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.