"Second Son of a Second Son" - An Aquerra Story Hour (*finally* Updated 04/19)


Moderator Emeritus
Session #4 – “Delirium Tremens” (part 3 of 4)

Osilem, the 17th of Sek – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

The next morning found a fully restored Victoria discussing tactics with Markos. They talked for a long time without the interference of the others

“I am sorry for my rash words spoken in the heat of my anger,” Markos said to the militant. “I know your actions in the battle were not done out of cowardice. It is just that I cannot agree with the tactics of it…”

And on and on the discussion went… Eventually the others joined it as well, but before it could become another quarrel it was agreed to let the discussion lie until another time.

Chok’tem announced that he would be willing to let Sir Quintus go. “His body has been broken of the need, though his mind might still dwell on it,” the lizardman said in his tongue to Markos. “He should recover fully as long as he does not use the shannis again.”

“Perhaps we should search his things to make sure he does not have any more of it,” Markos suggested.

“He does not have it,” Chok’tem said. “He came to us because the desire had grown so strong upon him from not having it…”

“The truth of the matter is… the men you refer to as ‘brigands’ were only near Bog End to pick up the raw pollen,” Sir Quintus said, as the other lizardman pulled up the stakes that confined him. “The problem was that there was none to pick up because Chok’tem and his people had withheld the pollen because I was taking too long in talking to Lord Swann on their behalf…”

Bleys nodded to Chok’tem approvingly. The knight continued, “I came into the swamp to convince them to give up the pollen, as I was afraid that the longer MacHaven and his men were around, the more chance there was they would cause some trouble to the locals, and… and the greater the chance that my secret would be revealed. But… when I arrived, the lizardfolk captured me instead to break me of my habit.”

“Are you happy that they did this?” Markos asked.

“I fear I may never be happy again,” Sir Quintus Gosprey replied with resignation in his voice.

“And Valerius… You will keep his secret?” Markos turned to the squire.

“Yes…” the boy answered dejectedly. “If he is to redeem himself he need a clean slate and he will need help, and what else does a squire do but help his master?”

They were two horses short, what with Sir Quintus Gosprey’s horse having been eaten by the muckdwellers, and Argo falling into the plant pit, so the packhorse was fitted with a saddle, and the gear it carried was spread out among the others. Sir Quintus took Valerius’ horse and Victoria rode the packhorse. Valerius walked, climbing onto Markos’ horse when deeper water required a mount.

Chok’tem led them back to the track by a winding way that still took less than half the time than that of Tavius. The lizardman did not even say good-bye. He slipped back into the brush and was gone before anyone noticed.

The topic of tactics came up again as they slowly rode out of the bog. As usual, Bleys stayed out of it, perhaps not even listening, and Laarus while attentive, was quiet, and after a few words, both Timotheus and Telémahkos tried to stop listening – but it didn’t work.

“All I am saying is that any tactics that allow you to walk away from a fight with no one on your side dying could not have been too bad,” Victoria said.

“I totally disagree,” Markos insisted. “Next time someone’s cowardly demeanor could lead to someone else’s death…”

Telémahkos, who rode right in front of Markos, turned around, not stopping his horse. “Just to let you know, I will not dirty my hands here and now, but if you insult me again in public I will meet you with steel.”

“…And he continues to live up to my expectations,” Markos said to Victoria.

“You cannot continue to impugn the honor of others without expecting to be challenged on it,” Victoria replied.

“Even if we fought and he killed me, it would not make him any less a coward,” Markos replied. “But I will let it go, for now…”

A break in the foliage could be seen up ahead and deep muddy field where Telémahkos’ horse had gotten stuck was in sight when Timotheus saw Laarus suddenly sway in his saddle.

The sharp smell of burning chemicals filled Laarus’ nostrils and he felt his stomach immediately turn. His vision dimmed and when it began to return, he no longer saw the swamp around them, but some cramped dark place where he could see a ‘Q’ branded onto the side of a barrel.

Laarus could feel something welling up in his throat and suddenly there was a loud explosion that caused the world to go white for half a moment as it echoed in his mind.

The priest of Ra leaned over suddenly, his body flopping loosely as if drunk and he coughed up a stream of yellow bile.

“Laarus! Are you alright?” Timotheus asked. Laarus sat back up and wiped his mouth with a kerchief he drew out of a pocket in his doublet. “I am fine. I just got nauseous there for a moment… I am fine now…” Laarus looked even paler than usual.

“Isis protect us!” Timotheus hissed, covering his mouth. “He has the bog flu!” He made a mental note to not share a room with Laarus wherever they ended up staying that night.

Just after mid-day they finally reached Bog End, but rode another couple of miles south of it before stopping to have lunch not wanting to be seen by locals. Once again Sir Quintus tried to convince them to allow him to return to Gullmoor Keep first, but Markos reminded him of the choices, and the knight acquiesced.

The road south grew wider and better maintained the further they went. The bog gave way to narrow strips of forest divided by steep bald hills, while on the left the sea came into view and then fell away, leaving the road atop tall jagged bluffs. Soon the hills to the west were gone and the strips of forests divided large farmsteads. All afternoon they passed peddlers and other locals with ox-drawn carts and wheelbarrows filled with springtime fruit, but it would not be until nigh sunset that New Harbinger would come into view.

It was an octagonal fortified town of yellowing white stone with eight tall towers about is outer wall, and a tall spire of a citadel at the northern side. It abutted the rocky shore, connecting to a fortified harbor with smaller towers that reached the water’s edge. There were many ships docked there. The cry of gulls made Markos’ frustration with his companions melt away in the moment.

The Signers of the Charter of Schiereiland came down the slope towards New Harbinger, and the size of the place became more and more apparent.

“Wow, this is bigger than the Gate,” Timotheus said as the road wound down to the cleared lands about it. There was a livery among the few buildings that began a few hundred yards away from the wall, and Sir Quintus explained that there was a local ordinance regarding horses in the town’s narrow streets.

A middle-aged bearded man named Tolliver ran the livery and he was expecting them. “I was asked to look out for your arrival by your steward,” he said. “And I am also to tell you to ask for Lieutenant Ferris Twelf at the gate.” The party took their gear from their horses and walked to the entrance of the town.

The drawbridge was still open, but the great portcullis decorated with wrought iron black swans was lowered, and after a brief questioning they were shown through a narrow door in the gate into an enclosed bailey with countless niches for bowman on either side. There was a great wooden gate reinforced with iron that led into the town itself, but a smaller door was set into it.

Lieutenant Ferris Twelf met them there and greeted Sir Quintus warmly, but immediately asked him as to his health.

“Welcome to New Harbinger,” the lieutenant said turning to the other and introducing himself. “The captain of the guards wants to meet and talk with you, and he has been summoned. Your steward arrived a few days ago and alerted us to your coming. She and your hirelings have taken rooms at the Sign of the Green Gem, the only inn of repute in town, and may have arranged for rooms for you there, as well. However, the current season means that there are many merchants in town, so if there are no rooms, I have been instructed for you to send word to the citadel so they might see to your hospitality.”

This lieutenant Twelf bore little resemblance to the lean half-elven officer they had met on the Beach Road. He was shorter and rounder, and had no visible elven heritage to speak of. (1)

“Speaking of hospitality, Ferris… I have to see the Lord immediately,” Quintus said. “It is very important…”

“I’ll have someone bring you there right away,” the lieutenant replied, and he summoned one of his guards.

The knight turned to the young nobles and thanked them for their help. “If you are ever in the area of Gullmoor again and have need of aid, please seek me out…”

“Sir Quintus,” Bleys stepped over. “Did we not agree that you would speak to the Lord in our presence?”

“Yes, that was the agreement,” Markos reinforced.

“I am more likely to get an actual audience with him at this time if I go alone, rather than show up with six young nobles in tow,” Quintus replied, his exhaustion evident in his voice and manner. “You are being asked to wait here, and have other business in town, I would rather get this over with…”

“And how will we know that you have fulfilled your promise?” Markos asked.

“You can confirm with the Lord when you speak to him,” Quintus replied quietly as to not have Lieutenant Ferris hear. “And if you find that I did not inform him satisfactorily, well then… do what you think you must…”

The lieutenant looked confused by the sudden heated whispering when he turned from giving his guard his order to escort the knight and his squire to the citadel, but the party acquiesced and the knight and squire were led through a narrow side door into the town.

A few moments later Captain Aurelius Oberto arrived. Tall and handsome with long brown hair held in a tail by gold thread, the captain wore a chain shirt, and had a long sword at his side. His golden tabard bore a quartered field with a black swan in the top right and a bluish-green gemstone in the bottom left. He smiled broadly as he approached the young nobles, bowing and then shaking each of their hands as he introduced himself and welcomed them, guessing each of their names. The captain gave a strange look at Markos as he shook his hand.

“And how long do you plan to stay here in New Harbinger?” he asked everyone.

“Not long…” Laarus of Ra replied. The young priest looked to the others to reinforce his reply, before continuing. “Perhaps three days?”

“More or less,” Timotheus added.

“But if we have to leave suddenly that won’t cause anyone any…” Telémahkos began to ask.

“No… No… I was just curious. The gates are closed at sunset, but other than that, you can leave whenever you like, but…” He paused. “Well… The citadel steward asked to be informed of your arrival, so if I were you I would expect to be invited to dinner there for an audience with Lord Swann.”

“Yeah, sure… that’d be great!” Timotheus replied with real enthusiasm.

“Well, don’t take my word as invitation,” the captain clarified. “I am just saying that her asking is a good indication that a invitation will come… So, please keep that in mind as you make your plans.”

“Thank you for letting us know, we will plan accordingly,” replied Victoria.

“Also, master Bleys,” he looked to the tall purple-garbed watch-mage. “Your fellow alumnus wanted me to tell you to come see him when you arrived. Do you know Oroleniel the Salmon?”

“Yes,” Bleys said, bowing his head slightly in thanks. “He graduated two years before I did…”

“Well, that was basically it… I just wanted to see you with my own eyes so I can report your arrival with utter truthfulness,” the captain said. “And if there is anything you need while you are in town that we can help you with please see Lieutenant Twelf, and if there anything he cannot help you with, he will refer you to me.”

“Actually, I may as well ask now… What temples do you have in the city?” Victoria asked.

“Only Tefnut has a proper temple,” the captain explained. “But there is a shrine to Horus near the harbor, and also a plaza that holds shrines to several gods, including the triad of Ra, in the northwestern quadrant.”

At the captain’s signal, the inner gate was opened to let them into the town proper, and they were immediately struck by the pungent scent of spices and the sea. The town beyond was mostly draped in the gloom of the day’s last moments. There were many winding streets thought tight clusters of buildings, some of which where wooden and leaning towards ramshackle, but others were of white stone; most of them had their roofs and walls painted with quicklime. All of them were one story, except for one building near the center of town. This one Lieutenant Ferris Twelf pointed out as the Sign of the Green Gem. Beyond this to the left they could see the towers of the citadel, and to the right those of the fortified harbor.

Bleys, Laarus, Telémahkos, Timotheus, Markos and Victoria walked down the main thoroughfare, where guards were lighting lanterns at the edge of the entrance to each cluster of buildings, lighting their way.

. . .to be continued…

(1) Lieutenant Ferris Twelf is actually a cousin of Lorkas from the human side of his family. The party met Lorkas Twelf in Session #2.

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I am currently about halfway through reading your previous story hour (which I think is very well written and entertaining)
One thing that struck me was that there was a bias in favor of clerical spell casters (as pointed out by others before me ) mainly due to the fact that there was an extreme low availability of magic items and coupled with that was the difficulty arcane spell casters had in obtaining new spells.

It also stuck me that the players never attempted to construct there own magic items or even brew a potion.

Was this a game style thing or an Aquerra rules issue?
Are Players allowed to take a craft magic item feat?

Is Aquerra inherently low magic or was that just for the previous campaign?

As a dm do you think magic items help balance out the power the players have?
Especially when they get to mid or high level play?

Keep up the good work



Moderator Emeritus
darkhall-nestor said:
I am currently about halfway through reading your previous story hour (which I think is very well written and entertaining)
Thanks! :)

And by the way, if you are reading the actual old threads (as opposed to the word doc compilation, you are welcome to bump them ;))

darkhall-nestor said:
One thing that struck me was that there was a bias in favor of clerical spell casters (as pointed out by others before me ) mainly due to the fact that there was an extreme low availability of magic items and coupled with that was the difficulty arcane spell casters had in obtaining new spells.
It has struck me as well, and while I have not changed arcane casters, soon after OOTFP finished I went back and redid all the priesthood powers and spell lists and also made the requirements for praying for spells stricter - increasing the probability that at some point in the campaign a priest may have to go without their alloted spells.

Also, keep in mind that I have not abandoned the 2E mindset that you can use RP restrictions to balance crunch benefits. . . I enforce those pretty strongly and being a priest has a lot of responsibilities and guidelines that go along with them.

darkhall-nestor said:
It also stuck me that the players never attempted to construct there own magic items or even brew a potion.

Was this a game style thing or an Aquerra rules issue?
Are Players allowed to take a craft magic item feat?
Well, as for the first question, the answer is: Both. The use of training rules means gaining an item creation feat can be difficult because you need to find someone who has one, and pay them. But also, the way they work has been limited to require specific formulas be known for specific items and also power components to "seal the magic".

So yes, players can have their characters take item creation feats, it is just not east to do.

Also, the last game had almost no downtime, which is a big consideration in the taking of such a feat. Why take it if you won't have time to make stuff? Other campaigns may have more downtime (I think this one will).

darkhall-nestor said:
Is Aquerra inherently low magic or was that just for the previous campaign?
I call it "moderate magic". Low magic makes me think of Conanesque level magic.

But yes, definitely lower than "standard".

darkhall-nestor said:
As a dm do you think magic items help balance out the power the players have?
Especially when they get to mid or high level play?
I'm not sure what you mean by this.

Balance out against what? Creatures of equal CR? I guess they would, but I find it easier to tailor the encounters than to give out more magic.

darkhall-nestor said:
You're welcome. :)

Sorry I could have been clearer.

What I mean is do you think magic items balance the relative strength of each party member ?
So that for example a fighter could contribute against a demon
As opposed to becoming canon fodder
so that the palidin can move in and take charge

Thanks for taking the time to answer me


Moderator Emeritus
darkhall-nestor said:
Sorry I could have been clearer.

What I mean is do you think magic items balance the relative strength of each party member?
So that for example a fighter could contribute against a demon
As opposed to becoming canon fodder
so that the palidin can move in and take charge

Still not sure I get you on the paladin part, but I don't know about magical items balancing out the relative strengths of the party members, it is not really something I have put much thought to. I think of the party as group in terms of what challenges they face and how they face them and in individual strength of any character is not all that important in that perspective (unless a foe has an attack for mthat could possibly kill one particularly weak member with one attempt - which is a rare thing). I think generally everyone is close enough in power that doesn't really matter and everyone has an opportunity to take part.

darkhall-nestor said:
Thanks for taking the time to answer me

Are you kidding? I love this stuff! :)


Moderator Emeritus
Session #4 – “Delirium Tremens” (part 4 of 4)

The Sign of the Green Gem was packed with patrons. The odor of scented candles wafted over the stench to sweat and ale, as the strains of bard plucking a lyre floated over the rolling wave of voices raised in merriment. The crowd was mostly men in the maroon and black doublets common to merchants, surrounded by sons already growing to resemble their road-weary fathers. There were also about a dozen women, some of which were working here this evening, though for the rest it was not so clear.

The innkeeper, one Wilson Tummins, greeted the signers of the Charter of Schiereiland effusively, guessing who they were as soon as Timotheus asked after Euleria. He sent a servant to fetch her, and then yelled to another to clear a table for them. But he also warned them, that while Euleria had been able to make some arrangement for quarters, it might not be enough to suit such noble guests.

As they took their seats pitchers of ale and clean mugs appeared by means of smiling serving wenches, and they were offered a choice betweens the daily brown stew or today’s roast game hen.

“Has Euleria Finch taken care of paying for this?” Timotheus asked.

“I will find out,” said the serving wench, but when she returned it was with the food, informing them that no, Euleria had not made provision to pay for their meal.

Timotheus grabbed his money pouch from his belt and held it up upside down for all to see, waving it like a limp flag in a faint breeze. “My money’s pouch’s as flat as a grandmother’s teats!” He swore.

“I will pay for you,” Victoria offered. “And for anyone else who cannot pay…”

“Thank you, Victoria,” Timotheus replied with a kind smile and genuine gratitude. “It is just that we didn’t make a bronze penny off of that…”

“Off of what?” Telémahkos asked.

“Our first adventure,” Tim replied. He turned to the one of the servants walking by. “Could you bring us some Old Wes?”

“No,” replied the servant curtly.

“You don’t serve it, or you are out?”

“We don’t serve it.”

“But why not? It is made in the Border Shires, and we get it all the way in Schiereiland…” Timotheus was perplexed.

“Well, Schiereiland is really far away from here,” the servant replied, annoyed. He walked off.

“Does that make sense to you?” Tim asked Victoria. The militant shrugged her shoulders.

Euleria arrived as they were still eating, wearing a dark green outfit with doublet, vest, trousers and high boots, as if she were about to go riding. Unlike most women in the place, she wore no make-up.

Telémahkos, Markos and Timotheus all stood as she arrived, but the other three remained eating. Euleria seemed put off for a moment, and then demurred gesturing for them to be seated again. She would remain standing.

“I am glad that you have finally arrived. I was beginning to worry that something had befallen you on the road,” she said. She went on to explain that she had hired two sell-swords in Sluetelot, along with a boy of about fourteen summers to act as porter. The sell-swords were named Dunlevey and Falco, and they came highly recommended. The latter had served mostly as a scout, but the former had worked as a guard for House Tenbrook. She also explained that she had sent word ahead to Tribunisport to allow the lord there to know they might be coming, and had taken the liberty to send word to the Border Shires in case the party decided to go that way.

“Speaking of the Border Shires, is there some conflict with them here we should know about?” Timotheus asked.

“They are not well-liked here,” Euleria explained. “There has often been conflict between House Swann and the halflings of Thistlewoodshire.”

“Why? They’re halflings!” Timotheus exclaimed, and then lowered his voice. “Who can not like halflings? They’re pretty inoffensive…”

“Well, let’s just say that at one time of another the land that is now Thistlewoodshire belonged to House Swann…” Euleria began as Timotheus let out an “oh” of understanding. “Lord Gosprey of Gullmoor? He calls himself the Count of Thistlewood, and that drives the halflings mad with anger.”

Timotheus Smith shrugged, suddenly bored by the topic. There was a brief argument about whose idea it was to hire a porter, initiated by Markos – everyone else insisting it had been his idea. Euleria confirmed this when asked.

“You are very efficient, Euleria,” Bleys complimented their steward. “Thank you.”

“Yes, very good,” Victoria said praise sounding awkward in her tight-lipped manner of speaking.

The steward went on to explain that this was the time of year merchants came to New Harbinger to secure spice and other goods for the rest of the trade season, and because of this she had only been able to procure two double rooms. The young porter was asleep in one of the rooms right now, but the two mercenaries could be sent down to sleep in the common room and bedrolls could be used on the floors.

Laarus preferred to call on the hospitality of the citadel, and Euleria would be sent to inquire before it became too late. But before she left, Bleys brought up the salary of the hirelings.

“We agreed upon fifteen copper pieces a day for the sell-swords and but one copper per day for the porter, plus room and board, of course…” Euleria stated.

“Fifteen!” Timotheus was surprised. “I didn’t get that much when I worked as a caravan guard!”

“They are well-trained,” Euleria replied. Tim frowned.

“Are you already paying them?” Bleys asked. Euleria nodded. She went over some their skills. Falco was an archer and a woodsman. Dunlevey was skilled in the use of several kinds of swords. The boy porter was quick-witted and strong.

“I am having a hard time accepting that we are going to be paying people to possible bring them to their death,” Bleys the Aubergine commented, his flat tone occasionally swallowed by the raucous crowd around them.

“That is why they get paid,” Timotheus laughed. Bleys glared at the expressive young veteran.

“So they know what they are getting into?” the watch-mage continued his questions, not taking his eyes off of Tim.

“I am sure they do…” Timotheus said.

“I would not have hired them if I was not satisfied as to their capability, both mentally and physically,” Euleria said.

“And the boy, as well?” Bleys asked. “He knows what he is getting into?”

“I think that serving as your porter is a better choice than what his life would have been like otherwise,” she replied.

“Which is?”

“On the streets of Sluetelot, living copper to copper…”

“Very well…” Bleys relaxed slightly. “Euleria, again, you have served us well. Accolades.” She gave a quick bow and then headed out to the citadel. She said she would find Falco and Dunlevey at the tavern they were at and send them back to meet their employers.

“Oh, wait! One last thing,” Euleria hurried back over from the doorway. “I was able to contact Joezyn Barhyte regarding your interest in the King Stones and he sent me this map to pass on to you.” She gave Bleys a folded piece of parchment stained with age and scribbled over in several hands. (1)

The young nobles finished their meals. Laarus of Ra ordered that a bath be drawn for him and despite Bleys’ request that he remain to meet the hirelings, the priest did not want the water getting cold. He also asked that his clothes be laundered. (2)

Telémahkos joined the bard in song, drawing long applause and many copper coins thrown into the bard’s urn.

“Is he begging?” Victoria asked Timotheus, unused to a noble singing for spare coin in an inn. Tim laughed and called for another pitcher of ale. Markos looked increasingly uncomfortable in the crowded and merry tavern.

Telémahkos looked happier than any of the others (except perhaps Tim) had ever seen him. He had the whole crowd singing a traditional Thrician drinking song, and he walked over and even got Bleys to sing a line with him.

The hirelings arrived soon after. Dunlevey the Swordsman had a long sword on his left, a short sword on his right, a great sword on his back and a wicked looking dirk in a sheath on his boot; all tied with red ribbon in a peace-knot. He was around six feet tall and had a bush of red-brown hair and a pock-marked face. Falco fletching was three or four inches shorter, with greasy long black hair tied in a ponytail, a hooked nose and narrow green eyes. He wore a scimitar at his side.

Timotheus and Bleys took some time to further question their hirelings, but Victoria headed out for the Plaza of the Shrines soon after she met them. Markos Ackers headed out as well, seeking a tavern that was more to his liking. He found out where they had been (a place called “the Bird’s Eye”) and he headed in that direction. Dunlevey was a little drunk, but very friendly and respectful, and obviously eager to make a good impression on his noble employers, while Falco might have been able to teach Bleys a lesson in terseness, as he gave one word answers, when not simply nodding or shaking his head.

Once satisfied, Bleys the Aubergine excused himself and headed out of the inn as well in order to visit the local watch-mage, Oroleniel the Salmon.

Falco retired, but Dunlevey and Timotheus got on right away and soon they were drinking and schmoozing with other patrons as friends and equals, not as employer and employee – working hard to get a couple of local ladies to give them some attention.

Telémahkos, on the other hand, did not have to try to hard at all. The young Briareus had good looks, charm and talent, and in this environment it shined through as an aura of confidence that was obscured in places like bogs and abandoned roads. Soon he was dancing with a voluptuous woman named Amalda. She worked for the Great Matet Merchant Company, giving ‘special aid’ to its employees while they were on the road. A woman of loose morals and easy laughter, Telémahkos found her arousing, but that included his suspicions, so he tossed his belt pouch of coins to his cousin to watch over. However, being flat broke, Timotheus used some of that coin to buy drinks for himself, Dunlevey and the cold ladies they were talking to. Telémahkos would chastise his cousin for this later.

Euleria returned about an hour later with news that she had arranged for the party to stay at House Swann’s citadel, but they needed to be over there within the hour. Timotheus and Dunlevey left to go find Markos, just as Victoria arrived from her prayers at the Plaza of Shrines. Bleys the Aubergine returned after having told the local watch-mage that he would return for another visit soon, sensing that the half-elf was eager for company. He immediately went over to Telémahkos, who was dancing close with Amalda, the both of them giggling drunkenly like teenagers.

“Away woman, he is done with you,” Bleys said, rudely pushing between them. Amalda stumbled away in shock, but Telie gestured for her to stay close by.

“The watch-mage mentioned a party of adventurers that passed through here recently from the Disputed Territories,” Bleys told Telie. “It seems they may have lost some of their number, see if you can find out what happened.”

As Bleys walked back over to the table, Telémahkos grabbed Amalda and apologized for the interruption

Amalda pointed out her employer as he left the common room, and Telémahkos asked if she could arrange a meeting with him. She said she’d try. He then went on to ask her about the talk of the adventuring party Bleys has mentioned. She explained that the merchant caravan she was a part of had met them on the High Road. The party had lost two members, one of which was a priestess of Isis, and they were carrying a gravely wounded “northern barbarian priest of the dwarf hammer god”.


“That’s the one!”

“And what led them to such dire circumstances?” Telémahkos asked.

“Well, I was not present when Master Lowe spoke with them, but the rumor around the caravan was that this group had come upon a camp of dervishes training for an attack on Thricia, and had barely escaped at all,” she went on to explain.

Laarus Raymer of Ra re-appeared fresh and clean and back in his jeweled cassock, his travel clothes would be ready the next day.

While they waited for Tim’s return with Markos’, Telémahkos went around back a shadowy corner out in the rear alley for a few sleazy moments with Amalda.


The hour was waning as they all finally made it to the citadel gate, escorted by two pages bearing lanterns. They were allowed in through a narrow entrance around the side, and past a narrow courtyard to a narrow alley made up by the citadel and one of its outer buildings. Here they were led down stairs to a narrow hall of austere windowless cells with straw mattress cots, a writing table, and a chest of drawers with a washbasin and fresh linen atop it.

The New Harbinger Citadel steward was a plumpish woman approaching middle age with a bob haircut with streaks of white in the black, and a broad slightly misshapen nose. She was called Tabitha Mark. She explained that they were not to leave the guest hall without permission, and that there were guards at either end of the hall if they needed anything. There was also a common room where breakfast would be served in the morning, but that if anyone were hungry now, she would have something brought down from the kitchens.

“Also, will you be available for dinner tomorrow night?” she asked. The signers of the Charter of Schiereiland accepted the invitation without hesitation

And then thanking her, the young nobles gathered in the common area they had been provided to talk some before retiring. Telémahkos informed the others about what he had learned from Amalda regarding the other adventuring party, emphasizing the camp of dervishes.

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but this news does not exactly increase my enthusiasm for going to the Disputed Territories,” Telémahkos said.

“You? Scared? Naw!” Markos smirked.

“You know, one thing about this whole discussion that was never brought up is the fact that you were not exactly embroiled in the battle in the stone building either,” Telémahkos mentioned. “If I remember correctly you were out in the courtyard yourself.

“I am a mage, and as such gave support with my spells when I could,” Markos said by way of explanation. “I cannot be expected to jump into a melee when my skills lie elsewhere…”

“Can we speak civilly for a moment?” Telémahkos asked, looking up from his oatmeal. “I hope you can hear what I am saying despite being burned by a deep bitterness whose origin I do not know… You can acknowledge that a mage does not fight as a warrior would, so would it not make sense that someone whose skills are more aimed towards being a scout, for example, be used differently as well? So telling me that I should have been at the forefront of that battle is a similar case. It does not help.”

“Well, m’Lord,” Markos sarcasm dripped off his lips like stray bits of porridge. “May I speak freely without fear of your using the training you received as part of your station in life against one whose circumstances kept them from getting the same training? Huh? M’Lord? Sir?”

“No, better just to think on what I just said…” Telémahkos replied, and then stood, excusing himself for the night.

“Telémahkos is right on at least one thing, let us leave such talk for tomorrow,” Victoria said. “It is late.”

“Yes,” Laarus of Ra agreed. “We can discuss what our next move may be over breakfast perhaps.”

Tholem, the 18th of Sek – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Loud knocking on each of their doors awakened them. After several days of camping on the roadside or in the bog, their sleep was deep and much appreciated. And after morning prayers they gathered in the common room to chew on bacon, and slurp down bowls of steaming oatmeal chock full of nuts. There was wine and goat’s milk provided as well.

“So the plan is to go to Tribunisport and see if we can find out more about this pirate plot, and then decide if we will follow up on that, or go to the King Stones in the Disputed Territories,” Laarus started up.

Victoria and Timotheus nodded, and Markos said, “Yes.”

“I am not sure if this plan is the best,” Bleys the Aubergine offered. “It seems we have little to go on in terms of this plot, and a trip to Tribunisport will cost us coin we may not have, especially since we are now spending over three silver pieces a day for our hirelings…”

“True,” Victoria said. “And there is the cost of either ferrying the horses or keeping them here…”

“It seems to me that unless we have some news of the plot we can bring to the authorities, we should go to the King Stones and forget about going to Tribunisport,” Timotheus said.

Telémahkos let out a deep sigh.

“The only thing I will say on it is that I am baffled by the actual ethics of this group in terms of deciding what we should be doing, when we have something we know is happening, as compared to some rumors of what may be happening with dervishes, or chasing after some gold… I am just surprised at your choice when we have something nearby we can look into that might really help someone…”

Markos snorted with laughter. “Your talk of ethics amuses me.”

“Let me see if I can clarify where I am looking at this from,” Victoria said, ignoring Markos. “While we know for certain of nothing happening in the Disputed Territories… True… All we have regarding this pirate plot is…”

“Right… My word,” Telémahkos finished for her. “As a nobleman that should be more than enough…”

Markos laughed again, spitting oatmeal onto the table.

“But it is not more certain than other information we may have…” Victoria continued.

“Oh certainly it is!” Telémahkos protested.

“More than a priest of Ra?” Timotheus interjected.

“There was nothing in what Laarus told us of what the priest of Ra said that should lead us to think any trouble is imminent,” Telémahkos reasoned. (3)

“But with this new news of dervish camps?” Victoria said.

“Yes… Does that not lend aid to the tales of troubles in the Disputed Territories?” Laarus added.

“How is that different from all the years of back and forth skirmishes and raids?” Telémahkos asked.

“That may not be a new development, but we are a new development,” Victoria said with pride in her voice.

“Well, we all knew such things existed when this charter was signed and this is the first I hear that we want to involve ourselves in the borderlands strife,” Telie filled a mug with wine. “There were a variety of things we could get involved in…”

“Right, but the borderland strife and one other thing,” Victoria pointed to the map, which was unfolded on the table. “Seem to lead us in the same general direction…”

“Personally, I think pirates are more likely to be troublesome to common people,” Markos piped up. “And so, I would want to look into that, but if there is an invasion… Well, in the long run that causes more suffering…”

“Yes, and if we find that the followers of the Red God of the West are planning an invasion, if we find these camps and get a sense of their number we can send word to the Margrave and make a difference that way…” Laarus added.

“This conversation has become absurd!” Telémahkos was flustered. “There is no indication that any kind of invasion is imminent! Even if there is an invasion being planned, I do not think it is so pressing that we should ignore this other matter that may only take a day or two to find out there is no problem… But I fear that it will be worse…”

“What is it your fear will happen?” Bleys asked. “You seem to be the only one with any information about this, so perhaps you can tell us more about what you know we will see the situation as you do and make our decision easier.”

Telémahkos sighed again. “The reason I have been tight-lipped is because of the politics of the parties involved, and someone of a noble house, or a close ally may be involved, and I have been asked by someone who cares about this person to intervene before he makes a stupid mistake… From my perspective, whether his shame comes to light or not, we are still doing something by preventing this from happening.”

“It seems like cleaning up after the stupid mistakes of nobles might become a habit for us,” Markos sneered.

“As I said before, I know of a plot that is happening in this place and it involves an attack on the Wetherwax fleet,” Telémahkos spoke each word loudly and slowly. “If we don’t want to do anything about it, that’s fine, but that baffles me as to the group’s ethics and its purpose.”

“Why not just tell the watch-mage of Tribunisport…” Timotheus began and looked to Bleys.

“Cwell the Carmine,” Bleys said.

“Cwell the Carmine,” Timotheus repeated. “And let him investigate it. It is not as if we are especially suited to this mission.”

“And, well… Not to be too blunt,” Victoria of Anhur added. “But this is a danger to only one noble family, while the Kingdom of the Red God of the West is a threat to all of Thricia. Some unorganized groups of pirates will never be a real threat to the fleet.”

“I guess I will have to continue to be baffled,” Telémahkos said.

The discussion descended into the logistical details of costs to go to Tribunisport and that of provisioning themselves for a long trip into the wilderness. Bleys bemoaned the fact that they were paying the hirelings three silvers a day without even knowing where they were going, and that would not be needed in Tribunisport and be even a greater drain to keep provisioned on the long trip to the Disputed Territories. Well, he didn’t really bemoan, being Bleys, but was as close to bemoaning as could be detected in his steady voice.

No one had any argument against his points.

Realizing how low on funds they really were, the talk moved to which of their choices was more likely to bring monetary reward, but were unable to come to an agreement on that either.

“Can you tell us any more about this noble who is involved?” Victoria asked Telémahkos getting back to the topic of the party’s choices.

“He is not a noble, but a son in one of Thricia’s richer and more influential family,” Telie explained. “Also, this information was shared with me with the understanding that I would attempt to dissuade him from his rash action before reporting this to the authorities… Therefore, I will not betray that because of a promise made.”

“Wait… So how would we get rewarded if this must be done in secret?” Victoria asked.

“I hope to be able to persuade this person to turn against the plotters and we can bring them to justice, or bring that information to the authorities,” Telémahkos explained.

They decided to postpone any decision making until after the dinner with Lord Swann that evening, in hopes that perhaps he might give them some reward for aiding Sir Quintus, which might ease their monetary woes.

In the meantime, Telémahkos would wander around New Harbinger to gather what information he could. He asked Timotheus to meet him at the inn for lunch. Markos went back into his cell, burying his face into a book, while Victoria went into town to purchase some things, including, perhaps, a new horse.

Bleys the Aubergine turned to Laarus of Ra, “Would you care to accompany me to see my fellow Academy alumnus? I met him last night and I am sure he would not mind the extra company.”

“I am honored that you would invite me,” Laarus replied.

End of Session #4


(1) You can view a scan of this map by clicking here.

(2) Priests of Ra have must abide a by the rule of finery to remain in their order.

(3) This is a reference to Laarus’ conversation with Dracius of Ra in Part 3 of Session #1.


Moderator Emeritus
Look for the first of three special "InterSessions" that took place between Session #4 and #5 via email to be posted sometime Monday evening.

Originally, it was going to be posted behind a spoiler block, but more recent events in the campaign have made that unnecessary.


First Post
Remind why these characters are adventuring together ?

There seem to be much interparty conflict and so little comradeship that several (at the least Markos and Telémahkos) would seem more likely to just leave.


Moderator Emeritus
monboesen said:
Remind why these characters are adventuring together ?

There seem to be much interparty conflict and so little comradeship that several (at the least Markos and Telémahkos) would seem more likely to just leave.

Well, I think the easiest answer is, because of familial responsibility and expectation. They have all signed on to this charter that their noble houses have sponsored to a degree and to just leave would reflect badly on them and their house.

Now, that is not to say they can't leave - but the consequences might not be so good.

As for the conflict itself - it is going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately - but I hoping that we are past the worst of it (having just played Session #6 yesterday) because while it made for an interesting dynamic - it was taking up too much time, focus and energy of our sessions and ceasing to be very fun to have to sit through anymore.


First Post
In the case of Telie, he really has no choice unless he wants to be disowned. Not that he would mind that either if the circumstances were right, but for the first time in his life he sees the possibility of gaining independence without losing all of his privelage.

So, he hates Markos and knows the others all have holier than thou attitudes but for now they are a means to an end. And his cousin is a good man he would like to see make something of himself so he would like to help him as much as his limited courage will allow.

Telie keeps lashing out at Markos in moments of exteme stress because he presents such an easy target. The irony is how much they seem to agree with one another in matters not regarding noble privelage and battle tactics. ;)

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