The Huntington Campaign

Session 18 (A.D. 509)
The Birthday Feast of Queen Margawse

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Game Location: May 27, 2016, at the Guild Hall’s Arena.

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

King Lot & Queen Margawse Come to Visit
King Lot and Queen Margawse visited Beale Valet while journeying to London (where Lot planned to attempt pulling Excalibur from the stone). Their three sons, Gawaine (age 14), Agravaine (age 13) and Gaheris (age 11), also made the trip. Their stay in Huntington County coincided with the queen’s birthday, and therefore Earl Dafydd celebrated the event with a grandiose feast. King Lot is a Cyrmic Pagan and the ruler of the northern Kingdom of Lothian. During the reign of Uther Pendragon, he conquered the Orkney Islands, subjugating the Pictish population therein. His wife, Queen Margawse, is extremely beautiful and is the oldest child of Duke Gorlois and Lady Igraine. Upon first seeing her, men typically feel a kind of lustful, dizzying sensation fall upon them. Like her sister, Morgan le Fay, Margawse is rumored to be a serious practitioner of magic.

Margawse’s Birthday Celebration, and Prince Agravaine’s Ire
Many people presented Queen Margawse with birthday presents. Agravaine, being a dim-witted, unimaginative lout, merely gave her wildflowers. He felt upstaged by anyone who gave a gift that Margawse thought was particularly special. Sir Galien (who gave the queen a special fig cake) and Squire Thelsadar (who gave her a set of silver snowflake earrings) in particular noticed Agravaine glaring at them. The other player-characters seemed to have avoided making Agravaine’s enemy list.

The birthday celebration included a dance contest with the player-characters teamed with some of Margawse’s ladies-in-waiting. As an interesting side note, the images the GM used for the maidens were that of Disney princesses (Belle, Elsa, Merida, Rapunzel, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White & Jasmine). Sir Damahaut and Belle came in first place (Damahaut, although normally a poor dancer, managed to roll a critical success in the final round).

A Horrific Theft
On the day the royal couple were to leave for London, Margawse came upon a large raven with red claws and a red beak pilfering her silver snowflake earrings. The startled creature dropped one of them while taking flight and escaping through a window. Earl Dafydd was, naturally, outraged and declared to decisively put a stop to the thievery that has plagued the county for the past few years. Margawse put an enchantment on the earring that fell to the floor and gave it to Sir Turpin. The spell would be activated by the light of the sun on the next Spring Equinox, guiding whoever held it to its mate. Once the set of earrings was restored, the player-characters would be received in Orkney Isles by a hero’s welcome.

Pure Companionship
Squire Folkvar initiated Pure Companionship with Blancheva, a Cymric Christian and daughter of Sir Elihfrit (a mercenary knight) and Lady Gynente. His rival turned out to be Squire Pedius, the nephew of Sir Drusus, a vassal knight of Brun. Drusus and his family are a Pendragon version of modern era Italian mob. Drusus tried to talk Folkvar out of seeing Blancheva (saying, “Please, don’t break my nephew’s heart”) but Folkvar refused, citing that he believed it to be God’s will that he and Blancheva eventually be together.

Squire Thelsadar initiated Pure Companionship with Sorcha O’Farren, an Irish Pagan and daughter of Sir Casey (a banneret knight) and Lady Una. His rival turned out to be Squire Fabian, a handsome, accomplished, highly skilled, and incredibly conceited fellow. Fabian’s right-hand man is a page named Karl. Fabian figured that Thelsadar had no chance of beating him in winning the affections of Sorcha, so in the spirit of good sportsmanship, he gave Thelsadar a list of the names of other suitable maidens to pursue instead. Thelsadar declined to end his Pure Companionship with Sorcha.

Sir Galien Receives a Damascene Sword
One of the mounted Saxon knights Sir Galien killed during the Battle for London was Sir Arnlaug Folkbiornsson, who was responsible for killing a Cyrmic vassal knight, Sir Clagran, as well as his two sons. Arnlaug came upon the three when they were in the woods and unarmed (while he was mounted and armed) so their deaths were a dishonorable travesty.

Moreover, all of Sir Clagran’s estate (located near the Town of Chelmsford in what is now Essex) has been overrun by Saxons, causing his widow, the Lady Annane, to go into exile. Annane is now a middle-aged woman and living in Cambridge. Upon hearing that Sir Galien killed Arnlaug, she traveled to Beale Valet to give him Clagran’s sword, a Damascene blade, called Lion’s Fang. It has a carved lion’s head on its pummel.

Order of St. Michael
Abbot Leovain of Ramsey Abbey (in the north-eastern area of Huntington County) has formed a new fellowship of knights called the Order of St. Michael. The purpose of this order is to vigilantly patrol the northern sections of the county, including sections of Landoine Forest and the Fens. The Order of St. Michael is only open to Christian knights who possess a high degree of religious fervor and spiritual discipline. Moreover, they renounce all lands and own possessions in common. They may be married, so long as their wives are devoted Christians who agree to be initiated into a woman’s branch of the order known as the Sisterhood of St. Michael. They spend a lot of time in prayer and works of humble charity. These knights and their ladies dwell within a commune enclosed by a palisade. The knight who current heads the Order of St. Michael is Sir Athras. His title as such is “Grandmaster Knight.”

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Session 17 (A.D. 508)
The Battle for London, Part 4

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Game Location: April 15, 2016, at the Guild Hall in the Arena classroom.

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Jaufre – Occitanian Christian, was played by James P.
Donecus – Roman Jew, was played by John S.

NPC Squires (& the knights each is currently serving)
Dru – Sir Jaufre
Dutetre – Sir Turpin
Janyn – Sir Romulus
Leidorf – Sir Donecus
Meliantin – Sir Galien
Orlando – Sir Damahaut
Titus – Sir Celsus

The Battle for London, Part 4
The player-character’s attack on Lud’s Castle in London continued with combat inside the keep. Many of the characters were wounded from the earlier fight in the castle’s courtyard (see Sessions 14-16), and about half of their footmen were either dead or incapacitated by this point. Facing off against them was the Saxon captain, accompanied by 5 notable knights, 2 berserks, a sergeant, 12 footmen (four of which wielding axes), and 4 Battle Ogres.

To better ensure victory, the following player-characters attempted passion rolls (loyalty lord), and each was successful: Celsus, Damahaut, Donecus, Folkvar, Galien, Jaufre, Romulus, Thelsadar and Turpin. Moreover, the following squires successfully became impassioned: Orlando & Titus. Romulus actually rolled a critical success in this endeavor.

Both berserks became impassioned at the onset of combat, and naturally elected to put the resulting bonus into their great axe skills. As a side note, the Huntington Campaign does not use the berserk combat rule, but rather substitutes it with the standard passion rules for this sort of thing (i.e., a berserk goes berserk by successfully his passion of Love (Wotan).

Early in the combat, Sir Damahaut managed to break the great axe of one of the berserks, and a Huntington footman did the same to the great axe of the other berserk. Naturally, this was of immense benefit to the party!

After a prolonged and heated battle, the player-characters triumphed and captured Lud’s Castle. While the characters rested and administered first aid, a Cymric healer named Argus arrived saying that he had to clean Turpin’s wounds with special bandages, which would accelerate the healing process. He claimed that Turpin’s wife, Solei, had given him the bandages as well as these instructions. Turpin permitted him to treat his wounds, and then Argus left. Over time, Turpin noticed that his wounds healed at the normal rate of speed, and when he eventually returned home he discovered that Solei knew nothing about this healer or the bandages.

Moreover, the other Cymric forces were victorious in the other areas of assault upon London (see the battle plan outline in Session 14). London was rescued from Saxon control!

Victory Celebration
Religious services were conducted (including Mass in St. Paul’s Cathedral) and a huge feast was held. Having so many British heroes in the city was a great opportunity to see if the future High King was present, so all the nobles attempted to draw Excalibur from the stone and anvil. This included all the player-characters, but none of them were successful (not surprising; one had to roll a “natural 21” on a d20). Alas, the identity of the future High King remained a mystery.

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Session 16 (A.D. 508)
The Battle for London, Part 3

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Game Location: Feb. 19, 2016, at the Guild Hall in the Arena classroom.

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Jaufre – Occitanian Christian was played by Ron W.
Guest: Kevin Ging

NPC Squires (& the knights each is currently serving)
Dru – Sir Jaufre
Dutetre – Sir Turpin
Janyn – Sir Romulus
Leidorf – Sir Donecus
Meliantin – Sir Galien
Orlando – Sir Damahaut
Titus – Sir Celsus

The Battle for London, Part 3 (In the Courtyard of Lud’s Castle)
The entire session was spent concluding the fight in the courtyard of Lud’s Castle in London. In addition to the various Saxon defenders going one-on-one against the player-characters and their allies, Saxon’s appeared on the roof of the keep hurling down stones. At the end of the session, the forces from Huntington County had either killed or incapacitated all the enemy in the courtyard, and were able to take a few moments for first aid. Sir Donecus and Squire Leidorf were restored to consciousness and made combat ready. Unfortunately, nine of the Huntington footmen were either killed or incapacitated.

The Huntington forces then smashed open the doors of the keep and advanced to a large chamber. Therein, facing them and ready for a scrap, was the Saxon captain, accompanied by 5 notable knights, 2 berserks, a sergeant, 12 footmen (four of which wielding axes), and 4 Battle Ogres. Here is where we had to freeze the action until the next session.

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Session 15 (A.D. 508)
The Battle of London, Part 2

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Game Location: Jan. 8, 2016, at the Guild Hall in the Arena classroom.

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Jaufre – Occitanian Christian was played by Ron W.
Guest: Kevin G.

NPC Squires (& the knights each is currently serving)
Dru – Sir Jaufre
Dutetre – Sir Turpin
Janyn – Sir Romulus
Leidorf – Sir Donecus
Meliantin – Sir Galien
Orlando – Sir Damahaut
Titus – Sir Celsus

The Battle of London, Part 2 (In the Courtyard of Lud’s Castle)
The Battle of London continued during Session 15. The player-characters, their squires and footmen were still fighting in the courtyard of Lud’s Castle, gradually dimensioning the Saxon defenders. A horn blast was heard from the roof of the keep, and shortly afterwards Saxon reinforcements attacked from the midst of the city. These troops included a squad of axemen, their sergeant and (most dangerously) four Battle Ogres. A Battle Ogre is one that is a bit more intelligent than standard ogres, and is allied with Saxons. In return for their service, the Saxon give them enhanced weapon training, weapons and armor, and a share in the loot they capture.

Notable events during Session 15 included the slaying of one of the Battle Ogres as well as a number of Saxons. But at this stage in the battle, the troops from Huntington County have lost seven footmen, and both Sir Donecus and Squire Leidorf have been rendered unconscious.

There was not enough time to finish the Battle for London on Jan. 8, so it will continue during the February game session. Because the keep of Lud’s Castle has not yet been breached (let alone captured), at least one more session, possibly two, will be needed to conclude the adventure of A.D. 508. As we know from previous Pendragon campaigns, this is to be expected when large battles take place in this game.

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Session 14 (A.D. 508)
The Battle of London, Part 1

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Game Location: Dec. 11, 2015, at the Guild Hall in the Arena classroom.

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Rumors
Picts have been invading the kingdoms of the North since A.D. 504.
Picts and pagan Cymri from the North have been invading Cumbria since A.D. 507.

Background
In September of A.D. 507 (i.e., after the last Huntington Campaign adventure), the Saxon King Eosa of Sussex joins forces with the Jutes under Earl Cynfrith of Kent to lay seize to the City of London. In exchange of a promise of not being sacked, the city surrendered. The City Council, footsoldiers, and citizenry are now occupied by Saxons and Jutes under the direct rule of a vassal of Eosa known as Baron Gudrick.

Mini-Adventure
The mini-adventure is based upon a rumor from Banbury Fair (i.e., last game session):
“There is a handsome minstrel named Dygmon who tours taverns and town squares throughout Logres. He has the reputation of being a womanizer, and takes pride in his amorous conquests the way a knight takes pride in his jousting record. Now it seems he has gone too far. It is said that he started secretly meeting with none other than the Lady Synduil, the young teenage daughter of Earl Dafydd!”

Earl Dafydd told the PCs that he ordered Dygmon to stop seeing Synduil. He said he would, but still saw her. The earl then jailed Dygmon, but released him after Synduil started a hunger stike. The earl impresses upon the PCs the seriousness of this situation:

  • Synduil needs to eventually be free (and be a virgin) for an arranged marriage to serve for the benefit of the future of Huntington County.
  • No marriage with a common minstrel is possible or desirable.
  • If Dygmon gets her pregnant, she becomes “damaged goods” in terms of benefiting the county, and her future is likely ruined as well.

The Earl looked at the PCs with a very grave expression and told them to visit Dygmon and “…explain the matter to him. You’ve dealt with Saxon raiders and Regmar the Brigand King, so I have every confidence that you will be able to deal with a troublesome troubadour.”

The players decided to send two of the squires, Folkvar and Thelsadar to confront Dygmon. They found him in a tavern, whereupon he started spouting socialist jargon in the manner of Dennis the Peasant from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (i.e., “Oh, squire eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers, by hanging onto outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society”).

He even sang a song he penned, which went as follows:
“Born into nobility
is just luck with the human species.
You could have easily been born a farmer
and spend your life shoveling piggy feces.”

Folkvar & Thelsadar basically threatened his life, and Dygmon cowered, agreeing to journey to mainland Europe. Nevertheless, he complained about not having traveling money, and Folkvar gave him 10 s.

The Demon & the Rat Men
The following event took place with Sir Galien in the Estate of Seven Pines. In the middle of the night, Galien heard some strange noises within his shell keep and bailey. He armed himself and found the guard outside his treasure room in a state of enchanted daze. Within the chamber were two armed men wearing black cloaks, going through his stash. They indentified themselves as "treaure hunters (rather than common thieves) and told Galien to go back to bed, promising not to clean him completely out. When Galien refused to go, they warned that he would not want to be around “when Pazbach arrives.”

Galien decide to engage them in combat, wounding one. The “treasure hunters” then started undergoing a strange process of transformation. Galien killed one of them, but the other completed the transformation, appearing as a kind of rat man.

Moreover, a 7’ tall demonic looking figure appeared in the hall, having horns, fangs & gray feathered wings. For some reason, this creaure (evidently Pazbach), was also wearing the costume of a court jester. Galien’s sword was not able to harm either the rat man nor the creature.

Galien decided to back up down the hall in hope of fetching his silver-tipped spear. But a sulfruous cloud of smoke errupted in the treasure room, and the demon, rat man and body of the thief had vanished (along with 600 shillings from Galien’s treasure trove). On the floor near the place where the thief’s body was, Galien discovered a magic ring. Upon consultation with Theronde the Sage, he found out that the ring (the Ring of the Enchanted Eye) allows the wearer to see at night, or to see clearly things and areas at great distance.

Background
In September of A.D. 507 (i.e., after the last Huntington Campaign adventure), Saxon King Eosa of Sussex joined forces with the Jutes under Earl Cynfrith of Kent to lay seize to the City of London. In exchange of a promise of not being sacked, the city surrendered. The City Council, footsoldiers, and citizenry are now occupied by Saxons and Jutes under the direct rule of a vassal of Eosa known as Baron Gudrick.

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The Battle of London (Summer of A.D. 508)
A coalition of Logres forces banded together to take back London.
• Earl Gilbert of Hertford (who has already lost a number of residents as war refugees), led an attack against Ludgate. After punching through, they secured St. Paul’s Cathedral, turning it into a stronghold and a house of healing for the wounded.
• Earl Dafydd of Huntington and his forces followed into Ludgate and attacked south-west sections of the city. The player-characters, along with their squires and two squads of footmen, were tasked with taking & holding Lud’s Castle (a.k.a., Baynard’s Castle).
• Countess Iblivere of Rydychan sent forces for the joint attack on the Postern Gate / White Tower.
• Baron Meilyr of Tribruit sent forces for the joint attack on the Postern Gate / White Tower.
• Baron Garmon of Brun sent forces for the joint attack on the Postern Gate / White Tower. Baron Garmon was considered the commander of this particular attack.
• Earl Macsen of Lonazep does not have a very big army. He augmented his troops with conscripts, and positioned his forces in the vicinity of Moorgate and Cripplegate, giving the appearance that these gates were threatened by attack. Nevertheless, the purpose of this force was to draw Saxon defenders away from Ludgate and Posterngate, as well as to protect the allies’ primary supply line from any attacks that might issue from within the city (the primary supply line extended northward along the King’s Highway that connects London with the City of Hertford.

Duke Ulfius of Silchester & Earl Robert of Salisbury led forces of mounted knights south of Thames River to intercept any reinforcements sent from the Saxon and Jute territories. They attacked and secured Southwerk, using it as an outpost. This also made the Saxons in the city think that Belin’s Gate was another likely place to be attacked, and consequently drew troops away from Lud’s Gate and Postern Gate to reinforce it.

Folkvar and Thelsadar each were given a squad of 10 footsoldiers to command. The following NPC squires were teamed up with the following player-characters:

Dru – Sir Jaufre
Dutetre – Sir Turpin
Janyn – Sir Romulus
Leidorf – Sir Donecus
Meliantin – Sir Galien
Orlando – Sir Damahaut
Titus – Sir Celsus

Using their footmen to wield a battering ram, the player-characters burst through the gatehouse of Lud’s Castle and engaged the Saxon defenders in the fortification’s courtyard. The Saxon forces included mounted knights, a berserker, sergeants and footsoldiers.

At the end of the session, the forces of Huntington County were starting to show the advantage. Not only were a number of Saxon footmen slain or knocked unconscious, but they had also lost some of their key troops (i.e., a berserker, a knight and a sergeant). In terms of the forces from Huntington County, so far there were no losses (indeed, the footmen have been basically hanging out unthreatened in the gatehouse while the knights and squires wailed on the Saxons).

There was not enough time to complete the Battle for London on Dec. 11, 2015, so it was scheduled to resume during Huntington Campaign Session 15 on Jan. 8, 2016.

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Session 13 (A.D. 507)
The Doomsday Song

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Game Location: Nov. 20, 2015, at Ron W.’s house (Wheat Field Circle in Bluffton, SC).

NOTE: The aspects of this session that specifically involved Sir Lenton of Rydychan and the Doomsday Song Contest are collectively a Royal Insignia Adventure, based on the Twilight Zone episode, “Mr. Denton on Doomsday.”

ROLL CALL:
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Absent (but only due to a losey wifi connection at the medical facility he was confined to):
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian

Mini-Adventure
Sir Omulf, an avid hunter, visited Beale Valet and took some of the characters on some wondrous hunting trips.

Rumor
No one has been able to draw the sword from the stone in London yet.

The special rigged chest, designed with a trap to release a cloud of sleep gas, has remained untouched in Earl Davydd’s treasure room. As detailed in the log for Session 12, this chest contains ordinary rocks, but the characters released some rumors stating that it was a stash of diamonds. The idea was formulated by Squire Folkvar as a means of capturing the thief (or thieves) responsible for the mysterious burglaries which have plagued Huntington County for years.

Background
The main adventure of Session 13 involved traveling to the Barony of Tribruit for the very first Banbury Fair. Baron Meilyr and the Baroness Daygla decided to host a gathering in field outside the large walled city of Banbury (incorrectly marked on the Pendragon map as Tribruit Castle). The idea was to promote peaceful endeavors such as art & culture to show that despite the brutality of the dark times people were living in, Logres was still a place of civilization. The plans for Banbury Fair included competitions centered around art, dance, singing, poetry and theater.

When asked why, Baron Meilyr said, “Well someone has to do it! Besides, it’s civilized. Civilization should have a few gentle hobbies.”

NOTE: John H. received a glory bonus for being the first to correctly recognize this quote as having come from “Camelot” (the musical).

A number of people from Huntington County went to the fair, including the characters, their wives, Earl Dafydd, Countess Lanna, and their children Faulkas & Synduil, as well as Theronde the Sage.

The Yellow Rose
During the journey to the Banbury Fair, the characters went on a hunting foray and came upon a river with several pavilions near its bank. Guarding the ford to a small island in the river was a big knight named Sir Maldyn. On the island was a bush bearing a single yellow rose. Also present were three noblewomen: Duchess Bethan, Countess Maygan and Baroness Glendys.

The bush is known for bearing a single yellow rose each year on the same day. According to local tradition, the rose should only go to the “goodliest of women” and must be plucked within the noon hour. Moreover, a champion is needed to defeat Sir Maldyn in order to win the right to secure the rose. Any deviation from the tradition will invite ill fortune upon those involved.

Sir Maldyn was a hardy foe: recouperating in the pavilions were the would-be champions the three noblewomen brought. Because the noonday hour was almost over, there was no time for the characters to bring their wives (and the lady who is to recieve the rose must be present at the ford).

Each of the noblewoman desired one of the character-knights to be her champion. Bethan & Maygan acted very mean and spoiled, declaring themselves to be the prettiest, and berated Glendys. Glendys did not defend herself, and looked like her feelings were hurt, but she did not leave. Unlike the elegantly clad other ladies, Glendys was clad in well-worn outdated fashions, and the others denounced her and her husband as being veritable paupers.

On the side, one of Bethan’s squires let it be known that his lady would reward whoever won her the rose with certain illicit favors (“Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!”). One of Maygan’s squires let it be known on the side that his lady was rich and would make it “worth the while” for any knight to get the rose for her.

The decision was made for Sir Galien to be Baroness Glendys’ champion and he jousted with Sir Maldyn, which ended up in a duel for “first blood.” Galien won, and gave the yellow rose to an extremely delighted Glendys. Moreover, she said that her gratitude would extend to all the noble knights of Huntington County, being in their debt.

Banbury Fair
Also on the way the characters came upon Sir Lenton of Rydychan singing drunkenly. He was once renown for having the greatest singing voice in all of Britain, but since then he became a total drunkard, destroying his voice with alcohol. He once competed with a young knight for the hand of a lady, and defeated him in a singing contest. The young knight committed suicide, and Lenton has felt very guilty over this ever since, seeking solace in the bottle.

Nevertheless, Lenton intends to enter the singing contest at Banbury Fair, which everyone suspects he will not only lose, but in a disasterous way.

At Banbury Fair, it was determined that the characters would represent Huntington County in the following competitions:
Acting Contest: Galien
Dancing Contest: Romulus
Poetry Contest: Celsus
Instrumental Music Contest: Jaufre
Singing Contest: Thelsadar

After the preliminary aspects of the contests were over, but before the final competitions, Thelsadar came across a wandering peddlar who claimed to be a “dealer in everything” including potions. Knowing that the squire was in the singing contest, he allowed him to sample a potion in a small, square bottle made from orange glass. Fatum called it a “Fast Singing Voice Developer”, which makes the person who drinks it able to sing with a wondrous voice over the next seven minutes. Discovering that the potion did, indeed, work, Thesladar bought it for the contest.

Rumors Discovered at the Fair
The following rumors were uncovered during the various events of Banbury Fair:

“Three grim-looking knights are around who have tunics displaying a silver star in the middle of a black triangle. They have no proper sense of fashion, coming to an elegant fair wearing travel-worn cloaks and mud-splattered boots. They did not seem interested in any of the festivities, but were instead asking about a knight named Sir Turpin and his wife, the Lady Solei.”

“Lots of people can hardly take their eyes off of the beautiful Lady Claressant of Thaddeus Hall. But Sir Kenmark was leering at her with an intense lustful gaze of the most venomous sort.”

(NOTE: In A.D. 499, which was Huntington Campaign Session 5, Kenmark lost to Celsus in a duel associated with the Honorable Challenge of the Huntington & Brun Squires. Kenmark was a member of the Company of the Iron Fist who was compared with the Black Panther)

“There is a handsome minstrel named Dygmon who tours taverns and town squares throughout Logres. He has the reputation of being a womanizer, who takes pride in his amorous conquests the way a knight takes pride in his jousting record. Now it seems he has gone too far. It is said that he started secretly meeting with none other than the Lady Synduil, the young teenage daughter of Earl Dafydd!”

“The Fens are a very dark and dangerous place. I heard that Duke Derman of Anglia sent some of his troops into the Fens to try to find a secret way to attack Huntington County. They were never heard from again!”

Contests at the Fair
The poetry contest specifically involved crafting a poem about Doomsday, based upon the contestant’s religious views (i.e., the Book of Revelation for Christians, the Day of the Lord from Judaism, Ragnarok from Wotanism, and the falling of the heavens into earth for pagans). The singing contest involved crafting a Doomsday song from the poem and then singing it.

The final results of the compitions were:
Acting Contest: Sir Galien vs. Baron Eemil. Galien won.

Dancing Contest: Sir Romulus vs. Sir Danilo. Danilo won.

Poetry Contest: Sir Celsus vs. Sir Gian. Gian won.

Musical Instrument Contest: Sir Jaufre vs. Sir Bruno. Bruno actually suffered a heart attack and died during his performance. Jaufre wins.

Singing Contest: Squire Thelsadar against none other than Sir Lenton! After arriving at Banbury Fair, the drunken Lenton was suddenly able to sing with brillance, making his way to the final round. When he squared off against Thelsadar, he was seen drinking from a small, square orange bottle. It seems that Lenton had done some shopping with Fatum as well! Empowered by the Fast Singing Voice Developer potions, both Thesladar and Lenton sang with awe-inspiring brillance. It was a hard thing for the judges to call, and the decision came down to a 2 to 2 tie. The fifth judge who had the tie-breaking vote turned out to be none other than the Baroness Glendys! Stepping to the stage, adorned with the yellow rose Galien won for her, she cast her vote for Thesladar. After all, she felt indebted not only to Galien, but to Huntington County, and was more than happy to vote for the Huntington representative.

A Treasure Map?
The characters who won contests were awarded chests containing various prize items. At a later point, Galien noticed that his chest had a small secret compartment compartment with a scrap of paper. Written on the paper (in Latin) was the following message;

The search begins at the lucky stone of the Usk River.
Venture there at noon on a sunny day.
Take a sundial.
And a shovel.
And a fast horse.
And a sword and shield.
Ensure that no one is looking.
Walk 20 paces to the north.
Then walk 7 paces to the west.
Dig about 3 feet until you find the leather bag.
Leave as quickly as possible.

Another Theft in Huntington County!
When the characters returned to Huntington County, it was discovered that a theft occured in Earl Dafydd’s treasure room. Somehow, someone managed to get the sleeping potion out of the rigged chest without otherwise disturbing the chest (the lock and chains were intact). The potion was used to render the guards in the area unconscious. A chest of coins was stolen, and written on the wall in charcoal was the following poem:

“It seems Folkvar’s plan was set in motion:
a chained-up chest and a Solei potion.
Although truth is not my specialty,
I know false rumor from reality.

Still, while you were at Banbury Fair,
I came to accept your little dare.

I am not one thwarted by locks;
so I took some coins…

…you keep the rocks."

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Session 12 (A.D. 506)
The Reckoning of Regmar the Brigand King

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Game Location: Oct. 23, 2015, at Ron W.’s house (Wheat Field Circle in Bluffton, SC).

Roll Call
Alex S: Thelsadar (Squire) – Cymric Pagan from the Barony of Brun, Logres [New Character]
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian

Present via video connection from hospital room:
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian from the City of Lindum (a.k.a, Lincoln), Logres

Absent:
Robbie W: Riorden O’Fergus – Irish Pagan
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew
Because the presence of Donecus was crucial to this particular adventure, Eric the Cleric ran him an a N.P.C., with John H. assisting with some of his dice rolls.

Mini-Adventure
David C. explained his plan to trap the highly skilled and elusive thief (or thieves) who has been plaguing the County of Huntington over the past few years. With the assistance of Earl Dafydd, they purchased a chest and commissioned the blacksmiths of Beale Valet to construct a study chain to encase it. Moreover, it was locked and placed within the earl’s treasury. The group allowed rumors to leak that the chest was filled with diamonds from the fairy realm. This idea harkens back to the rescue mission of Sir Kendrick which included exploring the rumor of a stash of diamonds (see the recap of Huntington Campaign Session 10). In reality, the chest had a bunch of worthless rocks, and a magic potion concocted by Solei. The whole thing was rigged to cause the potion to billow out in a gaseous form when opened. The gas is designed to render anyone in the area unconscious.

The chest remained in the earl’s treasury untouched throughout the game session.

It was also during this game session that Damahaut’s birthmark mysteriously vanished, and that he had improved in his overall appearance. He told the others that Joanette had a mystically vision of an angel who gave her a rose, instructing her to use its petals to brew tea for her husband. She did as she was instructed, and Damahaut drank the tea. This is the means by which Damahaut received the mystical power that benefits whomever Joanette married. As a physical manifestation of the holy power the tea conveyed, it also improved his appearance.

New Squire
Alex S. created Thelsadar, a Cymric Pagan from the Barony of Brun. He now lives in the Town of Beale Valet (Huntington County) and joined the Company of the Crimson Hawk. He is also being squired under Sir Damahaut.

Rumor & Background to the Adventure
(Sylvia D., her Imperial Highness, assisted Eric the Cleric in formulating this)

Not far away, in the Barony of Brun, is the Estate of Cinder Hall. The lord of the Estate was a banneret knight, a Cymric named Sir Accovar. His wife was a beautiful French woman named Lady Katia. Sir Accovar had 5 vassal knights in his service. Two years ago, Regmar the Brigand King, demanded that Accovar sever ties with the Baron of Brun and instead serve him. Moreover, it is said that there was something about the Estate of Cinder Hall that Regmar was greatly interested in.

Sir Accovar refused! Therefore, Regmar sent his dreaded Black Shields to kidnap the Lady Katia. But Accovar and his knights were vigilant and intercepted the Black Shields. An intense battle arose! We’re talking VI – O – LENCE! But, alas, Accovar and his men were overcome and slain. Accovar, in particular, was decapitated. Overwhelmed with grief over the death of her husband, Katia committed suicide by drowning herself in the well next to their manor house.

Accovar and Katia had no heir, and so the land went back into the demesne of the baron. But the estate seemed to be under a curse most foul. Twisted trees and shrubs overgrew the area, and the fields ceased producing nothing but thistles and the merest scraps of grain and vegetables. The peasants were relocated to other farms, and gladly did they go! The Estate of Cinder Hall, including its large manor house, was abandoned.

Moreover, on more than one occasion, terrified travelers have reported seeing a bone-chilling, macabre sight in the moonlit woods of Cinder Hall. A headless, armored rider upon a black steed, accompanied by a mounted band of five spectral knights! They roam throughout the mist-laden forest, bringing mutilation and death to all who dare venture therein.

The Mournful Mirror
The players whose characters are knights engaged in a game of High Card, with Ron being the winner. As a result, the following event happened on his estate, Rook’s Watch.

In the spring of A.D. 506, a wandering French friar named Milo visited Rook’s Watch, asking for hospitality. He left early the next day, never mentioning where he is heading. A silver hand mirror was discovered in the guest room he used. Joanette decided to keep it, to return it to the friar if he ever passed by again, and overtime she seemed to become captivated with it.

Sometimes when picked up, the mirror seemed to cast no reflection, only darkness. But then it would start displaying a reflection, as any mirror should. Was the strange darkness it just a trick of the light?

One day Damahaut heard Joanette screaming and found her in a room with the mirror. After picking up the mirror to use it, she did not see her own image, but instead the face of another woman. This other woman appeared ghostly, white and transparent. The female phantom was crying, although she made no sound. The image quickly faded, and the mirror once more acted as normal.

Joanette then started having nightmares where she was visited by this ghost woman. In these dreams, the ghost was able to talk to her, identifying herself as Lady Katia of Cinder Hall. Here is the story that Katia related in the dreams. After Regmar killed her husband Accovar and his knights, he cursed their corpses. Accovar’s head was thrown into the well next to the manor house of Cinder Hall. The rest of his body rises up each night, bound to the service of Regmar, guarding the estate. The five knights who served Accovar were transformed into wraiths, assisting their lord in his vicious task of murdering any trespassers.

The Lady Katia did not actually commit suicide. She believed that if the head of Accovar is reunited with his body, the curse would be lifted. Unfortunately, she injured herself in the well while trying to retrieve his head and drown. Now her spirit roams the land and can find no rest until her husband is free, and Regmar receives justice.

The Headless Rider
The group decided to put the theory of Lady Katia to the test, and venture to the Estate of Cinder Hall and confront the Sir Accovar, the Headless Rider, and his spectral knights. Based on the advice of Theondre the Sage, the knights had spears crafted with silver spear tips. They were also told that their best chance was to combat this undead menace at dusk, in the hour before nightfall.

While it was still daylight, they were able to retrieve the skull of Accovar from the well. Later, while it was dusk, Accovar and his wraith companions did, indeed, arrive and do battle with the party. Things were not looking well for the stalwart heroes, and Thelsadar was even struck dead. But Damahaut managed to get the skull close enough to Accovar to dispel the curse! The wraiths vanished, as did the skull. The visage of Accovar transformed into a phantom, complete with head, and able to converse. At his side appeared the ghost of Lady Katia. Moreover, all the damage the characters had sustained vanished due to the fact that it was spectral in nature and as the curse was undone, so were the wounds. This meant that Thesadar was not actually killed!

They thanked the party for lifting the curse, and revealed that the reason why Regmar was so interested in his estate was because it contained an entrance into his realm. As has been long suspected, Regmar has customarily used an enchantment to relocate his lair in another dimension, possibly part of the farie realm. This, after all, explained how he could continually use Landoine Forest as his base of operations without his stronghold ever being discovered (despite Earl Dafydd repeatedly sending in troops to find it).

Regmar the Brigand King – The Final Battle
Accovar explained that he and his wife only had a short time to remain in the company of the party, but they would do them a last service to assist in defeating Regmar. They led the group to a river, and upon submerging in it, they were transported to a long, stone-lined hall within some kind of vast structure. The hall opened into a great hall where Regmar, fully armored and clad in a closed helm, had gathered his elite warriors, the Black Shields. There were also several brigands of the more common variety.

The ghosts of Accovar and Katia rushed into the room, terrifying all those therein. The common brigands fled through some doorways, but Regmar and the Black Shields summoned enough courage to resist the frightful effects. Accovar and Katia then dissipated, their time in the mortal realm having run out.

Battle between the brigands and the party erupted. Donecus managed to strike Regmar with his magic sword, which was enchanted with a slaying power directed against Regmar. Regmar screamed, but managed to resist the blade’s deadly magic (in game terms, he made his CON check, even though it was at a penalty). Hence, he was wounded, but not killed, and managed to knock Donecus out with a blow from his own weapon, the Mace Malevolence. Damahaut picked up the sword of Donecus with the hope that it would work in his hand. He struck Regmar, and this time the slaying power did its job. It sucked the life force out of Regmar, and therefore ending his long and terrible reign as the Brigand King. The surviving Black Shields surrendered. Upon removing the helmet of Regmar, it was discovered that he was Sir Taurinus, the father of Donecus!

The party recalled when Taurinus was held captive in the prison of Octa the Saxon King, he complained to his fellow prisoner, Sir Emeric, that the life of a mercenary knight was the life of a fool. He lamented constantly risking his life for a handful of silver coins and ultimately wasting away in a dungeon. He escaped from the prison and was never heard from again. Sir Emeric was freed in A.D. 506 whereupon he related this information to the player-characters (see the recap for Huntington Campaign Session 6). Now it is clear that after he escaped, Taurinus decided to forsake the life of a knight and reinvent himself as Regmar the Brigand King. After he discovered the spell book of Minerva, he grew in both power and evil.

The defeat of Regmar has also clarified two things. First of all, unlike what was hinted at earlier, anyone can use Donecus’ magic sword. Secondly, because Donecus elected to have the slaying power of the blade extended to anyone of Regmar’s bloodline, he, himself, is susceptible to it! Did Minerva know that Regmar was Donecus’ father all along? Only Minerva knows for certain, but this could explain why she chose Donecus to be her champion in the first place. It also sheds light of her statements to Donecus, emphasizing that it was not her goal to make him a great and dangerous knight, but to correct the imbalance in nature Regmar had created by perverting her magic. She routinely identified herself as an agent of nature who always seeks to maintain the balance of powers. The fact that the son was chosen to kill the father, and that Donecus has a powerful slaying sword that could also be his own doom, could be seen as an example of this kind of balance.

Shortly after Regmar was killed, the whole building started to shake. Now that Regmar was dead, the magic he used to sustain his stronghold in this alternate dimension commenced to dispel. Galien wrapped the Mace Malevolence in a cloth to bring back to Beale Valet (after all, such a powerful weapon of evil should not be left lying around). The party and their captives managed to rush down the hall and back into the Estate of Cinder Hall.

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Session 11 (A.D. 505)
A Myriad of Marriages

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Game Location: Aug. 28, 2015, at the Guild Hall’s Forge

ROLL CALL
David C.: Folkvar (Squire) – Saxon Christian from the County of Kent, Logres [New Character]
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Absent:
Robbie W: Riorden O’Fergus – Irish Pagan
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian

There was no Mini-Adventure for this session. Instead, as the players arrived, they completed their estate logs from A.D. 504

New Squire
David C. created Folkvar, a Jutish Christian from the County of Kent. He now lives in the Town of Beale Valet (Huntington County) and joined the Company of the Crimson Hawk. He is also being squired under Sir Celsus.

Rumors
As incredible as it seems, no has yet been able to pull Excalibur from the stone in the City of London. As a reminder, in the year 496, Excalibur, the sword of King Uther, mysteriously appeared in the courtyard outside of the Cathedral of St. Paul in London. Moreover, it has somehow been thrust through an anvil which is set upon a stone. Engraved upon the stone was a message saying, “Whoso pulleth this sword from this stone and anvil is likewise king born of all Britain.” The Archbishop of Canterbury invited all the noblemen of the realm to come to London each year at Christmastime to try to draw forth Excalibur. The player-characters who were squires were among the first group to unsuccessfully make the attempt in 496.

The Magic Sword of Sir Donecus
Last session, Donecus agreed to delay having the enchantments on his sword finalized and activated for one more year. In A.D. 505 he brought her the much praised and much maligned herb known as jo jo jo po. This allowed one final enchantment which extended the special slaying power of the sword to target not only Regmar the Brigand King, but also anyone of his bloodline.

Although Minerva has chosen Donecus to be her champion against Regmar, she reminded Donecus that it is not her purpose to make him a great and dangerous knight. She is a servant of nature, and nature always seeks a balance! Regmar has perverted the magic of her spell book and has become a great evil in the local woodlands, and the balance of nature has been offset. Regmar’s death is now called for.

Squires Appointments
Squires (each a member of the Company of the Crimson Hawk) have been assigned to the knights. Note that players rolled to determine the order in which they chose their squires (with Riddle Quest #10 providing bonuses to the rolls).

Folkvar (David C.’s newly created character) became the squire of Celsus. The other squires & knights were matched as follows:

Damahaut – Orlando
Donecus – Leidorf
Galien – Meliantin
Jaufre – Dru
Kendrick (NPC) – Jonwar
Riorden – Titus
Romulus – Janyn
Turpin – Dutetre

A Year of Weddings
Celsus wedding Claressant on the 1st of May so that the anniversary would be in conjunction with the coming of spring.

Damahaut wedded Joanette, arranging for the ceremony to take place at the church in Beale Valet, being the most prestigious church in the area.

Both Galien and Donecus desired the hand of Sigrid in marriage, resulting in a duel. Galien prevailed and wedded Sigrid in a ceremony which included a hunt and hawking contest. Galien and Sigrid released a pair of hawks in a special ritual. Sir Allegard, the Sheriff of the Village of Lanster, attended the wedding, using it as the opportunity to present Galien with a Damascene shield. It was retrieved from the newly discovered stash of Scary Harry, the marsh troll Galien slew in A.D. 501.

Donecus wedded Lisalen O’Shea and his wedding festivities included a fancy dress ball and a guided ghost hunting tour in the surrounding moors.

Jaufre wedded Marianne.

Riorden married Willow in a ceremony that celebrated nature and Celtic splender. As a side note, Riorden was amazed to see that his father was able to attend the wedding, having been cured of the strange disease which had kept him bedridden for years. Riorden’s mother took him in the forest, where the miraculous cure was somehow enacted. Details have not yet been shared.

Romulus dueled with Kendrick over the right to ask Ashildr’s hand in marriage, and won. The wedding festivities included an archery contest for the commoners, and the winner was given a job in Romulus’ garrison.

Turpin dueled with Degarre over the right to ask Solei’s hand in marriage. Degarre, a notable knight, claimed that Solei was promised to him when they were both children, but Solei insisted that he was exaggerating a situation stemming from childhood play. Although the duel was supposed to be non-lethal, Turpin unintentionally dealt Degarre a mortal wound. Solei, however, used her alchemy skills to save his life. The ensuing wedding between Turpin and Solei featured many overly fabulous desserts.

Kendrick wedded Gerhilda.

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Session 10 (A.D. 504)
The Landed Gentry

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Game Location: July 23, 2015, at the house of Ron W. (Wheat Field Circle in Bluffton, SC).

Roll Call
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian
Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Absent: Robbie W: Riorden O’Fergus – Irish Pagan

Guest: David C., who played Riorden on Robbie’s behalf

Mini-Adventure: A Lesson in Stewardship
Theronde the Sage, sensing that the characters would receive their own lands soon, decided to give them lectures in Stewardship. While at his home, some of the characters noticed a book open on his table showing an illustration of a black raven with blood red beak, legs and claws. This, of course, resembled the live raven they saw at the end of Session 9, which was greedily eying the silver and sapphire bracelet belonging Countess Lanna. The Latin text accompanying the picture had the following title, “Veneficia Corvos” (i.e., “sorcery for ravens”). Theronde explained that there was a spell a person could cast on a raven’s egg, allowing it to raise the creature to do his bidding. Having heard about the strange raven which was spotted in Beale Valet, the sage was doing some research, suspecting that all this ties into some of the strange thefts which have been occurring in the region.

The Knighting of Sir Celsus
Squire Celsus was knighted this year, and successfully did the Leap. He is the last original member of the Company of the Crimson Hawk to “receive his spurs.”

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The Huntington Campaign Anniversary Ritual
We started the Huntington Campaign on July 18, 2014, with the first adventure being: “The Battle of St. Albans” (A.D. 495). It took place in the Guild Hall’s Atrium building with the Huntington Campaign having the distinction of being the first event (game or otherwise) held there since it was purchased by the Guild Hall.

Being the Huntington Campaign game for July of 2015, Session 10 included a special anniversary ritual which involved the lighting of a candle dedicated to St. George. The Roll of Membership was then read aloud, being the list of all players and guests at the Pendragon table over the previous 12 months. Although this ritual is meant to also include a mention of character fatalities, there were none to report thus far in the campaign. The names of the characters who had achieved knighthood during the first ten sessions were then announced.

Next, the ritual involved a reminder of how the characters first heard the Prophecy of Caesennia (from Session 5; A.D. 499), and then the prophecy was recited.

The Anniversary Ritual concluded with three brief games of chance: High Roll, Highest Card, and the Hi Lo Card Game. The winners of these contests received game perks.

Rumors
The silver bracelet adorned with sapphires belonging to Countess Lanna, the same one that was used last year in the Quest of Raul the Fool, has been stolen! According to what people are saying, it disappeared from the royal chambers of the Castle of Beale Valet. Earl Dafydd is infuriated and was heard saying “Enough is enough! This plague of thievery must come to an end!” Castle servants are being questioned and soldiers are conducting a house-to-house search throughout the entire county.

Minerva & the Magic Sword
Minerva (the Witch of Raven Wood) told Donecus that it was her old spell book which Regmar the Brigand King found and is currently using. In addition to learning her nature-oriented magic, he has learned demonic magic on his own. For example, he used demonic magic to summon the Hell Steed, and to forge a powerful weapon called the Mace Malevolence.

So far, Minerva has enchanted Donecus’ sword to have the following properties:
1) Enhanced sharpness & balance, resistance to breakage.
2) Protection from demonic magic.
3) Slaying Power vs. Regmar.

However, all these abilities rest within the metal of the sword as latent powers. None of them are in effect until Minerva does the final activation ritual. She was willing to go ahead and do that during this game session, but offered to delay it another year if Donecus wanted to have one additional enchantment placed upon it. If he got her the much praised and much maligned herb known as jo jo jo po, she could make the sword’s special slaying power extend from Regmar to include anyone in his bloodline. Knowing that Regmar has at least three sons who may one day grow to be powerful adversaries, Donecus decided to get the jo jo jo po.

Where is Sir Kendrick?
[Royal Insignia Adventure #1, based on the episode “Where is Everybody” from The Twilight Zone ]

Two quests were available, and Earl Dafydd decided that they would be good tests for Sir Jaufre and Sir Celsus, both of whom were recently knighted. Celsus was randomly determined to go on the first one, involving the search for a knight named Sir Kendrick. Damahaut, Donecus, Riorden and Romulus accompanied him.

According to Theronde the Sage, in A.D. 468, a bachelor knight named Sir Kendrick went to a place called Oakwood in the faerie realm to find a legendary stash of diamonds. His intention was to bring them to King Aurelius whose war chest was almost depleted in his ongoing battle against the evil King Vortigern. Merlin the Magician (as a young man but still renowned for his magical talents) led Kendrick to a faerie ring within the Savauge Forest and used a magic dust derived from the belladonna plant to summon a portal. The enchantment had to be activated at midnight during a special alignment of the stars and planets, and it would only allow a single person to enter. Moreover, the portal was only temporary, and closed at the rising of the sun. Kendrick stepped through it and was never heard from again. King Aurelius later erected a monument in the City of London commemorating Kendrick’s bravery.

In his travels, Theronde acquired a wooden box adorned with an image of the bird known as a merlin. In contained jars of various herbs, most of which were old and useless, but there was one which had fresh belladonna. Theronde determined the belladonna to be enchanted, and theorized that this box once belonged to Merlin. He believed that he could not only reproduce Merlin’s process for making the magic dust, but even improve upon it. Whereas Merlin’s portal would only allow one person to enter, Theronde’s would (theoretically) allow five. But there was no limit as to how many could come back through it, including Kendrick and whatever denizens of the faerie realm deigned to follow! Because the proper alignment of stars and planets had once more occurred (the first time in 36 years), it was time to launch a rescue mission for Kendrick, or at least bring back his remains for a proper Christian burial.

Skipping ahead a bit, Celsusm Damahaut, Donecus and Riorden successfully made it through the portal, leaving the night-shrouded Forest Savauge and appearing in a sunlit forest along a road. The road took them to a tavern which seemed to be fully open for business (plates and mugs on the tables, food cooking in the kitchen, etc.) but no one was there. The road led to Oakwood, which appeared as a typical British town (of Phase 1). Everything seemed in pristine condition, but the place was completely deserted. The town square contained five statues of knights brandishing swords along its borders, and statue of a woman holding a bowl and a sword stood in the center. Each statue was carved from some type of reddish stone, and the bowl contained several uncut diamonds. The diamonds, though, were immaterial; an illusion.

Shortly after this, the knights heard the sound of a harp and a man singing an old Cyrmic folksong. Following the sound, they eventually found Sir Kendrick, who has lived alone in Oakwood for the past 36 years. Nevertheless, he had not aged a day since he stepped through the portal. Kendrick had no idea why a humanlike town was in the faerie realm, nor why it was deserted (although the town’s food and supplies perpetually renewed themselves). Sometimes faeries visited him out of curiosity, but when he asked questions about the mystery of the town, they would simply say, “Well, these things happen.”

Kendrick was more than willing to return to Britain, but not without the stash of diamonds that he came for in the first place. Even though King Aurelius was long dead, Earl Dafydd could use such funds in his battles with the Saxons. During his time in the faerie realm, Kendrick had learned that pouring water from the local well upon the diamonds caused them to obtain material substance, but it also caused the statues to animate and attack any who attempted to take them. The party of knights agreed to assist him, resulting in a big slugfest with these enchanted statues. The party prevailed and managed to get back through the portal before it closed. However, after exiting the faerie realm, they discovered that the diamonds had turned into worthless red stones.

The Angel of Death
[Royal Insignia Adventure #2, based on the episode “One for the Angels” from The Twilight Zone ]

The second quest was undertaken by Jaufre, Galien & Turpin. Three nuns were passing through Beale Valet with a little girl named Enith, the daughter of a knight named Sir Endwalt. The girl was obviously sick, and had to be transported in a carriage. According to the nuns, last year Sir Endwalt and his wife refused hospitality to a poor old woman in ragged clothes. The appearance of the old lady changed to that of a younger woman in elegant attire, who identified herself as Queen Ester of Boston. In anger, she slew Enith’s parents with black magic and pronounced a curse upon Enith, requiring her to journey to the cottage where she was born (a house which is now lying in ruins in the woods near Langston Village). She must be there at midnight on her birthday (i.e., that very night) and must journey into the woods alone, doing this vigil alone. If she did not make it, she would die before the sun rose. Unfortunately, her health was so frail, there was the danger of her dying of exposure regardless of the curse.

If Enith made it to the cottage in time and survived her illness, the curse would only grant her five more years of life, and then kill her regardless of where she was or what she did. The curse could only be broken if a blood relative was there at midnight to give her a drink of wine mixed with a drop of his or her own blood. But her only known relative was an uncle named Sir Ernorbat, who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land six years ago and had not been heard from since. The nuns were to take Enith to the woods and then she was go the rest of the way alone. The knights are to act as escort, and then retrieve her, or her corpse, in the morning.

Along the way, Jaufre encountered a man with black hair and black robes who identified himself as an angel of death. No one else could see or hear him. The angel told Jaufre that his visit was a type of precognition, and that he was destined to die in his sleep that very night. The angel said that an appeal could be granted upon one of three conditions: 1) his death would cause an undue burden upon a wife and children (but Jaufre was not married at the time), 2) he was on the brink of a great discovery that would benefit humanity (which was not applicable to Jaufre, either), or 3) he had a great mission to fulfill. Jaufre said that the latter condition applied, because he had not seen the conclusion of the quest involving Enith. The angel claimed that he had a quota to fill, and if he did not take Jaufre that night then he would certainly take Enith. But the angel then communed with the heavenly choirs and learned that neither the fate of Jaufre nor Enith was set in stone, and both their lives would be spared (at least for the time being) if Enith was saved “…from the bear man.” The Angel of Death then vanished.

After Enith ventured into the woods by herself, a peasant boy came to the knights and told him that he saw a mean looking knight in the forest whose heraldry displayed a red bear on a black shield. This identified him as Sir Sagfallon the Scoundrel. He was overheard speaking to a ghostly apparition of a woman whom he called “Your Majesty.” She said that she wanted “that miserable little brat dead” and that he was to insure that she does not make it out of these woods alive. Could this be the “bear man” the angel spoke of?

A peasant girl (the sister of the boy) then appeared, telling the knights that she saw a crazed looking man wandering in the woods, naked except for a loincloth. He was dirty and disheveled, carried a bag and a huge spiked club, and was muttering “Enith, Enith, Enith.” The party realized that when the angel said to protect Enith from “the bear man”, he could have actually been saying, “bare man.”

The mother of these children then arrived, and told the knights that she saw a savage-looking Saxon warrior, dressed in chainmail and brandishing a sword & shield, stomping through the woods. Instead of a helmet he wore the skull of a bear, and used its bear hide as a mantle. Naturally, this could be the “bear man” destined to threaten Enith.

The three knights had to divide themselves and confront each of these challenges. Jaufre tracked down Sir Sagfallon the Scoundrel and knocked him unconscious in single combat. He later turned him over to the local sheriff.

Jaufre clashed with the Saxon warrior and slew him.

Turpin confronted the “bare man” and learned that he was none other than Sir Ernorbat, the uncle of Enith. He had learned of her plight and wanted to break her curse. Unfortunately, he was waylaid by brigands who robbed him of everything and left him for dead. A poor peasant family gave him a loincloth, sack, portion of wine and knife (they had nothing better to give). They helped him fashion the club in case he encountered more brigands. Exposure had made him sick, resulting in a fever and sneezing fits. Turpin was worried that he was the “bare man” the Angel of Death spoke of, who would unintentionally get Enith sick, causing her to die due to her already frail condition. But Turpin figured that he had to let Ernobat go on his way, because a chance of death was better than certain death. Turpin gave him a cloak and Ernobat eventually found his niece in time, giving her the wine mixed with a drop of his blood. She survived the night and the curse was broken. Although the characters had no way of knowing, fate had determined that Sir Sagfallon would have gotten lost in the woods, but the Saxon warrior would have stumbled upon Enith and Ernobat, killing them both (had he not been stopped). The Saxon, therefore, was the “bear man” the Angel of Death warned the party about.

The Granting of Estates
Earl Dafydd decided to elevate the status of the characters to vassal knights, giving them estates along the south-east border of Huntington County to serve as a buffer between his realm and the Saxons in the Kingdom of Essex. Using the procedure previously determined by Riddle Quest #9, the knights received the following fiefs as grants:

Barrow Hill – Sir Romulus
Madison Wells – Sir Jaufre
Rook’s Watch – Sir Damahaut
Saint’s Ford – Sir Kendrick
Seven Pines – Sir Galien
Thaddeus Hall – Sir Celsus
The Doleful Moors – Sir Donecus
The Fell Marches – Sir Turpin
Wolf Hollow – Sir Riorden

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Session 9 (A.D. 503)
The Quest of Raul the Foole

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Game Location: June 19, 2015, at the Guild Hall’s Arena in Savannah.

Roll Call
James P.: Turpin deLoure – French Christian
John H.: Galien – French Christian
John S.: Celsus – Roman Christian
Josh K.: Romulus – Roman Christian
Robbie W.: Riorden O’Fergus – Irish Pagan
Rod F.: Jaufre – Occitanian Christian
Ron W.: Damahaut – Cymric Christian

Absent: Tony G.: Donecus – Roman Jew

Mini-Adventure: The Art of Courtly Life
Everyone present in the above Roll Call was likewise present to participate in the mini-adventure. The Lady Claressant was concerned that the knights and Celsus were too ignorant in terms of courtly manners. Therefore, she invited them to a special luncheon and gave them some tips and training on how to behave in formal settings. The feast allowed them to put various “genteel” skills to practice, including a poetry contest.

Rumors
The brigands belonging to Regmar’s band who were captured last year are currently in prison in Beale Valet. The Black Shields refused to talk, but the lesser brigands did. They claim that Regmar has been learning magic from a mysterious spell book, and uses enchantments to keep his outpost hidden. Even his followers cannot locate it without his direct intervention.

It should be pointed out that over the past few years, Earl Dafydd has repeatedly sent troops into the local forests trying to find the lair of Regmar and his men. Such missions were always fruitless.

The brigands also claim that Regmar has been teaching magic to his three sons. They are destined to be even more powerful, and possibly even more ruthless, than Regmar himself.

Knighting Ceremony
Earl Dafydd knights Jaufre. He is now a bachelor knight of the realm.

The Quest of Raul the Foole
Raul, the court jester of Beale Valet, send the knights, plus Celsus, on a kind of scavenger hunt. The Countess Lanna lent him her bracelet to hide somewhere in town. The characters were to undergo a series of challenges in order to win wooden coins. Each coin was to then be taken to the Castle of Beale Valet and given to Sir Gorn sans Humour. He would then exchange the coin for an item from the kitchen which would serve as a clue to where the bracelet was hidden. Such clues were officially called, “Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Items.” Theronde the Sage was designated as the “Clue Master”, meaning that he would give out clues to help the characters, if needed. The fewer the amount of clues requested by the players, the greater the rewards that could be won.

On the other hand, failure to find the bracelet would result in Raul the Foole lampooning the characters. This would cause each character to lose 100 points of Glory.

Challenge #1: Horse Race
The characters competed against hunters in a typical horse race. Damahaut came in 1st Place. The Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Item was a jar of icing.

Challenge #2: Rescue Sweetums
The characters visited an old widow named Lady Dillia, whose cat, Sweetums, was stuck in a tree. Despite the daunting task of conducting an opposed DEX roll against an untrusting cat, Galien successfully pulled off the rescue mission. The resulting Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Item was some tea.

*Challenge #3: Joanette’s Riddle"
Next the characters met with Joanette in the Great Hall of the Castle of Beale Valet. She presented the following riddle: “A hundred feet up in the air, but its back is on the ground. What is it?” Damahaut won the right to guess first, and he correctly discerned the answer to be a flipped over centipede. The allowed the party to attain a Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Item in the form of mustard.

Challenge #4: Searching the Wine Cellar
Sir Gorn sans Humour instructed the characters about the nature of the next quest. They were to take turns searching through the dark wine cellar by the light of a single, small candle. They were to find a particular bottle of wine, the label depicting it to be from the Vineyards of the Bellicose Bluffton Bastard and his Beastly Belligerent Beholder. Romulus was the first one to try, and he succeeded, gaining the next Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Item, which was a spoon.

Challenge #5: The Duel
For the final part of the quest, the characters squared off with one another in non-lethal duels. Sir Edam was there with his trusty mace to compete against the them. In the first round, Damahaut defeated Edam, Galien defeated Turpin, Riorden defeated Jaufre, and Romulus defeated Celsus.

In the second round, Galien defeated Riorden, and Damahaut defeated Romulus. In the third, and final round, Damahaut defeated Galien. Of course, all that was needed to win the last Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Item was to defeat Sir Edam. This last quest item was some honey.

The party then attempted to figure out how the five Magnificent Awe-Inspiring Quest Items unlocked the secret of the location of the countess’ bracelet. After everyone tested a couple of erroneous theories, it suddenly dawned upon Josh K. that the first letters from each of the quest items could be assembled to form the word “smith.” They then visited the somewhat unstable blacksmiths, Valter, Hamon and Hablet, and retrieved the bracelet. Therefore the characters successfully completed the Quest of Raul the Fool, and did not need to get a single clue from Therondre the Sage in order to do so.

The Creepy Raven
While taking the bracelet back to the castle, the party noticed that a large ominous looking raven was greedily eyeing it. Unlike normal ravens, this one had a blood red beak, and blood red feet & claws.

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