Part 1: Triple Heads and a Sack ...

A great Harn campaign with the esteemed Patrick Nilsson, AKA "The Dongmaster" as GM.

Part 1: Triple Heads and a Sack ...

Postby Matt » Tue May 03, 2016 11:08 am

The following adventures are used to take the For a Handful of Pennies campaign further. They will include various NPCs, treasures, and other things such as beasts and so on. A lot of the adventures or quests are leaned towards the four characters presented in the character section, but can with little or no tweaking be used in other campaigns. Much of the information below is not written down, like some backgrounds, so GMs will have to use a heavy dose of discretion to make it work. However as more adventures are uploaded, the For a Handful of Pennies campaign will mend together and hopefully in the end the whole concept will have a meaning. Each adventure starts with an introduction tale. I will add rumors and events from my timeline into these as well. The adventure section is for GMs only and players should stay well away (MAJOR SPOILER WARNINGS!!!).

DEATH COMES FOR THREE ...
The Blood Raven tavern was hardly seen from the outside and it was true, very few knew that there was a tavern at all in these parts of Sewer Town. Yet those who did, and those who were well-known could usually be found here, skulking away drinking smuggled wine or brandy. The average beggar or poor was not welcome. In one of the darkest corners three men sat with their beverages close at hand, whispering to each other about deeds to come. One of them, a large giant of a man with shoulders to match and well-shaved skull suddenly roared out in laughter which made the other two look around slowly to see if they got any attention from the rest of the clientele. But the quiet night was as eerie as ever. The second of the lot, a short thin man with shifty eyes was carving something in the table as he sipped the wine from his goblet. The third, and most mysterious of the three, simply sat with his hood over his face listening to the other two talk. There was a mysterious smile on his lips.

The smallest of them a thief named Jeremiz continued the conversation. "Well I for one is not miserable that the decadent swine Evil Erol has been called back to his cousin. A rich man he may be, and influential with some hotshots in the city, but I would trust him as much as I do the litigants." The giant, known as Sike Child's Face around the two chuckled. He seemed to be in a good mood tonight and everyone knew why. A lonesome monk from Kanday would awaken early in the morning, facing a handful of blood thirsty gladiators in the arena with only a stick and his faith to aid him. The wine and ale on the table was a momentum of that catch. Sike wiped the foam from his mouth a picked up where the thief had left off. "Oh he is more mouth than sword Jeremiz, and although rich and powerful you shouldn't mind him. Besides you are too ugly for his perversities anyway. Eh Master Slakka...?" Disgusted Jeremiz turned to the third man near the table. It didn't happen often but the assassin was actually laughing under his hood.

"Child's Face is right Jeremiz. As long as you do not piss him off or anger the herald you have nothing to worry about. Besides..." Slakka suddenly stopped talking, a click from below the table announced that his crossbow had been loaded. Someone was staring at them from the end of the room near the exit. The innkeeper had the nerve to point directly at them. Either he was high on Fanosel or worse, or the stranger at the door was more important than the Agrikan Primate himself. Jeremiz was about to draw his daggers when the club-handed Sike stopped him. "We do not know who he is or what he wants. Hold your steel at arms' length but do not take a hostile position yet." With a motion with his hand he waved to the stranger to approach. He did so but only after carefully looking around the hall to see if there was any ambush to be had. The stranger seemed to know his business. When he had approached the table and stood a few feet away the gang could see that he was armed to the teeth with mail, mace and sword. Whomever he was, his master surely seemed rich and that made Sike all warm inside. The soldier spoke with an accent that mapped him Thardian.

"I am Gerel, mercenary to Master Mercantyler Gurdin. I was directed here by someone named Jarop to find four men to help me with a predicament, but my eyes are either deceiving me or your fourth friend is invisible." Gerel rested his hand on the hilt of his sword while stroking his beard with the other. Sike rose and offered a goblet of wine, which was accepted and asked the soldier to sit with a wave of his hand. When he did it was Jeremiz who took up the conversation. "The fourth has been called home by his clan leader but I can assure you and your master that we three can do an equally good job or better..." The sour stare of Slakka cut him off. "Master Mercenary, what my friend here is trying to say is that we are available if you and your master has the silver." Gerel eyed Slakka beneath his hood but was unable to see the eyes of the assassin. Yet he smiled as he answered. "Well that is all I need to hear to be honest. You're suppose to be amongst the best and according to what that Jarop fellow told me, not the types who asks questions that has no answers." He swallow whatever wine that was left in his goblet. "I am ready to leave for The Hand and Fist."

Sike was the first to rise and shake the hands of the soldier. Whenever there was adventure of any kind, Sike was always the first to be interested. Gerel's master was staying at The Hand & Fist apparently and he was desperate to meet them tonight. As usual Slakka didn't trust the soldier enough to walk with him back. "Master Gerel, I have something I must take care of first but I will meet up with you at the inn. Agreed?". The soldier shrugged and moved towards the exit. If this was an ambush the attackers would be very surprised when Slakka came on their backs. Sike and Jeremiz followed the soldiers into the night, knowing that their black cloak friend was not far behind. On their way to the inn, Sike couldn't hold it back. "Gerel how wealthy is your master? " The soldier kept on walking in the muddy snow seemingly ignoring the question. Just as Sike was about to ask again, Gerel turned around and smiled. "Very wealthy... And very generous." Although not the happy kind, this also put a smile on Jeremiz lips. Their pace suddenly quickened as they strode on to The Hand and Fist eager to meet Master Gurdin...

THE BEGINNING OF THE MISSION ...

The PCs are hired by a mercantyler who goes by the name of Gurdin to kill an ostler by the name of Herkvin. The PCs are to return with the ostler's and his two accomplishes' heads. Herkvin has tricked Gurdin to buy three steeds from him of exceptional quality, each costing roughly 5-6£ in silver coins. Gurdin who is a mere 25 years of age and hails from Parnam, was not aware he was a victim of scam until this winter. He has hired a few mercenaries and has been able to track the ostler down, spending a lot of coins in the process. But Gurdin do not want to get in a feud with a powerful lord and thus has decided to hire outside help.

Herkvin on the other hand has hidden half the sum (some 8£) on the island of Golotha. The PCs could find the silver if they press and falsely leads Herkvin to believe that he will be spared, he might just tell them about it. His two hang-arounds Ilton and Jolke don't know where the money is located but do know that their "master" has a stash hidden somewhere. Gurdin has given up on the money but wants revenge for being made a fool of. He intends to bring back the head to the ostlers in northern Tharda as an example of what happens if anyone tries to double cross the mercantyler. The reason Herkvin was able to trick the mercantyler was that he brought him one steed to begin with.

Having amassed a lot of debts with the thieves of Shiran at the Pamesani betting, Harkvin deemed it wise to flee the city instead of being guttered because being unable to pay the large sum he owed the Lia-Kavair. He did need money for his trip and that is when he tricked the thieves that they would get their money after he had sold the horses to the mercantyler. The sum he stole was not nearly enough to pay off the guild and he had already exceeded payment twice. The reason for the thieves being so lenient is that Herkvin has always been able to pay up in the past. This time he had lost too much to be able.

WE KILL FOR SILVER ...

Herkvin is currently in the employ of Lord Azun Jynsarth (HH1) who holds the manor of Pynat from the king. He is a wealthy knight and is able to support both of his sons, worthy knights (HH2), and their families. Sir Azun is a widower but has a female lover at his side. The manor is home to, besides his two sons, their wives, and five children, four men-at-arms (2 SB3 and 2 MF3), Herkvin, and a few servants (two of them Herkvin's hands) as well as a harper by the name of Jozen. Gurdin is staying at The Hand and Fist with two veteran thardic soldiers. He will expect the PCs to contact him once they have the head for him. He will give them 120d to use as they see fit and promise to pay 1£ for each head brought back to him (2£ for Herkvin). The price is negotiable.

Before the PCs reach the village of Pynat they will meet these encounters in one way or another on the road (it is snowing mildly):

    • A peddler travels alone and he looks better equipped than most people. If the PCs stop him he will act odd and almost nervous. If the PCs tries to mug him he will pull a broadsword from his cloak and attack fiercely. The peddlar is really a soldier out to deliver a message from the Constable of Norienar to the Queen in Caer Chaftar. The letter is about a feast later this spring and not important. However the killing or attacking of a soldier of the king is. The PCs should do best to either ignore the man or kill him so that he can not testify to who did it. The soldier is a MF3 +5ML.
    • The PCs encounter a knight with an injured horse. He is quite angry that the horse has gone limp and the beaten peasant crawling on the road nearby is a victim of his rage. When the PCs pass him he will ask them if they know a good ostler nearby who can help him. He is obviously from the north and has little knowledge around Golotha. The PCs do best in threading lightly because not only is the knight in a foul mood, he is used to being treated with a lot of respect from commoners. If they do know an ostler he will be very pleased to hear it. If they do not he will tell them not to bother him again (or face Ak-Syt if they do).

IN THE VILLAGE ...

The PCs should do well to take heed when approaching Pynat Village. The people who live there do not look fondly upon strangers unless they are peddlers with cheap goods or other adversaries heading for the manor. If the PCs spend the day watching the manor concealed in one of the woods around the village, and not being spotted, they will notice the following:

    • There are four yeomen (LF2) in the village. These are easy to make out since they are wearing weapons unlike the rest of the villagers.
    • The miller seems to be the one who is in charge and most of the people will openly show behind his back that he is not well liked. The miller is greedy and will sell information for a few pence each (he will even "betray" his masters).
    • There is a gibbet outside the manor walls in one of the trees. There is a flogged villager in these and he has been sent to a five-day stay (it is the second) in it. One guard will give him water and minor food once a day. The man in the gibbet has been wrongly accused for stealing bread in the manor (he works in the kitchen) and he will freely tell the PCs all the information below if freed.
    • The peasants are busy plowing and sowing when the snow stops and although they might spot the PCs if they sneak into the village it is far easier to do so now than when they are not as busy.
    • The lord and his son will appear twice outside inspecting the work and speaking to what appears to be the reeve. Only the son is wearing armour.
    • A teamster will arrive with a large barrel on a cart and this will draw forth laughter and singing from the manor. The lord is celebrating his eldest son's birthday in three days and has ordered a barrel of wine from Tharda to be used on this occasion.
    • The yeomen patrol the village before sunset and will be quick about it. They have been working most of the days in the fields and are tired.
    • The walls of the manor are about 10 feet high (15 with the moat) and can be climbed with the right gear (grappling hook and rope). The gate has a portcullis (and will wake up the guards if touched).

The manor is guarded by one soldier at the gate during the day and one man in the courtyard during the night. The night guard is usually napping in the smithy but may (50% be awake). The doors to the manor is looked at all times and are barred from within. The ostler sleeps in the stable, which is also barred. However a skilled climber may enter by the western side of the building if he has a thin knife to pry open the shutters. This may awake Herkvin who sleeps on the ground floor (25%). The information here can be either bought from the miller or gained from the freed serf.

Should the PCs be spotted they must have a darn good explanation why they are snooping around in the village. Lord Jynsarth will assume the PCs to be sent by one of his political rivals, unless they are able to persuade him, and have them either whipped from his domains or killed on sight (depending on what the PCs tell him). He will not believe a "nonsense" story about his ostler being a crook. Should the PCs be able to enter the manor and raise an alarm the first soldier (who will appear after 1d6+2 rounds) will only wear leather tunics and first weapons since they have been sleeping. The knights will appear (ten rounds later) clad in loosely fit mails and gambesons (with -10 on fighting).

They will try to capture the PCs. Should they succeed the Lord of the Manor will have the PCs tortured and killed when they can not provide him with any information regarding his political opponents. Should the PCs be able to enter the barn successfully they will have to thread lightly. The horses will notice something is wrong and unless the PCs have brought good food for them they will stir and the Ostler will awake. He will not raise an alarm unless he sees the front door open. If he does not he will take his club and search the stables. He will fight (stats 11, club 60) but will scream. If the PCs manage to kill Herkvin without making a sound, or be spotted, and take his head with them they might find some money under his madras (123d). Killing the other two is easier since they sleep in the kitchen, which is accessible through a old door that is easily opened by a thin object.

The PCs should be smart not to cross the river by the ferry the first day. Unless they have been spotted by the villagers or not released the serf in the gibbet they may be recognized. The lord will have his son and the four guards, search for the culprits who beheaded his ostler and maybe his servants.

THEY HAVE RETURNED WITH THE PLATTER...

The escape home should go uneventful unless the PCs encounter the knight and the four soldiers. When they arrive at The Hand & Fist, Gurdin will be happy to see them and should they have the head pay the money he offered. He is not interested in paying any further expenses. Should the PCs insist he will send his two veteran guards to chase them away (MH3 +10 and better equipment) and warn them to never bother him again.

If the GM is feeling nasty he can implant the vengeful thieves of Shiran who may think the PCs has the silver that Herkvin stole. Three thieves will appear a week after trying to kill the PCs one by one. They are not the best of thugs and thieves but they are determined to get the money back. They are faking their stay in Golotha as labourers. They will not fight to the death and if one of them is captured or killed the rest will flee. One thug and two thieves according to the HM3 Characters.

The PCs may also be found (if they make too big of a noise) by the Lord of Pynat. He will have them arrested and taken to his manor. Unless they spit it out he will torture them and kill them. If they tell the truth he will begin to like them and tell them to find him a new good ostler and call it quits. He will however warn them that unless they stay well out of his sight they may have to do him favors because he spared them and their sorry hides...

CAMPAIGN ADDS ...

This adventure starts on the evening of Nuzyael 14th in Golotha. The Blood Raven will soon be available as a download from the Golotha Expansion. For those who visited the old Hârn Tales site they will notice that this adventure is very similar to Head & Platter that was available there. I have modified it to fit the new Golotha publication better and added more obstacles for the PCs to take care of.

Time: Nuzyael 14th Golotha
Days: 15th - 18th Nuzyael (4 in total)
Characters: Slakka, Jeremiz, and Sike
Players: Dan, Jonny, and Darius
Date: Saturday 7th February 2004
Length: 17:30 - 00:30

Notes: The PCs were able to get into the manor, kill the ostler and behead him, but they were unable, or more unwilling, to access the main building and kill Herkvin's two hands. In the process they also assassinated two of the men- at-arms, one who was guarding the courtyard and one who slept in the gatehouse. The two killings sent the lords of the manor hunting for the assassins but because of the connections the PCs had they were able to use the Shiran thieves as scapegoats and had them killed, pleasing the lords and keeping outside competition to a minimum. The PCs were also able to get a hold of the coins that Herkvin had hidden and paid Jarop half the loot of that treasure.
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Matt
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