G01 — Session 6
1626, Earth Season, Disorder Week
First and Second day of Earth Season, Disorder Week
Engred the Bright One
Erril the confusingly-named one
Rashina, the Lunar Tribune
Gaius the Sly
Briaan the Bard (aka Brian)
Pentian Horse Scum
Herrengvot the Garrulous
A host of Lunar Army extras
The evening passed without unexpected incident, and next morning Serala arrived in Alda-Chur in time for breakfast. A messenger boy from the palace delivered a message to Finarvi and company to meet with Engred the Bright One, Lord of the Vantaros, that morning ‘for trade and suchlike.’ At this point Jorrim and Ivalla explained they had swung by the palace the previous night and requested a meeting.
Finarvi recounted the rumours he had overheard, that Engred could sway the town for or against the Lunars and this would in turn sway everyone else, but with Lunars in town it might get awkward. They also briefed Serala that Jeepol had told them Engred worshipped Elmal, not Yelmalio, that his father the old king and sister the heir had died in the Dragonrise and that Engred had been rumoured to have been with the rebels but there was no proof of it.
The group headed to the Vantaros palace, where a long queue of petitioners waited to see the prince. Every other guard in the palace was a Lunar. Engred himself was a beautiful, golden-haired young man dressed in fine silks with a golden spear across his lap. With him were a grizzled, grumpy-looking bodyguard (Erril) and a stern, disapproving middle-aged Lunar woman (Rashina, Lunar Tribune). She was trying to push proceedings along and Engred was politely but wilfully ignoring her.
It rapidly became apparent to the party that they were going to be the very last to be seen. When their turn came Finarvi and Engred politely discussed the benefits of trade, and salt, and the lord’s reeve came to discuss salt once it became clear that silk was not on offer. Business concluded, Engred literally skipped out and the Lunar tribune departed with her soldiers.
The reeve led the group through a private passage and down a stairway to a secluded room on the pretence of arranging the particulars of the salt deal. Engred and Erril were already there, with Engred showing no sign at all of skipping, and the discussion turned to war. Engred told them he had an entire Lunar army camped outside his walls with two of the Lunar empire’s better generals, including General Livius Flax. King Pharandros had fled and left him as Baron of the town. Engred said he could not move against him as things were.
Jorrim described the tentative plan to blow the fort, march Leika’s army though, and then the Amad, Bachad and Tres tribes would rise up. He understood that the Pentians’ raiding was making things hard for people, and said Leika could feed them. Engred suggested they speak to the Princeros headman at the fort itself, and offered to write a recommendation for the group to provision the fort on his behalf. Engred warned that his old friend Harrengvot was a wily one and they’d need to offer him a good deal to get him on side. The Dinacoli, he felt, would come around if Kallyr was not at the head of the army. Finarvi related the by now rather stale news that Kallyr’s body had been taken to Boldhome for healing and in his opinion would not be leading any armies.
Engred suggested some unfortunate incidents in Princeros and Dinacoli lands would give him an excuse to call his spears to his banner and surprise people with his worth. Preferably these incidents should be in the outer regions beyond his control. Jorrim brought up the issue of Gaius, whom Engred described as the cleverest of their foes, currently watching them. Engred instructed his reeve to write a letter of passage concerning bringing supplies to the fort and arrange for the supplies and additional mules. Serala and Ivalla checked out the Lunar army while Finarvi readied the mule train.
Jorrim returned to earth temple and explained to the Ernaldan priestess that he had to leave and sorry for any bother. He got a blessing for his trouble.
Out at the Lunar’s war camp, Ivalla witnessed a group of Pentian horsemen coming back with sacks of grain and some freshly-butchered beef that was still bleeding. They had a couple of peasant girls being dragged behind them. Their leader leaped on his saddle, waving a flask of wine around and announced a party in Pentian, which Serala could just about understand (the rude gesticulation helped). Locals and Tarsh soldiers looked very unhappy about this, so Ivalla gave them a rousing speech along the lines of “It’s bad enough they’re stealing our food now they’re abusing our people”. An Angry Mob gathered and the Lunar bystanders run for it. The Pentians’ leader belatedly noticed the angry locals and called his people to mount up, but Serala leaped on one of their horses and scattered the herd, making off with four of them.
Having sicced the locals on the Pentians, Ivalla made a strategic withdrawal. She noticed Gaius’s people were keeping an eye on the Tarsh irregulars. Phalanxes of heavy infantry were set guarding a very meager-looking supply dump. Realising the Lunar army was running short on food and weapons, Ivalla snuck into the supply tent and made matters worse for them by setting it alight.
Back in town the alarm was raised about a riot in the camp. Gaius’s men charged off heading for the Lunar fort in the North of the town. Jorrim assisted the chaos by paying some passers-by to help him fill the street with barrels. The light infantry arrived first and could not get through. When the legion arrived to quell the riot, they found the way blocked by people, barrels and confusion. They locked shields and smashed their way through, heedless of who they hurt in the process. In their wake they left people injured and 3 dead – a child and two little old ladies who hadn’t been able to get out of the way in time. The prince’s guards arrived and restored order and a bard composed a mournful ballad about it on his lyre while Gaius and his peltasts stood around looking very ticked off.
At the Lunar camp, the heavy infantry arrived and the riot was quickly subdued. Ivalla slipped back into town through one of the side entrances, noticing on the way that the walls of Alda-Chur were made of black obsidian glass, ancient and slightly glowing. And recalled hearing that Alda-Chur and some of the surrounding forts had magical glass walls..
Gaius and his men eventually returned to the camp in the remains of the fort. The minstrel composed a heartrending and catchy ballad about Lunar oppression and little old ladies dying in the gutter. Jorrim helped him sing it in the taverns. The Bard made sure Jorrim got the attribution right. “My name is Briaan of the Green Sword Clan. Tell people it’s my song.” Jorrim complimented him on a beautiful song and they got talking. Jorrim learned Green Sword were part of the Dincoli (the peaceful farmers around Greenleaf) and famous for their Humakti warriors. Briaan already knew about the Pentian raid on his tribe – he had been sent as an emissary for the tribe to the Prince. Jorrim told him all about the fight at his village and Arim the Fordholder and Briaan began composing another ballad about it.
The party stayed at the tavern that night listening to songs and gossip. Engred’s reeve appeared briefly to tell them not to start anything else that night and to get on their way in the morning.
Next morning, the four headed south to Blue Boar Fort, the heart of the Princeros tribe and seat of the Rainblossom clan. The mule train left without being searched because an unfamiliar Orlanthi whispered in the guards’ ears to let them through. They had been told Harrengvott ruled the Princeros and had a reputation for being very old, very learned and very wise. He was also known for hiring Storm Bulls and other mercenaries and sponsoring expeditions against Snakepipe Hollow.
Blue Boar Fort was another pre-Dragonkill ruin, this time of blue-green glass, and huge. The pass it guarded was wide and open. The group noticed Harrengvott had a large army in his own right, in addition to the Lunars stationed there. Babeester Gor, Storm Bulls and even Black Horse cavalry. The king was on the throne alone. He was a very old, wizened man with a staff of old oak shod with iron, and god-learner style glasses with oak frames on his face.
He appeared overjoyed to see the party with their mule train, and greeted them extravagantly and at length. Jorrim, noticing some uncanny-looking rings on him, whispered to Finarvi that Harrengvott was a magician, a sorceror.
Jorrim told Herrengvott of the Battle of the Queens, the Luminous Stallion King’s capture of the Lunar supply train, how the Lunars were trapped in Alda-Chur with few supplies, and everyone’s desire for trade to resume, and how the blockade was forcing trade through Dragon Pass instead. The king offered them decent Lunar wine and little white cakes while Jorrim explained how the correct kind of peace would allow trade to flow. Herrengvott replied he would like to see a marriage to stop people killing each other – eg Sartar and Lunars.
Serala namedropped Irillo and the King went into raptures about ‘his old friend Irillo’ and the great profits they’d made, which prompted him to break out the better (second best) wine.
Herrengvott said he understood the new prince Engred well. He was prepared to back and bankroll a Sartarite rebellion, but needed a solid commitment in return that if he rose up, they would win. A marriage ceremony, something binding in blood and iron that the Princeros and their allies would not be left behind. He offered a grandchild in marriage to a Colymar. He reminded them that the Princeros used to be part of the Jonstown ring before moving and prospering in their current lands. If they were to move back, they would need concessions.
Satisfied he had got his point across, Herrengvott finally broke out the best wine. And, even better, he stopped talking.
“I bought three packs of doughnuts.” – GM
“Alas.” – GM
“Now I need snacks for game time.” – GM
“GM tries frantically to un-derail plot.” – Jorrim
“Meanwhile, Serala was off riding hard somewhere.” – GM
“You do this to yourself, you know?” – Jorrim
“Serala, what did you do with Arim?” – Finarvi
“I don’t even have time to sleep with random Earth initiates right now. I’m going to have to score a prince instead.”- Jorrim
“Yelmalian, not Eurmalian. Phew.” – Jorrim
“I mean, ordinarily I wouldn’t – but I would.” – Jorrim
“Gods, Jorrim!” – Finarvi
“I did not expect this!” – Jorrim
“It’s got a shiny head.” – Jorrim
“Ivalla rolled a special on fertility.” – Varanis
“Finarvi seems to be the only one who doesn’t want his babies” – Finarvi
“At his right hand, on a camp stool…” – GM
“Oooh!” – Jorrim
“Doooon’t.” – GM
“Oh shit. Am I supposed to talk to this guy?” – Varanis
“There is a Lunar Army camped outside the walls.” – GM
“Can I kill them all?” – Serala
“Not all at once.” – GM
“What sort of disease spirits cause dysentery?” – Finarvi
“Chaotic ones.” – Jorrim
Serala: “Can I kill a Lunar sentry and steal their armour and sneak into camp?”
Finarvi: “It’s an army. Just put on a pretty dress.”
Serala: “Finarvi, I hate you, because that’s actually likely to work.”
“I do believe Serala has a rather beautiful silk outfit.” – Serala
“She might need to arrange it with a little less exposure.” – Serala
“Can’t I just shoot him in the throat?” – Serala
“I don’t think you have your bow with you.”- GM
“Because I’m all dressed up in stupid girly clothes.” – Serala
“Critical on the Honour! That brings my Orate up to 65!” – Ivalla
“You see someone who’s finely dressed shouting… and someone punches him.” – GM
“Jump on a horse!” – Serala
“Can she have a -15 for the stupid dress?” – Jorrim
“The main idea is to remove their horses so they get angry-mobbed to death.” – Serala
“So you suck the mob… SIC the mob on the Pentians…” – GM
“It’s kind of ‘Allo Allo’ but the grown-up version.” GM
“Supplies. That’s the next thing you notice. They’ve got bugger all.” – GM
“They are living off the land, and the generosity of the locals…” – GM
“Oooh. How many horses did I just steal? I bet there’s a Grazelands record for ‘most horses rustled’…” – Serala
“Umm, four.” – GM
“Four?!” (protracted swearing ensues) – Serala
“There’s absolute chaos everywhere. There are barrels, there’s a horse, there are a few sheep even – who knew? What do you do?” – GM
“Try not to die.” – Finarvi
“You can see Gaius, and half a dozen of his men, and he’s looking well and truly pissed off.” – GM
“My name is…. says the GM floundering.” – GM
“Briaan of the Green Sword Clan.” – Brian
“Are you bringing your horses with you?” – GM, about stolen horses
“Some people are born to greatness” – Serala
“And some people have greatness thrust upon them, like that guy Sid stabbed through the eye.” – GM
“You’ll leave town tomorrow morning. And you’ll not be back in a hurry. Well done. And you’ll not be starting anything overnight.” – Reeve
“Why do all these people have iron? Why don’t we have iron?” – Serala
“Because we’re not Runelords.” – Jorrim
“Bring out the best wine!” – King Harrengvott
“But I haven’t finished the second-best wine yet.” – Jorrim
“Drink faster.” – Serala
“Grandchildren are fat and healthy and wealthy and prosperous.” – GM
“Fat child-bearing hips?” – Serala
“Not on the guys.” – Jorrim