The characters for this session
The Long Roaders
The fame that all of the Long Roaders share is:
Virtuous of the Long Road; Giantslayer; Marked Man; Savior of Thane Braden; Shadow’s-end; friend of St Berronar; friend of the New Town; friend of Haranshire; Favored of Cloverford; Secret ally of the Inquisitor Marshals. They are entitled to roll an extra d10 on CHR checks where their reputation is known.
Cat Weasel, 2nd-tier warlock, whose particular fame is: friend of Elin Barad, minor tier Rumbler, and friend of the One True Faith. Cat has a familiar, a sprite named Distelvolle or Dis for short, who adds a wide range of proficiencies to Cat’s palette. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
Phoenix Pilandaros, 2nd-tier barbarian, whose particular fame is: enemy of Sebek, and friend of the One True Faith. Phoenix is of the Coaster culture, but because he bears the axe Mocair, ancestral Plains weapon, he is keen to be initiated into a Plains tribe. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
Seck Rustrau, 2nd-tier rogue, whose particular fame is: doom of Gleekmound, ear-taker, friend of Elin Barad, enemy of Sebek, and friend of the One True Faith. Seck is his own company but belongs to the DGA Mooregate as well.
Vir Onden, 2nd-tier ranger, whose particular fame is: enemy of Sebek. Vir is part of the ranger conclave stretching across southern and western Trussia, but needs contact with druid convocations to keep advancing in spell lore. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
The Marked Man moniker:
“Marked Man” arises because the Long Roaders have crossed the Hag Conspiracy as well as getting in the way of most though not all Dragon Cults, and annoying the Fiend as well. Now wherever they go, NPCs wearing T-shirts reading “Hag Life” or “I’m Part Dragon – Get Over It” or “FiendMe@666” are liable to try to kill the Long Roaders.
DGA ranks: Because the Long Roaders have been travelling far and fast, they won’t be confirmed into their Sapphire rank until they re-contact a guild branch.
XP: The Long Roaders end this wrap-and-downtime session 170xp from level 9. (I use the DCC xp system for the sake of simplicity and because it suits my reward objectives.)
The Retirement of the Sieur Robert
Now that it has come to it, the Long Roaders put their hearts and minds into a plan by which they can bring justice against the Sieur Robert, better known to Cat in his former life as Roeburr the Excessively Plausible. Waking refreshed from a Long Rest in Cloverford Abbey’s cells, they knock together a very smooth form of words that bids Baron Trewalyn, and the Sieur Robert, hither. It’s a plausible approach, not an outright lie.
INT checks: Cat (with advantage) 16, Seck 13, Phoenix 12, Vir 10
The outward sense of the note is simply that Trewalyn is bid bring Roeburr to visit Liam. However Roeburr will hear, between the lines, that he has a chance to retrieve the situation by meddling with Liam’s condition.
After a couple of private rolls from the DM…
At a sufficiently baronial time later, a fully-dressed Baron Trewalyn brings with him not only Roeburr but two sturdy guards. The Long Roaders attempt to use the Abbey servants to redirect those guards to the galley, but the Baron insists.
General strategy: Cat is near Liam and will do the talking, Vir is near and will be ready with things like Hold Person and Silence, Loremaster Holst is maintaining a Zone of Truth, Seck is back watching for flight risk, Phoenix is back to be reasonably near Seck. Side-exits from the Abbey have been barred.
Inits: Vir, Phoenix, Baron and guards, Cat, Roeburr, Seck.
Round 0: Liam – who is obviously truly Liam – steps forward into the light.
Roeburr turns a sickly hue and darts his gaze around, seeking a way out.
Phoenix walks to physically block the way the newcomers just entered.
Cat begins his explanation but the Baron (who rolled a nat 20 on interpreting the note) interrupts:
“So – what I read between the lines is true – the Sieur Robert is… THE CULPRIT!!” He points a finger at Roeburr and his two guards move swiftly to crowd Roeburr, each drawing a dagger to jab at him.
Phoenix, seeing what he thinks is preemptive murder, shouts and races forward…
Round 1: Vir throws Hold Person on Phoenix but since putting on his Ring of Protection+2 Phoenix is no longer the easy-WIS and continues his charge! Dropping Mocair with a resounding bouncing clang, he crashes into one guard, grasping the man’s wrist below his vambrace and squeezing: the dagger falls. Phoenix reaches across to the second guard but, overconfident and skating slightly on the fallen dagger, flails at open air instead. Though surprised, the guard that still has his dagger locks his spare arm around Roeburr’s throat and drags him back by the heels to the Baron’s side. Roeburr’s face purples, unable to escape the neck-lock.
Cat hears the Baron yelling “What are you DOING??” and he too calls “Calm down Phoenix, he’s not stabbing Roeburr, he’s just stopping him running!! I’m so sorry my lord, this was unplanned!!”
Cat manages a fair CHR check on the apology with advantage
Seck advances to physically block the exit now that Phoenix is out of position.
Round 2: Vir can see Phoenix is working out his little mistake, and that the guard in the latter’s grip is thinking about drawing a reserve weapon. He adopts a Ready action, for casting Silence. Phoenix releases the guard – “sorry I thought you guys were gonna knife him” – and backs away, making sure he’s not seeming to approach Mocair. The injured guard steps quickly away to his lord, drawing his sidearm and ready to defend. “Let’s all relax,” the other guard growls, and in a slightly more high-strung way the Baron nods and calls: “Liam! My boy!”
Liam runs eagerly to his father, perilously close to Roeburr.
“My lord! Step clear! He mustn’t get near Roeburr!” Cat yells, but Trewalyn trips over his trusty guard (as the DM rolls the third nat 1 in quick succession) and Roeburr has his distraction. He wriggles a hand free and…
Vir casts: A zone of Silence descends over the casting chamber!
But it is a gimmick, not a spell, that Roeburr has ready! He is but a tinkerer after all. He throws an object down and both he and those around him are surrounded by a choking obscuring mist!
Seck crash-tackles Roeburr but the latter twists nimbly and rolls part-over Seck (as the contests are even).
Round 3: Vir is close to this tangle and he, seeing Roeburr twisting something else out from his sleeve, joins in, grabbing at Roeburr. Phoenix rages, runs around the powdery zone, and tackles the maul of bodies from the side.
Unbelievably Roeburr still gets his next gimmick out. Cat has dropped back out of the Silence and attempts to sight in on his nemesis: but can’t guess which of the four it is through the obscured zone, so cancels his spell.
Everyone in the maul makes a CON SV as a flash goes off. Seck is paralyzed but the other two are OK.
Round 4: Roeburr wiggles agilely out from the maul as the Baron, Liam and his men pick themselves out of the settling dust, still coughing somewhat. As Cat sees Roeburr’s flapping garment, he sights on it, and Banishes him.
A minute and some planning later: Crash-tackled on four sides as he reappears, Roeburr is overpowered and dragged back to the Zone of Truth.
Roeburr’s first explanation is convincing, but taken through the explanation again, fails to make details match up.
Stroking his silky beard the baron looks at the Long Roaders and says:
“Lady Aghed will be rejoiced at the safe return of our son, and a reward will be, well, soon discussed. But perhaps it is fitting that I give you the punishing of this, how you say, “Roeburr.” Obviously I strip him forthwith of his title as Sieur.”
Having uttered the form of words that does this, the baron turns confidently back to the Long Roaders and awaits whatever judgment they make.
The Long Roaders vote for life imprisonment rather than execution. And that Roeburr be questioned as to the hag and the weaknesses of the Mud King. That information will allow Baron Trewalyn to hire Hunters and low-tier adventurers with confidence.
So Roeburr is placed into dungeon dark deep and dank, and the Baron, Liam, and the Long Roaders go in search of a bath.
Clad in their most-adequate, least-muddy garb, the Long Roaders stand before the Baron and his Lady. Aghed shows them more favor than before, thanking them personally and apologizing that she placed so much weight on the Sieur’s word. Cat excuses her: “He is known as the Plausible,” he avers.
Baron Trewalyn raises his voice to make the courtiers and minor nobles assembled take his words to heart: “Once again our faith in the Long Roaders has been proven correct. I name them Favored of Cloverford and would speak to them of some significant reward after this audience.”
Shortly after, the Long Roaders are seated with the Baron, sipping fine wine, and invited to choose from a few reward options. They choose, and cash in 15,000 gold coin worth of gear and gadgets from the city’s resources. All the while tailors dash in and out trying to get their measurements before the morrow’s formal ceremony.
Water Breathing x4 (One each)
Vitality x4 (One each)
Supreme Healing x4 (One each)
Longbow, Advantage up to 50′ – which Vir swaps out his old one for
Heroism x4 (One each)
Greater Healing x12 (Three each)
Elixir of Health x4 (One each)
Dust of Choking and Sneezing
Seck considers +1 Reinforced leather armor, but he already has a quick-doff suit, and it seems the armor won’t stack with a Ring of Protection.
Farewell Matian, Hello South-east Trussia
At a fine ceremony out in the public way and admired by many citizens, the hastily-clad-in-fine-robes Long Roaders are made Heroes of Cloverford, Beloved of the City and given a small brass key each representing their freedom of the city. Baroness Aghed gives each adventurer a double kiss and a star-stapphire medallion, which (in game terms) boosts their personal wealth dice pool to 8d6 each.
As chance and the DM’s whim has it, this fast preparation has been necessary for the formal reward ceremony to be held within the wider Midwinter Solstice celebration.
Shortly thereafter the Long Roaders, clad once more in less obtrusive gear, filter into the Abbey, are welcomed once again by Loremaster Holst, and ushered down into the Teleportation Circle chamber. He speaks a secret watchword for the Teleportation Circle.
Passing swiftly through they find themselves in a very similar chamber.
A man garbed in similar fashion as Holst, thin to the point of being ascetically-starved, regards them with a degree of suspicion.
“Good morning. My name is Erich Huntsmann. And you are in Schmitford. And you are?”