The Warband

Bradán ap Cadell (Ronnke)
Meadhbh verch Cadell (Melissa)
Echo (CommJunkee)
Heddwyn ap Idris (Gigermann)
Aedán ap Dewar (Winston)
Simple Angus (Herodian)
Gwion ap Enfrys (Andricus)

Act I: Aftermath

  • Following the battle with the Irish at Samhain last year, (456) the return to Bryn Euryn was met with excitement and exuberance as, once more, the heroes returned victorious. To the inhabitants, this was a great victory over some hated enemies (the Irish) … to the band, it was tempered by the loss of Marcus.
  • Some three weeks later (late November), Heddwyn returned from Ynys Mon; he seems a little different, a little wiser, a little weirder. Soon after his return, he takes Siobhan as a wife – in true Celtic fashion, there is no actual wedding. They just agree to be married and she moves in with him. Evidently, he wasted no time as she is already with child. Heddwyn continues his studies with Adaryn, the druid of Rhos, and learns more than he reveals.
  • Eventually, the excitement winds down and King Cunedda’s men depart now that their duty is discharged. Bishop Paulus leaves with them, having been summoned to Rome, though he promises to return. Strangely, he recovered quickly from his dire injuries…
  • Owain settles back in as Heir and actually seems to be trying pretty hard to be a decent dude. He will cautiously attempt to befriend Bradán & through various means – conversations, Angus’ little birds, eavesdropping, etc. – it will be learned that he went south to the king as an asshole and Cunedda simply didn’t put up with that shit. Think of it as him having gone off to basic training during the summer and coming back a different person.
  • Winter comes early this year and it is a hard one. Food is scarce, sickness is rampant, and there are some losses. Almost as soon as the snows begin, Baron Edern caught pneumonia and was unable to shake it. By midwinter (December 21), he is dead, leaving Owain to ascend to leadership position.
  • Owain appoints Bradán to serve as his general, but by mid-January, Heddwyn has managed to finagle his way onto the Council as well to serve as grand diplomat (thus earning himself a rival in the form of Lord Serigi, the former holder of this position.)
  • Bradán‘s appointment to general of the Rhos cantref really just seems to be a title since there are so few warriors readily available. Baron Owain, for example, has no men of his own at the moment, so really, it comes down to the nobles. In truth, Bradán realizes he is probably the most powerful of the nobles present, not only with his own warband but with a village of his own as opposed to the simple manors the other nobles possess.
  • During the winter, Meadhbh … changes. Her dreams become haunted by wolves – never acting aggressively toward her or anything, but they’re always there – and her eyes gradually shift color until they are golden. In these dreams, she sees many strange things, like Heddwyn running along a beach & changing into different animals; or Aedan tearing off his arm and then dipping the limb into molten silver; or Angus literally dancing with a woman of mist and dreams … and both are hiding knives meant for the other; or Bradan standing in a ring of standing stones that become men without faces, all of whom seem to mean him ill. She even dreams (bizarrely) of her dead brother, Marcus, sleeping in a boat and holding a sword with a blade that seems to be made of water. . She does her best to pretend nothing is happening as she begins gathering some of the younger women of Caerhun to her and begins the first step in training them. And sadly, Echo, her “dead” twin’s wolfhound, is rarely far from her side.
  • Aedan gains an pseudo-apprentice in the form of Eitri, a strange, bald man who assists him from time to time. When the young man assists him, the results are gorgeous, but still, Aedan is haunted by the memory of the one weapon that failed Lord Caddell…
  • Angus continues as before, trying to sniff out threats to his lord while hiding in plain sight. As some of his little birds mature, they develop into a more dangerous form which he refers to as ‘little hawks.’ For all intents and purposes, they are a warband themselves, though he conceals his access to these bowmen.
  • And so, time passes…

Act II: On the Road

  • 11 March, 457 Anno Domini. Even though it is technically spring, snow is still on the ground and it is still bitterly cold.
  • Lord Bradán is taking his retinue to Bryn Euryn, where Baron Owain has summoned his Council to discuss the dangerous state that the cantref of Rhos finds itself in. Both he and Heddwyn are expected to attend and thus, add their voices to the discussion. Angus is concerned as his little birds have hinted toward a vague threat directed against his lord, but without specifics.
  • In the empty places between Caerhun and Bryn Euryn, the band come across four corpses, all farmers, who have clearly been murdered. Little is gleaned from examining the bodies, although Meadhbh and Echo do find tracks. Uninterested in visiting Bryn Euryn because it will inevitably mean she must deal with suitors, Meadhbh declares her intention to track the murderers and Bradán sends three of his warriors to accompany her while he and the others will continue on, taking with them the bodies of the slain.
  • Into the wild, Meadhbh goes and the trail carries her far from Bryn Euryn, finally reaching a sheltered campsite where five men site around a fire, laughing and joking. Despite her brother’s instructions to not do anything “foolish,” Meadhbh decides they will assault these murderers and gain vengeance for the dead. While she and Echo flank wide left, the three members of Bradán’s warband go right, not even trying to conceal their approach which does serve to draw the notice of the men. A fierce skirmish breaks out, resulting in three dead murderers, one dying and a fifth captured. Meadhbh and her warriors are only lightly injured.
  • Interrogation uncovers little beyond confirmation that these men were brigands and murderers who deserve their fate. Once satisfied of this, the captured man is also put to death.

Act III: The Council Gathers

  • Arriving in Bryn Euryn, Lord Bradán and his retinue discover it is filled with more than a handful of warriors, all bearing the sigils of the Rhos nobles. Lady Addiena quickly greets them – she is especially pleased to see Bradán and the rest of his band are amused at the awkward flirting that takes place between the two, especially the hilarious way Bradán smiles at her.
  • From Addiena, they learn that the rest of the nobles have arrived and are waiting. There is also a bowman present who appears to have been seeking Bradán – he instructs Angus to investigate that man while he and Heddwyn attend the Council meeting.
  • Baron Owain greets Bradán pleasantly and then opens the assembly with an awkward speech – he clearly has little experience doing this sort of thing – and urges his nobles to advise him with how best to salvage the dire situation they find the cantref in. Lord Brochfael, the man charged with securing the cantref’s borders, immediately recommends a raid into Tegeingl, a neighboring cantref that he considers weak. Almost immediate, Lord Rhodri, the man charged to act as a liaison between the citizenry and the other leaders, chimes in to agree with this but (correctly) points out that Caer Segeint to the west is much wealthier. A debate ensues, with the various council members taking sides and hinting at some of the divisions between the nobles. Bradán eventually makes a speech about his willingness to lead such a raid but redirecting the target back to Tegeingl which he perceives as less of a threat to their warriors; simultaneously, he ensures that Baron Owain is the man who makes the final decision, thus highlighting his personal loyalty (and the implied loyalty of Heddwyn, who is perceived as “his man”) to the baron. Owain acclaims it: they will raid Tegeingl.


  • A trick of the wind allows Meadhbh (and Echo, as well) to hear the sound of battle nearby. Unable to restrain her curiosity, she leads her brother’s warriors in that direction.
  • They walk for much longer than expected, prompting her to wonder how she could hear something like this from so far away, but eventually top a small hill looking down upon the beach where they see what appears to be a handful of Irishmen fighting one another. Echo freezes up for a moment before bolting forward, ignoring Meadhbh’s attempts to call him back which forces her to follow.
  • The fight draws to an end – the man who eventually wins is wielding a long blade that gleams strangely in the twilight. Just as Echo reaches them, he fells his last foe and then automatically turns to defend himself from the rapidly approaching wolfhound who does not hesitate to throw himself at the man.
  • Where he then begins licking and barking happily. Meadhbh is stunned when she realizes that this man … this man is her brother, Marcus. He is badly sunburned and frail-looking, as if he’s only recently climbed from a sickbed, but it is definitely him.
  • The Irish are coming,” he gasps in a raspy voice…

GM Notes:

  • Lost the player of Paulus who had scheduling issues – he’s running a face-to-face 5E game at the time we play this – but gained a new player who really did not get to actually run his character this session.
  • Used a modified version of the Pathfinder Kingdom Building rules again. Things look very dire for the cantref of Rhos – Economy attribute is at -2, Loyalty is at 0, Stability is 9, there is a single Build Point in the treasury, and Unrest is at a very dangerous 10. The cantref appears to be on a very dangerous downward spiral.
  • Also experimented with having the players take the role of the Council members and that worked out fairly well. Will continue to do this as long as it is fun for everyone.
  • Learned some new things with regards to Fantasy Grounds – I was very happy to learn that I could share NPC sheets with select players so they can assist during the big fights.
  • Originally intended for a second fight involving Bradan & Co. that would properly introduce the new PC, but dropped that for time. Also had some post-Council stuff planned, but I’ve pushed that to the beginning of session 2×02 where I will properly introduce Gwion to the party.