Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kings-Men 5: The Peasants Are Revolting

We begin this week’s session moments after the battle with the goblins, wrogs, and the pair of winter wolves. As Baracus skins the two winter wolves the rest of us prepare to press onward along the King’s Road and Caer Leon.

Later, we come to a low rise where Caer Leon was carved out of; inside the gate were paved walkways, ramps and thoroughfares; a well made if not neglected community in the shadows of what our characters learn later are the severed heads of the missing Baron and his court. Also below this gruesome display were ogre and bugbears herding peasants to their enclosures; however when they say us the monsters took up arms and charged at us. We killed them all, took their stuff and liberated the captives.

We take our rest in the Baron’s manor, after speaking with peasant spokeman who explains that most of the larger group of ogres were taken by the leader to one of the border forts to deal with a dwarf infestation. We help ourselves to the Barons treasure as Hannibal reports in, including Ace with a 100 gp gold chain.

Major Garrett amends our mission, now that a goal has been achieved- finding out the fate of the Baron- and wants us to take the fight to the enemy (and help the dwarves) and to visit the other border forts as well. No one here as seen Sir Charles of Baconridge or Glynnis in Caer Leon. We leave directly after eight hours of rest to leave under the cover of darkness.

The King’s Road veers north east, we continue north west to the border fort following a map. Along the road we see recent wagon wheel tracks along the way. We take a short six hour rest and continue. The next day, around a bend in the road, we come to what we believe to be the border fort under siege with the dwarves defending themselves against the ogres and bug bears.

We are awarded 4,000 ex and gain sixth level, we begin next week with the battle for the north east border fort.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Kings-Men 4: Ya'll Fools Need To Go South

We begin the this week’s session moments after the battle with the half-elves in Canton. Ace and Egol gather the dead, bind the unconscious and pile valuables together; Raghnall maintains his disguise and performs reconnaissance; while the rest of our characters announce to the Conton villagers that we are just peaceful travelers.

Hannibal finds a villager and learns these humble folk are just as surprised to see travelers as our characters are to find people in a town that is supposed to be deserted. These people are just trying to survive and they don’t hold the half-elves in contempt; in fact they state Stiorra insured many of them it was safe here while they work the silver mine.

Our characters go to meet this woman and were met with hostility but our characters did not kill them. Instead took them prisoner, took their stuff, and reported them to Major Garrett who would send the Baron’s Housecarl to escort her, her roguish male companion and the people of Canton back to Colechester. Before that our characters learn that Stiorra was taking advantage of an opportunity and that it was not personal against the king. As far as striking out against our characters: simply stated our characters looked like a threat. Later, Hannibal addresses the truth of the matter before an uneventful night.
The next morning Ace and Raghnall go hunting and bag their limit, but also find perimeter tracks around Canton about five days old. Around mid afternoon we hear the approach of the Baron’s Housecarl, a total of ten riders lead by Third. Our palaver is brief, and after learning they will bring everyone back to Colechester, our characters decide to leave for points north shortly thereafter. But not before Ace absconds with a box of wine. 

About an hour before nightfall our characters cross the border into Axeminster and to a largely unused road; a couple of hours after that our characters find a dilapidated enclosure suitable for camp. Overnight, during Hannibal’s watch, our characters are attacked by goblins who bore medallions bearing the image of a dragon or lizard.

The next morning our characters expect to reach Caer Leon, however worgs with goblin riders wielding chopper swords and winter worgs would have something to say about it. When the smoke clears our characters realize these also have dragon medallions and they were led by the sinister and intelligent winter worgs. We are awarded 2,300 xp

<<Our ten-hour theme>>

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kings-Men 3: A Coons Age

We begin the morning after our battle with one-eye Caitlin and her half-elf brutes. Our characters make some minor repairs to the farmstead as we intend to leave behind the livestock and recovered farmstead wares. Our characters bury the dead farmer family. Ace, however succeeds in pilfering a copper pot.

The road to Glendalough was a narrow affair compaired to the King’s Road; nevertheless our characters happen across another farmstead whereby our characters inform them of the death of One-eye and the free livestock just up the road.
Pushing on through the hills our characters finally reaching Glendalough in the mid-evening. Glendalough proves to be a welcoming community of less than a hundred buildings with the monastery to Ohgma the major landmark. As per our usual custom our characters look for and find an inn: Bridget’s Fire. The inn had an attached corral outside; inside, there was a warm fire, a trio performing the greats, and a comely woman who was more than happy to accept our character’s coins for two double rooms.

Inside our characters take in the night life, Hannibal overheard half a conversation on the merits against ‘the old way’- an argument that may never be resolved; nevertheless the festivities continue throughout the night.

Early the next morning our characters seek out who the authority figure is to inform them of the farmstead up the road and the death of One-eye and her bandits. Our characters travel to the monastery where we find people working fields and ploying their craft; it is here our characters meet Brother Cromarty who takes our statement and refers us to either the Scriptorium or the library for Father Benetto.

Our character’s first stop was the scriptorium where people worked their fingers to the bone for Oghma; here too was an old map worked into the floor. The map was without Coalchester, but had Caer Leon, a large forest north of Glendalough, the King’s Road past Viklow and beyond to what is now elven lands.

Without Father Benetto, our characters make our way to the library and a private study room where Father Benetto eventually meets us. The old father, loyal to the king, was a stooped man with a penchant for odd socks and a fire in his heart for what he believes. Hannibal reveals ourselves as Kings-men and our search for Sir Charles of Baconridge.

“Baconridge is going for the Book of Life” The book of what? Father Benetto informs the uneducated that the Book of Life is a tome of healing rituals, curative methods and, Sir Charles believes, what maybe the cure for The Plague. It is a golden book and the opposed Book of Death, which is how Father Benetto believes The Plague started. Furthermore Father Benetto believes the treasure still lies in Vicklow, in a secret vault that was never unsealed when texts say treasures were moved during the war. Father Benetto even produced very old blueprints to prove his hypothesis.

He maintains Sir Charles was after the Book of Life and that he, Father Benetto, and Sir Charles with Glynnis in tow, returned to Glendalough for the proof which he was now providing our characters. A crystal revealed a secret room on the blueprints of Viklow that Raghnall saw as worth of taking by the course of the meeting.

We agree that his idea has merit and he asks us to go, but our duties must take precedent. When our characters depart we donate a 2gp brass arm band and purchase new socks for the odd father.

Hannibal later reports in to Major Garrett while some of us sell of loot gathered off one-eye’d Caitlyn and prepare to journey back to Coalchester, the King’s Road and beyond; Hannibal also recommends the One-eye cat as a safe house. Hannibal tells Major Garrett that regardless if the Book of Life is true, Sir Baconridge believed it was, and that may change our mission course. Nevertheless our characters will continue to travel north.

The next morning on the road we pass a traveling pelt salesman who has worg pelts he says came from a man named Riker. The pelts came at a stiff price, but Baracus encouraged us not to buy the flea ridden skins. Our characters press on to Coalchester were we did not have a problem obtaining access, even in the night.

Awoken early at the One-eyed Cat we are taken before Baron McClane who wishes to see is immediately about our travel to Glendalough and our intensions on going north. He begins by asking ‘are we going for the book?’ revealing that he has spies everywhere. Our curt response is that our charter is not to seek the treasure. He emphasizes that our actions will have geopolitical ramifications and Baron McClane wants to make certain our interests ally with his; the Baron does not seem to condone interference with the current status quo. He believes he knows what our mission is, this reveals again the Baron’s distaste for the King. We are shown the door, our horses and then the gate as we are escorted out of Coalchester.

Along the King’s Road, four hours later, near the border to Axebridge we come to Canton and the adjacent silver mine. By all accounts Canton should be abandoned, but evidence disproves this. Smoke rose from buildings, and sounds of a community could be heard. Raghnall sneaks in as the rest of the group attract the attention of a human guard. Meanwhile inside the walled Canton, Raghnall spots half elves and the rest of the night was combat with the half-elf shield wall.

We begin next session after the battle in Canton. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kings-Men 2: Longsleeper

We begin with our characters rainy approach Castle Colechester where we hope to speak with Baron McClane and his son John Jr. However our character’s late arrival is greeted with a closed door and a referral to a nearby longhouse for shelter.

Ace and Egol find clever shelter for the horses as Face mingles with the others huddled in the longhouse. This, along with Hannibal’s report to Major Garret, reveals some new names who had been in contact with Sir Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis- the two previous Kings-men.

·         Malcolm Donovan, the head of the Baron’s housecarl who commands about twenty swordsmen.
·         Delavan Scott, the court wizard who is never without several aids at his service.
·         Third, one of the Baron’s inner circle; nevertheless, people react superstitiously around her.
·         Brother Martin, a well liked baker who seems to lack the heart behind being the primary cleric of Colechester. He was Opal’s replacement from Glendalough; Opal died a year ago weeks after midwinter.
·         Dubricus D’Ambreville, a spellcaster who has been living here since midsummer (just before Charlie and Glynnis arrived).
·         The Baron McClane

Our characters post a watch, but the grey and rainy night passes uneventful.

The next morning our characters walk our horses to the open doors of Castle Colechester and directly to the stables where two youngins take to our horses immediately. After this, our characters turn to take in the nice community inside the castle walls; a market square, a chapel, and shops that cater to the traveler or the homesteader. Further in was the Main Keep; however its doors stood closed.

Our characters eventually meet up with Devereaux the Castellan who, after seeing our Pegasus Seal, tells us the Baron is unavailable, it was his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary the night before. Our characters call upon the formal hospitality of the Baron as Kings-men and are soon allowed to eat and clean up. When asked about the Baron’s son, we find out John Jr. is not very well liked.

By midday our characters were in the court of the Baron. All the afore mentioned personages were here along with a vexing dwarf named Rory Brightmail. Hannibal states our official business for passing through Axebridge: investigating the disappearance of the Baron of Axeminster and the two kings-men Charlie and Glynnis. (which actually makes us the B-team)

McClane responds indifferently but is polite while he and Rory express the knowledge that nothing comes back from the north (save John Jr.), and that the elves of the north eventually drive everything south from their lands. But as far as Charlie and Glynnis, they spoke to Baron McClane mainly of the mission at hand- their search for the Baron of Axeminster.

Our characters are lead, by guard, to John McClane Jr. in a nearby barracks to hear his account of his trip north. He and Avrim gathered twenty of the best men and about fifty more free-militia and ventured north. As he speaks he gets noticeably nervous, prompting some proactive spellcasting from Hannibal and Egol. John’s tale leads to a recounting of an extended valley and the discovery of Caer Leon, the ancestral home of the McClane’s given to the Darcy’s.

They camped and in the morning everything was on fire. John Jr.’s recount became confused as he spoke of giants, something in the sky, and wolves that walked on two legs. “Avrim said to run, so I ran.” He lost track of time and was sure he was dead, but not alone. This went on until he found himself looking at Castle Colechester.

Satisfied for now, our characters break to reequip with the quartermaster for tomorrow’s departure, find masterwork tools for Face, and find the friendly local watering hole the One-eyed Cat where our character’s find Brother Martin and his apple turnovers and Third enjoying some alone time.

Third, answering some questions from Egol, is with the Sisterhood of St. Maruda and she came here answering a dream that told her to travel until she felt she should travel no further. Brother Martin on the other hand, explained that is was all he could do to keep Glynnis advancements off while Old Charlie visited a man named Father Benetto. Benetto, sent from Glendalough to replace Opal, he had some fresh ideas about The Plague, but soon the two and without preamble took Father Benetto back to Glendalough where he presumably still is. Charlie and Glynnis returned a short time later to continue to Axeminster. Brother Martin does not think Baron McClane was fond of Father Benetto.

After, when the castle was asleep, Ace and Face investigate Colechester with no events. The next morning we leave on the King’s Road, however we don’t head north. Instead we cut across the land and make our direction toward Glendalough to inquire about this new lead in Father Benetto.

About midday we first see evidence of a fire then discover a partially burned farmstead still smoldering with ma and pa Farmer along with their younglings killed in cold blood; their entire farm including livestock looted.

Baracus picks up a trail and we begin to follow it Nnorth east to these murderers which turned out to be old witch one-eye Caitlin and her three half-elf brutes. We kill them to death, gathering what valuables we could find before leaving them to the crows and our eventual return to the farmstead at night fall where our characters work to lay these people to rest.

We are awarded 750 xp and find a Silver Arm Band 10g, Brass Arm Band 2g, Amber Necklace 20g, Silver Earrings 10g, Bronze Torc 10g, and a master work boarspear and a master work suit of studded leather.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kings-Men 1: The Half-Orc Way

The Kingdom has known war for the past forty years against the goblins and other monstrous races, but no warfare like as in the past five years. This was when our characters were drafted into a special unit whereby our characters were successful in thwarting a plot against a Duke who was running the war efforts. Our characters uncovered a plot by a Baron aided by other worldly beings of mythic origins and thus King Baldwin the II awarded our characters Kings-men status. However not enough evidence was produced to bring to justice the Barons accomplices so we were reassigned to a distant location.

In the Kingdom is common knowledge that Halflings are mostly second ‘servant’ class citizens; elves are commonly viewed as an enemy race, a race of thieves; the industrious dwarves are viewed with respect, many are mercenaries; finally the half-orcs, while a new thing, are welcomed for their size and strength.

Our team of A-listers: Hannibal, the capable spokesmen yet skeptic and charismatic one of the group. Baracus and Egol, half-orcs who think they run the show. Raghnall ‘Face’ a master of disguise who can blend into any crowd; and finally Ace, our quiet and deadly Zen Archer.
Our character’s first assignment is to report to the Duchy of Gallia King’s office in Hedeby, the capital city. After traveling over sea we find a land wrought by The Plague in the past year, no one knows yet how it is spread but it is not transferred by ingestion. There is only a 30% survivability chance and those who the black boils and death in their sleep, never fully recover. When our characters arrive at Hedeby we see efforts are being made to quarantine areas and the burning of bodies to stem the spread of The Plague. Our characters observe many new soldiers (enlisted during the surge of fighting) in the ranks of the city watch with only 20% having seen battle.

Before our characters arrive at the Crossed Halberds, Raghnall arranges a room at The Three Star under the name of Mr Lee Chang, as a contingency plan. After this we arrive at the Crossed Halberds and are greeted by Halflings and are allowed clean up after the ocean voyage before our last leg to the King’s office first thing in the morning. After dinner and baths our characters are given stately rooms and are advised to rest by Handfast, our host. We seem to be the only guests, however Ace thinks it’s best to reach the rooftop and get the lay of the land. With watches stationed, nothing occurs overnight.

As the city wakes, so too does a stage coach to take our characters to the King’s Office leaving no time for a large breakfast much to the half-orc’s lament. Inside the coach was a man named Garret, Major Garret who treats us to anecdotes from the front lines. When asked about The Plague, he laid blame on the rats. Under the seal of the Pegasus our characters are led to a conference room where it is explained that the Kingdom has lost the Barony of Axeminster to the far north. After the Baron was a no show during a winter gathering and later a spring meet, it raised alarms that something was not right.

Baron McClane of Axebridge sent his son and scores of troops north to investigate, but only the Baron’s son returned and even he was not right and became unsettled when asked what happened. These two Baronies had mixed relations after they were collectively reduced by the King after the war. The Kin gave the Axeminster Darcy’s McClane assets despite being staunch allies to the crown.

A third Barony, is actually one of two monasteries Glendalough is said to be a vast storehouse of knowledge; while its sister monastery Viklow, to the north, was lost in the war. Viklow was said to have a wealth of magical treasures.

It was just after the spring (it is autumn now) when the McClane son returned. At midsummer two Kings men were sent: ‘old’ Sir Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis the other; it was Old Charlie who believed he was on to something about this mystery.

Our character’s mission is to find Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis; find out what Charles believes he discovered; and complete Charles’ mission of possible. It is a four day journey to Colechester and from there a half day journey to Axeminster.

It takes an hour to leave the city to the King’s Road that proves wide enough for two wagons, sloped and well maintained. At the end of the second day our character’s reach Bishop’s Rest, a small town with a mean looking sheriff. Finding little vacancy, Egol leads us to a temple of Lugh which provides us stabling and shelter. While there we discover the ‘miracle’ and that is the resting place of the former Bishop, 172 years interred in a golden sarcophagus with a crystalline lid, not at all decomposed. Over time various people have made the pilgrimage, some have been healed.

Father Brisbane of Lugh shares stories from people coming from the north and while their stories are horrific, speaking of giants and dragons, they all agree there is no The Plague in the north. Our characters later seek out the sheriff (who owns a magic sword); he proves relieved that we are just passing through and not bandits or here to inquire about the taxes that seem light by his estimation. Outside Ace watches the area.

Later we seek out dinner while learning all we can about those traveling south. Our characters pass are told tales of bandits to the north as well as fantastic stories of monsters. People seem to be fleeing in advance of something terrible.

The next day Ace steals a cart as our characters pass leave for points north and around midday we pass into Axebridge; then later that night characters pass rest at a sheltered way point.

The next day our characters pass several abandoned homes until we find people holed up in a couple fortified buildings for safety in numbers. They greet us suspiciously and are not welcoming. They speak of Old Caitlin ‘one-eye’ and her boys raiding them for about a month.

We continue to Castle Colechester which is where we begin next weeks session.