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Company of the Bere
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But in the end, the village held fast.

Moving more carefully than previously, Lëodan pursued the retreating Antagonese mercenaries as they fled Gentleham. Though it takes him about two hours (or more accurately, takes the mercs that long), he finally reaches the camp where he observes an argument taking place between what appears to be the mercenary leadership, no doubt concerning the recent defeat. The arguing men enter a much larger tent, which limits the amount of information Lëodan might glean. After some time, the elf becomes satisfied that the Antagonese are not going to march a reprisal force back to the village and thus, heads back to Gentleham. He reaches the village near midnight and wakes Ser Kenrick to inform him of his findings; the knight then seeks out the acting watch officer of the lord-vicar to pass this on.

The following morning, the Company heads out, taking with them the survivor of the earlier ambush to the site of the Antagonese attack. Once there, they spend some time evaluating the tracks; Lëodan is able to easily pick up the route that the ambushers took with their prisoners which is, to no one’s surprise, headed in the direction of the mercenary camp. Ser Kenrick thanks the survivor for assistance and allows him to return to Gentleham while the rest of the Company follow the trail of the enemy.

Upon reaching the outskirts of the mercenary camp, the Company are surprised to discover that a large, open pavilion set apart from the other tents. There, a man Lëodan recognizes as the commander of the force is waiting underneath a white flag of truce; he has several guards with him, and, after a moment of consideration, Ser Kenrick advances with Rayna and Brother Getwelle, also under the white flag.

The mercenary commander identifies himself as ‘Mallus the Clever’ of the Brigandian Band and he is quite polite as they exchange pleasantries. From him, the Company learn that Band are members of the Mercenaries’ Guild, but they do not find out who has hired them. After a bit of discussion – and some very excellent wine – Mallus has a drunken Marthyn the Swift returned to the Company and accepts Ser Kenrick’s offer to carry the missive to the arl regarding a hostage exchange.

With Marthyn rescued, the Company returns to Gentleham to discover that the bulk of the lord-vicar’s forces have arrived, but he himself has headed back toward Nobleham to report his success to the arl. The Company spend a short time gathering supplies and saying their goodbyes before heading out, knowing that they will have to camp overnight.

Once at Nobleham, they make their way directly to the castle where they are escorted inside so that they may get cleaned up in preparation for a meeting later with the arl; Ser Kenrick has the chamberlain take the missive from the mercenaries regarding the hostage exchange so that the arl is made aware of it immediately. Some hours later, the Company is summoned to the arl’s Council where Ser Kenrick is asked to debrief them. Satisfied with these results, the Company is dismissed until later.

Released to their own interests, the Company splits apart to do whatever most interests them. Ser Kenrick, having grown up in the Woodlands, is fascinated by the sea so he spends some time walking along the bay and simply soaking this in. Most of the rest of the Company simply relax, while Lëodan replenishes his arrows and Brother Getwelle makes an attempt to heal the arl’s wife of her sleeping sickness, sadly without success. Later that evening, the Company are summoned to the more formal arl’s court where he officially thanks them for their successful efforts and declares their term of service complete. He also offers to employ them on a more permanent basis, should they tire of the Heroes’ Guild, but the Company defers for the moment, leaving the option open for later.

The following morning, the Company sets out, intent on reaching the Capital as quickly as possible. Along the way, they encounter some people burying a man and, when Getwelle advances to offer his services as an itinerant holy man, they learn that this poor fool died of the burning pox. To Murdok’s eyes, the corpse stirs and issues an ominous threat that hints at the dwarf having unfinished business with a demon; none of the other members of the Company see this, however, though they do note that the dwarf is visibly shaken.

Some days later, they reach the Two Burning Cocks inn where Getwelle heals the innkeeper’s daughter of a dire illness. In thanks for this, the innkeep gifts the militant brother with the borrowed “donkey” that Getwelle has grown rather fond of.

On to the Capital the Company press and, upon reaching it, they head directly to the Heroes’ Guild to report their success. Eventually, they are brought before Válaris of Heroham who asks of Aidin how well they did; the cleric admits that they were far more successful than expected and, as a result, the Company are promoted to journeyman status within the Guild. Payment is meted out and the Company are released to sell their captured loot.


Player Notes:

  • This recap is horribly overdue. We played this session two weeks ago (on 4 November) and I’m just now getting around to typing this up. We had more after this during the stream but it’s basically just paperwork.
  • This marked the conclusion of Giger’s initial run. Next up is a return to Frome County, CommJunkee’s GURPS: Western game.
  • 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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…There was a Fight…

Warned of the approaching ‘goblins,’ the Company scramble back into position where they ready themselves for the ambush. As they do so, Lëodan re-positions himself so he can get a better view of the approaching force. He is already suspicious of them – according to his understanding, goblins don’t have glowing red eyes … in fact, glowing eyes simply defeats the natural advantage derived by predators to see in the dark – and nothing he’s seen thus far has changed that opinion. The closer these ‘goblins’ get, the more convinced Lëodan becomes that this is all a shell-game: yes, they appear to have upswept, pointed ears but their ‘eyes’ are actually glowing (and colored) rocks secured to their helmets.

Once the hostiles are in the kill pocket and move to take the ‘tribute,’ Brother Maykew empties a small bucket of simmering coals upon a great pile of oiled faggots dipped in pitch. They ignite suddenly and brilliantly, flaring up with an unexpected intensity, and it is this action that the rest of the Company takes as their signal. Most simply step out of their places of concealment, readying their weapons and cutting off lines of retreat, but Ser Kenrick spurs Ser Magnus forward to a second pile of identically-prepared wood; the knight throws his own bucket of coals down, which also provides light. Even Aidin the Heal-Sick steps into view, casting a spell that results in his blade catching fire.

‘Throw down your arms and surrender now!’ Kenrick orders loudly, which many of the Company repeat, but the false goblins – this close, it is clear that these are simply men, their skins blackened with paint – immediately try to retreat. The faux-goblins are orderly and disciplined, with a clear leader who issues orders via a whistle, but they have been caught wrong-footed and the Company does not let them recover. Lëodan drops the leader of the enemy with a carefully placed arrow while his allies engage as well. Rayna drops a foe with a lightning fast thrust of her rapier even as Murdok looses at bolt from his crossbow. From where he stands, Dustan casts a spell that begins creating a fierce windstorm around him; he intends to use this against the enemy but the fight is over before he can do so. Seeing that the Enemy are trying to escape via a specific route, Maykew steps into that path and brandishes his weapon. Ser Magnus throws himself forward, which provides Kenrick an opportunity to strike one foe with his warhammer; this man reels and, as he does, the war horse twists to body slam the poor bastard and knock him prone while putting his rider in a position to engage with another man. Throughout this entire engagement, both Kenrick and Maykew continue to shout out orders for the enemy to surrender.

By this point, the orderly repositioning by the faux-goblins has turned into an all-out rout as they scramble to get out of the kill pocket. Unfortunately for them, the Company is having none of this and only two of the hostile manage to get clear; this pair reaches the river … but so does Lëodan. The elf looses several arrows at the swimmers – one of the faux-goblins goes limp and is swiftly carried down the river by the stream; the other makes it to the opposite beach, but no further.

As Lëodan drops his last foe, he can see the ‘goblin’ reinforcements on the other side of the river; more than a dozen of them that he can see, they loose fire arrows into Gentleham before withdrawing. The elf momentarily considers emptying his quiver into the retreating figures, but decides against it and returns to the rest of the Company who are now either gathering their prisoners together or aiding the locals scurrying to put out various fires. After retrieving what arrows he can, Lëodan informs Ser Kenrick that he means to pursue the other ‘goblins’ so they know their numbers and the location of their camp; the knight wishes him good hunting.

Rayna, curious as to the identity of the enemy, does some investigating, confirming that these are simply men wearing paint and false ears. From the snatches of words they can hear from them, the Company deduces that these are Antagonese mercenaries, a fact that causes no small amount of embarrassment amongst the Gentleham citizens who were so eager to yield to the ‘goblins.’

After securing the wounded Antagonese survivors in a barn, Kenrick asks Murdok to keep an eye on them while he attends an emergency, late-night town meeting; Rayna, equally disinterested in the town politics, volunteers to join the dwarf in this. With Dustan and Maykew backing him up, Ser Kenrick joins the meeting already ongoing in the church.

Here, the Company discovers a tense disagreement ongoing. The faction led by the town’s priest is strenuously urging surrender as they have heard terrible stories about the fates of other villages who resisted, while the more militant of the citizens are cheered by the victory of the Company. Ser Kenrick and Maykew interject – the latter is far more effective at this sort of thing than the knight – but neither sway either side. In the end, the reeve of the village looks at the bickering villagers and the victorious adventurers before making his decision: ‘We shall fight,’ he declares.


Player Notes:

  • In terms of fighting, this was mostly definitely a complete victory on the part of the PCs. None of us took any damage and none of the bad guys got away, whether this meant they were captured or shot by Lëodan while trying to swim the river. Sure, there are a bunch of them on the other side of the river we have to chase down, but still, phase one is a Win.
  • We’re debating how to reward our repeat viewers by allowing them to have some sort of influence in the game, but nothing has been firmly decided as of yet.
  • 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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…in the town of Gentleham…

Following the uneventful night at the Two Burning Cocks inn, the Company of the Bere prepare for another day of travel. Now equipped with an ass obtained from the innkeep, they hope to make much greater progress, and when Dustan reveals that he has a spell that will allow them to quickly travel, they are all eager to get on the road, even if they have to wait to get started while he recovers from its casting. Ser Kenrick takes this time to assist the stableboy in recovering all of the animals freed from their pens by a mischievous Ser Magnus.

18 Earlispring, 1000AE. Stronghold, Generica.

Onto the road the Company goes and they make very good time thanks to Dustan’s spell. Near midday, Ser Magnus strongly urges Kenrick to mount up and the young knight foolishly does so; instantly, the destrier charges madly forward, almost surprising a local band of patrolling soldiers. Upon seeing the rapid approach of what looks like a mounted warrior thundering toward them, these soldiers hurriedly ready themselves for a fight. Fortunately, Kenrick manages to rein in the horse before something dire happens. These men-at-arms wear the heraldry of House Surrly, and demand to know what business the Company has on this road. Ser Kenrick has nothing to hide so he proudly announces their destination and purpose. Once satisfied that they are not bandits, the patrolling men-at-arms allow them to pass.

From Aidin during the trip, they have learned that the Heroes’ Guild did not have positive interactions with the previous lord, so this will be a learning experience all around. The Company reaches Nobleham long after the sun has gone down and, after a brief moment of discussion, opt to make for the castle itself. At the castle’s gates, there is some brief confusion as the guards initially do not know what to make of them, but an elderly Lady instructs the soldiers to let the Company enter. She leaves them waiting while she goes off to inform Arl Gudrik, and a few moments later, a servant appears and exclaims his confusion at their presence. Eventually, matters are sorted – the Company are provided temporary lodgings and baths for the night. Those familiar with castle life – Kenrick and Rayna, especially – cannot help but to notice that the normal finery and decorations seem to be absent.

Rather than simply retire, Lëodan wanders around the castle a bit where he encounters a well-dressed man and engages him in conversation, learning a bit about the state of the arl’s House; evidently, Lord Gudrik’s late father was exceptionally bad with his finances, which has left his son in a difficult position. At no time does this man actually identify himself and, still being ignorant of human customs, Lëodan does not think to inquire about.

Brother Maykew is also less inclined to simply bed down and seeks out a kitchen, wherein he finds several servants who he engages in some sexually-charged banter so as to learn more about the House. The old woman who helped them, he learns, is Lady Hagnes, the arl’s mother who evidently has something of a reputation as being a busybody, so much so that Gudrik’s father once exiled her. Further, he learns that the arl’s wife is bedridden with the sleeping sickness, which he takes note of for the future in the chance that he might be able to cure it.

19 Earlispring, 1000AE. Nobleham Castle, Northelderland, Generica.

In the morning, the Company are summoned to the Lord’s court where they are presented as Ser Kenrick’s company, sent from the Heroes’ Guild. There is a brief deviation as Lady Hagnes once more intervenes, but soon after, they are properly presented to his lordship. Prior to the arl’s arrival, Ser Kenrick gives the members of the Company about what to do and what to not do; in fact, it’s probably best if they keep their mouths shut. Once the arl> has arrived, he thanks the Heroes Guild for arriving so promptly but asks for a demonstration: Rayna is to duel with one of his men.

As this is only a spar, Rayna eyes her opponent and then glides forward. Once the duel begins, she expertly slides forward and taps her foe across the mid-section while simultaneously evading his strike. This greatly impresses the arl, but the warrior declares it to be beginner’s luck … they must cross blades again! She agrees and they return to their starting spots; this time, the guard gives a better account of himself, but even so, Rayna is able to easily parry his strikes and counter with little difficulty. Once more, she gets the touch upon him, confirming that their first exchange was not merely luck after all.

At this, Arl Gudrik claps his approval and then addresses the Company. His holding in Gentleham is about to raided by brigands and his troops are spread too thin across his holdings due to dealing with other banditry. He wishes the Company to march to Gentleham, deal with these brigands, and bring any captured back to him so he can make a proper example of them. When asked about numbers, he guesses ten to twenty, though a larger troop is not entirely out of the question; as to how he knows about when the strike is happening, the arl reveals that Gentleham sent a missive to him, seeking aid. At this, the arl has a boy fetched who ran all the way to Nobleham bearing word. This boy, Marthyn, will show the Company the way to his village.

The Company sets out soon after with young Marthyn leading the way. From the boy, they learn that these bandits are supposedly goblins, which no one truly believes because those creatures have not been seen in these lands for decades. Still, Dustan discreetly interrogates the boy, hoping to get a better understanding of their foe. Marthyn insists that they are goblins who come with the fog and have fiendish glowing eyes.

It is near dark when the Company reaches Gentleham and, as before, Ser Magnus encourages Kenrick to mount before they enter the village proper before racing forward into it and rearing majestically. This naturally draws all attention – much to Kenrick’s irritation – and the villagers all surge forward. They begin murmuring and complaining that the Company do not appear to have ‘brought the money’ which is a matter of some confusion and the visible lack of excitement that Heroes have come to deal with the matter is even more strange.

Once everyone is gathered within the church, the Company learns that Gentleham has been extorted by these ‘goblins’ for many years and always managed to buy them off before. This year, though, the harvest was poor so they did not have the money and sought the arl’s assistance; evidently, they expected gold, not adventurers, and more than a few of them express fear that the goblins will respond in bloodshed. Maykew steps forward and gives a stirring speech about the need to stand against bullies that sways some minds … but not all. He notes that the village patron gathers some like-minded men once the meeting has broken up and begins to scheme; Maykew briefly attempts to interject himself into this but is rebuffed.

Expecting the goblins to come late that night, the Company splits up to attend to various tasks. Lëodan scouts along the expected route as well as the spot where so many have seen the ‘glowing eyes’ as he expects this to be a trick of some sort. At the same time, Murdok and Ser Kenrick seek out the best tactical means to defend the village, while Dustan and Rayna seek out locals to quiz them on the enemy. In the end, the Company does not quite agree on the best spot to defend and resort to the traditional Heroes’ Guild way of deciding things: they flip a Coin. It is decided they will ambush the ‘goblins’ once they come into the village proper to pick up their tribute.

As night sets in and the Company arrange themselves in various hidden locations, Murdok is the first to note that the village patron and his fellow schemers are attempting to bundle a young girl to a specific spot. The girl is bound and struggling, which the dwarf does not take kindly to, and all of these schemers are so busy with her that they fail to even notice his stealthy approach. When he clears his throat, they overreact and panic, then insist that presenting a virgin girl to the goblins is the only way to assuage their fury. Murdok – and the rest of the Company present – are having none of this, and their simple presence (along with the implied threat of violence in defense of the young lass) is more than enough to send the schemers packing.

And of course, in that moment, Lëodan looses his signal arrow: the goblins are coming!


Player Notes:

  • Following last week’s realization that we move really slowly overland, Maykew (CommJunkee) spent his earned CP to buy a very low-point ally in the form of a donkey in the hopes of speeding our troupe up. However, Dustan (Herodian) promptly discovered within his spell list the Quick March spell which almost made that animal redundant. Maykew still picked up the animal though because I think he’s got his eye on having a wagon (which is kind of common with CommJunkee, now that I think about it…)
  • Related to the above, we did discover after the fact that Maykew really shouldn’t have been up and about. Quick March has a thing where the subjects just collapse once it wears off. Live and learn.
  • 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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Once upon a time…

We begin with a fight! The Company of the Bere are in a small ring and split into two teams: Lëodan, Maykew and Ser Kenrick are in one, Dustan, Murdok and Rayna are on the other. A disembodied voice urges them on and the company quickly engage. Rayna lunges forward with her rapier, intent on skewering Maykew, but the brother-militant feverishly backpedals to evade her strike; his counter-attack somehow slips through her defense and takes her leg out from under her so she falls to the ground heavily.

Unluckily for him, Lëodan’s attempts to loose an arrow at Dustan results in the elf crippling his own arm and the wizard takes advantage of this by attacking with his staff. The two dance back and forth for long seconds, Lëodan now armed with a knife in his off-hand which proves to be less than useful against Dustan’s staff, but neither can strike the killing blow.

Ser Kenrick opts for defense, intent on countering Murdok, but the dwarf is confused about the situation, no doubt due to his bad hangover from the previous night’s drinking. Eventually, Murdok does stumble forward to attack, but it is a wild swing that misses and Kenrick’s counter-strike drives the dwarf to his knees. Maykew, who has by now circled around behind Murdok, attacks the dwarf’s skull with his mace, which knocks him out. Kenrick scowls at the brother-militant for the dishonorable strike.

15 Earlispring, 1000AE. The Capital, Generica.

Finally, the ‘exercise’ is called to a halt by Tankred of Stonewall, the Marshal of the Adventurer’s Guild. The Company are instructed to get cleaned up and go to the inn, where they will be summoned shortly; evidently, Válaris, the grand master of the guild, has a mission for them. They obey, some with more alacrity than others, and are soon summoned to the grand master.

Válaris greets the Company and advises them that, with the coming of the spring thaws, so too comes the inevitable raid season. The Arl of Northelderland has learned of an imminent bandit strike against one of his holdings and has thus requested that the guild send someone. Per Válaris, the Company is to go to Nobleham and present themselves to the arl on the Guild’s behalf where they shall receive additional instructions. Nobleham is two to three days travel away and Válaris further assigns Brother Aidin the Heal-Sick to the Company where he will serve as an observer to determine whether they are ready for advancement within the Guild. Standard reward will apply.

Following this meeting, the Company discuss plans: they must all go to their places of residence to gear up, then agree to meet back at the tavern to further discuss travel plans. Dustan opts to head to the Spire, where the Wizards’ Guild makes its headquarters so as to use its library to research the region that they are travelling to. When he rejoins the others, he has more information than before. While reviewing the three most likely routes, the Company opts for the northernmost road where it is expected that they will be able to stop at an inn along the way. Only Ser Kenrick has a horse and he flatly refuses to allow ‘Ser Magnus’ to act as a pack animal; Maykew incurs the less than attractive (but oddly intelligent) destrier’s ire by calling him ugly.

From the Capital, the Company strikes out as soon as they are ready, hoping to make as much distance as possible since they are on foot. Barely an hour after leaving the city, Brother Aidin asks for a slight deviation so he can visit a woodland shrine to Saint Victus, which commemorates the saint successfully challenged Lord Opposus to a wizard’s circle so as to free a slave or captive (the stories vary), a man who would later become Victus’ acolyte. Several of the Company – Dustan, Ser Kenrick, who counts Saint Victus as a patron due to the Oath and Measure, Maykew, and even Murdok – express interest in paying homage to this shrine as well.

Night falls with the Company on the road, having not made as much distance as they would have liked, and it is decided that they will camp until the morning. They do so, not thinking to set up a watch rotation, and soon, all are asleep. Late in the evening or perhaps early in the morning, depending upon one’s definition, Rayna experiences a terrible nightmare and wakes the entire Company. Upon seeing her thrashing about violently, Kenrick braves her flailing fists to wake her and is mildly unsettled by the strange way she stares at him before she fully wakes. Afterward, Maykew discreetly casts a spell upon her that ensures she has a restful slumber.

The Company are on the road early the next morning. Today, they make good time and, by nightfall, reach the ‘Two Burning Cocks’ inn.


Player Notes:

  • As stated previously, Gigermann took over the GM duties and we switched to Dungeon Fantasy, albeit with our characters starting at a mere 150 points. This session was rife with the usual ‘first game’ issues, particularly with regard to Feste’s continuing fight with Fantasy Grounds. Everyone else is invariably fine, but his computer always has issues when we start a new game. Always.
  • There was some brief confusion regarding the initial fight since we started out in media res and were paired off against one another, but that ultimately was cleared up. Mostly.
  • Gigermann evidently miscalculated exactly how slow the Company of the Bere moves overland without access to mounts. On the bright side, he and I (Rigil) discussed Ser Kenrick’s equipment offline and we discovered I had the wrong armor loadout; once I adjusted that, Kenrick is much, much faster overland, but this still leaves Maykew slowing us down. We’re talked about burning one of our ‘Preparation Plot Points’ to obtain a donkey to carry the bulk of our gear since Ser Kenrick’s strangely intelligent warhorse will not allow himself to be used as a pack animal.
  • 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.