Part 5: Deep Dark Alleys

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

Part 5: Deep Dark Alleys

Postby Matt » Thu May 05, 2016 11:27 am

LAST MEN STANDING ...

Sike was dead, killed by brigands in another land by other men also outside the law. Although he had followed willingly with Erol's expedition, his father Oparn was not going to let the matter rest. Standing in front of the herald at The Noose and Jester, he repeated what he had just said. "Hear this you degenerated swine because this warning will be your last. You killed my son and sitting with a smug smile on your lips does not help your cause. I do not care that you are the cousin of an earl or the queen's man, vengeance will be mine as soon as the protection around your head fades. Mark my words Erol, you are dead..." With those words Oparn and his two bodyguards left the dark corner of the inn leaving Erol and his two "friends" alone with the staring eyes of those close by. Erol who had lost his smile picked up. "Hah! Foolish mercantyler. Who the hell does he think he is? If it hadn't been for my aching feet I would have cut him down on the spot and used his ugly head as a candle holder for the rest of the evening. I am dead? Of course I am, I am dead inside..." The last of his words faded into a whisper.

Slakka eyed the rest of the establishment with suspicious eyes and hushed to Erol to keep his voice down. "Be quiet man, this inn is probably crawling with people loyal to the Zarainsen clan and it would be unwise to anger them. I don't know how you survived the brigands and the ambush but I do not want it repeated on the streets of this city. Perfidious it may be but I do not want to be a member of the crab infested corpses of these fetid canals." Erol waved his comments away with an irritated hand while drinking sourly from a goblet with the other. Jeremiz who had been quiet most of the evening had kept his neutrality open for all to see. "Well no matter what you and Oparn have against each other, I for one am not here this evening to find out. Slakka, you told me you would meet with your cousin friend here. Someone named Mogger. When will he arrive you reckon?" Slakka a bit eased by the change of conversation answered. "Now..." He pointed into the direction of the bar where a man with a big beard and a large sword resting on his shoulder strode towards them. The man looked impressive and was probably experienced with that weapon of his.

"Welcome Mogger! My name is Jeremiz and I am a friend of your cousin. Why don't you sit down with the rest of us and have an ale at my expense?" Jeremiz had risen to make sure Mogger felt at home. He was struck silent when he saw the fisheyes of the drooling thug in front of him. Jeremiz felt dumb that Slakka hadn't told him that his cousin was a retard, and he gave him a sour stare but was surprised to see the assassin smile. "Ahem..." A squeaky voice was heard from below the table and a small hand was seen above its corner. It snapped and the bearded swordsman lifted a midget just barely over three feet short onto the table. The midget had a look not even his mother could love but had a decent looking cloak wrapped around his shoulder, and he held a oversized dagger in his right hand. "I am Mogger you fool. This is my bodyguard Bloody Bhurt and he is both deaf and mute. Luckily for you thief, he is in a good mood today so he won't skin you alive." Mogger seemed confident in spite his height and he turned to Slakka. "Nice to see you cousin although it has been a while since you visited my tavern."

Slakka was about to greet his small-sized cousin but Erol, uncharacteristically bitter, snuck between. "Great... Just great... Not only is my reputation faltering because I hang out with you misfits, but to add a three foot freak to the company? I would do better with a handful of beggars and still have some dignity left." Mogger just laughed. "Well, well, well, if it isn't the famous Evil Erol honoring me by having me at his table. I am your humble servant milord." Erol raised an eyebrow pleased to at least have been recognized as the nobleman he was. His evil smile returned. Maybe this midget would be of some use after all? Slakka ignored the megalomaniac herald and continued. "Well met cuz. Yes I have been busy and to be honest, your haunt is no place for the likes of me. Poor and beggars perhaps but not me. However that is not why I have called you. I think you will be a nice addition to our gang. Bhurt's sword here and your size would come in handy. As you know Sike has died and just the three of us seems a tad bit low in numbers. What say you?". Mogger stuck his dagger into an apple and raised it to his mouth. A devious smile crossed his lips. That was all the answer Slakka needed...

GOLOTHA WAS RIPE WITH ADVENTURE ...

Unlike the other sessions this is not really an adventure but more of a compilation of events that happens in Golotha the last five months of 720Tr. Some of these are for special characters, others for all, and some even just rumors for the PCs to act upon should they chose to do so. Sike died the last session so a new character has entered the group as detailed above. Have a closer look at the illustrations and background in the A Deadly Brew section of this campaign. This what will mainly happen during the fall and winter in Golotha:

    • The fall will see more rioting because of bad crops than in many years. PCs and others walking the streets unarmed, and even armed and low in numbers, may be attacked by desperate vagabonds and beggars not protected by Jarop and his masters.
    • The Queen would like a report on what happened to her former sergeant. Acknowledging that he has failed would be an unwise move for Erol but lying may be dangerous if the Queen decides to have these lies checked out (maybe by talking to the men she overheard leaving Golotha with Erol...).
    • Erol will also have to entertain two parties of noblemen from his cousin's vassals, the first an arrogant lord named Sir Drear Cevam who will arrive with a handful of men, his wife and some servants. They will ignore Erol totally making smug remarks behind his back. The other, Sir Ozar Armatyne will arrive at a later date with his two knight brothers. He is a brute and very quick to anger.
    • Jeremiz' father Odder from Shostim is in town for a guild meeting and he will pay two thugs not of the Lia-Kavair to beat up Jeremiz for stealing the money when he fled to Golotha. There is a fifty percent chance that these thugs will attack the thief when he is with some of the others in the gang.
    • Borana (F20) will contact Slakka to kill a rival perfumer from Shiran (not on the map) who sold her bad wares he concealed behind a handful good ones. Not only that but he tried to scare her into silence with his three hired soldiers who accompany him to the city. To add some spice, Slakka and Borana will find a liking for each other that may lead to love...
    • Largo of Lorjan contacts Slakka to kill a nobleman who is staying at the Bridgetower Inn. The nobleman is a spy of the guilds' in Shostim and is really a journeyman in disguise. He goes by the name of Rogerd Kilath.
    • Mogger is dragged from his tavern to the House of Ak-Syt to perform as a Jester there. Although severely humiliated he will be paid for his services by the intoxicated templars. Maike the Mascot will find Mogger likable...
    • The Silk Hat tavern will become the haunt of a few of Thorfinn's Marines during the autumn and although one whore dies under their cruelty, the ivinians spend more money than the poor in the Trevorman area (add fifty percent to each roll on the monthly income of the tavern).
    • Jarop will sell (for half the loot) three heists to the PCs and their caliber. One is a lady and her entourage who stays at the Bridgetower Inn (her name is Ogana Londaen), the second are two visiting scribes of an important nobleman (unknown) who are renting a flat near Nemiran square with two armed grooms, the third is a merchant from Kanday who is staying at the Hand and Fist with his journeyman and one groom.
    • Jarop will also tell the PCs that a very odd fellow has bought a house near the temple of Save-K'nor and that someone claims he dabbles in magic. The same fellow (Derash) later contacts the PCs to steal a recipe from the local apothecary that he wants (he could steal it himself but is busy with other work than to play the thief).
    • The Slaughterfeast on the 23rd of Ilvin brings all kinds of Agrikans to Golotha and the inns and streets are packed with lords of various kinds. During this time the king also arrives secretly to the castle as do the earls of Ithiko and Techen (who will make the life of Erol miserable if he stays at his house) plus a handful of barons to discuss the pacification of Tormau.
    • The winter in Navek and Morgat is cold and windy. The few starving people who did not perish during the summer draught and fall starvation ducks under the cold and dies. More than one alley will contain a frozen corpse or three when spring comes.
    • The Night of Shadows will be a fearful event in Golotha. When the day is over, one herald lies slain, one local lord, two journeymen guildsmen and the queen's most popular knight (which will have an effect as the Mamakas scour the poor quarters in search of the Naveh temple, but without success). If Erol has gone out of luck with both the queen and his cousin, Oparn will send a Lia-Kavair assassin on his ass (named Lurz, the Lars portrait on the main page).
    • The Feast of Bukrai will see people sacrificed in the open as well as long trains of priests, undead and laymen, walk from the temple of Morgath to temple hill where more sacrifices are being held in the red stained snow.
    • Largo will contact Slakka and tell him that he intends to do something about the firm hold that Jarop holds over some smuggler operations in the city. To begin with as he calls it. He wants Slakka's loyalty...

CAMPAIGN ADDS ...

Time: Halane 4th Golotha
Days: 4th Halane - 30th Morgat (146 in total)
Characters: Slakka, Jeremiz, Erol, Mogger, and Bhurt
Players: Dan, Jonny, Lars, and Darius
Date: Saturday 13th March 2004
Length: 16:30 - 03:00

Notes: This session was the longest yet and the most improvised. The PCs had plans of their own and I as the GM wanted the year 720 to end. Starting with the return of Erol and the introduction of Mogger proved to be a fruitful event in the session. Having a midget in the gang really enhances the mood and the player (Jonny) really got into character with that one. Most of the events above happened except Slakka doing any deeds for the Lorjan clan (he was busy with other issues and missed the opportunities and Lurz took the chance; he will appear more in the future). There was two things that stood out the most during the session (besides the fact that Erol told the queen that he had failed miserably and was dismissed from her grace):

    • Slakka did the work for Borana and was paid accordingly. Unfortunately for his trade, he found the perfumer to be a woman to his liking and well, to say the least sparks flew... The two found each other and are secretly a couple. This had a serious impact on how the others in the group looked at Slakka. All know he is the cold blooded killer and the best fighter but to see him deep in his thoughts with a smile made them all nervous.
    • Mogger, the little schemer that he is, decided to hook up on a rumor about Erol's sexual tendencies and fooled the herald that he had heard it from one of his patrons on his tavern. For a fee he could investigate further. Erol paid him and it all ended with a false lead that one of Erol's own servants was spreading the rumors (the cook of whom Mogger knew who she was). The herald and Slakka met and dragged the cook to the hidden torture chamber in the basement where they interrogated the old woman. She of course didn't know what it was about and told all kinds of lies to escape torture.

What none of the PCs knew was that one of the maids in Erol's house was a Naveh priestess, and was awaiting the coming of the Earl to slay him next year. I had planned the story so that the eastern border would plunge into chaos but the PC thwarted those plans. Wrongly suspecting the Lenesques of knowing that there was a Naveh priestess in the house, she decided that such a failure would not be accepted by her superiors and she took her life after ridding herself of the other people in the house (except Erol, Slakka and the tortured cook). When she was later found with a slit throat Slakka immediately recognized the daggers she had used to dispose herself and the rest of the staff. Erol shocked, but knowing how to turn bad tidings into good, presented the daggers to his cousin who had picked this woman because of her loyalty. The Earl seeing himself saved from an assassin, wiped the slate clean and reinstated Erol with his full protection. In short, Erol had crawled from an ant to a warhorse in one bloody evening without even pulling his sword...
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Matt
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