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.

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