figure rode into the camp – none other than Lindi the savage. He smiled at the carnage around him, clearly regretting having missed the action. Yet he dismounted his beast and, as those of us who remained nursed our wounds, he told us a fine tale of his rise to warrior and the sad loss of one he held dear. I only regret my memory does not let me recount it for you. After his tale was over, my fellows returned home to dear Wispwood and Lindi rode off in search of vampires. I remained behind by the fire in contemplation. To my great surprise, Lindi returned some time later, the stain of blood on his body, and laid out his camp for the night. As the embers of the fire dimmed, I too began to fall into the arms of Morpheus. As I did so, my eyes focused on a lone, blood-stained hatchet lying on the ground and I was reminded of the greatest hero of that evening. He had been first to answer the call in Auraglade earlier, and he had fought remorselessly in defence of the bank and the gypsies. Yet he was no armoured warrior, princely knight, learned wizard or skilled beast master. He was but a simple crafter, a newcomer to The Shire. Reuggan was his name, and he had not long left the fine community of NEW. As I pondered on his valour, humbled by such acts that were far beyond any I have achieved, I was filled with hope that maybe at the next road trip more good souls will come forward to defend our freedoms, and maybe the virtuous can start to work together more closely. For only as one can we truly hope to stop the evil that blights our lands.