Part 3: Coins and Castles

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

Part 3: Coins and Castles

Postby Matt » Wed May 04, 2016 12:29 pm

EVIL IN THE POURING RAIN...

The evening in the Blood Raven tavern was quiet as usual, the rain outside keeping the muffled sound secretly around each table. The summer had arrived and although the weather was mild there was a small fire warming up those who had been soaked. Slakka and Erol sat in their favorite corner drinking Coranan brandy with the tavern owner Kedel, discussing the latest rumor about a war in the north brewing, a civil war between the Earl of Tormau and the king himself. Erol snorted when he took over the conversation. "I tell you Kedel, without my cousin neither of the combatants have any chance of gaining the upper hand. And why should he lend any of them a hand? The Thardians are just at the border hoping he will meddle so that his eastern defenses will weaken. Nah, that would be folly to assume that my cousin would even lift a finger to help. After all there is a reasons he is the richest noble in the kingdom." The door keeper, a man well-packed and armoured to the teeth opened the entrance and in strode Jeremiz and Sike, both wet from head to toe. Erol couldn't restrain himself "Well look what the cat dragged in, a filthy little gypsy lad and his oversized sow". Kedel saw where this would lead and left the table to keep himself occupied with other things.

Sike in his usual confident mood replied "No, not your father and your mother Erol, just Jeremiz and me." The usual quietness in the room was for a small fraction of time filled with malignant chuckle. Erol sour look quieted more than one of the elite thugs in the tavern. A simple herald he may be but all knew of his powerful cousin and none of them would want to cross path with the mighty Lenesque clan unless forced too. After being served more brandy the four waited until the eyes of the rest of the patrons had diverted themselves from their table. Jeremiz eyed Slakka, ignoring Erol's look of disgust. "Assassin, we have some really good news to deliver. Both Sike and I have been quite busy today meeting with the guildmaster and cutting him a deal that he couldn't refuse." The thief leaned back sipping on the tasty brandy. Erol who never saw an opportunity to mock Jeremiz as a waste of time continued. "So gypsy you have finally agreed to become Jarop's butt-boy then? Congratulations lad, it is about time that soggy ass of yours sees some action." The herald laughed heartily at Jeremiz' flipped bird. He was however cut short by Slakka. "Quiet fool, you are drawing too much attention to yourself. Remember that the boy you molested was a member of the Lia- Kavair. Not all of them has forgotten. Now Sike tell us more about this deal."

Sike who had been busy enjoying the drink looked confused before he got his act together. "Well my dear cloaked friend it seems that there are few jobs we can do that may be more than profitable. Jarop sold us not just one but three opportunities it seems and as usual he wants half of what we can assemble." Erol shook his head, raised a hand waving it arrogantly, while slamming his cup on the table. "Why should that fat fuck get half of what loot we will be able to amass? It is bad enough that he plays god on these streets but to ask for half? No, I say screw him and give him what we think he deserves." Jeremiz looked around to see if the loudmouthed herald had been heard by the other murderers and thugs. They all seemed to be deep in their cups but the thief knew the walls had ears in this place and his crested mouth spoke of what he thought of the herald's unwise statement. Sike who usually never took for the bitter, hissed. "Pay heed to your words herald or I will personally slam those golden teeth down your throat with my fist. I am not ready to die because you forgot who is the master of the slums. Got that?" Erol just ignored him and took to Slakka for support. Surprisingly he got it. "Well our perverted friend here is partly right lads. Jarop do ask for too much and his greed knows no boundaries. I say we take what we can and give him as much as he expects. That way we will all be happy no?"

Sike who was a relative of the guildmaster of the Lia-Kavair stroked his chin. "Well I suppose you are right Slakka. The idea is not to just be good lads and throw away all the niceties we can gather to Jarop. I say we take what we can use and give the rest to him. The key is to keep his greed full, not to be honest. But we need to thread lightly... And delicately." An evil smile followed his words. Erol nodded to show both Sike and Slakka that he approved. Jeremiz was still a bit nerved about the conversation but took up where there others had left off. "Well then, there are three jobs we can do, two in Golotha and one in Chakta. The first, and located in Chakta, is a simple burglary of a house where three visiting guildsmen and their three grooms are staying. The second is an assassination of a spy who seems to work for the Lia-Kavair guild in Coranan. The third is to find a man for a pilgrim who is staying at the Noose and Jester. I am not sure in what order we should do these, but all three will either pay well or have goods to fill our purses." The other three looked at each other and rose. The night was still young but if they were to be at their best they better get their sleep. Tomorrow they would start prying about seeing which of the three jobs they should move on first...

A DAY OF FOUL DEEDS AND KILLINGS ...

Jarop will pay for the killing of the spy but otherwise await his share of the loot amassed from the other two jobs. The smartest move is to gather as much information about the three heists before moving on them. The burglary is located in Chakta and while Golotha lies across the river, there is another climate where law and order do work so the PCs will have to thread lightly or end up in the Sheriff's dungeon. The assassination of the spy will be harder than it seems. The Coranan thief is not here to spy but to steal some valuables before heading back. The pilgrim is looking for his lost brother and while he may offer some good cash, he is not all he seems to be.

    Sidebar:
    Joskel:
    Staff 70
    Dagger 65
    Initiative 55
    Armour Enc 10
    Attributes Average 13

    Irdun & Samil:
    Staff 65
    Dagger 50
    Initiative 45
    Armour Enc 10
    Attributes Average 12

    Grooms:
    Spear 75
    Club 70
    Dagger 55
    Initiative 55
    Armour Enc 15
    Attributes Average 11

THE FOOLS AND THEIR GOLD...

The guildsmen consists of one weaponcrafter, one miller, and one metalsmith who hails from area around Onden. They are in Golotha for a spring meeting with their respective guilds and deems it wise to stay at the inn for nightly protection. Each guildsman is guarded by a groom provided by their respective lord. They are not well armed wouldn't stand up to a fight with soldiers but against robbers and thieves they feel pretty confident. The guildsmen and their entourage live in a placid two-story house in Chakta. They have rented it from the innkeeper who owns it. This is what the group will find out if they spy on the house and its inhabitants:

    • The party always stays at the house between an hour before dusk to an hour after dawn. When they leave the house they always leave a groom to guard it and during their absence the door is locked.
    • There are three windows on the second floor, one of the accessible through the roof. Climbing up there would be hard but if the PCs are smart enough they will notice that the side building is a warehouse, and the access to the roof is far easier that way.
    • The guildsmen get their food from the inn twice per day, once when they get up and once when they get back. The rest of the daily intake is done in Golotha at the Hand and Fist.
    • The leader seems to be a miller by the name of Joskel who is middle- aged, the other two, a weaponcrafter named Irdun and his little brother Samil, a metalsmith, are in their late twenties. All are armed with a staff and a dagger.
    • The three grooms are armed with leather armour, spears, and a dagger and a club each. They look stern and keep close to their masters. None of the grooms are hoping for action but are ready for it should it arise.

The two easiest ways into the house are by either tricking the groom or by the window up on the second floor (leads to a lavatory). From the latter entrance a good climber and with his stealth skills could enter that way and open the door on the ground floor. There is no guard during the night. Each guildsman have a small trinket of jewelry (worth about 200d), about 300d each, plus one large usurer note worth 1,000d bought by Largo of Lorjan himself (they have no connections to that man other than the note). They intend to use this note to pay off the Mangai master. Besides these valuables the clothes they wear are worth some money because they are of better quality. The grooms have about 60d each in coins. This group of people will leave six days after the intro takes place.

RIVALS AND INTRUDERS HAVE NO VALUE...

The thief who is hiding in the slums is from Coranan and is in Golotha to steal a Jade Cat from a visiting mercantyler from the same place. The thief, Heeri, is a good looking female with good fighting skills. She is not alone and is guarded by a brutish ex-legionnaire by the name of Quint. He follows her wherever she goes. Jarop found out about her presence through one of his paid beggars who recognized her from the Thardic city. Unknown to Jarop he is acting on the beggar's knowledge who knows the thief to be a spy from her earlier career. What the beggar Fricke and the guildmaster does not know is that she left that trade a few years back. This is what the PCs will learn from speaking to Fricke and spying on the house where Heeri and Quint are staying:

    • The brute never leaves the thief's side no matter what happens around them. According to rumors the two are lovers and although hard to acknowledge there is something about the thug's overprotecting demeanor.
    • They live on the third floor in a house in Sewer Town that they have rented from Scarlet Dak (who does not care who they are since they pay well). The two pose as wanna-be teamsters but those with wagon skills knows that that is just a cover. The whips and manure smell is not genuine.
    • The flat they rent is easy to access if using lockpick (quality 2) but Fricke suspects that there are traps (correct) containing poison since he knows that Heeri has some skills in the area from her earlier trade.
    • Heeri and her "lover" are often skulking the area around the Mercantylers hall. What they are up to there is anyone's guess. If the PCs successfully spy on the two they will notice that they follow a foreign mercantyler and his men.

To kill Heeri may be complicated. She and Quint are very careful not to get ambushed and if they are, and loosing fast, Quint will berserk trying to make sure that Heeri escapes. She is always walking around with her bow and an arrow just in case, and if the PCs are able to see this through her floppy robe they may avoid accurate arrows. The best way is to take her out is to fight her with cunning stealth when she least expects it like in the more guarded areas of the city. In the slums it will be harder because the two will be on their guard at all times. Heeri and her partner will stay in the city ten days after the intro. On the ninth she will steal the cat and the PCs may see how she enters the mercantylers' hall (if they call for help she may be caught and the problem solved) while Quint guards below. If they attack Quint he guards in the mercantylers' hall will be alerted and join the fray. They will capture Heeri and maybe the PCs as well. Time for Sike to pull his father's strings...

    Sidebar:
    Heeri:
    Shortbow 85
    Daggers 85
    Initiative 70
    Armour Enc 15
    Attributes Average 14
    Armour superior leather

    Quint:
    Handaxe 95
    Club 85
    Dagger 80
    Initiative 75
    Armour Enc 25
    Strength 17
    Dexterity 13

THE DEAD PILGRIM FROM THE EAST...

There is a pilgrim staying at the Noose and Jester who is searching for his lost brother said to have traveled to Golotha early spring from the east (the pilgrim will be very vague of where the east lies). Unfortunately he has left with his family's heirloom a book of ancient writings. The pilgrim who does not wish to name himself claims the book is of sentimental value and is very important to his clan. He also claims to be an Agrikan pilgrim and the brimstone and the sulfur smell surely makes him a follower of the Lord of the Four Horsemen (to whom he praises constantly). The pilgrim will give the characters the description of his brother (young, blonde, speaks with a foreign accent and he was last seen wearing a red cloak, sandals, and a green hat) and tell them that they will get 1,000d for the book.

What the PCs does not know is that the pilgrim is actually a renegade and powerful Peleahn Shek-Pvar by the name of Derash (see the picture of the Player Darius) who has one of his tomes stolen from his first apprentice. Embarrassed by his loss he has traveled from Tashal in Kaldor in pursuit of Hudel, the lad he claims is his younger brother ("from my mother's side..."). Hudel is really a thief who has some natural talent for magic and possess what is the beginning stages of three psionic talents (mental bolt, prescience [which has kept him safe], and charm). He can hide and stay hidden for a really long time with the aid of his talents (even if they are uncontrollable) and his skills as a thief.

Derash however has no such skills and while a accomplished Peleahn and skilled in the art of Lyahvi, he does not know the rules of the streets. Twice he has been attacked by muggers since he arrived in Golotha and twice has he been able to escape by using his spells. Although he could with ease kill a couple of thugs with his magic he does not want to make his presence known. Instead he has decided to use the local thugs to get the book for him. He does of course not trust the PC and will follow them using his his Lyahvi spells. This will make them feel that they are being followed at times. Derash will however not be able to follow them at all times of the day and these stalks will only happen now and then. If it becomes too apparent have the PCs roll against their eyesight to see some flickers in the shadows.

Hudel will be a hard nut to crack and the only way to get to him and the book is to have someone who is known to have money and an interest in books (like Earl Lenesque) look for new tomes and the like. Hudel is of course not ignorant of the dangers so the PCs will have to play it like they mean business. In any case once the deal is set up Hudel will appear weary of course, and use any of his talents to make sure the PCs do not trick him. Sometimes during the conversation and meeting, Derash will appear and try to kill Hudel. Unfortunately for the former the latter will succeed in using his talents and escape (though not before the book has been delivered). Once the PCs and Derash have made a deal he will take it and leave. Should they reconsider or ask for more he will display a few of his tricks for them. Will they get hostile he will barbecue the lot...

    Sidebar:
    Rumors Erol heard:
    The king has hired a few mercenary companies who stay at Caer Chafta outside Golotha. These are rumoured to be used against the Earl of Tormau's domains in the south.

    The Heptarchial Council of Golotha are planning to cleanse the city of Laranian spies during the month of Morgath. Dozens of innocents will probably die.

    The Mamekas are planning an assault against the Kuborans in the north and they suspect some of them are in the payroll of the Earl of Tormau.

    There is a guild war brewing in Coranan that may spread to Golotha. The teamsters' brotherhood are trying to become a guild and they have spent much coin in the senate. If they try something similar here it will become riot like.

CAMPAIGN ADDS...

Time: Nolus 3rd Golotha
Days: 4th Nolus - 11th Nolus (8 in total)
Characters: Slakka, Jeremiz, Erol, and Sike
Players: Dan, Jonny, Lars, and Darius
Date: Saturday 28th February 2004
Length: 16:30 - 01:00

Notes: The PCs managed to kill Heeri and her thug but where unable to steal the money and the valuables from the guildsmen. In the process of stalking the Thardic spy Sike and Erol got into a conflict with two visiting mercenaries. It all ended with Sike getting a grievous wound in his shoulder by a bolt and Erol loosing his touch attitude when he had to flee. Luckily the mercenaries also decided to flee since they didn't know who the nobleman was or how he would take it if his "guard" would die from that wound. Jeremiz and Slakka were more careful and set up a stage for an ambush across the street from the house where the spy and her thug stayed. When it was time, and good rolls where with them, Slakka and Erol downed the two with Gaethipa coated arrows and bolts. They found some plans for a valuable Jade cat that they sold to Jarop (the mercantyler had the cat and the "spy" was in Golotha to steal it).

The book deal also went smooth once the PCs figured out what to do. Sike was resting in his bed at his father's place (and the player left for home) so the rest had to do without him. They were able through Erol to find Hudel who not only charmed their ass off, but also managed to escape the wrath of Derash. The renegade however was good to his word and paid them for the book Hudel (who fled to mainland Lythia) had to leave behind. Unknown to the PCs Derash likes Golotha and is planning to move there (the portrait of Derash can be found under the players of this campaign on the main page, click on Darius).

Erol also heard that his perversities was the talk of the heralds' guild so he decided to see who was spreading these "vile rumors" and with a few paid off spies, and some coins poured into the hands of important heralds, he found out that it was a herald named Tidris who was behind it all. Apparently, after secretly capturing the herald using Slakka and Jeremiz, Erol found out that the man who had paid the herald to spread these rumors to the temple town and the castle was a lord from the east (the brother to the squire whom Erol once raped). Erol decided to throw a lavish party to erase all such talk and get the upper hand of his rumor. He succeeded and invited Sir Coroz of the Warriors of Mameka, Sir Markoz a knight of the Champion of the Golden Stag, Parqu the Litigant of the council, Largo of Lorjan the mercantyler guildmaster, Sike's uncle the Morgath priest Khala-Gekesa (who was too busy to attend...), and Heroz the Aperahkai of the Mameka Master of Steel order.

He also paid a few courtesans and good looking whores to attend and while disgusted, smooched and kissed two of these all night to make sure that the guest saw his lust for women (and he took a long bath afterwards washing of the feminine touch, and cleansed his mouth with brandy). He was also able to (due to good intrigue rolls) find out about rumors and plans that would be quite beneficial to his cousin the earl. The feast also got him an audience with his aunt Queen Erila who normally never sees the herald without his cousin.
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Matt
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