The Cavalry Arrives Too Late Again...

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The Cavalry Arrives Too Late Again...

Postby Imarë » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:48 pm

Well, we now know there is no rush in looking for the twins. Quite messy. We probably should go after the vlasta, if Sir Ewen ever does decide to use the site, the little critters would make it uncomfortable for the servants (at least). Sir Baris probably has a hankering to even the score somewhat (he did not come out looking very good).

We also have some questions that should be answered if they can be. Who is the knight on the bed? Is it the much desired Hodril (Brans father) or someone else. From the hair still being there, he is not as old as the rest of the complex. Who laid him out and closed the door? What killed him? If he was with others, why is the booty still there? Is there a way past the magic mushrooms? I really don't see Sir Ewen running an illegal copper mine so should he inform the King about it (brownie points never hurt) Is there a way to figure out who "M" is (unless this is becoming a James Bond movie) that is on the signet. It might help to find someone who reads Khuzan (or whatever language it is). Any speculation as to why the dwarves left so much and never came back but carefully sealed the place? Any subjects of interest that I might have missed here? Feel free...
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Postby Imarë » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:23 am

It also occurs to me, only a Kaldoric origin for the deceased knight in the ruin has been posited. If this is the elusive Hodril and he was a deryni, Melderyn would be a much more likely point of origin. I am sure the much touted Arren is not the only person from Melderyn who has gone wandering in the wide world.
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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:58 am

Bran has shields which means one parent was likely a Deryni. (It could have been just a grandparent but that's less likely from a genetic inheritance point of view.) Since it obviously wasn't Thanys, the unknown father is the probable suspect. ;)

To that point, twenty to thirty years ago, there were even fewer Deryni outside of Melderyn, leaving that too as the most likely point of origin for the father.

Other scenarios are still possible, of course.
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Postby Lord Ewen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:57 pm

I do find the mystery regarding the identity of the deceased knight much more interesting than questions about the dwarven abandonment of the mine, the latter being (quite literally) ancient history. As for the knight, we have in our possession a number of clues which are heraldic in nature. Perhaps Sir Ewen is overdue for a little chat with Sir Roan...

I think Hodril has to be our chief suspect here, as Random Knight would perforce be next on the list. It would be nice to knit the story together, if our research bears this theory out. I wonder about the state the knight was found in. Is the arrangement of his corpse and the disposition of his possessions as we found them typical of Harnic niceties for the knighted? Kaldoric wakes? Deryni interments? What to do we do if we confirm the Hodril connection? Reunite Bran with his father? Mention our looting of the corpse and Cekiya tugging covetously upon the boots?

As for the Vlasta, I'm not too familiar with the fatherless multitude. I assume they are getting in somehow other than the door Sir Ewen has placed Wards on. Perhaps the rubble in the distillery area provides access to the outside? Perhaps there is an unblocked way out beyond the mushrooms? It seems logical that they (or a regular source of food) have access to the outside world. If their only way out is through the door with the Wards, though, the little buggers sure are gonna be ravenous by the time we go back in 8)
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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:01 pm

Such an arrangement of a corpse would be associated with a knight of high status and/or wealth (and likely Laranian). Anyone of rank, would almost certainly be entombed in such array, possibly even with a stone effigy in a similar pose.
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Postby Imarë » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:41 pm

The disposition is one of the reasons I wondered if he had died in some manner and he was left there temporarily until his companions return. If they were unable to come back, he just stayed.

On the heraldry, I just remember that only Kaldor was mentioned when a source of the stags head came up. Which is why I added Melderyn to the list of possible origins (especially with the deryni connection).
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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:03 pm

It was Teddy who mentioned Kaldor. I was silent on the subject if you recall. So it could be anywhere, and it's not exactly an unusual heraldic animal to begin with.
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Postby Lord Ewen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:36 pm

Yeah I think it's highly unlikely that our corpse ranked high enough for us to recognize the arms. Save for members of the peerage, there would be scant chance of our recalling a particular set of arms unless it was from our home shire or something, or someone we had met before. Needle in the haystack thing - that's why I mentioned Sir Roan. We can approach the problem both ways - research the arms, or research registered knights named Hodril. The Laranian method of laying out is probably a bit useful in narrowing our search, although knighted followers of Larani are fairly ubiquitous in Kaldor and, I would imagine, Melderyn.

Dave has a point about companions, though. Would it have been possible for the knight to position himself to die as we found him without assistance? Could he, mortally wounded, have composed himself in a manner appropriate to his hopes of pleasing the Lady of Paladins, just before shuffling off this mortal coil? Or did we find someone obviously positioned thus by some other?

The stag is the charge on the arms of Dariune, BTW, which may be why we have associated it with Kaldor. But that's an entire stag, not just the head, so the arms here are completely different. Hard to think of a Harnic kingdom where a stag's head would raise eyebrows.
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Postby Imarë » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:54 pm

Matt did go out of his way to point out that the armor of the knight was undamaged. Unless it was a head shot (eater of eyes and all that). I did check to see if there was any damage to the bone around the eyes but there was none to be seen.

I have been thinking of Bran's mother. Could her mental condition have to do with her mind being tampered with but either inexpertly or with a bad roll thus causing advanced mental deterioration? Maybe if we found the nest of the vlasta, there would be human bones mixed in, thus answering the question of what happened to the rest of the party. They could also be behind the mushrooms (which could have grown either up or back after passage). They could also be entombed under the rubble of the mine shaft that collapsed, we have no idea when this damage happened. I still find it curious that the dwarves would have left their personal belongings and a lot of cash but have taken the torches. Is animal tallow used in preparing torches? Maybe the vlasta have eaten the torches in a period of hunger.

I think we do need to finish what we started with the mine, to answer questions and to render it useful to whatever purpose that Sir Ewen might desire. A nest of vlasta roaming about could really ruin someone's evening if they were called to the toilet in the middle of the night. The wooden parts of the mine are no longer of any value but I wonder if there is value in the bronze doors...
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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:39 pm

Sir Ewen wrote:Would it have been possible for the knight to position himself to die as we found him without assistance? Could he, mortally wounded, have composed himself in a manner appropriate to his hopes of pleasing the Lady of Paladins, just before shuffling off this mortal coil? Or did we find someone obviously positioned thus by some other?

I doubt it. He was positioned in such a way as to almost require the assistance of someone else.

Sir Ewen wrote:The stag is the charge on the arms of Dariune, BTW, which may be why we have associated it with Kaldor. But that's an entire stag, not just the head, so the arms here are completely different.

Correct on both points.

Sir Ewen wrote:Hard to think of a Harnic kingdom where a stag's head would raise eyebrows.

Quite.

Imarë wrote:Matt did go out of his way to point out that the armor of the knight was undamaged. Unless it was a head shot (eater of eyes and all that). I did check to see if there was any damage to the bone around the eyes but there was none to be seen.

Not so much out of my way - you did ask. Still, it is a fact - the armor is not damaged. Something killed this knight and it must either be some sort of head shot to the face or some other force. It is possible that magic or poison were involved, though other pernicious elements may have been in play.
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Postby Lord Ewen » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:11 pm

Imarë wrote:I think we do need to finish what we started with the mine, to answer questions and to render it useful to whatever purpose that Sir Ewen might desire. A nest of vlasta roaming about could really ruin someone's evening if they were called to the toilet in the middle of the night.


I agree wholeheartedly with this; we need to finish the exploration and clearing of the site. But not, as you seem to suggest, for purposes of selling the bronze doors to the nearest salvage yard. :wink:

I am presuming that Ivashu are rare in settled manorial lands like Selapan (on the main road, no less!), slightly more common on the settled fringes of kingdoms, and most numerous in the wild, no? If I am correct in this, I would further opine that perhaps an unusual warren like this abandoned Khuzan mine, providing a conducive atmosphere for vlasta happiness, is responsible for the oddity of their presence. At the same time, if the vlasta had been preying on villagers availing themselves of the privy at night, I would presume a rash of mutilated villagers over time. Now, blind mutilated villagers are, by definition, less productive than undamaged serfs, and we know that Sir Herrill's village is fairly thriving and his books are sound. Also, the bailiff taking his teenaged granddaughters for nightly swims in the immediate vicinity of the vlasta lair does not suggest a scenario where the vlasta are engaging in rampant predation. Aside from the girls, who appear to have gotten in trouble due to curiosity aroused by our own activities, I don't think the vlasta have been bothering the villagers.

One question, however, is whether they are entirely encapsulated within the mine, and never venture beyond it because sufficient food (vermin, etc) trickles in through cracks and crevices to sustain them? Or do they venture out and prey on small game nearby, but avoid human habitations just like they shrank from the hall when we arrived to reinforce poor Sir Baris toward the end of the session? Perhaps they were more bold in the ruined distillery because their lair lays within the rubble we never explored, and they were defending the lair? (BTW, do the "Fatherless Multitude" produce babies?)

As Dave points out, we should be concerned about the safety of Selapan perhaps, but frankly I fail to see a scenario where our activities have increased the odds of villager injury, unless the vlasta hold a war council and decide that all humans are as easy to beat up as Sir Baris :lol: I placed Wards on the exit the girls (presumably) opened up, which will preclude not just humans and vlasta from passing through while the Wards holds but any kind of energy or matter (save air). But I doubt the vlasta were using that entrance unless it had been ajar for a long time and the girls just found it that way.

As for the knight's companions, we have no idea whether they perished in the mine, or successfully escaped after his death. Based upon Sir Baris's experience, I doubt the vlasta head-shot theory. Even a single massive critical resulting in death would have left scratches on the guy's armor. I mean, they were biting and clawing through Baris's mail like it was cheap leather. Somegthing else, I think, happened to the knight. As well, depending on how long ago the knight died, the vlasta might be more recent arrivals. We shouldn't jump to conclusions about the longevity of the vlasta in the mine.

I wonder what would happen if Kaelyn froze the mushrooms? 8)
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Postby Imarë » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:03 pm

I have been wracking my brain trying to remember who referred to the Ivashu as the "Featherless Multitude". Once again, hooked on phonics really works...
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Postby Matt » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:30 pm

Clark Matthews.
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Postby Imarë » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:27 am

Thats who. Thanks, it was making me crazier. I would refrain from teaching you cats to be bipedal or lament they don't have opposable thumbs.
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Postby Matt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:28 am

BTW, there's considerable loot to be dealt with - any thoughts?
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Postby Lord Ewen » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:26 pm

Good idea. Here is the list of booty, in the order read out by the GM at close of session. I believe that Kaelyn has already (and quite properly) spoken for the wooden writing box, which I have noted. I believe she also should have the bound book, which she can research to her heart's content. Sir Baris has dibs on the Khuzan hand axe.

I confess to abject failure in trying to track down the spelling of the Laranian demi-divine being depicted in silver. I should be most obliged to the GM if he can point me to the location of the reference in the canon...

Pewter flute
Silver icon of Sereniel
Khuzan hand axe (Sir Baris)
281 Khuzan pence
26 Khuzan pence
4 gold crowns
silver necklace
wooden portable writing box, vellum sheets deter (Kaelyn)
gold seal with runic M
crystal bottle hinged silver cap, dried ink within
gold stylus with gold engraved nib
mail hauberk
mail leggings
¾ plate helm
plate kneecops
plate greaves
bastard sword
dagger
gold signet ring
gold winged lion pendant suspended on gold chain
31 K pence
2 gold crowns
book bound in pigskin 2 clasps (Kaelyn)
94 K pennies
1 leather sack 40 gold crowns
5 cloth bags 120 K d each
Last edited by Lord Ewen on Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Matt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:33 pm

Sereniel. Siem, page 3.
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Postby Lord Ewen » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:34 pm

Well I guess looking at the wrong damned diety explains it. Thanks. :roll:
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Postby Matt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:47 pm

It could have been worse: you could have been looking at Ilvir. :wink:
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Postby Imarë » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:44 pm

Right god, wrong lieutenant for Imare on the icon. Would this be like having the wrong patron saint being worshipped to?

When we do go back, we should prepare a list of what we will take with us. I propose torches at a minimum. Shields would be nice too (Imare will be carrying her buckler in a high position). The problem is that you cannot carry a torch and a shield at the same time while wielding a weapon. Maybe some kind of face guard would be nice (but would probably constrict view and give us negatives). Anything else we might want to bring to the lizard (like) roast?
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Postby Lord Ewen » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

I imagine Sir Baris will opt for full plate and helm in spite of the negatives :wink:

I think lanterns would be superior, as you can put them down. Although, in my defense, nobody really had difficulty seeing things. At least, that wasn't the problem...

Going into a known vlasta lair without face protection would seem imprudent, though. One of us could easily have been blinded last time.
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Postby Matt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:37 pm

Sir Ewen wrote:I imagine Sir Baris will opt for full plate and helm in spite of the negatives :wink:

Heh. If only he hadn't left it in Tashal ...
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Postby Imarë » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:03 pm

I think he would want the full regalia and not just the helm. It is also true that lanterns would be the best of our alternatives. For Sr Ewen, though he makes a great magnalite, he cannot really wield a shield and a weapon and the handfire. He could be pressed if the lair contains more than the half dozen we ran into.

Imare would be interested in the coin (can be turned into so many pretty things...) and perhaps the stylus and ink bottle (she does tend to write letters for everybody. The Siemist icon not so much (wrong under-deity) nor would the armor or weaponry enthrall her (except cashed in).

One thing does come to mind. Would it be possible for an experienced armorer to tell who made a suit of good armor? Perhaps point of origin (the Melderyni craftsmen could be different from the Kaldoric ones). Same with the weaponry (though probably not as distinctive). I don't believe we have ever tried this tack before...
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Postby Lord Ewen » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:32 pm

Well, Teddy will have to weigh in for himself, but I was only half in jest in my earlier post. Given the drubbing Sir Baris endured, I don't doubt he'll entertain sending word to Tashal to forward the full plate suit post haste. Not advocating, mind you, just predicting. :wink:

As for "the coin", what praytell do you mean? Do you propose all of the cash for Imare? So you can turn the cash into "pretty things"? :shock:

The stylus, BTW, may need to be properly appraised before we bestow it upon Imare for her secretarial duties, based upon Matt's description of the thing. Cashing out the stylus and picking up a dozen really nice quills might make more sense than keeping it, freeing up funds that might be more profitably employed in our various endeavors. It sounded valuable.

The pristine state of the armor also needs to be pursued. An appraisal, as you suggest, might provide a clue to the identity of the knight, but might also reveal whether the armor exceeds in quality that possessed by Sirs Baris and Ewen. Unblemished armor suggests more than just a head-shot, no? Either the armor was newly acquired (sadly ironic given the knight's fate), or is perhaps strangely preserved due to unusually high-quality materials or a dweomer, I should think.

The pewter flute might find a place in Ewen's collection, perhaps, as he possesses Flute skill? And the Mendiz pendant might prove a helpful prop for Sir Ewen when he is trying to impersonate a devout Laranian, which has been his religious modus operandi since moving to Kaldor. 8)
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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:27 pm

Sir Ewen wrote:The pristine state of the armor also needs to be pursued. An appraisal, as you suggest, might provide a clue to the identity of the knight, but might also reveal whether the armor exceeds in quality that possessed by Sirs Baris and Ewen. Unblemished armor suggests more than just a head-shot, no? Either the armor was newly acquired (sadly ironic given the knight's fate), or is perhaps strangely preserved due to unusually high-quality materials or a dweomer, I should think.

The time necessary to reduce a man to a skeleton would also have affected the steel of the armor in some deleterious fashion. That it has not, I leave you to draw your own conclusions. 8)
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