G01 — Session 4
Season, Week, Day
Kargin, chief of Dark Iron Clan
Pantler, peddler of joke flags
Garath, spry old hunter and guide
Gaius, a canny Lunar commander
A Lunar Granite Legion with a much less canny leader
Some Pentan horse scum
The Blue Deer clan were the final clan left to visit; great hunters and farmers. The Dark Iron clan offered to show the group a shortcut, a pass at the head of their valley that led into the Blue Deer Valley, cutting through some woods.
The party enjoyed the hospitality of the Dark Iron clan. Finarvi discussed the finer points of bronze casting. Arim practiced with the local Humakti, and Jorrim made money better against him then balancing a book. Ivalla and Serala went hunting, caught a brace of plump deer and found some Lunar tracks. They assumed this was Gaius.
Kargin confirmed that it was likely to be Gaius and his men, as they liked to spy on the clan. He advised the party to leave by the mountain pass the next day so the spies would not see them, sending Garath with them as a guide. Meanwhile, Kargin and his lads kept up the big old party atmosphere as cover.
Garath led the group over the mountains and into the tula of the Blue Deer clan, an Ernaldan-focused clan who were peaceful by nature, though the chief, an Ernaldan Priestess, had a personal guard of Babeester Gor.
On the way to Blue Deer, the Grazelanders spotted a column of black smoke rising from the direction of the village. Serala used Mouse’s eyes and saw there were houses burning in the village. The gates had been broken open and the ground gouged as though something huge rampaged through. She sent Garath back to Dark Iron clan for reinforcements.
Serala spied a pair of hunters hidden in the woods watching the village, and in the distance on the track to the village a column of Lunar troops who were marching towards the burning village. These were heavy infantry, not Gaius’s men, and coming on fast given the armour they were wearing. Scanning further, Serala spotted a whole load of villagers hiding in the woods.
Ivalla, Finarvi and Serala rode hard for the village, while Jorrim and Arim brought up the rear, being less good on horseback. The front riders used the woods for cover and met up with the two hunters, who were relieved when Ivalla introduced everyone as Colymar. The hunters explained that Lunars or their allies had tried to raid the village the previous night but were seen off, and now the Lunars were sending troops. They had a surprise planned for the Lunars, so the party decided to help.
One of the hunters led the party through the woods to a small group of villagers, who had a few grim-faced warriors, but not enough to win against a file of heavy infantry. They relaxed on learning the newcomers are Blue Tree clan. One of the villagers, a scruffy chap named Pantler, excitedly explained he’s left a gift for the Lunars to find, and he hoped they would like it. It was a very pretty flag.
Moving together, the warriors approached the village and watched as the Lunars also approached. Jorrim and Arim were still riding up. There were 40 Lunar heavy infantry with 5 Pentan horsemen. The party and the 25 villagers watched them explore the abandoned village. One of them found, and brought out, Pantler’s blue dragon banner They unfurled it, the air shimmered and suddenly there was a large blue dragon crouched over the village. Hero magic!
A small red-head, probably a very young initiate of Vinga, grew to a giant with a snarly sword and beard and leapt to engage the dragon. They were magically enacting the battle of Orlanth and Aroka, with the Lunars taking the part of the Dragon.
Serala sounded the charge. The Ernaldan farmers made a good impression of an Orlanthi charge. The Lunars quailed and Arim attacked at that moment, cutting his way to the highest-ranking officer he could reach, while Jorrim followed and made sure their horses were captured. The villagers hit them hard and the Lunars were scattered in confusion. With the party’s help, the Blue Deer warriors dispatched the Lunars and their Pentan allies and rounded up the surviving horses.
The villagers explained that they would not normally rise up against the Lunars, but the Pentans gave them no option. Knowing the Lunars would come to take their stores, they had already stashed most of their grain safely elsewhere and committed their clan magics in defence. They were now determined to the fight and welcomed Jorrim’s news of a planned uprising.
Recognising the insignia of the Granite Legion on the dead Lunars, Arim enlisted Jorrim and Finarvi’s help in carving a dead Lunar’s armour with the words “ARIM FORDHOLDER WAS HERE. AGAIN.” The armour was left some distance along the road.
The party escorted the clan, the fyrd, women and children up the pass to Dark Iron. They met Dark Iron’s fyrd on the way. Arim let Kargin know he wished to warn Gaius to get out, and Kargin gave him the helmet of the leader of the legion he just helped to slaughter, saying that would get the message across.
Next day the party strolled down Iron Vale and met Gaius with 30 of his troops drawn up. Jorrim and Arim approached him, carrying green branches to show they were not there to fight. Gaius’s men had their shields at their feet and javelins to hand but his second carried a green branch and Gaius had some green twigs stuck in his helmet. They told Gaius that Pentan horsemen had outraged a peaceful clan and stirred up trouble, and recommended Gaius go seek clarification from HQ. Preferably slowly. Gaius says they were obliged for the warning and offered them a swig of Clearwine. They ended the parley and the Lunars formed up and jogged off down the road. They had some form of movement magic, possibly linked to the marching song they were singing.
The party returned to Iron Spike to spread the word to all the clans that the Pentan auxiliaries have been let loose to raid around Alda Chur. The uprising would fail without food, but so would the Lunar attempt to stay in the field and the tribes would be in danger of starvation if the Pentans took the seed corn. The party came up with the idea of promising the Colymar would replace food and lost seedcorn to those clans who supported the uprising, knowing that the Colymar tribe definitely held reserves against this even before the Colymar and Grazelander armies overran the Lunar baggage train.
Jeepol approved of this plan. Being able to promise food and seedcorn to these clans would make a big difference. Blue Deer clan’s grain stores might be safe but others would not be so fortunate. Jorrim wrote two copies of a letter to pass back to Queen Leika and Ivalla added her rune to it. Jeepol vowed to make sure the message got through.
“Rocks. Fall.” – GM, having makeup applied to him to reduce screen glare
“Why would you not want Berra taking up your whole screen?”
“Because she terrifies me.”
“I’ve left them a flag as a present. It’s going to be marvellous!” – Pantlar
“These could be an offshoot of the Pure Horse People who fell from the true path and starting eating cattle and doing other things with them.” – GM
“Get those horse-riding cow-f*ckers.” – Finarvi
Jorrim and Finarvi help Arim calligraphy a dead Lunar’s armour with a message: “ARIM FORDHOLDER WAS HERE. AGAIN.”
“Allow me to introduce you to friendship rates…” – Jorrim
Kargin hands Arim the Lunar commander’s helm. “That will get the message across. If Gaius and his men don’t just kill you first.”
“Lhankor Mhy must be spinning in his god-time.” – Arim
“Amazingly enough I have a very high truth rune. I just haven’t used it yet.” – Jorrim
“That’s someone else’s range to patrol. Someone who doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.” – Gaius.
“They’re considerably more separated now.” – Jorrim.