Age of Arthur

Session 18
The PCs and the Sea

The group listened to Bevyn’s story about Gita. Bevyn was wandering around the battlefield after his army had been defeated by invaders, and he encountered Gita. She promised him victory against the invaders in return for an oath to allow his heir to be taken as a changeling. Bevyn never visited Gita’s home, but she told him where it was: In a rock about a mile off the coast of the river mouth there is a grotto. If you swim in the grotto you can come up in the fairy land.

The PCs traveled to the river mouth and hired several boats and crew to take them out to the rock. After having a bit of trouble getting to the rock—both boats were taking on water—the PCs and the warband successfully disembarked on the rock. They found the grotto, dove in, and emerged in a lake in fairy land. They left the lake and began traversing some fields. While in the fields, they saw some human laborers. The despair in the eyes of the laborers was enough to shake Rufus.

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Session 17
Moving On

The PCs spent some time investigating their doppelgangers, but didn’t learn much. Apparently Gwyn’s double had caused a big stir by racking up a big tab at the tavern, then not paying. He also had done something to make the father of one of the girls at the party incredibly angry—gossip said that the father wanted to kill Gwyn.

The PCs directed town elders and Regan to create iron amulets and give them to everyone as a sign that they’re not doppelgangers.

After this, the PCs headed back to Lindham. Upon arriving they found out that Bevyn had departed the day before, escorted by Innis and a small posse. Calder and Cedric pointed out that since their father had rejected Bevyn’s oath—and done so very publicly—that Bevyn was under no obligation to stay.

The PCs headed out to catch up to Bevyn and Innis, which they did after a day and morning of hard travel. The PCs told Innis that they’d escort Bevyn the rest of the way, so Innis and his men returned to Lindham. Alone with Bevyn, the PCs once again strongly encouraged him to name Cedric or Calder as his heir. Bevyn refused. After some pushing and persuading, Bevyn revealed why he wouldn’t name an heir: years ago, to get assistance in repelling an earlier invasion, he had made a deal with a faerie. In return for help, Bevyn promised that his heir would be switched with a changeling as soon as the heir had taken the throne. Therefore, Bevyn refused to name an heir.

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Session 16
Romance at the Castle

Rufus, Caradoc, and Gwyn arrived at the castle on the island in hot pursuit of Phillip. Before they could enter the castle, however, they noticed caltrops strewn around the ground. The group was able to avoid injury and proceeded to open the door.

Just past the door was a small entrance room with statues resembling the men missing from the village and a huge sun dial on the floor. The group went around the sun dial to a door. Caradoc heard some whistling wind through the door. When he opened it, he saw a ricket rope-and-plank bridge crossing a bottomless chasm. Suspecting the chasm wasn’t real, Caradoc dropped an iron-tipped arrow and heard it hit bottom very quickly. With help from the others, Caradoc climbed down and found himself at the bottom of a 12 foot pit. Using ropes, the group was easily able to get to the door on the other side.

Meanwhile, Phillip was conversing with the fae woman in the tower. He professed his desire to marry her and make her his senior wife; she demanded that he swear an oath to lover her with all of his being forever. As they danced, they each tried to convince the other.

Rufus, Caradoc, and Gwyn found themselves in a maze of mirrors, surrounded by their own reflections. Gwyn stumbled a bit, but then remembered that he’d been in this room in a dream. Carafoc resorted to force, smashing mirrors as he went. Eventually, the group found its way through.

After going through another door, the group found itself in a room furnished only with 3 tables,l each with a "latrunculi board. Gwyn and Rufus began to play, while Caradoc scouted the next door. In the doorway, he found a trap—Greek fire was poised to fall on whomever came through the door; nearby torches would likely set fire to the chemical.

Gwyn won his game pretty quickly, and urged Caradoc to play—Gwyn reported that bad things would happen if Caradoc and Rufus didn’t win their games quickly. With Gwyn’s help, Caradoc won. Rufus was playing very slowly, so Gwyn gave him advice, which allowed him to win.

In the tower, the woman offered to have 2 other beautiful women join Phillip and herself as an enticement. Phillip began to get wary. Positioning himself behind her, Phillip stabbed the woman through the torso, causing her to scream and bleed profusely. He then proceeded to decapitate her and burn the corpse and the head separately.

After a door suddenly appeared in the hallway outside the game room, Rufus, Caradoc, and Gwyn entered the tower. Phillip was not there, but there was evidence that he’d been there. When the others returned to the entrance, Phillip was already there, waiting along with Rufus’ warband.

The group returned to the hedge and went through. However, something odd happened—Gwyn went through only to find himself completely alone. He divined that the others were coming much later, and set up camp to wait. The next day, Caradoc emerged from the hedge, with no sense that time had passed. Gwyn provided him with a might feast of rabbit and deer. The day after that, Rufus, Phillip, and the warband emerged.

After returning to Phillip and Regan’s estate, the group learned that, despite their absence of 3 days, numerous people had seen and interacted with them during that time. Gwyn, for instance, had apparently celebrated a bit much the night before in the village, causing a minor scandal among the older villagers. And Regan said she had a feeling just like the morning after she conceived a child years ago, despite the fact that Phillip was not there. Suspecting some sort of sorcery, the group decided to investigate.

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Session 14
Looking for Love

After the wedding, the PCs got down to business investigating what was going on in the village. They learned the following things:

  • About 4-5 days ago, a small riot broke out in town. It started when Cidion (a local woodcutter) attacked and killed Gest. After this fighting and mayhem broke out; many were hurt, and several houses were trashed. One house was burned down.
  • Cidion has not been seen since the riot.
  • Prior to the riot, it seems that Cidion’s wife was very angry with him.
  • A day or two before the riot, Cidion’s friend Drostan disappeared.
  • A day or two before that, Cidion was heard bragging to his friends that a beautiful woman was madly in love with him.
  • In the aftermath of the riot, about 10 people (men and women) from the village have gone missing.

The PCs interviewed the local priests, and learned little. Both priests, however, said the other was infatuated with the woman at the center of Cidion’s troubles.

The PCs also interviewed several other villagers and found out that almost everyone’s life was being affected by the woman—her presence was breeding mistrust and chaos in town.

Gwyn had a vivid dream in which he saw the woman, perched on a tower on a castle in the middle of the lake in the midst of the swamp. It was the same swamp that several PCs had been to earlier, hunting (and ultimately killing) the hound, as well as capturing Arthur and killing Morgan. According to Gwyn, the woman was calling Phillip’s name.

To prevent Phillip from being enchanted by the woman, the PCs ordered the household staff at Regan’s manor to keep an eye on Phillip, and if possible not let him leave.

The next day, the PCs went into the woods to try to track Cidion along woodcutting trails. They followed several for an hour or two without spotting Cidion. However, they did spot Phillip at a distance, walking through the woods, seemingly oblivious to them. He was unarmored.

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Session 13
Interrogation and Retreat

The PCs trussed up the wolf and took him away, setting up camp away from both Jutish camps. Led by Phillip, the PCs interrogated the wolf once he turned back into human. After some enhanced interrogation techniques, the wolf man revealed the following:

  • The Jutes left Jutland because of some wolfmen monsters who had invaded their land. The Jutish women and children had moved to a neighboring region; after the army conquered in Britain, they would send for the women and children.
  • All of the Jutish shamen were dead.
  • He was a shapechanger, and he thought that there were no other shapechangers with the Jutish army.

The PCs then killed the wolf man, and dismembered his corpse to use as a warning to the Jutes.

Speaking of the Jutes: the next morning, the army began to move south. The PCs followed the army for a day; to all appearances, the army was moving south (away from Owain’s realm) as fast as it could. The PCs got in front the army early in the march and left a grisly display involving the shapechanger’s remains.

The PCs then headed north, and after a bit of travel met up with Owain’s army, led by Cedric and Calder. After informing the brothers of what had happened, the PCs took Calder, Bevyn, and a small group of elite soldiers and headed back to Lindham; Cedric was left in command of the army.

Upon arriving in Lindham, the PCs saw for themselves how bad the king had gotten: he seemed almost delusional, and was very hostile. In particular, he was hostile towards Phillip and Rufus. The PCs consulted with Ula, and she said that Owain was almost always like this, especially when he was tired. Ula was at a loss as to what to do.

Before retiring for the night, the PCs set up an official public ceremony for the morning for Bevyn to swear an oath of fealty to Owain. They also consulted with Calder, trying to instill in him a sense of duty to help his father and the kingdom.

At the same time, the PCs heard more news about the bad things happening in the Pictish village: a number of men were dead, and more were missing. The villagers seemed to distrust each other, and the whole place reeked of suspicion.

The next morning, the PCs attended the fealty ceremony, held in a public square. Bevyn fully swore fealty, but Owain refused to accept him, insisting loudly that the man in front of him was not Bevyn, but was in fact an impostor. Some of the PCs tried to intervene, and Owain angrily ordered them away.

The PCs had already been planning on going to the Pictish village; Owain’s orders expedited this departure. After a day’s travel, the PCs arrived. Rufus went to the village to investigate, while Phillip and Caradoc headed to Regan’s manor house.

Rufus learned from his contacts that the problem seemed to be romantic: a woman with astonishing beauty was creating jealousy and resentment among the population. The men were fighting with each other—sometimes violently—over her, and the women were furious with the men. This seemed to be the cause of the strife and violence.

Meanwhile, Phillip was confronted by Regan when he arrived: she demanded to know where he had been, and insisted that they marry immediately (much to Caradoc’s delight). Caradoc headed off to the village to retrieve Rufus, and Regan and Phillip ordered the household staff to prepare for a feast. When Caradoc and Rufus returned, Rufus performed the wedding ceremony, and the celebratory feast followed.

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Session 12
A Failed Ambush

The PCs continued stalking the Jutish army. However, they noticed that a wolf was watching them in camp. Before they could do anything, the wolf ran off.

The Jutish army split at one point, detaching a few hundred soldiers. They marched back to meet up with the rearguard, and they set up a new camp. The PCs moved to scout that smaller camp.

That night, when the PCs went to scout, the wolf was following them again. They gave chase, and the wolf led them into an ambush—two groups of archers rained down arrows, while the PCs had to avoid punji spike pits.

Caradoc was stuck in a pit for a few turns, but avoided taking damage. Rufus’ war band was more than able to handle one group of archers. After the first group was wiped out, the second group fled.

Meanwhile, Rufus followed the wolf into an abandoned cottage. He turned human and wrestled the wolf, eventually knocking the wolf unconscious.

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Session 11
Raiding

The next day, the Jutish army across the river began moving upstream. The PCs hypothesized that the Jutes were either heading upstream to find another crossing, or that they were trying to get around the river entirely by moving past the headwaters. They dispatched sentries to known fords upstream and also sent a message to the independent town near the headwaters (I can’t remember the name right now). The army itself began the process of moving upstream as well.

The PCs crossed back to the south side of the river to trail the Jutish army. That night, the PCs approached the Jutish camp and picked off a number of sentries, then left after causing disruption and fear. The PCs also used psychological warfare on the Jutish commander, placing a fear of night ghosts on him.

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Session 10
There Will Be Blood (and fire)

Picking up where they left off, the PCs hid the Jutish bodies in a copse of trees, then headed inland to find a hiding place. Rufus, in owl form, reconnoitered the camp, and located the tent that the fire mages were in. After some debate, the PCs decided to attempt to infiltrate the Jutish camp and disrupt the mages.

Rufus had a quick vision of blood seeping into the ground around the sacred grove. He informed others of what he saw.

Rufus sent most of his warband—along with Gwyn—back to guard the boats. The remaining two joined Rufus, Caradoc, and Phillip in disguise as Jutish soldiers. The small group managed to sneak past sentries and get in to the camp. Easily finding the wizards’ tent, the group dispatched a sentry quickly and quietly. The mages inside were conducting a ritual. And the air was getting colder. The group then entered the tent ready to kill.

The tent erupted into a bloody fiery mess. The PCs managed to kill several mages immediately, including the one who seemed to leading the ritual, although it cost Caradoc a skull-splitting headache. For the next minute or so, the group fought and killed numerous mages and their guards. They also knocked over a brazier and threw a pot of Greek fire into it, starting a dangerous conflagration. When they left, the PCs were able to escape amid confusion and chaos of the disrupted camp. They made it back to the boats, and back across the river. When they arrived back at camp, they were greeted as heroes. After checking some things, the PCs retired for a much-needed rest.

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Session 9
Across the River

The PCs spent much of the next morning working on defenses against an attack across the river: range testing siege engines, digging trap holes, and the like. Around lunchtime, Calder arrived with one hundred more soldiers, including about 20 regulars. Calder and Cedric met, with the PCs in attendance, and Calder was fine with leaving Cedric in charge, and pitching in when and where he could.

Across the river, a large army was evidently moving: a lot of dust was being kicked up.

After consulting with the brothers and Bevyn, the PCs decided to reconnoiter in force across the river. Taking boats left about a mile and half upstream, the PCs crossed over. While scouting ahead, Caradoc found two small (5 people each) scouting parties approaching. The PCs set a trap for the scouts: Rufus would make himself seen, then retreat towards the river so that the PCs and Rufus’ warband could rain down arrows on them. It worked: the PCs wiped out the first scout group almost immediately. However, they also detected something moving towards them in the grass. Rufus snuck out towards it, and found a Jutish warrior ready for him. Rufus engaged the Jute, and was soon joined by his warband and by Phillip. In the meantime, Gwyn and Caradoc moved around to fire on the other scouting party, and finished them off in fairly quick order.

The Jutish warrior proved to be very tough. Rufus, Phillip, and the warband were able to take him out, but it required a lot of fighting. Gwyn finally finished him off with a sword in the brain.

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Session 8
How 'bout a little fire?

Shortly after sunset, Caradoc assumed his owl form and flew across the river to scout. During his trip, he saw the Jute army encamped about 8-10 miles south of the river. They seemed to number about 1000, but he didn’t take the time to count. Caradoc also saw a huge fire some miles past the Jute army. To avoid surprise, he looped around on the way back to make sure that the Jutes weren’t sailing up the river. They weren’t.

As he returned to camp, Caradoc felt a huge magical malevolent presence. Just as he landed, a huge fire emanated from the magical presence. The fire immediately caught on some of the buildings of the village. Under the esteemed leadership of the PCs, the army leaped into action and worked to contain the fire. It wasn’t easy, but after a couple of hours, the fire was out without seriously damaging the village.

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