Sunday, February 26, 2017

Journal of the Lord High Constable, Part 5

As we left the hospital to go our separate paths, Magnus began to speak of capturing and not killing the man who had become the root of many of our problems.

I reminded Magnus of my house words.

“Honour the Name”

He made the case that a Dayne might bring stability to Dorn.

I reminded him that this man who has hidden in the shadows for 25 years. Who instead of seeking out help from a house that would have supported him, he joined up with insurrectionists. Who has stolen my house weapon and sister. Who has cowardly attacked one of my men.
He is no Dayne. Merely a shadow of what the house was.

I do not know for certain who Arik listened to. For ultimately I believe that whether to take the final blow will be his choice to make. His determination to protect his brother, and skill with his spear will ensure that.

I returned to the chambers in the palace. My last confrontation with Kali still left a cold air in the room. I ordered her servant and my men leave us alone, this needed to be a talk of man and wife. As she ignored me I took of the mantle of my position. My armour and cape pushed aside I stood before her as Fergus. A man she has seen little of.
I began to try and explain to her that all I have ever wanted was to protect our House. And that our son was a part of that House, his return was something that had weighed on me since he was taken. It fell on deaf ears.

I held nothing back, she needed to hear what I was about to do this night. For us! I told her of the Dukes dismissal of me. And that I planned to challenge him to single combat, to the death.
She begged me to not take this course of action. Fearing our son would bear the brunt of a repercussion. She did not seem to air a concern for my life, since it will be the one on the line.

I tried explaining it was the only way forwards. That if I won the Duke would no longer stand between us and Ethan. She should have be overjoyed at the prospect of his return. That I would risk my own life to make it so.

But I saw the wall come down. She did not listen. Blinded by her concern and lack of trust in me. She may as well have stabbed me with a dagger to the chest then, because it felt that way. Not just because of her lack of trust in me, but because I knew what I would have to do to stop her interfering.

I dressed for the feast and left. Ordering Kali and her servant not be allowed to attend the feast or leave the chambers. And so leaving with my own wound from her, I immediately deal my own strike back. Is it possible for me to ever have happiness with Kali, as we once had?

Walking to the great hall I saw the Duke and Cuylar Dale preparing for the tour. It would appear the rumours of a living Dayne has shaken the Duke. He had many more men to guard him. It may be advantageous that he isn't in his best state of mind. But then neither am I. The burdens each of us bear are heavy ones.

As I looked on, Magnus approached me. It seems they had made little progress despite my men's assistance. No matter there is little time for any distractions now. I have faith in the men I have positioned.

Magnus has been detached from Dorn for a while. But not long enough that he forgets the Duke’s betrayal of our land. He is of the same mind that he needs to be replaced. It didn't seem to overly shock him when I told him I was to challenge him tonight.

He was more concerned with getting the Elven scripture that was taken from him. If he is indeed an envoy of the elves I shall make sure he is properly heard. But that is tomorrow's worries. I assured him I would listen and return his document if I was to replace the Duke. He may be a man of poor reputation, but that can be rebuilt. And his skills will undoubtedly benefit the realm, I’d prefer he helps as a friend.

In the great hall I arrived long before the other guests. I spoke to the organiser of the entertainment. As expected he was surprised when I told him I’d personally perform a song with my sister. He was hesitant but I know how to command a man, he listened and will do as he’s told. I’ll go on near the end of the 5th course. A good amount of time to let everyone get comfortable and let their guards down. It will give my words impact.

Luckily my dear sister Morven finally showed up. She was apparently searching for Caitlin alone. Perhaps I should have a man follow her as well to make sure she doesn't do anything foolish next time. She accused me of letting my men do everything for me, but when I revealed I had found out more than her, she soon changed her tune. I let her know we’ll sing the Unification of Eris Aman together during the feast. Morven I can at least rely upon it seems.

As the feast has started father is getting cold feet. He wanted to hold off in light of this rumor of a living Dayne. To hell with that. If father is growing too weak willed to take his claim now, perhaps I shall. I’ll not let our house fail to rise to true greatness because of a rumour.

“Honour the Name!”

The Journal of Magnus Sedrig, continued (Session 5)


Moonday the 1st of Redfall 890 TA - Even Even Later

I write this entry from the Dragon Hall. The great feast and meeting between the Houses of Dorn and the Sarcosan Host is about to begin, the next few hours may determine the fate of the mannish race, perhaps ALL races.

After the revelation about Wyrmclaw, we quickly came to the conclusion that Vijur and this heir to the Dayne bloodline where the same person. Fergus had obtained information that Vijur was associated with a tavern called the “Pig and Whistle” and he had sent Redgard troops to surveil the premises. Arik loudly declared his intention to slay his brother’s would-be assassin and Fergus didn’t seem particularly opposed to this short-sighted course of action.  I tried to talk some sense into the pair, and there was a brief “discussion” about how to proceed: If it gets out that there is still a living heir to house Dayne, and that a Sarcosan had already killed him… that would mean war. My people aren’t known for calmness or rationality, Vijur MUST NOT come to serious harm before we’ve had a chance to sort this whole mess out. Eventually I think I got through to Arik, Fergus seemed less convinced though in hindsight maybe he just sees Vijur as a threat to the Redgard power-play (more on this later).

Arik and I set off for the Pig and Whistle, outside the city gates. As we approached the tavern some shifty looking Dorns, Fergus’ troops, beckoned us into an alleyway and filled us in on the situation. They hadn’t seen Vijur come or go from the tavern but they did have a spy inside right now, he might have known more. Deciding we had no time to waste, I cast a Glamour on Arik to conceal his clearly Sarcosan appearance and we entered the tavern INCOGNITO.

Side Note: Arik is a bit of an odd one, when I first suggested we sneak into the tavern he laughed at the idea, mocked me in front of our shady friends. As soon as we had a private moment though he immediately apologised, admitting that he was just trying to seem “in command” in front of the men. Unusual to see such self-awareness in a human...

Anyway, we entered the tavern and sat down across from this spy fellow. Long story short, Vijur hadn’t been seen entering or leaving the tavern despite stabbing a man a few hours ago, so he probably wasn’t on the premises. Apparently, The Tavern is a front for House Esben’s spy network or some such skullduggery… I don’t know if that ties into the rest of this mess but there’s no time to investigate further right now. Also, apparently I’m not cut out for spycraft, I don’t know what I did exactly but the spy informed me I’d blown his cover.

Frustrated that we’d hit another dead end, Arik and I were riding back into the city when a guard informed us that the city gates were being sealed and we needed to choose: “In or Out”. It seems news about our Rogue Dayne has spread, and the craven Duke is panicking. Arik needed to be near his brother, I needed to report our findings back to Fergus and wanted to continue the search for Vijur so we parted ways.

I found Fergus in the Dragon Hall and filled him in on our (lack of) progress. I proposed in lieu of the ability to track Vijur down, we stick to the Sharif and wait for him Vijur to make a move. Unfortunately it turns out my earlier “complication” with the Duke has resulted in Fergus being stripped of his position as Lord Constable and he no longer has the authority to make that happen. During our conversation Fergus kept hinting that SOMETHING would happen at the feast, and when I questioned him he out-right stated that he planned on challenging the Duke’s leadership at the feast tonight.

I saw an opportunity here, and agreed to convince my Father to support the Redgard challenge. The Duke is not well liked and can’t maintain control over the Dorn for much longer, especially with a surviving DAYNE heir on the loose, and he’s already shown he has no interest in taking the threat of Izrador seriously. Unlike Fergus. Maybe it’s improper for an envoy to takes sides like this, but my task is to ensure mankind is prepared for the Shadow’s return and that can’t happen if they’re embroiled in civil war for who-knows how many years. Better the Duke is removed now while we have a chance to avoid open war.

UNFORTUNATELY, my father didn’t see things that way. He wants to sit on his hands and WAIT to see how events unfold with this Dayne business. Never would take a risk, that man. So now I find myself unsure of what to do, my family name has earned me a place at the feast but the course of action that ensures peace isn’t at all clear. Do I throw in my lot with House Redgard and hope for the best, or should I wait and see how events unfold? If Vijur makes himself known, should I be backing him or Fergus? Do I take this opportunity to deliver my message to as many Earls as possible, or is that just going to get me locked up again?

[Will continue from here after session 6]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chapter 5 - The Calm Before the Storm

Chapter 5 - The Calm Before the Storm

GM: David "Dork Rage" Benson
Players: John Love, Joe Newton, Lewis Wakeford
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: The Flames of Rebellion, A Burning Midnight Campaign

Recap - This session began with a discussion as to whether the players cared if the information about a living heir to the assassinated king became public knowledge.  The Magister, Vallo Embridge, who had helped them diagnose the nature of the strange injury on Fergus' spy, had realized that the wound could have only been made by a scion of House Dayne with Dayne's ancestral weapon, Wyrmclaw.  It was quite evident to the characters that Embridge would not keep this information confidential.  I gave them an opportunity to have a scene in which they could stop him or convince him not to share the knowledge.  They chose to let him share the knowledge as he saw fit and, subsequently, the information spread like wildfire around the city of Erenhead.  When the knowledge reached the Duke, who had assassinated the entire line of King Dayne 25 years ago and usurped his throne, he threw a fit and buttoned up the city.  All the gates were immediately closed and nobody was allowed to enter or leave.

This incident, however, did not cancel the tour that had been planned for Sharif Jahzir and Sahi Sunulael.  Along with Arik and a retinue of personal guards and servants, the visiting Sarcosans were brought into the city through a reinforced postern gate.  They were met my Cuyler Dale, newly appointed by the Duke to lead the tour since he dismissed Fergus Redguard several sessions ago.

The tour was completed without incident and the Sarcosans were escorted to the Duke's grand ballroom for the feast with the leaders of the Great Houses and their families.  Fergus has been waiting for the opportunity to challenge the Duke to single combat and he feels that the feast is the appropriate time, even though is father, the Earl of House Redgard, tried to convince him to hold off in light of the new information regarding the living heir.  Of course, Fergus refused.  He is focused on killing the Duke and he will not be deterred.  But that's next session....

What Was Great 

So many great things happened in this session.  Though there was very little action and only a few tests, we got to see some excellent character growth and interaction with relationships and NPCs.

Fergus, who had refused to address the issue of his missing son last session, decided to have a talk with his wife to make her understand why.  The speech was heartfelt and emotional, but he failed to sway her.  He left her confined to her suite of rooms under guard.  Kali was, of course, furious and hurt.  It was great seeing Fergus, a hard man to be sure, try to be tender with a wife that his actions have estranged...and fail miserably.  He managed to make the situation worse for himself and his wife.

Magnus and Arik had a scene in which they met an informer/spy in an inn.  They blundered the encounter so badly that the spy's cover was certainly blown and he had to abandon his post.  Magnus and Arik got a little information, but failed to follow up.  Their inability to get the info they sought will come to haunt them later as the situation grows more tense.

During the tour of the city, Arik was pulled aside by Sunulael and informed that his brother, Jahzir, was acting against the will of the Kalif and against the wishes of Sunulael.  In fact, Arik was informed that it was Jahzir himself who set up the whole assassination plot in an effort to destroy the Kalif's peace and bring war to the region, all in an effort to see the Kalif overthrown and Jahzir elevated to his position.  Arik, though polite to the Sahi, didn't believe a word he said and swore to take the information directly to Jahzir.  I can only imagine how that will play out.

What Could Have Been Better

Being a BW GM means you have to juggle many story-lines at once in order to cater to your players' beliefs.  For me, that's what makes BW so great.  I love weaving them together in the narrative and coming out with something that rises above typical RPG tropes.  It's like collectively writing a novel with your players.

It also means, however, that some story-lines and/or planned scenes and events have to be changed or even scrapped.  I had so many plans that I had for the tour, which was a central event in the whole situation.  The players were certainly waiting for something to happen and I could almost feel their disappointment when NOTHING happened.  I felt bad, sure, but I realized that if I pushed the action during the tour I would have, potentially, changed the narrative too much to allow for Fergus to have the HUGH scene that he'd been working toward for several sessions.  That scene, in which he calls out the Duke in front of the entire Dornish court, is something that we all want to see.  So, even though it probably disappointed several of the other players, I played it safe during the tour and adjusted my plans and schemes accordingly. Hopefully, all of the things I had planned for that event can still happen in modified ways, but I was deathly afraid of changing the dynamic of the game so much that I would have spoiled a potential scene that means so much to a particular player and has the potential to completely change the course of the campaign.

Was I wrong?  Could I have handled it better?  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Journal of Magnus Sedrig, continued...

From the Journal of Magnus Sedrig

Moonday the 1st of Redfall 890 TA - Even Later

Yet more threads are spun into this tangled web of intrigue! So much is happening at once, I feel today is a turning point in the history of Erenland! I get ahead of myself, here are the occurrences since my last entry.

Arik continued to argue with his brother, trying to convince him to ally with Fergus against the Duke. This seemed like a sensible course of action to me, the Duke is a DEPLORABLE and un-loved TRAITOR to his own people. Even if he isn’t directly working for the Shadow, the hatred that festers in the hearts of his subjects is going to lead to disunity and war eventually. Better to be rid of him now while we still have a chance to make ourselves ready for Izrador’s return. The Sharif seemed to care little if the Dornish nobility tore itself apart in war, it’d make us easier to control after all, but eventually our common sense penetrated his thick skull and he agreed to at least meet Fergus.

During the debate, I drew attention to the Spirit of Erethor. I am an envoy of Queen Aradil after all, my words should carry some weight with even the most stubborn of horselords. This prompted the Sharif to ask if I was associated with an Elf recently taken into custody by Sahi Sunulael. I’m not, at least I don’t think I am. It may just be a coincidence, but an Elf wouldn’t stray so far from home without a good reason and as a friend of all Eldar I should make it a priority to find this Elf and ensure their free treatment. Nothing I can do for them right now though.

Note: A Sahi is a type of Sarcosan Holy Man, he’s very important. I believe he outranks the Shariff.

We found ourselves dismissed, and I took the opportunity to ask Arik about the prisoner with the missing memories. We arrived at the prison tent and immediately I could tell something felt  SMELT wrong. Throwing back the tent flap my nose was assaulted by the foul stench of death, a CLOUD of fat black carrion flies poured from the tent, revealing the desiccated corpse of a man. Supressing the urge to wretch, I opened my third eye and inspected the prisoner's corpse. What I saw shook me to my core. The AERDRA ITSELF had been corrupted around the husk, in place of the usual lines of magic there was a sinister black web of corruption. I’ve never even heard RUMORS of magic like this before, it’s presence raises many questions. Is someone in Erenhead practicing forbidden sorcery? If so, who? If not, can the power of the Shadow reach this far South? Whatever the truth of the matter, my position here just grew that much delicate.

Arik and I attempted to bring this revelation to his Brother, but he was in a meeting with the Sahi… and APPARENTLY we weren’t important enough to interrupt under any circumstances. FRUSTRATING, to say the least, but we hadn’t any time to waste arguing with the trolls guarding the Sahi’s tent. Our own progress blocked, we returned to Erenhead to catch up with Fergus, perhaps he had uncovered something since we saw him last?

Note: Borrowed a sword. It’s of Sarcosan make. A little light for my tastes, but it’ll suffice for now.

We regrouped with Fergus and exchanged details of all we had learnt: our meeting with the Sharif, the moon axe, the abominable magic. Fergus had a favour to ask, one of his men had been ambushed during the course of his duties and I was to inspect a wound that looked suspiciously like magic. I feared that we might be dealing with more of the corrupted Sorcery that killed the prisoner but after inspecting the wound I was relieved to find that whilst it was arcane in nature, it was at least caused by  “regular” magic. I couldn’t determine the exact nature of the attack and, my own knowledge depleted, I called upon the aid of Vallo Embridge - magister in my father’s court. Vallo briefly checked the wound and remarked matter-of-factly that is was caused by WYRMCLAW OF HOUSE DAYNE! The implication of what he’d just said sunk in and his face took on a stricken look. A look mirrored in the face of every Dorn present. It appears not only has a Dayne heir survived all these years, but they are in Erenhead, and they aren’t sitting idle!

Journal of the High Constable, Part 4

I needed a place to gather myself in preparation for what is to come this night. But this place is not like home, and nowhere can I find respite from the constant barrage of problems.

Kali awaited me at our palace chambers. She came to this place with such elation of the prospect of being reunited with our son after 7 years apart from him.

But the request for him to come and see us was avoided or ignored. I had suspected something was amiss. Kali has discovered on her own that Ethan isn’t even in Erenhead.
For me this is just one of the many insults the Duke continues to throw at me. However for Kali I could see it was her world and her hope crumbling. She begged me to go the the Duke and confront him about this matter. For obvious reasons it is out of the question. The time for negotiating with him has passed, but I had no idea how to tell Kali that.

I shield her too much from my affairs and the happenings of my House. Too much. I can see I have smothered her. The way she looked at me.

I can stand before the mustered forces of the North and speak to them as their commander and comrade. I can inspire men to follow me anywhere, towards death if need be. But I cannot talk to my wife. It always comes out wrong, like I’m ordering her as I would a soldier.

I commanded that she not leave our chamber. I would not have her further complicating the situation. I have hurt her, but it shall be worth it. By the end of the night the Duke will no longer hold our son hostage. Or I shall die fighting the Duke and she will be rid of her terrible husband.
Either way perhaps I should go to her and explain myself properly. It may after all, be the last she hears of me.

I needed to set a last wheel in motion. I had Connall Crannach tracked down. Unfortunately he was wounded but had managed to fulfil most of his assignment. Knowing of my sisters foolish attempt at courting I had him keep a close eye on her to ensure her whereabouts didn’t go unchecked. His wound was already festering so I had him moved out of that awful place and taken to a more reputable hospital so that he may have a better chance of survival. Hopefully Magnus will know something, perhaps this is the “Dark Sorcery” he keeps raving about.  

Connall’s information required decisive action be taken. I assembled the Guerrilla forces that had smuggled themselves into the city.

This included going to the dungeons and bribing the jailer to release the ones that didn't manage to smuggle themselves successfully. He didn’t require much persuasion when presented with coin. The cells were almost at capacity anyway, no one will notice their absence.

The men split into 2 teams. One for the tannery and one for the Pig and Whistle tavern. I gave them orders to be on their guard and watch each other's backs. They will liaison with Connall in the hospital for guidance on the matter. I also commanded that they assist Arik if he came. They have their doubts about a Sarcosan I’m sure, but these men know to listen to my command. Plus it's Ariks brother who is at threat here.

The wheels all in motion I decided to get in some combat practice. It's a good way to clear my mind. With a hammer in hand I can deal with the enemy before me. Its simple. Black and white. Win or die. It will be me who wins.   

Arik and Magnus rejoined me. I had them come with me to see Connall so that Magnus may inspect his wound. He however did not know its origin. Calling the High Magister Vallo Embridge, he revealed it was caused by the deceased King’s blade Wyrmclaw.
So it would seem the Duke did not manage to kill the entire Dayne family. An interesting rumor that will surely spread. But it matters not. Times have changed. Someone’s blood does not necessarily make them fit to rule.

If the heir lives then where have they been these past 25 years that House Redgard have been building support against the Duke? Hiding. There is more to ruling than just having the right blood. I shall prove that.

“Honour the Name!”

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chapter 4 - Dark Magic

Chapter 4 - Dark Magic

GM: David "Dork Rage" Benson
Players: John Love, Joe Newton, Lewis Wakeford
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: The Flames of Rebellion, A Burning Midnight Campaign

Recap:  The game opened in the same location as where we ended last week, in Jahzir's tent.  Arik, Jahzir's brother and second in command of his vast host of horsemen, tried to convince Jahzir to ally with Fergus Redgard in his attempt to bring down the Duke and establish House Redgard as the rulers of the North.  Jahzir, under orders by the Kalif to ensure peace with the Dorn and to quash any attempts at rebellion, refused to consider it.  He argued that he was there under the Kalif's orders and that his personal feelings or the feelings of his brother could not supersede his orders.  A fantastic battle of wits ensued in which Jahzir did a tremendous amount of damage to Arik's body of argument in the first volley.  It looked like it was over as Arik was forced to stand and drool for the next volley.  However, Jahzir's point fell flat and Arik was able to marshal all his persuasive power (and a helper die from Magnus) to crush Jahzir's argument in the final volley.  Jahzir agreed to meet with Fergus and support him if it was in the Kalif's best interest as long as Arik agreed to help him eliminate any Dornish Earls who were pushing for open rebellion.  

Back in Erenhead, Fergus discovered from his wife that their son, Ethan, was no longer in the city.  He had been fostered by the Duke for several years but appears to have been removed from the city for reasons unknown.  Fergus refused to allow his wife to confront the Duke and declined to take action on the matter himself, much to his wife's surprise.  He left her fuming with impotent rage at the situation.  Happy wife, happy life, eh Fergus?

Joe (Fergus' player) decides that he would like to have had one of his men following his sister about.  His sister, Caitlin, stole the House's ancestral weapon and wounded her father in the attempt (as seen in last week's AP report).  Fergus successfully circled up a spy by the name of Conall Crannach.  He found Conall in a seedy poor-man's hospital in the poor section of Erenhead.  In the course of his attempt to follow Caitlin he had been attacked and stabbed in the leg.  He lost her tail but discovered that she'd been frequenting a tavern called the Pig and Whistle.  The wound, however, was festering so quickly and so badly that Conall would almost certainly have to lose his leg or die.  Fergus feared the wound was magical in nature, so set his men to trying to find Magnus to consult with and, hopefully, treat his man.

Back in the tent city, Arik and Magnus decided to check in on the prisoner that Arik had turned over to Jahzir.  He was being kept under guard in a tent on the outskirts of the tent city.  When Arik entered, he was almost felled by an odor so horrific that he was forced to make a Steel test.  He passed the test with ease and was unaffected, but poor Magnus spilled the contents of his stomach all over the tent.  They found the man's body under a thin blanket; his muscles were clenched tight and his mouth was twisted in a rictus of agony.  When Arik uncovered his face, a mass of flies poured from the open mouth and filled the tent.  Magnus, fearing sorcery, slipped into Mage Sight and surveyed the body.  He was able to detect black currents of foul magic such as he'd never encountered before.  The ring that had been given him by the Elf Queen, Aradil, grew so cold on his hand that he was forced to remove it or suffer frost burns.

Arik decided to take the matter to Sunulael, the Sahi of the Sorshef and Grand Vizier to the Kalif (a character who has had no screen time yet).  Arik and Magnus were turned away again, this time forcibly by the Sahi's three sorcerous assistants. They did hear shouting from within the Star Tent and identified the voice as that of Jahzir.  This was the second time today that Jahzir has been in the Star Tent.  Eventually, Arik gave up and the pair returned to Erenhead where they were met by Fergus' men and escorted to the Duke's hospital, where Conall had been moved.

Magnus was able to determine that the wound was magical in nature, but he was relieved to report that the wound did not have any traces of the same black sorcery that he had seen in the tent previously.  The High Magister, Vallo Embridge, was summoned to examine the wound and he was able to determine that it was caused by the old King's weapon, Wyrmclaw, a sword that disappeared 25 years ago when the King and his entire family were assassinated by Duke Torbault.  He said that the necrotic effect was called "The Kiss of the Dragon" and it was a power that could only be activated by someone with the blood of Dayne in his veins.  It slowly dawned on him that this meant that a living heir to King Einar Dayne was still alive!

News of a living heir to the Dragon Throne is sure to throw the entire city into an uproar.  How will the players deal with it? How will it change their plans and beliefs?  I cannot wait to find out!

What was great:

The Duel of Wits between Arik and Jahzir was great!  I was sure that Jahzir would win and force his will on Arik, which would have thrown most of Arik's beliefs into chaos.  Instead, Arik secured a much needed ally (hopefully) and his plans can proceed apace.  

I was also very pleased to finally let the players see the effect of the dark sorcery that is present in the game.  We've seen little magic up to this point and I was able to impress upon them the strength and the foulness of that which opposes them. It might not really affect their beliefs now, but the seed is planted for the long game and I hope they keep the threat in the back of their minds.

I was also able to use this session to plant some seeds that I'm sure will grow and bear fruit in upcoming sessions.  I'll not speak too much about them so as not to spoil anything for the players, but I'm pretty excited.  As a BW GM, I have to say that it's fun not knowing what is going to happen.  Sure, I have "plot points" and schemes, but they never work out the way they are supposed to because the player's beliefs always interfere (as they should).  I do enjoy, however, planning for and envisioning certain scenes in my mind that I hope...pray...will come about.  Time will tell if my schemes come to fruition or if those meddling kids...err...players spoil all my fun!

What could have been better:

Well, I have to say that the scene at Sunulael's tent was quite frustrating, both for me and the players.  I have, so far, refused to let them see Sunulael or even enter his tent and my refusal this time did not seem organic to the story.  It felt forced for sure and I could feel the player's frustration.  I wish I could have played that scene better.  

I'm not sure if I impressed upon Fergus the anxiety his wife is feeling at not being able to see her son.  She hasn't seen him in some time and traveled a great distance to do so.  Finding him gone or out of her reach is very frustrating to her and she will take drastic action if Fergus does not.  This whole situation brings to mind the fact that Fergus has 4 relationships that he's purchased.  That's a lot of NPC's to imperil!  I have mini-storylines plotted for each of them, but since our entire game as taken place, so far, over the course of half a day, it's hard to bring them all into the plot...or at least do so without the situation feeling forced.  Once we can dilate the timeline a bit and get more breathing room it will be easier.  How do others deal with a multitude of relationships?  I'd love some guidance/feedback.  Not a complaint!  I love the characters and the relationships, I just want to make sure I don't mess it up.

End Note:  You may find the new format of the recap very familiar.  That's because I stole it from the very talented Sean Nittner, who blogs at  By all means, read his stuff.  It's very inspirational.  I hope he doesn't mind my absconding his format!  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Journal of the High Constable, Part 3

We sat content of our victory over the rebels. However, the Duke's captain along with an unreasonable quantity of guards came to us. He demanded we all came with him, under arrest.
Arrest? The first slight in what would be a meeting of slights and travesties.

The Duke should have been sending me an envoy to kiss my arse and thank me for the service I had just rendered his poorly maintained city. Things had, to be fair happened quickly. So I went assuming that once I had explained to the Duke what had just transpired I would receive the apology that was now deserved.

Upon entering the palace we were asked to relieve ourselves of our weapons. Odd that the Duke would fear a few armed men. Regardless I had a servant take my hammer back to my guest suite. Arik, being less comfortable with his surroundings refused to be disarmed. So they had him taken elsewhere.

Another slight. Not at me but the Sarcosans. The brother of the Sharif and an envoy of peace is not a man you deny the right to a weapon and then force into a side room.

The audience with the Duke, as it turns out was him trying to exercise his position to give me a “Dressing down”. He ranted and raved about my actions undermining his authority. Somehow by dealing with would be assassins the man has imagined that I have embarrassed him. Three slights and counting.

He sounded like a man who knew he was loosing his hold on his rule.
But what can you expect if you kill the high king and his entire house. Then quickly usurp his position by selling out his nation to the Sarcosans.

After the Duke had finished his power trip, I explained to him the situation I had dealt with and he was forced to acknowledge its necessity. Of course he wanted to impose his own conditions upon my continuation of the investigation.

Before I left he questioned my association with Magnus Sedrig. The answer to which he didn't listen too was that his men not mine had bought him to the chamber. And that he had merely followed me.  
Magnus produced what looks like some elven scripture. Some words were exchanged about it. Magnus believed it be incredibly important, but the Duke had it confiscated claiming it to be a national treasure and not for him to own.

The situation growing heated, I attempted to remove Magnus from the room before he said something stupid. What I hadn't counted on was that the man used magic upon the Duke!
Understandably he commanded his guards to immediately arrest Magnus… and then he also included them to arrest me.

Not sure if the word slight adequately describes his actions.

Knowing the Dukes hasty decision to be wrong I countermanded his guards to give the Duke time to listen to reason. To the Dukes apparent surprise his men listened to me. Perhaps he should have noticed his error then, if his own household guard doubt his command then does anybody truly serve his will?

This is perhaps what scared him into continuing with his persistence to have me arrested. He showed himself not of sound mind, and unfit to rule our nation then. He screamed of having me tried for treason and stripped of rank.

Before anything escalated further my father entered the chamber. His outrage and the sudden appearance of more Redgard men saw me un-handed by the Dukes guard.
My father had originally come to the Duke because of my foolish sister Caitlin. She has taken “Khiran-Thul” the family weapon and injured father in the process. All at the behest of Vijur. The man I had been telling the Duke about.

Faced with my father's anger and an outnumbering of men the Duke was forced to concede my release so that I may retake the weapon. However he still insisted that I be stripped of my rank and authority. He clearly fears me. With good reason.

When the Duke left I spoke to father. He looked to me and said “The Duke must die”. Its seems the time for House Dayne’s avengement is at hand. I told father of the 2 assassination plots at hand that I was investigating. He urged me to allow them to go ahead.

To me it seems a mistake to allow Jahzir to be killed and spark war. Father proposed it would be perfect, the chaos of war would be the perfect opportunity to take the throne. I advised him caution and that fighting two fronts would be too much to handle.

After much arguing I ensured father saw reason. But with the understanding that if we do this we do it right. I shall represent our house in a duel with the Duke.
He is unworthy. And I shall be the one to prove it!

May my hammer blows prove father's claim to the High King of the North.