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.


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