Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Princess Rescue Job, Part 2

  • Having realized the “princess” is a fake, Dustan impulsively announces this. The false princess pleads her innocence initially, but when the Company don’t seem to be buying it, they go to Plan B. One of her Ladies-In-Waiting uses a chain to send Maykew tumbling into Dustan and Murdok as the false princess hits them with a paralyzing spell, then takes the Mirror and throws it off the cliff. Before the three leave, the false princess expresses regret that she cannot “play” with Getwelle because “she” (the real princess) seems to like him for some reason.
  • Ser Kenrick and Murdok recover first and begin carrying the rest of the Company away. During this, one of the surviving Nefarians triggers a Black Amber thing that begins as mist, expands and hardens; Kenrick and Murdok have to rush to get the others clear.
  • Returning to Highroad, the Company are met by baronial guards who arrest them for ‘attacking her Her Royal Highness.’ Before the baron, the Antagonese prince, and the false princess, the Company are formally charged; Maykew gives an impassioned defense that sways the baron, but there is no proof so a duel of honor between the Company’s official leader, Ser Kenrick, and one of Prince Vayne’s men. It is a quick exchange of blows with Ser Kenrick landing three solid blows that result in his foe yielding.
  • The ranger they met earlier rejoins them and points them in the direction of the Hidden Lake. To pass word to the king that the prince is returning with a false princess, this ranger departs for another town to send a raven while the Company presses on.
  • En route, they discover the princess’ carriage tipped over in a ditch. While examining this, a massive murder of crows appears and loiters, making a lost of noise. During this, an archer sharpshooter hits Murdok with an arrow from concealment; Lëodan charges toward the ambusher where the rest of the Company are going to struggle to move. They opt to mount and charge toward the Hidden Lake and allow Lëodan to conduct a sniper duel; this duel, however, does not last long as Lëodan gets a line on the target, looses an arrow and hits a vital spot that drops his foe (who is revealed to be an elf as well.)
  • The rest of the Company reach a Tower where they are greeted by a naked female in the water; it takes an unnecessary amount of time for the Company to realize she is Fae but when they do, she transforms into a hideous creature that is immune to their weapons. Maykew, recalling something, seizes her bridle to hold her in place, and Murdok uses the meteoric iron sling to kill the beast.
  • In the Tower, the Company has a brief encounter with Harmin of Grudgehold, the Magpie himself, who briefly monologues about them interfering yet again before backing into a mirror that allows him to go … elsewhere. He has escaped yet again.
  • Elsewhere in the tower, the Company discover the mysterious woman in a coffin-like thing with an odd crown-like thing; use of the Mirror (that had reappeared in Dustan’s belongings last night) reveals the princess and removing the crown breaks the enchantment. She wakes, extremely groggy, and hugs Maykew for a moment before remembering herself.
  • It takes a little bit of time to recover the carriage and gather horses to pull it, but the Company eventually return to the Capital, victorious once more while wondering when the Magpie will strike again.

Player Notes:

  • Not quite as strong an entry as the previous session, but I’m not sure whether it was entirely due to Gigermann fumbling some things (which he admitted to/grumbled about doing) or the players being difficult and making dumb decisions.
  • Kenrick winning the duel was wholly due to lucky rolls going his way as CommJunkee rolled for the opponent and Fantasy Grounds wasn’t letting him make defense checks. As it was, Kenrick was not super enthusiastic about the duel to begin with because he felt it was more of the fake-princess manipulation. I was legit worried about getting a critical hit, rolling up the triple damage result, rolling super high on damage, and the resulting injury triggering a death check that CJ failed just because Kenrick would have probably felt awful about that. At the same time, I was terribly concerned that the duel itself would drag out for too much of the session since shields make things very frustrating in GURPS fight – I’ve literally seen two foes go nine or ten rounds without a single actual blow landing, much to the frustration of the Player involved in that (Gigermann, ironically enough.)
  • The sniper encounter in the woods was a mess from my perspective simply due to the terrain. Oh, it made sense for the sharpshooter to strike there, but it limited our movement options due to terrain – Kenrick, for example, would have a Move of 1 (!) in the difficult terrain and he certainly wouldn’t take Magnus into that kind of underbrush. We as players bickered too much over what to do and in the end, I was totally expecting the actual sniper duel between Leo & his foe to be a bit more cat & mouse. In the end, Leo got the drop on him, made a very difficult shot straight away, then lucked out and hit the vitals.
  • The kelpie encounter was something of a fail on the players’ part because, once again, everyone completely forgot about the fricking Mirror. This is especially egregious on Dustan’s part though and I have roundly mocked him for it. It would have cut through most of the pre-fight shenanigans as we’d have known straight away that it was a critter … and might have circumvented some of the post-fight bickering between CommJunkee and Fronjavier.
  • Finally, the monologuing from the Magpie … I really wish there was a better way to do this. As soon as a Bad Guy appears, PCs want to whack him – I remember, several eternities ago, in a different game Gigermann ran where most of the players were Navy SEALs sent to a fantasy world, he had a bad guy try to monologue and then was startled at how aggressive we responded. In retrospect, perhaps some sort of spell or trap that we trigger which temporarily slooooooooows us way down so he could monologue, then escape?

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