Middle Earth: Sunset of the Fourth Age

Strike That - Reverse It
Water, water, everywhere...

We rejoin our heroes in the foothills near the Sea of Rhun and the mouth of the river, having captured a dark elf who was moving to prepare a ritual magic site. In addition the General Guthwyn and her retinue, we have with us Corp and his company.

Our captive has stones and water from 4-5 places along the river. After some questioning, the captive reveals where the ritual was going to happen: a spot of hill where they can see both, with a source of water into the river. The ritual group consists 72 dark elves all with magery

Araphor ponders starting a forest fire, to take out the whole area, but is concerned it won’t catch.

The party ponders whether or not it’s feasible to switch out the components for the spell, but feels it’s difficult to accomplish and of unknowable value.

Corp’s guy knows the area – he can get us to the area quickly, perhaps before the main group of elves arrives.

Approaching the clearing from a forest path, we notice cart tracks leading into the clearing. From an advantageous spot, we see two humans(?) at a lean-to, with 6-8 baskets of stuff. We’re about an hour ahead of the main body of elves, who are spreading out and slowing down.

Guthwyn walks up and chats up the men. They offer her coffee. They talk to her about the rocks in the baskets and even she can tell that they’re lying to her. She avoids the mistake of leaning into the lean-to at their suggestion.

Guthwyn gives the signal and Bo fires, killing one of them on the spot. Guthwyn quickly disables the other, capturing him (?)

We search the lean-to, and find river rocks (six baskets) and water (two leather containers).

Bo thinks about having Araphor make new useless water, but again it’s not clear whether that will have any more effect than no water at all. So instead they Araphor suggest dumping the water, and throwing the rocks far and wide in all directions. He recruits most of Corp’s men to assist with this while Nwalme questions the prisoner about the ritual, the elves, the plan, etc…

In ten minutes we were able to toss one and a half basket’s worth of stones. We continue as Nwalme questions them.

The elves are slowing down even farther. About a mile and a half away, they start spreading out and disperse into the woods.

Guthwyn wasn’t sure why the two men didn’t kill her.

The prisoner isn’t hard to question. He’s telling us things but we’re not sure if he knows much. He’s here to make sure that no one takes off with the rocks and water. He’s OK with working with orcs, as long as they pay. He thought 100 or so allies would be showing up, at which point he was to quietly accept his pay and take off, as they’re a touchy bunch. The leader was Benwa. He doesn’t know much. The elves won’t be showing up until a half hour before sunset.

Stormdancer is keeping an eye on the approaching groups of elves. They are in three loose groups and they stopped. They’re sitting with their heads down. Still far enough so that attacking one of the groups isn’t an option.

There’s a path out that he recommends. It’ll go toward the fort that’s nearby.

Guthwyn asks for a good spot to dam the creek/water. It’ll be hard because it’s not a fast-flowing water. The best is a few swampy areas that will become swampier. They are about a mile down the creek, an hour away, too far away.

When the baskets are light enough, we head out and scatter rocks as we walk.

As we’re clearly outnumbered, we discuss bringing in more troops to take out the elves.

We can spot section leaders, but not the overall leader. We can set up an ambush, but we could set up an ineffective fire.

Araphor recommends watching to see what they do and maybe listening by linking up with a local varmint. Bo watches, ready to fire into a ritual if needed.

Araphor uses his magic to reach out and find a helpful rabbit, to sneak in closer to the ritual area and be his eyes and ears.

Half an hour before sunset, the elves start coming up the hill. They mark out a ritual circle. Spotting the blood from the slain human, they become agitated and set up a perimeter to guard themselves.

They have their own baskets of water and rocks.

Araphor doesn’t understand what they’re saying; they’re speaking an Elvish tongue he doesn’t know. Nwalme gives Araphor the gift of tongues so that he can suddenly understand what’s being said by the elves. They talk about what they don’t have and how to assemble what they’ll need.

Nwalme can tell that the ritual area is a very high mana zone.

As they’re still setting up, the party decides that they’ve a good enough vantage point, and open fire. Bo gets two shots into both of the main spell casters. Nwalme gets a strike blind into one of the other ritual mages.

The rest of the troops (primarly Corp and his men) catch up and fire arrows into the elves, and the ritual is disrupted. The cauldron glows blue (leading Bo to surmise that it’ll be creating water rather than destroying it) and then it turns into a geyser, shooting water 100 feet or more into the air. It slows down after a few seconds, but water continues to pour from it steadily.

Nwalme blinds the elf bowman closest. We attack. The elves form two lines. Elves are down to 20 each. Bo snipes at the leaders as usual.

20 elves from the inner circle were washed away by the geyster, flooding, and some psychic blow-back from the spell collapse. Our forces approach to try to knock ’em down.

The elves ask for quarter. Guthwyn bypasses them and tries to kill those slow to speak. 27 captives, 22 dead, rest of the 72 missing…

Among those captured is one of the inner circle (#3 or #4), as well as several squad leaders.

Session notes, 11/9/2012
raw, for now...

Present: Pam (GM), Megan, Eric, Chris and Jp

Araphor and Bo have two prisoners. The one that Araphor shot has a deep and dangerous wound. (First aid will make sure he doesn’t die quickly.) The other isn’t walking any where.

Bo goes to signal the others to send Nwalme. Araphor successfully performs first aid on the gut shot prisoner. Nwalme gets up there and finds that the guy that’s gut shot doesn’t have much left at this point. He puts a major healing into him to get him stabilized enough to talk, etc… He can’t do much with the other guy.

(To recap: we went to the village that was the fallback point for the resistance; they had clearly been there and bugged out, but they left two watchers, which we caught.)

John Hawkward (Corp’s Company) is the guy with the leg wound. Guthwyn introduces herself as the Gen’l of the Roherum. She demands his orders: they were supposed to watch and report whether Corp was followed. They were supposed to be told where to go and they hadn’t been told anything yet. Supposed to hear back tomorrow.

(He’s been part of Corp’s company for three years now.) Guthwyn plays the “we’re after someone that is cohoots with the orcs”. Corp (big, ugly and scared) doesn’t sound like who we’re looking for. But the fair-haired guy that Corp works for does sound like the one that we’re looking for.

John talks about relocating the people that were there and how the fair haired guy raped the women. Corp walked in on it and pulled the locals and dragged out the women to bring them to the next village. Corp left with them.

Guthwyn shows him the sigil of the shield of the guy that we’re looking for. John thinks that it’s a white horse shield – which usually means royal guard – or someone that worked for the 3rd Prince.

The other guy has only been part of the company for a couple of weeks. He may or may not be connected to the fair-haired (possibly royals).

The other guy hasn’t woken up. That may or may not be feigned based on the amount of damage he’d taken before being healed. Nwalme slaps him awake.

Once Guthwyn mentioned Nwalme’s name; this guy clearly looked freaked and worried. Bo’s comments about Nwalme bringing him back from the brink of death for answers didn’t help. Nwalme goes back to work with mind reading for surface thoughts and detect lies, etc…

It’s certainly not a good sign that the prisoner (Roland) is doing his best to think of bland thoughts to hide his thoughts. Asking about Benwa (the person that we’re looking for) causes his mental façade to flutter briefly as he imagines a creature with a red eye and says ‘No’. Oddly, Nwalme doesn’t get a feeling that he’s lying.

Guthwyn wheedles to try to get him to talk. Bo and Guthwyn do their best to psych him out. Nwalme does a death touch to really hurt him (after the pain was only mildly annoying). His mental façade is starting to fai.

Nwalme keeps pushing to get an answer on where Benwa and Corp went. Roland says he doesn’t know. He thinks about them going to the sea; and Nwalme gets the thought that he thinks that he’s going to be rescued. The mental façade blocks Nwalme’s ability to tell whether he’s lying. Nwalme lets the rest of us know that Roland’s expecting rescue and Guthwyn calls for reinforcements. Nwalme pushes to find out where the signal device that just needs two taps to call in reinforcements; he learns it’s in his shoe. Bo pulls off both of his shoes and they find a stylized iron eye in his left shoe.

Nwalme decides that he needs to be dead, rather than alive and working against us. Nwalme learns that he’s a magic user when Roland starts gathering energy for a spell. Nwalme zaps him with a death touch.

Roland says that he’s already signaled and no one seems to be coming. A burst of energy came through the signal device and Roland died with a smile on his face, as he remembered the good things in his life.

John starts muttering about whether Corp realizes how bad a contract that they took was.

Only a day and a half away, going to the sea would be running toward the defensive line? Or up into the hills, if they’re going onto the other side to meet an orc army. (To the north.)

Aside about magic items, putting them under running water will disrupt them, but they can be found; melting them down in a great enough heat will do the job; wrapping them in silk is also supposed to help.

John thinks that they’re probably not going not going to the direct route. Since he didn’t see them (and neither did we), so the next route will be to the pass up into the hills to the west – then down river to the sea (to the North).

We track them, which isn’t all that difficult as there are about 33 people which are hard to hide. (5-6 Benwa and his people; the rest is Corp’s company). We need to back track now and again based on terrain; after a day’s trailing/tracking, we don’t feel that we’re catching up.

Night falls. And morning picks it back up. Fairly uneventful. Mid-morning, we find where they camped about a day and a half ago. We continue on and come to two cottages with their pig poke around dusk (4-5p). There are a couple of women (one old and one young) and a passel of loud kids.

Guthwyn asks if they heard of their quarry. They passed through here late yesterday afternoon. (We’re catching up with them!) Guthwyn warned the kids and the young mother to be wary of Benwa. They didn’t treat them too badly and didn’t foul the well. They’re heading to business down on the coast. Bo thought to ask about how they were paid for their pigs; Guthwyn gives her double the value for a silver coin that came from Corp himself. Hopefully, Nwalme will be able to use them to communicate with Corp. Guthwyn warns the women to be careful and that army might be coming. Araphor helps them by creating water into their tub to make up for what Corp and his people took from their well. (He creates five gallons of water for them.) No rapes, so Corp seems to still be influencing Benwa. And we’re only about 20 hours behind.

After 15-20 minutes of rest, we hit the road and find their camp about 20 minutes away. Further showing Corp’s influence.

Now comes the big question: to try telepathy to connect John Hawkward and Corp to try to warn him of what he’s in bed with. Guthwyn warns that contacting the Empress first might be useful. (Nwalme brings her up to date and it’s clear that the stress is getting to Her, as she complains about more trash that needs to be cleared out of the place. The Empress knows him. She gives him a pass code “elly says hi to maggie”. Still mustering troops, not much new news.

Now, Nwalme tries to initiate telepathy between Corp and John. Guthwyn brings up the awkward issue that it’s possible that one of the demonic magic users could be in front of us and could pop his head like a zit. Nwalme admits that there are dangers, but he and Araphor both think that going to Corp will help.

Nwalme successfully connects to John and then to Corp. Nwalme tries to gently wake Corp and get him to accept the telepathic call. He dreams of being in court in front of the empress and the emperor. Nwalme tries to impose himself in Corp’s dream to wake him up. As he’s dreaming of Maggie, Nwalme uses the passcode. Corp comes awake enough. Corp knows that Benwa is in league with the orcs and is trying to stop things.

Nwalme learns that they going to Dwarven Rock Falls and lets Corp know that we’re on our way and that we’ll do our best to try to get him in time. They should be on the coast around 1-2p; Nwalme says that he’ll try to contact him again around noon. (They’re about 6-8 hours away and we could catch up.)

If we rush in, we could lose the element of surprise. Guthwyn would like to be there when they hit the coast. We could set it up, so that we’re no more than an hour behind them at noon; we could be in a position to pounce. We can communicate back through the hobbits to the main force.

Storm Dancer can see them from first light, which makes following them much much easier.

The hobbits were able to pass the information found back to the group.

If it’s big party, attack early and get information out; if it’s a small party, attack earlier to make it two smaller groups.

Nwalme contacts Corp. He tried to slow them down, but it didn’t help much. They’re about 15-20 minutes away from the cove. Corp’s setting up a perimeter and knows that they’re meeting three boats with special passengers, but that could mean almost anything. And especially bad, Nazghul. Corp doesn’t want to attack until the boats arrive. He thinks it’s not a big deal with the boats.

Three viking long boat style boats, black, each with 20-30 people. All elves?! Some elves were left in the east. They seem a little fairer than usual.

We need to capture Benwa and get his information – hopefully about a way to warn off the elves. We need to get this information out. Nwalme tells Corp what’s going on; the hobbits pass information about the dark elves out the other way.

Corp takes Benwa and his boys. They’re heading toward us.

Boats are coming in.

Bo looks for some good places for sniping. Araphor wants to trick the elves into leaving; especially, as there’s no doubt that they can’t track us and catch us quickly.

Within 5 minutes, we’re all together.

Storm Dancer and Araphor keep an eye on the elves. Bo grabs the high ground and tries to defend/snipe. Nwalme wants to find out what elves deal is, but got nothing from Benwa.

The elves landed, left one elf on each boat. The elves split up and take the two paths out. They’re walking, but with the ground eating elvish pace.

Nwalme tries again to get the information out of Benwa. He learns that they’re here to drain the river and they’ve already been paid. We don’t know where the ritual has to take place or how it will be done. Rumors of the very dark elves were that they were really into the wild nature magic and controlling things. And with ritual magic, they can bring an immense amount of energy to play given enough time.

How far are they away from the river? Five days back. Gullies and rocky. Then plains and gullies.

If they’re doing it here, could their be an underground spring or lake that they are using? And why here, rather than closer to the river? Do they seem to be aware of us? They’re acting as though they’re on guard. They don’t seem to be coming toward/attacking us, though they’re clearly on guard.

A half an hour after we bug out, we realize that the elves and we are going in different directions. They’re going toward the castle. They’re definitely moving faster than us.

Nwalme learns that Benwa and his men have four bags of water and four bags of stones from different locations within the river that they were supposed to hand over to the elves. They are supposed to go to a plateau by the castle where they can see both the river and lake; that’s supposed to be where they’re going. Araphor mentions that he’s not above setting a forest fire to stop them.

But the question becomes how to set a forest fire? How feasible would it be? Unfortunately, currently the fire danger is currently low.

Hobbits get the message that some humans tried to force the river and failed.

Storm Dancer hasn’t seen any Nazghal.

Thaliandor is sending two of his men with forty roherem. The elves are helping, but aren’t at the main group yet.

Session notes 10/26/2012
raw, for now...

Present: Pam, Megan, Eric, Chris, and Jp

Court is still in session.

This is the third (of six) prisoners; he’s a corporal that may have been involved with death of the count of the eastern marches. Nwalme is casting compel truth (which he’s doing on everyone) and also mind reading (so he can get the surface thoughts as well).

He’s charged with being complicit in the murder of Countess Arianne.

Corporal doesn’t feel he’s guilty, as he was following the order of the lawful authority. She was killed three weeks ago (with two other members of his troop) in her chambers and she hasn’t been seen since. A body that may have been her has been found three days ago.

The corporal saw her the night she disappeared; they brought her out to the lord of the castle; servants carried out boxes; (He was actually in the room supervising as she was held by the men at arms and stabbed by the lord of the castle..) He’s willing to be executed; he feels he did his duty; serving his lord.

Nwalme learns that he may have been involved with the fifth columnists that are involved with preparing the way for the invasion. (The corporal knows who 15-20 of them are; knows where two locations are.)

His sentence is death – hanged, drawn and quartered, but held and his sentence suspended until such a time as Nwalme is done with him.

The last two prisoners: one was stealing food and brutalizing them, he stole food but was giving it back to them or others anonymously afterwards — pardoned, but to war; last one was a scum and murderer. Simple execution.

Araphor gathers three female guards for Guthwyn to help with the nazghal fighting duties. There names are:Willoe, Hunaria and Celena.

We hold off on our planning meeting until after Nwalme finishes questioning the corporal to see what’s up with the fifth columnists. Araphor heads out to try to get some hobbits for Guthwyn’s guard.

The questioning was difficult, but not the worst he’s had to deal with. It helped that Nwalme had some hints to what it was: in twenty minutes, he finds that he was supposed to join his lord at a cottage outside the city gates; if he couldn’t get there within 24 hours; the next place was a village by the border; there’s a small camp and a cache – that was supposed to be the primary command post (48 hours, which has already passed). If he didn’t make it out, there’s a secondary command post, but he doesn’t know where that is.

There are three people (one at the castle gate, two transferred to the border guard camps). Their jobs is to disrupt control and command. There are other disruptions planned, but he doesn’t know the specifics: raids, capture couriers, destroy food and water, generally make things tougher. Nwalme recommends putting the hobsters on that to keep that crap to a minimum, figuring they’d know the tactics and how to handle them.

The corporal (and assumably others) think that it might be a power play; it’s not common knowledge that the third prince was selling out the empire. This knowledge might also help turn a number of the third prince’s stooges.

Araphor reached out to the hobsters. Three more hobsters are assigned to Guthwyn’s personal guard.

Small planning session with us and Thaliandor about what he learned from questioning the corporal.

Should he go? There’s 15-20, at least 10-15 with the lord himself.

Latest reports are that the flow of refuges has trickled down to nothing. And there are significant troop build ups 1-2 days away on the other side of the river. We’re in the foothills (castle). More ponies/chariots 3 days out in the steppes. Smoke/fires – constantly burning villages? None of the refugees have seen orcs.

We have 3 bridges we have to worry about; and one of them is narrow enough that it’s not difficult to ford/swim, etc… the other two area have more water, which makes fording harder; there also aren’t good roads.

Count’s plan: impede, make sure there are companies (100+ troops) that are at various points to slow and harass. Forward reaction points to be able to fall back to. Bo reminds that they might or probably have the same communication abilities that we do thanks to their known boxes.

Nwalme thinking of using Pathfinder/Seeker to find the lord. His rooms and some of his stuff is still here.

We head out at first light to check out and try to find the lord.

Other news:
Empress is forming guard under General Alfren and General Smile (supply train).

There’s no sign that the misbegotten lord is raising his own army? Not sure, but he might be grabbing a few troops here and there, but that’s about it.

There are three camps. Not the deeps, mentioned previously, but more watered, staging areas. We’re going to the second one (by the foothills where the lord had his first camp). Bring some of the new guard, in case there’s issues. We head to the foothills, so Nwalme can cast ancient history on the place.

Willoe – (clearly officer material) weapons perfectly clean; well organized, practice, drills and fairly intelligent; Honorea rides well, not too too intelligent; Celena is a bit vain, but seems competent.

Reports: fires seem to have stopped. No new fires. A couple of refuges reported big armies that they had to sneak through. Armies about less than half a day from the river.

On the way to the villages; things are empty and abandoned; village is empty, not even the last hangers on that should be there. There were signs that there was a camp here yesterday. (This is the ex-primary command center, trying to find clues.)

They see a place in the woods that had a couple of empty chests and a brand new broken sword hilt. Nwalme casts the history on the broken sword hilt, but unfortunately it was broken by accident and never had a person. This seems to have been a weapons cache.

Nwalme’s chain with the eye on it is starting to activate and get a magical connection to it. (About a week ago, he got the eye. It was owned by an extremely self-confident fellow that hadn’t had a real challenge in 3-4 generations; had the confidences of some of the most powerful entities in middle earth; this connected to something VERY VERY dark that makes Nazghul seem white and fluffy. 4 points of damage from headache and hand burning. During communication – it got very hot.)

Bo finds that people were staying here as of yesterday, but there were also guards walking circuit as well. Ravens and crows having a feast 20-30’ away. (Carcass?) Stormdancer spots lookouts keeping an eye on the village – they can see the village and the approaches. (2 miles away with a good view of the approaches.)

Araphor and Bo are on sneaking up on the spotters. The others check out the carcasses; 2 humans and a soldier; they seem like they might have been locals. They find a trench (ancient road up); crit. We can see them.

Bo and Araphor aim and let fly. Bo’s leg and not running. Araphor’s gut shot and almost dead.

Session notes 8/11/2012
raw, for now...

Present: Pam, Eric, Jp, Chris and Conall (as Megan)

In the throne room, people in shock. The third prince’s guard stop and they’re not sure what to do (and they’re out-numbered). The prince’s aide and the count of the eastern marches take over the garrison.

The elves are presented: Sir Hardwyn and his retinue. They have the escaping henchmen (the rapist) and the Prince takes the throne and announces his doing his father’s will and help serve. He calls for the king/queen.

Court continues.

We’re called in to talk privately – police, gates and barracks are secured. On to the drug manufacturing plant. Our plan: get a few people in and then have guards surround and take the plant.

Talk to the guards to get intel; Nwalme gets into their heads to get full view of things. Illusion of the Mage and a few captured guards to be present for the capture. Guards reveal that there is a glass rod on the second floor to break in case of emergency. (Amid potion storage equipment.) Nwalme recognizes something that might be a gate/protective circle.

Illusion disguises: Nwalme and Guthwyn. Bo and Araphor go illusion free. (About a minute out.)

We see our first guard. Nwalme bluffs past him and we find they’re about ready to destroy the place. Just waiting for the word. We head upstairs. (No busy bees on the first floor.)

Barrels aren’t being tended except from a assistant. Nwalme tells him that they’re gonna start up or tear down. We replace the guards and grab their weapons. We’re the only people here but Nwalme senses something on the other side by the circle. As they walk to the office, they see bowls that might be part of the destruction sequence. He lets us know we might have to fight.

An old man (really really old) black-clad Mage in the office. He calls Nwalme by the name of the Mage – Melly. He’s made Nwalme and Nwalme knows it. He alerts Thaliandor. Bo locks the door. The evil mage locks Nwalme’s arms and the Araphor’s arm (after he drew his sword). Guthwyn runs for the second door.

Meanwhile, Nwalme frees himself from the spell and poltergeists a flask of ‘acid’ at the evil Mage. Araphor closes to kick. The evil Mage says something in a language that Nwalme somewhat recognizes; he was starting to fade away. Araphor knocks the evil Mage out and disrupts his spell.

Bo and Guthwyn continue to guard the door. Supposedly the prince had the Mage under control. The other guards want in.

Evil Mage is unconscious and Araphor has his sword to his throat. He’s wearing Sauron’s sigil, has a couple of wands, and lots of Gold. Wearing a noticeable ring, but it’s not one of the main ones. Nwalme casts a sleep on him. Then he does a mind search on him to get: "where’s your personal base of operations?’ “suite four stories down from the master’s location; 800 miles to the east”

‘when is the attack on Rohan?’ “two weeks; maybe move it up now that it’s blown”

Araphor lops off his head. The eye explodes injuring the guys (17 A & 14 N).

Bo heads over to give N first aid, successfully.

We manage to stop the fire and keep the factory from being fully destroyed.

A and N will wake up ok.

Nwalme, when healed, fills in the Prince, the elves, and the Empress that S is coming. And soon. The messages go out. It’ll take more than two weeks for the E to raise her army. Thaliandor tries to raise a company of E Guards. The C of the Eastern Marches sounds an orderly retreat/regroup. The elves are rallying.

N questions the Mage. Mordy is the evil dead Mage. 3rd Prince was in it up to his eyes since long before R & G. Mordy was involved in the usurper; he claimed to be over 1000yrs old; gate was a teleported and summoner. Nazhguls involved in some equipment. They’ve been here. The gate goes directly to mordy’s base.

Mordy was his teacher. He’s learned mechanics and rituals.

We can run the production, though the gate will be destroyed.

Plan was that the usurper would take over giving Sauron time to power up. Sauron is still a shadow of himself. A dangerous shadow.

How long to the eastern march? 5 days ready for action.

Where in the eastern marches, though?

Pop Goes the Weasel
...the spectacular demise of a deadly enemy

Present: Pam, Megan, Chris, Jp, Eric

Bo and Araphor heading to the castle to start getting ready via the secret passage – no trouble.
Guthwyn and Nwalme dragged the unconscious mage to the crones. Count’s kids are staying with the crones.
Thaliandor in the rooming house with a small squad (2 that had helped G&N headed back). Count of Eastern March with him.
Elves nearby but haven’t yet made an appearance.

We all get back together at 8am in the Prince’s quarters (Prince Leonere – Prince #1)

Background: Fengel (Prince #2) and Eorcanstan (Prince #3)
Isoldaria is one of Leonere’s agents.

Daily Court will be at 10am.

The elves will make their appearance in the city.
Isoldaria will waylay the queen.
Eorcanstan’s bodyguards should already be ‘poisoned’ and ill.
Sending the Senechal that leads the Royal Progress to go welcome the elves.
This should clear the way for Leonere to tell his father that he looks tired, so that he (L) could take court today.

Bo offers to take the high ground. There are two points: one is right behind the throne and the other is a peep hole where the director/bodyguard watch.

Bo will take the bodyguard/sniper position with his bow.

Bo reads the augurs and passes his thoughts on: he thinks that Eorcanstan’s bodyguard is going to try to kill him upstairs. He keeps that to himself, knowing that by making himself the target, he leaves the others free to act.

Nwalme preps a spell into the curse missile wand – strike blind.

We file into court, the audience is there, but none of the royalty is there. The person running court today is one of Leonere’s men. He knows the plan.

In comes Prince Eorcanstan (without his normal bodyguard), he’s got a different one behind him – a young, inexperience soldier. Prince Leonere comes in. Ten or so minutes after things should have started, no king, but word comes about the elves arriving in town.

Leonere in his father’s stead, sends the royal progress guy to go welcome the elves and bring them hence. He hesitates, but heads off.

Prince Eorcanstan is extremely nervous upon hearing the news about the elves. He leans over to speak to Prince Leonere, and his told no about something he wants to do. The door from the King’s Door opens and the herald announces the king, his page and his bodyguard.

The king apologies for the lack of the queen/she has been unavoidably detained.

Leonere leans over to touch the father (casting a spell?) and says his father looks poorly. The king let’s Leonere take over his duties at court as planned. The king and the page head out.

Eorcanstan leans over to his bodyguard, sure that something’s going on now. He’s talking to Leonere, clearly trying to get his way about something. Eorcanstan wants to suspend court, Leonere won’t let him.

Bo sees Eorcanstan signal his men and tries (ineffectively) to signal to the others what happened. But fails totally.

Nwalme casts Telepathy on Bo.

Herald begins court.

  • Tin mining patent/tax terms.
  • More court
  • Even more court

A commotion begins outside. A messenger comes in warning of infiltrators: Empress’ Guard led by the Count of the Eastern March.

Eorcanstan really looks freaked out.

Leonere asks how this could be infiltrators.

Eorcanstan says that the Empress’ Guard must formally request admission a day in advance.

Leonere says that he’s never heard of such an agreement.

Eorcanstan says it’s a long standing agreement and continues to talk down his older brother, trying to make it clear that he’s not competent. (Nothing that we knew about.)

Almost on cue, a small group of Roharian come in. They were seasoned warriors. They enter through the main doors. Eorcanstan claims they are his guards to protect us. The messenger says that they are here on Eorcanstan’s orders.

We watch for L’s lead on this.

Leonere calls his personal guard to the dias (from behind them) and says that there’s clearly a disturbance. It’s clear to observers that Eorcanstan’s relaxing and feeling more in control, as Leonere is getting more nervous. He signals us to step forward through the crowd, as Eorcanstan’s people move forward into the court.

We’re noticed by the messenger as we move closer to the dias. We’re pretty sure he’s Eorcanstan’s flunky.

Eorcanstan calls us out. “Who are you? What are you doing in this hall?”

Leonere says they’re representatives of the Empress’ Guard who haven’t asked permission.

Guthwyn says “Make way in the name of the Empress” and moves through the crowd. No one has drawn a weapon.

Eorcanstan quick draws his sword and charges Guthwyn in a berserker/bloodlust rage. Leonere charges out to try to protect Guthwyn. Herald rushed to try to block Leonere.

Bo shot an arrow into one of Eorcanstan’s men to put them into disarray. Luck to kick the damage up to 7 (20:26). (He wonders if he should have shot Prince Eorcanstan.)

Araphor drew his spear.

Guthwyn quick drew her sword and stepped forward to protect Araphor’s back.

Nwalme cast strike blind on Prince Eorcanstan and saw the prince’s torc slightly glow and had an image of it eating his spell.

The guards attack. Araphor doesn’t parry, but his armor shrugs off the attack. (Empress Guard Armor™ accept no substitutes.)

Leonere puts himself between Guthwyn and his berserk brother to try to protect her.

Eorcanstan throws himself at her and manages to get one of his blows past her defenses for a critical hit that does an immense amount of damage: 31 points of cutting damage. With her dying blow, she does 12 points to his vitals (luckily, he is not wearing full armor).

Leonere screams her name and crumples, taking her in his arms. He’s also wearing a torc, which glows and Nwalme gasps as 14 points of healing courses into her body. (-21+14 to -7 and safe from death).

The herald puts his pole between the princes and ineffectively calls for them to hold.

Araphor is Capt. All-out-defense.

Nwalme tries a Death Touch on Prince Eorcanstan. It’s a crit!!! 12pts that overloads and destroys the torc, which blew up the torc and killed Prince Eorcanstan.

Bo calls out for the guards to put down their weapons in the name of the Empress’ Guard.

Then Thaliandor and the actual Empress’ Guard kick in the door!

Leonere (at Guthwyn’s prodding) gets up and takes control of the situation. Which is made harder, when the first thing is sees is his brother’s corpse.

Guthwyn tries to convince him that Eorcanstan died of his wounds. (Chances are that Nwalme will never let her live it down that HE was the one that killed the 3rd prince of Rohan – not Rene, and not Guthwyn.)

Leonere takes a breath and snaps back into it. He takes control and sorts everything out regally. He calls for a surgeon and a healer for his brother. “We’ve all known my brother’s obsession with the warrior Guthwyn though these many years, but it is sad that meeting her caused him to lose control. Now we must mourn but still move on.” He takes control and signals the director to get everything moving.

Lots of pages running around and passing lots and lots of messages.

Nwalme heals Guthwyn for another 8 (1). He examines Eorcanstan and thinks there’s no point in healing him. He’s not quite dead yet, and Nwalme tries telepathy. Prince Eorcanstan isn’t really there. All he thinks is that he finally got her. Nwalme whispers to send him on his way, “No, you didn’t. She still lives.” Eorcanstan dies in soul-crushing despair.

Guthwyn let Leonere down and points out that she needs to serve the empress. There are so few guards after the Usurper’s attacks. He hopes she will be able to visit. (Nwalme hops in to tell him that they can make sure she’ll visit.) Guthwyn doesn’t want to make the future queen as her enemy.

Back story on Prince Eorcanstan – he wanted Guthwyn, everyone wanted her – she was pretty, capable and dumb as a stump. What a woman! Everyone was smitten with her. Everyone stayed out of the way. Eorcanstan had targeted her; she wanted the conquest. She rejected him, but that didn’t stop him. No one really noticed. The second time, everyone noticed. But they realized it was just Guthwyn being Guthwyn. He tried again. She shot him down again and she ripped him a new one; that was too much to bear. It was about to come to a fight to the death.

Rene stepped in to save her by calling him out for a private duel and it became known that he had beaten the Prince. (He was one of the Empress’ spies and it was known he was working for her, so he was expelled from Rohan.) He managed to get Guthwyn as one of his guards. And that’s how she found her way into the Empress’ Guard.


Bo is 30y/90’ away.

Session notes 1/6/2012
raw, for now...

Pam, Megan, Chris, Eric and Jp

Out of Game: Recap from Jp’s notes

Nwalme (Eric) still thinks that night is easier. Bo (Jp) likes day, as more people are around and moving, and it’s easier to see.

So the plan is to replace the boy and then go get the girl, and then take them out to the encampment of the elves outside the city. (As it’s the safest place.)

As Prince 1 thinks about it, we all head back, we get the kids (get them somewhere safe), he wants the elves to come in for morning court at 10am. The king and the other princes will be there and that’s when Prince 1 will make his announcement.


  • First get the boy:
  • * Mass daze the room
  • * Replace the boy with a created ‘servant’.
  • Recharge
  • Then get the girl:
  • * Mass daze the room
  • * Replace the girl with a created ‘servant’.
    The servants will be programmed with the following commands:
  • Act sleepy and/or sick, if questioned

There’s a passage from the castle to close to the safe house.

Thaliandor will be arriving by dawn (4:30-5)… We send him to the safe house, where we’ll be bringing the kids.

Safe words for the children: “Gruff gruff says it’s okay.” We’ve also got a token.

We still need to catch Prince 3’s mage, because he’s the only one that knows the crucial missing step in the process that will create the drug.

Nwalme’s thought – control person, rather than mass daze. The mass daze is safer and cheaper.

We head into town. We are having dinner in the castle, recharging and waiting.

2am – There’s movement in the prince’s suite. He’s up and meeting with his advisors and aides. Plotting and preparing for who needs to be where.

  • Three people need to be NOT present in the throne room when Prince 1’s announcement is made:
  • * Chief bodyguard to Prince 3.
  • * Chief of the Royal Progress
  • * Queen

The plan begins…

We make our way to the boy’s room. There are 8-9 kids 7-8 in one bed, 1 on the floor between them. Unluckily for us, the child on the floor wasn’t our target, but we were lucky in that the target is sleeping on the edge.

Create the servant first. Successfully makes it look as much like the target as possible.

Then the Mass Daze for an area 2 for 4fat to catch them all. The extra motion in the kid puppy pile went away. Bo gets the kids and slips quietly out of the room, before Nwalme sends in the ‘servant’ to take his place.

Take the kid to a quiet room where Guthwyn (Megan) will tell the boy the code phrase and fill him in. He seems to take it well. Especially, when Nwalme tells the kid to be quiet.

Nwalme rests for 10 minutes (1 from Araphor (Chris)) and (5) to full.

We make our way to the girl’s room. Lady in Waiting central. More difficult: four beds and we need to slip past two beds to get to the target in a 24×18.

Create the servant.
Araphor gives Nwalme 2 to get him back to full.
Mass daze for the room. (There’s not much difference between before and after the spell in this time.)
Guthwyn sneaks in and leans over to get the target (reaching over another girl). Guthwyn finds that the girl she was reaching over was just asleep and not dazed. She shifts over to reach over a dazed girl instead. She tries again. Unfortunately, she almost drops the target. She recovers, gracelessly, but successfully. Though, she is unable to pull the overs up, as well as picking up the target. She slips out of the room.
Send the servant in and into bed.

Quietly carry the girl to a private, quiet place for him to wake up his sister and then Guthwyn will sum up.

Nwalme and Araphor recharge. (Girl wants a knife, Guthwyn gives it to her.)

(Boy 8, girl 12)

Rest for 10 minutes: Araphor full, Nwalme -3.

Head to the safe house via the passage way. Servant goes first to check things out.

3 women are in the safe house. All old crones, they don’t share one eye between them. Delighted to have children in the house. (I make a we’ve got hard candy comment and got a laugh out of Pam.) It only takes a little while to realize that they’re retired guardsmen.

We head back to the castle and meet with Prince 1 to report. We leave Nwalme and Guthwyn with the kids.

Prince 1 assigns one retainer and a servant to keep the queen occupied. The plan is a comedy of errors to keep her occupied.

Around 4am, the ‘servants’ disappear. The count’s daughter is discovered missing as soon as the Ladies in Waiting woke up. They hurried to check on the count’s son. A useful servant offered up the thought that they’re hiding together. Kerfuffle. The two ladies that were watching the daughter are chastised. A few servants are looking around and trying to find them. They seem to be convinced that the kids are still in the castle, so that things are safe.

Around 5:30, Nwalme checked in.

Around 6, we hear that the Empress’ guard are passing through and are coming to pay their respects to the king at court.

The place where the soldiers are going to stay is near the safe house. (They’re able to slip into the safe house without raising hackles by wandering the are to try to throw off pursuit by a much more nervous Prince 3. The count and a trusted guardsman go to the safe house.)

The count and children reunite happily. The count leaves the girls with the Crones – initially, they were a bit of a hit squad back in the day. Certainly, still formidable.

We find out from the Count that Prince 3 has plans to destroy the drug manufacturing facility. Count knows exactly where the mage is and how we can get him.

Nwalme and Guthwyn head to the Joe’s and Josie’s whore house (ask for Madge) to catch the mage. Nwalme preps by casting strike blind into his mage’s stick. (He fills us in telepathically about where he’s going.)

The girls aren’t helpful, when they ask for Madge and aren’t willing to send them to Madge, who’s with a client. Nwalme zots the bouncer with a death touch (8pt dam). They head up to the room that the terrified bouncer sent them to. (Someone was having sex in there.)

It was the mage. Nwalme threw strike blind at him. Hitting him nicely.

The mage casts mass daze, dazing both Guthwyn and Nwalme. Madge is screaming. The mage extracts himself from Madge and falls to the ground. When the strike blind would end, Nwalme wakes up, keeps the spell up and realizes that he can keep from letting the mage know that he’s awake. The mage is trying to get out of the room. He seems to be starting to cast a spell, even if he’s blind. Madge is cowering in the corner and doing her best to stay out of being in the middle of a wizard battle.

Nwalme successfully casts control person on the mage and now has a meat puppet. He slaps Guthwyn to wake her up, sees the mage starting to cast his spell and then slumps to the ground. The mage says “Guthwyn Nwalme has switched bodies.” Luckily for them, she believes it. George walks by as Guthwyn is tying up the naked mage with Nwalme unconscious on the floor. George, the bouncer, walks by and sees this and says “That’ll cost extra.” (Jp got it and got 2 XP for it.)

Mage is dressed, tied up, and gagged. Guthwyn uses the pummel of her knife to knock the mage out. Nwalme switched back to his body before getting struck.

Guthwyn gave extra money to Madge.

They take the unconscious mage to the safe house and left him to the tender mercy of the crones.

Game Notes 10/7/2011
  1. BURPS Game – 10/07/11
  1. Chris’ Plan (from his email)

We’ve just met up with Prince #1 (the botanist).

Chris’ plan:
1. Contact Thaliandor immediately, and have him and his men head for us directly, bringing with them the Count of the Eastern Marches. That should take about 2 days.

2. We rescue the Count’s children from the Royal Progress, and secure them with the count (or trusted personnel in the castle, if timing is a problem) to enlist his support for the coming confrontation. That should take the morning, as the Progress is due to arrive then.

3. We bring the first prince into nearby Greenwood with the hope of enlisting the aid of the elves. They will need to take his measure and hear his intelligence if they’re to believe the Dark Lord is rising and that he is worthy of their support in combating the threat.

It’s a long day’s work, and #3 is the most difficult, but if we can do these things quickly we have a solid hope of bringing the proper forces to bear in three days.

4. Assuming we have a spare day upon returning from Greenwood, we should capture and interrogate the seneschal’s chief mage to discover the remaining piece of the drug refining progress.

  1. Our planning
    First, bring up the idea with Prince 1 (the botanist), Leo about going into Greenwood. He was excited and interested, but has to be there when the Royal Progress arrives.

Greenwood is about a 1/2 day travel there and back.

Prince 1 has 6 guards, 2 scribes, 1 body servant, 1 cousin (who’s with the royal progress), 1 cook, 1 private spy master (out of Prince 2’s residence), he’s got a mole: a hauler within the drug production group.

Next step: we contact Empress and Thaliandor to make them aware and get them onboard. We’ll be rescuing the children post-Greenwood.

Prince 1, Leo will greet the Royal Progress and then head to Greenwood. He’s been retroactively planning this for weeks.

Nwalme contacts Thaliandar. He’ll be able to get there the morning of the 22nd. The day after tomorrow.

The count is going to be given his weapons as a show of faith, but we recommend that people with him remain on their guard.

The Royal Progress shows up. (The advance people: cooks and service folks, etc… show up at 8am to make sure that everything is perfect for when they show up.)

We’re hiding out in the castle, so that Prince 1 can grab us as soon as he wishes.

The king arrives. They throw money to the crowd. There’s a big hullabaloo. The crowd is ecstatic. The first prince welcomes his father, his brothers and his cousins. It looks very good from a distance. Everything seems normal.

They retire at 11am to relax before lunch. Prince 1 excuses himself to go to Greenwood to look at a new species of butterfly. The third prince says he’s heading to go inspect the police barracks and the defenses (which is next to the factory).

Nwalme throws illusions over people to avoid being too noticeable. More people than expected took second looks (but not thirds) – possibly due to the fact that there is an elf in their midst. We head off to Greenwood. Everything is uneventful until we get to the woods.

Greenwood lives up to it’s name. It’s dark. A few hours in, we bump into some of the Greenwood elves. The king is far away, but we have a warder that we can talk to. Chris’ character relies on his diplomacy to explain about the rising dark in the east.

The elves seem a little put off (and go a bit pale) at the news. They recognize Chris’ half-elf lineage and there’s a certain response from an elvish poacher upon hearing about the questioner.

The elves take us off the road and put us on an elvish path. We make really good time and get to a tree house in a maloryn (the gold leaf trees). The lord is old and withered. He’s been around a long (long…) time.

We back up and let the prince do the negotiations with the lord. It’s a diplomatic tour de force, as he requests help from the elves to defeat the rising dark again by getting trained armored support. The lord shakes off his age and gathers his strength to go forth again. “Call forth my guard, we ride in 2 hours”. 25 horse + 20-30 men at arms and + 20-30 scouts/woodsmen/woodcrafty elves/poachers. The scouts won’t enter the city.

We tell the lord that they should wait outside the city until the pieces are in play. Rifflin will be leading them. (He’s one of the first Greenwood elves that we met.) We’ve got a way to communicate with them.

We’ll be spending the evening in Greenwood and arriving back tomorrow in the middle of day. We have a meal and then travel – lots of singing, stories and one-upmanship between the poachers and the non-poachers.

Nwalme casts analyze magic on the drug sample. He tries identify spell and history spell. Two spells: 1 from healing college, 2nd unknown, and the drug itself does a lot of the work. The seeds came from the far north, everything else from a number of places, distilled four days ago. Two spells: both performed as a ritual. It’s a complicated and nuanced spell. It feels like the healing college spell is a lot like neutralize poison, which isn’t the primary spell. Primary spell is a drunkenness variation that might have a third spell hidden in there. A nightmare variant is the third spell.

The butterflies and the healing chrysalises are common in central Greenwood.

We go to sleep late that night. Next morning, we travel on. By 8am, we’re at the edge of Greenwood. We have botanical collections and we’re about two hours from the castle. Thaliandar should be in the city already. Nwalme contacted Thaliandar. They’re all in the count’s friend’s house by the gate. The elves are at the edge of Greenwood.

Prince 1 thinks that the kids are all in the foster group of children. (The Count’s kids 12yo girl/8yo boy.) Prince 1’s cousin is friendly with the Prince 2’s wife. The sister is with the Prince 2’s household. The little kids (tapestry rats) unfortunately, sure where they are. We should be able to spot him at the weapon’s practice (around 2pm, after lunch).

The mage is in the city. He headed out when we arrived to head out to meet/talk to Prince 3.

We’re back in the castle. It’s late morning. (We’re under illusions and hiding within Prince 1’s rooms.) The latest reports from the driver is that some time this afternoon, they’re going to run out of seed. They stopped sharing the drug as freely as they had been doing. They’re rationing the drugs to keep people from dying for 3-4 weeks.

8 barrels of seed = 1 barrel of concentrated drug. And that’s watered down before it’s given to the addicts.

News: Count of Eastern March’s daughter is being watched by another lady in waiting. Two 12yos are keeping an eye on the count’s son.

Frantic communications from Prince 3’s group to try to find something that’s missing. Armed men buzzing in an out.

Nwalme’s suggestion – get the boy isolated and create servant to create a duplicate to fill his spot. It won’t act like him, but it might get us too much time. He can do a mass daze, create the servant and order it to act sleepy, swap out the boy. He should be able to create two servants and then cast mass dazes.

Araphor wants to do it at night. Guthwyn and Bo think day might be easier.

Both rooms we can get into via secret passages. Night becomes a lot more adventageous. The rooms are 20′×30′.

Game Synopsis 9/23/2011

We find our heroes having finished deposing the Count of the Eastern Marches, leaving him in the capable hands of the ship captain who brought us downriver. Heading northeast, we make for Castle B____, hoping to reach it before the Royal Progress arrives there.

The trip takes about 2 days, the latter of which is rainy and miserable, but is otherwise unremarkable. Upon first arriving, we take some time to scout out the first stage of drug production, which takes place in a mill-house on the outskirts of town. Careful reconnaissance shows it to be well and subtly guarded, so Araphor [Chris] (with help from Nwalme [Eric]) enlists a rat in a nearby warehouse to investigate. In about 15 minutes, Araphor gets a good view of the initial process and ingredients, as well as some of the timing involved. Meanwhile, Bo [JP] follows the supply wagon as it leaves the mill-house, tracing its route into the city and to the secondary processing center therein, a warehouse/shop on the main road. A quick survey shows the building and its approaches to be subtly and well guarded.

Once the gang is rested and reunited, they set off to scout around the secondary processing center. While the group settles in at an outdoor pub area nearby, Araphor sends up Stormdancer to watch it, keeping an eye on comings and goings through the service entrance in the back alley. Stormdancer happens to find a perch on the building’s upper floor window, and with it a peek into the processing operation: boiling and distillation, some additives, and a final (or penultimate) magical treatment. The others, meanwhile, hear tell of a naturalist exhibition taking place at the castle in the afternoon, showing off some of the first prince’s collection.

With an eye to seeing which if any of the drug components are in the exhibition – and a hope to gain access to the castle, and thereby the first prince – the party attends the exhibition. Nwalme disguises his identity with an illusion, and they proceed to the castle gate. To their surprise, they find the first prince of Rohan himself greeting guests enthusiastically as they enter his exhibition. When the prince notes that Nwalme is an elf, he becomes quite excited, and offers to show him and the party a personal tour of the exhibit, talking about the medicinal uses of some of the various insects on display, and how he has extensive rare botanical and zoological specimens at his home in Castle A_____. When Nwalme asks to talk further later on, the prince invites the party to be his guests for dinner in the northwest tower.

The dinner proceeds pleasantly enough at first; the food is delicious, and the prince chatters about his studies and experiments as far as polite dinner conversation allows. As the meal draws to an end, a sudden “thunk” is heard from the hallway. A soldier enters, and the prince confirms with him that “it’s taken care of”. When the soldier departs, he turns to the party and says, “Thank you all for coming to help me.” He then identfies by namethe three notable members of the group (Nwalme, Guthwyn [Megan], Araphor) to show his awareness of the situation, and makes it clear we can talk freely for now.

When questioned on exactly how we can help – as he knows the situation better than we do – he reveals that the Dark Lord has risen in the east, and invasion is in his opinion, imminent. He believes he has produced a cure to the addiction to the “cold tea” drug that afflicts so many, and has successfully tested it on his father and brother. He cannot yet produce it in bulk, however, requiring knowledge of the magical transformation process to do so. (This knowledge is possessed by the seneschal’s senior mage alone.) His plan had been to – in three days – persuade his father to retire, and attempt to take up the throne of Rohan himself. He had little hope until we arrived, as much of the military and senior political figures in Rohan are either well in the third prince’s camp, or under the influence of the drug.

And so we must formulate a plan. The pieces are already falling into place for the first prince’s plan, but how best to support it – and deal with the fallout from it – is what we must next determine.

Session notes, 4/29/2011
raw, for now...

GURPS – 4/26/11

We left our heroes on the great river Anduin (and-o-win), chasing the count of the eastern marshes (a loyal retainer of the prince of rohan). He’s 20 minutes ahead of us. Stormdancer lost him when he went into an inn. (He’s been traveling with two retainers.) The seeker spell shows him still inside this inn.

We’re on a fast boat that we were able to use Chris’ magic to make faster. We’re trying to catch up to the boat. The empress’ advice was to get political help; we have a password that will make that possible.

The landing outside a village: a couple of inns, a couple of taverns, a customs house, a barracks — it’s a traffic point, and some warehouses slightly off the track. (A good place to fortify the area? Fortifications a littler further downstream. There used to be a crossing point farther down, but this built up and became the crossing point.)

We want to catch him and try to get a confession out of him, so that we can get proof of the prince’s guilt.

Three sailors just came out of the inn. Guthwyn heads to the stables with the horses. We head toward the inn. There’s a whole troop of 6-11 rohan riders on patrol are in the common room. The count and his flunkies went upstairs. Nawalme senses magic and it looks like he may have teleported out of the inn. He recasts Seeker to try to find the count – using the horse blanket again to find him. (The horse from the horse blanket is in the stable. The count is still within 50y.)

In the stable, Guthwyn sees the rohan horses and knows that there’s a lot of them in there. She’s doing the whole spear and magic helmet thing.

Araphor watches the front; Bo watches the back; Nawalme and Guthwyn climb to go to the window that Nawalme knows is where he saw magic energy.

Bo readies his bow, just in case. There is a stableboy watching what’s going on.

Guthwyn climbed up and opened the shutters on the second floor. She reached down to help Nawalme inside. They’re on the second floor and head into the hall and then make their way down the hall to the room in question. The door is locked and she unlocks the door. But there will be a little noise and it will take a bit. Though with Nawalme’s magic, she can do it silently. He readies strike blind on the curse missile wand; she draws a sword. They open the door and step into the large room. The room is empty.

Someone heard them and tells them to clear out; they’ll be leaving shortly. Guthwyn opens the door (trying not to block Nawalme’s aim). They see another room and the count is sitting at a table with paperwork and he’s holding something that’s glowing orangy-yellow. Nawalme fires off the spell and blinds the count.

“That must be Nawalme Ana,” he said as soon as he realized he was blinded. He seems relatively nonplussed about being blinded. He warns them not to let the glowing granite stone touch anything flammable. Nawalme thinks it looks similar to a teleportation/communication devices he’s seen before. Something came out before he shut down the artifact; it now looks like a bag of gold-ish. He said that his master – the prince – sent it to him to pay off debts.

The people downstairs are his retainers (he realizes that we have been the ones following him). And some countrymen from castle aroch b. He seems oddly cheerful at being arrested, because he might be safe from the prince and his perditions. They take him out the back (through the window and down the side). He’s a politician so unfortunately, Nawalme can’t tell for sure with just a detect lies skill.

Once Guthwyn ties the count’s hands and tried to remove his rings — one came off, but not his wedding ring; she started to search the room, looking over the papers, etc… Receipts: he paid 3 times as much for his boat then we did; reports, etc…

She doesn’t see any bags or scroll containers or anything that he might have used to carry the papers.

Nawalme casts aura to make sure that the count isn’t a mage.

They search the outer room/bedroom. There’s the saddle bag which contains more papers, a small bag of silver, a really nice knife and another of those magical thingys that seems to have broken into two pieces. They also find his boots, which they put on him. (They bring the count and his saddle bags.) They lower him with a rope to the ground.

He’s now on his horse; we’re all together and getting ready to ride once we know where we’re going. Bo recommends against riding into Rohan and heading back toward the Empress and Thaliandor. Head downriver and interrogate him, said Araphor.

The boat is pre-hired for Empress’ use which makes it cheaper for us to hire him. The plan is to go back to the boat and go down the river; let Nawalme do his private stuff while we’re on the boat and away from people. One of the crewman is away; getting breakfast for the captain — he should be back shortly. They quickly put the count in the closed deck house, so that Nawalme can get to work interrogating him. The rest of us work to get the boat underway.

Eric’s got the best notes:

King of Rohan – addict
prince1 (useless), prince2 (golden boy) – addict, prince3 (evil)
each marsh has a count (governors)
each count has 3-5 baronets (specific castles, specific duties)

The plot: king and prince’s roles clear; we think the count is the political operators (one of the most able in the kingdom); he has been facilitating/managing the drug trade for weapons on this side and coordinating with the chatelaine (chamberlain, castle’s controller/admin). He’s the person running the operation. How much duress he’s under is different than what he may want us to believe.

Nawalme questions the count about the prince, the drugs and the king. Prince Eroed (prince3) wants to be the king, but knows that if he just offs his family he won’t get to keep the throne. Nobody in the court wants Prince Ayor (prince1) to be king; including Prince Ayor – the brilliant botanist. Prince (prince2) would make a fine king, but Eroed won’t let that happen. So he wants the king to die and prince2 to be so disgraced so that no one will accept him. There were drugs involved and the count wishes that they had never done it. Prince Arad, his assassin (tall blond leader/rapist), and the count’s brother-in-law (the baronet that hangs with Eroed). He says that he’s innocent – even under compel truth spells.

His version is that he was trying to help his brother-in-law and keep him from exposing himself and hurting the count’s sister. There was this scheme that the assassin had made – some deal – the count knew a dyer (at Castle B) that could make the drugs. He does the books now and again – much less since his wife was killed at Eroed’s orders. He children are all fostered with Eroed.

His question: “how fast can you get to Eroed’s castle?” He wants to save his kids.

The weapon’s deal… They’ve been selling the orc’s flawed weapons that will rust through over a couple of years in the elements. The weapons are going to the north; the east is chaotic and something’s going on there. About 10 years back, the town along the border started growing and they stopped making war as casually as they had been. (Could there be a controlling force?) Just last year, the petty king called to try to get help with a threat to the east; he wanted asylum. (Something REALLY REALLY bad is going on.)

We thought the drugs were under his control. We thought he was doing the paperwork and the dying operation; he knew all the pieces and we thought he was running it.

His story is that he’s just facilitating things and made the introductions.

The king of rohan knows but doesn’t seem to care. The problem according to the count is that Eroed might be the best of the worst choices available. He doesn’t think he’d be able to solve the problem; just that he’d do better than most. He has a lot of backing from a lot of the nobility. He doesn’t think any of the nobles can pull it together enough to do better.

Nawalme is sure that the count is a masterful politician; he’s sure that he’s probably lied to them as close to the edge of the compel truth as he can get. The only people that have gotten off the drugs were people that hadn’t taken it much or long; others have died.

Ayor may or may not have studied the plant that the drugs are derived from. He claims that he doesn’t know who developed the process. He says that he shouldn’t say who that was.

(The plants are grown in the north by the orcs; the seeds are traded for weapons; the dyer processes them into the drugs.)

The scenario may have been that Ayor developed the drugs for his own use, not really seeing the consequences, but Ereod found out and saw the use of it. The count says it doesn’t seem to be his style, but he was smart enough and could have been tricked into doing it.

Nawalme thinks that Neutralize Poison might be a solution to the issue. As well as Relieve and Cure Addiction.

The count was sorry to hear about Rene’s death.

The crewman returns, we head downriver, while we continue to question the count.

If we’re going into Rohan, we’re going to want to disrupt the drug network. It has a brutal and a deadly withdrawal, which means that no drugs equals civil war and the deaths of a lot of nobility.

The count thinks: count of northern marches, 2-3 of his baronets, 1 duke, most of prince2 & king’s retainers. More than half of the nobility that isn’t tied to prince3 and eastern marches.

If Ayor has a cure, he hasn’t used it on his father.

One of the Eroed’s retainer’s is a mage that created the magic item. (Megan and Eric have the name; I didn’t catch it: Alphrazam?) Eroed met him 7 years ago; he’s a mage, anger issues, good friends with the assassin. He can put anything that’s fits through the hole.

He lets us know where the drug refineries are. Possibly use hobsters to get them out?

The count would love to go back to Rohan and free his children and make them safe. Rohan needs to be safe from the bigger threat from the East – which we don’t know for sure.

Where is Thaliandor?

Session notes 1/7/2011

We find the group having just subdued the group of men who were involved with the suspicious activities around Beorngard the past few years.

“The Party” currently consists of Nwalme Anna, Araphor, Guthwyn, and Barforth the Bowman – who, with a name like Barforth, just likes to be called “Bowman” or “The Bowman” or even “Hey You!” – anything but “Barforth”

They are accompanied by Captain Thaliandor (Valar help us) and a squad of “Empress Guards in Training”

Their prisoners consist of:

4 teamsters who seem to be relatively local and were handling a wagon filled with bags of seeds
4 teamsters who are definitely not local and speak with that distinct accent of Rohan and were handling a wagon filled with various weapons and armor.
2 soldiers who could be from Rohan but are pretty quiet – one because he’s wounded, the other because he doesn’t seem to say anything.
And two men who appear to be 2 of the 4 leaders of this group (a 3rd leader was killed in the combat)

o Medium-level Retainer to Prince of Rohan (Recognized by Guthwyn)
o [I CAN’T RECALL THE DETAILS HERE] – but I think is’s a retainer to the Count of the Eastern Marches

3rd Prince of Rohan has been facilitating weapons for drugs trade with the orcs of the far north. The orcs grow the drugs – which are shipped as seeds and exchange them for weapons of a higher quality than they can normally manufacture.

The drug is a liquid that:
a. Has an effect much like alcohol without the hangover
b. One can learn to “sober up” and very quickly overcome the effects if one concentrates
c. Is dangerously and quickly addictive. So much so that stopping the drug has proven fatal in a number of cases

The King of Rohan has been addicted to it. The 1st Prince is working against the 3rd Prince.
The 2nd Prince also seems to take the drug, but he’s more interested in his scientific research than running the country

The 3rd Prince has cultivated a loyal following along the eastern provinces of Rohan such that the Rohan leaders loyal to the Empire are afraid that the 3rd Prince could bring in large armies from the east if provoked.

There are two castles in the main part of Rohan whose castellans/stewards are also in the pocket of the 3rd prince. One castle (“B”) is the primary destination for the raw seeds for the drug – and is where this shipment of seeds was headed. The Steward there runs an operation to refine the seeds into the drug. He seems to be holding the processing method as a closely guarded secret. The other castle (“A”) is well known as having the best armory in Rohan and manufactures some of the best human-made weaponry in the known world.

The 4th leader of the group – the Count of the Eastern Marches – has fled south along the main road – leaving just before twilight of the night of the attack.

Using Stormdancer and other tracking spells, the Party has tracked him fairly successfully. They got close at one inn along the way, but the Count was able to extend his lead a bit and managed to hire a river barge heading south on the Great River Anduin.

The Party has hired a barge of their own – managing to hire a very experienced Captain who claims to have the best barge on that part of the river – having an apparent edge of about 2 knots over the Count’s barge. Araphor has managed to improve that edge even more with is current spells, so that the Party’s barge is traveling 5 knots faster than their quarry.

We left the game with the Party closing in on the Count who is approaching the most trafficked crossing point between the western and eastern parts of the Empire.


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