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Company of the Bere
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Many men fell in this fight…

With little time to spare, the Company seizes a wagon from one of the villagers and quickly piles it full of detritus that is intended to foul any footing. They then liberally douse the entire thing with readily combustible lamp oil before dragging the wagon to the bridge where they position it on the enemy’s side while still being on the bridge. But even then, they are not completely done: using ingenuity and sheer luck, they quickly arrange a trap underneath the wagon that, once triggered, will flip the entire thing over upon the enemy. Satisfied that they have prepared as best as they can manage, most of the Company hunker down, opting for cover but not concealment. Due to the terrain, they all think it unlucky that they will be unseen so instead they are taking refuge in audacity. The mission that the Lord-Vicar of Churchbury gave them was simple: prevent the enemy from flanking his main force via the bridge and they mean to do so in this manner.

Lëodan however stealths forward, crossing the bridge and hiding amongst the trees where he intends to wreak havoc upon the enemy at the most opportune moment. He does not have to wait long as a troop of Antagonese mercenaries march into view.

At the sight of the barricaded bridge, the captain of these soldiers orders a halt and evaluates their options, none of which are good. Taking the fortified bridge will not be easy for them as they must first get past the wagon, a feat that will require physical effort and will leave them in a somewhat vulnerable position. After some consideration, he issues orders and the troop begins advancing, which they will soon regret.

With the formation of halberdiers at the forefront so they may began attack the barricade, while the pavisers surround the crossbowmen, the Antagonese approach and begin their efforts to break free. Now that their foe are in position, the Company triggers the trap, flipping the wagon onto the whole of the mercenary formation. Two of the enemy are unable to scramble out of the way in time and their screams of pain ring out alongside the distinct crunching of bone. At this, Murdok fires his crossbow at a halberdier, though it is not a killing wound. To add insult to injury, a burning lamp is tossed onto the oil-drenched wagon and fire erupts.

Seeing that this is an even worse position than he originally thought, the Antagonese captain orders a retreat and the mercenaries begin backpedalling. Perceiving this as his signal, Lëodan engages, intentionally targeting the captain – he falls to a well-placed arrow to his vitals. He rapidly takes advantage of his superior night vision and excellent vantage point to drop four more of the enemy, crossbowmen all, and seeing their fellows fall to an unseen but dangerously accurate archer, the Antagonese begin retreating in full. Lëodan, however, flanks wide around them, continuing to loose bodkin point arrows at their formation whenever they seem to be hesitant about whether to continuing fleeing the battle. His continued assault and their inability to find him eventually convinces them that flight is wiser.

Once the Company is thoroughly satisfied that the Antagonese have fled the field, Ser Kenrick sends Aidin the Heal-Sick back to the village to report their success and to seek additional orders while Brother Getwelle does what he can to save the lives of the enemy Lëodan felled. When Aidin returns, he reports that the enemy are in full-scale retreat. Since he does not return with actual orders, Ser Kenrick whistles for Ser Magnus and rides into to Gentleham to seek out the lord-vicar for further instructions where he learns that yes, the Company is relieved. Prisoners are herded into that same barn which, by now is getting quite full.

Following the battle, the Company learn that there were few losses on the side of the villagers; Old Man Bones was found dead but appears to have died simply of advanced age, not injuries. The pacifist patron, it is learned, found himself cornered during the fight by a mercenary and accidentally killed the man; to no one’s surprise, he is taking this poorly. More notable at the moment is that the reeve’s cowardice overtook him during the battle and the entire village saw him flee to hide. No one is happy with him. At all.

The lord-vicar is pleased with the results of the battle though he wishes he could pursue them over the border and would, if doing so would not be an act of war. Ser Kenrick mentions that he is still concerned about the missing retinue from the arl and volunteers the Company to investigate upon the morrow if they have not arrived in that time. The lord-vicar agrees to this and then implies that, if the Company just happened to cross the border and scout out the enemy, well, he would never actually ask them to do so! Lëodan, ever the loner, retrieves what arrows he can find and then heads out ahead of everyone else to pre-scout the route with a promise to be back before dawn. Rayna finds herself as the target of the lord-vicar’s lecherous advances but manages to diplomatically brush him off; she retreats as quickly as she can lest she lose her temper at his antics.

Some time after night has fallen, the village council assembles once more; curious, Ser Kenrick and Brother Getwelle invite themselves to it and no one complains. This meeting is mostly a gripe session centered around the reeve’s cowardice, though they do discuss maintaining a regular watch for several days to prevent a repeat of this as well as talking about rebuilding. It is decided that the slain mercenaries will be buried in the village cemetery.

Following the meeting, the council disperses to their own matters. As Ser Kenrick is leaving, he is cornered by Brother Rikall, the monk accompanying the lord-vicar; the monk believes he has met the knight before some years earlier at Hunterhall. The two reminisce about this, unaware that Rayna has overheard it and vaguely recalls visiting there when she was about three or four.

Night has fallen completely when the armcry is once again raised: someone approaches from the south! Some of the lord-vicar’s men rush out to escort this man into Gentleham. He is one of the arl’s men who was part of the retinue marching north and they were set upon by Antagonese mercenaries! This man was knocked unconscious and left behind when all of those marching north were taken captive.

Including Marthyn the Swift.


Player Notes:

  • This session turned out to not be what the GM intended thanks to PC shenanigans. To paraphrase him, the Players “had Plan A and Plan B prior to game-time, and then during the session, opted to go for Plan C.” He’s gone into much more detail on his blog as to ‘what went wrong.’ Ironically, I had a similar failure in my F2F game which he plays in the week earlier.
  • Evidently, the Kenrick-Rikall discussion is due to Kernick’s father’s secret popping. I think we’ve had one session where a Secret didn’t pop…
  • Looks like next week will be the conclusion of this run.
  • We livestream our games every Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern; the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel.

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

Company of the Bere


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…With foul Mercenaries of Antagonese origin.

Having repulsed the mercenary attack upon Gentleham and convinced the rest of the two to stand against the inevitable reprisal strike, the Company of the Bere immediately look to their next course of action. Lëodan is eager to begin pursuing the larger force, which he does so only after advising Ser Kenrick and pausing long enough to have Dustan haste him. The elf is confident that he can easily catch up to the mercenary band, even in the darkness.

While he is gone, the rest of the Company turn to other matters. Once they are satisfied that the captured mercenaries are secure, many of them immediately find a place to bed down to rest. Ser Kenrick, still flush with adrenalin from their victory, moves around the village, discussing options with those who are still up and generally trying to be a positive, uplifting force, though eventually, he too must seek out his bed. Only Dustan remains awake the entire night as maintaining the spell he placed upon Lëodan requires some small measure of concentration.

Through darkened forest and over hills, across fast-moving streams that gurgle and babble, and under a darkened sky that smells of rain, Lëodan the Wanderer pursues the Antagonese enemy. He knows that he is likely much faster than the mercenaries, though they know the territory and route far better than he does. On he presses, moving both as quickly as he can and as stealthfully. As he pursues the enemy, he is actually surprised at how difficult it is to track these men: they appear to have emulated elvish travel boots that are intended to make pursuit harder than it should. What he does notice, however, is that these mercenaries appear quite disciplined and appear to be following a standard operating procedure.

While he tracks, the long-hinted at rain begins to fall. His pursuit uncovers a campsite of some sort – by his guess, this camp was likely used as a staging ground for the mercs who hit Gentleham. The band that he’s pursuing appears to have come here to pick up a much smaller group before continuing on. While pressing on, Lëodan stumbles upon a concealed trip-wire on the periphery of this campsite, set up no doubt to warn of anyone approaching.

He presses on, noting that the tracks lead him toward a rushing, wide stream that he hurdles; his landing leaves something to be desired, however, as he slips and falls into the mud. Soon after, he realizes that this particular leg of the tracks look to be a false trail and he must double-back. Evidently, the men he’s pursuing were sharp enough to lay a distraction.

With the rain coming down hard, he closes in on the enemy and discovers that their goal is a fortified camp. The rearguard of the men he was after are just now entering this camp. Lëodan spends an hour or so observing in order to get his best head-count of the opposition while simultaneously scouting around the outskirts of the tents to get a better grasp of the exact location and terrain. Satisfied that he has learned all that he can for the moment, Lëodan turns away and intends to retrace his steps back to Gentleham. This takes more time than he would like – his marking of the trail was insufficient to properly assist him and he briefly managed to get lost.

Back in Gentleham, dawn arrives and many of the Company roll out of their bedrolls so as to begin assisting the town in preparing for its defense. Aidin the Heal-Sick, who had remained awake for the rest of the night to keep an eye on the prisoners, turns this duty over to the villagers and seeks out his bedroll. At Ser Kenrick’s suggestion, the reeve is to send the young lad who ran to Nobleham to the arl with news of their plight. By now, at Dustan’s discreet suggestion, Ser Kenrick has publicly named the boy ‘the Swift’ and instructs the lad to carry a letter penned for the arl advising him of their plight. Dustan drops another spell upon Marthyn that will greatly enhance his overland travel speed (though it will cause the boy to promptly pass out once he has reached his destination.)

Once the lad is away, the Company then turns to aiding the town in erecting defenses. Ser Kenrick and Murdok are on hand to mostly for tactical suggestions and physical strength, while Rayna breaks away from the others to play with the children, in the process learning which of them will be most useful during the coming fight. Brother Getwelle waits just long enough for the knight to be distracted before slinking away and joining some old men men puffing away with their pipes. The Company learns that this is a relatively new village that is situated in a prime position for trade … or so it is hoped. In the process of reviewing what they have on-hand to defend, Ser Kenrick further asks of Reeve Walder about any survivors from other villages that have been raided by these ‘goblins’ and learns of ‘Old Man Bones,’ late of Farmville, who confirms that the reprisals always took place at night in the mist. On the bright side, there were no cavalry.

Defenses are constructed throughout the morning, mostly with an eye toward slowing the advance of infantry. Knowing that the enemy used fire arrows, Getwelle suggests that buckets of water are strategically located throughout Gentleham for easy access to put out flames. And having confirmed that the Antagonese like to come out at night, Ser Kenrick insists on light sources throughout the entire village. Rudimentary walls are to be constructed using the many trees throughout and, at Rayna’s suggestion, barricades are placed in the small walkways between houses to further hamper movement.

A tired and wet Lëodan reaches the river across from Gentleham sometime after dawn where he notes a pair of Antagonese mercenaries lurking in the woods so as to keep a close eye upon the village. Recognizing scouts when he sees them, the elf sneaks forward to get a better look. One of these scouts is dozing while the other seems to only be paying half attention to his duties; the elf considers his options, then decides to engage. A well-placed arrow kills the sleeping man almost outright; the other man he takes prisoner and marches into Gentleham.

Upon the elf’s approach with a prisoner, Ser Kenrick glances around for his horse but, upon not seeing it, whistles; from the east, Ser Magnus appears bearing Master Walder, the reeve, upon his back. The reeve appears most disgruntled at the horse’s refusal to obey commands. Realizing that the man had dared to try and steal his horse to flee, Ser Kenrick mentally slots Master Walder into the ‘not worth saving’ designation before joining Lëodan and the elf’s ‘new friend.’ The two interrogate the man, learning that the scouts had ‘observe and report’ instructions; their prisoner promptly insists – loudly and repeatedly – that they are mercenaries on contract and not bandits or criminals, though his refusal to name with whom they have a contract with allows Ser Kenrick to point out that, without any proof of this, it is entirely up to the arl as to whether they are actually just bandits after all. And everyone knows that Arl Gudrik does not like bandits…

The prisoner is shoved in with his fellows once it becomes clear he is not going to answer anything else, all of whom are badly injured due to their unfortunate fight with the Company the night prior, and Ser Kenrick discreetly instructs Ser Magnus to keep an eye on them before rejoining the others of his band so they can discuss Lëodan’s findings. Initially, they do not include the town council in this discussion, particularly in light of Kenrick’s firsthand observation of the reeve’s displayed cowardice.

After giving the report and retrieving the body on the other side of the river – which the Company now realizes is Antagonese land – Lëodan withdraws to find a spot away from the village to sleep and recover. Ser Kenrick briefly visits Eldyr the Old to whom Marthyn (now the Swift) acted as a crutch to get an alternate view of Gentleham’s personnel with regards to their efficacy for the coming battle. Upon hearing that Eldyr has a better grasp of the village, Ser Kenrick asks Murdok to accompany the old man and aid him in directing villager traffic.

Soon after this, Ser Magnus prevents the newly captured mercenary from sneaking out of the rudimentary prison, which causes Ser Kenrick to realize they cannot spare the people to watch these mean. With that in mind, he puts those capable of it, including the newly captured scout, to labor on the defensive structures. Fierce-eyed villages keep an eye on these prisoners while they work as does Murdok. In the process of this, spirits dip somewhat as the village patron complains loudly about why they are even bothering with erecting defenses. The Antagonese mercenaries are too many and will certainly kill them all! Brother Getwelle, who has grown increasingly irritated at the patron’s constant negative attitude and ill disposition, responds with a powerful speech about taking heart and holding fast against the darkness of evil. This speech raises spirits and counters the patron’s discontent.

Late in the day, the armcry is raised: the lookout in the high church tower has noted the approach of an armed band from the north! The Company rally to investigate and promptly discover that these approaching riders are bearing blue and gold banners, the colors of the Bredwelles. It appears that the arl has heard of their plight and sent reinforcements … though seeing them come in from the north is odd. Just in case this is a ploy of the mercenaries, the Company advances to meet these men-at-arms, taking with them the reeve since he is the man most likely to recognize legitimate authority figures.

At the head of this column is Lord-Vicar of Churchbury, the arl’s marshal; at the Lord-Vicar’s approach, the village patron asks the gods for patience and retreats to his church. Ser Kenrick greets the high-ranking churchman properly, but the Lord-Vicar immediately concentrates all of his attention on Rayna, despite her unkempt appearance at the moment. From him, the Company learn that the arl send a rider, informing him of the impending attack; the bulk of his forces are still on the road but he has his retinue and that should be enough. He is mildly disconcerted at the lack of other forces as evidently, the arl informed him that he was sending some of his personal guard. Hopefully their absence is not a bad sign.

The Lord-Vicar immediately assumes command and tours Gentleham to get a handle on the terrain and situation. After accomplishing this, he informs the Company that they escape the main force of the enemy to cross the Pale to the north, likely near Farmville, and march upon Gentleham, but it is unlikely that they will send their entire number. As it seems likely they will attempt a flanking maneuver to the south using that bridge, the Lord-Vicar decides to assign the Company to hold it and signal should they encounter too great a number. This will lead Ser Kenrick to late seek out Eldyr the Old so as to borrow a battered war-horn the knight saw in the man’s home; from him, Kenrick will learn that this horn was used during the last great war with the vile Overlord of Nefaria…

Abruptly, the Lord-Vicar remembers his manners and asks to be introduced to the entire Company, though it seems clear he is most interested in learning Rayna’s name. At Brother Getwelle’s introduction, however, the Lord-Vicar blinks in recognition and calls out for Brother Rikall, a monk accompanying him; did not the brother once know a man by the name of Getwelle? This monk expounds, revealing that he helped deliver Brother Getwelle many years ago and remembers this only because of the sizeable donation his mother left to the church to raise the child: six hundred and forty-seven crowns is a considerable amount of money and Brother Recall always thought it strange, especially once he learned this was ‘hush money’ from the child’s father. Later, Getwelle will discuss this more privately with the brother and learn his mother’s name: Annys.

As the sun begins to set, word is raised: hostiles are approaching! The Company, now fully assembled, heads to the bridge per their assignment.

And thus, the Battle of Gentleham begins…


Player Notes:

  • Evidently, we ended the previous session in a weird place, so this was mostly just a set-up session for next week’s ‘Battle of Gentleham.’ We also cut short so Ronnke could join Mook’s first ever Fantasy Grounds session, which can be found on Mook’s blog. It’s awesome seeing other people using the GURPS ruleset.
  • There was a miscommunication between the GM and myself (at least) regarding the Antagonese mercenaries; I thought they spoke only their native language, not Common, and as a result did not think to make an interrogation attempt until Lëodan captured the guy.
  • Once again, CommJunkee rolled under the 6 for his father’s Secret – this is a 0-point Secret that both he and I (Rigil) have for our characters since we’re unknowing half-siblings and brother to Rayna. Gigermann decided to have us treat this like a Secret in every way except for point costs since, otherwise, none of us would ever find out that we’re related! This led to the data-dump about Maykew’s mother.
  • We livestream our games every Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern; the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel.

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

Once upon a time, in the land of Clichéa, in the Kingdom of Generica, in the twelfth year of King Jon XVII, the land prospered. It was a period of uneasy peace, ten years since the Late Unpleasantness, and one year since the traitorous Luzar Drakeburne campaigned to usurp the Generic crown and was defeated. The king faced troubles from all sides; vassals plotting to take his throne, or gain their own; raiders terrorizing outlying farms; and neighboring kings awaiting opportunity to strike.

But far to the east, dark clouds gathered over Firemount: after a hundred years of silence, the Overlord of Nefaria recently sent his armies forth from the Black Tower and seized the neighboring Kingdom of Poorland. There is no doubt he next will march on Generica, his ancient enemy, and trod under foot any who stand in his path.

Meanwhile, a group of young, upstart adventurers of the Heroes’ Guild has formed a company of brothers-at-arms called The Company of the Bere (“bear,” not “beer”), and is about to be sent on their first mission…

Forgotten GreyLancErron

(Greyhawk + Forgotten Realms + DragonLance + Eberron)

It’s a generic medieval-fantasy campaign setting, based on traditional D&D material, that has roots going back to 2006 as a sort of in-joke in another gaming group, and originally intended for the D&D system. The worldbuilding centers around the imitation of the Crusader Kings 2 computer game. The campaign features heavy use of TV Tropes, with a strong Game of Thrones influence in its politics (that is, shamelessly ripped-off…err, an homage). As the worldbuilding was already well under-way on the Core Group Wiki, I decided not to relocate that information to Olympus.

Legends of Generica

See Campaign Info.

Tropes: Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, Genre Savvy: PCs (at least), Heroic Fantasy, Meaningful Name, Medieval European Fantasy, Medieval Stasis

I’m setting the tone of the campaign on the “silly-side of average,” like The Princess Bride or Stardust. I’m keeping the setting quasi-realistic, to the degree that I can, but allowing basic GURPS cinematic abilities, influenced to some degree by TV Tropes. The original D&D version would have started at 1st Level; this being GURPS, that means 150 points at the start—definitely still “green”—with their focus on eventual fame-&-fortune. The adventures themselves will be intentionally clichéd and simple, which should telegraph events for the properly genre-savvy—knowing it’s coming should be part of the fun. For the future, I’d like to get into some small-time realm-management, and of course, the campaign will undoubtedly end up featuring a long journey to take some McGuffin to Nefaria to destroy it before the Enemy can use it.

GM: Gigermann

This will be my first “real” campaign for the Olympus group since The Crusade back in 2011, and the first ever to be streamed on Twitch and recorded on YouTube. As a side note: I intend to blog some GM insights and behind-the-scenes stuff separately on my other blog site.