Lords of the River of Gold

Chapter 1 Session 12
Of Hunting, Writing, and Orcs

When the letters arrived on the 13th day of Weeds, so too did Nix return from her second stint of scouting. She shared the story of what she had seen.

Nix initially traveled south and encountered a hunting camp run by a man named Bill. The hunters, predominantly men, were friendly and it seemed common to pass information about. The hunters asked after the Fort and Nix informed them that they were open to the idea of trade. She also learned that Jill’s Homestead contained fine cotton and cloth.

On her way back with Joshua and Tallin, they discovered the body of an Orc with an arrow through its neck. Otherwise, it was completely nude and had no weapons or possessions. Another one found later allowed Nix and the soldiers to determine a large, protected area, which had been claimed by this archer.

As Nix reported this, the rest of the Unit read and responded to the letters sent to them. Reports to Captain Jo and Corporal Cyrus were sent, as were other personal letters.

Calvin brought to the attention of the group a letter he had received from Felicia Dixon. Felicia, who had met the Unit during training, had invited Calvin to attend some kind of gathering in the heart of Varte. Calvin, not entirely eager, discussed the mission with the Unit, but felt that they had to respond as she was an officer of rank. They did not decide precisely who would accompany Calvin, but most felt that he should not go alone to the party when the month of Storms came.

On the 14th day of Weeds, Alice finally made her way under the road and to the watch tower that stood near Fort Copped. Carefully picking her way across the broken stairs, narrowly avoiding a slip and fall. She came to the top of the Tower and discovered a small room with two beds and a bureau.

Investigating the Bureau, Alice believed that she may have seen a trap. Weighing the risks, she devised a way to open the bureau without being close, only to find that the trap was not intended for her, but rather for the contents of the bureau. Clothes, arrows, and most importantly a set of Books were doused in some foul smelling liquid. Alice smartly did not rush over to see what had happened, but investigated carefully, saving the books from certain death by fire.

Investigation of the books was slow, but did reveal some maps and stories, none of which had any immediate impact on Alice.

Several days went by as the Unit slogged through the routine of the Fort, but by the night of the 20th, that all changed.

Shortly after the Assassin’s Moon, members of the party heard a sharp whisper in their ear, saying: “gift.” The voice was foreign to most of them, but they found themselves instantly awake and prepared for whatever the night would bring them. Except for Nix, who was blissfully, or possibly fitfully, asleep.

An Orc raid started with arrows flying at the front entrance. Two bands of Orcs and a large, monstrous leader kept the attention of the party. Koram from a top the Crow’s Nest fired arrow after arrow down at the Orcs with Sharon and Donnell as Calvin and the other archers took to the top of the Kitchen. Nix meanwhile laid in wait for the Orcs to break through the gates with the melee fighters.

Mercy “protected” the non-combatants and awaiting the injured to arrive in her infirmary.

The fight raged on with 5 of the 10 orc soldiers being killed and significant damage being done to the leader, though he appeared to be tough and too strong-willed to be easily felled. Unfortunately, the orcs proved to be solid archers, Sharon and Joshua were taken out of combat and Donnell took a shot to the neck that appeared life threatening.

Nix, hearing the screams from the Crow’s Nest sent some of her soldiers to retrieve the wounded. Hearing no other news of the battle though, she had to content herself to wait inside the Stables.

Downstairs, Mercy grew impatient about the battle and slipped out of the infirmary. As her cat began to growl, she saw two large Orcs slip quietly out of the storeroom, arguing that they had not found what they were looking for. She remained still, but as Soldier Jeni came down the stairs with the wounded Joshua, she yelled out to Jeni, protecting her from the stealthy orcs.

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Chapter 1 Session 11
The Spy and the Orcs

On the 7th Day of Weeds, life continues at Fort Copped. Mandy, tired from the travelling about, informed Koram and the Unit that a few days within the Fort may be necessary.

Nix, believing that signs of Orcs are too prevalent in the area, suggests that she and the two hunters among their Followers take some time to scout the surrounding areas The Unit agrees and she, Joshua and Tallin head to the plains.

Inside the Fort, the Unit discusses their next plans. Calvin suggests that they need to use the 9th of Weeds as a traditional day of rest, noting that the soldiers have missed the past two days of rest while on assignment.

Calvin suggested that he leave the Fort and travel to a local camp to get a barrel of ale for the soldiers. After discussion, Koram decides that no remaining soldiers should accompany Calvin, believing the path safe.

Calvin leaves the Fort ad heads north o Jill’s Homestead, with horse and wagon, but is stopped on his way there. A single Orc bars the way. In an act of armed robbery, the Orc lays out the ultimatum that Calvin will lose the horse, or his life.

When Calvin spies an archer in the underbrush, he chooses a third option an reaches for his bow. The lead orc goes for the horse, trying to change from highway robbery to a smash and grab approach. He is abetted by two archers who fire at Calvin.

Despite taking punishing shots to the head and chest, Calvin is able to determine that Orcs have soft skulls and is able down the lead Orc with his bow before bashing in he brains of the other two orcs with his hammer.

Bleeding profusely from multiple head, arm, and leg wounds, Calvin rides the horse, now detached from the wagon by the orcs, quickly back to the Fort before bleeding out. Koram sees his approach and immediately gets Mercy for her medical expertise.

Alice and Koram then ride back out to recapture the wagon, which is now full of orc bodies, stored by the dazed Calvin. Upon getting the wagon, Alice continues on to Jill’s Homestead to pick up the ale. She convinces the elderly farmhand to trade a barrel of ale for a gold and a kiss. On the way home, she learns more of Jeni and Alex, two of the soldiers under their command.

Meanwhile, Koram and Mercy fret over Calvin’s injuries, Koram feeling guilty for not sending additional soldiers with Calvin, orders him to remain in bed until fully healed. Alice returned and spotted some kind of spy in the distance during watch, but could not discover any additional information.

As the 9th day of Weeds arrives, and Nix returns to camp, the Fort rests and relaxes for the traditional rest day. The crew appreciates the efforts that the Unit went to to ensure a fun day of rest, even more so when Koram takes to cleaning the latrines.

On the 10th day, as Nix returned to scouting and work resumed at the fort, the watch spotted an old man approaching from the road. He asked to be allowed to rest his weary horse and take some time at the Fort, maybe a meal.

Upon discussion, the party decided that the man was a potential security risk. As he asked questions about the Fort and area, Koram fed him misinformation. As Alice talked to him briefly, she recognized him as the man they had spoken to outside Riverwalk Village many weeks prior.

Doubly suspicious now, the Unit, less Calvin and Nix, agreed that the man needed to stay in the Fort for further investigation. Koram did not believe that they had the right or evidence to imprison him. Mercy revealed that she had taken some poisons from the secret stash found earlier and that she could likely put him in a physical condition where he could not comfortably leave.

They agreed this was the best course, and poisoned his food in a way that would hopefully seem as though he had a simple digestion problem. When the illness hit him, he called for Mercy, and as she tried to give him the cure, though a less than appropriate amount, she caught him catching him.

When she left to get guidance or at least help from the others, the man made good his escape, slipping away from the Fort. A search of the fort revealed that while he had left his horse, he took his belongings.

Several more days passed the party by as Calvin was finally fully mended, Alice’s secret wounds were healed, and Mercy’s hand began to feel better.

On the 13th day of Weeds, a messenger arrived with directives from Captain Jo and Corporal Cyrus and he bore several other messages for the party.

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Chapter 1 Session 10
The Lovers

As the Unit awoke, they spoke of their upcoming plans. With Mercy still upset about her hand and Nix sullen from the deferred any decisions to others as Calvin, Alice, and Koram spoke of the future of the Fort. It was decided that Koram would continue to meet and learn of the surrounding areas, while Calvin and Alice led the reconstruction of the Fort. Despite her best arguments, Alice’s desire to open a path to the Tower was overruled by Koram’s desire to get a working food supply begun.

Koram left shortly thereafter to the North, again with Mandy as his only companion. Meanwhile, the other members of the party began to work on the last aspects of the Fort, Calvin working to make the front gate workable while Nix finished remaining repairs to the animals pens and farmland. Alice put her bookkeeping skills to use, pulling the junk and debris from the basement to determine what is usable, what is burnable, and what is useless.

Towards the end of the day, a guardsman notified Mercy that a young woman had arrived at the gates. She was dark-skinned and well-mannered. Mercy, confused at the sudden appearance, invited her in and got Alice and Nix to help.

The woman was Karen Farmer, the daughter of a local farmer. She said that her husband told her that she could take refuge there. The three women decided to keep Karen under Mercy’s care while they determined what to do.

Soon, Genie Minor of Eugene’s Mining Camp arrived, claiming to be Karen’s husband. Upon being grilled by Nix and Alice, they determined that they were not married, but rather they were attempting to elope. The two teens wanted to escape the area and move to the larger cities on the coast. It was apparent that they were not ready to move to a large city.

As Calvin and the others ate their dinner, Alice, Mercy, and Nix discussed the situation with Genie. They offered employment to Genie in exchange for protection of Genie and Karen from their parents. Genie, a miner with knowledge of tunneling would be an excellent help in the tunneling to the tower. They negotiated price, but eventually came to an agreement.

Meanwhile, Koram and Mandy traveled north again, this time to Jill’s Homestead. There, they met with the head of the farming operation and the butler. Lastly, Koram met with Jill herself, an elegant and friendly woman. It became evident that Jill suffered some sort of disease or malady. They left the next day, after learning of more orc raids, they left for the Fort.

Nix was at the gate that day when the first problem arrived. Beth, Karen’s mother and the daughter of Josephine of Josephine’s House, arrived at the Fort. She demanded access to her daughter. Nix gave her access and Alice sat her down at the table as Mercy attempted to keep an eye on Karen and Genie.

Genie’s father, Eugene arrived next and Calvin simply let him slide past as Koram rode in behind. Things went downhill from there, with Beth and Eugene each demanding the return of their children. Beth demanded Karen’s return, and indicated that she was too good for a miner like Genie.

Koram, unaware of pretty much everything going on, gathered everyone together. By talking to different people, he determined what had transpired in his absence, and approved the hiring of Genie and Kare, much to the chagrin of Beth.

Placated by Koram’s promise that he would not allow the two to marry until they were ready, Beth left annoyed. Eugene made it known that Genie’s loss would not be as bad if the area was safe for trade. Koram thanked them and all was well with the Fort again.

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Chapter 1 Session 9
Exploring the Fort

Splint.jpgAs the night fell on the Unit’s second night within Fort Copped, Mercy slipped away from the group to explore the basement. Alice, hearing the squeaky footsteps while she took watch, intercepted Mercy and, after discussion, agreed to investigate the trap door that sat in the animal pens.

The two made their way quietly down into the armory, a dirty, rotted and ruined room that had obviously not been visited in a long time. Making their way into the proper basement, they saw that this was not a secret area, but rather it was simply the residential area of the fort, with bunks and storage.

Mercy, searching through the bunks, found a secret cubbyhole. Guarding the secret, she opened the cubby to reveal a small lockbox. As she attempted to bash the lock on the box, she triggered a trap, bringing the stone door down onto her hand, breaking it.

Her scream of pain woke the remaining members of the Unit. Nix and Alice helped Mercy out of the basement and Mercy then walked Nix through splinting the hand before passing out from pain. As they left, Koram took the lockbox for safekeeping, seeing money and vials within.

Alice left to help Koram and Calvin explore the remaining parts of the downstairs and they discovered a meeting room, captain’s quarters, infirmary, and storage room. Following a dripping noise, Alice discovred that the storage room held a small door which contained internal access to the well and Calvin discovered a caved-in tunnel that likely led to the large, nearly unclimbable, tower.

The next day, Koram left Calvin and Alice in charge of the fort and made his way north with Mandy. They traveled a day to Eugene’s Mining Camp, a small copper mine run by Eugene. There, Koram met with Eugene and his son Content Not Found: genie and informed them that the Fort was open again. Eugene was glad to hear it, as the fort had long been a place of refuge for the surrounding area. He spoke to Koram of recent troubles with raiders and invited him to stay the night.

At the fort, the remaining members of the Unit worked hard at finishing the repairs. Alice stayed on watch as Mercy investigated her new infirmary. Calvin finished the back gate while Nix finished work on the animal pens and repairs the stairs, using the wood from the large table in the basement conference room.

As night fell on the 3rd day of Weeds, the Unit took their watches while Koram slept in Eugene’s Camp. Nix, walking about on watch, heard voices coming from the back gate. As she peeked out, she saw two large creatures with coarse black hair and elongated teeth. They were talking about the Fort and their annoyance that it was occupied.

When Nix attempted to sneak out for a better look, they heard her and ran south.

The next day, the Unit continued their work on the fort. Koram and Mandy rode back to the Fort, seeing a mangled and half-eaten body on their way. It had suffered grievous wounds, most notably an arrow through the neck.

Once Koram arrived, they explored the lockbox, Mercy stating that the vials were medical and took them to be placed in the infirmary. Guiltless, she instead placed them in her pack, knowing that they contained both deadly and non-deadly poisons.

The party slept as night fell.

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Chapter 1 Session 8
The Taking of Fort Copped

As the sun was high in the sky on the first day of Weeds as the party approached Fort Copped. It was quickly decided that the residents of the Fort were not necessarily hostile and so Calvin, Nix, and Mercy entered the Fort to speak with its residents. Calvin believe that they may be the same farmers he spoke with during the storm.

Alice went to the fort as well and sneaked over the poorly maintained wall, quietly hiding atop the kitchen. Koram meanwhile stayed with the soldiers and cart to make sure they were protected.

Things quickly devolved into violence as Calvin attempted to bring the rest of the soldiers into the Fort. Peter, one of the leaders of the residents of the Fort, wanted to hold Calvin and others and hostage in exchange for their supplies.

As Calvin stepped up to Peter, the scene became a flurry of action. Mercy screamed for help and ran for cover ans Nix swung at the four former soldiers charging her. Archers fired at Calvin and Peter drew two swords and waded into battle. Calvin took quick damage but was able to dodge away. An expert marksman fired down on the party, drilling into Nix’s head, from her perch atop the Keep of the Fort.

Koram, hearing battle rushed to battle with Andre and Sharon and Alice got into the battle, throwing a dagger at the sniper atop the Keep, who took a glancing blow.

Nix blew through one of the soldiers facing her and then pivoted and slapped another one down. Surprisingly, Mercy’s cat ran from her protective arms and rushed at the archers threatening Calvin, effecting slashing at ones neck. Calvin and Peter met each other blow for blow, Peter slicing at Calvin’s arm and Calvin smashing through Peter’s.

Koram continued on into the Fort and sneaked to the crow’s nest atop the Keep, hoping to surprise the sniper as the fight raged on below. Calvin continued solidly hitting Peter’s arm as Nix finished off the soldiers in front of her. Alice now the target of the sniper, danced away from her arrows, but could not get an attack off.

As the fight wound down, the cat continued his assault on the archers and Koram emerged to the top of the Keep to find that the sniper had bolted from the scene. He gave chase, but could not keep up.

Nix and Calvin finally managed to cow Peter into submission, his arm hanging loosely at his side, likely maimed forever. With the fight over, they began to clean up the scene.

They spent the remaining part of the day divvying up tasks to start putting the fort into workable order. Calvin began stacking, sorting, and looting bodies as Mercy tended wounds of the injured. Koram made sure that each person had a task and then assisted with the latrines with the remaining sick soldiers.

Nix finally started to help after she escaped the ministrations of Mercy, to work on the animal pens. Alice, meanwhile kept a lookout over the surrounding areas to ensure that no trouble came back to them.

As night fell on the first day at the Fort, Koram dreamed that he was transported to a large open market. The words were familiar, but they and the people were foreign to him. Some object was given to a man in black leather who then appeared in front of Koram.

“Gift,” was all he said and Koram then found himself in a dark cave with dripping water and skittering, scuttling sounds. He awoke refreshed, but unsure of what to do with the information.

The Unit then started in earnest of the repairs, making progress in repairing the Forge, Kitchen, and Animal Pens. Alice made sure that the defenses stayed secure while Mercy put the kitchen into proper order.

During the day, Mercy and Nix went to see Peter, who was held captive in the stables. Nix offered him the chance to leave, and over Mercy’s objections, the party ended up letting him leave.

At the end of the day, Mandy approached the party to say that she may be able to help get the assistance of the locals if they let her leave with a soldier for a week or so. Koram agreed, but said that he should go with her.

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Chapter 1 Session 7
The Wagon Trail

Dysentary.jpgThe Unit was ordered by Corporal Cyrus to lead the retaking of an old, abandoned fort on the border with Varte. They were given their specific commands to retake, fortify, and supply Fort Copped, until the heat from their mission to Riverwalk Village died down.

They were sent to the Quartermaster where Alice immediately took control of the books of the expedition. Everyone pitched in with their ideas about what may need to come to camp with them, but the best they could get was promises of potential materials when they were sent a re-supply wagon.

Before the left for the Fort, Quentin, Corp. Cyrus’ second, informed them that two people wanted to speak with them about assisting them as an Aide de Camp. He explained that they could help track the camps resources and problems, but that they would be a non-military adviser.

The Unit was surprised to see Mandy as the first interview. She told them that she was a good cook and knew the area they were going to. Delcor, a wounded soldier, was the second interview. He expressed that he had more practical experience in leading troops and in military expeditions. At the end, the unit decided that Delcor’s experience could cause doubt and dissension among their followers, and opted to bring Mandy.

The next day, the Unit met their Followers, a unit of archers led by a women named Sharon and a unit of light infantry led by a man named Andre.

On the 19th day of Play, they set off on a week-long journey with Mandy, their new livestock, and supplies in tow. While the first few days went easy, the third day was met with strong winds and one of the soldiers, Jerrol, stepped into a nest of Blond Mouse Ant hill, rendering him incapable of hard labor.

The wind turned into a full storm on the fourth day. While Calvin spoke with a group of local farmers on patrol, Nix and another solider, Brian, were struck by lightening. Luckily, both survived.

Things did not improve dramatically, as the wind continued through the fifth day. All seemed well as the Unit went into the sixth day, with Mercy and Koram continuing to learn more about the soldiers under their command. Alice was particularly successful at scratching out information.

On the seventh day, they rested. But they only rested because the entirety of the expedition, aside from Mercy, Nix, and Calvin, were struck with dysentery. Mercy worked feverishly to revive the members of the Unit and their followers.

When enough were ready to move again, they moved on to the Fort.

On the first day of Weeds, the Unit arrived at Fort Copped to find smoke rising from the supposedly abandoned Fort.

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Chapter 1 Session 6
Food for the Hungry

Horse cartAs the night settled down on the 8th day of Play, Nix and Mercy conferred with the conspirators. It was decided that they would try and spook the horses in order to retrieve some of the food.

After sending the two caravan guards to assist with the fire, Mercy placed her cat in the horse’s ear and let the kitten growl. Though small in size, the cat let out a mighty growl and spooked half of the horses. The Mayor and Sister Luli were able to climb aboard one of the horses and lead it off to a safe area.

The pair made their way to find the rest of the Unit to update them, and were directed to the herbalists, where Calvin lay with a severe head injury. They discussed the night’s event, not everyone being pleased with how things had turned out.

Nix then realized that before they would leave, the horses would have to be found. She and Alice found the small girl who had first greeted them into town, and the three made off to find the horses.

With her help, and surprising insight, they found the horses without much problem and returned them. There, they found Koram, who had taken up guard over the remaining wagons, with Hamnet. With one wagon still missing, Hamnet ordered them back out into the night to find the last wagon.

With some quick thinking, Alice damaged the last remaining wagon as Nix found the cat trainer, who helped the Mayor and the Sister unload the remaining food from the wagon. Alice and Nix then returned to the town with the damaged wagon in tow, and the rest of the party left town as quickly as they could.

They argued some on the road home about the proper course of action in Riverwalk, and were also told that there was a warrant for their arrest.

Back at camp, on the 11th day of Play, the party fully reported to Corporal Cyrus, who told them that they had likely created a great enemy in the Captain of Riverwalk. He promised them that he would look into a way to protect them.

As the days passed, Koram and Calvin spent time in martial training, as Mercy trained her new cat, much to the annoyance of the Quartermaster of the camp. Alice split her time between the sinners and the saints as she made contacts around camp, and Nix ran away her worries. Time was also spent crafting, between Nix and Calvin in the quartermaster’s and Mercy’s sewing. Mercy and Calvin swapped gifts of their own creation. Meanwhile, Nix kept an eye on Captain Jo and Corporal Len while Koram spoke of his concerns with Cyrus.

At the end of the week, on the 18th day of Play, the party was given their new assignment: to repair and fortify a border fort on the border with Varte. They would be given two squads to assist them, an archery unit and a light infantry unit. To ease the chain of command, Koram was promoted to Sergeant while the Unit agreed that Calvin and Alice would be given promotions to Senior Soldier, so that you would have control over the two units assigned to the Fort.

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Chapter 1 Session 5
Riverwalk Village

TavernThe Unit of soldiers rode into Riverwalk Village and dismounted, greeted by a small, pig-tailed girl who handled the horses. She told them to go inside, because Gra was expecting them.

Inside the Shallows Inn, their eyes adjusted to the dark, and they found themselves in a rather generic inn populated by the wait staff, the evening’s entertainment, and a small, jaundiced bartender, Gra the Goblin of Riverwalk Village.

Gra was glad to see them, and wanted to make sure that they were taken care of. He told them of the town and its inhabitants, and fed them a beef and peach stew, before duties called him away.

As the workers of the peach orchard began to bundle into the bar, the group split up to go their different ways. The Unit from Northern Command came in to the bar, and the Corporal quickly excused himself and his men. Then, Calvin met with a large, but hard man who was introduced as Hamnet, the head of the caravan. No nonsense, he quickly set the relationship between the unit and the caravan and told them that he was going to bed.

It was Calvin who was first approached by the mysterious women in red, the tavern’s entertainment, who told him that she would be visiting Peaches Inn after her performance, and that it would not be a place that Jeoffrey Calinda would enjoy. A quick conversation determined that at least some of the group would attend to see why she had made the invitation to Calvin. The woman then began to sing songs that were subtly rebellious in nature.

As the evening progressed, Nix left to explore the town, visiting the Miller’s Inn, which turned out to be the local guard hangout. Although she could not figure out precisely what would happen, she knew that the guards were getting ready for something that night.

Mercy meanwhile, cornered Trina, the Cat Trainer. Brina agreed to teach Mercy some basics about training her Lion to become a hunting cat, or even a war cat. Mercy was excited to learn, and took quickly to the lessons, before slinking off without paying her promised gold.

Alice, Koram, and Calvin stayed in the Shallows Inn. Calvin chatted with town Blacksmith while the others watched the show. As the evening came to a close, Calvin, Nix, and Mercy left for the Peaches Inn, as Alice followed behind to ensure the safety of the caravan.

Inside the Peaches Inn, they almost left when they did not see the woman in red, but the bartender, a woman who’s true beauty rested on the inside, asked them what they were there for. Once they told her, they were ushered into a backroom where the woman in red stood arguing with an older woman.

The room was filled with co-conspirators. The woman in red was Helen of Intelline in Han. The older woman was Mayor Cassandra Ne’Dufton, the mayor of Riverwalk. Trina was there, as well as an elegant priestess of Billinton: Sister Luli. Two farmers and two members of the Earless’ guard were present as well, but gave no name.

The conspirators informed the unit that there was a small underground movement of dissatisfied citizens, upset since Earl Grey was executed and his children taken prisoner and left in Castle Calindoor. This group however was just interested in seeing the people of Riverwalk were fed. They wanted some of the food to find its way in to the Church so that the people would not starve.

Calvin, uncomfortable at the prospect of disobeying orders, stepped outside as Nix and Mercy remained inside to discuss.

Meanwhile, Koram had noticed several people very, very inconspicuously leaving the bar. Seriously guys, there was nothing going on. They were extremely inconspicuous. He followed to investigate as Alice, standing outside, noticed several men interspersed among the caravan.

It became evident to the two of them that something was happening and Koram stayed outside as Alice rushed to get Hamnet, fearful that the caravans were about to be raided by the town guard.

At the meeting of conspirators, a tap on the glass warned of the impending raid and stalled Nix’s reply. The Mayor initially blamed her and Mercy for bringing the guards with them, but was quickly hushed. Mercy began to panic, but Nix relied on the conspirators to get them out.

Koram, seeing the soldiers of Riverwalk advance on the tavern his friends were inside realized he needed to do something. He reached for the flaming arrows they had constructed before their trip to Steedscross and fired a shot to the Peaches Inn, lighting part of it on fire and dividing the raiding force between raiders and firefighters.

Outside the back room, Calvin attempted to delay the raiding soldiers by issuing commands and playing the klutz. He was as surprised as the guards when the backroom was empty of anyone but the two farmers. The back of the room had a secret door leading to tunnels, but the farmers were left behind to cover up the secret.

Nix and Mercy wandered down underground tunnels, and were told that the tunnels were built by a unfaithful Earless who wanted an easy way to visit her various lovers. There, they agreed with the Mayor and Sister Luli that food must be given to the people, and that the fire and raid might make this the perfect opportunity to “lose” one of the wagons. They crept into the Earl’s Court to position themselves appropriately.

Calvin though, was left to explain their absence. He was brought to the Captain of the Guards of Riverwalk, and although he technically outranked the Captain, he was unable to convince the power-hungry man that he was not part of the conspiracy.

As the Captain attempted to arrest Calvin, Calvin fought back, joined by Koram and Alice, they solidly trounced three guards and the Captain, doing serious damage to the Captain’s chest between Alice’s knives and Calvin’s hammer. Koram was also effective with his bow as he planted a shot into the Captain’s arm.

Gene, the Herbalist was contacted, and although he could not heal the wounds, he was confident that the Captain would not die.

The night is far from over, and the ramifications of attacking the Captain of the Guard, or from “losing” a wagon, could be severe.

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Chapter 1 Session 4
Back to the Road

KittyAs dusk settled over Southern Command on the 5th day of Play, the Unit, after seeing to their injuries and to Mandy’s well-being, heard a knock upon the wood outside their door.

Corporal Cyrus and his right-hand man Quentin entered the tent. Cyrus, straight to the point, asked them to describe their previous mission in order to know them better. Apparently, you were the first squad to be assigned to Special Tactics straight out of training, and many people had their eyes on you. He asked multiple follow-up questions about the reasons for their actions, cautious to not say that he would have done differently.

Listening to your answers carefully, he eventually told you that he was unhappy with the way Special Tactics was run. It was his desire to take you under his command, and to use the influence gained to eventually convince the generals that a more honorable Special Tactics was a better idea than the ruthless, amoral squads under Captain Jo. He did not hide the fact that such a decision would mean a promotion for him.

While the party deliberated, Corporal Len entered and made tried to convince them to remain under his command, but to no avail.

The next day, Cyrus handed them their orders: to proceed to the town of Riverwalk and escort a food supply wagon that had come down from Aron’s Market and would come to Southern Command to buffer their food supply. Cyrus explained that the wagon leader, Hamnet, was a serious man who ruled his caravan with an iron grip, but was a disaster in a crisis.

More importantly, he indicated that he was concerned that they were sending a Special Tactics unit on a simple escort mission and promised to send word of any problems if he discovered anything.

And so you set out on horseback, an uncomfortable spot for most of you. It was midday when the first excitement happened. Mewling was heard from across the plains, and Calvin and Mercy dismounted to investigate. To their surprise, they found a small Eastern Tawny Lion, freshly weaned, with an arrow lodged in its leg. As Mercy nursed it back to health with Nix‘s help, Alice found the cat’s dead mother; shot with hunting arrows.

The crew continued on, cat curled up in Mercy’s lap. It was a boring, meaningless time of idle talk as each told stories of their childhood. Koram remembered that he knew the caravan leader Hamnet and his wife Irma, from his youthful pranks. Hamnet was a favored target.

On the second night, Alice met with a soldier sent by Corporal Cyrus, who warned them of a rift between the Mayor of Riverwalk and the Captain of the Guards. Apparently, Earless Miranda Dufton was ailing and had no heir. The city elite had devolved into factions to position themselves to gain power.

By the end of the third day of travel, the 8th day of Play, the party had only seen one other person on the road, a slightly suspicious, or possibly just confused, farmer who asked questions about Southern Command. The party passed by and into the city of Riverwalk, where they made their way past the Peach Orchards and the terminus of the River of Silver, and up to the Shallows Inn.

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Chapter 1 Session 3
The Bridge of Steedscross

Burning bridgeDinner began in Steedscross as Koram, Alice, and Mercy sat around the table with the residents. It was a good meal and a lively discussion about the purpose of the Unit’s visit. The town quickly divided into three sections. One section, led by the Mayor, Ned Ce’Grey wanted assurance that the town could recover. Another section, led by the caretaker Thom was entirely opposed to the destruction of the bridge. And the third section, led by the young people and Marcus, Ned’s brother-in-law, wanted to stand up against the Vartian soldiers at the bridge.

At the end of the meal though, Ned had yet to make a decision, and bade everyone sleep on the problem. He believed that a good night’s rest was necessary to cool everyone’s heads. While Owen and Ben were regaled by Koram’s lies about life on the sea, Mandy cornered Mercy and Alice and forced them to teach her about combat. In the world’s most awkward conversation, she expressed a desire to join the army to be strong. The women quickly deduced that she wished that she had been strong enough to prevent the rape that produced her child Sally.

While the others laughed and ate, Calvin and Nix found themselves running back to town. It wasn’t long before they ran into a Vartian patrol who quickly gave chase. Two archers and a swordsman stood between them and the bridge.

Calvin, ignoring Nix’s command to flee, quickly dropped one archer with two shots to the head while Nix and the swordsman dueled each other.

By the time the swordsman told the other archer to report back to camp, Nix and Calvin had taken serious wounds. Nix put the swordsman in a headlock and captured him, but the archer was able to slip away under the cover of night, having taken serious chest and leg wounds from Calvin’s bow.

Once they returned to town, they quickly began the work of dismantling the bridge. Nix, an expert after her years of smithing, started a hot fire while Calvin sneaked into the Horseshoe, narrowly avoiding the townsfolk and the embarrassment of being caught spying on Alice, to gather the others to help.

As they demolished the bridge though, the bandit leader whom they had caught earlier in the day, warned the residents of the Unit’s actions. Likely he did this just to be a jerk. The townsfolk were roused, and some came to help. Others were simply dumbstruck by the loss of their beloved bridge.

It was Thom who was hurt the most, and he came out brandishing a sword at Koram. Calvin quickly joined battle and was surprised to be hit by an arrow from Betty, another resident. Gerald, the effete, manicured member of the town also came out with a sword.

The action was ended however when Calvin put an arrow through Betty’s head and Alice cold-clocked Gerald with the hilt of a dagger. The fight left the townsfolk, except for Thom. He had the heart to keep fighting, but not the strength.

The Unit made to leave quickly, taking cloth and food on their way out. They trussed up the swordsman, helped Mandy and Sally and laid out Calvin, who had since passed out from his wounds.

They returned to Southern Command, dropped off the wagon and horse, saw Mandy to the medic’s tent and reported in to Corporal Len, being sure to tell him that they brought Captain Jo her share. The camp was quiet and mostly empty.

They were told that new orders would be forthcoming shortly.

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