Saturday, October 27, 2012

Summary - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait

Season One, Episode 3: Snakefang Strait

Wherein, our heroes, in the guise of the East Bay Company, sailed down to Snakefang Strait and what they discovered on their journey and at their destination...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prologue - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait - Part Three

Prologue - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait - Part I
Prologue - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait - Part II

Continue for Part III...

Episode 1.02 - Character Journal - Hinrik

A letter- Sent via a trusted source

Dearest Karin,

It has been too long since my eyes have had the pleasure of taking in your beauty, and I hope I will have the opportunity to change that imminently.  Until that time, be assured, you will be in my dreams; with any luck I will stray into your as well.

My time since last writing you has been rather strange.  I held a dinner party for a prestigious general surveying the Ashen border.  It was going quite well until he mistook something I said and took offense.  I still have no idea what exactly I said, he never gave me the opportunity.  I can only assume our difference in accents or uncommon phraseology caused the confusion.  At length, he turned, quite literally, into a feral wolf and I had to cleave his head in two.

A week later I uncovered a bandits nest.  I did not have time to dispatch the ruffians, but I believe I will return post haste to cleanse the countryside and claim the most beautiful jewel so that I might be reminded of a fraction of your exquisite pulchritude.

Until we have the opportunity,

Your servant, Hinrik

Episode 1.02 - Character Journal - Norah

Jerrod –

I wanted to send you an update, recently we have ran into an Ashen Kingdom deserter, Javier, and he has divulged some interesting information. There has been a mole in the Ever-Burning Cinder for six years; two years ago there was a strike force sent out to kill the handlers, I don't remember hearing anything about this but you might as you are far deeper in than I. The strike force was thought to have been lost after they left port and never turned up in the Free Valleys. Turns out that Commander Skaros from the Ashen Kingdom has found a report about a ship that was wrecked in the Snakefang Strait days after the strike force had departed. It seems like Skaros has been moving his forces towards the Snakefang Strait in order to investigate the wreak himself. The information that was in those files the strike force gathered is invaluable to us, so I think I am going to convince my company to move on this. I hope to leave today to get there as soon as possible, I don't know when I will be able to send word next, but hopefully it will be accompanied by mole information.

– Norah

Map of the Free Valleys

GM's Disclaimer:  This map is very rough and is subject to change without warning as needed.

The red line indicates the border.  It is a 2 day journey by boat from Rest Port to the Snakefang Strait.  Most boats sail around Scale Isle and through the larger, much less dangerous strait between Scale Isle and the Isle of Morros to its Northwest.

Episode 1.02 - Character Journal - Hardwick

Journal entry #2:

This is a short entry as I am still healing from from a couple of arrow wounds.

Rule one of stealthy infiltration:  don't be seen
Rule two:  don't be heard:
Rule three: if you break rule one or two, LIE about why you are attempting to be unseen or unheard
- some of my favorites:
 • a wizard made me do it
• that guy said he would pay me to kill you (point to a random guy)
• I am sent from the past/future to warn you...
• I want to join your band/cult (religion)/army/cause

And lastly
• I'm in love with you (doesn't always work but will always confuse the hell out of your quarry... Sometimes long enough for you to escape)

Thing not to do:

• run away
• attack
• ask for forgiveness

Next time I should definitely try one of the Should Do's...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Teaser - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait

Season One, Episode 3: Snakefang Strait

Wherein our heroes find themselves at a crossroads, one way leads to Snakefang Strait, where Javier, the Ashen Kingdom deserter, has warned them that a legion of the Ashen Kingdom is headed to find information that could cripple the rebellion.  Where do the other three roads lead?  As the Unbroken Border gathers strength and prestige, will they oppose it?  Will they seek out the leaders of the Ever-Burning Cinder to ask advice or to once again subordinate the East Bay Company back under the rebellions complete control, merely taking orders and missions as tasked by the rebellion's leaders?  Or will they find themselves caught in a trap set by their enemies?  The heroes sit, listening in silence, to Javier, who swore on his son's bones to only tell them the truth, but outside their warehouse headquarters their foes gather and plot, legions march, the spirits of the dead search across the land and assassins brew their poisons and pick their targets...  
Opening Credits: Om "State of Non-Return" from Advaitic Songs

Friday, October 12, 2012

Prologue - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait

Major Javier Ruggieri waited for them in the back room of the East Bay Company headquarters in Restport. He sat, looking far older than when they had last seen him in Wallingford, on a small wooden crate.  His great wolf, Ochoa, lay at his feet, guarding a large duffel that Javier had aquired since they had seen him four days before.  The bag nestled against the wolf, and sometimes, it almost sounded like a faint clacking noise or rattling would stir from within it.  Javier looked around at the group, his features worn with fatigue, "Good, you're all here.  I swear on the bones of my son that everything I tell you tonight is true..." he said and then explained all that he knew.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Summary - Episode Two: Summit on Adder Craig

Season One, Episode 2: Summit on Adder Craig

(GM's note, I'm taking a little different tack on this summary, laying it out from the point of view of one of the NPC's)

William Manebrush stood before the Earl's imposing ebony desk for his dressing down.  Technically he was a member of the household of the Earl's son, but Osgar was still in his minority and so William found himself serving and answering to the Earl more than he liked.

"So," began the Earl, "What excuse do you have for missing the rendezvous?"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Episode 1.01 - Character Journal - Norah


The troupe has made it through Char-Lay and Alonso has been delivered. There was some problems in Char-Lay though, The Unbroken Border,was there and they have some interesting members in their party. The Unbroken Border had killed The Ashen Kingdom guards, and with them our bribe through, they had also taken some children hostage to keep the townsfolk at bay. We freed the children and killed most of the men, though a few got away. At least one of the members of the rising sun, his name was Joachim, was a shape-shifter as he could turn into a wolf. Thane ended up delivering the final blow to him but we heard more howls in the distance later on that night. Perhaps you should send word around that The Unbroken Border could be a problem for anyone who is crossing the boarder in this area.


Episode 1.01 - Character Journal - Trent

Well, if anything, we all survived. That much we had going for us. And if we can’t be good, hopefully we’ll be lucky.
On what should have been a relatively easy run to deliver Alonzo into the Ashen Kingdom, we managed to run into members of the Unbroken Border, who just by their name imply that they’re going to be giving us problems for the foreseeable future. Knowing how xenophobic they were, I elected not to speak, or else my southern Ashen Kingdom accent would cause more problems than being able to reason would solve. And boy did we want to start causing problems for some reason.
Instead of just sneaking Alonzo through the town in the middle of the night and getting him safely to where we were tasked to take him, ACCORDING TO OUR MISSION, we decided to turn into a death squad and take a crack at neutralizing a superior force. Because they killed some townspeople, and were holding the rest hostage. Not to say that we knew exactly why they killed the townspeople, but hey, snap judgments are always the best judgments.
There was nothing about this that I liked. Not only did we invite the leader of this little band to dinner as a “distraction”, it was decided to split our fighting force to further handicap us in the tasks that we had decided to accomplish. I will chalk it up to blind luck and a lack of discipline on the part of the Unbroken Border leader that he wasn’t more suspicious of us to start with.
My group took down the troops guarding the children of the village without much resistance, though they did manage to get a signal off, which caused the leader to attack our other group. They were successful in defeating him (they said he was a werewolf, which just further cemented how short-sighted they were in wanting to distract him by basically exposing our jugular to him and taunting him to bite), though the blowhard Thane did look a bit worse for wear when we returned.
The remainder of the troops fled, and I did what I could with our influence to make sure that our names were kept out of what happened here. There was talk of hunting them down, but it would be a futile exercise, as they have both familiarity with the terrain and an abundance of time to go to ground and report.
All in all, as long as the mission is completed, that’s all I should care about. But while I am relatively new to the smuggling trade, I’m fairly certain that our methods should involve more subterfuge and avoidance than assaults and mercy missions. We will see if this turns out to be a common occurrence, and I’ll decide from there what kind of role I want to have in this rebellion.

Character Background: Trent Reynolds

Ten years.

Ten years Tristan Reynaldo spent in that labor camp. Ten years breaking rocks down, mining inferior ore for inferior weapons and armor, making enemies, losing friends, and keeping one eye open while he slept. Ten years surviving.

And now as he awakens, groggy, in a small room he’s unfamiliar with, he wonders what kind of new hell this is going to be.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Episode 1.01 - Character Journal - Hardwick

I'm going to start keeping a journal as some of the things we've seen recently are quite extraordinary.  My master taught me about werewolves (or Lycanthropes as the old tomes refer to them) and I thought them as fantastic as a just monarchy.  Yesterday, I believe that I saw a man transform into a werewolf before my very eyes!

We were charged with delivering a "most precious cargo" into the Ashen Kingdom.  We chose the checkpoint at Char-Lay as there is a town there sympathetic to our company and the goods they need and sell are common.  Upon arrival, we discovered that not all was going to go "as planned."

Needless to say, after some investigation, a group of men had taken the town hostage and would not allow our crossing.  We made plans to change their mind.

During the "discussion" I witnessed a most spectacular lightning bolt strike the leader of their group (quite an interesting coincidence how this exquisite bolt could have hit at such a timely moment...) just as he sprouted some strange hair on his arms.  My companions told me of how he continued to transform into a mangy wolf-looking beast.  The royal member of our group made a lucky swing and finished of the beast as it lurched for the door.

I was the first onto the scene and discovered the wolf-like creature transforming back into a man as it lay there dead.  I was astonished at how such a transformation could take place!  I mean, where do the teeth and hair go while the creature it's man form?

We heard some more strange howls in the night as some of the bandits ran off.  I hope this is the last werewolf I ever have to meet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Teaser - Episode Two: Summit on Adder Craig

Season One, Episode 2: Summit on Adder Craig

Wherein our heroes, after their last encounter with the Unbroken Border, have received the results of their intelligence gathering and learned that a small group of the Unbroken Border is gathering for a summit near the border with the Ashen Kingdom.  The summit is to be held on Adder Craig, remote and rumored to have strange ruins upon its peak, one could also see the border from the pinnacle of its height.  What action will our heroes take?  Will they spy upon the summit itself, will they seek to attack the attendees or will they turn their attention elsewhere and allow the Unbroken Border to meet and plot in peace?

 Opening Credits: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis "What Must Be Done" from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [Music from the Motion Picture]

Episode 1.01 - Character Journal - Corrie

Ruffians at the Checkpoint

Ugh, I hate a zealot. Is there anything more disgraceful than a
gentleman making commoners pay the price for his flimsy messianic
nonsense? If your Hero is destined to deliver you, then he doesn’t
need your help. He certainly doesn’t need three poor boys up on pikes.
Fucking pissants.

My duties naturally, were dispatched efficiently and quietly as I
could, though I wish I’d had a chance to keep my ears open longer
around that ass Bladebright. Well, he’s certainly gone by the board,
eh? These Unbroken Border bastards strike me as a persisting nuisance,
so it is a damn shame we let those dogs slip away in the night. I
would have loved to have a chance to really plumb their depths. An
outfit like that’s certain to have a few poorly guarded caches we
could pilfer and it would be a good move to get a sense of how
numerous these pillocks are.

Don’t know about this lot I’m in with, perhaps they’ll prove sound. So
far they seem terribly green – mostly free of discernment and
untroubled by the future. Must pick up some new boots and a warm cloak
in the next decent town if we are going to be sleeping rough. Better
turn in.

Character Background: Corrie Glendower

Born Lady Cordelia Juno Mountjoy Glendower to the Viscount Deerhurst, Phillip Andrew Cordwain Bosworth Glendower and Lady Margaret Juno Mountjoy Glendower two score and five years ago in their family seat, Glendower Hall, in the County of Deerhurst.

The county of Deerhurst was acquired by Roland Bosworth (Roland the Bold), Duke of Bosworth 180 years before (after Liberation) and given to his vassal Phillip Glendower as a reward for good council and years of service in his company. This connection, though distant, allowed the Glendowers to enjoy a cordial relationship with the Bosworths.

The last Viscount Deerhurst was a quiet and pious man who enjoyed the serenity of their remote holding on the rocky, windswept northern coast. He valued learning and spent a great deal of his leisure hours in their extensive library or endlessly improving their family chapel. The young Lady Cordelia and her two sisters, Olivia and Livinia; were educated as well as possible with lessons in music, embroidery, painting, deportment, modern languages, history, dancing and poetry. She often accompanied her nature-loving mother on long walks in the highlands along the coast.

Though the county was infelicitous for commerce the bracing sea air produced a fine local breed of sheep, noted for their warm, resilient coats. Glendower wool is a prized commodity, allowing the family holding to be comfortably maintained. Lady Margaret assumed matters of property, relying on their trusted shire reeve John Barker to help manage. The family insisted it was their duty to improve the lot of the common people of their land and treat them fairly, holding to an old sense of noblesse oblige. The family maintained loyalty of the peasants by shunning ostentation and fripperies. Her parents would often return from market trips to Tribute with refugees who needed work. A share of the wool price was kept aside to keep up commoners’ cottages, support a village fair and feast, as well as a travelling chirurgeon who saw to the shepherds and weavers.

Treachery on the part of John Barker, in collusion with unknown persons, brought the family into deep debt, simultaneously ruining the reputation of the Viscount and his wife with unspeakable scandal. Since Corrie was quite young at the time and their family obscure, she was never fully certain of how this came about and has since then been unable to get a full picture of their ruin – how it was done, why it happened and who benefitted. Nevertheless, her mother and father took their lives to salvage their honor by leaping from the cliff face. Corrie was sent away to distant relatives, where she’d be adopted and her honor (though not her name) maintained. On the way, highwaymen killed her entire company of retainers. Corrie played dead and escaped to nearby Restport with nothing but her clothes and treasured recorder.

Corrie quickly learned that she could stay alive by singing and playing folk tunes and begging for coins on the street. She did this for many years, eventually learning tumbling and bawdy jokes. As she grew up, she became a valuable asset to the local resistance group (a faction who also engaged in some very radical local politics), relaying to them secrets she’d overheard, breaking into places of interest and running errands. Eventually, the local constabulary found her out and she escaped to sea rather than betray her confidantes.

After five years at sea, Corrie became an experienced and able sailor. Hearing word at port that the local officers who identified her had passed away, she returned to the mainland to re-join the resistance and contribute to society. If her intrigues allow her to suss out the true nature of her family’s fall and restore their good name, so much the better.

Corrie’s colorful story raises a number of questions. Who was behind the scheme to ruin her family? Did John Barker act alone? Is he still alive? Did the Bosworths just take back their fief when things went awry, or were they involved? If so, what made the Bosworths turn on the Glendowers? Were those really highwaymen, or Barker’s assassins? If Corrie’s background were revealed, would the last Glendower be in danger? Can Corrie restore her family’s place in society, or their lands? Should she?

Glendower Coat of Arms
Motto "Bold and True"

Deerhurst County