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Company of the Bere

Invitations to Court

By the end of Latewinter, 1000 AE, a couple of months after the “Harmin/portal incident” at the Capital, Ser Kenrick has received the following messages at the Stagwood House in the Capital:

Ser Kenrick has sought out advice from those he deems in-the-know about such things, including meeting with Grand Master Válaris at the Heroes’ Guild, and correspondence with his uncle, Duc Rikard, among others. The invitation letters did not give any specifics as to the intentions of his potential patrons, but there are a few well-understood reasons known for such an invitation, and he is reminded that he will have to swear the oath of fealty to that lord that grants him land, so he must choose wisely.

Arl Gudrik Bredwelle of Northelderland is known to be an upright, resolute, reasonable ruler, struggling under a heavy burden. He is not considered to be particularly powerful, and certainly not wealthy (for now). His lands on the coast of the Imperial Sea—a long-standing hub of foreign trade—are experiencing hard times, but are on the way to recovering their former prosperity. His direct liege is Duc Jakeb, who mostly stays out of his business. His enemies are mostly “internal,” robbers and bandits of various power-levels, and the occasional pissed-off nobleman, against whom he has been prevailing, little by little. Ser Kenrick has worked directly for him in the past, and could expect to be put to work fighting banditry and recruiting/training with the meagre levy, with plenty of room for advancement. Prosecution of corruption has led to some lands being lost to the Arl, who will be looking to hand those titles out to trustworthy servants.

Arl Thurston Highhorse III of Banner Hall is known for his wealth and prestige, though this may be the result of a good political advisor(s). He is a laid-back ruler—perhaps a bit of a pushover at times, but certainly no fool. He is loyal to his people and his house, down to the lowliest servants (see the Pirate Ransom Job). He is considered to be reasonably powerful, with some famous knights in his retinue. His lands are rich in history, the center of Generic chivalry and horse-breeding (home of the Valemont breed, of whom Ser Magnus is descended), but are regularly under threat of Antagonese chevauchée. His direct liege is the King, as Duc of the Crownlands, who stays far too busy with affairs of the kingdom to be a bother. He has many political rivalries amongst the other Houses, some more devious/depraved than others, and is always on the lookout for an opportunity to improve his station. Ser Kenrick has done work for him—the rescue of his spymaster, Garak Highhorse—and can expect a position of some prominence in his court, with rich reward for his efforts. It has also been noted that, in the recent past, a prominent knight died, leaving a rather grand estate to his only daughter, who is, as yet, young and unmarried.

Markis Egowe Maguttin of Westmark has a reputation for shrewd politics and intrigue—some even call him a “vile gangster”—but he’s also known for keeping his word, and paying his (considerable) debts. As chancellor to the Duc of the Highlands, his direct liege, he lives at Crowningstone and spends most of his time at the Duc’s business, leaving the management of local affairs to his appointed councillors. His lands are neither prosperous nor destitute, and not known for anything in particular (except wool trade, and a local breed of hardy sheep). He has plenty of rivals and enemies, including Antagonese rulers and nobles across the border—he is a villain to some, and to others he isn’t villainous enough. Ser Kenrick has no direct experience working for him, though he has visited his court once (during the Guffin Hall Job), and can likely expect to do some “dirty jobs” from time to time; his half-sister, Rayna certainly doesn’t have a high opinion of him. That said, the Westmark is home to the Starkweathers, and would place him in proximity to Rayna, and allow him the opportunity to learn more about his roots. Also, Ser Kenrick would undoubtedly be a beacon to those seeking justice in the Mark. It has also been noted that a prominent barony within Westmark has recently gone into escheat back to the Markis, and he may be looking to pass that on to a trustworthy individual, though there will inevitably be some manner of “strings attached.”

Player Response

Ser Kenrick accepts the Highhorse invitation and prepares to visit Banner Hall. Presuming the expectations that Arl Thurston has for him are not mad – “You need to marry my 80-year old grand-aunt who is senile and lustful. Also, I need you to eat this baby.” – then he will swear fealty to him and regretfully decline (politely!) the invitations from the other two, sending the money back to the Markis (to ensure no expectations of “I sent you this money so you need to do this one thing for me”) and advising Arl Gudrik that he hopes they can remain allies at the very least.

The thinking behind this decision is wide-ranging. He flat-out distrusts Markis Maguttin and, despite knowing that accepting his offer could likely lead to a promotion to baron, suspects that the Markis would use him in a way that offended his moral stances. On the flip side, he rather liked Arl Bredwelle and would have been quite happy to accept him as lord if Highhorse was not an option because Bredwelle struck him as an honorable and upright man. Ultimately, he chose Highhorse because that region is considered the original of chivalry and very horse-centric; further, I (Rigil) expect that Kenrick will totally be a “fish out of water” around the more established nobles so I’m expecting him to get caught up in ‘the game of houses’ and be forced to find a way to navigate them without losing sight of who he is.

Kenrick will likely head to Banner Hall as soon as spring arrives. Luckily, he owns the pack horse so he can load all of his personal belongings upon it (how sad!) and head out. If there happens to be a convenient caravan heading in that direction, say with Barlowe or one of his associates, he’ll link up with it. And if any of the other PCs want to go with, he’ll gladly bring them along and spend the trip telling them the dos and do-nots about interacting with the Highhorses.

Notes:

  • This is the basic “setup” for the “Diversion” PbP stuff, where Ser Kenrick will be given lands by his choice of liege.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Mad Wizard Job

  • Winter has arrived and the Company are at the Heroes Guild, attending the Remembrance Day ceremonies and being honored for their actions over the last year. Somehow, Harmin of Grudgehold, the Magpie himself, gains entry where he demands asylum, intending on abusing the laws of the Guild. He admits to many crimes including setting into motion a spell that will destroy the city. Outside, evil clouds gather…
  • Recognizing that Válaris is stymied and that both Ser Kenrick and Murdok are about to just cut Harmin down, Brother Getwelle makes a suggestion: what if the Hall was not part of the Guild? Master Válaris seizes this way out and sells it to Getwelle for a penny. Harmin is startled by this sudden change of events, and then he’s dead as Kenrick smites him in the skull with his pick and Murdok lashes out with the axe.
  • Outside, an evil tornado-like sky beam begins gathering over the Low Market and the whole of the Guild springs into action and charges toward the beam with the Company at their vanguard.
  • It is difficult going, with thousands of panicking civilians fleeing from the sudden attack and with increasingly difficult foes emerging. Crows attack, and then goblins, and then bone golems akin to the one the Company faced at Guffinhall, and then finally, a host of stronger, tougher goblins guarding the beam (which has something swirling within it.) These newer goblins have the same appearance as the late alchemist Brother Tonik, who the Company faced when they were hired to find him.
  • The Company attacks, with Ser Kenrick and Magnus at the fore; the knight and his steed quickly smash through the goblins, then circle around and begin dealing great mayhem in their flanks even as the other members of the Company attack. None of the Company are felled, but Ser Magnus suffers multiple injuries … though this only serves to anger the warhorse even more.
  • With the goblins downed, the Company turns to addressing the apparent teleportation conduit. Seeing a spinning Mirror at the heart of this magical tornado, they are reminded of the Mirror they saw in the Wildwood. Dustan notes also that the Key given to him by Magister Mintôr at the beginning of that Job is vibrating like mad and recalls how the Fae Mirror he touched with that Key cracked. Using magic, he apportates the Key into the heart of the beam. The spinning Mirror explodes and the beam vanishes. Soon after, the sky clears and the clouds dissipate. The Company has won.
  • Some weeks later, as the Capital continue to rebuild, the Company, along with several other members of the Heroes Guild, are summoned before King Jon who declares each of them “Defenders of the Capital,” a sort of courtesy knighthood that grants them authority during crises.
  • And thus, the Legends of Generica concludes its second season.

Player Notes:

  • Absolutely no idea when we’ll be coming back to Generica – the first run was like four freaking years ago – but when we do, both Dustan and Murdok will likely be replaced since the players inherited the characters and never really gelled with them.
  • It’s a very good thing that CommJunkee came up with the “what if the Hall wasn’t part of the Guild” idea at the beginning because Kenrick crit-failed an IQ check to know the rules of “asylum” and was about to straight-up “mete out justice” as a knight versus the Magpie, which would have resulted in his excommunicatus status. Which would have been funny.
  • For the charge through the city, we used Gigermann’s still WIP “Action Challenge System” – as I told him after the game, I understood what he was doing, but too much of it was “behind the screen” so during the game itself, I had very little idea what was going on in terms of how likely it was we were going to ‘survive’ the zone and move on. He griped during the game about their still being too much math involved and admitted after that his latest version had already massively reduced said math so I personally shudder at the thought of the previous version. We discussed ripping off the Significant Actions from Mass Combat (even though several of us have issues with that system from time to time) and perhaps having the “party leader” making the survival check ala the Battle Strategy Roll, also from that book, but … well … we’ll see what Gigermann does with it next. I’m sure he’ll expound on this on his blog at great length.
  • The final fight with the super goblins turned sideways for them once Kenrick and Magnus got into their flanks. Once that happened, he kept taking out foes with attacks from the rear hex, Telegraphed strike to the skull using the pick side of his signature weapon. By my count, he felled three of them that way – two others died in unspecified ways because we were running behind on time and the GM could see that this was a battle they couldn’t win.
  • Per the GM, since Kenrick is already a knight, in addition to the courtesy title, he will also be getting a fief, which would promote him to Baronet. Now, we just need to narrow down where the fief will be located. Gigermann has also expressed an interest in doing a “diversion” game, probably handled via Play-By-Post, detailing at least some of the realm management involved with Kenrick becoming as an established lord and leading into the season 3 proper … but that’s not something anyone’s thinking about at this moment.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

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Year One: The Princess Rescue Job, Part 2

  • Having realized the “princess” is a fake, Dustan impulsively announces this. The false princess pleads her innocence initially, but when the Company don’t seem to be buying it, they go to Plan B. One of her Ladies-In-Waiting uses a chain to send Maykew tumbling into Dustan and Murdok as the false princess hits them with a paralyzing spell, then takes the Mirror and throws it off the cliff. Before the three leave, the false princess expresses regret that she cannot “play” with Getwelle because “she” (the real princess) seems to like him for some reason.
  • Ser Kenrick and Murdok recover first and begin carrying the rest of the Company away. During this, one of the surviving Nefarians triggers a Black Amber thing that begins as mist, expands and hardens; Kenrick and Murdok have to rush to get the others clear.
  • Returning to Highroad, the Company are met by baronial guards who arrest them for ‘attacking her Her Royal Highness.’ Before the baron, the Antagonese prince, and the false princess, the Company are formally charged; Maykew gives an impassioned defense that sways the baron, but there is no proof so a duel of honor between the Company’s official leader, Ser Kenrick, and one of Prince Vayne’s men. It is a quick exchange of blows with Ser Kenrick landing three solid blows that result in his foe yielding.
  • The ranger they met earlier rejoins them and points them in the direction of the Hidden Lake. To pass word to the king that the prince is returning with a false princess, this ranger departs for another town to send a raven while the Company presses on.
  • En route, they discover the princess’ carriage tipped over in a ditch. While examining this, a massive murder of crows appears and loiters, making a lost of noise. During this, an archer sharpshooter hits Murdok with an arrow from concealment; Lëodan charges toward the ambusher where the rest of the Company are going to struggle to move. They opt to mount and charge toward the Hidden Lake and allow Lëodan to conduct a sniper duel; this duel, however, does not last long as Lëodan gets a line on the target, looses an arrow and hits a vital spot that drops his foe (who is revealed to be an elf as well.)
  • The rest of the Company reach a Tower where they are greeted by a naked female in the water; it takes an unnecessary amount of time for the Company to realize she is Fae but when they do, she transforms into a hideous creature that is immune to their weapons. Maykew, recalling something, seizes her bridle to hold her in place, and Murdok uses the meteoric iron sling to kill the beast.
  • In the Tower, the Company has a brief encounter with Harmin of Grudgehold, the Magpie himself, who briefly monologues about them interfering yet again before backing into a mirror that allows him to go … elsewhere. He has escaped yet again.
  • Elsewhere in the tower, the Company discover the mysterious woman in a coffin-like thing with an odd crown-like thing; use of the Mirror (that had reappeared in Dustan’s belongings last night) reveals the princess and removing the crown breaks the enchantment. She wakes, extremely groggy, and hugs Maykew for a moment before remembering herself.
  • It takes a little bit of time to recover the carriage and gather horses to pull it, but the Company eventually return to the Capital, victorious once more while wondering when the Magpie will strike again.

Player Notes:

  • Not quite as strong an entry as the previous session, but I’m not sure whether it was entirely due to Gigermann fumbling some things (which he admitted to/grumbled about doing) or the players being difficult and making dumb decisions.
  • Kenrick winning the duel was wholly due to lucky rolls going his way as CommJunkee rolled for the opponent and Fantasy Grounds wasn’t letting him make defense checks. As it was, Kenrick was not super enthusiastic about the duel to begin with because he felt it was more of the fake-princess manipulation. I was legit worried about getting a critical hit, rolling up the triple damage result, rolling super high on damage, and the resulting injury triggering a death check that CJ failed just because Kenrick would have probably felt awful about that. At the same time, I was terribly concerned that the duel itself would drag out for too much of the session since shields make things very frustrating in GURPS fight – I’ve literally seen two foes go nine or ten rounds without a single actual blow landing, much to the frustration of the Player involved in that (Gigermann, ironically enough.)
  • The sniper encounter in the woods was a mess from my perspective simply due to the terrain. Oh, it made sense for the sharpshooter to strike there, but it limited our movement options due to terrain – Kenrick, for example, would have a Move of 1 (!) in the difficult terrain and he certainly wouldn’t take Magnus into that kind of underbrush. We as players bickered too much over what to do and in the end, I was totally expecting the actual sniper duel between Leo & his foe to be a bit more cat & mouse. In the end, Leo got the drop on him, made a very difficult shot straight away, then lucked out and hit the vitals.
  • The kelpie encounter was something of a fail on the players’ part because, once again, everyone completely forgot about the fricking Mirror. This is especially egregious on Dustan’s part though and I have roundly mocked him for it. It would have cut through most of the pre-fight shenanigans as we’d have known straight away that it was a critter … and might have circumvented some of the post-fight bickering between CommJunkee and Fronjavier.
  • Finally, the monologuing from the Magpie … I really wish there was a better way to do this. As soon as a Bad Guy appears, PCs want to whack him – I remember, several eternities ago, in a different game Gigermann ran where most of the players were Navy SEALs sent to a fantasy world, he had a bad guy try to monologue and then was startled at how aggressive we responded. In retrospect, perhaps some sort of spell or trap that we trigger which temporarily slooooooooows us way down so he could monologue, then escape?

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

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Year One: The Princess Rescue Job, Part 1

  • A month has passed since the missing monk job. The Company have been urgently summoned to the castle and an audience with the king. Accompanied by Válaris, they learn that the princess has been abducted by unknown parties who have issued absurd demands that are to met quickly or she is to be sacrificed. Worse, a visiting Antagonese prince – Vayne Gronwy – was present when this was read aloud and has declared his intention to rescue her … and to be given her hand as a reward. Said prince has already departed.
  • The king does not wish this and, as a result, has enlisted the Heroes’ Guild and the Company of the Bere who. As they saved the princess already, it is hoped that their presence will ensure she cooperates with them. Fortunately, the location of the princess has been identified (roughly) via magic so they know where to look. The Company accepts this charge and rush to prepare.
  • While preparing, Lëodan is met by Shepherd Tymorus who informs him that the circle of druids is aware of this mission and agree that the princess must not marry this Antagonese prince; to assist him, a ranger named Rikkon will be waiting for him at the Colored Animal Inn in Highroad to provide him with a shortcut to the ruins of Summoner’s Rock.
  • Simultaneously, Dustan is summoned before the Wizard’s Council at the Spire and told in no uncertain terms that the princess must marry Prince Vayne to avoid placing a Lionheart upon the throne. Later, when hearing of his mission, his former mentor, Magister Mintôr, tells him a riddle about pausing to reflect when victory is his, hinting at use of the Mirror.
  • Four hours after their audience with the king, the Company sets off. They press on into the night, then set out again before dawn. By the third day, they have caught up with the prince’s band and spend the night at the same inn. There, the Antagonese noble is enraged when Lady Waygon, Getwelle’s odd … beast, spits upon him, and he demands that it be butchered, but Getwelle, aided by Dustan, convince the prince that this spittle is actually quite conducive to healing due to rare properties. It is just believable enough (or adequately confusing) to cause the prince to withdraw him demand.
  • The Company is on the road some time before the prince the following day and reach Highroad just before noon where Lëodan meets up with the ranger he was promised would be there, who provides them with the shortcut; he also agrees to stall the prince in whatever way is best while the Company head up on foot.
  • Upon reaching a ruined temple with multiple guards, the Company approaches relatively openly (although Lëodan is stealthing in on oblique angle). Warriors in Nefarian colors and arms emerge, led by a Mysterious Stranger who has smoke emerging from his mouth but no pipe! This Stranger reveals that they have been waiting for the adventurers and orders his men to attack … but is then somewhat surprised at how quickly and easily the Company cuts through their Enemy. He retreats into the temple, blasting fire from his mouth at Ser Kenrick who is in the vanguard, but vanishes completely afterward.
  • Deeper in the temple, the Company find the princess and two unfamiliar women chained up. While they are being released from their chains, Dustan recalls Magister Mintôr’s words and uses the Mirror. He is shocked at what he sees.
  • The woman wearing the face of the princess … is not the princess.

Player Notes:

  • As I told the GM, this was probably my favorite session of the entire run. Everything was clicking and firing on all cylinders. The chase was effective, considering we didn’t know how far ahead the opposition actually was; the confrontation with the French … sorry, Antagonese Jerk was entertaining; and the fight was one of the few where we all contributed and felt like legit Dungeon Fantasy badasses.
  • Murdok’s player was late due to a scheduling issue, but he showed up just as we were able to depart the Capital and enter the Chase.
  • In retrospect, Kenrick probably should have intervened more during the encounter with the Antagonese prince but to be honest, I was too busy giggling over the angle that Getwelle’s player took with regards to his fast-talk.
  • Also in retrospect, Kenrick probably should have entered the fight with the Nefarian dudes differently; instead of a “give us the princess and we’ll let you live” angle, it should have been more “this does not have to end in a fight. Let’s negotiate … no? Okay, then we’ll fight.”
  • This marks the first blatant actions by the evil Overlord’s Nefarian forces in the campaign thus far. As a player, I’m presuming that Nefaria is tied in some way to the Magpie guy, but we don’t have any proof of that. Yet.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

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Year One: The Missing Monk Job

  • A month has passed since the Highhorse ransom job. At the Heroes Guild, the Company are greeted by Aidin the Heal-Sick who has a job: an old friend of his, Brother Tonik Waters, a famous alchemist, has gone missing from St. Scriptus’ Abbey at Parochia and he would like their assistance in finding the man.
  • The Company (plus Aidin) travel to Stagwood Castle where Kenrick grew up, then on to the abbey which is very elevated and with many stairs. They interact with Abbot Venerus and learn about Tonik’s strange behavior as well as the ongoing difficulties with the squatters in the nearby Dodgelaw Forest.
  • Upon the morn, the Company enters the forest and negotiates past the forest squatters. In their rudimentary tent town, they speak with the designated leader who eventually points them to a cute orphan named Poppy. Here, Kenrick takes the lead because he’s “good with kids” and, even though the child is very quiet, they learn she’s lost a doll.
  • Cue: fetch quest. The Company goes into the forest to find the doll, eventually tracking it down in the den of a local dog gone semi-feral named Nipper. Leo retrieves the doll and Dustan uses magic to extract the dog slobber. Poppy is delighted to have her doll back points to Griftan, another community local, who eventually reveals that he was paid to recruit Tonik to the forest community, then to lead him to a band of mercs deeper in the woods to be “kidnapped.”
  • The Company investigates with Leo being point. They locate the mercs, hash out a quick tactical plan, and put it into action. Thanks to Dustan’s “fire-tornado” windstorm, the mercs are scattered long enough for the Company to enter a nearby cave…
  • Where they discover Tonik. Now completely mad, he reveals that he has succeeded in perfecting this elixir so great fame and wealth unimaginable will be his as he’s been promised. He drinks the elixir and transforms into a powerful beast … but this beast quickly falls before the combined might of the Company. As he dies, the restored Tonik gasps out a final, “What have I done?” before the light fades from his eyes.
  • With Tonik’s body, the Company returns to the abbey where their lost brother is given a service the following day with some of the forest community attending…

Player Notes:

  • There was some more post adventure stuff not covered by the above like initial interactions with Heroes’ Guild members. Dustan has graduated and is now officially apprenticed to Magister Codecs; Kenrick learned that Fawna, one of his cousins, is to be married; Murdok had his axe super pimped out – Accuracy, Penetrating Weapon 1, Puissance – which he called Braut’nyr and all of us called Brautwurst; and we further learned that Harmin of Grudgehold, whom we believe is the Magpie, was kicked out of the Heroes’ Guild six years earlier for killing a dude on Guild grounds.
  • We ran into an issue where Tonik wanted to monologue before drinking the elixir and two characters – Leo & Murdok – wanted to knock the elixir free before he drank it. In retrospect, Tonik should have been lowering a now empty bottle when the PCs entered, so he could monologue before the transformation but there was no convenient full bottle for aggressive PCs to target.
  • After this entire thing, I (Kenrick’s player) spoke with the GM offline and admitted that he (Kenrick) was really uncomfortable just leaving the orphans to that forest community. We determined that Kenrick would remain in Huntsley for his cousin’s wedding (since he sees her more as a little sister than a cousin), and then return to the Abbey & the forest community where he will offer to take the orphans (especially Poppy) to the orphanage in the Capital that Getwelle always raves about (and secret channels all of his monies to.) This could, down the road, play again into a background “surely this knight isn’t as honorable and just as he seems; it must be an act!” that we have in mind for Kenrick.
  • Getwelle’s player had to drop out briefly during the skill challenge due to the arrival of a repairman, but showed back up in time for the fight with Tonik … but didn’t manage to get any actual attacks in. I’m actually feeling kind of bad for him.
  • No game next week due to the Labor Day weekend and half of the players dropping off the interwebz. And only three more left in this “season”!

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

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Year One: The Pirate Ransom Job

  • A month has passed since the Grand Tourney. At the Heroes Guild, the Company are tasked by Reyvanna the Black to escort a ransom from Arl Highhorse of Bannerhall to Richport. This ransom is for pirates, who have captured Garak Highhorse.
  • Upton Whiteglove, a Highhorse servant, will accompany the ransom, along with Pilip the Mute, the carriage driver. The Company meet them the following morning and it is decided that Brother Getwelle will also ride in the carriage as added defense.
  • A day out, a pursuing band of mercenaries decide to move against the carriage, but the Company counterattacks, with Ser Magnus deciding to charge. As Lëodan and Murdok pepper the mercs with arrows and bolts, Ser Kenrick lances one merc with his charge, killing the man straight away, and Wizards’ Guild Initiate Towme revs up a dagger wrought of ice that he will use against a foe shortly. This attempted robbery turns into a rout, with the mercenaries losing more than half their number and fleeing. Two injured are captured along with a corpse, as well as a captured light warhorse; interrogation reveals very little.
  • After dropping off the prisoners at Taxford where they are likely to executed for banditry, the Company continues on, pausing briefly when an ornate (and magical) sling is discovered in Ser Magnus’ tack. Being the greedy sort, Murdok quickly claims that it belongs to him and Ser Kenrick has no reason to doubt him … although everyone else does.
  • At Richport, quickly learn that Erner Blackmarket, the man facilitating the ransom exchange, is in the pillory for trafficking with pirates. Brother Getwelle uses his clerical status to gain access to the man and learns that the pirates are sailing into a trap intended to seize the ransom. The Company must change the rendezvous point by rearranging the discreet signal flags on the lighthouse.
  • Despite Ser Kenrick’s nominal assistance (caused no doubt by his discomfort in further dealings with the underworld), the Company is able to successfully accomplish this by working together to map out a route and then distract the militia at the lighthouse, while Lëodan sneaks past them to change the flags. They then relocate to the alternate meeting spot.
  • Late that night, the pirates arrive at the meeting spot, led by their master, the Dread Pirate himself. The ransom is exchanged and Master Garak Highhorse is released from captivity. Once the pirates are gone, he reveals that the Magpie was behind his capture as he (Garak) was digging into the man’s identity. He now has a name: Harmin of Grudgehold, possibly a disgraced member of the Heroes’ Guild.
  • The Company returns to the Capital, now with more information than before that they intend to turn over to the proper authorities for further investigation…

Player Notes:

  • There was some post Tourney stuff handled in the beginning that isn’t in the recap. Over the week, the GM and I dealt with the grand melee, determining that Ser Kenrick ended up in third place there too. Due to his various disadvantages – CoH (Chivalry), Honesty, Truthfulness – I determined that Kenrick was giving half of his winnings to House Graveward since he fought under Ser Kanneth’s livery for half of the tourney. Sadly, this included the jousting armor. He also tracked down Ser Kanneth’s courtly love and apologized to the baroness for keeping the truth from her about Ser Kanneth’s death. Finally, we established that Lady Prissia Highhorse, one of the princess’ ladies-in-waiting, was who provided him her favor; as Kenrick has some issues with her older brother, this could hopefully lead to some shenanigans in the future. Dustan officially graduated to Apprentice Mage by buying Rank … I think most of us thought he already was an apprentice in that regard, but evidently, using Jedi lexicon, he was previously just a Youngling and is now Padawan level. Which kind of means he needs a proper master, I think. Also, much to Murdok’s surprise (and possible concern), that magic mirror he buried turned back up in Dustan’s belongings … though it was a bit dirty.
  • The fight with the mercenaries turned into a rout very quickly. First blood went to Kenrick who straight up killed a dude with his war lance, then Leo became the killing machine that we all know and love. Sadly, Brother Getwelle was not able to participate in the fight due to it not reaching him. We ended up with a new light warhorse, three suits of mail (cheap) and a handful of weapons that we’re intending to sell.
  • The magical sling showing up out of nowhere caught the players a little off-guard, I think. I for one kept expecting it to lead to something else, like a shopkeeper or something accusing us of theft.
  • It’s a good thing the other characters were effective during the skill challenge to change the signals because Kenrick flat out failed. We explained that failure in-game as him being really uncomfortable with the entirely too frequent working with criminals thing that the Guild is involved in … and actually, Getwelle should be as well since he’s got Honesty also (which seems odd, given his character.)

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

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Year One: The Tournament Job, Pt 2

  • The following morning, after chasing off the assassins, the Company are summoned to a meeting with Master Umbras, the king’s seneschal whom they saved the night before. Along the way, they are stopped by one of Joquo’s agents who warns them that the strike will be during the wedding.
  • At the meeting with Master Umbras, the king enters. He is pleased at the Company’s aid thus far but the danger is not yet past and hires them to aid Umbras in protecting the princess. As well, Ser Kenrick is allowed to continue in the tourney openly, with word being released that Ser Kanneth’s injuries have worsened.
  • Over the next two weeks, in addition to their other duties, the Company discreetly shadow the princess in an attempt to keep her out of trouble and find this utterly exhausting.
  • Through a series of very close bouts, Ser Kenrick manages to advance to the finals where he defeats the King of Bronze, Ser Rewan the Bull, and the King of Silver, Ser Chadd Highhorse, but merely ties with the King of Gold, Baron Ser Gallan Crownroy, Lord of Winnington. In the end, to Ser Kenrick’s surprise – and the delight of his Company who have been betting upon him, he is named King of Bronze.
  • The wedding proceeds without incident, although a number of minor shenanigans are observed, and Generica once more has a Queen.
  • At the wedding feast, Princess Damsel makes a discreet exit, though Brother Maykew sees this and alerts the Company. Following her, they observe a large viper striking and, upon interceding, realize that the snake is already dead, implying that it is being remotely driven like the golem they encountered at Guffinhall. The princess has been bitten but Maykew can neutralize the poison with a spell; amusingly, when he looks down, he finds her staring at him with hearts in her eyes. Meanwhile, the others of the Company attempt to capture the invisible assassin, but he makes his escape.
  • The King is pleased with the Company’s actions, though slightly disappointed that the assassin managed to escape. He has them paid and departs, now knowing their names…

Player Notes:

  • Needless to say, I’ve not included a lot of the stuff that took place during the tourney that was mostly the background events. Most of it involved our efforts to keep the princess out of trouble only for us to realize we were mostly too paranoid by a half. Watch/listen to the YouTube for all of that!
  • Ser Kenrick technically should not have advanced to the Finals as he foes before them beat him by a margin of success of two … however, three of the PCs (who were betting on Kenrick’s victory) burned some Bennies so he would advance (now won by a MoS of 1.) Additional bennies were spent in round 1 of the Finals – both Kenrick & the King of the Bronze had a critical success – but oddly enough, none was needed for King of the Silver as Kenrick flat out dominated it. The King of the Gold, however, he could only tie and as we’d expended all of our bennies, we could not go further. Still, King of the Bronze implies (at least to the nobility) that Kenrick is the third best knight in the realm.
  • There was a planned grand melee that we had to skip due to time, but we’re thinking of handling some of that over Discord or our boards. Being King of the Bronze means Kenrick (and his “squire”, Maykew) will be participating in it.
  • Murdok buried the magic mirror after it hinted at his Secret … and ironically, it could have been extremely useful in the encounter with the invisible assassin. A pity none of us thought about that.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Tournament Job, Part 1

  • Three days after returning from the previous job and a few before the grand tourney to celebrate the king’s wedding to Lady Malvyna Lionheart, the Company are summoned to the Heroes’ Guild by Válaris who has an urgent task for them: Ser Kanneth Graveward, an older knight and former member of the Guild has sent a raven seeking an urgent escort.
  • The Company reaches the locale early that evening but discover Ser Kanneth and his retinue slain by assassins. Master Umbras, the king’s seneschal, enters the pavilion and is dismayed at Kanneth’s death but does not believe that the Lionhearts are behind this as a discovered letter hints at. To conceal this fact from the assassins whom he wishes to flush out, he declares Ser Kenrick should ride in the tourney as the dead knight; Kenrick balks at this as it violates his Oath and Measure of Knighthood, but proposes an alternate: he will ride as himself but represent Ser Kanneth like a second in a duel with the excuse that, following an incident on the road, Ser Kanneth’s injuries prevent him from participating.
  • Leaving Umbras to deal with the bodies, the Company tear down the pavilion and proceed to Redding where they seek out Master Truvio, one of the late Ser Kanneth’s men to fill him in on the events. He is saddened but agrees to aid.
  • The next two weeks are quite hectic, with Ser Kenrick proving his mettle on the tourney field while the rest of the Company do what they must to keep the secret of Ser Kanneth’s death. By the close of the second week, not only has Ser Kenrick advanced, but the Secret is also maintained.
  • Master Umbras rejoins them at the end of this week, seeking an escort, and the Company does so, taking him before the Duc Lionheart’s man. Assassins strike before they can do more than exchange pleasantries, and the Company leaps forward to defend their principal. Facing stiffer opposition than expected, the assassin flee, leaving behind the body of one of their number.
  • Master Dextar Hench, Duc Lionheart’s man, looks at the letter that implicates the Lionhearts but immediately declares: it’s a fake!

Player Notes:

  • Needless to say, I’ve not included a lot of the stuff that took place during the tourney that was mostly the background events. Stuff like Murdok winning a melee mini-tourney, Leo winning an archery contest and running (briefly) into the Laughing Bandit, multiple characters dealing with efforts to reveal the truth, and even Kenrick jousting against the king in disguise (though he didn’t know that.) Watch/listen to the YouTube for all of that!
  • For Kenrick, I’ve ripped off a bunch of knightly stuff from other media. The Oath & the Measure comes from DragonLance and is basically what the knights call their Code of Honor (Chivalry), but the actual oath I’ve cribbed from both “Excalibur” (still the best King Arthur movie ever) when Arthur is knighted and from “Kingdom of Heaven” (which is underrated, particularly the absolutely fantastic director’s cut.) The latter has a line in the dubbing – “speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death” and since Kenrick has Truthfulness (9 or less), I wanted to go a Galad Damodred from Wheel of Time way with him.
  • Honestly, probably nobody expected Kenrick to last as long as he has in the tourney. As his player, I was seriously trying to brace myself for getting unhorsed in the very first tilt. But hey, he’s doing okay!
  • A bit more of Giger’s experimental action mechanic to turn what could have been a crapton of rolls (Riding, Lancing, Intimidating (by the horse), etc.) into only a handful. On one hand, I feel robbed that Kenrick was not afforded the opportunity to unseat a bunch more people, but on the other, I know how Fantasy Grounds works and more rolls equals more chances to roll an 18 at a key juncture.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Guffinhall Job

  • A week later at Heroes’ Guild celebrating St. Victus’ Day. Receive a letter from Lady Rayna Starkweather seeking aid. Murdok is unable to go due to Smith’s Guild obligations.
  • The Company kits up. Ser Kenrick has letters to carry to Stagwood, Dustan receives a mission to seek out a book for Magister Hokus. They depart the following day.
  • Reach Stagwood Castle late in the day. Kenrick delivers letters, visits family, visits his mother’s grave as tomorrow is anniversary of her death (and thus, his birth); Leo has Loner time; Dustan visits small library; Maykew spends time in kitchen.
  • Depart following morning and reach Lordsbury late that eve. Depart again very early. Reach Draftley Keep late in the day. Inquire of Mayor Robard of Fortsbury about book; sent to priory where they retrieve an immense tome that weighs as much as a man. Quickly opt to purchase a cart that Getwelle can drive.
  • Head to Guffinhall where small wedding feast for local kids is winding down. Lady Starkweather is pleased to see them. Meet her reeve, Dorran, who reacts to Kenrick, claiming he looks just like his former lord, Randyl Starkweather. At Guffinhall proper, observe a portrait of Rayna’s father, Lord Randyl, who looks very much like an older Kenrick.
  • Lady Rayna explains how she reclaimed her lands – the sale of it to an Antagonese baron was declared illegal by the duc – and she’s been dealing with the aftermath, including a “monster” causing trouble that she’s convinced the baron is behind. They decide to patrol around midnight, which gives them time to relax. Ser Kenrick, to avoid staring at the portrait some more, deals with Ser Magnus shenanigans; Dustan spends time reading through this massive Tome; Leo patrols; and Maykew discovers Randyl Starkweather’s “conquest” cards, one of which has his mother’s name upon it.
  • Around midnight, they join the patrol and, after several hours, the monster appears. The Company attacks what seems to be a construct of bones; it flees and Ser Kenrick orders that they let it go but follow it to its master. The thing enters Antagonese lands and enters some barrows where the Company discover a man named Sorcil, who Lady Rayna recognizes. He wants her – she reacts with an Ewwww – and states that when he finishes the spell, great fame and wealth unimaginable will be his. Skeletons are raised and attack!
  • The battle goes ill for Sorcil who is captured. He admits that the Antagonese baron is responsible and that he was given this spell by the Magpie. Lady Rayna declares him Outlaw and Dustan burns the spell. The Company helps her take many loots that she will sell to help her people.
  • Successful, the Company departs Guffinhall the following day after Ser Kenrick tells Lady Rayna (who might be his half-sister) that, should she need aid, she only needs to send word to him and he will come. Maykew borrows the cards, intent on asking questions of his “landlady” (whose name is also here).

Player Notes:

  • Fronjavier was out this session due to other obligations
  • So now, Kenrick knows – or at least strongly, strongly suspects – that Rayna is his half-sister, and Maykew is on the verge of realizing that he is also their half-brother.
  • Next up is the King’s Wedding and Tourney … troubling for Kenrick is that he’s not received an invitation, which has been his objective for quite some time now.
  • We’ll be off for two weeks due to a scheduled break for some vacation stuffs.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Thieves’ Guild Job

  • A fortnight later at the Guild tavern, receive a new mission from Joquo the Spider to accompany him as a bodyguard into the city. Go to the “Locksmith’s Guild” in East Side where Joquo has meeting with Boss Kappo.
  • The Company meets with Niklaz Nogood who they ran afoul of pre-campaign in a Noodle Incident who wants to start a fight, but is prevented by big guy and “Lady” Sirena.
  • Joquo returns, reveals attacks on Thieves’ Guild and on Gambee family in Burrow Hill. Now Kappo’s daughter, Vesta, has been abducted; they know where she’s held, but cannot assault due to The Agreement with the city.
  • The Company recon the building, then assault it with Leo going through upper window. The fight goes ill for the thugs, with one dying outright due to Dustan’s ice knife, another going catatonic due to fear of Murdok, and the rest yielding.
  • Escort Vesta back to Guildhall, discover Vigo Gambee present and accusing Kappo of attacking his son. The Company convinces him to allow them to retrieve the halfling.
  • At the Red Rondel brewhouse, the Company enters and politely informs they are here on a mission for both Bosses. Access the cellar to discover young Wido with some thugs, all of whom are drunk.
  • En route back to Thieves’ Guild, a black-hooded man appears on the rooftop and announces that great fame and wealth unimaginable was promised to him if he started a gang war. He bolts, but Getwelle shouts a magical command to STOP and Leo shoots the man, then pursues, easily capturing the badly injured man.
  • Learn that the black-hooded man was hired by the Magpie, then turn him over to the local constables.
  • Vigo Gambee is grudgingly satisfied by the Company’s actions and acknowledges he owes the Heroe’s Guild a Favor; Thieves Guild does the same. The Company returns to the Guild, victorious once again.

Player Notes:

  • The fight versus the thugs was kind of hysterical as it wasn’t really a proper fight … which made sense to be honest as it was a group of highly trained and badass warrior types against a handful of thugs. Fronjavier kind of lost himself to giggles over when his foe freaked out.
  • Kenrick was pretty … uncomfortable with this whole working with thieves and brigands, even though technically, the Thieves’ Guild is a proper Guild so its technically legal.
  • Fronjavier is going to be out next week, but we’re playing anyway.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.