Merchants of Anuire – Session 3 – Out of the Swamp and back Home

Character Cast

  • Fancey Fleetfooted, Wanderer, Anuirean Male lvl 2 (Edmond)
  • Ciavey the Peddler, Treasure Hunter, Halfling Male, lvl 2 (Isaac)
  • Lucian the Quiet, Scholar, Anuirean Male, lvl 2 (NPC)
  • Dragon the Pony
  • Death-from-Above, Trained Falcon

SHORT JOURNEY- Moderate Terrain – from Spiritsend Swamp (Duchy of Osoerde) to Fairfield (Barony of Roesone)

  • Embarkation roll: 3 (The Keen Eyes of the Enemy)
  • Event roll (1): 10 (A Place Touched by the Shadow)
  • Event roll (2): 7 (A Hunt)
  • Arrival roll: 6 (Grimly Determined)

WEATHER – Cold, Drizzle

Swamp Mummy

Fleeing from the duke’s men into the Spiritsend Swamp, the rebels separated in smaller bands. Ciavey, Fancey and Lucian got together with 3 rebels and slowly navigated the treacherous paths between fetid pools of bubbling water. Night soon fell on them, and with it occured a thinning of the barrier with the Shadow world … An ancient evil manifested itself, skeletons suddenly surged from the dark waters – they seemed everywhere – and a more terrible foe: a swamp mummy! Fancey shot 2 arrows at the mummy but that didn’t seem to wound it very much. They had to get out of there fast! The small band managed to destroy 3 skeletons blocking the way but one rebel (who shall die nameless) got caught by a fearsome blow of the Swamp Mummy and that was the end of him. Another (anonymous) rebel got cut down by another wave of skeletons, with their rusty swords. The survivors managed to get out of the flooded area and finally put some distance between them and the undead.

Another Swamp Thing

Exhausted and wounded, the small band walked another hour before they felt safe enough to take a rest. But as they sat down a strange figure emerged from the ground just a few feet away. Vaguely humanoid, it looked like an upright tangle of roots, moss and decomposing organic matter. And it talked, of course it talked! It presented itself as the Swamp Mage, an ally of the rebels in their fight against the Duke. It told them that it would keep the powers of the Shadow in check, until they could join the rebels’ camp.

Meeting Siele Ghoried

The rebels thought their position in Osoerde too precarious, but they knew they could count on neighboring kingdom of Arenwe to seek refuge from the usurper’s soldiers. Preparations had been made to cross the river, with bargemen from Calrie assisting them. Out of the swamp, the PCs wished good luck to the rebels and parted ways. The next day, in the port city of Calrie, the PCs looked for whatever business opportunities they could find and this soon led them to meet Siele Ghoried the merchant guildmaster. Siele was happy to meet fellow Rosoenian and they had lot to talk together. It thus occured to them that they shared an enemy: Othrien Tane the Merchant/Bandit. They agreed to work together from now on.

To Eclipse the Eclipse Knight

The PCs left Calrie behind aboard one of Siele’s caravan bound west for Roesone. At a crossroad a black & gold armored knight was lying down, maybe sleeping, only getting up when the caravan was almost on him. He then issued his usual challenge, a duel, that nobody was foolish enough to accept.

The Griffon

Almost at the border, with the Black Hills ahead of them, the PCs had to repel a griffon that seemed interested in having a little snack. Fortunately, a well-aimed arrow from Fancey convinced the majestic beast to go look elsewhere for his meat.

The Bandits of Wulfgar the Bloodthirsty

A bit further they were ambushed by Othrien’s men, led by the infamous Wulfgar the Bloodthirsty. The merchants were outnumbered 3 to 7. Or so it seemed… 8 men, selected by Siele Ghoried, revealed themselves from inside the caravan and attacked the bandits. After a fierce but brief struggle Wulfgar, sporting many wounds, chose to surrender. The victorious caravan guards split the spoils and then proceeded to bring the tied-up bandit chief to justice.

Afterward Fancey, Ciavey and Lucian left their new allies and got back home.

DM notes

  • The starting action was nice. Just fighting skeletons would have been boring, but fighting skeletons while fleeing from a much too powerful mummy? That’s what I call a good fight!
  • The kids really wondered what was up with the Swamp Mage, as I’ve decided that his appearance would be disquieting and all. Not every good person have blonde hair, y’know?
  • There’s a lot of politics going on in the background. Of course most of it is lost on the kids, that’s just a thing I do for my own enjoyment but still, it seems obvious now that a birthright campaign is an awkward thing to do with young players… I’ll have to think about that.
  • In French we can use the word eclipse as a verb, I don’t think we can in English. I had a silly wordplay in mind: To eclipse the Eclipse Knight, does it make any sense?
  • The fight with the bandits was boring. Or I wasn’t motivated maybe. D&D combat can quickly devolve on dice throwing for the sake of throwing dice if the DM is not careful.

Merchants of Anuire Session 2: A Bundle of Swords

The boys had to clean-up their playroom as a condition to play in a rpg session with me. They did a thorough job, talk about a great incentive!

Character Cast

  • Fancey Fleetfooted, Wanderer, Anuirean Male lvl 1>>2 (Edmond)
  • Ciavey the Peddler, Treasure Hunter, Halfling Male, lvl 1>>2 (Isaac)
  • Lucian the Quiet, Scholar, Anuirean Male, lvl 1>>2 (NPC)
  • Dragon the Pony
  • Death-from-Above, Trained Falcon

SHORT JOURNEY- Moderate Terrain – from Bellam Castle (Barony of Roesone) to Spiritsend Swamp (Duchy of Osoerde)

  • Embarkation roll: 10 (Hidden from Shadows)
  • Event roll (1): 4 (In need of Help)
  • Event roll (2): 4 (In need of help)
  • Arrival roll: 8 (Inspired and filled with Hope)

WEATHER – Cold, Clear

Hunting a Troll

The Count of Bellam invited the PCs to a more substantial hunt after they had captured poachers. A TROLL was roaming in the contryside, terrorizing everybody. Several patrols were sent after the monster and the PCs joined one. Fancey soon found tracks and not much later they stumbled upon the remains of a slain bear. It so happened that their own patrol found the troll (10% chance)! Peppering it with arrows with another handful of archers, they managed to wound it enough so that soldiers with spears could close-in, immobilize it before dousing it with oil and killing it with fire… 4 soldiers were grievously wounded by the troll. It went well.

The Rebels of Osoerde

An agent of the Spider River Traders convinced the PCs to bring weapons across the border, in the duchy of Osoerde. William Moergen, the true heir of Osoerde, is leading a desperate guerilla war against his late father’s ex-lieutenant, the usurper Jaison Raenech. He’s presently hidden in the Spiritsend Swamp. The Rendez-vous is just outside the swamp at its most western part.

Tumultuous Border

Leaving Bellam county, the PCs walked on a sinuous road through a hilly region before reaching the farmlands of Osoerde. A few hours in and they can see a dwarven caravan being assaulted by miners-turned-bandits. Well positioned on the slope above the ambush, Fancey and Ciavey quickly kill 3 bandits with arrows and then manage to kill the bandit leader with 2 more arrows. The surviving bandits surrender and are free to leave. Mazzik, on behalf of the grateful Dwarves, gives a nice helm to Ciavey.

A few hours later, horseriders want to know the PCs’ business in Osoerde but silver-tongued Ciavey convince the patrolmen of their legitimacy.

Swampfever

The PCs arrive at a small, isolated village that suffers from a plague of swampfever. Lucian knows what kind of healing herbs could help them, if they ever find any.

Payment Interrupted

They finally arrived at the rendez-vous point and were proceeding to the exchange when shouts alarmed them of an incoming enemy patrol. The PCs and rebels fled in the Spiritsend Swamp and evaded the duke’s men.

DM notes

  • The Troll killed the bear gratuitously, meaning its truly a monster and deserving of death.
  • The PCs are almost out of arrows from all that shooting
  • 2 hours is about the max I can do if we’re to play with Edmond, not bad at all

Merchants of Anuire – Session 1 – Wine & Venison

Happy New year!

I’m starting what may be a whole new campaign with my kids. I’ve kept this first session really basic. I hope to get things more imaginative in the next sessions, if we keep at it.

Campaign frame

  • We’re playing in the Birthright (TSR 1995) setting, with the continent of Cerilia. I was fascinated by this setting when I was a teenager and I can make use of the impressive level of details it got for the style of campaign I have in mind
  • Oddly, I’m using Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle Earth (5e OGL adaptation), even if it’s not Tolkien’s world we’re playing in, for the implied low magic setting and also, from this book there’s the Journey Mechanics that suits perfectly my purpose for a mercantile campaign of sort
  • In this homebrewed version of Birthright, there’s no blooded scions à la highlander. Maybe there’ll be a simplified domain/regency play but that would be much further in the campaign
  • Azrai is Cerilia’s version of Sauron and is responsible for most that is evil in the world. If someone do evil he’s in fact succumbing to Azrai’s « Shadow ». Too much of this and you turn into a literal monster.

Background

The kingdom of Anuire is at peace but, with the Iron Throne still vacant, war may not be far.

In Eastern Anuire, in the Barony of Roesone…

Mattheus, Ciavey’s Uncle, has been ambushed by thugs, most certainly from Orthien Tane’s gang. Many of his long-time employees have been slain and Mattheus himself is in a critical state. Fighting for his life and facing bankruptcy, Mattheus relies on his nephew (and his friends) to save the family business.

Character Cast

  • Fancey Fleetfooted, Wanderer, Anuirean Male lvl 1 (Edmond)
  • Ciavey the Peddler, Treasure Hunter, Halfling Male, lvl 1 (Isaac)
  • Lucian the Quiet, Scholar, Anuirean Male, lvl 1 (NPC)
  • Dragon the Pony (NPC)

Roads well-traveled

SHORT JOURNEY- Easy Terrain – from Fairfield to Bellam Castle (Barony of Roesone)

  • Embarkation roll: 11 (with hopeful hearts and clear purpose)
  • Journey events roll (x1): 1 (a chance encounter)
  • Arrival roll: 7 (tall tales and great deeds)

WEATHER – Cloudy

  • Talked to farmers around Fairfield, bought sheep wool, bought an old broadsword
  • Reached Abbey of the Lady, sold sheep wool, bought high-end wine. A woodcutter, a servant of the abbey, is missing. PCs chose not to take part in a rescue sortie.
  • Encountered Spider River Traders merchants going the other way, one Hughes said they could make some well-paid work if they go at their outpost in the west
  • Paid the ferry toll to cross Black river
  • Reached Bellam Castle, sold Abbey of the Lady wine for good profit
  • Just in time for an archery contest! Fancey took part with 3 other competitors and won with the best shot after 3 arrows! The prize is a wonderful Trained Falcon which is promptly named Death-from-Above.
  • The Count of Bellam praises Fancey for his win and offers him to become a game warden. Fancey don’t want to settle down and says so. The Count asks if he would do a one-time job then of hunting down poachers for him?
  • Fancey and Ciavey accept the job. Fancey uses his impressive tracking skills and they find the poachers, 2 Halflings, in the forest near a spring. They kill one with 2 arrows, the other flees but quickly surrender when Death-From-Above is launched at him.
  • Gained valuable Red Deer venison and antlers

DM notes

  • The 3 « Journey » rolls were almost optimal, which means less danger on the road and more profitable deals
  • I had a little talk with the boys about killing a poacher after the session. I should have done it beforehand. I don’t want them killing non-monsters left and right just because they can. Something about raising kids properly and all!
  • Mom roleplayed Count of Bellam to great effect!